Archive for October, 2007

The Romney campaign emits noise that sounds like someone who has a plan, a detailed plan. Only when you—you e.g. voters and participators—behave in ways that Team Romney’s plan would not predict, Team Romney responds not by reviewing and perhaps revising The Plan; rather, they respond by lecturing you about why you should respect and follow The Plan. In other words, the Romneys consistently confuse their map (their plan) for the terrain (which is you and the judgments you make about the candidates and their messages).

For example, their 2-man race theme that we vary and elaborate on here:

The Romneys decided early on that they could win against Giuliani by occupying ground to the right of him—hence, the 2-man Race theme. But they encountered 2 problems.

1. Romney never completed the task of consolidating his right flank—despite surging ever further to the right, Romney could never make the case that he (a) deserves the votes of conservatives, or (b) that he is a conservative at all. Conservatives, whether Evangelicals, security firsters, fair-trade nativists, fiscal conservatives etc., etc. remain divided and dispersed among the candidates. See:

2. The other candidates—principally Sen. McCain and Gov. Huckabee—stubbornly refuse to allow to Romney to position himself as the only alternative to former Mayor Giuliani. They persist; they continue to pursue their own agendas. And Gov. Huckabee has driven Romney to last place in the national polls.

Rather than adapting their map to the new and evolving terrain, the Romneys would rather you, the terrain, pay better attention to their map. This explains why Team Romney and their noisy surrogates bellow at us about a “2-man race” when the facts on the ground support other interpretations. Another attempt by Team Romney to account for their map-terrian disconnect is the “Romney is a victim of religious prejudice” theme, which we will refer to as (R).

Our editorial policy is this: we have nothing but respect for the Mormon tradition. We happen to be Jews. We wear a kippah, tzitzit, and we believe that separating milk and meat draws us closer to Hashem. In the morning we wrap our left arm in a leather strap, wear a box on our head, and enfold ourselves in a four-cornered bedouin garment that we use when we pray—this gives our daughter great delight, BTW. In a few weeks when our son enters this world (Baruch Hashem), a Rabbi is going to cut him where no man wants to be cut and then we will all eat and celebrate. So whatever our Mormon brothers and sisters believe—we really don’t know, nor do we really care—it could not possibly be as strange to the wider world as that which we hold to. Hence: We are interested in (R) only to the degree that it has become a theme—an argument, an alibi, a rationale—for the Romney campaign’s non-performance.

Here is (R) as articulated by Martin Frost in a FoxNews opinion piece titled Romney Falling Victim to Voters’ Religious Discrimination

I thought that the concept of a religious test for public office in our country was put to bed once and for all when John Kennedy, a Catholic, was elected president in 1960 and Joe Lieberman, an Orthodox Jew, was nominated for vice president in 2000.

Now we have a candidate with a record of accomplishment, Mitt Romney, who is consistently lagging in the polls with the most credible reason being that significant numbers of Republican primary voters will not support him because of his Mormon religion.

When voters, particularly in the South, are asked to identify candidates that they would not support for president under any circumstances, Romney leads the list. Romney is rejected as a potential presidential candidate in this type polling more often than other polarizing figures such as Rudy Giuliani. It has become increasingly clear that many conservative voters will not support an otherwise qualified candidate who happens to be a Mormon … etc., etc.

Frost evaluates the problem in absolute terms: Romney is a Mormon. Southern Christians will not support even a richly qualified Mormon. Hence, Romney is a victim of religious prejudice. Nichols and Stern, however, in an article titled Romney Shouldn’t Equate Mormons, Christians, Evangelicals Say offer a more nuanced account:

Oct. 30 (Bloomberg) — As Mitt Romney scours the South for endorsements from evangelical leaders, he is getting some unusual advice on how to explain his Mormon faith: Don’t try to be one of us.

“I told him, you cannot equate Mormonism with Christianity; you cannot say, `I am a Christian just like you,”’ said Representative Bob Inglis of South Carolina, which is scheduled to hold the first primary among the Southern states. “If he does that, every Baptist preacher in the South is going to have to go to the pulpit on Sunday and explain the differences” …

Rep. Inglis is a wise counselor.

Related case: We have no problem with Christians. We will happily vote for Christians, Hindus, or even, hypothetically, Muslims, depending on their views, opinions, positions, policies etc. But: When e.g. so-called Jews for Jesus claim that they are Jews, or that Jesus is the Jewish Messiah, or when Christians lecture us about how Jesus is the fulfillment of our law and our prophets, or when millennialists (or pre- or post-millennialists) lecture us about how Jews must return to Israel for Jesus to return, then we take exception—then we insist on drawing distinctions, explaining the differences etc.

Omnis determinatio est negatio—all determination is negation—is a fact of social life—we define ourselves not so much by what we are as by what we are not, and we guard our sense of identity jealously. You do not threaten us to the degree that you are different from us, or that you tell us that we are different from you—we are respecters of difference and appreciators of diversity; rather: you threaten us to the degree that you tell us that we are the same.

This has been our problem with Romney all along. He not only wants to tell us that he is now a conservative; he wants to lecture us on what it means to be a conservative. “This is a habit of Romney’s,” writes Ryan Lizza for The New Yorker’s column, The Political Scene, titled The Mission; Mitt Romney’s strategies for success

… Politicians tend to pander, especially during the primary season. Romney’s chief opponent, Rudy Giuliani, also has a history as a pro-gun-control, pro-gay-rights Republican. But while Giuliani simply downplays his record on those issues, Romney sells himself as a true convert. He not only shifts positions; he often claims to be the most passionate advocate of his new stances. It’s one of the reasons that his metamorphosis from liberal Republican to committed right-winger seems so jarring. In 1994, in his race for the Senate, he didn’t simply argue that he was a defender of gay rights; he claimed to be a stronger advocate than his opponent, Edward Kennedy.

Today, he’s not just a faithful conservative but the only Republican candidate who represents “the Republican wing of the Republican Party.” He brings a salesman’s bravado and certainty to issues. At a debate in May, when asked how he would respond to a hypothetical situation involving the interrogation of a terrorist at Guantánamo Bay, he said, “Some people have said we ought to close Guantánamo. My view is that we ought to double Guantánamo. Elected as a pro-choice governor in 2002—YouTube is flooded with his passionate advocacy of abortion rights—he now presents himself as the most resolute anti-abortion candidate in the Republican field. A Mormon, he sometimes adopts the religious language of Evangelicals when he is addressing conservative Christian groups. To economic conservatives, he pitches himself as the candidate most strongly committed to slashing spending and taxes. (He’s the only major G.O.P. candidate to have signed a formal anti-tax pledge, the sort of move that his spokesman dismissed as “government by gimmickry” in Romney’s 2002 gubernatorial campaign.) … etc., etc.

Hence: we would argue that Romney’s (R) problem—to the degree that he has one—is consistent with Romney’s larger problem. Romney’s larger problem is his patent lack of respect for the intelligence of those whose support he covets. You cannot put on blackface and tell our African-American brothers and sisters that you are blacker than they are. You cannot prance about in fishnet stockings and stiletto heels and tell women that you are more of a woman then they are. Likewise: you cannot suddenly issue fifty meaningless policy proposals of an allegedly conservative character and proudly announce to Republicans that you represent the “Republican wing of the Republican Party”—riffing on Howard Dean, no less—when you have spent over a decade campaigning and governing from the left. Yet the Romneys overlook this simple explanation; instead: they would rather issue one more insult to the very people they need to help them win our highest office. Team Romney wants to argue that voters—Republican voters—are a dangerous mob of slack-jawed, knuckle-dragging, rube-bastard hick-bigots.

In other words, rather than review the accuracy of their map, Team Romney would rather rail at the terrain for its narrow mindedness.

What interests us is this: the primaries have yet to begin and the Romneys and their entourage of grovelers are already assigning blame for their many failures. What are their internal polls telling them, we wonder?

yours &c.
dr. g.d.


“Mitt Romney’s paid-for social conservative adviser James Bopp has been posting on conservative websites attempting to clarify his attacks on Sen. Sam Brownback after Brownback held a courtesy meeting with pro-choice Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani,” writes AmSpec’s Prowler in a post titled Bopp’s Blowup

We also vary and expand on the theme of Bopp’s blowup:

Back to The Prowler:

… “If it were a one-time thing, you could understand, but Romney’s people have been attacking Brownback for months,” says the longtime pro-lifer. “And we kept hearing over the weekend that Jim [Bopp] and Brownback people were still going at it in private email exchanges. He should have just apologized to Brownback and moved on.”

Bopp’s blowup may also have the effect of putting an unpleasant spotlight on another Romney supporter, Prof. Mary Ann Glendon, who is expected to be nominated by President Bush as the next U.S. ambassador to the Holy See.

Glendon, who is currently the Learned Hand Professor of Law at Harvard University, serves as a legal adviser to Romney. She has long been considered one of the nation’s most impressive legal minds on life and scientific and medical ethics issues, as well as a high-profile pro-life feminist. She was appointed head of the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy for the Sciences in 2004, a post she might have to step away from if she were confirmed.

However, Bopp’s attacks on Brownback have now raised questions about Glendon, her role with the Romney campaign and whether Glendon’s own bishop in Boston, Cardinal Sean O’Malley, would be wholly supportive of her nomination.

Glendon was conspicuously absent from O’Malley’s Red Mass earlier this month, where Brownback was the keynote speaker, and where O’Malley announced, “There is no other presidential candidate in the U.S. today that more reflects Catholic social doctrine as you do.”

All of the infighting and ugliness has some wondering if there isn’t more at play here than mere politics. “The divisiveness and the way people are acting make you think there is something much darker afoot. Christians should not be doing this to each other, yet it seems that they will ruin decade-old friendships and tear people down,” says the longtime pro-life activist. “It’s almost Biblical” … etc., etc.

Conclusion: Romney’s grim negativity and constant attacks are taking their toll on friends and foes alike.

yours &c.
dr. g.d.

“Apparently, Mitt Romney has hit the panic button,” writes an Exurban League contributor in a post titled “Remain Calm

Huckabee has replaced him in the national polls, kicking Romney to fifth place (ouch!), and is surging in Romney’s “locked up” state of Iowa. How to reverse the damage? Send in Tagg Hewitt (Hugh’s doppelgänger) for another round insisting that it is only a two-man race.

As usual, the message from Romney camp mimics Kevin Bacon’s classic scene in Animal House as the Deltas’ Deathmobile was tearing through the college parade:

“Remain calm! ALL IS WELL!!!”

On the troubled “two man race” theme, we have this to say:

Question: Why are the Romneys always trying to tell us what to think?—if it really were a 2 man race would the Romneys need to insist so vigorously that it is a 2 man race?


yours &c.
dr. g.d.

“New Hampshire Sen. Judd Gregg will throw his support to Mitt Romney today, backers of the former Massachusetts governor confirm,” writes Jonathan Martin for in a post titled Gregg to endorse Romney

… Gregg — whose father was governor and whose last name retains considerable cache in the state — is the prize get in New Hampshire for any GOP presidential hopeful. But enthusiasm for his endorsement will be tempered by reminders that he also got behind then-Gov. George W. Bush in the 2000 race, only to see Bush lose by 19 points to McCain … etc.

The emphasis is ours.

Perhaps Sen. Judd can work that same “lose by 19 points” magic for the befuddled Mr. Romney.

yours &c.
dr. g.d.

“Yesterday, Jim Bopp, a supporter of Mitt Romney and former General Counsel (they actually spend text clarifying that he is the former) to the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) attacked Sam Brownback for saying something nice about Rudy Giuliani,” writes eye in a post titled NRLC disavows Bopp’s Brownback statements

Turns out that he was nasty enough that NRLC disavowed his statements. I have obtained a copy of a letter that NRLC’s President, Executive Director, and Legislative Director, [in which] they apologized for Bopp’s statements.

Please go to and review the full text of the letter.

That the NRLC would issue so stern—if indirect—a reproof to Bopp neither surprises nor interests us—no one who sells their credibility to the Romneys escapes unpunished. What interests us is Bopp’s own expression of pain and anguish.

1. How could eyeon08 get so much wrong in just so few words? First, the Romney campaign did not ask me to speak about Brownback, I did on my own accord. Second, NRLC did not apologize for what I said, they just disagreed with it. There was no reason for NRLC to apologize for what I said, since I was speaking on my own accord. Third, I am now, and have been since 1978, NRLC’s general counsel, but I have never been an employee, have many clients and was speaking on my own accord. This is exactly what NRLC explained in their letter – so how did eyeon08 get it all so wrong? by jboppjr on 2007-10-29 at 9:12 am

Our comments and speculations:

A. It is the NRLC—not eye—who clarifies their policy with respect to endorsements with respect to Bopp’s unwise comments about Brownback. It is the NRLC that is attempting to distance themselves from Bopp’s comments. Hence: It is the NRLC who deserves Bopp’s rage, not eye.

B. The NRLC never uses the term “apology”—follow the thread of the NRLC’s narrative:

    • paragraph i: A political website quotes Bopp criticizing Brownback’s meeting with Giuliani
    • paragraph ii: Mr. Bopp suggested that Brownback had put personal benefit head of his commitment to pro-life cause
    • paragraph iii: These remarks do not represent the NRLC—we disagree with [Bopp]—and we recognize your commitmentparagraph iv: We reject anyone’s suggestion that you sell out the interest of the unborn for personal benefit
    • paragraph v: Mr. Bopp is our general counsel; he has many clients; hence: his views are his own; he represents only himself

      Bopp is right: the letter is not an apology; but neither does it reflect mere “disagreement”; rather, the letter constitutes a stern if indirect reproof. Translation: Bopp speaks for himself. As for us, we flatly and unequivocally reject anyone’s suggestion [e.g. Bopp’s] etc.

      C. eye suggests that Bopp spoke for the Romneys—a reasonable surmise what with the context of the discussion—an avowed Romney supporter attacking the motives and intentions of another candidate. We, however, disagree. Based on Bopp’s own confusion on the issue—first attacking Brownback, then suddenly embracing Giuliani in a hypothetical general election, all in the same conversation—we conclude that Bopp was indeed acting on his own. Why would the Romneys reach out to Bopp at all?—Bopp is spent, Bopp is played, and the right-to-lifers and the social conservatives in general remain divided and dispersed among the candidates. We provide our account here:

      Romney’s James Bopp “lashes out at Brownback for Pro-Rudy comments,” promises to vote for Giuliani in the general election—say what?

      Our highly speculative conclusion? Alone, confused, estranged, conscious of his alienation for ever having associated with the Romneys—Bopp is on his own now, rudderless, friendless, and bereft, as further evidenced by the NRLC letter.

      yours &c.
      dr. g.d.

      P.S. Update: eye responds to Bopp’s rejoinder with clarity, brevity, frankness, and with all due respect.

      Mr. Bopp, I admire you and what you have done. But let’s be clear. You are an attorney and a politician. And your client has publicly repudiated your statements.

      “WASHINGTON – Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee is on the rise as his campaign gains momentum, drawing stronger response not only from voters but also a fellow contender,” writes the estimable and precise Michelle Vu of the Christian Post in a story titled Huckabee Rise Triggers Strong Response

      This past week the ordained Southern Baptist preacher bumped former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney from his first-tier position and caused the best financed Republican contender to take a personal shot at the not-so-well financed Huckabee.

      Romney took a swipe at Huckabee Friday in an Iowa Public Television interview that the former Arkansas governor had supported “special tuition breaks to the children of illegal immigrants,” according to’s political blog Swampland.

      It was the first time that the GOP frontrunner in Iowa had ever directed an attack solely at Huckabee.

      “I must be doing well,” Huckabee said Saturday morning in response when he was informed of Romney’s comment …


      I’m hot cause I’m fly
      You ain’t cause you’re not
      This is why
      This is why
      This is why I’m hot
      This is why I’m hot (with apologies to MIMS)

      “I guess I’d be coming after me too,” Huckabee said. “I’d also be crying, if I’d spent all that money”

      … “His successes have been all the more remarkable for having been accomplished on a shoestring budget, suggesting that genuine voter affection, as opposed to advertising dollars, is driving the Huckabee surge,” noted Karen Tumulty, TIME magazine’s national political correspondent on Saturday.

      Although Huckabee had lost to Romney in the Values Voters straw poll by a narrow margin of 30 votes – receiving altogether 1,565 votes (online and onsite) compared to his rival’s 1,595 votes – the former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee had received 51.26 percent of the onsite votes compared to onsite runner-up Romney’s 10.40 percent … etc., etc.

      The emphases are ours, all ours.

      Credit: From their own mouths

      yours &c.
      dr. g.d.

      The video of Cramer damning Romney with faint praise even as he backpedals furiously from his earlier “endorsement” of the man is available at in a post titled More Cramer on Romney, courtesy of the estimable

      MetroRepublican comments:

      So, Cramer makes a special announcement to clarify he is NOT endorsing this man, and that he was an intimidating figure he didn’t want to be around.

      Nobody doubts Mitt was a successful venture capitalist. Nobody doubts John Edwards was a successful plaintiff’s lawyer. They are essentially the same man: phony power lusters.

      UA Razerback comments:

      What is the deal with Romney and his “so-called” endorsements?? Does this make three now that say they are not supporting him?

      The last Romney-endorsement-retraction that we detected was Dr. Don Wilton:

      Dr. Don Wilton comes to his senses: retracts endorsement of Romney—this is the same Wilton that Justin Hart boasted of in his mymanmitt post titled The Ability to Execute

      Aside: Cramer’s endorsement reversal is also available at the so-called Evangelicals for Mitt blog under the title Rigor, Acumen, Abilitydo these people hear only what they want to hear?

      Question: Did the Romneys jump the shark at the value voters summit?—We mean, what with all of these defections?—We would argue no. Or: we would argue that even if they did jump the shark, it really doesn’t matter. Follow our speculations:

      1. Romney’s vast resources confer upon the candidate neither strength nor standing. Romney’s negatives are historically-unprecedentedly high. Hence: other campaigns can afford to laugh off or ignore Romney’s negative attacks. And they do.

      Romney has the most negative image at this point of any of the major candidates for president, claims Newport of USA Today’s GallupGuru; the Romney campaign’s death-by-internal-memo part (ii)

      2. But: Romney’s resources do render him resilient. Almost daily Team Romney suffers blows—self-inflicted and otherwise—that would be fatal to a campaign organized on a more rational, and less personal, basis; i.e. a campaign more closely coupled with—more intimately dependent upon—its donors, supporters, interest groups, clients etc. The primitive and steeply vertical character of Romney’s oft-touted organization renders it almost immune to moral challenge or collapse: the consultants, the professionals, the armies of sub-contracters and other hirelings who attend upon Romney—they all know that they will get paid whatever comes.

      3. Romney’s campaign therefore assumes the character of a terror cell or a militia—an organization optimized for long-term, low-intensity conflict—it can never concentrate enough force at the right moment to seriously threaten any other campaign, but it still reserves a limited power to harass, delay, provoke, and distract. The limit upon its power to harass etc. is precisely its powerlessness, i.e. its over-reliance on relatively expensive instruments of direct influence. See:

      positioned to fail: Team Romney’s over-reliance on instruments of direct influence and its consequences

      4. Hence: the Romney’s plot from their posh, waterfront headquarters the political equivalent of asymmetrical strikes, single, highly targeted, highly planned blows that they pray will radically alter the balance of forces that confront them in their favor, whether through targeted strikes like the value voters summit, or through the so-called Early States Strategy, the notion that if they can win one or more of the early state primaries then many of the undecideds in later state primaries will decide for Romney.

      The problem is this: asymmetrical strikes produce unintended consequences—the more successful the strike, the more difficult it is to contain or control. See:

      out-of-touch Evangelical “leaders” stunned by Huckabee upset at the value voters summit—prepared to sigh, shrug, and coronate Romney as their Lord, G_d, and King—oh, the irony!

      So, we would conclude that despite the insults and humiliations that the Romneys have endured and continue to endure, and despite even a thousand more defections, the Romneys will press their claims right up to the GOP convention. It is the same species of hope-against-the-despair that illuminates the fevered dreams of the fugitive Bin Laden—not Sen. Barack Obama, Mr. Romney—but Osama Bin Laden—please try to keep them straight.

      yours &c.
      dr. g.d.

      “POLK COUNTY, Iowa – Romney this morning suggested that he believes the GOP primary is going to come down to Giuliani and a more conservative candidate,” writes NBC/NJ’s rising star, Erin McPike, in an MSNBC FirstRead post titled 2-MAN RACE: RUDY V. THE CONSERVATIVE?

      … “I think it’s going to come down to two folks in my view if you look at what’s happening with the nomination on our side,” he said of the Republican primary race this morning in an answer to a woman, who said she had left the GOP and asked what the Republicans can do to appeal to a broader range of voters. “And one of the two is going to be somebody who has adopted social issues that are far more like Sen. Clinton’s. And someone who is in favor of or who has fought the line-item veto all the way to the Supreme Court.” He added, “I don’t think that’s the right course for our party. It might help us do better in states where we might lose by a smaller margin. But we would still lose” …

      A woman says that she left the GOP and asks how Republicans can broaden their apeal. Romney passes over her question. More precisely, he reverses her question—he inverts it. The question he answers is how can the Republicans strategically narrow their appeal to target the traditional GOP base. Regard: Romney concludes that the GOP primary process will deliver two figures in direct opposition,

      (a) a candidate who appeals across party lines although not enough to achieve victory in any blue states


      (b) and a candidate who is more conservative

      But Romney couldn’t deliver his lines with a straight face. Incredulous reporters forced him to back away from his laughable claims. Back to the estimable McPike’s account of the event:

      … Later with reporters, he backed off a little on insinuating that he sees the race as a two-man contest between him and Giuliani. He said he hopes he becomes the choice of the Reagan coalition — the alternative to Giuliani. He pointed out that he has raised $5 million more than Giuliani, but his campaign later said it was closer to $3 million in primary dollars … etc., etc.

      So Romney is already flip-flopping on his 2-man race theme?—Romney’s turn-around time from declaration to a flat reversal or complete retreat from his declaration grows ever shorter.

      This is not the first time Romney has pressed his 2-man race theme with risible results.

      Romney: Giuliani is distinct and enjoys the support of a coherent base, in which a confused Romney issues the formula, “We have to be distinct. We have to act like Republicans.” Translation: be distinct, like me. But isn’t this a contradiction? Worse: isn’t this a double-bind, like “be spontaneous”?

      yours &c.
      dr. g.d.

      P.S. Question: Do you write about politics online? Do you oppose Romney? Please consider leaving us a comment with a link to your web log or site. We would appreciate the opportunity to link to your web or site and help promote it. Goal: to network with others who oppose Romney.

      “A lot of people are holding out hope that if Rudy wins the GOP nomination social conservatives will organize a third party challenge from the right that will split the Republican Party,” writes Greg Sargent for TPM ElectionCentral in a post titled Top Conservative Romney Supporter: I’d Support Rudy In General Election

      Prominent social conservative leaders have been suggesting as much lately in various forums.

      Well, this isn’t going to give people holding out for this very much hope.

      As I noted below, a top conservative backer of Mitt Romney, the prominent conservative attorney James Bopp, told me in an interview that he was outraged that conservative Senator Sam Brownback is dallying with pro-choice Rudy.

      But that isn’t all Bopp said. He also told me that he thinks that if Rudy wins the nomination, a third-party challenge just isn’t a serious possiblitiy — and even said he himself would back Rudy.

      “I think there are people who would consider voting for a minor party candidate rather than Giuliani if he got the nomination,” Bopp told me. “Frankly I’m not one of those. I don’t think the idea of a third party is being seriously considered by anyone” … etc., etc.

      Bopp missed the memo. The Romney’s have been trying to float the rumor that disaffected Evangelicals plan to mount a 3rd party bid if Giuliani gets the nomination. Yet here is Bopp proclaiming that he himself would vote for Giuliani after he excoriated Brownback for reaching out to Giuliani. “One of the big stories of the day in GOP primary politics is conservative Senator Sam Brownback’s new and eyebrow-raising assertion yesterday that he is suddenly “much more comfortable” than before about Rudy’s abortion views. Brownback said this after meeting with Rudy yesterday,” writes Greg Sargent again only this time in a TPM ElectionCentral post titled Bopp, Top Social Conservative Supporter Of Romney, Lashes Out At Brownback For Pro-Rudy Comments

      Now there’s been another key development in the story.

      Jim Bopp, one of Mitt Romney’s top social conservative supporters, just lashed out repeatedly at Brownback in an interview with me for his kind words about Rudy’s abortion views, accusing Brownback in scathing terms of putting “personal benefit” before the pro-life cause.

      “There’s obviously something more going on here than fidelity to the pro-life cause,” said Bopp, a legendary pro-life activist and lawyer who is an important voice for Romney because he vouches for his conservatism. “Brownback is angling for some personal political benefit by cozying up to Giuliani” … etc., etc.

      The emphases are ours, all ours.

      So why is this allegedly “top social conservative”—whatever that means—gibbering like a frightened howler money about the honorable former mayor of NYC? Permit us to speculate:

      (1) Bopp actively participated in Romney’s attempted coup at the recent so-called value voter’s summit. He appears as action step 4-days-out in Young Justin of the Heartland’s description of the communications operation.

      4 days out – Letter from James Bopp, Jr. highlighting the growing movement of Evangelicals behind Romney (check)

      (2) Despite massive spending on the part of the Romney’s, the value voters summit went terribly wrong. See:

      (3) The result?—Romney’s astonishing incompetence has effectively neutralized the Evangelical movement for this election cycle—Evangelical leaders stand divided and discredited. See:

      (4) So where does this leave a figure like Bopp?—he is no longer useful to the Romney tribe, and he no longer has any credibility among Evangelicals. The man is spent. The man is over. Hence: his sudden incoherence. First he rails at Brownback for dissing Romney by reaching out to Giuliani. Then: he wants to re-assert his own independence from Romney by promising to vote for Giuliani.

      (5) Bopp is not the only Romney sycophant already thinking post-Romney. The handwriting is on the wall. But what Bopp needs to understand is that credibility is like virginity—once it’s gone …

      We offer these hypotheses in the spirit of honest inquiry.

      yours &c.
      dr. g.d.

      “(JOHNSTON, Iowa) — Rudy Giuliani still leads in national polls of GOP presidential candidates, but Mitt Romney said Friday that will change as the field narrows and voters must choose between the former New York City mayor and a more conservative candidate,” writes Mike Glover for the AP in a story titled Romney Predicts Giuliani’s Support Will Fade

      … Romney said Giuliani has maintained his lead in polls because so many candidates are vying for support from social conservatives. That dynamic will change as the field narrows.

      “There are a lot of us fighting on that side. There are six, seven or eight of us going after that audience and Mayor Giuliani is pretty much alone on the other side,” Romney said. “It’s not a big surprise that he continues to hold that portion of the party.”

      Romney spoke during a taping of Iowa Public Television’s “Iowa Press” program and later during a meeting with reporters.

      At some point, Romney said the party’s conservative base will coalesce around a candidate, making it tough for Giuliani.

      “Those of us who represent that base will find that we can get that support and ultimately face up one to one with Mayor Giuliani,” Romney said. “At that point he’ll have a more challenging time because I do not believe the Republican Party is going to keep Hillary Clinton out of the White House by acting like Hillary Clinton.

      “We have to be distinct. We have to act like Republicans.”

      The Romney campaign—in the person of Romney himself—is talking to itself again. Regard: the argument is about Romney relative to other candidates, and concludes on an outcome in Romney’s favour. Also note the contradictions.

      “We have to be distinct. We have to act like Republicans.”

      This is the solution: be distinct, like me. Isnt’ this a contradiction?—or, worse, a double bind like “be spontaneous!” For Romney to be distinct like him is the solution to both the Clinton and the Giuliani problem, two distinct problems that Romney wants you to link. Yet Romney’s explanation for his low poll numbers and non-performance is this:

      “There are a lot of us fighting on that side. There are six, seven or eight of us going after that audience and Mayor Giuliani is pretty much alone on the other side,” Romney said. “It’s not a big surprise that he continues to hold that portion of the party.”

      Romney’s alibi for the non-performance of his campaign: Romney’s distinct lack of distinction. Romney argues: There are six or seven or eight of him, candidates just like him. According to Romney, only Giuliani is distinct, and only Giuliani enjoys the support of a coherent base (“that portion of the party”).

      How can one man, attempting to emit one message, elaborating upon one theme, contradict himself so many times, and with a straight face?

      yours &c.
      dr. g.d.