Archive for the ‘Iraq’ Category
“Numerous sources are now reporting anti-Mormon push-polls running in New Hampshire and Iowa. Apparently, the call starts out ok and then delves into some nasty rhetoric,” writes young Justin Hart in a race42008.com post titled Whodunnit?
The trail seems to lead to Western Wats …
… “The Associated Press reported that Western Wats is behind the [anti-Mormon push-poll] calls,” writes J.A. Miles in an Only Mormon post titled Mormon company makes anti-Mormon calls in Iowa & New Hampshire?
The survey company has a call center in Provo and Rexburg and employs a lot of LDS Church members. The founder and chairman of Western Wats is Ron Lindorf, who is a founder for BYU’s Marriott School of Management Center for Entrepreneurship. According to the BYU website, he has sold the market research company, but his profile still lists him as the chairman.
I’m guessing that Lindorf is LDS, but I can’t say for sure.
So, a company with close Mormon ties is behind anti-Mormon calls about a Mormon presidential candidate? Something’s fishy here.
“The testiness between campaigns as the first nomination votes near has now cropped up between Republican rivals John McCain and Mitt Romney,” writes Foon Rhee, deputy national political editor, in a Boston Globe Presidential Campaign Blog post titled McCain and Romney camps go at it, too
McCain’s campaign bristled at an opinion article, published Tuesday in the New Hampshire Union Leader, in which Romney suggested that he would be the most qualified to be commander-in-chief and that Hillary Clinton, if she’s the Democratic nominee, would have a similar policy on the Iraq war. Those assertions evidently got under the skin of McCain, who is basing his campaign on his foreign policy experience, his life story as a Vietnam War hero, and his early criticism of President Bush’s Iraq policy.
Former Congressman Chuck Douglas, McCain’s vice chairman in New Hampshire, where Romney leads but where McCain is trying to make up ground, issued a statement that said in part: “For Gov. Romney to suggest that he is uniquely qualified to be commander-in-chief is like saying that he should replace Tom Brady because he has watched Patriot football games.”
“Governor Romney is naive if he believes that Senator Clinton or the Democrats’ position on the Iraq war will not be ‘dramatically different’ from Republicans next year,” the statement continued. “The Democrats and Senator Clinton have consistently advocated for a deadline for defeat in Iraq” … etc., etc.
See Liz Mair’s Running Interference for Rudy in AmSpec’s Campaign Crawlers
... Whatever McCain’s true intentions, they may matter little in the larger scheme of things. Ultimately, the more bogged down Romney becomes in responding to McCain’s proverbial bottle rockets, the more free Giuliani is to campaign on his terms, as opposed to Romney’s. Conversely, the more time Romney has to spend responding to McCain, the less time he has to sell himself to voters … etc., etc.
CKR of WhirledView, A Look at World Politics & Most Everything else, provides a useful comparison of the Romney and Obama Foreign Affairs articles. (We discussed an excerpt of Romney’s article here).
CKR in a followup post develops the notion of the “negative recommendation,” which, if we read CKR correctly, is a gesture that allows the writer to position himself or herself without “promising anything” in a positive sense.
CKR’s notion of the negative recommendation underwrites a lot of the noise emitted by Romney and the Romney flaks and flatterers lately—the rhetorical turn toward criticisms of Bush management technique that can masquerade as criticisms of Bush policy, e.g.
- the critique of Homeland Security (Romney would streamline it, focus on prevention)
- acknowledging that Americans are angry about the conduct of the Iraq war (well, DUH!)
- acknowledging that the Katrina rescue and relief effort was botched (What profound moral courage!)
This allows Romney to equivocate his position with respect to the Bush presidency—to moderates and others who oppose it, he opposes it; to those who support it, he wants to correct it, extend it, improve it etc., etc. Note, for example, Romney’s studied equivocation on the Iraq War; he supports it, although he remains undecided about a pull-out; he supports the troops even as he damns the management of the operation etc.
Please note how Romney sycophant Jim Geraghty responds to Romney’s equivocal critiques: “If Mitt Romney gets the Republican nomination, there’s no way he’ll let the Democrats tar him with this administration’s blunders and failures in managment.” The candidate’s alleged competence is the trope that governs these different lines of reasoning: Romney does not oppose Bush—no!—he opposes Bush’s ineffective management technique.
For our response to the competence argument please go here.
For more on Romney Rhetoric, please see