Posts Tagged ‘Geraghty’

“‘Going to war is the most serious decision a president can make,’ said Adm. Robert J. Natter, former commander in chief of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet and an adviser to Giuliani. ‘Lawyers should not debate while our national security is on the line. In these momentous decisions, we need leadership, not litigation,'” as quoted by the estimable Jake Tapper in an ABCnews.go.com transmission titled
Giuliani Camp Slams Romney Over ‘Lawyers Test’; New York Mayor Takes Aim at Iowa, New Hampshire Front-Runner

Thompson, Paul Get In on the Act

Aides to former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson also challenged the Romney response, telling the National Review’s Byron York after the debate, “When it comes to our nation’s security, it will be our generals that Fred Thompson sits down with first, not our attorneys” more

Geraghty of NRO—probably still smarting over the hilariously mis-executed pasting he took from an angry and inarticulate “friend of Mitt”—reproduces the entire Giuliani press release in a Campaign Spot post titled Giuliani Sees an Echo of Kerry in Romney’s Lawyer Answer

It’s a Republican pile-on, with Romney at the bottom. Or is it?—well, it could be. Question: Will the Romneys take the bait and respond in kind? We predict they will. And if they do, they will pay for their mistake most dearly. For Romney to be seen attacking—yes, attacking—e.g. America’s mayor or 9.11 fame would be damaging in itself. But here is the real problem for the Romneys: Romney’s negatives are too high to go negative without self-destructing.

We explore the issue of Romney’s negatives elsewhere:

Here is what we concluded then, and what we still hold to now:

Again, see:

Rasmussen poll: Romney unelectable in general election; polarizing figure; 25% of republicans say they would definately vote against Romney

Allow us to articulate our argument in more familiar terms. It is common wisdom that a candidate whose negatives are high should not go negative. The negative campaigner may bring down her rival or rivals, but not without bringing herself down as well. Does any remember Dick Gephardt’s bitter attacks on Howard Dean and how they backfired on him? Neither do we. But the same was once said about Gephardt as is now said about Romney by Geraghty and others. Gephardt, however, was at least limited by the poverty of his campaign and Gephardt’s own loyalty to the interests of his party.

Romney has high negatives and has clearly gone negative. He has a far smaller-narrower base of support but far, far more resources than Gephardt ever had. And: Romney has far less of a commitment to the success of the GOP than Gephardt, a loyal soldier to the end, had to the DNC.

So: Imagine a Republican Dick Gephardt, on steroids, angry, alienated, estranged, adrift, and with no larger sense of party loyalty to restrain him, a man surrounded by hirelings, contractors, and highly-paid specialists, as opposed to the usual politicos, interest group players, and party insiders that surround other candidates, i.e. people with larger and longer term interests at stake. Now imagine that this hypothetical Republican Gephardt with nothing to lose but everything to gain has both the will and the resources necessary to slime and vilify whatever candidate or candidates he chooses.

This is Willard Milton Romney.

And this is where we are at this historical moment.

These are interesting times for the GOP … more

yours &c.
dr. g.d.

“Kudos to Romney for taking on the GOP’s image problems head on. I think an electorate that is tired of finger-pointing, excuses, and evading responsibility will appreciate a candidate who says, ‘our side screwed up,'” swoons shameless Romney sycophant Jim Geraghty in a Campaign Spot post titled “I’m a fan of Romney’s new message, ‘change begins with us.'” Geraghty includes the script:

GOVERNOR MITT ROMNEY: “If we’re going to change Washington, Republicans have to put our own house in order.

“We can’t be like Democrats – a party of big spending.

“We can’t pretend our borders are secure from illegal immigration.

“We can’t have ethical standards that are a punch line for Jay Leno.

“When Republicans act like Democrats, America loses.

“It’s time for Republicans to start acting like Republicans.

“It’s time for a change and change begins with us.

“I’m Mitt Romney and I approve this message … more

Matt C., in a race42008.com post titled New Romney Ad: “Change Begins With Us,” opines with no trace of irony: This ad is music to my ears – finally, somebody saying exactly what I’m feeling.

eye of eyeon08.com, however, has a different take:

Of course, this is the same guy who said:

My R doesn’t so much stand for Republican as Reform

Jonathan Martin asked recently why people dislike Romney so much. For me it is not so much that he is dishonest, venal, and hypocritical. I am a political professional. I deal with politicians all the time, and I am used to that. But he is so brazen. I am pretty cynical, but he is too much even for me.

After all, this is the guy who has flip-flopped on abortion, gay-rights, taxes, guns, embryonic stem-cell research, Ronald Reagan, the Contract with America, his draft-dodging, education, immigration, and campaign finance-reform. And now he is lecturing people on being Republican enough? … more

We concur with eye. As for Willard Milton—“it’s OK to change your mind“—Romney’s call for change, we would ask that it begin with the Romneys! See:

yours &c.
dr. g.d.

Is Mitt Romney’s caution about describing the success of the surge stem from watching his father get crucified over his inital support, and subsequent backtracking, on Vietnam?—writes the sad and tired Romney sychophant Jim Geraghty in an NRO campaign spot post titled Does Romney’s verbal caution about the surge have deep roots?—note the subjunctive mood—Geraghty poses his claims as questions and hypotheticals as he purports to probe the soul of the hapless candidate’s second most primary relationship, that of Romney to his troubled father, George Romney.

Romney’s “if the surge is working” and “the surge is apparently working” brought him a great deal of grief from Senator McCain during the debate.

Why might a man like Mitt Romney – who once reviewed receipts to determine if businesses spent more or less on office supplies than they claimed before investing in that sector — prefer to see the Iraq data for himself? Why might he be a bit cautious about confident assertions of success in war? Why might he want a bit more than a general’s assurance that efforts are proceeding apace?more.

Again: more questions and hypotheticals—when discussing Romney’s caution Geraghty himself grows cautious. Here is where we agree with Geraghty: Romney’s seemingly baffling qualifications and equivocations are—we would argue—an artifact of his professional temper and apolitical habits of mind. The man is an equity sector manager of funds. What you do when you manage funds is you hedge against uncertainty or against any sense of being overexposed on any one position or in any one direction.

So: Romney hedges, equivocates, and qualifies, but what Romney doesn’t seem to understand—what simply baffles the strangely singular little man, and what no handler nor hireling has been able to convince the hapless candidate—is that staking out a position with respect to an investment opportunity, and taking a position on an issue of public concern, are not the same—audiences in political fora and deliberative assemblies experience hedging and equivocating as lying and evasion, because issues and positions in political fora are people, people who expect you to actually believe in, and hold to, the positions that you affect to support.

Hence: Romney’s wretched reputation among many who you would otherwise expect to support him—e.g. us, because we would no more trust Romney than we would eat a cheese burger on Shabbat in our kippah, tzitzit, and wrapped in our tallit.

But Geraghty is not satisfied with this explanation for Romney’s bizarre public displays.

He offers us another one.

Perhaps—says Geraghty—we can find the answer in Time magazine, Sep. 15, 1967:

Last week, during a Labor Day interview on Detroit’s WKBD-TV, Commentator Lou Gordon wanted to know how [Michigan’s Governor George] Romney squared his current conviction that the U.S. should never have got involved in Asia with the comment he made after a tour of the war zone in November 1965 that “involvement was morally right and necessary.”

Replied Romney: “When I came back from Viet Nam, I had just had the greatest brainwashing that anybody can get when you go over to Viet Nam.”

Gordon: By the generals?

Romney: Not only by the generals but also by the diplomatic corps over there, and they do a very thorough job, and, since returning from Viet Nam, I’ve gone into the history of Viet Nam, all the way back into World War II and before that. And, as a result, I have changed my mind…

Two days after making his comment, Romney appeared in Washington, where newsmen gave him a chance to get off the hook by asking whether he might have been misunderstood. “I was not misunderstood,” he snapped. “If you want to get into a discussion of who’s been brainwashing who, I suggest you take a look at what the Administration has been telling the American people.”

With that, he whipped out a newspaper clipping in which Defense Secretary Robert S. McNamara was quoted as saying, just before the 1966 election, that draft calls might be cut the following year. “The information was not accurate,” said Romney. The Pentagon quickly replied that “it is the Governor who is giving inaccurate information,” noting that draft calls for the first ten months of 1967 are down 136,840 from the 1966 total. Said McNamara: “I don’t think Governor Romney can recognize the truth when he sees or hears it.”

Perhaps the unkindest cut of all, because of its unintentional but magnificent ambiguity, came from Leonard Hall, chairman of the Romney for President committee. “I think it finally comes down to an issue of credibility between Governor Romney and Secretary McNamara,” he said. “And given that choice, I have no doubt whom the American people will support.”

Back to Geraghty: We are all products of our upbringing. One can’t help but wonder whether a young Mitt Romney, watching his father become widely mocked over a poor word choice — but seeing many Americans come around to the perspective that, on balance, the United States probably should not have gotten ground troops involved in Vietnam — learned to verify what he is told by a Defense Secretary and generals … more

Various responsa: Poor word choice!?—please, Geraghty, read the article that you yourself quote more carefully and allow the elder Romney (may his name be for a blessing) the dignity of his own testimony!—he, himself, when confronted by sympathetic reporters who offered him the opportunity to retract or redact, refused the gesture and insisted, again, on precisely that term: brainwashing.

Also, Geraghty, you seem to miss what is most painfully obvious—and our method here is to look for the obvious—about this father and son drama getting played out at the expense of the GOP. Romney in his hedging and equivocating is not reacting against what happened to his father—per contra!—Romney has appropriated the hedging, equivocating, and vacillating of his father. This is a theme we developed weeks ago when we noted how Romney himself lashed out at his father even as he appropriated his father’s behaviors:

Romney lashes out at his father for indecision even as Romney himself vacillates wildly

Here is where Geraghty—in our humble estimation—is correct: Romney’s campaign is not about Romney reaching out to the American people; Romney’s campaign is about Romney reaching out to Romney, and a part of that story is Romney reaching out to Romney through the person of his father (may his name be for a blessing). This is the story of a fabulously wealthy narcissist in search of himself. We—the rest of us—the GOP, the rival campaigns, the party primary system, the broken conservative movement, the American people—are less than stage props in a twisted narrative that will soon, if history is any guide, transition from low comedy to high tragedy.

yours &c.
dr. g.d.

William Reston of race42008.com asks Is Romney Inevitable?

Our response: maybe, perhaps. It depends on how much of Romney’s own money Romney wants to spend.

See:

Scandal. Corruption. Financial mismanagement. Lots of money spent with nothing to show for it. Now we understand why Romney “looked bad” at the last Republican debate according to Romney sycophant Jim Geraghty!—Romney’s campaign is collapsing from within, so of course Romney is going to look pale, distracted, and confused—of course Romney’s scripted answers are going to seem “off.” See:

the Romneys and their flak–claque attempt to spin the debate—results: hysterical

Moral: Romney needs a turn-around manager. But where to find one?

… If only Romney could hire someone competent.

Romney should bless, praise, laud, and extol whatever Deity he believes appropriate for the virtual media blackout that hovers about his poorly-organized campaign like a dark cloud of thick smog. What other candidate, what other campaign, could survive a cascade of catastrophes like these, one after the other?–to not be taken seriously by press and punditry is Romney’s only saving grace at the moment.

Adding to Romney’s woes: Fred Thompson has finally-officially entered the race. So unless Romney is willing to spend more money than any other campaign in US history to win the south, Romney will probably lose it and his electoral strategy will fall all to little pieces. See:

Romney failing in SC—we ask: given Romney’s massive spending, why?

yours &c.
dr. g.d.

“Judging winners and losers in the moments immediately after such a debate is a dicey exercise at best, and I recommend against it. Nonetheless, by midnight, countless bloggers had given first reactions, and, the Romney press release lifted pro-Romney quotes from 11 of them, with (to the campaign’s credit), links to the original so you could check for yourself the full context. That small intellectual honesty point is, unfortunately, taken back” … writes the estimable Eric Black of ericblackink.com in a blog post titled The magic of selective perception: A Mitt Romney example.

… by the heavy-handed dishonesty of the choices. The one that jumped out at me, from the press release, was the excerpt from Marc Ambinder’s Atlantic magazine-based political blog. The excerpt in the press release read … more, wherein the estimable Mr. Black details how the Romneys cherry-picked positive noise about Romney from a review that was anything but positive about Romney.

But what were the Romney flaks to do? Romney tanked, was the consensus. Some disagreed with the consensus, e.g. Jason Bonham on race42008 claimed Romney was “pretty good,” but Mr. Bonham’s criterion for “pretty good” is pretty odd: apparently Romney ticked off answers that were more “comprehensive” than his rivals. Contra Bonham, even shameless Romney sycophants like NRO’s Jim Geraghty could find nothing to love in Romney’s lackluster under-performing performance—and this was the consensus view:

It wasn’t just me – [Romney’s] answers on Iraq just seemed a little off, not his strongest performance. (Was it just me or did he just look bad? Bad makeup, bad lighting or is he fighting a cold or something?) As they noted in the Corner, stronger on domestic than the Iraq stuff, but he’s had better nights. This night won’t hurt him that much, but he’s had a good run lately, so maybe he was due for an off night ... more

Disappointed sycophants like Geraghty aside, even paid Romney flunkies were less than overwhelmed by Romney’s non-performance. EXAMPLE: the Romney flak-claque fraud-blog “Evangelicals for Mitt” damns poor Romney, the signer of their checks, with the faintest of faint praise. The sad and tedious David French opines:

Here’s the pattern: Rudy does very well (he shines in these formats), Huckabee has a memorable moment or two, and our guy always delivers a performance that seems to play better with the watching public than it does with the pundits. As for McCain, he’s up and down … I still think that no one does better across the entire spectrum of issues than [Romney] … more

Rudy shines—shines!—please keep in mind that this is a post from a web log called “Evangelicals for Mitt! Huckabee and McCain shine too for French, but intermittently. Romney, on the other hand, is steady, constant, and consistent; “competent” is the word that Romney toadies use to describe their hapless candidate’s poise and presence. (Competent? Our mechanic is competent. Our dentist is competent.) In other words, Romney never inspires, but he rarely fails to deliver. Hence, French concludes:

but for now I’d say that the debate did not alter the dynamic of the race in the slightest bitmore

Translation: Romney as a debater is a failure. He can plod “competently” along with the others; but he cannot pull away from the pack. Romney triumphs only where his vast personal wealth allows him to command the debate on his own terms—i.e. where everyone else is silent.

And this is from someone on Romney’s payroll!

Is French a mole for the Rudy campaign!?

Or: is French trying to suck up to other candidates in advance of a Romney meltdown?

yours &c.
dr. g.d.

In an NRO Campaign Spot web log post titled How Negative is Too Negative in a Primary, shameless Romney sycophant Jim Geraghty, now cross-dressing as a Romney critic in a vain effort to recover a sense of independence from the troubled candidate, opines:

… But there are signs that the latest jabs by Mitt Romney might be stirring up bad blood among opposing campaigns – or more than usual in these races.

At this point in the race, all the staffers for the leading candidates like their guy and don’t like the other guys. Of course they’re going to bad-mouth the opposition. Of course they’re going to see their man as Charles De Gaulle when he was at Colombey-les-Deux-Eglises during the Fourth Republic being asked, ‘Don’t you want to rush in and join the pygmies?’, to use a metaphor that just rolls off the tongue.

But when the staffers of Romney’s rivals talk about the Massachusetts governor, their disdain feels a bit more personal. The grating of their teeth goes up a few decibels. Some say they’ll be able to support him in the general election – even though they’re absolutely certain their man is going to be the nominee, and so the question is completely hypothetical — but others hint that they won’t … more

Geraghty’s anecdotal findings are consonant with the latest Rasmussen numbers. See:

Rasmussen poll: Romney unelectable in general election; polarizing figure; 25% of republicans say they would definately vote against Romney

Geraghty continues:

… As for Fred Thompson and Sam Brownback, they’ve established pretty conservative records in the Senate going back a ways, and Fred’s been to a slew of party dinners lately. Romney, by comparison, is a relative newcomer to the scene, winning his first office in 2002, and just doesn’t have that national profile among Republicans, as reflected in his name ID poll numbers. He’s contributed heavily to conservative causes (including buying a table at an NRO dinner, if I recall correctly) but he’s not a “movement conservative” in the traditional sense. And when his opponents point to his Romney 1994 Senate debate comment — “I was an independent during Reagan-Bush, I’m not trying to return to Reagan-Bush” — it reinforces the sense that Romney just isn’t a guy who’s been with the conservative base through thick and thin, and who doesn’t have the standing to criticize other candidates’ deviations from conservative orthodoxy. [emphasis ours]

One conservative communications guy for one candidate says he was amenable to supporting Romney for President for much of last year, arguing, “even though he was a panderer, he was at least pandering to us.” But now the “there came a point where the entire Romney campaign just became an insult to my intelligence” … more

We concur.

Regard how shameless Romney sycophant Geraghty still manages to close on an optimistic note for Romney’s troubled campaign.

“And at least one staffer for a Romney rival I spoke to predicted it would all blow over if Romney got the nomination. ‘Every race I’ve done, you get people saying they’ll never vote for the other guy, they’ll vote for the Democrat. And it never happens. They see the Democrats attacking the Republican candidate unfairly and they rush to the defense of their nominee'”more

Or is it so optimistic? Stop for a moment. Pause. Now, reflect on the dejection, the desperation, and the despair of this argument. Faced with no choice but Romney, Republicans will choose Romney! This explains Romney’s baffling negativity, his angry and often nit-picking attacks on other candidates, because to slime the other candidates beyond viability is the Romney campaign’s only real hope of getting their candidate nominated. They know that many Republicans will never vote for Romney. Republicans may, however, vote against a Democrat out of fear, anger, bitterness, despair, or for sheer partisan spite.

This is Romney’s Prayer (or so we call it), a frequent argument offered by Mittwits and Romney sympathizers, and a theme we have developed elsewhere.

Our response: No. Not this time. There is a limit to how much dishonesty we can tolerate. If Romney wins the GOP nomination we will vote Libertarian or Constitution Party. See:

Joseph Farrah of Worldnet.daily rejects Willard Mitt Romney: “I will not vote for Romney under any circumstances, no matter who his opponent might be.”

The grim irony of Romney’s Prayer is that it dooms in advance the GOP’s chances in the national contest.

  • Say Romney prevails; he becomes the GOP nominee. To have gotten there he will have had to alienate huge tracts of a GOP political base already in disarray, and already inclined against Romney.

-OR-

  • Say Romney fails in his bid for the nomination but sticks it out to the bitter end funded by his “vast personal fortune.” (Remember: Romney is not subject to the same market discipline—for want of a better term—that moderates the behaviors and positions, whether for good or for ill, of the other candidates, those who must raise most of their own campaign cash). Will the GOP’s national candidate be in a position to prevail after having barely survived the superbly well-funded Romney slime-machine? Answer: Probably not.

Conclusion: whatever the outcome, Romney’s Prayer is in effect a mutual suicide pact for the GOP.

Again, see:

Rasmussen poll: Romney unelectable in general election; polarizing figure; 25% of republicans say they would definately vote against Romney

Allow us to articulate our argument in more familiar terms. It is common wisdom that a candidate whose negatives are high should not go negative. The negative campaigner may bring down her rival or rivals, but not without bringing herself down as well. Does any remember Dick Gephardt’s bitter attacks on Howard Dean and how they backfired on him? Neither do we. But the same was once said about Gephardt as is now said about Romney by Geraghty and others. Gephardt, however, was at least limited by the poverty of his campaign and Gephardt’s own loyalty to the interests of his party.

Romney has high negatives and has clearly gone negative. He has a far smaller-narrower base of support but far, far more resources than Gephardt ever had. And: Romney has far less of a commitment to the success of the GOP than Gephardt, a loyal soldier to the end, had to the DNC.

So: Imagine a Republican Dick Gephardt, on steroids, angry, alienated, estranged, adrift, and with no larger sense of party loyalty to restrain him, a man surrounded by hirelings, contractors, and highly-paid specialists, as opposed to the usual politicos, interest group players, and party insiders that surround other candidates, i.e. people with larger and longer term interests at stake. Now imagine that this hypothetical Republican Gephardt with nothing to lose but everything to gain has both the will and the resources necessary to slime and vilify whatever candidate or candidates he chooses.

This is Willard Milton Romney.

And this is where we are at this historical moment.

These are interesting times for the GOP.

yours &c.
dr. g.d.

P.S. Also see:

In a web log post titled Is David Brooks onto something? someone named PQuincy writes:

In his op-ed this Friday (behind the NYT firewall), Brooks swoons over Mitt Romney’s intelligence in private conversations, contrasting it with Romney’s public stance as a doctrinaire social conservative. He notes that the Republican primary electorate has in fact become both more conservative (self-described) and older, and suggests that Romney’s public stance is simply a matter of winning the primary. And then, Brooks slips in a aside that does make me wonder if, just maybe, he’s started to worry about the pony he’s hitched his cart to.

Here’s what he says:

“(Why do the Democratic candidates pretend to be smarter than they really are, while the Republicans pretend to be dumber?)”

Ummmm….David, maybe it’s because Democratic voters actually value intelligence in their elected leadership? … more

Aside: then why do Democrats nominate, and often elect, blithering idiots?

Quincy’s reading of Brooks is consonant with other readings; e.g. slavish Romney sycophant Jim Geraghty of the formerly conservative NRO quotes the same Brooks issuing paens to how Romney will “open up new “vista[s] of how government might operate.” See:

Romney abandons conservative line; reverts to previous line

E.J. Dionne Jr. concurs; he nearly swoons about what he describes as Romney resisting the “conservative orthodoxy.” See:

the Romney message in total flux—where is the real Romney amidst all the obfuscation and conflicting testimony?

Publicly Romney assumes the line of a doctrinaire conservative and bristles at questions about the convenient timing of his alleged “conversion.” Privately Romney confides to media figures that his conservative line is a front to win Republican primaries.

Now that the smoke of Ames has cleared and it is clear that the conservative and Evangelical base has balked at Romney’s claims and assertions (see here), what will happen next? Will Romney

(a) Dig in his heels, redouble his efforts to affect a conservative line?

or

(b) Rush to reclaim a center, center-left position?

or

(c) Are there other options?

History would predict (a). It has worked for Romney before when he shifted positions (see here). But will what worked for Romney in Massachusetts work for him in Florida or South Carolina?

yours &c.
dr. g.d.

“He’s raised as much money in Florida as any other Republican candidate. He’s visited Florida more than any other candidate, Republican or Democrat. Heck, Romney even has former Republican Party Chair Al Cardenas on his side, as well as many folks connected to Jeb Bush. But Mitt Romney is not showing well in the polls there,” writes Steven Reynolds in the progressive All Spin Zone.

The Boston Herald, in an article written from Melbourne, FL, speculates, but not with much in the way of conclusions. Still, they do note that the transplanted New Yorker vote, which is especially strong in south Florida, is going all Rudy Giuliani’s way. Hmm. That still doesn’t explain why Mitt Romeny is having such troubles … more

Remember our guiding principle: audi alteram partem, i.e. consider every source. “Progressive” or not, Reynold’s consistent account compels a fair hearing.

For more on this theme:

yours &c.
dr. g.d.

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.

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

a Romney hireling who can communicate!?

yours &c.
dr. g.d.

P.S. See:

“It is time to move beyond the current limited approaches that call for ‘transformation’ and truly transform our interagency and civilian capabilities,” argues Willard Milton Romney in an article titled Rising to a New Generation of Global Challenges.

… We need to fundamentally change the cultures of our civilian agencies and create dynamic, flexible, and task-based approaches that focus on results rather than bureaucracy. We need joint strategies and joint operations that go beyond the Goldwater-Nichols Act to mobilize all areas of our national power. Just as the military has divided the world into regional theaters for all of its branches, the work of our civilian agencies should be organized along common geographic boundaries. For every region, one civilian leader should have authority over and responsibility for all the relevant agencies and departments, similar to the single military commander who heads U.S. Central Command. These new leaders should be heavy hitters, with names that are recognized around the world. They should have independent objectives, budgets, and oversight. Their performance should be evaluated according to their success in promoting America’s political, military, diplomatic, and economic interests in their respective regions and building the foundations of freedom, democracy, security, and peace … more

Romney proposes to militarize civilian affairs. This militarization takes the form of a new upper echelon of US Augusti, leaders Romney imagines as “heavy hitters” with celebrity status, a concept of operation consonant with Romney’s authoritarian, elitist, and apolitical instincts.

Note that the candidate emphasizes outcomes over principle, performance over precept. Where in Romney’s line of reasoning is any space given to deliberation or argumentative procedure—i.e. to the messy and often muddled operations of a political community? Answer: there is no such space, as these are the dreams of a super-technician charged with the performance of a colossal system. Consensus is simply assumed. This is the voice of a post-progressive, American Caesarism that speaks in the idiom of a turn-around manager.

This is principate passing into dominate without benefit of a prince, at least in the father-tormented imagination of one Willard Milton Romney.

yours &c.
dr. d.g.

P.S. Question: How is Romney a conservative again? What, precisely, is this man “conserving” other than the power and prerogatives of the state?

P.P.S. Using, developing, expanding, and extending the power of the state as a means to pursue conservative policy goals is not conservatism—concentrating power in the hands and at the arbitrary whims of “hitters” however “heavy” (as opposed to developing a civil society based on law and custom) is not conservatism—it is not even the miscarriage or the caricature of a conservative policy. It is rather “conservatism” in the service of its opposite—it is the antithesis of conservatism—it is counter-conservatism in the same sense that e.g. killing on grounds of compassion would be counter-compassion. Our preferred term for counter-conservatism is Post-progressive, which is precisely what Romney is.

P.P.P.S. Note to Romney-sycophant Jim Geraghty: this is when the “competence” you prate about can become a positive menace. What if Romney had the power combined with the competence necessary to realize his absurd and dangerous fantasies? Where would we be then, Jim!? So let us together bless Hashem for the slack-jaw’d, knuckle-dragging, and mouth-breathing incompetence of one Willard Milton Romney and his hireling-entourage of hacks, flaks, and flatterers!