Posts Tagged ‘redstate’

“I feel comfortable saying, based on conversations with NRLC members, that Jim Bopp’s attack on Sam Brownback did not help the Romney team with the NRLC,” writes Erick in a Redstate post titled Paul Weyrich Comes Unglued [Updated and bumped]

… Paul Weyrich coming unglued and accusing Thompson of bribing NRLC for their endorsement is really not going to help Romney at the grassroots level. [reported here]

Weyrich can say what he wants, but (a) it’s not true and (b) it’s not helpful. I would suggest that if they don’t think Thompson is a threat, the Romney camp might not want to get bogged down on this. The latest poll numbers in Iowa and South Carolina are certainly not painting a pretty picture for the Thompson camp. But, this endorsement just might help …

Erick links to these comments by Jennifer Rubin titled Does this Help?

Listen, there is room to debate which candidate should have gotten the NRLC nod. But isn’t accusing Thompson of in essence paying money to get the endorsement just beyond the pale? That’s what Romney supporter Paul Weyrich says here … Does any of this help Romney with social conservatives or reflect well on him? … etc.

Also see: “NRLC disavows Bopp’s Brownback statements”

Our question: Why the head-scratching? Why is anyone surprised? This is how Romney and his flatterers always behave when their sense of entitlement gets challenged.

Our own conclusion: Weyrich, like Bopp, is through, over, spent, finished, no longer a player—he sold out to the Romneys but failed to deliver on his promises or accomplish any of his tasks—no one followed him—so now he is useful to precisely no one, not the Romneys, not the pro-life movement. His last gasp—the death rattle of his lost reputation—consists in issuing accusations and rationales for why everyone walked away from him and, by implication, his imperious master, Romney.

yours &c.
dr. g.d.


… “voters also want leaders, people who announce their commitment to clear, principled positions and stick to them, even if it means having to try dragging the voters away from their current views,” argues Dan McLaughlin in an RS RedState post titled The Trouble With Mitt Romney (Part 3 of 5)

As I have written previously, in a representative democracy, it’s not necessarily fatal to hire leaders who echo what we want them to say, rather than what they’d do if they had their druthers. Many of our individual druthers, after all, aren’t so well thought-out. But what matters more than anything is not a politician’s fealty to his own internal principles but his ability to publicly take a principled position and stick to it. What we look for in leaders, especially presidents, is that ability: the willingness to say, “here I stand,” let the voters judge the merits of that stand, and keep faith with your promises, even when the going gets rough.

This is doubly important in the presidency, because of the president’s unique role in foreign policy – courage and constancy are vital virtues, even when that sometimes means not giving us what we want. Many voters in 2004 were closer in their own hearts to Kerry’s studied ambivalence about Iraq than to Bush’s stubborn commitment, but they respected Bush’s leadership, and rewarded him with another term to carry on the job.

Put simply: flip-flops buy votes, but do so at an escalating cost to a politician’s credibility. First, they erode a candidate’s reputation as a leader; then, in time, they come to cast doubt even on the candidate’s announced positions, creating fear that he will hold them only until a better offer comes along. Voters may not mind if you sold somebody else out to get their vote, but they will not vote for you if they expect you to sell them out as soon as he comes under fire. Which brings us to the four ways in which Romney’s flip-flops have extracted a particularly high cost to his credibility, which can’t be readily recovered in time for the 2008 election … etc.

yours &c.
dr. g.d.

In a post titled Romney Scores An Important South Carolina Endorsement, a breathless Marc Ambinder writes: … Romney’s relentlessness and often monotonous repetition of his conversion story, the hours he spends with each evangelical leader his campaign pursues, the work of key advisers like Peter Flaherty and Gary Marx, the fecklessness of Fred Thompson’s late entrance, the public opposition to Rudy Giuliani, James Dobson’s tacit acceptance of Romney — it’s working.

Yes, right, only not so much, as David Brody of the BrodyFile explains in a post titled Romney Wins Value Voter Straw Poll…Wait. Is Huckabee the Winner?

I’m not sure how to explain this. Let’s start with this. Technically, Mitt Romney won the big Value Voters Straw poll but it’s not that simple. The vote was open to people online and in that sense, Romney won with 1595 votes compared to Mike Huckabee’s 1565 votes. It was just a 30 vote difference. But for the people that actually voted onsite, it was no contest. Huckabee won 488 votes to Romney’s second place 99. That’s called a thumpin’. Look at the results here.

Here’s what I make of all of this. Romney might be able to claim victory but the onsite voting is a better barometer. Still, the press release the Family Research Council sent out says it’s Romney and doesn’t even mention the onsite polling. Read it here. We should point out that there’s already stories about emails circulating to pump the online vote for Romney. Read more here. Clearly, the people that actually heard the speeches thought Huckabee was the best candidate there. It would be one thing if Huckabee and Romney were neck and neck for onsite voting but for Huckabee to be such an overwhelming onsite winner, that is saying something … etc., etc.

Huckabee crushes all comers, is how Erick of Redstate describes the results.

This despite the usual dishonesty and dirty tricks of the Romney campaign: Rivals accuse Romney of stacking evangelical straw poll

This despite Romney’s frantic efforts, as described by Steven Thomma of the McClatchy News Service in a release titled Social conservatives still ‘fishing’ for their preferred GOP candidate; Republican presidential candidates courted social conservatives Friday, seeking the support of a bloc of voters that hasn’t coalesced behind any one candidate

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney made perhaps the most focused pitch for support, using an evening speech to portray himself as a zealous foe of abortion and friend of traditional marriage, even dispatching volunteers to hand out buttons proclaiming, “Evangelicals for Mitt” and rolling out endorsements from Christian conservatives.

But Romney faces questions among some Christian conservatives about his switch from abortion rights supporter to foe … etc., etc.

Aside: The hirelings and paid staff who pose as “Evangelicals for Mitt”—i.e. the “volunteers” that Romney “dispatched to hand out buttons”—were “banned from the FRC.

Conclusion: How many times have we retold this same story about the Romney campaign? Romney spends lots of money, expends tremendous effort, makes a great noise and out-organizes each of his rivals. The result: complete and utter failure.

Dearest, dearest Romney. Please understand: a campaign requires a message. And you haven’t got one. It is rational to reach out to the elites of an e.g. corporation, Mr. Romney—they are the decision makers. But a movement is by definition a loosely coupled, loosely cohering social entity, an entity where the ties that bind are moral as opposed to hierarchal. An e.g. well-known pastor is not like a CEO; he or she has a different kind of relationship with his or organization and its members. So: You’re going to have to learn how to reason, Mr. Romney, how to argue, and how to persuade—lies, bribes, pretending to be something that you are not—this is not persuasion—this is the antithesis of persuasion.

yours &c.
dr. g.d.

“This is admittedly subjective, but Jonah Goldberg aptly summarized the way Romney often comes off in public by describing [Romney’s] demeanor as, ‘What Do I Have to Do To Put You In This BMW Today?'” writes the estimable Dan McLaughlin in a not-to-be-missed Redstate post titled The Trouble With Mitt Romney (Part 1 of 5)

I’ll discuss the specifics in more detail later, but the broader issue is that Romney seems unconvincing as the conservative he is running as; his calculations seem too close to the surface.

When the race kicked off, with Rudy and McCain as the frontrunners and the second tier filled with unknowns and/or candidates with their own issues with the base (e.g., Huckabee on taxes, Brownback to some extent on immigration), there was an opportunity for a candidate to build a market niche as the sane, electable conservative. Romney, to the credit of his business instincts, jumped on that opportunity like a starving man on a sandwich. The problem is that that posture is just not consistent with Romney’s history of campaigning and governing as a moderate, pragmatic, non-ideological Northeastern Republican, and specifically with numerous stands he has taken in the very recent past. Now, a good businessman, or even a candidate running principally as a competent technocrat, can get away with running on what the public wants today rather than on principles. But Romney is running a fundamentally ideological campaign, and he is doing so all too transparently as a businessman pursuing an underserved market rather than as a true believer.

Romney’s air of slickness and phoniness manifests itself in a number of specific ways I will get into later in this series, but the overall effect is an even more pronounced than usual (for a politician) tendency to leave people feeling like he will say anything to get elected. Democrats have, justly, suffered for that perception in the last two presidential elections, and they are almost certainly nominating a candidate who is legendarily calculating (Bill Clinton, by contrast, was a master at faking sincerity; but Romney, like so many others in politics, lacks Clinton’s talents in this regard and would do well not to try to imitate him). Republicans, having successfully and appropriately attacked Gore and Kerry and most likely Hillary as well on this basis, cannot afford to run a candidate who comes off as a phonymore [Emphasis ours]

Question: Does anyone like phonies?

Excellent metaphor: Romney as a “businessman pursuing an underserved market.”

yours &c.
dr. g.d.