Posts Tagged ‘TMP ElectionCentral’

“It’s clear the Romney campaign thinks they have a winner in their “three-legged stool” argument against Rudy, which holds that only a Republican who’s conservative on the triumvirate of national security, economic issues, and social issues can assemble a coalition that can win a general election,” opines a befuddled Greg Sargent in a TPM ElectionCentral post titled Romney Ratchets Up Criticism Of Rudy On Abortion, Gay Marriage

With Sam Brownback and many others beginning to predict that Rudy is doomed, and with the threat of defection from religious right leaders seeming more real by the day, the Romney crew may be on to something … etc., etc.

Just what does Mr. Sargent think Romney is “on to?”

Observe: Romney’s argument is never about Romney. It is always about Sen. Clinton. Viz: Giuliani cannot beat Clinton because “only a Republican who’s conservative on the triumvirate of national security, economic issues, and social issues can assemble a coalition that can win a general election.”

We are never asked to vote for Romney.

We are only ever asked to vote against Sen. Clinton.

Ask yourself: Why is that? Why are we being offered a deal—an exchange—a substitution? (Hypothesis: Romney has passed from denial to anger and on to bargaining. His latest arguments are an attempt to bargain with voters and GOP elites. G_d help us all when Romney passes into the depression and despair phase of the grief cycle—we will probably witness the most negative campaign in US political history.)

Here is the problem with Romney’s non-argument: even if we accept Romney’s absurd furniture metaphor and allow that “only a Republican who’s conservative on the triumvirate of national security, economic issues, and social issues can assemble a coalition that can win a general election,” it does not follow that Romney is such a Republican, or that he can convince anyone that he is such a Republican. Regard: Mike Huckabee trounced Romney at the value voters summit—he stole the show, even after Romney delivered the performance of his political career.

This is why Romney’s attacks seem so pointless, so groundless, so void of purpose—because Romney is always begging the question—he always simply assumes as true—or wants you to assume as true—the very point he’s trying to establish, i.e. his alleged conservative values. Romney is running a campaign of empty platitudes and constant attacks, writes Dean Barnett, a friend and close associate of Romney for 14 long years.

yours &c.
dr. g.d.


“Retired General James ‘Spider’ Marks, who has just been named a new national security adviser to Mitt Romney’s campaign, asserted in a 2005 interview that he would readily torture prisoners to save a soldier’s life or stop a terror bomb, saying: ‘I’d stick a knife in somebody’s thigh in a heartbeat,'” as reported by Greg Sargent in a TMP ElectionCentral post titled Romney’s New National Security Adviser Said He’d Torture “In A Heartbeat”

In announcing the appointment of Marks, the Romney campaign put out a press release emphasizing his “more than three decades of experience in the intelligence field.” But according to CNN, Marks also is a teacher of “interrogation.” And as a CNN analyst, he elaborated on his views of torture on the network on November 8, 2005 …

… [CNN Interviewer] FOREMAN: …So in your experience and in your view, torture as a policy should be against the law?

MARKS: True.

FOREMAN: And yet, we might still have to use it.

MARKS: True.

That would appear to be an explicit endorsement of illegal torture.

Contacted by Election Central, Romney spokesman Kevin Madden declined to comment on Marks’ assertions or say whether Governor Romney agreed with them. Madden did, however, say that Romney opposes torture, though he also confirmed that Romney supports the use of “enhanced interrogation techniques.” Madden declined to specify what techniques in particular Romney was referring to … etc., etc.

Let us leave aside the fact that the good general thinks he’s Jack Bauer. At least Jack Bauer—a fictional character in the Fox television series 24—is morally, and logically, consistent, at least within the framework of an evolving narrative. Would the general really have violated the Laws of Land Warfare that he is, or was, sworn to protect and uphold?—this is a frightening arrogation of personal power and prerogative by a US flag officer in command of armed formations—what other laws or norms of conduct would the general set aside, under what conditions, and upon what basis or according to what theory of military law or conduct?

The good general should feel right at home in the primate exhibit that passes for Team Romney’s posh waterfront headquarters. Perhaps the only person as inconsistent, equivocal, inarticulate, and possibly dangerous to our troubled republic as General “Spider” Marks is Romney’s gibbering helper-monkey Kevin Madden, or especially Romney himself.

yours &c.
dr. g.d.

“Mitt Romney entered the presidential race with a lot less name recognition than the likes of Rudy Giuliani and John McCain — so in order to get to the top, he’s had to spend a lot of money, including much of his own,” explains Eric Kleefeld in a TPM ElectionCentral post titled High Burn Rate Puts Romney Behind Rudy In Cash On Hand:

So despite out-raising the rest of the GOP field, Romney no longer leads the race in cash on hand.

Romney now has less cash on hand than Giuliani — $9.2 million to Rudy’s $12 million — and has spent a stunning $52 million up through the third quarter compared to only $30 million spent by Rudy … etc., etc.

Another problem for Romney—although his apologists spin it as a strength—is his frighteningly small donor base. In a post titled who will win, Jason Bonham explains:

How is it that Romney can raise more over all -and only 500K less in the last quarter- than Rudy when he has less than half of the supporter base as evidenced by RCP National Averages?

… A hallmark of effective campaign organization surely is how much money you can extract from your base. If you don’t have the organization in a Republican primary, how will you do it in a general where opinion of the GOP is at a low? etc., etc.

How much you can extract from your base?!—Romney doesn’t have a base—what Romney has is too narrow to be called a “base”—an index of Romney’s donor fatigue is Romney’s own self-financing. At any rate, we have harped upon this string—the string of Romney’s ridiculously low ROI for his every campaign dollar—for weeks drawing into months. The always on-point John Xavier of Elephant Biz in a post titled Snapshot of the Race arrives at the same conclusion based on the same data—the emphasis is ours, all ours:

“Giuliani is in a commanding position leading both the money game and the polls, not to mention he doesn’t have significant debt. Romney’s campaign, on the other hand, would be bankrupt if he wasn’t using his vast personal wealth to keep it afloat. Could this be a sign that potential donors are passing because he can’t gain traction in the polls?”etc., etc.

Here is the point: Romney’s ROI is falling, not rising.

yours &c.
dr. g.d.

“Mitt Romney is amping up the argument that he — not Rudy — is the Republican who’s truly electable. His campaign just blasted out the following just moments ago,” writes Greg Sargent in a shamelessly pro-Romney TMP ElectionCentral post titled, preposterously, Romney: Forget Rudy — I’m The Real Electable Republican


“I believe that to win the White House that our candidate has to be somebody who can represent and speak for all three legs of the conservative stool or conservative coalition that Ronald Reagan put together — social conservatives, economic conservatives and defense conservatives.” — Governor Romney

Of course, as Jonathan Martin points out, Rudy is presenting a three-legged stool of his own: National security conservatism, economic conservatism, and in place of social conservatism, Hillary-bashing, that is to say, Rudy’s claim that only he can slay her.

So what Romney’s doing with the above argument is to try to undercut not one, but two of Rudy’s campaign rationales. First, Romney’s trying to dilute the importance of national security issues as a primary driver of GOP Primary voters. And second, he’s simultaneously undercutting Rudy’s I’m-electable-against-Hillary claim by saying that only someone who meets all of these three conservative thresholds can assemble the coalition necessary to get elected President as a Republican … etc., etc.

Romney’s tired furniture metaphor aside, most agree that “conservatism has lots its coherence”; regard:

“But the base is not so happy right now,” writes eye in an post titled Just babies, guns, and taxes? Or more?

The party is angry because George Bush isn’t conservative enough. What does that mean? Taxes? Um, no. He cut those. A bunch. Babies? PBA. Judges. A huge number of executive orders. Probably not that. Guns? Well, he let the Assault Weapons Ban expire. Probably not the problem there. What are the problems? Spending. Immigration. Campaign finance reform. Etc.

When someone can count the conservative principles on one hand, I will know what it means to be conservative again. We aren’t there. We need new ideas. Some of that is a reorganization of our existing ideas. Some of it is new stuff. Time to start workingetc., etc.

This is especially true in light of the Romney Question—in light of a “suddenly conservative” super-rich person and his hireling dilettanti—a man who claims to have redefined conservatism in advance of any movement by the movement. See:

Rubens on Romney: “Beware Candidates Trying to Purchase a Conservative Label”—NH Republicans “ought to heed the attacks” by other GOPers on Romney “by remembering the the last time a wealthy businessman spent millions of his own money in a campaign to re-define himself as a conservative”

The other GOP candidates appear to have a plan of their own to address the Romney Question. Regard:

“On the trail in South Carolina last week, Giuliani said that ‘from California to New York . . . the things that hold us together as a party are a strong national defense and a strong national economy,'” reports Jonathan Martin in a Politico blog post titled Romney’s three legs vs Rudy’s two (and a half?)

So then how does Rudy keep the GOP stool upright?

It’s becoming more obvious that Rudy’s third-leg is no issue at all, but rather something more pragmatic: electability.

As Perry Bacon smartly observes in his piece from the Palmetto State, Rudy has made Hillary-bashing, and the I-can-beat-her narrative it connotes, “the third plank of his brand of conservatism in lieu of orthodoxy on social issues.”

And if McCain and Fred keep focusing their fire on Romney instead of Rudy, he may just get away with it … etc., etc.

Let us pray that he does, as this is probably the best we can hope for at the moment.

Aside: you sort of have to wonder—are the Romneys themselves asking why it is that everyone is against them?—or: do they have the presence of mind or critical self-awareness necessary to even pose such a question? We don’t know.

yours &c.
dr. g.d.