Posts Tagged ‘washington times’
first as tragedy, then as farce: “Turns out that after the applause died, Romney huddled with ‘some 50 stalwarts of the political right’ to discuss making the former Massachussetts governor ‘the face of conservatism, as Ronald Reagan became en route to his 1980 election win,’ the Washington Times reported this weekend”
[…] “Last week, immediately after Mitt Romney pulled out of the Republican presidential race, we noted that his CPAC address sounded less like a concession speech and more like a bid to become the voice of the culture wing of the GOP,” writes The Political Insider for the The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in a blog burst titled Reed, Sekulow in on Romney-as-face-of-conservatism meeting
Darn, we’re good.
Turns out that after the applause died, Romney huddled with “some 50 stalwarts of the political right” to discuss making the former Massachussetts governor “the face of conservatism, as Ronald Reagan became en route to his 1980 election win,” the Washington Times reported this weekend.
Participants at the meeting included Georgia’s Ralph Reed, the former head of the Christian Coalition, and Jay Sekulow of Alpharetta, chief counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice, who served as a kind of liaison to evangelicals for the Romney campaign.
“The movement needs someone of Ronald Reagan’s stature and Romney could fill that role,” the Times quoted Sekulow as saying […]
The Romney watch continues.
From the Washington Times article titled Right wants Romney as standard-bearer, by the estimable Ralph Z. Hallow:
[…] Participants said the group was not organizing against the presidential bid of Sen. John McCain, the party”s presumptive nominee, but only seeking to revive core values such as lower taxes, limited government and free speech.
“The purpose of the meeting was for him to announce his willingness to fight shoulder to shoulder with true conservatives from here on out,” said political strategist Paul Erickson, who worked for Mr. Romney”s campaign. “He did just that” […]
Um, yeahright. Is this a case of cash starved conservative activists who want to further bilk a super-stupid rich guy to fund their own projects? Or is this a move to divide the right and guarantee that Sen. McCain gets defeated in November? Whatever is the case, watch your back, Senator McCain.
[…] “Over in Michigan, the Republican voters clearly had the same thought on Tuesday when they went out and gave their primary win to a candidate absolutely no one would want to have a beer with,” writes Gail Collins in an NYT editorial titled The Anti-Charm Offensive
(Or in his case, a bracing lemonade.) Mitt Romney! Mitt Romney!Michigan voters are so frightened of falling into permanent economic collapse that they’ll grab onto almost anything. Romney, the native son who lived in Michigan in the Eisenhower era, played them for all they were worth. He was going to bring back the old-time auto industry and the rest of the 1950s with it. There was no lost job that could not be retrieved under Mitt’s skilled-businessman’s supervision. He’d bring them all home!
Human nature being what it is, you have to give politicians a pass for one pander per primary. (The Democrats have spent the last week in Nevada arguing about who is the most against a federal plan to store used nuclear fuel in Yucca Mountain as if it were a plot to tax air.) But in Michigan, Romney went way over quota.
He told the auto executives that they were being picked on when Congress required fuel efficiency to reach 35 m.p.g. by 2020. (Washington told Detroit to improve mileage in 1975, and just 32 years later, here’s Big Brother, harping again.) And he promised $20 billion in federally funded research and development to get the auto industry back on track.
Let’s see, $20 billion for Michigan, and 46 states left to go. We’re looking at nearly a trillion dollars in potential pander just to get Mitt to the conventions. We won’t have to worry about Congress doling out pork anymore — Romney will give the entire store away himself.
In his victory speech, Romney said his inspiration came from “Ronald Reagan and George Herbert Walker Bush.” I’m not sure how Reagan would have felt about that $20 billion, but I’m pretty sure this is the first time the words “George Herbert Walker Bush” and “inspiration” have appeared in the same sentence […]
Yuh-huh. And it suddenly occurs to York of the formerly conservative NRO—the knuckle-draggers who endorsed Romney for president—how Romney’s proposal to MI will play in the upcoming primary contests:
[…] “if Romney’s success in Michigan prompts more and more candidate attention to economic issues, the campaign will take on a new, decidedly post-war-on-terror feel,” writes Byron York of the National Review in a The Corner post titled Message: We Care
And if that happens, it will probably go in directions that few conservatives are happy with. When candidates start talking about easing voters’ pain, there’s no telling what they will promise – Romney’s $20 billion check to the auto industry might be just the beginning […]
Well, duh. We make the same case here:
[…] Not only does Romney’s plan to nationalize the US automobile industry reflect yet another complete ideological reversal for the hapless candidate—Not only is Romney’s proposal impracticable and nearly impossible on its face, just the worst possible public policy imaginable—Not only will Romney’s proposal issue into in a furious race to the bottom as Romney himself and the other candidates are forced to out-bid each other promising to bail-out, subsidize, or protect from competition other ailing industries and entire economic sectors—but Romney’s plan for MI is also based on a risibly inaccurate and historically flawed assessment of an already globalized and post-industrial US automobile “industry” […]
We conclude this sad blog burst with an excerpt from an editorial by the Washington Times:
[…] “No doubt [Romney] will soon saturate Florida’s airwaves the way he bombarded Iowa, New Hampshire and Michigan,” write the crack editorialists of the Washington Times in an article titled Romney’s Michigan Win
Too bad Mr. Romney continues to refuse to tell voters how much of his personal wealth he spent during the fourth quarter even as he ratchets up his personal spending throughout the critical month of January.
… Mr. McCain told Michigan voters what they know in their hearts to be true. Those auto jobs are gone. But they chose to believe, at least for a day, Mr. Romney’s dubious optimism, which, if he is elected in November, will surely become one of the first campaign promises he will have to break […]
We can only hope he breaks it. Now that Romney could actually end up as our president, we need to hope and pray that his lies and duplicities work in our favor.
“This weekend, CNN released results of general election trial heats, pitting each of the four leading Republican candidates for President against both of the leading Democrats,” writes Michael Medved in a Townhall blog burst titled PRESIDENTIAL TRIAL HEATS: WHO’S WEAKEST FOR G.O.P?
The unmistakable message from this national exercise (surveying 840 voters on January 9 and 10th) is that Mitt Romney unequivocally qualifies as the weakest candidate the G.O.P. could field.
In the head-to-head contest with Barack Obama he is utterly wiped out, losing by a margin of 22 points (59% to 37%). Against Hillary Clinton, Romney fares little better, falling 18 percentage points behind (58% to 40%).
The results for other candidates show that this is a Romney problem, not a Republican problem.
John McCain, for instance, virtually ties both Obama and Clinton – running 48%-49% against Obama and 48%-50% against Clinton. In other words, in a trial heat against Barack Obama, Senator McCain runs a startling 21 points closer than does Governor Romney.
Even Mike Huckabee (despite remaining virtually unknown to many Americans) draws slightly stronger support than Romney – running 3 points closer to Obama and 4 points closer to Clinton.
After spending more money than his major opponents combined, Romney appears more and more clearly unelectable, and a Saturday column by Gail Collins in the New York Times gives a clear explanation why. “Unfortunately, there’s something about Romney’s perfect grooming, his malleability and his gee-whiz aura that seems to really irritate both the other candidates and the voters,” she writes. “What bothers voters about Romney, as it turns out, is not his Mormonism but his inherent Mitt-ness” […]
Comment: That Romney will fail in the general election offers us no consolation. Here is why: He will bring the GOP and the conservative movement down with him. Elsewhere, rumors of doom swirl about the hapless candidate from Bain Capital:
[…] “Romney rivals and the few neutrals in the Republican Party say Mr. Romney must win Michigan — with the help of traditional conservatives, sportsmen, old-timers nostalgic for his father’s governorship — and at the very least must not let Mr. McCain of Arizona build momentum with a second victory heading into South Carolina, where evangelicals, as they did in Iowa, are expected to help Mr. Huckabee,” writes Ralph Z. Hallow of the Washington Times in an article titled Right eyes Romney rebound
Randy Brinson, whose Redeem the Vote was credited with getting young voters out in Iowa, says deals are being brokered that will make life all the more difficult for Mr. Romney.
“Already, surrogates of the Republican establishment are working behind the scenes to solidify support and favor among McCain and Huckabee, abandoning both Romney and [former Tennessee Sen. Fred] Thompson,” said Dr. Brinson, a Huckabee supporter. “Both Huckabee and McCain are considered the mavericks, and [they have] postures of wanting to bridge partisan divides on a number of issues” […]
Yeahright. Color us incredulous. Do these anonymous Republican establishment power-brokers have access to vast reserves of spare money in excess of what Romney commands? Probably not. The Republican establishment is bought and paid for. And whether Romney can win in the general or not is hardly a concern to the Republican “establishment.”
Here is where we make our case:
“In recent months Mitt Romney, whose personal fortune is estimated to be as much as a quarter of a billion dollars, blanketed the airwaves of Iowa and New Hampshire with dozens of campaign advertisements,” write the editors of the Washington Times in an article titled Romney and his money
[Romney] clearly has spent tens of millions of dollars of his own money in Iowa and New Hampshire, but he steadfastly declines to say how much. The Romney campaign suffers from a glaring transparency deficiency, which it should address at once.
Mr. Romney has every right to bankroll his presidential campaign with his own money. No argument here. But why has he refused to tell voters how much of his personal fortune he has funneled to his campaign since the end of the third quarter?
On Jan. 4, the day after Mike Huckabee defeated Mr. Romney in Iowa, this newspaper asked the Romney campaign to say how much Mr. Romney had personally contributed since Sept. 30. During the first nine months of last year, Mr. Romney had given his campaign $17.4 million, about 90 percent more than the $9.2 million in the campaign’s cash-on-hand on Sept. 30 […]
Yet the Romneys refuse to release their fourth quarter numbers until the filing deadline of Jan. 31. This date falls after the primary contests in Iowa, New Hampshire, Michigan, Nevada, South Carolina, and Florida.
Also from the article, Romney’s fund raising “declined from US$20.8 million in the first quarter to US$13.9 million in the second, to less than US$10 million in the third.”
Romney increased his own contributions to compensate.
Conclusion: The Romney campaign is a Potemkin village.
“Romney’s answer [to the ‘do you believe this book’ asked at the CNN YouTube debate] is more problematic,” writes David Brody of the Brody file in a post titled Bible Lesson, Republican Style
I’m not talking theology here. Forget the Mormon vs Evangelical question. What I’m talking about is the way Romney answered that question. He hesitated about whether the Bible was the literal word of God. He looked very uncomfortable up there during that moment. For Evangelicals, that hesitation is code for “not really”. You got the sense that, in that moment of hesitation, Romney was trying to figure out what the best political answer was going to be …
Nota: Brody’s interpretation based on observation is consonant with experts recruited by Psychology Today (August 2007) to evaluate the rhetorical styles of the 08 candidates—Romney was said to e.g. shrug, hesitate, smile defensively (masking), and in other ways communicate detachment from his own themes. In other words, Romney’s words and Romney’s gestures are often incongruent. His most impassioned appeals often evince a divided self … etc.
Back to Brody:
Look, Romney already has an image problem when it comes to flip-flopping on some issues so why not just come out and address the Mormon thing head on …
But Romney refuses to “address the Mormon thing head on”; he prefers delay and a strategy of blurring distinctions. See:
- eyeon08.com: “Is there any evidence that this poll contacted anyone in Iowa who was not a Romney staffer or supporter?”—also: Romney completes step (1) of the Romney crisis protocol, where we discuss Romney’s response to Rep. Inglis’ admonition to Romney that “You cannot equate Mormonism with Christianity; you cannot say, ‘I am a Christian just like you,’“
- how Romney botched the Mormon-Kennedy-speech issue by setting up impossible expectations, by consistently failing to identify opportunity and seize the initiative, and by allowing others to frame the debate
Back to Brody:
He could take the lead on this and be a straight shooter rather than dancing around it. It’s not like he’s fooling Evangelicals in Iowa. They know the deal. They know there is a difference. Why not just recognize the differences between the two religions and then pivot to higher ground by saying this election shouldn’t be about a religious test for office. Romney and his advisors seem so concerned about the Mormon issue, but Romney also has an authenticity issue too. Addressing the Mormon issue may kill two birds with one stone. It was an opportunity missed … etc.
Brody gets it, just as Rep. Inglis gets it. Team Romney, alas, does not. It is acceptable to be distinct; it is unacceptable to be distinct and to claim that there is no distinction.—here is how Romney himself puts it:
“ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said yesterday that he hopes to convince voters that his Mormon faith is mainstream,” writes Joseph Curl for the Washington Times in an article mis-titled Romney puts faith in Christian past.
“I think as people come to know my faith they’ll recognize that the values of my faith are — they very much flow from the Judeo-Christian tradition of this country. I believe in God, I believe in Jesus Christ, I believe in the equality of all humankind,” Mr. Romney said in an interview with The Washington Times … etc.
Here is the problem for Romney. Christianity is not a philosophy; it is a confession, and what you confess are creeds—e.g. The Nicene Creed, The Apostle’s Creed, The Creed of St. Athanasius—i.e. Christianity discovers its personal and even organizational basis in creedal declarations of belief, intent, and value. Even non-liturgical traditions—e.g. Pentecostals—establish their identity (their difference, their sense of uniqueness) as enumerated sets of claims. To adhere to a creed is to be distinct. And: different confessions depart from one another on the basis of their own creeds—and they cherish their distinctions, even their minor ones—especially their minor ones. And: You cannot stake out common ground until you acknowledge the differences and distinctions.
To say to an Evangelical, as does Romney, “I believe in God, I believe in Jesus Christ, I believe in the equality of all humankind,” is at best meaningless and at worse inconsistent to the point of being false, because as every confirmed Christian knows the terms God and Christ achieve specificity only as articulated in a line of confession that links the confessor to the witness of the apostles. What is it that you Christians say?—something like this:
… Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble …
The tradition is the terrain, Boy Romney. Learn it, or perish upon it.
P.S. We’re Orthodox Jews, BTW. But we’re also immersed in the classics. A lot of the classics are Christian.
The intrepid eye of eyeon2008.com responds to an email message from a reader in a post titled Evangelical leaders moving towards Romney? Not so much.
The writer of the email message is responding to Ralph Z Hallow’s article about Romney in today’s Washington Times. Hallow claims that Bauer and Perkins—two Evangelical “leaders”—are now emitting noise that sounds distinctly pro-Romney.
Using only his thumbs and an iPhone, eye text-messaged the Perkins’ Family Research Council for clarification. They quickly messaged him back, as, apparently, they have lots of free time on their hands:
“We are not moving away from Huckabee or toward Romney …
We just want to reiterate that Giuliani is a disaster … He will destroy the coalition among conservatives. Asking us to accept him as the nominees, is like asking fiscal conservatives to accept a candidate who wants to return to the tax rates of the pre-Reagan era” … more
Translation: We—the FRC—are blithering idiots—that is to say, knuckle-dragging rubes—who want the right to veto the more general will of the conservative movement. Further translation: We want to be king-makers, and the only candidate so far willing to surrender all human dignity, to bow and scrape the dust at our feet, has been Willard Milton Romney in the stately role of Henry IV. (Paris vaut bien une messe, intones Romney the Risible as he transforms himself into the caricature of a conservative.)
“We just want to reiterate” that Tony Perkins has completely sold out.
Hey, Perkins. Here is a question for you: What do you get when you demand that candidates grovel?—answer: you get a candidate who grovels, you super-genius—i.e. you get a formless apparition like Willard Milton Romney. Now, ask yourself, is that what you really want? Here is the problem, Perkins: What if we find ourselves in a crisis and we really need, you know, a leader, and not a belly-crawling ideological cross-dresser?
“Two social conservatives leaders — in surprise moves yesterday — criticized fellow evangelical and Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee, while praising another party hopeful, Mitt Romney, a Mormon,” writes Ralph Z. Hallow in a Washington Times release titled Evangelical leaders warm to Romney
Still, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins and American Values President Gary Bauer hope the former Massachusetts governor will passionately express his pro-life views at the Values Voter Summit Oct. 19 and 20 at the Washington Hilton … more
So what if he does, Perkins and Bauer, you two super-geniuses?—and Romney most certainly will, as he will tell you whatever you want to hear—are you really gullible enough to believe him?—we mean, really?
- Kornacki: Not the first time Romney has changed public position on abortion
- Romney already flip-flopping, again, on the abortion issue
The leaders that you have are the leaders that you deserve, e.g. Perkins and Bauer.