Why Cain Was Never Going to be President – and Why Gingrich Won’t Be Either

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Tod Kelly

Tod is a writer from the Pacific Northwest. He is also serves as Executive Producer and host of both the 7 Deadly Sins Show at Portland's historic Mission Theatre and 7DS: Pants On Fire! at the White Eagle Hotel & Saloon. He is  a regular inactive for Marie Claire International and the Daily Beast, and is currently writing a book on the sudden rise of exorcisms in the United States. Follow him on Twitter.

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112 Responses

  1. Avatar DarrenG says:

    I’ll go back to what Jonathan Bernstein and other professional election-watchers say: Polls are still meaningless, and if you want to know who has an actual shot at the GOP nomination you should be looking at endorsements, fundraising, and the size and sophistication of candidates’ campaign operations.

    Newt has none of those things, just like the other Icarii before him.

    …and the winger media is already positioning Huntsman for his 15 minutes while the people who count within the party finish deciding if they can rehabilitate Perry or if they’re really stuck with the Mittster.Report

    • Avatar Kolohe in reply to DarrenG says:

      Just a quibble, Perry had the required fund raising base, it just imploded on itself like an old Vegas casino after Perry’s second or third debate performance.  (and Bachmann used to have a pretty effective fund raising operation herself, not sure why its stuck in low gear, other than Perry sucking up her oxygen – which may had been enough)Report

  2. Avatar Liberty60 says:

    The GOP base is a radicalized, angry base that has been fed a nonstop diet of outrage, indignation, humiliation and sense of grievance for about 30 years.

    Poking the liberals in the eye is exactly the beginning and end of the contemporary conservative movement. They have no other goals but payback to the illegal immigrants, hippies, feminazis,pointy headed college perfessors and strapping young bucks. This is why they cheer wildly at the thought of torture and executions and poor people dying.

    Oh, what- is there somewhere a conservative candidate who is earnestly proposing to restore the economic health of the middle class, who frames a vision of our economic troubles as one of shared goals and sacrifice, who places human dignity and fairness at the center of this vision?Report

    • Avatar Koz in reply to Liberty60 says:

      “The GOP base is a radicalized, angry base that has been fed a nonstop diet of outrage, indignation, humiliation and sense of grievance for about 30 years.

      Poking the liberals in the eye is exactly the beginning and end of the contemporary conservative movement. They have no other goals but payback to the illegal immigrants, hippies, feminazis,pointy headed college perfessors and strapping young bucks. This is why they cheer wildly at the thought of torture and executions and poor people dying.”

      Somehow, Mor-TON, you have stumbled onto the truth.

      “Oh, what- is there somewhere a conservative candidate who is earnestly proposing to restore the economic health of the middle class, who frames a vision of our economic troubles as one of shared goals and sacrifice, who places human dignity and fairness at the center of this vision?”

      Yeah, got three of ’em: Romney, Hunstman, Santorum. Gingrich has the talent and the resume, but not the frame of mind.Report

      • Avatar Liberty60 in reply to Koz says:

        First off, two of these three guys are hated by the base. They may as well be Blue Dog Dems for all that matters.

        But I am intrigued enough to ask- in what way will the 1% share in the “shared sacrifice” under President Santorum?Report

        • Avatar James Hanley in reply to Liberty60 says:

          Ditto this, although I’d phrase it a bit differently.  How exactly does Santorum fit in with Huntsman and Romney?  Setting aside the issue of religion, it still sounds like a game of “which of these things is not like the other?”Report

          • Avatar Chris in reply to James Hanley says:

            I’m not sure how he fits, but I bet it has something to do with people fishing dogs.Report

          • Avatar Koz in reply to James Hanley says:

            Mostly, it was to rebut the thought a couple comments above that the GOP has no candidate who can deliver actual useful economic policy to Middle America, as opposed to merely tapping into the antipathy toward the libs from the conservative base.

            In fact we’ve got three of ’em. It’s probably not a coincidence that those are my three favorite candidates in the race.Report

            • Avatar Liberty60 in reply to Koz says:

              If “actual useful economic policy” means “cutting the social safety net, and increasing economic risk and uncertainty” then yes, these three do indeed offer that to the middle class.

              Not sure how this gets framed as a moral vision of human dignity.Report

  3. Avatar BSK says:

    Do you think any of the support for Cain was motivated by a desire for the GOP to have a “black candidate of their own”?  When Cain gained popularity, many were quick to say, “See?  Republicans/Conservatives aren’t racist!  Why would they support Cain if they were?”  I wonder if a desire to absolve themselves of accusations of racism, either consciously or unconsciously, motivated any to rush in to support Cain.Report

    • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to BSK says:

      I’m sure that there are some people in the GOP that liked refutation of years of accusations of racism; this seems like a fairly natural response to a certain number of people.  But I don’t think this was the real reason he was popular.

      I think the reason he was popular is because there is now a media machine that claims to vet when it in fact promotes.  So I think most people who had never heard of Herman Cain were introduced to him just recently, by “journalists” that told them that he was an amazingly prepared shrewd conservative “natural.”  In fact, I suspect, those “journalists” hadn’t taken the time to find out anything of substance before they started in on this narrative.  I suspect that moments like the Libya interview caught the Becks, Limbaughs, Calvutos, etc. as much off guard as everyone else.Report

      • Avatar BSK in reply to Tod Kelly says:

        Yea, I didn’t think race was the only or even a primary reason… only that it was a factor.  It makes sense that there are bigger things at work that ultimately had very little to do with Cain himself.Report

  4. Avatar Koz says:

    “The only question remaining in my mind is, does he crash and burn at Romney’s feet – or Obama’s? The GOP base would be wise to recognize it would be better for them to watch him to flame out sooner rather than later.”

    For the most part I agree but I also think Newt runs stronger in a general election that you suppose. In contrast to Herman Cain, he’s got a legit resume.Report

    • Avatar wardsmith in reply to Koz says:

      I liked Cain in a kind of “Mr Smith Goes to Washington” way. In my life I think I’ve had a stomach full of “professional politicians” of the sort who inhabit the first few minutes of this movie and quite a bit more toward the end. It was momentarily refreshing to see a citizen Cincinnatus give it a try. The biggest criticism I’ve heard from both the left and right (and many on this site) was that Cain proved that he wasn’t a master of the political prevarication many seem to think is part and parcel of that class of critters. It wasn’t /weather/ he had dalliances with women but how /smoothly/ he handled the furor. Clinton is probably a serial rapist, but he’s damn smooth lying about it so he’s a great guy. Two years from now, I won’t be the least bit surprised if not one iota of actual factual evidence shows up to support these women’s stories, in fact I won’t be the least bit surprised if when (whether) any forensic analysis is done they can’t even be placed in the same zip code as Cain. And the usual suspects will tut tut and smugly say, “Well politics is a bruising business and if you can’t stand the heat stay out of the kitchen” and a dozen other  such bromides. All the while ignoring what a godawful mess our country is in and how any possible vestige of proprietary and honesty is convincingly absent from “our” political class.

      I know CEO’s who have been approached for politics. To a man (yes they’re men, sorry I don’t know more women CEO’s but we see what a wonderful chance Whitman had in California) they’ve said essentially, “Why in the hell would I put myself and my family through that torture?” This is now a game for the rich and the superrich and even a narcisstic sociopath like Trump can’t (and shouldn’t) play. #OWS can wail about the 1% but the politicians all come from there are beholden to there or aspire to be there.

      We shouldn’t at all be surprised if this is our future:Report

      • Avatar Koz in reply to wardsmith says:

        “I know CEO’s who have been approached for politics. To a man (yes they’re men, sorry I don’t know more women CEO’s but we see what a wonderful chance Whitman had in California) they’ve said essentially, “Why in the hell would I put myself and my family through that torture?””

        I completely agree with this. That’s why I’m amazed we’ll actually get the chance to vote for Willard in the primaries and there’s a decent chance we’ll get the opportunity to support him in the general election as well.

        In a certain way, Herman Cain is the contemporary Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. But things are different now than in than they were in the days of Jefferson Smith. We can regret that or wish it weren’t so, but it has consequences nonetheless.Report

      • Avatar Liberty60 in reply to wardsmith says:

        Its kind of amusing how the titans of industry who strut around writing books about how they are bloodthirsty tigers in the boardroom and fearsome take no prisoners competitors, suddenly snivel and blubber about how terribly unfair it is to have to explain how they were sending money to a woman who is not his wife.

         Report

        • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to Liberty60 says:

          Actually, i notice that the real titans of industry don’t do any of these things.  They run their businesses.  I think there is another kind of successful person that is good at self-promotion, and these are the people you describe.

          I’d be willing to bet that the biggest real estate, hotel and casino moguls in the world, for example, would look at being Donald Trump as a few steps down in terms of income and professional prestige.Report

          • Avatar wardsmith in reply to Tod Kelly says:

            I know one of the types you are referring to there Tod. He said when he shook hands with Trump he immediately counted his fingers to make sure they were all still there. Trump’s supposed wealth has to be considered in relation to his tremendous debt. There’s a good reason you hear the words Trump and bankrupt so often in the same sentence.Report

        • Avatar wardsmith in reply to Liberty60 says:

          So if I send money to a woman who is not my wife that automatically means we’re having sex and it also apparently means she’s a whore no? For that matter if I send money to a /guy/ that might mean the same thing, except I think the proper term is hustler? That Ginger White previously sent out a mass email concerning her long time business partner and then totally recanted, admitting it was all a big lie puts her right at the top of my list of reliable witnesses. Let’s see the scoreboard now shall we? Two women who made recent accusation against Cain are both facing evictions from their landlords (and not for the first time either). We don’t know about the others (primarily because we don’t know who they are) but can’t be surprised if they too are facing financial difficulties.

          The DNC has a pretty big checkbook. There shouldn’t be any new women now that Cain is out of it and I won’t get to prove my statistical analysis I made early on in this election cycle when told no one could beat Obama. I said Cain could do it just by splitting the black vote (which Obama is counting on to the tune of 95% or more). Something tells me they aren’t going to be voting for anyone left on the GOP ticket. Obama in 2012 by TKO.Report

          • Avatar Stillwater in reply to wardsmith says:

            Obama in 2012 by TKO.

            But will it really even be a fight? I mean, that Obama won’t knock out his opponent isn’t a  criticism of Obama. It’s an admission that the GOP doesn’t know when to throw in the towel.Report

            • Avatar wardsmith in reply to Stillwater says:

              Still, there’s a very good reason boxing promoters like to control who BOTH fighters are in the ring, and it has nothing to do with promoting a fair fight. The string pullers here are selecting both “fighters” and the public won’t even be left with an entertaining bout.

              If you’ll recall, I said I liked Huntsman, because I met him in person and because he speaks excellent Mandarin. Those two things don’t necessarily make him presidential material but he was enough of a threat that the DNC had Obama ship him off to China so he’d be a complete unknown to the American people. And we’ve already seen Ron Paul be completely marginalized by the press, even acting like he wasn’t in the contest as shown on the Daily Show of all places.

              That #OWS guy really did waste his money. He should have targeted becoming a true puppeteer. ;_)Report

          • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to wardsmith says:

            ws, do you seriously think that the choices here are either that you believe that Herman Cain is telling the truth or this woman is a w**re?  Seriously?Report

            • Avatar wardsmith in reply to Tod Kelly says:

              Let’s see Tod. If he’s telling the truth and he only gave her money to help her out, that’s one thing. If she took money /and/ gave him sex then that’s another. The term for the second option is almost as old as that profession, although I understand it varies from language to language. Now if only he’d given her flowers instead. At least then there’d be that doubt in people’s minds.

              Cain should publicly ask these women to describe that unique mole he has in his nether regions. Then we’d all know too. At least that’s what /I’d/ do. I’ll leave it for the reader to figure out whether I even have one. 😉Report

          • Avatar Liberty60 in reply to wardsmith says:

            I just think it is silly to think that somehow Cain is facing scrutiny that is somehow unfair or unprecedented.

            Spend about 1.5 seconds googling info about campaign politics going back to Adams and you will see that sex scandals are a staple of any campaign.

            I don’t like the panty-sniffing media focus either- I would prefer that it was the Libya question that brought him down, or his braying about his ignorance of foreign leaders, or his preening about how he won’t read any bill longer than 3 pages.

            Actually I think most Americans are pretty forgiving about politicians sex lives- there are enough voters who have messy marriages of their own that the possibility of a guy cheating isn’t enough to send them to the fainting couches.

            But at some point the cheating becomes evidence of stupidity, not moral failing.Report

  5. Avatar E. D. Kain says:

    Excellent post, Tod. I’ve been saying similar things at Forbes recently. Newt is a bizarre choice on so many innumerable ways. He’d never stand a chance in the general.Report

    • If the unpalatable Richard Nixon could get elected, never say never.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Tom Van Dyke says:

        And re-elected. Facts are stranger than fiction. In fact, our political theory’s are continually trying to incorporate contradictory evidence with an air of consistency. Which makes theorists look like fools.Report

      • Avatar Jesse Ewiak in reply to Tom Van Dyke says:

        Well, if they’re are massive riots in the inner city, a liberal primary challenge to Obama, and the assassination of a beloved figure among liberal circles not in political office (I don’t know, Oprah?), then hey, a total SOB like Nixon has a chance.Report

        • Avatar wardsmith in reply to Jesse Ewiak says:

          You forgot the unpopular war and the anti-war riots. And the music and those damn hippies, can’t forget the damn hippies!Report

          • Avatar Jesse Ewiak in reply to wardsmith says:

            Eh, the war doesn’t matter. Middle-class parents know their kid isn’t going to war. But I know what you meant. 🙂Report

          • Avatar Tom Van Dyke in reply to wardsmith says:

            We have a crummy economy, an ineffectual president and the hippies are still in the streets.  Plus almost a year of more SNAFUing to go.

            Hey, I wrote Newt off too, but if he gets the nomination, he’s going to get a fresh look from the swing voters.  His dirty laundry is out, so they’ll have to slime him from scratch.

             

             Report

            • Avatar Jesse Ewiak in reply to Tom Van Dyke says:

              A 35-year-old voter in 2012 was seventeen or barely eighteen when Newt was at the height of his powers. I’m sure there’s plenty of low information voters who know little of Newt.Report

      • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Tom Van Dyke says:

        “If the unpalatable Richard Nixon could get elected, never say never.”

        Nixon wasn’t unpalatable until after Watergate.

        Don’t fall victim to the popular perception that Kennedy made the Democrats progressive.  As late as 1972, George Wallace was seen as a major contender for the Democratic nomination.  If he hadn’t got shot he might well have been President, and wouldn’t THAT be a fun alternate history–no Watergate and no pro-Civil Rights Democrats!Report

      • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to Tom Van Dyke says:

        “If the unpalatable Richard Nixon could get elected, never say never.”

        True dat.  So if Obama’s followers turn on him and start rioting and he just quits and walks away with a big F.U., a la Johnson, then get ready for President Gingrich, America!

        If not, we might just ask Michelle to give us the decorating changes now to save time.Report

  6. Avatar greginak says:

    In what way is Newt a bright guy? I’m not saying he’s dumb but he tends to more strike the pose of brightness then anything else.

     Report

    • Avatar Jesse Ewiak in reply to greginak says:

      As I think Krugman put it, he’s the perfect representation of what the average person believes a smart guy sounds like.Report

    • Avatar Koz in reply to greginak says:

      Newt is a reasonably intelligent guy. The reason it becomes such a quasi-political issue is that so much of his ego-gratification depends on the acknowledgement of such.Report

      • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to Koz says:

        This, at least in part.  I don’t know how you can look at Newt and his history and not conclude that he is smart.  Just as, on the other hand, I don’t know how you can look at him and say he is a renaissance man of dizzying intellect.

        I know that we all roll our eyes at the notion that he is an “idea” man, but he is.  This is not to say that some of the ideas he comes up with aren’t terrible.  But creative is creative, and it’s also smart.  I would actually argue that people that are able to think of different solutions like Newt does are a valuable asset to a group.  Mind you, I think his judgement about his own ideas is off, and that he should never be put in a position of power to enforce whatever idea he gets.  But that doesn’t mean that the ability to think like he does doesn’t require a kind of intelligence that is more than most possess.

        But Koz is right too.  The guy can be enough of a d**k about how much smarter he thinks he is that it makes it easy for people to dismiss any intelligence he has out of hand.Report

  7. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Obama is similar to Bush in yet another way: He’s not in a particularly strong position a little less than a year away from the election. Not saying he’s weak or anything like that, but he’s nowhere *NEAR* the Juggernaut that he seemed to be in 2008. Pretty much the only thing that saved Bush’s bacon was how absolutely awful, awful of a candidate Kerry was. (I said then and I’ll say again: I can think of a handful of candidates who would have won every single state that Kerry won *PLUS* Ohio. Gephardt foremost among them.)

    The thing that seems to be ready to save Obama’s bacon is the fact that the Republican field is so terribly weak. I can’t see anybody out there who strikes me as likely to beat Obama… maybe Newt would be able to deliver Virginia more reliably than Bachmann would… but I don’t see anybody who is guaranteed to sew up the South, Mountain West, and two or three Midwestern states.

    The only guy who would be able to, I think, is Chris Christie (and he ain’t runnin’).

    Unless there is one of those events that nobody could have foreseen (Obama losing his shit on National Television or something of that magnitude), he’s going to win it again… much like Bush did in 2004. Whomever runs in 2016 will likely come across as a Juggernaut in the vacuum created by Obama’s second term.Report

    • Avatar Tom Van Dyke in reply to Jaybird says:

      Yah, JB.  Gephardt had a chance for my vote.  One of the last of the old Democrats.Report

    • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to Jaybird says:

      The only reason I am hoping for Gingrich to get the nomination at all is that it will make me look like Kreskin when we unearth our time capsule next November.Report

    • Avatar Michael Drew in reply to Jaybird says:

      There’s actually a decent argument that Kerry outperformed the fundamentals: the economy was decent to good (as experienced in real time by households); Bush’s approval was above the critical 50% mark (fully 53%, considerably greater than his eventual vote share); disapproval of the handling of the Iraq war had not yet taken the decisive turn against the President that it took in 2005-6 (despite the Left’s vocal displeasure).  Katrina had not happened yet.  It’s important not to read Bush’s second-term unpopularity back onto his first term.  The American public was pretty happy with the policies of George W. Bush’s first term.  So they re-elected him.  War hero John Kerry, whatever his limitations as a campaigner, wasn’t that bad a candidate for the Democrats to offer to a country that needed to be led out of one misbegotten and two mismanaged wars, and those limitations didn’t really end up costing Senator Kerry or his party the White House.Report

    • Avatar Koz in reply to Jaybird says:

      “The thing that seems to be ready to save Obama’s bacon is the fact that the Republican field is so terribly weak. I can’t see anybody out there who strikes me as likely to beat Obama… maybe Newt would be able to deliver Virginia more reliably than Bachmann would…”

      Btw JB, are you still interested in standing by your prior arguments about the electoral demise of the Republicans?

      As it relates to the Presidential race, for a long time people said there was GOP lock on the Electoral College. That argument was more or less wrong, but I do think it holds water for the 2012 cycle. The GOP candidate is going to be the presumptive winner of the Bush-Gore or Bush-Kerry states. He will also be very competitive in the Rust Belt/Upper Midwest, and the electoral votes the Republican wins there will largely be padding the margin of victory.

      The hypothetical demographic weaknesses of the GOP will not come soon enough or big enough to help President Obama.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Koz says:

        I believe that my point on the Republican electoral demise is that a program of “we’re epsilon better than Democrats!” is unlikely to turn into anything except for the pendulum swinging to after it swings fro.Report

        • Avatar Koz in reply to Jaybird says:

          Ok, then I think you have to concede a change in perception (if not a change of heart) because that was definitely not how you characterized the future of the GOP a year or so ago.

          Of course, it’s a substantial part of the disagreement between us that the GOP’s program reduces to the equation (GOP = Demo + epsilon).Report

          • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Koz says:

            Please provide a quotation, my man.

            I can provide you a number of times where I tried to get you to acknowledge that Republican rule from 2002-2006 was representative of what Republicans actually govern like when they have all three branches and you calling me “petulant” in response.

            Could you quote me? Because I’m pretty sure that would have said that the Republicans will never be more than alternative bums to throw out after the Democrats have been in power long enough… (and that you (as in you personally) shouldn’t see the electorate throwing the Democratic Bums out as a mandate for Republican Rule).Report

            • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jaybird says:

              I think the thread you’re looking for is here.

              And here’s my comment that encapsulates my position:

              my argument is, and has been, the following:

              For the last few cycles, the only reason Party X has won the White House, House of Representatives, or Senate is because Party Y has been actively malicious when they were in power.

              The Republicans will win this fall.

              Why?

              Because the Democrats are actively malicious.

              Once the Democrats are in the minority, it will be the Republicans’ turn to be actively malicious.

              With luck, they will strangle anything Obama tries to do and Obama will strangle anything they try to do. Sweet, sweet gridlock.

              And once the Republicans are in power, real power, again… they will go back to being the feckless, reckless, unprincipled charlatans that they were last time.

              And, again, they will lose shortly thereafter.

              And your inability to see how someone might see 2002-2006 as representative of Republican rule is honestly flabbergasting to me.

              Do you work for them? You seem to be a smart guy who can finish a sentence… is it money that makes you say such obvious twaddle?Report

              • Avatar Tom Van Dyke in reply to Jaybird says:

                JB, politician suckage is a constant on both sides of the equation that can be zeroed out.

                However, a complete skepticism [nihilism?] about the two parties’ first principles is unhelpful.  The Dems will ratchet up the welfare state; the GOP will be the only home for libertarian principles.

                The Dems believe in “positive” rights, that government’s purpose is the relief of man’s estate, and indeed to transform our culture; the GOP that governments are instituted to secure “negative” rights and not muck much with the “culture”.

                This isn’t to say that the GOP hadn’t fallen into such suckage in 2006 and 2008 that “throw the bums out” wasn’t the only cure. Sometimes the suckage is so great that it outweighs any consideration of first principles.  As we saw in the UK with Cameron and Spain recently tossing the Socialists, an electorate sometimes finds it necessary to toss the party they tend to agree with.  Power corrupts.

                But that’s not the equation in every election.  In fact, 2012 finds us with a split government: they’re all bums, so the question is where we go from here after we zero out the bum constant.

                 Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Tom Van Dyke says:

                For me and my house, we will choose one of those Third Parties.

                I keep hoping the Republicans will split, myself.Report

              • Avatar Jesse Ewiak in reply to Jaybird says:

                As a Democrat, I hope the Republicans split as well. 🙂Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jesse Ewiak says:

                The Democrats will split shortly thereafter.

                “Where else you gonna go?” loses much of its bite when there is someplace else to go.Report

              • Avatar RTod in reply to Jesse Ewiak says:

                ????

                Out of curiosity, which of the obvious GOP camps to you see the Dems flocking toward after this Republican schism…. The pro-business corporatist wing of the social conservative pro-marriage wing?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jesse Ewiak says:

                I think that a religious populist party would appeal to a great many religious populists who currently have a home in the Democratic Party.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Jesse Ewiak says:

                I have no time at all today, alas, but a Republican party that broke up along either foreign policy lines (interventionist/noninterventionist) or even moreso over social policy (libertine/social con) would definitly produce a segment that would have considerable draw to right wingish Democrats I’d think.Report

              • Avatar Jesse Ewiak in reply to Jesse Ewiak says:

                I was being somewhat snarky, but I actually believe we won’t see a change in the electoral college until the DNC and GOP both lose elections close to one another due to third parties on both sides of the aisle.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Jaybird says:

                “The Republicans will win this fall.”

                You’re talking about 2010 I take it. If you’re talking about 2012 I think this represents a significant change from what you’ve written in the last week or whatever. In any case clarity helps, especially if specifically requested.

                “And your inability to see how someone might see 2002-2006 as representative of Republican rule is honestly flabbergasting to me.”

                I can see well enough how somebody might think that. It’s my point that the people who do (such as yourself, presumably) are either wrong, myopic, or are mis-framing the situation, depending on circumstances.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Koz says:

                The quotation I provided is from a thread back from 2010, yes.

                It’s the thread I quoted in the thread you quoted when I asked you to quote me then, too.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Jaybird says:

                Great, then we can get to the other point. Ie, I can see well enough how somebody might think that Republican policy from 2002-2006 represents Republican policy for all time. It’s my point that the people who do (such as yourself, presumably) are either wrong, myopic, or are mis-framing the situation, depending on circumstances.Report

              • Avatar wardsmith in reply to Koz says:

                Ownership of errors only belongs to the GOP. They had to sit in the minority sidelines for 40 years while the Dems dished up heaping helpings of pork barrel political favors to buy constituency after constituency. Once they had the majority (coincidentally with Gingrich on board) for the first time in four decades, they followed the time honored tradition already firmly established by the Democrats. Then a funny thing happened. The press, which had sat oddly silent through 40 years of graft and outright corruption suddenly found its voice again and were devout believers in (heretofore unrecognizable) good governance. Funny how the press recovered from such long term laryngitis. It seems they have a reverse allergic reaction to the GOP. 🙂Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Koz says:

                I’m not talking about the press, Wardsmith.

                I’m talking about Republicans from 2002-2006 and discussing such things as “fiscal restraint”. If they want to explain that Republican rule from 2002-2006 is *NOT* representative of Republican rule, the burden of proof is on them and appeals to Eisenhower and Coolidge are not sufficient.Report

              • Avatar wardsmith in reply to Koz says:

                Asked and answered elsewhere JB. The Reps who played like Dems got tossed out (deservedly IMO). What’s always funny to me in these discussions is how the GOP is continually held to a higher moral standard than the Democrats. Show me the GOP equivalent to Huey Long, then show me the equivalent to Daley (father and son). Corrupt democrats can hold onto power indefinitely, amazingly. Students of the art refer to this as political patronage machinery. The GOP are rank amateurs in this arena. As far as press treatment is concerned, when a Republican commits a crime, it is indicative of “a culture of corruption” while a Democrat committing a crime is ignored, laughed at, then given a condescending “boys will be boys” treatment.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Koz says:

                Wardsmith, if I wanted to explain that whatever overlap that my ideology has with the Republican ideology is when it comes to Fiscal Responsibility and it was pointed out that Republicans are America’s Only Hope For Fiscal Sanity and I brought up 2002-2006 as a reason to not trust Republicans when it came to matters Fiscal… what then?

                The press gives Democrats a pass when it comes to sexual harassment?Report

              • Avatar wardsmith in reply to Koz says:

                The “then” of what then is the proof that the GOP has shown a self-correcting feedback mechanism provided by the voters who put them into office. So we had the interesting role-reversal of Democrats getting elected into office from traditionally bellweather Republican strongholds. The Democrats retook the majorities they had enjoyed for so long and immediately went back to (crony) business as usual. They were shocked, shocked to discover that gambling wasn’t allowed in Congress in 2010. The only reason they held the majority in the Senate was the Tea Party putting up some abysmal candidates, a point well known to all and sundry. Democrats haven’t gotten the memo that crony-capitalism is looked down upon by the constituency.

                Do I mistrust government? Absolutely! Do I mistrust the GOP somewhat less than the Dems? Absolutely! Do I wish there were a third party that was a legitimate alternative to the above? Absolutely!Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Koz says:

                You’re stuck with two options, it seems to me.

                Keep trying with the Republicans or Go Third Party.

                You strike me as someone who might, in theory, understand why someone might Go Third Party. Koz tends to take the attitude that Libertarians should either get on the train or wonder why they’ve been left at the station… to the point where he doesn’t even understand why someone might think that 2002-2006 might be representative of how Republicans would act if they had the House, the Senate, and the Presidency.Report

              • Avatar wardsmith in reply to Koz says:

                So the fundamental disconnect is whether it is possible for a party lo “learn its lesson”? In standard Pavlovian training, there is a reward mechanism. As long as the electorate rewards the representatives for doing what they do, they will not learn. Conversely the “punishment” of not getting re-elected should have some effect, no?

                Congress has an approval rating of something like 9% today. However, the LOCAL congresscritters have a substantially higher approval rating, often corresponding almost exactly to the margin by which they were voted into office. Ask someone in the south side of Chicago what they think of Congress and 90% will say it sucks. Ask them what they think of Bobby Rush and 80% will say he’s just swell.

                Here’s the problem with politics in this country.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Koz says:

                Wardsmith, a million years ago, I wrote this.

                I still stand by it.Report

              • Avatar wardsmith in reply to Koz says:

                I agree with what you wrote JB, but the problem in our system is that roughly 50% of the physical country benefits strongly from corrupt politicians. Who cares how fat Boss Hogg is getting if he’s bringing home the bacon? All politics is local and at a local level, corrupt politicians (generally) win out. That bridge to nowhere would have been business as usual under Democrat leadership. The concept that Republicans were fiduciary champions is what bit them in the butt, not the merits or demerits of their actions. Look how many places in West Virginia have the name “Byrd” on them.Report

              • Avatar Jesse Ewiak in reply to Koz says:

                Um, pork is a non-partisan activity. Senator Ted Stevens says hello. I’m well aware you think Democrat’s are far more corrupt than Republican’s, but ignoring that, pork works in both parties. It’s why even Ron Paul tries to get it.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Koz says:

                The comparison that I made to Koz that he didn’t really understand was to Abortion.

                If you can see how Abortion might be the most important thing ever to someone and you can see how they might say “the Republicans have never moved the ball one freakin’ inch on abortion” and, from there, see how they might join the Constitution Party or something, then you can understand my position.

                Yes, I understand that the Democrats are worse on Abortion. Yes, I understand how you think that I need to be more open-minded about Abortion. Yes, I understand how you think that I should be willing to play some push/pull games to get the ball moving… but there is a point at which you really need to understand what you sound like when you say “The Republican Party is America’s best hope when it comes to saving the lives of innocent fetuses.”

                The Republicans haven’t done shit and I still need to look at myself in the mirror. Let me know when you’re willing to sacrifice shit that you actually care about in service to stuff that I actually care about instead of just slapping your lips together.

                Yeah, I know. “The Democrats are worse.” Don’t forget to point out how the Republicans are America’s best hope.Report

              • Avatar wardsmith in reply to Koz says:

                Geeze Jess, you’re a regular Mensa candidate, what with being able to recognize MY reference to Stevens in MY own post! I never said the GOP doesn’t do pork but I WILL say that the Dems do it oh so much better. They aren’t claiming the moral high ground, they can wallow with the Hoggs all the live long day.Report

              • Avatar Tom Van Dyke in reply to Koz says:

                I’m a Tammany Hall fan, “honest graft.”  Screw the moralists: that system worked.

                http://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/plunkett-george/tammany-hall/

                This is one for Mr. Murali.

                Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Koz says:

                “Koz tends to take the attitude that Libertarians should either get on the train or wonder why they’ve been left at the station…”

                Well yeah, that’s part of it. But not all of it by any means.

                At least as important as that is the possibility of libertarians or Libertarians to be credible advocates for freedom and limited government in America, regardless of the political consequences.

                You can be all about marijuana dispensaries if you want to. But in a situation where global finance is hovering right at the edge of stability and American political discourse is in the middle of knock-down drag-out bar brawl over fiscal policy, if you are all about the marijuana dispensaries people can look and see that and figure (quite correctly), this guy could give a shit about our economy and its future.

                And as political consequences go, the people who do care about our economy and its future will try and find each other and get in the fight while there’s still something worth winning. And in the fullness of time, the cops will continue to bust heads on the stoners because the people who might be able to do something about it have other fish to fry.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Koz says:

                Koz, this is why it’s important to see what the Republicans are like when they are in power.

                If, when they are in power, they are not exemplars, it becomes very important to say something like “look, I know that the last time the Republicans were in power, they were not exemplars”. This communicates that, at the very least, *SOME* self-reflection has taken place since the last time.

                As it stands, you are far more interested in talking about how awful the democrats are, how awful Obama is, and how Libertarians are unserious if the main thing that they look for is sackcloth and ashes for Republicans (when they *NEVER* ask for those things from Democrats).

                This is all well and good. Fair enough.

                It doesn’t mean that you understand my argument, though.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Koz says:

                Jaybird, take a look at what you just wrote and explain to me why you are not confusing your own personal willingness to support the Republicans (or lack of it) with the overall general prospects for the Republicans to have electoral success.

                To be more clear, here’s how it looks to me. I, Jaybird, won’t personally support Republicans until they explicitly repudiate the policies of GWB from 2002-2006 (and probably a few other things besides). But, when it comes to the overall lay of the land, that’s a matter of pendulums swinging and what not. Then, why do you take your own animus to the GOP circa 2002-2006 as responsive to the Republicans’ political situation? And then, when that turns out not to be the case, it was all a matter of pendulums. Well if it was all a matter of pendulums, why do we need the first part?

                And, let’s also notice that the pendulums business never comes into play except as a fallback after the GOP wins in spite of 2002. I don’t remember reading anything from about about why the pendulum swings or what might cause it to stop. If you’ve written anything on that, I’d like to see it.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Koz says:

                Because I equate “success” with more than “being next in line when the bums get thrown out”.

                I don’t remember reading anything from about about why the pendulum swings or what might cause it to stop. If you’ve written anything on that, I’d like to see it.

                The pendulum swings because that is the way of the world. See, for example, Ecclesiastes. What might cause it to stop? I wrote a post detailing 12 Steps that might result in it stopping.

                But it doesn’t matter. You still don’t understand my argument.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Koz says:

                “Because I equate “success” with more than “being next in line when the bums get thrown out”.”

                No Jay, that doesn’t make any sense. Given what you think of the Republicans why would any Republican ever think that?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Koz says:

                Because you apparently refuse to see 2006 and 2008 as a rebuke to actions taken by the Republicans from 2002-2006 and you see, for some reason, 2010 as electoral success on the part of the Republicans that, somehow, refutes my argument that the Republicans would win come autumn 2010 because the electorate is “throwing the bums out”.Report

            • Avatar Koz in reply to Jaybird says:

              Actually, I was thinking more of this:

              https://ordinary-times.com/blog/2010/10/13/crickets-chirping/

              (Including my last comment on that thread which referenced other examples)Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Koz says:

                This is the wacky thing, Koz.

                I asked you to quote me. Instead you provided a link.

                Here, I’ll quote me from the link you posted:

                I don’t think I said what you said I said.

                Could you provide a cite?

                I provided a cite where I said the opposite of what you think I said along with a hypothesis that you don’t understand my argument.

                Could you provide a cite where I said this?

                Given that I’ve provided a cite where I’ve said the exact opposite, I’m getting all popper when I say that my “you don’t understand what I’m saying” hypothesis ain’t been falsified yet.

                I’m almost willing to make it a theory.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Jaybird says:

                It’s right there Jay

                https://ordinary-times.com/blog/2010/10/13/crickets-chirping/#comment-75732

                pointing to

                https://ordinary-times.com/blog/2010/02/17/the-first-draft-not-the-compromised-second-draft/#comment-41066

                https://ordinary-times.com/blog/2010/02/17/the-first-draft-not-the-compromised-second-draft/#comment-41082

                https://ordinary-times.com/blog/2009/06/24/the-big-tent/#comment-10974

                wherein you wrote:

                “Well, good luck with that. We hope you’re happy with your 41-59 Senate, minority status in the House, and Obama in the White House.”

                and

                “Enjoy your cattle car.

                Until the Republicans can explain that they understand why the libertarians left, they can look forward to continuing to complain about how those grapes were sour anyway.”

                and

                “I’ll just say that Republicans need the people who walked away far, far more than the people who walked away need Republicans… and until the Republicans realize that, they will continue to enjoy the endorphins that come from realizing that they have finally achieved a relatively pure coalition (without enjoying the endorphins that come from winning huge election victories).”

                There can be more examples if necessary.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Koz says:

                Wacky. When I quote myself, I quote myself in entirety. You leave out important sentences.

                One wonders if this is in service to the point you’re trying to make when quoting the entire comment would not be.

                But let’s look at your comment fragments.

                “Well, good luck with that. We hope you’re happy with your 41-59 Senate, minority status in the House, and Obama in the White House.”

                This is a description of the Senate, House, and White House at the time of the comment. Is it your position that the Senate was not 41-59, the Republicans did not have a minority, and Obama was not in the White House?

                “Enjoy your cattle car.

                Until the Republicans can explain that they understand why the libertarians left, they can look forward to continuing to complain about how those grapes were sour anyway.”

                This is me explaining why the Republicans pretty much shouldn’t look forward to Libertarians rejoining the coalition. For one thing, they can’t even explain why the Libertarians left the coalition… just that they did.

                (Now, I do think that Libertarians may tactically support Republicans from time to time to throw bums out but that should not be confused with rejoining a coalition.)

                “I’ll just say that Republicans need the people who walked away far, far more than the people who walked away need Republicans… and until the Republicans realize that, they will continue to enjoy the endorphins that come from realizing that they have finally achieved a relatively pure coalition (without enjoying the endorphins that come from winning huge election victories).”

                And I think I still stand by this.

                Unless you think that the Republicans won a huge victory in 2010 and that they’re poised to win another huge one in 2012…

                All that to say:

                Koz: You do not understand my argument.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Jaybird says:

                “One wonders if this is in service to the point you’re trying to make when quoting the entire comment would not be.”

                Not at all. Wrt the first case we can see that the GOP has reclaimed control of the House of Representatives in 2010 and look like reclaiming control of the Senate and the White House in 2012. All this without making the libertarians any happier or supposedly understanding the nature of their dissatisfaction in the first place.

                This is contrary to your assertion that they would remain in the electoral wilderness until that happened.

                It’s one thing to say X, Y, or Z for rhetorical effect, but if you’re called on it you’ve got to come up with a coherent argument. I try to sort this out as best as I can.

                It might help (or might not) to think about Bob Cheeks instead of yourself here. Cheeks writes this or that outlandish crap. In and of itself it’s not a big deal except that he repeats it enough to the point where he can’t differentiate what he write for rhetorical effect from what he writes for real.

                In the present case, you seem to be confused with your own support (or the libertarians’ support) for the Republican party (or lack of it) with the electoral success of the party in general.

                If we have learned anything in the last say, 18 months, we can say that the Republicans and the Americans who tend to vote Republican are a completely plausible candidate to be the dominant force in American politics for the forseeable future. And yes, Jay, that is contrary to what you’ve asserted here at the League on many occasions. Check the tape.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jaybird says:

                Wrt the first case we can see that the GOP has reclaimed control of the House of Representatives in 2010 and look like reclaiming control of the Senate and the White House in 2012. All this without making the libertarians any happier or supposedly understanding the nature of their dissatisfaction in the first place.

                Yes. The electorate threw the bums out.

                As I said they would in the comment I quoted.

                I don’t think you understand my argument.

                This is contrary to your assertion that they would remain in the electoral wilderness until that happened.

                I did not say what you say I said.

                I don’t think you understand my argument.

                In the present case, you seem to be confused with your own support (or the libertarians’ support) for the Republican party (or lack of it) with the electoral success of the party in general.

                No, I see my lack of support for the Republican party as a quirk on my part. What I see with regards to the electoral success of the party in general has to do with the electorate throwing the bums out and the pendulum swinging.

                I said this in the comment I quoted.

                I don’t think you understand my argument.

                If we have learned anything in the last say, 18 months, we can say that the Republicans and the Americans who tend to vote Republican are a completely plausible candidate to be the dominant force in American politics for the forseeable future. And yes, Jay, that is contrary to what you’ve asserted here at the League on many occasions. Check the tape.

                What I’ve asserted here at the League on many occasions is that the pendulum swings. You see the throwing out of the bums as a mandate and then see people pointing out the record of what happened when your party was actually in power as irrelevant to the discussion of why libertarians should get on board.

                I don’t think you understand my argument.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Jaybird says:

                “I don’t think you understand my argument.”

                That could be. I have to go by what you wrote. And if what you wrote is rhetorical, an extended metaphor or some other way substantially different from what you intend your argument to be, then yes I won’t understand it.

                What you wrote is that I should enjoy my cattle car and the rest of it. Appealing to the full context doesn’t help because the full context is that the Republicans will not be electorally successful until some nebulous never-achieved criterion. Presumably they must be reconciled with the policies or at least the preferences of libertarians, as measured by you.

                But this is contrary to the plain facts on the ground of our political situation. The Republican party doesn’t have to ride in the cattle car. They have already enjoyed the endorphins of a very successful election in 2010, and they very well might enjoy another one in 2012.

                If there is some reason why the Demos necessarily must rebound after that, you haven’t mentioned it. Similarly, you will never explicate (or at least you haven’t yet) why Republican policy from 2002-2006 binds Republican policy now and for all time. Can we at least avoid the magical invocations to 2002 or anything else and argue something straight up?

                Among other things, it’s probably a dubious position that the GOP will not be electorally successful because they will never have credibility for fiscal restraint until they explicitly repudiate 2002-2006. My guess is you wouldn’t argue that political angle yourself even if it is your personal position. But, we gotta be clear to find out.Report

              • Avatar James Hanley in reply to Jaybird says:

                it’s probably a dubious position that the GOP will not be electorally successful because they will never have credibility for fiscal restraint until they explicitly repudiate 2002-2006.

                That’s true, because the public doesn’t actually seem to care.  Of course that’s why the GOP could get away in the first place with carrying on in a way that demonstrated the utter falsity of  their so-called principles.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jaybird says:

                I have to go by what you wrote.

                But you don’t.

                When I quote myself, I give the full quotes. You even seem surprised to read some of them. When you quote me, you leave out information that clarifies the truncated quotations.

                You *STILL* seem to think that my argument is that the Republican party will never recover from the bludgeoning they took in 2006 and 2008… when it is my position that they don’t understand why they took a bludgeoning in 2006 and 2008 and that they will never be able to take *AND HOLD* a majority without understanding why.

                And you point to how the pendulum swings and point to the fact that the bums got thrown out again as evidence that the Libertarians can either get on board or wonder why they’re not on board.

                What you wrote is that I should enjoy my cattle car and the rest of it.

                This quotation has a context. The context was you telling the Libertarians that they should get on board the train or be left at the station.

                I told you, in response to this, to enjoy your cattle car. And, yes, the rest of it.

                Appealing to the full context doesn’t help because the full context is that the Republicans will not be electorally successful until some nebulous never-achieved criterion.

                I did not say that the Republicans will not be electorally successful.

                I have said over and over and Over and OVER AND OVER THAT THE PENDULUM SWINGS, KOZ. THE PENDULUM SWINGS.

                The fact that you think that I am saying that the Republicans will never be the beneficiary of bums being thrown out tells me that you do not understand my argument and the fact that in response to my asking you for quotations to bolster your reading of my argument you post truncated quotations tells me, again, that you do not understand my argument.

                If there is some reason why the Demos necessarily must rebound after that, you haven’t mentioned it.

                It’s because the pendulum swings, Koz.

                Similarly, you will never explicate (or at least you haven’t yet) why Republican policy from 2002-2006 binds Republican policy now and for all time.

                It’s more that my argument is that a good indicator of how Republicans will act once they are in power is to look at how Republicans act when they are in power… and, from there, if people are unwilling to say “oh, yeah, they really screwed that up” then there is no reason to believe that Republicans will act differently the next time that they are in power.

                It’s the “failure to acknowledge that mistakes were made” that brings me there. It’s the “desire to change the topic to how much worse the Democrats are” that tells me that the main principles are “rely on the pendulum to swing” and “keep relying on the pendulum to swing”.

                Among other things, it’s probably a dubious position that the GOP will not be electorally successful because they will never have credibility for fiscal restraint until they explicitly repudiate 2002-2006.

                This is not my argument. It has never been my argument. I have provided many quotations with my actual argument. It doesn’t matter.

                My guess is you wouldn’t argue that political angle yourself even if it is your personal position. But, we gotta be clear to find out.

                It doesn’t matter what I type. It doesn’t matter what I say. It doesn’t matter if I post quotations where I clarified it last time.

                You do not understand my argument.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Jaybird says:

                “I did not say that the Republicans will not be electorally successful.”

                That doesn’t quite work Jay. Because for whatever else you wrote, you also wrote this:

                “Well, good luck with that. We hope you’re happy with your 41-59 Senate, minority status in the House, and Obama in the White House.”

                And this doesn’t make sense any other way. The Republicans will continue to wander the wildnerness until they see the error of some X (IIRC you’ve even used that exact phrase). If you mean something else, you have to walk this back first.

                “And you point to how the pendulum swings and point to the fact that the bums got thrown out again as evidence that the Libertarians can either get on board or wonder why they’re not on board.”

                No, the evidence that the Libertarians need to get on board is that they haven’t done anything, even a substantial body of advocacy let alone real political achievements, without being in some de facto alliance with the broader mainstream Right. It’s actually (to my mind at least) a much more powerful version of your argument.

                “It’s more that my argument is that a good indicator of how Republicans will act once they are in power is to look at how Republicans act when they are in power… and, from there, if people are unwilling to say “oh, yeah, they really screwed that up” then there is no reason to believe that Republicans will act differently the next time that they are in power.”

                See above. Why do you care about what the Republicans did or didn’t do from 2002-2006 (or during the Obama Administration) when without being part of the mainstream Right libertarians haven’t done anything useful ever ever ever under any circumstances ever (did I get enough “ever”s in?)?Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Jaybird says:

                There’s another response in moderation with links. If you can publish it we can see the links.Report

  8. Avatar Kyle Cupp says:

    Part of the problem: we like our distractions, and in general we’re not serious about selecting our president.Report

    • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to Kyle Cupp says:

      I agree with this, I think mostly.  My one question, which I’m not sure about, is how much of of “us” really do pay attention to the Herman Cains of the world?  I can’t decide if it’s most of us, or just a small subset of us that like to wonk out on politics.Report

    • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to Kyle Cupp says:

      I’d like to think this, but more and more I’m drawn to the idea of a conspiracy by giant corporate America.  Romney is their anointed candidate, and the Supreme Court has cleared the way for the corporates to spend as much money as it takes to get him elected.  However, his positions on some issues needed “tweaking.”  So Rick Perry pushed Romney in the “drill, baby, drill” and “dig, baby, dig” direction.  Herman Cain pushed him in the direction of flat income taxes and further reductions in capital gains rates.  For various reasons, I suspect that Newt’s thing will be to push him in the direction of converting Medicaid to a block grant program from an entitlement.

      And overall, they don’t want Mitt to wrap things up until the last minute, because they want him to have minimal time to retreat from those positions.  Even running from significantly to Obama’s right, the corporates think they can buy the election for Romney.Report

  9. Avatar E.C. Gach says:

    “I don’t mean to be harsh, but in retrospect it should have been easy for anyone to see that Perry is not a nimble thinker and wasn’t going to improve anytime soon.”

    Not being very familiar with how Perry presented at the time, I was taken aback by just how bad he’s been.  Who were these political/pundit experts and journos saying that he had a real chance?  I think a lot of us took it on faith that these people at least knew what they were talking about enough to decide he had potential.

    On Newt, well, I seriously can’t believe how much serious people are entertaining questions about “how does he win?”

    He doesn’t, my God he doesn’t.Report

    • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to E.C. Gach says:

      When I was saying “it should have been easy to see…” I was referring to those king makers, pundits, and journalists that had seen enough of Perry to decide to make him front page news.

      I think for most of the rest of us the first debate was the first real glimpse we had of the guy, and I suspect that most people’s reaction was similar to my own: “Oo, bad start!  But he’s obviously talented to make everyone that knows him excited – he’ll just be that much stronger in the next one!”Report

      • Avatar E.C. Gach in reply to Tod Kelly says:

        No, no Tod, I totally agree.  Sorry for the confusion.  I was asking that rhetorically in the same sense you get at, as in, really, this is what these people are paid to do and they all bought into this?Report

        • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to E.C. Gach says:

          I wonder how much of what they get paid to do is find bright shiny objects that we’ll agree to watch for a few months.Report

        • Avatar DarrenG in reply to E.C. Gach says:

          Compared to the rest of the field Perry has one of the best, and most conventional, resumes. He’s also second only to Romney in fundraising, even now, so there were quite a few good reasons to predict he’d be a much stronger candidate than he has been.

          It’s also recently come to light that Perry’s been on heavy duty pain meds since a back surgery he had right about the time he entered the race, which could explain at least a few things about his dismal campaign (the Fred “Sleepy Time” Thompson comparisons appear especially apt.)Report

  10. Avatar Koz says:

    IMO, Jay Cost and Nate Silver are the two best horserace-type political analysts we have in broad circulation today. It is possible that President Obama has a non-negligible chance of reelection but everyone who thinks so should read this.

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/morning-jay-obama-s-reelection-strategy-riddled-problems_610750.html?nopager=1Report

  11. Avatar Murali says:

    I’m a Tammany Hall fan, “honest graft.”  Screw the moralists: that system worked.

    Unless Plunkitt was trolling, he is apalling. The problem with graft, honest or otherwise is that it is a kind of zero sum interaction. It doesnt create wealth, merely redistributes it. In fact, it creates inefficiencies by giving jobs and responsibilities to people who may very well be far from the best person for the job.Report