That’s a Point in His Favor

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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39 Responses

  1. Vikram Bath says:

    I’d also note it’s kind of unfair in particular to critique a US textile manufacturer for outsourcing. It’s not really an industry we are close to competitive in except for very specific niches. There is something like a 60-year history of textile outsourcing. If he managed to keep the company afloat, that’s a miracle in and of itself regardless of the means by which he did it. The median performance of a textile manufacturer in the US has been bankruptcy.Report

  2. zic says:

    For a few moments, as I read, I filled in ‘chickens’ instead of ‘textiles’ and pondered out-sourced chicken farming and poultry processing.

    And then I got my industries/brands unkinked.

    I particularly like and agree with this sentiment:

    And to be clear, I’m not saying this because I’m, a “Yay outsourcing!” guy. I neither love nor hate the concept, in the same way I neither love nor hate corporate donations to the United Way. A little bit is probably good for everyone in the long run; too much is probably bad for everyone over the long run. Where those lines cross on the graph of life is a question better answered by smarter folk than I.


  3. Creon Critic says:

    Keep in mind he’s reportedly been bragging through the campaign about his record in the private sector as a job creator.

    To what extent has Perdue really avoided “issuing oblique, meandering, and purposefully obfuscating babble designed mislead voters into thinking that they have always believed strongly in some politically advantageous notion that they don’t even really believe in now.”?

    Look at the campaign manager’s followup (Politico):

    Perdue campaign manager Derrick Dickey said it was wrong to suggest from Perdue’s statements that the Republican candidate wanted to ship jobs overseas. Perdue’s comments about “outsourcing,” Dickey said, referred to a “company contracting with an outside source, not the direct shift of jobs overseas.”

    Dickey added: “At various positions throughout [Perdue’s] career, he helped his company identify international manufacturing sources, but that had nothing to do with determining how much product the company produced domestically versus internationally.”


    “This company was — one of the problems this company had was [it was] overburdened with domestic manufacturing capacity. And those cost of goods out of those factories were significantly higher than the costs or the prices coming in from importers at that time,” Perdue said.

    Dickey said those comments didn’t necessarily mean that Pillowtex would be laying off U.S workers under the plan being implemented by Perdue. Dickey said Perdue was not responsible for crafting the Pillowtex reorganization plan, just implementing it.

    The campaign manager said “bad government policies” are responsible for the loss of American manufacturing jobs, not the companies or executives who run them — a line oft-repeated by Perdue during the race.

  4. Saul Degraw says:

    I’m trying to sing your opening paragraph like Sam Cooke but it just is not working.

    I suppose it is good that he is being honest and not running from the record. It probably does not matter because Georgia is now among as red as it gets and he would probably win even if he acted like a coward and back-tracked and tried to hand-wave away.

    According to all the research I’ve seen the economy has been doing well under Obama and we just had some of our best job growth ever in 2014. Or 2014 is the best year for job growth in the 21st century so far.

    Yet unlike previous times, the Democratic Party is probably going to be handed some smashing defeats in 2014 unless they do a great GOTV campaign in the next month.

    There are a few reasons for this. One is that the Democratic Party has seats up for reelection in very Republican friendly places and we are big sorting more. The second is that people are still not perceiving the economy as being good because they are reeling from the scars of the great Recession and their savings have been destroyed and yet to recover. The third could be that partisanship is just getting more solid (this is sort of related to point one).Report

    • James Hanley in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      I’m trying to sing your opening paragraph like Sam Cooke but it just is not working.

      You just ain’t got soul, Saul!Report

    • According to all the research I’ve seen the economy has been doing well under Obama and we just had some of our best job growth ever in 2014. Or 2014 is the best year for job growth in the 21st century so far.

      Yet unlike previous times, the Democratic Party is probably going to be handed some smashing defeats in 2014 unless they do a great GOTV campaign in the next month.

      It’s not particularly unusual that the president’s party tends to lose during the elections into the first half of his second term.

      Also, it’s difficult to know if the economy is doing well because of Obama, in spite of him, or some combination of both, or other reasons entirely.Report

    • gingergene in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      Actually, Georgia is getting little bits o’ blue- Perdue is in a competitive race with Michelle Nunn (Sam’s kid), and the Governor (Nathan Deal) is neck-and-neck with Jason Carter (Jimmy’s grandson). Georgia law doesn’t allow a plurality win, and right now it looks like both races are very likely going to go to a run-off.

      In both cases, the main spoilers are to the right of both major party candidates, so run-offs favor the Republicans. But as run-offs in GA are typically low-turnout events, a really good GOTV effort could win it for either candidate.

      I do find the dynasty aspect frustrating, but I like the politics of Nunn and Carter so much better than their opponents that it’s not worth making a huge fuss over, and it’s not like politics is the only career that has people following their parents into it. But hopefully in the future GA Dems can recruit a more diverse candidate field than “direct descendents of people who’ve already won statewide elections”.Report

      • My treatment of the standard red/blue cartogram stuff for Georgia from the 2012 Presidential election here. Top map is an outline for the counties, colored red/blue for Romney/Obama. Second map is a cartogram with the county sizes reflecting population (metro Atlanta sticks out). Third map is the same cartogram, but with shades of purple to reflect how extreme the vote was.

        There are a whole lot of states with the red/blue split along rural/urban lines.Report

      • Will Truman in reply to gingergene says:

        What’s notable to me is that many of the suburban counties surrounding Atlanta are red. If you look at Philadelphia, they’re blue. Houston red, Seattle blue.

        And that, as far as I am concerned, is the defining distinction between red state and blue, most of the time.Report

      • @will-truman
        Yep. Colorado’s swing from red to blue over the last decade has been decided largely by the Denver suburbs. All of the paperwork subsequent to yesterday’s Supreme Court action (non-action?) on SSM has been done, the Colorado county clerks are required to issue SSM licenses, and there’s been very little screaming. I don’t expect much screaming — there are three important races this year that if the Republicans want to win or hold, they need to do much better in the Denver suburbs than they did two years ago.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to gingergene says:

        Down here in Colorado Springs, there was a lot of demoralized Republican types following the Bush implosion. An attitude that said that Focus on the Family did better work when they talked about the Family than when they talked about the government. That sort of thing. The day after the 2012 elections, a *HUGE* number of really conservative female co-workers were *LIVID* at Akin and his ilk. They blamed Colorado’s bluing on the socons.

        Current batch of conservative co-workers talk about the wars overseas, spending, and “law and order”. I never hear anybody complain about gay marriage anymore.Report

      • gingergene in reply to gingergene says:

        And to be fair, Deal’s struggle is due more to some specific corruption-related issues than a general dissatisfaction with Republican policies. I think he’s just a classic case of the sort of crappy-quality politician you get when one party goes too long with no competition.Report

      • @jaybird
        I don’t disagree with the conservative female coworkers. My own perception of the last decade in Colorado (three years of which working for the state legislature) are: 2006 and 2008 were the Bush backlash; 2010 was the state Republicans shooting themselves in the foot (geez, Maes almost cost the Republicans their status as a major party); and 2012 was McNulty and the state Republicans saying, “We’ll do anything it takes to keep a civil-union bill we can’t win from coming to the floor, no matter how bad it looks,” seriously pissing off the Denver suburban female vote in the process. This year, the Republicans have Gardner and Coffman trying desperately to run away from their previous record on personhood-from-conception and shred the social safety net, with Beauprez trying to run on “I’m a generic Republican in an anti-Dem year.”

        I’ve offered my tactics to the Mountain West Republicans in the past, in no particular order: (1) ignore Montana and Idaho, they don’t produce enough electoral votes to matter; (2) be the party for local determination on public lands, even though this means that within a decade, outside of Montana and Idaho, wilderness and tourism win over resource extraction and ranching; (3) renewable electricity supplies and whatever it takes to make that successful; (4) light rail and generous federal matching funds for same; (5) inner-ring suburban women on social values, and (6) don’t go out of your way to piss off Hispanic citizens (more specifically, be the party that actively wants Mexico to succeed). Ignore these, and you get to watch the whole region steadily turn blue.Report

      • I guess I neglected to mention: I’m willing to bet a pint on the major election results in Colorado this year being: Hick (D) holds the Governor’s Office, Udall (D) holds his US Senate seat, and Coffman (R) loses his US House seat.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to gingergene says:

        I don’t know about Hick. He’s done a pretty good job of putting his foot in it, recently…

        So, I might be willing to take that bet.Report

      • El Muneco in reply to gingergene says:

        @Michael Cain – as a recovering ex-libertarian and borderline liberal, I like your policy suggestions… But doesn’t that in and of itself kind of imply that by accepting them, the GOP would defeat the blue wave by sorta kinda becoming blue themselves? I mean, you take trumps on immigration and global warming, and the socons will think you’re one step away from nailing feces to the church door or something of the sort.

        Now, that might have worked a treat up until, say, B. Clinton’s first term, but wouldn’t that make even winners pariahs within their own party?Report

      • @jaybird
        We live close enough to each other to make paying off the bet practical. Just say the word :^)

        Well, it would certainly make them look less like Deep South Republicans. At least to my thinking, (2) and (6) are different than either party’s position right now. Outside of the West, Republicans are trying to push some of the obligations of (2) onto the states without similar grants of authority. This past legislative session, Colorado set aside money to begin building its own aerial fire-fighting fleet (a la California) after the non-western Republicans indicated that given a chance, they’ll whack fire fighting and mitigation funding for the national forests in the interests of cutting spending. (3) and (4) are simply an acknowledgement that those issues are increasingly settled in the West, except for some of the shouting. And (5) is just a recognition of facts — in a heavily suburban West, you’d better be on the proper side of those women on social issues.Report

      • Stillwater in reply to gingergene says:

        I’m going the other way. Hick wins (HICK WINS!), but Udall goes down in a dispirited soggy splat. (Spoiling the shine on his shark-skin cowboy boots.)Report

    • notme in reply to Saul Degraw says:


      “According to all the research I’ve seen the economy has been doing well under Obama and we just had some of our best job growth ever in 2014.”

      Are you sure that you are talking about the US economy?

      Food Stamp Recipients Top 46 Million for 35th Straight Month

      And this gem about why the unemployment rate fell to 5.9%. It’s not because of the job creation in the Obama economy. No, it the record 92 million Americans who aren’t in the labor force.

    • notme in reply to Saul Degraw says:


      Here is another interesting note about the turn for the worse the US economy is taking.

  5. trizzlor says:

    I think outsourcing is neither something to be proud or ashamed of, but I agree that it’s nice to start seeing outsourcing as a legal and ethical moneymaking tool. We don’t don’t shame business-owners that don’t send all proceeds to charity, and we shouldn’t shame those that choose to find profits overseas. But as Ceon Critic points out, you can’t have your cake and eat it to. If a candidate talks about their role as a domestic job-creator, or how private sector experience will make them a good executive, then the choices they made come into play. To return to the charity example, a businesses-owner with a history of charitable giving is going to have more credibility claiming he puts the local community over profits than one without that history.Report

  6. Burt Likko says:

    Hope you don’t mind, I cleaned up a couple of typos.

    If Perdue calls himself a “job creator” now, he’s feeding rope to his opponent (Michelle Nunn, who is trying as hard as she can to avoid taking any policy positions at all). For all the good it’ll do.Report

  7. Citizen says:

    So when do we get to outsource the Senate? I see some major cost savings there.Report

  8. Mad Rocket Scientist says:

    I sometimes think that we could have a runaway popular politician who just told the bald-faced truth about how s/he felt. People would be so relieved & amused that even if they didn’t agree with them, they’d still like them.Report

  9. gingergene says:

    During the primary, the current Republican candidate for the GA-1 said that he’d “rather see another terrorist attack…than to give up [his] liberty as an American citizen”, referring to the TSA. He got a lotta crap for that, and his opponents jumped all over his rather poor phrasing, but I found myself agreeing with him on it (and virtually nothing else; I’m really peeved at the new districts they drew.)Report