December 27, 2011
December 18, 2011
-The Des Moines Register-
Sobriety, wisdom and judgment. Those are qualities Mitt Romney said he looks for in a leader. Those are qualities Romney himself has demonstrated in his career in business, public service and government. Those qualities help the former Massachusetts governor stand out as the most qualified Republican candidate competing in the Iowa caucuses.Sobriety: While other candidates have pandered to extremes with attacks on the courts and sermons on Christian values, Romney has pointedly refrained from reckless rhetoric and moralizing. He may be accused of being too cautious, but choosing words carefully is a skill essential for anyone who could be sitting in the White House and reacting to world events.Wisdom: Romney obviously is very smart. He graduated as valedictorian at Brigham Young University and finished in the top 5 percent in his MBA class at Harvard, where he also earned a law degree. Romney also exhibits the wisdom of a man who listened and learned from his father and his mother, from his church and from his own trials and errors in life. He does not lack self confidence, but he is not afraid to admit when he has been wrong.Judgment: Romney disagrees with Democrats on most issues, but he offers smart and well-reasoned alternatives rather than simply proposing to swing a wrecking ball in Washington. He is a serious student of public policy who examines the data before making a decision. His detailed policy paper on the economy contains 87 pages of carefully crafted positions on taxes, energy, trade and regulatory policy, complete with 127 footnotes.
Rebuilding the economy is the nation’s top priority, and Romney makes the best case among the Republicans that he could do that.He stands out in the current field of Republican candidates. He has solid credentials in a career that includes running and starting successful businesses, turning around the 2002 Winter Olympics and working with both political parties as Massachusetts governor to pass important initiatives. He stands out especially among candidates now in the top tier: Newt Gingrich is an undisciplined partisan who would alienate, not unite, if he reverts to mean-spirited attacks on display as House speaker.
This ability to see the merits of tough issues from something other than a knee-jerk, ideological perspective suggests that Mitt Romney would be willing to bridge the political divide in Washington. Americans are desperate for the Republicans and Democrats to work together. His record of ignoring partisan labels to pass important legislation when he was governor of Massachusetts suggests he is capable to making that happen. - The Des Moines Register editors
December 13, 2011
I have a confession to make. I have been on the Newt Gingrich mailing list from the beginning and I will remain so if only to keep tabs on what he's up to. I've been on the mailing list since he founded "American Solutions" several years ago. I've always regarded him a conservative visionary but I realize now that I was not fully aware of the full spectrum of both good and "bad" Newt. And we are certainly seeing the bad Newt now, and in spades.
Throwing Paul Ryan under the bus should have been the first sign of trouble but in general I gave him a mulligan on that. (Such charity I would later learn to regret.) Gingrich grandiosely declared Paul Ryan's forward looking and visionary way of saving Medicare "right wing social engineering" when apparently he needed to cater to what he imagined was a left leaning audience. He later quasi- backed off that statement. Whatever.
His latest attack on Romney is what pushes me well over the edge and even if I had one foot ever in his camp I cannot now.
In response to Romney's idea that perhaps Gingrich should give back the tax payer money he earned when he was profiting essentially off of what led to the financial crisis by peddling his DC influence to Freddie Mac, Gingrich called for Romney to return, one wonders to whom, the money he made from reconstituting companies in the private sector while a member of Bain Capital. Clearly this is the line of attack that those on the left have lamely adopted on countless occasions. Gingrich seems to have let on that he's at least willing to use the rhetoric of the left when he feels threatened. Such vanity is not an endearing quality.
With one sentence I think Newt may have jumped the shark. With no real memory of 90's politics and giving him a break on the throwing of Paul Ryan under the bus I was buying into the Potemkin village version of Newt, the facade. I was mistaken and naive.
We can only hope the rest of the party catches on before it's too late.
December 09, 2011
Some of my left leaning friends have done their best to dissemble and disavow the term collectivist vis a vis President Obama but I'm seeing a certain philosophical approach being applied here:
"I am here to say they are wrong [advocates of free market capitalism]. I'm here in Kansas to reaffirm my deep conviction that we're greater together than we are on our own. I believe that this country succeeds when everyone gets a fair shot, when everyone does their fair share, when everyone plays by the same rules. " - Barack Obama 12/6/11
Unlike maybe some others I'm not discarding the above Obama quote as meaningless rhetoric. I take it seriously as statement of his worldview. I think it's clear that the most charitable way to describe the political philosophy of Barack Obama is collectivism.
All of this is within the broader context of an enduring point of mine. For the sake of clarity, I'd like those on the political left to own their own political philosophy as robustly as the right does. Rather than running away from a label, own it. People on the right are striving to be able to call themselves conservatives, and in some cases like with Mitt Romney with limited success are they even allowed to claim that mantle. Meanwhile on the left most, certainly amongst my friends, consider themselves centrists or moderates somehow. My father who hails from England has the courage to proudly call himself a socialist. I can respect that. At least I know where the man stands even if he can't tolerate much debate with me, but that's another (regrettable) matter. In this country, liberals don't want to be called liberals, and to even come close to considering any American politician other than Bernie Sanders a socialist is considered beyond the pale by the mainstream left. Which is why I'm trying to see if anyone on the left, anyone, will admit that the term collectivist applies. It's the most mild term I can possibly think of to describe a certain political worldview currently at odds with the advocates of free market capitalism. But I find it telling that even that has to be rejected. It speaks to what ostensibly seems like at least a reticence if not an outright fear to actually advocate the worldview that most of modern left leaning rhetoric seems to emulate.
November 11, 2011
Uber political strategist Dick Morris called this Mitt Romney's "defining moment". I call it the moment he makes a liberal's head explode. Others have noted that the question was "right in his wheelhouse". And then some, I would add. Just imagine what it might be like to have a President who understands how business works.
November 09, 2011
Is the Herman Cain sexual harassment saga a complicated conspiracy or is it Occam's razor where "the simplest explanation is most likely the correct one"? Maybe it's both. The simplest explanation is perhaps to understand that there is at least some element of truth to the allegations. But the timing or something intangible about the whole situation sets off the desire to want to at least entertain conspiracy theories. So long as we are all doing that there are at least three possible conspiracy scenarios that I can think of:
Scenario 1: The story was planted by Democrats and it's the liberal media's natural inclination to want to run hard with the story because for various reasons some having to do with race and how Cain does not fit the stereotypical way the left imagines a black man should act, that this is somehow a boon to Democratic/left leaning fortunes and then therefor this is Democratic party doing with the happy participation of a liberal mainstream media already pre-disposed to want to trash Cain. Perhaps you can tell my delivery that I don't put all that much stock into this explanation which has typically been advanced by right wing talk radio and lately, by the campaign itself. As has been pointed out by some of my left leaning friends, it just doesn't seem to be in the Obama campaign's and then therefore Democrat's best interests to try to torpedo the Cain candidacy this early and in the primary.
Scenario 2: The story was planted by GOP operatives in either the Perry or Romney campaigns or from another primary candidate's campaign or possibly by other murkier forces in the GOP "establishment" that don't want Cain as the nominee for whatever reason possibly but not likely having to do with race but that he is ultimately seen as either unelectable on his own or seen as unable to beat Obama in the general election. While this scenario seems more likely than scenario 1, I still don't buy it. Initially the Cain campaign accused the Perry campaign of planting the story with basically no proof and then the Perry campaign went on to reflexively point the finger of blame at the Romney campaign with absolutely no proof. This kind of stuff isn't exactly helpful to a GOP who should rather be focussed on matters of substance/ attacking Obama. In the last two weeks the Cain campaign has backed off of these type of fellow GOP accusations and instead gone with a narrative closer to scenario 1.
Let me preface with a warning to whoever it is behind this if it is a conspiracy to bring down Cain: You better be sure this doesn't backfire. While watching some highlights of the Cain press conference it occurred to me that this entire controversy has in a way made him seem more presidential. This press conference today was one of the most anticipated press conferences and media events probably of the presidential campaign so far.
Scenario 3: The story was planted by the Cain campaign itself or at least.... forces sympathetic to the campaign. Think about it, who stands to gain the most if all of these charges are proven to be false or somehow go away or Cain can somehow otherwise brush this off? The answer of course is Cain. This could be a downright Machiavellian masterstroke of political genius if there's even a shred of truth or validity to this theory assuming it works out. The public would naturally rally around a man so egregiously and wrongly accused.
I'm sure there are other possible conspiracy scenarios that are conceivable other than simply saying the main is guilty so believe what you will but the bottom line is that I now see a pathway for Herman Cain towards getting the nomination whereas before this entire controversy it never really existed.
November 04, 2011
"We do not want more stasis in our education system"In this video Paul Ryan trounces a round table of liberal pundits and governors with his sheer policy knowledge and optimistic, quintessentially American vision. I'm glad that as the general election campaign chairman he is not allowed to endorse anyone in the GOP presidential nomination process. He won't have to have his conservatism questioned for endorsing who I suspect he would endorse.
In the coming weeks and months team Obama and its minions will be trying just whatever they can to vilify Mitt Romney. The Washington Post highlights all the misleading information contained within just one ad in the venomous attack ad blitz to come from Obama proxies. Then there's this New York Times article about how other Obama proxies are trying to fire up the liberal base by enraging them over what they infer to be Romney's stance on a theoretical personhood amendment. Thankfully the article goes on to explain that this too is basically a dishonest attack. If this is to be the case for the general election it will redound to Romney's benefit. All he will really need to do in that case is keep talking about the economy and things that matter and let Obama and his proxies use the kitchen sink strategy of character assassination in a desperate attempt to bring up any other issue than the main issues of the day on which they have no standing, i.e. the economy and jobs. Voters will see who is interested in talking about what and vote accordingly.
July 15, 2011
Nothing being proposed would effect the person featured in this ad. AARP is using member dues for this patently absurd ad which desperately tries to drum up a general kind of mindless fear that AARP hopes will scare voters into being against ever tackling the matter of entitlement reform. Anyone with any common sense can see that it may be time to raise the retirement age, for example, amongst a wide bonanza of other reform theories. Every economist acknowledges that these programs are on a collision course with financial ruination and/or are unsustainable in their current form and therefor need to be somehow restructured. I would think this to be elementary. And I'm not aware of a single proposal that would effect current beneficiaries. To imagine that they are the target as this ad does is just laughable. The AARP should be ashamed of its own unhelpful posture on this issue.