December 27, 2011


Two of the most effective attack ads of the campaign so far. The first from the Ron Paul Campaign and the other from Restore Our Future, a super PAC.

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

the bad Newt

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.

whatever weapon comes to hand


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.