Mitt — A Hiccup Without Footprints

“Mr. Romney is not the leader of the party; he left no footprints in the sand.  There is no such thing as Romneyism, no movement of which he’s the standard-bearer.  Nor is he a Washington figure with followers.  Party leaders already view him as a kind of accident, the best of a bad 2008 lot, a hiccup.”

Peggy Noonan, The Drawn-Out Crisis:  It’s the Obama Way,” WSJ

This is the same woman who predicted a Romney win on November 5, writing in part:

“Romney’s crowds are building—28,000 in Morrisville, Pa., last night; 30,000 in West Chester, Ohio, Friday It isn’t only a triumph of advance planning: People came, they got through security and waited for hours in the cold. … In some new way he’s caught his stride. He looks happy and grateful. His closing speech has been positive, future-looking, sweetly patriotic. His closing ads are sharp—the one about what’s going on at the rallies is moving.

“All the vibrations are right. … Looking at the crowds on TV, hearing them chant ‘Three more days’ and ‘Two more days’—it feels like a lot of Republicans have gone from anti-Obama to pro-Romney.

“There is no denying the Republicans have the passion now, the enthusiasm. The Democrats do not. Independents are breaking for Romney.

“I suspect both Romney and Obama have a sense of what’s coming, and it’s part of why Romney looks so peaceful and Obama so roiled.”

And Noonan looks so idiotic.

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Quote of the Day

“Perhaps the key lesson the White House took from the last couple of years is this:  Don’t negotiate with yourself.  If Republicans want to cut Medicare, let them propose the cuts.  If they want to raise revenue through tax reform, let them identify the deductions.  If they want deeper cuts in discretionary spending, let them settle on a number.  And, above all, if they don’t like the White House’s preferred policies, let them propose their own.  That way, if the White House eventually does give in and agree to some of their demands, Republicans will feel like they got one over on the president.  A compromise isn’t measured by what you offer, it’s measured by what the other side feels they made you concede.”  Emphasis added.

Ezra Klein, “Obama to GOP:   I’m done negotiating with myself,” WaPo

If I Were Obama

If I were President, I wouldn’t give away anything in exchange for higher taxes on the top 2%.  Why negotiate on something that will just happen all by itself in a month?

And keep tax withholding on those making less than $250,000 the same as of 1/1/13, so that paychecks don’t shrink and consumer spending falls.

The GOP are at an enormous disadvantage here.  Any deal needs to reflect that, not just because Obama won, but because of the way Congress set these big spending cuts and tax increases to take effect simultaneously.

Cliff, shmiff.

Get Arms to the Good Guys in Syria

“In the case of Syria…some officials continue to worry that the risks of intervention — both in American lives and in setting off a broader conflict, potentially involving Turkey — are too great to justify action.  Others argue that more aggressive steps are justified in Syria by the loss in life there, the risks that its chemical weapons could get loose and the opportunity to deal a blow to Iran’s only ally in the region.

“[A] small number of C.I.A. officers have operated secretly in southern Turkey for several months…helping allies decide which Syrian opposition fighters across the border would receive shipments of weapons.

“The weapons, including automatic rifles, rocket-propelled grenades, ammunition and some antitank weapons, are being funneled mostly across the Turkish border by way of a shadowy network of intermediaries overseen mainly by Saudi Arabia and Qatar….  Even that limited effort is being revamped in the wake of evidence that most of the arms sent to Syrian opposition fighters are going to hard-line Islamic jihadists, not the more secular opposition groups supported by the West.

“American officials say the administration is now weighing whether the United States should play a more direct role in supplying the opposition fighters with weapons to help ensure that the arms reach the intended groups.”