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.

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.”

Quote of the Day

From “The Pace of Leaving Afghanistan,” NYT Editorial:

A “steady pace” should mean withdrawing all combat forces on a schedule dictated only by the security of the troops.  That should start now and should not take more than a year.  We strongly supported the war in Afghanistan following the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, but after more than a decade of fighting and a cost upward of $500 billion it is time for a safe and orderly departure.

More than 2,000 American military personnel have died in this war, and many thousands more have been maimed.  There is no reason to delay the troops’ return home by another year.

This is something most Americans agree on, whatever their political affiliation.

“Morning Joe” Outs Graham


From “John Heilemann Makes Lindsey Graham Joke on ‘Morning Joe;’ Edited Out of 8am Reair,” Chris Ariens, TVNewser:

Just after 6am, on “Morning Joe” this morning, Joe, Mika and guest John Heilemann were talking about yesterday’s New York Times article about “the three amigos” Senators John McCain, Joe Lieberman, and Lindsey Graham….

With Lieberman leaving the Senate, McCain and Graham have brought in another “amigo” Senator Kelly Ayotte.  That prompted Heilemann to make a bad joke, at the expense of Graham:

Heilemann: They need a third amigo at all times. So now they have — now two of the three are women — now at least one of the three are women.

That drew hysterical laughter from Scarborough who had to turn his chair around.  Mika took over and brought in Andrea Mitchell as Scarborough and Heilemann composed themselves.

The line was edited out of a re-air at 8amET.

Emphasis added.

Getting Even Stickier for Rice

Well, that didn’t go well.

Secretary of State wannabe Susan Rice had a private, hour-long meeting with Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), a moderate, that left Collins complaining that Rice had played a “political role” in her five Sunday talk show appearances about Benghazi in the midst of the presidential election.

Collins also called Benghazi an “eerie echo” of the 1998 Al Qaeda bombings of our embassies in Tanzania and Kenya, when Rice was Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs.

We don’t need the Empty Barn Jacket back in the Senate.  But, Mr. President, there are plenty of excellent choices for State besides Rice and John Kerry.

Offer the country an accurate, coherent explanation for Benghazi before investigations do it for you, choose someone else for State, and get on with your second term.