GOP Show and Tell

After the election, the GOP promptly turned on Mitt Romney, blaming his 47% percent speech as a dooming and damning moment in Mitt’s out-of-touch campaign.

But since the election, the GOP has amply shown that they agree with exactly what Mitt told us.

How else do you explain their refusal to raise taxes even on those making $1 million or more, while insisting on cutting Medicaid and food stamps?  They support the rich and spit on the sick and struggling.

Mitt admirably represented his party, a party that in no way currently represents the overwhelming majority of the country.

Post-Election, Mitt Reverts to Guy in 47% Tape

Moderate Mitt from the debates is gone.  Now that he’s lost, Mitt has returned to the persona he’s most comfortable with — the one we all saw secretly recorded at the Boca Raton fundraiser where he railed against the 47%.  That’s really who he is, and that’s really how he feels about his country.

Mitt had a conference call today with hundreds of his donors and fundraisers.  One of them let the NYT listen in!

Rather than criticize himself, his campaign, and/or his party for their loss, Mitt blamed it on Obama giving “free stuff” to young people, African Americans, and Hispanics.

I’m no longer young, and I’m white.  I voted for Obama because I thought his policies were fairer and truer to who we are as a people, not because I was getting free stuff.

If I had just wanted to vote my own economic interest, I would have voted for Mitt.

The Choice Isn’t Right or Left, It’s Right or Wrong

From “The Case Against Romney:  At Heart, He’s a Delusional One-Percenter,” Jonathan Chait, New York Magazine:
The election offers Romney his moment of maximal leverage over his party’s right-wing base.  If he actually wanted to cut a budget deal along the lines of Bowles-Simpson, or replace Dodd-Frank with some other way of preventing the next financial crisis, or replace Obamacare with some other plan to cover the uninsured, there would be no better time to announce it than now, when he could sorely use some hard evidence of his moderation.  He has not done so — either because he does not want to or because he fears a revolt by the Republican base.  But if he fears such a revolt now, when his base has no recourse but to withhold support and reelect Obama, he will also fear it once in office, when conservatives could oppose him without making their worst political nightmare come true as a result.

And so the reality remains that a vote for Romney is a vote for his party — a party that, by almost universal acclimation utterly failed when last entrusted with governing. … But his party has, unbelievably, grown far more extreme in the years since Bush departed.

“Economists have coalesced around aggressive monetary easing in order to pump liquidity into a shocked market; Republicans have instead embraced the gold standard and warned incessantly of imminent inflation, undaunted by their total wrongness.  In the face of a consensus for short-term fiscal stimulus, they have turned back to ancient Austrian doctrines and urged immediate spending cuts.  In the face of rising global temperatures and a hardening scientific consensus on the role of carbon emissions, their energy plan is to dig up and burn every last molecule of coal and oil as rapidly as possible.  Confronted by skyrocketing income inequality, they insist on cutting the top tax rate and slashing — to levels of around half — programs like Medicaid, food stamps, and children’s health insurance.  They refuse to allow any tax increase to soften the depth of such cuts and the catastrophic social impact they would unleash.

“The last element may be the most instructive and revealing.  The most important intellectual pathology to afflict conservatism during the Obama era is its embrace of Ayn Rand’s moral philosophy of capitalism.  Rand considered the free market a perfect arbiter of a person’s worth; their market earnings reflect their contribution to society, and their right to keep those earnings was absolute.  Politics, as she saw it, was essentially a struggle of the market’s virtuous winners to protect their wealth from confiscation by the hordes of inferiors who could outnumber them.

“Paul Ryan, a figure who (unlike Romney) commands vast personal and ideological loyalty from the party, is also its most famous Randian.  … But the Randian toxin has spread throughout the party.  It’s the basis of Ryan’s frequently proclaimed belief that society is divided between ‘makers’ and ‘takers.’  It also informed Romney’s infamous diatribe against the lazy, freeloading 47 percenters.  It is a grotesque, cruel, and disqualifying ethical framework for governing.”  Emphasis added.

Mitt will disappear after the election, he won’t be the leader of the GOP.  For the foreseeable future, Ayn Rand will be. At the time of the Great Depression, the concern was that our republic could be destroyed by the left.  So we got the New Deal.  I worry that our republic could be destroyed by the right if we get Paul Ryan’s Road Map.


Mitt Told Hannity To Ask About 47 Percent Because Obama Didn’t

David Corn thinks Obama might have been smart not to raise the 47 percent at the debate.  From “Romney 47 Percent:  Who’s Sorry Now?,” Mother Jones:

“Perhaps Obama had made a smart decision. Obviously, Romney and his aides calculated that he had to say something more contrite about his 47 percent tirade, and he was ready to make this nonapology apology at the debate in front of one of the biggest audiences he will have between now and Election Day. Purposefully or not, Obama ended up denying Romney a national platform for his reversal and forced Romney to play this move on Fox, where he wouldn’t be speaking directly to millions of people ticked off by his comments.

As for Romney’s actual explanation, it was thin. He didn’t say what had been wrong about his comments. Was he merely wrong on the numbers by conflating Obama voters with people who don’t earn enough to pay taxes and Americans who receive some form of government assistance or payment? Was he wrong to say that half the nation are moochers and victims who don’t take personal responsibility for their lives? What does he really think about all this—and them? His explanation required a bit more explanation. Yet Hannity—don’t be shocked—didn’t challenge him. Which means this case is not closed, and Romney’s 47 percent moment is not likely to remain in the past.”

So Hannity’s raising the 47 percent was staged so that Mitt could begin to get his faux apology out there.  I think it shows that Mitt expected Obama to bring it up and was ready to use the “completely wrong” comment he used on Hannity. 

The New Mitt

The New Mitt told Sean Hannity tonight that his 47 percent comments were “completely wrong.”

He gets that his remarks were “completely wrong” for a broader audience he never imagined would hear them, but I don’t think he was telling his super rich audience in Boca Raton what they wanted to hear, he was telling them what he really thought.  Unlike last night’s debate, the fundraiser wasn’t political theater.

When you watch the video, the Old Mitt speaks with passion and conviction and animation about his disdain and scorn for this 47 percent.  It doesn’t sound as if it’s coming off the top of his head, it sounds like something he has given a lot of thought to, something he is really certain about.  He isn’t grasping for words, the words flow freely from his black heart.

Mitt does have a core — and that video captures it precisely.  It’s the Romney Rosetta Stone.



Politico Top Story Says Prez “Bombed”

From “How Obama’s debate strategy bombed,” Alexander Burns and Glenn Thrush and Maggie Haberman:

A stunned Obama campaign acknowledged Thursday that President Barack Obama delivered a lackluster and even ineffectual performance in his leadoff debate against Mitt Romney, mistakenly opting for a cautious approach to handling his opponent that all too often left Obama looking timid and disengaged.

Democrats close to the president privately acknowledge that their candidate appeared flat and uninspired against a more animated challenger…. Even more frustrating to many Obama supporters was the fact that the president’s muted tone was at least partly by design.

Multiple party strategists privately attributed Obama’s demeanor to an ailment that frequently affects incumbents:  a fear of appearing too aggressive and risking a larger-scale misstep that could transform the campaign.  Projecting a calm, reasonable — some say “presidential”  — demeanor was the strategy during Obama’s debate-prep sessions….

But as a result, Obama allowed Romney to set the terms for much of their Wednesday night face-off….  Startling his supporters, Obama did not deliver almost any of the sharpest attacks that have defined his campaign against Romney, dwelling instead on missing details from Romney’s policy proposals.  The former Massachusetts governor’s private equity background, controversial personal finances, views on social issues and recently-reported comments disparaging Americans who do not pay income taxes, went entirely unmentioned.

Yet a person close to the debate-prep process told POLITICO that Obama was supposed to have been more aggressive within the confines of civility, but opted for a more passive approach that missed “many, many opportunities”  — including the glaring failure to mention Romney’s infamous “47 percent” comments.

[O]ne Democrat close to Chicago conceded that Obama “was not happy with his performance.”

“Don’t expect to see that Barack Obama again,” the Democrat said.

Emphasis added.

I’m sure we won’t see that Obama again because he’s seen Mitt at his most outrageous and bizarre and will be waiting for Psycho Mitt next time.  Mitt has lost the element of surprise.  And Biden will begin the process when he faces Ryan, who will pay for both his own lies and Mitt’s.

The Gang That Can’t Message Straight

The Romney campaign continues its promises to come up with an overarching message, but so far they’re just throwing spaghetti at the wall.  Maybe the effect of having their HQ in the North End of Boston?!

From “Mitt Romney struggles to sharpen message,” Alexander Burns, Politico:

“For the third week in a row, Mitt Romney’s campaign vowed Monday to deliver a sharper, bigger message in the closing stretch of the 2012 election.

“The GOP nominee is trying to move beyond an erratic messaging streak, which has seen his campaign chasing one transient news cycle after another. Romney advisers say Romney has been taking advantage of targets of opportunity offered up by Obama. But his message has shifted so frequently, and with so little thematic continuity between attacks, that it smacks more of a scramble to see what sticks than a coherent theory of the case for the general election.

“On a conference call with reporters Monday, senior Romney advisers Kevin Madden and Ed Gillespie promised a turn toward the whole picture for the campaign’s closing weeks.

“The tag-team effort by Madden and Gillespie was the latest in a series of Monday-morning attempts to set the agenda of the 2012 campaign.

“Reviewing the Romney campaign’s message points for the last month, there’s been astonishing variation from day to day and week to week for a campaign that long claimed its principal focus was the economy.   The improvisational quality of Romney’s sales pitch has only intensified since Sept. 17 when the liberal magazine Mother Jones published video of the Republican making critical comments about the 47 percent of Americans who don’t pay income taxes.

“Romney faces something of a painful paradox in his campaign messaging.  Both Republicans and Democrats have pressured him to address a larger range of issues in his bid for the presidency:  Romney drew flak from may quarters last month after failing to mention the Afghanistan war in his Tampa convention speech.  but Romney has struggled to balance a coherent, overarching argument for his candidacy with the need to address important news of the day.

“All throughout September, Romney’s campaign released a flurry of television commercials focusing on a range of subjects including the coal industry, scheduled defense cuts that would affect swing states, trade with China and more.  Those ads have seldom lined up with Romney’s rapidly shifting message of the day.

“If that messaging confusion has deepened lately, Romney also rotated through ephemeral campaign themes for a good part of the summer.  He spent much of August pummeling Obama for changes to the federal welfare system, only to drop that attack abruptly after the two parties’ conventions.”

I  don’t see them getting their messaging act together.  This campaign is just going to run out the clock and go through the motions.  Mitt isn’t stupid — as a turnaround guy, he knows when something can’t be turned around.