You’ll know we’ve been playing around with the parallels (for both GOP candidates) between the 2012 election and the 2008 one for a while now—partly tongue in cheek for the snark value, but some of them are real, and they’re not getting less apparent.
OK, Palin’s background and policy stances were a lot sketchier than Ryan’s, but it’s maybe hard now to recall what a phenomenon she was hailed as when she first appeared on the scene (before she opened her trap in interviews and got stumped by bland conversational openers)—stellar approval ratings back home, a reputation for base-pleasing fiscal probity (that didn’t stand up to scrutiny when it came to the old pork barrel), a reputed hotshot “energy policy expert” whose only prescription was the calculatedly shorts-stiffening “Drill, baby, drill,” and a steady and often ruthless rise through the ranks to the point where she was considered worth a shot at VP.
Books and quasi-documentaries have dwelled on the processes and tensions that converted that rising star into the plummeting smoking relic from a far-off galaxy that thudded anticlimactically and tearfully to Earth in November ‘08. One complaint the Quitter from Wasilla’s fans and she herself have made on numerous occasions is that they wouldn’t let her be herself, forced to ignore administrative and policy specifics in favor of crude sloganeering and buzzwordsalads, to spit what she felt would be the crowd-pleasing bile that would somehow magically transform the majority of the electorate into raging acolytes fearful of the terrorist-pallin’ inexperienced fraud from the wrong side of the tracks and propel her and her running mate to power.
The spin we’re getting from the Romney camp is that, like McCain, Mitt is wagging his tail like an old dog paired with a new puppy at the moment, relieved to be sharing the burden of the path he’s chosen with someone who’s portrayed as a game-changing soul mate, a doe-eyed mancrush who can serve as both shield and bolster on the stump. But you do have to wonder what tensions have already emerged, and how the next few months are going to pan out, then the next few years as Ryan returns to the life he once had, I’m assuming a valiant (or disgraced) but vanquished campaigner, with possibilities stretching before him if he doesn’t blow it and retire to become another wingnut welfare Fox drone.
In terms of the most trivial and superficial parallels, there’s the alleged HAWTness and faux-macho backwoods cred I covered the other day down yonder. Again superficial, there was even comment that Ryan looked a bit scruffy on the stump, and I’m not going to enquire what the hell’s going on with his trousers here, but we’ve no doubt all had problems with overenthusiastic bathroom faucets in our time, so I’ll go with that explanation.
He’s looked a little sharper in the more recent pics I’ve seen. At least, in this sexist world in which we’re living, you can kit a male candidate out credibly without conducting a midnight raid on Nieman Marcus, which will no doubt relieve Mr. Adelson et al.
When it comes to physical attraction, there’s no accounting for taste. When it comes to eyesight, it’s never too late to bow to the inevitable and take to wearing specs. When it comes to the 2012 election, it’s always 2008.
Today’s contribution to incisive political commentary comes to us from TMZ via Politico’s Patrick Gavin, citing suggestions via teh hormonally charged Google and a bunch of confessions on Twitter:
Overlooked, understandably, in Saturday’s analysis and news that Rep. Paul Ryan will be Mitt Romney’s vice presidential nominee was one mostly — but not entirely — unimportant aspect: Paul Ryan is kind of hot.
The Politico commenters’ reactions range from “BARF” to “Really Politico? This is where you are heading? What, is this Huffington Post now?” to shuffling awkwardly and changing the subject to talk about anything other than Paul Ryan’s hawtness. Which is a shame.
Paul Ryan is so HAWT, he can charm the deer out of the trees.
As for his way with our feathered friends, what happens on the hunt stays on the hunt.
But the fickle RW blogs, still high on the weekend Ryanmentum, are asleep at the wheel. Where’s the OUTRAGE??!!
the hottest vice presidential candidate ever???!!!!!
WHAT AN APPALLING SLAP IN THE FACE TO SARAH PALIN!!!!!
I hate to be a Patsy Pile-on (okay, I lie, I love to pile on once a suitable target is acquired), but I just wanted to elaborate a little on Romney’s journey to some countries he, by rights, should not have been able to screw up in. This trip wasn’t really about Mitt Romney’s foreign policy and how he related to leaders around the world—it seems in hindsight that it was more about allowing him to do some cultural signifying to the base. From that perspective, what were perceived as gaffes—weren’t. He conveyed the themes he intended to:
United Kingdom=Anglo-Saxony (Whatever that’s supposed to mean—but I think it’s just “The middle two letters in “WASP”.)
Israel=Judeo-Christian values (Pronounced in that fashion that lets you know that the other Abrahamic faith is silent.)
And Poland=Anti-Communist (Because Soviet Union, you guys!)
Put them all together they spell “Mitt Romney is an Anglo-Saxon, Judeo-Christian kind of guy who isn’t a Communist,.” (Unlike, you know.)
So, if you think that US foreign policy is about representing this country’s interests while participating as something like a “first nation amongst equals”, say, with grown people expectations about how other participants on the world stage may act and react to the things you do and say as a world leader, you might roll your eyes and wonder how this clod got his crust. But if your idea of foreign policy is “Eat American Exceptionalism BITCHEZ!” you might have actually thought that any poor reaction Romney received was because other people are just so…p.c. and shit.
In real-world terms, I tend to agree with the commentary of Suddeutsche Zeitung that Romney has sort of disqualified himself from potentially meaningfully carrying out any Middle East policy because he has already provided Islamic nations with reason to think he can’t or won’t deal with them in good faith. He made particular statements about Palestinian vs Israeli culture in an economic sense that bore little relationship to the historical or current political background--which he a) tried to backpedal from, b) which were actually nearly verbatim from his book No Apologies (giggle, snort, no, really), and which he then c) doubled-down on in a National Review op-ed piece.
Nice, right? So, instead of a one-term Massachusetts governor with no foreign policy trying to show that he is so capable of being better than, say, She Who Needs Not Be Named, he shows that he still has to pander to the Republican base. Which is possibly what some people might call wimpy. At this blog, it’s been regularly iterated that he is an example of “Profiles in Something Other than Courage.”
As a presidential challenger, he should be presenting his resume and showing what he has that would make him better than President Obama. As it stands, he reminds me of when the polls were regularly showing that a “Generic Republican” might beat Barack Obama, even if no single Republican candidate stood out. At this point, Mitt Romney may as well change his name to “Jan Eric Whyte-Guy” for all the good his experience does him. As we find out who he is, we start to suspect we understand what he is a little better.
I know some people might not see that as a problem for his campaign—but I think for someone who wants to be president, it’s a BFD. Some may look back and wonder if he was even properly vetted.
Just to not be posting something about Mitt Romney, because Oh MY Gawd that Guy! I’m going to be posting an innocent picture of former VP candidate and former half-term governor, Sarah Palin, along with the Former First Dude, Toad, who are very excited to be sharing a picture of themselves having just made a purchase at a chain restaurant.
See? There they are, each holding some warm bags of chicken because that is what they do. They have pictures taken of themselves inside fast food places. Because they’re regular folks, is what. And because they support businesses, is why.
Now, some people might contend that this is a political statement in favor of a business that does discriminate against people, that they’re using this business to show support of the larger “cause” of homophobia, and some might even go so far as to suggest that they’ve aligned themselves with the “chicken winger” cause du jour because it makes them seem relevant to a backwards movement against the freedom of a select group of people to make choices particular to their families and their lives, in support of what could be labelled hate speech against those people. And there may very well be reason to believe that not only is Sarah Palin a virulent homophobe, but she’s raised her own children to be, and her own grandchild is being raised to be as well.
But mostly, I think the Palins simply believe that there is essentially nothing that they can or should do anymore that isn’t digitally recorded and broadcast, whether it be dancing amongst the pseudo-stars or even buying sundered, deep-fried poultry bits linked to hate. Maybe some folks want to call that “family values”—but I don’t think that’s what you call saying some people aren’t valuable enough to make families.
I don’t care if she’s supposedly politically irrelevant—what she is taking a stand for isn’t, yet. But it ought to be. And she obviously wants attention—so here. Attention is paid.
I haven’t until now bought into the deliciously cheap line that John McCain took one look at Mitt Romney’s 20-odd years of tax returns and immediately felt driven into the arms of Sarah Palin (which I think I first saw James Carville gleefully come out with on Up With Chris Hayes, though he probably borrowed it), but when it spurs a headline and lede like this from Politico, I’m glad it gained currency:
Mitt Romney’s tax returns had nothing to do with Sen. John McCain’s decision to choose Sarah Palin as his running mate in 2008, according to the Arizona Republican, saying he chose the former Alaska governor because she was a “better candidate.”
Woah! Be still my snark gland, such headlines and scare-quoted hitlines often don’t pan out in the story they herald. But no, read on:
McCain received more than two decades worth of Romney’s tax returns as the former Massachusetts governor was undergoing the vetting process four years ago, far more than Romney has released publicly in the 2012 campaign. Democrats have questioned whether McCain saw something untoward in those tax returns and decided to choose Palin instead.
But on Tuesday, McCain flatly rejected that assertion and grew angry at questions over his decision to choose Palin over Romney.
“Of course not,” McCain told POLITICO when asked if the contents of Romney’s tax returns disqualified him from the selection process. “I don’t know what depths these people won’t reach. Obviously, it’s just outrageous. That’s just outrageous. It shows the – it’s so disgraceful for them to allege something that they have absolutely no knowledge of.”
Asked why he chose not to go with Romney, McCain said: “Oh come on, because we thought that Sarah Palin was the better candidate. Why did we not take [Tim] Pawlenty, why did we not take any of the other 10 other people. Why didn’t I? Because we had a better candidate, the same way with all the others. ... Come on, why? That’s a stupid question.”
McCain makes an awkward surrogate and defender of Romney at the best of times. According to John Heilemann and Mark Halperin in Game Change, as scotterb over at World in Motion reminds me, during the 2008 Republican primaries:
The candidates lined up at the urinals, Guiliani next to McCain next to Huckabee, the rest all in a row. The debate was soon to start, so they were taking care of business — and laughing merrily at the one guy who wasn’t there. Poking fun at him, mocking him, agreeing how much they disliked him. Then Willard Mitt Romney walked into the bathroom and overheard them, bringing on a crashing silence.
Unlike Guiliani, Romney had no reticence about slashing at his rivals. But the perception of him as a man without convictions made him a less than effective delivery system for policy contrasts. The combination of the vitriol of his attacks and his apparent corelessness explained the antipathy the other candidates had towards him. McCain routinely called Romney an ‘asshole’ and a ‘fucking phoney.’ Guiliani opined, ‘that guy will say anything.’ Huckabee complained, ‘I don’t think Romney has a soul.’
Any predictions about the next Romney adversary-turned-defender who’ll, er, “inadvertently” put his or her foot in it?
When Romney campaigns in Florida, there is one person who is notably absent: hard-right Republican Governor Rick Scott. It’s not hard to understand why; Scott’s approval rating in the state slightly trails that of the clap.
Still, the explanations of why the governor and the GOP nominee keeping coincidentally “missing” each other on the campaign trail are getting kind of strained. And Scott has apparently been told to make like a prairie dog and disappear down a hidey-hole during the GOP convention: Where he once bragged about a prime-time speaking slot at the event, now he says this:
“I’ve never done a convention before,” Scott said. “My goal is just to be helpful in whatever they ask me to do.”
The Republicans think it might be helpful for Scott to schedule a trade mission to Australia in late August. Or maybe visit a leper colony.
Sarah Palin. I know. It felt a little weird to me when I made the connection, but he has the same approach towards Obama critique: It doesn’t even have to make sense, just “Always Be Complaining.” I suppose it appeals to a certain type of belly-acher. Take this recent load of thin gruel on white toast Romney sicked up for a sympathetic audience:
That is so weird. First of all, as the blogs all over the intertubes have pointed out, this comment over Noam Scheiber’s book isn’t true—as Scheiber himself says.But let’s take a second look at who is saying that Obama was willing to slow down the recovery in order to get the ACA passed: Mitt Frigging Romney. The author of Romneycare. You know the thing with the mandate, that is basically the Obama plan? Yeah, that guy, whose sole raison d’etre dans cette race right here? Is that the economy didn’t do as well under Obama as should have been expected.
That’s right. Obama supposedly knew passing the ACA would slow the economy, and then very cleverly did that very thing, because of course the health care plan that the Teabaggers were protesting about in town halls and all throughout like, the first two years he was even president? Would of course make everyone forget about the economy, also, too. That would be, lest we forget, the health care plan that is the same as Mitt Romney’s health care plan in Massachusetts. And the very economy whose sluggishness is the basis for Romney saying he’d be a better president. In other words, Barack Obama planned to use Mitt Romney’s health care policy as the basis for a bill that would pass and also shuttled the economy off to the side for the mo’—almost as if he wanted Mitt Romney for his challenger in 2012 to say these exact things. As if Barack Obama was possibly Mitt Romney’s biggest fan.
Mitt Romney—you have obviously fallen for Barack Obama’s devious plot by being you. Clearly the only way you can actually win is to be someone else for the remainder of this presidential election. Luckily, this is not difficult for Mitt. Maybe he should consider a costume. I understand he’s partial to state trooper uniforms. Too wacky.
Nicolle Wallace, the former McCain adviser who handled — and clashed with — Sarah Palin during the 2008 presidential campaign, told BuzzFeed on Wednesday that the Palin debacle will play into female politicians’ shot at getting picked for the vice presidential slot this year.
“I think it’ll affect it because I think in the post-Palin era you can’t go back. That happened,” said Wallace, who is portrayed as a hero in the recent film about the race, Game Change.
Wallace said thinks it “cuts both ways.”
“There will be pressure to elevate a woman but there will be an equal amount of pressure to pick someone who is prepared,” Wallace said. “I think preparedness is the kind of undercurrent of the critics of Palin’s candidacy.”
But she is right that preparedness is key—or else you get this:
That’s right—an HBO movie. You don’t want that to be your campaign.
With that in mind, I’m going to do a series regarding possible running mate picks and why they suck so very much—and I’m going to start with Romney’s current rivals, and why they aren’t even close to being proper VP material.
As GOP sage Sarah Palin recently noted, President Obama and his terrorist pals were allowed to waltz right into the Oval Office unscrutinized in 2008 while white people Republicans like Ms. Palin were pelted with gotcha questions such as, “What newspapers do you read?”
Andrew Breitbart vowed to address the blatant unfairness of this situation by subjecting all African-American Obama Administration officials to a thorough vetting. After Breitbart’s untimely death, his underlings—the Breitbrats—announced that they would continue Dead Leader’s legacy by presenting an occasional series entitled Negros Said the Darnedest Things On Video in the 90s The Vetting.
After revealing 10 days ago the scandalous footage of a young Barack Obama hugging a black Harvard Law School professor back when Phil Collins was king of the Billboard Hot 100, Breitbrat Joel Pollak unleashes another bombshell sure to rock the Obama Administration to its very foundations. Attorney General Holder was caught on tape intimating that it might be a good idea to convince young people that it’s not cool to “pack heat” or whatever quaint expression they used back when Boyz II Men topped the charts:
“What we need to do is change the way in which people think about guns, especially young people, and make it something that’s not cool, that it’s not acceptable, it’s not hip to carry a gun anymore, in the way in which we changed our attitudes about cigarettes.”
Translation: jack-booted DoJ thugs will kick down your door to collect your shootin’ arn in 3…2…1…. Stay tuned next week, when sinister Obama consigliere Valerie Jarrett will be revealed as the winner of the 1992 Black Panthers Ladies Auxiliary Brownie Bake-Off!
Ed Kilgore at Washington Monthly‘s Political Animal blog discovers that Sarah Palin’s discovered the Breitbart-commemorating streetposter I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, as the Breitbartlets do their best to assemble a death cult—and now, apparently, an entire Special Forces Division—to honor their leader’s memory:
When at the top of an aggregation site I saw the headline (“Breitbart Is Here”) and byline (Sarah Palin), I checked the calendar to make sure it wasn’t April Fool’s Day. No, that’s still two weeks away. But it’s almost too rich for description:
There is a new street art poster that’s being emailed around and will no doubt eventually be spotted on a street corner near you. It’s a gritty black and white image of Andrew Breitbart looking both battle-worn and ever vigilant with the caption: “BREITBART IS HERE.”
Those three words express the instant connection many of us feel for our fallen friend. They express our identification with him, and our need to continue his fight for the good of our republic.
With the death of Breitbart, the conservative movement didn’t just lose a General - we lost an entire Special Forces Division. But he didn’t leave us without the tools and the knowledge we need to fight. This website - Breitbart 2.0 - is the culmination of his study of the technology and aesthetics of new media.
OMG. Andrew Breitbart is the Right’s very own Alinsky.
Ed’s understandably a bit preoccupied with boggling at the combo of Griftzilla cottoning on to Breity’s poisonous legacy, but there’s a good argument that Alinsky is the Right’s very own Alinsky. As Rumproaster Boreds of Canada pointed out on that earlier thread:
Adam Brandon, a spokesman for the conservative non-profit organization FreedomWorks, which is one of several groups involved in organizing Tea Party protests, says the group gives Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals to its top leadership members. A shortened guide called Rules for Patriots is distributed to its entire network. In a January 2012 story that appeared in The Wall Street Journal, citing the organization’s tactic of sending activists to town-hall meetings, Brandon explained, “his tactics when it comes to grass-roots organizing are incredibly effective.” Former Republican House Majority Leader Dick Armey also gives copies of Alinsky’s book Rules for Radicals to Tea Party leaders.
It seems to me that the Breitbartlets and assorted bandwagon-jumpers are being a little presumptious with their cries of “I am Breitbart!” and the repeated vows at the BIG sites and other corners of the wingnutsphere to continue his work.
What if Mr. Breitbart experienced a deathsidewalk conversion? For all they or I know, he may have had a few moments’ clarity before he slipped away, and chosen to repent his wingnutty, rabblerousing tendencies, in which case I think a far more appropriate way to honor his passing is to use the eyecatching design to convey a more fitting and urgently needed message to those who mourn the man in this manner.
Admit it, you’ve played the fool. Everybody does sometimes, sang Aaron Neville, who also claims not to know much except that he loves Linda Ronstadt, and in a shocking endorsement of ignorance maintains that’s all he needs to know, so either his awareness of his love for Linda Ronstadt crowded everything else out, or he was just guessing that everybody plays the fool sometimes, it wasn’t based on any kind of peer-reviewed research into fool-playing.
Damn it, Neville! You have the voice of an angel but you’ve used it to lure me into a black hole of abject confusion! And I’m not talking about the mole!
Unrequited love, now, that’s the one that gets most of us into trouble. Who among us hasn’t made a spectacle of themselves in pursuit of the unattainable? And rejection, oof, that’s a hard pill to swallow. It’s like getting a form letter back after submitting unsolicited cartoons to The New Yorker, except instead of a line-drawing of humorous goings-on inside a psychiatrist’s office, it’s you as a sexual being they have no use for at this time, though they appreciate your interest.
So again I ask, but rephrasing slightly: What’s the craziest thing love ever made you do? Grade your shame on a scale from playing “In Your Eyes” on a boombox outside your beloved’s window to this insane immolation of dignity.
Grifterzilla celebrated her birthday by reprising the greatest hits from her limited repertoire to ring down the curtain on CPAC 2012.
CNN/Big Journalism’s Dana “Drop Trou” Loesch is trying desperately to get her minions to cover ass over her and her husband’s antics over the past couple of days
And dazed conference-goers felt the cold chill of the evening air as they emerged from their three-day refuge from reality, having voted in the Washington Times/CPAC straw poll for their preferred presidential candidate—Surprise! Mitt Romney—to be greeted by the results of today’s caucuses.
In the absence of that sweet meteor of death, Romney’s been awarded the win of the unbelievably arcane Maine caucuses with 39% of the vote versus Paul’s 36%, with 17% of the state’s precincts that will caucus later in the month being told that they can vote for whoever they want, it just won’t be counted. Not that the results are binding anyway. I think it would be easier to explain the laws of cricket to an American than make sense of that hot mess.
I’d call that a wrap, though there are plenty of details that we haven’t touched on here—no shortage of ink both real and virtual having been spilt elsewhere, not least by those on our estimable blogroll—and no doubt much more pleasurable and edifying things going on in the world that are more worthy of attention.
If you want to talk about them, here’s a chance, otherwise, enjoy your Saturday night and thank the FSM that you’re not a Republican. Unless you are, in which case tough luck, and how’s that hopey changey thing working out for ya?
Cardenas said that the ACU is now offering cards for those that want to be “card-carrying conservatives.” This is an exciting way to support the ACU and also more overtly support conservatism.
Attendees barely had time to finish fanning themselves with their cards and rearranging their vestments before the morning’s heartthrobs Jim DeMint and Marco Rubio took the stage. Meanwhile, backstage, conservative bloggers are preoccupied with the serious business of taking photos of each other engaging in the traditional pre-mating snuggles and flirting.
If you’re a real sucker for punishment, you can watch a livestream here (which, in typical enterprising fashion, times out periodically and pesters you to sign up to the ACU, though a refresh easily dodges such untoward advances), but I’m sure we’ll dip in over the next two days if something suitably outrageous or snarkworthy’s on the menu. A PDF of the full schedule is here, a summary of what the ACU considers the “highlights” here.
Via the Atlantic, What Half-Been is running into a Wall of Opposition from unhappy Teahadist supporters seemingly unmoved by her ghosted scrivelings, right on her own own FB page? The disrespect! And look how she was treated on upstart FOX pundint Jeanine Pirro’s show:
Sarah Palin took to Facebook last night to express shock that fellow Republicans are using dirty tricks on one another in the campaign:
We have witnessed something very disturbing this week. The Republican establishment which fought Ronald Reagan in the 1970s and which continues to fight the grassroots Tea Party movement today has adopted the tactics of the left in using the media and the politics of personal destruction to attack an opponent.
We will look back on this week and realize that something changed… I am in favor of contested primaries and healthy, pointed debate. They help focus candidates and the electorate. I have fought in tough and heated contested primaries myself. But what we have seen in Florida this week is beyond the pale. It was unprecedented in GOP primaries. I’ve seen it before – heck, I lived it before – but not in a GOP primary race.
Well, she might want to ask her former running mate about that. But of course she knows about it—McCain hired the same damn people to train Palin to serve as his lip-sticked pit bull in 2008. She goes on:
I question whether the GOP establishment would ever employ the same harsh tactics they used on Newt against Obama. I didn’t see it in 2008. Many of these same characters sat on their thumbs in ‘08 and let Obama escape unvetted.
Hahaha! Yeah, no one encouraged hordes of deluded, racist nitwits to claim Barack Obama was the Kenyan-born, communist, granny-unplugging love child of Bernadette Dorn and Malcolm X, Mrs. Death Panels Lady. Jeebus, these people are beyond shameless.