Days of Change

Day 1163 – Enough

January 11, 2012
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It turns out that there isn’t a set of 3 candidates like in 2008. We have Romney and about 4 not Romneys. Santorum has the most delegates behind Romney. Ron Paul has some consistency at the low end. Newt has the money and the name recognition. Jon Huntsman has no chance, but he has slightly more chance than Rick Perry.

I would argue that Romney is as conservative as the others. The comparison is constantly made, and there are different ways to measure how conservative a Republican is. Does Ron Paul win just because he never votes for any spending and everyone in the House ignores him? Huntsman has been called conservative by talking egos like Joe Scarborough, but he’s been running away from conservatism this whole campaign. Newt and Santorum are all about money. They’ll have to be to beat Obama.

All these candidates should be conservative enough for the base. One of Mitt’s most loathsome qualities, attacking fellow Republicans, will be tempered by the responses by Gingrich and Perry. Better to draw fire now than to be blindsided by the Democrats.


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Day 1162 – Return of the Jedi

January 10, 2012
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One of the reasons Mitt Romney can win is that he’s a tactical mirror of Obama, but with more money. In debates, he stops attacks by complaining about time keeping formalities. He saves the worst attacks against his opponents to his super PACs. He’s also willing to go after people in his own party to win.

One problem Romney has is that instead of letting the free market (the voters) decide, his front groups have been wasting time playing whack-a-mole with people who have no chance at winning. It annoys conservatives who want to have the illusion of a choice in this election. It’s one reason for the continued bad blood from 2008. Since Perry took himself out, the only one Romney might have to watch out for is Newt Gingrich.

Once in a while, a candidate runs for office in the hopes that his beliefs and name recognition will set the world on fire. Gingrich used early debate performances to talk about the problems of government, the frequent in-fighting among the candidates and the media’s propensity to encourage it. For a while, that message took hold.

Romney people responded too predictably. They saturated the Iowa airwaves with negatives against Gingrich, pushing him so far down in the polls that Romney was nearly beaten by Rick Santorum. The lesson is to guard your flank.

Gingrich supporters will teach that lesson when Mitt Romney comes to town. A Gingrich PAC purchased a one-sided documentary produced by a disgruntled Romney staffer. It tells the stories of people who lost their jobs when their (likely failed) employers were bought by Bain Capital. Romney is outraged that a Republican would make this kind of anti-corporate attack. I’m sure Newt had no idea a fellow Republican would target him to the point where Rick Santorum came within 8 votes.

Maybe Mitt Romney forgot, but while he was losing to Ted Kennedy in 1994, Newt Gingrich was getting a lot of other Republicans elected to Congress. If his leadership style is questionable, his campaign tactics are not. Newt Gingrich is the Jedi Master of negative attacks. He beat on Bill Clinton with them relentlessly. Class is now in session, and Gingrich is going to show Mitt how it’s done.

Mitt Romney 2012 - I WILL be the nominee. Stop Fighting it.Bringing the pain to the “King of Bain” is a necessary and overdue lesson. Even though all presidential candidates are rich, Obama is only celebrity rich. He has book money from projects that were sweetened by other writers. Romney got rich by spending money and making returns on it. It’s risky and not everyone likes it. As bad as this video may be for Romney, it will help to blunt future attacks by Obama. Gingrich’s people are even saving it for after New Hampshire. In South Carolina, Romney is going to lose anyway, so this video will have little real impact.

Mitt Romney has to sharpen his game when he becomes the nominee. Better that he taking a beating now than be murdered later.


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Day 1161 – Huntsman Hawk

January 9, 2012
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True to form, Mitt Romney has needlessly attacked an opponent gaining in the polls. Romney went after Jon Huntsman for serving as Ambassador to China under President Obama as an act that worked against Republican interests. Romney surrogate Chris Christie piled on by suggesting Huntsman was disloyal to Obama by leaving that post to run for president.

This was not a great idea. First, you don’t shoot down. Romney is beating Huntsman in the polls about 3:1 (or 4:1) anyway. Calling his government position into question gave Huntsman the line of the night, when he said he serves the country and people like Romney are the problem. Christie also did poorly. His attempted applause line where he empathized with Obama over Huntsman’s leaving drew no applause at all.

Now Jon Huntsman gets his turn at bat. He’s the last of the not Romney candidates to be raised to the level of a real challenge. When Huntsman loses significantly in New Hampshire, Romney will likely run away with it. Gingrich will stay in for spite and Perry may have enough money for a while, but it will be over.

I think this is bad news for the White House. Ideally, they wanted Romney against someone like Sarah Palin, who would pull most of the not Romney support and put up a fight at least until Super Tuesday. They’re hoping for 2004, where a flip-flopper was picked early in the primaries and lost against an incumbent. I think it’s more like 2008, where the incumbent was the issue.


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Day 1160 – Why Won’t They Do My Job For Me?

January 8, 2012
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Media were predicting Saturday’s debate would be a circular firing squad with Mitt Romney in the middle. That’s somewhat reminiscent of 2008 Democratic primaries where Hillary Clinton was the chief target of her rivals, even after Obama became a contender. Today, pundits are wondering why the other candidates didn’t draw more Romney blood.

It’s clear that Obama’s team of evils is already expecting Romney to be the nominee. The narrative is that they want to run against him. I think it’s more likely that they also expect Romney to be battered to the point where he will be easy prey to Obama. The problem is that some of these candidates want to run for president, not to be the spoiler that clears the way for someone else to beat Romney.

Meet the Press took the tact to ask every candidate to say something bad about Romney right off the bat. It is imperative to the reelection campaign of Obama that Mitt Romney be at a serious disadvantage, since Obama has never had an even match he’s ever won.

I doubt that the Republican candidates are paving the way for Romney. I do think they are trying to take some of the oxygen out of the media obsession with Romney’s inevitability.


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Day 1159 – Debate Night in New Hampshire

January 7, 2012
2 Comments

Watching the debate tonight. Please send help.


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Day 1158 – Soulless

January 6, 2012
3 Comments

How do you describe the sky to a bird? How do you explain conservatism to a liberal? You don’t. How do you explain an ass whuppin’ to someone who’s never had one? You whup them and then they understand.

From the first week of this blog, I have theorized that Mitt Romney had a better chance of winning the 2008 election¬†and that might have been enough of a chance to become president. He wouldn’t eschew money like McCain did. He has no qualms about using PACs and surrogates to burn down his opponents (including primary opponents). He never thought Obama would make a “fine president.”

My take on Romney 2012 was that he would lose against Obama in the general election. I thought being of equal emptiness, Obama’s experience would create an edge. I think I may be underestimating the intelligence of voters in that regard. Even Romneycare is not a complete drawback. Romney is the expert on all of Obamacare’s flaws. He’s also a Republican who cannot be accused of not doing anything about health care.

People are fighting for the soul of the Republican party this year, but the soul of the party was decided in 2010. There is a decidedly solid back bench in Congress and in the states. This year, it’s the face of the party. It’s been said before, but all of the Republican candidates running are better than Obama. Even your least favorite would be an improvement.

I came through the looking-glass some time this afternoon, reading about another liberal stain on society calling into question the affinity Rick Santorum had for a child who died shortly after birth. I would not wish that pain on anyone, even the ones who mocked him. I will wish another bad thing upon them. I hope their precious pony of a president is brought down like the styrofoam columns he once spoke from. The GOP delivery system is Mitt Romney.

I can see it all now in a way I could not understand before. Romney’s weaknesses are hidden strengths. Even the perception of his weaknesses is a strength. His lack of personal scandal is like armor when facing a muckraker like Obama. You want to try Mormonism? If they do, Obama’s religious and family skeletons have no end. What about flip-flopping? Obama is a flip-flopper. He goes after conviction as if it were a vice. He has nothing with Romney.

Mitt Romney will raise more and spend more than anyone in history. His team is the best in the Republican party, no wastes of space like Nicolle Wallace or Steve Schmidt. He is prepared to be called a racist and worse. He has no noble view of politics like John McCain did. It will be a bloodbath, and it will be Romney’s alone. His loss of face to win the election will protect the soul of the party.

Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, Herman Cain and Rick Santorum are the holdovers of a time when I wanted the ideas to win the day. Mitt Romney encompasses the policy behind those ideas, he just doesn’t believe in them. Sometimes, an ass whuppin’ is the only explaining you can do.

I approve of Mitt Romney and I approve this message.


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Day 1157 – The Uncertainty Principle

January 5, 2012
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In physics, the forces involved in subatomic reactions are so small that the energy used to measure and observe them have an effect on them. In fact, there is a limit to the information we can reliably know about subatomic particles. It is known as the uncertainty principle. In the real world, the effect is not discrete. Something can be affected in different ways by being observed. We generally call that the observer effect in psychology.

So, I’m going to merge modern physics and human psychology using the even more complex particle-wave duality. A decent physics class will usually shoot a laser (or at least a focused LED beam) through a diffraction grating.

You will notice that among the dots of light, the ones in the middle seem to be brighter. This is because more photons collect in the middle of the diffraction pattern than in the outer edges. It is a predictable ratio. What we are unable to do is determine which individual photon of light will bounce through the diffraction grating to a particular dot on the wall. We only know the likelihood.

This is how opinion polling works. If you ask one person who they vote for in a primary and they say Mitt Romney, it doesn’t mean 100% of people will. If you ask two people, you will get a 50-50 result (or 100-0, depending on how lopsided the opinions are). 100 people will give you precision down to 1%, but much lower accuracy. Pollsters have come up with magic numbers from a few hundred to 1000 people to yield results accurate to within 4%.

Here’s the problem. Those polls are an initial indicator, but like the uncertainty principle, they start to affect the result. In Iowa, the earliest “vote” was a straw poll months ago. Michele Bachmann’s inexplicable win made her a front-runner. That status was followed by polls that were turned into stories. A mistake on her part was polled again, and her drop in those polls created yet another story. As each candidate entered the news cycle, they were polled and those results were turned into stories. All the while, voters were reading those polls.

The most outrageous example was last chance candidate Rick Santorum. A shift in support equal to the margin of error became a story. The story was that Santorum was the closest one to beat Mitt Romney. Voters then had an idea that this person was the one they would need to strategically vote for if they wanted Romney to lose. It was not retail politicking, it was retail polling.

Polling is literally killing democracy. The more precise polling becomes, the more predictive it becomes. Not only does the polling end up right, it now must be right. Margin of error, sample size, cross tabs and polling bias do not exist. If someone has a 2% “lead,” it’s not a fake story about a margin of error. It is now a verifiable fact that 100% of voters represent that 2% gap.

I’ve had it with the bastards. If you are asked a poll question, lie. Tell them you’re supporting Fred Karger. Hell, tell them you’re an Obama supporter. Make these false prophets look like the tin gods they are. It would certainly make votes, not polls, actually count.


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Day 1156 – Why We Love Sarah Palin

January 4, 2012
4 Comments

Vice Presidents are an interesting group. The Constitution originally planned for the Vice President to be the second choice in the general election. If a Republican ran against a Democrat, the president and vice president could be political opponents. The parties stopped that early on, especially since it was a factor in Alexander Hamilton’s assassination in a duel.

Modern Vice Presidents are either former losers in presidential nomination contests or party heretics who are being neutered. Ironically, the ones who are VPs as a nuisance have a strange tendency to become president. Sarah Palin was neither. She was a very popular governor who only became a pariah after her nomination.

Palin represents everything people say they want in representative government. She came from an average family background. She had a family and worked in the private sector before she worked in government. Her first elected position was on the school board. We weren’t told that her college or her campaign staff qualified her for executive office. She earned that respect by being an effective manager in her own right. She resigned from a political appointment, something inconceivable to many politicians, because of the corruption of the office. She is a citizen politician.

One of the reasons the knives came out for Sarah Palin, besides her tremendous charisma, was because she took her role seriously as the Vice Presidential nominee. She took on Obama’s thin record and his criminal associations. She did what John McCain would not do, which is to be expected of a VP nominee. It’s too bad McCain also had her silenced for much of the campaign, when they weren’t booking her on hostile interviews.

Sarah continues to fight the good fight for Republicans. She is going to do her best to make sure Republicans take back the Senate this year, so that Obama’s influence can be blunted regardless of the outcome. I think she did the right thing. Whatever this election does end up being about, it won’t be about anything the Founding Fathers intended.


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Day 1155 – Three Tickets to Paradise

January 3, 2012
1 Comment

There are a lot of ways to look at the Iowa results. At 11pm with 90% of the count in, Santorum and Romney are nearly tied at 25%. Ron Paul is down to about 21% and Newt Gingrich had a weak showing at 13%. Two men have obvious tickets to the rest of the race. Paul has a ticket with a short expiration date. Gingrich has a ticket with a lot of restrictions. It will take some effort for him to move much further.

Rick Perry is most likely done. Santorum has enough gravitas. He also has good enough conservative credentials to take away from 6th place finisher Michele Bachmann. Jon Huntsman was deservedly decimated and only a first (or strong second) place showing in New Hampshire will let him move on at all.

The best part of this story is how this is the year of the stealth candidate. The media have consistently beaten on any candidate (except for Huntsman and Romney) with any standing in the polls. Rick Santorum has been behind the scenes for a while now. He’s the candidate of choice for Glenn Beck and many Tea Partiers. He’s already been run through the ringer in his last Senatorial campaign. He also has the uncanny ability to make the gay community go insane. Making your liberal enemies in the media act likes asses can be a good asset. GW Bush used it well in 2004.

Predictably, bloated pundits like Tweety Matthews are talking up Santorum. They want to get him fattened up for a potential slaughter in New Hampshire. The race is on. It’s Obama and the media against the Republicans and the rest of the country. We already know which candidate on the GOP the media wants to get the nomination. Vote different.


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Day 1154 – Who Comes in Fourth?

January 2, 2012
3 Comments

New Hampshire had the distinction of always choosing the future president in their primary until 1992. Bill Clinton may have been the comeback kid, but he was second best in New Hampshire. After that, New Hampshire became even less predictive. The magic was gone.

Iowa’s record is even worse. It is first in the nation for no particularly good reason. In 2008, John McCain came in fourth after Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney and Fred Thompson. In 2004, Democrats forced the Iowa caucuses to be predictive. When Kerry pulled out a last minute victory, party support rallied around him. He got the nomination because he bought enough ads in one tiny state.

The only thing about Iowa I’m looking forward to is the fact that when it ends the campaign begins.


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