Last Debate Shows President the Clear Winner as Romney Moves Toward Him on Key Issues

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debate-obama-third

ANALYSIS – For a lot of reasons, in the end it may not matter.  But in their third and final debate, Mitt Romney made a lot of the same mistakes that Barack Obama made in the first debate.

He attempted to play it safe, and present himself as a competent, level-headed and plausible alternative to President Obama as the Commander in Chief.  However, in the process he seemed to cede a number of positions to the President – positions that he seemed to change on the fly.

“I’m glad that Governor Romney agrees with the steps that we’re taking,” President Obama remarked. “There have been times, Governor, frankly, during the course of this campaign, where it sounded like you thought that you’d do the same things we did, but you’d say them louder and somehow that would make a difference.”

But that strategy clearly backfired.  Mitt Romney had the opportunity to show how a Romney administration would move the country in a new and different direction, but instead he seemed to punt.

On the other hand, President Obama had the opportunity to debunk some of what he saw as misleading attacks.

When Governor Romney attacked, “Our Navy is smaller now than any time since 1917…  We’re headed down to the – to the low 200s if we go through with sequestration. That’s unacceptable to me. I want to make sure that we have the ships that are required by our Navy.”

The President would turn it on him.  He countered, “I think Governor Romney maybe hasn’t spent enough time looking at how our military works. You – you mentioned the Navy, for example, and that we have fewer ships than we did in 1916. Well, Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets – (laughter) – because the nature of our military’s changed. We have these things called aircraft carriers where planes land on them. We have these ships that go underwater…nuclear submarines.”

“And so the question is not a game of Battleships where we’re counting ships. It’s – it’s what are our capabilities.”

One of the big pieces of news is that Governor Romney now appears to favor a hard date for withdrawal from Afghanistan.

“Well, we’re going to be finished by 2014. And when I’m president, we’ll make sure we bring our troops out by the end of 2014,” Governor Romney said. “The commanders and the generals there are on track to do so. We’ve seen progress over the past several years. The surge has been successful, and the training program is proceeding at pace.”

President Obama would point out that the Governor is all over the map on a whole host of issues: “Governor, the problem is, is that on a whole range of issues, whether it’s the Middle East, whether it’s Afghanistan, whether it’s Iraq, whether it’s now Iran, you’ve been all over the map. I mean, I’m pleased that you now are endorsing our policy of applying diplomatic pressure and potentially having bilateral discussions with the Iranians to end their nuclear program.”

He added, “But just a few years ago you said that’s something you’d never do, in the same way that you initially opposed a time table in Afghanistan, now you’re for it, although it depends; in the same way that you say you would have ended the war in Iraq, but recently gave a speech saying that we should have 20,000 more folks in there; the same way that you said that it was mission creep to go after Gadhafi.”

On bin Laden, the President also attacked the previous position: “When it comes to going after Osama bin Laden, you said, well, any president would make that call. But when you were a candidate in 2008 – as I was – and I said, if I got bin Laden in our sights, I would take that shot, you said we shouldn’t move heaven and earth to get one man, and you said we should ask Pakistan for permission.”

The President would add, “And if we had asked Pakistan for permission, we would not have gotten him. And it was worth moving heaven and earth to get him.”

Somehow, a foreign policy debate turned to the question of the Detroit auto industry.

“Attacking me is not talking about an agenda for getting more trade and opening up more jobs in this country,” Mitt Romney would say, though it would appear the President could have said the same thing.  He then launched into a defense of his own policy on the auto industry.

He said: “But the president mentioned the auto industry and that somehow I would be in favor of jobs being elsewhere. Nothing could be further from the truth. I’m a son of Detroit. I was born in Detroit. My dad was head of a car company. I like American cars. And I would do nothing to hurt the U.S. auto industry. My plan to get the industry on its feet when it was in real trouble was not to start writing checks. It was President Bush that wrote the first checks. I disagree with that. I said they need – these companies need to go through a managed bankruptcy, and in that process they can get government help and government guarantees, but they need to go through bankruptcy to get rid of excess cost and the debt burden that they’d – they’d built up.”

“Governor, the people in Detroit don’t forget,” President Obama responded at one point.  “I think anybody out there can check the record. Governor Romney, you keep on trying to, you know, airbrush history here. You were very clear that you would not provide government assistance to the U.S. auto companies even if they went through bankruptcy. You said that they could get it in the private marketplace. That wasn’t true.”

In 2008 Governor Romney wrote, “If General Motors, Ford and Chrysler get the bailout that their chief executives asked for yesterday, you can kiss the American automotive industry goodbye. It won’t go overnight, but its demise will be virtually guaranteed.”

He had added, “Without that bailout, Detroit will need to drastically restructure itself. With it, the automakers will stay the course – the suicidal course of declining market shares, insurmountable labor and retiree burdens, technology atrophy, product inferiority and never-ending job losses. Detroit needs a turnaround, not a check.”

The question then turns to who won the debate and does it matter.

Nate Silver’s analysis is that, while President Obama is unlikely to get a big debate bounce, a small one could matter.

“There is, obviously, some disagreement on the magnitude of Mr. Obama’s advantage – the polls surveyed different types of voters and applied different methods to do so,” Nate Silver wrote.  “But averaging the results from the CBS News, CNN and Google polls, which conducted surveys after all three presidential debates along with the one between the vice-presidential candidates, puts Mr. Obama’s margin at 16 percentage points.”

debate-polls

Writes Mr. Silver: “The first presidential debate produced roughly a 4-percentage-point bounce in head-to-head polls toward Mr. Romney, while the second presidential debate brought no appreciable bounce toward Mr. Obama.”

He adds, “It is tempting to split the difference, and assume that Mr. Obama might get a 1- or 2-point bounce in the polls, but there are some mitigating factors. The pace of the debate was slow, and it was competing against professional baseball and football games, which may have kept viewership down.”

Our view is that this debate is not going to produce a huge swing.  What it will do is arrest some of the momentum that Governor Romney had.  After a lackluster first debate, President Obama has had two solid debates.

I actually think that President Obama was better in the second debate than the third.  The difference is that Governor Romney was relatively good in the second debate, but much worse in the third debate.

The New York Times analysis: “For Mr. Romney, this final debate before the election in two weeks was clearly his weakest. While he seemed familiar with a range of topics, speaking about rebellions in Mali and ticking off the insurgent groups in Pakistan, he also took every opportunity he could to turn back to economic issues at home, his campaign theme.”

Where this might matter is that Governor Romeny has need to make two sells.  He has to convince a sufficient number of voters that not only was President Obama’s first term a failure, but that he would be the better alternative.

He actually undermined both cases on Monday night.  He essentially argued that he agrees with President Obama on most foreign policy areas and that any failures of Obama on the foreign policy front likely would have occurred under a Romney administration as well.

Now, is the Presidential election going to turn on foreign policy?  Not likely.  And Presidential Obama is probably not going to spend the resources to show that Romney’s position is a moving target here.

In the end, I see this as about a one-point lead for President Obama with two weeks to go.  I have had this pegged as 2004 all along, and I see no reason to change that view now.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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125 thoughts on “Last Debate Shows President the Clear Winner as Romney Moves Toward Him on Key Issues”

  1. rusty49

    Funny, the way I saw it was Romney looked much more presidential than Obama. Obama came off as rude, bullying and too overly aggressive. In the end it all depends on who you like, if you like Romney then you felt he did okay and the same goes for Obama supporters. Unlike the first debate, this debate will do little to move the needle.

    GO GIANTS!!!

  2. David M. Greenwald

    “the way I saw it was Romney looked much more presidential than Obama. “

    When you lose on the issues, you bring up the peripherals. The question is whether agreeing with everything Obama said constitutes looking Presidential – after all the Presidency is about leadership.

    ” In the end it all depends on who you like, if you like Romney then you felt he did okay and the same goes for Obama supporters.”

    Except that the polls all measured uncommitted voters.

    “Unlike the first debate, this debate will do little to move the needle.”

    That point was made in my analysis.

  3. Don Shor

    That was amazing. Romney was literally babbling at times (“I want to see peace! I want to see growing peace in this country, it’s our objective!”). He made nonsensical comments (who knew Iran is landlocked?!). He specifically repeatedly contradicted previous positions he has taken. He looked uncomfortable and sounded robotic, and at times looked as though he didn’t even know what he was talking about.
    Let’s be charitable and say foreign policy isn’t his main selling point.

  4. David M. Greenwald

    “I keeps me laughing is how the left is criticizing Romney for not having enough experience to be precedent. “

    I haven’t heard that a lot. It seems to me that the main criticism is that Romney either is too extreme or that he has no real ideology and has moved around like jello during the course of his campaign.

  5. Don Shor

    When a candidate doesn’t have experience, you should look at who his advisers are. In Romney’s case, they are mostly Bush-era foreign policy ideologues, including many neo-conservatives and some specific individuals who were involved in the worst decisions of that presidency.

  6. J.R.

    Well, when election day is over either I or Don and David will be revealed as self-delusional.

    To me Obama looks like a flailing loser.

    We’ll see soon enough who is right.

  7. rusty49

    J.R.

    To me Obama is in desparation mode. He has to go on the attack because he knows that Romney has all the momentum. Once again, Romney looked so much more presidential than the actual president.

    GIANTS ROCK!!!!

  8. Adam Smith

    I think this debate played out as expected. A sitting president has a distinct advantage with respect to foreign policy, and would be expected to win such a debate. That was the case last night, but it was far from the knockout that Romney delivered in Round 1.

    Altogether, however, Romney was the clear beneficiary of the debates. He has proven himself presidential to many people, and is clearly capable of standing toe to toe with Obama, who has been well recognized for his debating and oratory skills. That Obama was unable to punch out Romney is a win for Romney. The tightening of the race in key states and across the country is demonstrative of the impact of the debates.

  9. Frankly

    This post and some of the comments prove that my liberal blogging friends are blinded by their love of Obama. They want him to win so bad that they project good Obama performance that does not exist!

    The majority of viewers don’t even understand the nuanced technicalities that the politicos and brainy elite tend to tally to determine a winner or loser. I was pausing and explaining many things to my wife… and she is above average in understanding the issues. It is all the non-verbal and paralanguage stuff that gets the attention of the normal folk. Obama was snarky, tired and sick-looking, mean, sarcastic, disrespectful and frankly appeared much more desperate. Romney was calmer, brighter, healthier looking, more respectful and nicer and appeared much more presidential.

    Obama appealed to his base. That won’t help him. He also made weak attempts to try and endear the military voters. I talk to my son in the Army and he says that there is not much like of Obama and everyone knows he wants to gut the military to fund social programs and growing entitlements. Obama’s base will still love him and would vote from him even if he killed babies for a hobby, but Obama did not pull in any new voters with that performance.

    I think more women voters were left wondering where that old likeable Obama went, and finding a stronger attraction to the Mitt factor.

    Romney moved the needle again away from the lies perpetrated by the left and Obama campaign to paint him as all the things he is not.

    Did you get the Romney bit about extending our economic relationships to Latin America? Good move on his part… I am expecting Latino votes falling away from the Obama camp over newly energized expectations that Romney is their best bet economically.

    I also think Romney did some real damage to Obama with his very well done response to Obama’s technical argument that he did not go on a apology tour (Note: these type of moves… like Obama’s move to defend his terrible Bengahzi event performance), are typical Democrat “what the definition of ‘is’ is” type of moves):
    [quote] Obama said while abroad that the U.S. acted “contrary to our traditions and ideals” in its treatment of terrorist suspects, that “America has too often been selective in its promotion of democracy,” that the U.S. “certainly shares blame” for international economic turmoil and has sometimes “shown arrogance and been dismissive, even divisive” toward Europe.[/quote]

    Sure Obama never uttered the exact words “we apologize”; but to say that the US “shares blame” is the essence of an apology. This really pisses off a lot of people… for a sitting US President to say that the US – the nation that does more good in the world than any other – shares blame for Muslim extremism and terrorism is worthy of plenty of scorn.

    And, Obama made a lot of mistakes with his facts (again though… the average voter would not understand or care about much of this):

    – The Marines still use bayonets.

    – Romney was responsible for education reform as governor even though Obama claimed it happened before he came to office.

    – Obama’s claims about Romney’s position on the GM bailouts was wrong or a lie.

    – Obama lied about keeping troops in Iraq. His administration tried for many months to win Iraqi agreement to keeping several thousand American troops there beyond 2011 to continue training and advising the Iraqi armed forces. The talks broke down over a disagreement on legal immunity for U.S. troops.

    – Obama accused Romney of saying during the 2008 campaign that “we should ask Pakistan for permission” before going into that country to kill or capture terrorists. What Romney said was that he’d “keep our options quiet.”

    – Obama said unemployment among military veterans is lower than for the general population. That’s true for veterans generally but not for veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

    – Obama wrongly claimed Romney called Russia the “biggest geopolitical threat facing America.” Actually, Romney called Russia a “foe” and not a “threat.” He said “the greatest threat that the world faces is a nuclear Iran.”

  10. Rifkin

    If Romney loses on Nov. 6–which is what I expect to happen*–he stands to have a good career, not that he needs money, playing the role of [i]the president[/i] in future TV movies. Mitt, more than anything, looks the part.

    *My prediction for the Electoral College:

    Obama 275
    Romney 263

    As Nate Silver wrote today, the key state will be Ohio. I expect Obama to win it. Of the other very hotly contested states, I think Romney takes Iowa, Virginia, Florida and Colorado. I expect Obama to also win New Hampshire and Wisconsin.

    One last thought: Maybe it is the very nature of being the No. 2 person on the ticket, but Paul Ryan seems to me to have shrunk in stature since he was chosen as Romney’s running mate. For reasons of shoring up his base, Ryan was as good a pick as Romney could have made, I suppose. However, I had thought that, if Romney ultimately lost to Obama, Ryan’s elevation would place him as the most likely Republican nominee in 2016. Having watched Ryan running in this campaign, I no longer think that. I don’t even think Paul Ryan will ever have enough political talent to make it into the U.S. Senate. He strikes me as one of those guys whose talent lends itself much more as a bill-writer in the House or, assuming he does not become V.P., a Cabinet secretary.

    All that said, if Romney wins on Nov. 6 and Ryan does become the V.P., all bets are off. Ryan will very likely become transformed in that office and that transformation, successful or not, will decide whether he can win his party’s nomination for President in future years. Certainly Ryan is, unlike a Joe Biden, young enough to be transformed.

  11. David M. Greenwald

    “This post and some of the comments prove that my liberal blogging friends are blinded by their love their love of Obama.”

    I think you’re more likely blinded by your hatred for him. I don’t like Obama.

    “The Marines still use bayonets.”

    Who cares? Obama didn’t say no one used bayonets, he quipped that fewer are used than 100 years ago…

    This is good analysis on the bayonet point… ([url]http://www.cnn.com/2012/10/23/opinion/graham-third-debate/index.html?hpt=hp_t2[/url])

    [quote]But Obama countered with the most memorable line of the night. “We also have fewer horses and bayonets.” Obama’s debating point was that the nature of our military has changed. [/quote]

    [quote]This was terrible for Romney for three reasons. First, it was the original area of real disagreement, and Romney couldn’t afford to be bested. Second, no matter what he may actually know, Romney looked like a neophyte when it comes to military spending, as though he were repeating old Republican talking points. Viewers could be left unsure whether he knew what century this is.

    And finally, it’s two freaking trillion dollars! They both talked about the budget deficit and the need to balance the budget, and over three debates, this — $2 trillion on military spending — was the biggest difference on offer. Axing Big Bird would net a President Romney next to nothing in savings, but adding $2 trillion to defense sounded excessive, especially if it’s true that the U.S. already spends more than the next 10 countries combined. Point Obama.[/quote]

  12. Rifkin

    Here is my current Electoral College map guess:

    [img]http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-eYwBwoXGMWU/UIbZW_iS5-I/AAAAAAAAAr4/WhXTWBW93Tk/s1600/electoral+college.JPG[/img]

  13. David M. Greenwald

    The other problem with the argument Jeff – the Dems had a whole list of mistakes that romney made in the first debate, the problem is that even attacking him in adds didn’t save Obama, Romney needed to make the case and didn’t. You sound like the Dems trying to explain away Obama’s poor performance in the first debate.

  14. Rifkin

    If you look at that map, even if it is slightly wrong in a few places, it becomes obvious that the overwhelming majority of the physical area of our country is Republican, the minority Democratic. The balancing factor, of course, is that the small Northeast section is densely populated and with California firmly blue, the West Coast outweighs much of everything in red to the Mississippi River.

    But there is a big change coming in 4 or 8 years: Texas. That state has been solidly in the Republican camp (in presidential elections) since 1972, save 1976 when Carter, perhaps because he was viewed as a Confederate state governor, won. The change in Texas is demographic: It has a huge Latino population which is getting larger. Non-Hispanic whites now make up only 44.8% of Texans. As old white voters die off, they are being replaced by Latino youth. The Republican Party, which has increasingly taken a rabidly anti-illegal immigration stance, has less and less appeal to Hispanic Texans. Unless the national Republican Party figures this out, they will soon lose Texas and likely won’t win it back for a long, long time. George W. Bush was reasonably well-liked by Latinos in his state, in part because his own position on immigration was moderate or liberal. But the National Republicans, especially led by the radio right and Fox News, rebuffed Bush. And that party has only become more extreme in the last decade in its hatred of the illegal immmigrants. The fact that the Dream Act, which is quite modest, cannot win a vote in Congress due to Republican action, says it all about where today’s GOP is. Giving citizenship to illegal aliens who are contributing to our society and who served in our armed forces was for more than 100 years American policy. The Republicans’ extremism on this issue is not serving themselves or our nation very well.

  15. David M. Greenwald

    “If you look at that map, even if it is slightly wrong in a few places, it becomes obvious that the overwhelming majority of the physical area of our country is Republican, the minority Democratic. The balancing factor, of course, is that the small Northeast section is densely populated and with California firmly blue, the West Coast outweighs much of everything in red to the Mississippi River.”

    It’s a rural – urban divide, which is also not a good trend for Republicans as the urban continues to grow and rural continues to shrink.

  16. wdf1

    Rifkin: [i]The Republican Party, which has increasingly taken a rabidly anti-illegal immigration stance, has less and less appeal to Hispanic Texans. Unless the national Republican Party figures this out, they will soon lose Texas and likely won’t win it back for a long, long time. George W. Bush was reasonably well-liked by Latinos in his state, in part because his own position on immigration was moderate or liberal.[/i]

    Texas Gov. Rick Perry was perceived as “soft” on immigration during the Republican primaries. Of course he imploded on the word, “oops.”

    Most of the Texas Republican party follows in the footsteps of G.W. Bush and Perry. If the Texas Republicans find a way to neutralize the issue of immigration, then the state will stay red for longer.

    But I understand from family who live there that major urban areas in Texas are starting to tilt more to the Democrats.

    If Obama wins, then I see Jeb Bush as being a strong candidate for the Republicans in 2016, and I think he would be much more attractive to Latino voters. He could likely keep Florida and Texas Republican, probably maintain the current red block of states. He would only have to figure out which blue states to peel away.

  17. Rifkin

    [i]”If the Texas Republicans find a way to neutralize the issue of immigration, then the state will stay red for longer.”[/i]

    The problem for Texas Republicans is that the radio right defines the brand name for the entire party. Of course, if a moderate (on the issue of immigration) wins the GOP nomination and that nominee has other appeals to Hispanics, then Texas [i]could[/i] still be won by a Republican after Texas becomes half Hispanic. Outside of a Jeb Bush, that seems unlikely.

    What is likely is that to win the GOP primaries across the country, the future Republican nominees, like Romney did this year with his suggestion of sending 12 million people over the border, will have to suck up to the rabid radio right, the Rush Limbaughs and Michael Savages and Sean Hannitys. And as long as that happens, the GOP is dead in the water with Mexican-Americans.

  18. Frankly

    [i]My point about Texas: Once it goes blue, there is no chance for a Republican to win the presidency for decades.[/i]

    That assumes the present trend for a dominant Democrat electorate. I think we will see a reversal of that if Obama is elected to a second term. I think we should not confuse ideology with branding. Most people are not ideologues like those that participate on this blog. The GOP is a tarnished brand and it makes the Democrat brand more attractive by comparison. However, the Dems are busy wiping the shine off their Party, while the GOP retools.

    The only positive thing about an Obama win is that we will never have another Clinton in the Whitehouse unless Bill gets an invitation to tutor some interns.

  19. Frankly

    I think Romney will win the popular vote and he will win Ohio and the election.

    It will be because he has attracted more of the woman vote and pulled in more moderates from his debate performances.

    I had a thought last night that we could see a case where the states electors vote different than their state majority. We have seen a rise in transparent political activism by our media and our judicial, and I would not be surprised to see this happen to save Obama in the end. The country is already so politically divided and will be more so after the election (thanks to the pseudo leadership of the great Teflon Messiah divider.) Also, the main media is complicit in ignoring or backing the bad behavior of the left. So, why not?

  20. Frankly

    I absolutely agree with this comment:

    [img]http://www.cscdc.org/miscjeff/debatewhy.jpg[/img]

    [url]http://live.washingtonpost.com/presidential-debate-121023.html[/url]

  21. Don Shor

    One way Romney could win the popular vote but lose the electoral college; this was Gallup on Oct. 16:
    [img]http://davismerchants.org/vanguard/GallupOct16.png[/img]

  22. rusty49

    U.S. NATIONAL DEBT CLOCK
    The Outstanding Public Debt as of 23 Oct 2012 at 08:56:44 PM GMT is:
    $16,202,392,226,554.74

    The estimated population of the United States is 313,739,048
    so each citizen’s share of this debt is $51,642.89.

    The National Debt has continued to increase an average of
    $3.88 billion per day since September 28, 2007!

    So if you have a spouse and three kids your portion of the debt is $258,000.00

  23. Rifkin

    [i]”I think Romney will win the popular vote and he will win Ohio and the election.”[/i]

    Nate Silver is currently projecting Obama to win Ohio by 2.1%. Other than the Quinnipiac Poll, which has Obama ahead there by 5%, all of the polls suggest it is very, very close at the moment.

    Perhaps Romney’s poor performance at last night’s debate will change that. In a few days we will know.

  24. Don Shor

    rusty:
    It would be great to have that debt clock show which president created each percentage.
    [url]http://www.businessinsider.com/whos-responsible-for-budget-deficit-2012-8[/url]
    Now, if one candidate actually had a plan that would reduce the deficit, I’d see the point of your post. But neither really does.

  25. rusty49

    I would put my money on Romney reducing the deficit because we already know what Obama has done to the deficit. The last 4 years is a tell all, his record speaks for itself.

  26. Rifkin

    Rusty: If debt avoidance is the motivating factor in your vote, and you presently had a choice between Bill Clinton, under whom the deficit disappeared and GW Bush, under whom the deficit exploded, you would vote for Mr. Clinton? Or is it simply the case that you think Obama’s record on the deficit is a point against him, and you are trying to exploit that point at this moment?

  27. rusty49

    Obama said he was going to cut the deficit in half and the end of his four years. He actually raised it more than 50%. What more proof do I need that Obama is a liar and you can’t take him at his word on the debt. It’s time to try somebody new.

  28. Don Shor

    rusty: how will Romney cut the debt? Please, give us some details. Maybe you can tell us how the math will add up.
    Of course, if they just let the Bush tax cuts expire, that would take care of most of it.

  29. Frankly

    The myth of the Clinton debt elimination.

    Go here and find a year in which the debt declined during the years Clinton was responsible for the budget.

    [url]http://treasurydirect.gov/NP/BPDLogin?application=np[/url]

    Can’t find it, can ya?

    In any case, the ONLY SUSTAINABLE way to get us out of debt is to cut government spending and grow the economy. Clinton did some of this working with a GOP Congress. Romney is the much better choice for doing this again. Obama is a central-control, big-government believer. He thinks that the economy will just grow enough even as he increases the punishment on job and wealth creators and keeps spending, spending, spending. Obama is actually the one stuck in an old Ted Kennedy paradigm. But the world is now flat (borrowing the concept from Thomas Friedman… the thinker and writer that Paul Krugman can only dream of being). The economy is global. We cannot go back to the liberal social Democrat ideas of the 1960s. The Laffer Curve is real, and it has flattened along with the global economy.

    Listen to Obama. He does not understand free enterprise. He does not understand business risk taking and what drives the creators. He does not get the current challenges for what it will take for American to maintain our standards of living. He is trying to flip the system… giving ultimate power to labor and the public-sector… at the very wrong time in our country’s history. The last four years have been proof that he got it wrong, and his current messaging provides proof that he still does not get it.

    The Dow dropped 250 today on reports of lower than expected earnings from blue chip American companies that provide products that feed the economic producers. Is the economy barely liming along on unsustainable low-interest credit? There is concern about another recession.

    Vote for Romney to end this mess and get America back on the right track. Obama has been a disaster. Another four years will create more misery for Americans than we have ever dealt with before.

  30. Don Shor

    Someone seems to be confusing debt and deficit.

    [i]”In any case, the ONLY SUSTAINABLE way to get us out of debt is to cut government spending and grow the economy.”[/i]
    Obama offered Boehner an historic deal last summer. More than 4:1 ratio of cuts to tax increases. More that four to one. Boehner walked away from it because he couldn’t get his caucus to go along with it. That caucus led by Cantor and Ryan.

    [i]”The Dow dropped 250 today…”[/i] So we’re using the stock exchange as a measure of presidential performance. Cool!
    [img]http://marketplayground.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Stock-Market-Under-President-Barack-Obama.png[/img]

    Maybe you can answer the question rusty won’t answer. How will Romney cut the deficit?

  31. Frankly

    There are a couple of swing state voting scenarios where we could have a tie or near tie. This then brings up the question of rouge electors. My guess is that the Democrats are working on this right now… identifying a few people that can be convinced to “take one for the team” if Obama comes up short or ties.

    Here is a list of states that don’t have any pledge or state law requiring the elector to vote along their state’s majority vote:

    [img]http://www.cscdc.org/miscjeff/electorreq.jpg[/img]

    I would expect the Dems to focus on these states… and even others that only have a Party pledge… to create that one or two rouge elector that will help give them the win.

    Unprecedented? Yes, but we live in unprecedented political times.

  32. Frankly

    Don: [i]Maybe you can answer the question rusty won’t answer. How will Romney cut the deficit?[/i]

    Grow debt grow slower than GDP.

    Obama will do the oposite.

  33. Don Shor

    [i]Grow debt grow slower than GDP. Obama will do the oposite.
    [/i] So, of course, will Romney, if he does the things he has promised.

    In order to reduce the deficit and the debt, both candidates are going to have to make spending cuts, raise some taxes, or some combination of those two.

    Romney’s position is clear: No new taxes. But he doesn’t even come close to showing where he would find $4 trillion in spending cuts. He has also proposed various tax reductions and wants to increase defense spending. He says his tax reductions will be revenue neutral because of unspecified deductions that he also wants to eliminate. All of the available deductions put together, along with all of his proposed spending cuts, don’t add up to enough to make his cuts revenue neutral or reduce the deficit.

    In short: he will either have to renege on his promise to cut the deficit, or renege on his promise not to raise taxes. Analysts say the only way he can reduce the deficit, if he gets his proposed tax cuts, is to broaden the tax base. Meaning: raise taxes on the middle class.

    Obama’s plan calls for roughly 30 percent of long-term deficit reduction to come from higher taxes and the balance from lower government spending. He aims to achieve $1.5 trillion in higher revenues, largely from more taxes on the wealthy. He has proposed letting the Bush tax cuts on the higher brackets expire, and retaining them on middle income taxpayers.
    Both candidates want to lower the corporate tax rate.

    Either candidate could embrace the Simpson-Bowles approach:
    Cap discretionary spending to half of inflation.
    15 cent gasoline tax for transportation spending.
    End earmarks.
    Retain Bush tax cuts for lower earners, let them expire for the two highest brackets. Plus a bunch of other simplifications of the tax code.
    Some major changes to Social Security.
    Reform of cost-sharing of Medicare, and reduction of reimbursements to hospitals (implemented as part of Obamacare).

    Paul Ryan voted against Simpson-Bowles. Obama largely ignored it.

    Both candidates’ plans assume that the gridlock with Congress can be broken. Neither has given any indication how that might occur. But the big difference is the ‘fiscal cliff’ created by the Budget Control Act of 2011. That gives Obama much more leverage than Republicans.
    In fact, it was an amazing coup for the president when Boehner threw in the towel and agreed to that act, because the immediate changes on January 1 2013 are much less palatable to Republicans than to Democrats: the Bush tax cuts expire and significant defense cuts occur. So try to imagine a Romney/GOP House/Democratic Senate dealing with the fiscal cliff vs. Obama/GOP House/Democratic Senate.

    Just a reminder: if they do absolutely nothing and the Budget Control Act of 2011 takes effect? The debt resolves itself. But the level of austerity that would impose would likely have an adverse effect on the recovery.

  34. Rifkin

    [i]”There are a couple of swing state voting scenarios where we could have a tie or near tie. This then brings up the question of [b]rouge[/b] electors.”[/i]

    Is this a rouge elector?

    [img]http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3036/3031792828_bd3f8dde8c.jpg[/img]

    Or, perhaps, did you mean rogue?

  35. wdf1

    Rifkin: [i]If debt avoidance is the motivating factor in your vote, and you presently had a choice between Bill Clinton, under whom the deficit disappeared and GW Bush, under whom the deficit exploded, you would vote for Mr. Clinton?[/i]

    JB: [i]The myth of the Clinton debt elimination.

    Go here and find a year in which the debt declined during the years Clinton was responsible for the budget. [/i]

    Rifkin was not talking about Clinton eliminating the debt. He was talking about eliminating the [b]deficit[/b] between 1996 and 2001.

  36. David M. Greenwald

    The debt argument is kind of silly in my view.

    First, you really don’t want to reduce deficit or debt during a downturn
    Second, the lack of economic growth also contributes to the deficit (i.e. why California has been struggling with deficits)
    And third, other than 1996 to 2001 (DURING STRONG ECONOMIC GROWTH) we have grown the debt steadily over the last 40 years – BOTH PARTIES.

    So who do I think will be stronger? NEITHER
    To the extent it matters, grow the economy and hold spending increases below the line of economic growth

    How often has that happened? five years in my lifetime.

  37. Frankly

    [i]In order to reduce the deficit and the debt, both candidates are going to have to make spending cuts, raise some taxes, or some combination of those two[/i]

    If we go back over the last 80 years, 80% of those years were deficit spending years. This has got to stop. Romney is the great spending stopper of our time. Obama is the great spender of our time… just like the previous 80%.

    I would support raising taxes temporarily to pay down the national debt. But not right now while we are still on the edge of a second great recession.

    The other problem with raising taxes, is that it takes pressure off the cost cutting we should be doing. And, it is too easy for politicians to dip into that new revenue to pad the pockets of more gubment workers and spend more on vote-getting entitlements.

    If we cannot cut at this point, then why would we trust that we would cut by raising taxes?

    Romney is not giving specifics precicely for the same reason that he has not released more tax returns. The Obama election factory would just love to create emotive wedges for any and all of the deductions that we could eliminate. The job to decide which deductions to eliminate or reduce or cap should be developed by a bipartisan team and a President in office that is not perpetually using his bully pulpit to campaign and wage class war, but to actually lead in a bipartisan way to do the right things.

    Let’s be honest Don. You would be all giddy to have a list of Romney targeted deductions to trash and enflame fear and anger about.

    The fact is that we need a much more transparent and simplified tax code. We need to eliminate many of the loopholes that allow some people and some businesses to pay much less in taxes than their peers. I beleive this can be done while lowering the general tax rate and remaining revenue-neutral.

    5% or 6% annual GDP growth over the next eight years should do the trick… as long as we cut spending.

  38. David M. Greenwald

    ” Romney is the great spending stopper of our time.”

    I don’t buy it. The best opportunity we had was 1995 until 2000. Republican revolution took up the issue, Clinton bought into it. But after 2001, we lost site of the goal and spending exploded under Bush, continued under Obama with help from the lack of economic growth. So why should Romney have credibility here? The republicans have not exactly been deficit hawks in the last 15 years.

  39. Don Shor

    How is closing a deduction not a tax increase?
    Don’t you think people should have some idea what fiscal policies — that might affect them — are likely to be implemented by the candidate of their choice?
    Do you really believe there are $2 – 5 trillion in deductions and loopholes available?

  40. Rifkin

    [i]”The rogue electors that are the main concern aren’t Democrats. They’re disgruntled Ron Paul supporters.”[/i]

    Is there a state Republican Party that is now controlled by the Ron Paulists?

    If there is one–and I seem to recall that happening in Alaska–then that is a danger for Romney. The Alaska Republican Party will, for example, pick the 3 electors who will vote in the Electoral Collge (assuming Romney wins Alaska). The Paulists, if they are still in charge of the Alaska GOP machinery, could easily pick three Ron Paulies as electors.

  41. Rifkin

    [i]”We need to eliminate many of the loopholes that allow some people and some businesses to pay much less in taxes than their peers.”[/i]

    Romney has pledged that he will not eliminate any loopholes without also reducing marginal rates. It’s part of the Grover Norquist plan.

    The problem here is that Romney plans to massively increase defense spending. But he won’t pay for that. He is simply going to dig us deeper into debt.

    My own view is that both parties are quite bad when it comes to responsible budgeting. Obama has been horrible. Romney’s plans are going to make us even worse off.

  42. Frankly

    Don, I recently read that an energy company will pay about 15% in taxes, while a construction company will pay about 35% in taxes.

    Yes, I think there are enough loopholes and deductions that we can implement to get to $2 trillion. The rest of the gap will be filled with a stronger economy.

    Note that business and high net-worth individuals exploit every deduction and loophole. However most of them support a flat and/or significantly simplified tax. Nobody likes the tax code. Most everyone except drunken spending politicians wants a much more transparent tax code. Either we fix it or the left needs to shut their disingenuous class war pie hole over the fact that business and high net-worth individuals take advantage of the current jumble of rules and deductions.

    Conservatives – for the most part – have the same problem with corporate welfare as they do with government payments to individuals that should be working.

    However, it would be political suicide to start listing these things during a Presidential race. Obama made one specific promise after another that he has failed to deliver on. If you cannot deliver on specifics, then don’t commit to specifics. Romney knows he does not have the authority to decide on these things. There are millions of stakeholders represented by their hundreds of legislators and state politicians that need to have a say. Obama doubled-down on his political and class rhetoric… he kept it going through his entire four years. He cannot work across the aisle because he created a division from the start. He is a Chicago thug. You could see the real Obama from this last debate. He is not trusted by the GOP, and even many political members of his own party. He will be a lame duck if re-elected.

    Vote for Romney and save us all. Put more people back to work. Grow the economy. Reduce the debt and the deficit This could not be any clearer.

  43. Frankly

    Rich, why do you completely discount GDP growth?

    It was GDP growth that made Clinton a deficit-eliminating star of the left.

    Production is the engine of tax revenue. Increase production, and increase revenue. Decrease spending (expenses) and increase profit. We should be earning profit to invest, not investing from debt. Obama’s entire game is to increase spending that he disingenuously labels “investments”.

    I get the pull to hit the top earners, but there are not enough of them to make a dent in the debt and deficit. To make any sizable dent, you have to tax the mid-earners… that is the top half of the middle class which are our small business owners. Higher taxes will take many of them down, and reduce the number of potential business start-ups.

    There are only two ingredients to our debt and deficit problems: cutting spending, and growing the economy. We cannot tax our way out of this problem. Increasing taxes will just exacerbate our economic woes and ensure people on the public dole.

  44. J.R.

    David said
    [quote]I’m not sure I’m self-delusional – I am not a big fan of Obama. I do try to call things as I see them.[/quote]

    I’m sure you do call things as you see them. So do I. But one of us is very very wrong, and that person is “self-delusional”. If it’s me that’s mistaken then I will take some time for self-reflection to see why my view was clouded. I hope the same applies to you and Don.

  45. J.R.

    Don

    From my point of view, you have an attitude towards Obama that I would summarize as worshipful.

    I view him as a failure.

    But where one or the other of us is delusional is where you (and David) see him coasting towards victory and I see him heading to an inevitable loss. We’ll see who is right soon.

  46. Don Shor

    I support him. How does that make me ‘worshipful’? I don’t see him coasting to victory. I see a close popular vote and a less-close electoral college vote. How does that make me ‘delusional’? I’m just reading and analyzing sites like Nate Silver’s and others who aggregate poll data. They could be wrong, but more of them agree with me than with you.
    Perhaps we could all refrain from characterizing those others here that we disagree with in disparaging terms.

  47. David M. Greenwald

    JR:

    I’m largely basing my analysis on a view of the polls and my viewing of the debates. I thought Obama was awful in the first debate, I thought both were good in the second with Obama slightly better, I thought Romney was awful yesterday. I don’t think it will change the dynamics of the race however.

    I fail to see how this analysis is self-delusional. If the polls are wrong, then that’s a data error. If Romney closes strongly, then that’s a change of conditions.

    Do I think Obama has done a good job his first term? Not particularly. But I don’t think he’s done nearly as poorly as you do. It seems the country is largely split on that issue with an additional variable being the voter assessment of Romney. I think his movement in the polls after the first debate largely correlates with his seeming move to the center.

    I don’t see him coasting to victory – I see a nailbiter with him holding a slim lead with two weeks to go.

  48. Rifkin

    JB: [i]”Rich, why do you completely discount GDP growth?”[/i]

    Our economy will grow in real dollars at about 2% almost no matter what happens over the next four years. Look at this graph:

    [img]http://visualeconsite.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/RealGDP_Log-650×442.png[/img]

    As I noted on another thread, Sweden’s real growth looks about the same.

    JEFF: [i]”It was GDP growth that made Clinton a deficit-eliminating star of the left.”[/i]

    That and spending restraint. If you compare domestic discretionary spending under Clinton and the same under GW Bush, spending was far more restrained than it was under Bush ([url]http://mercatus.org/publication/spending-under-president-george-w-bush[/url]) (and that does not even count the hundreds of billions of dollars wasted on Iraq and Afghanistan). [quote] President Bush increased government spending more than any of the six presidents preceding him, including LBJ. In his last term in office, President Bush increased discretionary outlays by an estimated 48.6 percent.

    During his eight years in office, President Bush spent almost twice as much as his predecessor, President Clinton. Adjusted for inflation, in eight years, President Clinton increased the federal budget by 11 percent. In eight years, President Bush increased it by a whopping 104 percent. [/quote]

  49. Don Shor

    But you don’t understand, Rich. Conservatives don’t support George W. Bush, and never did. They apparently came to this realization in February 2009.

  50. Frankly

    JEFF: “It was GDP growth that made Clinton a deficit-eliminating star of the left.”

    RICH: That and spending restraint. If you compare domestic discretionary spending under Clinton and the same under GW Bush, spending was far more restrained than it was under Bush (and that does not even count the hundreds of billions of dollars wasted on Iraq and Afghanistan).

    Ok. First, I was never a fan of Bush spending. However, much of that was the ramp up of Homeland Security. There was also the prescription drug benefit which was something I didn’t support, but it was the type of thing Democrats should have liked.

    Regardless, if you you favor spending restraint and GDP growth, Romney should be your man.

  51. Don Shor

    [i]First, I was never a fan of Bush spending.[/i]
    Right.

    [i]if you you favor spending restraint and GDP growth, Romney should be your man.[/i]
    He wants to increase defense spending by $2 trillion dollars.

  52. wdf1

    I highly approve of Romney’s decision to be kind and gentle to the retard.— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) October 23, 2012

    A response to the above tweet:

    An Open Letter to Ann Coulter ([url]http://specialolympicsblog.wordpress.com/2012/10/23/an-open-letter-to-ann-coulter/[/url])

  53. rusty49

    wdf1, thanks for posting the link about the insensitivity of Coulter’s remark. Don’t you just hate when people make dumb comments about the disabled? Here’s another stupid, ignorant comment:

    Appearing on “The Tonight Show” in March of 2009, president Obama told host Jay Leno he’d been practicing at the White House’s bowling alley but wasn’t happy with his score of 129. Then he remarked: “It was like the Special Olympics or something.”

  54. wdf1

    rusty: We all make stupid, ignorant comments once in a while. I hope Coulter is capable of following Obama’s example and apologizing ([url]http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/story?id=7129997&page=1#.UIf5N8U72Ag[/url]).

  55. Frankly

    Ann Coulter is not a political leader. Her role is to keep poking liberals just like Chris Matthews and Alan Colmes and David Letterman and Jon Stewart and, and, and, and… have a role of poking conservatives.

    [i]First, I was never a fan of Bush spending.
    Right.[/i]

    Don, you need to think deeply about the inference here. It is a bit troubling that you cannot accept this point. I think it is an inconvenient one for you, and you just stubbornly won’t accept it because then you cannot take the disingenuous position of higher ground fake fiscal conservatism.

    Fiscal conservative free market capitalists that subscribe to the Adam Smith and Ayn Rand philosophy (me) want a smaller government and zero debt. We are not happy in any case when there government grows and we spend too much.

    I do think there was more acceptance of this during Bush’s first term because of 9-11. That event, besides ending the lives of almost 3000 innocent Americans and destroying all their families, hurt the US and global economy. It caused a near recession, and the Fed and monetary response of the Bush administration and Congress probably prevented it from happening. However, Bush went too far. He leveraged the fiscal future of the country with the prescription drug benefit and the wars. More importantly, he did not veto and lead enough to stop the wild spending by Congress.

    This last point is the important one. If Obama is President, he will not veto spending bills that rely on debt. Romney will.

    I completely reject this notion from my liberal friends that they miraculously have grabbed the platform of fiscal conservatism and somehow conservatives are the big spenders. That is a big laugher and a knee-slapper. Obama will take us to and over the fiscal cliff. Romney will save us from it.

    The point about defense spending. Take a look at the following:

    [img]http://www.cscdc.org/miscjeff/Defense1.jpg[/img]

    If we remove the cost of the two wars, defense spending has significant shrunk as a percent of GDP, while non-defense spending has exploded. Romney is correct that we need to keep the military strong in this time of the failed Obama policy of apology and appeasement that has led to a much more dangerous world. You and others were convinced the Obama Hussein Obama would extend the olive branch and start mending fences. It has not worked. It will not work.

    The only thing that these murderous thugs and insecure, short, envious dictators understand is that they will get their heads bloodied if they threaten us or our interests in any way, shape of form. The US is not going to be their punching bag and excuse for their failed system of leadership that leaves their people miserable. To do this, the military has to be strong. That is Mitt Romney’s vision. He would be the Commander In Chief if President. I support that vision.

    Keeping us strong keeps us safe. Keeping us strong reduces the threat of future conflict that would require us to send our young men and women our to fight again.

  56. Don Shor

    [i]”I completely reject this notion from my liberal friends that they miraculously have grabbed the platform of fiscal conservatism and somehow conservatives are the big spenders.”
    [/i]
    You might reject it, but the record proves otherwise. The record of Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, in particular, shows that Republican presidents have been the most fiscally irresponsible in our history. Republicans promise fiscal conservatism but don’t practice it. And now you have a candidate who is making promises that clearly will NOT add up to a fiscally conservative outcome. Romney will make the deficit worse than Obama, if he is able to enact his promises. A negotiated outcome to the fiscal cliff between Obama and Boehner is much more likely to lead to a fiscally sound outcome.

    [i]If we remove the cost of the two wars, defense spending has significant shrunk as a percent of GDP,[/i]

    As it should. The Cold War is over. The war we are fighting against terrorism doesn’t require a massive military. It certainly doesn’t require a huge Navy, for example. Our spending should be based on our needs. Which is what Obama said to Romney the other night. There is no reason whatsoever to link defense spending to GDP. It is a form of faux patriotism to imply that reduced defense spending will weaken us or fail to “keep us safe’. Most of what you want to spend money on won’t do anything to prevent terror attacks. It seems to mostly be a jobs program for military contractors.

  57. Rifkin

    JEFF: [i]”However, much of that (increase in discretionary domestic spending) was the ramp up of Homeland Security.”[/i]

    That is not true.

    The big increases in ‘discretionary’ categories were in agriculture, where Bush and the Congressional Republicans, whom I presume you favor, doubled the welfare we pay to farmers, and in healthcare, where (as you later stated) the Bush Administration massively increased spending on meds for seniors.

    The first category was a byproduct of corruption, much like we see with the unions in California. The Congressional Republicans took millions of dollars from the farm groups and repaid them with billions in welfare. The way to get rid of this waste is to have publicly financed campaigns.

    The second category was a byproduct of corruption, much like we see with the unions in California. The Congressional Republicans took millions of dollars from the pharmaceutical companies and repaid them with billions in welfare. The way to get rid of this waste is to have publicly financed campaigns.

    It’s funny how leftwingers on this blog oppose Prop 32, when even they will admit that having public employee unions finance the Democrats’ campaigns results in our legislators voting for unsustainable wages and benefits and pensions for those workers.

    But at the same time, those lefties see quite clearly how defense contractors, big pharma, and the grain farmers have corrupted the Republican Party.

    By contrast, right wing ideologues can see with great clarity how Prop 32 will improve our system. But they seem blind to the fact that the Republican Party, whether Reagan or Bush or Bush 2 or Romney is in charge, has been thoroughly corrupted by its financiers.

    It is time to clean up our politics with clean money.

  58. Rifkin

    [i]”… leftwingers on this blog oppose Prop 32, when even they will admit that having public employee unions finance the Democrats’ campaigns results in our legislators voting for unsustainable wages and benefits and pensions for those workers.”[/i]

    By the way, Cal-access has the latest numbers up today. The unions have now poured $60 million into the No-on-32 campaign. Sixty-freaking-million!

  59. Frankly

    [i]”It is time to clean up our politics with clean money.”[/i]

    I agree.

    I did not know that so much of the Bush-era spending increases were from increases in farm subsidies. I did say that I am not happy that Bush did not veto more. I think he was giving in to get approval for war funding and homeland security funding. In his second term, he did more vetoing, but the cat was too far out of the bag by then… and then the recession.

    I do not support farm subsidies in general. I am fine with some assistance in the way of low-interest government-guaranteed loans, and some subsidies for crop insurance and disaster relief. I am also fine with rural economic development assistance. However, we need to stop giving farm subsidies to ag in general.

    Like I said, most conservatives I know are against corporate welfare. The Tea Party has formed as a wing of the GOP precisely because conservatives are fed up with over spending. Any GOP candidate today has to answer to that Tea Party wing. No Democrat candidate does.

  60. Frankly

    Me: [i]If we remove the cost of the two wars, defense spending has significant shrunk as a percent of GDP[/i]

    Don: [i]As it should. The Cold War is over. The war we are fighting against terrorism doesn’t require a massive military. It certainly doesn’t require a huge Navy, for example. Our spending should be based on our needs.[/i]

    That is the thing about defense Don… you develop to defend future threats, not the threats that you see today. It would be like telling cops they should not all be armed unless and until they start getting shot at… and then they should all go out and purchase their weapons and get trained how to shoot back.

    Our “need” is to be prepared to defend ourselves.

    There are plenty of future threats we need to defend ourselves from.
    [quote]” Peace through strength and economic growth through free enterprise are timeless”[/quote]

  61. Don Shor

    No, Jeff, you don’t need to maintain a Cold War military for a post-Cold-War era.
    We completely control the air and sea. We can invade any country we want, and occupy it for up to a decade. We could do all of that with a few percentage of less spending. We have far more military capability than anyone. We could even fight two wars at once if we had to. We are working with governments to deal with their internal terrorist threats. Nothing being proposed by the Obama administration weakens us in any way. Romney can’t even identify what all he wants to spend this extra money on. He just wants to sound tough.

  62. wdf1

    Colin Powell endorses Obama for a second term ([url]http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/ticket/colin-powell-endorses-obama-second-term-115805725–election.html[/url])

    Colin Powell was highly regarded on issues of defense and foreign policy when he served under presidents Reagan, GHW Bush and GW Bush.

  63. Frankly

    Colin Powell is not a conservative or a Republican. He never had been. There is also the question about racial affinity. I don’t see this as any profound endorsement news. Frankly, it makes me yawn.

  64. Don Shor

    He absolutely is a Republican. He campaigned for Republicans, including McCain and Bush at various times, from the mid-1990’s until his appointment as Secretary of State. But his relations with the hard right of the Republican party have never been good.

  65. David M. Greenwald

    “Colin Powell is not a conservative or a Republican. He never had been.”

    If you had eliminated the “or a republican” I would have agreed with you. However, he has been a Republican, just not a conservative one.

    As for the value of the endorsement – it was more powerful last time though interesting that he stuck with Obama this time.

    Do endorsements matter for President? I’m skeptical that they would. Local race lacking a lot of information, an endorsement is powerful.

  66. Frankly

    Collin Powell is a RINO. His endorcement may sway some blacks, but since Obama already has 90% of the black vote, this will not help Obama much. Powell will not sway any of the military vote. I don’t see him swaying many moderates. Conservatives already see him as a Politcal traitor of sorts… and prone to racial affinity.

    Now, if Al Sharpton came out supporting Romney, or Rand Paul came out supporting Obama… that would be news!

  67. David M. Greenwald

    His endorsement is not going to sway anyone and as I said, I’m not one who believes that endorsements at the presidential election level matters.

  68. Frankly

    [quote]As the nation prepares to honor its warfighters on Veterans Day, the top military commanders from the four service branches of the U.S. Armed Forces spoke openly to a congressional panel about the dangerous road being traveled by the Commander in Chief, Barack Obama.

    Avoiding the term budget cuts, Obama and his underlings labeled the military reduction process Sequestration, a euphemism for “removal or separation.” Ironically, Sequestration is the word used in Scotland for bankruptcy.

    The top officers told members of the House Armed Services Committee this week that further defense cuts will dramatically weaken U.S. national security and reduce warriors’ capabilities to effectively wage war .

    Highlighting potentially devastating fiscal consequences of defense reductions, the Joint Chiefs “echoed unanimous sentiment that further defense control efforts out of the military budget would compromise our national and economic security,” according to the congressional committee’ report.
    [/quote]
    [quote]During his testimony, Admiral Jonathan Greenert, Chief of Naval Operations, warned that “some of the actions we would need to take under sequestration could have a severe and irreversible impact on the Navy’s future.”

    “For instance, We may need to end procurement programs and begin laying off civilian personnel in fiscal year 2012 to ensure we are within control levels for January of 2012,” said the nations top sailor.

    “As a capital-intensive force, we depend on consistent and reliable production from the shipbuilding and aviation industries to sustain our fleet capacity. If we end programs abruptly and some of these companies shutdown, [we] will be hard pressed to reconstitute them. And each ship we don’t build impacts the fleet for 20-50 years,” said Greenert.
    [/quote]
    [quote]“One effect of sequestration might be to put a Marine Corps below the end strength level that’s necessary to support even one major contingency,” said Marine Commandant James Amos.[/quote]
    [quote]General Raymond Odierno, the Army Chief of Staff, cautioned that further defense cuts under sequestration would be “catastrophic to the military and –- in the case of the Army — would significantly reduce our capability and capacity to assure our partners abroad, respond to crises, and deter our potential adversaries, while threatening the readiness of our all volunteer force.”[/quote]
    [quote]Air Force Chief of Staff Norton Schwartz appeared to be on the same page as his colleagues when he noted that “even the most thoroughly deliberated strategy may not be able to overcome dire consequences if cuts go far beyond the $450 billion-plus in anticipated national security budget reductions over the next 10 years.”[/quote]
    [quote]During the administration of President Bill Clinton, in the name of a “peace dividend,” the U.S. military under went drastic reductions in staff and equipment. For example, the Army went from 18 divisions to just 10. In addition, there were reductions in Navy ships, Air Force planes and other warfighting materials.[/quote]

  69. Frankly

    [b]Electoral College Model Predicts Romney Will Win Big in 2012 (And It’s Been Right Since 1980)[/b]

    [quote]University of Colorado Professors Ken Bickers and Michael Berry have quite a set of bragging rights up their sleeve – namely, they’ve devised a mathematical model of the Electoral College that has predicted every Presidential race correctly since Ronald Reagan won the Presidency in 1980.

    And despite recent polls showing the presidential race deadlocked both nationally and in key swing states, Bickers and Berry’s model shows a race that isn’t even close. According to them, not only will Mitt Romney win, but he will win big, taking 320 Electoral Votes to President Obama’s 218 – a result almost as decisive as President Obama’s win against Senator John McCain in 2008.
    [/quote]

  70. wdf1

    JB: [i]Collin Powell is a RINO.[/i]

    Colin Powell once described himself as a “Rockefeller Republican,” a concept that no longer exists today, or at best is housed among the independents. I think Powell is perceived as credible independent, politically, and would give a few Obama-leaning undecideds the confidence to commit if they had reservations about defense or foreign policy.

  71. Don Shor

    Re: Bickers and Berry: “[i]Romney will carry [b]New Mexico[/b], North Carolina, Virginia, [b]Iowa, New Hampshire,[/b] Colorado, [b]Wisconsin, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Ohio[/b] and Florida.”[/i]

    You believe that? I’ve bolded the ones that Romney is, IMO, unlikely to carry.

    Interesting quote from a [i]November 2011[/i] op-ed. Note that they are discussing the potential impact of the sequester from the 2011 Budget Act. That Act was agreed and supported by House Republicans. So the “road being traveled” was accepted and agreed by Republicans. That’s why the sequestration should be modified by House Republicans compromising with the White House and Senate Democrats on resolving the budget issues. To pin that “road being traveled” on President Obama is without foundation. The fiscal cliff was supposed to be just that: an incentive to reach an agreement that would prevent those cuts.

  72. Frankly

    Don,

    Obama has never passed a budget.

    It is a requirement of Presidential leadership to work with Congress as structured to reach an agreement on the budget. Clinton did it when both houses were controlled by the GOP.

    It is a game of cat and mouse, and you are blaming the mouse.

    If it was a GOP president, you would be blaming the cat.

    What we need is a leader (cat) that stops playing politics and gets down to business to sign a budget that Congress will support. Then sequestration would not be on the table at all. The GOP has proposed budgets and they have been rejected.

  73. Don Shor

    [i] “Obama has never passed a budget.”
    [/i]The House passes budgets, not the president.
    Obama and Boehner reached an agreement. The House Republicans scuttled it.
    Avoiding sequestration requires compromise. The House Republicans and the President agreed to the Budget Act.
    Who is refusing to compromise?

  74. Frankly

    Sorry wdf1: nobody that supports Obama can be considered a “Rockefeller Republican”. RRs were strong supporters of big business and free market capitalism and Wall Street. Obama has made his bed of popularity demonizing these things.

    Obama:

    [b]”They are not playing by the rules”[/b] – BTW, this one REALLY PISSES ME OFF when I hear it because it infers that successful people are breaking the law… stealing… cheating… you name it. The fact is that dolt politicians like Obama and Pelosi and Reid are the ones that set the damn rules. And now it is the fault of successful people for exploiting those same rules? I don’t know which is worse… the politicians making these claims, or the idiots and smart people that continue to parrot it. This is the class war crap that we conservatives hear loud and clear and you liberals continue to put your hands over your ears and ignore.

    [b]”They need to pay their fair share”[/b] – Sure… the top 20% already pay 94% of all income taxes [url]http://taxfoundation.org/blog/top-20-percent-households-pay-94-percent-income-taxes[/url]… that tax category that funds most of the Federal government. So, what is the “fair share”? 100%? Would that make the libs happy? Again, class war and not the type of thing any RR would support.

    I can go on and on and on.

    If Powell supports a President that says these things, he is not a Rockefeller Republican, he is a RINO… or an imposter/tool of the Democrats… or he is just confused about his own identity… or he is a racist and does not know it… or he knows it and doesn’t care.

  75. Frankly

    Don: [i]Who is refusing to compromise?[/i]

    Democrats.

    Obama.

    They demand tax increases.

    Even your Party hero Bill Clinton said that tax increases were a very bad idea.

    The President has to approve the budget. Don’t get all word smithy on me… you of course know what I mean.

  76. Don Shor

    [i]So, what is the “fair share”?[/i]

    I’d be happy with what they were paying before the Bush tax cuts.

    [img]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:US_high-income_effective_tax_rates.png[/img]

  77. Don Shor

    [i]Don: Who is refusing to compromise?

    Democrats.

    Obama.

    They demand tax increases. [/i]

    A compromise will include tax increases. Republicans in the House refuse to compromise. They wouldn’t even support their Speaker when he and the President had come very close to an agreement. How many times do I have to say this? Pelosi and Reid had agreed, and key Democrats had agreed, to accept significant budget cuts.
    For you to say that Democrats and Obama “refused to compromise” means you simply don’t accept what the word means.

  78. Frankly

    Don, tax “rates” are worthless as a metric. You should be looking at tax revenue.

    If you have more wealthy people paying a lower tax rate, that can and should equal higher tax revenue. That is what matters, right? The graph you posted is just a class war tool.

    The House is controlled by the GOP. The Senate is only one Senator in Democrats hands… and several of the DEMS are blue dogs that don’t want to see taxes raised either. GOP constituents are screaming I AM TAXED ENOUGH ALREADY. Bill Clinton and many economists say it would be disasterous to raise taxes. Yet, you still want to pin the GOP with failing to agree with the Democrats to raise taxes.

    Obama does not have the support of the GOP. Why is that? Why did Clinton have the support of BOTH HOUSES of Congress in GOP hands?

    Answer those questions honestly and the responsibility for not having a budget and heading to the fiscal cliff is ALL in Obama’s hands.

  79. Don Shor

    Simpson-Bowles called for tax increases and spending cuts.
    Obama and Boehner agreed to tax increases.
    Reid and Pelosi agreed to major spending cuts.
    What happened?
    House Republicans scuttled the deal.
    [i]Yet, you still want to pin the GOP with failing to agree with the Democrats to raise taxes. [/i]
    I pin the Republicans with refusing to accept a compromise that included significant, historic spending cuts in exchange for a much lower amount of tax increases. Because that is exactly what they did.
    Please give me your working definition of ‘compromise’.

  80. David M. Greenwald

    “Why did Clinton have the support of BOTH HOUSES of Congress in GOP hands?”

    You’re smoking crack. I worked in DC when Clinton was president, he did not have the support of the Congress at any point in time while it was in GOP hands.

  81. Don Shor

    [i]The graph you posted is just a class war tool. [/i]

    Original Source: St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank, FRED® Economic Data, “Graph: Federal Government: Tax Receipts on Corporate Income (FCTAX)/(Corporate Profits After Tax (CP)+Federal Government: Tax Receipts on Corporate Income (FCTAX))”

  82. Frankly

    Historically tax rate changes have had no correlation with tax revenue. In fact revenue per GDP has remained about the same per GDP.

    [img]http://www.cscdc.org/miscjeff/taxratesrevenue.jpg[/img]

    The problem we have today is the global economy. We don’t have anywhere near the same price elasticity and captive markets that we historically had. Raise taxes, you raise the cost of doing business and give our international business competitors an advantage to take more business and jobs overseas.

    So, in effect, if we raise taxes, we will start to see bigger declines in revenue. The Laffer Curve is even more accurate today in a global economy because the hyper competition cause a more pure cause and effect.

  83. Frankly

    So, we have a growing income gap. It should not make any difference, but it does because we are becoming a nation of whiners.

    However, let’s assume that I too (that mean free market capitalist that thinks everyone should get off their butts and compete for prosperity) want to decrease the gap between top and bottome quartile wage earners.

    The question is… WHAT DO WE DO TO FIX THAT PROBLEM?

    Don says we should increase top tax rates back to 1970s and maybe 1950s levels.

    I say that would be disasterous to our overall economy and we would have even fewer jobs.

    How about this instead?

    Blow up the crappy, over-priced, under-quality, education system and REALLY teach students how to go out and make a good living making things and providing needed services (e.g., actually work with skills).

    Stop giving money to people that do not work, and focus on economic policy that rewards workers and job creators.

    Bring back manufacturing by stopping the taxation of foreign earnings when they are reinvested back in the US.

    Go after all the oil, gas, coal and nuclear energy we can to reduce our cost of energy to help grow industry. The drop in the cost of natural gas from frack drilling technology is already helping the US steel industry to grow again.

    Cut spending so we cut our debt and the interest payment savings can be used to pay for social programs and economic development.

    In other words, do the oposite of what Obama has done the last four years and will do the next four years if re-elected.

  84. Frankly

    [i]You’re smoking crack. I worked in DC when Clinton was president, he did not have the support of the Congress at any point in time while it was in GOP hands. [/i]

    What David, you mean they didn’t like each other? Boo hoo. That is common for all politicians. The difference is leadership to work with people you do not see eye to eye with. The difference is not using that as an excuse for failures. Reagan did not blame Carter. Clinton did not blame Bush Senior. W Bush did not blame Clinton. However, Obama blames everyone else he can find to blame.

    Clinton got things done, and Reagan got things done even when Congress was in the hands of the other Party.

    You really don’t recognize any leadership difference?

    There are things that I can say to you as a liberal that you would resent to make my conservative friends feel better and support me as a partisan. But, having done that, why would I expect your cooperation later? And how would it look if I started complaining that you didn’t cooperate?

    Let’s get together sometime so we can talk about some fundementals of leadership. Obama is lacking them. Clinton and Reagan had them and used them. Even Bush had a much better skillset for leadership.

  85. David M. Greenwald

    If your point is that Clinton was better at cutting a deal – I agree. Clinton however was able to work over Gingrich and school the Republicans – something Obama never could have done. I don’t disagree with that. But I also think that things have disintegrated further in each administration. The relationship between Clinton and the Republicans in congress was worse than Reagan’s with the Democrats, Bush’s was worse than Clinton’s, and Obama’s worse than Bush. I don’t see that trend reversing any time soon and I suspect that Romney would not have much luck either unless he ends up moving to the center between his party and the Democrats in Congress.

  86. wdf1

    JB: [i]Why did Clinton have the support of BOTH HOUSES of Congress in GOP hands?[/i]

    Have you ever heard of Monica Lewinsky? And impeachment proceedings?

    Off hand, do you remember anything about President Clinton’s agenda in Congress during his second term?

  87. wdf1

    GOP registration worker charged with voter fraud ([url]http://nbcpolitics.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/10/19/14556980-gop-registration-worker-charged-with-voter-fraud#[/url])

  88. Don Shor

    [i]”Let’s get together sometime so we can talk about some fundementals of leadership.”[/i]

    In order to balance the budget, Republicans demand spending cuts. Democrats demand tax increases. How would President Romney use leadership to bridge this difference?

  89. Frankly

    [i]In order to balance the budget, Republicans demand spending cuts. Democrats demand tax increases. How would President Romney use leadership to bridge this difference? [/i]

    Don, I suspect that you might not understand how Obama blew it and lost the GOP. Do you remember when Bush said “you are either for us or against us” and the left went rabid. Even though Bush as directing this comment to foreign leaders, the American left took it personal. I think that single phrase resulted in Bush creating enemies out of many that would otherwise just have been prone to disagreement.

    Now assume that Obama uttered statements with similar impacts over and over again, and you might start to understand how he blew it and lost hope for working across the aisle.

    You don’t disparage a group and their ideology as a sitting president and then act surprised that that group does not like you. Those Republicans cling to their guns and religion. Why would we want to return to a time of their failed policies? They don’t play by the rules. They need to pay their fair share. Etc., etc., etc.

    Also go back and watch the videos of his state of the union speeches where he took cheap potshots at the GOP Congress people.

    And he took cheap shots at Romney.

    And Biden was disrespectful to Ryan.

    All of this adds up to resentment from the other side that cannot be overcome. It is like Linda Katehi getting a vote of no confidence from half the UCD faculty. When this happens to a leader, he/she will be ineffective unless his own side can accomplish everything themselves. That leader is effectively done with bipartisanship.

    Romney screwed up with his 47% comment. However, I think he a much more experienced executive leader and he will not make the same mistake twice. He will not take potshots at the Democrats. He will engage with them on ideas, not ideology. He will be respectful.

    Frankly, Obama’s problem has been simply that he is too inexperienced in leadership. The mistakes he has made those of a leader in training… a rooky if you will. If Obama was a CEO of a large public company, he would have been fired by his board by now for all his leadership mistakes. But he is smart and I expect he would do better his next gig because he would learn the lessons.

    However, there is no hope now. The GOP will not cooperate. He is a lame duck President. Romney is the new hope. He will not make the same leadership mistakes as Obama. He provides us a much better chance at cooperation and compromise. The GOP might concede to tax increases under Romney. They will never do it under Obama.

  90. Don Shor

    Amazing. The Republicans are completely intransigent, and it’s Obama’s fault because of things he said?
    Again: what is your definition of ‘compromise’?
    What would Romney have done in the situation that Obama was dealing with? How would he have struck a deal between the two sides?
    Let’s take your hypothetical situation, and reverse it. A President Romney faces a united front of Democratic Senators who will not accept the proposed cuts to their social programs, and threaten to shut down the government, refuse to allow the debt ceiling to be raised, and block all legislation? What would your President Romney do?
    There is going to be no progress on the deficit until Republicans accept revenue increases and Democrats accept social spending cuts. In the absence of such as compromise, the sequester occurs. Which party is more likely to be concerned about the Jan. 1 sequester?

  91. Don Shor

    From Politico, here is the Romney transition team strategy, and why it is doomed to failure. The Budget Act of 2011 was a terrible gamble for Republicans, because it was premised on the assumption that they would win the Senate this year.

    [i]“Short-term solutions to the fiscal cliff issues would give Romney breathing room to focus on his priority, which will be getting a bipartisan budget through Congress so that he can outline early spending cuts and try to use the filibuster-proof reconciliation process to rewrite the Tax Code and dump much of the Affordable Care Act. Romney has been aware of the importance of reconciliation since at least the early part of this year, and some say it’s a big part of the reason he chose budget expert Ryan as his No. 2.

    Knowing what Romney wants to do to the health care law, there’s little chance Sen. Harry Reid would bring a budget to the floor if he’s still majority leader next year.”[/i]

    Republicans aren’t going to win the Senate. Period.

    A President Romney would need a budget in place in order to begin gutting the Affordable Care Act. So that won’t happen.

    A President Romney would need to accept tax increases in order to get spending cuts implemented. Without tax increases, the Senate won’t accept a budget. Republicans have made it very clear they plan to use reconciliation to block the ACA. They also know that if they don’t block it by 2014, it is not going away. Democrats know that as well. They simply won’t allow the signature achievement of their party to be taken away.

    Democrats are far less concerned about the sequester than Republicans. There might be agreement on changing the defense cuts, since both parties have expressed concern about that. But beyond that, there will be no deficit plan with either Romney or Obama. There likely won’t even be a budget put forward under either, for different reasons in each case. So long as we have divided government and intransigence on either side, there won’t be progress on this issue.

    So if a deficit plan is your primary incentive for voting for Romney, you are going to be disappointed. Because the Affordable Care Act is the holy grail of the Democratic Party, and they won’t allow it to be overturned or chipped away at. After watching the Republicans nearly shut down the government twice, Democrats aren’t going to be in any mood to compromise on that issue.

    Meanwhile, there are lots of other reasons to oppose Romney.

  92. Don Shor

    Meanwhile:
    “In a strong political statement from the private sector, more than [b]80 CEO[/b]s from major U.S. corporations penned a release urging Congress to get its act together and find a bipartisan solution to the coming fiscal cliff. But they went farther, rather than asking Washington to find a solution, the chief executives of companies like General Electric, Boeing, Verizon, Aetna, and Goldman Sachs said [b]raising taxes is unavoidable, but that it must come accompanied by “significant spending restraint.”[/b] Despite their political inclinations, they are asking Romney and Obama, Republicans and Democrats, to attack the problem from both sides.”
    [url]http://www.forbes.com/sites/afontevecchia/2012/10/25/80-ceos-to-obama-and-romney-spending-cuts-and-tax-hikes-unavoidable-to-fix-deficit/[/url]

  93. Frankly

    [i]Let’s take your hypothetical situation, and reverse it. A President Romney faces a united front of Democratic Senators who will not accept the proposed cuts to their social programs, and threaten to shut down the government, refuse to allow the debt ceiling to be raised, and block all legislation? What would your President Romney do?[/i]

    Don, As a President, you should never let it get to that point where the other side is motivated to comletely block you.

    We do not elect dictators. We are a representative democracy and a republic, but we are still a democracy. A President’s power to effect change through work with the legislature is, in large part, a product of his relationship with those in Congress, but more importantly his relationship with the general voting population. This is similar to a CEO… if his board and the majority of his management team like him, but his employees and customers do not… it will be very difficult for him to succeed.

    The constituents of House and Senate Republicans are pissed at Obama. They feel marginalized and rejected. Their ideas and ideology has been consistently trashed by the man that sits atop of the political power structure of their country. Understanding the psychology of rejection and marginalization… these are the things that cause people to need a lifetime of therapy when it is their parents. A President – like it or not – is a parental figure for many people. It is the same for a CEO (or any boss in most cases). Conservatives are not receiving treatment for this political anger. Their therapy is to let loose their frustration at Obama and his Democrat Party. These voters are telling their Republican political representatives to not give in one inch. If their leaders do not listen, then here comes a Tea Party candidate to replace them. It is Obama’s fault that he has not captured more support from the right and center-right voters.

    It is a huge mistake in leadership to reject and marginalize those people that you would need cooperation from. You lose a lot of negotiating leverage with them when you come back to gain their trust and acceptance. You have to own up to your past treatment of them and apologize. You have to give in more than you would otherwise have to. Obama has put out a lot of energy apologizing to the rest of the world, but not for the things he has said about Republicans and conservatives. He has not given in enough to gain back the trust and support that he pissed away while ramping up the love-fest from his far left base.

    Frankly, I think Obama truly dislikes conservatives… especially wealthy, white conservatives. It is not easy to hide that type of thing over a period of time. There are specific things he has said, but there are also a lot of subtle things, body language, paralanguage… basically a preponderance of evidence that he does not really like or care about a large percentage of the American population. These people feel it just like poor people or Kanye West people felt that George Bush did not feel their pain.

    Romney is a center-right candidate. His 47% comment was unfortunate, but I don’t think it is really who he is. In the event and context he made that statement he was, in fact, responding to and leveraging that anger of his conservative base over the rejection they have been handed by Obama.

    The difference between Obama and Romney is that Romney is a much more experienced leader. He learned all the lessons of leadership in his business roles… especially the one to not marginalize and reject the very people that he is called to lead, and that he will need enough support from to enable him to work with to accomplish things. Obama has made too many mistakes in leadership. He is so far down the path of conservative anger and resentment in response to his rhetoric and actions that he will never get enough support to get anything done cooperatively. And each thing he attempts to accomplish unilaterally will only add to the divisions and polarization that is plaguing this country.

    After the election, the President becomes the leader of ALL Americans.

    I don’t think Obama ever got that… even if he gets it now.

    He has been in campaign mode since he joined the Senate and it has never stopped.

  94. Frankly

    [i] the Affordable Care Act is the holy grail of the Democratic Party, and they won’t allow it to be overturned or chipped away at. [/i]

    So the Democrats will be the new Party of No?

    I think they will allow it to be modified and this becomes a negotiating chip for Romney. But you cannot negotiate unless there is trust. Republicans do not trust Obama as far as they can throw him… and many would love to throw him.

    Romney will be despised by the hard left, but he will not attack the center-left like Obama has attacked the center-right. Romney will be more successful leading.

  95. Don Shor

    [i]”…you should never let it get to that point where the other side is motivated to comletely block you.”
    [/i]
    They did that from the start. And when the leadership (Boehner, Reid, Pelosi, and Obama) came to a tentative agreement, they did it again.
    You really don’t seem to understand how intransigent the Tea-Party wing of the House is.
    Again: what is your definition of ‘compromise’? You seem to think this is a character issue that resulted in the House Republicans blocking the agreement. It wasn’t. It was rigid ideology.

    [i]”Obama has put out a lot of energy apologizing to the rest of the world…”
    [/i]
    The most persistent myth of the campaign.

    [i] He learned all the lessons of leadership in his business roles[/i]
    Businessmen don’t have to negotiate with rigid ideologues.

  96. Don Shor

    From the Washington Post, Jan. 2009:

    “In the end, despite visiting Republicans in Congress Tuesday, stripping out two provisions the GOP objected to, and inviting several Republicans for drinks at the White House this evening, Obama did not get a single Republican to vote for the [stimulus] bill. Obama’s efforts did win him some compliments from Republicans who figure they can make deals with the Democratic president when the bill goes to the Senate next week. … “The president was clear that he was going to continue to reach out to us, continue to listen to our ideas and I think we have to remember we’re at the beginning of this process,” House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, told “Good Morning America” today. Those comments marked a softer tone from Tuesday morning, [b]when Boehner and other Republican leaders tried to head off Obama’s lobbying efforts by calling on Republicans to oppose the stimulus plan even before the president had met with them.”[/b]

  97. Frankly

    [i]House Republicans blocking the agreement. It wasn’t. It was rigid ideology.[/i]

    The most persistent excuse used for Obama’s leadership failures.

    Guess what Don? Those Tea Party reps… they were elected by American voters. You continue to participate in the whining, blaming excuse tour like your president instead of accepting that this is a legitimate manifestation of political demands.

    Here is the message from the left… They are all racists. They shot Rep Gifford. The bring guns to rallies. They are stupid and uneducated. The cling to their guns and religion. Should I go on?

    Instead of joining this President’s angry pity party, you need to accept that these political changes happen for a reason. If you reject them and marginalize them they will only grow in power to prevent you from getting anything done. The Tea Party is not just a temporary fad.

    Obama is his own failure. I have to go back to see if there has ever been a previous President where his supporters went so far to blame others for his failures. I don’t think so.

  98. Don Shor

    When did I say they were racists? What a ridiculous thing to throw into this conversation, Jeff.
    The Tea Party represents a minority wing of a minority party. But they have ground government to a halt.

    What compromise do you think a President Romney would have accomplished in the summer of 2011?

  99. Frankly

    Don, I didn’t mean that you said the Tea Party was racist. The left and left media has said it from day one. They said that the Tea Party are just a bunch of white racists that hate Obama because he is black. Notsee Peloski said they were Nazis.

    Here is a bit of a piece from Peggy Noonan of the WSJ. She is saying exactly what I am saying… only much more articulately:
    [quote]Which gets us to Bob Woodward’s “The Price of Politics,” published last month. The portrait it contains of Mr. Obama—of a president who is at once over his head, out of his depth and wholly unaware of the fact—hasn’t received the attention it deserves. Throughout the book, which is a journalistic history of the president’s key economic negotiations with Capitol Hill, Mr. Obama is portrayed as having the appearance and presentation of an academic or intellectual while being strangely clueless in his reading of political situations and dynamics. He is bad at negotiating—in fact doesn’t know how. His confidence is consistently greater than his acumen, his arrogance greater than his grasp.

    He misread his Republican opponents from day one. If he had been large-spirited and conciliatory he would have effectively undercut them, and kept them from uniting. (If he’d been large-spirited with Mr. Romney, he would have undercut him, too.) Instead he was toughly partisan, he shut them out, and positions hardened. In time Republicans came to think he doesn’t really listen, doesn’t really hear. So did some Democrats. Business leaders and mighty CEOs felt patronized: After inviting them to meet with him, the president read from a teleprompter and included the press. They felt like “window dressing.” One spoke of Obama’s surface polish and essential remoteness. In negotiation he did not cajole, seduce, muscle or win sympathy. He instructed. He claimed deep understanding of his adversaries and their motives but was often incorrect. He told staffers that John Boehner, one of 11 children of a small-town bar owner, was a “country club Republican.” He was often patronizing, which in the old and accomplished is irritating but in the young and inexperienced is infuriating. “Boehner said he hated going down to the White House to listen to what amounted to presidential lectures,” Mr. Woodward writes.

    Mr. Obama’s was a White House that had—and showed—no respect for trying to negotiate with other Republicans. Through it all he was confident—”Eric, don’t call my bluff”—because he believed, as did his staff, that his talents would save the day.

    They saved nothing. Washington became immobilized.
    [/quote]

  100. Frankly

    Assuming Romney was elected in 2008, I think he would have developed better relationships with moderates in both houses. I think he would have done better negotiating and passing a Bowles Simpson type plan.

    However, not if kept repeating phrases like 47% and moocher.

  101. Frankly

    Don, I will stick with Noonan and you can have Andrew Sullivan… a fake Republican who is a Democrat tool for attempting to gain credibility with conservatives.

    I think your template is that Republicans just hate Obama no matter what he does and will vote against him no matter what he does. The fact is that Obama screwed up from inexperience. If he had really reached out instead of continually cutting his ideological opponents, he would have garnered more center-right voter support and this would have led to Congress constituents to demand more cooperation. However, Obama thumbed his nose at the ideas of the right, and then did things like revesed his position on gay marriage. Most of Obama’s rhetoric and tone as been anti-GOP and anti-conservative and anti-captialist and anti-cooperative. The guy is fundementally insecure and it is clear he revels in the accolades from his supporters and he shrinks from the criticism of those not on the Obama Teflon Messiah tour.

    He has not learned the lesson of “keep your friends close and your enemies closer”.

    It has become clear that he truly hates the other side… he hates the people and he hates their ideas.

    People respond to that level of rejection in a visceral way… especially when it comes from the leader at the top of the power pyramid.

    Class war from a Democrat Presidential candidate is not unheard of. But it has not happened in the last 30 years. And, it certainly has not continued to this extent from the actual President.

    When I think about the aruments against this explanation of Obama’s problems and poor performance; there are ony two logical explanations for the source of the argument:

    1. You think it is a lie and that Republicans are just blocking Obama as a political tactic.

    2. You think Republicas are blind to the greatness or adequacy of Obama.

    The problem here is that the rejection of Obama has become a visceral and somewhat emotional response. He has reached out to more strongly embrace and exploit those that agree with him. They love him for it. But he has done this at the expense of a greater partisan divide. Acceptance versus rejection. Love versus hate.

    You can’t fix that problem with a grass-roots effort of rational persuasion. Only Obama can fix it. However, he is out of time. If he is re-elected, he will be even more useless getting anything done. The divide will expand.

    Romney will do a better job healing the partisan divide… or at least shrinking it.

  102. Don Shor

    [i]1. You think it is a lie and that Republicans are just blocking Obama as a political tactic.
    [/i]
    Some, like Mitch McConnell, were clearly doing that. The Tea Party wing of the Republican Party simply refuses to compromise for ideological reasons, as I’ve said before.

    [i] a fake Republican who is a Democrat tool[/i]
    Read his books. He’s a conservative, just more European style. There are, as you know, different philosophical divisions within ‘conservatism’.

    [i]Romney will do a better job healing the partisan divide[/i]
    I see no reason to believe that. He will be whipsawed by the unyielding Tea Party branch of the Republican Party, and his relations with Harry Reid will be barely civil (they can’t stand each other).
    Moreover, it is the expectation of pro-lifers that he will appoint a hard-right jurist to the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade, and it is assumed by the Tea Partiers in the House that the Ryan budget will be the first order of the day if he is elected. That budget won’t even come to a vote in the Senate.
    You’re going to have severe gridlock regardless of who gets elected. So really, what it comes down to is who you think will to a safer, better job on foreign policy, whether you want to preserve or overturn the ACA, and who you think will take the positions you prefer on social issues.

  103. Frankly

    After Al Franken somehow got elected, Obama had a filibuster-proof Senate. McConnell had no power. Obama got 3 GOP votes on the bailout spending approprations bill; he got 5 GOP votes for the Lilly-Ledbetter (gift to trial lawyers) bill; he got nine GOP votes for an expansion of a program for childrens” healthcare.

    It was all down hill from there as Obama and the Dems starting poking and jabbing the GOP. Obamacare was the biggest partisan poke from a President that promised bipartisanship and that the debates would be televised on CSPAN.

  104. jimt

    Jeff,

    I don’t think you need lose any sleep that the rich will be taxed out of their wealth if Obama wins.
    No matter who wins the election, you can rest assured that the wealthy, by their superior virtue of course, will continue to get wealthier and the poor to get poorer, all due to their lack of virtue with only rare exceptions.
    Of course this is only right and fitting, to get the best talent to the top they need to be paid more; since the system is rigged against them the executive class suffer from artificially suppressed wages, they should be getting 4.000X as much as the average employee; not a mere 400X, due to their vastly superior talent and immeasurable and irreplacable contributions; truly they are a unique class. We can be thankful that they have a sense of noblesse oblige, and render their incomparable services for a paltry 400X salary. Furthermore, they suffer from onerous taxes that are slowing down their consolidation of wealth; I wonder that they can find the motivation to get out of bed in the morning.

  105. Frankly

    [quote]Two days after the deadly Libya terror attack, representatives of the FBI and National Counterterrorism Center gave Capitol Hill briefings in which they said the evidence supported an Al Qaeda or Al Qaeda-affiliated attack.

    The description of the attack by those in the Sept. 13 briefings stands in stark contrast to the now controversial briefing on Capitol Hill by CIA Director David Petraeus the following day — and raises even more questions about why Petraeus described the attack as tied to a demonstration. [/quote]

    Looking more and more like this was a politically-motivated cover-up. Either that or gross negligence and mismanagement. The damage that could be caused by this to the Obama campaign probably has them very thankful they have a hurricane for a diversion.

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