January 27th, 2012

Thoughts on the Florida debate…

…which I didn’t watch. I read some of it, and many comments about it as well, and watched some video excerpts.

The consensus seems to be that for the most part Gingrich looked rattled and off his game, and that Romney was more forceful than usual. Paul was Paul (who else would he be?), and Santorum acquitted himself well but not enough to significantly change anything for him.

So I’ll stick to talking about the two dueling frontrunners.

Gingrich’s supporters are drawn to him for many reasons, but chief among them are his belief in and defense of conservative principles (in the political arena, anyway) and his aggressive and skilled debating. “He’s a fighter,” many say approvingly, and he certainly is that. But it’s not just the fact that he’s not afraid to fight that draw them to him, it’s that they see him as a fluid and skilled thinker on his feet, able to give as good as he gets and to win the battle through smart thinking as much as pugnaciousness.

Romney is disliked by his detractors for many reasons as well, but among them are the perception that he has the opposite traits: no core conservative principles, and wimpy and weak. One big fear is that he would not be able to go on the offensive against President Obama, and that could be fatal to the chances of defeating the president in the 2012 election.

Last night’s debate seemed to upend those assumptions—most particularly the latter, the one about aggressiveness. Romney went after Gingrich effectively, and Gingrich looked angry but unfocused and—well, sort of weak. And it didn’t happen just once, but many times.

As for the conservative principles, Gingrich made what I believe was a tactical blunder when he continued to attack Romney from the left, as he had with his Bain criticisms. This time Gingrich’s point was even weaker: Romney’s investments in Fannie and Freddie. Here’s part of that exchange, in case you missed it [emphasis mine]:

[Gingrich speaking]We began digging in after Monday night because frankly I’d had about enough of this. We discovered to our shock, Governor Romney owns shares of both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Governor Romney made a million dollars off of selling some of that. Governor Romney owns share — has an investment in Goldman Sachs, which is today foreclosing on Floridians.

So maybe Governor Romney in the spirit of openness should tell us how much money he’s made off of how many households that have been foreclosed by his investments? And let’s be clear about that.

(APPLAUSE)

ROMNEY: First of all, my investments are not made by me. My investments for the last 10 years have been in a blind trust, managed by a trustee. Secondly, the investments that they’ve made, we’ve learned about this as we made our financial disclosure, have been in mutual funds and bonds. I don’t own stock in either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. There are bonds that the investor has held through mutual funds. And Mr. Speaker, I know that sounds like an enormous revelation, but have you checked your own investments? You also have investments through mutual funds that also invest in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

It goes on, but that moment must have been a rough (and surprising) one for Gingrich, and it was emblematic of what happened during the debate. I monitored the reaction to that remark by looking at comments on some very popular blogs, and one of the things I noticed at that point (and this was among people who are for the most part neither Newt nor Mitt supporters) was that the audience thought that was a moment when Gingrich looked foolish. But that they also thought that his entire “Romney has investments in Fannie and Freddie” approach was stupid. There were a lot of remarks like, “I’ve probably got that stuff in my 401K, too! What are you thinking of, Newt?” (only they said it a bit more colorfully).

Gingrich may think he has a good line of attack on Romney re Fannie and Freddie, as with Bain. He probably thinks he won the Bain battle (although I’m not so sure). But I don’t think he’ll win this one, and not just because he himself is invested in Fannie and Freddie and doesn’t seem aware of it (although that made Romney’s team look sharp and Gingrich look very foolish, and Newt’s only real defense seemed to be that he’s got less money in there than Romney does).

The larger point is that when Newt attacks from the left it undermines his claim to have impeccable conservative credentials, and puts Romney in the position of defending the conservative point of view. It may not hurt Newt with his most fervent supporters, perhaps, who are willing to overlook a few slip-ups in the heat of battle, because they believe they know his heart is in the right—and conservative—place, and has been for a long time. I’m speaking of the other voters who are looking at the candidates and trying to evaluate them in the here and now.

57 Responses to “Thoughts on the Florida debate…”

  1. vanderleun Says:

    “Gingrich’s supporters are drawn to him for many reasons,”

    Yes, like moths are drawn to flaming assh***s.

  2. vanderleun Says:

    Or Mothras to flatulent Godzillas.

  3. vanderleun Says:

    Coming soon: Mittra Vs. Gingrichzilla!

  4. George Pal Says:

    It’s understandable that there is so much interest in political races for national office (everyone loves a race) but it’s also meaningless for all but working pundits and political junkies in need of a fix. There’s as much to be gotten from it as from handicapping the first Saturday in May Kentucky Derby in January.

    (That’s my way of saying I haven’t watched any debate, don’t like them, think they are meaningless (for the most part), have nothing to say about the latest, and am going slightly off topic.)

    Polling data, all polling data regarding Obama and opponents are useless in general and in particular; all that’s to be gotten from Obama vs. ? polling is: the electorate in disinterested, inattentive, have better things to think about. Recall (or look it up) Reagan vs Carter post election (Time Magazine):

    For weeks before the presidential election, the gurus of public opinion polling were nearly unanimous in their findings. In survey after survey, they agreed that the coming choice between President Jimmy Carter and Challenger Ronald Reagan was “too close to call.” A few points at most, they said, separated the two major contenders.

    Reagan won by double digits. There’s nothing that so focuses the attention of an electorate on an incompetent as election day.

    Political contests most often come with an incumbent with a record, and of that, one can take a measure. Here is the measure.

    Americans will stomach much in a ‘leader’, stumbling, clinical malapropism, divorces, philandering; they will take a chance on Catholics, actors, ‘good ole boy’ Rhodes Scholars, even a Nixon, a peanut farmer, and, now, an affirmative action fraud. The thing Americans will not endure is a man with a record of incompetence (see peanut farmer).

    Gallup: President Obama’s 43% average job approval rating last month ranks as one of the lowest for an elected president in November of his third year in office. Only Jimmy Carter had a lower rating, at 40%.

    By the Fall the economy will not have gotten better and most probably worse.*

    Bush’s war with the Taliban will have become Obama’s capitulation with the Taliban.

    Even if Holder and the DOJ has not become a full out scandal by Fall they will remain personal and institutional exemplars of mal/misfeasance, lying, and cover-up.

    The mantric ‘hope and change’ will have been turned on the hopers and changers; Americans will be (should be) asked “Is this what you hoped for, is this the change you voted for?”

  5. George Pal Says:

    Here’s the point. Obama will lose.

    re most probably worse*: And then there’s this,

    36 Obama aides owe $833,000 in back taxes

    New-home sales in 2011 worst in history

    Fed Signals That a Full Recovery Is Years Away

    Obama set to speed up aid to Egypt
    Food Stamps Up 45%; Federal Handouts Up 32%

    Real GDP Collapse: 1.7% For Year

    those are Drudge headlines over just the last two or three days.

    Obama will lose.

    PS
    Apologies to Neo for using the comment section for a semi-rant in the guise of a demi-essay.

    PPS
    Jeez, to think Artfuldodger does this routinely!

  6. gcotharn Says:

    This Gingrich gaffe could be the moment which seals the nomination for Romney.

    Romney had his own tough moments:
    -Blitzer asking for explanation of his campaign commercial about Gingrich
    -Blitzer having to save Romney (and Obama) from healthcare TKO by Santorum.

    However, Romney’s tough moments did not seem quite so painful.

  7. SteveH Says:

    I’m pulling for Gingrich until Romney says “I will repeal Obamacare” 500 times. I think we’re at like 425 after last night.

  8. Promethea Says:

    OK, as of this moment, I’m officially a Romney supporter. I will not abide any further attacks on free enterprise from any candidate. Gingrich was totally stupid in attacking Romney on his wealth and business experience.

    There is no reason for me to support Gingrich now. None.

    I guess these debates (which I haven’t watched, BTW) are part of a crazy but useful vetting process. Better to know now that Gingrich is an off-the-wall crazy man than to find out later.

  9. uncleFred Says:

    The striking difference was in moderation.

    Rather than asking Newt obvious no win questions Blitzer prevented questions that were good for Newt from getting to him or refocused the question to Newt.

    Note how effectively Blitzer controlled the amount of time for the audience to respond varying it based on who was benefitting. He managed to take the crowd out of Newt’s game, while magnifying it for others on stage.

    I think we were seeing what is to come in the debates with Obama. A much less obvious demonstration of media bias than we saw in the previous debates, and yet very effective in controlling the outcome.

    Santorum looked good because he was given the opportunity to look good, and positive crowd reaction was not moderated away. – That is not to say he did not have a good night he did, but its impact was magnified by how his and the others time and crowd reaction was moderated. This also applies to the way questions were ordered and the order that candidates were asked or excluded.

    None of the candidates were prepared for this. Since Newt “needed” this more than the others he suffered the most. This was clearly CNN’s goal.

    Reading the various blogs and pundits on the debate it seems clear that the majority of watchers. missed what was happening. Unfortunately, that means that this method of moderation, left unaddressed by the candidates, will allow the moderator to control who wins.

    Much as I despise Blitzer, I have to give him his due. He won the debate and pretty much set the apparent order of finish.

  10. foxmarks Says:

    I agree with uncleFred. Blitz was far too involved in the debate, rephrasing questions and adding supplemental info. There were some good questions, that I would have like to have heard each answer in turn, but Blitz nudged the candidates to respond to the previous response instead of the original question.

    I disagree with the notion that Gingrich was “attacking from the left”. The problem is corruption and the impossibility of impartiality when one earns substantial income from a government-supported enterprise. It is a distinction that is being lost (intentionally) that righties like profit but hate corruption and insider deals.

    To say Newt attacks from the left is to cede the point of integrity to the lefties. It is an implied endorsement of crony capitalism because everyone is afraid to criticize any activity which includes the term “capitalism”.

    Romney attempts to paint Gingrich as in insider, peddling influence. Isn’t that an attack from the left, too? Romney implies Newt is just another corrupt GOP politician.

  11. reliapundit Says:

    “Gingrich made what I believe was a tactical blunder when he continued to attack Romney from the left..”

    EXACTLY – AND FOR THE EXACT REASONS YOU SAY.

    BUT IT IS ALSO A BLUNDER BECAUSE IT SHOWS NEWT IS UNPRINCIPLED AND FREQUENTLY THOUGHTLESS AND NOT CAREFUL WITH HIS MOUTH AND TACTICS.

    THIS IS WHY HE’D BE A LOUSY POTUS.

  12. neo-neocon Says:

    reliapundit: please try to refrain from all caps.

  13. neo-neocon Says:

    foxmarks: do you really not see the difference between something popular in Massachusetts and something very unpopular in the country as a whole? And the difference between what a state is allowed to do and what the federal government is restrained from doing by the Constitution? You write, “If Romneycare is popular and effective in MA, Mitt can’t run against Obamacare.” But of course he can. He merely has to make the distinction clear between what one of the most liberal states in the union wants, and foisting something on the country that most of the people do not want, and the distinction between the powers of the states and those of the federal government (more limited).

    If the people of this country can neither make nor understand such distinctions (whether they approve of Romneycare or not, or think it’s good or not), then we’re in deeper trouble than I like to think.

    If Romneycare is a boondoggle, he can point out that other factors (some of them unforeseeable, such as the current economic difficulties) are at least partly to blame. He can also point out what he’s learned from the experience that makes him even more sure that Obamacare won’t be good. He can also talk about other things he did as governor, such as greatly reduce Massachusetts’ debt from what it was when he entered office.

  14. Tesh Says:

    If anything, this is a good opportunity to point out the whole system of federalism and how the states and the feds function differently. I’m not convinced that more than a few modern citizens understand that in the first place.

  15. rickl Says:

    “This is the first thing that I’ve seen that makes me want to see Obama reelected….This is potentially a perfect storm of space policy disaster.”

  16. foxmarks Says:

    neo: Yes, I see at least some of the differences. The short version, though, is we’re in deeper trouble than you like to think.

    Romney has tried to make the point that he did what he did to respond to his lefty State’s desires. He has explicitly said he thinks the 10th Amendment prohibits a national version of MassCare. And that he doesn’t want a national top-down mandate. The trouble is, nobody is going to believe him.

    In the debate he defended the outcomes of MassCare. Although he said it was full of flaws and things he would do differently, he defended it. That’s what I believe voters will remember. There is so much recorded evidence of Romney supporting and defending a top-down system, the niggly little bit that he only likes top-down mandates under certain conditions will be lost.

    Labeling him as a top-down mandater fits with his demeanor and too much of his bio. Compared to the GOP candidates and even Obama, Romney is “the boss”.

    If he takes the boondoggle path, it still compromises his image as the “super manager”. Someone so brilliant should see the unforseen (not fair, I know). And the voting public may have had enough of blamers pointing fingers of fault when brilliant solutions prove out as failures. Maybe Romney should say MassCare failed because of Bush’s lies… :-)

    Most voters haven’t read your explanations and clarifications about the facts beneath Romney and Romneycare. The public may be smarter than bumperstickers, but they’re not going to be as informed as us junkies. The dilemma that Santorum has identified may have its own weaknesses, but has enough foundation to present Mitt a serious problem.

  17. Pat Dooley Says:

    Palin is starting to inject herself in this race, on the side of Newt.

    I am sadly too familiar with these tactics because they were used against the GOP ticket in 2008. The left seeks to single someone out and destroy his or her record and reputation and family using the media as a channel to dump handpicked and half-baked campaign opposition research on the public. The difference in 2008 was that I was largely unknown to the American public, so they had no way of differentiating between the lies and the truth. All of it came at them at once as “facts” about me. But Newt Gingrich is known to us – both the good and the bad.

    Read the whole post, because she gets to the core issue. This is about ordinary middle class Americans, the Tea Party, versus the GOP establishment.

    Newt is an imperfect vessel for Tea Party support, but in South Carolina the Tea Party chose to get behind him instead of the old guard’s choice. In response, the GOP establishment voices denounced South Carolinian voters with the same vitriol we usually see from the left when they spew hatred at everyday Americans “bitterly clinging” to their faith and their Second Amendment rights. The Tea Party was once again told to sit down and shut up and listen to the “wisdom” of their betters. We were reminded of the litany of Tea Party endorsed candidates in 2010 who didn’t win. Well, here’s a little newsflash to the establishment: without the Tea Party there would have been no historic 2010 victory at all.

    She is an astute politician and she does understand the Tea Party folk.

  18. neo-neocon Says:

    Pat Dooley: It’s not surprising that Palin would identify with Newt after what happened to her at the hands of the MSM and some of the Republican pundits.

    But Sarah ain’t Newt and Newt ain’t Sarah, that’s for sure. They could hardly be more different, except that they’re both fighters and they’re both conservatives, and they both appeal right now to the Tea Party contingent.

    One of the things that’s sad to me—although not surprising—as how this current fight seems to be widening the rift between the factions of the Republican Party at a time when unity would seem to hold the best chance for a win against Obama. But these factions have existed for a long time. Certain candidates—like Reagan, for example—managed to bring them together for a while. But only for a while. And a Palin candidacy would not have done it.

  19. rickl Says:

    WOW. Palin’s post is outstanding. Read the whole thing, as they say.

    God, I sure wish I lived in the alternate universe where she was running. She is so far above and beyond the other candidates that it’s almost scary. She is a born leader. She is exactly what America needs right now. I’ve known that without a shred of doubt since 2008. Hell, I’d be halfway tempted to bring back a monarchy if she could be Queen.

  20. Pat Dooley Says:

    @neo-neocon: Perhaps Palin’s recognition that she couldn’t unite the two factions is why she didn’t run.

    My wife has gone to bed. She is too depressed about the choices left to us. Romney or Obama? Same difference. Progressives win either way. She will be talking to her Tea Party compatriots on how we can stop the Progressives.

    Palin says we need “sudden and relentless reform in Washington” to save the Republic. Ain’t going to happen with the GOP establishment candidate.

  21. holmes Says:

    Romneycare- didn’t specifically have an individual mandate; MA already had one I believe. Romneycare also did not have a rationing board. It did not set standards for existing healthcare plans. And Romney care was not, as Neo points out, a radical departure from existing state powers.

    I’ll bet you can’t imagine a state in which it’s not required to buy car insurance. Free riders, imposition or risk, and all that. But the at the federal level, it would be a major intrusion into state’s rights and a radical assertion of federal power. That’s what Obamacare really represents. If states cannot tinker with healthcare, then you’re really not a 10th amendment kind of person.

  22. holmes Says:

    I don’t really have a problem with anyone picking Gingrich over Romney or vice versa. But it seems to me that this is a case of “the less at stake, the greater the battle.” We have a President who, if given a second term, will overhaul more than you can imagine and leave a lasting mark on America. It may change the relationship the people have to government irreparably. But it’s the intense reaction this is provoking- accusations of bad faith, personal destruction- all of which play into the Democrats hands (they’ve been rather silent lately, haven’t they?).

  23. rickl Says:

    holmes:
    And why did the Republicans have so many debates, all moderated by MSM liberals? Why weren’t people like Mark Levin, Dennis Prager, or Jonah Goldberg, or hell, even Michael Medved used as moderators? Why did the Republican Party agree to this?

    It seems to me that all the debates accomplished was to give the candidates ample opportunities for gaffes, and allow them to bash each other mercilessly.

    Sure is a funny strategy for victory, is all I’m saying.

  24. foxmarks Says:

    holmes:

    I’m not persuaded that for more years of Obama would make things much worse. Replacing a couple of lefty Justices with a couple of lefty Justices is not worse. If the house stays righty, Barry will not get all the money he wants to spend on transformation. Bowing to foreign kings is mostly a matter of style; Obama has shown he has no problem blowing up a wide range of people. The more he attempts to control by bureaucracy (EPA) the more we will all disregard the law. Nobody gets prosecuted for major crimes under Obama.

    I guess it hooks back to arguments about who we prefer as figurehead for the collapse.

    The few people proposing ideas that would minimize or possibly stave off collapse are either not running or dismissed as fringe loons. This is where party politics leads.

  25. SteveH Says:

    The current administration has invoked a near panic among the electorate. And maybe instead of it being the establishment vs the folk, what we have is those concerned we may do too much vs those concerned we’ll do too little.

    I think it’ll turn out the concensus will be to do too little. We’ll get the votes and bodies in the seats. But will be terribly dissappointed in what they accomplish the next four years.

    Which may very well send apathy into overdrive and make 2016 the lowest voter turnout in the history of our country.

  26. Conrad Says:

    I find those comments by Sarah Palin to be extremely annoying. Has she so thoroughly internalized her own sense of victimhood that she can’t see the GOP race through any other lens?

    First of all, she should assume SOME responsibility for how she came off looking to the public in 2008.

    Second, all the flak Newt is taking can be directly traced back to some aspect of his record in public or private life or to his character and makeup as related by those who have seen him up close for the last 35 years or so.

    Third, if he can’t weather these attacks as a GOP primary candidate, what hope is there for him in the general election?

    Fourth, at least the “Establishment” has PRESENTED a credible candidate. I love the Tea Party, but what serious, credible candidate has that wing of the party put forth in this election? (Bachmann? Cain?). Newt was practically a joke candidate when this thing started. He’s only gotten this far through attrition.

    The problem for the Tea Party and conservatives generally in this race is that their candidates frankly suck. And Palin is a huge part of that problem because she DIDN’T run after leading on her followers so cruelly. So again, Sarah, man up and accept some responsibility.

  27. holmes Says:

    http://pohdiaries.com/republicans-need-to-chillax/

    What this person said.

    Foxmarks- I think the idea that we are going to imminently “collapse” is a little overwrought. Egypt might collapse. Senegal might collapse. We’re mired and muddling through for sure, but as a conservative-libertarian type, I have faith in the individual to carry on.

  28. SteveH Says:

    Sarah Pailin’s problem is she’s way ahead of her time. Her genius will only be understood when Americans have part time electricity, money that is near worthless and healthcare allotted by political affiliation at the hands of affirmative action doctors.

  29. M of Hollywood Says:

    There were two other times federalism vs states rights came to the fore in American politics: at the writing of the constitution and at the Civil War. Now we have this third time. This is an opportunity for the populace to learn about the distinction, and, more than any other time in our recent history, the populace IS learning about this distinction. It is nice that Newt takes on the role of teacher at times, and it would be very nice if Romney would pick up some of that. Clinton used to come on like a teacher many times. The country needs to be taught how things have worked and how things could work: taught slowly, clearly, and decisively–and repeatedly.
    Newt and Romney both have to take responsibility for their past errors and omissions–or else to defend their actions as not-errors, which Romney did effectively in Jacksonville, taking credit for being successful. He did not do so well on the ad when he said he didn’t know it, but, when cornered on it by CNN (which certainly cannot be seen as part of the above narrative that CNN was there to help Romney and beat Gingrich), he did do well just to look at Newt and say, “well did you say that?”
    As for being “the boss”, sure the President is the boss. He has to be the boss-type. Or, as Bush put it, he’s “the decider.” You might not like the decisions, but that is what the Executive does. That is what we are electing him for. That does not mean the boss will by definition be a Federalist in philosophy.
    10th ammendment, truth, responsibility, and particulars in planning a course rather than rhetoric: these are what Obama cannot offer. He also does not seem to like to be the boss honestly or effectively. 10th ammendment, truth, responsibility, and particulars: These are what the Republicans can–could–offer. The citizenry is ready to be educated: Let’s try looking at it that way. The people want freedom and responsibility – that IS our country.
    Let’s get united on these principles and then the leader will rise to them. Whining and accusing is not the way. Leadership and teaching important distinctions and creating clear paths – these are what will galvanize the public. I see a HUGE voter turnout.

  30. davisbr Says:

    @neo – I dunno if its just me, but a bunch of Friday’s posts weren’t/aren’t showing up on the main page this morning. I’m only seeing this, and one on marriage (that shows 76 comments, which links to an earlier thread). Weird.

    Just FYI

  31. CZ Says:

    Stopped watching those redundant and boring debates. Stopped watching the swinging polls. Not even watching the news anymore. It’s way too painful.

    All we get is a Newt vs. a Salamander?

    Is it November yet?

    OMG! 2012.

  32. gellieba Says:

    I remember: “Romney’s Bain Controlled Company Linked to Medicare Fraud”.

    http://www.newsmax.com/Headline/RomneyWasManagerandBoardMemberofCorpGuiltyofMedicareFraud/2012/01/27/id/425817

    A Massachusetts Resident punished to deal with RomneyCare (ObamaCare).

  33. gellieba Says:

    Gingrich Won Final Fla. Debate, Say Several GOP Leaders:
    http://www.newsmax.com/Politics/Florida-debate-primary/2012/01/27/id/425797

    I will say Rick Santorum won the debate by telling the truth and attacking Romney and discosing what’s RomneyCare (ObanaCare) is all about.
    Romney is a “smily” fraud.

  34. rickl Says:

    Pat Dooley Says:
    January 27th, 2012 at 10:55 pm

    My wife has gone to bed. She is too depressed about the choices left to us. Romney or Obama? Same difference. Progressives win either way.

    George Soros agrees with you. Except he doesn’t seem depressed about it.

  35. gellieba Says:

    “It’s not about Newt”:

    http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/01/its_not_about_newt.html

  36. Mr. Frank Says:

    One of the beauties of our federal system is if a state goes off the deep end (e.g., California or Illinois), the individual citizen can escape to another state. If the federal government usurps all power, there is nowhere to hide. If the people of Massachusetts want a big bucks health plan, that does not affect Texas. It can even provide data on how such things work.

  37. NeoConScum Says:

    davisbr(9:26am)..Yeah, what’s that about??

    Pat Dooley: “Romney or Obama? Same difference. Progressives either way.” That kind of black-white leaves me gasping. Massive differences are vastly obvious. Maybe she’ll feel better when she awakens. (-:

  38. davisbr Says:

    @Mr. Frank One of the beauties of our federal system is if a state goes off the deep end (e.g., California or Illinois), the individual citizen can escape to another state.

    …along those lines, we have a graphic representation from Forbes, based upon IRS data.

    And as a relatively recent so-called escapee, I used it as part of the pre-escape analysis, actually.

  39. davisbr Says:

    @neo davisbr(9:26am)..Yeah, what’s that about??

    …the main page has had some bad code inserted in it somewhere/somehow (best guess) since last evening (it wasn’t there at 03:00A EST or so, I can report).

    …still there a few minutes ago.

    I used the monthly links to get to yesterday’s other posts, so they’re still there (and comment-able) at least.

  40. davisbr Says:

    @neo davisbr(9:26am)..Yeah, what’s that about??

    In my line 82 of the code, you have the following snippet
    writes <slate 's Jessica Grose in response to mega-popular mommy-blogger “Dooce’s” announced separation from her husband of ten years.

    …and this is probably what you should have instead:

    First a “p” enclosed within the HTML “less than, greater than” symbols, and then …writes Jessica Grose in response to mega-popular mommy-blogger “Dooce’s” announced separation from her husband of ten years. and then a “p” enclosed within the HTML “less than, slash, greater than” symbols to close it

    …at least, that worked for me (using MS Front Page to analyze and edit the main page back to what it should be). My preview after editing out the snippet looked like as it should (granted I didn’t break something else …which I don’t think I did, since the code itself than looked similar on each entry).

    No, I have no idea how this happened.

    …you need to be careful of the above problem line, and solution line, as I’m not sure how the html is going to look when I send the comment (don’t know how else to get it to you but through the comment page).

  41. david foster Says:

    Gingrich: “how much money he’s made off of how many households that have been foreclosed by his investments?”

    Pretty bizarre. Foreclosures aren’t usually about making money, they’re about limiting losses. And if there were no such thing as foreclosure, then there would be no such thing as mortgage lending, and either homeownership would be limited to the wealthy, or the homes would be socialistically provided by the Government.

    So either Gingrich is opposed to homeownership, or he’s a socialist, or he’s just making a rhetorical point at the expense of intellectual coherence.

    My level of respect for the guy has gone way, way down. Still vastly preferable to Obama, of course, but one main takeaway from the current political season should be what inferior human beings most politicians are. Which is one key reason why government power should be strictly limited.

  42. NeoConScum Says:

    davisbr..Thanks. I’m a cyber dolt and didn’t know what the heck had happened to them. Where’d you escape to from the Peoples Republic? Miss my mountains, but not the batdroppings nutz culture.

  43. davisbr Says:

    aargh. I see the comment didn’t include the proper code. Do you want me to email it to you?

    …I’ll send it to you through one of my hotmail accounts, so check your mail in a few minutes.

  44. davisbr Says:

    …email sent. neo

  45. davisbr Says:

    @neoconscum Ha-ha: I see that I transposed neoconscum with neo-neocon again. Sorry dude

    …that’s to the point of dyslexia, y’know.

    At any rate, the email was sent to neo-neocon

    …and now it’s time to make breakfast, I think.

  46. foxmarks Says:

    holmes:
    The shape of the collapse is yet to be determined. Most people seem to be in some amount of denial, unable to accept that something short of total violent revolution is still a collapse. A couple of State bankruptcies, a period of rioting, a bank/financial panic are all eminent possibilities. They’ve happened before.

    Read VDH’s tales from central California and tell me it will all be fine.

    If I am Chicken Little, I argue against Ostriches. If there is not a genuine prospect of some kind of governmental-societal collapse then this is not The Most Important Election Ever! If things will proceed mostly as normal, with gradual loss of liberty, this November is just another election.

    As to the power of free people to carry on, I agree. That does not change the prospect of collapse for gov’t and the large minority of people who cannot work out their own problems.

  47. Pat Dooley Says:

    @NeoConScum:

    Romney won’t repeal Obamacare. From Gateway Pundit

    Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, a Romney supporter, went on The Record last night. The Florida Republican told Greta Van Susteren that Mitt wants Romneycare in every state. She also said she would be on Romney’s Health Care Advisory Team when he’s president.

    That, right there, tells us little will change. We will still have a vast, bloated government mandated health care system that will quash innovation, ration care and fund abortions.

    That is, if Romney could even win against Obama. On the one hand, he can’t attack Obama on Obamacare, because Obama can always say he modeled it on Romneycare. At the same time, Romney, the rich white guy, is the perfect foil for the class-warfare election campaign that Obama is planning.

    If Romney did win, he might slow the rate of decline. But you can’t expect a self-professed progressive to enact the Tea Part agenda of fiscal responsibility, constitutionally limited government and free market economics. The fact he won’t disavow Romneycare, which flouts Tea Party principles, tells you that.

  48. Mr. Frank Says:

    The record sales of guns and gold suggests something is amiss.

    A problem we did not have fifty years ago is the feeding bears phenomenon. The dangerous part of feeding bears is when you run out of food. Then the bear gets angry. When the government is keeping a large part of the population afloat (unemployment insurance, food stamps, Social Security, disability payments, rent subsidies, student loans, Medicaid, government jobs, etc., a sudden reduction of support can be very dangerous. In some European countries just proposing cuts has led to violence.

    The coming election could be very destabilizing. Whe’ve seen what happened and is happening in Wisconsin. If Obama loses, things will heat up in the big cities.

  49. neo-neocon Says:

    Pat Dooley: that’s your evidence? A Romney supporter says it, so it must be true?

    Look, if you think Mitt’s lying every time he opens his mouth, then don’t vote for him. But don’t rely on garbage stuff like “a supporter says it, so it must be true!”

  50. Pat Dooley Says:

    The supporter was Pam Bondi, the Florida Attorney General. She has been featured in some of Romney’s radio ads. If she misspoke, the Romney camp would have asked her to retract her statement.

    I didn’t say Romney lies every time he opens his mouth. He has been pretty open about extolling the virtues of Romneycare. That’s the problem. I don’t trust him to have the drive to repeal Obamacare. It is going to be hard enough to repeal, especially if Scotus rules it constitutional. The Dems will still have enough votes to block repeal in the Senate.

    He

  51. NeoConScum Says:

    davisbr…Slixdexia is doog. Which state did you flee to from, I take it, Wackoworld Calif?

    Pat Dooley…’Fraid I must plead semi-guilty to not being a blog junkie. Thanks for the Gateway link which I read and don’t buy. I like Pam Bondi very much. Tough, conservative, bright as hell and put a long line of human sewage in Raiford, Starke and Florida Death Row while doing her prosecuter job in Tampa. I didn’t ‘get’ that what they are talking about is National(as in Obama)Health Care.

  52. expat Says:

    My latest eMail update from WaPo: Gingrich’s wife supported him through college and grad school, and he also asked his father for help because he didn’t want to have to work.

    Also: Cain is endorsing Gingrich. I guess he is impressed with his promise to move our embassy to Jerusalem on day 1 of his reign.

  53. Pat Dooley Says:

    Hmm, some of my posts are not making it to the mothership. I checked Gateway Pundit’s sourcing and found he was confusing Romneycare with Romney’s proposed solution, a reasonable GOP alternative. I’ll see if this gets though before expanding on my response.

  54. Parker Says:

    “If I am Chicken Little, I argue against Ostriches.”

    Cassandra has never been popular.

    “When the government is keeping a large part of the population afloat (unemployment insurance, food stamps, Social Security, disability payments, rent subsidies, student loans, Medicaid, government jobs, etc., a sudden reduction of support can be very dangerous. In some European countries just proposing cuts has led to violence.”

    The sovereign debt bubble is going to burst. It will start in the EU zone and once the first bubble ipops it will not be contained. It will spread around the globe and all the central banks will not put Humpty together again. We Americans are blowing up the biggest sovereign debt bubble in all of history, and that’s after accounting for inflation. Those of you who live in urban areas should prepare for an explosion of violence from the OWS types and agents provocateur.

    “The record sales of guns and gold suggests something is amiss.”

    That is putting it mildly.

  55. M of Hollywood Says:

    Pat Dooley: correct.
    She did a poor job of articulating this and Greta did not help.
    She was comparing Obamacare with what Mitt would do as President. She should change the name to something like Mitt 10th Amendment Care.

  56. gcotharn Says:

    Romney is not going to destroy Obamacare. A Romney Presidency will mean Obamacare’s claws become deeply sunk into America. Romney believes he can manage Obamacare into a state of excellence – that is who Romney is: a politician who believes citizens need him to manage us; a fixer who believes in his own skills. He doesn’t think we need more liberty: he thinks we need more Romney. Romney’s frequent protestation, that he will take action against Obamacare on Day 1, is careful language which commits Romney to nothing of significance, yet which is delivered with dramatic apparent sincerity. And that, also, is who Romney is: a phony.

  57. rickl Says:

    Excellent, gcotharn.

    Romney will be Bloomberg on a national scale.

    Assuming he wins, that is, and I don’t believe he will.

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About Me

Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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