January 31st, 2012

Florida primary today

Here’s a thread to discuss it.

If you dare.

[ROLLING UPDATES: Romney is projected the winner. As things look now, he may even get a total percentage similar to the combined totals of Gingrich and Santorum.

In Romney's acceptance speech (going on right now), I noticed one smart thing at the outset: he warned Democrats that a tough fight like this won't help the winner: it will prepare him. Then he's gone on to talk only about Obama, and to repeat the magic pledge to repeal Obamacare.

More reflections: Florida is a primary in which Independents can't vote, so the results there represent Republicans only.

Apparently, the polls were correct.

Quite a few of Gingrich's recent attacks on Romney have been attacks from the left: he's a Bain vulture, he invested in funds that included Fannie/Freddie, and he's a cost-cutting meanie who nixed kosher meals. I'm trying to think of any time that Romney attacked Gingrich from the left, but I can't come up with anything. I think that's telling. It undercuts Gingrich's claim to be the real conservative.

Listening to Santorum's speech, it occurs to me (and not for the first time, either) that he may be positioning himself for the VP spot.

Oops, in Gingrich's speech, he isn't being kind to Santorum. He says the race is a 2-person one between him, the "conservative leader," and the moderate Romney. Gingrich goes on to cast himself a populist (it'll be a "people's campaign") and predicts he'll be the new comeback kid (no, he doesn't actually call himself that, but that's the idea).]

38 Responses to “Florida primary today”

  1. Promethea Says:

    What’s to discuss? Either way, we won’t get a good candidate.

    Oh how I wish some miracle would occur and Rep. Allen West would run. He has that “Dick Cheney” demeanor that I love–a take-charge, common sense kind of guy.

  2. kaba Says:

    At just after 3:00 PM Central Time I’ve just returned from voting. I live in one of the more conservative precincts of the most conservative county in Florida. (In the 2004 election this county gave GW Bush >76% support.) FWIW I was the only voter there and the poll workers indicated that turn-out had been only “moderate” thus far.

    This doesn’t sound promising for Newt as I would imagine he would enjoy more support here than in most places. But we’ll just wait for the count to see how all of this washes out.

  3. Mike Mc. Says:

    We are going to get a good candidate. The voters are deciding. That is the way it works.

    You know….candidates are what they are. It not not unheard of at all for people to think a candidate would be one thing, but as president, once in the office, he becomes another.

    The examples are all over our history. Truman, Nixon, Reagan, Clinton, Dubya, and Obama to the max.

    It happens with Popes and Presidents. You never quite know what you have until you have it.

    Some rise to the occasion – Reagan, Dubya – others demean and debase the office and themselves – Clinton, Obama.

    Lincoln is another example.

    Our only hope is also probably the best hope in the whole world, bar none – the long-term intuitive wisdom of the American People.

  4. Conrad Says:

    The no-kosher-food-for Holocaust-survivors attack seems ridiculously desperate and pathetic. Beyond this, it represents yet another example of Newt’s going after Mitt with an attack rooted in the logic of the left. First it was the Bain attack, and it’s implicit premise that investors in the private economy have an affirmative duty to continue furnishing jobs to workers in distressed industries. Then there was the general issue of Mitt’s income and taxes, which played on the leftist notion that a person with a lot of money is presumptively dishonest or unethical. Now Newt is arguing that because Mitt tried to save the taxpayers money by having nursing homes use catered kosher foods rather than operating kosher kitchens, Mitt was in effect forcing “Holocaust survivors” to eat non-kosher foods. How can Newt even pretend to be a supporter of the Tea Party agenda if he’s going to personally demonize a GOP governor for trying to implement commonsense spending cuts?

  5. SteveH Says:

    I just wish the candidates would announce an agreement of Romney for Prez, Gingrich for Vice Prez and Santorum for Secretary of State.

    Then go after the socialist with a vengeance for nine solid months. We HAVE to destroy THEM.

  6. Conrad Says:

    Also, I agree with Neo in the post below: Newt looks weak and petulant in saying he won’t allow reporters to serve as debate modertors. It’s a stupid tactical position for him to take, given his supposed expertise as a debater. Among other things, it would give BHO a ready-made excuse for ducking the debates altogether. More than this, it conveys the message that he can only win debates when he gets to control the format, by requiring, e.g., (a) no reporters as moderators, (b) audience must be allowed to applaud, (c) debate opponent cannot be “dishonest” according to Newt’s own standards of honesty, and (d) questioners can’t ask him about embarrasing topics like marital infidelity due to the august nature of a presidential debate.

    At some point, it’s fair to ask whether Gingrich even has the basic political sense to be entrusted with teh GOP nomination. He has made so many stupid tactical and strategic mistakes in this race, people should be seriously questioning his competence as a candidate.

  7. Parker Says:

    “… people should be seriously questioning his competence as a candidate.”

    I have long questioned Newt’s competence as a human being I would want for a neighbor, let alone the Oval Office. I’m no Romney fan but I could stomach 4 years of Romney at the teleprompter. 4 years of Newt would be nearly as painful as 4 years of BHO. Newt is not a fiscal conservative. Neither is Romney, but I see him as more conservative than Newt. Either way it turns out I’m voting against BHO.

  8. expat Says:

    SteveH,
    I’m afraid a president Romney would have to spend all his time “explaining” his veep’s “misspeaks.” Gingrich doesn’t play second fiddle to anyone, and his coherency often borders on Biden’s.

  9. reliapundit Says:

    IF RUBIO SAYS NO, THE THE TICKET IS ROMNEY-JINDAL.

    IF HE SAYS NO, THEN ROMNEY-PAWLENTY.

    MITT MIGHT NEED JINDAL TO SOLIDIFY THE BASE.

    TIM MIGHT HELP MORE IN THE MIDWEST AND RUSTBELT.

  10. vanderleun Says:

    O timor! O mortis! O conturbat! O me!

    Oh what a bunch of babies.

  11. Electionate Says:

    Most interesting thing to watch for is the margin of victory in the panhandle – will be a rough guide to how the Southern demographics are going to play out for Romney.

  12. rickl Says:

    “Republicans, they thirst for death.”

  13. foxmarks Says:

    Paul gets 100,000+ of “authentic” Republicans without even trying.

    Gingrich violates the customs of campaign civility, oh noz!

    If Romney is the best you’ve got, consider surrender.

    Santorum could still be the last Not Romney standing.

  14. Mike Mc. Says:

    Foxmark,

    He came in last. He got 7% of the vote. 93% of the voters did not pick him.

    You are bragging for him. No further comment required.

  15. Gray Says:

    Meh… I voted for Papa Bush, Dole and McCain. The Pubbies know I would vote for a turd if it had an R after the name. That’s the Republican equivalent of a Yellow Dog Dem. Accordingly, I’ll grin and vote for Mittens or whomever….

  16. Don Carlos Says:

    Gray- You and I did not vote FOR Papa Bush, Dole and McCain. We voted AGAINST their opponents. You and I will not be voting for Romney, but against Hussein. That we have to do so says much to explain why things so rarely improve in quantum leaps, as present circumstances desperately require.

    Romney will reduce non-security discretionary spending by 5% immediately he takes office, he says. Well, that’s not up to him, but to the Congress; and it will cut expenditures by (are we sure we can handle this?) by $20B/yr. Wow. That is 2% of our annual 1 Trillion deficit. He seeks to modify the Tax Code to achieve muted class warfare, instead of Hussein’s overt.

    We will go off the cliff at either 70mph or at 80. Hot damn.

  17. Baklava Says:

    Are you guys serious???

    I can’t handle coming here to a conservative blog and hearing [reading] you guys say things about only Gingrich or only Ron Paul.

    Then Neo, I was watching Jackie Cushman Gingrich on Greta making me think there is something seriously going on in the Gingrich household.

    She herself was telling Greta that it’s “down to 2 candidates”. Yes, hearing Newt say that really felt like a slap to Santorum.

    Then hearing her say it??? I’m thinking she’ll have nothing valid to say that I’ll listen to ever again. She’s ruined her name.

    Then after Greta asked her why Newt didn’t call to congratulate Mitt – Jackie had a reply and that was their plan was just to move forward. Greta said that when Newt won SC that Mitt called and congratulated him and it was customary.

    These are unreal convesations to me.

    A little bit of Alice in Wonderland.

  18. Baklava Says:

    You can’t go around slapping Santorum like that. Words mean things!

  19. neo-neocon Says:

    Baklava: The revenge of Santorum:

    Earlier in the day, the Santorum campaign began airing a television ad in Colorado and Nevada with a gambling theme called “Deal,” ending with the same message: Santorum is the only true conservative and the others are just faking it.

    “He doesn’t just talk a good conservative game … he lives it,” both ads say, a sign that this may be a new catch phrase for the campaign.

    The television ad compares Gingrich with President Obama and Nancy Pelosi.

    “All three supported radical cap and trade legislation that would destroy American jobs and drive up energy costs. All three supported giving illegal aliens some form of amnesty,” the ad reads as playing cards are being laid out on a table. “And all three of these politicians supported the Wall Street bailouts, that was a slap in the face to the Tea Party. Who are these three cap and trade lovin’, bailout supporting, soft on immigration, big government mandating politicians? ”

    The three cards are turned over to reveal pictures of Gingrich, Pelosi and Obama.

  20. Daniel Says:

    I agree, Neo. I came to this conclusion on Monday when I was watching Newt. Newt is coming from the left with both barrels blazing, and this is just going to be good practice for Romney.

    Romney needs the practice, so I hope this continues until March. Then it’s time to kiss and make up.

  21. Curtis Says:

    If electionate is correct, and the Florida panhandle predicts how the Southern states will turn out for Romney, then Romney did fairly well because Romney tied Newt in the panhandle. But, will the strong conservative base that is not voting Romney forget Romney’s strategy and 6 to 1 advantage that spent 99% of its fortune on negative ads against Gingrich and earned the title “most negative campaign evah.” Did Romney win a battle that will cost him the war? Let’s hope that Romney, if he wins the primary, shows the same dedication to total political warfare. This is precisely what conservatives doubt about Romney. Well, perhaps he has learned how to articulate his defenses against Romneycare and Bain; perhaps, on the former, he has always relied on a certain “wink wink” understanding that Romneycare will appeal to moderates. Romney’s “no free rider” defense of the individual mandate, leaves him in the same camp as Obamacare. Why didn’t Romney point to the other side of the coin as the solution: quit providing free care. Change the law if you have to, but merely quit requiring hospitals and doctors to treat everyone that comes in. But Romney wouldn’t do that because that is a true conservative position stemming from the belief that healthcare is not an inalienable right but a privilege.

  22. Mary Wilbur Says:

    Are you suggesting that we abandon people to their fate, who are injured or ill and who have no insurance and cannot afford to pay out-of-pocket? Then you are a monster. Previous to Obamacare the poor went to their local emergency room when they were ill. The govt. paid for it. I don’t know why we cannot return to that paradigm. There is much talk about the need for “preventive health care,” especially concerning diabetes due to the increasing numbers of people, including children, who are dangerously overweight. All anyone can do to prevent diabetes type 2 is to educate people to control their food intake and to eat healthy food. That doesn’t take a medical professional. There are many nonprofit organizations who could perform this task. But ultimately the responsibility is up to the individual to watch his/her weight and to take control of their children’s weight. My sister eventually had to padlock her refrigerator in order to keep her son from overeating. It worked and his weight dropped to a normal level.

    There is much that individuals can do to take care of their own health, and that doesn’t require state subsidies. In some cases, state subsidies are needed particularly childhood immunizations for poor children. Lack of immunizations is a public health hazard, and most school districts or states require them for enrollment. It may be that low income people should be required to pay some portion of their health care costs. I am thinking of something along the lines of The Children’s Scholarship Fund, a charity which provides scholarships to low income parent(s) for their child to attend private school, but the parent(s) must pay from 25% to 75% of the tuition depending on their income. The Children’s Scholarship Fund has thousands more peoplethan it can take. Low income parents are willing to dig deep in order to get a decent education for their children (grades K-8 only). I think low income parents would also dig deep to provide their children with necessary health care.

  23. Curtis Says:

    How about this for a compromise, Mary W?

    I’ll take care of my health. You won’t ever have to pay anything for it. But don’t charge me for other’s health care. I will, however, support charity and my own family.

    Then, you can pay for yours and others.

    If we implemented this system, where people opted out but with the certainty that they could obtain no free health care, how many people would be left to pay for all the free riders?

    The system, as is, is socialism, which is taking one person’s property and labor and giving it to another. I call that theft and label those doing it the real monsters.

    How much is life worth in China these days?

    http://tinyurl.com/83mt4ph

  24. T Says:

    Mary Wilbur wrote: “Previous to Obamacare the poor went to their local emergency room when they were ill. The govt. paid for it.”

    You are factually incorrect. While Medicaid does pay for some of the charges, Medicaid itself determines what the payment will be exclusive of the hospital charge.

    The difference sbetween what Medcaid pays and what the hospital charges are absorbed by the hospitals which in turn passes them on in the form of higher charges to other paying patients.

    In turn, since the bulk of paying patients’ charges are paid by health insurance policies, this results in higher premiums for those who pay for health insurance.

    Finally, the great flaw in your logic is that the govt pays for ANYTHING. As yourself this question: Where does the govt get its money from? Answer: from tax revenues. Who pays the taxes? You and I.

    So It’s the American taxpayer who is actually paying for medical care for the indigent whether s/he pays it directly (higher medical insurance taxes) or indirectly (higher taxes).

  25. Pat Says:

    @T – “Where does the govt get its money from?”

    60% comes from the tax payer. The rest is borrowed and must be repaid by the tax payer at some point in the future.

  26. T Says:

    Pat,

    Correct. and who repays that loan? The taxpayer. Directly or indirectly, now or later, the taxpayer is stuck with the bill.

  27. Baklava Says:

    Pat has it right.

    We are all monsters if we ARE NOT BEING PERSONALLY RESPONSIBLE.

    We are not being personally responsible if:
    1) We are able bodied and not elderly and CHOOSE not to buy health insurance – leaving the bill to hospitals and govt (our neighbors and grandkids)

    2) We continue to vote in politicians who pander to people who are personally irresponsible promising the goodies at the expense of our nation and grandkids.

    Thank you Mary for supporting people who are irresponsible and presenting yourself as a monster (look in mirror).

    Conservatives fully understand that programs geared to non-able bodied and elderly need to support those populations.

    However the problem as defined does not mean exacerbating the problem with goodies and benefits that people are not taking responsibility for.

    How is your HDTV by the way? Or your nice cushy automobile with the NAV system? :) Priorities are a *itch for you huh?

  28. T Says:

    Pat,

    Sorry, somehow I just glossed over the last half of your sentence.

  29. JuliB Says:

    Or we could revise the tax code to allow medical professionals to deduct the cost of their time/labor instead of just cost of goods for charitable treatment…

  30. Curtis Says:

    Today, part of “health care” includes the cost to teach children that homosexuality is an acceptable norm and to oppose such teaching is hate speech. Today, part of health care requires employers who oppose abortion to provide it as a health service. Remember the lie and deception with Obamacare and the recent in your face “ruling” by king Obama. So, not only is property and labor taken from one group and given to another, the entitlement conferred directly violates the constitutional right to freedom of religion, speech and conscience. In effect, you are forcing people to support with their labor and property, practices and ideologies which they have a constitutional right to oppose.

    Health care? What isn’t healthcare? Could we consider the funding of the justice department when they went after big tobacco, health care?

    Health care has always been for the progressives a front to impose top down living. It’s appetite knows no bounds and its appetite is for your freedom, your property, and your soul. Because it stems from man’s wisdom, it can’t be argued with and it knows no compassion. Perhaps the only way for those who do not consult traditional sources to learn of it inefficacy is the way of experience. And that is exactly what we are learning.

  31. davisbr Says:

    JuliB Says: February 1st, 2012 at 1:20 pm
    Or we could revise the tax code to allow medical professionals to deduct the cost of their time/labor instead of just cost of goods for charitable treatment…

    Brilliant.

    This is a simple, ingenuous, and workable suggestion that is a genuine solution to a real problem. Kudos.

  32. Mike Mc. Says:

    People like Mary have a very fine conscience that everyone should follow except Mary.

  33. foxmarks Says:

    Mike Mc: My first line was not bragging on Paul. I was mocking and insulting those who demean and dismiss the RP faction. Can Romney carry Florida without those 115,000 votes? Say only half take the bold step of not voting for Romney. Can Mitt carry Florida without those 60,000 votes?

    Gingrich was doing the best at including ideas appealing to the RP faction. The rest of the GOP chest-thumpers are going to doom their own cause by being jerks to ~10% of their base.

  34. Parker Says:

    Dear Mary,

    Yes, there are individuals who find themselves in dire circumstance through no fault of their own. So I say charity begins at home. What you are concerned about is first and foremost a local issue and perhaps a state matter. It is definitely not a delegated responsibility of the federal government. Every social issue that you want DC to handle will automatically produce many unintended consequences, cost 10 times more than is required at the local level, and ultimately make those matters worse.

    As others have noted, personal responsibility is where it all begins and ends. When fools are protected from the folly of their actions fools multiple. (I’m paraphrasing a concept whose original author I am too lazy to google.)

    Here is my suggestion, take it or leave it as you may so desire. Find out what you can do at the local level. Donate money or time to the extent that you are able. And let those who willfully fail to take care of themselves perish and hope they have not already contributed to the gene pool.

  35. Parker Says:

    foxmarks,

    It appears you and I are the outliers at neo-neocon. I do not agree with RP 100%. However, when it comes to true fiscal conservatism he is the only fiscal conservative left. He is the only one who demands a balanced budget, who seeks to audit the FED, and who demands an audit of the gold reserves at Fort Knox. (I know that sounds ‘wacky’ to many but I’m very interested to learn what are the gold reserves of the federal government.)

    However, in each and ever presidential election since I came of age I have not had the opportunity to vote for who I wanted to occupy the Oval Office. Instead, I’ve voted against the lesser evil. 2012 will be an opportunity to do so with enthusiasm.

  36. foxmarks Says:

    Parker: I think rickl is an outlier here, too.

    At Paul’s victory speech last night, there were 1000 twenty-somethings chanting, “End the Fed!”. All the formerly esoteric planks in the RP platform now have wide exposure. Awareness has blossomed past the tinfoil-hat level of a few years back.

    One need not accept the entire RP program to make it a worthwhile and positive vote. Pobody’s nerfect. I enjoy his candidacy as a genuine alternative to The Powers That Be.
    His constant references to the Constitution are probably annoying to most people. That’s a symptom of the national problem.

    The saber-rattlers dismiss Paul’s foreign policy, but they do not seem to examine their own. Hannity is my best/worst example. He is entirely correct about the nature and existence of evil, but there is a gap between that theory and how perpetual interventionism does anything to defeat evil. Bush did not lie, Saddam did. But 4 trillion dollars and 4000 dead have not made the homeland secure.

    The other GOPers want a bigger military, but cannot explain how they will pay for it. Nobody has effectively responded to Paul’s point that economic policy ultimately controls foreign policy.

  37. davisbr Says:

    @foxmarks Nobody has effectively responded to Paul’s point that economic policy ultimately controls foreign policy

    Because there is no rebuttal. None.

    The primacy of economic policy as determinative of foreign policy is an historical truism, and if it’s not taught in every war college throughout time, it’s certainly well known to every general, ever.

    It’s also what Donald Rumsfeld was intimating, when he said “As you know, you go to war with the army you have, not the army you might want or wish to have at a later time.”

    War IS about finance.

    …well, the first ingredient in victory in war is “about” finance.

    But where the statement itself goes wrong, is that all foreign policy is not about war. Inasmuch as that’s true, the statement can be misleading …hmm, or maybe just misdirection.

    Partly that’s because the statement hinges on the emphasis you give to “ultimately” …historically speaking, that “ultimately” terminology implies a nation’s ability to enforce (or project, if you wish: same difference) its foreign policy, and that “threat” of enforcement implies the ability to effectively exercise force (which doesn’t necessarily lead to
    the use of that force …but the ability to exercise it, certainly).

    To a certain degree, you might argue it’s about semantics; but as a truism of war-making, Paul’s point is historically, demonstrably correct.

    NOTE: I’m not a fan of Laup Nor …which is bit of an understatement (which reasons for, I’m not going to bother with: just …”no”) …but in this, specifically, Paul’s not merely correct, he’s provided a determinative axiom.

  38. davisbr Says:

    Aargh. Just not my morning:

    NOT: but as a truism of war-making, Paul’s point is historically, demonstrably correct

    INSTEAD: but as a truism of war-making, and as war is the ultimate manifestation of foreign policy, Paul’s point is historically, demonstrably correct

    …thought I should clarify that a bit.

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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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