April 25th, 2012

Let the games begin

With the withdrawal of Newt Gingrich, what we’ve known for weeks—that Mitt Romney will be the nominee—becomes undeniable. If Mitt’s victory speech last night is any indication, he’s on his game and will bring the fight to Obama.

That means that the left and its MSM allies can focus on attacking Romney rather than spreading out their critiques among the other Republican candidates. And so accordingly, looking around at today’s articles, we see the usual assortment from the usual suspects.

For example, there’s this one by Jonathan Chait about how Romney is now starting his Etch-A-Sketch campaign, containing the truly risible comment, “It is certainly remarkable how little ridicule or scrutiny Romney has attracted in his rather brazen reversals.”

I was going to spend a lot of time doing research, documenting a bunch of the other things that are being said and how openly the media is carrying Obama’s water. But then I thought, why? It’s obvious at this point, and the exercise has become truly tiring.

Perhaps it’s because I’ve blogged so long. Perhaps it’s just that I’ve read so much and noticed essentially the same things over and over. I really wouldn’t mind if periodicals and writers openly defined themselves as biased to one side or the other. And some do, but many still profess an objectivity that they don’t demonstrate.

So I’d rather just say that I didn’t watch Romney’s speech (I’m not a speech person), but on reading it I was very impressed. The tone was confident but not cocky, eloquent but not flowery, aggressive but not nasty, and about as Reaganesque as possible without being an impersonation.

13 Responses to “Let the games begin”

  1. Mac Says:

    “I really wouldn’t mind so much if periodicals and writers openly defined themselves as biased to one side or the other. And some do, but many still profess an objectivity that they don’t demonstrate.”

    Amen, amen, amen. That’s what drives me around the bend. In many cases I think they truly don’t recognize their bias, because they’re so serenely confident that what they think is simply the objective truth.

  2. Tesh Says:

    As a friend in Ireland noted earlier this week, he still sees the NYT as “authoritative” because they present themselves as such. He takes their word that they are unbiased. When I pointed him to Ace of Spades’ pithy comment on their recent self-analysis on bias, he flatly couldn’t believe AoS and called them way too extreme. AoS is grumpy sometimes, but hardly extreme.

    …yeah, he’s Irish, so not really in tune with U.S. politics, but he’s not an idiot. He’s just so steeped in the liberal media that he literally can’t parse any other view. Here’s hoping I planted a few seeds for him to mull over… but I see him as pretty typical of too many voters here in the ‘States. They just accept the “official” presentation and don’t bother to look deeper.

  3. neo-neocon Says:

    Tesh: yes, typical. I was the same way myself during the twentieth century, before I started paying more attention. I dismissed the charge of liberal bias as a form of bias. Then I started doing my own research, and was shocked at what I found.

    It’s not so much that conservative publications and blogs don’t show bias. But everyone knows they’re conservative rather than objective. And I actually see much less bias in the conservative media.

    Case in point—the recent spate of articles from the right saying that John Edwards shouldn’t be found guilty in his current trial, even though he’s a sleazebag. I don’t have time right now to find the links, but I noticed a couple (I think one was in the Weekly Standard.)

  4. gcotharn Says:

    In the fall, re Obamacare, Romney’s point was that he wanted to keep the good parts. Thus, Romney’s point was not about principle, but rather was about legislative competence. Conservatives hate arguments for action which are premised upon competence. We believe we must be protected, from those who govern us, by principle.

    Re Obamacare, Romney morphed (pushed, in part, by outraged conservatives). Romney began making a statement which committed him to little, yet he made the statement with great forcefulness and apparent conviction. It was a salesman’s trick. The statement was something about “on the first day of my administration”, and Romney’s only commitment was to give states an option re Obamacare.

    It wasn’t enough. So, Romney morphed, again, further to the right. Blessedly. He began saying he would repeal Obamacare.

    I criticized even that. I said, well, a lot of things. I said conservatives were willing to join up with Romney, maybe even EAGER to join up with Romney, if only Romney would make appeals to them which were based upon principle. PRINCIPLE. I said that Romney needed to explain WHY Obamacare is an abomination. I said it would be easy to explain that, and I could not understand why Romney would not explain it, except that maybe (or probably) Romney did not himself understand first principles of conservatism. I said that a lot.

    Peggy Noonan said, of Romney:

    [Romney’s] insides are unknown to them. They don’t know what’s in there. They fear he hasn’t absorbed any philosophy along the way, that he’ll be herky-jerky, unanchored, merely tactical as president.

    Then, last night, I skimmed through Romney’s speech. Something has changed. The speechwriters are better, and thus the candidate is better. Last night, re Obamacare:

    With Obamacare fully installed, government will come to control half the economy, and we will have effectively ceased to be a free enterprise society.

    There! THAT statement is about principle!
    Where was THAT statement in fall of 2011, when Romney was saying he wanted to “keep the good parts” of Obamacare? Immediately following that statement:

    This President is putting us on a path where our lives will be ruled by bureaucrats and boards, commissions and czars. He’s asking us to accept that Washington knows best – and can provide all.

    We’ve already seen where this path leads. It erodes freedom. It deadens the entrepreneurial spirit. And it hurts the very people it’s supposed to help.

    There! THAT is Reagan! That is about principle. That is Sarah Palin channeling Reagan. Where was THAT in fall of 2011? Where has THAT been all of Mitt Romney’s life?

    neo has argued that Romney has given many many conservative speeches. She argues that Romney’s conservatism has been ignored.

    I do not argue that Romney is not conservative. He is conservative in many, many ways.

    But he has not been conservative b/c he understands principle. He has been conservative when it has seemed, to him, to be pragmatic to be conservative. He has been conservative as a management style. He has never understood the principles which are at the core of why one ought govern conservatively.

    Further, I believe he has avoided touching on conservative principles … in an effort to be careful to not alienate moderates. To a conservative such as myself, not only is this an unforgivable void at the core of who a POTUS Romney would be, but it is also the exact wrong way for a Presidential candidate to attract moderate votes. Double fail.

    And then, last night, it appeared that something changed. Mitt Romney talked about principle. Was that so difficult? He did not melt.

    It appears a solid step forward in the Romney Campaign’s understanding of how to win.

  5. neo-neocon Says:

    gcotharn: Romney’s position re Obamacare “keep the good repeal the bad” was stated in the fall of 2010, not the fall of 2011 (you didn’t state the year, but I just wanted to clarify that). Here’s the clip, which shows only a small part of what he said but I assume that’s what you’re referring to as his original position.

    Note that the “good parts” he talks about are (1) “incentives” for everyone to buy in (he does not say mandates, and in fact his original plan for Massachusetts included an option—tax incentives, I think—besides the individual mandate. I’ve written about it before but don’t have time right now to do the research to present the details again in this comment.); (2) coverage for pre-existing conditions; and (3) portability. These things (minus an individual mandate) are probably still in the proposal he is offering to replace Obamacare (don’t have time to research that right now, either—sorry! Busy day).

    Note his objections at that time: federalism, and that the federal government shouldn’t be in the insurance business. Although he doesn’t speak in terms of ringing conservative principles, those certainly are conservative principles, and in fact I seem to recall he stated them in a debate with Ted Kennedy as far back as 1994 (video of that here).

  6. texexec Says:

    Romney has always known how to win in this year’s campaign…the proof is in the pudding…he won.

    Now, he is gonna kick Obama’s skinny lil behind. Last night’s speech was just a foretaste. Romney is gonna eat Obama’s lunch in the debates. And he will find a way to win in other ways too. He’s a doer and is usually successful in what he pursues.

    Give him a Republican House AND Senate and he’d be a great president.

  7. expat Says:

    Romney was probably being too precise about what he could do as president, ie, issue waivers. Repeal is a matter for congress. Of course, he can work with congress to achieve this. I actually think it’s good to have a chief exec who is aware of the powers of the 3 branches of government, as opposed to the constitutional lawyer now occupying the WH. I don’t mind a bit if his promises stay in the realm of the doable. This beats halting the rise of the seas any day of the week.

  8. gcotharn Says:


    I am heartened that Romney supported federalism in 2010.

    I plead guilty to giving the truncated version of Romney’s answer.

    However, even if I commented on the comprehensive version of Romney’s answer, I would still argue that his answer was a disaster – both philosophically, pragmatically, and politically. You can guess my arguments, and I know your responses. You and I have already had that conversation.

  9. gcotharn Says:


    I’ve enjoyed the thoughtful give and take the last couple of days. We disagree about some things, and our disagreements are what make our conversation lively fun.

    re precision
    After Romney’s status as a good family man and a good citizen, his precision, and his ability to work through and to comprehend detailed data, is his most attractive quality as an executive.

    However, as stated above, I consider the 2010 YouTube answer to be a disaster, both philosophically, pragmatically, and politically.

  10. gcotharn Says:

    off topic fyi, pertaining to recent comment section discussion of Evangelical support/nonsupport for Romney

    Polling shows degree of religious support for Romney

  11. T Says:

    “. . . how openly the media is carrying Obama’s water.”

    But this is a good thing, not because the MSM is carrying Obama’s water, but because they now do it openly. The more obvious they become, the more they destroy their own credibility (what’s left of it anyway), and the less important they become as a meaningful source of information.

    As for Tesh’s friend in Ireland. Yes we have to cut some slack because he’s not a citizen and he’s not here in the mix of things. There are, however Americans like that and their mind will never change. So who cares? Congress’ approval rating is somewhere around 13%—13% of the American population actually think Congress is doing a GOOD job!!?? But again, who cares; their mind will never change and they’re an insignificant number, that is if only a few of them actually vote.

  12. Ed Bonderenka Says:

    Romney’s speech was inspiring. When he first came on, I thought, do I have to watch this?
    When it was done, I felt I had witnessed something historic.
    I hope I did.

  13. NJcon Says:

    Romney has a Reaganesque sunny disposition about him.

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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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