Rehabilitating Romney

Buzzfeed started it, albeit with the typically overwrought headline (3 things = Everything. Ever).

Now NRO is saying, you know, Romneycare really wasn’t anything like Obamacare:

The best way to think about Romneycare is on a left-right scale of 1 to 10. If 10 is a libertarian utopia, and 1 is a left-wing dystopia, Governor Romney moved Massachusetts’ individual health-insurance market from a 2 to a 4. That is, it moved that market modestly to the right.

In Massachusetts, that’s not a small achievement.

Begins thus a trend? Will Obama, having previously resuscitated George W. Bush, now restore Romney to Statesmanhood?

Anyway, this doesn’t bode well for Our Lord and savior.

Just When You Thought Chris Christie Couldn’t Make Himself More Unappealing to Conservatives…

He hires Mitt Romney’s top strategist.


Even Donald Trump knows how dumb that is.

“I think he did a terrible job for Mitt Romney, absolutely terrible,” Trump said on Fox News of Stevens. “That was a campaign that should have been won. I don’t know Stuart Stevens from a hole in the wall. I don’t know what he looks like. But I will say this, whoever ran that campaign, that is not the person I would want running my campaign if I were running.”

This has been Donald Trump, Voice of Reason and Sanity.

That’s right. This guy.

Should Mitt Romney Rescue Detroit?

It’s an interesting question, but the short answer is: No. Because Detroit doesn’t want to be rescued.

Which is to say, Detroit’s political class doesn’t want anything to change. The people might hope for an economic dictator to cull the mess in city hall, but everyone else has a vested or an ideological interest in the “emergency city manager” failing.

By the same token, Stewart, Colbert, et al will jump all over this with both clown feet. The memegasms of Romney in Fuhrer-wear will tumble out of Facebook. The persistent disaster that has been progressive governance of Detroit these past fifty years will be shunted aside in favor of interviews of somebody’s grandmother being laid off from her clerk’s job.

And when the 18 months are over? Everything will go right back to where it was.

Not even Detroit is too big to fail. Let’s have that lesson learned.

Okay. I’ve Shaken it Off.

Perhaps the worst of all possible defeats are the unexpected. To go into a fight knowing loss is  likely. that one can prepare for that. But to be certain that you will win, and to get ruthlessly denied, that staggers.

I’ve spent a few days trying to figure out what in the name of all things decent this means, aside from Nothing Good. It’s not just that we lost, it’s that I can no longer believe the people who told me otherwise. All the bloggers, poll wizards, and pundits who were predicting an easy Romney victory were absolutely dead wrong. About everything. And that experience would be wasted if I didn’t take it as a wake-up call.

I think Ladd Ehlinger is right: We cannot afford to ignore the cultural razor that the Left has at our throats. When the Todd Akin thing blew up, I made a few clever Photoshops and left it at that.  Did I argue with people who insisted on ranting about “Republican Rape Fans.” No. The argument was too stupid. People would eventually see that, and it would blow over. I let it pass.

Andrew Klavan is right: Life is short, but Art is Long. And Demographics matter far less than ideas. We have them. We need to sell them.

Jeff Goldstein was almost certainly right, in just about every post he’s written since the campaign began. Romney’s weakness was the weakness of those who believed him to have won the election after the first debate: he believed that competence, in the face of Obama’s manifest incompetence, would win through. That would be enough if we had a media interested solely in calling balls and strikes, and a voice in the wider culture. But we have neither, and we cannot continue to pretend otherwise.

I don’t know if there’s any hope for America in 2016 or beyond. I don’t know if hope lies in running a more boisterous, punch-back-twice-as-hard campaign, or in going on a Long March of our own through the cultural institutions of the land. I think a bit of both, and I’m going to make it my own personal mission to forward both missions to the best of my ability.

But I do know this: the next time the GOP nominates some establishment twerp who’s supposed to have a claim on my vote because he stood in line and held his ticket, I’m gonna give money to the Libertarians, and my vote. I live in Maryland, for God’s Sake; every party that isn’t the Democrats is a third party here.

And if the polls tell me that the Democrats have a +6 advantage, I might go ahead and believe them.

(Hat Tip: Jonah Goldberg at NRO)

Why I’m Not Blogging About Sandy or the Election

I lost power for 24 hours, then I got it back. No flooding, save for a trickle that made it into my fusebox and shorted out my smoke detectors, which has since been remedied. Nora even got to have a Halloween.

Not quite conscious of the festivities, but aware that fun is happening. I love this age.

So there’s no way I’m going to bemoan my fate, when New York City is under water to the extent that science-fiction writers dared not imagine a few years ago:

“Dammnit, this isn’t the A Train!”

As to the Election, I am utterly bored of it. Which is to say, I am utterly bored reading about it. There is a level of nerdery in poll-watching that I have not the education to adequately partake of. The damn thing is on Tuesday, and while I’m confident that Romney will triumph, I’m not going to make any kind of prediction on the breadth of that triumph. He might barely squeeze it out, or he might roll over the festering carcass that is the Obama Presidency like a Sherman tank. I have no idea, and neither does anyone else.

If, on the other hand, Obama does manage 270 EV, then he’s only putting off the inevitable. A second term will mean impeachment, at the very least, either over Benghazi or Fast and Furious, especially if he loses the popular vote, as he might very well do. The unemployment rate creeped back up to 7.9% today. Nothing about this ends well for him.

Horses and Bayonets and Buggy Whips and Corsets and Fountain Pens, Brylcreem, Un-Ironic Affection for Cheap Beer, Music Videos…

Appeals to Novelty are so obligatory among progressives, aren’t they? Even when they’re not actually germaine to the point.

ROMNEY: Our Navy is old — excuse me, our Navy is smaller now than at any time since 1917. The Navy said they needed 313 ships to carry out their mission. We’re now at under 285. We’re headed down to the low-200s if we go through a sequestration. That’s unacceptable to me.

I want to make sure that we have the ships that are required by our Navy. Our Air Force is older and smaller than at any time since it was founded in 1947.

OBAMA: 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, 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 Battleship, where we’re counting slips. It’s what are our capabilities. And so when I sit down with the secretary of the Navy and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, we determine how are we going to be best able to meet all of our defense needs in a way that also keeps faith with our troops, that also makes sure that our veterans have the kind of support that they need when they come home.

So Romney says that the Navy and the Air Force are old, meaning they need to build new ships and planes, and that we’re short of the number that the Navy says we need.

Obama says that we don’t need to build more ships, because are ships are so new. They have planes landing on them and go underwater and everything (Just like in Battleship!). Plus, he has like, meetings and such with the Joint Chiefs, so he’s totally on top of this stuff, y’all.

Now, either we have a bunch of decaying ships and planes, or we don’t. Either the Navy is satisfied with the number of ships it has or it isn’t. Romney stated that the answer to these questions was Yes, We Do and No, They Aren’t. Obama Stated that the Answer was Look, Shiny! and Trust Me.

Stacy McCain Blogs the Presidential Debate, so I Don’t Have To

The difference between blogging as a compulsive hobby and blogging for a living lies chiefly in how often you’re allowed to take off. Stacy McCain has a thousand things he’d rather be discussing than whatever insignificant quips and dull gotchas emerge from the latest round of Electoral Competitive Grandstanding, but there he is anyway, twittering away and hoping something of worth emerges.

For my money, this would have to be it:

An odd weathervane for a presidential election, but probably a correct one. Obama 2008 seemed to get by on nothing but enthusiasm, the sensation. Absent that, you have a rather standard left-liberal president insisting that the weakest recovery in a century cannot be blamed on the policies he specifically created to counteract it. Such gruel may be lapped up greedily by the chattering class, but it’s not going to feed the multitudes.

Then again, those chaps that beat their arguments into the son of a Wisconsin State Senator seemed rather enthused, didn’t they?

The Change that we’ve been waiting for.

The There, It was Not There.

I did not watch the debates, but I was pretty confident of them. Romney was irritatingly good during the primary debates, weirdly unsinkable despite the efforts of Santorum, Ron Paul et al. He was Iceman: no mistakes. So I knew Romney wasn’t going to screw anything up. And I rather hoped that Romney’s strongest feature – his self-assured sense of basic competence – would compare favorably with Emperor Golden Dancer’s tarnished image. Which appears to be what happened:

For the first time in his life, Barack Obama was cornered. For the first time in his life, he was to be held accountable for his achievements. He was the ultimate affirmative action baby, and he had always been given a free pass. He had always run — for chairman of the Harvard Law Review, for the Illinois state senate, for the United States Senate, and for the Presidency — on promise. Now he was an executive running for re-election, and he was going to be held responsible for what he had done and for what he had failed to do.

So the voters had the opportunity to pick between the confident man, offering detailed solutions to our current woes, and President Lumbergh, who was going to have to, go ahead and, disagree with him?

So Now That We Know That Mitt Romney Has Paid Every Cent He Owed in Taxes, and Gave 30% of His Income to Charity….

now that this is out, I assume that everyone who made fun of Romney for being a (*gasp*) Rich Guy What Does Not Care About Teh Poor will now admit that they were wrong, or at least, mistaken?

Also, that everyone who took to Teh Intertubes posting various pics of Romney as these:

…. will now retract them in favor of these:


I’ll wait for you guys to get right on that.

Taking Hope Behind the Barn and Killing it With an Axe.

You know it’s the silly season when campaign insiders and journalists (there’s a difference. I just know there is) start whispering about positive jobs reports. Even hardened old cynics like myself took pause. Why, maybe there’s a chance after all. Maybe the economy has finally found its headwind.

And true to form, the numbers weren’t bad. Actually up. Still north of 8%, but maybe enough, just enough, for Obama to make his essential case, his statesmanlike I-Didn’t-Burn-the-Whole-House-Down that emerged from the convention. Romney may have to worry.

Yeah, Mitt Romney is Fry.

Yeah, no. The unemployment rate is a blip above 8% instead of three blips because 368,000 people have left the work force since last we measured. That means more people than could fit into the DNC’s stadium in Charlotte (and way more than actually showed up) have been out of work so long that they have given up and started selling crack or collecting unemployment, sitting in a pit of despair trying to determine whether smoking crack or watching The View every day better expresses what is meant by “Rock Bottom.” If we had the same workforce participation rate as we did when this “recovery” began, the unemployment rate would be at 10%. Nothing’s changed. The economy is still in the ditch, and all the wheel-spinning in the world doesn’t make the damn thing move.

Stalag 17 FTW!

Sorry, proggies, but it’s starting to look like the eleventh-hour salvation isn’t coming. The Riders of Rohan are not en route. Obama’s got nothing to run on from now till November but paranoid fantasies about Mitt Romney raping Medicare after denying it birth control, and then dressing the unholy spawn in Magic Underwear spun from Lying Paul “The Liar” Ryan’s Lies.

Which might work. But if Obama clears this hurdle, his second term is going to make Bush’s look like George Washington’s. Everything will remain exactly where it is. No one will compromise, no budget will be passed, nothing will happen. 23% approval is going to look like the top floor of the Sears Tower from where Obama will be looking in January of  2017. And the rest of us will be boiling our socks for soup.

Hope is dead. Enjoy the autopsy.