Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

May 4, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

ROBO-ROMNEY....I screwed up and forgot that tonight's Republican debate started at 5 instead of 6, which means I hardly saw any of it. So, no substantive commentary except for my awe at Tom Tancredo seriously suggesting on national TV (well, MSNBC anyway) that we should repeal the 16th Amendment. Atta boy, Tom. You win the wingnut award tonight.

However, especially given my pro-Romney post of a couple of days ago, where I picked him as the likely GOP nominee, I have to say that he was the one candidate who most made me want to leave the room screaming. I guess now I understand the instinctive revulsion some people feel toward Hillary Clinton's speaking style. To me, Romney looked like the perfect Stepford candidate, pulled out of a mold somewhere and propped up on a stage where he'd stand there looking good and spouting endless pieties designed to say as little as possible and offend the fewest possible viewers. I half expected someone to come up at the end, remove his battery pack, and carry him off the stage. Brrr.

POSTSCRIPT: Just to be clear, this has nothing to do with Romney's actual positions, which are no more objectionable than any other Republican candidate's. Maybe less so, in fact. Pure gut reaction, though, is: Brrr.

LATE UPDATE: I don't know how meaningful this is, but here's the SurveyUSA poll of who won the debate. Apparently it was Giuliani, though the results look to me like they mostly just track how popular the candidates were before the debate even took place. But there it is anyway. Raw data for political junkies.

REALLY THE LAST UPDATE: That SurveyUSA poll is only for California. I didn't notice that when I tossed it up late last night.

Kevin Drum 12:34 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (98)

Bookmark and Share
 
Comments

Romney's Mormonism is an enormous liability to his candidacy, not (just) because Mormonism is kinda weird, but because he comes from a culture with zero-degree of irony, where hyper-earnestness is the norm. That's the Stepfordness that Kevin's responding to.

Here's something I'd love to see: Romney goes on MTV; a kid in the audience asks him whether he prefers boxers or briefs...

Posted by: lampwick on May 4, 2007 at 1:02 AM | PERMALINK

"Well, son, I do enjoy a good boxing match, but nothing excites me more than putting together a really effective legal presentation ..."

Posted by: Joe Buck on May 4, 2007 at 1:04 AM | PERMALINK

The guy said yesterday his favorite novel is "Battlefield Earth" which ought to disqualify him right there.

Posted by: RobW on May 4, 2007 at 1:09 AM | PERMALINK

Funny you should mention that. Romney is like a guy you might see at a glance and think he's attractive from across the room. But up close, when you look into his eyes and he opens his mouth...the effect is ruined and you're not sure why.

And it's also about his flip-floppiness, for me. He was oozing sincerity and he was just as "sincere" when he had the opposite opinions.

I wonder if conservatives will have a problem with that?

Posted by: TNG on May 4, 2007 at 1:13 AM | PERMALINK

Why the fuckity fuck fuck is this happening in early 2007? This can wait a year, thank you very much.

Posted by: craigie on May 4, 2007 at 1:15 AM | PERMALINK

I think you're confusing Romney's "looking good" with his narcissism.

Posted by: given@birth on May 4, 2007 at 1:18 AM | PERMALINK

BTW, how do you "win" a debate in which there is no debating, but merely preening and generally displaying one's idealogical credentials?

Posted by: craigie on May 4, 2007 at 1:22 AM | PERMALINK

craigie >"...This can wait a year..."

Ah but the advertising rates for the networks and stations can`t wait a year. Gotta pump those ratings so those rates can increase NOW.

All about the money game.

"All successful revolutions are the kicking in of a rotten door." - John Kenneth Galbraith

Posted by: daCascadian on May 4, 2007 at 1:37 AM | PERMALINK

2 percent of viewers thought Thompson won the debate-- by not appearing in it.

Or maybe they were flipping between reruns of Law & Order while watching the debate.

Posted by: blatherskite on May 4, 2007 at 1:42 AM | PERMALINK

If Romney is perceived as the "winner" it's only because some GOP flunkies are going to take a look at him and conclude "Hmmm, he looks and sounds like a President" and support him on that fact alone. When your a party in desperate shape and its hard to tell difference between the candidates, looks can count for a lot.

I’ve been reading around the internet and one thing that Peggy Noonan said I thought was interesting was that Ron Paul (whom she called intellectually serious) was only candidate who critized the war and clearly broke with the Bush Administration. None of the other candidates did. John McCain said the war was mismanged, but who’s responsible for this John, is it all Don Rumsfeld’s fault? Huckabee said that Bush was misled by his silk-tie advisers instead of generals with mud and blood on their boots. So is Bush to blame for listening to the wrong people? Did he just make an honest mistake? It’s all the civilians fault? I’ve got news for you Governor, not every general gets mud on their boots. Some like to work behind desks. And not every one of them is brilliant about the challenges we face in Iraq. For every Robert E. Lee there’s a Ben Butler.

It seems as though as every Republican wants to pretend somebody else screwed the war up except the man in charge, George Bush II. They sound like the kind of people who think that just by firing the pitching coach the baseball team will suddenly get better. Guess what, unless you do repudiate the President or at least be honest about his failings, you’ll get to defend that record in the fall like it or not and then what will you have to say to Hilary Clinton, Barak Obama or John Edwards? You had the same intelligence I did? It seemed like a good idea at the time? Mistakes were made? Give us another chance? Yuck! Talk about being a Hubert Humphrey.

Posted by: Sean Scallon on May 4, 2007 at 1:44 AM | PERMALINK

Offtopic again, but real quick... Fathers' Rights Activist Glenn Sacks once again supports a bill to protect gays from domestic violence Protecting Gays from Domestic Violence Is ‘Promoting Homosexuality’?

Kevin, don't you find it curious that someone that seems so progressive ends up being called a right-wing nut by feminists and hateful by Amanda Marcotte?

Something seems wrong in that picture, doesn't it?

Posted by: anon on May 4, 2007 at 1:53 AM | PERMALINK

I think Romney won.

Posted by: Al on May 4, 2007 at 2:00 AM | PERMALINK

And, of course, Kevin "this has nothing to do with Romney's actual positions" since you JUST ADMITTED you didn't even watch the debate. I hope he's the nominee just to know you are running out of the room screaming . . .

Posted by: Al on May 4, 2007 at 2:13 AM | PERMALINK

If this was a civilized country, the Republicans wouldn't be running a candidate for President in 2008. After the way the Bush and his party have screwed this nation over the past six years, one would think that all GOP members would do the honorable thing and commit hari-kari on the steps of the Capitol.

Posted by: global yokel on May 4, 2007 at 2:16 AM | PERMALINK

I might even vote for a dead Republican.


mmm

naw

Posted by: craigie on May 4, 2007 at 2:17 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin: "I screwed up and forgot that tonight's Republican debate started at 5 instead of 6, which means I hardly saw any of it."

Trust me, you didn't miss much. What a pathetic and pandering line-up of losers and looney-tunes! Almost makes me ashamed to say I'm a white male.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on May 4, 2007 at 2:30 AM | PERMALINK

Romney's fundamental problem is that he's a Republican combination of the worst qualities of Bill Clinton and Al Gore.

Posted by: CA-04 Voter on May 4, 2007 at 2:39 AM | PERMALINK

2 percent of viewers thought Thompson won the debate-- by not appearing in it.

The "Thompson" being referred to is Tommie (former WI gov), not Fred.

Posted by: Disputo on May 4, 2007 at 2:57 AM | PERMALINK

What a pathetic and pandering line-up of losers and looney-tunes!

Never fear, the GOP brownshirts have other ways of getting a GOP elected as POTUS in 2008 -- Edwards is getting white powdery substances mailed to him, and Obama is getting Secret Service protection for undisclosed reasons.

Posted by: Disputo on May 4, 2007 at 3:08 AM | PERMALINK

"Here's something I'd love to see: Romney goes on MTV; a kid in the audience asks him whether he prefers boxers or briefs..."

dude-Mormons wear magic underwear. Seriously.

Posted by: URK on May 4, 2007 at 3:12 AM | PERMALINK

I didn't see the debate, but I am thrilled about this insta-poll. As a former new yorker, I am really looking forward to Giuliani being the front-runner in the GOP debate. In my ideal scenario, he would reach a crescendo of support in the primaries before all the Republicans suddenly stopped and realized with horror they had set themselves up to vote in the national election for this thin-skinned, ferret-hating, cousin-marrying social liberal who likes to wear dresses, well, more than is typical for an ugly man. When he melts down, it will be memorable television. He is an unhinged man even when things are going well.

Also, McCain's folks must be having kittens after coming in after an unelectable poseur like Romney. Instead of selling his soul to the devil to win the election, the poor fool sold it to George Bush.

Posted by: Travis on May 4, 2007 at 3:21 AM | PERMALINK

"I hope he's the nominee just to know you are running out of the room screaming . . ."

Al, do you even know the English language?

Travis, your two paragraphs here should be embroidered on pillows and sent to all the Republican candidates—to smother themselves with!.

Posted by: Kenji on May 4, 2007 at 3:30 AM | PERMALINK

"I screwed up and forgot that tonight's Republican debate started at 5 instead of 6...."

Nice one! I am sure the hour was much better spent.

Posted by: Bob M on May 4, 2007 at 4:05 AM | PERMALINK

[Giuliani] who likes to wear dresses, well, more than is typical for an ugly man.

He looked better in drag.

Posted by: natural cynic on May 4, 2007 at 4:42 AM | PERMALINK

Where was the Hollywood actor Fred Thompson?

Posted by: merlallen on May 4, 2007 at 4:47 AM | PERMALINK

What's really funny is that Al is not the only fool that says he'll vote for Romney just to piss off liberals. That's quite a political philosophy isn't it? If libruls want the wealthy to pay their fair share of taxes, then I will gladly pay more than my share just to piss them off. It's hard to wrap one's mind around that isn't it?
So please do us a favor Al, get your fellow dumbass cowards to vote for Romney.
We need a Democrat in the White House.

Posted by: merlallen on May 4, 2007 at 4:55 AM | PERMALINK

Regarding Romney's statement that his favorite book, besides the bible, was "Battlefield Earth"; there's a great review on Slate:

http://www.slate.com/id/2165373?nav=tap3

Posted by: Dirk on May 4, 2007 at 5:13 AM | PERMALINK

Travis, from your lips to God's ear.

Posted by: bad Jim on May 4, 2007 at 6:36 AM | PERMALINK

Look who's in the 2nd tier...Gilmore and Hunter. And not everyone's favorite RTLer and Jesusgov Mike Huckabee. I think Giuliani does a deal with Huck or Brownie...a la Schweitzer and Reagan.

Posted by: wren on May 4, 2007 at 7:13 AM | PERMALINK

"boxers or briefs"

Good question, as I have felt for years that Orrin Hatch wears silk panties. Sort of runs in that highly materialistic sect.

However, I thought Joe Liebermann was superb last evening. None of them could out Republican another the way he can.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on May 4, 2007 at 7:38 AM | PERMALINK

Romney is like Fallwell for Prezinut. HEY, If the GOP is going insane, why not go whole hog about it.

Best part was Matthew asking McCain - What Dems are you going to pick for cabinet members - McCain sez...Lieberman, Lieberman, Lieberman.

Gosh, but McCain looked pretty scared, I think he is he this close to going out and folding up. That should give Repugs a minute to think, "hey, maybe we're ALL screwed".

Bush lovefest, and Bush "respect" won't cut it for 08 if voters are looking for something else and they are.

The only thing Repugs really have to fear is those Romney radicals, those righty wingnuts trashing the party.

It's not those silly lefty liberals after all. It's those rabid wingnuts like Glen Reynolds that imposed a GOP implosion.

Posted by: Cheryl on May 4, 2007 at 7:58 AM | PERMALINK
I might even vote for a dead Republican.

I dunno craigie - Zombie Reagan looks pretty good in comparison to that field. Just sayin' it's a little early to make up your mind.

I'd really like to know more about that poll, insofar as respondents - are those likely Republican voters?
I'm curious because I'd like to know how much of Giuliani's support comes from:
a. people who didn't know he cross-dresses for Donald Trump
b. people who do know and like him for it
c. the Monty Python voters

Posted by: kenga on May 4, 2007 at 8:15 AM | PERMALINK

Umm, Kevin, do we actually know any of Romney's positions (other than missionary, of course)? The guy has flopped around on issues like a fish on a bicycle (thank you, U2!). Before you say you his positions are "no more objectionable", can we find out what they actually are?

Posted by: MeLoseBrain? on May 4, 2007 at 8:19 AM | PERMALINK

I might even vote for a dead Republican.

Me, too...Lincoln.

Posted by: MeLoseBrain? on May 4, 2007 at 8:23 AM | PERMALINK

Travis - your ideal scenario would make me try to put my feet in my mouth, like my 6 month old nephew, and sit there gurgling in delight.

Lemme add on to that - think of it as fan-fic.
Giuliani as the Republican front-runner dominating the field.
Clinton narrowly edging out Obama for the Democratic lead.
Millions of Republican voters horrified now that the cross-dressing and cousin-marrying are in heavy rotation on ALL the cable outlets. And that another Clinton will hold the Oval Office.
Quel horror!

And then - two weeks before the Democratic Convention - Al Gore announces that he's received a petition with 25 million signatures and has decided to run.
Gore/Edwards '08

Posted by: kenga on May 4, 2007 at 8:27 AM | PERMALINK

MSNBC???

But, if it was not on FAUX, was it really on?

At least they had a Repug moderator in "Softball".

The party left Lincoln loooooooong ago. He would be persona non grata at any current Repug brown and black shirts gathering.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on May 4, 2007 at 8:30 AM | PERMALINK

Romney looks like an anchorman. Or maybe an infomercial host. But looks will count for a lot in the Silliest Season of All, especially with the competition involved.

Makes me expect more "Jeb Bush: Will He Run in '08?" trial balloons to get floated in the next couple months.

Also, I expect Romney and McCain to desperately struggle to capture some of Giuliani's 9/11 mojo, such as it is.

Posted by: Jeff (no, the other one) on May 4, 2007 at 8:40 AM | PERMALINK

I think it's perfectly clear who won the GOP debate last night.

Posted by: Kevin Hayden on May 4, 2007 at 8:52 AM | PERMALINK

Instead of selling his soul to the devil to win the election, the poor fool sold it to George Bush.

The devil was at an undisclosed location on sale day, but it was a short walk from Blair House to the White House.

Posted by: Kevin Hayden on May 4, 2007 at 8:57 AM | PERMALINK


my brief comments:

Mitt Romney was clearly the most poised and articulate. McCain was the most energized and passionate. Giuliani seemed to wander around with his comments. But the top three remained the top three.

Mike Huckabee gave thoughtful responses - but he doesn't believe in evolution? Ron Paul was far removed from the others. And Tom Tancredo gets the wingnut prize for calling for repeal of the 16th Amendment.

So, was McCain a bit over the top? Did Giuliani too often hark back to 9/11? And is Romney too smooth by half?

Homer www.altara.blogspot.com

Posted by: Homer Hewitt on May 4, 2007 at 9:13 AM | PERMALINK

Atta boy, Tom. You win the wingnut award tonight.

What, no credit to the three candidates who raised their hands and indicated that they didn't believe in evolution?

Posted by: geoff on May 4, 2007 at 9:19 AM | PERMALINK

Romney is a Stepford candidate, or a complete fraud, either way you look at it. Republicans are burning him in effigy in Massachusetts for destroying their party. He said he wanted to be governor, he just didn't tell us he wanted to be governor of some other state. He sold himself as a progressive, then became something else when he set his sights on bigger game. The man has no credibility and if the GOP wants an empty suit from president, then he's your man.

Posted by: Ted Frier on May 4, 2007 at 9:43 AM | PERMALINK

McCain came off as a cranky old man who needs to be preznit a little too badly.

Iran and Israel were mentioned about 20 times before anyone mentioned the U.S. (I'm exaggerating but you get the idea). That's messed up.

Am I supposed to know what politico.com is?

Posted by: Zagnut on May 4, 2007 at 9:51 AM | PERMALINK

Do not worry it was a Republican debate you did not miss anything important, if anything be glad you missed hearing all the lies.

Posted by: Angela on May 4, 2007 at 9:57 AM | PERMALINK

...my awe at Tom Tancredo seriously suggesting ... that we should repeal the 16th Amendment.

I'm in awe too, Kevin - that someone has the political courage and wisdom to suggest this. But I can see why liberal supporters of big government want to keep the pipeline that provides the fuel for big government.

We should also have a national debate on the 4th, 5th and 6th amendments, and the way in which they handcuff law enforcement officers.

Posted by: Al on May 4, 2007 at 10:09 AM | PERMALINK

I only saw the highlights of the debate, but what I saw was garish, bizzare and anachronistic. It was as if we had gone back in time and filmed a debate from the 1910s. All of this pious sermonizing and cheap patriotric slogans and gainsaying a woman's right to choose, as well as biological evolution. Wierd. The Republican Party is a political party mired in the 19th century.

Then there was John McCain's snarling comment about "chasing Osama bin Laden to the gates of hell, if necessary". I think John might be getting pretty close to hell right now.

But best of all, Tommy Thompson stating that he would fire a gay employee, was just delicious. To think that this Cro-Magnon was the Secretary of Health and Human Services is simply ludicrous. It just solidified to me how out of touch, antiquated and sclerotic this GOP has become.

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on May 4, 2007 at 10:09 AM | PERMALINK

From that post-debate poll, I would say that Gilmore won the debate. I couldn't even remember who he was when I saw the name, and he landed 8%. Since he's polling at -- what, zero? -- that means he genuinely impressed 8% of the viewers. All the other candidates had post-debate results roughly in line with their pre-debate popularity.

Posted by: Tom Veil on May 4, 2007 at 10:17 AM | PERMALINK

OT, some sad news.

jayarbee, longtime Political Animal poster and champion of the poor, the disenfranchised, the uninsured, the underrepresented and the voiceless, died last night after a short struggle with a serious illness. He was a very good friend to me and I loved his courage to take a stand, his unflagging passion on behalf of the powerless, and his amazing knowledge of and inspiring engagement with subjects far beyond politics (even as I occasionally gigged him for his recurring irascibility on this blog).

jayarbee helped me realize that being complacent is the worst sin we can commit as citizens and human beings. He never let me believe that the status quo was acceptable, or that we are without the ability to change it, and he carried with him a vision for a truly democratic society which treats all of its citizens with respect and honor. I was privileged to be his friend and am diminished by his passing.

Posted by: shortstop on May 4, 2007 at 10:18 AM | PERMALINK

shortstop:

That is tragic news about jayarbee. How old was he? My condolences to his family and to you, as his friend. He is in a better place now.

TCD

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on May 4, 2007 at 10:24 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin.......here's an example of how the GOP get to voters...... This is current and timely.....let's keep em honest..eh?

BREAKING: Colo. elections IT mgr. selling "voter data" to GOP candidates
here

"An IT manager for Colorado's state-wide voter database has been selling "targeted voter data" through a "GOP Campaign help" web site at PoliticalLiveWires.com. According to his online resume, Dan Kopelman is currently "Elections Technology Manager" with "oversight and guidance of the State Wide Voter Database" in the office of Colorado's newly elected Republican Secretary of State Mike Coffman."..........read on

Posted by: avahome on May 4, 2007 at 10:35 AM | PERMALINK
I screwed up and forgot that tonight's Republican debate started at 5 instead of 6, which means I hardly saw any of it.

DVR, Kevin: tell it what you don't want to miss, it records it. You don't need to worry about remembering stuff like that.

So, no substantive commentary [...]

Which is what we got for the Democratic debate, too, without any excuse offered.

I don't know how meaningful this is, but here's the SurveyUSA poll of who won the debate. Apparently it was Giuliani, though the results look to me like they mostly just track how popular the candidates were before the debate even took place.

Except for Thompson and McCain, everyone seems well within the MoE of where they've been polling, McCain and Thompson each were about 10 points down from where they've been polling prior to the debate: I'd say no one "won" anything meaningful, but McCain and Thompson lost.

Of course, given how few people actually watched the debate, it probably doesn't matter, the real winners will be the winners of the post-debate spin, which far more people will see.

Posted by: cmdicely on May 4, 2007 at 10:37 AM | PERMALINK

My liberal spouse had the same reaction to Romney as Kevin. Spouse did actually run out of the room screaming.

The quick Q and A format served Romney well. I thought Romney came across as bright and knowledgable, but insincere. That is, I think he wants to govern well, and he probably would, but I didn't see strong political convictions.

I have read elsewhere that voters in the SurveyUSA poll were California only and were 53% Democrats. It's not surprising that this group would prefer the most liberal candidate.

I thought Giuliani gained points with those who count by sticking up for Bush -- giving him credit for preventing attacks after 9/11. Bush's approval rating may be only 30%, but I'd guess that most of this 30% votes in Republicans primaries.

Posted by: ex-liberal on May 4, 2007 at 10:39 AM | PERMALINK

Condolences as well.

Thank you, Shortstop, for sharing this unfortunate and very sad news.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on May 4, 2007 at 10:39 AM | PERMALINK

The Conservative Deflator - Thompson didn't say he would fire a gay employee. He said an employer should have the right to fire a gay employee.

I was relieved that the three serious candidates said they believed in evolution. I think around 50% of Americans do not -- a frightening statistic.

Posted by: ex-liberal on May 4, 2007 at 10:45 AM | PERMALINK

In a recent poll of garden related issues, slugs only had a 30% approval rating, but I'd guess that those 30% usually only vote in Slug Primaries. Or was it 30% cockroaches for house pests?

Posted by: thethirdPaul on May 4, 2007 at 10:50 AM | PERMALINK

I agree with you about Romney -- the guy combines the worst qualities of a TV evangelist and an insurance salesman. Smarmy, oily, plastic... just completely repugnant.

I hope Rudy is the nominee. It will completely stifle the Right's attempts to drag the Clinton's personal lives into the debate. Loved his answer on how it would be if Roe was overturned: "It would be OK." You could almost hear Kathyrn Lopez's head explode.

Posted by: Teresa on May 4, 2007 at 10:52 AM | PERMALINK

You cannot make an honest determination of who won until you know how much time and money each candidate spent on their haircuts and makeup.

Posted by: asdfg on May 4, 2007 at 11:11 AM | PERMALINK

I am the one who called Chris Matthews a Repug moderator.

If you ever watch his programs, he stacks his guest list with Repugs - Especially on any election event.

However, just went back to MSNBC to check on a Tommy Thompson answer - It was in the segment about Social Values - The other moderator was going down the line asking each candidate for their views on abortion. When the camera came to McCain, Matthews jumped in and said that during Reagan's days, every cab driver in America knew where he stood. So, he asked McCain, nothing about the abortion issue, but, rather what were his views on America. This Gigantic Beach Ball gave McCain the opportunity to repeat all of his talking points about America, the War, etc. Hunter then followed with his defense points - Finally, the other moderator switched to a social issue with asking Tommy Thompson whether a private employer had the right to fire a gay employee, to which, TT said yes.

Chris worked for Tip O'Neil in another era - He is a very Red Repug today.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on May 4, 2007 at 11:19 AM | PERMALINK

I'm sorry to hear about Jayarbee. I always totally agreed with his comments here and at other sites.A real loss. Condolences to his family and friends.

Posted by: R.L. on May 4, 2007 at 11:20 AM | PERMALINK

Since the media has had a predictable and quite deserved field day with Edwards hair care budgeting issue, has anyone pointed out that Romney is surely dying his hair? Worst color job, or at least most obvious, since Saint Ronnie's.

Posted by: JeffII on May 4, 2007 at 11:20 AM | PERMALINK

Thus, McCain was able to duck the abortion question.

Posted by: From Behind the Bleachers on May 4, 2007 at 11:20 AM | PERMALINK

"Not big on confrontation"

Yeah, such as last November 7th.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on May 4, 2007 at 11:34 AM | PERMALINK

MSNBC, whose suits insist on at least two conservatives for every liberal, is a leftist outlet?

Ah! The Delusional Mind of a Republican!

Posted by: gregor on May 4, 2007 at 11:39 AM | PERMALINK

I'm sorry to hear about Jayarbee too.

Posted by: Dr. Morpheus on May 4, 2007 at 11:52 AM | PERMALINK

gregor -- I think MSNBC tilts liberal. I'm sure Chris Matthews is a Democrat. Before going on TV, he was an aide to Democrat Tom Foley, the former Speaker of the House.

The Republican candidates were either brave or follish to select someone from the other party to moderate and choose the questions for their first debate. I actually thought Matthews did a good job, although there were a handful of "gotcha" questions, like asking about the difference between Sunni and Shia and asking for the number of American casualties in Iraq.

Posted by: ex-liberal on May 4, 2007 at 11:52 AM | PERMALINK

Why the fuckity fuck fuck is this happening in early 2007? This can wait a year, thank you very much.

What, and have a Presidential nominee decided in the primaries?!? Why, that would be un-American!

Posted by: dr sardonicus on May 4, 2007 at 11:54 AM | PERMALINK

"I'm sure Chris Matthews is a Democrat"

So? You're talking about someone who's been a cheerleader for the Bush administration from the very beginning. In what way could he possibly be described as "liberal?"

Posted by: PaulB on May 4, 2007 at 11:55 AM | PERMALINK

You're also talking about a network that deliberately fired one of its top-performing hosts solely because he didn't have enough right-wing guests.

Posted by: PaulB on May 4, 2007 at 11:56 AM | PERMALINK

Never, never, never, never, never and again never trust a Mormon.
I lived in Salt Lake City for many years.
Never trust a Mormon.

Posted by: Mooser on May 4, 2007 at 11:56 AM | PERMALINK

A Mormon is pledged, to the extent of giving his life, or killing on command, to the leadership of The Church of Latter Day Saints, and not to the Constitution, or anything we even remotely can call democratic politics, or even normalcy.
Mormons lie with relish, and as history shows us, kill on command from the Church Leadership. Even from a conventional Christian standpoint, their religion is a testament to heresy.
Any Mormons care to deny this?

Posted by: Mooser on May 4, 2007 at 12:01 PM | PERMALINK

Scarborough is a conservative, Olbermann is a liberal, and Matthews is just weird. Matthews was an assistant to Tip O'Neil in the 1970s, not Tom Foley, and has been a Reagan loving independent ever since. Tends to be conservative on some issues and liberal on others, but is highly inconsistant.

I really liked Ron Paul in the debates. He is a republican I respect. I may donate money to him to support his message.

Posted by: exhuming mccarthy on May 4, 2007 at 12:03 PM | PERMALINK

Seriously, it doesn't really matter to the GOP who gets the nomination because Republicans don't run by advocating their issues. They run by attacking the Democrats as big spenders who are soft on crime and, more recently, terrorism. They're just looking for a face to plug in to the formula that Nixon invented and Reagan perfected.

Posted by: dr sardonicus on May 4, 2007 at 12:04 PM | PERMALINK

The easiest way to get rid of Romney is to ask him. Do you believe that if you go to the celestial kingdom (the highest level of mormon heaven) you will be a god and rule over a planet of your spiritual children?

All Mormons believe that if they earn their way to the highest form of heaven, they will be gods ruling over their own planet. Its a central (but secret) tenant of their faith.

They also believe the God of this world has a spiritual father and mother, so they are actually believe in plurality of Gods

Posted by: exhuming mccarthy on May 4, 2007 at 12:10 PM | PERMALINK

...and if the GOP wants an empty suit from president,...

Thank you for summing up the Rethug requirements for President in one phrase.

Posted by: Mooser on May 4, 2007 at 12:11 PM | PERMALINK

leftist outlet MSNBC and subjected themselves to the questions of pinko Chris the Mouth and the "political" commentary of the ESPN comedian. Posted by: mhr on May 4, 2007 at 11:22 AM | PERMALINK

Yadda yadda yadda. Until FOX news embraces the fairness doctrine they can go rot. You only have to compare the two debates to see how soft they were on the Republicans and how "gotcha' they were on the Democrats. And that was NBS, so called 'liberal' media. They are all pro republican boot lickers, the way mhr likes it.

We will find a way to outflank your agents in the media mhr.

Posted by: Northern Observer on May 4, 2007 at 12:15 PM | PERMALINK
Why the fuckity fuck fuck is this happening in early 2007? This can wait a year, thank you very much.

So, you are suggesting the first primary debate should be after most of the primary votes have been cast?

Somehow, I always thought you wanted to have debates before people cast their ballots. Maybe I'm just odd that way.

Posted by: cmdicely on May 4, 2007 at 12:15 PM | PERMALINK

A Mormon is pledged, to the extent of giving his life, or killing on command, to the leadership of The Church of Latter Day Saints, and not to the Constitution, or anything we even remotely can call democratic politics, or even normalcy.Any Mormons care to deny this? Posted by: Mooser

I am anti-religion in general, but typically save my vitriol for the conservative wings of the "Big Three" and cults, like Mormonism. That being said, my wife's previous boss is a Mormon. Best person she ever worked for primarily because, as a Mormon, he is very family oriented and thus sympathetic to family commitments of his employees. He never prostyletized. His wife is even a Democrat.

Posted by: JeffII on May 4, 2007 at 12:17 PM | PERMALINK

Mitt Romney was with Bain Capital, in fact I think he helped to found it?

Bain Capital is probably the best private equity business in the country, if not the world. They have an extraordinary record. It's not possible to invest in their funds: it is 'invitation only' and broadly even investors in previous funds have to beg to be let into new ones.

And it has the whole machine of Bain Consulting Group behind it (the Bain partners benefit financially from the Bain Capital linkup, I believe). Bain is famous for the intensity and even zealotry of its people, even amongst consultants-- it really is a remarkable operation.

So my guess is that Romney has some pretty powerful machinery and support behind him, which can reach right into the bowels of entrepreneurial America.

In addition, his father is, I believe, well remembered in Michigan. An upper Midwest state which has been trending increasingly Republican in each Federal election.

Romney would not have entered the race without the blessing of the Elders of the Mormon Church.

So between Mormon doorstoppers who will be able to count working for Romney as 'missionary' work, and Bain and Bain Capital people working the money machine, Romney has some fearsome assets.

As long as the Republicans can paint the Iraq disaster as a Bush-Cheney disaster, rather than a Republican disaster (and let's face it: the Democrats voted for it as well), then they are not necessarily toast in this election. (the housing price fall is probably more of a threat, that and the gasoline price *however* housing prices are mostly not falling in electorally marginal states)

In Romney v. Clinton, or Romney v. Obama, I wouldn't be certain the Democrat would win.

Posted by: Valuethinker on May 4, 2007 at 12:23 PM | PERMALINK

I have seen Mormonism break up more families, once they get their teeth into a family member, than Mormons have ever helped.
Individual Mormons may appear to be nice people, tho when it serves their interest.

Posted by: Mooser on May 4, 2007 at 12:26 PM | PERMALINK

Battlefield Earth is a terrifying novel (as well as a horrible one).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battlefield_Earth_%28novel%29
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battlefield_Earth_%28novel%29#Scientology-related_themes

L Ron Hubbard was a science fiction writer in the 40s and 50s, who is on record as saying 'enough of this writing stuff. I'm going into religion where you can make real money'.

The ideas and practices of the Scientology Church aren't just cult-like, they are a cult. As much perhaps as the Moonies.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientology#Scientology_as_a_cult

Think of Battlefield Earth as the Scientology version of 'Left Behind'.

That Romney would mention it suggests either a worryingly shallow mind (what if he had said 'Left Behind' or 'The Iron Dream' (the Norman Spinrad novel 'written' by the Science fiction writer and Austrian emigre to the US in the 1920s, Adolph Hitler)?) or someone who aligns himself with cults and cult-like movements.

Posted by: Valuethinker on May 4, 2007 at 12:32 PM | PERMALINK

In last night's Republican presidential debate at the Reagan Library, former Massachusetts Mitt Romney added Osama Bin Laden to his rapidly growing list of flip-flops. By alternately downplaying or emphasizing the importance of capturing Bin Laden as political circumstances require, Romney finds himself in good company - with President Bush.

For the details, see:
"Romney Flip-Flops on Bin Laden."

Posted by: AngryOne on May 4, 2007 at 12:33 PM | PERMALINK

This is the part that needs repealing - just the first sentence of Amendment 14:
1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.
A person should have to have at least one citizen parent in order not to require naturalization. It's not just about illegal immigrants: why should the children of tourists born in the US become US citizens?

tgr23

Posted by: Neil B. on May 4, 2007 at 12:33 PM | PERMALINK

Battlefield Earth is a terrifying novel (as well as a horrible one).


en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battlefield_Earth_%28novel%29#Scientology-related_themes

L Ron Hubbard was a science fiction writer in the 40s and 50s, who is on record as saying 'enough of this writing stuff. I'm going into religion where you can make real money'.

The ideas and practices of the Scientology Church aren't just cult-like, they are a cult. As much perhaps as the Moonies.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientology#Scientology_as_a_cult

Think of Battlefield Earth as the Scientology version of 'Left Behind'.

That Romney would mention it suggests either a worryingly shallow mind (what if he had said 'Left Behind' or 'The Iron Dream' (the Norman Spinrad novel 'written' by the Science fiction writer and Austrian emigre to the US in the 1920s, Adolph Hitler)?) or someone who aligns himself with cults and cult-like movements.

Posted by: Valuethinker on May 4, 2007 at 12:34 PM | PERMALINK

of course we need the 16th amendment!

it's the 17th, ratified the same year, that must go.

Posted by: shams on May 4, 2007 at 12:41 PM | PERMALINK

Does one have to suspend disbelief any more energetically to believe that one will rule over a celestial planet after death, than to believe that one will live FOREVER in the presence of a being who is three Persons in one God? Or to believe that the bread and wine at Mass are actually but invisibly changed into the ACTUAL body and blood of Jesus? Or to believe that God smiles on those who time their sexual intercourse to outwit their fecundity but that he condemns those who pull on a condom to accomplish the same thing?

I can't see that a Mormon is more irrational than a Catholic in religious beliefs. The one thing about Mormons that bothers me is that we are much closer in history to their founding prophet Joseph Smith than we are to figures like Abraham, Moses, Buddha, Zoraster, Jesus and Mohammed. We're close enough to Smith see his flaws in the historical record and trace his adult obsessions and "revelations" back to his life experiences. Before he became a prophet he was a diviner and treasure hunter for money--probably a con artist.

Given Moses' performance of a "miracle" where he turned his staff into a serpent before Pharaoh, Moses might have been the same. But thousands of years have filtered out all the gritty details of Moses' life, leaving only the myth.

I think it DOES take an extra level of credulity to believe in Joseph Smith as a divine messenger, so I do view a Mormon candidate for office with correspondingly greater skepticism.

Posted by: cowalker on May 4, 2007 at 12:41 PM | PERMALINK

I wonder if Romney mentioned 'Battlefield Earth' to pull votes from influential (and wealthy) Scientologists?

I am reminded of when Bush mentioned Dredd Scott in the Bush-Kerry debates. It seemed to have no relevance, but as Kevin pointed out, it was actually a coded message to the faithful on the subject of abortion (ie that the Dredd-Scott judges voted their consciences, but that didn't mean that they voted morally, and the judgement is now seen to be wrong).

So there might be some coded language going on here.

Just a thought.

Posted by: Valuethinker on May 4, 2007 at 12:48 PM | PERMALINK

shortstop, condolences to jayarbee's family and you. To judge by his remarks, he was a good citizen and a good-humored person. He's missed.
I don't care about Mormon religious believes which, while strange [converting the dead to Mormonism, for one], are not much stranger than others. What would be important to me is his take on the Mountain Meadows Massacre.

Posted by: Mike on May 4, 2007 at 2:12 PM | PERMALINK

Or to believe that God smiles on those who time their sexual intercourse to outwit their fecundity

God doesn't smile. S/he politely turns away....

Posted by: Disputo on May 4, 2007 at 3:08 PM | PERMALINK

"Romney's Mormonism is an enormous liability" with the GOP base voters who identify as evangelical Christians.

Does anyone here really believe they'll vote for a Mormon? Or that Romney can win the nomination without them?

Posted by: zak822 on May 4, 2007 at 3:43 PM | PERMALINK
"Romney's Mormonism is an enormous liability" with the GOP base voters who identify as evangelical Christians.

Does anyone here really believe they'll vote for a Mormon?

Sure, so long as Romney convinces their authority figures that he will serve their (that is, the authority figures) economic/political interests.

The Christian Right is a valuable block to the Republican Party because, as long as a narrow opinion elite—whose interests are in keeping their own nest feathered, not based on any deep theology—are kept satisfied, the base mostly does what it is told.

Posted by: cmdicely on May 4, 2007 at 4:13 PM | PERMALINK

Mike,

As to the Mountain Meadows Massacre, check back later this evening, when Mike Cook, well into his cups, will post a Tome about the subject.

And, Tommy Thompson has apologized for his answer to the firing of a gay employee by an employer - Said that he misunderstood the question - Then spoke about his support of gay employee rights as Guv of Wisonsin

Posted by: thethirdPaul on May 4, 2007 at 4:49 PM | PERMALINK

"Sure, so long as Romney convinces their authority figures..."

And you're confident that the authority figures will be convinced? Sounds like a very tall order to me.

Posted by: zak822 on May 4, 2007 at 4:58 PM | PERMALINK
And you're confident that the authority figures will be convinced?

Romney seems to be in line with the economic and political positions those authority figures seem most concerned about. Sectarian divides have never been a big barrier for them, so I don't think his Mormonism will be a problem.

I mean, its not like fundamentalists like Catholics much better than Mormons, generally, but yet they've stood behind the packing of the Supreme Court with right-wing Catholics.

Posted by: cmdicely on May 4, 2007 at 5:39 PM | PERMALINK

"the packing of the Supreme Court"

Ah, abortion - The Great Unifier

Posted by: thethirdPaul on May 4, 2007 at 5:46 PM | PERMALINK

The Christian Right is a valuable block to the Republican Party because, as long as a narrow opinion elite—whose interests are in keeping their own nest feathered, not based on any deep theology—are kept satisfied, the base mostly does what it is told. Posted by: cmdicely

Not really. The Religious Right chose to stay away pretty much from the 2000 election, and had no use for Dole or Bush the Elder. If religion becomes an issue, and it can't help but become one if Romney lasts another couple months, fundis won't support him because they don't consider Mormons Christians anymore so than do mainline Protestants and Catholics.

Posted by: JeffII on May 4, 2007 at 6:18 PM | PERMALINK
The Religious Right chose to stay away pretty much from the 2000 election, and had no use for Dole or Bush the Elder.

I don't see how that contradicts what I said.


. If religion becomes an issue, and it can't help but become one if Romney lasts another couple months, fundis won't support him because they don't consider Mormons Christians anymore so than do mainline Protestants and Catholics.

I understand why one might expect that from a fairly shallow consideration, but I don't see any evidence that the Christian Right base votes very strongly on candidates sectarian identity rather than perceived issues stances on salient issues (which the voters hold, often, because of their own religious identity.)

I can see where it might be an weakness for Romney if he was running against a candidate with similar issue stances that was, himself, a Protestant Fundamentalist. And maybe even if the main competition was someone like Sam Brownback. If it narrows down into a Giuliani-Romney, race, I don't see the Christian Right having much trouble backing Romney, and I certainly don't see him having much trouble getting them to the polls for him in a general election. (Giuliani, OTOH, I can see having that problem in the general, though not because of his personal religious identification.)

Posted by: cmdicely on May 4, 2007 at 6:42 PM | PERMALINK

but I don't see any evidence that the Christian Right base votes very strongly on candidates sectarian identity rather than perceived issues stances on salient issues (which the voters hold, often, because of their own religious identity.)
Posted by: cmdicely

True. And there are definitely "social value" commonalities, if you will, between Mormons and Pentecostals and conservative Evangelicals.

But there is also a general "creepiness" factor of Mormonism that is political baggage for any Mormon running for public office outside of Utah, southern Idaho and northern Arizona.

Posted by: JeffII on May 4, 2007 at 7:01 PM | PERMALINK

"Stepford candidate" is precisely what Romney is. Trust a Massachusetts voter on this: with Mitt the problem is never the Mormonism, it's the narcissism.

Posted by: tomnatick on May 4, 2007 at 9:34 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

Read Jonathan Rowe remembrance and articles
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

Advertise in WM



buy from Amazon and
support the Monthly