In This Corner…Tim Pawlenty

2012 Contender Series: Tim Pawlenty

(Ed. note: Pawlenty officially withdrew from the Republican Presidential race on Sunday, August 14th after a poor showing in the Iowa Straw Poll)

This issue of the Contender series will be a little different from past installments. It will concentrate on impressions and reactions. I confess, I will be unabashedly partisan. I have lived with this man as Governor of my state. I want others in the nation to understand what is being presented to them.

The basic facts about Tim Pawlenty are pretty straightforward.

Tim "T-Paw" Pawlenty

Born in 1960 in St. Paul, he played ice hockey on his high school’s junior varsity squad. He went to law school at the University of Minnesota, and was a vice-president at a software company. He was appointed to the Eagan City Planning Commission in 1988, and served a term on the Eagan City Council. He then served in the Minnesota State House of Representatives starting in 1992. He fixed his sights on the U.S. Senate, but stepped aside when then-Vice President Dick Cheney made it clear Norm Coleman was the Republican Party’s preferred candidate. Instead, Pawlenty ran for Governor, and was narrowly elected with 44.4% of the vote in a closely-contested three-way race in 2002. He was re-elected in 2006 with 46% of the vote in another three-way race.

There were rumors that John McCain might select Pawlenty as a Vice Presidential candidate in 2008. Here in Minnesota, there were later unsubstantiated rumors that he was bitter about being passed over for Sarah Palin.

This past Monday, Pawlenty formally announced his decision to form a presidential exploratory committee. He made the announcement through a video posted to his Facebook page. (By the way, most of the pictures of minorities in that ad are stock footage from Getty Images.)

This follows hot on the heels of a superhero-like video ad for his book, “Courage to Stand: An American Story.” He’s been visiting most of the states in the nation, being coy about whether he would run for President.

His announcement certainly doesn’t surprise any of us in Minnesota. He was mostly absent from the state during the last two years of his second term as Governor, stopping by only to say he would not raise taxes to balance our looming $6.2 billion budget deficit. His suggested solution was to cut education, medical care, government employees, money for state parks, and various support programs for the state’s most needy citizens.

Minnesota is not known for conservative governance. Pawlenty was initially seen here as a “Minnesota Republican”—a moderate, someone the rest of the Party might well see as a RINO. But he earned his bones by refusing to raise income taxes during his two terms, preferring instead to increase various user fees, license fees, and, most notably, tobacco taxes—various regressive sources of income that hit harder at people of lower incomes.

In 2010, in an effort to balance the Minnesota budget, he refused to negotiate with the then-Democratic-dominated state legislature. Instead, after the budget had been passed, he unilaterally “unalloted” programs of which he disapproved, including a $5.3 million special dietary program for Minnesota’s poor. Minnesota’s Constitution does allow the Governor to make emergency cuts of this sort; but there was no emergency here, and Democrats took the case to court. The State Supreme Court eventually ruled against Pawlenty, and most of his cuts were reinstated.

We in Minnesota have witnessed Pawlenty’s transition from a moderate “Minnesota Republican” to a far-right-pandering Tea Party activist. He expressed support for TARP in 2008, but later (in 2010) retracted that support. He appeared in a commercial supporting cap-and-trade, but later said Cap and Trade would be a “disaster.”

I’ve seen T-Paw in person, in a fairly intimate setting when he visited one of my former employers back in 2007. He struck me as personable, but uninspiring, tall, gangly, with huge hands, handsome and photogenic, but a bit clumsy. Not a powerful speaker, but able to talk in complete sentences.

He is likely to stress his opposition to taxes, and his new-found agreement with all things Teaper. His former moderate image, and former support for such Minnesota values as environmental protection, may haunt him. But he is likely to portray his conversion as a matter of being a born-again ultraconservative. His main negative may be that he isn’t very exciting; he seems too polite and well-mannered, too “Minnesota nice,” for the current Republican environment. He will also inspire a lot of opposition from those of us who’ve had to live under his rule as Governor. Pawlenty will have to overcome his outwardly-gentle demeanor to play well with the modern Republican base. He will likely try to stress his ability to be elected in a blue state, but that may not impress Republican diehards who might suspect he got votes by being too soft.

Can he win the nomination? On January 22, the New Hampshire Straw Poll put him in a weak third place, with 8%, behind Romney’s 35% and Ron Paul’s 11%, though he beat Palin, Bachmann, Santorum, and Gingrich.

And if he could get the nomination, could he win the general election? In late February, an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll showed Pawlenty losing to Obama 50% to 31%. It’s possible, however, that it’s all about the lack of notoriety; 61% of those polled didn’t even know who he was. (At the recent Gridiron Dinner, President Obama joked of Pawlenty, “I think the American people are going to have some tough questions for Tim. Specifically, ‘Who are you and where do you come from?’ Which is OK. Two years into my presidency and I’m still getting those questions.”) Nonetheless, given the narrow national support for Tea Party candidates, Pawlenty’s attempts at Tea Cred are not likely to improve his chances from this poll’s numbers.

In short, he looks like a long shot for the nomination, and an even longer shot for the White House.


About dcpetterson

D. C. Petterson is a novelist and a software consultant in Minnesota who has been writing science fiction since the age of six. He lives with his wife, two dogs, a cat, and two lizards, and insists that grandchildren are the reward for having survived teenagers. When not writing stories or software, he plays guitar, engages in political debate, and reads a lot of history and physics texts for fun.
This entry was posted in Contender Series and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

254 Responses to In This Corner…Tim Pawlenty

  1. filistro says:

    Tim Pawlenty would reinstate DADT.

    So would Mike Huckabee.

    You gotta hand it to these Republicans. They have their fingers right on the pulse of the nation, don’t they?

  2. mclever says:

    As my neighbor said…

    Tim who?

    If he wants to win a caucus state like Iowa, he’s got about 10 months to get himself known and noticed.

  3. filistro says:

    This joke made me laugh out loud:

    (At the recent Gridiron Dinner, President Obama joked of Pawlenty, “I think the American people are going to have some tough questions for Tim. Specifically, ‘Who are you and where do you come from?’ Which is OK. Two years into my presidency and I’m still getting those questions.”)

    When he’s running for re-election, Obama’s going to be an absolute juggernaut, isn’t he? He’ll run circles around all these poor schmucks. I can hardly wait.

  4. filistro says:

    Speaking of presidential contenders, this is too funny not to report.

    GOP strategists, terrified of a Sarah Palin run but knowing how fatal it is for any contender to criticizer her, have finally hit on messaging strategy to handle the problem.

    In a naked appeal to the woman’s monstrous ego and narcissism, the solution is to say that Sarah Plain stands so loftily astride the nation, the Presidency would be a step down for her.

    This meme is suddenly popping up everywhere. (Thank you, Frank Luntz ;-))

    What a relief for T-Paw and his fellow hopefuls to now have an answer to that age-old question.. (apologies to the Von Trapps)

    What do you do with a problem like a Sarah?
    How do you hold a dead moose in your hands?…

  5. Mule Rider says:

    “When he’s running for re-election, Obama’s going to be an absolute juggernaut, isn’t he? He’ll run circles around all these poor schmucks. I can hardly wait.”

    $20 says the best-case for Obama next year is that he wins but by a narrower margin than he did in 2008. Worst-case, he loses, although I can’t see it being by very much either. But I don’t see him outperforming 2008.

    The main reason is that I expect some on the left to be less enthusiastic to vote for him than they were in ’08. Not that they’ll vote Republican; I just expect a fair number to stay home. And while he may have won over a few moderates/independents, I think he’s turned off about as many, so I think that group’s a wash for him in the next election. And we know he hasn’t won over anyone from the right-of-center to far right, and this group should be more motivated to come out and oppose him next year than they were last time around.

    Yeah, I can see him still winning but maybe with the results mirroring Bush-over-Kerry in ’04.

  6. filistro says:

    @Muley… $20 says the best-case for Obama next year is that he wins but by a narrower margin than he did in 2008. Worst-case, he loses, although I can’t see it being by very much either. But I don’t see him outperforming 2008.

    Oh, c’mon, Muley. Have you SEEN the GOP field?

    Seriously… who do they have that could hold Obama to a 2 or 3% lead? WHO?

  7. filistro says:

    T-Paw says he can win the “young voters”… because (at 50) he’s sort of young, too:

    “I have a more recent connection to the younger generation than some have or might have had in the past,” Pawlenty said at Vanderbilt University Tuesday. “We really understand the new era of communications, and that’s why I spend time on Jon Stewart and love to do it.”

  8. dcpetterson says:

    That’s an interesting assessment, Mule. In our closely-divided nation, it would be hard for anyone to out-do Obama’s electoral landslide in 2008 — even Obama himself. He won almost all the close states, and it’s unlikely any of ’08’s “safe” red or blue states will flip in ’12.

    If the Republicans put up someone truly uninspiring (like Pawlenty) or offensive (like Palin), then Obama could pick up, say, Missouri. If the Republicans continue to scapegoat Hispanics, then Arizona and Texas could conceivably be in play. But barring something like that, the ’12 map will probably look much like the ’08 map, just as ’04 was much like ’00. And, giving that so many close states went blue in ’08, it’s a roll of the dice if they all will again. So yes, Obama’s win in ’12 may be a bit closer.

  9. mclever says:

    @filistro

    Have you ever met a 20-something who thought 50 was young?

    Nope, didn’t think so…

    Poor T-Paw!

  10. filistro says:

    @DC.. So yes, Obama’s win in ’12 may be a bit closer.

    DC.. you’re talking electoral votes, no?

    What do you see for the popular vote?

  11. Mule Rider says:

    “Seriously… who do they have that could hold Obama to a 2 or 3% lead? WHO?”

    I believe just about any of the main contenders outside of the Palin-Bachmann types….so, yeah, Romney, Gingrich, Pawlenty, Huckabee – I think every one of ’em has a decent shot at keeping it within 2%-3%. I mean, McCain/Palin kept it within about 7% in a year that the left-leaning part of the electorate was as energized as it’s been in decades while the conservative portion was as down on itself as it’s been in decades. Like I said, Obama has lost a portion of the (far-)left who will either stay home or vote Green/Socialist/etc. as a protest vote. And any inroads he’s made with some moderates/independents has been offset by pissing others in that group off. And I’m confident the right-leaning portion of the electorate will be more invigorated to come out and oppose him in ’12.

    He’s far from a “juggernaut.” Especially of the kind we’ve seen in decades past that was able to step in and build broad coalitions and chew up much of the other side’s base. He may have had a little bit of that in ’08 – and as we’ve already discussed, he managed only a 7% win over fairly weak and uninspiring competition – but it’ll be gone for ’12. The economy/unemployment will continue to be a barometer on how we’ll he’ll do, and if it’s still sluggish by November of next year, he just might be in trouble.

  12. mclever says:

    @Mule

    While I agree that enthusiasm on the left may be a little lower than in 2008, I just don’t see anyone getting particularly juiced for any of the Republican contenders, either.

    My guess is that it ends up fairly close, with a couple of the purple states flipping sides, possibly even canceling each other out electorally.

  13. mclever says:

    Or, what dcpetterson said…

    I really should read all of the comments before replying!

    Mule makes good points about Obama’s potential vulnerability on the far left. I don’t think it will change the electoral map much, except maybe at the margins, but the loss of far-left support is definitely a risk that the Obama re-election camp needs to consider how to approach.

    Too many liberals have forgotten the danger of voting Nader…and some are too young to remember 2000 already.

  14. filistro says:

    I think what you all are forgetting is how exciting Obama is when he’s out on the stump. We haven’t seen it for a while, so the impact dims… but when he’s onstage and in camapign mode, he’s electrifying. And with these years of governing under his belt, he’s going to be even more sure-footed and confident. No wonder they’re all scared to make a run against him.

    Also.. any dimming of enthusiasm on the far left is going to be more than balanced by the clever GOP strategy of resurrecting social issues. Abortion, gay marriage, DADT, Planned Parenthood, school prayer… they just can’t leave this stuff alone. It’s like catnip for them. And for the far left, it will certainly trump any resentment they may have toward Obama.

  15. parksie555 says:

    If the Libyan situation keeps coming off the rails (Germans pulling out now, total disarray over who is in charge, who will pay, what is the objective, etc.) Obama could be in trouble. If he loses the hard lefties over the Libyan clusterf**k and can’t get the middle back with the economy continuing at it’s current tepid pace (housing market continues to be a disaster, unemployment still holding north of 9%), who’s going to vote for him? There are only so many AFSCME and SEIU members out there.

  16. dcpetterson says:

    filistro, yes I was talking electoral vote. You make good points about Obama as a campaigner, and about the Republican mis-step of running on social issues. But I don’t think the Republicans have much choice. They’re ignoring economics now — not a single peep about jobs since the new Congress convened, and the deficit is being used as a transparent cover to excuse pushing their social agenda.

    So with the Republicans unable to run on economic issues (they’ve always sucked at managing the economy), and with Obama in full-locomotive campaign mode, and with the Republican bench either boring or offensive, I don’t think the final vote tally will differ all that much from ’08. Any losses that Obama has from the disgruntled and uncompromising faction of the far left should be offset by further gains from workers and Hispanics, gays and non-Evangelists, whom the Republicans have targeted as scapegoats.

    The only mitigating factor for the Republicans will be Citizens United, which will allow a truly destructive tsunami of corporate money into political advertising, which could well lead to a meltdown of the whole system, leaving behind toxic fallout for decades to come. We’ll have to see how easily manipulated the public actually is.

  17. dcpetterson says:

    parksie, you make a good point about Libya. However, I expect that situation to be resolved, one way or another, very soon, and to be far off the radar by campaign season. Either Gadaffi manages to stay in power and quells the rebellion, or he doesn’t, and is ousted. Either way, the no-fly zone is lifted; and even if it stays in place, it will lower to a simmer the way the Iraq no-fly was for the entire Clinton presidency. And since America’s involvement is nothing other than limited airpower, there will be nothing really for the Republicans to use. Come 2012, it’s a non-issue.

  18. Mule Rider says:

    “I just don’t see anyone getting particularly juiced for any of the Republican contenders, either.”

    I don’t disagree that, as of right now, there isn’t really a potential Republican candidate showing tons of charisma and leadership….of the kind that might fire up the base of his political leanings plus nail a few more moderates and outsiders than usual…..but I could the enthusiasm being more of the anti-Obama kind. While some on the left won’t admit it (although I do agree it was a fairly small portion of the electorate), many people came out in ’08 just to vent their anti-Bush anger and they weren’t all that knowledgeable or impressed with Obama or disgusted with McCain/Palin, they just thought it was time for Bush’s party to step aside for a little while.

    “And with these years of governing under his belt, he’s going to be even more sure-footed and confident”

    I could be reading this wrong but I see Obama as more unsure and less confident (less swagger?) of himself than when he ran in ’08. I think the overwhelming trials a President faces are taking a toll him and he realizes he doesn’t have all the answers. Despite some of his wording about how “tough” it would be to govern, he ran as someone who acted like he would take the Presidency by storm and it would be a piece of cake. He’s found out it is no piece of cake and he doesn’t have near as many answers to the problems we face as he previously thought. I expect him to be much more measured and circumspect. If he comes out with the same brash exuberance he had on the campaign trail in ’08 and the economy is still in sub-par shape, I think many people will be turned off by the disconnect he will be projecting – that of a man with all the answers but a country still with many, many questions and concerns – and it will cost him votes.

    “Mule makes good points about Obama’s potential vulnerability on the far left.”

    Granted it’s anectdotal but I peruse comments at left-leaning sites and in the mainstream press, and it’s striking the difference between now and 2-3 years ago. Many on the left – be it center-left, strong progressive-left, or far-left fringe – couldn’t stop glowing over Obama and shouting his praise then but have turned wholeheartedly against him now. Read the comments at Paul Krugman’s blog sometimes. Many of the regular liberals there constantly lambast him as weak, ineffectual, and a “one-termer.” Not sure how representative it is, but I know it’s commong for even level-headed liberals to now distrust him and not just the “far-left fringe.” Granted, I feel the majority of left-leaners still support him and will vote for him in the next election, but I can tell he’s lost enough support to make a difference on the margin.

    “Also.. any dimming of enthusiasm on the far left is going to be more than balanced by the clever GOP strategy of resurrecting social issues”

    I think you play those things up far more than they’re actually being played up….and even if some Reps/conservatives are playing up those social issues a little more than they should, I don’t think it will do much to gin up additional support or opposition from either side. That only works to fire up the base in each camp, which was going to vote one way anyway. For the vast middle – many of whom are much more passive on those social issues even if they have “leanings” – things like the economy/jobs will be what primarily matters. For example, you might have some Midwestern couple who has a couple of kids and runs a small business but is facing some real hard times with their company. Maybe they lean towards being accepting of same-sex marriage and a woman’s right to choose, but those aren’t dealbreakers for them, and if they feel supporting a Republican candidate will ultimately be good for them and their small business, they’ll vote that way rather than on some social issue that likely won’t affect them anyway.

    Many people have feelings/opinions on social issues, but it’s only a small few who let that dictate how they vote, and their decision on whether or not to vote and who to vote for wasn’t up for grabs anyway.

  19. Mule Rider says:

    “who’s going to vote for him?”

    You forget, parksie, that for many of the lefties here and elsewhere, they just know that when Obama is campaigning again and the people are exposed to his rhetoric 24/7, a good 55%-60% of the electorate will simply fall in line like he’s the Pied Piper or something with some magical spell to take their vote.

  20. filistro says:

    @Muley… That only works to fire up the base in each camp, which was going to vote one way anyway.

    You’re absolutely right… and you also make my point. None of this is playing in the vast middle, who mostly only care about the economy right now. But I’m saying any anger at Obama from the “far left” is going to be balanced by their outrage at the GOP playing with social issues… so disaffection from the extreme left will have no impact on the election results.

    They might possibly have been mad enough at Obama to stay home… but they’re certainly not going to stay home if the opposing candidate is talking about defunding Planned Parenthood, limiting abortion rights and reinstating DADT.

  21. dcpetterson says:

    @filistro
    but they’re certainly not going to stay home if the opposing candidate is talking about defunding Planned Parenthood, limiting abortion rights and reinstating DADT.

    South Dakota just enacted a 3-day waiting period for terminating a pregnancy. (I wonder if that waiting period was intentionally chosen to mimic the 3-day wait for purchasing a handgun?) It’s like Republicans want to fire up the progressives.

  22. Mule Rider says:

    “You’re absolutely right… and you also make my point. None of this is playing in the vast middle, who mostly only care about the economy right now.”

    Okay, so then you agree that the next election will mostly be decided on how the economy plays out over the next 12-18 months, and Obama will be judged on that?

    Judging by your comments, you seem to think he’ll be judged much more favorably than I believe he will.

    “so disaffection from the extreme left will have no impact on the election results.”

    I disagree. Ultimately much of the “regular” or “normal” left will stay home and vote Democratic, but many on the outer edge have abandoned him and will not vote for him again. I really see many on the extreme/fringe left staying home or voting Green/Socialist. It may not be more than 1%-2% of the vote, but that can be a difference maker. Refer to mclever’s comment above re: Nader/2000.

  23. NotImpressed says:

    Mule Rider – “… for many of the lefties here and elsewhere, they just know … “

    It’s cute when conservatives pretend they know how progressives think, isn’t it? 🙂

    In point of fact, we recognize the power of advertising. So does the right, which is why they also buy so many ads. Most people don’t pay all that much attention to politics except during the campaigns. So a lot depends on how effectively a campaign is run. Obama has proven himself to be an unstoppable campaign force. Much as Reagan was, and for many of the same reasons. This is just a realistic assessment, not some Pied Piper worship.

  24. parksie555 says:

    In all seriousness I had not thought much about Obama’s reelection chances recently. My basic take for a while has been that the economy would improve just enough on his watch due to the natural period of the business cycle that he would win in ’12 by a decent margin, certainly not what he achieved in ’08 but a comfortable win nonetheless.

    Now I am not so sure. Spending some of my lunch hour on Gallup I saw some very troubling indicators for Obama.

    1) Health Care approval – Nominally the signature achievement of his presidency. Should be a no brainer positive for Obama, right? Wrong.

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/146729/One-Year-Later-Americans-Split-Healthcare-Law.aspx

    46% think it is a positive, 44% negative. And the trend is in the wrong direction. More telling, 44% think the bill will worsen healthcare in the US, vs. just 39% who think it will get better under Obamacare. We can debate the bill all we want here, but the public perception seems to be turning against the law.

    2) Economic Confidence – This is the big one. Conventional wisdom on presidential elections is that barring a significant international crisis they tend to be referendums on the economy. And the single best indicator of public opinion on the economy has been stuck between -20 and -40 for Obama’s entire presidency. Currently it sits at it’s lowest level of the year for 2011: -31. The housing market continues to be in free fall and this is a disaster for Obama. Construction of new housing drives a huge portion of the US domestic economy, and most experts don’t see new construction recovering for several years due to the massive amount of inventory on the market and continuing high unemployment levels.

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/122840/Gallup-Daily-Economic-Indexes.aspx

    3) Young Voters – Obama carried the youth vote by a large margin in 2008, and more importantly drove up enthusiasm and thus turnout in this demographic. Heading into 2008, young voters (aged 18 to 34) favored Obama over McCain 63%-33%. Currently he leads a nameless Republican among by just 51%-44% in this group.

    In the even more important 35 to 54 age group Obama now draws the support of just 43%, compared to 53% in 2008.

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/146138/Nameless-Republican-Ties-Obama-2012-Election-Preferences.aspx

    So I am starting think the Republican candidates are doing the right thing by laying low and letting Obama continue to founder on nearly every issue that matters to voters.

    Finally I think these two complimentary headlines do a fine job of showing the inability of Obama to focus on the issues voters really care about.

    1) http://www.gallup.com/poll/146702/Obama-Rated-Better-Environment-Economy-Energy.aspx

    Sounds good, right? Unfortunately in the worst economy in nearly 40 years voters could care less about hybrids, wind turbines, CFL lightbulbs, and other frivolities

    2) http://www.gallup.com/poll/146708/Americans-Worries-Economy-Budget-Top-Issues.aspx

    Whooops! Environment 13th out of 14 issues! Well done Obama!

    Bottom line now is I think the election is close to being a coin toss unless the Repubs immolate themselves by nominating Palin or Newt Gingrich.

    My current dream matchup for 2012?

    The Donald vs The One.

    Two of the most colossal egos in recorded history collide in a brutal slugfest.

  25. parksie555 says:

    And what’s up with “Your comment is currently awaiting moderation”

    Really?

    Unless this feature is turned off it is adios, 538 Refugees for Parksie.

  26. GROG says:

    @Muley,

    So you’re saying Obama isn’t as confident he’ll be able to provide jobs for the jobless, slow the rising oceans, heal the planet, end wars, and basically remake our nation, as he said he was a few years ago?

  27. filistro says:

    @parksie.. And what’s up with “Your comment is currently awaiting moderation”

    It’s because of the links. We get a ton of spam for everything you could imagine (some of it makes me blush ;-))… so I think the filter is set to moderate anything with several links.

  28. NotImpressed says:

    Mr. Grog,

    Ever candidate campaigns in poetry and governs in prose. That campaign rhetoric is filled with high-sounding ideals is no surprise to anyone. That governing is a hard slog should also come as no surprise. Especially when the opposition simply opposes (and dishonestly, too), with no thought given to actual governance.

    Personally, I think Obama is more confidant now, not less. Having learned the lessons any president needs to learn in a first term, he certainly cannot be said to have less experience than any rival he’ll face. No presidential contender on the planet will have more experience actually being president than Obama. 🙂

    As for Parksie’s comment about The Donald — I’d love to see Donald Toupee get into the race. The entire Republican ticket will become become a late-night talk show monologue. The Republicans are really desperate if they are looking at someone like Donald.

  29. Mule Rider says:

    “It’s cute when conservatives pretend they know how progressives think, isn’t it?”

    Hey, just throught I’d try my hand at it because some of the progressives here sure think they have some eternal insights into what most conservatives are thinking. Mind-reading can’t be that difficult, right?! 🙂

    “This is just a realistic assessment, not some Pied Piper worship.”

    The throngs of people caught on camera with their head tilted back and in a trance and seemingly just about to wet themselves as they listened to Obama speak, and then saying such idealistic gibberish that “Obama’s gonna save us” or “Obama’s gone solve all our problems” would seem to counter your thesis.

    Not to say that many on the left weren’t giving him measured, balanced, and level-headed support, but there’s a healthy chunk of Obama voters who truly have this magical hero-worship thing going on and do seem to follow him like they’re in some kind of “Pied Piper-trance.” This is not something up for debate and has been on display numerous times.

  30. filistro says:

    parksie… oddly enough, over at The Corner, Jonah Goldberg is thinking along the same lines as you… but reaching a different conclusion:

    The Economy and the Election
    March 23, 2011 12:11 P.M.
    By Jonah Goldberg

    Maybe it’s just me, but there seems to be a disconnect between how bad the economy is performing and how comparatively well Obama is doing in the polls. If memory serves, the housing market is almost as important a driver as the unemployment rate when it comes to political discontent. And yet, according to the latest Pew poll, Obama’s doing pretty well. What explains it? I can think of several plausible, and not necessarily contradictory, theories (the more favorable media climate, the widespread sense in some quarters that Obama simply inherited a bad economy, etc.), but it does seem like conventional wisdom has been suspended — and not just in Obama’s favor. As Michael Barone (and yours truly) have been saying for a while, the economic crisis should have proven liberal historians and journalists right. Americans should have demanded a new New Deal. The Tea Parties don’t make sense according to the Arthur Schlesinger school of political thought.

    One thing does seem clear to me: The GOP needs to be doing a better job at messaging on the economy. But that’s a conversation for another post.

  31. msgkings says:

    Mule’s comments are pretty accurate. And I think most of us here know that it all boils down to one single thing: in 18 months time, if the economy is continuing to improve, as has been for that time, Obama wins. Simple as that, always has been. If the economy is stalling, with still sky high gas prices, he probably loses to almost any Repub.

    Will he get as much of a landslide? I’d say unlikely but not impossible, again depending on the economic news.

    @ GROG:

    Cute. Let’s just say McCain would have made all that stuff worse.

  32. Mule Rider says:

    “The Donald vs The One.

    Two of the most colossal egos in recorded history collide in a brutal slugfest.”

    Agreed! That would be quite a sight!

    “So you’re saying Obama isn’t as confident he’ll be able to provide jobs for the jobless, slow the rising oceans, heal the planet, end wars, and basically remake our nation, as he said he was a few years ago?”

    LOL! Yeah, I think he’ll be happy just to keep the jobless at 10%, make sure the oil is still plugged shut at the bottom of the Gulf, and bring a few more troops home from Afghanistan and Iraq to claim he’s succeeding.

  33. NotImpressed says:

    Mule Rider – “This is not something up for debate and has been on display numerous times.”

    It has been claimed by the Right (and thus, in that sense, “put on display”) many times, yes. And I imagine those on the Right accept it as given truth, and thus not “up for debate.” If repeatedly claiming an untruth can make it true, then I suppose you have a point. Yet I have never heard a single person say the things you put in quotes.

  34. Mule Rider says:

    “Let’s just say McCain would have made all that stuff worse.”

    I don’t disagree in the sense that I don’t believe would have been an effective or strong leader on those (or other) issues either, but I think GROG’s point about Obama’s far-reaching idealism and rhetoric were and are at a total disconnect from reality. While he’s been punished unfairly in the court of public opinion for many things, he’s been given a free pass on all that brash talk and hubris about changing and improving things when he’s stumbled as much as any Preisdent has or more.

    He’s like the trash-talking basketball player who goes into a much-anticipated game against a rival talking about how he’s going to take over the game with a 50-point effort to lead his team to victory, and when the time comes, he shoots a modest 7-for-19 with only 20 points, 8 rebounds, and 6 assists but turns the ball over 5 times in a 4-point loss. People give him a pass because he still turned in a decent game and kept it close but they don’t excoriate him for failing to back up or come anywhere close to his 50-point proclamations.

  35. NotImpressed says:

    Mr. Rider, name me a single candidate who campaigns on, “Elect me, and I will do only a little bit!” Even the ones who want government to do nothing campaign on radically changing things.

    It is funny though now conservatives can’t decide if they should criticize Obama for massive overreach that has nearly destroy our nation because of all the immense and horrendous things he’s managed to change, or for being ineffectual. Maybe the two (both wildly inaccurate) criticisms simply cancel each other out.

    Anyway, the meme that “Obama supporters have this weird mindless hero fetish!” didn’t prevent people from voting for him in ’08, and it won’t in ’12. Funny that Republicans keep thinking that insulting voters will win them votes.

  36. msgkings says:

    NotImpressed wrote:

    Anyway, the meme that “Obama supporters have this weird mindless hero fetish!” didn’t prevent people from voting for him in ’08, and it won’t in ’12. Funny that Republicans keep thinking that insulting voters will win them votes.

    Go back and read that…the point is not that the hero fetish would PREVENT votes (quite the opposite obviously), it’s that the hero halo is fading and that could mean less support in 2012. I think it’s hard to deny that, quite expectedly, the excitement most of us felt on his election would fade as the messy realpolitik of governing brought him back to reality.

    I happen to think he’s done a reasonably good job, and will likely vote for him again. But it’s being willfully myopic to not see a change in general enthusiasm for him from his existing base.

    @ Mule: I do agree with the posters who point out that all presidents use soaring, flowery rhetoric and lots of promises to get elected. All of ’em. And then they get the job and obviously cannot part the Red Sea and bring us the moon. That’s been true since Adams v Jefferson.

    They also ALL have colossal egos. You have to, to want that gig and all that goes into getting it. Trump v Obama would be awesome, but anyone v Obama is a big ego battle.
    Anyone v anyone is.

  37. dcpetterson says:

    @filistro

    Maybe it’s just me, but there seems to be a disconnect between how bad the economy is performing and how comparatively well Obama is doing in the polls.

    That’s a good point. And it is significant that Obama is still doing a lot better than Reagan was at this point in Reagan’s first term, even though the economy is a lot worse than it was in 1983.

    I think a big part of the difference is that the more people are reminded of how bad the economy still is, the more they are reminded that it was the Republicans who screwed it up, and who are standing in the way of making it better. The public in 2010 gave Republicans a mandate to do something about jobs, and all they’ve done is try to restrict workers’ rights, try to limit abortions, try to restrict medical care for the poor, try to kill Big Bird, talk about reinstating DADT, dither over actually passing a budget, threaten to shut down the government, try to un-do the things the public overwhelmingly elected Obama to do in 2008 — everything except do something about jobs. Is it any wonder Republicans continue to wane in popularity?

    And yet, despite all that, Obama’s policies have managed to pull us back from what looked like the verge of another decade of the Great Depression. That things continue to improve is remarkable, and does not go unnoticed. Hence, Obama’s poll numbers have been on a steady climb since last August, and continue to trend up. I do expect another landslide for his reelection.

  38. filistro says:

    In other contender news (and sort of turning Citizens United on its head…)

    IBM goes to war against Mitch Daniels.

    Ultimately I believe it WILL come down to T-Paw.. not because anybody’s excited about him, but simply because he’s the least awful choice . Everybody else they could put forward has a couple of enormous, deal-breaking negatives.

    “Let’s elect Pawlenty.. at least he’s harmless!”

  39. NotImpressed says:

    msgkings – “Go back and read that…the point is not that the hero fetish would PREVENT votes (quite the opposite obviously), it’s that the hero halo is fading and that could mean less support in 2012”

    I understand that. And you make a good point that the initial enthusiasm for a new president is always tempered four years later by the realities of governing.

    However, my point was a little different. I didn’t argue that the “hero fetish” would lead people to not vote for Obama. Rather, I commented on the conservative harping on this supposed “hero fetish.” Republicans like to insist that people only vote for Obama because they’re being tricked into it by an unhealthy obsession. Remember the ads comparing him to Paris Hilton? The mockery of Obama as a “mere celebrity?” This is a truly ineffective argument for the Right to make. Insulting your opponent’s supporters by claiming they are “entranced” is not going to convince them to come around to your way of thinking.

    The “hero fetish” is an invention of the Right. And perhaps it is projection. But I will not pretend to understand the thought process they use in supporting someone like Palin, or in their swooning over the memory of Reagan.

    By the way, on point for this thread. Did you notice in Pawlenty’s commercial, he included shots of Reagan and of the Lincoln memorial? Why not invoke other recent Republican presidents? Like Nixon? Or either Bush? Or Ford, for that matter? Curious minds want to know…

  40. Mule Rider says:

    “The “hero fetish” is an invention of the Right.”

    No, it’s not. I acknowledge it’s a minority – and probably even a small one – who suffers from this but it does exist. There are some who blindly follow him as if they’re in some kind of “hero-worship” trance. And if you don’t see it, you’re not looking hard enough.

  41. msgkings says:

    @ NotImpressed

    Agreed, the argument that Obama-supporters are duped hero-worshippers is self defeating and mostly wrong. I will say that meme I think is less about convincing Dems to vote Rep and more tribal bs to come up with anything you can to disparage the other guy. Obama’s getting tons of support, so let’s make fun of how MUCH his people like him!

    As far as your Reagan comment, I get your point, I hope the ‘Obama is treated like the messiah’ crowd gets it too.
    There is a little difference in that Reagan is dead, and can begin to be looked at through rose-colored glasses (as he certainly is), just like JFK, FDR, etc. Obama was getting so much adulation (much of it expected IMO) just being in the race that it really bothered some of the other side.

  42. Mule Rider says:

    This alone – from those among us not even old enough to vote, although we know they were probably directed to do this by voting-age adults – was enough to creep me out and is a portion of what I’m talking about.

  43. msgkings says:

    @ Mule:

    But every charismatic big name has some of that going on. Hello, Sarah Palin? Ron Paul? It’s not really news.

  44. Mule Rider says:

    What’s that you say???

    Obama’s going to pay for your gas and mortgage???

  45. NotImpressed says:

    And my last comment got me to thinking…

    Seemingly the only recent ex-president the Republicans will talk about is Reagan. Before him, they have to go all the way back to Lincoln, who was the very first Republican president. And the 16th president out of 44.

    Democrats will invoke Kennedy, and FDR. Clinton is still a massive force, creating huge rallies wherever he appears. Truman is seen as a hero, even if a mediocre president. Johnson is connected with Vietnam, but us still held up as a model on civil rights issues. Even Jimmy Carter has become the very symbol for honesty and humanitarianism, the broker of an historic peace agreement in the Middle East.

    But Republicans don’t sing the praises of Hoover or Eisenhower, or even of Teddy Roosevelt (the last two would be ridiculed as RINOs today). Ford was a non-entity, Nixon was a crook, Bush 2 was, well, run away from his as fast as you can. Bush 1, gosh was he even even ever president? Who noticed?

    Just an observation. In 150 years, the Republicans have only Reagan and Lincoln to talk about. Both of whom, they would today disapprove of. Lincoln, because he violated the Tenth Amendment, and Reagan because, well, his policies are nothing like those of today’s Teapers. Curious.

  46. msgkings says:

    @ Mule:

    I’ll see that video and raise you this one:

    Creeps me out plenty.

  47. mclever says:

    I like Ike!

    hehehe

  48. msgkings says:

    @ NotImpressed:

    I actually respected and liked Bush41 a great deal. But yes, today he’d be a RINO.

  49. Mule Rider says:

    “Hello, Sarah Palin? Ron Paul? It’s not really news.”

    Do those guys have some fanatical supporters who can, on occasion, almost seem to be enchanted and in some sort of trance with their admiration of the respective candidates? Yes. But it’s far far far fewer than the throngs of “duped hero-worshippers” that Obama has following him around .

    Again, I’m not arguing that that’s what constitutes the majority of Obama supporters, and I don’t know that many other conservatives would. But to ignore the very large minority of his supporters that do get all weak in the knees and trance-like when he speaks is simply ignoring reality.

  50. Mule Rider says:

    @msgkings,

    That creeps me out to and I said I didn’t deny there were some fanatics out there for both Palin and Paul, but you’re ignoring reality to even think there’s a comparison between some weird old folks lavishing praise on Sister Sarah and that little bit from the children’s choir or the many other things like it.

  51. NotImpressed says:

    Mule Rider, so I see you are capable of falling for videos taken out of context. A campaign effort and an edited comment. Brietbart loves you, I’m sure.

    The first one was a campaign effort. Show me one candidate who doesn’t include children in his or her ads.

    The woman in your second video never said Obama would “pay for her gas and her mortgage.” That is an intentional misrepresentation, dishonest and really somewhat beneath you. She said she “wouldn’t have to worry” about those bills. I suspect she thought the economy would improve more under Obama than under McCain. And I suspect she was right.

    Now, do you have anyone actually saying any of the absurd things you quoted before (March 23, 2011 at 09:26)? “Obama’s gonna save us” or “Obama’s gone solve all our problems”?

  52. msgkings says:

    @ Mule: So basically you’re now saying there’s creepy hero-worship out there for lots of folks but Obama’s got more? Well sure he does, he’s more popular than every other politician in America, and he has mroe to worship. Duh, winning! 🙂

    Basically I’m saying this isn’t something to be blamed on Obama. Tons of people are dummies, and they have unhealthy obsessions with famous people, sometimes famous political people. That Obama gets his share is not news, nor is it important.

    To bring this back to the thread topic, the fact that Pawlenty has none of these people is one reason he has no chance to be president.

  53. Mule Rider says:

    “She said she “wouldn’t have to worry” about those bills. I suspect she thought the economy would improve more under Obama than under McCain. And I suspect she was right.”

    You’re seriously defending her comments as level-headed statements?

    I’m done talking with you about this then. If you’re that much of a blind partisan, there’s no need to further the discussion. Sorry, thought you were someone I could take seriously.

  54. NotImpressed says:

    Mule Rider, ditto 🙂

  55. NotImpressed says:

    Oh, Mule Rider, a word of advice for the future. Take it or leave it, because free advice is worth what you paid for it. 🙂 It’s bad enough if you are going to misquote someone, and then ridicule them for saying something they didn’t say. But it doesn’t improve your credibility to back up your ridicule by presenting the video where they don’t say what you claim they did. I hope that’s helpful 🙂

  56. parksie555 says:

    @Mule – “duped hero-worshippers” – The accepted spelling of this phrase around these parts is F-i-l-i-s-t-r-o in case you were wondering 🙂

  57. Mule Rider says:

    FWIW, you could use a lesson on diction and context, because in the English language I’m familiar with, when people say they “won’t have to worry” about something, it’s doesn’t mean that they’ll worry “less” because their circumstances are likely to improve; it means that they expect the problem to go away entirely.

    And I’m trying to figure out what sane person would believe the problem of their mortgage and gas bill would go away entirely because a certain someone was elected president.

  58. msgkings says:

    OK, Mule, that lady was a dumdum. As I just pointed out, lots of dumdums in America worshipping lots of politicians.

  59. Mule Rider says:

    “But it doesn’t improve your credibility to back up your ridicule by presenting the video where they don’t say what you claim they did.”

    She said, and I quote, “….I won’t have to worry about paying my mortgage….if I helped him, he’ll help me.”

    I interpret that as her thinking Obama’s going to help “take care” of those “problems.”

    But your mileage may vary.

  60. Mule Rider says:

    @msgkings,

    Dude, you’re far too sane, impartial, and fair for this blog….

    We gotta get you a set of partisan blinders….they’re all the rage 🙂

    You may be a little to the left of me, but I like you. I probably have more in common with you than nearly anyone else who visits here.

  61. filistro says:

    @parksie… duped hero-worshippers” – The accepted spelling of this phrase around these parts is F-i-l-i-s-t-r-o in case you were wondering

    LOL… the last man for whom I ever felt anything approaching “hero-worship” was Pete Rose… and look how THAT turned out. 😉

  62. Mule,

    There are some who blindly follow him as if they’re in some kind of “hero-worship” trance.

    Even if it’s true, how does pointing it out help convince people to vote for a Republican???

  63. msgkings,

    There is a little difference in that Reagan is dead…

    Except that he was treated as a messiah during the Clinton administration, when he was still very much alive. Not especially well-functioning, of course, but alive nonetheless.

  64. msgkings says:

    @ Mule

    I happen to think being a moderate is the sanest way to go, so yeah I’m pretty sane. 🙂

  65. msgkings says:

    @ MW:

    As I mentioned above somewhere, I don’t think they push that meme to try to convince others to vote Rep, I think it’s just part of the typical stable of ‘us good them bad’ junk both sides’ partisans like to babble about.

  66. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    Been away all morning, so maybe it’s a chance to be on the outside looking in.

    This thread was about Pawlenty.

    It’s a measure how “good” a candidate he could be to see how FAST and FURIOUS the tread got away from HIM and onto Obama!

    Just an observation.

  67. Brian says:

    I don’t want to get terribly off topic, but when I receive my fellowship bonus at the beginning of every semester, I don’t worry about how much gas and food cost me because I’ve got an extra $300-1k, depending on fees. It’s not that I worry about them less, I don’t worry about them at all, at least not for a month or two. Seems like we’re splitting hairs though. “You care a 3 out of 100, that means you still care compared to a 0”, it’s a little nit-picky.

    And on topic, I would venture to say that Pawlenty’s not going to have much trouble defending his actions, except to Minnesotans, because there doesn’t appear to be all that much to defend. Other candidates are going to be spending a lot of time backpedaling and defending their mistakes. His problem will be touting his accomplishments and getting his name out, because only Minnesotans and political junkies know who he is. If I had one word to describe Tim, it’d be “bland.”

  68. msgkings says:

    @ Max

    Indeed. Frankly there’s no really strong candidates out there for the Reps this year, but someone has to get the nomination so I’m betting when the dust settles it’ll be Romney. Follow the money.

    Interesting parallels to 2008…I think almost any reasonable candidate would have beaten McCain as the Rep brand was really tarnished by 8 years of Bush43, and the timing of the financial meltdown couldn’t have been better for the Dems. Obama turning out to be a really good campaigner with lots of intangibles created the landslide.

    So as 2008 was kind of a ‘anyone but Bush and the Repubs’, the Reps are hoping that there’s enough ‘anyone but Obama/Dems’ out there that they can nominate just about anyone and still win.

    If the economy keeps improving, they are flat wrong.

  69. filistro says:

    @msg…

    Romney would be the most formidable candidate, but I don’t think there’s any way he can get through the primaries. There’s so much anger about his “Obamacare” initiative in Mass, and the more he tries to distance himself from it, the deeper he digs himself into trouble. The hatred for Romney at right-wing blogs is really visceral… and they’re the ones who vote in primaries.

    No, I think it’s going to be “T-Paw by default.”

  70. msgkings says:

    @ filistro

    I don’t think Romney is a lock by any means, and it could very well be T-Paw for the reasons you cite, but let’s see it play out. Plenty more name recognition and money for Romney, lots of time for him to court the crazies, and remember too they are the vocal minority, there’s still a pretty big cohort of straight GOP voters.

    The primaries in 2008 were pretty heated too, with Clinton supporters saying they’d never vote for Obama, etc. Just bc some Teepers have a problem with Romney now doesn’t mean he won’t eventually get more votes than T-Paw.

  71. mclever says:

    @Mule

    I have some sympathy for the argument you’re making regarding the irrational exuberance (to borrow a phrase) on the part of a few Obama supporters during the 2008 election season, but I really think it has been blown out of proportion. The phenomenon existed, but the idea has been oversold to the point where it’s used as a debate-halting weapon. Apparently, anyone who voices a pro-Obama position can be automatically branded as a duped, brainwashee who hasn’t woken up to reality yet. A non-Obama supporter simply accuses someone who is normally quite rational of being “brainwashed” by Obama’s awesome Oneness, thus providing a blanket dismissal of any pro-Obama views and boxing the rational supporter into a corner where anything more they say is seen as confirmation of brainwashed hero-worship. (This is an adaptation of one technique that talk show hosts frequently use with “opposition callers” on their shows.) Can you see how that could be frustrating for the non-brainwashed?

    I would hope that you consider me among the more rational of folks who drift towards the left side of the stream. But, I’ve been on the receiving end of the “brainwashed” accusation plenty of times. I personally find it insulting and irritating, because the other person generally won’t even listen to what I’m saying. Given my experiences with the closed-mindedness of people who make that accusation, I confess that I have a difficult time maintaining my own objectivity when confronted with that meme.

    It’s true. I liked Obama better than Kerry. But I liked Al Gore a lot better than either of them! And the next person who tells me that I’m just a brainwashed sheeple of the messiah Obama… I may just have to give you an evil glare. I was a teacher for a while. You don’t want to be on the receiving end of my evil glare!

    🙂

    Of course, I will admit that there were some people more interested in bandwagoning the hype rather than actually listening to what Obama said he’d do. I think you’ll find similar parallels with Reagan’s “celebrity” votes, and with Clinton and Bush, too. The same is true of any politician that gets elected to national office, especially considering the underinformed nature of the general electorate, but that doesn’t mean that those “hype” voters make up a majority–or even a significant minority–of the politician’s support.

    As msgkings astutely pointed out: The problem isn’t that Obama has some number of “duped hero-worshippers” but rather that T-Paw has none. That will be Pawlenty’s greatest challenge if he wants to become President. Huckabee, Palin, Ron Paul, even bland-as-whitebread Romney all have their segment of hero-worshippers…

  72. dcpetterson says:

    I actually think a lot of Republican hopefuls are aiming for second place in the primaries. Republicans tend to have a pattern — whoever came in second last time, tends to get the nod this time. That’s why Romney and Huckabee are so often held up as likely 2012 nominees.

    But I think a lot of Republicans are aware that Obama is probably unstoppable in his reelection bid. So they don’t want to run this time — they want to run in 2016. The way to get chosen as heir apparent is to be 2012’s also-ran.

    I think that’s why Romney hasn’t announced yet. He’s probably hoping Huckabee gets in, since Huck was second behind McCain in 2008. If Huck runs, tradition picks him to be the sacrifice for Obama’s reelection. That lets Romney come in second, and makes him the automatic 2016 frontrunner. But if Romney runs without Huckabee, then the default for 2012 falls to him since he was next in line in the previous cycle. So if Huckabee doesn’t announce at all, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Romney wait four years before trying again.

    I suspect either Pawlenty hasn’t caught on to the tradition yet, or is hoping to be Romney’s or Palin’s second. Now, Pawlenty does strike me as an opportunist with a healthy ego, so he may imagine he can beat Obama. But I think he’d be better off coming in second in the primaries. This gets his name out there, lets people get to know him, and sets him up for a serious run in 2016.

  73. mclever says:

    @msgkings

    I agree that we should wait to see how the Republican primaries play out. For all we know, Huckabee and Romney might not even enter the race, which will leave everything up for grabs.

    Plenty more name recognition and money for Romney, lots of time for him to court the crazies, and remember too they are the vocal minority, there’s still a pretty big cohort of straight GOP voters.

    Absolutely. If Romney does enter the race, he has a lot more “cred” with the less-vocal conservative types who vote every time, but don’t make a big noise about it. And, if he wants it, he has the money to spend to convert the uncommitteds to his side.

    The primaries in 2008 were pretty heated too, with Clinton supporters saying they’d never vote for Obama, etc. Just bc some Teepers have a problem with Romney now doesn’t mean he won’t eventually get more votes than T-Paw.

    Exactly. In the heat of an argument on a message board or blog, people will say some pretty outlandish things. You hear all sorts of ultimatums and proclamations. Being outrageous gets attention as people vent their anger or disgust. The media hypes the dissent, because it’s more exciting than the hordes of bored voters who don’t really care yet. But, for some reason, once those vocal dissenters get in the voting booth, all that changes and they push the button/pull the lever/mark the box/poke the chad for the home team regardless.

  74. msgkings says:

    @ mclever:

    Outstanding post, especially the last paragraph.

  75. mclever says:

    @dcpetterson

    I actually think a lot of Republican hopefuls are aiming for second place in the primaries.

    If Republicans strategists think Obama will be re-elected, then you’re probably right. Romney may be delaying any announcement about his candidacy in part because he’s waiting to see if Huckabee jumps in, but I personally think the delay is mostly because he’s waiting to see how the economy and Obama’s poll numbers are trending. If Obama looks to be too unbeatable, then Romney (being the astute businessman that he is) may decide to save a few million and run again in 4 years.

  76. Whatevs says:

    Obama’s not going to have to do anything if the Republicans keep doing all his campaigning for him. Republicans may complain a lot about the Cool Hand Luke approach but Americans are generally seeing it as a serious leadership style that works; particularly given the shitstorm Obama has had to wade through since he took office.

    He’s taken on wars, natural disasters, financial meltdowns, economic recovery, health care, etc. And what are Republicans doing? Whining about NPR?

    That’s a great strategy.

  77. mclever says:

    @Whatevs

    I sincerely hope you’re right! 🙂

  78. parksie555 says:

    Whateves – Yeah, you can tell that most Americans “are generally seeing it as a serious leadership style that works” by his skyrocketing poll numbers and their growing confidence in the economy.

    Not.

    Please provide some data to support your assertions rather than spouting Filly’s talking points.

  79. Whatevs says:

    And Romney strikes me as too smart to get in the race. I think he knows a Republican in 2012 would be a sacrificial lamb (or elephant, perhaps).

  80. NotImpressed says:

    parksie, for Obama’s approval numbers go here: http://www.gallup.com/poll/124922/Presidential-Approval-Center.aspx

    Click on President Reagan’s face. You’ll see Reagan’s numbers compared to Obama’s. First thing you’ll notice is that Obama is currently much higher than Reagan was at this point. Second thing is that Obama has been trending steadily upward since last August.

  81. NotImpressed says:

    And parksie, for economic polling you can go here : http://thkpr.gs/ecU4DU

    (Monotreme posted that link yesterday.)

    One interesting quote from that poll report:

    In assigning blame for the state of the nation’s economy, most Americans don’t point the finger at either the current Congress or the Obama administration – instead many blame George W. Bush’s administration (28 percent) and Wall Street (24 percent). Seven percent blame the Obama administration and 10 percent blame Congress.

    This isn’t exactly “confidence in the economy” as you asked for, but it does bode well for Obama’s chances. Even if people feel things aren’t that great, they’re aware it’s not Obama’s fault. So he isn’t likely to get many votes against him on that score.

  82. parksie555 says:

    @Notimpressed, I don’t know what graph you are looking at but I basically see a steady decline from 60% to about 45-50% from Jun ’09 to about Feb ’10 and then basically a flat line with a little noise since then.

    And Reagan was presiding over the beginning of one of the great economic booms of the 20th century by the third year of his first term in office. I see no evidence based on housing starts, unemployment numbers, consumer spending, or any other economic gauge that points to a similar boom for Obama.

    As I said in a previous post… most presidential elections, barring a significant foreign policy issue, become referendums on the economy. It generally doesn’t matter who made the mess, the issue is how has the economy done on your watch.

    George Bush will not be on the ballot in 2012, so bleating about him will not earn Obama any votes, except for simpleminded liberals who will blindly vote for him anyway. Cue the AFSCME/SEIU fight song at this point…

  83. Whatevs says:

    “Please provide some data to support your assertions rather than spouting Filly’s talking points.”

    What? A guy can’t express a gut feeling in here without polling data. Whatevs, dude.

  84. Mule Rider says:

    Bottom line for me is that if the Republican nominee is Palin, Bachmann, or some other booger-eating moron of that variety, I may go pull the lever for Obama.

    If it’s Gingrich, Huckabee, Romney, or somebody else from that group (establishment, old ideas, etc.) I probably stay home.

    And if it’s Ron Paul, Mitch Daniels, Jon Huntsman, Chris Christie, or someone of that type (with a little fresher perspective and out-of-the-box thinking) they’re probably going to get my vote.

  85. Whatevs says:

    That’s an interesting chart. One thing that stands out; presidents up until Nixon were regarded much higher than Presidents from Nixon forward. Post Nixon Presidents are all remarkably consistent (except Carter) around the 50% mark (keep in mind I’m doing a quick and dirty visual averaging). What’s up wit dat?

  86. Whatevs says:

    I saw Ann Coulter pimping for Chris Christie the other day even though Christie says he’d rather kill himself than run in 2012 (although, if he waits for 2016 he may die of a heart attack. That dude is HUGE). But Mule is right, if Christie were in this race, we’d have a completely different dynamic for 2012.

  87. msgkings says:

    @ Whatevs:

    Ain’t that obvious? Anything Nixon do that might change how esteemed presidents are?

  88. msgkings says:

    @ Mule:

    So you only decide whether to vote or not on who is running for President? What about all the other stuff, state and local races, propositions, etc?

  89. NotImpressed says:

    parksie, “I don’t know what graph you are looking at but I basically see a steady decline from 60% to about 45-50% from Jun ’09 to about Feb ’10 and then basically a flat line with a little noise since then.”

    I recall conservatives crowing every time Obama dropped a point or two. Making a huge deal about it. Epseically throughout the second half of ’09 and most of ’10. Of course, he usually bounced back. But we kept hearing about how it was “historic lows!” and “dropping faster than anyone else ever!” You’re saying it’s been basically flat for nearly two years, including that period when all the other conservatives claimed Obama’s approval was in a nose dive. I guess you weren’t one of those guys who cared about the daily fluctuations. Good for you!

    If you do some plotting with averaging software, there’s a definite curve downward until August of ’10, when Obama’s approval bottomed out at around 43%. It has trended upward since, to around 59% +/- 2. So that’s about a 4% – 7% increase, which certainly is statistically significant. You’re free to conclude otherwise, if you want.

    But whatever. Point is, things aren’t looking all that bad for the President.

  90. Mule Rider says:

    “So you only decide whether to vote or not on who is running for President? What about all the other stuff, state and local races, propositions, etc?”

    My statement about “staying home” may have been more hyperbole than an actual prediction as I doubt I’d either go vote or stay home only because of who is on the presidential ballot. If neither party is offering anything I like in terms of the presidency, you’re correct that I should probably still vote in local/state races and simply abstain from voting for anyone in that particular race.

    But, then again, my voting record overall is pretty thin. And to this point in my life, I’ve only ever voted for Democrats.

  91. Mule Rider says:

    “Point is, things aren’t looking all that bad for the President.”

    Wish the same could be said for the country, but hey, who really cares about the small stuff, right?

  92. Bottom line for me is that if the Republican nominee is Palin, Bachmann, or some other booger-eating moron of that variety…

    See, this is where GROG is supposed to come in with something about…let’s see…what did he say…oh, there it is:

    This is yet another ugly example of how the far left absolutely abhors the thought of a black, hispanic, or woman in the Republican party.

  93. msgkings says:

    @ Mule:

    You can always do what I do, write in someone on your wish list even if they aren’t running. I live in a state that’s always blue so my presidential vote doesn’t really count anyway.

    I wrote in Colin Powell in 1996 for example…the fact he didn’t want the job made him the best candidate IMO.

  94. msgkings,

    Ain’t that obvious? Anything Nixon do that might change how esteemed presidents are?

    Nothing Nixon did. It was all the fault of the left-wing Washington Post. I thought you already knew that.

  95. Mule,

    And to this point in my life, I’ve only ever voted for Democrats.

    Now that comes as a surprise to me.

    Wish the same could be said for the country, but hey, who really cares about the small stuff, right?

    Context. It’s all about context. Given that this article is about the 2012 Presidential race, it shouldn’t be much of a surprise that the context here is the 2012 Presidential race.

  96. msgkings says:

    @ MW

    LOL. Touche.

  97. mclever says:

    Mule,

    And to this point in my life, I’ve only ever voted for Democrats.

    I’ve voted for more Republicans than Mule has! Who knew??

    🙂

  98. filistro says:

    @MR & MW: And to this point in my life, I’ve only ever voted for Democrats.

    Now that comes as a surprise to me.

    It doesn’t surprise me. We know Muley was in diapers in 1979. Even given quite a lengthy toilet training, that still means the only Republicans he could have voted for in a Presidential race would Bob Dole, George W. Bush and John McCain… right?

    And we know Muley’s not dumb, so… no surprise.

  99. Mule Rider says:

    “Now that comes as a surprise to me.”

    The fact that they were for people in local/state races in the South who were probably farther to the right than me should clear that up…..people much closer to the Heath Shuler and Joe Manchin-type Democrats rather than a Pelosi/Feinstein/Kucinich type on the left-wing.

  100. Whatevs says:

    @msg

    “Anything Nixon do that might change how esteemed presidents are?”

    I suppose you’re right. Once it was proved that a President could be a crook, then potentially every President can be viewed with a level of mistrust.

  101. Mule Rider says:

    Bob Dole????

    Sorry, fili, wasn’t even old enough in ’96 to cast a vote for him….only presidential elections I’ve been eligible to vote for have been Bush-Gore, Bush-Kerry, and Obama-McCain. I preferred Gore in 2000 but didn’t vote, tentatively supported Bush in 2004, and well, 2008 was fun, wasn’t it?

  102. dcpetterson says:

    Fun fact about 2008. Let’s imagine Hillary had been the Democratic nominee. Or that Obama had chosen her for Veep. That would have meant that every presidential election since 1980 would have had either a Bush or a Clinton on the ballot for President or Vice President. A person would have had to have been born in 1958 or before to have been old enough to have voted in an election (Carter vs Ford, 1976) where one of these two families didn’t have a Pres or Vice Pres nominee.

    So 2008 broke the streak. And we had to have a black man on the ballot to do it; had it not been for Obama, Hillary would have sailed through the primaries.

    Just a bit of triva to mull over.

  103. Mule Rider says:

    “I’ve voted for more Republicans than Mule has! Who knew??”

    Gasp! You right-winger!!

    🙂

  104. GROG says:

    @MW: See, this is where GROG is supposed to come in with something about…let’s see…what did he say…oh…

    GROG:
    This is yet another ugly example of how the far left absolutely abhors the thought of a black, hispanic, or woman in the Republican party.

    Wow. Impressive digging Michael. I remember making that comment and I still stand by it.

  105. Mule Rider says:

    “Wow. Impressive digging Michael. I remember making that comment and I still stand by it.”

    I will back GROG up on the idea that some on the left seem to abhor the idea of those supposed to be a strong part of their base (women, minorities, etc.) being an integral player for the other team.

    There are plenty of white males that are Democrats and hardly anyone raises an eyebrow, but put a loud and proud black conservative woman on display, and I guarantee you that you’ll get plenty of folks on the left saying, “What the %^$# is she thinking???”

  106. shortchain says:

    Correction, MR. It doesn’t need to be a minority for a loud conservative to get me saying “what the *bleep* is that person thinking?”

  107. put a loud and proud black conservative woman on display, and I guarantee you that you’ll get plenty of folks on the left saying, “What the %^$# is she thinking???”

    Frankly, there are plenty of loud and proud black liberal women in politics who get plenty of folks on the left saying that. Loud and proud black liberal men, too. And white women. And white men. The list goes on.

    But to your point, it’s rather puzzling to have, say, a gay or black or hispanic who identifies with the Republican party, insofar as (in the post-Johnson era), the GOP has spent an inordinate amount of time demonizing them. Of course, one can be gay and fiscally conservative…or even gay and antimiscegenation, for that matter…at which point it depends on which factor is more important to such a person. But it’s really hard for me to relate to someone who supports a party that wants to criminalize me for being who I am, even if I agreed with their fiscal policies.

  108. NotImpressed says:

    But to your earlier point, Michael. Why is it that when a progressive refers to Palin, Bachmann, or some other booger-eating moron of that variety, that means the progressive is upset about woman being conservatives… but when a conservative says it, he’s voicing an understandable contempt for booger-eating morons in politics?

    I guess it’s different when a winger does it.

  109. Whatevs says:

    I got no problem with women, black, or hispanic Republican politicians. There are already several women (half of them appear to be ‘booger-eating morons, unfotunately). But a black, gay, or hispanic Republican; you might as well expect an albino Republican before that. It’s a statistical anomaly.

    I think there are one or two of those demos around, but aside from Michael Steele, I just can’t think of them.

  110. Whatevs, have you already forgotten Clarence Thomas?

  111. Mule Rider says:

    “Whatevs, have you already forgotten Clarence Thomas?”

    Actually, if I’m not mistaken, about 15% of 18+ black males either self-identified or voted predominantly Republican in the last election. Not sure which it was based on (self-identification or voting pattern), and it’s still shows a huge chunk of that bloc lean Democratic, but I was a little surprised Republicans were able to court that many black males.

    The margin wasn’t nearly as “favorable” for Republicans in looking at black women, though.

  112. mclever says:

    As noted by Max earlier:

    It’s a measure how “good” a candidate he could be to see how FAST and FURIOUS the tread got away from HIM and onto Obama!

    The speed at which this thread diverts to anything but T-Paw must be a measure of how excellent a candidate he will be!

  113. dcpetterson says:

    The speed at which this thread diverts to anything but T-Paw …

    It could be a measure of how poorly known Pawlenty is. He has that to overcome. You guys here are political junkies. You could go look him up on Wikipedia and find something interesting (?) to comment on. Or I could have written a more informative article that provided more grist for your collective discussion mill.

    Filistro may have a point about Pawlenty’s chances for the nomination actually being pretty good. If he’s not well known, he’s also got less to criticize — rather like a Supreme Court nominee who has no noteworthy decisions or published articles for the opposition to latch onto. Will that make it more or less easy for him to thread the needle between the enthusiastic but far-right base he needs for the nomination, and the moderate middle a candidate must court in the general? Does a bland and unexciting unknown have a chance to be everything to everyone?

    But if even a collection of political junkies aren’t interested enough to find out about him, what chance does he really have?

  114. Whatevs says:

    “The speed at which this thread diverts to anything but T-Paw must be a measure of how excellent a candidate he will be!”

    Who?

    Seriously, though. I was referring to elected Senate or House Republican politicians. I think there is one openly gay Republican up in New England. And is Alan Keyes Republican? I think the ulterior point I was driving at was that the GOP apears to be the Good ‘ol White Boys club

  115. filistro says:

    @DC.. Filistro may have a point about Pawlenty’s chances for the nomination actually being pretty good.

    Actually I think he’s the ONLY one who has a chance. I think this because of my deep familiarity with the kind of people who wade through snowdrifts to vote in Republican primaries. Trust me, they will NEVER vote for Romney. Their excuses will be flip flops, health care, the dog on the roof, whatever… but the real reason is he’s a Mormon and they don’t believe Mormons are Christians. It’s a killer for Mitt. Same for Huntsman.

    Not Mitch Daniels because he thinks for himself, says we need to dial back on social conservatism, and says no sensible politician would take Grover Norquist’s “no new taxes” pledge. Not Huckabee, because he would need the Palin voters and they are all going PUMA on him because they think he’s cutting into her power base and ruining her chances.

    So… who else? T-Paw wins by default. Mark my words.

    (I’m sure David Plouffe is shivering in his loafers :-))

  116. mclever says:

    @dcpetterson

    I think your article was fine. Even if you’d presented us with a ground to rooftop blueprint of Pawlenty’s life and political career, I think the comment section would have diverged just as quickly.

    I’m enough of a political junkie to have recognized Pawlenty’s name when he was first floated as a potential McCain VP back in ’08. He’s the kind of politician who gets blown around by the winds of public whim and likes to stick his nose into every heated issue without much forethought. I’d be willing to bet that any semi-competent campaign researcher will have no trouble coming up with clips for Pawlenty debating himself ads. (Same for Romney, but you have to dig farther.) He’s crowing a conservative line right now, but everyone in Minnesota knows that’s not what he was saying before he became Governor. As the committed panderer, he stands for nothing except whichever special interest will get him funding.

    I know enough about what Pawlenty did in Minnesota to know that I’d prefer Romney or even Huckabee. Usually when you pick someone who positions themselves politically as a moderate, you’re hoping to get the best of both worlds. With Pawlenty, you get the worst of both.

    And he’s boring.

  117. shortchain says:

    DC,

    Your article was fine. It’s not your fault that Pawlenty is less interesting than the statistics of Obama’s popularity polling.

    I’m going to have to disagree with filistro, however. Pawlenty can try a southern accent, and he can hire people to make cheesy videos, and he can go on shows and act like he knows what he’s talking about, but there is a paucity of character, a lack of real humanity that no amount of artistic videography and staged appearances can overcome.

    He’s going to be a distant third or fourth for the entire campaign season. He’ll always be an usher, not even invited to stand near the front of the church.

  118. filistro says:

    @shortchain… He’s going to be a distant third or fourth for the entire campaign season.

    Oh, I agree about his shortcomings. But who’s going to be 1st, 2nd and 3rd?

    T-Paw will win.. not on his “merits” but because this is perhaps the thinnest, weakest, sickest field of candidates ever offered up in a presidential primary.

  119. Mule Rider says:

    I remember the comment above chastising me for making proclamations about what progressives are thinking, being more conservative. Gotta say it’s pretty amusing to watch you guys proclaim what you know the conservative electorate is thinking and will do during the next primary season to get to a Republican nominee.

  120. Mr. Universe says:

    Newsflash: We have our first openly gay Republican Presidential contender. Fred Carter.

  121. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    “Newsflash: We have our first openly gay Republican Presidential contender. Fred Carter.”

    Bet $100 that don’t make the top 5 in Iowa!

  122. mclever says:

    Why not, Max?

    Gay marriage is legal here! (Unlike California where it’s barred at least until the appeals on Prop 8 are finished.)

    Well, OK, considering it’s the Republican caucus, you may have a point. They did just vote to ouster the three Republican judges who ruled on the constitutionality of gay marriage last year.

  123. parksie555 says:

    @NotImpressed – What Obama approval numbers are you looking at? He hasn’t sniffed 59% since early last summer. Please tell me you meant to type 49% – otherwise you have lost all credibility with me.

  124. drfunguy says:

    @parksie555
    “Reagan was presiding over the beginning of one of the great economic booms of the 20th century by the third year of his first term in office”
    were you alive and looking for work in 1983?
    it certainly was no boom.

  125. NotImpressed says:

    What Obama approval numbers are you looking at? He hasn’t sniffed 59% since early last summer. Please tell me you meant to type 49% – otherwise you have lost all credibility with me.

    Yes, that was a typo. Should have been 49%, which is about 4% – 7% above the low last August, as I said. Thanks for catching it. I appreciate your sharp eye.

  126. Mule Rider says:

    “were you alive and looking for work in 1983?
    it certainly was no boom.”

    Much like people alive and looking for work during the summers of ’09 and ’10. Far from Summer(s) of Recovery. No hope. No change either. Just misery and suffering.

  127. Monotreme says:

    I lost a lot of money on Romney in 2008 on the Iowa Electronic Markets. Luckily for me, I more than made it back by buying Obama before Iowa; selling Obama before New Hampshire; and buying him again after the price dropped when Clinton won New Hampshire.

    I wish I could say it was skill, but it was luck. I wiped out my grubstake in 2010 when I went “all in” on a Democratic hold in Congress.

    I have to think Romney is going to get the nomination, but with deep, deep trouble. I could see several scenarios where a third-party candidate emerges: either after Romney gets the nod and a Palin goes all rogue and mavericky; or the opposite scenario where Palin, Huckabee or Barbour get the nomination and the moderate wing of the Republican Party decides it’s time to take a powder.

    In fact, a T-Paw or Daniels is the only kind of candidate that will prevent that from happening, which in my mind makes their nomination that much more likely. As others have said above, 2012 is more than likely a loser for the Republicans at President. They would be better served concentrating on retaking the Senate and holding onto the House.

    Meanwhile, Huntsman will let the Mormons and anti-Mormons beat themselves silly, and jump in the 2016 race as a strong contender. He might run for Hatch’s Senate seat instead.

  128. drfunguy says:

    Muley
    I don’t get your point.
    I never said it was a boom now or last year, but was questioning parksie555’s contention that it was in 1983.

  129. msgkings says:

    I think it’s way too early for Reps to be throwing in the towel on 2012. They know as well as anyone that a still-sluggish or worsening economy = a vulnerable Obama, so they will wait and see. Some of them (not all) will actively try to screw the economy for that reason.

    And thus we will continue to have the wingnut faction rooting for bad things to happen to America, to weaken Obama. So much patriotism.

  130. Brian says:

    Completely unrelated but kinda fun:

    http://www.sporcle.com/games/SporcleEXP/Gadaffi

    I got 11.

  131. parksie555 says:

    @drfunguy – I was a scrawny high school junior in 1983. My contribution to the economic boom was getting a job at McDonald’s in order to finance the purchase of a shiny new Trek 400 series road bike.

    But I digress.

    I picked 1983 as the start of the Reagan boom as the unemployment peak of 10.8% came in December 1982. By January of 1984 it was down to just under 8% and would eventaully fall to around 5.5% by the end of Reagan’s second term.

    If one judges by inflation then 1982 may be a better starting point. Inflation peaked at around 11.8% at the beginning of 1981 and fell to just 3.8% by the end of 1982.

    YMMV on when exactly the boom started but to argue that the economy did not improved drastically on Reagan’s watch is a bit of intellectual dishonesty.

  132. GROG says:

    GROG:
    This is yet another ugly example of how the far left absolutely abhors the thought of a black, hispanic, or woman in the Republican party.

    I didn’t have much time to comment yesterday.

    The reason conservative blacks and women (Palin, Bachmann, Angle, O’Donnell, Steele, C. Thomas etc.) are attacked and demonized at a much greater rate than conservative white men is because they are terrified of the inroads blacks and women may make in the Republican Party.

    Having women and minorities in the Republican Party pokes holes in the Dem Party meme that they are the only party who represents women and minorities and that the GOP is the party of old white guys. Therefore, the left is going to viciously attack that demographic in the Republican Party (ie Palin, Bachmann, Angle, O’Donnell, Steele, Thomas) because they are an enormous threat to the left.

    If Herman Cain is able to gain any traction as a potential candidate it will be interesting to see how quickly the leftwing attacks and vitriol against him will ensue.

  133. shortchain says:

    Parksie,

    Yes, “to argue that the economy did not improved drastically on Reagan’s watch is a bit of intellectual dishonesty.”

    Since nobody has, in fact, argued that, it’s intellectually dishonest to claim that anyone has.

    I’d make the observation that inflation as a measure of how well the US economy is doing is putting the cart before the horse, unless you were born with a lot of money in fixed-income securities. I remember well the years 1980-1984, and, to be blunt, they weren’t great, economy-wise. After that, things did improve, yes, but 1983 was not a “boom year”.

  134. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    “Having women and minorities in the Republican Party pokes holes in the Dem Party meme that they are the only party who represents women and minorities and that the GOP is the party of old white guys. Therefore, the left is going to viciously attack that demographic in the Republican Party (ie Palin, Bachmann, Angle, O’Donnell, Steele, Thomas) because they are an enormous threat to the left.”

    Incorrect! Palin, Bachmann, Angle, O’Donnell, Steele, Thomas are attacked because they say, and do stupid shit! (I could throw in Gingrich if HE was a minority because of his “I was FOR the action in Libya before I was AGAINST it” flip-flop of just the past three weeks!)

    Dems DO NOT have to attack minorities in the GOP qua minorities. Just go back and look at film clips of the floor of the past, say, TEN GOP national conventions! We’ve got one coming up in 16-17 months, make a note of this comment and save it, compare the minorities at BOTH national conventions at that time, THEN come back and argue “big tent GOP”.

  135. parksie555 says:

    I’d argue that inflation rates are exactly the kind of kitchen-table economic issue that decides elections. Pointy-headed economists from Yale and Harvard may tell you it’s somehow good for the overall health of the economy but for the average voter it is a viscerally negative term that has direct impact on their bottom line in the form of higher prices for everyday commodities like food, clothing, and consumer goods.

    It would be an interesting poll but if the vast majority of voters were asked to name negative economic indicators I would wager “high inflation” would be near the top of the list.

  136. NotImpressed says:

    Yes, most people don’t like high inflation. But if wages keep pace, then high inflation is actually a Very Good Thing for consumers. Why? Because it means that when you borrow money, you pay it back with money that’s worth less. F’rinstance, to make an absurd example, say you buy a car with $10,000 borrowed dollars. Say that five years later, $10,000 buys a loaf of bread. You pay off the car with what it costs to buy a loaf of bread. It becomes very cheap for consumers to buy things on credit.

    The national debt also shrinks if there is high inflation. We currently owe, what, $12 trillion or thereabouts? Say there’s high inflation, and ten years from now, $12 trillion is what it costs to build a single bomber, and the US economy as a whole is sitting at an annual GDP of maybe $10,000 trillion. Paying off the federal debt is then a piece of cake.

    This works as long as wages keep pace with inflation, and that includes people on “fixed incomes.” Which is why we can’t cut COLAs in Social Security. But if wages are held constant, and the all the increases go to the top 1% or 5% of the richest Americans (as has happened during Republican rule), then inflation is good for them and sucks for the rest of us.

  137. Mule Rider says:

    NotImpressed,

    What little credibility you had left, you just lost with that neo/uber-Keynesian, pro-inflation rant.

    Please go read the works of Hayek and Mises and brush up on Austrian Business Cycle Theory and, for the love of God, get a clue about inflation (especially “runaway” or “hyper-“) before even thinking of mentioning that it could possibly be a good thing.

    Hint: You included the qualifier that it’s okay so long as “wages keep pace.” The problem is that wages for all and usually not even most NEVER keep pace.

  138. GROG says:

    @Max,

    To illustrate the fact that I’m not incorrect, explain this to me. Leftwing PPP did a sleazeball poll pitting Palin against Charlie Sheen. Why do you think PPP chose Palin? Why didn’t they chose Huckabee or Romney or Barbour or any of the other numerous white male candidates? Out of all the GOP candidates, why Palin?

    Or was it just a complete coincidence that they chose one of only 2 possible female GOP candidates? (And Palin hasn’t even announced her intentions to run.)

  139. NotImpressed says:

    Surprising, Mule Rider, I’m not concerned about whether I have credibility with you 🙂

    And yes, I included the qualifier about “if wages keep pace.” Because if they don’t, then wage earners fall behind. Duh.

    Inflation is bad for lenders who get paid back with cheap money. Supply siders hate it for this reason. They’re in bed with the banks.

    Reaganites noticed that when the government goes deeply into debt, then the people who buy government bonds (mostly the uber-rich) get a lot richer. Because they get paid all that interest on the money they loaned to the government. Then if yo cut taxes on the wealthy (particularly taxes on capital gains), they get to keep all that interest income. Simultaneously, since you’ve cut their taxes, the poor and middle class take up a larger share of the burden. Which means their tax dollars go right into the pockets of the wealthy bond holders who loaned the money. (This is the reason Republicans like to run up HUGE deficits, while cutting taxes on the wealthy.)

    If you have a reasonable rate of inflation, then the bond holders don’t get so rich so fast, because the money they earn in interest is worth less. Also, the bonds they bought from the government are worth less. So their wealth reduces, in real terms. They hate that.

    That’s why Regan was so worried about inflation, at the same time he ran up obscene deficits, and cut taxes (particularly capital gains). It’s just math.

  140. NotImpressed says:

    Why do you think PPP chose Palin?

    Maybe because Sheen and Palin are both famous idiots? It wouldn’t have been fair to compare apples and racecars.

  141. filistro says:

    @GROG.. Why do you think PPP chose Palin?

    Not because she’s a woman, certainly… but because of the kind of woman she is.

    Do you seriously think PPP would have chosen Kay Bailey Hutchison for their poll? Or Olympia Snowe… even if either one was a front-runner for the nomintion?

    You always claim the media picks on Palin because she’s a woman and a Republican. The fact is, they pick on her because she’s a big-mouth and a bully. She attacks everybody, all the time… and when she’s attacked in turn, she and her Republican fanbots whine that it’s “just because she’s a woman.”

    It’s unattractive when anybody hides behind a skirt. It’s REALLY offensive when a woman does it.

  142. Mule Rider says:

    “Supply siders hate it for this reason.”

    Wow!

    Jaw-dropping ignorance….

    Defining your opponent with a ridiculous strawman. Again, go read up on Hayek/Mises and ABCT and get a real clue why many of us hate inflation…..don’t tell me why you think we hate it; go see for yourself.

    Or keep your head in the sand and continue to hold fast to your preconceived notions and wax clueless about how the world works.

  143. mclever says:

    @Mule Rider

    NotImpressed exaggerated, obviously. But the points made regarding “cheap debt” in an inflationary environment are not entirely without merit. Neither extreme is good, but there is some benefit to mild inflation (like the 3-5% range) as long as (and very importantly) wages keep up. That’s part of why greater inflation in the 80s wasn’t as painful as minor inflation feels today.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110318/ap_on_re_us/us_inflation_economy

  144. Jean says:

    I’m not sure Pawlenty could even carry Minnesota. Here’s what our local Minneapolis newspaper thinks of Timmy:

    “Also unlike Mondale and Humphrey, Pawlenty lacks a record of accomplishment strong enough to command an undeniable place in the national big leagues.

    By Republican lights, he was an acceptable governor, in that he kept DFL attempts to raise state income taxes at bay and agreed to only one significant tax increase — no, make that a fee — on his watch, on cigarettes.

    But Pawlenty’s version of no-new-taxes led to a galloping increase in local property taxes, as the state’s budget cuts led directly to increasing burdens on school districts, cities and counties. Tuition at state colleges and universities has nearly doubled since 2003.

    Pawlenty didn’t just push the state’s budget problems onto local governments. He also pushed them forward to his successors, as attests the 2012-13 state budget deficit, now pegged at one of the nation’s largest at $5 billion.

    The former governor can point to little that qualifies as the kind of cost-saving innovation that ought to go national. He combined a state agency or two, for puny savings.

    He promoted a teacher performance-improvement effort and tax breaks for business investors in selected spots in Greater Minnesota. Both programs were found in subsequent independent audits to produce little gain.”

    http://www.startribune.com/opinion/editorials/118468814.html

  145. NotImpressed,
    You’re pretty far off the mark on this one:

    Inflation is bad for lenders who get paid back with cheap money. Supply siders hate it for this reason. They’re in bed with the banks.

    Lenders don’t care one way or the other as a rule. They care about the spread between the interest rate and the inflation rate. As long as the interest rate is higher than the inflation rate, they make money. I made a killing on CDs in the early 80s, since I locked the principal in at about 15-17%, but inflation dropped into the low single digits. My spread was about 10%, which is considered very respectable for the much riskier stock market, let alone a nearly 100% guaranteed return. I, the lender, was ecstatic.

    But, moreover, banks make their money on (among other things) similar spreads. The inflation rate matters not.

    Reaganites noticed that when the government goes deeply into debt, then the people who buy government bonds (mostly the uber-rich) get a lot richer. Because they get paid all that interest on the money they loaned to the government. Then if yo cut taxes on the wealthy (particularly taxes on capital gains), they get to keep all that interest income.

    Sounds to me like you don’t play in the space of capital gains. Interest is not a capital gain, and therefore is taxed at the rate of ordinary income. The one exception is a subclass of bonds that are tax-exempt (such as municipal bonds being tax-exempt in the state of issue), but that has zero to do with the Reagan-era tax cuts.

    You basically did as bad a job projecting your beliefs of Republicans as GROG did his beliefs of Democrats. Caricatures with a foundation of fantasy.

  146. GROG says:

    fili said:

    She attacks everybody, all the time… and when she’s attacked in turn, she and her Republican fanbots whine that it’s “just because she’s a woman.”

    I don’t know that there has ever been a political figure (and her family) who has been attacked as viciously and with as much vitriol as Sarah Palin. And when she defends herself she’s accused of whining. It’s unbelievable.

    If you think she’s dumber than all the other white male Republicans, explain why. If you think she’s more conservative, explain why. If you think she’s more radical, explain why.

    If you’re unable to articulate that, then you’re unable to articulate why her gender has nothing to do with the unbalanced attacks on her by the left.

  147. msgkings says:

    Yeah, NotImpressed, you are being pretty hyperbolic. While a little inflation is probably healthy (like 2%) mainly because it means the economy is not DEflating, greater inflation is destructive to savers of all stripes, not just fat cat bankers but your grandma with her CDs. It encourages indebtedness, something this country hardly needs any more of. And as was mentioned, wages never keep pace and the average joe’s living standards drop dramatically with high inflation.

    If inflation is so groovy, then 1980s Argentina, today’s Zimbabwe, and Weimar Germany were/are all economic paradises.

    It is silly to deny the positive economic results of Reagan’s terms. The pendulum had swung far too far towards statism, and he began the swing back. Unfortunately, he also began the process of ever-increasing indebtedness in the country.

    And the pendulum swung too far by the time W got the keys.

  148. GROGg says:

    MW: You basically did as bad a job projecting your beliefs of Republicans as GROG did his beliefs of Democrats.

    You have to be more specific. I do that all the time.

  149. drfunguy says:

    @Grog
    “I don’t know that there has ever been a political figure (and her family) who has been attacked as viciously and with as much vitriol as Sarah Palin.”
    Yu must have a short memory; try William Jefferson Clinton (along with HRC and daughter Chelsea).

  150. Mule Rider says:

    Very good posts, Michael and msgkings.

  151. Mule Rider says:

    “Yu must have a short memory; try William Jefferson Clinton (along with HRC and daughter Chelsea).”

    I was a bit younger than I am now, but I do remember vividly some of the stuff said about the Clintons, and he has a point.

  152. filistro says:

    @GROG.. If you think she’s dumber than all the other white male Republicans, explain why. If you think she’s more conservative, explain why. If you think she’s more radical, explain why.

    I don’t think she’s “dumber, more conservative or more radical.” Nor did I ever say so.

    I think she’s meaner and mouthier.

    If you can direct me to a white male Republican who makes as many mean-spirited personal attacks on others as Sarah Palin does, I will cheerfully condemn him as well. But I doubt that you can.

  153. Jean says:

    And apparently Pawlenty is going to have some competition.

    “CNN is reporting this morning that U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann has decided to form a presidential exploratory committee.

    The network said Thursday that the Minnesota Republican plans to file papers for the committee in early June.

    CNN said, citing a source, that the committee’s formation could come even sooner, allowing her to participate in early Republican presidential debates. Those are in California, South Carolina and New Hampshire. Bachmann is currently in Iowa, the state whose caucuses early next year kick off the nomination process. ”

    http://www.startribune.com/politics/118575079.html

  154. GROG says:

    @fili: If you can direct me to a white male Republican who makes as many mean-spirited personal attacks on others as Sarah Palin does, I will cheerfully condemn him as well. But I doubt that you can.

    Can you me some examples of the mean-spirited personal attacks by Palin you’re talking about? Then I can go from there.

  155. Monotreme says:

    GROG asks filistro:

    Can you me some examples of the mean-spirited personal attacks by Palin you’re talking about? Then I can go from there.

    I’m not filistro, but I can field this until she comes along. I’m sure she’ll give you more, because there are plenty. Here’s a couple.

    https://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=465212788434
    Serious Questions about the Obama Administration’s Incompetence in the Wikileaks Fiasco

    Calling the President of the United States “incompetent” right up front in your headline is a mean-spirited personal attack. Has President Obama called ex-half-Gov. Palin “incompetent”? Have any of his surrogates?

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32340009/ns/health-health_care/
    Calling your political opponent “downright evil” is a mean-spirited personal attack and does nothing to advance political debate. If you like, I can try it in response to one of your comments here on the blog and you’ll see what I mean.

  156. filistro says:

    Well, GROG, just off the top of my head (I’m busy, today is my league curling day 🙂

    Nasty personal attacks by Palin;

    *Obama “pals around with terrorists”

    *personal attack on Katie Couric “the perky one”

    * personal attacks on Michelle Obama re: childhood obesity “The First Lady doesn’t want us to eat dessert” and also re: breast milk

    I don’t know another politician who so frequently attacks people on a personal level “by name”… and then she whines when she gets a bit of her own back.

  157. GROG,

    If you think she’s dumber than all the other white male Republicans, explain why. If you think she’s more conservative, explain why. If you think she’s more radical, explain why.

    More than one person has done this on this very site, and more than once. Are you ignoring this intentionally?

  158. GROG,

    You have to be more specific. I do that all the time.

    Yes you do. Consider it an all-encompassing comment.

  159. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    Palin example:

    In India, “The U.S. has a tradition of course of Americans as we travel to foreign soil we don’t criticize our President’s foreign policy — even as friendly soil as India is — I won’t criticize what his foreign policy has been. But, . . . “

    There is no “But” with that preface!!!! Stupidity AND hypocrisy in one paragraph.

    And the examples go on and on. Sorry, that is not attacking, it’s simply reporting the FACTS.

    As a comparison:

    In London, “Just so you know, we’re ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas.” – Natalie Maines

    And the Right went freakin’ NUTS!!!!!

    Ain’t got a damned thing to do with gender or minority status. Go blow that smoke up your own ass, it ain’t selling here.

  160. Yu must have a short memory; try William Jefferson Clinton (along with HRC and daughter Chelsea).

    And the Palins have yet to be accused of murder.

  161. filistro,

    I don’t think she’s “dumber, more conservative or more radical.”

    I think she’s dumber…or perhaps intellectually lazy, which is a worse sin in my book, since someone who’s truly unintelligent can’t help themselves, but someone who’s intellectually lazy chooses to be ill-informed. In either case, that ain’t someone who belongs in the White House.

  162. filistro says:

    But Michael.. GROG’s qualifier was “dumber than other Republicans.”

    🙂

  163. CNN is reporting this morning that U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann has decided to form a presidential exploratory committee.

    Perhaps it’s a good time for us to reopen her Contender article.

  164. GROG’s qualifier was “dumber than other Republicans.”

    I know you were kidding, but…yes, even with his qualifier. There are plenty of smart Republicans with whom I disagree. Newt Gingrich is many things, but dumb isn’t one of them.

  165. GROG says:

    @MW: More than one person has done this on this very site, and more than once. Are you ignoring this intentionally?

    No. I’m not intentionally ignoring it. I try to read as much I can on this site, but I admit, I’m not able to read everything. I apologize if I’m asking someone to repeat arguments already made.

  166. Mule Rider says:

    “And the Palins have yet to be accused of murder.”

    Fair point, and much of the criticism/mockery she brings on herself by putting herself on display as a correspondent for Fox or, more importantly, pimping herself out as a reality TV star, which in and of itself deserves ridicule.

    But she has been the object of some pretty nasty and unfounded attacks from the left, even if murder wasn’t one of them. I thought “Trig-gate” was pretty distasteful, for one.

  167. NotImpressed says:

    Michael: Lenders don’t care one way or the other as a rule. They care about the spread between the interest rate and the inflation rate. … But, moreover, banks make their money on (among other things) similar spreads. The inflation rate matters not.

    A fair point. I oversimplified. Nevertheless, at a set interest rate, the real income is higher with lower inflation rate. Right?

    Sounds to me like you don’t play in the space of capital gains. Interest is not a capital gain, and therefore is taxed at the rate of ordinary income.

    True enough. Good catch.

    But also, the appreciation on the value of capital must exceed the inflation rate for it to be worthwhile, right? If your capital is appreciating at 2%, but the inflation rate is 4%, you lose money. If capital is appreciating at 6%, and inflation rate is 4%, you can still lose money if the capital gains taxes are above about 33%, Right?

    You basically did as bad a job projecting your beliefs of Republicans as GROG did his beliefs of Democrats. Caricatures with a foundation of fantasy.

    And therein endeth the lesson 🙂

  168. NotImpressed says:

    @GROG
    If you think she’s dumber than all the other white male Republicans,

    Not “dumber”. I think she’s on a par with Joe Wilson or pretty much anyone from the Tea Party. But few of them are being coy about running for president. And few of them are media whores the way Palin is.

  169. GROG,
    Cliff’s Notes version, then:
    I already explained “dumber” today.
    More conservative: She’s been the darling of the Tea Party, which is widely recognized as the right wing of the party.
    More radical: Not sure what that encompasses, so I can’t speak to that one.

    Now, compare her to, say, Rand Paul, who is a match for conservative, but not for dumb. And then compare her to Bachmann, who’s also a match for conservative, but not for dumb (Bachmann wins on the “crazy” front, though). Or compare her to O’Donnell, who’s even more conservative and dumber.

    I can’t think of an example of one who’s as dumb but is a moderate conservative. I suspect such people can’t get elected.

  170. Whatevs says:

    “If you think she’s dumber than all the other white male Republicans, explain why. If you think she’s more conservative, explain why. If you think she’s more radical, explain why.”

    Dude, if you haven’t figured that one out yet, you get to join her in romper room.

  171. NotImpressed,

    Nevertheless, at a set interest rate, the real income is higher with lower inflation rate. Right?

    Right…but the two are not independent variables. Your argument treats them as if they are. In fact, your argument depends upon them being independent variables…which is why the following statement also doesn’t work:

    But also, the appreciation on the value of capital must exceed the inflation rate for it to be worthwhile, right?

    Now, granted, you are taxed on the nominal capital gains (and on nominal interest), even if you suffer a real capital loss. And, that being the case, investors have a tax benefit from lower inflation and corresponding interest rates, which is where you were going with:

    If capital is appreciating at 6%, and inflation rate is 4%, you can still lose money if the capital gains taxes are above about 33%, Right?

    But it’s a stretch to take that to a conclusion that inflation benefits lower classes.

  172. NotImpressed says:

    msgkings Yeah, NotImpressed, you are being pretty hyperbolic. While a little inflation is probably healthy (like 2%) mainly because it means the economy is not DEflating, greater inflation is destructive to savers of all stripes, not just fat cat bankers but your grandma with her CDs.

    Yes, my examples were intentionally absurd. Inflation at the rates I described are destructively silly. I wanted to provide examples only of the effect of paying a loan back with cheap money. You are right, the actual percentages of inflation I used were beyond any pale of reasonable. But it’s easiest to see if the numbers are hyperbolic.

    Nevertheless, the principle is sound. A moderate rate of inflation tends to be good for borrowers, provided the borrower’s income keeps up with (or, better, exceeds) the rate of inflation.

  173. NotImpressed,

    I wanted to provide examples only of the effect of paying a loan back with cheap money.

    What you provided is the example of the benefit of a long-term loan at a low interest rate, followed by significant inflation. Under that very specific circumstance, the borrower benefits. Yes, whoever got a 30-year mortgage in the 60s did really well on the real cost of their house in the 70s. But seriously, that’s missing the forest for the trees.

  174. GROG says:

    Michael,

    You think Palin is dumb and intellectually lazy. Fine. But still, no one has been able to articulate why you think she’s dumber and more intellectually lazy than her white male counterparts other than just saying she is. What is it that makes her dumber and more intellectually lazy?

    Something more in depth than: Dude, if you haven’t figured that one out yet, you get to join her in romper room.

    @Fili,

    “Today, John McCain put the former mayor of a town of 9,000 with zero foreign policy experience a heartbeat away from the presidency,” – Obama spokesperson intentionally ignoring the fact that she was Gov of Alaska. Attack was made the very same day McCain announced her as his running mate when she was a virtual unknown.

    “There’s no way you can dress up that record, even with a lot of lipstick.” – Obama

    “You can put lipstick on a pig,” he said. “It’s still a pig.” – Obama

    “Palin scares the hell out of me.” Ed Koch as part of his endorsement of Palin.

    They go on and on.

  175. shortchain says:

    GROG,

    Why is Sarah Palin considered intellectually lazy/dumb?

    — she knows Russia because she can see it from here bedroom window.

    — she reads “all” the papers, she just can’t specify any of them by name

    — she said she resigned as governor of Alaska so she could be “more effective”

    — her entire twitter feed.

    — oh, what the hell, just google “idiocy of Sarah Palin”. About 2,000,000 hits. Happy scrolling!

  176. GROG,

    What is it that makes her dumber and more intellectually lazy?

    A few examples of either dumb or intellectually lazy (and I can’t really tell which it is) come from her Couric interviews:
    “As Putin rears his head and comes into the air space of the United States of America, where– where do they go? It’s Alaska. It’s just right over the border.” Explaining why Alaska’s proximity to Russia gives her foreign policy experience

    “All of ’em, any of ’em that have been in front of me over all these years.” When asked to name a single newspaper or magazine she reads

    “Well, let’s see. There’s ― of course in the great history of America there have been rulings that there’s never going to be absolute consensus by every American, and there are those issues, again, like Roe v. Wade, where I believe are best held on a state level and addressed there. So, you know, going through the history of America, there would be others but ―” When asked to name just one Supreme Court decision she disagreed with other than Roe vs. Wade

    I’m not talking about mere slips of the tongue, like the “North Korea” comment. That happens to the best of them, and it does damage to people’s careers (like Allen, for example), but it’s not a sign of stupidity or intellectual laziness. I’m talking about lacking in the basic, fundamental knowledge needed by someone who intends to run this country. The President must be intellectually curious, because the President must be able to react to constantly changing circumstances. Otherwise, we don’t need a person; a computer program would do the job just fine.

    That answers what I believe to be the intent of your question. To answer the literal question, I don’t know what makes her be that way; I just see the evidence that she is that way.

  177. shortchain,

    — she knows Russia because she can see it from here bedroom window.

    You probably would do well to be able to differentiate between Sarah Palin and Tina Fey. One of them is running for President. The other is a comic actress.

  178. shortchain says:

    Wikipedia on the Austrian school of economics (von Mises, Hayek): “Austrian economists also argue that mathematical models and statistics are an unreliable means of analyzing and testing economic theory, and advocate deriving economic theory logically from basic principles of human action”

    Basically, what they’re saying is “data, shmata — I know how things really work, so there!”. I find that a tad unscientific, and I decline to bother with them until their adherents can demonstrate, via, oh, I don’t know, statistics and mathematical modeling, that their theories are anything but empty fantasies.

    Let us also note that, according to wikipedia, the findings of the Austrian school of economics have been largely rejected by the economists of today. I don’t really think a person can be called ignorant for not bothering to read material of doubtful validity.

  179. shortchain says:

    Michael,

    I saw that comment quoted as being from Sarah Palin and merely reported it. If it is in error, I regret the error.

  180. shortchain says:

    On second thought, perhaps it’s evidence in support of the assertion that Sarah Palin is either intellectually lazy or dumb as permafrost that it’s all too easy to mistake the statements by Tina Fay doing her parody for the actual statements by Sarah Palin…

  181. Mr. Universe says:

    One of them is running for President. The other is a comic actress.

    Tina Fey is running for President? Hell yeah! She get’s my vote.

  182. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    ” What is it that makes her dumber and more intellectually lazy?”

    Our mistake, GROG. We thought you were asking for more examples, as though they weren’t common as sand on South Padre Island, of her “dumbness and intellectual laziness”.

    In fact, it seems that you are asking a rhetorical/medical question.

    I urge you to retain the services of a qualified psychologist/psychiatrist for the answer to THAT one.

  183. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    And speaking of Tim Pawlenty . . .

    . . .

    . . .

    “Oh, never mind!” – Roseanne Rosannadanna

  184. Mule Rider says:

    “I find that a tad unscientific, and I decline to bother with them until their adherents can demonstrate, via, oh, I don’t know, statistics and mathematical modeling, that their theories are anything but empty fantasies.”

    It’s not that adherents to Austrian theory are anti-data/statistics, and many of its leaders have done plenty of influential work that, in fact, does employ quantitative analysis. What they have a problem with is many of the macro models that attempt to “model” human behavior with statistical measures.

    You would do well to take the next step and look up praxeology.

    Most of the “experts” who use actual data/numbers were telling us in 2005/2006 that the red-hot housing market was likely to continue well into the foreseeable future. Austrians were among the leaders in predicting a crash. And their prophetic gift hasn’t been limited to just that one market event.

    That’s why I’ve become more and more of a follower of the Austrian school. You can snipe all you want but they, at least, realize the limitations of emprical research in some instances. Plus, in my opinion, they’ve been proven right/correct in their predictions far more often than the wretched neo-Keynesian or even mainstream Friedmanite economists.

    To you and others who may put too high of a priority on the mathematical modeling of economics, remember this: statistics are like a bikini in that what they reveal is interesting but what they hide is vital.

  185. shortchain says:

    MR,

    Smart people can get correct answers using the wrong methods very easily. Anybody who has ever graded papers will know this. But give them a slightly different problem, and they’ll get it wrong using the same incorrect methods. If you want to get the right answer consistently, and know that it’s right, you have to apply mathematics. And in fuzzy areas, such as where people and their motives are concerned, that means statistics and mathematical modeling.

    Absent careful use of statistics what you are saying is that you have faith in these theories because they tell you what you want to hear. You say “they’ve been proven right more often” — which is a statistical statement, capable of being falsified. As, in fact, it has been, to the satisfaction of people capable of doing statistics.

    I have looked at “praxeology” — and it’s a load of horse manure, scientifically speaking.

  186. NotImpressed says:

    Michael, “But it’s a stretch to take that to a conclusion that inflation benefits lower classes.”

    I agree. I said that inflation can benefit borrowers (rich or poor), if their income rises at a rate faster than inflation, because they pay the loan back with cheaper money.

    I also said that lenders are not so greatly benefited, and that most lenders are in the wealthier class.

    But in general, the poor and middle class suffer when there is inflation, because wages never keep up.

  187. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    “Most of the “experts” who use actual data/numbers were telling us in 2005/2006 that the red-hot housing market was likely to continue well into the foreseeable future. “

    Feel free, please Mule, to provide quotes, with name and date, of some of the better known “experts” to which you refer. It is a well used tactic over at Faux News to start a statement with: “Some people say . . .” as a method to give credibility to the statement. Problem is, seldom do we ever learn who these “some people” are or THEIR credibility of actually be speaking on the subject. So you’ll pardon me my dose of skepticism at your use of the terminology.

  188. Mr. Universe says:

    @Mule

    It’s likely that many of us here are Keynesians and it’s also likely that leopard won’t change its spots without some specific examples.

  189. GROG says:

    Michael,

    I don’t know of any reporter who has ever asked Obama or any other male politician what magazines he reads. It would be too demeaning a question to ask a man. I can now quote all kinds of dumb things Obama has said. We’ve been through that charade before.

    Max, shortchain, and whatevs have done an excellent job illustrating the point that most on the left cannot articulate why they think Palin is dumb. They just think she is and if everyone doesn’t agree then they’re dumb too. Talk about intellectual laziness.

    My original point was that Palin doesn’t say dumber or “crazier” things than her male counterparts, yet she is attacked much more often and much more viciously than they are. Her opinions are very mainstream among conservative Republicans. The thing that makes her different, of course, is that she’s a woman.

    “UPS and FedEx are doing just fine, right? It’s the Post Office that’s always having problems.” –Obama attempting to make the case for government-run healthcare, while simultaneously undercutting his own argument, Portsmouth, N.H., Aug. 11, 2009

    “The Middle East is obviously an issue that has plagued the region for centuries.” –Obama Tampa, Fla.

    “It was also interesting to see that political interaction in Europe is not that different from the United States Senate. There’s a lot of — I don’t know what the term is in Austrian, wheeling and dealing.” –confusing German for “Austrian,” a language which does not exist, Strasbourg, France, April 6, 2009

    “No, no. I have been practicing…I bowled a 129. It’s like — it was like Special Olympics, or something.”

    “I’ve now been in 57 states — I think one left to go.”

  190. GROG says:

    Shortchain calls Sarah Palin dumb for something Tina Fey said on SNL. The irony in that statement is staggering.

  191. GROG,
    Since you seem to be suffering from a DePalman version of reading comprehension difficulty, I will reprint my earlier statement.

    I’m not talking about mere slips of the tongue, like the “North Korea” comment. That happens to the best of them, and it does damage to people’s careers (like Allen, for example), but it’s not a sign of stupidity or intellectual laziness. I’m talking about lacking in the basic, fundamental knowledge needed by someone who intends to run this country. The President must be intellectually curious, because the President must be able to react to constantly changing circumstances. Otherwise, we don’t need a person; a computer program would do the job just fine.

    The question asked of Palin with respect to what she reads was a followup, based on her clearly uninformed responses in earlier interviews. It wouldn’t occur someone to ask unless the meme of “uninformed” had already been formed.

  192. Mule Rider says:

    “It’s likely that many of us here are Keynesians and it’s also likely that leopard won’t change its spots without some specific examples.”

    CORRECTION

    “It’s likely that many of us here are Keynesians and it’s also likely that leopard won’t change its spots EVEN WITH some specific examples.”

    I have my reasons for adhering to Austrian Theory. As I said, I feel like time and again the course of events has proven them right far more often than the experts from other schools of thought. I’m not going to waste my time with examples that you’ll either ignore, explain away, or mock. If you really want to know, and this goes for Max as well, go find them yourself. To steal a phrase from you, I’m not your damn research assistant.

    “I have looked at “praxeology” — and it’s a load of horse manure, scientifically speaking.”

    You’re free to your opinion and that’s fine. But I’ll share mine as well. The crap that Paul Krugman peddles to the masses on a daily basis that he claims is intellectual insight into the workings of the economy is what’s really horse manure. But if you wanna lap it up, more power to you. The wisdom I’ve gleaned from an Austrian perspective is far more interesting and enlightening than that garbage he tries to sell, and it’s helped me be a far more successful person with a greater understanding of how markets and the economy work.

  193. NotImpressed says:

    GROG

    Please ask well-known librul and conservative woman-hater Mule Rider why he said:

    Mule Rider says:
    March 23, 2011 at 14:10

    Bottom line for me is that if the Republican nominee is Palin, Bachmann, or some other booger-eating moron of that variety, I may go pull the lever for Obama.

    Mr. Grog, I confess I’ve not heard a single progressive here refer to Palin or Bachmann as a “booger-eating moron.” It’s time to set Mule Rider straight, don’t you think?

  194. shortchain says:

    Classic GROG: pick one thing, or a very few trees to focus on, pretend the forest isn’t there.

  195. Mule Rider says:

    Since I’m a sucker and feel I have to produce something for you guys to lap up or you’ll call me a coward, a few names to look up are Peter Schiff (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2I0QN-FYkpw & http://www.thenewamerican.com/index.php/economy/economics-mainmenu-44/3323-austrian-economics-rising) and Bill Fleckenstein. Ron Paul is another one who’s been ahead of the curve more often than not.

  196. GROG says:

    Bill Maher calls Palin a “dumb twat” and not a peep from the left or the feminists. I could only imagine if Limbaugh or Beck called Pelosi or Hillary a “dumb twat”.

  197. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    ” I’m not going to waste my time with examples that you’ll either ignore, explain away, or mock.

    Translation: “I shot off my mouth and have no evidence to prove my point, so all y’all can kiss my ass.”

    Mule, if a theory can be reasonably “explained away”, do you not understand that the theory may well NOT have had much value to begin with? I do agree with you that an example SHOULD NOT be ignored or mocked on it’s face. But to counter with a reasonable argument is how ideas and theories are put to the acid test!

    Your counter of Schiff, Fleckenstein and Paul do not demonstrate your contention of “Most of the “experts” who use actual data/numbers were telling us in 2005/2006 that the red-hot housing market was likely to continue well into the foreseeable future.”, but agree with your later point of Austrian School economists.

    I note that, in the first YouTube clip of the CNBC segment, that Schiff was actually arguing counter to the GOD of supply-side economics, Art Laffer.

  198. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    GROG,

    Maher has used scatological descriptions of most EVERY politician of note. He is NOT treating Palin as something special.

  199. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    Meanwhile, back at the Pawlenty campsite:

    {snoring!!!}

    Hey folks, we don’t have to highjack the Pawlenty thread with a debate on differing economic theories. There’s so much to talk about concerning the man.

  200. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    Maher on Obama:

    “I thought when we elected a black president, we were going to get a black president. You know, this [BP oil spill] is where I want a real black president. I want him in a meeting with the BP CEOs, you know, where he lifts up his shirt, where you can see the gun in his pants. That’s — (in black man voice) ‘we’ve got a motherfu**ing problem here?‘ Shoot somebody in the foot.”

  201. Mule Rider says:

    “Translation: “I shot off my mouth and have no evidence to prove my point, so all y’all can kiss my ass.”

    WTF? No, you asked for quotes and names and I produced some. I could go dig up more instances where an Austrian proved prescient, but then somebody here could fina an instance where a Keynesian had more foresight, and it would utlimately just devolve into another dick-measuring contest. At the end of the day, we choose to believe what we want to believe and, I’d like to think, we each have at least semi-valid reasons for doing so.

  202. shortchain says:

    MR,

    I see a lot of claims that “Peter Schiff was right” — but oddly a lot of the claims seem to be from a guy named Peter Schiff. I see no statistical analysis about his correctness — it’s all anecdotal. Only one of the pieces I saw had any numerical evidence, and it was the WSJ pointing out that people who took Schiff’s advice on stocks would have taken a bath.

    This is the problem I have with the methodology of adopting a theory and then looking for anecdotes that provide evidence.

    As for Ron Paul, no, I’m sorry, that’s baloney. Like Edgar Cayce or any of the other prognosticators of that stripe, he relies on the fact that people do not weight equally data that does not conform to their biases to those that do.

    This is the same thing that GROG is doing here as regards Sarah Palin. People give him evidence, but all he does is pull a few mis-statements or errors out and then claim that there’s no preponderance of evidence, because he weighs the few pieces of evidence that agree with his bias over the multitude of pieces that disagree.

  203. Mule Rider says:

    “Your counter of Schiff, Fleckenstein and Paul do not demonstrate your contention of “Most of the “experts” who use actual data/numbers were telling us in 2005/2006 that the red-hot housing market was likely to continue well into the foreseeable future.””

    I remember watching most of the cable business shows during that time (2005/2006), and while I don’t remember who all said what at exactly, I do remember the prevailing opinions and how most of them were wrong.

    Look, there were many people spouting many different opinions, and I don’t even know where to begin to go back and produce text/video footage of everything that was said, right or wrong. If you’re that interested, be my guest, but in the words of Mr. U, I’m not your research assistant. I kindly offered a couple of instances I feel vindicate the Austrian thinkers and where they were right.

    This isn’t something one or two links of quotes is going to “prove” anything one way or another. And we know that the end result won’t be any different either. So either drop it and move on or just say you see it differently and still move on.

  204. Mule Rider says:

    shortchain,

    Dismiss the school of thought all you want….we don’t need to convince you or anyone else that refuses to believe.

    I remember a couple of years ago Austrians put up dire warnings on the dollar and saw a pending rise in gold and silver prices. People mocked, said no way it would happen, and look at what happened.

    Austrians put the word out on potential inflation while the Keynesians have mocked and cried about DEflation. The last few months have increasingly vindicated the INflation position and will continue to do so in the coming months.

    You just can’t come to grips with the fact that Keynesians are currently proving they’ve got little to no credibility in the current environment and are offering nothing more than a nasty, smelly pantload when it comes to offering anything of substance with any predictive power. They’ve been wrong for 2 years now (actually much longer) and will continue to get it wrong.

  205. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    Good try at deflection Mule. Since you seem to be selective in your reading, I’ll reprint EXACTLY what I asked for. Pay attention now.

    Max aka Birdpilot says:
    March 24, 2011 at 13:40
    Most of the “experts” who use actual data/numbers were telling us in 2005/2006 that the red-hot housing market was likely to continue well into the foreseeable future.

    Feel free, please Mule, to provide quotes, with name and date, of some of the better known “experts” to which you refer.

    So let’s hear from some of those Keynesians who were predicting “red-hot . . . well into the foreseeable future”.

  206. GROG says:

    @Mule,

    Have you noticed how when you and I comment on a thread the comments go into the hundreds? And when we don’t the comments are in the 10’s.

    Maybe we should just let them have their little echo chamber, 10-15 comment threads and all.

  207. Mule Rider says:

    And I don’t know how many supposed economic intellects on the left I’ve seen in recent years fall prey to two major fallacies. The first is the “broken window” fallacy, which many on the left still can’t seem to get around. The other is the ecological fallacy, which even Krugman fell prey to today with his ingorant sludge talking about passport ownership by state.

  208. Mule Rider says:

    Bottom line is the Left is morally and intellectually bankrupt and their follies are ruining this country.

  209. msgkings says:

    Nobody knows nothin’.

    Anyone who ‘predicted’ the recent collapse was a perma-doomer who was right for a change, like the stopped clock is occasionally. They have all continued to predict doom through this recovery now going on 2 years or so.

    Making accurate predictions about markets, interest rates, and the economy consistently over time is pretty much impossible.
    Lots of folks get a big one right, get famous for a bit, and then fade into history.

    http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2011/03/who-predicts-well.html

    http://www.amazon.com/Future-Babble-Expert-Predictions-Worthless/dp/0525952055/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1300967200&sr=8-1/marginalrevol-20

  210. shortchain says:

    MR,

    I notice that your evidence is still all anecdotal.

    I notice also that the Austrian school of financial advisors have not taken over the world, as one would expect, if their theories are better than the others.

    To offer a counter-anecdote, Paul Krugman has said for some time that it was the danger of deflation that we should beware of — he did not “predict” deflation (he’s too cagy to make such a prediction and tie it to a specific time frame, I suspect). He also predicted, quite correctly, that the stimulus package passed early in the Obama administration would be insufficient to bring us out of recession quickly. He even pointed out, correctly, that there would then be no way to pass a follow-on stimulus that would be more effective.

    Spot-on correct. And yet he’s not a believer in Austrian economics. So is he and those like him in error and just correct by accident, or is it the Austrians? Either way could be explained by the “even a blind pig can occasionally find an acorn”. I’m still waiting for some real numerical evidence.

    It’s fine to say that you are not anyone else’s research assistant, but you are the one who claimed that anyone who had not read Hayek and von Mises was “ignorant”. When asked why we should read theories that are not accepted by the preponderance of today’s economists, the argument then does not fly that you need not provide evidence to support your assertion.

  211. Mule Rider says:

    “Good try at deflection Mule.”

    How’s this for deflection, shit-for-brains?

    I’m not your ###-DAMN research assistant so if you really wanna know, GO LOOK IT UP YOURSELF!!!

    “Have you noticed how when you and I comment on a thread the comments go into the hundreds? And when we don’t the comments are in the 10′s.

    Maybe we should just let them have their little echo chamber, 10-15 comment threads and all.”

    Yeah, I have, and I’ve almost said something a time or two exactly to that effect, so thanks for bringing it up.

    These jokers (outside of folks like MW and mclever) love to put up the facade of “reasonable political discourse” where we can have honest debate here and opinions are welcomed from all sides, but they know ###-damn well that they really just love filling one of two roles, depending on the day: either the misanthropic whiner who gets to vent all manner of vitriol and venom towards conservatives and make sure everyone knows how bad and evil they think they are (and argue with any that dare challenge them) or it’s to do their usual round of navel-gazing and tell each other how brilliant and clever they are and how wonderful their ideas would make this country and the world and that nothing else, especially if it’s conservative-inspired, would work (the self-congratulatory angle).

    But, yeah, I laugh when I haven’t been on in a few days and see you and the others haven’t either and how every post is grinding just to get minimal commentary.

    They just wanna argue or gloat, that’s all. And if there’s nobody to argue with or thump their chest at, what’s the point of wasting keystrokes, right?

  212. msgkings says:

    Mule Rider wrote:

    “Bottom line is the Left is morally and intellectually bankrupt and their follies are ruining this country.”

    Which reminded me of something mclever wrote in this very long thread:

    “Exactly. In the heat of an argument on a message board or blog, people will say some pretty outlandish things. You hear all sorts of ultimatums and proclamations. Being outrageous gets attention as people vent their anger or disgust. “

  213. Whatevs says:

    Hey GROG,

    What color is the sky?

  214. Mule Rider says:

    “He also predicted, quite correctly, that the stimulus package passed early in the Obama administration would be insufficient to bring us out of recession quickly. He even pointed out, correctly, that there would then be no way to pass a follow-on stimulus that would be more effective.

    Spot-on correct.”

    Bullshit. He engaged in intellectual dishonesty with a sneaky sleight-of-hand. He basically made a heads-I-win-tails-you lose prediction.

    And to play off of your critique of my critique of Krugman, he didn’t say dogmatically that the stimulus package would be insufficient to bring us out of the recession quickly, he warned that it might not be enough. Hence the win-win. If the economy came roaring back, he could say, “See, Keynesian interventionism worked! I was a little concerned about the $ amount committed but it appears now to be sufficient to lead us to recovery….” And with a tepid recovery, as we’re having, he can go back and say, “See, I said early on that it wouldn’t be enough spending to get the economy roaring along again….”

    Bottom line: do you HONESTLY and SERIOUSLY believe that if the economy was roaring along with 5%+ GDP growth and rapidly declining unemployment, he would be offering a mea culpa along the lines of, “Wow! Guess I was wrong….I thought we needed much more spending to get the economy going but it turned out we needed much less.”

    If you think that, you follow a much different Paul Krugman than the one I know and loathe; that, and I’ve got some oceanfront property to sell you in…

  215. Whatevs says:

    “I could only imagine if Limbaugh or Beck called Pelosi or Hillary a “dumb twat”.”

    GROG, are you really this dense? Limbaugh has made a CAREER out of calling Hillary far worse!

    (predicted GROG response: “Oh yeah? find me some examples” To which my response will be “You’re kidding, right?”. To which his response will be, “See, you can’t prove that Limbaugh called Hillary names or that Sarah Palin is dumb and furthermore you lefty’s only want to pick on conservatives in your little echo chamber. I’m going home! Picks up toys and exits sandbox)

    GROG, you are trolling.

    @Not Impressed

    For the record I used ‘booger eating moron’ but I was quoting Mule. However I have plenty of other insults reserved for Palin.

  216. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    When WILL you understand, it is NOT up to the challenger to prove YOUR assertion. When you make the assertion without any supporting evidence, expect that it WILL NOT be taken as gospel and most probably challenged. Anyone with “shit-for-brains” knows that.

    “How’s this for deflection, shit-for-brains?

    I’m not your ###-DAMN research assistant so if you really wanna know, GO LOOK IT UP YOURSELF!!!

    Translation: “I thought I might slip one past y’all, but couldn’t. I STILL can’t prove my assertion, so all y’all can kiss my stubborn, mulish ass!”

    And as TPaw might say: “uh, did you say Australian School?”

  217. shortchain says:

    MR,

    What I believe or do not believe is not the issue. The fact is that Krugman warned, quite correctly, that the stimulus was insufficient. I read his column at the time and I remember quite clearly his warning.

    I notice that your heroes, including Dr. Doom (AKA Peter Schiff), also couch their predictions as indeterminate in time and fuzzy in quantity, so is hypocritical to criticize this in those you disagree with.

    Look, I’m not criticizing you personally for believing in the Austrians. As I said, what we believe is not the issue. What I want to find out is the reason for your belief. If it’s not based on statistics and mathematics, well, fine — but you’ll have to forgive me if I decline to go along with your beliefs.

    I have a problem with claiming that a particular belief is fact-based and backed up by statistics or numerical studies when it is not. In the case of Austrian economics, it would be a wonderful thing if there were statistical studies showing that economics theories (which, as I pointed out above, reject statistical and mathematical modeling) were better than other theories. Personally, I’d find that vastly entertaining.

  218. GROG says:

    @MR: But, yeah, I laugh when I haven’t been on in a few days and see you and the others haven’t either and how every post is grinding just to get minimal commentary.

    I’ve been spending most of my “blogging time” on some other liberal leaning sites which are very respectful and welcoming of conservative commentary. They’re hard to find, but they’re out there.

  219. Whatevs says:

    HA! What’d I tell you? See GROG’s post at 15:02 which I didn’t see before I composed my last post.

    Man, so predictable.

    @Mule

    I’m with you on this one. I know just enough econ from Keynes and Friedman to be dangerous. Beyond that I can’t comment on the validity of other schools of thought. Seems to me to be an agree to disagree scenario.

  220. GROG says:

    This new one, whatevs, thinks I’m a troll. Funny. Haven’t been called that on here since this site started.

  221. NotImpressed says:

    Pretty funny! the people who complain that we do not engage in “reasonable political discourse” are the ones who have degenerated to name-calling and foul language and a refuse to participate in reasoned discourse! LOL!

    We don’t call Palin a idiot because she’s a conservative, or because she’s a woman, or because she’s a conservative woman. It’s because she’s an idiot, as Mr M Rider also pointed out. I don’t think anyone here has called Kay Bailey Hutchison an idiot, or Condi Rice, or Olympia Snowe or even Ann Coulter (she’s just a feckless demon). But hey, if Mr. Grog wants to have faith in things unseen, that’s his ball of candy.

    On T-Paw, he seems to be catching on. A number of commentators on the intertubes the last couple of days have said he seems to be everyone’s least offensive second choice. What a campaign slogan! Could be a winner there. Big bumper sticker: Vote Pawlenty! He’s boring!

  222. NotImpressed says:

    Oh, and Mr. Grog, I called Palin a “media whore”. If it makes you feel better, so is Donald Trump, and Rush Limbaugh, and Mike Huckabee, and Glenn Beck. Pawlenty is getting there, but he’s really too boring for it to work.

    And I called both Sarah Palin and Joe Wilson idiots. Boehnor tries to be one, but can never quite manage it. And Eric Cantor is nearly as evil as Ann Coulter.

    I hope that helps you. It’s not just Palin that I have contempt for, and not just Republican women. So when I say bad things about Palin, please believe it is because I honestly think she has those bad attributes — not because I don’t like conservative women. Nor do I have any greater dislike for conservative women than I do for conservative men. I am perfectly happy and anxious to slander them all equally, as commensurate with their own personal qualities (or, in Pawlenty’s case, the lack thereof).

  223. GROG says:

    …are the ones who have degenerated to name-calling and foul language and a refuse to participate in reasoned discourse! LOL!

    LOL all you want. I haven’t called anyone names and I have never used foul language on here.

  224. dcpetterson says:

    GROG, I’ll speak for myself. You are always welcome anywhere I post. We disagree, sometimes passionately. But you make me think, and sometimes smile.

    Mule Rider, the same goes for you. You can be thoughtful and deep, and I’m always delighted to have you around.

  225. GROG says:

    Thanks DC. Means a lot my friend.

  226. meridian630 says:

    GROG says:
    March 24, 2011 at 14:27
    “Bill Maher calls Palin a “dumb twat” and not a peep from the left or the feminists. I could only imagine if Limbaugh or Beck called Pelosi or Hillary a “dumb twat”.”

    As usual, you are amazingly wrong. NOW just recently defended her after Maher said that.

    http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2011/03/23/slams-maher-sarah-palin-insult-chides-media-asking/

    Just to refresh our memories: The Shrilla from Wasilla’s Greatest Hits:
    1. “As Putin rears his head and comes into the air space of the United States of America, where– where do they go? It’s Alaska. It’s just right over the border.” –Sarah Palin, explaining why Alaska’s proximity to Russia gives her foreign policy experience, interview with CBS’s Katie Couric, Sept. 24, 2008

    2. “The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s ‘death panel’ so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their ‘level of productivity in society,’ whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil.” –-Sarah Palin, in a message posted on Facebook about Obama’s health care plan, Aug. 7, 2009

    3. “All of ’em, any of ’em that have been in front of me over all these years.” –Sarah Palin, unable to name a single newspaper or magazine she reads, interview with Katie Couric, CBS News, Oct. 1, 2008

    4. “Well, let’s see. There’s ― of course in the great history of America there have been rulings that there’s never going to be absolute consensus by every American, and there are those issues, again, like Roe v. Wade, where I believe are best held on a state level and addressed there. So, you know, going through the history of America, there would be others but ―” –Sarah Palin, unable to name a Supreme Court decision she disagreed with other than Roe vs. Wade, interview with Katie Couric, CBS News, Oct. 1, 2008

    5. “‘Refudiate,’ ‘misunderestimate,’ ‘wee-wee’d up.’ English is a living language. Shakespeare liked to coin new words too. Got to celebrate it!'” –a Tweet sent by Sarah Palin in response to being ridiculed for inventing the word “refudiate,” proudly mistaking her illiteracy for literary genius, July 18, 2010

    6. “But obviously, we’ve got to stand with our North Korean allies.” –Sarah Palin, after being asked how she would handle the current hostilities between the two Koreas, interview on Glenn Beck’s radio show, Nov. 24, 2010

    7. “Especially within hours of a tragedy unfolding, journalists and pundits should not manufacture a blood libel that serves only to incite the very hatred and violence they purport to condemn. That is reprehensible.” –Sarah Palin, defending her fiery campaign rhetoric in the wake of the Arizona shooting massacre by invoking a phrase (“blood libel”) that typically refers historically to the alleged murder of Christian babies by Jews, Jan. 12, 2011

    8. “We believe that the best of America is not all in Washington, D.C. … We believe that the best of America is in these small towns that we get to visit, and in these wonderful little pockets of what I call the real America, being here with all of you hard working very patriotic, um, very, um, pro-America areas of this great nation.” –Sarah Palin, speaking at a fundraiser in Greensboro, N.C., Oct. 16, 2008

    9. “We used to hustle over the border for health care we received in Canada. And I think now, isn’t that ironic?” –Sarah Palin, admitting that her family used to get treatment in Canada’s single-payer health care system, despite having demonized such government-run programs as socialized medicine that will lead to death-panel-like rationing, March 6, 2010

    10. “Ohh, good, thank you, yes.” –Sarah Palin, after a notorious Canadian prank caller complimented her on the documentary about her life, Hustler’s “Nailin Paylin,” Nov. 1, 2008
    http://politicalhumor.about.com/od/sarahpalin/a/palin-top-10.htm

  227. filistro says:

    meridian, that’s an awesome post. I was out having fun all afternoon… and you were doing research. Thank you 🙂

    Also, good catch on the NOW response. I’m sure GROG is very sorry for accusing them falsely. Aren’t you, GROG?

    As for GROG’s hypothetical… “I could only imagine if Limbaugh or Beck called Pelosi or Hillary a “dumb twat”

    I for one would be EXTREMELY offended… because Pelosi and Hillary aren’t dumb.

  228. filistro says:

    And lest you all think I’m being flippant.. not in the slightest.

    This is just another among the hundreds of examples where we are supposed to apply a different standard for Palin, and give her a special pass “because she’s a woman.” It really, truly, makes me sick.

    Palin’s fanboys offer no complaint when she makes vulgar, derogatory remarks about the president’s sexual organs. So why must we extend her such delicacy?

  229. mclever says:

    I completely agree, filistro.

    The question isn’t how many examples of Palin’s stupidity we can find. With any public figure, there will be a fair number of gaffes to post as “evidence.” The question, rather, is whether anyone can find any examples of her showing intelligence or depth of thought? Any signs that she’s actually knowledgeable and informed about the issues beyond cursory talking points?

    *crickets*

    There are plenty of intelligent, conservative women whose intellectual curiosity isn’t in doubt. Sarah Palin has never exhibited any signs that she cares to know or learn anything in any depth. That’s why we think of her as a stupid bimbo, and not because she happens to be a conservative who looks good in a skirt.

  230. Number Seven says:

    Can we make the GOP candidate produce his or her long form birth certificate???

    I havn’t read this entire thread, I just wanted to cut to the chase….

  231. GROG says:

    @Meridian,

    Yeah, NOW really made a heartfelt defense of Palin.

    She (NOW’s Lisa Bennet) also chastised the press for bothering NOW with questions about derogatory language toward women….”You’re trying to take up our time getting us to defend your friend, Sarah Palin.” Oozing with sincerity.

    @fili: Palin’s fanboys offer no complaint when she makes vulgar, derogatory remarks about the president’s sexual organs. So why must we extend her such delicacy?

    Let’s see. Palin says “cojones”.

    Contrast that with Obama making fun of the mentally disabled. Palin has a mentally disabled child. Why should she extend him such delicacy?

  232. GROG says:

    mclever: Sarah Palin has never exhibited any signs that she cares to know or learn anything in any depth.

    Neither have most politicians, Democrat or Republican. I have not defended Palin’s intelligence or lack thereof. I’ve defended her because there are many white conservative males who “have never exhibited any signs that they care to know or learn anything in depth” either. But Palin is attacked much more viciously and much more often than any Republican man.

    Commenters continue to post Palin quotes, particularly from the Couric interview in which she was unable to come up with Supreme Court rulings or refused to answer the question regarding which magazines she reads. (Couric clearly had an agenda. It was not a serious journalistic interview. It was meant to be a gotcha interview which obviously peeved Palin.) But that’s not the point. The point is that no one can show why they think she’s dumber than everyone else.

    When VP Biden says things like, ”I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that’s a storybook, man.”, why don’t you call him dumb or racist?

    Or when he says, ”You cannot go to a 7-11 or a Dunkin’ Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent…. I’m not joking.”

    Or when he said, ”When the stock market crashed, Franklin D. Roosevelt got on the television and didn’t just talk about the, you know, the princes of greed. He said, ‘Look, here’s what happened.”

    Or when Harry Reid said, ” A ‘light skinned’ African-American ”with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one.”

    Or when Harry Reid said, ”Today is a big day in America. Only 36,000 people lost their jobs today.”

    Or Nancy Pelosi, ”We have to pass the (health care) bill so you can find out what is in it.”

    Obama – “In case you missed it, this week, there was a tragedy in Kansas. Ten thousand people died — an entire town destroyed.” (12 people were killed)

    Obama – “We’re not trying to push financial reform because we begrudge success that’s fairly earned. I mean, I do think at a certain point you’ve made enough money. But, you know, part of the American way is, you know, you can just keep on making it if you’re providing a good product or providing good service. We don’t want people to stop, ah, fulfilling the core responsibilities of the financial system to help grow our economy.”

    They all say dumb things.

  233. shortchain says:

    GROG,

    We all say dumb things on occasion. I have, certainly.

    And so have you.

    For example, the idea that Palin has been attacked more frequently than, for example, Dan Quayle is patently ridiculous.

  234. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    As a further admonition to those holding up Palin being nailed repeatedly about her linguistic and mental errors “just because she’s a female conservative”, let me say one word:

    “nuculer”

    Sorry, the whole concept of “sexist” flogging of a politician is a red herring.

  235. mclever says:

    GROG,

    You’re missing the point, I think.

    First, the difference with most of the other public “idiots” who get less vitriol is that they’re not out there actively courting the attention on “reality TV”, on Twitter, and on Facebook, saying and doing things that highlight their stupidity for all the world to see. If an idiot quietly says stupid stuff to other congress critters during obscure sessions in DC, only the CSPAN addicts notice. But if the idiot shouts it from every media microphone he can find, then he’s going to get more pushback.

    Secondly, there is a big difference with the other top politicians such as Biden, Obama, Romney, GHWB, Pelosi, McCain, Boxer, Huckabee, Snowe, Gore, Dole, Clinton, Gingrich, and many others who’ve occasionally said stupid stuff that got caught on camera. The difference is that each of these people have also repeatedly shown their ability to think independently of talking points. Whether it’s in fielding questions in lengthy interviews or off-the-cuff remarks or in the bills they’ve written or the arguments they’ve made in debates, most high-level politicians have at some point demonstrated that they have a fundamental grasp of the issues. I may disagree with their conclusions, but there is evidence that they’ve examined various aspects of the issues and can sustain a reasoned argument. Not saying they are geniuses, and some of their arguments are flawed, but it’s obvious that they’re putting in the effort to learn (though sometimes after the initial foot-in-mouth). The “idiot” meme doesn’t stick on these folks, because there is evidence to counter it.

    Palin is the opposite. It’s almost as if she’s proud of her ignorance. (GWB was the same way, in my opinion.) She goes out there and repeatedly says stupid stuff without any mitigating evidence of intelligence. She says provocative, grandiose things designed to get attention. She even gets advice to sit quiet (from Ailes), and then she still goes out there and shoots her mouth off. And then whines when we call her on saying stupid stuff!

    And people like you run around crying “sexism!” on her behalf.

    No, it’s not sexism. Dan Quayle got just as much grief for his alleged stupidity (for far less-deserving reasons), and he’s probably 100 times more intellectually curious than she is. Most dim-bulbs who start getting attention for their stupidity have the good sense to go shut up for a while until they’ve learned a few things… Joe Wilson comes to mind, because he’s wisely kept silent for a while. So, not only is Palin intellectually incurious and proud of it, but she has no sense!

    My challenge remains the same as before. I don’t care how many stupid quotes anyone can post, because it’s easy to find stupid quotes from people who’ve been in the public eye for any amount of time. What I want is for someone to provide me with evidence that she is both intelligent and intellectually curious enough to handle the heavy responsibility of higher office, and that she’d be capable of learning or examining issues in sufficient depth to make an informed decision regarding any serious crisis that arises.

    So far, I’ve seen nada from her on that score.

  236. GROG says:

    Excellent post mclever. But this is where I disagree with you. The attacks on Palin began within minutes of McCain announcing her as her runing mate and she was a virtual unknown at the time, well before she was on reality TV. The attacks didn’t start weeks or months or years later. They began immediately. That’s where I think your argument doesn’t hold water.

    Obama’s first statement regarding the announcement was not to congratulate her or the GOP for running a woman VP. It was a demeaning statement regarding her being a former mayor of 9000. Why do think he left out the fact that she was a sitting Governor of a real live state at the time?

    I really don’t want to come across like I’m defending Palin. I know it looks that way, but I’m not. I’m defending convervative female Republicans. She might be a dumb bimbo. I’m not claiming to be able to point to a statement or argument she’s made that proves she’s not, other than the fact that idiot don’t successfully govern states. That’s more than Obama can say. My point from the beginning was that Palin, Angle, Bachmann, or O’Donnell aren’t any different (call them dumb if you’d like) than most other male Republicans, yet they get the brunt of the vitriol.

    Obama and his handlers have been unable to coherently explain what our mission is in Libya. And that’s the most important decision he’s ever made in his entire life.

  237. GROG,

    But this is where I disagree with you. The attacks on Palin began within minutes of McCain announcing her as her runing mate and she was a virtual unknown at the time, well before she was on reality TV. The attacks didn’t start weeks or months or years later. They began immediately. That’s where I think your argument doesn’t hold water.

    The attacks did begin immediately. I remember that, too. But perhaps you forget the content of those attacks. They were about the substance of her policies, and how she was clearly far to the right of the Republican mainstream. Nothing about how she didn’t know squat about the world and didn’t care to learn.

    Shortly thereafter, rumors started to come out (from members of the McCain campaign, no less) about her being clueless. And about how hard it was to teach her anything so that she wouldn’t sound like an idiot in an interview. And about her “cramming” for the interviews. And then…the interviews themselves happened and provided substantial supporting evidence to those rumors.

    I really don’t want to come across like I’m defending Palin. I know it looks that way, but I’m not.

    No, it doesn’t look that way. It looks as if you’re cherrypicking data to support your already-held beliefs about Democrats, primarily that Democrats are dependent upon minorities and women, and therefore are terrified of any minority or woman who isn’t a Democrat.

    But the reality doesn’t match your perception. Kay Bailey Hutchison has been a Senator since the Clinton administration, and while I very strongly disagree with her policies, I don’t think she’s a dumb bimbo. Neither does anyone else at this site (or at least they haven’t said anything to the contrary). And I have even more respect for the Maine Senators, both of whom are Republicans. Yet you choose to willfully ignore that evidence, apparently because it doesn’t fit in with your preexisting worldview.

    My point from the beginning was that Palin, Angle, Bachmann, or O’Donnell aren’t any different (call them dumb if you’d like) than most other male Republicans, yet they get the brunt of the vitriol.

    No, that’s not your point. You made it clear before what your point is (I outlined it above). And I disagree that they’re no different from most male Republicans. Most male Republicans aren’t enthusiastically embraced by the Tea Party. One male who was (Rand Paul) said some crazy stuff, but he at least had a foundation in reality behind it. He’s clearly intellectually curious.

  238. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    Angle:
    1) you know if this Congress keeps going the way it is, people are really looking toward those Second Amendment remedies
    2) “People ask me, ‘What are you going to do to develop jobs in your state?’ Well, that’s not my job as a U.S. senator.”
    3) “We needed to have the press be our friend … We wanted them to ask the questions we want to answer so that they report the news the way we want it to be reported.”

    O’Donnell:
    1) ”American scientific companies are cross-breeding humans and animals and coming up with mice with fully functioning human brains.”
    2) ”You’re telling me that’s in the First Amendment?”
    On separation of church and state
    3) ”Oh gosh. Give me a specific one … I’m very sorry right off the top of my head, I know that there are a lot but, uh, I’ll put it up on my website I promise you.”
    on SCOTUS cases she disagrees with

    Bachmann:
    1) “I find it interesting that it was back in the 1970s that the swine flu broke out under another, then under another Democrat president, Jimmy Carter. I’m not blaming this on President Obama, I just think it’s an interesting coincidence.”
    Actually it was Jerry Ford
    2) “I want people in Minnesota armed and dangerous on this issue of the energy tax because we need to fight back. ”
    3) “If we look at American history, between 1942 and 1947, the data that was collected by the Census Bureau was handed over to the FBI and other organizations at the request of President Roosevelt, and that’s how the Japanese were rounded up and put into the internment camps. I’m not saying that that’s what the Administration is planning to do, but I am saying that private personal information that was given to the Census Bureau in the 1940s was used against Americans to round them up, in a violation of their constitutional rights, and put the Japanese in internment camps.”

    Quick, gimme three sets of 3 stupid quotes as these by Hutchison, Snowe or Collins.

    Or three male Republicans as say, Lugar, L. Graham or Mark Kirk (just because he’s new, as are the ladies under discussion).

  239. Whatevs says:

    Obama and his handlers have been unable to coherently explain what our mission is in Libya.

    Okay, it’s time to blow a hole in this boatload full of bullshit. It’s been pretty clear from the get go. Go in, level the playing field (figuratively and literally), and hand it over to someone else to monitor while Libyans sort it out. I am not seeing any ambiguity. This was handled with forethought and diplomacy. Foreign policy brilliance that has left Republicans writhing in agony because they can’t take credit for it.

    My point from the beginning was that Palin, Angle, Bachmann, or O’Donnell aren’t any different (call them dumb if you’d like) than most other male Republicans

    And your point from the beginning is still wrong. At least the dumb male republicans know when NOT to open their mouths. This little clown car of dingbats you’ve listed above is the epitome of stupidity. They give conservative Republican females a bad name.

  240. Whatevs says:

    And thanks for the tacit admission that Republicans in general are just dumb.

  241. GROG says:

    @MW,

    I never said the left thinks EVERY Republican women is a dumb bimbo. I’ve said you attack the women at a much greater rate than the men. And congratulations on coming up with three whole Republican women who the left does not viciously attack.

    @whatevs:

    Obama said: “Muammar Qaddafi has lost the legitimacy to lead and he must leave.”

    Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen confirmed that Gadhafi may remain in power indefinitely.

    National Security Council staffer Ben Rhodes said, “It’s not about regime change.”

    Huh? Which is it? Regime change or no regime change? It went from “Qaddafi must go” to “leveling the playing field”?

    Clear as mud.

    Where has he coherently explained how putting our finest in harms way is in our national interest?

    Candidate Obama said in 2007, “It is always preferable to have the informed consent of Congress prior to any military action.” Instead Congress heard the Obama announcement while he was in Rio, along with the rest of the nation.

  242. Whatevs says:

    GROG

    Oh, so you support genocide in Benghazi. Gotcha. Good to Know. President Obama acted with unilateral international support, waited until the Arab League was on board, let the French lead the way. If he had waited for Republicans in Congress use their stalling tactics designed to discredit President Obama at any cost, Benghazi would have been a killing field. The President acted within the law and you, sir, have just took a crap on any moral high ground you had left.

    Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen confirmed that Gadhafi may remain in power indefinitely.

    Mullen said that it was “one possible outcome”. I don’t think anyone really believes that will be the outcome but that’s kind of up the the Libyans.

    Obama said: “Muammar Qaddafi has lost the legitimacy to lead and he must leave.”

    He didn’t say WE were going to remove him, did he? Admit it, there is NOTHING, I REPEAT NOTHING, that Obama could ever say that will satisfy you. We get it. You hate him. Now shut the front door!

    And add Nikki Haley to the list of sane conservative females. There: four for four.

    Dude, I can keep making you look like a fool all day long. Just keep sticking your fingers in your ears and sing ‘LALALALALALA’ .

    Frankly, I’m done trying to teach pigs to sing.

  243. msgkings says:

    GROG, do you share the trait Bart DePalma has of never being able to credit the other side, especially Obama, for anything at all? Your last couple of posts really seem to be willfully ‘unfair’, basically tone deaf to any nuance or advanced understanding.

    Obama’s far from perfect but be honest with yourself, has he really handled Libya that badly? Really? Has he done anything you’d have a problem with a Republican doing?

    And you don’t really see anything about Sarah Palin that might draw the kind of attention she receives? Specific to her? Do you understand the term ‘lightning rod’?

    It’s a free country and even a free blog, so obviously you can keep going this way, but it’s seems really partisan, at least these arguments you are espousing do. And I’m not in love with Obama, or the Dems.

  244. GROG says:

    I don’t disagree with our military involvement in Libya. I never said I did.

    But I think Obama and the administration have handled it very poorly. They haven’t been able to coherently articulate exactly what our mission is there, which is pretty important.

    If the President of the United States publicly says that the leader of a nation is no longer legitimate and must leave, and then proceeds to use military force against that nation, then that leader must go. And if the mission changed from that original statement, he needs to explain what our new mission is and how it affects our national interests.

    And not only did he not have the “informed consent of Congress”, he didn’t even inform Congress of our intentions, and he had weeks to do so. If he had done so, we could have instituted a no fly zone much earlier which could possibly have led to less military action now.

  245. msgkings says:

    I assume this response means you are conceding the Palin point.

    And I see some merit in your argument re Obama handling of Libya. The consent stuff is just Obama playing politics (bashing Bush for it, then doing it himself). He’s a politician like any other. But on a scale of 1-10 (10 best), how would you say he’s handled this one? I’d give him a 7.

    And I get the feeling if Bush had handled it identically you’d give HIM a 7. Tough to prove, like any counterfactual.

    How you you rate Bush’s handling of Iraq?

  246. GROG says:

    At this point into the two wars, Libya and Iraq, Bush had full support of Congress and the American people. Obama has neither.

    Gallup shows support for the War in Libya at 47%. In March of 2003 support for the Iraq War was 75%.

    I’ll give Obama a 5. Sure France and GB are in, but the vast majority of military personnel in Libya are American. Do we know who the rebels are that we’re fighting for? Are they better than Qadaffi? What happens if and when Qadaffi is gone? Do we have an exit strategy? There are a lot of unanswered questions.

    I really believe a lot of this could have been avoided if we had acted sooner.

  247. msgkings says:

    GROG, c’mon. How much of American support for Iraq was based on lies (as the left would say) or flat out mistakes (as the right would)?

    And if you give Obama a 5 we aren’t that far apart. What if the goal has nothing to do with Qaddafi and it was just to prevent a total humanitarian disaster (the rebels wholesale slaughter)?

    I think (posted in another thread) we’ll end up with perhaps a split country, and the east will be led by a group that, while not perfect, would have to be better than cuckoo for cocoa puffs in the west.

    And the oil will keep flowing no matter what happens. Whoever ends up in charge of things will need those $.

  248. dcpetterson says:

    GROG, I respectfully disagree with you completely.

    At this point into the two wars, Libya and Iraq, Bush had full support of Congress and the American people. Obama has neither.

    But either Bush lied, or he was terribly mistaken. So having taken Congress and the American people with him was either criminal, or a horrible mistake. So I don’t think that’s a good argument to make. The question is more, Is it the right thing to do? than Have we had an effective ad campaign?

    Gallup shows support for the War in Libya at 47%. In March of 2003 support for the Iraq War was 75%.

    I’m more interested, in both cases, in how history views it.

    Sure France and GB are in, but the vast majority of military personnel in Libya are American.

    There are no American military boots on the ground in Libya.

    Do we know who the rebels are that we’re fighting for?

    We’re not fighting for the rebels. The no-fly zone has been established to prevent the murder of civilians.

    Are they better than Qadaffi?

    Doesn’t matter. We’re not in it for them.

    What happens if and when Qadaffi is gone?

    That’s up to the Libyan people.

    Do we have an exit strategy?

    Yes.

    There are a lot of unanswered questions.

    Actually, no, there aren’t. The Administration has been very clear on all these questions. See above.

    I really believe a lot of this could have been avoided if we had acted sooner.

    Why? You claim there are “unanswered questions.” Were your questions answered a couple weeks ago, but not now? You complained that Congress and the American public weren’t brought along — were they in favor of action a couple weeks ago, but not now?

    It seems to me that the statement that we should have “acted sooner” is in contradiction to the things you feel are wrong now. THat being the case, it seems to me that you’re objecting, not for any rational reason, but simply because Obama is doing it.

  249. GROG says:

    There are no American military boots on the ground in Libya.

    True, (I mispoke) but the vast majority of cruise missile bombings have been carried out by the US and today the US carried out the majority of all sorties.

    We’re not fighting for the rebels. The no-fly zone has been established to prevent the murder of civilians.

    Correct, we’re not fighting for the rebels but we’re certainly fighting with them.

    What happens if and when Qadaffi is gone?

    That’s up to the Libyan people.

    So we’re going to go into a foreign country, possibly create more unrest and complete chaos, leave and say “It’s up to you now Libya. Good luck to you.”?

    Do we have an exit strategy?

    Yes.

    What is it?

    There are a lot of unanswered questions.

    Actually, no, there aren’t. The Administration has been very clear on all these questions. See above.

    I disagree that they have been very clear on all these questions. And there are many liberal Democrats who disagree with you as well.

    It seems to me that the statement that we should have “acted sooner” is in contradiction to the things you feel are wrong now.

    If we had “acted sooner” by enforcing the no fly zone several weeks ago, the rebels had a great chance of overthrowing Qadaffi themselves. At that time the rebels had Qadaffi on the ropes. They had momentum. They were on the verge of overthrowing him. Now we’re in a full military operation and it will be us and our allies who will be ultimately overthrowing the Libyan government. Big difference.

    Hey, I support the President 100%. We should be in there preventing genocide. I told you the other day that that’s why this is a completely different situation from Egypt, remember?

    I wish we had done things differently, but we can’t change that now. I hope we’re there for a very short time, restore order, and can get out quickly. I pray that I’m wrong and it will turn out that the President did everything exactly right.

  250. dcpetterson says:

    the vast majority of cruise missile bombings have been carried out by the US and today the US carried out the majority of all sorties.

    True. We’ve operated in coordination with a coalition to whom we will, within a few days, turn over the responsibility for the operation.

    Correct, we’re not fighting for the rebels but we’re certainly fighting with them.

    Not quite. We’re preventing Gadaffi from committing genocide. We’ve taken out his air force, and France is taking out his tanks. We have not allied with the rebels. We’ve prevented genocide. I think it’s an important distinction. You are free to disagree.

    So we’re going to go into a foreign country, possibly create more unrest and complete chaos, leave and say “It’s up to you now Libya. Good luck to you.”?

    That’s not the way I would express it. The Libyan people have a right of self-determination, as any people do. We are insuring Gadaffi does not take away that right, through mass murder.

    Do we have an exit strategy?
    Yes.
    What is it?

    The international coalition will enforce a no-fly zone, and will, mostly through air power, prevent armored vehicles from shelling civilians. That is the extent of the U.N. involvement. The U.S. actions will rapidly decline, since our primary mission (nullifying the Libyan air force) has already been accomplished.

    I disagree that they have been very clear on all these questions. And there are many liberal Democrats who disagree with you as well.

    I’m not sure what your point here is. The Administration has clearly stated its goals, and is clearly following its stated procedure. If someone else does not acknowledge this, that’s not my problem.

    If we had “acted sooner” by enforcing the no fly zone several weeks ago, the rebels had a great chance of overthrowing Qadaffi themselves.

    I’m not sure that’s true. but playing “what could have been” games is seldom productive, since we don’t live in the universe in which different actions were taken; therefore, we can’t know, for certain, what would have happened. In any case, the action could not have happened before it did, because the coalition did not exist before it existed. That we acted in concert with, and with the approval of, most of the rest of the world, matters a great deal. American unilateralism has proven to be a great mistake. See Bush.

    Now we’re in a full military operation and it will be us and our allies who will be ultimately overthrowing the Libyan government.

    No, it isn’t a “full military operation.” We are supplying limited air power, along with intelligence (spy planes and such), nothing more. It will not be “us and our allies … overthrowing the Libyan government,” because the only thing the coalition will do is enforce the no-fly and (mostly through French actions) neuter the tanks.

    Hey, I support the President 100%. We should be in there preventing genocide. I told you the other day that that’s why this is a completely different situation from Egypt, remember?

    Indeed I do. We’re cool,

    I wish we had done things differently, but we can’t change that now. I hope we’re there for a very short time, restore order, and can get out quickly. I pray that I’m wrong and it will turn out that the President did everything exactly right.

    I agree with you. I think our only real difference is in our assessment of the likelihood of a reasonable outcome.

  251. GROG says:

    American unilateralism has proven to be a great mistake. See Bush.

    If you’re talking about Iraq, we had 30 coalition partners in Iraq (and approval of Congress). We hardly went in unilaterally.

    But that’s a different discussion. Like I said, I’m part of the 47% that supports the operation, but I fear your explanation of our exit strategy is bit simplified and optimistic. I pray I’m wrong Raghida Derham is wrong and you’re right, though.

    From HuffPo yesterday.

    “The coalition participating in imposing a no-fly zone over Libya, as well as the one that may get involved in Yemen, seems to have neither a clear exit strategy in the event of a protracted confrontation, nor an exit strategy to incite the leaders entrenched in their seat of power and refusing to step down. The absence of such a strategy will most likely lead to further bloodshed and devastation in the countries the coalition says it seeks to save from tyrannical rule, in support of democracy and reform. What is also lacking here is the rather crucial popular awareness of the costs of what may come after victory, so as for the shock of bitter reality not to tear apart the fabric of the new assembly emerging from the bliss of liberation.”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/raghida-dergham/an-exit-strategy-for-the-_b_840962.html

  252. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    leave and say “It’s up to you now Libya. Good luck to you.”?

    You mean, kinda like France did with America in 1783?

    Now THAT was a real cockup, now wasn’t it? Those Frenchies!!!!!

  253. Pingback: Pawlenty on Obama: ‘You can’t be pro-job and anti-business. That’s like being pro-egg and anti-chicken.’ « Start Thinking Right

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s