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Intro: "Almost everyone agrees that Romney locked up the nomination after his Illinois blowout. Why is no one in the GOP celebrating beyond Mitt's wife and sons?"

Mitt Romney invites parody. (photo: unknown)
Mitt Romney invites parody. (photo: unknown)

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+30 # davidr 2012-03-22 08:27
And Romney is the best they've got! His problem isn't merely that he's wooden, nor that he is manifestly disjunct from ordinary voters. It isn't just that he has no fixed beliefs on any matter of public policy, nor that he has a business record replete with shady borrowing, bankruptcies, pension stripping, plant closures and job losses. It isn't only that he offshores his gains and advocates for a huge reduction in his own tax rate. It isn't that he wants to get rid of Planned Parenthood, and it isn't that his handlers think of him as an Etch-a-Sketch. His real problem is that he's not a moderate, nor anything else. He doesn't have what is required of moderation: a disciplined set of beliefs, acute awareness of self and situation, and aplomb. A true moderate couldn't be nominated by the Republicans — and won't be.
 
 
+3 # steve98052 2012-03-22 20:32
The biggest risks are:

1. The fact that most swing voters are also low-information voters. Anyone who is paying attention already knows who they're voting for. Low-information voters have a very short memory, or weren't paying attention. If they weren't paying attention before, they won't see the flip-flops unless advertising shoves it into their faces.

2. The fact that the Republicans are doing a very good job of restricting access to the ballot box in a lot of states. The more successful their vote-suppressio n is, the better Romney's chances are.

3. Although the economy is improving, it could stall again. What matters to a lot of swing voters is their perception of which way the economy is moving, or more accurately, which way the parts that affect them are moving -- even though the president doesn't have much influence on it, except on a slower time scale. If the economy looks at least mildly positive into October, Romney might as well go back to taking over companies and looting them into bankruptcy. If the economy falls into another ditch, he'll have a chance.
 
 
+24 # genierae 2012-03-22 08:34
It's almost like the Republicans are committing political suicide, I can't figure out what their plan is. They keep handing Democrats one gift after another, and they lie constantly, barefaced lies that are obvious falsehoods, what in the world is going on? Could it be that karma has finally caught up with them? If so they better fasten their seat-belts, it's going to be a very bumpy ride. What a treat for progressives!
 
 
+14 # giraffee2012 2012-03-22 10:44
Quoting genierae:
It's almost like the Republicans are committing political suicide, I can't figure out what their plan is. They keep handing Democrats one gift after another, and they lie constantly, barefaced lies that are obvious falsehoods, what in the world is going on? Could it be that karma has finally caught up with them? If so they better fasten their seat-belts, it's going to be a very bumpy ride. What a treat for progressives!

Other than Rachael + Frank + comedians - the Dems are QUIET!

Too many people watch FAUX - get out and VOTE: DEMOCRATIC local/national/
 
 
+6 # jon 2012-03-22 15:13
"It's almost like the Republicans are committing political suicide, I can't figure out what their plan is"

The most logical "plan" is that they plan to steal the election, someway or another. It will be interesting to see how they do it, because I am convinced that is their ultimate "plan".

Why else would they have such an obviously, otherwise un-electable field?
 
 
+3 # steve98052 2012-03-22 20:40
Although Republicans may look like they're committing political suicide, they don't think of it that way. They're stuck in their Fox News world, where ideas like privatizing Social Security and Medicare, banning contraception, starting another war, balancing the budget on the backs of the middle class, and so forth seem like good ideas. In that fictional world, where crazy ideas are discussed like they're things that most people want, they're doing exactly what they should to win.

The problem is that the Fox News crazy world isn't the same as the real world. It's a part of the actual voting population, and even a majority in some states, but it's not going to add up to a winning collection of electoral votes -- unless the economy self-destructs, the Republicans intentionally break the economy without getting caught at the game, or the Obama campaign massively screws up.

The economy is hard to predict, but we know from the first time around that Obama really knows how to campaign, so that's the least likely way he'll lose.
 
 
+1 # vertglnt 2012-03-24 16:51
As for the rise the Republcans are constantly telling, that all to their benefir. The BSA (Benighted States of America) public is to ignorant and/or supid to see through them. I think the late Josef Goebbels promulgated the doctrine that any lie, the more outrageous the better, will be believed by the public, if repeated enough.
If one can control the "framing" of the political discourse, then lies will be believed as if they are unexamined axioms. One important example now is the use of the word "entitlement" to imply something akin to welfare, and we all know no one deserves to receive that!
Expecially not black, Cadillac-drivin g welfare queens! The whole right-wing surge is based on only two things: (1) the force of money in politics, which benefits the 1%, and (2) racism, which appeals to the racists in the hinterlands. Do I believe in American Exceptionalism? You Bet? We are exceptionally stupid.

Lee Kefauver
Newton MA
 
 
+10 # dick 2012-03-22 08:51
I think the GOP & general public may warm up to Mitt a lot more than some expect. He has been vetted, inoculated. He doesn't have to debate much. We will see him mostly in John Wayne-Ronald Reagan (where's the hat) ads. Gaffs & missteps are mostly for left leaning late night TV watches & closed 'net loops. The most important thing to consider is his ability, as a one-time Pro-Choice, Romneycare MA Gov, to come from well behind & win key states like Mich & Ohio (& ILL?) in a very short time. Do not misunderestimat e him. Remember W in 2004. Romney has billions of citizens united on his side; money talks. What looks hokey to the left may look ok to others. Hopefully, Obama will have for US an October Surprise, Wall St. indictments.
 
 
+27 # genierae 2012-03-22 09:19
You forget, dick, that Romney just signed on to the Ryan budget, and that includes privatizing Medicare, and cutting Social Security, and basically putting the burden of this bad economy squarely on the backs of the poor and middle classes, while giving huge tax cuts to the richest among us. The Obama team will use this wall-to-wall in their campaign. The American people are not going to allow their social safety net to be shredded, and I think it will guarantee that Obama will gain reelection.
 
 
+14 # giraffee2012 2012-03-22 10:39
Whatever Romney signs - he'll just "shake the "etch-a-sketch" and he will be against it.

Romney is fodder for all comedians - from Letterman - to Bill Mayer and all in-between (Dog, etch-a-sketch, trees right height... there is nothing he says that turns into a joke)

The only worry is the FAUX (etc) spin of the GOP.

VOTE - 2012 VOTE - Obama.
 
 
-2 # vertglnt 2012-03-24 16:58
It's always futuristic wishful thinking. If Obama and is election advisors were alive, they'd be doing it NOW! The fact that thery are not doing it now, indicates that thaey are asleep and will probably not do it in the future. After all, that would be conflict, which is anathema to Obama.
 
 
+7 # bugbuster 2012-03-22 09:54
You're right, don't underestimate the Romney campaign, and I would add, don't underestimate the Obama campaign either. This election could be a campaign managers' shootout like we have never seen. Punch, counterpunch, thrust, parry, all of it, and the stakes are high.

One big wildcard is the Democratic base, or at least what would be the Democratic base if it knew what was good for it. We have seen a lot of petulance and political naivete posted here and elsewhere in the name of leftist political philosophy. Let us hope it is at least matched by its mirror image on the far right.
 
 
+8 # reiverpacific 2012-03-22 09:12
Let's face it, ALL of the current reactionary wannabe's are ripe for parody. So what's new?
Ob' may not be every lefty's dream but he has at least demonstrated a certain fairly ready sense of humor and forbearance in the face of all the gut-bucket excrement thrown at him constantly for the bulk of his term from those who have nothing concrete to propose but a bunch of tired ol' clichés. (maybe we should rename them the "T.O.P" [Tired Old Party], what)
I wonder if M.R. will start seeming more faux-liberal in the run up or if he'll tie himself in knots trying to appeal to the reactionary wing of the Re-puggled Party and the seemingly increasingly discredited Tea-Buggers.
Should be an interesting if torturous spectacle indeed.
 
 
+2 # vertglnt 2012-03-24 17:12
I wish every commentator to RSN stories would stop letting the far-right frame the discussion by using "GOP (Grand Old Party)". Call them rabid far right, reactionaries, even Repuplicans, but, please, not "Grand".
The reactionaries have distributed list of words and expressions that their brethern should not use and what to use instead. For example "pro-life" instead of "anti-abortion" ", baby killers instead of abortion providers, death tax instead of inheritance tax, etc. I bet a little Google research would turn up several of the lengthy lists. The newest trick is to turn the word "entitlement" into something shameful, like welfare.
Many people I know say something like, "Social Security is NOT an entitlement, I earned it." Well, if you earned it, you have a right to it, that is the same as saying that you are entitled to it, which is the same as saying that it is an entitlement, nothing to be ashamed of. Not that welfare is anything to be ashamed of either, esp. in this faltering economy which is being suppressed by the right wing as a means of defeating Obama, because our stupid electorate doesn't have the least understanding of economics, esp. the fact that a president, of either the right or the middle (there is no left) has very little influence on it.

Lee Kefauver
Newton, MA
 
 
+18 # dick 2012-03-22 09:13
Bain Capital may not be the bane of his campaign. Americans elect patricians who don't know the cost of bread or milk. Among the far right, anti-Obama racism will outweigh anti-Mormon sentiment. The non-red voters of Penn, Ohio, & Wis elected stranger GOPers than Mitt. THAT is worrisome. This may be the demographic last hurrah of the OLD White Racists, but they seem to realize that & will probably mobilize against Obama, Michelle, & the girls. Virginia's no guarantee. PACs will swiftboat Dems. On the other hand, WHO is Mitt going to pick for a running mate who will make a difference? Absent Jesus, I don't see a savior (sorry) out there for Romney.
 
 
+14 # grouchy 2012-03-22 09:47
Now to see if the Dems remain too stupid to take
these points and run with them. Their tradition is to just sit there, hands folded in laps, heads bowed, and whimper.
 
 
0 # giraffee2012 2012-03-22 10:40
Quoting grouchy:
Now to see if the Dems remain too stupid to take
these points and run with them. Their tradition is to just sit there, hands folded in laps, heads bowed, and whimper.

Makes me wonder how much the Dems sleep in the GOP beds
 
 
+17 # NOMINAE 2012-03-22 10:17
The GOP is running a batch of occupants from a clown car because, due to the preeminence of corporate control, it no longer matters who (or what) is the sitting POTUS.

On a recent Jon Stewart episode his guest was Grover Norquist. Jon raised the issue of "presidential quality" candidates, and Norquist responded to the effect that the GOP does not *need* a compelling candidate. In his own words, Norquist informs Stewart that all the GOP *needs* is a President who will sign the GOP legislation placed before him (or, one presumes, her).

So, straight from the mouth of the de facto (along with Rove and the Rushmeister) leader of the Republican party. They don't even pretend to play the "democracy" game anymore.

Now Wall Street and the corporations literally write their own laws and the "in-pocket" legislators simply sign and shill for them.

No mystery remains in how it is possible for semi-literate functionaries to hold down such one-time-high-r anking jobs. It's no big deal when all one need do is be (hopefully) telegenic, spout the "daily talking points" generated by the Heritage Institute, and know how to sign your own name. The rest is taken care of for you.

Dems are equivalent - just "quieter" about it.

The Norquist interview is still available on Stewart's website.
 
 
+7 # bugbuster 2012-03-22 10:26
Norquist underestimates the power of POTUS's ego, whoever that might be. It's at least as big as his. Nobody endures being a candidate for POTUS unless they want it really really bad. And why would anyone want it that bad? Ego. Norquist has no clue about that. All he has to do is pontificate and act smart and write a bunch of bs. He's not POTUS material and has no clue about it.
 
 
+11 # stonecutter 2012-03-22 10:26
Kudos to Frank Rich for rippin' Romney another one...keep 'em comin', Frank. Kudos to Rachel for flouting the Euphemism Code of TV Journalism last night, and labeling Mitt for what he is: an effing bald-faced liar and world-class cynic, hiding behind that uber-pretentiou s, animatronic mask of wooden, self-righteous virtue. He makes Richard Nixon exciting.
I'm so looking forward to election night, watching this boob go down in flames, along with any hope for majorities in the Senate and the House.
 
 
+12 # Billy Bob 2012-03-22 10:44
"It’s hard to understand for those of us outside the conservative bubble why this moment is regarded as so apocalyptic or historic."

I've joked about it but many of them really to buy into the "end times" hysteria. For them, everything is a sign (except possible actual signs like global warming). Their "left behind" mythology wants a 3rd world war and it wants it to involve Islam and it wants the anti-Christ to be a popular (but not to them) President who is good with words.

The GOP base is alone sitting in its bunker, cocked and loaded with only these suicidal fantasies to keep it company.
 
 
+5 # bugbuster 2012-03-22 12:02
A dear friend of mine, Jim, subscribes to the "end times" notion, the birther thing, fundamentalism, and all of it. He is a complicated man and much more than just his funny ideas. One is even surprised to learn that he believes it all.

It's like the sad mother of a certain schizophrenic young man: people only know his illness, they don't know and appreciate him for his other qualities. She tries in vain to uphold his good name and make people know that he is more than this illness which has invaded him only since he became a young man.

Maybe some wing nuts will snap out it, maybe not. They are still real, three-dimension al people. Most, like Jim, would never ever hurt anyone.
 
 
+6 # tswhiskers 2012-03-22 12:01
So this is what happens when a party has absolutely no platform: you harry women with a strong anti-abortion stance, you blame gas hikes on the President (you can't offend oil companies or the hedge funds that have bid oil prices up), you lie about the state of the economy and the improvements that Obama has made to it, you propose (and re-propose) economic plans that will stiff the middle and lower classes and keep the wealthy happy. The Republicans have a serious problem and they created it all by themselves. I think they could nominate Lincoln and they wouldn't win this year's election,
 
 
+10 # bugbuster 2012-03-22 12:10
Maybe they should nominate Lincoln. Does the Constitution say that the President has to be alive?
 
 
+2 # Cactusman 2012-03-22 23:00
No, just that he has to be at least 35 years old. Lincoln is what, about 200 years old? He could rerun!
 
 
+1 # steve98052 2012-03-23 09:31
Problem is, since he's dead, the vice presidential candidate would assume office instead. Since Lincoln was a Republican (not that he'd recognize today's party), the VP would probably be a Republican too. Oops!
 
 
+8 # lcarrier 2012-03-22 16:58
T.S. Eliot wrote about the "hollow men." Willard "Mittens" Romney is one of those, all surface and no core.
 
 
+4 # KittatinyHawk 2012-03-22 18:07
Romney should have been arrested for animal cruelty, still could be. Let him be put in a cage, driven to the tar pits, roped down to the top of vehicle!

Time these people all join the Colony with Newt.
 
 
+1 # MindDoc 2012-03-23 17:11
" pure wood and bereft of a message " - IMHO, that's it, at 'gut level'. Not that that's always been a disqualifier :-)
 
 
+1 # vertglnt 2012-03-24 16:39
"Since Obama tried in good faith to negotiate serious reform for Medicare and the other entitlements, only to be rebuffed by the Party of No, he can ram Ryan’s schemes down the GOP’s throat this fall with a clear conscience."
This, and many other far right obscenities should be rammed down their throats DAILY, STARTING NOW, not in the fall. The BSA (Benighted States of America) public is so ignorant and so inattentive to anything which isn't trivial entertainment, that it will take an estended campaign of ramming and yelling to even get their attention.
 

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