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Mitt Romney split screen image—Romney grimacing at Romney
And if he does get specific, which Mitt are you going to trust?
Leading conservatives are offering blunt advice to Mitt Romney: Quit ducking details, start engaging in a real and specific war of ideas with President Barack Obama — or lose.
And Salon's Steve Kornacki points out that while attacks on Romney's lack of specificity are nothing new, those attacks have typically come from Democrats. Now that they are coming from his own party, it's bad news.
The griping from his fellow Republicans is problematic for Romney because it reinforces and amplifies the media scrutiny and partisan attacks he’s already dealing with. When casual voters perceive criticisms of a candidate to be coming from his own party, they’re more likely to regard the criticisms as legitimate, and not just typical campaign season noise.
All this is true: Romney is coming under fire from fellow Republicans for not being sufficiently specific, and these attacks do reinforce preexisting story lines about Romney's lack of core beliefs. But I don't believe for a second that Romney's Republican critics actually care about whether and to what extent he offers specific policy proposals. Instead, they care about establishing a narrative to explain his defeat—a narrative that places the blame for that defeat squarely on his shoulders.

For professional conservatives, the only thing more important than winning the 2012 presidential election is not getting blamed for losing it. And as much as they might be disappointed by a Romney defeat this November, the thing that would actually crush their souls would be if Romney were to lose and their ideas were assigned the blame. Better to throw him under the bus now, even if it means he's less likely to win, than to suffer that fate.

The thing that makes this so obvious is that it's only now that the Romney is confronting an avalanche of criticism from his side over policy specifics. When he proposed a tax plan they refused to offer any specifics about how it would accomplish its goals, he won their praise. When he proposed a budget plan without detailing any specifics about what it do in practice, he won their praise. When he rejected Newt Gingrich's Bain attacks by questioning Newt's commitment to capitalism instead of defending the specifics of Bain, he won their praise. When he gave his nomination clinching speech without even mentioning he had once been governor of Massachusetts, he won their praise.

With the notable exception of his support for Paul Ryan's voucher care plan, Romney has been running a supremely vague campaign from the get go. But it's only now that he's losing that conservatives are making a stink about it. The reason is obvious: When Mitt Romney loses, conservative ideologues will say the reason Romney lost is that he didn't talk enough about their ideas and that he didn't do it with enough specificity, and they want be able to say they told him so. The irony is that the one conservative idea about which Mitt Romney has been most specific—voucher care—is also his biggest policy liability.

The big risk here for conservatives is the possibility that Romney will take their advice. If he calls their bluff and starts being more specific about conservative policy proposals across a broader range of issues, it will change the dynamics of the race. He'll lose by even more.

Originally posted to The Jed Report on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 09:33 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  He's telling all sides of his party to trust him, (24+ / 0-)

    but lo and behold they're not all that stupid!

    "I was a big supporter of waterboarding" - Dick Cheney 2/14/10

    by Bob Love on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 09:37:29 AM PDT

    •  Yesterday there was a video clip of Ryan (31+ / 0-)

      saying that he didn't want to give specific examples of which tax loopholes Romney/Ryan would close because Romney/Ryan had decided that they didn't want to have the debate behind closed doors, they wanted to have it in public with Congress.  And I thought, wait a minute, isn't a presidential campaign public?  

      The answer of course, is that Romney only wants to get specific after it's too late for voters to against him.  

    •  The LAST thing they want (6+ / 0-)

      I think for conservatives, including Romney and Ryan themselves, the very last thing they want is for the Romney team to present more specifics of their plans.

      Those plans are toxic to the vast majority of Americans: tax cuts for the wealthy, give-aways for corporations, cuts to Medicare, ending rights for workers, more debt, ending contraceptive and abortions, etc.  If voters were to know the full details of a Romney administration, few would vote for him.

      From the beginning, Romney has run his campaign saying as little as possible to the voters about his plans.  This is not a mistake, it is his strategy to gain the WH.

      I think the conservative pundits know this as well.  So I agree with the author that the conservative pundits are most likely positioning themselves for a possible Romney loss.

      I also think it is still going to be a very close race, and we have yet to get that basket of eggs to market.  The "yolk" could still well be on us.

      "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

      by Hugh Jim Bissell on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 10:25:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Agree Scape Goating Romney but disagree about ... (0+ / 0-)

        ... it being close.  Obama wins going away, why do you think they are scape goating Romney?  The Republicans know Obama is going to win and probably win big, that is why we are seeing all these Republicans starting to criticize Romney, to make sure the "death stench" doesn't get on them.

        Poor man wants to be rich. Rich man wants to king. And the king ain't satisifed until he rules everything. B.Springsteen

        by howd on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 12:07:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I hope you are correct (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          I hope you are correct about an easy win.

          I'm expecting a very close race.  And I am also expecting a "November suprise" - like a disputed vote count, recounts, allegations of fraud, election decided by the court, etc.  

          I will not be suprised (fearful yes, suprised no) if the election outcome is still in doubt on Nov. 7th.

          "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

          by Hugh Jim Bissell on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 12:20:36 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  What™ ideas? (15+ / 0-)

    I don't know™...

    Third Base!

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

    by JeffW on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 09:41:01 AM PDT

  •  Poor Republicans (17+ / 0-)

    They keep nominating candidates they don't really like.

    Obamacare! OMG! Socialism in the US! Time to move to Canada.

    by asm121 on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 10:02:53 AM PDT

  •  Mitt Romney... (13+ / 0-)

    Death Stench - he has it.

    “An imbalance between rich and poor is the oldest and most fatal ailment of all republics.” - Plutarch

    by RichM on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 10:03:35 AM PDT

  •   Alfred E. Romney "What, Me Specific?"/nt (10+ / 0-)

    Don't roof rack me bro', Now the brown's comin' down; Präsidentenelf-maßschach; "Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) "Ensanguining the skies...Falls the remorseful day".政治委员, 政委‽ Warning - some snark above ‽

    by annieli on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 10:03:53 AM PDT

  •  They don't want him to run on the Ryan budget (23+ / 0-)

    no matter how much they profess fealty to it. They know if they ran on it they'd lose 35 states. That's why Paul Ryan is happy to run away from his own budget. Because he will be able to say "I should have demanded Romney accept my budget as the price of me being on the ticket!"

    They just want to make the argument to their base that ROMNEY lost them the election rather than their own ideas.

  •  They know he's telling the truth they can see it (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Voodoo king, koNko, thomask, TomP, mchestnutjr

    The 1st Amendment gives you the right to say stupid things, the 1st Amendment doesn't guarantee a paycheck to say stupid things.

    by JML9999 on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 10:05:12 AM PDT

  •  Woo Hoo! (9+ / 0-)
    If he calls their bluff and starts being more specific about conservative policy proposals across a broader range of issues, it will change the dynamics of the race. He'll lose be even more.
    YAY losing more! (And takes those other losers with you!)

    The Spice must Flow!

    by Texdude50 on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 10:05:19 AM PDT

  •  Politico has an article discussing Newsmax (21+ / 0-)

    a right wing site that basically went off on Romney.  The telling item from that article is that Newsmax cited a GOP operative telling them that Romney can't win in Ohio and won't win in Virginia.

    It helps that both states have unemployment rates below the national average, and that allows Obama's convention argument that he has the ship turned around in the right direction to have a bigger impact on the electorate.

    That's a big reason why the jobs report doesn't have the impact that the punditry thinks.  The recovery is uneven, but is better in a lot of battleground states than other states.

    There was also another article in the Chicago Tribune about working class southern whites and their decidedly negative views of Romney.  More are considering voting for Obama and others just not enthusiastic about Romney because of his religion and his wealth.  The CNN poll clearly showed an enthusiasm gap in the Democrats' favor.  This could mean a victory in places like VA closer to 8 points because if Romney can't get a max turnout and vote from rural VA, he simply has nowhere else to go to compete.

    Key thing for Obama:  Stay on message, relentlessly.  Limit interviews where one can get into trouble; have a solid debate performance; and keep talking about the middle class.

    Alternative rock with something to say:

    by khyber900 on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 10:07:17 AM PDT

    •  Romney paling around (0+ / 0-)

      with Pat Roberson and Steve King, and talking about keeping God on coins, at this stage of the race, says it all about his lingering (festering) problems with his base.

    •  Obama cannot win VA by 8 points (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      even if he does. Infact I don't see him winning any battle state by that much....just being grounded in reality...

      This could mean a victory in places like VA closer to 8 points because if Romney can't get a max turnout and vote from rural VA, he simply has nowhere else to go to compete.

      "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross." Sinclair Lewis, 1935 --Talk of foresight--

      by tuma on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 11:48:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  These critics are those who are willing to (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    koNko, thomask, howd

    admit in public that they see the writing on the wall.

    Instead, they care about establishing a narrative to explain his defeat—a narrative that places the blame for that defeat squarely on his shoulders.

    For professional conservatives, the only thing more important than winning the 2012 presidential election is not getting blamed for losing it.

    These critics will be able to later say, I saw Romney and Ryan blowing it, and I told you so.  [Attempting to reassure their constituents, I'm honest, you can trust me now.]
    •  I wonder how many of these (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LilithGardener, Sue B

      are in fact hired "consultants" who are just trying to make sure they can claim they predicted this, and are therefore even more valuable for gigs with the next candidate. We tend to forget how much of politic is a simple struggle among mercenaries.

      Remember what happened when we turned the country over to that dumbass rich kid? So now we're thinking about doing it again? Really?

      by DaveW on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 10:32:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The Romney - New Coinage (0+ / 0-)

    I think it's a new coinage at least.

    We've all heard
    1. Rmoney - obvious but wearing thin
    2. Robme - newer and still funny
    3. Willard - his name after all
    4. Willard the Rat - cf. 3
    5. Mitt, Mitty, Mitster

    Oh, but wait! This is the internets, the tubes, obviously there's a website. Forthwith, the nicknames for Willard Mitt Romney. Rosy Palm??? Thanks to Jed for the morning Front Page twofer and the new The Romney.

    A (1)
    American Borat

    B (4)
    Bain in the Ass
    Below Average
    Big Data - (Star Trek reference)
    Book of Moron - (Young Turks)

    C (6)
    Captain AmerCIA
    Captain Chucklebuns - (Jon Stewart)
    Decepticon - (Young Turks)
    Ditto Dubya, or Dubya Ditto
    Empty Suit

    F (13)
    Fancy Cheesebag - (in prep school)
    Fee-Fee - (fees instead of taxes - as Massachusetts gov.)
    Flip-Flop Mitt
    Flip-Flop Romney
    Flip Romney
    Flip Willard
    Gutless Wonder - (
    Javelin - (secret service) (father's company Amer. Motors)
    King of Bain - (Newt Gingrich)
    Lord of the Rings - (Olympics)

    M (23)
    Magic Undies - (Young Turks)
    Massachusetts Mauler
    Mega Millions Jackpot - (wife Ann)
    Meh Romney
    Mighty Mormon Power Ranger
    Mitt Rotney - (Maxine Waters)
    Mitt the Ripper
    Mitt the Sh@t
    Mitt the Twit - (The Sun of London - Murdoch)
    Mittler - (LGBT community)
    Mittsy Bainer - (ref. to Mitzi Gaynor)
    More Money - (at Bain)
    Mr. 1%
    Mr. Ego
    Mr. Roboto - (in high school)
    Multiple Choice Mitt - (will say whatever)
    Multiple Mitt
    Mute Romney - (
    Myth Romney

    N (11)
    Nacho Romney
    Nit Wit Mitt - (teksyndicate)
    Nowhere Man - (The London Times - Murdoch)
    Obama Lite
    Pac-Man - (Young Turks) (Political Action Committees)
    Pander bear
    Phony Bologna
    Pink Slip

    R (9)
    R Money - (Romney misspelled)
    Robmoney - (while Massachusetts governor)
    Robocorp - (Young Turks)
    Romney Hood - (President Obama - Robin Hood in reverse)
    Romneygeddon - (Yahoo)
    Romnuts - (David Letterman)
    Roof Doggy Dog
    Rosy Palm

    S (3)
    Serial Killer - ("corporations are people")
    Sh*t Romney
    Slick Dancing Mitt - (Massachusetts)

    T (10)
    The Early Front-runner
    The Job Cremator
    The Lie
    The Massachusettes Marxist - (village voice)
    The Mormonator - (David Letterman)
    The Terminator - (at Bain)
    The Waffle
    The Weasel - (
    Tin Man - (no heart)
    Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy

    W (4)
    Waffles - (first I say this, then I say that)
    Weather Vane - (constantly changing direction)
    Willard - (from the rat movie)
    Yugo - (dad was "Rambler" - American Motors)

    Time is an enormous, long river, and I’m standing in it, just as you’re standing in it. My elders are the tributaries, and everything they thought and every struggle they went through & everything they gave their lives to flows down to me-Utah Phillips

    by TerryDarc on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 10:08:09 AM PDT

  •  God on coins thats his idea (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ckntfld, Vico, AlyoshaKaramazov

    "Rick Perry talks a lot and he's not very bright. And that's a combination I like in Republicans." --- James Carville

    by LaurenMonica on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 10:08:41 AM PDT

  •  Romney is a trojan horse candidate (7+ / 0-)

    Their only alternative is to for Romney to present himself as a gift and savior of the current economic mess. Once elected, Republicans will unleash their policies on a sleeping nation.

    The Ryan pick was a 'wink' to the Republican base of what will happen after the election.

    The push for Romney to release policy specifics is coming from the same people who thought Romney should release more of his tax returns. It carries little weight and is unlikely to change anything.

    While some Republicans would like nothing more than to showcase all of their wonderful ideas, the political operatives know it is a losing proposition with the electorate.

  •  Wrong. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sue B

    Conservatives not only believe that Rmoney has core principles, but that he shares their core principles.

    Which is to say that conservatives are delusional.

    How else do you explain conservatives' meme that the Arch-Criminal Barack Obama sits in the Oval Office like Lex Luthor, wringing his hands and cackling with devilish glee as he hatches his next plot to bring Amerikkka to its knees?

  •  specifics? We don't need no stinkin' specifics (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Egalitare, DaveW, Sue B

    80 % of success is showing up

    so SHOW UP on election day

    by Churchill on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 10:09:41 AM PDT

    •  That's the problem. The specifics stink. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Churchill, cybersaur, howd, Sue B

      If they hide the specifics, they lose.

      If they show the specifics, they lose worse.

      Their shit stinketh, and they knoweth.

      “No, Mitt, corporations are not people. People have hearts, they have kids, they get jobs, they get sick, they love, they cry, they dance, they live and they die. Learn the difference.”-- Elizabeth Warren

      by Positronicus on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 10:25:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Specifics teach voters the philosophy (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        of the Republican party.  This is good having the media push this for non-political junkies. Voters really don't know what is at the base of each party.  This would help us in this election and future elections.  

        Here's hoping President Obama at the debates brings out their philosophy at all debates and have Romney defend it.

        Do not adjust your mind, there is a flaw in reality.

        by Shrew in Shrewsbury on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 10:59:31 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Not likely he'll listen to them— (4+ / 0-)

    Romney's the guy who fired his debate coach after he helped him turn in his best performance—but I hope he does. The ideas of the "conservatives" barely have enough substance to fall under the definition of "ideas," and those that make the cut are demonstrably wrongheaded. The best thing for the nation would be to have an actual policy debate so the seditious nonsense of the neocons (who demonstrably loathe democracy) can be exposed and discarded.

  •  talking issues is a bad idea for Romney and (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    earicicle, cybersaur

    Republicans in general.  They've made their living spouting off generalities like, Socialism!, 'cut taxes', and 'drown the government.'  If they had to actually talk about their proposals and what affect they would have, they would loose half their supporters because they aren't winning positions.  They have to keep it to what fits on a bumper sticker.

  •  snappy ? conclusion (0+ / 0-)

    >He'll lose be even more.<

    Come again? Proofread, please.

  •  UK Tories disdain GOP (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Tories may regret their disdain of Romney

    This op-ed paints Cameron's Tories as enthralled with Obama and disdain today's GOP for many of the same reasons we do.

  •  But getting specific is even worse for Willard! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    earicicle, cybersaur

    That's why he's been vague.  

    He doesn't want anyone to know what his plans really are, if he has any plans.

    He just figured America would "fire" Obama and elect him because he was the only alternative on the ballot.

    Specific policies could only screw that up, right?

  •  Romney's dilemma (6+ / 0-)

    Bill Clinton spelled out very clearly why Romney will not reveal the details of his plans.  Either the numbers do not add up, or the numbers can be made to add up only by adding to the tax burden on the middle class while slashing spending on programs that most people like.  It really is that simple.  Romney's critics on the right see nothing wrong with the latter option and want their candidate to own it.  If he is to go down to defeat, then he should at least go down with the ship.  

    The far righties are fanatics who don't worry much about being blamed for Romney's defeat.  The truth is that they don't like him and will cast all of the blame on him for being insufficiently conservative.

  •  Positioning to blame Mitt, not GOP ideas, for loss (5+ / 0-)

    has been the strategy of smart GOP elites since January.   They've been keepig thier distance, giving tepid endorsements, and now give advice to Mitt they KNOW he won't follow.

    We believe in citizenship.

    by Inland on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 10:18:52 AM PDT

  •  has everyone forgotten? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    romney cannot keep his tax returns hidden and win in november...cannot

    Colorado has a much higher GDP than Utah because it is culturally superior

    by memofromturner on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 10:19:16 AM PDT

  •  Romney understands that (0+ / 0-)

    if he gets into repug specifics, many folks will be turned off. Repug specifics do tend to be friendly to his peers,  but not so much to the undecided middle and lower class.  His base, while generally unhappy with his "leftest tendencies", would still vote for him if all he did between now and November would be to stand in a corner and drool diarrhea.  But if he offers policy specifics that do what he really wants to do, help his peers, lots of undecided will see that he is willing to hurt, or at best risk causing sever pain to, the unaffluent.

    These capitalists generally act harmoniously and in concert, to fleece the people... -Abraham Lincoln

    by HugoDog on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 10:19:19 AM PDT

  •  Time for him to admit (0+ / 0-)

    He has a terminal wedgie and go to the emergency room for treatment.  
    I'm sure it's covered by his Swiss health insurance.

    What about my Daughter's future?

    by koNko on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 10:19:29 AM PDT

  •  Why hasn't the Obama campaign tied (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Thomas Twinnings

    the lack of specificity to the tax loopholes and tax reform
    to the fact that we haven't seen Romney's taxes yet?

    I like Michelle more than Barack.

    by duha on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 10:21:05 AM PDT

  •  if he gets more specific (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    they'll just blame his likeability, and use that to spin a narrative that voters chose Obama's charm over Mitt/GOP substance.

    when he loses, it will be his fault and his alone. and his biggest fans will be the first to tell you that they were saying this all along.

  •  He must be more specific to have any chance... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    but he won't be.

    The one thing he's proven beyond a shadow of a doubt in this race is that he's not going to take advice from any of the back seat drivers in the republican party.

    And he's not going to start now.

    For one, he's terrified of the base.

    Secondly, the guy is gutless. He has not taken even one opportunity to show that he has a mind of his own on any issue. Whenever he does veer off script, his campaign minders send out a "correction" within minutes to clarify "what he really meant to say".

    The big risk here for conservatives is the possibility that Romney will take their advice. If he calls their bluff and starts being more specific about conservative policy proposals across a broader range of issues, it will change the dynamics of the race. He'll lose by even more.
    The above quote is correct only if he gets specific and reflects what the base position is.

    If he actually staked out some "gutsier" positions, like the one he uttered by mistake about keeping the pre-existing condition portion of ACA intact, then maybe, just maybe he'd get some indy's to listen to him.

    Barring that, forget about it.

    "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!"

    by jkay on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 10:25:44 AM PDT

  •  An alternative reason for the criticism (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    is simpler: they really think he's losing because he's not laying out wingnut economic theology. These are true believers we're talking about here. They really believe in this Aynal garbage. When you think about it, what else are they going to say except that Romney's not doing better because he has failed to communicate the Great Miracle Cure.

    Problem is, he chose the craziest Aynal  extremist to place a heartbeat away from the Oval Office, so nobody's going to buy any claim that he's too "moderate". What we're seeing is the dissolution of the frankensteinish patch job that was the Republican Party.

    Remember what happened when we turned the country over to that dumbass rich kid? So now we're thinking about doing it again? Really?

    by DaveW on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 10:26:33 AM PDT

  •  at debates - Obama on the deficit (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BRog, AlyoshaKaramazov, Dave460

    -You say you want to cut the deficit by cutting government programs. Which ones? Tell us governor

    -You also say you would merge or abolish some government departments. Which ones? Tell us governor.

    -You say you'd get rid of  deductions in taxes
    Which ones? Tell us governor.

    -You say your budget cannot be scored. How does someone have a budget that cannot be scored? How is that a budget if it can't be scored? Tell us governor.

    ...this should do it. The goal is to leave with something that sticks, easily repeatable.

    "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross." Sinclair Lewis, 1935 --Talk of foresight--

    by tuma on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 10:29:05 AM PDT

  •  Specifics will skewer Romney and Ryan. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Specifics of what will be cut or cutback to achieve their "principles" will make the sky-is-falling debt crisis rhetoric pale in comparison to the reaction of the middle class to the details.

    When you gut domestic programs but keep away the military budget where it is, people notice ... and start to compare.

    The Romney no-tax-cuts-for-the-rich pledge plus his promise to reduce tax rates will fill the political sky with fireworks from all the veted interess who fought for those preferences, deductions and credits in the first place. That's why there are no specifics.

    Obama and strong Democratic majorities in 2012!

    by TRPChicago on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 10:29:10 AM PDT

  •  I remember (0+ / 0-)

    When I was reading my mother excerpts of his speech on the way home from work one time, she immediately said "This guy has absolutely no specifics to offer on anything."

  •  sidebar: food stamps (0+ / 0-)
    Although the reliance of about 1/6 Americans on food stamps is not ideal, the slowed growth in number of Americans using food stamps should not be ignored. During Obama’s term, the increase in food stamp use lowered from 23 percent to 3 percent growth.

    This shows that, despite the increases due to social acceptability and higher rates of eligibility, the use of food stamps is not a trend based solely on ease of access and misuse of SNAP. In fact, the average person on food stamps leaves the program after about nine months.

    And although Newt Gingrich has dubbed Obama the “best food stamp president” in U.S. history, if you look back to before the recession, you will find that during Bush’s administration, food stamp usage began its rise with the 2002 farm bill.

    So, in effect, if you wish to cast responsibility of all economic changes in the last four years on Obama, as conservatives seem to nowadays, Obama is responsible for slowing down a trend that began six years before his presidency, not for aggravating one.

    2012: It’s a choice between a country where the middle class pays more so that millionaires can pay less—or a country where everybody pays their fair share. ~ San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro

    by anyname on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 10:32:53 AM PDT

  •  This is why the down-ticket races matter (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marinero, BRog

    If Romney loses but the Republicans do well elsewhere, then it was all Romney's fault he didn't win. If Republicans get voted out en masse, then it's an indictment of the party's ideology, which will be impossible to positively spin.

  •  Excellent insight Jed. (0+ / 0-)

    Just like when their forced austerity and economic shock doctrines fail horribly around the world as they have for decadeds. It's not their fault, it just wasnt implemented strongly enough. At least that's their typical defense. Truth is they know damned well that their policies are severely flawed and that they will lose every time when their agenda is clearly articulated to voters. so what we get are vaguarities and promises of jobs, jobs, jobs...while ALEC quietly crafts legislation for them to enact into law after the elections. Their method is a gross injustice to the citizens and the idea of democracy but hey, it does make them very wealthy.

  •  The long-knives are out (0+ / 0-)


    Well, that explains why the TradMedia is suddenly (quite suddenly) pushing Romney and Ryan for those details.  I mean, they're actually practicing journalism lately.

    "A squid eating dough in a polyethylene bag is fast and me?" - Don Van Vliet

    by AlyoshaKaramazov on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 10:37:32 AM PDT

  •  Romney and Ryan decide to shoot voters in the face (0+ / 0-)

    Not really. Well, sorta really.

  •  Inept and Inadequate: Bull Destroys Own China Shop (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Doing everything he can to remain unelectable.  Is it unintentionally intentional?  At the same time he's making the Republican Party descend into a chaotic mess.

    We are witnesses to the destruction of the Republican Party from within. The question is, what will take its place?

    Two new parties; one made up of the 25% of Republicans who self-identify as Tea Party types; the other made up of recognizably reasonable people on the right?

    Or something else entirely?

    Readers & Book Lovers Pull up a chair! You're never too old to be a Meta Groupie

    by Limelite on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 10:40:53 AM PDT

  •  At this point, the only Honorable thing available (0+ / 0-)

    for Mitt Romney to do is grab hold of the conservatives and the Tea Party and bring them down.

    Notice: This Comment © 2012 ROGNM

    by ROGNM on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 10:48:44 AM PDT

  •  Realism has been left behind. No one can fix that. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BRog, LakeSuperior

    How are you supposed to appeal to people who have left reality behind?

    A: You can't and you won't.

    How can any party try to solve a problem if they won't even address the facts of the problems and manage them realistically?

    A: Their only answers are to increase defense spending, cut taxes on people who don't need a tax cut, increase taxes on those who can least manage paying, de-regulate business further allowing even more harm from business as the cost of public health all for private profit, and of course, they want to privatize whatever they can in order to further reduce government in the name of private corporate profits.

    Magical thinking shakes all of these things up and out spills higher revenues and better government in their mind, but the reality is it will hurt the American People.

    They make the mess, Democrats clean it up. Democrats can't clean up their mess fast enough, they want back in and claim the very actions they took before won't produce the same results.

    You can not work with these people until they choose rational thought based problem solving, over private greed and profit.

    -6.38, -6.21: Lamented and assured to the lights and towns below, Faster than the speed of sound, Faster than we thought we'd go, Beneath the sound of hope...

    by Vayle on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 10:50:55 AM PDT

  •  Of course they don't (0+ / 0-)

    People like Sheldon Adelson has a lot to gain by Romney winning this election,,,,

    Headline news at Huff:

    Sheldon Adelson Stands To Get $2 Billion Tax Cut If Mitt Romney Is Elected:

    As one blogger so eloquently put it:

    When are we going to be able to start calling these campaign "donations," bribes?

    •  A $2B tax cut is Adelson's upside. If Romney is (0+ / 0-)

      elected, Adelson also likely avoids a significant downside: possible fine and imprisonment under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

      In December 2008, the largest criminal fine in an FCPA enforcement action – $450 million – was imposed against Siemens and 3 subsidiaries

      In April 2010, "Charles Paul Edward Jumet of Fluvanna County, Va., was sentenced ... to 87 months in prison for paying bribes to former Panamanian government officials to secure maritime contracts, in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), and for making a false statement to federal agents."

      We must drive the special interests out of politics.… There can be no effective control of corporations while their political activity remains. To put an end to it will neither be a short not an easy task, but it can be done. -- Teddy Roosevelt

      by NoMoJoe on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 11:27:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  He absolutely cannot release specifics, (0+ / 0-)

    not just because he would have to identify politically unpopular policies. It's also because in a world in which addition and subtraction continue to function in the way they have in the past, his budget claims are mathematically impossible. They are fraudulent. A fantasy.

    Take it away Prof. Krugman

          ...his proposals don’t add up. He literally can’t do what he says he would do, namely cut tax rates on the rich without raising the tax burden on the middle class or making the deficit surge; nor can he propose spending cuts as large as he claims without cutting deeply into programs people depend on.

    Another way of saying this, of course, is that his alleged budget plan is actually a fraud.

  •  I predict that he will do that exact thing (0+ / 0-)

    And then another double back flip.

    You can't take the sky from me!

    by wrights on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 11:14:13 AM PDT

  •  Conservatism can never fail. Only you can fail (0+ / 0-)


    The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy;the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness

    by CTMET on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 11:15:27 AM PDT

  •  Mitt's leveraged buyout of the GOP (0+ / 0-)
    For professional conservatives, the only thing more important than winning the 2012 presidential election is not getting blamed for losing it. And as much as they might be disappointed by a Romney defeat this November, the thing that would actually crush their souls would be if Romney were to lose and their ideas were assigned the blame. Better to throw him under the bus now, even if it means he's less likely to win, than to suffer that fate.
    By making Ryan the VP pick, and spending much of the first couple of weeks proclaiming that their budgets and approaches to government were similar if not the same, Mitt has taken the GOP and their ideas hostage.  If Mitt loses, he's going to blame it on:
    1) A rejection of Supply Side theories (not his fault)
    2) Failure of the GOP  - including Congressional candidates, the Tea Party and RWNJ radio hosts - to fully back him and his darling running mate (not his fault)
    3) Lies about his business background by the administration and the press (not his fault)

    Mitt is going to make sure that this loss is not stuck on him, those professional conservatives are right to be worried.  Mitt is not one to take blame, and if he has to bring down the GOP to make himself look good, so what.

    I haven't been here long enough to be considered a Kossack, does that mean that I'm just a sack?

    by Hey338Too on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 11:25:50 AM PDT

  •  Axelrod, Rove, Carville, Atwater, Rollins, Jordon (0+ / 0-)

    Somehow I don't think Romney's team will be among these Presidential campaign management success stories.

  •  Obama's campaign needs to quote conservatives (0+ / 0-)

    in ads against Romney.  "This is what his own party says about him..."  

    Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right. I'm riding for MS in September. Please donate here if you can.

    by darthstar on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 11:41:37 AM PDT

  •  Third option. (0+ / 0-)

    With news like this and the recent story about how many white southerners are uncomfortable with a rich Mormon, I'd like to see a conserted effort from our liberal media elite to convince Rebuplican voter that they have a third option.. STAY HOME!

  •  Romney has to be vague (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    because the policies he stands for are unpopular.  So you are right that he would be in even deeper trouble if he says exactly what he plans to do.  Romney counted on saying that he's not Obama would be enough.  That won't cut it either.  So, he is a jam.  That is why you get these  "word salad" type of answers from him.

    "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Rianne Eisler

    by noofsh on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 01:05:52 PM PDT

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