Monday, September 24, 2007


You know what's pathetic? The fact that Mitt Romney said this in Michigan a couple of days ago:

...he says he's going to move "In God We Trust" to the front of the new dollar coins instead of the side.

And this:

"I'll make sure that our future is defined not by the letters ACLU, but by the letters USA."

Somewhere in hell, Lee Atwater is smiling.

Because you know what's even more pathetic? After saying this, Romney went on to win a GOP straw poll in Michigan:

Ex-Gov. Mitt Romney won the Michigan Republican Leadership Conference straw poll, receiving 39 % of the 979 votes cast....

Lots of people are chuckling over Romney's rhetoric. (That's true even on the right: On that second point, an American Spectator blogger wrote, "If 'ACLU' and 'USA' share two letters should we rename our country 'S' to avoid confusion?").

But I would be utterly un-amazed if Romney hones this line (perhaps by melodramatically holding up the coin in question and explaining the horrific defilement of God that's taken place) and actually starts getting a good response to it.

And I would be further un-amazed if the GOP played six degrees of separation and found some tenuous connection between Hillary Clinton and whoever decided to put "In God We Trust" on the edges of the new dollar coins -- maybe he/she was hired when Bill was president -- and then actually managed to get Richard Cohen and David Broder and David Brooks and Sally "On Faith" Quinn to use this as a launching pad for days of pundit finger-wagging about how George McGovern and George Soros and the netroots and MoveOn members in Birkenstock jackboots have brought about the forced secularization of the Democratic Party. Or something like that.

Of course, maybe Romney won the straw poll not because of this stirring rhetoric, but because of his fat bankroll:

...he paid for many volunteers to attend, perhaps as many as 200....

(Am I reading that right? There were 979 voters and he paid expenses for 200? Did he pay one out of every five voters to show up?)

But the big story here might really be the order of finish of the also-rans:

McCain was second with 27%; and Paul and Giuliani finishing a distant 3rd and 4th (they barely broke 10%).

Wow -- maybe McCain really is making a comeback, and maybe Giuliani's deviations from Correct GOP Thinking really are starting to hurt him. Or maybe Michigan is a gun-lovin' state and this was a vote that took place precisely when voters had just had Giuliani's history of difficulties with the NRA pointed out to them. (That phone call from Judi surely didn't help either.) It could all be temporary for Rudy: McCain sank in the polls when immigration was in the headlines, and now he's apparently bouncing back. When this week is forgotten, Rudy might do better.

Or maybe not. And Ron Paul -- third? Ahead of Giuliani? Is that a sign of things to come, or did an unusually large number of Buchananites show up?

And Fred Thompson was at 7%? Yikes.

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