Wednesday, July 18, 2012


This, as reported by BuzzFeed's McKay Coppins, seems crazy:
How The Romney Campaign Decided To Take The Gloves Off

Surrogates will bring up cocaine, Fast and Furious, and ties to Blagojevich, one aide says...

... facing what the candidate and his aides believe to be a series of surprisingly ruthless, unfounded, and unfair attacks from the Obama campaign on Romney's finances and business record, the Republican's campaign is now prepared to go eye for an eye in an intense, no-holds-barred act of political reprisal, said two Romney advisers who spoke on condition of anonymity....

"I mean, this is a guy who admitted to cocaine use, had a sweetheart deal with his house in Chicago, and was associated and worked with Rod Blagojevich to get Valerie Jarrett appointed to the Senate," the adviser said. "The bottom line is there'll be counterattacks."

... Romney surrogates will place increased emphasis in coming days on the "Fast and Furious" gun-running scandal at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, hoping to drag the story back into the headlines, and highlight questions about the the Obama campaign's transparency, the Romney adviser said....
OK, a few thoughts.

First of all, I don't believe for a minute that Romney -- who, as the story notes, used to concede that Obama is a "nice guy" -- suddenly decided to get down and dirty because Obama was so gosh-darn mean to him. This is pure spin, fed to a reporter who's clearly willing to retransmit spin unedited. (That "surprisingly ruthless, unfounded, and unfair attacks" bit is a tell.)

What Romney is really doing -- as I've been saying for days -- is trying to placate his rabid base, and also his big donors, who may be zillionaires but are still angry old white male cranks who constantly watch Fox News just like all the other angry old white male cranks in America.

The base and the donors just can't believe that all these timeworn lines of attack are unpersuasive to swing voters -- Valerie Jarrett and Fast and Furious make their blood boil, so surely the rest of the public must feel the same way, right? The public just doesn't know! It's because Obama wasn't vetted! The lie-beral media didn't do its job four years ago!

This is the Breitbart strategy -- Breitbart is now running Romney's campaign from beyond the grave.

I don't know if Romney's going to go full Breitbart -- which would mean going racial whenever possible (Jeremiah Wright, New Black Panthers, et cetera). I suspect the Romney people aren't that stupid. But at the very least they've decided that if they aren't going to win, at least no one's going to be able to say that they lost because Romney didn't run as a "true conservative." (This attack-dog craziness is, after all, what it means to be a "true conservative" these days.)

But Romney can't win that battle except by winning. If he wins the election, they'll say it was because he ran as a "true conservative," no matter what he's said or done. If he loses -- even if he's gone birther and picked Joe Arpaio as his running mate -- they'll say it was because he was RINO squish.


debg said...

"I suspect the Romney people aren't that stupid."

I'm not so sure. As ABL and others at Balloon Juice have pointed out, we're just moments away from a ni-CLANG moment. Sununu's a campaign surrogate, after all. And if the campaign pays attention to Limbaugh's and Malkin's ratings, for recent vile comments, it could tip the balance.

Ten Bears said...

Steve, we haven't talked about a brokered convention in several weeks. With the "presumptive candidacy" imploding as spectacularly as each of the primary contests do you think it might be time to pick that conversation up again?

I'm sticking with - brokered convention or no - we are witnessing in painfully slow real time the well deserved demise of the republican party.

Steve M. said...

The Obama-Romney polls are still pretty much neck-and-neck. They're not going to dump Mitt as long as that's the case (and I think they'd have a hell of a time dumping him if he starts seriously slipping in the polls -- he's an ex-CEO and his lawyers can beat up any anti-Romney contingent's lawyers).

Victor said...

The real problem is:

Desperation call for malice.

Mitt's plans are not anything that he can spell out to people who aren't part of the Conservative base - it'll scare the FECKIN' HELL out of them!

"You want to lower taxes on the richest, raise them on us, drastically change, cut, or eliminate SS, Medicare, Medicaid, AND STILL LEAVE TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN DEBT! ARE YOU FECKIN' INSANE?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!"

So, this will now become the dirtiest campaign the R's have ever run.
The "N-word's" coming!
Maybe even AT their Convention!!!

All Obama needs to do is stay above the fray, keep hitting Mitt on Bain, his wealth, and his hidden tax returns and off-shore accounts.

I'd also include video of John McCain calming that lunatic woman at a Town Hall Meeting in ads around the country.
The one where he said:
"He's a decent family man that I happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues," McCain said, to scant approval.
"There's a difference between rhetoric and record, but you can still be respectful," McCain said to one questioner. "I will point out his record and I will do it with respect."

And at the end of the ad, I'd ask, "If John McCain can do that, why can't Mitt Romney?"

clearskies said...

I happen to be an angry old white crank, and I can't stand Fox News. And get off my lawn.

The New York Crank said...

For whatever it's worth, I love the idea of Willard picking Joe Arpaio as his running mate. The circus just doesn't come to town often enough.

Crankily yours,
The New York Crank

Anil Petra said...

it's not going eye-for-eye, it's going toe-to-toe.

the attacks by obama and his robotic, hog-tied surrogates are blatantly false or misleading.

the romney campaign and it's much more free-wheeling band of spokespeople will be talking about facts. cocaine use. eating dogs. crony capitalism. dead border agents. tax increases. GD America radical church. obama's years of claiming birth in kenya for personal advantage.

it's a tossup or romney favored election now, and the campaign hasn't even fired its first salvo.

we're looking at republican government.

Steve M. said...

Oh, looky -- the trolls are here.

Victor said...

Anil Petra,

Nice talking points, though!

Turn off Rush and FOX "News."

Give what little there is of your brain a break from the propaganda.

You've said nothing new. We've ALL heard this same bullsh*t from people far smarter, and more eloquent, than you!

Congrat's though - you win a consolation prize:

Please go.

And if you have some original, that's O-R-I-G-I-N-A-L, idea's, not ones planted by morons with microphones and TV camera's, do come back an opine.

'Til then:

locomotivebreath1901 said...

Zombie Andrew Breitbart.

Is there nothing he can't do?

🌈David Koch🌈 said...

This reminds me of the Supreme Court ruling on the mandate.

The Romney people told John Heilemann that upholding the mandate was a Great News for Romney and they would press the advantage.

Heilemann dutifully went on MSNBC and repeated the spin like a parrot. It was so ridiculous that even fellow Villagers Chris Matthews and Howard Fineman mocked Heilemann for peddling such crap.

And low and behold, Heilemann was once again taken for a sucker as the Romney people immediately ran away from the subject, even openly disputing the congressional efforts to call it a tax.

stephanie said...

"Give what little there is of your brain a break from the propaganda."

I just think it's a riot that die-hard Democrats think they are above propaganda when they feed themselves with MSNBC all day. You honestly think that MSNBC is *not* propaganda? You think that its giant corporate owners, Comcast and GE, really give a crap about progressive ideals and helping the poor? Did you ever consider that they may have an agenda too?

Obama was bought and paid for by Wall Street in the last election. He filled his economic team with Goldman Sachs guys. He's been like Bush in his foreign policy and civil rights abuses. (Patriot Act, NDAA, drones). Yet you guys are so focused on dead Andrew Breitbart that you can't see the Manchurian Candidate right in front of you.

And most of the "angry white males" I know are angry Democrats who really don't care about the poor but are just angry they aren't rich like the 1%. So they hate and despise rich Republicans with a passion, but you never see them volunteering at homeless shelters.

And PS I think Romney is a puppet too.

Steve M. said...

Yeah, there's not a dime's worth of difference between the Democrat and the Republican.

Just like in 1968.

And 2000.

How'd those work out? Anyone remember?