Thursday, September 27, 2012


In the right-wing bubble, this must seem like a brilliant idea. Outside the right-wing bubble, it's clearly a terrible idea (unless, of course, you're a Barack Obama fan):
Mitt Romney to 'fact check' Obama in debate

Mitt Romney plans to turn himself into a one-man truth squad during the first presidential debate next week, casting President Barack Obama as someone who can't be trusted to stick to the facts or keep his promises.

Top Republicans are telegraphing Romney's hard-line strategy for his faceoff with Obama, according to Mike Allen's Playbook in POLITICO on Thursday....
So the guy who's getting clobbered in the polls on likability is going to devote significant time during the debate making himself seem even less likable, by finger-wagging, nitpicking, scolding, and generally seeming like the Hall Monitor from Hell, which is already what he seems like to many Americans? He's going to do this even though he's been overwhelmingly more dishonest than Obama, and will probably be more dishonest than Obama during the debate itself, a fact the press will be only too happy to point out? And he's going to do this, presumably, instead of offering a positive, detailed plan for America in the next four years, which is what persuadable voters were begging him to offer all through the campaign, until most of them just gave up?

Oh yeah, that ought to work.


If I didn't know better, I might imagine that Romney has simply given up trying to win this thing and is just doing this to blow off steam. But what I really think is going on is that Romney feels pressured to be a nasty attack dog in the debates because that's what his crazy base and crazy right-wing billionaire donors want from him. They think the entire electorate thinks like them and will respond positively, despite all empirical evidence. (Oh, sorry, I forgot -- all the polls are skewed!)

And it's not just Mitt. At one time I was worried about the huge amounts of money going to Karl Rove's American Crossroads, but if this is the kind of ad Crossroads is spending money on, we can all breathe a little easier:

What the hell is that? It starts with a whispered exchange between Obama and former Russian president Dmitri Medvedev, which the wingers are obsessed with. It goes from there into a stew of conspiratorialism so loopy it almost departs Glenn Beck/Dinesh D'Souza territory and sails into Lyndon LaRouche Land: "President Flexible is on a new mission: dismantle the U.S. economic system," a voiceover says, and then we learn the plan -- more Fed action from Agent of Evil Ben Bernanke destroys the dollar, which leads to literal class warfare; Obama runs up debt, raises taxes ... clearly it's all a big plot to let the Red Russkies take over!

Hunh? What century is this?

This is catnip to the base. It's nuts (or incomprehensible) to everyone else. But I guess Rove's paymasters want him cranking out ads like this (because they watch Fox and believe this crap) rather than producing ads that are, y'know, effective.

And I guess Mitt is equally afraid to cross his patrons and his base; they want him to go into the debate planning to be a dick, so that's what he's going to do.


merlallen said...

They think everyone hates the fictional Fox News Obama as much as they do, when most people wouldn't even recognize him.

Greg said...
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Greg said...

I'd guess Romney's puppeteers are thinking long haul, by stroking the base like this. They still must be confident that somehow, someway, they can get to 50.1 percent again, with any R better as a candidate than Romney and any D worse as a candidate than Obama. As long as they keep the base stoked and the ability to steal a close one in place.

The smarter insiders must know that's going to be harder from here out, as demographics shift in the Dems' favor and the GOP crazies continue their stranglehold. But they got the money, and they still got time to wait for an opening in the next 4-8 years. It's crucial for the Dems to stay sharp as campaigners on the presidential level -- they can't afford a Gore or Kerry lackluster effort anymore. And maybe, maybe, if enough of their old white base dies off before they can win the WH again, the Republicans will start to come back to earth a bit. Meanwhile, enjoy the continued Rockefeller Republicanism of your modern Democratic Party. Party on!

Danp said...

I'm guessing Romney's speechwriters are spending hours upon hours trying to come up with the next "there you go again" quote, that according to conventional wisdom (well, OK, Chris Matthews) turns elections like these.

Victor said...

Mitt already reminds me of a dick math teacher in HS who, when other teachers wear golf shirts and dockers, wears a suit and tie - EVERY DAY. And on the rare occasion he doesn't, he looks like he should, because he looks like even more of a dick without them.

He ridicules any wrong anwers on the board.

When he tries to relate to students, or tries to be funny, he falls flat on his face - and everyone rolls their eyes.

Everybody mocks his walk behind him, when he's walking down the hallway.

And, even though he talks about his wife and 5 sons, when he comes into the Boys Bathroom, everyone watches him, and no on wants to keep his back turned to him. No one lingers, they zip and leave.

And now, he going to debate the smart, cool, black kid, that you and practically everyone in the school likes, correcting him to the point of practically mocking him, because the kid is SOOOO much more popular than Mr. Romney is - though the uptight asshole kids like him.

Yeah, sounds like a winner to me.

And what's with the ad?
What movie is this?
'Agent Obama and the Phantom Red Menace?'

Mitt had better be careful, because rather than mock Obama with these Secret Agent ads, he might remind people that Mitt looks like one of the Bond Super Villains - all we need is to find out that in the Cayman Islands, it's not just where he keeps his tax sheltered money, it's also where he's got an underwater lair.

Palli said...

I think the originators of this political ad are having fun with the Crossroads money! Are they channeling frustrated 70's TV script writers?
All this republican hoopla is money laundering anyway.

Greg said...
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Greg said...

I'm guessing Romney's speechwriters are spending hours upon hours trying to come up with the next "there you go again" quote,

I think this is true as well. Got to try to throw a Hail Mary, if for nothing else than to justify the campaign paycheck.