Friday, November 16, 2012


Josh Marshall writes about Mitt Romney's latest diatribe on the subject of those awful, shiftless, gift-craving Democrats, which is causing a pained reaction among other Republicans:
It's not too much to say that Romney is now uniting the country across party lines that he's someone who should leave as soon as possible and not say anything publicly again. Actually scratch that. Democrats are starting to think that having Romney around and continuing to dump on a broad range of Americans might be pretty awesome.

More seriously, it goes without saying that Romney was never more than a tolerated transplant among professional conservatives. His bonafides were doubted. We know all this. So it's ironic that Republicans are uniting in calls to get off the national stage once and for all precisely because he's continuing to make the kind of makers-and-takers type statements you might hear on a particularly feral and untethered rightwing blog.
But Romney doesn't just sound like an angry right-wing blogger -- he sounds like most of the other people who wanted the nomination he won, or who were talked about as contenders for that nomination. If Republican leaders are embarrassed by Romney now, who do they think would have been more diplomatic?

Among the people who mounted serious challenges to Romney, would Newt Gingrich have been better -- the guy who regularly called Barack Obama a "food stamp president" and who wanted poor kids to work as school janitors because it would give them what, in his view, they otherwise lack, a work ethic? Would Rick Santorum have been better? Even if you don't think he was referring to black people when he said, "I don't want to make blah people's lives better by giving them somebody else's money," there was also this in his Republican convention speech (which, as I recall, no GOP leader complained about):
Under President Obama, the dream of freedom and opportunity has become a nightmare of dependency with almost half of America receiving some government benefit....

President Obama spent four years and borrowed five trillion dollars, trying to convince you that he could make things better for you ---- to put your trust in him and the government to take care of every problem....

The fact is that marriage is disappearing in places where government dependency is highest....

Requiring work as a condition for receiving welfare succeeded....

[But] this summer [President Obama] showed us once again he believes in government handouts and dependency by waiving the work requirement for welfare.
So maybe someone who didn't run would have had a more effective message. But who? Haley Barbour, who said about Medicaid, "We have people pull up at the pharmacy window in a BMW and say they can't afford their co-payment"? Mitch Daniels, who wrote this in his book, Keeping the Republic?
A growing near-majority of citizens is now dependent on government for a substantial percentage of their livelihood. Increasingly, the burdens of a growing public sector are paid for by a dwindling percentage of the population. It is now reaching the point where society's ability to generate new wealth is being threatened and the non-payers have nothing to lose by demanding still more from their richer neighbors.
Even Bobby Jindal, who's loudly denounced Romney, uses the same sort of language. His anti-Obamacare post at RedState last July 3 began,
As we celebrate our nation's birthday this week, it is important to remember and teach our children the Founding Fathers were declaring our independence, not creating a culture of dependence.
And in his book Leadership and Crisis, Jindal wrote:
... many in Washington still fell the Land of the Free should become the Land of the Free Lunch.

Don't get me wrong. I believe in some safety nets. But safety nets can, and often do, create "moral hazards" when they encourage irresponsible behavior. It took the federal government decades to figure out that if welfare subsidizes out-of-wedlock births, you get more out-of-wedlock births!
Romney was blunter, perhaps, but he said what the rest of them believe -- what pretty much all of them believe. Give any one of them a two-year presidential campaign and they'd all have been talking like him sooner or later.


Philo Vaihinger said...

How do you diplomatically tell a sick person, "You're a leech and I'm cutting off your Medicare/Medicaid/Obamacare/CHIP and letting you die"?

How do you sweetly tell people who have paid into Social Security and Medicare and paid taxes to support Medicaid all their lives that, now old, they have are stealing from the next generation and will have to expect to go with lesser, or without, benefits?

With a huge button on your suitcoat that says "Socialism is theft," how do you politely tell people that the public schools from Kindergarden up will be closed or sold off because those who don't need them are following the example of the rich who refuse to be robbed and will not pay taxes to pay for them?

Ditto the fire department, the mail service, public hospitals and health agencies, AMTRAK, the prison system, and maybe even the police.

Ditto the entire US system of interstate highways, now to be privatized and tolled or closed.

And so on.

Is there a polite and diplomatic way to say such things so people will not only not mind but actually think it's a swell idea?

Will it sound better if you package it as "the real American way," "Rugged Individualism," or "individual liberty"?


They angriest conservatives are actually right, and didn't we all agree - even Jon Stewart, Larry O'Donnel, Tweety - that we are all socialists now?


Totally corrupted.

That's us.

We want the European way.

Philo Vaihinger said...

Sorry. I need an editor.

Philo Vaihinger said...

BTW, told you Mitch Daniels was no moderate. Just another right wing crackpot.

Buford said...

The republicans won't change...look at their platform...that is their Bible, their goal...we must continue to fight against the wingers...The Koch boys will not stop...they are deeply invested in the states and will continue their brand of corruption...ALEC is still alive and kicking...the upcoming fight HAS to be at the state level...The real power of the Feds is in the states...hence the name UNITED STATES...Don't be fooled by this post-election garbage from Jindal and McCain...they are the problem...not the solution...

Victor said...

The man we nominated to be our Presidential candidate and to speak for us, lost.


So, even though he changed all of his previous supposed philosophies to appeal to us, and to speak to us, and to speak for us - no longer speaks for us!

So, pay no attention to that well coiffed and manicured man in the Brooks Brothers suit behind the gilded curtain!

So, who is this "Mitt Romney" that you refer to?

So, now poor Mittens joins the rest of the Republicans who lost, or failed them as Presidents - Bush I, Dole, Bush II (who didn't fail them - just failed everyone, EPICALLY!), and McCain - their existence will now be denied, and all physical evidence will be shredded and/or air-brushed/digitally eliminated.

BH said...

The new man for the GOP: Rep. Scott Dejarlais of the great state of Tennessee. He's got it all: looks like Joe the Plumber; a solid record of shameless hypocrisy soon to be followed by public apologies & tales or born-again redemption; and a safe House district with a moronic majority electorate. (Well, that last may have been redundant, since we're discussing the home of the Scopes trial.) Talk about a base-pleaser!

Unknown said...

I admire what you have done here. I like the part where you say you are doing this to give back but I would assume by all the comments that this is working for you as well.