Democrats & Liberals Archives

Ta Daaa! GOP Anybody-But-Romney Crowd claps for Nitwit the Clown!

Rick Santorum ties Romney in IA.

What a hoot! The weakest GOP Anybody-But-Romney candidate does well because no one pays attention to him until a few days before the election. After months and months of personally campaigning in IA, Iowans seem sure of one thing- Santorum is a loser, and a whiney one at that, unable to break out of the low single digits in polls. Yet every other Anybody-But-Romney candidate disqualifies themselves as soon as they take their turn in the circus spotlight. The latest, Gingrich, gets flattened when a 16 ton weight unexpectedly crushes him, in the form of a withering series of Romney attack ads. Ta Daaaaa! (And THAT is what money buys a Republican in an election- the ability to Swiftboat). What can we expect from Santorum after today?

Ladies and gentlemen: Meet Nitwit the Clown.

He has no organization outside Iowa. He has no money. He has met nothing but rejection when running a retail-style campaign. It is virtually impossible to win a nomination as an Anybody-But Romney candidate, especially if Nitwit the Clown ever actually steps into the national spotlight. But that probably won't happen, because Nitwit can't find the spotlight. Everytime he tries to jump onto the beam of light, it moves. He tries to hold the circle of light on the ground down with his clown feet, but the light keeps moving. Poor Nitwit. He repeats his desire to abolish the National Weather Service and his pants fall down to his ankles.

In the meantime, Bachmann has withdrawn, and Perry seems likely to make an announcement any time. That frees about 15% of the Anybody-But-Romney vote to chase Gingrich and Nitwit.

And poor Romney. Poor Willard the Clown. He barely gathered more votes in the IA caucus than he gathered in his losing 2008 bid. Paint a big, sad clown face on Willard. He turns out his pockets to empty them, and piles of corporate money plop on the floor. Slide whistle! He punches the trunk of the clown car in frustration, the trunk pops open, and what do we see but the bound and gagged Newt Gingrich, pop-eyed and mad as a wet hen. Wah-waaaah. Willard slouches his shoulders and shuffles towards the nomination, knowing very few Republicans actually want him.

Posted by phx8 at January 4, 2012 11:32 AM
Comment #334018

Well I have to say thanks to the good people of Iowa for giving Santorum his due. He would make a clear distinction between the repub and dem candidates in the presidential elections in November. Without Bachmann and Perry in the mix Santorum, the Tea Party candidate, would have beat Romney. In the next few states with the choices dwindling it seems Santorum could be the guy.

While you may be right phx8 remember we are dealing with conservatives, social conservatives at that, and now that Iowa put the ball in motion it just may continue to roll. Especially with Perry and Bachmann out of the way and Newt using the big bucks to attack Romney.

Maybe I’m just hopeful as I would like to see a clear choice between the lesser of two evils. Or maybe just be able to vote 3rd party and have my vote be worth more than a throw away vote.

Posted by: j2t2 at January 4, 2012 12:46 PM
Comment #334019

Santorum cannot raise money, he cannot create, staff, and run an organization, and his knowledge of issues outside social conservative values issues is just about non-existent. If it were somehow possible for Republicans to vote Not-Romney in enough states, Santorum might do all right, but that’s not a viable strategy for more than one or two states. When the primaries go outside the South, where media counts for so much, Romney will crush Santorum with negative advertising, if that ever becomes necessary. Santorum really is a nitwit. He’d get slaughtered if anyone bothered to pay attention to his thoughtless take on national issues.

There’s a reason Santorum lost his re-election bid in PA by the most anyone Senator has seen since 1980. He ran as an incumbent and lost in huge landslide. Santorum’s going nowhere.

The big question is simple: how many Not-Romney voters will stay home rather than vote for Romney?

I think Romney is making a big mistake by referring to the election as a fight for the “soul” of the nation. Any reference to God, soul, or religion will subtly remind social conservative fundamentalists that Romney is a Mormon, and he is NOT one of them, even so more than Obama.

Posted by: phx8 at January 4, 2012 1:01 PM
Comment #334022

I know I have heard both of you claim that Romney is too moderate to be nominated by the “right wing Republicans”. It is also clear that Romney is not the first choice of more than a quarter of Republicans who participate in these primaries and caucuses. I guess Republicans are not very good at this lockstep thing you guys always talk about.

Romney will win the nomination and then go on to beat Obama. He just keeps on coming. It kind of reminds me of those old video games where your character moves forward while new challengers jump up and then are put down.

There is no Republican who can beat him now. Leaders like Christie or Daniels would have had a chance. I think that Pawlenty could have won had he hung around. But these are all counterfactuals.

Romney’s moderation and pragmatism are relative weaknesses in the Republican race. They will be advantages in the general election. Romney can take more moderate stand than Obama on any issue. We have seen that Obama’s record is not good, so he can no longer appeal to hope. He will try the class warfare angle, but given his failure to reform the financial system, all he is promise is more loud words.

When you separate Obama from hope and promise, there is nothing much left. We know what Obama can do.

Romney has a record of success. You can call him lots of things until next year, when you will have to call him president.

Posted by: C&J at January 4, 2012 3:18 PM
Comment #334024

What do Republicans think they would even do if they got the presidency? Since they will almost certainly not have a 60 vote Senate majority how would it matter. Nothing get passed without a 60 vote majority thanks to the Republicans abusive obstructionism.

Posted by: muirgeo at January 4, 2012 3:57 PM
Comment #334025

As Texans are fond of saying…”obama” is all hat and no cattle. He talked a good game in 2008 and unfortunately, many believed his promises of change would benefit them and the country.

Now, still wearing the hat, but with no increase in his herd, obama will become even more openly socialists to appease his remaining constituencies. Even those, the blacks, union members, environmentalists and some others are not much pleased with his lackluster performance. He managed to benefit a few with his reckless spending and ubiquitous regulations, but these few hardly match the numbers he has disappointed.

He must run on the record he has constructed which is most clearly seen by additional enormous debt with no relief among the ranks of those who wish to find meaningful employment and ever increasing growth of government.

As Joe Klein observes in his column in the January 9th issue of “Time Magazine”, the most important questions facing the electorate in the next election are:

1) How much government is enough?

2) Should we reform the welfare state?

3) How do we support our citizens in a volatile, global economy while encouraging them to take risks and innovate?

Posted by: Royal Flush at January 4, 2012 4:02 PM
Comment #334027

Some would say Romney suffers from a ceiling of support among the GOP, about 25%. Others would say that 25% represents a base. Given the fact that Romney never benefited from defections from the Anybody-But-Romney crowd, it would be safe to say the 25% is a ceiling. And what that means is that, while the eventual nominee will see the usual unification behind the party candidate- the lockstep- in Romney’s case, that ceiling indicates he will see an unusually large number of defeections, a basic lack of enthusiasm.

It’s no coincidence Romney’s campaign manager is an opposition researcher by profession. The target for Romney is NOT Obama. It is other Republicans. Once they are presented with the inevitability of Romney’s nomination, a virtual certainty thanks to his own seed money, corporate contributions, and the quiet infusion of LDS money through its corporations, Romney will then depend on the Anybody-But-Obama vote to win the presidency.

It won’t work.

Romney will win the nomination, sure. But in a general election, he will suffer the same problem as the various conservative clowns we’ve already seen. It’s not enough to be Anybody-But-Obama, even in presidential election, even where the vote is usually is a referendum on the incumbent. At some point, the Anybody-But-Obama candidate will be thrown into the spotlight.

An Opposition Research-based campaign won’t work in a general election. Obasma is already a known quantity. A relentless bombardment of negative campaigning might be enough to destroy a lightweight like Gingrich, but as you know, Obama is a very different candidate.

Royal Flush,
How much government is enough? Romeny will say we have too much. Or not enough, if that is more popular.

Should we reform the welfare state? Romney will say ‘yes.’ Or ‘no.’ Whatever you want to hear, he will put out there at some point or antoher.

How do we support the citizenry at the same time we encourage it to take risks? Well, we could allow a small number of people to load corporations with debt, strip their assets, lay off employees, and outsource manufacturing, thereby making that small number of people fabulously rich. It worked for Romney at Bain Capital. As for the citizenry and all those workers… whatever. Romney got rich, and that is what counts. Er, what was the question?

When Romney’s record at Bain comes under the magnifying glass, he will be in big trouble. He represents everything that went wrong with business during the Bush years. Romney will attract a lot of money, but not so many votes.

Posted by: phx8 at January 4, 2012 4:24 PM
Comment #334029

I agree with phx8 - once his business experience at Bain gets some more scrutiny Romney is going to have a real problem with the middle class moderates. Chopping up companies, selling off profitable pieces, and firing people is not what most people think is good experience to be president. He’s gonna need Ohio to win the White House and that’s not gonna help. He keeps trying to make himself look like a regular guy but that ain’t working either. He has no business management experience, he oversaw takeovers. That’s not the same as running a business, making payroll, and managing people. He never made a payroll in his life. Bain is as far from a small business as Citibank. He’s gonna have a tough time beating Obama unless Europe goes into a second recession and drugs us down with them.

Santorum is gonna have some ethics issues too. From a seemingly improper mortgage to a special earmark for a big donor.

I think Chris Christy will be the next Republican President but not till 2016.

Posted by: tcsned at January 4, 2012 4:56 PM
Comment #334030

phx8, your response was too shallow to consider.

Posted by: Royal Flush at January 4, 2012 5:19 PM
Comment #334031

tcsned, much like phx8, you address candiates, none yet nominated, rather than the issues which will determine the winner.

Posted by: Royal Flush at January 4, 2012 5:24 PM
Comment #334033

Royal Flush,
Too shallow to consider? Maybe you should print it, and keep it next to my articles on Cain, as you said in comment 331327:

“PHX8, the great political seer, has predicted the demise of Herman Cain. He no doubt knows something that few others on the planet know, or perhaps, he is simply crossing his fingers while typing such drivel.

I have printed his prognostication above so that I have it handy when he is proved false. It will be great fun to reprint it at the appropriate time.”

As for addressing issues rather than candidates, I’m fine with that, but for the life of me, I have no idea where Romney stands on the issues. Currently he seems to be strongly in favor of the nation’s “soul” and he seems to be pro-God. He seems to be opposed to debt and deficits, but has no agenda for addressing them, unless being pro-
God counts.

Romney may favor smaller government. Or not. I don’t know. Do you? Most of the growth of government during the Bush years occurred in three areas: 1) Homeland Security & the TSA, 2) Defense, and 3) rising health care costs driven by the private sector. Romney has never really addressed any of these.

Romney wants to reform the “welfare state,” whatever that means. He may want to privatize Social Security. Maybe not. Take your pick. He may want to privatize Health Care. Or maybe, once in office, he will strengthen Obamacare. Who knows? Flip a coin.

He certainly favors outsourcing. He certainly favors sending manufacturing overseas. At least that is what he favored at Bain. Maybe that’s changed. He favored letting GM fail. Now he says he didn’t mean it. Go figure.

Posted by: phx8 at January 4, 2012 6:13 PM
Comment #334034

Honestly I do not know much about Romney. As being German and living in Germany I suppose all across Europe the majority of people never heard his name before the election race started.

Therefore regardless his skills from my point of view he would face difficulties to create ties and to catch attention in Europe. A weak foreign policy could slow down the recovery of the US economy.

Just from the popularity the best republican candidates would be in my eyes Jeb Bush or among the current candidates Ron Paul. Because of Pauls radical opinions on the income tax he is well known in Europe.

So I am glad to find here at least some information on Romneys political opinions. He certainly has through his business experience strong leadership skills and enough money to win the race.

The question is more, if it would be the best for the US?

Smarter would be if he becomes Vice President. Ron Paul is already 76, till the end of the term he certainly would be too old to run the office, the Vice could step in after half a term.

Advisable for Romney would be to receive more positive recognition in Europe by establishing ties and the creation of a good reputation.

Here in Europe we have about 25 Million unemployed citizens and certainly 5-10 Million with illegal status. Moreover about 50-100 Million people earn less than 5 Euro per hour.

In some countries the legal minimum wages are below 1 Euro. So little more than 1 US Dollar per hour. It is worse than under communists. The middle class nearly has vanished during the past 10 years. In several cities operate large gangs up to thousands of members organized in international networks. Kind of anarchy.

As you can imagine this development has huge impact on the US economy. If more than 100 Million Europeans have less than 400 Euro or actually worth about 530 US Dollar per month they can hardly pay their rent, health insurance and food.

There is no money available to buy US products such as electronics, cars, fashion etc. But of course the demand for these goods does exist.

Just think that for instance a Levis costs in Germany between 59-129 Euro, about 80-170 US Dollar.

So in some EU countries people would have to spend half of their monthly wage to get just one jeans.

Imagine than just a small car that costs 10000-20000 Euro.

If the US does not create boundaries to stimulate trade than also Americans will lose jobs and have to work for micro wages.

I do not know if Romney has the skills to pressure the EU to establish minimum wages that are equal to US standards. The purchasing power literally would explode and Americans would be heros again.

Well and if not than Americans can start to create development aid funds to supply people in Europe with food. Seriously. In some European countries the economic situation and budget cuts caused terrible consequences.

In Greek suddenly all public employed people had to deal with 50% and more wage cuts as well as retired citizens had to accept equal cuts.

Imagine this would happen in the US, everywhere riots.

In Spain the unemployment rate has increased dramatically. More than 20% are without a job. Among young citizens till an age of 25 years more than 40% cannot find a job, even with good education.

How shall they afford US goods? Sure they want to buy clothes, computers, TV screens, mobiles, digital files, movies, scooters, cars etc. But they all just cannot afford to do so, because they do not have a job.

When the customers of the US have no jobs or only low paid jobs they cannot afford anymore US goods and that is what crashes the US economy.

Well and then look to Germany. We do not have any minimum wage here. You can imagine that people who are forced to work for 1-3 Euro per hour hardly can afford anything.

Even in China many people have higher wages than that. They buy now our goods instead of Americans and they supply us now.

Failure of the current US foreign trade policy. A good president would increase the multilateral trade with Europe to the highest possible level.

The economy in the US and Europe would prosper. Instead we see now the US and Europe financially destroyed, while China is prospering. President Obama did not well.

Could Romney or any other candidate change that?

I only can wish that the US receive a president who is not only popular in talking about change, but who is a real doer.

Posted by: Vinzenz Leutloff at January 4, 2012 6:44 PM
Comment #334036

C&J, a little over 25% of Republicans don’t want Romney?

I think you should rethink that one. If the Iowa caucus was just between Romney and Santorum, the odds are Santorum would have one by a large amount.

I have heard roomers that Perry’s deep pocket contributors may switch to Santorum.

It is true that Santorum hasn’t been vetted yet, but a questionable mortgage and a questionable political donation may not hurt Santorum considering that he is one of theirs and Romney is considered, by many on the far right, to be a quasi-socialist and not one of theirs.

I think Santorum would have an excellent chance of beating Romney in a two man race, but Ron Paul is the terminator for the far rights hopes. The far right can not take control of the Republican party if they are going to continually divide their strength between wing nut candidates.

Let’s see how this affects the N.H. polls, Romney got a lukewarm reception in N.H. today.

Romney should have lost the Iowa caucus, 120,000 voters in a state with 3 million that doesn’t have a good track record of choosing the next president and is even worse at picking the Republican nominee.

Posted by: jlw at January 4, 2012 7:05 PM
Comment #334038

It is always interesting to hear an outside perspective on American politics. I recently met some Europeans, wealthy Greeks, vacationing in the US. Like many people from the EU, they saw the US as a good place to visit in terms of low prices, yet they do not want to see the EU make the sacrifices that come along with low prices: low wages, no job security for workers, no health care for many, and no retirement for most Americans, other than Social Security. They saw the economic crackdown in Greece as a kind of mean thing. But then, the Greeks in general have the reputation of being the spoiled stepchildren of the EU, and outside Athens, they are generally a happy bunch…

Interesting about Perry backers switching to Santorum. As of this afternoon, Perry looks like he is committed to continuing at least through the SC primary. But really, I cannot imagine anyone believing Santorum would make a better candidate than Perry.

I agree, IA is given much more attention than it deserves. But then, the same could be said of NH.

Posted by: phx8 at January 4, 2012 7:45 PM
Comment #334039

Vinzenz, it was sad to read your report of conditions in Europe though not a surprise. I read much about the financial situation in Europe, but reading what you write about it really brings it home.

Socialism has thrived in much of Europe and governments pandered to the people with wealth they did not possess. They have welcomed people to their lands who are intent upon their destruction. As is always the case with such a system it eventually falls under the weight of debt incurred attempting to satisfy needs beyond its ability to pay for them.

Without regard to the example set by Europe and its sad consequences we find many in this country who wish to travel the same dismal path to destruction.

I can not assure you that the election of a Republican as president will bode better for you in the near term. However, I can say that unless America gets its financial house in order, the entire world will suffer even more.

Frankly, the smell of world wide war is in the air. I hate the thought and yet realize that many problems can only be resolved in that fashion.

I will pray for you Vinzenz and for all human kind. God is the only power on earth that I trust and unless we turn from our wicked ways, we are doomed.

Posted by: Royal Flush at January 4, 2012 7:49 PM
Comment #334046

“Frankly, the smell of world wide war is in the air. I hate the thought and yet realize that many problems can only be resolved in that fashion.”

Royal Flush,

Stop with the melodramatic. What countries are going to start a world war? China? Why the hell would they? They are doing quite well now. North Korea? They might try but who is going to support them? Pakistan? Radicals might eventually gain control and threaten nuclear war, but who is going to support them? Iran? Why would they knowing that Israel has retaliatory capability.

Posted by: Rich at January 5, 2012 12:00 AM
Comment #334062


You sound like the late, great Gary in the middle column (although you are polite). You want to attack a candidate who won’t win. Fine with me.

Democrats cannot believe that Romney will be nominated. They say that he is too moderate for the right wing. Yet it is happening before your eyes. Soon you will have to change the talking point. Instead of talking about the weakness of Romney, you will be saying that his nomination was inevitable.

Posted by: C&J at January 5, 2012 4:48 AM
Comment #334065

I’ve always thought Romney was inevitable. It’s a function of money, organization, intelligence, and basic competence. The social conservatives know Santorum is ridiculous, and they’re attempting to coordinate an agreement to unite behind one candidate, but they lack cohesion, and they lack a unifying candidate.

By the time Super Tuesday is over, Romney will have wrapped up the nomination.

It puts the GOP in a nearly impossible position. With an early wrap, the party cannot hope for a brokered convention or a viable draft movement. If that were ever going to happen, it needed to have happened already. Obviously, it did not.

Why is the position impossible for the GOP? Because the majority of the GOP cannot stand Romney. But just as the Anybody-But-Romney movement failed, Romney as the Not-Obama will also fail. When running a generic Republican against Romney, or for that matter, a generic Republican against Obama, the match-up looks favorable for Republicans. However, as soon as the generic candidate stops being an object of wish fullfillment and becomes an actual person, the match-up changes. None of the Anybody-But-Romney candidates can defeat Romney (in part caused by the incredibly weak slate of candidates), and Romney as Not-Obama cannot defeat Obama.

When the generic candidate becomes an actual person, the majority of the party will unite behind the candidate. Republicans are notorious for marching in lockstep, and their frothing, spittle-filled hatred of Obama will bring most of the easily led social conservatives in line behind the establishment, corporatist candidate.

But not enough.

Inevitably, some will not toe the line, and in Romney’s case, that number will be larger than normal due to the issue of religion. These voters will not cross the line to vote for Obama. They may vote for a third party candidate, or simply not vote at all. Worse, no one wants to take the trouble to vote for a loser, especially when that loser does not represent their views.

Romney is toast, which means the GOP will be toast in November, and the leadership knows it.

Why do you think Obama just slapped the Republican Senate with the Cordray nomination? It’s a no-lose proposition for Obama. The Congress is phenomenally unpopular, and the Republican legislators are especially unpopular. If the case goes to the SCOTUS, and the Court rules in favor of the GOP’s ability to block a reasonable nomination for the Consumer Protection position, Obama wins. The GOP favors the loan sharks and unscrupulous mortgage lenders. Have fun defending that in an election year. Obama nows it, and has made a very aggressive move, daring the GOP to make this a national issue. Meanwhile, there is Romney, the ultimate corporate Wall Street candidate.

As a progressive, I am really enjoying this.

Posted by: phx8 at January 5, 2012 10:50 AM
Comment #334067

Rich writes; “Royal Flush, Stop with the melodramatic. What countries are going to start a world war.”

Rich sounds much like those who in the lead up to WWII thought Churchill and others were merely alarmists about what they believed was an impending war.

One should realize that world conflicts are not always instigated by the large powers, but in response to small conflicts that grow into large ones, with powers taking sides. There is much unrest over the globe and small fires can be fanned into whirlwinds.

Posted by: Royal Flush at January 5, 2012 1:59 PM
Comment #334068

Romney’s weakness is not that he can’t win the nomination. Romney’s weakness is that his base will not let him be moderate in order to win the election. The attitude of the Republicans these days is: Everybody has to compromise with the GOP’s rightward fringe, the GOP doesn’t have to compromise with anybody.

I think people have lost patience with that, in terms of substance. It’s not even a purely democratic opinion that the bankers and wall street financiers have screwed up. But those on the right have the weakness of being perpetually susceptible to a media that tells them that big government caused the meltdown, instead of private enterprise falling far short of its idealized vision in political circles.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 5, 2012 2:57 PM
Comment #334069

Royal Flush,
Rich is right. You’re being melodramatic. There is no reason to think a world war is in the making, none at all.

The only countries glorifying militarism are the United States, North Korea, and Israel. The US spends as much as the rest of the world combined on ‘defense,’ which really amounts to protecting an empire for American corporations. The United States exports arms. No one else comes close. To put this into perspective, China spends 1/10 what the US spends on defense.

There are no alliances threatening to entangle various countries.

There are no imperialistic powers other than the United States.

Few countries exhibit the kind of nationalism that could lead to war, with the possible exception of North Korea and its xenophobia, the right wing in Israel, and the people in the United States who believe in “American Exceptionalism.” Those people lost power when the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq went so exceptionally poorly.

Posted by: phx8 at January 5, 2012 2:57 PM
Comment #334070

C&J, So, your a RINO that is out of the Republican mainstream. You want to keep trading?

I am more pox on both your houses than Gary is. Do I sometimes defend Obama? Yes, from the moronish, non thinking rhetoric that the right wingers like to believe and repeat. I also have repeatedly said the Obama is in reality a corpocrat like yourself.

I have consistently said that Romney is the likely candidate.

What I said was that it may be possible for the right to defeat him if they where to unite behind one candidate. Apparently, you don’t think that is a possibility.

The Rino’s have always thought they could just control and use the God and Guns people by holding the line on gun legislation and rhetoricalizing God’s law, but they have grown in power within the Republican party and IMO, will pose a growing threat to corporate Republicans like yourself and Romney in the future.

Their Waterloo is the demand to end social programs that rob power from religion. Rather than return the sheep to the fold, it will radicalize them.

Posted by: jlw at January 5, 2012 3:17 PM
Comment #334072

phx8, your refusal to acknowledge the perils facing the entire world today is absolutely stunning. You wrote…”The only countries glorifying militarism are the United States, North Korea, and Israel.”

From your comment it is obvious that your blindness will not be cured by anything I may write. Go in peace and make merry while others keep their watch.

Posted by: Royal Flush at January 5, 2012 4:04 PM
Comment #334074

Their Waterloo is the demand to end social programs that rob power from religion.
Posted by: jlw at January 5, 2012

What an interesting admission. Social programs equate to power. By this assessment, we may presume that the dems/libs count on their power by expanding such programs. It’s not surprising that this is so, however, such a policy is bound to fail. I believe it is called socialism in some circles and something much worse in others.

Posted by: Royal Flush at January 5, 2012 4:12 PM
Comment #334077

Oh, come on, Royal Flush. Mentally review the conflicts since 1990 that crossed international borders. Most involved the US and Israel attacking and invading. The rest of the world’s conflicts were civil wars, certainly NOT examples of world war or even potential world war. The attack on Iraq, an aggressive act committed by the United States and encouraged by Israel with its fake intelligence (remember those SCUDS in the western Iraqi desert?), marked the end of power of the only people in the world likely to wage world war, American Neocons and those believers in “American Exceptionalism.” Right wing Israelis possess a nuclear arsenal, but the US and saner Israelis will not allow them to use it on their neighbors.

Posted by: phx8 at January 5, 2012 4:22 PM
Comment #334079

It can’t possibly get any better than this: was Romney a “liar” before or after McCain offered the proof?

Seems to me McCain was calling Romney a liar in 2007, without actually calling him a liar, because politicians don’t do unscrupulous things like that, hahahahahaha.

But they don’t have a problem with insider trading, telling people what they want to hear, boogering little boys and girls, or selling out their constituents.

Posted by: Frank at January 5, 2012 5:02 PM
Comment #334081

Royal Flush-
You should really hold up a sword while you write that. Of course, that will slow you down, because one hand touch-typing is kind of clumsy.

I suppose what he said is a bit excessive, but really, America has a surplus of defense. Now we can do one or both of two things: we can either scale back to the level of defense we really need, or if that’s not secure enough for you, we can do what we should have done a long time ago: wring efficiency from a system that’s become a fat cow of waste, duplication, and corporate welfare, so that when we are spending our defense dollars by the hundreds of millions, we’re actually getting more for our dollar.

Republicans claimed for years that they were the experts on defense, but for hundreds of billions of dollars a year, they’ve managed to earn America a decade of mediocre military results. Now it isn’t the soldiers who brought this on us, it was the arrogant policy makers who had been reassuring themselves for so many years that they knew best that they never prepared themselves for the actual task.

Any time a person like you poses sentiments like yours, I think back to that, and I remember there’s more to defending this country than a bunch of excessive self-confidence and contempt for those who disagree.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 5, 2012 5:48 PM
Comment #334082

phx8 writes; “…the only people in the world likely to wage world war, American Neocons and those believers in “American Exceptionalism.”

It is quite clear to all that you believe the US and Israel represent the biggest threat to world peace. To not understand the world, as it is today, bristling with arms and unrest in diverse places, to witness the recent upheaval in perilous parts of the world, and then to continue to slumber with visions of safety is merely an exercise in folly.

That SD would write…”America has a surplus of defense” is not surprising. His thoughts about our safety can’t extend beyond defending our own shores. Conflicts elsewhere can draw us into warfare that could easily become global.

I understand that SD must defend any policy put forward by his leader even at the expense of his own safety and security. While he is willing to gamble his life and fortune on the good will of others, I…and many others are not.

Money must be found to fuel the social programs that keep liberals in power and the liberals have no problem taking it from our military. Time and again they have proven that their only desire is for power…no matter the cost to our beloved nation. They stole billions from Medicare to fund another giant social program. They will sell our security to the highest bidder. Greed and power have overwhelmed their brains.

Posted by: Royal Flush at January 5, 2012 6:13 PM
Comment #334084

Royal Flush,
The Cold War ended two decades ago. Under the Bush administration, Defense spending increased back to Cold War levels. This makes no strategic sense. The US is generations ahead of competitors in terms of technology. There are no candidates to face the US in a traditional conventional war- the kind of war that requires so much spending.

Note! Money is not being taken from the military. The military has taken money from social programs.

Do you know what a university education in Germany costs?


For the money spent on the War in Iraq, the United States could have provided a university level education to every qualifying citizen; or, we could have provided health care to every citizen, everyone, everyone; or, we could have lowered the retirement age.

It is humane, compassionate, and eminently reasonable to do so; it seems far more consistent with religious values than funding an overseas empire.

Posted by: phx8 at January 5, 2012 7:24 PM
Comment #334087

phx8, you need not spend your time trying to convince me you are of the liberal and socialist mind…that is quite obvious. You write…”The military has taken money from social programs.”

Which is an obligation required in our Constitution of our leaders? Defense of the country or social programs?

All the social programs we now have and all the additional ones that can be dreamed up by libs and socialists will not provide one penny’s worth of security. That Germany spends little on defense, relying upon us to provide it, may perhaps explain their generosity with regard to education which you mention.

I don’t seek war but peace. Unless we are well prepared, we may very well have war and no peace. I see war clouds forming and you don’t. I hope you are correct.

Posted by: Royal Flush at January 5, 2012 7:43 PM
Comment #334088

We are all obligated- not just leaders, but “we the people”-as a matter of social contract, to provide for the for the common defense, to promote the general welfare, to establish justice as well as domestic tranquillity.

Posted by: phx8 at January 5, 2012 7:50 PM
Comment #334093

Royal Flush,

How much “defense” do we need? As previously pointed out, we spend as much as the rest of the world combined on “defense.”

As for Constitutional mandates, how about the original Constitutional limitation on funding for standing armies? It is clear that the Founding Fathers were very distrustful of standing armies and militarism. In fact, we have historically resisted militarism, disbanding armies after major conflicts. It was only in modern times, during the “cold war,” that we expanded and maintained a large standing military force.

The Founding Fathers distrusted militarism and large standing armies based upon their experience with the imperial European powers which were routinely engaged in warfare at the expense of the common good. The question raised, by many, regarding Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan and other recent conflicts is whether the US has succumbed to the temptations of imperialism so disdained by the Founding Fathers.

Posted by: Rich at January 5, 2012 9:17 PM
Comment #334094


“I know I have heard both of you claim that Romney is too moderate to be nominated by the “right wing Republicans”.”

Actually I think the problem is that Romney is too “Mormon” to win the election.

It remains to be seen whether the Christian far right is willing to hold their noses and vote for a member of a cult.


Posted by: Rocky Marks at January 5, 2012 9:20 PM
Comment #334124

Royal Flush-
Wanting a cheaper defense, and a less effective defense can be two different things. You’re projecting your panic onto our motivations, thinking that if anybody questions the automatic growth and maintenance of the defense budget, they must want the outcome you fear from not devoting every dollar possible to defense.

What you’re not thinking about is the strategic liability of the burden of that cost. A cheaper defense, properly done, can serve us better in times where we don’t have the money for a collosal defense budget.

I don’t think you’re so bloody-minded about your own country that you would want to put us in a position where our military is so inefficiently constructed, tasked, and managed that it cannot maintain its defensive and offensive value even in times where our economic fortunes are not at their best.

Ultimately, you’re drawing an equivalence between dollar value and practical value that is not necessarily valid. Do you really think we can’t do what we need to do now at a cheaper cost? Is there so little courage left in the GOP nowadays that they can’t even take a fresh look at the defense budget and cut out the unneeded fat that’s weighing our armed forces down?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 6, 2012 11:17 AM
Comment #334132

Rich writes; “In fact, we have historically resisted militarism, disbanding armies after major conflicts. It was only in modern times, during the “cold war,” that we expanded and maintained a large standing military force.”

I should think that even a casual reader of the last two world wars would understand how unprepared we were for them and what this could have cost us, and the world.

I agree that there is much waste in the military budget just as in the budget for civilian needs and wants. Both are bloated, poorly managed, and subject to political whim, greed, and lust for power.

Do I expect obama and liberals to attack the civilian budget with the same enthusiasm? Hardly. More votes are garnered by pandering to the public than to the military.

We should expect and persuade our allies to pay for the protection we provide or leave them with the choice of paying for the development of their own forces.

Posted by: Royal Flush at January 6, 2012 3:59 PM
Comment #334134

Royal Flush,

Corrupt politicians funneling our tax dollars to corrupt corporations through a corrupt bureaucracy is not “defense,” even if that bureaucracy is called a military (I think President Eisenhower would agree with me on this).

As a fighting force our military is a shambles now, not only because of said corruption and bureaucracy, but lack of leadership at both military and civilian level. The phony-baloney war in Iraq and the poorly-executed war in Afghanistan have only served to exacerbate all these problems.

Shoveling less of the people’s money into the pit IS part of the solution. It’ll also go a long way toward solving our deficit problems. And don’t tell me it would hurt the troops (as if all this money is going to them). Hell, I say jack up the pay of an E-1 to $50,000 (obviously increasing pay for the other enlisted ranks accordingly)! We can do that and STILL slash away at military spending! After all, we are spending more that the rest of the world put together.

Obviously troop levels have to be cut, as should be done in peace time. Maybe we can start with our overstaffed, overpaid, under-trained and undereducated officer corps. Yeah, I won’t hold my breath on that one…

As for your world war… You don’t seem to want to elaborate. Hmm… Wonder why… Could it be that America has NO enemies right now outside of a handful of terrorists that, as the last few years have taught us, cannot be fought via large-scale national invasions but must be handled through small-scale operations? Yeah, that’s probably why.

Of course, if you have a scenario in mind involving actual countries, I’ll be willing to listen… I love sci-fi. Unless you’re one of those Republicans who are advocating invasion of Iran “because we said so.” In that case, I’m not interested.

Posted by: ROseSTem at January 6, 2012 6:26 PM
Comment #334136

RO…I won’t intrude on your illusions. When you grow up you may understand the world a little better.

Posted by: Royal Flush at January 6, 2012 7:05 PM
Comment #334144

Royal Flush-
I could ask what war we are preparing for, but let me ask the better question: what war were we prepared for, in the last decade?

It doesn’t seem pouring trillions of dollars into both wars got us real far.

What we needed was attention in the first, paid until we got our targets and knocked them down permanently. No amount of spending could help us if our strategy didn’t deal with that truth. What we needed in the second was a willingness before and after the invasion for the leaders to recognize other points of view.

For one thing, we could have avoided one of the longest and most useless wars in American history, not to mention one of the most expensive. For another thing, even if we had gotten into it, we could have corrected our course much sooner. It would have taken some humility, but at the very least, we could have shortened the war and prevented the decay of the insurgency into a sectarian war.

Ultimately, your party’s problem is that its working off of reflexive positions alone. Hell, they started trying to come up with ways to weasel out of the defense cuts they agreed to as penalties as part of the debt ceiling deal. Ironically, it puts them in a situation where they were more either more willing to do harm to the military budget than compromise with the Democrats, or just so dishonest about the deal they were making that they agreed to something they were never going to be willing to actually entertain.

Politics by reflexive opposition has the Republicans trapped in senseless policy positions, rather than playing things by ear, finding the solution that is both conservative and workable. Conservatism can’t last if it continues to get built on castles of air.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 6, 2012 8:23 PM
Comment #334158

If we ever have another world war, it probably won’t last to long. It can’t, in two days, Walmart’s and Kroger’s shelves would be bare.

Posted by: jlw at January 7, 2012 2:11 AM
Comment #334165

Royal Flush,

RO…I won’t intrude on your illusions. When you grow up you may understand the world a little better.

No, please educate me. What am I wrong about?

Is there no corrupt military-industrial complex?
Is our military not too bogged down in bureaucracy to be an effective fighting force?
Is the military that costs more than every other military in the world combined really giving us enough bang for our buck, despite the fact that it can’t win even the smallest of wars?
Should our troops not be paid more?
Do we not need more competent and better equipped officers?
Should America have large standing armies during peace-time?
I’d really like to know what you think.

I’d also like you to elaborate on your world war scenario. If you’re not willing to do that, then why should we take you seriously?

Posted by: ROseSTem at January 7, 2012 8:04 AM
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