Uncomplicated

I am impressed with the honesty of GOPster Ed Rogers here (via):

Republicans are hierarchical, and we like order. We almost always nominate the second-place finisher from the previous election or an early-consensus frontrunner. This suggests that Romney should be our frontrunner. But a lot of the criticism of him is true: He has issues with authenticity, his support is thin, and he has some nagging preexisting policy positions that will have to be managed, not solved. If you had to make a bet, though, you would bet on Romney.

[….]

Even though Cain won’t be the nominee, his candidacy tells us a lot about the psychology of GOP activists. Our team wants someone authentic, creative, fresh, bold and likeable. And we don’t have much tolerance for too many facts or too much information. In politics, a bumper sticker always beats an essay. Cain’s 9-9-9 is a bumper sticker; Romney’s economic plan is an essay. Perry’s rationale for giving the children of undocumented workers in-state college tuition rates is an essay. No hand-outs for illegal aliens is an effective bumper sticker.

It’s easy to to forget how important simplicity is in politics, especially to conservatives. Iraq was a good war because WE HAD TO GET SADDAM, but that doesn’t mean they’ll support all of Bill Kristol’s capers. Likewise, they take to GUBMINT SHOULD TIGHTEN ITS BELT in part because it’s five words whereas a good description of Keynesianism requires at least 20.

I’m not telling you anything you don’t know, I realize. I’ve said it once (or more) before but it bears repeating.






91 replies
  1. 1
    cleek says:

    Even though Cain won’t be the nominee

    until an actual fucking vote is cast, i regard all such pronouncements as total bullshit.

    but that’s just me.

  2. 2
    cat48 says:

    Politico Breaking reports that Cain may have sexually harrassed a few women in the past. I wondered how they’d get rid of him.

  3. 3
    Gilles de Rais says:

    It’s easy to to forget how important simplicity is in politics

    Clinton was the last Dem to even try while in office. Obama couldn’t wait to take the oath and stop talking like a moron.

    Democrats like smart candidates, but Americans loathe those holier-than-thou, elitist mustard eating, faggy overachieving poindexters that Dems keep running for office.

    Idiocracy wasn’t a movie, merely a documentary.

  4. 4
    Gilles de Rais says:

    Huh. Wonder what I did to trip the mod filter? Weird.

  5. 5
    Woodrowfan says:

    @cat48:

    If true, why am i not surprised?

  6. 6
    JPL says:

    @cat48: That was my thought. Females who signed an agreement and a financial settlement all of a sudden thought it was time to come forward, yeah right. How much were they guaranteed.

  7. 7
    jake the snake says:

    Good thing Rogers in not running for office, since telling the truth always qualifies as a gaffe. Especially for Republicans.

  8. 8

    It’s easy to to forget how important simplicity is in politics

    “PASS THIS BILL”

    iZ OUr dEMOcRATS lEArnIng?

  9. 9
    L. Ron Obama says:

    @cat48: I doubt that is of concern to members of the tea party. They will just dismiss it as political correctness.

  10. 10
    DougJ says:

    @cleek:

    The guy is doing off-the-cuff analysis, I don’t think he’s wrong to say this if he thinks Cain has less than a one-in-twenty chance.

  11. 11
    Calouste says:

    @JPL:

    The settlement was a 5 figure sum according to Politico. That’s pretty easy to outbid for any decently funded campaign and absolute peanuts for Karl Rove’s operation.

  12. 12
    jwb says:

    @JPL: I smell a Rove. It’s out of his playbook.

  13. 13
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @OccupyDougJ:But couldn’t it get entertaining if this guy’s off the cuff analysis were wrong?

    @JPL: The women themselves haven’t come forward, but it’s all been sourced that there were settlements. Though upon further reflection – and more breaking news – “resolved” was what Herb’s campaign spox meant, as opposed to “settled” in the sense of legal terminology, when he said “that was all settled amicably years ago.” Hmmm.

  14. 14
    Chris says:

    Our team wants someone authentic, creative, fresh, bold and likeable

    Five lies in ten words. Damn. And it might be six, because the word “team” implies a unity I’m not seeing at the moment.

    It’s easy to to forget how important simplicity is in politics, especially to conservatives.

    Very true. They don’t like complicated things. It’s one reason why they’re not fans of intellectuals, or people they perceive as being under that label.

  15. 15
    a.j. says:

    @General Stuck – good example.

    It’s why our voting rights work should be called LET PEOPLE VOTE, not The No Barriers To The Ballot Box Coalition. (in Tennessee, as blogged here.)

    No disrespect to the great mission they have but K.I.S.S. works. Period.

  16. 16
    JPL says:

    @jwb: How long before Cain trots out his wife?

  17. 17
    Gilles de Rais says:

    The long knives are out, and Romney will get his shot. I can only assume from this, and from the job they did on Perry, that the GOP simply doesn’t want the presidency that badly this time around.

  18. 18
    The Dangerman says:

    @cat48:

    Politico Breaking reports that Cain may have sexually harrassed a few women in the past. I wondered how they’d get rid of him.

    Yeah, this morning, I was talking about how Perry got whacked and Cain was being left alone for some reason; apparently, no longer.

  19. 19
    srv says:

    This is why the OWS’ “We are the 99%” is so brilliant.

  20. 20
    Tehanu says:

    Simplicity is one thing. Simple-mindedness is another. Their “team” consists of a few bosses who actually do know something (or some things) and a gigantic herd of people who would rather eat nails than crank up their brains to do that weird liberal thing called “thinking.” But you’re right; the honesty is about as much (allowing for the 5 lies Chris points out) as anyone could expect from one of their team cheerleaders.

  21. 21
    sistermoon says:

    @jwb:

    I smell a Rove. It’s out of his playbook.

    We have a winner!!!

  22. 22
    Ben says:

    Likewise, they take to GUBMINT SHOULD TIGHTEN ITS BELT in part because it’s five words whereas a good description of Keynesianism requires at least 20.

    I disagree. NO DEMAND MEANS NO JOBS works.

  23. 23
    Lolis says:

    @cat48:

    Republican commenters at Politico are blaming the whole story on a big liberal lie so who knows? Maybe he will gain in the polls from this.

  24. 24
    The Dangerman says:

    @Gilles de Rais:

    …the GOP simply doesn’t want the presidency that badly this time around.

    The GOP is desperate for the Presidency in 2012; Romney is their best hope (of the current crop of crap candidates), so others get the long knife as you correctly point out.

  25. 25
    rikyrah says:

    I bet they’re blond with blue eyes.

    oh Herman…..

    you shoulda known better.

    BWA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA

  26. 26
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @jwb:

    I smell a Rove.

    Try tomato juice.

  27. 27

    Here’s Gawker’s rundown of the Cain story.

    It’s been discussed down thread a good bit, too. He’s blaming liberals, of course. Two women he worked with at the Natl. Restaurant Assn. — the other NRA — were apparently paid off to stay quiet about the complaints of inappropriate behavior.

    Allegedly.

  28. 28

    Romney is a train wreck that is largely obscured from view because the GE klieg lights are not focused on him, and the truly industrial grade flip flopping. He is the Tom Ripley of politics, and if he gets the nod, it won’t be pretty watching the dude squirm, while truly on the national stage. The GOP may not have an electable soul amongst them.

  29. 29
  30. 30
    JPL says:

    Cain doesn’t like to be challenged which is apparent by his use of shut-up, you’re wrong, etc. It doesn’t surprise me that he would harass anyone.

  31. 31
  32. 32
    Jenny says:

    It’s easy to to forget how important simplicity is in politics… I’m not telling you anything you don’t know, I realize.

    Actually, a ton of online liberals refuse to accept that. In fact they’re offended by the notion.

  33. 33
    Chris says:

    @The Dangerman:

    The GOP is desperate for the Presidency in 2012; Romney is their best hope (of the current crop of crap candidates), so others get the long knife as you correctly point out.

    If that doesn’t work, they’ll have gotten screwed over by a “moderate” twice in a row, so you’ll be lucky if the next person they nominate isn’t wearing white bedsheets and a dunce hat. And I fully expect a presidential impeachment attempt, or something equally drastic.

    Man. I’m not saying Obama can’t lose, not at all. But if he doesn’t, they are going to LOSE. THEIR. SHIT. Think you saw it all after 2008? Think again…

  34. 34
    MikeJ says:

    @jwb:

    I smell a Rove. It’s out of his playbook.

    No joke. A buck “near” storyline is right up Rove’s alley.

  35. 35
    Waynski says:

    @cat48: I know a woman who met him. Her description, “Great speaker. Sexist pig.”

  36. 36
    Jenny says:

    I don’t think sexual harassment is a negative among wingnut fundie primary voters who believe women should be submissive and subordinate to men.

  37. 37
    JCT says:

    @General Stuck: OK, damn funny! And true.

    @Jenny: True, but this is only the first salvo. he was also his usual evasive self when confronted by Politico, this bluster nonsense is going to wear thin. Besides, if they really start hammering on his character he will get worried that his future at Fox news will be endangered and he will drop out.

  38. 38
    JGabriel says:

    OT: Confidence Fairy sighted and photographed, with holy tome.

    .

  39. 39
    Chris says:

    @Jenny:

    Unless it’s done by people who aren’t white Christians. And in those cases, “harassment” is defined as “asking out, dating, sleeping with, marrying, having babies with or otherwise engaging in activity that would be perfectly normal if they were the same color/religion.”

    Man, I’m in a cynical mood.

  40. 40
    sistermoon says:

    @rikyrah:

    I bet they’re blond with blue eyes.

    “Herman, call me”

  41. 41
    The Dangerman says:

    @Chris:

    …they are going to LOSE. THEIR. SHIT.

    Oh, yeah; it will be fucking ugly if:

    (1) Obama wins over a moderate

    (2) Romney wins and the fingerprints of voter suppression swung enough swing states.

    I don’t see (2) happening, but if it did, all bets are off.

  42. 42
    Yutsano says:

    This seems a rare miss to me by Kthug. I understand his antipathy to the austerity now movement, but he’s missing a few details that matter in this picture. Not the least of which is it has its own currency so had more tools than the Eurozone did.

  43. 43

    @cat48:

    Politico Breaking reports that Cain may have sexually harrassed a few women in the past. I wondered how they’d get rid of him.

    What makes you think a bit of sexual harassment in his past will sink Cain with the GOP? For a lot of primary voters, sexual harassment is going to make him more, not less, attractive.

  44. 44
    Jenny says:

    That Cain is a pisser.

    I really love this reaction:

    He breathed audibly, glared at the reporter and stayed silent for several seconds. After the question was repeated three times, he responded by asking the reporter, “Have you ever been accused of sexual harassment?”

    hEE hEE hEE. He makes it sound like an everyday occurrence, like being called by telemarketers.

  45. 45
    RareSanity says:

    Our team wants someone authentic, creative, fresh, bold and likeable.

    In other words, their “team” wants a better bullshitter, this is the paradox of “conservatism”.

    They want someone that is better at convincing people that conservative policies have not failed, all of the previous politicians have just failed in implementing them.

    They want it so that they will never, ever, have to admit that they are wrong. Or, that DFHs are even remotely right.

  46. 46
    DougJ says:

    @rikyrah:

    I bet they’re blond with blue eyes.

    Ha!

  47. 47
    MikeJ says:

    @The Dangerman: Your not saying the Republicans would be bothered if they got caught stealing an election do you? Were you alive in 2000?

  48. 48
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Yeah, but there’s a difference between “simplicity” and “bumper sticker”. It’s one thing to offer a clear explanation, and another to dumb it down for your typical teatard.

    “Conservatives are not necessarily stupid, but most stupid people are conservatives” — John Stuart Mill

  49. 49
    Joel says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: I knew I liked Mill, but now I love him.

  50. 50
    jeffreyw says:

    Yay! I’m free at last from the clutches of the WordPress monster.

  51. 51
  52. 52
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    Even my sarcasm rage is too long for a bumper sticker:

    I would almost enjoy watching Conservatives turn the US into a third world country and then complain that it’s becoming one, if my children’s futures weren’t at stake.

  53. 53
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @MikeJ: I think he’s suggesting that we’re not gonna take it real well like we did last time were it to happen again.

  54. 54
    RareSanity says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    The entire quote is even more awesome:

    “I never meant to say that the Conservatives are generally stupid. I meant to say that stupid people are generally Conservative. I believe that is so obviously and universally admitted a principle that I hardly think any gentleman will deny it.”

  55. 55
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @jwb:

    Agreed. This is exactly the sort of oppo type shit that Rove excels at.

    He’s definitely working for Romney, the candidate of the Rethug establishment.

  56. 56
    Keith says:

    Maybe when Cain said “Did somebody order a pizza?” he was trying to deliver an actual pizza instead of his dick in a pizza box.

  57. 57
    Chris says:

    @a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q):

    I dunno, I kind of feel like the script of “damn liberals keep crying that elections were stolen whenever they lose” is already written, and that enough mushy moderates will believe it that getting angry won’t do any good.

  58. 58
    The Dangerman says:

    @MikeJ:

    Were you alive in 2000?

    Yes, but a repeat of 2000 would be an absolute disaster. 2000 was a disaster, true, but we don’t want to go there again.

  59. 59

    Christina Romer today in the NYT’s

    This is all above my limited knowledge of economics, but does reflect the sense I have that some harsh medicine is needed to break the current codlocked state of our economy, And change the basic pair-a-dime, beyond just throwing more stimulus at the economy. And that as the old adage goes, “No pain, No gain” should apply to solutions to fix a broken economic matrix as it currently is.

    IN October 1979, inflation was running at more than 10 percent a year, and the Federal Reserve’s gradual interest rate increases weren’t solving the problem. So Paul Volcker, the Fed chairman, dramatically changed how monetary policy was conducted. Today, an equally intractable unemployment crisis demands that Ben S. Bernanke, the current Fed chairman, stage a quiet revolution of his own.

  60. 60
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Jenny:

    As I said earlier, clear explanations, as simple as is possible, are good.

    The problem is that 27% of the voting public can’t handle that. Their attention spans are too short for more than 10 words, tops.

    The world is more complicated than 10 words.

  61. 61
    MikeJ says:

    @The Dangerman: Agreed, *I* don’t want to. I thought the original argument was that the Republicans don’t want to. I don’t think they’d give a shit if blood ran in the streets as long as they had the military.

  62. 62
    Observer says:

    a good description of Keynesianism requires at least 20.

    “GUBMINT SHOULD PUT PEOPLE BACK TO WORK”.

    That’s 7. Was that so hard?

  63. 63
    Nutella says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    I’m sure the two women are having their countertops checked even as we speak. It must have been tough to experience harassment egregious enough and provable enough that it led to a 5-figure settlement, but now they have to put up with Rove and the wingnuto-sphere sniffing around.

  64. 64
    policomic says:

    Yes, the mind of the GOP voter craves simplicity: “Brawndo’s got what plants crave. ‘Sgot ‘lectrolytes.”

  65. 65
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Chris:

    Yeah, Chris, but as we’ve seen with ACORN and the entire GOP effort to restrict voting rights, when Rethugs say that, they’re like the octoplex down at the mall on Memorial Day weekend.

    Projecting like mad.

  66. 66
    JGabriel says:

    @Yutsano:

    This seems a rare miss to me by Kthug. I understand his antipathy to the austerity now movement, but he’s missing a few details that matter in this picture. Not the least of which is it has its own currency so had more tools than the Eurozone did.

    I think Krugman is saying that we in US could have made better choices. That hardship and austerity here are unnecessary, and that we chose them, seems to be his point.

    After all, like Iceland, we have our own currency.

    .

  67. 67
    The Dangerman says:

    @MikeJ:

    I don’t think they’d give a shit if blood ran in the streets…

    No, they wouldn’t give a shit if blood ran, but they might give a shit over the property damage.

  68. 68
    MikeJ says:

    @The Dangerman: Raise taxes on the poor, give breaks to the rich to pay for the damage, they’ll be ok with it.

  69. 69
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Nutella:

    I think Rove brought them forward to sabotage Cain, but you’re right, asswipes like Malkin, Breitbart, and Fuck Fuckerson will be all over these two women looking for countertops, coke cans, or videos on PornoTube.

  70. 70
    Keith says:

    @policomic: And of course, there is “I like muhhh-neee.”

  71. 71
  72. 72
    Morzer says:

    @Jenny:

    Black man tangling sexually with white wimmins? Probably not calculated to bring joy to all those good little fundie hearts. OTOH, Perry did his best impersonation of a stand-up ground squirrel on speed today, so…. the ANYONE BUT MITTENS train is pulling out of the station and heading for the old Crazyville stop.

  73. 73
    hrprogressive says:

    Really, Democrats/Liberals/Progressives ought to take a page out of the Conservative playbook by being able to create “Bumper Sticker” policy pronouncements.

    “Everybody should live” could be a good health care statement; “Keeping Consumers Safe” would be good for regulating businesses; “Keeping your government working” could be a good one for, you know, raising taxes.

    Democrats have had a real terrible habit of not being able to boil down important policies into sound-bite/bumpersticker/talking point chunks.

    Yes, I want to know the minutiae of the policy details, but I am in the small minority known as “Political Junkies”.

    The Average Citizen, AKA “Low Information Voters” don’t want to know that.

    If Hubert McSuperConservative is saying “Less gubmint, less taxes, more FREEDOM” and Joseph LongwindedLiberal is going “Well more government in some places, but not all, you see here’s what I want, and well, I do want to raise taxes on rich people and ubercorporations but not you, Lower Middle Class Voter, and, well, yes Freedom is good, but maybe people should not be free to buy a rocket launcher without a background check” who do you think is going to draw in voters with quick hits of policy prescriptions?

    Here’s a hint; The idiot blowhard who has short simple phrases will.

  74. 74
    Morzer says:

    @Jenny:

    Breathing audibly, eh? Next his wife will be cold-calling the reporters to forgive them while Herman breathes ominously in the background.

  75. 75
    RareSanity says:

    @Jenny:

    Isn’t the cover, for yet another drunk Texas Governor, that the pills for his “back pain” cause this?

    I seem to remember this circulating after his first debate embarrassment.

  76. 76
    RareSanity says:

    @hrprogressive:

    “Everybody should live” could be a good health care statement; “Keeping Consumers Safe” would be good for regulating businesses; “Keeping your government working” could be a good one for, you know, raising taxes.

    The problem is that conservatives do not need to refute the slogan with anything of substance, for example…

    Everybody should live -> Ban Abortions
    Keeping Consumers Safe -> By Killing the Free Market
    Keeping your government working -> By Taking More of Your Money

    Good policy just doesn’t lend itself to “bumper stickers”.

  77. 77
    John N says:

    a good description of Keynesianism requires at least 20.
    “GUBMINT SHOULD PUT PEOPLE BACK TO WORK”.
    That’s 7. Was that so hard?

    How about “spend money to make money?”

  78. 78

    @John N:

    How about “spend money to make money?”

    Now *that*, I like.

  79. 79
    suzanne says:

    @John N:

    How about “spend money to make money?”

    That works.

    I also could get behind “GOVERNMENT SHOULD BE SMALL ENOUGH TO DROWN IN MY UTERUS”. Or something.

  80. 80
  81. 81
    Morzer says:

    @suzanne:

    How about: “No Investment = No Profit”

  82. 82
    Jewish Steel says:

    I want to buy you/A big blue Diamel.

  83. 83
    Brother Shotgun of Sweet Reason says:

    @Ben: How about this? Simpler and clearer, since it gets rid of the Economics jargon:

    NO BUYERS MEANS NO JOBS

  84. 84
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Brother Shotgun of Sweet Reason:

    Conversely, NO JOBS MEANS NO BUYERS.

    These guys do not understand feedback loops. At all.

  85. 85
    Brother Shotgun of Sweet Reason says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: See, you’re part of the problem, trying to understand things ‘n’ shit.

    But you’re right, it’s a feedback loop, either positive or negative:

    MO JOBS MO’ BUYERS MO’ JOBS

    NO JOBS NO BUYERS NO JOBS

  86. 86
    piratedan says:

    and ty for the continuing trend of thread names consisting of Costello songs ;-)

  87. 87
    The Spy Who Loved Me says:

    Hope and Change was about as simplistic as it could get.

  88. 88
    gVOR08 says:

    JOB’S? YOU’RE TO CHEAP TO HAVE JOBS. My shot at Keynes and current politics in seven words.

  89. 89
    uptown says:

    Banks should lend, not gamble

  90. 90

    […] From the Washington Post via the  Washington Monthly (via Balloon Juice): […]

  91. 91

    […] of GOP activists,” most notably in the context of the presidential nominating contest. (via DougJ) Our team wants someone authentic, creative, fresh, bold and likeable. And we don’t have much […]

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