Goldwatering All Over Himself

Mitt Romney’s new anti-Detroit-bailout Op Ed in the Detroit News includes bonus union bashing to prove the severity of his conservatism. Since 62% of Republicans in Michigan oppose the bailout, versus 36% of the overall population, Romney has to double down on bailout bashing in a desperate effort to erase Santorum’s 15 point lead in that state.

We all know that Santorum is toxic as a national candidate, but the problem for Romney is the only way to beat Santorum is to adopt the same anti-gay, anti-woman and anti-progress positions in the primaries and bet that he can somehow reverse course this Fall. The longer the contest draws out, the more Romney has to pander, and the more he turns himself into the Goldwater-like candidate that the Republican establishment is desperate to avoid. There are two more debates before Super Tuesday and Mitt’s going to have to be pretty fucking severe if he hopes to keep up with the new front-runner.

Speaking of self-administered Goldwater, does Chris Christie really think that vetoing gay marriage is going to look smart in 2016? My guess is that he’ll look like a reactionary pandering to an ever-shrinking minority–in other words, just like Barry G.






125 replies
  1. 1
    rob! says:

    I know there’s a billion of ’em already, but I think “Severely Conservative” needs to be a tag.

  2. 2
    c u n d gulag says:

    Ya gotta luv dis!

    If the “Anybody But Mitt” wheel-of-fortune has finally finished spinning, and it’s Santorum it’s landed on (in?), then we Democrats are all winners!

    Americans want a President with vision.

    Not one who’s looking at what we’re doing with our naughty bits.

    But if we were, Icky Sticky Ricky would be the one!
    ‘Cause he looks like a pussy, and sounds like a dick.

  3. 3
    Waynski says:

    That Twitter message suggests that Mittsters message is not bad for the primary, but isn’t MI an open primary or am I wrong about that?

  4. 4
    c u n d gulag says:

    Ya gotta luv dis!

    If the “Anybody But Mitt” wheel-of-fortune has finally finished spinning, and it’s Santorum it’s landed on (in?), then we Democrats are all winners!

    Americans want a President with vision.

    Not one who’s looking at what we’re doing with our naughty bits.

    But if we were, Icky Sticky Ricky would be the one!
    ‘Cause he looks like a p*ssy, and sounds like a d*ck.

  5. 5
    jeffreyw says:

    @rob!: “That needs to be a tag” needs to be a tag.

  6. 6
    beltane says:

    Chris Christie should have shown more balls here. The voters currently supporting Santorum are not ever going to be convinced that Christie hates the gays with the appropriate amount of passion and sincerity so he really should have just gone ahead and done the right thing.

    I personally find the 63% of Michigan Republicans who opposed the auto bailout to be fascinating specimens, so fascinating they ought to be studied in a lab somewhere like Otzi the Alpine ice mummy.

  7. 7
    jurassicpork says:

    And to show you how much they loathe Romney and his vinyl game show host charm, they’re clutching for dear life to Rick Santorum, a K Street hustler who himself was so loathed by Pennsylvania voters he got voted out after one term. Maestro, cue the calliope.

    Anyway, happy Valentine’s day from Fox “News” and Pottersville.

  8. 8
    beltane says:

    @Waynski: Michigan is indeed an open primary but I can’t imagine that any mischievous elves from our side would even think about voting.

  9. 9
    redshirt says:

    If Santorum is the nominee, I can’t wait for “experts” like Sarah Palin to tell us how we need someone with experience in the White House. Gonna be hilarious!

  10. 10
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    @beltane:

    It really brings “voting against their own interests” into very sharp relief does it not? I wonder how many of them are employed in the very industry they would have liked to see die?

  11. 11
    amk says:

    So what are the dem & repub party regn. numbers in MI ? Those 62% rethugs are sure gonna turn up to vote come november.

  12. 12
    mistermix says:

    @amk: MI has a PVI of D+4. My guess is that it’s considered a pretty safe state for Obama in 2012.

  13. 13
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    62% opposed the bailout, and if no one had bailed out the auto industry, these same people would have grumbled about big government while standing in line to get their unemployment checks and refinancing help when the price of their house dropped well below their mortgage price.

  14. 14

    does Chris Christie really think that vetoing gay marriage is going to look smart in 2016?

    If he wants to run as a Republican for national office, yeah. This is what the Republican Party demands, after all.

    I keep waiting for these conservative “stars” to start breaking with the GOP in larger numbers, pull a Bloomberg. I think it’s gonna happen, there’s no way you can have a national political party that espouses positions embraced by only 27% of the public.

  15. 15
    amk says:

    @mistermix: Thanks mm. I sure hope the dems haul their asses off to the booths despite what Obama has done/has not done/should have done/shouldn’t have done butthurts.

  16. 16
    RossInDetroit says:

    @beltane:

    Michigan is indeed an open primary

    February 28th Mitt’s going to get a rude surprise if he’s assessing his chances solely based on polling of Republicans.

  17. 17
    BroD says:

    I think the analysis of R-money’s predicament is dead on but I’d like to be more (as in abso-f’n-lutely) convinced that “Santorum is toxic as a national candidate.” I feel as though I’ve stumbled into some fantasy world where anything is possible.

  18. 18
    Ben Cisco says:

    @jeffreyw: HA! Well done, sir.

  19. 19
  20. 20
    JPL says:

    @RossInDetroit: GA is an open primary state but I just can’t vote in the republican primary. I’ve done that before and was bombarded with phone calls.

  21. 21
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @BroD: Santorum will be a great candidate to run against, because he refuses to back off of his ideals in the face of any evidenct that they might not get enacted. They are so true to their convictions, that it doesn’t matter that it might not get passed, they just have to hold everyone, even the president, accountable to that standard regardless of reality, and no matter whether it hurts or improves their chances of getting their agenda through. Oh, yeah, the topic was Santorum.

  22. 22
    RossInDetroit says:

    @JPL:

    MI has a long tradition of the party in office rodentfornicating the opposition to ensure a weak challenger. This time it’s our turn.

  23. 23
    rikryah says:

    Like I said before…Willard would sell his mama for a block of votes

  24. 24
    Someguy says:

    Detroit is definitely on the road to a major comeback thanks to President Obama saving GM and Chrysler. You can see the prosperity the bailout has brought for union workers, particularly the ones living the Mexican, Canadian and Italian suburbs…

  25. 25

    Ready to spread some Romney? Looks like there’s a campaign to Santorum Mitt Romney. How hilarious.

  26. 26
    Someguy says:

    Oh wait, did I just accuse the auto industry of being another group of soulless, anti-worker, exploitive multi-nationals? Why yes I did.

  27. 27
    Scratch says:

    @jurassicpork:

    Actually Santorum was elected twice, in 1994 and 2000. It was finally in 2006 that he went down, losing by a margin of 18%. I thought maybe Pennsylvania voters had come to their senses some, but then they elected Pat Toomey to the senate in 2010.

  28. 28
    amk says:

    @BroD: It’s not a fantasy. Given the 2004 & 2010 electorates (the latter ones win the stupidest voters evah award hands down), anything is fucking possible.

  29. 29
    MaxxLange says:

    Spend 30 years pandering to Bible thumpers, reap the harvest of failure when your party becomes entirely beholden to their radical right positions, positions that the country overwhelmingly rejects. Sweet.

    This just in, “conservatives”: Americans do not want a fundamentalist theocracy.

  30. 30
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Someguy: Did you miss the part where GM will be building a new plant here?

  31. 31
    Schlemizel says:

    Given that the voting public is divided into 3 parts: will vote for Obama, won’t vote for Obama and not giving any thought at the moment, the math is simple. Willard only needs to convince the majority of that third group he is not the ass he actually is. They will not be paying attention until sometime after Labor Day. So yes, I believe Willard thinks he can go full-metal wingnut now and walk it back this fall.

    How hard we work to prevent him form doing that (with what I am hoping will be a big hand from the media’s “Goreing” him) will determine the outcome. While it is helpful to us that he has to go so far and for so long it would be foolish to underestimate the ignorance of that third, and most vital, group.

  32. 32
    Don K says:

    @Waynski:

    The August primary is open (one receives a ballot with both parties’ candidates on it, then chooses a party in the privacy of the voting booth), but for the presidential primary you evidently have to declare you’re a member of the party. Not that that will stop lots of Dems from declaring they’re Reps to vote for Ricky.

  33. 33
    Don K says:

    @amk:

    There’s no such thing as Rep or Dem registration numbers in Michigan.

  34. 34
    Waldo says:

    Well it’s true what they say: The enemy of my enemy is my friend. But damn, I’m going to have a hard time being buddies with Ricky.

    What if, say, he wants to come over and watch the NCAA tourney? Dude will get all prohibitiony on me if I drink anything stronger than skim milk. He’ll only watch the men’s teams, cuz, you know, girls shouldn’t be allowed to score. And needless to say, the last thing I need is my wife coming home and finding Santorum on the good sofa.

  35. 35
    Chyron HR says:

    @Someguy:

    Mexican, Canadian and Italian

    Woah, there, Timmy. You’re not supposed to start hating on those last two groups until March, when Paul Ryan unveils his new “Liquidate the Job-Killing Wetbacks, Canucks and Guidos Act”.

  36. 36
    Rommie says:

    I think it’s safe to say the $$$ wing and the Jesus wing of the GOP are lined up at Bull Run, just waiting for the go order. The question will be just how much they really hate each other, and how nasty the fighting will get. My guess is that it will make PUMA vs. OBot look like the Puppy Bowl.

  37. 37
    Gin & Tonic says:

    Sort of tangentially, one of my favorite blogs, Language Log, analyzed that “severe” or “severely” ad-lib of Willard’s and noted that in contemporary American English usage, it is almost never used to modify a *positive* characteristic. That automaton can’t go off-script for one fucking word without shooting himself in the foot.

  38. 38
    Stephen1947 says:

    Comparing Santorum to Goldwater on gay rights is like comparing him to Michelangelo Signorile. “At 85, after a life in politics spanning five decades (he retired from the Senate in 1987), Mr. Conservative has found himself an unlikely new career: as a gay rights activist.”

  39. 39
    Bulworth says:

    This whole post is extremely effing severe.

    Also, too:

    Speaking of self-administered Goldwater, does Chris Christie really think that vetoing gay marriage is going to look smart in 2016?

    I hope all Christie’s liberal fanboys in the press will notice how effing severe Christie is being here.

  40. 40
    RossInDetroit says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    That automaton can’t go off-script for one fucking word without shooting himself in the foot.

    I’ve always suspected that that’s what was behind Shrub’s horrendous verbal clangers. Someone was feeding him lines that he couldn’t remember but tried to say anyway. Or shorthand notes like “Message: I care” that he thought were verbatim lines. It’s the only explanation for the wordmess that used to come out of his mouth.

  41. 41
    Bob2 says:

    Speaking as an NJ native, Christie is a total disaster for NJ. He’s a bully and a coward. He tried to push the gay marriage issue into a referendum to dodge having to veto the bill.

    Signing it into law would kill any chance of his running for President on the Republican side and he knows it. He wouldn’t even pay for signing it into law in NJ politically and he knows it.

    Ugh, and he’s ruining education.

  42. 42
    xian says:

    @RossInDetroit: like a jock who paid a nerd to cram him for a test

  43. 43
    Steve says:

    @RossInDetroit: I question whether that’s actually true. Legend has it that George Wallace won the 1972 primary due to crossover voting aimed at embarrassing the Democrats, but the evidence doesn’t seem to actually support that theory. I don’t believe there will be any appreciable crossover vote.

  44. 44
    harlana says:

    @RossInDetroit: yeh, like “I don’t know where he (OBL) is, I don’t spend that much time thinking about him” – his handlers probably all developed IBS after that one – but then, somehow, that statement did not go viral. Go figure.

    Along those lines, most so-called “independents” these days are really closet republicans who at least have sense enough to be really, really embarrassed, imo.

  45. 45
    Schlemizel says:

    @Bulworth:
    Well, did you see who the Onion selected to represent moderate conservatives in the piece posted yesterday? Mitch Fing Daniels!

    So I expect Christy looks like a raging commie in comparison

  46. 46
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Gin & Tonic: It’s English. Cool and hot mean the same thing, bad and good mean the same thing, and I remember when wicked became an adjective. Eventually the language will turn into Ook, and we’ll all be going around saying “Ook ook ooook ook ook” and you’ll nod in agreement and then we’ll say “Ook ook ooook ook ook” and you’ll laugh at the joke.

  47. 47
    Bruce S says:

    Although the point re Romney is well taken, this post is an insult to Barry Goldwater.

    “The religious factions that are growing throughout our land are not using their religious clout with wisdom. They are trying to force government leaders into following their position 100 percent. If you disagree with these religious groups on a particular moral issue, they complain, they threaten you with a loss of money or votes or both. I’m frankly sick and tired of the political preachers across this country telling me as a citizen that if I want to be a moral person, I must believe in ‘A,’ ‘B,’ ‘C,’ and ‘D.’ Just who do they think they are? And from where do they presume to claim the right to dictate their moral beliefs to me? And I am even more angry as a legislator who must endure the threats of every religious group who thinks it has some God-granted right to control my vote on every roll call in the Senate. I am warning them today: I will fight them every step of the way if they try to dictate their moral convictions to all Americans in the name of ‘conservatism.’ “

    Barry Goldwater – circa 1981

  48. 48

    @Bruce S: Barry Goldwater never met anything that wasn’t capable of being bought, sold, and owned, and its purchaser, vendor, or owner oppressed or persecuted by the merest hint of the state, society, or any commons at all, interfering with its sale, purchase or ownership.

    He was right on religion. And Joe Lieberman is good on gay rights.

  49. 49
    harlana says:

    @Bruce S: i do agree, Goldwater had core principles and some of his positions made sense – as a matter of fact, if i’m not mistaken, the reason repubs wanted to distance themselves from him was b/c he was too hawkish (!) at the time! anyway, at work, cannot google it right now.

  50. 50
    RossInDetroit says:

    @Gin & Tonic:
    Coincidentally the last few nights I’ve been reading Alan Turing’s essay on whether a machine will ever be able to think. It contains a description of the now famous Turing Test, where a human attempts to determine which individual he’s communicating with on a teletype is a machine.
    I’d say Mitt’s performance to date shows that the machines aren’t quite there yet.

  51. 51
    Bruce S says:

    From that editorial I gather that Romney believed the best way to save the auto industry was to strip auto workers of health and pension benefits. Also, this disingenuous dickwad didn’t inherit a love of “chrome and fins and roaring engines” from his dad. His dad was a pioneer in producing and marketing smaller, more efficient American cars.

  52. 52
    qwerty42 says:

    @beltane:

    I personally find the 63% of Michigan Republicans who opposed the auto bailout to be fascinating specimens, so fascinating they ought to be studied in a lab somewhere like Otzi the Alpine ice mummy.

    I’d be interested in where these voters are concentrated. I’ll guess in northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula (UP). The UP is in not-so-good shape most of the year (winter — summers are really beautiful there); not so many jobs (collapse of Great Lakes fisheries; heavy industry – iron smelting and related – mostly gone by the 1920’s).

  53. 53
    kindness says:

    Why is it that I think the words Chris Christie and ever-shrinking should never be in the same sentence together?

  54. 54
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @RossInDetroit: Can’t help thinking what Joseph Weizenbaum would think of Willard these days.

  55. 55
    mistermix says:

    @Bruce S: You’re right that Barry was pretty good on religion. The Goldwater analogy for Santorum is based on two things. First, both were sure losers that the base loves. Second, both had certain radical positions that were completely out of the mainstream. Santorum’s is anti-gay bigotry as the country is beginning to reject it (among others). Goldwater was an uber-hawk during the time of major fear of nuclear war.

  56. 56
    Schlemizel says:

    @Davis X. Machina:
    My favorite memory of AuH2O was one Senate campaign where he gave a stirring speech about the importance of self-reliance and pulling ones self up by ones bootstraps.

    He gave this speech on the street, in front of the huge department store his father owned, the one that made him a millionaire.

    Sometime the more things change the more they stay the same.

  57. 57
    Redshift says:

    @Bruce S: Right, because the comparison being made in the post is to Goldwater in 1981. Are you also going to complain about posts on racial politics that talk about George Wallace?

  58. 58
    RossInDetroit says:

    @qwerty42:

    The west side of the state and especially the southwest is heavily GOP. They tend to be social conservatives. Manufacturing industry fled places like Muskegon decades ago. The major industries are tourism and agriculture (fruit). They tend to think of the auto industry as a Detroit thing that doesn’t involve them, and disdain the liberal cities. But where do they think those vacationers from Wayne County who rent their cottages and hire their fishing charters get their paychecks?

  59. 59
    Redshift says:

    @RossInDetroit: I agree in general, but actually “Message: I care” was Bush senior.

  60. 60
    bemused says:

    Anyone working in an auto industry dependent job knows, if not a complete idiot, that the auto bail out saved him/her from a high possibility of becoming jobless with dismal odds of finding another job.

    It blows my mind that 62% of Mich Republicans still oppose the auto bailout. Stupid, stupid people.

  61. 61
    The Moar You Know says:

    VICTORY

  62. 62
    Bruce S says:

    Davis – I’m not suggesting Goldwater’s hard-right economics or his war hawk views or his vote against the Civil Rights bill were correct. I’m suggesting that he DID actually believe stuff he professed to believe, he didn’t change his beliefs to fit polling, and pandering to the religious right not only wasn’t integral to his politics but was something he found abhorrent.

    My family left the Republican party over Goldwater – primarily because of his opposition to the Civil Rights bill, his hawkishness and the craziness of his hard-core supporters, who more emphasized extreme paranoia about communists domestic and foreign than religious fundamentalism. (By ’68 they were also disgusted with Johnson and had shifted to the Gene McCarthy/RFK wing of the Democratic Party.)

    IMHO Goldwater over his career had far more integrity as a politician and discernment about so-called social/cultural issues like choice and gay rights, if nothing else, than either of these guys. The biggest stain on Goldwater’s record is his opposition to the Civil Rights bill. But it’s balanced by his early support of gay rights – so I take him at his word that it was based on his Constitutional fundamentalism and not pandering to the renegade Dixiecrats who were shifting to the GOP in the ’60s. Still sucks, but not quite as toxic and consistent with his reductionist “Constitutionalism.”

  63. 63
    John O says:

    I can’t get my mind around Romney losing MI. That will almost assure a death march to the convention.

    You’ve got to hand it to the GOP in a way, they managed to provide their voters with an almost perfect representation of their stated policy goals and general attitude on national political matters. Romney, the patrician’s Money choice; Santorum, the gobotherer’s favorite; Paul, representing my grandfather’s conservatism for the most part, and Gingrich, who appeals to all those vulnerable to the grift.

    Strange times, indeed.

  64. 64

    @jurassicpork: I love the image of a single term Senator, and as a woman, loathe Icky Ricky with the heat of 100,000 red giants. I thought, however, as a matter of strict technical fact, that the creepy guy was reelected to the Senate once,in 2000 then losing by a large margin in 2006.

    /pedant who would love to be proven incorrect.

  65. 65
    Linnaeus says:

    @bemused:

    It blows my mind that 62% of Mich Republicans still oppose the auto bailout. Stupid, stupid people

    .

    As a couple of people pointed out, the GOP is strong in areas of Michigan where there isn’t as much industry anymore, so voters in those parts tend to view the auto industry as something distant from them. There’s also a good dose of anti-unionism thrown in and I wouldn’t be surprised if race was also a factor, since “Detroit” in Michigan is often code for “black”.

  66. 66
    Barry says:

    @Rommie: “I think it’s safe to say the $$$ wing and the Jesus wing of the GOP are lined up at Bull Run, just waiting for the go order. The question will be just how much they really hate each other, and how nasty the fighting will get. My guess is that it will make PUMA vs. OBot look like the Puppy Bowl.”

    I wish them much bloody success against each other. If (and I doubt it) those two forces actually went into all-out warfare, it’d break an alliance which has dominated US national politics since Nixon.

  67. 67
    mdblanche says:

    @Rommie: Wasn’t Bull Run strategically indecisive, with the lack of a quick path to victory for either side setting the stage for the four bloodiest years in American history?

    @Bruce S:

    “I am warning them today: I will fight them every step of the way if they try to dictate their moral convictions to all Americans in the name of ‘conservatism.’ “

    Looks like Goldwater lost that fight.

  68. 68
    Judas Escargot, Your Postmodern Neighbor says:

    @Bulworth:

    I hope all Christie’s liberal fanboys in the press will notice how effing severe Christie is being here.

    I love his excuse for the veto, too: “The voters should be allowed to decide in a referendum.”

    So, let’s review GOP logic.

    If the courts decide for same-sex marriage, it’s activist judges thwarting the spirit of the law. If the legislature votes for it, it violates the will of the people. If it passes by referendum, it becomes an issue for the courts to decide. If the courts decide for it, it’s activist judges thwarting the spirit of the law. If the legislature votes for it, it violates the will of the people. If it passes by referendum…

    ^C

    (terminated)

  69. 69
    Bruce S says:

    “Are you also going to complain about posts on racial politics that talk about George Wallace?”

    That doesn’t make any sense – because Goldwater never repudiated his core conservatism. His later views were still consistent with what he’d always professed as his values. By Wallace own admission his most retrograde expressions on race were rooted in political opportunism more than fundamental beliefs from Day One. There’s no parallel between Wallace and Goldwater whatsoever. If anything, in terms of their approach to politics they were about as opposite as one can find at the level of semi-successful politicians in the relatively big leagues.

  70. 70
    Jay C says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised to discover that Gov. Christie was buttonholing NJ legislators behind-the-scenes begging them to ovveride his SSM veto, so he can “reluctantly” sign off on the bill, and have it both ways: a nod to gays on one hand, a shrug to the fundies on the other…

  71. 71
  72. 72
    Barry says:

    @qwerty42: “I’d be interested in where these voters are concentrated. I’ll guess in northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula (UP). ”

    Western Michigan, and the incredibly resentful older whites in the tri-county area (Detroit region) who hate anybody else getting stuff. I wouldn’t be surprised if many of them were UAW/Big 3 retirees, who were pulling down sweet retirement benefits.

  73. 73
    Bruce S says:

    “The Goldwater analogy for Santorum is based on two things. First, both were sure losers that the base loves. Second, both had certain radical positions that were completely out of the mainstream. Santorum’s is anti-gay bigotry as the country is beginning to reject it (among others). Goldwater was an uber-hawk during the time of major fear of nuclear war.”

    True dat. Unfortunately Goldwater’s indefensible position against the Civil Rights bill probably did more to help the GOP begin building it’s base in the South than any of Goldwater’s extreme pronouncements on government or his extreme hawkishness. There’s no evidence – like there is against Ron Paul – that Goldwater ever stepped into the overt racist muck (and Santorum is explicitly and proudly homophobic.) Goldwater probably should be taken at his word regarding his “Constitutional fundamentalism.” But that was, IMHO, the wrong-headed, retrograde position of Goldwater’s that likely actually did over the long-term pay off for his Party in reconstructing themselves and carving off a slice of old Dem strongholds even more than the much-touted “blue collar Reagan Democrats.” States like Ohio and Pennsylvania are always in contention. But not the deep South, which was hard-core Democratic before Goldwater.

  74. 74
    Barry says:

    @RossInDetroit: “But where do they think those vacationers from Wayne County who rent their cottages and hire their fishing charters get their paychecks?”

    Their resentment outweighs their cluefulness, particularly if those vacationers, ah, come pretanned, if you know what I mean.

  75. 75
    handsmile says:

    @Gin & Tonic: (#54)

    Joseph Weizenbaum!? My goodness, one never knows what names one will bump into around here!

    A quarter-century or so ago, I audited a course he co-taught on the ethics of technology. Given his advocacy on that issue as well as his politics, he was quite the unorthodox figure at MIT’s Laboratory for Computer Science in those days.

    With his seminal role in the Green Party, I expect he would regard with despair the foreign and environmental policies of both of America’s major political parties.

  76. 76
    bemused says:

    @Linnaeus:

    That’s how it usually plays out. I’d like to see that 62% broken down by area, and age as well.

    Republicans are an out of sight, out of mind species…if they can’t see it from their bubble, it doesn’t exist.

  77. 77
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Bruce S:

    States like Ohio and Pennsylvania are always in contention. But not the deep South, which was hard-core Democratic before Goldwater.

    The deep South was Democratic because the Republicans were the Party of Lincoln.

    Now that the GOP has basically repudiated Lincoln, and embraced the ideals of the Confederacy, they’re the new dominant party in the deep South.

  78. 78

    @bemused:

    It blows my mind that 62% of Mich Republicans still oppose the auto bailout. Stupid, stupid people.

    It’s short term memory issue. They buy into this bull that Romney spews that the automakers did not go through an actual bankruptcy. They in fact DID go through bankruptcy, albeit financed by the federal government. What the R’s forget was that the banking industry had collapsed and could not finance the automakers reorganization. I didn’t see Bain Capital offering up a plan to finance GM’s reorganization.

    The Government was the only “bank” left standing. Without financing, there would have been liquidation.

  79. 79
    Z says:

    Nope. The best way for Romney to win is to have Gingrich attack Santorum on being anti-consensual-sex, anti-gay-sex (let alone marriage), anti-contraception, etc, and plant stories about the Santorum family’s miscarried child (which I actually find humanizing rather than weird, but I don’t think I’m typical there). What if Newt Gingrich included in his opening statement in whatever the next debate is, “I look across the stage and I see Ron Paul. He’s worried about America. I see Mitt Romney. He’s worried about America. I’m worried about America. But then I think about what Sen. Santorum has said over the years. He’s worried about what goes on in your bedroom. He’s thinks more and more people are having sex with animals. He thinks condoms have ruined America. Those are debates that we can have, but they aren’t what Americans are worried about right now. They aren’t what I’m worried about.”

    Instantly, Santorum-weirdness is a national story. Gingrich is tarred as a total hypocrite which is fine by him because he won’t win anyway and now people are talking about him. People don’t know about this stuff yet; turnout has been anemic in the primaries. This story increases interest and enthusiasm and almost everyone goes for Romney who stays out of the fray.

    What does this cost Romney, anyway? A moon ambassadorship and whatever Sheldon Adelson wants. Big deal.

  80. 80
    Rafer Janders says:

    @bemused:

    Plus, in Michigan, an “auto industry dependent job” isn’t just a job working in a plant, or at a auto parts supplier, etc. It’s a job working as a hairdresser or in retail or as a waitress in a restaurant or as a real estate broker etc. if those stores are patronized by auto workers. If the auto workers lose their jobs, guess what, they’re not going to go out and get haircuts or buy clothes or go to restaurants or buy houses anymore.

  81. 81
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @handsmile: That was more in reference to how bemused he was that (some) people actually took ELIZA seriously, even after he showed them what was behind the curtain, and how he later became disillusioned with AI. Willard doesn’t seem to have much more substance than ELIZA, and people take him seriously.

  82. 82
    patrick II says:

    The core of Romney’s bankruptcy argument is that pension funds should be used to pay creditors. Romney complains in his op-ed that secured creditors were not paid first with money that had been obligated to workers’ pensions. It is a consistent position for a person who made much of his money by borrowing against a companies assets, including worker’s pensions, forcing the company into bankruptcy and leaving the workers’ pension fund to pay creditors and left it empty while he walked away with millions.

    That is bad enough. But those were the rules of the game at the time, so it was legal if morally reprehensible business plan.

    The problem is, as Mitt tells us in his op-ed, Mitt sees nothing wrong with that. He doesn’t think that law should be changed. Mitt thinks that people who are paid a salary earned through their labor, but have it deferred to retirement by placing it in a retirement fund, should have the money in that account stolen from them by the first vulture capitalist who can leverage a loan against it.

    Mitt thinks that stealing money earned by years of labor and impoverishing thousands of workers is a good thing. He calls it capitalism’s creative destruction. And while there is a place for creative destruction — the reorganization and re-use of capital now tied up in unprofitable enterprise, stealing earned money from employees is not creative, it is destructive. Destructive of the lives of people who labored years for that money. Destructive of lives, and destructive of the social bonds which are supposed to hold us together.

    Mitt is an asshole not just because he has himself practiced vulture capitalism, but because he thinks he is right to do so and prefers to have a government and laws under which that practice is continued. He lacks the imagination and empathy to think otherwise.

    The banality of evil, like the crazification factor is a theme that reappears often in BJ discussions. With Mitt and Santorum as their final two candidates the republican party has reached the apogee of both.

  83. 83
    burnspbesq says:

    @Bob2:

    I trust my homies not to make the same mistake twice. Christie is toast next year.

    201 FA LIFE

  84. 84
    bemused says:

    @The Other Bob: @Rafer Janders:

    Yes & yes.

    The collateral damage to all other non auto related businesses (no paycheck, no spendy) is what we think of immediately. The concept of ‘what happens next’ seems to be far beyond the capability of Foxbot brains.

  85. 85
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @The Other Bob:

    I didn’t see Bain Capital offering up a plan to finance GM’s reorganization.

    Bain Capital’s plan would have been to sell off all the factories and the land they stood on, and use the proceeds for hookers and blow for Bain’s top execs.

  86. 86
    qwerty42 says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Now that the GOP has basically repudiated Lincoln, and embraced the ideals of the Confederacy, they’re the new dominant party in the deep South.

    That is true (mostly) for now, but the demographics keep changing. Both because of in- and out-migration and births/deaths. In 2008, Georgia, for example, went Republican by 52%, the Democratic vote was 47%. This does not mean Georgia will be a swing state in 2012, but it likely will within 10 years. Texas and some other seemingly very Republican states will begin shifting over the same time period. Even the confederacy changes.

  87. 87
    burnspbesq says:

    @patrick II:

    “Romney says yes and in his op-ed complains that secured creditors were not paid first with money that had been obligated to workers’ pensions.”

    Aside from the fact that it’s probably a violation of both ERISA and the Internal Revenue Code to invade pension money for any purpose other than paying benefits and administrative expenses, the simple fact is that Rattner called the secured creditors’ bluff and they folded.

  88. 88
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @bemused:

    The concept of ‘what happens next’ seems to be far beyond the capability of Foxbot brains.

    It’s like everything else with these morans; they do not have the slightest fucking clue as to cause and effect. If you ask them how their car works, they’ll say “I turn the key in the ignition, and the motor comes on”.

    This of course assumes they can get into the car without their little electronic doohicky that unlocks the door. Often, they don’t realize that the key will do that, too.

  89. 89
    burnspbesq says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    You must not have bought a car recently. On my last four cars, the key and the electronic doohickey have been a single, integrated unit.

    Nice try, though.

  90. 90
    grandpa john says:

    @mistermix: RCP ave for MI is +9.5 Obama

  91. 91
    bemused says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Cause and effect = Obama/Dems/liberals did it. That’s all they need to know.

  92. 92
    Rommie says:

    @mdblanche: Both of the fights at Bull Run were tactical and strategic wins for the Confederacy. The first one taught the Union the hard way that the rebellion was Srs Biznz, and the second opened the door to the invasion of the North.

    In that way, it’s easy to see how either side might end up stomping the hell out of the other and getting their candidate nominated. But it’s all the tough talk from the GOP side that made me think of the ACW analogy – they like to leave the threat of “doing more than talk” in the air about topics. I suspect, if it happens, it’ll turn out that they will savage each other with more fury than they would the other side. And we know how much they hate anything that looks “near” and “blah” and “yankee” to them.

  93. 93
    grandpa john says:

    @BroD: Well the current RCP poll average has Obama at +10.4 which is usually considered as blowout numbers

  94. 94
    Hal says:

    Now I’m really confused. Didn’t Romney already write an op-ed in the NY Times against the bailout, then later boasted about it’s success? Now he’s slamming it again?

  95. 95
    amk says:

    @grandpa john: @grandpa john: That’s a big relief. Thanks.

  96. 96
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @burnspbesq:

    I dunno. Bought a new car a couple of years ago, and the doohicky was separate from the key. This a Kia.

  97. 97
    roc says:

    Right. Because the Unions were the ones who needed standing up to. Not the management who agreed to benefits packages instead of pay raises, because they knew they could play accounting games with benefits to make the quarterly numbers look better. Let’s pin it all on the UAW, even though it doesn’t pass the sniff test: US automakers were losing to Japanese automakers who run UAW plants and overseas automakers who run plants with far-stronger Unions.

    And let’s insist that it’s Detroit that needs a firm handling of its bailout. Not Wall Street. Not the industry that blew up the economy and dried up the credit that would have otherwise been available to GM and Chrysler without government intervention. Those clowns don’t need to be *prosecuted* for their flagrant violations of *law*. They don’t even need to be *chastised* for giving absurd bonuses to the very people who brought everything to a halt.

  98. 98
    grandpa john says:

    @bemused:

    the auto bail out saved him/her from a high possibility of becoming jobless with dismal odds of finding another job.

    How true, Hell I live in SC and it saved my daughters and others jobs even down here. She works at a Bosch plant , GM is one of their major customers. they went from 3days every other week to now 6 days a week sometimes 7

  99. 99
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Hal:

    Wind changed. Weathervane OvenMitt must change with it.

  100. 100
    Bruce S says:

    Villago @ 77 – that’s the point. Goldwater was the first GOP presidential candidate to embody a repudiation of civil rights legislation, thus opening wide the party’s door to the disgruntled, racist Dixiecrats.

  101. 101
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Bruce S:

    LBJ said that he knew that by signing the Civil Rights Act, he was losing the South to the Republicans for a generation, minimum.

    But it was the right thing to do. So he did it.

  102. 102
    Rita R. says:

    @patrick II:

    Romney complains in his op-ed that secured creditors were not paid first with money that had been obligated to workers’ pensions.

    Wow. Is that really what he’s saying? How does the argument work that money owed to creditors trumps not only money owed to workers, but actually money they earned and was put aside for their retirement?

    They only way Republicans can expect to win with these positions is if the media continues to let them get away with not talking about what their policies are really all about.

  103. 103
    rikryah says:

    @patrick II:

    thank you so much for this comment. I’m gonna spread it around.

  104. 104
    Bruce S says:

    Villago – My feelings about LBJ are totally mixed – I was one of those kids vilifying him in the streets over Vietnam, but he obviously stands just behind FDR as a transformative President on domestic issues. The conscious decision he made re civil rights, knowing the political cost and especially in context of his history as the consummate canny pol, was something approaching heroic, at least as Oval Office decision-making generally goes.

  105. 105
    Interrobang says:

    @Someguy: *waves* Dude, you’re looking at probably the only leftist who opposed the Detroit bailouts, mostly because the auto industry is composed of an anti-competitive cohort of serial corporate criminals, and I’m mostly of the opinion that handing a corporate criminal bailout money is like giving them a license to develop new forms of corporate crime. GM in particular has been screwing most of the world since the early nineteen-teens, and that shit ought to stop somewhere.

    In other news, EMD (now owned by Caterpillar) just shuttered a plant here in my Canadian hometown because the union workers wouldn’t settle for a 45% pay cut and being treated like shit like Americans in “right-to-fire” states; now the plant is (surprise, surprise) opening in Indiana, which just (with the help of Caterpillar, hmmmm, I wonder) voted in new right-to-fire anti-union legislation.

  106. 106
    amk says:

    steve rattner tweet

    If we had followed #Romney’s advice on autos, we would have no car industry, no Detroit and no Michigan today.

  107. 107
    Bruce S says:

    “Wow. Is that (raiding pension funds) really what he’s saying?”

    Yep. And, as Patrick articulated beautifully, that’s part of the strategy that the Bain’s have internalized and thrive on. Utterly sociopathic.

  108. 108
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Bruce S:

    Yeah, I’m pretty much the same way about LBJ. I was too young to march in the streets, but my mom fretted that Vietnam would drag on long enough for me to go.

  109. 109
    Judas Escargot, Your Postmodern Neighbor says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    ’09 Subaru, same thing, separate keyfob. A very retro-looking keyfob.

    Though the Mazdas and Toyotas they’ve given me as loaners/rentals have the all-in-ones.

  110. 110
    amk says:

    ppp tweet

    41% of voters think the economy’s getting better, only 31% worse. Increased optimism helping Obama:

    http://www.publicpolicypolling.....ening.html

  111. 111
    patrick II says:

    @burnspbesq:

    If illegal during the GM pseudo bankruptcy, what was the legal mechanism that Romney used to empty retirement funds while at Bain?
    I think he just borrowed so much money against the companies assets, including retirement funds, that he left them unable to pay.
    He is asserting in his op-ed that secured creditors should be paid first, and you are saying that is (and was shown to be when the bluff was callled) untenable. And I think I understand the mechanism he got away with it before must different to be legal.
    Am I getting that right? So he is entirely blowing right wing smoke now?

  112. 112
    mdblanche says:

    @Rommie: True, but after the Confederates were done celebrating they realized the Union wasn’t about to just give up after their first defeat either. It would take winning a couple more battles like that to win the war, and despite Second Bull Run, etc. it was the Union that won several years and several hundred thousand casualties later.

    I think we agree no matter who wins the GOP’s Bull Run, the other side won’t just surrender then and there either.

  113. 113
    Linnaeus says:

    @Interrobang:

    Dude, you’re looking at probably the only leftist who opposed the Detroit bailouts, mostly because the auto industry is composed of an anti-competitive cohort of serial corporate criminals, and I’m mostly of the opinion that handing a corporate criminal bailout money is like giving them a license to develop new forms of corporate crime. GM in particular has been screwing most of the world since the early nineteen-teens, and that shit ought to stop somewhere.

    I can see why someone would hold this opinion – GM isn’t exactly the kindest company out there. Trouble is, letting it all go to shit would have created a lot of collateral damage to a lot of people (full disclosure: including members of my family). That’s too high a price to pay for the satisfaction of sticking it to GM.

  114. 114
    jibeaux says:

    @Hal: The only cause for confusion would be if Romney had been consistent about this. I remember him trying to take credit for the bailout and saying that what Obama did was based on his recommendations.

  115. 115
    patrick II says:

    @rikryah:
    You’re welcome, and thanks.

  116. 116
    RossinDetroit says:

    My late FIL was a Fisher Body (GM) toolie. He took some of his retirement as GM stock, which my wife inherited. When GM went through bankruptcy the stock became worthless. It was a big hit to her assets but worth it. She still has a job (jobs, actually) as a tooling designer because we still have GM.

  117. 117
    Gretchen says:

    I grew up in Detroit. I’ve been away long enough to have unthinkingly bought a couple of elderly Volvos. Every time friends or family come to visit, the first thing, the very first thing they say, before “great to see you after so long” is “what’s this? why is there a foreign car in your driveway?” These are not people who work directly for the auto industry, but everybody, and I mean everybody in Detroit and environs knows that the auto industry is their lifeblood. I can’t believe that someone who trashes the auto industry bailout will get a singel vote in southeastern Michigan.

  118. 118

    @Interrobang:

    mostly because the auto industry is composed of an anti-competitive cohort of serial corporate criminals

    Welcoem to the world. Maybe you are unfamiliar with the protection of the auto industry in other countries. Ford could not own more than a third of Mazda because it was against Japanese law. Imports into Japan are in the single digits. Cars imported into China face stiff tariffs and have to hand over intellectual property to build them in China. The auto industries around the world are totally in bed with their respective Governments and maintain their own markets.

    I don’t really care if GM ran Tucker into the ground. Its 2012 for God’s sake.

    Thanks goodness we woke up in 2009 and gave our makers a hand.

  119. 119
    skippy the wondermule says:

    “We all know that Santorum is toxic as a national candidate….”

    That is exactly what they said about the man who claimed trees cause pollution, remember?

    Regardless of this man’s sanity, people are suckers for sincerity. He has an appeal that intelligent, reasonable people are not able to even perceive. We should not misunderestimate him.

    President Santorum, sweet Jesus. We would become a laughing stock to ourselves.

  120. 120
    b-psycho says:

    @Linnaeus: If some form of bailout was completely unavoidable, it should’ve been combined with a breakup & ownership of the resulting pieces being transferred entirely to the workers. It wasn’t their fault, and concentration of an industry in such a small amount of hands never made sense in the first place.

  121. 121
    Turgidson says:

    @patrick II:

    In my very limited experience with ERISA litigation, burnspbesq is correct that ERISA protects pension assets from being used to pay secured creditors. However, that doesn’t stop vulture capitalists and their enterprising lawyers from trying, via gimmicks and sleights of hand, to reclassify pension and retirement funds as something else, or finding other loopholes in the ERISA statutes, to make the pension funds fair game. And sometimes they succeed.

  122. 122
    MCA says:

    @beltane: I’m curious as to whether 63% of Michigan Republicans = 27% of the Michigan population. If about 42% of the state is registered Republican, we might be seeing that magic number in action here once again.

  123. 123
    Billy Rae Valentine says:

    @jeffreyw:

    lol did u read the customer reviews? omg i knew it would be comedy gold but the guy who says he used it in Africa to help repopulate the elephant population? nice.

  124. 124
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @Gretchen:

    These are not people who work directly for the auto industry, but everybody, and I mean everybody in Detroit and environs knows that the auto industry is their lifeblood.

    I have friends who have family near Detroit, who makes a decent amount of money selling 80s Mercs to people in other states who run them on biodiesel. Basically, what happens is that Arab-American families around Dearborn start with old Mercs, then ‘go native’ and switch to Big 3 cars. Assimilation at work.

  125. 125
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @MCA:

    If about 42% of the state is registered Republican, we might be seeing that magic number in action here once again.

    Well, 2008 presidential polling was 57D 41R.

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