One-Note Samba

Political messaging is hard in the details but the overall plan is simple enough that an eighth-grade pep squad could articulate it: tell us why you rock, and why your opponent sucks. Sometimes circumstances dictate that “rox” or “sux” alone have to carry the day, but over the long span of the campaign, you need a mix of both. This latest Obama ad is a good example. Obama’s clean energy initiative rocks, Romney’s lies and Swiss bank account suck, the end.

Here’s some typical Romney campaign imagery, and at least for this biased and simpleminded observer, the 24/7 “he sucks” is wearing thin, and it’s also getting him into trouble. The latest dust-up over the Bin Laden killing is a good example. Some things are just better left untouched by the candidate, and the right response to Obama’s Bin Laden celebration would have been to let surrogates handle the sniping and to have Romney highlight what he would be doing differently to make America stronger. But he lacks the “I rock” portion of his campaign, so his “all sux no rox” campaign had to chew up the bait that Obama laid down for him, and after they did, Obama made them look like chumps. (BTW, the often criticized Josh Marshall is right that Obama did the bitch-slapping here and even this Morning Joe regular agrees).

Even the “sux” portion of Romney’s program is just hollow reliance on right-wing tropes. The Jimmy Carter example was a good one, because anyone who’s over 40 remembers how much that raid hurt Carter. If you remember that, then you know how the Bin Laden raid could have turned to shit, and if it had, we’d have ended up with years of Rove-style messaging about Obama’s weakness.

These guys have been living in a Beavis and Butthead world where just saying “Barack Hussein Obama”, “Michelle is Fat” or “Just Like Jimmy Carter” gets a high-five from the other idiots in the room, and it’s starting to show.






117 replies
  1. 1
    MikeJ says:

    Even when Romney attempts “I rock” all he comes up with is, “I would have done what Obama did.” He said it about bin Laden, he says it about saving GM (except when he;s saying he wouldn’t have saved GM at all.)

  2. 2
    c u n d gulag says:

    There’s a Beavis?

    All I see is Butthead’s!

  3. 3
    Valdivia says:

    @MikeJ:

    I think this gets to a point that Kay has been making that I found very persuasive: Romney seems to just be reacting all the time. Following Obama around. He has ZERO themes and initiative. As stupid as it is what the media call to drive the narrative, his campaign simply in the shadow of Obama all the time.

  4. 4
    Foregone Conclusion says:

    I know this is going to make some of you feel old, but there’s a significant number of voters (basically anyone under 35) who can’t even remember Carter as president. You’d have to be fifty or over to have actually voted for him. Half the electorate is going to just be puzzled as to why Romney keeps banging on about a guy who last sought elected office nearly a third of a century ago. It makes him sound OLD.

  5. 5
    lamh35 says:

    I just watched this ad this morning. With this ad and the Bin Laden R-Money et all are seeing that there was more than just luck that helped then Senator Obama annihilate then Senator and Former Frist Lady Clinton, the Obama campaign apparatus ain’t no joke. The POTUS may appear to be above the fray, but the campaign ain’t gonna just sit down and let R-Money and the GOP Millionnaires get away with trying to box them in.

    Romney should thank his lucky stars for the Citizens United decsion, cause it’s the superpacs that will once again help to save romney’s bacon and make this election as close as it’s seems it gonna be by bombarding the airwaves leading up to election day.

    I think Romney and the GOP bought their own crap with the “Obambi” and “American apologist in chief” talk they spew to the uninformed masses. They forgot that Obama is a grade A campaigner and the campaign that beat Hilary was not a one shot thing.

  6. 6
    lamh35 says:

    I posted this yesterday, but James Fallows had the best answer to Romney’s “even Carter” crap yesterday:

    ‘Even Jimmy Carter’

    Mitt Romney informs us that the raid that took out Osama bin Laden one year ago was no big deal, because “even Jimmy Carter would have given that order.”

    Grrrrr…

  7. 7
    dmsilev says:

    Speaking of R-Money, the Times has a nice story on how his son cashed in on Dad’s (largely political) connections:

    About a month after Mitt Romney ended his bid for the Republican presidential nomination in February 2008, his eldest son, Tagg, and Spencer Zwick, the campaign’s top fund-raiser, met with a beef company executive who had been a major campaign donor over dinner at the posh Torrey Pines resort in San Diego.
    __
    This meeting, however, was not about politics. Instead, the younger Romney, who had been a senior adviser to his father, and Mr. Zwick presented the executive, John R. Miller, with a business proposition: the opportunity to invest in a private equity fund they were starting, Solamere Capital.
    […]
    Two years later, despite a challenging fund-raising climate for private equity, Solamere, named after a wealthy enclave in Utah’s Deer Valley where the Romneys have a winter home, finished raising its first fund. The firm blew past its $200 million goal, securing $244 million from 64 investors, including a critical, early $10 million from Mitt Romney and his wife, Ann, and hefty commitments from wealthy supporters of the campaign.

    Note, by the way, that last sentence. Mittens tossed in 10 million dollars to help his kid’s company get off the ground. I’m sure Romney the Younger believes that he’s lifted himself by his own bootstraps.

  8. 8
    Ash Can says:

    These guys have been living in a Beavis and Butthead world where just saying “Barack Hussein Obama”, “Michelle is Fat” or “Just Like Jimmy Carter” gets a high-five from the other idiots in the room, and it’s starting to show.

    I’ve been thinking this for a while. It was showing during the last presidential campaign. The insularity, the belief that simply adding a female, any female, to the ticket would siphon off female votes from the Democrats, the blind faith that the VP candidate didn’t need vetting as long as she was ideologically acceptable — as if nothing else mattered, such as the actual real-life nuts and bolts of governing (or, at least, running an election campaign) and the actual real-life consequences of not having the practical tools necessary to do that work. They really seem to believe that bit about making their own reality, and it doesn’t seem to dawn on them that it’s not working, let alone why not.

  9. 9
    me says:

    Romney’s found the perfect counter to Rove’s “attack your opponents strengths” strategy. He has no strengths.

  10. 10
    dmsilev says:

    @lamh35:

    I just watched this ad this morning. With this ad and the Bin Laden R-Money et all are seeing that there was more than just luck that helped then Senator Obama annihilate then Senator and Former Frist Lady Clinton, the Obama campaign apparatus ain’t no joke. The POTUS may appear to be above the fray, but the campaign ain’t gonna just sit down and let R-Money and the GOP Millionnaires get away with trying to box them in.

    There’s another aspect to that. The 2008 primary campaign was a battle of titans. Hillary Clinton, for all the problems that her campaign had, was an extremely serious candidate with wide and deep backing throughout the Democratic Party. Obama emerged from that campaign with a battle-honed campaign apparatus that had to fight across 50 states and several territories/etc. Mitt Romney, on the other hand, had to face a field filled with jokes, has-beens, and of course has-been jokes (see: Gingrich, Newt). That’s not anywhere near the same sort of experience.

  11. 11
    negative 1 says:

    If you’re feeling optimistic, you could point out that the “nuh-uh to whatever he says” strategy has an obvious flaw. That flaw is that there are things that are going to be overwhelmingly popular, but it still forces you to take a stand against them.
    Not even that long ago, the McCain campaign could have easily said “yup I’d have done the same thing, glad he’s dead” and it would have been a non-starter, no great advantage to Obama that hadn’t already been there, and possibly have helped seperate the event (death of bin Laden) from the person who achieved it (Obama). Now? Rmoney has to side with bin Laden.
    If you’re not feeling optimistic, if Rmoney wins it will be the first time a candidate will have won by flat out lying. What will be his incentive to tell any of us what he’s doing?

  12. 12
    Hill Dweller says:

    Also, too, when your wife is having to constantly tell people that you’re funny in private, you’ve already lost.

    Kudos to Charlie Rose for abdicating his journalistic responsibilities when interviewing the Romney’s this morning.

  13. 13
    Hill Dweller says:

    @dmsilev: I’m sure Willard is against affirmative action.

  14. 14
    redshirt says:

    @Ash Can: I think this is a fundamental truth of modern Wingnuttery – while we laugh (and gasp) at their stupidity, they do truly believe it (at least many of them). It’s hard for a rational person to understand that a less rational person can completely believe something that seems so obviously wrong.

    But when you consider this, much of what Republicans do makes sense – they believe every lie. All of them, Charlie.

  15. 15
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Valdivia: This. He’s just going around carping after Obama and coming off like a big downer. People aren’t going to want to hear that for the next 6 months, let alone the next 4 years.

  16. 16
    dmsilev says:

    @Hill Dweller: Has she found a better way to phrase it then “we better unzip him and let the real Mitt Romney out.”? Because honestly, that one is hard to top.

  17. 17
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    These guys have been living in a Beavis and Butthead world where just saying “Barack Hussein Obama”, “Michelle is Fat” or “Just Like Jimmy Carter” gets a high-five from the other idiots in the room, and it’s starting to show.

    and this, sums the Right’s thinking all up. My experience has been if you start pushing them into why they think these liberals suck, they get all sheepish and can’t do it. It begins and ends with a slogan with them.

  18. 18
    JPL says:

    @dmsilev: Actually yesterday’s Rhino youtube, topped that.

  19. 19
    lamh35 says:

    @Hill Dweller: was Charlie Rose horrible?

  20. 20
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @Foregone Conclusion:

    I know this is going to make some of you feel old, but there’s a significant number of voters (basically anyone under 35) who can’t even remember Carter as president. You’d have to be fifty or over to have actually voted for him. Half the electorate is going to just be puzzled as to why Romney keeps banging on about a guy who last sought elected office nearly a third of a century ago. It makes him sound OLD.

    To put that in perspective Barrack Obama is just barely old enough to have voted for Carter in 1980.

  21. 21
    Barbara says:

    Well, when your idea of how you “rox” is a deathly dull explication of how you transformed the paper supply chain through financing Staples, I would have to say that Romney might be better off not using the “I rox” part of his game plan. Romney is one of those business people who actually and sincerely seems to think that being successful at something makes it inherently interesting to other people.

  22. 22

    OT

    Meanwhile, back at the front
    . Our canine brigade has mustered and is ready for campaign duty.

    Washington Post: “President Obama has unleashed a particularly unusual fundraiser for his 2012 campaign… The unlikely pitchman is Bo, the White House family pet, who may well be the first ‘first dog’ to emerge as a central player in a presidential reelection campaign.”

    Teehee, Go get ’em Bo, avenge the Seamus. WOOF!!

  23. 23
    catclub says:

    1. Is the ad pointing out his father released 11 years of tax returns and Obama released about that number, while he has released 1. Not even his 2011 return – since he got an extension on that one.

    2. Romney has no plan for programs that he would push.
    He just says that he is a businessman and knows about jobs.

    3. Romney is close to getting the Al Gore treatment from the press.

    All good news for Obama.

  24. 24
    Hill Dweller says:

    @dmsilev: This morning she said Willard has a wild and crazy guy waiting to get out.

    Charlie Rose did his best to help them, but they are just awkward people.

  25. 25
    Mark S. says:

    Give Mitt a break. He’s only been running for President for the last eight years or so. He can hardly be expected to have come up with any issues or policies he would want to implement if elected. So for now he’s just against whatever the black guy is for.

  26. 26
    Hill Dweller says:

    @lamh35: Charlie Rose is always awful, but this morning he was especially bad. He couldn’t be bothered to ask Willard about his past statements about going into Pakistan. Instead, Rose just sat there and let Willard play the victim.

  27. 27
    El Cid says:

    I feel stupid.

    I just realized (unless I did and forgot again, which is a different mental failing) that the “Obama Isn’t Working” phrase is also a lazy lazy black man shout-out.

  28. 28
    chopper says:

    @MikeJ:

    what he keeps saying is, “everything obama does is wrong, except the stuff that worked and that stuff was all my idea in the first place’.

    remembering that the dude was a CEO helps. they’re like that. don’t take any risks, but if someone else does and succeeds take credit for it.

  29. 29
    Kane says:

    Romney was full of swagger after struggling to defeat the worst collection of presidential primary candidates in history. But now he is in the big league, and he and his campaign are showing that they are outmatched and out of their league.

  30. 30
    The Golux says:

    I have to say there is no better metaphor for the shits-and-giggles crew in the right-wing blogosphere than Beavis and Butthead.

  31. 31
    RalfW says:

    “…it’s starting to show.”

    Yep. I hope that at least the slice of the electorate that is paying moderate attention has noticed that the GOP got nuttin’ as has been pointed out here regularly.

    One of the things that, as far as I can tell, made the GOP more effective 10 or 15 years ago is that their think tanks actually thought back then. Actually trained people to think about policy.

    But even the folks who are supposed to have the chops have turned into morons going “huh..huh..huh..he said mooslem. Huh..huh..climate change is for wimps..huh..huh..I wet myself..huh..wait, did I say that..”

  32. 32
    HRA says:

    Anyone read about this attack from over the big pond?

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new.....paign.html

    I read Drudge is on it, too. No, I don’t read Drudge.

    Sorry if this is OT.

  33. 33
    Steve in DC says:

    He has ZERO themes and initiative.

    Because he’s a consultant. You don’t hire a consultant because they have a vision for your company. You hire a consultant because things aren’t working and they can (supposedly) make them work better. It’s not about a vision or leadership, it’s about looking at the processes and the nuts and bolts of the operation and shaking it up to make it leaner and meaner.

    His entire presidential pitch is that of a consultant. Vision, pff, who needs one, the founder(s) provided the company a vision and I’m not going to change that. I’m here to make things run better, smoother, faster, more efficient and return this company to profitability.

    It’s worth noting that most consultant visits usually end up with a who shit ton of people being out of a job.

  34. 34
    quannlace says:

    as close as it’s seems it gonna be by bombarding the airwaves leading up to election day.”

    All the pundits will lament ‘unfortunately, negative ads work!” I have never, ever gotten this. Who, with any working brain cells, would willingly sit through one of these? When any political ad comes on, I can’t grab the remote fast enough.

  35. 35
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Valdivia:

    He’s got no “vision thing”, as one term President George H.W. Bush once said of himself.

    He just knows he wants to be President. What he wants to do with it, well, he has only one idea. PROFIT!

  36. 36
    artem1s says:

    Gotta say when I heard Romney on NPR this morning I couldn’t help thinking he shouldn’t be addressing this at all. If his campaign wants to fight that fight they need to trot out Darth Cheney or one of the old curmudgeons to whinge about Obama’s foreign policy. IMO having Mitt on point with this attack only reminds everyone how little he has no experience in foreign policy or military matters. Unless of course you count shipping jobs overseas.

    After eight years you would think he would be better at running a campaign.

  37. 37
    balconesfault says:

    McCain is upset that Obama is “politicizing” National Security?

    What – does he think the GOP has a patent on that?

  38. 38
    balconesfault says:

    @artem1s: Remember that Mitt still needs to convince wingers why they have to support him.

    Having surrogates attacking Obama just isn’t going to get the base excited. They want to keep hearing over the next six months that Mitt is one of them.

  39. 39
    Cacti says:

    I call horse shit (austrian warmblood of course) on Romney’s claim that he’d have ordered the raid.

    If elected in 2008, Romney would have followed Dubya, and left bin Laden alive and comfortable, for future use as a bogey man.

    The spectre of bin Laden then would have been used to gin up war with Iran, the next target on the Neocon/PNAC hit list.

  40. 40
    BudP says:

    Mitt Romney says: Believe Hindsight Romney, Distrust Foresight Romney.

  41. 41
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @balconesfault:

    Did you know that John McCain was a POW?

  42. 42
    quannlace says:

    “Obama Isn’t Working” phrase is also a lazy lazy black man shout-out.

    Ha. Wasn’t there a troll in here last week, touting the whole ‘Obama isn’t…’ as a sure-fire slogan. He kept refering to it as ‘OIW’ Should have told him that sounds exactly like the name of a labor union.

  43. 43
    rikyrah says:

    who got Bin Laden?

    OBAMA

    who has decimated Al Qeda?

    OBAMA

    fuck these mofos.

    dammit.

    I love that the President has taken away their foreign policy club..

    AND

    that he’s willing to beat the shyt out of them with it TOO.

    Jackal Reporter: Mr. President, the Republicans are accusing you of appeasement.
    President Obama: Ask Osama Bin Laden if I’m an appeaser. Go ask Al Qeda. Whoever’s left.

    FUCK YEAH!!

  44. 44
    SatanicPanic says:

    “There’s a wild and crazy man in there” -Ann Romney

    I am the only person who hears this and imagines some pretty creepy stuff in their basement?

  45. 45
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    If you’re not feeling optimistic, if Rmoney wins it will be the first time a candidate will have won by flat out lying.

    @negative 1: Somebody wasn’t around for Nixon, I see.

  46. 46
    redshirt says:

    I’m still laughing about this “politicizing OBL’s death” thing. Hilarious! This from the party that had their convention in NYC in 2004. I wonder why they chose lovely, liberal NYC for such a patriotic, freedom loving event (where they of course openly mocked a decorated veteran)?

  47. 47
    Cacti says:

    @balconesfault:

    What – does he think the GOP has a patent on that?

    Yes.

    The GOP is the macho “Daddy” party. Obama took this from them and stole their swagger. Now they don’t know what to do with themselves.

  48. 48
    Valdivia says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    It’s their turn!
    Gah I hate these people.

  49. 49
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @SatanicPanic:

    “There’s a wild and crazy man in there” -Ann Romney

    Oh, he’s like a couple of Czechoslovakian brothers who are talking about big American breasts all the time?

  50. 50
    rikyrah says:

    found this great observation at TOD:

    zizi2
    May 1, 2012 at 9:31 am
    The real strategy behind pres. Obama’s stealth attack on Romney re: Osama bin Laden is because if he had not done so, the entire Repug cabal would have swarmed the airwaves on this First anniversary to steal the credit exactly as they did last year when OBL was killed and Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz et al all flooded the airwaves to take credit.

    Now that Pres. Obama has asserted his alpha male territorial boundaries, they are left sputtering on the sidelines. And now Pres. Obama can mark the anniversary without pesky Repugs crowding the field. Genius!

  51. 51
    Ash Can says:

    @Cacti: I think you’re absolutely right. Osama bin Laden was the best thing that happened to the GOP since the Iron Curtain fell. And Barack Obama had to go and fuck that all up for them. No wonder they’re pissed.

  52. 52
    Ken says:

    @dmsilev: Mitt Romney, on the other hand, had to face a field filled with jokes, has-beens, and of course has-been jokes

    I remain convinced that at least five of the Republican were just polishing their resumes and were as surprised as the rest of us when the “not-Romney” spotlight briefly fell on them. My main evidence is that many of them didn’t even bother to get on the ballot in some states.

    By the way, on Sunday morning I was checking out of a hotel and they had one of the cable news channels on – maybe CNN – and I could swear I heard one of the readers say “now that the Republicans have settled for Romney – I mean settled on Romney – …”

  53. 53
    Hal says:

    Wonkette also covered this story with some hilarious tweets.

    http://wonkette.com/471357/rom.....ore-471357

    My favorite:

    http://wonkette.com/wp-content.....oming4.jpg

  54. 54
    Cacti says:

    @Ash Can:

    I think you’re absolutely right. Osama bin Laden was the best thing that happened to the GOP since the Iron Curtain fell. And Barack Obama had to go and fuck that all up for them. No wonder they’re pissed

    McCain at least could have fallen back on his military service.

    Romney on the other hand was riding a bicycle around Provence during his generation’s war.

    Biden was right. Obama does have a “big stick” on this issue, and is rightfully clubbing chickenhawk Willard over the head with it.

  55. 55
    Hoodie says:

    Looks like the emerging theme is that Mitt Romney is a coward, while Obama is a thoughtful leader who has the guts to make tough, unpopular decisions. These adds are great tactics, putting Willard off his game early and making him look like a whiner. They’re inside Willard’s OODA loop, and it’s driving him nuts. The ads highlight that Willard won the nomination by default, that he really has no record of positive accomplishments, all before Willard gets a chance to define himself or even formally secure the nomination. Talk about shitting on someone’s parade. Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.

    I would suspect the Obama folks will milk the OBL stuff for a little while longer, then switch to the success of the auto bailout and Romney’s prior asinine statements on that. A similar tack may be taken on DADT and womens’ rights, where Mitt has also been a pandering wimp and Obama can create a narrative of measured, brave decisionmaking that will sell to the middle. A great finale would be to talk up the ACA by talking about the successes of the MA health plan and how that will translate to success for the country as a whole under the ACA. This will blunt the effectiveness of “Obamacare” attacks while further reinforcing the impression that Mitt is a coward who won’t even stand up for his own accomplishments.

  56. 56
    xian says:

    @dmsilev: Especially as she said that would prove he isn’t stiff.

  57. 57
    Paul in KY says:

    @Foregone Conclusion: Hope you are right, by crikey!

  58. 58
    Cacti says:

    @HRA:

    Anyone read about this attack from over the big pond?

    Ex-Navy SEALs turned Republican politicians are trying to minimize this issue?

    Quelle suprise.

  59. 59
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Hoodie:

    In the Oregon voter’s guide, Romney’s occupation is stated to be “former governor of Massachusetts”.

    Mind you, this information is provided by his campaign.

  60. 60
    Persia says:

    @artem1s: I am really baffled why the Republican party wants to remind people, over and over, that Obama killed Bin Laden. The tiny benefit you might get from ‘tacky’ is so overwhelmed by ‘oh yeah, Osama Bin Laden is still dead.’

  61. 61
    Mino says:

    @lamh35: Even worse, I submit, is the inference that the decision wouldn’t have cause him to hesitate one minute.

    Just think about that.

  62. 62
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Persia:

    The tiny benefit you might get from ‘tacky’ is so overwhelmed by ‘oh yeah, Osama Bin Laden is still dead.’

    Sort of like (Chevy Chase voice) “This just in…Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead”?

  63. 63
    gaz says:

    Can anyone point to a successful campaign that centered exclusively around “The incumbent sucks?”, because I sure as hell can’t think of one.

    It’s funny, cuz our retarded little Romney troll is happy to still adopt Romney’s campaign rhetoric (like Obama Isn’t Working) and yet he’s become allergic to the name Romney.

    Romney will lose this election badly. Obama’s gonna beat him like he was his dad.

  64. 64
    Steve in DC says:

    @Cacti

    Most military members are Republicans. The armed service might as well be called the RNC. Furthermore naming secret units that accomplish missions is a no-no, and this administration has made a habit of doing just that.

    So, not shocked at all that ex-military members are letting him have it for this.

  65. 65
    4tehlulz says:

    I really want Mittens to bring up the Iran hostage rescue in a debate.

    The look on his face when Obama returns with “So you would not have tried to rescue American hostages? Good to know.” would be so priceless I cannot describe a proper adverb for “priceless”.

  66. 66
    Cacti says:

    @gaz:

    Romney troll is happy to still adopt Romney’s campaign rhetoric (like Obama Isn’t Working)

    I prefer some of the alternate “OIW” meanings…

    “Obama Is Winning”

    and

    “Obama Isn’t Whining”

  67. 67
    gaz says:

    @Persia: It’s because they’re desperate and reaching. They’re scrambling to find SOMETHING, ANYTHING to stick to Obama. I’ve got good money on Santorum’s evangelical base sitting around in the pews of their neo-nazi-jesus indoctrination chapels praying for a sex scandal.

    Too bad for them Obama is Mr. Clean, Cool and Competent. They’re fucked.

  68. 68
    4tehlulz says:

    @Steve in DC: I remember their outrage when Dick Cheney leaked the name of a CIA agent, so at least they’re being consiste…oh wait, no.

  69. 69
    Cacti says:

    @Steve in DC:

    Most military members are Republicans

    Thank you for making the most important point up front.

    The rest is your usual concern troll twaddle.

    Rove is trying to find his new “Swiftboat Veterans”.

  70. 70
    gaz says:

    but obama ate a dog!!!

    heh. idiots.

  71. 71
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Persia: He keeps reminding people of _____ it’s not fair! certainly is one of the more self-defeating arguments out there.

  72. 72
    Steve in DC says:

    It’s not concern trolling at all.

    You typically don’t name the involvement of secretive units, it’s just not done. Just like naming the actual operatives is not.

    But somewhere along the line we got in the habit of doing that. It’s despicable and unprofessional.

    Ignoring that is just partisan hackery of the highest level.

  73. 73
    Cacti says:

    @Steve in DC:

    It’s not concern trolling at all.

    Of course not, sparky.

    Now run along and play, the grownups are talking.

  74. 74
    gaz says:

    @Steve in DC: Funny that. It’s a shame bush and cheney sent them off for extremely extended stays in hotter than hell shitholes to fight a war they know is bullshit.

    An anecdote:
    My family is military. My little brother is now (after umpteen tours in AfPak and Iraq) a drill sergeant in Georgia. He’d eat broken glass before voting R again – at least right now. He can tell the chumps from the leaders. I wonder how many more like him are out there now after 8 long years of BULLSHIT from the neocons. Also, Romney is a pussy, and the only pussy soldiers like are the traditional sort.

  75. 75
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Steve in DC:

    I’m not so sure about this. Most officers are probably Republicans (my experience in the officer corps is the basis of this assertion) but a lot, and I do mean a lot, of the enlisted show Democratic tendencies.

    The thing is, while you’ll always find a few wingnuts in the military, the majority probably are not all that political to begin with, and if they are Republicans, they’re moderate Republicans, not serious doctrinaire ones.

  76. 76
    danimal says:

    The GOP is off their game.

    They should have stuck with the “How do we know it’s really Bin Laden, and that he’s really dead?” crap. It’s transparently manipulative and crazy, but no more than the birth certificate nonsense. And, unless the navy put a tracking signal on Bin Laden’s rotting corpse, it’s not easily disproved to the 27%ers.

  77. 77
    Josie says:

    Another attack the Obama campaign is saving for a grand finale is against Romney’s major claim to fame as one who can save the business of the U.S. due to his experience with Bain. The film that was originally put out by Newt’s pac that dealt with the lives ruined and businesses destroyed by Romney’s actions is still out there somewhere. I’m sure Obama’s people have not forgotten it. It will work beautifully according to Rove’s tactic of attacking your opponent’s strength.

  78. 78
    gaz says:

    @Cacti: Obama Isn’t White.

    That’s enough of an alternate for me. I’m sticking to it, as it cuts to the truth of Romney’s campaign. The only thing he’s got to run on is not being a kneegrow

  79. 79
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @gaz:

    Why use a euphemism? He’s a ni*CLANG*! Or, in the alternative, “the Sheriff is near.”

  80. 80
    Steve in DC says:

    @Cacti

    You and your “it’s OK if the Democrats do it” is cute. But it is partisan hackery that proves that both sides are OK with things as long as their team in office. Keep making David Brooks right.

    @Villago Delenda Est

    The officer corps depending on the service ranges from moderate Republican to straight up Tea Party in some cases. Most of the careerists among the enlisted are conservative as well. Furthermore most of the white enlisted are country bumpkin conservatives as well. There are some minority Democrats due to recruiting policies targeting city youth though.

    The main thing is that middle class liberals typically don’t send their kids off into the military. There is a whole ton of “ah shit not my kid, let someone else do it”. I was the only kid out of my high school that joined, and the majority of the other parents freaked out, the service was for other people, not people like us.

  81. 81
    Cacti says:

    @Steve in DC:

    that proves that both sides are OK with things

    Bobo, is that you?

  82. 82
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @negative 1:

    If you’re not feeling optimistic, if Rmoney wins it will be the first time a candidate will have won by flat out lying. What will be his incentive to tell any of us what he’s doing?

    __
    I guess we really don’t have Dick Nixon to kick around any more. It took 50 years since his “Last Press Conference” in 1962 to get to this point, but better late than never I suppose.

  83. 83
    gaz says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: I used the euphemism for it’s snarky goodness, however your point is received. =)

    cheers

  84. 84
    Canuckistani Tom says:

    @Foregone Conclusion:

    I know this is going to make some of you feel old, but there’s a significant number of voters (basically anyone under 35) who can’t even remember Carter as president. You’d have to be fifty or over to have actually voted for him. Half the electorate is going to just be puzzled as to why Romney keeps banging on about a guy who last sought elected office nearly a third of a century ago. It makes him sound OLD.

    More like 40 than 35. unless you’re directly involved in a major event, most kids don’t really realize that there’s an outside world until the late single digits at the earliest. Case in point: I was born in 79, and first heard about the Berlin Wall when they were tearing it down.

  85. 85
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Steve in DC:

    Well, a lot of “conservatives” avoid military service, too. Look at Rmoney and his spawn. Young Rethuglicans on campus, in particular, are adverse to serving, as you do not make huge piles of latinum even as an officer in the military. These people are shallow and greedy, and frankly unsuited to lead others in battle, therefore it’s of no loss to the military that they avoid the service, even though they’re the most fanatical supporters of throwing some shitty little country against a wall to show who’s the biggest bully on the block.

  86. 86
    Cacti says:

    @Canuckistani Tom:

    More like 40 than 35. unless you’re directly involved in a major event, most kids don’t really realize that there’s an outside world until the late single digits at the earliest. Case in point: I was born in 79, and first heard about the Berlin Wall when they were tearing it down.

    I can speak to that as well.

    I was born near the end of the Ford administration. I grew up in a Republican household and my only memories of Jimmy Carter were seeing him on TV here and there and my parents referring to him as “Goober”.

    Late X-ers and Millenials have no cultural memory of Jimmy Carter, POTUS.

  87. 87
    Yutsano says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: I need to find the study, but it’s been found that the political landscape of the military more or less parallels the general population at large. So there are wingnuts and hardcore liberals as well. It’s not the neat nifty package Steve wants it to be.

  88. 88
    Persia says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: As Santorum would say, he’s a blah person.

  89. 89
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Yutsano:

    This makes intuitive sense, because the military is, after all, drawn from the general population. Careerists tend to be conservative in the old sense of the word, not the “movement conservative” sense, simply because they like being in an authoritarian structure like the military and are well suited to it.

    Officers tend strongly Republican, but most make a point of not being partisan, an old tradition in the officer corps prior to WWII. With the expansion of the military during WWII and after, the officer corps by necessity became more diverse as more and more officers entered the service from sources other than the academies…ROTC and OCS. In the infantry battalion I served in in Germany in the early 80’s, we had a mixture of West Point types, ROTC grads, and several OCS officers, some of whom joined up as enlisted after the graduated from college and were fast tracked into OCS.

    The degree is the main qualifier to be an officer. The military needs someone, as I mentioned in another thread a few days ago, who demonstrates that they’re trainable and are able to stick through a program. A degree signifies this quality that the military is seeking in an officer.

    My last assignment I was one of two “obvious” Democrats in a brigade equivalent headquarters, but the “obvious” Republicans were anything but wingnuts, with a single exception, who described himself as “just to the right of Attila the Hun”. Amazingly, we were the best of friends, despite the fact that as far as politics were concerned, we were like oil and water.

  90. 90
    Jay in Oregon says:

    @lamh35:

    “Even Jimmy Carter” would have made that call?

    So is Mittens saying that Democrats—”Even Jimmy Carter”—are stronger on terrorism than W?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4PGmnz5Ow-o

    According to Dubya, Bin Laden was “on the run, if he’s alive at all”; he was “marginalized”; and Bush didn’t “spend that much time worrying about him.”

  91. 91
    danimal says:

    BTW, most under 40-year olds know Jimmy Carter as a former president, diplomat and home-builder for Habitat for Humanity. IOW, he’s important, distinguished and charitable. They like him.

  92. 92
    Mickey says:

    Guess it’s time to school you people because you fall for it every single time. Has nothing to do with Bin Laden. It’s simply an attempt by Republicans to reframe the debate. In this blog for example. Instead of focussing on Obama’s accomplishment, you are talking about whether it’s appropriate to talk about it. Makes not difference where you stand on the issue and you can talk till you are blue in the face why it’s such an accomplishment. That is EXACTLY what the purpose of this reframing is. It waters down the effectiveness of the accomplishment.

    So congradulations yet again BJ’ers for becoming the Republicans bitch. You will never learn unfortunately which is pretty sad for a blog full of political junkies.

  93. 93
    gaz says:

    @Steve in DC:

    The main thing is that middle class liberals typically don’t send their kids off into the military. There is a whole ton of “ah shit not my kid, let someone else do it”. I was the only kid out of my high school that joined, and the majority of the other parents freaked out, the service was for other people, not people like us.

    My god that is such a steaming pile of utter bullshit. You stunk up the whole thread. Light a match, FFS.

    Ever heard the phrase “Gun toting liberal”? They’re EVERYWHERE you can find unions, things like mill-work, and other blue collar trades. Many young adults from these families have historically signed up for service, if nothing else because it was a practical way to get into college.

    I should know – I come from one of these myself. We’re everywhere.

    This ain’t the late 60’s anymore, and we ain’t fighting Vietnam anymore. Get your fucking head straight.

  94. 94
    feebog says:

    The entire scenario surrounding the OBL raid is compelling. The fact that it was sucessful, and that Obama is capitalizing on it, is driving the entire Republican party batshit crazy. They are after all the Macho Daddy party, while Democrats are a bunch of wimps. The fact that Obama took the riskier option, the fact that despite some operational problems, the mission was accomplished, and the fact that the American public knows where the credit goes, all sticks in their craw.

    I agree that a couple more news cycles of this is about right, and then shelve it until October. Lots of other low hanging fruit to pick from the Rmoney tree.

  95. 95
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Mickey:

    Mickey, has anyone told you recently what a dumbfuck you are?

    If not, well, I’ve reminded you.

  96. 96
    catclub says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: The military is a reflection of US society so there are probably all kinds. Nonetheless, your point is correct that the enlistees are NOT purely republicans, while the officers lean more that way.

    The fundamental ethos of an organization like the military is that it is an organization of US, not of I. Group achievement, not individual achievement. (In spite of their advertising of ‘an army of one’)

  97. 97
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease: Nor George W. Bush.

  98. 98
    catclub says:

    @danimal: “he’s important, distinguished and charitable”

    Could also be said of George Bush I, which implies to me that they probably could pick neither one out of an MTV video
    lineup.

    I would be pleased and surprised to be wrong. I have heard about Jay Leno’s jaywalking segments which illuminate some of the historical literacy of our nation.

  99. 99
    LanceThruster says:

    As far as I’m concerned, the Carter hostage rescue was sabotaged.

    No one has any reason to believe me, but I know the parties involved and I think it’s credible. My friend’s brother was a Army chopper pilot (I have a flight suit and chopper crew helmet from him). He told him how some new guy suggested a prank of filling the choppers with foam for a going away gag.

    Several of the choppers had mechanical problems. I was told that the solvent action on the wiring and the overall gumming up of the works contributed to the failure. He was told that the mission fiasco was unrelated but not to speak of it regardless.

    True, it was blamed on a number of unfortunate coincidences, but look who stood to gain from the mission failure.

    It’s pretty much already established that Bush was illegally negotiating behind the scenes with Iran. I bring it up mostly because Pres. Jimmy Carter was a decent, effective statesman, who has unfairly become a whipping boy of the right (and at times the left), because he was 30 years ahead of the curve on many things (turn your thermostat down to 72 degrees – how dare he!, Israel is an apartheid state, commendable xian values, better economic numbers than Reagan), but Reagan is treated as the revered saint in the media, and Carter continually gets dumped on.

    Effum.

    see:

    http://www.consortiumnews.com/2010/062410.html

    and

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Eagle_Claw

  100. 100
    LanceThruster says:

    And for the record, I think OBL was already dead.

    Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State under three different administrations Steve R. Pieczenik says he is prepared to tell a federal grand jury the name of a top general who told him directly 9/11 was a false flag attack

    from: http://www.veteranstoday.com/2.....alse-flag/

  101. 101
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @Hal: Wow, that’s stick Romney will be in Baghdad Bob territory.

  102. 102
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Cacti: Actually, most OFFICERS are republican; the enlisted members split about 50/50.

  103. 103
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @negative 1:

    if Rmoney wins it will be the first time a candidate will have won by flat out lying.

    You mean by lying incessantly, transparently and badly. All politicians have to lie to a certain extent since constant truth telling hurts delicate fee fees.

  104. 104
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @LanceThruster: Lance, everyone one knew that the day it happened. All three planes struck their targets at 33′, come on how blatant can you get? It’s just like the the Lady Dia and JFK hits.

  105. 105
    gaz says:

    @LanceThruster: @Enhanced Voting Techniques:

    YAY! I love conspiracies. They are often deft attempts to deflect from real issues, so they are often planted by the targets of the conspiracies themselves:

    Groom Lake has a bunch of secret skunkworks stuff. They want people looking for aliens, cuz they ain’t there. =)

    We landed on the moon. They got the rubes talking about it being faked so that they wouldn’t be talking about operation paperclip, or the fact that a Nazi that wanted to nuke NYC took us there.

    And 9/11 wasn’t a big sweeping conspiracy. Who in their right mind believes that an org as thoroughly inept at keeping any secrets of consequence, or coordinating anything more complicated than say – getting 43 to his ranch on time could possibly be able to orchestrate such massive theater – and keep it secret. Please. These people WISH everyone thought they were that competent.

  106. 106
    LanceThruster says:

    @gaz:

    Operation Mockingbird pretty much established how TPTB direct/control “the Mighty Wurlitzer.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M.....er_(media)

  107. 107
    Mnemosyne says:

    @gaz:

    Who in their right mind believes that an org as thoroughly inept at keeping any secrets of consequence, or coordinating anything more complicated than say – getting 43 to his ranch on time could possibly be able to orchestrate such massive theater – and keep it secret.

    Ding ding ding. How would the former Bushies rather be remembered: as the complete incompetents who allowed 9/11 to happen through their sheer idiocy, or as masterminds who secretly planned the whole thing from the beginning?

    Given the 8 years of Republican rule that followed 9/11, the “completely incompetent” explanation is clearly the most rational one, no matter how many conservatives and Republicans try to claim that they meant to do that.

    Sort of like the JFK assassination — lots of people within the government were happy to let conspiracy theories fester so they wouldn’t have to explain why they were so fucking incompetent that they let a trained Marine sniper defect to the USSR, and then defect back again without keeping tabs on him.

  108. 108
    Catsy says:

    @Steve in DC:

    It’s not concern trolling at all.

    Dude, I don’t know what you used to be like, but lately concern trolling is just about ALL I’m seeing from you. And not even interesting concern trolling, just half-baked horseshit. It’s pretty pathetic.

    You typically don’t name the involvement of secretive units, it’s just not done. Just like naming the actual operatives is not.

    Notice the sleight of hand here: equating disclosure of the “name” of a specops unit (which is actually not the least bit remarkable, pace your assertions–especially when neither you nor I have any way of knowing if that’s what the unit is actually called) with disclosure of the names of individual operators (which the Obama admin has NOT in fact done).

    Keep on fucking that chicken, though.

    The main thing is that middle class liberals typically don’t send their kids off into the military. There is a whole ton of “ah shit not my kid, let someone else do it”. I was the only kid out of my high school that joined, and the majority of the other parents freaked out, the service was for other people, not people like us.

    Jesus Tapdancing Ripshit Gummi Christ, you are just an unending fount of discredited right-wing stereotypes.

    Like most stereotypes they’re based on a pebble of truth, but you’re consistently making the pebbles out to be the beach. Anecdote != data.

  109. 109
    Jebediah says:

    @General Stuck:

    avenge the Seamus

    That feels to me like it has potential.

  110. 110
    Catsy says:

    @danimal:

    BTW, most under 40-year olds know Jimmy Carter as a former president, diplomat and home-builder for Habitat for Humanity. IOW, he’s important, distinguished and charitable. They like him.

    This.

    I was born in 1974. My father worked on Ford’s re-election campaign against Carter. During the Reagan years, he was such a die-hard Republican that we had elephant motifs and decorations all around the house (he later thoroughly repented of his sins). On my dresser I had a bumper sticker with a picture of a glum-looking anthropomorphic peanut going fishing, with the caption of “RETIRE JIMMY” (which I didn’t understand at the time).

    I was not exactly lacking for exposure to politics, and I still didn’t even become meaningfully politically aware until the first Gulf War and 1992 presidential election.

    And until I actually studied history in high school I couldn’t have told you a single thing about either Ford or Carter–even now I don’t really recall much about the nothingburger that was Gerald Ford other than who he was and the circumstances under which he became President. Nixon I only learned about in detail because of the infamy of Watergate and (more recently) the way he laid the groundwork for the insanity of today’s GOP.

    All this despite the fact that I’ve been a political wonk since the 2000 election.

    Does anyone seriously believe that the average person of my generation–let alone those younger–knows the first fucking thing about the Iran hostage crisis, “malaise”, or any of the other reasons Republicans use Carter as a synonym for feckless incompetence?

    If they even know who he is beyond that he was a former president, it’s that he’s that old guy who does a lot of third-world charity work. The comparison is nothing to them other than white noise.

  111. 111
    Jebediah says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    What he wants to do with it, well, he has only one idea. PROFIT!

    A fundamental character/world-view difference between them. Rmoney sees that the only point of working hard is to enrich oneself. Obama sees that it is worth working hard even if it is to make things better for OTHER people.

  112. 112
    RalfW says:

    @Mnemosyne:
    And I’d add that watching the MN GOP try to run a legislature this year gives further evidence of general GOP nincompoop-ness.

    In the Bushies case, the GOP had been out of the W.H. for eight years before Dubya, and the usual place that a new admin looks to for staff and leadership is Congress.

    Well, Newt’s gang were just well enough seasoned to stink up the stew. Add in some Texas GOP foolishness brought with young George, (man do I miss Molly Ivins!) and you have a whole lotta stupid, clumsy turds running the show in 2001.

    Heckuva huckuva, Brownie.

  113. 113
    Original Lee says:

    @lamh35: The latest meme I’ve been seeing is that Obama is spending too much money on his election campaign (unstated: taxpayer money), so he needs to stay put in the White House and concentrate on his current workload (because he needs to finish his homework before he can go outside and play).

  114. 114
    LanceThruster says:

    If claims of incompetence can cover a multitude of sins, it sounds like perfect cover.

    I don’t believe in miracles and think that coincidence or random chance can explain most any claim.

    But I also think that a perfect storm of “coincidences” in addition to actions that just happened to work out so perfectly for the overlords, in addition to media obsequiousness, in addition to truth-tellers being smeared, shunned, and vilified, in addition to first responders ordered to be silent, in addition to the dog that did not bark, in addition to…

    Well, it just doesn’t pass the smell test.

    Sure was convenient that incompetence got so many promotions, awards, and medals of freedom.

  115. 115
    Evolving Deep Southerner says:

    @Mickey: Congradulations on making me laugh.

  116. 116
    Mnemosyne says:

    @LanceThruster:

    But I also think that a perfect storm of “coincidences” in addition to actions that just happened to work out so perfectly for the overlords, in addition to media obsequiousness, in addition to truth-tellers being smeared, shunned, and vilified, in addition to first responders ordered to be silent, in addition to the dog that did not bark, in addition to…

    As with the JFK assassination, you’re conflating conspiracies before the fact and conspiracies after the fact.

    Of course the Bush administration tried to cover up their total incompetence and worked to capitalize on the attacks. It’s deciding that their ability to distract people from their idiocy and use people’s anger towards their own ends is somehow proof that they planned it that way all along that gets you to Crazytown.

    Opportunists exploit. Bush and his crew were master opportunists. You can be angry about the way they exploited the opportunities that 9/11 gave them without taking that extra step and deciding that they were secret masterminds who planned the whole thing themselves.

    ETA: Also, too

    Sure was convenient that incompetence controlling the presidency, the media, the judiciary and both houses of Congress got so many promotions, awards, and medals of freedom.

    Yeah, it’s so weird that the party that was in complete control of all three branches of government at the time of the attack was able to control the government’s response to the attacks.

  117. 117
    LanceThruster says:

    As with the JFK assassination, you’re conflating conspiracies before the fact and conspiracies after the fact.

    Former FBI field agent Coleen Rowley tried quite persistently to alert her superiors before the attacks.

    Cui bono?

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