This couldn’t be a dream for too real it all seems

Remember all the cleverly contrarian articles about how a hypothetical President Romney could overcome gridlock in a way that hypothetical second term Kenyan Usurper couldn’t? Now we’ve got counterfactual articles about how President Romney would currently be overcoming gridlock in a way that the Kenyan Usurper isn’t:

Enter National Journal’s Josh Kraushaar who imagines that in this alternative history, President Romney would have magically resolved the budget gridlock we’re experiencing today under a demagogic President Obama.

“[A] close look at the composition of both the Senate and the House suggest the numbers would be there for Romney to pass some combination of spending cuts and the closing of tax loopholes, as he called for in the 2012 campaign. In the Senate, Romney probably would have courted the 12 red-state Senate Democrats, six of whom are up for reelection in 2014, to support some type of compromise…. The Senate has more red-state Democrats than blue-state Republicans, and most of them are up for reelection. These same Democrats who are giving Obama trouble on gun control would be looking to cut a fiscal deal as they prepare for reelection. Win over just five of them, hold enough House Republicans in line, and voila – there’s the bipartisan compromise.”

I love all this Niall Ferguson-style shit because it’s perfect fit for conservatism. We already had wholesale conservative rejection of reality. Don’t like the idea of climate change? Al Gore is fat. Don’t like the polls? Unskew them. Now we’ve got: Don’t like what happened? Imagine how awesome it would be if something else had happened.

It’s a little more high-brow, which is why we’re seeing it from an editor of even the liberal National Journal instead of in the comments section at Red State.

Share On Facebook
Share On Twitter
Share On Google Plus
Share On Pinterest
Share On Reddit

66 replies
  1. 1
    Redshirt says:

    Republican playbook:

    1. Break vase
    2. Blame Liberals/Others
    3. Condemn anyone fixing or replacing vase
    4. Repeat with other vases
    5. Profit!

  2. 2
    Chris says:

    Don’t like the polls? Unskew them.

    If there’s a more perfect summary of why we dodged such a bullet by not electing Romney, that’s got to be it. Let’s face it; if a politician doesn’t acknowledge unpleasant facts when they threaten his reelection, he won’t acknowledge them anywhere. I can just see that 3AM phone call: “Mr. President, someone just flew a plane into the Capitol!” “… No they didn’t. Your TVs are skewed.” ::goes back to sleep::

  3. 3
    catclub says:

    The other counterfactual is here: “numbers would be there for Romney to pass some combination of spending cuts and the closing of tax loopholes”

    It implies that GOP guys (Boehner, McConnell, the whole crew) implacably opposed to ANY revenue increases, will suddenly vote for such revenue increases.

  4. 4
    Mnemosyne says:

    Oh, I have no doubt that hypothetical President Romney could have disastrously run the economy into the ground by pushing through austerity laws that would have dismantled the weak safety net we already have.

    I notice that “triple-dip recession” somehow didn’t manage to work its way into the rosy picture of President Romney’s actions.

  5. 5
    Steeplejack says:

    @Doug Galt:

    Now we’re we’ve got counterfactual articles about how President Romney would currently be overcoming gridlock in a way that the Kenyan Usurper isn’t.

  6. 6
    Alex S. says:

    Josh Kraushaar – another spawn of the Politico. I wonder if it’s maybe for the best if we just ignore them, or even encourage them to continue living in their dream world. Like, ‘Oh Josh, maybe there could be a gun control/spending cuts deal, the Democrats get limited background checks, the Republicans get Social Security privatization – and everyone would be happy!’

  7. 7
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    President Romney just gave the orders and everyone fell in line. The economy fixed itself in a week. Everyone got free guns and a new TV. Democrats cried and peed their pants. Bad Democrats! They then realized they were stupid and registered as Republicans. The Mexicans and Negroes went back to their countries of origin, the white people who used to be Democrats took their jobs for a quarter an hour and a smile, and everyone lived happily ever after.

  8. 8
    Dave says:

    This is one of the dumber things I’ve read that didn’t come straight from Mark Halperin. I mean, he’s completely missing the point: just because Mitt Romney could have worked over a couple of vulnerable Democrats doesn’t mean the end result would have been good. How freaking stupid can these people be?

    They really don’t care one whit about whether the economy is strong or not. It’s all about breaking the safety net through bipartisanship. What a bunch of truly twisted souls.

  9. 9
    Hill Dweller says:

    Just like Willard overcame the gridlock and did wonders in Massachusetts…

  10. 10
    aimai says:

    Under President Romney the sequester would quietly have been ended. There would be no “grand bargain” there would simply have been a stand off as the Republican controlled house slashed Social Security and Medicare and ended Obamacare entirely while the Senate attempted to hold the line. Romney would be busy opening the treasury for his wealthy friends, slashing spending on all social programs, and pushing off debt and deficit issues into the distant future. We wouldn’t hear a peep out of Pete Peterson because deficits don’t matter if the government is willing to slash taxes for the wealthy.

  11. 11
    Trollhattan says:

    @Dave:

    How freaking stupid can these people be?

    We have fresh shovels and are still looking for an answer. Nate Silver gives 27% probability of actually finding one.

    Also, too, who’s this Brian Beutler maroon and how does he hold a job?

  12. 12
    TheWatcher says:

    You remember…that time…when Governor Romney ran for President? That was awesome….

    /Chris Farley

  13. 13
    Bort says:

    In his defense, that scenario is possible because Romney isn’t all blackity black. Also, he’s not black

  14. 14
    Chris says:

    @Dave:

    “Bipartisanship,” of course, being a one way street. There’s nothing Obama can do, whether it’s offering a stimulus plan made up mostly of tax cuts or offering a health care plan dreamed up by their own Heritage Foundation and implemented by their own Governor Romney, that would ever be sufficiently bipartisan, it would still be his fault that his meanness drove the Republicans mad. On the other hand, Romney can write off 47% of the country as beneath his concern and we can dismiss it with a smile because boys will be boys.

  15. 15
    Doug Galt says:

    @Steeplejack:

    Thanks.

  16. 16
    Seanly says:

    President Romney would let the press takes photos & ask questions about the Ann’s latest $900 hideous t-shirt while he plays golf with the owners of the Jets & several NASCAR teams.

    Oh & the 99% would be fighting over scraps in our new post-entitlements hellhole.

  17. 17

    Ooooh, fan fiction. How cute. 50 shades of white.

    ETA: this is awesome by the onion–Sources: Hackers Vandalized Drudge report for past 15 years.

    http://www.theonion.com/articl.....ast,31394/

  18. 18
    Alex says:

    It’s silly for a lot of reasons, but mainly because had there been enough votes for Romney to win, Republicans probably would have won the Senate too.

  19. 19
    Cassidy says:

    Someone needs to get a big, black, veiny dildo and write “compromise” on its side. Then, every time one of these villager motherfuckers starts lamenting the lack of compromise, they need to be throat fucked into unconciousness with it.

  20. 20
    El Caganer says:

    I didn’t see it as high-brow. It looks plenty dumb enough to appear at Red State.

  21. 21
    Suzanne says:

    Yanno, the last Republican president had some really bad shit go down on his watch. It takes some serious magical thinking to imagine that everything would be peaches and cream under the next one.

    I’ve never eaten peaches with cream. I love peaches. I wonder if they’d be any good with cream on ’em.

  22. 22
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    No, no, no.

    In this hypothetical Preszit Mittens scenario, the “Rmoney Boom” would lift all boats more or less like a storm surge into a land of endless prosperity for all, but mostly for those most deserving of said prosperity, the horsey set, the job creators, the receivers of money stolen by their grandfathers…you know…the Rmoneys!

    There would be no need for revenue increases because, well, we’d put the entire DoD off budget, none of this half-assed just put the shooting wars off budget shit of the deserting coward and the Dark Lord, and the budget would be balanced without any need for cutbacks in grooming for dancing horses, or postponing the installation of car elevators at all!

  23. 23
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Cassidy:

    Dude, when you start to fantasize about raping your opponents, it’s time to step back from the computer and go think about fuzzy kittens for a while.

    Go away. Come back when you’re feeling better.

  24. 24
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @catclub:

    It implies that GOP guys (Boehner, McConnell, the whole crew) implacably opposed to ANY revenue increases, will suddenly vote for such revenue increases

    “Closing tax loopholes” is a tell. That is GOP newspeak for “not raising revenue while pretending that we are doing so” because by the time lobbyists finished re-instating new and better loopholes the net gain in tax revenue would be enough to buy you a box of 1-dozen at Dunkin Donuts, assuming that you avoided picking any of the fancy ones that cost more money.

  25. 25
    kooks says:

    This article forgets that Romney wasn’t even interested in the economy or deficit deals, because all we needed to do was elect him and this shit was going to magically fix itself!

  26. 26
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Sorry, I forgot that Kraushaar was talking about what Fantasy President Mitt Romney would do and not what the actual consequences of his actions would be in the real world. Because, as we all know, Republican actions are consequence-free and any bad results are someone else’s fault.

  27. 27
    kindness says:

    I want some of what ever that guy is smoking.

    @Cassidy: Uhhh, a tad too much information there big guy.

  28. 28
    Ash Can says:

    LOL. Kraushaar is kidding himself. President Romney and the GOP-controlled House would be busting their asses trying to privatize Social Security, do away with Medicare, eliminate all educational and social welfare funding, take the right to vote away from everyone who wasn’t a straight white Christian male, repeal Obamacare, and deregulate everything, and the Senate would be preventing them from doing so. The government would still be gridlocked, except that the obstructers would be trying to prevent chaos and suffering instead of cause it.

  29. 29
    FlipYrWhig says:

    I don’t remember Romney promising to close tax loopholes, or, more precisely, mentioning which particular tax loopholes he would close.

  30. 30
    mouse tolliver says:

    This Kraushaar character was on MSNBC a little while ago, and he referred to Joe “Dead Aim” Manchin as the most moderate senator. These people have a really warped way of looking at things.

  31. 31
    White Trash Liberal says:

    Secretary of State John Bolton would hold a press conference with Netanyahu announcing a joint airstrike on Iranian nuclear facilities. State of emergency declared. Etch a Sketch shaken. No more worries about the budget.

  32. 32
    minutemaid says:

    …and voila…HE LOST. Seriously, is this the best Gl00m Pr0n you can come up with to fill your cat calendar quote Doug?

  33. 33
    scav says:

    Forget Ronmey. If we’d only elected Santa, our tax refunds would come down the chimney and only “good” little children would benefit!

  34. 34
    ET says:

    Of course Romney could have gotten this stuff though if he had become president. Republicans aren’t opposing this stuff because of what it is/contains. They oppose it strictly based on who proposed it (heck McConnell basically came out and said it). The fact that a journalist(s) can’t/won’t just means they are too stupid or gullible to be a journalist and he needs to find a new job.

  35. 35
    burnspbesq says:

    Stupid counter-factuals are a waste of time. Why not just have an open thread?

  36. 36
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Dave:

    How freaking stupid can these people be?

    More stupid than you can possibly imagine. Which reminds me of this conversation:

    Luke: She’s rich.
    Han Solo: [interested] Rich?
    Luke: Rich, powerful. Listen, if you were to rescue her, the reward would be…
    Han Solo: What?
    Luke: Well, more wealth than you can imagine!
    Han Solo: I don’t know, I can imagine quite a bit.

  37. 37
    kooks says:

    … and now I’m thinking back on the campaign and re-remembering what a horrible fucking candidate that asshole was. Seriously, someone gives you cookies and you fucking insult them? You say, on television and not hidden camera, that you’re “just not that concerned with the poor”? Binders full of wimmens?

    Jesus fucking balls, what an asshole. Thanks for the reminder, Kraushaar.

  38. 38
    jl says:

    Brings to mind something Theodore Roosevelt said 100 years ago:

    A typical vice of American politics, the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues, and the announcement of radical policies with much sound and fury, and at the same time with a cautious accompaniment of weasel phrases each of which sucks the meat out of the preceding statement. ‘

    “Platform Insincerity” in The Outlook, Vol. 101, No. 13 (27 July 1912), p. 660.

    http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Theodore_Roosevelt

    Maybe at times in the past the announcement of radical policy with much sound and fury, with subsequent weasel words was a lefty or liberal problem. But now it is certainly a reactionary GOP problem.

    As for the avoidance of substantive issues, seems like the press is specializing in that now.

  39. 39
    John Dillinger says:

    He could have just written that a President Romney would have gotten domestic cuts in exchange for additional revenues from tax reform that would everyone knows would never materialize, and then had the time to do a longer piece on why Obama should be more transparent while playing golf.

  40. 40
    danimal says:

    @catclub: If they thought it would get them reelected, Republicans would vote for tax increases in a micro-second under President Romney.

    See Part D, Medicare for more information.

  41. 41
    MikeJ says:

    @Trollhattan:

    Also, too, who’s this Brian Beutler maroon and how does he hold a job?

    Part of the juice box mafia. Used to be Dave Weigel’s roommate.

  42. 42
    Cassidy says:

    @Mnemosyne: I’m good. I’m just tired of these fucking useless sycophants doing there absolute best to fuck it up for everyone else. But, if it gives the warm and fuzzies, I’ll think about lining these shitstains against a wall instead.

    Um, I don’t really care for kittens…or puppies for that matter. They’re cute, I guess. I’m not an animal person. All I see is litterboxes and something shitting or pissing on the floor or all that other crap.

  43. 43
    Petorado says:

    Shorter Kraushaar: the facts don’t back me up on making Obama look bad on the sequester, so I shall fabricate a fantasy in which he does and tell you all about it.

    Fucking conservatives and their parallel universes –“We create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we’ll act again, creating other new realities.”

  44. 44
    jl says:

    Kraushaar might have looked at this article, before he started writing Gingrich style articles about alternative history fantasies. It seems to have some substantive information about what a grand bargain would look like. And the small fact that the candidate who supports where the majority of the country wants to go, you know, kind of won the election. That says something about what any ‘grand bargain’ that has public support would look like.

    USA Today/Pew: Public Prefers Obama To Congressional GOP On Host Of Issues

    http://livewire.talkingpointsm.....gressional

  45. 45
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @ranchandsyrup:

    I love this final line from that article:

    At press time, sources confirm Drudge was consulting popular viral content aggregator Buzzfeed to see how they were dealing with a similar breach in security.

  46. 46
    jl says:

    @Trollhattan: @MikeJ:

    ” Also, too, who’s this Brian Beutler maroon and how does he hold a job? ”

    I don’t know much about Beutler, or what the ‘juice box mafia’ is. But, at any rate, he is criticizing Kraushaar’s alternative history fantasy. For whatever that is worth.

  47. 47
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Cassidy:

    But, if it gives the warm and fuzzies, I’ll think about lining these shitstains against a wall instead.
    __
    Um, I don’t really care for kittens…or puppies for that matter.

    How about imagining that the avenging machine guns of righteousness and justice are being manned by cute kittens and puppies? We might have to remove the trigger guards to make this work; or if that is too implausible, then man the guns with people dressed up in cute animal costumes. A Bolshevik Brony Brigade, as it were.

  48. 48
  49. 49
    MikeJ says:

    @jl: I actually don’t really have anything against any of the JBM. I will admit I didn’t like it when he got pissy about a joke I made on his blog that he didn’t understand, and after it was explained to him he did a post based on the joke without ever acknowledging he was wrong or where he learned of this ancient piece of humor that I had also stolen.

  50. 50
    Roger Moore says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    I don’t remember Romney promising to close tax loopholes, or, more precisely, mentioning which particular tax loopholes he would close.

    He would close any tax loophole that mostly helps the poors, like the EIC. You know, so there would be some shared sacrifice.

  51. 51
    Cassidy says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ:

    A Bolshevik Brony Brigade,

    That made me giggle.

  52. 52
    rda909 says:

    @Cassidy: Um, yea. Okaaaay. That’s very Republican of you, and why specify “black” anyway?

  53. 53
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @rda909:

    Psych them out, that’s why.

    The idea is to heighten the fear and suffering as an infliction of punishment.

    Because the sons of bitches have earned it, though their actions.

  54. 54
    Tone in DC says:

    @Cassidy:

    That’s just plain mean. How could anyone do that Yertle McConnell and Lindsay Graham.

  55. 55
    DonT says:

    “the liberal National Journal”???
    The National Journal is liberal only in the minds of villagers and other VSP because they have tilted so far right. I’ll give the NJ middle of the road, but NOT liberal.

  56. 56
    El Cid says:

    It also helps that had Romney been President, the Democratic-led Senate would have had no Democratic President supporting their preferred policies so by definition any policy passed by a Republican House and acceptable to a Republican President and the Republican Senate delegation would only need sufficient Democratic Senators in order to pass.

    Why, this author’s close analysis is sheer genius! Who could have imagined such an outcome of the above scenario?

  57. 57
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    [A] close look at the composition of both the Senate and the House suggest the numbers would be there for Romney to pass some combination of spending cuts and the closing of tax loopholes more tax cuts for the wealthy.

    Fixeded.

  58. 58
    ricky says:

    I remember reading a magazine article written during the Civil War Centennial about what life would be like had the South won the War of Northern Aggression.

    Don’t remember much except Texas seceded again and the Confederates took on Spain and kept Cuba.

  59. 59
    ricky says:

    @FlipYrWhig: I do believe, in the final days when he was trying to sound like Merry Mittens Of the Middle, he wasn’t so much for closing specific loopholes, but letting us pick and choose among loopholes to fill a loophole basket.

  60. 60
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @ricky: Perhaps, but imagining that Republicans would agree among themselves about these loopholes is a fairly strenuous thought exercise.

  61. 61
    Patricia Kayden says:

    Romneybot is not the President. Period. Speculation about how his Presidency would have been so stupendously wonderful makes no sense.

    Next time Repubs, pick someone who can actually attract a majority of voters, i.e., someone who can pretend to like the majority of voters during his campaign and not make stupid comments about the “lazy, mooching” 47%. Then you won’t have to waste everyone’s time with useless speculations about how great your guy would have been had he won.

  62. 62
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Chris:

    There’s nothing Obama can do, whether it’s offering a stimulus plan made up mostly of tax cuts or offering a health care plan dreamed up by their own Heritage Foundation and implemented by their own Governor Romney, that would ever be sufficiently bipartisan, it would still be his fault that his meanness drove the Republicans mad.

    It’s worse than that. All Obama has to do is propose something and it is poison in Republican minds. One of the leaders (maybe Eric Cantor?) said as much recently, complaining that it was not helpful that Obama had proposed something on immigration reform.

  63. 63
    Redshirt says:

    I shudder to think what a Romney Presidency would have been like.

  64. 64
    Faux News says:

    Whoa wait a minute! I think we are forgetting about the important input and charisma that President McCain and Vice President Palin would bring to this scenario.

  65. 65
    Jeremy says:

    @Chris: One problem. The Recovery Act was not majority tax cuts. There was more investment dollars and the tax cuts were for the middle class and the working poor. Those kind of taxes are not supported by today’s GOP. And the individual mandate is in the health care bill but it also includes an employer mandate (which they hate) and other provisions that are vastly different from what they support.

  66. 66
    Jeremy says:

    @Jeremy: tax cuts.

Comments are closed.