March 22, 2012

In 2006, Romney shared Obama / Chu view on rising gas prices

– His current 2012 views (like Obama’s, and lately Chu’s) evincing both his pragmatism and his flexibility, I guess. Per TNR:

Befitting his profile as a moderate Republican who cared about the environment, Governor Romney responded [in 2006 - ed]to price spikes by describing them as the natural result of global market pressures and by calling for increases in fuel efficiency — the same approach that he now derides Obama for taking as president.

At moments, Romney went so far as to make high gas prices out to be a welcome reality for the foreseeable future, one that people needed to learn to live with. When lieutenant governor Kerry Healey, a fellow Republican, called for suspending the state’s 23.5 cent gas tax during a price spike in May 2006, Romney rejected the idea, saying it would only further drive up gasoline consumption. “I don’t think that now is the time, and I’m not sure there will be the right time, for us to encourage the use of more gasoline,” Romney said, according to the Quincy Patriot Ledger’s report at the time. “I’m very much in favor of people recognizing that these high gasoline prices are probably here to stay.”

Of course, we probably shouldn’t read too much into this. After all, as Ann Coulter keeps reminding us, Romney only said such things to fool Democrats into embracing his leadership — after first having fooled the electorate of the bluest of blue states into voting Republican in the first place. He then fooled Democrats even more by seeming to actually believe in their agenda, before finally completing his genius charade by actually legislating for those beliefs. Poor liberal saps never even knew what kind of savvy political gamesmanship had hit ‘em!

Stealthy.

(h/t George Orwell)

Posted by Jeff G. @ 11:37am
194 comments | Trackback

Comments (194)

  1. That fellow on Limbaugh’s call-in just got off an excellent line: “The Okey-Doke” pipeline.

  2. He then fooled Democrats even more by seeming to actually believe in their agenda, before finally completing his genius charade by actually legislating for those beliefs.

    Honestly, by the standards of Romney apologists for choice to govern in an ultramarine state, Obama is the most severe conservative ever elected. Barack is just fooling you.

  3. “for his choice to govern”

    stoopid fingers

  4. What the ?! You can’t go back to 2006 for statements! You can only go back to 2008 and then only if it’s about SATAN.

  5. OT: Have Rush’s sponsers returned to the fold? I heard a commercial for Lifelock.

  6. Lifelock may not have ever dropped him. According to Limbaugh most of the cancellations were for local advertising in commercial time provided to local station. Thus the Limbaugh boycott probably cost local stations greater reveneue loss than Limbugh’s actual show.

  7. One more thing Romney has in common with Obama, to borrow from Jim Geraghty: His positions and promises all have expiration dates. All of them.

  8. Permit me to do the facepalm the unpaid Death Star apologists won’t.

    [Facepalm.]

    Electable: Because Low-Info Voters and Independents Love Flip-fl–er, Flexibility.

  9. Sometimes, I get the impression that Obama doesn’t really care if he gets reelected.

    Yet, it appears the GOP, through Romney, is doing everything it can to make sure Obama stays in office.

  10. I’m not sure what you think a president – any president – can do to effect the price of gas.

  11. Johntaylor, how old are you?

  12. Perhaps you could try and imagine what actions a president (combined with the legislature) might take to effect the price of gas.

  13. To paraphrase an iowahawk tweet:
    The Left, in 2009: “we can change the temperature of the Earth!”
    The Left, in 2012: “nothing we do can affect the price of gasoline.”

  14. “I’m not sure what you think a president – any president – can do to effect the price of gas.”

    For starters, this president could stop all non official use of Government airplanes. Put all that wasted gas back into the market and prices would probably drop a dollar.

    I think Michelle and the kids have burned more gas flying to vacation spots than the entire ag industry of California’s central valley.

    I’m only half kidding…

  15. The Left, in 2009: “we can change the temperature of the Earth!”
    The Left, in 2012: “nothing we do can affect the price of gasoline.”

    In 2008, noted physicist and vocal global warming advocate Steven Chu told The New York Times, “Somehow, we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe.”

    Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2012/03/13/high-energy-prices-are-an-obama-administration-goal/#ixzz1psEUuizO

  16. Perhaps you could try and imagine what actions a president (combined with the legislature) might take to effect the price of gas.

    Price fixing? No, that can’t be what you mean.

    Drill, baby, drill? Personally, I’m all for it, but it won’t change the price of gas.

    Getting off gas – like a conversion to natural gas for some transportation? Now we’re starting to get somewhere.

    Conversion to natural gas for transportation and significant increases in electrical generation for non-transportation uses (wind, solar, nuclear, geothermal) – ok, now the price of gas is probably less, and more importantly, the price of gas simply isn’t as relevant.

    Of course, somewhat high gas price makes an incentive to do all private and public investment.

  17. Criminy. Effect/affect.

    I should get a cup of coffee.

  18. Can you think of any more actions the government could take?

  19. Drill, baby, drill? Personally, I’m all for it, but it won’t change the price of gas.

    Of course not! Since when did an increase in supply ever impact price?

    Of course, somewhat high gas price makes an incentive to do all private and public investment.

    And because drilling doesn’t impact price, Obama’s pointed use of the EPA and Interior to block drilling, cripple coal mining (and so electricity production), and pump money into alternative energy companies that then go bankrupt — isn’t really bad at all!

    Voila!

    And thus exists magical thinking.

  20. “Now we’re starting to get somewhere.” Somewhere stupid, sure.

  21. Johntaylor, John Kerry and the entire democratic party seemed to feel differently when Bush was President. I recall something about Kerry (who served in Vietnam btw) telling Bush he should go “talk to the Saudis”.

    But, thankfully, our President was there taking credit for the part of the Keystone Pipeline that will be built that he has no ability to stop. Its amazing. He’s the biggest liar we’ve ever had in office. He makes Clinton and Nixon look honest.

  22. Drill, baby, drill? Personally, I’m all for it, but it won’t change the price of gas.

    Not for at least 10 years — which we know must be true because they’ve been telling us this for 20 years.

  23. ” Of course not! Since when did an increase in supply ever impact price?”

    And when did an anticipated increase in supply affect the futures market thus affecting the price?

  24. Of course, somewhat high gas price makes an incentive to do all private and public investment.

    So let me ask johntylor, is there anything the president can do to make gas prices higher? If he were anxious to stimulate “incentive” for private and public investment in as yet impracticable alternative energy sources, I mean?

    Like, say, stop a pipeline that would supply a steady source of Canadian oil? Impose a higher gas tax? Declare an oil rich region a National Monument that must not be disturbed? Avoid any mention of an idea of a thought of nuclear energy? Subsidize Brazilian oil exploration while cutting tax incentives for domestic drilling?

    Too bad, the president doesn’t have any effect, nor responsibility, for the price of gas in America.

  25. A generous energy policy is important folks!

  26. Pingback: Not Obama. No, really: NOT » Cold Fury

  27. And when did an anticipated increase in supply affect the futures market thus affecting the price?

    Yes, but. You know: speculators.

    The “conservative” Bill O’Reilly warned me of these people.

  28. Johntaylor is actus-esque.

  29. C’mon Jeff. O’Rielly’s just lookin’ out for the folks.

  30. Don’t forget the president could simply ask for a temporary lowering of the federal gas tax. That’s what….20 cents a gallon or so?

  31. The culture war is nonsense. Just a bunch of whining out of touch christians pining about the old days.

    But the war on women is REAL. REAL I tell you. REAL as goblins!

  32. How come there isn’t a program for local utilities to finance a wind turbine and solar panels on every building, where the cost is paid for by the energy they produce?

    In other words, say I have a home or commercial property, and solar panels are installed by SC Edison with my permission. They remain their property through a lease arraignment, until the things have paid for themselves through, say, half the value of the kilowatts they put back in the system, as determined by the price per kilowatt SC Edison charges and maybe an actuary table or something. When they are paid for, ownership of the system goes to me. Might take ten years, but at no time am I out more money than I would have been if I didn’t allow SCE to install the things in the first place.

    Too simple?

  33. Yes. Your solar panels will be dead in 10 years and they won’t pay for themselves by then, either.

    Solar panels in states like mine where we have flat line wind and baseball sized hail are not a good match. We have windfarms in the western part of the state, but they are eagle killers. I’ve also seen pictures of them snapped off by the wind and lying on their sides.

  34. Well Lee, as a certain pro Romney blogger might argue, in your method there is no opportunity for graft.

  35. Well, solar panels are usually warrantied for 25 years, and 10 years was a guess. However long it takes for the energy they produce to equal what they cost. Throw in one of these too.

    As for the weather, do Oklahoma homes have windows?

  36. Oops, Throw in one of these too.

  37. I had some relatives by marriage who lived in Chico in the late 70s, early 80s who jumped on the solar panel wagon when Jerry Brown was giving some sort of a tax credit for installing them on or around your home. Damn, but they were ugly. Not only that, they had a whole dedicated shed type building for the batteries.

    My BIL has one of those home wind turbines at his farm in upstate NY. It doesn’t generate much energy, but he has installed solar panels, too, so I’ll wait for the report. The start-up costs are huge, though.

    I have a lot of windows and two skylights. So far, we haven’t lost any, but our neighbors had an oak tree launch itself through their picture window in the living room a few years ago.

  38. The commenters at NRO hammered the Romneybots there pretty good over this. Most of the commenters are of the “see, I told you so” variety.

  39. Rick Santorum today suggested it would be better to stick with President Obama over a candidate that might be “the Etch A Sketch candidate of the future” — a shot at chief rival Mitt Romney.

    “You win by giving people the opportunity to see a different vision for our country, not someone who’s just going to be a little different than the person in there,” said Santorum. “If you’re going to be a little different, we might as well stay with what we have instead of taking a risk with what may be the etch a sketch candidate of the future.”

    link

  40. Careful Leigh.

    I have a sky light above my bathroom.

    I wanted to “go green” and “win the future.”

    So I installed a solar panel on the back of my low-flow toilet, a wind turbine on the roof above the sky light (so’s to power the fart catcher), and then wired all of it through the coaxial cables that go to my satellite dish.

    One double espresso & cranberry bran muffin the next morning…

    … and this happened.

  41. Yikes!

  42. Obama thinks you ride the short bus, part: 1,307,898

    He’s honestly trying the Jedi mind trick.

    Just…surreal.

    This should be the most easily beatable President maybe in US history. At the very least a once in a generation tidal wave toward Classical Liberal/ Conservative Libertarian thought.

    And, yet…Romney.

    It really is “The Stupid Party.”

  43. Don’t forget the president could simply ask for a temporary lowering of the federal gas tax. That’s what….20 cents a gallon or so?

    I’m cool with that, as I don’t think deficits are the biggest problem we face at the moment.

    But that .20 has been there for a while. What are you gonna do about the other $2.00? Apparently if we look serious about drilling into the modest amount of oil we could produce, the price will plummet all on it’s own because of speculators – or something like that.

    So let me ask johntylor, is there anything the president can do to make gas prices higher?

    I suppose we could start a war with Iran. If we really wanted to be sure, we’d attack ports in Saudi Arabia, and Iraq, and maybe go after Mexican and Canadian production. That would raise the price of gas. Not terribly sure what else though.

  44. johntaylor, I stand in admiration of the complete obtuseness you’ve put on display in this thread.

    I hope you pat yourself on the back, because you’ve really shown incredible talent at being utterly clueless.

    I tip my cap in appreciation.

    Please, take a bow.

    Everyone, give johntaylor big round of applause!!

  45. Thanks, Blake, for doing what I was about to do, and better than I would have.

  46. I suppose we could start a war with Iran.

    Well, our man Obama can barely handle Afghanistan, but he managed to bomb the hell out if Libya for the cause.

  47. “But that .20 has been there for a while. What are you gonna do about the other $2.00? Apparently if we look serious about drilling into the modest amount of oil we could produce, the price will plummet all on it’s own because of speculators – or something like that. ”

    It’s funny that you mock it, because it already worked once.

  48. You’re more than welcome, cranky. I does what I can.

  49. Anyway, why is drilling for oil always equated with gas prices? Anyone noticed the unemployment rate lately? The energy sector is the only place that truly has “shovel ready jobs” and doesn’t require a trillion dollar stimulus to get started. The energy sector just needs government to get out of the way.

  50. Apparently if we look serious about drilling into the modest amount of oil we could produce, the price will plummet all on it’s own because of speculators – or something like that.

    there must be some reason it is called the oil futures market but maybe someone could explain it.

    OIL FUTURES: Crude Ends -1.8% On Fears Of Slowing China Oil Use

  51. …the modest amount of oil we could produce”…

    Modest, huh?

    Oh, and this too.

    Whoops. Almost forgot this one.

    If you’re still not convinced johntaylor, I’ve got a bunch’a algae (I think that’s what it is) in the old bath tub up at the deer lease I’ll give sell you.

    .

  52. I’ve got a buddy who recently installed $18K worth of 3 solar panels. No storage batteries yet, that’s extra. The upside is that he’s producing more than he uses. The downside is that it will take him forever to get his money back.

    But then, he’s not worrying so much about the money as he is about societal collapse. I think he’s onto something.

  53. Unless I’m mistaken, US oil production is up 14% since 2008.

    http://www.eia.gov/dnav/pet/hist/LeafHandler.ashx?n=PET&s=MCRFPUS1&f=M

    And I think they’re drilling like crazy in Bakken. Look if you can put an extra 10-20 million barrels of oil a day on the world market, I’m all for it. I just think “we have all the oil we need if the government gets out of the way” is a nice campaign fallacy.

    Look, it seems clear to me that as the economies in India, China, and elsewhere ramp up the demand for energy is going to outpace the supply, which is why in 2009 I moved 10% of my portfolio into FSENX, which is my only sector play.

    https://www.google.com/finance?client=ob&q=MUTF:FSENX

  54. And I think they’re drilling like crazy in Bakken. Look if you can put an extra 10-20 million barrels of oil a day on the world market, I’m all for it.

    yea but you got to ship it on warren buffet’s railroad. hey let’s build keystone in oklahoma!!11!! you go baracky grrl!

  55. it seems clear to me

    dude’s got tarot cards he be playing

  56. Look at the years before 2008 from your link.

  57. notice on that graph that production fell from gwb to baracky’s tenure. go mittens more of the same.

  58. But then, he’s not worrying so much about the money as he is about societal collapse.

    ’cause all the “intelligent” folks don’t no how to do jack squat.

  59. 2008 or 2000 doesn’t mean squat. The Democrats have been blocking energy production forever. Bush wanted to increase production.

    My point in referring to earlier years is he wants to make hay about a three year uptick when oil prices are at these highs.

    Back in the 70s when our GDP was 1/15th its current level we were pumping well over a 100 million more barrels a month than now.

    We’re not at some historic high that Obama has engineered. We’re into 40 years of production decline that’s truly insane when you consider the increase in energy requirements.

  60. sorry meant ghwb. peaked at nixon(hello epa). wobbled til ghwb then decline.

  61. Stupid EPA.

  62. johntaylor apparently doesn’t understand the concept of “lead time”; if he did, he would realize that Barack is coasting on drilling and leasing approved during the Bush years.

  63. Thank you there bh. Was just about to say that.

    And yes newrouter, “it seems clear to him”.

    Oh, and glad you’re “all for it” john, but I’d ditch your Fidelity Asset Manager (John Dowd) all the same. It ain’t a campaign fallacy.

    Gee…I wonder why the kids flipping burgers & salting fries at McDonalds in South Dakota are making $18 bucks an hour?

    And why in the article they’re looking to Texas for new ideas?

    Let China and India float a bloated Mid East oil market. India is a solid ally. Could have benefited from the Keystone if Obama wasn’t such a spoiled, narcissistic, cry-baby twit.

    Anywho, last time I checked, India & China can’t buy oil in friggin Rupees & Yuan.

    Gotta trade that shit for dollars first.

  64. look at that graph. 12 years of bushes and 8 years of clinton and then an uptick when private wells come on line. go gop proggtards.

  65. US oil production up, but not on federal lands:

    A new report by Congress’ research division says U.S. oil production is up under President Obama, but almost all of the expansion of oil production in the U.S. came on non-federal land, not on leases from the federal government.

    The report, dated Tuesday and provided to the press late Wednesday by Sen. Jeff Sessions, Alabama Republican, found that “about 96 percent of the increase [in oil production] since 2007 took place on non-federal lands.”

    The analysis of government projections, done by the Congressional Research Service, also found that total oil production — including both federal and non-federal lands — will stagnate over the next two years. CRS said it will slip from about 5.59 million barrels a day in 2011 to 5.52 million barrels in 2013.

    Oil production on federal lands took a giant drop in 2011, falling 275,000 barrels a day. Even with that drop, production is still higher than it was in 2008 — the last full year under President George W. Bush. But the real boost has come on non-federal lands, where production is up more than a half-million barrels a day.

    Critics rip Obama claim that drilling in U.S. won’t drop gas prices:

    Both sides used an Energy Information Agency report issued in mid-March to boost their arguments. While the report confirmed that domestic oil production is at an eight-year high, it also showed that Mr. Obama had little if any role in helping boost domestic supply even though he takes credit for it on the stump.

    Domestic oil production last year averaged 5.6 million barrels a day, the highest output since 2003 and a 4 percent jump since Mr. Bush’s last year in office, according to the March EIA report, but it’s far below production levels of a decade ago.

    Demand will outpace supply because the supply is being kept low, and because we are now a net exporter of oil. That’s not a requirement. We can sign contracts that will keep oil here domestically and save importation costs. We can tax imported oil. We can relax compliance costs, lower taxes on gas, etc.

    There’s plenty we can do. We aren’t because the President — as he said directly — wants to influence the market price in order to “nudge” us off of oil.

  66. “I think they’re drilling like crazy in Bakken”

    johntaylor, if you don’t know that companies are drilling like crazy in Bakken, you really aren’t very bright. As for your asset allocation, you obviously didn’t pay much attention to the MF Global disaster and what it portends for financial markets.

    Unless you get your head out of your ass, johntaylor, you’re going to wind up broke, living under a bridge, wondering just what the hell happened.

    Oh, and johntaylor, for you, broke and living under a bridge is best case scenario.

  67. OT: new personal best on the hub lift at ~ 52# with the right hand. Left hand at 50#. I want to reach 75#, but that’s likely a pipe dream.

    Also picked up the 40# blob for the first time by the face (wide way) with my right hand. Working on hoisting the 45# blob by the sides (traditional lift); I think I’m finally getting close. Can’t quite break it cleanly off the ground, but I’m hoping in the next month or two. Last year I couldn’t much budge it. With block weight lifts like these, it gets more and more difficult the more you progress on your way to the official York Blob (50#, half a 100# dumbbell) — mostly because it’s not so much the increase in weight as it is the increase in width of the block weight you’re trying to grip and hoist.

    When and if I ever get the 50# off the ground, I will buy myself a big fucking trophy and put it on my mantle. Same if I’m ever able to bend an Iron Mind Red Nail. And I’ll probably buy a shirt that says “I love me some me.”

  68. Have you been seeing a difference with your grappling?

    Just guessing but I doubt I could get you off one of my wrists now. Your hand control must be sick.

  69. i haven’t really done much grappling at all recently. Mostly coaching amateur wrestling.

  70. Well, I am curious if you could snap another man’s forearm just by squeezing now but I suppose coaching the kids is probably better for society and all.

  71. I could do some damage if I grabbed a wrist, I guess. Twisting out isn’t easy because remember we employ a twist that takes away a lot of the power. From a fighting perspective, I’ve been working on strategies for finishing things quickly. My favorite is covering up and moving in close enough to force some sort of tie-up so that I can either go to an underhook tie (most people don’t keep their elbows tucked well when in a weak boxing stance), or maybe a collar tie, then snap the head a bit, just enough to move the opponent and circle a leg in toward me, snatch an inside single, quickly elevate it, slide out and move right to a stopper toe hold or Achilles lock. With the stopper, the knee gets blown out before your opponent has a chance to try to rotate the leg out.

    I’m also getting pretty good at setting up an assortment of duck unders, the best of which puts my behind and over top of a kneeling opponent after I hit the move. From there the choke or cross face or, if I’m feeling pissed off, some sort of nelson to trap the neck and arm so that the side is entirely exposed and impossible to defend (repeated hammering of the elbow to the stretched ribs is my choice), is available right off the go behind/takedown.

    Another is a high crotch takedown directly into either a top wrist lock or, depending on where I place him in relation to me, a leg lock entry.

    I don’t have time or the wind to roll around much. I’m too old.

  72. “I don’t have time or the wind to roll around much. I’m too old.” You would be surprised what you can do when you are forced to do it. Just sayin’

  73. Well, Gulermo, you’re right, of course, but the idea behind how I train is to avoid that very scenario if I possibly can.

    OTOT: I’m watching season 1 of The Killing on DVD just now and I can’t help hoping the idealistic leftist mayoral candidate is a fetishistic killer — though so far, I’m pretty sure the writers think he’s just totally boss.

    God, but I do hate preachy leftism.

    I’m only on episode 6, so please: shut up.

  74. Don’t want to spoil it but he has a vagina.

  75. Set a 24 inch X 1 meter long concrete tube on end, into a meter and a half deep hole to capture a spring today. 871.2 pounds. One helper, one gandy bar and one 3″x4″x8 ‘ stud. I know I am older than you. Photos upon request.

  76. No spoilers please.

  77. Experience has shown me that evil gets up early and works hard all day.

  78. G’night all.

  79. Welp, Santorum started on the “Romney is Obama” thing that you’ve been promoting for months- its not playing well. Shock. The thing is, most people not reading this blog don’t think Romney is the same thing as Obama. Because he’s not.

    I’m just wondering, if Romney gets the nomination, are you going to spend every moment up until the election bashing him? As opposed to every moment up until the primary? Because of the staunchness? I’m tired of the in fighting. It would be nice to feel like we’re all on the same team again.

  80. I’ll leave the Romney-bashing to Obama and his supporters, since the Romneyrrhoids obviously haven’t been listening to those of us who knew what was coming.

    I’ll be happy to bash Romneyrrhoids though — for demanding that we all declare, fully a year before the convention, that we would vote for the Etch-a-Sketch if he got nominated, thus providing them with the ammo they needed to create the myth of his Electability™. And for whining when we refused to jump on the Etch-a-Sketch bandwagon and claiming that we who opposed the useless son of a bitch will be responsible for Obama’s re-election.

    Because the responsibility for Obama’s re-election will lie with those who insisted on nominating a motherfucking Etch-a-Sketch in the first place you shit-for-brains moron.

    But hey, let’s all be on the same team again, because now after all your whining and browbeating, NOW you’re tired of all the fighting.

  81. The thing is, most people not reading this blog don’t think Romney is the same thing as Obama. Because he’s not.

    Let’s see: time for some helpful listings of the dissimilarities between Romney and Obama. I’ll start this show:

    1) Mitt doesn’t use a teleprompter.
    2) Mitt doesn’t have a M’Chelle (as far as we know, right now, but that might change).
    ..

    I’ve run out. Somebody help me please~!

  82. Sure, there’s some ideological differences, and of course the Supreme Court nominations. But at this point does anyone think Romney can bring about reversal of what’s ailing this Republic? Will he staunch the looming economic disaster, the one that Ann Barnhardt speaks of thusly: “The U.S. financial system is irretrievably broken. All hands abandon ship.

    If the answer is, ‘Hell, no!’, then why bother with him at all ? Keep your ideological hands, or you risk becoming a zombie. Or worse, you might find yourself going along with the dirty socialists.

  83. ‘pure’. In the sense of not washing your hands in a silver bowl and voting for Romney, consequences be damned.

  84. Jeff, you get the 50# off the ground and I’ll buy you the T-Shirt that proclaims your prowess with the blob.

  85. jdw, confidence could be restored in the US financial system through jailing people like Corzine and a few congresscritters.

  86. As a start, Blake. But with the fiscal-political-cultural well we’re dug into now, there’s not many scenarios that show even a marginal recovery. The majority of paths lead to pure economic and societal hell; those few that don’t are narrow and treacherous and there’s no way our current majority voting populace made up of weak and slothful Americans will choose any but the easiest, listening to the loudest and most colorful characters who are our so-called ‘leaders’.

    CHANGE~!

  87. Welp, Santorum started on the “Romney is Obama” thing that you’ve been promoting for months- its not playing well. Shock. The thing is, most people not reading this blog don’t think Romney is the same thing as Obama. Because he’s not.
    I’m just wondering, if Romney gets the nomination, are you going to spend every moment up until the election bashing him? As opposed to every moment up until the primary? Because of the staunchness? I’m tired of the in fighting. It would be nice to feel like we’re all on the same team again.

    “Not Obama” covers a lot of ground —including better at being Obama than Obama.

    Mitt Romney: everything you like about Obama with none of the things you don’t.

    I have no intention of supporting Romney, because, in alienating conservatives like me, Romney’s made it pretty clear he doesn’t want my support. If you want to buy into Romney’s slightly somewhat more to the right of the left of center maybe agenda, be my guest.

  88. I don’t read Romney’s comment as celebrating higher gas prices or intentionally moving that way, and therefore not meaningfully similar to the current administration’s policies. Romney is making a projection. Maybe it’s wrong, but I wouldn’t be so quick to discard it because he could be thinking about ever increasing demand, geopolitical issues and other factors that would make consistently low gas prices hard to achieve.

    Jeff’s reading of Romney’s comment disturbs me as much as Jeff’s continued support for Santorum, ostensibly on grounds that he’s the most appealing candidate from a classical liberal perspective. In order to believe that, it seems we’re at the point that it isn’t enough to take a tendentious interpretation of Rick Santorum (and ignore a great deal of what he’s said and done lately), but also to make Romney appear to be worse than he actually is.

    Take a step back! If you’re reading the absolute worst into Romney, even to the point that you’re possibly misinterpreting things he’s saying, and meanwhile doing the opposite with Santorum, is it possible that distaste for Romney has gotten the better of you? I am far from enthused about him, but there’s no reason to read him as pushing for higher gas prices. And much of the initial narrative Jeff provided explaining his support for Santorum has collapsed under the weight of Santorum’s own proclamations and behavior.

    This is not a request to fall in line behind our guy, but rather to reevaluate the initial reasons for supporting Santorum in light of what we’ve learned since. And perhaps a request to be more cautious in interpretation of what Romney says, however strongly you feel about him.

  89. The problem with your reading of Jeff’s reading of what Romney and Santorum have said is that there are actual records —how Romney governed, how Santorum voted— that put the campaign rhetoric into context.

  90. Jeff’s reading of Romney’s comment disturbs me as much as Jeff’s continued support for Santorum, ostensibly on grounds that he’s the most appealing candidate from a classical liberal perspective. In order to believe that, it seems we’re at the point that it isn’t enough to take a tendentious interpretation of Rick Santorum (and ignore a great deal of what he’s said and done lately), but also to make Romney appear to be worse than he actually is.

    Luckily for me, Romney and his team have done the heavy lifting for me, making himself look cynical and ideologically unmoored (well, if the ideology we’re talking about is conservatism; he seems quite comfortable arguing for government-centric controls).

    As for Santorum, nothing he’s done has shown me he doesn’t believe in a conservative model of governance.

    I appreciate the concerns for my loss of perspective (as you see it), but as I don’t agree with your premises, I see no need to “take a step back” and repent for my outrageous attacks on Romney. Particularly when the basis for describing them so is that someone else doesn’t see in suggestions that it’s a potentially good thing that gas prices go higher — regardless of how he believes they’ll get there — echoes of the sentiments expressed by Obama and Chu. And frankly, from nearly anyone who has at one time or another claimed to support cap-and-trade, or the idea of a governmental interest in curbing anthropogenic climate change.

    much of the initial narrative Jeff provided explaining his support for Santorum has collapsed under the weight of Santorum’s own proclamations and behavior.

    Here you are going to have to be specific. What proclamations and behavior am I supposed to be running from? I’ve made the argument here time and again that, because social conservatives are most frequently molested by an increasingly secular legal system, I believe Santorum is uniquely suited to be President at this time.

    So rather than gloss over Santorum’s supposed well-known missteps for which I’m responsible to “reevaluate,” how about listing them.

    Too, I believe you should take your own advice and be more cautious in your interpretation of what Romney has said: Romney has already said he doesn’t believe a President can affect gas prices. He has also said, as I point out here, that rising gas prices might just be a good thing — that the fact of their rising would provide incentive to move off of oil and gas. You don’t just mandate, as an agent of the government, “increased fuel efficiency.” Romney, at every step, seems hostile to actual free market forces; and I’m going to continue to point that out, because it is at the very heart of the way a technocrat thinks and then legislates.

  91. The problem with your take on Romney’s take on high gasoline prices, is that you’be posited that the difference between Obama and Romney is that, unlike Obama, Romney isn’t enthusiastic in his support for the same policy prescription.

    Romney the reluctant statist. That’s a winning formula.

  92. They both strike me as politicians with checkered pasts as far as their governing and voting records are concerned. They also have their explanations for these “problems:” Santorum’s basically that he was trying to be a team player, Romney that he was governor of a very liberal state. Make what you will of their explanations. I’m sympathetic to the idea that governing does require more compromise than being a legislator.

    Leave Romney aside for a moment, if it makes this exercise too complicated. Santorum just isn’t the guy he may have appeared to be a couple months ago. His history as a legislator gives me no comfort from a classical liberal perspective, and his recent rhetoric (much of which echoes his rhetoric throughout his political career), strikes me as valid in consideration of who he is and how he’d govern. I’m glad it looks like he won’t get the chance.

  93. This exercise isn’t complicated at all: Santorum is a Senator, who when compared to his fellow GOP Senators was contemporaneously more conservative, based on any objective measure as graded by conservative organizations. That he went along with the agenda as pushed by the Bush White House — the party leaders, at the time — is what it is. And yet he went along with it less often than other GOP Senators.

    Ironically, the Bushes are all now backing Romney. So tell me, why on earth would I punish Santorum for votes he made in deference to the Bush Administration? Clearly, the Bushies believe it is Romney who hews closest to their ruling inclinations. Which is why they are all backing him, and why he has the backing of the GOP establishment.

    The one who backed McCain and Dole and fought Reagan.

    You’ve referenced obliquely problems you have with Santorum’s statements. Which ones? And why the problems? You need to elaborate and make an argument, not just sigh and tut tut my inability to see clearly.

    That kind of rhetorical parlor trick doesn’t work here.

  94. “His recent rhetoric?” That’s how you respond to a request for specificity? I think you’re unclear on the subject.

    Is your complaint centered on the incessant social policy talk from Santorum? Does it strike you that such talk is front-and-center every day because that’s the way the media and Santorum’s rivals want it? I suppose you’d rather Santorum run away from such questions like the polished politicians you seem to admire so much. Since the ritual evasions and empty platitudes “play well” with the crowd, right?

    Still, it’s nice to know that the orchestrated effort to make Santorum “scary” and “extreme” and “unacceptable” is so effect with you and your crowd. Congrats on being a such a good propaganda eater!

  95. Particularly when the basis for describing them so is that someone else doesn’t see in suggestions that it’s a potentially good thing that gas prices go higher — regardless of how he believes they’ll get there — echoes of the sentiments expressed by Obama and Chu.

    I just don’t see Romney suggesting that higher gas prices are a good thing. It’s not what he said. He said he’s in favor of people recognizing that they may be here to stay.

    The observation that social cons are under assault from the state, and therefore a natural ally of the classical liberal, at least at this moment, is novel. I think it has merit. But it doesn’t follow that Santorum would be such an ally, just because he probably should be. In order for that to work out, Santorum would have to be more interested in protecting people from govt than he is in protecting them from themselves (and Satan). This is a judgment call, and subject to my own bias, but I feel that I’ve seen enough of the guy to have the sense that he is more interested in saving us from ourselves.

    This does not that Romney will necessarily be better than Santorum. Maybe this is mostly a result of the strength of my own feelings on Santorum, but my sense is that among many people I respect a deep mistrust of Romney is resulting in their imbuing Santorum with a lot more hope than he deserves. And I was one of these people just a few months ago.

  96. I guess what I truly object most to is the suggestion that I’ve avoided dealing with any of Santorum’s pronouncements or positions. I don’t agree with Santorum on everything, obviously. But I’ve also routinely and I think very specifically detailed why his positions don’t, in my estimation, really trouble classical liberalism — while maintaining that Santorum is clearly more a tradional conservative than a libertarian (the libertarian part being what it is that makes me more classically liberal than traditionally conservative).

    Still, the intersection of those two ideological points is the governing model of legal conservatism. And I don’t have a problem with Santorum in that regard. In fact, it seems to me he is fairly cognizant that we have 9th and 10th Amendments. And he didn’t just now notice that because he’s trying to justify a state-run health care system he implemented.

  97. Santorum’s comments about prioritizing the fight against pornography, his idea that NIH should study its effect on marriage, are recent comments that should cause any classical liberal to reevaluate Santorum’s dedication to limited govt. It seems so obvious that it’s odd to even mention it. And his voting record backs up his rhetoric on economic protectionism. Those are but two examples of two very different types of major govt intervention that Santorum the president claims to support. I find those claims plausible.

  98. Santorum’s comments about prioritizing the fight against pornography,

    He didn’t make the comment you are attributing to him. At no point did he say this was a priority. So right off the bat you’re criticizing Santorum for phantom remarks. In fact, you gloss over the fact that the other two major candidates said basically the same thing with regards to porno as Santorum.

  99. “It would be nice to feel like we’re all on the same team again.” This “team” of which you speak; that would be the conservative “team” or Republican “team”. I know how we as a nation and a culture have come to the dire straits we find ourselves. I guess that should be you find yourself. More of the same will NOT save you. And you know this. You just want to drive. Admit it. Release that inner Facist, you know you want to. Where do you think the resistance to the meme of “electability” came from. You want my vote? You NEED my vote? You don’t act like you do. Go piss on someone elses leg and tell them it’s raining.

    “but I wouldn’t be so quick to discard it because he could be thinking about ever increasing demand, geopolitical issues and other factors that would make consistently low gas prices hard to achieve.” Horseshiite. This from a person living at the pinnical of a civilization built on a foundation of cheap energy. Self awareness; Google it.
    “Take a step back! If you’re reading the absolute worst into Romney, even to the point that you’re possibly misinterpreting things he’s saying, and meanwhile doing the opposite with Santorum, is it possible that distaste for Romney has gotten the better of you?” Reverse the candidates names and that is exactly what YOU are doing. If he were all that you claim you would have no need to convince anyone.
    “This is not a request to fall in line behind our guy, but rather to reevaluate the initial reasons for supporting Santorum in light of what we’ve learned since.” It has been the demand for months.
    “And perhaps a request to be more cautious in interpretation of what Romney says, however strongly you feel about him.” Why the word cautious? He is not judged on what he has said, but on his record, AFAIK.

  100. But I’ve also routinely and I think very specifically detailed why his positions don’t, in my estimation, really trouble classical liberalism — while maintaining that Santorum is clearly more a tradional conservative than a libertarian (the libertarian part being what it is that makes me more classically liberal than traditionally conservative).

    I didn’t mean to suggest that you’re avoiding potentially troubling aspects of Santorum, or sweeping anything under the rug (though I am interested in your take on what I see as something approaching an implosion in his recent comments about Romney v. Obama).

    I just think that the interpretation you’re taking hinges very much on Santorum’s respect, as you put it above, for the 9th and 10th amendments. I am less convinced than you are of his internalization of these concepts.

  101. Ironically, the Bushes are all now backing Romney.

    Probably because they think that will clear the path for Jeb in ’16.

    But I’m cynical like that.

  102. In fact, you gloss over the fact that the other two major candidates said basically the same thing with regards to porno as Santorum.

    paulzummo, the DC dug through statements on the candidate’s web site and found some on this topic. interestingly, they appear to have been scrubbed now. that’s encouraging, I suppose:

    http://www.ricksantorum.com/enforcing-laws-against-illegal-pornography

    As for the other candidates saying something similar, well, I don’t believe Romney on this topic (and several others). In this case, that works to his favor, as I do believe Santorum.

  103. paulzummo, it’s worse than that: he completely neglects that Romney and Gingrich said exactly the same thing when asked about it. He may be fine with that because he knows they are lying like Obama; doesn’t change the facts.

    Also, he neglects to deal with a larger point: all Rick Santorum is saying is that he’ll enforce the laws as Congress wrote them. One of the biggest problems in this country is that there are so many laws and regulations on the books NO ONE can obey them all, which gives the next bureaucrat you honk off unlimited power to fuck with you. If the law isn’t intended to be enforced, repeal the fucker. Then fire every bureaucrat hired to supposedly enforce it on everyone.

  104. I just don’t see Romney suggesting that higher gas prices are a good thing. It’s not what he said. He said he’s in favor of people recognizing that they may be here to stay.

    Yes, get used to it. Malaise. Wear a sweater, people!

    Listen: when you couple what Romney said with his position on man-made climate change and the governmental responsibility to “do something about it” (another position he’s tentatively stepped back from, now that he’s playing conservative), it makes sense that he would present rising gas prices as inevitable and something we have to get used to.

    Romney wasn’t being pragmatic. He was aping the kind of fatalism that is used to justify all sort of government interference in the market. Like pushing for “increase fuel efficiency” by fiat, etc.

    The observation that social cons are under assault from the state, and therefore a natural ally of the classical liberal, at least at this moment, is novel. I think it has merit. But it doesn’t follow that Santorum would be such an ally, just because he probably should be. In order for that to work out, Santorum would have to be more interested in protecting people from govt than he is in protecting them from themselves (and Satan). This is a judgment call, and subject to my own bias, but I feel that I’ve seen enough of the guy to have the sense that he is more interested in saving us from ourselves.

    Except he’s said explicitly he knows the difference between having a desire and having the legal authority to try to force that desire on others — something that is clear from HIS readings of the cases from Griswald leading up to and through Roe v Wade.

    All of which has been discussed here at length: Santorum’s position on a state’s right to determine whether or not contraception is legal, eg., is no different from Justice Roberts’ ruling that a state can have implemented bad law with respect to banning french fries on a subway platform. It isn’t the role of the court to correct the legislatures if the legislature makes bad law; only if they make unconstitutional law.

    That these types of frank discussions — Santorum will spell out his position very clearly, if you read his positions and not the attempts to thumbnail them — are welcomed by a political candidate is part of Santorum’s appeal: he doesn’t run from the questions, and he doesn’t skirt the issues when asked.

    With respect to pornography, as pointed out here and elsewhere, Santorum’s position wasn’t new — and it was a position shared by his primary opponents. The difference being, the “conservatives” backing Romney want us to be terrified because, well, Santorum actually believes in what it is he’s promoting. Which by the way, is merely enforcing laws on the books.

    Sadly, these days this is seen as a liability for a candidate running for office in a representative republic. Whereas spending big money to trash your opponents — all while sidestepping questions about your own ideological moorings — is evidence of “organization,” political “savvy,” and having a “good team and good strategy.”

    That just doesn’t do it for me.

  105. And he proves my points before I make them.

  106. Me too, SDN. We’re talking over people now — but what is clear here is that I’ve been lectured by someone on how I’ve attempted to bolster Santorum who hasn’t bothered reading my posts on Santorum explaining my reasoning.

  107. He being mt_molehill.

  108. Santorum’s comments about prioritizing the fight against pornography

    Outright bullshit.

  109. As long as we’re all stepping back and re-examining things from new perspectives, perhaps we should all take a moment to reflect on the fact that a guy who thinks people should take care of their families and live godly lives is now considered completely out of the mainstream, and unfit for invitations to any of the proper parties.

    You want perspective? Read some of JFK’s speeches, and try to imagine any democrat saying such things out loud today. “Defense of liberty,” anyone? Hell, if we’re going to elect a political scion from Massatwoshits with awesome hair, let’s dig up that one!

    Meanwhile, back in 21st Century America, the idea that the Jesuits should be forced to pay for some grad student’s birth control is met with a collective shrug, while the idea that the birth control business is really outside the scope of powers the Founders had in mind for the federal government sends everyone reaching for their smelling salts. Because no local or state program, nor any private charitable organization with the initials P.P. could ever provide such services, y’know? And yet Santorum is supposed to be the one ‘out of touch’ with ‘American values.’ That’s how far we’ve been dragged over the past 50 years, folks.

    This is what my grandfathers fought for. So that their great-grandchildren would be held in thrall to a strong central authority that could order their lives for them, without any icky ‘religion’ or ‘traditional values’ or even ‘individual responsibility’ messing things up. Thank goodness we have Romney on the scene, promising to run the strong central authority effectively!

  110. In terms of “legal conservatism,” it is likely that Santorum would present better picks for the Supreme Court than would Romney. That’s nothing to sniff at.

  111. paulzummo, the DC dug through statements on the candidate’s web site and found some on this topic.

    That is one way to characterize what they did.

  112. In terms of “legal conservatism,” it is likely that Santorum would present better picks for the Supreme Court than would Romney. That’s nothing to sniff at.

    I’d say it’s crucial.

  113. I appreciate Santorum’s willingness, relish, in articulating and defending his positions. I don’t, however, perceive the same consistent narrative of distinguishing between his desires and his recognition of the limitations of his authority. He’s done a better job of that in this campaign than he did as a Senator.

  114. I cannot stand it when someone tried to piss on my leg and tell me it is raining.

  115. The observation that social cons are under assault from the state, and therefore a natural ally of the classical liberal, at least at this moment, is novel. I think it has merit. But it doesn’t follow that Santorum would be such an ally, just because he probably should be. In order for that to work out, Santorum would have to be more interested in protecting people from govt than he is in protecting them from themselves (and Satan). This is a judgment call, and subject to my own bias, but I feel that I’ve seen enough of the guy to have the sense that he is more interested in saving us from ourselves.

    Actually, he’s primarily interested in protecting families from the alienizing and atomizing influence of an all-pervading government.

    That’s only problematic if you think the basic building block of society is the individual.

  116. I don’t, however, perceive the same consistent narrative of distinguishing between his desires and his recognition of the limitations of his authority. He’s done a better job of that in this campaign than he did as a Senator.

    Wait, you’re looking for longterm consistency and simultaneously pushing Romney?

  117. I’d say it’s crucial.

    A dozen Senators would go a long way toward defusing that particular bomb, though.

  118. Submit, bitches

  119. I’d say it’s crucial.

    I’m equally convinced that Romney would present better choices for the court than Obama.

  120. As for the other candidates saying something similar, well, I don’t believe Romney on this topic (and several others). In this case, that works to his favor, as I do believe Santorum.

    Somebody else who either doesn’t understand the point of this blog, or ignores it as fundamentally unserious.

  121. Wait, you’re looking for longterm consistency and simultaneously pushing Romney?

    I’m just saying that Santorum’s past gives me pause too. And I feel like Romney’s being pushed on me, not that I’m pushing him.

  122. A big part of the reason why Santorum’s social policies don’t keep me awake at night is that those policies, were he to attempt to implement them, would be filtered through a bureaucracy, a media, and a popular culture that have all been thoroughly programmed to resist such ‘morality policing.’

    Romney, on the other hand, promises to deliver us ‘better’ State-run health care, ‘more sensible’ climate change and environmental strictures, and ‘more efficient’ provision of government services. The media and the public will eat that stuff up with a spoon, and the bureaucracy will happily carry out all but the last.

    Which is more scary?

  123. Ernst, I haven’t been a frequent commentator here, but I have read this blog for many years. I take the point of it quite seriously, subject to whatever misunderstandings I may have about it, of course. But failing to be convinced of Santorum’s superiority to Romney doesn’t strike me as a smoking gun in that area.

  124. I’m equally convinced that Romney would present better choices for the court than Obama.

    If Obama presents left wing ideologues, it’ll be easier to try to block them. Not that the GOPers ever really do to any great effect, with respect to SCOTUS nominees.

    I’m not sure Romney wouldn’t give us the kinds of “conservative” justices that ultimate disappoint, helping to turn us leftward in a “bi-partisan” way. That’s what the ruling class has always been about, regardless of Party.

    But frankly, I doubt he even gets the chance.

  125. The ironic part is that the past that gives you pause is when Santorum was being a team player for Bush and the establishment, the same establishment that pushed McCain, and now Romney onto you. I’m not pushing Romney is BS.

  126. Squid, here’s a piece from Romney out today about his intended approach to healthcare. Very short on specifics, and subject as it should be to skepticism, it is not “better State run healthcare.”

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/forum/story/2012-03-22/mitt-romney-health-reform-repeal-obamacare/53711598/1

  127. Actually, he’s primarily interested in protecting families from the alienizing and atomizing influence of an all-pervading government.

    That’s only problematic if you think the basic building block of society is the individual.

    Exactly. And I think it here that people run into a bit of an ideological snag — unnecessarily, in my view. A Constitution framed around constraining a government in order to preserve the unalienable rights of the individual is not opposed to the notion that, as a social matter, families are basic building blocks for a civil society.

    This is why Santorum is not an Objectivist (as we’ve discussed here); but at the same time, it doesn’t make him a Nannystatist, either.

  128. Norm Coleman, a Romney adviser, said they’d repeal some parts and fix others. Why is it that Romney’s advisers so consistently misstate Romney’s evolving positions, do you think?

    Had Romney come out and declared Romneycare a failed and flawed experiment that brought him back to his belief that government is not best suited to run things private industry and competition are better suited for, he’d have won over a lot of conservatives.

    He didn’t.

  129. Ernst, I haven’t been a frequent commentator here, but I have read this blog for many years. I take the point of it quite seriously, subject to whatever misunderstandings I may have about it, of course. But failing to be convinced of Santorum’s superiority to Romney doesn’t strike me as a smoking gun in that area.

    mt-molehill, what you’re saying is that you’re okay with Romney lying because you don’t believe he’s lying to you. How much hay has Glenn Reyolds made with that observation vis-a-vis the faux-sophisticates who supported Obama for that very reason?

  130. Romney: new entitlements and governmental intrusion into our lives is wrong. Unless it’s in MA and I did it. Then, the people love it!

    Plus, states rights!

  131. I think Santorum should be more interested in protecting families from the encroachment of the state and all that it entails. And if I were convinced of that, my reservations about him would be nullified. Those would be ideal terms for a social con/libertarian/classical liberal alliance. I think Jeff and commenters here have articulated this far more powerfully than Santorum or other mainstream socials cons have. I don’t think Santorum buys it.

  132. I don’t think Santorum buys it.

    Based on what, exactly?

  133. ernst, I have no love for Romney, and my expectations of a Romney presidency are not high. I’m not taken with Santorum, is my point.

    Had Romney come out and declared Romneycare a failed and flawed experiment that brought him back to his belief that government is not best suited to run things private industry and competition are better suited for, he’d have won over a lot of conservatives.
    He didn’t.

    I think you mean “He hasn’t. Yet.” It’s entirely possible that this latest PR assault from Romney attempting to establish his “repeal” bona fides is about trying to lock up the nomination. And that once that’s done, he’ll revert to a more “nuanced” position with respect to the law. His position might “evolve” that way. It’s also possible that his position might evolve in the other direction, as he figures out that it’s a better strategy towards defeating Obama.

  134. My program begins by taking seriously the words of the 10th Amendment to the Constitution: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” In line with the intentions of our Founding Fathers, I favor giving each of the 50 states the resources and the responsibility to craft the health care solutions that suit their citizens best.

    Romney thinks that the 10th Amendment means gigantic block grants to the states, who can craft socialized medicine in their own unique ways. Not getting Washington out of the business entirely. Not letting people keep their resources in the first place, avoiding any reliance on Romney’s good graces to grant them the resources they need. Not rolling back the massive market distortions already wrought by the bankrupt MediCrap programs.

    This, in Romney’s own words, is what he thinks when he says he wants to take the 10th Amendment seriously. And you wonder why people like me mistrust him?

  135. I don’t buy it because the main argument for it is that Santorum’s intended intrusions into our lives are all about the defense of the family. It doesn’t necessarily follow that this demonstrates a respect for the limits of govt authority. You’re articulating how that may be the case, should be the case. But he’s thrown himself behind govt intrusion into places where this rationale doesn’t explain matters, notably in his approach to a govt managed economy.

  136. No, Squid, I do not wonder why you mistrust him. And I am glad that you do.

  137. I think you mean “He hasn’t. Yet.”

    No, I meant he didn’t. If he does so now, who on either side will believe him?

    Instead, we’ll all just be counseled to pretend to. In order to defeat Obama.

  138. I think you mean “He hasn’t. Yet.” It’s entirely possible that this latest PR assault from Romney attempting to establish his “repeal” bona fides is about trying to lock up the nomination. And that once that’s done, he’ll revert to a more “nuanced” position with respect to the law. His position might “evolve” that way. It’s also possible that his position might evolve in the other direction, as he figures out that it’s a better strategy towards defeating Obama.

    PRINCIPLES!

  139. Let’s look at that again: “I favor giving each of the 50 states the resources and the responsibility…”

    A candidate with a true understanding of the Constitution would never say such a thing. The resources and responsibilities already reside with the states and the people; they are not Romney’s to give!

    This is a fundamental error. It doesn’t get any more basic than this! It goes to the heart of who Romney is, and what he perceives is the function of government and his role at the top of it. Forget any quibbling over details — I will not vote for such a man. He believes that the fruit of my labors is his to take, and that I should be thankful when he ‘grants’ some of it back to me. Because of his deep and abiding respect for the Bill of Rights.

    Fuck. That.

  140. (The above rant is directed more at Matt than at Molehill, btw.)

  141. But he’s thrown himself behind govt intrusion into places where this rationale doesn’t explain matters, notably in his approach to a govt managed economy.

    By goverment managed economy, what do you mean, precisely? Are you referring, for instance, to something like this?

    (Note, too, how in Spengler’s analysis, this is precisely designed to help families).

  142. Squid, I think what he’s saying is that stuff already being appropriated by the federal govt should be returned to the states in the form of block grants. That’s not as good as, say, not taking it away in the first place. But it’s also not as bad as what others would do that money.

    So with regards to the “I will not vote for such a man” sentiment, are you saying you would rather see Obama get another term?

  143. A candidate with a true understanding of the Constitution would never say such a thing. The resources and responsibilities already reside with the states and the people; they are not Romney’s to give!

    Precisely. One of my constant criticisms of Romney has been his attempt to ape the language of conservatism without seeming to understand it.

    He’s like an actor reading off a script.

    It seems his campaign people are every bit as confused as he is.

  144. I hadn’t seen that Spengler piece, but I will read it. Just because something is positioned as trying to help families doesn’t mean that it would. But I see in this case how positioning it that way would at least be consistent with the notion that Santorum sanctions govt intrusion in a consistent fashion.

  145. Just because something is positioned as trying to help families doesn’t mean that it would.

    Which is why we consider the argument and determine if we think it would.

    Spengler, you’ll note, initially opposed Santorum’s idea. The column I linked represents a considered change of position on his part.

  146. Romney is already being painted as a “far-right conservative” by the left and the MBM. He will be used as all previous “far-right conservatives” (like the Bushes) have been used, as a lever against conservatism. If conservatism is painted as being the same as what the progressives do, with lower taxes, then the brand will be damaged even further.

    Then again, perhaps the non-existent establishment has already done enough damage that it no longer matters. Still, I want to see a clear choice in ideologies, and Romney does not offer that against Obama.

    Had Romney come out and declared Romneycare a failed and flawed experiment that brought him back to his belief that government is not best suited to run things private industry and competition are better suited for, he’d have won over a lot of conservatives.

    Exactly. I would probably be one of his supporters, or at least not one of the people who will not vote for him.

    Romney believes we’ll all fall in line, so he instead appeals to the statist impulses he thinks are mainstream because the progressives tell us they are. He has no principles. His supposed stances change with the wind and the crowd he is addressing. He contradicts himself way too often.

    The fact is this country still leans right, and Romney does not represent that more than half of the populace. I agree with Santorum that an election between Romney and Obama offers little real choice.

  147. I agree with Santorum that an election between Romney and Obama offers little real choice.

    As much as I understand and largely share people’s dissatisfaction with Romney, I can’t fathom this notion, even in the ideological terms in which it’s made. Romney accepts far too much of the progressive narrative under the guise of pragmatism and centrism or just being reasonable here, folks. But he is not an ideologue of the left. That is a distinction with a difference. I agree that Romney is an unsatisfying candidate on many levels, but even if the absolute best that you can say of him is that he’ll lead us in the same direction as Obama, only slower, well, that’s something. If a little more time to muster forces and mount another tack is the best we can get, then it’s better than electing someone whose explicit goal is to thwart that.

  148. That is a distinction with a difference. I agree that Romney is an unsatisfying candidate on many levels, but even if the absolute best that you can say of him is that he’ll lead us in the same direction as Obama, only slower, well, that’s something.

    It is. And that something? Is the status quo.

    Until we tell the GOP establishment we won’t accept their status quo, they’ll keep insisting we do.

    In fact, why wouldn‘t they?

    If a little more time to muster forces and mount another tack is the best we can get, then it’s better than electing someone whose explicit goal is to thwart that.

    We knew in 2008 who Obama was, and by 2010 many of us had said so. That the GOP decided they could sneak through one last status quo ruling class big government technocrat in a lapel pin shows just what they think of their own base.

    The point being, we had time to muster forces. They weren’t mustered because our party leadership doesn’t want them mustered. They want us to choose them as the lesser of two evils. We’ve been blackmailed.

  149. Here’s a question for the “Not Voting For Romney Is A Vote For Obama” folks:

    Who could the GOP put up as their nominee that you would not vote for in a contest against Obama?

    Ron Paul?
    Olympia Snowe?
    Arlen Specter (after he re-re-switches parties again)?
    Hitler’s third-favorite dog?

    Or let me state it like this: Is it possible for the GOP to put up for nomination anyone that you would not vote for?

  150. I think Santorum should be more interested in protecting families from the encroachment of the state and all that it entails. And if I were convinced of that, my reservations about him would be nullified. Those would be ideal terms for a social con/libertarian/classical liberal alliance. I think Jeff and commenters here have articulated this far more powerfully than Santorum or other mainstream socials cons have. I don’t think Santorum buys it.

    Buy this and then decide what buy or don’t buy about Santorum.

  151. So with regards to the “I will not vote for such a man” sentiment, are you saying you would rather see Obama get another term?

    I’m saying I would rather see an actual classical liberal get a first term. I’m saying that a choice between Obama driving the republic off a cliff at 90 mph, and Romney driving over at 55 mph, is no choice at all. I’m saying that the GOP will reform or be discarded. I’m saying that I will not be blackmailed into voting for somebody marginally less bad than the worst president in history.

    If Obama gets a second term, it won’t be because of me and people like me. It will be because a feckless GOP is more concerned with keeping its nest feathered than it is in reforming government and saving the country.

  152. Distinction without a difference. Driving off a cliff at 250 mph. Driving off a cliff at 100 mph. Driving off a cliff at 50 mph.

  153. Not to the passengers maybe. The guys fighting over who gets to sit behind the wheel seem to think it makes a difference though.

  154. “Romney offered himself not as a conservative, but a Weld-like moderate: frugal on spending and insistent that welfare recipients work for their checks, but supporting abortion rights and gay rights and willing to ban assault weapons,” wrote Brownstein

    I’m not a single issue voter, but an American gun banner will not get my vote. Only a tyrant at heart fears armed honest men.

    Also, the problem Romney has, is his etch a sketch pragmatism. If he comes out as a 2nd amendment defender, I can’t trust him on that. All I’ll know is that’s the position that polls best…for now.

  155. So if I’m interpreting this correctly, it’s basically that we’re better heading over the cliff faster if that’s what it’s going to take to reform/shatter and replace the GOP, so better Obama than Romney.

  156. so better Obama than Romney.

    More like, just say no to the status quo.

  157. Oops, wrong thread.

  158. More like, just say no to the status quo.

    Or, a choice, not an echo.

  159. So if I’m interpreting this correctly, it’s basically that we’re better heading over the cliff faster if that’s what it’s going to take to reform/shatter and replace the GOP, so better Obama than Romney.

    I’d prefer a choice of “Over the Cliff” or “Not Over the Cliff”, not in whether “Over the Cliff at 95″ is in kilometers/hour or miles/hour.

  160. Right. And I’m all for the vetting of Romney (even if I find the reading of some of Romney’s statements to be tendentious). I’m talking about the “I’d never vote for that guy/Romney and Obama look same” crowd.

  161. So if I’m interpreting this correctly, it’s basically that we’re better heading over the cliff faster

    False choice. It’s not a matter of “better”, it’s a matter of “we’re going over a fucking cliff!” Lowering taxes and streamlining Obamacare ain’t going to cut it.

    All I know is, we better get a shitload of conservatives elected to congress, ones that will mercilessly rip back the purse strings and pass a balanced, veto proof budget. One that will in itself naturally limit Oval Office delusions of Grandeur.

  162. Fuck yeah. But I’d still rather have Romney than Obama. That is a reality I never lose sight of.

  163. There we have the petitio principii. The question for us now mt_molehill is whether this is the time to focus on that distinction [Romney v Obama], while there are other more pressing distinctions to be drawn between Romney, Santorum and Gingrich.

  164. Mt molehill – why do yu insist on false choices? Isn’t slamming on the fucking brakes preferable to driving off the cliff, either fast or slow?

  165. But I’d still rather have Romney than Obama.

    That’s all well and good. You are more than entitled to use your franchise as you see fit. If your ultimate goal is solely to get Obama out of the White House, this is the quickest way to doing that.

    Here’s the long and short of it: The GOP is acting like I owe them my vote. I know that my vote is mine to be earned. And the GOP isn’t earning it. While my goal is getting Obama out of the White House, it’s not my ultimate goal. Obama will be gone in slightly over 4 years at most, so time will do what my vote may not. But the GOP will still be around putting up spineless, quivering masses of progressive-minded goo that are distinguishable from the Dems only by the fact they don’t like abortion as much.

  166. Well, my feelings on Santorum, which admittedly have evolved (and then devolved again) over the last several years, are noted already in this thread. And I’m not suggesting that Santorum needs to bow out, or at least that hadn’t really occurred to me until he suggested that we might as well go with Obama if it came down to him or Romney. I’m more curious about the rationale people who think that, and the “I would never vote for that guy” crowd.

  167. So to be clear: I’m not insisting on a “false choice” (though it’s not outrageous to point out that Santorum’s chances are grim). I’m specifically discussing the “even if Romney wins I would never vote for that guy/he’s the same as Obama” thinking.

  168. So if I’m interpreting this correctly, it’s basically that we’re better heading over the cliff faster if that’s what it’s going to take to reform/shatter and replace the GOP, so better Obama than Romney.

    I believe your interpretation is a little off. My meaning is that the GOP has forsaken its traditional role defending individual sovereignty and limited government. My meaning is that Romney does not embody that role. My meaning is that the republic desperately needs a party and a candidate who will return to the vigorous defense of individual liberty, and my support of Romney is not going to encourage such a reformation. In fact, my support of the establishment status quo will actively discourage the reforms that are so overdue and badly needed.

    For as long as the GOP is intent on wrecking the republic, I don’t care if they promise to do it slower or better than Obama — I’m simply not going to assist them in that endeavor. So I continue working to reform the party in my city and state, and I refuse to help the national party by giving them my money or my vote.

    Call me a simple-minded cowboy, if you like, but I’ve divided the world into those who stand with me, and those who stand against, and right now the GOP and their Anointed One are in the latter group. I don’t have the hate for them that I have for Obama and the Alinskyites, but it doesn’t change the fact that both groups are on the wrong side.

  169. Here’s the long and short of it: The GOP is acting like I owe them my vote. I know that my vote is mine to be earned

    AMEN

  170. So, you are willing to drive off the cliff slowly. I prefer to not drive off the cliff at all.

  171. I’m specifically discussing the “even if Romney wins I would never vote for that guy/he’s the same as Obama” thinking.

    It’s your “same as Obama” rejection that’s blinding you. In the ways that matter, Romney is the same as Obama.

    Did you know, for example, that the leading Republican for nomination just happens to be the only Republican ever with a healthcare plan named after him? Romneycare, with an unconstitutional mandate attached? The blueprint for Obamacare, the biggest single threat to individual liberty ever?

    This isn’t striking to you?

  172. Lee – but he is more electable!

  173. He has to be the best choice for the Republicans, JD. After all, Rachel Maddow, Brian Williams, and Wolf Blitzer told me so!

  174. but he is more electable!

    Indeed JD. Why, he consistently gets the votes of nearly one third of republican voters! After only five years of campaigning.

  175. I’m not suggesting that Santorum needs to bow out, or at least that hadn’t really occurred to me until he suggested that we might as well go with Obama if it came down to him or Romney. I’m more curious about the rationale people who think that, and the “I would never vote for that guy” crowd.

    So to be clear: I’m not insisting on a “false choice” (though it’s not outrageous to point out that Santorum’s chances are grim). I’m specifically discussing the “even if Romney wins I would never vote for that guy/he’s the same as Obama” thinking.

    Here’s what Santorum meant we know what Obama is, whereas we don’t know what Romney is, only what he claims to be; and that changes with the situation and the audience.

    Or to put it another way, if you give the people a choice between a closet socialist masquerading as a liberal democrat pretending to be a centrist and a liberal Republican pretending to be a severe conservative, they’re going to pick the liberal everytime.

    I’d rather spend the next four years in opposing Obama than in justifying Romney myself. Because definitions matter to me more than winning.

  176. And since Romney’s made it clear he’s not interested in my support, that’s going to be very easy for me to do.

  177. Thank you for the clarity, and for correctly reading my inquiry. But I still can’t fathom that notion.

  178. Romney’s not asking me to support him. He’s asking me to oppose Obama. That’s a dangerous condecension on his part. I oppose Obama not because of who he is or what he represents or the partisan label he wears, but because of what he stands for. Since there’s enough overlap between Obama and Romney, I oppose him on the same grounds as well.

  179. I thought we were all more or less in agreement that we don’t really know what Romney stands for.

  180. ” . . . we don’t really know what Romney stands for.”

    We do know with fair certainty that he doesn’t stand for the things we do. What he holds to himself in the alternative? That’s not as clear.

  181. touche

    Here’s what we know: Romney stand for the election of Romney.

    Jeff’s repeatedly shown where Romney’s positions and Obama’s overlap, and described it as Ann Coulter calling Romney a stealth conservative. Romney himself calls it severe conservatism.

    You’ve called it “evolving nuance” and you’re okay with it because it’s not “ideological”

    I call it bullshit. And I won’t have anything to do with it.

  182. But I still can’t fathom that notion.

    mt_molehill, just between you and me, I will vote for a empty soup can against Obama. Do me a solid though, and keep that under your hat(I’m trying to help you understand now) until the primary’s are over, would ya?

    For now, I’m trying to get the guy that most closely represents my concerns and vision for the country. I’ll worry about electing that guy when the time comes. Don’t put the cart before the horse.

    It’s as simple as that, I hope it helps.

  183. I’ve said before that I would vote for a syphilitic camel before I’d vote for Obama. Turns out that I’d also vote for a syphilitic camel before I’d vote for Romney.

    Syphilitic camel 2012!

  184. Romney would probably be willing to grow a hump and infect himself with syphilis if that’s what it takes Squid.

  185. To flesh it out, thinking about a Romney/Obama race is nothing but distracting at this stage of the game. Right now we are choosing who represents us in the general election.

    In doing that we compare each candidate to our principles, and to our opponents, and I gotta tell you, when it comes to governing principles, Romney has more in common with Obama than me.

    Electability is an odd thing to think about before determining what it is you’re voting FOR.

  186. Given a choice between a Teleprompter and an Etch-A-Sketch, I vote for sending both parties back to the drawing board.

  187. …a real one, with dry-erase markers.

  188. Back in 2008, I caught serious grief from people in the comments over at Rachel Lucas’ place when I said that I could never in good conscience support McCain, regardless of who his opponent was. I still stand by claim, well supported I think, that absent foreign policy, we’d actually be worse off with him as president than Obama. At least with an unmasked Marxist Democrat as president, some of the right finally woke up. President McCain would have passed cap and trade and complete amnesty for illegals, along with a horde of of other horrific policies.

    I will admit that I reluctantly pulled the GOP lever in 2008 for two reasons:

    1) Palin
    2) The left’s attempt to destroy an average citizen who had the temerity to ask a question that our God-Emperor answered poorly (Joe the Plumber)

    And now we’ve got Romney as the likely nominee, which I believe might end the GOP forever. Actually, that last part might not be a bad thing. I hear that the Whigs are lonely in the political dustbin. In any event, I will find it difficult to vote for the GOP again, except in House and Senate races where I think a conservative-libertarian is running.

  189. “And now we’ve got Romney as the likely nominee, which I believe might end the GOP forever.”

    Isn’t it possible — or don’t you think it possible — Physics Geek, that the republican party has earned itself an ending regardless whether Romney likely or Santorum unlikely goes on to defeat Barack Obama? So rather than “might end” we can correctly say “ought to end”? Seems to me it has, and looks as though you’re very nearly there.

    That isn’t to say that supposing some hypothetically miraculous or near miraculous turn of events might change that party toward its proper stance vis a vis the Republic and the Republican virtues as such, but that based on the preponderance of the evidence today, represented in the main by deeds and not words, we ought to be persuaded that there is no believable salvation for the thing. That as far as our interests as citizens of the Republic go, we do better to form up a party from the honest foundation of American Republican principles, than continue to participate in a sophistic charade having nothing to do with those principles?

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