Frank Rich Chides Liberals for Self-Delusion About the Tea Party and Goldwaterite Conservatism

In a startling and interesting departure from the types of things he was writing in 2009, 2010, and 2011, commentator Frank Rich of New York magazine, last seen around these parts gleaning actual insight from embedding himself into the right-of-center and libertarian mediaverses during the Republican National Convention, writes a sort of open letter to his fellow progressives, with the headline: "The Tea Party Will Win in the End: This is a nation that loathes government and always has. Liberals should not be deluded: The Goldwater revolution will ultimately triumph, regardless of what happens in November." Excerpt:

"Where did these people come from?" asked a liberal friend of mine in Los Angeles this summer as we reminisced about the freak-show characters, from Bachmann to Mr. "9-9-9," who cycled through the Republican-primary season, sequentially drawing unimaginable throngs of supporters. As [Alan] Brinkley wrote in 1994, it's a default liberal assumption that the right's frontline troops are invariably "poor, provincial folk" or an "isolated, rural fringe" or "rootless, anomic people searching for personal stability," rather than the perfectly conventional middle- and upper-middle-class suburbanites they often are. We don't want to believe they're hiding in plain sight in our own neighborhoods and offices. [...]

[T]ake another look at recent polls, including those that augured well for Obama and the Democrats prior to the first debate. The GOP may be a small-tent party, male and mainly white, but Romney was still attracting as much as 48 percent of the vote despite being the most personally unpopular presidential nominee of either party in the history of modern polling. And while polls found Obama ahead of or even with Romney in every policy category, conservative ideology in the abstract fared far better. In the late-September Quinnipiac University–New York Times–CBS News survey of the swing states Ohio, Florida, and Pennsylvania, for instance, the view that government is "doing too many things" easily beat the alternative that government "should do more." The Pew American Values Survey from June is even starker in charting an intrinsic national alienation from a government that has been gridlocked since the turn of the century: By margins that approach or exceed two to one, a majority of Americans believe that government regulation of business "does more harm than good"; that the federal government should only run things "that cannot be run at the local level"; and that the "federal government controls too much of our daily lives."

I certainly don't agree with every word in Rich's piece, but it still illustrates an oft-overlooked point: When you make a real attempt to understand that with which you disagree, you almost always write more interesting things. You may even begin to change your mind.

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  • John||

    When you make a real attempt to understand that with which you disagree, you almost always write more interesting things.

    That is known as being a "writer" rather than being a hack Matt.

  • ||

    That's what's surprising about it. It's like expecting Krugman to suddenly say, "You know, these Austrians aren't as bad as I thought."

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    When you make a real attempt to understand that with which you disagree, you almost always write more interesting things.

    But it's so much easier and immensely more satisfying to shout, "Racists!" and to use things like the Fairness Doctrine to shut down any meaningful exchange of ideas.

  • Calvin Coolidge||

    Racist!

    Clearly the "white" space between your sentences is Tea Party code for being a Racist! (TM).

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    You're the guy who did Dogs Playing Poker, right?

  • ||

    Dogs Playing Poker

    More dog whistles! I'm sure some point can be made here about gambling and white hegemony, but that would play right into your hand, WOULDN'T IT!?

  • PapayaSF||

    Cassius Coolidge also invented those "comic foregrounds" you see at carnivals, where you stick your head through an opening in a big caricature. One man, two icons of 20th century pop culture.

  • Calvin Coolidge||

    Don't forget Calvin and Hobbes, which I totally wrote.

    Not taking credit for Calvinism, however. That was just God's Will.

  • ||

    Can I have the FCC shut down everyone who likes Enterprise?

  • Restoras||

    Why not just have the whole government shut down free enterprise instead?

  • ||

    Free Enterprise had Shatner in it, as himself. You'd shut that down? You monster!

  • Randian||

    I'll logroll that if you let me summarily drone everyone who liked the new Star Trek.

  • ||

    It's not a question of liking, it's a question of tolerating.

  • Randian||

    You're either with me or against me. Answer quickly, because the RQ-170 is on its way.

  • ||

    (prepares red matter enema for Randian)

  • Randian||

    (goes back in time...not to prevent enema, of course, but to destroy Italy)

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Liked. It's already cancelled, dummy.

  • ||

    Weird. I must have had a dream that I was on the holodeck watching its entire run as if it were still on.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    What program you choose to run on your holodeck is your own problem, Murdock. Reruns? Why don't you just get the TekWar DVDs while you're at it?

    By the way, you're still on the holodeck. It's broken and you can't get out.

  • ||

    Why is Patrick Stewart dressed like Peter Pan?

  • Randian||

    Q!

  • AuH2O||

    Fuck you, Epi. Fuck you with Warty's dick.

    It must be hard going through life knowing that Enteprise was the best after TOS.

  • John||

    Really though Matt, isn't this Rich piece just a polite variation on "the country is just not good enough for Obama"?

  • Restoras||

    Or a more polite way of saying "What's Wrong with Kansas?".

  • Sudden||

    "What's Wrong with Kansas?".

    You left out City Chiefs.

    /le sigh

  • Gray Ghost||

  • Lord Peter Wimsey||

    'isn't this Rich piece just a polite variation on "the country is just not good enough for Obama"?'

    That's exactly what it is. Condescending horseshit telling his liberal friends to wake up and smell the moonshine: Americans are just not sophisticated enough to realize how wonderful government is. His only addition to the standard story is that the "anti-government fringe" is in reality half (or more) of the country.

    But if that's the case, why is America drowning in laws, regulations, kleptomania-prone politicians?

  • John||

    Because the culture of the political class is completely disconnected from the culture of a large part of the country.

  • ||

    True, but, unfortunately, it's because instead of having some simple dichotomy of pro- vs anti- government factions we have multiple overlapping and intersecting sets or factions.

    Every single law, wealth transfer, program or regulation has its majority or plurality of support. After all the horses have gotten traded even programs with relatively minor backing have a way of getting through.

    I'm afraid the entitlement mentality is far stronger than conservatives think it is. And that's mostly because many, if not most, conservatives don't realize how much free stuff they think they're entitled to themselves.

    Remember, that guy's program is a handout, mine is deserved.

  • ||

    Preach on, Isaac. Preach on. I don't think anybody truly realizes how entrenched this type of thinking become.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    Gah, you should read a VFW or American Legion Magazine... selfless service to the nation...MOAR VETERAN'S BENEFITZ, NOW!

    /spits

  • ||

    The screeching that came in response to one of the trial balloons of the early Regan Administration proposals to pay higher pensions to actual combat vets as opposed to staff desk jockeys showed how serious conservatives actually were about cutting budgets.

    Reagan is rightly lambasted for his failure to get spending under control (though he did actually lower the rate at which spending was increasing) but considering that almost ever spending cut his administration ever proposed encountered such opposition from both sides of the aisle it's hardly any wonder he constantly backed down.

  • Gray Ghost||

    Hell, look at what they did to Stockman, Reagan's first term. That said, if you have to go into debt, ridding the world of the existential threat that was Communism is a much better reason than many. Assuming that we needed to go into that much debt to defeat the Soviets, of course.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    but considering that almost ever spending cut his administration ever proposed encountered such opposition from both sides of the aisle it's hardly any wonder he constantly backed down.

    Hell, the same thing happened to Carter. He put out a hit list of public works projects to be eliminated and his own party stabbed him in the back.

  • ||

    Carter didn't need a Republican opposition. He never did present a spending bill with enough pork in it to satisfy Ted Kennedy or Tip O'Neil.

    I don't remember the exact numbers but in one Education Dept approbpriation Ted Kennedy proposed spending of something like $21Billion. Carter came back saying he wouldn't sign for any more than $18Billion.

    So they compromised for a final bill of $24Billion.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Gah, you should read a VFW or American Legion Magazine... selfless service to the nation

    Selfless service, my ass. Most people joined the military in the post-WW2 era either because they had to (drafted), they had no other job prospects (desperation), or they were looking for gubmint cheese (free health care, free housing, GI Bill). There are very few Pat Tillman types out there who joined out of a desire to defend the country.

  • Zeb||

    There is also the fact that almost everyone is wishy-washy on their opposition to government. They don't like it generally, but most people have their programs that they see as indispensable. So big government still works politically.

    It is sometimes easy to forget how radical libertarians are (in the present political context) when you get all your news from here.

  • Robert||

    Very important point.

  • Sam Grove||

    Because the people have been persuaded they must vote for the lesser of two great evils.

  • Robert||

    Wrong. The dynamic of this one would be the same if they thought they had, say, 10 realistic choices, not all of them evil. The predictions made by public choice theory cause a lean in the direction of rent-seeking, moderated only in some contexts by civic-mindedness.

  • Zeezrom||

    That's what I like about this article. The Left is already preparing itself mentally for an Obama defeat.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "The Pew American Values Survey from June is even starker in charting an intrinsic national alienation from a government that has been gridlocked since the turn of the century..."

    When he writes "turn of the century", he really means since the millennium, right?

  • Ken Shultz||

    'cause if he thinks of the FDR era as gridlocked, then he's a dirty commie.

  • John||

    he means the turn of the 21st Century. If the government that produced, SARBOX, Medicare Part II, two wars, the Patriot Act, Dodd Frank, and Obamacare is "gridlocked", it scares me to think of what Rich would consider an "activist" government.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Yeah, if he's had an epiphany here, it's that progressives need to do more than ridicule rednecks if they're gonna make even more inroads.

    There aren't any new ideological insights here. Just that complete domination/Progressotopia won't happen until they learn to market themselves better to white people in the middle class.

    I guess Frank Rich lives in such an ideological dream world that when he dreams? He dreams himself some reality.

    Incidentally, Libertopia ain't gonna happen either until we get better at appealing to women and minorities. We really should work hard on that.

  • Randian||

    Would you please work on brevity and lessening your 'jes' plain folks' style of writing?

  • Ken Shultz||

    No.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I write like I talk.

    You don't like it? Screw you.

  • Randian||

    I am not an advocate of running each comment by a copy editor, if that is what you think. However, a stream-of-consciousness style of 'writing' is, has been, and forever will be extremely annoying. I think it comprises half of the hate people hold for dunphy.

    We all get urges sometimes, but there is a time and a place for stream of consciousness and it's for your own private journal.

  • John||

    Hate to break it to you Randian, but your style of writing isn't exactly all that and a back of chips either.

  • Randian||

    Hate to break it to you Randian, but your style of writing isn't exactly all that and a back of chips either.

    Bwa ha ha ha ha!

    John, you are not black and it is not 1998.

  • T||

    No, no, he should post it on Blogger or LiveJournal with strange punctuation and lots of [BRACKETS]. If he coudl work up a nice rant or two about cats, that would be good, too.

    Wait, cats have already been done. He could rant about ferrets or guinea pigs.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Just STFU and swill another glass of pinot.

  • Randian||

    One does not simply swill into Pinot.

  • John||

    And no one drinks Pinot anymore you philistines. You drink Morgon.

  • Randian||

    I wonder what the Sideways bump was for pinot.

  • rbenchley||

    "In the first three months after the release of the film, Pinot Noir sales increased by 16 percent in the United States, and continued to grow, with some reports showing a 46 percent increase."

    http://www.southcoasttoday.com...../100309952

  • Gray Ghost||

    The Morgon reference is nice and obscure. Delicious and cheap too, as are any Beaujolais, really.

    My favorite running joke from the movie is still his rants against Merlot, while the jewel of his collection is a bottle of Cheval Blanc. I'm sure there are a bunch of other inside baseball jokes in the movie too.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    "We all get urges sometimes"

    Yeah, save your sermon on brevity for the topic you don't shit on with your Star Trek comments.

  • Randian||

    The Team Red sockpuppets are restless today. I figured they would be off masturbating to the latest poll numbers, but apparently they shut off the cable to the trailer parks this weekend.

  • John||

    Randian| 10.16.12 @ 11:50AM |#

    The Team Red sockpuppets are restless today. I figured they would be off masturbating to the latest poll numbers, but apparently they shut off the cable to the trailer parks this weekend.

    Really Randian? Really? That is pathetic. That is worse than Tony. This is the best you can do? That is disappointing and more than a bit embarrassing for you.

  • Randian||

    John, I wish there was a way to adequately express how categorically hilarious you are.

    Do you know how many times you have used the "this is beneath you" line? The "you used to be so cool, man" line? Do you miss MNG so much that you have to ape him?

    Spare me your verbal offal, please.

  • Calvin Coolidge||

    "apparently they shut off the cable to the trailer parks this weekend.

    Isn't this exactly the stereotype of Team Red that the article is talking about?

  • The Hammer||

    Nice, Randian. I have about 6 people staring at me wondering why I'm laughing at a check register. Thank God for alt-tab.

  • Tonio||

    Really, Randy? Style criticism is even more annoying than grammar correction or spell checking.

    Also, the drunken ghost of James Joyce would like a word with you.

  • Randian||

    Really, Randy? Style criticism is even more annoying than grammar correction or spell checking.

    Ken's style is obnoxious. You have to think *exactly* as he does as his thoughts "unfold". That is an oblivious self-centered style.

    Also, the drunken ghost of James Joyce would like a word with you.

    He's practically the only one who did it well. It is the reason there are a bunch of imitators but no successors to that throne.

  • 0073735963||

    I write like I talk.

    So you're an insufferable cunt in real life too.

  • John||

    Shut up Mary.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    "I write like I talk.

    So you're an insufferable cunt in real life too."

    People both write and talk in "real life"

  • Randian||

    If Ken writes as he talks, that makes him terrible at both.

  • ||

    I love it when we make arguments of substance, don't you guys? Whatever happened to that?

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    I love it when we make arguments of substance, don't you guys? Whatever happened to that?

    Randian.

    He was once a thoughtful commenter, but his devolution to the Glib Side is now complete. Critiquing writing style in a blog comment section?

  • Randian||

    And now the Obtuse Circle is complete.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    "If Ken writes as he talks, that makes him terrible at both."

    No, it doesn't "make" him anything

  • Ken Shultz||

    "If Ken writes as he talks, that makes him terrible at both."

    I'm really flattered, Randian, that you've put so much thought into what I write and how I write.

    ...but, just so you know, I'm straight as an arrow.

    Incidentally, ever read "Death on the Installment Plan"? ...it's fantastic...the way it's written...affected me greatly...the way I write...it's like you can hear the voice...the pause...more than just one thing in your mind at once...the way I sound...it's in your head...and you love it...it makes you horny.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Incidentally, Libertopia ain't gonna happen either until we get better at appealing to women and minorities. We really should work hard on that.

    So what would be your most effective counter to "here's some public largesse because you have melanin/vagina/liver spots"? Public largesse is morally wrong? The camel can only carry so much weight? Libertarians have been making those arguments. Yet, the electorate continues to vote for free stuff.

  • Tonio||

    Well, support for gay marriage would go a long way towards that.

  • ant1sthenes||

    Women, minorities, and old people are all about gay marriage? Women would put happily gay people in camps if they could trade it for free abortions, and young white people are probably the most gay-tolerant group there is.

  • Tonio||

    Uh, no, Anti - totally missing the point. I was talking about winning over the gays, not about those other groups.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "So what would be your most effective counter to "here's some public largesse because you have melanin/vagina/liver spots"? Public largesse is morally wrong? The camel can only carry so much weight? Libertarians have been making those arguments. Yet, the electorate continues to vote for free stuff."

    What Rich is saying here, in my read, is that Progressives need to learn to tailor their message to white middle class people--if they're gonna make headway with people in that demographic who might be sympathetic to them. He's not really talking about changing any positions whatsoever to appeal to them--I think he's just saying that bashing Tea Party types as a bunch of stupid hillbillies is bad for business.

    I'm more or less saying the same thing on our side of the ball. We pointlessly bash people sometimes without really considering that some people find that bashing off-putting. And I'm not talking about changing any of our libertarian positions to appeal more to women and minorities either...

    But just like progressives dismissing Tea Party people as stupid, white bread, rednecks is off-putting to middle class white people, so going after black people or women is off-putting...

  • Ken Shultz||

    So, yeah, as much as I despise Obama, I think that anybody that goes after Michelle Obama for being black while arguing for libertarianism is hurting the movement. As much as I despise Elizabeth Warren, I think anybody that goes after her for being a woman while arguing for libertarianism is hurting the movement.

    I think we should go after Obama, in part, because his economic policies are disastrous for minorities. The man openly exploited bigotry against Muslims! I think going after Michelle Obama as being a wookie, on the other hand, probably hurts us a lot more with women and minorities than where we really stand on any issue. ...and Michelle Obama being a wookie doesn't really have anything to do with libertarianism anyway.

  • ant1sthenes||

    Women and minorities aren't going to have much of a future unless they start shifting in the direction of libertarianism. They should really work hard on that.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I agree.

    All I'm saying is that maybe we should throw out a welcome mat.

    Instead of slamming the door in their faces.

    Unfortunately, they've heard a lot of bad things about us--and if we ever make any headway with them, it'll be becasue we lived it down.

  • Loki||

    That line caught my eye too. I think he means the turn of the 21st century, but that still makes the statement that the "government has bee gridlocked" ridiculous.

    The PATRIOT Act, Medicare Part D, No Child Left Behind, Sarbane Oxley, TARP, PPACA, Dodd Frank, the 2011 NDAA... If that's what he calls "gridlocked" I'd hate to see what his version of "active" government looks like.

  • Loki||

    Dammit, I really need to stop being so productive at work. Or read the fucking thread before I post. John beat me to it by over 2 hours. Commenting FAIL.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    By margins that approach or exceed two to one, a majority of Americans believe that government regulation of business "does more harm than good"; that the federal government should only run things "that cannot be run at the local level"; and that the "federal government controls too much of our daily lives."

    Where are these people?

    I just had to listen to an anti-corporation diatribe at lunch the other day about "exploitation" and "living wages" and "health benefits" and the entire steaming pile of lefty "fairness" bullshit.

    Fucking hell, it makes me tired. I cannot be bothered to try to teach the dumbass economics when all I really want to do is eat a fucking hamburger.

  • Randian||

    It would not surprise me at all that if the progenitor of the experienced diatribe still answered those questions in the affirmative.

    People really do believe that the federal government can do anything and everything without taking control and that all of it will cost nothing.

  • John||

    Yes they do. You have to remember they don't teach history anymore. Just a guess, but I would think one of the big reasons why you think how you do is that you know something about history and how governments have failed in the past and created huge harms. But most people don't know that. They honestly believe FDR created the middle class, that the old USSR was just a noble experiment that got taken over by a few bad apples, and that Nazism was the result of right wing small government nationalists taking over Germany.

    If that was all you knew of history, you would believe in government too.

  • Calvin Coolidge||

    FDA created the middle class? Poppycock!

    We all know it was Unions who created the Middle Class. Then, on the second day, they waved their hands and gave us the 40-hour work week and weekends off. Then, on the third through seventh days, they rested - using their paid Bank Holidays.

  • Raven Nation||

    Bingo! Except, history is taught, just from one perspective because most academics don't really know two perspectives on a lot of things.

    I still remember the stunned kid in one of my intro classes when he discovered there was more than one interpretation of the Great Depression. It's not that he had heard that the Rothbard-style interpretation was wrong, he'd just never heard anything beyond the standard "free market Hoover wrecked the economy saintly FDR saved it."

    But, he wanted to know more so I got him reading some other views.

  • sarcasmic||

    Where are these people?

    I imagine they're sitting quietly and keeping their politically incorrect opinions to themselves.

  • Raven Nation||

    That'd be me. Not out of fear, but because the standard leftist has no frame of reference within which to have a meaningful conversation.

  • Lisa||

    I think the "don't discuss politics in polite company" rule was mostly invented for progressives. Unfortunately, only the non-progressives seem to heed it.

  • Tonio||

    "Where are these people?"

    Silent majority?

  • Calvin Coolidge||

    it's a default liberal assumption that the right's frontline troops are invariably "poor, provincial folk" or an "isolated, rural fringe" or "rootless, anomic people searching for personal stability,"

    It always amazes me that the Left is able to simultaneously dismiss any opposition to their Nanny State as coming from people of this description, who they unreservedly loathe as Racist!(TM), uneducated, fundie sub-humans unworthy of the right to vote, while at the same time demanding ever-expanding welfare state programs aimed at precisely this demographic. When viewed as voters, they are scum who deserve what is coming to them, but when viewed as future wards of the state, they are sad, blameless victims of the Evil 1% who only need someone from the government to stop by to feed and clothe them, and heal their wounds.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "It always amazes me that the Left is able to simultaneously dismiss any opposition to their Nanny State as coming from people of this description, who they unreservedly loathe as Racist!(TM), uneducated, fundie sub-humans unworthy of the right to vote."

    It always amazes me how many people on the right endeavor to mimic that stereotype as much as possible...just to stick it to the "Left", whoever that really is.

    It works the other way, too. I'm pretty sure atheists and people at gay pride parades act the way they do to achieve the anti-right stereotype in style...

    Partisans on both sides strive to become the caricatures their opponents make them out to be. That's what makes them hilarious.

  • Calvin Coolidge||

    I respect your point that there is a lot of stereotyping on both sides, although I suspect that living up to the stereotype is less of a factor than you portray it as being. Confirmation bias is a more likely cause. Whether it is a Tea Party rally (still going strong) or an OWS Protest (party's over, man!), the idiot in costume with a crazy sign is always the one whose picture ends up at the top of the article.

    Nevertheless, I've seen too much knee-jerk insistence that NOBODY is poor because of laziness or a willingness to exploit the system coming from the same mouths who contemptuously dismiss anyone who doesn't support expanded government as some uneducated hick stereotype to believe that there isn't a whole lot of cognitive dissonance going on.

  • Tonio||

    I'm pretty sure atheists and people at gay pride parades act the way they do to achieve the anti-right stereotype in style...

    And what way is that, Ken?

    Also, maybe stereotypes exist because they have a basis in observed behavior, team identification, groupthink and all.

  • Ivoted4KODOS||

    The correlation and reason that it works is Authority. Making them victims they care for (with other people's money) but also dismissing them and discouraging them from voting or being active increases their own authority.

    Having them self sufficient and thinking like an individual strips them of all their authority and decision making ability over others.

  • Spoonman.||

    What is the goal of buying into the obvious lie that Ryan's budget is "harsh" or "radical"? There is nothing harsh or radical about it. It is just a tool for the GOP to acknowledge the debt and then continue being big-government stooges.

    It is more convenient for both parties to pretend that the Republicans want to cut the budget than for either to actually do so.

  • Calvin Coolidge||

    Advocating holding the rate of spending increase to 3% rather than 4.5% is more fascistic than 100,000 Hitlers put together to form some kind of super-Hitler who is 500 feet tall.

  • $park¥||

    A Recombinant Mega-Hitler? I think my father was onto something.

  • Calvin Coolidge||

    If so, your father will love the new Sy-Fy Channel Movie "Recombinant Mega-Hitler versus Robo-Roosevelt"

    We will fight Mega-Hitler on the beaches! We will fight him in the abandoned steel mill! We shall fight him in the ruins of Tokyo! We will always fight. Because, we've all seen the scene when you think Mega-Hitler is dead and walk away, only to have him jump back up and stab you from behind!

  • VG Zaytsev||

    The funny thing about this election is that Romney's become more popular as Obama Inc. has caricatured him as a radical libertarian.

    If Obama really wanted to kill Romney he's say something like "his policies will be indistinguishable from mine and he's a dopey white guy so you might as well stick with me".

  • ||

    I thought it was more the opposite. It's only been since the debate, where Romney came off as a moderate, Republican version of Obama, that's things have turned up for him.

  • Randian||

    What is the goal of buying into the obvious lie that Ryan's budget is "harsh" or "radical"?

    I think you answered your own question:

    It is more convenient for both parties to pretend that the Republicans want to cut the budget than for either to actually do so.
  • Spoonman.||

    Yeah, I sorta Ken Shultzed that post.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    It would not surprise me at all that if the progenitor of the experienced diatribe still answered those questions in the affirmative.

    Actually, he began by whining that he "couldn't afford" to take on an employee, because of the associated costs and regulations. However, rather than reducing those costs and regulations, he believes the government should provide him (at no cost) a consultant to assist him in negotiating the obstacles they have thrown into his path.

    And, as far as I can tell, he thinks wage and price controls are the route to prosperity and universal happiness.

  • Raven Nation||

    Wow! And he still runs his own successful business?

  • LTC(ret) John||

    Not for long...

  • ||

    "Romney was still attracting as much as 48 percent of the vote despite being the most personally unpopular presidential nominee of either party in the history of modern polling."

    Wow.
    Romney polls 48% against Obama because Romney is the most unpopular candidate. That is stunning.

  • John||

    I know it drives the resident Libertarians crazy when people accuse the Reason staff of being liberals pretending to be Libertarians for a pay check. But they do invite the charge sometimes.

  • Randian||

    That was a quote from the Frank Rich piece.

    And the point is that despite being personally unpopular, Rich is saying that the philosophy allegedly embodied by Romney overcomes that personal unpopularity.

    I know that it drives you crazy when you are accused of failing reading comprehension but...

  • John||

    So it was. You can thank me latter for giving you an excuse to be a smug prick. Not like you ever need one. But it is still damn nice of me to give you one.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Where the hell were you yesterday, John? It was practically a Shawshank Redemption screwdriver scene in here.

  • John||

    Occasionally I have to work for a living.

  • Ivoted4KODOS||

    He was quoting Rich there, not making his own judgment. It's called context, worth looking up!

  • John||

    I seriously doubt Welch disagrees with Rich's assessment. That Romney and Ryan are the worst, most unpopular and most easily dislikable major candidates in the last half century is pretty much Gospel on Reason.

  • Randian||

    I seriously doubt Welch disagrees with Rich's assessment.

    I seriously doubt John doesn't fuck sheep.

    See how easy it is to make things up?

  • John||

    Why would Welch disagree? What reason is there to believe he wouldn't? And further, why would his agreeing with Rich here be a bad thing?

    Don't you agree that Romney is a horrible and personally dislikeable candidate? Do you disagree with Rich here? If not, why not?

  • The Hammer||

    I actually don't find Romney personally too terrible. He seems like a decent, charitable guy for the most part. It's his statist neocon policies that I have a huge problem with.

  • Randian||

    I don't either, but the fact is that my opinion, or John asking me to read Welch's mind, is not only irrelevant but totally ridiculous.

  • John||

    Then Hammer,

    You disagree with Rich here. Romney is not dislikable. Perhaps he was at 48% for reasons other than his ideology.

    That is a fair point and a fair answer to the question. Why Randian and Sarcasmic find doing the same so difficult is beyond me.

  • sarcasmic||

    I seriously doubt John doesn't fuck sheep.

    I seriously doubt Welch agrees with your assessment.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    You really are the Toadie to Randian's Humungus, aren't you?

  • Randian||

    Look out guys, Socrates is here to show us all up.

  • Lord Humungus||

    don't bring me into this.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    John doesn't display his mutton-covered pecker for the world to see every weekday.

  • Randian||

    Do you even know what this argument is about?

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

  • Randian||

    This is about John making shit up, so linking to reason posts is not relevant.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    The links show he's not making it up.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    You guys keep this crap up, I am calling the bouncer over...fine, here it comes.

    WARTY, chuck 'em out the door!

  • Calvin Coolidge||

    The "Next Man Up" progression of Republican nominees makes it hard to single out Romney.

    If we forget the GW Bush years (please?), we have had three of the last five nominees be microwaved, lukewarm rejects from the previous election cycle, who went into the party convention as, already, "Dead Man Walking". Dole - McCain - Romney. Was anyone, ever - nominee's family members included - heard to say "I'm excited that X is the nominee! We need someone like him to re-invigorate the party!"

  • John||

    He is what he is. But I never got the whole "he is the worst candidate worse than Bob Dole" line. If you ever listened to the guy speak, which few if anyone on here ever did, there is no way you could think that.

    I don't agree with him on a lot of things and didn't think he would get the nomination. But I never got why people thought he was some dead fish candidate. He is clearly not.

  • Calvin Coolidge||

    He is Barak Obama without the appealing biography. The exact type of bland, empty technocrat that America deserves, given our willingness to only accept candidates who have spent their entire life in politics without ever managing to take a controversial stance on anything.

  • ||

    "he is the worst candidate worse than Bob Dole" line.

    It's times like this I wonder if we're reading the same articles.

  • ||

    I recant that a bit. It depends on what you consider to be "worst". If you mean he's ginning up less enthusiasm and support, I'd agree with that. He gets voters because a lot of people have hated Obama's presidency, not because everyone has Romneymania.

  • John||

    He gets voters because a lot of people have hated Obama's presidency, not because everyone has Romneymania.

    After four years of a cult of personality, isn't that a good thing? If Obama has taught the country anything, it is that the amount of excitement a candidate generates has no relationship to how good of a President.

    Sometimes I wonder if a lot of conservatives and libertarians just wan their own Obama. Fuck that. I don't want to be in a cult of personality even if I like the personality.

  • Calvin Coolidge||

    I'm just glad that all those "Everybody Chill Out - I got this!" avatars and posters and t-shirts vanished some time in 2009. Every generation needs to learn that politicans are just empty vessels begging for power, not some breath of fresh air who will - finally! - focus on makeing sure Government solves all your problems for you.

  • ||

    I don't want a cult of personality OR a lack of enthusiasm. A hearty medium route would do nicely. Good luck with that, though.

  • The Hammer||

    Nobody said "he is the worst candidate ever," John. That was just a straw man you made up and whose ashes you keep trying to re-ignite. He is the most milquetoast, middle-of-the-road candidate from the primaries, and most of the people here agreed that while he was a damn sight better than Titties or Assjuice, he was still not appealing at all to a libertarian considering voting for a Republican. He is still not. And "possibly moderately better than Obama" is not much better than "probably moderately better than Titties or Assjuice," and is not a compelling reason for a libertarian to vote for a statist.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Three out of five existing data points constitute a pattern?

    It's not like Al Gore and John Kerry were charismatic dynamos either.

  • Zeb||

    DO you disagree with Rich's assessment, John? Seems pretty valid to me. Romney is the candidate because his opponents in the primaries were either crazy or ignored and he polls well because he is not Obama. A lot of people liked Clinton, Bush, Obama, etc. and that influenced their votes. I don't think too many people feel that way about Romney.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Rich's statement is much stronger than that.

  • sarcasmic||

    Red Tony strikes again.

  • John||

    Good thing you guys are not defensive about the charge or anything. It is almost like you know it is true and hate hearing about it or something.

  • Randian||

    John shows himself unable to read, lashes out at the rest of us smug "literates".

  • John||

    And one post warrants three indignant responses? Yeah, I am the one being defensive. Got it. I only poke you because it bothers you. And it only bothers you because you worry it might be true.

    If I accused everyone of being closet SOCONs, no one would care.

  • sarcasmic||

    Red Tony digs in.

  • John||

    Sacracmic bristles at accusations he can't answer.

  • sarcasmic||

    Bristles? Hardly.

    I find it humorous to watch you make a complete fool of yourself.

    Because that is exactly what you are doing, John.

    You are being an ass and everyone is laughing at you.

  • John||

    Yeah sarcasimic, doing your best shreek screaming monkey imitation is not bristling. Whatever gets you through the night sweetheart. Like I said, if I accused you of being a closet SOCON, you wouldn't be offended, you would just think it strange. Why? Because it is not true.

  • Randian||

    Please carry on, John. This is unadulterated, 24K comedy gold.

  • John||

    So in other words Randian, you have no answer. Thanks for proving my point. And I will ask you again, why would anyone think that Welch doesn't agree with Rich's assessment?

    Is or is not Romney a personally dislikable, and the worst major Presidential candidate in living memory? Isn't that what you think? Don't you agree with Rich here?

    If you don't agree with Rich, I would like to hear why. And if you do, then explain to me why Welch thinks differently or agree that what I said was probably correct.

  • sarcasmic||

    Red Tony backpedals, then double-downs!

  • John||

    Don't you agree with Rich sarcasmic? Is Romney personally dislikable? Is Romney a horrible candidate?

    Yes or no?

  • sarcasmic||

    I don't answer to straw men, Red Tony.

  • John||

    Sarcasmic, a straw man is where I project a view onto you that you don't have. I am not projecting anything. I am asking you three simple questions.

    Do you think Romney is a personally dislikeable person?

    Do you think Romney is a horrible candidate?

    And do you or do you not agree with Rich here?

    Yes or no. I am not projecting anything on you. I am asking you simple questions.

  • sarcasmic||

    This is what people responded to.

    I know it drives the resident Libertarians crazy when people accuse the Reason staff of being liberals pretending to be Libertarians for a pay check. But they do invite the charge sometimes.

    Red Tony projecting onto the Reason staff.

    Straw man much, Red Tony?

    Now you're trying to get out of it by demanding that we answer what you projected. Sorry Red Tony, but I'm not doing it for no reason other than to watch you squirm.

  • John||

    I think Welch agrees with Rich here sarcasmic. Do you think he disagrees with Rich? Do you think Welch finds Rommney likable or in any way a good candidate?

    If you think he does, I would like to hear how you have come to that conclusion. If you think he doesn't, then my point stands. Your point only works if Welch disagree with Rich's assessment and was just quoting it.

  • sarcasmic||

    I don't know what Welch thinks.

    Maybe you could ask him.

  • John||

    But even though you read Reason constantly, you have no idea? And you know what you think. What do you think about Rich's assessment. Is it true or untrue?

  • Randian||

    *laughter*

    Keep makings things up, John.

    The numbers say that Romney's dislikeable, but that the philosophy of smaller government he is perceived as embodying is popular.

    That was Rich's point, which I informed you on earlier, and yet here you are trying to prove how we are all big Democrats because of poll numbers.

  • John||

    The numbers say that Romney's dislikeable,

    So you let poll numbers determine your opinion? I am not asking you about the numbers. I am asking you your opinion. Do you think he is dislikable? Do you agree with the polls?

    You can obfuscate all you want, I am not letting you out of the corner. Answer the question.

  • Randian||

    The point that Rich made was that despite Romney's unfavorability rating, the philosophy he allegedly embodies must be popular because he may win the election despite being personally unlikable.

    And then you said:

    I know it drives the resident Libertarians crazy when people accuse the Reason staff of being liberals pretending to be Libertarians for a pay check. But they do invite the charge sometimes.

    even though it was Rich making the point, not reason. And then you got called on it and you have been howling, whining, scratching and denying instead of just admitting you made a completely ridiculous mistake for the sake of sounding your tired one-note about what big Democrats we all are.

  • John||

    I doubled down sarcasmic because neither you nor Randian have an answer and I am not going to let you off the hook until you either agree with Rich or explain why you don't think Romney is a dislikable person and a horrible candidate.

  • sarcasmic||

    You have to have someone on the hook before you can let them off, Red Tony.

  • Randian||

    I wonder if John regularly convinces himself that he is 'victorious'. The mighty John slayed us, sarcasmic. We may as well just admit to his status as a debating master and go home to lick our devastating wounds.

  • John||

    Randian,

    I am not the one refusing to answer a simple question. If you had an answer or the one you have didn't prove my point, I assume you would give one.

    One more time,

    Do you or do you not agree with Rich's assessment of Romney? And what reason is there to believe that Welch disagrees with it?

    Simple questions. Why do you find them so hard to answer?

  • sarcasmic||

    I wonder if John regularly convinces himself that he is 'victorious'.

    Yeah. Asking loaded questions for the purpose of confirming a straw man is 'victory' for Red Tony.

  • John||

    What is loaded about the questions sarcasmic?

    Is Romney a dislikable person? How is that loaded? Do you think he is a good guy? Do you think he is anything but a horrible candidate?

    If you think otherwise, why aren't you voting for him?

  • sarcasmic||

    What is loaded about the questions sarcasmic?

    Red Tony double-double-downs!

    Give it up, dude.

    You projected onto the Reason staff, we pointed it out, and you have yet to get the twist out of your panties.

  • Randian||

    Do you or do you not agree with Rich's assessment of Romney? And what reason is there to believe that Welch disagrees with it?

    These questions are irrelevant.

    What you are doing is deflecting. Originally, you mistakenly thought that the cited paragraph was reason's opinion, and it let you go on yet-another mini-tantrum about reason's alleged liberality. You were then called on the fact that you categorically misread the paragraph and utterly failed to properly place it in context. Now you are determined to prove that your 'instincts' (read: your factually wrong knee-jerk bullshit) were correct by asking these completely ridiculous questions.

    To answer your questions so you don't dishonestly accuse me of evasiveness: (1)whatever the numbers say is fine by me and (2) there is no evidence of Welch's opinion so your manufacturing thereof is hackery.

  • John||

    These questions are irrelevant.

    They are totally relevent. Your point only stands if Welch disagree with Welch. If he is just quoting Welch and doesn't agree with him about Romney, then yeah, you are right. But if Welch agrees with that part of Rich's article, then my point stands.

    Considering that Reason has been running about five stories a day for a good six solid months about how lousy a candidate Romeney, I think it is a pretty solid bet he does agree with Rich here. And if he doesn't, he is the only Reason staffer who has that opinion.

    As far as your answers go. I am not asking you about the numbers. I am asking you for your opinion. Do you think Romney is dislikable and a horrible candidate.

    I am asking you to say bad things about a politician. That shouldn't be hard.

    And as far as your second answer, that again is not what I asked you. I asking you what evidence there is he disagrees with Welch. Your answer is that there is no evidence he agrees with him. That is fine. But that is not what I asked. What makes you think that Welch doesn't agree with Rich here? Do you have any evidence that Welch likes Romney in anyway? In months of the campaign has Welch ever said a kind word about Romney? I haven't seen it. But I defer to any instances you can think of.

  • $park¥||

    Your point only stands if Welch disagree with Welch. If he is just quoting Welch and doesn't agree with him about Romney, then yeah, you are right.

    Sucks when you forget what you were ranting about midstream doesn't it?

  • John||

    You know who I mean Sparky. And you guys know good and well Welch agrees with Rich here.

    Since when does anyone on Reason think Romney is likable or anything but a horrible candidate?

  • sarcasmic||

    Since when does anyone on Reason think Romney is likable or anything but a horrible candidate?

    Since when does anyone on Reason think Obama is likable or anything but a horrible candidate?

    See how asinine your question is?

  • Randian||

    See you guys if John gets us to admit that we don't like Romney, that means reason doesn't like Romney, which proves that John was right to rant on about a point reason didn't even make, because it was Rich's point, which will prove John can read after all.

    It all makes sense!

  • sarcasmic||

    It all makes sense!

    Like I said. He is asking the questions to confirm the straw man argument that he made earlier.

  • John||

    Do you think Reason doesn't despise Romney Randian? Did it stop being a Libertarian magazine and I missed the memo?

    Of course they do. And of course Welch agrees with Rich's assessment of Romney, which is nothing but a BS leftist throw away argument. And that is something Reason does frequently and why they invite the charge they are liberals pretending to be Libertarians.

    Now pull your pants up and go tell everyone how you really won the fight.

  • Randian||

    And of course Welch agrees with Rich's assessment of Romney,

    This is you continuing to declare that you were right to misread the piece. You weren't right then and you aren't right now.

    which is nothing but a BS leftist throw away argument.

    The argument is as follows, "Small Government philosophy is so popular that it manages to buoy a candidate with terrible likability numbers. That proves how popular small government is."

    Explain, please, how that is a 'bs leftist argument'.

  • sarcasmic||

    Golly gee willikers John, sometimes I get the impression that Reason despises BOTH ROMNEY AND OBAMA YOU FUCKING TROLL!

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    They are totally relevent. Your point only stands if Welch disagree with Welch. If he is just quoting Welch and doesn't agree with him about Romney, then yeah, you are right. But if Welch agrees with that part of Rich's article, then my point stands.

    WTF?!? Seriously, John slow your roll. You are getting really worked up. I know the "Red Tony" moniker sucks but you just got to let that roll off your back. Your questions about whether Romney is likable, the worst candidate ever, etc. are preposterous. What answer will make you happy? If I say yes, he is unlikable and the most terrible candidate ever, what is your counter? If I say no, he is a likable guy and a pretty good candidate, what is your response? It feels like you are leaving little argument turds all over this thread, and frankly no one wants to step in one.

    And asking the commentariat what goes on in Welch's mind is even more ridiculous.

  • John||

    They are not preposterous at all. Why are they preposterous? And why do you I have to have a response? They are your opinions. All I can do is hold you to them. I can't change them.

    Whatever you say is what you say. I just want to know what it is.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Okay. Not preposterous. But it feels like you're laying Claymore's on this thread, and I don't want to step in front of one. As far as why you should have a response? Because you are asking the questions, presumably to engage in a dialogue. So since you have no opinion, I will offer mine.

    Mitt Romney seems like a decent enough guy. He is a successful business man, and I think he takes his Mormon beliefs seriously. I like that about him. I bet he is a moral and ethical person.

    I don't think he is the worst candidate ever, he seems pretty much like all the others I can recall. Maybe Reagan was the best ever, and Romney is no Reagan. But he is interchangeable with Bush (41), Bush (43), Bob Dole, in my opinion. So those are my opinions, and you can hold me to them.

    I'm voting for Gary Johnson.

  • sarcasmic||

    We may as well just admit to his status as a debating master and go home to lick our devastating wounds.

    More like a master baiter.

  • John||

    I am just a big meanie sarcasmic. I expect you to actually explain what you think.

  • sarcasmic||

    I am just a big meanie sarcasmic.

    You misspelled weenie.

    I expect you to actually explain what you think.

    I expect you to deflect like a good Red Tony when caught in a straw man argument.

  • Calidissident||

    Oh God this thread was great! John is getting more entertaining every day as we closer to the election

  • $park¥||

    I wonder if John regularly convinces himself that he is 'victorious'

    Every comment, every day. Although, to be honest, there are plenty of others around here also convinced. He's in generally good company.

  • ||

    Is or is not Romney a personally dislikable

    I DON'T find him personally dislikeable, and I've never got the impression that the Reason staff personally dislike him. But he's a poor politician, who's only (arguable) virtue as a politician is being bland. He has most of the same positions as the incumbent, but without the kind of enthusiasm Obama has gotten. The feeling he gives off isn't so much "AGH! NO!", as Santorum and Gingrich have, so much as "meh."

  • ||

    The feeling he gives off isn't so much "AGH! NO!", as Santorum and Gingrich have,

    And Obama, of course. He gives off the worst feeling nowadays, though I am a bit biased after reading about his misdeeds for so long.

  • John||

    Darious

    I get the feeling the staff thinks Romney is pretty awful. And maybe they are right. But Randian and Sarcasmic apparently think Reason loves Romney.

  • sarcasmic||

    I get the feeling the staff thinks Obama is pretty awful. And maybe they are right. But John apparently think Reason loves Obama.

  • ||

    I get the feeling the staff thinks Romney is pretty awful.

    I get the feeling they think he's awful politically, but as libertarians that's going to be the case with a LOT of politicians. I don't get the feeling they have any personal dislike for him, though.

    But Randian and Sarcasmic apparently think Reason loves Romney.

    I don't get that from them at all. They just think your critique of Reason as being particularly anti-Republican over anti-Democrat is wrong and wrong-headed. And I agree.

  • robc||

    John,

    Here is my answer...its a fucking toss-up between him, Dole and McCain. Bush 2 was worse. Bush 1 probably goes in the pile.

    So, since Reagan, Romney may be the worst GOP candidate. Its close, but I can accept that as a reasonable call.

    Going back before Reagan, Ford goes in the stack, Nixon we now know about, but at the time is probably a "better" candidate, or in the stack at worse. Goldwater was better. Eisenhower was better.

    That covers 60 years. It is not unreasonable at all to call Romney the worst GOP candidate for president of the last 60 years. If you want to quibble and say Dole or Ford was worse, I wont disagree, but Romney is a reasonable choice for that spot.

    The problem is that the GOP has only run 3 decent candidates in 60 years: Eisenhower, Goldwater and Reagan.

  • John||

    Fair enough Rob. Then you agree with Rich. And I would imagine Welch agrees with Rich too. And that is my point.

    I think Romney is about to win the election. That by definition makes him a better candidate than Dole, McCain, or Ford. I don't see how you can say he is such a weak candidate given the way the election is going. You can say he is a candidate who is wrong about a lot of things but he is clearly not a weak candidate or a "bad" candidate if your goal is to win.

  • robc||

    I think Romney is about to win the election.

    As do I.

    I don't see how you can say he is such a weak candidate given the way the election is going.

    I didnt say weak, I said bad. As in, bad for the country.

    FDR was a bad president. A strong one too.

  • John||

    We are agreeing with each other Rob. I think you can say Romney is a bad candidate because you think he is going to be a bad President. Time will tell. But I don't think you can say he is a weak candidate anymore. He is turned into a surprisingly strong one.

  • robc||

    If you had just responded with "I cant read, I fucked up" we all would have agreed with you.

    No one is talking about him being a weak candidate in an electoral sense, so you still are clueless.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Even if John is incorrect, his opponents have not conducted themselves with honor here.

  • Randian||

    Even if John is incorrect, his opponents have not conducted themselves with honor here.

    All I said was that John was attributing to reason what should be attributed to Rich and the suggestion that if he didn't have his Team Red blinders on, he might have caught that.

    Instead of just saying (to copy robc) "I didn't read that right and fucked it up. Sorry", John tried to get us to read Matt Welch's mind to prove that he was 'right' to misattribute an argument.

  • sarcasmic||

    If you had just responded with "I cant read, I fucked up" we all would have agreed with you.

    *DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING*

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    "worse for the country" is hard to judge when you're talking about candidates who didn't win.

    And your analysis is kind of strange; you're throwing out 1/2 of the GOP's candidates (Bush II twice, Nixon twice, Ford, Dole) and then proclaiming Romney the worst.

  • robc||

    I didnt throw them out, I threw them in the same pile with Romney.

    Any of them are reasonable candidates for "worst". I dont think Romney would be my choice, with what we now know, I would go with Nixon or Bush 2. Based on time of first election, I think Romney.

    (Although that is just guessing vs Nixon, as I wasnt alive in 1968).

  • Tonio||

    Not me, Sarc. I long ago concluded that John suffers from some form of impairment and that engaging him is both cruel and a waste of time.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Randian et al. would be so screwed if there weren't names attached to the post. I think Randian would still be able to function because he seems fairly intelligent, if immature, but the truly glib contingent would probably just post Game of Thrones trivia out of desperation because they certainly can't carry on a rational argument without knowing who to insult.

    For example, the obsession with whether a new commenter is really Joe From Lowell or the Godeskite formerly known as White Indian.

  • GILMORE||

    ...when people accuse the Reason staff of being liberals pretending to be Libertarians for a pay check

    ...because they fail to fall to their knees and fellate any GOP candidate handy..... like *some* people....

  • CampingInYourPark||

    "personally unpopular"

    Think this is one of those "would you have a beer with this person" things

  • ||

    If I drank and liked beer, I wouldn't mind having a beer with Romney. Not sure what I'd get, but it might be interesting. The only thing I'd like to have with Obama is a duel.

  • robc||

    I wouldnt have a beer with Clinton, seemed like a scumbag to me.

    I would drink a beer with Romney while he drank a lemonade.

    It wouldnt vote for either.

  • Pro Libertate||

    What does that even mean?

  • John||

    It is Rich saying that Romney is a bad guy and a really horrible candidate who somehow managed to get 48% even though, judged by his personal worth and charisma should have been in the 30s.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I'm no Romney fan, but I don't see anything about him that makes him particularly revolting on a personal level, beyond his lust for political office.

  • John||

    Neither do I.

  • Zeb||

    Not liking someone doesn't mean you hate him or find him repulsive. I think many people are just indifferent to him.

  • PapayaSF||

    I think there's a certain Ned Flanders perception about Romney.

  • Zeb||

    Is he saying that he is a bad guy, or that he is not popular because of who is is, but rather who he is not. I seem to be reading this in a rather different way.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    I think it's a comment on his "likability." He's saying that nobody likes Romney, so why are they voting for him anyway?

  • Pro Libertate||

    Again, I'm not sure what that means. I don't care for him as a politician, but I don't see that many glaring character flaws (beyond the usual for politicians, anyway). He's on the meh side of personality, but so what? Obama is a dick and a horrible president.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    You have to look at it from Rich's perspective. Romney isn't cool like Clinton. He isn't a legitimate object of worship like Obama. He got rich working for a corporation and gives his money to his nutty church! Even conservatives don't want to kiss his ass. So why would independents and moderates vote for him?

  • Pro Libertate||

    Well, not Obama and, I suppose, has a record of turning around failed businesses. The latter is a bullshit point, as government is nothing like business, but I think that resonates with many voters tired of the moribund economy.

  • Zeb||

    "personally unpopular presidential nominee". He polls well because he is not crazy and not Obama, not because people like him or specifically want him to be president. So I think that that is a fair assessment.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I had this conversation with my mom, who is going to cut off my strawberry pie allowance if I vote for Johnson. I got her to admit that neither she nor her friends wanted Romney--he was just the nominee and the only viable alternative to Obama.

  • robc||

    I cant find a GOP member who will admit to voting for Romney in the primary.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    I'm pretty sure my parents and sibling will hold their noses as they faithfully vote GOP. It's the Mormonism. They don't like it. One bit. But Romney is better than Obama.

    I'm voting for my Johnson.

  • robc||

    Im hoping to talk both my parents into voting for Johnson. My Mom is a D who cant stand Obama and my Dad is an R who cant stand Romney.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Good luck. My discussion with my parents about Ron Paul lasted about 8 seconds before my Mom categorically dismissed the idea. We then silently sipped our bourbons for about 30 seconds, avoiding eye contact, until we locked onto whether the Colt's would draft Luck or RGIII.

  • ||

    I was insinuating that Romney isnt the most unpopular candidate.....
    *points to obama*

  • Mike M.||

    What this piece tells me more than anything is that Rich knows that Obama is going to lose.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    I think you're right.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Don't be so sure. The liberal commentariat was heading for their rhetorical bunkers when the Obamacare SCOTUS decision was imminent too.

  • Zeb||

    Well, they at least think that there is a strong possibility that he might lose.

  • GILMORE||

    Considering things Rich has written in the past, this is ridiculously out of character... wtf. its like he finally started taking his medication.

  • ant1sthenes||

    It's the Acceptance phase. "What's the Matter with Kansas" was anger. I'm sure you don't have to look hard for denial, bargaining, etc.

  • GILMORE||

    [re: the tea party] "the perfectly conventional middle- and upper-middle-class suburbanites they often are..."

    That's weird... I had a vague recollection about them actually being violent, rage-driven, homophobic, xenophobic racists?? Where would I have gathered *that* impression?

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03.....8rich.html

    ..I mean, there were a few *vague suggestions* along those lines elsewhere as well...

    ...That same survey found that 52 percent of Tea Party followers feel “too much” has been made of the problems facing black people — nearly twice the national average. And that’s just those who admit to it. Whatever their number, those who are threatened and enraged by the new Obama order are volatile.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04.....8rich.html

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Reg: Right. You're in. Listen. The only people we hate more than the Romans are the fucking Judean People's Front.
    Stan: Yeah, the Judean People's Front.
    Reg: Yeah. Splitters.
    Stan: And the Popular Front of Judea.
    Reg: Yeah. Splitters.
    Stan: And the People's Front of Judea.
    Reg: Yea... what?
    Stan: The People's Front of Judea. Splitters.
    Reg: We're the People's Front of Judea!
    Stan: Oh. I thought we were the Popular Front.
    Reg: People's Front!
    Francis: Whatever happened to the Popular Front, Reg?

    Rinse, repeat.

  • Raven Nation||

    Man, one of the funniest MP riffs ever.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Splitters, heretics, philosophically impure!

    Blah blah fucking blah.

  • T||

    Someday, we'll find that True Scotsman Libertarian to lead us to victory!

  • John||

    As I said above, sometimes I wonder if Libertarians just want their own Obama.

    No true Scotsman. And no cults of personalities. Politicians should be boring and generally disliked I don't care how great their views on the world are.

  • robc||

    Calvin Coolidge.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    Zombie Calvin Coolidge 2016?

  • Calvin Coolidge||

    Braaaains!

    Given the recent run of (R) nominees, the reanimated corpse of a politician from last century would fit right in.

  • GILMORE||

    John| 10.16.12 @ 12:53PM |#

    As I said above, sometimes I wonder if Libertarians just want their own Obama.

    I sometimes wonder why such a determined partisan spends all his time hanging around a libertarian website chastising readers for their complete ambivilence with GOP offerings.

    Its like going to a chinese restaurant and complaining their pizza stinks.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    sometimes I wonder if Libertarians just want their own Obama.

    Whatever.

  • OldMexican||

    By margins that approach or exceed two to one, a majority of Americans believe that government regulation of business "does more harm than good"; that the federal government should only run things "that cannot be run at the local level"; and that the "federal government controls too much of our daily lives."

    I find it fascinating that Rich finds this fascinating, as if it were a self-evident truth that the existence of big government is a sine qua non of society; as if Rich was talking about a survey on the belief in space aliens or astrology.

    It is clear that the left has removed itself just too far from logic and common sense for it to regard reality (economic as well as politcal) with such incredulity.

  • OldMexican||

    Romney was still attracting as much as 48 percent of the vote despite being the most personally unpopular presidential nominee of either party in the history of modern polling.

    Partisanship can explain part of the dislike, of course. The other part is that people do not feel that Romney has conviction.

    I rather find the idea of the less-than-ideal person getting the job to be attractive because - and I hope I'm right - it will be easier for everybody to question the president. He will have a real urgency to prove himself. And he will not feel he has some particular mandate from real or imagined multitudes of adoring fans.

    Instead, Obama was simply too liked by people who were mesmerized by the idea of receiving a certificate of anti-racial bias just by virtue of supporting him. No one can question his or her Savior; how can anyone? It is fortunate for me that I do not harbor these ridiculous sentiments of self-loathing because of my whiteness, and thus able to see Barry for what he was back in 2007: A crude demagogue and a clueless brat, easily manipulated by the women that surround him.

  • Brandybuck||

    I just finished reading the article, and the dude still doesn't get it. At the very end he still tried to link Republicans with the KKK and overt Southern Racism.

  • Killazontherun||

    Yeah, when LBJ signed the CRA the Democratic party disappeared overnight (never mind Carter won the region in '76, and Republican majorities in most state elections did not occur until '94).

  • ||

    This is a nation that loathes government and always has. Liberals should not be deluded: The Goldwater revolution will ultimately triumph

    The revealed preference of who actually gets elected indicates otherwise.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Loathing and fearing government is a rational and healthy position, based on thousands of years of human history.

    Pretty much any other position is irrational and unhealthy.

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