What happened to the “jobs and the economy” election?

posted at 8:49 am on September 17, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

This election cycle was supposed to be a no-brainer.  Polls have shown for the entirety of Barack Obama’s presidency that the American people care most about jobs and the economy, followed by government spending.  Democrats ignored these issues for the first two years of his term and ended up losing 63 seats in the House after wasting time shoving ObamaCare down our throats and making the job-creation environment even worse.  All we needed to do in 2012 was focus like a laser on those issues and Democrats would be vacating the White House as well as the speakership.

What kind of debate have we gotten in the primary fight in this no-brainer cycle?  Brainless.

The worst example of this is the Gardasil issue in Texas.  Rick Perry’s issuance of a EO to impose the vaccine mandate is troublesome, as was his connections to Gardasil’s manufacturer Merck through one of his key aides as well as contributions to his campaigns. However, Perry has already admitted — repeatedly — that he never should have acted through an EO, and Merck was only one of his minor contributors.  It’s still fair game, but instead of just focusing on the legitimate points, we’re now watching as one candidate has demagogued this into a crusade against Government Needle.

Michele Bachmann now calls government-mandated vaccines “PerryCare,” and is fundraising by sending out messages like these, emphases mine: “To have innocent little 12-year old girls be forced to have a government injection through an executive order is just flat out wrong.”  But in Minnesota, we have had a government mandate to vaccinate children against Hepatitis B since 1993 — a disease that is primarily spread through sexual contact or intravenous drug use.  We don’t require innocent 12-year-old girls to get the vaccine; we require all 12-month-old babies to get it:

Subdivision 1. Except as provided in subdivisions 3, 4, and 10, no person over two months old may be allowed to enroll or remain enrolled in any elementary or secondary school or child care facility in this state until the person has submitted to the administrator or other person having general control and supervision of the school or child care facility, one of the following statements:

(1) a statement from a physician or a public clinic which provides immunizations stating that the person has received immunization, consistent with medically acceptable standards, against measles after having attained the age of 12 months, rubella, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, mumps, haemophilus influenza type b, and hepatitis B; or

(2) a statement from a physician or a public clinic which provides immunizations stating that the person has received immunizations, consistent with medically acceptable standards, against measles after having attained the age of 12 months, rubella, mumps, and haemophilus influenza type b and that the person has commenced a schedule of immunizations for diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, and hepatitis B and which indicates the month and year of each immunization received.

Michele Bachmann served in the Minnesota Senate from 2001 to 2006, as Ben Howe notes.  She had five children growing up in Minnesota who would have had to been inoculated for Hep-B in order to attend school after the passage of the 1993 act that mandated the vaccination.  There is absolutely no record of Bachmann raising any kind of objection to innocent Minnesota children, including her own, being required to be inoculated for a disease that primarily gets transmitted through sex, IV drug use, or tattoo parlors.  Suddenly, though, she’s so horrified about mandated vaccination for sexually-transmitted diseases that she not only can’t stop talking about it, she feels compelled to pass along every anecdote she hears without bothering to check whether it has any factual basis at all.

Call me crazy, but I’m pretty sure American voters don’t think Government Needle is the biggest issue in their lives at the moment.

Bachmann isn’t the only one guilty of derailing the debate.  Mitt Romney decided to attack Perry over his “Ponzi scheme” rhetoric on Social Security, not too long after saying that the operation of the Social Security fund was akin to a criminal enterprise.  Did this fight highlight some dramatic difference in approach to Social Security reform?  Not really; there’s more daylight in film noir than there is between the arguments for Social Security reform from the Republican field.  Like Bachmann, he’s continuing to frighten people by attacking the idea of entitlement reform, while promising to, er, reform entitlements.

Nor is Perry blameless either.  Instead of offering a rational assessment of Fed actions, Perry took a hypothetical question about whether the Fed might try to manipulate monetary policy to help Barack Obama win another election and turned it into a call to round up the posse.  Since then, he’s dialed back the excess, but still felt compelled to defend the comment by saying he only thought it would be “almost treasonous,” which plays about as well as saying that he’s offended that someone might think he could only be bought for $5,000, prompting the question of just how much it would take.

We need a Republican debate that addresses the actual concerns of the American voter — and not just Republicans, either.  Americans watched Democrats ignore them to pursue their hobby-horse issues for two years, and threw a record number of them out of office in the midterms.  That should have been a lesson to politicians on the national stage to demonstrate some focus on jobs, the economy, and government spending.  If Republicans spend their time debating everything else but those issues and go galloping off on their own hobby horses, why should voters trust them to focus on their top issues after the election?

If this debate sticks to jobs and the economy, then Republicans win in 2012.  If it sticks to Government Needle, we’re going to lose this election, and lose it badly.

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unseen on September 17, 2011 at 12:18 PM

You misunderstand me. I laid out for you what is and remains the “conventional wisdom”.

Palin has the divisiveness factor (3) and the perception that she is a lightweight (dumb) weighted against her – and that is a testament to the great damage she took in 2008 and the refusal of the McCain campaign then to defend her. The Tina Fey caricature worked too well.

Yes, she can raise some money but only from a lot of small donors. Faced with a rival who has a goal of raising $1 billion, you can imagine the Establishment who place more premium on those things will be hesitant to accept her.

There is a reason why we call Palin an “unconventional” candidate – she doesn’t play to the accepted norms! But as it is with reformers, they are bound to face a headwind.

Personally, I see that if Palin wants to run – she would have declared a long time ago! Because her type of “unconventional” run needs time to catch fire and now she appears to be out of time.

But who knows, if she runs – she might still prove me wrong.

TheRightMan on September 17, 2011 at 12:36 PM

Personally, I see that if Palin wants to run – she would have declared a long time ago! Because her type of “unconventional” run needs time to catch fire and now she appears to be out of time.

TheRightMan on September 17, 2011 at 12:36 PM

She was interviewed at the Iowa State Fair and she said she’s doing exactly what she did to win in Alaska. It will be interesting to see if she can extrapolate that to the US as a whole.

gh on September 17, 2011 at 12:38 PM

gh on September 17, 2011 at 12:23 PM

Exactly! Good points summed up in one statement:

Is there a viable path to victory for Palin?

She can probably win Iowa but where else? Perry, unless something really damaging comes up, is a lock for SC and most of the Southern States. Perry can also challenge Romney for NH. Perry/Romney again for FL and other swing states.

TheRightMan on September 17, 2011 at 12:41 PM

This is due primarily to the fact that no GOP candidate can make a credible claim to guaranteeing job or economic growth from 2012-2016. Given the global economic climate, adjusting domestic policy at the margins cannot bring the worlds largest economy from no growth to 5% in just a few years. They are wary of making promises that no economist would sign off on. Look at Europe, the political instability in the middle east, and the overheating in Asia: this is not a context in which you can build a powerful recovery. And so, the debates will veer from these issues, lest someone wants to be caught making an idiotic promise like full employment or 5% job growth.

ernesto on September 17, 2011 at 12:41 PM

gh on September 17, 2011 at 12:38 PM

In AK she was running against an incumbent with a 20% approval rating. She only needed gather a total of about 100,00 votes. If you or she is counting on that strategy to scale up to a national race mazel tov.

MJBrutus on September 17, 2011 at 12:42 PM

MJBrutus on September 17, 2011 at 12:42 PM

Excuse me, 100k votes in the general election. She only needed a fraction of that to beat the incumbent in the primary.

MJBrutus on September 17, 2011 at 12:43 PM

Perry, unless something really damaging comes up, is a lock for SC and most of the Southern States.
TheRightMan on September 17, 2011 at 12:41 PM

You might ask Nikki Haley if she thinks SP would be competitive in SC.

txmomof6 on September 17, 2011 at 12:47 PM

She was interviewed at the Iowa State Fair and she said she’s doing exactly what she did to win in Alaska. It will be interesting to see if she can extrapolate that to the US as a whole.

gh on September 17, 2011 at 12:38 PM

Her run in Alaska was indeed framed as Palin vs. Crony Capitalists and Corrupt Establishment.

It works well on a state level. Can it catch fire on the national level? Sure but don’t discount voters’ perception of electability.

The Palin of Alaska had not been damaged by media/Dems/RINOs and she actually became the most popular Governor in America.

The question is: will GOP primary voters see Perry/Romney/etc.. as so “corrupt” (and I use this word sparingly because in the absence of proof – you cannot call anyone corrupt) that they throw them out in favor of Palin.

GOP primary voters want Obama out and some are willing to to vote for “anyone” that can do that. That is the Romney strategy hence his trying to frame himself as the “most electable”.

TheRightMan on September 17, 2011 at 12:47 PM

That’s why one would be dumb to take notice of polls conducted by someone with an axe to grind. Stick to RCP averages!

And you just reinforced my point about intensity. Only those who are very motivated are going to attend rallies and the rest. In this country they only get one vote, just like the guy who is disengaged until primary or election day. So none or your measures is useful whatsoever at predicting how a candidate will do at the polling booth.

MJBrutus on September 17, 2011 at 12:11 PM

Taking an avg score isn’t really good either. the avg depends on the values being avg. If you have a couple big outliers in the subset you get a skewed avg.

intenstity is a time tested way to measure the support within the larger body. so I have no idea what you are talking about.

unseen on September 17, 2011 at 12:49 PM

ernesto on September 17, 2011 at 12:41 PM
Hate to break it to you but when an incumbent is on the ballot, the election will be a referendum on him not the challenger.

txmomof6 on September 17, 2011 at 12:49 PM

unseen on September 17, 2011 at 12:49 PM

Outliers move the data, but averaging limits their effect. That is why I turn to the averages.

As far as intensity being a measure, tell that to President Ron Paul!

MJBrutus on September 17, 2011 at 12:51 PM

You might ask Nikki Haley if she thinks SP would be competitive in SC.

txmomof6 on September 17, 2011 at 12:47 PM

I am in a philosophical mood today and not necessarily taking sides on this – I admire Palin greatly, I really do.

But txmomof6, do you sincerely believe Palin would win a matchup with Perry on SC? He captures establishment/base votes. Palin has a dedicated Tea Party following but 2012 will not be 2010 in the same way for primary voters. And Palin will be haunted by the “unelectable” meme throughout her run.

TheRightMan on September 17, 2011 at 12:52 PM

But txmomof6, do you sincerely believe Palin would win a matchup with Perry on SC?
TheRightMan on September 17, 2011 at 12:52 PM

I have no idea. I just think to assume Perry has a lock at this point in time is premature. The candidates are not even fully engaged yet. I don’t like Perry after having observed him since he has been governor. That said he will get my support if he is the nominee.

txmomof6 on September 17, 2011 at 12:59 PM

TheRightMan on September 17, 2011 at 12:36 PM

#3 is based on polls. After that you really have nothing to base your opinion on.

in 2008 mitt spent 90 million, McCain spent 50 million and huck spent 9 million. the levels of money needed for this primary will be about the same. Palin can raise that kind of money and be a strong factor in the primaries. After that the money will come in the general as the choice is between Palin and Obama.

unseen on September 17, 2011 at 1:09 PM

“Almost treason” may be hyperbolic but at least Perry is attacking the opposition unlike Romney, Bachmann etc. It’s another point in his favor.

edshepp on September 17, 2011 at 1:10 PM

Outliers move the data, but averaging limits their effect. That is why I turn to the averages.

As far as intensity being a measure, tell that to President Ron Paul!

MJBrutus on September 17, 2011 at 12:51 PM

ron Paul has the intenstiy but he never had the numbers. you can have an intense rally that has small numbers. You can have alarge rally that has low intensity like becks 8/28 event or you can have a large rally with large intensity. In fact one of the thinks that have scared people about Palin and why the establishment tiptoed around Palin for 3 years was expressed by Ace of clowns. He said basically that Palin supporters had the same intenstity of ron Paul supporters but their numbers were much much larger than Paul supporters ever were. need I remind you that Paul got about 10% of the primary vote in 2008? You figure If Palin’s supporters are even 3 times as many as Ron Paul then she gets about 30% of the vote and in a three way eelction between Perry, Palin and mitt 34% is all that is needed to win. In fact many bellieve it was this that made the GOP change the way the early states delegates were changed from winner take all to porpotional

As far as avg limiting the effects of outliars it depends on the size of the subset. If you have three polls with one outliar your avg is meaningless. the trends are a better indication of polls then the avg of the polls. Also trends are more likely to be confirmed by facts on the ground.

unseen on September 17, 2011 at 1:19 PM

But txmomof6, do you sincerely believe Palin would win a matchup with Perry on SC?
TheRightMan on September 17, 2011 at 12:52 PM

I don’t know about txmom but I think Haley’s win shows that Palin has a very good chance of beating Perry in SC.

unseen on September 17, 2011 at 1:20 PM

Paul Other has the intenstiy but he never had the numbers

Other’s numbers are just about where Ron Paul’s are. Oh that’s right, you only like the convenient polls.

RCP uses about 8 polls in its average and from professional sources that are paid to not be biased. And outliers only effect a single data set in a timer series. They show up as blips on the line charts.

MJBrutus on September 17, 2011 at 1:22 PM

Bob and Mark show started 5 minutes ago. They probably haven’t gotten through the intro commercials yet, check the stream.

Jason Coleman on September 17, 2011 at 1:35 PM

Sorry, forgot the quote, someone asked about the possible show appearance on the other page.

Jason Coleman on September 17, 2011 at 1:37 PM

Leave it to the dummies on the right to ruin the best chance, every time.

Go Obama!

Schadenfreude on September 17, 2011 at 2:27 PM

Jason Coleman on September 17, 2011 at 1:37 PM

I didn’t know they were on the air on Saturday …

… I’ve been out shopping.

gh on September 17, 2011 at 2:29 PM

Leave it to the dummies on the right to ruin the best chance, every time.

Go Obama!

Schadenfreude on September 17, 2011 at 2:27 PM

You can thank the Romney/Bachmann tag team – the biggest dummies of all.

Not so surprisingly, Bachmann is now peddling “Perrycare” while refusing to touch Romneycare and Romney’s refusal to apologize or walk back his mandate.

TheRightMan on September 17, 2011 at 2:49 PM

You can thank the Romney/Bachmann tag team – the biggest dummies of all.

Not so surprisingly, Bachmann is now peddling “Perrycare” while refusing to touch Romneycare and Romney’s refusal to apologize or walk back his mandate.

TheRightMan on September 17, 2011 at 2:49 PM

Indeed, thank you dummies from the right. You hand a platinum occasion to Obama.

Romney finances Bachmann, who exploded herself. He’ll pick her as VP because he needs TP creds.

She, in the process sold her soul and the TP should send her to Hell. She wanted despereately to be the other Palin. Instead she won’t even be re-elected to the House.

Go Obama! The dummies deserve no less, nor does their progeny.

Schadenfreude on September 17, 2011 at 3:09 PM

that was over the line. Bachmann is doing what any normal candidate who is in danger of losing an election would do. Attack the frontrunner.

unseen on September 17, 2011 at 11:10 AM

Then why didn’t the normal candidates chime in…or defend her actions…or say it was no big deal…or say she did have a point (maybe one did say she had a point, but I don’t remember who it was).

If Bachman is your idea of normal, I’m not sure I would want to know what your ideal candidate would be.

cozmo on September 17, 2011 at 3:20 PM

ernesto on September 17, 2011 at 12:41 PM

Guarantee job growth? No, of course not.

Guarantee a less regulated and freer market to cultivate economic growth, especially compared to Europe? Yes, absolutely.

Daemonocracy on September 17, 2011 at 3:24 PM

Hitler and Il Duce? That’s your opener? Sorry, this is a respectable card game.

MJBrutus on September 17, 2011 at 10:24 AM

As usual you had nothing of substance to say and are intellectually shallow. Yes, I used a reference to Hitler, but that does not automatically refute my point. Fact: Hitler improved Germany’s economy therefore improving the economy does not mean a fixed nation or more freedom.

Bachmann is playing the useful idiot role, but she’s not running a disciplined campaign. Romney needs to pick himself someone that’s not going to embarrass the Republican bench overall. The Independents are watching- at least this one is :)
It’s going to take Independents to win in the general.

There is the short game (Primary), and the long game (Genera) – it’s important for the Republican candidates to keep their eye on the ball/prize “The Presidency”.

Dr Evil on September 17, 2011 at 10:29 AM

If you read my post, I in no way defend Bachmann. I think she does a disservice to the actual argument (which should be clear from my post). Again, I support Gladasil…I just don’t like the way Perry did it. Yes, he apologized, I know (again addressed in my post). Also it is an example (though a weaker one of many…MM has highlighted a few if you are interested) of pay-to-play politics.

The debate should be about those two things.

To put the argument in as simple of terms as I can:

I disagree that the economy should be the only issue…or even the most important. Shrinking government and increasing personal freedoms are far more important. The two are not mutually exclusive.

I disagree with the idea that other issues should not be highlighted in the primary.

I disagree that Hep B vaccines are the same as HPV vaccines (despite supporting both).

I disagree with Bachmann’s craziness.

I agree that the whole issue is an example of A) “crony capitalism” and B) executive overreach.

I understand Perry apologized. I would like a pledge to go with it. No unilateral EO’s that abuse/stretch the powers of the POTUS as delegated in the Constitution.

Pattosensei on September 17, 2011 at 3:31 PM

If Bachman is your idea of normal, I’m not sure I would want to know what your ideal candidate would be.

cozmo on September 17, 2011 at 3:20 PM

Love is still blind, from all quarters.

The country deserves what she has coming.

SP highly disapproves.

Schadenfreude on September 17, 2011 at 3:40 PM

Romney finances Bachmann, who exploded herself. He’ll pick her as VP because he needs TP creds.

She, in the process sold her soul and the TP should send her to Hell. She wanted despereately to be the other Palin. Instead she won’t even be re-elected to the House.

Schadenfreude on September 17, 2011 at 3:09 PM

He’ll throw her away when the time is right just like McCain did to Huckabee. There is no way anyone picks Bachmann as VP. Romney/Bachmann are running the same game that McCain/Huckabee ran against Mitt in ’08.

Kataklysmic on September 17, 2011 at 3:53 PM

Kataklysmic on September 17, 2011 at 3:53 PM

You might be right. Won’t matter.

Schadenfreude on September 17, 2011 at 4:00 PM

Sorry Kat, should have expanded that charlatanry should be punished, but stupidity will be punished more.

Schadenfreude on September 17, 2011 at 4:01 PM

Not so surprisingly, Bachmann is now peddling “Perrycare” while refusing to touch Romneycare
TheRightMan on September 17, 2011 at 2:49 PM

Incorrect, she’s raked Mitt over the coals for it, as in her appearance on “Face The Nation” in June:
Bachmann Slams Romneycare: The Mandate Is Unconstitutional At The State Level, Too!.

Unlike Romney, Perry is the unvetted new kid and he obviously cannot handle scrutiny or criticism as well as Mitt.

I got a great idea! Perry could go on “Face The Nation” himself to clear up the questions on Perrycare in a national, hard hitting interview and…oh, wait…errr…nevermiiiind…

whatcat on September 17, 2011 at 4:22 PM

I understand Perry apologized. I would like a pledge to go with it. No unilateral EO’s that abuse/stretch the powers of the POTUS as delegated in the Constitution.

Pattosensei on September 17, 2011 at 3:31 PM

Erm… cough, cough… aren’t we forgetting another candidate, also near the top of the polls, that not only refuses to apologize for his introducing the precursor to Obamacare and its mandate?

Before Perry entered the race, can you show me a debate with Bachmann going ballistic on Romney over Romneycare? Those debates were snoozefests and lovefests. That is, right until Perry entered the fray and she decided she cared so much.

TheRightMan on September 17, 2011 at 4:23 PM

Pattosensei on September 17, 2011 at 3:31 PM

My response was not serious because I know better than to take you seriously. Screaming Hitler over the trivial vaccination deal is the very example of what Ed was critical of in this blog entry.

It is the economy, stupid!

MJBrutus on September 17, 2011 at 4:35 PM

Before Perry entered the race, can you show me a debate with Bachmann going ballistic on Romney over Romneycare? Those debates were snoozefests and lovefests. That is, right until Perry entered the fray and she decided she cared so much.

TheRightMan on September 17, 2011 at 4:23 PM

Good observation. My theory is:
Bachmann is campaigning to be Romney’s running mate.
She’s attacking Perry when she sees an opening, but where are her criticisms of the other less viable candidates?
And when she walked onto the debate stage and laid a big ‘mwaaahh!’ kiss on Romney, it gave me the impression these two are coordinating behind the scenes to assure that he’s the nominee.

Red State State of Mind on September 17, 2011 at 5:06 PM

It is the economy, stupid!

MJBrutus on September 17, 2011 at 4:35 PM

It is, except for the stupid, from the left to the right.

Schadenfreude on September 17, 2011 at 5:11 PM

Schadenfreude on September 17, 2011 at 5:11 PM

Figger of speech :-)

MJBrutus on September 17, 2011 at 5:13 PM

She’s attacking Perry when she sees an opening, but where are her criticisms of the other less viable candidates?
Red State State of Mind on September 17, 2011 at 5:06 PM

Scroll up a few comments for my link to her attack on Romneycare. While Romney can take hits on Romneycare, Perry has a glass jaw on Perrycare and his camp has become totally undone by the criticism.

whatcat on September 17, 2011 at 5:14 PM

whatcat on September 17, 2011 at 5:14 PM

I see nothing wrong with any of them attacking each other and attacking the frontrunner in particular. I object to her insane attack, amounting to a smear, over a trivial issue.

MJBrutus on September 17, 2011 at 5:18 PM

The SoCon curse. They simply cannot and will not stay focused on the economy.

rickyricardo on September 17, 2011 at 5:27 PM

I see nothing wrong with any of them attacking each other and attacking the frontrunner in particular. I object to her insane attack, amounting to a smear, over a trivial issue.
MJBrutus on September 17, 2011 at 5:18 PM

If there were anything untrue, it’s mighty odd that neither he nor his camp can stand up, point it out and refute it. I will give you that his supporters are complaining, but they would be better served complaining about Perry’s glass jaw. He crumpled like wrapping paper onstage under Bachmann’s critique. Obama would be even less merciful.

whatcat on September 17, 2011 at 5:29 PM

My response was not serious because I know better than to take you seriously. Screaming Hitler over the trivial vaccination deal is the very example of what Ed was critical of in this blog entry.

It is the economy, stupid!

MJBrutus on September 17, 2011 at 4:35 PM

Except I didn’t scream Hitler, nor call anyone Hitler. Furthermore the Hitler point was not about the vaccine in the first place. I simply said that you can have a good economy and no freedom, therefore putting the economy at the top of our list all the time is silly. We should be putting freedom at the top of the list. The government’s role is not to guarantee a good economy…it is to protect our “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Granted less intrusive government and better economics often go hand-in-hand, but that is not always the case. See: China, Nazi Germany, Meiji Japan, etc…

Using a Hitler reference does not invalidate a point. I could say eugenics is bad, like Hitler and that doesn’t automatically mean that I’m wrong or hysteric.

Since you have demonstrated an inability to participate intellectually honest debate, this will be the last time I respond to your drivel. Furthermore, please go back to elementary school and learn reading comprehension. Understanding the words and understanding the point are two different things.

Erm… cough, cough… aren’t we forgetting another candidate, also near the top of the polls, that not only refuses to apologize for his introducing the precursor to Obamacare and its mandate?

Before Perry entered the race, can you show me a debate with Bachmann going ballistic on Romney over Romneycare? Those debates were snoozefests and lovefests. That is, right until Perry entered the fray and she decided she cared so much.

TheRightMan on September 17, 2011 at 4:23 PM

I fail to see how this is relevant. I don’t necessarily trust Perry’s apology and would like him to promise (and be held accountable for it) not to abuse EO’s. Does having this position immediately make me a Mitt Romney supporter somehow? RomneyCare is irrelevant to my point, but if it makes you feel so much better then yes, RomneyCare is bad.

Furthermore, I am not a Bachmann supporter. I stated in my original post (on page 1) that I didn’t agree with her argument. For the love of…! I swear people on this blog don’t actually read comments. They just make shit up and attribute it to whoever they are responding to.

Good day!

Pattosensei on September 17, 2011 at 5:35 PM

Bachmann is a lunatic and spiteful. That is why she is going after Perry. I wish she would just go away.

Ricki on September 17, 2011 at 5:35 PM

whatcat on September 17, 2011 at 5:29 PM

I think your assessment of how he handled it is way off. His minor drop is more attributable to SS and his choice of language than anything said about him, IMHO. But you’re welcome to your opinion.

I think he sees the vaccination biz as trivial as well and knew that MB would show herself to be the crazy lunch lady. Mission accomplished.

That said, I share your critique about him not making appearances yet. I hope that he’ll make the circuit of tough interviews sooner rather than later.

MJBrutus on September 17, 2011 at 5:39 PM

Pattosensei on September 17, 2011 at 5:35 PM

Have you heard the saying “The perfect is the enemy of the good”? We have a slate of candidates from which we are trying to select the most conservative candidate that is viable enough to win both the primary and the general.

It boils down to a choice between Perry or Romney.

Now considering their governing records, who among these two candidates will you trust to advance the goals of the conservative movement?

One has a decade’s experience governing as a conservative in the second largest state. He has his flaws but readily admits his errors. And that is Perry.

The other had a poor record governing as the quintessential RINO and will not apologize for his healthcare plan, eerily similar to Obamacare. He also refuses to identify with the Tea Party. And that is Romney.

Do you still need help making a choice?

TheRightMan on September 17, 2011 at 5:47 PM

Pattosensei on September 17, 2011 at 5:35 PM

You’re not helping yourself any. Perry is not going to take your freedom away, so climb down from the ledge. Not even if you’re a little girl, which I suspect you are.

You talk about economic freedom and political freedom as being separate things. Try reading some Milton Friedman. It’s OK, he doesn’t use too many big words. He explains that political freedom is impossible without economic freedom.

MJBrutus on September 17, 2011 at 5:48 PM

whatcat on September 17, 2011 at 5:29 PM

I think your assessment of how he handled it is way off. His minor drop is more attributable to SS and his choice of language than anything said about him, IMHO. But you’re welcome to your opinion.

I think he sees the vaccination biz as trivial as well and knew that MB would show herself to be the crazy lunch lady. Mission accomplished.

That said, I share your critique about him not making appearances yet. I hope that he’ll make the circuit of tough interviews sooner rather than later.

MJBrutus on September 17, 2011 at 5:39 PM

You mean by “minor drop” his standing in the polls? If so, it’s more like a constant drip..drip..drip. Versus Obama it’s been a downhill ride.

By not addressing this clearly he’s not hurting Bachmann at all, she doesn’t have much of anything to lose. But the problem is this will stick to him.

I’m guessing that if he does start doing interviews, people are going to be pining for the good old days of Palin’s witty repartee with the anchors. It’s gonna be embarrassing.

whatcat on September 17, 2011 at 5:50 PM

Good day!

Pattosensei on September 17, 2011 at 5:35 PM

And Pattosensei, take it easy… we all have our opinions and the liberty to express them. No hard feelings… :)

TheRightMan on September 17, 2011 at 5:55 PM

whatcat on September 17, 2011 at 5:50 PM

OK, so you’ve gone from it significantly damaging him to speculation that he will hurt himself by going to interviews. If he performs like Other, then he’s not our guy. This drip, drip has gone on for all of what? One week or has been two? And it’s cost him what? Two, three points off his lead in the polls?

You’re right that Bachmann has nothing to lose. That includes her credibility which is long gone. That’s why she isn’t hurting Perry one bit. Everyone knows that she’s nucking futs.

MJBrutus on September 17, 2011 at 5:56 PM

I’m guessing that if he does start doing interviews, people are going to be pining for the good old days of Palin’s witty repartee with the anchors. It’s gonna be embarrassing.

whatcat on September 17, 2011 at 5:50 PM

One thing I still cannot understand is why Palin die-hards like youself hate Perry with such an intense passion. What is your problem with him?

Oh wait… I get it! You guys believe he stole Palin’s thunder, he wrecked Palin’s plans by not sitting out the 2012 presidential race… and so he is now “Public Enemy #1″.

And your dream is that he flames out and then what? Conservatives flock to Palin?

Okay… I can’t stop you from having your dreams… so dream away… :)

TheRightMan on September 17, 2011 at 6:09 PM

Have you heard the saying “The perfect is the enemy of the good”? We have a slate of candidates from which we are trying to select the most conservative candidate that is viable enough to win both the primary and the general.

It boils down to a choice between Perry or Romney.

Now considering their governing records, who among these two candidates will you trust to advance the goals of the conservative movement?

One has a decade’s experience governing as a conservative in the second largest state. He has his flaws but readily admits his errors. And that is Perry.

The other had a poor record governing as the quintessential RINO and will not apologize for his healthcare plan, eerily similar to Obamacare. He also refuses to identify with the Tea Party. And that is Romney.

Do you still need help making a choice?

TheRightMan on September 17, 2011 at 5:47 PM

You are once again reading something that isn’t there. I never said anything about perfection. Is it wrong to point out a candidates faults now? Also, did I say I was opposed to Perry? No! Did I say I would not vote for Perry? No! What I said…and if you would read is clearly evident…is that Perry has issues to resolve.

Furthermore, Perry is not yet our nominee. The purpose of the primary is to pick the best. Thus far Perry is the best of the group. Nothing is set in stone. I want him to be vetted just like the others.

In addition, there may or may not be another entry…Palin. I’m not arrogant enough to say whether or not she will get in. She may, she may not. We’ll know when she either tells us or the deadline passes. Others may jump in as well…Rudy (to my knowledge) has not said one way or another either.

This whole issue started with my complaint that “it’s the economy, stupid” should not be our only motto and is not the entirety in what I’m looking for in a candidate. I’m looking for someone who is least likely to grow the size of government/infringe on my liberty/rights. Economy is important…but not my first and most certainly not my ONLY criteria for judging a candidate.

There is plenty of time to focus on the economy during the general. Let the candidates define themselves now. Think about how much people have learned about Bachmann from her crazy attacks thus far. She was actually a third choice for me until this week. She is being vetted, so is Perry, so are the rest.

No I do not need your help in making a choice. I’m quite capable of judging the candidates based on my own criteria. Suggesting that I need help is rather patronizing. I am not terribly offended as I don’t believe your intention was to infer that I am incapable of understanding the differences between Perry and Romney or that they are the frontrunners/likely victors.

By the way, the “Good day!” comment was my frustration with people reading things in my posts that are not there. Once again I am having to defend myself against a position I did not take because you assumed things I did not say.

Pattosensei on September 17, 2011 at 6:20 PM

whatcat on September 17, 2011 at 5:50 PM

OK, so you’ve gone from it significantly damaging him to speculation that he will hurt himself by going to interviews. If he performs like Other, then he’s not our guy.

I know of no other candidate who has backed away from major live interviews.

This drip, drip has gone on for all of what? One week or has been two? And it’s cost him what? Two, three points off his lead in the polls?

I meant his national poll numbers themselves have been going down from a 47-47 tie with Obama early last month to trailing Obama by 47.8 to 42.5 this week.

You’re right that Bachmann has nothing to lose. That includes her credibility which is long gone. That’s why she isn’t hurting Perry one bit. Everyone knows that she’s nucking futs.

MJBrutus on September 17, 2011 at 5:56 PM

What betrays that you do not believe that to be so is your (and others’) response to her. If she were ineffective there wouldn’t be the hysteria and panicked rush to attack her. If someone claims they are Napoleon you don’t complain to that person that you disagree with how he fought the great battles.

whatcat on September 17, 2011 at 6:26 PM

You are once again reading something that isn’t there. I never said anything about perfection. Is it wrong to point out a candidates faults now?
Pattosensei on September 17, 2011 at 6:20 PM

Seems like some people are pining for an October 2012 Surprise that would swing the election in Obama’s favor.

whatcat on September 17, 2011 at 6:28 PM

Amjean on September 17, 2011 at 11:44 AM

So what?

Is it illegal?

If it were, this stuff would have hung him out to dry years ago in Texas, wouldn’t it? He’s been involved in Texas politics for over twenty years, so….

If it ain’t illegal, why are we talking about it?

catmman on September 17, 2011 at 11:50 AM

Are you dense?

Amjean on September 17, 2011 at 11:56 AM

Are you a broken record?

Dr Evil on September 17, 2011 at 12:09 PM

Record? You mean a CD?

And, yes, the info I posted is part of Perry’s record.
It is what it is. And I aim to post it everywhere I can
so people who are too lazy to do research can read the
facts.

Amjean on September 17, 2011 at 6:33 PM

whatcat on September 17, 2011 at 6:26 PM

Hysteria? I haven’t seen it. Like Perry, I’ve simply dismissed her as undeserving of notice.

MJBrutus on September 17, 2011 at 6:33 PM

This is due primarily to the fact that no GOP candidate can make a credible claim to guaranteeing job or economic growth from 2012-2016. Given the global economic climate, adjusting domestic policy at the margins cannot bring the worlds largest economy from no growth to 5% in just a few years. They are wary of making promises that no economist would sign off on. Look at Europe, the political instability in the middle east, and the overheating in Asia: this is not a context in which you can build a powerful recovery. And so, the debates will veer from these issues, lest someone wants to be caught making an idiotic promise like full employment or 5% job growth.

ernesto on September 17, 2011

Ernesto gets the cookie.Also if your single and gay lets go for coffee!

Zekecorlain on September 17, 2011 at 6:43 PM

Amjean on September 17, 2011 at 6:33 PM

I notice you didn’t answer the question.

catmman on September 17, 2011 at 6:49 PM

Hysteria? I haven’t seen it. Like Perry, I’ve simply dismissed her as undeserving of notice.
MJBrutus on September 17, 2011 at 6:33 PM

Indeed, for you, it means nothing. For Perry, it means standing for hours onstage with that wounded deer in the headlights look (and more sliding down the polls).

whatcat on September 17, 2011 at 6:50 PM

ernesto on September 17, 2011

Of course.

How could anyone make such promises after inheriting such an economy from Obama?

No one would seriously make promises like limiting how far unemployment will go or guaranteeing job numbers if certain economic plans are passed or not.

catmman on September 17, 2011 at 6:53 PM

I decided to put Bachmann’s candidacy appeal into some perspective.

Why is the media raising Rep Michelle Bachmann’s profile but not Rep Thaddeus McCotter? They are both running for President of the United States. Is the media trying to pick our next President for us, like they picked our last?

Thaddeus McCotter The Media & Reindeer Games.

REINDEER GAMES:

“Refers to any fun activities which are enjoyed only by members of a clique, the fact of which is often purposefully made obvious to anyone existing outside of said clique in order to make them feel inadequate and left-out. Refers to “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer”.

Dr Evil on September 17, 2011 at 6:54 PM

Amjean on September 17, 2011 at 6:33 PM

“Aren’t You Special – Bless Your Heart”

Dr Evil on September 17, 2011 at 7:05 PM

whatcat on September 17, 2011 at 6:50 PM

We’ll see. I hope that Perry handles the press OK. I didn’t see a deer in the lights at the debate and think that perhaps you saw what you wanted to. I feel pretty confident that he will do fine. This isn’t his first rodeo. As a long term governor of TX he’s seen gotcha interrogators, bright lights and cameras before.

MJBrutus on September 17, 2011 at 7:32 PM

If you read my post, I in no way defend Bachmann. I think she does a disservice to the actual argument (which should be clear from my post). Again, I support Gladasil…I just don’t like the way Perry did it. Yes, he apologized, I know (again addressed in my post). Also it is an example (though a weaker one of many…MM has highlighted a few if you are interested) of pay-to-play politics.

The debate should be about those two things.

To put the argument in as simple of terms as I can:

I disagree that the economy should be the only issue…or even the most important. Shrinking government and increasing personal freedoms are far more important. The two are not mutually exclusive.

I disagree with the idea that other issues should not be highlighted in the primary.

I disagree that Hep B vaccines are the same as HPV vaccines (despite supporting both).

I disagree with Bachmann’s craziness.

I agree that the whole issue is an example of A) “crony capitalism” and B) executive overreach.

I understand Perry apologized. I would like a pledge to go with it. No unilateral EO’s that abuse/stretch the powers of the POTUS as delegated in the Constitution.

Pattosensei on September 17, 2011 at 3:31 PM

Seems very clear and should be, but the garment renders will either build a strawman, ignore it or completely misrepresent what you said here.

Nice try, though.

kim roy on September 17, 2011 at 7:39 PM

I fail to see how this is relevant. I don’t necessarily trust Perry’s apology and would like him to promise (and be held accountable for it) not to abuse EO’s. Does having this position immediately make me a Mitt Romney supporter somehow? RomneyCare is irrelevant to my point, but if it makes you feel so much better then yes, RomneyCare is bad.

Furthermore, I am not a Bachmann supporter. I stated in my original post (on page 1) that I didn’t agree with her argument. For the love of…! I swear people on this blog don’t actually read comments. They just make shit up and attribute it to whoever they are responding to.

Good day!

Pattosensei on September 17, 2011 at 5:35 PM

You mention “promise” again. You might want to not make that an issue as Perry promised the citizens of Texas he wouldn’t run for president. Could say that for most politicians, though.

kim roy on September 17, 2011 at 7:44 PM

I guess it’s bedtime for Ponzo, gotta figure out how to survive another 4 years of Obama, for at least he never did get involved in vaccine fights. Go Hussein!

Dhuka on September 17, 2011 at 8:21 PM

All that jobs and economy talk will go by the wayside as soon we get the new global pandemic. The problem isn’t that there aren’t enough jobs, the problem is there are too many people.

KF Peters on September 17, 2011 at 8:51 PM

I don’t know if anybody has mentioned it yet, but a a significant fraction of girls under eighteen are sexually assaulted every year. Gardisil is not just cancer protection for the promiscuous.

Hiya Ciska on September 17, 2011 at 9:38 PM

Sticks to the economy and doesn’t go into fragging the other candidates? Has excellent positive intensity?

I believe the candidate you are seeking is none other than Herman Cain.

Bachmann peaked early, and she’s gotten very, very far off track when in the limelight. Here’s hoping Cain picks up her disgruntled base and gets his chance, since his comparison with Obama is stark, and Democrats this election cycle will be far too stupid to avoid saying nonsense that will completely obliterate any chance with the suburban white vote – no one, but no one will stand for a candidate for President of the United States being called an Uncle Tom who isn’t already a committed Obama zombie.

BKennedy on September 17, 2011 at 10:10 PM

All of these purists actually sound like they wouldn’t vote for Jesus if he were running.

David

David Block on September 17, 2011 at 11:09 PM

I don’t know if anybody has mentioned it yet, but a significant fraction of girls under eighteen are sexually assaulted every year. Gardisil is not just cancer protection for the promiscuous.

Hiya Ciska on September 17, 2011 at 9:38 PM

Hell of a point. The numbers are WAY higher than most folks would guess. The creeps who do this kind of thing are not exactly the cleanest people either.

Pythagoras on September 17, 2011 at 11:58 PM

Call me crazy, but I’m pretty sure American voters don’t think Government Needle is the biggest issue in their lives at the moment.

If this debate sticks to jobs and the economy, then Republicans win in 2012. If it sticks to Government Needle, we’re going to lose this election, and lose it badly.

Isn’t Obamacare the biggest “Government Needle” that is going to kill our economy if it isn’t repealed?

The question at this past debate of a President’s use of the executive order led to the Gardisil issue not Michelle Bachmann bringing it up.

These candidates need to be vetted so Romeycare, Gardisil, the Texas Dream Act, and farm subsidies are fair game.

RedRobin145 on September 18, 2011 at 12:48 AM

The idea that Romney and Bachmann are somehow in cahoots is hilarious.

Bachmann just flamed out, went bananas on one issue. It’s like an engine blowout in a car race – it’s unfortunate but it happens.

Perry needs to step up his debate performances. He is good with sharp retorts, but hasn’t shown the depth of ideas or principles which could beat a well-rehearsed Obama before a fawning panel of sycophants.

Palin isn’t running, as I perceived months ago, but soon her own end-of-September deadline will pass, and those who have been waiting for her will have to choose between the actual candidates.

Adjoran on September 18, 2011 at 3:54 AM

ron Paul has the intenstiy but he never had the numbers. you can have an intense rally that has small numbers. You can have alarge rally that has low intensity like becks 8/28 event or you can have a large rally with large intensity. In fact one of the thinks that have scared people about Palin and why the establishment tiptoed around Palin for 3 years was expressed by Ace of clowns. He said basically that Palin supporters had the same intenstity of ron Paul supporters but their numbers were much much larger than Paul supporters ever were. need I remind you that Paul got about 10% of the primary vote in 2008? You figure If Palin’s supporters are even 3 times as many as Ron Paul then she gets about 30% of the vote and in a three way eelction between Perry, Palin and mitt 34% is all that is needed to win. In fact many bellieve it was this that made the GOP change the way the early states delegates were changed from winner take all to porpotional

As far as avg limiting the effects of outliars it depends on the size of the subset. If you have three polls with one outliar your avg is meaningless. the trends are a better indication of polls then the avg of the polls. Also trends are more likely to be confirmed by facts on the ground.

unseen on September 17, 2011 at 1:19 PM

Sorry, I haven’t read the entire thread so I’m just tossing this in.

In June of 2009, Sarah Palin made a visit to a small city in upstate NY called Auburn. She was there to visit the home of the man who was influential in the purchase of Alaska, William Seward and to participate in the city’s Founders’ Day celebration. 20,000 people showed up for the festivities and to hear her speak, 4-5 times more than normally show up when the weather is good. This is BLUE upstate NY. I don’t think she has done anything to harm her image in the ensuing years, and her commentary on policy both foreign and domestic has been thoughtful and forthright.

If she was so damaged by the 2008 election, why did that many people in a blue state where Democrats hold all of the state-wide offices come to hear her speak? I think her electability is going to be a surprise for a lot of people. I suspect that she is derided and scorned because she is a threat, because she could actually be the candidate that eschews the traditional path to nomination and the WH and wins.

As far as what she intends to do, well, she has made enough money to keep her family comfortable and ensure that her youngest child has the resources he will need as he grows up. So, really, there is no reason to keep involved in politics unless she plans to run for office and that is what I think she intends to do.

piglet on September 18, 2011 at 12:16 PM

All of these purists actually sound like they wouldn’t vote for Jesus if he were running.

David

David Block on September 17, 2011 at 11:09 PM

Jesus is unelectable. I guarantee you he wouldn’t win if he was running and that most here and elsewhere would not vote for him. It was the same in his own time…which is obvious if you read the Bible. In other words, this silly saying doesn’t ever make much sense.

Of course, all of that is beside the point. You are trying to say that because we point out and gripe about Perry’s flaws that we are being perfectionists. My rebuttal is gold is worthless until it is put through the fire and a diamond’s worth comes from its polish and cut. Or, to turn a popular phrase on its head: don’t let the good be the enemy of improvement.

Pattosensei on September 18, 2011 at 12:50 PM

If she was so damaged by the 2008 election, why did that many people in a blue state where Democrats hold all of the state-wide offices come to hear her speak?

piglet on September 18, 2011 at 12:16 PM

Let me channel the standard ABP response for you: “A lot of people show up to watch a trainwreck or a bearded lady, too!”

That said, I agree with your entire post.

Kataklysmic on September 18, 2011 at 2:24 PM

Jobs really is the number one issue with people. They are not fed up with social security or the fed…they want jobs and a better economy.

Somehow or other people have started arguing about everything else.

I would say jobs number one…deficit number 2.

Of course, all of that is beside the point. You are trying to say that because we point out and gripe about Perry’s flaws that we are being perfectionists. My rebuttal is gold is worthless until it is put through the fire and a diamond’s worth comes from its polish and cut. Or, to turn a popular phrase on its head: don’t let the good be the enemy of improvement.

Pattosensei on September 18, 2011 at 12:50 PM

I am not a perfectionist or a purist either one. My problem with Perry is that I think he is a phony and just maybe a crook. That is not a flaw, it goes way and beyond a flaw..when I see stories about how people give money to his campaign and then get money through some government slush fund… That bothers me. Hopefully, he can vindicate himself and answer these charges.

I do agree that there is no such thing as the perfect candidate..in a country with 311 million people, how would that even be possible? There are so many views and attitudes that obviously no one can please everyone.

Terrye on September 18, 2011 at 5:30 PM

Methinks Ed’s Perry bias is showing. The reason jobs is not an issue is that all the GOP candidates agree that jobs come with an improved economy and that the way to get there is to cut spending, repeal Obamacare, cut regulations, reform entitlements and restore predictability to the business environment.

The real question is who is most likely to 1. get elected, and 2. be able to accomplish all of that. Perry is relying on Texas’ economy as evidence that he can accomplish those goals. But how much of that was due to him and how much to Texan’s entrepreneurial spirit and business climate? I don’t think Bachmann has the experience necessary to pull that off, and I don’t think that Perry’s swagger and raising his roots in poverty is likely to do it either. Harry Reid loves to talk about his own roots in poverty as a reason to support more statism like the New Deal. He wears his indifferent academic record as if it’s a badge of honor, while Romney’s success and elite education makes him somehow less worthy. That is populism and subtle of the same stripe that Huckabee practiced with his attacks on Romney. It’s based on personal and class envy and something we should eschew.

flataffect on September 19, 2011 at 1:44 AM

Personally, from what I see, no one in AMerica has learned their lesson.
So I think, according to my 1st instincts, that America really needs to fall hard before we can build ourselves up again.
You can’t build a healthy organism starting with diseased tissue.
So if having Obama for another 4 years kills all the diseased tissue, then I guess I’ll gird my loins for that.
Bcs I have no hope when I see stupid infighting like this.
Shows me the same old corrupt clueless morons are still in their mindset.

Badger40 on September 19, 2011 at 8:33 AM

This election cycle was supposed to be a no-brainer. Polls have shown for the entirety of Barack Obama’s presidency that the American people care most about jobs and the economy, followed by government spending. Democrats ignored these issues for the first two years of his term and ended up losing 63 seats in the House after wasting time shoving ObamaCare down our throats and making the job-creation environment even worse. All we needed to do in 2012 was focus like a laser on those issues and Democrats would be vacating the White House as well as the speakership.

Funny how Palin was not mentioned. It is not like she has not discussed these issues at length.

ChuckTX on September 19, 2011 at 9:56 AM

Funny how Palin was not mentioned. It is not like she has not discussed these issues at length.

ChuckTX on September 19, 2011 at 9:56 AM

Funny how Palin isn’t a candidate.

catmman on September 19, 2011 at 12:43 PM

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