Laying the blame before anything is lost

posted at 2:30 pm on February 10, 2012 by Jazz Shaw

There have been some disturbing trends popping up among prominent (and normally cheerful) conservatives lately, with a couple of notable examples cropping up right in the middle of CPAC. I noted the following piece by William Jacobson, titled laying the blame. In it, he appears to take exception with an equally dismal outlook coming from Powerline. First, Hinderaker.

Nevertheless, if you are a Republican, the vibes are very bad. The presidential primary season has turned into a disaster, in my view. Mitt Romney has shown a discouraging inability to appeal to the party’s base, while the race has damaged both Romney and the party. Newt Gingrich, in particular, sacrificed the party to his own ego by launching left-wing attacks against Romney. Gingrich is gone as a Republican contender, but we will see more of him in the fall, in Obama ads. What a swan song for someone who once led the conservative movement!

And then, Jacobson.

None of the people engaged in Romney’s strategy of crazy cared a bit about how the attacks would hurt Newt if Newt became the nominee. Now they complain that Newt hurt the party by attacking Romney’s Bain record; and by so doing they have conflated capitalism, free markets, and the Party with the Bain model, which will do far more damage than anything Newt ever did.

Even Peggy Noonan gets it:

The Romney campaign is better at dismantling than mantling. They’re better at taking opponents apart than building a compelling candidate of their own.

I’m not ready to write off the general election, regardless of who the nominee is.

But if you are looking for blame, look straight at the Romney campaign.

On the plus side, he does allow that he’s not writing the election off. I’ve said on any number of occasions that this election isn’t going to be a walk in the park, and yes, the reality is that Obama may wind up winning. This will depend on many factors, some of which are simply beyond anyone’s control. The economy, employment numbers and how much money the President’s team is able to raise will all play a part, as well as the GOP’s ability to field the best ticket possible. But his record is absolutely nothing to brag about, and if his approval numbers don’t reliably climb back above fifty and stay there through the summer, Obama’s prospects are anything but certain.

So, hey… buck up soldiers! Let’s take a moment and get some inspiration from Brother Bluto. (NSFW language warning)


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Here’s a question for you…

If we get to a brokered convention, what person not currently on the ballot would be a “dark horse” candidate that people could rally behind?

People sure aren’t going to rally behind Romney or R** P*** at that point and I don’t see either of those two’s followers rallying behind Santorum.

teke184 on February 10, 2012 at 2:33 PM

That’s all assuming Mitt is the nominee; Rick, on the other hand, has NOT been so besmirched. Another reason to back Santorum.

michaelo on February 10, 2012 at 2:37 PM

I’m voting for ABO in the general. Santorum, Paul, Mitt, Newt, or brokered convention darkhorse. Any of them are getting my enthusiastic vote. If we were running against Bill Clinton, I might say “eh, who cares?” We’re not.

Kataklysmic on February 10, 2012 at 2:37 PM

If we get to a brokered convention, what person not currently on the ballot would be a “dark horse” candidate that people could rally behind?
teke184 on February 10, 2012 at 2:33 PM

I would pick Allen West… but that is just me.

upinak on February 10, 2012 at 2:38 PM

Legit question – if Romney’s the best at dismantling a candidate, wouldn’t he be ideal for dismantling Obama?

Red Cloud on February 10, 2012 at 2:38 PM

Wow, the comments are just… wow. Incredibly vapid. Makes the usual commentary here look like a scholarly discussion.

Red Cloud on February 10, 2012 at 2:40 PM

Legit question – if Romney’s the best at dismantling a candidate, wouldn’t he be ideal for dismantling Obama?

Red Cloud on February 10, 2012 at 2:38 PM

Last time I checked you can’t beat something with nothing. Romney has virtually nothing to offer in place of King O’Bongo.

trapeze on February 10, 2012 at 2:40 PM

Whoops, never mind my last. Wrong page.

Red Cloud on February 10, 2012 at 2:41 PM

Wow, the comments are just… wow. Incredibly vapid. Makes the usual commentary here look like a scholarly discussion.

Red Cloud on February 10, 2012 at 2:40 PM

Wow, the comments are just… wow. Incredibly vapid. Makes the usual commentary here look like a scholarly discussion.

Red Cloud on February 10, 2012 at 2:40 PM

trapeze on February 10, 2012 at 2:41 PM

Legit question – if Romney’s the best at dismantling a candidate, wouldn’t he be ideal for dismantling Obama?

Red Cloud on February 10, 2012 at 2:38 PM

But he said that Obama is such a nice guy!

Archivarix on February 10, 2012 at 2:42 PM

Here’s a question for you…

If we get to a brokered convention, what person not currently on the ballot would be a “dark horse” candidate that people could rally behind?

teke184 on February 10, 2012 at 2:33 PM

That’s an interesting question. Before they were declared candidates, I might have said Rick Perry or Michele Bachmann. The only remaining “consensus candidate” I could think of right now might be Bobby Jindal.

Mitch Daniels is a no-go among social conservatives. Mike Huckabee is a no-go among libertarians. Chris Christie will have problems on suspicion about how authentically conservative he is, plus the issue of campaigning for POTUS before completing even one term as governor. Haley Barbour was basically dead in the water before he ever had a chance, but will be doubly-so now given his pardons. Palin is considered “unelectable.”

A brokered convention I think is “Jindal or bust,” because I don’t see anyone else that each faction could get behind.

Stoic Patriot on February 10, 2012 at 2:42 PM

Last time I checked you can’t beat something with nothing. Romney has virtually nothing to offer in place of King O’Bongo.

trapeze on February 10, 2012 at 2:40 PM

I dispute that.

Red Cloud on February 10, 2012 at 2:42 PM

Legit question – if Romney’s the best at dismantling a candidate, wouldn’t he be ideal for dismantling Obama?

Red Cloud on February 10, 2012 at 2:38 PM

John McCain was great on the attack as well… if the targets were conservative.

sharrukin on February 10, 2012 at 2:43 PM

If there’s a brokered convention, I predict Mitch Daniels will become the nominee, especially after his successful addition of Right to Work in Indiana.

The Ron Paul supporters won’t support any of the other three unless their guy is promised so big position in the Administration, and I don’t see Newt/Santorum helping Mitt, since they’ve attacked him relentlessly, and Mitt has done the same to them.

Mitch Daniels 2012!

Aizen on February 10, 2012 at 2:43 PM

Senator Blutarsky knows of what he speaks . . .

NoDonkey on February 10, 2012 at 2:44 PM

o/t: Rush calling out The GOP & Mitt for trying to run a general election campaign in the primary. He says that is why Mitt is having such a hard time closing the deal. Some of us have been saying the same thing for months.

Kataklysmic on February 10, 2012 at 2:44 PM

what person not currently on the ballot would be a “dark horse” candidate that people could rally behind?

Mitch Daniels, Bobby Jindal, Tim Pawlenty, Crazy-eyes Bachman, Rick Perry, Paul Ryan, Chris Cristie, or Bob McDonnell, to name a few possibilities.

It doesn’t matter, however. We’d be in worse shape if we pick someone who hadn’t been through the ringer. Whether it’s a ‘brookered’ convention or someone wins the delegates outright, it’ll be one of the 4 men still standing.

Deafdog on February 10, 2012 at 2:45 PM

John McCain was great on the attack as well… if the targets were conservative.

sharrukin on February 10, 2012 at 2:43 PM

eating our own isn’t sinking in very well.

upinak on February 10, 2012 at 2:45 PM

Look, if you want to win in November, you damned well better not be screwing around with deciding on a candidate at the convention in August. Brokered conventions don’t work like they used to. By the convention, the nominee needs to have a full-fledged organization on the ground in all “57″ states.

It would be far better at this point to start thinking who would make the best and strongest running mate with one of the known candidates.

Happy Nomad on February 10, 2012 at 2:46 PM

Was it over when the ‘Germans’ bombed Pearl Harbor?!?!

Gets me every time…

Ltlgeneral64 on February 10, 2012 at 2:48 PM

eating our own isn’t sinking in very well.

upinak on February 10, 2012 at 2:45 PM

I suspect the GOP is fracturing along with the Democrats. Not sure what it means long run but in the short term the chances of Obama winning are pretty good despite his negatives.

sharrukin on February 10, 2012 at 2:48 PM

Wow just Wow…I realize that everyone is passionate about “their” candidate but why would you not vote for whomever is nominated?
Doesn’t that play into the Obama strategy…Do you REALLY want 4 more years of this guy. See to me the real issue here is not so much what kind of damage Obama could do in the next 4 years but what would happen to the Supreme Court in the next 4 years.

Txjewelya on February 10, 2012 at 2:48 PM

This will depend on many factors, some of which are simply beyond anyone’s control. The economy, employment numbers

I wish employment numbers weren’t under anyone’s control.

forest on February 10, 2012 at 2:48 PM

I haven’t written Newt off yet. I agree that he didn’t handle the sliming very well, but since he is the only one who received such treatment (65 negative ads to his 1) who knows how Santorum would have or will handle it. I blame Romney for the situation we find ourselves in. He doesn’t care anything about the Republican party or the country in my opinion, he wants to be President for his own personal reasons.

Night Owl on February 10, 2012 at 2:49 PM

Legit question – if Romney’s the best at dismantling a candidate, wouldn’t he be ideal for dismantling Obama?

Red Cloud on February 10, 2012 at 2:38 PM

It’s a perfectly fair question.

Romney’s current “carpet bombing” tactics require a recipe of attacks from the MSM, his allies in the conservative media, and his own self-financed ad-blitzes. When all of these ingredients are taken together it’s virtually impossible for any opponent to overcome it, since there’s only a handful of blogs and talk radio hosts defending whoever Romney’s attacking.

The problem is that when he gets to the general, he will lose the MSM immediately. He can launch blitzes of negative ads, but Obama effectively has infinite money and can outspend him ad per ad. At that point, what you have is Romney’s remaining conservative media outlets, very lukewarm support (at best) from the blogs that went for all of his credible (and not so credible) opponents, and a depressed conservative base that will be very susceptible to Obama’s negative advertising.

I expect when Romney emerges from the convention, attacks from the MSM will drive his support down to the low 40s, and there it will stay for the rest of the election. He will probably lose to Obama by about the same amount McCain did in 2008, possibly a little worse.

Doomberg on February 10, 2012 at 2:50 PM

Legit question – if Romney’s the best at dismantling a candidate, wouldn’t he be ideal for dismantling Obama?

Red Cloud on February 10, 2012 at 2:38 PM

GOP Establishment only “dismantles” grassroots Conservatives. They don’t do squat but cower in the corner when they’re up against a Democrat in the general.

See the McCain campaign circa 2008.

HondaV65 on February 10, 2012 at 2:50 PM

Doomberg on February 10, 2012 at 2:50 PM

Spot on analysis but Romney won’t “carpet bomb” Obama in the general.

GOP establishment don’t work that way – especially when running against a black guy with good favorables.

HondaV65 on February 10, 2012 at 2:51 PM

I suspect the GOP is fracturing along with the Democrats. Not sure what it means long run but in the short term the chances of Obama winning are pretty good despite his negatives.

sharrukin on February 10, 2012 at 2:48 PM

well, here is my take. A crap sandwich, crap soup and a crap-wrap up against a crap buffet.

We are all eating it no matter WTF we do.

upinak on February 10, 2012 at 2:51 PM

Red Cloud Romney believes obama’s a nice man who is in over his head. We don’t dismantle nice dems. in over their heads,only bad repubs who might take away what romney believes he’s entitled to.

pamiam on February 10, 2012 at 2:51 PM

Brokered Convention.

To paraphrase Mr. Montoya:

People keep using that term… I do not think it means what they think it means.

RightWay79 on February 10, 2012 at 2:53 PM

The GOP has the worst field of candidates running for Pres since 2008 to face off against the worst president in US history.

That’s the stupid party for you.

Of all the dark horse candidates listed in this thread so far, most of them have sworn off running. I’d be up for drafting Jindal if he could be convinced…but I’m not sure how good a campaigner he’d be.

DRayRaven on February 10, 2012 at 2:53 PM

well, here is my take. A crap sandwich, crap soup and a crap-wrap up against a crap buffet.

We are all eating it no matter WTF we do.

upinak on February 10, 2012 at 2:51 PM

Look man – if the GOP nominates Mittens – vote Obama.

Take the quicker, less painful death.

“President Mittens” with Mitch McConnell and John “Crybaby” Boehner as his minions would be unbelievable torture for us – and Conservatism and the nation would be dead at the end of that run.

VOTE OBAMA.

HondaV65 on February 10, 2012 at 2:53 PM

That’s an interesting question. Before they were declared candidates, I might have said Rick Perry or Michele Bachmann. The only remaining “consensus candidate” I could think of right now might be Bobby Jindal.

Mitch Daniels is a no-go among social conservatives. Mike Huckabee is a no-go among libertarians. Chris Christie will have problems on suspicion about how authentically conservative he is, plus the issue of campaigning for POTUS before completing even one term as governor. Haley Barbour was basically dead in the water before he ever had a chance, but will be doubly-so now given his pardons. Palin is considered “unelectable.”

A brokered convention I think is “Jindal or bust,” because I don’t see anyone else that each faction could get behind.

Stoic Patriot on February 10, 2012 at 2:42 PM

Jindal is a policy wonk. He might be brilliant executive and has a compelling personal story but his nationwide exposure is minimal, and he’s got the charisma of a sleeping-aid pill.

How about Chris Christie? I know, he is not a true conservative by a long shot, but his executive and leadership skills, as well as his ability to debate and attack, are beyond reproach. He also got a mighty axe to grind with public unions: I’ll be fine with anyPresident, conservative or not, if he (or she) is willing to void the dreaded Executive Order 10988. In addition, he’ll put a significant chunk of votes in New Jersey into play – a feat that no other candidate can achieve.

Archivarix on February 10, 2012 at 2:54 PM

I haven’t written Newt off yet. I agree that he didn’t handle the sliming very well, but since he is the only one who received such treatment (65 negative ads to his 1) who knows how Santorum would have or will handle it. I blame Romney for the situation we find ourselves in. He doesn’t care anything about the Republican party or the country in my opinion, he wants to be President for his own personal reasons.

The problem with Newt is just that mis-handled being slimed…the bigger problem with Newt is that he is target rich sliming environment. Obama’s super PACs would have a field day with his marriage history, for example.

Newt would make a good Chief-of-Staff (an non-elected post), but he’s got too many problems not being totally slimmed to win a national elective office.

Deafdog on February 10, 2012 at 2:54 PM

The end result of this will not be, as was predicted during the Tea Party uprising in 2010, a break out “Tea Party.” No, the end result will be the formation of a Pragmatic Center-Right party ala the Lib-Dems in Britain. Not quite “No Labels” but not far off.

WFB is rolling in his grave with what has happend to his moment and party…

Critic2029 on February 10, 2012 at 2:55 PM

well, here is my take. A crap sandwich, crap soup and a crap-wrap up against a crap buffet.

We are all eating it no matter WTF we do.

upinak on February 10, 2012 at 2:51 PM

I take it Brother Bluto’s inspiring message just wasn’t inspiring enough?

sharrukin on February 10, 2012 at 2:55 PM

We’re Doomed! We are never going to make it!

WashJeff on February 10, 2012 at 2:55 PM

I’d blame all the mouthbreathers in the primaries who hyperventilate over gross gay sex and the war on christmas instead of the fact that no matter who wins in November we are all boned cause no one wants to stop spending my goddamned money.

Aquateen Hungerforce on February 10, 2012 at 2:57 PM

I’ve been saying “Nothing is over until we decide it is!” for a long time now and even posting it here at HA. I go up and down but mostly just get fed up and want to punch out my computer or radio or TV when people say it’s over or complain about how nasty it is and it is but not as nasty as 4 more years of Obutthead would be. I agree with Peggy Noonan that Romney is better at dismantling than at mantling and that’s not just about the other candidates but about everything he says which is why he yet fails to convince me that he’s the guy.

But I say play on with ferocity and see how this plays out through the rest of the primary season all the way to Tampa in August. The votes in MO, MN and CO surprised the mediamateurs so let the rest of us have our say and unleash our own surprises and see where it leads us. Order and clarity do often emerge from the murk of chaos.

stukinIL4now on February 10, 2012 at 2:59 PM

Spot on analysis but Romney won’t “carpet bomb” Obama in the general.

GOP establishment don’t work that way – especially when running against a black guy with good favorables.

HondaV65 on February 10, 2012 at 2:51 PM

I am very dubious he will try carpet bombing Obama too, I am only “roleplaying” what I think would happen if Romney truly went all out and fought tooth and nail to beat Obama.

VOTE OBAMA.

HondaV65 on February 10, 2012 at 2:53 PM

Eh, if you feel pushed to that point, you should vote for a minor third party candidate you like. The thought of casting a vote for Obama makes my skin crawl.

Doomberg on February 10, 2012 at 2:59 PM

Look man – if the GOP nominates Mittens – vote Obama.

Take the quicker, less painful death.

“President Mittens” with Mitch McConnell and John “Crybaby” Boehner as his minions would be unbelievable torture for us – and Conservatism and the nation would be dead at the end of that run.

VOTE OBAMA.

HondaV65 on February 10, 2012 at 2:53 PM

Man? I think you have gone and lost it… again.

I am voting for the last crap sandwich standing against the crap buffet. BUT I can call them as I see them… crap.

If you don’t like it Honda, that I don’t have any respect for the men who have no testicular fortitude…. not my problem.

upinak on February 10, 2012 at 2:59 PM

I’m still for Newt but am liking the idea of a brokered convention, you betcha!

tinkerthinker on February 10, 2012 at 3:00 PM

Of course neither complains about Santorum.

It is odd how the Republican Establishment was gung ho for Romney and now they are recognizing that he is a bust.

jeffn21 on February 10, 2012 at 3:00 PM

I take it Brother Bluto’s inspiring message just wasn’t inspiring enough?

sharrukin on February 10, 2012 at 2:55 PM

animal house needs a revamp.

upinak on February 10, 2012 at 3:00 PM

The end result of this will not be, as was predicted during the Tea Party uprising in 2010, a break out “Tea Party.”

I think we need to focus on Congress and cross out fingers on the Prez.

Deafdog on February 10, 2012 at 3:01 PM

Excuse me, but who died and made William Jacobson the arbiter of conservatism? Two months ago I never heard of this guy. He seems like a crank who has something personal against Mitt Romney. Maybe even an Axelrod front. No decent conservative would actually be teaching at Cornell. Ithaca is probably the most left-wing city in America outside of San Francisco.

rockmom on February 10, 2012 at 3:02 PM

But I say play on with ferocity and see how this plays out through the rest of the primary season all the way to Tampa in August. The votes in MO, MN and CO surprised the mediamateurs so let the rest of us have our say and unleash our own surprises and see where it leads us. Order and clarity do often emerge from the murk of chaos.

stukinIL4now on February 10, 2012 at 2:59 PM

I agree with you on this. I am in PA so I will have nothing to say about any of it, barring some miracle making it last that long.

Night Owl on February 10, 2012 at 3:04 PM

All contenders put themselves ahead of the land and none are inspiring.

Schadenfreude on February 10, 2012 at 3:05 PM

I’d blame all the mouthbreathers in the primaries who hyperventilate over gross gay sex and the war on christmas instead of the fact that no matter who wins in November we are all boned cause no one wants to stop spending my goddamned money.

Aquateen Hungerforce on February 10, 2012 at 2:57 PM

On top of that, I blame GOP voters themselves. They tore apart every alternative until there was no one left but the doofus in the sweater vest – and he shouldn’t be taken seriously as a candidate by anyone. The only reason he’s still here is because no one has attacked him yet.

The ironic thing is all these conservatives who hyperventilated over Perry’s immigration stance and his “heartless” comment now find themselves defending Santorum and his big government, pro-union votes, which are far more egregious sins against small government than anything Perry ever did.

Granted, Perry didn’t do himself any favors by getting into the race on pain medication, but he’s a far better alternative than Santorum or Gingrich.

Of course, if all you care about are issues like gay marriage and abortion, maybe it doesn’t matter, which confirms a suspicion I have long held about socons, anyway – that lots of them will happily vote for big government if it serves their religious ends, just as they did with Jimmy Carter in 1976.

DRayRaven on February 10, 2012 at 3:05 PM

take it Brother Bluto’s inspiring message just wasn’t inspiring enough?

sharrukin on February 10, 2012 at 2:55 PM

.
You mean Senator Blutarski…. don’t you?

FlaMurph on February 10, 2012 at 3:05 PM

No decent conservative would actually be teaching at Cornell.

Alfred Kahn is rolling over in his grave.

Deafdog on February 10, 2012 at 3:06 PM

It is odd how the Republican Establishment was gung ho for Romney and now they are recognizing that he is a bust.

jeffn21 on February 10, 2012 at 3:00 PM

All it took was for a joke candidate in a sweater vest to hand him his ass and show everyone how “electable” Mitt really is.

DRayRaven on February 10, 2012 at 3:08 PM

DRayRaven on February 10, 2012 at 3:05 PM

Perry self-destructed in the debates with his “oops” moment. If you miss Perry, blame Perry, not voters.

Deafdog on February 10, 2012 at 3:10 PM

ABO. We’re fine. Just because we don’t read every word written by every inside the beltway hack doesn’t we we’re not paying attention. We’ll fire up after Memorial Day.

DanMan on February 10, 2012 at 3:12 PM

Doomberg on February 10, 2012 at 2:50 PM

I very much appreciate your thoughtful response.

Red Cloud on February 10, 2012 at 3:14 PM

Perry self-destructed in the debates with his “oops” moment. If you miss Perry, blame Perry, not voters.

Deafdog on February 10, 2012 at 3:10 PM

Thanks, but I noted that in my original post with my “didn’t do himself any favors” comment. But he’s still a better small government conservative (and a better candidate) than the big-government socio-con from PA with the room temperature IQ.

DRayRaven on February 10, 2012 at 3:15 PM

It is odd how the Republican Establishment was gung ho for Romney and now they are recognizing that he is a bust.

jeffn21 on February 10, 2012 at 3:00 PM

I was expecting heavy negative attacks on Santorum by now. It’s possible we aren’t seeing this because the establishment is trying to figure out what to do, or maybe looking for a compromise candidate. It does seem like Romney may be in danger of losing key backers, first with Kyl chiding him and then NRO actually criticizing him.

Doomberg on February 10, 2012 at 3:15 PM

DRayRaven on February 10, 2012 at 3:08 PM

.
Didn’t you also say that after South Carolina ? Mittens experience will keep him in there- Santo is one moral meltdown away from Newterville. Breathing is recommended.

FlaMurph on February 10, 2012 at 3:17 PM

… or maybe the whole “Establishment Forcing Romney Down Our Throats” meme was overblown to begin with? ;-)

RightWay79 on February 10, 2012 at 3:18 PM

I have a question… WHO IS THE REPUBLICAN ESTABLISHMENT?

It doesn’t exist.

The only “Kingmakers” I see belong to the NRO, Weekly Standard, Hot Air, Townhall, Salem, Red State, etc…

Watching so call “Movement/True Conservatives” Shadow Box this non existent “Establishment” is getting painful.

All Republicans are Conservatives. They all exists on different plains of reality, and pragmatism, but in the end you’re hard pressed to find anyone who is a Republican today that disagrees with the basic tenants of conservatism.

Critic2029 on February 10, 2012 at 3:21 PM

… or maybe the whole “Establishment Forcing Romney Down Our Throats” meme was overblown to begin with? ;-)

RightWay79 on February 10, 2012 at 3:18 PM

This…

They way I see it your average republican/conservative has no problem with Mitt. It’s the the conservative media and establishment that will not rest until it force feeds us a deemed ideological pure a Not-Romney.

Critic2029 on February 10, 2012 at 3:23 PM

Didn’t you also say that after South Carolina ? Mittens experience will keep him in there- Santo is one moral meltdown away from Newterville. Breathing is recommended.

FlaMurph on February 10, 2012 at 3:17 PM

I don’t think I did, but maybe I typed something that would lead to that conclusion in the heat of the moment. I fugured Romney would win Florida all along, but I thought Newt would make a better showing than he did.

Not that I’m a Newt supporter, either. I think all four of these candidates are garbage.

DRayRaven on February 10, 2012 at 3:23 PM

They way I see it your average republican/conservative has no problem with Mitt. It’s the the conservative media and establishment that will not rest until it force feeds us a deemed ideological pure a Not-Romney.

Critic2029 on February 10, 2012 at 3:23 PM

LOL
Which of the GOP candidates leads all the others in endorsements from professional politicians in Washington, DC?

Hint: it’s none of the ABRs.

DRayRaven on February 10, 2012 at 3:25 PM

I have a question… WHO IS THE REPUBLICAN ESTABLISHMENT?

Let’s assume you’re asking this question in good faith. The Establishment is what we call the collective social grouping of the top tier politicans, highly paid campaign consultants, power brokers, big money men, high ranked staffers, think-tankers, well-regarded pundits, etc that collectively hold the reins of power within the Republican Party. Most of these people live in the Washington bubble and can generally be expected to share the same kinds of lifestyles and common experiences, their children all go to the same schools, and most importantly they all share the same political views.

These people have also collectively chosen to back Mitt Romney.

That is the Establishment.

It doesn’t exist.

The only “Kingmakers” I see belong to the NRO, Weekly Standard, Hot Air, Townhall, Salem, Red State, etc…

Sorry, you arguing that no elite class exists in the Republican party is trying to pretend basic human behavior such as social groupings doesn’t exist. This flies in the face of logic and sanity.

All Republicans are Conservatives. They all exists on different plains of reality, and pragmatism, but in the end you’re hard pressed to find anyone who is a Republican today that disagrees with the basic tenants of conservatism.

Critic2029 on February 10, 2012 at 3:21 PM

Sorry, this is totally false. In the last decade, a Republican bragged that “the era of small government is over.” The bottom line is the party is made up of competing factions who oppose the Democrats for very different reasons. The establishment opposes them primarily because they think they can run the machinery of big government better, not because they think liberal policies are wrong or bad.

Only the grassroots believes that.

Doomberg on February 10, 2012 at 3:31 PM

Which of the GOP candidates leads all the others in endorsements from professional politicians in Washington, DC?
DRayRaven on February 10, 2012 at 3:25 PM

I am not keeping track (because I don’t think it matters in the end)… but, McCain is the only professional (by that, I assume you mean lifelong?) politician in Wash. DC that I can think of.

Not saying there aren’t others. I just can’t think of any.

You may count Dole… but I wouldn’t… he’s quite retired.

Other endorsements that come to mind would be from several new-ish Governors… so, I wouldn’t call them professional Washington DC politicians.

I just dunno.

If you see fit, feel free to lambast my ignorance by posting some kind of definitive list of professional DC politicians who have endorsed Romney.

RightWay79 on February 10, 2012 at 3:32 PM

well, here is my take. A crap sandwich, crap soup and a crap-wrap up against a crap buffet.

We are all eating it no matter WTF we do.

upinak on February 10, 2012 at 2:51 PM

Not this person. I’m done. C’mon SMOD!

marinetbryant on February 10, 2012 at 3:35 PM

If you see fit, feel free to lambast my ignorance by posting some kind of definitive list of professional DC politicians who have endorsed Romney.

RightWay79 on February 10, 2012 at 3:32 PM

I’m not going to lambast you. I’ll only tell you that Romney leads all the other candidates in endorsements from elected members of Congress. I don’t have current figures, but it’s not even close.

DRayRaven on February 10, 2012 at 3:37 PM

Was it over when the ‘Germans’ bombed Pearl Harbor?!?!

Gets me every time…

Ltlgeneral64 on February 10, 2012 at 2:48 PM


What’s this lyin around sh*t!!!!???

itsspideyman on February 10, 2012 at 3:39 PM

I Won’t Do a War Dance over the GOP this November.But afterwards, I shall be leading it.

Mutnodjmet on February 10, 2012 at 3:41 PM

If you see fit, feel free to lambast my ignorance by posting some kind of definitive list of professional DC politicians who have endorsed Romney.

RightWay79 on February 10, 2012 at 3:32 PM

Here you go. http://aboutmittromney.com/endorsements.htm

Scroll down the page a bit, there’s a full list of people. He has 117 endorsements from current and former Congressmen, it’s rpetty comprehensive.

No lambasting here.

Doomberg on February 10, 2012 at 3:41 PM

I’m not going to lambast you. I’ll only tell you that Romney leads all the other candidates in endorsements from elected members of Congress. I don’t have current figures, but it’s not even close.

DRayRaven on February 10, 2012 at 3:37 PM

Fair enough.

I guess all I would say is that it would be a little presumptuous to guess at the individual motivations of each of these people.

RightWay79 on February 10, 2012 at 3:48 PM

Doomberg on February 10, 2012 at 3:31 PM

I’m saying that the “Conservative Establishment” doesn’t represent some grass roots insurgency anymore. They wield more power than anyone “In the Beltway.”

As for “The Last Decade.” I hope you aren’t turning your lonely eyes to Rick Santorum because he was right in the middle of that. He was complicit in the lie of the last republican revolution that the “Era of Big Government was over” (A Clinton Quote iirc)…

I agree that there are two factions but the “grassroots” aren’t innocent. Pure and Impure. This quest for purity will never end in a win.

Critic2029 on February 10, 2012 at 3:48 PM

Will history books one day record the following???:

“Looking back on it decades later, its ironic that two of the people most directly responsible for electing Obama were George W. Bush and (the 2012 GOP Presidential nominee).”

Sacramento on February 10, 2012 at 3:56 PM

Romney has proven to be a lot less of a candidate than the smooth, experienced, unflappable guy were were pitched when this all started. But primary fights are often tough. There’s a good chance that this brawl will end up helping the eventual winner; for example, now Mitt can say the Bain stuff came out months ago!

hawksruleva on February 10, 2012 at 4:22 PM

Whoops, never mind my last. Wrong page.

Red Cloud on February 10, 2012 at 2:41 PM

What page were you on? It must be a good page. I’d like to go there. You sound really angry.

timberline on February 10, 2012 at 4:27 PM

There have been some disturbing trends popping up among prominent (and normally cheerful) conservatives lately, with a couple of notable examples cropping up right in the middle of CPAC.

Yep, the f’ing conservatives took what looked like a good shot at throwing out Odumbya and started throwing poo at each others like monkies. The center right majority of the country said “what a pack of a holes” and drifted back towards Obama. Thanks romney and gingrich. Its the same behaviour shown by the angry, wrist slitting tards commenting at hot air.

sheikh of thornton on February 10, 2012 at 4:30 PM

Last time I checked you can’t beat something with nothing. Romney has virtually nothing to offer in place of King O’Bongo.

trapeze on February 10, 2012 at 2:40 PM

I dispute that.

Red Cloud on February 10, 2012 at 2:42 PM

Better fitting suits on Romney?

riddick on February 10, 2012 at 4:47 PM

Doomberg on February 10, 2012 at 3:31 PM

So how does this Establishment miraculously hypnotize all those conservative Republican primary voters into voting for their preferred candidate? I’m still waiting for someone to explain this to me.

rockmom on February 10, 2012 at 4:51 PM

Yep, the f’ing conservatives RINOs took what looked like a good shot at throwing out Odumbya and started throwing poo at each others like monkies.

sheikh of thornton on February 10, 2012 at 4:30 PM

Fixed it for you to factually reflect reality. Read the premise of this blog entry, even RINOs are in agreement now who started it. And people like Coulter and Rubio (mainly RUBIO with his idiotic request for NEWT to stop running negative ads, but NOT Romney) are more than responsible as well, more than Romney himself.

riddick on February 10, 2012 at 4:51 PM

BROKERED CONVENTION GIVES OBAMA ANOTHER FOUR YEARS.

GET THAT THROUGH YOUR FREAKING HEADS. HISTORY AND DOES NOT BODE WELL FOR A PARTY THAT HAS A BROKERED CONVENTION.

Only, someone devoid of the political history surrounding brokered conventions would be dreaming about this possibility. If we have a brokered convention, we have lost, period.

If we present a Senate Slug or a Congress Critter we have lost. Obama and Kennedy were flukes, when was the Last Republican SS or CC ever elected to the White House? Who was it? And, how long ago was that? RIGHT!

You can almost say never!

uhangtight on February 10, 2012 at 5:08 PM

If we get to a brokered convention, what person not currently on the ballot would be a “dark horse” candidate that people could rally behind?
teke184 on February 10, 2012 at 2:33 PM

I would pick Allen West… but that is just me.

upinak on February 10, 2012 at 2:38 PM

Yep I think he should be on the ticket one way or another.

Dr Evil on February 10, 2012 at 5:10 PM

Yep, the f’ing conservatives RINOs took what looked like a good shot at throwing out Odumbya and started throwing poo at each others like monkies.

sheikh of thornton on February 10, 2012 at 4:30 PM
Fixed it for you to factually reflect reality. Read the premise of this blog entry, even RINOs are in agreement now who started it. And people like Coulter and Rubio (mainly RUBIO with his idiotic request for NEWT to stop running negative ads, but NOT Romney) are more than responsible as well, more than Romney himself.

riddick on February 10, 2012 at 4:51 PM

And riddick makes my point, thanks dude.

sheikh of thornton on February 10, 2012 at 5:12 PM

“Its the RINOs, it the conservatives, its evil Baine capital, its the religious right, its the tea party, its the establishment, waaaah, f’ing waaaah.”

The right is about as good at politics as the Shia and Sunnis. Joke. It might be that the butt hurt Obama is about to put on the right in Nov. will be the bucket of cold water that will wake us the f up.

sheikh of thornton on February 10, 2012 at 5:18 PM

Mitt Romney appeals to me, and I am the base. I am tired of people whining and saying I am not. They just want their own way. That’s not being the base, that is being childish.

Fleuries on February 10, 2012 at 5:38 PM

Fleuries- I’ve been a part of the base for over 40 years,and he doesn’t appeal to me. However, since I’m voting ABO,he may get my vote by default.

pamiam on February 10, 2012 at 6:09 PM

Here’s a question for you…

If we get to a brokered convention, what person not currently on the ballot would be a “dark horse” candidate that people could rally behind?

Here’s another question: In a brokered convention, who would be the brokers? Mechanically, how would the process work? Has this eventuality ever been realistically gamed out? If so, can someone link to it?

Drew Lowell on February 10, 2012 at 6:20 PM

Wow… Hinderaker is pretty much the “Baghdad Bob” of the conservative movement. If he publicly doubts the GOP will defeat Obama, things have to be pretty bad! Let’s hope the other morons such as Fred Barnes, Dick Morris and Hugh Hewitt still keep predicting a 50-0 sweep in November.

MARCU$

mlindroo on February 10, 2012 at 6:24 PM

I’m starting to get real tired of the defeatist crabbing from the right. If you’re waiting for someone else to get in the race, it’s time to wake up. These are the candidates. Support your guy but, if he doesn’t get the nod, get behind the one who does. The country can’t afford 4 more years of Obama just because you don’t like RomneyCare or Santorum’s earmarks. F*ck me – if nothing else, the next president will be filling at least one SCOTUS vacancy and either of those two will be better than Obama. Sack up.

I’m with Milton Friedman; “The important thing is to establish a political climate of opinion which will make it politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing”.

landshark on February 10, 2012 at 8:02 PM

DRayRaven on February 10, 2012 at 3:05 PM

Perry self-destructed in the debates with his “oops” moment. If you miss Perry, blame Perry, not voters.

Deafdog on February 10, 2012 at 3:10 PM

It’s sad that we throw out one of our own so easily…when the other side have “oops” EVERY DAY!

KOOLAID2 on February 10, 2012 at 8:35 PM

Here’s a question for you…

If we get to a brokered convention, what person not currently on the ballot would be a “dark horse” candidate that people could rally behind?

People sure aren’t going to rally behind Romney or R** P*** at that point and I don’t see either of those two’s followers rallying behind Santorum.

teke184 on February 10, 2012 at 2:33 PM

Rudolph Giuliani.

cane_loader on February 10, 2012 at 9:00 PM

If we get to a brokered convention, what person not currently on the ballot would be a “dark horse” candidate that people could rally behind?

Daniels.

YehuditTX on February 11, 2012 at 2:32 AM