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« A nation of of little would-be Mitts on the make | Main | Meaning it »


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There is also the Mormon factor. I know from asking fundamentalist Christians among family and friends how they can square their faith with voting for a Mormon and each of them, to a person, said they are sitting out. While they can't vote for Obama (for whatever various reasons), they can't vote for Romney. I would unscientifically estimate that this will effect 10-15% of the fundie Xian vote expected by the GOP.


To him people are costs to be controlled. He’s the first person to run for President on a major party line who believes human beings are a problem.

Yes, and the would-be future first lady is showing herself to be every bit of the same view if not more so. It's clear from hearing the two of them that their thought is that noblesse oblige should be more like oblige noblesse.

El Jefe


Nice one.

This is one of the signs of another clear gear-shift towards actual feudalism, when folks like Mittens begin to exhibit behavior patterns like this that fit neatly into one of the three or four fundamental personality types of "lordly" figures in feudal systems (be they European-medieval, later-Ming Chinese, Mughal, Japanese, Safavid Persian, yadda yadda, including some of the more "advanced" cases of moneyed arrogance in the 1840s-60s and 1880s-90s.) He's also lived a life sufficiently insulated to become so in a way so haltingly conscious that most of his most human characteristics are among his most obviously bad (the snippish irritation with other humans, the bullying, the other efforts to navigate relationships with other humans that will give him the approbation he considers his due.) This is a serious black mark against his old man -- George was, for his many faults, a lot more human figure -- and does I think have something directly to do with his Mormonism, c.f. the comment in the previous thread about the power of bishops in the church. With the weight of his father and the early-"prophets" cred of the Romneys, this gives you (for a cultural cross-comparison) someone far more like MacArthur (born the equivalent of "Army aristocracy" and raised in that bubble) than, say, Eisenhower, who had millions snap to his orders in Europe but hadn't *presumed* they would since childhood.


It's a fair point, and I suspect that unless R&R really gain traction on "TEH ECONOMY SUXX0RS!!1!one!" within the next few weeks to pull ahead, and given Mittens' bone-deep unlikeability on persistent exposure, that will shut down a fraction of the Fundie vote based on his Mormonism. As a child of a Highlander School-left Tennessee Methodist (mom) and a recovering Southern Baptist agnostic from north Florida (dad) who grew up in the Bible Belt (I consider myself a tarheel, but also TN and TX) I see and hear the same stuff (even from the relative safety of Oregon where I live now) It's reached a point where, getting back to their Reformation roots, only a true believer will do, which is why Dubya was such a saint and Cheney a useful thug in their eyes.


He's the first person to run for President on a major party line who believes human beings are a problem.

Ah, but that leaves out the Dark Lord granddaddy of our modern American political culture (well, he had help from McCarthy, Wallace, the Birchers, J. Edgar Hoover, but still...) the bright young man from Yorba Linda. The crucial difference, however, are the ways in which human beings were a problem to the two men. For Nixon, the Sauron of eternal American lower-middle/upper-lower nativist discontent and low self-esteem, people were a very different kind of problem, to be solved in different ways, from Romney's pure lord-of-the-manor narcissism. The flourishing of our Romneys is a direct consequence of many things set in motion by or around The Dick, by the politics he made his personal tool until its real deliverer (St. Ronnie) showed up, but a study in contrasts of the two guys could be real useful.

"It’s not enough that the President gets re-elected.
We need to take back the House and hold the Senate and I haven’t seen polls showing that either is guaranteed."

That last part can not be stressed strongly enough.

Ken Houghton

"My mother would add one more.

He stopped smiling."

Yep. That also was what gave away that GHWB was going to lose easily in 1992: his last few weeks of campaigning, it was clear to anyone watching that he Didn't Want the Job Any More.

Voters may not know what the Tell is, but they do pick up on it. So far--other than pledging to eviscerate the Social Security for which I've been paying extra most of my working life--Barack Obama isn't showing one. (Mitt Romney is: he's got the Ted Kennedy in 1980 problem: it's not clear he wants to be President, only that he believes he deserves the job.

El Jefe


The last, parenthetical sentence is especially good. And on the money, wrt both of them


Quite right all round, but there are one or two very big cards left to play that aren't just about betting on polls and Versailles chatter. Forget about job reports; this is one of them:

This is the October Surprise the GOP have had up their sleeve for several years now, the one Obama's been tightrope-walking with the European and Arab allies viz. his attitude to Iran. It seems domestic politics in Israel, namely the fact that Beni Netanyahu reliably sucks as a domestic executive and is broadly unloved among his coalition partners (a bit, if only a bit, like certain other aspiring national executives...), has bumped things up a bit. Not since Bush the Elder's administration refused to give the IAF access to the IFF (identify friend-foe) codes for allied aircraft during the Gulf War, to prevent retaliatory attacks on Iraq, have things been this, ahem, terse. (I suspect, following, that Tom Hagen -- sorry, sorry, Jim Baker -- threatened to hold the shekel hostage like the pound and franc at Suez if the Israelis didn't come to the table, which is the only good thing the mean old Texan anti-semite did wrt Levantine foreign policy, because God knows Likud needed the shove and replacing by Labour/Rabin.) There's another "go big" option, which is driving fuel prices up, but that could precipitate other troubles, as speculators beg cash and pinch banks on margin calls and generally get caught up in the same no-clothes-imperial fustercluck as autumn '08. (Thanks to their own boundless greed and mendacity, Naomi Klein-style "disaster capitalism" is now just as likely to produce self-inflicted wounds as success.) But this is by far the more reliable option. Split "the Jews and the liberals" (no one thinks tribal like a GOP election planner), make the President look like he can't control his own foreign policy *and* like an appeaser for not letting Netanyahu kick the ball off for either the wholly-owned American subsidiary of Big Oil or the fun-filled apocalypse that Tim LaHaye's been promising you, depending on what flavor of Republican you are. The fact we're there now means Likud, even more than the GOP, have taken the soundings of this cycle and do not like what they see. While that's just fine by me, it means we're in for a dangerous few weeks ahead.

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