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Weldon Berger

In a similar vein, they don’t like that “others” are getting help they’re not getting even they could use it too.

And in fact that's a legitimate complaint. Someone earning $10 above the income cutoff for insurance premium subsidies under the ACA is getting screwed. Someone earning $10 above the Medicaid income cutoff is getting screwed. Someone receiving Medicaid in Alabama gets fewer benefits than someone receiving Medicaid in California; they're getting screwed. People whose retirement quality of life is dependent upon the vagaries of the market rather than a defined benefit pension are getting screwed. People who get paid less for what they do than someone in a union doing the same job are getting screwed.

The problem isn't resentment. The problem is where the resentment is directed. Democrats — the ones who don't enthusiastically participate in the screwings — are afraid to go there, so they've effectively ceded the resentment field to Republicans. If they're not going to actually do something about it, they should probably quit whining.


The most interesting thing (to me, anyway) about all this is Mitt's speech is an "inelegant" statement of core conservative principle, to wit: The State is a parasitic bureaucracy that free of the self-correcting mechanism of The Market exists only to expand itself, in the process corrupting Free Men and Society. A True Conservative President would do as little as possible other than to dismantle as much of The State as could be clubbed like a baby seal. And this is putting it as nicely as possible. Sarah Proud And Tall over at Balloon Juice has a review of recent posts at The Corner (National Review On-Line, for those of you lucky enough to not know what The Corner is) which pretty much lay the above out. Mitt's only option is to double-down on Freedom for the oppressed yeomen of the 18th century who form the backbone of America.


Also, it is a bit rich (and stunning not self aware) of a tax cheat calling 47% of the country moochers because they don't pay enough taxes (which they do as it turns out, and in a greater percentage of their income than Mitt Romney has done in the returns he has disclosed so far).


Hey! I can finally comment here again from work! Cool...

Lance, I'm with you on this. I long for real conservatives to take their party back. We have serious problems in this country and we need everyone on board and in consensus as to how to approach them best.


Hey, actor212: Real conservatives control the Democratic Party now; why waste time and effort trying to fight for the Lunatic Party? It might be better for the nation if there was some sort of "liberal Party", but clearly the country doesn't want that. As for this word "consensus" - I think you made it up. I can't find any such word in any of the dictionaries I can lay my hands on. It sounds like some sort of Liberal buzz-word, though; like "compromise". I bet they mean the same thing, too: "reactionary victory".

El Jefe


Also, too -- Scalzi manages to use actual irony in the service of sarcasm (unlike the well-read sarcasm my beloved Brits call "irony" when talking down snootily to American humorists) on the whole thing, since supporting Obama means you don't pay income taxes that's a vote for a Republican-right utopia:

Some related thoughts in a fairly random order:

-A lot of the political blood in the water lately is Romney's which is a real problem as people start (just as you say) to pay attention in sort-of-earnest. This is certainly reflected in the panic among his fellow Rs about the polling aggregates from Oho and Virginia. (In Ohio, for example, not only are local economic conditions better than average now but the President's folks have thoroughly Bained Romney, justified in a state Bain rode through like the Free Companies in 14th-century France.)

-Nate Silver just wargamed a subdivision in his sabremetric number-crunching, between the polls that use live interviewers and cell phone contacts and those that don't (since the former adds back in about a third of the US population who are now landline-free.) Should give Obvious Anagram Reince Preibus (h/t Pierce) the vapors. The latter category plugs along with a rather narrow but consistent lead for Obama, the former is at the tipping point of very ugly indeed for Romney. (Nice to see a picture that removes the lead weight of Rasmussen from the process. Can we now finally point out that they've made a decades-long career as a "respectable" polling outfit out of being Republican touts? Rasmussen numbers remind me of the "new hit show!" dog-whistle. Whenever I see that near the start of a new television season, with no ratings rankings attached, I translate it neatly to "the network made a big investment in winning this timeslot but the show's getting no traction!" Rasmussen numbers are the "new hit show!" of political opinion statistics.)

- The fact that Romney has doubled down is a huge help to us. No, really. He could have looked like a deer in headlights for one night, shrugged it off, and hoped it would fade back into partisan gridlock. But by picking it up like a fallen banner at the enemy gates, much better. He has, probably, been told he'll lose the base if he doesn't look tough on this. (Certainly, as you point out, a huge part of that base is based on dead-end middle aged white men who believe in regular, angry displays of "guts" to drown the cold terror of their beta-hood.) Great. Now instead he gets to play "why am I hitting myself?" in front of low-information voters. More importantly, it keeps our side mobilized. If he merely scuttled and faded, we might grow lax assuming it was over, and down-ticket is where the real effort must be made. This version of Mittens is read meat to our GOTV, reminding people why Romney's party and its platform must be stopped.

- This whole thing (especially rich, weepy, Harvard-educated doctor/donors to the RNC -- h/t Crooks and Liars out of Pierce -- and that excrescence Mary Matalin) is doing quite a lot to rehabilitiate simple, mainline liberalism. It is possible that, as we watch events this week, the Right have actually pushed the Overton Window so hard they've finally cracked the frame, giving plain-faced liberalism a favorable hearing by comparison because they've finally shot all the counterrevolutionaries in the "conservative" movement. Is that really enough? No: it fails to stake the feudalists in their coffins while they sleep. But would an actually-liberal Congressional majority (plus some major states) be a huge improvement on a muddle of Blue Dogs and the American Bar Association Glee Club we have now? Oh, hell, yes.

- If -- if -- we pull this thing out especially down-ticket, are we finally allowed to just say, "look, if you vote for a Republican ticket at the state level, what you're gonna get is voter-suppression laws. It's just how that works these days" ? Because it would be true.

El Jefe

I would, today, also like to note that Tim Pawlenty, the Brave Sir Robin of Republican presidential politics, has done a runner from Romney HQ to the financial-services lobbying trade.

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