Mitt discusses top reasons not to trust Mitt

Go figure. (And no, Mitt, I won’t.)

Video available at Hot Air, but Allahpundit spares you from having to watch:

Via RCP, the key bit comes at around 3:40. This is his whole strategy in a nutshell and I still can’t decide whether to admire him or loathe him for it. He doesn’t care if you trust him. He doesn’t care if his rallies leave you flat. He doesn’t care if pulling the lever for him reduces you to dry heaves in the voting booth. He cares about two things: 1,144 and 270, and he’s likely to achieve at least the first thanks to hard work, careful planning, and the great good luck of having extraordinarily weak competition. Those qualities — high energy, fortitude, diligence, not needing to be liked — could be huge assets in a president if he applied them to enacting a worthy policy agenda, starting with entitlement reform. But I don’t think he’d use them to policy ends; he’d use them to position himself for re-election by pandering to centrists, which means no meaningful entitlement reform or anything else. He’s telling you right here why he’d be such a risk in office to the right. When push comes to shove, you’ll always hold your nose and vote against the Democrat, no matter how annoyed at him you might be. And he knows it — and he doesn’t care. He doesn’t need his base to like him. That’s a recipe for squishiness.

Unbelievable. I still can’t fathom pulling the lever for the man. I think I’d still show up at the polls to vote in down-ticket races (or, I guess on my absentee ballot since we’re moving). But vote for Romney? Why? He’s indistinguishable from Obama on the issues that, quite frankly, matter the most. I don’t believe he will lead the charge to eliminate Obamacare. He won’t have HHS reverse mandates. He won’t do any of it because he designed it all in Massachusetts. Add to that Romney’s core belief in the social net, and as Allah points out, we won’t have any meaningful entitlement reform. We’ll end up with amnesty. And we’ll damage the idea of conservatism byond the pale. If we ended up with Obama after 8 years of W and big-government Republicans, what would we end up with after a term of Romney, eh? Stalin himself?

Perry’s greatest asset

His candor, according to Mark Tapscott.

I’m inclined to agree. There’s still quite the brouhaha brewing over Perry’s assertion that Social Security is a Ponzi scheme. Tapscott:

Texas Gov. Rick Perry has gotten all kinds of grief from the smartest guys in the room crowd in New York and Washington for calling Social Security “a Ponzi Scheme,” and “a monstrous lie to our kids.”

I can’t think of a more fitting place to demonstrate a Reaganesque honesty than the Reagan Library, with former First Lady Nancy Reagan looking on benignly as a couple of her crisply-coiffed Liberal Mainstream Media friends do their best to discredit the heirs to her husband’s political legacy.

Reagan himself often spoke just as bluntly about liberalism’s many sacred cows, and he invariably got the same sort of outraged responses from the smartest guys in the room crowd.

Like when he said “government isn’t the solution, government is the problem.” They were scandalized when he called the Soviet Union an “evil empire,” too. And who can forget “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.” Some of his own advisors were aghast that he was going to say that one.

Now Perry is getting the business from the same crowd. And it started with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney – who knows a thing or two about appealing to the smartest guys.

Mitt can’t spell candor let alone find it in a dictionary. He will continue to play the smartest guy in the room contest at the risk of underestimating how people respond to truth. More Tapscott:

What the smartest guys in the room crowd apparently missed is that Perry also said this:

“And people who are on Social Security today, men and women who are receiving those benefits today, are individuals at my age that are in line pretty quick to get them, they don’t need to worry about anything. But I think the Republican candidates are talking about ways to transition this program …”

Perry appears to understand something Reagan knew very well: The smartest guys in the room crowd are slaves to conventional liberal wisdom and they are out-of-touch with the values and views of most Americans.

Our political elites in New York and Washington are far more attuned to that conventional wisdom than to everyday Americans. If you don’t grasp that fact, you will never understand why three-fourths of the voters trust the people more than professional politicians.

Perry has to present a viable solution soon. He then needs to head to Florida and reassure those currently relying on Social Security. And he then needs to explain to young folks why this can’t continue as is.

He will win.

H/t Allahpundit.

What was that faint sucking sound, Mitt?

Oh, yeah. The last gasp of your campaign.

Perry’s double-digit lead over Romney nationally widens. Furthermore, as Allahpundit illustrates, Perry leads Romney in every demographic: blue-collar, white-collar, college or no. So much for the dummy, eh?

So what will poor Mitt do? Attack. Alas, the stakes are high. Allahpundit:

Given the magnitude of the debt crisis, the thought of any Republican being hammered by another Republican for not loving entitlements enough makes me queasy.

Ain’t that the truth. Perry let the truth slip out this weekend as he called Social Security a Ponzi scheme that rips off young people. As a result, some wonder if he will carry the mantle of entitlement reformer, the role Mitch Daniels sought to fill.

I’m eager for the debate on the 7th to see how Mitt fares with Perry in the ring. Here’s to hoping Perry can knock him out early.

 

Paging Chris Christie

I know you know you can do this.

And I don’t think there’s anyone else capable of selling the impossible, that is, telling people like it is. We don’t have the money for everyone’s Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, etc etc sans some serious trimming. Not just shape-shifting. Cuts. Big Axe, not X-acto.

What did you tell that woman last summer, the one who was so indignant that you were cutting her retirement benefits? Oh, that you would rather see her get something instead of nothing? Well, folks, that’s how it has to be. If we want to have anything left to pass to our children and grandchildren, this is it. The buck stops here. That means you’ll get something but it won’t necessarily be what you were promised.

Apparently, everyone else think the buck stops somewhere else. Because they can’t fathom trimming the budget of entitlements. Is this truly what we have become?

Allahpundit on the WSJ poll finding folks less than willing to cut their favorite government cheese:

Seventy-six percent say Medicare cuts are at least mostly unacceptable and 77 percent say the same of Social Security — including a clear majority who say it’s totally unacceptable. Here’s a related result, asking not whether cuts are acceptable but merely whether they’re necessary.

[...]

The silver lining is that majorities are willing to accept various tweaks to entitlements. Cuts are a no-go, but 62 percent say they’d find it at least mostly acceptable to reduce Medicare and Social Security benefits for wealthier retirees and 56 percent would find it mostly acceptable to gradually raise the retirement age for S.S. to 69 by the year 2075. In fact, 44 percent would even find a voucher system for Medicare “mostly acceptable,” an encouraging sign insofar as it gives the Ryans, Christies, and Danielses of the world a political foothold to push reforms aggressively.

Seriously screwed. And then this:

A plurality of respondents say they’ll probably vote for Obama over a Republican challenger (45/40)

The last bit felt like a gut punch until I found this from Lonely Conservative: Jimmy Carter Polled at 54% in 1979.  Bless you.

UPDATE: linked by Pundette. Thanks!

“Now, worse, his political organization is colluding with special-interest allies across the country to demagogue reform-minded governors who are making the tough choices”

Our President is acting against a Governor. This shouldn’t be a surprise. But I’ll be damned if I’m not in awe of the bastard.

That’s John Boehner speaking of the collusion Obama’s minions are doing in Wisconsin at the President’s behest.

Am I dreaming? This is insanity.

Via Hot Air, Boehner’s remarks:

“The President of the United States has a unique opportunity and responsibility to lead this nation. President Obama has acknowledged the challenges we face, but – thus far – he has done nothing to offer solutions. Now, worse, his political organization is colluding with special-interest allies across the country to demagogue reform-minded governors who are making the tough choices that the President is avoiding.

“This is not the way to begin an ‘adult conversation’ about solutions to the big challenges facing our country. Rather than inciting protests against those who speak honestly about the challenges we face, the President and his advisers should lead.

“When the American people watched the people of Greece take to the streets to protest cuts to unsustainable government programs, they worried it might foreshadow events in our nation’s distant future – but today, we see the same sort of protests on the streets of Madison, fueled by President Obama’s own political machine”

If you had any doubts about Stanley Kurtz, Obama’s actions today should dispel them:

American politics just keeps getting more polarized. Be assured that Obama wants it that way. I argue in Radical-in-Chief that Obama’s long-term hope is to divide America along class lines (roughly speaking, tax payers versus tax beneficiaries). Obama’s attack on the Supreme Court at his 2010 State of the Union address, his offensive against the Chamber of Commerce, his exhortation to Hispanics to punish their enemies, and several similar moves were all efforts to jump-start a populist movement of the left. Like his socialist organizing mentors, Obama believes that a country polarized along class lines will eventually realign American politics sharply to the left. Yet the entire strategy is based on the need for an activated, populist movement of the left. So far, Obama has failed to create such a movement. His expensive economic agenda has provoked a populist counter-movement of the right instead: Obama’s nightmare.

Now, however, Obama may belatedly be getting his wish. The very success of the Tea Party is calling forth an opposing movement of the left. Obama’s exhortations may have failed to polarize the country along class lines, but his policies have finally provoked the long-sought battle. The once-dormant legions of Obama’s group, Organizing for America, have now been activated. This is the moment they were created for.

Hope for riots and change the nation forever? That’s the wish.  Read the rest.

The counter-protest should be interesting. At least our folks clean up after themselves, no?

UPDATE: linked as a “Recommended Read” by Pundette. Thanks!

Prosit!

Via buddy NoOneOfAnyImport, Jack Daniels explains the deficit.  Enjoy!

If you’re in need of some Saturday night entertainment, here’s Political Math’s blog and YouTube channel.

Quote of the day courtesy Paul Krugman (put down your coffee, Lara)

Seriously? Without a trace of cynicism or irony? 

One depressing aspect of American politics is the susceptibility of the political and media establishment to charlatans.

Ain’t that the damn truth.

Oops.

Krugman isn’t referring to Obama. 

You might have thought, given past experience, that D.C. insiders would be on their guard against conservatives with grandiose plans. But no: as long as someone on the right claims to have bold new proposals, he’s hailed as an innovative thinker. And nobody checks his arithmetic.

Of course!

His “Flim-flam man” is Paul Ryan, and he hails the infamous “Roadmap” as malarky:

Mr. Ryan has become the Republican Party’s poster child for new ideas thanks to his “Roadmap for America’s Future,” a plan for a major overhaul of federal spending and taxes. News media coverage has been overwhelmingly favorable; on Monday, The Washington Post put a glowing profile of Mr. Ryan on its front page, portraying him as the G.O.P.’s fiscal conscience. He’s often described with phrases like “intellectually audacious.”

But it’s the audacity of dopes. Mr. Ryan isn’t offering fresh food for thought; he’s serving up leftovers from the 1990s, drenched in flimflam sauce.

I prefer the audacity of nope.  As in, let’s cut of the money to Obamacare as fast as we can (as fast as we can) (to cut off the real flim-flam man).

And note to Paul Krugman: Dude.  I honestly can’t fathom that you write with a straight face.  Flim-flam man? “Master of Back-Stabbing, Cork-Screwing and Dirty-Dealing?” The trickster who conned people far and wide to steal their money and evade the law?  If you choose to sling names, you might well start by choosing one that doesn’t describe your hero to a T. 

H/T: Hot Air headlines.

NB: if you’re interested in a serious dissection of Krugman’s assault on Ryan, go here or here.

Ed Morrissey: “Obama’s days of whine and moroses” are over

Heh.  Finally.

From Rasmussen, via Hot Air:

For the first since President Obama took office, voters see his policies as equally to blame with those of President George W. Bush for the country’s current economic problems.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 48% of Likely U.S. Voters now think Obama’s policies are to blame for the continuing bad economy, up three points from last month. Forty-seven percent (47%) say the recession that began under Bush is at fault.

With voters across the country expressing stronger belief that the economy is getting worse rather than better, these new findings spell potential bad news for Democratic candidates this fall. The president is already planning to limit his campaign appearances with candidates because of potential voter backlash.

Own it, Obama.

Morrissey notes the stark reality:

After eighteen months and a trillion dollars in spending have left us with lower employment levels than at any time in the past generation, Obama finally owns the economy.  He bought it with our grandchildren’s money.

Remember in November.  And pray the GOP has the cojones to stop this spending.  From all accounts, it doesn’t look like it.  Case in point, the Ryan Roadmap.  From the WaPo:

“Political people always tell their candidates to stay away from controversy,” said Ryan, 40. “They say, ‘Don’t propose anything new or bold because the other side will use it against you.’ “

While he does not name the “political people,” they no doubt include many Republican colleagues, who, even as they praise Ryan for his doggedness, privately consider the Roadmap a path to electoral disaster. Unlike most politicians of either party, he doesn’t speak generically about reducing spending, but he does acknowledge the very real cuts in popular programs that will be required to bring down the debt.

His ideas are provocative, to say the least. They include putting Medicare and Medicaid recipients in private insurance plans that could cost the government less but potentially offer fewer benefits; gradually raising the retirement age to 70; and reducing future Social Security benefits for wealthy retirees.

Of the 178 Republicans in the House, 13 have signed on with Ryan as co-sponsors.

Ryan’s proposals have created a bind for GOP leaders, who spent much of last year attacking the Democrats’ health-care legislation for its measures to trim Medicare costs. House Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) has alternately praised Ryan and emphasized that his ideas are not those of the party.

Ryan has not helped to make it easy for his leaders. He is a loyal Republican, but he is also perhaps the GOP’s leading intellectual in Congress and occasionally seems to forget that he is a politician himself.

At a recent appearance touting the Roadmap at the left-leaning Brookings Institution, someone asked Ryan why more conservatives weren’t behind his budget plan. “They’re talking to their pollsters,” Ryan answered, “and their pollsters are saying, ‘Stay away from this. We’re going to win an election.’ “

Note to weak-kneed Republicans: man up or get out.  Winning elections is not enough.

UPDATE: linked by Pundette as a featured blog today. Many thanks!

My I ♥ Chris Christie post of the week

Seems Allahpundit shares my crush.

Dude, I’m starting to think this might be the guy. A solid first term, then reelection in 2014, and suddenly the wide-open 2016 primaries are right around the corner…

I said the same thing a month ago.  Get with it, man. ; )  Go watch Christie (verbally) thump a reporter.  Worth it.

More today from the Hill:

In a movie version of this important story of our time, the bold, undaunted officeholder would look much like the boyish, handsome David Cameron — Great Britain’s new Conservative prime minister — who called on his countrymen Tuesday to embrace an “age of austerity.”

But this is America. So the fearless leader willing to be honest with voters, to part with what cannot be paid for, is actually not dashing, nor is he eloquent. He is an overweight Bruce Springsteen devotee, a former prosecutor with a remaining trace of a Turnpike accent who is intent on rescuing New Jersey. If he succeeds, Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.) could become a major political force in the years to come, whether he likes it or not. 

As the United States watches a debt crisis in Greece like a fiscal oil spill, waiting to see where it will spread first and when it will make landfall on our shores, Christie is tackling the nation’s worst state deficit — $10.7 billion of a $29.3 billion budget. In doing so, Christie has become the politician so many Americans crave, one willing to lose his job. Indeed, Christie is doing something unheard of: governing as a Republican in a blue state, just as he campaigned, making good on promises, acting like his last election is behind him. 

And after four years of the Obami, let’s pray folks will be willing to overlook how “dashing” someone is on camera with a ‘prompter and props and vote for the man who can do the job.  Seriously.  RTR.

UPDATE: Linked by Pundette.  Thanks!

Catch up

Unreal: Attempted car bomb in Times Square.  How long did it take Obama to make a statement after the Pantybomber in December?  Three days to tell us that Islam is the religion of peace?  Allahpundit points out the similarities to the attempted bombings in London last year and Pakistani Taliban are now claiming responsibility.  Lovely.  Poor Barack.  When it rains, it pours.  Read the rest.

Must reads:  Professor Jacobson, Questions I Never Want My Children to Ask.  Angry young Greeks look to the elders and wonder why they’ve been saddled with insurmountable debt.  Intergenerational warfare, indeed.

Byron York compiled the Top 10 dumbest things said about the Arizona immigration law.   Our friend Barack makes the list (what a surprise, right?)   If you didn’t read York’s  explanation of the law earlier this week debunking the insane charges of the left, then read it here.  Oh, and another here.

pjToddler naptime nears an end, and I must bid you an adieu until tomorrow.  Keep checking the news bar at the left as I’ve figured out how to update the google reader from the amazing new mobile device.  Still working on posting and quoting and the like.

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