Sunday, February 05, 2012
Some accumulated tabs to amp up your morning spin through the internets...
At the Atlantic, an interesting post about the long-term unemployed. The post includes a regional map with rates of long-term unemployment. One thing is clear: The rate of long-term unemployment is far lower if you live in a state that includes the western bank of the Mississippi river, or the next state to the west from there. The central core of the country is doing far better than either coast or the old Northwest Territory.
Conor Friedersdorf, also at the Atlantic, takes a long hard look at Newt's concession speech in Nevada. It is not pretty, and, while Friedersdorf is a liberal, it exposes the side of Mr. Gingrich that is least likely to play well in, say, suburban Akron. And if you do not believe Friedersdorf, here is a similar take from the right. Victor Davis Hanson calls him a "caricature of petulance." Indeed. Newt's compulsive requirement actually to express his anger at every affront to his ego is perhaps his least appealing trait.
Any conservative will like Dierks Bentley's newest hit, "Home." As will many liberals.
The Onion takes on the Huffington Post with, er, its usual gusto.
An interesting video about the parenting techniques of the French, by an attractive American woman who damages her credibility by wearing a beret. It sounds a lot like the way Americans raised their kids until the Baby Boomers and their wake lost their mind.
A nice video explanation of the European debt crisis. Long on Keynes, however, and not really dealing with the thoughtful conservative critique: That the only way to make people confident now is to cure the long-term debt problem by reforming entitlements. Making fun of Apple fans. Nice PSA, scheduled to run during the Super Bowl:
feeble, all of that may be true, but where are the thoughtful, smart, conservative candidates? Newt has been a loose cannon for more than twenty years. He is so massively full of pucky, especially on his high horse, that I can barely stand to listen to him. I like Santorum, so long as I never have to hear about social issues from him. His vitriol on those topics, though, about which I vehemently disagree, is too much (yeah, I know, his substantive positions on gay marriage and abortion do not differ from the other candidates, but one gets the sense that he actually believes the president should do something about them). The ugly truth is that the Republican field is incredibly weak, and this in a year when we have a very beatable president. Where are the Republicans of real accomplishment in both the political and private realm? One gets the sense, sadly, that national politics has become so ugly for normal people that we have driven out the talent and all that remains is a freak show (see, e.g., the decision of Mitch Daniels). I get the concern about Romney, believe me, but where is the truly sober, deliberative, conservative? You know, the person who will think really freaking hard before pressing a button?
Put differently, there is no Republican in the field with anything approaching the record of accomplishment of (yes) Hoover, Willkie, Ike, Nixon, Ford, Reagan, or George H.W. Bush. Not even close. Where are they?
Willkie--dime a dozen corporate executive
Ike--got me there. Where are the Supreme Commanders in a world war in 2012?
Nixon--former VP, considered a failure after 1982. Should Cheney run?
Ford--hack time server
Reagan--considered a dangerous bomb thrower in 1980
George H.W. Bush--bureaucrat, served one term in congress, otherwise, appointee only
Gingrich was Speaker of the House, Romney a governor, Santorum a congressman and two term Senator, Paul a long serving congressman. Their resumes stack up with any of those you mention.
Other than Ike, none of those are any better than the candidates this year. Reagan is only Reagan now, he wasn't considered that way in 1980.
Thanks for the thoughtful reply TH.
I didn't intend to supply the link as a subliminal endorsement of Gingrich.
I believe what the GOP needs for a candidate is a reformer. Someone who is willing to roll back government and as a result, rein in spending.
There is considerable frustration among the base that it is not even being attempted.
Romney is the personification of that frustration. Just being 'more moderate" than the dems just isn't going to cut it much longer. Perhaps Romney will try to cut government once elected. We'll see, but his track record is less than inspiring.
The GOP, symbolized by Romney seems to be doing all they can to alienate their base. They may be awfully surprised if they succeed.
Mitt is now almost certain to get the nomination. Money won.
So it'll be The Nietzchean Monad vs. The Community Organizer. Who do you think wins a populist dogfight?
Obama will capture the votes of the scared. The angry will just stay home. Mitt will lose key demographics, in some cases badly. The Republicans may even lose the House. Pelosi Redux.
Expect Obama to drive several populist themes. Wall Street will be a particular target. NYAG Schneiderman will be point.
It didn't have to be. The Republicans have blown a remarkable opportunity by rejecting Tea Party reform. But they want business as usual.
Ig, I agree with you a lot but I'm not quite as despairing about a Romney candidacy. A lot depends on the direction the economy takes in the next few months. If the latest unemployment numbers were not a statistical fluke and the econcomy is actually improving then BO will stroll to victory regardless of the GOP candidate. Otherwise he is in trouble. When an incumbent runs for re-election the election is essentially a referendum on him, not his opponent.
If the focus is on Obama and the economy is viewed as declining, then Gary R should be right.
But if the economy is like it is right now it will be judged as Not So Terrible for Most, with the rest getting their unemployment and food stamps. Then Axlerod can make Romney the focus, in harsh light. "King of the 1%ers", etc.
What the average Joe isn't seeing is that we're borrowing over $1 trillion to sustain this New Normal. Bernanke can't keep using the Fed's balance sheet to carry this. It's unsustainable. Collectively, the political class doesn't want this talked about.
If elected, Romney won't be able to sell Harsh Medicine and Tough Love. You need someone who was born a shopkeeper's daughter to do it.
"What the average Joe isn't seeing is that we're borrowing over $1 trillion to sustain this New Normal. Bernanke can't keep using the Fed's balance sheet to carry this. It's unsustainable."
But if Obama gets re-elected you can bet he'll be happy to keep on doing more of the same. And in 2016 he'll still be blaming George Bush for the result. (And probably still be getting away with it.)