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February 02, 2012

What We Need Is A More Authentic Inauthenticity

Any politician who starts shouting election-year demagoguery about the rich and the poor should be asked, "What about the other 90 percent of the people?"

~ Thomas Sowell

It is with the heaviest of hearts that the Blog Princess confesses that her support for Mitt Romney is wavering. How can we trust a candidate whose every utterance is nicely calculated to please everyone and offend no one (except on the numerous occasions when he is accused of not being calculating enough)? What kind of man allows his statements to be truncated, neatly excised from their surrounding context, and mischaracterized? The completely unprecedented nature of this debacle is all the proof I need of Mr. Romney's hopeless incompetence.

An electable candidate would have the foresight never to say anything that could be distorted by his opponents.

I'm not going to link to Mitt's latest gaffe, nor will I quote it in full. By now we have all heard parts of it and perception is all that matters. I only know that I cannot support a candidate who coldly and calculatedly refuses to profess believable solidarity and deep, personal concern for the least fortunate among us.

An authentic conservative would have promised that under a Republican President, poorly educated members of the permanent American underclass with few or no marketable skills will compete effectively with the sizeable portion of the middle class who are currently also unemployed. And damnitall, he would have made us believe him.

Perhaps Mr. Romney doesn't actually feel any solidarity or concern for the very poor. But the least he could do would be to emote convincingly or say something that makes no sense, but doesn't offend anyone.

Yes, that would make me trust him.


Posted by Cassandra at February 2, 2012 07:22 AM

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Comments

I feel the same way Cass. What a dilemma. We have to choose, according to the words of Russell Crowe's character in Master and Commander, "The lessor of 2 weevils"

Posted by: Bill Brandt at February 2, 2012 09:44 AM

I will admit to being frustrated to some degree with the candidates (though I'm by no means as critical of them as the majority of the blatherosphere).

What I am really annoyed with, though, is the unrelenting 24/7, microscope up the wazoo dissection of every "gaffe", every verbal faux pas, every slip of the tongue.

When I look back at the conservative nostalgia for Ronald Reagan, it only reminds me that he was never subjected to the intense, unremitting media coverage we see these days. No candidate, unless he takes his cue from Barack Obama and throws out inscrutably vague phrases like a crack seller on a busy street corner, can hope to survive the process unscathed.

It's a given that candidates will misspeak. How many times do we misspeak every day? Candidates talk all day, every day and the cameras are always rolling. "Gaffes" that are intentional themes of the candidate's campaign (food stamp president?) ought to be fair game for comment, whether admiring or critical.

The occasional (and inevitable) verbal missteps? Not so much.

And pundits don't help - are we really supposed to believe that every gaffe reveals some Deep Inner Truth about the candidate? Is every misstep a game changer?

Really????

It may not have come through my sarcasm, but I rather liked both the linked posts. Taranto is always perceptive and insightful. And the Corner blogger (sorry - too busy to check the spelling of his name but it's at the link) at least gave some serious thought to the assumptions underlying all this furious "analysis".

Anyway, sorry for the venting of spleen. I am cranky today :p

Posted by: Cassandra at February 2, 2012 10:28 AM

Oddly enough, I didn't consider Mr Romney's statement as being out of line. Of course the media is going to have a hissy fit over it - remember when President Reagan "outlawed" the Soviet Union on an open microphone? My problem is that I honestly believe that sometime in the last 20 years we've crossed over the tipping point where economic collapse (similar to what Greece is going through, but without Germany to bail us out) is a near certainty. I think it will take a few more decades to occur, but what influence our elected officials have on the situation is in how long it will take. Until we're backed against that wall, I don't see any elected officials having the backbone to lead congress (and the country) to some level of fiscal responsibility.

I guess I woke up kind of cranky, myself. :)

Posted by: Pogue at February 2, 2012 11:12 AM

Until we're backed against that wall, I don't see any elected officials having the backbone to lead congress (and the country) to some level of fiscal responsibility.

I agree with you 100%, Pogue. Which makes the ludicrous demands made on candidates even more inexplicable to me.

Where does the expectation come from that a Republican president will turn around 75+ years of federal scope creep? How would he go about doing this?

The answer is, he can't. Not without Congress. I hear folks conjuring up the delicious possibility of controlling both houses of Congress AND the White House. Say that happens... how long would it last?

And would Congressional Republicans meekly line up and support drastic change, regardless of what their constituents want? How did that work out for Obama?

More and more, I have come to believe a large part of the Republican party is indulging in some particularly powerful controlled substance. Whatever it is, I want some.

Posted by: Cassandra at February 2, 2012 11:20 AM

"Gaffes" that are intentional themes of the candidate's campaign (food stamp president?)

Not a gaffe--a truth.

I'd have less of a problem with (over)analysis of a politician's every gaffe if it weren't so one-sided. But with the NLMSM so heavily one-sided, I must confess that much of my confusion over whom to support in the present primaries (and other elections) is driven by those "journalists."

If the NLMSM doesn't like him/her, s/he can't be all bad.

Eric Hines

Posted by: E Hines at February 2, 2012 11:23 AM

OT....

"The lessor of 2 weevils"

Reminds me of a story I heard told one afternoon while watching The Galloping Gourmet instead of doing my school work.

It seems a poor, young cotton farmer was having trouble with a terrific insect infestation of his crop. His young wife was determined to help him, so armed with her iron skillet and a large bottle of honey, she went out into the cotton field. One by one, she poured a dollop of honey onto each cotton boll--when the insect popped its head out to get some, our young wife walloped it with her skillet. She worked her way through the entire field in this way.

Her husband asked why she'd done that; he'd been working on a different solution.

"Dear, honey is the route of boll weevil."

Eric Hines

Posted by: E Hines at February 2, 2012 11:30 AM

The media don't like ANY of the GOP candidates, so that's of little use, Eric.

Besides, if you'll forgive my frankness, I refuse to let dimwits who don't share my values influence my decision making process.

The media's opinions of GOP candidates are (or ought to be) irrelevant to conservatives. We can't trust what they report and I certainly don't trust their motives. I also don't believe that how they act now is indicative of how they will cover the real contest between whoever gets the nomination and Obama.

For me, "who to support?" wasn't much of a question because once I applied the criteria I apply every election, most of the current crew came nowhere close.

Those criteria may be wise or unwise, but they've served me fairly well over the years. Thus, it was a fairly mechanical decision.

Posted by: Cassandra at February 2, 2012 11:34 AM

@ 11:30

*Groan* :)

Posted by: Cassandra at February 2, 2012 11:35 AM

The media don't like ANY of the GOP candidates, so that's of little use, Eric.

Hence my "confusion."

The media's opinions of GOP candidates are (or ought to be) irrelevant to conservatives.

And of course they are, since they provide nothing of value in this arena.

I base my choices on the candidates' own words and deeds, which, when I read a carefully edited snippet, I go chase down (or try to) to the source material.

The NLMSM are like anecdotes in properly scientific research: they're of variable quality and only usable as places from which to begin serious investigation. And they're not my sole triggers.

Eric Hines

Posted by: E Hines at February 2, 2012 11:59 AM

I'm sorry, all of this just makes me laugh. Really, do people actually even listen and comprehend anymore? Did any normal person really think Romney doesn't give a damn about the truly poor people in this country? Maybe, he's cognizant of the fact that some things are beyond our power to fix.

Similarly, when Gingrich was talking about kids working did any sane person believe he meant we need to get rid of child labor laws? Or is it that it's kind of important to teach a child about work ethic.

Sheesh. My favorite so called faux pas that went completely ignored, maybe willfully, was in the 2000 campaign. Teh Shrub said "we don't have to repay intragovernmental debt."

Posted by: Allen at February 2, 2012 11:59 AM

Similarly, when Gingrich was talking about kids working did any sane person believe he meant we need to get rid of child labor laws? Or is it that it's kind of important to teach a child about work ethic.

I will freely admit to ignoring that whole brouhaha so I don't even know exactly what Mr. Gingrich said, but no: I assumed he meant that children need to learn the value of work.

OK - I've looked it up and it does appear that his recommendation would require at least some revision to existing child labor laws:

***********************

"It is tragic what we do in the poorest neighborhoods, entrapping children in child laws which are truly stupid," Gingrich said. "Saying to people you shouldn't go to work before you're 14, 16. You're totally poor, you're in a school that's failing with a teacher that's failing."

Gingrich then proposed a system he said would help those students rise from poverty.

"I tried for years to have a very simple model. These schools should get rid of unionized janitors, have one master janitor, pay local students to take care of the school. The kids would actually do work; they'd have cash; they'd have pride in the schools. They'd begin the process of rising."

Gingrich pointed to successful acquaintances as examples of the benefits of beginning a job early in life.

"Go out and talk to people who are really successful in one generation," Gingrich said. "They all started their first job at 9 to 14 years of age. They are selling newspapers, going door to door, washing cars. They were all making money at a very young age. What do we say to poor kids in poor neighborhoods? Don't do it. Remember all the stuff about not getting a hamburger-flipping job? Worst possible advice to give the poor children."

Gingrich said his idea would be "making work worthwhile" for children.

Posted by: Cassandra at February 2, 2012 01:15 PM

re: Gingrich's suggestion.

On the surface, I don't actually have a problem with his suggestion that kids be allowed to work for money, but then I have not reviewed the existing child labor laws so I don't know what parts he thinks are "stupid", nor what we would be reversing.

I made both my boys earn the money for their first adult bicycle. I bought them a small one at 5 and when they got too big, I told them to shop for a bike, price the one they wanted, and go out and earn the money to buy it.

My oldest elected to buy a used 10 speed and fix it up because it wasn't worth it to him to have a brand new bike with the features he wanted. I can't remember (frankly) what my youngest boy did.

I think he decided to hold onto his stingray until he was a bit older and could make enough money for a new 10 speed but it's been a while.

I suspect that it's not a bad idea to prevent big companies or governmental agencies from hiring kids, but then I can't help wondering why a big company would want to hire a child?

Posted by: Cassandra at February 2, 2012 01:21 PM

Well, the mining companies used to use them because they could get into smaller holes.

Posted by: Grim at February 2, 2012 01:50 PM

There is a big difference between allowing children to work at jobs in lieu of adults, and providing opportunities for kids to work in supervised jobs, that they are fully capable of doing, to earn some money and learn work ethic.

Ironically, I hired both my stepsons since they were 14 before I ever dated my now wife. Yes, they did hard dirty work, but they earned a fair wage, and learned some useful skills.

Posted by: Allen at February 2, 2012 02:27 PM

I completely agree, Allen.

I worked as a paper girl, babysitter, and lawn mower from about 11 on. As far as I can tell, it was good experience.

I felt proud of working and of the fact that I saved most of what I earned. Looking back on that, I'm rather surprised. I love to spend money, but I have also always been a big saver. Probably one of the few prudent things in my character.

I probably would have eaten the marshmallow :p

Posted by: Cassandra at February 2, 2012 02:38 PM

One of the boys, he was 15 at the time, asked me one day if I could teach him how to work with horses. I was a little puzzled, since he showed no previous interest, but went ahead and taught him. A few months later he brings this young lady by my place just to say hello, and maybe borrow some horses for the day. It seems this young lady had a passion for horses.

Planning, learning, execution, what more can you hope for?

Posted by: Allen at February 2, 2012 02:52 PM

My dad asked his students a while back to talk to their grandparents about what dating was like when they were young. One kid was near traumatized by the experience.

He was shocked to hear his grandmother telling him how deprived his generation was because all they all had cars.

He made the mistake of asking "why"?

She told him, "Horses don't crash when your hands are somewhere other than the stearing wheel."

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at February 2, 2012 03:08 PM

"Horses don't crash when your hands are somewhere other than the stearing wheel."

I can attest to the fact that not only do they not crash, but they will also walk right back home if one finds themselves passed out in the saddle.
0>;~}

Posted by: Snarkammando at February 2, 2012 04:29 PM

"I can attest to the fact that not only do they not crash, but they will also walk right back home if one finds themselves passed out in the saddle."
Unless you're drinking with your horse. If that's the case, you might wind up like this poor sot.

Posted by: bt_beer-for-my-horses_hun at February 2, 2012 04:53 PM

Hey, he's still in the saddle, and the horse is still upright.
It's all goooood.
heh
0>;~}

Posted by: DL Sly at February 2, 2012 06:08 PM

"It is with the heaviest of hearts that the Blog Princess confesses that her support for Mitt Romney is wavering."

Thank the Lord! The man will destroy the GOP.

Posted by: alwaysfiredup at February 2, 2012 06:26 PM

I wonder how much beer a horse would have to drink...?

Posted by: Grim at February 2, 2012 06:33 PM

"I wonder how much beer a horse would have to drink..."

To do what?

Posted by: DL Sly at February 2, 2012 06:37 PM

"I wonder how much beer a horse would have to drink...?"

*the hun recalls the average blood volume of horses being ≈10% of their weight, then removes boots and performs quick math, arrives at 80-96 pounds of beer to hit the legally drink metric!*

No wonder Good Old Boy always manages to drink me under the hay loft.

Since his discriminating palate requires Guinness Draught, I'd be hard pressed to, no, make that my inner tight-wad would balk at the expense of elevating his BAC into the drunk region.

Luckily, he's just a social drinker. =;^}

Posted by: bt_beer-for-my-horses_hun at February 2, 2012 07:12 PM

Thank the Lord! The man will destroy the GOP.

Oddly (or perhaps not). I feel exactly the same way about Newt :)

Seriously, I rather doubt any candidate is going to destroy the GOP. For as long as I've been voting, people have been predicting the end of this and that party and so far it hasn't happened.

Posted by: Cassandra at February 2, 2012 07:15 PM

I should have removed both boots to do the floating point math... Make that 8-9 pounds of beer.

Posted by: bt_beer-for-my-horses_hun at February 2, 2012 07:15 PM

As far as any one candidate destroying the GOP, IMHO, if it's going to happen, it will take a concerted effort on the part of all of us.

Posted by: bt_beer-for-my-horses_hun at February 2, 2012 07:18 PM

Don't think it can't happen because it hasn't happened yet. :)

Didn't Lee Marvin's horse get drunk in "Cat Ballou"? Trying to remember what I have tried to forget.

Posted by: Don Brouhaha at February 2, 2012 07:43 PM

Actually, Mr. Hun, 8-9 lbs of beer is a little more than a pony keg, shirley, you could spring for a pony keg in the quest for scientific knowledge!?
0>;~}

Posted by: DL Sly at February 2, 2012 08:13 PM

"Don't think it can't happen because it hasn't happened yet. :)"

I never, well, almost never say never... Even so, after several decades of cheering or jeering the GOP from the cheap seats, I just can't see Mitt, Newt, Rick, or even Ron cratering the GOP single-handedly, or even in concert with the RNC, Bilderbergs, Illuminati, Koch brothers, 1%, etc., etc., etc...

No sir, I believe it'll take a heaping helping of righteous indignation fueling emotive reaction on the part of every dissatisfied soul who has watched, with varying degrees of apathy, this train-wreck known as our Federal Gub'ment execute the slow-mo derail over the last 50+ years.

Disclaimer: I would vote for Vlad the Impaler if he were opposite THE ∅ in the general election, but I also shop at MidwayUSA and Brownell's a lot lately.


"Actually, Mr. Hun, 8-9 lbs of beer is a little more than a pony keg, shirley, you could spring for a pony keg in the quest for scientific knowledge!?"

*Hmmm, a pony keg of Guinness a night... Yikes! Even without using the 12-D floating point calculator, my inner Jack Benny swoons at the though*

Posted by: bt_beer-for-my-horses_hun at February 2, 2012 08:40 PM

They don't call it a pony keg for nuthin'!

Posted by: Don Brouhaha at February 2, 2012 08:43 PM

I think all of you should vote for me. I'm real, and I'm spectacular.

Posted by: Mitt Romney's Ginormous Codpiece at February 2, 2012 08:47 PM

Hey fella! Watch where you're pointing that thing. You could put some pundits eye out, ya know!

Posted by: bt_righteously-indignant_hun at February 2, 2012 09:07 PM

*picks up the Hun and props him up beside the jukebox*

Now, I didn't say "a night". We were discussing the amount of beer required just to achieve equine inebriation.

Posted by: DL Sly at February 2, 2012 09:16 PM

*picks up the Hun and props him up beside the jukebox*

DL's gracious efforts and the power of Diffie result in the old hun being raised up and scootin' his boots off into the sunset à la the late Bernie.

Posted by: bt_not-so-much-beer-for-my-horses_hun at February 2, 2012 10:23 PM

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