Gingrich Hit By Romney, Ron Paul

2012 Republican Presidential Newt Gingrich did not get enough signatures to quality for the primary election ballot in Virginia. Will he vote for Ron Paul or Mitt Romney?

 

MSNBC Becomes Apologist for Mitt Romney’s Klan Quotes

 

Right-wing lunacy has won again! MSNBC yesterday forced itself to apologize for telling the truth about Mitt Romney’s rhetorical ties to the Ku Klux Klan.
Here’s the background: The good folks at Americablog.com reported that Mitt Romney has again used the phrase “keep America American” in a recent speech. The journalists at the site then factually noted that this was a phrase widely used by Ku Klux Klansman in the 1920 and was even used in their recruitment literature. Further, it was noted that Romney has a nasty habit of smearing Obama on any policy disagreement by claiming Obama “wants to transform America into a European style nation.” Get it, Obama is un-American if he wants, say, basic health care common to, say, Austria. Yet conservatives who routinely cite their belief in a field of economics founded in, say, Austria, are claimed by Romney and other conservatives to be good, right-thinking Americans.
Next, here is what MSNBC reported yesterday:

“So you may not hear Mitt Romney say "Keep America American" anymore, because it was a rallying cry for the KKK group, and intimidation against blacks, gays and Jews, and the progressive AMERICAblog was the first to catch on to that.”


As Americablog has since pointed out, MSNBC merely reported two indisputable facts: 1. The phrase Keep America American” was a phrase widely used by the Klan. 2. Romney has used this phrase and is unlikely to use it again.


I will give a free dinner on me to any reader who can point out the factual errors in that report. Typically, when news organizations make obsequious apologies, it is for getting facts wrong, not getting facts 100% right, as in this case.


So how did the ostensibly pro-Democratic Chris Matthews react to this news report? Here’s what Matthews said:
“It was irresponsible and incendiary of us to do this and it showed an appalling lack of judgment. We apologize; we really do, to the Romney Campaign.”

So in the Chris Matthews/MSNBC worldview, it’s not irresponsible or incendiary for a presidential candidate of the conservative party to pander to conservative white voters by using the rhetoric of the Klan. It is irresponsible and incendiary of a news organization to report well-documented facts that might make a Republican candidate look bad.
Nor does Matthews think it is incendiary for Romney to say things like this: “he (Obama) takes his political inspiration from Europe, and from the socialist-democrats in Europe.”
This is insanity!

Of course I can understand MSNBC’s position. After all, why spend valuable time reporting actual facts about Republican Presidential candidates when it’s so much more fun to report “debates” on utter nonsense on how Obama was born in Kenya,  how Obama is a Muslim, and how Obama wages class warfare and numerous other right-wing memes.
Romney, to his credit, is basically the only Republican candidate who hasn’t called Obama a socialist or communist. So we are supposed to grade him as the enlightened one and so it’s supposed to be unfair to make him look bad on these sorts of things. After all, nobody, myself included, really things that Romney is a bigot or endorses Klan philosophies. But the problem is that a lot of dangerous demagogues of the past didn’t really believe their own demagoguery. They used it because it worked.

It’s important to note that people who knew George Wallace didn’t think he was really a racist. It’s just that in his first gubernatorial Wallace ran as a liberal, integrationist on race relations and lost. So he simply switched positions for pragmatic reasons and vowed that he would “never be out-nigg*!d again.” Hmm…a pragmatic politician who first ran as a liberal and then moved right out of pragmatic concerns…sound familiar?

We are supposed to give Romney a pass because compared to the Rush Limbaugh/Glenn Beck/Mark Levin/Sean Hannity/Herman Cain/Newt Gingrich demagogues on the right who routinely traffic in socialistic/communistic/un-American slurs, Romney looks like a flaming liberal. But that is a low bar indeed.

This whole sordid episode is a perfect example of how the right-wing establishment has completely taken over the media in the US. Fox News is merely the clubhouse. But make no mistake about it, the ten gazillion right wing “think tanks,” media criticism institutes, talk show hosts, bloggers and pundits, have been “working the refs” (as right-winger William Kristol once conceded) for so long that all mainstream reporters and hosts and even supposed Democratic host and pundits have been cowed.

We now live in world where the only valid criticism of politicians is when it is directed at Democrats. Criticism of Republicans is, ipso facto, illegitimate and therefore must be retracted immediately, as happened yesterday.


I’m half-way tempted to produce a 30-second anti-Romney attack TV ad using footage of his “keep America American” sound bites and then juxtaposing it with quotes and a voiceover from KKK literature, but given, shall we say, the “proclivities” of the Tea Party, that might actually help Romney win the nomination.

 

MSNBC Becomes Apologist for Mitt Romney’s Klan Quotes

 

Right-wing lunacy has won again! MSNBC yesterday forced itself to apologize for telling the truth about Mitt Romney’s rhetorical ties to the Ku Klux Klan.
Here’s the background: The good folks at Americablog.com reported that Mitt Romney has again used the phrase “keep America American” in a recent speech. The journalists at the site then factually noted that this was a phrase widely used by Ku Klux Klansman in the 1920 and was even used in their recruitment literature. Further, it was noted that Romney has a nasty habit of smearing Obama on any policy disagreement by claiming Obama “wants to transform America into a European style nation.” Get it, Obama is un-American if he wants, say, basic health care common to, say, Austria. Yet conservatives who routinely cite their belief in a field of economics founded in, say, Austria, are claimed by Romney and other conservatives to be good, right-thinking Americans.
Next, here is what MSNBC reported yesterday:

“So you may not hear Mitt Romney say "Keep America American" anymore, because it was a rallying cry for the KKK group, and intimidation against blacks, gays and Jews, and the progressive AMERICAblog was the first to catch on to that.”


As Americablog has since pointed out, MSNBC merely reported two indisputable facts: 1. The phrase Keep America American” was a phrase widely used by the Klan. 2. Romney has used this phrase and is unlikely to use it again.


I will give a free dinner on me to any reader who can point out the factual errors in that report. Typically, when news organizations make obsequious apologies, it is for getting facts wrong, not getting facts 100% right, as in this case.


So how did the ostensibly pro-Democratic Chris Matthews react to this news report? Here’s what Matthews said:
“It was irresponsible and incendiary of us to do this and it showed an appalling lack of judgment. We apologize; we really do, to the Romney Campaign.”

So in the Chris Matthews/MSNBC worldview, it’s not irresponsible or incendiary for a presidential candidate of the conservative party to pander to conservative white voters by using the rhetoric of the Klan. It is irresponsible and incendiary of a news organization to report well-documented facts that might make a Republican candidate look bad.
Nor does Matthews think it is incendiary for Romney to say things like this: “he (Obama) takes his political inspiration from Europe, and from the socialist-democrats in Europe.”
This is insanity!

Of course I can understand MSNBC’s position. After all, why spend valuable time reporting actual facts about Republican Presidential candidates when it’s so much more fun to report “debates” on utter nonsense on how Obama was born in Kenya,  how Obama is a Muslim, and how Obama wages class warfare and numerous other right-wing memes.
Romney, to his credit, is basically the only Republican candidate who hasn’t called Obama a socialist or communist. So we are supposed to grade him as the enlightened one and so it’s supposed to be unfair to make him look bad on these sorts of things. After all, nobody, myself included, really things that Romney is a bigot or endorses Klan philosophies. But the problem is that a lot of dangerous demagogues of the past didn’t really believe their own demagoguery. They used it because it worked.

It’s important to note that people who knew George Wallace didn’t think he was really a racist. It’s just that in his first gubernatorial Wallace ran as a liberal, integrationist on race relations and lost. So he simply switched positions for pragmatic reasons and vowed that he would “never be out-nigg*!d again.” Hmm…a pragmatic politician who first ran as a liberal and then moved right out of pragmatic concerns…sound familiar?

We are supposed to give Romney a pass because compared to the Rush Limbaugh/Glenn Beck/Mark Levin/Sean Hannity/Herman Cain/Newt Gingrich demagogues on the right who routinely traffic in socialistic/communistic/un-American slurs, Romney looks like a flaming liberal. But that is a low bar indeed.

This whole sordid episode is a perfect example of how the right-wing establishment has completely taken over the media in the US. Fox News is merely the clubhouse. But make no mistake about it, the ten gazillion right wing “think tanks,” media criticism institutes, talk show hosts, bloggers and pundits, have been “working the refs” (as right-winger William Kristol once conceded) for so long that all mainstream reporters and hosts and even supposed Democratic host and pundits have been cowed.

We now live in world where the only valid criticism of politicians is when it is directed at Democrats. Criticism of Republicans is, ipso facto, illegitimate and therefore must be retracted immediately, as happened yesterday.


I’m half-way tempted to produce a 30-second anti-Romney attack TV ad using footage of his “keep America American” sound bites and then juxtaposing it with quotes and a voiceover from KKK literature, but given, shall we say, the “proclivities” of the Tea Party, that might actually help Romney win the nomination.

 

Another Romney Flip Flop: More Pollution From Cars and Trucks

Another day, another flip flop. At Sunday’s Mike Huckabee-hosted presidential forum, Republican candidate Mitt Romney offered up yet another flip flop, this time on reducing global warming pollution from cars and trucks. He said that he would “get the EPA out of its effort to manage carbon dioxide emissions from automobiles and trucks.”

Back in 2004, then Governor Romney signed Massachusetts up to copy California in implementing carbon emissions standards for light duty vehicles. The car companies pretty much hated that because it created a dreaded “patchwork,” in which the standard would apply in about half of the states but not in the rest.

Luckily, the Obama administration stepped in. The President brokered a deal to come up with a single national standard to reduce carbon pollution, which the car companies, the states, unions, EPA, and environmental groups like NRDC could all agree on. He made it happen primarily through a rule issued by EPA, which reduces pollution, saves consumers money, and reduces confusion for industry. That program was so successful that last month, EPA proposed to extend and strengthen the program through 2025.

Back to Romney. Of course, no one likes a flip-flopper. But the truth is, sometimes it makes sense to change your mind. You get new information, like former climate-skeptic Richard Muller who came to his senses and realized the globe really is warming up. That’s what makes Romney’s latest flip flop so infuriating. Almost every bit of new information we have shows that the need to reduce global warming pollution is greater than ever and the dangers are worse than we previously thought.

And the rules that Romney once supported, but now decries, provide tremendous benefits. The new set of rules would save over 4 billion barrels of oil. Owners of new efficient vehicles would save up to $4,400 over the life of the vehicle. Since he doesn’t seem to have any problem with changing his positions, can we humbly suggest that the Governor just go ahead and switch back to the position that is good for industry, good for consumers and good for the planet?

Mitt Romney Going on First Sunday Morning Talk Show in a Year and a Half

Mitt Romney has been running a great media campaign—if you are an incumbent sitting on top of a strong economy and high approval ratings. Unfortunately for Mitt, his strategy of avoiding the media has allowed his opponents to define him, and the news establishment to mock him.

Here are the problems with Mitt’s ‘Avoid-the-Press’ strategy.

  1. Romney gives off the air that he doesn’t want to have to answer questions about his beliefs and policies because he doesn’t sincerely believe in what he claims are his current beliefs and policies.
  2. He underscores the sense that he is simply afraid of all media interviews because they will inevitably lead to questions about his flip-flopping and he can’t handle that.
  3. He doesn’t want to get into a war of words competition with his fellow candidates to see who can call Obama the most dangerous Socialist. And yet he doesn’t want to be seen as NOT calling Obama a dangerous socialist.
  4. Scarcity with reporters means that they had better make their mark when they do get to interview him, because they might not ever get another opportunity. That means they must be 1000xs more aggressive than usual.
  5. Team Romney goes into every interview with a defensive mentality. If you go into an interview with that kind of an attitude, it means you can never win or make gains.
  6. Interview skills get rusty. Romney doesn’t do many interviews so he simply isn’t as good at them as are candidates who do any and every interview.

Romney’s press strategy has had sort of a quaint, pre-social media, pre-2000 feel to it. The Romney people honestly seem to believe that if they just keep a low profile, they can coast with their (now disappeared) lead in the polls. You can make the case that this made sense (say, in 1976) but it does not work any longer. Mitt Romney not going on TV doesn’t mean there is no media coverage about him on any given day. It just means that every blogger and every political reporter now has more time and space to write or say that Mitt Romney is a flip-flopper and a coward to boot.

A case can easily be made that Newt Gingrich has flip-flopped to a much greater degree than Romney has on important issues of the day (and no, I’m not just talking about positions on adultery or marriage). But since Gingrich is going on any and every TV and radio news/talk show, he’s constantly putting new ideas into the mix (even if half of them are bad). And Newt is constantly putting other candidates and the news media on the defensive. Newt's open media strategy is allowing him to define himself more carefully than Mitt’s ostensibly cautions, conservative press strategy is.

The problem for Mitt is that he appears not to want scrutiny into his life, his beliefs and his policy history. He exudes the sense that he knows he’s flip-flopping and that he thinks you are quite ill-mannered for pointing out the fact that he is self-servingly abandoning all previously held beliefs in favor of more popular positions that can help him with an important constituency.

Newt, on the other hand, seems to enjoy time with journalists. He doesn’t mind any and all questions from journalists as long as he can preface every answer by pointing out that he thinks the journalist is a complete dolt and left-wing hack for daring to ask him any question other than “Speaker Newt, can you please enlighten us with your amazing historical insights into the issues of the day?”

With Romney, the news coverage of his interviews is consistently pre-written “Romney, appearing annoyed and frustrated, gave another lackluster interview performance defending against the allegation that he has no core convictions or principles.”

The news coverage surrounding a Gingrich media opportunity is never pre-written. You never know what might come out of Newt’s mouth. True, every so often he says something that blows up in his face, but at least Newt is never boring. And as the GOP nominating process increasingly takes on all the trappings of a reality show (thanks again Donald Trump), the biggest sin of all in the viewers’, uh, voters’, minds seems to be if a contestant, err candidate, is boring.

 

 

 

 

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