Free Markets, Free People
Much to the Obama campaign and the Time’s chagrin I would suppose. You see, the economics and politics of unemployment are personal, and most of those who find themselves in that position don’t care about Bain Capital or Romney’s tax returns. That’s essentially the message the most recent NYT/CBS News poll reported:
Despite months of negative advertising from Mr. Obama and his Democratic allies seeking to further define Mr. Romney as out of touch with the middle class and representative of wealthy interests, the poll shows little evidence of any substantial nationwide shift in attitudes about Mr. Romney.
Personal situations trump political rhetoric, especially when the political rhetoric has no bearing on that personal situation. Apparently, unlike the media, most of the public still realize what is important. They aren’t caught up in the politics. They want answers to the hard questions … the questions the Obama campaign would just as soon ignore.
Thus the distraction game.
But, apparently, that game isn’t working.
The new poll shows that the race remains essentially tied, notwithstanding all of the Washington chatter suggesting that Mr. Romney’s campaign has seemed off-kilter amid attacks on his tenure at Bain Capital and his unwillingness to release more of his tax returns. Forty-five percent say they would vote for Mr. Romney if the election were held now and 43 percent say they would vote for Mr. Obama.
When undecided voters who lean toward a particular candidate are included, Mr. Romney has 47 percent to Mr. Obama’s 46 percent.
Now that’s pretty much dead even with the challenger, despite all the negative ads and stories, having the slight edge.
Frankly, given history, it shouldn’t be this close at this point. Even Jimmy Carter had a lead at this point in his re-election campaign.
The poll is another among many indicators that the Obama presidency is in trouble. Take it for no more than that. It’s a temperature check. A snapshot.
However, when put together with all the other temperature checks, you begin to see a campaign that isn’t at all healthy.
I can’t say I’m shedding too many tears over that. And it also says that the voters are, at least to this point, able to push aside the distractions, focus on the key issues and hold a president accountable that desperately seeks someone (or something) to blame his failure on or an issue to distract from that failure.
Henry Blodget of Business Insider entitles his anti-Romney piece:
Sorry, Mitt Romney, You Can’t Be Chairman, CEO, And President Of A Company And Not Be Responsible For What It Does…
Really? Since when did that become true?
After all, according to our current President and the left, everything the last 4 years has been Bush’s fault. Or ATMs. Or tsunamis. Or Europe. Or …
This week, Bruce and Dale talk about the President’s Fast & Furious executive Privilege claim.
The direct link to the podcast can be found here.
As a reminder, if you are an iTunes user, don’t forget to subscribe to the QandO podcast, Observations, through iTunes. For those of you who don’t have iTunes, you can subscribe at Podcast Alley. And, of course, for you newsreader subscriber types, our podcast RSS Feed is here. For podcasts from 2005 to 2010, they can be accessed through the RSS Archive Feed.
As anyone who follows politics knows, MSNBC “leans forward” or, has all but publically announced it is the liberal news network.
Fine. I have no problem with that. In fact, I’m comfortable with it because it allows me to put into context anything they say or report.
However, a disturbing trend has emerged with the network. It’s one thing to have a particular bias to your reporting. It is another thing to report things dishonestly. And MSNBC has been caught red handed doing that at least twice here fairly recently. Ed Shultz edited a tape of Rick Perry in such a way as to make what he said sound like a racial slur. Then there was the edited George Zimmerman tape.
Now we have the “Wawa” tape. In it, Mitt Romney is made to appear “amazed” by some technology in the store with the obvious intent of recreating the George H. W. Bush grocery store scanner moment. The point, of course, was to make Romney look like Bush who, the left contended, was so out of touch that he hadn’t been in a grocery store in so long he was unaware they used scanners.
Of course, as with most things, context is key. In the case of Bush, he indeed hadn’t been in a grocery store and was indeed amazed by the scanner. The “out-of-touch” claim had some validity. And, politically, it also hurt him.
That last sentence is key. And the MSNBC logic seems elementary as well as obviously transparent. If that hurt Bush, let’s gin this up to hurt Romney.
But there were multiple problems with MSNBC’s attempt to smear the presumptive GOP presidential candidate. First and foremost, what they were trying to portray wasn’t true. Secondly, they seem to have forgotten that there are an army of watchdogs in the new media that inspect everything they say or do. Third, they seem unaware they aren’t the only organization with video of the event in question. And finally, they’re arrogant and believe they can pull off crap like this despite one through three.
So how did it go down? Well, in a short clip shown by MSNBC, Romney, who had visited a convenience store named Wawa, talked about ordering a sandwich:
“It’s amazing," Romney said, as the Pennsylvania crowd appeared to laugh. Then viewers saw Romney say, "You have a touchtone keypad, and you touch that, touch this, go pay the cashier, there’s your sandwich.”
It was presented as a Bush moment with both Andrea Mitchell and Chris Cillizza laughing at how out-of-touch Romney was. And, as expected:
Mitchell invoked an old perceived campaign stumble by George Bush, who supposedly marveled at a supermarket scanner at a grocers’ convention during his failed 1992 re-election bid.
But that wasn’t at all the context for Romney’s remark. Here’s what he said prior to that line:
What viewers didn’t see or hear was nearly three minutes of Romney discussing the nightmare of paperwork faced by an optometrist he’d talked to in trying to get the post office to change his address. He expressed mock amazement at Wawa’s efficiency to underscore how the private sector often runs circles around the clumsy bureaucracy.
"We went to Wawas and it was instructive to me, because I saw the difference between the private sector and the governmental sector. People who work in government are good people and I respect what they do, but you see, the challenge with government is that it doesn’t have competition,” Romney said in a portion edited out of the segment.
Wow … that sort of context seems pretty important to the story if you’re actually a reporter and not a hack.
And that’s sort of the point of all this. MSNBC continues to damage itself (self- inflicted wounds) to the point that no one is going to take them as a credible news source anymore (many of us already dismiss what they say unless vetted by a more reliable source). Instead, they’ll be considered a propaganda outlet. What they did with the Romney and Perry tapes certainly seem to be attempts at propaganda vs. news.
By the way, it’s not like other cable networks don’t have their own credibility issues (the left views Fox as the right views MSNBC). But MSNBC seems to be the worst of the lot, at least at this point. But, as someone recently said, as their viewership shrinks in the wake of these scandals, the only demographic that may be increasing for them is conservative and GOP viewers. MSNBC has become an entertainment channel for them.
The latest little dust up is about President Obama claiming we need to hire more teachers (i.e. we need more government jobs) and the Romney campaign saying we really don’t. Who is right?
Former Gov. John Sununu steps in with the following:
Former New Hampshire Gov. John H. Sununu, a surrogate for Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign, defended the presumptive Republican nominee’s comments that the nation should have fewer teachers, firefighters and police officers, saying there was "wisdom" in Romney’s remarks.
"There are municipalities, there are states where there is flight of population, and as the population goes down, you need fewer teachers. As technology contributes to community security and dealing with issues that firefighters have to issue, you would hope that you can as a taxpayer see the benefits of the efficiency in personnel you can get out of that," Sununu said during an interview on MSNBC’s "Jansing & Co." Monday, prefacing that he was speaking "as a taxpayer" and not a representative of the Romney campaign. "There may be others who run away from those comments, but I’m going to tell you that there are places where just pumping money in to add to the public payroll is not what the taxpayers of this country want."
So do we or don’t we need more teachers? That should be fairly easy to determine, shouldn’t it? And, as it turns out it is:
Since 1970 we’ve seen a 100% increase in Public School employment and a, what, an 8% increase in Public School enrollment?
Am I missing something here? It would seem we have a plethora of educators available. Or at least education employees. If they’re not educators, then my suggestion is perhaps the way to get “more teachers”, if they’re really needed, is to look at the current employee mix and reduce administrative overhead while increasing the number of teachers. Problem solved.
That, of course, could be done without spending a dime. And that, as Sununu points out, would certainly be satisfactory to taxpayers. Oh, wait, teacher’s unions – yeah, not going to happen is it?.
But let’s get real about this Obama gambit – it is the usual appeal. Whenever the Democrats want to increase the size of government, the first jobs they talk about are “teachers, firemen and cops”. Without exception. It is a tired old ploy that most people ought to be on too by now.
And yet we continue to see it employed and, unfortunately, it works. The scare factor. See the above chart if you don’t believe me.
In the case of schools, what has it given us over the years as the taxpayer has answered the inevitable appeal and thrown money at schools?
A 90% increase in cost and flatlined (and even subpar) achievement.
We don’t need more teachers.
We need less government.
Sometimes it is just necessary to chuckle about something that is so ironically funny it almost needs no explanation. President Obama at a campaign event last night in Denver hitting Romney for “not getting it”:
There was a woman in Iowa who shared her story of financial struggles, and he gave her an answer right out of an economic textbook. He said, "Our productivity equals our income." And the notion was that somehow the reason people can’t pay their bills is because they’re not working hard enough. If they got more productive, suddenly their incomes would go up. Well, those of us who’ve spent time in the real world — (laughter) – know that the problem isn’t that the American people aren’t productive enough — you’ve been working harder than ever. The challenge we face right now, and the challenge we’ve faced for over a decade, is that harder work has not led to higher incomes, and bigger profits at the top haven’t led to better jobs.
Seriously? It is hilarious to hear a guy who has never run anything or done anything in “real world” go after someone who has spent his life there and has a proven record of success. And just as funny is the fact that he doesn’t know enough about economics to understand how full of nonsense he is.
You have to wonder if the crowd was laughing with or at Obama (if it was a Dem crowd, I believe “with” is probably true since most Dems have no grounding in the real world either – its one reason their use of the “reality based community” has been so uproariously funny for years) .
Obama has already proven any number of times that his supposed area of expertise – Constitutional law – is mostly smoke and mirrors. After all, this is the Con scholar that said civil rights are something to be decided at state level. And here he is, in front of the whole nation, pretending that a guy with more experience in the “real world” than Obama has on the golf course, doesn’t “get it”?
It is obvious the one not getting it is Obama, the irony is he doesn’t know it.
But for those who’ve watched this guy over the years, we’ve known the emperor has no clothes from day one.
And, if my gut is right (and it usually is) the rest of the country, at least those with no ideological blinders firmly in place, are finally figuring it out too.
And from none other than Mr. Etch-A-Sketch:
“Apparently, the slipping poll numbers have convinced him [Obama] to announce the lower half of that pipeline,” Romney said. “If we can get his poll numbers just a little lower, we may be able to get the other side, too. So let’s get that job done.”
A reminder, one more time with feeling – the portion that Obama is now for doesn’t need his permission or approval to be built.
Just to be clear.
This is a blatant and obvious political attempt to pretend he’s behind something that was going happen anyway. But, of course, we knew that, didn’t we?
Well, frankly, I’m not particularly sure. Of course we have RomneyCare and ObamaCare. And we have this, said in Chandler, Arizona by MItt Romney concerning taxes:
"I am going to lower rates across the board for all Americans by 20%. And in order to limit any impact on the deficit, because I do not want to add to the deficit, and also in order to make sure we continue to have progressivity as we’ve had in the past in our code, I’m going to limit the deductions and exemptions particularly for high income folks. And by the way, I want to make sure you understand that, for middle income families, the deductibility of home mortgage interest and charitable contributions will continue. But for high income folks, we are going to cut back on that, so we make sure the top 1% keeps paying the current share they’re paying or more."
Really? Because that’s right out of the Occupy Wall Street playbook. His campaign staff released a press release which stated, “"The principle of fairness must be preserved in federal tax and spending policy,"
Of course they don’t believe that at all or they wouldn’t be talking about “the top 1%” paying more. It has nothing to do with “fairness” as most people would define it.
This is what I talk about when I say that Republicans are as much a problem, if not more of a problem, than Democrats. Republicans like Romney compromise their principles for votes. This is a class warfare buy-in by him, even using the OWS/Democratic rhetoric.
If you wonder why Conservative Republican voters are less than enthusiastic about this field, Romney demonstrates it yet again.
Plastic, fantastic Mitt co-opt’s the left’s class warfare rhetoric and caves on taxes.