January 24, 2008

Romney's Turn at the Times: Everybody Hates Him!

Hatched by Dafydd

The New York Times has been working its way through attacking every single competitor to John McCain, their favored GOP candidate; and they've gotten to the Rs now: It's Romney time!

Beginning with the subtle headline -- "Romney Leads in Ill Will Among G.O.P. Candidates" -- They segue into the New Left's media specialty... the content-free hit piece:

With so much attention recently on the sniping between Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama on the Democratic side, the almost visceral scorn directed at Mr. Romney by his rivals has been overshadowed.

“Never get into a wrestling match with a pig,” Senator John McCain said in New Hampshire this month after reporters asked him about Mr. Romney. “You both get dirty, and the pig likes it.”

Mike Huckabee’s pugilistic campaign chairman, Ed Rollins, appeared to stop just short of threatening Mr. Romney with physical violence at one point.

“What I have to do is make sure that my anger with a guy like Romney, whose teeth I want to knock out, doesn’t get in the way of my thought process,” Mr. Rollins said.

The Times takes the putative hatred of Mitt Romney so much for granted, all that remains is explaining why. Here's the explanation by the Straight-Talk Express:

“He doesn’t play by the same rules the rest of us do,” said Charlie Black, a senior McCain strategist.

The Times continues, telling us that the McCainiacs were "positively gleeful" when they watched the tape of the aggressively belligerent AP "reporter," Glen Johnson, who started shouting at and arguing with Mitt Romney during a recent press conference. Johnson -- the AP employee assigned to follow Mitt Romney from town to town and belittle him at every turn -- was defending McCain from Romney's scrurrilous charge that McCain's campaign was run by lobbyists... a task made more difficult by the fact that it's absolutely accurate: McCain's campaign manager, Rick Davis, is, in fact, a former lobbyist.

(Frankly, I doubt the hell out of the Times' claim that McCain's people were "gleeful," considering how badly their surrogate, Glen Johnson, did in that exchange, which we covered here.)

Rather, I buy the explanation by this independent observer for any so-called animosity between the other candidates and Mitt Romney:

Mr. Schnur used a schoolyard analogy to compare Mr. Romney, the ever-proper Harvard Law School and Business School graduate, to Mr. McCain, the gregarious rebel who racked up demerits and friends at the Naval Academy.

“John McCain and his friends used to beat up Mitt Romney at recess,” Mr. Schnur said.

(Dan Schnur is a Republican strategist who has worked with John McCain in the past but is not connected to any campaign right now. He has doubtless seen McCain's mindless rages before.)

McCain, a notorious hellraiser, foul-mouthed and given to extraordinary temper tantrums, grudge-holding and vindictive, probably does resent Mitt Romney... who doubtless reminds McCain of the serious-minded, brown-nosing midshipmen who get stuffed into lockers at Annapolis. It's entirely possible that McCain, Mike Huckabee, and the ever-pugnacious Rudy Giuliani are befuddled and infuriated that one of those kids made it big in the financial world, becoming far more successful than the three of them combined -- bank accounts, pocket-change, Sunday clothing, blood chemicals, and all.

So who's next? Perhaps Mike Huckabee, having served his purpose in knocking down Romney (McCain's rival) in Iowa, will be next in the crosshairs. I suspect the line of attack will be, "He's too religious!"

Or maybe it will be Giuliani, whose messy personal life will open him up to the charge, "He's too irreligious!"

But I suspect that when all is said and dried, the one man who will not be brass-knuckled by Pinch's pals will be Sen. John Sidney McCain the IIIrd. Unless he wins the nomination, of course... in which case he'll become the "Raging Bullslinger," and will be pummled mercilessly right up through November.

Just speculation on my part, of course; I don't have any crystal ball. (Well, actually I do; but all it ever says is "Reply hazy, ask again.")

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, January 24, 2008, at the time of 1:45 AM

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» Everybody Hates Mitt from Outside The Beltway | OTB
While the Republican field is doing a reasonably good job of adhering to Ronald Reagan’s 11th Commandment, they’re all willing to make an exception for Mitt Romney, Michael Luo reports for the NYT. With so much attention recently on the sn... [Read More]

Tracked on January 24, 2008 5:21 AM

» マケインひいきのニューヨークタイムス、ミット・ロムニーをこき下ろす from In the Strawberry Field
English version of this entry can be read here. ニューヨークタイムスはジョン・マケインにとって手強い共和党の競争相手であるミット・ロムニーへの個人攻撃に必死だ。「ロムニーのリードは共和党に嫌悪感を起こす」と題されたこの記事を読んでみよう。 最近のヒラリー・ロダム・クリントンとバラク・オバマ上院議員たちの民主党側の争いに注目が行き過ぎているため、ミット・ロムニーに向けて寄せられている他の共和党候補競争相手からの攻撃は影が薄い。 ジョン・マケイン上院議員は... [Read More]

Tracked on January 25, 2008 10:13 AM

Comments

The following hissed in response by: MarkJM

The sad reality is that if John McCain gets the GOP nomination, the Dems will win the WH. McCain is a liberal and the conservative base will not show up to vote. The only difference between McCain and any Dem will be how quickly our freedom dissappears and nation-wide misery sets in....

The above hissed in response by: MarkJM [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 24, 2008 5:59 AM

The following hissed in response by: davenp35

The liberals Huckabee and McAmnesty must be stopped. Go Mitt!

The above hissed in response by: davenp35 [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 24, 2008 6:12 AM

The following hissed in response by: MTF

I'm certainly no McCain man, but I am sick and tired of this meme that conservatives won't vote for McCain if he wins the GOP nomination. Are you serious? Hillary is your choice for president? Come on- get real. You'll not only show up and vote for McCain if he's the guy, you'll do it enthusiastically!

The above hissed in response by: MTF [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 24, 2008 9:42 AM

The following hissed in response by: MTF

By the way, I'm not saying McCain is going to win- in fact I think Romney looks right now like he might win in Florida, which will give him tremendous mojo for superduperday.

Do you feel better about Romney? I'm not sure I do, since while McCain is soft on taxes, free speech, and judges he at least will be strong on jihad (my numbers 1 through 6 issue). I'm not sure what Romney is strong on. Guiliani, it is strange to say, might have the positions that most appeal to me (of the candidates left in the race), but he absolutely has to win in Florida or he's history.

The above hissed in response by: MTF [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 24, 2008 9:49 AM

The following hissed in response by: boffo

I never understood your love of Mitt Romney. To me, he seems like the Republican's John Kerry, whose entire campaign consists of "I'm electable" and "At least I'm not one of those other guys."

Is there anything you actually like about him? Or is it just that you dislike McCain, Giuliani, and Huckabee?

There were plenty of Democrats that disliked Dick Gephardt and John Edwards. That's how they ended up with John Kerry.

The above hissed in response by: boffo [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 24, 2008 11:09 AM

The following hissed in response by: hunter

I am very conservative, but I am an American first.
If the choice is between McCain and Hillary, I will enthusiastically vote for McCain.
Anyone who threatens to either not vote or to encourage others to not vote if they do not get their way in the primary has significant negative personal issues to sort out.

The above hissed in response by: hunter [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 24, 2008 12:16 PM

The following hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh

Boffo:

Is there anything you actually like about him? Or is it just that you dislike McCain, Giuliani, and Huckabee?

What makes you think I particularly like Mitt Romney? Why do you think I particularly dislike John McCain or Rudy Giuliani?

I do dislike Mike Huckabee, but only because I don't like a candidate who basically runs on a platform of "vote for me, because I'm the Christian." But any of the other three would be equally acceptable to me as president; and in fact, I think McCain is probably the most electable: What few conservatives would sit out the election in a snit if he were nominated would be far outweighed by the scads of independents and even moderate Democrats who would vote for him in preference to either Hillary or Obama.

What I don't like, Boffo, is when two candidates paper over their own differences in order to gang up against a third, because each considers the target the biggest obstacle to his own career. It's a despicable way to campaign. It's low; it's dishonest; it's Democratic.

There's no problem pointing out the differences between you and your opponent (and saying why the opponent's position is wrong). But it's practically a crime to launch attacks on your opponent that will have the effect -- should your opponent be nominated -- of throwing the election to the Democrats. ("It was worse than a crime, it was a blunder," to quote Talleyrand.)

Rather, as much difference as there is between McCain, Romney, and Giuliani, the difference between any of those three and Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama is a gaping chasm. We should never forget that in the passion of the campaign.

I also dislike dishonesty; calling Romney a "flip-flopper" is abuse of the language... because the term has never, ever before meant simply changing one's mind about some issue -- as, e.g., Ronald Reagan, Robert Heinlein, and all rational people have done at one time or another in their lives. (I have called this style of attack "argument by mendacious redefinition.")

Let's take abortion, the one area that critics cite over and over as a "flip flop," and which is the model for all similar charges against Romney:

In 1994, he ran for senator against Ted Kennedy. In that race, he was pro-choice... but he never said he was pro-abortion. I know a great many people who personally abhor abortion but don't believe it should be illegal, so I take Romney at his word that this was his position in 1994.

He lost that race. Then in 2002, he ran successfully for governor, again including a pro-choice platform plank. But in 2004, while governor, he was discussing embryonic stem-cell research with Douglas Mellon; and Mellon, according to Romney, said something like the following: "Embryonic stem-cell research is not a moral issue because we kill the embryos at 14 days."

Bear in mind, I myself do not believe that 14-day old embryos are human persons. But I can easily accept that a person who has always personally believed that abortion was wrong, but who did not want to push his personal beliefs on others, could be so disgusted and sickened by Mellon's off-hand dismissal of the mass killing of what one might have believed all along were more-or-less persons, that he turned firmly against the pro-choice position.

This is not a flip flop; this is an evolution of one's political consciousness. I happen to disagree with it, but it's not the same as "I actually voted for the $87 billion before I voted against it." Mitt Romney used to be more liberal; but after serving a term as governor of Massachusetts, he moved towards the conservative side of the spectrum. What's wrong with that? I used to be a radical libertarian anarchist, but now I'm not.

It's certainly no less profound a change than John McCain going from despising the very idea of a fence (but grudgingly accepting it) to now championing the fence, saying he has seen the light since the rejection of his bill. It's no less sweeping than Rudy Giuliani going from suing gun manufacturers to try to put them out of business -- to now claiming he believes in judicial restraint, not using the courts to force policy changes that rightly belong to the political sphere.

I give them all the benefit of the doubt. I want a president who is willing to change his mind when someone gives him a strong reason why he was wrong.

Would you prefer a president like Isaac Asimov? He wrote in one of his 116 autobiographies that "the election of Franklin Roosevelt made me a New Deal Democrat, and I have never wavered since." Well, Roosevelt was elected in 1932... when Asimov was 12 years old. Thus, he maintained his prepubescent politics throughout his entire life. How wonderfully consistent!

So your premise is wrong: I will likely vote for Romney on the 5th -- he has fewer policy disagreemens with me than the others -- but I wouldn't particularly mind if either McCain or Giuliani were the nominee; I will happily vote for any of the three come November.

I would even hold my nose and vote for Huckabee, since my only viable option will be either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama, both of whom are incoherent, hard-left liberals deeply invested in defeat in the Long War.

But I will continue to defend candidates from unfair attack, whether from the New York Times or from other candidates... even when I really do despise them, as here.

And I will continue to defend the current president against scurrilous and unfounded attacks: I am a knight of Truth, and I will tilt even at windmills, if the windmills spin for a lie.

Dafydd

The above hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 24, 2008 2:05 PM

The following hissed in response by: MarkJM

I by no means meant to imply that I would sit out an election, but merely to point out that there are a large percentage of people that do or will if they see nothing of value in a candidate. Especially if they have no time to examine policy, voting records, prior history, or simply believe it doesn't matter who is President. As far as Romney and McCain. McCain has proven on numerous accounts that his word cannot be trusted. He also sponsored and passed one of the worst government restrictions to free speech this country has ever seen. He sponsored and tried to 'slip by under cover of darkness' (i.e. no debate) granting amnesty to tens of millions of illegal aliens. So far in all of my research of Romney, I have not seen where he has 'broken his word'. He has changed positions giving good reasons. He does not deny he held those prior positions, as other candidates do routinely. A liberal President with a liberal congress (I can't even capitalize that word anymore) would drift the Country into a downward spiral of rampant liberalism under massive government control from which we may never recover due to laws passed restricting our freedoms to the point of powerlessness to change them. I firmly believe that what America needs now is congressional term limits. Apparently you cannot resist the DC corruption poison pills for more than 12 years. A 10 year ban from lobbying after service would also take a lot of money out of politics. If anyone's freedoms are to be restricted, they should be those of congress, not of the people.

The above hissed in response by: MarkJM [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 24, 2008 3:11 PM

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