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Dear Tea Party, Mitt Romney is Your Friend

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Recently, there have been some rumblings by certain Tea Party leaders concerning their opposition to Mitt Romney on account of his healthcare plan in Massachusetts. Right or wrong, this is a major problem for Romney that he will need to address in the coming months if he is to claim the frontrunner status for the GOP nomination in 2012 that many pundits are saying is his to begin with.

However, in spite of Romney’s failure to adequately address the more questionable parts of his record, the Tea Party must understand that the opposition to Romney within their ranks is based on one thing: irrational fear.

Based on issues alone, it would be logical to conclude that Mitt Romney is in agreement with the vast majority of Tea Party principles. He balanced the budget for four consecutive years in a blue state without raising taxes. Isn’t that what the TEA in Tea Party stands for, Taxed Enough Already? The very premise of the Tea Party movement is in accordance with Romney’s record.

But what about RomneyCare? RomneyCare, signed into law by Romney in 2006, is a state-based healthcare plan with striking similarities to ObamaCare. However, unlike ObamaCare, RomneyCare did not raise taxes. But the bigger and more important difference is that RomneyCare was a state program and not a federal one. If states’ rights and federalism are truly important to the Tea Party, they would readily recognize this distinction. And on top of all this, Romney has consistently voiced his support for the repeal of ObamaCare.

Perhaps RomneyCare isn’t the only thing that irks some in the Tea Party movement. Maybe it’s his flip-flopping on abortion. Well, considering that he flipped (not flopped) his position to pro-life, wouldn’t that mean that the majority of the Tea Party should agree with him now? Changing positions on the issue of life isn’t uncommon in either party. Both Jesse Jackson and Al Gore became pro-choice after previously being pro-life. Republicans like George H.W. Bush, Henry Hyde, and some would even say Ronald Reagan each had somewhat pro-choice pasts before becoming pro-life. And besides, it would be difficult for the Tea Party to claim success with a pro-choice candidate like Scott Brown while pointing the finger at Romney.

So if it isn’t healthcare or abortion, what’s left? His religion? True, Romney’s Mormon faith may be outside of the mainstream and considered unusual at best by some evangelicals. But by and large, basic Mormon values and morality are essentially identical to those of evangelical voters. Aside from doctrinal differences, what legitimate political problem would they have with a Mormon president? 

The only thing left to oppose Romney with is the irrational fear of what Romney might do if elected. Maybe since his healthcare plan in Massachusetts is like ObamaCare, Romney will change his mind and support it. Maybe since he already changed his position once on abortion, he will do it again (even though virtually no one has ever made such a change and doing so would be political suicide). Maybe [insert inane Mormon conspiracy theory here]. Maybe. Maybe. Maybe. 

Let’s look at what Romney has actually done recently.

His PAC donated thousands of dollars to Tea Party-backed candidates including Sharron Angle, Christine O’Donnell, Michele Bachmann, Nikki Haley, Jim Demint, John Raese, Pat Toomey, Marco Rubio, Allen West and many others. His endorsements played a significant role in the GOP’s success in Election 2010. 

He has also written op-eds expressing dissatisfaction with Obama’s policies. These articles should naturally curry favor among conservatives of all stripes who would like to unseat Obama in 2012.

Furthermore, Romney consistently polls ahead of or in a dead heat with Obama. He also garners more support among independents than other Republicans; and in some cases, he fares better than Obama does among that demographic.

If the Tea Party is interested in winning against Obama in 2012, perhaps they should give Romney another look. A united coalition of conservatives behind a candidate like him would be devastating to Obama.

Frankly, there’s little reason for the Tea Party to find dissatisfaction with Romney. I suppose a fondness for candidates outside of the so-called “establishment” would cause the Tea Party to lean against Romney. But until a candidate of his stature rises outside of the establishment with comparable credentials, Romney deserves a chance among those in the Tea Party movement. So to those who are afraid of the big bad Romney, remember that he is an ally and not an enemy. 

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  • As a Utah tea party Mormon I have an additional concern re: Mitt. Mitt backed “bailout” Bob Bennett at our GOP convention over a plethora of tea party candidates including Mike Lee who would go on in Nov to become our Senator elect.
    This is the very unfiscally responsible pol who announced he was going to vote for the porkulous omnibus proposed by Leader Reid.
    While I haven’t decided whom to support for Potus, I have neither backed nor ruled out Mitt.

  • Stan

    You’re funny Jordan. I’ve heard from many people that Mitt did a very good job on Jay Leno’s show and how refreshing it was to hear a more relaxed Mitt Romney. There are those that think the person running for the highest position in the nation should be more reserved like Mitt.

  • Jordan Richardson

    We need to get Romney out into the public, make him as common as tupperware.

    He’s already as bland as Tupperware, so you’re halfway there?

  • Stan

    Braden #40 He doesn’t have to explain his healthcare plan again and again if we understand it then it is up to us to fill the internet with his message. We need to get Romney out into the public, make him as common as tupperware.

  • Clavos

    Once again, withholding is NOT the same thing as the actual income tax — the amount of withholding is determined by the taxpayer, while the actual tax is, as you know, determined by the government, based on the taxpayer’s taxable income. Many employed folks elect to have no, or only minimal withholding, but must still pay taxes on April 15th. Self employed folks (such as I am) aren’t even subject to withholding, but make quarterly prepayments. Either way, the government has the use of your money all year without even paying interest on it.

    Clavos, the vast majority of the American taxpayers paid fewer taxes

    No, they received a one-time refund from taxes already paid. Some (and only some) taxpayers who fit fairly narrow criteria (as spelled out in your list of “tax cuts”), received small cuts, but “the vast majority” most certainly did not.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos –

    Look again at your post – see the words ‘could’, ‘might’, ‘could potentially’? Yes, I’m sure this probably did happen to some taxpayers…but NOT to the vast majority of American taxpayers.

    And I think you know that.

    All you’re doing is playing what we used to call the ‘sea lawyer’, in which the junior sailor would do his utmost to find this or that little loophole to try to undo the overarching regulation that he broke (or simply didn’t like). In the BIG picture, Clavos, the vast majority of the American taxpayers paid fewer taxes (which for all practical purposes is the EXACT SAME THING has the government taking LESS withholding)…and you know it.

    Taxes: 1. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) a compulsory financial contribution imposed by a government to raise revenue, levied on the income or property of persons or organizations, on the production costs or sales prices of goods and services, etc.

    Whatever the method, through it’s a decrease in the overall rate or it’s a decrease in withholding, said decrease is STILL a tax cut.

    And now you can address the other twenty-four tax cuts I listed.

  • Clavos

    I thought that if the guv’mint took LESS money from me, then that was a tax cut.

    Not if the “less money” taken is only from your withholding, since withholding is NOT tax, and as the article I cited points out, lowered withholding had the potential for, and DID result in MORE year-end tax being owed by a substantial number of workers.

    Yes, Glenn, it depends on what your definition of is is. It also (obviously) depends on what your definition of tax cut is, and most of those you listed above, while technically “tax cuts,” apply to such narrow circumstances and segments of the population as to be a real stretch to be counted as tax cuts by the general population, which of course, is why Bam doesn’t get credit, in the minds of the electorate, for having cut our taxes. Because, except for he piddling $400 or $800 REBATE (which was NOT a tax cut, since it was only a one-time event and was our own money being returned to us), most of us DIDN’T get a tax cut.

    Nice try, Glenn.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos –

    A reduction in withholding does not constitute a tax reduction

    Ah, I SEE – It depends on what your definition of ‘is’, is, right? Me, I guess I’m just too simple. I thought that if the guv’mint took LESS money from me, then that was a tax cut. AND I thought that those who made so much money that they didn’t qualify for it made up a SMALL minority of the American people. But I guess since you changed the definition of the word ‘is’, all that doesn’t count.

    By the way – you listed TWO of the tax cuts and tax credits that the Democrats passed in 2009. There was a total of twenty-five (and doesn’t count the ones we tried to pass (against lockstep Republican opposition) in 2010. They’re all from the same reference I provided above:

    Individual Tax Cuts:

    1. “Making Work Pay” Tax Credit (Sec. 1001, Page 195). In tax years 2009 and 2010, the Making Work Pay provision will provide a refundable tax credit of 6.2 percent of earned income up to $400 for individuals and up to $800 for married taxpayers filing joint returns.

    2. Increase in the Earned Income Tax Credit (Sec. 1002, Page 198). Go to the stimulus bill for all the details, but it essentially expands this benefit for the working poor.

    3. Increased Eligibility for the Refundable Portion of Child Credit (Sec. 1003, Page 199). In 2009 and 2010, families who don’t earn enough to pay income tax would be eligible to claim the $1,000 child credit.

    4. “American Opportunity” Education Tax Credit (Sec. 1004, Page 199). Increases the Hope Scholarship Credit to $2,500.

    5. Refundable First-time Home Buyer Credit. (Sec. 1006, Page 202). This extended and increased the first-time home buyer tax credit from $7,500 to $8,000.

    6. Temporary Suspension of Taxation of Unemployment Benefits (Sec. 1007, Page 203). This exempts from taxable gross income the first $2,400 of unemployment benefits.

    7. Tax Credits for Energy-Efficient Improvements to Existing Homes (Sec. 1121, Page 208). This provides up to a $1,500 tax credit for qualified energy efficiency improvements.

    8. Sales Tax Deduction for Vehicle Purchases (Sec. 1008, Page 203). This allows people to write off state and local sales taxes related to the purchase of a new vehicle costing up to $49,500.

    9. Premium Credits for COBRA Continuation Coverage for Unemployed Workers (Sec. 6432, Page 348)

    10. Economic Recovery Credits to Recipients of Social Security, SSI, Railroad Retirement and Veterans Disability Compensation Benefits (Sec. 2201, Page 336). This was a $250 payment for senior citizens, disabled veterans and disabled people living on Social Security benefits.

    11. Computers as Qualified Education Expenses in 529 Education Plans (Sec. 1005, Page 202). This allows college students to write off the expense of computers and software, provided it’s for educational purpose and not for games.

    12. Plug-in Electric Drive Vehicle Credit (Sec. 1141, Page 212). Allows purchasers of plug-in electric vehicles to write off up to $5,000 of their purchase (depending on the power of the battery).

    13. Tax Parity for Transit Benefits (sec. 1151, Page 219). This relates to an increased exclusion amount for commuter transit benefits and transit passes.

    14. Health Coverage Tax Credit Expansion (Sec. 1899, Page 309).

    Small Business Tax Cuts:

    1. Extension of Enhanced Small Business Expensing (Sec. 1202, Page 221). This is a temporary increase in limitations on expensing some depreciable business assets.

    2. 5-Year Carryback of Net Operating Losses for Small Businesses (Sec. 1211, Page 221).

    3. Extension of Bonus Depreciation (Sec. 1201, Page 220). This extends by a year election to accelerate the AMT and Research Credits in lieu of bonus depreciation.

    4. Exclusion of 75% of Small Business Capital Gains from Taxes (Sec. 1241, Page 228).

    5. Temporary Small Business Estimated Tax Payment Relief (Sec. 1212, Page 222).

    6. Temporary Reduction of S Corporation Built-In Gains Holding Period from 10 Years to 7 Years (Sec. 1251, Page 228).

    Other Business Tax Cuts:

    1. Advanced Energy Investment Credit (Sec. 1302, Page 231). This relates to properties designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, such as those that produce
    energy from the sun, wind, geothermal deposits, fuel cells, microturbines, or an energy storage system for use with electric or hybrid-electric vehicles.

    2. Tax Credits for Alternative Refueling Property (Sec. 1123, Page 211). This is a temporary increase for alternative fuel vehicle refueling businesses.

    3. Work Opportunity Tax Credits for Hiring Unemployed Veterans and Disconnected Youth (Sec. 1221, Page 223). This is a tax credit to provide incentive to businesses to hire unemployed veterans and “disconnected youth.” That latter term is defined, in part, as young adults “not readily employable by reason of lacking a sufficient number of basic skills.”

    4. Delayed Recognition of Certain Cancellation of Debt Income (Sec. 1231, Page 224).

    5. Election to Accelerate Recognition of Historic AMT/R&D Credits (Sec. 1201, Page 220).

  • Clavos

    Particularly not THAT reduction in withholding, which, for more than one taxpayer resulted in an INCREASE in tax liability:

    In 2009, the American Recovery & Reinvestment Plan stimulus package included the Making Work Pay Tax Credit, which provides a refundable tax credit during 2009 and 2010. Most wage earners will receive their tax credit in the form of a reduction of federal income tax withheld from their paychecks. For those individuals receiving social security benefits, veteran’s benefits, railroad retirement, Supplemental Security Income, and some federal government retirement benefits, they will receive a payment of $250.

    The stimulus stipulates:

    * Wage earners get a tax credit of 6.2% of their earned income, up to $400 for individuals and $800 for married filing joint taxpayers.
    * Nonresident aliens and persons claimed as a dependent are not eligible.
    * There is a phase out of the credit at 2% of income over $150,000 for married filing joint taxpayers and $75,000 for single taxpayers.
    * The credit is eliminated for couples earning more than $190,000 and singles earning more than $95,000.
    * The credit is reduced by any other payments associated with the stimulus package, such as, the $250 payment for the individuals receiving social security benefits.

    The tax withholding tables were adjusted in February 2009 to reflect the reduction of federal income tax in the hopes of getting the stimulus money in the hands of the taxpayers and thus circulating in our economy.

    In doing so there is an underlying issue of potentially underpaying federal income taxes.

    Anyone who has a pension with federal income tax withheld based on the tax tables would now have a reduced amount of withholding taxes. Recognizing a problem, the February 2009 withholding tables were revised in April 2009. To further confuse this issue, the IRS released special tables for the pension plans to restore the withholding to the original amounts. The shortfall results will vary based on how long the pension plan used the reduced tax table. Everyone should review their withholding so adjustments can be made for the remainder of the year, if necessary.

    Wage earner taxpayers are presented with a different set of issues. If you are single and have more than one job, the reduction in withholding will affect both incomes. This may double your withholding reduction compared to the eligible tax credit amount of $400. A similar problem can occur with married couples who might both receive a withholding reduction. This will double the reduction amount compared to the eligible tax credit of $800 for married couples. The couple could potentially have a balance due of federal income tax for $800 or their refund might be reduced by $800. If a couple’s combined income is in the phaseout area and they are not eligible for the tax credit, the couple will want to increase their withholding rather than continuing to have a reduction in withholding taxes.

    Anyone with an underpayment of income taxes can potentially owe underpayment penalties and interest on the amount of underpaid tax. Tax planning is the wisest course of action. Consult with your tax adviser regarding how the withholding reduction might affect you.

  • Clavos

    Under the stimulus bill, single workers got $400, and working couples got $800.

    $400 and $800, huh? No wonder I missed the “tax cut” (which actually was a one-time rebate, not a tax cut).

    The Internal Revenue Service issued new guidelines to reduce withholdings for income tax, so many workers saw a small increase in their checks in April 2009.

    A reduction in withholding does not constitute a tax reduction.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    1 – the named cuts DID happen – they were part of the stimulus packaged passed in March of 2009, and the American taxpayers got the benefit of those tax cuts when they filed their 2009 taxes. From the same reference, to wit:

    Under the stimulus bill, single workers got $400, and working couples got $800. The Internal Revenue Service issued new guidelines to reduce withholdings for income tax, so many workers saw a small increase in their checks in April 2009.

    Um, didja happen to notice the word “saw”? That’s PAST TENSE, Clavos, as in the American taxpayers DID SEE the increase.

    2 – I didn’t say “95% of all Americans”, did I? I said 95% of all TAXPAYERS…which means those of working age i.e. WORKERS.

    You’re trying so hard to avoid admitting that yeah, Obama DID cut taxes and that the Republicans DIDN’T support his tax cuts (even the ones that weren’t part of the stimulus package).

    Like I told Mr. Cohen a few hours ago – you’re entitled to your own opinion, but you’re NOT entitled to your own facts…and these days, the facts do have a strongly liberal bias!

  • Clavos

    Um, Glenn, the “evidence” you cite from politifact states that its analysis during the campaign “concluded 94.3 percent of workers would receive a tax cut under Obama’s plan based on the tax credit to offset payroll taxes.”

    Point one: 94.6% of workers is a far cry from 95% of Americans. Point two, the named tax cuts haven’t happened.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Baronius –

    You should be more careful – that’s a pretty useful link to me.

    For instance, check out your reference’s caveat:

    Certain Federal costs and savings were not included in our estimates if (i) a provision would have no, or only a minor, impact; (ii) the legislative language did not provide sufficient detail with which to estimate a provision’s impact; or (iii) the estimates are outside of the scope of the Office of the Actuary’s expertise and will be prepared by other agencies. In particular, we did not include any Federal savings pertaining to the excise tax on high-cost employer- sponsored health insurance coverage, the fees on insurance plans, the excise tax on devices, and other non-Medicare revenue provisions of the PPACA, as those estimates are provided by the Department of the Treasury. (In contrast, the impacts of these provisions on national health expenditures are reflected.) Similarly, Federal administrative expenses associated with the PPACA are not included here and will be estimated separately. The Congressional Budget Office and the Joint Committee on Taxation have estimated that the total amount of Medicare savings and additional excise tax and other revenues would somewhat more than offset the cost of the national coverage provisions, resulting in an overall small reduction in the Federal deficit through 2019, and for the following 10 years as well, if all of the provisions continued to be fully implemented.

    In other words, the people who wrote it did so while arbitrarily ignoring factors that the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office DID take into account. And before you claim that the CBO was only saying what Obama wanted them to say, remember that in the early summer of 2009, they SLAMMED an earlier health care reform proposal put forward by the Obama Administration.

    I noticed something else in your reference, too:

    Total national health expenditures in the U.S. during 2010-2019 would increase by about 0.9 percent.

    That’s terrible, right? Is that per year, or for the ten-year period as a whole? Let’s take the worst-case scenario and say it’s per year…and compare it to this reference that shows that we haven’t had a single year since 1960 where said expenditures haven’t increased by at least three times that amount!

    But let’s ignore all these really interesting details and ASSUME that CMS has all its numbers right. Here’s the crux of what they claim:

    a net overall cost for this period of $251 billion before consideration of additional Federal administrative expenses and the increase in Federal revenues that would result from the excise tax on high-cost employer-sponsored health insurance coverage and other revenue provisions.

    Okay, Baronius – $251B over ten years for 34 million more Americans having health care coverage (the remaining 23M without coverage, according to your reference, are all either undocumented aliens or those who choose to pay the penalty in order to refuse coverage).

    That’s a bit over $750 in taxpayer dollars per year (NOT per month, but per year), per additional person who now has health insurance who didn’t have it before. $750 per person to make sure that no one has to choose between paying health insurance and paying rent. $750 per person per year to make sure that people get health screenings in time to get REAL treatment instead of waiting to have to go to the emergency room and force the taxpayers to pay three times the amount.

    And cancer’s a lot easier (and FAR less expensive) to treat when it’s detected at stage 1 rather than at stages 3 or 4.

    And one last thing, Baronius – $251B over ten years. That’s $25.1B per year, right? To give 34M Americans health coverage they didn’t have before. How’s that compare to $12B per month that we were paying for the quite-illegal Iraq war?

    Tell me, Baronius – where was all the conservative outrage against an illegal war that cost SIX TIMES the annual cost of health care reform (using YOUR numbers, remember)…and saved NOT ONE American life, but cost us thousands of lives of our servicemembers?

    Yeah, how patriotic is that!

  • Glenn Contrarian

    And for all the Fox News watchers here – exactly how much has Fox News told you about the Obama tax cuts?

    [*sounds of crickets chirping in the dark*]

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Oh, and while we’re at it, Clavos, did you know that in 2009 the Democrats passed TWENTY-FIVE tax cuts mostly aimed at the middle class and small businesses? And they did it without the help of the Republican caucus?

    That’s a lie too, right? Well, let’s go check out what politifact.com said about this one, too. (Check out the article where they listed all twenty-five of the tax cuts):

    In all, [the twenty-five] tax cuts amounted to about a third of the cost of the $862 billion stimulus over the next decade. The biggest ticket tax cut was the first one on the list, the Making Work Pay tax cut that is expected to cost the government about $116 billion over two years. Interestingly, the White House did not include the Alternative Minimum Tax patch, which has been extended annually for years. But that accounted for another $70 billion for one year. Together, those two items account for the lion’s share of the tax cuts in the stimulus.

    But there’s one other element of Axelrod’s claim, that the tax cuts were passed without the help of Republicans.

    The stimulus passed the House with nary a Republican vote. And it passed the Senate with just three (though we note that one of them, Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, is now a Democrat).

    So it’s certainly fair to say the stimulus passed without the help of the Republican caucus. We find Axelrod’s statement True.

    You know what all this means, Clavos? Facts have a liberal bias! If one pays too much attention to the FACTS, he’s gonna become an America-hating lib’rul! The ONLY way to stay a true patriotic American conservative is to IGNORE THE FACTS!!!!!

  • Baronius

    Glenn – The CMS’s Office of the Actuary forecasts that the final health care reform package will increase the deficit.


  • Glenn Contrarian

    Oh, Clavos!

    Just thought you might like to see this little bit of research from the Putlitzer Prize-winning politifact.com.

    During the campaign, the independent Tax Policy Center researched how Obama’s tax proposals would affect workers. It concluded 94.3 percent of workers would receive a tax cut under Obama’s plan based on the tax credit to offset payroll taxes. According to the analysis, the people who wouldn’t get a tax cut are those who make more than $250,000 for couples or $200,000 for a single person. Obama said he intended to raise taxes on those high earners, a promise he reiterated during the State of the Union, and that revenue would offset the stimulus tax cut.

    Because the stimulus act did give that broad-based tax cut to workers, we rate Obama’s statement True.

    Ah, but I forGET! If anyone says anything that might even HINT that Obama did something good, it must therefore be a LIE!!!!!!! They’re all lies! That’s why we MUST listen to Fox News and ONLY Fox news so we can get all the REAL news from Limbaugh and Hannity and Palin!

    Yeah, Clavos. When are you gonna wake up?

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos –

    You said they were ‘all lies’…so back it up. Otherwise you’re just throwing out an unsubstantiated accusation.

    Not that that’s anything new, just like when you repeatedly use the correlation/causation logic error when it’s not at all appropriate.

  • Cannonshop

    I wonder if Romneycare was passed without being read, and if it also exceeds 1000 pages of legalese, with a need for more than 100 (so far) Waivers being issued.

    If it was read before it was passed, and if it doesn’t exceed 1000 pages, and if they haven’t had to start tossing waivers left and right to stave off legal challenges, then it bears almost NO practical resemblance to Obamacare, except, perhaps, in the stated objective and possibly some resemblance to the summary’s title.

    What kind of surprises me, is that anyone would think Romney needs to appeal to some mysterious “Tea Party Agenda” or (worse) the fictional leadership of the Tea Party (there ain’t one-and anybody claiming to be the Leader is either grossly mistaken, or selling something.)

    It’s better if Romney just runs on Romney, and lets the PEOPLE decide if he’s their kind of guy. Let the Democrats focus on Demographics.

  • Clavos

    And of course you neglect to mention that Obama cut taxes for 95% of American taxpayers.

    It doesn’t get mentioned because it’s not true, it’s just more of Bam’s bullshit lies, like the one about Bamcare being deficit neutral — sure, they’re going to add millions to the ranks of the insured without spending more money.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Braden –

    However, unlike ObamaCare, RomneyCare did not raise taxes.

    Where did ‘Obamacare’ raise taxes? It hasn’t. In fact, unlike the Afghan and Iraq wars, Medicare Part D, and the Bush tax cuts (each of which cost more than Obama’s stimulus package), it’s deficit-neutral. The only real issue you have with ‘Obamacare’ isn’t what it does or how much it costs…you just can’t stand who did it. That’s why the Republicans have time and time and time again over the past eighteen months filibustered and voted in lockstep against bills that they co-authored, against bills that were absolutely in line with conservative philosophy – like the small business tax cut this past summer, and the bill to provide health care coverage for 9/11 responders which would have been paid for by taking away the tax breaks for companies outsourcing American jobs overseas, and the bill that gave tax breaks to companies bringing jobs BACK to America from overseas.

    The Republicans – and all you conservatives – have no real beef against much of what Obama’s tried to get passed. Your only real beef is that he’s the one trying to make it happen.

    And of course you neglect to mention that Obama cut taxes for 95% of American taxpayers.

  • Clavos

    If by mean spirited you mean I don’t tolerate arrogant smart asses, you’re right Al — and I’m not the only one, so go right ahead and revel in your poverty.

    In Al’s eyes it doesn’t matter whether it was or wasn’t your meaning, Roger.

  • That wasn’t my meaning, Alan.

  • Been there and done that, Roger. But if it pleases you to think that I’m a spendthrift, squandering my meager financial resources on things like a studio apartment, rice and beans, please go right ahead. Your poverty trumps my poverty, OK?

  • Just a couple years ago, Alan. I lived in a residentional hotel, one room and a sink, showers in the hall, utilities included. That’s all I needed.

  • Matt

    One thing barely mentioned is Romney’s hugely credentialed economic success. A guy like that who understands thoroughly free market principles and has applied them successfully over and over (Something the Tea Party relishes) dwarfs his competition in that regard. That’s exactly the kind of guy we need as the president of the United States. I am amazed at the remendous job Palin has done and admire her a great deal, but frankly, I think Sarah would do our entire country MORE good if she became the the next GOP chairwoman. She’s got the Tea Party principles under her belt, imagine the kind of vetting, and in turn empowerment to conservative principles she could produce on multiple levels if she were able to fill that spot?

  • Yeah, those were the days, Roger. Back in–what was it? The ’70s? When $900 was real money.

  • Well, I lived in the Bay Area, Alan, more expensive I suppose than any other part of CA. In between SS and SSI, I was drawing close to $900 a month – quite sufficient for rent and some discretionary spending.

  • I am and I do collect those. Also food stamps, Medicare and MediCal. So I can pay my rent, I’m not starving, and medical care is available if I need it. There’s a bus route at the corner, and I can ride for half fare if I need to get anywhere local, such as to the doctor. (Naturally I have no car.) But $100 left over for a printer, reams of paper, replacement toner cartridges, etc.? No way.

  • No shame in that, Alan, but considering your age, you should be entitled to Social Security benefits.

  • Yes, it is telling (#44). I’m not ashamed to admit that I live far below the poverty line. And I don’t blame President Obama, Congress, the Federal Reserve, Wall Street or any other macroeconomic forces beyond my control during the recent recession and its jobless recovery. Nor do I blame myself for never having been ambitious, much less successful. At this stage of my life (retirement), poverty is part of my self-discipline as a writer. That doesn’t make me heroic, of course, or a martyr to my art or anything so ennobling. It simply makes me, like millions of others, an American struggling to get from day to day. Finally, I don’t resent your condescension. You’ve already shown countless times on these threads what a mean-spirited man you are. Each new comment merely reinforces that message.

  • doug m.

    An amazing skill to have that kind of recall, Alan

  • Clavos

    I don’t have a printer. In all candor, I can’t afford one.

    Telling. A decent printer nowadays can be had for less than a hundred bucks.

  • Clavos

    Not all your remarks are gems.

    In fact, none of them are.

  • Clavos

    washington is a machine that spits people back out its ass.< And, misquoting Dr. Jonson, "Washington...is a ass."

  • Clavos

    “Privet sector jobs” – at a hedge fund presumably..?


    Dammit, ya beat me to it!

  • Steadfast, of course I personally think that Romney has explained his policies adequately to where people like you and I can understand them. However, there is a significant chunk of the conservative base that do not consider them explained. So one way or another, he’s going to have to make it palatable to a broader group (i.e. the Tea party).

  • Arch Conservative

    It’s the economy stupid.

    If the economy is still in the toilet in 2012 and many still do not have jobs, people all across the board will be blaming Obama. Romney’s business background will exponentially increase his chances of becoming president.

    It’s just that simple.

  • There’s nothing occasional about the silliness on BC’s commentary threads, which are beset by chronic recidivists.

  • Well, Alan, I don’t consider it worth my effort to be citing you verbatim. Not all your remarks are gems. So yes, I have taken the liberty to point out your inconsistency via a hyperbole. In any case, bad writing ought to be greater crime than occasional silliness. As an aspiring man of letters, I would have thought you’d agree.

  • I agree! Does anyone else remember that Sen. Jim DeMint (SC) – probably the closest elected politician to have the tea party tiger by the tail – actually backed Romney in the ’08 primaries? He was a pretty hard-core surrogate for him. Hopefully he does in again in ’12 and brings some more tea party support with him!

  • I see you’re too lazy as usual, Roger, to quote me correctly. Earlier today I told Irvin F. Cohen (comment #54): “I don’t consider you a criminal at all. Just a lousy writer. Don’t get me wrong. That’s a serious artistic offense. But it’s not a crime.” In other words, I said exactly opposite of what you claim.

  • I didn’t know silliness was criminal, Alan. Just a while ago, I thought you claimed bad writing was.

  • But the silliness that takes place here is criminal. Especially your own posts, as Jamison (#28) alluded.

  • Impressive. You should use your talents solving crimes rather than remembering the silliness that takes place here

  • I don’t have a printer. In all candor, I can’t afford one. So my mind is the only repository I can access for free.

  • Jami, are you saying I wasn’t civil? Why, because I was the fourth person to notice Leon’s comment? I’ll try not to toss in turn knowing I didn’t meet your approval.

    Alan, there’s no time limit of comments. Just curious how you knew which one to pull up from zing so many months back. You’ve shown you are obsessed with comments but is it a Rain Man-like recall you have or do you print them all out and read them over and over?

  • Steadfast

    I am driven nearly crazy by the idea people have that Romney has failed adequately to explain his insurance reform plan. I suggest to you and this blogger that both have failed adequately to pay attention to his prior discussions and the truth of the issue.

    This idea that Obamacare and Romney’s plan are the same is a distortion emanating from the whitehouse and Obama has been drilling that into the press for over a year now. Those who pick up this ball and run with it are pawns in Obama’s and Axelrod’s game to name Palin as his 2012 opponent. They want her, They do not want Romney.

    They know how unpopular Obamacare is among Romney’s natural allies. Therefore, Obama is using this lie as a wedge between the Tea Party and Romney.

    So repeating this idea makes you pawns in Obama’s game. Don’t be duped. The two plans have only one or two things in common and the what they don’t have in common is the worst of Obamacare. This is not the place to explain them all. But just know where this idea originated, Obama’s advisors, and ask yourself, why would he lie?

  • Jamison

    Except for El Bicho (as usual) I’d like to thank all the posters here. This discussion stayed civil despite disagreements. BC had began to be a place where conservative leaning articles were red flagged for all fire breathing libs to jump on and mock. Braden, have you tamed the beast?
    Good discussion all! Left and right!

  • Exactly. I voted for Obama as a way of voting against McCain, just as I would now vote for Palin as a way of voting against Obama. In my book, whoever’s in deserves to be out. In 2008 the Republicans had been in the White House for 8 years. Enough already. It was time for a Democrat. Given the Democrat we got, however, 4 years will be sufficient, thank you very much. Whoever stands the best chance of ousting him gets my vote.

  • zingzing

    “Evidently in less than three months my politics have passed from being “a complete fucking mystery” to you, to being thoroughly understood by you. Which of us is responsible for this change? Was it something I said?”

    yep. your politics are not “thoroughly understood” by me, but i certainly wouldn’t guess you were an obama voter at this point. then again, given your proclivities, i’d guess your politics are usually oppositional.

  • Is there a time limit on past comments? Do they turn rancid after a while? Most of yours are rancid to begin with, so I see no harm in bringing up past comments if they’re pertinent to what I have to say.

  • “how you expected his ‘difference’ to affect massive change in the directions you would desire are beyond me.”

    Because apparently Alan like many Obama voters didn’t pay attention to the “we” in “yes we can”. They incorrectly thought Election Day 2008 was all the effort they had to make and left Obama on his own after he explicitly said it needed to be a joint venture. What’s amusing is how they are now unaware they are partially responsible for what they see as Obama’s failures.

    Not sure if it’s amusing or creepy that Alan brings up three-month-old comments. Do you think it’s part of a shrine he dedicates to you, zing, or does he keep all comments made that reference him?

  • zingzing, on Aug 26 you wrote (comment #22): “putting alan aside, as his politics are a complete fucking mystery …”

    Today, on Nov 22, you write (also comment #22–what is it with 22 here?): “i am very, very surprised you voted for obama, given your opinion of things. just doesn’t seem to match up.”

    Evidently in less than three months my politics have passed from being “a complete fucking mystery” to you, to being thoroughly understood by you. Which of us is responsible for this change? Was it something I said?

  • zingzing

    “I for one would prefer that to Obama II, and I suspect there may be others lurking in the shadows of these threads who feel the same.”

    yeah, well, i really doubt there are many people out there who are so disappointed with obama, they’d vote for palin. i am very, very surprised you voted for obama, given your opinion of things. just doesn’t seem to match up. and i don’t see you as the mushy type who voted for obama “because he was different from most other politicians.” washington is a machine that spits people back out its ass. also, the president is not a dictator. how you expected his “difference” to affect massive change in the directions you would desire are beyond me. if you believed in what he had to say (i don’t much see that in you to begin with), one would be a fool to believe he’d be able to take his supposed vision to washington and reproduce it easily and completely.

    you were a fairweather friend to obama to begin with, if that’s why you voted for him. if you’d rather have a reality tv show star in the white house, good for you, but you’ll get what you ask for. i think most people, including sarah palin, view her now as a television personality rather than a politician. because that’s what she is.

  • Niemsters

    #16 Christopher – at a Private Equity firm not a hedge fund. Vastly different businesses. Private Equity firms buy poorly performing companies, make big changes and improve efficiency (sometimes this means laying people off), and them selling them for more than they bought them for. Before that Romney was “King of Consultants” fixing complicated problems at businesses.

  • I’m guessing “spelling” is not even fourth on Leon’s list

  • C’mon, Jordan, don’t play dumb. Componcy means being good at one’s job. Mitt Romney is an extremely component individual.

  • Jordan Richardson

    I Googled “componcy” because I couldn’t figure out what it meant. I came up with another Leon Bird comment that basically said the same thing with identical “spelling.” With all due respect to Mr. Bird and his priorities, I should think education should rate somewhere on that list.

  • Declan

    Braden, I’d also add to your list that Romney, in spite of perception, is outside of the establishment. While he appeals to the establishment type voter, the establishment itself was united against him in 2008. McCain, Rudy and Fred were all individuals who spent their lifetimes in and around government. Sure Fred acted in films, but before, during and after that he was at different times a government lawyer, lobbyist and elected official.

    They all were lifelong friends, too. So much so, in fact, that Rudy sandbagged his entire campaign out of deference to McCain. This gave the moderate to liberal GOP primary voters entirely to McCain, which kept him alive early. Fred split social conservatives between Romney and Huckabee. Now, as Huck himself was not an outsider, he was more than willing to do its bidding by staying in the race far too late–after he was mathematically eliminated–for the sole purpose (well, dual for Mike) of denying Romney a late run against McCain.

    Despite the top tier aligning against him, Romney had the most secondplace finishes and had the broadest appeal across the spectrum. Plus, what’s more is the fact that of the 2008 candidates, only Romney remains relevant today. While Huckabee polls competitively now, it’s only logical that it’s based on his persona brimming with charm and humor. That’s no different than 2008, but a second run by him will not be met with a rerun of underestimation by his opponents; his record will be examined and ripped to shreds: more pardons/commutations than the previous three (Democrat) governors of Arkansas COMBINED…based on rationale such as that he was convinced rapists found Jesus in the joint; tax raiser, big time; criminal violence on son’s behalf; campaign hiatus taking for personal income; and all sorts of pandering a la Charlie Crist.

    The Huckabee tangent aside, the point I’m making is that just because Romney is successful and always civil doesn’t mean he’s of the establishment. He was the only one in 2008 who had an actual career outside of always seeking higher and higher political office, and that’ll mostly be the case again in 2012 and hopefully your readers, republicans, independents and tea partiers will be intellectually honest enough to acknowledge it and vote accordingly because the number one qualifier for any candidate is Electability and Romney’s got that more than anyone.


  • “Privet sector jobs” – at a hedge fund presumably..?

  • Romney has created more privet sector jobs than all the other canidates combined. Romney has saved more componies from failure than all the other canadates combined. He did this without goverenment money.
    Honesty first
    componcy second
    Libertarian Consertive third.

  • palin will bring out even the most disappointed obama voter. but i don’t think anyone (at least around here) wants to see a palin presidency.

    You’re right in the first instance but wrong in the second.

    Palin will bring out even the most disappointed Obama voters, but your unwritten assumption is that they will vote for him, rather than for her. I’m a disappointed Obama voter–so disappointed, in fact, that I’d vote for anyone but him. Most politicians betray their campaign promises. And most, upon being elected, demonstrate poor governance and a lack of true leadership.

    But we voted for Obama precisely because he persuaded us that was different from most politicians.

    Now that we understand how naive we were, or to put it another way, how duped we were, you can no longer count on “the most disappointed Obama voters” to support his reelection.

    All of which makes you wrong about no one (at least around here) wanting to see a Palin presidency. I for one would prefer that to Obama II, and I suspect there may be others lurking in the shadows of these threads who feel the same.

  • zingzing

    well, alan, i doubt the tea partiers voted for reid anyway. being a cursed democrat is far worse than any religious problems they’d have with a mormon. but i think beck’s mormonism, combined with beck’s messianic like sway over the tea party, suggests that they are open to a mormon who espouses their beliefs. maybe, dare i say it, romney could suck them back from the brink. i’m no fan of romney, but at least he’s sane… not that i think beck is really insane either. he just spouts off nonsense because “we the people” lap it up.

    that said, he’s certainly a better shot for the presidency than palin. palin will bring out even the most disappointed obama voter. but i don’t think anyone (at least around here) wants to see a palin presidency. actually, i don’t think palin wants to see one either.

  • Baronius

    Let me put forward two additional problems that Tea Partiers may have with Mitt Romney. Number one, he lost to John McCain. McCain will not be remembered as one of the great campaigners. If the argument for supporting Romney is that you want to go with a potential winner, you’ve got to grapple with his loss in 2008.

    Secondly, Romney hasn’t done much more than write a few editorials in the past two years. The situation couldn’t have been better for him. A fractured party in need of a leader; an anti-incumbent, anti-Washington groundswell; his signature issue. He should have been Man of the Year. Instead, a half-term governor and the third-highest-rated radio talk show host were dominant political figures. Between this and his 2008 loss, it’s fair to question whether Romney is big enough for the job.

  • Dan

    Thank you for writing this article. It articulates what so many of us are thinking in a very effective way. The last thing we should do is attack each other. We need to unite in our efforts to dethrone Obama

  • zingzing (#7), the voters of Nevada also recently reelected Harry Reid, another Mormon, to the U.S. Senate. I think you’ll agree, though, that’s not terribly predictive when it comes to Mitt Romney running for president. Becoming darling of the Tea Party (Beck) or senator from a state that’s 11% LDS (Reid) is a far cry from becoming president of a nation in which Mormons constitute a mere 1.7% of the population.

  • Alan, I believe that you are correct in your opinion about Romney forsaking what has degenerated into the TEA Party of today. Rockefeller’s loss to Goldwater in 1964 proved, to all level headed Americans, that nominating a well spoken centrist for the presidency is the key to electoral success. When clear thinkers are snubbed in favor of reactionary loons, then the leftists are almost guaranteed to win without much of a serious contest, as was the case in ’64 and this year with regards to the U.S. Senate races in Delaware, Nevada, and Colorado. It cannot be stressed enough that the TEA Party does not care about the survival of the Republican Party, which is the only viable organ for the promotion of center-right policies in the national political process, but only wishes to “make a point” and have the “voice of the people” heard, so long as the people are in lockstep with their ideas, of course. Many of the TEA Partiers of today, not necessarily the ones of 2009 and early 2010, seem to have no concept of strategic voting or the long-held “Buckley Rule” of electing only mainstream candidates in primaries. As long as the insidious Limbaugh-Beck-Hannity trio likes the way things are going, then that is the indisputably final word in the matter, correct?

    I think both you and I, as well as nearly everyone else reading this, know the answer to that.

  • zingzing

    glenn? or glen? glenn. right?

  • zingzing

    the tea party latched on to glen beck. a noted mormon.

  • Joseph (#3), if your prediction holds true, then Romney not only doesn’t need a Tea Party endorsement, he’s better off without it. Maybe he should target the mainstream GOP and seek their nomination by running as a centrist compared to Sarah Palin. But do you think the GOP will be in a mood less than two years from now to nominate a centrist? I remember the 1964 Republican National Convention at which your hero, Nelson Rockefeller, was vanquished by Barry Goldwater, obviously far to Rocky’s right. If Romney tries to position himself to Palin’s left (meaning to the mainstream’s center), he may meet the same unhappy fate as Rockefeller.

  • Doug

    Yet the Tea Party coalesced around Palin, but she is definitley not “total purity”. She left the state of Alaska with a substantial amount of debt. Some tea partiers split off from the original tea party and they no longer stand for what the original tea parties represented. I feel Mitt is the only one out there that can possibly pull the United States from the brink and he is the only one out there that stands a chance against Obama.

  • Joseph, unfortunately you may be right.

  • Braden, it is highly doubtful that the TEA Party Movement will ever coalesce around Romney for the very reasons which you listed. The TEA Party’s unreasonable demands of total purity in public officials as of late has served as a catalyst for my growing frigid with it. Also, it would seem as if now a schism of sorts is developing within the ranks of TEA Party regarding, of all things, the issue of abortion. This is a sad testament to the TEA Party’s hijacking by the Religious Right and their fellow travelers in the so-called “moral values” movement. About one year from now, I would not be surprised if there are no distinguishable traits between the Southern Baptist and TEA Party conventions.

  • Dandini

    I agree with this concept.

    If the Tea Party and the extreme Evangelicals cannot learn from history, they will help reelect OBAMA.

  • James

    As a Christian, I am ashamed that so many in the Christian community reject Romney because he is Mormon. They always have some shadowy, secretive reason: “Mormons are very VERY different, they believe some very VERY strange things”
    Yeah, well so does Obama. And the left united around him. If the right can’t unite around someone as good as Romney the Republican party may as well dissolve.