In the Arena

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From William Kristol. I agree completely. And furthermore, if Romney actually told us what he favors–in detail, not the overly massaged claptrap sound bites his campaign has allowed him–Obama might be forced to speak in some detail about the programs he favors, like the Affordable Care Act and Dodd-Frank (both desperately in need of improvement) and the precise combination of short-term stimulus and long-term entitlement reform necessary to unleash the economy. But that would involves risks by both campaigns. And we certainly can’t have a presidential campaign where the candidates actually provide useful hints about what they’d do in office, can we?

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apr2563
apr2563

The Real World Joe:

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/f...

Louisiana Republican: When I Voted for State Funds to go to Religious Schools, I Didn’t Mean Muslim Ones

http://2012.talkingpointsmemo....

Texas Lawmakers Try To Criminalize ‘Intrusive’ Patdowns But Mandate Ultrasounds

http://www.salon.com/2012/07/0...

Over the past 40 years, corporations and politicians have rolled back many of the gains made

 by working and middle-class people over the previous century. We have the highest level of income inequality in 90 years, both private and public sector unions are under a concerted attack, and federal and state governments intend to cut deficits by slashing services to the poor.

apr2563
apr2563

Joe, I come back to find you as lazy and unoriginal as ever.  You quote the everlastiingly mistaken Kristol as a source.

President Obama has been giving details for months.  You and the pundocracy ignore them.  It's hard work to stick to facts and issues.

Here is a fact:

The Republican Party has become a party of extremists led by the cynical minions of Wall Street.  There is no real Repubican Party.  If Romney wins, his agenda will be dictated by ALEC, Rove, the Koch brothers and other moneyed elitists.  Their goal will be to take us to further back to the Gilded Age and serfdom for the workrs.

Who will be their enablers?  Look to co-opted Dems, a ineffectual 5th estate, voters who are propogandized by the worst elements allowing the workers to be blamed for the economic collapse rather than corrupt plutocrats, and a lack of outrage at the disintigration of policies that have fostered a robus middle class for decades.

AlterYourEgo
AlterYourEgo

The race is basically a coin toss -- neither side wants to be the one to make a big mistake.  So they are both playing it super safe.  Boring, not very useful and safe.

formerlyjamesm
formerlyjamesm

Little Billy himself, Son of the Father of Neocons, Irving, should be a topic all by himself.  Seriously, the neocon wreck of the Bush administration should be a topic of the debates, when Willard will be compelled to put up or shut up.  If you happen to participate, Mr. Klein, please make a note of this as a possible and pertinent line of question.

Ivy_B
Ivy_B

Guest comment on the subject from Charlie Pierce - (obviously much more at the link)

Tous le Beltway is all a'flutter because super political strategery genius Bill (Incorrect) Kristol has opened his legacy yap again, this time to advise Willard Romney on how to be a better presidential candidate, because who better than Dan Quayle's brain and Sarah Palin's first fanboy to dispense that kind of drippy wisdom? Basically, Bloody Bill thinks Romney's campaign has been a bit, well, unfocused.....

http://www.esquire.com/blogs/p...

Sue_N.
Sue_N.

Obama might be forced to speak in some detail about the programs he favors, like the Affordable Care Act and Dodd-Frank

I'm sorry, what? Obama hasn't spoken about these? Honey, just because he's not saying what you want to hear doesn't mean he's not speaking.

AlterYourEgo
AlterYourEgo

 Yeah, Obama just keeps digging deeper into these same pits.  He needs to start digging out of them if he wants to win.

grape_crush
grape_crush

From William Kristol.

The rule is that whatever subject William Kristol opines on, the opposite is probably true; this column is not an exception.

The less a politician says about what he or she stands for, the better they confirm their supporters' already-formed beliefs while providing minimal openings for the opposition's partisan umbrage. You would be better served by inferring the positions of the candidates by looking at those of the candidates' surrogates and supporters. Look at who is on Romney's foreign policy team; it is their policy recommendations that will end up being pushed by Romney. Ditto with economic, military, and social affairs; ditto all that for Obama. Ask Romney if he agrees with Robert Kagan or Dan Senor about the aims of the Foreign Policy Initiative, PNAC's successor., for example. See what sort of answer Mitt gives - or doesn't give - and write about that if you don't have any direct statements from him to rely on. Again, ditto for Obama.

Yeah, I'd like to see an open and honest presentation of ideas from the candidates the same as anyone who pays attention would, but that's not going to happen given the media's general disinterest in trying to lead readers/viewers through anything that takes longer than a minute to follow or doesn't have the conflict needed to attract eyeballs...and the fact that both campaigns are playing D right now, with neither willing to let some item - real or imaginary - dominate the news cycle during silly season.

Ivy_B
Ivy_B

Well Romney does have Robert Bork advising on the Supreme Court.

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

Didn't someone here basically write a post that said exactly the same thing the other week?

georgiamd
georgiamd

Here is the key to the election in November:

Voters are much more convinced that taxes and spending will go up if

President Obama is reelected and Democrats regain control of Congress

than if Republicans win in November. 58% of registered voters polled, think spending and taxes will be escalated with Obama, only 31% think the same with Romney.

According to a recent  CNN/ORC poll,

the economy is still at the forefront of registered voter's minds and

overall, Romney leads Obama in this category.

Among Independents, Romney holds a considerable lead over Obama 58% to 31%!

Also problematic for Obama, some of his own party will NOT endorse him:

Larry Kissell joins fellow Tar Heel Democratic congressman Mike McIntyre in

refusing to endorse Obama in the upcoming presidential election.  Tar Heel Democrats Run From Home-State Convention

 

jmac
jmac

The polls in the beginning of July!  Cocaine to the masses! (to borrow from Joe Klein and his statement that it's cocaine to reporters).  It means nothing at this point to the presidential race.  Since polls are almost always put on by conservatives, you might start to draw a conclusion that it's  ALL THEY'VE GOT.  You'd be right.  

Ivy_B
Ivy_B

These tarheels? That's why a friend of mine says, I no longer want to say I was born there. These are state legislators, but obviously the brain disease has infected them all.

Of course, Democratic timidity wasn't the only culprit. Democratic incompetence also was on the scene. Democratic Rep. Becky Carney of Charlotte says she pushed the green "yes" button at her desk Monday night to override Democratic Gov. Beverly Perdue's veto of the measure before realizing she wanted to vote red, or "no." Her "yes" vote made the tally 72-47 - just above the 60 percent required to override in the Republican-controlled Legislature. The chamber's rules prevent members from changing a vote if it affects the outcome. And thus did fracking come to North Carolina. If the state is really lucky, the people doing the fracking will be better with the buttons than was Rep. Carney, and residents of, say, Goldboro will not awake one morning to discover that their entire town has been blown to West Virginia in the night.

They also "scaled back the 2009 Racial Justice Act that aimed to ensure capital punishment was free of racial bias."

http://www.esquire.com/blogs/p...

georgiamd
georgiamd

 The simple fact of Democratic congressmen refusing to endorse Obama speaks volumes about the lack of public support. This bodes ill, come November, especially with Independent voters throughout the nation.

Here, though, is a recent poll that SHOULD worry you a bit:

Mitt Romney holds a three-point lead over Obama in Wisconsin, having earned 47 percent to Obama's 44 percent, according to Public Policy Results.

The pollsters noted that prior to the survey, Obama had seen his

support range from 45 percent to 52 percent, while Romney's best numbers

were 41 to 45 percent. 

It would appear Walkers win has changed a few voters minds.

georgiamd
georgiamd

 It isn't just North Carolina, Ivy. Obama is facing a revolt from congressmen in Georgia, Kentucky and West Virginia, too:

Obama too toxic for West Virginia Democrats - Washington Times

For a West Virginia Democrat these days, balancing the demands of local and national ... is given little chance against presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney ...

www.washingtontimes.com/...too... - Cached

Ivy_B
Ivy_B

Well now I'm worried. Apart from Obama winning NC in 2008, the last time a Democrat won those states was ...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L...

Not to mention that North Carolina has flipped over to total wingnuttia since 2008. A good friend who was born there said she's ashamed to admit it now.

fhmadvocat
fhmadvocat

georgiamd,

Your poll has a problem.  No one really believes the Democrats will regain control of the House and that they are in danger of losing the Senate as well.  The fact is the Republicans in Congress have done a good job of keeping spending down, despite their claims that Obama is spending us into oblivion.  If the Republicans want to claim Obama WOULD spend us into bankrupcty, that's fine.  However, the idea that Obama HAS spent us into bankruptcy is not factual.  The spending curve has gone down thanks to the GOP in the House, but they are afraid to say anything, lest Obama get the credit.  Instead they have to make up lies about Obama being a "Socialist".

Also if I were Romney, I would be worried that even 31% of Americans think spending and taxes will go up if I am elected, because that is the only thing I have to offer the electorate, less taxes and less spending.  If 31% believe it will go up in I am elected, why would anyone vote for me?

georgiamd
georgiamd

 Because 58% think Obama is a SURE bet to raise those taxes and increase spending, fhmadvocat. Even with GOP pressure, Obama is increasing the public debt at an alarming rate. Give him four more years and we could be facing bankruptcy:

Obama’s Spending Spree: By the Numbers - By Andrew Stiles ..

Here is President Obama’s

budget for fiscal year 2012 (and outlook through 2021). And here is a

look at some of the numbers that stand out: 3.73 trillion — total ...

www.nationalreview.com/.../oba...... - Cached

anon76returns
anon76returns

Hmm.  And I thought that the key to the election was that Obama is more likely to win >270 electoral votes:

http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.n...

nflfoghorn
nflfoghorn

Jeez, Silver's even more generous than HuffPo on the EV count.

georgiamd
georgiamd

“This shift is driven by a steep drop-off in support for Obama

among independent voters,” Pew Research president Andrew Kohut said in a

statement. In the June Pew poll, 31 percent of independent voters favor

Obama’s reelection, down from 42 percent in May and 40 percent in March. Romney, on the other hand, has increased his lead from 44% to 58%!  IndependentVoter.org......I wouldn't get too comfy, anon76returns...Independents will once again decide this election.

anon76returns
anon76returns

I'm sure that independents will be very important, along with base mobilization, campaign spending, and state of the economy.  My point is that your single polls are unable to reflect all of these factors.  Nate Silver's model does take these into account, and as a result it is much accurate at predicting elections than any single-factor based prediction can ever possibly be.

Whether it's baseball, elections, basketball brackets, or anything else, I'll feel quite comfortable putting my money on Silver's models.  As I've said before, if you'd like a gentleman's wager on whether the poll of your choice better predicts the outcome of the election than Nate Silver's projection, I will be more than happy to oblige.

georgiamd
georgiamd

 Like 2008, anon76returns, to GET those 270 electoral votes, he must convince Independents he can improve the economy. So far, he is failing miserably in this respect.

nflfoghorn
nflfoghorn

Anon, pay attention to GAQuack.  He knows his stuff.  Really he does!   Why?  'Cause he SAID so!!

[Muttley snicker]

anon76returns
anon76returns

Silver's projections include independents.  The most accurate predictor of elections from the last six years says that Obama is becoming a prohibitive favorite.  You say that his problems with independents will lead him to lose the election.  As a data-driven fellow, who do you think I'm going to believe?

pollardty
pollardty

If only there was an institution dedicated to asking these questions of candidates.   

 

The truth is that our media is fixated on the political strategies of the campaigns to the exclusion of all else.

anon76returns
anon76returns

Seriously.  It's like a consumer protection agency wringing their hands about high prices rather than actually doing anything about it.

lreed580
lreed580

I saw you, Mr. Klein, on one of the Sunday talk shows recently.....I believe it was MTP. You criticized the president for not articulating the provisions clearly/often enough in  the ACA. I agree with that assessment, but would you provide links to the columns you wrote in which you outlined the provisions, but more importantly took to task those in the media who consistently repeated the lies being spouted by Republicans?

Ivy_B
Ivy_B

I know it's not very centrist, but Obama has actually spoken in far more detail about his programs than Romney has spoken about anything. In addition, he has been speaking for three years about some of them. 

As far as Romney, when the WSJ editorial page takes you to task for your lack of specificity and Willy (for @#$%^ sake) Kristol does as well, it would seem you've got some trouble.

shepherdwong
shepherdwong

"...Obama has actually spoken in far more detail about his programs than Romney has spoken about anything."

I'm pretty sure that President Obama has been somewhat specific about "programs he favors" that he shepherded through Congress and signed into law. Apparently Klein must have inhaled at his Independence Day festivities. Or he's just getting too old and senile to perform anything except his "both sides" shtick.

sacredh
sacredh

Romney has to speak in soundbytes because that's all his base can understand. If he he strays beyond bumpersticker length, they lose interest and drift off.

cin
cin

 And in fact, Obama has 1700 pages (or is it 2500 now? I just can't keep up with all the histrionics) of law outlining his health care reform. But I guess he needs to spell it out in more detail? hmph.

sacredh
sacredh

"And furthermore, if Romney actually told us what he favors"

Has Romney even been told what he thinks yet?

anon76returns
anon76returns

His favorites are still being uploaded.  They had a big jam at 'tree height'.