Derision 2012! – Media & Voters & Polls, Oh My!

Yeah, no real way to get that shoehorned into the “Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!” tune.  But I did my best.

Let me just get this out in the open right now.  I voted for Barak Obama in 2008.  Even looking back and knowing what I know, I still would have voted for him in 08.  Had McCain picked Romney to be his running mate instead of dead-from-the-neck-up Sarah Palin, I may have gone differently.  But of course we all know what happened.  Now regardless of what you think of the man or his policies, President Obama brings the smarts and we here at Frank’s place dig the smarts.  He is still the smartest dude running for President, but some things have transpired that have caused me to look elsewhere for a President.

One of the biggest issues for me is the constant reminder of the economy he inherited.  In 2009 I can accept the constant reminder of what President Bush left behind.  And make no mistake, the bail-outs, the tarp, the mounting deficit, these things were either done or set in motion long before President Obama was sworn in.  But after 2009, the constant harping about inheriting the worst economy since the great depression became unseemly, then it became un-leaderly(?)  At some point the President would have done well to adopt a buck stops here attitude.

Of course conservatives, republicans, and tea-partiers, (by the way those are 3 distinct groups wether you want to believe it or not),  have been rightly calling out and/or bashing the President for this constant blaming of President Bush for our current problems.  Tracy, my wife, has had to listen to me howl at the TV whenever the President speaks because he invariably will evoke some form of, “you know we inherited the worst…”, yeah, yeah we get Blamey McBlamerton.  Enough already Mr. President.  I just can’t believe he still tees up this softball for the opposition to hit out of the park, as they absolutely should.

But for as much as the opposition rightly hits the President for always blaming others for our country’s issues, they must think it’s a winning strategery (thanks P. Bush 43) because they have taken up the charge at a full gallop.  In the past 4 months since Romney was clearly going to win the nomination, conservatives, republicans, and tea-partiers have been blaming everything under the sun for why the Governor lost the election. Spoiler alert – election is not till 6 November.  In other words Romney hasn’t lost yet, but his base, the fringe, and the media outlets that support him have already started his obituary.  In this obituary they list clearly the three causes of the Governors death:

1. Left wing media bias – hard to argue, but I will take a 37.4 deg angle

2. Voter fraud – you’ll run out and buy lottery tickets when I’m done with this one

3. Election polls – you know those annoying polls that take a small sample of voters and project who’s winning or losing, you may have even been called and participated in one

Politically this may be a winning strategy, and I don’t think it is, it’s just as cowardly as the President blaming President Bush 43.  So let me take a shot at helping my conservative brethren understand why blaming these 3 entities just doesn’t hold up.

1. Left wing media bias – Ok, my good friend Tony has convinced me that this exists to a greater extent that I had originally believed.  As it turns out left wing media bias has been around for a long time.  I would argue cable news outlets and social media has amplified and sharpened the bias, but it still existed on the big three networks long before MSNBC came along.  Be that as it may, blaming them for a candidates failure makes you look weak. If this bias has existed for so long why isn’t your candidate prepared for it?  How can something you’ve known about for decades take you down?  If you can’t plan for and defeat or work around something you’ve known about forever, how can your guy, as President, deal with things he won’t know about until after they happen?

See where I’m going there.  Blaming the media makes you look weak; not just because blaming anything but yourself makes you look weak, but because blaming something that has always existed makes you look weak and incompetent, and not smart and unable to adapt.  You know, presidentialy type things.

2.  Voter Fraud – Hard to know where to start with this.  Why?  Because it almost never happens.  You have a better chance of being struck by lighting WHILE purchasing the winning power-ball ticket than you do of witnessing voter fraud, being in the polling place when voter fraud happens, or even voting in a state where voter fraud has occurred. Here’s a few links in case you want to read actual stats.

http://www.truthaboutfraud.org/

http://richardcharnin.com/

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/12/washington/12fraud.html?pagewanted=print&_r=0

Now equally mythical is the “fact” that requiring people to have photo ID at the polling place will disenfranchise voters, specifically the urban poor and minorities, two groups who tend to vote democrat.  Pennsylvania just lost its case in the state supreme court to require photo ID of anyone wanting to vote.  PA made it free of charge, set up convenient places to get one, and in some cases would even come to the home of those unable to get out.  How those people would then vote is beyond me, but the state accommodated and somehow lost.  Here in TN we must show photo ID to vote and I’ve not heard of anyone being disenfranchised. In fact my mother-in-law just moved here and when she got her TN drivers license they registered her to vote.  That’s how easy the states make it to obtain an ID and register to vote.

Disenfranchisement due to photo ID is almost as rare as voter fraud.  But at the end of the day voter fraud is the dodo bird of election cycles.  Everyone’s heard of one but no one has ever seen one.

Don’t look now…

I wonder if he’s registered?

However if you prefer the myth of voter fraud I would refer you to Hannity of Fox, check you local cable provider, and The Drudge Report on the internets.

Seriously, if you hear of voter fraud in your district and your next stop is not the local Piggly Wiggly to buy a power-ball ticket, you’re an idiot.

3. That brings us to the third cause of Romney’s crushing defeat that hasn’t happened yet: election polls.  There were election polls being taken long before we really knew who the republican candidate would be. Once Romney emerged as the clear front runner the polls went into high gear.  And it was all a big waste of time.  The polls in early January are worthless.  Guess what, the polls in late October are worthless too.  The only poll that counts is the one you stand in on November 6th.

Having said that it is interesting to see how the media has handled the current polling results.  I’ll just cut to the chase, Fox News hates them and regards them all as flawed and the rest of the media thinks they are grand and believe Obama will win in a landslide. But the left wing of the media reacted as they normally do, so no surprise there.

It’s Fox’s reaction that is puzzling.  Again this is the network that has taken Obama to task for always blaming everything/everyone but himself.  I guess imitation is the sincerest form of flattery because the gang at Fox have been merciless in their attack on poll results.  They have gone so far as to claim it’s the poll results that are making things worse for Romney.  Obviously the polls show him behind by a few points nationally and by wide margins in several key battleground states, or states considered necessary to win to win the election.

They got so paranoid about the poll attack on Romney, some news shows on Fox criticized poll results done by a few other Fox News Shows.  That’s right.  The network that claims to be fair and balanced actually may have pulled it off.  Unknowingly of course.  There is no way O’Reilly and Hannity knew the particular poll they were slamming, showing Romney down by 10 points or more, was actually a poll done by Fox News and used by Special Report with Bret Baier.

It gets better, or worse.  Minutes after bringing on Dick Morris, Bernie Goldberg and even retired/fired NY City Detective Bo Ditle (WTF), to say polls are so unreliable and cannot be trusted, Hannity then shows poll results that have Romney in the lead and wants us to believe they are accurate and trustworthy after spending 15 minutes telling us how notoriously slanted and biased poll results are.  It’s like the gang that couldn’t shoot straight decided to form a circular firing squad.  Lets hope their aim improves.

So to wrap up, it’s the Media, Voters, & Polls that caused the Romney defeat.

I wonder if all the analysts and pundits have mentioned to Governor Romney that they know the outcome of the election next month and the cause of his demise.

Derision 2012! OK, now it counts.

The pick has been made, the game is afoot.

Congressman Paul Ryan from Wisconsin is the Vice Presidential candidate for the republican ticket.

Cute Little bugger ain’t he.
Photo courtesy of Congressman Ryan’s official home page

Congressman Ryan serves Wisconsin’s 1st District and has since 1999.  The 1st district is home to Janesville, where Ryan is from, and the town of Racine.

You may have heard of Racine, it featured prominently in the Tom Hanks movie A League of their Own, about the Women’s Professional Baseball League that sprung up, largely in the mid-west, during WWII when Major League Baseball was going on hiatus for the war.

After the nonsense with the recall vote in Wisconsin, the stupidity with the dog on the roof (Romney), the eating of dog (Obama), the bullying of classmates (Romney), the using and selling of drugs in high-school (Obama), we may actually get to some serious issues in this campaign.

So you can forget all that crap, it counted for nothing.  We have the other player now. Now it all counts.

Tale of the Tape

Born in 1970 – so yeah he’s only 42, 23 years younger then Governor Romney, but more importantly only 3 short years younger than me.  Maybe my guidance counselor was right.

The congressman is a graduate of Miami University of Ohio with degrees in business and political science.

Married to Janna Little and has 3 children.  So we have four of the most boring faith based family men in the history of American politics going head to head for the White House.  As my friend John said the other day, they are all so alike personally, they’ll have to make stuff up about each other in order to attack.

Mr Ryan is Roman Catholic, coupled with the Governor’s Mormon faith, this is the first presidential ticket in some time without a traditional protestant.  Not sure this is an issue, no actually I’m sure this is not an issue, but with the dopiness that seems to define the President’s current campaign strategy, my gut tells me we’ll hear a little more about this than we should.

An odd but possibly serious fact – Ryan’s father, grand father, and great grand-father all died of heart attacks before the age of 60.  I’m almost positive this will come up.  Medical history is common fodder for campaigns, and that’s some serious history bro.

My $.02

In the interest of full disclosure, I voted for the President in 08, but I was probably voting for the Governor this time around.  The president’s campaigning has led me even further in that direction. This pick all but seals my vote.  I mean excluding the fact the guy is a heart attack waiting to happen, from appearances and speeches he is a no non-sense business guy with the only official budget proposal on the table.  That’s not just between the candidates, that’s all of the body politic in Washington.  His economic plan, like all plans, has rough edges but some republicans even ran from it.  Newt Gingrich, as you may recall, was one of the first to jump ship.

You remember Newt don’t ya: big ass blow hard, ego bigger than his belly, 3x loser on the marriage/adultery circuit.  Has plans for a moon base by his THIRD term as President and thinks little black kids should be taken from grade school and sent to be janitors of Moon Base Gingrich. Yeah that’s him.  Anyway he called Ryan a right wing radical on the morning talk shows when Team Gingrich thought they still had a shot, way back in February.

The right wing radical charge may well be true, and I don’t think it is, but as of this moment no one, not even the republicans, have come up with an official budget proposal even though they don’t seem to be fully behind the Ryan budget.  At least Mr Ryan is working, trying to fix things, a trait that seems foreign to most politicians in DC at the moment.

For the Governor this was a good pick.  Congressman Ryan gives the Governor a solid conservative to lean on.  It would appear to me the two of them can get the conservative base and have a good chance at all those independents and undecideds that will sway the election.

Passed Over 

Senator Rubio of Florida is a little young and Mr Rubio muddled his own history by claiming to have fled Castro’s Cuba when in fact his parents left before the crackdown started.  They didn’t escape or flee on a raft.  They bought airline tickets and basically immigrated to the US.

My pick, Senator John Thune of South Dakota, would have been a good pick, but he probably would not have brought the charge to the ticket the way Mr Ryan will.

Senator Rob Portman of Ohio was in contention but like Thune, a solid pick with no pizzaz.

Mr Ryan it is.  I like it.  I’ll probably buy the t-shirt.

I believe the R&R campaign will be civil and focused on the issues at hand.  They better be.  Unlike McCain and Plain, who sidetracked themselves with the nonsense of faith, country of origin, and other derogatory tacts towards then Senator Obama, Romney and Ryan can run on actual truths.  Truth 1: The President is a decent man, but his policies for the last four years have not fixed things.  Truth 2: They should stand up and declare that the President is indeed an American, just not the right American for the job.

All you weak minded folk can wallow in the stupidity of wether he is christian/muslim, American/Keynyan, socialist/communist.  Most of you wouldn’t know a communist or a socialist if they kicked you in the ass.  The irony is President Obama is losing votes from the progressives because he failed to deliver the socialism so many right wing nut jobs said was coming.  It would be laugh out loud funny if it wasn’t such a sad expose of the way the media, left, right, and center, seems to be able to lead the general public around by the nose.

In my opinion, much like President Bush, the current President is a good guy tying to do his best.  President Obama’s best is just not good enough.  Dissecting his polices without slinging mud at his character should be easy enough for the likes of R&R.  (credit Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina for the R&R tag)

However the President’s campaign has shown a bizarre willingness to crawl in the mud, and for no apparent reason.  The Governor never went there, but all the Presidents men seem in a rush to dive into the lowest level of the cesspool.   (A forthcoming post titled “The summer of stupid.” will go into much detail.)    The Governor has yet to make a personal attack against the President.

R&R need to stay on that path.  The high road should lead them to the White House.

You can read Vice Presidential candidate Ryan’s speech here: Romney/Ryan 2012

 

 

Derision 2012! The Birth(er) of a Nominee.

The stars at night, shine big and bright, deep in the heart of Texas.  Sing it with me.  Governor Romney secured the republican nomination for President last night; winning 90 of the 155 delegates up for grabs in the Texas primary.  That brings the Governors’ total to 1198, with only 1144 needed to become the nominee of his party.  So it’s official, Willard Mitt Romney is the republican nominee for President of the United States.  If he doesn’t get a handle on his newest big money donor, presidential nominee is the highest title the governor will ever get.

The Donald has become a big time spokesman for the Romney campaign.  His first effort in that regard came on the day Romney clinched the nomination.  Trump trotted out the old birther issue.  This was a mistake on so many levels.

First of all Trump is a bit of a kook and his dogged pursuit of an issue long laid to rest by the government of the state of Hawaii is only cementing the kook persona.  The Donald went at it on CNN with Wolf Blitzer Tuesday; trading blows over the absurdidty of the birth certificate released by Hawaii.  Trump maintains it’s a fake and claims a lot of prominent people agree with him.  When Blitzer pressed Trump on who exactly agrees, Trump pulled the old “I don’t name names” line.  Tough to name names when you don’t know any.   Keep in mind Trump is an entertainer and, as the President put it, a carnival barker.  This is all upside for the Donald, and all downside for Governor Romney.

To me the bigger issue is the mud.  The President was the first to crawl in it with all the attacks over the dog, the alleged bully incident, and the inaccurate Bain Capital attacks.  The Governor should have let the Obama campaign wallow in the muck by themselves.  Romney should have been happy to let the President have all that low ground to himself.  The President and his campaign did a masterful job in 2008 building up Obama’s person as an enlightened, above the fray guy.  Someone that high has a long way to fall and the thud will be loud.  Once more, the President’s own campaign seemed eager to get the fall rolling with all the idiotic moves they made early on.  Romney didn’t even have to work for it, they were tripping themselves.

Ultimately Trump is a carnival barker who always works himself to the center of any spotlight, good or bad.  He believes in the axiom of any press is good press.  Maybe when you’re trying to get ratings, but votes are different.  Romney has hooked his wagon to a carnival barker with no filter and an ego unmatched in human history.  Not sure I like that combo.  If I was advising the Governor I would tell him to use Newt’s line, yes that Newt.  Gingrich said yesterday “….we believe this is a American born, job killing, President.”  I would have Romney word it differently, make it more declarative.  He needs to say “I have no doubt that President Obama was born in America, just as I have no doubt he has been wrong for America and here’s why.”  Boom.  End the birther issue and pivot to your economic message in one easy sentence.  You’re welcome Governor.

Spel Chek Dipartmint

Rarely do the gaffes associated with a campaign originate with the nominee himself.  This is one of those cases but Romney will get tagged with it for a week, maybe two.  His campaign sent an iPad/iPhone app to Apple.  It’s supposed to be an advertisement and a campaign tracking app all in one.  Problem: the app’s opening page has the slogan “A Better Amercia”.   It happens, it’s embarrassing, it’ll go away by next week, especially with Trump on board.  And there is the one up side of embracing Trump, any gaffe your campaign or you make will be quickly overshadowed by The Donald’s antics.

Good luck Governor, I think you’ll need it now.

Tracker Change

With the nomination all sewn up, the primary voting tracker and delegate tracker on the right side of Frank’s Place will be removed.  In it’s place will eventually be opinion and polling trackers.  These will become more significant after each party has its national nominating conventions late this summer.

Stay tuned.