Tuesday, August 30, 2011


With a BIG H / T to Dick Polman at the Philadelphia Inquirer, the following are excerpts from his morning commentary about Rick Perry and the critical election role of Independents in 2012.....now the largest voting bloc in America at 39 %. Please note that I KNOW that the Inquirer is a liberal leaning newspaper. I went to school in Philadelphia. But Polman is more of a centrist and his comments about voters in the suburbs of Philadelphia and Cleveland and Milwaukee are dead on .

" Richard Nixon famously said that Republican presidential candidates should run to the right in primaries, then to the center in the general election." But, Polman asks," What happens if they run so far rightward that the cede the center ?" He says" ...Obama may be vulnerable in 2012, but if Rick Perry and his rivals don't clamp down on the crazy talk, they may well blow it .'
Good advice from the center left.

Mark McKinnon, a strategist for George W Bush is quoted " Perry and company.....are pulling the primary contest so far to the right that the party will be far less attractive to the independent voters needed to win the general election." As a case in point, Polman says

"...only 36 % of independents are giving Obama a positive performance after he carried the group by 8 % in 2008 and it would appear these centrist votes are ripe for the taking. But, this is no way to win them over.........."

** Declaring that evolution is " just a theory that's out there."

** Insisting that the scientific consensus on climate change is " all one contrived phony mess that is falling apart under its own weight."

** Decreeing that revenue increases of any kind are unacceptable under any and all circumstances, and signing a pledge to that effect

** Promising to fill all key Cabinet and executive jobs with foes of abortion, and signing a pledge to that effect.

** Asserting that " it's time for us to just hand America over to God and say,' God, you're going to have to fix this '"

** Announcing in a book that Social Security and Medicare are unconstitutional and should be scrapped

** Contending that gay Americans are " part of Satan."

** Dissing the Bush appointed Federal Reserve chairman as " treasonous."

** Insinuating that Obama is insufficiently American and insufficiently in love with America

Polman then begins to contrast that kind of rhetoric with Ronald Reagan. " Reagan," he says '".....did not talk like an extremist in 1980, in the mold of Bachmann or Perry. He had no interest in doubling down on crazy."
" Reagan didn't equate gay people with crazy, or talk about them much at all; two years earlier he had opposed an antigay California referendum.
Reagan didn't sign any pledges on abortion; he rarely mentioned abortion.
Reagan never signed any pledges never to hike taxes; indeed, as Governor he had repeatedly raised taxes.
Reagan didn't question Carter's patriotism
Reagan didn't declare he wanted to do away with Social Security and Medicare."

" By contrast," Polman says," the new Republican frontrunner is openly adamant about whacking those federal safety nets out of existence. It would be ffascinating to watch Perry, during the autumn 12 campaign, tout his stance on Social Security and Medicare to audiences in senior - heavy swing states such as Florida and Pennsylvania. I also wonder whether his faith talk, his public willingness to name God as his Mr. Fix-It, would go down well in swing suburban enclaves, say Bucks County, Pa, where independents typically prefer their fixers composed of bodily flesh"
Polls show that independents want compromise, not ideological rigidity.

" See the problem?" Polman finishes. " The purity police, who long ago excommunicated Romney as a closet moderate, will abide no nuance in the Republican field. If they ultimately allow a beleaguered Obama to run free on center ground, they'll have only themselves to blame"

Now, I am no fan of the Inquirer and its Editorial page and no great fan of Polman's either. But, his column is a clear summary of the risk the GOP runs in the 2012 election....based upon a tragic misreading of the voters. We can win that election......but, as Polman candidly ( for a liberal ) points out we can surely lose it in spades and have no one to blame but ourselves.
The proof will be in some of the " shots " I will take for this post. They will be symptomatic.


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Right Wingnut said...

Is that the same Polman of ROS fame?

Ohio JOE said...

Haha, well said RW. It is truly funny when Pollman himself comes in to the mix to school these fellows. Talk about desperate.

craigs said...

Ha Ha , LOL
See my point ?


Ohio JOE said...

Actually I do not get your point and to be blunt I do not know whether to laugh or cry. I wish the Mr. Perry actually was as Right Wing as you try to paint him, but the majority of the charges that you dream up against him are interesting to put it lightly.

It is not rocket science that the department of Education and Social Security should be scrapped or at the vary least Reformed. He is correct on banking and his position on evolution is irrelavent and it reflects poorly on those who bring it up.

In short, Independents are not quite as Left Wing as you paint them. You really think, that they'd prefer Mr. Obama to Mr. Perry? Now that is funny

craigs said...

You certainly mean well, but you fantasize a bit about the general election in 2012. I am a bit of a realist and, having lived in many places in this great country, truly understand the differences between conservative zeolets in Charleston and independent moderates in Bucks County.
Statements paraphrased in Polman's column are NOT going to carry Pennsylvania for Rick Perry. Period! Not even close. They barely help Perry with Independents in Charleston. Perry leads Romney by 7 %, within the MOE, with independents in S. Carolina on many of these issues.
Global Warming ?
Independents....61 % Agree
Tea Party.......16 % Agree

Obama born in U.S.? ....
Independents....66 % Agree
Tea Party.......28 % Agree

Evolution ?
Independents....54 % Agree
Tea Party.......28 % Agree

And , this is in S. Carolina. Take this same poll to Pennsylvania
or Kentucky where Romney is up 25 % over Obama with Independents.
Now, the national numbers for Independents is 39 %, larger than the Dems or the GOP.In fact,11 % larger than the GOP. Then, remember, S. Carolina is a PROPORTIONAL, OPEN primary.
My point is, Perry cannot carry swing states in the north. Period. We can revisit this point in three months and use the polling then to prove my point. His views are, to the center, to be kind.....kind of whacked out to centrist independents.You are delusional if you think their is a conservative tide flowing north of the Mason Dixon line. There is a tide of Pragmatism flowing that says....DO SOMETHING, DON"T JUST POINT

Right Wingnut said...


...global warming, evolution, and the Obama birth certificate?

And here I thought this election would be about the economy...

Silly me.

Ohio JOE said...

"Statements paraphrased in Polman's column are NOT going to carry Pennsylvania for Rick Perry" We do not need PA, it is just bonus. BTW, Bucks county is no longer a national bell-weather and neither is Stark county in my state for that matter.

"You are delusional if you think their is a conservative tide flowing north of the Mason Dixon line." If you are refering to New England and New York, than yes you are correct. However, not all northern states are as Left as you think. Half of Ohio is north of the M-D line, but we still voted for Mr. Kasich and a GOP assembly. WI is even further to the north and it voted for Mr. Walker and kept the State senate as well as the State court. Let's just say these two governors are not to the Left of Mr. Perry.

Yes Mr. Perry is not perfect and not my first or second choice, but try running the anti-Perry candidate and see how far it gets you. Maybe I am naive, but I believe that people are a little smarter than you give them credit for. They are no longer in favor of business as ussual in banking education and safety nets. This is no longer 2008 or even 1992.

Ohio JOE said...

"And here I thought this election would be about the economy...

Silly me."

Yes, you said it better than I RW, I would like to see Mr. Romney and or Mr. Obama run on evolution, TARP, global warming and the like and we will see how far it gets them in swing states. It may score them points in MD and CA, but it won't win Iowa and Florida.

Right Wingnut said...


I just ran across this chart. It seems LBJ's approval rating was consistently over 70% when he crushed Goldwater. I realize you were there, but it seems a bit disingenuous to suggest this as evidence that conservatism can't win a national election. Jug Ears will be lucky to stay above 40%. In fact, Gallup currently has him at 38%.

By the way, my comment has nothing to do with Perry.

Right Wingnut said...



craigs said...

RW and OJ
You are both great guys , I'm sure , so this is a typical political discussion. No, I don't think a solid bed rock conservative can be elected President in 2012. Sorry. No way.
I thought so in 1964. So did Barry Goldwater. By 1970, we both knew we were wrong. Could Barry have won in 1964 ? No way. Was Reagan a Goldwater conservative in 1980 ? No way . Reagan was conservative only compared to Carter
For the GOP to win next year they have to capture the center and squeeze Obama to the left.

Yes, we do have to win in Pennsylvania. Sorry again.
My point about evolution and global warming is NOT that these are salient issues. They are not, but they reflect a stereotypical mindset associated with positions outside the mainstream of American though, distanced somewhat from the Center where Independents lurk. They reflect a certain nostalgia that Rick perry identifies with...a deep nostalgia for the laissez faire robber barons era of the 1892's not 1992 or 2002, when government stayed out of the way of business, when unions were weak or non existent and when the Progressive movement that Glenn Beck despises was still in the future.
Perry extols the virtues of the Carnegies , the Rocvkefellers and the Vanderbilts for their charitable activities, a time when he belived business knew better about how to care for the poor than the government or liberals. You can see it in Texas today. What is Perry known....a business environment stacked with low overhead jobs or a world class educational system ? A clean environment or an efficient equatable medical care system ?

Anyway, all this is not a model for the future...it is a warning from the past


Ohio JOE said...

"Yes, we do have to win in Pennsylvania." Well with all due respect to PA, while it would be nice to win PA, Mr. Bush won without it twice. In fact, he came closer to winning WI than PA. More to the point Bucks county is not the bell-weather of the state anymore let alone the country. In some regard you are correct, Ameerica is more liberal than it was. Yes it elected Mr. Obama and it is more secular than it was. However, America also turned on Mr. Obama in 2010.

Further, Evolution and global warming is relative. Yes, few people believe that the earth was literally created in 7 days 6000 years ago, but few people also believe in evolution in its extreme form. Yes, hardly anybody likes polution, but most will also laugh in your face if you tell them that man-made global warming is significant.

craigs said...

Here's the deal OJ.
Lot's of people I knew used to laugh in your face when they were told cigarette smoking was harmful. many of those folks are now dead.

97 % of scientists believe global warming is real. 100 % of Polar bears believe it is real.....because they are dying too.
Everybody knows global warming is real. The question is how much is man made. Well, consider the earth a giant container, bounded outside by space and inside by the sea.
Then, in a space of 100 years , measured against millennium, multiply the number of people by 4 and multiply their accessory pollutants by 8. Then, tell me where the pollutants go ? Then, since the suns incident energy is unchanged, if the composition of the atmosphere is modified, what happens to the incident solar energy....since energy cannot be destroyed .
So, everybody can laugh a little, for a while. Eventually, the laughing will stop. How soon ? Who knows ? Man made global warming may well be a little but we arn't slowing down the pollution any that I can see


Ohio JOE said...

"Lot's of people I knew used to laugh in your face when they were told cigarette smoking was harmful. many of those folks are now dead." True, but if we did have continuous steady global warming, it would actually save more lives. Fewer people would die of frost-bite.

craigs said...

Yeah, you're right. A positive spin for all the anti warmers