Monday, December 12, 2011

Rhetoric and Reality

On a day when Republicans should be aghast at the rhetorical recklessness of GOP frontrunner, Newt Gingrich, in needlessly inflaming Israeli-Palestinian tensions, we are subjected to incessant chatter about Mitt Romney’s rhetorical wager of $10,000 to stare down a rival’s deliberate lie about his record.

Go ahead, make my day, Mitt challenged Rick Perry.  Put your money where your mouth is.  But the tough-talkin’, straight-shootin’ Texan blinked.  He slithered away without Clint’s having to pay out even a penny.

Maybe Rick forgot about the earlier debate in which he told Michelle Bachman he was insulted by her suggestion that he could be bought for a mere $5,000, to mandate that all Texas girls be injected with Gardasil.  Didn’t she know his campaign donations were vastly larger than a paltry 5,000 bucks?  Maybe that’s why Mitt upped the ante to 10,000 bucks, not wanting to fall below the Governor’s monetary threshold or invite his disdain for a low-dollar contribution.

In any event, Mitt’s wager had nothing to do with $10,000, $10,000,000, or any other amount of real money.  It was a classic rhetorical device to force Rick to back down.  In essence, Put up or shut up.  Rick shut up.  He visibly paled.  He was afraid to stand behind his lame lie—originally floated and debunked months ago—lest he be savaged again in the media.  He was rendered speechless.  (His post-debate comments and advertising are obviously the work of his handlers.)

When confronted with an intentional lie about what one has said or written, a man or woman of conviction is always willing to bet on the truth.  And to bet big.  Most people understand this instinctive reaction and admire it.  Average folks of average means (by definition, lots of us) can appreciate the masculinity, muscularity, and wit on display in the rhetorical arm-wrestling between Mitt and Rick.  For its humorous value alone, their mano-a-mano encounter was the high point of the Des Moines debate.

Only elitist purveyors of class warfare, self-promoting talking heads, and, of course, Mitt’s political opponents in both parties pretend to be offended—on behalf of us average folks, mind you—by his nimbleness and feistiness in counterpunching the flat-footed Rick Perry.

In the meantime, before and during the same debate, the would-be Historian-in-Chief hurled rhetorical bombs at the Palestinians, inserted himself uninvited into sensitive Israeli political calculations, and again demonstrated that he lacks the practical judgment, self-discipline, and executive temperament required to be President of the United States.

That’s some rhetoric you’ve got, Newt, and its real cost is a whole lot more than 10,000 bucks.

Areté
December 12, 2011


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53 comments:

Terrye said...

I agree. I think the thing that pissed me off about it all..was that the DNC tweeted this crap to the folks at ABC and of course then the socalled conservatives {ha ha} just had to do their dirty work for them and used the DNC talking about against another Republicans.

These people deserve to lose. They really do.

Anonymous said...

Arete, I am not familiar with you and didn't know you were a FPP poster at this site.

Welcome aboard.

You're a very good writer...succinct...to the point but your thesis lacks one important note.

Why is Romney even getting into a pissing match with a 2nd Tier candidate?

For supposedly always being the adult in the room...Romney sure looked juvenile at that debate and has since he resumed his active candidacy in the fall.

jerseyrepublican

Paul said...

I like it, Arete. Excellent observations, with whick I totally agree.

Paul said...

Jersey, you obviously have a dislike for Romney. Still, what would you expect any candidate to do when confronted by an apponent in a spontaneous way, when debate moderators allow it to continue without calling a stop to it? Would it be good for said candidate to back down, allowing a 2nd tier opponent to dominate them on the exchange? I didn't think so. This criticism has come up before against Mitt after putting Rick Perry in his place. I am certain that you would not respect Mitt any more if he politely declined to call out Perry for a false accusation. Then you would just call him weak. I for one, loved it. In spite of the negative spin now, thst exchange will be remembered later as a sign of strength for Mitt Romney.

JoeMich4Mitt said...

Outstanding blog post! This couldn't have been said better.

Anonymous said...

Paul, you're right I am not a fan of Romney but I am less of a fan of pro-Romney spin. Of course Romney needs to defend himself but he must choose wisely in the manner in which he does it.

A $10,000 dollar bet in this economy?

It's juvenile and out of touch with the undecided, average, everyday American voters who are struggling to put food on their table.

I'm glad you found it amusing. I probably would as well if I was a Romney supporter but I'm not, I'm an undecided, average, everyday American voter who is struggling to put food on his table.

jerseyrepublican

Anonymous said...

Jersey, spare me your fained offense at Romney's bet.

I would think you might be actually offended by the money Newt has been paid as a lobbyist, while calling himself a historian! That was another funny debate moment when he claimed he was in the private sector. It was so ridiculous, that every one laughed, including Newt himself!

Today, Romney called for Newt to return the money he made at Freddie Mac. Good start, Mitt, and keep it coming.

-Martha

Anonymous said...

Arete, you are a fantastic addition to RS. Another great post.

-Martha

Anonymous said...

So how dare Mitt Romney make a bet for 10,000 when many are struggling. So Mitt Romney has made money. So what. Why wouldn't Americans want somebody in office who knows how to make money. Why would Americans want somebody who's struggling too! Please, I hope the answer is not because I want somebody I can have a beer with that way I know he sympathizes with me.

Anonymous said...

Martha, your also right I don't really care about his stupid bet...but it was stupid. I am at the point where I am looking at this race from an objective stand point because I don't care who wins the nomination.

I enjoy the way campaigns are ran and the way candidates run them and in this instance Romney made a mistake. WIll it have legs - no probably not but it should never have happened and to the undecided voters who might be struggling to put food on their table...this callous, juvenile comment might not be perceived well.

jerseyrepublican

Anonymous said...

Once again anonymous - YOU ARE MISSING THE POINT!!!

jerseyrepublican

leighrow said...

Great post. I hope Romney goes after Gingrich hard and exposes him and his wife as the sleaze bags that is their true character. I laugh at how these right wing nuts are so offended with Romney's 10000 bet and not Gingich's $500,000 credit line at tiffany's.

Ohio JOE said...

"....was that the DNC tweeted this crap to the folks at ABC and of course then the socalled conservatives {ha ha} just had to do their dirty work for them and used the DNC talking about against another Republicans."
Now that is the pot calling the kettle black.

Right Wingnut said...

For the 100th time. It's NOT the dollar amount of the bet. He looked foolish doing it. As I watched this, I couldn't believe what I was seeing. I didn't even think about the dollar amount until everyone else was bringing it up.

Anonymous said...

leighrow, "rightwing nut," are you referring to me? Because if you are...you would be surprised to know that I am probably the most moderate reader at this site. TRUST ME!!!

jerseyrepublican

Anonymous said...

I find it so hilarious that any Romney supporter on this site is bashing the right wing of the party. I don't even do that and I am pretty moderate...more moderate than most Romney supporters...that I can guarantee. It is so silly and hypocritical for a group of people that are ideologically far right to be so angry with so many people who share a similar ideology?

jerseyrepublican

Anonymous said...

I would beg Mitt Romney to make American rich again like he is rich. He's got the Midas touch.

Anonymous said...

Jersey, you and I agree, then. Happy Monday!

-Martha

Right Wingnut said...

Anon at 10:20 still misses the point....

Mitt is trying to convince voters that Newt's temperament disqualifies him for office.....and he can't even control his anger in a debate with Rick freaking Perry, or in an interview with Bret Baier, who is considered to be among the most fair journalists around.

Anonymous said...

RW, Either Mitt is not passionate enough or he can't control his anger. I guess Americans just don't want money.

Right Wingnut said...

Mitt always looks flustered when he's attacked. I noticed that in '08 as well. There's no doubt he's more articulate than John McCain, but he seemed to always lose those exchanges, not because he didn't have the better argument, but because he let his annoyance show too much. It's too easy to get under his skin.

Anonymous said...

RW, you don't do yourself any favors when you keep saying Romney explodes or rages, or is angry, etc.

No one watching the interviews or debates could reasonably come to that conclusion.

If you find truthful ways to point out Romney's flaws, you will have a lot more respect around these parts. However, I get that you are not primarily interested in being respected.

-Martha

Right Wingnut said...

Do you remember the devastating line that Bentsen delivered in the debate with Dan Quayle (you're no Kennedy)? When I see a clip of that, the first thing I notice is the defeated look on Quayle's face. His body language was terrible. Mitt has the same problem.

Right Wingnut said...

Martha, I'm pointing them out right now. Whether you agree or not is your choice.

Right Wingnut said...

Martha,

The only way I could get respect on this site, would be to declare my support for Romney and denounce Sarah Palin.

Anonymous said...

Martha, I actually have to agree with RW on this one and he and I have not seen eye to eye lately. From the first debate I had ever seen of Romney back in '07...my first thought of him was why does he look like a baby?

I think Romney is a decent Republican and would be a far better President than Obama but he is a horrible campaigner unless it involves throwing a lot of money at something.

I always said Romney campaigns better for other people than he does for himself. I think he should be the next Republican Party Chairman.

jerseyrepublican

Right Wingnut said...

JR,

What do you mean we haven't seen eye to eye?

Anonymous said...

RW, not necessarily in a bad way, just in the fact that I don't believe resources should be wasted in this Presidential election...I think it would be much smarter to win the Senate and get bigger gains in the House. I also am opening up to the idea of a 3rd Party run. Maybe even a 4th Party run.

I don't think you're for that?

I think our whole 2 party system might need to be changed for the betterment of our Republic.

jerseyrepublican

Ohio JOE said...

"you would be surprised to know that I am probably the most moderate reader at this site. TRUST ME!!!" Yes, I am vouche for the fact that Jersey is a moderate. Ha ha, not everybody in my camp are nearly as Right Wing as I am. The fact that Jersey and I are in the same camp illustrates hoe diverse our camp is.

Than again it is funny that Noelle and AZ are in the same camp the the Generalisimo and CraigS.

Ohio JOE said...

"I think our whole 2 party system might need to be changed for the betterment of our Republic." Yes and no. On balance the system is OK (although no system is perfect,) it is the additude of voters that need to change. Parties need to be accountable.

Right Wingnut said...

Martha,

Also...Mitt needs change that goofy stare he gives opponents when they're talking on stage. You have no idea how many people bring that up. In fact, an undecided conservative sent me a text out of the blue about it during the last debate. He also commented that Mitt was sweating.

Anonymous said...

OJ, that's true!!! The Palin supporters were the most diverse group of supporters.

Just speaking in terms of the small group of us at this site - I think you're more far right than RW and RW is more far right than I am. I know AJR is more conservative than me but probably not as much as you.

From visiting various Palin sites...I can tell that it's not just a phenomena for this site.

jerseyrepublican

Right Wingnut said...

JR,

Actually, I agree with just about everything you just said for the most part. I'm leery of a third party, but would definitely be open to four...as long as it's balanced. I'm not in favor of Palin running as an indie, because that would guarantee four more years of Obama.

I've also stated that Palin should stay out of the presidential race and focus on state and local races.

Anonymous said...

RW, knock it off - Romney wears jeans and drives a pick up truck...

jerseyrepublican

Anonymous said...

RW,

Yeah, Mitt Romney gets flustered every once in a while--but once in a while. He's really good at debates and has set the bar really high for himself. That is why the number of times he's been flustered can be counted in one hand.

For someone like Rick Perry, for example, has set the bar really low for himself. Any improvement is his greatest debate ever. And the number of gaffes are so numerous, who can remember and count them all.

But going back to Mitt Romney, I gotta really hand it to him for taking all the punches thrown at him. It's been punches from the left and the right and from opponents ganging up oh him constantly, especially from the '08race. He's never complained and just keeps on going, so I think he's taken the pressure really, really well, all considering.

The times Mitt gets annoyed are when his opponents outright lie about him like with McCain and Perry. His frustration is that he can't tell them off right then and there. Yet, he cools off and regains his composure. Mitt is somebody who learns from his mistakes and if gets to the general he will have those ironed out.

Anonymous said...

Speaking on the diversity of Palin supporters...I just thought of something. A lot of Palin supporters are Democrats who were tired of their party...they were tired of the way Hillary was and saw a kindred spirit in Palin so they joined the Republican Party just in time to see it all happen again to another politician they support.

The Parties are great that way!!!

jerseyrepublican

Right Wingnut said...

Martha,

Yes, Mitt is a better debater than Perry. Perry's body language is even worse, but that is not who he has to worry about.

Anonymous said...

RW, I disagree about Palin running as an indie. Like I said...I don't think any of these clowns will beat Obama anyway so she might as well make the race interesting.

With that being said I don't think she will run as an indie but I do think it would be smart for her to stay involved in the General election.

If she's not given a prime speaking slot at the convention then it will be further proof that this party is out of touch and have no clue what they are doing.

jerseyrepublican

Right Wingnut said...

JR, that is correct, but you'll never get the Rombots to believe that Palin attracts Democrats. That's right...some of the C4Pers are STILL registered Democrats.

By the way, I've had to take a break from C4P. I can't take the conspiracy theories about how she's still planning to run, and is just biding her time. That's just delusional. In fairness, the majority of them don't feel that way, but enough to annoy the hell out of me.

Anonymous said...

Jersey,

Be careful...someone may call you a whiner.

A.J.R.

Anonymous said...

RW, Palin with little ties to the Party establishment needs to stay in the spotlight and be involved in the general...I just hope the party doesn't neglect the local races and the senate races for the general.

jerseyrepublican

Anonymous said...

RW, yeah they're a little out of touch over there but I can't blame them. The Party did not attempt to get anybody that could attract the supporters that Palin has.

i think they actually believed that Bachmann would real in the Palin supporters...now that is too funny.

Like all conspiracy theories if you think about them too much they begin to make sense. I would love for her to reconsider...I would love for her to run as an Indie...

BUT...

I know it will not be happening.

jerseyrepublican

Anonymous said...

AJR - I think they've called me worse.

Anonymous said...

Palin should be kicking herself for not running. She would have cleared the field of virtually everyone but Romney.

A.J.R.

Anonymous said...

AJR - she would be in the upper 30's...Romney in the late teens lower 20's.

Oh Well!

jerseyrepublican

Anonymous said...

Just recently, Newt Gingrich went off in a rant because he was compared to SpongeBob Squarepants. But ofcourse, that wasn't really covered by the media like this 10,000 bet is getting covered. It would make Newt look bad reporting on his SpongeBod flub, because he lost cool and was angry and irritable.

Just wait till Newt gets asked detailed questions about his personal life. Those really personal questions are being savored and saved for later. Newt will turn red and blow his lid and go off on some rant. Mitt Romney's few, small flusters at debates will be nothing by comparison. Newt is very capable of getting irritated but not being able to regain his composure.

leighrow said...

Jersey republican,
No I was not referring to you or RW with my post. I was referring to the hypocrisy of the far right like Limbaugh and others, regarding their support for someone like Gingrich who has no moral compass and has mastered the art of flip flopping.

I agree that Romney's response was not perfect but there were so many other issues contained within the debate regarding Gingrich that are getting glossed over....so you could say I'm someone frustrated at how the GOP is letting Gingrich skate away with the nomination which in turn will lead to 4 more years of Obama.

Anonymous said...

Its funny how so much is made of romney's bet, Im sure if Palin had made that bet, the queen's loyalist would be defending her to the death.

Anonymous said...

Once again Anon - you are missing the point. But the fact is that Palin didn't make the bet...Romney did.

jerseyrepublican

Right Wingnut said...

Michael Reagan told Cavuto that the bet may cost Romney the nomination.

Anonymous said...

LOL. Micheal Reagan say a lot of things that don't necessarily make a lot of sense. But he is a nice guy.

-Martha

Carolyn said...

I am so tired of hearing that most people wouldn't have 10K to bet and only a rich guy like Romney could bet that much. The point is the 10K had no bearing since he knew the truth and would never have to pony up the money. It's like betting 10K that the sun will come up tomorrow. It's a sure thing and Romney knew that his point was correct. Most people rich or poor would wager any amount on a sure thing. It's not like he was betting on who would win the Super Bowl.

Anonymous said...

Even if Romney were bad at debates we might remind ourselves that they're a little artificial -- 1 minute to respond to your character being attacked, 8 other people gunning at you with little accountability and lots of exaggeration, and a media/moderator trying to entrap and embarrass you. If only there were a way to see how they would actually perform at the job of leading...oh wait, we do -- THEIR RECORDS! Romney wins. Newt looses. You don't become as successful as Romney has in the private sector (where results matter) without being trustworthy, respectable, able, knowledgeable, etc. (That is unless you are an anti-capitalist and believe he must have lied and cheated his way to the top.)