February 28, 2012

"Santorum Robocall Asks Michigan Dems To Vote For Him."

TPM reports, with audio and "confirmation that the call did indeed come from the Santorum campaign."
Michigan’s primary rules allow Dems to vote in the state’s GOP primaries. The liberal site DailyKos and other progressive partners have been trying to drum up enthusiasm for “Operation Hilarity” - an effort to get Democrats to vote in the GOP primary and tilt the vote against Mitt Romney. The Santorum campaign evidently decided they’d take votes from any legitimate source.

Following some speculation that the robocall may have been a “false flag” effort designed to harm Santorum, a spokesman Hogan Gidley confirmed to TPM that they were indeed footing the bill, and reaching beyond party lines. “If we can get the Reagan Democrats in the primary, we can get them in the general,” he told TPM.
It's not wrong for Santorum to seek the votes of Democrats. The message strongly pushes the "Michigan worker" to vote against "Massachusetts Mitt Romney" because he opposed the auto company bailouts (while supporting the Wall Street bailouts). The message doesn't tell people that Santorum opposed the auto bailouts too (along with the Wall Street bailouts). So it's a bit deceptive. You can criticize Santorum for that. Who knows whether Santorum would like to bulk up his vote with Democrats who just want the weaker Republican to be the nominee? Frankly, I assume he does, and I don't think that's wrong. Is it?

When Wisconsin has its primary to determine who will oppose Scott Walker in the recall election, are Scott Walker supporters supposed to stay home and allow Democrats to select their strongest candidate? If the primaries are open, doesn't it mean everyone has a right to play the political game any way they want? That's built into the open primary system, adopted by the people of the state, democratically. You can base your vote on any ground that you like. You don't have to explain it to anyone.

74 comments:

purplepenquin said...

This is yet another reason why the gov't needs to stop having (and paying for) primary elections for political parties. Just 'cause an "open primary" allows people to cheat the system doesn't mean people should be doing so...

pm317 said...

Who knows whether Santorum would like to bulk up his vote with Democrats who just want the weaker Republican to be the nominee? Frankly, I assume he does, and I don't think that's wrong. Is it?

You don't think that is wrong? It would be one thing if he had the ability to persuade these Dems to vote for him in the GE. There is no way that that is going to happen and for him to do this to his own party, may be he is working for Obama.

Bob Ellison said...

Who knows whether Santorum would like to bulk up his vote with Democrats who just want the weaker Republican to be the nominee? Frankly, I assume he does, and I don't think that's wrong. Is it?

I think it's wrong, but I think open primaries are wrong, too. Why should non-members be able to vote for a member-based nomination?

It's wrong because it's dishonest--unfaithful, even-- but it's pretty small beer in politics.

Tank said...

Could someone explain what the benefit is to either party to have voters from the other party allowed to "help" pick their candidate?

WTF?

rhhardin said...

Vote for the anybody but Obama candidate.

Ann Althouse said...

"Just 'cause an "open primary" allows people to cheat the system doesn't mean people should be doing so..."

It's not cheating if you're following the rules.

If the rules are bad, change the rules.

John M Auston said...

I plan to write-in Walker, in the Democrat primary, and hope many join me. If there are several candidates, Walker might actually win.

I'm doing this in retaliation for that liberal judge not giving Walker the time he needs to validate signatures.

Didn't the Democrat State Senator Fleebaggers run to Illinois in order to DELAY things, giving more time for the Walker legislation to be fully vetted and discussed? But now we heed to HURRY this recall process along??

I'm so confused! So I'm writing in Walker. And I'm blaming my confusion.

Ann Althouse said...

"You don't think that is wrong? It would be one thing if he had the ability to persuade these Dems to vote for him in the GE. There is no way that that is going to happen and for him to do this to his own party, may be he is working for Obama."

That's a political argument against Santorum... and a good one.

Get it out there and maybe it will convince more Republicans to back Romney.

Ann Althouse said...

"I plan to write-in Walker, in the Democrat primary, and hope many join me. If there are several candidates, Walker might actually win."

Walker supporters need to think about whether that's a better option than voting for the weakest Democrat.

Actually, it may be difficult to figure out who the weakest Democrat is. They're all weak!

In which case, the write in for Walker may be the best option.

Ross said...

I'm all for Republicans in Wisconsin voting for the weaker Democrat candidate. I was just joking with a friend last week that I should write-in Hillary Clinton when my state's primary comes up.

MadisonMan said...

I'll write in Donald Driver in the primary. That way if he doesn't win DWTS (I think he will), he has a job to fall back on once he retires.

phx said...
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phx said...
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traditionalguy said...

Talk about intense irony. After a year of strategic maneuvers and lies, it is the Dems in Michigan that will end up picking the GOP's nominee.

That would send the GOP some message, but how will the Fox News guys spin that one?

Karl Rove, phone home.

pm317 said...

Get it out there and maybe it will convince more Republicans to back Romney.

Please put it up on your front page.

Hal Duston said...

purplepenquin said:
Just 'cause an "open primary" allows people to cheat the system doesn't mean people should be doing so...

Great. So now when I vote in the primary you think I'm "cheating". Nice to know you think I shouldn't be voting at all. (I'm not a registered member of any political party).

In many (most?) elections, the general election result is a foregone conclusion. The primary vote is the only opportunity to actually select the general election winner.

traditionalguy said...

I have an idea for the Wisconsin Circus. Since it's a secret ballot, write in Adolph Hitler.

Garage needs work. A strong Hitler vote would give Garage a years worth of angles.

But would Hitler winning the vote mean that the Dems elected Scott Walker by proxy?

purplepenquin said...

"It's not cheating if you're following the rules"

Ain't no actual rule about always taking the pennies from the lil' cup without ever leaving one, but I'd still call that cheating the system.

Thorley Winston said...

I think it's wrong, but I think open primaries are wrong, too. Why should non-members be able to vote for a member-based nomination?

I’ve had this conversation with my father and his rationale is that since taxpayers pay for the infrastructure that is used to conduct the primary, as a voter he should be able to vote in an election that his tax dollars are helping to pay for. I agree that both major parties are receiving taxpayer subsidies – not just primaries but also their national conventions and additional funding and support for the “Majority Party” and “Minority Party” officers and their staff in the legislative branch – but my preference would be to end the subsidies.

Another thing to consider is the case of California where my understanding the Democrats have an open party and the Republicans have a closed primary. Marc Danziger the Armed Liberal of Winds of Change dot Net fame thought that when one party has a closed primary and the other an open primary, it ultimately hurts the party that insists on a closed primary because it discourages participation by independents in that party. Of course you always run the risk that people from the other party will vote in your primary in order to cause mischief but the benefit is you also invite new people who may decide to vote for your candidate in the general election if they’re part of the selection process in the primary. That’s a tradeoff for a party that it has to consider when deciding whether to have an open or a closed primary and evidently the Michigan Republican Party (assuming that having an open primary wasn’t mandated by law) chose to opt for opening its doors in the hopes of building a more competitive party.

Lem said...

Walker needs to go on offence.. Point out the good things that have happened in the state as a result of his administration.

purplepenquin said...

"So now when I vote in the primary you think I'm "cheating""

Not everyone who votes in a primary is cheating, but if one votes in a primary for a candidate that they would never-ever vote for in the general election then that is slimy and ain't proper.

garage mahal said...

I have an idea for the Wisconsin Circus. Since it's a secret ballot, write in Adolph Hitler.

I would think Walker wouldn't need any help with all the great new tools and reforms? No? "It's Working!"

phx said...
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Thorley Winston said...

Romney said he did the same thing in and voted for Paul Tsongas in the 1992 Dem primary, according to Politico.com

That’s not an irrational choice for a fiscal conservative to make. George HW Bush had no real competition (Buchanan’s upset in New Hampshire not withstanding) and was going to be the Republican nominee so voting in the GOP primary was unlikely to have much of an impact. If you’re a fiscally-minded Republican or independent and you want a deficit-hawk who supports pro-private sector growth policies, then it makes sense to vote for the Democrat in the primary who is closest to those views (which arguably was Paul Tsongas) so that you increase your chances that the winner in the general election will be more likely to push for policies that you support. That’s quite a bit different than voting for the candidate in the other party that you think is the weakest.

Andy R. said...

I'm not the biggest fan of this kind of cross-over primary voting but Santorum is such a giant piece of shit and total joke of a candidate I understand why Democrats want to get in on the fun.

It's clear that watching these buffoons go at it is damaging the Republican party and I feel bad for how humiliating this is for all of you.

Bob Ellison said...

Good points all, Thorley Winston.

phx said...
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edutcher said...

Santorum says he's already won, but he's begging for Demo votes.

PS Hatman shows who's the real bigot once again.

PPS How long has MI been an open primary state?

I was under the impression most of the big industrial states had been closed primary for some time.

Bender said...

since taxpayers pay for the infrastructure that is used to conduct the primary, as a voter he should be able to vote in an election that his tax dollars are helping to pay for

Yes, perhaps he should be entitled to cast a vote in the government primary that he paid for. But that does NOT entitle him to mandate that either private party accept his vote at private party conventions or otherwise accept his vote for nominating purposes.

In any event, since Michigan does not register party affiliation (at least it did not when I lived there), there really is no way for a candidate to know that the voters he is targeting are "members" of the opposite party. Santorum cannot target "Democrat voters" because there is no official list of who is and is not a Democrat. (Here in Virginia, just because I have voted in the Dem primary before does NOT make me a Dem, even if the Dem party does keep spending its money sending me stuff in the mail.)

phx said...
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Bender said...

it discourages participation by independents

Can we please knock-down this false idea that there are any "independents" out there? There really are not.

In reality, an "independent" is a default-Democrat. All the experts, pundits, MSM, and party operatives understand that. The Republican Party Establishment understands that (or at least acts like it does).

Even Romney understands that "indendents" are really default-Democrats. That is why Romney and the elite party establishment keep pushing this argument -- and have pushed it for 40 years now -- that if you nominate a real Republican, then you alienate the "independents" who will then vote Democrat. The only way to win over "independents," the argument goes, is to nominate someone who resembles a Democrat.

There are no "independents," they are default-Democrats, even the cruelly neutral ones.

John Althouse Cohen said...

Who knows whether Santorum would like to bulk up his vote with Democrats who just want the weaker Republican to be the nominee? Frankly, I assume he does, and I don't think that's wrong. Is it?

If he owes any allegiance to his own party, of course it's wrong.

There's a difference between following the rules and doing the right thing.

AJ Lynch said...

Open primaries are a dumb idea.

MayBee said...


I think it's wrong, but I think open primaries are wrong, too. Why should non-members be able to vote for a member-based nomination?


As long as the "club" isn't paying for it, all taxpayers- not just members- should have the ability to vote.
What a sham, really. The political parties raise so much money and can require citizens to "join" them in order to have the ability to vote in the election they are paying for.
Then those parties (and everyone) can see which party you've "joined" and target you with endless mailings and phone calls.

MadisonMan said...

Sen. Santorum has shown himself to be an economic lightweight" Mitt Romney. Sounds like, "He's not as rich as I am.

Not for want of trying after his lightweight Senate career ended and he became a shill for K Street.

Thorley Winston said...

Yes, perhaps he should be entitled to cast a vote in the government primary that he paid for. But that does NOT entitle him to mandate that either private party accept his vote at private party conventions or otherwise accept his vote for nominating purposes.

I’m not familiar with this “government primary” that you speak of, but I think my father’s point was that political parties don’t pay the full freight for conducting their respective primaries and so long as taxpayers are expected to pick up some or most of the cost, any eligible voter should be able to vote in the primary regardless of whether they identify with a particular party. Again, my preference is to eliminate the subsidies but so long as they’re there and the rules allow it, I can’t fault my father or any other eligible voter for wanting to vote in every election they’re legally entitled to vote in.

In any event, since Michigan does not register party affiliation (at least it did not when I lived there), there really is no way for a candidate to know that the voters he is targeting are "members" of the opposite party. Santorum cannot target "Democrat voters" because there is no official list of who is and is not a Democrat.

We don’t require party registration in Minnesota either, but having worked on a number of political campaigns, there are many ways of targeting likely Republican voters. Nearly every political event I’ve volunteered at had some sort of sign in sheet and the information from those sheets gets compiled and the information shared (or sold) to groups looking to target voters of my affiliation. I’ve gotten numerous calls from Rick Santorum and Ron Paul’s campaign even though I’m supporting Romney in the primary and never attended any of their events. I’m sure that if I were a member of an advocacy group that is likely to lean Republican (like a pro-life or pro-RTKBA group) and shared my information with them, it would in term get put into a database of voters likely to vote the conservative position on those issues. For Democrats, I suspect anyone who belongs to a labor union or joins one of any number of left-leaning advocacy group is having their information shared as a “likely Democratic voter.” There were news stories as well about how some public radio/television affiliates and nonprofit groups like the United Way would sell some of the donor lists to groups looking to target likely Democratic voters. It may be imperfect but it seems to work more often than not.

Mark said...

I don't think open primaries make any sense whatsoever. Members of a party should be able to pick their own nominee. To allow your opponents to participate in that selection seems perverse and counter-productive.

Ann Althouse said...

This discussion is giving me an idea for a new poll.

I'll put it in a new post.

Mark said...

After this primary season we should revisit the "smoke-filled room" as a possible alternative.

Jenny said...

I think it's hilarious. Mitt Romney complaining about dirty trick. That's rich!

MayBee said...

Thorley- I agree with your dad.

Bender said...

any eligible voter should be able to vote in the primary regardless of whether they identify with a particular party

And I agreed with that. But that does not entitle the primary voter to impose his will upon a private party. A Democrat may be legally entitled to vote in an open Republican primary, but that does not entitle him to require the Republicans to give any credit to his vote for nomination purposes. Thus, the state cannot require that parties have open primaries.

Of course, if the party itself consents to an open primary, how the party can separate out the Democrat votes from the Republican ones is another thing entirely.

Bender said...

If Romney grabs the nomination, is he going to ask Democrats to vote for him in November?

Would that be a dirty trick?

Everyone is bitching that Santorum can't attract independents and Dems, but when he then goes ahead and seeks their support and asks for their votes, they bitch about that too.

John Stodder said...

The ultimate non-RINO, Santorum, has made a colossal mistake with this strategery.

If he'd not done this and managed to win the Michigan primary, he'd have massive bragging rights over Romney.

Now, if Santorum wins, Romney can say Santorum couldn't have won without the votes of Democrats who were only trying to weaken the stronger candidate against Obama. With that, he neutralizes the damage a loss in his native state would have caused his campaign, and sends a message to the GOP base that he is the candidate Obama fears most, as proven by their actions. Rush Limbaugh and a few other hard-core non-RINOs keep pushing the idea that the White House is more afraid of a "real conservative," i.e. Santorum.

And if Romney manages to win Michigan despite this tactic, he can say he overcame both Santorum AND the Democrats.

Either way, in terms of delegates, Santorum was poised to win about half the delegates in Michigan, whether he came in first or second. The tactic, if it works, will add maybe half a dozen delegates to his total. If he'd combined that with an untainted win, he'd have a great victory. But now that's not available.

The weak, amateurish nature of Santorum's candidacy is revealed by this prank.

tim maguire said...

I think it would be the end of Santorum's campaign if word got out that he was soliciting the votes of Democrats in a Republican primary.

John Stodder said...

Everyone is bitching that Santorum can't attract independents and Dems,

In what sense does this tactic equate to "attracting" independents and Dems? He's openly courting the votes of those who plan to vote for Obama, and in essence saying, "I agree with those of you who think voting for me will weaken our stronger candidate against Obama. I am okay with being used by you in this fashion. That's how desperate I am for a victory in a Republican primary, even if by embracing this tactic I'm acknowledging I'm less electable."

pm317 said...

John Stodder said...

The ultimate non-RINO, Santorum, has made a colossal mistake with this strategery.
-------------

That is a very good point.

phx said...
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Thorley Winston said...

Thorley- I agree with your dad.

That’s not surprising, even though we disagree about many things political, he’s one of most grounded men I know and I always respect his opinion. I’ve often thought that a wise leader ought to have someone like that among their chief advisors to act as a barometer for how “normal” people might react to a decision or policy before trying to implement it.

Cedarford said...

rhhardin said...
Vote for the anybody but Obama candidate.

===============
Problem with that is that if rightwingers vote for someone so extreme and unstable - they will end up with Obama because moderates and independents cannot stomach Saint Tor'em or an unstable and petty Newt.

Exteme conservatives and Fundies in search of the purist are stricken by a version of the Pauline Kael Syndrome. They hate Obama so much, and all their frends do - that they cannot imagine moderates and independents and the "lousy traitor RINO Reagan Democrats" voting for Obama.

(Pauline Kael was the NY Times critic who wrote after Nixon's 1968 election that she was in total shock, as NO ONE in her Manhattan circles, or of her NY Times cowrkers, or at her synogogue could STAND Nixon)

Cedarford said...

Bender, the ABR champion, has his new crush after the stupid Perry, ignorant Cain, and unstable Newt had their moments in the sun and melted down to earth..

Now it is Catholic prelate Santorum.

Way I see it, Santorum is now asking union Obama supporters to cross over and vote for him with the logic "who do union democrats want facing their man Barack in the fall??? Romney, or me??"

And this is happening a week after Santorum said he backed Arlen Spector against Twoomey only because "he is a pure Republican team player" doing as Republican leaders bid him to do.

Bender said...

The ultimate non-RINO, Santorum, has made a colossal mistake with this strategery

With respect to "independents" and those who are openly Democrat, a Republican can approach them in one of two ways.

There is the way of the Republican Establishment, which is ashamed of and has contempt for its base, and that way is for the Republican to be more like a Democrat, i.e. a RINO. This is Romney.

Then there is the better way -- convert "independents" and Democrats to become Republican voters. Encourage the voters to become more like you, not you pander and become a Dem-lite. This is Santorum (and Reagan before him, who did not seek to have Reagan Democrats, but who sought to have Reagan ex-Democrats).

Bender said...

I told you before, C-Bigot, that I never supported Cain. And I have not endorsed either Newt or Santorum.

John Stodder said...

Then there is the better way -- convert "independents" and Democrats to become Republican voters. Encourage the voters to become more like you, not you pander and become a Dem-lite. This is Santorum

Are you being disingenuous, or do you really not understand that this is NOT what Santorum is doing? He is lending himself to a campaign whose only purpose is to damage Romney and thereby boost Obama. He is not reaching out to these voters for purposes of "converting" them at all. He realizes he is completely unacceptable to them, and making his unacceptability a virtue. He is saying, in essence, "you hate me right? Lots of other Americans hate me. Well, if you hate me and love Obama, vote for me and do your part to assure Obama's victory."

Ronald Reagan and indeed anyone with an ounce of integrity would rather eat a bag of cockroaches than try to benefit from such a cynical strategy.

Your underlying point that Romney is pandering and running as a Demo-lite is also completely wrong. It's all part of the wounded conservative victim syndrome that so sadly and disgustingly set in after the great 2010 election result failed to immediately transform Washington. You seem to be among the many self-destructive, self-pitying conservatives out there who find the process of acquiring power and using it effectively so emotionally exhausting that you've fallen into a kind of second adolescence, in which you value your own feelings above every other virtue.

Romney may not be stroking you enough, may not be willing to make the process of shrinking the government seem as much fun as being named homecoming queen or captain of the football team, but he's running straight for the goal you profess to cherish, not as your personal hand-holder perhaps, but as a leader. Obama would be much happier if you sat on the sidelines and confided in your diary instead of manning up for the tough election to come. Santorum is the latest and hopefully last secret love-note you guys will buy into before getting serious about what needs to be done to actually fufill the 2010 mandate.

MadisonMan said...

that I never supported Cain. And I have not endorsed either Newt or Santorum.

Invalidating the first two of his sentences in no way invalidates the last two more pertinent sentences.

garage mahal said...

Actually, it may be difficult to figure out who the weakest Democrat is. They're all weak!

Interesting poll results taken last weekend here.

Three of Walker’s potential opponents were ahead of him in the poll, and five others trailed him slightly:

- Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett led Walker 49% to 46%;

- Former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk led Walker 48% to 47%;

- U.S. Rep. Ron Kind of La Crosse lead Walker 46% to 45%;

- Walker led former U.S. Rep. Dave Obey of Wausau 47% to 45%;

- Walker led state Sen. Jon Erpenbach of Middleton 47% to 44%;

- Walker led Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca of Kenosha 48% to 46%;

- Walker led Secretary of State Doug La Follette 46% to 45%;

- Walker led state Sen. Kathleen Vinehout 46% to 44%

Bender said...

he's running straight for the goal you profess to cherish

And I don't profess to cherish Romney as president, either. In fact, I've been fairly loud in my opposition to the Romney Mandate. Merely replacing Obama with Romney accomplishes little.

Revenant said...

I don't see anything wrong with trying to appeal to non-Republicans.

I *do* think it is kind of hilarious, though, given how much flak Ron Paul has caught because his support supposedly doesn't come from "real Republicans".

John Stodder said...

I've been fairly loud in my opposition to the Romney Mandate. Merely replacing Obama with Romney accomplishes little.

Yes, I know. My comment acknowledged that. And your opinion, with all due respect, is delusional to the point of being hormonal. That's why I compare you and the other professed non-RINOs out there to adolescents. Your minds are fogged with jilted-teenager grief over the gap between your expectations after 2010 and political reality. But the fact is, Romney would be a massive improvement over Obama on every issue you profess to care about. And Santorum is neither electable nor equipped to be president.

Bender said...

Santorum is neither electable nor equipped to be president

Fine. Don't vote for him then.

If he is the nominee, then the voters can choose Santorum or they can choose Obama. But they will have an authentic choice. They will have to be adults and make their choice.

If the American people want to reaffirm their choice for national suicide as an irrational act of religious animus and bigotry, then that is their choice. Or, if they want to grow up and stop with the hate, then that is their choice too.

Bender said...

Push is coming to shove here --

What is more important to you, your hate for social conservatives and people of faith, or your desire to get rid of a despotic tyrant?

John Stodder said...

Interesting poll results taken last weekend here.

Hey, can someone invent a clever, Webby term for what Mahal does here?

He doesn't mention who the poll was taken by (Public Policy Polling, a Dem firm), nor that the poll was not taken of likely voters but of registered voters, nor that the margin of error in the poll, 3.7 percent, means all the posted results are a wash?

JS Online almost does the same thing, by the way, never mentioning that the survey is not of likely voters; but it does admit that PPP is a Democratic firm.

I think these results are quite in line with the results you'd expect at this point from an electorate (again, NOT screened for likely voters, which really seems to invalidate the results especially for a special election) that is not as engaged with the process as the handful of activists on both sides.

But whatever. The theme of this thread seems to be that in 2012 politics, feelings matter more than facts. You've got conservatives who hate Romney and what he supposedly represents so much that they are willing to embrace a tactic that allows Santorum to campaign for votes with a message that might as well be, "vote for me, I can't beat Obama!" You've got liberals who think the public-sector-union agenda is the same as "working families." Another Year of Magical Thinking.

garage mahal said...

I don't like the results, therefore blah blah blah.

Check into PPP's accuracy, particularly their recall accuracy [which is some of the toughest polling] from last year and get back with me.

John Stodder said...

What is more important to you, your hate for social conservatives and people of faith, or your desire to get rid of a despotic tyrant?

You think my problem with Santorum is that he's a social conservative? My problem with Santorum is that he is *obsessed* with sex.

Most social conservatives, a group that clearly includes Romney by the way, have some perspective on where their issues fit into a pluralistic society, especially in a campaign year like 2012 in which the economy and US debt are the biggest issues. With the exception of Santorum and a few others, they don't see people like me who don't share all those views as the devil.

If the American people want to reaffirm their choice for national suicide as an irrational act of religious animus and bigotry, then that is their choice.

You're basically saying that if I want a president who will fight to get the government out of the way of economic growth and who will work so that my son doesn't have to pay the debts of his father's generation for the rest of his life, I have to accept as my leader a man who, while paying lip service to those viewpoints, having never acted as if they were particularly important when he held power, thinks those issues are secondary to government's interest in who is having sex with whom, how often and for what purpose? No, I don't see that as my only "adult" choice.

In Romney, we have an imperfect candidate -- as they all are. But someone who is serious about debt and economic growth and, unlike any of the other candidates, has a feel for economic issues. He is a clumsy campaigner, and he does not push the right buttons with the social conservatives even though he has lived an exemplary life from a social conservative's point of view. He sometimes comes off as Richie Rich, I grant. But to make your case for Santorum by pretending that Romney would not be a dramatic break with Obama's policy trajectory is, as I suggested earlier, either disingenuous or delusional.

John Stodder said...

Re: the Walker results.

I think PPP is a good firm. But getting excited about a bunch of results within the margin of error, before campaigning has begun, seems wishful.

What I don't know if you fully appreciate is: For a lot of conservative types, the Walker recall is a bigger deal than the presidential election, and they will invest accordingly in SuperPACs to make sure Walker's message is heard and his voters are turned out.

If Walker loses, all hope of gaining some measure of control over state budgets and public debt is set back significantly. The inmates run the asylum at that point. The proles get taxed for the pensions of a protected class of workers, and public services like schools, roads and public safety, continues to deteriorate.

But if Walker wins, then the Moloch of public employee unions stands naked, a paper tiger, and rollbacks against the outlandish costs of government proceeds apace, nationwide. The unions are taking a huge gamble here, their adversaries know it, and the battle will be huge and expensive.

But the fact that you're going into a recall in a purple state and your Republican governor can claim about half the votes against any opponent means that he's in solid shape. Voters understand recalls to be about throwing out a very bad guy, one who is corrupt, incompetent or pursuing an agenda different from what he or she campaigned on; not re-litigating a close election that just took place 18 months prior.

If you're posting this stuff to make yourself feel better or to make your pro-recall friends feel better, I get it. But I hope in your more truthful conversations, you recognize that your side is in a very tough spot, with history looking over your shoulder ready to judge you harshly.

garage mahal said...

If you're posting this stuff to make yourself feel better or to make your pro-recall friends feel better, I get it.

Dude. I simply said "interesting". Nothing more. Here is a fact you will be unable to spin though: Walker has already spent millions in Wisconsin the past two months, and his numbers are going down.

"Voters understand recalls to be about throwing out a very bad guy, [check] one who is corrupt, [check] incompetent or pursuing an agenda different from what he or she campaigned on" [check]

John M Auston said...

"Voters understand recalls to be about throwing out a very bad guy, [check] one who is corrupt, [check] incompetent or pursuing an agenda different from what he or she campaigned on" [check]

Then lets apply this to Obama, who faces a Nov 2012 recall election:

a very bad guy, [check] one who is corrupt, [check] incompetent or pursuing an agenda different from what he or she campaigned on" [check]

Tom Spaulding said...

Here is a fact you will be unable to spin though: Obama has already spent trillions in taxpayer money the past three years, and his numbers are going down.

John Stodder said...

Except there is so little data on Walker's true standing, you don't really know which way his numbers are trending. Your statement that his numbers are going down is pure spin. It's not a fact you actually know. You have a snapshot at best, not a trend line.

My conjecture, which is worth as much as yours, is that the PPP poll does not depict an electorate eager to cut short the first term of the governor it elected 18 months ago. It depicts a polarized electorate reacting to a polarized political landscape, into which both sides are pumping money to make it seem even more polarized.

If you can't get Walker 10 or more points behind your most likely opponents, you've got an uphill climb.

John Stodder said...

Re: Walker. Here is a good example of why the Walker recall will be nationalized:

http://www.contracostatimes.com/daniel-borenstein/ci_20039260

The average California household's share of the debt for underfunded state and local government employee pensions comes to about $30,500.
Stanford University studies released last week and in December for the first time aggregate public pension shortfalls statewide. Using moderate assumptions about future investment returns, the unfunded liability is about $379 billion.
Hard-core pension reformers will maintain that the number is much more. Defenders of the status quo will insist it's significantly less. Before sorting out that dispute, let's understand what the numbers mean.
Each year public employees work, they increase their future pensions. So, as they work, they and their employers jointly should set aside enough money to cover the additional benefits.
To calculate the contributions, actuaries and pension boards make assumptions about future investment returns and pension costs. Unfortunately, they've been wrong.
They have overestimated investment earnings, underestimated pension costs and retroactively added benefits without proper funding. As a result, pension systems across California have huge unfunded liabilities.
Keep in mind that the shortfall is for pension benefits employees already earned. Like salary and health care benefits, it's a cost that should be paid when labor is performed.
Instead, the shortfall has been converted into debt to be paid off over time, up to 30 years. Government agencies make those payments, diverting money that would otherwise go for government services. So we're depriving current and future generations to pay off past labor costs.

More at the link.

Revenant said...

If he is the nominee, then the voters can choose Santorum or they can choose Obama. But they will have an authentic choice.

An authentic choice between an anti-abortion totalitarian and a pro-abortion totalitarian.

garage mahal said...

Except there is so little data on Walker's true standing, you don't really know which way his numbers are trending. Your statement that his numbers are going down is pure spin. It's not a fact you actually know. You have a snapshot at best, not a trend line.

Except actually I do know. I've been following this probably as close as anyone. If you read the actual poll, which it appears you have not, you would know his numbers have gone down since the last time they polled Wisconsin. Barrett has gained 5 points and Falk has gained 9 since last October.

“These are the most encouraging numbers we’ve found for Democrats in Wisconsin
related to the Walker recall since last August,” said Dean Debnam, President of Public
Policy Polling. “Walker’s numbers had been seeing some recovery, but now it appears
they’ve turned back in the wrong direction. The big question now is whether Democrats
can find a candidate to take advantage of Walker’s vulnerability.”


I think the action is going to be with independents, and Walker's approval with them is 43/55.

Bender said...

An authentic choice between an anti-abortion totalitarian and a pro-abortion totalitarian

Push <--> Shove

So if Santorum is nominated, which is it?

(You'd prefer the pro-abort, we know, even if he is going to destroy the country.)

MadisonMan said...

I'd like a choice that's not totalitarian, thank you very much.