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Not just Obots

I reject the term “Obot” to describe birther debunkers because it implies that birther debunkers do what they do in support of Barack Obama. In fact, many who wish the birthers would go away are Obama opponents, for example:

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, an advisor to John McCain in the 2008 election, said in a letter to constituents: “Every child born in the United States is a natural-born United States citizen except for the children of diplomats.” And what does Graham think about those who claim Obama was born overseas?

The people who are doing unfair and unkind things to the President, it says more about them than it does the Republican Party. What the Republican Party has to do … We have to say “that’s crazy.” So I’m here to tell you that those who think that the President was born somewhere other than Hawaii are crazy.

How about staunch conservative commentator Bill O’Reilly?

 

Bill O’Reilly on the birth certificate in 2008

O’Reilly further speculated this year (February, 2011);

In a new [pre long-form release] poll by a Democratic organization, 51% of Republican primary voters believe that President Obama was not born in the USA. I do not believe that poll. … There is no question that Democrats are trying to marginalize Republican opposition in 2012 by painting them as nuts. This, the birther polling.

Karl Rove, in reply to O’Reilly in the same Fox News segment

This is the White House strategy. … The President can come out and say “here are the documents.” But they’re happy to have this controversy continue because every moment the Conservatives talk about this, they marginalize themselves and diminish themselves in the minds of independent voters. … Look, he was born in Hawaii.

 

 

Rove also said on Fox News:

Within our party, we’ve got to be very careful about allowing these people who are the birthers and the 9/11-deniers to get too high a profile and say too much without setting the record straight,

2012 Republican candidate Mitt Romney told CNBC:

I think the [Obama] citizenship test has been passed. I believe the President was born the United States.

So you see, it’s not Obama supporters, but prominent opponents who think the birthers are wrong and a distraction.

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71 Responses to Not just Obots

  1. avatar
    John Woodman December 29, 2011 at 11:24 am #

    You may count me among those who oppose Obama, but who are ready for the birthers to go away.

    Passing on misinformation and twisting the Constitution and the laws of the United States (and the rulings of our courts) is still misinforming others, and twisting our Constitution and our laws.

    It matters not whether it’s done to support a particular politician, or to oppose him. It’s still the wrong thing to do.

  2. avatar
    richCares December 29, 2011 at 11:54 am #

    Conservatives oppose Obama based on political beliefs and policy differences, the birther’s opposition to Obama is based on hate and lies. Debating birthers is a waste of time. We recently had a birther (bernadine ayers) fill Doc’s pages with piles of poo, answering or arguing with this birther proved to be a losing effort, it was a complete waste of time. John Woodman will find the same results on his Jan 21 debate (if his opponents show up). Good luck John, but they are too invested in their fantasy to accept defeat.

  3. avatar
    Norbrook December 29, 2011 at 12:21 pm #

    One of the things I think you’re seeing among the Republicans who are thinking ahead is the realization of just how damaging the birthers are to the Party, not just now, but for the future. I’d have some sympathy, but they brought a good deal of this on themselves. Let’s face it, they were busily pandering to these people all through 2009 and into 2010.

    The problem now – and in the future – for them is that not only are independents turned off by it, it’s damaging their prospects with various other groups, particularly Latinos. We’ve already seen the birthers start questioning the “natural born citizenship” of Senator Marco Rubio, who is considered one of the up-and-coming politicians for the party. The end result of their playing with these “useful fools” is that in the long run, they could be a very small regional party, the thought of which is scaring the hell out of various conservatives.

  4. avatar
    Loren December 29, 2011 at 1:01 pm #

    You can include me here too.

    I voted for Bob Barr in 2008. Right now, it looks like I’ll probably be voting for Gary Johnson next November. I’ll be perfectly content if Obama is voted out of office; I just know he’s currently there legally and legitimately.

  5. avatar
    katahdin December 29, 2011 at 1:22 pm #

    Conservatives have spent 30 years building their own alternate media infrastructure with the goal of creating an separate version of reality for their supporters, and then pushing that fake reality into the mainstream.
    For example, Conservatives like to maintain that the Great Depression was simply a mild downturn that was exacerbated by the policies of FDR. Of course, the Depression had been going on for three years when Roosevelt took office, so the conservative position makes no sense. But it’s part of undermining and rewriting real history so that it lines up with what conservatives want to believe; ie, that conservative economic policies work and that government can do nothing to stimulate the economy. Never mind that Roosevelt’s policies cut unemployment in half in three years.
    So Republicans shouldn’t be surprised that so many Republicans so readily swallow fact-free conspiracy theories. They have been feeding their base on easily disproven lies for decades. When peoples’ ability to think rationally has been systematically degraded, they’ll accept anything at all, as long as it comes from a source they’re disposed to trust. And unless conservatives can wean themselves from fake history, their future will be bleak.

  6. avatar
    G December 29, 2011 at 1:22 pm #

    Well said. The significance of this point cannot be underestimated. It is a key component to their fall as a serious major party.

    When you stoke the fires of fear and feed red meat to the cancers within, you just grow your own destructive and rabidly hungry monsters that will eventually consume and destroy you…

    I seriously feel that we’re at that threshhold where the cynical robber-baron establishment manipulators have lost control over the monsters they’ve created and bred and this will lead to an eventual implosion and disintegration. The cracks are there and have been showing for some time now. The 2012 GOP Primary & election cycle could very well cause a schism.

    Personally, I want to have more than one sane option available for my vote. I truly feel that the GOP can not recover its sanity or image on its own and that the only path towards restoration is to let them completely self-destruct and end up in the dust bin of history so a new and more reasonable party can be constructed from their ashes. I think the sooner this happens, the better for our country and I only hope that the collateral damage can be mitigated as much as possible.

    Norbrook: One of the things I think you’re seeing among the Republicans who are thinking ahead is the realization of just how damaging the birthers are to the Party, not just now, but for the future. I’d have some sympathy, but they brought a good deal of this on themselves. Let’s face it, they were busily pandering to these people all through 2009 and into 2010. The problem now – and in the future – for them is that not only are independents turned off by it, it’s damaging their prospects with various other groups, particularly Latinos. We’ve already seen the birthers start questioning the “natural born citizenship” of Senator Marco Rubio, who is considered one of the up-and-coming politicians for the party. The end result of their playing with these “useful fools” is that in the long run, they could be a very small regional party, the thought of which is scaring the hell out of various conservatives.

  7. avatar
    G December 29, 2011 at 1:25 pm #

    Well said! Their Orwellian brainwashing techniques have only served to damage themselves and further their downward spiral. A house of cards built mostly on lies cannot stand and is not sustainable in the long term. At some point, the weight of their false realities will cause it to all come crashing down.

    katahdin: So Republicans shouldn’t be surprised that so many Republicans so readily swallow fact-free conspiracy theories. They have been feeding their base on easily disproven lies for decades. When peoples’ ability to think rationally has been systematically degraded, they’ll accept anything at all, as long as it comes from a source they’re disposed to trust. And unless conservatives can wean themselves from fake history, their future will be bleak.

  8. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy December 29, 2011 at 2:12 pm #

    So if you had to chose between Obama and Gingrich?

    Loren: I’ll be perfectly content if Obama is voted out of office;

  9. avatar
    Loren December 29, 2011 at 2:39 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    So if you had to chose between Obama and Gingrich?

    One-on-one match?

    Obama vs. Romney…I’m voting Romney.

    Obama vs. Huntsman…I’m voting Huntsman.

    Obama vs. Paul…I’m voting Paul.

    Obama vs. Gingrich, though…if it was 1990s ‘Contract with America’-Gingrich, I’d be fairly comfortable saying Newt. But as he is today…I’d probably still hold my nose and vote GOP. He’s a fellow Georgian, and that gives him just enough of an edge.

    And then I’d probably hope for a Democratic Congress, since I generally prefer divided government to single-party control.

  10. avatar
    G December 29, 2011 at 3:02 pm #

    Thank you for sharing your views and opinions. You are certainly entitled to vote for the person of your choice. I respect your right to your views and voting decisions as well as your willingness to share them.

    Loren: One-on-one match?Obama vs. Romney…I’m voting Romney.Obama vs. Huntsman…I’m voting Huntsman.Obama vs. Paul…I’m voting Paul.Obama vs. Gingrich, though…if it was 1990s Contract with America’-Gingrich, I’d be fairly comfortable saying Newt. But as he is today…I’d probably still hold my nose and vote GOP. He’s a fellow Georgian, and that gives him just enough of an edge. And then I’d probably hope for a Democratic Congress, since I generally prefer divided government to single-party control.

  11. avatar
    John Woodman December 29, 2011 at 3:07 pm #

    Interesting question on political choices. For me, just about anybody vs. Obama = just about anybody.

    Except… Obama vs. Ron Paul?

    Now THAT would be a headache.

  12. avatar
    Sef December 29, 2011 at 5:53 pm #

    John Woodman: Now THAT would be a headache.

    For whom?

  13. avatar
    katahdin December 29, 2011 at 6:48 pm #

    Loren: He’s a fellow Georgian, and that gives him just enough of an edge.

    Gingrich is actually from Pennsylvania. He’s a carpetbagger. Not only that, he used to be a liberal, until he decided to tailor his views to the electorate in Georgia.

  14. avatar
    Loren December 29, 2011 at 7:37 pm #

    katahdin: Gingrich is actually from Pennsylvania. He’s a carpetbagger. Not only that, he used to be a liberal, until he decided to tailor his views to the electorate in Georgia.

    Newt graduated from high school in Georgia. He’s been here since he was a teenager, and that’s good enough for me.

    I find your second comment odd, and so curious that I’d be interested to hear more. Mainly because Newt has run for office as a Republican ever since his very first run, in 1974. And that first run was also in Georgia. So I don’t see when he could have been a liberal (even Georgia’s Democrats trend conservative), or how he could have changed to suit Georgians when he started out in Georgia.

  15. avatar
    JPotter December 29, 2011 at 10:22 pm #

    Oh, how quickly they dump whatever doesn’t appear to serve their purposes. At least O’Reilly has been bashing them for a long time. He’s been around a long time, and knows how to play an audience well. And how to avoid a losing issue!

  16. avatar
    misha December 29, 2011 at 10:26 pm #

    Loren: Right now, it looks like I’ll probably be voting for Gary Johnson next November.

    Gary Johnson sets third-party pot bubbling as he quits GOP race
    http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/2011/1228/Gary-Johnson-sets-third-party-pot-bubbling-as-he-quits-GOP-race

    Election 101: Who is Gary Johnson?
    http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Elections/2011/0421/Election-101-Who-is-Gary-Johnson/Who-is-he-anyway

  17. avatar
    misha December 29, 2011 at 10:39 pm #

    Loren: I’d probably still hold my nose and vote GOP.

    I vote liberal/progressive because I do not want the wall between church and state to be chipped away. I vote liberal/progressive because I want to see reproductive freedom remain the law of the land. Conservatives of both parties voted against the 1964 CRA. It was passed with the help of Rockefeller Republicans.

    That’s right: I put the 1st Amendment ahead of Israel, and I’m a Zionist:

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

  18. avatar
    El Diablo Negro December 29, 2011 at 11:17 pm #

    I could never vote for anyone I did not like. As an Independent I have voted for Bush Sr., Clinton, Obama, Bush Jr. & Kerry. I could care less about Democrat or Republican party lines. I will vote my way. I will never join a Religious Sect or Political party ever again.

    4 out of 5 aint bad

    Loren: I’d probably still hold my nose and vote GOP.

  19. avatar
    Lupin December 30, 2011 at 4:25 am #

    There are many folks on the left wing of the political spectrum who are deeply dissatisfied with President Obama : Glenn Greenwald comes to mind, or many posters are FireDogLake.

    As I have demonstrated before, Obama’s policies have generally been to the “right” (as commonly understood) of Richard Nixon’s.

    While the comparison has certain flaws, the UK’s conservative PM David Cameron is also to the left of Obama on many issues.

    The way I see it, you no longer have any influential “left” or “liberal” politicians in the US. Kucinich or Nader don’t count; pundits like Chomsky never appear on talk shows, You have what might generously be defined as a Moderate Right (Obama / Democratic Party) and a “Lunatic Right” (everybody else).

    What is striking in the current slate of GOP candidates (other than their bold-faced lies) is that none of their policies/promises could ever be implemented in the practice. I know politicians always promise more than they can (or want to) deliver, but the gap — the chasm — between what’s doable and what the GOP candidates are bandying about is truly mind-boggling. And yet no one, certainly not your media, points that out.

    The increasing cognitive dissonance in American politics is, frankly, a cause for concern to all of us. DER SPIEGEL published a very interesting article on that very topic recently.

  20. avatar
    G December 30, 2011 at 4:50 am #

    There is an area of extreme caution to where I disagree – all they need is sufficient numbers to enact these extreme and crazy agendas. It no longer has much to do with whether their solutions are pragmatic in any sense of the term or would be utter disasters. They are filling their ranks with too many “true believers” who would simply put in place bad policy because they could.

    That is why, even in our very broken and ineffective current system, the election actually matters even more…

    I disagree with those that are naively stuck in the past and still buy into the old meme of “divided government” being good for us. That doesn’t work in a completely polarized environment, such as the current one, where it is obvious that one party will NOT compromise or moderate its views in shared power, but only work to undermine their very own system of government and country and damn the consequences.

    Endless gridlock is bad and a product of a broken system where nothing practical can get done. If we still had 2 rational parties, I could understand this sentiment and the possibility of a balancing act to the benefit of us all. However, that has ceased being the case.

    There are a lot of well-intented people who simply have their heads in the sand about how badly things are currently broken and why and need to wake up. They are only serving to prop up bad habits and behaviors that are spiraling us downwards.

    Lupin: What is striking in the current slate of GOP candidates (other than their bold-faced lies) is that none of their policies/promises could ever be implemented in the practice. I know politicians always promise more than they can (or want to) deliver, but the gap — the chasm — between what’s doable and what the GOP candidates are bandying about is truly mind-boggling. And yet no one, certainly not your media, points that out.
    The increasing cognitive dissonance in American politics is, frankly, a cause for concern to all of us. DER SPIEGEL published a very interesting article on that very topic recently.

  21. avatar
    G December 30, 2011 at 5:10 am #

    I complete share your viewpoint and reasons on this. It is the same way that I feel and why I remain an Independent. I have to register with a party in order to participate in Primaries and because I always vote in every election available to me, great or small, I’ve been at times, registered as Republican and at times registered as Democrat. I only switch my registration when I feel the need to vote *for* something and where I see one side has a choice of options in which I see a choice that I much prefer over the other…so far, I’ve never done so to vote against.

    I don’t like blind party loyalty. Heck, I loathe the inherent limitations of what has become our locked-in two-party system here in America. I view it as a major part of the problem that has led to lack of compromise and increasingly diminished returns. I’ve given up completely on the GOP at anything beyond the local level…as the cancer in the body politic has utterly taken over the GOP on all those levels now. Any “sane” GOP candidate who runs for state or higher positions has to go along and adopt the same “insane” positions and talking points that the current party doctrine demands.

    Case in point – my House Rep, Renacci. Before he gained this office in 2010, his prior office was serving several terms as my mayor. He was a good and reasonable mayor back then and I voted for him in all his terms. I still vote for his GOP successor and she has turned out to be a good mayor for us as well. However, once he started running for national office, he totally changed who he was and started spouting all the same party-line B.S. For awhile, he was clumsy at it, which led for a bit of media coverage fodder that made him look like an idiot. He was good at pushing the talking points, but terrible at being able to defend them when challenged. He’s spent his time in office being loyal to the current party dogma and therefore, only being part of the problem. He’s been rewarded for that sell-out loyalty by being given a much larger territory in the new redistricting map. He was a good man and a good mayor, but he’s such a bad rep for Ohio and my area and the nation that I am almost assuredly going to work to vote him out. The only thing that would prevent my working to do so is if I felt that my other choice was even worse than him. Right now, I don’t see that happening.

    El Diablo Negro: I could never vote for anyone I did not like. As an Independent I have voted for Bush Sr., Clinton, Obama, Bush Jr. & Kerry. I could care less about Democrat or Republican party lines. I will vote my way. I will never join a Religious Sect or Political party ever again.4 out of 5 aint bad

  22. avatar
    misha December 30, 2011 at 5:48 am #

    Lupin: As I have demonstrated before, Obama’s policies have generally been to the “right” (as commonly understood) of Richard Nixon’s.

    Everyone who screams ‘socialist’, forgets that federal bailouts started with Nixon, for Lockheed:

    http://uspolitics.about.com/od/economy/a/lockheedBailout.htm

  23. avatar
    Norbrook December 30, 2011 at 7:30 am #

    Lupin:
    There are many folks on the left wing of the political spectrum who are deeply dissatisfied with President Obama : Glenn Greenwald comes to mind, or many posters are FireDogLake.

    Greenwald is a libertarian, not a liberal. In fact, he’s often been on the far right at times, he’s just better at hiding it. The people at FDL got the nickname “firebaggers” for a reason. They’re not so much liberal as living a fantasy of being liberal. 90% of their discontent is because they couldn’t be bothered to read policy platforms, or heck, even understand basic government.

  24. avatar
    Loren December 30, 2011 at 7:46 am #

    El Diablo Negro:
    I could never vote for anyone I did not like.

    Ditto. I actually voted for some nobody write-in in 2004, because I didn’t want to vote for the Republican, the Democrat, OR the Libertarian. I didn’t know anything about the write-in, but at least it couldn’t be construed as support for any of the big three.

    Doc’s question, however, was purely binary. If I had to choose between two candidates, which one would I go with? I can’t say ‘neither.’

  25. avatar
    JPotter December 30, 2011 at 8:07 am #

    Don’t worry about having to choose between Obama and Paul, John W. Even if Ron Paul wins enough states to “earn” the Red nomination, the Reds would not nominate him.

  26. avatar
    G December 30, 2011 at 8:10 am #

    Well said! I strongly concur.

    Norbrook: Greenwald is a libertarian, not a liberal. In fact, he’s often been on the far right at times, he’s just better at hiding it. The people at FDL got the nickname “firebaggers” for a reason. They’re not so much liberal as living a fantasy of being liberal. 90% of their discontent is because they couldn’t be bothered to read policy platforms, or heck, even understand basic government.

  27. avatar
    G December 30, 2011 at 8:34 am #

    I feel you. I can also totally understand and respect this dilemma.

    Similar to how many voters in 2004 ended up voting for Kerry simply because they were looking for “not Bush”, I can understand folks on the right who simply desire “not Obama”.

    However, I feel it does always come down to asking yourself in the end, which of your options not just matches your interests but also is best likely to lead the country. That in the end is definitely still a very personal calculation and matter of opinion and it really is a question that one only needs to take a hard serious look into answering for themselves, once the playing field for the General Election has fully crystalized.

    A simple reflexive “not Obama” might be an understandable gut-reaction desire at this stage for anyone loyal to the GOP or simply unhappy with Obama. But on closer examination, that simply isn’t true…and I think most people know that, which is why this unprecedented weak field on the GOP side is such a cause of disappointment and thus, remains still a fairly wide open contest. They each have a number of different critical flaws – not just from a General Election perspective, but even from the very different perspective of where various GOP Primary voter interests lie.

    What I’m getting at is that the “appeal” of say, Huntsman is vastly different than either a Ron Paul or Michele Bachmann. At this point, GOP primary voters are struggling between casting a vote to one of those flawed choices they find most closely aligned to their personal beliefs/values and the elusively tricky perception calculation of who is “viable” to obtain the nomination or able to “challenge” Obama. Really, I think too many are focused on worrying about that ephmerial second part…when such issues of “viability” can be quite fluid (particularly in this contest) and simply vulnerable to rash group-think conclusions and are subject to a lot of swing change. Simply saying “not Obama” is awfully easy…the difficult part is in doing a self-assessment examination of the choices in front of you and determine how each of those different candidates might be better or worse at representing your needs and running the country.

    Loren: Ditto. I actually voted for some nobody write-in in 2004, because I didn’t want to vote for the Republican, the Democrat, OR the Libertarian. I didn’t know anything about the write-in, but at least it couldn’t be construed as support for any of the big three.Doc’s question, however, was purely binary. If I had to choose between two candidates, which one would I go with? I can’t say neither.’

  28. avatar
    G December 30, 2011 at 8:55 am #

    Oh the GOP Establishment and certain segments of the “base”, along with the media will certainly continue to have a lot of heartburn over the threat of Paul and will definitely have the long knives out to do anything in their power to try to thwart his ability to get the nomination.

    However, his primary base of followers really are a separate block of interests unto themselves and very loyal. All the years of being treated as an obvious pariah by the Party and the media has also served to harden themselves against criticism and attacks.

    In this weak field, they certainly have sufficient margins to remain an impact on this race for a long time, regardless of how the rest of the party feels about it. Paul is the only candidate besides Romney at this point who is well positioned both financially and organizationally to dig in for the long haul in the race, despite the results of individual contests along the way.

    Momentum is an interesting social phenomenon. Paul’s support threshhold has actually been more blunted by a perception of “not viable” than by his actual positions. Conversely, Romney has mainly benefited and is being propped up more by the perception of “inevitable” than anything else.

    Each of these Primary contests will impact the ebb and flow of perception of momentum for these two, as well as the other candidates and can completely change the dynamic of who’s fortunes and “viability” is rising or falling. Regardless, both of these candidates can afford to weather quite a bit of fluxuation in their fortunes in the early contests and rest assured, both of them will rack up a healthy number of all important delegates.

    The outcome of this GOP Primary is certainly not settled and this easily can be another year where “conventional wisdom” turns out to be totally wrong. I simply can’t rule out any of the candidates’s fortunes at this stage…at least not until the field has winnowed down to four.

    I can’t even be confident that will happen as a result of IA or NH, even though I supsect it is likely. I’m pretty sure that at least 4 from IA will continue on (plus Huntsman, who will make his stand in NH regardless), but if the margins between candidates comes out fairly close, I can see scenarios in which certain candidates justify continuing on with even a 5th…and (possibly) even a 6th place finish. So far, this truly is the most unsettled and unpredictable contest I’ve seen in my entire life time and it could easily take several unexpected twists and turns all the way through Super Tuesday…and possibly even beyond that! Each successive contest will impact the momentum and dynamics of the next one…and could end up doing so with more swings in fortune that we’re used to seeing. The biggest dynamic will be what causes certain candidates to drop out and when they do so….and that really remains a very open question!

    JPotter: Don’t worry about having to choose between Obama and Paul, John W. Even if Ron Paul wins enough states to “earn” the Red nomination, the Reds would not nominate him.

  29. avatar
    G December 30, 2011 at 9:05 am #

    I guess what I’m getting at here is that although I fully expect the GOP and media to bring everything they can to bare against Ron Paul, I’m not convinced they can actually stop him or fully blunt surges of momentum he may gain along the way.

    I simply feel that his unique situation in some way renders him “immune” from the damage such establishment and media machines can bring to bare on other candidates in the race.

    I still think his organizational ground game dynamics in IA have him best positioned to win that race…and despite how the media will try to downplay it, will likely give further boost to his numbers in NH…a state in which he really stands to gain from the “libertarian” bent of many of the Independents that can vote there and will be encouraged by any strong showing he has coming out of IA. What happens if he does really well there too? Momentum is a pretty powerful thing and I am not convinced that the GOP will be as successful in chopping him down at the knees as they hope to be…

    JPotter: Don’t worry about having to choose between Obama and Paul, John W. Even if Ron Paul wins enough states to “earn” the Red nomination, the Reds would not nominate him.

  30. avatar
    Loren December 30, 2011 at 9:15 am #

    G:
    Simply saying “not Obama” is awfully easy…the difficult part is in doing a self-assessment examination of the choices in front of you and determine how each of those different candidates might be better or worse at representing your needs and running the country.

    Indeed. And I chose the handful of matchups I did for a reason.

    Obama vs. Cain? Obama vs. Bachmann? Obama vs. Santorum? Obama vs. Perry? In any of *those* races, I’d be compelled to vote for Obama. My ‘not Obama’ instinct doesn’t extend to them.

    I legitimately like Johnson, Huntsman, and Romney, and could vote for any of them without falling back on a ‘not Obama’ defense. It’s just Paul and Gingrich that are on the wire. Paul gets the edge over Obama due to his libertarianism, and Gingrich for the man he *used* to be, but neither one of them is a comfortable decision (and honestly, I’m waffling on Paul due to my general disdain for some of his fringier aspects).

  31. avatar
    J. Potter December 30, 2011 at 10:29 am #

    G: I guess what I’m getting at here is that although I fully expect the GOP and media to bring everything they can to bare against Ron Paul, I’m not convinced they can actually stop him

    Sure they can! I’m not saying they wouldn’t nominate Paul because I don’t like him, I’m saying that because, unless he wins in Iowa and that triggers an upswell of momentum that results in an avalanche in his favor (like winning +/- 40 states by convincing, margins), the primary/caucus system leaves a lot of fudge room. Some states pro-rate delegates, some are winner-take-all, the caucus states are a complete mess, and then governors, senators, and various other officials have there own at-large delegates, some bound, some not. The nominating processes are not at all like elections. Unless there’s a runaway, there’s plenty of room to “adjust” an undesirable popular result.

    I hope Paul wins Iowa, just to see the media about face and the party pundits squirm! But even if, say, 45% of Iowans caucus for Paul, that doesn’t mean he’ll get the delegates. Read the rules …. anyone thinking the smoke has cleared from the back rooms is very much mistaken!

    Personally, I think a Paul presidency would be a hoot and a lot of fun. So much of what any organization does in inertial, It would do the system good to come in and attempt to litterally hit the reset button, forcing an examination of what the heck we’re doing and why. He’s not a wannabe dictator. His extremist ideas wouldn’t make any headway.

    Well, not the really far out ones anyway.

  32. avatar
    Reality Check December 30, 2011 at 10:42 am #

    The Iowa Caucuses are vastly overrated in importance. Out of the last six election cycles when there was not an incumbent Republican running the eventual nominee only won twice. If the Iowa Caucuses were anywhere in the cycle except first they would merit about five minutes in the news.

  33. avatar
    J. Potter December 30, 2011 at 11:12 am #

    Not only that, RC … seriously, read the rules as passed by the Iowa RP, they literally explain that results of Jan 3 have almost no meaning whatsoever! National delegates voting in August don’t want to be bound by what was done way back when in the dead of winter before all the cool kids chimed in! Also, this comes from a state party that holds an event, at a state fair no less, right out of the 19th century, in which candidates are encouraged to literally buy votes. The buying of votes is not only a great American tradition, but a great Western tradition, one our own G. Washington was expert at. But in this enlightened ( 😛 ) age, to my mind, the downhome circus atmosphere undermines the results completely. However, it does serve a purpose. It helps the whole system get over itself, get the awkward first kiss out of the way, so everyone can get down to business.

  34. avatar
    elmo December 30, 2011 at 12:51 pm #

    Mainstream conservatives circulate lies about the President every bit as ridiculous as the birth certificate hokum. Obama’s a socialist? Bunk. Obama’s raised your taxes? Bunk. The stimulus created no jobs? Bunk. I could go on, but you get the point.

  35. avatar
    Reality Check December 30, 2011 at 12:57 pm #

    Has anyone ever tried to explain how our system for nominating candidates for president works to someone from another country? You almost laugh out loud as you explain.

  36. avatar
    G December 30, 2011 at 3:56 pm #

    Good point! Very true. There has been a terrible breakdown in integrity that leads people to so flippantly sling poo. Again, this has been occuring in much more egregious display on one side of the aisle – the Right. Another area that too often gets pulled into false equivalence.

    What it comes down to is the entire spectrum on the right has a bad habit of not policing its own and enabling bad behaviors by either supporting them or downplaying them. All they’ve done is broaden their collective culpability by such complicitness.

    elmo: Mainstream conservatives circulate lies about the President every bit as ridiculous as the birth certificate hokum. Obama’s a socialist? Bunk. Obama’s raised your taxes? Bunk. The stimulus created no jobs? Bunk. I could go on, but you get the point.

  37. avatar
    G December 30, 2011 at 4:21 pm #

    Thank you for the reply and additional insight. I totally get what you are saying.

    Honestly, I have a favorable opinion of both Johnson and Huntsman myself. If this was still the GOP of the late 20th century, I could feel comfortable with either of them getting elected. (Although Johnson’s libertarian & pro-legalize pot stance would actually fare much worse back then). I think both of them retain a lot of personal integrity and ability to work across the aisle towards common cause. With people of character such as them, I don’t worry as much about whether their various views differ from mine, because I obtain comfort by a broader sense that they are fair and have a conscience and truly would put country first.

    However, I feel that the body politik of the GOP has become utterly and irreversibly corrupt – with an establishment that cares only about their own power and openly sucking up to the robber barons out there and cynically pandering just enough to a crazed “red meat” base to keep them frothing and voting their way. I used to feel that the GOP held a number of positions that appealed to me, but those seem to have disappeared and the only ones that remain are those that no longer make sense:

    Lower taxes only make sense to a point. Taxes are necessary in order to have revenue to run an effective and efficient government. That is really what is needed – the whole concept of “small government” is simply the wrong argument and can’t sustain a large, vast modern nation that wants to be a leader and retain its leadership in the world. I too am very concerned about the nation’s debt – but if you are only looking at expeditures and not also looking at revenue needs, then you are not being responsible on the issue. Illegal immigration is a concern, but if you are not willing to address the culpability and role of those that employ illegal immigrants in the equation, than you are not serious about the problem. In summary, they have no actual pragmatic solutions to the problems we face going forward in the 21st century and seem to openly not care and would rather pander to various social theocrats and bigots that would prefer a government that restricts certain American’s liberties instead of protect them.

    Loren: Indeed. And I chose the handful of matchups I did for a reason.Obama vs. Cain? Obama vs. Bachmann? Obama vs. Santorum? Obama vs. Perry? In any of *those* races, I’d be compelled to vote for Obama. My not Obama’ instinct doesn’t extend to them.I legitimately like Johnson, Huntsman, and Romney, and could vote for any of them without falling back on a not Obama’ defense.

  38. avatar
    G December 30, 2011 at 5:13 pm #

    Also, I want to state that when I criticize the GOP’s current crop of candidates as an entirely weak field, that broad statement requires some clarification when it comes to Huntsman, Johnson and Roemer. (I really like Roemer’s issue platform on election reform and restricting the influence of big money. He’s the only one on a crusade to fix the true source of the problem; hence why the establishment that benefits from a corrupt system would never give him a fair chance to get elected).

    On those 3 examples, they are terminally flawed GOP Primary candidates primarily because they are such Square Pegs for what the GOP currently represents and it has ceased to be a Big Tent party in which they could find a home. I truly wish Johnson the best of luck in the Libertarian primary in May. That party too has been overly infected with crazy as of late and his nomination could restore some sense of balance and integrity to a party that has become barely distinguishable from the Constitution Party as of late.

    Roemer – I really wish his message could at least take hold. I think he’s terminally hurt himself with a too restrictive private donor limit of $150, but I take him seriously as an honorable person…but just don’t see him having any realistic chance of mounting a serious campaign. The best he can hope for as an “issues candidate” is that even low single digit returns of 1% or more in these contests get noticed and bring some coverage of his message, so that it enters the broader conversation. I wish him the best of luck on that.

    Huntsman – I think he actually would make the strongest General Election candidate for the GOP. However, their is such a contrast between values and positions that appeal to the nation as a whole and the narrow, restrictive focus of today’s GOP that he simply doesn’t stand a chance in the GOP Primary. If this was 20 years ago, he’d be a strong candidate. Sadly, he simply has no place in what the GOP has become. He is simply too reasonable and sensible in his positions and willingness to actually work together towards solutions and not willing enough to sell out his integrity and pander to all the RW talking points. He is simply a terminally flawed candidate for the sole reason of being such a fish out of water.

    Still, in such a weak field, I dont’ entirely discount him either. This really is a unique dynamic in play where things are truly more fluid and in flux that I’ve ever seen. So even Huntsman still has a chance to see his “bubble” come. He could do very well in NH and continue on to pursue FL and NV. If he performs strongly and Romney has been underperforming, it is quite possible that some of the establishment votes for Romney, (who is nothing more than a “default” and “settle for” option) peel away and give Huntsman the serious consideration, that in a sane world he deserves.

    Even if this scenario came to pass, I still have doubts about how well he could do, because I truly feel that the “base” has obtained a threshhold beyond control of their establishment masters and that they would sadly, consolidate in opposition to Huntsman.

    For similar reasons, even though Romney remains the most likely “default” GOP nominee, I think that conclusion is far from certain. Even Romney’s best case scenario of decisively winning IA & NH will not be able to guarantee that certainty, even though it will help to prop up his main argument of “inevitability” considerably.

    The 2012 GOP calendar and delegate allocation really open the doorway to several candidates being able to start racking up delegates early on and keeping the door open for “buyer’s remorse” to change the dynamic as the races move along. There are also periods of high activity and inactivity in the calendar that can effectively impact both momentum and reconsideration. Anyone who can stick it out long enough to grab at least a few delegates in the early contests can use that to make an argument along with any small momentum they gain to retool their appeals during the in-between periods to extend their life-line and hopes in this race. All of Super-Tuesday on Mar 3 is apportioned delegates and OH has now been moved to add to that total. We don’t get to Winner-takes-all until April!

    The dynamic and threshholds will change every time the pool of options shrinks. There is certainly a floor and ceiling to each of these candidates support…but I question whether the conventional wisdom has properly assessed those and how much is simply about obtaining an aura of “viability”. We simply could see some unexpected surges and shifts in fortunes that happen later in the calendar that we’re used to. I’m just not confident at this time that this will be all wrapped up after FL or even after Super Tuesday – *even* in the best case scenario for strong early Romney wins.

    Loren: Indeed. And I chose the handful of matchups I did for a reason.Obama vs. Cain? Obama vs. Bachmann? Obama vs. Santorum? Obama vs. Perry? In any of *those* races, I’d be compelled to vote for Obama. My not Obama’ instinct doesn’t extend to them.I legitimately like Johnson, Huntsman, and Romney, and could vote for any of them without falling back on a not Obama’ defense. It’s just Paul and Gingrich that are on the wire. Paul gets the edge over Obama due to his libertarianism, and Gingrich for the man he *used* to be, but neither one of them is a comfortable decision (and honestly, I’m waffling on Paul due to my general disdain for some of his fringier aspects).

  39. avatar
    G December 30, 2011 at 5:55 pm #

    While I agree with that assessment and I fully expect the GOP and the media to continue to pound in that meme, I would argue that this year they actually take an outsized importance in shaping the dynamic of where the race goes; simply due to having a truly unpredictable and unsettled field going into it. There is so much that differs in how their caucus structure works compared to an actual Primary vote that ground game, GOTV and persuasion of others in the room loom as much larger factors. Plus, they pull a much smaller segment of the population to participate than voting booths do.

    This Jan 3rd is truly wide open and all of the 6 main competitors are fairly close in low double-digit margins of support. When everyone is fluctuating in a range of low teens to low twenties, who actually turns out and who can passionately convince the people around them to vote with them can really make a difference. Truly, anyone of them could surprise and win this.

    So while the IA results may not match up with who the eventual nominee is, I argue that the results truly will be important, because in a completely up-for-grabs situation, this is the first contest to put rank and points on the board and its results utterly setup the dynamic and momentum to influence what happens next. If IA causes any of the 6 to drop out, that too will be a huge impact to the remaining candidates fortunes going forward.

    Reality Check: The Iowa Caucuses are vastly overrated in importance. Out of the last six election cycles when there was not an incumbent Republican running the eventual nominee only won twice. If the Iowa Caucuses were anywhere in the cycle except first they would merit about five minutes in the news.

  40. avatar
    Judge Mental December 30, 2011 at 6:03 pm #

    The bookies seem to see the GOP race as already done and dusted, with nothing much remaining ‘open’ about it.

    Today’s available odds…

    Romney………1/3
    Gingrich………8/1
    Paul……………8/1
    Huntsman……22/1
    Santorum…….25/1
    Perry…………..33/1
    Bachmann……50/1

  41. avatar
    Keith December 30, 2011 at 6:05 pm #

    Loren: (and honestly, I’m waffling on Paul due to my general disdain for some of his fringier aspects).

    Like his long stated intention to destroy public education in the United States?

  42. avatar
    G December 30, 2011 at 6:36 pm #

    Yeah, but if you look at the bookies ratings since late summer, you see that other than the default of “Romney” being stable, they simply mirror the same boom and bust wave as the rest of national polls. The odds for the remainder of the pack will continue to swing as their own fortunes swing in the race. If Santorum truly delivers on the surge that he might actually be getting in IA, he’s got a strong shot at SC and of becoming the settled “Deep Red” candidate and his odds will similarly improve.

    Right now, that is the true interesting dynamic that IA might deliver – winnowing the “Deep Red” choice, which is still unsettled and split between Bachmann, Perry and Santorum…and to a lesser extent to Gingrich as well.

    This is where the true battle lies – for the base’s eventual option of a “Conservative” Not-Romney, Not-Paul nominee. If they can narrow that down to even two of the four contending…then the “Deep Red” vote is likely to really solidify behind whoever remains.

    Judge Mental: The bookies seem to see the GOP race as already done and dusted, with nothing much remaining open’ about it. Today’s available odds…Romney………1/3Gingrich………8/1Paul……………8/1Huntsman……22/1Santorum…….25/1Perry…………..33/1Bachmann……50/1

  43. avatar
    James M December 30, 2011 at 7:25 pm #

    Reality Check:
    Has anyone ever tried to explain how our system for nominating candidates for president works to someone from another country?You almost laugh out loud as you explain.

    It’s a little simpler to explain if you stress the point that the states are quite independent of each other and of the federal government, and that they have very few constraints placed on them as to how delegates are chosen. It’s difficult to describe it as single process, because it’s not. It’s fifty separate governments being represented to a national Congress.

  44. avatar
    G December 30, 2011 at 7:38 pm #

    You make some very important points about the “flexibility” the Party has in final allocation of delgates. I suspect that this dynamic could become a major cause of contention and charges of “unfairness” that exposes more public fractures in the GOP if the race runs long and becomes seriously contested.

    The delegate allocation rules vary somewhat between state to state. As you wisely pointed out, IA’s initial results only set the stage, with a rank of winners and losers. It serves to usually winnow the playing field and impact momentum moving forward. The actual delegate allocation doesn’t happen until much later, with several “filter” layers in the process that really “muddy” the picture of who people voted for and who ends up with delegates.

    That being said, it should be noted that Ron Paul came in 5th place in 2008 in IA and still ended up with a few delegates at the end of the day. A total of 119,118 votes were cast in that GOP Primary.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iowa_Republican_caucuses,_2008

    Those 2004 IA results were:

    1. Huckabee – 34% votes, 17 delegates
    2. Romney – 25% votes, 12 delegates
    3. Fred Thomspon – 13.4%, ZERO delegates
    4. McCain – 13%, 3 delegates
    5. Ron Paul – 9.93%, 2 delegates
    6. Rudy Giuliani – 3.34%, ZERO delegates

    It should be noted that 8 other individuals received votes cast in that IA Primary. But all of them were less than 1% of the vote total. Heck, all of the rest combined still came to less than 1%. Obviously, none of those obtained any delegates.

    Of those lesser names that did get votes, 2 of them seem to be running again this year: crazy Hugh Cort (got 5 votes in IA) and Vern Wuensche who received 2 total votes .

    Vern is actually running an earnest campaign again this cycle and has spent considerable time in both Iowa and New Hampshire. As I mentioned on another thread, I’ve got a soft spot in my heart for those types of earnest “average citizen” campaigns, I may not agree with his views, but he’s sincere in his efforts and not just some loon (like Hugh Cort) or lazy vanity candidate. My heart goes out to Vern and those like him and I’ll actually be rooting for him to increase his showing from last cycle.

    For someone like him to have any impact in these races whatsoever, he would have to massively surge to more than half a percent in either IA or NH to merit any attention. In such a totally up-for-grabs and weak field, that small yet significant threshold of achievement is not completely out of the realm of possibility for someone like him, who’s put in the actual on-the-ground efforts to make his case to potential voters. It would deserve some merit of notice and offer the slight hope of raising his profile further.

    But I digress. Back to the issue you brought up with delegates and Ron Paul. Ron Paul ended up with a total of 35 delegates in 2008, which was the 4th highest total for that year (behind McCain with 1575, Huckabee with 278 and Romney with 271). Ron was definitely a much smaller factor in that race and that race calendar had a completely different and more front-loaded “winner take all” make up to it.) Even with that small showing, Ron Paul was able to stick it out and did not suspend his campaign until June 12, 2008.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republican_Party_(United_States)_presidential_primaries,_2008

    So, what I’m getting at is that this cycle and with this different candidate allocation calendar, Ron Paul will almost assuredly rack up a much more significant delegate total and be a much bigger factor in this race then he was then. I completely agree that the GOP Party machine will do whatever they can to try to limit his gains…but I don’t think that they have the ability to prevent him from being remaining a threatening “headache” for them for possibly the entire duration of this campaign cycle.

    If the early contests succeed in winnowing down the “Deep Red” choice to 1 (or possibly even 2) other candidates, then it could end up as death by a thousand paper cuts for Romney, as the others only have to succeed in getting enough delegates to prevent Romeny from locking the nomination up.

    As you wisely noted, the Party machine has some definite “flexibility” to “influence” the final allocations…but a good portion of them are simply automatic, based on intial voter results. In an election cycle where the base is simply desperate to latch onto “anything but Romney”, accumulating those automatic delegates could simply be enough to prevent Romeny from being able to cross the finish line.

    J. Potter: Sure they can! I’m not saying they wouldn’t nominate Paul because I don’t like him, I’m saying that because, unless he wins in Iowa and that triggers an upswell of momentum that results in an avalanche in his favor (like winning +/- 40 states by convincing, margins), the primary/caucus system leaves a lot of fudge room. Some states pro-rate delegates, some are winner-take-all, the caucus states are a complete mess, and then governors, senators, and various other officials have there own at-large delegates, some bound, some not. The nominating processes are not at all like elections. Unless there’s a runaway, there’s plenty of room to “adjust” an undesirable popular result.

    J. Potter: Not only that, RC … seriously, read the rules as passed by the Iowa RP, they literally explain that results of Jan 3 have almost no meaning whatsoever! National delegates voting in August don’t want to be bound by what was done way back when in the dead of winter before all the cool kids chimed in! Also, this comes from a state party that holds an event, at a state fair no less, right out of the 19th century, in which candidates are encouraged to literally buy votes. The buying of votes is not only a great American tradition, but a great Western tradition, one our own G. Washington was expert at. But in this enlightened ( ) age, to my mind, the downhome circus atmosphere undermines the results completely. However, it does serve a purpose. It helps the whole system get over itself, get the awkward first kiss out of the way, so everyone can get down to business.

  45. avatar
    JPotter December 30, 2011 at 8:42 pm #

    Reality Check:
    Has anyone ever tried to explain how our system for nominating candidates for president works to someone from another country?You almost laugh out loud as you explain.

    Heard a report on the BBC this morning from their man in Iowa. His reactions were variations on: “What the hell …” We have a very unique history, which has created very unique traditions!

  46. avatar
    G December 30, 2011 at 8:48 pm #

    Here’s an article I just found that pretty much makes many of the same points I did – both in regards to this year’s different calendar and how that will impact delegates as well as showing how Paul and even another Not-Romeny alternative can have a strong showing and keep this race inconclusive well into the spring:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/20/republican-primary-beyond-iowa-january_n_1161515.html

    Some key take-away points to stress:

    1. Only Romney and Paul currently have the money and organization in place for contesting a longer race.

    2. Surprisingly, Paul actually seems to have the strongest advanced preparation and dedicated staff and is working hard in all the states to be as competitive as possible. In particular, they are positioning themselves to perform very strongly in all the caucus states (an area which Paul actually did fairly well in, even in 2008).

    3. Romney’s campaign so far has come across a bit too lax and with a sense of “entitlement”. For such an established organization and one that has been pretty much running for the past five years, both the candidate and the campaign continue to surprise me with their tepid efforts to truly “compete” for these votes and their flourishes of over-confidence.

    4. That is a big red-flag to me… along with their inability to rise beyond certain thresholds in the polls. All combined, I am continuously less convinced or impressed in Romney’s “inevitability” or even strength as a candidate.

    Therefore, I predict that Romney will underperform expectations and that Paul will overperform. I also feel that as soon as the rest of the field is winnowed down, the Deep Reds will settle on one (and possibly two) “Conservative” alternatives to either Romney or Paul and that money and support will begin to consolidate behind that candidate. I think this could remain a competitive race for quite some time, with between 3-5 candidates still in serious competition though at least Super Tuesday and a solid possibility that 3 candidates can continue to battle it out for the long haul, beyond that.

    Let’s be clear – anything other than Romney winning in the end would be a major upset. However, I think the odds for such an upset happening are still surprisingly high and can’t completely be ruled out, regardless of IA and NH’s results.

    It also would be a complete surprise to see any scenario in which either Romney or Paul “drops out”. I fully expect both of them to be in for the long haul, regardless.

    G: If the early contests succeed in winnowing down the “Deep Red” choice to 1 (or possibly even 2) other candidates, then it could end up as death by a thousand paper cuts for Romney, as the others only have to succeed in getting enough delegates to prevent Romeny from locking the nomination up.
    As you wisely noted, the Party machine has some definite “flexibility” to “influence” the final allocations…but a good portion of them are simply automatic, based on intial voter results. In an election cycle where the base is simply desperate to latch onto “anything but Romney”, accumulating those automatic delegates could simply be enough to prevent Romeny from being able to cross the finish line.

  47. avatar
    JPotter December 30, 2011 at 9:38 pm #

    G: such an established organization and one that has been pretty much running for the past five years

    Speaking of running for 5 years….how long has Paul been running now??? Good Lord it seems like forever, but it is also roughly 5 years, since March ’07. Just looking over his campaign history, he had an awesome slogan in 2000, warning voters against his opponent by urging them to “Be leery of Sneary” …. what an unfortunate name!

    Here’s a fun graphic …. bar graph of Paul’s %age of Presidential campaign contributions by state. Quite a predictable lineup!

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/8/8f/Paul-2008-mon.pdf

  48. avatar
    G December 30, 2011 at 10:25 pm #

    You are correct. His campaign apparatus at least, has been in place and gaining in size and numbers that entire time…even during the interim period when it was not certain that he would run again.

    So there are important similarities – that both of the leading candidates in this race ran in 2008 as well. This is key in explaining how they are both well positioned in many states and to stay in the race for the long haul.

    It is interesting to note the slight differences – where Romney has pretty much been running non-stop, Paul actually did go back to focus on his Congress “day job”…but the campaign structure he left behind continued to build momentum and resources even without him. I think that belays another strength of his and reveals another weakness of Romney. Paul’s structure has significantly been built stronger behind the scenes while Romney’s has been pretty much coasting and taking their status for granted this entire time…

    JPotter: Speaking of running for 5 years….how long has Paul been running now??? Good Lord it seems like forever, but it is also roughly 5 years, since March ’07. Just looking over his campaign history, he had an awesome slogan in 2000, warning voters against his opponent by urging them to “Be leery of Sneary” …. what an unfortunate name!Here’s a fun graphic …. bar graph of Paul’s %age of Presidential campaign contributions by state. Quite a predictable lineup!http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/8/8f/Paul-2008-mon.pdf

  49. avatar
    Lupin December 31, 2011 at 4:12 am #

    G: There is an area of extreme caution to where I disagree – all they need is sufficient numbers to enact these extreme and crazy agendas. It no longer has much to do with whether their solutions are pragmatic in any sense of the term or would be utter disasters. They are filling their ranks with too many “true believers” who would simply put in place bad policy because they could.

    You may well be right but implementing their insane policies would require such a tectonic overhaul of your society that I doubt it could be done; plus the oligarchy doesn’t really want a “revolutionary” agenda; so they’re playing the right-wingers for rubes.

  50. avatar
    Lupin December 31, 2011 at 4:18 am #

    JPotter: We have a very unique history, which has created very unique traditions!

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but humoring the rubes is actually a recent tradition. Wasn’t your selection process basically a bunch of fatcats in a cigar smoke-filled room until WWII?

  51. avatar
    Lupin December 31, 2011 at 4:21 am #

    G: Only Romney and Paul currently have the money and organization in place for contesting a longer race.

    Isn’t Ron Paul kind of like the Ralph Nader of the GOP?

    I mean, at the end of the day, the oligarchs want Romney (for lack of a better choice, no doubt) and they’ll get Romney.

    I’m going on a limb here but I feel the Oligarchs have pretty much given up on 2012, and besides they’re (secretly) happy with Obama who’s given pretty much everything they wanted.

    My guess is they’re grooming Jeb Bush for 2016. That will be the fight. 2012 is kabuki.

  52. avatar
    G December 31, 2011 at 4:46 am #

    At the state level, we’ve already seen a ton of alarming legislation from the Class of 2010 GOP that quickly swept into place policies no one here would have ever dreamed that they could get away with…

    What is happening at the state level serves as a cautionary tale that if you give them enough margins to pull it off, they will not hesitate to enact crazy and dangerous policy or to work quickly to suppress the rights of others…

    Trust me, you are vastly underestimating the seriousness of the danger and erosions that are already happening here.

    Lupin: You may well be right but implementing their insane policies would require such a tectonic overhaul of your society that I doubt it could be done; plus the oligarchy doesn’t really want a “revolutionary” agenda; so they’re playing the right-wingers for rubes.

  53. avatar
    G December 31, 2011 at 5:01 am #

    I don’t think Ron Paul in analogous to Nader. Ron Paul is more aptly viewed as GOP’s Dennis Kucinich.

    The Oligarchs are definitely becoming resigned to “settle” on Romney. The process is not complete yet, but that is the direction they’ve always been headed… at least once the field settled in October and Perry blew up on them.

    I completely agree that they will do everything in their power and funding to try to ensure he gets the nomination.

    However, I am no longer convinced that the Oligarchs can control their own base and “shove Romney” down their throats. This is the year which will prove whether the base succeeds in pushing their revolt or not. If they end up “getting in line” and also backing Romney, then the “status quo” remain in place…but the rot and cracks remain under the surface and it only delays the inevitable.

    Romney as the GOP nominee still seems to be the most likely outcome, but it is far from certain and this bizarre reality show has quite a few episodes to still play out. If another candidate ends up with the nomination or even making it hard for Romney to cross the finish line… then that means certain “base” factions have revolted and have achieved enough power to threaten the establishment…

    See also my further analysis of the 2012 GOP Race that I just added under this thread:

    http://www.obamaconspiracy.org/2011/12/new-poll-results-most-iowa-republicans-are-idiots/#comment-142455

    Lupin: Isn’t Ron Paul kind of like the Ralph Nader of the GOP?

    I mean, at the end of the day, the oligarchs want Romney (for lack of a better choice, no doubt) and they’ll get Romney.

    I’m going on a limb here but I feel the Oligarchs have pretty much given up on 2012, and besides they’re (secretly) happy with Obama who’s given pretty much everything they wanted.

    My guess is they’re grooming Jeb Bush for 2016. That will be the fight. 2012 is kabuki.

  54. avatar
    Lupin December 31, 2011 at 5:52 am #

    G: I don’t think Ron Paul in analogous to Nader. Ron Paul is more aptly viewed as GOP’s Dennis Kucinich.

    I hadn’t thought of Kucinich. (Does anyone?) You’re right; it is a better analogy.

    I totally concur with your comments, and you’re probably correct when you say that I underestimate how much damage they can effect if given a modicum of power. Your analogy with the aftermath of the state elections is again correct — and scary.

  55. avatar
    G December 31, 2011 at 4:58 pm #

    LOL! Well, living in NE Ohio all my life and having offices in Cleveland, we here a lot from Kucinich around here. But beyond that, he’s had his own gadfly runs for President several times and tends to get himself on the national news commentary quite a bit. I may not agree with his positions, but he is very sincere and earnest about them. He’s a ideological purist, like Paul. Just from a different side of the aisle. I believe both of them have their hearts in the right place, but have their heads in the clouds. An interesting side note – my dad, a die-hard liberal democrat, has had numerous editorials published over the years. On several occasions, he has been surprised by receiving official letters in the mail from Kucinich on his official letterhead, praising my dad for the issues and ideas he brought up.

    Although, with OH losing 2 seats, Kucinich appears to have been “downsized” out in the next election. His only option is to run against another popular democrat representative in the new merged district. If I remember correctly, she happens to be the longest serving female Rep… so challenging her is a losing proposition for him. I believe he is still going to do so, but I’m pretty confident he will lose that battle.

    Lupin: I hadn’t thought of Kucinich. (Does anyone?) You’re right; it is a better analogy.

  56. avatar
    ClinicalThinker January 1, 2012 at 7:07 pm #

    It is unfortunate the people got sucked into the BC issue with Barack Obama.

    It is far more unfortunate so many REMAIN IGNORANT of the definition “natural born citizen” from the SCOTUS and congressional records of the time.

    It is clear from records of old.
    It is clear from THE LAST RULES OF LAW … SCOTUS (4 cases)

    “At common law, with the nomenclature of which the framers of the Constitution were familiar, it was never doubted that all children, born in a country of PARENTS who were its citizens, became themselves, upon their birth, citizens also. These were natives, or “natural-born citizens”, as distinguished from aliens or foreigners.”

    Any opinion after … United States v. Wong Kim Ark, 169 U.S. 649 (1898)
    Is simply that … opinion until the SCOTUS CHOOSES to AMMEND those already chiseled in stone rules of law. That however WILL NOT HELP Obama he will not be grandfathered in. He will simply become a fraud.

    It is indeed unfortunate Lindsay Graham sworn to uphold the constitution is so CLEARLY IGNORANT of it. As well as the rest of the ignorant trotted out on this thread. It is indeed disappointing to realize those who influence so many DON’T KNOW OF WHAT THEY SPEAK.
    Especially when their job is to report FACTS.

    Not only is Barack Obama not eligible but neither is Mitt Romney, Marco Rubio or a number of others hoping somehow this issue disappears.

  57. avatar
    Judge Mental January 1, 2012 at 7:32 pm #

    ClinicalThinker: It is unfortunate the people got sucked into the BC issue with Barack Obama.It is far more unfortunate so many REMAIN IGNORANT of the definition “natural born citizen” from the SCOTUS and congressional records of the time.It is clear from records of old.It is clear from THE LAST RULES OF LAW … SCOTUS (4 cases)“At common law, with the nomenclature of which the framers of the Constitution were familiar, it was never doubted that all children, born in a country of PARENTS who were its citizens, became themselves, upon their birth, citizens also. These were natives, or “natural-born citizens”, as distinguished from aliens or foreigners.”Any opinion after … United States v. Wong Kim Ark, 169 U.S. 649 (1898)Is simply that … opinion until the SCOTUS CHOOSES to AMMEND those already chiseled in stone rules of law. That however WILL NOT HELP Obama he will not be grandfathered in. He will simply become a fraud.It is indeed unfortunate Lindsay Graham sworn to uphold the constitution is so CLEARLY IGNORANT of it. As well as the rest of the ignorant trotted out on this thread. It is indeed disappointing to realize those who influence so many DON’T KNOW OF WHAT THEY SPEAK.Especially when their job is to report FACTS.Not only is Barack Obama not eligible but neither is Mitt Romney, Marco Rubio or a number of others hoping somehow this issue disappears.

    Somebody….you perhaps?…..better write to the Supreme Court pretty sharpish as they seem blissfully unaware of ever having ruled that in order to be considered NBC a citizen must have citizen parents.

    There is of course a very good reason why they are in the position of being unaware of ever having made such a ruling….and like almost everything else in the entire birtherism world the most blatantly obvious reason is the most likely one.

  58. avatar
    Sef January 1, 2012 at 8:01 pm #

    ClinicalThinker:
    It is unfortunate the people got sucked into the BC issue with Barack Obama.

    It is far more unfortunate so many REMAIN IGNORANT of the definition “natural born citizen” from the SCOTUS and congressional records of the time.

    It is clear from records of old.
    It is clear from THE LAST RULES OF LAW … SCOTUS (4 cases)

    “At common law, with the nomenclature of which the framers of the Constitution were familiar, it was never doubted that all children, born in a country of PARENTS who were its citizens, became themselves, upon their birth, citizens also. These were natives, or “natural-born citizens”, as distinguished from aliens or foreigners.”

    Any opinion after … United States v. Wong Kim Ark, 169 U.S. 649 (1898)
    Is simply that … opinion until the SCOTUS CHOOSES to AMMEND those already chiseled in stone rules of law. That however WILL NOT HELP Obama he will not be grandfathered in. He will simply become a fraud.

    It is indeed unfortunate Lindsay Graham sworn to uphold the constitution is so CLEARLY IGNORANT of it. As well as the rest of the ignorant trotted out on this thread. It is indeed disappointing to realize those who influence so many DON’T KNOW OF WHAT THEY SPEAK.
    Especially when their job is to report FACTS.

    Not only is Barack Obama not eligible but neither is Mitt Romney, Marco Rubio or a number of others hoping somehow this issue disappears.

    It is clear that CT totally missed his high school freshman logic course.

  59. avatar
    G January 1, 2012 at 8:17 pm #

    I can only assume that the monitor Clinical Thinker refers to being a mental patient.

    One thing your are obviously not is a Critical Thinker.

    Too bad you are entirely wrong on your viewpoints on NBC.

    This issue has been officially answered: See the

    Congressional Research Service report on “Qualifications for President and the “Natural Born” Citizenship Eligibility Requirement”:

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/74176180/Qualifications-for-President-and-the-%E2%80%9CNatural-Born%E2%80%9D-Citizenship-Eligibility-Requirement

    So read up. Maybe you’ll finally learn something.

    ClinicalThinker: Not only is Barack Obama not eligible but neither is Mitt Romney, Marco Rubio or a number of others hoping somehow this issue disappears.

  60. avatar
    ClinicalThinker January 1, 2012 at 10:22 pm #

    @Sef It is clear you missed not only any classes on the constitution, amendments SCOTUS cases that apply. But worse you flunked reading comprehension 101.

    IF parents is not plural to you … clearly you also failed English 101.
    If you have not yet graduated high school come back when you are further educated.

    BTW its MS. … not he … ROFL

    @G … do you believe everything you read … contrary to cold hard FACT from our founding documents?

    You by chance IGNORANTLY BELIEVE YOU are a Critical Thinker or even know what it means?

    Anyone with more than 2 brain cells firing at one time will define you as a “flat world thinker”.
    Do you or have you ever had an ORIGINAL THOUGHT OF YOUR OWN?

    You want to dialog with me?
    Make YOUR OWN CASE using the founding documents … the SCOTUS rulings and the very simple words from the congressional records.

    That is all it takes from even the smallest minded dude or dudette.
    Anyone who has actually read the documents I suggest would know what is or is not correct in the latest opinion of the day.
    Clearly YOU DO NOT!

    @Judge Mental … your delusional state is astounding albeit not unexpected. Give up your “useful idiot” state and actually read for yourself , try to over come the brainwashing you have received. Honestly it is pretty simple … sort of like “see spot run” in a 3rd grade primer.

    The fact that you say this has not been settled by SCOTUS in the late 1800’s not only makes you ignorant it MAKES YOU INCREDIBLY STUPID!

    Thank you all for making my point and displaying the ignorance of which I speak … ROFL

    If you wish further dialog with me please elevate your comments to represent you with an IQ of at least my shoe size. Talking to the brainwashed or ignorant (when they do not even recognize it) is a waste of everyone’s time. ESPECIALLY MINE!

  61. avatar
    Sef January 1, 2012 at 10:41 pm #

    ClinicalThinker:
    @Sef It is clear you missed not only any classes on the constitution, amendments SCOTUS cases that apply. But worse you flunked reading comprehension 101.

    IF parents is not plural to you … clearly you also failed English 101.
    If you have not yet graduated high school come back when you are further educated.

    BTW its MS. … not he … ROFL

    @G … do you believe everything you read … contrary to cold hard FACT from our founding documents?

    You by chance IGNORANTLY BELIEVE YOU are a Critical Thinker or even know what it means?

    Anyone with more than 2 brain cells firing at one time will define you as a “flat world thinker”.
    Do you or have you ever had an ORIGINAL THOUGHT OF YOUR OWN?

    You want to dialog with me?
    Make YOUR OWN CASE using the founding documents … the SCOTUS rulings and the very simple words from the congressional records.

    That is all it takes from even the smallest minded dude or dudette.
    Anyone who has actually read the documents I suggest would know what is or is not correct in the latest opinion of the day.
    Clearly YOU DO NOT!

    @Judge Mental … your delusional state is astounding albeit not unexpected. Give up your “useful idiot” state and actually read for yourself , try to over come the brainwashing you have received. Honestly it is pretty simple … sort of like “see spot run” in a 3rd grade primer.

    The fact that you say this has not been settled by SCOTUS in the late 1800′s not only makes you ignorant it MAKES YOU INCREDIBLY STUPID!

    Thank you all for making my point and displaying the ignorance of which I speak … ROFL

    If you wish further dialog with me please elevate your comments to represent you with an IQ of at least my shoe size. Talking to the brainwashed or ignorant (when they do not even recognize it) is a waste of everyone’s time. ESPECIALLY MINE!

    Yee haw! We’ve hooked a live one! Do you think the 16# test will be enough?

  62. avatar
    Daniel January 1, 2012 at 11:03 pm #

    Clinical thinker obviously thinks things written in caps contain more truthiness

  63. avatar
    Arthur January 1, 2012 at 11:27 pm #

    Sef: Yee haw! We’ve hooked a live one! Do you think the 16# test will be enough?

    16# should do it Sef, but from the sound of him, Clinical Thinker falls into the category of trash fish. In fact, from his mangled prose, I’d say he’s an invasive species. Best to just throw him back and hope he doesn’t spawn.

  64. avatar
    Sef January 1, 2012 at 11:36 pm #

    Arthur: 16# should do it Sef, but from the sound of him, Clinical Thinker falls into the category of trash fish. In fact, from his mangled prose, I’d say he’s an invasive species. Best to just throw him back and hope he doesn’t spawn.

    He/she/it also has some gender issues.

  65. avatar
    Majority Will January 1, 2012 at 11:38 pm #

    “If you have not yet graduated high school come back when you are further educated.

    BTW its MS. … not he … ROFL”

    Here’s a quote on President Obama’s natural born citizenship status from a conservative woman and jurist appointed by President Reagan to the Supreme Court who is quite well educated and recognized by sane people as an authority and expert on U.S. law and our Constitution:

    “All of our Presidents have, to date, been born in the 50 states. Notably, President Obama was born in the state of Hawaii, and so is clearly a natural born citizen.”

    – US Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor (retired)

    Hmmm. Who is more credible?

    A delusional, anonymous birther bigot with zero credibility and am extremeley tenuous grasp of reality or U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor?

    Tough call. ROFL, indeed.

  66. avatar
    Daniel January 1, 2012 at 11:42 pm #

    Sef: Yee haw! We’ve hooked a live one! Do you think the 16# test will be enough?

    Might have to throw him back, feels like a sucker to me….

  67. avatar
    Majority Will January 1, 2012 at 11:45 pm #

    “and am extremeley tenuous”

    s/b “and an extremely tenuous”

    Happy Fat Finger New Year to All.

  68. avatar
    G January 2, 2012 at 1:00 am #

    Gee…am I going to take the word of some random crazy blowhard trying too hard to cover up for his insecurities and projecting a delusion of adequacy or…

    …am I going to take the word of actual official agencies, courts and yes, even our Congress…(you know, the one that certified his nomination to the Presidency without a single objection).

    Gee…seems like they have all consistently come down on one side – Obama is NBC and President. I think I’m going to side with all the actual authorities that matter, thank you very much.

    So yeah, pretty cut & dry there. Must be rough for you to wake up every day and try to pretend that Obama’s not “really” President. Meanwhile, back in the real world, our Commander In Chief will continue to lead this nation and serve out his full term…and quite possibly a second…and there is simply nothing in your little ignorant fantasies that can remove him or keep him from being on the ballot.

    ClinicalThinker: @G … do you believe everything you read … contrary to cold hard FACT from our founding documents?

  69. avatar
    The Magic M January 2, 2012 at 5:50 am #

    ClinicalThinker: But worse you flunked reading comprehension 101.

    IF parents is not plural to you … clearly you also failed English 101.

    I’m not a native speaker, but even I can understand that “people who own tickets to the NBA finals” includes people who own just a single ticket, just like “people who have citizen parents” includes people born of one citizen and one non-citizen parent.

    So even if you take that messed-up Vattel translation as somehow authoritative (which it isn’t for a plethora of other reasons), Obama would still be eligible with a citizen mother.

    It always gets really funny when you have to redefine the rules of the English language to conform with your confirmation bias.

  70. avatar
    Majority Will January 2, 2012 at 8:28 am #

    ClinicalThinker:
    @Sef It is clear you missed not only any classes on the constitution, amendments SCOTUS cases that apply. But worse you flunked reading comprehension 101.
    IF parents is not plural to you … clearly you also failed English 101.
    If you have not yet graduated high school come back when you are further educated.
    BTW its MS. … not he … ROFL
    @G … do you believe everything you read … contrary to cold hard FACT from our founding documents?
    You by chance IGNORANTLY BELIEVE YOU are a Critical Thinker or even know what it means?
    Anyone with more than 2 brain cells firing at one time will define you as a “flat world thinker”.
    Do you or have you ever had an ORIGINAL THOUGHT OF YOUR OWN?
    You want to dialog with me?
    Make YOUR OWN CASE using the founding documents … the SCOTUS rulings and the very simple words from the congressional records.
    That is all it takes from even the smallest minded dude or dudette.
    Anyone who has actually read the documents I suggest would know what is or is not correct in the latest opinion of the day.
    Clearly YOU DO NOT!
    @Judge Mental … your delusional state is astounding albeit not unexpected. Give up your “useful idiot” state and actually read for yourself , try to over come the brainwashing you have received. Honestly it is pretty simple … sort of like “see spot run” in a 3rd grade primer.

    The fact that you say this has not been settled by SCOTUS in the late 1800′s not only makes you ignorant it MAKES YOU INCREDIBLY STUPID!

    Thank you all for making my point and displaying the ignorance of which I speak … ROFL

    If you wish further dialog with me please elevate your comments to represent you with an IQ of at least my shoe size. Talking to the brainwashed or ignorant (when they do not even recognize it) is a waste of everyone’s time. ESPECIALLY MINE!

    Hey, Ms. clinical. May I call you clinical?

    Are you a blatant hypocrite or do you practice what you preach?

    See your words below.

    “Mission”

    “As I analyze it at least from my own perspective I tried to instill in my own daughter:

    A sound ethical compass.

    Responsibility and accountability for her behavior.

    The will to stand firm against the opposition (whatever that might be).

    To treat others as she would like to be treated.

    To respect the opinion and belief system of others.

    To stop and pick someone up if they fall and firmly defend those who are being abused by others.

    Most important to behave in a manner that would not cause me or anyone else to be ashamed of her.

    November 20, 2008 Posted by clinicalthinker @ 16:03 PM
    (source: http://usa-wethepeople.com/mission/)

    Please explain your own words.

    I especially liked the “treat others as she would like to be treated” part.

    That was inspiring. Your daughter must be so proud!

    Thanks so much.

  71. avatar
    Northland10 January 2, 2012 at 3:49 pm #

    ClinicalThinker: “At common law, with the nomenclature of which the framers of the Constitution were familiar, it was never doubted that all children, born in a country of PARENTS who were its citizens, became themselves, upon their birth, citizens also. These were natives, or “natural-born citizens”, as distinguished from aliens or foreigners.”

    Okay… you want to dialog, then I will expect you will explain your quotes and how they apply, so, regarding your quote above:

    1. From what Supreme Court case was this quoted (the original case, not a later case quoting the original)?
    2 Was this from the Opinion of the Court or the Dissent?
    3. Who delivered this opinion or dissent?
    4. What was the holding (i.e. what was decided)?
    5. Please quote the 4 sentences from the case, following your quote above and explain how they apply to your quote.

    If you want to show your superior IQ or reasoning ability, then this should be a wonderful opportunity. BTW, I am not an attorney so I am not using any extra training than you would have to create the above.

    I look forward to reading you well-reasoned response.