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GOP Field Tightens

[ Posted Monday, August 15th, 2011 – 16:32 PDT ]

Well, it's been a month since the last time we checked in with the Republican presidential nomination race, and with so much movement among the players of late, we've simply got to take another look at the way things are shaping up.

Almost a full month ago, I placed four names in the "Frontrunners" category: Michele Bachmann, Sarah Palin, Rick Perry, and Mitt Romney. This list hasn't changed at all, although Palin will fall back the next time around if she doesn't announce in the next three or four weeks (more on this in a bit).

What has changed this time around is the field itself is tightening up. As a result, we're dropping one category entirely ("White Horses"), since there's only one left and she's already listed with the Frontrunners. Also, the "Dark Horses" category is going to shrink as well, and may disappear altogether over time.

As we get closer and closer to the actual voting, we're going to be paying more and more attention to the people in the race who actually have a shot at winning it. This means less space for those who do not, as a result.

While which candidates fall into which categories is a completely arbitrary decision based on all sorts of factors, the order in which they appear within each category is, as always, alphabetical -- to avoid showing favoritism within the categories themselves.

 

Dropped Out

Tim Pawlenty -- The biggest news to come out of this weekend's Iowa Straw Poll was Tim Pawlenty calling it quits, after a better-than-expected third-place finish. Pawlenty followed the same playbook (on a much smaller scale) that Hillary Clinton followed for Super Tuesday four years ago -- by putting all his chips on Iowa, Pawlenty was hoping a big finish would prime the pump of fundraising to allow him to surge forward. This didn't happen, and doubtlessly Pawlenty's big fundraisers made it abundantly clear to him that they were pulling up their stakes and moving on.

To be fair to Pawlenty, he did finish a lot better than the very-low expectations his campaign had set ("we want to finish better than sixth"). But the difference between the headline "Pawlenty Loses Straw Poll" and "Pawlenty Crushed In Straw Poll" was simply not enough to justify continuing his campaign.

In the end, Pawlenty is figuring out the same thing which Jon Huntsman really should have figured out by now -- that his natural constituency consists solely of inside-the-Beltway pundits who sit around in bull sessions spouting ideas like: "Hey, wouldn't Tim Pawlenty be a dandy Republican candidate? Gosh, he'd be perfect for our inaccurate mental picture of what the Republican electorate would support! We could even give him a pseudo-cool Hollywood name like 'TPaw' because that'll make all those voters out there we are imagining swoon over him!"

TPaw has now figured this out, and done the smart thing by getting out fast rather than just embarrassing himself further on the national stage.

 

Dark Horses

Of course, there are some people who have not figured out the lesson Pawlenty just learned. This is their category.

Last time around, we had a list of unknowns and three additions to this category. Only the three who got added last time even merit mentioning again: Rudy Giuliani, Jon Huntsman, and Rick Santorum. Giuliani isn't even running (at least, yet), and Huntsman and Santorum are about to disappear from the political world's radar very soon now. Santorum's high point is going to be his fourth-place finish in the Iowa Straw Poll, with a respectable 1,657 votes (the winner only got 4,823, to put this number in perspective). But that's not much to continue campaigning on. Huntsman only got an embarrassing 69 votes in the poll, but then he wasn't even participating, while Santorum was.

This time around, we've got one addition to this category (Pawlenty avoided being our second, by quitting the race).

Newt Gingrich -- It's becoming painfully obvious that Newt is on nothing more than an extended vacation/book tour. At this point, he will stay in the race precisely long enough to retire his campaign debt (if he can). The only other thing which would force Newt out of the race is if they start un-inviting him to debates. Newt enjoys the debates immensely, and to deny him of this national platform would be the ultimate insult. But whether Newt stays in the race until he pays off his campaign debt or until they bounce him off the debate stages, there is simply no possible path to victory for him at this point. In 2008, Fred Thompson was the vanity candidate on the Republican side. This time around, Newt took the vanity candidate consolation prize.

 

The "B" Team

Our second tier has shrunk considerably this month. We're down to just two names, in fact. Of course, as we get closer and closer to the actual election, this category will likely disappear, as the field gets set more and more concretely.

Herman Cain -- There's an argument to be made that Herman Cain is really a dark horse at this point in the race. But we're keeping him in the "B" team for now, mostly because he has been "flavor of the month" in the media once before in the race -- a claim some others cannot make. What this means is it is conceivable he could bounce back into the center ring again very easily. Cain only managed fifth place in the Straw Poll, with 1,456 votes. But being a wealthy businessman, Cain has the resources to say in the race as long as he likes -- and from what I saw of him this weekend, he seems to be having a great time out on the campaign trail. Cain's campaign is teetering on the edge of the dark horse territory, but for now he's still on the second tier, waiting for an opening if one or more of the frontrunners hits a bump in the road.

Ron Paul -- No matter where I put Ron Paul, his supporters are never happy about it. As with Cain, an argument can be made that Ron Paul doesn't have a chance and deserves to be in with the dark horses. But, Paulites will counter, there is another argument that since Paul took second place in the Straw Poll, he deserves frontrunner status. Neither is a convincing argument, at this point, as Paul stays on the "B" team of candidates. His showing in Ames was impressive enough -- he won second place with 4,671, only 152 votes behind Michele Bachmann. But, as with Santorum, this is likely to be the highest point his campaign will ever reach. The media will never take Paul's campaign seriously, and most Republican voters see him in the same light that Democratic voters now view Ralph Nader. Ron Paul has a committed, fervent base of supporters who will back him until the end. Their problem is, not many other Republican primary voters are going to.

 

Frontrunners

Which leaves us with the same four names out in front of the pack as the last time around. One of them hasn't even declared whether she's running or not, but all of them command media attention, large campaign chests, and voter support far in excess of the other candidates in the race.

Michele Bachmann -- Bachmann is riding high this time around, coming off her impressive victory in Iowa to do what is called the "full Ginsberg" the next day (appearing on all five Sunday morning network political shows). Also largely deemed the winner of last week's candidate debate (where Pawlenty, also, was deemed the big loser), Bachmann is on a roll. She's gotten a lot more polished in television interviews and on the debate stage. It just goes to show what a little political coaching can accomplish, with someone who is willing to take advice and learn how to play this particular game. Even the fact that Bachmann readily gives mainstream media (other than Fox, of course) interviews is telling in 2012 Republican politics. Bachmann is unafraid to take the tough questions, and then give the answer to the question she would have preferred to have been asked. That sounds demeaning, but it is actually a plus for politicians today. Her answer to the "submissive wife" question just proves this, because it was nothing short of a masterful reframing of the issue from one of "submissive" to one of "equal respect." What we should expect from Bachmann in the near future is that she's going to get better and better at this game, especially now that the media is treating her seriously.

Sarah Palin -- Sarah Palin, by all rights, should not be in the category of Frontrunners. After all, she hasn't even announced her intentions yet, and continues to play coy whenever asked. But with just one post to her social networking page, Palin could leap into the headlines for quite a few news cycles, if she does announce her candidacy. Anyone doubting this should look at the media frenzy over Rick Perry right now. It is not "too late" for a well-known candidate to jump into the race, in other words. Even that bastion of conservatism, the Wall Street Journal editorial page seems to still be wistfully searching around for other viable Republican candidates, at this late date. But this window is going to close for Palin, in roughly one month. To date, she's given only vague deadlines about the "end of the summer" or "September" for when she'll finally make up her mind. This should be seen as the outer limit of when she could viably get into the race, because after that point she won't have enough time to raise the money necessary for a truly national campaign. Palin, unlike Perry, can jump into the race later because everyone already knows her name, and knows who she is and what she represents. She will not have to "introduce" herself to the voters, since they already know her. My guess, at this point, is that Palin is waiting to see whether either Perry or Bachmann (or both) stumbles badly in the next few weeks as they begin to attract more national attention. If such a stumble occurs, Palin will likely jump into the race almost immediately afterwards. If this stumble never appears, Palin may decide to jump in anyway, or she may just sit back and enjoy her "kingmaker" status (or should that be "grizzly-mama-maker" status?). Either way, for the next month (or until she announces), Palin will still have the ability to command the media's attention any time she wishes to. Which is a huge asset for any prospective candidate.

Rick Perry -- Rick Perry sure did rain on Michele Bachmann's parade this weekend, didn't he? By scheduling his entry into the race for the same day as the Iowa Straw Poll, Perry assured himself of equal time on that night's news cycle. These likely won't be the only toes Perry steps on in his race to the nomination. Perry is now (sorry Michele) the "flavor of the month" in the Republican world (and in the media world). Because he will have to go through an "introduction" phase, there is a chance he could stumble badly in the next few weeks. His rough Texan persona almost lends itself to saying something that's going to offend a large group of Americans. The problem with being a media favorite is that too much media exposure sometimes shines the spotlight on a candidate's flaws too early. But I'm not counting Perry out, by any means. From people who know Perry's political career, he is said to be an excellent campaigner. He seems to truly enjoy the race and knows how to win, from all accounts. The media right now is mostly focused on Perry as the candidate who can bridge the current factionalism within the Republican Party -- which makes him more interesting than any of the other candidates who merely appeal to the Tea Party Republican faction (Bachmann, Palin) or the establishment Republican faction (Romney). Also a huge plus for Perry is the fact that he's from the biggest solid-Republican state in the presidential election -- Texas is to Republicans what California is to Democrats, in other words. This not only gives him home-state advantage in both the primaries and the general election, but also gives him a solid donor base to build his campaign chest around. All in all, Perry is going to mount a serious challenge for the Republican nomination. And he's got a decent shot of winning, as well.

Mitt Romney -- Not much to say this time around about Mitt Romney. He's been awfully quiet in the media, and didn't participate in the Iowa Straw Poll (where he came in a dismal seventh place with 567 votes, behind even Rick Perry's 718 write-in votes). This is pretty standard stuff for a candidate who is not just "a" frontrunner but has been "the" frontrunner for months now. Frontrunners typically try to pivot absurdedly early to the "general election campaign strategy" of attacking the other party's candidate -- and ignoring those of your own party. In other words, to pretend the Republican nomination race is already over, and your only focus is on your Democratic opponent. So far, this has worked well for Romney, and will likely continue right up to the point that Perry or Bachmann starts reliably topping Romney in the national polls. Then maybe Mitt will come out fighting, but not until. However, such a boring strategy doesn't leave us with much to say about Mitt this time around.

-- Chris Weigant

 

Cross-posted at Business Insider
Cross-posted at The Huffington Post

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

41 Comments on “GOP Field Tightens”

  1. [1] 
    dsws wrote:

    The pundits on NPR are saying that the Republican primary electorate declared victory in the general election, and are viewing the primaries as choosing the next president.

    A while back I wrote,

    Are we heading toward a vanity nominee? The top tier doesn't sound very top-tier so far.
    http://www.chrisweigant.com/2011/05/11/the-full-2012-republican-field/#comment-14419

    and

    I still have trouble believing in the front-runner status of either of the front-runners.

    My picks at this point are Huntsman, Pawlenty, Perry.
    http://www.chrisweigant.com/2011/06/13/the-2012-republican-presidential-field/#comment-14734

    Romney is pretty clearly "the front-runner", but with the "corporations are people" gaffe and the lack of enthusiasm for a Massachusetts flip-flopper, it's still hard to see him getting the nod when they think they can get a winner farther to the right.

  2. [2] 
    dsws wrote:

    Heh, the software is so clever it makes CW "moderate" links to this very site.

  3. [3] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    dsws -

    You send me a trackback or something? Let me go check...

    -CW

  4. [4] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    dsws -

    Aha! It's the multiple links that the software is catching. If you post two or more links in a single comment, it automatically gets held for moderation...

    Your comment is approved now, and ready to go.

    -CW

  5. [5] 
    dsws wrote:

    Good to know. Henceforth I'll split such posts up or leave out a link, and save you the click.

  6. [6] 
    Michale wrote:

    Good to know. Henceforth I'll split such posts up or leave out a link, and save you the click.

    Another way is just to drop the 'http://www' from the link and italicize it...

    Reader can't click on it, but it's not too much trouble to cut n paste.

    Michale...

  7. [7] 
    DerFarm wrote:

    People forget how much their instinctive political reactions are forged by the living surroundings. I lived for 4 years in MN, and 9 years in TX.

    TPaw was an extension of his upbringing: thoughtful, cautious, and willing to believe the best of most people. That is what made his hard right tack to the looney bin so painful. It was false.

    Bachmann, on the other hand, is practically the reverse. Her brand of self-righteous aggrandizement can be found throughout the upper mid-west. Joe McCarthy is a direct, political forbear. She has applied the squeaky wheel theorem to the max. By intimidation and isolation she has become the direct lineal descendant of Joe McCarthy. Her results will be approximately the same.

    Perry, is not at all the same as Bachman, even though they may appear to have the much the same base. Perry, is a Bubba. He isn't too intelligent, but he is smart ... street smart. And that will be his downfall. Perry truly believes that the majority of Americans believe in pretty much everything he believes. He's right about that in Texas (to a certain degree), but it isn't true in the rest of America, and he's not intelligent enough to mask that in a public forum. Bachmann and Romney will crucify him.

    Romney is casting himself as the adult in the room. And he's right. Unfortunately, the support for adults is limited to what he has now.

    My money is Romney to end up the nominee.

    The baggers will pretty much sit this one out as far as enthusiastic support goes. Which will put paid to the Republican hopes for the White House.

    I hope.

  8. [8] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    DerFarm -

    First off, welcome to the site. Your first comment was held for moderation, but now that it has been approved, you should be able to post comments instantly. Unless (see the other comments to this article) you post more than one link per comment. The way to avoid this is to only post one link per comment, as dsws said.

    That's an interesting take on Bachmann v. Perry -- I always think of Midwesterners as incredibly polite and likeable people (full disclosure: I was born in the Midwest, actually), and my trip last summer to Minneapolis reinforced this belief. But, as you say, there's a darker strain to this as well. As well as a feisty strain -- before we had Arnie Schwartzenegger out here as a politician, there was Jesse Ventura.

    How do you think Perry's going to play out on the campaign trail? Texas swagger may not go over well everywhere, but I can see him doing well in the South, and possibly the West as well. I've heard (secondhand) two things about Perry that seem to be contradictory -- that's he's a great campaigner, and that he's dumb as a bag of hammers. Maybe it's the "street smart/book smart" thing you were talking about, I'm not sure.

    Anyway, I have a question for you: if Romney does win it, and if he doesn't pick Bachmann or Perry (or Palin), what do you think the chances are that the Tea Party will revolt and run their own third-party candidate?

    Just curious, and as I said, welcome to the site.

    -CW

  9. [9] 
    DerFarm wrote:

    My above analysis of Perry implies that he will put his foot in his mouth several times. He just did.

    "Treasonous" plays well in the Texas right, the Deep South and Idaho. Elswhere? Not so much.

  10. [10] 
    DerFarm wrote:

    CW,

    I can't believe that Romney would accept anyone currently running as VP, except possibly Herman Cain.

    1. Palin has already shown her VP colors with McCain. No way control freaks like Romney's campaign people will put up with that.

    2. Perry could easily upstage Romney. He is much more charismatic and frankly, he is not needed. Perry's strength is TX and the Deep South. If anyone truly believes that Obama has a chance at anything from TX to the Atlantic, south of the Ohio, I've got land in SE Louisiana I'd like to talk to them about (Except possibly FL or NC).

    4. Bachmann would be an intriguing call. But I'd be surprised if she would accept. Remember, 2016 is not that far away, and a MN senate seat is coming up in 2014 (a LIBERAL seat, no less). It would be a conflict between her desire for the immediate illusion of power ("VP is not worth a bucket of warm spit") vs her willningness to wait for real power (Fewer Senators than Congresspeople). "'Tis a puzzlement".

    5. Herman Cain would would be asset. While he has no actual power base, he is not negatively associated in the minds of most people. The R's have for decades struggled to maintain a facade of racial equality but the musing of actual governors and senators and congress people keep putting false to the idea (I attended Ole Miss in '69 and '74. Haley Barbour no more believes what he said than the man in the moon).

    The only way the baggers would revolt and run a serious 3rd party campaign is as a deliberate spoiler to Romney. Running deliberate spoiler candidates is an excellent way to get castrated. Romney might not be liked, indeed, might be actively hated in some circles. But not as much as the black guy.

  11. [11] 
    DerFarm wrote:

    Sorry, I meant to say

    Not as much as the black guy in the White House

  12. [12] 
    dsws wrote:

    chances are that the Tea Party will revolt and run their own third-party candidate?

    It can't happen, on any meaningful scale. Sure, some of them may collect signatures for some unknown to get on the ballot, but not the movement as a whole.

    Firing some Extremist member of Congress for being only 99% lunatic instead of the required 100%, that's different. It gains them power. It proves that they can, and keeps the rest in line. Same way for primary challenges in Congress. Failing to show up for one presidential election in four gains them power: it proves they're a high-maintenance but necessary part of the Party.

    But having an outright schism would lose them power. They will never do it.

    "Treasonous" plays well in the Texas right, the Deep South and Idaho. Elswhere? Not so much.

    Even among Republican primary voters?

  13. [13] 
    DerFarm wrote:

    dsws,

    My comment on Perry not playing well was addressing the entire electorate, not just the R primary voters. However, even among them, you can talk yourself out of public office.

    I would refer you to Anne Richards vs. Clayton Williams for the Texas Governorship. 3 months prior to the election, Claytie was 26 points ahead in the polls (and the polls were right). She won by 3 points. I'll grant you that the comments that lost Williams the election were not at all about policy, but then Perry is feeling pretty empowered right about now, has a history of glad handing and loose lips, and he hasn't really been exposed to the kind of scrutiny he's going to get. He'll run his mouth at the wrong time.

    Even among Republicans, calling someone a traitor is rather extreme ... and Perry is not the kind of person who can lawyer his way out of stuff like this.

    As far as 3rd party goes, I believe (tho I can't swear to it) that all states have a right wing party on the ballot. AIP throughout the South, Conservative Party in the NE, anti-Tax Party in most of the Mountain West, and some others. I agree with what you are saying, there will probably not be a significant 3rd party THIS time, but the political vehicles are there.

  14. [14] 
    Michale wrote:

    Aha! It's the multiple links that the software is catching. If you post two or more links in a single comment, it automatically gets held for moderation...

    Do you have control over that setting, CW??

    Maybe up it to allow 2 or 3 links??

    Michale.....

  15. [15] 
    Michale wrote:

    U.S. To Deny Taiwan New F-16 Fighters
    http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?i=7378123&c=AME&s=AIR

    The nice thing about having a GOP defeating President Obama is that the practice of throwing our allies under the bus will stop...

    Michale.....

  16. [16] 
    Michale wrote:

    "Treasonous" plays well in the Texas right, the Deep South and Idaho. Elswhere? Not so much.

    I have to admit.. "Treasonous" is much to harsh a term to describe the printing of money as a solution to the crappy economy...

    "Utterly and completely moronic" is a much more apt term.....

    Michale.....

  17. [17] 
    Michale wrote:

    I read on another blog that was describing the "Magical Misery Bus Tour"...

    This user said that Obama's bus "looks like a Battle Transport bus from Mordor..." :D

    I had to share that... :D

    Michale.....

  18. [18] 
    DerFarm wrote:

    I don't know, Michale. Personally, I don't often espouse the words or the positions of right wing radio hosts:

    copied from RadioPatriot:

    UPDATE: Rush Limbaugh calling it a “Hearse”. LOL…. Let’s hope it’s a harbinger of things to come with Obammy’s presidency…DOA.

    But then, that's probably evidence of a mis-spent youth I suppose.

  19. [19] 
    Michale wrote:

    DerFarm,

    I have also heard it referred to as a "Police Mortuary Bus"... :D

    By the by....

    "Welcome to the party, pal!!!"
    -John McClane, DIE HARD

    :D

    Don't worry. You get used to it... :D

    Michale.....

  20. [20] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    Palin compared to Obama and neither in a favorable light. Ouch.

    On the republican side I'm rooting for Ron Paul. I don't think he would be good the country over all but he would be by far the most entertaining president. I especially like his ideas for Letter Of Marque And Reprisal, though I'm not sure if he is running on it this time around.

  21. [21] 
    LeaningBlue wrote:

    I'm already really getting a kick out of Gov. Perry. The "treason" remark. Predator drones on the border. Differentiating himself from President Bush by college attended. (And after seeing his leaked transcripts, he might want to stay away from education issues).

    But he does have a high degree of likability. President Clinton insightfully recognized him in a speech last night as a good looking "rascal." He's 61, and could be a poster gov for the "60 is the New 40" movement which is personally important to me (as it is, I'm sure, to W.J. Clinton as well).

    He's also a man of internal contradictions. I have a photo of him in downtown Austin, holding a revolver high in the air, arm outstretched, his uniformed state bodyguard walking somewhat sheepishly aside him. Now, I swear, judging from the barrel and handle sweep, the gun is a Ruger .22 magnum Hunter. If I'm right, I'm puzzled: why would he pack anything smaller than a .308?

    On a lighter note, Michale, I still haven't had time to read that 11th decision on the mandate, although I scanned a bit over lunch today. It looks like the court is saying, in effect, it's badly written law, which doesn't sufficiently define the activities and applications it covers to keep it within constitutionally acceptable exercise of the commerce powers. If that impression is right, then this one is not the one which will go to the S.C.

    The two Wisconsin recall elections (against sitting Dem's) were won both in walks. Turnout, turnout, turnout.

  22. [22] 
    LeaningBlue wrote:

    Retraction
    I just fact checked myself regarding the weapon in that photo. It could, with equal likelihood, be a Ruger 41 magnum Blackhawk. That would obviate my assertion of internal contradiction. In fact, that gun would make him seem much more presidential than a lousy 22.

  23. [23] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    This user said that Obama's bus "looks like a Battle Transport bus from Mordor..." :D

    All right, look, there's only one "Return," okay, and it ain't "of the King," it's "of the Jedi."
    ~Clerks 2

  24. [24] 
    Michale wrote:

    Predator drones on the border.

    Uh, LB... You DO realize that we already have Predator drones on the border, right??

    DN! Predator Drones to Begin Patrolling Texas-Mexico Border
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k07QnmNbTD4

    At last count, I think there are about 4....

    On a lighter note, Michale, I still haven't had time to read that 11th decision on the mandate, although I scanned a bit over lunch today. It looks like the court is saying, in effect, it's badly written law, which doesn't sufficiently define the activities and applications it covers to keep it within constitutionally acceptable exercise of the commerce powers. If that impression is right, then this one is not the one which will go to the S.C

    OK, sounds good.

    But what's your thoughts on the mandate itself??

    NYpoet,

    All right, look, there's only one "Return," okay, and it ain't "of the King," it's "of the Jedi."
    ~Clerks 2

    "That right thar was funny as hell, I tell yooo waat!"
    -Larry The Cable Guy

    :D

    Michale......

  25. [25] 
    DerFarm wrote:

    LeaningBlue,

    Why would the Supremes not deal with a "badly written, too open for interpretation" law? By declaring that the law intrudes upon areas constitutionally not under the commerce clause, it would seem to invalidate the mandate and, by extension, the whole package. This court is certainly activist enough to break new constitutional ground in support of the corporate agenda.

    With the 5-4 support for R candidates, it would appear to be ready made to give a boost to whoever wins the nomination on the right. Invalidating an achievement that the President will probably be running on would appear to be the most help the Court could give the R's this year ... assuming they don't have the chance to do another Florida.

  26. [26] 
    Michale wrote:

    DF,

    By declaring that the law intrudes upon areas constitutionally not under the commerce clause, it would seem to invalidate the mandate and, by extension, the whole package.

    I would think it would be more than "seem"... The Commerce Clause gives Congress the ability to "regulate" Commerce...

    There is no commerce if an American decides not to purchase Health Insurance...

    What Democrats and President Obama took upon themselves is the ability to FORCE commerce rather than regulate it..

    If this mandate passes constitutional muster, it will set a VERY dangerous precedent...

    Just imagine what a future administration could force Americans to buy, using the "welfare of the country" as it's excuse...

    We won't always have a Dem President or a Dem controlled Congress. Are ya'all SURE you want this kind of power in the hands of a GOP Administration???

    Michale.....

  27. [27] 
    DerFarm wrote:

    Michale,

    The forced trade/non-trade thing? It's already there.

    You cannot, as a US citizen trade with several countries of the world.

    You cannot as a US citizen sell certain technology to anyone (at one time, it was illegal to sell the Commodore 64 in Sweden, certain cryptography cannot be sold anywhere, ...). In fact, you can be charged with violating US law for simply doing unpaid research into cyptography. Been there, done that.

    Since corporations are now "people" then extending the laws controlling the interstate corporations to protoplasmic people is a very short step.

  28. [28] 
    Michale wrote:

    The forced trade/non-trade thing? It's already there.

    You cannot, as a US citizen trade with several countries of the world.

    You cannot as a US citizen sell certain technology to anyone (at one time, it was illegal to sell the Commodore 64 in Sweden, certain cryptography cannot be sold anywhere, ...). In fact, you can be charged with violating US law for simply doing unpaid research into cyptography. Been there, done that.

    True... But the examples you give have National Security/Public Safety implications and, as such, a whole new rulebook comes into play at that point...

    Regardless, you prove my point for me..

    If you wanted to sell a C-64 in Sweden, you would be attempting commerce.. Once you enter into commerce, Congress has the authority to regulate how you do that commerce up to, AND including, telling you that you can't..

    To tweak your example to be more reflective of the here and now, it would be as if Congress FORCED you to buy a C-64 because, if you didn't, you might not get smart and that could adversely effect the welfare of the country...

    I know, it sounds silly.. But no more silly than Congress forcing an American to buy health insurance simply because they MIGHT need health care in the future...

    Michale....

  29. [29] 
    DerFarm wrote:

    Chris,

    I just read your comment on Sister Sarah entering the Pres race on the HuffPo crossposting. I think you are missing a very important point:

    Michelle Bachmann and Sarah Palin are the same person as far as politics goes. However MB seems to be more intelligent, has a better organization, more access to varied money pots, and is simply more vicious than SP. This is not to say that SP won't THINK about jumping in, but that thought will quickly be shot down by supporters who have already jumped on MB's bandwagon.

    Not only do I think that SP won't jump in, but I think that MB will be cutting her knees off at the hips very soon. It will not have been missed that Sarah Palin has the highest negatives of any politician currently living including Jerry Brown. No way MB's campaign leadership is going to passively allow SP to screw up by opening her mouth at the wrong time without at least trying to control her.

    It would be easy to see SP living in a trailor park in OK. Not so with MB.

  30. [30] 
    Michale wrote:

    It would be easy to see SP living in a trailor park in OK.

    Except for the fact that SP had THE highest rating of any governor...

    The ONLY reason that Palin's negatives are so high is because of the shrill, hysterical and unfounded attacks from the Left on Palin and her family...

    Michale.....

  31. [31] 
    DerFarm wrote:

    Michale,

    Ok, the trailer park comment was out of bounds, and I'll not repeat that type of garbage again without some kind of verifiable proof.

    As far as why Palin's negatives are so high, who cares? Favorability scores are temporary and seldom stay steady until the politician is dead (re: Reagan, Johnson, Nixon).

    Alternatively, unfavorabillity scores tend to only go up, especially when the figure in question is well known. I can't think of anyone other than Obama that is more well known that SP.

    Palin's current unfavorability is 53-57% (huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/19/sarah-palin-unfavorability-rating-poll_n_810842.html).

    As far as having the highest rating of any governor, once again: Who Cares? Her current approval rating in Alaska is in the pits: 36%

    dittmanresearch.com/pdfs/Political%20Approval%20Ratings%20Statewide%20March%202011.pdf

    Note that Begich, Murkowski, and Young have approval ratings of 57,71, and 65.

  32. [32] 
    Michale wrote:

    DF,

    Ok, the trailer park comment was out of bounds, and I'll not repeat that type of garbage again without some kind of verifiable proof

    Sadly, it's the kind of rhetoric that has come to be expected from the Left regarding Palin.

    I am heartened to see you recognize that...

    As to the rest, consider this...

    It is likely that, had Palin NOT been tapped for VP and NOT become the target of vitriolic hatred and hysterical attacks from the Left, it is likely she would still be the Governor of Alaska who holds the highest popularity of any governor in the nation...

    It is only AFTER she gained the attention of the violent and hysterical Left, that her ratings started going down..

    Now, call me silly, but it's not a HUGE stretch to think that the unfair and vicious attacks had SOMETHING to do with that...

    In other words, it's the perception, not the reality...

    To put it into scientific terms, it's The Observer Effect (sometimes mislabeld as the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle).

    Whatever you put under a microscope, you invariably change.

    Michale.....

  33. [33] 
    Michale wrote:

    On another question...

    Ya'all take Perry to task for accusing Bernanke of "treason"...

    But isn't that what Obama, Reid et al are doing when they claim that the GOP is putting Party before Country???

    Michale.....

  34. [34] 
    DerFarm wrote:

    Ok, if SP hadn't been chosen VP MAYBE she would have remained the beloved Gov of a state with less population than Worcester Co, Mass. And maybe not.

    I'm not really worried about "hysterical, frantic" ravings about a woman who states:

    the 2nd battle of the Revolutionary war was in New Hampshire

    The founding fathers worked tirelessly to outlaw the slavery they enshrined in the Constitution and earlier in the articles of Confederation.

    John Q. Adams was a founding father of the US ... at the age of 9

    The Founding Fathers said the pledge of Allegience which was written in 1892 .. including the phrase "under God" which was added in 1954

    Democrats moved the words "In God we trust" around on the money (it was Bush I)

    Most VPs have never met a foreign head of state prior to election (only Spiro Agnew fit that particular bill)

    and on, and on, and on.

    I have no idea of her intelligence, but she sure doesn't seem to learn much before she starts talking.

  35. [35] 
    Michale wrote:

    Nobody says it better than Floridians... :D

    http://www.tampabay.com/opinion/columns/plan-b-for-obama-family-vacation/1186156

    Who knew that Obama would actually NEED Rahm, eh?? :D

    Michale.....

  36. [36] 
    Michale wrote:

    Oh com'on, seriously DF...

    When was the last time you had to solve X for 8+x=10 in your daily life????

    But, once again, you prove my point for me..

    Would any of those questions you stated had been a problem if Palin wasn't picked for VP???

    Apparently, she was doing fine as AK Guv without knowing all those all-important facts that you deem so vital to know...

    I consider myself very knowledgeable in my field..

    Yet, I don't know where the 2nd Revolutionary War battle was fought..

    I don't know how old J Q Adams was when he became a founding father...

    I don't know who moved IN GOD WE TRUST around on the money...

    And, ya know what's funny??

    A} I don't really care...

    and

    2} It's absolutely and totally NOT relevant to my line of work... (I am a computer geek who can disassemble a laptop blindfolded and reassemble it and have it work perfectly)

    Palin may not have all the intelligence of, say Barack Obama....

    But, as we have seen in Obama, simply being intelligence is no guarantee of good leadership..

    I (and most every day Americans) would prefer a person who has actually RUN something (a state, a business) as opposed to someone who knows where the 2nd Revolutionary War battle was fought or who was on First or What was on Second....

    Michale.....

  37. [37] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    DerFarm [29] -

    I think the most interesting difference between SP and MB is the fact that Bachmann seems capable of learning. She is getting a lot more polished in interviews and debates. SP is the same as she ever was.

    Michale [30] -

    I'd check some polls in Alaska after she quit. Her home state doesn't feel the same way about Palin now as it used to.

    DerFarm [31] -

    Technical note: just post the link's text in (complete with the http at the front of it) on its own line, in your comments. The software will automatically turn it into an active link for you.

    Michale [32] -

    To see the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle at work, you'd need something like a cyclotron, and not a microscope, you are correct.

    Michale [33] -

    I think the funniest thing about the "treason" uproar is the fact that George W. Bush appointed Bernanke. But maybe that's just me, I dunno...

    Here's one for you: whatever we all think of her, do you think Palin's going to run, or not?

    -CW

  38. [38] 
    Michale wrote:

    CW,

    I'd check some polls in Alaska after she quit. Her home state doesn't feel the same way about Palin now as it used to.

    Of course not...

    If you kept hearing rumors that your best friend was a child molester, the friendship would cool, wouldn't it?

    Here's one for you: whatever we all think of her, do you think Palin's going to run, or not?

    I think it's as you say.. If Perry or Bachmann make a huge campaign-effecting gaffe in the next 4-5 weeks, Palin will jump in..

    Barring that, I see Palin fading away.. The worst part of THAT scenario is I will have to admit that Bashi was right.

    I hate doing that.. :D

    Michale.....

  39. [39] 
    Michale wrote:

    This is why Democrats disgust me so much...

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/compost/post/have-you-ever-had-sex-with-rick-perry--the-wishful-ad-ad-hominem/2011/08/18/gIQA8emzNJ_blog.html

    This is why I say with complete and utter certainty that there really is no difference between political fanatics, whether they are from the Right or from the Left...

    Michale.....

  40. [40] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    This is why Democrats disgust me so much...

    The text under the ad in question:

    This full-page ad, purchased by a Ron Paul supporter, will run in the Austin Chronicle next week. ((Image via Salon.com))

    What were you saying again?

  41. [41] 
    Michale wrote:

    The worst part of THAT scenario is I will have to admit that Bashi was right.

    I hate doing that.. :D

    'nuff said... :D

    Mea culpa....

    Let me amend my statement to read...

    "This is why I hate political fanatics so much"... :D

    Michale...

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