Jan 26 2012

Revenge Of The GOP Sithe

Published by at 9:40 am under All General Discussions

Yes, I deliberately mangled the Star Wars analogy. I know it is hard to detect when I deliberately do that versus my penchant for typos and dyslexic writing. My apologies – but I love strategery

Today we see another lame effort by the GOP establishment to take out Newt – by calling on the Ghost of GOP Past: Ronald Wilson Reagan.

Unmentioned by Gingrich then, or in any of the 2,414 debates during this campaign, was his 1985 criticism of President Reagan’s historic meeting with Mikhail Gorbachev as “the most dangerous summit for the West since Adolf Hitler met with (British Prime Minister) Chamberlain at Munich in 1938.”

I’m unimpressed. A young and cautious Gingrinch was schooled on politically bold moves by one of the masters of using his beliefs to guide his path.  Similar to the successful behavior of George W Bush, who won his goals and the support of the people by sticking to principles, not saying one thing and doing another.

But why cry foul now because Newt did not always agree with Reagan back then? Is this piety to the image of a man of the people who rose to the Presidency going to impress anyone but the slavish Reagan Groupies (think Hannity here, who wants to be like Reagan but is not even close)?

Does the GOP establishment think Reagan was the reason they rode road to victory in 2010? Talk about your misfire.

I will say it again – this year’s key voters are the same Tea Party insurgents who swept away the old-tired guard in 2010. They hitched their cart to the small-government GOP and are taking the Republican Party by storm. They are going to change the GOP party through the age old art of democracy. Because they are going to change DC.

The other GOP establishment attack strategy has been to (1) claim Newt is too volatile, too bold and (2) Newt is impure. In fact the Reagan swipes are part of the “Newt is impure, too imperfect” gambit.

Let me take the 2nd issue first. The 2010 insurgent voters sees all of DC as dirty and conniving. No one is going to win by trying to convince these voters they are the least stained, or the others are more stained. Romney has RomneyCare, Bain Capitol and his liberal, big government dark side. Newt has no claim to fidelity and honor at home. As the WSJ noted previously, the best way to look at this field is:

As for the current GOP field, it’s like confronting a terminal diagnosis. There may be an apparent range of treatments: conventional (Romney), experimental (Gingrich), homeopathic (Paul) or prayerful (Santorum). But none will avail you in the end. Just try to exit laughing.

We are swimming in imperfections, so this impure and imperfect attack mode is a none starter.

So what will work? Well generalities won’t because the 2010 insurgent voter is not stupid nor naive. Vague and empty phrases only repel this upper middle class, successful voter (once know as the silent majority). They (or we) see things differently. We don’t want cautious or conventional (Romney). We want action. And that answers why the first kind of attack is failing.

We don’t want prayers or new age promises of instant success (Santorum and Paul). We want bold experimentation with an eye to shrink government to its minimum size (note well I did not say optimum size). Now that has some serious appeal!

I noted yesterday that I was going to explain why Romney and Bain are not the paragons of the free market so many Romney supporters want to claim. Bain is, and was, part vulture capitalism. Newt’s documentary on the wreckage left by Romney and Bain after pulling millions of dollars out of corporate carcasses is spot on in this regard. He did not do it universally, but he did do it a lot. Too much.

The defense has been “it is legal and he paid his taxes”. Well let me introduce you to a legendary business man who made is wealth legally and paid his taxes. He too was a big fan of destructive capitalism:

Yes folks, it is the fictional character Ebenezer Scrooge. The worst of the corporate raiders to be known by so many around the world. He has his real life contemporaries like robber barons and sweat shop owners. He is an example of what no business owner or manager should ever want to be associated with.

Now, if any of you Romney backers are thinking I am comparing Romney and Bain to Scrooge chill down. My only point here is you can be a legal, tax paying businessman and rightfully despised. Sadly for Romney, his actions at Bain allow a connection to this well known image of businessmen who forget or ignore the human factor when chasing profits.

In Dickens’ A Christmas Carol there was the counter example to Scrooge, the image of an admirable and loved businessman. This is embodied in the character of Mr. Fezziwig:

Fezziwig is one of the few people to whom Scrooge is thankful, for he says, “He has the power to render us happy or unhappy; to make our service light or burdensome; a pleasure or a toil…The happiness he gives, is quite as great as if it cost a fortune.” Scrooge is reminded how much he once appreciated Fezziwig. Since Fezziwig is the elder Scrooge’s opposite in many ways — in kindness, generosity, affection for his employees, relationship with family, and apparent happiness — Scrooge is thus confronted with the fact that his own choices have diverged greatly from those of someone he admires.

Now I would say, on the home front, Romney is closer to Fezziwig. But on the corporate front he is definitely tilted to the Scrooge side of the spectrum. And when we look to someone to dismantle Big Government, we are not looking for someone who takes an ax to the deal. There are still lives, careers and families to deal with.

So is there a Fezziwig in the race? Not any more. Herman Cain was playing that role (which is why he was succeeding so well). But there are Fezziwig like examples out there – and they exist in small businesses (not Big Government).

The best example I can come up with I think people could connect with is a man named Chef Robert Irvine and his uplifting show Restaurant Impossible.

I love this show because it is admirable on so many levels. Here is a successful man answering the calls of desperate small businesses (many family owned and run). Chef Irvine comes in with 2 days and $10,000 and literally saves people from ruin and despair. He does not walk away with millions. He does, however, try to save every job. He gives secrets, talents and skills he has learned away to the needy.

He teaches the people how to fish (or run a restaurant), he does not hand out fish.

This show is an example of what 2010 voters cherish and admire – and why Romney will never connect. He is not this kind of corporate re-builder. These people work their butts off to help others. And many of these people are below rock bottom. Savior versus profiteer.

Does Irvin and his folks get some financial return? Of course. But his goal is to salvage the company at all costs, not savage it for all potential profits.

2010 voters instinctively know the difference. They know Big Government is incapable of such actions (though the big government types strive to be Robin Hood, while they decide who is ‘worthy’). They know the difference between a Romney and an Irvine (or the Fezziwig verses Scrooge class).

Is Newt imperfect and radical? Yes. Is that bad? Not to a 2010 insurgent voter.

Is Newt an impure conservative? Yes. Is that bad? Not to a 2010 insurgent voter.

Is Newt pissing off the GOP establishment? Yes. Is that the primary goal of the 2010 insurgent voter?

You Betcha!


47 responses so far

47 Responses to “Revenge Of The GOP Sithe”

  1. Redteam says:

    Layman, I didn’t mind your comments and it’s okay if the truth makes you barf. I notice you didn’t contest my statement that Romney thought up the whole Romney care deal and introduced it into the legislature in Mass. Interesting and true. and I notice you’re not questioning that his advisors WENT to Washington to aid Obama, you just want to imply that Romney didn’t SEND them. I’ll tell you, if my advisors went to Washington to advise Obama WITHOUT me sending them they would quickly become my EX-advisors. Now, did his advisors become ex-advisors or did they remain on his payroll? Since you are so sure that ‘a couple of Romneys advisors’ then you won’t mind telling us which couple they were, will you?

    I’ll keep telling the truth and you can keep barfing. You’ll lose weight that way. but really don’t understand why you don’t like the truth.

  2. Redteam says:

    Layman, let me help you out a little.
    ” Three of Mitt Romney’s advisers went to the White House at least a dozen times in 2009 to consult on the former Massachusetts governor’s health care plan that President Obama used as a model for his initiative -”

    and “”You’ve certainly heard the president himself say that there were a number of very good ideas included in the health care plan that then-Gov. Romney put in place in Massachusetts that were incorporated into the Affordable Care Act and so it’s clear that these are some ideas that we were interested in incorporating and we did incorporate.”

    and “NBC News first reported that Romney health care advisers and experts Jon Kingsdale, Jon Gruber and John McDonough all met with Obama officials in 2009, including one meeting with President Obama on July 20.”

    and “Romney also worked closely with the late Sen. Ted Kennedy on the Massachusetts health care plan and Kennedy was the lead author of the national legislation. Kennedy had said that the Romney plan was a model for the national one.”

    and “”Gov. Romney personally insisted the government mandate requiring private citizens to buy health insurance be included in his Massachusetts government health care law,”

    and “Romney telling NBC that would use the state program to create a national one and accuses Romney of deleting a line from a new edition of his book that says the country can achieve health care nationally”

    Since they met ‘several’ times, I’m assuming he didn’t fire them after the first time. Sorry to cause you excessive barfing, but have to tell the truth. Here’s a link.

    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/10/11/romneys-advisers-met-with-obama-to-help-craft-obama-care/#ixzz1kdEYEcA8

  3. Frogg1 says:

    In Florida, Gingrich Draws Thousands, Romney Draws Hundreds

    Definately looks like an enthusiam gap. Romney’s ground game could compensate for it, though.

    Romney’s polling lead in FL will probably hold because He did better than Newt during the last debate; although if any of them gain from the debate it will probably be Santorum.

  4. Layman1 says:


    Enjoyed your post on temperature measurements over at WUWT. I should stick with S&T issues. In that arena we agree almost all the time and just nit-pick at the edge details. When it comes to this political stuff its all subjective and that’s what makes my head feel like its going to explode. See you on your next AGM post. Cheers!

  5. AJStrata says:

    Now Layman,

    I respect and need someone to poke me now and then. Please don’t feel like your views are not important. You have woken me up a couple of times.

    BTW, this weekend a big hitting post on what causes El Nino’s (ain’t what people think)

  6. jan says:

    I want to post a ‘thank you’ to AJ Strata for allowing a disparity of viewpoints on this site. I’ve mostly been a steady ‘reader’ here rather than a vocal poster. However, this contest between Romney and Gingrich has liberated words, and I’ve shared impassioned views, which in most instances, are different from many here.

    While, the endpoint of getting Obama out of office is the same as all here, the vehicle I think best to accomplish this is Romney. Whereas, many of you place loyal support squarely behind Gingrich. What’s appreciated, though, is that these diverse opinions are permitted to participate in one forum. Not all blogs, allow this kind of diversity, as I’ve recently discovered, which makes this one especially noteworthy.


  7. AJStrata says:

    Jan – most welcome. I always felt the blogoshpere was the rebirth of the Pamphleteers of the revolution, and the new electronic public square. Happy to invest in our democracy