The unkindest of all

One of my colleagues yesterday remarked that Mitt Romney’s candidacy is doomed to "the death of 1,000 YouTube cuts."

I’m thinking he may have a point. What think you? Will we South Carolinians, who have seen more of all of these candidates than almost anyone, soon be able to paraphrase Caporegime Clemenza:

"Oh, Romney? Won’t see him no more."

43 thoughts on “The unkindest of all

  1. Randy E

    I’m getting sleeeepppyyyyyy…
    This video is kind of Head On-esque. Repeat the message a hundred times every 5 seconds.
    George Will, on Saturday, was asked who the conservatives would back. He believes it’s the Kansas guy, Brownback.

  2. Brad Warthen

    Yeah, it’s sounding like they want Brownback. Why, I don’t know. I guess because McCain would be too likely to win the election, and the ideologues can’t have THAT.
    No; I take that back: McCain would be likely to win with broad support across the political spectrum, and they can’t have THAT. What they want is to barely squeak by thanks to a few hanging chads, then fight bitterly for the next few years. That’s much better for their fund-raising, which seems to be what they’re about.
    Same deal on the Democratic side: The wing dwellers won’t let a guy like Joe Biden in; it wouldn’t polarize the country enough. He’s been TRYING to sound like that kind of candidate lately, but he’s just not going to fool them into thinking he’s crazy enough. He’s almost in the same boat Lieberman was in.

  3. Dave

    Brad, McCain is not in good health and is over 72 now. Giuliani is a lock if he doesnt stumble. Once he shakes off the doubts on gun control, he has it made. But will he do that.

  4. Randy E

    Dave, don’t forget to mention Rudy is pro-choice. I don’t see how the conserative faction would allow him to win. If he did, what would that say about the party of values?
    Brad, I was a huge McCain fan until the past few months. He seems to be selling out his straight-talking soul to win over the conservatives. I have been greatly disappointed in his nuancing.

  5. LexWolf

    Rudy’s pro-choice past doesn’t bother me. I’m also OK with most other current and possible GOP candidates except for McCain and Hagel. I would never vote for these RINOs in the primary. Even in the general election the Dem would have to be really, really bad (read: Hillary) before I would vote for those 2 guys.
    What puzzles me is why Warthen is so rabidly anti-Romney without ever laying out his objections in any rational way.

  6. Randy E

    Lex, you’re not a conservative then. Rove fine-tuned the W message to appeal to this crowd. His pin point polling allowed them to zero in on the conservative Christian vote along with conservatives in general and the rest of the country be damned.
    The republican party may completely implode with no clear conservative favorite and the socially liberal Rudy taking the lead. The era of Big W has ended.
    As a Catholic, I put Edwards at the bottom well below all the others – down there with his blogger buddies. I hope Hillary does well because of gender equity, but I won’t vote for her. Obama is my clear choice.
    I am a proud democrat largely because this party is THE big tent party. We have black, Hispanic and female presidential candidates running strong and a female speaker of the house.
    BTW, happy belated birthday to Ralph Nader. He turned 73 Tuesday.

  7. LexWolf

    Randy, I never said I was a conservative. I’m far less ideological than our illustrious blog host but if anything, I tend libertarian. However, I don’t throw away my vote so I usually end up voting GOP as the far lesser of two evils.
    What do you find so attractive about Obama? As far as I can tell, the guy is a very smooth talker but otherwise hasn’t accomplished anything. What qualifies him to be president?
    As for Nader, I hope he’ll run again. Even a few tenths of a percent might make the difference.

  8. bud

    Among Rudy’s qualifications:
    1. He married his cousin.
    2. He moved out of the City Mansion to live with his bimbo mistress.
    3. His second wife heard of his intentions to divorce her in favor of said bimbo from TV news reports.
    None of this particularly bothers me but given the conservative proclivity to attack this demonstratively un-family values creep what possible chance does he have?

  9. Ready to Hurl

    Here’s one big red flag about Rudy’s judgment: Prior to 9/11 but after the first WTC attack, Rudy commanded that the police emergency command post be located in the WTC. He reportedly countermanded expert recommendations and his own police chief to have the command post close to city hall.

  10. bud

    RTH, I started to include that in my list of Rudy “qualifications” but quickly realized the evango-nazi base of the Republican party could care less if Rudy made a stupid policy decision. They are only interested in “family values” purity. The whole “married his cousin” thing really is kind of creepy. I can’t imagine the fawning Falwell followers giving him a pass on that.

  11. Randy E

    What qualifies Obama? Character, judgement, ability to communicate, intelligence, ideas, and a level of honesty that is rare in his profession.
    I find it refreshing that he is willing to be up front and engage in constant political calculus. When he admitted on Meet the Press that he was considering a run for office, Russert played clips from previous appearences in which Obama stated that he would serve out his senate term. Obama replied without a hint of nuancing or gloss, that he simply reconsidered his position.
    The only other politician from whom I’ve witnessed such frankness is L.Graham, who I also respect very much.
    Nader wouldn’t sway the vote this time. I think the conservatives will end up staying home this next election.

  12. Dave

    Bud, I doubt that Giuliani would ever perform a single abortion, so the blood is not on his hands anyway. And married a cousin? If we all descended from Adam and Eve, aren’t we all kinfolk anyway? And you have to give a guy credit who does the right thing sometimes. Look at how the Slickmeister whored around on Hillary and stayed with her to constantly humiliate and embarrass her, whilst he was “ministering” to young interns. Now there’s a real man, to some.

    Randy, Obama may not be as honest about his Mooslim upbringing. His parents didnt name him Barak Hussein for nothing. He will be expected to listen to the Muslim call. Many years ago, JFK told America he would be an American President, not a Catholic President. Have we heard the same from Obama? And, if he were to become President, and sell this nation out to Muslim interests, will he simply tell Tim Russert he reconsidered his position? Putting aside all that, the man is a flaming tax raising big government proponent. That is his qualification.

  13. LexWolf

    Randy, so in other words (metaphor alert!) Obama is like a used-car salesman who’ll change his tune at the drop of a hat if it’s convenient to him. Somehow that doesn’t give me with much faith in his honesty and integrity. After all, that would mean that he could promise us anything and everything before the election, only to do the exact opposite after his inauguration.
    You still haven’t told us what he has actually accomplished. All you’ve told us so far is that Obama has been fairly successful in getting you to accept the public image he wants to convey.

  14. bud

    Dave plays the Clinton card. Really, isn’t it time to get over it. Like Mary said, Bill and Hillary stayed together despite Bill’s indescretions. As for Rudy, now there’s a real poster child for family values conservatism. But since the neo-cons are really only interested in enriching themselves at taxpayer expense we’re not likely to see the Pat Robertsons and Jerry Falwells of the world call him out on it. The GOP really is the party of hypocricy.

  15. Dave

    Obama is also a “victim” of big tobacco, as a smoker. As he now is portraying the public image of a reformed smoker, lets not forget the victim angle. He will never ever become Prez as a smoker. Imagine the consequences if Brad was invited to the White House for an exclusive and the Prez actually smoked. So the campaign is on to now tell people he gave it up.. hahahhahahaha

  16. Randy E

    Dave, victim angle? “Mooslim”? Granted, he’s no Anne Coulter so I understand your reluctance here.
    Lex, you’ve never reconsidered? Politicians don’t reconsider? Obviously you have and they do. The difference here is he is honest enough to admit it and be open about it. Actually, Lex you were honest enough to reconsider your position and admit that private schools in your choice “plan” would answer to the government.
    Of course Obama is no Dick “Rosey Glasses” Cheney who continues to exhalt our successful campaign in Iraq. He’s no W who pooh poohed talks with Iran and Syria as a way of dealing with the Iraq “War” then sends his minion to initiate talks with…Syria and Iran.

  17. LexWolf

    Come now, Randy, there’s a difference between “reconsidering” and saying one thing and doing another, i.e lying. It’s one thing to artfully shade the truth and skirt around it. It’s a whole ‘nuther thing to categorically say XYZ and then do just the opposite.
    Remember the hell Bush Sr caught for breaking his “Read my Lips” pledge not to raise taxes, and rightly so! I would say that Obama’s breaking of his pledge to serve his term and not to run for President is no different (ditto for Hillary).

  18. Randy E

    That’s overly simplistic. HW was making a pledge to the republican party, the independents and Reagan dems. He was committing himself to a key plank of the GOP platform. This was a MAJOR campaign promise.
    Obama is doing what many must do in order to run for president, he is running while holding office. This is common between both sides of the aisle. Reconsideraton of serving a full term is hardly limited to him. What is unique is he was up front about it, as you were when you admitted there would be government oversight for private school choice.

  19. Dave

    Bud, as long as a Clinton is running for office, the Clinton cards are in play. Anyway, the Slickmeister is such a great source of Clintonisms that it may be impossible to give it up.

    Obama’s quals are that Oprah likes him and the Hollywood crowd is tiring of the gestapo campaign tactics of Hillary. David Geffen was the first to go public but George Clooney and others are deserting the supposedly annointed queen of the left.

  20. Brad Warthen

    Lex, I’m not anti-Romney, either rabidly or otherwise. I will say that so far, he has made either neutral or negative impressions (his attempt to out-ideologe Sanford on the environment, for instance). But it’s early to make a final judgment about anyone. I know I like McCain, and I’ve had a lot of years to reach that judgment — he was certainly the best in 2000, and this field has yet to produce anyone who comes close.
    On another point: If you’re not a Republican right down the line, why do you use the term RINO? That’s a pejorative used by people (usually Johnny-come-latelies to the party who don’t like traditional Republicans, and make the absurd charge that the originals aren’t REAL Republicans) who believe that not being Republican, and the right kind of Republican, is a very bad thing.
    Oh, and two etiquette points: Mary started her long downward slide on this blog by calling me “Warthen,” deliberately setting a hostile, tone from the beginning, whatever she said. You’re doing the same. You are also pinning the “ideologue” label on me, not because you have any valid reason whatsoever, but because you know nothing else is more likely to be offensive to me.
    You need to stop that now. Maybe it’s just a joke — you even threw it in while wishing me good health, which I appreciate. But you need to stop it. I’m still trying to decide whether to take the drastic step of allowing only registered users who use their full, real names to comment here. You’re not helping the cause of keeping the current policy at all.

  21. bud

    Brad’s response to Lex accusation that Brad is an ideologue:
    You are also pinning the “ideologue” label on me, not because you have any valid reason whatsoever, but because you know nothing else is more likely to be offensive to me.
    Here’s proof that Brad is, indeed an ideologue:
    Advocates of the surge told you to expect MORE violence, not less, in the short term — in other words, in the coming months. And yet you suggest continuing violence as an indication of failure.
    The stated objective of the Iraq war from the very beginning was to depose Saddam and create a much better, safer Iraq for both the U.S. and the Iraqi people. If a person supports the policy now, even if the outcome is just the opposite what was intended that person must be an ideologue. Simply put, Brad supported stay-the-course when it was put forth as a way to reduce violence and improve U.S. security. Brad now continues to support the policty even though he accepts the fact that it increases violence. That contradiction can only be viewed as ideological and quite bizarre.

  22. Brad Warthen

    bud, you don’t know what the "outcome" is. We just got there, and we just got started. It’s been less than four years. I wrote — and I keep pointing out that I wrote — the very week of the invasion that this would take a long, long time, that it was a job for Bush’s successor or his successor’s successor to finish. I just don’t see why you can’t hear what I keep saying, and have always said.

    There is a world of difference between having a clearly stated position on an issue and being ideological. What do you think "ideological" means? To me it’s about placing more emphasis on labels and which groups "side" you’re on than what position to take on a given issue, or such matters as candidate’s character and ability.

    Classic example: These self-described "conservatives" declaring that they have to stop McCain because he’s not "conservative" enough. That is ideology over substance.

    You can’t possibly extrapolate ideology from a person’s position on a single issue. It’s about the pattern over a range of issues. If the person is always concerned about adopting the "conservative" position, or the "Democratic" position, that’s ideology.

    One more point to consider: I have no idea what Lex means by calling me ideological, beyond his desire to bait me on the point. But if he really means something by it, it would be highly unlikely to be the same thing you mean by it.

    But we should let him speak for himself on that point.

  23. LexWolf

    Brad, you really could have fooled me on that anti-Romney bias of yours. After all, you only posted two very anti-Romney threads and so far I haven’t seen you say a single kind word about the guy. Hardly a neutral stance, wouldn’t you agree?
    I called you an ideologue for a very simple reason: you are one whether you realize it or not, whether you like it or not. You have demonstrated your ideology time and again on a wide range of issues. As I’ve said before, you are not a partisan ideologue in a Dem-vs-GOP way. However, you are very much a pro-government ideologue. I have yet to see an issue where you took the side of people to decide for themselves over the power of big government telling them what to do. I have never seen you say on any issue that it might be better for government to butt out, to reduce spending and taxation, to abolish some programs, to privatize some functions etc. Similarly, any time where there’s conflict between big government and individual rights, we can rest assured that you will come down on the side of big government and against the people.
    I’m not labeling you an ideologue to bait you but because it’s a fact. You have your own quirky statist ideology but it’s nevertheless a very real ideology. If you don’t want to be called an ideologue then I would recommend that you stop being one. That would be far better than telling others they can’t label you an ideologue even while you yourself are one of the main labelers on this blog. It’s just like that old civility thing where you are easily one of the main offenders yet you want to deny others the right to do the very same thing you are blatantly doing yourself.
    Remember last fall when you called taxpayers “jerks” because they didn’t agree with you on higher taxes? That’s both incivil and ideological!
    The biggest problem with the way you madly sling the ideologue label all over the place is that it shuts down debate. Just like the racist label it automatically puts the other person on the defensive and allows you to disparage the other person’s points. After all, he/she is just an “ideologue” parroting talking points while you claim to be some poor man’s Voltaire who arrived at your positions all by your lonesome. How fatuous and delusional!

  24. LexWolf

    Brad, forgot all about this one. What is wrong with calling you Warthen? Isn’t that your last name? Are you ashamed of it? I’ve been called by my last name many times and never saw anything offensive about it.
    And if calling people by their last names is somehow offensive why are you using just Sanford, Romney, McCain etc.? Don’t they have first names or titles you could put before their last names?

  25. LexWolf

    why don’t you go work on that plan of yours that would finally fix the failed public education system?

  26. Randy E

    I haven’t run away from the system like others. I’m in there 5 days a week.
    With 85% of my students passing the AP exam last year, I’m not seeing this failure. 😉

  27. LexWolf

    Randy, I’m not sure how else you would be able to make a living if you didn’t stay on the plantation.
    Report Raises Questions
    About High-School Courses

    February 23, 2007; Page B1
    American educators have complained about grade inflation for years. But new findings suggest that U.S. high schools may also suffer from another type of inflation — in the labeling of courses.
    Under pressure to produce graduates better prepared for college and the workplace, dozens of states have stiffened high-school graduation requirements in recent years, pushing a broader array of students to take more years of core subjects and eliminating less rigorous lower-tier courses altogether.
    Reflecting these efforts, a review of high-school transcripts by the staff of the National Assessment of Educational Progress shows that high-school students are taking, and receiving higher grades in, more college-prep courses than ever.
    Yet just-released test results for 12th graders on the NAEP, a widely respected barometer of educational achievement known as the “nation’s report card,” indicated that students are graduating with mediocre math skills and reading abilities that have tumbled to their lowest level since the early 1990s. The 12th-grade tests are designed to measure the sorts of high-level thinking demanded in college work.
    The findings raise questions about whether college-prep courses are as tough as their titles indicate, and, if so, whether high schools and their instructors are adequately prepared to teach such courses to a rapidly changing mix of students.
    U.S. Education Secretary Margaret Spellings expressed disappointment with the findings, saying: “If, in fact, our high-school students are taking more challenging courses and earning higher grades, we should be seeing greater gains in test scores.”
    Other observers said the results suggest that some school districts are teaching watered-down versions of everything from history to trigonometry. “A course title alone does not make rigor,” said David Conley, a University of Oregon professor who studies high-school course content.
    The NAEP results are likely to fuel calls for reform measures as the federal No Child Left Behind act approaches a reauthorization debate. The Bush administration has proposed requiring states to conduct additional reading and math achievement tests at the high-school level.
    In December, the Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce, a private group that includes former governors and cabinet secretaries from both political parties, called for such radical measures as ending high school after 10th grade for some students and denying entry to public colleges and universities to any who can’t pass so-called board exams in core subjects.
    The NAEP review of high school transcripts, released yesterday, found that 51% of the graduating class of 2005 completed at least a midlevel college-prep curriculum that included four years of English; three years of math, including geometry and algebra; and three years of science including at least two of biology, chemistry and physics. In 1990, only about 31% of seniors completed a similar curriculum.
    The NAEP review also found that the class of 2005 received about 360 more hours of instruction in high school than their 1990 counterparts and earned higher grades. On a zero-to-four point scale, the 2005 seniors had a cumulative grade point average of 2.98 points, or about a B, up from 2.68 points in 1990. But the benefits of such changes weren’t evident in the results of NAEP reading and math achievement tests for the class of 2005.
    On a zero-to-500 point scale, their average reading score was 286 points. That was down a point from 2002, the last time the test was given, and was the lowest average score since 1992, when the average was 292 points. About 40% of the test takers scored at or above the proficient range, down from 44% in 1992.
    On the math side, the average score was 150 on a zero-to-300 point scale and only 23% of the seniors were scored at or above the proficient range. NAEP officials said results of the 2005 math test aren’t comparable with those from previous years because of recent changes in the exam’s structure and content.
    Reflecting demographic changes in society, the sorts of students taking the NAEP test have changed significantly in recent years. Hispanics accounted for 14% of all 12th graders in 2005, up from 7% in 1992. The scoring gap between them and white students has changed little since 1992.
    Since 1998, when NAEP began allowing accommodations such as longer testing times, more English-language learners are also taking the NAEP. In 2005, they accounted for about 4% of all seniors taking the NAEP reading test and posted an average score of 247. The effect was to lower the overall average score by two points, to 286, which NAEP officials said was statistically significant.
    The decline in reading abilities was not a complete surprise. A recent study by ACT Inc., the nonprofit testing concern based in Iowa City, Iowa, found that only about 51% of high school graduates who took the ACT test in 2005 were prepared to tackle college-level reading, down from 55% in 1999. ACT also found a decline in reading skills through the high-school years, with more eighth- and 10th-graders on track for college reading than seniors. “Reading just drops off the radar in high school,” said Jon Erickson, ACT’s vice president for educational services.
    And the NAEP results aren’t the only signs that college-prep courses may not be delivering all that they promise.
    The College Board, the New York nonprofit that gives the SAT admissions test, is in the midst of a nationwide audit of its high-school Advanced Placement Program courses, amid concerns that some districts aren’t offering college-level content.
    Meanwhile, a recent study by the state of Maryland found that 30% of its 2005 high-school graduates who completed a college-prep curriculum needed remedial math in college, up from 26% for the class of 2000.
    States may require students to take more upper-level courses, but content is still largely left up to local school boards and varies widely. And few states have instituted mandatory end-of-course tests to measure what is actually being taught in high-school classrooms or taken concrete action to ensure that high-school graduation standards are aligned with what colleges and universities expect incoming freshmen to know.
    Hodan Janay, of Boston says she earned B’s during four years of high-school English, took a college-prep literature course her senior year and passed the state English exams required to graduate. “But I wasn’t as ready as I thought,” says the 21-year-old, who is now enrolled in a remedial English course at Boston’s Bunker Hill Community College.

  28. LexWolf

    “Just like the racist label it automatically puts the other person on the defensive and allows you to disparage the other person’s points.”
    I would go a little bit further than that. In addition to using it to disparage the other person’s points, Brad uses it to avoid addressing the points, as well as to disparage them. It’s a convenient dodge when he has been defeated in argument but doesn’t want to admit his defeat.
    “Incivility” is a similar dodge. Brad doesn’t care anything about incivility; if he did, he would be civil himself. What he wants is a mechanism he can use to privilege his own point of view and exclude others, especially when the other point of view has been shown to be better supported than his own.

    Hmmm… I think you have a great point there.

  29. Randy E

    Lex, you take a personal shot at me and cut and paste an article?
    I’m out here in the open, name and profession – no need for anonymity.

  30. LexWolf

    Randy, get used to it. You take personal shots at me constantly even though you don’t know anything about me at all.

  31. Randy E

    I take shots at you? Really? I point out you had trouble navigating a website and didn’t understand “median”. Is that really the same as belittling my professional ability?
    I am used to it Lex, after all you had a whole thread devoted to your incivility.

  32. Randy E

    Lex, when you have trouble keeping up your end of a debate, you start lashing out.
    When you tried to navigate the NAEP site, you repeatedly had trouble. When you read the map key for the scores, you didn’t know the meaning of median. You repeatedly insisted that schools should be held accountable using the private business model, then you admitted the private schools in your “plan” would answer to the government.
    I didn’t attack you, I pointed out that you reconsidered your position and reported honestly trouble you had with the NAEP site. So why do you feel compelled to reply with personal attacks?

  33. LexWolf

    If anyone isn’t keeping up his end of the debate, it’s you. I’m still looking for the link to where I allegedly “reconsidered”. Will we get that from you anytime this year?
    Spare us your creative “interpretations” of what was never said in the first place. I had no trouble at all navigating the NAEP site (actually the federal Education Dept.). It’s just that what you said was there wasn’t there. I repeatedly asked you for links and as usual you failed to produce any.

  34. Randy E

    Lex, this is exactly why I like Obama. He hasn’t made statements, backed away from them, then pretended he never changed in the first place.
    So, you have not “reconsidered” anything. You posted an article about the private choice law in Utah (“I got your choice” thread) as support for your position. In the Utah law, the private schools answer to the government. This jibes with a previous post of yours.
    I’m glad that this was part of your private choice “plan” all along. You understand the need for the government to oversee education.

  35. LexWolf

    What are you nattering on about now, Randy? Maybe this makes some sort of strange sense to you but I doubt anyone else can decipher your rants.
    I’m glad you acknowledge that the Utah article I posted jibes with my previous post. As I said all along….. Where’s the “reconsidered” part. Link please, once again!

  36. Randy E

    Lex, again I’ll say that I’m glad to see you agree about the need for government oversight for our educational system. Apparently, you never reconsidered this because you’ve always espoused government oversight for our schools.

  37. LexWolf

    About time, Randy. One misrepresentation or manufactured quote down, many more to go.
    You really should stop trying to put words in people’s mouths so insistently.

  38. Randy E

    Which is it Lex, would the private schools in your choice “plan” be held accountable by government or not?
    You posted the article regarding Utah’s choice law with the component for government oversight. This was in support of your position.
    Maybe we’ll get a pair of those Romney flip flops for you.


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