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Romney’s Electability

Alec MacGillis at The New Republic spies an interesting irony in Romney’s results: [1]

Romney does well in the places where Barack Obama does well, and he does poorly in the places where Obama does poorly. …  On the upside for Romney, one could argue that he will be as competitive as a Republican can hope to be in the metro suburbs of Ohio, Virginia, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Colorado, etc.

… But the downside for Romney in this ironic alignment between his geographic strengths and Obama’s is that it underscores how poorly suited he is for this moment in his party’s trajectory—and for the campaign he himself is trying to run. … But it does suggest that Romney’s paint-by-numbers anti-Obama message is a poor fit for him—such a poor fit that the voters who should be most receptive to it are seeing through it for the cynical confection that it is.

Hmm. Do you doubt that Rick Santorum despises Barack Obama, and genuinely sees him as a mortal threat to America? I don’t. I don’t for a minute believe that Romney shares this passion, no matter what Romney says on the stump. And I think this speaks well of Romney, by the way! I mean — to be clear — I don’t care for Obama, and I’m deeply concerned about what a second Obama term may mean for religious liberty. But I don’t hate the guy, and when I hear apocalyptic rhetoric from Romney, Santorum, and Gingrich about how America is thisclose to becoming the People’s Republic of Obamastan if the GOP loses the fall election, I feel both amused and insulted.

Romney as Obama-Hating Crusader and Conservative Ideologue seems phony because it is phony. He’s a technocratic business Republican with a genial personality. Not my kind of Republican, generally — the business Republican part — but I trust Mitt Romney to have a more measured, indeed more accurate, read on the nation he would have to govern as president than an angry ideologue like Rick Santorum. Again, temperament is so, so important. Some people hate Obama so much they can’t see how likable he comes across to average people — and that’s a quality that will be highlighted even more if Obama has the good fortune of facing off this fall against a dour, rigid, perpetually pissed-off Santorum.

If Romney is elected in November, the same conservatives who are turning out to vote against him now are going to make his presidency hell. They despise him, and they will be eyeballing him intensely, looking for evidence of deviation from the True Path.

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54 Comments To "Romney’s Electability"

#1 Comment By philosopher On March 8, 2012 @ 11:15 pm

Siarlys, don’t feed the trolls.

#2 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On March 9, 2012 @ 1:02 pm

Mitchell isn’t a troll. He is an American citizen who has strong convictions about matters of race. He happens, in my seldom humble opinion, to be very badly wrong, sometimes even dangerously wrong if enough of our fellow citizens took him seriously. Like most people I meet here, I expect he would be a perfectly decent person to have lunch with sometime. I don’t even think the complexion of the woman who might come with me would inspire him to turn around and leave.

#3 Comment By philosopher On March 9, 2012 @ 6:54 pm

At some point, “strong convictions” cross over into “evidenceless delusions”, and at that point, in my opinion, it’s best not to engage. That would be perfectly consistent with a person being a potentially decent lunch companion, so long as certain topics were completely avoided. (Indeed, I have several uncles, each of whom I love very much, who meet that description for various topics!)

I’m just feeling kinda frustrated with the generally high percentage of pretty much worthless posts on so many of these threads, I guess. E.g., it seems that very often I see someone make a really interesting point (you are very often such a person!) in comment #6 or #10 or so, but by the time I can get around to trying to respond to it, we’re at comment #65, so it seems futile to try to engage. It’s hard to get meaningful conversation going when the noise:signal ratio is so bad.

#4 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On March 11, 2012 @ 9:54 pm

I mostly agree with philosopher on the basic criteria. I have often pointed out rather sharply that some other commenter was posting an OPINION over and over as axiomatic, well-established, commonly recognized fact, when it is no such thing.

Mitchell was indeed expressing an opinion, not a fact. But we all do that. The important thing, in my seldom humble opinion, is to be clear on the difference. Mitchell has an opinion that race and ethnicity mean something substantive, which is not at present widely or commonly accepted as established fact. I find it useful to engage on that basis. If my own opinions have any integrity, I should be able to forthrightly affirm them in the face of what Mitchell offers, without ignoring what Mitchell said.

I’ve never been entirely certain what a troll is, other than “someone I don’t want to hear from.” I’ve occasionally been labeled “troll” at Roman Catholic sites, usually by another commenter, not by the administrator, because I had a viewpoint markedly at variance with the dominant theme. I surmise that troll should more properly mean “someone who is being blatantly rude, hijacking the thread for a totally different subject matter agenda, or spouting epithets that in no way presenta coherent challenge contributing to the depth of the discussion.”