Perry’s brutal anti-Romney ad

A preview of next fall?

Republican primary voters really, really don’t want to nominate Mitt Romney, but the failure of the wingnuts to find a plausible candidate from within their own ranks makes his nomination seem more and more likely. Rick Perry’s failure to hate the children of immigrants as much as the Teahadis do seems to have doomed him, though his being transparently the least intelligent person on the stage can’t be helping. In the meantime, he’s giving us a little preview of what Obama is going to do to the Stepford Husband after Labor Day:

I’m not sure whether it’s really possible to be too phony to get elected President, but if Romney is the nominee we’re going to find out. Naturally, I don’t blame Romney for previewing ObamaCare, but it’s hard not to think less of him for lying about it.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com

18 thoughts on “Perry’s brutal anti-Romney ad”

  1. Do the peculiar Hollywood production values of those ads work? I see the editing and can only see a trailer for a two-star political thriller, and then think, “The same marketing wizards who’ve fooled me into wasting 10 bucks and 2 valuable hours on that schlock now want to sell me on a president? Oh heck no.”

    Or was the content the point?

    Romney’s a decent man with an honorable record of public service. Sadly, there’s a small market for that product in the GOP these days.

  2. “Romney’s a decent man with an honorable record of public service. Sadly, there’s a small market for that product in the GOP these days.”

    Since Romney’s pitch is that he’ll do whatever is need to win the GOP nomination, we can scratch “Romney’s a decent man”. And since he worked for a consulting company, we can scratch the idea that he ever was.

  3. @Bruce If right wing forwards of YouTube clips are any indication, it works wonders. Assemble talking points, add flags and troops pics, add dramatic music, and wait for the flood of views.

  4. I’m not sure what Mark’s point has been in this series of posts about what a horrible person Romney is. Compared with the other candidates running in the Republican primary, he’s just about the only one who doesn’t seem obviously stupid or crazy (or both). Compared with GW Bush, he seems to me a considerably better person for the job both in his intelligence and his character. I’m not going to vote for him, but people are sufficiently unhappy with our progress (and rightfully so) that I think it would be an unacceptable risk to the nation to hope for one of the stupid, crazy ones to be nominated on the grounds that it would increase the likelihood that President Obama is re-elected. I wouldn’t be happy if Romney were elected; but I wouldn’t be frightened for the country.

    1. I think that Mark’s point is that Romney can only be seen as “not a horrible person” compared to the other Republican nominees. Romney is post-Reagan horribleness poured into a Ken doll and presented as an Eisenhower Republican.

    2. Larry,
      You are probably right about Mitt Romney as a person. He is neither stupid nor crazy. But does this really make a difference? As a candidate, he is forced to act as if he is stupid and crazy. It won’t be all that different if he is elected President. He’s doubtless smart enough to have learned the lesson of Bush pere–if even a Republican President departs from the Party orthodoxy, punishment will be swift and sure. There will be some room at the margins for a President Romney to act differently than a President Wingnut. But not much.

      1. I think you’re being a little unfair. Since, and I agree, “he is neither stupid nor crazy,” credit should be given to the man for performing the machinations that were obviously necessary to reaching his current position, a stone’s throw from the candidacy.

        I completely admit that it’s only a hunch, but I believe we won’t get anywhere near the true sense of the man until/unless he is successful in the General election. I realize that he does a pretty could impression of being “plastic man,” at least to us so-called, Liberals, but lets give credit where it’s due. Nobody becomes a multi, multi millionaire by sheer luck alone. And if his apparent success in so many facets of his public and personal life is simply a well choreographed fraud, well, my hat’s off to him.

        Again, only my hunch, but maybe, just maybe he’s as disgusted with the cartoon character he’s been compelled to assume up till now, and if elected, he’ll rip off his white shirt and underneath will be a set of spandex tights, a cape, and a big Letter “S” emblazoned on his chest.

        O.k., have some fun with the caricature, but stranger things have happened. I just have this unresolved uneasiness that a man who has attained so much is the total doofus he’s generally portrayed to be.

        Oh well, only one year to go, then we’ll all know. Maybe the Mittster gets the last laugh, and wouldn’t that be a hoot all around?

        1. Name one politician who ever “ripped off his white shirt” after he was elected. They all become the cartoons they campaign as. One cannot succeed in politics and retain one’s original idealism (assuming for the sake of argument that any of them ever had any).

    3. I think you have to consider the context in which he would be President. If Romney wins then it is likely that the Senate will have gone Republican, so the crazy party will fully control Congress. That means that, however non-insane Romney is he’s going to have a lot of crazy legislation cross his desk, and he will hardly be in position to veto it. And he will have little reason to name moderates to the bench at any level.

      In other words, it’s important to consider the actions President Romney would be likely to take. To my mind they would not be that different from those President Perry would take. They may not be equal in intelligence, but they would face the same incentives and constraints.

      1. This is a point a number of other folks have made as well. I think it misses the sheer tribalism that is at the core of modern “conservatism” in America, and the sheer power-lust that is at the core of the modern Republican party. If Romney were President, a lot of folks who are against, say, the health care act, or fiscal stimulus, would immediately turn around and be for these things, for the simple reason that their perception of the situation would then be that someone who looked like them was doing things for people like them. By the same token Republican politicians would not be interested in, e.g., repeal aspects of the health care law around pre-existing conditions or coverage of adult children in their early twenties — and they know full well that the individual mandate is logically necessary given these aspects — nor would they be against fiscal stimulus that would improve the economy on their watch. They weren’t when Bush was President.

        The longer term question is how to deal with both the tribalism and the power lust; Republicans have made it clear they have no compunctions about obstructing progress when they’re not in charge, simply in order to bring about conditions that make it more likely they will be able to take charge again. This has created a lot of perverse incentives in the political system.

        1. It might conceivably be true that conservative would have supported HCR had it been proposed by a Republican President. But they are now too invested in hating it to turn around, I think. The same applies to fiscal stimulus. Bush’s notion was simply tax-cutting, not increased domestic spending.

          And of course there are other areas where consrervative dogma is deeply entrenched. This includes the whole business of environmental regulation, and other regulation as well. It’s hard for me to think that a GOP Congress, looking at a GOP President and a once-in-a lifetime opportunity to get rid of huge chunks of legislation they hate, will shy away.

  5. I think Mark’s point is summed up in the “Stepford Husband” label, and I agree with him. Larry isn’t frightened by him because it really doesn’t feel like he would do much of anything, does it? He sure didn’t when he was governor here in MA — apart from the healthcare bill, which got wide conservative support at the time(including the Heritage Foundation), what did he do while he was in office, other than LOOK perfectly gubernatorial? Hence the Stepford Husband — he was a fake governor and he’d be a fake President.

    That he’s where he is in the polls in spite of this underscores the rift in the Republican party. In the 1924 election, the Dems were split between a rural, white, Protestant base and an immigrant, Catholic, urban base (the hot button issue was Prohibition), and they compromised on John Davis, someone no one really liked or disliked. Perhaps Romney is the John Davis of 2012. If so, the Republicans better hope a genuine conservative candidate doesn’t come out of the woodwork and run on an independent ticket. That’s what happened in 1924 and look what we got — no booze for another 9 years and a Massachusetts governor for President.

    1. “If so, the Republicans better hope a genuine conservative candidate doesn’t come out of the woodwork and run on an independent ticket.”

      I keep wondering about this – if it looks like Obama is going to win, then it’d be in the interests of the GOP leadership (most of them) and the Money Boyz to have a flaming Teahadist run, and go down to crushing and ruinous defeat. Then they could reassert control. (note – this is meant in the sense that the Tea Party always was a GOP astroturf movement, but one which has proven troublesome on occasion, and which might not be needed by the current GOP leadership and the Money Boyz).

      The only problem would be that such a crushing defeat at the top of the ticket would have long coattails downticket.

  6. Assuming he perseveres & gets the nomination, can this sort of issue campaigning offset lousy job numbers & give Obama a second term? A lot of people don’t think so.

  7. In the meantime, he’s giving us a little preview of what Obama is going to do to the Stepford Husband after Labor Day.

    I am not so sure.

    Mr. Obama thinks we can disagree without being disagreeable.
    He argues that we are tired of the politics of personal destruction.
    And that we are not a red America and a blue America.
    And that our best days are ahead of us…

    I know it has been dropped that Obama 2012 is going to stomp all over Romney’s chameleon tail.
    But that would mean Mr. Obama doesn’t believe his own bipartisan nice guy bullshit anymore.
    That’s a nice thought, but we haven’t yet seen much tangible evidence he’s given up that sorry shtick…

    1. Obama’s favorite weapon isn’t a club. It’s a stiletto, and he’s shown that he’s damned effective with it. It’s just not a very useful weapon for fighting Congress with.

  8. though his being transparently the least intelligent person on the stage can’t be helping.

    With the Teahadis? Is this a typo?

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