The RPs Debate the GOP Mudfest: Krystal Ball & Michael Steele Have the Last Word

Krystal Ball & Michael Steele’s Last Words

[Krystal Ball’s Provocation; Artur Davis’ Rebuttal #1; Jeff Smith’s Rebuttal #2; Ron Granieri’s Rebuttal #3; The RP’s Rebuttal #4; Ron Granieri’s First Response; Rod Jetton’s Rebuttal #5; The RP’s First Response:; Jimmy Dahroug’s Rebuttal #6; Artur Davis’ First Defense; Krystal Ball’s First Defense; Ron Granieri’s Second Response]

To Ron Granieri’s Star Trek- and Muppet-alluding Second Response,

Krystal says: “Touché”

Michael says: “They’ll take the “Fabulous Prizes” every time! That’s just logical!!”

The RPs Debate the GOP Mudfest: Ron Granieri Responds

Ron Granieri’s Second Response

[Krystal Ball’s Provocation; Artur Davis’ Rebuttal #1; Jeff Smith’s Rebuttal #2; Ron Granieri’s Rebuttal #3; The RP’s Rebuttal #4; Ron Granieri’s First Response; Rod Jetton’s Rebuttal #5; The RP’s First Response:; Jimmy Dahroug’s Rebuttal #6; Artur Davis’ First Defense; Krystal Ball’s First Defense]

Krystal crystallizes the debate down to its key element, so let me offer this counter question:

Do the American people prefer logic....

 

Or FABULOUS PRIZES!!!!!!?

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  

The RPs Debate the GOP Mudfest: Krystal Ball Defends

Krystal Ball’s First Defense

[Krystal Ball’s Provocation; Artur Davis’ Rebuttal #1; Jeff Smith’s Rebuttal #2; Ron Granieri’s Rebuttal #3; The RP’s Rebuttal #4; Ron Granieri’s First Response; Rod Jetton’s Rebuttal #5; The RP’s First Response:; Jimmy Dahroug’s Rebuttal #6; Artur Davis’ First Defense]

So obviously a lot can happen between now and November.

War with Iran, European collapse, cat breading craze leads to chronic bread shortages, etc etc.

But first of all, what’s the fun of talking about politics if you aren’t willing to make wild predictions based on insufficient data?

Second, I thought about citing swing state data showing the President in a stronger position and talking about the many paths he has to victory but really, just consider the choice between this guy and this guy.  There’s really no comparison.

The RPs Debate the GOP Mudfest: Artur Davis Responds

Artur Davis’ First Response
[Krystal Ball’s Provocation; Artur Davis’ Rebuttal #1; Jeff Smith’s Rebuttal #2; Ron Granieri’s Rebuttal #3; The RP’s Rebuttal #4; Ron Granieri’s First Response; Rod Jetton’s Rebuttal #5; The RP’s First Response:; Jimmy Dahroug’s Rebuttal #6]
A few reactions to the many good insights on this thread:
  • Because the participants on this thread are all people who love the lore of politics, and are embarrasingly steeped in its historical trivia, we all tend too much toward analogy: so all of us, myself included, strain to determine whether this year is 1980 (enough political instability that Reagan’s liabilities, much greater than they seem now, didn’t matter) or 1972 or 1984 (vulnerable incumbent ends up winning big because of internecine strife in the other camp, and because big events (Vietnam winds down, Nixon goes to China in 72,) (a roaring economic recovery in 84) changed the equation. I’ll venture one way, though, in which this cycle has no comparison: for the first time in memory, the country seems polarized and split so closely that for two years and seven months, an incumbent president’s approval ratings have essentially stayed static, no matter what good or bad news is cluttering his in-box.

    Read the rest of…
    The RPs Debate the GOP Mudfest: Artur Davis Responds

The RPs Debate the GOP Mudfest: Jimmy Dahroug Rebuts

Jimmy Dahroug: Rebuttal #6

[Krystal Ball’s Provocation; Artur Davis’ Rebuttal #1; Jeff Smith’s Rebuttal #2; Ron Granieri’s Rebuttal #3; The RP’s Rebuttal #4; Ron Granieri’s First Response; Rod Jetton’s Rebuttal #5; The RP’s First Response]

This is my first post, and first contribution to The Recovering Politician. I believe having run for office and taking the time to step back and examine our experiences, gives us a unique and significant insight into how politics really works. Thank you for allowing me to be part of this with all of you.

On to the debate!

As a Democrat, I can’t say I would mind if a drawn-out primary helped our party in the general election. Yet objectively, I do see potential advantages for the GOP.  The Obama campaign might be happy about this right now, but they would be committing political malpractice if they don’t anticipate possible advantages for the GOP, and prepare for them. So here are some points to consider:

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The RPs Debate the GOP Mudfest: Jimmy Dahroug Rebuts

The RPs Debate the GOP Mudfest: The RP Responds

The RP’s First Response

[Krystal Ball’s Provocation; Artur Davis’ Rebuttal #1; Jeff Smith’s Rebuttal #2; Ron Granieri’s Rebuttal #3; The RP’s Rebuttal #4; Ron Granieri’s First Response; Rod Jetton’s Rebuttal #5]

Ron Granieri is correct that I’m a passionate Marxist, but he’s got the wrong Marx brother.  I prefer Groucho.  (Karl’s the mute with the curly hair, right?)

Speaking of farcical comedy, with his shocking Romney endorsement, have we seen the last of Donald Trump’s involvement in Campaign 2012?  OK, just kidding.

But seriously folks…I hesitate to respond to Ron Granieri’s latest piece because frankly I don’t understand his big words, French references and elite, ivory-tower sophistry. (or is it sapphistry?)  I am, after all, just an ordinary, unfrozen caveman lawyer.

Read the rest of…
The RPs Debate the GOP Mudfest: The RP Responds

The RPs Debate the GOP Mudfest: Ron Granieri Responds

Ron Granieri’s First Response

[Krystal Ball’s Provocation; Artur Davis’ Rebuttal #1; Jeff Smith’s Rebuttal #2; Ron Granieri’s Rebuttal #3; The RP’s Rebuttal #4]

Touché, Jonathan (he drawled while slouching in an old office chair…). You are quite right that Gingrich is no Reagan, nor are any of the other impostors. The analogy is flawed, but nonetheless retains its admonitory power. Indeed, as Robert Reich has written elsewhere, liberals should temper their enthusiasm for a Gingrich candidacy because even a small percentage chance of his election is too much.

Ultimately, all such comparisons should make us remember Jonathan’s favorite philosopher, Karl Marx, who famously wrote in The 18th Brumaire: “Hegel remarks somewhere that all great world-historic facts and personages appear, so to speak, twice.

He forgot to add: the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce. Caussidiere for Danton, Louis Blanc for Robespierre [Gingrich for Reagan]….precisely in such epochs of revolutionary crisis they anxiously conjure up the spirits of the past to their service, borrowing from them names, battle slogans, and costumes in order to present this new scene in world history in time-honored disguise and borrowed language.”

Peace out.


The RPs Debate the GOP Mudfest: The RP Rebuts

The RP: Rebuttal #4

[Krystal Ball’s Provocation; Artur Davis’ Rebuttal #1; Jeff Smith’s Rebuttal #2; Ron Granieri’s Rebuttal #3]

First of all, a hearty Mazel Tov to Ron Granieri for being the first person ever at the Internet tubes to use both the terms Schadenfreude and QFT in a post.

(I had to look the latter up at the Urban Dictionary and assume he is using definition #1, not #2)

I know that Ron’s childhood hero, William F. Buckley would be proud.

(No, seriously, RP Nation.  When the rest of us were reading comic books and the backs of baseball cards, Ron was queuing Firing Line repeats, poring through back issues of the National Review, and dog-earing his prized first edition of God and Man at Yale.)

I have to take issue, however, with the Reagan analogy which has been über-abused by the TV screaming heads who tend to fill up air time with clichéd analyses.  Gingrich (or Paul…or Santorum…or Bachmann…yadda, yadda, yadda) is no Reagan in any sense of the word, particularly when it comes to electability. Certainly both of our liberal fathers misjudged Reagan’s general election appeal (My Dad…ugh…voted for Bonzo’s BFF in fact because he eerily predicted Carter’s antipathy toward Israel), as did much of America.

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The RPs Debate the GOP Mudfest: The RP Rebuts

The RPs Debate the GOP Slugfest: Ron Granieri Rebuts

Ron Granieri: Rebuttal #3

[Krystal Ball’s Provocation; Artur Davis’ Rebuttal #1; Jeff Smith’s Rebuttal #2]

I understand the premature Schadenfreude that so many Democrats are feeling as they rub their hands gleefully and imagine how easy it will be to pick off the weakened Republican nominee after this primary fight.

I can also see why so many writers imagine that this is 1984 or 1972 or 1964 all over again, with an opposition party hopelessly captive to ideological extremists furiously working toward massive defeat. Maybe it will be. I am not much for predictions. Being a historian means I have spent my professional life shaking my head over predictions later proven to be false.

With that in mind, I will only offer this memory of my father, who would have been 75 this past Wednesday. It was late 1979, and my father, a lifelong Democrat, was bemoaning the weakened position of President Carter. (He would eventually support Ted Kennedy’s rebellion against the President, which should give you an idea of his positions on things.)

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The RPs Debate the GOP Slugfest: Ron Granieri Rebuts

The RPs Debate the GOP Mudfest: Jeff Smith Rebuts

Jeff Smith: Rebuttal #2

[Krystal Ball’s Provocation; Artur Davis’ Rebuttal #1]

I think Krystal pegs the psychology of Newt perfectly when she suggests that no one in the country will be happier with a Romney loss in November, with the possible exceptions of Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, and Bob McDonnell. As the old Janis Joplin song goes, Freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose. And Mitt won’t be quite so enamored of the concept of “freedom” when he sees how Newt uses his in the the next few weeks. Rather, he’ll be urging his Jewish bundlers to call Adelson and beg him to stop (assuming he hasn’t already done so.)

I also agree with her smart observation that Newt has leveled much harsher critiques of Mitt Romney’s time at Bain Capital than Democrats would be able to pull off. Even more importantly than the attack is that Romney’s takeaway from the attacks will be, I think, that his response was effective. But I don’t think it will work in a general to proclaim, “I don’t apologize for my success” without expressing some empathy for all the people who lost jobs when companies went under after Bain sucked them dry.
 
Regarding Artur’s analysis, I’m not sure how Democratic losses in all of the states cited signify a victory of ideology over personality. Knowing both of the candidates in Missouri last cycle, for instance, I would say just the opposite: Republican Blunt was an affable, indefatigable campaigner who disarmed urban Democrats during intimate meetings while retaining his rural conservative base. Conversely, Democrat Robin Carnahan was widely seen even by  Democrats as inaccessible and icy, and even after ostentatiously moving towards the middle proved utterly incapable of connecting with center-right voters. I don’t think ’10  was an ideological election any more than ’06 or ’08 were ideological elections favoring progressives; it was merely one more lurch back by an unsettled, anxious electorate pounded by job losses and economic insecurity.

Read the rest of…
The RPs Debate the GOP Mudfest: Jeff Smith Rebuts

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