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Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney speaks during the first presidential debate with President Barack Obama (not pictured) in Denver October 3, 2012.    REUTERS/Jim Bourg (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS ELECTIONS USA PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION)
On Wednesday night, Romney debated his formerly conservative self.
By most accounts, Mitt Romney scored a clear victory over President Obama at the first presidential debate this past Wednesday evening. The jury is still out on how much polling bounce, if any, the Republican nominee will gain from his performance: Good debate performances don't necessarily translate to improvements in poll numbers, after all; and while the Romney campaign will certainly enjoy a boost of energy, media fact-checkers were none too pleased with his outright mendacity on many issues, while President Obama's campaign is already trying to make up for an uninspired performance by hitting Romney hard on his desire to take Big Bird off the air.

In the context of Mitt Romney's quest for the presidency, however, a debate win is a debate win, no matter what. If Romney had been perceived to have lost on Wednesday night, pundits would have been hammering even more nails into his campaign's coffin. Regardless of whatever fact-checks and recriminations may follow, then, Romney did what he needed to do. But the larger problem for his party and his ideology (or at least, what everyone thought his ideology was) is that his win came at the explicit cost of conservatism.

The past few months of campaigning had left one thing crystal clear: The severely conservative version of Mitt Romney stood very little chance of winning. Before his most recent upgrade, the previous release of Mitt Romney featured a pick of the arch-conservative Paul Ryan as his vice-presidential nominee. His signature economic policy was a $5 trillion tax cut that would somehow pay for itself. He, like his party, had been a crusader against regulation. He famously wrote off 47 percent of the American population as being lazy moochers, and then defended those comments. The severely conservative Romney wanted to repeal Obamacare because it was a massive government intrusion, and if that meant elimination of coverage for pre-existing conditions, well, too bad.

According to master prognosticator Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight, severely conservative Romney had a roughly 13 percent chance of winning the election as of Wednesday night. So picture this: It's 34 days before the election, and you're Mitt Romney. The poll numbers are looking bleak, and unlike the conservative base, you know they're not skewed. Donors are on the verge of abandoning your race. You have one last best chance to impress the American people and win them over. So what do you do? Why, abandon conservatism, of course.

(Continue reading below the fold.)

Conservatism was a loser for Mitt Romney, so he decided to simply abandon it. He pretended that his tax cuts for the wealthy weren't really tax cuts at all. He walked away from his pick of the Medicare-destroying Paul Ryan and pretended to be a better defender of the socialized senior health care program than Barack Obama. He still claimed to want to repeal Obamacare, but only so that states could implement their own more finely tuned versions of the same overall regulatory structure. And speaking of regulatory structure, he claimed that Dodd-Frank was bad not because it regulated banks too much, but because it didn't do anything to address banks that were too big to fail. And on Thursday—as if just to make perfectly clear just how much he is pretending the entire rest of the campaign didn't happen—Romney is now saying that his remarks on the 47 percent were completely wrong, despite having defended their foundations no more than a few weeks prior.

While none of this explains away Obama's seemingly passive performance, it could go some of the way towards explaining why the president seemed to be caught flat-footed: If you had prepared to debate against someone who had consistently espoused particular positions and all of a sudden found yourself debating the same person who was saying exactly the opposite, you might seem ill-prepared as well. Now, many conservatives will likely overlook the substance of what Romney actually said at Wednesday's showdown in Denver and instead focus on his superior presence and his attacks on Obama. After all, the conservative base doesn't care what you say as long as you treat Obama with the fullest measure of contempt.

But none of this changes one simple fact: Romney's last-minute wholesale reinvention tour is nothing more than the last, desperate gasp of a candidate who knows that the conservatism he had to adopt to win the primary will get him absolutely nowhere this November. It is his last, greatest, Etch-a-Sketch: starting off the last month of the campaign by pretending on national television that none of the rest of the campaign ever happened, and hoping that the public is only paying attention just now and is too stupid to realize the difference.

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Comment Preferences

    •  That's probably accurate. The majority don't (18+ / 0-)

      like tea party policy.

      JON HAUGEN FOR U.S. CONGRESS! 3RD CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT.

      by keeplaughing on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 06:05:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  i'm just responding to the GOP crying (8+ / 0-)

        that it was Romney being a bad candidate that was the problem, not the platform.

      •  Ah....but the conservatives know.... (14+ / 0-)

        that Mitt has never been a true member.  They've always known deep in their hearts that he wasn't, but they just couldn't coalesce around any single one of his competitors, each of whom a subset of the whackos thought was the true Messiah....whether it was Santorum, or Cain, or Bachman, or Newt or Perry or or or......

        They were only united in their desire to get rid of Obama and after all those debates and primaries....they were stuck with Mitt.  They knew he was losing, they knew he was selling snake oil, but they hoped and prayed that somehow he would hang on and maybe win and then.......they could try and turn Ryan into the defacto President because HE was well and truly their guy.

        Soon the election will be over and as I have diaried several times, we will then see unfold the battle for control of the GOP.  The conservative/evangelical/Tea Party/true whack job wing versus what remains of the "traditional" GOP.

        I think the former will ultimately win.....they will drive in 2016 for the nomination of a really really conservative nominee and by then the demographics, the split with traditionals, and the public's growing recognition of the consequences of their idiocy level will have made it even more difficult for them to gain control.

        It ain't over yet, but I think history may mark this election as the high tide of the virulent conservative movement.  They will never go away, but they will not represent the threat to democracy that they would if they managed to win the White House AND Congress this fall.

        Free markets would be a great idea, if markets were actually free.

        by dweb8231 on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 07:11:22 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Romney didn't "shift." (6+ / 0-)

      The guy is a weather vane, no shifting just swinging in the breezes.

      "The right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously." -- Hubert H. Humphrey

      by Candide08 on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 07:17:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  But, when you think about it, (0+ / 0-)

        he may be the perfect candidate for the times. In a bitterly divided, brutally punitive system that eliminates those who stand for anything, Romney is the man for the time. Since he is completely without any sincerity or principle, he can afford to be utterly tactical, exactly what the times demand. The irony of the most ideologically rigid Party in a generation producing a candidate without scruple is all the more compelling because the Republicans have done this before. Richard Nixon's candidacy came out of the Goldwater days and its attendant loss. How strange that the Party should now be traveling the same road in less favorable circumstances. Fascinating.

        For if there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life. - Albert Camus

        by Anne Elk on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 11:52:42 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  So your basic belief is that... (0+ / 0-)

          standing on principal is bad or a negative?

          Sorry, have to disagree - strongly.

          ...that eliminates those who stand for anything
          Got any non=-Fox evidence to back up that assertion?

          "The right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously." -- Hubert H. Humphrey

          by Candide08 on Mon Oct 08, 2012 at 05:25:46 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You are missing the point (0+ / 0-)

            It has nothing to do with what I think. Of course, I don't like it. But, just as one can make an observation that global warming melts arctic ice, so one can make similar observations about natural selection of politicians in an environment that kills off those who are not rigidly ideological. You should think a little more deeply about this. Where did Romney come from? Why did he end up the nominee? Just so you can unknot your undies, I am talking specifically about the Republican Party here.

            For if there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life. - Albert Camus

            by Anne Elk on Mon Oct 08, 2012 at 08:26:42 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  R-MONEY tried to "out-liberal" Ted Kennedy in '94 (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MikePhoenix, flitedocnm, Creosote, basket

      and he LOST.

      People might like the message, but they have a hard time with the messenger when he is as BLATANTLY UNPRINCIPLED as R-MONEY.

      Obama could do well just to ask:

      If you vote for my opponent, which Romney do you think you will be voting for?

      Will it be "moderate Mitt" who never would have been nominated by the far-right wing Republican Party, but who if elected will have to play ball with the far-right wing Republican Party, or "severely conservative" Romney, who was nominated by the far-right wing Republican Party?

      I don't think too many moderates who are undecided will miss the point.  R-MONEY, whoever he is, would be obliged to deal with far-right wing Republicans, either way, if he were to try to govern.  We can still hang that bag of bullshit around Mittens' neck.

      "The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave." -- Patrick Henry November 6, 2012 MA-4 I am voting for my friends Barry, Liz and Joe (Obama, Warren and Kennedy)

      by BornDuringWWII on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 08:14:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  "deny the crazy GOP base" is too strong. All Mitt (6+ / 0-)

      ... did in Debate #1 was bypass it for now.

      The crazy base, their leadership inside Congress and their string pullers outside are not in the slightest put off by the Romney pivot last week. I'll bet it was orchestrated at top strategy levels by the gurus.

      First, they can say - as Romney always does - that there were plenty of outs and weasel words in his statements.

      Second, they know they influenced - as clearly they have already - who he relies on, who he'll bring in to his administration and who he'll appoint.

      Third, they know they can out vote him and - if necessary - bypass him with voter pressure should he ever stray too far. If he's elected, Mitt'll only want one thing - one more term.

      Willard Mitt Romney is a follower in politics and the political winds, not a leader. Just as all the Tea Party and Far Right evangelicals are, despite how "free" they feel they are to form their own opinions.

      Obama and strong Democratic majorities in 2012!

      by TRPChicago on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 08:25:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'd only quibble with using the (14+ / 0-)

    word 'conservatism' to describe the bigoted, ignorant, anti-science, religious extremist aspects of today's Republican Party.

    As my tag line says ..

    Republicans totally abandoned conservatism in the 1980s ..

    by shpilk on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 06:07:00 PM PDT

  •  Mitt Romney is severly moderate (5+ / 0-)

    "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

    by Andrew C White on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 06:07:30 PM PDT

  •  I don't see how Romney will hang on... (11+ / 0-)

    ...to the Republican base, by making this pivot. And he's shown himself to be too fast and loose with the truth to tap into the undecideds. And he'll never win any Democrats, even if he were to try an actually buy their votes with unmarked cash.

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

    by JeffW on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 06:07:47 PM PDT

    •  Romney's debate job (9+ / 0-)

      was to make undecided voters like him. PBO just let him get all sweaty trying to convince us that we like him.

      Timeshare salesman.......ugh.

      This boy is Ignorance and this girl is Want. Beware them both, but most of all beware this boy for on his brow I see that written which is Doom.” ― Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

      by nolagrl on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 06:11:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  rMoney sold us more undercoating (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wishingwell, True North

        yksitoista ulotteinen presidentin shakki. / tappaa kaikki natsit "Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) 政治委员, 政委‽ Warning - some snark above ‽

        by annieli on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 06:33:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  "He looks like a guy who would run a seminar (13+ / 0-)

        on condo flipping." Letterman

      •  Correct: he was going after undecideds... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NM Ward Chair

        Because the BASE will vote for him no matter what...because they do not like any Democrat; ergo,...they will vote for Mittens.

        Notwithstanding, I still do not "see" why any of the "undecideds" liked what he stated?  One really has to be living in an alternate reality to like what he said.

        I still do not understand how the press went gaga over Mitt's performance and just hammered Obama?  Ob-wan was in character; I mean, what really did he do wrong...

        And, I do agree, that Obama was not expecting Mitt's 180 on the issues.....

        •  The media NEED a horse race, and they'll do (4+ / 0-)

          ANYTHING to make it look like a close match race. ANYTHING.

          rMoney was lagging so badly that they knew they HAD to call him the "winner" no matter what - or there wouldn't BE a horse race and their corporate masters would lose profits and be very unhappy with them. So, like good little lackeys, they sang the tune they were ordered to.

          If it's
          Not your body,
          Then it's
          Not your choice
          And it's
          None of your damn business!

          by TheOtherMaven on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 07:57:21 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  The Press knows the game. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Freakinout daily, NM Ward Chair

          It's been played by Republicans for decades. Their nominee will feed red meat to the base during primaries and, like in Mitten's case, sometimes into the general. The base know that their candidates positions make him an outlier as much as the candidate, his donors the Press...thus "the game". The Republican base expects their candidate to shift to the middle because that's what it takes to win. I know it sounds weird because as Democrats we are accustomed to our candidates remaining pretty much on the same message throughout...a reason why the Republican technique is so obvious to us but amazingly seems to work all too often for the Right with the LIVs. I just wish sometimes that our guys/gals prepared better for the shift...whenever it comes because it always does. The Right cannot win based on a true parsing of their agenda...nowhere near enough sane Americans would. But damnit Dems...be ready for it and use it to your advantage. It's simple, evil, Rovian politics. Use your adversary's biggest strength and turn it into their biggest weakness. Their biggest, most commonly used, most effective and most expected strength late in the game is their predictable shift...take it away from them.

    •  By attacking Obama with it ... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JeffW, JanL

      ... the only way to get away with it was to be seen as "beating Obama" in the debate with it.

      Of course, that only works so long as he keeps "beating Obama" with it. Which is no sure thing.

      And, indeed, at fivethirtyeight he's on a 21.6% chance of winning. So the debate performance is like he's a touchdown behind, and has kicked a field goal (though, as Nate Silver has pointed out, the difference with football is we don't really know what the current score is, we just have our best guess of what the current score is).

      Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

      by BruceMcF on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 06:40:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Of course he'll hang on to the GOP base. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wishingwell, Caelian, Bluehawk, Creosote

      They have nowhere else to go.  And they're determined to vote against President Obama - vote being the operative word.

      "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

      by SueDe on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 06:41:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Johnson, Paul, or stay home. n/t (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Calamity Jean

        Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

        by JeffW on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 07:00:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  you could say the same thing about Democrats (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SueDe, zinger99
        They have nowhere else to go.
        it has been the same scenario for Democrats but the party has been tacking more toward the center in the last few decades.  i had hoped the economic upheaval in 2008 would convince Americans to get more progressive in their mindset, but no.  i want to send back every Democratic solicitation for money with a note telling them to get back to be progressive FDR and 60's Democrats.  i would but it would cost me a book of stamps every month and i don't think the message would get beyond the person opening the envelope.

        it may take a few more Republican presidents and total collapse of our economy, depression style, for Americans to finally get a clue that Republicans are just no good for keeping the country steady and moving forward.  things don't seem to get fixed until something breaks in how this country operates.  it may take a another century or more to get it right.

        I'm a blue drop in a red bucket.

        by blue drop on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 09:39:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I know, I know. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cspivey, blue drop, zinger99

          I've been voting for "the lesser of two evils" for thirty years.  The only exceptions were 1992, when I voted for Bill Clinton, not understanding what his membership in the DLC meant for his policies, and 2008 when I, full of Hope and Change fervor, made the mistake of hearing what I wanted Barack Obama to be saying instead of what he was actually saying.

          I'm not sure it makes any difference that I vote for the least evil presidential candidate anymore though, because congress has almost completely been bought and paid for by the 1% and succumbed to the dark side.

          "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

          by SueDe on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 10:28:00 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  They are so f**king stupid and hate Obama (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JeffW, rbird, wishingwell, Caelian

      so much they don't really care. It just goes to show how married to those principles they are too. On Thursday, I am sure, I didn't listen, I couldn't, but I can bet Limbaugh was gloating like crazy and praising Romney to the Moon. Yes, the same Rush Limbaugh that said, although he was a nice guy he could not support him because he has such a moderate record.
      For the next 30 days they will talk about how the unemployment numbers are cooked, the poll number are fixed and if Obama should win the next debate, how he cheated or the media is filled with a bunch of Sol Alinsky lefties.

      What I took from this is, Bill Clinton was wrong, and team Obama was right, they should not have listened to the Big Dog, and protrayed him as a crazy idealogue, it was only a matter of time he was going to pivot. The Flip-Flopper was the right protrayal from the beginning. The way it stands right now is no one can believe a word this man says, whether they reside on the right or on the left. He is a F**king LIAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      We were so wrapped up in the Convention bounce , we ignored the big tip off, when he shut Ryan up, and had Ryan singing the Romney tune, and not sounding as truly conservative as Ryan is. The Conservatives realized this, why did we miss it. What is that saying, "fool me once, shame on you.............................."

      •  It looks more to me like Romney just made it (4+ / 0-)

        tactically a whole lot easier for Obama and Biden to attack Team Romney in the next debate.

        And if the GOP are giddy right now it's only because Romney didn't LOSE the election Wednesday night.

        Even Reuters/Ipsos is saying that if the debate had really been a game changer for Romney then we'd still be seeing movement for Romney in the polls not the leveling out he got on Saturday with Obama still ahead.

        I can understand the frustration everyone is having with Obama's tactical error Wednesday night, but I see it more as a blip on a screen from a guy whose batting average against Romney has been well above 500.

        No shame here.

        Don't tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass. ~~ Anton Chekhov

        by zoebear on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 07:19:09 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Whatever version of himself Romney chooses (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      brendanl79, Creosote

      to run on, a Romney presidency would be the same: an administration full of the same old gang of pro-business, anti-"entitlement", anti-tax, anti-urban, anti-environment, militaristic whitebread country club elitists who will kowtow to the theocrats on issues involving gender, personal relationships and the rights of women. There may be several different ways a Republicon candidate can present himself to appeal to a diverse electorate, but a Republicon administration (and a Republicon Congress) is always the same, because the party itself is no longer a broad coalition of diverse interests.

    •  The Republican base is really as unprincipled (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NM Ward Chair, Creosote, cybersaur

      as Romney, so he shouldn't have any problem hanging onto them. For them, Obama's re-election is unthinkable or, if thinkable, a catastrophe. So he can say anything he wants that will get him into the WH, and they will continue to support him. The idea that the Right is principled is an enduring myth, but a myth nonetheless.

      The GOP can't win on ideas. They can only win by lying, cheating, and stealing. So they do.

      by psnyder on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 08:28:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  They have no choice. (0+ / 0-)

      But weeks ago I argued for a strong attack on Romney designed to paint him as a fake conservative in lean-R states to encourage wing nuts to stay home.

      For if there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life. - Albert Camus

      by Anne Elk on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 11:54:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The majority don't want right wing (7+ / 0-)

    policies of endless war, ignoring the Constitution and rule of law, kowtowing to corporate donors and austerity measures imposed on the middle class and poor people.

    Unfortunately, that's what both halves of the Republicrat duopoly have in store for us.

    “The probability that we may fail in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just.” – Abraham Lincoln

    by Sagebrush Bob on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 06:08:27 PM PDT

  •  So what does that say for the Tea Party? (5+ / 0-)

    Did Romney get a bounce because he moved away from the right? Because he was aggressive - which appeals to a certain sector of the public? I'm still not quite sure what it was. Do people respond to "centrist" policy and aggressive behavior?

    •  I actually think that the bounce (8+ / 0-)

      was from a lot of repugs (maybe some of them tea batsthit party, others not themselves so crazy but loyal) that woke up and saw that rmoney has some energy and conviction (and I use conviction in the sense that he just want so badly to be president) in contrast to a (shall we say) meek Obama who they hate so much anyway........ rmoney looked good to them no matter what.

      And I would say that rmoney's performance..... no matter what Obama would have done...... was what was needed to wake up the lackluster rethugs opinion of their pathetic candidate..... and would have resulted in this bounce.

      •  Yes I am going to guess half the bounce was (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ardyess

        either teahadists who were going to stay home or write in Ron Paul or vote third party.

        I do believe there might have been some who were going to stay home, maybe some fundies too because he is Mormon and they think that is a cult.

        And then the other half of the bounce might have been some right leaning INdependents who were considering not voting but now will vote for Mittens because he came off as moderate and not batshit crazy in the debate.

        Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

        by wishingwell on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 07:27:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  First Seamus. Now Big Bird. (13+ / 0-)

    The kneejerk attack on Public Broadcasting was not etch-a-sketch revisionism. It was kneejerk robotic wordspouting that was inconsistent with a conscious shift to the middle.

    The campaign may be conscious, but I'm not sure their candidate is.

    "So, am I right or what?"

    by itzik shpitzik on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 06:09:05 PM PDT

  •  Okay, but how does it matter? (12+ / 0-)

    If God forbid he wins, he'll rubber-stamp every damn thing the GOP Congress sends him.  I don't see how this would be 'conservatism's loss.' They only care about winning, and controlling. They'll define conservatism as whatever they are choosing to do at any particular time.

  •  The problem is, conservatives see the winking (33+ / 0-)

    I've heard this directly, yesterday, from friends of the very conservative persuasion, who see this as "doing what he needs to do to win", and all they see is the kind of Machiavellian manipulation they admire, not a liar and a betrayer.

    I wouldn't be too caught up in the idea that conservatives will stay home. If anything, it energizes the most sociopathic element of the right wing movement in this country. It's all about power to them, not the truth or the right thing.

    Some people are intolerant, and I CAN'T STAND people like that. -- Tom Lehrer

    by TheCrank on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 06:09:23 PM PDT

    •  Ask them how they don't know (6+ / 0-)

      this isn't the real Romney and the things he was saying before weren't just doing what he needed to do to win.

      Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man.

      by NMDad on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 06:13:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  As backed up by Newt (9+ / 0-)

      http://thinkprogress.org/...

      Gingrich Concedes Romney Wasn’t Honest About His Tax Plan During Debate

      This morning on Meet The Press, Obama campaign adviser Robert Gibbs confronted Newt Gingrich on a fundamental inconsistency in Romney’s description of his tax plan. During the primary debates, Romney insisted that everyone in America would get a 20% tax cut, including the 1%. But last week’s during his debate with Obama, Romney insisted that his tax cut would not reduce taxes at all for wealthy Americans.

      Gingrich acknowledged the clear inconsistency, saying “I think it’s clear he changed.” He described the change as “good politics.”

      Watch it:

      Of course, while Romney’s spin regarding his plan has changed, the plan itself has not. Independent experts have concluded that, even if Romney eliminated every tax deduction, it still wouldn’t counterbalance his massive tax cuts for the wealthy.

      His tax plan was one of 27 issues where Romney was less than honest during the debate. Romney’s campaign also conceded he misstated the truth on green jobs.

      The 1st Amendment gives you the right to say stupid things, the 1st Amendment doesn't guarantee a paycheck to say stupid things.

      by JML9999 on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 06:13:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I watched Gingrich on MTP and when the (4+ / 0-)

        camera cut to him when he wasn't speaking he was grinning like the Cheshire Cat. Whether he was amused at the audacity of Willard's lying or whether he was just enjoying the media attention, his grin made me want to throw up.

        This bag of wind has no moral scruples at all--for him it's all about the Republican regaining power. Not doing anything to advance this country's interests, but just to have another Republican in the White House.

        And it's galling that Robert Gibbs addressed him as "Mr. Speaker," when no decent American should address him as such when he left that office in disgrace.

    •  The only reason some Goopers won't vote for him (0+ / 0-)

      Is the Mormon thing.

  •  Pardon my saying so, and sorry to offend (12+ / 0-)

    anyone's sensibilities with my harsh analogy, but insisting that Romney's psychotic ramblings equal a debate win is like insisting that the movie theater shooter put on a better performance in the Colorado movie theater than Christian Bale. Only in America.

    Chief Justice John Roberts to President Barack Obama: "I'm not always there when you call, but I'm always on time..."

    by tha puddin on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 06:11:24 PM PDT

    •  Agreed. Romney acted and sounded like a coke head. (12+ / 0-)

      He didn't win the debate. He sounded crazy and untrustworthy. I know the conventional wisdom says that Obama's lackluster performance = Romney won, but that was not my takeaway from the debate. I wonder how many other people watching from home felt the same until the media spin took over their brains.

      •  Snap polls say not that many. (0+ / 0-)

        We got a measurement before the media spin set in. It said, by a wide margin, that people thought Romney won.

        The purpose of the debate was not to convince you of anything. It was to convince the public. In particular, it was to convince those of the public whose opinions are not yet calcified. I'm guessing that didn't include you (or anyone else on here, for that matter).

        Code Monkey like freedom / Code Monkey like peace and justice too
        Code Monkey very nerdy man / With big warm fuzzy bleeding heart
        Code Monkey like you!

        Formerly known as Jyrinx.

        by Code Monkey on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 06:46:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  While I don't think Obama did a very good job, and (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        v2aggie2, wishingwell, NM Ward Chair

        I certianly don't think the President won the debate, I also don't think Romney won the debate either. In a debate the point is to advocate for your position, I didn't see either one of them doing that at all. Obama didn't , but neither did Romney, what he was doing was simply control the night and not advocating any of his former positions. Not so sure I would consider that a win.

    •  Exactly. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      manyamile, wishingwell, True North

      I've been saying all along that the media has really depraved sensibilities if they called that smirking, smiling, sputtering hot mess winning a debate.

      He was definitely out of control. I could only imagine what it was like for Mr. Obama.  Sitting next to this man spraying spittle and talking a mile a minute must have been a freak show.

      Ultimately, what bothered me is the excessive lying.  The falsehoods that came from Mittens' mouth that night would have made Ted Bundy proud.  

      Romney's so-called  "win" lowers the Presidential Debate to its nadir due to the lack of class he displayed that night.

      "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." --Benjamin Franklin

      by politicalceci on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 06:39:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  A debate win is where you convince more people (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      WisePiper, True North, NM Ward Chair

      that you are correct (should be elected, etc.) than the other guy convinces about him.

      If you think that lying (or not lying) has anything to do with “winning” a debate, your definition of winning is simply not the same that most in the media are using. Those CNN and CBS snap polls showed that Romney won the debate. That he did so by lying his ass off is a different matter.

      Code Monkey like freedom / Code Monkey like peace and justice too
      Code Monkey very nerdy man / With big warm fuzzy bleeding heart
      Code Monkey like you!

      Formerly known as Jyrinx.

      by Code Monkey on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 06:44:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  As we have seen in WI, while they lie and (6+ / 0-)

    pursue a campaign strategy of obfuscation, ReTHUGlicans will do whatever it takes to enact their Corporatist Gilded Age agenda when they win political power.  The challenge is to deny them an easy path to "moderation."

    Robber Baron "ReTHUGisms": John D. Rockefeller -"The way to make money is to buy when blood is running in the streets"; Jay Gould -"I can hire one half of the working class to kill the other half."

    by ranton on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 06:12:24 PM PDT

  •  I thought this too. (0+ / 0-)

    His shift is more important than just who wins this election. If he loses, Republicans will likely ignore this bump and say he lost because he wasn't conservative enough. If he wins, it might force the Republicans to shift back to the center.

  •  It was a Pyrrhic victory. (15+ / 0-)

    The only lasting message from that debate was "Mitt wants to fire Big Bird" which restarts the "my job isn't to care about all you people" / "I like firing people" narrative.

    Obama will shine in the town hall format, where he can have a do-over on some of the economic questions in his natural home turf of speaking directly to people with genuine empathy.

    Then he will wrap it up by showing up to the final debate with Osama bin Laden's head on a pike. Figuratively, that is. But there is no denying Obama's foreign policy wins over his first term. He will prepare for the inevitable "Y U apologize for Amercia??" digs from Romney, and that'll be that. Romney has nothing else.

    •   I think Mitt will just hit him hard on Libya but (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NM Ward Chair

      I think he will expect that and be well prepared. As it is obvious the Republicans will try to pin the death of the Ambassador and the Embassy employees on Obama.

      Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

      by wishingwell on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 07:34:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The former chair of the GOP (8+ / 0-)

    Michael Steele, told Chris Matthews on Friday that, and I loosely quote: "This is how it's done by every campaign. After the candidate wins the primaries, they shift their strategies more to the opposite pole -- in this case, it's perfectly natural and normal for Mitt Romney to veer toward the center."

    Steele was advancing hit theory that "every candidate does it" so that RMoney would not look even more like the flip-flopping, Etch-a-Sketching, chameleon-like liar that he is.

    Though it is somewhat historically true that many candidates shift somewhat to broaden their appeal, RMoney is doing a complete turn-around from what he has been saying for six months and had been saying just hours before the debate! What -- does he think nobody was going to check? Does Steele think all of the American people are that stupid? Apparently, Steele, RMoney, Ryan and a whole host of others think so.

    My bet is on the 50-some percent who think this strategy will just not work.

    Now THAT's the president I voted for!

    by RevJoe on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 06:15:19 PM PDT

    •  Romney was not talking to all Americans (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wishingwell, NM Ward Chair
      Does Steele think all of the American people are that stupid?
      Romney's performance was aimed at the 5% who have not decided who they will support. Of course, those people who are still undecided may be stupid, or at least totally uninformed. However, if the undecided people have been spending all their TV watching time viewing PBS children's programs, Mitt may have lost them.
    •  But usually...... (6+ / 0-)

      ......the "pivot to the center" happens as soon as the nomination is locked up via primaries. This time he waited until the first debate. Romney knows he could not have survived by doing the "me too" thing since mid summer - the "me too" pitch like he tried against Ted Kennedy.

      So he waited until the last minute and did it loud and proud, hoping he could get away with it for five weeks. No dice. It's no wonder Obama was so flummoxed, it was a completely different Romney.

      I think Obama anticipated the pivot - but didn't know which way Romney would go. Rather than trying to prep for all the permutations, I think Obama made up his mind that he was going to give his policies and basic contrasts with some details (as Cutter and others stated he would do) and let Romney run his mouth and let him commit to his positions. There was little point in the "long game" to spend all night chasing, just give his proposals without giving Romney a bad soundbite. Measured, as Obama usually is. I don't think Obama thought the optics would go that way, and wished he looked better/had better post debate reviews, but despite the reviews he now has what he wants: Romney's positions and flip flops in stone and on tape.

      So now Obama can let the social media, ads speeches, and surrogates on the networks drive the message in response, and now counterpunch at debate 2.

      Now I'll let this tape do the talking:

      "Because only three percent of you read books - and only fifteen percent of you read newspapers - but right now there is a whole and entire generation that didn't know anything that didn't come out of this tube." - Howard Beale

      by Audible Nectar on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 06:59:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Conservative or reactionary? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cocinero, manyamile, basket

    I think that Romney's positions weren't conservative at all. Never were. He just jumped onto the crazy bandwagon, hoping to get a ride to where he wanted to go.

    A fiscal conservative would support plans that were based on sound arithmetic at least. If he believed in pay-as-you-go, he would have devised a way to make this happen. And Plan B and Plan C, just in case.

    A social conservative who was upset over abortion would support contraception and the widespread availability of such technology. A good businessman would have seen that it was beneficial to the insurance companies to offer contraception free of charge. And he would have said so.

    True conservatives aren't afraid to spend money. They just want to spend it wisely. And they want to make sound investments in the future. They believe in infrastructure. They believe in education. They believe in things like prenatal care. And on and on.

    Romney never showed any signs or symptoms of being a conservative. But then the other members of the Republican Party don't, either.

  •  I doubt this drives away wingnut voters (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    drmah, cocinero, manyamile, NM Ward Chair

    Sure, they'll be pissed off at him, but they hate Obama more than they hate him. However, if he wins, he'll find himself in a world of political hurt with the base. A true movement conservative can no longer win and a fake conservative can no longer govern (well, who knows, still plenty of Dems willing to cross the aisle to look out for their own interests). In any case, Romney's problem right now is with swing voters, not the base. He has the base locked.

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 06:19:58 PM PDT

  •  He was as "pretend right" as he has (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    basket, a2nite

    always been.  Romney is not and has never been tea party.  He is  corporate, elite, somewhat moderate, old-school GOP but played the Bagger game in the primaries or he would have never won.

     I think he has slowly but surely moved back to where he really stands over the last few weeks.  During the debates, he just stepped completely out of the closet instead of defending crap he never believed to begin with.  The tea party will accept it this late in the game because they want to win, whatever it takes.  If the debate had been earlier, like the usually are, they might have called him on it.  Romney's poll numbers were in the toilet because the real loons knew he was a moderate all along and couldn't stand him.  However, now they just want to win and they think Romney won on Wednesday and so now they are the ones going against their own beliefs...basically they are just throwing their own "Don't Tread on Me" flag under the bus.

     My dad is as right as they come, and on Wednesday he is supporting Romney for the first time since this cycle began.    

    •  Proof? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      manyamile, wishingwell, basket
      He was as "pretend right" as he has always been
      When someone holds every position then how can you make such a definitive statement?

      We assumed Walker was being truthful here in WI and lost our unions.  I will take the semi-liberal Obama over the maybe-moderate Rmoney any day.

      Watching Mitt's strategy is what it looks like when you try to put an etch a sketch in a centrifuge.

      by AppleP on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 06:49:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Does your dad realize Romney could be like Bush (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      basket

      and SCott Walker and other Republicans who campaigned as moderates as the election neared but once in office governed as severe Conservatives?

      Romney wants to attack Iran and be more aggressive on foreign policy. Is your dad ok with his foreign policy?

      Mitt will govern just like Scott Walker and George W Bush.

      Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

      by wishingwell on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 07:38:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Scratch my last comment, Bailey, I read your (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        basket

        comment incorrectly. Here I thought you were saying your dad was a moderate.  I always thought all conservatives wanted to do was win and they would vote for Mitt in the long run.  Was your dad considering staying home before?

        If so, this kind of news might not be bad news. As it just means more Republicans are voting and thus that accounts for the bounce. My fear was that Obama soft supporters might be going over to Mitt or undecideds or moderate Independents.  I am beginning to think my fears on that are unfounded and this bounce thing is because of Repubs coming home.  

        If so, then we just have to GOTV to get out Democrats as we still outnumber Repubs and get a good portion of the Indies.

        Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

        by wishingwell on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 07:42:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, he hates Romney....he always has. My dad is (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wishingwell, NM Ward Chair, basket

          a Hannity loving, FOX worshiping rightie.  My mom has always said she was okay with Romney but dad said he would cut off his arm rather than vote for the "liberal bastard" Romney.  I talked to him Thursday night and he said he is going to vote for him because he liked what he heard.  First time he has ever said anything nice about Romney.  Both of my parents are black conservatives but my mom is a moderate conservative, if there really is such a thing.  

    •  He ain't moderate anything; he's extremely radical (0+ / 0-)

      The radical Republican party is the party of oppression, fear, loathing and above all more money and power for the people who robbed us.

      by a2nite on Mon Oct 08, 2012 at 05:03:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Something is way wrong... (8+ / 0-)

    ...when a candidate for President "wins" a debate by lying.  Does that reflect more harshly on the candidate or the electorate?

    •  The electorate, the media, and the opponent. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wishingwell

      There will always be liars. The fact that Romney won by lying doesn't reflect poorly on him except in that lying is wrong.

      We should hope for an electorate that knows when it's being lied to and doesn't like it.

      We should hope for a media that knows when someone lies and reports on it, thus discouraging lying as a strategy.

      And we should hope our candidate is better prepared for the lies next time. We can decry lying and the Gish Gallop as strategies all we want, but at least right now, they work, and Obama should have effective (short- and long-term) counters.

      Code Monkey like freedom / Code Monkey like peace and justice too
      Code Monkey very nerdy man / With big warm fuzzy bleeding heart
      Code Monkey like you!

      Formerly known as Jyrinx.

      by Code Monkey on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 06:53:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Unfortunately, we've all seen this before (10+ / 0-)

    Here's how a Romney administration would play out:

    First, he would focus on the most "urgent" crisis, jobs, by saying that big business needs a big tax cut and deregulation to get things rolling again.

    Second, before he could start work on the rest, you know all those things for the middle class, he would get very "troubling" news about Iran probably in May, that demanded his immediate and undivided attention, leading to an attack, probably in September, and an abandonment of his domestic policy plans.

    Third, he said he learned his lesson from Bush, about making sure that we paid for wars and such, leading him to the "regrettable" decision that social security and medicare would have to be cut in order to pay to protect this country.

    I could be wrong, of course.

    Do Pavlov's dogs chase Schroedinger's cat?

    by corwin on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 06:23:18 PM PDT

    •  I think you are spot on, he would say medicare (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      2thanks, corwin, exterris

      medicaid, food stamps, social security must all face cuts to pay for a war in Iran.  He will tell us it is our patriotic duty to accept cuts in medicare, social security, other programs for the war effort.  

      Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

      by wishingwell on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 07:44:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  President Obama should needle him (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    drmah, Buckeye54, manyamile, exterris, basket

    about this in the next debate.  Something like, "I see you've decided to finally abandon the 'severely conservative' positions that you held and championed just a few months ago...." and continue on to try to get Romney to disavow or slight conservatism in the debate.  President Obama and the Dems need to play Romney against his conservative base and instigate a bit to see just how long they'll stay silent.

    "Stand! There's a cross you have to bear. Things to go through if you're going anywhere." - "Stand" Sly & the Family Stone

    by mirandasright on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 06:23:31 PM PDT

    •  It will be easy to recognize the President, but (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wishingwell, mirandasright, basket

      you will need a program to decide which Romney shows up.

      I give the Big Bird to those who say Obama lost the debate.

      by 88kathy on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 06:44:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  still predict... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      basket

      I still predict that Pretend Princess Ann will have a "medical emergency" that will prevent Serial Liar Mitt Romney from participating in one or both of the upcoming debates; thus, he will retain his "win," remain an undefeated champion in the eyes of the press and all too many members of the electorate and go on to collect an unearned sympathy vote, as well.  

      Both Romneys are devious enough and desperate enough to try this ploy, and it could well work for them.  

      •  I think Mitt loves debates, He thinks that is his (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        basket

        strong suit especially after this one. He has bullied others in the primary debate including the moderator and he always gets away with it.

        Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

        by wishingwell on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 07:45:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  He does.... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          basket

          he saw it as an opportunity and used it as such. President Obama saw the debate as something to endure and it showed.  The president needs to start seeing this as a chance to sell his vision for America.  He needs an overall strategy for the debate and clear objectives.  That's what was missing and his real weakness, IMO.  You could see this in his lack of a strong closing statement as well.

          "Stand! There's a cross you have to bear. Things to go through if you're going anywhere." - "Stand" Sly & the Family Stone

          by mirandasright on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 08:55:34 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  He should remind folks Mitt wants more war (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      2thanks, basket

      and talked about going after Iran aggressively and said Russia was our biggest enemy. That alone will scare the pants off voters who are considering Mitt who are not war hawks.

      Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

      by wishingwell on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 07:44:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Go after his flip-flopping (0+ / 0-)

    for Dogs sake!

    The commercials write themselves.  The narrative already exists.  Hammer it home for the next 30 days.

    It works!  Just ask John Kerry.

    Watching Mitt's strategy is what it looks like when you try to put an etch a sketch in a centrifuge.

    by AppleP on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 06:25:53 PM PDT

  •  What I would rather want (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    drmah, wishingwell, basket

    Mitt to lose badly (running from the right or middle) and for there to be a complete repudiation of conservatism.

    Trust-Fund Kids of America Unite... save the Bush tax cuts!

    by JCPOK on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 06:28:42 PM PDT

  •  Will Ryan follow Romney's lead? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell

    What happens to Ryan's future conservative ambitions if he follows Romney's new-found moderation?

  •  Bull. As We're Constantly Reminded Here, POTUS (10+ / 0-)

    doesn't legislate. Romney will accept almost anything out of the extreme RW agenda that congress passes. Shut down agencies, privatize SS & Medicare, end Medicaid, end abortion and birth control as much as possible legislatively and via judges & justice appointments, liberate finance, eliminate national borders for trade and capital, the whole 999 yards.

    ANY and EVERY Republican President would do these things, and Romney would be a Republican President.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 06:30:21 PM PDT

    •  Exponential dittoes. I don't give 2 f*cks (8+ / 0-)

      about Mitt Romney's "personal political philosophy." I don't care about his flip flops, or what he "intends" to do if (please, fucking God, NO) he wins.

      He will govern as a far right, lunatic conservative. He will appoint as many Roberts/Alitos to the bench as he can get. He will slash government to the bone. He engage in terrifying foreign policy brinksmanship (imagine, say, Russia and Georgia flare up again. Shudder worthy to the extreme).

      A Mitt win would be the end of American democracy, period. We BARELY survived Bush. Obama was been slowly healing the bloodied patient. It would flatline under Romney.

      He. Cannot. Win.

      •  Amen Ramen to that Blicero, Exactly, Well said ! (0+ / 0-)

        I see a full scale war against Iran and he will make instant enemies of Russia and a ton of other countries. His foreign relations and foreign policy will be horrible and dangerous.

        Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

        by wishingwell on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 07:48:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  whatever (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Positronicus, WisePiper, ferg

    you think these people give a shit?  they dont care about policy - they want the power.  

    obama better show up starting like fucking tomorrow.

    On DailyKos nothing is significant unless Obama doesn't do it.

    by glutz78 on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 06:32:57 PM PDT

    •  They want the power. And the money. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      WisePiper, wishingwell, Shippo1776

      They don't give a flying fuck about policy.

      If they get in office, they'll do what they want.

      And what they want is to raid the Treasury.

      “No, Mitt, corporations are not people. People have hearts, they have kids, they get jobs, they get sick, they love, they cry, they dance, they live and they die. Learn the difference.”-- Elizabeth Warren

      by Positronicus on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 06:38:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  But in a way, isn't he keeping them (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell, basket

    from going extinct entirely?

    I hope my grandchildren and their grandchildren never hear about Akin and Bachmann and fuckhead family from Kansas that blames dead soldiers for sexual freedom.

    Romney is like the floating debris of a shipwreck. Basically, all they have left that is viable.

    skipping over damaged area

    by Says Who on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 06:41:42 PM PDT

  •  A part of the public IS just now paying (0+ / 0-)

    attention and/or IS that stupid.

    The bigger question is how big a part and how many can be enlightened through outreach before the election?

    Don't tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass. ~~ Anton Chekhov

    by zoebear on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 06:45:07 PM PDT

  •  The Prez has a choice (0+ / 0-)

    he can run out the clock or be the big c-k.

  •  RMONEY DOES GIANT FLIP FLOP (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell

    This is what he does.  I think many people know him to be a peddlar of anything current to scronge a few votes.  We know him in MA. and he left office underwater with us.  He will be a GOP stalwart in office passing many offensive pieces of nasty legislation.  Remember this is a guy at a $50,000 a plate super rich feed-bag that said how dare those 47% want food, clothing and housing.  It will be interesting to see if he gets any bounce from the debate which everyone says he won.  I don't agree, so when the polls come out we either see a bounce or not and this will tell if he did himself any good.  I think not.  Also, time is not on his side anymore: two more debates are enough for POTUS to hold him up as a big skinny fibber, liar, prevaricator of falsehoods, the soul of no subsance.  I cant wait to hear how he is now Mr. Moderate, because he won't be Mr. Conservative or will he.  Only the little man inside of him knows the answer.

  •  you can't tell us that wasn't predictable (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AoT

    given romney's history of etch-a-sketching.

  •  Not so fast my friend, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell

    this twist and turn by Flipper is just like the song and dance Bush2000 did with Vice President Gore.

    He tried to sound all middle ground and nice....when he and his Dark Knight Cheney were going to move to the EXTREME right the whole time. Do you see a pattern here.....

    Flipper has not abandoned all the crap he endorsed, he will follow his orders, he is just lyning right now unchallened by Obama.

    "Alan Grayson is my hero", alnc 11/3/10!!

    by alnc on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 06:51:58 PM PDT

  •  MITT BOT designed to meet any Political Occasion (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Esjaydee, wishingwell

    MITT BOT Version 1.0...the liberal conservative
    MITT BOT Version 2.0...the severe conservative
    MITT BOT Version 3.0...the moderate conservative
    MITT BOT Version 4.0...the serial liar

    Just in time for Halloween or Christmas...

    Oracle2021: Reality according to Mitt Romney "Why tell the truth when a lie will suffice...the bigger the lie the bigger the pay off"

    by Oracle2021 on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 06:52:14 PM PDT

  •  Mencken to be tested (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AoT, ferg

    “No one in this world, so far as I know — and I have searched the records for years, and employed agents to help me — has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people. Nor has anyone ever lost public office thereby.”

    "It ain't over till it's over."-Yogi Berra

    by mock38 on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 06:54:48 PM PDT

  •  When the debates get to social issues, it will be (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AoT, ajwagner

    his undoing.  Any slight shift away from being a "severe conservative" and the nutbars will freak the fuck out.  He might be able to fool people on the economy, but his base knows what they want to hear on social issues and if they don't get it, there will be hell to pay.  If he gives it to them, it will further alienate him with...pretty much everyone else.

    "Give to every other human being every right that you claim for yourself." - Robert G. Ingersoll

    by Apost8 on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 06:55:43 PM PDT

  •  My hope is that the aggressive Romney shows up... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell, Freakinout daily

    ..at the townhall and tries his smarmy, smiling bully routine on the audience. I'd like to see him interrupt and cut-off folks who ask him or the President a question. That will NOT go over well. But they are probably coaching him to trot out the "caring" Romney - you know, the one with the crazy glittering eyes and the "Is this what an empathetic  person looks  like?" smile. Gaaack!

  •  a Moderate Republican? (0+ / 0-)

    At this stage of the campaign, the base is so riled up against Obama they would vote for the mayor of New York City, Mike Bloomberg, over Pres. Obama. This is not good news since Romney will now pick up some moderates along the way.
    How would he govern? Who knows?
    In 2000 Chris Mathews liked George W, comparing him to the moderate Republicans that were governors at that time in Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.
    I live in Texas and knew that Bush was no moderate, but he fooled a lot of voters with"compassionate conserativism'.
    By the way how does Mitt Romney campaign as a moderate.
    Does he say?
    You know there are some parts of the Affordable Care Act I like.
    I dont think we need more tax cuts.
    Some Wall Street Regulation is good.

  •  Great diary. Romney has ditched conservatism (0+ / 0-)

    and the base is down with that, however... what they are not down with is ditching a commitment to end abortion.
    The base is the religious right, and they don't really care about "fiscal conservatism" as long as the social issues are dealt with to their satisfaction.
    This is a good time to go after him on women's issues and other social issues and see if he "etch-a-sketches on those.
    If he does, that would really turn off the base.

    You can't make this stuff up.

    by David54 on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 07:14:27 PM PDT

  •  Yea, but if he is elected (0+ / 0-)

    the severely conservative Congress that will get elected with him will do everything they have promised to and Mitt will roll right along with them.  That is what the President must make clear in the next debate, it doesn't matter with Mitt you elect, you will get the right-wing crazy government Ryan and the rest have promised if Mitt is president.

    The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones! - John Maynard Keynes

    by Do Something on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 07:21:35 PM PDT

  •  National Polls Show Signs of Settling (0+ / 0-)

    A man's character is his destiny.

    by Jaleh on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 07:39:24 PM PDT

  •  If this was on purpose, it was genious (0+ / 0-)

    Romney was losing financial support to the more competitive local races, now he appears to be back in the game. Therefore less money for the little guys with the R behind their name. Heh:)

    Power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely - Lord Acton

    by Shishkabugs on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 08:10:52 PM PDT

  •  Nate has Romney at 21% now (0+ / 0-)

    And a 2% bounce, apparently.

  •  Obama needs to win the next two debates (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    exterris, basket

    There's a saying in sports that goes,  "they've only got themselves to blame." It's usually used when a superior team loses to an inferior team by not performing how they should. Almost always it is because of hubris.

    If Obama loses it will be because he beat himself. He fumbled on the one yard line.

    To stay with the sports analogy we were in the 4th quarter with Obama up by 10 points and 5 minutes to go. Obama was driving and then decided to get cute and called a reverse flee flicker pass back to the quarterback. It was picked off by Romney and ran back for a TD.

    Now it's a 3 pt game and Obama has the ball. If he loses it again team Romney will have another chance for a game winning drive.

    But team Obama cannot just run out the clock. They need a drive of their own to put this baby away.

  •  Etch-a-sketch (0+ / 0-)

    It's really time for the Obama campaign to bring up the etch-a-sketch and make it clear to everyone how many times Mitt has shaken it up and redrawn himself.  That line was so perfect in describing exactly what's going on.

    And, this was clearly orchestrated with Republican leadership, including the rabid wingnuts.  I mean, Mitt went straight to HANNITY to apologize for the 47% comment the day after Obama failed to give him an opening to do it at the debate.  Hannity was one of the fiercest defenders of the comment who said that Mitt should RUN ON IT at first.  He's clearly in the tank on this one, and if he is, so is everyone else.  Hannity is an amoral a-hole, but he's not stupid.  He saw where this was headed if Mitt couldn't recapture at least part of the center.

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