Romney’s Dangerous Windfall

September 26th, 2011 at 8:11 am | 33 Comments |

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Rick Perry seems to be reeling after his debate performance in Florida last week. It’s early yet to see anything in public polling, case but his subsequent flop in the Florida straw poll into which he had invested significant money and energy is causing serious concern for his campaign. However, before Romney gets too excited about Perry’s dilemma he should take a closer look at the cause.

Many are pointing to Perry’s awkward debate performance in Florida as the source of his trouble, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. For example, his rambling non-answer to a direct question on Pakistan, though odd, wasn’t much less coherent than some of his prepared statements. Perry’s base doesn’t get cold feet about a clumsy public performance. The danger to Romney in Perry’s apparent decline is what actually triggered it – an accidental moment of candor and humanity on the wedge issue of immigration.

Perry finds it hard to demonize Mexicans. Thanks to a lifetime in a border state Perry actually knows something about Mexico and Hispanic interests. It’s likely that in his guts he understands that much of his own “Texas Miracle,” such as it is, was accomplished on their backs. Just like George W. Bush before him he’s not comfortable scapegoating these people in the way that his increasingly fanatical base demands.

Perry’s wobble is evidence of a wider problem that will dog Romney if he wins in 2012. As President he will be forced to wrestle with our dangerously antique immigration laws in ways that require sensible, pragmatic compromises. If Romney’s victory over Perry comes by flanking Perry’s right on the Mexican front, he will have a drastically limited operating space on that subject in office.

Republicans have built a narrow activist base on a skewed information diet. Constructing rational, working policy on the political foundation we’ve built will be a nasty challenge, perhaps more than we can hope for. There’s a warning for the winner in comments John McCain reportedly made when the civility of his town hall meetings began to deteriorate in 2007: “Why do I want to be the leader of a party of such a%$*s?”

If he manages to win this thing Romney will have his work cut out for him. It’s no fun governing a patch of scorched earth.

Recent Posts by Chris Ladd

33 Comments so far ↓

  • ottovbvs

    “Perry’s wobble is evidence of a wider problem that will dog Romney if he wins in 2012.”

    In the meantime of course Romney’s stance will ensure Hispanics remain firmly in the Democratic camp.

    • Dragonfly

      Romney is for legal immigration and against illegal immigration, which is what we need our leader to do – uphold our laws.

      As for isolating the Hispanics – not – McCain kissed up to them with being the co-author of the McCain/Kennedy Bill and lost.

      The Hispanics vote for Democrats because Democrats take taxpayer’s hard earned dollars and give it to them in the form of welfare, section 8, foodstamps, free bus rides to school, free breakfast and lunch at school.

      Are we to also turn the GOP in a party of this – NO – we need the GOP to get in there and stop it.

      • dugfromthearth

        Democrats are for legal immigration and opposed to illegal immigration. The difference between the two parties is that the Reps want to have minimal legal immigration and the Dems want to have a much larger amount of legal immigration.

        • lilmanny

          I’m not even disagreeing with your stance on immigration or hispanics, but if you are objecting to the costs of school bus rides and lunches (which by the way are sunk costs for the most part), what would be a workable plan for detecting, warehousing, feeding, and finally deporting over ten million people? You would need an entirely new branch of federal government (good luck telling the states they are about to double their inmate population and have to pay for it as well), massive transport infrastructure, huge camps full of women and children, and huge outlays to erect this system and also to pay for this fantasy of the militarized border to stop roofers and gardeners from accepting money from a willing employer and consumer.
          Oh and also, try punishing the employers who hire these guys and watch the Chamber of Commerce Republicans cut you to pieces when a bunch of commodity items double in price overnight and put them out of business.

          Welcome to the GOP’s immigration dilemma: having to please fantasists like you, who are then laughingly appeased by vows to “get tough” that contain literally zero details or action.

      • ottovbvs

        “The Hispanics vote for Democrats because Democrats take taxpayer’s hard earned dollars and give it to them in the form of welfare, section 8, foodstamps, free bus rides to school, free breakfast and lunch at school.”

        Er…so you’re agreeing with me that Hispanics are increasingly becoming a reliable part of the Democratic coalition!!!!!!!!

      • JohnMcC

        It also appears that the Repub solution to the ‘problem’ of illegal immigration involves sending up to 20 million residents of the United States back to their country of origin as soon as possible. If this doesn’t demonstrate a determined failure to deal with the problems that government must face, my Mom’s a tea-cart.

  • Watusie

    Like Romney, Perry manages to wind up on both sides of a lot of issues. So before you go to far in presenting him as a reasonable man vis-a-vis Hispanics, let me remind you that he approved a redistricting plan for Texas which was designed to deny them proper representation.

    • Dragonfly

      This is another example of Obama doing an end run around Congress in order to appease a voting block he desperately needs in 2012. Our Constitution provides that the will of the American people be expressed through elected representatives. Congress spoke and rejected the Dream Act because it failed to set the priority of securing our borders first before addressing any form of amnesty. To do otherwise is to encourage others to come here illegally. By establishing prosecutorial guidelines that reflect many of the provisions and goals of the Dream Act, Obama has again circumvented our Constitutional process. This same type of end run was used to invest the EPA with regulatory authority after his “cap and trade” bill was defeated. This type of conduct should be condemned as anti-American, not lauded as a “sensible” course of action.

      • Watusie

        A random collection of words about topics unrelated to the original comment is not a response.

        Are you feeling some dog-like compulsion to mark as many things as possible?

  • Carney

    OK, so enforcing the law, deporting illegal aliens, declining to give them PREFERENTIAL treatment (not even outright denying them admission as should be the case) is “scorched earth”. Contemptible nonsense, which will, rightly, be totally dismissed and ignored by Republican primary voters, and by Romney himself.

  • Carney

    As for any “miracles”, cheap labor isn’t cheap. As the Germans and French have learned to their sorrow in their postwar experience, importing large numbers of difficult to assimilate, under-performing aliens comes with huge, multi generational costs with no end in sight, ever.

    • Dragonfly

      It’s not so much that it’s cheap, it’s that the campaign contributors get to hire them without having to deal with taxes, EDD, Workman’s Compensation Insurance, while the honest competitor does.

      THEN, the taxpayer has to pay for the welfare, health care, and schooling for their not on the books ‘wives’ cranking out kids.

      BS on this ‘heart” crap.

      Some GOPers may think they can select Perry because he can garner the Hispanic vote, but look what it bought McCain, the co-author of the Kennedy/McCain Amnesty Bill.

      America needs a leader who will uphold our laws. <———— period

  • rbottoms

    Please continue to insult and demean Hispanic voters, it won’t affect your long term prospects at all. It’s not like Republicans haven’t been down this road before.

    Buckley’s career began in 1951 with the publication of God and Man at Yale, an attack on his alma mater that urged the firing of professors whom he felt were insufficiently hostile to socialism and atheism. Despite this early assault on academic freedom, Buckley in later years routinely took offense at what he saw as liberal “political correctness” (e.g., National Review, 10/24/05; Post and Courier, 2/18/99).

    During the Civil Rights Era, Buckley made a name for himself as a promoter of white supremacy. National Review, which he founded in 1955, championed violent racist regimes in the American South and South Africa.

    A 1957 editorial written by Buckley, “Why the South Must Prevail” (National Review, 8/24/57), cited the “cultural superiority of white over Negro” in explaining why whites were “entitled to take such measures as are necessary to prevail, politically and culturally, in areas where [they do] not predominate numerically.” Appearing on NPR’s Fresh Air in 1989 (rebroadcast 2/28/08), he stood by the passage. “Well, I think that’s absolutely correct,” Buckley told host Terry Gross when she read it back to him.

    Mean spirited racists then, mean spirited racists now.

  • Dragonfly

    Well, it looks like the author has a ‘heart’ for lawbreakers.

    Nice try – but we aren’t buying it.

    We need a president who will uphold our laws, and Perry is NOT it.

  • Watusie

    The Obama Administration has deported over 1 million illegal immigrants in 2-1/2 years, and is on pace to deport significantly more in one term than GWB managed to do in two.

    So I think we can clearly see who it is in this race who will be upholding the nation’s laws.

    • Dragonfly

      LOL – the first thing the Obama administration learned was how to fudge numbers – from the unemployment figure to illegal aliens – fudged. The last figure to ever take as being true on anything is the Obama administration’s.

  • Frumplestiltskin

    Romney can pick Rubio in Florida to lock in the Cuban American vote and win Florida, but the question is will the US be ready for a ticket with no evangelical Christians on the ticket?
    Rubio is not popular with the non Cuban part of the Hispanic community, who are as diverse in culture as are Irish and English.
    Turnout will be key for the next election. Romney’s only hope is for the economy to stay in the toilet, otherwise I can’t see how he can win.
    Perry, otoh, does not need Rubio, he can pick Christie or a woman to make inroads across the nation, not just Florida.

    As to immigration, Romney will flip flop like crazy, the Mormon church will determine his stance and they are pro immigration (they think of all the potential converts in Latin America and don’t want to alienate them)

    • Carney

      Romney will not name Rubio. That would be the first Protestant-free ticket ever in a country that is majority Protestant, one-fourth Catholic, and less than 5% Mormon. Unwise for any Mormon, least of all Romney whose more liberal past gives the GOP’s evangelical base two reasons (religious and ideological) to be suspicious, wary, and under-enthused about him. He must have a Protestant, preferably an evangelical and probably an Anglo/Celtic Southerner, as his running mate to lock down the base.

      On immigration, Romney is highly unlikely to “flip flop” on this or any issue. He is well aware of his reputation and can’t afford any more high profile issue switches. Furthermore even in his more liberal past he took a tough line on illegal immigration, such as in his race against Kennedy in 1994.

      Finally, it’s a cheap shot to say that Romney’s position would be dictated by his church. It didn’t do so when he was effectively “pro choice” on abortion.

      Romney directly addressed this issue in 2007:

      “Let me assure you that no authorities of my church, or of any other church for that matter, will ever exert influence on presidential decisions. Their authority is theirs, within the province of church affairs, and it ends where the affairs of the nation begin.

      “As Governor, I tried to do the right as best I knew it, serving the law and answering to the Constitution. I did not confuse the particular teachings of my church with the obligations of the office and of the Constitution – and of course, I would not do so as President. I will put no doctrine of any church above the plain duties of the office and the sovereign authority of the law.

      “As a young man, Lincoln described what he called America’s ‘political religion’ – the commitment to defend the rule of law and the Constitution. When I place my hand on the Bible and take the oath of office, that oath becomes my highest promise to God. If I am fortunate to become your President, I will serve no one religion, no one group, no one cause, and no one interest. A President must serve only the common cause of the people of the United States.”

      • Dragonfly

        Romney won’t select Rubio because Rubio is too green.

        Romney helped Rubio when he ran – maybe Rubio will return the favor, but Rubio needs a few more years under his belt before he can become VP, or president.

        Trust that Romney will choose a VP who is highly qualified for the job.

    • Dragonfly

      Frump, you sound like a “kill Romney” troll for the DNC, but not getting paid for it.

      ALL your efforts are for not, because Romney WILL become the next president.

      And do you know why? Because it’s the economy, stupid, and he is the best qualified on both sides of the aisle.

      • MSheridan

        A hopefully helpful hint for your future posts, it is “for naught”, meaning for nothing or for zilch.

      • valkayec

        Dragonfly, a couple of things:

        1) Grammar – “ALL your efforts are for not….” The correct word is naught instead of not.

        2) In reading your comments, the first thing that came to mind was that you sound not so much like a supporter (for which you have every right) but like a Romney campaign worker.

  • Frumplestiltskin

    yeah Dragonfly, Romney has never flip flopped…uh huh. You ignored all the examples of his flip flopping on the other thread. And I am not out to “kill” Romney. I used to watch his family videos back during the 2008 primary and I can say I honestly like the family, but you do Romney no favors by being a mindless shill for him. Romney comes across as inauthentic, and he is a Mormon which IS considered a cult by the overwhelming majority of evangelicals in America. I don’t consider it a cult, but it is way outside the American mainstream, and frankly has tenets that are crazy (read about the book of Abraham sometime which proves 100% that Joseph Smith was a charlatan). I give Romney a pass as to his religion because he was born into it and it is very difficult to abandon the faith of ones childhood.

    And there is zero evidence that Romney is the best for the economy? He was a mediocre Governor of Mass. with only one notable success, Romneycare which is anathema with Republicans. As to business, he was a very, very small fish, he is not even a billionaire so why not just state that we should elect Warren Buffett? Or Bill Gates?

    And Romney has no charisma. He was beaten by McCain because of it.

    You can pretend that Romney has no downsides, or you can acknowledge them and make an argument for him in spite of them. But saying that he is not everyone else is not affirmative.

    • Dragonfly

      Sure, he’s changed his position on a few issues, but so hasn’t many other people – it’s human to do so.

      That line is pathetic – it’s all you got – pathetic.

      Romney was beaten by McCain because McCain has been in Congress forever where he has friends who gave him their districts for job promises. They all made a huge mistake – Obama being the result of it – terrible.

      • Frumplestiltskin

        Sure, he’s changed his position on a few issues, but so hasn’t many other people

        ha ha, classic. Yeah, I dismember when I be learn English two. You are right, many people HAVEN’T changed their positions like he has, which is why he is labeled the flip flopper.

      • ottovbvs

        “Sure, he’s changed his position on a few issues, but so hasn’t many other people – it’s human to do so.”


      • teabagger

        Are Dragon Sty and Smeg the same poster?

        Based on their clownish posts I’m thinking they both share an affinity for big floppy shoes and big red noses?

  • Frumplestiltskin

    oh and Carney, you actually do a disservice to believers. If a Catholic politician is pro choice, people want to know how he arrived at that decision if he goes around proclaiming his faith is integral to who he is. And I gotta say you did fall for my trap. Mitt has exactly the same immigration position as laid out by the Mormon church.
    The Church supports an approach where undocumented immigrants are allowed to square themselves with the law and continue to work without this necessarily leading to citizenship.

    Romney is against amnesty for illegal aliens, but also said, “I don’t believe in rounding up 11 million people and forcing them at gunpoint from our country.” He would like to see illegal immigrants register with the government, pay taxes, and apply for citizenship, but that they should not be given any priority or special treatment over immigrants who have applied for citizenship legally

    So his policy just accidentally happens to be the exact same as the leadership of the church…and it is just a coincidence.

    Don’t get me wrong, I find it perfectly acceptable. But it does beg the question, it what areas of public policy is Romney explicitly against the teachings of the Mormon church (not theological views, which are irrelevant, I could not care less his views on underwear)

  • bdtex

    “scorched earth” Repubs set out on a scorched earth policy in 1993. Well…here we are.

  • Graychin

    Mr. Frum clearly recognizes the absence of sanity in his chosen political party.

    What do you suppose it would take for him to turn his back on the Dark Side and walk into the light?

  • booch221

    If Romney’s victory over Perry comes by flanking Perry’s right on the Mexican front, he will have a drastically limited operating space on that subject in office.

    Nonsense! Romney will simply change positions.

    This guy changes positions more often than he changes his underwear.

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