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August 31, 2014 / 5 Elul, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘romney’

The Emperor’s Magic New Debate

Sunday, October 7th, 2012

The outcome of the debate between Obama and Romney had less to do with any extraordinary qualities possessed by Mitt Romney than with the purely ordinary qualities of Barack Obama. No matter how much Team Obama tried to warn the media faithful against any enthusiasm, the expectations were high and remained high until the Chicago Messiah began to speak. And then there was nothing.

Obama did not blatantly fail. He didn’t forget the number of states or stand there stammering for five minutes before throwing a chair and storming off the stage. That would have been extraordinary. Instead his performance was ordinary, a bland heavily rehearsed stew of big government talking points with nothing behind them. It lacked confidence and inspired no confidence.

Romney did not come to the debate and deliver a brilliant performance. The former Massachusetts governor is not Ronald Reagan. He was just qualified and that word is more damning than any other because it highlights Obama’s incompetence. His debate performance was the work of a professional politician who prepped for it, as he preps for everything.

Mitt had spent most of his life talking to people and trying to convince them of various things, religious, economic or political. His way of doing that is through methodical preparation for a presentation that convinces people of whatever he is trying to sell them on. He’s not particularly charismatic, but he is qualified. And qualification means working to exceed the standards of your chosen profession.

Obama has spent most of his life convincing people that he is qualified for things that he isn’t qualified for. He has faked his biography a disturbing number of times, padded out his resume and leaped from position to position until he became the living embodiment of the Peter Principle. He doesn’t work for things, but skates by on doing the least amount of work possible. When he falls behind, then he quickly tries to get up to speed and dives in while hoping that no one notices.

That is what happened at the debate where Obama gave the kind of performance you would expect from an Illinois Congressman, which is the job that he should have had about now. And had he been running for that position, few would have questioned his abilities or qualifications. But it’s not an acceptable performance from a presidential candidate.

Romney is a qualified professional. Obama is a talented amateur. None of that is really new. What is new is the product comparison that the debate made possible.

We’ve all seen ridiculous trends take off, bad art, bad music and bad writing. The power of such trends is that they exist in isolation. They are either so different as to be presented as incomparable or comparison is carefully avoided. A legendary image is manufactured for their creators. They are iconized and elevated to a unique stature so that no one can possibly judge their worth by a real world metric.

The iconization of Obama elevated an ordinary ambitious junior machine pol with a funky bio to the status of a deity. And it was done by singling him out, by treating him as a unique incomparable quantity, a force of history, a living embodiment of poetry, a racial healer and a thousand other empty titles. All of those were meant to avoid comparing Obama with anything else, except the occasional iconic dead president.

On stage at the debate, Obama did not seem unique. He seemed like a shorter surlier version of the icon, a politician blathering endlessly about the things that politicians bleat on about, promises, jokes that seemed witty on paper at 1 AM, long defensive ramblings about his record. He didn’t lose by losing, he lost by destroying his own iconography.

Suddenly Obama could be compared to another human being. Suddenly he was standing next to that human being and fumbling with his lines and looking withered. Suddenly he was not a trend, an icon, a glorious new future, but only human. Suddenly there was nothing special about him at all.

Every rock star, every shiny new writer, every bright new thing hits that moment of unspecialness sooner or later, because specialness can only be sustained in isolation. It requires faith and denial that begins to fall apart when the special thing can be compared to the work of its peers and is found wanting. And then what seemed like genius becomes only a resonance, an echo that people wanted to believe in because they were bored or hopeless and wanted something new and special to save them.

In Battleground State Ohio, Jewish Voters Favoring Obama According to AJC Poll

Thursday, October 4th, 2012

An American Jewish Committee survey of Jewish voters in Ohio, a battleground state, has the community favoring President Obama in similar numbers to polls elsewhere.

The survey released Wednesday by the AJC has Ohio’s Jews favoring Obama 64 percent to 29 percent for Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential candidate.

With a 6.4 percent margin of error, the numbers are commensurate with two other AJC polls last month that had Obama beating Romney 69 to 25 percent among Florida Jewish voters and 65 to 24 nationally.

As in those polls, the economy and health care topped voters’ concerns.

The phone survey of 238 registered Jewish voters in Ohio was conducted Sept. 13-30 by QEV Analytics.

The survey does not take into account any changes resulting from the recent presidential debate between Obama and Romney.

Malkah Fleisher contributed to this report

Romney Wins First Debate Hands Down (Complete Video)

Thursday, October 4th, 2012

Mitt Romney came prepared to last night’s debate. Not only in terms of the facts and figures of his own programs and agenda, but in terms of how to deal with the many different ways in which his opponent, President Barack Obama, would try to distort them.

Patiently, with a good-sport’s smile, without a hint of anger, Romney sought time and again to correct those distortions. Each time the president made the claim that Romney’s plans would cost $5 trillion plus the $2 trillion born by his proposed military budget expansion – the Republican insisted on restating that those accusations are unfounded and that none of his tax cut proposals would be made at the expense of the deficit.

Romney was so good at those corrections for the record, that by the time Obama repeated the same charge for the third time he sounded tired, haggard, even uninspired, compared with his aggressive but always good natured rival.

I’ve never seen Romney be this good.

Whether because he really did spend the last couple of months cramming for this test, or because in the clash between his and Obama’s personalities Romney’s polite but very fluent and decisive simply overmatched Obama’s contemplative style – as the moments of this debate drew on, it was becoming clear that the evening belonged to Romney, completely.

Indeed, the CNN flash polls showed 67 percent believe Romney won the debate, while just 25 percent said Obama won the Denver debate. And a CBS poll of undecided voters showed Romney leading Obama by 46 to 22 percent on the question of who won the debate, with 32 percent saying they were tied.

Watching the debate on CNN (I stayed up till three in the morning here, in Netanya, so you won’t have to), it seemed that every aspect of last night’s duel was going Romney’s way. Take the clock, for instance: as the night wore on, President Obama was clocking more than 4 minutes of talking over Governor Romney, and that time was accumulating, slowly but surely, in small increments, from the opening minute. As much as the moderator, PBS’s Jim Lehrer, tried to keep things even, Obama was getting away with more and more time bits than his opponent.

At one point, about a third of the way into the match, Obama went on talking uninterrupted for better than two minutes—an eternity in these debates—and the 78-year-old Lehrer was unable to control him, telling him afterward, “you’re way over the two minutes,” raising an apologetic smile from the president.

Yet instead of complaining, as some have done in previous presidential debates, Romney let it slide. He didn’t demand equal time, he simply pretended he didn’t mind these fouls, which, strangely enough, made him look more presidential than the president. And because of this tiny show of magnanimity, the clocks CNN was using to mark each candidate’s time use became a finger that pointed at the cheating debater.

If this was a plan—then the governor’s campaign team deserves the bonuses he just gave them. I tend to think it was a rare view into the two men’s personalities, in which Romney came across more stylish and composed.

That – the composure in face of Mr. Cool who, back in 2008 reduced Senator McCain to looking like your angry elderly neighbor who wouldn’t return the baseball that fell into his roses – that was worth staying up to watch.

On the substance, which I believe has only a minor importance in these clashes, Romney seemed a little more on top of his own facts and figures. Some of his arguments were hard to accept – for instance, that private insurance companies with a bigger overhead cost than that of a government agency, plus the requirement to show a profit, would be able to offer cheaper health insurance.

But while Obama scored obvious points in the eyes of this registered Democrat, he was stabbed unexpectedly by Romney when Obama boasted that his administration has made $716 billion in cuts of waste in the Medicare program. Romney claimed those were not well thought out cuts in specific areas of waste but an across the board slashing of the Medicare budget, with the trimmed funds used to finance Obamacare.

Wake up Jews!

Friday, September 28th, 2012

No doubt, it’s hard for people to give up their lifelong attachments and identity.  But there are moments in history when a turning point arrives, and those with eyes to see and ears to hear recognize it.  Many Jews have made political liberalism their religion and personal identity and the Democrat Party their unexamined home and comfort zone.  But everything changed early September.

Rarely do modern-day political conventions startle.  The Democratic National Convention, however, was earthshaking and a warning to Jews to wake up.  Democrat delegates decided to stick it to Israel.  We no longer care, they roared, if Israel remains a Jewish state; flood her heartland with millions of so-called Palestinians whose goal is to make the state Islamic.  We will not condemn Hamas for targeting Jewish population centers with rockets.  Jerusalem is not Israel’s indivisible capital but should be divided, like Berlin was.  Such was the undeniable sentiment of the delegates at the Convention.

After objections from outside the Convention, the chairman reinstated support for Jerusalem.  But he was resoundingly booed.  The world saw how those boos far outweighed the yeas.  My fellow Jews, the boos were for you; those boos were for Israel, a successful Israel that sticks in the craw of a leftist, socialist mindset that sees Israel not as the beacon of freedom and accomplishment she is, but as something outside the leftist ideological orbit.  Sure, they will take your contributions and your votes, but they don’t want your Israel, and they expect you to forgo distinctly Jewish needs on the altar of leftism.  We saw not liberalism, but hardcore leftism, and we saw a home where the welcome mat is quite conditional and worn out.

The prophet Daniel saw the writing on the wall.  All too often throughout our history, we Jews, and especially heads of major Jewish organizations, have failed to see the writing on the wall.  We are afraid to see that which is a game-changer, and so we deny events we wish were not happening.  After all, who wants to change the comfort zone?

It was a convention, like the last four years of the Obama administration, reveling in class warfare.  Class warfare, like Occupy Wall Street and other scapegoating calls, has never been good for the Jews.  We are often the scapegoat of those envious.  Knowing this, Ahmadinejad scheduled a meeting with Occupy, a movement endorsed last year by many bigwigs in the Democratic Party and even President Obama himself.  Jihadists and much of Islam want to delegitimize the concept of a Jewish state by tarnishing Jews as “those rich capitalists” unworthy of a state among the community of nations.

Too often, we Jews have been beguiled into believing that Jews in positions of power have our interests at heart.  Debbie Wasserman Schultz is but the latest who would have us think she is “doing what is good for the Jews” when, in fact, she is doing and will continue to do what is good for Debbie and her power base.  Similarly, the heads of the major Jewish organizations have been conspicuously silent — a silence that would not prevail if a Republican were doing the things to Israel Obama is doing.

Job openings are way down; 50% of college graduates, our children, can’t find jobs; and Mr. Obama will continue to weaken national security and thus the safety of our families…and continue to make it more difficult for Israel to survive.  For many, all this is secondary and expendable for their more important agenda of abortion on demand and gay marriage.  How frivolous; how irresponsible!

We can determine what truly is important to a person when he is forced to choose between two values.  Since when is it a Jewish value to condemn Israel to misery just so one can be assured of abortion at any time, under any circumstance?  Most of your grandparents would have chosen Israel over abortion and gay marriage.  As our sages tell us: “The wages of immorality are further immorality.”

President Obama has time to meet with Muslim Brotherhood Morsi of Egypt, who has declared his intention to get rid Israel, but Mr. Obama has no time to meet with Israel’s Netanyahu, whose country is under imminent nuclear threat from Iran.  Israel’s concern about a possible nuclear Holocaust is, for Mr. Obama, dismissed as mere noise, while his delegates at the U.N. on Sept. 24 are ordered to sit and listen to the vile noise of the Holocaust-denier and Iranian Jew-hater-in-chief.  It is clear that Mr. Obama’s underlying sympathy is with the Muslim Brotherhood and its spread and influence around the world.  He is coaxing us to accept Islamic attitudes and norms.  This speaks volumes — to those willing to see the facts as they truly are.

Jewish House Dems Support Obama’s Refusal to Meet Netanyahu, Warn Bibi to Cool It

Thursday, September 27th, 2012

Jewish Democrats resent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and stand behind President Obama’s decision to reject a meeting with him, while warning PM Netanyahu to keep out of U.S. politics, reports The Hil.

California representative Henry Waxman blamed PM Netanyahu for negative press Obama sustained as a result of his refusal to rearrange his schedule to meet with the Israeli leader during the recent UN General Assembly convention in New York.

Massachusetts representative Barney Frank said the fallout over the meeting indicates that “Maybe Netanyahu’s for Romney.  And he’s making a mistake if he is.”  Romney called Obama’s refusal to meet with Netanyahu “confusing and troubling”, as did 128 House Republicans who wrote an “astounded” letter to the president on September 13, urging him to reconsider.

Franks said he believes Israel is mistaken in its attempts to convince the US to use a military option against Iran, saying the American public would not support the measure because “America’s not ready to go to war until it’s absolutely necessary.”

Prime Minister Netanyahu has been very vocal about Israel’s concerns over Iranian nuclear progress, and has urged the United States to identify “red lines” Iran wouldn’t be allowed to cross if it wanted to avoid a military confrontation.

He has also insisted that he is not motivated by US elections, but rather the security of the State of Israel.

“What’s guiding me, contrary to what I have read in the United States, is not the American political calendar,” Netanyahu told CNN, according to the report. “It’s the Iranian nuclear calendar.”

Romney called Obama’s decision not to meet with Netanyahu ”confusing and troubling” during a fundraiser in New York. And 128 House Republicans wrote to the president to urge him to reconsider.

The Great Media Noise Machine

Monday, September 24th, 2012

According to the media, the Romney campaign is struggling to recover from a terrible week after an even worse week and the man himself has no hope of winning the election. Also according to the media, the murderers running wild in the streets belong to a religion of peace and the world is in grave imminent danger of destruction from cow farts.

The three-fold process by which the noise machine inflicts its idiocy on us works like this. First the narrative is invented, then endless streams of experts are brought in to comment on and reinforce the narrative, and finally there is a hysterical denunciation of those who reject the narrative as ignorant vermin barely worth of being clubbed on the head on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean.

In the real world, Romney is still running neck and neck with Obama among registered voters, the non-stop gaffe express exists only in the minds of the media, which manufactures stories that fit the narrative, then reports on the narrative and discusses the narrative to death until enough people confuse it with reality.

The Romney campaign is not flailing and it is not guilty of missteps; what it is, is under constant attack by a massive leftist bloc composed of think-tanks, campaign operatives and the media who then use their own attacks to manufacture a narrative of incompetence. Each attack is then called a “gaffe” and used as evidence that the campaign is flailing.

This isn’t a new technique, what is the new is the complete and shameless integration of the media into the spin corps and attack poodle ranks of a political campaign so that there is hardly any difference between an anchorman, a reporter and a campaign spokesman. What is new is the level of intense coordination that allows one campaign total airtime and allows the other campaign a chance to pay for ads and be attacked all the rest of the time.

This has nothing to do with Romney, just as it had nothing to do with McCain; the same exact treatment would have been meted out to any human being who chose to run against Obama. The media’s treatment of Romney is as impersonally vicious as the behavior of students when faced with a new substitute teacher. It isn’t about Romney, it isn’t even about Obama anymore, it’s about power.

Obama is an actual failure. The only way to run a campaign against a man who has been out of public life for a bit and who has no obvious failures, is to turn his campaign into a failure, a constant failure where everything seems to be going wrong on a daily basis. The only way for the media to avoid the public’s inevitable judgement on the competence of a man who has failed them economically is to make his rival seem even more incompetent.

The narrative has certain advantages. It depresses voter turnout and contributions to the Romney campaign and it makes voter fraud safer by creating the perception going into the election that Obama is bound to win. Voter fraud in Russia and Iran met with such violent protests because the results were clearly at odds with public sentiment. In the United States, Mahmoud and Vladimir’s pal is making sure that his control of the media can sell him as an inevitable winner which will make truly obscene levels of voter fraud possible and plausible under the cover of universal popularity..

The larger effect of the narrative is to spread doubt and uncertainty on the Republican side as disgruntled campaign operatives pop out of the ground to agree that the Romney campaign is a disaster. That begins a circular firing squad, as campaign operatives call for a halt and begin reevaluating what they are doing wrong, sacrificing momentum and fragmenting their strategy, and then defeat becomes a self-fulling prophecy as the operatives begin preparing to shift the blame for the defeat on each other long before the defeat has actually happened.

The good news is that this does not appear to be happening in the ranks of the Romney Campaign, which is still moving steadily forward, despite the narrative. Its greatest challenge may be retaining that constancy of purpose and refusing to be affected by the constant barrage of attacks and the media’s poisonous insistence on predicting doom for the campaign. This is not an atmosphere that anyone but a handful of great and charismatic speakers could begin to shift and Romney is no Reagan.

Despite Media Pile-On, Romney Isn’t Toast

Friday, September 21st, 2012

So while some of us were celebrating the Jewish New Year and taking the last couple of days off from politics, it appears a video has more or less decided the election.

That’s the assumption of much of the mainstream media about the impact of the release of the video of Mitt Romney speaking back in May at a private fundraiser about the 47 percent of the country that doesn’t pay taxes. They think this means it’s time to put a fork in the Republican candidate. They believe the pile-on from both the Democrats and their media allies will be enough to effectively push Romney far enough behind the president that he will never be able to make it up in the weeks remaining to him.

This is, to understate matters, something of a self-fulfilling prophecy since the reason the video is considered to be such a big deal is because it has been covered as an earthshaking gaffe that ought to spike Romney’s hopes of ever winning the presidency.

The assumption that Romney has been fatally damaged is incorrect. The initial reaction to the video clips will probably damage Romney, but it will not affect the bulk of his support in a race that is still close.

The reason the video hurts is that it played into Obama’s greatest advantage: a pliant media quick to dismiss his blunders but sure to make a meal out of any of Romney’s gaffes. But it is time for the Romney campaign to understand it must exploit the fact that half the country believes the liberal media are out to get him. Romney must tell the country that it must not let the chattering classes decide the election before they’ve had a chance to vote.

Let’s specify that Romney’s statement was dumb. No presidential candidate should ever make such a sweeping generalization. Romney has a habit of making gaffes and this was yet another example of one of his weak points as a leader. Yet for all of the fact that he painted those who don’t pay income taxes with a broad and inaccurate brush, his comment was still based in a correct interpretation of the philosophical divide between the approaches of the two parties to the entitlement welfare state that has played such a destructive role in American society.

But as much as some of the carping about the Romney campaign from Republicans has been justified, let’s understand the reason this video is being seen as the turning point in the election is that the liberal media, determined to reelect the president, are saying so.

This is the same media after all that were faced with a similar gaffe four years ago when Obama was caught on tape at one of his private fundraisers making similarly stupid comments dismissing much of America as “clinging to guns and religion” because of their fears and small-minded natures.

While that video did not go unreported at the time, the reaction from much of the press was indifference. Right-wing bloggers and columnists screamed about it but it was not treated as front-page news in mainstream newspapers. The explanation for that is not exactly a mystery. If most reporters and their editors didn’t play it that big it was because most of them shared Obama’s contempt for religion and guns and those that cling to them.

Let’s also remember that the president’s “you didn’t build that” gaffe has been endlessly defended and rationalized by the media instead of being covered as an open and shut case of his being out of touch with much of the country’s beliefs. The president’s open microphone moment earlier in the year, in which he promised Russia’s president that he could be more “flexible” in accommodating Moscow after his reelection, was also underplayed.

Any Republican who runs for president and is surprised to find the deck is stacked against him in the media doesn’t deserve the office. But that doesn’t mean Romney should take this double standard lying down. Rather than play defense on this issue, the Romney campaign must make it clear it intends to treat this story as being more about media bias than about the candidate’s stupidity. If played right, that could not only jazz up a GOP base that despises the media, but put the Republican’s tormenters on the defensive.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/despite-media-pile-on-romney-isnt-toast/2012/09/21/

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