Republicans Debating Stuck In A Moment They Can’t Get Out Of

Tonight’s debate confirms Ed Rollins was right: it’s a Perry Romney race. We’ve only had one direct lengthy conversation with Rollins (and it was earlier this year). We felt him, of course, as he was a big presence down in Texas during the Perot bubble. He should be relieved to be out of that seat.

Perry showed steadinesss and vacuity that will soothe his oligarchical backers. His ‘social security is a ponzi scheme’ a calculated gamble. We disagree with the talking heads that see Romney as the clear winner. Perry’s dog whistles seismic. From South Carolina on we see Romney struggling – except possibly Florida.

Newt increasingly comes across as an aging hair metal band crashing a Gathering of the Juggalos. He seems content to suck up to everyone to maintain his perch as ‘ideas’ man. In his own mind, he probably has cast himself as Colonel House calling the shots in someone else’s White House.

Romney, Perry, Tea Party, Republican, Republican Debate, Newt Gingrich

The fossilized nature of ‘conservative thought’ striking but irrelevant. All the issues pushed around are camouflage. Wisconsin, Ohio and New Jersey more realistic models for the cloaked oligarchical agenda. It’s true enterprise zones were novel when Jack Kemp pushed them in the late 1970s/1980s. The Laffer Curve/supply side economics, too. If the Republican Party intended to be overt about its actual governing strategy the lack of intellectual innovation would be problematic. Now, it’s only for rubes.

  • Dr Leo Strauss

    @jwb One can see part of your analysis in Bachmann’s current financial woes – she got hit from above and below; big money and small donations dried up. Have heard the same re MB’s initial funding. The initial goal was – to use a pop culture reference – to have a Joker on the Gotham streets radicalizing others.

    It worked. Her success as you note drew in Perry. The jury seems to be still out on Perry and Romney from oligarchical structural point of view. We’ll see what Obama does with his billion dollar campaign, strategy-wise.

  • jwb

    @DrLeoStrauss It is significant that Perry’s interest in the race coincided with Bachmann’s rise. I remain committed to the belief that Perry was brought in to halt Bachmann’s rise before it could get out of hand: she is not acceptable to the establishment. The establishment wants Romney, of course, and I still think the goal is to have Perry as VP in Pailin’s role as a lure for the rubes. I have also heard that Bachmann’s money came principally from movement sources, particularly Kochwerk. I can’t imagine the Koch brothers thought Bachmann was their best bet, so I presume they had something else in mind in running Bachmann. On the other hand, their recent success has made them more than a little reckless, so who knows. If that’s the case, however, it shows a vulnerability that might be exploitable.

  • DrLeoStrauss

    Rollins’ latest run in with the Bachmann camp no surprise; he habitually burns bridges even when he’s standing on them. Although to be be fair, he did well with Huckabee. Underlying much of his celebrated missteps with campaigns is his seeming compulsion to acknowledge empirical reality when confronted, rather than spin or simply stay in La-La land.

    Meaning yes, age is playing a part, but age as in being in a cohort remembering times before the demotic soup blanketed all. When he and others joined Bachmann, we contacted a Republican consultant universally known to almost all and lifelong friend. (Rollins doesn’t care for him fwiw, but then neither does Boehner).

    We asked “What is this lurch to Bachmann?” Our friend now many months ago in May, very cooly replied “Why should you care? She’s not making it out of Iowa anyway.” If he could see that data and crosstabs surely Rollins could too, or had access to honest polling. If it’s a Swan Song we’d wish he finds a graceful exit.

    He was no Atwater. Perhaps CNN can rotate him more frequently on The Concierge’s “Situation Room”.

  • Dr Leo Strauss

    @Sam Lowry Yeah, alot of that USA! USA! stuff. All that mattered was the chorus. And the other songs fast forwarded on the cassette.

  • Sam Lowry

    @Dr Leo Strauss
    A Springsteen show circa BitUSA had to have been incredible! Although I was kinda young, I do recall the attempt by the Reagan campaign to co-opt the title track. Even back then I thought it was weird. I mean, even then I vaguely understood it’s pretty much an album dedicated to exploring the death of the American dream (h/t Hunter S Thompson). I guess if one sings “USA” loud and often enough in a song it is pro-American?

  • Dr Leo Strauss

    @Sam Lowry Great points about Mellencamp and Springsteen. Both Pink Houses and Born in the USA Reagan tried to use for his ’84 campaign oblivious to the irony. (Both artists issued prompt rebukes).

    Caught 2 of the BitUSA shows, one in DC and the other with 75,000 at Newcastle UK later that summer. They were pure rave ups, the lyrics tuned out. Strange to see Brits laughing at New Jersey Turnpike jokes.

    His earlier tours — especially with The River — were more powerful emotionally here because the audience embraced the lyrical content. By BitUSA it was effin A! time, stadium rawk. With his next album, the solo one, we lost interest in him as commercialized product. Supposedly things have come around but haven’t looked back. Killer live shows regardless. One 4 hour show at the old Capitol Centre in arena in 1980 stands out particularly.

    Mellencamp put on a good show a few years later in the mid-1980s. At a more modest scale in a theater setting. Guy can’t dance to save his life (like Springsteen) but the show was percussively memorable. JM sticking with Farm Aid as much a testament to the man as his art.

    “Authority Song” would make a terrific theme song, Sam. Great choice!

  • Dr Leo Strauss

    @jwb Agree factions are still less than comfortable with Perry, as fronted by Rove and others biding time. And this was just the first debate with Perry of many to come.

  • Sam Lowry

    You had me at “Newt increasingly comes across as an aging hair metal band crashing a Gathering of the Juggalos”.

    But I was surprised by the reference to Mellencamp’s “Pink Houses” as I had not figured the Stiftung’s tastes in music were so inclined. That song, to me at least, is one of the most prescient, rock-tastic, and sad from the 80s as it understood and anticipated so much (along with Springsteen’s “Born in the USA”). Although I think that at the time it might have been sung without irony as, despite all of America’s faults at the time, there was still a “there” there. If that makes sense? Nonetheless, I have always thought that if my life were a movie, Mellencamp’s “Authority Song” would be the theme song. No question.

  • jwb

    Good read, but some unresolved issues: It’s not clear that the oligarchs are sold that Perry is the best choice—or even one who brings a net benefit to the general election as the lead candidate. They would be more comfortable with Romney at the head of the ticket and Perry as VP. It does seem that Perry has the momentum now, and barring a major gaffe or revelation—both VERY possible—he looks to have the easier path. So are the oligarchs convinced that Perry is sufficiently strong in the general election that he is not worth taking down in the primaries? That’s the several billion dollar question. The talking heads seem to have a visceral dislike for Perry. I can’t say that I have a sufficient memory of 2000 to remember how the talking heads felt about Bush II.

    I’ll add that Perry has divided the GOP pretty badly in Texas and we are starting to see this come into play on a national level, and I think you’ll see unexpected resistance by some factions of the oligarchs to line up behind him.