This Chait piece about the debate is depressing and probably accurate:
Yet Perry, stylistically, ruled the roost. The media seems to consider Romney the winner. Pardon the condescension, but they’re not thinking like Republican base voters. Romney approaches every question as if he is in an actual debate, trying to provide the most intellectually compelling answer available, within the bounds of political expediency. Perry treats questions as interruptions. What scientists do you trust on climate change? I don’t want to risk the economy. Are you taking a radical position on social security? We can have reasons or we can have results. His total liberation from the constraints of reason give Perry a chance to represent the Republican id in a way Romney simply cannot match.
In this way Perry eerily apes the style of George W. Bush, who was also mocked for his intellectually vapid debating style, but who succeeded in rallying Republicans behind him. I don’t think it’s a coincidence. I suspect the Bush-Perry debating style broadcasts a subliminal message of strong leadership. Romney feels compelled to bind himself to the parameters of the question before him. Perry ignores them. It is, in a sense, an alpha male move. I am not going to lower myself to your premise about scientists. I am going to declare my principles.
In my view, Perry established his alpha male style, and that impression will matter more than any position or statement he’s made.
If you weren’t convinced we’re dealing with animals, the cheering about executions last night should set you straight.
Uh oh. Flip-flop pandering Romney is becoming the sane one?
I refuse to believe I’m in the same genus as those morons. I simply refuse.
Some of us must have evolved or something.
Good con men need to be good pitch men.
After basically smearing all science he does not like, and calling Social Security a Ponzi scheme on the national teevee, if Perry is nominated, we will how good a pitch man he is in the general election.
No wonder Republicans are all so obsessed with religion. Where else are they going to get a morality?
@Raenelle: Or maybe, how else are they going to justify their amorality and immorality?
Conservative Christians love to insist that we are just like ancient Rome when it fell because of: tolerating gays/big gub’mint/whatever…
Last night, we got to see what those conservative Christians would look and sound like in the seats of the Colosseum as the condemned are lead out to be devoured by wild beasts or literally sodomized to death by a donkey.
@Jewish Steel: Yes.
Fuck you. My monkey is way smarter than Rick Perry.
Special Patrol Group
Yeah, but Perry is not especially different from Palin, or Trump, or Bachmann, or Rudy911. And they’re all beyond toast. Could be wrong and too reality-based, but a Romney hanging around enough to win the nomination still seems like the safe bet.
Also, too: The Bobbi Fleckman Principle is always in play, and Moneybags Rove and the other biggest money playas prefer Romney.
Chait may be right that this worked for Perry last night. But there are many more debates to come. Isn’t this tactic–“damn your questions, I’ll say what I want to say”–the kind that might wear thin over time?
Palin got away with it because there was only one VP debate.
This is why I continue to think that Thomas Hobbes was onto somthing about the deficiencies in human nature that make it damned hear impossible for us to govern ourselves.
I’d like to see some national voting stats for people age 50-65. This group will be most affected by Ponzi Perry. Young people believe the myth that Social Security will be gone by the time they’re 65, and people who are already collecting SS don’t care what happens to everyone else.
I’m just wondering how realistic I am hoping Perry turns into Goldwater.
The GOP voters seem to really go for that whole “Ima ignore what you asked and just say whatever the fuck I like about some other topic” when it comes from a swaggering Southern Governor who has a body count to his name.
You know, the guy who said it takes big balls to execute an innocent man was almost right; only off by 4 inches.
What it takes is a big asshole.
I’m not convinced that Bush II was a total 100 percent con. I think he believed some of the stuff he said during his election campaigns, and actually trusted people like Rumsfeld and Cheney, at first. I think even Bush Jr. was disillusioned and disappointed by the badness of their judgments and their ruthless insubordination (not that he was willing or able to do much about either from either man).
Looking at Perry’s history of public statements and actions, and how they have moved steadily rightward with the GOP base, I think he is a near total con. His aggressiveness and Rovian willingness to simply smear anyone or anything that gets in his way may stun people into believing he is sincere. But I don’t think Romney is a bigger flip flopper than Perry, but rather Perry is more resolute, and with a brilliant con man’s laser beam focus on the marks he needs to bamboozle to get to the next base.
Perry’s eventual defeat may be due to the fact that he uses an air horn and calliope when the more discrete would use a dog whistle.
I, for one, welcome our robot overlords.
Seriously, I’m in agreement with you. It’s hard for me to fathom how a group of anti-intellectual, undereducated people can have so much influence over such a complex and serious process. It’s like letting a kid with a stethoscope diagnose a patient with leukemia. He’ll say something like, “cooties” and give him 10CCs of G.I. Joe or something.
I would much rather Obama face Perry in the election than Romney. Romney could probably scratch up a pretty good portion of the angry progressive vote. He will also pull all of the Rockefeller Republican vote. And the tea guys will vote for whoever in the hell has an R next to his name because the one true goal of them all is to make Obama a one term President.
There’s an old saying, but it’s accurate: In politics, strong and wrong always beats weak and right.
Obama had better heed that going into the general.
This reminds me of how my brother described Ronald Reagan. He said that Reagan didn’t seem to understand what questions were; he’d take turns saying something with reporters, but there didn’t have to be much relation between what they asked and what he said.
The Republic of Stupidity
Remember… this was a REPUBLICAN debate…
The Dems get their chance later…
Last night Rick Perry admitted that he is a sociopath when he said he slept well and never struggled with the thought that he may have executed an innocent man.
In what sense did Palin get away with it? The ticket that she was running on lost the election by 9 million votes, with her presence a significant drag on its results. She is a widely disliked figure. She continues to enjoy cult-like devotion from a small group of admirers, but so does Hulk Hogan.
If this is “getting away with it” as a politician, just exactly how badly would she have to have crashed and burned to have not gotten away with it?
Uncle Clarence Thomas
But we all cheered the execution of Osama bin Laden. Of course, that was completely different.
@Uncle Clarence Thomas: Well yes, it really was. If everybody who cheered last night knew exactly what offenses the executions were for and were personally certain the accused had actually committed them, the cheers would have bothered me a good deal less.
Still a little creepy, of course, but not as much as the expressed enthusiasm for execution as a generic practice.
Bush didn’t win any votes in his debate performance. He merely cemented his credentials among his right-wing peers.
It was the media engine, the right-wing governors in key purple states, shit tons of campaign cash, and a Republican-sympathetic SCOTUS that won Bush the election in 2000.
Romney hasn’t figured out how a Republican debate functions. The questions are all made up. The points don’t matter. This is about performing for your audience, not winning a political trivia contest.
But even that doesn’t really matter. Perry’s dumb answers may have “won” him the debate, but the primary is all going to come down to a ground game. Romney and Perry both have a shit ton of money and a lot of powerful friends. And the Tea Party gave up its hand the moment it started fawning over establishment candidates. The election will be decided in a smoke-filled room, with Ron Paul supporters pounding feebly at the gates.
I know where one of the holes in the theory of evolution can be found.
Culture of Truth
Perhaps, but in 2008 the nominee was John McCain, and the runner up was Mitt Romney. Neither was the GOP id in full flower.
Times are different now, you say. That may be, we shall see.
@maye: From what I have seen and read about the under reported popular dissatisfaction expressed at GOPper townhalls, I think there is a critical mass of people who understand that they have paid thousand upon thousands of dollars into these programs, and know enough to ask the right question: what will I get for all the hard earned money I paid?
That kind of question cannot be answered by the GOP con people.
It will be important to counter the big lies told by the GOPper and corporate Democrats about Social Security. For example, even in the long run, Social Security will not blow up and leave young people with nothing. At worst, the program will pay out 80 to 85 percent of scheduled future benefits, even if nothing is done, and still remain a sound insurance program. And that reduction will still provide higher annual benefits, on average, than current benefits.
So, the relevant question for the youngins is, will the scams proposed by the GOP and Corporate Dems guarantee at least that much to them as a reliable insurance program as what Social Security will be able to pay out under pessimistic scenarios? And the answer is no, they cannot guarantee that, and they will use flim flam to hide that fact.
And note that the forecasts that produce the long run shortfall are conservative. It may very well be that no cuts are needed at all in the long run.
And the short run Social Security cirsis is just a total big lie. The only crisis there is that federal government has to start paying the money it borrowed from Social Security back, and it won’t be able to do that unless the harmful Bush II tax cuts for the rich (that did not do what they promised to do at all) are ended. That is 100 percent of that short run Social Security crisis: a certain class of people would like to have a huge loan they took out completely forgiven. That kind of world would be nice for all of us lesser people, but we don’t have enough ready cash to mislead the whole country into giving us favorable treatment.
Not if Perry sticks with emotional appeal.
He can switch up his Macho Mean replies to add variety. But why should he have to answer the questions? Aren’t the questions just librul, fact-addicted, egghead crap?
Can’t understand why Democrats don’t believe Republicans when they said, ages ago, they’re not reality based. They hate reality. They love denial.
Look at Fox. They have no facts. They use only emotional appeal. They know what their audience wants. So does Perry.
We can sneer all we want. But that only makes Perry’s Mean Macho Man emotional appeal stronger. They hate our sneering. They want a champion who sneers with them. And will ride out there and bash in our sneering heads. And shoot a few brown-skins from the air at the same time.
We Democrats continually confuse the importance of facts in governing with their level of importance in elections. Facts don’t matter most in elections. Emotions and perceptions do.
Elections are gut-based Reality TV where everyone gets to vote who rules the island.
Elections are won by sound bites that control the media’s need for a two-sided combat. Unless our side starts churning out the sound bites, the media will adopt the Right Wing’s sound bites for us. And they will all be about Mr. Obama’s weakness, out of touch America hating, and profligate spending.
Except they won’t use the Mr.
@Uncle Clarence Thomas: Sounds like you were in the Reagan library last night, cheering right along.
@Uncle Clarence Thomas: I never thought of the 9/11 attacks as an accidental house fire. Guess I need to catch up with current developments.
@Uncle Clarence Thomas:
Cheering for the battlefield death of a person who is engaged in waging war against you and your fellow citizens is not really the same thing is cheering for the state to execute your fellow citizens, including some who may be innocent of wrong doing.
@Zifnab: If this is decided behind doors, then Romney will almost certainly get the nod, with Perry as VP, to ensure that evangelicals and teatards (to the extent they are different constituencies) come to the polls. Romney-Perry has been the plan all along, I suspect, with Perry being asked to enter the race to marginalize Bachmann and Paul.
Just like Sarah Palin also too who said (paraphrasing), ‘I don’t have to answer your questions…I’m going to talk about the issues I want’. It’s a trend that GOP base voters love. What a bunch of rubes.
@MazeDancer: Our side turns out plenty of sound bites, many of them are even good. Curiously, the media rarely ever picks them up. You have to stop thinking that the media is any way, shape or form a neutral party. They are working for the other side.
Raven (formerly stuckinred)
@celticragonchick: Yea, reason with the dickhead.
I think it was best put by whomever stated that modern conservatism is whatever pisses liberals off today.
The attempted rationalization comes after the fact.
Also, it has occurred to me that traditional values are under assault by Republicans. In this case, I’m not referring to the oft mentioned evolving of sexual morality, but to the values of community, a social contract, good citizenship, honor in personal and professional conduct, conservation, selflessness, and a concern for posterity.
This has been replaced by an obsession with selfishness, personal profit, and a view that any onus placed upon them as a citizen is tyrannical oppression.
Granted, I’m sure there are many Democrats who have come to feel the same, but I think it funny that in all of the talk about traditional values, we only focus on the ones that involve what goes on in someone’s bedroom and not on the loss of community and citizenship.
I wouldn’t read too much into last night. Chait is right in that Perry passed the Fred Thompson barrier last night. However, his performance was probably still just at the level of entertainment for the rank and file. The death penalty cheering stuff was standard talk radio echo chamber horseshit; the repub base is so deep in the tribal womb they don’t realize how primitive they’ve become to outsiders. However, keep in mind that a lot of the Republican base likes Sarah Palin, but they don’t want her to be the nominee. Perry has yet to pass the Palin barrier, in which he is seen as something more than a cultural icon.
More horse race horseshit. You don’t have to “think like a Republican base voter” to see who “won” the debate. Perry made an ass of himself generally and did a swan dive onto the third rail of politics specifically. Even George W. Bush had the good sense to talk up “compassionate conservatism” and keep the Social Security grab under his hat until winning his second term. Perry’s a malicious tool, and it shows. That doesn’t qualify as winning a debate, no matter how many hypothetical “base voters” it hypothetically appeals to.
@Raven (formerly stuckinred):
I crave your pardon for breaking the “Don’t feed the trolls” rule. I knew better.
Let’s call it what it is…Perry’s Death Cult!
Raven (formerly stuckinred)
@celticragonchick: Hey, have fun if that’s what you want to do.
I love the nickname “Ponzi Perry”–it goes right to the lizard brain and I doubt voters will remember that he is accusing others of running a ponzi scheme.
Also, I’ve hated Chait ever since the smarmy essay on “Bush Derangement Syndrome” which was the political equivalent of calling all principled opposition to Bush some kind of Liberal PMS. However, I think he has nailed something very creepy and terrifying about Perry and the modern GOP. Its a shrewd analysis. Now all that is left is to kill ourselves before they arm themselves with nukes and do it for us.
Are Republicans animals? C’mon now….comparing wretched conservative Republican’s to animals insults the dignity and integrity of all animals which the FSM knows conservative Republicans have none of.
I’d say that the Republican base is more like a lynch mob than any animal I know of.
@jwb: That’s been my pick more-or-less from the start.
@Culture of Truth:
The GOP saw how well that worked out for them and won’t be fooled again.
This is way too intellectual. It needs to fit onto a bumper sticker:
The GOP wants to take your hard earned and well deserved Social Security money and give it to the den of gamblers and thieves on Wall St who crashed the economy in 2008. Tell them HELL NO and over my dead body.
Photoshop Perry into a leather jacket from Happy Days while literally jumping the shark. We can call him “The Ponz”.
I long ago gave up pretending I have any clue what will happen in an election. But it is astonishing to me that one of the Republican being called the frontrunner is openly calling Social Security a Ponzi scheme. George W Bush who who tried and failed to partially privatize it never went so far. It’s stunning how far we’ve come.
@ThatLeftTurnInABQ: That pitch is fine with me. It has the advantage of being true, so I have no problem with putting some guts into the message.
I am more optimistic than some here about people catching on to the proposed GOP and corporate Dem social insurance scams.
Sure, Perry has a compelling gut based appeal to people who have a loose connection to many aspects of reality, or are unhinged by bitterness, resentment and fear.
But I think there is a critical mass of people who are closely enough connected to reality to know that they have paid tens of thousands of hard earned dollars into social insurance programs, and want to know what will happen to their money. That issue is very gut based for people who know how the world works, though you won’t see much of them in GOP primary debate audiences.
Can’t say I’m much of a Chait fan, but I agree 100% with his analysis of last night’s Nightmare in Simi Valley.
i like it.
Got any good schemes?
Sit on it! Aayyyyyye!
By “getting away with it,” I simply meant that most observers thought she outperformed expectations in her debate with Biden (admittedly, a low threshold). And my point was, if she’d had to debate Biden again, the whole schtick of ignoring the questions and “just talking directly to the American people” with prepared talking points would have been even more transparent and would have backfired spectacularly.
I’m not sure what in my comment conveyed to you that I think she’s a great success now; I certainly don’t think that.
Animals? Well, certainly not in the sense of dogs or cats or non-human primates. Perhaps more like scarab beetles, feasting on carrion and dung.
I gave up caring about debates after the first Kerry-Bush encounter. If that one wasn’t a game changer then there’s no such thing.
Exactly. We now have (cue drums and horns):
The PONZI of Freeeeedommmm!
Roaches. Hard to kill and disease vectors to boot.
I don’t know anyone who cheered the death of Bin Laden personally. Saw that his fate was of his own making and richly deserved, yes. But the whole business is monstrous and depressing affecting innocent people all over the world. Nothing to cheer about.
Rome didn’t fall until it had become officially Christian for over a century and a half. When Rome was pagan, it was powerful and times were good…
Belafon (formerly anonevent)
This is why us Texans righfully worry about Perry running. He keeps winning here when he should have lost, and it’s mostly because of reasons I refuse to comprehend because I don’t want to know what they say about the pitifulness of the human race.
Aaannd you win the thread!! Ever see Morgan Spurlock’s “30 Days” show, where the atheist went to live for a month with the evangelical Christians? They kept asking the atheist how he would know right from wrong, how he could live a good life without guidance from the Bible.
This needs to be said again and again.
It’s very true.
Shame them with it.
More like it’s stunning how far we have fallen.
Obama’s election unhinged them.
@Belafon (formerly anonevent): But the country as a whole is at least 5 points to the left of Texas on the best of days and probably more like 10-15 on most days. And Perry underperforms in Texas compared to other Republicans.
. . . and the guy who’s advocating a flat tax, who condemns the stimulus because it didn’t contain enough tax cuts, is considered too liberal too have a chance.
Belafon (formerly anonevent)
@jwb: And yet he still wins. I’ll continue to worry about it until he’s not able to become president.
@Uncle Clarence Thomas: But we all cheered the execution of Osama bin Laden.
No. I did not. I can’t say I was personally sorry to see him go, nor that I was surprised, but I was not ghoulish enough to cheer.
From the bottom of my heart I thank everyone here who watched that debate and who are now commenting on it. I don’t watch much TV anymore and I strenuously avoid political shows of any stripe. So, thank you for paying attention and for informing my self-imposed ignorance.
UCT says something idiotic. In other news, water still found to be wet. Details at 11.
There was an interesting interview with her afterward in which she seemed genuinely puzzled by the criticism. She had, she explained, only been “pivoting from the question” to her message. It was clear that this was what she had been coached to do, and she was puzzled by being criticized for being a good student.
I think many have come to think of this as just good technique, exhibiting competence, foiling those liberals who are trying to trap the conservative warrior.
The loud applause that disturbed me the most was in response to Cain’s declaration shariah law doesn’t belong in the courts of the United States. Seriously, wtf?
Is it clear to everyone now that the world is full of insane human beings trying to run things, running things or running to run things? This isn’t a failure of the proletariat. This isn’t even the failure of insane human beings. This is a shining example of our failed media experiment. Taking idiots seriously for the sake of the political horse race is going to be the death of us all.
Exactly. IIRC, she characterized a very softball interview on some network as being fraught with “Gotcha'” questions and the Right Wing Noise Machine trumpeted that line for days.
BTW, John C,
are ya’ll aware that Chait will no longer be a part of “the liberal publication” that is TNR. He’s moving to NY Magazine. And Tim Noah is going to TNR.
Same here. I made the mistake of watching about 30 seconds of that Perry clip where they cheered the executions, and it made me sick for the rest of the day.
Serious? I want to live where you live. Virtually everyone I know not only cheered, but expressed the wish that they’d been the person who shot him.
That’s what you get for living in a deep red part of a blue state, I guess.
I could be dead wrong on this, but let’s not underestimate Perry’s ability to pivot to the center (or at least appear to do so) when he needs to. Right now, he needs to impress Republicans. When his campaign thinks he’s done that sufficiently, you’ll see a softening of his rhetoric and/or a complete disregard for the wackier things he said in the earlier stages of the campaign. It will be no problem, for example, for him to talk about Social Security as a “Ponzi scheme” and then turn around and say that he supports “strengthening” it.
Dude, that’s not condescension, that’s fucking flattery.
@EconWatcher: I see you’ve never discussed politics with a conservative before.
FWIW, I don’t think that you’re at all wrong about this. Let us also not underestimate the human craving for a strong man in times of trouble. Perry isn’t actually a strong man. That won’t matter if he and a supine media can succeed in portraying him as one.
@cckids: The ultra-religious don’t realize just how terrifying this argument is, yet they keep using it. The implication is that the only thing preventing them from going on a mass killing spree themselves is their certainty of getting an eternity-spanking from an omniscient invisible father figure.
I also think it’s terrific how rarely you will ever hear a “Christian” quote anything from Jesus. Funny how that works.
The buzz windrip of our times.
On second thought, celebrating the execution of an innocent to rousing applause is a Greg Stillson thing.
Davis X. Machina
@gogol’s wife: L’enfer, c’est les autres.
Kudos for the Sinclair Lewis reference. I’m a fan of Lewis’ work and, to me anyway, some of his books seem more relevant now than when I first read them.
Never did read more then “It can’t happen here”. But buzz Windrip and his buzzards were an impressive creation. Of course I already compared Palin to him.
One of the best comments ever made here at BJ was “when fascism comes to America it will be wearing librarian glasses and fuck me boots.”
Laugh or cry?
Who wants to bet that when Perry does pivot to the center for the general election, the Media Refs will call it a foul when the Dem’s accurately quote him?
First one , then the other.
My insane, mouth breathing brother in law wishes Dick Cheney would run for President, he doesn’t think Perry is “tough enough to get you liberals to think straight”. He and others are searching for their very own Adolf Hitler.
Enhanced Voting Techniques
Yes! Just compare Perry to the other GOP candidates; Mittens comes across the bumbling accountant down the block while Perry is the snotty rebellious teenager across the street and Bachmman as the crazy cat lady. Of course they are going for Perry, at lest Perry is up for a fight.
The same thing is going to kill Perry when he debating Obama. Obama comes across the the stable, unshakable reliable dude that wouldn’t mind as your dad. Sure Obama isn’t exciting, but he’ll keep a roof over your head. Perry the eternal teenager is just going to wreak your car for a thrill.
Stupid emotional impressions are a big deal in elections.
Ain’t no thinking like NOT THINKING. ;)
Belafon (formerly anonevent)
@Uncle Clarence Thomas: I’ll answer that one, since I was one of the people OK with bin Laden being killed. bin Laden was killed in an operation that was decided by the president after ten years of hunting him after evidence, looked at a number of people in a number of countries, plus his confession, made him the mastermind behind 9-11 and his continued statements on directing attacks at other people. That’s not the same thing as 12 amateur, not really want to be, jurors sitting in a court for weeks away from family and deciding if a man committed a crime that should receive the death penalty. This, like taxes, is not something you just say “If you’re on this side of the line it’s ok, if you’re on this side it is not.”
@Jager: Of course, Cheney is one GOP candidate that would guarantee an Obama victory.
When GWBush was at 27% approval, Cheney was at 9%.
I’m starting to think that at least half of us are devolving.
contessakitty (AKA Karen)
I have a theory about the whole W Presidency. I think he and Dick Cheney made a deal where he’d make all the neocon choices like invading countries and torturing for fun and W would get his Holy War and could place Liberty University people wherever he wanted.
I really think that they made that agreement where most of the time W was Cheney’s puppet or else Cheney would run for Pres.
Am I crazy? Or just sleep deprived.
“If you weren’t convinced we’re dealing with animals”
Animals have done nothing to deserve this insulting comparison.