The Phony Campaign

2011-09-12 Update

[phony baloney]

It's starting to look like a runaway for Rick Perry:

Query String Hit Count Change Since
"Rick Perry" phony 13,700,000 +2,300,000
"Barack Obama" phony 7,440,000 +190,000
"Sarah Palin" phony 4,820,000 -140,000
"Mitt Romney" phony 3,900,000 +1,260,000
"Jon Huntsman" phony 1,420,000 +50,000

  • I should point out that a lot of Rick Perry's phony standing is due to that one line from his book (Fed Up!: Our Fight to Save America from Washington) where he called Al Gore's global warming alarmism "all one contrived phony mess that's falling apart under its own weight." People love to repeat that line over, and over, and over. And here I've done it myself.

  • Jacob Sullum's article from the latest dead-trees issue of Reason has made it online. His topic is just one instantiation of President Obama's phoniness: his relentless waging of the War on Drugs after making campaign promises to (at least) moderate it. It's worth reading in full. At the end Sullum allows himself to fantasize: what if dope-smokin' Barry had been arrested when he attended Columbia U in the 1980s?

    A misdemeanor marijuana conviction could have been a life-changing event for Obama, interrupting his education, impairing his job prospects, and derailing his political career before it began. It would not have been fair, but it would have spared us the sorry spectacle of a president who champions a policy he once called “an utter failure” and who literally laughs at supporters whose objections to that doomed, disastrous crusade he once claimed to share.

    On the other hand,… President Hillary? Who knows?

  • Mitt Romney issued a slick PDF entitled Believe in America: Mitt Romney's Plan for Jobs and Economic Growth. You can even download it to your Kindle for free right here.

    But don't bother. At Reason, Peter Suderman read it, and was merciless. Conclusion:

    It’s as if Romney and his team took notice of the polls showing Obama losing to a generic Republican—and then made it his mission to become exactly that candidate. If not for the spectre of RomneyCare, Romney might have succeeded in personifying the distilled essence of vaguely Reaganesque vanilla Republicanism.

    Of course, as part of the act, Romney is required to insist otherwise. The report’s third section, “Mitt Romney’s Plan,” begins by declaring that “Mitt Romney is a leader of a very different kind.” Not just different. Very different. The important thing, though, is that he has to tell you. Because otherwise you wouldn’t know.

  • I personally love the Sweetheart of National Review Online, Kathryn Jean Lopez. But she goes into a swoon way too easily…

    There was something remarkably attractive at the Republican debate at the Reagan Library on September 7.

    No, it wasn’t Jon Huntsman’s tan, Mitt Romney’s hair, Michele Bachmann’s shoes, or Rick Perry’s swagger.

    Although I suppose the swagger isn’t entirely unrelated. But what was special was something far less superficial, the kind of thing you know when you see, but that we might all be a bit too jaded about politics to acknowledge: It was authenticity.

    Yes, even politicians can have it.

    Really? I would encourage Kathryn to embrace her inner jadedness. If that actually exists.

  • Michael Barone, on the other hand, did not swoon for …

    What is there to say about Barack Obama’s speech to Congress Thursday night, and the so-called American Jobs Act he said Congress must pass? Several thoughts occur, all starting with P.

    Unfortunately, the P's are: "Projection", "Pragmatism" (the lack thereof), "Paid for" (as in: assigning responsibility for that elsewhere), "Pathetic promises", "Political payoffs", and "Pettifoggery".

    That's a good list, but what about "Phony"? Must have been too obvious:

    “Everything in this bill,” Obama said in his eighth paragraph, “will be paid for. Everything.”

    By whom? Well, in the 24th paragraph he tells us that he is asking the 12-member super-committee Congress set up under the debt-ceiling bill to add another $450,000,000,000 or so to the $1,500,000,000,000 in savings it is charged to come up with. The roving camera showed the ordinarily hardy super-committee member Sen. Jon Kyl looking queasy.

    Obama is like the guy in the bar who says, “I’ll stand drinks for everyone in the house,” and then adds, “Those guys over there are going to pay for them.”

    What’s fascinating here is that once again the supposedly pragmatic and sometimes professorial president is not making use of the first-class professionals in the Office of Management and Budget to come up with specifics, but is leaving that to members of Congress, maybe in a midnight marathon session with deadlines pending. Same as on the stimulus package and Obamacare.

    Same old tricks. I can't imagine why some people are still impressed.

Last Modified 2014-12-01 2:45 PM EDT