Friday, November 11, 2011

This weird week in politics...

We began the week with three candidates still having a serious shot at the Republican presidential nomination: Mitt Romney, Herman Cain and ... um... let's see...

This much we know at the end of a nutty week in Washington: Herman Cain should be sending Rick Perry pizza for life. Perry's brain lock at Wednesday's GOP debate in Michigan has temporarily snatched the attention from Cain's very serious issues with sexual harassment allegations. Given the short attention spans of voters and media, Cain may have escaped that portion of his troubles. (The stunning lack of foreign policy knowledge? That hasn't gone anywhere.)

As for Perry, he found every camera he could Thursday to put his best face on the debate gaffe. It showed his humanity, he noted. And also: The guy in the White House is fine debater, and look where that got America.

He finished the day strongly, appearing on the David Letterman show to read a Top 10 list. The title: Rick Perry's Top 10 excuses.

The video, with the list below:

10. Actually, there were three reasons I messed up last night: 1) was the nerves and 2) was the headache and 3) um ... uh ... oops.

9. I don't know what you're talking about - I think things went well.

8. I was up late last night watching "Dancing with the Stars."

7. I thought the debate was tonight.

6. You try concentrating with Mitt Romney smiling at you. That is one handsome dude!

5. Uh, El Nino?

4. I had a five-hour energy drink six hours before the debate.

3. I really hope it would get me on my favorite talk show, but instead, I ended up here.

2. I wanted to help take the heat off my buddy Herman Cain.

1. I just learned Justin Bieber is my father.

Not bad. So what's Perry's end-of-the-week status? Port-mortems on the GOP race will mistakenly point to this debate as the end of his campaign. Perhaps so. But he had dipped to single digits in polls before Wednesday, and despite his strong organization in early Republican primary states, he already had a steep climb back to relevance.

The Wall Street Journal says the gaffe opens the door for Perry's GOP rivals.

ABC News says maybe not.

The New York Times blog, Well, examines the gaffe from a clinical perspective - to brain researchers, the blog says, the moment is a fascinating display of a common human experience: the brain freeze.

Syndicated columnist Kathleen Parker said that the incident showed that at least one GOP candidate is a good guy.

That candidate, by the way, is not Herman Cain, but he is thus far surviving allegations of sexual harassment, according to new Public Policy Polling surveys. Guess who's making a move up the polls? Newt.

Peter St. Onge


DanaD said...

Great job making fun of Republicans. You must continue to do so in order to fight the "bias" label-you know, be sure you make fun of Republicans. That will show them you are not biased in favor of Democrats.

ncdave77 said...

Gee Dana, I don't see where they were mocking Republicans. The video is Perry mocking himself, which I think was the best method of damage control. Why make excuses and try to pretend it didn't happen - he took the right path in having some fun with it. Really humanizes the guy. I may not care for his politics, but he certainly gained points for having a sense of humor about it.

Archiguy said...

Don't be too hard on Dana, dave. She's just doing what conservatives have been taught to do for a couple of decades now: Label any news organization that doesn't actively cheerlead for the Republican causes and candidates they prefer as being infested with "liberal bias".

It's simply code for "I don't like what you say and don't care for objective analysis of the facts, and that means you're biased against me, and by extension, all that is RIGHT and good in the world".

They've been trained in this bizarre form of victimhood for a long time now. Every prominent conservative pundit they hear reinforces it. They see it as normal, and a way to influence others to see things their way.

What they don't seem to realize is that anyone who's predisposed to that kind of worldview ALREADY sees things that way and is as ideologically calcified as they are.

It's the primary reason our public discourse has degenerated into farce. You can't reason someone out of a viewpoint they didn't reason themselves into to begin with.

Garth Vader said...

Mr. Batten,

Since it's obvious that you do read the comments (as you answered one earlier this week):

I would like for you to address the origins of the very obvious and coordinated blackout of the candidacy of Ron Paul in the Observer and in other mainstream media outlets. This blackout was confirmed and documented by the Pew Center, and is so pervasive that the Paul campaign promoted their latest fundraising effort using the catchphrase "Black THIS Out" (it raised 2.3 million dollars in 36 hours, getting donations from more individuals in one day than Rick Perry got in the entire third quarter).

A couple of weeks ago Paul released a comprehensive and specific plan to immediately reduce federal spending by $1 trillion and to balance the budget within 2015, both goals that a vast majority of Republicans would welcome. Yet the Observer did not print a single word regarding the Paul plan, in contrast to its extensive stories on "9/9/9" which is a tax plan that only addresses revenue, rather than the actual spending cuts which - again - most rank and file Republicans support.

So please answer this simple question: What is the origin of the Ron Paul blackout? Thanks.

kantstanzya said...

"Perry's brain lock has temporarily snatched the attention from Cain's very serious sexual harrassment allegations. Given the short attention spans of the voters and media, Cain may escaped that portion of his troubles." So despite being guilty he may escape anyway.

Really Peter? I have a fairly long attention span and am a news junkie. Did I miss something? I am still waiting for actual specifics on these anonymous allegations. I thought there was going to be a mass press conference with all the women telling their horrible stories about the brutish beast Cain. What happened?

All I see so far is a few weak allegations....some from still unnamed women. The information is so slim that it is the lack of real evidence that is causing the public and media to lose interest. In fact this story is thus far so weak that had Cain been been a Democrat this would still have never made the media to begin with.

With Republicans like Cain it is all about the allegations. With Edwards and Clinton and any Dem actual proof and journalistic integrity is required. Cain is actually gaining from this because the public sees the media bias and unfairness for what it is.

Archiguy said...

"...In fact this story is thus far so weak that had Cain been been a Democrat this would still have never made the media to begin with."

Gosh, must have imagined the visceral attack of what Hillary Clinton termed "a vast right-wing conspiracy" (oh boy, if she only knew) aimed squarely at her philandering husband as soon as you could say "Paula". At least those trysts had the dubious virtue of being consensual.

But it's okay. Conservative conspiracy theorists, and they are legion these days, always seem to have such short memories.

Medicare cover that?

kantstanzya said...


You either have a poor memory or a selective one.I'm guessing the later.

You say "at least those trysts had the dubious virtue of being consensual."

Well that was true for Jennifer Flowers who claimed a 12 year affair that Clinton denied until she produced tapes of phone conversations. The press still supported him for President.

And then you might say that if you consider a young intern under the spell of the President of the U.S. "consensual". He denied that affair as well until a certain blue dress with DNA turned up. The press spent most of their time talking about how it didn't matter and was just a personal issue and attacking the person assembling the facts... Ken Starr.

Now to refresh your memory on the NON consensual ones. We have Paula Jones that the media portrayed as trailer trash. Clinton lost his law license over lying to a grand jury. And if it was onsensual why did he pay her $850,000?

And we have Kathlene Willey, the wife of a Clinton Friend, who accused Clinton of grouping her in the White House on 60 minutes. Since she didn't have any tapes or DNA evidence the media wrote that off as "he said she said."

And we have Jaunita Broadderick who actually accused Clinton of raping her. Again, without evidence the media gave Clinton the benefit of the doubt.

And those are just the ones we know about. Is that enough?

Jim said...

Wow, Peter, those Republicans really are a bunch of dolts, aren't they? I wanted to enjoy your earlier thoughts on things like Barry's 57 states (and one remaining), his Auschwitz-liberating uncle, and his Mother and Dad being brought together by the Selma march (which occured nearly 4 years after his birth) but I couldn't find them. Could you publish a link, please?