Fishwrap: Cheap Shots, Trash Talk and Brain Farts


Three things Calbuzz cannot abide:  1) kicking someone when they’re down 2) taking cheap shots and, uh, … what’s the third one there? Let’s see … taking cheap shots, and let’s see … we can’t, the third one, we can’t … Sorry. Oops.

Anyway, in the spirit of Faith, Hope and … uh, let’s see … you’ll get no piling on from us about Rick Perry’s disastrous Wednesday night debate performance, nor any stupid jokes about the Texas governor telling his kids bedtime stories about Papa Bear, Momma Bear and … Huey, Dewey and … the Two Musketeers.

Oh sure, some may say, well, what about Rick Perry’s commitment to a government of the people, by the people and … the pursuit of life, liberty and … the truth, the whole truth and … the Father, the Son and … the Nina, the Pinta … and the Two Faces of Eve.

But we are not among them.

So don’t give us that stuff about small, medium and.. Wynken, Blinken and… two bags full.  Because we hear no evil, see no evil. Ready, aim, on your mark, get set, strike two, you’re out. Veni, Vidi.

And by the way, that was, uh, let’s see, “shooting at lifeboats,” the third thing we were reaching for a while ago.

Battleground bushwah: We’re still scratching our heads about the answer Mitt Romney gave at the debate about the Obama Administration’s bailout of the auto industry in the depths of the economic collapse in 2009.

Preaching to the choir, Mittens earned major hoorahs and huzzahs from a debate audience of a couple hundred Michigan Republican activists, but we can’t help but wonder how his laissez faire free market pandering, not to mention his relax-with-the-facts revisionism, played in the living rooms of the 1 million folks in and around Detroit whose jobs were saved by the federal loan program to General Motors and Chrysler.

As David Welch, the auto industry columnist for Bloomberg Businessweek, not exactly a socialist organ, has written, “It’s tough to argue that the bailout hasn’t worked.”

Romney’s meandering response came after CNBC debate moderator John Harwood did a terrific job of framing the question, cutting the ring in an effort to keep the hyper-slippery wannabe from using his 60-seconds to wiggle and wriggle at will (to the surprise of no one, Mittens wasted no time doing exactly that, starting with a phony elegy to his imaginary blue collar boyhood as a poor but proud Wolverine):

HARWOOD: Governor Romney, I want to switch to the bailout drama that we lived through in this country, and no state understands it better than the state of Michigan. I’m going to talk a little bit about your record on that.

Four years ago when you were running for the Republican nomination and the auto industry was suffering, you said, “Where is Washington?” After the election, when the Bush administration was considering financial assistance for the automakers, you said, “No, let the Detroit go bankrupt.”

Now that the companies are profitable again, after a bailout supported by your Republican governor here in Michigan, you said, “Well, actually, President Obama implemented my plan all along — or he gravitated to my plan.”

With a record like that of seeming to be on all sides of the issue, why should Republicans be confident in the steadiness of your economic leadership?

ROMNEY: John, I care about this state and about auto industry like — I guess like no one else on this stage, having been born and raised here and watched my parents make their life here. I was here in the 1950s and 1960s when Detroit and Michigan was the pride of the nation.

 I have seen this industry and I’ve seen this state go through tough times. And my view some years ago was that the federal government, by putting in place CAFÉ requirements that helped foreign automobiles gain market share in the U.S., was hurting Detroit. And so I said, “where is Washington?” They are not doing the job they ought to be doing.

 My view with regards to the bailout was that, whether it was by President Bush or by President Obama, it was the wrong way to go. I said from the very beginning they should go through a managed bankruptcy process, a private bankruptcy process.

We have capital markets and bankruptcy, it works in the U.S. The idea of billions of dollars being wasted initially then finally they adopted the managed bankruptcy, I was among others that said we ought to do that.

 And then after that, they gave the company to the UAW. They gave General Motors to the UAW and they gave Chrysler to Fiat. My plan, we would have had a private sector bailout with the private sector restructuring and bankruptcy with the private sector guiding the direction as opposed to what we had with government playing its heavy hand.

All righty then.

As the ubiquitous Chris Cillizza described in a clip-and-save summary of 2012 electoral college calculus, Michigan is a must-hold state for Obama for almost any scenario that gets him to 270.

No surprise then that the Democratic National Committee rushed out a post-debate web ad hammering Romney’s answer, which includes references to his now-famous “Let Detroit go bankrupt” NYT op-ed.

Add Rust Belt: Labor’s big win in Ohio on Tuesday night, overturning Republican John Kasich’s measure to eliminate the collective bargaining rights of public employees, clearly signals that the perennially crucial, perennial swing state is very winnable for Obama, despite his lousy approval ratings there.

The latest Quinnipiac Swing State Poll reports a 50-44% disapprove/approve rating for Obama in the Buckeye State, but also shows him running ahead of Romney, within the margin of error, 45-42%, while the Democratic-tilted Public Policy Polling survey has him nine points ahead of Romney, 50-to-41%.

P.S. Chris Reed over at America’s Finest,  who tried to goad us into putting our money behind our key boards by betting on the Obama re-elect (we declined for reasons of, sniff, professional probity) may want to get in touch with Red State’s Erick Erickson, a shining beacon of conservatism who also seems to be giving the points and taking the incumbent.

Mush from the wimp: The biggest crash-and-burn trial balloon in recent memory was the short-lived effort by Visalia GOP congressman Devin Nunes to float himself as the great Republican dope hope of taking down Senator Difi.

The 38-year old Nunes, whose best known political accomplishment is running his mouth, has been paying for TV ads in the Valley attacking the Senior Senator from California, so he figured he might as well do some trash talking about Herself, too (“It’s time for Senator Feinstein to get off her butt and do something” — classy!) to Gannett’s Paul Barton, who smartly asked the key question:

 It’s the kind of behavior you would expect of someone preparing to challenge the veteran senator in 2012. And Nunes, after being coy about the question for weeks, says he is now giving it serious thought.

“Could it be me? Sure,” he says. “There would have to be a lot of things to fall in place.”

Barton next checked in with Difi political honcho Bill Carrick, who cut right to the bone, opining that “I don’t think we’ve ever had anybody on either side of the aisle as unstable as he is.”

All of which resulted in a story in the Desert Sun headlined, “Rep. Devin Nunes Considers a Run Against Sen. Dianne Feinstein.”

Within a few hours, sadly, Balloon Boy trotted out a minion to explain what Mr. Nunes meant to say, skinning back on any Senatorial aspirations in an interview with Michael Doyle, the Sacbee’s man in Washington.

Alas, we were so looking forward to covering a shoot-from-the-lip frat boy instilled with no discernible time delay between having a thought, more or less, and spewing it out of his pie hole, a political brand embodied by the thoughtful and measured letter he wrote to Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar on September 21, complaining about the administration’s water policy:

In future (sic) I hope your remarks will be tempered with recognition of the serious damage you and your Agency have done to this country. Starving people and communities of water, whatever the cause, is wrong. It is reminiscent of the actions of brutal dictators such as Robert Mugabe and Saddam Hussein who used water as a weapon against their own populations.

Sigh. Now we’re left with nothing but the infernal reasonableness of Orly Taitz.

ICYMI: Since the Herman Cain sexual harassment scandal broke, Silver Fox Hank Plante has been indefatigable, sleeplessly staying at his computer to ensure that no one in the internets universe missed a single joke about the pizza buffoon. H/t to Hank for the adjacent.

subscribe to comments RSS

There are 2 comments for this post

  1. avatar chrisfinnie says:

    The pundits seem to think governor Romney won the debate. He reminded me of Nixon in his debate against Kennedy: sweaty, nervous, and trying to represent himself as something he’s not–consistent.

  2. avatar chuckmcfadden says:

    This is the most sophisticated, best educated, most successful nation in history. How is it, then, that one of our two major political parties cannot come up with candidates who are not laughable? Think about it. Can you imagine Michele Bachman dealing with the Euro crisis? Putin? Can you think of Herman Cain dealing with North Korea, or Iran? Ron Paul dealing with … well, just about anything? I mean, c’mon people. The Republicans used to have people such as Nelson Rockefeller, Dwight Eisenhower, Henry Cabot Lodge… comparing today’s stumblebums with those guys auses one to burst out laughing.

Please, feel free to post your own comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.