Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.
Thursday, September 29, 2016

In the cliché of the season, Mitt Romney is supposed to be executing a graceful “pivot” away from the grating extremist stupidity of the Republican primaries, the better to persuade us that he really is a Massachusetts moderate, or a moderate conservative – or at least something less repellent to independent voters than a Tea Party yahoo. He stumbled in mid-pivot, however, when a woman posing a question to him at a Cleveland event on Monday said President Obama “should be tried for treason,” and Romney acted as if he didn’t hear her slur.

The presumptive nominee told reporters afterward that “of course” he didn’t agree with the woman’s remark — as if he had failed to check a box on a form — but his alibi was too late and much too little. When someone slanders the President of the United States as a traitor, the responsible reaction is to respond loudly and forthrightly. Shrinking from the duty to correct the extremism of your own supporters, as Senator John McCain did without hesitation four years ago, is yet another sign of weak character and poor judgment.

Romney’s instinct is to appease the same far right forces that his father George and other conscientious Mormons broke with many years ago, although such fringe ideological obsessions held sway at the highest levels of the Church of Latter-Day Saints. He is entirely familiar with the John Birch Society paranoia and white supremacist bigotry that notoriously defaced Mormonism in those times, both of which exert an unwholesome influence on Tea Party Republicans today. Somehow, he cannot bring himself to speak up when confronted with that old nightmare mentality.

Instead Romney consistently seeks to ingratiate himself with anyone who expresses a distaste for Obama, no matter how demented. The same scenario has recurred again and again, as it did in the town of Bexley, Ohio in early March, where a man who claimed to have a concealed-carry permit asked whether the former Massachusetts governor will “allow me to keep my gun and protect myself and my family and my home and not come and get my gun? Because I want to keep it to protect myself and my wife and my family — and against a tyrannical government, which I think we are approaching and we are in, very close.”

While blandly answering that he “believes in the Second Amendment,” Romney failed to reassure this poor character that we are not, in fact, on the brink of tyranny. Is that what he believes? Of course not, he would reply – but why should he be expected to forfeit some crank’s vote by standing up for decent discourse?

The problem is not that Romney is missing opportunities to reach the benighted yahoos in his party, who are mostly beyond reason. It is that he lacks the fortitude to do so when he thinks honor and honesty might cost him. And it means that if the cranks continue to dominate Congress, as they do now, no moderating voice will emanate from a scared and silent Romney White House.

  • Mitt will cater to anyone who will vote for him, no matter how extreme!

    • CPANY

      Mittens reminds me of a Democratic candidate from years ago who seemed to say: “Tell me what you want to hear and I’ll say it.”

      • William Deutschlander

        CPANY – Having been involved with both political parties over many years, I can vow that both Republican and Democratic office seekers seek to find out from the locals what the crowd would like to hear, then try to key their message to same. It is one of many sad traits of politics of convenience, do not tell them the message they need to hear, just try to get another few votes!

  • ChristoD

    He is a gutless SOB.

  • Mitt Romney is spreading himself too thinly to capture the votes he needs. It is a house of cards and will come tumbling down. By November Election Day it will be another Barry Goldwater all over again. Conservatives still “know in their hearts they are right” … but history proves the brain, not the heart, rules.

    • Even Barry Goldwater had a spine and serious convictions — attributes that Romney seems to lack.

  • Richj/Corporatist supporting fool – they’ll make him a slave yet, anyway, regardless…

  • ObozoMustGo

    DISTRACTIONS……… DISTRACTIONS………… DISTRACTIONS…………….

    Joe, I don’t expect you to cover the real issues that are going on in the Obozo Administration because you’re too busy carrying Obozo’s water like a good useful idiot. But all of this is really just a decoy to take our focus away from the Failure In Chief that Obozo has become. Not only that, but he’s just another crooked Chicago thug politician passing out favors to his loyalists while selling a bullsheet narrative to the mindless minions on the left.

    WHY ISNT THE MEMO COVERING HOW CROOKED ERIC HOLDER IS? Newsweek has a very good investigation about how Obama and Holder have been operating a “Justice for Sale” DOJ. All you leftist nutjobs out there buy off on this “1% vs. 99%” bullsheet while DOJ ignores Wall Street execs who just so happen to be clients of the big-time law firms where Holder and his cronies at DOJ worked. The Newsweek investigative report reveals that Eric Holder has not criminally charged or prosecuted a single top executive from any of the elite financial institutions thought responsible for the financial crash.

    You read that correctly. Let me say it again: The Newsweek investigative report reveals that Eric Holder has not criminally charged or prosecuted a single top executive from any of the elite financial institutions thought responsible for the financial crash. Why should they prosecute them? After all, you leftist nutjobs ignore the facts that Obozo has taken WAAAAYYYYY more money from Wall Street than ANY Republican candidate.

    If you want a good article, and not this Joe Conason hit piece, go to Newsweek and read the article titled “Why Can’t Obama Bring Wall Street to Justice?”

    Most of you won’t do it because you’re a bunch of useful idiots anyway, but someone seeking objective reporting will want to know the truth about Obozo the crooked thug in chief and his accomplice Eric “The Incompetent” Holder.

    Have a nice day!

    • johninPCFL

      What charge do you propose? Excessive profitability? Wanton selling?

      • ObozoMustGo

        Does the name “Jon Corzine” mean anything to you? Jon Corzine you remember Jon? Democrat Gov from N.J. and former MF Global thief of 2 billion in client monies. He still is bundling and donating and walking around freely. Ohhhhh that’s right…. silly me… he’s a democRAT…. he’s allowed to steal $2 Billion…. what was I thinking????

        Have a nice day!

        • johninPCFL

          He’s under indictment…next.

          • ObozoMustGo

            He has not been indicted. Google it. Neither Eric “The Incompetent” Holder nor Obozo are going to do anything to Corzine. He’s still raising money for them. Holder and Obozo are nothing more than crooked Chicago thugs.

            Have a nice day!

    • joujou228

      Please go back to Cspan website and pull out the video about Governor Romney’s event yesterday to see how he said he didn’t know if he paid taxes to oversees where he’s keeping some of his money.

      • ObozoMustGo

        joujou…. has that “Obozo 2012” sticker on your crack pipe burned off yet?

        Have nice day!

        • joujou228

          Thanks for such an insightful comment! You really have the issues down pack, taxes, the economy, jobs, healthcare, the deficit etc. oh less I forget crack pipes.

          • ObozoMustGo

            joujou.. either you are old an uneducated, or you are young and indoctrinated/dumb. My guess is that you are young, maybe indoctrinated at a leftist monastary (aka a University) and fed a steady diet of the socialist mantra throughout your public education days.

            Am I correct?

    • You know- it’s really difficult to have a mature dialogue with someone when they are antagonistic, insulting and downright implacable.

      Name calling and silly attacks only make people tune you out.

      Too bad, because you seem to be very intelligent and it would be interesting to have a healthy give and take with you.

      • ObozoMustGo

        Dont let too many things bother you, Jill. I like poking leftist nutjobs in the eyes as they have been doing to conservatives for many years, but it’s all in good fun. I’ve actually made some virtual “friends” with a few lefties on here, but dont tell anyone. I have a mean and nasty reputation to uphold! 🙂

        Have a nice day!

      • Jill, don’t worry about what certain people think, they don’t do it very often. Sometimes the reason people get lost in thoughts is because it’s unfamiliar territory. The use of snark provides them with cover.

  • montanabill

    Hey Joe, for your next insightful column, how about: “Why Obama Can’t Tell The Crazies to Get Lost”. Surely you must notice the ‘benighted yahoos’ in the Democrat party like the ones who see racists behind every tea party sign, or who believe that taxing the rich more will change their miserable lives or do anything about the debt/deficits or who believe they can save the middle class by driving all the capitalists out of business.

    • ObozoMustGo

      Hey montana! Good post. Dont expect Joe to do ANYTHING insightful. He’s a committed water boy for Obozo and the left. He wouldnt know “objective” if was a baseball bat hitting him in the head. That’s why I posted my post about Obozo and Holder and the crooked DOJ to keep the focus on what’s important.

      Keep fighting the good fight.

      Have a nice day!

    • I’m curious- when exactly did an audience member at a town hall of President Obama’s call a Republican- or anyone, for that matter, those things?

      Also, whenever the president has scolded or criticized one of his own (i.e. Rev. Wright), you dopes accuse him of throwing them under the bus.

      • ObozoMustGo

        now, now, Jill… me thinks the pot is calling the kettle black…. reference “you dopes”…. just sayin

      • montanabill

        You are dragging in a straw man. Read a few of your fellow posters who regularly claim tea party racism. It is also pretty easy to find (Google) examples from Democrat Congressmen and operatives who have made statements. I also have noticed that most can’t through a post with a little name calling.

    • biglt

      Montana, the majority of the debt/deficits came from RepubliCON tax cuts. Look it up. (Reagan tippled the Nat debt, and G W Bush doubled it again, et CONservative nonsense cetera.) Corporations only provide about 10 percent of the Nat budget, while consuming 45 to 75 percent of our infrastructure. YOU (and the rest of the 99 percent) get to make up the difference. When I grew up, the top marginal tax rate was 91 percent. This is what is now known as “the good old days.” Capitalists thrived then, and they will again, just as soon as every one pays their FAIR share. Until then, you can only dream about touching the gold toilet fixtures in corporate jets and executive washrooms, that YOU paid for. Happy dreams.

      • montanabill

        Both times revenues to the government went up and Democrat congresses went wild with spending. (Only Congress can approve spending). The ‘marginal’ tax rate was not 91%. That was a top tax rate and it was up to 92% in 1952. Both a long way from the marginal rate or the actual rates that top earners paid. What you also don’t seem to remember is that the bottom rate was 20% and virtually every income earner paid some tax as opposed to today where nearly 50% pay no income taxes. You don’t have a clue what a ‘FAIR share’ is, either.

    • jerrimyers

      Requiring/mandating that capitalists play fair will not run them out of business. It will make capitalism work for everyone. You can’t posibily be so naive as to really think that everyone will do the right and moral thing just because it’s the right thing. That’s what Democrat policy making seeks to do–not ruin capitalsim–just level the playing field to keep it fair so everyone will have a shot at the American Dream. President Obama is a decent human being. And he’s very smart. The two-party system has served us well; it’s unfortunate for America that we are in a period of Republican mean-spirited mentality. In order for the Repulican party to survive, it will have to drop that and get back to being honestly motivated by a goal of what’s good for all Americans is good for the country. The successful don’t need the assistance of the government, and commonsense tells us that at this time in history the poor and middle class do. Funny, we don’t hear from the mouths of the successful that they want what the Republican’s are promoting, and I don’t hear big corporation CEOs saying Democrat policies will be the death of us. Small businesses are asking for help in promoting their customers to a position from which the customers will have purchasing power. They are not overly burdened by taxes. If we earn money we pay taxes and for one am grateful that I am a taxpayer–it means I made a profit.

      • montanabill

        As long as you believe that only Democrats have the right policy and that Republicans are ‘mean spirited’ simply because they don’t agree and have other ideas, don’t expect one iota of compromise. You haven’t heard anything from business? You don’t want to hear. Every economic indicator is shouting!

  • Pingback: The National Memo » Joe Conason On “The Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell” [Video]()

  • I would say that it is far too late to try and win independent voters, but sometimes I truly think more Americans can name the last 5 candidates for American Idol before they could name the 2 major party ones for president.

    • ObozoMustGo

      Sadly James, you are correct!

      Have a nice day!

  • One universal prerequisite for communication is SOME PERCEIVED ELEMENT OF COMMON EXPERIENCE. The polarization of the people of this country over the last decade makes this perception of common ground less likely. The profit-making model for the media has proven particularly malignant, as we move relentlessly in the direction of LOWEST-COMMON-DENOMINATOR appeal. Until nothing is ever offered as being “FREE”, and until people pay for everything they use, INTELLIGENT DECISION-MAKING WILL CONTINUE TO BE A FANTASY.

  • joujou228

    Is that all you’ve got? No issues that your candidate is advocating come to mind?

  • Mitt has failed to show any effort to separate himself from the wackos from the republican right wing. That will be his down fall and his continued assistance of the war on women.

  • We need to get rid of Congress and I look foward to seeing all of them get the boot.

    • Jon

      NOW you’re talking..!

  • bluecloudsl

    The job of President is NOT for Sale. Romney,his wife and Morman church are trying very hard to BUY the presidential position. He has sold himself to try and achieve to be President. He cannot say anything concrete on his own as he owes to many favours. Why is it so important that he becomes President. Is it another “Daddy” situation or is there something more sinister.

  • In order to deal with the more crazy elements of our society a candidate has to be well grounded and principled. Mitt is neither. What does Mitt actually believe deeply within his core? Does anyone know? He had his chance to put that insane women in her place and elevate his game…and to his everlasting shame he didn’t even try. He is running for election to the most powerful job in the world and he continually shows his lack of courage. A gutless politican can’t be the commander-in-chief of the most powerful military in history. I can’t see how anyone could actually believe that if Mitt can’t stand up to the truly stupid and insane he could be counted on to stand up to the truly dangerous of the world. These are serious times and we need a serious leader, not someone willing to flap around like a windsock.

  • Why would we vote for [ the party] even if the candidate is a moron. You,ve got me really wondering about the follow the leader even if they are not suitible to lead a powerful country. I always look at how our Presidents deal with difficult foriegn leaders. I just don,t see Mitt Romney doing a very good job at that. I think President Obama addresses these issues with dignity and poise. Not to mention how darn smart he is. Now if the Rep party would stop being such complete nincompoops maybe our country can recover.

  • Mitt Romney hasn’t got 1/100th the integrity of John McCain. So of course he wouldn’t correct a teabagger loonie in the audience.

  • Why would the skillet call the kettle black! One crazies know another on site. Now he is taking credit for the auto makers. I’m worry about the boy!!!

  • ObozoMustGo

    DISTRACTIONS………. DISTRACTIONS…………. DISTRACTIONS…………….

    OBOZO SHOULD BE TRIED FOR TREASON! HERE IS YET ANOTHER REASON WHY…

    This all just nothing but distractions intended to take our eyes away from the real damage that Obozo The Incompetent is inflicting on America on an almost daily basis. Witness his latest Executive Order where he continues to give away American sovereignty. He is an incompetent thug and he must be thrown out.

    This is excerpted from examiner dot com and is written by Kenneth Schortgen Jr. Read it and weep, as I have.
    ————————————
    On May 1st, President Barack Obama signed a new Executive Order which opens the door for the United States to give up economic and environmental sovereignty through the promotion of a single international regulatory system.

    This regulatory system would seek to gobally streamline cooperation between nations for trade, environmental, and legislative processes on the international stage.

    Section 1. Policy. Executive Order 13563 of January 18, 2011 (Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review), states that our regulatory system must protect public health, welfare, safety, and our environment while promoting economic growth, innovation, competitiveness, and job creation. In an increasingly global economy, international regulatory cooperation, consistent with domestic law and prerogatives and U.S. trade policy, can be an important means of promoting the goals of Executive Order 13563.

    The regulatory approaches taken by foreign governments may differ from those taken by U.S. regulatory agencies to address similar issues. In some cases, the differences between the regulatory approaches of U.S. agencies and those of their foreign counterparts might not be necessary and might impair the ability of American businesses to export and compete internationally. In meeting shared challenges involving health, safety, labor, security, environmental, and other issues, international regulatory cooperation can identify approaches that are at least as protective as those that are or would be adopted in the absence of such cooperation. International regulatory cooperation can also reduce, eliminate, or prevent unnecessary differences in regulatory requirements. – Whitehouse dot gov

    While the need for economic coorperation between nations and trading partners is crucial, these agreements are normally facilitated between governments through individual trade agreements, and not by a globally designated regulatory body. Already countries are giving up their sovereignty through such agreements like Agenda 21, which places draconian impacts on US land owners to use their property as they see fit.

    The goal of many global leaders and central banks is the facilitation of a singular economic system, where financial and economic decisions are made from a single body. The formation of the G-20, as well as annual meetings by economic leaders in Davos, Switzerland, promote and create policies that bind nations to trade and regulatory processes without acceptance by legislative representatives.

    President Obama has been actively signing several Executive Orders over the past two months, many of which imply or allow the Federal government to take control over private property, and the lawful use of that property, with little recourse of due process for businesses and land owners. In March, Obama signed an unnumbered Executive Order which provides the Federal government the power to confiscate land, infrastructure, and human resources in both peacetime, and during a declared crisis. One month later, the President issued an additional Executive Order which allows the government to nationalize, and take control of all natural gas resources.

    Every day, more and more economic sovereignty is being signed away by the Obama Administration, with the intention of facilitating a new global economic system whereby the American people and American businesses no longer have the right of due process in the US legal system, but instead are bound under international law and regulation. This new Executive Order signed by President Obama on May 1st is another move towards global governance, and the loss of economic sovereignty for the citizens of the United States.
    ————————————————

    Have a nice AND informed day!

  • c4lb

    CEC
    As an American, I believe in separation of Church and State but at the same time “One is part of the Whole”. Mormons are along way from the main line Christian teachings.
    In a true definition, it is a cult. Catholics and most all Protestants churches agree in one thing, although they interpret parts of Holy Scriptures differently. The Book of Mormons adds to the Bible and greatly contradicts Jesus and the Church teachings for 2000 years. Like baptizing the dead, and that women must be married to get into heaven. . I do not understand why the so called Far Right Christians even thinking of supporting him (M. Romney), they sure did not support a Catholic, who are more in line with the real Christians teachings. Anyone who votes; this is something to think about when you look at the whole picture. What would Jesus do?
    C E C

  • Since Romney doesn’t have the guts to speak up against some Tea Party nut-job, I fear how he would crumble against someone potentially more dangerous, like an Al-Qaeda leader, Iran’s Amajinadad, North Korea’s Kim Jung-un, Russia’s Putin. . . .

    As Abraham Lincoln said “To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men.”

    Seems we have seen the makings of Romney!!

  • rustacus21

    B/c he desperately NEEDS their votes? B/c he doesn’t know the difference? B/c he’s actually 1 of ‘them’ himself? Considering his behavior during this campaign season, he certainly doesn’t resemble any ‘incarnation’ he use to be in the past & continually morphs, almost daily, in2 some 1 desperate to please his big-money donors, than the American people, of whom he will be obligated to – theoretically. His attitude toward President Obama is indicative of the racist sentiments gripping the the whole of conservativedom. His departure – as equally as his puppet-masters – from reality, in blaming the president for the anemic economic performance, only re-affirms that Romney has ventured into a realm of which reason, logic, common-sense, or any other intelligence, can reach. That Americans, in spite of this ‘reality’, are still prepared to vote for him, is troubling enuff. Worse still is the alternate reality they inhabit, which causes them (conservative voters) to threaten their own future (no investment/banking regulation, no affordable housing/student college loan availability, no comprehensive, affordable health care, no economic stimulus, allowance of free-reign corporate capitalism, which currently is destroying capitalism world-wide), only so the current president bcome an ‘ex’ president this November. MayB the American people really DON’T understand how much better things are now & consider racism as a good enuff reason to risk the success & progress we’ve scratched tooth & nail to achieve, against ALL Republican odds, thus far…

  • Jon

    Poor Mittens.. What’s he gonna do when he finds out that nobody loves him?

  • forrest57

    MITT’s mato: If you have a dime to give, say what you want, and I’ll agree with you today. If you have a dollar I’ll agree with you for a day. If you got thousands of dollars I’ll be your puppet in the white house

  • William Deutschlander

    Mitten can not tell the “CRAZIES” to bow out, they are the MAJORITY in his Republican Party!

  • Maybe he remembers that his fathers one-word slip, I was brainwashed, when commenting on his change of positions on the Vietnam war, effectively ended his presidential aspirations. In trying to avoid a replay, Mitt is sometimes too timid about his position. It is not an easy tight rope to walk. My concern is that he will do to the ecomomy what he says he will do.