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Today Among What Sadly Passes for the Conservative Intelligentsia

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Shorter syndicated columnist William F. George: The only possible explanation for why a majority of the American electorate would vote for a candidate whose policies they substantially prefer is because of white guilt. A underprivileged guy like Mitt Romney just can’t catch a break.

Shorter Bobo: In the fall, a middle-aged fogie’s fancy turns to very conservative Republicans they can pretend are moderate Republicans.

To supplement Charles, this was my very favorite part of Brooks’s fantasy:

But, globally, the nations that successfully trim debt have raised $1 in new revenue for every $3 in spending cuts. I will bring Republicans around to that position. There’s no way President Obama can do that.

Right. Once Romney gets a hold of the BULLY PULPIT he’ll get congressional Republicans to support tax increases. Just like George H.W. Bush, who remains a hero among conservative Republicans to this very day, and whose budget deal is not any any way the political moment the modern Republican party defines itself against.

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  • rea

    Once Romney gets a hold of the BULLY PULPIT he’ll get congressional Republicans to support tax increases.

    Or alternatively, the Republicans won’t agree to save the country unless Republicans are in charge.

    • Scott Lemieux

      Doesn’t matter. They’ll pass stimulus, but only in the form of unpaid-for tax cuts. There will be no tax increases, period.

      • rea

        Yeah, but they’ll spend like hell.

        • NonyNony

          Where “spending like hell” means forking money over to rich guys in the form of tax cuts, sure.

          And military spending of course, but that’s not because it would be a stimulus – they’d do that regardless of how the economy is going.

        • The Bobs

          After the spending comes the catch: “Sorry voters, but the profligate spending you have endorsed has exploded the deficit so the we, those you elected, have no choice but to screw over those who voted for us. Shame on you, voters.”

      • catclub

        Payroll taxes will go up. The 1985 grand bargain to fix SS. Now, which side welshed on their side of the bargain?

        • Holden Pattern

          Can we vote for “everyone in either party who voted for or endorsed any income tax reductions on the wealthy”? I know that’s a very long list, of course.

      • Malaclypse

        They’ll pass stimulus, but only in the form of unpaid-for tax cuts.

        Nonsense. There will be shiny new weapons systems, and these will be sold as job creation.

        • stimulus

          Remember, the Republicans have proven the New Deal did not work and the economy only improved due to WWII production.
          Invading Iran is therefore a twofer.

    • Anonymous

      When I think about what Republicans mean by “saving the country,” the blood turns to ice in my veins.

  • Sure that’s not by Walter George?

    • James Gary

      FYI: “conservative pundit William F. George” was a walk-on character in an early episode of “The Simpsons.” He was (obviously) a combination of George Will and William F. Buckley in appearance and appeared onscreen for about one second as the judge of a beauty pageant.

  • wjts

    I’m a nonideological guy running in an ideological age, and I’ve been pretending to be more of an ideologue than I really am. I’m a sophisticated guy running in a populist moment. I’ve ended up dumbing myself down.

    It hasn’t even worked.

    Even Brooks’s fantasy Romney can’t go four sentences without explaining that his so-called failures stem from the obstinate refusal of the helots, plebians, serfs, sans-culottes, and assorted other flavors of riff-raff to recognize his rightful status as their lord and master.

    • Boudleaux

      Has “The Populist Moment” entered the lexicon? But how? Book by Lawrence Goodwin?

  • Joshua

    Are there nations that have *successfully* trimmed debt? I know a bunch have slashed spending to make everything look better on paper.

    Reality isn’t matching those pieces of paper, though. Everything I have seen out of austerity is that it has been making the deficit (and, hence, debt) worse.

    • Aaron B.

      They have, but the time to cut budgets is when the economy is good, not when it’s in doldrums. Keynes said this nigh-on eigjty years ago, and we still don’t seem to have gotten the message.

      • mpowell

        We did a pretty damn good job of it post WWII until Reagan took office. And then Clinton resumed the good work in the 90s.

        I’m not sure this is what you are saying, but the argument that we have not been able to cut our debt/GDP ratio in good times has always been an enormous pile of bullshit. Things were just fine until we got to the Reagan Republicans.

        • Aaron B.

          That’s fair. But I’d specify that while Reagan kicked open the door, George W. walked through it.

          • Anonymous

            More like he took the door out back and set fire to it.

            • avoidswork

              Puh-leeze.

              It was “Deficits don’t Matter” Cheney that lead the charge to decimate a Clinton surplus.

    • Cody

      Rich people are doing fine in Greece. I don’t see why Romney would oppose their plan.

  • DrDick

    This should only get more entertaining as the election draws closer and Romney sinks ever further in the polls.

  • spencer

    But what does Drederick Tatum have to say on this matter? What about beauty expert Roweena?

    • I, for one, would like to hear from former Redskins great Alonzo Flowers.

  • Fighting Words

    I was hoping that someone named Will George would be the polar opposite of George Will.

    • IM

      perhapsit is an unimaginative pen name.

    • NonyNony

      George Will from an alternate universe. You should check him for a goatee.

      I wonder if alternate universe George Will would be a nice person or if he’d be just as vile as our George Will but with his allegiances reversed.

      • Joshua

        I wonder if alternate universe George Will would be a nice person or if he’d be just as vile as our George Will but with his allegiances reversed.

        That depends on your opinion of Lanny Davis I guess.

      • Njorl

        No, he’s still an evil conservative, but he roots for the White Sox.

        • James E. Powell

          He’s a Tory who loves soccer, but always calls it football.

  • Logistics

    I think the toughest question/answer for Obama at the debates will be how he plans to deal with Republican intransigence. Romney could really benefit by making the case that only he can get through the necessary debt package by working with Republicans (who everyone knows won’t work with Obama). “Obama is already a lame duck” could move the middle. This is my concern, dude.

    • Anonymous

      “So your party are the kind of assholes who won’t do what they know is the right thing until they have all the toys? Good to know.”

      • Logistics

        Right, but nobody needs convincing that the Republicans in Congress (even if “my Republican Congressman is a big sweet daddy”) are assholes who won’t work with Obama, country be damned. So folks in the middle, reluctantly, come to the conclusion that only Romney can work with these assholes. It wouldn’t take a rhetorical genius to make this argument. Even Romney could do it without burning down the house.

        • Logistics

          “The relationship is fractured. I will be a soothing balm on Washington.”

        • Joshua

          Obama could “work with those assholes” if he gave them everything they want. That’s the point. That’s what Romney would do. Would saying so be a winning strategy, considering Congress’ approval rating? I’m not so sure.

        • Njorl

          Romney: Obama can’t work with this congress. Either he’s gotta go or they do.

          GOP: Shut up, Mitt!

        • Hogan

          It would be a more convincing argument if those assholes didn’t so clearly dislike and distrust Romney. Reminding people of how the primary campaign went shouldn’t be difficult.

    • James E. Powell

      Obama can simply point to all that he has achieved despite Republicans’ hostile refusal to do anything, any single thing, to help Americans struggling with employment, health care, or education. Imagine what we could accomplish if Republicans acted in good faith.

    • I think the toughest question/answer for Obama at the debates will be how he plans to deal with Republican intransigence.

      “By convincing the American people to give me a Congress I can work with this November.”

  • BC’s excitable boys and girls who, with their (at most) one-track minds and exquisitely sensitive olfactory receptors, sniff racism in any criticism of their pin-up.

    Columbia. Harvard Law Magna. Editor of the Law Review. Bestselling author. GM’s alive and bin Laden in dead. Successful health care reform.

    Pin-up.

    Gee, Mr. Will, why do you think people detect racism from your criticism of Obama?

    • blue

      that sounds like joe from Wilmington

  • Jamie

    Bobo’s column is the worst grammatically correct, yet insane pile of pap since… Come to think of it, that other Bobo column.

    If he didn’t exist, &tc. Comment and a question:

    1) Anyone who asserts austerity is working need to explain the awesomeness of Greece and the slightly less wonderful but clearly still wonderful experience of, well, all of Europe south of Bavaria. Not that they’re having such a great time, either.

    2) To segue into a different thread here, at what point does political commentary cross the line into fanfic? Not the same thing as fantasy. The map, the actors and big picture themes are mostly unchanged, but you get to write about the Romneybot you wish you had, not the one you have.

    Come to think about it, I am not going to google “Ryan Romney three-way”.

    • Alan Tomlinson

      Not to pick nits, but Austria is south of Bavaria and so is Switzerland and they are both not being like Greece and Italy, Spain and Portugal.

      Cheers,
      Alan Tomlinson

    • Malaclypse

      To segue into a different thread here, at what point does political commentary cross the line into fanfic?

      The moment the journamulist casts themselves as Mary Sue.

      Say, did you know Paul Ryan has zero body fat and climbs mountains? I bet he smells like Old Spice.

    • Dave

      The awesomeness of Greece can be explained perfectly well by the existence of a political class that viewed borrowing in a currency over which they had no control as an acceptable substitute for taxation, and providing public-sector sinecures for their friends as an acceptable substitute for actual economic development. It really is very hard to envisage a scenario in which a medium-sized country preserves its standard of living while crawling out from under the staggering economic and fiscal imbalances that had built up there.

  • Aaron Baker

    God, I actually read some of the Will column–the first I’ve looked at in years. What an insufferably condescending little prat! Does he expect to convince an undecided voter with this sniffy you-can-never-hope-to-comprehend-my-superior-intellect swill? Really, it’s been a genuine mercy –this tone-deafness of so many on the right. I hope they keep talking and writing in exactly this way–right into electoral irrelevancy.

    • TT

      All you need to know about Will is that he’s a Republican–first, last, and everything in between. He doesn’t give a rat’s ass about conservatism, ideas, principles, etc. He only cares about what’s good for Team Republican. Villagers think he’s an intellectual because he wears bowties, uses big words, and quotes whatever philosopher or historical figure his research assistants looked up for him that morning.

      • Keaaukane

        I thought Will pissed away all his limited supply of credibility way back when he gave a literary blow job to Dan Quayle. He’s been running on fumes for over 25 years, lending some credence to the existence of zombies.

        • Hogan

          I thought it was when he helped Reagan with debate prep.

        • James E. Powell

          Not at all. He’s still on TV and still playing the role of reasonable conservative to comfort the tote-baggers who vote Republican. Can a man who wears bow-ties and loves baseball be all that bad?

          • Aaron Baker

            I may have nightmares now, thanks to “blowjob to Dan Quayle.” Somehow, calling it “literary” didn’t help.

            • Keaaukane

              Sorry.

  • JP Stormcrow

    The nut of Will’s “argument”.

    Obama’s administration is in shambles, yet he is prospering politically.

    In shambles I tell you, shambles! He doesn’t actually believe that, right?

    • herr doktor bimler

      He’s informing us that the Obama administration is taking the time to visit a series of slaughterhouses, possibly on a fact-finding expedition, or in an attempt to show support for the meat-packing industry.

  • Cody

    I enjoy how Will George asserts the most important thing about race relations is firing black people. That doesn’t sound racist at all…

    • david mizner

      Right, that’s the thing about black people, it’s near impossible to fire them. When we reach the point where black people start getting fired, then we will have achieved racial harmony.

      • laura

        +1

  • Reasoable 4ce

    If this is what passes for a “populist moment” in Bobo’s hallucinations, I’d hate to see what an elitist moment looks like.

  • DrDick

    This will only get more interesting as the election gets nearer and Romney tanks even more in the polls.

  • DrDick

    Have I been blocked? My posts are not showing up.

    • Scott Lemieux

      Not by me, certainly!

      • DrDick

        I emailed earlier and Farley fixed it. I was getting caught in the spam filter. Seems it did not like my university IP.

        • Cody

          You should teach at a better University!

          Perhaps try the American…

  • JP Stormcrow

    Shockingly, Charles Pierce comes up with the winning take on Will’s assholery:

    [I]f Will believes that the reason the president seems to be prospering right now is because the good heart of America is giving the black fella a break, he’s climbed so far up his own ass that he could sneeze and break his collarbone. And that’s what I call staying within yourself.

    • Cheap Wino

      I just came over here to post the that exact quote. Pierce FTW (again).

    • rhino

      What is shocking about this? Pierce is, along with tbogg, an undisputed master of deflating the pompous. The only really unusual thing about this masterful takedown is the lack of humor.

      But then George Will wipes the smile off my face, also.

  • herr doktor bimler

    Sounds like Will George is covering the exact same material as Ann Coulter uses in her forthcoming work of white supremacism. You’d think that would give him some pause.

    • rhino

      Are you shitting me? They’re probably study-buddies.

    • No, not really. That would be self-reflective George Will you’re thinking of, the George Will from alternate universe 3XKG0808.

  • Rarely Posts

    Given this type of advocacy on Romney’s behalf, I can’t for the life of me understand why Romney can’t seem to get support from more than 10% of African-Americans or 30% of Latino voters.

    Listen, all George Will is saying is that when a black person succeeds, it must be because white people are discriminating in his favor. It can’t be because of the black person’s skills or abilities or policy positions — obviously! Gosh, why are liberals and minorities all so racist!

    • Bill Murray

      Listen, all George Will is saying is that when a black person succeeds, it must be because white people are discriminating in his favor. It can’t be because of the black person’s skills or abilities or policy positions — obviously! Gosh, why are liberals and minorities all so racist!

      well it’s not like Fwill cares about most Republicans skills or abilities or policy positions, so expecting him to care about those same things in Democrats seems difficult. Fwill only cares about the “continuous consolidation of money and power into higher, tighter and righter hands.” Any means to that end are appropriate.

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