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Author Topic: Evasive Maneuvers  (Read 2527 times)
Benny B
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« on: June 27, 2012, 04:03:01 PM »

Why Mitt Romney Won’t Get Specific—About Anything
By John Dickerson | Posted Tuesday, June 26, 2012
   

Evasive Maneuvers
Mitt Romney doesn’t want to say anything, specifically.

To find out what Mitt Romney will do as president, you might have to vote for him first Gerardo Mora/GettyImages.

Mitt Romney has a problem with specifics. Since Scott Walker’s victory in Wisconsin, a growing number of Republicans have been calling for something more from him. His recent responses on questions from tax reform to immigration have been thin or nonexistent. When reporters tried to get an answer about the candidate’s reaction to the Supreme Court’s ruling on Arizona’s immigration law, his spokesperson was so evasive, my colleagues might want to plant a mulberry bush in the press section to make the next round of the game more lively. Usually you have to win the White House before you can be that skilled at ducking and weaving.

But wait. A Romney campaign aide told Politico’s Jonathan Martin, when he wrote about this topic, that they have offered an "unprecedented" level of specificity. How can these two things both be true? To understand the disconnect, think of an ad for a prescription drug in a magazine. On one page there is an uplifting, well-lit picture of a healthy woman walking through a sunlit glen on the way to success. On the following two pages is all the fine print and possible side effects. Romney is specific about the glen and the breeze—tax cuts; more jobs for everyone; innovation; no more waste, fraud, and abuse—but is not so specific about the two pages of complexity and possible consequence.

Is Romney offering an “unprecedented” level of specificity? This is an exciting claim, but it is contradicted by history. Next to me is my worn copy of Renewing America's Purpose, the 450-page volume of George W. Bush's policy addresses and proposals from 1999-2000. By this time in the 2000 campaign, Bush had unveiled a lot more policy than Romney has, including a plan to offer workers the ability to invest some of their Social Security money in private accounts. "Mr. Bush is dominating the policy debate," the Economist wrote 12 years ago this month. "[He] has seized on the opportunities to appear both bipartisan and statesmanlike."

It's also hard for the Romney campaign to boast about specificity when the candidate is doing the opposite. He's talked about why he won’t give details because specificity was used against him in his Senate race and how his programs can't be evaluated by any experts because he hasn’t provided details.

How then can the Romney campaign claim to be so specific? The same way politicians like to believe that a response is the same as an answer. In background material offered by the campaign to show where Romney has been specific, many of the items were not so much Romney proposals but criticisms of President Obama. (This is also true of Romney’s 160-page briefing book [pdf] titled Believe in America, which should have the subtitle Because Obama Doesn’t.) A host of statements were generalities—a quotation from Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s The Black Swan outlining mistakes that caused Wall Street’s collapse, and calls for "dynamic regulations." In the section on financial system reform, Romney's adviser Glenn Hubbard is quoted from a Wall Street Journal article, saying that Romney would replace "the new system for dismantling failing financial companies that was created as part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial overhaul law with a new system, which [Hubbard] declined to specify."

The Romney campaign is specific about some things. Romney will enact a 5-percent cut of nonsecurity spending on Day One of his presidency. He'll privatize Amtrak and reduce subsidies for NEA and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting—all of which is very specific but not highly consequential policy. He will repeal the Affordable Care Act, which is very specific. But he refuses to get specific about what will replace it. He’s more specific about Medicare—seniors would be provided with a specified amount of money to purchase benefits, and private plans could compete—but details about how benefits would keep up with health costs are vague. 

When CBS’s Bob Schieffer asked Tim Pawlenty, who launched his presidential campaign on the idea of telling hard truths, where Romney was being specific, the former Minnesota governor mentioned tax reform. Naming an issue area is not being specific. Adviser Eric Fehrnstrom offered Romney’s plan for reducing the corporate tax rate as an example of specificity. Saying you're going to reduce corporate tax rates is the easy part; naming the loopholes to do so is harder. The word “loopholes” appears only twice in the 160-page Romney policy document: "Meanwhile, loopholes favor those with the best lobbyists. If we close loopholes and lower the tax rate, the American people and corporations will win." (#winning).

When Gov. Romney was asked just what loopholes he would close to lower corporate and individual taxes, he said he'll work with Congress on that when he’s elected. One of the funniest things Nancy Pelosi ever said was that Congress had to pass the Affordable Care Act to know what was in it. Romney makes a variant of that claim here: To know what he will do, we must elect him.

The Romney campaign responds that the president has not been specific, either. This is true. The best example was Obama’s refusal to back the specifics of the Simpson-Bowles commission. (It was a commission he commissioned which makes this a sin of commission.) But just because President Obama's posture is slouchy doesn't erase the fact that Romney is in the fetal position. Implicit in the Romney campaign's criticism of President Obama's specificity is a standard of how detailed one should be. But the Romney campaign would not like that standard to be applied to its candidate.

Obama may not achieve the Platonic ideal of specificity, but he's well ahead of Mitt Romney. On loopholes, for example, President Obama has proposed a host he would remove (found on pages 202-05 of this Treasury Department explanation of the administration’s revenue proposals). The largest one (explained on pages 73-74) would close loopholes ("tax expenditures") for the wealthy by reducing (but not eliminating) the value of itemized deductions. Obama's framework for reducing corporate tax rates can be found here.

Presidents are always more specific than their challengers because they have to actually put things on paper. In fact, it is President Obama's specificity that Mitt Romney is actually running against, in the form of the Affordable Care Act, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform, the Recovery Act, and the auto bail-out. Obama can't both lack a plan for dealing with Medicare costs and be attacked for hatching the Independent Payment Advisory Board that is supposed to hold down Medicare costs. There’s more than enough in all of that for voters to evaluate the president's priorities, his manner, and his effectiveness on those policies. For a challenger without a recent governing past or a rich history, specificity is one way to evaluate him as a possible president.

So is Mitt Romney trying to get away with something? At the moment, yes, but there’s plenty of time left in the campaign for him to get specific. Imagine if Gov. Romney picked Paul Ryan as his running mate. He'd go from policy avoidance to basing his entire campaign on one of the most detailed campaign documents ever: the Ryan budget. The political debate would be filled with plumes of charts and graphs. The big important debate we should be having about the role of government in American life would finally start. The speeches would probably get no shorter and the policy books would not shrink, but we might actually find something useful in them.


 
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« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2012, 05:00:10 PM »

Man, this place would be great if the lazy disgusting liberals had a politic section to post their propaganda... oh wait.
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Benny B
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« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2012, 05:05:24 PM »

Man, this place would be great if the lazy disgusting liberals had a politic section to post their propaganda... oh wait.
Hi gimmick!  Smiley
Why the hate?

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« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2012, 05:12:20 PM »

LMFAO this was obamas tactic last election.

dont take a stance and let other ppl project their opinions on to you.

didnt seem to have any problem last election, why?
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Benny B
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« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2012, 05:21:31 PM »

LMFAO this was obamas tactic last election.

dont take a stance and let other ppl project their opinions on to you.

didnt seem to have any problem last election, why?
Even if that were true (and it is not), why would you accept it from Romney in 2012?

Another gem from TonyMcNuts! 
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« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2012, 05:27:44 PM »

Even if that were true (and it is not), why would you accept it from Romney in 2012?

Another gem from TonyMcNuts! 
it very much is true sir...

he is beating obama at his own game, sorry hoss...

The election is still months away, there is no need to take a solid stance now so that you can start 5 threads a day about how you disagree with anything the guy with an R by his name says.

youll just have to create 10 a day in 3 months to make up for it I guess

I hope you have someone assigned to pick up your welfare checks so you dont have to leave the computer.
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Mattyh7688
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« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2012, 05:32:40 PM »

Hi gimmick!  Smiley
Why the hate?


Gimmick?  I am probably one of the most popular people on bodybuilding forums. Stop jerking off to pictures of Obama and venture to the world outside of Getbig.
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« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2012, 05:35:15 PM »

Obama has been known to pay peoples mortgage and pay for their gas.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P36x8rTb3jI" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P36x8rTb3jI</a>
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« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2012, 05:37:50 PM »

Obama sucks....
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tonymctones
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« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2012, 05:38:35 PM »

Obama has been known to pay peoples mortgage and pay for their gas.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P36x8rTb3jI" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P36x8rTb3jI</a>
facker isnt paying for my gas or mortgage, were do I sign up?
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Benny B
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« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2012, 05:44:25 PM »

it very much is true sir...

he is beating obama at his own game, sorry hoss...
My name isn't "Hoss", and Romney's not beating jack shit from the polls I've seen.
Maybe if he starts taking a stance on something, he will actually start having a higher "favorable to unfavorable" poll numbers, instead of being consistently DISLIKED more than he is liked.  Wink

Quote
The election is still months away, there is no need to take a solid stance now so that you can start 5 threads a day about how you disagree with anything the guy with an R by his name says.
youll just have to create 10 a day in 3 months to make up for it I guess
[

So Romney is designing his campaign based upon my posts on getbig? ROTFLMBAO! I know my posts create spontaneous rectal bleeding for YOU, but its just fun for me, and the anger it incites here makes it all worthwhile.  Grin

Quote
I hope you have someone assigned to pick up your welfare checks so you dont have to leave the computer.
What makes you think I am on welfare? Racist/stereotype much?
We all know you still live with your mom, or at best a one bedroom apartment. That anthropology degree didn't work out to well for ya, leaving you unemployed, bitter and living in mommy's basement...at thirty.  Cheesy

More stupidity from TonyMcNuts! I haven't had this much fun with this kid in a long time!  Grin

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Benny B
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« Reply #11 on: June 27, 2012, 05:45:21 PM »

ObamaMy mom sucks....
Word?  Shocked
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« Reply #12 on: June 27, 2012, 05:48:55 PM »

My mom has been dead since 1999...but she's still smarter than Obama.
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Benny B
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« Reply #13 on: June 27, 2012, 05:49:32 PM »

Obama has been known to pay peoples mortgage and pay for their gas.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P36x8rTb3jI" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P36x8rTb3jI</a>

Priceless
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WA1hk-zlebg" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WA1hk-zlebg</a>
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« Reply #14 on: June 27, 2012, 05:50:11 PM »

My name isn't "Hoss", and Romney's not beating jack shit from the polls I've seen.
Maybe if he starts taking a stance on something, he will actually start having a higher "favorable to unfavorable" poll numbers, instead of being consistently DISLIKED more than he is liked.  Wink

So Romney is designing his campaign based upon my posts on getbig? ROTFLMBAO! I know my posts create spontaneous rectal bleeding for YOU, but its just fun for me, and the anger it incites here makes it all worthwhile.  Grin
What makes you think I am on welfare? Racist/stereotype much?
We all know you still live with your mom, or at best a one bedroom apartment. That anthropology degree didn't work out to well for ya, leaving you unemployed, bitter and living in mommy's basement...at thirty.  Cheesy

More stupidity from TonyMcNuts! I haven't had this much fun with this kid in a long time!  Grin
LOL melt down much? hahahah

unlike obama maybe romney understands that being a good president isnt about being popular. LMFAO

I didnt even know you where black but I cant say Im suprised Wink

I have a finance degree as well and am less than 1 year away from my MBAthat I attend in the evening after my full time job as an analyst. I am also 1 1/2 years away from being able to sit for the CPA exam.

what is your education again?

LOL your melt downs go a long way in showing what the typical obama supporter is like. You do more campaigning for romney then he could ever do...
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« Reply #15 on: June 27, 2012, 05:52:53 PM »

My mom has been dead since 1999...but she's still smarter than Obama.
So...you meant to say, your mom sucked? Got it...a simple typo on your part.  Smiley

What are your academic accomplishments and/or career achievements that makes anyone give a shit what you may feel about a given person's intelligence?  Huh
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Benny B
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« Reply #16 on: June 27, 2012, 06:08:52 PM »

LOL melt down much? hahahah
You call it a meltdown, I call it an owning. If I were ice cream and you were a hot summer day, you could not make me melt, son.  Wink

Quote
]unlike obama maybe romney understands that being a good president isnt about being popular. LMFAO
Unlike Romney, maybe Obama understands that you need to be reasonably well-liked IN ORDER TO GET ELECTED. See, that comes first before you can start worrying about "being a good president."
idiot

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I didnt even know you where black but I cant say Im suprised Wink
Of course you did, this isn't our first rodeo, dingleberry. Cut the bullshit.  Roll Eyes
If I am to play along with your false naivete, why are you not surprised?

Quote
I have a finance degree as well and am less than 1 year away from my MBAthat I attend in the evening after my full time job as an analyst. I am also 1 1/2 years away from being able to sit for the CPA exam.
Congratulations! Perhaps by the time you are forty, you will be able to get your first decent job.  Undecided
Quote
what is your education again?
Where you aspire to be, but will sadly never attain.  Cry Where I earned my MBA, they don't offer degrees for part time night students.

Quote
LOL your melt downs go a long way in showing what the typical obama supporter is like. You do more campaigning for romney then he could ever do...
You typed an awfully long response to my supposed "meltdown."  Undecided

And yes, no doubt many will go into the voting booth and vote for Romney "just to teach that bastard Benny B a lesson." Real sharp, well-informed voters would definitely wait in a line on election day just to get back at an anonymous internet forum guy who makes them butthurt.  Roll Eyes

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« Reply #17 on: June 27, 2012, 06:20:23 PM »

You call it a meltdown, I call it an owning. If I were ice cream and you were a hot summer day, you could not make me melt, son.  Wink
Unlike Romney, maybe Obama understands that you need to be reasonably well-liked IN ORDER TO GET ELECTED. See, that comes first before you can start worrying about "being a good president."
idiot
Of course you did, this isn't our first rodeo, dingleberry. Cut the bullshit.  Roll Eyes
If I am to play along with your false naivete, why are you not surprised?
Congratulations! Perhaps by the time you are forty, you will be able to get your first decent job.  :-\Where you aspire to be, but will sadly never attain.  Cry Where I earned my MBA, they don't offer degrees for part time night students.
You typed an awfully long response to my supposed "meltdown."  Undecided

And yes, no doubt many will go into the voting booth and vote for Romney "just to teach that bastard Benny B a lesson." Real sharp, well-informed voters would definitely wait in a line on election day just to get back at an anonymous internet forum guy who makes them butthurt.  Roll Eyes
goodness gracious the more you melt the longer your posts get, hahahah I did like the ice cream comment though.

obama has already been a crappy president so maybe you could relay the message that being a good pres will be much more effective then being seen as a movie star president.

Race has never come into our arguments, Im half japanese, so i guess that makes you racist against chinks?

my school doesnt have a part time mba programs. I go to school full time their hoss Wink, 8 hours a week in class, year round...

I see so you are one of those getbig millionaires who wont tell anybody what they do? There sure are alot of you guys around here.

please keep melting though, youre converting ppl to conservatism by the post Wink
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« Reply #18 on: June 27, 2012, 06:57:33 PM »

Biden said we are in a depression today.   
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« Reply #19 on: June 27, 2012, 07:24:22 PM »

Biden said we are in a depression today.   
PEA BRAIN!  Grin

Sucks to be you...get a job! Angry

Romney didn't earn anything.   He waged a dishonest campaign and outspent everyone 20 to  1
Romney is the foil.      Anyone not seeing that is delusional.   Romney s a piece of shit.   
Because they know Romney is a time bomb waiting to blow that will give Obama a second term on a platter.

I fucking hate romney.
 
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« Reply #20 on: June 27, 2012, 07:49:03 PM »

PEA BRAIN!  Grin

Sucks to be you...get a job! Angry


I do loathe Romney.  He is a liar and a panzie.  But he is not Obama. 
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« Reply #21 on: June 27, 2012, 07:49:56 PM »

So...you meant to say, your mom sucked? Got it...a simple typo on your part.  Smiley

What are your academic accomplishments and/or career achievements that makes anyone give a shit what you may feel about a given person's intelligence?  Huh

You could add all the cocks female members of my family have sucked in their lifetimes and they still wouldn't equal the man meat you gobble on a nightly basis... Smiley
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« Reply #22 on: June 27, 2012, 07:52:12 PM »

Why Mitt Romney Won’t Get Specific—About Anything
By John Dickerson | Posted Tuesday, June 26, 2012
   

Evasive Maneuvers
Mitt Romney doesn’t want to say anything, specifically.

To find out what Mitt Romney will do as president, you might have to vote for him first Gerardo Mora/GettyImages.

Mitt Romney has a problem with specifics. Since Scott Walker’s victory in Wisconsin, a growing number of Republicans have been calling for something more from him. His recent responses on questions from tax reform to immigration have been thin or nonexistent. When reporters tried to get an answer about the candidate’s reaction to the Supreme Court’s ruling on Arizona’s immigration law, his spokesperson was so evasive, my colleagues might want to plant a mulberry bush in the press section to make the next round of the game more lively. Usually you have to win the White House before you can be that skilled at ducking and weaving.

But wait. A Romney campaign aide told Politico’s Jonathan Martin, when he wrote about this topic, that they have offered an "unprecedented" level of specificity. How can these two things both be true? To understand the disconnect, think of an ad for a prescription drug in a magazine. On one page there is an uplifting, well-lit picture of a healthy woman walking through a sunlit glen on the way to success. On the following two pages is all the fine print and possible side effects. Romney is specific about the glen and the breeze—tax cuts; more jobs for everyone; innovation; no more waste, fraud, and abuse—but is not so specific about the two pages of complexity and possible consequence.

Is Romney offering an “unprecedented” level of specificity? This is an exciting claim, but it is contradicted by history. Next to me is my worn copy of Renewing America's Purpose, the 450-page volume of George W. Bush's policy addresses and proposals from 1999-2000. By this time in the 2000 campaign, Bush had unveiled a lot more policy than Romney has, including a plan to offer workers the ability to invest some of their Social Security money in private accounts. "Mr. Bush is dominating the policy debate," the Economist wrote 12 years ago this month. "[He] has seized on the opportunities to appear both bipartisan and statesmanlike."

It's also hard for the Romney campaign to boast about specificity when the candidate is doing the opposite. He's talked about why he won’t give details because specificity was used against him in his Senate race and how his programs can't be evaluated by any experts because he hasn’t provided details.

How then can the Romney campaign claim to be so specific? The same way politicians like to believe that a response is the same as an answer. In background material offered by the campaign to show where Romney has been specific, many of the items were not so much Romney proposals but criticisms of President Obama. (This is also true of Romney’s 160-page briefing book [pdf] titled Believe in America, which should have the subtitle Because Obama Doesn’t.) A host of statements were generalities—a quotation from Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s The Black Swan outlining mistakes that caused Wall Street’s collapse, and calls for "dynamic regulations." In the section on financial system reform, Romney's adviser Glenn Hubbard is quoted from a Wall Street Journal article, saying that Romney would replace "the new system for dismantling failing financial companies that was created as part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial overhaul law with a new system, which [Hubbard] declined to specify."

The Romney campaign is specific about some things. Romney will enact a 5-percent cut of nonsecurity spending on Day One of his presidency. He'll privatize Amtrak and reduce subsidies for NEA and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting—all of which is very specific but not highly consequential policy. He will repeal the Affordable Care Act, which is very specific. But he refuses to get specific about what will replace it. He’s more specific about Medicare—seniors would be provided with a specified amount of money to purchase benefits, and private plans could compete—but details about how benefits would keep up with health costs are vague. 

When CBS’s Bob Schieffer asked Tim Pawlenty, who launched his presidential campaign on the idea of telling hard truths, where Romney was being specific, the former Minnesota governor mentioned tax reform. Naming an issue area is not being specific. Adviser Eric Fehrnstrom offered Romney’s plan for reducing the corporate tax rate as an example of specificity. Saying you're going to reduce corporate tax rates is the easy part; naming the loopholes to do so is harder. The word “loopholes” appears only twice in the 160-page Romney policy document: "Meanwhile, loopholes favor those with the best lobbyists. If we close loopholes and lower the tax rate, the American people and corporations will win." (#winning).

When Gov. Romney was asked just what loopholes he would close to lower corporate and individual taxes, he said he'll work with Congress on that when he’s elected. One of the funniest things Nancy Pelosi ever said was that Congress had to pass the Affordable Care Act to know what was in it. Romney makes a variant of that claim here: To know what he will do, we must elect him.

The Romney campaign responds that the president has not been specific, either. This is true. The best example was Obama’s refusal to back the specifics of the Simpson-Bowles commission. (It was a commission he commissioned which makes this a sin of commission.) But just because President Obama's posture is slouchy doesn't erase the fact that Romney is in the fetal position. Implicit in the Romney campaign's criticism of President Obama's specificity is a standard of how detailed one should be. But the Romney campaign would not like that standard to be applied to its candidate.

Obama may not achieve the Platonic ideal of specificity, but he's well ahead of Mitt Romney. On loopholes, for example, President Obama has proposed a host he would remove (found on pages 202-05 of this Treasury Department explanation of the administration’s revenue proposals). The largest one (explained on pages 73-74) would close loopholes ("tax expenditures") for the wealthy by reducing (but not eliminating) the value of itemized deductions. Obama's framework for reducing corporate tax rates can be found here.

Presidents are always more specific than their challengers because they have to actually put things on paper. In fact, it is President Obama's specificity that Mitt Romney is actually running against, in the form of the Affordable Care Act, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform, the Recovery Act, and the auto bail-out. Obama can't both lack a plan for dealing with Medicare costs and be attacked for hatching the Independent Payment Advisory Board that is supposed to hold down Medicare costs. There’s more than enough in all of that for voters to evaluate the president's priorities, his manner, and his effectiveness on those policies. For a challenger without a recent governing past or a rich history, specificity is one way to evaluate him as a possible president.

So is Mitt Romney trying to get away with something? At the moment, yes, but there’s plenty of time left in the campaign for him to get specific. Imagine if Gov. Romney picked Paul Ryan as his running mate. He'd go from policy avoidance to basing his entire campaign on one of the most detailed campaign documents ever: the Ryan budget. The political debate would be filled with plumes of charts and graphs. The big important debate we should be having about the role of government in American life would finally start. The speeches would probably get no shorter and the policy books would not shrink, but we might actually find something useful in them.


 

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« Reply #23 on: June 27, 2012, 07:59:26 PM »

I do loathe Romney.  He is a liar and a panzie.  But he is not Obama. 

Lose lose?
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« Reply #24 on: June 27, 2012, 08:02:15 PM »

Lose lose?

Yes.   But with obama it's 100 percent fail.   r Money equals 85 percent fail.   I am voting based on the 15 percent chance R Money does the right thing.
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