What’s the opposite of the bandwagon effect?

When a Presidential campaign has the kind of month Mitt Romney’s had, its traditional to start offering critique.

USA Today— The day began with bad news for the Romney camp: A new poll from Quinnipiac University/New York Times/CBS News that was released Wednesday shows Obama ahead by 10 points in the state, the latest of several polls showing him with a lead.

“Obama is trying to get out (the message), ‘Don’t bother voting, because it’s over with, I got it,” said Ted Wojtasik, 55, a tanker driver who attended Romney’s business roundtable here. “Romney needs to grow a set and open his mouth and go after this guy.”

If the Romney’s lived down the street from me in a suburban middle class neighborhood, I bet I’d think they were a neat family. This may irritate some diehards, but if the Sarah and Todd Palin lived down the same street, say he a craftsman and she an english teacher, with their rambunctious kids and adventurous thirst for life, I’d probably like them too. But for whatever reason, Palin seemed to easily make that regular person leap and connect with the grassroots base. Romney simply has not.

I think that’s it right there. Mittens is a centrist right, practical wonky control freak. And that’s not meant as an insult, it’s a compliment, if left to his own judgement, he’s capable of governing with competence. Palin maybe not so much, but because she connected in those first few weeks to a ton of voters, in person, tirelessly working rope lines and chatt’n folks up; she actually got to know a little bit about some of them, that’s what party foot soldiers want, just a tiny bit of recognition and brief connection. Palin delivered that, so when push came to shove, like it does in any big election, there were scores of people in communities all over America who came to her defense, full throated, with passion and enthusiasm.

Rommey’s record, his background, even his current views as vague as they may be, are far more defensible, imo, than Palin’s as far as being POTUS or anywhere close. But the enthusiasm gap is real and Paul Ryan hasn’t closed it. If it continues like those through mid October the knives are really going to come out, as each wingnut grifter games out the best way to personally benefits from Romney’s defeat.

There are a million things wrong with Romney, starting with the few proven disastrous policies we know he actually would champion all the way through his merciless reign at Bain. There’s a million things wrong with the teahardist movement; not the least of which is, quite deliciously in my view, their baseless contempt for Obama blinded them to what an effective political opponent non-wingnut journalism and non pseudo-history clearly show him to be. But I think the root of his drop in the polls it is that Romney really is an out of touch rich guy who was forced to go so far right he almost left Euclidean space. Moreover he seemed to get lost out there somewhere, leaving bloggers and pundits wondering if the next leap would finally be Romney’s leap back home. 

Pundits and bloggers are full of advice for Team Romney — I don’t think there’s anything he can do. This loaf is baked. Republican hopes now hinge on a near miraculous debate performance and swing state voter suppression schemes. Those are the only known wildcards left, so odds are I’ll be shifting a bit more to blogging Senate and House races over the next week or two.

There are some great candidates fighting for their political lives, with the Senate — and it looks increasingly like the House — in play. There’s Warren vs Brown, our friend Mr. Todd Akin is being quietly made over off by the conservative machine, and then there’s Tammy Baldwin:

Homepage Bio — Tammy also helped lead efforts in Congress to repeal federal restrictions on stem cell research … As Co-Founder and Co-Chair of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus, she is leading efforts to advance the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) and other civil rights initiatives. She is the lead author of legislation to extend benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees.

She also holds degrees in mathematics, government, and law. How many in the House or Senate do you suppose have a freaking math degree?

There’s way more great people running this year, each with more interesting stories than I know about, than I can cover. Early October is the premo time when we might make a difference in one or two of those races.


  1. StevoR says

    The falling off the wagon effect maybe?

    Hmm.. I’ll drink to that!

    From what I’m heraing here in Oz seems Mittens campiagn is imploding fast and good riddance to it and him.

    Now that definitley deserves a raised beer salute!

  2. janicot says

    My impression of Romney is a lot like my impression of McCain.

    They’re both much more prone than even other career politicians to say/do exactly what they think the people in front of them at the time want to hear.

    When Romney was in a Blue arena like MA that worked out ok. But in a national arena with ‘sociopathic’ ‘psychopathic’ ‘conservative’ ‘republican’ ‘anti-social psychological disorder’ pressure, I wouldn’t trust Romney to ever do the right thing. He’d do whatever he thinks the person in front of him wants.

    Having grown up in the Mormon part of AZ myself, I watch Romney’s behavior with nothing but terror that he’s gotten as close as he has to the POTUS office. I see the Mormon lack of remorse/empathy in his eyes in every picture I see of him. Electing Romney would be a tragedy that this country would spend at least a generation trying to recover from (if then).

  3. Synfandel says

    Sarah Palin an English teacher?! The Sarah Palin who invented the terms “refudiate”, “misunderestimate”, and “wee-wee’d up”?

  4. Randomfactor says

    Romney’s campaign is the Zombie Parade. Walking dead. Nobody willingly will join them at this point, and they leave assorted bits of their body politic behind as they shamble down the street seeking the brains that would’ve kept them out of the march in the first place.

  5. Pierce R. Butler says

    Synfandel @ # 5 – I think we owe our gratitude for “misunderestimate” to G.W. “Dubious” Bush, not Failin’ Palin.

  6. anubisprime says

    Seems the flatulent corpse of republican dreams has turned a nasty shade of green, the problem being that the rider is oblivious to the anti-social stench of privilege and sky fairy worship vying for attention.

    From an outsider POV it seems that Republican top doggies are playing a long game scenario here.
    They are presumably aware that the traditional Republican image and message has been twisted and bent out of focus by the drooling hysteria and wingnut natural home of the tea party.
    From a moderate republican view it must be with a mixture of deep embarrassment and deeper confusion that the party has lurched so near the edge of insanity that it is literally teetering on that edge.

    Seemingly getting a helping hand to that edge by an increasing desperate and rabid Xian right wing that is witnessing what can only be described as the end days of their delusion.

    A bonus ball would be after a defeat at the polls this year the Republicans would possibly, if not inevitably, tear themselves apart and restructure along slightly more moderate lines, because wingnuttery and insane clown might convince the top doggies that it don’t cut the mustard electorally.

    Secondly the republicans can boast of a bunch of uber rich muppets with the collective brain cell count of a rusty nail.
    And most of the more rabidly affected ones surfaced at this years choosing.
    And all with the empathy and grace of cobra with an attitude.
    They had far to many of them by the count…there is seemingly another layer under the richer psychopaths, but active suppression next time round could be the name of the long game.

    Seems that a certain pragmatism crept in the back door while the contenders threw hats and hand bags into the ring several months ago!

    Not one of them had a snowballs in hell chance of creaming the top job, to a candidate they were obviously mentally deficient if not incapable and unstable, I do believe the American public has some taste, and the bitterness of these nuts was just to much of a stomach churner.

    What to do as a Republican grandee?, well play the long game and in the process rid the Republican flag ship of a few whiffy dingleberries to boot.

    It is doubtful at the next Republican presidential candidate choosing in 2016 or thereabouts that the same faces that graced our screens this year will loom up again for the sorting hat, so another bunch of rich old dudes, probably, can fight it out again, and maybe just maybe there will be one that surfaces that is moderate a damn sight more sensible and appeals to the country at large, just maybe!
    Because sure as day follows night there ain’t one spark between this years pick of the crop, and the ‘Capo di tutti capi’ of the bunch falls somewhat short on all accounts including reality.

    So why not wait until Obama does all the hard graft of trying to get the flat lined economy stabilized while the Republicans queer the pitch at every opportunity in the senate and house, business as usual, and wait until provenance smiles on their ass again in four years!
    In the meantime Obama gets all the flak and hostility that every leader gets in a poor financial environment, and undoubtedly there is more grief to come with the markets globally, why should the republicans put themselves in to a no win no fee position from the start?..it is by every account a long and painful recovery anyway, a Republican in the White house now whatever policy they pursued would be pointless, all global economies are screwed…take more then a Mormon with a cretinous grasp of global markets to sort them out.

    By that time the natural cycle of voter dissatisfaction reaches its peak in four years and they are presented with a new Democratic leader of the free world and it might be easier persuaded that a new face in the white house need not be Democratic at all.

  7. machintelligence says

    I have heard the phrase “Jumping on the bandwagon just as the wheels fall off”, but I don’t know if that quite fits.

  8. thebookofdave says

    Why not The Titanic Effect? Romney’s unsinkable campaign runs aground against cold hard reality. The crew busys themselves rearranging the deck chairs or fighting over the lifeboats.

  9. Aliasalpha says

    What to do as a Republican grandee?, well play the long game and in the process rid the Republican flag ship of a few whiffy dingleberries to boot.

    So there’s a rope around the republican party to tie them to the theocratic arseholes, said theocratic arseholes jump fully off the crazy cliff dragging the party towards the edge. The party don’t want to go over the edge & so say to romney, cain, bachmann & santorum “you’re the strongest people we have, we need you on the edge holding the rope”, the loony 4 are dragged to the point where they’re over balanced, the party cuts the rope & walks away whistling trying to ignore the screaming & wet splat from over the edge?

  10. gshelley says

    “Romney needs to grow a set and open his mouth and go after this guy.”

    Romney has done little else. the policies of his own he put forward have been vague and incomplete, the focus of them being “Obma has it wrong I will do it differently”
    I wouldn’t say his views are more acceptable than Palin’s. He’s obviously more intelligent than here and has an interest in the world and the things a President would actually need to know, but the views he has actually expressed are pretty extreme

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