Romney’s looking up

One of the Bloggernacle’s favorite sports is discounting Mitt Romney’s chances of winning the Republican presidential nomination. Well, some people may need to get new sport soon.

Some interesting developments took place while Mitt was winning the Ames straw poll in Iowa:

1)Mitt has gotten a significant uptick in recent polling numbers. He was stuck at between 6 and 10 percent nationally, and three recent polls show him at 15 and 16 percent nationally, higher than McCain and in some cases higher than Fred Thompson. Check out the yellow marker underneath the poll results, which is an average of all the polls. Notice the upward movement.
2)Intrade Real Time Quotes indicate Mitt is a close second to Giuliani and ahead of both McCain and Thompson. These quotes are based on people putting their money on different candidates winning. More people are betting Mitt will win.
3)Mitt is still leading New Hampshire and Iowa and running strongly in other states, such as Michigan and Nevada.
4)This survey indicates Mitt is surging in South Carolina, where he had been stuck in single digits. He’s at 17 percent, ahead of McCain and within striking distance of Giuliani and Thompson.

My take: there is a lot of time until January and the Iowa caucuses and the NH primary. A lot of things can happen. But Mitt is running a masterful campaign, and the national numbers are beginning to reflect that.

This entry was posted in Any by Geoff B.. Bookmark the permalink.

About Geoff B.

Geoff B graduated from Stanford University (class of 1985) and worked in journalism for several years until about 1992, when he took up his second career in telecommunications sales. He has held many callings in the Church, but his favorite calling is father and husband. Geoff is active in martial arts and loves hiking and skiing. Geoff has five children and lives in Colorado.

57 thoughts on “Romney’s looking up

  1. Go Romney! It’ll be interesting to see what happens when Thompson finally gets into the ring. Also the effect of the September Dawn movie. Will the controversy, if there is one, increase his name recognition and as such his standing in the polls? I doubt it will impact him negatively, those that don’t want to vote for a Mormon already have plenty of reasons not to do so.

  2. McCain is all but done. I don’t see him lasting too much longer. Thompson officially declaring will have an effect. How large is left to be determined. Another factor is where do the Huckabee/Brownback supporters go when their candidates leave? I can’t see them joining Giuliani’s camp, but I can’t really see them behind Romney either. That’s where Thompson cold make a huge impact.

    I think Romney is the only Republican that can win the presidency, but I don’t think it will happen this time around.

  3. Geoff, I’m not certain discounting Mitt is a bloggernacle sport or even past time. He has plenty of supporters. While I’m not one of them, I agree with you that I think he is the republican party’s best hope of retaining the White House. His organizational genius was reflected this week, and will likely be again reflected in Jan.

    The influx of the Romney clan to help in the final hours of the straw poll was equally impressive–though belittled by some. It reminded me of the commitment of the Kennedy family when JFK, and RFK ran for the presidency. Family support is important, particularly when Romney will have some much, and others won’t be able to get their own family to vote for them, let alone work for them.

    While religion continues to generate static, I think as time goes along the character flaws of the other republican candidates will begin to overshadow the Romney’s religion issue, as well as the other candidates. I think Romney is the guy to beat on the republican side, and think he has a much better chance than many, including the media give him.

  4. Mike, one word:


    All Ron Paul supporter are welcome to join the Romney campaign any time.

  5. Well there was no doubt he was expected to do good in the Iowa straw poll. He must have spent a whole lot of money ( busing people in ) plus there was a lot of willing for people paying the 35 bucks. He’s still behind in the National Poll but still a decent strength of he’s. I guess props for all you supporting him. btw there was more Immigration talks coming from Romney today vs. Guliani, who saw those?? Looks like that will be a key factor on the states he is trying to persuade.

  6. I think Romney missed it by not embracing the fair tax idea. Too bad it’s too late for him to head that way (read flip-flop). Without it, not enough of the Christian Right will hold their noses and support him. Neither will the constitutional leaning conservatives. Giuliani won’t get Christian Right support either, but will be strong with the moderate Repubs. Giuliani will pick up the Reagan Democrats (whatever’s left of them). McCain looks like he’s out of steam, but sometimes appearances can be deceiving. The moderate Repubs can go for him but not very many independents. Thompson is all but too late unless he’s got a campaign team and a campaign platform the likes of which haven’t been seen in America in a long time. Huckabee will get a significant portion of the Christian Right and might be one to watch. A Thompson Pres/Huckabee VP ticket would be a strong – but there are a ton of “ifs” to get to that point.

    Hillary will get about the low 40% range (that’s the demographics of voters in the US nowadays)- which will probably put her in the Whitehouse because the GOP will have trouble unifying around a candidate. The VP choice for Hillary will do nothing to boost her percentage and, most likely, will hurt her – whoever it is, short of Oprah.

  7. Anyone ever really thought about what it would mean for the bloggernacle if Romney actually did take the White House?

    We’d have to resist the urge to post on every single little thing the guy did while in office. It would be exhausting to keep up with.

    Furthermore, there’s an uncomfortable possibility that Romney’s religion won’t go away as an issue even after he wins and reporters are going to be fishing around for opinions from Mormon bloggers on what Romney is up to.


  8. Seth, #8, I worry about that all the time. I don’t necessarily think a Romney presidency is a net positive for the Church. All those evangelicals who are worried about missionary efforts improving because of a Romney presidency are tilting at windmills. I don’t think missionary efforts exploded in Massachusetts because of a Romney governorship there.

  9. I’m worried about what effect poor decisions he makes could have on the international missionary effort. Is it worth it to have him as President if people shut their doors because the Mormon President is bombing Iran or opening a double Quantanamo?

  10. ..or signing another prescription drug benefit or other health care entitlement that will bust the U.S. economy. I know what you mean jjohnsen, I worry about that a lot.

    Speaking of poor decisions, what if he allows Iran to get nuclear weapons (when he could have bombed them and stopped it) and Iran drops an H-bomb on Israel or Europe? And what if he treats foreign terrorists like criminals, rather than enemy combatants, and some of them get acquitted and then come back and blow up the Golden Gate Bridge? Yep, bad decisions can be made left and right.

  11. Now, Geoff. I promised that I wouldn’t comment on this thread. But how can you expect me to keep that promise when you go and provoke me with Bush-like two-dimensional arguments like comment #11?

  12. Speaking of poor decisions, what if he allows Iran to get nuclear weapons (when he could have bombed them and stopped it) and Iran drops an H-bomb on Israel or Europe? And what if he treats foreign terrorists like criminals, rather than enemy combatants, and some of them get acquitted and then come back and blow up the Golden Gate Bridge? Yep, bad decisions can be made left and right.

    It doesn’t matter. Any good decision he makes his Mormonism will probably be passed over, and bad decision he makes his religion will surely be mentioned. I feel it is a no-win situation for the Church. Bush’s religion was mentioned occasionally in a negative light (the press jumping all over how he consulted God about the Iraq war), I imagine it will be much worse with a President who’s religion is looked at as strange.

    And my point wasn’t to bring up Romney’s politics that I disagree with, just the politics I believe the international community might look upon unfavorably. Your sarcastic reply sounds like you thought I was trying to attack him. I dislike Romney, but trust me when I say any post I make in this thread is strictly over my concern about my Church. I wouldn’t want Harry Reid to be President either (though it wouldn’t trouble me as much, his religion seems to be left alone most of the time).

  13. Jjohnsen, you bring up completely valid concerns. I wish I were better at transmitting nuance in my comments. I was mostly just joking around.

    I worry about these issues too, and you are correct that Harry Reid somehow gets a free pass regarding religion but Mitt does not.

    (Quick story: my neighbors are all big Dem supporters, and my immediate neighbor held a big fundraising event for Hillary a few weeks ago. He came over to tell me why there would be 100 cars on our street (nice of him — he’s a good guy). We starting talking politics (I have a big Mitt Romney for President sticker on my car). He said, “yeah, all of you Mormons are Republicans.” And we laughed together nicely and I said, “you know, Harry Reid is a Mormon and there have been a lot of Church leaders who are Democrats.” He couldn’t believe it. He had no idea Harry Reid was a Mormon, but he knew Mitt was a Mormon years ago. Keep in mind that this is a high-level, powerful Democrat in Florida. And he didn’t know Harry Reid was Mormon.).

  14. What do you all think of a Gul. Hill. Matchup?

    I think it might scramble the Blue State Red state map a little bit.

  15. Bbell, one of the biggest arguments going on among conservatives right now is who helps Republicans keep Hillary out of the presidency. And John Podheretz and other Giuliani supporters argue that Giuliani is the only candidate who can beat Hillary.

    Here is what the polls say:

    Hillary is ahead by several percentage points as of today. She is WAAAY ahead of Mitt, but that is different because Mitt is an unknown to most people. Everybody knows Giuliani and Hillary.

    I will vote for Giuliani if he is the Republican candidate, but not enthusiastically. He’s good on the war, on the economy and on crime. I think he will be a moderate president on social issues and probably will nominate good justices in the mold of Bush. But I just don’t think he’s a moral person — and this matters to me after eight years of Bill Clinton. I’m worried a Giuliani presidency means years of scandals.

    At the end of the day, I truly believe that Mitt has a better chance of attracting the independent candidates and winning than Giuliani. I think the more people get to know him the more they like him. And I think he really will make a better president than Giuliani — he will come up with more innovative solutions and solve more problems. He may even find ways to truly cut the size of government — and that would be a wonderful thing.

    Let’s face it, Republicans are in a hole right now. Hillary probably beats Giuliani. But Mitt is a wild card — his charisma is a scary thing for the Dems.

  16. Mark IV, first of all, it’s great news. If Giuliani is the candidate, I want him to be ahead of Hillary.

  17. See below.

    Btw, I think Giuliani has been running a great campaign, which I really did not expect. From a “good politics” point of view, he’s handling the immigration issue flawlessly. This is why Romney is trying to make it an issue — McCain is dead partly because of immigration, but Giuliani, who basically had the same position as McCain, is still alive.

    For the record, I am an “open borders” conservative and don’t agree with any of the Republican candidates on this issue.

  18. Mark IV, our ridiculous software messed up my answer. To sum up: polls averages show Hillary slightly ahead of Rudy. You can’t rely on just one poll. But I like the Rasmussen poll results nonetheless.

  19. Geoff, I suspect my views on Giuliani are similar to yours. I’d be comfortable supporting a Romney or Thompson Presidential candidacy (Romney a whole lot more than Thompson), and I suspect that in the end I’d end up voting for Giuliani if he were the Republican candidate (unless a really attractive conservative third party candidate ran), but I sure won’t be very excited about it.

  20. My suspicion is that Mitt’s “double Gitmo” soundbite was probably just a fake attempt to pander to the base. I doubt he’s actually going to go through with it. Just watch, he’ll talk tough for the primaries, then, if he wins the nomination, he’ll tone down the rhetoric for the general election. The end result is that he probably won’t end up doing anything different in the so-called “war on terror” than Hillary would, or Obama would, or Giuliani, or Edwards, or McCain.

    In this case, his flip-flopping is actually an asset in my book.

    Like a lot of Mormon businessmen, I’d imagine that Romney is, first and foremost, a pragmatist. I’m betting on an actually fairly centrist Presidency from Romney.

  21. It’s interesting to see so much hatred tours Hillary when Bush has commited far worst then the “Clinton” name in all years, where nothing good has come out of it really, while in the Clinton case ( I suppose he’s hated because of the Lewinsky ? ) he did good for our nation, but not to turn this into a Clinton vs. everyone else I’ll stay on topic 🙂

    Having said that, I truly don’t see Mitt Romney as the condidate for Foreign Policy… Democrats have a ( In my view )better diplomatic channels and a better way of approaching the international community. ( Bill Clinton is loved everywhere ). That’s something that here in America we tend to forget. It’s not only about us, but about everyone, understand ourselfs better. And like I said, Mitt Romney has not shown any of it. I miss the Conservative spenders in the Republican party . If there was a Republican to win I’d rather see Rudy.

    Mitt is really playing politics and I’m not see him as the most honest person to heart right now. All other candidates from the Democrats and Replublicans are at least sticking way more to their guns and beliefs to heart, even if that means loosing ( Like McCain? heh)

  22. All lower teir candidates should now jump in to support Mitt Romney. We need a leader with his charter, not more of the same scandals that we have had in the past. Can’t your remember?
    He would restore respect to the white house and around the world.
    Please support the Romney campaign and ask every one you know to do likewise. We can make a difference. Thanks for your help.

  23. Felipe, I think both Clinton and Bush are highly divisive figures. I think Bush is much more so simply because of the close election in 2000 and then the way the Iraq war went and the way Katrina went. Bush’s mistakes simply led to much more practical damage than Clinton’s did. It’s unfortunate as I think much of the polarization that started under Clinton could have been mitigated had Bush won by a clearer margin and had 9/11 not happened.

    However given the polarization (and the fact that the leadership of both parties have accelerated it) nominating the wife of one of the divisive figures isn’t the best way of uniting the country. If I were a Democrat I’d be going for Obama for that reason alone. I just can’t believe they are seriously getting so behind Clinton.

    I agree that Romney is playing politics in a particularly distasteful way. I’m also not sure I understand where he sits in terms of foreign policy. (Although he clearly is better than Guiliani who has frankly been an embarrassment)

    In terms of what is said, I hate to say it, but Clinton comes off the strongest. (Although she tries to hide some of it – such as keeping troops in Iraq) Obama in terms of foreign policy scares me as does Guiliani.

    I keep hoping Fred Thompson will make a showing but I’ve kind of lost faith in him of late. I think his moment has passed.

  24. I just watched Giuliani giving a “town hall” meeting on CSPAN last night. He seemed generally alright. But there was one point where he fielded a question from a woman who, in a tight voice, quoted statistics on how the number of aborted fetuses vastly dwarfs the number killed in Iraq, etc. She said she was firmly “pro-life” and asked for his response.

    Giuliani first noted that his preferred approach was to reduce the number of abortions and increase the number of adoptions. But then he said that he felt that this was a matter best left between a woman and her doctor and that the government ought to stay out of it. He said it was an area where he and the questioner would “just have to respectfully disagree.”

    You’ve got to admire that kind of moxie in a GOP primary.

  25. At the end of the day, I truly believe that Mitt has a better chance of attracting the independent candidates and winning than Giuliani. I think the more people get to know him the more they like him. And I think he really will make a better president than Giuliani — he will come up with more innovative solutions and solve more problems. He may even find ways to truly cut the size of government — and that would be a wonderful thing.

    If you want more innovative solutions and real ways to cut down govt size, then you should campaign for Ron Paul.

    Let me give you an example: In the years preceding 9-11, Ron Paul has been sponsoring bills that empower business owners to protect their business without increasing govt spending. A case in point here is the airlines: He proposed that pilots be armed with guns. The idea will not cost the govt a single cent, yet it was shot down by his colleagues in the house. If pilots had been armed on 9-11, how can hijackers armed with box cutters really succeed?

    OK, so the wackos in govt won and eventually decided that we should have a Dept of Homeland Security, and yet two years after it was created, people have successfully smuggled box cutters inside airliners just to prove that the system doesn’t really work.

    Today, while Guiliani and Romney are still trying to make flimsy connections between 9-11 and the war in Iraq, our govt continues to pour billions into that rat hole, and still the only accomplishment our govt can show is the possible partitioning of Iraq, a tragic end that was unthinkable during Saddam. If people listened to Ron Paul before the war in Iraq, most likely we would be trading with Iraq the way we’re trading now with Vietnam, a former enemy. Without bombs and guns.

    So, if you say Romney has better ideas than Ron Paul in cutting down govt size, why not lay them down the table and let’s dissect them? As far as I know, I haven’t heard what he has to say regarding this matter. All these talk of Romney’s winnability is nothing but foolish talk and a complete waste of time.

  26. “If pilots had been armed on 9-11, how can hijackers armed with box cutters really succeed?”

    This is rather simplistic thinking. A determined assailant with a knife can EASILY take down a person carrying a gun before the gun is ever even drawn. This is true even if the gun-toter is a trained police officer. Within about fifteen feet the guy with the knife can be all over you like a bad sweater before you even have a chance to draw your gun.

    You see this kind of one-sided thinking a lot among some devoted NRA advocates. They act like guns are not guns, but rather magic wands that suspend the laws of reality. Any law enforcement trainer can tell you this.

    Having a gun does not make you inherently any more likely to survive a street fight than having brass knuckles, or a rolled-up magazine. Ron Paul was being rather childish to think that simply throwing a few guns up for grabs in a grappling sort of fistfight in an airplane cockpit is going to solve our hijacking problems.

    Airlines have already taken to locking down the cockpit before take-off. A terrorist can’t even get into the cockpit, and the pilots are explicitly trained not to open it even if they start killing hostages. If a terrorist did try to kill passengers, after the dramatic example of September 11, the passengers will simply overwhelm the hijackers – which has actually already happened a couple times.

    9-11 isn’t going to happen again under these conditions. The gun stuff is just useless propaganda.

  27. Clark, I’m curious about your #27. I’m a Romney supporter, but I don’t think Giuliani has been an embarrassment on foreign policy. Have you ready his Foreign Affairs (or Foreign Policy, I can’t remember which) piece that came out about two weeks ago? It was really quite good.

    I’d agree with you that Giuliani has been an embarrassment on abortion, and on other social issues, but not on foreign policy.

  28. If Giuliani’s the candidate there’s a good chance I’d stay home or vote third-party, in the unlikely event some pro-life third-party candidate ran who wasn’t a screaming loon.

  29. A determined assailant with a knife can EASILY take down a person carrying a gun before the gun is ever even drawn.

    If this can be easily proven, then there must be some facts to accompany the assertion. Assertions by themselves prove nothing. In fact, in the years preceding 9-11, when knives were still allowed on board airlines, how many instances of cutting down pilots with knives were successfully attempted? Any statistics or even just historical narratives?

    However, my point in bringing up Sen. Paul’s proposal is simply to show that there is a presidential aspirant out there who has actually come up with a solution that will not cost the govt a single cent. Now you may want to debate whether that can really work or not, but that’s really beside the point here. The point is this: business owners are the best people in position to protect their businesses, not the govt. If businesses think there’s a better way than simply arming pilots, then let them find and implement it. The govt should stay out of this. Preventing pilots from carrying arms on flights as defense measure is not the FAA’s business.

    Why? Because our govt cannot protect us when it matters most. In 9-11, when four large airliners were hijacked and roamed freely in American skies for an hour, where was our billion-dollar a year Dept of Defense? Was it defending us from those threats? NO, no, and no. In fact, what prevented Flight 93 from crashing on the White House was not the Pentagon, but ordinary citizens who decided to take matters with their bare hands. Had those citizens been armed with guns on board, they may have survived the hijacking.

    An armed citizenry is the best defense against foreign threats. This is no where easily proven than in the current war in Iraq. You see, Saddam was a dictator who deprived the Iraqis many freedoms, yet he allowed them to freely own AK47s. The Iraqis were armed to the teeth when the US and its allies invaded in 2003. This is why after 4 years of illegal occupation, the lone superpower in the world still cannot enforce its will on this third world country. The billion dollar US military is no match for armed Iraqi citizens determined to defend themselves. As a matter of fact, if you’ve followed the news lately, the British have already been defeated in Basra, and are in retreat. It’s just a matter of time for the worlds’ most expensive military to do the same.

    Why you still manage to cling to anti-gun propaganda in spite of these glaring facts is something that really eludes me. Any law enforcement trainer can say his mind about guns, but always remember, the police have a stake in keeping their monopoly on guns because it means a monopoly on violence, even if they usually arrive 10 minutes after a shooting spree.

    As for Romney or Guiliani, how are they any better when it comes to coming up with innovative solutions? Can you give us a sample of any brilliant idea of theirs that show innovation? Both advocate a “bomb Iran” approach to foreign policy. I don’t see that as something innovative, but rather “more of the same” failed Bush policies that have given us the Iraq quagmire.

  30. Have you ready his Foreign Affairs (or Foreign Policy, I can’t remember which) piece that came out about two weeks ago? It was really quite good.

    I thought it was a massive embarrassment. I couldn’t believe they would publish something like that. It was George Bush in 1999 bad. The difference being in 1999 no one cared about foreign policy. Here’s one good blogger’s take down. (Oh dang it — the stupid filter is still acting up: Here’s the link: )

    I honestly hadn’t met any Republican who liked that thing until now. I’m surprised you did.

    I’ll admit that I just don’t know enough about Romney’s views. Beyond vague platitudes that aren’t that helpful I’ve just not seen much evidence he has clear plans. Most of what I hear seems targeted to getting the base to think he’s a hawk without really clearly saying anything.

  31. Miguel, a few links for you:

    (good discussion, but the video disappeared a few months ago)

    That should be enough to get you started.

    The take-home point is NOT that knife always beats gun. It doesn’t. But gun does not always beat knife. Or even always beat bare knuckles. In the cramped environment of a cockpit, the handgun loses its best advantage – RANGE.

    Policemen are trained to keep their distance when using a gun. If you charge them, they are trained to respond by backing away rapidly while keeping the gun on target and firing. This is very hard to do in a crowded airplane cabin. Basically, any struggle on an airplane is extremely likely to end up grappling and rolling in the aisles where it’s really anyone’s guess who is going to end up dead and who is going to keep the gun.

    Box cutters and improvised clubs against handguns in an airplane cockpit and cabin are going to be an extremely messy scenario with uncertain outcomes, even with trained combat experts. All arming the pilots does is make it more likely that a lethal weapon will be available on the plane. Period. Who it’s going to benefit is an open question.

    Why not just lock the stupid cockpit door and make this whole thing a moot point? Oh wait, they’re already doing that.

    As for your assertion that handguns are a costless option from a taxpayer standpoint, you simply aren’t thinking this through clearly.

    If you are going to provide the pilots with handguns, you also need to train them to use it. Any self defense instructor will agree with this. If you aren’t trained in gun self-defense, you are just potentially providing your attacker with a gun. That’s it. Especially in the sub-optimal environment of an airplane.

    That means training courses, firing range fees, practice ammunition, and the weapons themselves. You’re probably looking at several thousand dollars per year, per pilot.

    That doesn’t even take into account the extra insurance costs the airlines will have to incur to cover the very likely event that one of their pilots accidentally shoots an innocent passenger.

    Who’s paying for that? The airlines? The FAA? Homeland Security?

    And how does it stack up, expense-wise, against simply sealing the stupid cockpit?

    Ron Paul is just grandstanding. It’s an ultimately childish idea that hasn’t been really thought-out.

  32. Clark, those are great links.

    My favorite line was from Jim Henley:

    “You will not enjoy a day of peace so long as Rudy has anything to say about it. Peace is something we will “achieve” in the distant future when the lion has been clubbed senseless with the lamb.”

  33. Clark, can you tell me exactly what about Rudy’s piece you find “embarrassing?” I still think he made some excellent points, but I can’t debate you on this until I know exactly what you’re aiming at.

  34. Romney’s attack on the Inmigration issue and attacking the Sanctuary cities is sickening, even more interesting when Utah can be considered a Sanctuary city state.

  35. to #40. I heard somewhere that South Florida is considered a Sanctuary.. so my answer to you is. Yes.

  36. Heard somewhere, huh? Unless you live in DeLeon Springs, Deltona, or Miami, you aren’t living in a sanctuary city. Perhaps you should learn what a sanctuary city is.

    Geoff is an anomaly. He does live in a sanctuary city (albeit one with a very different demographic than other sanctuary cities in the country- maybe that explains it) and he’s still an open-borders guy.

    But I bet if the open borders crowd actually had to live and work in a sanctuary city, they’d change their tune on illegal immigration. Try living and working in Salt Lake City or Provo and you’ll understand why Utah is still an anti-illegal red state that loves Mitt Romney’s stance on this.

  37. Seth,

    If you think that that’s enough to get me started, think again. Honestly, none of your links can answer the question as I worded it, so let me use an analogy:

    It’s EASY to mix coffee and drink it, or to light a cigarette and puff it. I’m sure even 7-year old kids can do this. But then, if they’re really easy to do, why don’t we see people doing this inside our churches or temples? I mean, there’s no shortage of jack or anti-Mormons out there with all the grudge and hatred in the world for us, so why aren’t they doing it? Historically speaking, anti-Mormons have gotten away with violence against us, so there’s no reason why they can’t get away with a simple act as deliberately smoking or drinking coffee in our holy places.

    Now, don’t tell me it’s because of the govt. Heck, when I go to church, I don’t see the FBI or SWAT or TSA poking through every hole in my body just to make sure I’m not smuggling in coffee or cigarettes. So if you tell me it’s because these antis are afraid of the govt, that’s not gonna work. In fact, at the height of Mormon persecution in the 1800s, there was a very enthusiastic govt engaged in doing it.

    So going back to my question, if cutting down someone with a knife is “easy to do” as you and GeoffB say, then why can’t you give a news account or statistic where such an act was successfully used in an airline hijacking before 9-11? Why, in the millions and millions of flights going on since airlines were invented, there must be one out there, right?

    Who’s paying for that? The airlines? The FAA? Homeland Security?

    This is where you utterly miss the point. Right after 9-11, we saw the biggest expansion of govt in the creation of the useless Dept of Homeland Security. I say useless because two years after it was created, people can still sneak box cutters through checkpoints. And if they can sneak box cutters, they can sneak guns and bombs. Yet, in spite of these embarassing failures, we continue to pay for this monstrosity, even those who don’t fly the airlines. Doesn’t that bother you a bit? And to think of it, if we already have a Dept of Defense, why do we need a Dept of Security?

    But that’s the problem: while our govt poured billions and billions in defense spending, the Dept of Defense was nowhere in sight during 9-11. It was such in a state of shock, that it virtually did nothing to stop one plane from hitting its headquarters at the Pentagon. 9-11 should have been a very good reason to shut down the whole bloated dept. Yet, the lunatics in govt prevailed. As one definition of insanity says it: it is to continue doing the same failed thing over and over hoping that it will succeed somehow. Taken in this light, it is hard not to see why Ron Paul’s proposal makes more sense.

    But to answer your question about training pilots to use guns, let me ask this: does Iraq have a trained army? No it doesn’t, that’s why our govt talks constantly of training an Iraqi army. Given that, how then are those untrained insurgents able to fight the most expensive and WELL TRAINED military in the world, and stalemate it for the last four years? (Now don’t tell me the joke that they’re trained by Iran, because if that’s true, then let’s kick our inefficient trainors here, and replace them with Iranian trainors because we might actually learn something from them.)

    So when you talk of training pilots to use guns, don’t make it sound as though it’s gonna cost the TAXPAYER more than the billions we’ve already thrown at govt’s utterly useless defense and security agencies. Many of your assertions cannot be true when laid beside the facts.

    It’s easy for you and GeoffB to say that Ron Paul is a nut case, but hey, where are those brilliant proposals from your favorite candidates? So far, this has been a one-sided criticism of Ron Paul’s ideas, are you guys just embarassed to share your candidate’s position on issues? Or is there really none forthcoming? In fact, with so many Mitt Romney fans in this forum, there must be one who could recall a really brilliant idea from the man.

  38. I’m not really a Romney fan at all. In fact, I’m a bit underwhelmed by all the candidates right now. I liked Obama for a while, but the guy still hasn’t managed to come up with any ideas yet, so it’s hard to get really enthused about him.

    As for Homeland Security, I think it was largely a waste of money, and I don’t think it’s really doing all that much for us. I also think the current regime of airport security isn’t doing anything for us except preventing the airlines from recovering from bankruptcy. I think 9-11 was a one time event and simply won’t be repeated. Sealed cockpits, basic airport security (not the stupidity going on today), and a population that just isn’t willing to put up with hijackers anymore all ensure that 9-11 is not a repeatable event.

    Far easier for a terrorist to just go to the old standby – a car bomb outside a high-rise building. And honestly, there’s not a lot you can do to prevent that scenario if Al Quaeda were to really get serious about doing it.

    As far as the handgun threadjack (sorry Geoff), I never claimed the links proved anything. My only point is that person-to-person fighting is a risky, messy and unpredictable business. That’s just common sense and it’s hardly a controversial point. If anyone is required to prove their position on the gun issue, it would seem to be you, Miguel. But I don’t really see you providing that sort of proof either.

  39. Hey #42. I lived in Miami, in a city called Aventura to be exact. Now I live in Broward county. Have you ever been?. Anyway’s what is your point? Maybe I’m not see what you’r seen?

    About Salt lake City and Provo. I honestly don’t know where your coming from when you mention that Utah is an Anti-illegal state, when in fact is one of the state’s whose governor’s and Senator’s approve and support for a path in legalization. It’s one of the few states where Illegal’s can get some type of driving license, it’s one of the few state’s where Illegal student’s can pay as Resident’s in College and University’s. It’s one of the few states who help inmigrants and embrace them with open arms, but then again I think that’s a Mormon thing. More and more hispanic ward’s are opening in Salt Lake, and the church is growing almost twice as fast with all the new comer’s then those living here, so on one side I think the church is very open arms, but then again there are resident’s like you who aren’t. So Yeah Utah is a peculiar state, one of the most conservative states yet most welcoming for immigrants, and that’s a fact! So I don’t know if Utah love’s Mitt Romney stance on this, do you? – Because it contradicts itself!

    I don’t agree with Illegal Inmigration, but I do feel there has to be a path to fix it. 🙂

  40. Tossman, if an open-borders guy in a sanctuary city is such an anomaly then why isn’t the city government voted out? It seems that urban areas are more liberal and liberals tend to be more permissive when it comes to illegal immigration. I suppose there is a NIMBY aspect to it yes, but in general it seems like the population probably at least tolerates the idea or they’d vote in a different local government.

    As far as the idea of withholding federal funds for sanctuary cities I think it’s a great idea. If they flout federal laws then why should they get federal funds?

  41. Aluwid & Felipe-

    An open-borders guy residing/voting in a sanctuary city is not an anomaly. An open-borders guy working and spending a lot of time in the non-skyscraper parts of a sanctuary city is.

    I can’t speak for Miami. I’ve never been there (but I do watch CSI: Miami:))

    I used to live on the west side of Salt Lake, which shares a lot of characteristics with most other places in the city outside of the downtown skyscraper blocks. I no longer live in city proper, but I’ve worked a blue collar job on the south side for many years. Most of the people I deal with at work are from Mexico- either legally or illegally. The only white guy I ever see in my professional life is the guy who fills up the Coke vending machines. I hear Spanish much, much more than English. So I’m kind of immersed in this sanctuary city experience. I see the real effects of illegal immigration and the toxic baggage it carries on a daily basis.

    This might be generalizing, but in my experience you can put residents of Salt Lake City in two categories- affluent, left-leaning white folks and a dirt poor cocktail of minorities (mostly Mexican with some Polynesian and Indian). These are the people who elect leftist and illegal-friendly politicians. Most of our politicians come from the former group- rich, white lefties.

    Your average Utahn living near Salt Lake or outside it is very different. They are staunch conservative and anti-illegal immigration. They are also the average Mormon. Church membership in SLC is declining, and as a former stake clerk in SLC, I can tell you the tithing numbers and activity rates are dismal. So your average Mormon/Utahn is not a resident of Salt Lake.

    In my experience outside the blue Salt Lake bubble, the Average Utahn (whos is also usually LDS)- and especicially the average Utahn that works in Salt Lake or Provo- HATES illegal immigration. I, like Felipe, also want a path to fix illegal immigration. I think it can be solved with the proper combination of fences, actual law enforcement, and cutting off incentives to come here illegally.

    The Utahn also loves Mitt Romney. Not just because of the shared religion, but because of his Utah heritage and the way he handled the Olympics. And when Mitt takes up a cause that the average Utahn identifies with, well, it’s a good thing for him.

  42. Geoff, when I find some time. (If I can find some time?) I’ll try and write up more about what I found in the piece that was so embarrassing. That was partially why I provided the links.

  43. Seth (#44), can I agree that I’m amazingly underwhelmed with all candidates as well? Even worse than the prior two elections?

    At least the Republican field is a bit more open. McCain, as expected, has faded. But there are a lot of interesting choices. Romney is definitely in the lead even though I’m underwhelmed by him in many ways. On the Democrat side Clinton’s pretty well had things wrapped up years ago. Obama put on a bit of a race, but ultimately not a lot of one. (This is why, I suspect, Clinton’s starting to appeal to the moderates)

  44. If anyone is required to prove their position on the gun issue, it would seem to be you, Miguel. But I don’t really see you providing that sort of proof either.

    Not that I want to threadjack this discussion, but I think I already have given you enough proof why the pro-gun position is more tenable:

    Proof #1: Even a well-trained army is no match for an armed citizenry. You only have to see how helpless the US military is against the Iraqi insurgency. Right now, the only thing that’s keeping the US from total defeat is the fact that the Sunnis, Shiites, and Kurds are engaged in a 3-way civil war. Had it not been so, our army would have been defeated long ago.

    The Shiites have mainly kept their guns to themselves while the US was bent on suppressing the Sunnis during the early part of the war. However, latest US tactics show a new collaboration with the Sunnis, and a demonizing of the Shiites. What seems to be forgotten in this disastrous strategy is the fact that the Shiites compose some 60% of Iraq while the Sunnis are less than half that size. If our military couldn’t win against an insurgency that’s about 1/4 of Iraq’s population, how do we expect to win against one that’s bigger than a half of the country?

    Proof #2: The Soviets had a billion dollar military when it lost the war in Afghanistan armed Afghan militias in the 1980s. That we have a billion dollar military industry mired in the same quagmire does not mean things will be different this time.

    This is precisely the reason why the right to bear arms by the public is enshrined in the US constitution. Our forefathers knew something about armed citizens defending themselves against well-trained imperial armies, a knowledge that’s largely lost to the average citizen who thinks the Pentagon, the CIA, and every other defense bureacracy can defend him when he needs them most.

    If we really want to defend our homeland, then we have to arm our citizens the way Saddam armed the Iraqis. But if we want to invade countries and force them at gunpoint to see the world through our eyes, then we need all the fat military bureaucracies we have now, and maybe even more.

    Seth, the debate about guns is not a debate on gun safety or prevalence of gun violence. It’s a debate about who believes that the US constitution should be followed or not. Even the debate on immigration is not whether we should allow illegal aliens or not, but whether we should follow the Constitution or not. The thing is, only the Constitution keeps us together, it’s what makes us Americans. If we’re not going to follow our Constitution, then let’s stop kidding ourselves here. We should stop calling ourselves Americans.

  45. Here’s an interesting article on Romney for those of you, like me, who can’t recall a single brilliant idea from the man:

    Romney Muddles Abortion Stance

    The article is interesting in the later part where he tries to do a Ron Paul by advocating a constitutionalist stance, i.e. reverting the abortion issue back to the individual states where it rightly belongs.

    With Romney’s muddling, that pretty much explains why it’s hard to say what he really stands for on the issue, and why even his supporters can’t seem to remember any of his genuine convictions.

  46. Now for the bad news… (bad news to Romney’s fans that is)

    After the NH debates on Fox channel, Ron Paul won Fox News straw poll by 33%.

    This is amazing especially when Fox News deliberately prevented him from speaking during the first 29 minutes of the debate.

    As Gandhi said: “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

    As for Mitt Romney and his scripted answers to questions prepared for him before the debates, I expect nothing from here on but an early crash-and-burn implosion.


  47. Miguel, just to bring you and Mike back down to Earth, here is a graph showing nationwide polls and where Ron Paul sits:

    Yes, that’s right, Ron Paul does not even register in nationwide polls. He is WAAAY behind Huckebee, who is WAAAAY behind McCain, who is WAAAY behind Romney.

    I have no doubt Ron Paul has lots of enthusiastic supporters. You and Mike can have fun at your Ron Paul parties. But Ron Paul does not have a chance in this election or in any other national election.

    Will Romney crash and burn? It’s possible. Thompson or Giuliani look fairly good. But I can guarantee you the Republican candidate will NOT be Ron Paul. Check back in in January 2008 when Ron Paul does still not even register on national polls.

  48. Miguel, just to bring you and Mike back down to Earth, here is a graph showing nationwide polls and where Ron Paul sits

    How scientific are these so-called scientific polls? Pollsters making unexpected calls at a stranger’s home during dinner time to ask you about politics? Yeah right, those being polled would be in the mood to talk about their favorite candidate indeed! I’d be surprised if they can talk to a thousand people who’d be honest enough to tell them their political opinions while their dinner is being interrupted. In a country of 300 million people, anything less than a 100,000 surveyed is not going to be representative of the whole.

    So, let’s go back to the night of the GOP debate, how many people watched it? Maybe a million, or two? If 33% of those who viewed it made sure that Ron Paul wins by grabbing their cellphone and texting Fox News, does that not explain why neocon propagandist Sean Hannity would not even congratulate Ron Paul for that victory? Hey, 33% in a million is a lot of people, in case you want to count it. No wonder Hannity was so sore about it.

    Take a closer look at your stats. If you’re “scientific” polls were really accurate, then where were Romney’s fans when it was time to vote? If those polls are giving a true picture of the political landscape right now, then there must be legions out there among his fans who know how to use text messaging via cell phone, and would have made sure he won. So where were they that night?

    Let me tell you more why Hannity was so ticked-off by the results. The 33% that gave Ron Paul the vote are not people who feel that their dinner is being interrupted by unwanted pollsters. These are highly motivated people, if not very angry people. These are the kind who’d go out of their way to make things happen.

    I don’t think you’ll find many of these in Romney’s organization. In my opinion, I think many of them have already dumped him and voted for Ron Paul. Which is why I say: WELCOME TO THE RON PAUL REVOLUTION!!!

  49. Erm, it was 33% of those who chose to text vote their opinions. If ten people watching chose to text in their votes, you’d get the same result. I’m having trouble finding the number of people who actually responded (it’s not here) but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t every single viewer.

    For what it’s worth, there have been a number of non-online (online = non-invasive, and owing to self-selection bias, not particularly representative) polls on this subject.

  50. Erm, it was 33% of those who chose to text vote their opinions. If ten people watching chose to text in their votes, you’d get the same result. I’m having trouble finding the number of people who actually responded (it’s not here) but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t every single viewer.

    Yes indeed, 33% of those motivated enough to tap their thumbs on the cellphone. That’s the idea that seems to evade our friend GeoffB here. If Mitt’s fans are not motivated to make him win simple polls like texting FOX, then then there’s something wrong with the picture painted by the other polls. If the results of the non-online polls do not translate into CONCRETE ACTION, then there’s a problem.

    Here’s a Washington Post article on Ron Paul’s recent poll victory at the Maryland State Fair:

    This article is interesting in many ways because it is probably the first time I’ve seen a mainstream newspaper report Ron Paul’s victory (he’s won several already, but hardly reported in the media). What’s really interesting is how it reports that in the 11 days of the polling, only Ron Paul had representatives in the booths. Again, where’s the much-vaunted organization by Mitt Romney? He may be ahead in the polls, but I doubt whether he has any real grassroots support at all.

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