Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Misundertanding the Problem

The "Republican Establishment", consisting mostly of the RNC (and particularly the finance committe) essentially chose Mitt Romney as "Their Guy",  during the last presidential election.

You know... the one they lost.

If they'd had their way, Mitt would have been the nominee in 2008... and if he was, the swing wouldn't have been 3 points, it would have been 10 (of course, the media have ACTED as if it was a 10 point swing from day one... more shilling for "their man").

The problem is, the "Republican Establishment" is so deluded,  they actually believe they would have WON with Mitt. They're dead certain of it in fact.

It's not quite that they're completely insane... Though it may seem so...

It's that they don't understand the problem

For the last several months, they've been pretending to allow other "candidates" to vy for the nomination; however, at this point, they've made it clear that Romney WILL be the Republican nominee for president, that we have nothing to say about it; and that anyone who challenges this edict will be DESTROYED.

They've already done it to Herman Cain, Michelle Bachmann, and Rick Perry (though Perry is somehow still operating under the delusion that he is a candidate); and as of a few days back, they've let loose the destruction machine on Newt Gingrich.

Now... I'm not a big fan of Mr. Gingrich, and I don't think he'd be a great choice for president... but of the current field I'd take him (or Rick Perry), over Romney; and certainly over Obama.

As I've written before, there's a lot that Gingrich and I disagree on; but on base principles, we're about 75% with each other.

Seriously... If I thought that Newt wasn't one of the few guys who could actually get Obama re-elected by taking the Republican nomination, I'd be happy to support him for president. I'd certainly take him over "their guy".

Frankly, I'm very concerned at this point... damn near terrified in fact... because I believe the RNC have VERY badly miscalculated.

I believe they have made the same improper calculation they made in 2000; only this time, it may result in an actual electoral defeat, rather than just a near defeat and moral empowerment of those who would destroy our nation.

What do I mean by that?

In 2000, the RNC turned John McCain; a previously honorable man, who I had great respect for, and who (while not perfect), was generally a solid moderate conservative, with a very reasonable legislative record (no he wasn't perfect. No senator is); into a RINO enemy for life.

They did this, by taking the man who would have otherwise relatively easily captured the Republican nomination, beat Al gore handily, and most likely have been re-elected without too much difficulty after four years; and used the RNC machine to utterly destroy his campaign (particularly in the south), with personal slurs and Nixon style ratfucking.

They did this, because they believed (correctly) that they could handle George W. Bush better than they could handle McCain; and because the people around Bush were already "their people".

I've mentioned this before, but I haven't, and can't speak in detail about it, because I am under lifetime NDA; but I did information security work for the McCain campaign in 2000.

At this point, a it was now almost 12 years ago, and as I am no longer primarily attempting to earn my living in information security; I feel comfortable saying that I know a lot more than what has been publicly disclosed (or can be disclosed) about dirty tricks in the campaign, and that it was a lot worse than what is publicly known.

At this point, December 2011, the "republican establishment" understands that they made a mistake with Bush; but they do not understand what mistake they made.

The dangerous part, is that they believe they DO understand the mistake they made... worse, they believe they have a solution.

The mistake they THINK they made, was in Bush's presentation, handling, and image; and they believe that by choosing Mitt Romney as their standard bearer, they have corrected that mistake.

In reality, the error they made with Bush was in choosing a man with the wrong type of personality, and the wrong type of mind....

Unfortunately, it was exactly that personality and type of mind, which made them choose Bush in the first place.

It's what they want; and it's wrong both for winning this election, and for being the president of the united states from 2013 through 2017.

To explain this, I need to talk about who our former president is, as a man, for a minute (a man who, to be clear, I am not a big fan of as a president; though I believe him to be a good man, who sincerely tried to do what he believed was the right thing when he could).

George W. Bush has a particular type of personality; which has advantages and disadvantages for high level leadership, but which is also one of the most important factors in why Bush was such a target of hatred; and why he was ultimately, not a very successful or good president (though not nearly the failure or awful president he has been portrayed as).

It isn't that Bush is stupid; no matter how much a (large) portion of society (particularly the media) would love to believe it (and love to portray him as such).

What Bush is, is unfacile with verbal communications. He is largely inarticulate in self expression, and he does not process or respond quickly to the words of others.

What drives certain people to spittle flinging, is that the intellectual and artistic institutions of this nation, and those who exist within them; use verbal facility as a proxy both for intelligence, and for personal moral worth (though they would not express it in those terms).

When these people see someone who is verbally unskilled (and therefore, in their emotional context, unintelligent and morally unworthy), in a position of greater subjective value or power than their own; it causes great resentment, sometimes to the point of rage.

Although it's true that Bush is not particularly articulate, and often has difficulty expressing himself (by the by, part of that is real; part is cultivated as part of his image of being "a guy you could have a beer with... if he still drank"; and part is simply the structure of his brain. Bushes malapropisms, and difficulty in extemporaneous formal/semi-formal speech; are actually a symptom of a fairly common learning disability, and have little to do with his intelligence or education); in reality, he's actually very intelligent.

Bush's IQ, based on his ASVAB, AFOQT scores, and SAT scores, is approximately 125. Bush is also EXTREMELY well educated, both formally and personally. He graduated from Philips Academy (an EXTREMELY rigorous prep school in Massachusetts); and with a BS in history from Yale (he had a c+ average most of his college years, but improved to a B+ his senior year). He also earned an MBA from Harvard Business School (which does not give "gentlemans C's"); and by all accounts, he's a HUGE reader, mostly of history and biographies.

Frankly, he's almost certainly more intelligent, and better educated; than the vast majority of the people who hate him for being "stupid".

Bush's memory for fine detail is poor, not from any lack of ability, but because he doesn't see details as particularly important; he's a big picture kind of guy. He believes in understanding, and wisdom, over knowledge and detail.

In some ways, Bush's raw intellect and analytical ability is actually quite impressive. He has a spectacular capability to understand and set priorities, filter through large amounts of information to get to the core of issues, and make decisions based on those priorities and core problems. He trusts instincts over detailed analysis, and he trusts men over facts. He believes fully in making decisions based on the man, not on the information... and he's a hell of a poker player.

But there's another side to Bushes intelligence... his moral certainty, and intellectual certitude.

Bush doesn't change his mind... basically ever. He doesn't doubt himself, or his decisions... basically ever. Yes I know, this is not literally true, but it is apparently true to the outside world.

That particular aspect of his personality enrages those who hate him even further. Nothing drives a man who's ego is wrapped up entirely in their intellect; as a man who fundamentally disagrees with them, and who will not even allow the smallest possibility that they may be wrong.

Bush is the type that, once he gives his loyalty, or once he makes a moral decision; he keeps to that no matter what. He is also someone who relies on advice, and on advisers. When he trusts someone, he trusts them completely; and will delegate things within their scope, entirely to that person, without oversight. As I said above, he trusts the man, not the facts.

Reagan had a similar type of personality.

This is... convenient... for a certain type of bureaucratic machine. This personality, is what convinced the Republican machine (mostly correctly), that they could largely shape the Bush presidency, by controlling the advice he got, and the people around him.

At this point, the RNC believes that if they could just have Bush, without the "rage" against him; that everything would be perfect.

In Romney, the RNC believes they have their "perfect" guy.

Romney has that same tractability, reliance on advisers and advice, and most of the loyalty to individuals and the organization that Bush had (though not as absolute by any means); without the unfortunate tendency to use the wrong word at the wrong time, or piss people off just by opening his mouth... or for that matter... breathing.

They could not be more wrong...

Oh, they've got the guy they want; and he is exactly that. They're completely right about that part. They're getting exactly what they think they need... Exactly what they want...

The problem is, they want the wrong thing.

They're firmly convinced that so long as they can shape the image, and the message, of the Romney campaign (and later, the Romney administration); and they keep "their guy" on message, they've got a guaranteed winner.

In this, they are DANGEROUSLY incorrect.

What the RNC don't understand, is that the American people don't want, what the Republican machine wants.

They believe that, because Americans elected Republicans in preference to Democrats in the midterms; that somehow, this is a blanket approval to continue their default program "business as usual".

Oh sure, "their guy" will make the right noises about changing things, and fixing things and rolling things back... at least in the primaries; but come the general, he'll be selling himself as "the moderate" to get the center left (who are very uncomfortable with the Obama administration AND the current congress). He won't need to court the social or fiscal conservatives, or the libertarians because... after all... it's not like they're going to let Obama stay in office.

The thing is, we know this.

We're not stupid.

We're not fooled by Romney, or by their "message".

We don't want it.

In 2000, the moderate was who the American People wanted; and we got the "compassionate conservative" instead. We know that story. We're not going to repeat it.

What the American people want now, is a man of principle, and guts, who WILL reverse the current collision course with the dumpster we're on, and roll back the idiotic excesses of the current congress and administration...

...but not someone so radical that they're going to try to end social security (or for that matter change it in any meaningful way) or put in a flat tax or... well, anything radical or transformative at all really.

Note: That's not what I PERSONALLY want. I want someone who WOULD scrap social security, medicare, medicaid, and the entire tax system. I'm smart enough, self aware enough, and politically astute enough; to understand that what I want, isn't necessarily what the people as a whole wants... or even necessarily what is best for the country... though I believe it is.

They want the guy who will put things back to the way they were around 1992 or so; just, you know, winning this time.

Unfortunately for the RNC... that guy isn't running.