September 07, 2012
Where's the Real Criticisms?
The Democrats have been attacking John Koster for awhile now, but they haven't actually said anything of substance. Everything they bring up is either completely false, or is a silly and boring "guilt by association" fallacy.
The latest from the DCCC covers both grounds. First, they falsely claim that seniors would pay $6,400 more for Medicare under Ryan's plan; then, they falsely claim that there is a causal relationship between Medicare reform and tax breaks; then, they falsely claim Ryan's plan is to "end Medicare."
And all this as a proxy just so they can tar Koster for saying he "loves" Paul Ryan. Koster loves Ryan, and Ryan wants to do all these terrible things (even though he doesn't)! Therefore Koster is bad (even though he isn't)!
The rank stupidity of the DCCC and its allies is troubling. Is it too much to ask that your opponents aren't idiots? Seriously: if Koster is so bad, where's the real criticism? So far, the Democrats have come up completely empty.
It almost makes you think they don't have any real criticisms.
Cross-posted on <pudge/*>.
Posted by pudge at September 07, 2012
12:33 PM | Email This
1. I'm sure the DCCC as well as the other groups that will work for DelBene have plenty of ways to attack Koster. My guess is that Ryan has less approval in the 1st than Koster, and if even a hint of a tie between the two (even if just ideologically) can be sold to the voters, then it makes perfect sense to take the approach they have so far.
My guess is that, while not as popular in the first as John Koster, Paul Ryan is certainly popular enough that this kind of 'guilt by association' will not have much of an impact. What I am still waiting for is for some journalist somewhere to develop enough curiosity to properly vet DelBene. It is astounding to me that she doesn't seem to have a single solid position on any matter of substance, only a vague promise to stand up for the middle class.
3. In 12 years, Medicare will be bankrupt. What's going to happen then?
I completely agree that it will have limited impact, but for all the attention the 1st is getting as such a "perfectly divided" district, everything counts for something at least this first time around.
As far as vetting DelBene, every journalist has an editor to answer to, and every editor has a board/owner(s) to answer to. I'm definitely jaded, but I'm pretty certain that anything that reflects too poorly on DelBene won't be 'found' until a day or two before the ballots are due.
5. The press should check to see if DelBeme bothered to vote in the primary.
How soon is such information made public after an election?
Brian: why are you sure they have plenty of ways to attack Koster, when they only offer lies and association fallacies?
I'm serious. They attack Koster on Social Security by going back 12 years and lying about what he said. They attack him on a supposed association to Rush Limbaugh based on something he said 16 years ago. They lie about Ryan's Medicare plan. If they had a real case, why wouldn't they make it?
I am not saying it won't work -- obviously, many voters are ignorant, and might consider voting against someone just because of lies and association fallacies -- I am merely saying if they had real criticisms instead of false ones, I would think they would be even more effective, which tells me they don't have any real criticisms.
I didn't intend to infer any credibility to whatever other means they might have to attack him, just that this probably isn't the only trick in their bag. Whether they would be 'valid' or not, is a whole other matter.
I think it was effective to whatever degree now strictly because it came on the heals of Ryan's nomination, the convention and all the news that went along with such. Such an approach probably won't have as much of an impact later on (partially dependent on what Ryan says and does in the mean time though).
I guess all I'm saying is that I'd be surprised if this is the only means the DelBene camp has to work with. I think future polls will give the indication of if or when such attacks stop working so much and therefore indicate a coming change of approach.
As an aside, I like Koster, but the primary is over and he's still been a little too quiet in my opinion. The add you posted the other day notwithstanding, where are all the PACs and 501c4's pulling for him hiding? I can understand why he didn't need to get out there much during the primary, but isn't this the go time?
Brian: I guess all I'm saying is that I'd be surprised if this is the only means the DelBene camp has to work with.
It's all Larsen ever had, it's all the Democrats have ever used, and it's all DelBene has used. So I am skeptical that there's anything else.
It ended up working for Larsen though...that's my point. The validity of the claims is immaterial if the claims get the result the party using them wants.
Whether the accusations are right or wrong, all that matters is the impression left with the voters.
It's time for Koster to attack back or increase his attacks, because at least some of the charges left unanswered would stick and he increases his chances of losing the election. Nice guys usually don't finish first in politics.
I'll always remember how Bush-43's effort to stay above the fray and not answer attacks emboldened the leftists and eventually they took over Congress in 2006 and drove his approval ratings down into the 30's before he was out of office. A good deal of it of course had to do with how he governed too. If Obama had not answered charges leveled against him by conservatives, his ratings would have also been in the high 30's (the MSM shills are worth about 8 points).
In my frequent and frustrating contacts with Pugetopolis leftists, I've often come to the conclusion that normal discussion and argumentation wasn't really on the table. There's an apparent baseline belief that if someone or something is successfully demonstrated to be conservative and/or anti-leftist in nature, then it requires no further consideration to explore validity.
I'm not sure how to accurately describe their collective train of thought after that. It seems to be a combination of a) frustration over the obligatory need to justify rejecting an idea or person out of hand(as in "Why is this necessary?") along with b) the consensus that any and all means are OK to demean, obfuscate, discredit, and destroy the opponent and opposing ideas simply because they don't toe the party line and are thus unworthy of normal considerations.
To them, it's not a matter of debate and truth-finding. It's about not giving an inch of validity to an alternate reality that simply must be wrong and bad because it runs counter to what Thomas Sowell calls "The Vision of the Anointed." It becomes a secular heresy.
Brian: It ended up working for Larsen though...that's my point. The validity of the claims is immaterial if the claims get the result the party using them wants.
I conceded that it MIGHT work. But MY point is that truth DOES matter.
Whether the accusations are right or wrong, all that matters is the impression left with the voters.
I cannot agree that truth doesn't matter.
14. Unfortunately, Pudge, if it really mattered, there wouldn't have been a President Obama and Romney would be up 30.
Hinton, that's not true at all. I am not saying truth decides elections. I am saying truth matters. Those are two completely different things.
Ideally, if voters understand the facts, they will vote accordingly. But even if they don't, the truth obviously matters.
Pudge, I think most people get your point. It's one reason why it's so quiet. The point is that not everyone can agree to sit at the same table, let alone agree on the agenda under consideration.
Of course truth matters. I doubt that anyone would argue that it doesn't. The problem is that typically the liberal and conservative views are, as I said above, alternate realities. When you get into an argument with someone that holds the opposing views, it nearly always degenerates into a series of quibbles and rabbit trails.
There is a fundamental disagreement over the ultimate goal. One of the complications is that the left has vastly different understanding of the meaning of words and concepts. The words sound the same but have different meanings and connotations. It's a matter of redefining words to be able to talk about their particular world view.
One side talks about efficiency and efficacy and "what works", while the other side is concerned with "fairness" and leveling the playing field. We say that a particular program won't work or is too costly, and the other side says it's the right thing to do and has the extra benefit of bringing "the rich" back to the pack. We talk about doing what's best for the citizens of this country and think of jobs, economic prosperity, and opportunities, and the left...well it isn't those things.
I had one broken glass liberal say or imply on numerous times that if we didn't do these things voluntarily (because it's the right thing to do), then ultimately our society would ultimately devolve into a form of violent class warfare. Having jobs, opportunities, and prosperity weren't the issue. It was government funded social programs.
Things get worse, and it can't possibly be from pushing in the wrong direction. No, it's the fault of the people who are not on board.
Elections are no longer about objective truth and what works if, indeed, they ever were. They are about opposing world views . At some level, everyone knows this. Hmm...I can remember my parents getting ready for an election and discussing "the best man for the job." It's been a while.
scott: opposing views is one thing. Fallacies and lies is another.
There is no alternate reality wher Ryan's plan is to make seniors pay $6,4000 for Medicare, or where he plans to end Medicare. Those are just lies.
And there's no alternate reality where it is NOT a fallacy to imply Koster is bad because he says Ryan is good.
There is a communication gap between the two sides, but this is not an example of it.
The fact that they only offer lies and fallacies is proof that they believe lies and fallacies will work better than the truth, which tells me that they think Koster would represent the 1st CD better than DelBene.
Some campaigns are largely about opposing world views. This one, from the left, isn't, so far: it's about lies and fallacies, to convince people that Koster is some crazy lunatic and that DelBene is the only alternative, rather than saying "Koster stands for this, and DelBene for that, so make your choice." If they thought the electorate were on their side, they'd do that.
Reminds me of the campaign against Romney ...
18. Why, oh why, can't liberals campaign on what they believe? They cannot stand on their beliefs or their positions on the issues Because they know they would not be elected.
19. True, jaysantos. If Obama had told Americans all the taxes he would put on them for Obamacare they'd never have elected him.
20. There are no real criticisms for Democrats. For Leftists it is religion. Unbridled government expansion is never to be questioned, even when it is a total failure and produces widespread suffering and economic malaise.
Oh look---CA state senate passed a bill allowing medical types with doctor's license to perform abortions! Because supposedly there aren't enough doctors to do the 'procedure' in CA.
Next, the Good Humor Man will be allowed to abort babies for women, too. Good times.
important correction, pls note: s/b "allowing medical types WITHOUT doctor's licenses to perform abortions"
We're getting closer and closer to democrats legitimizing the back-alley abortions they claim to not like.
23. As long as Mr. Romney continues on the same path; not much passion and a lack of targeted response at the bulls**t allegations (like responding to charges that the math that doesn't add up) and sketchy on solutions, there will not be much of a shift with this campaign and probably the polling results. I have thought of him as being more intelligent and receptive to new ideas than McCain was, but right now it looks like their message is not resonating.
I hope I am wrong, but I have seen this movie before and I don't like the way it ends.
It appears that someone else at NRO was thinking like my last post;
An Open Letter to Mitt Romney
Dear Governor Romney,
I am sure you are being deluged with advice, but I hope mine is worth hearing.
You have been running a campaign focused on the economy, especially jobs. It therefore must be frustrating for you that President Obama, with his poor record, seems to retain a small edge in the race.
I wonder, however, if there isn't a missing element in your campaign. Yes, you ran a successful business, which created jobs, and you have other impressive accomplishments. It is a good record, but it doesn't really demonstrate an ability to pull our nation's economy out of its slump. To be sure, it demonstrates more such ability than President Obama has demonstrated. Nonetheless, it's one thing to identify a problem, say you care about it, and even list some steps you would take to address it. It's another thing to convince people that you can really do the job. Many people wonder, and not without reason, whether any president can really do this job.
So what else might you do? I suggest that your focus on the economy and jobs would be strengthened by more detailed discussions of policies you would enact, and also of related issues, notably Obamacare and Medicare. The assertion that you are more competent than President Obama strikes many people as merely that--an assertion. It would be supported by your speaking in more detail about a range of financial issues.
Bill Clinton's speech was, in my opinion, the most effective one at either convention. I don't need to tell you that much of it was dishonest. But Clinton offered just the right level of detail--enough to make people feel he really knew what he was talking about, but not so much as to make people's eyes glaze over. You know these details as well as he does; I suggest you talk about them more often. It's not easy to combine discussion of detail with a large moral vision, as Clinton did; few people have his political gifts (though in terms of actual governing, he was perhaps more fortunate than skilled). But you're not running against Clinton. When it comes to combining policy details with a vision for our country, I believe you can do better than the tired and negative Barack Obama we confront in 2012. But you need to say more and perhaps take some chances. Talk about jobs, yes, but also about specific policies and the effect they would have, and about a vision of our economy and society which makes it plausible that your administration will really cause job creation, and that President Obama's has hindered it and will continue to do so.
You have said that you intend to repeal Obamacare. I was glad to hear that, but I think people would be impressed by a more detailed explanation of why Obamacare is a step in the wrong direction, how it is sure to drive up costs without improving quality, how a market with some regulation works much better than boards of bureaucrats trying to set prices, and how Obamacare has made businesses less likely to hire people because they face greater expenses in doing so. It would also be helpful if you spoke simply and clearly about how you would replace Obamacare. You might choose one theme on which to focus, such as leveling the playing field by ending tax discrimination against privately purchased health care and against health care as distinguished from health insurance; you might explain how Obamacare doubles down on a system which produces overconsumption of insurance, unnecessary bureaucracy and paperwork, and higher costs. All this would be helpful in terms of articulating an alternative vision on health care, but also, and perhaps more importantly, it would demonstrate understanding and ability in economic matters generally. It would put more meat on the bones of your assertion of greater competence.
Regarding Medicare, as Paul Ryan says, Republicans can (and must) win this debate. But we haven't done so yet. Here too, more details are needed. People should know when Medicare will go bankrupt if it is not reformed, and what percentage of the economy it will consume in a generation or two if it is supported by other revenues. They should know that your plan preserves traditional Medicare as an option even for those under 55, although you think other options will give future seniors more choices and more money. People should know that those other options will be regulated, so that seniors will not be exploited by clever operators. Moreover, you must rebut forcefully, vigorously, and repeatedly the claim Bill Clinton made in his speech, that Obama is somehow strengthening Medicare by taking $716 billion out of it. Paul Ryan also needs to rebut Clinton's claim that he supported Obama's approach. (It's a huge difference whether that money was counted as future savings for the Medicare trust fund, or diverted away to pay for a new program!) Your campaign has the money and the time to ensure every voter knows that Obama took $716 billion out of Medicare to pay for Obamacare, that the claim that this will affect providers but not beneficiaries is absurd, and that you never supported doing anything like this.
It is still possible to convince voters that you will do a better job with the economy than President Obama has, but telling people you're better qualified isn't enough. To some extent, as writers are often told, you need to show it, not tell it. And one way to show it is to demonstrate competence and mastery in discussing a range of economic issues. Give voters the feeling that you really know how the economy operates, how the pieces fit together, what works and what doesn't.
I will add a few smaller points. I think it helps when you talk about China, and I suggest you do so more often. China has been manipulating its currency for a long time, to the detriment of our workers and our economy; it is preposterous that no administration so far has forcefully responded. Why don't we institute a 25 percent tariff on Chinese goods unless and until it allows its currency to float freely on international markets?
Second, the GOP has been talking a lot about tax cuts for a long time. While this is an important issue, our discussion of it has perhaps reached the point of diminishing returns politically. If we start talking more about China, about Medicare, about replacing Obamacare with something better, about growth through reducing regulation and red tape, about Keystone, people will be impressed.
Third, Obama obviously gains from the claim that your tax cuts will mostly benefit the rich and will increase the deficit. Might you be more specific about some of the loopholes you would close to pay for those tax cuts? I suggest you start with the ability of people in hedge funds and private equity firms to declare income as capital gains. (Even I, the president of a small financial services firm, resent that one.) Voters this year seem to feel they confront a choice between the candidate of welfare and the candidate of Wall Street. Anything you can do to recast yourself as the candidate of Main Street will help.
Finally, I hope you don't back off on your criticism of Obamacare. In my opinion, the requirement that insurers write policies for all comers is a grave mistake--it encourages people to wait until they are sick to buy policies, and thereby forces people who behave responsibly to pay for those who don't. Maybe you disagree about that. But to weaken your criticism of Obamacare at this point might make it seem to people that you're not really strongly opposed, and that the Democrats didn't do so badly in ramming it through Congress.
I wish you luck. It is important that you win this race--not merely in terms of jobs now, but also in terms of the self-reliance and character of the American people in the future.
Peter J. Hansen
25. post #25 is an advertisement for some Ukranian on-line clothing store. Not quite on topic...
26. post #27 is more foreign excrement.
27. oops - its post #26 that is more foreign excrement.
Translation of # 26:
Hey Barack old pal, I'll be back in November to collect on your promise that you'll have more freedom to sell out the U.S after the election. Give my best to Michelle and the rest of the capitalist-haters in your regime.
Your Best Bud,
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