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November 7, 2012

Reactions to the election: Liberal edition

  • Jonathan Cohn “Romney and the Republicans had turned the election into a referendum on liberalism—not just the liberalism of Obama, but also the liberalism of Johnson and Kennedy, of Truman and Roosevelt…[They] challenged the philosophy behind such policies—the whole idea that governments should act to protect vulnerable groups and to guarantee economic security. It was a huge gambit. And it failed.” source
  • Greg Sargent "If Mitt Romney had won, he and his ideas (tax cuts, deregulation, unshackling the free market) might have been associated with the recovery, leaving Keynesianism and stimulus spending thoroughly discredited. Instead, Obama and Democrats will hopefully gain more credit for the ongoing recovery, and perhaps the idea that government can act to fix the economy will get rehabilitated." source
  • Ezra Klein “The bad news for Republicans isn’t what happened last night. It’s that it only gets worse from here. In 2016, we can expect the minority share of the electorate to rise by another two percentage points — and we can expect the economy to be in rather better shape…the reality is that the Republican Party has lost the popular vote in five of the last six presidential elections, and it’s only going to get harder for them from here.” source
  • Michael Tomasky “[T[he Republican Party is just too far to the right. Not just to win a national election. It’s too far to the right even to compete really seriously in one. The thing some Republicans are saying now is absolutely true: They should have been able to win this year. No incumbent president has ever been reelected with this kind of unemployment rate, and there’s no good reason it should have happened now. They could have won.” source
20:07 // 1 year ago
October 5, 2012

Mitt Romney says his 47% remarks were “completely wrong”

  • september When the 47% video leaked last month, Romney said that his comments were “not elegantly stated.” However, he stood by the sentiment behind them:  ”I recognize that those people who are not paying income tax…those that are dependent upon government…I’m not gonna get them.” 
  • october Today, Romney denounced the comments entirely. “I said something that’s just completely wrong,” he told Sean Hannity. “My life has shown that I care about 100 percent. And that has been demonstrated throughout my life. And this whole campaign is about the 100 percent.” source
1:45 // 1 year ago
September 12, 2012
[Romney’s] doubling down on criticism of the President for the statement coming out of Cairo is likely to be seen as one of the most craven and ill-advised tactical moves in this entire campaign.
Time’s Mark Halperin. In case you missed it: Yesterday, Mitt Romney knocked President Obama for “sympathiz[ing] with those who waged the attacks” on US diplomatic compounds in Libya and Egypt. This claim was false to begin with—Obama didn’t express any sympathy for the attackers—but was made all the more awkward when, six hours after Romney’s statement, news came out that the US ambassador to Libya was killed in the attacks. After that revelation, Romney doubled-down on his attacks on POTUS, and so now, it seems a bit as if Romney is claiming that Obama supported the killing of one of his own ambassadors. Notable here is that very few prominent Republicans are backing Romney up on this—he’s more or less alone.  source
14:20 // 1 year ago
August 2, 2012

Why you should be skeptical when politicians cite studies

  • "objective" That’s how Mitt Romney’s campaign described the Tax Policy Center, a think tank, during the GOP primary, when it provided a politically helpful analysis of Rick Perry’s tax plan.
  • "biased"That’s how Romney’s campaign described the latest Tax Policy Center report, which concluded that the bottom 95% of Americans would see a tax increase under Romney’s tax proposal. source

» “According to a study by…” Here is the report in question. Now, it does look like Romney flip-flopped, but there’s a bigger take-away here. When politicians—candidates in particular—cite tax analyses, or budget reports, or academic studies, don’t just take them at their word. Learn something about the group that produced the study, because not all think tanks are created equal. (The Tax Policy Center, for example, is affiliated with the Brookings Institute, which identifies as nonpartisan but is widely—though not unanimously—considered to be center-left. Meanwhile, Romney’s campaign counter-cited a study by Ernst & Young, which is unabashedly pro-business). Also, check to see if the politician citing the study once bashed the group that produced it.

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10:56 // 1 year ago