The Chimes at Midnight
Thursday, May 31, 2012
 
Hear Hear Kid, Hear Hear!
A Brother Eagle Scout speaks up!

If Mitt Romney ever wanted a "Sistah Solja" moment this might be the one. But lets face it, the Former Viceroy's fagbashing bona fides are rock solid and long established, they are about the only constant thing with him. Well, that and his inept and transparent ambition to exceed his Father.

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Wednesday, May 30, 2012
 
I love Brian McGrory...
he is a phenomenon.
He devotes more space in today's Boston Globe column to raising "troubling questions" about Citizen Warren's alleged Cherokee ancestry then he ever did with respect to Bill Weld's drinking, Paul Cellucci's gambling, Jane "Jingle Money" Swift's chiseling or Mitt Romney's religion.
It is always amazing to find out what is within the acceptable limits of the local punditariat's discouse isn't it?
Otherwise, this is an issue that mesmerizes the local opinion industry, the electorate couldn't care less, the Howie Carr's The Joan Vennochis, the Brian McGrory's though, cannot get enough. It is the sort of false consciousness identity politics that second rate minds can never leave alone.
So of course, we must look for more of it ere we are done with campaign 2012.

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Mitt Romney
has a prominent birther demagogue in his corner, Donald Trump.
So prominent is The Donald that he is hosted a "huuuge" GOP fundraiser for Romney in Las Vegas yesterday with the candidate in faithful attendance.
When asked what he thought about Trump's persistent birther blather, Mitt Romney had this to say:
You know, I don't agree with all the people who support me and my guess is they don't all agree with everything I believe in,”...“But I need to get 50.1% or more and I'm appreciative to have the help of a lot of good people.”

Ghod Mitt is pathetic.
He would ooze none of the above friendly bonhomie if he was keynoting a Log Cabin Coalition fundraiser believe me, the speed with which Romney would flee that room could defy measurement by NASA.
Whenever Romney starts blustering about "Big Tent Politics" and his need to get to "50.1%" what he really means is "I need to throw more independents and moderates overboard and conciliate the right no matter how bad it all makes me look".
In fact truckling rightward is all Romney knows how to do.
 I cannot imagine the disasters he would visit on this undeserving nation if he was somehow elected President and then had to deal with a Tea Partei Congress...

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With respect to
Curt Schilling and the implosion of Studio 38 it is important to remember that just because you like movies, doesn't mean you should run a movie studio. Just because you love to read, doesn't mean you should own a publishing company...and alas just because you love games doesn't mean you know jack squat about being a gaming impresario.

And...there is something just sad about a stern Protestant Republican Conservative going hat in hand Big Gummint for a handout and getting turned down.

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Tuesday, May 29, 2012
 
So let me get this straight...
As foreign policy, Romney wants to revive our strategic rivalry with Russia and build the world's greatest war machine while keeping US taxes preposterously low.
So in the space of a few short weeks, Mitt reveals the sheer sweep of his mentality, nothing but bad ideas from start to finish!
And if Romney's stated goal is to "Restore America's Greatness", running up huge deficits expanding our already huge armed forces, lowering taxes yet again and seeking out confrontation with a plutocrat ridden Russia is a formula for second rate super power status and pronto.
What is left of our lunch will be eaten by Peking while we shake our fists at Moscow, count on it.
But that is Mitt's plan, enter an international fantasy world, lead the US to the brink of bankrupcy and call it A New Golden Age.
This is so delusional on so many levels, that is raises the possibility that Romney for sheer aggressive fantasism is a better fit with the Tea Partei than he himself realizes.

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Monday, May 28, 2012
 
Sighted in the Parking Lot of a Whole Foods Market
Deep in the heart of Middlesex County, a big black Jeep SUV festooned with a "Defend America, Defeat Obama" bumper stick and a "Obama motif" embossed with the legend "Socialism".
Beneath all this, a circular "United States Marine Corps" sticker.
Now before I go any further if the owner was or was not a Marine Corps veteran is immaterial to my argument he or she has a right to their opinion.
However I feel it a bit ironic for them to be decrying "Obama's socialism" when the USMC is one of the most successful socialist enterprises in the whole wide world.
I mean think about it, a barracks mentality that stresses unity to the collective, a sort of Earthly martial eschaton all paid for out of public funds. Serious hard core Marines even betray a certain degree of "class consciousness" with respect to their relations to competing social groups.
All sounds kinda Bolsheviki to me.
Maybe they just don't care for the competition...who knows?
Meanwhile on a semi related note someone ought to take some time to catalogue and analyze the emerging wingnut lexicon, that Obama socialism motif is just the tip of the iceberg, these people are rapidly evolving their own dialect of English a'la Gullah or Anthony Burgess' "Nadsat".
Oh well
Semper Fi
And Happy Memorial Day.

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Saturday, May 26, 2012
 
Mitt Romney has come out with an education proposal
built around more charter schools and vouchers, ah vouchers to hear the RNC tell it, they could cure a rainy day and still provide an annuity of 5.2%.
Ghod know these past thirty years they've got a voucher for every conceivable social problem under the sun, of course when the GOP actually hands out money, then you must be on your guard.
Because....
1.) They never appropriate or distribute sums adequate to the challenge at hand, they mostly agitate in a crude unsophisticated fashion along the lines of "Why d'ye want that soiled crumpled dirty old ten dollar bill when you can have a nice shiny new quarter??"

2.) Even if you get the money it is usually loaded up with all sorts of burdensome stipulations. This particular proposal though is interesting because Romney makes no subsequent demand that the voucher recipients pass drug tests as a condition of the program. Ghod knows when welfare checks are on the line every bum and busted factory worker must pee in a cup or so ranteth the majority caucus of the US House of Representatives.  I say passing a drug test should be mandatory for all participants in Mitt Romney's voucher scheme, parent, child, teacher, school principal, the school board and ALL the dipshit politicians that voted for that sumbitch.
Other than that it seems like a lovely scheme to generate even more MBAs and Lawyers as well as huge surplus in human misery...typical Romney in other words.

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Sunday, May 20, 2012
 
Note to the Laity
Humble Elias is on vacation til after Memorial Day, lets hope the Usual Suspects refrain from doing anything bloggable while I am gone.  I mean I'm gonna be p*ssed if Mitt Romney takes to cross dressing in his campaign appearances, man I'm tryin' to relax here!

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I hate to say it
but I actually agree with the broad range of Jeff Jacoby's column today, as he inveigles against the punditariat's tendency to gin up third party challenges in presidential races.
To which I will only add that 2012 seems like it will be a lean year for third presidential parties, typically these sorts of affairs arise around a particular charismatic leader and are fueled by electoral cohorts that are transitioning from one of the two major parties into The Other, or else said third party is itself a magnet for partyless political outcasts.
In the former case, the instructive example was George Wallace's "American Independent Party" who in 1968 single handedly brokered the transition of the "Solid South" from the democratic ranks and into the GOP's clutches.
In the later case, Henry Wallace's 1948 "Progressive Party" uprising was an "attractive nuisance" for any number of unpartied uplifters, borderline Marxists, Independent Progressives of all types, people who'd never ever have voted for that war monger Harry Truman.
So trust me, charismaless cash strapped would be third party candidates like Gary Johnson and Buddy Roemer ain't goin' nowheres this time around, 2012 just isn't the year for that kind of split the battle lines between the GOP and democrats are getting more boldly drawn every day.

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Friday, May 18, 2012
 
The Invaluable David S. Bernstein
The Phoenix's very able political reporter is "answering all questions" over on his blog.

So I asked him if there was an early frontrunner in the 24th Middlesex democratic primary...

He had this to say:

I would think Sue Sheffler would be a strong candidate, but the conventional wisdom is that it's a Belmont seat -- Sheffler's from Arlington.


Interesting that Sue Sheffler got tagged as the break out candidate....
If I was Sheffler, I'd hire a professional campaign manager (I can think of at least one woman who'd be perfect for the job, too bad she is out of the game) and appoint full time coordinators for the three Arlington Precincts that are now in the 24th House District. A strong Precinct Captain is particularly needed in the 12th Precinct in Arlington which traditionally has a very high democratic turn out.
So far its a divided race Sheffler is gonna have to tap dance like crazy to pull this off, because as Bernstein points out, it is a Belmont Seat, for the moment at least.

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Thursday, May 17, 2012
 
JP Morgan has apparently posted a two billion dollar loss
in the last two weeks and the numbers threaten to go higher.

Shee-it, and Da House of Morgan was supposedly run on the Up and Up.
Guess not.

Meanwhile, The Overclass can do naught except feud with President Obama...and in a very embarrassing way as well.

MyGhod...Joe Ricketts thinks he can save the country by calling Barack Obama "a Black Metrosexual Abraham Lincoln".
Ummm...that is sort of a compliment y'know...After All Honest Abe saved the country from Disunion and Freed the Slaves.
What...Is Joe Ricketts and his ilk are afraid that Barack Obama is gonna free their slaves?

I'm gonna say it right out loud, these people are all crazy, We Need A New Overclass, the one we've got is fit for nothing but designer straitjackets.

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Wednesday, May 16, 2012
 
Foreign Policy Notes
Fifty years ago, the "Arab World" was ruled for the most part by hereditary monarch, inept, debauched and anti-semitic.
Twenty Five years ago the Arab was ruled by a hodgepodge of fidgety military autocrats, nationalistic in scope and again, anti-semitic.
Comes the "Arab Spring" and the "Reign of the Colonels" is ended so of course the Neocons are in a lather of fear over the coming ascendency of "Islamofascism".
Well... If King Farouk and Colonel Nasser couldn't destroy Israel, then what kind of odds should we give the Grand Imam or whatever Believing Mind is brought to power?
The response to this "because Iran wants the bomb and the bomb changes everything".
True
But not neccessarily in ways friendly to Tehran.
Nukes make dandy targets for other nukes, and entering the nuclear club today, means you are competing with actors that have a sixty year jump on you in the stratetic weapon's department.
Small nuclear actors have problems, they don't necessarily have the geography or technology to make credible threats of Mutually Assured Destruction.
They can make good "doomsday threats" though ,North Korea makes them every day, but that makes NK a problem not a world class playa nukes or no nukes.
My concern truly is that nuclear weapons might well be introduced into a national environment riddled with serious ethnic and class conflicts, that is a destabilizing factor to be sure.
But if you think Iran or the "coming wave of Islamofascism" can rule and or blackmail the world once they get the bomb think again...It hasn't guaranteed anyone's hegemony since 1944 and likely it never will.
"Deterrence is tested by things that never happen" so said Henry Kissinger in more comfy bipolar times.
The same can be said about nuclear non proliferation.

Just sayin'.

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Tuesday, May 15, 2012
 
Taking the Day Off...
Ain't the Paramount Theater down town just garish?

Beats the living daylights over the ruin and squalor that ruled that end of Washington Street in the olde days though...


Monday, May 14, 2012
 
The Price of Friendship...
Ron Paul's cohort is fighting tooth and nail all over this country to get delegate's credentials for the republican national convention this summer.
Now, they are obligated to vote for Mitt Romney, but their mere presence on the floor opens up all sorts of potentially disruptive scenarios.
And to think a mere three months ago, Ron Paul was running all sorts of interference for Romney in the various GOP presidential debates.
They were best buds, then.
Now look at em', raiding GOP caucuses under the false flag of the Romney campaign, some friend eh?
Ron Paul is fanatical and weird, and you can't take the like at their word, if Romney was not such a hopelessly inept amateur at the game of politics he'd realize this.
Mind you, I don't believe all the diresome predictions about libertarians running amok at the RNC, history rarely favors the worst case scenario.
At the very least though, the presence of so many "Short Bus Republicans" and sundry Objectivist jihadists vastly complicates any attempt by Mitt Romney to shake that etch-a-sketch and track back to the center.
Moreover, it is just plain titillating to imagine Mitt Romney going Hat in Hand to Ron Paul to get the Best Deal He Can For The GOP.

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Sunday, May 13, 2012
 
Cancer Treatment Centers....
Incorporated, is lobbying the Tea Partei dominated New Hampshire State Legislature to establish a chain of boutique hospitals in Southern NH and grab off a bit of the high end healthcare trade from Metro Boston.
Fair enough, I'm gonna go out on a limb and suggest that there is no shortage of sick people or monied persons who want expensive elective surgery.
I think it is plainly appalling though, to think that New Hampshire's much praised "citizen state legislature" is jumping thru hoops of fire to please "Cancer Treatment Centers Incorporated" at a time when New Hampshire no longer has a worthwhile Veteran's Hospital of any kind.
You'd think these worthies in Concord, these pious puritan citizen legislators would be working 24-7 to get such a institution reopened, especially in a time of war when new veterans disabled and otherwise are being generated every day.
You'd think, Senator Kelly Ayotte that energetic young woman with an opinion about everything would be banging the pots for a full service Veteran's Hospital.
Nope.
Nothing.
Silence.
Shee-it folks, I wanna live in a country where the combat veterans have lobbyists at least as powerful the one's employed by "Cancer Treatment Centers Incorporated" is that so much to ask?

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Saturday, May 12, 2012
 
Mitt Romney is giving the Commencement
address at that bastion of Xian Rectitude, Liberty University today.
Given Mitt's tendency to grovel before hard right book worshippers we can rule out any sort of a "Sistah Soljah" moment in today's speech.

Mitt idea of a "Sistah Soljah moment" is denouncing gay marriage with all the phony righteous of AM radio prophet...in a voice dripping with "Father Knows Best" smarm.

***
Y'know, I'm beginning to think that maybe just maybe there is something to this whole "Mitt Romney is a bully" meme.
His career is littered with disquieting bully type incidents that likely only started when he incited a mob to give young Lauber a "haircut".
I mean recall please how he got the GOP nomination for Governor in 2002, by jacking up Acting Governor Jane "Jingle Money" Swift with all due brutality.
Anyone else recall Ardith Weiworka?
Former Head of the State's Child Services Office, fired allegedly by Romney because she wanted to marry her same sex life partner....
And two weeks ago, Grenell goes under the bus...
I mean anyone else sense a pattern emerging?
Me?
I offer this Meme Going Forward:

"BULLYING IS A SOCIAL ISSUE"

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Friday, May 11, 2012
 
Mitt Romney has come under fire for
some loutish bullying behavior back when he was "The Governor's Son" at Cranbrook Academy in Michigan.
Lordy imagine what the Boston Herald would have done with this story if only it was perpetrated by a member of the Kennedy Family?
***
Back in the Day, Cranbrook was renowned at the time for turning out a particular type of overconfident twit armored with a thick protective layer of sheer entitlement.
And you can't get more entitled than Mitt Romney circa 1965, the Son of Michigan's Governor who was himself a likely Presidential Candidate in 1968.
So it is not surprising that Mitt Romney in a passive aggressive rage against the fabled "other" whomped together a crewcut Nadsat Gang that held some poor mook with a pompadour down and give him a nasty little haircut.
"Difference" was much much tolerated in America's Prep Schools back then and clearly Mitt Romney made himself the scourge of "nancy boys" and the like.
Y'know I snipe away at Mitt Romney and of course this story has much snarkage potential to it.
Romney is the poster boy for detachment, he is uncoupled from any emotional links to the issues he allegedly espouses, his wealth insulates him from he cares of everyday society and it's citizens and he has always been comfortable in the wealth, power & status that is his birthright. Anything else, just doesn't matter.
So I wonder...Can Mitt Romney learn anything?
Cuz a lot of learning goes down when you have "hostages to fortune" in play, if your life is lived at an Olympian Altitude, what is the impetus to question oneself?
My point, what if that kid that Romney held down and "barbered" had reared back and punched Willard in the nose, hard, real hard?
Would Mitt Romney had learned anything from the encounter?
I mean other than the perfidity of the gender-role challenging "other"?
Therefore, do we really want a President who is unteachable by nature?

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Thursday, May 10, 2012
 
Scott Brown...
wants Citizen Elizabeth Warren to release all her job applications and college transcripts in order to prove somehow she never got a McDonald's Happy Meal solely on the basis of her presumed Cherokee Indian ancestry.
I'm still waiting for Former State Senator Brown to release results of his last three I.Q. tests...

But I snark...it has been a good week for our boodling, chiseling, pension grubbing Junior Senator though, thanks to the above "birther" controversy AND the President's pro SSM announcement no one noticed that Scott Brown voted to double student loan interest rates.

Well what can I say?
Families groaning under the weight of student debt, graduates saddled with extortionate interest rates on tuition loans....they don't have nice pricey lobbyists who can bundle phat contribution's to Scott Brown's re-election campaign.  So of course, since Scott's "true north" always points toward's Big Money, the college students of the Commonwealth get shafted.
Let me make this brutally clear to all you undergraduates out there, Scott Brown (who loves money the way a hog loves slop) voted to Double Your Liability.
Now what are you gonna do about it?

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Wednesday, May 09, 2012
 
Lugar we hardly knew ye...
Richard Lugar just got tea-partei'd in his bid to be renominated to the US Senate on the GOP ticket.
A lot of copy has been and will generated about the ineffable decline of the Moderate Middle in the US Senate.
This is ironic, because Lugar himself was pretty much an orthodox Indiana conservative with a foreign policy focus...his word though, was good.
And that in turn ran afoul of modern post 2008 conservatism's obsession with childish rejectionism that and his age (eighty yipes!) and Lugar was run out of town on a rail, sad end for a guy who started out with serious wingnut bona fides as "Richard Nixon's Favorite Mayor".
But...lets face it, the "moderate middle" (the very Erewhon of Brian McGrory's imagination) is naught but a place of negotiation between actors (ideological and otherwise) who are willing to negotiate.
If one side simply rejects...well that is it, game over.
I've said it before, "moderation is sick because conservatism is sick", right now the tea partei fever has burned so hot out there that the afflicted are mad to destroy anyone even remotely associated with Barack Obama.
And so down goes Lugar., who did what? Shake the President's hand once? Give his word and keep it?
Awful mortal sins for today's tea partei.

Ah but wait for it, the inevitable columns crowning Scott Brown that boodling chiseling pension grubbing hack, the new Moderate Messiah on Horseback...wait for it, a laff riot in the making.

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Tuesday, May 08, 2012
 
Foxborough has apparently elected
a Board of Selectmen that is opposed to Steve Wynn's plan to open a resort casino in that community.
Maybe that is the way to go?
I mean fight it out locally precinct by precinct, all efforts to create a statewide anti casino coalition have ended in failure.
It is easier to get people focused on the costs and downside of casino gambling when one of the damn things is going up in your town...or so Humble Elias suspects.

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Monday, May 07, 2012
 
Socialists win the French Presidency...
And turn out the incumbent M. Sarkozy in the process.

So...since Francois Hollande, the French President - Elect is a Socialist after all, how long before The Fox News Ranters and the Usual Suspects in the US House of Representatives start demanding that the USA break off all Diplomatic Relations with France, otherwise known as a brother democracy and fellow dues paying member of NATO?

I can just hear Michele Bachmann screaming for the USA to withdraw from NATO unilaterally....

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Friday, May 04, 2012
 
Word on the street is,
that State Senator Will Brownsberger (Whose 24th Middlesex House Seat is up for grabs) is remaining studiously neutral in the coming primary fight for the moment.
This makes sense, an up and comer from Belmont, a School Committee Maacher from Arlington and one of his old interns are all piling into the democratic primary and cut off date to pull papers has not yet wrung down.
Good time to dummy up smile and eructate pleasantries sez Humble Elias.
Now as for the abutting Reps and State Senators, Sean Garballey and Ken Donnelly, who can say? Those two are Arlington centric pols, assuming no other candidate from Arlington they'd be free to make endorsements...Assuming of course no prior commitments and the like.
Damn I like a good primary fight, hours of blogging fun.

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Thursday, May 03, 2012
 
Sue Sheffler piles in
in the redrawn 24th Middlesex House District, Arlington's own Sue Sheffler formerly a maacher on the School Committee has pulled papers to run for the seat.
The district has been redrawn to include Arlington Precinct's 8, 10 & 12 all known for heavy democratic turnout. So presumably, Sheffler starts with a strong geographic base within the district. She also benefits from a field that seems divided (something like two democrats from Belmont are vying for the sinecure alone with two republicans and a likely independent candidacy with more out in the wings shooting their cuffs and adjusting their ties). The math here is simple, make some inroads somewhere outside your base voting every last woman and child on primary night and squeak thru with a plurality.
There are other modalities at play, money coming immediately to mind, it still costs 50 to 60 thousand dollars to make a credible State Rep's race, from what I can see that sort of long green seems like a big step up for almost the entire field.
Meanwhile the Ron Paul faction of the GOP (who just scored a tactical victory over Romney having packed the Massachusetts RNC delegation with their own true believers) are allegedly looking around for a race to contest.
Belmont is not like Arlington it's GOP Committee is a little more active and will likely try and make this a competitive race in the general election.
Primary fights like this revolve around organizational strength, debate performance, a constant drumbeat of mailings, endorsements (State Senator Will Brownsberger's among others) and plain luck.
Well it is a new district and I'm glad to see one of the Spartans has stepped up to the plate, if we don't get out there and electioneer a bit, the Arlington part of the electoral map could get taken for granted...and we would not want that, would we?
:D

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Wednesday, May 02, 2012
 
Over in Today's Boston Globe
Columnista Brian McGrory has been railing against the excessive executive compensation packages prevalent at Libery Mutual Insurance Company.
All well and good, as far as Humble Elias is concerned, however it is worth noting that shame and humiliation and sarcasm are all the favorite weapons of the Punditariat and they are blunted edged weapons at that.
Over and above Liberty Mutual's fleet of luxury corporate jets, the fact is, for the past forty years in this country we have inexorably created an economic situation that favors financial speculation and a "service economy" at the expense of technological innovation and productive job creation.
Trillions of dollars flow to Wall Street because that is where the biggest payoffs are to be found in junk bonds, buyouts, mortgage backed securities and all that rubbish, none of that money sets one lathe in motion or puts one paycheck in a worker's hands.
This is a policy issue, our laws and regulations favor financial investment and not innovation and job creation. And until our values (cuz we all luv job creation, even Mitt Romney) are reflected in our laws, Brian McGrory will be snarking about the Neronian Excesses of Liberty  Mutual's corporate officers until the flaming end of time itself.

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Tuesday, May 01, 2012
 
Richard Grenell...
An openly gay man ostentatiously appointed National Security Spokesman for the Romney Campaign, has resigned his position allegedly under pressure from the usual suspects, after a scant two weeks on the job.
Well...Did anyone expect a different outcome here?
Mitt Romney cannot effect outreach to gun worshippers without making a horse's ass of himself,   a symbolic gesture towards the gay community executed by the Former Viceroy, can but end in a mushroom cloud.
Let me ask a simple question, in his whole truncated amateurish political career, who the hell has Mitt Romney ever stood up for?
Other than himself?
The answer to that is no one.
So when it comes time to do a gut check on behalf of even a fellow republican with all sorts of useful bona fides with La Famiglia Arbusto, Romney is utterly ineffective.  When wingnuts howl, Romney goes to pieces in a effort to placate them, every time. It not not a pretty process to watch....though it does have some John Waters-esque comedy value.

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