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I have to ask: have we just seen the first etch-a- sketch moment of the Romney campaign?

I have a burning question, the one asked in the thread title, so let me be clear I am not making an assertion here, but examining the literal question. In that regard, I ask you to do the same. Tell me what you think the answer is.

Is a ploy such as the one I am going to discuss truly a possibility, a probability or beyond the bounds of political reality?

Perhaps Andrea Saul's comment that if people losing their jobs had lived in Massachusetts under Governor Romney's health care plan, they would not have lost their health insurance when they lost their job was not a gaffe but a deliberate move to disguise Romney's subtle switch to the opposite side of this issue from that taken during his primary campaign. It would be the perfect way to do an about-face switcheroo on this issue. Don't say it yourself but have your press secretary say it and let the conservatives' outrage fall upon the press secretary, not the candidate.

Romney knows he cannot continue to run away from the fact he established a health care program in Massachusetts upon which the ACA is heavily modeled. The Obama team will continue to hit him on this the rest of the campaign. How to ameliorate these attacks is his problem. And the answer just might be while Romney can't take public credit for this at this moment in time, he can have his staff slip in comments to both rebuff the Democrats' attacks for his being hypocritical on this issue and he can slowly move to compromise his position put forth during his primary challenge, ultimately embracing certain parts while striking others.

Why would he do that?

He would do that because some of his most important corporate supporters do not actually want the law repealed. That would be the health insurance carriers and the pharmaceutical industry. Romney always plays to his sponsors, always. Give them what they want.

What do they want? They want the law to stay intact because it greatly builds their customer base through that individual mandate. They want the consumer protections stripped from the bill. Particularly, that ban on refusing insurance to people with pre-existing conditions must be stricken. In other words, don't repeal it but "fix it" tweaking parts the industries like and striking parts deleterious to their bottom lines.

Of course, if Romney himself did a sudden about-face on this issue, it would raise an incredible hue and cry from the individual conservatives such as that we have already witnessed -- Coulter, Limbaugh, etc. How to do this in a subtle way that does not make him look like a flip-flopper was his dilemma. Send out a trojan horse was his answer. Andrea Saul, Romney's press secretary, was the trojan horse.

And here's a further clue: she was not the first campaign aide to make this statement in public. Sounds like the start of a trend to me.

So are we witnessing the subtle maneuvers of a Mitt Romney implementing his etch-a-sketch political finesse and presenting it simply as a gaffe on the part of his staff when it was actually a very deliberate but subtle position change?

I would not put a maneuver like that past him. He can't continue to run away from his plan for the next three months, but he has to embrace the positions of his sponsors, and he does have that history of flip-flopping. Reduced to its lowest common denominator, it does appear this might possibly be a slick way of changing sides on an issue without getting any of the conservative outrage heaped on him.

What do you think?


One woman's poll of one Republican man in Florida

Silly but I thought this morning when an old friend touched base with me on a health care matter, I wanted to sound out the mood in Florida on the upcoming Presidential contest.

After we finished discussing the topic about which he called, I laughed and asked him if this one woman could conduct a one man poll of a Republican in Florida. This person is in his early sixties and is very well to do.

He agreed to participate in my poll:

Sam: As a Republican in Florida, who do you predict will win the Presidential contest in November in Florida?

Floridian: Obama.

Sam: Why do you think Obama will prevail over Romney?

Floridian: Most people I know can't stand Governor Scott, and by extension they can't stand Romney, another Republican.

Sam: Why did Florida elect Scott governor?

Floridian: I don't know. I can't find anyone that voted for him!

Sam: Do you think most Floridians are familiar with the Ryan Budget Plan?

Floridian: No.

Sam: Do you think most Floridians know Ryan proposes to "voucherize" Medicare?

Floridian: No.

Sam: Do you think most Floridians know Romney supports privatizing Social Security?

Floridian: No.

Sam: Will November be a landslide victory for Obama in Florida?

Floridan: No.

Sam: So you think it will be close?

Floridian: Very close.

Sam: Do you think Scott's plan to update the Floridian database list of eligible voters, striking many from that eligibility list because they cannot produce a government-issued i.d. is an attempt to swing the election to Romney?

Floridian: Could very well be.

Sam: (Laughing) Thank you for participating in this one woman's poll. This has been very interesting.

Polling results: The sun is starting to shine on President Obama today in the swing state of Florida. If President Obama's campaign organizers stay vigilant, the election weather forecast is that a climate change of election air may appear in Florida this November that could be a very sunny, warm one!

Oh, and what was the other matter he initially called to discuss? He started the conversation with, "Boy, do I owe your President a huge thank you." I cautiously asked why. He said he just unexpectedly received a rebate check from his health care insurance carrier, with a cover letter stating that since it had not spent 80 cents on every premium dollar it had collected from him, it was required by the Affordable Care Act to return to him the amount enclosed in the form of a check. The check was in the amount of $1,200!


Intellectual Honesty in Political Debates -- a Naive Expectation in this Current Day in Time?

For some time now, I have wanted to look up something that kept ringing a distant bell, distant as in the rules of debate I learned in high school. Just let me say that was not exactly yesterday, so I needed some backup for my opinion before posting here.

The specific maneuver I wanted to discuss was that of name calling. I am sure you are aware we are at this point breaking into a critical period of the Presidential election contest as far as defining the issues are concerned. With the events of this week, the act of "name calling" was once again on my mind to research. I think it is a good idea as we observe the contest, to keep in mind all of the techniques that will be used in the discussion.

Here is a link to an interesting conversation on the subject:


I was not surprised to see as number one on the list provided the topic I was researching:

"Here is a list of the intellectually-dishonest debate tactics I have identified thus far. I would appreciate any help from readers to expand the list or to better define each tactic. I am numbering the list in order to refer back to it quickly elsewhere at this Web site.

"1. Name calling: debater tries to diminish the argument of his opponent by calling the opponent a name that is subjective and unattractive; for example, cult members and bad real estate gurus typically warn the targets of their frauds that “dream stealers” will try to tell them the cult or guru is giving them bad advice; name calling is only intellectually dishonest when the name in question is ill defined or is so subjective that it tells the listener more about the speaker than the person being spoken about; there is nothing wrong with using a name that is relevant and objectively defined; the most common example of name calling against me is “negative;” in coaching, the critics of coaches are often college professors and the word “professor” is used as a name-calling tactic by the coaches who are the targets of the criticism in question; as a coach, I have been criticized as being “too intense,” a common put-down of successful youth and high school coaches. People who criticize their former employer are dishonestly dismissed as “disgruntled” or “bitter.” These are all efforts to distract the audience by changing the subject because the speaker cannot refute the facts or logic of the opponent."

But read the entire article if you have the time. Unfortunately, you will see some names listed in the article that make you feel a little chagrined; however, we are discussing this subject on a political website so it truly is not surprising, is it?

But here is another paragraph, number 13 in the order the author of this piece has assembled:

13. "Claiming privacy with regard to claims about self: debater makes favorable claims about himself, but when asked for details or proof of the claims, refuses to provide any claiming privacy; true privacy is not mentioning them to begin with; bragging but refusing to prove is silly on its face and it is a rather self-servingly selective use of the right of privacy; The worst offenders are the U.S. Navy SEALs who claim to be great but they “not at liberty” to reveal the details because they are military secrets. Enough details have leaked out, however, that those not in the SEAL cult of personality can see that if you could buy the SEALs for what they are worth and sell them for what they claim to be worth, you would have a substantial capital gain."

Obviously, we can take exception to some of his statements if we so choose, but as for the essential heading "Claiming privacy with regard to claims about self" that certainly reminds me of a certain Republican Presidential contender and a taxing problem he is currently experiencing!

But to climb back on an orthodox track, here in a link which contains Roberts' Rules of Order, the accepted standard in this arena:


in case you would like to do some further research on the subject. But try to check out #24 on the first posted link and let me know if that reminds you of anyone!

And here is a question for you: is the presence of intellectual honesty in a political debate simply a naive expectation in this day and time or is that a requirement for you personally in order to cast a vote for a candidate? Or perhaps it NEVER existed in our political history?

Thanks for reading.


The way Obama is chipping away at Romney is politically masterful

Despite opposition criticism regarding the campaign from even those in his party, Obama set a strategic course and has stayed with it. It is impossible for me to see how anyone could at this point criticize his progressively decimating attack on his opponent. Muhammad Ali would rate it "Rope-a-Dope" plus!

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