Daniel Hannan is a writer and journalist, and has been Conservative MEP for South East England since 1999. He speaks French and Spanish and loves Europe, but believes that the European Union is making its constituent nations poorer, less democratic and less free.
I'm starting to warm to Mitt Romney
By Daniel Hannan Politics Last updated: August 3rd, 2012 TELEGRAPH
Not that I ever had anything against the fellow, you understand; I just wondered why, with 55 million registered Republicans in the US, the party couldn’t find someone a bit more inspiring.
In the past couple of weeks, though, the former governor has gone up several gears. The president’s revealing verbal slip – ‘If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that,’ – has stung him into a full-throated defence of the free market system. The last time I watched him, that beautifully coiffed head seemed to be wobbling in what I can only assume to be unfeigned anger. (Incidentally, Mark Steyn's evisceration of Obama's remarks in the National Review is a joy to read.)
As sometimes happens in politics, Mitt Romney is magnified by the smallness of his opponents’ attacks. For a while, now, I’ve been repelled by online mutterings about his Mormonism. A man’s faith, or lack of it, is no one’s business but his own unless he chooses to make it so – which Romney has not. Any religion can be caricatured by having its tenets stated in a reductionist way. Common courtesy – common humanity, indeed – ought to tell us that, when dealing with other people’s innermost convictions, it is wrong to sneer.
‘Criticism of religion is the prelude to all criticism,’ wrote Marx. Conversely, respect for someone else’s creed (or absence of creed) is the prelude to all respect. As Roger Kimball puts it in his wonderful collation of essays, The Fortunes of Permanence, ‘There is an important sense in which religion as traditionally understood reconciles humanity to imperfection and to failure. Since the socialist sets out to abolish failure, traditional religion is worse than de trop: it is an impediment to perfection.’
The thing that has really irked me, though, is the churlish reaction to Mitt Romney’s recent overseas tour. The trip was extremely well-conceived. There has never been a worse time to be America's friend, and the governor made a point of visiting three allies slighted by the current administration: the UK, Israel and Poland. (He might have added India to the list.)
This is not the time to rehearse the catalogue of Barack Obama’s anti-British initiatives, from banishing Winston Churchill’s bust to siding with various Latin American autocracies over the Falkland Islands (see herefor what seems to be behind it). It is enough to say that Romney, a traditional Republican when it comes to foreign policy, understands that the relationship is not what it should be, and wants to repair it.
He brought that message to Britain, but the BBC was determined not to accept a compliment graciously – at least not from a US Republican. Seizing on a briefing by a Romney staffer about our ‘shared Anglo-Saxon heritage’, Leftist commentators on both sides of the Atlantic affected to understand the reference as racial rather than cultural.
In fact, the Romney aide was stating an obvious truth. The reason that the US and the UK are allies, the reason we fought side by side in the three global conflicts of the last century, as well as in many smaller engagements, is that we tend to look at the world in the same way. Our core beliefs – representative government, free contract, individual liberty, jury trials, open competition, private property, habeas corpus – lead us to react to the same problems in similar ways. Whatever our individual family origins, those precepts are an Anglo-Saxon patrimony.
I’m delighted to find a US presidential candidate who sees this so clearly. In a world where power is slipping away from the West, it is vital that the core Anglosphere democracies understand what they have in common.
Some US conservatives and libertarians, underwhelmed by Romney’s centrism, have convinced themselves that he would be no better than the present incumbent. I made a similar judgment four years ago about John McCain; I was wrong.
Take another look at the Constitution, my American conservative friends. When it comes to the present levels of taxation, spending and borrowing, your quarrel is with Congress, and redress will come through the election of representatives who take their oaths of office seriously. Having a president who can read a balance sheet is a bonus, but it's your legislature that determines the budget.
Where the presidency does matter is on foreign policy. And here, it is becoming clear that Mitt Romney is a decent patriot who understands the importance of standing by your allies. The question is not whether he’ll surpass Reagan; it’s whether he’ll surpass Obama. And that, as they say in the US, is a no-brainer.
WHO IS DAN HANNAN? (enjoy)
Dan Hannan, Nigel Farage, Ron Paul, a few of my very few favorite politicians.ReplyDelete
Some US conservatives and libertarians, underwhelmed by Romney’s centrism, have convinced themselves that he would be no better than the present incumbent. I made a similar judgment four years ago about John McCain; I was wrong.ReplyDelete
The video is well worth a watch. Hannan articulates, in elegant ordinary English, the challenge to anyone who is deeply suspicious of authoritarianism in every form. In a debate Hannan would eviscerate the bumbling cultural illiterate and political thug, the fraud and affirmative action rabble rouser that was handed The White House by the collective foolishness of the American voters.ReplyDelete
In the previous thread, Quirk gave as good a definition of Obama (the “Being There” Chauncy Hussein Gardener) as I have read:
Quirk Fri Aug 03, 05:50:00 PM EDT
The guy can speak perfect English if he feels like it. However, he
varies his patois with his audience. Those who pay any attention at all see the lingual shifts when he is talking to the nation, the NACP or a black church, when he heads south of the Mason-Dixon line, etc. He’s a friggin chameleon, a phony through and through.
Another Jew-hating anti-Semitic critic of the greatest of heroes, Benjamin NetanyahuReplyDelete
Israel’s politicians and the public were today challenged by one of the country’s most celebrated writers over their failure to oppose a unilateral strike on Iran and the “megalomaniacal” vision of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
In one of the most impassioned warnings yet against such a strike, leading Israeli novelist David Grossman lamented the lack of anti-war demonstrations and the “fatalistic resignation” shown by the Israeli public in the face of “what seems to grow more threatening every day.”
Mr Grossman acknowledged in the liberal daily Haaretz that a nuclear-armed Iran was a “real danger”. But he said an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities “could turn out to be the biggest mistake ever by an Israeli government.”
The author, whose tank commander son Uri was killed during the 2006 Lebanon war, said there were serving ministers and defence officials “who in private express opposition to an attack; who believe that an Israeli attack will only defer Iran's nuclearisation for a very short time. They fear the profound consequences an attack would have for Israel's….very survival. Why aren't they standing up right now, when it is still possible, and saying: ‘We will not be a party to this?’ Is loyalty to the system more important than loyalty to the things they have devoted their lives to - Israel's security and future?”
He added: “And what about us, the Israeli people…….who clam up in fatalistic resignation with eyes wide shut? How will we face ourselves and our children when we are asked why we kept silent? Why we didn't take to the streets in masses to demonstrate against the possibility of another war launched by us? Why we didn’t set up a single symbolic protest tent in front of the Prime Minister’s Residence to warn against the potential disaster heading our way?”
Your leading line proves what an anti-semite you are.Delete
As for the the author his admitting that Iran was a real danger only disagrees with the method to make Iran a non-issue.
But keep trolling the internet on a daily basis looking for anyone (jews included) that dislike Bibi.
Just proves your bias.
In the meantime, Iran today announced a new and better rocket to kill AMericans and Israelis with.
Deuce when do you apply for citizenship in Iran?
I forgot that irony is above your pay-grade.Delete
Just why should I like your prime minister? I met Bibi years ago before I knew anything about him. I read the smirk on his face when he got cute about Americans. I still detested him when on an interview on “Meet the Press” he compared the loss of one Israeli soldier to the death of 50 Americans. I disliked him then and like him less now. I think he is a cynical political skunk. He is your creep, not mine. That is not bias. It is cold contempt.
As to my applying for another citizenship, I do not have torn national obligations. I don’t do flag pairing and have had military obligations only to the US. I don’t willing send money to a foreign power.Delete
Ah, now we've heard from the land of m'lords, and qweens, and bonny pwinces. Gimmee a break.ReplyDelete
I'll make this asshole a deal. I'll stay out of British politics, and he can do the same in regards to the American License.
And, I'll ask again; Why would we have the bust of a Foreign Leader in the White House?
Unfortunately, the people of Iowa, and Ohio DO VOTE in U.S. Elections, and even the Republicans, there, are not happy with Romney's new-found, Big-Carbon, Anti-Renewable stance.ReplyDelete
Though Republican leaders have taken care to blame the campaign and not the candidate, they have not been shy about criticizing elimination of the wind tax credit.
U.S. Reprepresentative Tom Latham of Iowa came out with a statement the same evening, duly reported by the Register:
“I’m disappointed that the statement by Governor Romney’s spokesperson shows a lack of full understanding of how important the wind energy tax credit is for Iowa and our nation. It’s the wrong decision. Wind energy represents one of the most innovative and exciting sectors of Iowa’s economy.”
Republican senators from Iowa, Arkansas, and Massachusetts weighed in along similar lines and the Republican governor of Iowa, Terry Branstad, followed up with an interview on Radio Iowa in which he blamed “a bunch of east coast people” for Romney’s position.
Clean Technica (http://s.tt/1jSLQ)
and tell me if Romney can afford to piss off Any voters in Ohio, or Iowa.
Here's the way I understand it so far: Obama wants to raise Romney's taxes, and Romney wants to raise Mine (and, most likely, Yours.)ReplyDelete
What am I missing?
That left the Tax Policy Center to make some educated guesses about how Romney's tax plan would work when they evaluated its distributional impact. TPC found that the plan would cut taxes on the wealthy and raise taxes on the middle class.
Romney doesn't like the Tax Policy Center's analysis of his tax proposals, and he really doesn't like the way Barack Obama is talking about the TPC analysis. But he won't do the obvious thing to rebut their claims: tell us what his tax plan actually is.
Obama has an ad on the air using TPC's numbers to say the Romney plan will raise taxes by as much as $2,000 on middle class families, while cutting taxes for the rich. Romney says that's false -- he says he won't raise taxes on middle income people or lower the share paid by high-income folks.
The problem with Romney's claim is that TPC could find no way to make those numbers pencil. Romney has promised to cut earned income tax rates by 20 percent across the board, and also to eliminate the Alternative Minimum Tax. Even if you eliminate every non-investment tax preference enjoyed by wealthy people, that still leaves them with a tax cut. (Romney has pledged to preserve tax preferences for investment.)
If your tax plan is revenue-neutral, as Romney's campaign sometimes says his plan is, and it cuts taxes on somebody, it has to raise taxes on somebody else. The arithmetic is pretty simple -- the Romney plan has to cut taxes on the rich, and therefore it has to raise taxes on somebody else.
If Romney thinks TPC missed something, and he has a way to make his plan . . . . . .
Me, or Thee, Brutha
Let's see how many of those White Obama-haters go to the polls, and vote to lower Romney's taxes, and Raise Their Own.ReplyDelete
The ultimate definition of "The Party of Stupid." tm
The Democratic Leadership is trying to push through the Senate a Bill that would hold the Tax Cuts in place for 98% of Americans. Let's see if it can get through the Republican-led House of Representatives.Delete
My girl, Serena williams kicks ass.
Takes down Sharapova 6-0, 6-1 to take olympic gold.
The announcers indicated her serves match those of Federer for speed (and today for accuracy).
(We grow good, strong peasant stock here in Michigan.)
Way to go girl.
DeuceSat Aug 04, 02:41:00 AM EDTReplyDelete
"Dan Hannan, Nigel Farage, Ron Paul, a few of my very few favorite politicians."
Great post, Deuce
...followed by the inevitable anti-liberty rants from Socialist Rufie.
This is why I hate the PC pukes in this country and worldwide (especially Canada).
Reaching: Gymnist-Monkey Comparison
(By the way, I also think Bob Costas is a dick.)
A very small dick.
"(By the way, I also think Bob Costas is a dick.)"Delete
Don't make fun of a very short Dick, er, Bob.
Jeremy Lind is a humble Christian.ReplyDelete
Plum Pickings for Socialist Rufus to ravage.
...just a suggestion, Ruf.
Rufus IISat Aug 04, 10:24:00 AM EDTReplyDelete
"The Democratic Leadership is trying to push through the Senate a Bill that would hold the Tax Cuts in place for 98% of Americans. Let's see if it can get through the Republican-led House of Representatives."
Socialist Rufie takes his usual stand against the defense of small business.
...what else is new?
97% of small businesses come out better under Obama's plan, rather than Romney's, Doug.Delete
Why wear a false mask of conservative or libertarian, Ruf?ReplyDelete
Just come out and be honest about the leftist-socialist you really are.
...make it easier on yourself, and all those exposed to your Socialist Bilge.
I'm not in the 2%, Doug. I'm in the other 98%.Delete
I intend to vote my self-interest.
(as Reagan would say)
We're both members of the 98% club...
...With radically different opinions.
This is how out of touch Obama's team is, arguing that with millions out of work or underemployed, that the latest unemployment figures are a rounding error.
Rather than 8.3% -- the rounded-up figure -- Obama economic adviser Alan Krueger writes on the White House website that the real jobless rate is 8.254%.
"The household survey showed that the unemployment rate ticked up to 8.3% in July (or, more precisely, the rate rose from 8.217% in June to 8.254% in July)," wrote Krueger, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers.
He added: "Acting BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) Commissioner John Galvin noted in his statement that the unemployment rate was 'essentially unchanged' from June to July."
Surely, there is an adult in politics somewhere in this country
Actually, and essentially, things are great:Delete
Vote to re-elect BHO!
(...chews on "Hope"...)
Over the last couple weeks I have heard Pawlenty touted as the leader in the GOP VP sweeps.
Given Romney's unwillingness to release his tax returns, is Pawlenty really the guys he wants as VP?
The accusations against Pawlenty centered on payments made to him for more than a year, from August 2001 until just before the election, while he was campaigning to become governor of Minnesota.
During that time, Pawlenty:
• accepted $4,500 a month from a company headed by a business partner, campaign adviser and Republican strategist, Elam Baer, but failed to declare the income to the state's Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board;
• set up a shell company to receive the money, with only one employee – himself;
• was formerly a director of, and remained an investor in, NewTel, the parent company of the firm making the payments to him. New Tel headed a telecommunications group heavily penalised for scamming customers in 10 states;
• subsequently refused to make public his tax returns on the grounds they were private.
No Pawlenty fan here.Delete
Harry Reid has published NO tax returns for himself.
...might bring up LA Times revelatory articles of Harry's fraudulent land deals for profit, again.
Don't need that.
...and Nancy eats KFC.
Like I eat Socialist Excrement.
Black Ministers come out to differentiate civil rights from "Same Sex Marriage"ReplyDelete
...the horror of it all.
Romney to Reid: "Put up or shut up," over taxes allegation.
Stupid advise from a flaming idiot:
Coulter on Romney releasing his taxes: Releasing Tax Records Would Be Giving In To Obama's "Modus Operandi"
Release the tax returns, explain them, move on, and do it quickly.
Former Senator Larry 'Widestance' Craig, R-Idaho, is being sued by the FEC for around $300,000. They say he filched money from his campaign funds to pay for his legal defense after he got caught looking for Romance from any stranger in a restroom stall at an airport in Minnesota. Widestance says he was on a constitutionally appropriate trip to and from Congress and he is covered by the Constitution. FEC demurs.ReplyDelete
Widestance is not a wealthy man to my knowledge. This may wear him down. Maybe he will end up with a job cleaning restrooms at an airport.
In fact, the Romney aide was stating an obvious truth. The reason that the US and the UK are allies, the reason we fought side by side in the three global conflicts of the last century, as well as in many smaller engagements, is that we tend to look at the world in the same way. Our core beliefs – representative government, free contract, individual liberty, jury trials, open competition, private property, habeas corpus – lead us to react to the same problems in similar ways. Whatever our individual family origins, those precepts are an Anglo-Saxon patrimony.ReplyDelete
The same type of reasoning should apply to our relationship with Israel. We get much of our cultural heritage from the Jewish writings. The exodus from Egypt was burning deeply in the hearts of many of those who first came to these shores. Jewish scriptural references are to be found all over our country, though these days memories are becoming dim, the heritage doesn't seem to be passing down as it used to do, and we are forgetting who we were and from where we came.
Romney seems to remember, and be aware, and retain the connection.
Obama empowers the Muslim Brotherhood.
George W Bush empowered the Muslim Brotherhood, Mr Obama merely ...Delete
Stayed the Course!
Grover Norquist continues the fight for the all important Islamic vote.Delete
Atlas has a post on the increasing silence of the right wing blogosphere about all things Islamic, following the Party Line:
See McBrain's attack on Bachman...
...which required a flip flop from a year ago on his part.
If nobody else links the Atlas piece, I'll find it when I get the time.
Musings from from the pastoral north where every man collects farm subsidies, reads his copy of Five Hundred Greatest American Poems, and carries around a packet of poisoned bait on the off chance he will spot some wolf spore as he drives from his home to the casino.
Lord love a duck.
Lord Love a Duck, Indeed.
Hey, these Casinos compete hard with one another. Ask Adelson. Ask It'se Ye Ye Casino. Further the last time I tried to stay in their RV Park by the river I got run off for not paying the fee. They were going to put me in the Reservation lock up but I told 'em I had a white lawyer that would just bail me out, you are bound by Federal Law too, I told 'em, and they let me go without filing a motion. The Reds collect farm subsidies too and now I am not so worried about the wolves cause we have a more immediate problem: cougar on the loose in town. Every Jake and Jane has loaded the rifle in the rack in the back window of the pickups. 2nd Amendment. It's a great country.Delete
Yeh, I heard the cougar was back.
Give Sally my regards when you see her again.
Here in the pastoral north, we still bury our dead, properly. I was reading the other day that in the eastern Necropolis of Detroit they are now dumping murder victims at random about the town, to the point where it is becoming hard for Sanitation and Coroners to keep up.Delete
Romney's Tax Plan would have saved him over $1,800,000, that's $1.8 million, on his 2010 income.ReplyDelete
While costing the average income earner $500 more in Federal taxes each year.
Now, Mitt says that the figuring was done by an unfair and biased group, the same one he quoted while campaigning against Rick Perry. Telling US then that the scorekeeper was unbiased and fair.
The only person that can put up or shut up on the content Mr Romney's tax returns, is Mr Romney.
He should release them, or suffer the slings and arrows that will be coming his way, incessantly.
Perception is reality, it seems a reasonable perception that Mr Romney paid no taxes in '08 and '09.
He can prove he did. If he releases his forms.
He still has not filed his 2011 forms, which were due last April.
Mr Obama, he did release his birth certificate.
A goose and gander standard?
A birth certificate that many investigators, including Deuce, have declared to be a layered phony as worthless as a three dollar bill.Delete
A birth certificate the authorities in Hawaii have and will again swear is accurate.Delete
Even Sheriff Joe came up empty, despite spending a considerable amount of Maricopa Count taxpayers money attempting to prove it a forgery.
Mr Obama has provided the documentation requested by his critics, why hasn't Mitt?
If he's paid taxes, he should prove it.
If he hasn't, he should come clean with the voters.
The election is all about "The Economy" and Tax Policy, after all.Delete
What is Mitt hiding?
If he really is a "successful" businessman, he should be proud of it.Delete
He should prove it.
How much did Mr "Successful" earn?
How much did he pay in taxes on those earnings?
How successful was he, really?
How much did the government subsidize his "success"?
Did he "do it" on his own, or was he subsidized?Delete
His horse expenses were subsidized, in 2010, to the tune of a $75,000 income tax deduction from his earnings.
That's outlandish, really.
I'm sure the man paid taxes. I'm also sure the amount was breathtakingly small (compared to his income.)Delete
Money earned through his companies in the Caymans, and Bermuda would Not be taxable until the money was brought into the U.S.
I'm sure he filed, eventually, rufus.Delete
I am not sure he paid taxes in '08 or '09.
He may have had losses in both of those years, or carried his '08 losses forward into '09.
I would bet that everything is legal on those returns.
I would also submit that the level of payments he made, in '08 and '09 are directly relevant to the policy debate. In fact they personalize the debate. The reason that Mr Romney is so reticent to release the data, just that. It personalizes the systematic tax inequity in the process which he wishes to expand. In the name of "fairness".
By the way, we know Obama didn't declare around $8,000 on his return that he was paid by the State of Illinois for having some special designation in the legislature there. So, we know Obama is a tax cheat.Delete
You'll say 'small potatoes' others will say nevertheless it is a potato.
Obama never built anything at all in his life in the private sector, and, if he did, we know someone else did it for him, just as he has said.
Most people just really loathe success, don't they?
Read all about Rafalca Derangement Syndrome here -Delete
Some of the symptoms seem to be manifesting themselves around here.
Why is it no one whines about the Soros fortune? He has played the tax code for all the advantages it offers to him. Why no whining about the Oprah fortune, or that of the sage of Omaha, Warren Buffet, who claims his secretary pays more taxes than he, the reason being his profits go into some trusts that will be taxed later.Delete
The list of fat cat democrats taking advantage of what the tax code offers to them is arguably longer than that of the republicans, but it's all about Rafalca and the Romneys, who actually at least created something, and didn't just play the market, or woo people on the tube.
And it is a good bet the Romneys have given more to charity than any of them.
Neither Soros, Oprah, nor Buffet are running for president for starts.
More importantly, knowing that people are asking, why is Romney avoiding releasing the returns? As long as there is no illegality, I personally could give a shit how much taxes he's paid. We all have to deal with the system we've got and no one is going out of their way to pay more taxes than they have to.
That being said, this issue is all about politics. The Dems will play it up for everything it's worth whether he releases the returns or he doesn't. This is hardball. What do you expect them to do?
Bringing up Soros, Oprah, or Buffet is stupid. They have nothing to do with the Romney issue. You are just offering up one more justification or rationalization to muddy the waters.
The decision is up to Romney. He can withhold the returns and say it's none of our business or he can release them, explain them, and try to get this behind him. In my opinion, it's dragged on too long already. But, if he decides to not release them and it ends up biting him in the ass, all I can say is tough shit. It was his decision to make.
As for the charity, I couldn't care less. Nobody knows the reasons people give to charity anyway. It could be compassion, pressure from your religion, a cynical way of impressing others, or probably one of maybe a dozen other reasons. Bottom line, IMO, it's not of the reasons I would look at for judging whether someone is qualified to be president.
Democratic Party denounces it's own candidate in Tennessee -ReplyDelete
Good move, really. Guy sounds like a moron.
Now if only they would denounce Obama for the same reason.
The Three States with a Coincident Economic Activity Index Greater than 1.0 areReplyDelete
Massachusetts (has Obama/Romneycare)
Ohio (which Romney needs to win,) and
Philadelphia Fed Coincident Economic Activity Index
Yep, that Obammiecare has just wrecked, wrecked, I tells ye, Massachusetts.ReplyDelete
That was RomneyCare, rufus, not ObamaCare, in Massachusetts.Delete
Give credit where it is due.
I have trouble keeping them straight.
Being as how they are virtually identical and all.
Yup, you will be going to a virtually identical early grave under both plans, Rufus, when the culling gets going good. 130,000 per year off to an early grave in merry ol' England, these days. Maybe be around a half million here, or more, when the machinery gets lubed up.Delete
Actually, Obama/Romneycare more closely resembles the Swiss model, and they have damned fine medical care for the elderly.Delete
Besides, I'm worried about my kids, and grandkids. I'm coming up on my expiry date quite rapidly, anyway.Delete
Switzerland has 'suicide tourism' too!Delete
When you've had enough Ruf, just fly on over and save the taxpayers here some bucks :)
Patriotic duty, and all that.
Be sure to purchase a 'one way' ticket, though. :)
Quirk's "Master of the English Language" at work --ReplyDelete
Nine minutes of belly laughs for your evening entertainment.
Curiosity lands on Mars tomorrow night -ReplyDelete
Big deal in the astro world.
Nice name, too.
Landing on a site thought to have contained abundant water in the past.
Dressage News covers Rafalca and the Olympics, Jan Ebeling and Ann Romney -ReplyDelete
Possibly the coolest Curiosity instrument is the ChemCam, which uses a laser beam to shoot rocks (and maybe a Martian or two) in order to vaporize a small sample. A spectrograph will then analyze the vapor, determining the composition and chemistry of the rocks. Situated on Curiosity's head, ChemCam can shoot up to 23 feet and should provide unprecedented detail about minerals on the Martian surface.ReplyDelete
aaaahh...we could shoot the head of...er,un......and see what the rocks are made of.....
Q Society of Australia, Inc.ReplyDelete