January 23, 2011

"His numbers are UP!" Two Straws in Desperate Grasps

Two meme dreams emerged over the last week in conversations and on the web. I'm sure you've noticed both even though neither means anything.

On the left the straw being grasped and held as if it was a baseball bat about to knock something somewhere out of the park is, "His numbers are UP!" -- which comes and goes in the comments to this item as it does in many other places along the muddy banks of Denial:
Wow!… Even the Dye Jobs Are Staged on KA-CHING!

The meaning of "His numbers are UP!" is evidently that with one successful "Together we mourn" speech tucked under his belt, and the bowl of warm "Jobs" drool about to be served to the nation and congress this week, there is nothing, but nothing, in the next two years that will deny him The Resurrection.

Yes, roll away the stone, brothers and sisters! Neither insidious unemployment, terrorist attacks, natural disasters, Arab atomics, crashing global economies, warmal colding, nor an alienated tea-drinking multitude of independent voters with "Won't Get Fooled Again" looping on their iPods, can stop this enfant terrible from another bite at the apple. After all, "His numbers are UP!" and what goes up never comes down. That's their plaintive hope.

As somebody's pappy once said, "Hope in one hand and shit in the other and see which one fills up first."

But not all straws are in the desperate grasp of the left. On the right we hear -- when it comes to the magic Mitt man -- the same refrain, "His numbers are UP!" The breathlessly repeated news kibble that Romney Wins New Hampshire Republican Straw Poll is supposed to be an indicator that... well.... "His numbers are UP!" As above the subtext is "what goes up can never come down so all you other contenders who don't have the support of some republicans in New Hampshire might just as well sit down and wait for his inauguration, for, LO AND BEHOLD!, the Mitt is the O-slayer for whom we have waited all these loooooong years." That's their plaintive hope.

As somebody's pappy once said, "Hope in one hand and shit in the other and see which one fills up first."

More hair-care for men but with a subtler dye job.... just a touch of gray. Most "presidential."

"His numbers are UP!" only says to me that our long national nightmare of hearing about who is certain to win in 2012 has only just begun. Between now and that distant November, the world will have its way with both these pretenders. It won't be pretty, but it will be, as always, instructive.

Posted by Vanderleun at January 23, 2011 10:50 AM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

The guy can practically barnstorm the state at will every weekend from his place in Boston and never mind fifty percent, he can't even break forty? Seriously? This should be Romney and "Ah, Your Majesty, there is no second place" and it's not.

Posted by: Rich Fader at January 23, 2011 11:51 AM

I can't stand Romney. He's too shiny. I have lived in New Hampshire for 13 years. This poll doesn't mean much - New Hampshirites are cagey, contrarian, taciturn and unlikely to tell you what they really think. Also, they take a long time to shop around before they make up their minds.

Posted by: Amy at January 23, 2011 2:09 PM

But you just know that there's a huge man-crush on Romney from the GOP elite. Have you ever witnessed a man-crush in the corporate world? It's a wonder to behold as otherwise reasonable men go ape over someone onto whom they can project their eluded dreams.

Time to declare the Republican Party a damaged brand, much as they wish to do to Palin. They are damaged and they are confused if they think we will give them our vote "just because."

Posted by: Joan of Argghh! at January 23, 2011 2:57 PM

Once'd uponnatime, Romney the Rino built his house out of straw poll, and then Sarah, She Wolf of the SS came and blowed it AWWWWW DOWN!

Posted by: Jewel at January 23, 2011 3:01 PM

Joan, we just gave the GOP elite the boot and elected tea partier Jack Kimball as NH Republican party chairman. Kimball rose to prominence right up Route 1 from where I live, by putting up taunting, not-politically-correct, anti-Obama messages on the sign in front of his business, Great Bay Facility Maintenance.

Posted by: Amy at January 23, 2011 3:40 PM

If punditry follows the historical formula, I think we'll see a Republican National Convention that ends somewhere darker than the last scene of "Unforgiven". When the currently unknown now but by then victorious Big "C" conservative candidate (abhorrent to the elite RINO caste and terrifying to the Legacy Media) takes the stage, he or she will begin by naming the names of the Old Guard who need to go before the Party is ready to return to being grand...

It is a time for great people to stand up.

The time left that even great people can stem the disaster is dwindling. Put me down for "too late".

But I've been wrong before. Pray, let me be wrong this time.

Posted by: TmjUtah at January 23, 2011 4:50 PM

I would like to create a Frankenstein monster Obama-challenger out of Sarah Palin, Chris Christie (dig his youtube teacher-union smackdowns), budget geekboy Paul Ryan, supergov Mitch Daniels, soon-to-be-5-star-general Petraeus (best last name), and, who?? I think there's someone out there.

Posted by: Amy at January 23, 2011 5:04 PM

The new guv of South Carolina, Nikki Haley seems to be sprouting up some brave and sturdy shoots, Amy.

Posted by: Jewel at January 23, 2011 5:55 PM

Good! There shouldn't be just One, but many.

Posted by: Amy at January 23, 2011 6:28 PM

"Instead, the current rise is exclusively a direct result of three interrelated phenomena: 1) the tragic January 8, 2011, Tucson shootings; 2) the hysterical left-wing scapegoating of everyone from the Tea Party to Sarah Palin for the violence; and 3) the sudden emergence of a sober and judicious Mandela-like Obama, quite admirably calling for calm on all sides — while suggesting simultaneously that the horrific killings had no connection with the right wing, but also that the horrific killings offer an appropriate moment to reconsider all political zealotry in general."


If VDH is right, and he usually is, this will be forgotten before the Cherry Blossoms bloom.

Posted by: Fat Man at January 23, 2011 8:49 PM

Obama will be formidable in 2012 as long as there is no third party candidate on the left, which is unlikely. A third party candidate splitting the anti-Obama vote is much more likely.

The same institutional forces that supported him in 2008 (unions, universities, mainstream media and entertainment, the Left, blacks, and the 40% or so who always vote Democratic) will be behind him. All of the advantages of incumbency will be with him. There won't be a Ross Perot or John Anderson to split the vote.

The Republicans will have one chance only, and they have to reconcile the enthusiasts for people just like them who say the things they like to hear, with the need to get someone who can actually govern.

Oh yeah, the real issues are likely to be foreign policy and national security, all the while the Republican base is obsessing over the relatively minor differences the candidates have over close-to-home domestic policy. So the process and the public are not aligned for guaranteed success for whoever gains the nomination. If anything, the odds against are steep and growing steeper.

Posted by: Dan D at January 24, 2011 8:32 AM

I don't care if his numbers are up. I want to hear that his TIME is up.

Posted by: Roger Drew Williams at January 24, 2011 6:54 PM