Must Reads

The Independent Rundown, October 23

The day’s essential reads for independents and centrists.

Independent Nation gives you 5 must reads for independents and centrists for Tuesday, October 23

1. “Romney Says He’s Winning – It’s a Bluff,” at New York magazine.

Can he fake it ‘til he makes it? Romney’s recent swagger is all a projection, writes Jonathan Chait, a ploy to make it look like he’s doing better than he really is. From the Romney campaign's much ado in North Carolina turning out to be a whole lot of nothing to a media-op rally in Pittsburgh, is Romney’s “momentum” little more than a last-minute bluff?


2. “Mauled by Ads, Incumbents Look to Declaw Outside Groups,” in The New York Times.

Could incumbent Republicans end up being the key opponents to the spreading influence of dark money? Though they’ve long stood steadfast against restrictions on deep-pocketed Americans letting their cash speak for them, Republican legislators fighting for their political lives against upstarts with super PAC-backing may now start speaking out against post-Citizens United campaign finance. Whether or not they will be able to turn that resistance into legislation is another matter.Read more at The New York Times.

3. “Religion, Race and Double Standards,” at The Daily Beast.

Tim Russert once asked Mitt Romney how he felt about the fact that until the age of 31 the now-presidential candidate belonged to a church that did not recognize its black male members as full participants. It’s time to ask that difficult question about Mormonism again, writes The Daily Beast’s Andrew Sullivan. “Look: every religion has these stains in its past,” Sullivan writes. All the more reason to talk about them.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

4. “Filibuster or Bust? Reformers See a (Small) Window,” at The Washington Post.

Harry Reid – who delivered the chop to a filibuster reform bill in 2010 – may be the deciding factor as a shimmering ray of hope peeps through for another shot at remaking one of the Senate’s most curious customs. A new stab at reform would like come in the first days of the new session, but most legislators remain unsure of just how much of his weight Reid is willing to throw behind it, and are keeping their mouths shut until after the election.

Read more at The Washington Post.

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5. “Romney’s Tough-Talking 2008 Foreign Policy Views,” at Buzzfeed;“2008 Called. It Wants to Know What Happened to Barack Obama,” at Gawker. Here’s a Tuesday twofer, courtesy of Buzzfeed and Gawker. Mitt Romney’s ability to shift his positions shows a mental plasticity rarely witnessed among homo sapiens, and a collection of Buzzfeed videos shows just how much the Republican candidate’s foreign policy positions – or at least the way he expresses them – have mellowed since 2008. Obama’s also undergone a transformation, but in this case it’s from the candidate who stood above politics to the double-fisted incumbent who fires off stump neologisms like “Romnesia.”

Read more at Buzzfeed and Gawker.