The Weathervane Avoids Disaster

Wednesday, February 29, AD 2012

 

What could have been a very bad night for Mitt Romney, a/k/a The Weathervane, turned out to be mixed.  He won handily in Arizona, a state none of his opponents seriously contested.  In Michigan he dodged a bullet by eking out a 3 point victory over Santorum  The problem for the Weathervane is that Michigan should have been one of his strongest states, a state where his father was governor, and which he won by nine points in the Republican primary in 2008.  Outspending Santorum three to one, he barely won a victory in a state which should have been his going away.  Ironically he owed his victory to the fact that his old nemesis Gingrich stayed in and deprived Santorum of a winning margin.

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32 Responses to The Weathervane Avoids Disaster

  • That’s as good a spin for Santorum as can be hoped, but the GOP electorate has decided that the most electable candidate is the one that takes Obamacare, energy production and the HHS mandate off the table.

  • Nothing was decided last night Dale, and we will see if anything gets decided next week.

  • I know Santorum can recover. In an interesting development, he won southern Macomb County’s congressional district, home of the Reagan Dems.

    But I continue to be stunned by the unexamined assumption that Mitt is the most electable. I guess those folks assume gas will be at $5 a gallon and Romney will somehow wave away his cap-and-trade law.

    Here’s hoping Ohio has better critical thinking skills.

  • Romney appeals to those GOP insiders who always wish to go with the safe choice. Play it safe is always the motto of the GOP establishment, the same type of people who backed Ford in 1976, Dole in 1996 and McCain in 2008. The safe choice can win but it is always by a hair, Nixon in 68, Bush in 2000 and 2004, unless the Democrat implodes, McGovern in 1972 and Dukakis in 1988. Fortunately for Romney, if he does end up being the nominee, I think Obama will be in sad shape in November due to high unemployment, high gas prices, perhaps sky high gas prices, and the coming war with Iran. The announcement by the Israeli government yesterday that they will not give the US government prior notification of an attack on Iran I suspect was done on behalf of the Obama administration to give them plausible deniability of being in cahoots with Israel prior to the attack being launched.

  • Super Tuesday will largely hinge on Ohio. Oklahoma is a layup for Santorum, and Mass is the same for Romney. Georgia is going to be interesting. It’s Newt’s “home” state (despite not being raised there and not currently living there), but Santorum was fairly close in the latest polls. I haven’t seen polls in North Dakota but I would assume that favors Santorum. Tennessee also looks good for Santorum, and Vermont should be another Romney win. Currently Santorum is doing well in Washington, which has its caucus on Saturday. Now I don’t know how recent events will make things shake out, but it’s looking like next Tuesday should be a fairly good day for Santorum.

    As for Michigan, I note that it was the senior vote that put Romney over the top. I can only speculate that many of these folks just thought they were voting for his dad.

  • I can envision Obama’s campaign speeches against Mitt….” my wife doesn’t have a couple of cadillacs and I don’t bet $10,000 on anything and that orientation of ours comes from the gravitas that most families have about life and money irrespective of net worth. To send people into war or to withdraw them from war at the right time requires gravitas…not the light headed modality of someone who seems to never have suffered.”
    It’ll be so easy for Obama writers.
    If Mitt gets that far, it’s going to be impossible not to watch the gaff meter….like counting the number of times basketball player Allen Iverson said “practice” to the sports media in his now
    famous sports press conference of another time. How many hard pressed families can Mitt offend per week by implying they are not successful in the shallowest area of life. It’s going to be pro choice versus smiley shallow. Obama may even raise the question as to whether God has ensouled Romney to date (ergo his lack of empathy with the unsuccessful)….God ensouled Adam while the latter was fully adult and breathed the soul through Adam’s nostrils. Can’t rule it out.

  • One of my favorite Democrats, Mickey Kaus, has some choice words for the GOP establishment:

    http://dailycaller.com/2012/02/28/david-broooks-sad-elite/

  • Michael Barone has an interesting analysis of last night’s returns suggesting that they show Romney’s potential strength in the fall (in brief: Romney managed to do better in the suburbs than Republican presidential candidates have done in 20 years).

    Looking at the delegate math, it’s not clear to me that Santorum has a path to victory at this point. He can draw out the campaign, potentially damaging the eventual nominee in the fall, but I don’t see how he wins a majority of delegates.

  • Currently Santorum is doing well in Washington, which has its caucus on Saturday.

    Two things… Saturday is just at the precinct level. Then we have the county level on 3/31. Then state is somewhere down the line from there. The WSRP is notorious for going for the safe choice. Also, WA is a rather left wing state, so a moderate is about all I expect to get WA’s delegates.

  • “Also, WA is a rather left wing state, so a moderate is about all I expect to get WA’s delegates.”

    Actually Washington is a divided state, with the Republicans tending to be very conservative and the Democrats being very liberal. I expect Santorum to do well there.

  • “Looking at the delegate math, it’s not clear to me that Santorum has a path to victory at this point. He can draw out the campaign, potentially damaging the eventual nominee in the fall, but I don’t see how he wins a majority of delegates.”

    Considering that the contest has just started BA, I don’t see how anyone can do delegate math and reach that conclusion. As to damaging Romney, I think Romney manages quite capably by himself in regard to that. If anything, this contest will make Romney a better candidate in the Fall, if he gets the nomination, assuming he has any sort of learning capability at all in regard to becoming a better politician, something I doubt.

  • Bill:

    President Obama’s wife spends on average $2 million (taxpayers’ money) a month on vacations.

    After nearly tthree years in control, Obama had the garvitas to getUS troops out of Iraq. Gitmo is still open. President Obama imnmediately stopped water-boarding three mass murderers; and ordered the aerial drone assassinations of hundreds muslim suspects.

    President Obama may now get us out of Afghanistan, after his apologoes got a bunch of our soldiers shot in the backs of their heads.

    But hey, I’m with President Obama on the apologies initiative.

    If I were President Obama, I would release the following statement:

    “On behalf of the Fifty-Seven United States of America, I apologize for the deaths of 19 muslims who were killed by New York City’s World Trade Center on 11 September 2001.”

  • Donald,

    CNN has an interactive delegate calculator that lets you look at various options. I’ve played around with it a fair amount. Romney currently leads Santorum by 100 delegates, and has another 140 all but guaranteed in Massachusetts (his real home state), Virginia (where Santorum isn’t even on the ballot), and Utah (self-explanatory). If we assume on the other side that Santorum will win Pennsylvania (which is winner take all), that still leaves him with a 168 delegate deficit to Romney. Given that the delegates in most of the remaining states are allotted proportionately, the only way that Santorum can come back from this delegate hole is if Romney collapses completely, which is not going to happen.

  • Actually Washington is a divided state, with the Republicans tending to be very conservative and the Democrats being very liberal. I expect Santorum to do well there.

    It would be nice. However, my experience is west of the Cascades, which is a different reality than eastern WA. Four years ago, all I heard was “We must support McCain! He’s the only one that’s electable!” There were better conservative options, in my opinion then. Can the east’s more conservative bent overcome the west’s more liberal tendencies? I hope.

  • There were better conservative options, in my opinion then.

    You mean like Romney?

  • Santorum reminds me of a good sports team that can rally to beat their rivals in one game a year, but don’t have the talent to put up a playoff-quality W/L record over a season. Santorum basically tied Romney in Iowa, where Romney didn’t spend much time. Rick swept the three non-binding states on February 7th, but again, they were largely uncontested. Rick avoided direct fights with Romney in Maine, Florida, Arizona, and Nevada. Michigan was the first time the two of them invested effort in the same state, and Mitt won.

    If Romney gets a boost in the polls after this win, he could have a pretty good Super Tuesday. If Santorum can win OH, OK, and TN, he’d prove himself to be a contender, but if he loses any of them then Romney will return to being the presumed nominee. And I think he can grind out a win from there.

  • “if Romney collapses completely, which is not going to happen.”

    Frankly BA nothing would surprise me this campaign. Additionally I assume that Gingrich will give his delegates to Santorum eventually if he can forestall the nomination of Romney by doing so. I rather suspect that Ron Paul would do the same for Romney if that is what it takes to ensure that he is the nominee so there are wheels within wheels here. California with 169, and New Jersey with 50, are winner take all states on June 5, and they may decide it.

  • Donald,

    If Paul does give his delegates to Romney, then that will more than cancel out any advantage Santorum gets if Newt gives him his delegates (though I don’t expect it will come to that). In fact, if the Paul camp is to be believed a lot of Santorum’s delegates are really Paul delegates, since they come mainly from caucus states that Paul claims to have infiltrated. Of course, all that only matters if there is a brokered convention, which I doubt will happen.

    You are right that New Jersey is winner take all. I didn’t list it as one of Romney’s guaranteed wins, but I think he is very likely to win there because of Christie’s support and the state’s favorable demographics. The demographics are favorable to Romney in California too, but you are mistaken in saying the state is winner take all. As in Michigan, California’s delegates are awarded by congressional district. My hope would be that the race will have concluded long before then. If not, that will be an enormous waste of time and money that could be better spent with an eye towards the fall.

  • “If Paul does give his delegates to Romney, then that will more than cancel out any advantage Santorum gets if Newt gives him his delegates (though I don’t expect it will come to that).”

    It depends upon what the number of delegates are for each candidate by the time of the convention BA, and assumptions on what those numbers will be are merely guesstimates at best.

    “In fact, if the Paul camp is to be believed a lot of Santorum’s delegates are really Paul delegates, since they come mainly from caucus states that Paul claims to have infiltrated.”

    That sounds like the type of conspiracy mongering that I would expect from the devotees of Doctor Delusional.

    “You are right that New Jersey is winner take all. I didn’t list it as one of Romney’s guaranteed wins, but I think he is very likely to win there because of Christie’s support and the state’s favorable demographics.”

    Last night was the first night I believe in which a candidate endorsed by a Republican governor won that governor’s state. We will see what New Jersey looks like by June 5.

    “The demographics are favorable to Romney in California too, but you are mistaken in saying the state is winner take all. As in Michigan, California’s delegates are awarded by congressional district.”

    Most are awarded by district and some are awarded state wide. I was misinformed initially by a site that didn’t note the change of California from winner take all in 2004. As for demographics, unless the Mormons are holding out on their numbers from the census figures, or there is a demographic favorable in the Republican party to fake conservatives from Massachusetts, I am unsure how anyone can speak assuredly about demographics this early in the contest.

  • Depending on the state, not all delegates are obligated to vote as their caucuses or primaries dictated. There are also super delegates wh can vote however they want.

  • T Shaw,
    Secret Service and secured planes (not poulette au reisling) are the expense in Presidential vacations. Just war theory requires success as possible. That rules out the Afghanistan fiasco. If you owed Visa $14 trillion, would you spend another one trillion rearranging but not changing two unbaptized populations one of whom will be farming opium until Elijah returns? Look at the mountains there…impossible to police. One in five vets has PTSD. That comes from risking for no gain.

  • the same type of people who backed Ford in 1976, Dole in 1996 and McCain in 2008. The safe choice can win but it is always by a hair, Nixon in 68, Bush in 2000 and 2004,

    For the record, Mr. Ford was the incumbent president, who had not done a poor job in office. Mr. Dole’s principal opponents were a newspaper columnist and a magazine publisher. Mr. McCain’s principal opponents were the fellow you refer to as ‘the Weathervane’, the fellow you refer to as ‘Doctor Delusional’, and Gov. Huckabee. Mr. Nixon’s principal opponents were Gov. Rockefeller and Gov. Reagan, the latter of whom had been in office all of a year and a half; his margin of victory was shaved to a nubbin by the presence of George Wallace. The show candidate in 2000 was Dr. Keyes, whom I doubt would have improved on Mr. Bush’s performance. I cannot imagine whom you would have nominated in lieu of the President in 2004.

  • “Play it safe is always the motto of the GOP establishment, the same type of people who backed Ford in 1976, Dole in 1996 and McCain in 2008”

    Agreed.

    Now, what’s interesting in this crazy election cycle is who has been added to this mix. No conservative in my little corner of the world that supports Romney today was a McCain supporter of yesteryear. Such is the difference in this election.

  • I’d say that there is a good deal of overlap Paul D.

  • “For the record, Mr. Ford was the incumbent president, who had not done a poor job in office.”

    Disagree Art. I vividly remember the “Win” buttons which was his strategy against inflation.

    “Mr. Dole’s principal opponents were a newspaper columnist and a magazine publisher.”

    I think Steve Forbes would have been far better as a candidate Art than Zombie Dole.

    “Mr. McCain’s principal opponents”

    Better the Huckster than Zombie McCain, although I agree that it was a very bad field that year.

    “Mr. Nixon’s principal opponents were Gov. Rockefeller and Gov. Reagan, the latter of whom had been in office all of a year and a half;”

    You can guess Art who I was supporting at the age of 11.

    “The show candidate in 2000 was Dr. Keyes, whom I doubt would have improved on Mr. Bush’s performance.”

    I was backing Steve Forbes Art, although I hoped that Bush would govern more conservatively than he in fact did.

    “I cannot imagine whom you would have nominated in lieu of the President in 2004.”

    No one Art. I listed 2004 as another example of how safe Republican candidates tend to produce cliff hangers.

  • Heard some really amusing spin this afternoon– a middle conservative guy talking on the radio about how Mitt beat Santorum by so little just because of the liberals– 41 to 38; about two minutes later, he offered as support for Mitt being popular with those who self-identified as conservative: “Mitt won, 43 to 41!”

    No idea who did the polling he was reading off, but it amused me. ^.^

  • Disagree Art. I vividly remember the “Win” buttons which was his strategy against inflation.

    The WIN buttons were an odd public relations campaign. The actual results were as follows:

    Increase in the Consumer Price Index,

    August 1973-August 1974: 10.8%
    January 1976-January 1977: 5.2%

    I think Steve Forbes would have been far better as a candidate Art than Zombie Dole.

    Whether or not he had been a ‘good candidate’, he was running for public office, which he had never before held.

    I was backing Steve Forbes Art

    The three candidates who actually won delegates and more than a scatter of votes were Gov. Bush, Sen. McCain, and Dr. Keyes. I like Keyes, up to a point. Wrong job for him, though.

  • “August 1973-August 1974: 10.8%
    January 1976-January 1977: 5.2%”

    And Ford had as much to do with that Art as his silly WIN Buttons. Inflation went down after the ending of the Arab oil embargo and the economy adjusted to higher energy prices. That inflation had not been cured by Ford’s ministrations was dramatically illustrated during the tenure of his successor.

    “Whether or not he had been a ‘good candidate’, he was running for public office, which he had never before held.”

    I doubt if Dole’s life sinecure in warming a seat in Congress Art made him much better prepared. It certainly did not prevent him from running one of the most lifeless and dispiriting Presidential races that I have ever witnessed by any candidate not named John McCain.

    “I like Keyes, up to a point.”

    I respected Keyes Art until I witnessed the appalling campaign he put on here in Illinois against Obama in the Senate race of 2004. Dreadful beyond belief.

  • And Ford had as much to do with that Art as his silly WIN Buttons. Inflation went down after the ending of the Arab oil embargo and the economy adjusted to higher energy prices. That inflation had not been cured by Ford’s ministrations was dramatically illustrated during the tenure of his successor.

    I had no idea you had studied the intricacies of monetary policies as followed during the years running from 1973 to 1979. In any case, these are the core inflation figures (price increases during the calendar year with food and energy prices excised).

    1973: 3.6%
    1974: 8.3%
    1975: 9.1%
    1976: 6.5%
    1977: 6.3%
    1978: 7.4%
    1979: 9.8%
    1980:12.4%
    1981:10.4%
    1982: 7.4%

    During the Ford Administration, the core inflation figures began to decline around about March of 1975 and continued to do so (not quite monotonically) until he left office. During the Carter Administration, they began to escalate around June of 1978 reaching their peak in June of 1980.

  • A handy dandy resource for looking at inflation in the US from 1914-2012 is at the below link Art:

    http://www.usinflationcalculator.com/inflation/historical-inflation-rates/

    Inflation reached a low of 4.9% in November of 1976. In December of 1976 it had bounced back to 5.8%. December of 1977 it was up to 6.5%. Ford enjoyed a brief decline in the seventies inflationary spiral for about a year and a half, but his policies had not touched the core of the problem which took Reagan to address.

  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes this data.

    Month-to-month headline inflation figures bounce around quite a bit. The core inflation figures have the volatile food and energy prices removed so fluctuate less. The month-to-month core metrics were on a downward trajectory from March of 1975 to the time Mr. Ford left office and for some months thereafter. Specifically, core inflation was running at an annualized rate of 11.7% in February of 1975 and at one of 6.3% in July of 1977. The country was not in a recession at that time either. The recession ended in early 1975.

    I do not see how that qualifies as poor performance, no matter how much milage comedians got out of the WIN program. All administrations are messy and make errors. In my lifetime, we have had three administrations (Nixon’s, the younger Bush’s, and the current one) which made far more severe errors than any Gerald Ford ever contemplated without incurring severe intraparty challenges, one administration which incurred a challenge for reasons irrelevant to its actual flaws (Mr. Carter’s), and two administrations among the least problematic of the post-war period who were badly injured by intra-mural party squabbling (Messrs. Ford and Bush the Elder). The only occasion where truly wretched performance met with a relevant challenge (albeit a challenge with poor prescriptions) occurred in 1968.

  • This seems to be the source of that amusing soundbite I mentioned.

    I figured out what was screwy– most major lefties don’t ID as dem, they’re “independent.” If you look at how people self-ID’ed by ideology– which is a bit more reliable– then he was far more popular with “moderate or liberal” than Rick.

    The probability that any people really trying to screw with the primary would lie like a dog makes the data even shakier, but not much you can do there.

It Takes A Family

Monday, February 27, AD 2012

I recently completed Rick Santorum’s It Takes A Family.  I quipped on Twitter that had I read this before the campaign started then Santorum would have been my top Rick pick before that other Rick entered the race (though I still maintain that Governor Perry would have been an outstanding nominee, but no need to go there).  At times Santorum slips into politician speak – you know, those occasions when politicians feel compelled to tell stories of individual people in order to justify some larger agenda.  And some of the book is a little plodding, especially when he gets into wonkish mode (which fortunately is not all that often).  Those quibbles asides, there are large chunks of this book that could very well have been written by yours truly.  That isn’t meant to be a commentary on my own genius, but rather a way of saying I agree with just about everything this man has to say.

The book title really says it all.  The heart of Rick Santorum’s political philosophy is the family, meaning that to him strong families are the heart of any functioning society.  The family has been undermined both by big government programs and by the culture at large.  Santorum mocks the “village elders” who view more government programs as the solution to all problems.  Santorum acknowledges that many of the problems we face don’t have quick and easy fixes, and often no legislative action can be taken.  Santorum offers a series of small policy proposals that are aimed at giving parents and individuals in tough economic circumstances some tools to help, but he also emphasizes the doctrine of subsidiarity.  Ultimately we must rely principally on local institutions, starting with the family.

Santorum understands what even some on the right fail to appreciate, and that is we can’t divorce social issues from economics.  The breakdown of the family coincides directly with economic hardship.  If we want a healthier economy, we need healthier families.  It’s a central tenet of conservatism that is somehow ignored by large swathes of the political right.

His approach to politics can be summarized in a passage on page 341 of the hardback edition:

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10 Responses to It Takes A Family

  • What a contrast from “Dreams from My Father”. I’m voting for Rick tomorrow, May his tribe be blest.

  • By the grace and mercy of almighty God, Rick will be our next President.

  • I completely agree. If I was judging Santorum based on his books and speeches, voting for him would be trivial. The problem is his voting record does fit with what he says. Correction, doesn’t fit enough with what he says.

  • I think you make a good point here Kyle. I had a conversation last night with a Ron Paul supporter, who is a very faithful Catholic. His contentions with Rick are his support for Title X funding for Planned Parenthood (and other organizations who both provide contraception and perform abortions), his support for the Iraq War (which has been declared an unjust war by both JPII and BXVI) and his support for the use of torture. These are not pieces that mesh well with what Rick says and what he writes (and, for that matter, with the teachings of the Catholic Church). If it truly takes a family and public policies should emphasize that priority, why are we spending tax payer dollars on contraception? What assurances has he given us to prove that he will stick to his morals and principles when making public policy. He fell down on those principles when voting for Title X. George Bush talked great before his presidency, too. He didn’t deliver in dealing head on with the great social issues of our time.

  • I had a conversation last night with a Ron Paul supporter, who is a very faithful Catholic.

    Ah yes, Ron Paul supporters. I wonder what his thoughts are on the fact that Ron Paul is on record as saying that social issues should be completely off the table in this election, and that he’s basically serving no other purpose than to be Mitt Romney’s lapdog.

    his support for the Iraq War (which has been declared an unjust war by both JPII and BXVI)

    Are we really going to go down this road again where we act as though support for the Iraq war signals a break with Church teaching? Both of the popes opposed the war, it is true, but in so doing did not speak with the magisterial authority of the Church. They gave personal opinions on the matter. That is all.

    his support for the use of torture

    Only true if you consider the use of waterboarding as torture. I personally do, but it’s not an open and shut case (and NO, this is not an invitation to go down this rat hole again).

    If you’re looking for policy perfection in your candidates, you’re not going to get it. Every single politician is imperfect because all of them, contrary to the belief of some Obama voters, are human beings.

  • Thanks for the response, Paul and I’m with you on all you said. In fact, I mentioned much of this to him as well. Though I didn’t know that RP wanted all social issues off the table during the campaign.

    I guess I want to make sure that what he is saying is really what he’s going to try to give us. Funding contraception (especially giving funding to places that perform abortions) should not be allowable in his administration if he is going to try to shape this country into one that supports and promotes the family as the building block of this society.

    I believe he very well could, I just want to be reassured. His voting record doesn’t completely do that for me, but I also don’t see a better choice in the field.

  • Here’s Jay Anderson’s post talking about Ron Paul’s comments. Actually he called social issues a loser, but the sentiment is the same.

    I understand your concerns. One of the things to keep in mind is that these issues are more visible than they were during the time that Santorum was a Senator. President Santorum in 2013 would likely treat these funding considerations differently than Senator Santorum in 2003.

  • Just promising us one thing TAC, that whoever wins the nomination, if it is other than Santorum, that the end of the Obama regime is favored over internecine sniping.

  • Well, I can’t speak for my other bloggers, though I suspect most will work to defeat Obama. Personally, I have no intention of supporting Romney, but I will likely simply remain mute on the election.

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Some In Mainstream Media In Full Anti-Catholic Meltdown Mode

Thursday, February 23, AD 2012

Some in the mainstream media are so angry about the existence of faithful Catholics that they can’t help themselves in becoming unhinged. I will reference the main points, but suffice to say that I could write a book on the subject. These latest quotes have caused me to scramble to get information to my editor so as to include at least some of this in my upcoming book; The Tide Continues To Turn Toward Catholicism, a follow up to my first book.  For starters it seems some in mainstream media are so ignorant of religion that even though 90% of Americans belong to some form of Christianity, Judaism and Islam, which all believe that evil is manifested through a figure known as Satan, the media still finds it in their power to mock anyone who thinks evil exists. Some in the media seemed to take glee in pouncing on Catholic and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum. He was called a kook, a nut, deranged, a mullah and an ayatollah, not by nameless posters on leftwing blogs but named writers in serious newspapers.

Leading the charge was that maven of militant secularism and angry people everywhere Maureen Dowd. Here are some of the spoiled nuggets from her dung heap. She calls Santorum a “mullah” who wants to take, “women back to the caves.” She goes on to deride anyone who actually believes in the teachings of the Catholicism that she once practiced.

Never one to miss a chance at apostasy and heresy; Chris Matthews entered the fray with both of his tingling legs.   Matthews claimed the reason the Catholic Church is growing is because homophobic converts are coming into the Church. It would appear that Mr. Matthews is off his meds. Has anyone ever informed mister leg tingler that groups like Courage; the Apostolate run by those who are same sex attracted, is a rapidly growing organization with men and women from all walks of life? They feel the comfort and assurance of living in God’s chaste plan for their lives. The New York Times of all papers did a favorable story on Eve Tushnet, a popular Catholic writer who has ties to the group. She is a successful woman and an Ivy League grad. Are these militant secularists going to claim that she is homophobic?

David Gergen and Donna Brazile (who is Catholic) didn’t take any pot shots at Catholics per see but did point out that liberal feminist organizations didn’t seem smitten with any of the GOP candidates, because they kept talking about religious liberty instead of the rights of birth control? David Gergen even said it with a straight face, which should really frost Rush Limbaugh who has dubbed the Washington establishmentarian; David Rodham Gergen. As much as they refer to the New York Times, they somehow missed Ross Douthat’s op-ed piece on the growth of Natural Family Planning and the number of women who help teach this non birth control view of family planning across the country and world.

The coup de grace of hate came from David Waldman who writes for a number of publications. This little nugget would make the Know Nothing Party of the 1840s smile. I would rather not give him the pleasure of repeating such delusional hatred; if you want to read his screed click here.   UPDATE In a Lisa Miller Washington Post article just out; Ms. Miller not only mocks Catholics but calls bishops “zealots” three times in her article.

If the Catholic Church is so irrelevant why would the likes of Dowd, Matthews and Waldman froth at the mouth at her beliefs? The simple answer is the Catholic Church is growing while their favorite liberal religious bodies are not only dying on the vine, but shriveling in a complete statistical freefall. Catholics and Evangelicals continue to increase in numbers which drive these mouthpieces of militant secularism nuts.

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22 Responses to Some In Mainstream Media In Full Anti-Catholic Meltdown Mode

  • “22 Blessed are you when men hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man. 23 Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their fathers treated the prophets.” St. Luke

    Love them with Christian charity. Instruct them. Admonish them. Counsel them. For as long as they live, and we pray and set good examples through good works and prayer, they may come to a better “mind.”

    They are infallibly ignorant. We will annoy them!

  • I think this might be more ignorance of the culpable variety. Though their consciences are so scarred by their support for abortion and their reduction of Catholic social teaching to the perverse “social justice” variety that their culpability is likely lessened.

    Though culpable they remain. Their souls are at risk and we should weep for them.

    Fast and pray.

  • Iam one of the faithful but I also am becoming a Militant Catholic tired of the Bidens Pelosi,, Sebilius, Mathews,Kerry, and any other that publicly denounces the teachings of our faith.Heres a thought find another Religion one moe to your liking if you dont like the churches teachings LEAVE by the way why are they not EXCOMMUNICATED!

  • No, no, no, you’re not going to get me this time, Dave! I’ve fallen for the “link to a Maureen Dowd column” virus before. One click, and it fills your computer screen with gibberish.

  • Phillip,

    I think you are correct.

    They may be like the seeds that fell among thorn bushes. They hear the Gospel, but love of power, riches and/or the state chokes the Word. They do not bear fruit. Also, they may like be weeds the enemy sowed among wheat. (Matthew 13: 18 – 30; Mark 4: 13 – 20; Luke 8: 11 – 15)

    Their appropriate Bishops need to ex-communicate such persons out of charity to try to save their souls.

    I looked it up. Ex-communication is a reproach more than a punishment. The rite concludes with, “We exclude him from the bosom of our Holy Mother the Church and we judge him condemned to eternal fire with Satan and his angels and all the reprobate, so long as he will not burst the fetters of the demon, do penance and satisfy the Church.” The priest: Closes the book. Rings a bell – symbolizes the toll of death. Extinguishes the candle – symbolizes the removal from the sight of God.

    OTOH, interdict is a punishment.

    They need prayers. Sadly, I have many more needful of prayers.

    Pinky, I stopped following links after having to replace a lap top and a flat-screen TV.

  • Ann Coulter’s latest column, entitled “What’s Their Problem With Romney?”, disparages the other candidates including the “crusading Catholic who can’t seem to move the conversation past contraception”.

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  • “mainstream media” (sic)

    The DLEMM – Dominant Liberal Establishment Mass Media – does not reflect mainstream thought. Referring to the DLEMM as “mainstream” is inaccurate and a mistake. Liberals are not mainstream.

  • Here’ a bit from Nancy Pelosi talking about how the Church should not complain about the mandate as there has been no enforcement by the Church of the ban on contraception. There is a logic to her heresy. Let this awaken the bishops from their long slumber.

    http://cnsnews.com/news/article/pelosi-catholic-church-has-not-enforced-its-teaching-contraception

  • May I add my voice: I too am tired of Catholic bashing! I heard that some time ago in Canada there was a porn shop that neighbors objected to. Many of them put religious medals inside the cracks of the brick walls, and after some time the building burnt down by no apparent reason. My tought would be to send green scapulers and/or miraculous medals to all who hate the Catholic Faith with praying on our part to change their ways. I have done something simular to that in leaving such materials on job sites. May our Great Nation be filled with coversions to our Great Faith…..

  • Grandpa Dave, I like your ideas. Also Dave Hartline, great post! You are always so on target.

  • T. Shaw,
    “22 Blessed are you when men hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man. 23 Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their fathers treated the prophets.” St. Luke
    “…and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man.” I believe Jesus bent down and wrote the name of the Pharisees trying to stone Magdalene. A person’s name is the BEST thing and the WORST thing anybody can say about a person. Congress tried to “BORK” Clarence Thomas. Obamacare. It may be that Obamacare is the best thing anybody can say about Obama’s presidency and that Obama’s constitutency has to go to hell because of the way Obama practices the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. It has occurred to me that the reason that the Media oppresses the Catholic Church with such vitriol, slander and lies, is simply because the administration, our culture, Obama and Pelosi and the like, have done and are doing nothing good to speak of. “infallible ignorance” is not an oxymoron, but the path of Obama’s adminstration. The picture of Dorian Gray is hanging in the White House, and the Emporer’s New Clothes are being advertized in the Media.

  • My friends prayer is most needed after reading other sites (and the comments left) who linked to this story. Those sites are hardly in our corner and though they mock us, if you read between the lines the anger is really vented at God Himself. Why you might ask? Sadly, arrogance, vanity, and pride makes some think they know better than God. We must never back down from them, but we must also never stop praying for them!

  • Dave, you are bang-on, as always.

    But this awkward fact remains — many Catholics and other Christians voted for the present administration, despite their then-obvious hatred of the faith, of this nation, and of civilized discourse. Why, why, why?

  • “many Catholics and other Christians voted for the present administration, despite their then-obvious hatred of the faith, of this nation, and of civilized discourse. Why, why, why?”

    Well, in 2008 the current administration-to-be’s “obvious” hatred of all things good may have been obvious to committed Catholics, evangelicals, and conservatives who frequent blogs like this and make it a point to judge all candidates by their record on moral issues. However, it was NOT so obvious to people outside of our traditional/conservative circles who had to rely upon the mainstream media for most of what they knew. We cannot assume that what is obvious to us is obvious to everyone else.

    That said, I think THIS time around the situation is much more obvious to everyone. When EVERY single U.S. bishop speaks out against the HHS mandate and a long procession of noted evangelical Protestants joins the effort, it’s pretty hard to ignore that. Plus there is an actual record of what Obama has done as an executive (rather than a legislator) to point to.

    I will concede that it MIGHT have been possible for a sincere (but not conservative) Catholic who wasn’t involved in the pro-life movement to persuade themselves in 2008 that voting for Obama (with McCain as the alternative) wouldn’t be so bad. I DO NOT think they have that excuse this time around.

  • Mack thanks for the kind words, and yes too many of the faithful voted and are still smitten with the Left’s agenda. It is as old as time itself, the belief that you can outsmart God and common sense and somehow everything will turn out just fine. It kinda reminds of two drunks at a party upset that anyone thinks they are drunk. By their strong and slurring protestations they think they can prove their sobriety. However, everyone knows the truth. Sadly, we have a lot of drunks at the party right now. However, the dawn is fast approaching and so is the hangover!

  • Elaine, just saw your post. Good point!

  • If something similar to the Q’ran burning fiasco aand concomitant murders of four US service members had occurred in 2004, it would have been 24/7 MSM shrieking “Bush must go!”

    In 2012, it’s crickets . . .

  • I see by the comments here that mutual masturbation is not considered a sin among the faithful.

  • You know I find this rather fascinating that we have so many non believers who read this site. It reminds me of all those converted atheists and agnostics who said there was a strange pull that kept them coming to religious sites. Unbeknownst to them, it was their conscience which they had tried to erase but God kept bringing up. I believe it was Mark Shea who said something to the effect that; if these atheists thought we believed in nothing why would they care? They don’t make fun of pagans worshipping Thor or Isis; yet they have to mock us with little juvenile comments that they learned in 8th grade. Very telling.

  • It is hard to spell atheist Dave without l-o-s-e-r. Most atheists are very angry people and troll atheists tend to be among the angriest of a very bitter group. A truly pathetic way to live.

The Effrontery of Rick Santorum

Tuesday, February 21, AD 2012

 

 

Rich Lowery has a post at National Review Online which explains why Rick Santorum drives the Mainstream Media crazy:

Santorum is a standing affront to the sensibilities and assumptions of the media and political elite. That elite is constantly writing the obituary for social conservatism, which is supposed to wither away and leave a polite, undisturbed consensus in favor of social liberalism. Santorum not only defends beliefs that are looked down upon as dated and unrealistic; he does it with a passionate sincerity that opens him to mockery and attack.

If Santorum had the social views of a Barbara Boxer, he would be hailed in all the glossy magazines as a political virtuoso. He has fought a front-runner with all the advantages to a jump ball in Michigan. His aides can’t provide advance texts of his speeches because he always extemporizes and speaks from a few notes. He is indefatigable, willing to lose on behalf of what he believes and committed to trying to convince others of his positions.

In the wake of his surprise showing in the Iowa caucuses, news coverage focused on Santorum arguing about gay marriage with college kids at his New Hampshire events. It was taken as a sign of his monomania. Yet he genuinely — if naïvely — wanted to convince them. If the cauldron of a presidential campaign is not the best place for Socratic exchanges on hot-button issues, Santorum was trying to do more than repeat sound bites back at youthful questioners.

Although his critics will never credit him for it, Santorum’s social conservatism brings with it an unstinting devotion to human dignity, a touchstone for the former senator. The latest position for which he’s taking incoming is his opposition to a government mandate for insurance coverage of prenatal testing often used to identify handicapped babies who are subsequently aborted. For his detractors, his respect for the disabled is trumped by his unforgivable opposition to abortion.

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16 Responses to The Effrontery of Rick Santorum

  • Another great post, Donald, that I just had to share. Thank you!

  • Thank you Paul for spreading the message about Santorum. I am beginning to think that something spectacular is happening in regard to this man and his initially quixotic quest for the Presidency, and we are in on the ground floor.

  • We’re going to find out if America is capable of electing a man who not only knows the difference between right and wrong, but is willing to act upon that knowledge. I, too, never thought that Santorum had a chance…now, he clearly does. We’ll see what happens.

  • Rick annoys liberals?

    Really?!

    One more reason to back Rick.

  • ” I think that what really disturbs the press is the raw courage of Santorum in that he does not quiver in fear that his views may prove unpopular. He is holding to them no matter what. That simply is not how the political game is played! Judging from the polls, maybe, just maybe, political courage, honesty and forthrightness will prove a winner this year. ”

    He is refreshing and I hope he can stay strong because he ‘s so in for it by the bullies’ soundbites on TV. Was thinking about media effects (not to mention societal) on people after I read Foxfier’s “Sin is Poison” because the tv was on also.

    Last night, after the news, I didn’t get to the remote before I heard Jay Leno going on about him and Satan jokes – really mean spiritedly. Same type last week with Letterman monologues and insinuations on daytime talk. On and on. These are the mainstream voices that mainstream voters/parents hear daily and it occurred to me that, all this finger pointing and bullying for laughs and money is what kids see as making their parents laugh. In recent time, anti-bullying laws were passed for school behavior and social networking due to a tragedy in a town near where I live. Huge news topic. Kids were brought to court, but this election year noise has our leaders and press applauding one another for slamming others. Schizo politics.

    Bill Maher was a guest on Craig Ferguson, who entertains without political affiliation. The guest was dying to get going on RS, NG, and MR, but couldn’t draw complicity out. More refreshing moments than most. Anyway, there has to be a correlation between the phenomenon of bullying kids (and the mentality in many other stations in life) and the effects of behavior in the political, sports, and entertainment arenas. I like b & w TV shows and movies for relaxing.

    Mentality of liberals acting offended after their own offending becomes offensive to some people. They aren’t happy unless there’s an underdog. Moral relativism and the culture of death – not fun or healthy. Hope he survives.

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  • This happens to be the same Rick Santorum who says contraception harms wmoen (and he’s right it does) but sees fit to force American taxpayers to foot the bill for it under Title X. Why aren’t social conservatives, especially Catholic socons, even challenging him on this?

  • Update: Santorum said when challenged on that issue by Ron Paul (even Ron Paul does something right every now and then), he now says that he simply voted for a larger appropriations bill that included Title X and that he always opposed Title X. He also says that he proposed Title XX for abstinence ed to counteract Title X. If that’s true, that’s acceptable. However, I think Ron Paul is right about the giovernment shouldn’t be invovled in either in terms of funding. But I think Santorum’s position as stated is certainly valid given the circumstances. I agreed with Ron Paul twice in one paragraph. I think I’m gonna get sick.

    However, Santorum is now defending his endorsement of Specter due to the SCOTUS issue whereas he says elsewhere as cited by CMR that “inretrospect, it was a mistake”. Mitt missed a golden opportunity to embarass the hell out of Santorum.

  • This is the first time I’ve heard Santorum and I must say he has the gift of compressing his argument effectively into the time allotted. He would make an effective debater against Obama if he manages to stymie that man’s outpouring of gas.

  • I admire his courage and his ability to have a dialog about the issues, not just preach them. He happens to live what he believes as well. He has my vote.

  • PS: anyone know who he will be selecting as his VP?

  • Sen. Santorum is a shining light of courage and core beliefs near and dear to the heart of this traditional Roman Catholic. If he receives the nomination, the general election will be a true guage of just how far the culture of death, contraception, co-habitation and general hedonism have gained a foothold…or as I often fear, gained control of our nation. We have now two generations that have been taught the “normality” of homosexuality, the acceptance of abortion (for the sake of convenience) and a host of other sinful behaviors. I wonder if the Genie is not only out of the bottle but is now the dominant force, listen to the voices of “pro-choice” Catholics or other internal reformers that reject the teachings and magisterial authority of the Church and…..dispair.

  • Thank you for your excellent analysis of Santorum’s challenge to a liberal bias. I heard a woman (in a panel of citizens) say that considering his “pious attitude” and his constant talk of his “religion,” his vote for Title X which included Planned Parenthood support showed how insincere he was. I was several issues with her statement, but the point I want to make is that the values he espouses were more the norm among mainstream Americans not too very long ago. It shows how successful the liberal bias toward gays and abortion has been through the media and through entertainment of all kinds. Family values have been corrupted and now are a matter of apology and/or criticism. What is gratifying to me is that without all the money, the glitz, and the mealy-mouth attempt to keep from offending, he has succeeded to such a degree. I know that ultimately the victory is God’s, and I don’t presume to know his timing (now or years from now), but I wonder if I am seeing the power of God at work in opening hearts to his message. Let’s keep praying for God’s will in His way and His time.

  • Sir, so far as possible I hear Mass each day and I go to my knees and tell these beads each night. If that offends you, then I pray God may spare me the indignity of representing you in Parliament. Belloc. Donald McClarey, thank you for this.

  • It might be really interesting to get the whole perspective after the last debate. Mark Levins radio show on 2/23/2012 revealed alot that none of the other media picked up on, including the idea of the Paul/Romney tag team. Think about it. Does Paul EVER question Romney about anything? No, he bashed all the conservatives, Bachman, Gingrich, Cain, Perry, & now Santorum. Why does he have all of these negative ads in Michigan against SANTORUM when he’s not even campaigning there? Realy, check it out!

There Is No Right to Privacy in the Constitution

Monday, February 20, AD 2012

In other words, Santorum is right and his hardcore libertarian opponents are wrong.

Rick Santorum has stated that he believes that there is no right to privacy in the Constitution.  Therefore, Supreme Court decisions such as Griswold v. Connecticut (striking down Connecticut’s anti-contraception statutes) and Lawrence v. Texas (striking down Texas’s anti-homosexual sodomy laws) were wrong.

Mitt Romney artfully dodged this question at a recent debate, so Santorum’s coming under fire for stating what should be taken as a given among so-called conservative constitutionalists.  As indicated in prior posts, Santorum does not suggest that he would personally favor such laws; in fact he has expressly stated that he would not vote for laws that banned contraception or sodomy.

Santorum’s main fault, evidently, is that he is expressing an originalist understanding of the constitution.  Both of the decisions referenced above were gross miscarriages of constitutional justice.  No matter what you think of the laws in questions, Supreme Court Justices are supposed to decide cases based on the constitution, not their personal policy preferences.   In both cases, the majority opinion was based on policy, though justified with a thin veneer of constitutional justification.

In the case of Griswold, Justice William O. Douglas wrote the famous majority opinion in which he stated that though there is no right to privacy expressly stated in the constitution, it is found in “penumbras” and “emanations” found in other constitutional rights.  Justice Kennedy wrote the majority opinion in Lawrence, relying heavily on the concept of substantive due process, a legal concept that has enabled the Court to completely trample on states’ rights.  In other words, the Court struck down state laws that ran afoul of no direct constitutional prohibition.  The writers of these majority decisions had to contort the plain meaning of the document in order to justify a decision they had already reached without reference to the constitutional text.

Both of these cases sparked notable dissenting opinions.  Potter Stewart in Griswold and Clarence Thomas in Lawrence said much the same thing: the law under consideration is uncommonly silly, and if i were a legislator in this particular state I would vote against such a law.  But my job as a jurist is to determine whether the law is constitutional or not, and neither Stewart or Thomas considered the law in either case to run afoul of the constitution.  The sentiment expressed by both Stewart and Thomas should inform any intellectually honest jurist.

Justice Arthur Goldberg offered a concurring opinion in Griswold that some conservatives have found to be more compelling, citing the Ninth Amendment as justification for striking down the Connecticut statute.  The problem with this rationale is that the ninth amendment ought to be read in conjunction with the tenth.  The Bill of Rights in general were meant to be restrictions placed upon the federal government.  The ninth and tenth amendments exists because the framers of the Bill of Rights fretted that the Bill of Rights would be read to imply that only the rights contained therein were protected.  in fact many of the opponents of the Bill of Rights opposed creating such a list precisely because they believed that a specific enumeration of rights would imply that rights not listed were not protected. So the ninth amendment assures us that the first eight amendments are not an exhaustive list of protections.  But again, this has to be read in light of the purpose of restricting the power of the federal government.  It is not a broad grant of individual rights, but an assurance that the federal government could not augment its reach beyond certain delineated fields. If anything, the ninth amendment should be used as a cudgel against the Court and the federal government in general in their attempts to restrict states rights.

Therefore I find it odd that those who claim to be averse to a centralized, big brother government are content with said government being able to strike down state laws for no other than the laws in question are of questionable value.  It suggests to me that those who cry “Nanny Statist!” with regards to Rick Santorum ought to look in the mirror.

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11 Responses to There Is No Right to Privacy in the Constitution

  • Hear, hear!

    No area of ConLaw is more messed up than those dealing with human sexuality. Whatever else can be said of the Church’s teaching, at least it is cohesive.

    Scalia ripped the “reasoning” in Lawrence precisely because Kennedy sought to dodge the logical extensions of the Court’s meddling. The Court isn’t alone of course in its refusal to drive logic out to its conclusion. We see the same lack of insight or honest acceptance of responsibility for consequences in Obamacare’s creation of an enforcable right to contraceptive drugs.

  • Griswold is part of the school of constitutional jurisprudence known as “making it up as we go along”. The idea that the Constitution prevents a state from banning contraceptives, or French envelopes as the Founding Fathers would have referred to the only contraceptives they were aware of, would have struck them as a poor attempt at an off color joke.

  • I also enjoy reading Justice Black’s dissent in Griswold. A good excerpt:

    My Brother GOLDBERG has adopted the recent discovery that the Ninth Amendment as well as the Due Process Clause can be used by this Court as authority to strike down all state legislation which this Court thinks violates “fundamental principles of liberty and justice,” or is contrary to the “traditions and [collective] conscience of our people.” He also states, without proof satisfactory to me, that, in making decisions on this basis, judges will not consider “their personal and private notions.” One may ask how they can avoid considering them. Our Court certainly has no machinery with which to take a Gallup Poll. And the scientific miracles of this age have not yet produced a gadget which the Court can use to determine what traditions are rooted in the “[collective] conscience of our people.” Moreover, one would certainly have to look far beyond the language of the Ninth Amendment to find that the Framers vested in this Court any such awesome veto powers over lawmaking, either by the States or by the Congress. Nor does anything in the history of the Amendment offer any support for such a shocking doctrine. The whole history of the adoption of the Constitution and Bill of Rights points the other way, and the very material quoted by my Brother GOLDBERG shows that the Ninth Amendment was intended to protect against the idea that, “by enumerating particular exceptions to the grant of power” to the Federal Government, “those rights which were not singled out were intended to be assigned into the hands of the General Government [the United States], and were consequently insecure.” That Amendment was passed not to broaden the powers of this Court or any other department of “the General Government,” but, as every student of history knows, to assure the people that the Constitution in all its provisions was intended to limit the Federal Government to the powers granted expressly or by necessary implication. If any broad, unlimited power to hold laws unconstitutional because they offend what this Court conceives to be the “[collective] conscience of our people” is vested in this Court by the Ninth Amendment, the Fourteenth Amendment, or any other provision of the Constitution, it was not given by the Framers, but rather has been bestowed on the Court by the Court. This fact is perhaps responsible for the peculiar phenomenon that, for a period of a century and a half, no serious suggestion was ever made that the Ninth Amendment, enacted to protect state powers against federal invasion, could be used as a weapon of federal power to prevent state legislatures from passing laws they consider appropriate to govern local affairs. Use of any such broad, unbounded judicial authority would make of this Court’s members a day-to-day constitutional convention.

  • Thanks Jonathan. That really gets to the heart of the matter. It’s kind of sad that most of the great opinions written in Supreme Court history were dissents.

    BTW, I went and edited the post some. Perhaps for Lent I’ll strive to give up making egregious typos.

  • Welcome, Paul!

    Glad to put my conlaw teaching moments to work for a good cause.

    Also, I am thoroughly enjoying seeing the various photos which you, I, and Donald use as our “avatars”.

  • Also, Paul – I may have forgotten to mention it. I got my J.D. from CUA in 2005.

  • I wasn’t aware of that. I knew many people in the previous two classes. I probably spent more time inside the law school than in my own department.

  • Paul,

    If you were involved with the Catholic groups at all, then we probably ran in some of the same circles of people.

  • I graduated from Duke Law in 1983 and was taught Con Law by the truly great Wm. Van Alstyne. While very much a pro choice liberal, he expressed disdain for Roe and discomfort with Griswold. Back then there were more honest liberals. Jonathan an Paul, I suspect you would have aced his course — not easy to do. He was (and still is) a masterful and entertaining teacher. He would have made a terrific Supreme Court Justice, but alas he was known by Republicans as a liberal Dem and by Dems as a honest constitutional scholar. Not a chance.

  • Mike,

    Thank you for the compliment, though my own constitutional law score unfortunately belies any deeper analytic ability in the region.

    It seems to me that at lease some among an older generation, perhaps those with memories of the wars, was at least vaguely (if not acutely) aware of the problems of government exceeding constitutionally defined limits. They also seemed able to separate approval of outcome from reasoning used to get there, and (as Justice Black seemed to say) refused to engaged in “good feeling” as a justification.

    –Jonathan

  • I did not study law at all in college, so my legal acumen is somewhere between my ability to speak Chinese (non-existant) and my ability to play basketball (laughable.)

    So, to the learned members of the impropmtu panel here assembled, I would pose the following question, which has bothered me for some time:

    Is it at all noticable that an overmuch amount of the secular/humanist/progressive/leftist effort at diluting Constitutional substance is in the areas having to do with sex and/or marriage? Between the current administration’s HHS “mandate,” Roe v Wade, the cases mentioned above in the OP and an assortment of other notable instances, sex seems to be the favorite weapon swung by the Godless fascists.

    The reasons I note this are A) it’s also the main topic of much of the Gospels, Paul’s letters and Scriptural treatises on righteous behavior – singled out for reasons well-known but too many and deep to go into here, and B) because it seems to escape the grasps of much of the high-level legal community.

    Those who attack our republican system of civic self-government with limited Federal oversight use sex as the main assault vehicle in undermining the very origin of rights as informed by the Constitution; granted by God. They attack faith in God by appealing to fleshly desires; by saying “it’s OK, times have changed, be free!” they render obedience to God moot, and then God Himself becomes little more than an archaic cartoon charcter. With that degeneration, the philosophical ability to withstand the humanist/totalitarian onslaught becomes at best arguable and at worst meaningless.

    It’s deliberate, generational and caustic. I just wonder why there’s never been any broad-brushed recognition of this avenue of attack. But, then again, I’m not a lawyer.

In The Birth Control Controversy; The Mocking of Conservative Religious Women By Militant Secularists Will Soon Backfire

Sunday, February 19, AD 2012

We have all seen the supposed polls indicating that 99% of Catholic women use birth control. However, has anyone ever bothered to look at who conducted the poll? It was the Guttmacher Institute; the driving force behind abortion and other leftist social movements.  Finally someone in the Mainstream Media (The Washington Post) has weeks after the fact realized the untruthful nature behind this canard. This is just one of many red herrings thrown at religious conservatives to discredit and mock them. It seems some in mainstream media are making it their mission to ask former Pennsylvania Senator and Republican Presidential candidate Rick Santorum every question imaginable with regard to birth control. Whatever happens to Santorum in the primary race, it does seem as if the Hand of Providence is helping bring up the topic of birth control and the faithful alternative of Natural Family Planning.

While there is some dispute between Catholics and some Evangelicals on birth control; there are signs that many Evangelicals are seeing what Catholics and some Orthodox Jews have long believed about birth control. In my previous book and forthcoming book; The Tide Continues To Turn Toward Catholicism, I cite quotes from Chuck Colson and R Albert Mohler, two towering figures in the Evangelical world. They have genuine affection for Pope Paul VI’s 1968 prophetic encyclical Humanae Vitae which cemented the Catholic view on birth control in the modern birth control pill era. If you want to really rile up a militant secularist you might mention that it wasn’t until 1930 that the first religious group (the Anglican Church) even approved of birth control. The Progressive Teddy Roosevelt said the idea of birth control was “ridiculous” and even liberal hero Dr Sigmund Freud said the whole concept was “narcissistic.”

Dorothy Day (1897-1980) the late women’s rights activist, who used birth control back before any religious group approved of it, spoke out forcefully against abortion and birth control once she converted to Catholicism later in life. She told men and women that in using birth control they were becoming engaged in a culture that was disconnecting them from God’s plans, along with not using their bodies in accordance with the Holy Spirit. Though her women’s rights and libertarian economic views remained, she became a social conservative, who lashed out at Margaret Sanger and Planned Parenthood, something you aren’t likely to hear or read in the mainstream media.

Families that adhere to the clinically proven facts of Natural Family Planning are treated as if they are some sort of religious nuts. Militant secularists in the corridors of power (Legislative and Fourth Estate) have even thrown out their favorite term “sexually repressed.” Now this term is so widely repeated in our popular culture, perhaps we should examine where it came from. Herbert Marcuse (1898-1979) of the infamous Marxist “Frankfurt School” came up with the term. Marcuse left pre-World War II Germany and taught at Columbia. Marcuse believed in free love and surmised that the more narcissistic society was with regard to sexual relations, the better the world would become. Before his death, he claimed his prized student was 1960s militant radical Angela Davis. Marcuse was way out in left field in his day and yet the militant secularists in our pop culture have made him seem as mainstream as Dr. Phil. When societies turn away from religion they embrace the crazies like Marcuse; sadly something has to fill the vacuum and it is usually the ideas which come from the half baked among us that do so.

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3 Responses to In The Birth Control Controversy; The Mocking of Conservative Religious Women By Militant Secularists Will Soon Backfire

  • Your last paragraph is a good prayer for Lent – I won’t limit it to women though.
    Having read the Left in Tatters from 1/25/10 link, I saw that Fr. George Rutler commented; and think you would enjoy his 2/19/12 column on the Church of Our Savior site.

  • PM, thanks for bringing Father Rutler’s column to my attention. As usual, he gives us something to ponder, pray over and act upon. Initially a year or so ago when I wrote the article to which I linked and he commented, I had no idea that he read this site. I contacted him to thank him and he thanked me. It was all so very humbling. He told me that a friend suggested he read my article. He went on to say that we all have a part to play in building up the Faith. In retrospect we should all do more to thank God for giving us those like Father Rutler.

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The Goldilocks Conservative

Friday, February 17, AD 2012

Rick Santorum has come under fire from right-wing critics for being not conservative enough on fiscal and economic issues, while simultaneously being too conservative on social issues.  In my mind, he’s just right.

On the matter of fiscal policy Santorum has been portrayed as some kind of big government statist.  As a Senator he did cast votes for raising the debt ceiling, for Medicare Part 2, No Child Left Behind, and other big spending programs.  He’s admitted erring on a couple of these votes.  Overall, though, Santorum’s record as judged by free market policy institutes is fairly solid.  The Weekly Standard ran a piece on the National Taxpayer Union’s grading of Santorum, and he compares very favorably to most of his colleagues.  

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35 Responses to The Goldilocks Conservative

  • “Of course the Democratic spin machine will demagogue Santorum to death,”

    They will attempt to, but I am beginning to doubt that will be effective. Some politicians grow in stature after a time in the political wilderness after a defeat, and I think that is what happened to Santorum after his defeat in 2006. He has thought hard about the issues, has well-articulated positions and is unafraid to speak his mind and defend what he believes. As he said recently, voters may not agree with all that he believes, but they will never doubt that he believes what he says he believes. If I were an Obama political flack, I would much prefer to go up against Romney. A politician of conviction can be hard to beat, once people begin to listen to him and begin to realize that he is truly seeking the common good, even if they do not completely agree with him.

  • Wow, never heard the term populist described the way you describe it. But according to that definition I am definitly a populist. I guess that describes why I never felt comfortable with the the socially liberal, economic conservatism the republican party seems to be heading.

    Santorum is now my guy, I was a naysayer but he won over. Originally being from Pa I know how much he is disliked by “independents” in Pa. I still have some serious doubts about the general election and his ability to get the independent vote. But he has shown he will fight for it, and he won’t shy away from the great moral issues of our time. He has my vote.

  • They need to demagogue-to-death any GOP nominee.

    Until there is nothing left for them to steal, they must distract us from the fact that the entire population is going to the poor house.

    I’m an independent (small i).

    The only potential candidates for whom I will not vote are the useless POSes currently destroying our country and our way of life, i.e., the ones with (D) behind their names.

  • Of course, for me, Santorum’s position on social issues is a huge plus. My concerns with him are in the foreign policy area. No question that he is better than Obama, but is he good enough to pull the lever for standing on his own merit? That is my current dilemma, and will keep an open mind.

  • Thank you, Mr. Zummo! It’s refreshing to see a look at Santorum that’s not attempting to paint him as crazy or creepy.

  • “personal moral judgments are not those that are going to be reflected in public law, nor should they all the time. Not everything that is immoral in this country should be illegal or should be within the governance of the federal or state government, or any government.

    Santorum must be brushing up on St. Thomas Aquinas. Here is a quote from the Summa about “whether it belongs to human law to repress all vices”:

    “… law is framed as a rule or measure of human acts … laws imposed on men should also be in keeping with their condition … law should be “possible both according to nature, and according to the customs of the country.

    Now human law is framed for a number of human beings, the majority of whom are not perfect in virtue. Wherefore human laws do not forbid all vices, from which the virtuous abstain, but only the more grievous vices, from which it is possible for the majority to abstain; and chiefly those that are to the hurt of others, without the prohibition of which human society could not be maintained…”

    Santorum is showing some pretty good theological grounds for his position.

  • Nicholas, not only are his points on good theological grounds, but also on simple logical grounds, which I think speaks to more people ultimately. He seems to know the boundaries of the office and he seems to be articulating them well. While I don’t like the fact that he has and will vote to fund contraception from a Federal level, as I don’t believe that anybody truly needs free contraception, and I would hope that he would make a push to make sure that no Title X funding goes to abortion providers, his reasoning is sound and I think will resonate with a great number of voters. Let’s just hope he is successful in communicating his position. That is, let’s hope the media allows him the platform to accurately communicate his position.

  • That is, let’s hope the media allows him the platform to accurately communicate his position.

    And I’ll hope my cats start pooping Gold Double Eagles.

    We have about an equal chance of seeing our hopes fulfilled.

  • Reagan received some of the worst press imaginable in 1980. He spoke over the heads of the media to the American people. Santorum will have to do the same. The difference is that Santorum will have a host of new media available to help him get his message out. Santorum of course is no Reagan, but in 1980 the popular perception of Reagan outside of conservative true believers like me, was that Reagan was a senile, washed up Grade B actor, with crazy right wing views, way out of the mainstream. This perception continued until Reagan devastated Carter in their one and only debate a few days before the election. Reagan was vastly misjudged and underestimated and the same is true this year of Santorum. If played properly, such a misperception can give a candidate an advantage as people begin to realize that what the media has told them about the candidate simply is not true. Santorum would do well to remember Reagan’s ending in that debate:

  • I think there is a mistake in thinking that Gingrich is for a ‘mandate’ like Romney and Obama. First, everything government does is a mandate, so it is a stupid thing to take offense to, unless you are an anarchist. Newt is in favor of ensuring that those that can qualify for and afford medical insurance get some; rather than wait until they need it and go to the ER and stick the rest of us with the bill. They will either raise prices at the hospital or raise taxes through government programs. Libertarians will disagree, but they are wrong. What we need is the availability of inexpensive critical illness and/or hospital insurance, which the market (without government mandates of coverage) will provide at low rates. Young healthy people can pay cash at the physicians office, its the hospital that costs so much. They need to cover this so the rest of us don’t have to.

    Additionally, the whole sitting on the couch with Nancy Pelosi is a canard, please drop it. There are much better things to disagree with Newt about. WTO, GATT, China’s MFN status, etc.

    I’ve also heard Rick back-peddle away from strong family and anti-contraceptive stances. He has said he stresses the family ONLY because it is good economically. I don’t think he actually thinks that, perhaps it is political pandering, but he did say it. He has also said that contraceptives are fine and that it is a personal choice not to use them. That sounds pretty libertarian and again, I don’t think he believes that.

    He is also a little thin-skinned and gets a little pissy when challenged. Facing Obama that will not be good (ironic because Obama is even more thin-skinned.) I know this from personal experience. I challenged him on the fact that he and his fellow Republicans were far from conservative in the compassionate Bush years. I like Rick and I think he is good and faithful man; however, his flaws (like the rest of us) are a problem – the rest of us aren’t running for president though.

    Newt is also a faithful Catholic and as a re-vert/convert myself, I can tell you we tend to be very, very passionate because we came to the Church later in life. That is not to say that those blessed to be raised in the faith are not passionate – so don’t get your panties in a bunch.

    Newt has the skills and the stature to get things done. Conservative things. Things to repair the damage. You are going to have a president who has to work with a not-so-conservative Republican establishment in the House and (probably) a Democratic Senate. Newt can do that, I am not so sure Rick can. Furthermore, Newt can attract libertarians where Santorum probably cannot because of Newt’s developing stance against the Fed and his gold commission. If this is about delegates, and I suspect it will be, Newt can gain Paul’s.

    Nevertheless, I think Rick can be a good president, certainly better than the other three options (worst to least bad: Obama, Romney, Paul.) But, given where we are, Newt is still a better option and he is smart enough to come back again.

  • Obumbler and his minions have nothing to run on except to attack the opposing candidate. They have nothing, NOTHING to run on regarding Obumbler’s record. Obumbler is an extremist left wing hack and is surrounded by the same. if empty headed “independents” are put off by some of Santorum’s social views, which have no chance of being enacted into Federal law or as a Constitutional amendment, then they are as guilty of ruining this country as the political Left.

    I know what would be pure political gold. Pittsburgh Steelers owner Dan Rooney, a former daily communicant at St. Mary of Mercy in downtown Pittsburgh – I know this because I saw him at nearly every 7:30 AM Mass – supported Obumbler in 2008 and was rewarded by being appointed Ambassador to Ireland. I know not what Mr. Rooney thinks of Obumbler now, but Mr. Rooney would be required by protocol to submit his resignation to a President-elect Rick Santorum – who would certainly ask Mr. Rooney what he found so attractive about Obumbler.

    So many people seem to think of Santorum as a right wing social extremist and a big spender – just check Red State, who blames Santorum for Rick Perry’s demise as a candidate. Obumbler is the social extremist, not Santorum. Oh, and Rick Perry’s demise was due to Rick Perry. Perry jumped in far too late, debated terribly and allowed Michele Bachmann to beat him up over Gardasil. Erick Erickson would do well to remember that.

  • “Are you better off then you were four years ago?”A question all persons ought to answer before voting.

  • Santorum’s problems have nothing to do with policy matters on balance. As a unabashed conservative I just don’t want him selling my brand. He has courageously taken up the fight but there’s nothing in him which inspires confidence.

  • Whoa, whoa, whoa there, Paul.

    Clarification, please:

    You say there are conservatives, liberals, libertarians, and populists?

    And you define and distinguish between them…how, exactly?

    I ask because your definition of “populists” seems to match neither the strict definition of the name nor the behavior of any group distinct from “social conservatives.”

    And then you call them the flip-side of libertarians, saying that “they are socially conservative but economically more liberal.” This presumably means that libertarians are socially liberal but economically more conservative.

    But that’s rather confused, if that’s how you describe libertarians.

    Pro-life libertarians, who’re about 35% of the whole libertarian lot and constitute a solid majority of the libertarians in my home state of Georgia, are typically quite socially conservative if you’re talking about how their personal behavior aligns with traditional morality. The only way in which you can call them “socially liberal” is that, except for abortion, they do not believe in using the coercive power of the state to make everyone obey their traditional mores. (Abortion is the exception, of course, because it involves an assault on an individual’s rights, which, libertarians believe, is exactly what state compulsion is intended to prevent.)

    But is that really “socially liberal?” I don’t see how it can be, because “socially liberal” is also used to describe the statists behind the HHS mandate…and they are using compulsion to make everyone behave as they think they should by forcing everyone to pay for contraceptives. A libertarian would never do that. So how can they both be described as “socially liberal?”

    The fact that libertarians don’t use compulsion in most matters related to sexual mores does not in mean they’re “socially liberal.” Rick Santorum says he doesn’t want to outlaw condoms and wouldn’t lock up homosexuals for homosexual acts; does that make him a libertarian? Does it make him a social liberal?

    I think that if you’re going to break down the American electorate, the only sensible way is to ask them, of any given question affecting human behavior,

    (a.) How ought people to behave in this area of life?

    (b.) Are you willing to exert state compulsion to make them behave that way? Or only try to persuade them to adopt your view voluntarily?

    The “how ought people to behave” answer can either be in accord with Catholic teaching or not.

    The “compulsion” answer will be (at the extremes) either totalitarian or libertarian.

    So a Catholic monarch of the Middle Ages or Byzantine Emperor would presumably have been fairly totalitarian in imposing a Christian moral code, but it would have been a Christian moral code.

    Mao imposed a non-Christian code, but was totalitarian in doing so.

    A Christian libertarian holds a Christian code of behavior, including marital one-man-one-woman fidelity and almsgiving to the needy. He tries to persuade his neighbors to do likewise. But he doesn’t compel them.

    A non-Christian hedonist libertarian holds a non-Christian code of behavior, including smoking pot and spending his money only on himself. He probably doesn’t give a frog’s fat fanny what his neighbors do. But he doesn’t compel them to do as he does.

    A left-liberal progressive holds a Christian view on almsgiving, but an anti-Christian view on sexual matters, and he’s also a statist: He believes in compelling almsgiving via the welfare state, and he believes in compelling contraceptive-buying through the HHS. He is, in a word, an authoritarian on his way to becoming totalitarian.

    I imagine there are also folks who are totalitarian about sex but not economics, and hold Christian views about sex. These folks would outlaw condoms but desire a free-market. There may be such folks, but none of them are running for office.

    Likewise there may be folks who are totalitarian about sex but not economics, and hold anti-Christian views about sex. These folks support the HHS rule changes but are free marketers. I don’t see many of those, either.

    My point in all this is: Libertarianism is NOT defined by a particular view either of sexual morality or economic morality. Those are add-on modules which you must supply yourself. Libertarianism does not claim to have a complete moral compass built in.

    All that Libertarianism says is this: It is immoral for you (or government on your behalf) to use force to compel your neighbor to behave as you wish, unless the compulsion is being used to deter, halt, or punish a violation of the rights of an innocent person (which is to say: a wrongful imposition of force or fraud on that innocent person).

    Libertarianism, then, is (and only claims to be) about a tenth of a philosophy. It supplies the answer to one particular question: When may I pull a gun on my neighbor to make him behave as I wish? If you answer this question as libertarians do, you’re a libertarian. How you answer all the other moral questions determines whether you’re a Catholic libertarian or some other kind.

    Narrowly, on the matter of contraception, Rick Santorum does indeed appear to be a libertarian: He doesn’t believe in using state compulsion either to force people to buy contraceptives, or to force them not to. He’s a Catholic libertarian (on that issue), so he personally opposes them buying contraceptives, but since he won’t use state compulsion to prohibit it, he’s still libertarian on that issue.

    Whether he’s libertarian on any other issue depends on when he does or does not propose force to ensure compliance with his views on that issue.

    Is Rick Santorum a libertarian on abortion? That’s the trickiest one, because libertarians are divided. Pro-life libertarians say Santorum is libertarian on abortion, because he believes in prohibiting an assault on human life, which is one of the things libertarians agree the government is supposed to do. (Libertarians are not anarchists.) They say pro-choice libertarians are hypocritical and have lapsed into anarchism on the topic of abortion.

    Paul, I realize this really wasn’t the main point of your piece, which I liked overall.

    But we Americans on the right are typically believers in limited government, which is why we so often take a libertarian stance on any given topic.

    So, we really ought not misuse the term libertarian. We ought to define it correctly. This will help us keep as many libertarians on board the anti-Obama bandwagon as possible, which is a good thing strategically. And, more importantly, it’ll mean we’re accurate and truthful in how we reason together.

  • BTW, my last note was in reply to Paul Zummo, not Paul D.

    Sorry for any confusion!

  • Zummo, this is what is going to happen to Santorum (and I apologize to Don McC who is not a sports fan):

    Imagine going to see a Red Sox vs. Yankees game (or, what is more to my preference, a Red Birds vs. Brew Crew game – I am trying not to be provincial though.) Imagine all the umpires coming out in Red Sox caps and cheering every time the Sox score a run. Imagine every single hit of the Sox being called safe, even caught fly balls. And every single hit the Yankees hit is called foul. A Yankees runner steals home 3 full seconds before the ball reaches the catcher- but it’s an out, according to the umps.

    Gee, I’m getting angry just IMAGINING such a game. Apply this to the *ha* MSM “rules” governing the behavior of GOP candidates- and you’ll appreciate what Santorum is up against.

  • R.C. : a couple of things. First off, as I said above, this four-pronged layout was admittedly simplistic. I was trying to categorize the ideological breakdown of the nation in a very broad manner.

    As for the libertarian-conservative thing, I might be putting up another post this week that clarifies the distinction. Long story short, conservatives who believe in limited government are not necessarily animated by the same principles as libertarians. Hopefully I will have time to expand on that later on.

  • As for the media backlash against Santorum, as Donald mentioned, there are new media outlets that will provide Santorum (or any GOP candidate) more favorable coverage than existed in the time of Reagan. Of course the counter to that is that there are also an abundance of left-leaning new media that will work in concert with MSM outlets.

  • True Paul, but we have the added advantage, contra the claim of the “reality based community”, that this year reality will have a distinct conservative bias. Many apolitical people I know have told me with what scorn they react to the meme in the mainstream media that “the economy is recovering”. The days when Walter Cronkite could say “Well, that’s the way it is.” and be believed by most Americans seems as far away as the First Punic War.

    In regard to leftist new media outlets, somehow the phrase Vox Nova came to mind, I am confident that conservative new media will more than hold their own.

  • Paul, good luck clarifying “the libertarian-conservative thing.” Modern usage of the terminology complicates things and the American perspective complicates things even more.

    My experience with libertarians is that many of them are deeply idiosyncratic and will defy any attempt to clarify their “ideology.” For many, it ends up being more personal preference than ideologically consistent. Conservatives understand that freedom is limited by human nature, traditionally taking their guidance from a faith-based understanding of human nature, i.e., virtues vs. sins. The Garden of Eden is the quintessential basis of this limitation. God gave us free will; but not free reign.

    Of course, within the American context, the limitation of freedom must be done within constitutional limits. Libertarians mistakenly believe that our Founders were libertarians. They were not. The Founders were conservatives, but uniquely so for their time, who believed in limiting the authority and power of government, especially at the national level, but devising a system of constitutional (written) self-government in which a virtuous people limit their own freedom within those constitutional guidelines.

    As for the Romney-Santorum thing, I am increasingly of the opinion that, given Republicans deeply self-destructive behavior of late, that neither candidate can beat Obama this fall. Santorum, if he is the nominee, and after the media is done with him, will win fewer electoral votes that McCain did in 2008. As bad as the Obama presidency has been, and by our inability to get our act together, we are handing him re-election on a silver platter.

  • “Imagine going to see a Red Sox vs. Yankees game…”

    Or worse yet, imagine going to a Cubs-Cards game at Wrigley where the Cubs have a 10 run lead going into the 6th or 7th inning and they STILL find a way to lose…. that’s what I fear the election may end up being like.

  • I know have told me with what scorn they react to the meme in the mainstream media that “the economy is recovering”.

    Whether they are scornful or not, real domestic product began to increase in June of 2009 and the private-sector labor market ceased imploding in December of 2009. Our most salient problems are prospective (given the wretched state of public finances in most occidental countries and the undercapitalization of European banks) or they are chronic conditions not much influenced by the business cycle (crony capitalism, crony philanthropy, ill-structured welfare programs, &c.).

  • Thanks American Knight for your commentary. The vitriol unleased against Newt speaks volumes…he is feared. Newt is a visionary who can accomplish the ” rebuilding of America.” All forward thinkers are marginalized in their day precisely because they are ahead of their time. Why do people laugh because he envisions America to take the leadership role in space? China and Russia want to own the moon! What kind of world will this be if China and Russia are the global authority and power? We need a forward thinking president who identifies faith in God to be central to leadership. As a recent convert to the Catholic Faith (2009), Newt (not Santorum) proclaimed “marriage is a sacrament” and he was the first to identify religious liberty as a core issue. Like Wayne, my conern with Santorum “Mr. Family Man,” is that he will vote to Federally fund contraception. This, to me, reveals his lack of authenticity. Genuine faith informs decisions- it does not leave it on the doorstep!

  • The vitriol unleased against Newt speaks volumes…he is feared.

    Who fears Newt? I’ve personally defended him from some of the more scurrilous attacks against him. He is not my current favorite pick for the nomination, but he’s certainly preferable to Romney and Paul.

    As a recent convert to the Catholic Faith (2009), Newt (not Santorum) proclaimed “marriage is a sacrament”

    Do you really want to go there? Do you suppose that the once-married, father of seven has a less concrete understanding of the sacramentality of marriage than Newt? Really?

    Like Wayne, my conern with Santorum “Mr. Family Man,” is that he will vote to Federally fund contraception.

    Again, you’re really going to go with Newt Gingrich over Rick Santorum on the issue of contraception?

    As I said, Newt is not so bad. It’s just that he’s not as conservative as Rick Santorum, not as electable as Rick Santorum, and has a much more checkered personal life.

  • Paul Z: As I said, Newt is not so bad. It’s just that he’s not as conservative as Rick Santorum, not as electable as Rick Santorum, and has a much more checkered personal life.

    Paul, it is probably safe to say that people of good will like both Newt and Rick; however, I see many people of faith overlooking some of Rick’s problems (whether real or merely rhetorical). I tended to think he is more ‘conservative’ than Newt, but I am beginning to think he is not as politically confident, which renders him less likely to stand against the Obama machine. As for ‘electability’ (whatever the heck that means), I have spoken to many liberals and liberal-leaning independents who think more fondly of Newt than any other Republican because of the success he built with Clinton, whom they love. I think that makes him more appealing and therefore more electable.

    As for the checkered past, I think that makes him more real and easier to relate to, we must also remember that God prefers to use imperfect instruments. We know that sinners who are aware of their fall are more likely to see the good and humbly accept their role. We live in cynical times and a candidate with previous falls that he has overcome can be more attractive.

    The real difference is in the potential effectiveness. Newt has a strong record here. He has the skill-set to not only articulate conservative principles in a pithy and down-to-earth manner, but he is also willing to break with Republican dogma and express his convictions. He was the first to come out in defense of religion and the Church and he applies the doctrine in a practical manner that appeals to non-Catholics. I think we can do well with either Rick or Newt, but it seems that from a practical perspective, Newt can get more done and sooner. Rick can continue to grow and may very well be the one to sustain the turn-around that Newt can bring.

    We need different men at different times. Often, the visionary who starts a new enterprise is not well suited to continue the work after start-up and rapid growth. I think this may be the same for us now. We need big, radical and effective change and Newt is more capable of that than Rick. There is no question that Newt can mop the floor with Obama and that is the most important step for without that nothing will change.

  • “Whether they are scornful or not, real domestic product began to increase in June of 2009 and the private-sector labor market ceased imploding in December of 2009. ”

    The Illinois unemployment rate is 9.8% Art. I did more bankruptcies last year than any single year in my career, and the pace is picking up. For Illinois, talk of recovery is a sick joke.

  • “There is no question that Newt can mop the floor with Obama and that is the most important step for without that nothing will change.”

    Newt can’t even mop the floor with Romney, and I say that as someone who has written several favorable posts on Newt. As always, Newt’s greatest enemy is himself, as he illustrated in this campaign.

  • As for ‘electability’ (whatever the heck that means), I have spoken to many liberals and liberal-leaning independents who think more fondly of Newt than any other Republican because of the success he built with Clinton, whom they love.

    I remember tales of liberals who said they could happily vote for John McCain. Who did they really vote for when push came to shove? Barack Obama. They will do the same this year. A great example of this was a left-leaning friend of mine who claimed all year in 2008 that she would vote for McCain over Obama. In the end she of course voted for Obama. Why? It came down to Vice Presidents. Since neither McCain or Obama would likely survive their term (McCain would die of old age and Obama would get assassinated), then she had to choose Biden over Palin.

    Never discount the mental contortions people will go to in order to justify voting behavior.

    I’m not a fan of discussing electability, but there’s no getting around the fact that Gingrich is enormously unpopular with the electorate. Santorum, on the other hand, appeals to voters in swing states like Michigan and Ohio. We can never know exactly how things will play out, but I think Santorum would have a slight advantage here.

    There’s also the matter of debates. I think Newt is horribly overrated. I’ve been saying since the beginning, before I had determined my order of preference among the candidates, that Santorum was much better substantively than Gingrich. Gingrich is all show and drama, and I’m not sure that will play in a general election debate. Besides, if presidential elections were actually decided by debates, well, our election results in recent times would have likely been different.

    Otherwise, I’m not going to argue too much about Gingrich. I think that some of his more “out there” tendencies of thought will be restrained by a Republican. I even agree that his moon colony idea is not a deal breaker. He would most likely make a fine president, and I could live with him if he got elected. But I prefer Rick, for reasons already stated.

  • I think this discussion says a great deal. It is easy to idealize a candidate before they run and then act disappointed in the options. The fact is we have two really good choices and I suspect that most of us would be happy with Rick or Newt. I give a nod to Newt, you give a nod to Rick, but none of us are that invested one way or the other and not because of lukewarmness or mediocre candidates, but because both are strong.

    I think Newt has done very well in the debates. I agree that he was derailed by Romney in Florida because I don’t think Newt was expecting Obamaesque lies out of a ‘colleague’, peer, or whatever. Do debates make a president? No. But, it certainly will play when Obama and the Rep nom go head to head. Romney loses, Paul has a minority appeal (fervent as it is), Santorum will look angry and combative – Newt will reveal Obama for the hollow fool that he is.

    As for show, well, this is a celebrity obsessed and fickle culture, so that has some play; however, Newt backs it up with substance and he has delivered in the past. Additionally, his ouster was orchestrated by Republicans who could not handle the necessary negotiation with Clinton and the RINOs who did not want to be restrained. Look what the compassionate conservatism that is Republican policy after Newt was discharged has cost – sickening.

    He does not only lay out a big picture that is conservative, American, faithful and probably populist; but he tells us HOW he is going to get it done, which I suspect is something professional campaign managers detest. The simple fact is that America is headed toward severe decline unless big changes back toward our principles happen and happen now. I am hopeful that we will come out better for it. The Roman Republic’s battles between the populares and optimates preceded a period of Republican stability long before the rise and fall of the Empire.

    I think we can agree that Romney is useless, Paul, although he has some merits, is ideologically a libertarian materialist (doomed to eventual failure) and Obama is extremely dangerous (incompetent as he is). Gingrich/Santorum works for me, and I accept Santorum/Gingrich. I suspect that is the case for most of us.

  • For Illinois, talk of recovery is a sick joke.

    Even in the most prosperous times, there are depressed areas.

  • As for the checkered past, I think that makes him more real and easier to relate to,

    I seem to recall his lieutanant William Paxon, who had been in politics his entire adult life, said he was motivated to seek a career change due to listening to Dr. Gingrich yapping about himself one evening. Mr. Paxon did not actually use the term ‘narcissist’, to be sure…

  • No question that Newt has an issue with pride (hubris) and being enamored with his own prowess. Then, again, which of us in a position of leadership with natural competence doesn’t have to struggle with that? I was most certainly a self-centered egoist until God knocked me down a few (hundred) notches. I came back to the Church of my infancy.

    Newt has grown into the Catholic Church. Rarely does one choose to become Catholic, especially later in life because it is easy or satisfies your ego. What other Church demands such a total submission? Far easier for an egoist to remain comfortably Protestant.

    It is easy to confuse confidence with pride. I see a man who has been humbled and matured. Does he still have egoist tendencies? Probably. Grace builds upon nature. Newt’s temperament has not changed; however, it seems that his character has and to what does he attribute the change? The Holy Eucharist.

  • It is overly simplistic to make the inference that the number of children one has renders a concrete understanding of the sacramentality of marriage. Santorum correctly identifies a core problem affecting America’s society today- the destruction of the family. Contraception destroys confidence in God because it says that we do not trust God to design our families. Contraception has the potential to destroy human life that is just beginning in the womb. Santorum, in supporting federally funded contraception, is sanctioning its use.
    The funding of contraception services by people of faith is the way that the HHS mandate is attacking religious liberty. It is by no coincidence that contraception services is the instrument chosen to destroy religious liberty. John Paul II wrote in his Encylical “The Gospel of Life,” “Here though we shall concentrate particular attention on another category of attacks, affecting life in its earliest and its final stages, attacks which present new characteristics with respect to the past and which raise questions of extraordinary seriousness. It is not only that in generalized opinion these attacks tend no longer to be considered as ‘crimes’; paradoxically they assume the nature of ‘rights’, to the point that the State is called upon to give them legal recognition and to make them available through the free services of health-care personnel. Such attacks strike human life at the time of its greatest frailty, when it lacks any means of self-defence. Even more serious is the fact that, most often, those attacks are carried out in the very heart of and with the complicity of the family-the family which by its nature is called to be the ‘sanctuary of life’.”
    This is the very crossroads we find ourselves in today with this current HHS mandate… the legislation of reproductive rights. Most all other Christian faiths have embraced the contraception mentality. The rejection of “Humane Vitae” by prelates in the American Church is the issue that is rearing its ugly head. It is not an issue to relegate to the back. In my opinion, it needs to be front and center for the survival of this country. Finally, we export the contraception mentality to poor nations by attaching contraception services as a requirement for them to receive essential assistance such as food and medicine.

  • God knows, you can’t please everyone. Go, Rick!

    I am with him on defending the family. But for you, Paul Z, I’ll let it ride.

    God bless.

  • I dunno.

    It seems an Iowa poll has Obama beating Newt Gingrich 51 to 37. However, pharaoh loses to the others, including Ron Paul.

    I’m shocked.

    Where is the corn belt gratitude for keeping ethanol in 10% of all US gasoline and running up the prices of farmland into the stratosphere?

Rombo: He Gets to Win This Time?

Wednesday, February 15, AD 2012

Santorum has some savvy ad people in his campaign if this ad is any indication.   Having the buttoned down Romney in a Rambo spoof is hilarious and will stick in the minds of viewers.  It also hits on Romney’s one trick pony campaign:  ceaselessly go negative because his flip-flops over the years make it impossible to portray himself, with a straight face, as a candidate with convictions about anything except that he should be president.  Bravo Santorum campaign!

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Ross Douthat Explains the Weathervane’s Santorum Quandary

Wednesday, February 15, AD 2012

 

 

A brilliant piece by Ross Douthat in the New York Times explaining why Romney a/k/a the Weathervane, is running into so many problems in dealing with the challenged posed by Santorum:

But Santorum’s advantage is that he can get to Romney’s right and to his left at once. On the one hand, Santorum isn’t responsible for a health care bill that looks an awful lot like “Obamacare” and he doesn’t have a long list of social-issue flip-flops in his past. This makes his candidacy a plausible rallying point for the voters who previously turned Bachmann and Cain and the pre-debate Rick Perry into conservative flavors of the month.

At the same time, though, Santorum’s persona, his record and his platform all have a populist tinge that plays well in states like Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania, where swing voters tend to be socially conservative but economically middle-of-the-road. (Hence the Michigan poll that showed him leading among independents and Democrats who plan to vote in that state’s open primary.)

This means that Santorum can play the same anti-Bain, anti-rich-guy, blue-collar card that Gingrich tried to play in New Hampshire and South Carolina – but subtly, implicitly, in ways that don’t make him sound like he belongs in Occupy Wall Street instead of the Republican primary.

So what script should Romney choose as a response? Many conservatives have urged him to rebrand himself with primary voters by embracing a more rigorously right-wing policy agenda – endorsing Paul Ryan’s budget more explicitly, outlining a more aggressively supply-side approach to tax policy or even a pure flat tax, echoing furious attacks on the Federal Reserve by Ron Paul and Gingrich, and so on.

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Randians on the Right

Monday, February 13, AD 2012

Speaking as a former Rick Perry supporter, I promise you that not all of us are petulant brats.  I cannot speak for others, unfortunately.

Red State’s all-out assault on Santorum comes as no surprise.  This is a blog that perceives all who fail short of achieving purity as a conservative (whatever that’s supposed to mean) as heretics.  So they have taken a few incidents where Santoum fell short – and in some cases, he did cast a wrong vote or endorsed the wrong candidate – and have now transformed Santorum into some kind of statist.

The shrill attacks on Red State are to be expected.  What’s disappointing is seeing an otherwise insightful blogger like Ace of Spades hyperventilate ignorantly about Santorum.  What set Ace off was this comment by Santorum from much earlier in the campaign:

One of the things I will talk about that no president has talked about before is I think the dangers of contraception in this country, the whole sexual libertine idea … Many in the Christian faith have said, “Well, that’s okay … contraception’s okay.”

It’s not okay because it’s a license to do things in the sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be. They’re supposed to be within marriage, for purposes that are, yes, conjugal … but also procreative. That’s the perfect way that a sexual union should happen. We take any part of that out, we diminish the act. And if you can take one part out that’s not for purposes of procreation, that’s not one of the reasons, then you diminish this very special bond between men and women, so why can’t you take other parts of that out? And all of a sudden, it becomes deconstructed to the point where it’s simply pleasure. And that’s certainly a part of it—and it’s an important part of it, don’t get me wrong—but there’s a lot of things we do for pleasure, and this is special, and it needs to be seen as special.

Ace is displeased:

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33 Responses to Randians on the Right

  • I don’t want to over-generalize here as there are obviously exceptions, but it’s hard to miss the deep resentment towards traditional morality expressed in certain quarters on the right, often by young, single individuals who are perhaps not as sympathetic to traditional conservatism as those who have moved on from that lifestyle.

    THIS.

    I’ve mentioned before– maybe not here, I’m not sure– but hard-line libertarianism seems to be ideology of choice for those who would be anarchists, but they like getting paid for their work.

    More sympathetically, it’s a lot easier to “win” with libertarianism– there are a few core beliefs, you don’t compromise on anything, and there’s not a lot of history to hold against it. It’s like “conservatism redesigned to use the liberal playbook.”

    Amusingly, I recently had a conversation with my husband that boiled down to him pointing out that people our age aren’t usually going to accept an obligation of the sort moral conservatism involves.

  • (You would not BELIEVE how much re-writing I put into those three paragraphs, and I’m still not quite satisfied. Five bucks says that someone shows up and decides to take offense, rather than trying to understand the point. I don’t think anyone would take the bet on your post, that’s a sucker’s bet.)

  • Paul:

    One major problem from a purely political perspective:

    One wants the GOP nominee to be able to rally the relevant camps within the GOP “big tent.”

    One of those is the libertarian-leaning portion, which at last look was about 15% of those who typically vote Republican.

    Now, the GOP-leaning libertarians are pro-life libertarians, largely. The Bill Mahr (or however that clod’s name is spelled) kind of “libertarians” define libertarianism so as to make it identical to libertinism, and all all going to vote for Obama in the end because they care only for sexual libertinism and not a whit for the liberty of the unborn or the infirm or for free markets.

    So it isn’t Santorum’s pro-life credentials that will turn off the libertarian-leaning portion of the GOP. Indeed, being pro-life is a requirement of libertarianism, if one is well-informed enough to know that a fetal human is a human.

    But Santorum has twice now stated his opposition to libertarians and libertarianism by saying they (and I quote) “believe in having no government.”

    This is a problem. It is basic ignorance of libertarianism.

    Libertarians don’t believe in no government. Libertarians believe in government’s use of violence or the threat thereof — which is to say, all government’s activity — to be limited to those areas of policy in which violence or the threat thereof is morally justified. And Libertarians believe that the only areas of policy in which violence or the threat thereof is morally justified are those involved in deterring, halting, or punishing the violation of one innocent person’s life, liberty, or property rights by another person or persons. Libertarians believe that policies directly involved with such violations offer clear and sufficient justification for violence or the threat thereof; policies indirectly or tenuously involved with such violations offer only tenuous justification for government action; and policies not even tenuously involved with such violations offer no justification for violence at all and therefore no justification for government activity.

    That’s it, in a nutshell.

    And it’s a view which resonates well with Catholic teaching in at least some ways. It recognizes that violence (whether done by an individual, or the armies of a nation-state, or by the police) is always something requiring extraordinary justification — like the requirements of a Just War. (It is morally nonsensical to have a very high threshold of justification for holding prisoner another nation’s soldiers captured at war, but a very low threshold of justification for arresting a man captured in peacetime activity.)

    I don’t think Santorum knows that this is the libertarian view. At least, his public pronouncements show no recognition of the existence of pro-life libertarians (not a majority, but a large minority). He shows no recognition of the distinction between libertarian and libertine. He shows no understanding of what libertarians think.

    And he shows no recognition of the notion that maybe something being a morally wrong thing is not, by itself, sufficient justification for outlawing it. Since outlawing it requires empowering government to use violence (to lock up those who do the morally wrong thing, and to shoot them if they try to escape), it must not merely be morally wrong, it must be morally wrong and of a character for which forcible opposition is fitting.

    Generally, that means a moral wrong which is, itself, forcible. Rape may be opposed by force; it is forcible. Theft may be opposed by force; it is forcible. Fraud may be opposed by force; it is forcible (for to make someone, through trickery, do what they otherwise would not have done is to wield intellectual force over them). Violation of legitimate contract is fraud and is therefore forcible.

    Libertarians support strong government to oppose all these kinds of evils. Santorum’s comments suggest he’s unaware of this.

    So I fear that 15% of the GOP electorate, if Santorum is the nominee, will be turned off and possibly turned away for no better reason than that Santorum is ignorant about them, and consequently believes statists’ popular libel against them.

    And libertarians (and libertarian-leaning conservatives) consequently begin to believe Santorum is a statist, who hopes not only to outlaw abortion (which he should) and Federal funding for Planned Parenthood (which he should) but also sales of condoms…all while caring not a whit about crony capitalism and corporate welfare. They begin to suspect that Santorum is fine with government using its compulsory power to pick winners, as long as they’re supporters of conservative causes.

    I don’t think a GOP nominee can win the general election, if he shows utter disregard for that whole arm of the Reagan coalition. (An increasingly larger and more youthful segment, please note.)

    So that’s a political problem. A very solvable one, I think, if the man would just show himself aware of libertarian concerns and sensitive to the moral limits of government activity, instead of just repeating ignorant misunderstandings about libertarians.

  • They need to understand that Obama must be stopped.

    That probably means nominating a GOP candidate that constantly emphasizes jobs, jobs; is not 100% of the time pounding for legalizing weed, ending all “entangling alliances”, and abolishing the Fed. Not that that is bad. But, those are not the main threats to our liberty and our way of life.

    The ones I know are really nice people. And, the Fed certainly needs to be pushed back to being the clearing house and lender of last resort for banks.

    If he gets another term, Obama pack the supreme court and repeal the Second Amendment, etc. Health care will permanently retard economic growth: you will look back on full-employment as a dream of your youth.

    If the libertarians are turned off by the GOP, Obama will get four more years to finish us off.

  • If the media can paint Santorum as a guy who wants to take away everyone’s pills and condoms, not only libertarians but many, many Protestant social conservatives (who make up the majority of socons in this country) will stay at home or vote against him. Do you think a married Baptist in Alabama who uses the Pill and sees nothing wrong with that is going to read Human Vitae or the Theology of the Body and come around to the Church’s position on BC? Heck, while I don’t believe the Guttmacher figures stating 97% of Catholics use artifical BC, let’s be honest – many, many of them do. Outside of the Tridentine Masses, I don’t see a lot of families with more than 3 kids.

    I agree that Ace willfully ignored evidence which shows Santorum is not going to ban BC; however, remember that just last week he wrote a great critique of the HHS directive. And I believe the man is pro-life as well. He’s way overreacting here, but I wouldn’t call him a heartless Randian.

    We are falling right into the trap being set for us by leftists, who want to turn the discussion away from the violation of religious freedom and make it into a debate about “ooooh, my, scary, weird Santorum wants to take your birth control pills away! The Catholics want to impose a theocracy!” That keeps the focus off of Obama’s dismal economic record.

  • Libertarians believe that the only areas of policy in which violence or the threat thereof is morally justified are those involved in deterring, halting, or punishing the violation of one innocent person’s life, liberty, or property rights by another person or persons.

    And yet the arch-typical figurehead, Ron Paul, disagrees with this when he wants to push actually killing the most innocent people possible down to a state level. About the only libertarians I know who have a sizable minority of pro-lifers are the Catholic ones; even my husband went from being a Republican leaning Libertarian to a libertarian leaning Republican before he was pro-life for non-tactical reasons.

    I’ll gladly admit some cynical amusement– as long as I’ve been politically aware, fiscal conservatives have been haranguing the “SoCons” about how they need to accept candidates who don’t agree with them on social issues to fight the liberals. Time for some Gander Sauce.

    Donna V-
    so we fight the lies the media puts out. What else would we do? We know they’re going to lie like a rug, and it looks like there are libertarian conservatives who will gladly help them spread the false claim that Santorum is coming for your Pill.

    The Catholics want to impose a theocracy!

    *lightbulb* Hey, isn’t that an angle they used against JFK?
    Can someone who actually remembers back then maybe cook up some sort of a response based on that?

  • “I’ll gladly admit some cynical amusement– as long as I’ve been politically aware, fiscal conservatives have been haranguing the “SoCons” about how they need to accept candidates who don’t agree with them on social issues to fight the liberals. Time for some Gander Sauce.”

    Yep. What you said, Foxfier.

  • Ron Paul is a fair-weather libertarian apparently. When asked about the imaginary “right to privacy” created in the Griswold case and brought to fruition in Roe v. Wade, all Paul could weakly say is that there IS a right to privacy, referring to the Fourth Amendment, which of course, specifically refers to the right against illegal search and seizure.

    Now, for such a staunch “constitutionalist” I find this very ironic.

  • I agree with Donna. The American people aren’t going to elect a guy President if he runs as an anti-contraception candidate. Saying that he only wishes to use the bully pulpit to speak out about the dangers of contraception is not, repeat not, going to reassure voters on this score. That’s not to say that Santorum is wrong on the issue. He’s not. But it’s still a view held by only a small minority of Americans. My hope is that Santorum understands this and that the comment Ace quoted was/will be an isolated lapse. Otherwise we could be in real trouble.

  • What Blackadder said. The administration is rocked back on its heels with the HHS mandate–focus on that as the social issue. Otherwise, stick with fighting on the economy and this administration’s cluelessness on it.

  • Santorum merely responds when asked about it that he supports Catholic teaching against contraception. He then notes that he has voted for government funding of contraception under TItle 10 and would not favor legislation seeking to ban contraception. The video below is from 2006:

  • Once again I will let noted Christian so-con Jeff Goldstein dismantle Ace’s arguments (language warning).

    Oh, and I see that Ace and his co-bloggers are doubling down today. Hell hath no fury like a blogger whose favorite candidate was scorned.

  • Let’s see., he says he stands by the Church teaching on contraception, but supported government funding of contraception. Sorry, Rick can’t have it both ways.

  • Of course you can Greg. I accept the teachings of the Church on divorce. That doesn’t mean if I were a legislator that I must lead a futile effort to ban divorce or strip funding from courts that hear divorce cases. I do appreciate the bleak humor of Santorum taking fire for being too hard and too soft on contraceptives. The simple truth is that there is no way on God’s green earth that contraceptives could be banned in this country at the present time, and that any candidate suggesting such would be committing political seppuku.

  • Mac, that would be a good politician.

    Santorum doesn’t have a chance.

    Obama can point to $1.81 gasoline prices the day before he took over and tout today’s $3.50 (earliest date gas hit that level)! It’ll probably be $5 a gallon by Summer. Yeah, that ought to him re-elected.

    Santorum doesn’t have a prayer.

    Obama can sing about improving unemployment rates when tent cities are rapidly expanding. That’ll get Obama re-elected.

    Hey, if they live in tents they don’t count.

    Walter Russell Mead: WH flubs BC compromise: “First the Obama administration managed to alienate both its liberal supporters and its religious critics by pushing and then pulling back its HHS contraception mandate. Now the White House has succeeded in hitting the political sour spot yet again by producing a compromise designed to placate the Catholic bishops…without consulting the Catholic bishops.”

    Briliant!

  • Let’s see., he says he stands by the Church teaching on contraception, but supported government funding of contraception. Sorry, Rick can’t have it both ways.

    If the line item is in an appropriations bill that funds the entire foreign aid apparat, it does create rather a dilemma for the legislator (unless he favors dismantling the foreign aid apparat).

    We had a similar controversy here in New York many years ago when the question arose as to whether the Right-to-Life Party (now defunct) should refuse to endorse legislators who had voted in favor of passing the state budget. New York was the odd state that had retained Medicaid funding of abortions.

  • The American people aren’t going to elect a guy President if he runs as an anti-contraception candidate.

    Depends on who he is running against, and what the ambient circumstances are.

  • tom: The right to privacy extends to the womb. Nature’s God does not allow invasion of privacy of the unborn in the womb. Any attempt to abort the unborn is a violation of privacy in its truest sense. A murdered victim, whose body is concealed in a closet, warrants search to be rescued from the crime/crimnal without the proscribed legal warrant, because the person is dead but not annihilated. Any evidence collected from such a search without a legal warrant, revealing a murdered victim to be set free, rescued, is evidence admissible in a court of law through the sovereign personhood of the victim. Searches to find jewelry, art or anything that is not a person is illegal.

  • Oh, Don, you may accpet the teaching on divorce, but you certainly don’t understand it if you gonna go with that ridiculous line of reasoning. You see, the Church allows civil divorce. Look it up in Catechism if you don’t believe me. Not the same with contraception. I was not talking about leading an effort to criminalize contraception, but voting IN FAVOR of forcing taxpayers (many of whom are Catholics) to pick up the tab for people’s contraceptive use. This is really not much difference in substance with what the Obama administration’s HHS mandate.

  • P.S. In fact, diocesan tribunals require that petioners present a civil divorce decree before they will even begin to process requests for decree of nullity.

  • wE ARE NOT TALKING ABOUT CONTRACEPTION BAN. We are talking about the funding of contraception. On some level people using “the pill” know that it is wrong. It seems to me that they want to blame Santorum for their addiction to the pill. If they are honest, and Santorum removes funding for BC, they need to feel relief. It would not hurt if they realized that Obama’s math is different from their arithmetic. Funding for BC involves ten for Obama and one for the taxpayer. In this way, they could buy eleven times the BC for the cost of one from Obama. SANTORUM DOES NOT WANT TO BE AN ACCOMPLICE TO THEIR EMBOLISM.

  • Yeah, Ace has gone nuts on Santorum again today. I think I’ll be avoiding the HQ for a while. He did a lot of needlessly destroying of non-Perry candidates before he dropped out (I supported Perry to the bitter end. Sigh.) and now that he’s on the Romney bandwagon it’s death to the “unelectable” non-Romney’s. These threads are getting pretty vicious, too. And I’m seeing a lot of anti-Catholic and anti-general Christianity sentiment being expressed over there right now. Very disturbing.

  • “Oh, Don, you may accpet the teaching on divorce, but you certainly don’t understand it if you gonna go with that ridiculous line of reasoning.”

    Complete and total rubbish Greg, and betokens a fundamental lack of understanding of the Church on your part in regard to divorce. The catechism provisions demonstrate that:

    2382 The Lord Jesus insisted on the original intention of the Creator who willed that marriage be indissoluble. He abrogates the accommodations that had slipped into the old Law. Between the baptized, “a ratified and consummated marriage cannot be dissolved by any human power or for any reason other than death.”

    2383 The separation of spouses while maintaining the marriage bond can be legitimate in certain cases provided for by canon law. If civil divorce remains the only possible way of ensuring certain legal rights, the care of the children, or the protection of inheritance, it can be tolerated and does not constitute a moral offense.

    2384 Divorce is a grave offense against the natural law. It claims to break the contract, to which the spouses freely consented, to live with each other till death. Divorce does injury to the covenant of salvation, of which sacramental marriage is the sign. Contracting a new union, even if it is recognized by civil law, adds to the gravity of the rupture: the remarried spouse is then in a situation of public and permanent adultery:

    If a husband, separated from his wife, approaches another woman, he is an adulterer because he makes that woman commit adultery; and the woman who lives with him is an adulteress, because she has drawn another’s husband to herself.

    2385 Divorce is immoral also because it introduces disorder into the family and into society. This disorder brings grave harm to the deserted spouse, to children traumatized by the separation of their parents and often torn between them, and because of its contagious effect which makes it truly a plague on society.

    As recently as 2002 Pope John Paul II was stating that attorneys should refuse to undertake divorce cases:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2002/01/29/world/john-paul-says-catholic-bar-must-refuse-divorce-cases.html

    http://www.catholic-forum.com/saints/pope0264xh.htm

    Your criticisms of Santorum would be equally applicable to all Catholic legislators who refuse to strip funding from courts handling divorces.

  • Mandy, I agree, Ace has come a little unglued. What’s striking is that on top of the ideological differences he is motivated by this fear that Santorum can’t win (funny, since not that long ago he was arguing against Romney’s inevitability). The thing about that: Santorum’s social conservatism is in line with the majority on most things. His personal feelings about contraception are another thing, and that’s why the Dems are pivoting hard on contraception.

    I don’t normally agree much with Dick Morris, but he’s right about the Dems ceding the ground on an issue like abortion where they are increasingly out of touch with where most people are headed, and are focusing on an issue where the public would seem to be in line with their beliefs. That’s what is disappointing about what Ace is doing. He is actually conceding leftist talking points and giving them more ammo. Because if this is a debate about religious liberty, Santorum is with a majority of the people.

  • Don, because civil divorce does not invalidate sacramental marriage, a civil dorce is morally permissible under certain circumstances.

    “2383 The separation of spouses while maintaining the marriage bond can be legitimate in certain cases provided for by canon law. If civil divorce remains the only possible way of ensuring certain legal rights, the care of the children, or the protection of inheritance, it can be tolerated and does not constitute a moral offense.”

    Sacramental marriage is indissoulable whereas non-sacramental marriages can be dissolved, hence the Pauline privilege. Strictly civil marriages do not carry sacramental weight.

    This citation you provide proves my point. Now, iunless you can provide something that says the same for contraception, I’ll save you trouble because you can’t, then your shilling for Santorum on this has absolutely no basis. Whereas my calling him out does.

    As to JPII’s urging attorneys to refuse to take divroce cases, notice the qualifer “should’ as opposed to “must”. THat’s the operative word there.

    Really Don, if you are gonaa accuse me of misunderstanding Church teaching on anything, please at least take the time to learn the difference between prudential judgments and doctrinal imperatives.

  • You still miss the point Greg. The Church is against adamantly against divorce. It reluctantly allows participation in it where it is the only way to protect other rights as listed in 2383.

    John Paul’s Discourse to the Roman Rota of January 28, 2002 which I linked to indicates that clearly in this passage:

    “Among the initiatives should be those that aim at obtaining the public recognition of indissoluble marriage in the civil juridical order (cf. ibid., n. 17). Resolute opposition to any legal or administrative measures that introduce divorce or that equate de facto unions — including those between homosexuals — with marriage must be accompanied by a pro-active attitude, acting through juridical provisions that tend to improve the social recognition of true marriage in the framework of legal orders that unfortunately admit divorce.”

    In regard to contraceptives actually the Church has allowed their use in very limited circumstances in regard to disease.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/22/world/europe/22pope.html

    As in the case of divorce, use is permitted where it is not undertaken to reach a forbidden end: divorce or contraception, but for other purposes, custody of children or to stop the spread of disease.

  • Paul Z.,

    What kills me is that he’s doing the same purity nonsense he’s accused others of. If you don’t agree with his brand of conservatism you’re a dirty statist. His comments to you were pretty out there and he went off on the poster Y-not as well; he gave her both barrels for supposedly trying to force him to convert to Catholicism. It was bizarre.

    The thing is, even though he wrote a really good piece about the contraceptive mandate the other day, I think his disdain for whoever is not currently his candidate- in this case the target is Santorum- is so palpable right now that he’s going way over the top in his attacks implying things that were never actually said. And in the comments section- and apparently on twitter- today he even went down the Karen-Santorum-is-creepy route, using her personal past to bash the both of them, which has been off limits as far as Mrs. Obama goes over there. Because, racism. So yeah, I think it’s got a lot to do with him being angry that Perry never took and now his next candidate of choice is faltering as well. It’s a gigantic temper tantrum. On a blog.

  • No, contraception is NOT allowed even for the purposes of stopping the spread of disease. This is something both Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI made clear. In fact, when B16 made the statement regarding condoms in an interview with Peter Seewald that got spun as him giving his approval under those circumstances, he prefaces those remarks with saying that it is not morally permissible. Only that it might signal something positive regarding the INTENTIONS of those who take such a position. Don, you really need to do your homework on these issues.

  • Here is what Benedict XVI actually says. From page 119 of Light of the World:

    Question from Peter Seewald:

    “Are you saying, then, that the Catholic Church is actually not opposed to in principle to the use of condoms?”

    Answer from Pope Benedict XVI:

    “She of course does not regard it as a real or moral solution, but, in this or thast case, there can be nonetheless, in the intention of reducing the risk of infection, a first step in a movement toward a different way, a more human way, of living sexuality.”

    And since condoms are the only form of contraception that even have the prospect of preventing disease, the idea that contraceptives, the idea that contraceptives are a morally permissible means of preventing sexually transmitted diseases even as deadly as AIDS, is not consistent with Church teaching.

    Now, Don please find a more reliable source than the NY Slimes if you are going to try and argue with me on matters of Catholic morality. Okay?

  • Actually Greg the story quoted the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Here is a link to the note in which the Congregation explained the Pope’s remark:

    “This norm belongs to the tradition of the Church and was summarized succinctly by Pope Paul VI in paragraph 14 of his Encyclical Letter Humanae vitae, when he wrote that “also to be excluded is any action which either before, at the moment of, or after sexual intercourse, is specifically intended to prevent procreation—whether as an end or as a means.” The idea that anyone could deduce from the words of Benedict XVI that it is somehow legitimate, in certain situations, to use condoms to avoid an unwanted pregnancy is completely arbitrary and is in no way justified either by his words or in his thought. On this issue the Pope proposes instead – and also calls the pastors of the Church to propose more often and more effectively (cf. Light of the World, p. 147) – humanly and ethically acceptable ways of behaving which respect the inseparable connection between the unitive and procreative meaning of every conjugal act, through the possible use of natural family planning in view of responsible procreation.

    On the pages in question, the Holy Father refers to the completely different case of prostitution, a type of behaviour which Christian morality has always considered gravely immoral (cf. Vatican II, Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et spes, n. 27; Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 2355). The response of the entire Christian tradition – and indeed not only of the Christian tradition – to the practice of prostitution can be summed up in the words of St. Paul: “Flee from fornication” (1 Cor 6:18). The practice of prostitution should be shunned, and it is the duty of the agencies of the Church, of civil society and of the State to do all they can to liberate those involved from this practice.

    In this regard, it must be noted that the situation created by the spread of AIDS in many areas of the world has made the problem of prostitution even more serious. Those who know themselves to be infected with HIV and who therefore run the risk of infecting others, apart from committing a sin against the sixth commandment are also committing a sin against the fifth commandment – because they are consciously putting the lives of others at risk through behaviour which has repercussions on public health. In this situation, the Holy Father clearly affirms that the provision of condoms does not constitute “the real or moral solution” to the problem of AIDS and also that “the sheer fixation on the condom implies a banalization of sexuality” in that it refuses to address the mistaken human behaviour which is the root cause of the spread of the virus. In this context, however, it cannot be denied that anyone who uses a condom in order to diminish the risk posed to another person is intending to reduce the evil connected with his or her immoral activity. In this sense the Holy Father points out that the use of a condom “with the intention of reducing the risk of infection, can be a first step in a movement towards a different way, a more human way, of living sexuality.” This affirmation is clearly compatible with the Holy Father’s previous statement that this is “not really the way to deal with the evil of HIV infection.”

    Some commentators have interpreted the words of Benedict XVI according to the so-called theory of the “lesser evil”. This theory is, however, susceptible to proportionalistic misinterpretation (cf. John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Veritatis splendor, n. 75-77). An action which is objectively evil, even if a lesser evil, can never be licitly willed. The Holy Father did not say – as some people have claimed – that prostitution with the use of a condom can be chosen as a lesser evil. The Church teaches that prostitution is immoral and should be shunned. However, those involved in prostitution who are HIV positive and who seek to diminish the risk of contagion by the use of a condom may be taking the first step in respecting the life of another – even if the evil of prostitution remains in all its gravity. This understanding is in full conformity with the moral theological tradition of the Church.”

    http://www.lifesitenews.com/resources/note-of-the-congregation-for-the-doctrine-of-the-faith-on-the-popes-condom

  • Don,

    None this argues for the justification of the use of contraceptives even to prevent disease. Contraception is an intrinsic evil, whereas civil divorce is not. To equate the two as you have done is flat out intellectually dishonest.

  • This is the week to save ‘intellectually dishonest’ for the proclamations of the Executive Branch.

  • “None this argues for the justification of the use of contraceptives even to prevent disease. Contraception is an intrinsic evil, whereas civil divorce is not. To equate the two as you have done is flat out intellectually dishonest.”

    Reading comprehension Greg is obviously not your strong point in this debate. The prostitute in the Pope’s example clearly was not engaging in an intrinsically evil act by using the condom to prevent disease. That much is clear from this passage in the note:

    “Some commentators have interpreted the words of Benedict XVI according to the so-called theory of the “lesser evil”. This theory is, however, susceptible to proportionalistic misinterpretation (cf. John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Veritatis splendor, n. 75-77). An action which is objectively evil, even if a lesser evil, can never be licitly willed. The Holy Father did not say – as some people have claimed – that prostitution with the use of a condom can be chosen as a lesser evil. The Church teaches that prostitution is immoral and should be shunned. However, those involved in prostitution who are HIV positive and who seek to diminish the risk of contagion by the use of a condom may be taking the first step in respecting the life of another – even if the evil of prostitution remains in all its gravity. This understanding is in full conformity with the moral theological tradition of the Church.”

    None of that would have made any sense at all if the prostitute’s use of the condom to prevent disease was intrinsically evil.

National Review Calls on Gingrich to Drop Out and Endorse Santorum

Monday, February 13, AD 2012

 

Interesting.  I had assumed that National Review was in the tank for Romney.  However, this morning the editors have called for Gingrich to drop out and endorse Santorum.  They follow this up with a blast at Romney:

We hope so. Gingrich’s verbal and intellectual talents should make him a resource for any future Republican president. But it would be a grave mistake for the party to make someone with such poor judgment and persistent unpopularity its presidential nominee. It is not clear whether Gingrich remains in the race because he still believes he could become president next year or because he wants to avenge his wounded pride: an ambiguity that suggests the problem with him as a leader. When he led Santorum in the polls, he urged the Pennsylvanian to leave the race. On his own arguments the proper course for him now is to endorse Santorum and exit.

We hope so. Gingrich’s verbal and intellectual talents should make him a resource for any future Republican president. But it would be a grave mistake for the party to make someone with such poor judgment and persistent unpopularity its presidential nominee. It is not clear whether Gingrich remains in the race because he still believes he could become president next year or because he wants to avenge his wounded pride: an ambiguity that suggests the problem with him as a leader. When he led Santorum in the polls, he urged the Pennsylvanian to leave the race. On his own arguments the proper course for him now is to endorse Santorum and exit.

Santorum has been conducting himself rather impressively in his moments of triumph and avoiding characteristic temptations. He is doing his best to keep the press from dismissing him as merely a “social-issues candidate.” His recent remark that losing his Senate seat in 2006 taught him the importance of humility suggests an appealing self-awareness. And he has rightly identified the declining stability of middle-class families as a threat to the American experiment, even if his proposed solutions are poorly designed. But sensible policies, important as they are, are not the immediate challenge for his candidacy. Proving he can run a national campaign is.

Romney remains the undramatic figure at the center of the primaries’ drama. Lack of enthusiasm for him has set it all in motion. Romney is trying to win the nomination by pulverizing his rivals. His hope is that enthusiasm will follow when he takes on Obama in the summer and fall. But his attacks on Santorum have been lame, perhaps because they are patently insincere. (Does anyone believe that Romney truly thinks poorly of Santorum’s votes to raise the debt ceiling?)

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6 Responses to National Review Calls on Gingrich to Drop Out and Endorse Santorum

Santorum at CPAC 2012: Leads Romney by 15 Points Nationally in Latest Poll

Saturday, February 11, AD 2012

Rick Santorum’s speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference convention this week.  According to The Hill, the impact of the speech on the conservative audience was electric.  Go here to read the story.  Coming off his trifecta wins on Tuesday, Santorum is now neck and neck with Romney in national polls, and is beginning to see poll results where he outpolls Romney against Obama.  We may be witnessing one of the greatest comebacks in American political history.   

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13 Responses to Santorum at CPAC 2012: Leads Romney by 15 Points Nationally in Latest Poll

  • Speaking only for myself….I need to do more fasting and prayer so that Santorum wins this year. Oh, the schadenfrude I would enjoy from the likes of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, the Pittsburgh Tribune Review and the Lame Stream Media would be icing on the cake, but that cannot be the primary reason.

    A life preserver has been thrown our way. Will enough Americans recognize it?

  • What a blessing for America — Rick Santorum will be president and he will be one of the greatest US presidents ever.

    He is the only candidate worth taking the presidency and bringing America back to what she was founded on. Rick Santorum’s vision and policies are the best I have heard from any western leaders in 30 years! God bless and protect Rick Santorum – presidential candidate. We all know the truth — he is the only one who can and will do the job.. He is a brilliant, good and wise man — with a great love for God, for the Declaration of Independence – ‘all men are created equal’… — and he is a man of greath faith who loves his family and his own people.— What more could you ask for.
    I wish we had him in Canada..— !!

  • Santorum still has to answer for his throwing Pat Toomey, a very electable conservative, under the bus when he endorsed Arlen Specter in the 2004 GOP senate primary. It, for one, shows he can be bought off by the GOP establishment. And no, this “We have to support our incumbents’ BS won’t fly. Santorum did a very bad thing then and that’s that!

    The base needs to hold him accountable for it and he has to do a mea culpla. Period!

  • Santorum already has expressed regret over his endorsement, and conservatives have certainly have held his feet to the fire on it. What more exactly needs be done?

  • “Santorum already has expressed regret over his endorsement, and conservatives have certainly have held his feet to the fire on it. What more exactly needs be done?”

    Paul can you provide examples of both? I have followed this pretty closely and haven’t heard conservatives say much about this or Santorum express regret. If you can provide suffcient examples I wouild galdly stand corrected.

  • See here with a link to an interview, and his rationale for why he endorsed Specter. Note my name in the comments suggesting that this was a wrong-headed reason, though I can understand that at the time the composition of the Senate was in doubt, and he thought that we were going to need Specter’s vote to get Bush SCOTUS nominees confirmed. In retrospect he was wrong, but hindsight is admittedly 20/20.

    As for conservative angst about the Specter endorsement, you can’t read one thread about Santorum on a conservative blog without it being brought up. It was the reason that many conservatives were originally reticent about fully supporting him.

  • I saw it as wrongheaded at the time. What help was Arlen Specter in getting SCOTUS nominees confirmed that warranted his being endorsed over Toomey? After all, Specter’s relibiality in that area was doubtful at best. Just ask Robert Bork. And by 2004, this was clearly 20/20 hindsight. No, Santorum did this for purely selfish reasons, hoping his endorsement of Specter would help him in an uphill fight with Casey, which of course, he lost by an 18 point drubbing.

    But think about it. If you’re Romney, this would be his best trump card. He can play this to hilt in painting Santorum as an establishment sellout. And those of us who don’t want Romeny can’t say a damned thing about it because it is true.

    What more can be done?, you ask Paul. Well, for starters, Santorum can actually man up and admit he was selling out to curry favor with Bush and the rest of the GOP establishment and stop insulting our intelligence with that lame excuse he gave. I say this as someone who wants him to get the nomination.

    As far as conservatives holding his feet to the fire, so what if a bunch rather obscure conservative blogs talk about it. Nowhere in any real national venue, like talk radio for example has this been dealt with in any substative way. Mark Levin, who is probably Satorum’s most vocal supporer in national talk radio, hasn’t said boo about it as far as I know and I have listened to him rather regularly. Hugh Hewitt talked about it in passing on his show with Byron York, I think it was.

    So, I stand by my original assertion.

  • What help was Arlen Specter in getting SCOTUS nominees confirmed that warranted his being endorsed over Toomey? After all, Specter’s relibiality in that area was doubtful at best. Just ask Robert Bork.

    Santorum’s endorsement was contingent on getting this promise from Specter. Specter was slated to become Chair of the Judiciary Cmte, and for what it’s worth, he did forcefully back both Alito and Roberts. Santorum thought Specter was more of a sure thing in the general than Toomey, and this was at a time when it looked like the Senate could be up for grabs. Even at the time I thought Santorum was being overly pessimistic both as regards to Toomey and the Senate in general, but it was a reasonable gambit. But he was wrong, and I fully concede that.

    He can play this to hilt in painting Santorum as an establishment sellout. And those of us who don’t want Romeny can’t say a damned thing about it because it is true.

    Sure Romney is going to play this to the hilt, and it’s an admitted weakness. But somehow it pales into comparison to lavishing praise on ted Kennedy after signing into law the legislation that would become the model for Obamacare.

    Well, for starters, Santorum can actually man up and admit he was selling out to curry favor with Bush and the rest of the GOP establishment and stop insulting our intelligence with that lame excuse he gave.

    So in other words, he should proffer an apology that may or may not actually have any basis in fact. That you deem the excuse lacking does not mean it was not precisely why Santorum gave the endorsement.

    so what if a bunch rather obscure conservative blogs talk about it.

    Obscure blogs like National Review, Hot Air, Ace of Spades? Seriously? This has been brought up every single time Santorum is even under dicussion.

    Nowhere in any real national venue, like talk radio for example has this been dealt with in any substative way.

    I suspect I listen to as much talk radio as anyone. It has been brought up – by Levin as well. He didn’t excuse Santorum’s endorsement, but he did mention it at some point. Rush has discussed it as well. In fact, I believe both have discussed the Santorum endorsement of Specter as a talking point likely to be brought up by Romney’s camp.

  • Now, Paul, Specter’s being slated to become judiciary chair was actually all the more reason to primary him, given his suspect reliability. You mean to tell me that there weren’t already more suitable and reliable republicans availible to fill that post? And that Santorum didn’t know it? Sorry, I’m not buying it. At the very least Santorum should have stayed out of that. He didn’t have to endorse anyone. Based upon the facts we do know, the reason I cite is far more plausable than the excuse he gave.

  • As the tight Presidential polls that year indicated, there was every prospect that 2004 was going to be a bad year for the Republicans. The Democrats had slightly more seats up than the Republicans, 19-15 in the Senate that year, but the playing ground was fairly even. On election night Kentucky, Florida and Alaska were fairly close, and South Dakota was won by a hair. Control of the Senate would have shifted if those elections had gone the other way, and they might well have.

    I think what Santorum did was reasonable at the time, assuming that one’s goal is to have Supreme Court justices on the Court that will overturn Roe. Bush lost Pennsylvania to Kerry, and I think it likely that Toomey might well have been defeated that year, considering that he only got 51% of the vote in 2010, the best election year for Republicans since Calvin Coolidge was in office, and running against a rather weak Democrat opponent.

  • Oh goodie. Conservatives are all ga-ga over another neo-con puppet who can’t wait to start another war. By all means, let’s ignore that pesky little idea known as a Just War. No thanks. Warmongering and the lies that form the basis of such criminal activity is why God will not bless this nation until a leader can be found who possesses discernment. One more reason among many the US is headed for Divine chastisement.

  • Bye, bye Dawg em. I am sure that there is a paleocon site waiting breathlessly for your contributions.

  • Mr. McClarey, thank you for dismissing the gentleman with the rather old Cleveland Browns related name.

    Greg, you have to get over the endorsement of Specter by Santorum. We are not electing Christ to the presidency. Santorum has expressed his regret in helping Specter. Do you live in Pennsylvania, Greg? Did you know how much help Specter gave Santorum in getting elected to the Senate – twice? Specter helped Santorum compete in the Philly suburbs.

    Specter switched parties when it was apparent to Specter that Toomey would wipe up the floor with Specter in 2010 – this was not the case in 2004.

    I do not, did not and will not like Arlen Specter. I wish he would have quit years before losing in 2010. So Romney wants to attack Santorum for Specter?

    There’s plenty to go after Romney for. I remembere the Massachusetts Senate debate in 1994 on CSPAN. Romney was slightly leading Kennedy. Romney was asked about the Contract with America – the means by which Newt Gingrich and Company wiped out the most corrupt Democrat leadership in the House of Representatives. Romney turned tail and verbally hid from the moderator. Kennedy moved in for the kill.

    Romney will attack Santorum, but Romney is still a well tailored, well-spoken ninny. Santorum can roast him about Romneycare, and Mittens knows it.

Santorum Rising

Wednesday, February 8, AD 2012

 

Last night in Missouri Rick Santorum finally got to go one on one against Romney, since Gingrich did not bother to get on the ballot, and the results were devastating to the Weathervane.  Santorum won two to one, garnering 55% of the vote to 25% for Romney, with Ron Paul bringing up the rear with 12%.  Santorum won every county in the state.  The Romney camp will claim that since this was a non-binding beauty contest and that Romney did little campaigning in the state, this is meaningless.  Rubbish!  What does it say about the Romney campaign and its appeal to Republican voters that they lost this badly in a state that has been a bellweather of the nation in most Presidential elections?

However, Missouri was not the end of the bad news for Romney last night.  In the Minnesota caucuses Santorum came in first with a stunning 45% and second was, wait for it, Ron Paul with 27%.  Romney, who won the caucuses by 20 points in 2008, came in third  at 17% with Gingrich being Tail-end-Newt with 11%

To complete the trifecta of woe for the Weathervane last night, we turn to Colorado, a state Romney was supposed to win according to the polls.  In the caucuses, Santorum came in first with 40%, Romney took second at 35%, Gingrich a very distant third at 13%, just edging out Paul at 12%.

So, the night couldn’t have been better for Santorum or worse for Romney, but what does it all mean?

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30 Responses to Santorum Rising

  • Thank God! Indeed, the liberals hate Santorum as much as thy hate unborn babies.

  • Now THIS is what I call sending a message. Even if Romney does end up winning the nomination he now knows he MUST turn more to the right if he is to generate enough momentum in the key swing states to win. At the very least, he has to pick a solidly conservative running mate… perhaps Santorum himself, or Marco Rubio.

    The most surprising outcome of the evening to me is Ron Paul doing as well as he did in Minnesota. Then again, maybe we shouldn’t be surprised given that Minnesota has a history of electing some really odd pols like Jesse Ventura and Al Franken….

  • It is time to go “all in” for Rick.

  • Although it is the only strategy he has, Romney’s going negative on Santorum – especially if it’s done in the manner it happened to Newt in Florida – will NOT sit well with Republican primary voters.

    The “grassroots” were never altogether comfortable with Newt as the “not-Romney” candidate, so there was really no downside to going negative against him the way the Romney campaign did. But if they do the same thing to Santorum, there is a HUGE downside – they run the risk of further alienating those who are not sold on Romney, and perhaps getting a backlash from those who were supporting Romney only because they saw him as the only electable alternative to 4 more years of Obama.

    Watch how National Review handles this Santorum surge – if they go negative, that will be a clue that the Romney camp plans on holding nothing back in their attacks. If National Review takes the high road, that’s no guarantee that Romney won’t go negative, but it is an indication of how little tolerance some of his supporters will have for that tactic.

  • Jay – Very good point. Beating up on a guy like Newt is just karma (if you’ll forgive that word on a Catholic site). Beating up on a good family man – a Mormon beating up on a good family man – well, that’s gonna backfire. The biggest weaknesses of Santorum are his 2006 loss and his strong anti-gay stand (which I agree with, but by the time the press tells the story, it’s going to hurt him). So, what can Romney’s people do? Beat up on Santorum for being outside the religious mainstream?! Move to the left on gay rights?! It’s a nightmare for them. They’ll have to go clean, stressing Romney’s business experience, because there’s no other difference between the Romney package that they’re trying to sell and Santorum.

    Do I need to unpack the phrase “the Romney package that they’re trying to sell”? I hope it’s obvious. Romney is running as an experienced, likeable, electable conservative.

    OK, there’s one other angle I just thought of, but it’s going to be a doozy to pull off. Paint Santorum as a moderate. Attack him for the Bush deficit and the expansion of Medicare. It’s really the only move.

  • Yeah, between these victories and those polls showing Santorum doing just as well as Romney against Obama, this seems to me to make Santorum the only credible Romney alternative.

    I’ll admit, as perhaps the most Romney supporting writer here, I’m still kind of split. I’m worried that in the general election, Santorum would prove less slippery and teflon coated versus Obama and Romney — especially as the cultural left will go totally ape shit on him. They perhaps have Santorum even more than Sarah Palin. Maybe that would turn off mainstream voters, or maybe it would succeed in painting him as an extremist. I’m not sure. On the flip side, if Romney wins, in addition to some conservatives not rallying the Left will still paint him as a hard core extremist and they’ll work hard to activate every bit of anti-Mormon prejudice out there to their advantage. This will be a massively vicious campaign on the part of the Dems no matter what.

    Generally speaking, I like Romney more on economic/business policy and I’m a bit more inclined to trust him on foreign policy and perhaps immigration. I’m more inclined to trust Santorum on the environment (as in, not rolling over to greens) and I trust Santorum much, much more on the moral issues of the day, which in the end are the most important.

  • OK, there’s one other angle I just thought of, but it’s going to be a doozy to pull off. Paint Santorum as a moderate. Attack him for the Bush deficit and the expansion of Medicare. It’s really the only move.

    This is already in effect, as witnessed also at “conservative” sites like Red State where they have painted Santorum is basically a big government moderate. And as someone who served in Congress for well over a decade, he will have cast votes that now appear to be quasi-socialist. Never mind that most of them were wither procedural votes or were votes where he lined up 100% with the rest of the party, they will be spun to paint him as somehow being to the left of Romney. That’s why running for the presidency as sitting or former member of Congress is so difficult: lots of votes to explain away.

    But if Santorum clearly emerges as the main non-Romney, even that line of attack will likely backfire, especially if the attacks are seen as far-fetched. As I said on my post last night, Santorum’s effectiveness when he has gone negative is that he’s concentrated his fire on a few select substantive policy differences. If they try to throw the kitchen sink at Santorum, it could be viewed as desperation. And camp Romney is certainly desperate.

  • . Maybe that would turn off mainstream voters, or maybe it would succeed in painting him as an extremist. I’m not sure.

    As I said on Pat Archbold’s NCR blog, in point of fact Santorum isn’t much more socially conservative than Presidents Reagan and Bush policy-wise, and his views on issues like abortion and gay marriage actually aligns with majority sentiment. His two potential drawbacks are his personal social conservatism and the fact that he actually genuinely believes what he says. Even right-wingers are falling for the spin that Santorum wants to ban contraception or enact sodomy laws. So the left will certainly try to spin that as much as they can.

    In the end, we have to keep in mind that the left will completely attack and smear whoever the nominee is. Santorum will be attacked for his social conservatism, Romney for being the rich aristocrat (who, we might as well just mention, paved the way for Obamacare), and Gingrich – well, where to begin? So trying to divine which candidate will be most affected by the negativism is somewhat futile, because voters are swayed by the most absurd things. It’s quite possible that attacks on Santorum’s social views might backfire, especially if they try to bring up some of the personal stuff related to their baby dying. Then again, it might work like a charm. We just don’t know. So as I’ve said before, you just have to vote for the guy that you personally believe is the best candidate, whoever that is for you.

  • Although not my first choice, I could certainly vote for Rick easier than I could for Romney.

  • The other arrow they might try would be the Specter/Toomey affair. But that would be rather difficult for the Weathervane to pull off with any credibility. It could come from other quarters allied with the Weathervane.

  • Maybe this is a topic for a different blog post, but Paul Z. stated, “Even right-wingers are falling for the spin that Santorum wants to ban contraception or enact sodomy laws.”

    Why shouldn’t contraception be banned and why shouldn’t anti-sodomy laws be enacted? They are intrinsic evils. So why not make them illegal? Is the reason, “Well, the non-Catholics don’t agree, nor do even a majority of Catholics.”? Since when is truth determined by opinion? Oh yes, I will be accused of wanting a theocracy. Well, one way or another, we’re going to get a theocracy. The theocracy of today’s society is atheism (yes, I realize that is a contradiction in terms and that’s why it’s called “liberalism”.) But Jesus Christ will return and establish His theocracy with a rod of iron. No voting allowed. And that’s bad because?????????

  • They are intrinsic evils. So why not make them illegal?

    Aside from the argument that it’s not practical to push an agenda too far outside the mainstream in a democracy, there would be the argument that actually enforcing certain kinds of laws would be more destructive than their absence.

    St. Thomas Aquinas actually made this argument in relation to not outlawing prostitution, even though it was clearly immoral: that the effects of trying to ban it would actually be more destructive than allowing it to continue. (So I guess we can at least feel like we’re better off that his time in one respect. Evil has a funny way of shifting around.)

    Back when we had laws against contraception and outlawing sodomy, I would have been in favor of keeping those laws — not only as a matter of morality but also because they served as a bulwark against other “logical” conclusions from their repeal. But at the point we are in right now (and at any point in the foreseeable future) I think it would be destructive to push for such laws.

  • Santorum is the doctor this country needs to make it better.
    1. $ is more a vehicle for Mitt Romney than a god, so, in a way (not- counting- the- neg.- ads- which- may- hurt- him- in the end), he is for the USA.

    2. Please don’t be quiet though, Newt Gingrich. People on both sides hear you and learn both manners and thinking with minds.

    3. He could save $, the O’s will have that covered.

    4. Santorum could do it on a shoestring in a better world, but he need to continue becoming known. Ads are forgotten rushes of images.

    5. … now if RPaul wants to defeat O., he could cooperate and support RSantorum.

    Romney/Santorum? a hope for GOP unity, one trait of Dems that works for them.

  • I expect no significant realignment of the federal government with the Constitution with any of the remaining viable candidates. Santorum will be a continuation of compassionate conservatism, i.e. big spender, big government. Newt is Mr. Toad’s wild ride, thrilling dips into conservatism and scary climbs into adventurous ideas. Romney is a weathervane.

  • “The other arrow they might try would be the Specter/Toomey affair. But that would be rather difficult for the Weathervane to pull off with any credibility. It could come from other quarters allied with the Weathervane.”

    I don’t see how that could work in the primaries. Who would be persuaded to back away from Santorum because of it? Party faithful respect party loyalty; newcomers would have no strong feelings about it. Moderates would admire him for his willingness to compromise; conservatives wouldn’t flock to Mitt or Newt because of it, since those two candidates have had to work with moderate Republicans plenty of times. The only portion of the party that could have a problem with it are the Ron Paul supporters, who already have their man in the primary. They’d be less likely to be loyal to Santorum in an Obama/Santorum general election. Otherwise, the only people who would take offense at it are consummate insiders who would distrust Santorum’s political instincts.

  • They will use Catholicism against him, in subverted ways.

  • Santorum ideas are linked with that “old” oppressive Church– out of date– needs to get with the time- modern and…liberal. People who don’t understand why Santorum appeals, don’t understand that the Church is really always young, and just right for the times.
    We are so over the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s…. Santorum is more with the times than Madonna– how long has she been doing that same schtick? black and silver, smoke and lights and bumping and grinding— Young people I know, when asked about her performance the other night said, “Meh.” That is what they are saying to Romney, Gingrich and Obama. Santorum is doing great because his old ideas are new again.

  • they are not saying “meh” to obama– they are saying “no”

  • LIke I said before, if Santorum can go from an 18 point drubbing as an incumbent senator in 2006, a long shot at the GOP nomination to winning the nomination and then the presidency, it would be one of the most miraculous of all political miracles in history. I’d love to see it because I don’t think much of Romney and rather detest Newt. But it’s still a long shot.

    Oh, and you can bet his endorsement of the hideous Arlen Specter in 2006 GOP senate primary over Pat Toomey is now gonna be an issue. That’s one thing I have passionately disliked about Santorum.

  • I think Don happened to be channeling Jim Morrison with the title of this post. Mr San–to–rum rising, Mr San–to–rum rising Got-ta keep on ri-sin etc.

  • I am pleased with Santorum’s victories. However we must remember that Santorum added little to his delegate total.

    Red State had a temper tantrum at Rick Perry’s failed Presidential run and they took it out on Santorum. What Erick Erickson et al have failed to realize is that Santorum is far more conservative than Romney and would go farther in reigning in the government than Romney would – given a Congress that would work with him.

    There is some significant dirt on Mrs. Santorum and what her career was prior to her marriage and her personal conversion. Be forewarned. Romney and the Obama attack Machine will attempt to shred Santorum over it. It matters not to me, as there is no force on earth that would cause me to vote for Obama or any Democrat.

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  • “There is some significant dirt on Mrs. Santorum and what her career was prior to her marriage and her personal conversion.”

    Yeah, as a young nurse she was shacked up for years to a much older abortionist, before she met Santorum, fell in love with him and returned to her Catholic faith. It is a beautiful story of love triumphing over sin and I pity Romney or Obama if they think that will be a successful avenue of attack. Most of the American people are sentimental softies at heart, and they will recognize a magnificent love story when they see one.

  • I think its awesome that Senator Santorum is finally getting the attention he deserves. I’ve been saying right along that Santorum knew how to stay alive, and he’s done so – all along proving that money and sparkle aren’t the only measures of a presidential candidate – or a president, for that matter.

    I worry that this support of earmarks is going to bite him in the rear, though. I mean, the truth is that he’s got a LOT less baggage than Gingrich generated in a good year, and the fact is that he resonates with the sort of voters who don’t necessarily watch TV or listen to what a slick city politician has to say. So I think that the Midwestern base which he’s developing is now all but permanently in the Santorum camp.

    The question is whether or not he can play in other parts of the country – he needs some strong showings in the South, like Texas or North Carolina, to solidify his candidacy. If that happens, he could very well be our nominee, which would be fantastic. It’s about time.

  • Mr. McClarey, I write this as I am holding my sleeping nine week old son – I pray a majority of voting Americans see this as you and I do.

    A man can often be judged by the words and deeds of his adversaries and enemies. I find most anti-Santorum types to be quite obnoxious.

  • Penguins Fan, may God bless you and your nine week old son!

  • Well. I think if Romney or his surrogates ever brought up Karen Santorum’s past (I don’t think Mitt is stupid enough to do that), he ought to be run out of the party.

    Somehow, I don’t think the underhanded attacks will work as well against Santorum as they did against Newt. Why? The character issue. Newt’s questionable character made the attacks, whether they had any real merit or not, appear more credible. Santorum’s character is pretty solid in the minds of republicans, especially the conservative base. The strongest trump card (other than the Donald) Romney has against Satorum would be his throwing Pat Toomey under the bus to save Specter’s job.,

  • We’re electing a president, not a savior, so absolute perfection is not required. The trick is separating weaknesses (for example, poor performance in debates) and past mistakes that will not be, or are not likely to be, repeated (e.g. a “wrong” endorsement of another candidate) from fundamental character flaws and bad policy ideas that could cause real harm to the country. Unfortunately, the MSM and excessively rabid partisans tend to put all of these flaws on the same level and hold them up as equally valid reasons why a candidate cannot win or should be disqualified from consideration.

  • Electorally, Santorum would seem to be best positioned to benefit from blue collar Catholics and Midwesterners who Obama has been thumbing his nose at with things like the Keystone Pipeline denial and the HHS mandate.

    Politically, the advantage of a Santorum presidency is that for once you wouldn’t have to worry about issues like judges. He would also bring a focus to the relation between economic and family issues that has been lacking in the public discourse.

    I personally think Romney is a decent candidate personally and politically, there seems to be something about him that turns people off. I don’t quite get it myself, but I’m coming to the conclusion that it isn’t something that will go away.

    We’ll have to see whether Santorum can sustain his current momentum. But for now he arguably meets the Buckley Test of being the most conservative viable candidate, and hence deserving of conservative support.

  • What’s wrong with Romney? Let me count the ways.

    1. Search YouTube for “Romney flip flops.”
    2. Minimum wage indexed to inflation.
    3. Supporter of socialized medicine, which is what put the U.S. Church in the place its in.
    4. Supporter of government bailouts.
    5. Milquetoast

Looks Like A Two-Man Race to Me

Tuesday, February 7, AD 2012

Rick Santorum has won two of the three election contests tonight, and as of the time I write this is dead even with Mitt Romney in a state that had been all but conceded to Romney before this weekend.  Santorum has now won three of the eight primaries/caucuses that have been held thus far, and possibly four.  That puts him about even with Romney, and comfortably ahead of Gingrich and Paul in states won.

Admittedly he will be behind Romney in the delegate count, especially considering that no delegates were up for grabs in Missouri.  But 200,000 people went to the polls in Missouri, and a majority of them voted for Santorum (and again, I’ll admit that Gingrich was not on the ballot there).  He drubbed Romney in Minnesota as well.

This primary season has been a wild one, and who knows what will happen in the coming weeks.  The Romney sleaze machine* is already out in full force hitting Santorum.  Santorum is radically underfunded compared to Romney and even Newt, although that makes his victories thus far that much more impressive.  Right now it is looking like a two-man race, but it’s not between Newt and Romney but rather Romney and Santorum.

*: I wrote a post a few weeks back in which I said that Newt was and perhaps still is a jerk.  For the record, Mitt is kind of a jerk, and over two election cycles has proven himself to be a rather despicable campaigner.  For those of you who would vote for Romney in the general election, I suppose the silver lining is that the man is willing to fight dirty.  So at least he’s got that going for him.  Which is nice.

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20 Responses to Looks Like A Two-Man Race to Me

  • For those of you who would vote for Romney in the general election, I suppose the silver lining is that the man is willing to fight dirty.

    Nope. Romney fights dirty only against Republicans. If he gets the nomination, he won’t campaign that way against Obama.

  • Larry, I’m afraid you are probably right. The thing is you can fight hard without fighting dirty. Republicans just don’t seem to understand that.

  • Republicans just don’t seem to understand that.

    Happens when objecting to dirty attacks is labeled fighting dirty. Get told something often enough and you’ll eventually believe it.

  • I’d love it if Santorum is the candidate. If it is Romney – that would not be much different than Obama.

  • In the cae of Newt, he seemed to have gotten genuinely shaken up by the attacks on him in iowa, and he never really recovered his momentum. He won South Carolina, but it almost seemed that was a spite vote by the South Carolina voters. Oddly Santorum, who was the attack dog in the early debates, is becoming the guy who has emerged above the fray. He’s doing what Newt did early: deliver a conservative message while focusing his fire on Obama and not the other candidates. The added bonus is that he’s a bit more genuine about it.

  • Because of the ups and downs of Romney, Gingrich, and Santorum, I think it’s crazy to say right now that it’s a two man race. Weren’t people saying it was a two man race after South Carolina between Romney and Gingrich? Weren’t people saying it was a two man race after the first caucus?

    I think it’s just bad judgement and short-sighted to rule out anyone right now.

  • Also to Greg and Foxfier’s points, Santorum has been effective when he’s criticized the other candidates because he largely deals with legitimate policy differences from a conservative perspective. All of the others have tried to go after character issues, or have even attacked from the left. But when Santorum goes after one of the other candidates, the other candidates are left reeling because he’s not flinging absurd charges at them. He hits them at their weakest points, and he does so in a way that doesn’t discredit his cause (other than sounding a tad whiny at various moments).

  • Brett, I’m being just a bit tongue-in-cheek here as all the talk over the past month has made this sound like a two-man race between Newt and Romney. Just pointing out that actual election results would put that characterization in doubt.

  • If Rick Santorum can go from getting an 18 point drubbing as an incumbent senator. being a long shot for the GOP nomination to winning the nomination and the presidency, it will one of the most miraculous miracles in American political history. I’d love to see it, but it’s still a long shot.

  • Greg, as a friend of mine who is a Mother Superior of her order once said, “if it takes a miracle from God, I know him.” I’m going to keep praying and suffering for Santorum’s campaign.

  • The question is, how does Santorum make it a one-man race. I think the only way to do that is to bomb Tokyo. The not-Romneys have been calling for each other to drop out of the race for a long time now; Santorum needs to win Michigan and call for Romney to drop out of the race. Make the narrative going into Super Tuesday that the Republicans have rejected Romney. I think Santorum needs to win Michigan to make the case.

  • I really wish people would stop writing garbage like this and trying to sway peoples’ opinions. No, it’s not your job to do that.

    Santorum cannot win the general election; not ever.

    If you think he can, then that’s your opinion.

  • “I really wish people would stop writing garbage like this and trying to sway peoples’ opinions. No, it’s not your job to do that. ”

    New to blogs are you?

    “Santorum cannot win the general election; not ever.”

    Polls are actually showing him 1-3 points behind Obama which is quite good for a challenger in February polls. Unless you have invented a time machine and seen the future, I will have to assume your opinion of an Obama-Santorum race is simply just that, your opinion.

    “If you think he can, then that’s your opinion.”

    That goes without saying, although you said it anyway.

  • Swaying people’s opinion in a democratic republic! Oh my stars and garters– what will happen next?!?!?

  • “I really wish people would stop writing garbage like this and trying to sway peoples’ opinions. No, it’s not your job to do that. ”

    Now you’re not trying to sway our opinions, are you?

  • I will talk to my friends Marty McFly and Doc. I will see if Ken can borrow their car.

  • Ken,

    Last poll I saw had Rick over pharaoh 45 to 44.

    That was before Steve Urkell’s imbecile cousin pissed off the Pope.

    Are you minimally brain damaged? Did you eat too many lead chips as a toddler?

  • Rick Santorum is on with Greta at the moment. Too bad Ken took off with the car.

  • Oddly enough I have a statistics and research oriented profession, so in some measure it is in fact my job to persuade people.

  • I have something I would like to persuade people to think about…. birth control /sexual responsibility is not a woman’s issue is it? Doesn’t it still take two to tango?

Unelectable

Saturday, February 4, AD 2012

Santorum 45, Obama 44 according to Rasmussen.

Doesn’t exactly sound like Johnson-Goldwater to me.

I should add, by the way, that it’s just a snapshot of the current mood, and by no means indicative that Santorum would have a free and easy path to a general election victory.  It does show that the grave concerns about Santorum’s ultimate electability are overwrought to say the least.

So, to sum up, Santorum polls better than Gingrich against Obama, is more conservative than Gingrich, and has certainly far less personal baggage than Gingrich.  For those of you still clinging to Gingrich as the anti-Romney of your choice, why?

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36 Responses to Unelectable

  • What is truly remakable about the polling numbers that most of the Republican candidates have been racking up recently against Obama is that this is while the Republicans are cutting each other up. These numbers would send a chill down my mind if I were a political analyst for Obama. Also note that this is the week of the State of the Union address which has normally given most presidents a temporary bounce in the polls. Not Obama.

  • Indeed, Donald. We get so caught up in the doom and gloom on one side that we forget that the Democrats can’t exactly be feeling good themselves about their November prospects.

  • Means nothing. Less than nothing, it is deceptive. Where’s the electoral college numbers?

    Frankly, Obama wipes the floor with any of the four Republicans out there. The only ones who could have beaten him are out (Huntsman) or didn’t run (Jeb).

    I pray I’m wrong but I see no outcome but another four years of Obama.

  • Means nothing.

    Well it doesn’t mean the world, but it’s certainly not nothing. The fact that a little-known (compared to the other two major GOP candidates) contender is polling even with Obama suggests that the president is vulnerable and that Santorum should not be written off.

    Where’s the electoral college numbers?

    The electoral votes of states in which Obama is polling at less than 50% adds up to 313. I would say that puts him at something of a disadvantage against any potential opponent.

    Frankly, Obama wipes the floor with any of the four Republicans out there.

    The polling suggests otherwise. Even the largely despised Gingrich is within sniffing distance.

    The only ones who could have beaten him are out (Huntsman)

    Really? The guy who couldn’t get beyond 3% in the polls was going to defeat Barack Obama in an election?

    or didn’t run (Jeb).

    I think that a third Bush running for the White House would have posed some electoral difficulties.

    And while pessimism is warranted with the stupid party, the actual numbers do not justify the notion that Obama is unbeatable.
    http://www.gallup.com/poll/152438/States-Move-GOP-2011.aspx

  • A poll has 20% Obama approval rating among uncommitted voters.

  • I believe the electoral map strongly favors the GOP this time around. Here is where we are at now based on most polls:

    http://www.270towin.com/

    I would give Florida, Virginia, North Carolina, New Mexico, Nevada, Colorada, Missouri and New Hampshire to the Republicans. That gets them to 272, without Ohio, Iowa and Wisconsin, all of which I think the Republicans have a decent chance to win. If the Republicans take Ohio, they could lose Nevada, New Mexico and Colorado and still be at 270. The Republicans have a number of paths to 270. Assuming that Obama doesn’t take any state in the south this time, he has a narrow path. Assuming he takes Pennsylvania and loses Ohio, he must take New Hampshire, Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, Nevada, New Mexico and Colorado which gets him to 272 when added to his base states.

  • “Democrats have lost their solid political party affiliation advantage in 18 states since 2008, while Republicans have gained a solid advantage in 6 states. A total of 17 states were either solidly Republican or leaning Republican in their residents’ party affiliation in 2011, up from 10 in 2010 and 5 in 2008. Meanwhile, 19 states including the District of Columbia showed a solid or leaning Democratic orientation, down from 23 in 2010 and 36 in 2008. The remaining 15 states were relatively balanced politically, with neither party having a clear advantage.”

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/152438/States-Move-GOP-2011.aspx

    When it comes to the political landscape, 2008 might as well have been a century ago.

  • Democrat Party affiliation is now at 32.9% of voters according to Rasmussen, the lowest on record. In November of 2008, the Democrats had 41% of voters. The Republicans are at 35.9% In November 2010 when the Democrats suffered a historic loss, they were at 34.7% compared to 36% for the Republicans.

    http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/archive/mood_of_america_archive/partisan_trends/summary_of_party_affiliation

  • You have my sympathies. I would much rather see Santorum, as well. In spite of the facts, however, sometimes the wise things are not done and we are left to deal with the ill consequences. I would not at all be surprised for the incumbent to be victorious and to carry a large chunk of the “Catholic” vote.

    God help us!

  • The mainstream media has asked all of the questions of Mitt and Newt. They have chosen the candidate for you and you will like it. YOU WILL COMPLY!!!!!

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  • I dunno. Rasmussen polls are noticeably skewed toward Republicans, and one must never underestimate the power of the “better the devil you know” urge once the media (and Obama’s negative advertisement machine) get done trashing the GOP nominee.

    The scenario that is playing out nationally in 2012 is, to me, becoming eerily reminiscent of the 2006 Illinois gubernatorial election. That year, Governor Hairdo was running for his second term armed with gazillions in campaign cash, vs. a fragmented GOP with multiple candidates of different ideological stripes running in the primary. The eventual GOP nominee, Judy Baar Topinka, was a moderate/RINO somewhat comparable to Romney.

    Blago, meanwhile, had been under investigation for over a year, everyone with functioning brain cells knew by then that he was crooked, and IIRC one of his inner circle was indicted only two weeks before the general election. Yet in spite of all that, he still won, though NOT with an absolute majority of the vote. Why? Because Blago was able to pollute, er, bombard the airwaves with campaign commercials depicting Topinka as inextricably tied to the previous governor who had just been convicted of corruption. (Picture an endless barrage of Obama commercials this fall with the theme that “Romney is the second coming of Dubya!”)The tagline for most of these commercials was “What was she thinking?” On top of that, Blago promised everyone all kinds of goodies (like free health insurance for all kids, through a program called, you guessed it, All Kids) AND “no new taxes” to boot.

    The result? Voters got the impression that they might as well stick with Blago since Topinka was “just as bad” ethically and also would take away their goodies (she was very upfront about the state’s fiscal situation which even then was pretty bad). Illinois Republicans in general were not all that enthused about Topinka, just as they are not enthused nationally about Romney today. Plus, a Green Party protest candidate (leftist doppelganger of Ron Paul, perhaps?) got into the mix and drew about 10 percent of the vote. In the end, Topinka only got about 40 percent of the vote, and even though Blago got LESS than 50 percent of the vote, he still won. The rest, as they say, is history.

    To top it all off, Blago had the previous year issued an overreaching and pretty much unnecessary executive order/rulemaking compelling all pharmacists to dispense emergency contraception/abortafacients on demand. (One of the lawsuits stemming from that order is STILL working its way through the courts, 7 years later.) He was heartily endorsed by Planned Parenthood and other pro-abort groups, while Topinka was not; although she was pro-choice, she was in favor of parental consent and other restrictions the abortion lobby found entirely intolerable.

    I realize there are different factors at work on a national level, not the least of which is the Electoral College system which prevents a POTUS from being elected by raw popular vote. Even so, you can see some obvious parallels here.

    All that being said…. I do think that IF Catholics and evangelicals stay united and vocal in their opposition to the HHS mandate (which has much more far reaching consequences than Blago’s pharmacist order ever did) AND if Obama does not backtrack on it before the election, that alone MAY be enough to ensure his defeat in November. If the economy continues to founder or sink, then Obama will be toast.

  • Actually Elaine, Rasmussen polls skew to being accurate. He was dead on in regard to his final poll for the 2008 Presidential race:

    http://blog.chron.com/txpotomac/2008/11/the-list-which-presidential-polls-were-most-accurate/

    In regard to the pro-abort Judy Bar Topinka, she ran the most lifeless and hapless campaign for governor that I can recall in my lifetime. I doubt if the Weathervane, if the gets the nomination will be that bad, but we shall see. Fortunately, blue state Illinois is no longer a bell weather for the nation, Chicago dominance having taken that title from us, beginning with the 2000 election. Topinka was of course running in 2006, a very bad year nation-wide for Republicans. The race that of course indicated, as you know, how triple-doomed our beloved State is, was when Quinn, Blago’s Liuetenant Governor who took over after Blago was tossed out, managed, barely, to win election in 2010, the best year for the Republicans since the Twenties, against a strong Republican candidate.

  • I hate to say it, but by the time Obama spends his $1 billion reelection war chest, and the media completely dissembles the Republican candidate, no matter who he is, Obama will be reelected, by a vote of about 280-260 in the electoral college. Many Independents who voted for Obama in 2008, and who desperately want to vote for someone else in 2012, will very reluctantly conclude, based, in part, on the “incompetence” and in-fighting during the Republican primary process, that they have no choice but to vote again for Obama.

    Defeating Obama in 2012, based on his record, should be relatively easy. I HATE to say this, but the longer the Republican selection process is drawn out, and the nastier it is, the more likely is Obama’s reelection.

  • Rasmussen tracks likely voters as opposed to registered voters. Considering that Republicans normally vote in higher percentages than Democrats, that would explain any supposed GOP bias in their polls.

  • Tom, in the best electoral year imaginable for Democrats, 2008, with the economy in melt-down and the blame for it being given to the Republicans, with almost all of the mainstream media acting as unpaid press agents for Obama, running against a very weak opponent and with the Democrat party at its strongest point in post war history, Obama managed to get 52.9% of the vote. The gloom and doom is completely unwarranted as to the prospects of beating this bozo in November.

  • I will pray a decade of the Rosary every day from now till November for the defeat of Barack Hussein Obama. I prefer Santorum. But I would accept either Gingrich or even Weathervane. I hope Donald’s optimism is justified.

  • Donald, I desperately hope that I am wrong. I do think that it is more likely that Republicans will retain control of the House and win back the Senate.

    However, increasingly, the election of our President resembles the political equivalent of a continuous running episode of American Idol (amazingly, I nearly fell out of my chair when this is exactly what occurred at a recent Democratic event . . . Obama is REALLY good at this stuff!!), and we all know who is going to win that contest if it is between Obama and any Republican. When it comes down to style over substance, Obama wins hands down.

    The key electoral states in 2012 are: Ohio, Florida, Iowa and New Hampshire. Republicans must win Florida. Whoever wins Ohio, will be our next President. If you live in Ohio, Florida, Iowa or New Hampshire, your electoral efforts in this presidential cycle are critical. Other key states are: Virginia, North Carolina, Indiana, Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada. While Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan are in play, Obama will most likely win them again, and they are not necessary for a Republican victory in 2012.

  • Whoever wins Ohio, will be our next President. If you live in Ohio, Florida, Iowa or New Hampshire, your electoral efforts in this presidential cycle are critical.”

    If so, then it’s critical that the GOP nominee is someone for whom I’d be willing to vote (i.e. NOT Dullard Flip Rino).

  • My oh my, “Flip Rino,” and a “Dullard” to boot. Sounds like the lead-in to a soon-to-be-aired Obama campaign ad.

    Well, assuming that “Flip Rino” is the Republican nominee, it’s either “Flip” or Obama. If your not willing to vote for Flip “the Dullard” Rino, especially if you live in Ohio, Florida, Iowa or New Hampshire, then you will help to re-elect Obama. The choice is yours.

  • I agree with TomD.

  • “Whoever wins Ohio will be our next President.”

    Probably true as Ohio is one of 6 “bellwether” states with a long-standing record of matching the outcome of the national POTUS vote. Since 1896, Ohio has failed to pick the winner only twice — a 93 percent accuracy rate. Nevada is #1, since it has only missed once since 1912, a 96 percent accuracy rate. Missouri used to be in first place but dropped to third after going (just barely) for McCain in 2008; the Show Me State has only been “wrong” one other time since 1904 (92.8 percent accuracy). New Mexico, Florida and Tennessee also have reflected national results with 90 percent or more accuracy for at least the past 80 years.

    Of all these bellwether states, I’m guessing, Obama has no chance in Tennessee, very little if any chance in Missouri, not much chance in Florida (especially if Rubio ends up on the GOP ticket), and probably not much chance in Nevada either. That leaves Ohio and New Mexico in play, but New Mexico has, what, 3 electoral votes so it probably won’t make much difference.

  • Also, can someone tell me what makes Iowa or New Hampshire particularly decisive in the GENERAL election as opposed to the primaries?

  • Jay, if Romney is the nominee but you don’t want to contribute materially to an Obama victory either, you may still have time to move to a non-swing state! One of the few consolations of being an Illinois resident is that I can vote however I want in the general without fear of “helping re-elect Obama” since Obama already has the appropriately named Sucker State in the bag anyway.

  • Presidents Buchanan and Huckabee think they are very decisive in the General election Elaine! 🙂

  • I am convinced now that the GOP leadership is going to throw the election (like they did in ’08) because they don’t want to be at the helm when the Titanic sinks.

  • Y’all will never convince me to vote for Romney, so save your keystrokes. If mine was the single deciding vote in Ohio, I still wouldn’t vote for him.

  • I am convinced now that the GOP leadership is going to throw the election (like they did in ’08)

    Since, there has been only one occasion (in seven opportunities to do so) where a political party was awarded the Presidency for three terms running. The incumbent administration was by the fall of 2008 among the most disdained in the history of scientific polling. In the middle of the campaign, the occidental world went into a banking crisis of a sort unknown in affluent countries for the previous 70-odd years. You think the Republican candidate threw the election? What have you been drinking?

  • Prepare for the worst: economic and societal collapse. Good place to start would be the disaster “prepper” series beginning Tuesday night at 9PM Eastern on, I think, Discovery Channel.

    And, drink heavily.

    Four more years of Obama and you will fondly reminisce about how good things were in 2008.

  • “If mine was the single deciding vote in Ohio, I still wouldn’t vote for him.” Jay, if enough voters think like you do, Obama will be re-elected. In the key battleground states, a few thousands votes COULD be the difference. Again, it is YOUR choice.

    Elaine, while Ohio and Florida are decisive in terms of the number of electoral votes, Iowa and New Hampshire are critical, not so much for the actual electoral outcome, but as indicators of who is going to win. Even though Michigan can be classified as a “swing” state, no one would be surprised if Obama carried Michigan, for example, but if the Republican nominee is leading in the polls in Iowa and/or New Hampshire, then that is a very good indicator for the general election.

    So, the first tier of critical states is: Ohio, Florida, Iowa and New Hampshire.

    The next level is: Virginia, North Carolina, Indiana, Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico.

    Missouri is probably the only state in serious play that McCain won in 2008. The 10 critical battleground states, leaving out Missouri at number 11, were all won by Obama in 2008. That is where every vote counts as to the actual outcome in the electoral college. I think it is most likely that the election will be won or lost in Ohio.

  • Team Dullard is now attacking Santorum for … get this … not being a “real” conservative. Says Dullard Flip Rino: Ignore all the big-time liberal crap I’ve done throughout my career, Santorum supported some earmarks, so you should vote for me.

    The sheer arrogance and chutzpah it takes for that pro-abort, health-care-mandating, religious-liberty-trampling, gun-grabbing RINO liberal and his shills to argue for his election on that basis is one reason why I will NEVER, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, vote for that fraud.

  • “If your not willing to vote for Flip [‘]the Dullard[‘] RINO,…. then you will help to re-elect Obama. The choice is yours.”

    This is precisely the weak-minded (or sometimes elitist-pompous), appalling attitude that has crippled the Republican party and must be done away with. Jay Anderson is right on the mark and TomD is dead wrong.

    Every election now, the Republicans put up a lame, big-government, establishment, status quo, neocon candidate; and we are told that we must obey and support the party’s candidate lest we help the Democrat. And the vast majority of Republican lemmings get suckered into this trap, obey the party establishment, do what they’re told and support the worthless Republican neo-con. The party string-pullers know the sheeple will always do what they are told, and so we continue to have one worthless nominee after another as the cycle continues. I could tell that Romney was going to be this year’s typical neocon pick from miles away.

    This attitude has rendered the Republican party useless. I am tired of being fed garbage every Predidential election and being told that I have to eat it or else I might get something worse. Shove it. The Dems just voted in one of the most liberal Presidents in history, yet the Republicans are too weak-minded to ever vote for a true conservative and always and only manage to nominate establishment candidates who are barely right-of-center, if that. And they still do this even in the wake of the ultra-liberal Dem president victory. It’s utterly pathetic.

    The attitude that unless we support the Republican nominee, we’re essentially “helping” the Democrat is appalling and arrogant. It means that conservatives are expected to fall in line and compromise for the Republican establishment’s desires, but never the other way around. The better solution would be for Republicans to abandon their party’s establishment and support a true conservative third-party candidate. But the arrogance of these attitudes causes many Republicans to consider it blasphemy to ever question the establishment’s pick.

    Until Republican voters reject the establishment, or until the conservative base splits from the Republican party and finds a new home with a third party, we are reduced to merely hoping that the “least worse” candidate wins and that the collapse of America will simply drag out at a slower pace.

  • Bill99, any Obama supporter who is reading our exchange is smiling right now. I also do not understand what you believe you are going to accomplish with words like “weak-minded,” “elitist,” and “pompous.” Do you think this will help to coalesce conservatives against President Obama?

    All your explanations and personal condemnations aside, I am stating a simple fact. If you do not vote for the Republican candidate, you will help to re-elect Obama. This is especially true if you live in Ohio or Florida, and true to a lesser extent in Iowa, New Hampshire, Indiana, Virginia, North Carolina, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, or Missouri. If you live in California or New York, Mississippi or North Dakota, your individual vote will most likely not make a difference. If you live in any of the “battleground” states, and do not vote for the Republican candidate, you will help to re-elect President Obama. THE CHOICE IS YOURS.

    Democrats clearly understand that in order to exercise political power, you must obtain it first. When it comes down to it, the American people are a fickle lot; they want smaller government in the abstract, but ask them about individual government programs and they want those funded. Too many Americans want a limited government that provides them with everything that they believe government should provide. Republicans are caught in the cross-fire of this incompatible objective. And Democrats smile.

    We Republicans squabble over ideology, and even though the majority of Americans self-identify as conservatives, we often snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. I hope that this is not such an election, but it is increasingly looking as if 10 or 20 electoral college votes could be the difference.

Logic Fail

Thursday, February 2, AD 2012

You want to know why Republicans are possibly going to lose the White House this year, despite an environment in which the GOP nominee should be all but guaranteed victory?  Republican voters have become incapable of comprehending the larger picture, and have swallowed media narratives hook, line, and sinker.  The perfect distillation of this is evidenced on this thread on the blog Legal Insurrection.  Professor William Jacobson is a Gingrich supporter, so he has reason to take down Ann Coulter’s idiotic “Three Cheers for Romneycare” column.  Of course Jacobson un-ironically accuses Coulter of deflection, a curious charge for someone who himself has twisted logic in order to boost Gingrich.  But that’s neither here nor there.

What really struck me was this exchange in the comment section.

Here is a Santorum supporter speaking up:

I admit that Mitt is sub-standard. What I dont get is (aside from the several here with clearly anti-Mormon bigotry) why sub-standard Newt should be the overwhelming favorite.

When I caucus next Tuesday (Colorado) – unless the Paulbots are out in force – I will vote for Santorum… because both Romney and Gingrich have huge non-conservative faults. This site has seemingly become dedicated to taking down Romney for the sake of Gingrich. I’ve yet to hear a persuasive argument why I should overlook Gingrich’s equally glaring faults.

A very good question.  Here is the response he received:

Oh for God’s sake, Bain, I like Santorum too, but look at the numbers. He’s just NOT going to rise.
Period.
This is the weaning, and Santorum doesn’t cut it.
Love the guy, but move on.
Please.
It’s like picking players on a team: You WEAN.

Well that’s a really convincing argument.  Shockingly, bains ain’t buying it.

Let me see if I have this right…

You want me to not vote for a candidate that I like… in favor of a candidate that I don’t like, so that the candidate that you hate will fail (well aside from Ron Paul).

The only argument in favor of Romney is his electability. His supporters really have nothing else to fall back on.  Well, Gingrich supporters are really not much better.  Their only argument is that Gingrich is the only person that can take down Romney.  They seem willing to concede that Santorum is the superior candidate – he just can’t win.  Well, that’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.  If you deem that a candidate cannot win and refuse to vote for him, well guess what?  He can’t win.

It’s a strange game that GOP voters are playing.  They are basing their voting decisions not on who they deem to be the best candidate, but rather are voting for people who they think other people will be voting for.  So I actually have to take back a bit of my opening premise.  It’s not that Republican voters aren’t trying to look at the big picture, they’re just doing a terrible job of it.

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39 Responses to Logic Fail

  • Since I am a Pennsylvanian and my vote doesn’t actually matter (our primary isn’t until April. I suppose it makes sense to someone, somewhere that New York and Pennsylvania – pivotal to the existence of our nation – should be cut out of the primary system) I am resolved to vote for Santorum.

    I will not be bullied and I certainly feel like the GOP Establishment has been acting like a playground bully in this Primary. Why can’t they get it: I may vote for Romney over Obama but I don’t like him. Forcing me to choose between Obama and Romney is irritating and, if the stakes weren’t so damn high, I would probably vote for every position on the ballot except that of the presidency.

  • The only argument in favor of Romney is his electability. His supporters really have nothing else to fall back on.

    Except that he has actually run private companies and a state government. The other three have done nothing of the kind.

  • I will not be bullied and I certainly feel like the GOP Establishment has been acting like a playground bully in this Primary.

    Just out of curiousity, which individual is bullying you? Has the Governor of South Carolina or some editor at Commentary been sending you threatening letters?

  • I don’t know G-Veg, you might be right about it being all over by the time it gets to PA (April 24), but this one might last a bit longer. It really depends on what happens on Super Tuesday.

    That said, I certainly share your annoyance. The fact that states like Pennsylvania, Texas and others basically have little say in the process is astoundingly absurd.

  • As a wag on Ace put it, and I tweaked a bit:

    “Romney 2012: Because He Appeals To Everyone Else But You.”

  • “Except that he has actually run private companies and a state government.”

    Badly Art, at least in regard to state government. Experience as an executive can be helpful or not to a president. Abraham Lincoln had zip executive experience and Jimmy Carter had been governor of Georgia. Ulysses S. Grant commanded the Union Armies successfully in the Civil War, as Dwight D. Eisenhower commanded the Allied armies in Western Europe, but one was a failure as president and one a success. Other things being equal, I think it is good for a president to have some executive experience, but I think its predictive value as to how someone will perform in the office is fairly low.

  • “Just out of curiosity, which individual is bullying you? Has the Governor of South Carolina or some editor at Commentary been sending you threatening letters?”

    Bullying comes in many forms.

    Pulling out all stops to support the establishment candidate and to marginalize all others qualifies in my book. Dole, McCain, and now Romney – all establishment candidates who’s “turn” it was to run for President.

    We’ll see if this round turns out differently.

  • If Romney gets the nomination (which seems likely at this point) I absolutely will not vote for him in the general election. Gingrich at least would be entertaining. Better to go down in flames with Gingrich or Santorum than “win” with Romney.

  • Obama has run the most powerful country in the world for 3 years. I suppose that makes him more “qualified” than Romney, who only ran a state for 4 years. Both did a crummy job in their respective positions, governing as big-government-health-care-mandating-religious-liberty-trampling-gun-grabbing-pro-abort liberals. But if the “executive experience” is all that matters, I suppose Obama wins on that account.

  • I think it is good for a president to have some executive experience, but I think its predictive value as to how someone will perform in the office is fairly low.

    Here are our recent non-executives: John Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, and Barack Obama. With the sorting of time, I suspect their performance will be rated thus: easy heat, wretched, wretched with some qualifications, satisfactory, wretched. I would rather not go there if I can avoid it, most particularly with regard to the policy dilemmas and potential emergencies the country will likely face in the coming six years.

    Bullying comes in many forms.

    You mean you get to define it?

    Dole, McCain, and now Romney – all establishment candidates who’s “turn” it was to run for President.

    Mr. Dole’s principal competitors were a newspaper columnist and a magazine publisher. Mr. McCain’s were the Governor of Arkansas, the man you are condemning, and a crank obstetrician who has spent many years as an ineffectual member of Congress. Mr. Romney’s are that same OBGYN and two lapsed members of Congress one of whom is an ethical train wreck with a fondness for technological and management fads. I am agreeable about Messrs. Santorum and Huckabee but I cannot blame people for taking contrary views of their candidacies.

  • The fact that states like Pennsylvania, Texas and others basically have little say in the process is astoundingly absurd.

    The Republican National Committee could set aside two Saturdays in June for states to hold their caucuses and declare delegates selected at any other time and in any other manner to have no standing. Not holding my breath.

  • Also from PA, and also feel cheated out of the ‘weaning” process. I really like Santorum, but am perfectly happy to vote for a shoe, if that shoe is less leftist than Obama.
    I wish it were different, and honestly don’t know why we handle the primaries this way. Why not move more of the primaries up to Februrary so we can be a part of the decision making? It is infuriating that by the time I get to vote, the process has eliminated all but one, including in local elections I might add. Local GOP chooses local candidates through a “committee” leaving the voter with only one nominee. That makes me believe thatthe GOP is self destructive.

  • “Here are our recent non-executives”

    And here are our executives:

    Carter, Reagan, Clinton, Bush 43 from the same period. Carter I would rate as the worst President of the 20th century and third worst president overall. Reagan is a President worthy of Mount Rushmore if there were space. Clinton is probably the worst man who has sat in the Oval office. As President he was saved by the Republicans taking Congress in 94 and thus curbing the excesses in government demonstrated during his first two years. Bush 43 as a war president succeeded in so mishandling the war in Iraq, prior to the surge, that he set the stage for overwhelming Democrat victories in 2006 and 2008. His domestic compassionate conservatism was a disaster for the nation. He looks better now in comparison to Obama who is doing his best to wrest the title of worst president from James Buchanan, but that is small praise indeed.

  • “if that shoe is less leftist than Obama.”

    I agree with you on that Trish!

  • Leftist is leftist. You’re just negotiating how slowly you want to be strangled to death.

  • Maybe Trish is articulating my concerns better than I did.

    My dissatisfaction is with the Primary process more generally.

    Primaries are damned expensive and, if your state is anywhere other than at the beginning of the line for the presidential candidate primaries, damned near pointless. From a non-partisan viewpoint, one can reasonably question whether the State has any interest at all in who parties put forth as candidates.

    The results are as you demonstrated – piss pore.

    Dole, McCain, and Romney – all likely to get swept aside like so much chaff by their Democrat opponents while our best and brightest don’t even get placed before the very rank-and-file that are likely to vote for them.

    Intellectual exercise:

    Supposing that Iowa and Pennsylvania were first. We’d probably be talking about Santorum as the likely candidate. Same pool of candidates, completely different result by simply shifting the order.

    If the Primary system is supposed to “wean out” the candidates, it should approach something like a replicable process. Moving around the states though gives you different results so I think it fair to ask whether strength in the primaries demonstrate anything remotely like electability.

  • Agreed, but with the current choices, I see little difference.
    Sadly, my opinion is that Rick can’t do it- I watched the Dems KILL, completely demolish his senate re-election chances, and that was just for PA Senate. They are already accusing him in a column today in Phila of “using his 3 year old daughter” for sympathy votes. Trust me, they would become even more evil with time, if he were to get the nomination.
    Until we slowly-one candidate at a time, change the culture in DC, we will never have a true conservative in the White House.

  • Funny, that Rick supposedly can’t perform better than a stiff like Dullard Flip Rino, since Rasmussen just released a national poll showing Santorum performing just as well as Dullard (and far better than Gingrich) against Obama:

    http://proecclesia.blogspot.com/2012/02/new-rasmussen-poll-shows-santorum.html

  • Trish,

    I don’t know how much more evil Democrats can be given that they openly support (even encourage) the murder of the unborn and the filth of homosexual sodomy.

  • I like the comment above about the self fulfilling prophecy the best– not voting for him because he can’t win and of course he can’t win if we don’t vote for him– or is that a catch 22 or
    more ridingbicycles down the Kaibab trail — DON’T LOOK AT THE EDGE! or we will all go over!

  • If we say “Oh, the person I’d REALLY like to vote for is conservative candidate X, but I think he could probably never get elected” and then at the same time say “I don’t like it, but I’d vote for moderate-to-liberal RINO stiff Y as long as he’s one tick to the right of the Democrat”, is it any wonder that every 4 years starts to look like the movie “Groundhog Day” with the same crappy scenario repeating itself over and over again?

    If we concede that we believe the conservatives we want can’t win, and admit right off the bat that we’ll support whoever gets the nomination as long as he’s marginally better than the Democrat alternative, aren’t we conditioning the GOP to give us just that? If that’s the signal we send to the party establishment, it’s no wonder that the establishment lines up in lockstep behind the squishiest, least objectionable candidate available (“least objectionable” in the sense that they stand for nothing and are thus, in theory but not in actual practice, less likely to draw enemy fire).

    Forget about complaining that the choice of candidates has already been winnowed down for us by the time our particular state’s primary rolls around – we’ve already narrowed the choices from the get-go just by buying into the assumptions and narrative of the party establishment. And then we tell them we’ll vote for their guy no matter what. We’ve been played for suckers time and again, and yet so many conservatives will line up on election day and pull the lever for yet another nominee who doesn’t represent their interests. Rinse. Repeat.

    See ya again in 4 years when we’re once more crying after a measly 3 primaries and 1 caucus that our choices have already been made for us, and act “shocked, shocked” that yet another RINO squish is being shoved down our throats.

  • Mr. Anderson,

    Your point is well made. What, then, do you suggest?

    One choice is, of course, to write in candidates but that never seems to do much more than give some journalist hack a follow-up story. Third-party candidates can move things but, at least this time around, it looks like that would be a Ron Paul vote and that isn’t something I’d broadcast after having done it.

    Are you suggesting then that we’d be better to vote for the positions on the ballot other than President, accepting that we are putting the President one vote closer to landslide?

    (I may actually be with you on that one. I’d have to think about it.)

  • Let me put this question out there: who would you have rather seen run / get the nomination? I know it’s easy to complain about the starting quarterback, but who’s the backup you’d rather see in the game?

  • Pinky: to whom is your question addressed? I’m sure most of us – including the author of this post (me) – have clearly stated our preference for Santorum.

  • Oh, yeah! Talk about unelectable!

    Ron Paul is polling but few points below drone-killer Obama (of OBL and Guvmint Motors notoriety), and Paul can’t pull 23 percent in a primary or caucus.

  • Paul – OK. I know that he’s popular on this site, but I didn’t think of him as “industry standard”. Do you think that he would get the nomination under a fairer primary system?

  • that yet another RINO squish is being shoved down our throats.

    ‘Another RINO squish’? I think it is a reasonable proposition that the succession of people who have won the Republican presidential nomination define the Republican type, not random combox denizens. You may not like what the dynamic of Republican politics serves you, but that is what it is. (And, much as you dislike it, the only people shoving things down your throat are Republican voters and campaign contributors).

    Dole, McCain, and Romney – all likely to get swept aside like so much chaff by their Democrat opponents while our best and brightest don’t even get placed before the very rank-and-file that are likely to vote for them.

    I am tired of repeating myself on the unreasonableness of this sort of handicapping, so won’t do that again. I might note that John McCain managed to garner 46% of the vote in a most challenging set of circumstances (the banking crisis, for one). Adlai Stevenson did not do this, Michael Dukakis managed it only with a much more agreeable milieux, and assessing Hubert Humphrey’s capacity to do this requires counterfactual speculation.

  • And here are our executives:

    Carter, Reagan, Clinton, Bush 43 from the same period. Carter I would rate as the worst President of the 20th century and third worst president overall. Reagan is a President worthy of Mount Rushmore if there were space. Clinton is probably the worst man who has sat in the Oval office. As President he was saved by the Republicans taking Congress in 94 and thus curbing the excesses in government demonstrated during his first two years. Bush 43 as a war president succeeded in so mishandling the war in Iraq, prior to the surge, that he set the stage for overwhelming Democrat victories in 2006 and 2008. His domestic compassionate conservatism was a disaster for the nation. He looks better now in comparison to Obama who is doing his best to wrest the title of worst president from James Buchanan, but that is small praise indeed.

    Why you neglect Roosevelt, Truman, and Eisenhower, you do not say. All occupied the office during the era when general expectations of the services performed by the federal government were taking their current form. (And all were, on balance, accomplished in office above an beyond what we have seen since).

    The troublesome part of comparative assessment of our executives (aside from having very few data points) is that no two face the same challenges. Also, two assessors have the same notion of what ends it is desirable to achieve.

    I find your description of all of these people awfully florid. Mr. Carter followed bad monetary policy, taking advice from the wrong economists. Decisions he took during the period running from August 1978 to February 1979 vis-a-vis the political crisis in Iran turned out very badly, but it is conceivable that had we instigated a military coup in Iran in January of 1979 it might not have turned out better. One can certainly conceive of some alternatives to his response to the seizure of the American Embassy in Tehran, though it would have been difficult to prevent ABC News turning an attempt at extortion by the Iranian government into a concatenation of human interest stories.

    With regard to B. Clinton, please note that he was willing and able to cut deals with the political opposition. The current incumbent is not (and had never had to do so before).

    Contriving an expansion of Medicare while arranging simultaneously for an income tax cut (the formal the principal manifestation of ‘compassionate conservatism’, the latter having nothing to do with it) was poor policy and created problems and unnecessary problems. There is a difference between ‘problems’ and ‘catastrophe’. The rest of what went under the heading of ‘compassionate conservatism’ was small beer.

    As for the war in Iraq, the military you have has a skill set and an institutional culture. Yes, the war was mishandled for four years. I cannot help but note that the change in strategy which was so successful was adopted over the objections of much of the top brass.

    Please note, I’ve not claimed that executives are protected from poor policy choices. Nor is an executive protected from being a scuzzy human being. They are partially protected from failures of governance which arrive from not having governed. Gerald Ford was the most able of our non-executive leaders; his admiring press secretary freely admitted after he left office that the man was on a learning curve as an administrator and that this did cause problems. John Roche, late of the Fletcher School at Tufts and an admiring aide to Lyndon Johnson, had similar tales to tell.

    As for Mr. Reagan, I am not much for the ‘civil religion’ business. Politicians should be appreciated, but not turned into icons. In Mr. Reagan’s case, when he was determined not to acknowledge something, he did not. If you put him on Mount Rushmore, you need to select an expression. I might suggest the look he had on his face when David Stockman was trying and failing to explain to him what the implications of his stated preferences were as regards public sector borrowing.

  • “I think it is a reasonable proposition that the succession of people who have won the Republican presidential nomination define the Republican type, not random combox denizens.”

    Since I am not a Republican and have absolute no desire to be one, Art, I really couldn’t say.

    All I know is that in November of even years I’m told I have to support candidates whose priorities quite often are not my own or risk being responsible for the whole world going to hell in a handbasket. And what I’m saying is that I’m not playing that game anymore, especially when the person being shoved down my throat … YES … shoved down my throat is the likes of frickin’ Dullard Flip Rino, the big-government, health-care-mandating, religious-liberty-trampling, Social-Security-demagoging, Mediscaring, gun-grabbing, Reagan/Bush-repudiating, pro-abortion liberal.

    If THAT, as you say, “defines the Republican type”, then I’m glad to know it once and for all so that I can say “To hell with ’em” and gladly cast my vote elsewhere.

  • (It should be noted, however that even as an independent I was out there for many years as a conservative and a pro-life activist working to elect Republicans when “Mr. Electable” was a self-described “progressive independent” distancing himself from “Reagan/Bush” and doing his damndest to undercut conservatives and Republicans and running to Ted Kennedy’s left. See, even as an independent, I was a better “Republican” than Mitt Romney. But now that I know he’s truer to the “type”, I’ll gladly cede the ground so many conservatives gave their sweat and tears fighting for to the “new breed” – actually, I suppose they’re more like the old WASPy breed – of Republican.)

  • Since I am not a Republican and have absolute no desire to be one, Art, I really couldn’t say.

    That’s fine. It is odd for a non-Republican to be complaining about “RINOs”.

    All I know is that in November of even years I’m told I have to support candidates whose priorities quite often are not my own or risk being responsible for the whole world going to hell in a handbasket. And what I’m saying is that I’m not playing that game anymore, especially when the person being shoved down my throat … YES … shoved down my throat is the likes of frickin’ Dullard Flip Rino, the big-government, health-care-mandating, religious-liberty-trampling, Social-Security-demagoging, Mediscaring, gun-grabbing, Reagan/Bush-repudiating, pro-abortion liberal.

    Something Phyllis Schlafly said a while back comparing our political parties to multi-party systems: our voters are less likely to have a satisfying option, but more of the winners’ program will be enacted. It is a trade-off.

    Living here in New York, I have seen what it looks like to have party barons in the state legislature and amongst the $2,000 a plate dinner crowd put the screws to local county chairmen and in turn to seen what it looks like when county chairmen disregard their electorate. The former happened in a special election for Congress in 2009 and the latter happened last year in an election in that same district. That is not what you are experiencing.

  • “It is odd for a non-Republican to be complaining about “RINOs”.

    Except when it’s not. Happens all the time among conservatives, and I have a feeling you know that. The term, inartful as it is, is shorthand for more liberal Republicans or for Republicans with records one might associate with Democrats. Again, you know that, but you’d like to pretend that it means something it doesn’t by giving it a literal interpretation. What is odd that certain folks would suddenly become sticklers for who may appropriately invoke the term “RINO”.

    But, again, as someone who, notwithstanding my political independence, has tended to vote for Republicans, probably with more frequency than your chosen candidate ever has, I feel perfectly unconstrained in my using the term “RINO”. Thank you very much.

  • Well, I am a conservative and a Republican, and very proud to claim both titles. I will vote for Romney if he is the nominee over Obama since I believe that is the only realistic option to get Obama out, but I will do so without any illusions as to the Weathervane. His only virtue is that he is not-Obama and for me that is enough. I love this country and I despair as to the damage that Obama has done to it in four years.

  • I’m not sure what the best solution is, Pinky. Some suggest – and I think with merit – that a consolidated schedule would hurt underfunded candidates even more. On the other hand, it’s clear that what we have now isn’t working.

  • Except when it’s not. Happens all the time among conservatives

    It still does not make any sense.

    The term, inartful as it is, is shorthand for more liberal Republicans or for Republicans with records one might associate with Democrats.

    You are referring to a political tendency that dissipated almost completely fifteen years ago. The National Journal a few years back published a rank-ordering of all members of the House of Representatives. Democratic and Republican Representatives were sorted into two neat piles, with a small interstitial zone in between with fewer than ten members. The Republican in the House coded the most liberal was a man from Connecticut named Christopher Shays who occupied a place almost precisely at the midpoint.

    Since I have seen the term used repeatedly to describe the Republican presidential nominee, I tend to think it is a nonsense term. It is also a decidedly idiosyncratic use of political terminology, and one that does not communicate well at all, to use the term ‘liberal’ to describe Messrs. McCain, Bush-fils, Dole, or Bush-pere. They have all suffered from inertia and lack of imagination in the pursuit of domestic initiatives. That is regrettable, but our institutional set-up being what it is, you cannot accomplish much anyway.

  • Some suggest – and I think with merit – that a consolidated schedule would hurt underfunded candidates even more.

    What if it breaks the back of the candidate-centered contest entirely? You might restore an element of deliberation and peer review to the process, with delegations largely composed of uncommitted local elected officials, wheelhorses, and grandees. Consider that in 1968 the place and show candidates entered between them one primary. The runner-up in 1964 entered no primaries and his candidacy lasted a matter of weeks.

  • Has a head-and-shoulders better candidate ever lost the nomination in the modern era? You could make an argument that none of the strongest Dems even ran in 1992. Some Republicans would say that the strongest candidate lost the nomination in 1976, and some Democrats would say the same thing for their party in 2008. But I don’t think you can make a Keanu Reeves winning an Oscar kind of argument that the system picks the worst candidates. That is to say, if only Keanu, Stallone, and Ashton Kutcher made movies last year, the Academy can’t be blamed for their choice.

  • OK. I’ll bite Pinky. What in tarnation is an “head-and-shoulder better candidate?”

    I’m hearing some folks say here that it is all about electability. Sure, we’d like a candidate who is actually a fiscal conservative. Sure, we’d like a bloke who is actually a social conservative. But, we’ll settle for a candidate who is one or the other, or even neither in a pinch, if she or he has a better chance at winning.

    I’m hearing others say (and I’m one of them) that it is all about consistency. We will only vote for someone who seems wishy-washy about our conservative ideals if left with no alternative. Then, we’ll begrudgingly vote for them.

    I’m hearing other voices (I’m in this camp too, I think) that it is all about our individual hot-button issues. We will vote for someone that hits the right notes on our issues even if they aren’t conservative in other ways.

    The problem with two and three, of course, is that it really is betraying the good because it isn’t perfect which doesn’t make a lot of sense. The first one seems to be more problematic though in that it assumes that we have any idea what “electable” is. It seems to me that we aren’t all that good at prognosticating. I, for example, didn’t see the Obama train coming until about two months before the 2008 convention. I was absolutely sure that Clinton would take the nomination. Palin blinded me to McCain’s can’t win attitude until about September so I didn’t see that coming either.

    I am honestly looking for an alternative approach here. I’m not arguing for the sake of arguing, I really do want a way out of this intellectual morass.

    Do I vote for Romney in November, a guy that doesn’t seem to care a wiff about the social cares that I care deeply about, who seems out of touch with my working class roots, whose business experience is limited to big finance and whose executive experience is limited to running Utah, whose electability mantle rests entirely on establishment decree?

    Do I “throw away” my vote by writing in Santorum because his social conservative creds are spotless and his family life admirable?

    What do you suggest?

  • write in Santorum– maybe others will too… wouldn’t that give the commentators something new to say– “won by a write in landslide”! He is the best choice.

Florida: Newt’s Paradise Lost

Tuesday, January 31, AD 2012

Coming out of his strong victory in South Carolina, Newt Gingrich had a golden opportunity in the Sunshine State to deal a deathblow to the Romney campaign.  Defeat Romney a/k/a the Weathervane in a large state like Florida, and the main rationale of the Romney campaign, electability, would be shattered.  If Gingrich had won the state he would  haven been the clear frontrunner and Romney would have been wondering whether he would be too old to try again in 2016.  Instead, Romney has won, and appears to have won strongly.  What happened?

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24 Responses to Florida: Newt’s Paradise Lost

  • accurately dubbing him the tax collector of the Welfare State.

    We have a welfare state. As long as you have it, you better pay for it.

  • “As long as you have it, you better pay for it.”

    As we are learning to our sorrow Art, welfare states are insatiable in their demands for ever increasing taxes. There is no paying for a welfare state, there is merely inevitable bankruptcy at the end of the welfare state.

  • He should have been hammering away at Romneycare and Romney flipflops instead. In the second debate Santorum was devastating on Romneycare…”

    That line of attack wasn’t open to Gingrich. It had been closed off by Gingrich’s own flip flop on an individual national mandate, which is the part of the Obamacare that is easiest for most primary voters to understand. When Gingrich raised it in an earlier debate, Romney simply pointed out that the idea of the mandate came from the Heritage Foundation and Newt Gingrich. If Romney has wrested the ‘weathervane’ title from Gingrich, it must have been by a hair.

    Plus, Gingrich hasn’t been good at attacking anyone other than debate moderators. I think you’re a trifle unfair to Wolf above; Wolf simply refused to be cowed when Gingrich tried to suggest that his own comments from earlier in the day were an inappropriate topic for the debate. Bluster only works as long as no one calls bs.

  • I disagree John Henry. There is a great deal of difference between Gingrich having made a statement about an individual mandate and Romney basically acting as a precursor for Obamacare. That is a gaping weakness in Romney and hacking at Romney through it would have been worth any jabs from Romney in return.

    In regard to Wolf Blitzer I think he clearly was gunning for Newt. Gingrich’s mistake was not to state the obvious: that Romney is an out of touch rich guy attempting to buy his way to the White House and that Blitzer is a shill for CNN, a network that has no love for conservative Republicans. Instead, Gingrich pulled his punches and lost the initiative.

    As to Romney’s weathervane title, Gingrich doesn’t come close to matching Romney’s flip flops on a whole series of issues. A debate between the various Mitt Romneys that have been in the public square since 1994 when he attempted to run to the left of Ted Kennedy on social issues would be amusing if not edifying.

  • Well call me idealistic but as a Star Trek fanatic I love the idea of a moon colony!

    I guess its “undisciplined” of Newt to say, but it is inspiring to think about that sort of accomplishment.

  • Newt Gingrich has much to commend him, including his blasts at Mr. Obama’s decision to mandate that health insurance plans at Catholic hospitals, colleges, and charities cover birth control, I think without co-payments and also, I believe, though usually unmentioned, abortifacients and sterilization. The president had compromise positions, but chose to ignore them as well as Catholic opposition to this decision. But unfortunately, Mr. Gingrich’s lack of discipline in speech and policy would make his presidency perilous. Recall what he said about Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget, which managed to insult all the House Republicans who voted for it.

    He has also called Mitt Romney a “Massachusetts liberal.” I live in Massachusetts and know how difficult it can be for any conservative in the state, especially a Catholic conservative. I contend with Massachusetts liberals nearly daily. I know Massachusetts liberals. I know what they believe and do. Think Elizabeth Warren, Barney Frank, John Kerry, and James McGovern. They are Massachusetts liberals.

    Mitt Romney is no Massachusetts liberal.

  • Too many voters have Romneycare fatigue. They’ve heard the complaints against so often that its offensiveness is wearing thin. So what are you left with? Flip flops and private sector experience. You can’t touch private sector experience because that’s the GOP third rail. The flip flops have been covered, and the average voter has heard it so many times applied to different politicians that they now think “They all flip flop.” So, Weathervane Romney becomes Teflon Mitt.

  • welfare states are insatiable in their demands for ever increasing taxes. There is no paying for a welfare state, there is merely inevitable bankruptcy at the end of the welfare state.

    In the period running from 1969 to 2008, the ratio of public expenditure to domestic product fluctuated between 27.96% to 33.88%. The lower bound was during the fiscal year concluding in 1973 and the upper bound was in that concluding in 1992.

  • Greece reportedly will agree to pay .3 euro on each euro it owes. It’s better than zero. Next up is Portugal.

    We will soon see how that works.

    As Maine goes so goes the nation.

    Now, Maine has more peoples getting money from guvinamenent than paying taxes.

    I wead a weport that said CA guvmint may run out of money in March.

    I know!

    Let’s tax the rich!

    Let’s force the Catholic Church to pay for abortions and gender adjustment surgeries!!!

  • If the Republican party seriously thinks that Romney has a chance against Obama, then they are delusional. This is McCain 2008 all over again. You can’t send up a Default candidate who nobody really likes and expect strong voter turnout. This time not even the base will mobilize. Whether you like Gingrich or not, he has consistently shown that he has ideas and the willingness to take chances as a leader. I will not vote for Romney. To vote for Romney is to assent to all that he believes and legitimize his false faith and false ideals. If the Republican party wants to position itself as a liberal big Government – big Business party, fine. They will get what they want with Obama. Count me out.

  • I contend with Massachusetts liberals nearly daily. I know Massachusetts liberals. I know what they believe and do. Think Elizabeth Warren, Barney Frank, John Kerry, and James McGovern. They are Massachusetts liberals.

    Mitt Romney is no Massachusetts liberal.

    Mitt Romney: not as bad Barney Frank and John Kerry.

    I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to storm the beaches for the man now.

  • I think the moon colony proposal is the smartest thing since sliced bread – if we send all the politicians to live there.

  • If the Republican party seriously thinks that Romney has a chance against Obama, then they are delusional. This is McCain 2008 all over again. You can’t send up a Default candidate who nobody really likes and expect strong voter turnout.

    Once more with feeling.

    1. You have three salient economic metrics: the growth rate in domestic product per capita, the unemployment rate, and the rate of inflation.

    a. The last of these was consequential during the periods running from 1945 to 1952 and from 1966 to 1982, but not otherwise.

    b. The mean unemployment rate during this administration has been the highest of any since 1941. It was higher during Mr. Roosevelt’s first and second term, but during his Administration unemployment rates were on a downward trajectory and the social injuries associated with unemployment were treated with novel meliorist schemes.

    c. The growth rates experienced during the current Administration have been ever so slightly higher than was the case during the first Bush Administration, and lower than those in every other administration. The point at which economic dynamism reaches its peak varies from one business cycle to another, but it is usually within three or four quarters of the cycle’s commencement. Mr. Bush faced the electorate with a relatively fresh business cycle (ongoing for six quarters) which reached its peaks years after he left office. The current President will be facing the electorate with a stale business cycle (14 quarters in), and with a dismal future outlook due to massive public sector borrowing and the crisis in Europe.

    2. You have sixty years of public opinion polling to gauge the general assessment of the incumbent as compared with his predecessors. You have a great deal of interstitial flux in this metric, but the most common pattern is for the assessment of the President to take on a downward trajectory through the life of an administration. Some administrations have alternating biennial cycles of advance and retreat in public approval. Messrs. Eisenhower and Kennedy retained agreeable ratings with little temporal trend throughout their years in office. The current President appears to be one of the most common type, which is to say we can surmise that if it were getting better for him we’d have seen it over the last year. We have not.

    3. Mr. McCain was and is a Republican pol with a set of policy preferences that are common-and-garden within that set. He was facing (due to the ill regard for the incumbent administration and the banking crisis) a set of very challenging circumstances. Any deficiencies he had as a candidate were not an important consideration in the menu of reasons the Republicans lost the election.

    4. You think Mr. Romney’s opportunism renders him an unsalable candidate? A cursory examination of the political careers of Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, and George Bush the Elder would tend to discredit that thesis.

  • Experts say Gingrich moon base dreams not lunacy

    http://www.ajc.com/news/nation-world/experts-say-gingrich-moon-1325119.html

    But then why think boldly? Besides, better things exists to spend our money on…. you will just be called a loon anyway. Can just imagine that attitude when when tried to put a man on the moon….. But no, Gingrich is just crazy….

  • 1. Obama GDP growth rates are suffuecuent to minimally reduce new unemployment claims. They are far below growth needed to return America to “full employment.”

    2. Over the recent nine (Obama) quarters, growth has been far below the four decade average. It took twice as long after the recession ended to recover to the pre-recession level GDP. The current (Obama) recovery real private sector GDP growth averaged 2.6% (2011 it was 1.7%) versus 1974-75 (Ford) 3.8% and 1981-82 (Reagan) 4.7%.

    3. The Keystone pipeline denial is the most striking example of the regime’s hostility to economic growth and job creation.

    4. A recent Gallup Poll sows Obama’s job approval in the third full year at 44%. That’s down from 47% in his second year. That’s down from 57% in his first year. That’s also down from the 69% approval he enjoyed on Inauguration Day.

    5. That 44% rating is worse than Gerald Ford’s and Bush the Elder’s going into their failed re-elections.

    6. Silver lining: Jummeh Carter’s approval rating was worse.

  • “Unless Romney loses a few of the primaries and caucuses in February, slowing his momentum, he will probably put this race away on Super Tuesday, March 6.”

    I’m not sure about either side of this. First of all, no one takes caucuses seriously, so I don’t think that a Romney loss would upset his flow. There are only three primaries in February: Missouri, Arizona, and the state of Romney’s birth. I think he’ll sweep those.

    But Super Tuesday is potentially the roughest day of his campaign. Virginia, Tennessee, and Newt’s home state. Romney hasn’t proven that he can win in the South (let’s face it, Florida isn’t a Southern state exactly). If Mitt can have a decisive victory on Super Tuesday, he’s set, but if he shows weakness on March 6th, the next month will be a gauntlet (Mississippi, Alabama, Texas, etc.).

  • Caucuses supply delegates Pinky, and that is the coin of any presidential nomination contest.

    In regard to Virginia, Newt and Santorum aren’t on the ballot. Georgia is a good state for Newt. Newt’s main concern is money drying up for his campaign. Unless he starts winning soon, goodby cash.

    The most interesting race this month is Missouri on the 7th. It is the best state for Santorum. The last poll I read showed him in first place with a stunning 45%. (Gingrich is not on the ballot.) If he can pull that off next Tuesday that could startle some voters who like neither Romney nor Gingrich into backing Santorum, and draw fallen away Gingrich backers. The primary is non-binding, but such a blow out victory would garner lots of attention anyway, and underline Romney’s weakness when the conservative vote is not divided.

    http://www.thestatecolumn.com/articles/poll-santorum-gingrich-lead-romney-in-midwest/

  • Pingback: WEDNESDAY POLITICS EXTRA | ThePulp.it
  • Regarding Gingrich’s longstanding support for a national individual mandate, I believe the old line about being entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts is applicable. If you go here, you can hear Newt in May of 2009 talking about how an individual mandate had to be the key to any health care reform bill.

  • He was calling for a catastrophic health insurance mandate for those making over 75,000 BA, a bad idea but hardly Romneycare. Additionally Gingrich now rejects the idea of an individual mandate, while Romney still defends Romneycare. How Romney would be able to call for the repeal of Obamacare while defending Romneycare, would tax the political skills of a far better politician than the Weathervane.

  • Gingrich now rejects the idea of an individual mandate, while Romney still defends Romneycare.

    The irony here is that, after criticizing Romney for being Mr. Weathervane, you turn around and criticize him for not changing his position on an unpopular issue. Romney has never favored a national mandate, nor has he repudiated what he did in Massachusetts. Gingrich, on the other hand, favored a national mandate for nearly 20 years, supported Romneycare, and continued to support mandates up until he started running for president, at which point he suddenly realized that the whole idea was unconstitutional and would never work.

  • BA the Weathervane has made a career out of flip flopping. He has been on both sides of abortion, gun control, embryonic stem cell research, prayers in school, abstinence based sex education, the minimum wage, the types of judges that should be appointed to the bench, the abolition of the Department of Education, and the list could go at considerable length. When it comes to flip flopping the Weathervane is the grand champion.

    In regard to Obamacare, the White House consulted with former Romney aides who crafted Romneycare when designing Obamacare:

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/cheats/2011/10/11/romney-aides-helped-plan-obamacare.html

    The idea that Romney’s continued embrace of Romneycare is not a disaster in regard to the election this fall when a majority of the voters are opposed to Obamacare is precisely the type of politically tone deaf nonsence I expect from camp Weathervane.

  • Gingrich did not completely support Romneycare. He praised parts of it, and indeed agreed with the principle of an individual mandate. But he did not fully endorse the legislation.

    Of course there is a candidate that never endorsed the individual mandate named Rick Santorum. Maybe we should be focusing on him instead of these two duds.

  • Newt once supported the idea of a mandate and has since renounced it.
    Romney implemented the mandate and has embraced it.

    An idea can be dangerous, but bad legislation is far more destructive.

    Newt also fought Hillarycare and became its brick wall when he and the GOP won the house in 1994.