Much has been written about 2012 GOP presidential primary frontrunners Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich’s weaknesses as candidates.
Less has been written about how they stand up next to each other, and whom the comparison favors. A close look at their records makes it clear that Romney can only benefit from Gingrich staying in the race as long as possible.
Gingrich will likely help Romney in two ways: first, by making Romney seem more conservative to hesitant members of the Tea Party wing of the GOP. This will happen via Gingrich’s patchwork quilt of liberal positions on such issues as Romney’s role at Bain Capital (“Exploitive!”), Paul Ryan’s Path to Prosperity (“Right-wing social engineering!”), and Nancy Pelosi’s cap-and-trade bill (“Bipartisan!”).
Second, Gingrich may push Romney to the right on some issues, nudging his competitor to come out more forcefully for the conservative aspects of his platform and commit to them more unwaveringly as campaign promises.
(This is in contrast to the advantage Romney gains by Ron Paul staying in the race, which is for Paul to make Romney seem like a spring chicken with a manly laugh instead of an old goat with a girlish giggle.)
Newt’s attacks on Romney from the left will help Romney develop defenses against the charges the Obama campaign will inevitably fling at him in the general election. read more »
Governor Mitt Romney has finally capitulated to the nation’s wealth-haters, releasing his tax records months before primary candidates typically do to quell swelling resentment fueled by Occupy Wall Streeters, left-leaning media, and boobs like Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry, and John Huntsman. (Thanks, GOP candidates!)
Of course Romney’s forthrightness isn’t good enough for the left, who now argue that he must release a dozen or perhaps 20 years of tax records, so we can spend the next ten months scrutinizing them for rounding errors and keep the focus off President Obama’s record.
Obama-friendly journalists are suggesting Romney also release information on his complete financial portfolio, his retirement accounts, his trust funds for his wife and children, and sworn affidavits from eyewitnesses that he never cheated at Monopoly. (When is the media going to demand that Obama release his college transcripts?)
Romney’s tax records showed apoplectic liberals and gullible mainstream media that he paid 14% federal income tax on the $42 million he earned in 2010 and 2011. read more »
Ahead of its 2012 GOP presidential primary, South Carolina is under fire for having enacted a voter identification law that would require citizens to show poll workers a photo ID before voting. (You know—sort of like having to pay a poll tax and prove your ancestors came over on the Mayflower.)
The law is intended to curb voter fraud, which is more prevalent in South Carolina and other southern states and states with relatively small populations. Some states’ historically corrupt local governments and proximity to the Mexican border have yielded a disproportionate incidence of voter-impersonation fraud, including non-citizens voting, ex-felons voting, and dead people voting. Small populations increase the influence that a handful of invalid votes can have on a precinct’s outcome.
Seven states besides South Carolina require a government-issued photo ID to vote: Texas, Georgia, Tennessee, Mississippi, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Kansas. Seven additional states require a simple photo ID: Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Michigan, South Dakota, Idaho, and Hawaii. Three states passed photo ID laws in 2011 but were blocked by their governors’ vetoes. Sixteen other states require non-photo identification.
So South Carolina isn’t exactly doing something new and different. read more »
Michelle Bachmann, the most conservative and articulate 2012 GOP presidential candidate, dropped out of the race after her poor showing in Iowa last week. Herman Cain’s disappointing withdrawal last month over spurious sexual harassment allegations suggests we won’t be discussing a flat federal income tax for at least another election cycle. John Huntsman was a surprisingly conservative governor of Utah, and could still benefit from the shell game Republican voters have been playing with their candidates for the past six months—if voters ever notice he’s running. Mitt Romney is an unreliable conservative; Newt Gingrich is a combustible bloviator; and Ron Paul is a nutty America-hater.
What about Rick Perry? Last September, he was the GOP’s latest, greatest hope for about three invigorating weeks. The only—only—reason Republican voters abandoned him in droves after his bump in the polls was his clunky and unscripted performance in the first few debates—a flaw he’s long since overcome. Perry’s marble-mouthed tendencies have been limited thus far to one format—the presidential primary debate—and even there he’s improved dramatically, such that commentators have been gushing, “Perry had a really good night!” and “This was the best Perry debate performance so far!”
(I don’t fault Perry for not being able to remember the third agency he would close; there are so many I would shut down, I also would lose track. When Ron Paul helpfully offered “EPA?” I would have said, “That too!”) read more »
While the left-wing media delight over Republican 2012 presidential nominees’ slugfest in early-state caucuses and primaries in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina, some forward-thinking conservatives are engaged in a constructive plan to win the general election no matter who the nominee is.
Crafty Republican National Committee staffers are compiling a 500-page document, known informally as “The Book,” that juxtaposes direct quotes and video clips of Obama making grandiose promises with statistics on the reality of how his efforts have turned out. The compendium, which covers 2008-2011, promises to be a virtual treasure trove of fodder for 2012 general election GOP campaign ads, chock full of sound bites coupled with cold, hard facts that will yield devastating and irrefutable attack ads. RNC communications director Sean Spicer boasts, “We have everything he has done and said catalogued six ways to Sunday.” read more »
Time magazine recently awarded its vaunted Person of the Year title to “The Protestor.”
The increasingly irrelevant weekly has been moving away from traditional designations of actual, individual human beings as Person of the Year for a while now. Apparently the left-leaning journal has been ever more swayed by the collectivist notion that there are no individual heroes or titans that drive the world—just influences, movements, and groundswells. Recent winners of Time’s award have consisted of The Peacemakers (including founder of modern terrorism Yasser Arafat), The Whistleblowers (including an Enron staffer who warned about bad accounting practices), and The Good Samaritans (including certified bobblehead Bono).
At least those titles went to groups of several persons each. Time’s latest choice encompasses literally millions of human beings. It’s as vague and vacuous as the phrase “War on Poverty.”
(I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised at Time’s latest addle-headed selection; this is the same magazine that chose Vladimir Putin as Person of the Year in 2007 and, um, “You” in 2006.)
Over the past few weeks, a controversy has been brewing between conservative commentators Ann Coulter and Mark Levin over the relative fitness of frontrunners Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination.
In her columns and TV appearances, Coulter has been stumping for Romney and stomping all over Gingrich. On his syndicated radio talk show, Levin has been denouncing Romney as a non-conservative and bolstering Gingrich as a flawed but superior alternative.
The tiff echoes Coulter’s endorsement earlier this year of Chris Christie, before he insisted he wasn’t running, and Levin’s dismissal of Christie as a RINO. In both cases, Levin has expressed contempt for the “Republican establishment” trying to decide the GOP nominee, though it would be hard to characterize Coulter as part of any establishment.
Coulter’s endorsement of Romney is a bit puzzling, when one recalls her animosity toward John McCain and her tongue-in-cheek threat to campaign for Hillary Clinton if McCain got the 2008 Republican presidential nomination. Coulter argued then that Republicans do not win elections when they run moderate candidates, because such candidates appear ideologically weak against genuine leftists such as Obama. On the contrary, because this is a center-right country, Republicans win when they run unapologetic conservatives such as Ronald Reagan, who offer a contrasting alternative to the Democratic candidate. read more »
Frontrunner-of-the-month GOP presidential contender Newt Gingrich caused a stir at Saturday night’s Iowa debate when he affirmed his previous characterization of “an invented Palestinian people, who are in fact Arabs and were historically part of the Arab community.”
For once, Gingrich is correct.
The label “Palestine” was used historically to refer to the area between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River (and beyond); the term had no political import. During the first half of the 20th century, “Palestinian” referred largely to Jews living in Palestine. The Palestine Post, for example, was printed in Hebrew and English, and in 1950 was renamed The Jerusalem Post.
The British, who controlled Palestine after WWI, divided it in two in 1923, giving 75% of the land—the area that is now Jordan—to Palestinian Arabs, and the remaining 25% to Palestinian Jews. But that wasn’t good enough to satisfy regional Arab despots.
In 1947, the United Nations proposed a partition plan to create side-by-side Jewish and Arab states out of the 25% that was left of the original Palestine, west of the Jordan River. The Arab regimes surrounding Palestine rejected this deal; this resulted in the 1947-1948 Civil War and the creation of the Jewish state. read more »
The United States Postal Service is once again threatening to scale back service due to budget shortfalls.
Earlier this year the postal service warned that it would cut Saturday delivery if it didn’t get an emergency infusion of cash from the federal government to pay off its staggering debts.
Last week the USPS announced that, as part of a $3 billion cost-cutting plan to help it avoid bankruptcy, the agency planned to eliminate one-day delivery, such that all letters would be delivered in a minimum of two days, even if they’re only going next door. To get your letter delivered by the next day, you’ll have to go to the nearest processing center and drop off your letter before final pickup, thus carrying out half of the mail delivery service yourself.
Complicating matters, the postal service expects to close half of its processing centers and reduce its workforce by 100,000 employees over the next few years through layoffs, attrition, and retirement.
The postal service has known about its financial woes for years. Yet statist Congresses have forbidden it from taking effective action to right its situation. Its current debt is a result of its failure to make $5.5 billion in annual payments to cover its insanely generous retiree packages.
Many USPS sympathizers insist we should do anything we can to preserve this great American institution. Senator Susan Collins, RINO of Maine, has proposed the 21st Century Postal Service Act of 2011. Recently she wailed, “Time and time again in the face of more red ink, the postal service puts forward ideas that could well accelerate its death spiral.” read more »
10. Andrew Cuomo – Yes, really. As I wrote earlier this year, “When Democrats cut spending and refuse to raise taxes, as New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has—i.e. when they abandon their party’s core philosophy and govern like conservatives—they enjoy skyrocketing popularity ratings and set their constituents on a path to financial solvency.” Cuomo’s late-career, probably temporary, but remarkable conversion followed the example set by New Jersey governor Chris Christie, who also stood up to public sector unions, slashed spending, and held down taxes.
9. Darrell Issa – California Representative Darrell Issa held hearings this summer on the Justice Department’s botched, scandalous Operation Fast and Furious gun-trafficking sting operation, including gripping testimony from ATF officials from Phoenix and Mexico. Recently Attorney General Eric Holder was forced to admit that Fast and Furious was “flawed in its concept and flawed in its execution”—kind of like his boss’s presidency. Along with the Treasury Department’s pursuit of the administration’s tainted $535 million loan to solar energy company Solyndra, Issa’s persistent work erased the laughable notion that the corrupt Obama tenure has remained blissfully transgression-free. read more »