Monday, January 9, 2012


I’ve continued watching the presidential debates, though often not live. The one from Saturday, January 7th, proved one consistent point: “journalist” moderators are clueless about how conservatives think, and they seem determined to do two things: make the entire slate look foolish, and pit one candidate against another (mostly they fail at both). What do we really need? A strong contrast between the two parties, and an opportunity for each candidate to express why he is best suited to the job of president.

What did we get this weekend? “Do you agree with the Supreme Court ruling on contraceptives from several decades ago, and do you think there should be a constitutional amendment to allow states to enforce laws against contraceptives?” That’s not word-for-word. But it was actually that ridiculous. There is no discussion in any GOP campaign about whether states should be allowed to outlaw contraception. The ruling that dealt with contraception by inventing a right to privacy is decades old. This distant case, which worded things in a way to keep government out of the personal decisions within sacred marriage, was later used to pretend there was a right to abortion in Roe v. Wade. So, if you’re into connecting all the dots, it might be possible to get a candidate to say they have disagreed with the Supreme Court. In which case, the options are to ignore the case as precedent (my preference, to lessen the outsized power of the court) or, as Romney pointed out, to use the legislature and states to amend to US Constitution to spell out what the Supreme Court got wrong.
The exchange is at the beginning of the second segment, so about 15 minutes in. Romney had to answer Stephanopoulos several times before he could convince him the question was too stupid to bother answering; no states want to enforce contraception, so why in the world would anyone push for a constitutional amendment to make sure they could? What a waste of our time!

All of the candidates performed better than the moderators; they almost always do. I even like Huntsman and Paul compared to those moderators (and Paul did not have a good day).

OK, enough about that debate. What I want to share today are a couple of clips from back in time. There’s a narrative about Romney that he is a Massachusetts “moderate=liberal” who “flip flops.” The first clip is from 1994, during the race for Senator against Ted Kennedy, and the topic is government health care.
            Mitt debates Kennedy in 1994 on government health care takeover.
You’ll see that Romney is passionate and forceful against the all-powerful Kennedy, and that he understands the economic ramifications of government interference. If you follow this up by actually looking (by reading Romney’s book No Apology) at how he approached health care in Massachusetts, so that there was no government insurance, you’ll see huge differences between the limited state approach and Obama’s intentional dismantling of the free market in the medical sector. While the Massachusetts plan entails more interference than any of us living in states that don’t have 85% Democrat legislatures would tolerate, Romney is right that it is solely a state solution. He is also sticking with it (changes implemented by Democrat successor included), because it would be inconsistent to support the plan, as good as he could get it, as governor and then denounce it afterward. And inconsistent is not what he is. Nor is he disloyal
The point is, Romney intends to end Obamacare, because he has always been against the socialized medicine approach of Obama’s plan, and he was right in Saturday’s debate that, if we don’t turn it around soon, it will be very difficult to recover.

The second clip is an interview from 2007 with Glenn Beck, and the topic is free trade.
            Glenn interviews Mitt Romney in2007 on North American free trade union.
Everything he says is so clearly conservative, so clearly favoring free enterprise that Beck practically swoons. Before then, and since then, everything Romney says on the economy favors free enterprise—and says it with the authority of exceptional experience. If anything, since the last campaign Romney has gotten more practiced at articulating the conservative viewpoint.
Yet this time the argument against him is that he’s a moderate? Think about what you would believe about Romney if you didn’t have the liberal media as well as fellow conservative opponents telling you he is a moderate flip-flopper. His own record, and his own words are consistent. His performance in every debate has been impressive. If you’re nevertheless intent on “anybody but Romney,” ask yourself where that prejudice is coming from.

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