* Igor Volsky flags an interesting quote from Mitt Romney on abortion:
“I’m in favor of abortion being legal in the case of rape and incest and the health and life of the mother. But recognize, this is the decision that will be made by the Supreme Court. The Democrats try and make this a political issue every four years, but this is a matter in the courts. It’s been settled for some time in the courts.”
Volsky asks if this constitutes a shift: Romney had previously only allowed for an exception for rape, incest, and the life of the mother, not her health. But there is no shift, Romney spokesperson Andrea Saul tells me. She emails:
“Gov. Romney’s position is clear: he opposes abortion except for cases of rape, incest and where the life of the mother is threatened.”
That means no health exception.
* Also: As Jed Lewison notes, the claim that this has been “settled” in the courts might not sit too well with the die-hard anti-abortion warriors.
* Jonathan Chait: This is the GOP’s last chance to win the presidency with a near-total reliance on white votes, so if Republicans win, you can be sure they’ll pack in as much radical change as possible. (fixed)
* Do Romney’s welfare and Medicare ads crib from the GOP’s Willie Horton playbook? Tim Noah makes the case, pointing in particular to the sheer arbitrary nature of the focus on welfare.
* Ezra Klein asks: Is it a coincidence that Romney’s welfare ads seem to work so well among voters who harbor racial resentment — and that they are now absolutely central to Romney’s case in the swing states?
* Chris Matthews makes perhaps the highest profile and, er, most emotional case yet that Romney and Republicans are playing racial games with their welfare attacks. Seems this is gaining a bit of traction.
* Ed Kilgore on the right wing anti-Obama demonology holding that an alliance of liberal elites and undeserving denizens of the underclass is conspiring to bilk the virtuous middle class out of its hard won gains.
Or, as Kilgore puts it, a key element of Tea Party Obama hatred is that “the president is the incarnation of both the snooty secular-socialist `elites’ and the minority underclass.”
* Michael Cohen: Obama needs to make a stronger case that the stimulus did work — and that the sluggish recovery can be blamed on Republicans who got their way when the spending ended.
* The GOP platform makes it official: The Republican plan is to transform Medicare into a voucher program that will supposedly be “fiscally sound.” Paul Krugman asks:
So where are the savings? The answer is, it’s basically a way to deny health care to people while denying that you’re doing so. You don’t say, “we won’t pay for this care”, you just hand people a voucher and let them discover that it won’t buy adequate insurance.
* The Progressive Change Campaign Committee is seizing on the hurricane heading towards Tampa to organize against Republicans for previous cuts to disaster relief.
* And Elizabeth Warren goes up with a new ad hitting Republicans for turning back the clock on women’s issues and noting women are “one Supreme Court Justice away” from losing Roe v. Wade.
Though the ad doesn’t mention Scott Brown, the goal is to nationalize the Massachusetts Senate race by making it about the consequences of GOP control.