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Right Turn
Posted at 07:45 AM ET, 05/26/2011

Morning Bits

The worst state Republican Party: “Once again, a New York Republican blew it.While the national debate rages about whether Tuesday’s special election in the 26th Congressional District was a referendum on Medicare, recriminations are flying in the Empire State, directed at a state GOP that can’t seem to get its act together.”

The best short summation of President Obama’s fundamental error: “Central to Israel’s continued existence as the nation-state of the Jewish people is the Palestinian recognition that there can be no so-called ‘right of return’ to Israel, and that the Palestinian leadership and people must acknowledge that Israel will continue to exist as the nation-state of the Jewish people within secure and recognized boundaries. Unless President Obama sends that clear message, not only to the Israelis but to the Palestinians as well, he will not move the peace process forward. He will move it backward.”

Actually, the worst thing Tim Pawlenty could do would be to go isolationist. (“To make the most of his momentum, he should stop criticizing Barack Obama’s Libyan intervention as insufficiently ambitious.”) So far, he’s sitting at the grown-up table on national security, debt and pro-growth policies.

In fact, he’s at his best when he’s not pandering to the green-eyeshaders and instead standing up for a bold foreign policy . He told the Cato Institute crowd: “I’m not one who is going to stand before you and tell you we should cut the defense budget.”

The worst approach to bipartisan debt reduction efforts: holler at Republicans for refusing to raise taxes. Alan Simpson becomes unhinged, asking in reference to Grover Norquist. “What kind of a nut is this guy?”Actually Norquist sounds pretty sane: “I suppose that the former senator can have fun calling me names if he wants, but his argument is with the Republican caucus in the House and the Senate and with the majority of the American people, who see this as a spending problem. And the only way to solve the spending problem is to spend less.”

The best advice for Republicans on Medicare comes from Karl Rove: “Next year, Republicans must describe their Medicare reforms plainly, set the record straight vigorously when Democrats demagogue, and go on the attack. Congressional Republicans—especially in the House—need a political war college that schools incumbents and challengers in the best way to explain, defend and attack on the issue of Medicare reform. They have to become as comfortable talking about Medicare in the coming year as they did in talking about health-care reform last year. There needs to be preparation and self-education, followed by extensive town halls, outreach meetings, visits to senior citizen centers, and the use of every available communications tool to get the reform message across.”

Worst vote ever on a president’s budget? The Senate yesterday voted 97-0 against Obama’s plan. Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget got 40 votes, but the best showing was for Sen. Pat Toomey’s offering (42 votes).

By  |  07:45 AM ET, 05/26/2011

Categories:  Morning Bits

 
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