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Right Turn
Posted at 07:45 AM ET, 11/22/2011

Morning Bits

Nothing new. Jonathan Martin reports on Newt Gingrich in New Hampshire: “If anybody arrived here looking for a new Newt Gingrich, they quickly discovered that the latest incarnation is a lot like the old one: casually combative, discursive, and, as ever, boiling-over with opinion.”

Nothing should surprise you about him. “The former Speaker of the House labeled the Congressional Budget Office a ‘reactionary socialist institution’ during a speech on Social Security reform in New Hampshire on Monday.” And people still argue with a straight face that he can attract independent voters.

Nothing is impossible in this race. “If there is any sign of hope for Gov. Rick Perry’s campaign for the GOP presidential nomination in this critical state, it is something Perry himself knows all too well: Nobody has stayed the front-runner for very long. . . . With six weeks to go until the Iowa caucuses on Jan. 3, many Republican voters remain persuadable. And that gives Perry a slight opening to make a comeback.”

Nothing suggests President Obama will lift a finger to protect national security spending. “Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said the U.S. will cut $1.2 trillion from the budget over 10 years even after the failure of the 12-member supercommittee to reach accord on a bipartisan plan. . . . ‘The good news is that even without an agreement, $1.2 trillion will still be cut from the deficit,’ the Kentucky senator said in a statement. ‘Now it falls on the president to ensure that the defense cuts he insisted upon do not undermine national security, as Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has warned.’ ”

Nothing like the media in defense of a narrative. “If you want to see a revealing look at the emotional, and not simply political, investment liberals have in the Occupy Wall Street Movement, watch Mika Brzezinski and Jeffrey Sachs respond to Newt Gingrich’s comments over the weekend that the protesters should get a job and take a bath. Their rage is uncontained, almost tear-inducing, and comical. The whole crew and conversation, with one liberal egging on the other, is a fantastic window into the dominant mindset of modern-day liberal journalists.”

Nothing is more baffling than conservatives’ fixation on the “47 percent of all tax filers have no income-tax liability.” Ramesh Ponnuru explains why conservatives should stop fretting about those who don’t pay income tax. “To seek to raise taxes on poor and middle-class people would be a terrible mistake. The idea is bound to be unpopular. And it would alter the character of conservatism for the worse. A desire to cut taxes for people at all income levels, and to oppose tax increases at all income levels, was key to associating conservatism with the diffusion of opportunity in the Reagan years and after. Changed circumstances may demand a different approach than that of three decades ago. They do not compel conservatism to become a creed openly focused on helping one group at the expense of another, a kind of mirror image of egalitarian liberalism. There are many things to worry about in this world. The number of people paying income tax isn’t one of them.” Read the whole thing.

Nothing will persuade some hardcore conservatives that this is true. “Republicans might not particularly like Mitt Romney, but they may have to learn to live with him if they want to take the White House next year. So suggests a poll released today by Purple Strategies, which surveys voters in 12 swing states: Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin. . . . Mr. Romney has the lowest negatives of the field, with 45% of voters giving him the thumbs down. Those numbers aren’t great, but compare them to Herman Cain’s. Fifty-two percent rate Herman Cain negatively and 22% say they definitely wouldn’t vote for him. Just 10% say the same of Mitt Romney. Mr. Romney also fares the best of all the candidates in a head-to-head match-up against the president, running even with him at 45.”

Nothing screams “not ready for primetime” more than being carved up by a late night comedian. “Herman Cain should have been more afraid to sit with David Letterman on Friday than he was to submit to a recorded session with the editorial board of the New Hampshire Union Leader. While the former pizza chief was bound to face some tough questions from the editorial board, the late-night comic proved a tough and skeptical interviewer. It was death by a thousand laughs.”

By  |  07:45 AM ET, 11/22/2011

Categories:  Morning Bits

 
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