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Right Turn
Posted at 07:45 AM ET, 12/07/2011

Morning Bits

All the talk about democracy promotion hasn’t amounted to much. “Pick a country, any country, touched by the Arab Spring, and chances are that Western technology has been used there to suppress pro-democracy movements. Even though this directly undermines U.S. efforts to promote democracy and Internet freedom in the Middle East and elsewhere, President Barack Obama’s administration has remained oddly silent about it. If the White House won’t act, it’s time for Congress to pick up the slack.”

All the talk about a two-man Newt Gingrich vs. Mitt Romney race may be premature. Watch out for Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tex.) in Iowa: “ If Paul wins Iowa, the upset could upend what many politicos say is a two-man race between Gingrich and Romney. According to state GOP insiders, a Paul victory is a real possibility. In background conversations, many say Paul is much stronger than outside observers believe, with deep and wide support among a frustrated electorate. With Herman Cain’s departure from the race, operatives see Paul potentially collecting a quarter of caucus attendees.” Then the GOP base will be looking for a not-Romney, not-Paul, not-Gingrich Republican.

All the talk about “hope and change” is but a distant memory. Allahpundit on Obama’s Kansas speech: “How many presidential incarnations has this guy been through in four years? When he first started campaigning, he was pushing Lincoln comparisons and citing Reagan as the model of a paradigm-shifting leader. Then Ted and Caroline Kennedy endorsed him and suddenly he was the new JFK. Then he was sworn in as the new FDR whose can-do ideas about government intervention and stimulus would dig us out of the recessionary hole. A year later he got ObamaCare passed, making him the heir to LBJ’s Great Society legacy. As the economy floundered, his team pointed to Reagan’s 1983 turnaround as their electoral model; Recovery Summer came and went and the economy kept floundering, so they turned to Truman for inspiration on how to scapegoat a ‘do-nothing Congress.’ As of today he’s a Teddy Roosevelt progressive, ready to slay the dragons of plutocracy with the sword of government. And on top of all of this, of course, the Carter comparisons are evergreen.” (Funny how he and Gingrich share a love of TR.)

All the talk about “outsiders” and a Tea Party candidate and look what kind of character the GOP is considering for president: “There are some preliminary reports about Bill Clinton’s purported $50,000-a-month retainer — paid out to Teneo, a firm where he is chairman of the board — from his friend Jon Corzine’s now broke MF Global. It reminds of Newt Gingrich’s getting $30,000 a month for his work as a ‘historian’ for Freddie Mac up until the eve of its crack-up. One comes away with a sort of despair that our most prominent politicians, who have already done quite well in private and public life, still cannot refrain from cashing in on their contacts for even more cash.”

All that talk about no new taxes? Well, fuggedaboutit. “In New York, Andrew Cuomo announced yesterday that he’s agreed with legislative leaders to rewrite the state’s tax code to create four new tax brackets and rates. Mr. Cuomo is pitching this as ‘tax reform,’ but that’s a ruse to disguise the fact that he’s repudiating his 2010 campaign pledge not to raise taxes on anyone while letting a previous income-tax surcharge expire on schedule at the end of this month.”

All the talk about the “New Newt” is silly. He’s the same self-indulgent guy he always been. “Even as he surges ahead in the polls, Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich is struggling to get out from under a mountain of debt from luxury jets and other pricey expenses racked up in the early weeks of his campaign.” Good thing running a presidential campaign and being president don’t require self-discipline. Oh, wait.

In all the talk about Gingrich no one has summed it up like Mark Steyn. “We’d wind up with a cross between Teddy Roosevelt and Alvin Tofler who canoodled on the sofa with Nancy Pelosi demanding Big Government climate-change conventional-wisdom punitive liberalism just as the rest of the planet was finally getting off the bandwagon … but the media would still insist on dusting off their 1994 ‘The Gingrich Who Stole Christmas’ graphics.”

All the talk about finding a not-Romney must have been just talk. The Boston Globe even has a list. “Among the latest twists in the Republican presidential campaign is this: Mitt Romney, long accused by foes of flip-flopping on issues, is now being given a run for his money by another candidate who shares the same liability: Newt Gingrich. For years, Gingrich supported the idea that citizens could be required by mandate to buy health insurance, like in the health care overhauls initiated by Romney while he was governor of Massachusetts in 2006 and on the national level by President Obama last year. Now, Gingrich opposes such an idea.”

By  |  07:45 AM ET, 12/07/2011

Categories:  Morning Bits

 
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