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Right Turn
Posted at 07:45 AM ET, 02/16/2012

Morning Bits

When Rick Santorum says he “doesn’t care” that his zeroed-out tax rate for manufacturing annoys the Wall Street Journal, shouldn’t fiscal conservatives get nervous?

Santorum says not to be nervous about his 18-point loss in 2006. “The biggest policy reason for Santorum’s loss was his outspoken support for the war in Iraq. By November 2006, the war was going badly and threatened to turn into a full-scale catastrophe. President Bush resisted calls to change course and had not yet settled on the troop surge that would ultimately rescue the situation from disaster.”

The rest of the House should be nervous. too. “Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Howard McKeon, respectively the chairs of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the House Armed Services Committee, jointly write that they are ‘deeply concerned’ over Obama’s ‘record low support for this vital defense cooperation program,’ which was first reported on by the Washington Free Beacon.”

Supporters of Israel and responsible journalism should be nervous. “Jodi Rudoren, the Times editor just chosen to replace Ethan Bronner in as Jerusalem bureau chief (Bronner’s four-year tour is up), finds herself in a pickle because of a series of tweets she issued yesterday. She shmoozed-up Ali Abunimah, a Palestinian activist who argues for Israel’s destruction; she also praised Peter Beinart’s upcoming book as, ‘terrific: provocative, readable, full of reporting and reflection.’ She also linked without comment to an article in a pro-Hezbollah Lebanese newspaper. All of this is fine, of course, if she wasn’t stepping into the most sensitive job in journalism.” Actually, it’s not fine. It shows a fundamental lack of understanding of the country to which she is assigned.

Libertarians are nervous. “If Santorum had a modicum of respect for libertarian philosophy, he would have been reluctant to embrace big government Republicanism during the Bush era. Instead, he cast votes that will make it harder for him to consolidate conservative support in the weeks and months ahead as his record undergoes more scrutiny. A libertarian streak would also make him a bit more skeptical about government’s ability to shape a more moral society. And by promising to lecture Americans on sex as a president, as the GOP nominee he’d ensure a Democratic rout in November.”

Not just Republicans should be nervous about Obama’s potential cuts. “House Republicans said Wednesday they are opposed to plans to cut the nation’s nuclear arsenal by as much as 80 percent, one of a number options the Obama administration is considering in a review of their nuclear arsenal. Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) said that he considered reducing the nuclear force by 80 percent ‘reckless lunacy.’”

Iowans should be nervous. Lots of people think caucuses should go to the dust bin of political history. “There’s got to be a better way to pick a presidential nominee. The high-stakes nature of each early caucus state—giving the initially declared winner momentum, media attention, and money—makes these apparently rampant bureaucratic errors unacceptable. In addition, the caucus system is fundamentally unrepresentative, disproportionately dominated by semiorganized bands of activists, and leads to low turnout.”

Santorum might get nervous that people will think he was the inconsistent conservative from a blue state. “Rick Santorum has criticized the Head Start program during this election cycle, calling it part of the Democrat’s agenda ‘to socialize your children with the thinking they want in those children’s minds.’ But in 2000, Santorum was boasting of his record of voting in favor of the nearly 20-year-old program in the face of an attack from his Democratic Senatorial opponent Ron Klink.”

By  |  07:45 AM ET, 02/16/2012

 
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