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Right Turn
Posted at 07:45 AM ET, 03/18/2012

Morning Bits

Sorry, but when former senator Arlen Specter makes you look unprincipled, there is a problem. “According to Specter, [Rick] Santorum was “vital” in his 2004 primary win against conservative Pat Toomey, tried to provide him with political advice ahead of a career-changing vote in 2009, and lobbied him to quell a conservative rebellion over judicial nominees.”

Sorry, but when your highlight reel is low on achievements, there is a problem. Peter Wehner on President Obama’s campaign film “The Road We’ve Traveled”: “I came away from watching this documentary thinking if this is the best they can do, the president’s opponent in the fall should be encouraged. The main emotion the producers of ‘The Road We’ve Traveled’ are hoping to tap into is pity. We’re told Obama inherited the worst economy since the Great Depression (Ronald Reagan actually inherited a sicker economy than Obama did) and took steps that prevented the ship from hitting the rocks. . . . What’s most striking, though, is how little Obama has to show for his efforts. The documentary focuses almost exclusively on inputs, not outputs; on legislation passed, not successes attained; on narrative, not empirical progress.”

Sorry, but when the administration is opposed to putting sanctions on perpetrators of human right abuses, there is a problem. At issue is the “Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act of 2011 — legislation meant to promote human rights in Russia that is named for the anti-corruption lawyer who died in a Russian prison, after allegedly being tortured, two years ago”: “Those who support repealing Jackson-Vanik without any replacement human-rights legislation include [Sen. Max] Baucus, the Obama administration, large sections of the business community, and the Russian government. Moscow has already praised and promoted the officials accused of torturing Magnitsky for their investigation into the case, and has now begun retrying Magnitsky for criminal tax violations — even though he is dead.” Good grief.

Sorry, but when the left obsesses on income inequality and the right on gay marriage (rather than habits of success including “self-discipline and restraint”), there is a problem. Yuval Levin’s compelling review of Charles Murray’s latest book: “It is clear that we are badly in need of such a renewal of our commitment to the American ethic, and it is clear that such a renewal must direct itself especially to addressing the collapse of the institutions of family, society, work, and culture among the poor, rather than to the second-order problem of inequality. It is fairly clear, too, just what problems it would need to address in that arena, and just how bad things are.”

Sorry, but if a presidential candidate can’t handle unedited questions from students, there is a problem. “John Hersey High School wanted Rick Santorum’s visit to be an open forum to discuss democracy rather than the campaign at hand, but many students walked away Friday feeling their questions weren’t answered . . . . Questions were screened by both school officials and Santorum’s advisers, said English department head Charles Venegoni. Ones that asked about social issues such as gay rights or religion were rejected.”

Sorry, but if Santorum’s supporter were counting on Newt Gingrich leaving the race to bolster their candidate, there is a problem. “Republican voters who prefer Newt Gingrich for the party’s 2012 presidential nomination are as likely to name Mitt Romney as their second choice as they are to name Rick Santorum, suggesting the race would not tilt in Santorum’s favor if Gingrich dropped out.” Kind of like what we’ve been saying, huh?

Sorry, but when “hope and change” become fear and loathing, there is a problem. “Barack Obama is now the candidate of fear. The press is so occupied by the Republican horserace that it has missed one of the biggest stories of the age: the Obama team’s adoption of tactics that the president would have ruled out as ‘politics as usual’ only four years ago. The shift is born of necessity. . . .Obama is trapped. He is a victim of his own failures as president and his decision to abandon the ground of American unity that was always the key to his appeal. Voters are more likely to support a candidate who offers positive change. They want to grasp a shred of hope.”

Sorry, but if you’re running to be president and can’t put together a team, there is a problem. “Early on, financial constraints meant Mr. Santorum’s effort to win the Republican presidential nomination would be built on a bare-bones staff. But even as fund-raising totals have grown, the operation lacks positions that other campaigns deem essential — a pollster and a debate coach, among them. The small staff has struggled with basic tasks, such as gathering enough signatures to place Mr. Santorum’s name on the Virginia ballot (they didn’t) or enough delegates to run on his behalf in Ohio and Illinois.”

Sorry, but if your fiscal record stinks and you’re the incumbent who asked to be judged on his economic performance, there is a problem. “Congressional Budget Office said Friday that President Barack Obama’s tax and spending policies will yield $6.4 trillion in deficits over the next decade, more than double the shortfall in CBO’s own fiscal baseline — even after taking credit for reduced war costs.”

By  |  07:45 AM ET, 03/18/2012

Categories:  Morning Bits

 
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