Social issues, starting with birth control, have been the overwhelming big story of February so far. The White House, as Greg mentioned earlier today, is ready to play, and I’ll start the good stuff with several relevant items:
1. Alec MacGillis notes how weak of a culture warrior Mitt Romney is apt to be.
2. Steve Benen reminds everyone that Romney briefly played that role before — and that he’s been on the warpath for a while now.
3. Colorado-based political scientist Seth Masket looks at how social conservatives supported Rick Santorum there.
4. And Sarah Kliff has more on why the White House wants a battle over contraception in particular.
5. Elsewhere, Adam Serwer has more on polling on drones.
6. Marcy Wheeler on just what those drones are doing.
7. Bringing the crazy to the New Hampshire legislature; Pat Garrofalo reports.
8. Michael Cohen: “What's happening in the NH legislature is a pretty good preview of what would happen if the Tea Party ran Washington.”
9. The diminishing threat of homegrown terrorism, from Kevin Drum.
10. “This is what foreign-policy success looks like.” Really good commentary from the Economist’s Democracy in America.
11. Steve Kornacki asks a good question: Assuming Romney now attacks Santorum, will party actors cheer him on as they did with the attacks on Newt Gingrich, will they stay silent, or will they push back and try to keep things positive?
12. House Republicans are trying to game the baseline. Tim Noah explains.
13. And I’m not an economist so my translation skills are rusty, but I think that Jared Bernstein is actually brutally accusing GOP economists of being cheap partisan hacks when he asks “What’s their counterfactual?”