Waiting for Romney to pounce on security leaks

Because there’s so much to say, and little time left to say it. Jed Babbin writes at American Spectator:

The focus of the leak problem should not only be the questions of who leaked the information and what role the president played in the disclosures. The focus has to be the assessment of how much damage — and what kinds of damage –the leaks did to our national security.

Babbin explains the circus of investigations and which inquiries would lead to x results. We don’t have time for the drawn out mess most would entail. But one thing remains certain: Mitt Romney can choose to make this a campaign issue–a central and necessary one at that–and hasn’t yet. Babbin:

It is up to Mitt Romney, as the leader of the Republican Party, to choose to make the Obama leaks a campaign issue.

So far, Romney has been silent on this and too many other issues. If he chooses to remain silent on the Obama leaks, he will surrender the issue leaving Obama to continue the leaking and gain whatever political advantage within reach. Instead, Romney could and should seize upon the issue. Romney should speak out quickly, joining in the bipartisan call for an investigation and asking the intelligence committees to hold the closed hearings to obtain the assessments of damage.

When — and if — the committees hold those hearings, Romney should use whatever they may disclose to make a major speech on the issue, calling the Obama administration to account for its actions against our nation’s security. It’s all up to Romney: he can be the leader of the Republican Party or sit silent, absorbing the damage to his campaign and ignoring the damage to our national security.

I’m waiting for the leader of the GOP to step up to the plate. Will he? Hell, even McCain is hopping mad over the leaks. Justifiably so.

UPDATE: Linked as a “Recommended Read” by Pundette. Thanks!

Surreal: WaPo could care less about any Obama BFF offer to pay for Reverend Wright’s silence, but oh my, that Romney is suspect because of a nineteenth century Mormon-militia massacre

Journalistic integrity on display.
Headline: Mitt Romney’s Mormon faith tangles with a quirk of history.

From the headline, I assumed a direct connection. How silly of me:

CARROLLTON, Ark. — On the wildflower-studded slopes of the Ozarks, where memories run long and family ties run thick, a little-known and long-ago chapter of history still simmers.

On Sept. 11, 1857, a wagon train from this part of Arkansas met with a gruesome fate in Utah, where most of the travelers were slaughtered by a Mormon militia in an episode known as the Mountain Meadows Massacre. Hundreds of the victims’ descendants still populate these hills and commemorate the killings, which they have come to call “the first 9/11.”

Many of the locals grew up hearing denunciations of Mormonism from the pulpit on Sundays, and tales of the massacre from older relatives who considered Mormons “evil.”

“There have been Fancher family reunions for 150 years, and the massacre comes up at every one of them,” said Scott Fancher, 58, who traces his lineage back to 26 members of the wagon train, which was known as the Fancher-Baker party. “The more whiskey we drunk, the more resentful we got.”

There aren’t many places in America more likely to be suspicious of Mormonism — and potentially more problematic for Mitt Romney, who is seeking to become the country’s first Mormon president. Not only do many here retain a personal antipathy toward the religion and its followers, but they also tend to be Christian evangelicals, many of whom view Mormonism as a cult.

Five paragraphs to tie Romney in as a cultist. The angst the WaPo staff feels on behalf of poor Mitt, who is obviously doomed because of his religion? But wait:

And yet, there is scant evidence that Romney’s religion is making much difference in how voters here are thinking about the presidential election and whether they are willing to back the former Massachusetts governor.

Dammit!

Mitt campaign seeks to avoid McCain blunders, runs risk of appearing lifeless instead

Reason to worry about Romney #9,361: if he thinks being not-McCain is enough to get elected, then doom will be his fate. From Politico, a lesson in what not to do:

Mitt Romney and his top aides are building a strategy, partly by design and partly because of circumstance, around what they consider John McCain’s disastrously run campaign in 2008.

The strategy: whatever McCain did, do the opposite?

Many of the current strategy discussions are centered on not falling into the traps McCain did: looking wobbly as a leader and weak on the economy in the final weeks of the campaign. The private discussions include ruling out any vice presidential possibilities who could be seen as even remotely risky or unprepared; wrapping the entire campaign around economic issues, knowing this topic alone will swing undecided voters in the final days; and, slowly but steadily, building up Romney as a safe and competent alternative to President Barack Obama.

Seriously? This is what we get. Avoid McCain’s mistakes. Granted, there were plenty. But that’s not what will inspire folks to vote for Romney. And make no mistake: the only reason some (myself included) were excited to vote was Sarah. It pains me to think Romney would choose a Portman over a Rubio to avoid looking risky when he desperately needs that injection of excitement.

Canaries and coal mines

So the French have no stomach for austerity measures. Do we? This would seem a good gauge: if we aren’t capable of cutting the truly unnecessary, then those who feel robbed of their free goodies will rise up a la Cloward-Piven to ensure future reward. Via Hot Air, a test of intestinal fortitude for the GOP:

Say — how’d you like to get a free cellphone?  No strings attached, no contracts, and no payments ever.  Don’t stop at one phone, either — get two, three, five, ten, twenty or more!  The cost is covered by people who are dumb enough to pay for their own cell phones … like you and me.  We’ve been doing it for a decade or more, and it’s now costing us over a billion dollars a year, as Rep. Tim Griffin (R-AR) argues as he fights to bring the program to a halt.

Griffin doesn’t plan on cutting the subsidized landline access–which doeshave safety implications–but cellular only. Even then, will the GOP survive the onslaught of taking-granny’s-phone-away media? Or are we finally able to stand up to false vilification?

Gender gap problem for the GOP? Maybe not.

Yesterday, An American Housewife send a mission “should we choose to accept it” to a few other ladies on Twitter. She pointed to this article from Chris Cillizza at the WaPo who gleefully notes the growing gender-gap doom for the GOP. He writes:

The number that really stands out is that among women between the ages of 18-29, Obama is beating Romney by 45 points.  Yes, 45. While Obama is leading Romney among all 18-29 years old by 28 points (61 percent to 33 percent), the fact he is down by such a vast margin among young women has to set off red flags in Republican world.

Ooooh. Those young hip and with its. At least they know what’s right.

According to the March Pew polling data, Romney narrowly edges Obama only among the over-65 ladies. Way to woo the grannies, Mitt.

I didn’t have much time to think about the data last night as we’re in another topsy-turvy crazy week. But the generational shift Cillizza pointed to does seem rather stark.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Behold, the news this morning seems much brighter. Poor Chris must’ve cried into his coffee. Ed Morrissey at Hot Air breaks down the internals from a new CBS/NYT poll where the data point in an entirely different direction:

One headline out of our poll is the shrinking gender gap. A month ago, President Obama had an 11-point lead over Mitt Romney among women voters. Today’s poll, taken after Hillary Rosen’s comments and the subsequent firestorm, puts the gap at six points.

But as everyone should know (and despite all we hear about the “female” vote), women aren’t some monolithic group. Our poll reveals sharp differences in opinion, for example, between married and single women.

Among MARRIED women, Romney leads Obama 49 to 42 percent. But among SINGLE women, Obama has a huge lead over Romney, 62 to 34 percent.

Those single Sandra Flukes like their pill covered dontcha know, and they don’t want to pay $9 a month at Target for it, either.

Should this be a surprise? Get married, have a kid or two, and suddenly your outlook changes. Drastically. You might care that those pills for single ladies now add to the mounting debt your children will have to somehow pay, and it doesn’t seems so fair after all, does it?

Morrissey breaks down the internals beautifully. The pollsters must be sweating bullets these days as they try to weight the data “fairly” to give their dude the appearance of not being as big a loser as he is. What a ride this will be over the next few months!

And we’re left with this

Jonah Goldberg arguing that Romney can attack Obamacare because he … can. Audacity of hope, y’all [emphasis my own]:

Core Republican voters will vote against Obama, not for Romney. Polls show GOPers are more enthusiastic about voting in 2012 than Democrats. Meanwhile, the independents and moderates who dislike Obamacare, but who are not libertarians, will most likely see Romneycare as evidence that Romney is not one of the right-wing crazies the Today show keeps warning them about.

It’s one thing to admit we’re screwed. But it’s entirely another to pretend that Romney’s albatross will attract votes because it isn’t conservatives we’re worried about. It’s that ever-elusive moderate middle. The one McCain was supposed to win.

Whatev.

H/t: HA headlines

Change I can believe in

Heh. Obama’s budget scares Democrats into rare moment of bipartisanship. I’ll take what I can get these days:

In a rare show of unanimous bipartisanship, House Democrats and Republicans united in their opposition to President Obama’s 2013 budget, which failed tonight with 414 votes against and zero in favor of the budget.

Such opposites as Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Rep. Michelle Bachmann joined each other in voting against the bill, but the White House preemptively dismissed the tally.

Of course the spin begins:

“But let’s be very clear: A vote on Congressman Mulvaney’s resolution is not a vote on the president’s budget,” said White House spokeswoman Amy Brundage in a statement today. “This is just a gimmick the Republicans are putting forward to distract from what the Ryan budget does: protects massive tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires while making the middle class and seniors pay.” Rep. Mick Mulvaney, R-S.C., introduced the president’s budget in order to draw a vote.

I’m not sure how you can spin zero votes in favor of Obama’s budgtet as a GOP gimmick, but such is life.

Bring on the rest of the change I can believe in this November, please!

Mitt discusses top reasons not to trust Mitt

Go figure. (And no, Mitt, I won’t.)

Video available at Hot Air, but Allahpundit spares you from having to watch:

Via RCP, the key bit comes at around 3:40. This is his whole strategy in a nutshell and I still can’t decide whether to admire him or loathe him for it. He doesn’t care if you trust him. He doesn’t care if his rallies leave you flat. He doesn’t care if pulling the lever for him reduces you to dry heaves in the voting booth. He cares about two things: 1,144 and 270, and he’s likely to achieve at least the first thanks to hard work, careful planning, and the great good luck of having extraordinarily weak competition. Those qualities — high energy, fortitude, diligence, not needing to be liked — could be huge assets in a president if he applied them to enacting a worthy policy agenda, starting with entitlement reform. But I don’t think he’d use them to policy ends; he’d use them to position himself for re-election by pandering to centrists, which means no meaningful entitlement reform or anything else. He’s telling you right here why he’d be such a risk in office to the right. When push comes to shove, you’ll always hold your nose and vote against the Democrat, no matter how annoyed at him you might be. And he knows it — and he doesn’t care. He doesn’t need his base to like him. That’s a recipe for squishiness.

Unbelievable. I still can’t fathom pulling the lever for the man. I think I’d still show up at the polls to vote in down-ticket races (or, I guess on my absentee ballot since we’re moving). But vote for Romney? Why? He’s indistinguishable from Obama on the issues that, quite frankly, matter the most. I don’t believe he will lead the charge to eliminate Obamacare. He won’t have HHS reverse mandates. He won’t do any of it because he designed it all in Massachusetts. Add to that Romney’s core belief in the social net, and as Allah points out, we won’t have any meaningful entitlement reform. We’ll end up with amnesty. And we’ll damage the idea of conservatism byond the pale. If we ended up with Obama after 8 years of W and big-government Republicans, what would we end up with after a term of Romney, eh? Stalin himself?

Lather, rinse, repeat: Again, why would we nominate this pogue?

That would be Romney. The one who publicly encouraged Obama to pursue the individual mandate. Erick Erickson at Red State writes:

Had Michigan not been as close, the Democrats would have waited to spring this on us in the general election.  Luckily we have it now and I hope Ohio voters are paying attention.

In July 2009, Mitt Romney wrote an op-ed in USA Today urging Barack Obama to usean individual mandate at the national level to control healthcare costs.

On the campaign trail now, Mitt Romney says the individual mandate is appropriate for Massachusetts, but not the nation.  Repeatedly in debates, Romney has said he opposes a national individual mandate.

But back in 2009, as Barack Obama was formulating his healthcare vision for the country, Mitt Romney encouraged him publicly to use an individual mandate.  In his op-ed, Governor Romney suggested that the federal government learn from Massachusetts how to make healthcare available for all.  One of those things was “Using tax penalties, as we did, or tax credits, as others have proposed, encourages “free riders” to take responsibility for themselves rather than pass their medical costs on to others.”

Friends, if Mitt Romney is the nominee, we will be unable to fight Obama on an issue that 60% of Americans agree with us on.

There’s nothing to add. Nominating Romney takes Obamacare off the table. There’s nothing to debate, y’all, because Romney was the one who paved the way. Romney already lied–yes, that’s right, flat-out lied–about forcing Catholic hospitals to provide emergency contraception in Massachusetts.  But hey, he’s most electable. Somehow.

On another note, why has this op-ed remained buried? Allahpundit explains all:

A not-so-oldie but goodie recovered from the Internet memory hole by Andrew Kaczynski. Why are you just (re-)learning of this now instead of having been reminded of it by Gingrich and Santorum daily for the past six months? Well, (a) the original op-ed has oddly disappeared from the archives at USA Today (the link above goes to a Romney fan site), (b) Gingrich and Santorum run barebones campaigns which can’t afford robust oppo teams, and (c) I think most people are so thoroughly confused by Romney’s position on federal and state health care that they’re not sure what’s a gotcha anymore and what isn’t.

Unreal, y’all.

Romney to NARAL in 2002: GOP “not doing themselves a favor by being so vehemently anti-choice”

What a surprise, right? The Washington Post endears Romney to the so-called liberal Republicans:

Mitt Romney was firm and direct with the abortion rights advocates sitting in his office nine years ago, assuring the group that if elected Massachusetts governor, he would protect the state’s abortion laws.

Then, as the meeting drew to a close, the businessman offered an intriguing suggestion — that he would rise to national prominence in the Republican Party as a victor in a liberal state and could use his influence to soften the GOP’s hard-line opposition to abortion…

“You need someone like me in Washington,” several participants recalled Romney saying that day in September 2002, an apparent reference to his future ambitions…

Melissa Kogut, the NARAL group’s executive director in 2002, recalled Wednesday that as she and other participants in the meeting began to pack their belongings to leave after the 45-minute session, Romney became “emphatic that the Republican Party was not doing themselves a service by being so vehemently anti-choice.”

The abortion rights supporters came away from the meeting pleasantly surprised. Romney declined to label himself “pro-choice” but said he eschewed all labels, including “pro-life.” He told the group that he would “protect and preserve a woman’s right to choose under Massachusetts law” and that he thought any move to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade decision would be a “serious mistake for our country.”

With friends like NARAL, Romney doesn’t need enemies. How enlightening that would be in a debate with Obama, no? They could parrot each other. Keep it, um, safe, legal, and … yeah. Kill more babies! How depressing that a Republican nominee could be as dangerous to life as the Democrat. Look how far we’ve come! More from the WaPo:

Now, as they [his liberal BFFs] watch Romney’s ascent from his old stomping grounds in Boston, many of the liberals he encountered wonder whether his transformation has been sincere or a matter of sheer politics. Not only did he espouse more liberal views at the time, but Romney presented himself as a change agent who could soften the GOP’s rough ideological edges.

One of the liberal fans–a Democrat for Romney, if you will–believes it’s a matter of saying whatever needs to be said to win the nomination. What a surprise, eh? Via Smitty at The Other McCain, here’s damning praise if I’ve ever seen it:

One of Mitt Romney’s oldest Democratic supporters says the Republican presidential contender is a “warm” and “decent” person who is only masquerading as a die-hard conservative to win the Republican nomination.
“Obviously the positions that Mitt’s taking now are different than the positions he did when he ran for and served as Governor of Massachusetts,” Rocky Anderson, the former mayor of Salt Lake City, told HuffPost. “His handlers got to him and said, ‘This is what you need to do.’ And that’s what he’s doing to get elected.”

Smitty argues:

BHO has pretty well destroyed any need for consistency from politicians, so maybe being on all sides of every major issue is a boon to Mitt.

No. Maybe liberals could care less if Obama has no–or successfully hid his–core convictions. But for those of us who think conviction matters (how antiquated), voting for Mitt is as much of an impossibility as voting for Obama.

H/t: Hot Air headlines

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