In the early 16th century, Hernan Cortes and his army of conquistadors were prepping themselves to invade, and ultimately conquer the Aztec empire. As the soldiers prepared for battle, their ships sat anchored off the coast of what is now Veracruz, in plain sight of his anxious troops.
If all else failed, they thought, they could make a quick getaway to the ships and sail to safety. Cortes realized that some in his crew where getting uneasy, and ordered that the ships be scuttled. Knowing that they would be faced with only two options—fight to survive, or die.
On Thursday, Chief Justice John Roberts sided with the majority opinion to uphold Obamacare, writing that the individual mandate is equivalent to a tax, and therefore, constitutional.
For months prior to the ruling, as Mitt Romney made his way through the GOP primaries, the debate over both Obamacare and Romneycare loomed as a political sticking point for his campaign (and for the Obama campaign as well).
As the case against the law made its way through the federal courts, speculation built that it would head to the supremes and the belief that the court would strike down the individual mandate, and thus, the entire mess of it, grew stronger.
Personally, I felt that if the court struck down the law, it wouldn’t be the dominant issue that Romney had to deal with during the campaign. I’m sure this suited most conservative s and Republicans just fine.
I didn’t see how Romney could honestly make a case against Obamacare after his Romneycare experiment in Massachusetts. Making this argument eventually would end up doing more harm than good for Romney.
But John Roberts scuttled our ship. With the stroke of a pen, the lines in our political battle were redrawn.
The campaign is now about (or should be about) those who want to repeal Obamacare in its entirety, and those who want to embrace and keep this monstrosity of a law, along with its onerous regulations, bureaucracy and a price tag of over $1 trillion.
This makes things interesting for Democrats this election season. Democrats now have to make the case for defending Obamacare and embrace this law during their town halls and campaign stops this summer and fall. All this with high unemployment, an anemic economy and a toxic President. Good luck with that, Democrats.
If this is going to be an honest debate, I encourage the Democrats defend all aspects of the law. But of course, they’d rather talk about the long list of Obamacare ‘benefits’, and not about the reality of its costs. And certainly not the fact that Obamacare is about more government control and numerous new taxes, taxes that eventually will be paid for by the majority of taxpaying Americans, which is to say, the middle class. In fact, despite the court’s ruling, the White House is already trying to twist the truth.
As for Republicans and conservatives, I agree with Paul Ryan. This is our last chance. Democrats have their hands full, but as a party the GOP have to have the right conditions–the White House, a majority in the Senate, and build on gains in the House. On top of that, the Republicans need leadership with intestinal fortitude to make the right decisions when all of that is obtained. Remember, repealing Obamacare was a priority of the 2010 campaign also.
Repealing Obamacare means catching lightning in a bottle and it needs to happen within the next year. If all the conditions are met, there should be no reason why it can’t happen over the next twelve months. I for one, don’t trust politicians enough to play a waiting game. The repeal process is like cement, the longer we wait, the harder it is to remove. Just like the conquistadors, there is no turning back. The America we know is at stake.
Businessman Herman Cain won the Florida straw poll Saturday, beating Texas Gov. Rick Perry, the GOP presidential frontrunner who just two days earlier delivered a debate performance that was widely panned.
Cain finished with 37 percent of the vote, while Perry trailed with 15 percent. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney followed with 14 percent while former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum drew 11 percent. U.S. Rep. Ron Paul finished with 10.5 percent, while former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman finished with 2 percent.
Congratulations to Herman Cain, and to Jon Huntsman who came in with 2%–which is 1 point higher than Michelle Bachmann, whose campaign is all but finished at this point.
All joking aside, it ‘s an impressive result for Cain, but we can’t make much of it until further polling data confirms Cain’s actual standing among the candidates. I’m curious to see how the next few weeks pan out, but it seems as if Republican voters are sick and tired of the Romney vs. Perry bitch-fest. Romney is a non-starter for so many grassroots conservatives, and Perry’s star seems to flame out the more they learn about him. Nobody really knows at this point.
My guess is that voters are still not impressed with the current batch of contenders. No candidate is ever without flaws, but I’m getting the feeling that voters seem to think that these individual flaws are not mitigated by big enough plusses.
Nevertheless, a big congratulations is in order for Herman Cain–excellent work in making this silly season especially more entertaining.
Meanwhile, you know who this really helps? Stacy McCain. He hasn’t been on the Cain bandwagon—he’s been the coach driver.
Employment increased by 38,000 last month, the smallest increase since September, from a revised 177,000 in April, according to figures from ADP Employer Services. The median estimate in the Bloomberg News survey called for a 175,000 advance for May.
Such gains in employment are insufficient to help the world’s largest economy accelerate after a surge in food and fuel costs earlier this year. Businesses added 207,000 jobs last month after a 268,000 gain in April and the jobless rate dipped to 8.9 percent from 9 percent, economists project a Labor Department report to show in two days.
“It is a warning shot across the bow that job growth is also weakening along with the other high frequency numbers,” Eric Green, chief market economist at TD Securities Inc. in New York, said in an e-mailed note to clients. “The weakness reflects a general slowdown and turn in sentiment that set in with the sharp rise in energy prices, disruptions from Japan, and to a lesser extent risk aversion stemming from the Greek fiasco.”
It’s almost as if the Obama administration has no clue how to deal with the economy or something.
In other news, Republican presidential hopefuls Tim Pawlenty and Mitt Romney are
wasting time dueling over ethanol subsidies in Iowa.
In case you missed it, the WSJ ran a scathing op-ed on Romney’s primary failing as a candidate for the GOP nomination–Romneycare.
Here’s the gist:
For a potential President whose core argument is that he knows how to revive free market economic growth, this amounts to a fatal flaw. Presidents lead by offering a vision for the country rooted in certain principles, not by promising a technocracy that runs on “data.” Mr. Romney’s highest principle seems to be faith in his own expertise.
More immediately for his Republican candidacy, the debate over ObamaCare and the larger entitlement state may be the central question of the 2012 election. On that question, Mr. Romney is compromised and not credible.
Read the whole thing, it really is a telling piece.
Meanwhile, he has punched back at the Journal.
Mitt Romneyis warming up for 2012 by appearing in New Hampshire and tearing into the President. It’s the standard fare for the pre-pre-primary fireworks, but I thought this bit was interesting:
And now, with the entire Middle East in turmoil, [Obama] and his administration were caught off guard. The President and his team look like deer in the headlights. Instead of leading the world, the President has been tiptoeing behind the Europeans. Newsweek magazine this week said that he hasn’t just lost his foreign policy map for the Middle East–he doesn’t even have one. This is the first time in a quarter of a century that America has had no discernible foreign policy. Not since the days of Jimmy Carter have we had such a foreign policy vacuum in Washington. And it could not have come at a worse time.”
Over the past two years, it’s been made clear that the President and his administration don’t believe in American exceptionalism. The benefits or faults of that posture can still be debated, but what Romney spoke of is what not being exceptional looks like. With that mindset, there is no impetus to really lead. This shouldn’t come as a surprise.
New Hampshire Republicans love them some Mitt Romney:
Former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney holds a commanding lead in New Hampshire in the early stages of the race for the 2012 Republican Presidential nomination, according to a new survey commissioned by NH Journal and conducted by Magellan Strategies. The survey is the first statewide survey of Granite State Republicans and Republican-leaning independents in 2011.
Romney leads former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin by 23 points, with Romney earning 39% and Palin earning 16%. Mike Huckabee (10%), Newt Gingrich (8%), Texas Congressman Ron Paul (7%), former MN Gov. Tim Pawlenty (4%), Rick Santorum (3%) and MS Gov. Haley Barbour (1%) all trail significantly behind. Romney finished second to Sen. John McCain in the 2008 New Hampshire Republican Presidential primary.
In a memo released about the survey, Magellan pollster David Flaherty stated, “This survey is a very early measurement of the potential 2012 Republican Presidential primary field. Mitt Romney’s strength is not surprising considering his close second place finish to John McCain in 2008 and his regional advantage of being a former border state Governor.
It’s January 2011, and polling this far out is a bit of a stretch (just ask President Edwards). And as the pollster alludes to, this poll says more about Romney than it does Sarah Palin. But soon it will be less than a year until the primaries, and the clock really starts ticking.
That being said, it does show that Palin has a long, tough road ahead of her.
[Hat Tip: Hot Air]
Tom Jensen at PPP sizes up the Republican field 22 months out and comes to this conclusion:
My main thought on the Republican Presidential field as 2011 begins is that the party needs someone outside the current top 4 of Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, Sarah Palin, and Newt Gingrich to come out of the pack and win the nomination.
Huckabee’s the only one of the top Republicans who has the combination of electability and base appeal it’s going to take to beat Barack Obama. Romney has the electability but not the base appeal, Palin has the base appeal but not the electability, and Gingrich sort of falls in the middle on both counts. A lot will change over the course of 2011 but at least based on the information we have so far Huckabee looks like the GOP’s best bet.
Take the pollsters with a grain of salt, of course. But nevertheless, it’s distressing to see this final four as the GOP nominee. No candidate will have the perfect conservative cred, plus the electability. I understand that.
But half of the contenders right now are–Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney. Wrap your brain around that for a second.
The Tea Party may have dragged the GOP to electoral victory in Congress this past November, and may very well do so again between now and 2012. But the White House? I’m not too sure. Distressing, indeed.
[Hat Tip: Memeorandum]
We’re still too far out from 2012 to put credence into any poll, but this McClatchy-Marist survey is not good for Obama. It’s so bad in fact, that Mitt Romney would win in a potential matchup:
President Barack Obama’s approval ratings have sunk to the lowest level of his presidency, so low that he’d lose the White House to Republican Mitt Romney if the election were held today, according to a new McClatchy-Marist poll.
The biggest reason for Obama’s fall: a sharp drop in approval among Democrats and liberals, apparently unhappy with his moves toward the center since he led the party to landslide losses in November’s midterm elections. At the same time, he’s gained nothing among independents.
“He’s having the worst of both worlds right now,” said Lee Miringoff, the director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion at Marist College in New York, which conducted the national survey.
“As he moves to the center, he’s not picking up support among independents and he’s having some fall-off among his base. If his strategy is to gain independents and keep the Democrats in tow, it isn’t working so far.”
Once again, Republicans have a chance to win by default. Not because their candidate is so much better, but because the Democrat just sucks that much more.
Plus, there’s this bit:
[President Obama] easily defeat Republican former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, however. He’d get 52 percent of registered voters and she’d get 40 percent, if the election were held today.
The key in each matchup is independents.
Romney had the best advantage over the president among independents, preferred by 47-39 percent. Independents break for Obama over Huckabee by 42-40 percent. Palin fares much worse among independents. They favor the president over her by 52-35 percent.
For the record, I’m of the belief that the President is doing irreperable harm by
punching the hippies sticking it to his core base of supporters–the progressive/liberal left that mobilized en masse during the 2007-2008, along with various others who were duped by the Greek columns.
That being said, pissing off these people means that Obama is moving towards the center, which is more in tune to where the majority of Americans stand. Nobody really knows how that will affect his bid for reelection.
As for Sarah Palin, I’m pretty much convinced that the best role for her would be as head of the RNC. My
web surfing casual observance of various polls over the past few months show little if any positive news for her if she ran in a national campaign. Her favorables are typically below where they should be, and she rarely fares well in head-to-head matchups with the President. But again, 2012 is a long way off.
The poll shows that the 2012 contest is going to begin right where the 2008 Iowa Caucuses left off, with Mike Huckabee leading Mitt Romney. Huckabee comes out on top of the poll garnering 22 percent, Romney finishes second with 18 percent, and Newt Gingrich finishes surprisingly well with 14 percent in third place. Sarah Palin finishes a disappointing fourth with 11 percent. Texas Congressman Ron Paul garnered 5 percent, while Pawlenty, and South Dakota Senator John Thune each received 1 percent.
Yes it’s still very early. But I have no faith in any of these candidates–not Palin, not Romney, certainly not Huckabee–to be able to win a national election against Barack Obama.
Despite Republican momentum in 2010, which was to be expected, 2012 is light-years away politically speaking. The grassroots activism is certainly a plus, but the RNC is still a rotten apple. It’s virtually a headless operation (thank you Chairman Steele).
And as if things weren’t murky enough, this also stuck out from the Iowa Republican piece:
If there is a surprise in the poll, it’s the strength of Newt Gingrich. Gingrich has been a frequent visitor to Iowa over the past decade. He has headlined events for the Republican Party of Iowa, various political candidates, and held activist workshops across the state. His affection for and understanding of Iowa will definitely be an asset should he seek the Republican nomination.
There’s no doubt in my mind that Gingrich is running. But we have been warned. Gingrich winning the nomination would be a disaster for the Republican party and would ensure four more years of an Obama presidency.
The road to the White House is a bit problematic for the creator of Masscare:
How do you run as the candidate of the party of repeal, when what you want to repeal is a federal version of your own signature initiative? Masscare may be to Romney in 2012 what abortion was in 2008—an issue where a critical mass of conservatives don’t quite buy his explanations [...]
The best thing for Romney to say, I think, is that he flat-out made a mistake, that he tried an idea that ran off the rails. It would also have the advantage of being true. But he can’t bring himself to go there yet.
Lowry makes a fair point. But Obamacare is likely to grow into a bigger hot button issue than it already is. If that’s the case, I find it hard to see a situation where Romney can dodge this monster of his own creation, no matter how quickly he rips the band-aid off. Methinks healthcare touches such a nerve with the Republican base that they won’t be willing to let him live it down.