Article VI Blog

"Religion, Politics, the Presidency: Commentary by a Mormon, an Evangelical, and an Orthodox Christian"

United States Constitution — Article VI:

"No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States."

  • Prejudice and Romney’s Health Care Speech

    Posted by: John Schroeder at 08:40 pm, May 12th 2011     &mdash      6 Comments »

    Mitt Romney most decidedly does not have a health care problem – he has a problem of prejudice.

    Today he gave a speech on what he did as governor of Massachusetts and what he would do as POTUS.  The video is here.   It was a good speech, it looked the issues hard in the face and it dealt with them.  Romney did a fine job (his slides are here) of explaining what he did and how it contrasts with Obamacare.  But the reaction has been almost universal criticism – and virtually all of it fails to engage with Romney and what he said.  In other words, it is not criticism, it’s attack.

    The Wall Street Journal cast the die for this response even before the speech was given.  Rather than wait for the man to speak, and react to what he said, they simply savaged him.  Isn’t that “prejudice” down to its Latin roots, pre-judging?  The speech was followed by an equally savage, and even less substantive, reaction on the front page of National Review Online.  It should be noted that National Review officially endorsed Romney in the last primary cycle and Massachusetts health care was in place then.  Where was the invective at that time?  Some go so far as to declare Romney’s candidacy over before it has even begun.  Then of course there were the countless blog posts and reaction pieces, virtually all of which were savage, but without any response to what was actually said.

    Worse yet, they fail to address the “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” dilemma in which Romney finds himself.  Nothing short of complete repudiation of the Massachusetts health care system would have satisfied them, but of course, if Romney had done that they would have whipped out the old reliable “flip-flop” meme and the savaging would have continued apace.  As Romney himself said, if he repudiated what happened as so many want, he would have to lie.  Chris Cillizza seems to stand alone in getting this point.

    It is the non-substantive, uncritical, and prejudicial nature of the discussion that I find most disturbing.  I have said for a while now, that there are suspicions of Romney looking for a home – “flip-flop,” “Mormon,” whatever.  But if this reaction is any measure – it’s not suspicion, it’s animosity.  It is inviting to try and find the psychological roots of this animus.  Again religion comes to mind, or perhaps projection of anger at Obama, or maybe simply feeling betrayed that he was not able to close the deal last time?  Regardless, it would be pure speculation.  What is important is to examine the ramifications of this reaction to our party and its hopes for the White House in 2012.

    While not addressing in the least what Romney actually said, the attacks are highly ideological and completely ignore the political realities of Romney’s service as governor of an incredibly liberal state.  Health care was going to happen in Massachusetts from an overwhelmingly Democrat legislature.  He was confronted with a stark challenge – let such a legislature proceed while standing on ideological principle, in which case Massachusetts would have ended up with something much, much worse than what it has, or engage and try to keep things closer to within reason.  In fact, Romney chose to get out in front of the legislature, hoping to gain as much negotiating advantage as possible.  Much that was and is objectionable about the system was passed by overriding Romney’s veto, and much else that is bad has come to pass since he left office.

    To his credit Romney did not attempt to defend himself in this fashion, something that would have been a page right out of Obama’s “Blame Bush handbook.”  He stood up and took responsibility for what happened on his watch.

    And so we once again seem to be ready, in the name of ideology and “purity,” to eat our own.  We wonder why we lose when here it is staring us in the face.  The left puts charisma in front of substance and well, the current administration says it all.  We put ideology in front of political reality and we end up with John McCain or Bob Dole driving up the middle, which is what opens doors for the Dems and charisma.  Ideological purity is really nothing more than our version of the swoon that brought Obama to the fore.

    What we need is substance in the face of political reality – something it appeared to me that Romney is offering in spades.  What concerns me most is that if we continue down this path, us with our ideologues and they with their crooners, the country will end up in some sort of push me-pull you form of polar chaos.

    We are supposed to be the grown-ups in the room – sober and serious – actually doing the job instead of just looking good while we pretend to do the job.  Maybe once all this bile has been spilled we can get serious again, but then I am wandering into the psychology I want to avoid.  Who knows, if this day is any indication, maybe we deserve Donald Trump.

    Lowell adds . . .

    I will add only two comments to John’s excellent analysis. First, those who continue to claim that Romney’s Massachusetts healthcare plan is very similar to the Affordable Care Act (popularly known as Obamacare) need to read the slides and listen to Romney’s speech, and then stop lying about the matter. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, the Democratic National Committee Chair, said as much yesterday, and that story and her comments are all over the Internet. Just Google “Wasserman,” “Romney”, and “Massachusetts. That is clearly the message that Romney’s political enemies want to get out, whether its true or not.

    Second, Romney himself responded today to the Wall Street Journal’s editorial yesterday, savaging him. I must say, that was one of the nastiest editorials I have ever seen from the Journal, and as John notes, it was issued even before Romney spoke. Does the Journal editorial board have its mind made up already? Do they really want to help the Democrats dynamite the campaign of the GOP front-runner?

    Here’s Romney’s very measured response:

    I was not surprised to read yet another editorial in the Journal yesterday criticizing the health-care reforms we enacted in Massachusetts (“Obama’s Running Mate,” May 12). I was, however, not expecting the distortions of what we accomplished. Let me deal with some of them.

    One, the editorial asserts that people in Massachusetts who wouldn’t buy coverage, even though they could afford it, was not a major fiscal problem. But as a state we were spending almost $1 billion on free care for the uninsured. What we did was convert that money into premium support for those who needed help buying a policy, and require those uninsured who could afford to buy coverage to take personal responsibility for their own health care. Two, while it’s true that insurance premiums in Massachusetts are among the highest in the nation, that was also the case before reform. A truer statement would be that getting everyone insured is not by itself enough to bring down the costs of health care. And finally, it is simply wrong to say that state spending on health care in Massachusetts has skyrocketed. The cost of the health-care plan to the state budget is “relatively modest” and well within projections, according to the independent Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. They conclude that the new state spending on reform has amounted to less than 1% of the state budget each year.

    While I have had my disagreements with the Journal’s editorial board, where we find common ground is on the need to repeal ObamaCare and replace it with reforms that empower states to craft their own solutions. A one-size-fits-all plan that raises taxes and ignores the very real differences between states is the wrong course for our nation.

    Mitt Romney

    Belmont, Mass.

    Time will tell whether Romney’s courageous decision to stay the course will pay off. My guess is that it will, despite the cannibalistic tendencies of my fellow conservatives.

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    Mormonism as News Media Catnip, for Liberals and Conservatives Alike

    Posted by: Lowell Brown at 11:37 pm, May 11th 2011     &mdash      2 Comments »

    Well, maybe it’s not just Mormonism, but the Romney-Huntsman dynamic sure does seem like pure catnip for the liberal-leaning segment of the news media.  The New Republic provides the latest evidence of this, publishing “Generation Gap:  Jon Huntsman, Mitt Romney, and the two very different strains of Mormonism they represent.”  It’s a piece by Matthew Bowman, associate editor of Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought.

    For those unfamiliar with Mormon intellectual circles, Dialogue is published, for the most part, by religiously liberal (“progressive”) Mormons who, I’ll venture, are not very likely to be Republicans, let alone conservatives.  Regardless of political persuasion, Dialogue’s editors love trying to explain The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and its members to the rest of the world. The problem is that so many readers think Dialogue is an authoritative source of such information.  It’s not; it’s just one voice among many, and a liberal one at that.

    That is probably why we get pronouncements like this one from Bowman:

    While both [Romney and Huntsman] are the progeny of the same class of wealthy Mormon elite, Huntsman’s public life is born of a younger strain of Mormonism than is Mitt Romney’s—a Mormonism increasingly well-adapted to the boisterous diversity of early twenty-first century America, and, perhaps because of that, a Mormonism with which America is growing increasingly comfortable.

    That sounds plausible, until a knowledgeable reader comes across one of Bowman’s howlers, like describing the late Gordon B. Hinckley, until recently president of the Church, as “a charismatic public relations professional.”  What would we do without such explanations of our faith and culture?

    On the other end of the political spectrum, Doug Wead says “Mormons are big news now” and thinks an Evangelical-Mormon alliance could be afoot:

    The great Democrat alliances of the 1940s forced establishment Protestants to take in Irish and Italian Catholics, most of them immigrants. The differences were deep, with language and food as well as religion helping to create the wedge. But the alliance was made and the political maps were forever redrawn because if it.

    The Republican challenge is to unite the electoral rich South, with its evangelical base, with the West, where small but powerful Mormons are organized. On paper it should be an easy task. And if it is effectively concluded it will provide the base that the Republicans need.

    To win they must take Ohio or Missouri or Pennsylvania or other border states. But even then, they cannot afford to see Nevada or Arizona or another “Mormon” state slip away behind their back.

    Evangelicals and Mormons are learning to their dismay, that they cannot win without the other. They must do more than get along. They must work together or kiss their “traditional values” and their way of life good-bye.

    Well, maybe.  But maybe people just need to vote for a candidate based on what they think he will do in office, not what he believes about God.

    Amidst all this, Mike Otterson, the Church’s Head of Public Affairs, quite reasonably asks, “Is this really a ‘Mormon moment’?” He suggests that instead, there are simply a lot more Mormons in the world than there used to be, so people are hearing about us more often.  A very defensible proposition, if you ask me.

    Meanwhile, back to the New Republic.  Jonathan Chait thinks that because a single Mormon state legislator in South Carolina who supported Romney in 2008 is having second thoughts about supporting the Governor this time, something terribly significant is under way.  Really?

    To paraphrase Churchill, never have so many who know so little about something so important uttered so much drivel.  We will all see a lot more of this over the next year as the Republicans figure out who their nominee will be.  It’s going to be another interesting ride.

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    Romney, Speeches, Religion and Healthcare

    Posted by: John Schroeder at 06:38 am, May 11th 2011     &mdash      4 Comments »

    Mitt Romney seems to be the “Yes, but…” candidate once again.  In 2008 it was “Yes, but he is a Mormon.”  This cycle it is “Yes, but Massachusetts health care.”

    Please note, I refuse the term “Romneycare.”  I know the public does not want to get into the tall grass here, but the current state of the health care laws in Massachusetts bears almost no resemblance to what Mitt Romney tried to do, he really does not own the system, but he is stuck with it.  It should also be noted as preamble that in 2008 it was Massachusetts health care that kept me from joining the Romney bandwagon until the day before I cast my vote in the California primary.  As a recovering morbidly obese individual, the idea of having health care shoved down my throat is anathema – I chose to be fat as I now choose to be somewhere within reason; the last thing I want is a bunch of social engineering types telling me how to eat, exercise and generally live my life.

    So tomorrow, Romney is going to give a speech on health care.  Many are quick to point out:

    In 2008, Romney tried to allay voter concerns about his Mormon faith with a major policy speech on religion in America. The speech was good, but the problem he had then is likely to be the same one he will have now: Romney had to highlight a liability while his opponents could benefit by saying nothing at all.

    There is a heck of a point there.  It seems clear to me that there is, as I have said for a while now, simply “suspicions” about Romney and people keep looking for reasons to be suspicious – health care simply being the latest.  It is tempting to say the suspicion is rooted in his faith – especially when you see things like this:

    Jon Huntsman’s decision to visit a nondenominational church, rather than one of the six Mormon churches in the Charleston, S.C. area this weekend raised questions over whether Huntsman is distancing himself from his Mormon religion in order to avoid scrutiny, the St. Louis Tribune writes. But Rep. Jason Chaffetz, Huntsman’s former chief of staff, told the Tribune that Huntsman always “felt it imperative to reach out” to other faiths.

    But Huntsman’s approach also points out one of the major reasons I supported Romney in the end in 2008.  Largely ignored in the furor over tomorrow’s speech is the fact that in a few weeks, Romney will be appearing at Ralph Reed‘s “Faith and Freedom Conference.”  Note the contrast between Huntsman’s handling of the albatross he shares with Romney and Romney’s handling of his dual issues.  Huntsman fakes, doges, and evades – Romney is staring reality in the eye and trying to deal with circumstance.

    Romney’s political strategy here is risky.  In an age when sound bite and media image seem to matter most, when the current administration continually plays Baghdad Bob on a whole host of issues; tackling problems soberly and directly seems like precisely the wrong thing to do if you want to be elected POTUS.

    Yet in my opinion it is what the nation most needs.  Said Karl Rove on Hugh Hewitt yesterday:

    …these are ways that people begin to get a sense of who they are. If we take away information about where they are on the issue, we take away a sense of their priorities, and we take away something more intangible, which is our view of who they are, and what kind of a person they are, and whether or not we have confidence in what they’re saying and what they’re doing. Do they explain things in a way that causes us to say you know what, I now know you better, I have greater confidence that you’re going to be able to do what you say you want to do, and you and I think a lot alike, or at least you’ve made me think about things I haven’t thought before, and I realize I agree with you.

    I thought Mitt Romney did just that with the “Faith in America” speech and religion in December of 2007, but such did not seem to be the case as he did not win the primaries.  Only time will tell if he will be successful this time on this issue.  I would imagine that the idea is that by doing this so early he can build on the speech as a base rather than have it try to close the door on an issue as was the case in 2008 – and that is the what Rove seems to be saying is how these things should work.  We’ll see.

    One thing is certain, no one will be able to accuse Mitt Romney of dodging the issues.  Regardless of outcome he will be able to hold his head high having stared things straight in the face.  To this observer that’s pretty refreshing all by itself.

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    Yes, There Was A “Debate,” Lots of Punditry, and No We Still Do Not Really Know What’s Going To Happen Here

    Posted by: John Schroeder at 10:31 pm, May 8th 2011     &mdash      1 Comment »

    The “Debate”…

    Come on, with one major player (Pawlenty), one minor leaguer (Santorum) and the guys from the clown car, you expect us not to use quotes?  Leave it to the completely shunned Politico to bash Fox over the lack of participation.   Jim Geraghty compared the exercise to preseason football (I think he is being kind).  Pawlenty got all the press from the serious commentators – Contentions and RCP – and his friends were a bit too effusiveHugh Hewitt had the best summation of commentary on his blog, although my favorite commentary of them all was his on-air discussion with Guy Benson rating the moderators not the participants.

    Best analysis seems to be that Romney won by not showing.

    Frankly, a debate without the guy beating New Hampshire like a drum is a media circus and not seriously a part of the equation about who is going to get the GOP nod.  That said, things are definitely up-shifting when it comes to talk about the GOP primary season.

    Speaking of Romney…

    …When it comes to the debate, David Brody just gets snotty.  I have no idea where this attitude came from, but it is definitely unbecoming.

    The word “front-runner” keeps coming up about Romney, and it makes sense.  He even got some praise from some unusual corners.  But that also makes him a target.  Massachusetts health care is still the place where most people try to hit him.  One of the stranger episodes came from Jim DeMint.  This DeMint thing is only being trumpeted by the left and it seems obvious to me that there is more at play than what we see.  I tend to ignore stuff where the information void is obvious.

    But what is most interesting is the Mormon thing is now being used to bash the entire GOP:

    Romney should be the heir apparent.  He has all the right, and Right qualifications: He’s an articulate, smart businessman; he saved the Olympics from itself; he’s a former governor of a very Blue state; he has great hair, ala Reagan; he would appeal to middle-of-the-road voters, and even some Democrats; and he’s known as a doer.

    But, there’s always the big but, Romney is a Mormon, which seems to terrify fundamentalist Christians, He brought health care reform to Massachusetts, and he’s considered a moderate, all anathemas to the new Republican who hankers for “pure” politics.

    If this criticism is truly correct, and I do not think it is, we cannot win a general election – period.  What does concern me though is that the left and the MSM will try and establish this as THE narrative.  The are emphasizing it in more subtle ways as well as they did so blatantly above.  Consider this LATimes piece on Pawlenty:

    Pawlenty is also emphasizing his social conservative positions more than he did as governor of Minnesota and talking more about his Christian faith — a legitimate subject but also one that reminds evangelical voters that he’s not the Mormon in the race.

    For them, political conservatives are de facto bigoted.  That is a gross oversimplification.  Are there bigoted people among us?  Of course, and there are among liberals as well.  That’s not the point – such does not define our party.  We need to be working to nip this meme in the bud, not just for Romney but for the good of the party.  Karl Rove did the math and thinks things look good for the GOP, but that does not mean we are going to win without working at it.

    The usual blah…blah…blah does not help either.  Sometimes I wish reporters would figure out this whole internet thing and stop writing stories that have been written a few thousand times before.

    Tim Pawlenty…

    …may be the only other top-tier candidate besides Romney, but he just cannot get much coverage.  He is taking advantage of his proximity to Iowa, but not all the news from there is good.   He is playing to the Tea Party, which is not all bad, but I do think too close an association there will do more harm than good come the general.

    The Second Tier

    Mitch Daniels probably won the war for coverage in the last week -  he got a lot, most of it speculative.  He is asking some questions of the right people, and he has some support.  He is also drawing a bit of fire, which shows some are beginning to worry about him.  This is, however, all the clue I need.  He’s gonna flirt, but it’s not going to happen.

    Some people will be disappointed – “Mitch Daniels campaign only lacks candidate.”

    Mike Huckabee‘s supporters are drawing snide comments from Jim Geraghty.  That speaks volumes.  Funny how headlines are similar – “Mike Huckabee’s Ready-Made Campaign.”

    The old Huckster got in trouble with the ADL, and some tried to come to his aid.  The ADL tends to over-react, but I have got to tell you, Huckabee keeps putting his foot in his mouth – a fine trait in a media personality, but not so good for a president.  And despite the fact that some think he still might run, why is Fox cancelling Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum’s contracts, but not the Huckster’s?

    Rick Santorum did the 700 Club.  He walked down a very evangelical path while there.  I have resisted the temptation to get into the whole JFK speech debate.  There are a lot of smart people on both sides of it, smarter than me.  But that said, I am just not satisfied with what I am hearing on either side.  I may just have to put the effort in.

    Newt Gingrich appears to be for real.  But note, I am putting him on the second tier.  He has made too many gaffes already.  He is too smart to make such gaffes, unless he is not serious.  I just think he is getting in to bump his “Q.”  Not to mention, he’s a bit behind a lot of curves.

    And The Rest

    Jon Huntsman seems also to be for real.  But he is in many ways as wonkish as Daniels – and TALK ABOUT A DEATH HUG!  Despite some formidable skills and efforts to dig out from under the “death hug,” he is going to have to earn his way onto the second tier for me.

    The comparisons with Romney grow more tiring every day.  This lazy Ben Smith piece (he’s a younger, hipper Romney) is just beyond the pale.  There is nothing to connect Romney and Huntsman but religion which means religion is all the press sees when they see either of them.  Isn’t that a bit like looking at a black person and all you can see is the black?  Isn’t that the definition of prejudice?  The real game here is that Huntsman was a moderate governor of a very conservative state – Romney was a conservative governor of an extraordinarily liberal state.  One (Huntsman) would move the country left and the other would move it right, and we know that the press wants.

    Besides, Huntsman proves his complete lack of authenticity as a Mormon with this single headline:

    Huntsman dines with Huck

    Huckabee may have apologized to Romney, but he has never apologized to the LDS community generally for all the garbage and ugliness that floated across his website last cycle.  Nor did he seek to tamp down that anti-Mormon nastiness done by people operating in his name – his own daughter for example.  Until he does so, I am not sure many self-respecting Mormons would be able to choke down dinner under these circumstances.

    Michelle Bachmann has some appeal, but she is too easy a target.

    Rudy Giuliani?  He may float, but please – it’s a fund-raising stunt.

    Religion Reading

    Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong.  I have yet to meet the Mormon that thinks disagreeing with Mormon doctrine is “anti-Mormon.”  What is anti-Mormon is using that disagreement as a reason to disqualify someone from public service or other engagement in the public sphere.  It is also just rude to argue with Mormons about their beliefs at every turn – not to mention that such is indicative of having a problem with Mormons, despite protestation to the contrary.  Lots of people believe lots of wrong things, sometimes you need to leave them to it.  Besides

    A Question asked, and answered.

    World Magazine is pretty much in the dumper ’round these parts, but they got this one right.

    Religion and politics are closely related, yet distinct.

    Not a bad idea, provided it is not used to give cover to wrong-headed policy.

    Lowell adds . . .

    In Sunday’s Seattle Times we saw “Being Mormon: Does it matter in public eye?“  The news analysis item (published in the paper’s local news section) addresses the core issues we’ve been looking at for the past 5 years or so.  It all started with a local Seattle story, as the first two paragraphs make clear:

    Consider this: On the one hand, two names that keep coming up as serious candidates for the U.S. presidency are former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr., who last week created a federal political-action committee to raise money for a possible campaign. Both happen to be Mormon.

    On the other hand, many comments posted by readers in response to Seattle Times articles about new University of Washington President Michael Young — who is also Mormon — were so against that faith that a TV station and newspaper in Salt Lake City took note.

    It turns out that Mike Young, the former dean of the George Washington University School of Law and now a very successful president of the University of Utah, has been chosen to become the next President of the University of Washington. Other than that story, there isn’t much else that’s new in the Seattle Times piece. Still, it’s a good and worthwhile read.

    Meanwhile,  the other Seattle paper, the Post Intelligencer, is interested in The Question, but only in South Carolina.  In “Romney’s South Carolina hesitation,” we see the same elaborate denials from some that religion had anything to do with Romney’s poor 2008 results in that state.  My favorite is the guy who says health care was the real reason Romney faltered in South Carolina in 2008, which is interesting because Romney’s Massachusetts healthcare plan didn’t become an issue for conservatives until 2009 at the earliest.

    The beat goes on….

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    After The Superman Detour, Back To The Business At Hand

    Posted by: John Schroeder at 05:31 am, May 2nd 2011     &mdash      Comment on this post »

    There was a “forum” last Friday, and a debate coming up this week – and yet the MSM seems to think that nothing much is happening in the GOP POTUS race, and that we are facing some sort of candidate crisis.  Hugh Hewitt puts it all into perspective:

    The longer the GOP delays its intramural battle from becoming an MSM-conducted mud fight, the more attention will remain on the White House and the more the president will sink in the public’s eyes.  The president’s decision to respond to Trump with the release of the birth certificate this week is another example of the president’s tin ear, and left most non-birthers wondering, as Senator Jon Kyl and I discussed briefly on yesterday’s program, why did he wait so long? There was never any there there, but did the relentless political machine in Chicago see some advantage in priming the birther pump until it began to get into the water table?  Only a completely cynical operator would draw out that episode for years and then abruptly end it.  Birtherism was never going to spread very far even on the fringe, but the image of the president lecturing people on being serious when his fundamental fecklessness had allowed the absurd idea to fester won’t be forgotten soon.

    There’s a GOP debate scheduled next week.  The challenger, Pawlenty, will be there.  The front-runner, Romney, won’t.  Expect more positioning like this for the next few months, and with little impact on the race.  It isn’t a year for straw polls, but a year for good books by candidates –both Romney and Pawlenty have put them out– and for long form interviews that display command and competence, not come-backs and quips or narrow appeals to single digit constituencies.

    It is a very serious cycle because we are in serious trouble.  Merchants of political news and gossip love the Donald because he’s great copy, even as he F-bombs his way to single digits, but the other Republicans are very well advised to stay focused on the president’s many failures and especially on detailing the plans they would bring with them to 1600 Pennsylvania to turn things around.

    Things really are shaping up quite nicely, just not the way the media wants them.  Particularly when it comes to some of their darlings.

    Jon Huntsman…

    …Is coming home finally, and will meet with his supporters.  But will he run?  The Romney comparisons are just irritating, other than they establish Romney as the man to beat.  (BTW, IF Romney has a ‘death hug’ problem – what is this?)  These guys have little in common save their religion which is why Huntsman is a media darling to begin with – an excuse to discuss Mormonism for a press that is out of excuses.  This writer is not looking for him to get in.

    Mike Huckabee…

    …is running out of time.  And despite Lowell and others concerns, I just cannot believe he will get in.  He has said he has yet to make a decision, but he has also not denied that the South Carolina team was shown the door.  (Gee, Mike Huckabee speaks with forked tongue, there’s a shocker.)  The press that you are seeing on Huck keeping hope alive is, I believe, sourced by supporters trying to pressure him to get in – many of whom have not thought this thing through.  He just is not going to give up that sweet Fox gig.

    Mitch Daniels…

    …went a long way to repair the rift that has developed between himself and social conservatives, a very long way.  But despite the end to the Indiana legislative session, there will be no announcement in the immediate future.  Daniels is not much of a media darling, but he is a wonk-darling – and the Washington wonks often feed the media types.  Still don’t think he’ll run, his wife’s reluctance cannot be overlooked, and too readily discounted.  Please remember, I used to go to church with these people – she’s formidable.

    Donald Trump…

    …is out of gas except with those that want to make jokes and the lunatic fringe.  (Where’s my tin foil hat?)  The whole thing is drawing charges of racism.  It’s not racist to be stupid – it’s just stupid.

    Rick Santorum…

    …good Catholic, but he knows where his constituency is.

    Newt Gingrich…

    is still coming.  Will he abort at the last minute again?

    Tim Pawlenty…

    …just cannot seem to make any news, except in comparison to

    Mitt Romney…

    The Death Hug continues.  Personally, they are sawing this log so hard that they are going to inoculate Romney, not hurt him with it.

    Romney went to New Hampshire. The Sun came up this morning.  I cannot believe the NYTimes bothered.

    “The press never spins anything – it’s all about the facts,” he said sarcastically.  Consider what Jim Geraghty had to say about Romney’s video appearance at the NRA convention and the now solidly left-leaning Politico.  Were they in the same place?

    One good VP candidate out the door.

    OH please.  There is a reason only the left leaning outlets are carrying this story – it’s not a story.

    KSL-TV, who last week brought us the stupidest question in the history of The Question has once again taken a route so obvious that it challenges the word “journalism.”   In the meantime, the left is chewing on the Question, trying to find “legitimate” ways to bring it up, this time tying it into birtherism.  There’s a winning formula for you – connect The Question with nutcases.   Well, it is a winner for Romney.

    Religion News

    Prop 8 keeps moving through the courts, and they are splitting hairs a bit finely.  BTW, does not the fact that a gay man ruled on it prove there is no discrimination.  How many black judges ruled on the civil rights act of ’64 when it was new?

    Unhelpful and from my understanding not “Mormon.

    People have grown very confused.

    A view from England:

    In our tradition, and that of America, monarchy is not threatened by atheist secularism. It is threatened by serious Christian belief. Or, to be more precise, it is threatened by the fusion of Christianity and liberal idealism. This is what did for Charles I – and what lost us the 13 colonies.

    Good words to close on.

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