Today on The Corner, Ramesh Ponnuru writes about the move by Republicans in the House and Senate to restore religious liberties abrogated recently by the Obama Administration, which
has decided to require religious institutions that offer insurance to cover contraception, sterilization, and abortifacients, whether or not they object to covering them. Churches would be exempt but not, for example, Catholic universities or hospitals.
My Twitter feed has been alive with conversation about what the Administration has done, but I’ve paid scant attention. I’ll be more attentive from now on because this disturbs me. At one time, I was anti-abortion but pro-choice. No longer. Over the years, I’ve changed my views to anti-abortion, give-the-child-up-for-adoption-if-necessary. To me, if there is any doubt about whether that life begins at conception, then the doubt should favor the possibility of life. Moreover, if Jefferson’s wall separating church and state means anything, it means something here in the domain of all things sacred to religious folk and institutions.
So, on the day of the Florida Primary, the New York Times decided to scare the bejiggers out of the voters with a piece titled, What is it About Mormons?, which followed close on the heels of yesterday’s Washington Post op-ed piece, A Mormon church in need of reform. Can the nation’s other great papers be far behind?
The first question that comes to the mind of this Mormon is whether the rest of the reporting in these two papers is so ill-informed and/or bitter as these pieces are. And then other questions: Why today? Is it a coincidence that the Times piece came out today, the day of the Florida Primary? Why Sally Denton? Yes, she wrote a very bad book about a very bad event–a tragedy–in Mormon history, but it was a very bad, even a lousy, book, so why her? (By the way, if you’re interested in knowing how bad her book is go here and follow the links to the reviews by people who actually do know something about the Mountain Meadows Massacre.) And the really big question, why not have a Times reporter write the story? I’m assuming that the paper of record holds its actual reporters to a higher standard than it does the hacks it let write this piece (Maffly-Kip and Reiss excepted). Or put another way, do these women appreciate playing the role of the puppets in this show?
It took me awhile, but I came around. I admit I bit into the Establishment-is-out-to-get-us apple, but I’ve had my fill. The claim no longer makes sense to me. Besides, many of its messengers come off as what you might call a New Establishment or the Tea Party Establishment, pushing candidates so flawed as to be unelectable. Newt Gingrich, for example. Sarah, Rush, Sean, and the like are all behind him, pushing for all they’re worth. The Establishment is out to get him? Please. I’m a sometimes blogger, more often Facebook poster, who lost his taste for Gingrich histrionics long ago. His full-throated debate attacks on the MSM became the new Race Card in my eyes, a card he played so often and so transparently that I began to mouth Reagan every time he laid the card on the table, “There he goes again.” I’m no Establishment guy, but I’ll do everything in my power to prevent Mr. Gingrich from earning the Republican nomination.
As for Sarah Palin, the little Nash Rambler from up north: Where are your scruples young lady? Since when did the Tea Party decide to support a twice divorced, thrice married womanizer? A candidate with so much obvious baggage and so little discipline? And why, if you dislike Romney so much, are you not pushing Santorum, the one candidate with real Conservative bona fides? (I’m a Romney supporter, by the way.) No, Sarah, yours is a call I won’t respond to.
Byron York has reported on it; now the Wall Street Journal is doing the same. I’m Mormon and a Mitt Romney supporter. I don’t see myself ever supporting Newt Gingrich, a man with more baggage than the lost and found at O’Hare, but Mitt (or Mitt’s superPAC) is wrong on the House Ethics charge and should stop campaigning on it.
That said, I’m willing to give Romney (and/or his superPAC) the benefit of a doubt for going with it initially. As I understand from York’s piece, the waters on this episode in the Speaker’s life were muddied considerably by the partisans who pushed it and by their enablers in the press. However, the truth about the charges should now be obvious to the Romney camp. So they should stop playing the Ethics card–now.
Romney had to stare down Gingrich in the last Florida debate, and he did a wonderful job of it. Very strong debate for him tonight. Santorum was even stronger, but unfortunately for him, he’s too far behind in Florida for it to matter (or is he? Remember Iowa). The three most recent polls (Thursday, January 26) out of Florida give Romney a lead over Gingrich of an average +7.67 points. His lead over Santorum averages out at +29. Doubtful he can make that ground up.
Charles Krauthammer praised Mitch Daniels’s speech in the GOP response to the SOTU as being “one of the best” and as one “best presentations of the Conservative idea against the larger government of Obama.”
It was a good speech, but there’s nothing in it–nothing–that hasn’t been said by Mitt Romney. Nothing. Watch it here or, better, read it yourself. Do you see anything that hasn’t been said before–and as well?
I have nothing against Daniels. I hardly know the guy. But this pining for him or for Jeb Bush, for what might have been if only they had entered the race, for all that green grass on the other side of the fence, has to stop. We have some good men (at one time, women) who took up the challenge and entered the race. That because of the insane debate schedule they have endured and the resultant overwhelming scrutiny they’ve received, of course that other grass looks greener. But as we all know in our heart of hearts, it’s not.
Unfortunately, Krauthammer is not the only one pining for Daniels. Michael Uhlmann, for example, said that “Mitch Daniels, in reply, sounded exactly the right note — one that has been almost entirely lost in the childish cacophony of the Republican primaries to date. He sounded like a grown-up.” Mona Charen sounded a similar note, calling the candidates “second rate.”