Visual source: Newseum
For years, Republicans have insisted that they would not end Medicare as we know it and that any changes to the program would not affect those in or near retirement. In the span of 20 minutes on Thursday, they jettisoned both promises.
“The president and Harry Reid have been licking their chops for over three years now waiting for Republicans to actually try to deal with the large problems like Medicare,” Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., told reporters. “So, this is the moment they’ve been waiting for.”
He’s right about that.
Let’s refrain from discussing how the people who are preparing to legislate medical science are often the very same ones who scream about government overreach when health experts propose taxing sugary beverages.
Just try to envision yourself in a doctor’s office for a consult. Then imagine you’re joined by a state legislator. How many of you think the situation has been improved? Can I see a show of hands?
But his hat-tip to “cheesy grits” didn’t win over the locals, some of whom thought he was making fun of them. She the People’s Patricia Murphy, who’s from Georgia, felt Romney wasn’t the only one who couldn’t have been more awestruck on a visit to the moon: “The candidates all acted like they were amazed we get our water through pipes. Then again, we’re a sensitive bunch.”
Put simply: How many Republicans identify themselves as moderates or liberals in exit polling conducted in the 2012 race to date? And are there enough centrists in the party to deliver Romney the nomination?
Thanks to the terrific Washington Post polling team — follow them on Twitter @postpolls — we got some answers.
Here are the number of self-identified moderates/liberals in the major GOP contests this year.
Ah, New England! As unrepresentative of the GOP as Romney is. And btw, puts Iowa in perspective, don’t it? Republican IA and NV are far more conservative than many Southern states.
Think about the two Barack Obamas that Republicans are running against. One of them is basically a fraud; he’s never held a job before he somehow wound up the Democratic nominee in 2008. Or, as Mitt Romney asserted today: “It’s hard to create a job if you never had one.” Oh, and he’s entirely dependent on a teleprompter.
The other Obama is the scheming, nefarious, stealth left-winger who any day now is going to unleash his radical socialist agenda. This Obama requires Republicans and conservative to chase down every radical “association” and every allegedly radical thing he’s ever said, no matter how mild.
As many have noted, these two Obamas are somewhat at odds with each other. But the more important point is that neither version builds a convincing case against supporting Obama in 2012. No one is going to buy that Obama is too inexperienced to be president; no one is going to buy that he has some secret agenda that remained secret during four years in the White House.
A rare bit of self-awareness from Jennifer Rubin:
The GOP can’t win with only the hard-core base
Don’t worry. They don’t want to hear it.
But there’s hope in strange places. Robert Barnes:
In six hours of oral argumentsover three days later this month — the most time the court has spent on a case in 45 years — the Obama administration will try to convince the justices that the Constitution grants Congress broad power to regulate interstate commerce and provide for the national interest. Broad enough to require that almost every American purchase health insurance or pay a penalty.
Roberts, who appears less dedicated to federalism than was his predecessor and mentor, William H. Rehnquist, may be “gettable” on such a question. Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, the usual go-to conservative for liberals, is a realistic possibility. Even Justice Antonin Scalia, the court’s most irascible conservative, might be lured aboard. Alito’s past votes make him more of a mystery.