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Flap’s Links and Comments for March 25th on 06:38

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These are my links for March 25th from 06:38 to 06:55:

  • President 2012: Scapegoating Mitch Daniels – Over the past year, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels has been a case study in how not to seek the Republican presidential nomination — if indeed that is his intention.
    Despite having a generally conservative governing record, in the run-up to a possible candidacy, Daniels has managed to alienate all parts of the GOP’s so-called “three-legged” stool. He has rattled economic conservatives by floating the possibility of a VAT tax, unnerved national security hawks by talking about defense cuts and seeming indifferent about foreign policy, and angered values voters by calling for a “truce” on social issues while the country confronts the national emergency of our fiscal crisis.
    It’s the latter comments that have drawn the most heat, giving his potential rivals an easy opening at conservative events to say that yes, social issues are a priority.
    But while Daniels has become a popular target for social conservatives who understandably don’t want to see their issues downplayed, the reality is that Daniels’ crime was to say explicitly what most of the other potential candidates are saying and doing implicitly — that is, emphasizing the importance of economic and fiscal issues over moral matters.

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    Read it all.

  • Sen. Jim DeMint’s Defense of RomneyCare is Ignorant…And Dangerous – Jennifer Rubin alerts me to these disturbing comments Sen. Jim DeMint made to the Hill in defense of RomneyCare:
    “One of the reasons I endorsed Romney [in 2008] is his attempts to make private health insurance available at affordable prices,” said Sen. Jim DeMint (S.C.), a GOP kingmaker.
    DeMint blames Democrats in the Massachusetts State Legislature for adding many of the features to Romney’s plan that many on the right decry.
    “It just depends on how he plays it. For me, I think he started with some good ideas that were essentially hijacked by the Democrat Legislature,” DeMint said.
    To start with, blaming everything on the Democratic legislature is simply not an accurate account of what happened. Romney helped craft the basic architecture of the health care plan, and pursued it even though he knew that he was working with an overwhelming Democratic legislature who he knew would override his symbolic line-item vetoes of parts of his bill. He signed the bill with Ted Kennedy at his side, and did so knowing he wasn't seeking reelection and that it would almost certainly fall on a Democratic governor to implement it….

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    Read it all

    Sen. Jim DeMint is turning out to be just another POL.

  • President 2012: Tea party leader says he’d endorse Mitch Daniels – Gov. Mitch Daniels: the tea party pick for president?

    That could happen, former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, R-Texas, said Thursday.

    Armey, now the leader of the tea party group FreedomWorks, was in Indiana to begin a three-day campaign-training seminar his group is conducting along with the Indiana-based tea party group America ReFocused.

    He met with Daniels privately before a Statehouse ceremony honoring the governor with a "legislative entrepreneur award" and told reporters he encouraged Daniels to "think about the service he could do for this nation as president."

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    Some on the right are scapegoating Mitch Daniels but Dick Armey knows Daniels is a credible conservative office holder with a track record.

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Flap’s Links and Comments for March 17th on 15:02

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These are my links for March 17th from 15:02 to 15:07:

  • DeMint walks back his Romney support — after the right attacks him – (“Is DeMint going to risk his Tea Party status for ROMNEY??”) Very shortly thereafter, a DeMint aide contacted The Hill to walk back DeMint’s comments, claiming DeMint “never considered backing Romney again unless he admits that his Massachusetts health-care plan was a colossal mistake.” That’s a flip-flop worthy of, well, Mitt Romney.

    The answer to Right Turn’s question is: No, DeMint is not going to throw away his standing with the Tea Party to give Romney cover for a plan that is an anathema to the base. The problem for Romney now is: If DeMint won’t let him get away with defending RomneyCare with spurious arguments, who will?

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    Well, nobody I know.

  • Willie Sutton Never Met a Payroll or How the GOP Can Make Federal Budget Arguments – “Hey, look over there! There are some really expensive programs over there!” Mike Kinsley criticizes one of the most annoying liberal arguments against cutting the fat in government–the Willie Sutton argument, or “Why bother to cut the fat in these agencies and programs when the really big budget busters are entitlements like Medicare and Social Security”:

    It’s also true, but unconvincing, that the whole budget debate is focusing on the smallest part of federal spending — discretionary spending — and ignoring the big bucks, which are in inexorably rising health care costs. Given all past experience, a perfectly adequate reaction to the Obama administration’s claims that health care reform will save the government money is, “I’ll believe it when I see it.” But that is no reason not to show more discipline on smaller matters. Every little bit helps.

    You’d think a good GOP  budget-cutting argument would be: “They’re talking about cutting Social Security and Medicare costs to control the deficit, but it would be wrong to cut even a dollar from someone’s Social Security checks or Medicare to pay for unnecessary bureaucrats in Washington.”

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    Well, argued.

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Flap’s Links and Comments for March 16th on 09:36

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These are my links for March 16th from 09:36 to 09:56:

  • President 2012: 5 reasons why Mitch Daniels should run for president – For months now, as Gov. Mitch Daniels has taken up residency on the op-ed pages of the Wall Street Journal and collected gobs of frequent-flyer miles during his many visits to D.C., Indiana political observers have debated at length the question of whether he will run for president in 2012.

    But here's a better question: Should he run for president?

    Today, less than a year before the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primaries, let's discuss the five most compelling reasons for Daniels to make a run for the White House. (On Friday, we'll discuss the five reasons he should not.)

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    Read it all

  • Mitch Daniels worse than Romney on health care? – So much for Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels being the last, best hope for fiscal conservatives in 2012.

    Daniels was my choice for the 2012 Republican nomination until I heard an interview RealClearPolitics.com dug up from his days as political director for the Reagan White House. Imagine the individual mandate morphed with the public option, and that's what Daniels supported in 1987.

    When Robert Novak, famed journalist and cohost of "Evans and Novak" on CNN, asked Daniels if federal health insurance for catastrophic illnesses should be a GOP agenda item, he replied, "I sure do, and I'm glad you asked."

    If Gov. Mitt Romney should lose his credentials as a fiscal conservative for instituting an individual mandate and an insurance program to cover the poor in Massachusetts, Daniels ought to lose his credentials for trying to nationalize health insurance.

    Short stature and a receding hairline aren't Daniels' only obstacles to the nomination. He must explain how someone who supports free-market economics could ever be in favor of socialized insurance.

    For a guy who, in March 2010, criticized Obamacare in the Wall Street Journal by saying, "We better start adjusting to our new status as good Europeans," his stance in 1987 sounds pretty European.

    But maybe, like Romney on many issues, Daniels has had a change of heart on health care. In his piece for the Journal, he advocates for a host of conservative reforms that "[s]hift to a system that allows individuals – not businesses – to buy health insurance tax free."

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    Read it all.

    Mitch Daniels is slow out of the gate and appears not to be gearing up for a Presidential run anyway.

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