RedState joins calls to retire Orrin Hatch

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) is definitely feeling the heat. He’s tried to pass off his record as “conservative,” but it’s hard to hide many of the votes he’s cast in favor of bigger government, including his support for TARP, Medicare Part D, bailouts for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and many bloated budgets.

Hatch is working feverishly to not wind up like his former colleague, Bob Bennett, who was sent packing during the Utah GOP convention in 2010. Mike Lee eventually went on to replace Bennett in the United States Senate. He’s picked up endorsements from influential conservatives like Sean Hannity and Mark Levin, and even got Mitt Romney to cut an ad for him. But grassroots groups, including FreedomWorks and the Club for Growth, and Tea Party activists haven’t been deterred.

And yesterday over at RedState, Erick Erickson joined the calls to put an end to Hatch’s political career in Washington:

On many of those votes over the years, Orrin Hatch was no different from any of the other Senate Republican leaders. We’re now past $15 trillion in debt and Orrin Hatch voted for a good bit of spending contributing to that debt. Some of it was necessary, but much of it was not.

Mitt Romney, Evangelicals, and the Mormon Issue

Several times recently I’ve found myself in discussion with some of my Republican friends about Mitt Romney and the Mormon issue. The argument presented is that Romney can’t win the general election because evangelical voters – specifically those in the South – won’t vote for him because he’s a Mormon and that somehow the red states in the South will become possible Obama victories because of Romney’s faith.

I’m not going to get into the differences between the religious beliefs of evangelical voters and Mitt Romney; that’s a conversation for a different place at a different time (with someone much smarter than me). I would, however, like to address this notion about evangelical voters and their assumed behavior at the polls.

There’s a part of this argument that is valid: the part that takes place in the primary elections. It’s fair to assume that Romney is losing votes in the primary election because of his faith. I’d even make the argument that it’s a part of the reason Rick Santorum has been doing so well lately (though why they pick the liberal Catholic over the liberal Mormon is beyond me). The difference comes when we’re talking about a general election instead of a primary election.

In the primary, Romney will take a hit on being a Mormon just like Ron Paul loses votes over his stance on foreign policy. It’s the same way Newt Gingrich will lose votes because he is (or was) a pretentious, two-timing slime ball, and Rick Santorum will lose votes because, well, because he’s Rick Santorum.

But when November comes around, if Mitt Romney’s name is on the ballot, he’ll get the vast majority – if not all – of the evangelical vote. People who insist otherwise are deceiving themselves. Here’s why:

Should a libertarian support voter ID laws?

Since 2003 a number of states have passed laws requiring some sort of ID to be shown when a person goes to vote.  Proponents of the laws present them as a way to stamp out voter fraud; opponents decry the laws as a way to prevent minorities or the poor from voting, as they are most likely to not have acceptable ID.  The battles have waged not only in legislatures but in courthouses as well.  Wisconsin’s law was just struck down by a judge and Texas’ law is being challenged by the DOJ.

For a libertarian, it seems like both sides of the argument have been a little disingenuous.  Voter fraud has yet to be shown to be anywhere near as widespread as Republicans would like us to think, though this could be because it has heretofore gone undetected.  And showing a form of basic ID, often provided at no cost to the voter, is a very low bar and one that is gladly accepted when doing numerous other activities - even buying alcohol or getting into a bar.

So we are left to sit outside and try to figure out which side to take.  On one hand, for those libertarians who believe in voting, the integrity of elections is very important.  We need to ensure that elections accurately represent the will of voters.  On the other hand, though, it is important that no one is prevented from voting for illegitimate reasons.  If the laws are an underhanded attempt to disenfranchise certain groups, as opponents say, they are problematic.

Listen to Rick Santorum: “Vote for Ron Paul”

There isn’t much Rick Santorum says that I agree with. As we’ve noted here before, Santorum’s record is terrible from a perspective of limited government. However, he’s still managed to peel away a lot of voters that identify themselves with the Tea Party. But when recently asked for an explanation for his votes in favor of Medicare expansion, No Child Left Behind, and raising the debt ceiling, Santorum replied, “Vote for Ron Paul, that’s what you should do.”

Santorum is obviously being dismissive about the points being made. But those inconvenient facts (his support for more government) are hard to justify for anyone claiming to be a constitutionalist, Tea Party-minded voters, or some that otherwise believes in limited government.

When it call comes down to it, the “big three” candidates don’t really have much to offer as far as shrinking government. Maybe Santorum is, for once, right about something. Maybe voters that haven’t yet case their ballots should consider Ron Paul since he believes in, you know, actually restraining government, not enabling it.

ObamaCare’s price tag now at $1.76 trillion

During the fight over ObamaCare, the White House and its apologists in Congress insisted that the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) had scored it under $1 trillion, which was somehow enough to give many vulnerable Democrats reason to support it.

But yesterday, the CBO released the lastest cost projections of ObamaCare showing that it’s now over $1.76 trillion, nearly double the original estimate. Various news outlets are reporting that the law spends less and covers less people, but Philip Klein has broken down the guts of the report and explains what’s really going on (emphasis mine):

The big picture takeaway is that due mostly to weaker economic projections, the CBO now projects that more people will be obtaining insurance through Medicaid than it estimated a year ago at a greater cost to the government, but fewer people will be getting insurance through their employers or the health care law’s new subsidized insurance exchanges. Overall spending will be higher than estimated a year ago, but increased revenue from penalties and taxes will more than offset this. Also interesting: CBO now expects two million fewer people to be covered as a result of the health care law than previously projected.

Recapping last night’s primaries in the South

There is no mincing words about it, last night was a bad night for Mitt Romney and an even worse one for Newt Gingrich, who really needed to win the two Southern states headed to the polls to show that he is still a viable alternative to the former Massachusetts Governor.

On the other hand, Rick Santorum was able to sneak out a win in Mississippi, where it was indeed a close race between himself, Gingrich, and Romney. He also did well in Alabama, finishing six points ahead of Gingrich and Romney.

The good news for Romney is that he won the Hawaii caucus, but that was expected. Ron Paul, who didn’t compete in Alabama and Mississippi, finished a distant third. Romney also added to his total delegate, despite losing in the South.

Here are the results from last night with delegate estimates provided by The Green Papers. You can see the full delegate breakdown from each state here.


  • Santorum: 35% (16)
  • Gingrich: 29% (12)
  • Romney: 29% (10)
  • Paul: 5% (0)


  • Santorum: 33% (13)
  • Gingrich: 31% (12)
  • Romney: 30% (12)
  • Paul: 4% (0)


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The Child(ish) Slavery of the Nanny State

“[Tyrannical] power is absolute, minute, regular, provident and mild. It would be like the authority of a parent if, like that authority, its object was to prepare men for manhood; but it seeks, on the contrary, to keep them in perpetual childhood: it is well content that the people should rejoice, provided they think of nothing but rejoicing. For their happiness such a government willingly labors, but it chooses to be the sole agent and the only arbiter of that happiness; it provides for their security, foresees and supplies their necessities, facilitates their pleasures, manages their principal concerns, directs their industry, regulates the descent of property, and subdivides their inheritances: what remains, but to spare them all the care of thinking and all the trouble of living?” ~Alexis de Tocqueville

In America today, we would be hard pressed to think of a single aspect of our lives politicians and government bureaucrats not only have their hands in, but are in clear up to their elbows. The busybody police of the ever expanding nanny-state have concluded that we, as mere mortals, are far too foolish to make important decisions on our own. Instead, we, the children of the benevolent federal leviathan, must have the minutiae of our daily lives dictated to us in ways large and small.

From the content of school lunches to the salt content in restaurant food, to the volume of water that can go down our toilet in a single flush, or the amount of water that may come out of a shower head each minute, whether we can use an incandescent light bulb, the average miles per gallon new cars must achieve, to mandating the contents of insurance policies…the list is literally endless.

Was federal housing policy to blame for the financial crisis?

We hear a lot from our friends on the Left about the cause of the 2008 financial crisis. The often claim that capitalism and “predatory lending” deserve a large share of the blame. But in a new video from Reason, Peter Wallison, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and a member of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission (FCIC), explains how federal housing policy was the main cause of the turmoil that led to the Great Recession.

While the official report from the FCIC blamed deregulation of the financial sector, Wallison wrote a lengthy dissent noting, according to Reason, that “there were about 28 million high-risk mortgages in the U.S. in 2008; roughly 70 percent of those mortgages were owned by government-sponosored enterprises such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.”

Watch the video with Wallison below. It’s well worth your time:

Romney takes the wrong side in the Utah Senate race

As you probably know, FreedomWorks and other grassroots organizations have been targeting Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) in his bid for re-election. While FreedomWorks hasn’t formally endorsed a candidate in the race (others running include State Sen. Dan Liljenquist, a tea party favorite), they did recently come out with a web ad slamming Hatch for voting for $7.5 trillion — half the size of the national debt — during his time in Washington.

But Mitt Romney, who is the frontrunner for the Republican nomination for president, has jumped in the middle of the Senate race in Utah by endorsing Hatch and cutting a minute long ad where he claims that the state can “count on Sen. Orrin Hatch in the fight to lower taxes, to balance the budget and to repeal the federal government takeover of health care”:

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