National Review

Press Corps asks about Obama’s plan

The White House Press Secretary had an interesting day yesterday.  He was asked several times about President Obama’s debt-ceiling plan.  Well, there isn’t one, and the folks on the right are chomping at the bit.  I can certainly understand why.  Oh sure, Press Secretary Jay Carney gave hints about the plan, but wouldn’t go into detail.  He said, “We’re showing a lot of leg.”  When pressed for more, he mockingly said, “You need it written down?”

Well, yeah.  It would help.

A couple of years ago, the White House derided the GOP because they didn’t have it written down.  Republicans were supposedly “unserious” because they didn’t have a budget.  So, the Republicans produced a framework.  They “showed a lot of leg”, if you will.  Then Press Secretary Robert Gibbs mocked it because it didn’t have the specifics he felt it should have.  Sort of like how Obama’s plan seems to lack a lot of specifics.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a fan of that “if you don’t have a plan, you shouldn’t be part of the conversation” crap.  I don’t think Obama should just shut up because he doesn’t have a plan all his own.  However, I do believe that the President probably should have a plan of his own to put forth.

Over at Hot Air, Allahpundit proposes that the reason there isn’t a specific plan is because Obama knows that he’ll get hammered with it in the General Election.  I can’t say he’s wrong on that one.

Boehner tells House GOP to get in line

On Tuesday it looked like conservatives in the House Republican Conference were prepared to kill Speaker John Boehner’s proposal to end the budget ceiling stalemate. But it looks like he is building enough support to move it through the House, though it has taken some arm twisting that is most assuredly going to set off grassroots conservatives and the tea party movement:

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said he ordered GOP lawmakers to “get your ass in line” behind his debt proposal during an interview Wednesday on a conservative radio show.

“My goal is to continue to work with all our members so we get them to the point where they say ‘yes,’ ” Boehner said on Laura Ingraham’s radio show.

A large number of conservative Republicans are opposing Boehner’s proposal, arguing it does not go far enough in reducing government spending.

But Boehner said he couldn’t understand why any Republicans would position themselves with Democrats opposing his plan.

“Barack Obama hates it, [Sen.] Harry Reid hates it, [Rep.] Nancy Pelosi hates it,” he said, naming off the Democratic leadership.
[…]
Boehner would have a lot of leverage ahead of the Aug. 2 deadline for lifting the debt ceiling if the House approves his bill.

“We’ll see,” Boehner said in response to the veto threat. “In the absence of any other plan, your plan becomes the plan.”

Boehner outlined his strategy to box the president into having “no choice but to sign it into law.” He said a rival proposal from Reid (D-Nev.), the Senate majority leader, did not have the support to pass Congress.

President Obama is no longer “hip”

Is the President no longer the hip vote for young voters?  That’s what Elise Jordan at the National Review seems to think anyways.

President Obama’s got problems for 2012. Sure, he just hauled in a record $86 million in cash. But the fundraising success masks a very big issue: Obama has lost the youth vote — he just isn’t trendy any more. Which is good news for Republicans: President Untrendy gives us a better chance to win. As a generation of media-encouraged Obama idealists has turned economic realists, Republicans can appeal to this age bracket to take the prize next year.

Political campaigns have historically discounted the importance of the youth vote — for good reason, generally, as young voters have tended not to show up on Election Day. Obama has changed that dynamic, perhaps permanently. The Millennial generation, meaning 18-to-29-year-olds — whom I wrote about a few weeks back — mattered in the 2008 election because Obama’s campaign recognized and exploited them. His campaign team engaged them through ground-breaking use of social media and grassroots outreach. It worked. Youth voted for Obama by a margin of 2 to 1, and 3 million more new voters visited the polls than in 2004. The Millennials accounted for 18 percent of the vote, and it was the third consecutive presidential election with increased youth turnout.

Which Republican has the best jobs record?

The economy and jobs are going to be a big part of the Republican presidential campaigns this summer and into next year. All of the candidates are beating up on President Barack Obama and the, frankly, paltry job numbers we’ve seen during this wreckovery. But which governor in the Republican field can boast the best-job numbers? The National Review says Gary Johnson:

According to a National Review Online analysis of seasonally adjusted employment data (looking at the total number of those employed) from the Bureau of Labor website, Gary Johnson has the best record of the official candidates, with a job-growth rate of 11.6 percent during his tenure.

But Johnson, who governed from 1995 to 2003, doesn’t overlap much with the other governors — Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty, and Jon Huntsman — who are running. Among the crowd who governed primarily during the 2000s, Huntsman has the best record. During his 2005 to 2009 tenure as governor of Utah, the number of jobs grew by 5.9 percent.

Mitt Romney and Tim Pawlenty have much weaker records. Romney, who governed Massachusetts from 2003 to 2007, had an overall job-growth rate of 1.6 percent. During Pawlenty’s time as governor of Minnesota (2003 to 2011), the number of jobs grew by an anemic 0.5 percent.

Of course, some of these comparisons are apples to oranges; Pawlenty, Huntsman, and Perry, for instance, all were governors during the recession, while Romney and Johnson were not. State population changes could also play a role in determining whether a state’s employment numbers surge or decline.

Not One of Us - The Fall of Neoconservatism

Some months prior to Rand Paul’s primary victory in Kentucky, a familiar pair of politicians came together in support of his opponent Trey Grayson. Late endorsements by the President of 9/11, Rudy Guiliani and Dick Cheney were trotted out in an attempt to make a dent in a double digit lead that Dr. Paul had held for some months. Cesar Conda also got into the act, writing an article for the National Review the day of Cheney’s endorsement announcement. He also convened an emergency conference call and sent out a panicky email to neoconservative pundits.

These efforts had no effect whatsoever. Rand Paul not only won the primary against Grayson, but crushed his Democrat opponent in the general election.

That the effort failed is a matter of record. However, you may or may not have noticed how little this failure, achieved with the help of the two most prominent elected neoconservatives of the last decade not named Bush, has been analyzed,  much less discussed..

One of the more interesting facts about Conda’s email  was its list of recipients. A desperate cry for help, the list of neoconservative writers was a who’s who list of PNAC advisors.

Politico reported:

Weekly Standard: Rudy Giuliani is running for president

Over at the Weekly Standard, Bill Kristol reports that former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani will enter the race for the Republican presidential nomination:

I’m told by two reliable sources that Rudy Giuliani intends to run for the GOP nomination for president in 2012. He may throw his hat in the ring soon.

Rudy’s theory of the race: In the fall of 2007, he decided he couldn’t compete with both Mitt Romney and John McCain in New Hampshire, and disastrously decided to try to pull back there and pitch his tent in Florida. This year, he’ll commit everything to New Hampshire, where he thinks he has a good shot at beating Romney—whom he criticized there earlier this week. He then thinks he can beat whichever more socially conservative candidate(s) is left by winning what are still likely to be winner-take-all primaries in big states like California, New York, and New Jersey.

Rudy’s message: I’m tough enough to put our fiscal house in order and to protect us from enemies abroad. The U.S. in 2012 is in bad shape—like New York in 1993. The budget crisis is as severe—and seemingly intractable—as the crime/welfare crisis was in New York then. Rudy dealt with that when people said it couldn’t be done. He’ll deal with this.

Conservatives should be asking Daniels questions about individual mandate

There was some criticism yesterday of Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, who will soon decide on a presidential bid in 2012, because video surfaced of him suggesting that Republicans let go of divisive wedge issues and instead focus on the issues that we agree. For some reason, some conservative bloggers are losing their minds over this. Take Leon Wolf at RedState, for example:

So, as Republicans were gearing up for their biggest electoral victories in 16 years by fighting Obama and the Democrats tooth and nail on every aspect of their agenda, Mitch Daniels was telling everyone that the way to victory was to forget what a wedge issue even was, and just be nice so that people will like us again.

That’s not what Daniels was saying. Republicans won in 2010 because of the economy, not on because of their traditional positions on wedge social issues; it was the economy and dissatifaction with the politics of a Congress that was then-controlled by Democrats.

Over at The Right Sphere, Brandon Kiser seems to get it while other conservatives are beside themselves:

when this video was recorded, Americans were not too happy with the Republican Party. So, he proposed having a nicer appeal to voters so that we can embrace the fact that we need to get things done because there are real issues facing the country.

Reason talks socialism with Kevin Williamson

In this new video from Reason TV, Nick Gillespie talks with Kevin Williamson,  deputy managing editor of National Review and author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Socialism, about the economic system that the left seems to constantly push:

I picked up this book a couple months ago. I haven’t finished read it yet, but what I have read is very good.

Doherty on the Anti-War Right

In a recent video from Reason, Brian Doherty, author of Radicals for Capitalism: A Freewheeling History of the Modern American Libertarian Movement, discusses the history of anti-war right; which is embodied today by personalities like Ron Paul and Gary Johnson.

Doherty notes that conservatives shifted their views on foreign policy because of the threat of communism. It became reasonable in their view to invade countries that posed no real threat to us as long as the goal was to stop the growth of communism - a view that isn’t consistant with conservatives’ often claimed views of limited government:

Michael Steele within striking distance of another term?

Despite disapproval of his job performance and significant obstacles to winning another term, RNC Chairman Michael Steele is within striking distance of winning another term:

Wisconsin GOP Chairman Reince Priebus remains the front-runner for the Republican National Committee chairmanship, which some observers predicted could spell trouble for his bid.

Priebus leads the field with 36 RNC members publicly backing him, according to a count by National Review Online.

Current RNC Chairman Michael Steele is a close second with 27 members backing him.

Priebus’ front-runner status could prove a liability, according to Mike Duncan. The former RNC chairman, who was Steele’s predecessor serving from 2007-2009, recently said the leader typically “loses momentum after the first or second ballot.”

Meanwhile, former Missouri Republican Party Chairwoman Ann Wagner and Saul Anuzis, former chairman of the Michigan GOP, are tied for third with 14 votes each.

Maria Cino, a former Bush administration official, rounds out the field. Pennsylvania committeewoman Christine Toretti became the latest to back Cino, which brought her number of declared supporters to 12, according to a release and the NRO tally. She also has the support of House Speaker John Boehner, although he is unable to vote in the chairmanship race.

There are still 65 RNC members who haven’t announced their support. A candidate needs 85 votes to win. The chairmanship election is set for Jan. 14.


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