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On Mitt Romney, conservatism & class

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 4:04 pm - February 3, 2012.
Filed under: 2012 Presidential Election,Conservative Ideas

Perhaps, the Republican frontrunner’s gaffe earlier this week that he is not concerned about the “very poor” will serve as a teaching moment for him.  He has to do a better job of articulating how conservatives think about poverty.  As Bruce’s junior Senator put it:

Because I know [Mitt Romney] does care about the poor. But I think he was trying to make a case that they’re taken care of. But, in fact, I would say I’m worried about the poor because many are trapped in dependency, they need a good job; they don’t need to be on social welfare programs. I think he needs to turn that around because — the middle class is key, and we have to focus on that. And, really, the problem with the middle class is not successful people, it’s politicians — but the key to making our country successful it to get everyone on that economic ladder.

In short, he needs to talk about free-market capitalism as creating opportunities for all.  Conservatives, as Charles Krauthammer acknowledged, don’t see things in term of class:

Conservatives are not the ones who engage in the war of the classes or in a division of America into classes. Obama and the Democrats will win that kind of argument every day. The moral case for conservative economics is that our policy is going to help everybody, including the poor.

Let us hope Romney learns from his recent gaffe and starts talking like a conservative.  Should he do that, he might not only appeal to independent voters, but also help rally the Republican base.

Do NYT editors understand meaning of liberty?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 3:48 pm - February 3, 2012.
Filed under: Freedom,Media Bias

Yesterday, James Taranto linked this excerpt from a New York Times editorial:

Even in his victory speech Tuesday night, Mr. Romney hinted darkly at the tone of the campaign to come. He accused President Obama of ordering “religious organizations to violate their conscience” and vowed to defend religious liberty.

It was a reference to the Obama administration’s requirement that large religious institutions, like hospitals and universities, provide insurance coverage for birth control. He was promising to defend the Roman Catholic Church’s “religious liberty” to deprive its tens of thousands of employees and university students of their own liberty.

Emphasis added.  “Those scare quotes around religious liberty,” quipped Taranto, “constitute the most shocking act of punctuation since the early days of what Reuters deemed “the ‘war on terror'”:

The New York Times editorial board–and, to judge by his actions, the current president of the United States–has as little respect for religious liberty as this column has for Keynesian “stimulus.”

That’s what struck him.  What struck me was that the Times assumed that a private entity was depriving an individual of liberty by not giving him the benefits he demanded.  So by that notion, a company is depriving its client of liberty if it can’t provide him the product he wants.

Do the editors of the old gray lady even understand that even if Catholic institutions don’t provide their employees with insurance coverage for birth control, said employees still remain free to procure contraceptives on their own?

Why is Santorum going after Newt?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 2:01 pm - February 3, 2012.
Filed under: 2012 Presidential Election

Hopefully, I’ll have some time to blog later today, but caught two recent ads, the first, a TV ad  that Jennifer Rubin linked on Tuesday, the other, a radio ad which Tina Korbe links today.  In each the former Pennsylvania Senator and GOP presidential candidate goes after not his party’s presidential frontrunner, but its apparent also-ran, Newt Gingrich.

Wonder why that is.