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Now is the winter of conservative discontent

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 1:18 pm - February 10, 2012.
Filed under: 2012 Presidential Election

Scanning the Facebook feeds of our liberal friends, we see them gloating the Republican infighting, particularly Rick Santorum’s surge and Mitt Romney’s failure to rally conservatives to his cause.

Over at Powerline, John Hinderaker laments:

The presidential primary season has turned into a disaster, in my view. Mitt Romney has shown a discouraging inability to appeal to the party’s base, while the race has damaged both Romney and the party. Newt Gingrich, in particular, sacrificed the party to his own ego by launching left-wing attacks against Romney. Gingrich is gone as a Republican contender, but we will see more of him in the fall, in Obama ads. What a swan song for someone who once led the conservative movement!

Yet, at the same time, the president is not projecting an image of confidence.  Indeed, he seems mighty insecure.  Today, he walked back his “newly announced requirement for religious employers to provide free birth control coverage even if it runs counter to their religious beliefs.”  (But, this still does not seem to have satisfied most critics.)  Earlier this week the New York Times reported he “signed off on a plan to dispatch cabinet officials, senior advisers at the White House and top campaign staff members to deliver speeches on behalf of Mr. Obama at fund-raising events for Priorities USA Action, the leading Democratic “super PAC’.

The president is surging in the polls and there are some signs of economic recovery.  Perhaps, this is not to be a conservative year. (more…)

Obama’s strongest supporters suffer most from his policies

By a margin of greater than 2-to-1 in 2008, voters under 30 backed Barack Obama over John McCain. Investors Business Daily offer up the grim statistics:

The unemployment rate among 18-to-24 year olds was 16.3% at the end of last year, compared with 8.8% for the rest of the working-age population. That gap in unemployment rates, the Pew study notes, is “the widest in recorded history.”

Meanwhile, the share of this population that’s managed to find work has fallen to 54.3% — the lowest level since 1948, the first year the government started collecting such data.

And they’re just getting started. Default rates on student loans have climbed. Many twentysomethings have taken unpaid work. Others have returned home to live with their parents.

(H/t Instapundit.)

Obama hoping voters reward political cowardice?

In linking a post on the president’s soon-to-be released budget which offers little in the way of meaningful reform, Jennifer Rubin asks the right question:

Smart politics or do the voters penalize political cowardice? “President Barack Obama’s budget proposal Monday will offer several measures to trim the federal deficit in the next 10 years. But it would leave largely unchanged the biggest drivers of future government spending: the Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security programs that are expanding rapidly as the baby boom turns into a senior boom. Calling for major changes in the popular programs would be politically treacherous in an election year because of fierce opposition from seniors, who vote in large numbers. But budget experts of both parties agree the programs’ growth must be curbed at some point or they will swamp the budget.”

Emphasis added.  At a time of trillion-dollar deficits  — and a national debt that has increased by well over $4 trillion since the incumbent was sworn in.  (By contrast, the “national debt increased $4.9 trillion during the eight-year presidency of George W. Bush . . . [and] is rising at a pace to surpass that amount during Mr. Obama’s four-year term.“*)

Given the challenges we face, a smart Republican would instead of following the president’s example of offering half-measures, take heed to Paul Ryan and offer a real plan for reform:

In other words, a bold reform agenda is our moral obligation. We have an obligation to provide the American people with a clear path that gets our country back on track. (more…)