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Will contrast with Santorum help Romney among gays?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 6:54 pm - March 29, 2012.
Filed under: 2012 Presidential Election,Gay Politics

Among my gay friends and acquaintances, all but the most partisan Democrats have expressed dissatisfaction with the president, with some moderates deeming him a failure, others seeing him not up to the task of running the federal government and serving as the nation’s chief of state.

Now, to be sure, some will end up voting for Barack Obama this fall largely because he is the leading non-Republican candidate for president, but others have shown an openness to supporting Mitt Romney, some of them (entrepreneurs themselves) citing his experience in the private sector, others because he strikes them as relatively moderate . . . particularly in comparison to his chief opponent for the Republican nomination.

In some ways, that is perhaps the greatest irony of the Santorum surge these last seven weeks.  Contrasting that former Senator’s strange statements on homosexuality to Mitt Romney’s muted expressions of tolerance makes that latter appear more compelling by contrast.  Recall the former Massachusetts governor’s answer (in the ABC/Yahoo!/WMUR New Hampshire debate) to Diane Sawyer’s question about what he would say to a gay couple “sitting down in your living room” about the longing for “gay people to form loving, committed, long-term relationships”:

Well, the answer is, is that’s a wonderful thing to do, and that there’s every right for people in this country to form long- term committed relationships with one another. That doesn’t mean that they have to call it marriage or they have to receive the — the approval of the state and a marriage license and so forth for that to occur.

There can be domestic partnership benefits or — or a contractual relationship between two people, which would include, as — as Speaker Gingrich indicated, hospital visitation rights and the like. We can decide what kinds of benefits we might associate with people who form those kind of relationships, state by state.

Certainly not the ideal answer nor even the good compromise his fellow former governor Jon Huntsman articulated, but a decent answer nonetheless.  And one which recognized the capacity of gay men and women to form loving and lasting relationships.

NB:  My suggestion that a good number of gay people are open to Mitt Romney is not based on polling data, but anecdotal evidence.   (more…)

Why do (some) liberals refuse to accept merits of (many) conservatives’ arguments?

In the New York Post today, John Podhoretz has a great piece which, in looking at some liberal commentators’ reaction to the Supreme Court arguments over Obamacare, considers the failure of all too many in the chattering classes to appreciate the merits of conservative arguments:

The panicked reception in the mainstream media of the three-day Supreme Court health-care marathon is a delightful reminder of the nearly impenetrable parochialism of American liberals.

They’re so convinced of their own correctness — and so determined to believe conservatives are either a) corrupt, b) stupid or c) deluded — that they find themselves repeatedly astonished to discover conservatives are in fact capable of a) advancing and defending their own powerful arguments, b) effectively countering weak liberal arguments and c) exposing the soft underbelly of liberal self-satisfaction as they do so.

Read the whole thing, and as you do, ponder why all too many in the chattering classes so regularly dismiss the intelligence of conservatives and the merits of our arguments.

Via Powerline picks.

“Bipartisan” budget secures only 38 votes in 435-member House

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 4:46 am - March 29, 2012.
Filed under: Congress (112th),Congress (general),Media Bias

You do gotta wonder the lengths to which the headline writers at Yahoo! go in order to make House Republicans seem extreme.   Last night, caught this headline on the company’s homepage: GOP-run House easily rejects bipartisan budget:

The House voted decisively late Wednesday to reject a bipartisan budget mixing tax increases with spending cuts to wring $4 trillion from federal deficits over the coming decade.

The 382-38 roll call paved the way for Republicans to muscle through their own, more stringent budget on Thursday, a measure that would blend deeper spending reductions in safety-net programs for the poor with a plan to dramatically overhaul Medicare.

38 votes in a 435-member House?  Let’s say the plan’s Republican author Rep. Steve LaTourette, R-Ohio (who crafted the plan with Tennessee Democrat Jim Cooper) voted for the bill and for argument’s sake assume that everyone else who joined him was a Democrat.  Thus, no more than 37 Democrats voted for the bill.  There are currently 190 Democrats in the House, meaning that at least 153 members of that caucus either voted against the bill or didn’t vote.

Since 12 members didn’t vote, that means at least 141 Democrats voted no.  By a margin of greater than 3-to-1, House Democrats rejected the bipartisan measure.

Now, to be sure, Yahoo!’s headline is accurate, but skewed to reflect poorly on Republicans.  Why not say that Democrats overwhelmingly rejected a bipartisan budget?  That’s also accurate, but reflects poorly on the Democrats.

Note also the language of AP writer Andrew Taylor (who wrote the article quoted above); he tries to make it appear House Republicans are forcing through a draconian budget.  (Wonder if he or his colleagues used similarly language to describe how the White House and Democratic leaders muscled Obamacare through Congress, a plan which would dramatically overhaul our nation’s health care system.)

Here’s a story that Yahoo! apparently didn’t see fit to include in its headlines:  “SMART LEGISLATION: Obama budget defeated 414-0.

That’s right, the president couldn’t secure one vote, not one single vote — even from a member of his own caucus — for his own budget.  Seems to paint a picture of a president out of touch.

UPDATE:  Over at the Corner, Yuval Levin provides “the House vote counts for the different budget proposals taken up yesterday and today“: (more…)