EDITOR OF REDSTATE
Morning Briefing for January 16, 2012
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As we start here this morning, there is a wire story that Jon Huntsman is going to drop out of the Presidential race today. My gut reaction is that it does not have a huge impact on the race, though it might give Romney one extra percentage point or two.
The most hilarious component of this is that Huntsman’s withdrawal comes on the heels of South Carolina’s most prominent newspaper, The State, endorsing him. Never trust newspapers to get endorsements right.
I had the privilege to attend the meeting of evangelicals in Texas this weekend. Due to pressing matters before me Saturday I could not make the Saturday portion, but was there Friday hearing the advocacy for the candidates, the run down, etc. I did not vote.
As with all meetings of Christian conservatives, we all pledge to have an off the record meeting and a handful of the sinners start leaking like sieves. It is aggravating and typically why I never say a word in these meetings.
Since a few have decided to leak so many details from the meeting as background and anonymous sources, I want to clarify a few things from my perspective and I will do it decidedly on the record.
The first thing you need to know is that taking shots at Tony Perkins for his statements this weekend is both ignorant and wrong. Tony was selected to speak for the group as a whole and he has done a tremendous job reflecting the views of the consensus whether they are his or not. He didn’t really volunteer as much as he was chosen (I cannot have been the only Presbyterian there) and he has done his job ably.
The second thing you should note is that I personally view the state of the Christian conservative movement poorly. It is such an honor and privilege to be in the same room with James Dobson. Truth be told, I’ve been in the room with him several times and have yet to work up the courage to meet a man who has meant so much to my wife and me. Hopefully I’ll work up the courage one of these days.
But Dobson and the other men and women in the room exemplify my problem with the state of the Christian conservative movement — it is getting really old and I do not yet see authentic, strong voices rising up to succeed these pioneers. I take it as a good sign that these men picked Tony Perkins as their spokesman. In the generation that bridges the gap, Perkins is one of the few honest brokers and genuinely authentic good guys in the evangelical community and conservative movement as a whole.
A great deal of the passionate, younger voices of the Christian conservative movement are focused on Christ and not politics. While that’s a far better position to focus on, I fear the Christian conservative movement is going to be handed down to a few good young men and women surrounded by others with less sincere intentions — people who advocate people and positions in furtherance of things other than Christ’s Kingdom. The up and comers will have to rely on men like Tony Perkins to avoid irrelevance and charlatans both.
The third thing you should know about this weekend is just how well the Gingrich and Santorum camps handled themselves and how poorly the Perry and Romney camps handled themselves. I won’t even get into the advocacy on behalf of Ron Paul, which didn’t go well.
It is one of my overarching concerns with the myth of Mitt the Electable — Bain Capital and Romney’s time in the private sector. Byron York sums it up here.
“There’s no basis to reflexively defend Romney’s record, because we don’t know in any real detail what he did at Bain. But there’s no basis to indict him, either, for the same reason.”
There are seemingly two caricatures of candidates that play badly with the American people. One is the evangelical preacher out to save the world. The politician as tent revival preacher is a long caricatured American political staple going back to the ninetieth century and William Jennings Bryant among others.
The other caricature is that of the millionaire tycoon out to buy the election. This has been a staple of American politics since the turn of the 20th century and passage of the first campaign finance laws. Historically, neither caricature is popular or successful on the national stage.
Max Bialystock and Leo Bloom were pikers compared to the Government’s “Green Energy” schemes.
Bialystock and Bloom plotted to make millions with a guaranteed Broadway flop. Against all odds, Springtime for Hitler became a runaway hit, and The Producers went to jail.
But at least Mssrs. Bialystock and Bloom produced something of value – a hit musical.
Our Green Initiative produces flop after flop, but precious little energy. Instead of throwing the perpetrators in the hoosegow, we keep reelecting them.
Case #1, reported by John Hayward at Human Events: Solyndra Wants to Pay Six-Figure Employees Huge Bonuses.
Pursuant to the Budget Control Act, brought to you by the GOP leadership’s sellout, Obama notified Congress yesterday that the federal debt is approaching the statutory ceiling of $15.194 trillion. [The actual total debt is already $15.237 trillion, but a small amount is not subject to the limit.] As such, he is calling on Congress to grant him another $1.2 trillion in debt, conveniently enough to last him until after the election, with the possibility of saddling his successor with a tough decision over yet another debt limit increase. It is really more of a notification than a request. Obama will automatically receive his $1.2 trillion supercharged credit card unless two-thirds of Congress votes to disapprove of the request within 15 days.
In just three years, he has accrued $4.6 trillion in debt, more than Bush amassed during his entire eight-year tenure. Now he will add another $1.2 trillion by the end of his first term, and, thanks to the horrendous budget deal, which was cheered on by the same outlets that are now fawning over Mitt Romney, there’s nothing we can do about it.
But here’s the question: If Congress is in recess and cannot fulfill its responsibility to advice and consent, as the President has suggested, how can Obama fulfill his obligation of submitting a certification to Congress?