EDITOR OF REDSTATE
Morning Briefing for February 3, 2012
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This week is a career milestone for me. I appear in Time magazine writing about the state of the conservative movement. As a kid living overseas, my American history teacher subscribed us all to Time and U.S. News and World Report. So it is kind of cool to be in an issue of, between the two, the still printed survivor.
The point I try to make is that the conservative movement is going through a necessary transition after the Bush years. You can read the whole thing here but a really relevant part is here:
“The internecine fights we are witnessing are about a conservative movement starting to separate itself again from Republican Party. Unfortunately, neither of the front runners have legitimate conservative integrity to claim the banner of conservative movement leader, but they will both try. Romney will hold the banner for conservatives within the GOP and Gingrich will hold the banner of the traditional alliance of conservatives with the GOP.”
I see this playing out in, of all things, my friend Ann Coulter’s column defending Romneycare. Mark Levin offers the definitive rebuttal, which you can listen to here, but there is a point that too few are making that needs to be made.
It relates to the dangers associated with supporting Mitt Romney and Ann Coulter’s column is exhibit A on why supporting Romney portends disaster for the conservative movement.
Yesterday, in the middle of his
campaign National Prayer Breakfast speech, President Obama delighted those of us who love irony by quoting C.S. Lewis. It was an interesting moment in a speech that put forth the notion that taxing the wealthy is right in line with the teachings of Jesus. I mean, Jesus did hang out with tax collectors, right? The idea that government welfare is somehow the fulfillment of Jesus’ teaching on charity is a common misconception that many people make, Christians included, and it’s the main reason that liberals believe conservatives are Christian hypocrites. Perhaps if the president visited church more often than only during campaign seasons, he might not be so confused. See, not only do we spend time praising God in church, we also gain insight from our pastors who have surely spent more time in the word of God than we have.
While Obama may have been correct in saying that government mandated, shared responsibility is equal to the Islamic belief that those who’ve been blessed have an obligation to use those blessings to help others, he is incorrect to group in Jesus’ teaching, “for unto whom much is given, much shall be required.” Aside from the fact that Jesus was discussing requirements from God, not the government, he was actually teaching his disciples that they were stewards of God’s gift of Revelation. Their requirement was to spread the good news of Jesus Christ. It’s the crux of Christianity that Obama seems to miss. Jesus came because we are imperfect. We could never fulfill all the requirements that the pharisees loved to lord over the people. Jesus’ coming ended the rule of law and the began the acceptance that our only way to God was through Him. Yes, Jesus very much emphasized the importance of giving to the poor, but as a reaction in joy to what we’ve been given; not because of a law. Giving out of obligation is not truly giving, it’s merely following the rules. Just ask anyone who’s ever written a check to pay their taxes, I doubt you’d find them excited.
The Bible also teaches that everything we have, including money, belongs to God. We are called to be good stewards with His money. The government is the epitome of mismanaging money. If you truly want to help the poor, you should probably seek out charities; but that would require a bit of work on the part of the giver and a great many find it easier to just let the government run every aspect of their lives. So it is that welfare money ends up spitting out of strip club ATMs, and those same people who paid their charity to the government wonder why government hasn’t solved the issue. Perhaps they should ask the 27 Democrats who voted against stopping welfare checks from being used at strip clubs, casinos and liquor stores.
Senators Pat Toomey (R-PA) and Claire McCaskill (D-MO) learned a valuable lession today about member’s desire to go back to the practice of earmarking pet projects. Toomey and McCaskill offered an Amendment to the STOCK Act that would have created a new Senate point of order against earmarks in bills. They were met with bipartisan opposition to this common sense idea.
Having spent nearly a decade as a former union representative and activist (aka “union thug”) in a Right-to-Work state, it has been interesting to discuss and watch the activities and debates over the Right-to-Work battles occuring within the various states. Having been on both sides of the labor-management equation, it’s easy to see the two sides of the coin—the pluses and the minuses—that come into play with Right to Work legislation.
There are storm clouds on the horizon. A day after Mitt Romney’s massive win in Florida he opened his mouth and promptly told conservatives he was incapable of articulating conservatism.
Then Newt Gingrich found a bright line rule in the Republican rules that clearly and precisely states that all delegates awarded before April 1, 2012, must be proportional. There goes giving Romney all fifty delegates from Florida despite what Florida’s GOP Chairman says.
Then National Review and other Romney supporters , taking a bit of comfort in his secure win in Florida, decided they could finally express some buyers remorse, or at least now stop zealously defending him and criticize him some.
Then people really examined the exit polls in Florida. What they found was that turnout fell from 2008. But in counties where turn out was up, Newt Gingrich won. Where turnout from 2008 was down, Romney won. This pattern followed South Carolina. The base remains unexcited about Romney and his comments yesterday about the poor and the social safety net keep the base from getting excited.
What should have been Mitt Romney heading into February securing his nomination now becomes an effort to stave off a rear guard action to pick him off. Gingrich and Santorum now have the ammunition they need to keep the Great Coalescing from happening.
What should have been a clear path to the nomination is suddenly in jeopardy.
We’ll get into it all in the Horserace.