Patterico's Pontifications

2/23/2012

It’s Democrats who are putting focus on birth control?

Filed under: 2012 Election — Karl @ 7:07 am

[Posted by Karl]

So close, Melinda Henneberger… and yet so far:

The beauty of the current birth-control conversation for Democrats is that they not only have public opinion on their side but have cannily managed to make contraception a front-burner election-year campaign issue — by complaining that Republicans are making it front-burner election-year campaign issue.

The answer, in other words, to the many who are wondering why the Republicans would want to ride such a losing pony is: They don’t.

***

When I looked back at a tape of what Republicans have been saying on the topic, what’s striking is how reluctant they are to go there.

First, a nit to pick: public opinion on these issues depends very much on the question asked.  A poll taken for Planned Parenthood by the Democratic firm PPP might not be entirely representative.  But that’s not the striking thing about Henneberger’s piece.

No, the striking thing is that for a piece claiming that Democrats are pushing this issue, there are only two identified: Planned Parenthood’s Cecile Richards and Sen. Patty Murray.  What’s more, their quotes only date to last weekend.

However, Henneberger also notes that the kerfuffle over an old, hackneyed birth control joke by Santorum supporter Foster Friess was ignited by NBC’s Andrea Mitchell and fanned by CBS’s Charlie Rose.

Henneberger does not report that the issue made its first big splash in the campaign back in January, when George Stephanopoulos bizarrely pressed Mitt Romney on the Griswold case during a debate in New Hampshire.  An ABC official denied Stephanopolous had a heads-up about Pres. Obama’s coming HHS mandate forcing Catholic employers to pay for birth control (including abortifacients and sterilization).  It was noted for context that ABC’s  Jake Tapper pressed Santorum on the question of state birth control regulation a few days before the New Hampshire debate.  Tapper asserted that “Democrats say” that one of the reasons Santorum lost in 2006 was because he’s more conservative than mainstream America, citing his position on contraception as an example.

Of course, Tapper did not say which “Democrats say” that.  I ran various Google searches, both for the month prior to Tapper’s question, and then dating back to August 2011.  The results suggest birth control was not a Democrat line of attack.  On December 29, 2011, a few days before Tapper’s question, the issue was raised with Santorum by NBC’s Savannah Guthrie and repeated by MSNBC’s First Read and The Atlantic Wire, without reference to it being a Democratic criticism.  Previously, Santorum’s views on contraception were a one-day wonder, covered by the HuffPo (theoretically a media outlet) and ThinkProgress (theoretically a nonpartisan group), back on October 19, 2011.

In short, the record shows that birth control was not made a front-burner issue by the Democrat apparat — at least not openly.  Rather, the issue has been pushed to the forefront by high-profile employees of NBC, ABC and CBS.  And in reporting that “[t]he narrative that it’s conservatives who won’t stop talking about pills, sponges and contraceptive foam is probably set in stone at this point,”  Henneberger cites a story in the Washington P0st, which employs her and is one of the most powerful media outlets in the country.

Although most of the people reading this are probably thinking that this is typical for the establishment media, I would note that Henneberger has disputed the existence of this sort of liberal bias to me personally via Twitter. Indeed, she cited as a counter-example the 2000 campaign coverage of Al Gore.  That is a narrative pushed by Media Matters and its alumni, but not shared by the general public, perhaps because the public can discern the difference between the occasional personal bias regarding a particular candidate’s personality and systemic ideological bias regarding issues and parties.  Thus, it is no surprise to me that Henneberger failed to recognize who actually put birth control on the front burner in this cycle, even as she documented it. Indeed, if Henneberger reads this, she will likely juxtapose it with Joan Walsh’s “critique” (which only establishes Santorum has a position on birth control, not that the entire GOP field set out to make it a big issue) and conclude she has the fair and balanced take on the question.

However, hope springs eternal.  Accordingly, in the event Henneberger has a Google Alert set for her name, perhaps she will ask herself now how this phony, pro-Democrat narrative got set in stone by an establishment media ostensibly dedicated to accuracy.  Is incompetence really that pervasive among the national press corps?  Or might a certain type of political groupthink be a factor?

–Karl

165 Comments

  1. Ding!

    Comment by Karl (6f7ecd) — 2/23/2012 @ 7:08 am

  2. A poll taken for Planned Parenthood by the Democratic firm PPP might not be entirely representative.

    Ya don’t say.

    , I would note that Henneberger has disputed the existence of this sort of liberal bias

    That’s the worst sort of bias. Folks who ought to know better, and either are so biased they can’t actually ever realize the bias, or they are actually hoping to preserve as much of its potency as possible.

    It’s one thing to just be biased… that’s only human. It’s another to try to convince people that’s rain on my leg.

    Comment by Dustin (401f3a) — 2/23/2012 @ 7:32 am

  3. I had the misfortune to watch CNN yesterday. Talking head after talking head was talking about the Republican contraception problem.

    Karl – were you able to find one time that this came up when not prompted by the MFM?

    Comment by JD (516dcc) — 2/23/2012 @ 7:35 am

  4. So, let me get this straight (“you put the lime in the coconut…”)

    Karl, you’re saying the media person is saying it was the Dem official political types who made the birth control issue a thing, while you are pointing out it was the Dem unofficial media types that did it, is that correct?

    We need another insider with the “journolist” types. Maybe we should start grooming one now, go through journalism school, etc. “My life as a fake subversive”.

    Comment by MD in Philly (3d3f72) — 2/23/2012 @ 7:56 am

  5. JD,

    I found no examples of it being raised by a Democrat of any prominence, going 15-20 pages deep in these Google searches. There may be such an example, but I didn’t find one.

    Outside the linked examples, I found a one-line aside from Brad DeLong. There was also a passing mention in a Commentary piece by Alana Goodman (presumably not part of the democrat apparat).

    Incidentally, that doesn’t mean Tapper was lying. Democrats may be saying it to him off-camera. But it’s not clear to me that the media should be in the biz of launching trial balloons for political operatives. And I’m not saying Tapper was doing that. The most likely scenario is that he was thinking of Guthrie’s interview or the coverage of it.

    Comment by Karl (6f7ecd) — 2/23/2012 @ 8:00 am

  6. But it’s not clear to me that the media should be in the biz of launching trial balloons for political operatives.

    Let’s agree that they should not be. Whether they would be or are may be another question, though I thought Tapper was someone who was much better than most. Maybe we should look for those pod things.

    Comment by MD in Philly (3d3f72) — 2/23/2012 @ 8:08 am

  7. Ogabe’s making the issue one of “access to birth control” as a women’s health concern counts as Democratic push.

    Libtards of sundry political persuasions have taken it from there.

    Comment by gary gulrud(MN#6, Anabaptist) (1de2db) — 2/23/2012 @ 8:10 am

  8. ______________________________________

    I would note that Henneberger has disputed the existence of this sort of liberal bias

    That alone has long illustrated to me either the disingenuous — assuming the person espousing such a POV truly knows it’s a bunch of BS — or non-perceptive nature of various liberals. By the same token, I’d stifle a guffaw if a person claimed Fox News wasn’t tilted to the right.

    The inability to own up to and understand one’s biases is part of the problem in the public arena. It’s why the ultra-liberal biases of Obama are downplayed or excused, and the squishy opinions or actions of Romney, Santorum, Gingrich, etc, aren’t treated with greater candor by such politicians and their supporters.

    Comment by Mark (411533) — 2/23/2012 @ 8:29 am

  9. Karl – would you think it is more fair to say the MFM is pushing this narrative for the Dems, or simply creating the attractive for them?

    Erin Burnett could not stop yammering about contraception and religion yesterday.

    Comment by JD (9c662e) — 2/23/2012 @ 8:52 am

  10. the MFM lies: its what they do.

    that being said, i know many people who honestly believe that the MFM is hopelessly conservative and in the tank for the GOP.

    unsurprisingly, most of them w*rk in the entertainment industry.

    Comment by redc1c4 (403dff) — 2/23/2012 @ 8:58 am

  11. It is just astounding how the media-Democrat axis has spun this so that these are the talking points:

    * Republicans don’t want want to let women have access to birth control.

    * Obama has come up with a perfect compromise where religious organizations that object to funding birth control will not have to pay for it, the costs will be borne entirely be insurance providers.

    * Americans — even Catholic Americans — overwhelming side with Obama on this issue.

    It’s remarkable because all three of the above points are demonstrably false, yet those three talking points dominate media coverage on this issue.

    We all knew the media would be in the tank for Obama and the Dems on this issue, but even I am shocked at how brazen they are being on this issue. I have had to hold my tongue with some of my Facebook friends who continually post some version of the above as if it were gospel truth.

    Comment by JVW (367865) — 2/23/2012 @ 9:50 am

  12. JVW – it is surreal.

    Comment by JD (9c662e) — 2/23/2012 @ 9:54 am

  13. If you just conflate the MSM with the democrats, which you should, this argument doesn’t seem so interesting. No offense intended.

    Comment by Dustin (401f3a) — 2/23/2012 @ 9:54 am

  14. The people I have sneaking admiration for are the crypto-socialists, who recently have been taking advantage of this kerfuffle and saying, “Yes, this whole thing with religious organizations is a mess. That’s why we need to decouple health care from employment and go to a single-payer system.” I come across this proposal constantly in comments left at places like the LA Times, Washington Post, Slate, and all the other organs of the self-proclaimed elite of the left.

    Remember when Obamacare was being finalized and there was a theory among some of us right-wingers that it was purposely designed to fail so that the only thing that could be instituted in its wreckage is a government-run single-payer program? I thought that was a plausible scenario at the time, but now I am more and more convinced that this was Obama’s design from the beginning. I guess we all need to start picking our Costa Rican doctors before the best ones reach their patient caps.

    Comment by JVW (367865) — 2/23/2012 @ 10:04 am

  15. The Blunt amendment? the all male Issa hearing? little Ricky’s – contraception is “not okay”, the numerous “Personhood” amendments and the strange goings on in Old Virginny, all the work of Democrats, really?

    Comment by morningafter (484a41) — 2/23/2012 @ 10:06 am

  16. the all male Issa hearing?

    Oh no! Males!

    Comment by Dustin (401f3a) — 2/23/2012 @ 10:22 am

  17. somewhat related blog-pimpin’, i fisk a time magazine columnist for arguing that those who really don’t like the employer mandate should just go to prison.

    Comment by Aaron Worthing (73a7ea) — 2/23/2012 @ 10:26 am

  18. Personally, I am glad that Rick Sanctorum is protecting us all from Satan and the Democrats who are attempting to take this country straight to H.E. double toothpicks.

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 2/23/2012 @ 10:32 am

  19. Its going to be the latest Democrat talking point to win the Presidential Election:

    REPUBLICANS WANT TO STEAL YOUR LADYPARTS!

    Because the economy shows that the Democrats are utter failures.

    Comment by SPQR (26be8b) — 2/23/2012 @ 10:36 am

  20. …the issue made its first big splash in the campaign back in January, when George Stephanopoulos bizarrely pressed Mitt Romney on the Griswold case during a debate in New Hampshire. An ABC official denied Stephanopolous had a heads-up about Pres. Obama’s coming HHS mandate forcing Catholic employers to pay for birth control (including abortifacients and sterilization).

    Mitt Romney made this claim during the last debate: (in the process of stealing Newt Gingrich’s thunder)

    Romney: …you recall back in the debate that we had George Stephanopoulos talking out about birth control, we wondered why in the world did contraception — and it’s like, why is he going there? Well, we found out when Barack Obama continued his attack on religious conscience.

    But this didn’t make sense to me. George Stephanopolous raised in a different context – it was a slipper slope legal argument – and probably an old familiar one to some people – if the Supreme Court overtrns Roe v Wade then couldn’t states make the useu of contraception illegal? There was nothing there to indicate that
    contraception was in any way a practical issue.

    Mitt Romney wasn’t the first to make this connection. Some columnist I read had done this before. What Romney did, is he treated this not as speculation, but as an undisputed fact. Which it cannot be. It doesn’t add up. I guess it didn’t bother him, or the people who fed him that idea, that this was only speculation, since he doesn’t care about the truth anyway, but only about saying what will sound good to conservative voters and talking this way makes him sound like a really, really, severe conservative, maybe more conservative than Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin, or Sean Hannity. I know, Romney said severe means strict.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (bbe5c1) — 2/23/2012 @ 10:45 am

  21. It was noted for context that ABC’s Jake Tapper pressed Santorum on the question of state birth control regulation a few days before the New Hampshire debate. Tapper asserted that “Democrats say” that one of the reasons Santorum lost in 2006 was because he’s more conservative than mainstream America, citing his position on contraception as an example.

    Of course, Tapper did not say which “Democrats say” that. I ran various Google searches, both for the month prior to Tapper’s question, and then dating back to August 2011.

    Tapper, or staff or interns working for ABC, undoubtibly did research on why Santorum lost the election in 2006. Where would they have looked for information? In things written in 2006 and maybe 2007-8 in the aftermath of the election. Not in anything published in 2011.

    Tapper probably put together two separate bits of information. The first thing he would hear as to why Santorum lost is that he was too conservative for the state of Pennsylvania. (All well and good, but then the question has to be turned around: Why did he win in 1994 and the year 2000? In 1994 maybe it was the Clinton health reform proposal but how about six years later?)

    The second bit of information would be how was he
    more conservative than Bob Casey Jr., in a way that’s really unpopular?

    You might not go for national security issues (where the conservative position is generally more popular) or any other kind of issue.

    You might find this article: Senate Campaign Tests Democrats’ Abortion Tack by Robin Toner.

    This was published April 23, 2006 and is datelined LANCASTER, Pa., April 20

    And it says:

    Mr. Casey himself is emphasizing that while there is “tremendous disagreement” on abortion, there is also a broad consensus of which he is a part: to reduce the number of abortions by reducing the number of unintended pregnancies, through greater access to contraception and family planning.

    And further down:

    In an interview, Mr. Casey highlighted his commitment to reducing unintended pregnancies, which he asserted stood in stark contrast to Mr. Santorum. “And then there’s a whole series of related questions of how do you help a mother and child before and after birth, and his record is terrible on that,” Mr. Casey asserted.

    A spokeswoman for Mr. Santorum said the senator had voted consistently for spending bills that included family planning programs, and that “as a matter of public policy, Senator Santorum does not oppose birth control.”

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (bbe5c1) — 2/23/2012 @ 10:52 am

  22. “that this was only speculation, since he doesn’t care about the truth anyway, but only about saying what will sound good to conservative voters and talking this way makes him sound like a really, really, severe conservative,”

    Sammy – WTF are you talking about? Stephanopoulos brought contraception up to Romney in the context of Griswold v. Connecticut, or states banning contraception. It was a completely out of the blue question. None of the candidates were talking about banning contraception and they all believe in states’ rights so it was a stupid question to ask candidates for president.

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 2/23/2012 @ 11:00 am

  23. I believe ABC’s George Stephanopoulos asked his contraception question during Jan. 7’s New Hampshire primary debate. That’s interesting timing given Henneberger’s January 6th column at the Washington Post’s She The People, in which she said:

    I keep hearing that, as a headline on Salon.com put it, “Rick Santorum is coming for your birth control.”

    And will there follow a bonfire of the barrier methods for this latter-day Savonarola?

    In a phone interview Friday night, I asked the GOP presidential candidate about these reports. “That’s me! Eliminate it all!’’ he said facetiously. “In fact, I think I’ll introduce a constitutional amendment to ban it.’’

    In October, Santorum told a blogger this: “One of the things I will talk about, that no president has talked about before, is, I think, the dangers of contraception in this country. . . . Many of the Christian faith have said, well, that’s okay, contraception is okay. It’s not okay. It’s a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be.”

    Those remarks have been misinterpreted, he said. “I was asked if I believed in it, and I said, ‘No, I’m a Catholic, and I don’t.’ I don’t want the government to fund it through Planned Parenthood, but that’s different than wanting to ban it; the idea I’m coming after your birth control is absurd. I was making a statement about my moral beliefs, but I won’t impose them on anyone else in this case. I don’t think the government should be involved in that. People are free to make their own decisions.’’

    Henneberger concluded her column with this:

    Why anyone thinks it’s okay to go after Santorum on this matter is beyond me. It isn’t decent, and it isn’t smart.

    Henneberger raised this issue because it was something she kept “hearing” — which could be political gossip she has presumably heard from her associates, sources, and friends. To illustrate what she was hearing, Henneberger linked a January 4th column by Irin Carmon at Salon.com entitled “Rick Santorum is coming for your birth control.”

    Irin Carmon is generally described as a feminist writer. Sounds like this entire thing may have been motivated by feminists.

    Comment by DRJ (a83b8b) — 2/23/2012 @ 11:08 am

  24. Santorum has a bad habit of biting hard on these leading questions and then talking for half an hour about contraception and it evil effects. I expect any trial lawyer knows that you give one word answers to questions like that and then shut up.

    Comment by Mike K (326cba) — 2/23/2012 @ 11:10 am

  25. Sammy (21)

    Interesting theory, except then why as the question as “Democrats say,” if they had not said anything like it for years?

    Occam’s Razor is our friend.

    Comment by Karl (f07e38) — 2/23/2012 @ 11:12 am

  26. Santorum has a bad habit of biting hard on these leading questions

    This is true. I guess he sees it as a challenge to his bravery and he’s unwilling to back away from his honest views for the sake of electability. In some ways, this helps his authenticity, and he is trying to explain this isn’t the focus of his campaign.

    Comment by Dustin (401f3a) — 2/23/2012 @ 11:13 am

  27. Birth control was not an actual issue between Santorum and Casey in the Senate election of 2006. This was what you could call a Democrat lie.

    Casey, in part, ran on that non-issue, perhaps more in an effort to assure people on the pro-abortion side that there was still an important difference between him and Santorum on these matter than in any effort to gain votes that Ron Klink didn’t get in the year 2000 (Klink was anti-abortion and also anti-gun control, things not so popular with some of the Democratic base especially around Philadelphia, and ran on the issue of opposing individual investment accounts in Social Security. He was also underfinanced and his commercials were not about himself but only about Santorum.)

    The 2008 Almanac of American Politics doesn’t mention this, although it does mention as an exception to how Casey was also socially conservative like Santorum, that while they both opposed gay marriage, Santorum also opposed civil unions.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (bbe5c1) — 2/23/2012 @ 11:14 am

  28. Santorum brought this on himself, all completely unforced error.

    He made is worse last night, as he seems not to understand that subsidizing unwed pregnancy has a larger inmpact on its prevalence than pregnancy prevention methods.

    Comment by Sarahw (b0e533) — 2/23/2012 @ 11:14 am

  29. Dustin,

    Yes, the Venn diagram of Democrats and journos has a lot of overlap. But it’s still interesting to me that it was the journos (and not official Dem apparat) who leapt immediately for this narrative the moment Santorum got to 3rd place in Iowa.

    And having had the argument with Henneberger months ago on Twitter, I could not help but point this out.

    Comment by Karl (f07e38) — 2/23/2012 @ 11:16 am

  30. Santorum believes this is an important topic to talk about, and he’s been talking about it for a long time. There are subjects and moments in life where doing what you think it right is more important that pleasing others. Apparently this is one of those subjects and moments for Santorum.

    Comment by DRJ (a83b8b) — 2/23/2012 @ 11:16 am

  31. JD,

    Given my response to Dustin (29), I think the media went for this on both counts. I could probably do another whole post drilling down into the assumptions behind the current framing. Suffice it to say that the media could do a sober analysis of Santorum’s views on birth control, ranging from his opposition to Griswold to his vote(s) to subsidize contraceptives. But if you watch Guthrie and Tapper, the framing is “Say Rick, aren’t you an extremist?” — which is exactly how the Obama reelect campaign likes it.

    Comment by Karl (f07e38) — 2/23/2012 @ 11:20 am

  32. Immediately after the New Hampshire debate, MSNBC also seemed to identify Irin Carmon as the source of the media’s focus on the GOP and contraception.

    Comment by DRJ (a83b8b) — 2/23/2012 @ 11:25 am

  33. Anyone else get the strong sense that the GOP ticket is destined to be Romney & Santorum, in whatever order?

    Comment by JVW (305296) — 2/23/2012 @ 11:28 am

  34. And having had the argument with Henneberger months ago on Twitter, I could not help but point this out.

    I don’t blame you. It’s great to see it put together like this. Sometimes, it’s like the people who most want to allege there is no liberal media are doing the most to confirm there is a liberal media.

    Comment by Dustin (401f3a) — 2/23/2012 @ 11:28 am

  35. The liberal journos are working for Satan.

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 2/23/2012 @ 11:33 am

  36. 10 Catholic teachings Conservatives reject:

    1. The Pope was against the Iraq War.

    2. The Conference of Catholic Bishops wants universal healthcare

    3. Death penalty opposition.

    4. The US conference of bishops wants the minimum wage increased.

    5. Same conference wants welfare returned.

    6. Conference of Catholic Bishops want Israel back to its pre ’67 borders.

    7. US conference of catholic bishops condemned AZ’s anti-immigration law.

    8. The Pope has condemned preventative war.

    If Republicans would get on board with the rest of the list, maybe there could be room for talk about healthcare plans not covering birth control.

    Someone in Congress ought to convene a hearing.

    Comment by morningafter (484a41) — 2/23/2012 @ 11:36 am

  37. JVW:

    Anyone else get the strong sense that the GOP ticket is destined to be Romney & Santorum, in whatever order?

    I could live with that but I still think Rubio will be the VP.

    Comment by DRJ (a83b8b) — 2/23/2012 @ 11:37 am

  38. 22.

    Romney: …why is he going there? Well, we found out when Barack Obama continued his attack on religious conscience.

    SF: I guess it didn’t bother him, or the people who fed him that idea, that this was only speculation, since he doesn’t care about the truth anyway, but only about saying what will sound good to conservative voters and talking this way makes him sound like a really, really, severe conservative…

    Comment by daleyrocks — 2/23/2012 @ 11:00 am

    Sammy – WTF are you talking about? Stephanopoulos brought contraception up to Romney in the context of Griswold v. Connecticut, or states banning contraception.

    That’s exactly right. It was the context of “how can you even think about overturning Roe v Wade?” (which none of them had spent much time talking about, but you knew they supported that)

    It had nothing to do with the upcoming requirement that all health insurance plans carry no charge coverage for contraception and the morning after pill.

    It was being bruited about now this week that maybe the new federal rule had been leaked to reporters and maybe even questioning about birth control encouraged. This idea doesn’t really fit the facts.

    Stephanapolous’ question was not at all about contraception itself, although some people, unfamiliar with legal reasoning, didn’t understand that. .

    . It was an alleged “horrible” if we didn’t have Roe v Wade.

    It was a completely out of the blue question. None of the candidates were talking about banning contraception and they all believe in states’ rights so it was a stupid question to ask candidates for president.

    No, it wasn’t stupid. It was somebody’s idea of a trap for the Republican candidates. ABC was looking for a whole bunch of questions like that. They thought anything like that was a really great question.

    The candidates all presumably wanted to name conservative justices to the Supreme Court. Who would if they were conservative enouggh maybe overturn Roe v Wade.

    The argument was that that was that the “right of privacy” which had been used to overturn abortion laws, had earlier been used to overturn a Connecticut anti-contraception law. Tell us whether or not a state could pass such a law again if Roe v Wade was reversed was the question.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (bbe5c1) — 2/23/2012 @ 11:44 am

  39. Sammy – WTF are you talking about?

    – Standard salutation; kinda like “Jane, you ignorant . . . .”

    Comment by Icy (9d05aa) — 2/23/2012 @ 11:44 am

  40. DRJ, I love Rubio, but he is too young, too young, too young. I don’t know if he is experienced enough for the onslaught that the media-Democrat axis would subject him to, and I fear that if he mishandled it he would have his political career sidetracked. I love Sarah Palin, and I am thinking the media is itching to do to Rubio what they did to her.

    Let the two old white dudes run this time. If they win, great. If not, we can come back in 2016 with the Rubios, Jindals, Ryans, and other young GOP stars.

    Comment by JVW (305296) — 2/23/2012 @ 11:44 am

  41. Anyone else get the strong sense that the GOP ticket is destined to be Romney & Santorum, in whatever order?

    – Well, I started to, but then Demi Moore swiped my whippets.

    Comment by Icy (9d05aa) — 2/23/2012 @ 11:46 am

  42. Mott Romney deferred to his Attorney General, Ron Paul. Ron Paul claimed no, a state couldn’t, because contraception was interstate commerce.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (bbe5c1) — 2/23/2012 @ 11:47 am

  43. Anyone else get the strong sense that the GOP ticket is destined to be Romney & Santorum, in whatever order?

    I could live with that but I still think Rubio will be the VP.

    The other Paul

    Comment by morningafter (484a41) — 2/23/2012 @ 11:48 am

  44. Okay, now I’m confused . . . is it Romney/Santorum? Or Romney/Gingrich?

    Comment by Icy (9d05aa) — 2/23/2012 @ 11:49 am

  45. Satan and the Democrats who are attempting to take this country straight to H.E. double toothpicks.
    Conservative web site says Democrats are in League with Satan!!!!
    Tomorrows headline.

    Sammy, from my limited perspective as one PA Pro-Life voter, Santorum ran against Bob Casey Sr.’s ghost more than against Bob Casey Jr. in 2006. It didn’t seem to me that Jr’s positions on things were well publicized and well known, but that it was “kind of assumed he was like his dad”. Between that and Santorum being a firm backer of President Bush in Iraq (where he lied and people died, remember) I believe is why he lost.

    Comment by MD in Philly (3d3f72) — 2/23/2012 @ 11:55 am

  46. “No, it wasn’t stupid. It was somebody’s idea of a trap for the Republican candidates. ABC was looking for a whole bunch of questions like that. They thought anything like that was a really great question.”

    Sammy – Right. So you think Romney should have addressed it seriously rather than dismissing it as silly as he did? Would that have been more severely conservative?

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 2/23/2012 @ 11:56 am

  47. Santorum should stop wearing that “Ask Me About Social Issues” button. He views his confrontation with the MSM as Daniel in the Lion’s Den, but in reality it’s more like Pickett’s Charge.

    Comment by Kevin M (bf8ad7) — 2/23/2012 @ 11:57 am

  48. morningafter – How many divisions does the Pope have?

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 2/23/2012 @ 11:59 am

  49. Icy–

    Romney/Gingrich, especially if it’s clear that Gingrich will have an active role, could restore party unity and appease the Tea Party. Of the 4 candidates, they are clearly the most qualified and sane.

    Comment by Kevin M (bf8ad7) — 2/23/2012 @ 12:00 pm

  50. Here’s the thing about American Catholics: they may disagree with the Church about contraception (less so about abortion), but they really do not like having their Church told what to do by people who hate it.

    Comment by Kevin M (bf8ad7) — 2/23/2012 @ 12:03 pm

  51. In the last election a journalist had a run in with GOP nominee John McCain when he was pushing McCain about insurance paying for birth control. That journalist then said McCain had gotten crabby because he refused to talk about that and cut the interview short. That journalist was…Jay Carney.

    Tapper’s wife used to be with Planned Parenthood. He’s probably quite attuned to contraception controversies.

    Comment by MayBee (081489) — 2/23/2012 @ 12:04 pm

  52. That journalist was…Jay Carney.

    Jeez. Nice catch, btw.

    Comment by Dustin (401f3a) — 2/23/2012 @ 12:25 pm

  53. I can’t stomach the idea of Newt Gingrich as the VP nominee. My distaste for him is so strong that were he the top of the ticket, I would vote for the Libertarian or the American Constitutional Party (I can afford such whimsy, since I live in California which will give all its electoral votes to Obama anyway). I don’t mean to sidetrack this thread on an anti-Newt discussion, so all I will say is that to me Newt is the GOP version of Bill Clinton, with all the positives and all the negatives that entails.

    Comment by JVW (b239a3) — 2/23/2012 @ 12:41 pm

  54. That journalist was…Jay Carney.

    That was no journalist, MayBee.

    Comment by JVW (b239a3) — 2/23/2012 @ 12:42 pm

  55. “The debates as a whole have greatly disappointed because they were run by MSM for MSM, not by the GOP for GOP voters. The laughable inability of most of the MSMers to bring themselves to ask any question that began by noting the president’s dismal record on anything is what stands out, and a prize should have been offered at the outset to the MSMer who uttered “Fast and Furious,” “Solyndra,” “csar,” “recess appointments,” Eric Holder, the F-22, or the promise not to go above 8% unemployment. All told it was a giant exercise in “protect the president while trying to bleed the GOP.” It didn’t work except to further kill the chances of CNN, NBC, CBS ever establishing a connection with the millions of viewers who have simply shrugged and walked away. The network executives who allowed their opportunity to expand their audience to be turned into yet another series of “go away” messages ought to be fired. Imagine wasting all of your Superbowl ads directing appeals at aging customers whose loyalty wasn’t in doubt to begin with. That’s what the nets did. Again, and again and again.”

    - Hugh Hewitt

    http://www.hughhewitt.com/blog/g/69fe12a1-6fa5-4ac1-8432-db43b26e9f8b

    Comment by Colonel Haiku (60474f) — 2/23/2012 @ 12:46 pm

  56. My distaste for him is so strong that were he the top of the ticket, I would vote for the Libertarian or the American Constitutional Party

    I have a very strong problem with Romneycare and Romney’s gun votes, and an even stronger problem with his flip flops. But if he’s on the ticket, I’m voting for it.

    I hope you reconsider and support whoever the GOP puts up there. At this time, don’t settle any more than you absolutely have to. Primaries are your chance to do that. But when the primary is over, the name of the game is beating Obama.

    Comment by Dustin (401f3a) — 2/23/2012 @ 12:47 pm

  57. You’d think lying would come easier to Jay Carney, him being a “journalist” and all.

    Comment by Colonel Haiku (60474f) — 2/23/2012 @ 12:48 pm

  58. I can’t imagine Newt Gingrich would ever settle for being VP on anyone’s ticket. He views himself as much too consequential for that.

    That said, I’d pay PPV cash for a Gingrich-Biden debate.

    Comment by Colonel Haiku (60474f) — 2/23/2012 @ 12:52 pm

  59. How many divisions does the Pope have?

    Comment by daleyrocks

    A total of thirty divisions, if you count the “Bloody Black and White” 28th Nunnery Infantry Division.

    Comment by Colonel Haiku (60474f) — 2/23/2012 @ 1:00 pm

  60. That said, I’d pay PPV cash for a Gingrich-Biden debate.

    Nah, Colonel, the usual suspects from the MSM would make sure that every question was framed in a way that even a doofus like Biden could muddle through on the minimum of administration talking points. When Newt would object to the pro-Obama questions, the media-Democrat axis would fill the post-debate discussion with talk of Newt’s “anger management problem.” It would be a trap that he would all to easily walk into.

    That’s taking for granted that Newt didn’t decide to play the Great Accommodater like he did in his infamous debate with John Kerry in which he was happy to accept the left’s premise that carbon is the great evil that must be conquered.

    Comment by JVW (b239a3) — 2/23/2012 @ 1:07 pm

  61. “morningafter” is such a cute copypasta troll.

    Comment by JD (5506f8) — 2/23/2012 @ 1:09 pm

  62. That said, I’d pay PPV cash for a Gingrich-Biden debate.

    Now there’s something I agree with Haiku on. If Palin had been quicker than she is, Biden made two career-ending flubs that she could have pounced on. But she didn’t know enough to contradict him, and the press was too busy hectoring Palin to fact-check the Dems.

    Really smart clear presenter vs sloppy BS artist? Nuking fish in a barrel. I expect there will be a scheduling conflict.

    Comment by Kevin M (bf8ad7) — 2/23/2012 @ 1:09 pm

  63. I hope you reconsider and support whoever the GOP puts up there.

    Dustin — again, if I lived in a competitive state like Colorado or Virginia or Florida I would have to consider sucking it up and vote GOP even with Newt at the top of the ticket. If by some miracle the GOP appears to have a chance to be competitive in California then I’ll give it some thought. I would point out, though, that I voted for Schwartzenegger for Governor in 2003, despite wanting to vote for Tom McClintock, just because I though that the prospect of continuing with Gray Davis or Cruz Bustamante as governor was too scary to contemplate. Look what that did for me.

    Comment by JVW (b239a3) — 2/23/2012 @ 1:14 pm

  64. JVW,

    Judiciary Committee Chairman Biden corrected Palin (Palin had it right), that Article I of the Constitution was about the Executive, not the Legislature. His area of expertise, supposedly, not hers.

    Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Biden asserted that France had driven Hezbollah out of Lebanon (and that Bush had let them back in). France, as we know, cannot drive Hezbollah out of Paris.

    How softball will they go to avoid even things Biden is an expert in?

    Comment by Kevin M (bf8ad7) — 2/23/2012 @ 1:15 pm

  65. Really, you forgot Ifill’s role in that debate, the way she cut her off, and let Biden go on as the
    star pupil, unchannelled.

    Comment by narciso (87e966) — 2/23/2012 @ 1:16 pm

  66. Here is how it came up in the first New Hampshire debate:

    Law Professor (not really, but he plays one on TV) George Stephanopolous grills attorney Mitt
    Romney a la “The Paper Chase” http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0070509/ if James Kingsfield was a partisan Democrat.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/election-2012/post/2012-abcyahoowmur-new-hampshire-gop-primary-debate-transcript/2012/01/07/gIQAk2AAiP_blog.html

    ANNOUNCER: Back live from Manchester, New Hampshire, in a moment.

    (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

    STEPHANOPOULOS: Back in Manchester. Governor Romney, I want to go straight to you.

    Senator Santorum has been very clear in his belief that the Supreme Court was wrong when it decided that a right to privacy was embedded in the Constitution. And following from that, he believes that states have the right to ban contraception. Now I should add that he said he’s not recommending that states do that…

    SANTORUM: No, I said — let’s be clear.

    STEPHANOPOULOS: Absolutely. I’m giving you your due…

    SANTORUM: I’m talking about — we’re talking about the 10th Amendment and the right of states to act.

    STEPHANOPOULOS: But I do want to get to that core question.

    SANTORUM: OK.

    STEPHANOPOULOS: Governor Romney, do you believe that states have the right to ban contraception? Or is that trumped by a constitutional right to privacy?

    ROMNEY: George, this is an unusual topic that you’re raising. States have a right to ban contraception? I can’t imagine a state banning contraception. I can’t imagine the circumstances where a state would want to do so, and if I were a governor of a state or…

    STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, the Supreme Court has ruled –

    (CROSSTALK)

    ROMNEY: … or a — or a legislature of a state — I would totally and completely oppose any effort to ban contraception. So you’re asking — given the fact that there’s no state that wants to do so, and I don’t know of any candidate that wants to do so, you’re asking could it constitutionally be done? We can ask our constitutionalist here.

    (LAUGHTER)

    (CROSSTALK)

    STEPHANOPOULOS: I’m sure Congressman Paul…

    (CROSSTALK)

    ROMNEY: OK, come on — come on back…

    (CROSSTALK)

    STEPHANOPOULOS: … asking you, do you believe that states have that right or not?

    ROMNEY: George, I — I don’t know whether a state has a right to ban contraception. No state wants to. I mean, the idea of you putting forward things that states might want to do that no — no state wants to do and asking me whether they could do it or not is kind of a silly thing, I think.

    (APPLAUSE)

    STEPHANOPOULOS: Hold on a second. Governor, you went to Harvard Law School. You know very well this is based on…

    ROMNEY: Has the Supreme Court — has the Supreme Court decided that states do not have the right to provide contraception? I…

    STEPHANOPOULOS: Yes, they have. In 1965, Griswold v. Connecticut.

    ROMNEY: The — I believe in the — that the law of the land is as spoken by the Supreme Court, and that if we disagree with the Supreme Court — and occasionally I do — then we have a process under the Constitution to change that decision. And it’s — it’s known as the amendment process.

    And — and where we have — for instance, right now we’re having issues that relate to same-sex marriage. My view is, we should have a federal amendment of the Constitution defining marriage as a relationship between a man and a woman. But I know of — of no reason to talk about contraception in this regard.

    STEPHANOPOULOS: But you’ve got the Supreme Court decision finding a right to privacy in the Constitution.

    ROMNEY: I don’t believe they decided that correctly. In my view, Roe v. Wade was improperly decided. It was based upon that same principle. And in my view, if we had justices like Roberts, Alito, Thomas, and Scalia, and more justices like that, they might well decide to return this issue to states as opposed to saying it’s in the federal Constitution.

    And by the way, if the people say it should be in the federal Constitution, then instead of having unelected judges stuff it in there when it’s not there, we should allow the people to express their own views through amendment and add it to the Constitution. But this idea that justice…

    STEPHANOPOULOS: But should that be done in this case?

    ROMNEY: Pardon?

    STEPHANOPOULOS: Should that be done in this case?

    ROMNEY: Should this be done in the case — this case to allow states to ban contraception? No. States don’t want to ban contraception. So why would we try and put it in the Constitution?

    With regards to gay marriage, I’ve told you, that’s when I would amend the Constitution. Contraception, it’s working just fine, just leave it alone.

    (LAUGHTER)

    (APPLAUSE) STEPHANOPOULOS: I understand that. But you’ve given two answers to the question. Do you believe that the Supreme Court should overturn it or not?

    ROMNEY: Do I believe the Supreme Court should overturn…

    (SOMEONE IN AUDIENCE YELLING)

    ROMNEY: Do I believe the Supreme Court should overturn Roe v. Wade? Yes, I do.

    PAUL: He mentioned my name.

    STEPHANOPOULOS: Go ahead then.

    PAUL: I didn’t know whether I got time when it was favorable or not. But thank you. No, I think the Fourth Amendment is very clear. It is explicit in our privacy. You can’t go into anybody’s house and look at what they have or their papers or any private things without a search warrant.

    This is why the Patriot Act is wrong, because you have a right of privacy by the Fourth Amendment. As far as selling contraceptives, the Interstate Commerce Clause protects this because the Interstate Commerce Clause was originally written not to impede trade between the states, but it was written to facilitate trade between the states. So if it’s not illegal to import birth control pills from one state to the next, it would be legal to sell birth control pills in that state.

    STEPHANOPOULOS: Senator Santorum?

    SANTORUM: What’s the question?

    (LAUGHTER)

    STEPHANOPOULOS: On the right to privacy and the response to Congressman Paul.

    SANTORUM: Well, Congressman Paul is talking about privacy rights under the Fourth Amendment, which I agree with him in, I don’t necessarily agree that the Patriot Act violates that. But I do agree with — obviously we have a right to privacy under the Fourth Amendment. But that’s not what the Griswold decision nor the Roe v. Wade decision were about.

    They created through a penumbra of rights a new right to privacy that was not in the Constitution. And what I’ve — and that’s, again, I sort of agree with Governor Romney’s assessment — legal assessment, it created a right through boot-strapping, through creating something that wasn’t there. I believe it should be overturned.

    I am for overturning Roe versus Wade. I do not believe that we have a right in this country, in the Constitution, to take a human life. I don’t think that’s — I don’t think our founders envisioned that. I don’t think the writing of the Constitution anywhere enables that. SAWYER: I want to turn now, if I can, from the Constitutional and the elevated here, to something closer to home and to maybe families sitting in their living rooms all across this country.

    Yahoo! sends us questions, as you know. We have them from real viewers. And I’d like to post one, because it is about gay marriage. But at the level — and I would really love to be able to ask you what you would say personally, sitting in your living rooms, to the people who ask questions like this.

    This is from Phil in Virginia. “Given that you oppose gay marriage, what do you want gay people to do who want to form loving, committed, long-term relationships? What is your solution?” And, Speaker Gingrich?

    GINGRICH: Well, I think what I would say is that we want to make it possible to have those things that are most intimately human between friends occur. For example, you’re in a hospital. If there are visitation hours, should you be allowed to stay there? There ought to be ways to designate that.

    You want to have somebody in your will. There ought to be ways to designate that. But it is a huge jump from being understanding and considerate and concerned, which we should be, to saying we therefore are going to institute the sacrament of marriage as though it has no basis.

    The sacrament of marriage was based on a man and woman, has been for 3,000 years. Is at the core of our civilization. And it’s something worth protecting and upholding. And I think protecting and upholding that doesn’t mean you have to go out and make life miserable for others, but it does mean you make a distinction between a historic sacrament of enormous importance in our civilization and simply deciding it applies everywhere and it’s just a civil right.

    It’s not. It is a part of how we define ourselves. And I think that a marriage between a man and a woman is part of that definition.

    SAWYER: Governor Huntsman, you’ve talked about civil unions. How do you disagree with the others on this stage?

    HUNTSMAN: Well, personally, I think civil unions are fair. I support them. I think there’s such a thing as equality under the law.

    I’m a married man. I’ve been married for 28 years. I have seven kids. Glad we’re off the contraception discussion.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (d22d64) — 2/23/2012 @ 1:17 pm

  67. Dustin — again, if I lived in a competitive state like Colorado or Virginia or Florida I would have to consider sucking it up and vote GOP even with Newt at the top of the ticket

    You know what: more power to ya. That makes sense to me. I like Newt, but if he’s not someone you’re willing to support, you shouldn’t have to out of some loyalty concept. It’s not like the party will feel loyal to you after they get the vote.

    I just can’t, in good faith, hold it against people for having standards. Relaxing the standards for short term political gains has blown up in our faces.

    Comment by Dustin (401f3a) — 2/23/2012 @ 1:20 pm

  68. The MFM has a raging case of Vizzini disease;

    http://newsbusters.org/blogs/tim-graham/2012/02/23/politicos-alexander-burns-trips-and-falls-correction-gingrich-about-abor

    Comment by narciso (87e966) — 2/23/2012 @ 1:22 pm

  69. “morningafter” is such a cute copypasta troll.

    JD, did you notice that morningafter’s “10 [alleged] Catholic Teachings. . .” only had 8 points listed underneath them? Democrat math — morningafter much be the teacher’s union rep has his or her failing public school.

    Come to think of it, this is the same type of math that Obama uses for deficit reduction!

    Comment by JVW (b239a3) — 2/23/2012 @ 1:22 pm

  70. The really disappointing thing about the debates is the way Fox used their few outings to show how unRepublican they were. Imagine if they had Hannity, Palin and Huckabee asking questions instead of Clark Kent or whoever that was.

    Or use the Huckabee format. The serial interviews that Huckabee hosted with 3 Republican attorney generals were revealing. They clearly established that Perry was pretty slow on his feet and got detailed answers on policy without much sniping.

    Comment by Kevin M (bf8ad7) — 2/23/2012 @ 1:25 pm

  71. How softball will they go to avoid even things Biden is an expert in?

    Kevin M., I see the media-Democrat axis framing every issue in the debate as to the “great” things the Obama Administration has done, and why on Earth would the GOP want to undo them. So the questions would be as follows:

    “Mr. Speaker, the Administration has kept it’s promise by removing all combat forces from Iraq. Would you put them back in, and if so, how would you resolve that with your desire for deficit reduction?”

    “Mr. Speaker, you have criticized the Administration’s health plans? Would the Romney/Gingrich Administration undo it wholesale, even if that meant throwing 20 million Americans off of health insurance?”

    “Mr. Speaker, you and Gov. Romney are promising massive deficit reduction in the first four years of your Administration, while at the same time cutting corporate and personal income taxes. How will you accomplish this without massively disrupting the lives of people who depend on government help?”

    You see where I am going with this. Imagine sixty minutes (the maximum time for debate that Team Biden will agree to) of this. Biden will be taught to repeat the following talking points:
    ask the wealthy to pay more
    cut deficit in half by 2018
    delivered on promise to provide health insurance to all Americans
    killed Osama bin Laden and other major terrorists
    tax corporations who move jobs overseas
    ensure that women have access to the full range of health options
    invest in education and clean green energy sources.

    Biden will just repeating variations on these themes over and over, and he will be told under penalty of death not to deviate from this script. No matter how well Newt does, the media-Democrat axis will emerge with the message that “the Vice President held his own during the debate.” Even if Newt somehow lays a whooping on Biden, it will still only be a VP debate and won’t have any bearing on the outcome of the Presidential race.

    Comment by JVW (b239a3) — 2/23/2012 @ 1:38 pm

  72. SF: “No, it wasn’t stupid. It was somebody’s idea of a trap for the Republican candidates. ABC was looking for a whole bunch of questions like that. They thought anything like that was a really great question.”

    Comment by daleyrocks — 2/23/2012 @ 11:56 am

    Sammy – Right. So you think Romney should have addressed it seriously rather than dismissing it as silly as he did? Would that have been more severely conservative?

    He actually handled it almost all right (it could have been emophasized a bit more that this was not a practical question), but he did show he was not on top of the legal issues, and he sounded like he didn’t even understand the legal point.

    He didn’t even know what the Supreme Court had used as a precedent. That it had ruled contraception could not be made illegal by a state. It’s like he knew nothing about the whole
    legal abortion argument.

    I’m afraid he might fail the bar exam or something.

    It’s a real question. Briefs before the Supreme Court would do well to address it. It’s well known that sometimes other laws unintentionally infringe upon rights so it’s important if something is a right or not.

    I think it might be pointed out that not everything that we wouldn’t want to see done is prohibited by the federal constitution, or that state constitutions might possibly prevent that in many cases. And you could cite the Ninth amendment, except saying that whatever the Ninth amendment could mean, it didn’t go far as abortion.

    In any case you could find other grounds to overturn such laws if you wanted to and the two situations aren’t really all that similar. They can readily be distinguished.

    By the way, in 1971, in an earlier abortion case, the Supreme Court was considering a different line of argument than the “right of privacy”

    United States v. Vuitch, 402 U.S. 62 (1971)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_v._Vuitch

    Vuitch had claimed that an abortion law that made an exception for health was unsconstitutionally vague.

    Vuitch lost in the sense that the statute was ruled not “vague;” the district court’s decision was overturned and Vuitch could be prosecuted.[2]

    However, the decision treated abortion as a surgical option not fundamentally different from any other, and the Court seemed to care most about sufficient leeway being given to a doctor’s professional judgment.[3]

    The justices voted to hear Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, other abortion cases, the day after Vuitch’s opinion was announced.[3]

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (d22d64) — 2/23/2012 @ 1:42 pm

  73. It is amusing how the left-most 40% of the Right deplore the so-cons getting a voice and tease TEAs with a focus on the fiscal unity theme.

    All the while pimping the least fiscally serious candidate.

    Comment by gary gulrud(MN#6, Anabaptist) (d88477) — 2/23/2012 @ 1:45 pm

  74. Here is a link:

    http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/United_States_v._Vuitch

    None of the dissenting opinions said a word about the right to privacy or Griswold v Connecticut.

    Justice White, concurring, said they had no facts, but the statute was not unconstitutional because even if wasn’t clear what health was, it was clear in certain cases that health was not a factor.

    The difference between 1971 and 1973 was that Hugo Black and John Marshal Harlkan were off the court. But that should have turned the court in a more “strict constructionist” direction.

    Justice Harry Blackmun just gave into to temptation in 1973.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (d22d64) — 2/23/2012 @ 1:50 pm

  75. “He actually handled it almost all right (it could have been emophasized a bit more that this was not a practical question), but he did show he was not on top of the legal issues, and he sounded like he didn’t even understand the legal point.

    He didn’t even know what the Supreme Court had used as a precedent.”

    Sammy – Exactly. It was a non-issue no candidate or state was contemplating raising so why would Romney be expected to be up to speed on the applicable precedents in spite of Stephanopoulos’ harranging him as a Harvard Law grad.

    Sammy, you’ve gone from:

    “What Romney did, is he treated this not as speculation, but as an undisputed fact. Which it cannot be. It doesn’t add up. I guess it didn’t bother him, or the people who fed him that idea, that this was only speculation, since he doesn’t care about the truth anyway, but only about saying what will sound good to conservative voters and talking this way makes him sound like a really, really, severe conservative, maybe more conservative than Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin, or Sean Hannity.”

    To: “He actually handled it almost all right”

    Let me know when you stop flip flopping.

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 2/23/2012 @ 2:07 pm

  76. RETHUGLIKKKANS WANT TO BAN THE GREAT SHEEPSKIN RUBBERZ OF DEATH FOR THE THEOCRACY!!!!

    Comment by JD (5506f8) — 2/23/2012 @ 2:34 pm

  77. RETHUGLIKKKANS WANT TO BAN THE GREAT SHEEPSKIN RUBBERZ OF DEATH FOR THE THEOCRACY!!!!

    Actually, JD, the best way to get condoms banned would be to tell everyone they were still made of sheepskin. This way, the animal rights fanatics would join religious groups in advocating the prohibition of their manufacture and sale.

    On a related note, sheepskin slippers are pretty much the perfection of footwear.

    Comment by JVW (470cf6) — 2/23/2012 @ 2:39 pm

  78. the contraception thing isn’t a Team R thing it’s quite specifically a Santorum thing

    he should try more harder to be less of a freakshow

    Comment by happyfeet (3c92a1) — 2/23/2012 @ 3:06 pm

  79. Self immolation, is a bug not a feature for them;

    http://bigjournalism.com/jpollak/2012/02/23/john-king-protects-obama-and-iran-in-cnndebate/#more-275188

    Comment by narciso (87e966) — 2/23/2012 @ 3:13 pm

  80. The Constitution apparently is a suicide pact;

    http://www.opposingviews.com/i/society/crime/muslim-admits-attacking-atheist-muslim-judge-dismisses-case

    Comment by narciso (87e966) — 2/23/2012 @ 3:47 pm

  81. I am a devout Catholic. I attend a Conservative Parish.
    I know NO ONE, NOT A SINGLE SOUL, who has EVER made Contraception a political issue, nor a subject of ANY CONVERSATION.

    This has been a DEMOCRAT and MEDIA set up.
    George SnuffafuggingluffuGUS, did what he was told to do, and this entire FAKE ISSUE, was planned by Comrade Jug Ears corrupt minions.

    I want President Fug-up HUMILIATED.

    Comment by Gym Hoft (694db4) — 2/23/2012 @ 3:47 pm

  82. Justice Harry Blackmun just gave into to temptation in 1973.

    Harry Blackmun was about 30 IQ points under the floor for Supreme Court justices. Totally unqualified. He apparently covered by having his clerks do everything, or so the story goes.

    Comment by Kevin M (bf8ad7) — 2/23/2012 @ 4:51 pm

  83. I don’t see Romney-Gingrich ticket in the GOP’s future. They won’t even shake hands.

    Comment by DRJ (a83b8b) — 2/23/2012 @ 4:51 pm

  84. the best way to get condoms banned would be to tell everyone they were still made of sheepskin.

    Sheep intestine. Diplomas were made of sheepskin. Maybe we can chase all the Democrats out of college that way?

    Comment by Chuck Bartowski (ae4cc4) — 2/23/2012 @ 4:57 pm

  85. The left wants to lie about this issue, so they can distract from Barcky’s mandates trampling on 1st Amendment rights, his hatred of jobs, his unquenchable thirst for taxes, his lust for crushing traditional energy sources, and his insatiable desire to destroy the economy. RUBBERS !!!!!!!!!

    Comment by JD (5506f8) — 2/23/2012 @ 4:57 pm

  86. “Sheep intestine. Diplomas were made of sheepskin. Maybe we can chase all the Democrats out of college that way?”

    Comment by Chuck Bartowski

    Now there’s a man who knows his prophylactics…

    Comment by Colonel Haiku (60474f) — 2/23/2012 @ 5:02 pm

  87. I don’t see Romney-Gingrich ticket in the GOP’s future. They won’t even shake hands.

    Comment by DRJ

    They did last night during the introductions.

    Comment by Colonel Haiku (60474f) — 2/23/2012 @ 5:04 pm

  88. Did they shake hands after the debate?

    Comment by DRJ (a83b8b) — 2/23/2012 @ 5:35 pm

  89. 25. Comment by Karl — 2/23/2012 @ 11:12 am

    Sammy (21)

    Interesting theory, except then why as the question as “Democrats say,” if they had not said anything like it for years?

    Nobody had been saying anything much about that race for several years. That’s not the problem. The problem is, if that’s ABC’s own research, and their sources are articles and interviews from 2006, how can that be attributed to Democrats? Tapper implied a current source.

    Occam’s Razor is our friend.

    You’re right. (with the caveat that Occam’s Razor only applies if you have enough information and there’s nothing big out there you don’t know. Four year olds use Occam’s Razor all the time and get things wrong.)

    What I said has a problem, but what you said has a problem that’s even worse. (But maybe there’s another way to get this right)

    You quote Tapper as saying that “Democrats say” that one of the reasons Santorum lost in 2006 was because he’s more conservative than mainstream America, citing his position on contraception as an example. And then you say Democrats did not say that, but maybe reporters did. In other Tapper was misrepresenting things or got things wrong.

    The results suggest birth control was not a Democrat line of attack

    In 2011. But it was in 2006. And Tapper didn’t say anything different. He said that “Democrats say” it helped him lose in 2006. So how does that show Tapper was wrong?

    I think the best idea, using Occam’s Razor, is that this April 2006 New York Times article was not one of Jake Tapper’s principle sources, but it does reflect an underlying reality. ABC, in fact maybe didn’t even find that article, but there must have been others to find, and there were other indications this was made into an issue.

    In such circumstances, once we know there was actual campaigning like this, it is not too difficult to imagine that some Democrats with familiarity with Pennsylvania politics, might have said in 2011 to one or more people that one reason Santorum lost in 2006 had to do with contraception.

    This idea, and the further idea that this is not just a past but a current vulnerability of Santorum’s, was not made up out of whole cloth or invented by reporters columnists or bloggers.

    Some of them wrote about Santorum’s position on contraception because they wanted to write about a vulnerability of Santorum |This had nothing to do with this being a 2011/2012 campaign line of attack on Santorum by Democrats at that time)

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (bbe5c1) — 2/23/2012 @ 5:46 pm

  90. Did they shake hands after the debate?

    Comment by DRJ

    Wasn’t watching that closely at that point. More concerned about another lost opportunity to talk about the REAL ISSUES!!!!

    Comment by Colonel Haiku (60474f) — 2/23/2012 @ 5:54 pm

  91. 75. Comment by daleyrocks — 2/23/2012 @ 2:07 pm

    Sammy, you’ve gone from:

    “What Romney did, is he treated this not as speculation, but as an undisputed fact. Which it
    cannot be. It doesn’t add up. I guess it didn’t bother him, or the people who fed him that idea, that this was only speculation, since he doesn’t care about the truth anyway, but only about saying what will sound good to conservative voters and talking this way makes him sound like a really, really, severe conservative, maybe more conservative than Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin, or Sean Hannity.”

    To:

    “He actually handled it almost all right”

    Let me know when you stop flip flopping.

    No flip flop. The first quote refers to The Wednesday night February 22, 2012 CNN debate, and the second quote to the January 7, 2012 ABC debate. The first quote refers to Mitt Romney saying that now we know why Stephanapolous asked that question – supposedly because Barack Obama was going to come out with that regulation saying that contraception was mandatory preventative care under Obamacare and the second quote referes to how he handled the original January 7, ABC exchange itself.

    No problem unless you think I have to take the position that everything Mitt Romney says is good or everything Mitt Romney says is bad.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (bbe5c1) — 2/23/2012 @ 5:58 pm

  92. I kind of thought the media was unfair to Gore.

    I know that’s the kind of thing where you have to duck after you say it. But that’s what I think.

    Comment by Patterico (17e5f6) — 2/23/2012 @ 6:01 pm

  93. What George Stephanopolous asked Mitt Romney on January 7, 2012, was, in a real sense, a softball question. It had a number of obvious responses.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (bbe5c1) — 2/23/2012 @ 6:02 pm

  94. Goes without saying that if you describe Romney over a period of time, your description will reflect Romney’s flip floppy nature. He is totally inconsistent even in non-ideological ways. His tone is one of the ways. I assume there’s some kind of focus group for such things.

    And thought DRJ is quite right that there is bad blood between Newt and Romney, I suppose a Reagan / George HW Bush situation is possible.

    Of course, Romney has to win first. The real question should be who Santorum’s VP will be.

    Comment by Dustin (401f3a) — 2/23/2012 @ 6:08 pm

  95. What George Stephanopolous asked Mitt Romney on January 7, 2012, was, in a real sense, a softball question. It had a number of obvious responses.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman

    Romney handled it fine, in my opinion. He kept throwing the absurdity back at George. It’s great when the candidates do it, though none do it as well as Newt.

    The real obvious response is to stop letting democrats run our primary debates. This is an actual member of a Democrat administration running our debate. Whoever set that up is an idiot.

    Comment by Dustin (401f3a) — 2/23/2012 @ 6:11 pm

  96. Note to self… political prognostications from people who have a track record of backing questionable candidates and flip-flopping between Flavors-of-the-Day should be taken with a grain of salt.

    Comment by Colonel Haiku (60474f) — 2/23/2012 @ 6:14 pm

  97. All that anyone would have to do is to have the gumption to attack the premise of the question or at least its real world practicality.

    In court, or in legal argument, you never do that.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (bbe5c1) — 2/23/2012 @ 6:21 pm

  98. Comment by Dustin — 2/23/2012 @ 6:08 pm

    The real question should be who Santorum’s VP will be.

    That one is hard to say. Gingrich’s would probably be Santorum, but not the other way around.

    Somebody younger than Santorum almost certainly.

    They’re floating the name of Rand Paul for Romney’s VP as an explanation of the alliance between Mitt Romney and Ron Paul *, but I don’t think the explanation is anything that crude and simple. Although Mitt Romney just might do it if it was suggested to him.

    * I think both Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin mentioned this: http://www.thestatecolumn.com/articles/2012/02/23/rand-paulit-would-be-an-honor-to-serve-as-mitt-romneys-vp/

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (bbe5c1) — 2/23/2012 @ 6:30 pm

  99. They keep digging all the way to Northern China if they need to,

    http://www.nationalreview.com/campaign-spot/291858/inew-york-timesi-columnist-mocks-romneys-magic-underwear

    Comment by narciso (87e966) — 2/23/2012 @ 6:32 pm

  100. I wonder if they think going after some of Santorum’s anti-same sex marriage rhetoric would backfire on them, or if they are saving it for the next salvo.

    Sheep intestine will block sperm, but not smaller particles like HIV and hepatitis virus particles.

    Gore was unfair to himself. Lied during debate about being in Texas when FEMA was helping deal with wildfires. Pathologic lying on live TV usually does not help one’s reputation, at least it didn’t in the past. Maybe Gore had not perfected it to current standards.

    Comment by MD in Philly (3d3f72) — 2/23/2012 @ 6:51 pm

  101. what happens when an unstoppable sperm meets an impregnable condom?

    Nothing good that’s for sure

    Comment by happyfeet (3c92a1) — 2/23/2012 @ 6:53 pm

  102. I don’t think the explanation is anything that crude and simple. Although Mitt Romney just might do it if it was suggested to him.

    I agree it’s too simplistic an explanation. Ron Paul gets a lot already out of their alliance, and stands to gain a major platform at the convention. It’s just politics, of course. What’s unfortunate isn’t that they would make the deal so much as that the people wouldn’t see right through it (it should undermine Ron Paul’s credibility completely).

    I think Mitt, if he somehow figured out a way to stop losing, would pick a very conservative and pretty candidate who didn’t have more executive experience. It is quite obvious who that would be.

    Comment by Dustin (401f3a) — 2/23/2012 @ 7:27 pm

  103. (Rubio)

    Comment by Dustin (401f3a) — 2/23/2012 @ 7:27 pm

  104. It would be a disaster to pick Ron Paul for VP. If there is anyone that would be worse for foreign policy than Obama it would be Ron Paul. Paul has to think that the Monroe Doctrine was too expansionist…

    Comment by MD in Philly (3d3f72) — 2/23/2012 @ 7:36 pm

  105. “No problem unless you think I have to take the position that everything Mitt Romney says is good or everything Mitt Romney says is bad.”

    Sammy – You saying of Romney “he doesn’t care about the truth anyway, but only about saying what will sound good to conservative voters” is pretty much the same as saying everything he says is bad in my mind. Did you intend for it to be interpreted in a different manner? If so, can you explain how?

    Your initial memory in #38 of the Q&A as shown from the transcript you posted later, was completely wrong:

    “Stephanapolous’ question was not at all about contraception itself, although some people, unfamiliar with legal reasoning, didn’t understand that. .”

    Of the initial question itself, I called it stupid, you replied:

    “No, it wasn’t stupid. It was somebody’s idea of a trap for the Republican candidates. ABC was looking for a whole bunch of questions like that. They thought anything like that was a really great question.”

    Perhaps it was great if you were wearing a Democrat hat. Are you.

    Now you are calling it a “softball question.”

    No flip flopping? Seriously?

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 2/23/2012 @ 7:41 pm

  106. the reports of demise, have been greatly exaggerated;

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/rick-santorum-winning-more-support-from-republican-women/2012/02/22/gIQAPDJjWR_story.html

    hence the structure of last night’s debate,

    Comment by narciso (87e966) — 2/23/2012 @ 7:49 pm

  107. I kind of thought the media was unfair to Gore.

    I know that’s the kind of thing where you have to duck after you say it. But that’s what I think.

    Comment by Patterico — 2/23/2012 @ 6:01 pm

    OK, P, I’ll take the bait. I think you can make an argument that the media was unfair to Gore in 2000, but I think it is more accurate to say that it was the closest they had ever come to treating the Democrat candidate with the same contempt as they regularly treat the Republican candidate. They clearly wanted to run with the meme that “Bush is stupid, Gore is a liar” so they amplified every malapropism uttered by GWB and every exaggeration uttered by AlGore. I think they kind of felt that they had been burned by Bill Clinton — they had fallen hard for him in 1992 only to watch him immolate his Presidency with a dopey intern — and took it out on Gore, whom they (correctly) judged as being wooden and prone to self-aggrandizement. I would love it if they would cast the same jaundiced eye on Dear Leader this time around, but I doubt that they will until the day after the election.

    Comment by JVW (847664) — 2/23/2012 @ 8:26 pm

  108. 10 Catholic teachings Conservatives reject:

    Those weren’t teachings, those were political statements.

    Also, not all conservatives are Catholic, and a great many Catholics are not conservative.

    Comment by Chuck Bartowski (ae4cc4) — 2/23/2012 @ 9:10 pm

  109. Has there ever been a bad episode of Justified?

    Comment by JD (318f81) — 2/23/2012 @ 9:32 pm

  110. Not that I can recall.

    Comment by narciso (87e966) — 2/23/2012 @ 9:36 pm

  111. JVW in #33:
    Anyone else get the strong sense that the GOP ticket is destined to be Romney & Santorum, in whatever order?
    – Silly. Romney, in particular, would NEVER accept the VP slot.

    JVW in #40:
    Let the two old white dudes run this time.
    – Which led me to ask if you had changed to Romney/Gingrich (doubtful that you meant Romney/Paul).

    JVW in #53:
    I can’t stomach the idea of Newt Gingrich as the VP nominee.
    – Okay, so when you say “the two old white dudes” you ARE speaking of Romney & Santorum . . . the two youngest candidates in the race. Oookay then.

    Comment by Icy (c2d1be) — 2/23/2012 @ 10:18 pm

  112. Icy, to me they are geezers. Hell, they’re both older than Dear Leader, right?

    Comment by JVW (847664) — 2/23/2012 @ 10:52 pm

  113. Let me know when you stop flip flopping.
    Comment by daleyrocks — 2/23/2012 @ 2:07 pm

    – Waiting for Sammy The Equivocator to stop playing devil’s advocate for positions that pretty much nobody holds is like waiting for Lawrence O’Donnell to convert to LDS.

    Comment by Icy (c2d1be) — 2/23/2012 @ 10:53 pm

  114. And especially since the Republicans who make our hearts go pitter-patter are Bobby Jindal (40), Marco Rubio (40), Paul Ryan (42), Sarah Palin (48), and Chris Christie (49). In that light, Santorum (53) is long in the tooth, Romney (64) & Gingrich (68) are old, and Paul (76) is ancient.

    Comment by JVW (847664) — 2/23/2012 @ 10:59 pm

  115. JVW, you seem to be saying that the GOP must go younger and ‘more ethnic’ in order to win.

    Comment by Icy (c2d1be) — 2/23/2012 @ 11:00 pm

  116. Not so much “must,” but there isn’t much precedent for a President being replaced by someone from an earlier generation is there? Santorum is close enough in age to Dear Leader that they can be considered contemporaries, but Romney is a generation older.

    Comment by JVW (847664) — 2/23/2012 @ 11:05 pm

  117. Reagan was 13 years older than Carter.

    Comment by Icy (c2d1be) — 2/23/2012 @ 11:26 pm

  118. “Waiting for Sammy The Equivocator to stop playing devil’s advocate for positions that pretty much nobody holds is like waiting for Lawrence O’Donnell to convert to LDS.”

    Icy – I know, I just like it when he does a full 360.

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 2/23/2012 @ 11:59 pm

  119. Reagan was 13 years older than Carter.

    Ah, good example. But both men had the formative experience of WW II while young men, right? Reagan went into the service and Carter entered the Naval Academy while the war was still on, I believe. Even though neither man saw combat I would assume that there was a sense of shared service between the two, as there would have been with Ford or GHW Bush (or Nixon and Kennedy for that matter). I don’t know if there is an experience of that magnitude that Romney and Obama could be said to have shared.

    Comment by JVW (847664) — 2/24/2012 @ 1:33 am

  120. It just occurred to me what a brilliant Constitutional scholar the president is.

    The First Amendment, after all, says that Congress shall make no law…;
    it doesn’t say a thing about the President not being allowed to do whatever he wants by regulation.

    (I will spend the rest of the day getting my tongue removed from my cheek.)

    Comment by MD in Philly (3d3f72) — 2/24/2012 @ 4:31 am

  121. Romney will need Ron Paul’s electors and many of his own to date are Ron Paul supporters.

    To date Romney has exactly half of the delegate count, with the South and Heartland flatly rejecting him.

    MI looks to be too close to call, and much of his popular support hails from states he cannot carry in the general.

    Comment by gary gulrud(MN#6, Anabaptist) (d88477) — 2/24/2012 @ 4:47 am

  122. False. If Republicans weren’t constantly making contraception and abortion an issue, Democrats wouldn’t be involved. This is another example of Conservatives trying to turn an issue around and transfer blame from them to the other Party.

    Comment by tadcf (ead2bd) — 2/24/2012 @ 6:30 am

  123. Tadcf should be able to point out where this issue arose without it being prompted by the MFM. Let’s say, in the last 2 months. Hint, “tadcf” won’t, because it can’t.

    Comment by JD (318f81) — 2/24/2012 @ 6:45 am

  124. If Mark Levin says it, it must be true.

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 2/24/2012 @ 6:45 am

  125. JD, pop quiz question for ya:

    Who said “contraception isn’t ok”?

    Comment by Morningafter (91a5a0) — 2/24/2012 @ 7:00 am

  126. “morningafter” -his personal religious beliefs sure do seem to get you all hot and bothered. That would bother me if he were planning on jamming his fliers down our throats via the force of govt, which he is most decidedly not doing.

    Comment by JD (318f81) — 2/24/2012 @ 7:26 am

  127. Time for the Billy Madison clip, huh.

    Comment by narciso (87e966) — 2/24/2012 @ 7:28 am

  128. “Who said “contraception isn’t ok”?”

    Morningafter – Nobody is trying to ban contraception.

    Who is trying to get religious institutions to pay for it against their beliefs?

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 2/24/2012 @ 7:40 am

  129. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p7w64fbqYQY&feature=youtube_gdata_player

    Comment by JD (318f81) — 2/24/2012 @ 7:42 am

  130. Morningafter – It’s sort of like mandating Planned Parenthood support a bill to overturn Roe v. Wade or lose their funding or get fined or something. Funny that the left can’t see that.

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 2/24/2012 @ 7:44 am

  131. better stock up on the contraceptions now just in case

    an ounce of prevention don’t you know

    Comment by happyfeet (3c92a1) — 2/24/2012 @ 8:06 am

  132. Who is trying to get religious institutions to pay for it against their beliefs?

    That’s easy, no one is.

    Comment by Morningafter (e9719a) — 2/24/2012 @ 8:09 am

  133. Ok, we’ve moved right to the ‘Argument Clinic’

    Comment by narciso (87e966) — 2/24/2012 @ 8:11 am

  134. Free stuff is free, daleyrocks.

    Comment by JD (318f81) — 2/24/2012 @ 8:45 am

  135. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQFKtI6gn9Y

    Comment by narciso (87e966) — 2/24/2012 @ 8:49 am

  136. False. If Republicans weren’t constantly making contraception and abortion an issue, Democrats wouldn’t be involved. This is another example of Conservatives trying to turn an issue around and transfer blame from them to the other Party.
    Comment by tadcf — 2/24/2012 @ 6:30 am

    – Translation: If you whiny conservatives would just let us do whatever the hell we want, then we’d never fight you on anything!
    [Or, is it saying that because conservatives oppose requiring church-owned medical facilities to provide contraception (not to worry; Teh Won will wait until he is a lame duck before requiring them to provide abortion) the Democrats felt compelled to require it? Damn those conservatives for being all churchy and anti-aborty!]

    Comment by Icy (c2d1be) — 2/24/2012 @ 9:15 am

  137. That’s easy, no one is.

    – Fibbing IS easy, is it not?

    Comment by Icy (c2d1be) — 2/24/2012 @ 9:21 am

  138. Secular Catholic institutions are not being required, their insurance co’s are.

    Comment by Morningafter (9c4681) — 2/24/2012 @ 9:26 am

  139. You are dummerer than a sack of cow manure, “morningafter”.

    Comment by JD (ec7f41) — 2/24/2012 @ 9:28 am

  140. TANSTAAFL

    Comment by JD (ec7f41) — 2/24/2012 @ 9:29 am

  141. Secular Catholic institutions – heh

    Comment by JD (ec7f41) — 2/24/2012 @ 9:30 am

  142. 138. We seem to have picked up an STD, Chlamydia?

    Time to ring out the rag.

    Comment by gary gulrud(MN#6, Anabaptist) (1de2db) — 2/24/2012 @ 9:37 am

  143. JD

    Catholic hospitals – secular or religious?

    We report, you decide.

    Comment by Morningafter (fa3d37) — 2/24/2012 @ 9:50 am

  144. You get to decide what The Catholic Church considers to be part of their ministry? No thanks.

    Comment by JD (ec7f41) — 2/24/2012 @ 10:04 am

  145. Morningafter will provide a list of secular Catholic institutions in 3 . . . 2 . . . 1 . . .

    Comment by Icy (c2d1be) — 2/24/2012 @ 10:13 am

  146. JD

    Absolutely, separation of church & state.

    Comment by Morningafter (a997bc) — 2/24/2012 @ 10:20 am

  147. “morningafter” – while you are amusing us with your performance art, care to tell us what other names you have commented under?

    Comment by JD (ec7f41) — 2/24/2012 @ 10:22 am

  148. Absolutely, separation of church & state life.
    Comment by Morningafter

    There you go. Remember, “Church” means Sunday morning during an official meeting. There is no such thing as religiously motivated behavior other than choosing which hymn to sing.

    Since Muslims use mosques, and there is nothing in the constitution about state and mosque (or in any of Jefferson’s letters, either), this has nothing to do with Islam.

    Comment by MD in Philly (3d3f72) — 2/24/2012 @ 10:57 am

  149. Thanks, narciso, we needed that.

    Comment by MD in Philly (3d3f72) — 2/24/2012 @ 10:58 am

  150. JD, it might be time to pick up the Bat-phone and call Stashiu; however, the use of the FOXNews “we report you decide” tag is a telltale sign of Spartacvs.

    [Then again, is Dimwit ever very far away?]

    [note: released from moderation. --Stashiu]

    Comment by Icy (c2d1be) — 2/24/2012 @ 11:06 am

  151. Look at all of this scum!

    Comment by Sloe Joe Biden, speaking to a room full of unionized algae-harvesting workers at a government subsidized green energy startup, three years from now (c2d1be) — 2/24/2012 @ 11:17 am

  152. I’m having a heck of a time, today. Moderated twice, mis-typing, unintentionally cross-posting. Yikes!

    Comment by Icy (c2d1be) — 2/24/2012 @ 11:25 am

  153. Anyway, JD, I would hazard a guess that the SpurtCircus is back in town.

    Comment by Icy (c2d1be) — 2/24/2012 @ 11:27 am

  154. I didn’t know that most union workers in Michigan own two homes!

    Comment by (Doesn't Hasta Gots Ta Be a) Morningafter (447f50) — 2/24/2012 @ 11:49 am

  155. 105. Comment by daleyrocks — 2/23/2012 @ 7:41 pm

    “No problem unless you think I have to take the position that everything Mitt Romney says is good or everything Mitt Romney says is bad.”

    Sammy – You saying of Romney “he doesn’t care about the truth anyway, but only about saying what will sound good to conservative voters” is pretty much the same as saying everything he says is bad in my mind. Did you intend for it to be interpreted in a different manner? If so, can you explain how?

    I know. I had independently come to those two thoughts, and it could sound like maybe it shouldn’t be so. Why isn’t every word he says a lie, ncluding ‘and’ and ‘the?

    This is no question.

    While at first you might think I would have to say that everything he says will have to be bad, this is not so, because sometimes he gets asked a question where the best answer is the truth. This is especially true when somebody tries to come up with a false argument against the Republican or conservative position.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (d22d64) — 2/24/2012 @ 1:57 pm

  156. 105. Comment by daleyrocks — 2/23/2012 @ 7:41 pm

    Your initial memory in #38 of the Q&A as shown from the transcript you posted later, was completely wrong:

    SF: “Stephanapolous’ question was not at all about contraception itself, although some people, unfamiliar with legal reasoning, didn’t understand that. .”

    No, that’s completely correct.

    66. STEPHANOPOULOS: …..Governor Romney, I want to go straight to you.

    Senator Santorum has been very clear in his belief that the Supreme Court was wrong when it decided that a right to privacy was embedded in the Constitution. And following from that, he believes that states have the right to ban contraception. Now I should add that he said he’s not recommending that states do that…Governor Romney, do you believe that states have the right to ban contraception? Or is that trumped by a constitutional right to privacy?

    This is a question about abortion, or rather the possible unwanted consequences, according to Stephanapolous, of making it possible for states to regulate abortion.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (d22d64) — 2/24/2012 @ 2:01 pm

  157. 105. Comment by daleyrocks — 2/23/2012 @ 7:41 pm

    Of the initial question itself, I called it stupid, you replied:

    “No, it wasn’t stupid. It was somebody’s idea of a trap for the Republican candidates. ABC was looking for a whole bunch of questions like that. They thought anything like that was a really great question.”

    Perhaps it was great if you were wearing a Democrat hat. Are you.

    I said they thought it was a great question. I didn’t say it actually was. And yes that doies more or come from a Democratic point of view, although the actual point of view is more of putting candidates to the test, except they on;y remember their “responsibility” when it comes to candidate they don’t want.

    Now you are calling it a “softball question.”

    No flip flopping? Seriously?

    It wasn’t stupid. There was logic to it. They thouight this was one good question. But it amounted to a softball question AS LONG AS SOMEONE HAD THE GUMPTION TO ARGUE WITH THE PREMISE.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (d22d64) — 2/24/2012 @ 2:05 pm

  158. Sammy – To summarize, no idea what you are saying in #155 to clarify what you meant by Romney does not care about the truth.

    You believe Stephanapoulos’ first question to Romney on this subject was about abortion rather than contraception even though the word abortion never appears in the question, while contraception does twice. Are you relying on the right to privacy originally found by the SC in Griswold, the contraception case, to be code for abortion?

    #157 You believe Stephanapoulous’ question was a good, logical, softball question from a Democrat perspective. I believe it was a stupid question from a Republican perspective.

    Comment by President O'Blameless (bf33e9) — 2/24/2012 @ 4:07 pm

  159. D*mn sock.

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 2/24/2012 @ 4:09 pm

  160. Jeb Bush said today he hasn’t changed but the GOP has. Face it, conservatives have become extreme. No question. He’s right.

    Santorum says college is Obama’s plot to indoctrinate the youth… and this guy is the GOP frontrunner. Crazy! Anti-higher ed, anti-women…

    It’s a clown show. As many conservatives have said recently, the religious right is dragging down the GOP with their pet social issues. For years, the GOP has coddled these fundamentalists, now it is coming back to bite them – in the form of Santorum. A right-leaning pollster says most likely voters see the GOP agenda as “extreme.” Anti-higher ed, anti-women.

    Comment by rp12 (1d436d) — 2/24/2012 @ 9:24 pm

  161. Says someone who has probably never met a conservative except his mean dad.

    Actually, liberals are the extreme. I know, that’s a hard pill to swallow, but the pain in your throat tells you it’s true.

    Here’s a hint, Jeb may not be the best person to listen to for an insight to conservatives.

    And, trust me, social issues are no longer driving the conservative movement.

    The real issue dwarves who you sleep with and at what point you can kill a baby.

    Comment by Ag80 (b0b671) — 2/24/2012 @ 9:33 pm

  162. Sammy, I followed your points, and you’re right that the question was a softball. That’s why I think Romney handled it well. All he had to do was put it back in George’s face and note how ridiculous the concept is.

    Questions/comments that have an obviously faulty premise are easy to respond to if you’ve done your homework (see: Palin and Biden’s moronic Article I error).

    Anyway, too bad some people think this is a good way to shill for Mitt. Too bad for him, anyway. Every time I see it, I smile.

    Comment by Dustin (401f3a) — 2/24/2012 @ 9:55 pm

  163. Morningafter still working on that list of “secular Catholic institutions” . . .

    Comment by Icy (76598a) — 2/24/2012 @ 9:56 pm

  164. it’s all very inside baseball

    Comment by happyfeet (3c92a1) — 2/24/2012 @ 10:04 pm

  165. “Sammy, I followed your points”

    Congratulations, because Sammy couldn’t.

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 2/24/2012 @ 11:13 pm

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