Morning Briefing for February 23, 2012

RedState Morning Briefing
For February 23, 2012

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1. Gingrich & The Rick Perry Factor

It was the last debate. Newt Gingrich won it.He was the only candidate who repeatedly steered the questions toward Barack Obama. He was the only candidate who dared point out that the media barely touched Obama’s infanticide support as an Illinois State Senator. He returned to the role of elder statesman.The crowd leaned to Mitt Romney. It was probably inevitable. Mesa, AZ is the second largest concentration of Mormons in America and the State Republican Party handled getting the seats filled. It threw Rick Santorum off his game. The crowd booed Santorum taking on Romneycare’s individual mandate.Santorum did not shine. He came in, it seemed, prepared to be beaten up. He was off his game. In the second half of the debate he did better. But the beginning was stumbling, bumbling, angry, and in the weeds. One thing he did very, very well is steer the contraception issue to families.If Santorum can consistently steer this issue back to stable families, he has an issue that will win over independent voters. Note to the Santorum campaign: you will actually win the debate even in the general election if you focus your social values critique on the integrity of the American nuclear family.Romney out performed Santorum, but he had two flaws. First, Romney claimed to be a long time proponent of school choice, but he opposed school vouchers as Governor of Massachusetts and the Boston Hereald noted Romney refused to ever meet with the head of the Massachusetts Charter School Association while in the Governor’s Mansion.The big problem for Romney was his concluding moment in the debate. John King asked him what was the biggest misconception about him. It was a legitimate question and a chance for Romney to help himself. Instead, he got bossy and arrogant and told John King he wouldn’t answer the question. That question of all questions was the one he chose to get arrogant about?!Newt Gingrich won. He kept the focus on Obama. He sounded like the adult in the room. He was both diplomat and scholar.I would caution the media on one thing — the Rick Perry Factor.Please click here for the rest of the post.

2. Federal Judge Strikes a Blow Against Regulatory Fascism

Via the Becket Fund (.pdf) we are informed that a Federal Judge (the same judge who ruled in 2010 that DADT was unconstitutional and ordered an openly gay service member reinstated to the military) has struck down Washington state pharmacy regulations that can only accurately be described as fascistic. The regulations in question declared that no pharmacy in the State of Washington was permitted to refuse to dispense Plan B on conscience grounds. That’s it; no requirement that the pharmacy be state funded (pharmacies, unlike hospitals, generally manage just fine without nurturing from the government teat), just a blanket law that you cannot refuse to dispense Plan B on conscience grounds. Keep in mind, you can refuse to dispense it because of business reasons (it’s not profitable, no reliable source of supply), just not for conscience ones.Please click here for the rest of the post.

3. We are Losing the Tax Debate Even Though We’re Right

Let me get something out of the way first: I get it. I understand. I know that 47% of the country pays no income tax and I am fully aware that that is unfair. I’m part of that 53% of taxpayers and I find it infuriating as well. We exist in a system that allows half of the country to vote against the other half’s best interests. Half of the country can vote in ways to ensure that the other half pays bills that they don’t have to pay. It’s completely and utterly imbalanced and so far from what a free and just society would do as to be laughable.That said, I propose a simple hypothesis that I think most people would agree with: We only change this disparity by getting more people to agree with us than disagree with us.Please click here for the rest of the post.

4. David Waldman of Daily Kos: Know-Nothing Bigot

It’s time for Democratic politicians like Elizabeth Warren who are courting Catholic voters, or who – like Senator Bob Casey – profess the Catholic faith themselves, to distance themselves from Daily Kos over the anti-Catholic Know-Nothing bigotry of Contributing Editor David Waldman.Waldman, @KagroX on Twitter, is one of the leading figures at Daily Kos, the largest left-wing blog; a former Hotline staffer, he’s a contributing editor and front-page writer, runs the affiliated site Congress Matters, and his tweets are frequently quoted and retweeted by Markos Moulitsas. In an angry, profanity-laden tirade last night on Twitter over a flap between a local Virginia church and the Girl Scouts, Waldman unloaded his hatred of the Church, grasping for every anti-Catholic trope he could reach (examples: “Catholic Church: the ones we don’t rape, we’ll alienate by calling them communist b****es” or “Catholics are the next Shakers. No one under 35 will ever stay in this church”) and complaining that there are too many Catholics on the Supreme Court (“Oh that’s right. Six Catholics. Fantastic.”) Waldman’s vicious rant would have been right at home with the anti-popery screeds of the Klan in its heyday, the Know-Nothings of the 1840s or the “Rum, Romanism and Rebellion” trope that cost James G. Blaine the 1884 presidential election.Please click here for the rest of the post.

5. VA Governor Bob McDonnell Hangs VA GOP Out To Dry

Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, a Romney supporter and leading contender for the VP spot on a Romney-headed ticket, demonstrated his complete philosophical alignment with Romney yesterday by flipflopping on a bill he has championed and in the process hanging VA GOP delegates out to dry.For those who haven’t been paying attention, Virginia’s legislature has been going after the abortion industry root and branch. Last year they passed a law requiring aborttoirs to be regulated as if they did what they do: perform a surgical procedure which can be life threatening. This year a bill is being finalized that requires a woman seeking an abortion to see ultrasound pictures of the baby. Somehow this bill, which does not require any medical procedure the woman was not going to receive in the first place, has the pro-abortion lobby in a tizzy. Dahlia Lithwick at Slate has predictably styled this as rape.Up until yesterday, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell had unconditionally supported the bill. Please click here for the rest of the post.