New at American Thinker – Health Care: The Straw That Should Break Newtmania’s Back

Of all the arguments against nominating Mitt Romney for president, perhaps the strongest is that his enactment of RomneyCare and his refusal to disavow it could neutralize the Republicans’ ability to run against Barack Obama’s own intensely unpopular health care plan.  If Romney is the GOP standard-bearer, expect Democrats to play up the similarities and common ancestry of the two plans, challenging Romney to explain why one is a bipartisan success story and the other is an intolerable threat to our way of life.  It’s certainly a concern Republican primary voters must take seriously.
But the idea that Newt Gingrich would be preferable on that score is about as unserious as it gets.  The former speaker may be talking tough now on how “you can’t make the difference” between RomneyCare and ObamaCare and boasting that “I can ask [Congress] to repeal ObamaCare because I haven’t passed something which resembles it,” but the truth is that Gingrich is every bit as compromised on health care as Romney is — perhaps even more so.
You wouldn’t know it from his bluster on the stump, but Gingrich endorsed RomneyCare in 2006.  Despite some criticism of the bill’s imperfections, he “agree[d] entirely with Governor Romney and Massachusetts legislators that our goal should be 100 percent insurance coverage for all Americans” and, to that end, called RomneyCare “the most exciting development of the past few weeks,” with “tremendous potential to effect major change in the American health system.”
Read the rest at American Thinker.
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New at American Thinker – Doubting Daniels

I’ve got a new post up at American Thinker, which elaborates on my deep skepticism toward Mitchmania. Here’s an excerpt:
For starters, I must have been watching a different channel Tuesday night, because I certainly didn’t see a rhetorical tour de force. Though well-constructed as prose, the text of Daniels’ speech fell short as argument because it was high on generalities and platitudes, but decidedly lacking in clear specifics about either Obama’s abysmal presidency or the content of his address. Daniels’ assertion that America’s challenges “aren’t matters of ideology” but “simply mathematical” problems with “purely practical” answers is the polar opposite of reality.
And if the content was lacking, the delivery was worse — Daniels’ dry, monotone presentation came across as a lack of passion that undermined what little force his words held. If someone really believes 2012 is “maybe our last” chance to save the country, you’d expect him to get a little emotional about it. Do these people really not understand that people flocked to Gingrich because he channels not just disagreement, but righteous indignation at what Obama is doing to their country?
Read the whole thing here.

New on American Thinker – There’s No Reason Libertarians and Gay Conservatives Can’t Support Michele Bachmann

My latest American Thinker post:
Whenever conservative candidates demonstrate their electoral viability, sensationalistic denunciations of said conservatives as beyond the pale are sure to follow. Last weekend, Michael Smerconish declared that Rep. Michele Bachman (R-MN) has “lost a young conservative” named Ben Haney by signing the Iowa Family Leader’s Marriage Vow, which suggests homosexuality is a choice. And that’s not all:
In 2004, at the National Education Leadership Conference, you said of the gay lifestyle: “It’s a very sad life. It’s part of Satan, I think, to say this is gay. It’s anything but gay.”
Then there’s your husband, Marcus, who obtained his Ph.D. by virtue of a correspondence course. He runs a mental-health clinic but, according to Politico, is not registered with any of the three state boards that certify mental health practitioners. (Minnesota is one of the only states in which you can practice mental health without a license.) Last year, when asked during a radio interview about parenting homosexual children, he said:
“We have to understand: barbarians need to be educated. They need to be disciplined. Just because someone feels it or thinks it doesn’t mean that we are supposed to go down that road. That’s what is called the sinful nature. We have a responsibility as parents and as authority figures not to encourage such thoughts and feelings from moving into the action steps. . .”
Marcus Bachmann has denied that his clinic engages in attempts to “pray away the gay,” but ABC’s Nightline recently aired an interview with a man who said that, at age 17, he sought help from Bachmann & Associates and: ” path for my therapy would be to read the Bible, pray to God that I would no longer be gay.”
First, some fact checking: According to the Minneapolis StarTribune, both Marcus Bachmann and interviewer Penna Dexter say the “barbarian” quote referred to children, not gays: “We believe that children are born with a nature that inclines them to challenge and break rules, and that it is thus the parents’ responsibility to guide their children along good and productive paths.” Further, Dr. Bachmann hasn’t denied that he advises gays to pray for sexual conversions; he simply clarifies that it’s “not a special interest of the business and would only be attempted at the client’s request.” However foolish or distasteful gays find such services, let’s keep in mind that they don’t affect anyone who doesn’t choose to utilize them.
As for the “is homosexuality a choice?” debate, I’ve mostly ignored it since it’s irrelevant to public policy—gay Americans would still deserve equal protection of their natural and political rights even if homosexuality was 100% optional, and there would still be powerful reasons to resist the redefinition of marriage even if everyone agreed that sexual orientation was set in stone from conception onward. That said, I suspect homosexuality is substantially predetermined because, as Haney says, “If you could simply choose who you were sexually attracted to, wouldn’t you choose the path of least resistance?”

New on American Thinker – Pro-Abortion Columnist Says Philadelphia’s Dr. Death Thrived Because Abortions Aren’t Available Enough

My latest commentary, posted at American Thinker:

Finding a pro-choice spin to the horrific charges against abortionist Kermit Gosnell — “eight counts of murder in the deaths of a patient and seven babies who were born alive and then killed with scissors” — seems like an awfully tall order, but left-wing author Michelle Goldberg is going to give it a try anyway.


Her latest Daily Beast column opens by declaring that if Gosnell “is guilty of even a fraction of the carnage he’s been charged with, he should spend the rest of his life in prison,” but goes on to argue that not only is his office not representative of the average abortion clinic, but that his crimes actually demonstrate why abortion needs to be more widely available, more respected, and even subsidized:
“[T]he difference between this gruesome killing machine and a ‘safe’ clinic is aesthetics, really,” wrote Lori Ziganto in RedState.com. “There is no denying the horror of what was found in this ‘doctor’s’ office. But it happens in every abortion clinic across the land.”


She’s completely wrong. Gosnell’s clinic was in no way representative of most abortion facilities, which is why the country’s largest organization of abortion providers, the National Abortion Federation, refused him membership and testified against him to the grand jury.
That’s nice. But it misses the point, which would have been clear if Goldberg had quoted Ziganto’s next few sentences:
Sticking a scalpel in a baby’s neck in utero has the same result as sticking it in the neck with scissors outside the womb: Death.


In this case, people can visualize the actual babies, as they were horrifically kept in jars and bottles. In “safe” clinics, they are hidden away in haz-mat disposals or chopped up into tiny pieces before being sucked out of their mother’s womb and disposed of like trash. Hidden away, allowing people to blind themselves to what is actually happening. It is easier to remain blissfully ignorant and ignore the fact that a baby is a baby, in utero or out.
The “blood on the floor,” the “stench of urine fill[ing] the air,” the “cat feces on the stairs,” and the “[s]emi-conscious women” waiting “on dirty recliners covered with blood-stained blankets” may be unique horrors, but the other things that make Gosnell’s death den seem worse than a “nice, clean” abortion clinic are morally insignificant. If you’re stabbing a baby’s spinal cord, it doesn’t matter where the baby’s body is located. It doesn’t matter how you store or dispose of the remains. You still killed a child.


(Indeed, back in Illinois, President Barack Obama didn’t see the difference-he thought full-term babies should be equally killable before and after delivery…and if it was after, then their death-starvation-was guaranteed to be even slower.)
 

Fiscal and Small-Government Conservatives Need Social Conservatives

I just came across this American Thinker piece by self-described agnostic libertarian Randall Hoven, who has a strong defense of conservatism from a libertarian standpoint that all who consider themselves moderates, centrists, libertarians, social liberals, secular conservatives, or any combination or variation thereof really ought to read to get a better idea of who their real friends and enemies are.  In particular, the following passage supports something I’ve believed and argued for a long time:

I’m still searching for the mythical creature that is the “financially conservative, socially liberal” politician.  In virtually every case, the pro-abortion or pro-gay marriage politician is the first to vote against a tax cut, the first to vote for more spending and quick to compromise principles on any issue there is.

Using the National Journal’s ratings of Senators in 2007 , the correlation coefficient between “economic” scores and “social” scores is 90%.  That means they almost always go together; financial conservatives are social conservatives and vice versa.   Every Senator scoring above 60 in economic issues, scored above 50 in social ones.  Every Senator scoring below 40 in economic issues, scored below 50 in social ones.  If there is such an animal as a “financial conservative, social liberal”, it does not exist in the US Senate.