This is shaping up to be the second election in a row that’s about someone who isn’t on the ballot: George W. Bush. . . . If Bush-bashing was really hurting Obama’s numbers, he’d stop doing it. Instead, he relentlessly insists in ads and speeches that Mitt Romney represents a return to the Bush years. . . . Romney hasn’t helped matters. When asked by NBC’s Brian Williams to explain how his plan differs from Bush’s policies, Romney offered up familiar talking points that could have come from Bush himself. . . . Romney needs to explain to voters why he’s not Bush 2.0. Republican politics have been off-kilter for several years now because a large segment of the conservative base does not look back fondly on the Bush presidency. The mainstream media’s various narratives about the Tea Party ignore a vastly more significant and powerful motivation than the various bigotries and conspiracy theories typically ascribed to them. The Tea Party feels the GOP under Bush’s “compassionate conservatism” gave up the store to big government.
Can we trust “Real Clear Politics” to provide quality political information? Hugh Hewitt:
RealClearPolitics.com was begun in 2000 and in the 12 years that have followed, it has become the gold standard for aggregators of political stories, punditry and polling data. Almost every newscast of note refers to the “RealClearPolitics average of polls,” which the commentariat has come to rely upon as a way of smoothing out the inevitable differences between polls and the various methodologies they represent. . . . Any media organization can commission a poll. The quality of the results depends upon the professionalism of the pollsters conducting the survey. Some polling organizations are so routinely lousy over a long enough period of time that they lose all credibility. Think Zogby. Ask yourself when you last saw a Zogby poll being cited as useful data? Other polling efforts are kept afloat by big name sponsors despite long standing records of terrible bias, like the Minnesota Poll which is simply an occasion of mirth among folks like the bloggers of Powerline who have long tracked that polls hopelessly left-wing bias. The sponsorship of the Minneapolis Star Tribune keeps the Minnesota Poll going despite its transparent hackery. . . . Rasmussen, by contrast, is generally thought by those on the center-right of the political spectrum to provide accurate results, as is Gallup. . . . Since these media organizations don’t care about accuracy, neither will they care about a misleading poll carrying their brand name even though individual reporters might refuse through artful writing to pump a lousy poll. But should RealClearPolitics.com care? . . . It took a dozen years to build a great brand. Will RCP act to protect it?
There would be fewer regulations, lower taxes, a business-friendly environment, and a much smaller government that would lead to considerably stronger economic growth and job creation. In fact, we’d probably have to dramatically increase the number of work permits we hand out to foreign workers, not because there are “jobs Americans won’t do” (which don’t actually exist), but because so many Americans would be employed that we’d have to bring in more people to do all of the available work.The richest Americans would have more money. Of course, so would the middle class and the poor. In fact, the only Americans who wouldn’t benefit economically would be the Americans who spend their lives relying on the government, instead of their own effort, to pay their bills.We’d have some form of a Balanced Budget Amendment to insure that we don’t have a deficit or a debt.We’d have a much flatter, simpler tax code that you could fill out on a single sheet of paper.Welfare and food stamps would still exist, but there wouldn’t be as much need for them, it would be considered shameful to take either, and you can be sure that people would have to work for every hand-out they receive.Social Security would be privatized and invested. That means the people who put nothing in would have nothing to take out, but the people who do pay in would have a lot more money to withdraw.We’d still put some research money into alternative energy, but we’d also work to build a lot more nuclear power plants and we’d encourage private industry to produce more clean coal and natural gas. Oil would also be much cheaper because we’d have already drilled ANWR, the keystone pipeline would be built, and we’d be opening up federal land to environmentally responsible drilling at every opportunity. This would lead to much lower energy bills for the average American.We’d have the same sort of “loser pays” legal system that’s practiced in much of the rest of the civilized world. That would dramatically reduce the number of lawsuits and the cost of legal insurance.There would be a lot less government workers and the ones we’d have would make less on average than the taxpayers paying their salary.Health care would be much cheaper and more efficient because you could buy insurance across state lines; we’d have tort reform, health care savings accounts, and tax credits for health care would go to individuals instead of companies, which means that you wouldn’t lose your insurance if you lose your job.The fence would be built, the border would be secure, anyone who overstayed his VISA would be tracked down and deported, and illegal aliens who did make it into the country would be forever barred from visiting here legally or becoming citizens. Legal immigration would be faster, cheaper, and much more efficient. We’d also be selecting new American immigrants based on merit instead of rewarding people for breaking our laws or allowing them to come here because their son or cousin already managed to become a citizen. English would be the national language.People would look at you like you’re an idiot, as they should today, if you suggest that the Constitution is a living document. You’d also see a lot more Constitutional amendments because the Supreme Court would stick to the law as written unless it was amended. The crime rate would be so low because of the lack of criminals and the prevalence of guns that in much of the country, people wouldn’t bother to lock their doors. The death penalty would be applied much more liberally for terrible crimes and it wouldn’t take 15 years of appeals to carry it out.All people would be welcome to practice their religious faith with no official state-run religion, just as the Founding Fathers intended. So, yes, you could have a manger in front of the town hall at Christmas and the Ten Commandments on a court house wall, and teachers in public school could teach from the Bible in class when it was appropriate. Not only would there be no gay marriage, we’d be taking steps to strengthen marriage — like getting rid of no-fault divorce and it would be acknowledged that a mother and a father would do a better job of raising kids than any other combination.Children would be taught abstinence in school, having kids out of wedlock would be frowned upon, and abortion would be legal only in the case of rape, incest, or danger to the life of the mother.Kids would start out school with the Pledge of Allegiance. We’d have school vouchers so that we could introduce competition into our school systems and allow all parents to send their kids to the same kind of schools that the rich do today. We’d also spend a lot more time teaching kids reading, writing, arithmetic, history, and economics and spend a lot less time worrying about their self-esteem. You wouldn’t have terrorists, communists, and people who hate America teaching at our universities.Racism would practically be non-existent, there would be no need for the NAACP, LA RAZA, or Affirmative Action and people would, “not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.“We’d have safe water, safe food, clean air, and a clean environment, but we’d put an end to the years of legal challenges to new building projects and people having their land declared a “wetland” because the ground gets soggy for a few days a year.There would be no public unions. Private unions would, of course, still exist, but no one would be forced to join and employers, if they so desire, would be able to fire everyone in the union and get a new work force.
The US Postal Service and the Constitution, Ted DeHaven