While many are focused on the Christie vs Rand front of the pre-2016 war, a new rift emerged this morning that could have much more significant consequences.
John McCain, 2008 Republican nominee for President and long-term thorn in the side of both right and left, joked that he would would have a “touch choice” if the nominees in 2016 were Hillary Clinton and Rand Paul. He clarified that he thinks Rand is evolving his father’s particular brand of crazy into something more respectable, but went on to praise Hillary’s term as Secretary of State and her stature in the world. A few background notes elucidate these comments: earlier this year McCain brutally lashed Rand on the floor of the Senate over his anti-drone filibuster, as the 2008 nominee McCain nearly faced Hillary in that Presidential election, but more recently McCain has been a vocal critic of Hillary’s handling of Benghazi in Congressional testimony. So it’s quite something that McCain would even joke about supporting Hillary Clinton over his own party’s nominee for President.
At a Republican Governors Association event tonight, Chris Christie identified a new target in his neverending branding campaign to be Brow-Beater-in-Chief, but this time on his own side – libertarians.
The governor labeled a “dangerous thought” the libertarianism making headlines on national security, most recently the Justin Amash and John Conyers effort to defund the National Security Agency over its flagrant 4th Amendment violations. He even morbidly used the “widows and the orphans” of 9/11 to buttress his police-statist policy preference, barely losing out in the dance macabre competition to President Obama and Senator Diane Feinstein’s recent corpse parade for gun control.
Christie’s friendly fire operation is dumb, short-sighted, and just plain wrong for several reasons.
Today, Planned Parenthood announced that it will close three Texas clinics, after state budget cuts and the new Texas law restricting abortion to 20 weeks and mandating safety standards for clinics that perform abortion. Coming on the same day that Rick Perry signed the new law, and only days after that law was passed during protests at the state capitol, this can only be seen in the lucid world as a purely political move.
The funding that PP Gulf Coast says was cut, forcing these closures at the end of August this year, was done in the 2011 legislative session. So their 12 Texas and Louisiana clinics have been operating without any state funding for two years and just now have to close? Doubtful.
Fortunately, since the Texas legislature increased funding for the Women’s Health Program by $71 million this year, affordable care for low income Texas women won’t suffer. Also, since Obamacare now mandates that insurance companies provide preventative and contraceptive care free of copay or deductible, Texas women have even less reason to worry about losing out on the things that Planned Parenthood has been providing them.
Confirming every previous poll taken on the subject in the last 50 years, the Huffington Post has a poll out today showing that Americans don’t approve of late term abortion. In fact, they don’t approve of abortion period. 49% consider the practice itself morally wrong, while only 12% consider it morally acceptable (nauseatingly, another 24% don’t consider it a moral issue at all).
The really confusing thing, and the only saving grace for HuffPo’s absurdly leftist readers (see embedded poll comparing overall vs reader responses) is the seeming contradiction between respondents personal opinion about abortion and their allowance for the decision to be between the woman and her doctor (63% support).
The American left celebrates Europe as a Platonic ideal society toward which we should strive. They tout the universal healthcare, strict gun laws, generous social welfare, economic progressivism, speech codes, and mass transit infrastructure. So surely Europe must have equally progressive abortion laws (i.e., none at all), right? Wrong. In fact, Europe’s various restrictions on abortion make the proposed law in Texas seem positively laissez-faire in comparison.
Of the 27 European Union nations, 18 permit abortion on demand, but almost all only up to 12 weeks of pregnancy. After that, nearly all require there be a threat to the life, health of the mother, or incurable ailment present in the child. Not a single European nation allows abortion on demand at any point in the pregnancy for any reason.
If I were a savvy, well funded political organization, I would be busy tonight. Given the breaking news today that the Obamacare employer mandate passed by Congress is being unilaterally delayed by the Obama administration, the following is a list of steps that I would be taking if I were such an organization.
- Buy wecantwait.org
- Create hip “We Can’t Wait” logo
- Build a database of press releases, sound bites, stump speeches, and interviews of Democrats and “experts” in 2009-2010 defending Obamacare and its provisions, especially things like “urgent”, “emergency”, “people dying in the streets”, etc
- Starting with the employer mandate, make a list of every health care regulation, deadline, or mandate that’s been missed, skipped, or waived
- Start issuing press releases (and make a Tumblr) taking the Obama administration to task for these implementation failures based on its supporters rhetoric
- Recruit volunteers to attend Congressional town hall meetings in their local districts and arm them with similar rhetoric and demands
- Print posters and signs for citizens to bring to political events with the logo and various 2009-2010 supporter quotes
- Enlist willing Congressmen and Senators to sponsor legislation mandating that Obamacare be implemented in full, on time, as enacted in 2010
- Petition the CBO to revise their scoring of Obamacare based on delays and waivers
- If necessary, file lawsuits to force implementation in full, on time
In short, troll the hell out of them. Democrats aren’t going to support their own bill if it’s the White House that’s screwing it up, so someone has to do it. Even if it is ironically.
Again, if I were a savvy, well funded political organization.
(ProTip: I can be available in approximately two weeks. Thanks, Mgmt.)
UPDATE: Shortly after the employer mandate news broke, another delay was announced. Since employer data will not be available for another year, the health insurance exchanges won’t have any way to verify information individuals put in their applications about their employer coverage, so…they just won’t. Another reason that “We Can’t Wait” is so urgently needed.
Heritage has also provided many more examples.