December 2, 2007

Quote of the Day: Dean Barnett on the Need for Romney Explanations (with Index, Links, and Cliff’s Notes for ‘Romney, the Courts, and the Constitutions’ Posts)

In a February 24 Townhall column, Barnett ripped into Old Media’s alleged “fascination” and “ranking obsession” with Mitt Romney.

Near his column’s conclusion, he also expressed the following concerns:

NONE OF WHICH IS TO SAY THE PRESS’ ATTACKS are entirely without merit. Romney’s positions on social issues, most prominently abortion, have changed (or evolved) in recent years. The press has concluded with predictable hostility that these changes reflect an unappealing opportunistic streak that marks Romney’s character. Because these changes have become such an issue, Romney will have to offer a more compelling explanation for his current positions than he has to date. The fact on the ground, fair or not, is that some observers have decided that Mitt Romney’s core convictions don’t run deep. The candidate and his campaign will have to deal with this matter.

Well Dean, what have Mitt Romney and his campaign offered in the intervening months to address the concerns over abortion (noted above) and his “handling” of the Goodridge same-sex marriage (SSM) ruling in Massachusetts? Note how Barnett, who lives in the Bay State and must know better, fails to mention SSM, which, considering its national implications and possible long-term impact on public policy, is by far the bigger of the two issues.

Dean, after 9-plus months, your concerns still stand, and the chirping crickets are growing hoarse. What say you?


Those concerns are explored in depth in the “Romney, the Courts, and the Constitutions” series:

- Nov. 21 — Part 1: Abortion Coverage in RomneyCare
- Nov. 21 — Part 2: Mitt Romney and Same-Sex Marriage
- Nov. 23 — Part 3: Various Excerpts, Statements, and Comments
- Nov. 24 — Part 4: What’s Beck Got to Do with It?
- Nov. 25 — Part 5: The Next President and the Courts

For those who insist on the Cliff’s Notes versions of the above posts, here they are (Part 3 is excluded because it “only” has excerpts and quotes from elsewhere):

  • (Part 1) Mitt Romney did nothing to stop or restrict state-subsidized abortion in Massachusetts, and with the institution of RomneyCare, definitely expanded its scope, and may even have enshrined it into Massachusetts law for the first time. Also see Part 1 for links to the underlying columns, blog posts, and background info from Gregg Jackson, Kevin Whelan, and John Haskins.
  • (Part 2) The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court’s ruling on same-sex marriage in the Goodridge case was legally absurd and in and of itself against Massachusetts’ law and constitution. Even setting aside that point, an SJC ruling in Massachusetts requires that either legislation or a constitutional amendment be enacted for implementation to legally take place. No legislation or constitutional amendment was ever enacted, yet Mitt Romney implemented Goodridge anyway. He had no legislative direction, so he in fact did not have the authorization to go ahead with implementation. By doing so, he violated his own oath of office to uphold the Bay State’s constitution.
  • (Part 4) A 1988 US Supreme Court ruling in a labor-law and free-speech case shows that rulings by the Supremes are often not automatic without enabling legislation. Only a few states have implemented the ruling involved (Communications Workers of America v. Beck). Congress has passed no legislation, meaning not only that our president can refuse to carry out the ruling, in point of fact he must refuse.
  • (Part 5) The next president may have to defy Supreme Court rulings that unconstitutionally rely on foreign law or that are clearly and obviously in violation of the clear meaning of the Constitution itself. I believe that any of the Democrat nominees would, if elected president, handle such situations opportunistically, opting to enforce the ones they like (in violation of their oath of office), and refusing to enforce the ones they don’t. I hold hope ranging from a little to a lot that four of the five major contenders for the GOP presidential nomination might take up this likely crucial challenge. Based on his record in Massachusetts as described above and in the detail of these posts, I hold out no such hope for Mitt Romney.

I have brought back a BizzyBlog term from previous elections, namely the BizzyBlog Dealbreaker. A Dealbreaker is “something that completely justifies a person not voting for you, regardless of your party or your current stands on the issues.” Romney’s handling of the subsidized abortion and same-sex marriage issues are each Dealbreakers. As such, absent satisfactory explanations, I believe that he is unfit to be president.

Column of the Day: on ‘EdwardsCare’ (Also: ‘BooHooCare’)

Filed under: Health Care,Quotes, Etc. of the Day,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 11:42 am, whose daily e-mail should be a must-receive, got to the essence of “EdwardsCare” in a Thursday editorial:

A Comrade’s Medical Plan

Health Care: Don’t want to be part of John Edwards’ universal system? Too bad. As he told a group of reporters Monday, under the Edwards regime, “You don’t get that choice.”

Got that? In John Edwards’ America, the people will be forced to be a part of the collective. There’s no way out.

Walk into the library and check out a book, you’ll get “signed up” for socialist health care. Pay taxes, get signed up. Send the kids to school, get signed up.

“Basically every time they come into contact with either the health care system or the government,” Edwards said, “. . . they will be signed up.”

The former senator has modified his position somewhat. While campaigning in Iowa over the summer, the mandate only went as far as to require Americans to seek preventive care.

“If you’re going to be in the system, you can’t choose not to go to the doctor for 20 years,” he said. “You have to go in and be checked and make sure that you are OK.”

His “if” indicated that on some level, choice was still possible. But Monday’s statement cleanly stripped away all pretense.

It seems clear to us that the penalty for not “joining” the system — for failing to obey our keepers — would be imprisonment. But, hey, prisons are government institutions, so they’ll probably sign you up there, too.

….. Destroying private medicine in this country is not the way we’re going to save health care. The best path is to enact public policy that increases competition.

History shows that has worked in every other sector. There’s no reason it can’t work in health care.

Read the whole thing.

I’ve already noted how HillaryCare II is coercive at its core.

Though vague on many levels, the “Plan for a Healthy America” (hereafter referred to as “BooHooCare”; click on “Plan Details” for the PDF at this link) touted by BOOHOO (Barack O-bomba Overseas Hussein “Obambi” Obama) appears to have no shortage of coercion, including the following (bolds inside quotes are mine):

  • (Pages 4-5) “Employers that do not offer meaningful coverage or make a meaningful contribution to the cost of quality health coverage for their employee will be required to contribute a percentage of payroll toward the costs of the national plan.” Really? McDonald’s? Amusement parks? Get ready for a cost explosion, and entry-level jobs being tougher to find.
  • (Page 5) “Obama will expand the number of options for young adults to get coverage by allowing young people up to age 25 to continue coverage through their parents’ plans.” This is a forced coverage mandate on companies covering the parents. It appears not to matter whether the young adults still live at home.
  • (Page 7) “Obama will require that plans that participate in the new public plan, Medicare or the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) utilize proven disease management programs.” Proven, schmoven. This is a sop to the “wellness community,” which, though well-intentioned, has all too often vastly oversold its “proof,” and would, under BooHooCare, force its programs onto employers and insurance companies whether they want it or not.
  • (Page 8) “He will also challenge the medical system to eliminate inequities in health care by requiring hospitals and health plans to collect, analyze and report health care quality for disparity populations and holding them accountable for any differences found.” This is the banking industry’s Community Reinvestment Act applied to health care, and looks to be an administrative nightmare. Elsewhere, BooHooCare claims that it is going to lower admin costs. Not with requirements like this.

I would not be surprised if the percentage “contribution” in the first bullet above would end up being in double digits. And of course the doublespeak of “contributions” is carried in from the Social Security system, which constantly abuses and misuses the word. Try not “contributing” to BooHooCare, and see how optional it is.

Positivity: New Iraqi cardinal — “pray for us, pray for Iraq”

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:49 am

From the Vatican:

New Iraqi cardinal: “pray for us, pray for Iraq”

Vatican City, Nov 26, 2007 / 12:13 pm (CNA).- At a Mass at Saint Peter’s Basilica on Saturday elevating twenty-three clerics to the cardinalate, Pope Benedict XVI created the first Iraqi cardinal, VOA News reports.

The Pope expressed special concern for all Iraqis in his sermon. He said that by calling the Patriarch of the Chaldean Church Emmanuel Delly to the College of Cardinals he wanted to express his spiritual closeness and affection for the Iraqi people. He called for the Church to reaffirm her solidarity with Iraqi Christians and asked God to bring peace and reconciliation to all Iraqis.

After the Mass, Cardinal Delly told well-wishers in Saint Peter’s Square that it was a very happy day for him and “for all people, especially for Iraq.” He repeated the Pope’s call for prayer, saying “pray for us, pray for Iraq and for [the] population of Iraq.”

The Chaldeans, who have one of the most ancient rites of the Church, are Iraq’s largest Christian group but their numbers are in decline. Many Iraqi Christians have fled the country since the war began in 2003 to escape the sectarian violence between Sunni and Shiite Muslims. Several Iraqi churches have been bombed and priests have been among those kidnapped and killed.