(Note: I’m interrupting the “So Much Material, So Little Time” series showing relatively recent reasons why Mitt Romney is an unacceptable and objectively unfit presidential candidate to respond to Ann Coulter’s disgraceful column yesterday.)
Meet your guy, Ann Coulter. He’s pictured on the right.
Note that your guy is NOT the guy whose image is crossed out on the left — where he most definitely belongs because of his issue positions and track record).
Your guy is the other guy, Rick Santorum.
You endorsed him yesterday in your latest column.
Oh, you think you endorsed Objectively Unfit Mitt Romney, but I will prove that you really endorsed Santorum.
Here we go. (Update: A briefer version is here.)
* * * * * * *
Coulter’s December 28 column, entitled “Only One Candidate Is Right on the Two Most Important Issues,” was meant to be a process-of-elimination exercise performed on the remaining contenders for the GOP presidential nomination (I’m going to exclude Jon Huntsman, because he, unlike the six others, has never been more than a cipher in any poll).
Her column is an epic fail on the facts.
Coulter starts out strongly by identifying what she believes are the two most critical issues we face:
In the upcoming presidential election, two issues are more important than any others: repealing Obamacare and halting illegal immigration. If we fail at either one, the country will be changed permanently.
I would throw the economic Armageddon coming at us if we don’t do something about the federal debt and deficit situation (as I’ve noted several times, I’m not convinced that we’ll be able to reach November 2012 or January 21, 2013 without hitting a financial wall first). It just so happens to be the number one issue on voters’ minds. But if you want to contend that any one of the remaining credible contenders would do a passable job in these matters if armed with Republican majorities in the House and Senate, fine.
After articulating why her two issues are of all-encompassing importance, Coulter commits her first obvious unforced error, one which was proven to be an error literally just yesterday as the ink was drying (or the electrons were cooling) on her column (bolds are obviously mine throughout this post):
All current Republican presidential candidates say they will overturn Obamacare. The question for Republican primary voters should be: Who is most likely to win?
If you go to every candidate’s website, I’m sure you’ll find a pledge to “repeal Obamacare.” In fact, even Mitt Romney is promising to do that (“Our next president must repeal Obamacare and replace it with market-based reforms that empower states and individuals and reduce health care costs.”). But the question, using Ann’s word, is who will “overturn” it?
Mitt Romney is absolutely NOT promising to “overturn” Obamacare, Ann.
One of Obamacare principal features — in fact, it has been described as the feature on which the viability of the entire abominable law depends — is the individual mandate, i.e., the government requirement that each and every citizen have and (unless you’re in poverty) buy health insurance.
To demonstrate how unpopular the individual mandate is, Ohio voters just eight weeks ago hardwired an amendment into the state’s constitution declaring that no citizen shall be required to participate in a health insurance plan, and that no citizen shall be required to purchase health insurance. Buckeye State voters did so by passing Issue 3 by a 66%-34% margin.
But it goes way beyond popularity to constitutionality at the federal level, and to the relationship between government and its citizens at all other levels. As Mark Steyn said in his guest-hosting role on Rush Limbaugh’s program today (paraphrasing), if the government can force you to buy health insurance, there really is no practical constraint on what else it can force you to do in virtually any major or minor aspect of your life. At the federal level, such a mandate is plainly unconstitutional; at the state level, it’s authoritarianism at its worst. Regardless of who’s imposing the requirement, it negatively and probably irretrievably changes the nature of the relationship between the government and its citizens forever.
A video playing all over the place from Wednesday demonstrates that Mitt Romney, the creator of RomneyCare in Massachusetts, still supports the individual mandate, and would clearly want to see states incorporate an individual mandate into any form of replacement for Obamacare. Roll tape (Direct YouTube; HT Hot Air):
Here’s the perfect-pitch reaction of Erick Ericksen at RedState:
TODAY, December 28, 2011, Mitt Romney Calls Obamacare “Conservative”
This isn’t a flash back. This is today. Mitt Romney is again declaring the foundation of Obamacare, the individual mandate, “conservative.”
To be sure, it is conservative that one takes responsibility for their own healthcare. But the conservative solution is not to force Americans to buy a product. Forcing Americans, through penalty of law, into purchasing or refraining from purchasing a product is not and will never be conservative.
(Aside: It must really sting to see a core contention of a column you’ve just written debunked — by your guy — in virtually real time.)
Ann, in case you haven’t figured it out, if you “repeal” Obamacare and “replace” it with something containing an individual mandate — what Erick properly characterized as “the foundation of Obamacare” — you have not “overturned” Obamacare. “Overturning” Obamacare is YOUR column’s benchmark, and Mitt Romney fails your first test. I suspect that many readers are tiring of my employment of the word, but the point is simply not arguable.
That leaves the remaining candidates to be tested against Coulter’s second standard: “halting illegal immigration.” Here’s Ann’s “analysis”:
Only Romney (already eliminated per the above — Ed.) and Santorum have won a statewide election in a blue state, making them our surest-bets in a general election. (This knocks out Michelle Bachmann, as Coulter later notes. — Ed.)
But if Santorum wins, we lose on the second most important issue — illegal immigration — and he’ll be the last Republican ever to win a general election in America.
… almost all Republican presidential candidates support some form of amnesty for illegals in order to appeal to the business lobby.
Among the most effective measures against illegal immigration is E-Verify, the Homeland Security program that gives employers the ability to instantly confirm that their employees’ Social Security numbers are legitimate. It is more than 99 percent accurate, and no employee is denied a job without an opportunity to challenge the records.
Although wildly popular with Americans — including Hispanic Americans — the business lobby hates E-Verify. Employers like hiring non-Americans because they can pay illegal aliens less and ignore state and federal employment laws.
Any candidate who opposes E-Verify is not serious about illegal immigration. If anything, E-Verify ought to be made mandatory to get a job, to get welfare and to vote.
Kowtowing to business (while pretending to kowtow to Hispanics), Paul, Perry and Santorum oppose E-Verify. As a senator, Rick Santorum voted against even the voluntary use of E-Verify.
There’s only one problem with Ann’s “logic.” Rick Santorum does NOT oppose E-Verify. A source within the Santorum campaign forwarded me the following concerning Rick’s position on E-Verify (internal links to roll call votes added by me):
Rick voted against the McCain / Kennedy Global Immigration bill on May 25th 2006. The bill passed 62 – 36. DeMint, Grassley, Coburn, Inhofe, Sessions, Thune (some of the most conservative Senators) all voted no. One of the cornerstones of the McCain/Kennedy amnesty immigration bill was the reauthorization of the E-Verify program. By opposing the overall bill, Rick in turn opposed the re-authorization of E-Verify program.
Actually, Rick supports the E-Verify program. Original E-Verify Program was known as the Basic Pilot Program Act. It was included in H.R. 3610, the Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act, 1997. Rick voted for the entire bill on July 18, 1996 at 10:27am.
On 11/12/2003 the Basic Pilot Program Extension and Expansion Act of 2003 passed the US Senate by UC (if Rick opposed, he would have objected). Signed into law by President Bush on 12/3/2003. (“UC” stands for “Unanimous Consent” — Ed.)
The program was eventually reauthorized (Rick was out of Congress) till September 30, 2009. Then it was granted a one month reauthorization till October 31, 2009 (Rick was not in Congress). In October 2009, the Congress agreed to a three year extension of the E-Verify program.
Ann Coulter is trying to say that Rick opposes e-verify simply because he opposed John McCain’s liberal / amnesty immigration bill in 2006.
Concerning that 2006 vote mentioned in the email’s first paragraph:
- Santorum had to oppose Kennedy/McCain even though it contained E-Verify, because the rest of the bill was so awful. He had a lot of sensible conservative company.
- (You really can’t make this up, Ann — gotcha bigtime) Ann Coulter also opposed what the Senate did in her very next column on June 1, 2006. Specifically, she vehemently criticized “The ‘path to citizenship’ that Bush and the Senate are trying to pawn off on Americans …” Uh, so did Rick Santorum.
Thus, Ann Coulter is obviously wrong. What about “Rick supports the E-Verify program” don’t you understand, dear?
Okay, let’s recap based on actual facts and Ann Coulter’s requirements:
- Romney — Out, because he won’t overturn Obamacare. (He’s not credible on any other issue, given his history of flip-flops, but one reason, especially this big of a reason, is enough.)
- Gingrich — Out, partially because, in Coulter’s words, he has “never had to win votes beyond small, majority-Republican congressional districts.” Coulter also spent her entire December 21 column on reasons why Newt shouldn’t get the nomination. Her likely correct conclusion is that “Gingrich would be a disaster for everything they (newly active conservatives) believe in.” She also contends with historical support that (at least for a conservative or Republican) Newt “is almost certainly unelectable based solely on his having cheated on and divorced two wives.”
- Perry — Out, for two reasons. First, his opposition to E-Verify. Second (again, Coulter’s take), Perry ran in an extremely red state that doesn’t “resemble the American electorate.”
- Paul — Out, for the same two reasons as Perry (I’m sure there are others from her point of view, but that’s plenty for now).
- Bachmann — Out, because, even though she meets Coulter’s issues benchmarks, “… 2012 isn’t the year to be trying to make a congresswoman the first woman president.”
That leaves Rick Santorum as Ann Coulter’s only supportable candidate, based on her December 28 column’s benchmarks. Specifically, Santorum:
- Will overturn Obamacare.
- Supports E-Verify.
- Is electable, having “won a statewide election in a blue state” — twice. (Mitt Romney only won once, and was a fairly good bet to lose had he run for reelection.)
You can pretend to be Mitt Romney’s gal all you want, Ann Coulter, but by your column’s benchmarks, Rick Santorum is your guy. I’m sure he’s grateful for your well thought-out endorsement. You should be grateful that I’ve straightened you out.
UPDATE: Santorum ran on his support of E-Verify in his 2006 race against prolife pretender Bob Casey. Specifically (bolds other than headings are mine) –
Giving blanket amnesty, approving guest worker programs masked as amnesty, or charging nominal fines to become an American citizen mocks and demeans the sacrifices of legal immigrants. Illegally crossing our border and breaking our immigration laws must carry real and serious consequences. Rick Santorum will not vote for any immigration bill that includes amnesty.
… Reform the System and Defend American Culture
Rick Santorum supports an improved worker verification program to protect American taxpayers from fraudulent benefit payouts. He is pushing to make temporary workers just that — temporary, not citizens.
“An improved worker verification program” means “an improved E-Verify.”
Rick Santorum is quite serious about illegal immigration.
Really Ann, I’m supposed to believe that you didn’t know ANY of this?
UPDATE 2: “Stacy McCain Notes Rick Santorum Calling Out Ann Coulter”