When JP Morgan announced its $2 billion trading loss a few weeks back, a handful of smart conservatives saw an opportunity for Romney to get to Obama’s left: Call for an end to too-big-to-fail. As AEI’s James Pethokoukis put it: In one fell swoop, Romney would undercut the charge that he’s a creature of Wall Street and the financial superelite. And given how many hedge fund managers and other investment pros dislike the mega-banks, Romney probably wouldn’t even take a fundraising hit.
Ron Wyden and Paul Ryan got everybody’s attention last week when, together, they endorsed the idea of turning Medicare into a voucher scheme. But exactly how similar are their visions? I’m starting to wonder. In interviews with Igor Volsky of Think Progress and with yours truly, Wyden was emphatic about protecting traditional Medicare and what it offered seniors. “I would never do anything to shred it, or weaken it, or harm it in any way,” Wyden had told me.
-- Matt Welch yawns at Journolistgate -- Is the individual mandate really a tax? -- James Pethokoukis and Kevin Drum on being pro-market rather than pro-business -- Steve Benen on "making the unemployed wait for no reason"
James Pethokoukis has a column pointing out that Mitt Romney's support for TARP is going to cost him support in a contested Republican primary. Likewise, Tim Noah had a terrific piece in Slate pointing out that Romney's health care position in Massachusetts was nearly identical to President Obama's. (Noah has a fun quiz mixing and matching Obama health care quotes with Romney health care quotes, and challenging readers to identify who said what.) Romney is a useful marker in the frightening right-wing turn of his party.
Ed Kilgore is managing editor of The Democratic Strategist, a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute, and a frequent contributor to a variety of political journals. In looking for something else this morning, I ran across a couple of conservative blog posts that almost perfectly illustrated how rapidly routine information can be distorted into talking points used in attacks on the Obama administration, the Democratic Congress, and in this case, state and local governments. The original source of those talking points was a General Accounting Office report on how state and local gove