Moderate Republicanism is not intellectually dead. So where is it?
Memo to Romney-Ryan speechwriters John McConnell, Lindsay Hayes, and Stuart Stevens: Watch your back around this guy Matthew Scully! Scully, who with McConnell is credited with writing Paul Ryan’s crowd-pleasing convention speech, is a former White House speechwriter and author of a well-regarded book, Dominion, that urges humans to show greater respect for the animal kingdom. The animal Scully most emulates is the black widow spider.
That didn’t take long. Republican lawmakers from across the country are saying no to the Affordable Care Act’s expansion of Medicaid—even though it means turning down a sweetheart deal from the federal government that would create jobs in their states and, more important, provide millions of low-income Americans with health insurance. Nikki Haley of South Carolina, Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, and, of course, Rick Scott of Florida were the first Republican governors to say they would take advantage of last week’s Supreme Court ruling in NFIB v.
Well, so much for Barack Obama's reelection campaign talking at all about Mitt Romney's career at Bain Capital. The private equity firm has proven a great vulnerability for Romney in the past and it exemplifies the economic vision Romney is running on, but Obama better lay off it for the rest of the campaign.
It’s been heartening to see a broad response to the disclosure, deep within the magazine’s new cover story on the Ohio political landscape, that the FBI is investigating questionable donations by employees of a direct-marketing company in Canton, Ohio to the campaigns of Republicans Josh Mandel, the state treasurer challenging Sen. Sherrod Brown, and Rep. Jim Renacci, who is running against Rep. Betty Sutton in a newly configured House district.
Republican leaders have repeatedly cited support of (some) Catholic leaders in their opposition to the Obama Administration’s health care policies—particularly a requirement that insurance plans cover contraception, which the Church opposes on principle. But now Republicans are the ones catching grief from Catholic leaders, for violating a different set of Church teachings: about the need to protect the poor and vulnerable. On Tuesday, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops sent a series of stern letters to Republican committee chairman in the House.
Given that Mitt Romney is ostensibly the “establishment candidate” of his party, it’s surprising to see just how much of the Republican establishment has refrained from endorsing him. And that reticence is now starting to take its toll: There’s little doubt that if Republican elites more consistently rallied around Mitt, he could probably be spared an even longer, more dragged-out primary.