As the remaining GOP primary candidates slug it out in South Carolina tonight, be sure to follow TNR writers on Twitter for live analysis and commentary: Jonathan Cohn: @CitizenCohn Alec MacGillis: @AlecMacGillis Noam Scheiber: @NoamScheiber Walter Shapiro: @WalterShapiroPD Matt O'Brien: @obsoletedogma And, of course, the official TNR twitter feed: @TNR
Another day, another weird idea from Newt Gingrich. Today’s special: The U.S. should consider a return to the gold standard. Gingrich, speaking at a forum in South Carolina (a place that really seems to bring out the crazy in people), admonished the Federal Reserve and declared: “Hard money is a discipline. It means you can’t inflate away your difficulties.” Would a return to the gold standard stop inflation? Economists, who overwhelmingly oppose returning to the gold standard, say no.
Monday night's debate in Myrtle Beach was an unsettling affair to watch, with a crowd that was arguably more raucous and malevolent than any of the other hopped-up audiences at this year's Republican debates.
At last night's Republican debate in Myrtle Beach, S.C., we heard the candidates talk about whether ex-cons should vote and we heard the candidates talk about the right to bear arms. At the next debate, I'd like to hear the candidates talk about whether ex-cons should bear arms. Asked about Mitt Romney's attacks on his candidacy, Rick Santorum complained that Romney's Super PAC had an ad that said he favored allowing felons to vote from prison, when in fact what Santorum favored was allowing felons to vote after they've served their prison sentences.
Is the Christian Right still a power in American politics? The lavish coverage which its partisans and their favorite issues have received during the current Republican campaign certainly leave that impression. Yet all this attention is akin to the dazzling glow of a setting sun. In fact, the Christian Right is a fading force in American life, one which has little chance of achieving its cherished goals. Yes, pious conservatives earned the underfunded Rick Santorum a virtual tie in the Iowa caucuses, and, last week, a large gathering of evangelical leaders nodded fervently in his direction.
Most politicians stretch the truth. But few do it as blatantly, and shamelessly, as Mitt Romney has been during this presidential campaign. Romney hasn't simply been fibbing or parsing his answers carefully. He has been saying things that are plainly untrue, over and over again. It happened twice during Monday night’s debate in South Carolina. First Romney claimed that President Obama “doesn’t have a jobs plan yet.” He’s made statements like this before. But Obama does have a jobs plan. He unveiled it in early September, in a nationally televised address to a joint session of Congress.
Sorting out cause and effect in political campaigns is not always simple. Some people look at John McCain’s nomination in 2008 and Mitt Romney’s success in Iowa and New Hampshire this year and see highly fortuitous demolition derbies.
[Guest Post by Isaac Chotiner] While watching the Ravens game, I switched over to C-Span during a commercial and found Rick Santorum speaking to South Carolina voters. He mentioned that Barack Obama wants to degrade America's military, and added that Europe proved countries could not maintain a welfare state and a strong military. And then he turned to the British Empire. I don't yet have a transcript of Santorum's remarks, but he quite definitively stated that, long ago, "the sun never set" on the British Empire.
Amid all the talk this week about whether Newt Gingrich et al will be able to bring down Mitt Romney with their attacks on Bain Capital, there's been little said about the man who's really on the move: Ron Paul. After finishing a strong second in New Hampshire -- tripling his share of the vote from four years ago -- Paul is the one getting a bounce in South Carolina.
There’s been no shortage of attention to the wave of recent laws in Arizona, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and elsewhere that have ordered police to check detainees for proof of legal residence, required school officials to check the legality of students’ immigration status and prohibited employers from hiring undocumented aliens and landlords from renting to them. According to the conventional wisdom, it’s Washington that’s ultimately responsible for these draconian laws: The federal government forced local government’s hand by failing to address comprehensive immigration reform.