The Candidates

RedState Morning Briefing

December 20, 2011
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1. The Candidates

I will not be endorsing any time soon. I have made clear my reasons here.

I am, however, continually surprised that anyone in the GOP thinks Mitt Romney is a really viable candidate. Should he be the nominee, the American public will be treated to interviews and commercials with every person ever fired or laid off because of Bain Capital, an organization from which MItt Romney still draws money.

The Romney camp response is, in effect, “Sure, but look at all the people laid off because of Barack Obama.”

Okay. Sure. In other words, in a race about job creation, we’ll have a fight over who caused the fewest people to lose their jobs.

That’s a real winner of an argument to have.

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2. The Strategic Incompetence of Mitch McConnell

Mitch McConnell’s minion are in full on spin mode trying to blame Speaker of the House John Boehner for botching the payroll tax cut extension. The only person who deserves any blame is Mitch McConnell. In this, the first deal he pretty much single handedly negotiated with the Democrats, he not only screwed up, but proved he has no freaking clue how to get the economy growing again.

The House has postponed a vote on the matter but members of the House are in open rebellion about it. In exchange for the Keystone Pipeline, which would probably make the President veto the whole thing anyway, the GOP would go for a two month extension of the payroll tax cut and raise fees on mortgages permanently.

Note the last bit. McConnell was okay raising fees on the American people permanently to offset a two month payroll tax cut. And it would not just raise fees on mortgages, it would, in effect, perpetuate the sad, sick cycle of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac controlling the mortgage industry with no reforms to either.

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3. RedState Interview with Jon Huntsman

Former Utah Governor and current Presidential candidate Jon Huntsman took the time on Friday to sit down with me and answer some questions on his views. You can hear the entire audio of the interview by clicking below, or I have generated a rough transcript which you can find below the fold.

I will admit to being impressed by Governor Huntsman, who I had largely written off earlier in the campaign. As a matter of presentation, he seems to come off better on audio than video for some reason. In any event, he answered my questions candidly and with a bare minimum of politician-speak. He refused an opportunity to backtrack on some of the earlier comments attributed to his campaign, but I think most readers will find that his positions are more conservative than they would expect.

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4. Can Congress Subpoena Judges?

I have to confess at the outset that I am at a loss to explain the hyperventilation in some quarters about Newt Gingrich’s remarks in Saturday night’s debate that he would subpoena federal judges to testify before Congress. I don’t really want to get sidetracked in a discussion of whether such a move would be a good idea, politically (it would almost certainly not, as evidenced by the fact that it is never done), my only beef is with the suggestion that it literally could not be done. In other words, to some extent this is probably the sort of discussion that only a soul-sucking lawyer fascinated by the question of how many angels could dance on the head of a pin could possibly enjoy and therefore I will stick most of it below the fold. I will say, however, that folks who have never actually practiced in front of a judge generally have no idea how bad things are in the judiciary these days – and while I think Newt’s plan is probably political suicide, I don’t think some outside-the-box thinking should be completely discarded where the judiciary is concerned, because it is clear that what has been done prior to this point is just not working.

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