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Archive for April, 2012

ImagePolitical analysis from a different perspective, with John Barron @JohnBarronABC of the Australian Broadcasting Company. My segment, discussing the Buffett Rule and Ronald Reagan’s speech in 1985 in which he made Obama’s cases for fairness, begins about halfway through. It’s preceded by insightful comment from my friend Scot Faulkner, a former Reagan and Gingrich aide who has written extensively about the failures of the modern conservative movement.

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My piece on the passing of Dick Clark ran today in POLITICO. Unfortunately they didn’t include one of my hyperlinks, which directed to Al Sharpton’s tribute from a few days ago. It’s worth watching and was part of what led me to write what I did today.

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This is a case of letting things speak for themselves: Ronald Reagan here in 1985 essentially makes the case for the “Buffett Rule” now being advocated by the Obama administration. Advocates — including the President himself — would be wise to capitalize on this. It shows how far the Republican Party has drifted. Reagan here makes the case for fairness in taxation, including the specific point about a bus driver not paying a higher rate than a millionaire.

To all those GOPers claiming the Reagan mantle: how can you respond to this?

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Rick Santorum is out, in part because he did not stick to his pivot toward jobs and populism in the aftermath of his big three primary wins, which I blogged about below. His ill-timed shift to talk of contraception coincided with the Rush Limbaugh driven anti-women’s rights talk, and his numbers reflected the unpopularity of this rhetorical turn.

What stood out the most in Santorum’s not-quite-concession speech today, though, was his failure to mention Mitt Romney. As they cliché goes, it’s not what he said–it’s what he didn’t say. There is a deep divide on the Republican Right, to the point where a top contender will not even utter his opponent’s name. Santorum emerged as the unlikely flagbearer of the social conservative wing of the party, which is deeply uncomfortable with Romney. Unlike in similarly divisive moments in the Right’s history, there is no uniting figure who could salve these wounds–if Santorum ever does endorse Romney it will not be in earnest. Romney is now the nominee. But he has no movement behind him.

Here is a clever Hardball montage, prior to Santorum’s withdrawal today, of the remarkably tepid endorsements of the now candidate. Or Jon Stewart’s take, “Jump on the Blandwagon.

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