Mitt Romney may enjoy firing people, but he doesn’t seem to be doing enough of it. His campaign staff keeps letting him down badly, as we saw when they had him address about 1,200 people in a 65,000 seat stadium. Campaign events are supposed to be standing room only, you get a smaller venue than what you really need.
With the Blunt Amendment coming up for a vote in the Senate on Thursday, they should have known he would be asked about it and provided him with a response. He was totally unprepared, first saying that he opposed it, and then reversing his position in less than an hour.
This amendment, which will lose, goes beyond letting an employer like the Catholic Church refuse to provide contraceptive coverage. It says an employer can refuse to provide coverage for any medical service if the employer has a religious or moral objection to it. So at the whim of your employer, your children might not be able to get their vaccinations, or you might not be able to get a blood transfusion.
It’s fitting that the GOP has attached this amendment to the highway bill, because it’s an exception you can drive a truck through.
The only member of the Virginia Senate who is also a physician, Dr. Ralph Northam, describes the bill requiring ultrasounds before an abortion as “a tremendous assault on women’s health care and a tremendous insult to physicians.”
Conventional wisdom says that in a presidential election year, turnout for state offices is increased because more people come out to vote for our highest office. Winning presidential candidates have “coattails” and help pull their party to victory in the down ballot races.
But I believe that this year Americans will be highly motivated to turn out for their state races, to swing a pendulum that moved too far to the right after the 2010 triumph of the Tea Party. 2010 saw the GOP win many gubernatorial races and take total control of many state legislatures.
People who thought they were voting for smaller, more efficient government found that once these candidates were sworn in, it was all abortion, all the time. While voters certainly wanted negotiation with public unions, such as on health care and pension contributions, they didn’t want those unions to be stripped of all their rights.
Angry voters showing up to fix things in their state houses will help President Obama stay in the White House. I believe there will be reverse coattails in 2012.
Yes, gas prices and the unemployment rate matter for him. But so do transvaginal ultrasounds.
Hubris and over-reach are consistent losers for both political parties.