On Morning Joe today the guests were Sam Stein, Michael Steele, Ralph Reed, Chuck Todd, Mark Halperin and Tom Colburn among others I forget. The main topic was the Catholic Church's rebellion against Obamacare mandates regarding contraception and abortion-related issues. Mika was getting talking points straight from the White House on her smart phone. Mika is plugged into the White House, but then so are many others in media.
What's likely happening, according to Chuck Todd, is that the administration gambled on female support outweighing any Catholic male anger over this issue which is clearly meant to inspire the Democrat base. Although most conservatives are restricting their outrage to religious freedom, as Tom Colburn said, it's about the power of government and the need for limits on government power. Social conservatives don't want to push the larger concern of government intervention, because as Rick Santorum has made clear, he believes that government has a role to play in restricting "radical" freedom. Santorum is okay with government controlling marriage, what type of sex is appropriate, what is obscene and what is appropriate, and so on. Social conservatives like Santorum want government to stop intervening in what they think is inappropriate for government to bother with, but, in many other issues of free choice, social conservatives have no problem with restricting freedom and controlling "radical" individualism.
I'm beginning to see a resurgence of social conservative influence in the Republican Party. I agree with the Catholic Church that government has no business telling them what they should offer regarding healthcare coverage, but I hope all the religious warriors screaming freedom understand the importance of freedom in general and not just some narrow version of Christian, religious freedom. Of all the people in the world, Christians should understand the importance of freedom in a broad sense -- Christians are being persecuted all around the globe -- but I'm not confident that social conservatives understand or accept this bigger issue of liberty. When a Christian is killed in a dictatorial country, it's not religion that's being attacked so much as it the different belief and the threat to the dictator's control -- the Christian might make the issue an issue of religious war, but for those persecuting the Christains it has more to do with maintaining control over people and the way they think. If you don't believe it, try to start a large group of free thinkers in one of these countries that maintain the principles of the Enlightenment, then see what happens when that group begins to have influence and threatens the ruler's established and permitted beliefs.
There was talk on the Morning Joe panel of Romney's precarious campaign and the importance of doing well at CPAC -- they say that Romney has to establish himself with the conservatives to allay their fears that Romney is a northeastern liberal in conservative clothing. I support Ron Paul, and the reason I support Paul is because he states what he believes even if conservatives disagree, just like his non-intervention stance. Romney should do the same thing. Well, you say, Paul has no chance of getting elected, so it makes no sense for Romney to state what he believes if it will kill his chances of getting elected. The political games have got to stop. If we aren't going to have a President who is authentic and honest, then it doesn't matter who's President, and if it doesn't matter who's President, then why would Romney even want to win -- for ego? That's the lamest reason of all to run for President.
Romney should stand for whatever it is he believes and he should let the people at CPAC know that he's not there to pander to conservative voters. Hell, there's about four different types of "conservatives". Just give an honest speech, be transparent and maintain integrity, then let the chips fall where they may. But Colburn is right -- the political class and media are focusing on symptomatic problems while our fundamental problems rage on and bring the nation down. We've got to do the hard work of dealing with entitlements, debt, energy costs, foreign wars and the other fundamental concerns which are difficult to talk about. One major fundamental problem -- statism has failed -- should always be front and center. So, Romney should forget about all the conservatives who expect him to kiss their asses and rise above it all to address the need to create a free market and get government out of the business of central planning, crony protection and global policing.