Mark Levin Supports “The Big Government Statist” in The Republican Race

Nobody has written more about or railed more against big government statism than conservative radio host, Mark Levin. He argues that we are all “under attack from big government regulations and the redistribution of wealth that the statists love and preach.”

So why on earth would Mark Levin, the author of the conservative manifesto against big government statism, Liberty and Tyranny,  support Rick Santorum, if he’s such “a big government statist”?

In early December, when they were both in the back of the pack,  Levin said that if the primary were being held in his state, today, it would come down to two people, Santorum or Bachmann – “the most consistent conservatives in the race – people he would trust – without thought in the oval office”.

Now that Bachmann has bowed out, that leaves Santorum.

Here’s some thoughtful analysis from James Pethokoukis on the different economic visions of Romney and Santorum.

Whom should the U.S. economy—and U.S. economy policy—revolve around, the entrepreneur or the family? That is really the core economic debate between Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney (and Jon Huntsman, too, for that matter). Not that there isn’t plenty of overlap between the two conservative economic visions, but embracing one or the other does lead down different policy paths. Think of it as traditional conservatism vs. modern, free-market conservatism. Edmund Burke vs. the Austrians, Friedrich Hayek, and Joseph Schumpeter. Tradition and order vs. creative destruction.

Read it all, and read also First Left-Wing Talking-Point Against Santorum: He’s ‘Big Government’ at  Right Pundits, where  Warner Todd Huston asks, “is Rick Santorum a big government Republican?”

Sort of. But not really. You see, Santorum’s focus is in assuring the integrity of the traditional, nuclear family and he’s not averse to using government to secure those ends. He most certainly is not a Republican that leans toward a libertarian interpretation of what government should do — i.e. operate in a hands-off policy.

***

He places the family much higher on the list of things conservatives should conserve and this might make him a bit distasteful to laissez faire economists. I feel his stance is a legitimately conservative view, too.

See also:

The Shark Tank: Rick Santorum is ‘No’ Mike Huckabee

MORE:

Oh, and the gay mafia is weighing in now with typical subtlety.

Big Journalism: New York Times, NPR Contributor Compares Rick Santorum to Harvey Milk Assassin Dan White

And just what you were waiting for – Meggie weighs in:

Breitbart TV: Meghan McCain: Santorum Nomination Will Mean ‘Bedlam And Hysteria’

From the likes of people like you, right?

Check out  Santorum on the Issues.

No, he’s not a big government Republican.

Linked by Michelle Malkin, and Doug Ross, thanks!

As Promised: Rick Santorum’s Speech, Last Night: “I’ve Survived The Challenges So Far By The Daily Grace That Comes From God”

Rick Santorum gave a great speech at his post-Iowa caucus party at the Stoney Creek Inn in Johnston, Iowa, last night. He ended up placing 2nd, falling just eight votes short of Romney.

I promised that I would put it up when it became available, so for those of you who missed it, here it is:

May God continue to bless him, because when it comes to challenges – he ain’t seen nothin’ yet  – his shoe-string budget vs the  $1 bil Barack/Axelrod Chicago machine is going to be a David against Goliath scenario.

The Political Ticker reports: Santorum raises more than $1 million in one night.

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Posted in Repubs. 5 Comments »

Power Grab: Obama Recess Appoints Consumer Finance Czar

Obama’s new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau director is supposed to be confirmed by the Senate—not installed via recess appointment—

Yet here’s Ed Morrissey over at Hot Air sticking up for Obama:

National Journal reportsthat Obama will announce a recess appointment for Cordray to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau — and escalate the division between the Senate and the White House, and Democrats and Republicans:

President Obama will announce today that he will appoint Richard Cordray as head of the controversial Consumer Financial Protection Bureau during the Senate’s recess, the White House said.

The appointment comes to the dismay of Senate Republicans, who blocked Cordray’s nomination in order to weaken the bureau. …

Obama is scheduled to make his first public appearance of 2012 on Wednesday at 1:15 p.m. in the suburbs of Cleveland — Cordray’s home state.

Of all the controversial appointments that the Senate GOP has managed to bottle up, this one had the weakest argument.  The objections of Republicans to Cordray rested mainly on the CFPB itself, not Cordray.  They had already forced Obama to withdraw his first nominee, Elizabeth Warren, who proved inartful at Congressional relations anyway.  The CFPB itself was a battle Republicans lost over a year ago.  Congress passed it into law, and Obama should be able to get a nominee to run it confirmed.  Republicans can win the next election and make the changes they wish in the next session, but it’s unreasonable to simply block the agency from operating with its chosen leadership.

They’ve been holding up the appointment until changes to the agency’s structure are made to provide oversight and accountability. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to insist on accountability.

Captitol Confidential at Big Government calls this an unconstitutional power grab:

Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution provides the president with the power to “fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate.” The problem for the president and his liberal allies is that the Senate has not recessed and technically remains in session. However, liberal groups are pressing the White House to invoke the “Roosevelt Option” to stack key government positions with radicals ready to carry out an anti-business, pro-big labor regulatory agenda. The Roosevelt Option is coined from the actions of Teddy Roosevelt who in 1903, in a split-second between two congressional sessions of Congress, made more than 100 recess appointments. In 2012, Congress will need to move from the First Session of this current Congress to the Second Session. Liberals claim the fraction of a second between the sessions is enough to trigger presidential power.

Others are more brazenly calling for the president to invoke presidential powers never before contemplated. Some have even suggested the president declare the Congress in recess, like a tinhorn dictator from a Third World country.

But even invoking the so-called “Roosevelt Option” may not solve the liberals’ conundrum. Sources tell Capitol Confidential that the statute creating the CFPB demands that the director be confirmed by the Senate—not installed via recess appointment—to trigger the agency’s shift from Treasury to the Fed and empower the Director.

But none of the legal or constitutional arguments may matter much. Liberals and the Obama administration appear poised to forge ahead with an outrageous and unconstitutional power grab. And by the time the courts work it out, so much damage will already be done.

Even *RINO, Orrin Hatch is outraged:

“This is a very grave decision by this heavy-handed, autocratic White House. Circumventing the Senate and tossing out decades of precedent to appoint an unaccountable czar to appease its liberal base is beneath the office of the president,” Hatch said in a statement. “The legislative branch exists as a check and a balance on the executive. By opening this door, the White House is saying it can appoint any person at any time to any position it chooses without the advice and consent of the Senate. This is not how our republic was designed to function.”

Michelle Malkin links to Cordray’s new, unregulated, regulatory powers:

Refresh your memories on Cordray and the expansive new regulatory powers he will now wield here.

Flashback — Obama 2005: Recess appointees are “damaged goods;” Obama 2010: Recess appointments are “critical” need

As The AP reported on New Years Eve: In 2012, Obama to press ahead without Congress:

The White House believes GOP lawmakers boxed themselves in during the pre-Christmas debate on the tax break and will be hard-pressed to back off their own assertions that it should continue through the end of 2012.

Once that debate is over, the White House says, Obama’s political fate will no longer be tied to Washington.

“Now that he’s sort of free from having to put out these fires, the president will have a larger playing field. If that includes Congress, all the better,” said Josh Earnest,White House deputy press secretary. But, he added, “that’s no longer a requirement.”

Aides say the president will not turn his back on Congress completely in the new year. He is expected to once again push lawmakers to pass elements of his jobs bill that were blocked by Republicans last fall.

If those efforts fail, the White House says, Obama’s re-election year will focus almost exclusively on executive action.

Earnest said Obama will come out with at least two or three directives per week, continuing the “We Can’t Wait” campaign the administration began this fall, and try to define Republicans in Congress as gridlocked and dysfunctional.

And Keith Koffler noted just the other day: Obama has officially abandoned governing:

In a startling interview with the New York Times, White House Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest all but acknowledged that Obama was finished with the presidency until he wins it again.

“In terms of the president’s relationship with Congress in 2012,” Mr. Earnest said at a briefing, “the president is no longer tied to Washington, DC”

The president is no longer tied to Washington DC? Are Congress and Obama going to take their act on the road and make laws in Cincinnati? We’re finished legislating for the year?

“There are certainly other things the president would like to do,” Mr. Earnest said, citing other provisions of the jobs bill. “But in terms of essential, must-do items, the payroll tax cut extension is the last one.”

So, the economy is stalled, millions are out of work, and there are no more “must do” items, other than the president’s reelection?

I have to give the White House credit for putting its card on the table. This is certainly a record-setting level of Chutzpah they are displaying. I called the Guinness Book of World Record, in fact, and they agreed to publish it immediately.

I don’t think now is a good time for Republicans to play dead. I want to see them fighting back.

UPDATE:

Speaker Boehner weighs in on the appointment at his website:

It turns out that the action not only contradicts long-standing practice, but also the view of the administration itself. In 2010, Deputy Solicitor General Neal Katyal explained to the Supreme Courtthe Obama administration’s view that recess appointments are only permissible when Congress is in recess for more than three days. Here’s the exchange with Chief Justice John Roberts:

CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: And the recess appointment power doesn’t work why?

MR. KATYAL: The — the recess appointment power can work in — in a recess. I think our office has opined the recess has to be longer than 3 days. And — and so, it is potentially available to avert the future crisis that — that could — that could take place with respect to the board. If there are no other questions –

CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: Thank you, counsel.

Speaker Boehner called the appointment an “extraordinary and entirely unprecedented power grab,” and noted that the position “had not been filled for one reason: the agency it heads is bad for jobs and bad for the economy.” Read his full statement here, and read the statement from Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) here.

You might want to read the comments at Boehner’s site. People are begging Boehner to “do something” about it – several  suggest he should begin impeachment proceedings.

See also:

Weasel Zippers: Obama Defends Cordray Appointment: I Have An “Obligation” To Act Like A Dictator…

The Foundry: A Tyrannical Abuse of Power: Obama Attempts to Appoint Cordray to CFPB:

In a revelation that is quite shocking to anyone who knows anything about the 100-plus years of precedent on the recess appointment power or the separation of powers, the White House today announced that the President planned on making a purported recess appointment of Richard Cordray to the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. This is a position the Senate has refused to confirm Cordray for, and it is also of note that the White House announced this momentous decision in an official tweet from communications director Dan Pfeiffer.

Heritage’s Diane Katz has explained why that position should remain unfilled until the agency’s powers are modified, but the alleged recess appointment is outrageous no matter what position it would supposedly fill. What is shocking is that the Senate is not in a recess that would allow a recess appointment, and it can’t be under the Constitution, even if many Senators are not in D.C.

Keep reading.

Prof. Jacobson:

Obama’s recess appointment of Richard Cordray to the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau correctly is portrayed as a naked power grab.

First, the Senate is not in recess.  Harry Reid and other Democrats in the past treated the current Senate pro forma business status as not being in recess.

Second, the Dodd-Frank legislation which created the position Cordray will fill specifically requires Senate confirmation.  A recess appointment is not confirmation under any scenario.

According to Greg Sargent, Obama has more recess appointments lined up for the NLRB.

So are the appointments really the issue?  In part, yes, but they are just the excuse.  Obama’s campaign theme is to run against Congress.  What better way to run against Congress than to create a confrontation with Congress?

Hot Air: Doubling down: Obama follows Cordray recess appointment with three more to NLRB

MRCTV: Richard Cordray: Any Legislation Which Has Even “Incidental Effects on the Economy” is a “Valid Exercise of Congressional Authority”

Breitbart TV: Obama Creates 1-800 Hotline To Advise Whether Mortgages Give ‘Fair Deal’:

During President Obama’s speech announcing his recess appointment of Richard Cordray to the position of Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), he announced that Cordray’s agency would be setting up a ‘1-800′ hotline that one could call to ensure they were getting a ‘fair deal’ on a mortgage.

Linked by Michelle Malkin in Buzzworthy, thanks.

*Orrin Hatch’e RINO status in dispute in the comments. I was probably a bit hasty in labling him a RINO. He has been mostly conservative – but when he strays off the reservation….hoo boy.

Rick Santorum: Cinderella-Man (UPDATED)

UPDATE:

Final numbers:

RICK 29,944

MITT 29,926

Final Numbers:

Mitt: 30,015

  Rick: 30,007

When I asked, will Santorum squeak out a win? - I really didn’t expect it to be this close. Forget statistical tie –  five points difference is almost a literal tie. But it’s not bad considering that he once ‘so invisible he said he felt like “a potted plant” on the debate stage’, was even yesterday only  expected to finish in the top three. Not actually win.

Perhaps you know the story of James Braddock, the supposedly washed up boxer who came back to become a champion and an inspiration in the 1930s. They made a wonderful motion picture about his life in 2005, starring Russell Crowe.

Rick Santorum, is the Cinderella Man of Republican politics in 2012. A guy, who’s political career came to an abrupt end in 2006, and was on hardly anyone’s  radar even a month ago, is on the verge of a major political comeback. He did this through hard work – traveling to all 99 counties in IA, attending hundreds of town hall meetings , and meeting with ordinary voters. And he managed this win on a shoestring budget he tells people would be an insult to shoestrings.

RS McCain reports some intriguing news tonight from Santorum’s headquarters:

Just got through with Senator Santor’s victory speech. Robert Costa of NRO and I were back by the door. The room was packed past fire-code capacity and the cops wouldn’t let anyone else in. That was when the New York Times photographer showed up and tried to get past the cops.

No way, the cops wouldn’t yield. “But … I’m from the New York Times.”

The cops didn’t care. Nobody was getting past them.

A triumph for The Rule of Law in the American Heartland.

And I remember when Santorum couldn’t get any national media coverage except . . . Well, me.

I’ll post video of the speech when it becomes available. It was a good one.

Incidentally, Perry Likely Dropping Out.

Bachmann tells supporters she’s staying in race.

James Oliphant Reporting from Johnston, Iowa for the LA Times —
At the strike of midnight in Iowa, five votes separated Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney with almost all of the returns in from the GOP caucuses counted, but the final tally had long ceased to matter.Santorum had won his own kind of victory, a staggering run from the back of the pack to the top of the heap at warp speed.Nobody saw it coming. No one. If they tell you they did, they have better inside information than just about anyone, even Santorum, who has recently joked that just a few weeks ago, reporters were asking him when he was going to drop out of the race.

UPDATE:

Squeaker of a victory in hand, Romney looks to NH:

In all, more than 122,000 straw ballots were cast, a record for Iowa Republicans, and the outcome was a fitting conclusion to a race as jumbled as any since Iowa gained the lead-off position in presidential campaigns four decades ago.

Returns from all 1,774 precincts showed both Romney with 24.55 percent support and Santorum with 24.54 percent. Texas congressman Paul drew 21.5 percent of the votes.

The results are non-binding when it comes to picking delegates to the GOP convention in Tampa. But an Associated Press analysis showed Romney would win 13 delegates and Santorum 12, if there were no changes in their support as the campaign wears on.

Paul ran third and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich was fourth, and both men vowed to carry the fight to New Hampshire’s primary next week and beyond.

Not so Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who came in fifth and told supporters he would return home to Texas to reassess his candidacy.

Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann was a distant sixth, and her campaign appeared in disarray. She told reporters she would carry on — less than an hour after her campaign manager raised doubts in an Associated Press interview about whether she would stay in the race.

Bachmann Cancels South Carolina Trip, Will Hold Press Conference This Morning…

I’ll make the least bold prediction you will hear all day, Bachmann drops out. The only question is, will she endorse Romney?

UPDATE:

Bachmann Quits 2012 Campaign

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — Rep. Michele Bachammn just announced she would quit the 2012 presidential race. She praised God and spoke about the Founders of the American Republic, vowing her continued determination to repeal ObamaCare, calling it a formula for leading America down the road to socialism.

And she’s not endorsing anyone for now, which is good news.

Posted in Repubs. 4 Comments »
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