Republican strategists have grown weary of attacking sluts while defending mandated vaginal probes:
Fiscal issues and union rights were front and center in many Republican-controlled legislatures last year. But this year, with the nation heading into the heart of a presidential race and voters consumed by the country’s economic woes, much of the debate in statehouses has centered on social issues. The recent flurry of socially conservative legislation, on issues ranging from expanding gun rights to placing new restrictions on abortion, comes as Republicans at the national level are eager to refocus attention on economic issues. Some Republican strategists and officials, reluctant to be identified because they do not want to antagonize the party’s base, fear that the attention these divisive social issues are receiving at the state level could harm the party’s chances in November, when its hopes of winning back the White House will most likely rest with independent voters in a handful of swing states.
Pivoting back to economic issues when campaigning in individual states, where Mitt Romney will be expected to answer specific questions (unlike at the national level, where he answers no questions) may not be the winner Mitt Romney thinks it is. Republicans at the state level are batshit crazy on economic issues, too. Mitt Romney has shown absolutely no interest in distinguishing himself on state-specific or regional economic issues. He can’t. He keeps running from Grover Norquist’s lash. I’ve written about this before, but we’ll revisit, because it gets more and more bizarre with each passing week.
If you’ve been following politics in Michigan, you probably know that one of the governor’s top priorities is a new bridge over the Detroit River, the New International Trade Crossing. Nearly the entire corporate and business community want this bridge. But the governor hasn’t even been able to get a vote on it in the legislature, where many of the members have taken campaign donations from Matty Moroun, owner of the rival Ambassador Bridge. Moroun doesn’t want any competition, and so far, has managed to frustrate the governor and get his way.
This is not purely a local issue; this is America’s most economically important border crossing. Billions in heavy freight cross the Ambassador Bridge every month. Getting a new bridge is a top economic priority for Canada, our nation’s biggest trading partner. So, how does Mitt Romney stand on the question of whether we should build a new international bridge? The answer seems to be that he doesn’t. He is apparently refusing to take a position on it.
I left messages with a number of aides for both Governor Snyder and the Romney campaign. They didn’t return my calls. Yesterday, Tom Troy, the politics writer for The Blade, asked Romney about the bridge during a photo opportunity. “He wouldn’t answer,“ the reporter said. “He just kept posing and smiling.” Clearly, he knew the issue was controversial. That could mean more than two billion dollars in road money for our state. Mitt Romney wants a job which is all about making bold and controversial decisions. Playing “Detroit River duck” isn’t the way to show that he is up to the job.
When the dancing Austrian warmblood touches down in Detroit or Toledo again he’s likely to be confronted with yet another “tough question” on this bridge, because the issue isn’t going away:
The owners of the Ambassador Bridge say they are backing a statewide ballot proposal that would prohibit Michigan from developing a new U.S.-to-Canada bridge or tunnel unless voters approve. The Detroit International Bridge Co. said Friday it is undertaking a drive for a statewide referendum in November that would require Michigan voters to approve any new bridge or tunnel to Canada.
500 million in trade is being held up by three rich people, one unelected libertarian lobbyist, and a completely corrupt and captured state legislature. Mitt Romney’s position on an international border crossing that Canada supports, the US supports, and the Governor of Michigan supports is “PANIC! Actual leadership-type question! Substantive answer required!”. Maybe it’s a blessing the social conservative lunatics are providing cover for the fiscal conservative lunatics.