Michigan political paczki and women's health for women

If you’re watching cable news, you might’ve noticed this narrative going around on how former Senator Rick Santorum is waging a war on women’s health.  He also labeled President Obama with a “phony theology”, and is really having fun with his new-found status as a front-runner.

But when it comes to women’s health, Rick is making some odd statements.  I can take the sweater vest with ideas about moving the economy, many problems of ObamaCare mandates, etc., but why attack mandatory access to amnios?  And this from the guy who learned from doctors (who performed and suggested amnios/CVS) to break the news that their awesome kid Bella would have Trisomy 18?

After all, who’s really trying to get in the way of doctors and their patients?  The March of Dimes refers to amniocentesis without witchcraft:

“In most cases, amnio test results show that a baby is healthy and without birth defects. If the test shows that your baby does have a birth defect, talk to your provider about your options. For example, your baby may be able to be treated with medicines or even surgery before birth. Or there may be treatments or surgery he can have after birth. Knowing about a birth defect before birth may help you get ready emotionally to care for your baby. You also can plan your baby’s birth with your health care provider. This way, your baby can get any special care she needs right after she is born. ”  

Anyone connected these dots as well to Sarah Palin, and how she divined her son Trig had Down’s Syndrome, with results of an amnio/CVS, as suggested…by doctors?  If doctors say it’s a good idea, it’s their call.  And remember, this isn’t a forced amnio in this entire discussion.  It’s the availability of access to a test.  That’s all it is, and while I like Rick as a more consistent conservative, he’s way out of bounds to work this non-issue into an issue, especially when it may consume his status as leader.

For anyone with access to health care options, many parents often have to prepare if there are expected complications with their child.  It’s not about laws or mandates, it’s about the life of their newborn, and sometimes, doing the right thing takes time and money to make happen.

For me, it reminds us that family decisions like this should not be codified by anyone on either side, especially when the reasoning for preventing access to families who do need time and money to prepare for a challenging life ahead.  To say that access would create more abortions is real class warfare, that only rich folks should have kids with disabilities, eh?

And it’s not helpful that the House of Representatives hearing with Rep. Darrell Issa highlighted an all-male ensemble of experts on women and their religious health choices.  You can probably guess what reaction that instigated, and the myopic nature of self-absorbed ideology practiced as well by Democrats when they were in power.

So if you bought the narrative so far, you might say that the GOP is preparing a bonfire for women’s health, and Rick Santorum brought the duraflames.  Media in the tank for establishment GOP won’t admit it, because their alternative choice is the guy from Massachusetts.  They can’t question their frontrunner, because that would give Mitt the lead back.

There are a lot of corners in this room, and the only way out is to be honest with your candidates.

You can still vote for Rick Santorum, but just make sure you voice your concerns for the over-the-top rhetoric.  He doesn’t need to season the meat when the options are Newt and Mitt, right?  Or is that how tenuous the unity of the GOP is right now?  I fear it’s more a lack of steering, and that’s why the conservatives aren’t moving well.

Santorum’s lead still stands in Michigan, national tracking polls now support him, and now Ohio.  He looks strong not just in one state, but many states.  Texas is leaning to Rick already, and that means Oklahoma likely will follow suit.  Lock in those states, stay competitive in Arizona, and it’s an easier sell to the entire South by Southwest, especially when Newt might be out by early March.

And it’s no secret that Rick Santorum has been the most consistent about culling social issues for support, and his folksy attitude draws plenty of voters from the surface of the GOP’s pool of constituents.  It’s not a question that he’s the best choice, or the smartest choice.  But he’s the most consistent conservative, and that’s what matters to the GOP’s base right now, because that is the only thing that will beat President Obama in November.  Mitt may be the most compatible to Obama, but without a strong base showing, there’s no way he’ll win, nor will it be a real referendum on what the past 4 years have been like.

It’s really that simple.  Rick is the evidence.  If the base can solidify, there’s hope yet for a real challenge in November.

But there’s a risk in entrenching yourself in the base, especially when you play around with women’s health issues.  If you are pro-life, that’s not a problem.  But to isolate amnio/CVS is just wrong, because while you might be making a statement on mandates, you’re restricting doctor/patient choices when your family also used the procedure, and it was a personal choice that made the difference.

For families, this is important to know, that government in this case would allow doctors to suggest procedures that were covered by insurance.  Instead, it sounds rather like an insurance lobby trying to avoid covering amnio/CVS, sorta like when Viagra was approved for coverage, but the pill wasn’t.

Before the sweater vest, Mitt Romney was the favorite among women, granted the other choice was former Rep. Newt Gingrich.  In Michigan, it’s a coin toss, because both candidates aren’t Newt.  But will that change?  The media sure seem to be trying hard to break this tie we see in polling:

MRG/Inside Politics puts Romney and Santorum in a virtual tie among GOP women, 37/38.

Mitchell Research reveals that GOP women equally support Romney and Santorum, 29/28.

PPP has Romney up 38/34 with women, after being down 42/25 in the last PPP poll on Feb. 13th.

WDIV/Detroit News puts Santorum in the lead with women, 35/32.

Averaging everything together now, it’s a real tie here.  And in my view, the key to more than just the GOP race, but perhaps the entire state as well.

Michigan is an open primary state.  It produced a more moderate answer for Lansing, and Gov. Snyder’s primary win came solely on the backs of crossover voters.  But this is still a GOP primary, and conservative is king.  It all comes down to turnout, however, and if the MIGOP does not get out the vote, the effects of planned malfeasance will ultimately be their own fault.

Operation Hilarity is the real deal, as NRO’s Patrick Brennan attempts to deflect fears instead of being honest about a real gap in participation that would let Markos’ plan succeed.  National Review punts at a critical time, because there may be no medicine to cure the lack of enthusiasm in the GOP, so might as well make some political hay.   NRO also sells Santorum far shorter than they should have, especially when low-info voters see that even the NRO has no confidence in their own front-runner.

Talk about an enthusiasm barrier.

And those who believe that a primary battle won 2008, they’re just dreaming.  President Obama didn’t win because he challenged Hillary.  He won because Hillary backed down and didn’t go nuclear with Harold Ickes, and moreso because the country’s economy went into freefall under President George W. Bush.  Yes, the food stamp generation was ironically created by GOP policies.

He won because the country went into the sink.  A soft chair would’ve won that race against poor Senator McCain.  In Iowa, that same soft chair (AKA House Rep. Ron Paul) is winning more than just conservative votes, but also big head-to-head votes against Obama.  The GOP candidates might be wise to listen to Doctor Paul, because he’s got the recipe for moderates and independents who would rather stay home, and that means the GOP loses in November.

With a debate coming up Wednesday, it’s the last chance to get the word out to one focused demographic that each candidate believes is going to help them.  In fact, if this debate produces a Romney fail in Michigan, and Super Tuesday becomes a horse race, this could be the last multiple-candidate debate, even if there are others still planned.  If this race goes to Tampa, the control of the media becomes a critical necessity for Mitt Romney, and Rick Santorum’s going to need a lot of help, especially from the press, if he’s going to convince delegates of his viability.

As the candidates attempt to position themselves for Michigan, Arizona and Super Tuesday, the MIGOP is placed in a bad spot.  The ad war waged across the state of Michigan is unbrokered, unfettered, and free of any control.  Like a dry grassland, red flags are out.  If the ad wars get too acidic, the base won’t show up, and things like Operation Hilarity have an even greater effect.

Michigan will likely take their cue more from the debates than ads I’ve seen so far from here to Lansing.  Ad buys are picking up now with Ron Paul’s new ad upcoming against Santorum, and I’m sure Newt will finally weigh in by Thursday with an ad buy, as Sheldon promises a Vegas-style funding boost of $10 Million – $100 Million, depending on the RNG implant, I suppose.

So if that’s the game plan, for more and more ads (almost certainly all negative) with reports of Mitt Romney spending millions more than he raised is a big deal.  If SuperPACs and billionaires take over the conversation, it’s over.

So far, the one ad I’ve seen the most is “Votes” from Restore Our Future.  It brings up some real truths about Santorum, that he wasn’t exactly shopping at CostCo for government projects.  It’s also something to remember that Rick was a lobbyist for insurance companies, and he’s not been pressed on that.

Maybe the debate might be seeded with some lobbyist angst, or a desperate Newt Gingrich will be burning the entire GOP stage to the ground.  But that’s a bit macro at this point.  Let’s stick with Michigan.

So here’s Mitt Romney in an old Mitt for Governor ad where he reminds us again that he’s MA, not MI.

That’s Mitt “I wish I lived in Massachusetts” Romney.

Native son ,eh?  I bet he eats Dunkies on Fat Tuesday, not paczki.  Enjoy Today!

Mako out.