Primaries in D.C., Maryland, and Wisconsin Today
The Republicans are holding primaries in D.C. and two states today.
Mitt Romney is sure to win the D.C. primary because Rick Santorum failed to
get on the ballot there. On the other hand, there are so few Republicans registered
to vote in D.C. that the primary does not mean much, but it will add 19 delegates to
Romney's growing total. Although Maryland is south of the Mason-Dixon line, in a political
sense it is the North, not the South, and Romney will win a crushing victory there, too.
Wisconsin was Santorum's one chance today, but he doesn't appear to be doing well there.
A PPP poll
puts Romney ahead of Santorum 43% to 36%. So, if the polls are right, Romney will win blowouts in D.C. and Maryland and a decent victory in
It is Santorum's bad luck that all the primaries in April, save Pennsylvania and maybe Wisconsin, strongly favor Romney. It is not until we get to May
that the tables are turned and many of them favor Santorum. But it is not clear that Santorum will survive long enough to take advantage
of them. Also, even if he does, it may be so obvious to everyone that Romney is the GOP nominee that Romney will win even in states where
the voters don't like him, just to jump on the bandwagon.
Romney Advisors Trying to Decide Whether to Unleash the Candidate
Historically, people have voted for the candidate they like the best, rather than the one whose
policies they agree with. Aloof candidates like Bob Dole and John Kerry discovered that the hard way.
People may not have liked the policies of George W. Bush or Bill Clinton, but the candidates were personally
popular and won. Now Mitt Romney's advisors are trying to
whether they should let Romney be Romney,
with the risk of more gaffes about his wealth, or keep him regimented.
No doubt they have all studied the recent
that shows Obama leading Romney by 9% in 12 key swing states. When you are that far behind, advisors often look for ways to shake up the
game (or toy).
Of course, letting Romney speak in unscripted situations is no guarantee that he will say things that reverse
his disastrous (30%) showing among women under 50. It is tricky for him to say things to win them back without alienating
his base or being accused of being a flip flopper.
Federal Mandates Have Been Around for over 200 Years
While everyone is arguing about whether Congress can compel everyone to buy a product (such as health insurance) from a private company,
few people have noticed that the first time it did so was 220 years ago. On May 8, 1792, Congress passed the
Second Militia Act, which ordered every able-bodied white
male citizen from 18 to 45 to buy from a private company a musket or firelock and 24 rounds of ammunition for it.
The full text of the act is given here.
The United States had no standing army in 1792, so Congress was thinking that if the British came back, these armed men would form the
militia to defend the country.
Congress did not state in the law which section of the constitution authorized this mandate. It could have been either
Art. 1, Sec. 1, which gives it the power to raise armies, or conceivably the second amendment, which talks about a well-regulated militia and the
right to bear arms. Nevertheless, the Second Militia Act was clearly a mandate forcing citizens to buy specific products from private
companies at their own expense.
Congress could, of course, have raised taxes and then authorized the President to buy the weapons with federal funds, distributing them to the
militiamen in time of war, but it opted for a mandate instead.
In any event, the idea of Congress mandating that citizens buy a specific product from a private company has a precedent that has gone unchallenged for 200 years.
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-- The Votemaster
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