We covered a fair amount of ground over the three-day holiday weekend. Here’s a quick overview of what you may have missed.
On Monday, we talked about:
* The Ohio Republican Party knows the real reason for Memorial Day: honoring fallen servicemen and women by going after health care reform.
* On unemployment, a “learned helplessness” seems to be too common among policymakers. For all of our sakes, they need to overcome this.
* Tim Pawlenty sees President Obama as a “doofus” committed to “maintaining the status quo.” It’s a very odd line of attack for a variety of reasons.
* A variety of leading D.C. pundits continue to be outraged by Democratic “Mediscare” tactics. These pundits refuse to consider a basic fact: what Democrats are saying about GOP Medicare plans is demonstrably true.
On Sunday, we talked about:
* For all kinds of policy challenges, we can see the crises coming, and know exactly how to address them. It’s conservative politics that gets in the way of responding.
* The Romney campaign wants to talk about candidates and “experience.” That seems like a bad strategy.
* If there’s a good reason Republicans are cutting funding for the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), it’s hiding well.
* I don’t begrudge rich Republican lawmakers from having a lot of wealth; I just wish they’d stop pretending, for crass political purposes, that they’re part of a struggling middle class.
* Conservatives have a nasty habit of pointing to a problem, then rejecting sensible solutions to the problems they want to see fixed. Take IPAB, for example.
* In 2011, it appears the top priority of Republican policymakers nationwide is abortion. That’s probably not what voters had in mind in 2010.
And on Saturday, we talked about:
* Decrying “gimmicks,” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) continues to tout “cut and grow.” That’s absurd on more levels than one.
* Medicare privatization is a fraudulent scam, not “a launching off point for a serious debate.”
* Tim Pawlenty joins Romney, Gingrich, and Huntsman in the group of Republican presidential candidates who expressed support for an individual health care mandate — the same idea the GOP now considers freedom-crushing fascism.
* In “This Week in God,” we covered, among other things, the latest charges involving the Roman Catholic Church’s international sex scandal.
* From time to time, we’ll see analysis pieces on whether a candidate can win national office if he or she suffers from some kind of perceived personality flaw — dull, angry, inauthentic, arrogant, etc. But with Newt Gingrich, the question is a little different: can a candidate win national office when the public has gotten to know him and Americans actively dislike him?
* Freshmen GOP lawmakers promised to bring a new way of doing business to Capitol Hill. Five months later, the new way looks an awful lot like the old way.
* Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) doesn’t think President Obama earned his national victory in 2008. Rather, Walsh said, the landslide was the result of “white guilt.”