Punting the Pundits

“Punting the Pundits” is an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Punting the Pundits”.

Paul Krugman: Romney’s Economic Closet

According to Michael Kinsley, a gaffe is when a politician accidently tells the truth. That’s certainly what happened to Mitt Romney on Tuesday, when in a rare moment of candor – and, in his case, such moments are really, really rare – he gave away the game.

Speaking in Michigan, Mr. Romney was asked about deficit reduction, and he absent-mindedly said something completely reasonable: “If you just cut, if all you’re thinking about doing is cutting spending, as you cut spending you’ll slow down the economy.” A-ha. So he believes that cutting government spending hurts growth, other things equal.

The right’s ideology police were, predictably, aghast; the Club for Growth quickly denounced the statement as showing that Mr. Romney is “not a limited-government conservative.” On the contrary, insisted the club, “If we balanced the budget tomorrow on spending cuts alone, it would be fantastic for the economy.” And a Romney spokesman tried to walk back the remark, claiming, “The governor’s point was that simply slashing the budget, with no affirmative pro-growth policies, is insufficient to get the economy turned around.”

New York Times Editorial: Donors With Agendas

The presidential primary season is being brought to you by a handful of multimillionaires and companies who have propped up the candidates with enormous donations to their “super PACs.” Just two dozen or so individuals, couples and companies have given more than 80 percent of the money collected by super PACs, or $54 million, according to disclosure forms released on Monday.

reed of nearly all regulations or good sense by Citizens United and other court decisions, the super PACs are raising money in ludicrously large sums. The $10 million from Sheldon and Miriam Adelson to Winning Our Future, which has sustained Newt Gingrich’s trailing campaign, is the biggest single donation to a candidate. But every candidate now has his own millionaire supporter, and the concentration of wealth in the campaign is growing.

Leslie Savan: GOP Debate: Birth Control = Gun Control… or Something

My expectations were low, but still it seemed odd: During the three-hour GOP debate last night in Mesa, Arizona-117 miles from Tucson, where a year ago Jared Lee Loughner shot six people dead and injured thirteen, including Representative Gabby Giffords-no one raised the issue of gun control. Not that I thought the candidates would touch the subject (even if a day earlier Newt had bully-boyed Chevy’s most energy-efficient car by saying, “You can’t put a gun rack in a Volt.” Watch this dude prove him wrong). After all, NRA-fearing politicians from Obama on down have been as silent on gun control post-Tucson as they were effusive over Giffords’s brief appearance in Congress last month, when she announced her resignation.

Nor did I expect anyone in the auditorium audience to risk life or limb by squeaking out a query on gun violence, banning high-capacity ammunition clips, or doing background checks on customers at gun shows. But I did hold out a sliver of hope that CNN would let either someone over the Net or moderator John King himself venture there. Apparently, though, King’s last run-in at a debate with Gingrich-who blasted him as piece of liberal-media detritus-left him gun shy.

Victoria M. DeFrancesco Soto: Anti-Immigrant Rhetoric Is Anti-Latino

Let’s call a spade a spade. Opposition to immigration is not a concern rooted in personal economic concerns. Neither is it a concern having to do with state’s rights. Anti-immigrant sentiment isn’t even about immigrants as a whole. As rigorous social scientific research shows, opposition to immigration is closely linked to the negative racial animus toward one very specific group, Latinos.

Over the course of the GOP primary season, anti-immigrant rhetoric has been a stump speech staple of the candidates. The focus of Republican candidates is to keep new immigrants out and get those here to leave. The Republican primary has become a quien es más macho contest of who has the biggest anti-immigrant badge. The top anti-immigrant badge of honor goes to Herman Cain and his advocacy for an electrified border fence, while Rick Perry lost out by having aided Texas college students who happened to be undocumented.

John Nichols: How Tuesday’s Primaries Could End It for Romney

On February 28, 1968, a Republican presidential prospect who just months earlier had led in the polls, announced that he was withdrawing from the competition.

George Romney-the governor of Michigan whom many Republicans had seen as the great hope for renewing the party in the aftermath of the sweeping rebuke the party had received after nominating right-winger Barry Goldwater for the presidency in 1964-had suffered a series of self-inflicted wounds to his candidacy and on that late February day he accepted that he was not going to be the Republican nominee or the president of the United States.

Forty-four years to the day after George Romney quit the national stage, his son, Willard Mitt Romney, could face a similar moment.

Ari Berman: The Buying of the President 2012: Meet the Super PAC Mega-Donors

The more we learn about Super PACs, the uglier the picture gets.

A new analysis by USA Today found that just five super-wealthy individuals have contributed 25 percent of the money raised by Super PACs since the beginning of 2011. The New York Times added that “two dozen individuals, couples or corporations have given $1 million or more to Republican super PACs this year…. Collectively, their contributions have totaled more than $50 million this cycle, making them easily the most influential and powerful political donors in politics today.”

The hierarchy is topped by Texas businessman Harold Simmons, a major funder of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth in 2004, who has donated nearly $15 million to three different GOP candidates (Perry, Gingrich and Romney) and the Karl Rove-founded American Crossroads. He’s followed by Las Vegas casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, who’s given $10 million to Gingrich’s Super PAC and says he may give an additional “$10 or $100 million to Gingrich” before the primary season is over. “Take away Sheldon Adelson and the pro-Gingrich ‘Winning Our Future’ PAC is just a federally registered lemonade stand,” Stephen Colbert joked.