Americans are hurting across this country, and the president’s out there campaigning. Why isn’t he governing? He doesn’t — he doesn’t have a jobs plan even now.
—  Mitt Romney, who must be referring to the fact that the GOP minority in the Senate has already filibustered said “jobs bill” to death and plans to filibuster its pieces to death as well. That pretty much means “Obama has no jobs bill,” right? After all, it’s been uniformly reported as “Democrats fail to pass…” and “Obama jobs bill fails” and never, ever the decidedly shrill “GOP blocks…” or even “Republicans outmaneuver Democrats on jobs…”
Note to Anderson Cooper: this is precisely the sort of thing you might mention next time it comes up in a debate amongst the folks vying for the Republican nomination for President of these United States. To quote some future Sam Jackson movie: “You the moderator? Then moderate, motherfucker.” Or we’ll just let Watson do it the next time. Frankly, I don’t see how Our Computational Overlord could do any worse.
I Think He's Got It!

Dave Weigel points out the lesson from Iowa and, as I read it, the broader outlines of the GOP primary thus far:

Four years ago, a depressed GOP went to the precinct caucuses, very well aware that Democrats had all the energy. The total GOP vote: 119,188. This year, Republicans should be psyched about the chance to uproot Barack Obama. There will be something above 122,000 total votes. An improvement, right? Well… in 2008, 86 percent of the people who chose the GOP caucuses were Republicans. This year, 75 percent of the electorate was Republican, with the rest of the vote coming from independents and Democrats. What the hell happened?

What happened is those independent and non-GOP folks are Ron Paul voters; also, pretty much anybody under 65 in the room. So, in what should be a high voter interest year, in the “early” state with the most potential to generate that largely white, evangelical, “Obama is ruining the country” style fervor that the GOP counts on to win its national elections you get…depressed turnout, most of which has no interest in the frontrunner and a large chunk of which isn’t really even interested in your party, much less your presumptive candidate.

So far, Mitt is right where he was in 2008. That’s your story. If there was a true frontrunner here he would have, again, finished well back and would (again) be poised to under-perform in his “firewall” of New Hampshire. Instead, he’ll under-perform and but also win there. That will soften the inevitable South Carolina blow, keep things just interesting enough for the media circus to stay engaged, and only serve to delay the inevitable “well, I guess we have to nominate him now” triumphant GOP convention moment down the road in Tampa. Mitt Romney, reporting for duty! I can already smell the rising tide of national excitement.

Birther Boogaloo: You Tell Me
  • Reality Check: Okay, now, what are the specific requirements in the [TN Ballot Access] bill?
  • TN State Senator Mae Beavers: That they have to have the long-form birth certificate.
  • RC: What is the long-form birth certificate?
  • Beavers: Now, you’re asking me to get into a lot of things that I haven’t really looked into yet.
  • RC: [...] Are you aware that a lot of states now only give the short-form birth certificate?
  • Beavers: No, I only know about Tennessee, and I was born in Alabama. So I only know what I have seen.
  • RC: What if someone was not born in a hospital? It wouldn’t have an attending physician signature, so they wouldn’t be eligible to run in Tennessee if this bill passes. Is that correct?
  • Beavers: But they would have a birth certificate.
  • RC: Sure, but your bill doesn’t say birth certificate. It says “an original long-form birth certificate that includes date and place of birth, name of the hospital, the attending physician, and signatures of the witnesses.”
  • Beavers: And that’s normally what’s on a long-form birth certificate.
  • RC: It used to be, but as a matter of fact, the state of Hawaii, where President Obama was born, for people born since, I believe, around 2001, only gives the time of birth, the name of the parents, and the place of birth. Are you aware of the section of the Constitution called the full faith and credit clause? It’s in Article 4, Section 1.
  • Beavers: Yes.
  • RC: Well, do you know what it says about state documents?
  • Beavers: You tell me.
  • RC: It says that any state is required to accept the documents from another state. So that basically means that Tennessee has to accept a valid birth certificate from Hawaii or any other state.
  • Beavers: I have no knowledge of short-form birth certificates in Hawaii.
  • RC: [...] Mitt Romney may not be eligible under this bill. Are you aware of that?
  • Beavers: No, I wasn’t.
  • RC: Well, George Romney, his father, was born in Mexico. Mexico confers citizenship by jus soli, which is place of birth. So he was born with dual citizenship, and it also passes down. Unless George Romney somehow gave up his Mexican citizenship, Mitt Romney has dual citizenship.
  • Beavers: Obviously you’ve studied this whole thing.