A MORE TOLERANT GOP?
It’s not time to award any medals of courage. But there seems to be a growing if self-interested recognition that intolerance is doing the GOP, and conservatism, real damage. It would be premature to say that the party of Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock has fundamentally changed; conservatives appear likely to nominate Rep. Steve King (Iowa), an anti-immigration hard-liner and all-around bomb-thrower, to be their GOP Senate candidate in Iowa next year. But there are hopeful signs: Fox News Channel has dropped Sarah Palin, Bill O’Reilly criticized opponents of same-sex marriage as Bible-thumpers, and even the much-feared Rush Limbaugh has come in for criticism on the right.
DON’T TAKE YOUR GUNS TO TOWN
BILL DALEY & ROSEANNA ANDER
WALL STREET JOURNAL
Mayor Michael Bloomberg pushed for stiffer penalties in New York for illegal gun carrying, under the premise that “every possession of a gun [is] a potential homicide.” The Bloomberg-backed law that Gov. George Pataki signed in 2006 increased the mandatory minimum sentence for illegal carrying to three-and-a-half years from one year. … With a record low of 418 murders in 2012, New York’s homicide rate is now about one-third of Chicago’s, though New York has more than twice the population. In a telling development, the city’s overall incarceration rate has also declined. New Yorkers got the message: Leave your guns at home.
MARCO RUBIO’S ESCAPE HATCH
…Rubio has effectively built himself a “very clear escape hatch” on immigration. …By my count this is the third such escape hatch Rubio has created for himself….Now, escape hatch number three is to join the “slow down” caucus. Only in so doing, Rubio is joining with other Senators who are urging a go-slow approach, such as Ted Cruz and Jeff Sessions, who may be urging a slowdown so the armies of the right have time to mobilize and strike fear into any reform-minded Republican officials, killing reform.
GETTING FROM FAILURE TO EXCELLENCE
GOV. BOB MCDONNELL & GOV. BILL HASLAM
Right now, in Virginia and Tennessee, there are students sitting in classrooms where their chance of success — a post-secondary education or a suitable job — is less than 10 percent. Some Virginians and Tennesseans have no choice but to send their children to schools that chronically fail to meet basic standards, sometimes for their child’s entire K-12 career. These schools have literacy rates in the teens, and students there are often more likely to drop out than to graduate. A free society cannot afford to relegate its children to failing schools year after year simply because of their ZIP code.