Gingrich, Romney, and the Morality of Capitalism
January 12, 2012
I finally got around to watching “When Mitt Romney Came to Town,” the propaganda film about Romney’s work at Bain Capital. It’s even more remarkable than advertised. The film, paid for by the Super PAC supporting Newt Gingrich, doesn't merely stake out territory that's to the left of the Republican mainstream. It also stakes out territory that's to the left of the Democratic mainstream. At the risk of simplifying things a bit, a rough consensus about the economy has prevailed among both Democrats and Republicans for some time.
Conservative Republicans’ Tragic Failure To Stick With a Candidate
January 05, 2012
The results of the Iowa caucuses illuminate the basic structure of today’s Republican Party and offer clues about what’s to come between now and the end of January. Pew’s “political typology,” the latest iteration of which appeared last May, provides the best point of departure. That report used a statistical technique known as cluster analysis to identify four major pro-Republican groups: Staunch Conservatives (11 percent of registered voters), Main Street Conservatives (14 percent), Libertarians (10 percent), and “Disaffecteds” (11 percent).
Iraqi Kurdistan Is Booming. Will It Ever Be a Separate State?
December 22, 2011
As American troops withdraw from Iraq, anyone searching for rays of progress amid the country’s miasma of corruption, sectarian strife, and political stalemate might look to the foothills of Sulaimaniyah, Kurdistan. There, rising rapidly out of some 400 dusty acres, is a gleaming constellation of glass, steel, and Jerusalem stone that is the new campus of American University of Iraq, Sulaimani (AUIS). The venture, which now educates some 500 Iraqi students on the American model, is a sign of Iraqi Kurdistan’s evolution toward a modern, flourishing society.
GOP Vs. GOP
December 18, 2011
Steven Pearlstein, the Washington Post's Pulitzer-prizewinning business columnist, is having an off day. Ordinarily Pearlstein's columns are well-reasoned, deeply researched, and a pleasure to read. I would say this even if he hadn't recently invited, and paid, me to speak about income inequality to his class at George Mason. But today Pearlstein's column expresses harrumphing condemnation of partisan bickering on both sides as the root of all evil in Washington, dressed up with a little game theory: "These days, Washington is stuck in a nasty Nash equilibrium.
The End Of The Affair
December 08, 2011
Jon Corzine's testimony before the House agriculture committee may mark the definitive end to the Democratic party's love affair with Wall Street. Once upon a time, Wall Street bankers were Republicans. Not terribly ideological, they preferred whenever possible a minimum of taxation, regulation, and government in general, but they didn't make a fetish of it. As the GOP moved right starting in the mid-1960s the east coast Republican establishment began to crumble, and by the late 1980s it was mostly gone.
The Only Way to End Gridlock in Washington Is for Obama to Run a Negative Campaign
November 23, 2011
Rebutting the main argument in Doug Schoen and Patrick Caddell’s latest travesty of an op-ed column (“The Hillary Moment,” in Monday’s Wall Street Journal) would be a pretty egregious example of shooting fish in a barrel.
What’s Facebook’s Relationship Status With the GOP? It’s Complicated.
November 16, 2011
Silicon Valley generally leans left of center in its politics, and Facebook, the web’s leading social utility valued at an estimated $85 billion, hasn't often seemed inclined to be an exception. After all, Mark Zuckerberg, the company’s CEO, has himself gone out of his way to make supportive appearances with President Obama.
Last week was a difficult week for the Tea Party. Tuesday’s election results firmly rebutted the idea that the movement had touched off an irresistible rightward wave in American politics, one that would not subside until it submerged the Democratic Party and its union/liberal allies once and for all. Meanwhile, the process of choosing a champion to drive Barack Obama out of the White House is not going well at all.
Why Obama’s 2008 Coalition Won’t Save Him This Time
November 08, 2011
The latest Gallup report, based on a massive sample of more than 39,000 adults, contains troubling news for Democrats. Individuals identifying with the Democratic Party are a smaller share of the American people than they were early in 2008, and their views are less representative of the people as a whole. This means that the Obama team, which faces the crucial choice of either doubling down on its 2008 winning mix of professionals, young people, and minorities or rebuilding support among Independents in the heartland, should emphasize the latter option.
Daily Deadline: The Return of Multiple Choice Mitt
October 27, 2011
[with contributions from Matt O'Brien and Darius Tahir] Another busy news day with no shortage of issues to cover: New figures on the economy, an initiative on student loans from the administration, and suggestions that the Affordable Care Act imposes a marriage penalty. The law does that, in a sense, although there are reasons why – and, more important, reasons why it’s not the problem it seems. But you’ll have to wait until tomorrow to hear about that. I’m still preoccupied with reporting a feature. But I do want to say something more about Mitt Romney.