Gulf Oil

Among the many distinctions David Axelrod has achieved in his career, there is one that requires special elaboration: He is, it turns out, one of the few customers to have ever run a tab at Manny’s, the Chicago cafeteria and deli. This is not because the odd knish ($4.25) or side of potato chips ($0.75) threatened to leave him cash-poor. It is, rather, because Axelrod has long styled himself someone who accumulates wisdom at places regular people frequent, not the lacquered haunts of downtown Washington. What the Oval Room is to Beltway consultant-dom, Manny’s is to Axelrod.

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How does the class of 2010 stack up against its lunatic predecessor, of 1994? There are the well-known data points—Rand Paul’s alleged kidnapping of a college classmate; Sharron Angle’s assertion that there are “domestic enemies” in Congress—that suggest we’ve reached a new zenith of crazy, making Newt Gingrich’s bunch look like sensible establishmentarians by comparison. But Paul and Angle only begin to capture the strangeness of candidates out there who may soon be occupying your Capitol and governor’s mansion.

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Doughfaces

This is a season of liberal disappointment. Or, rather, another season of liberal disappointment. Liberal disappointment follows liberal triumph as night follows day. It is a multitudinous thing, its varieties including, but not limited to, despair, recrimination, impotent rage, potent rage, and existential angst. The genus currently in full bloom is precrimination, a subspecies of recrimination that occurs before the fact. In this case, the liberal argument is that President Obama has blown the 2010 elections by moving too far to the center. My colleague John B.

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How does the class of 2010 stack up against its lunatic predecessor, of 1994? There are the well-known data points—Rand Paul’s alleged kidnapping of a college classmate; Sharron Angle’s assertion that there are “domestic enemies” in Congress—that suggest we’ve reached a new zenith of crazy, making Newt Gingrich’s bunch look like sensible establishmentarians by comparison. But Paul and Angle only begin to capture the strangeness of candidates out there who may soon be occupying your Capitol and governor’s mansion.

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Framed in the language of defiant truth-telling, Geoffrey Wheatcroft's views on Turkey and the E.U. add up to a wholly conventional rehearsing of haute pub talk ideas—of the kind you would have heard loudly offered in any century from the fourteenth onward, in robustly ignorant Western circles. “No, no, my dear fellow, the Turks are not like us.” For years, I heard these notions aired confidently by Colonel Blimpish friends at school and college in England. None of them had ever gone near Turkey. They, like, Mr.

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Not surprisingly, conservatives are unhappy with President Obama. Somewhat surprisingly, liberals are too--or, at least, a lot of liberal commentators. On July 4, Robert Kuttner spoke for many of them when he wrote, on the Huffington Post, that “we voted our hopes that events could compel Obama to govern as a progressive. We are still waiting.” Bob was primarily upset about Obama’s failure to push through a new stimulus package.

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Birch and Barry

Washington—Barack Obama's campaign promise of change did not include a pledge to transform American conservatism.

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Washington—A weird malaise is haunting the Democratic Party. That's a risky word to use, I know. It's freighted with bad history and carries unfortunate implications. So let's be clear: President Obama is not Jimmy Carter, not even close. And Obama's speech on Tuesday was nothing like Carter's 1979 "malaise speech" in which Carter never actually used that word. Obama gave a good and sensible speech that was not a home run. What's odd is that Obama was seen as needing a home run. This is where the Democratic malaise comes in.  Democrats should feel a lot better than they do.

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DON'T USE THIS

        WASHINGTON—A weird malaise is haunting the Democratic Party.  That's a risky word to use, I know. It's freighted with bad history and carries unfortunate implications. So let's be clear: President Obama is not Jimmy Carter, not even close. And Obama's speech on Wednesday was nothing like Carter's 1979 "malaise speech" in which Carter never actually used that word. Obama gave a good and sensible speech that was not a home run.  What's odd is that Obama was seen as needing a home run. This is where the Democratic malaise comes in.  Democrats should feel a lot better than they do.

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Ridiculous as it may be that the press corps is going to spend every day demanding why President Obama hasn't plugged the oil spill in the Gulf, or demanding evidence that he is actually angry, that is the reality the White House faces. The only way out of the trap is to move the debate to a place where he can actually do something. Yesterday, Obama reiterated his call to eliminate tax breaks for oil companies, and to divert that money into clean energy.

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