Why Do Presidents Do Anything, Anyway, If Voters Don't Care?
August 04, 2010
Jonathan Bernstein is a political scientist.
…until my friend Noah Pollak e-mailed me a note he wrote on April 8 about an appearance of the senior fellow of this and that made at the supposedly honest New America Foundation. Read it all. But all you have to believe are Rosenberg’s own words. Why Are Americans Pro-Israel? They Hate Muslims NOAH POLLAK - 04.08.2010 - 4:04 PM M.J. Rosenberg is a leading light in the “progressive” scene. He was formerly at the Israel Policy Forum and today posts embarrassing rants at the Talking Points Memo blog and is a “Senior Foreign Policy Fellow” at Media Matters.
July 08, 2010
Nuclear policy analysts are apoplectic about his "shabby, misleading and … thoroughly ignorant" reasoning, and his arguments have already been rebutted on the merits in a number of places (including here, here, here, and here). But the question at hand isn't necessarily whether Romney's ghostwriter "has even the vaguest acquaintance with the subject matter." As with the "death panels," Romney's op-ed is an ideological statement, which does not require fealty to facts.
Noonan Of York
June 18, 2010
Political science is not a perfect field. But there are a few things the field has a pretty good grasp on, and one of them is that there is a strong relationship between economic conditions and presidential approval rating. Political scientist Brendan Nyhan posted a chart showing this the other day: I mention this because of Peggy Noonan's column today. Now, political pundits tend to be fairly unaware of political science, and prefer to explain events in terms of narrative and broad assertions about the character of politicians and the public that cannot survive empirical scrutiny.
The ‘M’ Word
June 17, 2010
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.
DON'T USE THIS
June 17, 2010
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.
Political Scientist vs. Pundit
May 20, 2010
Jonathan Bernstein fisks New York Times political analyst Matt Bai. First, Bai: What all this probably means is that we are living in the era of the upstart. Thirty years ago, when you needed a party infrastructure to make a serious run for higher office, taking it to the establishment was quixotic venture undertaken on the national level, where a Jesse Jackson or a Pat Buchanan could at least make a powerful statement along the road to obliteration.
Obama, The Bully vs. Obama, Jimmy Carter's Heir
May 12, 2010
Over the past few weeks I’ve noticed that a new conservative narrative, that of Obama as a “bully” (which I wrote about in my latest TRB). Earlier today I also highlighted Fred Barnes’ column that attacks the President for refusing to compromise. This image of Obama as a strong figure refusing to cede any ground marks a big shift in the right-wing media (or in the very at least at The Weekly Standard).
April 30, 2010
Hope in a Scattering Time: A Life of Christopher Lasch By Eric Miller (Eerdmans, 394 pp., $32) In a moving tribute to Christopher Lasch written shortly after his death in 1994, Dale Vree, a Catholic convert and the editor of the New Oxford Review, wrote that “Calvinism was his true theological inspiration.” Lasch was certainly not one of the faithful.
April 28, 2010
Last week, the tech blog Gizmodo scored a major scoop by publishing images and video of the brand new iPhone 4G, blasting the website's traffic into the stratosphere, embarassing the notoriously secretive Apple company, and prompting a police raid on Gizmodo editor Jason Chen's house. How did Gizmodo find the phone? A careless Apple engineer left the prototype in a bar. The story has dominated media conversations ever since, so we thought we'd put together some other tales of infamous items lost, stolen, or simply misplaced. Item: The U.S.