The community of politically attuned Jewish people on the Internet—I like to call us the shtetlsphere—was roiled last night by reports coming out of 92nd Street Y (it’s like our Madison Square Garden). John Podhoretz, editor of the Jewish conservative monthly Commentary, walked off the stage during a discussion about Israel in the face of a hostile crowd and after accusing moderator Jane Eisner, editor of the weekly Jewish newspaper The Forward, of raising her hands to him.
The National Review summit's message: Obama is out to "annihilate" the GOP
The message to the several hundred disconsolate attendees: Obama is out to "annihilate" the GOP.
President Obama’s speech today was long on words and short on new ideas. I know some pundits are disappointed but, as I wrote earlier today, they shouldn't be. Obama has laid out his philosophy and proposals. So has Mitt Romney. The campaign is all about contrasting the two. And, boy, is the contrast stark. Obama would preserve the safety net and most other federal programs, including the expansions of health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, then impose a combination of (relatively) moderate cuts to some federal programs and (relatively) moderate tax increases on the wealthy.
My Don Rumsfeld joke has John Podhoretz spitting mad: Victor Davis Hanson catches the New Republic’s Jonathan Chait making an analogy so disgusting that I almost have to believe Chait is simply too stupid to understand the implications of what he wrote — because the only other conclusion is that he has absolutely no sense of where the boundaries of even minimally civil public discourse are.
John Podhoretz agrees with me: The one-term Massachusetts governor is speaking at CPAC right now. He’s offering lots of good applause lines. Sounding very right-wing. Mitt Romney cannot be the Republican nominee for president and he cannot be president.
I understand why liberals are so angry about the tax deal, despite the fact that President Obama won far more economic stimulus than he gave away in upper-class tax cuts. It's the culmination of a huge blown political opportunity. But the conservative glee is, on the other side, bizarre.
Conservatives are finally striking back in the great epistemic closure debate! If you have no idea what I'm talking about, let me explain. Libertarian-ish blogger Julian Sanchez has been writing about the conservative movement's descent into epistemic closure, or a hermetically-sealed mental world in which only information provided by organs of the conservative movement is trusted.
Earlier I noted of the health care summit that the Republicans in attendance seem to be divided between those who have no data at their disposal and those who have incorrect data. It is therefore difficult for President Obama, who obviously has a deep command of the issue, to engage with those Republicans without somewhat projecting condescension. John Podhoretz shoots back: Here’s how. By not being condescending. That’s how. Let me try to explain this in a way that Podhoretz hopefully will not deem condescending.