The latest journalist to press Mitt Romney on his tax returns is the ultra-resourceful Josh Tyrangiel of Businessweek. Here’s how he cleverly posed the question in a recent interview: If you’re an investor and you’re looking at a company, and that company says that its great strength is wise management and fiscal know-how, wouldn’t you want to see the previous, say, five years’ worth of its financials? Alas, no dice. Romney’s response: I’m not a business.
-- William Dobson: Obama ditches the Carter comparison. -- Ryan Lizza ponders Obama's new foreign policy. -- Josh Green on Obama's new bumper sticker.
Josh Green has some strong evidence he is: Gauging the effect of Trump's presidential run on his viewership is a fairly tricky science. There are actually two distinct "Apprentice" shows -- the ordinary "Apprentice" and "Celebrity Apprentice," which is the one currently airing Sunday nights on NBC. What's more, the neither "Apprentice" series runs for a full television season.
There's a mini-boom in smart guys trying to explain why Mitt Romney might not be dead after all. Josh Green says the Huntsman campaign will rescue, or at least not hurt, Romney: The cognoscenti seem to agree that a Jon Huntsman run for the 2012 GOP nomination would hurt Mitt Romney because it would split Mormon votes, fundraising, etc. But wouldn't it also help Romney in the one area where he is most vulnerable, the perception that he's too liberal and untrustworthy because he enacted a health care plan nearly identical to Obama's?
This is a post about potential White House chief of staff Bill Daley, but to understand the problem with Daley, you have to understand Mitch McConnell. Here's a bit from Josh Green's excellent profile of the Republican Senate leader: “We worked very hard to keep our fingerprints off of these proposals,” McConnell says. “Because we thought—correctly, I think—that the only way the American people would know that a great debate was going on was if the measures were not bipartisan.
Josh Green talks to some Kentucky Republican voters, and man, are those people crazy. By "crazy" I don't mean that they have objectionable moral beliefs or support impractical policies, though I'm sure they do. I mean they have no analytical connection to political reality: In my talks with voters on the campaign trail today and yesterday, the idea that the Republican Party is as complicit as the Democratic Party in what ails the country is something I heard again and again.
Josh Green is confused by Republican Party's radical embrace of direct democracy: I just returned from Capitol Hill, where the new health care law is still the preoccupying issue, and the Republican talking point du jour, which seems to have been issued with stage directions instructing that it be delivered in a tone of gravest concern, is that Democrats and President Obama have perpetrated a breathtaking assault on the body politic by passing a law that did not have widespread public support.
--Josh Green asks if George W. Bush doomed Mark McGwire --Chris Orr's hilarious summary of the year in American film --The Wall Street Journal looks at which occupations have lost the most jobs. Record stores rank high. --Jeffrey Goldberg, following up on Abbas Milani, takes apart the Leveretts' unconvincing defense of going soft on the Iranian hardliners --Noam likes his NBA stars armed and dangerous
On the whole, I agree that one shouldn’t be fooled by the conservative euphoria associated with the GOP’s all-but-assured victory in Virginia and possible wins in New Jersey, Maine, and New York’s 23rd district. That being said, I also don’t think Democrats should underestimate the new organizing momentum--and campaign cash--that’s sure to come flowing to the RNC after Election Day. A conservative sweep might not “mean squat” in terms of forecasting the result of 2010 or 2012, as Josh Green concludes.
In the course of discussing with Sam Tanenhaus his book The Death of Conservatism (an expansion of this essay he wrote for TNR), Reihan Salam claims in passing Karl Rove never imagined that opposition to same-sex marriage would cement a permanent Republican majority. It was a distraction that I'm sure he found distasteful. Andrew Sullivan pounces Rove thought this was a distraction? From his realignment? Does Reihan recall the kind of politics Rove cut his teeth on in the South?