December 02, 2011
Perhaps the most surprising thing about the Newt surge is that the man’s past has yet to catch up with him. At first glance, Newt Gingrich seems like God’s gift to opposition researchers. There’s the $1.6 million fee he collected from Freddie Mac, the $500,000 line of credit he holds at Tiffany’s, and the climate-change ad he filmed with Nancy Pelosi. Like Herman Cain, he has a history of sexual improprieties. Like Mitt Romney, he has a less-than-perfect pro-life record. Most damningly in today’s Republican climate, he is the ultimate Beltway insider—and has been for nearly two decades.
It’s Official: The Republican Primary Isn’t About the Economy, It’s About Immigration
November 29, 2011
At present, the Republican presidential campaigns opposing Newt Gingrich must look at the unlikely front-runner as something of a piñata: a big, fat target ready to explode, showering votes on his rivals, once it is decided which angle offers the most decisive blow. There are plenty of ripe lines of attack, most notably Gingrich’s endless flip-flopping on global climate change punctuated by his notorious 2007 ad with Nancy Pelosi.
Pelosi Wants to Tackle Day Care? Good
November 21, 2011
Editor’s Note: This post is part of a series further exploring “The Two Year Window,” my feature story on babies, the brain, and poverty that appears in the new issue of TNR. Click here to access all of the supplemental material. Nancy Pelosi gave her right wing critics new ammunition last week when, during an interview, she vowed that the first priority of a Democratic House would be “doing for child care what we did for health-care reform.” But I think Pelosi is onto something. Pelosi’s comments came in a wide-ranging interview with Melinda Henneberger, of the Washington Post.
Why Newt is Romney’s Dream Opponent
November 16, 2011
In his pursuit of a presidential nomination that a majority of his party’s voters clearly do not want to give him, Mitt Romney has been extraordinarily lucky. Aside from the sheer number of potentially formidable opponents who chose to forgo a run in 2012, the rivals he has actually faced each seem to possess qualities that cast Romney’s own shortcomings in a more favorable light.
'Scourge Of Privileged Class' Rises In Polls
November 02, 2011
Remember this? A wise man wrote it not so long ago at all: So Obama faced a choice. Double down on conciliator mode or become a fighter. Think of the latter as the Bibi Netanyahu strategy: since I have no negotiating partner I’m going to come out swinging in a way that pleases my base. If Obama were a Republican, he could win with this sort of strategy: Repeat your party’s most orthodox positions and then rip your opponent to shreds.
I'm Not Done Arguing Yet
September 07, 2011
My piece in the New York Times magazine last weekend about President Obama and the left kicked up a lot of debate. The thesis was that the left's criticisms that Obama failed to secure enough stimulus. Let me address a couple objections I've seen. One argument claims that my argument hinges on the premise that those who argued for more stimulus are unimportant. Here's what I wrote: It’s worth recalling that several weeks before Obama proposed an $800 billion stimulus, House Democrats had floated a $500 billion stimulus.
A Paul Ryan Campaign? Are Republicans Out of Their Minds?
August 18, 2011
The sub-headline in Stephen Hayes’ latest Weekly Standard post trumpeting the possible emergence of a Paul Ryan presidential campaign lists some big political names who are encouraging the idea: “Mitch Daniels, Jeb Bush, John Boehner, Jim Jordan, and Bill Bennett encourage Ryan to run for president.” Hayes missed a few more big names who might well be equally excited about a Ryan run: Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid. Indeed, Democrats (especially those in Congress) have been plotting for months to make Paul Ryan’s budget proposal, and particularly its radical treatment
August 03, 2011
-- It's a "Great Contraction" not a "Great Recession." And that means we need some inflation. -- But where are the Fed appointees? -- How Nancy Pelosi bailed out John Boehner. -- Bloomberg surveys economists. And the survey says: strong chance that everything is screwed. -- The consequences of the autism-vaccine myth. -- David Frum's Susan Sontag moment.
What Should Liberals Demand From the Super Committee?
August 02, 2011
The next step of the deficit fight moves to the super committee, in which each party appoints members. Since the committee can't recommend any deficit reduction without a majority, each party has the incentive to appoint members unamenable to compromise. I would like to see the committee come up with a sensible bipartisan compromise. But since Republicans are already vowing to insist that any appointee disavow any increase in tax revenue, it makes sense for Democrats to reciprocate. But what does "reciprocate" mean?
The Butterfly Effect
July 28, 2011
It is often said that the age of the Washington hostess is dead. Gone are the days, we are told, of Katharine Graham and Pamela Harriman, who assembled Washington power players around tables where deals were struck and alliances forged. But that may not be entirely true. The name Rima Al-Sabah doesn’t ring many bells to people outside the Beltway. Inside, it rings a lot. Al-Sabah is the wife of the Kuwaiti ambassador, Salem Al-Sabah. Since the couple arrived in Washington in 2001, she has become known as the issuer of invitations one doesn’t decline.