Another Invitation to Dinner From the Obamas
December 31, 2011
This is the second invitation to “grab bag” an invitation to a small and intimate White House dinner. The first came from the president. Yes, direct from him, no intermediaries, no celebrity members of Congress (no, not even Nancy Pelosi, who’s written so many askings for cash that they’ve taken her off the job), no celebrities period. Maybe the $3 come-on didn’t bring in enough pledges. So Michelle has been deputized to do the schnorrering.
Why Republicans Don’t Mind Newt’s Brazen Flip-Flops
December 06, 2011
“A flip-flopper of Romnetic proportions”—that’s how The Nation paraphrased MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough’s attack on his former congressional leader, Newt Gingrich. The two front-runners for the Republican presidential nomination, presumed nominee Mitt Romney and actual front-runner Gingrich, have each compiled staggering records of multiple positions on issues of importance to Republican voters, from health care to climate change.
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.