September 13, 2010

This is a season of liberal disappointment. Or, rather, another season of liberal disappointment. Liberal disappointment follows liberal triumph as night follows day. It is a multitudinous thing, its varieties including, but not limited to, despair, recrimination, impotent rage, potent rage, and existential angst. The genus currently in full bloom is precrimination, a subspecies of recrimination that occurs before the fact. In this case, the liberal argument is that President Obama has blown the 2010 elections by moving too far to the center. My colleague John B.

America May Have Overreacted to September 11 … but Americans Didn’t
September 11, 2010

Did America overreact to September 11? In a recent column in Newsweek, Fareed Zakaria answered that with an emphatic and mournful “yes.” In Mr. Zakaria’s telling, we’ve squandered billions of dollars heedlessly feeding our national security bureaucracies, which hardly provide us, as the French nicely put it, a very good rapport qualité-prix. Worse, we’ve created an intrusive, abrasive, civil-rights-mauling security and intelligence apparatus that “now touches every aspect of American-life, even when seemingly unrelated to terrorism.” Mr.

Sorry, Democrats, Being Less Unpopular Than The GOP Isn't Worth Much
August 13, 2010

The most recent NBC/WSJ poll has some Democrats feeling optimistic about their chance in November. Obama pollster Joel Benenson plays up the highlights: • Today’s NBC/Wall St. Journal poll underscores the fact that with fewer than 90 days until the mid-term elections, the Republican Party’s standing is at one of its lowest points ever and its competitive position vs. the Democrats looks much as it did in the summers of 1998 and 2002, neither of which were “wave” elections.

Inspired Proposal of the Day: A Pelosi-Boehner Debate
August 11, 2010

We expect presidential candidates to debate each other and, in many parts of the country, we expect congressional candidates to do the same. But, as far as I know, we have never had a major, prime-time debate between congressional leaders as a prelude to the midterm elections. Newsweek's Jonathan Alter suggests we start having them now, by staging a debate between Speaker Nancy Pelosi and would-be Speaker John Boehner: Don’t members of Congress debate all the time on the floor? Not really. Instead they give short speeches with no interaction, no questions, and almost no one listening.

"Climategate" Continues To Sputter Out
June 25, 2010

Over at Newsweek, Sharon Begley notes that a couple of newspapers have now retracted some of their "Climategate" allegations.

Four Columns Wide At The Boston Globe
May 25, 2010

The Globe often uses its news columns to reinforce its editorial page. As you know, the slowly expiring daily is hostile to Israel—very hostile. And its hostility is sustained by its simplicity, which is even more simple than that of its papa paper, The New York Times. All Israel has to do is vacate the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and the lion will lie down with the lamb. Or the lamb with the lion.

Newsweek's Death Foretold
May 05, 2010

The news that the Washington Post company is essentially putting Newsweek on the curb and hoping somebody hauls it away for them makes me feel pretty bad for Newsweek's writers and editors. But not so bad that I won't post Michael Kinsley's memorable evisceration of the redesigned magazine. Obviously Kinsley is not the only person who had an inkling Newsweek may be in some trouble.

Jeremiah, American-Style
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.

Conservatives Open The Epistemology
April 21, 2010

I recorded an interesting bloggingheads discussion today with National Review's Ramesh Ponnuru. We discussed the problem of "epistemic closure," and he agreed that it was primarily a conservative phenomenon and a serious problem. I'll provide the video when it becomes available. Meantime, Jim Manzi decides to do his part in the fight against epistemic closure, and, in a post at the Corner unlike any I've seen before, absolutely unloads upon Mark Levin.

The Boss Hogg Oppo Research Project Begins
April 19, 2010

In response to my latest item expressing bewilderment that Haley Barbour is considered a plausible Republican presidential candidate, a reader sends along this Newsweek profile from January: The Republican governor of Mississippi keeps a large portrait of the University Greys, the Confederate rifle company that suffered 100 percent casualties at Gettysburg, on a wall not far from a Stars and Bars Confederate flag signed by Jefferson Davis. Then there's the man himself.