The group blog of The New Republic
July 10, 2013
It's been interesting to watch American politicians and commentators respond to the coup in Egypt, largely because the reactions have not conformed to ideological categories. Conservatives, especially, seem split: David Brooks wrote a pro-coup column, and Robert Kagan penned an excellent case against the military's move.
Much has been made of President Obama’s commencement speech at Morehouse College, the prestigious school for black men that counts Martin Luther King, Jr. among its graduates.
Immigration reform was supposed to be different than health care reform. A few wonks aside, Republicans have never had any real interest in expanding health insurance coverage to those who lack it. But there are plenty of influential figures in the Republican coalition who are motivated to reform immigration laws—whether political tacticians like Karl Rove who can read demographic charts or business owners who want more reliable streams of immigrant labor.
Defense testimony for the Zimmerman trial, perhaps concluding Wednesday, has so far been something of a sideshow. A trainer from Zimmerman’s gym swaggered to the stand on Monday, described Zimmerman as “soft-bodied,” rated his fitness a 0.5 out of 10, and—feeling visibly awesome about his own athletic abilities—demonstrated a grappling move on the defense attorney.
Some of the commentary about Mark Leibovich’s new book, This Town, concerns the degree to which Team Obama has replicated the less-worthy habits of previous administrations: discarding high ethical standards, leaving public service for lobbying, etc.
July 9, 2013
While you were lounging on the beach over the Fourth of July, Marco Rubio was having a really stressful holiday. And it wasn't just because he was recently booed by a crowd of Tea Partiers for his role in the Gang of Eight’s immigration bill, and called a “piece of garbage” by Glenn Beck, which can really hurt a person’s feelings.
One of the entertaining parts of the rollout of This Town, Mark Leibovich's characteristically perceptive and well-turned expose of self-dealing and self-importance in official Washington, has been watching reviewers attempt to attach Larger Meaning to the book, as if it's not enough for it simply to lay bare the moral corruption of a powerful place.
It's been a while since we've had an update on NSA leaker Edward Snowden, who, for the last two and a half weeks, has been living in Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport.