December 13, 2007
What's Your Problem?
What’s the Problem with <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Washington, D.C.?<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /> PETER BEINART is editor-at-large at The New Republic, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, and the author of The Good Fight (HarperCollins). JONAH GOLDBERG is editor-at-large of National Review Online and a contributing editor to National Review.
Revenge of the CEO-cons
Wednesday's lackluster Republican presidential debate kept coming back to Mitt Romney's personal faith--not Mormonism, but managerialism. “I’ve spent the last, as I told you, 25 years in the private sector,” Romney said, seemingly forgetting that, from 2003 through the beginning of this year, he was governor of Massachusetts. But his slip of the tongue called attention to one fact: He is campaigning for president as if he were applying for the position of national CEO.
Dianetics, The Tax Plan
The basic theological tenets of the Church of Scientology are well known: a fanatical hatred for psychiatry coupled with a creation myth that involves an evil alien ruler named Xenu and his sundry galactic allies. The basic tenets of its tax policy are somewhat less familiar. But Scientologists promulgated and, at one point, heavily promoted a proposal that would replace all federal income taxes with a national retail sales tax (NRST).
The general consensus is that Fred Thompson turned in his best debate performance to date yesterday, actually appearing awake for at least a portion of the proceedings. With only three weeks to go until the caucuses, is it really possible that Thompson is going to at last get serious about the race and exert some sort of effort? I've always gotten the sense that ol' Fred likes to think of himself as a clutch player, the type of fella who doesn't need to work up a sweat in the early going then comes to life in the last few minutes of the game to carry the day.
December 12, 2007
What's Your Problem?
What's the problem with the debate over McCarthyism?<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /> PETER BEINART is editor-at-large at The New Republic, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, and the author of The Good Fight (HarperCollins). JONAH GOLDBERG is editor-at-large of National Review Online and a contributing editor to National Review. By Peter Beinart & Jonah Goldberg
Damn Dirty Hippies!
The key moment in the History Channel's "1968 with Tom Brokaw" comes when Brokaw interviews my onetime colleague, the historian Alan Brinkley. Brokaw prompts Brinkley, "The left went too far, excessive in its behavior on a daily basis?" Brinkley replies, obligingly, "Well, there were excesses on the left, needless to say--" and then: Wham! Down comes the editor’s digital X-Acto knife.
The Fantástico Mr. Fox
SAN CRISTOBAL RANCH, Mexico--Vicente Fox is defying that old Mexican tradition by which presidents become nonentities once they leave office.
Time's Mark Halperin had a sharp take Monday on why the unflattering things that have come out about Mike Huckabee haven't hurt him so far: "Voters seem attracted to the man--not his issue positions, his record, or the quality (or lack thereof) of his campaign apparatus. Taking down Huckabee the Candidate means taking down Huckabee the Man, and that requires the kind of nuclear blast no one is yet inclined to launch." I’ll admit it: Watching Republican debates in the spring and summer, I developed a soft spot for the guy.
In the latest issue of Democracy, Rick Perlstein makes the case that most accounts of George McGovern's landslide loss in 1972 miss the mark: McGovern lost because he was an isolationist? If you had said that in 1972, people might have looked at you funny. Whatever his preference for deep cuts in the defense budget, Republican surrogates who hauled out the isolationist charge were labeled "silly" by no less an honest broker than the New York Times' Scotty Reston.
Obama, Clinton On Crack
A recap: The U.S. Sentencing Commission recently decided to (slightly) reduce the over-inflated prison sentences for crack-cocaine crimes, which are punished far more harshly than equivalent powder-cocaine crimes—a nonsensical disparity that's accomplished little save for prison bloat. Then, yesterday, the commission voted unanimously to apply those guidelines retroactively, affecting some 20,000 current inmates.