January 28, 2008
Where’s The Beef?
In the 20 years since climate change came to national attention, leading conservative politicians and intellectuals have alternately claimed it's not happening, it’s not caused by humans, or it’s not something to worry much about. Today, however, increasing numbers of conservative leaders and thinkers are breaking from the pack and urging some sort of action on the climate crisis. In a debate about the environment last spring, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said, "I'm not going to stand up here and defend our failure to lead.
WASHINGTON--Barack Obama's sweeping victory in the South Carolina primary and his endorsement by Sen. Edward M. Kennedy fundamentally alter the dynamics of the 2008 Democratic presidential contest. Only a week ago, Hillary Clinton, with her upset victory in the New Hampshire primary and her solid triumph in the Nevada caucuses, was on a trajectory to close out the nomination, if not in the wave of contests on Feb. 5, then shortly thereafter.
TNR’s Guide to the Candidates
A panel discussion featuring Franklin Foer, Leon Wieseltier, Michelle Cottle, Noam Scheiber, Michael Crowley, and Jonathan Chait. By
Let The Markets Work
We agree with Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus’s proposition that government has an important role to play in responding to the challenge of global climate change. In our book, A Contract with the Earth, we argue that America needs an energy and environmental strategy that passes a three-part test. It must: marginalize the oil dictators, reduce the amount of carbon discharged into the atmosphere, and create an even more productive economy for the future.
The Business Of America…
Isn't it ironic? From the administration that seemed to never say “no” to the every demand of big corporations. The last word of the last Bush State of the Union? “Business.” -- Andrei Cherny
Looking Good, Bob Dole!
No surprise to see Bob Dole in the First Lady’s box. In accepting the Republican nomination in 1996, he said, “the fundamental issue is not of policy, but of trust--not merely whether the people trust the President, but whether the President and his party trust the people, trust in their goodness and their genius for recovery. That's what the election is all about.” In fact, his and Jack Kemp’s campaign book was titled, Trusting the People. And isn’t that a fitting end for the Bush Administration: resurrecting the best of the Bob Dole 1996 campaign... --Andrei Cherny
Sound Of No Hands Clapping?
So far, this is a fairly plodding address. Very few flashes of humor or eloquence. My friend Jeff Yarbro, a former Gore aide, called from Tennessee with the line of the night: “People at home must be clapping less than the Supreme Court justices.” --Andrei Cherny
Trust But Take A Reality Check
Back in the late ‘80s, during his negotiations with Mikhail Gorbachev, President Reagan used to repeat the Russian proverb: “doveryai, no proveryai"--“trust but verify.” The--updated--theme for tonight might well be “trust but take a reality check.” Trusting the people (and empowering them through government action) is a great theme but, as I pointed out earlier, it is at odds with the actual record of the Bush administration.
Tonight's Theme: "trust The People"
“In all we do, we must trust in the ability of free people to make wise decisions, and empower them to improve their lives and their futures.” This is a neat summation of what could be a powerful political philosophy for the 21st century – an approach that marries the empowerment of individuals with more decision making power at home and the spreading of democracy around the world. [In full disclosure: it was the subject of a book I wrote eight years ago called “The Next Deal.”] It’s no accident that Bush is turning to this theme.
Laundry List? Spin Cycle?
The writing of a State of the Union – SOTU in the internal White House parlance – is a central organizing tool of an Administration. At their worst, after all the departments and agencies and sleeve-tuggers in Washington have had their say, State of the Union addresses become the cliched laundry lists you hear so much about. At their best, they are thematic addresses that use specific policy initiatives to illustrate the direction in which the president will lead. The question is which direction Bush will take. --Andrei Cherny