April 16, 2008
In this TNR debate, Steven Clemons of the New America Foundation and New Republic deputy editor Richard Just discuss the appropriate response to the Beijing Olympics. In light of China's manifold human rights problems, how should fans, Olympic athletes, presidential candidates, and the U.S. government itself respond to the games?
Open To Attack
WASHINGTON--The Olympic torch relay has galvanized international public opinion against the communist regime in Beijing, not a bad thing considering that the world in recent years has spent more time saluting the mesmerizing achievements of China's economy than remembering that the men in charge are responsible for the suppression of the civil and political liberties of one-fifth of the planet's inhabitants. The issue that brought protesters to the streets in cities from Paris to San Francisco was the Chinese suppression of Tibetan demonstrators.
If you suspect you see a charlatan in a Jew wait for him to utter the words, "tikun olam." "Repair of the world." Big idea, revolutionary, utopian, progressive.
I don't have a copy of Benjamin Barber's book The Truth of Power, and so can't verify the Huffington Post's Sam Stein's characterization, but it's awfully strong stuff: In January 1995, as the Clintons were licking their wounds from the 1994 congressional elections, a debate emerged at a retreat at Camp David. Should the administration make overtures to working class white southerners who had all but forsaken the Democratic Party? The then-first lady took a less than inclusive approach. "Screw 'em," she told her husband. "You don't owe them a thing, Bill.
Winners And Losers
Dave Roberts swings a lead pipe at Bush's absurd climate speech today. I'll second Dave in that there's no use pretending that Bush is trying to address global warming in any sort of serious way—he's just giving himself political cover should he have to veto a cap-and-trade bill.
So Much For That About-face
Juding from this New York Times preview, Bush's Rose Garden speech on climate today is going be... yet another farce: He'll announce "specific goals" for limiting greenhouse gases, but he won't lay out "a specific plan for legislation" and will "almost certainly" continue to oppose cap-and-trade. Maybe all that extra CO2 will vanish like magic. More: And here's the Journal: "[Bush] will also argue against legislation that raises taxes or makes demands that are technologically unattainable and could hurt the economy, such as by raising fuel costs.
April 15, 2008
In this TNR debate, Steven Clemons of the New America Foundation and New Republic deputy editor Richard Just discuss the appropriate response to the Beijing Olympics. In light of China’s manifold human rights problems, how should fans, Olympic athletes, presidential candidates, and the U.S. government itself respond to the games? From: Steven Clemons To: Richard Just Hillary Clinton recently called on George W.
George W. Bush has many faults, but he deserves credit for this: The man knew how to sell a tax cut for the rich. In his 2000 campaign, he carted out families like Mark and Vicki Skiles of Pleasant Hill, Iowa, who Bush said would get $3000 from his plan. He even gave their kind a name--"tax families"--and after his first tax cut passed, hosted a "tax family reunion" on the White House lawn. Democrats complained--correctly--that the families disguised the Bush tax cuts' overall tilt to the wealthy. But the complaints were washed away by Bush's clever stagecraft.
Woe Is He
Some liberal commentators have downplayed the effect of Barack Obama’s fundraising speech at a San Francisco fundraiser last week. But that’s wishful thinking. Along with the revelations about Obama’s pastor Jeremiah Wright, his remarks in San Francisco will haunt him not only in the upcoming primaries in Pennsylvania, Indiana, Kentucky, and West Virginia, but also in the general election against John McCain, assuming he gets the Democratic nomination.
Frankly, It's Shameful
WASHINGTON--The Democratic presidential candidates are doing a splendid job helping John McCain get to the White House. Barack Obama violated two elementary rules of political campaigning. A candidate should never play the role of a political scientist or sociologist analyzing a key electoral swing group from afar, and should never dissect the motivations of less privileged people when talking to a group of privileged people. If Obama's comments about working-class voters had come from the mouth of anyone except a candidate, they might have seemed mildly controversial but broadly true.