February 19, 2008
WASHINGTON--The boilerplate in a candidate’s speeches gets little attention because words used over and over never constitute "news."But one of John McCain’s favorite lines--his declaration that "the transcendent challenge of the 21st century is radical Islamic extremists," or, as he sometimes says it, "extremism"--could define the 2008 election.Whether McCain is right or wrong matters to everything the United States will do in the coming years.
No Candidate For Young Women
In the Democratic primaries so far, women have voted in larger numbers than men. In the 13 states that Hillary Clinton has won, she owed her victories in no small part to a majority female vote--a sign that a female president is an important election issue for women overall. Among young women, however, that girl-power momentum evaporates, and Barack Obama is the favored candidate. What happens--or hasn’t yet happened--to young women that explains this gap? The answer can be found on campus.
February 18, 2008
Déjà Vu All Over Again
Today’s elections in Pakistan, perhaps the most important in the nation’s history, provide an excellent opportunity for the United States to change its long-standing, long-failing policies there. If the election is a sham that favors Musharraf’s party, or if the army takes power once again and the United States says nothing, average Pakistanis will become even more alienated, and will continue believing that, when push comes to shove, Washington will always stand behind the generals.
Cracker Barrel In The Supreme Court
Emily Bazelon has a nice piece in Slate setting the stage for CBOCS West v. Humphries, the employment discrimination case the Supreme Court will hear tomorrow. Essentially, a supervisor at a Cracker Barrel make racist remarks and treated black employees (including the plaintiff, Hendrick Humphries) unfairly. Humphries complained and was promptly fired. Even the Bush Justice Department thinks he's entitled to damages.
Comments On The Meaning Of "unity"
1. In his posting of January 27th, Cass Sunstein, with the success of “McCain, Obama and to some extent Huckabee” in mind, wrote that “unifying candidates are now being taken as a most refreshing change from the last years.” I beg to differ. In my view, the most remarkable aspect of the Obama’s campaign has been his ability to make the tone of his politics mask their substance as well as the willingness of highly educated voters to go along with this illusion. His voting record and his views on foreign policy place him firmly on the left-wing of the Democratic Party.
Let The Pawlenty Boomlet Begin!
Jonathan Martin detects rumblings about Minnesota Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty's veep prospects. But, I have to confess, I'm not that impressed by this trial ballon. First, there are the people Pawlenty has tapped to float it. One Pawlenty booster who spoke to Martin, former Minnesota Congressman and current lobbyist Vin Weber, isn't someone McCain is likely to spend much time listening to, seeing as how he was a prominent Romney supporter.
That Clinton Competence
You know, for a candidate who says she'll be ready on day one as president, her campaign is remarkably ill-prepared. From today's WaPo: Supporters of Sen.
February 15, 2008
WASHINGTON--What happened to Hillary Clinton? Last fall, she was the "inevitable" nominee whose "machine" would raise scads of cash and push her to an early victory. She demonstrated poise and knowledge in debates, and party leaders lined up behind her, fearful of missing her fast-moving train. But this narrative was flawed from the beginning.
Promises vs. Solutions
The following is a response to this article by Laura Tyson. Laura Tyson accuses us of flagrantly misrepresenting Senator Hillary Clinton’s positions on mortgages in two ways. First, she dismisses our claim that Senator Clinton often discusses her policy without any mention of the fact that it applies to only to subprime mortgages. Second, Tyson faults us for not mentioning the fact that Senator Clinton's plan is “voluntary.” Tyson provides a host of press releases in which she says these points are made clear.
I am grateful to Niall Ferguson, whose insightful writings I admire, for bothering to respond to my essay. It is a pity that his response seems to be generated more by irritation than by reading or reflection. Ferguson says: "It is a complete misrepresentation to imply, as he [Sen] does, that I have argued anywhere that 'Americans [should] be inspired by ... early British rule in India.' " But where did I "imply" that Ferguson said anything like this about early British empire (to be distinguished from later days)?