April 13, 2011
From time to time until November 2012, I’ll be offering a snapshot of the emerging presidential race. This is the first. Here’s the headline: Given current national trends and a credible Republican nominee, the presidential election would be very, very close, and President Obama might even lose. The economic situation looks like it will not be good enough for the president to cruise to victory, yet it will not so bad that voters are in the mood to repudiate him.
The Non-Falsifiable Reagan Revolution
March 22, 2011
Steve Forbes expounds upon the glorious Reagan supply-side revolution: Critics howled that Reagan was being financially irresponsible, but the president pressed on. Once his cuts were fully phased-in and the hard fight against inflation was won, the economy took off like a rocket. Reagan's achievements set up a great, long boom in the U.S. and the world that didn't end until the economic crash in 2007. This credits Reagan for the 1990s boom, which was by far the most prosperous part of the period in question.
March 03, 2011
Oilmen have feelings, too. Take the industry executive who lobbied the White House last year to lift the ban on U.S. corporations doing business in Libya. When National Security Council officials rejected his plea, he broke down and wept. The Libyans, he sniffled, were a gentle people. They deserved better. White House officials offered him a tissue. That was then. If proponents of warmer relations with Libya are shedding tears today, they are tears of elation.
February 22, 2011
-- Lessons from Britain's Tories for Republicans. -- Fact-checking "Obama's Apology Tour" -- The Onion: Republicans embarrassed to confuse Reagan with Eisenhower.
Cairo, That’s In Egypt…
February 11, 2011
Over the course of the Egypt crisis, it’s become clear that the Washington-centric cable talk show format is ill-equipped to handle a foreign revolution. The logical thing would have been to book experts on say, Egypt. Instead, shows like MSNBC’s “Meet the Press” and Fox’s “Hannity” often just rotated in their regular go-to guests, asking former politicians, political pundits, and at least one NASCAR driver to share their insights on the latest developments in the Middle East. Some of the answers were vague, some woefully uninformed, and others made no sense at all.
Time for a Reset
February 05, 2011
President Obama is in a tight spot. The 2010 elections have sharply contracted his ability to achieve legislative victories, while his room to maneuver on other issues will be limited by the intrusive investigations which are almost certainly coming his way. Progress will be harder to attain than ever.
Charles Fried: The Individual Mandate Is A "No-Brainer"
February 02, 2011
Are there any conservative legal scholars out there who dislike health care reform on the merits but still think the individual mandate is perfectly constitutional? There's Harvard Law Professor Charles Fried, for one. Earlier today, at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the constitutionality of the health care bill, Ronald Reagan's old solicitor general called the soundness of the mandate a "no-brainer." Fried opened his testimony by burnishing his conservative bona fides: "I come here not as a partisan for this act. I think there are lots of problems with it.
The Will to Believe
January 27, 2011
Decision Points By George W. Bush (Crown, 497 pp., $35) The Presidency of George W. Bush: A First Historical Assessment Edited by Julian E. Zelizer (Princeton University Press, 386 pp., $29.95) George W. Bush and the Redemptive Dream: A Psychological Portrait By Dan P. McAdams (Oxford University Press, 274 pp., $29.95) It’s worth listening to the audiobook version of Barack Obama’s Dreams From My Father, because not so long ago Obama had both the time and the inclination to spend many hours voicing the recording himself.
December 22, 2010
I’m very happy to see that the incoming majority Republicans are planning to read the Constitution in the House of Representatives on the second day of the 112th Congress. This is extremely good news. Along with the new requirement that every bill explicitly cite the Constitutional authority under which it is legitimate, reading the Constitution out loud will guarantee that no new legislation will violate our basic charter.
Blasphemy In The Cult Of Reagan
December 08, 2010
Americans for Tax Reform has always been Ground Zero of the Ronald Reagan cult, with ATR President Grover Norquist making it a personal mission to name as many airports, schools, bridges, battleships, and anything else after Reagan as humanly possible. So it is odd to see ATR belittle the Bowles-Simpson deficit reduction plan by noting, "It was bad enough when President Reagan got tricked into a 3-1 spending-tax ratio in 1982." Tricked? As if he were some dopey, senile ex-actor? How has this sinister liberal myth penetrated the temple of the Reagan cult?