‘There Is No Simple Formula Here’
December 11, 2009
President Obama gave a pretty good speech when he accepted the Nobel Peace Prize. Maybe it was a little too eloquent. I don’t much like soaring rhetoric; I know there are times to soar, but Obama does it, or tries to do it, every time. Plain speech is also useful, and there was some plain speech in Norway—particularly the reiterated insistence, directed, I think, to our European friends, that sometimes making war is the only way to a just peace.
Palin and McCarthy
November 30, 2009
A new Washington Post poll of Republicans records the remarkable extent to which today's rank-and-file GOPers can't identify much in the way of any clear-cut Republican leaders.
The Case for Deficit Spending
November 25, 2009
If there was one thing that seemed certain about the Obama administration, it was their commitment to Keynesian deficit spending to boost the economy out of its slump. But Keynes beware: With unemployment at a whopping 10.2 percent, and probably rising, the White House has begun trumpeting its commitment to Hoover-style deficit busting. On November 13, the White House warned cabinet departments of a spending freeze. The next week, while in China, Barack Obama told an interviewer the United States could suffer from a “double-dip recession” if it didn’t restrain public debt.
Repeat After Me....
November 24, 2009
Ever on the lookout for ways to shrink the party’s tent still further, a few of the masterminds at the Republican National Committee are pushing a resolution to establish an ideological purity test for prospective GOP candidates.
If Only Palin Would...
November 24, 2009
Ex-Bush strategist Matthew Dowd has a perplexing op-ed in today's WaPo. Looking to chart a path by which Sarah Palin can reasonably reach the Oval Office, he lists a handful of steps she should take.
Death Panels as Evil Empire
November 18, 2009
Via TPM, I notice that Palin said this to Barbara Walters, after Walters asked whether Obama was lying when he said that death panels were not a part of the health care bill: "He's not lying, in the sense that those two words will not be found in any of those thousands of pages of the different variations of the health care bill...No, death panel isn't there. But he's incorrect. It's kind of what Reagan used to do though when he used to talk about, say, the Evil Empire. You're never going to find 'The Evil Empire' on a map of the world.
You Can Take the Girl Out of Alaska...
September 23, 2009
Agence France-Presse reports, unsurprisingly, that Sarah Palin's speech to the CLSA Investors' Forum in Hong Kong met with divided opinion. As AFP notes, "Some of those who attended praised her forthright views on government social and economic intervention and others walked out early in disgust." As described, the speech sounds pretty boilerplate--invocations of Reagan, attacks on Obama's economic interventions and spending, calls to eliminate capital gains and estate taxes, etc.
September 14, 2009
Jonathan Chait: Ayn Rand and the invincible cult of selfishness on the American right
September 14, 2009
Goddess of the Market: Ayn Rand and the American Right By Jennifer Burns (Oxford University Press, 459 pp., $27.95) Ayn Rand and the World She Made By Anne C. Heller (Doubleday, 559 pp., $35) I. The current era of Democratic governance has provoked a florid response on the right, ranging from the prosaic (routine denunciations of big spending and debt) to the overheated (fears of socialism) to the lunatic (the belief that Democrats plan to put the elderly to death).
Little Shul on the Prairie?
September 10, 2009
Riffing on Norman Podhoretz's new book Why Are Jews Liberal?, Robert Stacy McCain offers these thoughts on what he calls the "town-and-country divide" in American politics: Think of Reagan, riding horses and clearning brush at his ranch -- it is an image that appeals to the "country" side of the town-and-country divide, embodying as it does the antique ideal of the American frontier homesteader. This "rugged individual" ideal, the self-sufficient property owner zealously guarding his freedom, is intrinsic to what American conservatism is all about, and it is an ideal quite alien to the urban l