The Wall Street Journal
A New Republic blogger last week pronounced the president’s foreign policy record “hawkish.” This is especially odd, given Barack Obama’s ongoing attempt at persuading himself and the world that he had altered the model of international relations so that it now worked by talk and suasion. This is probably how his enthusiasts—and young enthusiasts, especially—still experience him. Illusions die hard. But even Obama can no longer be wholly persuaded by this, his own fantasy.
The GOP’s favorite punching bag right now is a government regulation that doesn’t exist. “Our goals include ... overturning the EPA’s proposed regulations that inhibit jobs in areas [such as] farm dust,” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor wrote in an August Washington Post op-ed. There was no such proposed rule. “We’ll stop excessive federal regulations that inhibit jobs in areas [such as] farm dust,” House Speaker John Boehner similarly pledged in a September 15 speech to the Economic Club of D.C. Still, there was no such proposal.
It was not so long ago that George W. Bush seemed to embody the future of conservatism. He had entered office amid doubts about his rightful place there, but pressed ahead nonetheless with grand ambitions, conducting an ideologically potent foreign war while also promising much at home. Which led some to wonder: Was this lavish spender really a conservative? Bush’s champions rushed in to explain.
The powers that be in Israel clamped a deafening silence on themselves when the Egyptian people rose up against Hosni Mubarak. There was precious little that Israel could do to sway events in one direction or the other, since this revolution did not have its origins in issues related to the foreign, strategic, or defense policies of Cairo.
The Battle: How the Fight Between FREE ENTERPRISE And BIG GOVERNMENT Will Shape America’s Future By Arthur C. Brooks (Basic Books, 174 pp., $23.95) If there is one dream of the Obama presidency that died a swift, merciless death with no hope of resuscitation, it was the hope that President Obama would usher in a new era of bipartisan technocracy. As the president explained over and over, he believed he was not imposing an ideological agenda but simply responding to problems. “I’m not interested in another old debate about big government versus small government,” he would say.
When health care reform passed, I was quietly grateful for many things. Mostly, I was grateful that people I cared about would get needed help. Yet I was quietly grateful for other things, too. For example, the close of that legislative battle relieved me of the daily sense that I should really be checking up on the ungracious, often-dishonest Wall Street Journal editorial page. Subsequent legislative and political battles have presented many disappointments. Not the least of these is that I now feel I should be checking up on them again. This weekend's 223-word entry reminds me why.
Noah Kristula-Green has a piece about the growing influence of Rand on the right: [P]rominent national conservatives have overcome their repugnance for Rand’s militant atheism to endorse her vision – and her politics. The Wall Street Journal declared in an Op-Ed by Stephen Moore—its senior economics writer—in January 2009 that Rand’s work had moved “From Fiction to Fact.” Rush Limbaugh gave monologues that quoted Rand and called her “Brilliant.” Among politicians, Ron Paul has described Atlas Shrugged as “telling the truth.” Amity Shlaes tried to map the characters of Atlas Shrugged onto the
Did anybody notice that President Obama, during his Saturday commencement speech at the University of Michigan, waded into the great epistemic closure debate? Today’s 24/7 echo-chamber amplifies the most inflammatory soundbites louder and faster than ever before. And it’s also, however, given us unprecedented choice. Whereas most Americans used to get their news from the same three networks over dinner, or a few influential papers on Sunday morning, we now have the option to get our information from any number of blogs or websites or cable news shows. And this can have both a good and bad