Weekly Standard

Sanity Vs. Insanity At The Weekly Standard
October 21, 2010

I recently cited Andrew Ferguson's great review, in the Weekly Standard, which notes how, in order to vilify President Obama as an extremist, conservatives have begun to sing the praises of the once-reviled Bill Clinton. Ferguson writes: I remember a press conference in 1993 got up by Empower America, a now-forgotten Republican think tank. The purpose was to mark the end of the first year of the Clinton administration. A murderers row of famous-for-Washington conservatives took turns denouncing the Democrats who had seized the White House after a dozen years of Republican benevolence.

Is the Election A Referendum?
September 21, 2010

It's obviously the case that the 2010 election is mostly going to be about voters holding Democrats accountable for the status quo, rather than coolly comparing the two parties. Still, you can't blame Democrats for trying.

Is O'Donnell's Win in Delaware a Big Deal Nationally? Maybe
September 15, 2010

Just some quick notes on the Republican Senate primary in Delaware yesterday, with Christine O’Donnell defeating Mike Castle and, in doing so, turning the seat from a very likely GOP gain to a very likely hold for the Democrats (as of now, the New Hampshire Republican Senate primary hasn’t yet been called, but it looks as if NH Republicans have probably chosen the pragmatic candidate over the purist).  1. You remember the Letterman bit, “Is This Anything?“ Cue the hula hoop girl and the grinder girl: no question, Paul, that this is something.

Republicans Reap The Whirlwind
September 14, 2010

UPDATE: Rush Limbaugh cited this post in calling Jonathan Chait "a hate merchant." The conservative movement has spent the last 20 months sowing hysteria about President Obama's agenda. The most respectable Republicans call the president a socialist, a radical, a threat to freedom. The less respectable Republicans, many of them highly influential, call him an alien, a sympathizer of radical Islam, a conscious enemy of the United States who is trying to wreck the economy.

Tactical Radicalism: The Empire Strikes Back
September 13, 2010

A couple months ago, I mused about the outbreak of tactical radicalism -- the belief that ideological extremism carries no political cost whatsoever -- among Republicans. Why, I asked, were Republicans standing aside and letting primary voters select nominees who had a much lower chance of winning? Where was the Republican establishment? Now the establishment is taking a stand in Delaware. The establishment choice is Mike Castle, a moderate-ish member of the House who is running for Senate, where he would be a prohibitive favorite in an overwhelmingly Democratic state.

What Peter Orszag Actually Said About Taxes
September 07, 2010

Republicans, as you know, want to extend all of the Bush tax cuts, including those that benefit only wealthy Americans. And they want to do so permanently, adding another $600 to $700 billion in debt over the next ten years. Does Peter Orszag, the former Budget Director and well-known fiscal conservative, now support them? Um, no. But the first of his New York Times columns seems to have created that impression, based on what I heard from Tuesday's White House press briefing and what I read at the Weekly Standard's blog.

The State Of Intellectual Conservatism
August 13, 2010

Bill Kristol wrote this editorial for the Weekly Standard: So the conservative agenda is, in a word, refudiation. Indeed, given the dramatic moment at which we have arrived, one might say that we now have the prospect of a grand refudiation of liberalism. The meeting of intellectual refutation and political repudiation is, after all, the usual prerequisite for the establishment of a new political order. The Tea Partiers—the most striking political development of our day—have understood this well. The movement is an assemblage of arguers and activists.

An Honest Question For Wehner Fallacy Advocates
July 29, 2010

Noemie Emery's cover story in the Weekly Standard, "Neither Roosevelt Nor Reagan," is basically one long exposition of the Wehner Fallacy. President Obama has failed, she writes, because he pursued an unpopular agenda that cost him his popularity. Had he hewed to the center he could have built an enduring majority but instead he fell victim to liberal hubris. Now, we've heard this all a thousand times. Never mind that it's nearly impossible to find an example of a president who maintains popularity amidst an economic free-fall.

Meta-Chait Commentary
July 26, 2010

This should have occurred to me before, but it hit me that my last couple items are an interesting counterpoint to each other. The first is about a Weekly Standard article that goes to hilarious lengths to avoid mentioning John Hagee's radical beliefs about Jews, gays and Muslims.

Uncle's Cousin's Former Roommate
July 26, 2010

Robert Wright on the Weekly Standard's use of guilt-by-association to attack the construction of a mosque in lower Manhattan: Rauf’s wife, who often speaks in support of the project and during one talk reflected proudly on her Islamic heritage, “failed to mention another feature of her background: She is the niece of Dr.