Am about to disappear into Lakerdom – either a further descent into tedious misery, a temporary revival on the way to even deeper misery, or the Turning Point we’ve been waiting for and falsely identifying this whole desperately non-compelling season long. (I’m now rooting for Phil to cap off his career by having the first NBA team to come back from 0-3 in a seven-game series, and, fitting my earlier definition of true basketball supremacy Laker-style, having them do it three times in a row.)
But some things I noticed:
As usual, PM Carpenter thinks a much-thought thought thoughtfully and elegantly (very rarely does anyone achieve much more than that, if you think thoughtfully about it):
It would seem that what the GOP needs most — and thus the health of the two-party system — is a near-lethal dose of its own medicine. Allow the GOP base precisely what it wants, let it heap more lunacy on lunacies, let it choke down a 50-0 state loss, let it approach its nihilistic deathwish, let it glory momentarily in an ideological mushroom cloud before concluding that a return to Reason and its ejection of lunatics just might work a trifle better.
A Romney, Pawlenty, Daniels or Huntsman nomination will only postpone the inevitable and necessary. What the GOP needs, what will reboot the integrity of the two-party system, what will reclarify voters’ fundamental choice between genuine conservatism and genuine liberalism, is nothing less than a thunderingly cathartic, pseudoconservative blowout: a Palin-or-some-such presidential nomination.
In the process of sweeping some hogwash from Reuel Marc Gerecht to wherever hogwash goes, Daniel Larison explains why conservative attacks on the Kenyan Alinskyist Socialite tend all to be lame in the same way, and were so even before the OBL hit:
All of this comes back to Gerecht’s most easily falsifiable claim:
President Obama has certainly seemed sincere, if not Kennedyesque, in his intent to save the rebels in the eastern half of the country from the depredations of the most Orwellian strongman in the Middle East. But his sincerity rests in constant tension with the core tenet of a developing Obama Doctrine: American hegemony is not a good thing, either for the United States or for the world [bold mine-DL].
This is painfully wrong. There is no developing Obama Doctrine, and it has no core tenets, but if one wanted to describe a core belief of Obama about foreign policy this would not be it. Obama doesn’t believe “American hegemony is not a good thing, either for the United States or for the world.” It would be welcome and shocking news if he did believe that, because he has never once shown the slightest hint that he does.
This is why every Republican hegemonist attack on Obama lacks credibility, and why it is going to be so difficult for any of the candidates making these attacks to land any solid blows. They keep mocking him as if he weren’t one of them, but he is. Perhaps they think Obama is giving hegemonism a bad name, or perhaps it is mainly an expression of partisanship, but whatever the reason it helps to explain why hegemonists are desperate to describe Obama’s foreign policy as anything else than what it is, namely a largely hawkish center-left expression of the same hegemonism to which they subscribe. In this case, Gerecht would have us believe that this is the product of a union of the elder Bush and Fanon. There have been some similarities to the elder Bush in the past two years, but on the whole Obama really is much more aligned with hawkish neoliberals within the liberal internationalist tradition.
Thanks for the additional thoughts, am thinking ’em over.
Mildly entertaining observations and recounting from the FrumForum’s unfortunate correspondents. PM Carpenter’s take on the Evening of Thrills is more to the point.
Andrew Sullivan goes off – maybe a touch further than necessary – on the tactics used to squelch dissent against Israeli policy among American Jews.
Rebirth of the other Birtherism?
Just how bad off and dangerous is Pakistan? Andrew Sprung collects three different, worrying to devastating takes on the subject.
Just in case you thought Haniyeh’s blunder was a one-off – though these comments smell a little bit like possibly taken out of context.
An old list, but still some great fun stuff, including that thing about the weird frog.
Yglesias tries to make sense of the job numbers.