Miscellany

First they’d need something to say…

“These two should talk,” sez Rex in re:  Tony Blankley and Jennifer Rubin. Why?  Each one could probably have written the other’s work, and neither is saying anything that we all haven’t heard (and that many of us have said)

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“Why Israel and not other, far more egregious examples?”

I find a 1,000-to-1 fatality rule generally applies: Each person killed by the Israel Defense Forces warrants about as much international attention as 1,000 people killed by Africans, Russians, Indians, Chinese, or Arabs. That’s Victor Davis Hanson’s estimate, and, to

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Stand up for faceless bureaucrats!

Here’s Peggy Noonan in the WSJ reaching high indignation and alarm, after reviewing a general lack of federal preparedness for the aftermath of a WMD attack: After the inspector general’s report, Paul McHale, a former Democratic congressman from Pennsylvania who

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Fight Them All Together, The Sequel: On Allahpundit's Questions

Citing the New York Post in a post at HotAir, Allahpundit discusses apparent links between Cordoba Initiative founder Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf and the “Gaza flotilla.”  As AP is creditably careful to note, the linkage at this point remains tenuous: 

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Fight Them All Together: The Conservative Reaction to the "Ground Zero Mosque"

Why this building, there? Leaving aside some melodrama – “insane,” “looming horror,” “surrender” – that question sums up much conservative reaction to Cordoba House, a.k.a. “The Ground Zero Mosque,” a project of the the Cordoba Initiative (CI) that last week

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Look out below, the (other) sequel

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Wednesday shows that 23% of the nation’s voters Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as president. Forty-five percent (45%) Strongly Disapprove, giving Obama a Presidential Approval

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Sarah Palin shouldn’t be pretending Glenn Beck is normal

No one much will ever likely care that Sarah Palin endorsed Glenn Beck in a puffy little capsule bio for Time Magazine’s 2010 list of 100 influential people, but I think it was a bad move for her – in

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The obligatory “problem with the problem with the Palin problem” post

Ian Lazaran at Conservatives for Palin, the go-to site for anyone interested in the Palin supporter’s side, raises some serious questions about Quin Hillyer’s “The Problem with Palin” – a piece whose title somewhat defeats the author’s numerous compliments to

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Paul Ryan on Real Progressivism

Many people believe Democracy obsolete. They are wrong. Obsolete is the one thing Democracy can never be. R. Buckminster Fuller – “No More Secondhand God” In responding to Rep. Paul Ryan’s speech to the Oklahoma Council on Public Affairs on

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I'm a cancer, he's a cancer, she's a cancer, we're a cancer…

Last night, J.E. Dyer replied to “The Point of Being Annoyed with Glenn Beck” (at HotAir here), and to related comments at her blog The Optimistic Conservative. (For anyone new to the discussion, “The Point…” was itself framed as a

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From the Featured Archives

Noted & Quoted

TV pundits and op-ed writers of every major newspaper epitomize how the Democratic establishment has already reached a consensus: the 2020 nominee must be a centrist, a Joe Biden, Cory Booker or Kamala Harris–type, preferably. They say that Joe Biden should "run because [his] populist image fits the Democrats’ most successful political strategy of the past generation" (David Leonhardt, New York Times), and though Biden "would be far from an ideal president," he "looks most like the person who could beat Trump" (David Ignatius, Washington Post). Likewise, the same elite pundit class is working overtime to torpedo left-Democratic candidates like Sanders.

For someone who was not acquainted with Piketty's paper, the argument for a centrist Democrat might sound compelling. If the country has tilted to the right, should we elect a candidate closer to the middle than the fringe? If the electorate resembles a left-to-right line, and each voter has a bracketed range of acceptability in which they vote, this would make perfect sense. The only problem is that it doesn't work like that, as Piketty shows.

The reason is that nominating centrist Democrats who don't speak to class issues will result in a great swathe of voters simply not voting. Conversely, right-wing candidates who speak to class issues, but who do so by harnessing a false consciousness — i.e. blaming immigrants and minorities for capitalism's ills, rather than capitalists — will win those same voters who would have voted for a more class-conscious left candidate. Piketty calls this a "bifurcated" voting situation, meaning many voters will connect either with far-right xenophobic nationalists or left-egalitarian internationalists, but perhaps nothing in-between.

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Understanding Trump’s charisma offers important clues to understanding the problems that the Democrats need to address. Most important, the Democratic candidate must convey a sense that he or she will fulfil the promise of 2008: not piecemeal reform but a genuine, full-scale change in America’s way of thinking. It’s also crucial to recognise that, like Britain, America is at a turning point and must go in one direction or another. Finally, the candidate must speak to Americans’ sense of self-respect linked to social justice and inclusion. While Weber’s analysis of charisma arose from the German situation, it has special relevance to the United States of America, the first mass democracy, whose Constitution invented the institution of the presidency as a recognition of the indispensable role that unique individuals play in history.

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[E]ven Fox didn’t tout Bartiromo’s big scoops on Trump’s legislative agenda, because 10 months into the Trump presidency, nobody is so foolish as to believe that him saying, “We’re doing a big infrastructure bill,” means that the Trump administration is, in fact, doing a big infrastructure bill. The president just mouths off at turns ignorantly and dishonestly, and nobody pays much attention to it unless he says something unusually inflammatory.On some level, it’s a little bit funny. On another level, Puerto Rico is still languishing in the dark without power (and in many cases without safe drinking water) with no end in sight. Trump is less popular at this point in his administration than any previous president despite a generally benign economic climate, and shows no sign of changing course. Perhaps it will all work out for the best, and someday we’ll look back and chuckle about the time when we had a president who didn’t know anything about anything that was happening and could never be counted on to make coherent, factual statements on any subject. But traditionally, we haven’t elected presidents like that — for what have always seemed like pretty good reasons — and the risks of compounding disaster are still very much out there.

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