Commentary Magazine


Flotsam and Jetsam

Christopher Hitchens warns, “there are vicious enemies and rogue states in increasing positions of influence throughout the world (one of the episodes that most condemned the Republican campaign was its attempt to slander Sen. Joe Biden for his candid attempt to point this out), yet many Obama voters appear to believe that the mere charm and aspect of their new president will act as an emollient influence on these unwelcome facts and these hostile forces.” It’s not the voters I’m worried about –it’s that Obama might believe this.

I’m not sure a trade of an auto bailout for passage of free trade agreements is a smart move. The former is just bad policy, and the latter is something the new President will have to wrangle on his own if he wants to maintain his credibility with allies and not make the recession worse.

A very effective Matt Lauer interview with Sarah Palin — respectful but probing. And yes, Palin has certainly learned to give an effective interview.

Others are on to her media strategy — which doesn’t involve that mind-numbingly silly idea of the McCain camp (i.e. alternate screaming at and hiding from the MSM).

This odd take, that somehow the Palin sniping helps McCain, overlooks the conclusion that conservatives are drawing — it was either McCain’s fault to have chosen her or his fault to have allowed her to be mismanaged. In fact the only consensus about anything these days in GOP circles is what an awful staff McCain had. And that would be his fault as well.

Tony Blankley makes the case that Republicans need to make their case. Their success, and not one election result, is what will determine whether there is a permanent shift in the electorate.

Michael Steele may be onto something: “the concept of attracting Democrats, Republicans, and independents to solutions that unify most Americans.” Like a national party that could win elections? Hey, that might work.

So glad others have figured out the 2010 and 2012 elections already. And after all the prognosticators were so successful last time, there is every reason to hang on every word, right?

Not quite a Shermanesque declaration of disinterest by Mitt Romney.

No cabinet positions until Thanksgiving? Good thing we don’t have a financial crisis or a skidding stock market that might benefit from some certainty.

Booting Joe Lieberman from the Democratic caucus seems a perfectly splendid way for the Democrats to demonstrate that they are no better than the Republicans when it comes to petty squabbles and intra-party vendettas. Sure, Lieberman campaigned for John McCain but Lieberman is an Independent. And kicking him out would be kind of a funny way to pay him back for caucusing with the party that dumped him in the primary. But far be it from me to talk the Democrats out of this. Go for it fellas!

Good golly — a $500 Billion stimulus package? Well I supposed there won’t be much money left over for anything else — for decades. We do have to pay for this eventually, you know. This sort of nutty stuff, by the way, is another good reason to name a Secretary of Treasury sooner rather than later, who can speak with some sense of fiscal sobriety. We hope he will, at least.

A very impressive Bobby Jindal does not accept multiple entreaties to get into partisan sniping. David Shuster, quoting David Brooks, would like nothing more than to pick a fight, but Jindal seems stubbornly hung up on this notion that Republican governors are in a position to show voters they are competent and effective leaders. Well, that’s no fun — at least on MSNBC.

One benefit of a Democratic White House: the media becomes more sympathetic about the challenges and complexities of national security.

Matthew Franck writes the definitive “Enough with the birth certificate nonsense!” post. Actually, it should be kept as sort of a form letter for whatever loony conspiracy theories come down the pike.