Commentary Magazine


Contentions

Flotsam and Jetsam

All the GOP angst over how to come back ignores the most important factor in politics: the other side will eventually mess up. Politico calls it a “rough patch” for the Democrats: “After three nearly uninterrupted years of favorable political news, Democrats have finally hit a rough patch. Over a period of less than 10 days, Democrats have seen their nominee go down in defeat in the Georgia Senate runoff— eliminating the prospect of a filibuster-proof majority—lost two winnable House races in Louisiana and witnessed House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) sink deeper into ethics trouble. Then there’s the still-unfolding Illinois Senate debacle, which exposed Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s tawdry attempts to auction off President-elect Barack Obama’s Senate seat and forced Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.) to hold a press conference Wednesday denying any inappropriate discussions with the governor.”

Robert Gates, via George Will,  tells us “that there is bipartisan congressional support for ‘a long-term residual presence’ of perhaps 40,000 U.S. troops in Iraq, and that the president-elect’s recent statements have not precluded that. Such a presence ‘for decades’ has, he says, followed major U.S. military operations since 1945, other than in Vietnam. And he says, “Look at how long Britain has had troops in Cyprus.” Didn’t John McCain run on this position? No wonder conservatives are chuckling and liberals are engaged in self-delusion.

Whenever I read about cuts or changes at Newsweek I always think, “Does anyone read Newsweek?” Seriously, it seems so 1980s.

Bill Clinton should be testifying at Eric Holder’s confirmation hearing, not at Hillary’s.

Larry Elder reminds us of Thomas Sowell’s methodology for assessing government programs: “1) Who pays for it? 2) How much will it cost? 3) Will it work?” By that gauge virtually nothing of what President-elect Obama is proposing domestically would pass muster.

The Note has a different format and seems to be carving a niche in the MSM — acting like a hard-nosed, adversarial press outlet that probes and prods the incoming administration. Think there’s an audience for such a thing?

Sen. Arlen Specter gets some help slowing down the rush to confirm Eric Holder. And from a Democrat, no less.

Never good to have the headline “Damage Control” if you are a new administration.

Eugene Robinson thinks the President-elect isn’t changing the damage-control playbook enough.

The words we all knew were coming and which may prove the only hope for the future of domestic car production: “GM retains bankruptcy counsel .  .  .”

David Brooks aptly describes the rush for bailouts and spending projects : “When Washingtonians are gripped by fear, they rush outward, with bigger and more daring plans. The risk tolerance in the financial world has shrunk to zero, but the risk tolerance in the political world has risen to infinity.”

But then he asks: “Why is it, some ask, that America is so slavishly following the same failed route earlier taken by the Japanese — from bank capitalization, to industrial bailouts to infrastructure spending? Why is it that the pork-meisters in Congress are already distorting the best-laid stimulus plans? Why are there so few saying ‘no’ to any budget request? Why do so many of the plans being offered rely upon a Magic Technocrat — an all-knowing Car Czar who can reorganize Detroit, an all-seeing team of Olympians who decide which medicines doctors will be allowed to prescribe? ” Well, it is because the voters, egged on by dreamy-eyed elites, voted for the “brilliant” candidate (who read Niebhur, we were told), the transformational candidate — who has now resorted to every bad, old idea he could find.


Join the discussion…

Are you a subscriber? Log in to comment »

Not a subscriber? Join the discussion today, subscribe to Commentary »





Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor to our site, you are allowed 8 free articles this month.
This is your first of 8 free articles.

If you are already a digital subscriber, log in here »

Print subscriber? For free access to the website and iPad, register here »

To subscribe, click here to see our subscription offers »

Please note this is an advertisement skip this ad
Clearly, you have a passion for ideas.
Subscribe today for unlimited digital access to the publication that shapes the minds of the people who shape our world.
Get for just
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor, you are allowed 8 free articles.
This is your first article.
You have read of 8 free articles this month.
YOU HAVE READ 8 OF 8
FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
for full access to
CommentaryMagazine.com
INCLUDES FULL ACCESS TO:
Digital subscriber?
Print subscriber? Get free access »
Call to subscribe: 1-800-829-6270
You can also subscribe
on your computer at
CommentaryMagazine.com.
LOG IN WITH YOUR
COMMENTARY MAGAZINE ID
Don't have a CommentaryMagazine.com log in?
CREATE A COMMENTARY
LOG IN ID
Enter you email address and password below. A confirmation email will be sent to the email address that you provide.