Commentary Magazine


Flotsam and Jetsam

The Democratic gubernatorial candidates in Virginia continue to bob and weave on card check. You have to wonder about Terry McAuliffe’s technique: rebuking a businessman who had the temerity to ask about it, “Let’s not try to marginalize your effectiveness. I want to work with you to create jobs.” (Translation: Hush up.) I’m not sure they can keep this up through November.

The Washington Post is clearly obsessed with the “Virginia Republicans In Turmoil!” storyline despite an overwhelming majority (57-18) voting to dump their controversial and inept state chairman, a move which plainly cheers the GOP gubernatorial candidate. But when you have a storyline to push, facts don’t really matter.

Matt Continetti dissects Obama’s vision: “When Obama says his budget heralds ‘a new era of responsibility,’ he’s not talking about individual responsibility, or the responsibility of families to raise the next generation. Nor does he mean government’s responsibility to provide for a decent measure of social and national security, and a legal and regulatory framework that allows civil society and the free market to flourish. No, Obama is talking about the responsibilities government is going to impose on us in the form of higher taxes. The upshot is more government, and still more debt. Not to mention a dependent citizenry.”

From Andrew Malcolm: “Oops, it seems that many on President Obama’s team, including those seeking to save the American automobile industry, do not actually drive vehicles from the American automobile industry. . . Lawrence Summers, head of the president’s National Economic Council, drives a Mazda. Budget Director Peter Orszag drives a Honda and a Volvo. Economic advisor Austan Goolsbee drives a Toyota. VP Joe Biden’s economic advisor Jared Bernstein prefers a Honda.” Really, who can blame them or the millions and millions of Americans who made similar choices?

Sounds like a joke: the administration is so fiscally irresponsible that the Republicans and the French are on the same side of the budget argument.

Sometimes you wish there really could be more change: “With protesters raging outside, NATO leaders on Saturday gave a tepid troop commitment to President Obama’s escalating campaign in Afghanistan, mostly committing soldiers only to a temporary security duty.”

Or as the teleprompter put it: “Over the past month, Secretary of State Dick Holbrooke and his assistant, Hillary, have been working through NATO and individual countries on getting commitments for Afghan deployment that Big Guy could get credit for today in the U.S. press. And boy, did Dick and Hill come through. The Brits are sending a few troops; Belgium offered 35 military trainers and Spain offered 12. That’s it. The U.S. is sending thousands. Big Guy wanted to know what Holbrooke and Hillary had been doing with their time that would lead to this kind of embarrassing set of offers.”

Maureen Dowd is dimmer than I thought if she thinks Dmitri Medvedev calling Obama his “new comrade” is indicative of progress on fundamental international disputes. Her literary world may be confined to psychoanalytic gossip but that simply isn’t how the real world operates.

A helpful description of the differences between the budgets of the President, the House and the Senate is here. Maybe Nancy Pelosi will slip reconciliation instructions back in for cap-and-trade and healthcare (allowing Democrats to jam in huge policy shifts without fear of filibuster). But one thing is for sure: we are going to spend a ton and take on trillions more debt without a realistic plan for ever paying off our obligations. How do you like the “era of responsibility” so far?

Okay the Obama team didn’t count on ads this lame when it decided to take over GM.

Chris Dodd has a primary challenger. The Republicans will root for Dodd.

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