Commentary of the Day

Ahithophel, on Abe Greenwald:

What concerns me is that this will become the new business model for successful major campaigns–to the detriment of our election system. First, articulate a vision in the most vacuous possible generalities, of “hope” and “change” or growth, renewal, rebirth, or whatever metaphors and ideals the moment apparently requires. Then, when pressed for specifics (which will happen rarely for a Democrat, constantly for a Republican), speak in terms of both-this-and-that, or neither-this-nor-that language. We must defend ourselves at the same time as we honor the values that have made America a beacon of justice and freedom around the world; we should neither alienate Russia nor permit it to act in an irresponsible manner, etc. Then, when those on the other side object that you are not giving genuine specifics, criticize them for engaging in the old politics of partisan sniping, and portray them as old curmudgeons missing out on the wonderful new movement. “What they fail to understand is that this movement is not about me, it’s about you,” and all that blather.