Unknowns

The Wall Street Journal picks up where John McCain left off, questioning how much most Americans know about Barack Obama. As for a new era of bipartisanship the Journal’s editors observe:

We can’t find a single issue on which Mr. Obama has broken with his party’s left-wing interest groups. Early on he gave a bow to merit pay for teachers, but that quickly sank beneath the waves of new money he wants to spend on the same broken public schools. He takes the Teamsters line against free trade, to the point of unilaterally rewriting Nafta. He wants to raise taxes even above the levels of the Clinton era, including a huge increase in the payroll tax. Perhaps now Mr. Obama will tack to the center, but somehow he will have to explain why the “change” he’s proposing isn’t merely more of the same, circa 1965.

And unlike McCain, they also question Obama’s judgment and choice in associating with Wright, Pfleger, and the less well known Rev. James Meeks. As Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld once put it:

As we know, there are known knowns. There are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns. That is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns, the ones we don’t know we don’t know.

For Obama we know from his record that he is very liberal and we know that he hasn’t accomplished much. We also know he is a great speechmaker and verbally fluent (when not pressed very hard, as he was in the Philadelphia debate). The known unknowns include how he plans to increase his support with working-class voters and how he will pivot back to the center on taxes, the economy, the surge, national security, and a list of issues. But it is the unknown unknowns that nag at many Democrats. The video clips floating around, the other wacky preachers who might pop up, the other people who heard him promise Palestinian acitvists he was on their side or who saw him attend the Million Man march. It is that last category which will make the next five months a nailbiter for the Democrats.

0
Shares
Google+ Print

Unknowns

Must-Reads from Magazine

We Need to Talk About Genetic Engineering

Sleepwalking toward a revolution.

The most important news of the week was buried underneath an avalanche of dispatches involving palace intrigue in the White House and the Republican Party’s effort to deconstruct the Affordable Care Act. A team of scientists at the Oregon Health and Science University had, according to the MIT Technology Review, used a relatively new gene-editing technique to alter the DNA of a single-cell human embryo.

7
Shares
Google+ Print

A Man With a Plan?

Podcast: Is it a purge or a plan? Or both!

On the second of this week’s podcasts, I get into it with Noah Rothman on whether the president’s behavior toward his attorney general and the new White House communications director’s conduct toward the White House chief of staff constitute a “plan” of action or whether we are just living through nihilistic chaos. Where does Abe Greenwald come out? You’ll have to give a listen.

2
Shares
Google+ Print

Playing Transgender Politics

Posturing, not policy.

On Wednesday morning, at 8:55 a.m., President Trump tweeted: “After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow…” Many in the Pentagon wondered if he was announcing military action against North Korea, which, according to new intelligence estimates, is set to field a nuclear-tipped ICBM as early as next year. Not until nine minutes later was the suspense lifted with another presidential tweet: “…Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military.”

6
Shares
Google+ Print

A Secularist vs. the Progressive Faith

A double standard is, in fact, a standard. Just an immoral one.

Really it should come as no surprise that the scientist and outspoken atheist Richard Dawkins is the latest public figure to have fallen victim to a disinviting mania. After all, if a darling of the left feminist like Germaine Greer can face a campaign to silence her over her views on transgenderism or a woman of color like Ayaan Hirsi Ali can face similar attempts to have her free speech on campus canceled, why should Dawkins be spared?

44
Shares
Google+ Print

Unmasking Is Not a Distraction

Democrats will regret treating this as a partisan issue.

Whenever a former Obama administration official’s name comes up in the process of investigating the Trump campaign’s alleged links to Russian sources, Democrats take the position that the right’s penchant for “whataboutism” neutralizes the implication of wrongdoing. The Democratic objective is to shame those who are committed to crafting a full and unbiased portrait of the events of 2016 into ignoring inconvenient facts, but the Republican-led Senate Intelligence Committee remains unintimidated.

13
Shares
Google+ Print