It’s Almost Like a Democracy

Charlie Crist has gone from popular governor to besieged Senate primary candidate in a matter of months. He’s still on the defensive about his endorsement of the stimulus boondoggle, telling a local editorial board (after trying to scoot away from his embrace of Obama) that he’s really glad he had cheered the plan:

“People are hurting and they’re suffering. I hear about it every day. That’s frankly why I thought the stimulus was so important,” Crist said. “I know there are some in my party that don’t agree with that, but I don’t have the luxury of putting politics over people.”

Well, hardly anyone in his party agrees with him, but at least he’s settled on a position. And now he’s refashioning himself as a hard-core conservative:

“It’s hard to be more conservative than I am on issues — there’s different ways stylistically to communicate that — I’m pro-life, I’m pro-gun, I’m pro-family, and I’m anti-tax. I don’t know what else you’re supposed to be, except maybe angry too,” said Crist, who as a state legislator voted against abortion restrictions and more recently supported increasing cigarette taxes in Florida and the federal $787 billion stimulus package.

Ouch. Well, maybe not all that conservative. Some decried the fact that there is a primary at all, arguing that this was all a horrid notion, having Republicans contest one another for a Senate seat. But it’s turned out to be a pretty good idea, the very thing that was missing in the NY-23 circus. Primaries serve a useful purpose — sniffing out poor candidates, uncovering their foibles, testing party enthusiasm, and allowing the candidates to test-run campaign themes. So far at least, Crist has proved to be a remarkably inept candidate, allowing the lesser-known and lesser-funded Marco Rubio to make his way into a competitive race.

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It’s Almost Like a Democracy

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Shut Down Senselessness

Podcast: Government shut down, ???, profit!

John Podhoretz is out today. In his absence, the remaining COMMENTARY Magazine hosts untangle the complicated policy and politics behind a short-lived government shutdown. Who benefits, who doesn’t, and what was at stake? Did this brief cessation of non-essential government activity change the political landscape ahead of 2018? Give a listen.

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The Democrats’ CHIP Hypocrisy

Mixed messaging.

Congressional Democrats appear to have meandered into a cul-de-sac. Ostensibly, the federal government shut down last week during an impasse over whether to make the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) permanent this month or next. Democrats had threatened to shut down the government over DACA recipients before but backed off amid mounting objections from the party’s moderate governing wing. As public polling has confirmed, Americans are in favor of legal status for this deserving set of illegal immigrants who suffer that status through no fault of their own, but voters do not believe that outcome is worth a government shutdown. It’s therefore reasonable to expect that Democrats will soon shift gears, leaning into the other ostensible reason why the government shut down: lapsed funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Yet here, too, the Democrats and their allies in media are playing a double game.

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Democrats Go Soft on Anti-Semitism

Shameful.

I don’t always agree with Kenneth L. Marcus, the founder and president of the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law. But he is without question the kind of person who might have been nominated in any Republican administration to serve as assistant secretary of education for civil rights. In fact, Marcus served in the same role in the George W. Bush administration on an interim basis. Yet Marcus received not one Democratic vote in the Senate Health, Labor, and Pensions Committee, which just voted 12-11, on party lines, to advance his nomination.

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Pod Shut Down America

But they fight.

On the eve of an ill-fated government shutdown in 2013, New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof published a column that captured the sentiments of liberal opinion makers perfectly: This was all talk radio’s fault.

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Harvard Rewards an Iranian Hate-Monger

Another dubious honor.

What is it with the Harvard Kennedy School’s penchant for celebrating dishonorable characters? First came a speaking invitation and fellowship for the traitor formerly known as Bradley Manning. The Kennedy School disinvited Manning following a public outcry in September, but now its leadership has awarded a fellowship to an equally odious figure.

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