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Election 2012 Jindal

Jindal 2012 (cont.)

Compare the reactions of Ramnesh Ponnuru and Mark Krikorian to the Washington Post‘s apparently positive profile of Bobby Jindal.

Neither can quite take the article at face value. Ponnuru wonders “if this sort of swooning is really going to be helpful to Gov. Jindal in the long run.”

Krikorian, on the other hand, takes offense at the suggestion that Jindal could be an Obama-like figure. Under the headline “Clueless” which he apparently means to refer to either the Washington Post or the American people, he explains that Obama was merely “a post-American political radical who’s never held a real job and was catapulted to political success because of his race.” So much resentment packed into a single sentence – and so much misinformation. Would a “post-American political radical” choose anything like the pragmatic foreign policy team that Obama has chosen? What exactly does Krikorian consider, “a real job”? Does Krikorian really consider race to be the primary factor in Obama’s rise – or was it one factor among many that had both negative and positive consequences? And how ridicilous is it for a guy whose career is based on whipping up xenophobia to declare race to be some kind of definate asset?

Krikorian makes clear that he doesn’t have a clue.

Ponnuru may find it hard to accept media praise for one of his guys – but Krikorian manages to turn praise into an insult. There’s something so counterproductive about it – these constantly stoked resentments.

Unfortunately, the National Review and the conservative movement at large has far too many Krikorian and far too few Ponnuru’s.

Categories
Barack Obama The Opinionsphere

Jonah Goldberg is Shocked

Jonah Goldberg is a partisan hack – and I mean that with all due respect.

In this post today, Goldberg points out that Obama seems to be making a number of sensible appointments to major positions, none of which mark a radical change from the status quo – but all of which, from Obama’s perspective, will be improvements. You would think that Goldberg’s first reaction would be approval – as Obama is not turning out to be the radical that Goldberg had feared he would.

But no.

Goldberg instead channels his inner imaginary radical liberal who is outraged that Obama is going back on what his imaginary liberal thought was a promise of radical change.

He concludes:

It will be interesting to see how long Obama’s charisma can paper over reality.

But what his inner imaginary liberal should have realized – and what most real liberals did realize – was that Obama was not a radical or a leftist. By change, he didn’t mean revolution.

But Goldberg desperately wants to be right about something – reality be damned.

Categories
Election 2008 Obama Politics

Bad Math

I’m beginning to think conservatives, as represented by the writers at The Corner and those readers who write into The Corner, have a selective insanity that sets in when math becomes involved in any political issue.

Yesterday, I wrote about how they were using their confusions about what the numbers in Obama’s tax plan meant to attack it. “First he said that families making under $250,000 will be exempt – and then he said individuals making under $200,000 would be exempt. What’s next?” Of course, the fact that in one instance the conversation was about families and in the other about individuals was either ignored or not understood.

Now today, Mark Steyn publishes this reader comment:

He’s raised $600 million, as you say, in small donations. So divide it by ten bucks apiece and there’s 60 million donors. If 120 million people vote on Tuesday, and he gets 50% that equals …60 million voters!

Of course, Obama has published the number of individual donors at various points in the campaign – and as of the last public statement, the number was somewhat less than 4 million. Of course, if you presume that a small donation must be – say, $10 – rather than the normally accepted lawful definition of a small donation – $200, then you can see how such sloppy math and baseless assumptions will lead you to accuse someone of massive fraud.

Categories
Domestic issues Politics The Opinionsphere

Pro-Marriages Forces Against Gay Marriage

Maggie Gallagher at NRO’s The Corner pulls off this Orwellianism this morning:

Can the pro-marriage forces raise enough money to keep message parity with the ACLU/HRC/Labor unions/Hollywood crowd?

Because of course, the “pro-marriage forces” are the ones against gay marriage “crowd.”

Categories
Economics Election 2008 McCain Politics The Opinionsphere

Ideology Above Country


[Image courtesy of Barack Obama over at Flickr.]

[digg-reddit-me]Jim Manzi over at National Review‘s The Corner calls the House Republicans’ actions today “Irresponsible Folly” and writes:

Well, apparently the House Republicans have decided to run a neat little experiment to test the actual odds of the current financial crisis turning into another Depression in the absence of a bailout plan.

Kathryn Jean Lopez – also at The Corner – tries to spin this as proof of the Democrats’ lack of unity and suggests this wouldn’t happen under a Republican Congress.

Other Republicans are apparently attempting to blame their votes against the only plan to stave off another Great Depression on a few comments made by Speaker Nancy Pelosi in her speech to introduce the bill.

Marc Ambinder asks: “Where were you when the world economy collapsed?” That might be overdoing it a little. But not by much – seeing as the Dow is down over 5% as we speak and the S&P 500 and Nasdaq are down almost 7% each.

Regardless – it seems certain that McCain failed in this – and deserves a good deal of blame for this failure.

The Democrats gave up a lot in order to win over some Republicans – but now it looks as if they’ll have to ditch them and pass a much more left-friendly bill. That leaves them without political cover on an issue that isn’t politically popular. But it is the only responsible thing to do, which is why I have confidence the Democrats will pass something.

The Republicans today have proved that they will place ideology above their country. They have proved that they will place politics above their country. Whether they voted against the bill because of their fundamentalist belief in the power of markets or because they wanted to be on the short-term popular side of a major issue is unclear. Presumably, it is a combination of both.

But they have proved that they are not willing to be grown-ups and accept the pragmatic best alternative when there are no good options. They do not take responsibility for any portion of the chaos which deregulation has contributed to here. They have not proposed some better, other plan – they have instead just been oppositional – representing the final deathblow to conservatism as a governing ideology.

This is the latest in a series of events – where conservatives have placed ideology above country, and ignored the pragmatic solutions to hard reality. From Iraq – where ideological certainty led to insanely rosy projections of the post-war period; to Iran – where diplomacy was rejected out-of-hand, and Iran’s offer to cut back on their nuclear program as part of a comprehensive discussion of US-Iran issues in 2003 was ignored; to the constant prescription of tax cuts in the face of mounting deficits; to the opposition to any pragmatic solution to the immigration problem.

It’s not that there weren’t good reasons to oppose this bill. It’s that the Republicans were unwilling to take the basic responsibility needed to govern.

Barack Obama meanwhile, says the bailout will go through. Not because he likes it – but because, as distasteful as it is, it’s necessary. As Obama said, speaking in the midst of a storm yesterday, “The skies look cloudy and it’s dark. And you think the rains will never pass. But these too will pass: a brighter day will come.”

It’s not the rhetoric that matters as much as the tone. Obama’s calm, measured, steady public presence, even in the midst of a storm, contrasts with McCain’s hysteric, dramatic, volatile one.