The Voting Rights Act and the Consequences of Our Actions

February 28, 2013

. A little over a year ago, to counter a vein of left criticism of President Obama during the election year, I wrote, of the 1968 presidential election, Significantly, while Nixon won 86% of the registered Republican vote, Humphrey won only 74% of registered Democrats. Democratic division before and after the ’68 convention [primarily over [...]

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Two Epistemic Closures: The GOP and Israel-Critics

January 28, 2013

. (This commentary originally appeared in the Algemeiner on January 25, 2013.) What do Tuesday’s election results remind us of? They should recall the result of November’s U.S. elections. Against all evidence – and here I do mean all evidence – Mitt Romney and Republicans of every stripe, from Tea Party to establishment, genuinely believed that they [...]

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The Hastert Rule

January 3, 2013

. It is such a given so little reflected upon by its participants and observers, that political life leads to cynicism, that even when reflection periodically takes place, much is lost in the glare. Consider in this regard the already commonplace observation that in clambering back atop the “fiscal cliff” on Tuesday, the GOP-controlled House [...]

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Compromising with Reality

November 8, 2012

. I spent less than the usual time on social media yesterday – I took a kind of day-after breather – but I devoted most of what time I did spend to venting. You can see it in my twitter feed down on the right. It was not my larger self on display, but “moderation [...]

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The Other Paul Ryan

August 13, 2012

. While the general media roll out of Paul Ryan as VP pick focuses on the GOP’s chosen narrative of Ryan as “smart” and “courageous” thinker about budgetary and Medicare matters, many more careful economists, like Paul Krugman, are offering the necessary corrective in even that area. Krugman reminds us that Ryan has never crunched the numbers, [...]

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Mourning In America

June 15, 2012

. A nation doesn’t lose its freedoms in foreign lands. It loses them at home. Atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki did not diminish American democracy. Neither will drone strikes in Yemen and Pakistan. The GOP is doing that under our noses every day, right now, in cities and the states, in the congress of [...]

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The Wisdom of G.H.W. Bush – and Barack Obama

February 28, 2012

. Whatever one’s judgment about the goal of the Gulf War of 1991, it is difficult to argue (which hardly means that no one will) that it was not superbly managed and prosecuted. The deeply and broadly experienced George Herbert Walker Bush, in contrast to his shallow but zealously missionary son G.W., famously chose, after [...]

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The Nativist GOP and MSM Dereliction

February 20, 2012

. What is happening to the Republican Party is historic, and mainstream news organizations are missing the story. They are missing the story because they are a part of a governing-media complex that revels in its centrality to power and the clubbiness of its associations. Nowhere is this clubbiness more seductive and debilitating of the [...]

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GOP Incoherence and Mendacity

January 11, 2012

. It is a kind of intellectual zone defense  to respond to accusations of bad behavior by noting that others are sometimes bad too. Political parties should rise and fall on the basis of the their own incoherence and mendacity, and the contemporary GOP, reaching new depths since the 2010 elections, will be recorded for [...]

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Tea Party Bolshevism

December 22, 2011

. Today is a good day to reiterate the essential nature of the Tea Party and contemporary GOP political impulse in practice. As even Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell calls on House Republicans to compromise and pass the two-month extension of the payroll tax cut, we need understand not how, but why we got here. What we [...]

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Everything Old is Newt Again

December 2, 2011

. I’ve taken some time off for real life this week – that oddly embodied and sensate earthly manifestation so much more vivid than Cyberlife. It’s been a trip. I kinda liked it, so – I don’t know – worldly. Still, I have received communiqués from that way station between the two worlds – political [...]

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How We Lived on It (38) – Amen, Brother

August 20, 2011

The riddle is “What’s the difference between Rick Perry and Osama bin Laden?” The answer is “Mohammed Atta.” The mainstream news media played carnival barker to this man’s entry into the GOP presidential primary race, then immediately turned on Perry’s implication of treason against Fed Chair Ben Bernanke as if such behavior from Perry – [...]

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The GOP’s Media-Manufactured Messiahs

August 18, 2011

  They might have learned something from the original breakfast flake of modern times Ross Perot. But the news media do not learn. They speculate, they trumpet, they pander, they shill – “It’s news! How can we not cover news?!” And who made it news? You’d think certainly they would have learned from Rudy and [...]

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Michele Bachmann and Christian Taqiyya

August 16, 2011

Much has been made in recent years of the Islamic doctrine of Taqiyya, which permits and even promotes, according to some, religious concealment and dissimulation in certain contexts and in confronting non-Muslims. What is it that Michele Bachmann did on Meet the Press this Sunday but engage in her own form of Taqiyya on behalf of her [...]

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The Political Lexicologist: Overreach THIS

March 3, 2011

What’s the difference between technical jargon and mind-numbing, unthinking cliché? Why, it’s that while I, on occasion, may resort to the former, you, of course, invariably use the latter. In the arid world of politics, however, we are richly blessed with language that is oppressively both and of which the citizenry is the object of [...]

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What Gingrich Meant When He Called Obama an Anti-colonialist

January 6, 2011

Certainly you recall it. We had some discussion of it here, and here, and here, and here. The curious question at the root of the whole discussion was what it means at this p0int in history and the evolution of world culture to call someone an “anti-colonialist” and mean it as a pejorative? What does [...]

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The New GOP: All “Whacked”

March 24, 2010

If you are an individual of cosmopolitan inclination, yet native affections, you are bound to have moments that rupture your sensibilities. On the eve of the new millennium, Julia and I were in Venice with our dear friends Ashley and Mark, all of us marveling at how an event long anticipated in the far horizon [...]

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GOP: Gone Off Prozac

September 8, 2009

Is there any way out of it – the hateful conflict between left and right even within the roughly agreed upon ideal borders of a representative democracy? Why should we think so? The right, we know, does not utopias envision. The left sees them well enough, but those ideal worlds all lack one thing – [...]

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