Mitt Romney

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 MSNBC Bent vs the FOX News Bias

December 1, 2012

. You hear it a lot. MSNBC is the liberal Fox News. No. It’s not. This is just one more variation of false equivalency, the inability to make acute judgments amid the buffeting winds of so many competing claims, the warp of reason by the gravitational pull of all those massive subjectivities. MSNBC has a bent. [...]


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The End of American Democracy

October 31, 2012

. A dissenter will call it hyperbole, an opponent hysterical, some of its targets sensational. We will all or we will not find out – any of us today, I mean, for confirmation may take far longer to receive than the length of our short lives. Rome, you know, word is, was not built in [...]


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The Gentleman & the Boor

October 19, 2012

I didn’t even know last night was the night of the Al Smith Dinner, with which, of course, I am familiar, as the Washington and Catholic Church insider that I am. But fate set me down in front of Rachel Maddow at just the right time, so I was in virtual attendance. I’ve seen them [...]


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Preventing Romney: Mediating the Laughter and the Lies

October 16, 2012

. The challenge for supporters of Barack Obama, tonight and after, is to mediate the media’s mediation of reality. Mediating the mediation: in politics that’s called “spin.” Spin is a conceptually sexy, pop-cultural term for influence. It is a method of persuasion. But as the nature of the expression suggests in its physical metaphor, it [...]


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Faking Foreign Policy

October 9, 2012

. From David Sanger in yesterday’s New York Times: But beyond his critique of Mr. Obama as failing to project American strength abroad, Mr. Romney has yet to fill in many of the details of how he would conduct policy toward the rest of the world, or to resolve deep ideological rifts within the Republican Party and [...]


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A Political Hall of Mirrors

September 18, 2012

. Bob from Brockley writes (from Brockley, I presume) to offer compliment and commentary to my last post on Maureen Dowd. Bob and I are usually in close alignment on such issues as have arisen from Dowd’s recent column on the neocons. In this case not. Bob (whom, if you don’t, you really should be [...]


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The Stink Bomb

September 17, 2012

. There is so much messy farting going on, the political arena smells like an outhouse. Of course, why should it not? It is an outhouse. Between the craven opportunists and the reflexive ideologues, even a dash past the entrance with cotton plugs in your nose will not spare you the stench. The Muslim world has [...]


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The Other God That Failed

August 31, 2012

. Of course, nothing so far can match, or is likely to, the epic-historical failure of twentieth century Marxism. The cost of that failure, if not actually beyond measure, surely transcends any measure the mind can really grasp. Other failures, however, cannot be denied just because they do not reach a comparable magnitude. Dionysus was [...]


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I Apologize

August 20, 2012

. Jonah Lehrer has apologized to his readers for manufacturing quotations in his latest book, to Michael Moynihan for lying about it, and to himself for self-plagiarizing his blog posts for The New Yorker. Fareed Zakaria has apologized to Time and CNN for plagiarizing a paragraph of an article from Jill Lepore at the New [...]


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Mitt Romney Thinks You’re a Moron

August 14, 2012

. Conventional wisdom is not precisely an oxymoron (time really does fly), but it is not infrequently moronic. The conventional wisdom that the Romney campaign wishes to create around Paul Ryan is one of rare courage and unusual intelligence and experience in budgetary matters – the GOP’s fiscal Brainiac for the Chinese (I mean Second [...]


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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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The Most Fundamentally (© N. Gingrich) Dishonest Candidate Since Richard Nixon

August 10, 2012

. Let’s not speak of Mitt Romney’s Mormonism. The Mormon Church isn’t one of the longer running cults in the world, but that wouldn’t matter so much if it were the source of a person’s principled goodness in the world. But when various public figures began months back to dance gingerly around the subject of [...]


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Playing Politics with Jews

August 6, 2012

. This post previously appeared in the Algemeiner on August 1, 2012. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), in his best Captain Renault form – which includes being entirely insincere and unconvincing – is shocked, shocked to discover that there is politics going on in the U.S. of A. Never played any of that sort [...]


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Glenn Greenwald’s Mitt Romney Surrogacy

June 7, 2012

. I might just as well have titled this Glenn Greenwald’s Collateral Damage, The Politics of Animus, or the Politics of National Destruction or the Puritopian’s Dilemma – the list goes on. Here’s a list that goes on longer, among Glenn Greenwald’s last eighteen blog posts: Probing Obama’s secrecy games; U.S. again bombs mourners; Tough [...]


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Threats to Democracy

June 1, 2012

. The New York Times editorialized the other day, in “Too Much Power for a President,” It has been clear for years that the Obama administration believes the shadow war on terrorism gives it the power to choose targets for assassination, including Americans, without any oversight. The Times argued, No one in that position should be able [...]


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The Daily Beast Begins to Bottom Feed

May 27, 2012

. The Daily Beast provides some thoughtful journalism and opinion, but increasingly it and its editor, Tina Brown, offer sensational nonsense. Newsweek isn’t making money yet – better draw more eyeballs. So we get the crudely philistine “The 13 Most Useless Majors, From Philosophy to Journalism” or the sucker punch at controversy of Newsweek’s “The First Gay President,” [...]


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Politicians, Faith, and Reason

May 24, 2012

Invariably in American politics, the faith of political candidates will be scrutinized. Because of protestant strains in the nation’s colonial origins and its long-time demographic majority, the scrutiny has always been heightened for the non-Protestant. In the evangelical age, for the Protestant, the scrutiny has taken the form less of a necessary demystification – and [...]


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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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