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Right Turn
Posted at 07:45 AM ET, 01/01/2012

Morning Bits

When is the Center for American Progress going to break its ties with the bloggers whose anti-Israel language has caused a firestorm? Alana Goodman has the details on the latest controversy and concludes: “The Democratic Party now has to decide whether it wants to let this strain of anti-Zionism trickle into its mainstream institutions, or whether it will reject these ideas, just like the conservative movement once did.”

Newt Gingrich breaks down and confesses he hates politics. “Politics has become a really nasty, vicious, negative business and I think it’s disgusting and I think it’s dishonest.” Is someone forcing him to run?

President Obama breaks the hearts of the young, who actually believed the “hope and change” routine. Brad Chase says, “The sobering reality: just 55.3 percent of Americans between 16 and 29 have jobs. And earlier this year, Americans’ student loan debt surpassed credit card debt for the first time ever. . . . No wonder less than half of Americans 18-29 approve of Obama.”

I hate to break it to them, but Texas doesn’t always travel well. “It’s been a long 12 months for Rick Perry. The Texas governor started 2011 in triumph, at the peak of his political power, with a high gloss on his boots and a national audience of conservatives eager for just the tale he was telling. . . . Maybe we’ve been fooling ourselves. Maybe our preference in politicians is a regional taste that doesn’t translate to Iowa, or New Hampshire or, most importantly, to live television.”

If Gingrich breaks into the top four, I’ll be surprised. “Perhaps Newt has matured and learned from his mistakes, as he contends. Perhaps Callista has grounded him and he has found redemption after converting to Catholicism, as he says. But the fervent opposition to Gingrich in the conservative movement is rooted in those four years when he tried to transform the country and lost the confidence of his own troops.”

Perry pleads with journalists and the public to give him a break for not knowing about a key Supreme Court case. Says Peter Wehner, “I, for one, appreciate politicians who have actually done their homework before they run for president, who demonstrate intellectual curiosity and a command of the issues. Knowledge isn’t a substitute for wisdom, of course — but neither is knowledge antithetical to it. And Rick Perry has shown, time and time again, that he’s simply not prepared for a presidential run. This is one reason why he won’t win the GOP nomination.”

The facade of progress breaks down in Egypt. “[Thursday’s] Cairo raids on human rights organizations were not an attempt by the Egyptian military to crush Egyptian extremists or to weaken the Muslim Brotherhood or the Salafist party after their recent election victories. They were instead an effort to weaken and demonize centrist and liberal forces. The raids on Freedom House, the National Democratic Institute and International Republican Institute, the Adenauer Foundation, and other groups helping Egyptians move toward respect for democratic politics and human rights were of a piece with the practices of Hosni Mubarak — only bolder and more repressive.”

Wherever Ben Smith is, he’ll break news. Politico loses its best reporter; Ben moves on to BuzzFeed.

By  |  07:45 AM ET, 01/01/2012

Categories:  Morning Bits

 
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