Someone is thinking smartly on the right. Quin Hillyer comes up with an action plan for Republicans. “So far, with this plan, conservatives can put the focus back on Obamacare, already unpopular, and specifically on its potentially most unpopular provisions. Suddenly, Obama again becomes the bad guy. To further that all-too-true impression, conservatives will have focused attention on Obama’s corrupt corporate cronyism. Also, so far, we’ve unified defense hawks and younger budget cutters behind a ‘let the sequester happen’ stance. If defense is exempted from the sequester as a result of these efforts, budget caps can still be used later to find Pentagon savings; if it is not exempted, public pressure will likely suffice to force a restoration of some of the meat-cleavered military needs.”
Sometimes Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) might want to hold his tongue rather than do the White House bidding. A tough full-page ad in the New York Times tells voters to call their senators about Chuck Hagel’s nomination for defense secretary. From former mayor Ed Koch: “I believe [Hagel's nomination] will encourage the Iranian program. I believe it will encourage the jihadists. They will say ‘ah, we are winning the battle. America is beginning to desert Israel.’” Ouch.
Somewhere Americans can learn about U.S. history and government, but probably not at an elite university. “Because the people are the ultimate source of legitimate power in a liberal democracy, the United States has an interest in a citizenry well-acquainted with the principles on which our political order is based; the nature and development of our economic system; the role of diplomacy and military affairs in securing American liberties; the impact on our manners and mores of religious belief; and the quest for equal treatment of minorities, women, and the poor. Unfortunately, according to a new report . . . our colleges and universities are doing a bad job. . . [H]istory departments promote a drastically incomplete and distorted vision of America by concentrating on the teaching of race, class, and gender at the expense of nearly everything else.”
Somehow Congress doesn’t seem all that serious about spending restraint. “The House on Tuesday rejected a Republican amendment that would have forced the government to pay for a $17 billion Hurricane Sandy relief bill with a 1.63 percent cut to discretionary programs.”
Someplace Ken Cuccinelli is going to have to find money to keep pace or he will be buried under an avalanche of attack ads: “Terry McAuliffe banked roughly $1.1 million in less than a month after formally entering the race for Virginia governor, narrowly beating what Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II (R) took in over a six-month period in their neck-and-neck contest.”
Something tells me this is not happening any time soon. “[Mahmoud] Abbas may somehow find a way to maintain calm in this atmosphere of growing tension. Yet the injection of the ‘State of Palestine’ has created a state of confusion, with the future of the peace process, the viability of the PA, and the power of the PLO hanging in the balance.”
Someday confirmation conversions will go out of style. But not now: “The bad news for Hagel’s allies among ‘realist’ foreign policy thinkers and on the foreign policy left is that the nominee appears to have gotten Schumer’s support by repudiating virtually everything they liked about him.” Now even pols know a leopard doesn’t change his spots so we’ll see if there are other dupes in the Senate.