(J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press) (J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press)

Democrats are getting weak in the knees on anti-gun legislation. “In a sign of how important Republican support would be for ensuring final passage of any legislation, at least two Democrats facing difficult reelection fights in 2014 — Max Baucus of Montana and Mark Pryor (Ark.) — said they might break with their party in opposition to the bill.” Oops.

President Obama’s great achievement from his Middle East trip is pretty weak. “An upcoming meeting designed to facilitate Israeli-Turkish reconciliation has been postponed until late April, as worries deepen that backsliding by top Turkish officials may delay or even scuttle rapprochement between the two countries.”

Our weakness invites aggression and suggests “containment” is a farce. “As bad as the security consequences of our failed policies toward North Korea have been, the moral and humanitarian consequences are even worse. There is no greater human rights catastrophe in the world today than North Korea. Upwards of a million North Koreans have died as a result of starvation and malnutrition in the past two decades. As many as 200,000 more languish in concentration camps. Some tens of thousands of North Korean refugees have been rounded up by Chinese authorities and returned to near-certain death. North Korea is not a model of successful containment, but a cautionary tale of what ensues once a rogue regime is allowed to get nuclear weapons.”
Read the whole thing.

Weak congressional oversight has its price. “Contrary to assurances it has deployed U.S. drones only against known senior leaders of al Qaida and allied groups, the Obama administration has targeted and killed hundreds of suspected lower-level Afghan, Pakistani and unidentified ‘other’ militants in scores of strikes in Pakistan’s rugged tribal area, classified U.S. intelligence reports show.” If this had occurred in the Bush administration they’d be drafting articles of impeachment by now.

Picking your battles doesn’t mean you’re weak or unprincipled. “I for one wouldn’t criticize Thatcher for not engaging in a frontal assault on NHS or Reagan for not engaging in a frontal assault on the New Deal. They marshaled their political capital in order to make profound changes in other areas, where they had a decent chance for success. So Reagan, for example, ushered in the supply-side revolution while Thatcher privatized many British industries that had been state-controlled.”

A weak excuse — they were clueless as to how unworkable is this “historic” legislation. “Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Monday that she did not anticipate how complicated implementing the president’s signature healthcare law would be…. Speaking to students at the Harvard School of Public Health, Sebelius said implementation had been hampered both by the law’s slow roll out and red-state governors and legislators who have rejected state-run insurance exchanges.” This caught them by surprise?

Weak analysis and shoddy coverage of Pentagon budgeting have misled the public on the extent of defense spending. “[T]he record shows that defense spending since FY 2010 has taken a real-dollar nosedive, the likes of which hasn’t been seen since the 1950s, and is going to be further exacerbated by sequestration. Consequently, as America’s defense institutions prepare to deal with the threats of ongoing international terrorism, nuclear proliferators like Iran and North Korea, China’s military rise, and other security challenges in the 21st century, they will have fewer resources [than] they had during many intervals of the last seven decades. It’s worth observing that, contrary to the prevailing stereotype, defense spending in real dollars has not spiraled in growth during the post-World War II era. Rather … defense spending has remained comparatively flat when contrasted with total domestic spending, which, even in inflation-adjusted terms, has grown nearly exponentially.” Read the whole thing.