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    Human Nature, Culture and the Arab Spring’s Fall

    2011′s Arab Spring, like its predecessor in 2005, presented a sight that always elicits natural sympathy among Americans: a popular revolt against tyrannical dictators. But beneath the immediate euphoria, harder questions lurked: who would these crowds follow? Would American interests, and the interests of our democratic allies, be better served if the dictators won? The Obama Administration has never offered any kind of coherent answer | Read More »

    Barack Obama’s Passivity in Crisis

    Barack Obama's Passivity in Crisis

    If there is one common theme about Barack Obama’s leadership style in a crisis that runs throughout his time on the national stage and is evident yet again in his response to the attacks in Cairo and Benghazi, it is passivity. Obama has shown, time and again, that he prefers to sit back, keep his distance and see what other people do first before he | Read More »

    Where I Was On September 11

    Where I Was On September 11

    Until September 11, 2001, I worked in the World Trade Center, halfway up Tower One. I wasn’t doing political blogging at the time, but was writing “the Baseball Crank” as a weekly baseball column for the online edition of the Providence (R.I.) Journal. Here’s my account of that day, written for ProJo two days later while it was all still fresh. We run this every | Read More »

    No, President Obama Didn’t Find Osama bin Laden

    No, President Obama Didn't Find Osama bin Laden

    With few other unquestionably popular accomplishments for this president to crow about, we should expect to hear a lot at the Democratic Convention the next two days about how President Obama authorized a Navy SEAL team to kill Osama bin Laden in Pakistan. Vice President Biden, who opposed the mission, has made it a favorite stump speech line: “Bin Laden is dead and General Motors | Read More »

    The Registration Gap

    The Boston Globe notices that the Democrats have a problem: [A] Globe analysis of voter registration data in swing states reveals scant evidence that the massive undertaking [of Democratic voter registration drives] is yielding much fresh support for Obama. In stark contrast to 2008, when a strong partisan tailwind propelled Democratic voter registration to record levels, this year Republican and independent gains are far outpacing | Read More »

    The Vice Presidential Stakes

    Ten of the last twenty presidents, dating back to 1900, have been forced from office or come close: one was forced to resign (Nixon), one was impeached (Clinton), two were assassinated (Kennedy and McKinley), one was shot (Reagan), one was shot at twice in three weeks (Ford), two died in office of natural causes (FDR and Harding), one was incapacitated by a stroke (Wilson), and | Read More »

    The Southern Strategy Myth and the Lost Majority

    I recently finished reading Sean Trende’s excellent book The Lost Majority, which is a must-read for anyone attempting to intelligently discuss its subject: how winning political coalitions are built, maintained and undone in the modern American two-party system. Trende covers a range of topics. At the level of political science theory, he dismantles the theory of periodic realigning elections. In his historical analysis, he may | Read More »

    The Supreme Court’s Disappointing Tax Ruling

    Yesterday’s ruling that Obamacare’s individual mandate exceeded Congress’ power under the Commerce Clause showcased the Supreme Court at its intellectual best: the fruits of years of detailed and heated scholarly and judicial debate, intensive briefing and vigorous argument were reflected in the various opinions. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of the Court’s opinions on the alternative ground – the taxing power – that Chief | Read More »

    Tim Noah’s Sad Parade

    The publication of Jonah Goldberg’s new book The Tyranny of Clichés has brought forth a number of responses from liberals and progressives, many of them either essentially proving Goldberg’s point or entirely avoiding grappling with the book’s substance. The latest entrant is Tim Noah, now writing with The New Republic, who seeks to offer a companion to Goldberg’s collection of liberal clichés with his own | Read More »

    #shrug

    You would think it’s easy enough to get bipartisan agreement that the kind of tactics described here by a recipient of millions of dollars from supposedly respectable left-wing foundations are beyond the pale. But Markos Moulitsas, the man who has never failed in the immediate aftermath of any kind of political violence – even violence by people who turned out to be left-wingers – to | Read More »

    The Harrassment of Patterico & Its Roots In Left-Wing Activism

    As Erick notes below, you have to read this post by the fearless and indefatigable Patterico in its entirety to get the full effect of the campaign of personal harassment waged against him by left-wing activists. I’d also encourage you to follow the links in his post (as well as Erick’s post here) to see the background and how long Patterico has been on this | Read More »

    The Growth Deficit and Spending Fairy Tales

    The United States faces a number of economic and fiscal challenges in the short and long terms. But the single biggest is the Growth Deficit: the problem of government spending and government debt growing faster than the private sector. That deficit needs to be reversed; we are on an unsustainable path unless we start producing a Growth Surplus. And Republicans and conservatives need to put | Read More »

    Florida Democrats Fail

    One Florida political blog calls this “Maybe the worst political web video ever produced in Florida” and comments that “You watch this video and all of the losses — Jim Davis, Alex Sink, Kendrick Meek, etc. — begin to make sense.” David Freddoso quips that “After watching this, I’m convinced Obama is toast in FL this year.” And it’s not even targeting any of the | Read More »

    Barack Obama Will Not Defeat The Taliban

    We have reached an endpoint of sorts in the decade-long Afghanistan War. President Obama will not keep U.S. troops in Afghanistan to defeat the Taliban and force them to accept terms of any kind. Have we lost the war? Should we have left years ago, or never gone in? That depends on your view of what we were fighting for and about in the first | Read More »

    Democrats Question Republicans’ Patriotism Over Debt Fight

    With House Republicans (and their few allies in the Senate) gearing up for another battle over whether to raise the national debt limit without doing anything to cut spending, Democrats (and their many allies in the media) are falling back on their favored tactic of attacking the other side’s motives, this time accusing Republicans of deliberately harming the economy for partisan gain. This is either | Read More »