"...despite Nancy Pelosi’s fears, the real cause of increasing animosity isn’t heightened rhetoric: on the contrary, the heightened rhetoric may itself be the result an intensified competition for power. It’s a symptom and not the cause. My guess is that the effect of concentrating wealth and power in government hands has created a prize which is distorting civil relations, like some singularity which is warping the space around it and pulling everything into its maw. When the pot of gold is indivisibly concentrated in one place, a winner-take-all game ensues, or as Collier and Hoeffler put it, “a simple rational choice model of greed-rebellion” is enforced. The trash-talk follows."
Saturday, September 19, 2009
"In a sense, the health-care debate and the foreign-policy debacle are two sides of the same coin: For Britain and other great powers, the decision to build a hugely expensive welfare state at home entailed inevitably a long retreat from responsibilities abroad, with a thousand small betrayals of peripheral allies along the way. A few years ago, the great scholar Bernard Lewis warned, during the debate on withdrawal from Iraq, that America risked being seen as “harmless as an enemy and treacherous as a friend.” In Moscow and Tehran, on one hand, and Warsaw and Prague, on the other, they’re drawing their own conclusions."
"I once had quite an argument with the late Sen. Eugene McCarthy, who maintained adamantly that it had been right for him to vote for Ronald Reagan in 1980 for no other reason. 'Mr. Carter,' he said, 'quite simply abdicated the whole responsibility of the presidency while in office. He left the nation at the mercy of its enemies at home and abroad. He was the worst president we ever had.'"
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
"The excuses from James for ACORN’s criminal activities are pathetically liberal and predictable: “So the flaws conservatives are pointing out about ACORN are not so much problems associated with that organization per se but more about the problems of being poor and minority in urban America.”
I see. Criminality is just “flaws” when it is a liberal group’s crimes."
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
"After all, why should we be surprised that a Chicago machine politician, many of whose former opponents suffered unlikely and devastating semi-legal setbacks, a man willing to play fast and loose with campaign finance laws, a man who will promise a room almost anything it wants to hear and then move along like some Elmer Gantry character - why should we be surprised that he embraces the anti-terror methods civil rights advocates have been decrying for years? No reason at all, is the answer. I won't be surprised to learn, decades from now, that things went much further under his watch than under Bush's, somewhere in whatever prison he sends really bad guys to after he gets around to closing Guantanemo. I'm not saying he'll enjoy it, I just think he plays much harder ball than people want to believe."