Author Archives: Paul Mirengoff

Going rogue, where rogue equals shallow

Sarah Palin has “re-tweeted” a message from Tammy Bruce about the repeal of DADT. The message Palin re-tweeted was this: “But this hypocrisy is just truly too much. Enuf already-the more someone complains about the homos the more we should look under their bed.” It is comforting to see a potential top-tier presidential candidate give voice (without critical comment) to such deep thinking about an issue pertaining to our national »

Early fireworks in the new Congress, Part Two

Last night, I speculated about a possible “grand bargain” pursuant to which the Democrats would agree to major spending cuts in exchange for Republican agreement to fund the government (i.e., pass a budget) and raise the debt ceiling. Noting the obvious, however, I pointed out that such a bargain will probably be extremely difficult to broker. For the deal to gain Republican assent, the Democrats presumably would have to agree »

A breath of fresh air in Maryland GOP politics

Last month, Alex Mooney ’93, my comrade in the Dartmouth alumni wars, was elected chairman of the Maryland Republican Party. Alex, who also directs the invaluable National Journalism Center, ran for the chairmanship as the unabashed conservative he is. Among those he defeated was Mary Kane, a more moderate Republican who ran unsuccessfully for Lieutenant Governor in 2010. Alex isn’t just about ideology, though. He’s a tested politician who was »

John Boehner and Nancy Pelosi — compare and contrast

From today’s Washington Post: Nancy Pelosi brought camera crews and dignitaries into her childhood Baltimore neighborhood where a street was being renamed in her honor, while John Boehner is bringing his 11 siblings from working-class Ohio to Washington for a private reunion. Pelosi was feted at the Italian Embassy as Tony Bennett sang “I Left My Heart in San Francisco.” Her Republican successor was invited to the posh W Hotel »

Early fireworks likely in the new Congress

The 112th Congress will convene on Wednesday and, as the Washington Times observes, it won’t be long before the fireworks begin. In February, Congress will either pass a massive spending bill or see the federal government shut down. And in March, Congress will either raise the debt ceiling or see the government go into default. Actually, it may not be quite as stark as that. Congress can perhaps buy time »

Is Romney miscast as the GOP frontrunner?

Lindsey Graham has declared Mitt Romney to be the leading candidate for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012. “He’s got his problems, but so does everybody else,” Graham helpfully explained. But not all problems are equal, and Romney’s seem fundamental. One of them is that he is suspected by the Republican base of not being very conservative, and this suspicion coalesces around a vital issue — health care reform. In »

An optimistic forecast for the new year

Economist Irwin Stelzer finds that the U.S. economy is in much better shape at the end of 2010 than it was 12 months ago. 2010 was a banner year for corporate profits. As Stelzer observes, “third-quarter pre-tax profits topped their 2006 peak, as firms continued the cost cutting that has seen unit labor costs declining at a rate not seen for 50 year.” The problem, of course, has been the »

Barack Obama and the paradox of progressivism

I encourage those of our readers with a philosophical bent to take the time this weekend (it will require about an hour) to read Peter Berkowitz’s excellent essay “Obama and the State of Progressivism, 2011.” Peter links the political difficulties President Obama has encountered to the “paradox of American progressivism, old and new,” a paradox “rooted in the gap between its professed devotion to democracy. . .and its belief that »

The late 1970s want their American foreign policy back, Part Two

A few days ago, we noted the strange fact that the Obama administration is pleased with Colombia’s new president for cozying up to Hugo Chavez, the long-time sworn enemy of Colombia. Never mind that the Venezuelan tyrant is also the sworn enemy of the United States. And never mind that he reportedly is now receiving Iranian missiles with which to threaten portions of the Western Hemisphere. For Obama, the friend »

How do they like him now?

I think it’s clear that the Democrats expected George W. Bush to be the gift that keeps on giving when it comes to electoral politics. Frankly, I expected this as well, albeit to a lesser degree than the Dems did. But that’s not how things are turning out. It’s not just that Democratic efforts to make the 2010 election a referendum on the Bush presidency failed (predictably enough). There is »

The early returns on Obamacare

The Washington Post reports that Obamacare is off to a rocky start. One of its key early features — the one that allows people who are already sick to obtain insurance — is attracting few customers and costing more than expected. As to the first matter, the chief actuary of the Medicare program predicted earlier this year that 375,000 people would sign up for the new pool plans by the »

Anybody but Steele

Next month, the Republican National Committee will elect its chairman. According to Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post, the three front-runners are Reince Priebus, state party chairman in Wisconsin; Saul Anuzis, former state party chairman in Michigan; and Ann Wagner, former state party chair in Missouri. Priebus can point to Republican electoral successes in Wisconsin this year. Anuzis, who also ran two years ago, is said to have expertise that »

Hey Barack, it’s the late ’70s calling; they want their American foreign policy back

“Colombia’s new leader seen as good for U.S.” So reads a headline on the front page of today’s Washington Post. Why is Columbia’s president Juan Manuel Santos seen as good for the United States? I figured it must be because, like his immensely popular predecessor Alvaro Uribe, he is maintaining excellent relations with the U.S. and standing solidly against the loathsome Hugo Chavez. But I was wrong. According to the »

The uses of Pfc Manning

Jed Babbin argues that Bradley Manning, the Army private alleged to have provided WikiLeaks with hundreds of thousands of State and Defense Department classified e-mails, has become the left’s “new face for the ‘injustice’ committed in America’s name.” Jed argues that Manning is perfect for the role because he enables leftists to indulge two of their pet views: that our justice system oppresses dissenters and that America, and by extension »

A decline in anti-semitism in America

Harvard sociology professor Robert Putnam has concluded that anti-Semitism in the United States is at an all-time low. He bases this view in part on a survey in which a cross-section of 3,000 Americans rated Judaism as the most popular religion (I assume respondents weren’t allowed to name their own religion). He also finds that incidents reflecting anti-Semitism are down from what they were in the past. However, Abe Foxman »

A good year in Iraq

The Washington Post’s editorial board describes what it calls “a good year in Iraq.” The Post cites (1) a national election judged to be free and fair, “a rare event in the Middle East;” (2) the eventual formation of a coalition government led by Shiite parties, but with Sunnis and Kurds in major positions; (3) a significant decrease in violence; and (4) a much improved economy that, at least in »

“Hub fans bid kid adieu”

Somehow, I managed to exclude Ted Williams’ last at-bat from my series of anniversary posts about the 1960 baseball season. On Wednesday, September 28, 1960, Williams hit a home run off of Jack Fisher into a wicked Fenway Park wind. The following season, Fisher gave up another famous home run — Roger Maris’ 60th, on September 26, 1961. Only 10,454 fans attended Williams’ final game. Fortunately, John Updike was one »