February 27, 2015


Scott Walker's Awful Answer on ISIS (JIM GERAGHTY, February 26, 201, National Review)

First, taking on a bunch of protesters is not comparably difficult to taking on a Caliphate with sympathizers and terrorists around the globe, and saying so suggests Walker doesn't quite understand the complexity of the challenge from ISIS and its allied groups. 

Second, it is insulting to the protesters, a group I take no pleasure in defending. The protesters in Wisconsin, so furiously angry over Walker's reforms and disruptive to the procedures of passing laws, earned plenty of legitimate criticism. But they're not ISIS. They're not beheading innocent people. They're Americans, and as much as we may find their ideas, worldview, and perspective spectacularly wrongheaded, they don't deserve to be compared to murderous terrorists.

One important thing to keep in mind is that candidates with ideas tend to be more respectful of their opponents because they're willing to debate them.  They just think their ideas are better.

You tend to try and delegitimize your opponents when you can't win the argument, which is why the GOP has faced such ludicrous vitriol for the past forty years.

Is Liberalism Exhausted? (Jonah Goldberg, February 27, 2015, RCP)

MSNBC had thought it could mimic Fox News' success from the left. The problem is that it never understood what Fox News is. MSNBC's execs saw it through the prism of their own ideological bias and so ended up offering a left-wing caricature of a caricature. Contrary to myth, Fox (where I am a contributor) is in fact an actual news network, albeit with prime-time opinion shows. Meanwhile, a study by Pew found that MSNBC was 85 percent opinion. 

The more salient point is that there's such a small appetite for that opinion. As Josh Kraushaar of the National Journal recently observed, Barack Obama has successfully moved his party to the left but has failed utterly to bring the rest of the country with him. [...]

Meanwhile, the cultural left has disengaged from mainstream political arguments, preferring instead the comforts of identity-politics argy-bargy. You judge political movements not by their manifestos but by where they put their passion. And on the left these days, the only things that arouse passion are arguments about race and gender.

For instance, the feminist agitprop drama "The Vagina Monologues" is now under fire from the left because it is not inclusive of men who believe they are women. Patricia Arquette was criticized from the right for her Oscar acceptance rant about women's wage equality, but the criticism paled in comparison to the bile from the left, which flayed her for leaving out the plight of the transgendered and other members of the Coalition of the Oppressed.

Such critiques may seem like a cutting-edge fight for the future among the protagonists, but looked at from the political center, it suggests political exhaustion. At least old-fashioned Marxists talked about the economy.

It's even worse than Mr Goldberg realizes, precisely because the UR has moved his party to the Right.  Where are you even going to find leftwing talking heads to defend his continuance of the WoT, the corporate cronyism of Obamacare, the wage-stifling immigration orders and the obsession with free trade agreements? His ideological allies are all conservatives.

Posted by at February 27, 2015 11:55 AM

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