Michelle Obama’s speech was almost exactly twice as good as Mitt Romney’s, at least according to Twitter. It’s possible that points to a difference in the media habits of people who watch the DNC and the RNC, respectively, but I’m going to say it’s because she was twice as good. Lots of people agree with me, even if Charles Krauthammer issued a formal bah, humbug. “And the brilliance of it is this,” he said: “It drained Obama of any, either, ideological motivation, or any having to do with self-interest or ambition, which I think is sort of a more plausible explanation.” You saw through it, Krauthammer: the president is ambitious.
Canny invoker Ross Douthat cannily invokes Pat Buchanan in his New York Times column from Monday, in which he suggests that Harvard and other Ivy League institutions discriminate against working class, rural and conservative whites. This position is, of course, extremely popular with white racists, which is why Douthat chooses to open his column with something Buchanan did in 2000. When the former Nixon speechwriter spoke at Harvard in March of that year, he was greeted with jeers, accusations of bigotry, and pretty much every other expression of anger you can carry off in a pink polo shirt. Buchanan’s claim that contemporary America persecutes white Christians is laughable, but Douthat observes that it’s the same note currently sounded by Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, and other vital elements of contemporary conservatism. One of those elements turns out to be Douthat himself, who gives us this third paragraph:
To liberals, these grievances seem at once noxious and ridiculous. (Is there any group with less to complain about, they often wonder, than white Christian Americans?) But to understand the country’s present polarization, it’s worth recognizing what Pat Buchanan got right.
And thus does an old myth smear itself with lipstick before trying on its new dress.
I don’t know if you guys heard this, but the House of Representatives passed some sort of doctor bill last night. Assuming the President signs it—and does not just scrawl “Surprise, fuckers!” across the bottom before tearing his shirt off and tongue-kissing Michael Steele—the new law will remove lifetime caps on medical insurance payments, prohibit denials based on pre-existing conditions, expand Medicare to those 50 and older and, eventually, establish insurance exchanges that provide subsidized policies. I’m no lawyer, doctor, economist or constitutional scholar, but I think the implications are pretty obvious:
And thus continue the circumspect deliberations of America’s legislative branch.
We here at Combat! blog are big fans of Paul Begala, in large part because he once made Meghan McCain feel sad on TV. Like a lot of political strategists, Begala has an incisive mind. Unlike a lot of political strategists—especially certain childlike, doughy political strategists we could name—some portion of that mind seems devoted to discernment of the truth, as opposed to truth’s active obfuscation. I’m sure he’s only tricked me into believing this, but Paul Begala seems to be the anti-Karl Rove. When he responded to Me-Mac’s bitchy assertion that she wouldn’t know about the Carter-Reagan transition because she hadn’t been born yet by saying, “I wasn’t born during the French Revolution, but I know about it,” I felt like I was watching a man who succeeded in politics by attacking the flaws in arguments, not by exploiting them. He’s the debate team to Rove’s student council, and that makes him a great choice to review Karl Rove’s new memoir. Spoiler alert: he did not like it. Under the headline, “Karl Rove’s Book of Lies,” Begala describes the former Bush advisor’s memoir as “a brief and compelling personal narrative, followed by 500 pages of dishonesty and deception.” But on the plus side, it contains a great recipe for bean dip.