One of the obvious take-aways from the debate Monday night is how poorly Rick Perry does when attacked from the right. So long as he has a position that most conservatives support, he can just unload a crowd-pleasing sound bite and he’s fine. My favorite example from Monday night came when Perry was asked whether Obama should have to match tax cuts with spending cuts. Perry replied, “I would suggest to you that people are tired of spending money we don’t have on programs we don’t want.” The crowd applauded, the dogs barked, and caravan moved on. But this canned line wasn’t much of an answer to the question. It’s when Perry has to defend something conservatives are opposed to or divided on–his Gardasil proposal, his support for in-state tuition for illegals–that he runs into trouble. Then, the crowd-pleasing lines don’t please anyone, and his relative nuance doesn’t seem to match his big, tough-talking persona. Since he tends to be more about assertion rather than persuasion he has a hard time convincing anyone. We’ll see if he improves over the course of the debates.
American government is supposed to look and sound like George Washington. What it actually looks and sounds like is Henry Hill from Goodfellas: bad suit, hand out, intoning the eternal mantra: “F*** you, pay me.” American government mostly works by interposition, standing between us, the free people at ... Read More
The Russians are engaged in “information warfare” against the United States. That was the big soundbite at Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s press conference Friday afternoon, announcing Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s election-meddling indictment against 13 Russians and three Russian ... Read More
It has become more urgent to ask: Why is there a special counsel in the Russia investigation? At this point, that question should be put to the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel — in the federal government, it’s the lawyers’ lawyer. To get down to brass tacks: May the president of the United ... Read More
To understand the American gun-control debate, you have to understand the fundamentally different starting positions of the two sides. Among conservatives, there is the broad belief that the right to own a weapon for self-defense is every bit as inherent and unalienable as the right to speak freely or practice ... Read More
The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) first infantilizes its audience, then banalizes it, and, finally, controls it through marketing. This commercial strategy, geared toward adolescents of all ages, resembles the Democratic party’s political manipulation of black Americans, targeting that audience through its ... Read More