The Corner

The Key

to Beinart’s column is the conclusion, in which he says that the president and the senator should just admit they each serve different interests and that the president will have the harder time defending his associations. It’s revealing, first, because of the assumption that “consumer groups” represent the public they claim to speak for. But I also think it’s simply not true that the public will really judge closeness to energy companies, the NRA, etc., as harshly as it will closeness to Handgun Control Inc., the National Organization for Women, the Human Rights Campaign, etc. Liberals overestimate the unpopularity of the former and underestimate the unpopularity of the latter.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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