Monday, March 09, 2009

Quotes From Around Yon Blogosphere

When a real crisis happened on 9/11, I remember the Democrats rushing to do whatever Bush wanted. I remember hand-holding and singing on the Capitol steps. I don't remember them hoping Bush's response would fail.
[I]t is because electoral politics turns not primarily on policy substance, but instead has so much to do with identity and the kind of people with whom voters want to identify that appearances and image matter so much. The argument being made by certain wonks and pundits that the demagogues' newfound preeminence is bad for the GOP and conservatism is on the whole quite valid. That does not mean that the wonks and pundits can fill the gap, but that they are right that it is crucial -- if one wants to build a serious opposition to this administration -- that the demagogues not be permitted to take up a central, starring role.
When you've dealt with Ted Williams and Mickey Mantle and Yogi Berra and Stan Musial, the people I'm dealing with now are kind of down the scale.

So Obama hasn't strayed far from Karl Rove's playbook for routing the opposition. But surely, you say, he's planning nothing as divisive or as risky as the Iraq war? Well, that's where the health-care plan comes in: a $634 billion (to begin) "historic commitment," as Obama calls it, that (like the removal of Saddam Hussein) has lurked in the background of the national agenda for years. We know from the Clinton administration that any attempt to create a national health-care system will touch off an enormous domestic battle, inside and outside Congress. If anything, Obama has raised the stakes by proposing no funding source other than higher taxes on wealthy Americans, allowing Republicans to raise the cries of "socialism" and "class warfare."
The Republican Party is not going to be cool. The Democratic Party is barely cool, and it has Barack Obama.
Why do officials keep offering plans that nobody else finds credible? Because somehow, top officials in the Obama administration and at the Federal Reserve have convinced themselves that troubled assets, often referred to these days as "toxic waste," are really worth much more than anyone is actually willing to pay for them -- and that if these assets were properly priced, all our troubles would go away.

Now that I’m not in the government, part of my role, because I have a certain amount of expertise, is to try to keep the government honest.

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