I have long wondered what David Brock’s specious propaganda outfit, Media Matters for America, would look like if, rather than shilling tirelessly of its own volition, it were brought into the White House’s official fold. Not much different, I’d venture. It could even keep its color scheme.
Still, having watched the nice-but-hapless Dan Pfeiffer chase his tail around five of the Sunday shows this weekend, one can’t help but conclude that the president could do worse than to ask Brock’s machine to come on board. Pfeiffer’s bumbling, haywire — occasionally even honest — approach was no more effective in pushing back against the wave of scandals than White House press secretary Jay Carney’s has been. If the president is to ride this out, he needs a bulldog — a fearless and industrially disciplined champion of the status quo who can do for the administration’s public relations what Rahm Emanuel did for internal order. Dan, let’s just say, is not the man for the job. ›› Read on National Review Online
When it comes to gun control, there is any line too ridiculous for progressives to cross? ›› Read on National Review Online
Cast your minds back to the great PATRIOT Act freakout of 2001, during which Americans were reminded hourly that “dissent is the highest form of patriotism” and Benjamin Franklin’s famous line about liberty and safety seemed to have been emblazoned onto every last protest sign. Back then, government overreach was distinctly uncouth. “If the events of September 11, 2001, have proven anything,” comedian Jon Stewart lamented, “it’s that the terrorists can attack us, but they can’t take away what makes us American — our freedom, our liberty, our civil rights.” He paused: “Only Attorney General John Ashcroft can do that.” ›› Read on National Review Online
‘The politics of the political right,” Charles Blow blew in a recent New York Times column, “have become the politics of paranoia.” If this is true, it is to the Right’s immense credit. Contrary to the derisive dismissals of our elites, paranoia is among the most transcendent of American virtues. In a week in which it was revealed that the Department of Justice undertook a “massive and unprecedented intrusion” into the privacy of the Associated Press, the Internal Revenue Service admitted that it had singled out the president’s enemies for special scrutiny, and the administration’s story on Benghazi started to crumble and fall, it is the credulous — not the skeptical — whose judgment has been called into question. ›› Read on National Review Online
‘Thank you for that question,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said feebly when, early in Friday’s press conference, the issue of Benghazi was raised. And then he reflexively tried to recruit the questioner to his side. Look, Carney insisted, those darned Republicans are involved in an “ongoing attempt to politicize a tragedy that took four American lives.” We’re not going to fall into their trap and ask questions of the administration, are we? We’re not like those other outlets that are engaged in a “pattern of spreading misinformation.” Right, guys? ›› Read on National Review Online
Given that the topic was what people in the Arabic world tend do when they are given a chance to overthrow the existing order, Joy Reid’s interruption said made little sense. As I said on air, it was a cheap point contrived for cheap applause. The American revolution didn’t create slavery. Slavery existed before all of America’s founding documents, and it had stained almost the entirety of human history before that. (It continues to do so in many parts of the world.) In truth, the American revolution had next to nothing to with slavery. The British allowed slavery at home and in the Empire in 1776, as did many of the colonies that teamed up to fight the Empire. In other words, slavery was a tragic constant, which ran alongside a panoply of other issues.
Now, it was a terrible, terrible thing that slavery was allowed to continue for as long as it did in America, and I object to Walsh’s insinuation that I would think otherwise. Nonetheless, it was better to have the Constitution and slavery than have no constitution and slavery. As I have long argued, the newly free Americans did something quite astonishing in Philadelphia: they abolished monarchy, abolished titles, and formed a republic in which the People were sovereign and could assert unalienable rights against the state. The flaw was to deprive certain people of those rights. Obviously, nobody thinks that was remotely acceptable. But the key point remains that they instituted great values that would eventually be made universal. It was, as I said on the show, a “huge step forward.” ›› Read on National Review Online