The fatal flaw in your respondent's critique comes early:
"the country can be liberated and experience growth in prosperity and freedom through the dimishment of federal largesse."
Austerity is always a last-on first-off proposition, hurting the poorest the most. Until I see convincing evidence otherwise, I believe it appeals to the most crabbed part of our country, which gets more out of hurting those a few rungs lower down the ladder than working to make everybody better off.
Newt himself repudiated this recently:"..the United States is actually caught between three possible futures:
1. Fantasy and collapse (the Greek model)
2. Pain and Austerity (the Washington establishment model)
3. Innovation and Growth (the Hamilton-Lincoln-Reagan-Thatcher-Gingrich model).
...The Washington establishment’s reaction to the runaway spending is a policy of austerity and pain.
Democrats would cause austerity and pain on the individual by raising taxes, thereby shrinking family and business purchasing power.
Republicans would cause austerity and pain to government by cutting spending and thereby shrinking the services and income transfers government provides.
Clearly, shrinking government is preferable to overtaxing the American people but we must remember that there is a third alternative to pain. It is the path of innovation and growth. Historically, this has always been the American solution."
This is really a weird column, and if you didn't tell me it was written by Ponnuru I would have guessed it was written by, say David Brooks - someone plausibly sympathetic to Republicans, but at heart, really conflicted.
First, I'll object to his last assertion - that conservatives object to Mitt because they "fear" he would lead the party to "ruin"
I'm a conservative and I know he would be a lousy Republican, and supply very few coat strings because he does not inspire passion, and because he himself is not animated nor passionate about the philosophical underpinnings of conservativism - You sense, in his heart, he really doesn't believe that the country can be liberated and experience growth in prosperity and freedom through the dimishment of federal largesse. He is passionate about himself and his own destiny and his need to vindicate his father's aspirations, and then to surpass him, finally. Ponneru uses the loaded language of liberals - strange! - when talking about Republicans misplaced fear. We don't fear he will ruin the party - we fear his lukewarm embrace of conservatism will be forever linked to the movement itself, and whatever his failures will be artfully twisted to represent the failures of this philosophy. We fear that what we see as his compulsive need to be liked by the MSM will spill over into GHWBush-like invitations across the aisle to extend his hand, forgetting how skillfully Mitchell outplayed the old man.
He won't ruin the party though - he is an honorable man and he would be a decent and serviceable one-term president who will do little to change the national political dialogue. His successor would be a liberal, but one cloaked in the robes of moderation a la Bill Clinton - claiming this time he is a Democrat who learned from the excesses of the Obama administration - he'll be different - trust me.
Ponnuru says -"'conservatives believed that ideological impurity, especially on spending, had caused those 2006- 2008 losses"
First off - "ideological impurity" is the kind of phrase liberals love to employ when criticizing the right - as in, our zeal to weed out "impurity" that makes it impossible for us to compromise in areas like, say, the super committee. Don't get me started there. Leaving aside the odd choice of words from a man like him, it is not true that conservatives thought "impurity" caused losses - they thought big spending caused a bloated and out of control federal government, and provided democrats with enormous cover to up the ante to ever higher, unheard of levels. it wasn't "impurity" which led to losses, but a lack of animating philosophical energy which gave people of positive reason to get behind the party's candidates - no one like Reagan or Kemp or even Christy was out there on a national scale, selling an idea of what drives the party.
Ponnuru confounds Republicanism with tea-partyism - another liberal habit of convenience.
"Republicans believe that their 2010 election victories were rewards for returning to the true path of conservatism that they had left in the Bush years."
What an ignorant simplification of the attitude of Republicans - yes, they were energized by the drive and passion of the tea-party, notwithstanding it painfully backfired in at least two Senate elections. They believe, I think, that there elections were largely a repudiation of the most grandiose corrupt and unwelcome government power grab in history, in the form of Obamacare. The tea-party, which grew independent of the Republican party, (though admittedly its aims are often congruent), gave a coherent voice to the conservative wing of the party, a language with which to shaper the argument against the incumbent liberals. Find me one idiot who claims we won because we returned to the "true path"?? The only people who use language like that are liberals, who have no other equipment with which to fight conservatism, and instead resort to the arch, unfunny mockery that worked so well among pundits for most of the second half of the 20th century. There seems to be a nostalgic comfort derived form creating then burning those old bogeymen.
He says "In Colorado and Nevada, ( hey - he forgot about Maryland! ) conservative primary voters rejected two electable, conventionally conservative candidates because they were considered part of a compromising establishment."
Ummm yeah, they did. These were tea-party activists, green, idealistic, foolish - admittedly. But how does this recitation of recent history support his earlier argument that "ideological impurity" caused the 2008 election losses in the minds of republicans, but 2010 success was a result of our return to purity - so simple minded.
Those tea-party candidates were as ideologically pure as they come, and they got beat - So does he think we're blind to events as well as just foolishly ideological. because we certainly "returned" to purity there and we got our ass handed to us. Most republicans I heard from on a national level, lamented the nomination of O'Donnell, to name the most prominent example, because it was obvious the other guy, a moderate, would have won. Where does Ponnuru get this stuff? - Newsweek? He makes no sense here, and he tries to squirm out of it in the end as would any NYT/Globe columnist attempting to appear post-ideological by claming that the "real mistakes of the Bush administration keep being made." Right - way to make the two administrations seems politically indivisible, and demonstrate that you alone can see this - nice touch.
Look, I usually like RP, but why not just write the column you meant to write. The candidates we have running aren't the best and it stinks that the Bush administration didn't leave us with a better bull-pen to draw upon - shame on them. If we let the tea-party dominate things, we might end up with a charming but empty suit like Cain - Or an unelectable neophyte like Bachman. Romney is our best chance - it's fine if he thinks that - and thinks our ideological right might give us a loser of a candidate where Obama is eminently beatable. So say that, instead of propping up all kinds of old fashioned calumnies against Republicans - That is unless you're looking for a job at the Daily Beast.
See how many Google hits you get on "shipping" and "papelbon" in the news section and marvel at the creativity of headline writers (not even counting all the Tv stations doing likewise). Anyways a good if negative roundup at Dirt Dogs, including the famous 2007 BudLite box. He was fun to watch, kept in top shape this year rebounding from mediocre 2010, loved the pressure. Philly is a great fit even if the team aging like the one he is leaving. National League is better for his fastball-fastball-fastball approach.Reader No. 1 has since sent in a more positive Dirt Dogs send off. ... As for moi, I appreciate what Papelbon did for the Sox. He was a welcome character and a great reliever. He'll always be remembered fondly here for his WS contributions. But I'm not too upset by his departure. It was expected. I'm also a little tired of the Sox. They need to hit the old refresh button to get me more interested about the coming season. ... BTW: I went over to Soxaholix to see its take on Papelbon's departure. Instead, I discovered a link to this truly sorry episode in Sox history. That scandal never got the attention it deserved, coming so close after the 9/11 tragedy. But it's not ancient history, folks. You might say the Sox and Penn scandals overlapped.
Re the Sox, remember the philosophy and experience on closers since new management got here. We spent big once - Keith Foulke, one world series and two washed out injury years for $21m. Don't expect "closer by committee" but look for Cherington to rebuild with perhaps a slightly higher quality of free agents than seen recently.
Well said. Paterno's larger-than-life stature also is nominally why Penn State students took to the streets in protest Wednesday night, flipping a news van, throwing rocks, destroying property and generally causing chaos. Were all of them genuinely upset about the way a coaching legend was shown the door? Of course not. Many were bundles of raging hormones who went out to raise hell because that's what everyone else was doing. The dudes mugging for the CNN cameras gave that away.
We'll pause here for a brief public service announcement: Kids, don't drink and approach people with microphones. YouTube is forever. Many of those students will have children of their own in a few years, and then they'll finally understand why so many felt so disgusted by the way those in power at Penn State handled this nightmare. They'll realize they embarrassed themselves, their families and their university. They'll feel awfully stupid about the way they acted Wednesday, so don't be too hard on them. The hangover will come. Someday, they'll realize Joe Paterno wasn't the victim in this case. A bunch of innocent kids were.
I think Steve Jobs was much less an inventor than a social visionary, around technology - but that's more than a "tweaker." His comps might be George Eastman and Henry Ford, who were certainly technologists but who built their companies on an understanding of how the technologies would be used.And from Reader No. 1:
I love, love Malcolm Gladwell (and Walter Isaacson, can't wait to read this book) but... 'tweaker' misses the point. The key point is the difference between Invention and Innovation, nicely addressed here.I think the article was conveying roughly the same point, i.e. Jobs wasn't necessarily an inventor. But I do like the word "innovator" more than "tweaker."
In the eulogies that followed Jobs’s death, last month, he was repeatedly referred to as a large-scale visionary and inventor. But Isaacson’s biography suggests that he was much more of a tweaker. He borrowed the characteristic features of the Macintosh—the mouse and the icons on the screen—from the engineers at Xerox PARC, after his famous visit there, in 1979. The first portable digital music players came out in 1996. Apple introduced the iPod, in 2001, because Jobs looked at the existing music players on the market and concluded that they “truly sucked.” Smart phones started coming out in the nineteen-nineties. Jobs introduced the iPhone in 2007, more than a decade later, because, Isaacson writes, “he had noticed something odd about the cell phones on the market: They all stank, just like portable music players used to.” The idea for the iPad came from an engineer at Microsoft, who was married to a friend of the Jobs family, and who invited Jobs to his fiftieth-birthday party.
“If these allegations are not true, say they aren’t true and put it behind you. … If not, better get everything out sooner rather than later because in a situation like this, if there is something there, that something going to come out.”