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Monthly Archives: March 2011

So that’s what the innocuous phrase “No-fly Zone” means! We shoot your planes out the sky. Ka-boom! You’re dead. So while my friends go all anti-Obama over this thing, Ross Douthat explains why this new war doesn’t make the Commander-In-Chief another Dubya. It makes him another Clinton.

This is an intervention straight from Bill Clinton’s 1990s playbook, in other words, and a stark departure from the Bush administration’s more unilateralist methods. There are no “coalitions of the willing” here, no dismissive references to “Old Europe,” no “you are with us or you are with the terrorists.” Instead, the Obama White House has shown exquisite deference to the very international institutions and foreign governments that the Bush administration either steamrolled or ignored.

This way of war has obvious advantages. It spreads the burden of military action, sustains rather than weakens our alliances, and takes the edge off the world’s instinctive anti-Americanism. Best of all, it encourages the European powers to shoulder their share of responsibility for maintaining global order, instead of just carping at the United States from the sidelines.

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Class Warfare is not a political tactic. It’s a political reality.

It’s totally predictable that your average left-leaning, Obama-loving news pundit is going to be all over the birther pandering comments with which GOP presidential wannabes are peppering their interviews. But–wait for it–the pundit that is busy dismantling Mike Huckabee and Newt Gingrich for painting Obama as a natural born Kenyan is none other than George Will. He starts with Huckabee pontificating on Obama’s grewing up in Kenya:

I would love to know more. What I know is troubling enough. And one thing that I do know is his having grown up in Kenya. . . .”

Huckabee thereupon careened off into the (he thinks) related subject of Obama having sent back to the British Embassy in Washington a bust of Winston Churchill that Obama’s predecessor had displayed in the Oval Office: “. . . a great insult to the British. But then if you think about it, his perspective as growing up in Kenya with a Kenyan father and grandfather, their view of the Mau Mau revolution in Kenya is very different than ours because he probably grew up hearing that the British were a bunch of imperialists.”

The architects and administrators of the British Empire were imperialists? Perish the thought. A contemporary of William Jennings Bryan once said of the three-time Democratic presidential nominee, “One could drive a prairie schooner through any part of his argument and never scrape against a fact.” But an absence of facts means there is no argument.

A spokesman for Huckabee dutifully lied, saying his employer “simply misspoke”: “The governor meant to say the president grew up in Indonesia.” Obama did not really grow up there – he spent just five of his first 18 years there and the other 13 years in Hawaii. But obviously Huckabee, with his dilation on the Mau Maus, was deliberately referring to Kenya. Unless Huckabee thinks the Mau Maus were Indonesians, which he might count as another “one thing that I do know.”

Republicans should understand that when self-described conservatives such as Malzberg voice question-rants like the one above and Republicans do not recoil from them, the conservative party is indirectly injured. As it is directly when Newt Gingrich, who seems to be theatrically tiptoeing toward a presidential candidacy, speculates about Obama having a “Kenyan, anti-colonial” mentality.

A magazine article containing what Gingrich calls a “stunning insight” is “the most profound insight I have read in the last six years about Barack Obama.” Gingrich begins with a faux question: “What if he is so outside our comprehension” that he can be understood “only if you understand Kenyan, anti-colonial behavior?” Then Gingrich says this is not just a question, it is “the most accurate, predictive model for his behavior.”

To the notion that Obama has a “Kenyan, anti-colonial” worldview, the sensible response is: If only. Obama’s natural habitat is as American as the nearest faculty club; he is a distillation of America’s academic mentality; he is as American as the other professor-president, Woodrow Wilson. A question for former history professor Gingrich: Why implicate Kenya?

Newt Gingrich is running for President. A return to conservative values.

Jesus had an excellent stone throwing policy. He who is without sin is the only one permitted on the pitcher’s mound. Unfortunately, Christians are not the best at using these essential ground rules. That’s why our self-styled version of the sport is rarely mistaken for true Christianity. Unlike Christ’s apostles the sins we speak out against are hardly ever our own. Now would be an excellent time to start to focus on hating our own sins instead of letting our little light shine in other people’s hearts. Maybe Grant Storms will take this moment to reconsider his ministry’s emphasis:

Rev. Grant Storms, a renowned anti-gay Christian pastor from Louisiana, was arrested last week for masturbating at a public park, in the vicinity of a carousel and playground where children were present.

According to the New Orleans Times-Picayune, one woman saw Storms parked in his van “looking at the playground area that contained children playing, with his zipper down…,” the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office report read. After judging that Storms was masturbating, the woman and another mother who witnessed the event both alerted deputies.

After being apprehended by authorities, Storms claimed that he had been urinating into a bottle. He was then booked for obscenity — charges that he denied — and then released due to overcrowding in the jail.

The pastor appeared less willing to discuss the matter at a press conference on Tuesday, during which he blamed “pornography” for the incident.

“Pornography is destructive and it can ruin a person’s life, and it ruined my life,” he said at the conference, admitting that he had his hands in his pants, but maintaining that he wasn’t masturbating. “Do I have problems? Yes. Did I do something wrong? Yes.”