Another War of Jenkins' Ear

Resist The Pointless

Archive for April 2010

The Strange Foreign Policy Dynamics of the Status Quo

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President Obama and President Medvedev today signed a New START treaty to reduce nuclear weapons. I think this is just clearly a good thing: less nuclear weapons plus verification measures means 1) less chance of a weapon to fall in the hands of terrorists and 2) it further reduces the chances of a nuclear holocaust. I don’t see any conceivable downside.

But this is going to play out strangely. Republicans seem hell bent, for instance, on denying Obama any significant achievement. There are concerns about missile defense, namely that Republicans will see Russian statements about it as a justification for not supporting the treaty. Ultimately, though, I think that would be a pretext. Republicans are only concerned about winning; they have zero responsibility or concern with policy at this moment (see their zero health care votes despite the bill including decidedly more than 0% Republican ideas). Read the rest of this entry »


Written by John Whitehouse

April 8, 2010 at 2:39 pm

The Argument Versus The Delivery

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I think in large part the left and right are arguing past each other – but that is not to say that they are morally equivalent. Allow me to explain.

I came across* Jonah Goldberg saying this yesterday: “If I had to bet, we won’t hear a lot about how opposing Obamacare is necessarily racist or evil from Weigel.”

Now, as a liberal who supported “Obamacare” I don’t think that anyone who opposes Obamacare is racist or evil or a number of other over the top arguments. Perhaps they just oppose it on the merits.

But that’s not the charge that I think conservatives should be responding to. The argument from the left (and Obama made a version of this point in his address to the GOP caucus) is that the over the top response from TV pundits and conservative movement leaders incites racism and violence. This is the entire rationale behind the Stopbeck movement. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by John Whitehouse

April 7, 2010 at 8:32 pm