Thursday, September 6, 2012

Clinton's DNC Speech & Media Coverage

I feel dirty after reading the blogs - both left and right - and listening to NPR reporters give Bill Clinton a tongue bath after his speech at the DNC. If the media was wearing a giant blue dress, it would be permanently stained.

I am no fan of Bill Clinton. He makes good speeches, but not good policy. David Frum is correct here:
As Bill Clinton collects his accolades, let's recall: the key decisions that inflated the housing bubble of the 2000s - and that laid waste to the US economy in 2008 -- were taken under Bill Clinton's administration: the decision to leave derivative trading unregulated, the decision to allow deposit-taking institutions to engage in proprietary trading, the pressure on banks to relax mortgage lending standards, the decision to allow Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to grow enormously large thanks to the implicit subsidy of the government guarantee of their bonds and borrowing.
In addition, I'd add that Bill Clinton reappointed, and thus legitimized, Alan Greenspan - in itself a tragedy. However, Frum is wrong in the very next sentence:
If President Obama inherited a mess not of his own making, it should be remembered of whose making the mess was.
If it was Clinton's mess, Bush had 8 years to clean it up, and in 6 of those years, Republicans controlled both the House and Senate. They didn't fix it because they didn't think it was a problem.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Props to Daniel Larison

Because even I am getting sick of my constant complaining, I thought I should document a bright spot. David Frum turned me on to 33-year old Daniel Larison at The American Conservative. Unlike Frum, Larison never publishes someone else's work with a non-commital "hey, this is interesting" introduction. Larison takes a stand and backs it up. Here he is talking about the GOP campaigning as the national security party.
The modern GOP inherited a reserve of public trust on national security and foreign policy that had been built up over decades, and they managed to squander it in the space of three or four years. By all rights, they shouldn’t be entrusted with these responsibilities for at least another decade until they have recognized their failures and worked to avoid making similar mistakes in the future. On these issues, they haven’t regained the public’s trust, because most of them still don’t know that they lost it and have to try to win it back [bold-sturgeonmouth].
Very insightful. His last sentence could be applied to more than just national defense. I hope it takes the GOP a long time to figure that out.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Mother Rucker

Is The Washington Post now doing satire? Suddenly, it seems everyone wants to be Stephen Colbert. David Frum, David Brooks, and now Philip Rucker:
In a campaign organization that has grown exponentially, it's speechwriting in which Romney's inner micro-manager reveals itself. An English major in college, Romney is a voracious reader and is particular about the words he utters, advisers say. He obsesses and fine-tunes, for speeches consequential and trivial, on airplanes and in hotel suites.
Seriously? Mitt Romney is particular about the words he utters? He obsessed about how to describe his love for Michigan trees that are just the right height? About his NASCAR owner friends? His wife's multiple Cadillacs? About how to give a shout out to the birthers by saying no one has ever asked for his birth certificate? OK. I'll give him that one.