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Category Archives: U.S. Politics
Thursday’s climate change denial column by Jeff Jacoby is a classic. His latest effort to pretend that he and his fellow anti-science wingnuts are actually the wise and level headed debunkers of shrill alarmism is based on what he thinks is potent evidence that the climate change jig is up. His smoking gun is a poll of meteorologists in which “[o]nly a bare majority, 52 percent, said that climate change is largely being driven by human activity.”
Yesterday at UMass Boston thanks to the Edward M. Kennedy Institute, my Department of Political Science colleague Prof. Caroline Coscia, and the John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies we hosted Alan Frumin, one of the most powerful men in Washington you never heard of before. But Mr. Frumin was for many years the Chief Parliamentarian of the United States Senate. As an amateur parliamentarian I was eager to learn all about the rules that govern the World’s Greatest Deliberative Body. But it turns out there aren’t any.
Back on November 17 my colleague Professor Ubertaccio wrote in The President’s Neustadtian Nightmare that President Obama’s “legacy on the issue of health care reform will not be made, or saved, by a series of stump speeches. It will be secured by a much more sober, mundane reality: a website that works and an administrative state that matches presidential promises.” The post was insightful and accurate.
So my attention was recently caught by a similar argument made by political scientist Professor William Galston in the Wall Street Journal, An Executive Without Energy. There has been some comparison made between the rollout of Obamacare and the Bush administration’s botched response to Hurricane Katrina. Professor Galston compares the ACA debacle with the launch of the Space Shuttle Challenger. Ouch.
I feel like there was a time when the charge of hypocrisy was a powerful indictment in our politics and our society in general. Today, however, it seems clear that the widely accepted intellectual standards, against which the targets of hypocrisy charges are implicitly being unfavorably compared, are no longer “widely accepted.”
A few items caught my eye in the political blogosphere these past few days. For instance, Dick Cheney never disappoints us. Even if Americans saw the loveable cuddly Mitt Romney, it wouldn’t have helped; a more likeable Romney might have meant fewer votes. Can Jeff Jacoby and I compromise by agreeing that John F. Kennedy was a conservative and Ronald Reagan a leftie?
Most importantly Larry DiCara says Marty Walsh “won the Boston mayoral race by putting together a coalition of groups that hardly spoke to one another a generation ago: blue-collar workers, African Americans and Hispanics. He did it with a lot of outside help from other unions around the country, including a big influx of campaign funds, and a powerful ground game from local unions.” Could it happen elsewhere?
A political icon always makes for a fun column and that observation rings true in two recent columns in the Boston Globe. On October 18 Hardball host Chris Matthews delivered a love letter to Tip O’Neill. By gosh, if only our leaders could halt the enmity at 6:00 PM and enjoy a belt like Tip and Ronald Reagan! On October 20 Jeff Jacoby flawlessly carried out his job description of annoying the region’s liberals by attempting to appropriate John F. Kennedy as a conservative hero.
Nice try, Chris and Jeff. But hero worship is way off base.
The President is caught in a Neustadtian reality.
Or perhaps a Neustadtian nightmare.
Scott Brown’s prospects for a return to the Senate from New Hampshire and Elizabeth Warren’s potential as a 2016 Democratic contender for the White House have become popular subjects of media speculation lately. Considering how much time and energy we here at Masspoliticsprofs gave to the 2012 epic battle between these two, I thought it appropriate to weigh in.
In place of my usual carefully constructed essay I have just a few thoughts today on recent items of political interest (to me). Hence my views on the amazing irresponsibility of Dick (“Ol’ Blood and Five Deferments”) Cheney, my inability to understand Seth Moulton’s campaign message, and finding America in a lesbian piano bar.
Talk radio hosts are to political commentary and analysis what pro wrestlers are to sports. This admittedly unoriginal insight struck me hard this morning as I read a Boston Herald opinion column by Boston talk radio host Michael Graham (who loves me, by the way). The other thing that occurred to me while reading Graham’s “thoughts” about the political implications of the shutdown and the way Obamacare will play in 2014 was that talk radio guys really shouldn’t write newspaper columns.