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Erroneous Progressive Condescension

From The Scrapbook

Feb 20, 2012, Vol. 17, No. 22 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
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The Scrapbook was thrilled to get its copy the other day of the provocative and important new book by Weekly Standard contributing editor Robert Kagan, The World America Made. The book has, we gather, already been read and even praised by President Obama. But don’t hold that against it. You should read it. You’ll like it, and learn from it, as we did.

In The World America Made, Kagan asks “what the world would have looked like had the United States not been the preeminent power shaping it for the past six decades,” and tries “to imagine what the world might look like if America were to decline, as so many nowadays predict.”

Kagan makes an analytical and normative case against American decline, and in defense of what he (along with The Scrapbook’s boss, in a famous 1996 Foreign Affairs article) once called America’s “benevolent hegemony.” The book is short, it’s punchy, it’s right, it’s a real contribution to the American foreign policy debate .  .  . and it’s a bargain at less than $20.00. Get one for yourself, and one for a friend.

Sentences We Didn’t Finish

"Liberals have been on the defensive about taxes, overall, since Ronald Reagan’s election in 1980. So it’s invigorating to hear [Maryland governor Martin O’Malley] offer an unashamed argument for the need to pay more if you want quality education, mass transit, new roads .  .  . ” (“Give O’Malley credit for courage on taxes,” Robert McCartney, Washington Post, February 5).

Sentences We Didn’t Finish, II

"In the end, this is a nonsense fact. On its face, it may be technically correct .  .  . ” (“Fact Checker” Glenn Kessler, inadvertently admitting his vocation is deeply problematic, Washington Post, February 7).

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