Jeff Bergner Articles

The Game of Life

It’s not a lottery.
Jun 29, 2015

President Obama recently referred to the wealthy as “society’s lottery winners.” This clever little locution contains a world of radical implications, none of them good.

The phrase is, of course, the counterpart of another view Obama frequently espouses, namely, that the poor are not responsible for their poverty or even their behavior. Poverty and anti-social behavior can’t be the result of freely chosen actions: One cannot build a cult of victimhood on the soil of personal responsibility.

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The Party of Reason?

It’s not the Democrats, despite their self-flattering claims
Sep 22, 2014

It has become a staple of the political left to brand Republicans the anti-science, anti-reason party. This narrative congealed in a breathless 2005 book by journalist Chris Mooney entitled—does the phrase sound familiar?—The Republican War on Science. Those fueling the narrative today seize on occasional unfortunate remarks about rape or evolution by Republican fringe figures, as well as on the skepticism of many Republicans about man-made global warming, to make their case.

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Upholding the Law

What Congress can do in response to an administration run amok
Mar 10, 2014


Many Republicans—and a handful of independent commentators like George Washington University professor Jonathan Turley—have been highly critical of President Obama’s executive branch overreach. The president has arbitrarily delayed, deferred, or ignored provisions of numerous laws, none more so than his signature Obamacare legislation. There is indeed much to criticize; no other president in recent times has usurped congressional lawmaking powers to the extent Barack Obama has. 

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No Escape

The Middle East fails to cooperate with Obama’s pivot.
Sep 23, 2013

As the United States vacillates over what to do in Syria, it might be a good time to check in with the Obama foreign policy “pivot.” A little less than two years ago President Obama’s administration announced that the United States would pivot away from the Middle East and toward Asia.

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Advise and Dissent

The recess appointment power: a slow-motion train wreck
Apr 22, 2013

A Democratic Dictionary

11:00 PM, Sep 19, 2012

There is an old saw that if you torture statistics enough, they will tell you whatever you want to hear.  Words are like this, too. In the interest of clarity during the current campaign season, here is a brief lexicon of how Democratic officials use words:

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Rules for Romney

How to win.
Jul 30, 2012

What a Difference Four Years Makes

By the numbers.
Jun 18, 2012

Barack Obama has said on many occasions that he inherited a very bad economy from George W. Bush. He has blamed the Bush economy for every shortcoming and disappointment of the past four years. If inheritance is a fair standard, let’s ask the obvious question: What will Barack Obama leave to his successor?

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Rules for Republicans

Use Obama’s playbook against him.
Jan 02, 2012

The two of us​—​a marketing professor and a political analyst​—​have just published a book about the highly successful Obama presidential campaign of 2008. We have distilled a number of lessons from our research. Since the Obama camp already knows these lessons firsthand, we call them “rules for Republicans” and have presented them to a number of the 2012 Republican presidential campaigns. In summary, here they are: 

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Mugged by Mythology

Liberals believe the darnedest things.
Sep 12, 2011

Sometimes talking with liberals is perplexing. You never know what claim they will make next or what name they will call you. Take David Axelrod’s response to Standard & Poor’s recent credit action: He calls it the “Tea Party downgrade.” Amazingly, he blames the United States’ loss of its AAA bond rating on the one group that has sounded the alarm about our fiscal crisis. How did the president’s leading adviser come up with a label so detached from reality? 

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Cutting off Granny

Medicare? Thanks, but no thanks.
Jun 27, 2011

In a few months my wife and I will turn 65 years of age. I guess we’re the proverbial grandpa and grandma that our political leaders aim to protect. Our mailbox has been full lately with brochures describing the Medicare enrollment process, offering supplemental health coverage, and helpfully answering in advance any questions we might have. One question, however, hasn’t been answered: Why must we enroll in Medicare and give up our current health insurance? Why can’t we simply keep our current insurance coverage when we turn 65?

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