Reading this provocative and compelling analysis of John F. Kennedy’s political vision, I could not help but think of the reaction Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. had when his colleague John P. Diggins told him he was writing a book favorable to Ronald Reagan’s presidency. “Please,” Schlesinger said, “don’t make him look too good.” If Schlesinger were still alive and able to read Stoll’s new account, he would undoubtedly turn purple. One thing is certain: Ira Stoll’s Kennedy is not the same as Arthur Schlesinger’s.
What's wrong with Ken Cuccinelli, Virginia's Republican candidate for governor? He's losing by nearly 10 percentage points, according to Real Clear Politics, to Terry McAuliffe, the flawed Democrat. The conventional wisdom is that Cuccinelli is too conservative on social issues, and the McAuliffe campaign has run ads painting the Republican as an extremist on abortion, gay rights, and contraception.
In Sweden, President Obama complained about the way he's sometimes treated back home in the United States, and suggested he'd be more welcomed in Europe:
"You know, I have to say that if I were here in Europe, I'd probably be considered right in the middle, maybe center-left, maybe center-right, depending on the country. In the United States, sometimes the names I'm called are quite different," Obama said at a joint press conference.
Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell, the five-term Republican from Kentucky, has drawn a primary challenge for his reelection effort next year from businessman Matt Bevin. Bevin, who will likely self-finance part of his campaign, is out with his first ad Wednesday. The 30-second spot purports to introduce the first-time candidate to voters, though it spends just as much time criticizing the 71-year-old McConnell for his "30 years in Washington."
The latest Washington Post/ABC News poll indicates that the only group of Americans who remain strongly supportive of Obamacare are self-described “liberal Democrats.” Even “moderate or conservative” Democrats have started to jump ship en masse — as they’re now more likely to oppose Obamacare than to support it. Given that most Democrats (57 percent, according to the poll) claim to be either “moderate” or “conservative,” this poses a major problem for the Obama administration’s centerpiece legislation.
Kenneth Minogue, longtime professor of politics at the London School of Economics, died Friday, age 83. He was a leading conservative political thinker of our time—no, he was a leading political thinker, period, of our time, whose classic, The Liberal Mind, written a half century ago, remains must reading. Here's a taste of Minogue, courtesy of Steven Hayward at Powerline:
“There were giants in the earth in those days.” The death on December 19 of Robert Bork—superb legal scholar, preeminent constitutional thinker, principled public servant—calls to mind the other giants of American conservatism who have left us in the last decade: Bill Buckley and Irving Kristol, Milton Friedman and James Q. Wilson, Richard John Neuhaus and Jeane Kirkpatrick, Ronald Reagan and Jack Kemp. They were the greatest conservative generation. They rode into the valley of liberal orthodoxies and emerged sometimes triumphant, always unbowed. When can their glory fade? They left our nation stronger and better for their efforts.
I know a gaffe when I see one, having made many myself, and Romney’s 47 percent remark was no gaffe. It was an expression of a belief so deeply held, and so thoroughly validated in the circles in which Romney travels, that it required no fact-checking.