Note On Exceptionalism

From First Thoughts

Whatever you want to call the doctrine that America must continue indefinitely to use its ideology as a tool in proactively working to shape world order, the key point is that such an effort may today be desirable and essential on the one hand and self-destructive and unsustainable on the other. . . . . Continue Reading »

Tea & Tom

From First Thoughts

The best way to counter the Tea Party movement, which is all about stopping things, is with an Innovation Movement, which is all about starting things. [ . . . ] Obama should bring together the country’s leading innovators and ask them: “What legislation, what tax incentives, do we need . . . . Continue Reading »

Open Question About Scott Brown

From First Thoughts

Quick and easy political symbolism is as American as election season itself, so obviously the aspect of Scott Brown’s massively significant win in Massachusetts most in need of dissecting analysis is his truck. The reflex appears to be one of mocking wealthy Republicans for continuing ( . . . . Continue Reading »

Fatal Distraction

From First Thoughts

My take on race, Reid, and the politics of meaning is up now at the Guardian . Snip: In a panic over the chance to unseat Senator Reid, the GOP is in danger of making permanent our misbegotten descent into the crackpot belief that racial symbolism is more real than our actual race relations. . . . . Continue Reading »

On Bankruptcy

From First Thoughts

I think America’s system of easy bankruptcy is one of the jewels of our economic and political institutions, because it allows people who genuinely cannot repay their bills to get a fresh start as quickly as possible. I think non-recourse mortgages are an excellent idea, which I would like to . . . . Continue Reading »

On Corruption

From First Thoughts

I don’t usually say this — in fact, I’ve never said it — but go read Frank Rich: specifically, his long column on the Decade of Bamboozlement . Beneath the flash of the cons that characterized the past ten years, however, is a quieter and truer truth: corruption. It is, as . . . . Continue Reading »

On Lifestyle Choices

From First Thoughts

Reihan says something that gets the wheels turning: At the moment, my side, the partisans of going after downscale voters first, is losing the argument to those who recommend going after the voters Michael Petrilli has described as ” Whole Foods Republicans .” What makes these voters . . . . Continue Reading »