Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
Posted at 7:42 AM ET, 02/ 6/2011

Morning Bits

By Jennifer Rubin

Is a good outcome in sight? "Tentative signs of a possible solution to Egypt's crisis began to emerge Friday, with leading pro-democracy figures surfacing to claim a role in a transition process as tens of thousands of protesters again flooded central Cairo."

A good opening for the Republicans. "A spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, Ohio Republican, is blasting an effort by hundreds of lobbyists to strategize with top congressional Democrats on how to stop spending cuts pushed by Republicans. 'Washington Democrats and their special interest allies are plotting to keep the ineffective 'stimulus' spending spree going. They're hatching backroom schemes to fight the will of the American people, who want us to end the Washington spending binge, the government takeovers, and bailouts and help the private sector create jobs,' said Boehner spokesman Michael Steel. The move is part of a massive push by Republicans to seize on the political moment created by ABC News in revealing the meeting's existence."

Goodluck with that. "The Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) today called on J Street to give back the 'secret' money it has received from George Soros, whose virulent anti-Israel bias can no longer be ignored." They are not shameable.

Good idea. "In the last several months, Politics Daily has learned that the Palin family lawyer, Alaska attorney Thomas Van Flein, has filed applications to the United States Patent and Trademark Office to trademark 'Sarah Palin®' and 'Bristol Palin®.'" She's a brand, after all. But this does sort of underline the argument that she's on a different path than one to the presidency.

It is a good time to remind conservatives of the upsides of revolution in Egypt: Bill Kristol writes, "Conservatives are used to focusing on the downsides of situations. And there are potential downsides ahead, to be sure. But there is also a huge upside to a sound and admirable outcome in Egypt. American conservatives should remember our commitment, in the words of Federalist 39, to 'that honorable determination which animates every votary of freedom, to rest all our political experiments on the capacity of mankind for self-government.'"

It's hardly good news when fewer people are in the job market and we add on 36,000 jobs.

Good thing Obama didn't campaign as a uniter and post-partisan. If he had, we might conclude he's failed badly. "President Barack Obama's job approval ratings were even more polarized during his second year in office than during his first, when he registered the most polarized ratings for a first-year president. An average of 81% of Democrats and 13% of Republicans approved of the job Obama was doing as president during his second year. That 68-point gap in party ratings is up from 65 points in his first year and is easily the most polarized second year for a president since Dwight Eisenhower." Ike was polarizing? Democrats love him now, but they generally adore Republicans only after they are dead.

All that good polling Democrats were cheering about? It's fading as we get farther away from the Bush tax cut deal and voters are reminded Obama is inept internationally and a big spender at home.

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 6, 2011; 7:42 AM ET
Categories:  Morning Bits  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Friday question
Next: Herzliya: The 21st century Israel


Bill Kristol is really a funny guy, as in not having the slightest idea what he is talking about funny.

"American conservatives should remember our commitment, in the words of Federalist 39, to 'that honorable determination which animates every votary of freedom, to rest all our political experiments on the capacity of mankind for self-government.'"

Not only does Federalism have nothing to do with Egypt, BUT those words did not even mean what he espouses to the man who wrote them, Madison!

Not included in the meaning of those words were blacks, women, and white non-freeholders.

I guess getting back to the "origninal meaning of the Constitution" is a moveable feast, eh?

Posted by: johnmarshall5446 | February 6, 2011 11:18 AM | Report abuse

"It's fading as we get farther away from the Bush tax cut deal and voters are reminded Obama is inept internationally and a big spender at home."

So Obama is inept internationally, and as you often argue in other posts, he's continuing Bush's foreign policies. I can put 2 and 2 together, can't you?

Posted by: johnmarshall5446 | February 6, 2011 11:25 AM | Report abuse

"It's hardly good news when fewer people are in the job market and we add on 36,000 jobs."

Jennifer, I know you're only trying to open the 2012 election campaign with this one. I say this with all sincerity however. Given your struggles with foreign policy, you probably shouldn't write abut the economy too often. Stay with budget cuts, you're on a lot more solid ground.

Posted by: johnmarshall5446 | February 6, 2011 11:30 AM | Report abuse

johnmarshall5446 -

So you don’t like Krsitol; it would be wise to recognize the talent’s of one’s opponents, especially when they are taking on others you oppose. Kristol has proven to be a keen analyst of matters foreign and domestic, and in this column takes on a significant portion of the conservative wing. You probably should have read it and Federalist 39 before you commented, but Kristol’s article has to do with the right of people to choose their form of government, not one durn thing about Federalism as you state. Moreover, at the heart of the American Experiment is the notion that people can govern themselves, they have the capacity to do so, and F39 examines this notion by describing why the founders formed a republican form of government.

Kristol’s taking on the realpolitik crowd who argue that Mubarak has been a staunch support of the US, so he’s got to stay in power until some other strong guy who supports the US can take over. Kristol wants to give chaos a chance, arguing that the saints will overcome the sinners in much the same manner that the founders of our nation arrived at our form of government.

I’m by no means as sanguine as Kristol is because I see too many bad actors in Egypt. Even Mubarak’s internal security forces have shown a preference for jailing and killing opponents rather than penning op-eds in the local papers or pamphlets. The military is widely respected, but their leadership has played too big a role in the economy, as have various Mubarak cronies. Kristol’s piece would have been stronger if he’d dealt with these points as well.

BTW, with regard to the war on terror (or whatever his folks have named it of late), Obama is following Bush’s lead. But on other foreign policy matters he’s not only been inconsistent, but counterproductive in relations with allies and enemies.

Posted by: SCMike1 | February 6, 2011 1:14 PM | Report abuse

VP Biden during his staff's morning briefing reacted to the Politics Daily piece, "Sarah who? Isn't she that girl, uh, can't recall her name just know, her boyfriend used to hang around with a chimp?"

Posted by: aardunza | February 6, 2011 1:20 PM | Report abuse


Thanks for the thoughful reply.

We would differ on the prescience of Kristol on foreign policy. Here's an 2003 interview with Charlie Rose before the start of the Iraqi War where he labels Saddam one of the two biggest dangers in the world (along with North Korea) because of his possession of weapons of mass destruction. He also calls for our overthrow of Gaddafi because of his dangerousness. Notice he doesn't mention anything about brringing democracy to Iraq.

That is one of those siutations where after you break down the door of the wrong house and shoot dead one of the occupants, you point out that he was reaching into his coat pocket for a cell phone, and besides had a lengthy criminal record, so that the neighborhood is really better off without him anyway! LOL

I guess he can't be right all the time, eh?

I won't even take more than this sentence to make note of the fact that Kristol (unlike his father) is a coward who loves war making, but not actually fighting in a war himself or his children.

You are correct however that in using the word Federalim I was speaking in shorthand that was poorly chosen for brevity sake.

What I should have been conferring is that the Islamic culture in general and the Middle East in particular does not subscirbe to the notion that people can govern themselves.

We assume that people all around the world share our values, which they often do not. In particular the concepts of individual freedom, loyal opposition and separation of church and state, are entirely alien to their culture and must be introduced to people who have no cultural frame of reference.

The entire concept of democracy as we would consider it, is a Greek construct that moved West, not East. We could both no doubt argue endlessly the polemics of this question but the comment section is too small for that.

What I find so interesting is that the supposed Bush Freedom Agenda is really nothing of the sort. As we saw in Lebanon and Gaza, we will only accept democratic results that favor our viewpoint.

Once again on this, conservatives like Jennifer and Kristol and Abrams don't really mean democracy is what they want in Egypt. They want that thin veneer of Egyptian society that is pro-Western and at least neutral to Israel to form a government based largely on military rule whereby the largest political party in Egypt, the MB will be suppressed and not allowed to paricipate in government to the extent that their popular support would mandate.

I'm fine with all of that, I'm just not hypocritical enough to call it democracy, or to pretend that it has anything to do with the concepts of the Foundng Fathers so to speak!

Posted by: johnmarshall5446 | February 6, 2011 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Reading johnmarshall5446's wonderful comments to Jennifer's wonderful blog posts on wonderful Super Bowl Sunday brings to mind nothing so much as that wonderful song with the wonderful lyrics on those wonderful old clips on wonderful PBS of the wonderful Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians Orchestra:
I was looking back to see if
You were looking back to see if
I was looking back to see if
You were looking back at me...!

And while we're at it let's all remember the wunnerful wunnerful Lawrence Welk and his vanity license plates: NA1NA2

Posted by: aardunza | February 6, 2011 11:58 PM | Report abuse


LOL I never know which side you're on in any post that you make, but you bring a certain something every time. Keep it up.

Posted by: johnmarshall5446 | February 7, 2011 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.

characters remaining

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2011 The Washington Post Company