Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Elsewhere: Debt Limit, Obama's Speech

Over at PP yesterday, I argued that regardless of whether it violates the 27th Amendment it's a really, really bad idea for the House to tie specific Member votes to whether they get paid.

I guess I'm a little late on the Inaugural, but I did two posts on it Monday. At PP, I was struck by how little Obama gave to Republicans. And at Greg's place, I remarked on the foreign policy sections -- and while I agreed that most of it was boilerplate, I thought that flat-out declaring that war is ending is a fairly big deal (and, yes, I know he's said it before, but still).

And really late, but I might as well: over the weekend at Salon, I pointed out how impossible the job of conservative NYT columnist is.


  1. Good column about the job of NYT conservative columnist. While I agree it's a difficult job, I'm less inclined to cut Brooks a lot of slack (some? yes). That's partly because Brooks has the annoying habit of writing one column every six months or so in which it seems like the scales have fallen from his eyes and he's looking at the political world with 20/20 vision---followed quickly by several columns in which he quickly reverts to his typical mode of writing.

    Another reason is having had the benefit of watching Jeff Jacoby hold down the conservative columnist chair at the Boston Globe for over 20 years. For whatever mix of reasons, Jacoby is able to pull off the balance that Safire did at the Times, which leads me to conclude that in some fundamental ways the problem is with Brooks, not with his job.

  2. Your point and Chait's are not mutually exclusive. It could be that the job is self-contradictory in the way you say, and yet that (therefore) you need psychology, as Chait says, to explain why a David Brooks chooses to keep doing it, instead of going off and doing something that doesn't require all the contortions. (Yeah, it's a national column. Big deal. Brooks is rich, makes big bucks for giving speeches, and will stay rich no matter what he does from here on.)


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