Of course, Obama gives no examples of #3--in fact, he's telling Iowa caucus Democrats more or less exactly what they want to hear, namely that they don't have to compromise (#1). He's certainly not telling them that the way to be a bipartisan bridge-builder (#2) is often precisely to violate #1 and "triangulate," as Bill Clinton did on welfare reform. ...
Obama's new wrinkle is the argument is that Bush is so unpopular he's freed up a bunch of voters at the center for Dems to capture without triangulating. That may be true on universal health care coverage (where Obama's plan arguably triangulates a bit more than Clinton's plan). But I'm not sure where else it applies. At bottom, it still seems a variation of Shrumian populism, the idea that there are obvious answers to benefit the common man and the only thing standing in the way is some elite group or "corporate lobbyists in Washington"--as opposed to the non-populist position, which is that there are answers that benefit the common man but what's standing in the way is usually a) the common man and b) poweful interest groups on the Democratic as well as Republican side. If our most difficult domestic problems (Social Security, health care cost control, poverty, civil rights, immigration) really did conform to the Populist model, they'd have been solved by now, by Democrats. ...
Monday, November 12, 2007
Instapundit effortlessly spans present, past, and future to cover the Lapham's Quarterly launch party, Laphamistiically.** ... When I worked at Harper's, after Michael Kinsley took it over from Lapham,*** one of the editors had a shorthand name for Lapham's pretentious, opaque, you-can't-quite-understand-this-so-I-must-be-smart prose style: "The Caravans of the Mind." Wagons. ho! ...
**--This is not the "worst media party ever" referred to in the headline. That would be this party.
***--When Lapham took over the magazine again after Kinsley's departure, he fired the Kinsley people, including me. A perfectly reasonable thing to do. I wouldn't have wanted to work for him anyway! The transition was accomplished seamlessly, with a minimum of fuss and a maximum of civility. He's still on my s-list for life. You should know that. ... 10:46 P.M.
Strike-bound Rob Long is blogs semi-apocalyptically about the future of Hollywood. Sample:
The truth is, the web--that thing that brings us email and MySpace and cats playing the piano on YouTube--has a kind of Wal*Mart effect on the entertainment choices offered to the audience: there's a lot more to choose from, most of it's pretty awful, and all of it is going to be a lot cheaper. When you combine the digitization of content with unlimited bandwidth, what you get is a cheaper, more efficient system. And Brentwood was not built on cheap, or efficient. This town--and all of us who work here--all of us, writers, agents, actors, lawyers, studio executives, all of us here in the second grade classroom called Hollywood--have a stake in preserving this great big slushy inefficient mess of a system, that makes pilots that never get aired, buys scripts that never get produced, makes movies that no one sees, produces series that get cancelled.