Most of the Angry are not out marching in the streets, waving signs, or shouting into bullhorns. And they are not smashing windows or phoning death threats to politicians. They are simply waking up angry in the morning, and going to bed angry at night. And their resentment is multiplied by the media’s efforts to portray them all as dangerous, crazy people, and by the effort of certain Democrats to tar them with the brush of violent intent.
– James P. Gannon, America’s Quiet Anger, March 30
If Republicans cannot repeal an unpopular bill where many of the costs are front-loaded, many of the benefits are yet to come, and where the creation of another entitlement is as detrimental to their own partisan self-interest as it is to the nation’s finances, then conservatives cannot count on Republicans to undo very much of what they routinely denounce and campaign against.
The Republican Party will simply be the saucer that cools the Tea Party. Cooler heads will have prevailed — and so will have liberalism.
– W. James Antle III, Republicans Against Repeal, April 8
Steele’s comment this week was so awful that it not only made him look bad, but it managed to make White House press secretary Robert Gibbs look good. Asked about Steele’s words, Gibbs delivered the best line of his tenure: “I think Michael Steele’s problem isn’t the race card, it’s the credit card.”
– Andrew Cline, Michael Steele’s House of Race, April 9.
The preeminent issue of today is not law and order as in 1968. It’s health care. And barreling through the judicial system headed straight for the Supreme Court are lawsuits from state attorneys general challenging the constitutionality of ObamaCare based on a substantial argument over the interpretation of the Commerce Clause. Which in turn gives sitting Republican senators (not to mention GOP Senate candidates seeking to replace incumbent Democrats) a considerable argument for postponing a Supreme Court fight until the next Senate is seated.
– Jeffrey Lord, The Fortas Filibuster and the Stevens Seat, April 13
Even after Senate Democrats savaged Robert Bork and nearly did the same to Clarence Thomas, GOP senators continued to consult their Emily Post etiquette guides when Democratic presidents nominated liberal jurists. Only nine voted against Stephen Breyer and just three dared oppose Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the former chief litigator of the ACLU’s feminist legal project. It was no surprise when they delivered rulings favorable to affirmative action and partial-birth abortion.
– W. James Antle III, John Paul Stevens Republicans, April 14
Nevertheless, President Obama pursued this hopelessly naïve, doomed policy from his inauguration speech, extending an outstretched hand to Iran and pleading for an unclenched fist in return. The mullahs have responded by mocking him ever since, and accelerating their nuclear program. The president has set deadline after deadline for diplomatic results, but let each lapse with no consequence. In his recent Persian New Year message, President Obama yet again repeated, apparently cluelessly, “our offer of comprehensive diplomatic contacts and dialogue stands.” Iranian president Ahmadinejad’s swift reply: “They say they have extended a hand to Iran, but the Iranian government and nation have declined to welcome that.”
– Peter Ferrara, Inviting War Against America, April 14
One detail was missing from President Obama’s list of qualifications for his nominee to replace John Paul Stevens on the Supreme Court: any mention of the Constitution.
– Wendy Wright, Obama’s Supreme Problem, April 15
Just as John McCain was able to win the Republican nomination in 2008 despite his problems with the conservative base, Romney may be able to overcome his health care record in the primaries. And perhaps there are circumstances under which he could beat Obama by emphasizing economic and foreign policy issues. But win or lose, Romney would not be able to credibly campaign against the national health care law. And as a result, were he the Republican nominee, it would kill the movement to repeal ObamaCare.
– Philip Klein, How Romney Could Kill the ObamaCare Repeal Movement, April 16
The first hole, rarely seen on TV, is quite an opening test. At 445 yards, a bit uphill, to a green that undulates like a wind-blown sea, it tells you right from the start that this is a course both to enjoy and be reckoned with. Defending champion Angel Cabrera is first off the tee on Saturday morning, with the gentlest of tail winds behind him, and he crushes the ball within 95 yards of the hole. You do the math. Yes, as the commercials say, these guys are good.
– Quin Hillyer, Masters Memories, in the Present, April 16
President Obama didn’t make it to Krakow the other day for the funeral of Polish president Lech Kaczynski. And so passed my one chance to have something in common with our president. This would have been his first time in Poland, and Krakow the first city in Poland he would have visited. My first time in Poland, shortly after high school, also had Krakow as its first stop. Obama planned to stay all of three and half hours. I stayed considerably longer, though that’s neither here nor there. What matters is that Krakow — like Poland — is a very different place today from the drab, gray victim of communism I first encountered. It’s attractive enough that on a happier occasion Obama probably would want to take his wife out to dinner there.
– Wlady Pleszczynski, Poland from Afar, April 20
Crist’s problem in continuing this race, as a Republican or a cappela, is not so much that his campaign no longer has a campaign chairman. The main problem to this point is the campaign hasn’t had a candidate. Crist’s main campaign efforts have been in explaining first how he didn’t support President Obama’s stimulus slush fund until he explained that he did support it because it was a good idea, and trying to convince Florida voters that Rubio is a knave on the basis of, well, on the basis of Charlie says so. If there are things Charlie Crist would like to accomplish as a United States senator, he has kept them to himself.
– Larry Thornberry, Charlie Dithers, April 21
Were the tea partiers rabid left-wing professors instead of patriotic Americans, they would receive tenure and places of honor at highbrow luncheons. Were they veterans of UC Berkeley’s Free Speech Movement, they would serve as nostalgic subjects for a Time retrospective. Were Tea Partiers “demonizing” the American government in the deepest sense — teaching the young to view the Founding Fathers with patronizing contempt and the documents they wrote as reactionary relics to be replaced by a “living Constitution” — they would have jobs in the Obama administration.
– George Neumayr, From Woodstock to Civility Commissions, April 22
Black bears are emerging from hibernation now, and Aspen has a bear problem, one that it shares with other upscale Colorado mountain towns (Vail, Telluride, Durango, etc.). Bear populations are growing in these areas, even as resort and real estate development shrinks their habitat. Aspen police and wildlife officials fielded 460 bear-related calls in 2009. Two people were attacked inside posh homes in separate incidents last summer. Around the same time a 74-year-old woman named Donna Munson was killed by a bear on her rural property near Ouray. Despite warnings from authorities, she had persisted in feeding bears in her backyard.
– Bill Croke, The Foie Gras Bears, April 23.