Thursday December 12, 2013
Archive - 2013
The myths are already settling in from this week's elections.
Coast to coast, the dust has settled from last Tuesday's elections, and one thing is clear. Democrats won some, Republicans won some. There were winners and losers on both sides. But, overall, the big loser -- was the Tea Party.
This week, while most China-watchers are focused on leaders gathering for a closed-door meeting to set economic policy, Teng Biao won't be paying much attention. "We human rights lawyers are more focused on civil society," Teng told me during a conversation here. "If it is pressured, the Communist Party will have to make changes. If not, it will never give up any power."
Frank Bruni has a column this week in the New York Times on "the beginning of the end" of Hillary Clinton's "inevitability." He offers a litany of reasons why "she has serious problems as a potential 2016 presidential contender."
The center of gravity in American politics moved left in Tuesday's off-year elections.
Republicans took a big step back from the tea party. An ebullient progressive was elected mayor of New York City. And a Democrat was elected governor of Virginia after campaigning unapologetically as a supporter of gun control and a liberal on social issues.
Mainstream Republicans are doing backflips over Chris Christie's frolic to re-election as governor of New Jersey. Here is a Republican who took on public employee unions, spoke out against abortion and gay marriage, and still scored a landslide win in a blue state. And he won Latinos' and women's votes, too.
After last week's tragedy at LAX, can we all agree to stop beating up on the men and women of the TSA who are just trying to do their job, which is to protect you and me from being killed?
Can we stop behaving like spoiled children, thinking we have a God-given right to show up late for airplanes, forgetting to unpack the penknife in the bottom of the suitcase, and wearing shoes and boots that take forever to get on and off?
The movie "12 Years a Slave" is receiving rapturous reviews for depicting the antebellum South less as a gauzy land of elegant plantations than as the raw backdrop of monstrous brutality.
It's terrific that, in the 21st century, we can squarely face 19th-century slavery. But let's also acknowledge the modern versions of slavery in the world around us - and, yes, right here at home.
Chris Christie! He won! Let's talk about his presidential prospects incessantly for the rest of the month!
Then we will take a short break for the holiday season. Then ring in 2014, which means just two years until Chris Christie goes to the Iowa caucuses!
Every American president has to weather occasional political gaffes. Whether their own or those committed by associates, they cause temporary embarrassment or pain but are ultimately survivable. Loose lips may sink ships, as was often said in warning during World War II, but they're seldom fatal in the normal course of governing.