Monthly Archives: July 2012

A Dangerous Description

This morning, on NPR’s Morning Edition, Wall Street Journal columnist David Wessel spoke about his new book, Red Ink, and in so doing appeared to shift the general understanding of the economy toward something tinged with moral terminology. To be fair, he isn’t the first to have done this: as writers like Ross Douthat have […]

GOP Gov Endorses Stereotype of Americans

Remember when Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal fumbled the Republican response to President Obama’s 2009 State of the Union address? It seems he’s done it again, though this time the response has been much more muted. It’s still possible that Jindal could be chosen as Mitt Romney’s VP, and so it’s important that he get himself […]

In Defense of Tolerance

From the ashes of Chick-fil-a’s well-publicized break with Jim Hensen Productions over marriage equality comes, like a phoenix, the emergence of a strange kind of argument against acceptance of gay Americans. It’s not a new argument – it appears nearly every time society is asked to tolerate or accept something that it heretofore has not […]

Romney’s Bizarre “Failure” Meme

Although the primary focus of this blog is policy and language, there’s one aspect of this year’s presidential race deserves some exploration because of its intersection of politics and speech. In a campaign, it seems, anything goes: mere half-truths are about the best that the American people can hope for, and direct lies are tolerated […]

Gun Control Debate Begins Immediately after Shooting

Since Bloomberg News already broached the subject – awkwardly shoehorning in a few lines about how little President Obama and Mitt Romney have said on the topic – it might be worth carefully pursuing the question of what effect, if any, today’s cinema shooting will have on public policy. This is not, of course, to […]

Sununu and the Cult of Conservative Credentials

Today, Romney aide John Sununu apologized for a comment calling on President Barack Obama to “learn how to be an American.” His apology, however, concerned only the words he used, not the sentiment expressed. (I’d love to spend this entry splitting the hair, but that exploration of profound insincerity will have to wait.) The slip, […]