Could government policy changes like a "Mr. Potter Tax" and college-debt forgiveness tied to childbearing rebuild America's traditional family culture? Or are "cultural headwinds" so great that the nation is unlikely to ever find its way back home?
Have the `60s gotten boring? Has the CIA become sexy?
Mitt Romney on Tuesday said that President Obama's economic vision embraces the notion that government is an instrument to be used to redistribute people's hard-earned money as the Republican presidential candidate tried to curtail political damage from caught-on-camera comments that indicated he has written off nearly half of the electorate.
"How do we stop Newt?" I've now been asked that question by a lot of conservatives. It's not that I'm the go-to guy for that sort of question. Rather, one gets the sense that many "establishment" conservatives are asking everybody that question - in staff meetings, at the chiropodist, even at the McDonald's drive-thru. ("I'll have two happy meals, two chocolate milks and - by the way - do you have any idea how to stop Newt?")
Has America gone soft? Seen our once formidable, can-do economic, cultural and geopolitical six-pack abs devolve into a can't-be-bothered muffin top of belt-buckle-busting, Snuggie-swaddled goo?
Here's the problem with Mitt Romney. Sending Mitt Romney into battle against President Obama in 2012 is like bringing an MBA to a philosophy fight.
Who on Aug. 18, 2010 - almost one year ago - said, "I now think it is clear even to official Washington that President Obama is the worst president of modern times. President Jimmy Carter is redeemed"? Yes, it was I, and I threw the entire weight of the American Spectator behind that asseveration, putting both Jimmy and Barry on the cover.
"The economy isn't growing as fast as it needs to." That's Commerce Secretary Gary Locke addressing the latest report on the country's economic output. His comment is a model of understatement: Gross domestic product (GDP) grew less than 1 percent in the first half of this year. As Reuters news agency put it, the U.S. economy came "perilously close to flat-lining in the first quarter."
It was supposed to be the trendy places and the college towns, the warm-weather beaches and the hipsters' ski resorts where the new American culture would fund the new American economy. Instead, it's ... North Dakota: the cold end of the old buffalo commons, the back end of beyond.