- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 4, 2009

No new ideas

Rush Limbaugh is drawing some ridicule for saying, ‘One thing we can all do is stop assuming that the way to beat [the Democrats] is with better policy ideas.’ But I think he’s basically right. Good ideas are meritorious. But being meritorious isn’t what wins elections. Most voters have only the faintest idea what policy ideas candidates advocate when running or implement when in office. External conditions (such as the economy, but war and scandal matter also) have much more influence over which party wins. …

“I think it’s pretty clear that the Democratic comeback since [2004] has had next-to-nothing to do with developing ‘new ideas’ and almost everything to do with Republican failure, the state of the economy, and a really effective presidential nominee. Yes, Democratic ideas proved more popular, but they really were the same basic ideas the party had advocated for years.”

- Jonathan Chait, writing on “Sympathy for the Limbaugh,” on March 2 at the New Republic blog, the Plank

New idea from past

“I just chanced upon an online version of my capsule review of Ruth Wisse’s ‘If I am Not for Myself … The Liberal Betrayal of the Jews’ …

“Wisse’s book was influential on my thinking about liberalism, as can be seen by phrases in my review that have appeared repeatedly in my writing since then, particularly the one about liberals’ refusal to recognize the existence of certain phenomena. …

” ‘Liberals cannot admit the existence of real evil, of an enemy beyond the reach of reason, of an unappeasable Other. The result is a fatal collusion “between the aggressor, who wants to conceal his intention in order to execute it effectively, and the liberal fundamentalist, who has to deny aggression so that he can continue to believe that humans were created in his image.” Thus liberals, grown weary of opposing an unrelenting and unreasoning Arab rejectionism, have concluded that the cause of anti-Semitism must be Israel’s own behavior.’ ”

- Lawrence Auster, writing on “The liberal betrayal of the Jews, and of the West” on Feb. 11 at View from the Right

New host

“In the three months leading up to Jimmy Fallon’s debut as the ‘Late Night’ host [Monday] night, he did an extraordinary job of building strong roots in both the geek and social-media communities (which, as you might expect, have substantial overlap).

“In particular, he has been incredibly successful at harnessing the power of Twitter to engage his audience. In fact, when we wrote a story about Fallon on Twitter yesterday, the host had accumulated 179,182 followers. [Tuesday] morning, he added over 5,000 new followers to bring his total to 184,390 (and climbing).

“So how did Fallon’s legions of Twitter friends react to his [Monday night] show? We combed through the 1,500-plus tweets … [including]:

” ‘Enjoyed your first show, but enjoyed watching you sweat profusely while talking to Robert De Niro even more!’ - TheCliffLee must’ve been watching in HD, too …

” ‘joHNNy CARSON iS TUrNInG OVER iN HIS grAVE’ - You can safely put DaddyAK47 in the anti-Fallon camp.”

- Mark Graham, writing on “Twitter Community Responds En Masse to Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” on March 3 at the New York Magazine blog Vulture


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