Northern Reflections: Incorrigible Romney

Last week, Garry Wills — who has made a career of evaluating America’s presidents and would be presidents  — asked in the New York Review of Books: What lessons will Romney have to teach his party? The art of crawling uselessly? How to contemn 47 percent of Americans less privileged and beautiful than his family? ...

Northern Reflections: It’s About Time Somebody Said It

Readers of this space will know I believe that our present political masters have abandoned the next generation. They say they don’t want to saddle the young with impossible debts.  But the truth is that they bear a deep seated animus against government. It’s government that is their enemy — not the debt. And when ...

Northern Reflections: On The Ground

Barack Obama has learned a lot in the last four years. During the first two years of his presidency, many of his supporters grumbled that he didn’t understand who he was dealing with. When Republicans said that their first priority was to make him a one term president, they were serious. But the 2010 elections ...

Northern Reflections: Romneyism

Mitt Romney has been the ultimate political chameleon. He has reversed every significant political position he held when he was Governor of Massachusetts. But, Robert Reich writes, there is a coherent philosophy behind his reversals: Reich calls that philosophy Romneyism: Despite its contradictions and ellipses, Romneyism has an internal coherence. It is different from conservatism, ...

Northern Reflections: Perverse Politics

Mitt Romney’s supporters are engaging in the same kind of perverse politics which the Romney campaign has practiced. Two days ago, David Brooks suggested that there was an upside to Romney’s opportunism: If Americans elect Romney, Brooks wrote, he will work with intransigent Republicans and more reasonable Democrats. Brooks is not the only one to ...

Northern Reflections: Standing Athwart History

For those of us who live outside the United States, the angry divide there is profoundly puzzling. There are, indeed, two philosophies of government at stake in this election. But the anger suggests that the fault lines run deeper than that. Eugene Robinson’s column in the morning’s Washington Post offers an important insight into the ...

Northern Reflections: Losing Candidate Or Losing Party?

As Republicans bemoan the growing lead Barack Obama has over Mitt Romney in the polls, they are turning on Romney, calling him a bad candidate. That’s passing strange. Romney has espoused all the party’s current positions — even if they are contrary to positions he has held in the past. Richard Cohen writes in The  ...

Northern Reflections: Republican Contempt For The Working Class

Micheal Kingsley famously defined a “gaffe” as when a politician unwittingly tells the truth. And the truth behind Mitt Romney’s “47%” gaffe, Paul Krugman writes, is that Romney and his party have nothing but contempt for the working class: Needless to say, the G.O.P.’s disdain for workers goes deeper than rhetoric. It’s deeply embedded in ...

Northern Reflections: Race In The Race

Frank Bruni writes in this morning’s New York Times, that race is still at the center of the American presidential contest: Although race represents a less central dynamic for Obama now than it did in 2008, it’s a factor in his political fortunes nonetheless. It poisons some of his opponents, pumping them full of a ...