David Brooks on the Conservative Day After Tomorrow The odds are good Republicans will wake up on November 3rd with majorities in the House and possibly Senate. Many of these wins will come from political outsiders who have campaigned against big government. But conservatives should be wary of thinking that "limited government" is the real American tradition, writes The New York Times columnist. Rather, "the American story ... is the story of limited but energetic governments that used aggressive federal power to promote growth and social mobility." The U.S. has always thrived under "leaders who regarded government like fire--a useful tool when used judiciously and a dangerous menace when it gets out of control." What worries Brooks is a Class of '10 that "regards every new bit of government action as a step on the road to serfdom." Calls for zero government would replace calls for limited government. Brooks doesn't make any predictions, but believes such an end would qualify as a "political tragedy."
Janet Daley on Anti-American 'Smugness' Post Terry Jones The Telegraph columnist finds a "perverse ignorance" in those, particularly in the British establishment, who trot out the would-be Koran-burning Pastor Terry Jones as an example of a country filled with "bigoted know-nothings." Americans, most of whom derided the "wacko" Pastor, are nothing of the sort and their concern with "constitutional integrity" is just something that most Europeans can't understand. She sees the furor over Terry Jones as evidence that anti-Americanism, even after the Bush era, is alive and well, and is merely looking for a convenient poster child.
Pia Orrenius and Madeline Zavodny on Immigration Reform as 'Foreign Stimulus' In a New York Times op-ed, the two authors of a new book on immigration, Beside the Golden Door, briefly outline their proposals for reforming an "antiquated, jerry-built immigration system that fails on almost every count." Their ideas include holding an auction system where companies can bid on permits to bring in new workers (instead of the current lottery system), having the provisional work-based visa replace the green card as the "primary path" to immigration, and greater emphasis by policy makers on "work-based" solutions to reform the system. "Greater emphasis on work-based immigration as part of a coherent immigration process would go a long way to enhance our economy's competitiveness and the nation’s well-being," they write.
Anne Applebaum on British Austerity Writing from London, the Washington Post columnist observes that the post-WWII British political tradition is rooted in the notion of mutual sacrifice and a willingness to make tough choices, both of which have been anathema to America of late. It's a logical tradition for the country to preserve. "Austerity ... has a deep appeal. Austerity is what made Britain great. Austerity is what won the war," she writes. It's this tradition that inspires articles about budget cuts to be "filled with talk of blood, knives and amputation." Applebaum attributes the differences between the responses of British politicians and their American counterparts to vastly different post-war experiences. "Nostalgic Brits, longing to re-create their country's finest hour, remember postwar scrimping and saving," notes Applebaum. "Nostalgic Americans in search of their own country's finest hour remember postwar abundance."
Jonah Goldberg on Obama's Eroding 'Personality' Coalition The comparison between Presidents Obama and Carter isn't a particularly new one, and it's been championed by conservative columnists like Rich Lowry since the current president arrived on the national stage. Yet Los Angeles Times columnist Jonah Goldberg still finds it an apt association in light of Obama's struggles to maintain a Democratic coalition in the face of stiff Republican opposition during an election year. While being "Carteresque" on the campaign trail is a workable strategy ("Obama promised a transformational presidency, a new accommodation with religion, a new centrism, a changed tone") it never delivered the "sea change" or "new liberal order" that was originally intended.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.