1. Big Lizards argues that Hillary Clinton's campaign is in free fall because she puts unqualified women in important positions such as campaign manager.
2. David Brooks gives us now the kind of thinking that would probably define a McCain Presidency. He believes investment in education made America great:
In the 19th century, industrialization swept the world. Many European nations expanded their welfare states but kept their education systems exclusive. The U.S. tried the opposite approach. American leaders expanded education and created the highest quality work force on the planet.
That quality work force was the single biggest reason the U.S. emerged as the economic superpower of the 20th century. Generation after generation, American workers were better educated, more industrious and more innovative than the ones that came before.
Brooks thinks "positive government" is necessary to have educated workers. He dismisses the free market in this area.
Liberals have spent more time thinking about human capital than conservatives, who have tended to imagine that if you build a free market, a quality labor force would magically appear.
Among his solutions:
National service should be a rite of passage for 20-somethings, and these volunteers could mentor students through high school and college years.
Like all statists, he doesn't understand that individuals might find their own solutions if left free by the government. To Brooks, this is belief in magic.
I would not be surprised to see big government conservative Brooks land an important position in the McCain administration.
3. In January John Hawkins warned conservatives not to whitewash John McCain if he's the nominee:
Here's the honest truth: John McCain is not a conservative and he's not a candidate who is going to make conservatives particularly happy if he gets in the White House. Does that mean he's worse than Obama or Hillary? No, but it does mean he will disappoint and infuriate conservatives over and over again if he gets in the White House on a wide variety of issues -- and conservatives in the media should be honest enough to admit that.
If you sell people a bill of goods about McCain being a conservative, what are you going to do if he gets into office and people find out that you weren't honest with them? Where is your credibility going to be then? Think about it, tell the truth about McCain's record, and if GOP voters choose him, let them understand exactly what they're really getting.
Patrick Joubert Conlon has not taken this advice, as he is now writing Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh out of the conservative movement because they won't support McCain. Among his reasons against them are that they "make money from controversy" and that they don't have children. Well, attacking the profit motive does put him in the McCain camp.
I'm a radical for capitalism rather than a conservative, so maybe Patrick is right -- maybe he and McCain are more conservative than Limbaugh and Coulter. The confusion comes from the incoherency of conservatism.
4. I believe nothing can stop McCain in November. Michael Kinsley writes about the reason why: McCain appeals to Democrats.
Only a couple of years ago, there were noises that McCain might admit he was much too nice to be a Republican and might run for President as an independent--or even as a Democrat. Democrats swooned and said they would vote for McCain because he was "honest."
Kinsley doesn't write this, but the reason McCain appeals to Democrats is that he loves big government as much as they do. When liberals hear McCain speak, they think he's one of us. And they're right.
5. Is Obama a leftist? I must say, his idea of tax reform is a disaster:
Rather than simplify taxes, Obama instead wants to have the IRS prepare your returns for you and send them out for your signature. Since the IRS gets all of your income information already, he wants the IRS to calculate how much you owe, without apparently considering that most Americans itemize for deductions. It doesn't cut down on preparation time in any case, but merely transfers the cost to the federal government-- as well as more power to the IRS.
6. Don Feder's Top 10 Reasons Not to Vote For McCain.