Lightning Round: 9/11 Is Their Holiday, Not Ours.

  • Wouldn't it be great if we lived in a world where presidents facing a potentially tough re-election could simply turn to the op-ed pages of The Washington Post and find campaign advice two years in advance? Thankfully, Barack Obama lives in that world and can take David Ignatius' recommendation -- he calls it a "second-term masterstroke" -- to choose Hillary Clinton as his running mate. Although the column doesn't actually present any evidence that vice presidents make a difference, we can just assume that this is good advice because we can trust newspapers to describe political reality without resorting to baseless speculation.
  • I expect libertarians to regard Ron Paul's 2008 presidential run as something approaching a watershed moment for their politics, but anyone who argues that Paul had a lasting impact on the Republican Party is getting high on their own supply. Republicans have long supported "limited government" and lower taxes in the abstract, so that can be traced to before Paul, and his views on war and demonizing adherents of minority religions haven't exactly become the party's official platform.
  • Last week I asked "when are we going to stop pretending that mosque locations have nothing to do with 9/11," but I want to clarify what 9/11 means for a lot of conservatives. Take this post, which quotes a cop who says of Ground Zero, "This is our cemetery. It’s America’s cemetery." And in America's cemetery, it is "common sense" that Muslims are not allowed. For these folks, 9/11 is the anniversary of a particular political identity, one which transcends time and place.
  • Weekend Remainders: In America's vibrant 21st-century economy, "bring your own supplies to school day" is every day; Jane Mayer writes, doesn't uncover much new about, the Koch brothers; originalist Republicans have proposed 42 constitutional amendments in the 111th Congress; I'm glad Republicans are more openly running on the platform of punishing the poor for being poor and rewarding the rich for being rich; and good lord, Newt Gingrich has another book coming out?

--Mori Dinauer