Late yesterday, the United Nations Security Council voted unanimously (with five nations abstaining) to create a no-fly zone in Libya and to use "all necessary measures" to ostensibly protect civilians who might be crushed in backlash against Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi. Although the resolution allows for airstrikes and artillery fire, it prohibits the use of an "occupying force" to intervene in the civil war. I am not reassured by any of this. Raise your hand if you remember the Iraq debacle.
Kevin Drum comments on Matt Yglesias' suggestion that "there’s often a tendency to systematically underrate the extent to which it’s possible to change minds over time" and notes the following of public opinion:
The greatest question in the political blogosphere right now is whether Mitt Romney is a dead man walking or the inevitable 2012 Republican candidate. I'm joking, but as I've mentioned before, I think this question is answered pretty easily by looking at how he fared in the 2008 primaries. 2012 will likely be a repeat.
There's nothing new in yesterday's NBC News/Wall Street Journalpoll. Spending on Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid is strongly supported. So is cutting defense spending and making the rich pay a larger share of tax revenue. Least surprising of all, Americans prefer the federal government do more to combat unemployment than reduce the deficit. Polls like this are an occasion to ask how conservatives confront this inconvenient reality, and the answer is, "not very well."
Ezra Klein is right that the significance of the Koch prank call to Scott Walker is that certain interest groups have the governor's ear, any time, all the time. But the issue here is how "special" became a pejorative way of describing what is a dominant feature of our political system. As always, you have to ask yourself what the interest group wants and whether it benefits the powerful or powerless.