T.V. host Glenn Beck addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington on Saturday Feb. 20, 2010.(AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
If you watch cable news, you probably know the story of Jack Cassell, the Florida doctor who demonstrated his displeasure with the recently passed health-care reform by posting a sign on his office door reading, "If you voted for Obama, seek urologic care elsewhere." Never mind that Cassell knew nothing of what was in the bill: This was a policy so abominable that he could no longer associate in a professional capacity with anyone who had voted for a politician he didn't like.
There are a lot of things Republicans don't like about Barack Obama. So why is it that they can't let go of the "community organizer" thing? I raise this because Louisiana Sen. David Vitterproclaimed the other day at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference, "I'll take a TV personality over a community organizer any day." Presumably, he meant that he likes Sarah Palin more than Obama.
In case you haven't had your fill of contentious debates and preening senators, we've got a Supreme Court vacancy to fill. The big question (after whom Obama will nominate) is just how Republicans will decide to oppose the nominee. Will they launch a filibuster, as Adam discusses, and validate everything Democrats have been saying about "the Party of No"? Will they use the nomination to whip up populist anger at the administration?
Mark Twain once said something to the effect that it's not what you don't know that gets you into trouble; it's what you know for sure that just ain't so. This is what I'd like to add to the discussion going on among Jon Chait, Julian Sanchez, and Matt Yglesias on the right's "epistemic closure," the belief that the only sources of information that can be trusted are those that exist within your movement.
I have a lot of disagreements with conservatives, but there's one thing I'll give them credit for: their support of the publishing industry. I give you the top-selling non-fiction books of 2009, from Publisher's Weekly (h/t Tyler Cowen):