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):
You don't have to expect every politician to be a serious policy wonk to believe that he or she ought to have a grasp of at least the basics of the key issues they debate. And if they don't have that grasp at the beginning of a debate, then they ought to by the end of it. If there's one thing we can say about the last year, it's that we all learned a lot about health-care policy. Or at least most of us did.