LIGHTNING ROUND: 1977 FOREVER.

  • Regardless of how movement conservatives are handling the Sotomayor nomination (heavens, she might "favor individuals over institutions, employees over corporations, the poor over the rich"), the Republicans who are actually in government don't seem too keen on making opposition to her their Last Stand (though they're more than happy to stall the appointment). That being said, they do seem to have short memories regarding treatment of past Republican judicial nominees.
  • The cover story in the new Weekly Standard, "Reagan in Opposition," is subtitled "The lessons of 1977." Reading the piece, I think the main lesson is "Reagan was effing awesome." Seriously though, beyond the vast differences between the political and policy landscapes of 1977 and 2009 (the absence of the Cold War is highly conspicuous), much of the argument surrounding Reagan's success lies precisely in his ability to co-opt the opposition. He defended FDR. He was polite to his political opponents. He was an optimist who made conservatism widely appealing. To say Reagan was sui generis misses the point. The contemporary GOP has no figure that even remotely resembles St. Ronnie, whose personality was key to the revolution he ushered in.
  • The usually reserved National Security Adviser, Jim Jones, has jumped into the "debate" between the Obama Administration and Dick Cheney over national security. Speaking at the Atlantic Council last night, Jones defended the administration, telling the assembled that "I think that the former vice president knows full well that perfection is an impossible standard" and that the United States can only do its best to "keep threats at bay and as far away from our shores as possible."
  • I've long believed that most opponents of same-sex marriage are less interested in high principle than simply expressing their discomfort with the very idea of homosexuality. Today Jon Chait masterfully expands on this idea in a short piece that exposes the empty thinking behind gay marriage opposition: "The ubiquity of this hollow formulation tells us something about the state of anti-gay-marriage thought. It's a body of opinion held largely by people who either don't know why they oppose gay marriage or don't feel comfortable explicating their case."
  • Remainders: The car-dealership punishment conspiracy theory dies a quick death; the president hauls in the cash down in Hollywood; is the new Ambassador to Japan a crony?; George Will can't even talk about baseball without getting it all wrong; new food regulations are in the works; and a shocking number of people "blame the Jews" for the financial crisis.

--Mori Dinauer