1. I continue not to have much to say, because I’m reluctant to criticize Obama before he actually does anything as president.
2. I’m also not outraged by the senatorial outcomes in IL and MN. If the state is controlled by the Democrats and the senate is too, I guess the Democrat is going to prevail in a race that’s obviously too close to call. And in IL, I don’t see the problem in seating the boring old guy as a placeholder, who was appointed according to the law of the state, as far as I can tell. Neither of these issues has legs or even toes. (And I’m only slightly less indifferent to Princess Caroline getting the NY seat. Obama’s victory was for the stylish and inexperienced young, and they deserve a voice to balance all those Clinton retreads.)
3. It’s above my paygrade to know what kind of government stimulation of the economy would be least likely to be counterproductive. I certainly agree with Dick Morris about the danger of getting a lot more Americans out of the habit of paying federal taxes. Although I’m not usually losing sleep over the injustice of thecapital gains tax, maybe giving it something like a holiday would lure more rich guys back to taking stock-market risks. But a tax cut for the rich won’t play well now. I think I agree with Sowell about the difficulty of knowing what the real ecomonic effects would be of stimulation through infrastructure. So maybe the best thing is to give every taxpayer 5K--like in the game Monopoly--and let him or her do what he or she pleases with it--making it crystal clear this is a one-time-only thing. There is no right to stimulate or be stimulated, even in our erotically challenged time. But government spending does need to go up--maybe in stimulating ways--in certain areas, such military/weapons modernization, "subsidiarity"-based programs for the permanently disabled and the frail elderly, and some genuine infrastructure concerns.
4. A REAL ISSUE: We need new ideas for articles and symposia for PERSPECTIVES ON POLITICAL SCIENCE. I’m disappointed that nothing has come in on the election or the Obama "regime change." And I’m very disappointed that bold and impetuous young (and old) authors of brilliant but strange essays on politics, literature, and philosophy haven’t been calling or writing in big numbers either. Let me hear from you ([email protected]). Reent authors include Mark Lilla, Delba Winthrop, Mary Nichols, Mary Keys, Ty Tessitore, Yuval Levin, Ivan the K, Eduardo Velasquez, Ralph Hancock, and Dr. Pat Deneen.
5. Pat is now dispensing his excellent and adventurous blogospheric wisdom at the "postmodern conservative" blog of Culture11. His first entry is a tough (too tough, I think) criticism of the constiutional conservatism of Peter Berkowitz praised, with some justice, below.