Friday, June 22, 2007

The Opinionator: Tobin Harshaw & Chris Suellentrop

  • A new Gallup poll indicates that a record-low 14 percent of Americans have confidence in Congress, which puts Congress alongside H.M.O.s at the bottom of Gallup’s Confidence in Institutions rankings. National Review’s Ramesh Ponnuru warns Republicans not to get too giddy about these numbers. He writes at The Corner: “Republicans should not get too gleeful about this finding. If the public is just unhappy with all the politicians, they may take it out on the party they perceive to be in power — and that is still the Republicans.”

  • The many faces of moderation: The Wall Street Journal editorial page says Michael Bloomberg and his fans are wrong to believe “that there is a large American center unserved by our two-party system.” Instead, there are many small centers that are often in conflict:

    This is not to say that there aren’t plenty of moderates in America, but moderation takes many forms. Antigun, pro-gay-rights, vaguely pro-business (but tax increasing) Mike Bloomberg is one sort. Pro-gun, economically populist Jon Tester, the junior Senator from Montana, is another, different sort. Pro-war Democrat Joe Lieberman is yet another kind. Their differences from each other are at least as important as their supposed moderateness.

  • Don’t blame Carl Bernstein or Jeff Gerth and Don Van Natta Jr. if they failed to pen interesting tomes about Hillary Clinton, says Steven Stark in The Boston Phoenix. The junior senator from New York is a congenital bore:

    The press’s assumption about Hillary has always been that she’s the power behind the throne: the smart, savvy one at Yale Law School, who got better grades but postponed her own political career for the benefit of her husband. David Brock wrote an earlier biography, The Education of Hillary Rodham, that advanced this thesis, making the claim that Hillary, not Bill, was the leading light of the twosome.

    There’s only one problem with this theory: there isn’t evidence to support it.

    Stark adds, “You can’t write a good life story about a rather boring and unlikable personage who’s never done enough to merit a lengthy biography in her own right, even if she is married to someone as interesting as Bill.”