Shrinking: any remaining respect for Wlliard Romney
Thomas Friedman may believe the world is flat (and time is measured in six month intervals), but even he is glad that President Obama is aware of the globe's actual shape.
There is a reason President Obama is leading on national security, and it was apparent in his U.N. speech last week, which showed a president who understands that we really do live in a more complex world today — and that saying so is not a cop-out. It’s a road map. Mitt Romney, given his international business background, should understand this, but he acts instead as if he learned his foreign policy at the International House of Pancakes, where the menu and architecture rarely changes.When your foreign policy has been so dumbed down that it's unacceptable to Thomas Friedman, you need to ditch the 1985 set of Funk & Wagnalls.
Not shrinking: President Obama's lead
Ross Douthat explains why the Republican Excalibur—the one issue that was suppose to chop through all other issues—just isn't cutting it in the 2012 campaign.
The unemployment rate is 8.1 percent. ...The entire GOP strategy over the last four years has been the most straightforward two-step in recent history. Step one: make sure things don't get better. Step two: keep blaming Obama until people forget the real cause of their misery. Step one has been executed fairly well, step two has so far been a tougher sale. Thank goodness.
But Barack Obama would win if the election were held today, and probably by a relatively comfortable margin. My wintertime prediction, Mitt Romney’s campaign strategy, the assumptions of Republicans and Democrats alike — all have been confounded by voters’ refusal to lean the way the unemployment rate suggests they should.
Why is this? In part, it’s the hangover from the Bush years, and the fact that Americans don’t yet trust the Republican Party given how little the party seems to have learned and changed since 2008. In part, it’s Romney himself, a deeply flawed candidate whose “47 percent” remarks look like the rare disastrous sound-bite that actually turns the polls against the candidate who uttered it.
Not Shrinking: American penises (work harder, Kalli)
Stephanie Coontz looks at claims that men are an endangered gender.
Scroll through the titles and subtitles of recent books, and you will read that women have become “The Richer Sex,” that “The Rise of Women Has Turned Men Into Boys,” and that we may even be seeing “The End of Men.” ...Okay, so maybe there was a little shrinkage in that must delegate and unmentionable part of Americans whether male or female: our salaries.
What we are seeing is a convergence in economic fortunes, not female ascendance. Between 2010 and 2011, men and women working full time year-round both experienced a 2.5 percent decline in income.
Growing: Realizations of just how bad the economy was in 2008
David Leonhardt's looks at how underestimating the seriousness of economic issues in 2008 mixed with political expediency to result in insufficient actions to turn things around quickly.
In my interviews with Obama advisers during that time, they emphasized that they knew the history and were determined to avoid repeating it. Yet of course they did repeat it. After successfully preventing another depression, in 2009, they have spent much of the last three years underestimating the economy’s weakness. That weakness, in turn, has become Mr. Obama’s biggest vulnerability, helping cost Democrats control of the House in 2010 and endangering his accomplishments elsewhere.The New York Times runs through the cases that will be argued in front of the Supreme Court this season, including several cases around fourth amendment rights.
Shrinking: Maureen Dowd's interest in the election.
Maureen Dowd has become so bored with the political season that she's giving fashion advice.