Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell was asked what his party will do if it retakes power. It was an open-ended question, not multiple choice. (Create jobs? Trim the Deficit? Restore bipartisanship?) He was admirably candid:

MCCONNELL: The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.

That’s been the goal these last two years: do their best to assure nothing good is accomplished that could lead to his reelection. And that’s the vision for the next two.


Peter Kaczowka: ‘I went to Dartmouth on full scholarship, a merit student. Bush and McCain were ‘legacy’ students, got into schools their daddies attended. It’s a form of affirmative action for the well-off and generally white. Suffused with the entitlement of their birth, they mostly get bad grades, usually a good predictor of future performance. A ‘C’ for the Bush Presidency would be generous. Had I known an Ivy League school and good grades made me inferior, I would not have bothered. I mistakenly thought that ‘elite’ was good, as in ‘an elite fighting force.’ Thanks to James yesterday for clearing that up for me.’

☞ See? It’s hard not to get snarky when discussing this. To me it’s as simple as wanting my football team to have the most talented quarterback, companies I own shares in to have the ablest CEOs, the gal who transplants my liver to be world class in her skill. And I assume Bush/McCain/Palin supporters feel the same way but would argue that the job of President or Senator doesn’t require exceptional intelligence and knowledge. How complicated could the world’s problems really be? Common sense trumps all.

And I agree: common sense does trump all. But as between a leader with common sense and amazing intellectual firepower, like Clinton and Obama, or a leader with common sense who can’t name the President of Pakistan (neither could I, but I was not fit to be president, either) or who can’t distinguish between North and South Korea (that one I knew) . . . I’d go with the former. And that holds for Senator and Governor and any other high office, too – because in answer to my snarky question (how complicated could the world’s problems really be?) I’d say, with all the sincerity I can muster: very complicated. And the fate of mankind rests on our getting the next few decades right. Or as nearly right as possible.

As I said yesterday, I’m sorry, but I have a lot more faith in Bill Clinton’s and Barack Obama’s judgment than in John McCain’s judgment (look who he chose to lead the world in the event of his incapacitation) or Sarah Palin’s judgment. That may be elitist, but to me it’s also just common sense.


You know those annoying kids who not only did their homework but then dipped into the optional ‘additional reading’ because they were actually interested in the topic? (I was not one of them.) For them, I offer this recent examination of elitism in the Washington Post. ‘If working hard, climbing the education ladder and graduating from a good university only wins you opprobrium,’ Anne Applebaum concludes, ‘then you might not bother. Or if you do bother, then you certainly won’t go into politics, where your kind is no longer welcome. We will then have a different sort of elite in charge of the country — and a different set of reasons to dislike them, too.’


Note: the woman in this 30-second spot is his opponent.


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