I’m not entirely sure my choice to dub Michael Barone the Hepheastus of punditry works as well as it seemed when I struck me how the columnist, like the god of the forge, is a master of detail.
Today, in his blog posts and column, he shows some prophetic qualities of Apollo, the god to whom I compared to Charles Krauthammer.
On poll numbers showing that the GOP has closed the ballot gap with Democrats, he writes,
Note that this also represents a decline for Democrats, not a gain for Republicans. . . . I think there’s a danger for Republicans in over reliance on these numbers. . . . Republicans need to present alternative public policies and their vision for the future.
Emphasis added.Â Exactly.
On the disrespect President Obama has shown for Latin American leaders, he asks, “Where Are the Bush Critics?”
Cheap shot attacks on the Bush foreign policy as dictatorial and disrespectful of other nations have continued even after Bush has left office, as in this column by the usually sophisticated Fareed Zakaria. Perhaps such gratuitous insults are required for admittance to Manhattan salons. What if anything do Bush critics have to say about the disrespect shown by the Obama administration and the Democratic Congress for Brazil and Mexico?
Finally, on the absence of choices in the President’s program:
The Obama program would have been well suited to the mid-20th century America, where people were happy, after the success of World War II, to work as small cogs in giant organizations run by big government, big business and big labor. But it is not well suited to 21st century America, where people, especially young people, are used to making their own choices, setting up their own networks, taking their own initiatives. Republicans should stop channeling Ronald Reagan â€” a remote figure to the young â€” and start offering young Americans policies that are in line with our times.
Maybe he’s right that we should stop channeling the Gipper and instead focus on the ideas he articulated.Â For Ronald Reagan did want government to get out of the way so the private sector could offer those choices.
Oh, and, it should go without saying that with anything by Barone, just read the whole thing, well, in this case, things.