- David Brooks on Mel Gibson The New York Times
columnist thinks Gibson embodies the American
culture of narcissism. "We’ve entered an era where self-branding is on
the ascent and the culture of self-effacement is on the decline,"
writes Brooks. And while it's doubtful Gibson wanted to brand himself a
racist, woman-hating lunatic, the fact we've been so compelled by
material that presents him as such proves Brooks' point. "A study
conducted at the National Institutes of Health suggested that 6.2
percent of Americans had suffered from Narcissistic Personality
Disorder, along with 9.4 percent of people in their 20s."
- Paul Krugman on Redoing Voodoo Economics The professor can't wrap his head around why Republicans are
sticking to their mantra of "tax cuts for the rich." Their recently
brightened electoral prospects for the November midterms have only
emboldened members of the party (such as Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona) to drop
any talk of reducing deficits, in favor of such "voodoo economics."
Krugman cautions: "But if politicians who insist that the way to reduce
deficits is to cut taxes, not raise them, start winning elections
again, how much faith can anyone have that we’ll do what needs to be
- Peggy Noonan on Youth Outliving Usefulness The Wall Street
Journal columnist believes that American politicians, especially the
youthful President Obama, is in desperate need of a "wise man" to turn
to for "historical context" when the going gets rough.
Noonan does note that all these supposed wise men have been "dead"
since Vietnam, where their counsel (centric policy positions and plenty
of compromise) led the nation astray. Still, she writes, we can never
discount the steady hand of the "boring", who eschew the "sparkling" in
favor of the steady.
- Chris Cillizza on the Political Importance of the Oil Spill With
BP capping the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico, the Washington Post
politics maven writes that " the American public has begun to turns its
gaze away from the oil spill." Cillizza opines this is bad news for
candidates banking on voter outrage over the spill to propel them into
office. "What all of that means," he writes, "is that the fate of
congressional Democrats this fall -- and, to a lesser extent, President
Obama -- hinges on how people are feeling about the economy." Hardly
new news to politicians or readers, but it will be worth watching how
quickly the White House and national Democrats can get back on message.
- Eugene Robinson on Democrats Seizing the Moment Outraged by the
prospect of Congress extending tax cuts for the rich instead of
unemployment benefits for the poor, The Washington Post columnist tries
to rally Democrats with this message: Republicans are mostly "out of
step" with what Americans care about, and Obama's party should "get
over themselves." This call-to-arms comes with the caveat that an
anti-incumbent attitude and a "get-tough" stance on immigration are
also popular with the public--all the more reason for Democrats to "get
Want to add to this story? Let us know in comments
or send an email to the author at
ehayden at nationaljournal dot com.
You can share ideas for stories on the Open Wire.