Friday on the Dish, Andrew chronicled more ad-h0minem propaganda from Fox (still no invite), aired reader reax to our mocking logo change, took on some more reasonable right-wing criticism from Hot Air, predicted "only drama" in the GOP fight, and vigorously defended the idea thast capitalism was an engine for gay equality both broadly and in the specific marriage equality fight in Washington. Readers pushed back against Andrew's dismissal of the "open-marriage story," National Review defended Newt's infidelity as "American," his epic chins won the debate, the most recent polling/projections put him ahead in SC (though we learned not to rely on such things claiming to foretell November.) Pundits debated the implications of a Gingrich win, his racism, the impact of the sleazeball allegations, the relative merits of Newt and Romney, the latter's embrace of the Paul Ryan plan, Mitt telling an opponent to go to China, the possible consequences of his victory, and what to do about Obama's civil liberties record. Colbert was good for an laugh.
The internet – especially Reddit - killed SOPA, we lived in the era of insta-ads, and Fox employed a chutzpah-riffic doctor. Syrians were on their own, a think tank was smeared on Israel, China's rise was overblown, and new democracies were fragile. The GOP had reason to oppose the drug war, Obama's green jobs record got fact-checked, the House kept up the debate on health care, and capital gains taxes weren't obviously a bad thing. Readers discussed the publishing industry, television got hammered, and everybody was nostalgic.
St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, 1.31 pm
Thursday on the Dish, Andrew liveblogged that crazy (Newt!) GOP debate (reax here), followed Perry's withdrawal and endorsement of Newt, marvelled at Newt's surge to the top of the SC polls, decided Gingrich's open marriage was a non-story, and hammered home his conviction that Romney could still lose. Andrew also offered the Newsweek article as an antidote to Romney's lies, chatted with Tina Brown about the piece, examined his debate with a Romney strategist on Anderson Cooper, kept the heat up on the epistemic closure machine called Fox News, fit the Keystone XL decision into his broader theory of Obama, got angry at Bibi's media antics, and wouldn't give a spot of credibility to advocates for Iran war.
Bloggers wondered if Gingrich's ex would kill his campaign, reexamined their SC predictions, found poor evangelical strategy in the state, wrote postmortems for Perry's campaign, thought the Bain issue would haunt Romney, guessed at whether President Romney would repeal Obamacare, clashed over Ron Paul's foreign policy, and were astonished by the candidates' many debate fails. Obama opened up to Fareed Zakaria, drug wars varied, defense overspending threatened US security, SOPA Day changed the political landscape on the terrible bill, the economy looked up, and people (bizarrely) loved corporations. Tumbleweeds came from Eurasia, building stuff made us like it more, dumpster diving was tough, and the Christian right got old (or not?)
By Virendra Singh Gosain/Hindustan Times via Getty Images.
Wednesday on the Dish, Andrew refused to let Megyn Kelly off the hook – taking on her cowardice and Fox's here, here, and here. He also defended his treatment of Obama's civil liberties record in the Newsweek essay, explained why the downturn Bush inherited wasn't the same as the Great Recession, aired reader dissents here and here, thanked Althouse for a civil reply, reiterated his view that Romney could still lose the primary, and ushered in a new era for the GOP on the back of Paul's poll numbers. We noticed Mitt had problems with taxes, consistency on SuperPACs, avoiding financial crises, debates, McCain's oppo research resurfacing, and all-around weakness. Gingrich surged (?) despite the possibility his ads were backfiring, Sarah got a spot in his (very hypothetical) administration and embodied chutzpah, and Kristol dared Paul to go all third party on Romney. Romney's whiteness was contested, Gingrich's race-baiting was still nasty, the Hispanic vote mattered, and SuperPACs shifted the landscape.
Today was also the Internet's day of protest against SOPA/PIPA: we explained why Wikipedia, among others, blacked out to protest the bills and found the opposition to the bills to be driven by companies scared of real innovation. An intervention in Syria looked to be counterproductive, Egyptian popular culture evolved strangely after the revolution, Iran couldn't destroy America, and the Chinese government might have started growing itself to death. Obama nixed the Keystone XL pipeline, recessions changed the nature of unemployment, tuitions kept skyrocketed, doctors died with dignity, a reader succeeded at self-publishing, and another reader couldn't stand yesterday's post on Sheri Lewis and Lamb Chop.
Tuesday on the Dish, Andrew called out Fox News for making him persona non grata – which potentially produced an on-air debate over the blockbuster Newsweek piece with Megyn Kelly – and defended his Obama defense here, here, and here. He also live-chatted about the article with readers, found Palin's shrill denunciation of it telling, acknowledged that Europe might derail Obama's 2012 hopes, and noted some unsurprising vagueness from Mitt about budget cuts. On the campaign trail, the shrinking field bolstered Romney's already-dominant position, South Carolina inched his way, he might have broken far enough ahead to win every primary, and the base got (hypothetically) sold on Mormonism. Last night's debate had some fallout too – Gingrich got slammed for his horrific remarks on race and Perry got hammered for calling the leaders of a NATO ally "Islamic terrorists."
We envisioned a global democratic future, developed solutions to Egypt's specific trouble on that front, had hope for Iraq, worried about Iran's oil-powered clout, and charted the limits of European solidarity. The President wasn't a private equity CEO, The Dark Knight was a cautionary tale about violence and state power, and the universe was a mystery. A man opened up about being raped by a woman, facials in porn started as a semi-empowering safety measure, nicotine patches proved mostly unhelpful, your digital activity created history, "Lamb Chop" ventriloquist Shari Lewis went under the microscope, and readers kept going on fracking and conservatism.
Monday on the Dish, Andrew surveyed the right's reaction to his big defense of Obama (Chris Matthews outtake here), thought out loud about the role of race in shaping perceptions of the
President, and explained why 2012 matters so damn much. On that note, he also live-blogged that GOP debate (reax here), eulogized Huntsman's sane conservatism, noted Romney's national surge, and couldn't stand Jennifer Rubin sliming the administration on corpse desecration in Afghanistan. We compiled reax to the Huntsman withdrawal, put Romney's chances at over 90%, wondered whether Bain attacks would play in South Carolina, thought Mitt's rejection of his Mexican heritage in favor of unbearable whiteness poor strategy, noticed he was the rich man's candidate, and guessed at what would happen if he had won in 08.
We learned - morally speaking – to treat foreigners just like conationals, discovered Truman's prudent Iran policy, and vicariously went on holiday to Iraq. The recovery might have been prematurely announced, racial inequality in the economy was still a problem on this MLK day, but both slowing growth and Robin Hooding it were questionable solutions. Discrimination against smokers was debated, tuitions kept skyrocketing, and assessing how productive Americans are was hard but important. Livestrong sorta bilked people, police and tasers were a dangerous combo, football was risky for kids, eye-controlled computers were profiled, evolutionary biology accounted for chins, running on lava was surprisingly possible, and readers discussed the fine points of Jews (not) eating pork.