Today on the Dish, Andrew explained why Chuck Hagel’s nomination signals a more honest foreign policy, viewed it as a strike against anti-Semitism, and looked forward to the debate it will spawn in the Senate. He fielded the stream of neocon objections to the nomination throughout the day, from Hewitt-nominee Ed Koch to Elliott Abrams to Bill Kristol (who actually recommended Hagel for George W. Bush’s VP once upon a time). He also found Hagel’s evolution on gay rights as encouraging rather than cause for concern. Similarly, Andrew saw the nomination of John Brennan – one-time torture apologist – as a promising influence on the runaway drone war. Andrew also revisited the defense of Zero Dark Thirty - which Glenn Kenny praised as art precisely for its moral ambiguity – and he saw eye-to-eye with Maggie Gallagher on digital media.
In other political coverage, we sketched a gloomy picture of the GOP’s continued scorched-earth policy in fiscal cliff negotiations and lamented the lack of courage in either party to face up to the necessity of shared sacrifice. In contrast, a visit to The American Conservative and The American Prospect’s new shared office gave us a glimpse of actual political civility. We also surveyed a new study on climate change and learned that the biggest obstacle to action is – surprise! – politics. Drum came down hard on the platinum coin, Evan Soltas considered some alternatives to raising minimum wage, and Bill Bishop noted how few counties switched parties this past election season. We explored some reasons why so few women identify as libertarian while Glenn Reynolds earned himself a Yglesias Award nomination by offering the GOP a choice between intolerance and reality. Beinart pointed to signs that the Republican candidate in 2016 will likely make this choice and run against the party.
Looking abroad, Neil Shea anticipated that Afghan leaders will have a seriously difficult time adjusting to US withdrawal, while Jason Miklian tracked the passage of conflict diamonds through India. Finally, Green Movement skeptics Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett argued that Ahmadinejad leaves behind a significant economic legacy.
In assorted coverage, we took a look at Michael Apted’s ambitious attempt to document the better part of people’s lives in the British class system in his series 56 Up, and Stephen Marche analyzed the TV series Girls as a reflection of this generation’s "new narcissism." Caitlin Bruner introduced us to Iamus, an artificial intelligence that writes classical music, and we caught up with an older friend, the World's Best Pickpocket, who divulged his methods. Esther Inglis-Arkell gave us an idea of what might produce the perfect spacecraft fuel. We felt a warm breeze from Granada, Nicaragua in today’s VFYW, pumped iron during our MHB, and urged readers to scroll through lackluster alternative book covers for today’s Hathos Alert.
In Dish independence news, we continued to air questions and commentary about the new model and let you know that we passed the $440,000 this afternoon. We still have a long ways to go to hit our target, so please consider becoming a member of an independent, ad-free Dish here.
(Photo by Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)