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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review June 13, 2007 / 27 Sivan, 5767

Two parties fleeing the center

By Michael Gerson


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Among the presidential candidates, Bushism is under siege. So is Clintonism. And there is no reason to celebrate the downfall of either.


The immigration debate is a reminder to the memory-impaired that President Bush ran and won in 2000 as "a different kind of Republican" — meaning the kind that isn't libertarian or nativist. Bush was orthodox on tax cuts and moral values. But from the earliest days of the nomination contest, he set out policies — a federal role in improving education, humane immigration reform, Medicare prescription drug coverage — that borrowed more from Roman Catholic social thought than from Friedrich Hayek.


Bush's first major policy address of the campaign, which I helped prepare, talked of seeking the "common good," asserted "solidarity" with the poor and declared that "the American government is not the enemy of the American people." Ed Crane of the libertarian Cato Institute complained that the speech epitomized "Bill Clinton's impact on the American polity."


The criticism was insightful. Clinton had run and won in 1992 in much the same way, calling himself "a different kind of Democrat" and reaching out to middle-ground voters early in the primaries when his image as a candidate was still plastic. Will Marshall, one of the main theorists behind Clintonism, recalls that "every time we were down in the polls, and Clinton talked about 'ending welfare as we know it,' he would rebound." Clinton supported the death penalty, promoted global trade and signaled centrism on national security. All these were intended as early contrasts to Mario Cuomo's liberal fundamentalism.


Today, in both parties, fundamentalism is again the fashion; authenticity is the prime directive. Talk-radio conservatism assaults the most obviously Catholic elements of Bushism — a role for government in compassion and a welcoming attitude toward immigrants. "Purity" is defined as the empathy of Tom DeLay and the racial sensitivity of Tom Tancredo.


Authenticity on the bitter blogs of the left means a revolt against the centrist, Democratic establishment — a ritual patricide to establish the ascendancy of the politically hungry and uncompromised. On trade and globalization, Clintonism is the enemy. On foreign policy, "blame America first" has become "blame America exclusively."


Republican and Democratic candidates have generally avoided the most extreme expressions of these movements but seem content to drift in their currents. Few have offered policy proposals that reach toward the middle by challenging the orthodoxy of their party. Mitt Romney has distanced himself from his own innovative Massachusetts health-care reform — fearful that his hidden virtues of creativity and bipartisanship might be exposed in public. Barack Obama is a teller of uncomfortable truths as a stylistic matter, but he has yet to take stands that defy liberal fundamentalism in the way Bill Clinton did. None of the main candidates for president, including one named Clinton, is attempting to win office in the same way that the last two two-term presidents won office.


There are reasons for this shift. Unlike 2000, Republicans are struggling with an unpopular war that has resulted in an unpopular incumbent president; merely rallying the base seems a large enough task. Unlike 1992, Democrats are reacting to what they believe is a massive Republican failure, not the massive Democratic failure of the Mondale/Dukakis exile; there is little appetite for the politics of introspection and self-correction.


All this may be part of a natural political cycle that alternates consolidation and reform. But this does not change the fact that something is being lost. The centrism of 1992 and 2000 eventually yielded welfare reform, education reform and prescription drugs for millions of seniors. Similar bipartisan efforts are objectively necessary to extend health insurance coverage and to stabilize our entitlement systems. The early stages of the presidential season offer few reasons for hope on that agenda.


The abandonment of Bushism and Clintonism is also leaving many Americans ideologically homeless: Catholics who regard themselves as pro-life, pro-immigrant and pro-poor; young evangelicals more exercised by millions dying of AIDS in Africa than by the continued existence of the Education Department; liberals who do not find their liberalism inconsistent with national strength or opposition to Islamic radicalism, the most illiberal force on Earth. All this alienation may, in a saner time, be the basis of a movement that mitigates polarization instead of glorying in it.


In the meantime, we are left with an odd spectacle: a field of strong, accomplished candidates who seldom say anything that isn't entirely predictable. Instead, they cheerfully reconfirm destructive stereotypes of their parties that Bush and Clinton labored mightily to change.


Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment on Michael Gerson's column by clicking here.




Previously:


06/08/07: A different path in Turkey
06/06/07: An Islamic test for Turkey
06/04/07: Mass circumcise Africans?
05/30/07: A Big Enough Stick for Sudan

© 2007, WPWG

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