Political Link List: October 21, 2012

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New York Magazine: November 7th (by Jonathan Chait)
Key passage: “It’s important to be clear about what a defiant Obama II would offer, because it is both more and less than liberals are expecting. They may hope that Obama passes new job-creation measures in his second term. But he appears to have decided that the price of more short-term stimulus—more tax cuts for the rich, which Obama extended in return for stimulus in his December 2010 deal—is no longer tolerable. For better or worse, the president hopes the recovery is strong enough to stand on its own two feet. Where he can actually win without compromise, however, is in some ways more significant.”

The New Republic: How the GOP Destroyed its Moderates (by Jonathan Chait)
Key passage: “What remains of “moderation” within the party has taken on a definition very distinct from the meaning that it held originally. Unlike the moderate and liberal Republicans of yore, today’s “moderates” generally identify themselves as conservative. They are simply less so. The most recent wave of ideological re-making, undertaken since 2002, has seen a series of primary challenges largely replacing conservatives such as Bob Inglis, Richard Lugar, and Robert Bennett with even more implacably conservative Republicans.
What stands out in these contests is the lack of open ideological conflict. In debates within the party, both sides inevitably grasp for the conservative mantle. The virtues of the anti-government creed (except, of course, for the military and some aspects of social regulation) have no recognized limits. An incumbent challenged from the right can survive on other grounds—familiarity, likeability, the persuasive recantation of any past heresies; but the ideological ground on which he can stand has disappeared. Moderation can be successfully denied, but it cannot be defended.”

New York Times: Romney as a Manager: Unhurried and Socratic (by Michael Barbaro, Sheryl Gay Stolberg, and Michael Wines)
Key passage: “In his approach, there are intriguing echoes of and departures from presidents past. His intensely hands-on style sets him apart from George W. Bush, the self-styled chairman of the board, and Ronald Reagan, who cared only for the big picture and left dirt-under-the-fingernails policy work to his staff. His tendency to immerse himself in the details recalls Lyndon B. Johnson, who closeted himself with Pentagon brass to personally choose targets for American bombers during the Vietnam War. His passion for mastering policy and deliberative decision-making evokes the man he wishes to replace, Barack Obama.”

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