Political Animal


January 18, 2013 5:41 PM Day’s End and Weekend Watch

By Ed Kilgore

After a day of listening to people talk about a ho-hum House Republican Retreat, I’m ready for a retreat myself (just two days, though). Here are some final news items of the day and week:

* Voteview analyzes the president’s issue positions during his first term and adjudges him “the most ideologically moderate Democratic president in the post-war period.”

* House GOP threat to cut off congressional pay if budget resolutions not enacted within three months would appear to run athwart the 27th Amendment.

* Self-appointed arbiter of presidential greatness Peggy Noonan tells us again that Obama has disappointed her. That’s the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval so far as I’m concerned.

* At Ten Miles Square, John Sides shows there’s no correlation between higher entitlement spending and decreased trust in government, at least since early 1970s.

* At College Guide, Daniel Luzer expresses skepticism about the Cal State University system’s experiment in large-scale online courses for credit—in exchange for fees.

And in non-political news:

* Ozzy Osbourne loses ton o’ hair in house fire. Glad he’s still got it to lose.

Monday is a federal holiday, but also Inaugural Day, so PA will be active as events dictate, but maybe not so much early in the day.

Kathleen Geier is back for her first Weekend Blogging of 2013.

And here again are the Nighthawks kicking off the winter weekend with “Nine Below Zero.”


Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


  • john sherman on January 18, 2013 5:54 PM:

    It's not surprising the Republican would retreat, for as the Bible says, "the guilty flee where no man pursueth."

  • Quaker in a Basement on January 18, 2013 6:02 PM:

    Inauguration on MLK day? Sweet!

  • TT on January 18, 2013 10:47 PM:

    Mr. Kilgore,

    I am not a mental health professional, but I am an admirer of your writing and your journalism. And since I am concerned primarily with your ability to deliver the sustained excellence we habitual readers of PA have come to expect, I must that say that with respect to your fascination with the walking moral, intellectual, political, and stylistic train wreck that is Ms. Margaret Ellen Noonan....let it go, man. Just let it go.

    I sympathize, believe me I sympathize. Because I've been there. I understand that there are some conservative writers to whom you must turn on a daily or weekly basis in order to get your gastrointestinal acids boiling to that exquisitely fulfilling point where you feel as if the sole remedy is a sledgehammer, a burned-out car chassis, and a fifth of bourbon or a case of Coors Light. But I'm here to tell you that down that road lies nothing but more despair, more anger, more rage at the sheer f'd up-ness of those who adhere to the conservatist faith, and day after day lost to utterly fruitless drunken stupors. Save yourself some bad hangovers, man. Just give it up. I did, and am much happier and better off for it.


  • joel hanes on January 19, 2013 1:45 AM:

    I have been disappointed, time and again since 1980, nay: continually since 1980 by the work of Ms. Noonan.

  • Thisby on January 19, 2013 2:50 AM:

    “the most ideologically moderate Democratic president in the post-war period.”

    So... just what the hell is the "post-war period" anyway? Post-WWI? WWII? Korea? Vietnam? Grenada? Kuwait? Iraq? Afghanistan?

    That phrase means absolutely zilch anymore. Pretty much anyone I knew who was in WWII is dead. We of the Korea and Vietnam generation are fading fast. So what, exactly, does that phrase mean?

  • castanea on January 19, 2013 1:38 PM:


    I think "post-war" means "since 1865."

  • Dave W on January 20, 2013 3:29 PM:

    Peggy Noonan "...disdain for the leaders of the other major party and, by inference, that party's voters, which is to say more or less half the country."

    Or by actual numbers maybe 20% of the population?

    A larger percentage perhaps then gays, blacks, latinos etc. as individual groups, but still probably fewer people then republicans seem able to publicly hold in disdain.