Eye on the Watcher’s Council

As you may know the members of the Watcher’s Council each nominate one of his or her own posts and one non-Council post for consideration by the whole Council. The complete list of this week’s Council nominations is here.

The Glittering Eye, “Steering Away from the Shoals”

In my submission for this week I consider the role of moderation in politics.

Done With Mirrors, “Diplomacy”

I agree with Callimachus that, historically, we’ve been terrible at diplomacy. I think there are a number of reasons for this. First, elites tend to be better at diplomacy and, for good or ill, our elites just aren’t particularly elite (their own opinion notwithstanding). Second, to excel at diplomacy it helps to have an explicit foreign policy and the ability to set one. We do not now and never have had either. Callimachus is also right as to the reason: the same competing interests that give us strength also preclude a cogent, explicit foreign policy. I’m all for diplomacy but am concerned that what those who advocate it really want is to cede responsibility—to “international institutions”, the professionals, anybody.

The Education Wonks, “The All-Muslim All-Girl High School Prom”

I think that EdWonk is correct here: we shouldn’t be particularly enthusiastic about using public funds to support activities that exclude students on the basis of religion or gender. However, there’s a bright side to this story, too: where there’s a will, there’s a way.

The Colossus of Rhodey, “The One That Got Away—Biggest Missed Entertainment Moments”

Hube recounts the missed moments he regrets.

Soccer Dad, “Money for Something”

Soccer Dad considers a prospective Fred Thompson campaign and the role of raising money in presidential politics. I think I’m a little skeptical about money as a form of polling. I’d say that money is a way of retaining the floor and holding the floor is a way of defeating competition without making an argument or actual persuasion.

Bookworm Room, “Judging People By Their Friends and Their Enemies”

I think that Bookworm is about right, here: the Albanians know what real fascism looks like and, consequently, recognize that George Bush isn’t one.

Cheat-Seeking Missiles, “High-Efficiency Woes”

What profiteth it a man to gain the whole world if he loseth his clean shorts? Have I complained lately about my low volume toilet?

Right Wing Nut House, “And the Walls Came a Tum-ba-lin’ Down…”

What makes a great speech? Rick Moran reflects on the occasion of the anniversary of Ronald Reagan’s speech at the Berlin Wall.

‘Okie’ on the Lam, “Something Wicked This Way Comes—A Democrat Congress Tryin’ to Fix the Alternative Minimum Tax”

I think the greatest problem that the Democratically-controlled Congress will have in repealing the AMT is in coming up with a reasonable definition of “the rich” that doesn’t include them and does include a lot of people who are obviously rich.

Big Lizards, “Immigration as a GOP Talking Point in 2008”

Is good governance more important or having an issue that you can campaign for or against? We’re having this problem on a lot of issues these days. My own view on the reason for problems in passing credible immigration reform is the polarization between the elites (left and right), who are in basic agreement, on the one hand with the great bulk of the American people who hold a dramatically different view on the other. Better to kick the can down the road!

Rhymes With Right, “I Hate the Phelps Klan—But the Arrest is Wrong”

In the spirit of Voltaire, Greg takes up the banner of First Amendment absolutism. It ain’t what it used to be, is it, Greg?

Joshuapundit, “A Modest Proposal for Middle East Peace”

Freedom Fighter’s proposal for solving the Israeli-Palestinian controversy: let my/their people go! FF, nobody wants them. And even if there weren’t a single Palestinian in Palestine it would still be a rallying cry—that’s why the “right of return” is all about.

Well, I’ve decided which posts I’ll vote for. Which would get your votes?

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