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Adam Serwer: Why Oh Why Can't We Have a Better Press Corps?

"I do not know what effect these men will have upon the enemy, but, by God, they frighten me!" Weblogging

I see Ross Douthat is calling for the Republican policy to up its hack quotient on substantive policy issues:

The G.O.P.’s Demographic Excuse: THE Republican Party has lost the popular vote in five of the last six presidential elections. It just failed to unseat a president presiding over one of the longest stretches of mass unemployment since the Great Depression… managed to lose two [senate] seats…. [A] Republican Party that moves too far leftward on immigration risks alienating its white working-class supporters… [who] already suspect that Republican elites don’t have their interests at heart…. What the party really needs… is an economic message…. Luigi Zingales and Jim Pethokoukis on crony capitalism, Ramesh Ponnuru and Robert Stein on tax policy, Frederick Hess on education reform, James Capretta on alternatives to Obamacare, and many more. The bad news is that unlike a pander on immigration, a new economic agenda probably wouldn’t be favorably received by the party’s big donors, who tend to be quite happy with the Republican Party’s current positioning.

Ramesh Ponnuru as a tax policy expert?

Jim Pethokoukis--who thinks Romney won Florida, Virginia, Ohio, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Colorado; and who doesn't seem able to read CBO reports correctly--as a financial-regulatory guru?

Rick Hess--who condemns Obama as an "education spending hawk" before admitting "an Obama victory will mean more federal funding for education than would a Romney victory"--as an education-policy expert?

James Capretta, who simply lies about ObamaCare--"for these Americans who already have insurance, the law contains nothing but new financial burdens"--as a source of health-care ideas?

I will grant you Luigi Zingales and Robert Stein.

Ponnuru, Pehtokoukis, Capretta, Hess--as the Duke of Wellington said of a comparable list of Napoleonic-era British generals: "I do not know what effect these men will have upon the enemy, but, by God, they frighten me!"

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