Kyle Smith (Twitter: @rkylesmith) is a film critic for The New York Post and the author of the novels Love Monkey and A Christmas Caroline. Type a title in the box above to locate a review. Find an alphabetical listing of The New York Post's recent film reviews here.
Buy Love Monkey for $4! "Hilarious"--Maslin, NY Times. "Exceedingly readable and wickedly funny romantic comedy"--S.F. Chronicle. "Loud and brash, a helluva lot of fun"--Entertainment Weekly. "Engaging romp, laugh-out-loud funny"-CNN. "Shrewd, self-deprecating, oh-so-witty. Smith's ruthless humor knows no bounds"--NPR
Buy A Christmas Caroline for $10! "for those who prefer their sentimentality seasoned with a dash of cynical wit. A quick, enjoyable read...straight out of Devil Wears Prada"--The Wall Street Journal
Zach, your affection for Rand Paul notwithstanding, he will remain at best a fringe figure in American politics at large, whatever role he plays within the GOP.
Americans love libertarianism in theory but in how they actually live their lives, they are quite happy with a robust government. Start with the fact that 80-90% of people in the country are or have been educated in public schools — including most libertatians I know — and move on to dotage, where vast majorities of Americans, including 70%+ self-described Tea Partiers, don’t want Medicare or Social Security touched.
And while I applaud Sen Paul for his principled filibuster, in reality all he did was offer a 13-hour reminder to Americans that President Obama will be ruthless in defending the homeland. As relates to national security — much to the chagrin of the peacenik left and their comrades on the libertarian right — Americans are quite happy with robust, assertive government, and care more about their safety from terrorists than they do about colloquies on “constitutionalism.”
Sen Paul no doubt has many fans in Univ of Chicago seminar rooms.
I don’t regard Tea Partiers as being libertarian. They espouse one thing, but you look at their voting records and they look like statists. They’re frauds and while they may not be racist, they tapped into a deluge of racist voters that appeared on November 4, 2008.
I just find it funny that under Bush, you couldn’t take a step in D.C. without bumping into a massive group of Iraq protestors with signs like: 3,000 dead! 3,500 dead! _____ civilians dead!
Keith Olbermann signed off his show every night by reminding people of the horrific Iraq war. And I applauded him.
But where are my fellow liberals now that Obama’s doing it? The other day 87 children were killed in a drone strike and I feel like I’m alone here. When Bush was doing it, I was outraged. Now that Obama’s doing it, I’m more outraged, because at least Bush was honest about the fact he wanted America to take over the world. Obama hides behind the facade he hid behind in 2008 as the peace candidate. He’s the defense contractor candidate, and why am I the only liberal who cares?
@SK. I write as a lifelong liberal Democrat. My people have spent many hours over the decades railing against various aspects of hawkish foreign policy. The net effect of much of that fulmination over the years was, in the minds of many American voters: “You know what? These guys are saying the Republicans will be ruthless in defending the country. I prefer ruthless.”
So, yes, by essentially conducting a 13-hour pacifist fillibuster, Paul signaled that Obama would do “whatever it takes” to defend the country. Because Paul was, essentially, “accusing” Obama of just that.
@Zach. No argument from me on double standards in this regard. If Bush and Cheney were gathering unto themselves the executive powers that Obama has claimed, we’d never hear the end of it.
I supported the Iraq war. But I don’t think the drone campaign is parallel to a misguided and disastrous intervention that involves tens of thousands of troops, etc, nonexistent WMD, etc. I don’t want to re-argue the Iraq war here, as I think the facts speak for themselves, and, like I said, I supported it, so I don’t sit on any perch in that regard.
Yes, there’s a double standard re: drones/exec power. But droning and all-out invasions in Arabia are not parallel. The drones target enemies of the USA.
It isn’t “pacifist” to seek clarification and assurances about the administration’s position on drone strikes against US citizens on US soil. It isn’t “pacifist” to believe that those citizens have rights under the Constitution. It isn’t “pacifist” to believe that capturing an alleged terrorist and questioning him or her may yield valuable intelligence that would not be discoverable if the alleged terrorist were killed by a drone.
I do think that Obama is ruthless, though. Chicago Way ruthless.
yankeefan, I haven’t heard Dukakis or Kerry address drone strikes against US citizens on US soil. It was just a summary of Senator Paul’s position, as I understand it, based on his “pacifist filibuster” (your words in No. 10) and a later interview.
They target our “enemies”, yes. But where the drones can be compared to war is that there are unintended ramifications of its usage. Like in war, there will undoubtedly be raping, civilian killing…everyone knows warfare can get ugly. Drones, however, have the civilian killing consequence. Just the other day, 87 children dead. So you saying, “Well, they kill our enemies” is like you defending a cop having to blow up five cars, kill 30 children, and blow up a house to catch his perp.
Our Fifth Amendment rights are gone. There is no more respect for the Constitution now that our President can order the assassination of any American citizen. When the President is allowed to act like Robocop, it concerns me.
If in principle, you think the President should be allowed to use his wartime powers to kill our enemies without judge and jury, let me ask you a question: Would you trust a President Bachmann or a President Palin or a President Perry with that authority? Because, if in principle it is acceptable to you, then you set a precedent that any President can use that power of judge, jury, executioner. If you’re only comfortable with Obama or a Democrat using it, then you have an allegiance not to any ideals and not to the Constitution, but to the Democratic Party.
Our Founding Fathers included “no American shall be deprived of…life…without due process of law” because they learned the lessons of England and France, where political enemies of the state were sent to a hole in the middle of nowhere and nobody asked any questions. There was no evidence. If King Louis XVI wanted them to disappear, they disappeared. History is repeating itself, and France circa late 18th century is not a history I want to be repeating.
Zach, I don’t have any easy answers to your questions. I’ve always thought that terrorism falls in a gray area between war and crime, and a lot of the legalities, and the way to combat terror, are being worked out, and evolving. This will likely all get even more complicated as states collapse in the Middle East and elsewhere and the US and other countries, including poor ones with shaky governments, confront increasing numbers of hostile, stateless actors.
Terrorism is a tactic. You can’t have a war on a tactic. We weren’t at war against kamikaze pilots in WWII.
Dictatorships always fall on their own. If we left the Soviet Union alone completely, they still would have fell. North Korea will fall. Middle East dictators are already being hung high. If we believe that the desire for freedom is a natural human desire, oppressors of freedom in the Middle East will not survive. But they also like freedom from cruise missiles being lobbed into their villages, and that was a daily occurrence during the Clinton, Bush, and now Obama administrations.
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