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2019年2月8日 星期五

RCP Morning Note, 02/08/2019: Late-Term Abortion; GOP and Climate Change; Quote of the Week


02/08/2019
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Carl Cannon's Morning Note

Late-Term Abortion; GOP and Climate Change; Quote of the Week

By Carl M. Cannon on Feb 08, 2019 08:29 am

Good morning, it's Friday, February 8, 2019, time for my quote of the week. It comes from a president whom hardly any living American remembers personally. His name was Warren G. Harding, and on this date in 1922, he installed the first radio in the White House.

It's probably safe to say presidential communications was never the same again. I've written about presidents and technology before in this this space; I've also written about what might be termed the inverse eloquence of President Harding.

My favorite passage in this genre came from the 1920 campaign trail (in an election won by Harding): "America's present need," he said, "is not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration; not agitation, but adjustment; not surgery, but serenity; not the dramatic, but the dispassionate; not experiment, but equipoise; not submergence in internationality, but sustainment in triumphant nationality."

I'll avoid assessing the appeal of such awkward alliteration, but former Treasury Secretary William Gibbs McAdoo, who sought the Democratic presidential nomination the same year, derided Harding's speeches as "an army of pompous phrases moving across the landscape in search of an idea."

Fair enough, but Harding had one idea he was pretty clear about and it was an enduring point made famous nearly four decades after his death by another American president. I'll have that quote in a moment. First, I'd direct you to RealClearPolitics' front page, where we aggregate stories, videos, and columns from across the political spectrum while providing updated poll information and the RCP poll averages. We also offer an array of original content from RCP's staff and contributors:

* * *

Late-Term Abortion Stance May Be Trump Card in 2020. Phil Wegmann reports on the likely campaign issue that the president trumpeted in his State of the Union address -- with an assist from two Democratic governors.

We Can't Run From Climate Change. Especially Not the GOP. Former Rep. Carlos Curbelo proposes a market-centered approach to addressing the issue.

Why the Border Standoff Is Cause for So Much Concern. Joe Lieberman laments that even when both sides are in material agreement they've shown themselves unwilling to forge a deal.

A Bull in the China Shop. Former Sen. Jim Talent calls President Trump's efforts to counter China his greatest foreign policy success.

Five Facts: The U.S. Immigration Asylum Process. In RealClearPolicy, No Labels has this overview.

Why We Must Scale Back the Regulatory Structure. J. Kennerly Davis explains, also in RCPolicy.

What a Title IX Proposal Means for Religious Liberty. In RealClearEducation, Alexandra McPhee assesses a possible regulatory change that would exempt faith-based institutions from an unnecessary administrative hurdle.

When Ed Sullivan Met the Beatles. In RealClearLife, Tim Sommer revisits the band's first TV appearance before an American audience, 55 years ago.

* * *

Today's quote of the week comes from the Republican National Convention in Chicago on June 7, 1916. Warren G. Harding, then a U.S. Senator from Ohio, delivered the keynote address. In it, he had this passage:

"In the great fulfillment we must have a citizenship less concerned about what the government can do for it and more anxious about what it can do for the nation."

So there's your quote of the week. It translates imperfectly a century later. Today we'd render the word "citizenship" as "citizenry," for one thing. Also, the awkward syntax and surplus verbiage was vintage Harding.

Yet, the man was onto an interesting idea here, one he fleshed out four and a half years later at his own inauguration. "Our most dangerous tendency," Harding said on that occasion, "is to expect too much of government, and at the same time do for it too little."

Is this starting to sound familiar? It should. In 1961, Harding's theme was rendered by John F. Kennedy into one of the most memorable lines of any presidential inauguration. "Ask not what your country can do for you," JFK exhorted his fellow Americans. "Ask what you can do for your country."

Carl M. Cannon
Washington Bureau chief, RealClearPolitics
@CarlCannon (Twitter)
ccannon@realclearpolitics.com

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