Category Archives: Ben Resnik

The cost of ambivalence

by Ben Resnik

Queen Elizabeth II’s recent hospitalization and Mitt Romney’s post-election malaise grabbed the headlines last weekend on Google News. Reported with considerably less pomp was the fact that nine people were killed in unmanned drone strikes last month.

Why Latinos should be Republicans — and why they’re not

by Ben Resnik

There is an alternate universe where the Republicans won the 2012 election. In this universe, it wasn’t that Mitt Romney never made his 47 percent crack, or that Obama was a secret Muslim communist socialist fascist terrorist after all. They won the same way the Democrats did here — with a huge margin of support from the Latino population.

What Santorum ’16 says about GOP ’12

by Ben Resnik

Don’t get me wrong — it is way, way too early to begin speculating about 2016. Doing so is horse-race journalism at its worst, and the Rubio-Ryan-Clinton chess match that started not 12 hours after President Obama’s victory speech is a testament to just how distracted we’ve been from the issues by the pageantry of the process.

Lessons from the multiverse

Resnik-Multiverse

by Ben Resnik

For Democrats, it was one of the most gleefully Schadenfreude-filled moments of election night. With one swing state after another falling into the blue column, including a surprising comeback in Florida, the conservative punditverse seemed unable to process what was going on. Then, as Fox News called all-important Ohio in Obama’s favor, Karl Rove snapped.

The Insta-news cycle

Resnik BIDEN

by Ben Resnik

30–63. Such was the breakdown of responses to Politico’s poll question “Who do you think won the vice presidential debate?” 30 percent said Republican Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), Romney’s running mate, while 63 percent sided with incumbent Vice President and firebrand Joe Biden. Another six percent called it a tie.

News is not Slantable

Slantable

by Ben Resnik

“Join Slantable for news slanted to your preference!”

So says a small box on the side of news-aggregator website Slantable.com. The premise of the site is similar to that of RealClearPolitics: It sifts through a range of Internet news sources which span the political spectrum — from the conservative National Review to Politico to liberal publications such as the Atlantic — gathering articles pertaining to the same issues.

Student loans: Plain, simple, necessary and endangered

by Ben Resnik

Knowledge really is power, and when it comes to politics average Americans have limited access to both. For all the endless news reports and sound bytes we are carpet-bombed with, there is very little solid, reliable information available from which to draw conclusions. On the subjects of the country’s foremost public debates, voters need and deserve a clear explanation of what is going on.

Things Not Seen

by Ben Resnik

Religion is making a play to be a central campaign issue. Between the totally flubbed and universally maligned return of the Jeremiah Wright attack — which attempts to tie the President to the radical statements of his former pastor — and an in-depth look at the nature of Romney’s Mormonism in Monday’s New York Times, religion seems to be insinuating its way back into the national mind, and justifiably so. For many in a nation that is as religious as any democracy in the world, appropriate fear of the Lord is an important tool for gauging the quality of candidate. For the devout, religion and ethical responsibility aren’t just coupled — they’re interdependent.

The almost-right choice

photo by Gage Skidmore

by Ben Resnik

Newsflash to the media: Mitt Romney is not a bad guy.

There’s an element of gamesmanship in all political races: Everybody wants to read a news story where their political opponent comes off not just as a bad choice for office, but a bad person in general. In a process where policy differences between candidates can be intricate and vague, it’s easier and more digestible to create a villain who your preferred candidate can square up against. It’s why attack ads are voiced by the actor from every horror movie trailer, and it’s why both presidential campaigns are scrabbling for the high ground in the dog wars. For Romney, though, it’s getting a little excessive — the blogospheric swirl surrounding recent revelations has the former Massachusetts governor all but twirling his mustache. (I would include Obama as a victim, too, but the man has been accused of cartoonish levels of evil so many times it’s not even worth a mention at this point.) But the real tragedy for the news-consuming American populace is that this spectacle obscures all the real, legitimate reasons Mitt Romney would be a bad choice for president.

Between a Veep and a hard place

Photo by Gage Skidmore

by Ben Resnik

Mitt Romney’s job this race is to not find himself in an HBO post-season special.

It’s becoming something of a tradition for the premium cable company. Starting with “Recount” in 2008 and rising to prominence with “Game Change” this past March, the well-cast TV movies portray the most exciting moments in the previous two presidential campaigns — “Recount” recounts the (in)famous Supreme Court case Bush v. Gore, which ultimately decided the 2000 presidential election, while “Game Change” explores the legendary highs and lows that befell John McCain’s campaign after Sarah Palin’s addition to the ticket. The two films are highly detailed, studio-crafted dramatizations of a candidate’s defeat, and Romney is going to do everything he can to keep himself out of the threequel.