Second guessing is oh so easy, and I always looked askance at those outside the negotiating room who had wisdom after the fact. But having said that …
What are the most important political lessons of 2012?
Perhaps it is not a surprise that Cerberus quickly decided to sell the Freedom Group, its collection of gun companies, including Bushmaster, the firm that made one of the weapons used in the Newtown, Conn., massacre. Cerberus has been notoriously secretive about its finances, and the adverse press it has attracted in the aftermath of Newtown forced a hasty retreat. This should be very encouraging to those of us who wish to shift the debate about guns: A few critical articles, some whispers from major investors questioning their investment in Cerberus, and decisions were instantly made that could cost the company hundreds of millions of dollars.
Both the White House and House Republicans, publicly at least, are digging in their heels deeper and deeper in the so-called negotiations over what we call, alternately, the fiscal cliff, the fiscal slope, the austerity bomb, or the cable-talk-show topic of last resort.
I have grown increasingly mystified that a presidential candidate we know so little about is so close to winning our highest office. The much-derided Etch-a-Sketch strategy has actually worked. What began as a bad joke about a candidate without any substantial chance of victory has now turned into a path to the White House.
At the annual meeting of the U.N. General Assembly this week, plenty of voices will be heard, including that of the hateful president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and not one of those voices will be censored.