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Deniers and Caretakers, Republicans and Democrats

American politics these days doesn't make a lot of sense if you expect people to act with sensible self-interest in mind. The Democrats, who were elected with large majorities after the other party's policies led the country to disaster, are apparently afraid to argue for their own policies. The Republicans, after suffering a resounding defeat because their policies led to disaster, have handed their party over to an angry faction that wants to push those failed policies even further.

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Dear Right Wing: Is This War or Not?

How many times have we heard the phrase War on Terror over the last nine years? How many times have the very people who are now frothing and screaming about the Cordoba House community center (the alleged "Ground Zero Mosque") also screamed the words "War on Terror," and frothed at anyone who they felt was not acting (and I do mean acting) seriously enough about that "War?"

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Judicial "Overreach" Since 1783

The inevitable talking point about Perry v. Schwarzenegger, the case overturning Proposition 8, is that it's "judicial overreach." Reason snaps together the prefabricated argument here. For the last generation at least, the allegedly "conservative" position is that judges should not be allowed to "make law" or to defy the will of the voters by ensuring justice or allowing equal protection under the law.

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Undermining Traditional Marriage (Amen!)

A judge has overturned California’s Proposition 8 as unconstitutional, because it is, and our country has moved one more step toward making marriage a universal right. Those who want marriage rights restricted will complain that this decision “undermines traditional marriage,” and in a way they’re correct. It does. And that's a good thing.

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To Refudiate (verb)

So the whole blogosphere has been tweeting and retweeting about Sarah Palin's accidental coinage of the word "refudiate," and her subsequent comparison of herself to William Shakespeare. (If that's the standard you want your prose judged against, sister, be my guest.) It's a big serving of the regular Palin-coverage stew: mockery of ignorance, defensive anti-intellectualism, just enough genuine condescension to lend the anti-intellectuals credibility.

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Why Can't Education Reporters Read?

Last week The Delta Cost Project, a non-profit that studies the cost of higher education, released a detailed report on revenue and expenses at American colleges and universities over ten years: "Trends in College Spending, 1998-2008." The report broke down the various sources of revenue, the different activities on which money was spent, and most interestingly the rate of increase

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Liberty, Equality, and So On ...

Happy Bastille Day, mes amis. And Lafayette, thanks for the solid.

In honor of the quatorze juillet, here's Serge Gainsbourg:

And for those who prefer La Marseillaise old-school, Casablanca still does it best.

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Cleveland Is Okay. Seriously.

Friday morning I was in Cleveland, where all the news was about LeBron James. That afternoon, I got on a plane and flew to Not Cleveland in order to attend a wedding. Now I'm back.

The wedding was delightful, except for one thing. Several people I spoke with were firmly convinced that the city of Cleveland was basically on fire. They were grateful that I had gotten out of town "before they burn it down." I blame ESPN for this.

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How to Lose a Counterinsurgency: Part II

(Or, Lessons the British Army Taught Us)

Part II: Let the War Drag On and On



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Personal Information


Doctor Cleveland is a transparent pseudonym for Shakespeare scholar Jim Marino, who blogs about politics, education, literature, and the arts. His personal obsessions include live theater, Red Sox baseball, and powerful black coffee. He teaches college, somewhere along America's glorious North Coast. He has also been known to write about Shakespeare and early modern theater.

While he blogs about the general academic life, he does not discuss his current institution, its students, or its employees on the blog. Nor does he use any university resources to blog. Opinions expressed on the blog are not those of his employer, and do not reflect the content of his classes.


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