Bintel Blog

The Pain in Norman Ornstein’s Tuchas

By Daniel Treiman

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Quotable Washingtonian Norman Ornstein has a fun piece in The New Republic complaining that he’s always getting labeled a neocon because he’s based at the American Enterprise Institute. In fact, Ornstein explains, he’s “one of those Jurassic-era Washingtonians who believes in the virtues of centrism and bipartisanship.”

But, predictably, it’s not only Ornstein’s AEI affiliation that contributes to the misunderstanding of where he stands:

I have a suspicion (based on occasional e-mail rants I get) that, for some lunatics, my knee-jerk inclusion in the neocon camp has to do with my double whammy: a home at AEI and a very Jewish name.

(Although, in all honesty, I have to confess, in the days before I had read much from Ornstein, I, too, assumed he was a neocon for those two reasons.)

Ornstein says that the eagerness of people to lump him into the neocon camp is indicative of the increasing polarization in political life, something that has made life in the middle, as he puts it, “a pain in the tuchas.”


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