A prisoner of the Party’s mistakes, San Fran’s killer robots and other commentary


China beat: A Prisoner of the Party’s Mistakes

The protests in China, notes Guy Sorman at City Journal, “illustrate the limits of all authoritarian regimes.” One: “The regime never admits mistakes.” Thus, “Xi Jinping can’t admit his mistake with Zero Covid; on the contrary, he can only strengthen the commitment to his policy,” though it can never succeed. Second, “Chinese leaders have analyzed the fall of Communism in Europe in minute detail, and they have drawn its lesson”: To “perpetuate their power, they must always inspire fear — or indeed heighten fear by an ever-tighter control of the population,” for “the public will perceive any reform as an admission of weakness.” Xi “is ultimately an apparatchik at the mercy of a palace revolution within the Communist Party — a not-unlikely outcome of the Zero Covid impasse.” “Totalitarian regimes never evolve. They fall all at once, rotten from the inside and subject to quarrels among leaders,” so “in the short term, the repression of local uprisings will become still more severe.”

Econ desk: Free Markets Are 100% American

Donald Trump “shattered the favorable views of free markets that had prevailed since Ronald Reagan’s presidency,” argues Samuel Gregg at Spectator World, and now GOP “senators like Marco Rubio, Josh Hawley, and soon to be J.D. Vance regularly play off an equivalence between love of country and economic nationalism.” Indeed, “many free-market advocates seem ill at ease touching on issues like national cohesion,” which fuels the sense that “economic nationalists care more about America than their opponents.” Yet: “The moral and political foundations underlying American capitalism” were “articulated by eighteenth-century philosophers like Adam Smith and key Founding Fathers like George Washington,” and the “commercial republican ideal” they sought should remind “conservatives America isn’t supposed to be a European social democracy.”

Media watch: NYT’s Bizarre Anti-Semitism Take

New York Times columnist Michelle Goldberg credits her “privilege” for not feeling threatened by “the violent resurgence of antisemitism in the Trump era.” So “it must be privilege, then,” snarks The Federalist’s David Harsanyi, “that explains how a New Yorker could write an entire column in a New York paper about the resurgence of antisemitism during the ‘Trump era’ without once noting” some of the anti-Semitism “in her hometown.” And perhaps it was inconvenient to mention that in progressive New York, “the culprits of anti-Jewish violence are predominantly black or Hispanic.” Yet Goldberg readily smears “villain du jour” Elon Musk for allegedly echoing “an old antisemitic trope” when he called Jewish retired Army officer Alexander Vindman a “puppet & puppeteer.”

Eye on crime: San Fran’s Killer Robots

“It says something about the political culture and governance of San Francisco that in the span of just a few years, the city can go from an enthusiastic embrace of dramatic cuts to the police budget, to embracing re-funding the police, to now an embrace of police robots equipped and enabled to use lethal force,” marvels National Review’s Jim Geraghty, citing a tweet by a district supervisor announcing approval for cops to use the devices. “Was there really so little policy space between ‘abolish the police’ and emulating the villains from RoboCop? Could we try deploying some robo-poop-scoopers on the street first?”

Libertarian: Biden’s Big Spending Folly

“President Biden’s continued spending binge” has made “the consequences of government over-spending” more apparent than at “any time in recent history,” smirks Jonathan Bydlak at Reason. While the “norm went out the window” when ex-Prez Donald Trump “turbocharged the national debt,” it’s “shocking” that now “hardly anyone is paying attention to Biden’s spending, even amid historic inflation.” His big-ticket items include the American Rescue Plan Act, which “cost $1.8 trillion,” and “the much-vaunted Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act,” for “another $765 billion; the CBO estimates his “executive actions total another $532 billions.” Instead of fixing “the egregious fiscal trends” begun under Trump, Biden “continues to carry on one of Trump’s worst legacies.”

— Compiled by The Post Editorial Board


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