Quick Takes

* As I wrote last week, President Obama’s 4th Nuclear Security Summit got underway today in Washington D.C. In order to introduce the event, he wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post that outlines his vision, accomplishments and remaining goals. Here is how he concluded:

I said in Prague that achieving the security and peace of a world without nuclear weapons will not happen quickly, perhaps not in my lifetime. But we have begun. As the only nation ever to use nuclear weapons, the United States has a moral obligation to continue to lead the way in eliminating them. Still, no one nation can realize this vision alone. It must be the work of the world.

We’re clear-eyed about the high hurdles ahead, but I believe that we must never resign ourselves to the fatalism that the spread of nuclear weapons is inevitable. Even as we deal with the realities of the world as it is, we must continue to strive for our vision of the world as it ought to be.

* John Nichols writes that the media barely noticed when Hillary Clinton gave the strongest speech of her campaign.

In this absurd campaign season, when media outlets devote hours of time to arguments about which Republican candidate insulted which wife, about violent and irresponsible campaign aides, about whatever soap-opera scenario comes to mind, thoughtful discussions of issues get little attention. And deep and detailed discussions of issues get even less coverage.

Clinton’s speech on the importance of filling Supreme Court vacancies, and on the values and ideals that should guide judicial nominations, was a deep and detailed discussion of a fundamental responsibility of presidents. What she said impressed not just her own supporters, who gathered Monday to hear her speak on the University of Wisconsin campus, but also Wisconsinites who are undecided or inclined to vote for someone else in the state’s April 5 primary.

* Recently Reince Priebus placed the odds that there would be a contested convention at about 10-15%. They must be going up.

The Republican National Committee has launched a website to inform the public about what happens in the event of contested GOP convention, the Washington Examiner reported. The website, ConventionFacts.gop, lists party rules regarding the delegates required for a candidate to be nominated to lead the GOP’s 2016 convention, as well as the process if no candidate initially meets the requirement.

* Atrios laments what some might call “hippie punching.”

I’m struck by how everything The Left does is wrong. Not just in terms of policy, but tactics. Running a third party candidate is wrong (I actually agree with this generally!), running in a major party primary is wrong, protesting is wrong, protesting the wrong way is wrong, not protesting is wrong, having a journal of important Lefty ideas is wrong, not catering to the feefees of Real Americans is wrong, proposing legislation is wrong, objecting to racism and sexism is wrong. There’s a longer list, I’m sure, but self-styled “moderates” chastise Lefties no matter what they do. Given that The Left might be represented by about 5 people in Congress (I made that number up, it’s probably not even that large), it’s pretty silly.

Kevin Drum responds:

I dunno. I’m pretty sure we all feel this way. I’m a more moderate liberal than Atrios, but as near as I can tell I’m also wrong about pretty much everything. Hillary is a liar, Glass-Steagall did too cause the economic collapse, nobody votes for a squish, it’s all just privilege, Bernie is going to lead a revolution and his numbers add up just fine, I’m a shill for big corporations, Obama is a total sellout, etc….

That’s life. In politics, you’re always wrong according to everyone who’s not you—and the more extreme you get, the wronger you are. That’s the price of being in the arena…

* Finally, one of my favorite writers – Connie Schultz – wrote a piece in response to Susan Sarandon. I’ll let you go read the whole thing. But what I appreciated most was a reminder about this:

…a line from Sarandon’s character Annie Savoy in “Bull Durham”: “The world is made for people who aren’t cursed with self awareness.”

Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly.