Entry in progress—B.P.
Wikipedia: Green Lantern in other media
The many incarnations of the DC Comics superhero Green Lantern have appeared in numerous media over the years.
Liberal pundit and blogger Matthew Yglesias has ascribed to conservative advocates of United States military intervention in the Middle East the “Green Lantern Theory of Geopolitics.” Yglesias characterized adherents to this “theory” as people who believe “American military might” is like a Green Lantern’s power ring, “that, roughly speaking, we can accomplish absolutely anything in the world through the application of sufficient military force. The only thing limiting us is a lack of willpower.” “The Green Lantern Theory” has since become a meme among liberal bloggers.
Wikipedia: Matthew Yglesias
Matthew Yglesias (/ɨˈɡleɪsiəs/; born May 18, 1981) is a liberal American writer. He writes about economics and politics.
Out of the Crooked Timber
The empirical basis of the Green Lantern theory
by JOHN QUIGGIN on DECEMBER 21, 2006
The idea that winning wars is a matter of willpower (what Matt Yglesias calls the Green Lantern theory of geopolitics) has been getting more and more attention as the situation in Iraq deteriorates.
At one level, the triumph of will theory is immune to meaningful empirical refutation. Whenever a nation loses a war, it can be argued that, with more willpower it would have prevailed. The one exception is where the nation is utterly destroyed, in which case, there will be no one interested in observing the failure of will.
There is, however, a specifically American version, which can be given some kind of empirical support. Until Vietnam, the United States had, at least according to the official accounts, never lost a war. The willpower theory holds that this loss was due to domestic weakness rather than defeat on the battlefield, and that subsequent failures of US forces in Lebanon, Somalia and elsewhere represent “Vietnam syndrome”.
December 14, 2009
The Green Lantern theory of the presidency
During the Bush years, Yglesias coined the Green Lantern Theory of Geopolitics* Hal-greenlantern to mock conservatives who believed that “[t]he only thing limiting us is a lack of willpower” in foreign policy. What he identifies here is nothing less than a Green Lantern theory of the presidency in which all domestic policy compromises are attributed to a lack of presidential will. And, like the Green Lantern theory of geopolitics, this view is nonfalsifiable. Rather than learning from, say, the stimulus vote that Obama faces severe constraints in the Senate, liberal GL proponents have created a narrative in which all failure and compromise is the result of a lack of presidential willpower.
Washington (DC) Post
Why the Green Lantern Theory of Presidential Power persists
By Greg Sargent April 30, 2013
At today’s press conference, President Obama spent a fair amount of time pushing back on what some of us are calling the “Green Lantern Theory of Presidential Power.” This theory — which seems to hold broad sway over many in the press — holds that presidents should be able to bend Congress to their will, and any failure to do so proves their weakness and perhaps even their irrelevance.
The Green Lantern Theory of the Presidency, explained
Updated by Ezra Klein on May 20, 2014, 12:20 p.m. ET @ezraklein
What is the Green Lantern Theory of the Presidency?
According to Brendan Nyhan, the Dartmouth political scientist who coined the term, the Green Lantern Theory of the Presidency is “the belief that the president can achieve any political or policy objective if only he tries hard enough or uses the right tactics.” In other words, the American president is functionally all-powerful, and whenever he can’t get something done, it’s because he’s not trying hard enough, or not trying smart enough.
Nyhan further separates it into two variants: “the Reagan version of the Green Lantern Theory and the LBJ version of the Green Lantern Theory.” The Reagan version, he says, holds that “if you only communicate well enough the public will rally to your side.” The LBJ version says that “if the president only tried harder to win over congress they would vote through his legislative agenda.” In both cases, Nyhan argues, “we’ve been sold a false bill of goods.”
New York City • Government/Law/Politics/Military • Sunday, August 23, 2015 • Permalink