Archive

  • POSTED ON TAP ONLINE: CHENEY FOLLIES.

    POSTED ON TAP ONLINE: CHENEY FOLLIES. In his column this week, Matt ruminates on Vice President Dick Cheney -- national joke, national nightmare. --The Editors
  • PRIMAL FEAR.

    PRIMAL FEAR. As Ezra notes , questions about Mitt Romney 's religion could be getting too much attention, given the fact that it is Romney as an individual people will either be voting for or against. But the Romney campaign is obviously acutely aware of the question of whether conservatives will consider Romney "one of us" or not. Today's Boston Globe has an article on that most delicious of campaign stories, the leaked strategy Powerpoint: The plan, for instance, indicates that Romney will define himself in part by focusing on and highlighting enemies and adversaries, such common political targets as "jihadism," the "Washington establishment," and taxes, but also Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, "European-style socialism," and, specifically, France. Even Massachusetts, where Romney has lived for almost 40 years, is listed as one of those "bogeymen," alongside liberalism and Hollywood values. Indeed, a page titled "Primal Code for Brand Romney" said that Romney...
  • PLAN B-ACKLASH

    PLAN B-ACKLASH . There's apparently hell to pay when you point out that there's no scientific or medical reason to deny women over-the-counter access to emergency contraception. Although the Bush administration and Congress requested and allocated a full $4 million in funding for the Office of Women's Health, the FDA plans to withhold more than a quarter of that money -- $1.2 million. Martha R. Nolan , a vice president at the Society for Women's Health Research, a Washington advocacy group, said that big budget bites in Washington are often the beginning of the end and that she worries that this is retribution for the Plan B controversy. "We fear this is the first step toward eliminating the Office of Women's Health," Nolan said. "We must not allow this office to be eliminated or reduced to an empty shell that has no program funding." But if the funding cut becomes official, the office is going to be in a bind now , not just in the future. They've already spent or allocated the...
  • FIND BETTER EXAMPLES, PLEASE.

    FIND BETTER EXAMPLES, PLEASE. David Greenberg , who's a really smart guy and TAP contributor , makes the case for letting Scooter Libby walk in the latest New Republic . Because liberals are "supposed to be champions of the First Amendment and foes of overzealous prosecutors," he argues, they should have avoided "partaking in some hypocrisy of their own" by championing Patrick Fitzgerald 's case: "In fact, applauding it actually benefits the Bush administration -- and future regimes of its ilk -- by further sanctifying secrecy and demonizing the press." I have disagreements with most of Greenberg's argument, which seems to me to skip too quickly to meta commentary about what liberals are "supposed" to champion in the abstract, but frankly all I wanted to flag here is this part: Besides the value of airing secrets, liberals also used to defend something else: the Fourth Estate. While conservatives demonized the mainstream press, liberals -- though aware of the elusiveness of...
  • OSCAR UPDRAFT

    OSCAR UPDRAFT . I checked the total signatures at DraftGore.com on Saturday, around noon, the day before the Oscars. The total number of signatories was roughly 39,300. As of noon today, the total is up to 44,470, or about a 13.15 percent jump in just 72 hours. --Tom Schaller
  • IS THAT DIXIE...

    IS THAT DIXIE BEHIND US, AND WHISTLING I HEAR? Things can get a bit buried here at Tapped, so let me recommend that folks click down to Schaller 's convincing post on how, at the Senate level, the non-Southern strategy is already occurring, and will probably accelerate as we enter 2008. Indeed, I've long thought Tom's analysis persuasive at the Senate level and irresistible at the presidential level but less clear as you move down to governorships, House seats, and state legislatures. That, to me, always seemed the possible place for compromise: You don't want to stop party building or supporting outposts of populism, but nor do you want to waste money on lost causes. So you actually support the local races and the winnable districts (which build party and assure you outposts) while focusing Senate and national money elsewhere. Tom? --Ezra Klein
  • A MAN IS...

    A MAN IS MORE THAN HIS BIO LINE. I think Karen Tumulty gets this exactly right: That same USA Today story had a poll in which 24% of those surveyed said they wouldn't vote for a Mormon. By comparison, only 11% felt that way about a woman candidate and 5% about a black. That's the bad news for Romney . The good news is that descriptions of his top two opponents in the Republican primary got even greater resistance: 42% wouldn't vote for a 72-year-old candidate and 30% wouldn't vote for one who was married three times. Romney argues--and he's right I think--that these kinds of descriptions don't mean much in polls unless there are real people attached to them. He says, for instance, that most Republicans in 1980 probably would have told a pollster they wouldn't vote for a divorced actor. I'm 100% certain that when New Hampshire residents enter their polling boths a bit under a year from now, there will be no ballot choice marked "A Mormon." Instead, there'll be this guy Mitt Romney, and...
  • MY NEW ANALYTICAL...

    MY NEW ANALYTICAL TECHNIQUE IS UNSTOPPABLE. Via Atrios , Laura Bush took to the teevee yesterday to offer this glittering insight on the Iraq War: Many parts of Iraq are stable now. But, uh, of course, what we see on television is the one bombing a day that discourages everyone. You know when Iraq was stable? When Saddam Hussein was running it. But of course all we heard from the administration were the discouraging things, like his tyranny and his imaginary weapons and his crimes from a decade ago. We never heard about what a uniter he was, how many schools he built, how many puppies he petted, all the electricity he delivered, all the suicide bombings he prevented. Thinking back, Laura must be pissed ! --Ezra Klein
  • THAT EXPLAINS IT....

    THAT EXPLAINS IT. Newsweek reports on the origins of the David Geffen flap and talks to MoDo about her interview: Dowd says she was the one who brought up questions about Bill Clinton's past as a campaign issue. Credit where due, after all. --Garance Franke-Ruta
  • JUST POSTED ON TAP ONLINE: THE HALF-TRILLION DOLLAR SOLUTION.

    JUST POSTED ON TAP ONLINE: THE HALF-TRILLION DOLLAR SOLUTION. Professor Bruce Ackerman and Congressman David Wu propose a way for Congress to force the president to bring his war to an end: place a fixed cap on his Iraq appropriations: "Fanaticism," George Santayana famously observed, "consists of redoubling your effort when you have forgotten your aim." There is nothing which sobers the mind more than a fixed budget. Even the administration concedes that Congress has the constitutional power to cut off funds. The challenge is to use this power creatively -- both protecting the troops and requiring the president to end his war on his watch. The key point is to establish the principle that President Bush is responsible for leading America out of the impasse he created. A budget cap will also create a framework encouraging Congress to focus on the big picture, rather than engage in constant criticism of particular strategic decisions. We have fixed our ceiling at a level which assures...

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