SHALL WE DANCE? Well, since the Dems waltzed into the House and did an elaborate tango into the Senate, I confess I find myself a bit shamefaced for having doubted their ability to take the lower chamber. But now, a week later, I'm ready to put all that behind me to focus on the the intramural dramas now gripping both political parties.
A pal at the blog Blue Jersey who goes by the handle JRBpoints up a charming irony in the choice of Senator Mel Martinez of Florida to chair the Republican National Committee.
STALKING.Lastmonth, a Chinese Song class diesel electric submarine approached, apparently undetected, to within 5 nautical miles of the USS Kitty Hawk, well within both missile and torpedo range. The submarine then surfaced, and was reported by a recon aircraft. What's going on here?
MORE MURTHA. Clearly my voice doesn't matter one iota to the final outcome, but I would like to reiterate my concerns about Jack Murtha's bid to be Majority Leader. There is a lot of netroots support for Murtha based on his call to end the Iraq War sooner, and the optics of having a Vietnam vet and staunch defense hawk make that case. Fair enough. I can understand that. But what about this?
BAD PLEDGE. Forgive me for getting all Massachusetts on you for a moment, but the worst thing done by Nancy Pelosi, both during the campaing and continuing since Tuesday, was her declaration that she was going to run the squeakiest-clean Congress there absolutely ever was. In the first place, it's a promise she is wholly unable to keep. She can no more keep every member of her caucus personally honest than I can. Sooner or later, every caucus has someone overcome by the greedyfingers and, now, there's a perfect frame built in which Pelosi gets a huge portion of the blame when rookie Congressman Grabitall gives his drunk brother-in-law a superhighway for Christmas.
DEMS PROVE DOBBS WRONG: A while back I accusedLou Dobbs of misleading readers of his November 1 CNN.com column by asserting that "whether the Democrats or Republicans take control of the House and Senate, corporate America has just bought a license to outsource more middle-class jobs to cheap foreign labor markets, to continue unabated so-called free trade." I argued that, overall, the Democrats are clearly more critical of corporate-friendly free trade arrangements. Well, as The Washington Postreported Tuesday:
Educated people know that protectionism is bad -- free trade is the way of the future, protectionism is the Neanderthal past. But, of course protecting intellectual property is good, and people who don't support protecting intellectual property are bad. And, by the way, we never talk about the cost of protecting intellectual property.
If anyone cared about consistency, we would have some problems here, but fortunately we have the NYT to guide us through this slippery terrain. Take this gem that appeared in an article on enforcing protection for intellectual products in China:
REMEDIAL SESSION. Let me join with Scott in puzzling over the newfound affection for Alabama's Jeff Sessions. It's one thing for conservatives to appreciate a loyal soldier, but to praise his intellect and try to elevate him to a policy job? Every time I've noticed Sessions, it's been for a dazzling display of dimness. During the John Roberts hearings, a thousand liberal blogs, mine included, simultaneously noticed the bizzarely incapable senator from Alabama. As Wonkette explained it, "[Sessions is] treating Roberts like the guy who talks to the class on Career Day." It was really something.
POSTED ON TAP ONLINE: SLICE-AND-DICE FOLLIES.Matttakes on the hearty election-analysis tic of identifying some demographic sub-group (angry white men! NASCAR dads! mortgage moms!) and touting it as the key to the political future of the country. The approach isn't just annoying and wrong, he says -- it can be a tool used in the service of pushing dubious substantive points.
People who worked with Mr. Siegel this year say it is not clear how he would perform in a presidential campaign where there are multiple consultants, and where strategic cunning and political moderation tend to be prized. (Mr. Siegel says he has some centrist positions, like supporting welfare reform and the war in Afghanistan.)