Archive

  • EDWARDS & VARIETY....

    EDWARDS & VARIETY. Actually , I was apparently suffering from blogger dyslexia in the item below, and did not make the chronology clear. The Peter Bart article is from January 19th, referencing an event that took place even earlier in January, while the Herzliya speech was given on January 22nd, and Edwards talked to Ezra on February 2nd. While the appearance and circulation of this article at this time smacks of oppo research -- fair oppo research, as the month-old story had no correction -- the article itself predated any controversy about Edwards' Iran policy statements, and so whoever Bart's sources were, if they erred, did so without any intention of excerbating this particular controversy, which did not then exist. They may well have wanted to gin up some different controversy, however, which they have now done on an extremely micro-scale. In any event, I'd never have bothered posting such a contended story had I read Edwards' denial first, and have called event host Adam...
  • MORE ON TAUSCHER....

    MORE ON TAUSCHER. To add on to Atrios here , the case of Rep. Ellen Tauscher is interesting. Here's a centrist Democrat who wrested a swing seat from a rock-ribbed Republican. A couple years later, though, her seat was redistricted, becoming overwhelmingly Democratic. Her own vote totals show the shift. In 1996, she wins with 49%. In 1998 and 2000, she takes 53% of the vote. In 2002, however, she's redistricted and gets 76% . In 2004, she gets 66%. In American Congressional politics, incumbency is a huge advantage. And, as Atrios says, "[primary challenges] provide one of the very few checks on legislator behavior that the people have." Now, you could argue that Tauscher was accurately reflecting her district even a few years ago, but there's a perfectly fair case to be made that, since the redistricting, she's too conservative. Hell, she's made it: She bitterly opposed that particular redistricting for the precise reason that it would expose her record to more liberal voters. So why...
  • MORE ON TAP...

    MORE ON TAP AND THE WAR. This'll be the last time I discuss Brendan O'Neill 's column about TAP 's alleged pro-war editorial history, promise. But, re-reading this October 2002 piece written by editors Paul Starr , Robert Kuttner , and Harold Meyerson , I'm pretty damned impressed by its prescience and feel compelled to highlight some passages: ... No new information about Saddam Hussein's efforts to acquire nuclear weapons and no actions taken by Iraq seem to have precipitated this shift. The Iraqi regime has not changed since early in the Bush administration, when its great priority was building a missile defense shield, nor even since the 2000 election, when Bush said he would emphasize "humility" in foreign policy and opposed nation building. Nor has evidence been disclosed that ties Iraq to al-Qaeda or to the events of September 11. Indeed, war with Iraq is as likely to aggravate the problem of terrorism as it is to reduce it: It threatens to deflect our efforts from the struggle...
  • JUST POSTED ON TAP ONLINE: BARRIER METHODS

    JUST POSTED ON TAP ONLINE: BARRIER METHODS . An outdated and little-used contraceptive is being redesigned for the 21st century. The diaphragm, which (for good reason) has not been popular among American women since the advent of the birth control pill, may soon be easier-to-use and available over-the-counter -- if a group of researchers has their way. And more importantly, it could also be a tool against HIV infection in Africa. Read Beth Schwartzapfel 's report here . -- The Editors
  • OBAMA V. CLINTON....

    OBAMA V. CLINTON. After his brutal smackdown of Australia's prime minister John Howard , his evisceration of Robert Ford , and his right hook to Hillary Clinton today, it's becoming satisfyingly clear that the Obama campaign can throw a devastating counterpunch. Good for them. This shows, too, that the campaign is looking for the win, not the vice-presidential slot, as some have speculated. The real shame, though, is that amidst all this Obama-Clinton enmity, Obama is skipping today's Democratic presidential primary forum in Nevada. Everyone else will be there, though, and I'll be liveblogging it right here at Tapped. Tune in around 3 eastern for the fun. --Ezra Klein
  • Re: EDWARDS AND IRAN.

    Re: EDWARDS AND IRAN. I'm having a bit of trouble buying the Variety article Garance references below . I've heard Edwards talk about Israel dozens of times now, in response to all different sorts of audiences, and he's been vehemently pro-Israel before every single one. I've heard him talk about Iran a number more, and even conducted an interview with him on the subject, and he's again been consistently concerned about an Iranian nuclear weapon, and committed to stopping it -- often in terms I disagreed with. Add in that the Edwards campaign isn't simply disputing the context of the article, they're actually denying its accuracy. According to a press release sent out last night: "The January 19th Variety article is erroneous. Senator Edwards did not say nor does he believe that the greatest short-term threat to world peace is the possibility that Israel would bomb Iran's nuclear facilities. Senator Edwards said, as he has in the past, that Iran acquiring a nuclear weapon is one of...
  • PUTTING PRINCIPLES OVER...

    PUTTING PRINCIPLES OVER PARTY. Over at The Swampland, the Other Klein is unimpressed with efforts to primary centrist Democrat Ellen Tauscher and suggests, by way of a Robespierre reference, that such efforts will shed a lot of blood for no good reason. But recent history doesn't back Klein up. As the article relates : [Jane] Harman used to be a constant irritant, a go-to quote for reporters looking for a Democrat to tweak liberals -- until she had to fight off a primary challenge from the left in 2006. "She's been great ever since," [Kos] said. Now Harman even writes on the liberal Huffington Post blog. Kos can imagine a day when Tauscher still holds her seat but is no longer distasteful to the left. "That's what victory would look like -- a more responsive representative," he said. So when Tauscher praises Pelosi as "perfect on substance, perfect on optics," it's hard to know if that's a result of personal evolution, political trends, or blogospheric pressure, but it's music to Kos'...
  • THAT WAS FAST....

    THAT WAS FAST. Was it really just a month ago that John Edwards was speaking to an Israeli audience at Herzliya and saying this ? I saw firsthand the threats you face every day. I feel that I understand on a very personal level those threats. The challenges in your own backyard -- rise of Islamic radicalism, use of terrorism, and the spread of nuclear technology and weapons of mass destruction-- represent an unprecedented threat to the world and Israel. At the top of these threats is Iran. Iran threatens the security of Israel and the entire world. Let me be clear: Under no circumstances can Iran be allowed to have nuclear weapons. For years, the US hasn�t done enough to deal with what I have seen as a threat from Iran. As my country stayed on the sidelines, these problems got worse. To a large extent, the US abdicated its responsibility to the Europeans. This was a mistake. The Iranian president�s statements such as his description of the Holocaust as a myth and his goals to wipe...
  • ROSIN�S PREDICAMENT.

    ROSIN�S PREDICAMENT. Reading Hanna Rosin�s piece on the �God gap� in last month�s Atlantic , along with the transcript of a Pew-sponsored forum convened last December on the subject of religious voters and the 2006 election, one quickly realizes that the real problem on the religion-and-politics beat, post-2006, is not so much that the Democrats won, but how they won and the magnitude of their victories. In 2006, at least in terms of the religious splits, Democrats won because: (a.) the secular and/or infrequent church attendee vote expanded as a share of the electorate [and that�s not even accounting for respondent bias that surely leads people to lie about how frequently they attend church]; and (b.) Democratic support itself grew among that growing share of seculars. But the magnitude of the electoral victory was the real bell-ringer: Democrats netted 6 new governors, 6 new senators, 30 new house members, and flipped 10 new legislative chambers -- a secular-led victory of far...
  • ALL BY OURSELVES

    ALL BY OURSELVES . It's been said that British foreign policy since WWII is animated by the principle of "figuring out what the United States wants, and doing it before asked." No longer: Tony Blair has announced that the Brits will eventually be pulling out of Iraq. President Bush has now exhausted the patience of our last (or, rather, first) global ally. And that means it is time to cue the Eric Carmen 's appearance on Dick Clark 's American Bandstand . (Worth watching just to see Carmen's collar-up jeans outfit and horrible lip-syncing.) -- Tom Schaller

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