COLLINS: SHOCKED, SHOCKED. One of the more grotesque spectacles in recent years has been the dependably ginned-up outrage (with no willingness to point fingers at the clear culprits) we see from GOP moderates every time their party hoodwinks them, and the American people. Case in point: The New York Timesreports today that hidden in a huge military spending bill recently signed by the president is a provision to terminate the Office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction. According to the Times:
AND DON'T FORGET -- HE'S A LIBERTARIAN TOO!Shorter Verbatim Peggy Noonan:
Most of [Rick Santorum's] own impulses -- protect the unprotected, help the helpless, respect the common man -- have not been conservative in the way conservative is roughly understood, or portrayed, in the national imagination. If this were the JFK era, his politics would not be called "right wing" but "progressive." He is, at heart, a Catholic social reformer. Bobby Kennedy would have loved him.
ON TED. So we've seen Pastor Ted Haggard's (alleged) Field Guide To The Seven Deadly Sins released by dribs and drabs over the last couple of days. But just to make it clear that people like Haggard should be treated with nothing less than the absolute pie-in-the-face ridicule they so richly deserve, see this clip of him from a while back, prior to this week's festivities. This isn't religion. This is a psychological cargo cult that provides a marvelous environment for fakes and charlatans to act out twisted psychological problems in a fashion that would have embarrassed the boys in Led Zeppelin. This isn't a minister of the gospel.
CHAPTER 9,472. I am afraid that this is going to become something of a recurring theme over the next couple of years, but have I mentioned that there isn't an important issue these days on which John McCain won't pander to the worst instincts of the Haggard Base of the Republican party?
Thanks, John. You can play a bigot on TV for a week. (Tip o' the cap to the AmericaBlog folks.)
NUCLEAR WINTER. Now that's the Republican Party I know and love! Hill GOPers and The Weekly Standard have long been on a crusade to declassify captured Iraqi documents in the hope that somewhere, there's a pony -- some sort of evidence of WMD programs -- amidst the manure. So now the Republicans in Congress, fresh from alleging on the basis of no evidence that the reason the CIA hasn't found WMD is because it's in league with al-Qaeda, lean on the intelligence community to do so, right before the election.
COUNTER-INSURGENCY AND GOOD GOVERNANCE. I think Matt is missing the point of the renewed emphasis on counter-insurgency doctrine in the U.S. military. Matt's focus is on the Iraq campaign, and he's making two arguments. First, not invading Iraq would have been a better idea than developing an outstanding counter-insurgency strategy. Second, bad counter-insurgency is one of the things that the "incompetence dodgers" most often mention when they want to explain why Iraq failed. I actually agree with Matt on both of these points, but the issue of counter-insurgency doctrine has implications that go well beyond the Iraq campaign.
EATING THEIR YOUNG. While the talking heads make great hay out of the drubbing John Kerry has received this week at the hands of many fellow Democrats, it will be interesting to see if similar attention is paid to the utterances of religious right leaders about their former good friend and potential heir to the leadership of the religious right kingdom, Ted Haggard, who yesterday resigned the presidency of the National Association of Evangelicals after a self-described male "escort" alleged, as reported here yesterday, a three-year, sex-for-money relationship with Haggard.
SUPPORT THE IMAGINARY TROOPS. I've been struggling to articulate what most unnerves me about the Kerry flap for a couple of days, trying to figure out how to say this without it being ripped out of context mere microseconds after posting. Not easy. But let's start with the education issue: There are a lotofdifferentestimates as to the education level of the troops in Iraq.