PILING ON KAPLAN. As Spencer notes below, Larry Kaplan apparently fears that Americans will not want to invade other countries in order to install democracy after recoiling in horror from what's happening in Iraq. Kaplan writes as if there isn't a robust democratization literature that, although it hasn't definitively settled every question, has at least achieved consensus on some big-bucket factors that make a country a good candidate for democracy.
THE SPECIAL INTERESTS GO MARCHING ON AND ON, HURRAH, HURRAH...The Wall Street Journal has an excellent article chronicling the desperate attempts of various rapacious and over-indulged industries to spend the Republican majority into safety. The piece starts with the drug industry, whose sweetheart deal preventing Medicare from centrally bargaining drug prices will, according to Nancy Pelosi, be overturned within the first 100 hours of Democrats taking control. Hoping to head that off, the industry has donated almost $14 million, 70% of it to Republicans.
THE STEM WEDGE. Apropos of my earlier post, Jim Talent can probably consider himself lucky that Claire McCaskill's only throwing Michael J. Fox at him. If you want to see some real chin music, take a look at this ad on a similar theme, which is being run against Josh Marshall's old pal, Count (Chris) Chocola, and in a number of other races across the country. (Thanks to the redoubtable Mr. TBogg for the original tip).
JUST POSTED ON TAP ONLINE: PAST IMPERFECT. Historian Jason SokolassessesDeval Patrick's historic gubernatorial bid in Massachusetts (a race that gets more brutal by the week) in the context of the Bay State's checkered racial past.
KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE PRIZE, HOLD ON. My buddy Lawrence Kaplan tries to salvage the Bush Doctrine from the Iraq war. His argument is that critics of the war risk learning too much from the failure in Iraq: the antidote to tyranny is democracy, even if it didn't turn out so well in Baghdad, and dangerous dudes will still need to be preempted.
EVERYBODY'S A MCCAINIAC.Yglesias relates this little gem:
He has a long time proclivity for suggesting that someone like James Baker or Brent Scowcroft might make a good envoy to try to re-start negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. Later, McCain qualifies that to say he "would appoint someone to go to the region who was well regarded: Scowcroft, Baker, Kissinger, George Mitchell, Tony Zinni, Bill Kristol, Randy Scheunemann.
ANSWER RECORD. The moving -- and, it must be said, very tough -- commercial on behalf of Missouri Democratic senatorial candidate Claire McCaskill featuring Michael J. Fox has sent the usual suspects into orbit. But it's done more than give Rush Limbaugh another apparent excuse for a couple hundred more milligrams of high dudgeon. It's required the GOP to muster all of its celebrity star power to put together this ad, which, while not aimed at the senatorial race per se, is pretty clearly a response to the Fox spot.
HONESTY. Almost all of the state reporting on the Maryland Senate contest has focused on race. Given that Republican Michael Steele is black and Democrat Ben Cardin is white in a state with one of the largest and some of the most affluent African-American populations, a certain degree of focus on the subject is surely warranted. And finally, one of the candidates has uttered something noteworthy on the issue.
THE GOODS ON BROOKS.JPod is, it must be said, genuinely and intentionally amusing here, mocking Andrew Sullivan's verbose blog responses to David Brooks's review of his new book. But amidst those posts on Sullivan's site is this email from a reader that seems to have the goods on Brooks's ultra-condescending schtick:
WOMEN IN JOURNALISM. I certainly suggest folks read my friend Dana Goldstein's article on why Gail Collins, the retiring editor of The New York Times op-ed page, didn't do more for women in punditry. Dana takes the moment to meditate on the sorry state of women in political journalism. As she knows all too well from hanging out with the DC punditry set, to suggest our profession lacks gender equity is sort of akin to noting the vegetarian entrees at a steakhouse. Dana's argument is, in effect, to push the spotlight away from magazine staffs and towards elections: