WHITE FLIGHT? I'm not really sure what to make of this data showing that the deterioration in the President's poll numbers is largely due to "white flight," with non-Hispanic white support for Bush dropping by about 20 points since June 2004. That tracks pretty closely with the accelerating rise in gas prices, but it's hard to disaggregate concerns over fuel costs from the war in Iraq, Bush's mishandling of Katrina, and all the other sundry scandals and failures that have marked this administration's second term.
WHY OBJECTIVITY NEEDS DEFENDERS. To follow up on something we were discussing last week, via ThinkProgress comes word of this shift on the part of the U.S. military:
Rod Nordland, a former Baghdad bureau chief for Newsweek, says the U.S. military �has started censoring many [embedded reporting] arrangements.� �They want to know your slant on a story - they use the word slant - what you intend to write, and what you have written from embed trips before. If they don�t like what you have done before, they refuse to take you.�
BLOGS AND GROUPS.Noam Scheiber, in this whale of a post, teases out some of the implications of the interactions between netroots types and traditional liberal interest groups that Garance wrote about yesterday. I think the macro-level impact of the rise of netroots influence should actually be pretty easy to summarize -- ceteris paribus it will make the party less liberal on the issues that are really, really important to key interest groups and more liberal on the other issues.
LEFT, RIGHT, AND CRAZY.ViaBelle Waring, Michael Ledeenuncorks a doozy:
In today's "reportage" of the World Cup semifinal between Italy and Germany, the (lefty) Washington Post reported that the game-winning goal was scored on a left-footed kick, while the (righty) Washington Times reported it was scored on a right-footed kick. The Post account was correct, but don't you find it mysteriously symbolic of something or other?
This mostly seems symbolic of the dementia of rightwing media criticism to me.
MORE ON NUTMEGGERS.Garance reminds me of something that will be a very important factor if Lamont wins the primary.
If that happens, certain MSM liberal and centrist pundits will start writing immediately about how the Democrats have lost their soul, gone radical, cashiered the last good man (I know, but they will). That will set a tone: Virtue will triumph only if Lieberman pulls it out. That narrative will be set in stone unless, that is, three things happen.
LIEBERMAN'S DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE.Mike Tomasky explained it best last week. Just read the whole thing -- or if you read it already, read it again. Greg Sargent, for his part, writes this about a potential independent Lieberman candidacy:
if I understand this dynamic correctly, any success Lieberman has in portraying the Dem at the top of the ticket as too far to the left will likely complicate efforts by down-ticket Dems -- such as these House candidates -- to win over moderates, independents and centrists.
THE WISE BILLIONAIRE MYTH.James Fallows, liveblogging the Aspen Ideas Festival, talked to a pollster who's effusive about third party opportunities:
Who were the people who could win the presidency on a �let�s cut the shit� platform? He said there might be ten or so possibilities, but the no-brainers were Bill Gates and Warren Buffett. They could afford the $1 billion or so of their own money the campaign would cost, and everyone would understand that this actually represented a significant sacrifice on their part.
FOUNDATIONS. Mattwrites that "foundations with liberalish sentiments are actually significantly wealthier than the rightwing foundations created to counter them. The difference is that the right's foundations focus on politically efficacious giving, while a huge proportion of liberalish giving is dedicated to fairly ineffective efforts at direct amelioration of problems or efforts to identify 'best practices' that go duly ignored by the political system." All true. But it's not just mistaken tactics that separate the two sides, it's identification.
THE POLITICS OF RESENTMENT. Writing on global warming, a Jonah Goldberg correspondent wonders "If Al Gore were to be convinced that global warming WAS a natural phenomena, would he be so worked up about it?" before answering his own question, "I don't think so, yet the consequences would be the same." Jonah says this has been nagging at him for a while and comments: