DEWINE LOOKING FOR DIVINE INTERVENTION?Mike DeWine may be able to distance himself from his fellow Ohio Republicans' ethical scandals, from Ken Blackwell's God-centered politicking, and even, just maybe, from Bush, but will he distance himself from the Armageddon hunters?
DEMOCRACY BUILDING AT HOME. I was going to let the Clinton interview pass, if only because the green fields of Wingnuttia are so alive these days with natives reliving the spirited days of their feckless political youth. But, watching it again, and sliding through the endless grinding of Chris Wallace into potato salad, I noticed that the former president said this, long after everything had settled down some:
I think the question is, what's the best way to do it? I think also the question is, how do you educate people about democracy? Democracy is about way more than majority rule. Democracy is about minority rights, individual rights, restraints on power. And there's more than one way to advance democracy.
GETTING RATHER-IZED. Did Chris Wallace get Rather-ized on Sunday? According to reporting by Norah O�Donnell on the NBC's Today show yesterday:
Liberals and conservatives alike are buzzing about whether Mr.
Clinton outfoxed FOX News by planning this attack. One of Mr. Clinton�s advisers admitted to me that, �We didn�t go into it looking for a fight, but we had our lead pipe ready.�
ASYMMETRIC ISSUES. This article on Democrats using free trade as a cudgel against their Republican opponents is an interesting one. In the abstract at least, free trade enjoys broad support. But trade, like abortion or taxes, is a voting issue. While "fair trade" isn't the most broadly agreed upon policy -- unlike the minimum wage or Canadian drug reimportation -- for the fraction of voters affected or unnerved by globalization, it moves them to the polls.
LISTEN UP.Mattnotes that Democrats actually held an unofficial oversight hearing on the Iraq War yesterday. "Naturally," he writes, "the press more-or-less entirely ignored this event, since people only report on the Democrats to mock them for being in 'disarray.'" True. Remember the Roll Call story from a couple days ago that Democrats were going to cease mentioning national security and the Iraq War and focus entirely on economic issues? That becomes a bit self-fulfilling if the press refuses to report Democratic events on national security and the Iraq War.
JUST POSTED ON TAP ONLINE: THEY'RE BACK.Laura Rozenreports on new evidence that some old and unsavory Iranian intelligence-peddlers are once again getting a hearing in Washington. Deja vu all over again.
THE �ESSENTIAL DILEMMA� RAISED BY THE NIE. A contact familiar with the April NIE on terrorism says that buried in the discussion of the report so far is this dilemma: �The report notes that �victory� in Iraq would be a blow to the jihadists, and that failure (especially if it led to the establishment of an al-Qaeda sanctuary or if veteran foreign jihadists dispersed out of Iraq to engage in terrorism in other parts of the world) would also be very bad. Thus, the report highlights the essential dilemma Iraq poses for the war on terror: staying fuels the al-Qaeda-inspired movement, creating a net increase in the terrorist threat; while leaving Iraq in chaos would also worsen the threat.