GET IN LINE.Shadi Hamid is appalled by Zaid Shakir's declaration that all "honest" Muslims would hope the United States becomes an Islamic nation, "not by violent means, but by persuasion." Hamid says "it is incumbent upon moderate Muslims who believe in freedom, democracy, and the US constitution to repudiate such remarks." But why? This is hardly an exceptional position in public life. Evangelical Christianity is a potent political force, and it's rather straightforwardly interested in widespread conversion. As it should be.
GOREWATCH. A few weeks ago, a friend suggested that the way to really put Gore in a bind would be to ask him who he supported in the Lamont/Lieberman race. Well, it looks like Bloomberg TV did exactly that, and Gore refused to take a side. Joe's "a great guy," said Gore, "and he's right on a lot of other issues." Of course, when you've recently become a progressive hero and your former running mate is getting toasted by the left, a non-endorsement is neutrality in name only.
LIKE RATS FROM A SINKING SHIP, CONT'D. Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick is resigning to take a position at Goldman-Sachs. Formerly the administration's trade representative, Zoellick was one of the crew's rare grown-ups, and there was much rejoicing with he got the job at State over the expected hire, John Bolton.
AND THE MONEY GOES MARCHING ON AND ON, HUZZAH, HUZZAH? There�s an interesting bit of political entrail reading from The Wall Street Journal, which notes that Big Business, beginning to feel a little shaky over prospects of a Democratic resurgence, is funding donkey candidates at a level not seen since Dick Gephardt was majority leader. According to the article, "[t]he Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has, so far in this election cycle, raised more than its Republican counterpart for the first time since Democrats lost control of Congress in the 1994 election.
THE DEVIL READS TAP. Dig the plug for our fair magazine in the opening graf of this New York Timesarticle on the new movie version of The Devil Wears Prada. The concerned father described in the piece seems to be operating under a couple of notable misimpressions about relative status and prestige in the journalism business, but it's probably best not to discuss those too explicitly here on the The American Prospect's website.
JUST POSTED ON TAP: HARD LABOR.Harold Meyersonnotes in our July/August issue that the Change to Win leaders had big plans last year when they left the AFL-CIO to do more organizing. The resolve is there -- but so are all the usual impediments.
MOTIVATIONISM. Picking up on Greg Sargent's latest post on the media, let me note that there's something rather illogical about the habit of dismissing media criticism from progressive blogs or, say, Media Matters on the grounds that it's "partisan" in its motivations. After all, what's motive got to do with it? If The New York Times were to, say, slander a new car from Toyota as unsafe when it was, in fact, quite safe, one assumes the Times would hear about it from someone at Toyota. Toyota's interest in the matter would, of course, be the corporate bottom line rather than an abstract concern for journalism.
FROM AT IT AGAIN. Ah, they apparently unlimbered the Jaws Of Life to pry Al From out of a corporate hospitality tent long enough to write another op-ed, this one for The Washington Post on Sunday. The equally inevitable Bruce Reed is accessorial to the argument in which the Democrats (again) are urged to knuckle poor people sufficiently so as to build a shining new Clintonism on their spavined bones. This is an old tune played badly, but even my cynical eyes popped at the following sentence: "Clintonism has never been about mushy compromise and electoral expedience."
The Post has a piece this morning about the non-enforcement of laws against hiring undocumented workers. The article includes several statements, including one from Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, to the effect that native born citizens will not do the jobs that are filled by undocumented workers. Believers in markets would say that if wages rose, then plenty of native-born citizens would be willing to fill the jobs.