IT'S THE ECONOMY, STUPID. I think the bursting of the tech bubble that Mattidentifies as kickstarting upscale populism is actually pretty good evidence for Noam Scheiber's argument that the wealthy are fickle allies for the progressive movement, and that whatever support they currently provide will dissipate as soon as political/economic conditions become more favorable for moderates. That said, the heyday of the DLC Democrats was not during the tech bubble of the late '90s, but during the collapse of old-school liberalism in the late '80s.
MACAQUE THIS.Ryan Lizza makes a great point on George Allen�s "Macaque" slur. As of now, it's a weird term that few of us know, and Allen is seeking to capitalize on it by claiming that "I don't know what it means." Why'd he use a word he doesn't know? Because it sounds vaguely like "mohawk," a word that doesn't describe the target's haircut, but sounds enough like "macaque" that the Allen campaign has decided to make it the alibi (left unexplained is why Allen didn't just use the word "mohawk").
LOSE CHANGE. I've just watched the new scare-mongering television ad from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC), and I can't say it makes me feel terribly cheerful. While I do think it's high time that the Dems played the security issue to their advantage, this thing has an icky feel to it, especially with its implication that the Democrats will be tougher on illegal immigration than are the Republicans.
AFTER THE NEW ECONOMY. In updates to the argument over the allegedly paradoxical phenomenon of upscale populism, Jonathan Cohn and Noam Scheiber kick around the influence of the "great risk shift" on public attitudes. Missing so far in the conversation is a point that I strongly suspect is relevant -- the big technology/stock boom of the late-1990s and its bursting.
NEWSWEEK ON A ROLL.Gerson is one thing, but this piece on Joe Lieberman by the magazine's religion columnist truly has to be seen to be believed. As M.J. Rosenbergput it, "Newsweek should be ashamed for publishing a Jackie Mason joke and calling it a column."
GERSON RETURNS. Look, we all loved the snappy patter between Sam Seaborn and Toby Ziegler as they wrote high-flown speeches ("The streets of heaven are too filled with angels tonight." Wowser!) for President Jed on The West Wing. In the real world, alas, speechwriters are paid liars, no more or less so than admen or campaign consultants. Their job is to whore out their words -- at, it must be said, a decent price -- for whichever politician is cutting them a check this year.
GEORGE WILL IS SHRILL.George Willdoes the unthinkable and not only attacks George W. Bush's approach to national security, but even offers praise for John Kerry, arguing that Kerry was right to say "that although the war on terror will be 'occasionally military,' it is 'primarily an intelligence and law enforcement operation that requires cooperation around the world'" while his critics are engaged in a "farrago of caricature and non sequitur mak[ing] the administration seem eager to repel all but the delusional."
MORE CHICKEN COUNTING. Following up on Matt's post, I do think the emerging line holding that Ned Lamont's victory demonstrates that the Dems can ride an anti-war platform to victory in '06 and '08 is totally premature. For one thing, Lamont (obviously) won a primary, not a general election. The fact that the anti-war platform commands a small majority in the Democratic primary doesn't mean it will in the general election. Lamont could still lose the general election -- indeed, he's behind in the polls.