EQUIVALENCE AND PRAGMATICS.Noam Scheiberresponds to my post on Israel's attack on Lebanon as a preventive war, and offers up two observations that I think are red herrings. One is that -- as I'll happily agree -- it made perfect sense for Israel to deploy some level of retaliatory force to try and discourage Hezbollah from a repeat of the cross-border raid that launched the current round of fighting. Another -- as I'll also concede -- is that "I don't think you can regard all preventive wars as morally equivalent." Clearly not. Different situations are different.
JUST POSTED ON TAP ONLINE: NO END TO IDEOLOGY, ROUND 2.Scott Winship's article about the netroots and ideology attracted a flurry of responses. Winship has now stepped up to engage his critics -- in two parts. Over at the Democratic Strategist blog, he takes on the critiques offered by Chris Bowers and Sterling Newberry, and things get a wee bit heated. ("It seems that Newberry needs a guide to rhetoric, which I�m happy to provide here.
ON THE GROUND. On judgment day, the mood at the Lieberman headquarters in the Hartford suburb of Rocky Hill is surprisingly upbeat. Young volunteers loaded up cars with signs and placards, heading out with directions and walk-lists in hand. Inside, people were dialing voters. I had dropped by to get a sense of how the Lieberman team feels about their election-day ground prospects.
THE NEW DIPLOMACY. There's a kind of impenetrable air of absurdity wafting throughout this paper I found on the AEI website advocating the formation of a Washington-Jerusalem-Baku axis aimed at countering the rising Persian Menace. Nevertheless, this passage is an intriguing and refreshingly honest look at contemporary diplomacy:
WHAT ABOUT YOUR GUY? There�s some very bad news for incumbents in today's Washington Post poll. Not only are the public's views of Congress typically dim, but people finally seem to be souring on their own members of Congress. Normally, everyone hates "Congress" but loves their representative, so nothing changes. Currently, though, "55 percent now approve of their lawmaker, a seven-percentage-point drop over three months and the lowest such finding since 1994, the last time control of the House switched parties."
Mary Williams Walsh has a nice piece on the unbooked libailities of public sector pension funds in today's NYT. Supporters of defined benefit pensions and public sector provision of public services are not helping the cause when they ignore bad accounting.
NOT A LIE IF YOU BELIEVE IT. Let's return to the subject of Robert Kagan's odd column accusing people who changed their mind about Iraq -- or even, in Al Gore's case, people who didn't change their minds about Iraq -- of dishonesty. Commenting on the article, Eric Alterman, likeJon Chait, was particularly distressed about this because both of them thought of Kagan as a decent, honest exponent of the other side's views. I think this sort of misconstrues the situation.
REVISIONIST HISTORY AND WEEPIN' JOE. Two years ago, at the NCAA Final Four in St. Louis, I spent a delightful evening in the company of Lanny Davis, the former Clinton lawyer. My old pal's performance on Meet The Press Sunday, where he tried to spin Weepin' Joe Lieberman's hamfisted involvement in the Schiavo case doesn't get his candidate into the Dance, I fear. Yes, neither Joe nor any other Democratic senator opposed the Schiavo resolution.