Archive

  • JUST POSTED ON TAP ONLINE: NO END TO IDEOLOGY, ROUND 2.

    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. The belief that his TPMCafe photo is pretentious, for instance, would be an opinion . The major arguments in my essay would be supported factual claims , even if we might disagree about the extent to which they are adequately supported.") Here at TAP , meanwhile, Winship now offers a (very thorough!) response to critiques made by Ezra , Matt , and Mark Schmitt . Anyone who's interested in this debate should take a look . --The Editors
  • ON THE GROUND.

    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. As I walked down the hall to find campaign manager Sean Smith , I overheard a conversation among a few top staffers who were excited by reports that the Lamont campaign had thus far shown a limited presence around the state. That discussion may have been one part electoral uncertainty, one part false optimism -- or maybe one part truth. Whatever the case, the Lieberman folks did not seem particularly worried. Smith then sat down with me for 20 minutes to provide candid answers to some probing questions about their own field operation, all but a couple of which were shared on the record. Before moving to the...
  • JUST POSTED ON TAP ONLINE: CROSSING BORDERS.

    JUST POSTED ON TAP ONLINE: CROSSING BORDERS. This week, as war rages to Israel's north, the World Pride gay rights festival comes to Jerusalem after a long, frought journey. Sarah Wildman reports . --The Editors
  • THE NEW DIPLOMACY.

    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: The United States. The U.S. government also remains a player. Baku cooperated with Jerusalem in the hope of improving ties with Washington. Not too long ago, U.S. policymakers considered Azerbaijan to be, at best, irrelevant and at worst, a nuisance. In 1992, the United States Congress passed the Freedom Support Act promising economic and humanitarian aid to all the former Soviet republics except Azerbaijan. Muscled through by the Armenian lobby, Section 907 of the act legislated that Washington would not give aid to Azerbaijan until the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. As a result, Azerbaijan received no economic aid from the United States in the...
  • WHAT ABOUT YOUR...

    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." --Matthew Yglesias
  • The Problems of Public Pensions

    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.
  • COHEN'S CLARITY.

    COHEN'S CLARITY. Richard Cohen has his good days and his bad ones, but bloggers tend to only quote him on the bad days. Today is a good one : I share the concern of what would happen to Iraq if the United States pulled out precipitously. I share the concern over what will happen if the United States stays. I share the concern of those who say that no matter whether it stays or goes the outcome will be the same. I especially share the concern of those who say that the Bush administration does not have a plan to disengage and that rather than confront the immensity of its mistake -- I pity Donald Rumsfeld if he should ever lose the gift of denial -- it thinks that this or that adaptation to new conditions will somehow change the outcome. It will not. The end was set at the beginning. It is better that it come sooner rather than later. It's tragically difficult to get even people who think the right things about this to remember from moment-to-moment that this tragic farce is playing out...
  • NOT A LIE IF YOU BELIEVE IT.

    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 , like Jon 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. The whole value of reading honest adversaries like Kagan is that you get to see the genuinely ridiculous elements of their worldview. If that business had been in a Hugh Hewitt column, I would just dismiss it as typical partisan propaganda. But that's not Kagan's style -- he must genuinely think that if a person is hawkish about some stuff, or hawkish some of the time, he has a duty to be hawkish about everything, all the time . Think back to Kagan's book, Of Paradise and Power: America Versus Europe in the New World...
  • REVISIONIST HISTORY AND WEEPIN' JOE.

    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 . However, when Davis and Tim Russert went on to intimate that Lieberman and the rest of the Democratic senators -- to say nothing of the party in general -- were on the same page generally as regards to the Schiavo case, well, it's pretty plain from contemporary accounts that neither Carl Levin nor Ron Wyden would agree. And, in any case, Lieberman was far more than a passive legislative participant in that whole shoddy spectacle. Here he is, back in the day, again on Meet The Press . (Does he have his own locker in the Green Room? A cot? A...
  • WHO RULES?

    WHO RULES? A whole bunch of people died yesterday in Iraq . More surprising is the second paragraph of the AP rundown of the latest violence: "The attacks came a day after Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki sharply criticized a U.S.-Iraqi attack on Sadr City, the area of Baghdad that's the stronghold of radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr and his Mahdi Army militia." What's this all about? Is Maliki in charge of his country or not? Are we at war with Sadr 's forces or is his political party represented in Maliki's cabinet? It's a both/and situation in both cases, it would seem, but it's hard to say what kind of sense that makes. It's also increasingly hard to say what the American strategy for Iraq is even supposed to be. Statements from the administration have become so incredibly nonsensical that you can't really peel beneath the propaganda and discern the core of what they're trying to say or do. Are our forces really going to be running around launching attacks against members of...

Pages