JUST POSTED ON TAP ONLINE: THE BLOGOFASCISTAS. What is the nature of the blogofascist threat, and can liberals summon the will and the courage to face it down? Mattmakes the case for putting anti-blogofascism at the center of a new liberalism for the age.
BUSH AND ROOSEVELT, EMPIRE AND HISTORY.Karl Rove, it seems, thinks Bush's foreign policy is modeled onTeddy Roosevelt's. Ross Douthatsees irony:
It's funny, because so far the military conflict that the Iraq War most resembles isn't Vietnam or World War II, but the TR-boosted Spanish-American War - a quick and painless military victory over a second-rate power, driven by a mix of idealism, jingoism, and power politics, that segued into a long and grueling counter-insurgency campaign.
OCCAM�S RAZOR EXPLANATION. I think, Ezra, it�s all simpler than that.
They invaded Iraq. They didn�t expect a problem. They got a problem. Now they want out. But they want out provided two conditions are met in the process: 1. They can do it in such a way to make the Democrats look weak; 2. They can time it so as to maximize electoral benefit from announcement of withdrawal.
BFF. To follow-up on Matt's point that the Bush administration not only missed, but actively subverted our opportunity to withdraw from Iraq, it's really worth stating the implications of this clearly. For years, the sector of the left concerned with the appearance or existence of imperalist tendencies was mocked and pilloried -- remember Zell Miller foaming over hearing our troops called "occupiers" rather than "liberators"? But they were right.
EVANGELICALS FOR MITT? After noticing an incoming link yesterday from Evangelicals For Mitt, I headed over to the advocacy site to take a look for myself. Unfortunately, the place is barred and shuttered, password protected and closed to the masses. Yet it has been built -- Feedster picked up plenty of text behind the wall, including active links. In my experience, few personal web pages are locked until they're ready, but most all official political organizations keep their door tightly shut until the last possible moment. So I'd guess -- though on the basis of rather flimsy evidence -- that this is a professional site, either sponsored by the campaign or operatives near to it.
A DESERT WIND AND A PERVERSE DESIRE TO WIN. For a while over the weekend, it looked like the Bush administration stumbled into a golden ticket out of Iraq -- a draft national reconciliation plan written by Iraq's prime minister that, among other things, called on the United States to develop a timetable for withdrawal. Rather than embrace this opportunity, however, the administration worked to water down the reconciliation proposals, including the requests for the United States to withdraw.
ASSYMETRICAL WARFARE. I wanted to highlight something Ezrapassed along from the breakfast with Grover Norquist: "The left, he argued, shouldn't seek to simply mimeograph the right's structure -- CAP for Heritage, Media Matters for Media Research Council, etc. 'You don't have to have the same weapons in politics because both aren't structured the same.'" When you think about it, this seems both obvious, important, and unduly neglected.
For reasons that I will not pretend to understand, newspaper editorial boards are huge proponents of trade agreements as a remedy to world poverty. They endlessly promote these agreements on their editorial and oped pages. Papers like the New York Times and Washington Post are as likely to print an oped critical of recent trade agreements, as Pravda would have been to print an anti-communist diatribe back in the days of the Soviet Union.
Since there have been some interesting comments on two separate posts from last week, I thought I would pull them together. To get up to speed, NPR ran a piece last week which decried (slight exaggeration) the low pay of doctors. I also commented on the failure of reporting on a minimum wage hike to note the extensive research showing that modest increases in the minimum wage (like the ones being debated) have no significant effect on employment.
The responses have raised issues about the appropriate wages for doctors and people who work at the type of jobs that get the minimum wage. The point that I wanted to make is that these two are linked. The wages of people working at low paying jobs are a cost to doctors, and doctors' pay is a cost to those earning low wages.
IN DEFENSE OF HRC.Hillary Rodham Clinton, lately keeping us safe from burning flags and Grand Theft Auto, gets one right in a big way with this speech. In a general way, defending privacy is the most important issue in domestic politics, both in and of itself, and as a way to attack the Human Growth Hormones that John Yoo execrably injected into the Executive Branch by dressing Alexander Hamilton up as one of the Plantagenets. People like privacy.