CORRUPTION, BLEH.Markos makes an important point about the Bilbray-Busby race outcome and what it all means:
The "culture of corruption" is a nice secondary theme to weave into our broader narrative, but it can't be the message on which we pin our 2006 hopes. "We're better managers" won't inspire our troops to head to battle.
THE HARD TO SPLIT DIFFERENCE.Jacob Sullumnotes an abortion prohibitionist going off-message in Louisiana. "I had a strong belief that we could finally protect the innocent life of an unborn child," said state Senator Ben Nevers. "This is about the U.S. Constitution granting every person the right to life."
SCORE ONE FOR THE TWO-PARTY SYSTEM. A couple months ago, Rasmussen Reports deployed some polls that found a xenophobic, enforcement-oriented third-party candidate would net 30-some percent of the vote, a mere single percent below the Democrats' haul. At the time, I dismissed the results as an irrelevant artifact. Now, Mike Crowleynotes that precisely such a candidate ran in the CA-50 election. His haul? A pathetic 3.7 percent. So much for that.
THE NATURE OF SPERM.Linda Hirshman's discussion of the history of religious thinking about sperm reminded me that there have been some fascinating studies coming out lately about the biology of human reproduction. And since the only people who know less about their bodies than women are men, the male readers of this site may be interested to learn that whether they know it or not, they, too, have biological clocks that tick.
THE TARNISHED GOLDEN STATE. You've already heard that Brian Bilbray defeated Francine Busby to keep Duke Cunningham's seat in the Republican column. I'm with Byron York in finding fewer portents here than others have, but Mike Crowley makes a strong case for a deep, impenetrable gloom. Silver lining? This may lower expectations for Democrats in November.
CAITLIN REVISITED. A helpful comment by Mark Schmitt on my post below suggests that the verb �to Caitlin,� meaning �to provide a hot nightly dinner to the male head of the household,� should actually be �to Paloma,� since it is Caitlin�s Hispanic employee who actually does the work around the house, while Caitlin scribbles about how women should quit their jobs to do the work around the house. I offer instead a friendly amendment to the definition, to include �to provide, or hire Hispanic employees to provide, a hot nightly dinner. I wouldn�t want to coin a phrase that discriminates against the wealthy elite, or what our Republican friends call �class warfare.� Okay, Mark?
CAN'T WE ALL JUST GET ALONG? For a dreamy-eyed globalist, Tom Friedman often seems seduced by a weirdly dark and apocalyptic view of the international scene. After witnessing the great diversity on display at his daughter's high school graduation, he chooses to celebrate this bit of cosmopolitanism with the observation that "Our greatest asset is our ability to still cream off not only the first-round intellectual draft choices from around the world but the low-skilled-high-aspiring ones as well, and that is the main reason that I am not yet ready to cede the 21st century to China. Our Chinese will still beat their Chinese."
WHAT ARE SPERM FOR? One of the chapters of my book is called �Everything I know, I learned from the Gay Movement,� specifically the turn to a moral argument for gay marriage, a development I applaud and emulate in my own work for women. So I have watched the developments around the Federal Marriage Amendment, up for a vote in the U.S. Senate today, with my usual reaction to the current direction of American politics: fear and loathing.
THE INVISIBILITY'S THE THING. This is a rather bizarre point by Michael Kinsley:
If a superior level of care is available, the care being guaranteed to everybody is inferior. In other words, you are rationing -- denying people useful, if not vital, health care to save money. Worse, you are letting people buy their way out of the rationing if they can afford it -- the way affluent young men were allowed to buy their way out of the Civil War draft.
At the moment we don't guarantee anyone any level of health care, so this moral dilemma can be saved for another day.