• More on Clinton Hating

    In response to yesterday's post on Clinton hatred, Tim Lee writes in with a possible explanation: Clinton hatred started during the campaign. By the end of 1992, it was clear that Clinton was a draft dodging, pot smoking, womanizing, shameless liar. To conservatives, this a big deal, and Clinton made no particular attempt to hide or apologize for it. Now, liberals rightly point out that Bush is a draft dodging, coke-consuming liar as well. And they're right. However, that misunderstands the basis of conservative hatred. Conservatives aren't so much reacting to Clinton's specific actions as to the picture they believe it paints about his character. Bush has sold himself as a born-again Christian and a devout family man. Most of his indiscretions took place before he found Jesus and stopped drinking. Clinton's frequent bimbo eruptions and his smug non-denials of past misbehavior, in contrast, painted him as a self-indulgent, unrepentant child of the sixties. The rest of Lee's post is a...
  • The Chairman

    Matt makes a good point on Dean: Obviously, anyone in politics needs to pay some attention to what kind of press they get. Even the importance of this can be overstated, but the trap you really don't want to fall into is of caring whether or not this segment of media figures likes or respects you . Some Republicans (Chuck Hagel) play this game, but most quite wisely do not. Democrats are hampered in this respect because reporters and Democratic operatives tend to come from the same social class. But you don't want to treat reporters like their your friends, or the in-crowd from high school that might let you sit at the cool table. That strikes me as quite right. Moreover, it's an underappreciated truism that what the media says is not what the public hears. I've a feeling that the message coming through is that Democrats are now throwing punches at Republicans and the party has tired of being a bunch of wimps. Coming off Social Security and all the rest, that's exactly the right step...
  • Miniblog

    I'm getting back into using the miniblog, so make sure to take a look at it now and again. Lots of interesting stuff that I've no angle to comment on but should nevertheless be widely read.
  • DSM

    There's a new wrinkle in the Downing Street Memo saga, and Shakespeare's Sister has the scoop.
  • Today's McClellan Moment

    This gem comes from the June 10th briefing: As I said, the President is always willing to work with those who want to find common ground, and try to get things done and work in a constructive way. And part of that means focusing on how we can all elevate the discourse. The President has elevated the discourse. The President has worked to change the tone here in this town, where oftentimes it becomes bitter and partisan. And, unfortunately, it's tough to kind of kind of crack that.
  • It Just Gets Weirder and Weirder

    If, as the AP is speculating, Sen. John Cornyn gets nominated for the Supreme Court, he'd better watch his back. After all, just a few months ago there was this guy -- a Senator, no less! -- named John Cornyn arguing that it's totally understandable for folks to just be cappin' judges. So Cornyn be advised -- it's dangerous to put on that robe, particularly when you've got an evil twin trying to make the public rise up against you.
  • Good Samaritans

    Pandagon's doing a blogathon for Amnesty International. Check 'em out .
  • Unemployment By County

    Vie Econbrowser, this map showing unemployment rates by county is really very interesting (click on it for full size version): How're Nebraska and Kansas doing so well? Nevada and Texas seem in good shape as well. Ohio and its neighbors, not so much. Oregon's in terrible straits and, let's be honest, poor Michigan. Anyway -- interesting visual of how the country's doing. And with unemployment rates like that, I'm surprised we're not hearing more about Kansas's Democratic governor, Kathleen Sebelius.
  • On Culture

    Even though the whole argument about denouncing/regulating/ignoring pop culture is petering out, I want to quote this Mark Schmitt post as both the best statement I've seen on the subject and a perfect, though far more eloquent, articulation of my views on it: First, this is one of those issues about which the only reasonable reaction is an ambivalent one, and it's fair to assume that many of those who say they're concerned about culture in this way have a similarly ambivalent or complex reaction. That is, they want some greater sense of control on the influences on their children, but they suspect that any legal solution will either be ineffective or will have negative consequences. Likewise with any technological solution, like the V-chip or internet parental controls. That doesn't lessen the concern, though, and parents want to feel that politicians understand that concern. ... Third, avoid "policy literalism." Just because people in polls say, "I'm concerned about sex and violence...
  • Where Is The Love?

    Reviewing John Harris's The Survivo r* , Alan Ehrahalt makes a point worth taking on : Roosevelt made enormous and sometimes reckless changes in the American government and economy, and when his critics loathed him for it, he loathed them back. ''They are unanimous in their hate for me'' he said of them in his 1936 re-election campaign, ''and I welcome their hatred.'' Clinton, on the other hand, was a centrist who undertook no dramatic transformations of society or government and, what was more, showed himself to be an instinctive conciliator who believed in compromise almost to a fault. Ehrahalt is comparing, here, the deep-seated hatred for Clinton with the only "recent" president loathed enough to be used as precedent -- and you have to go back 75 years to find one Moreover, he's right. In 1992, a Democrat who eschewed liberalism beat a Republican who violated conservatism. Republicans should have been bouncing off the walls. Not only did their ideological betrayor find defeat,...