Archive

  • The Politics of Crises

    Reacting to Matt's TAP column , Brad Plumer writes : Maybe Bush's democracy agenda will be so successful that foreign policy if off the table in 2008 or 2012. And Democrats can then swoop in with their unbeatable economic/cultural message. Fine. But the price of all that is that Republicans further enhance their long-standing image as the reliable foreign policy party. The fall of the Soviet Union did a good deal of enhancing in 1989; as did the liberation of Kuwait in 1991; as did, I think, some of Nixon's successes. These are all somewhat contingent events (i.e. Democrats could have accomplished similar things), but they helped build the Republican mystique. And eventually, foreign policy will come back to the fore in elections. It always has and it always will. But if Republicans and only Republicans can take credit for successes past (i.e. Bush's foreign policy, assuming it succeeds), they'll be instant winners at the polls once more. Maybe. But probably not. The only way for a...
  • Stuff

    I spent from 3AM to 9:30AM driving up to Santa Cruz, so I'm pretty wiped. Posting today will be light. In any case, all will be normal tomorrow. Use this as an open thread to tell me what to write on, as I'm a bit too tired to trawl through the blogosphere for inspiration. But if inspiration were to come to me, well, how could I pass it up? Before I put head to pillow, though, here's some stuff you should be reading: • The House Democrats' Report on Republican abuses of power (warning: PDF). • Daniel Munz on the PA Senate primaries. • This analysis (also PDF) of the top 40 blogs (20 on left, 20 on right) during the election season. I find it particularly interesting, as it tracks me-era Pandagon, along with a bunch of others. I find the graphic tracking links a bit odd because, as much as I love Digby and Tapped, neither one received the majority of citations from Jesse or I. DailyKos I can buy, mostly because of linking to his poll numbers. In any case, I probably need to read the...
  • Thoughts on the Draft

    The Moose is joining Phil Carter and Paul Glastris in calling for mandatory public service for all young Americans on national security grounds. I'm a bit conflicted on this -- I see the appeal of the plan, and I'm certainly not adverse to the idea of national service, in some ways, I think it'd be good for me and my peers. But seeing it proposed by folks who will never have to undergo it strikes a false note with me. Were we in some sort of perpetual national crisis that mandated an everlasting draft, as, say, Israel is, that'd be one thing. But this is being proposed simply as a way to make the American army bigger, more powerful, and more able to pursue expansionist policies (no matter what Andrew Sullivan says, Islamo-fascists aren't going to land on our shores and attempt to take South Beach). Considering my generation's weak support for our foreign policy expeditions, I think it's a pretty hard sell to force us into service in order to fuel more of them. Moreover, the modern...
  • Numbers

    A new Quinnipiac poll on SS has been released. Results after the jump.
  • Why Won't They Self-Correct?

    Michael at Here's Whats Left has so totally demolished Ann Coulter's lying assertion that the New York Times is outing the gay children of conservatives that Maya Keyes -- child of Alan and one of the gay conservatives the New York Times supposedly outed -- has emerged to comment on the situation. And, as I know you're wondering, how outraged was she? Not very : So, just for the record, let me state unequivocally: As an openly queer woman , I do not have any problem with people referring to me as an openly queer woman . This is not an invasion of my privacy, it is not anyone else 'outing' me , it is not something that I need anyone's sympathy for. There is plenty else in my life right now that I could use some supportive wishes with but simply being queer is not one of them. Michael, rightly, wants Powerline to prove that the blogosphere truly is self-correcting and retract their endorsement of Ann Coulter's falsehood. After all, this is pretty overwhelming evidence. Not only were the...
  • SS Pessimism

    The reason Bush is unexpectedly content to let Social Security privatization simmer (and continue inflicting damage on him) until 2006 is that he might win it. Yes, I know, Democrats are ecstatic about the great successes we've had in the battle thus far, but it's nowhere near over. What scares me about it, actually, is how closely it resembles the fight over ClintonCare. Yeah, I'm aware that health care is supposed to be linked to Bush's side of aisle, making it a parable on the dangers of transformative legislation. But Democrats are really the ones tracking it most closely. Clinton, of course, started out way ahead on health care, and indeed retained that lead till quite late in the fight. Democrats too have pulled into an early and commanding lead on Social Security privatization. But what matters is what comes next. In Clinton's case various other priorities and problems (Whitewater, etc) cropped up, weakening the president and, crucially, delaying the final push on health care...
  • Bastards

    Never mind what I said yesterday. Fuck the DLC . Jesus Christ -- how does Al From sleep at night? Update : This wasn't the DLC so, uh, never mind the post. It was the House New Democrat Coalition, which is basically the DLC-identified members of Congress, all of whom are whoring themselves out for contributions from the credit companies. They know the bill is going to pass, they know Hastert will bring it to the floor, and they've evidently concluded that they might as well flush ethics down the toilet and look like they're out front pushing the legislation so, later, they can tell the Credit Industry lobbyists how good they've been and, incidentally, how vulnerable they are in their districts. On the subject of the DLC, I would feel much better about retracting the above if they mentioned the Bankruptcy Bill somewhere on their website. When even Ed Kilgore is silent, you know their opposition isn't too strong, if it indeed exists at all. And this isn't just a hasty judgment while I...
  • Fight the Bankruptcy Bill

    Over at Eschaton, Atrios is overseeing Bankruptcy Day, in opposition to the awful bill. This is really about as bad as it gets. I can understand the philosophical underpinnings of Social Security privatization -- I don't agree with them, but I can accept that some argue for it in good conscience. Not the Bankruptcy Bill. This is a simple way to screw the poor to serve powerful credit card companies. It's an infuriating, sick piece of legislation that our government should be ashamed to even consider. So call your Senators, e-mail your congresscritters -- keep this thing from passing. This is the true class warfare, and in this war, the poor are losing. From Atrios: Senate switchboard: (202) 224-3121 Call Joe Biden and explain how you can, in good conscience, no longer support his presidential bid. Shame, that: 202-224-5042 Call Senator Lautenberg: (202) 224-3224 Call Senator Specter: 202-224-4254 Patty Murray (202) 224-2621 Maria Cantwell 202-224-3441 Olympia Snowe (202) 224-5344 Herb...
  • Wild for Guy

    Campus Progress has a superb article profiling Guy Benson, an up-and-coming attack poodle still finishing up college. The piece is great, a must-read both on an intellectual level and as a simply enjoyable piece of reporting. I do, however, want to highlight this quote: I spent a lot of my time with Guy trying to figure out how he got so good. He doesn’t go to a conservative school, his family is only moderately Republican (his mother is a straight-ticket Republican, but she doesn’t think about it much; his father, an executive at a multinational financial-services company, says he’s “much, much more politically moderate than Guy”), and, most important, he’s only 19 years old. Then it came to me: like others on the right, he’s better at messaging because he’s been forced to spend every second of his college career arguing with liberals. So he and his friends pool their resources and hone their arguments and become virtually unbeatable. The same thing doesn’t happen for liberals at...
  • The Answer

    I think Matt (Singer) gives Joe Klein and the Moose too much credit on this one. The answer to a radical right challenge is to fucking crush it . Seriously. I try to be reasonable and even-tempered here, but this is an ideological invasion. The way to repel it is not to run some mushy centrist campaign with vouchers and "personal accounts" and empiricism, it's to detonate the extremist philosophy underpinning the fools. Look -- I'm a moderate. I probably agree with Joe Klein on lots of things. I'm a big fan of growth and market forces and lots of other stuff that regularly shows up in DLC dispatches. But you know what? Americans don't want to hear about our plans for better management of electrical grids or more equitable distribution of Medicaid spending. They want us to do those things, but they're going to vote us in or out based on our strength, our conviction, and our self-confidence. Which means they're going to vote us in when we speak like this again: The thing that makes me...

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