Good stuff from Kos and Josh Marshall taking on the latest iteration (this time from Newsweek's Evan Thomas) of the perennial elite DC press chestnut that partisanship and polarization depress mass political engagement. Of course, empirical evidence and not a small degree of basic common sense have indicated for a while now that this thesis is essentially the opposite of correct.
Among the more perplexing moments to occur during the aftermath of the assassination of former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was yesterday's call from Pakistan's dictator, Pres. Pervez Musharraf, to Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards. As Edwards explained it last night to CNN's Wolf Blitzer while the latter acted as Larry King's guest host, Edwards had reached out to Pakistan's Ambassador to the U.S., and asked him to pass word to Musharraf to give a jingle to Edwards, who had met the Pakistani strongman in Islamabad some years ago.
As Brother Tomnoted here, the presidential candidates spent yesterday, after news broke of the assassination of Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto, falling over themselves in an effort to show that they would know better than the current occupant of the White House how to deal with the troubled South Asian nation.
President George W. Bush, in his statement on the assassination of Pakistan's former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, pinned her killing on "murderous extremists." News reports say that the administration does not yet know who ordered or executed the attack on Bhutto. If that is the case, it would appear that Bush is seeking to deflect attention from Pakistani dictator Pres. Pervez Musharraf and the Pakistani military as potential suspects.
She was the first democratically elected woman to become the prime minister of a Muslim country, and was poised to come roaring back to power in Pakistan's upcoming January 8 parliamentary elections. To the foreign policy establishment of the United States, she represented the last, best hope for a Pakistani leader with whom the U.S. could do business. Today, in Rawalpindi, Benazir Bhutto was assassinated.