Greg Sargent

Recent Articles

THE WASHINGTON POST'S...

THE WASHINGTON POST 'S POLL IS FLAWED. Let me get the fun part out of the way first. Here's an answer to Matt 's question about the identity of Specialist (whose criticism, which has on occasion targeted yours truly, is indeed valuable and well-argued sometimes). "Specialist" is the code name for a secret team of a dozen White House interns targeting liberal blogs who have been chained to their desks in the basement of the West Wing and who suffer regular whippings at the hands of Tony Snow . Seriously, there's also a very good answer to Mike 's question : Why the heck did 63 percent of respondents to the Washington Post 's poll initially find the controversial NSA program acceptable? Here's a possibility: The poll is seriously flawed. Take a look at the poll itself . The key question comes after four other questions, each of which frames this purely as civil liberties vs. terrorism, with no mention of legality. And the question itself is framed that way, too. It reads: It's been...

DAVID BRODER: REPUBLICANS...

DAVID BRODER: REPUBLICANS PRESUMED INNOCENT; DEMS PRESUMED GUILTY. You really couldn't ask for a more perfect illustration of the punditry's double-standard when it comes to "authenticity" than today's Washington Post column by David Broder . After approvingly quoting the view in Joe Klein 's new book that Al Gore and John Kerry were "trimming their public positions to suit what they -- and their consultants -- thought were the prevailing winds," Broder adds: "The voters can sniff hypocrisy and spot what is synthetic about a candidate." Which of course leads Broder -- surprise, surprise -- to a discussion of the patron saint of authenticity himself, John McCain : The presumption of authenticity -- the assumption that what he says, he actually believes -- is John McCain's greatest strength going into the 2008 presidential race. That presumption will be tested this weekend when McCain speaks at Jerry Falwell's Liberty University, and I will be surprised if he fails the exam. ( Emphasis...

GOP FUNDRAISING APPEALS....

GOP FUNDRAISING APPEALS. Speaking of The New Republic , Michael Crowley has a very good post over at The Plank where he excerpts a chunk of text from the latest National Republican Senatorial Committee fundraising letter. It has an astounding eight paragraphs sounding the alarm about the investigations and imminent impeachment proceedings the GOP says Dems will launch if they take back one or both houses of Congress. As Crowley notes, "it's pretty clear what Republicans--who, after all, have no other good choices--want this election to be about." Obviously this is meant to get the bucks flowing in from the conservative base, but the question is, Will it? When it comes to sending checks, conservatives are unpredictable and aren't always willing to be snookered by the latest con hatched by GOP fundraisers. Last year, Republicans loudly predicted that an avalanche of money from the right would descend on New York to stop Hillary from winning reelection and, hence, from subsequently...

IS THE CLOCK...

IS THE CLOCK TICKING FOR KARL ROVE? Today's Washington Post piece on Karl Rove reminds us just how implausible Karl Rove's Plamegate story has always been. It appears Patrick Fitzgerald is very skeptical of Rove's claim that he forgot his conversation with Time reporter Matthew Cooper about Valerie Plame because Rove was up to his neck in the White House's political efforts to deal with critics of pre-war intelligence failures: Fitzgerald is weighing Rove's foggy-memory defense against evidence he has acquired over nearly 2 1/2 years that shows Rove was very involved in White House efforts to beat back allegations that Bush twisted U.S. intelligence to justify the Iraq war, according to sources involved in the case... Additionally, one former government official said he testified that Rove talked with White House colleagues about the political importance of defending the prewar intelligence and countering Plame's husband , former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV. ( Emphasis added. )...

DEMS ARE --...

DEMS ARE -- GASP! -- STAYING ON OFFENSE. It was refreshing to read the toughly worded statement DSCC chief Chuck Schumer put out today about the AP poll which showed far more Americans want Democrats to run Congress. Said Schumer: The chickens are coming home to roost. An administration that is incompetent on both domestic and foreign affairs, doesn�t care about the average person and puts special interests ahead of everyday families desperately needs a counterbalance in Congress. The only way to achieve that kind of balance is to elect more Democrats and the American people see that more clearly everyday. The key here is this: To the extent Dems are the ones nationalizing the midterm elections on their terms -- exactly what Schumer is doing here by saying that only electing Democrats can check the awful damage the Bush presidency is inflicting -- they will be ones playing offense, and they will be the party with the initiative. If the GOP succeeds in nationalizing the election with...

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