In these early days of the Bush Restoration, it's easy to muster up the kind of sheer animus that so occupied the right when Bill Clinton eased into office on the strength of a bare plurality back in 1992. And it's not pleasant. Some days -- when W. nominated the sleazy Ted Olson as Solicitor General, for instance, or reinstituted the deeply offensive "gag rule" on foreign reproductive health providers -- some dark, feverish part of my brain fantasizes about a left-wing Rupert Murdoch or Richard Mellon Scaife arising from the ashes to drag W. through the mud. Perhaps a Texas Project to match the Clinton-era Arkansas Project? I know, I know, we've all had enough of that. But where's Ted Turner when you really need him?
In late April, the forces of compassionate conservatism issued notice of yet another battle won over the evils of Clintonism. "Bush Shows Strength in Pacific Northwest," proclaimed a press release from the Bush campaign in bold faux newspaperese. And indeed, according to two new polls, George W. Bush was edging Al Gore by one point in Washington and three in Oregon. But though the Democrats have indeed lost ground in the region, it's not Bush who's winning it: Garnering a surprising 7 percent in the Oregon poll was longtime consumer gadfly and Green Party candidate Ralph Nader.
Contrary to popular belief, it's rare to catch a politician in a moment of perfect hypocrisy. But the ongoing Senate fight over George W. Bush's nominees to the federal bench is providing many such opportunities. "You don't get absolute power to utilize your own personal prejudice without any justification to block even a consideration of a nominee," Republican Jeff Sessions complained last week. "Is there anyone here that thinks it was not a good government initiative to remove the power of a single senator [to] just block someone without any chance of review?"
Yesterday, Republican Randy Forbes narrowly beat Democratic
Louise Lucas in a special election for Virginia's 4th
Congressional District. Predictably, the GOP is claiming
that this amounts to a "bellwether" victory for their
president and their party; as goes Virginia's fourth CD, so,
apparently, goes the nation. Also predictably, this is
mostly nonsense. There's no doubt that this was a win for
the GOP, which now holds a seat formerly occupied by the
late Norman Sisisky, a Democrat. And it's a setback for
Terry McAulliffe's Democratic National Committee, which is
pouring serious money into Virginia these days (and which
dispatched grassroots guru Donna Brazile to help out Lucas).