THE TROUBLE WITH IMPEACHMENT. Everyone has made good points about the possibility of impeaching President Bush; there are lots of worthy arguments on both sides. But there's one political factor to consider: much as their epic incompetence at running the government has discredited the very idea of government, making new government solutions substantially harder to get past a skeptical public, Republicans' impeachment of President Clinton in 1998 discredited the very idea of impeachment.
YOU TALKIN' TO ME?Via Matt Yglesias, we see a study reported in the Washington Post showing that Major League pitchers from the South are dishing out the chin music. "I found that pitchers from the South are not more likely in general to hit batters,” said the study's author, Thomas Timmerman, “but they are much more likely to hit batters after giving up a home run, or after a teammate has gotten hit the previous half-inning.”
THE PROS VERSUS THE MOB. The other day, the missus and I were watching the Daily Show, and Lewis Black did a very funny rant about things like Conservapedia (created to counter Wikipedia's liberal bias), Fox's "Half Hour Comedy Hour" (created to counter the Daily Show's liberal bias) and Qube TV (created to counter YouTube's liberal bias), and how comically awful they are. "Explain something to me," she said afterward.
His loyal servant. (Photo by the Associated Press.)
A year and a half before the Bush era comes to its merciful end, cataloging its failures and pathologies has become not merely a cottage industry but a kind of mass mobilization, a task so vast that it requires the combined efforts of thousands of writers, talkers, thinkers, activists, and ordinary citizens. Every new look at the last six and a half years yields new insight into how government should not operate, another object lesson for future administrations. And one of those lessons of the Bush years is surely that potential disaster lurks behind what we had previously assumed to be a grand virtue: loyalty.