THE F WORD.Ezra's not on yet, but I figured it should be noted that, in his convo with Ben Affleck, Chris Matthews uttered the word "fascist" in criticizing the politics of fear that he thinks Rudy Giuliani employs on national security issues; I'll link to the transcript when it gets posted.
A POX! It may surprise you to hear this: In his column today, David Broder assesses the Democratic and Republican primary debates that happened this week, considers both parties to have engaged in a "dispiriting display of pandering and group-think," and warns that "the dynamic on both sides is trending toward extreme positions that would open the door to an independent or third-party challenge in 2008 aimed at the millions of voters in the center." The door, it's opening! Very slowly, but still opening ...
THE POLITICS OF RESENTMENT, GLOBAL WARMING EDITION. Last week, the White House touted President Bush's announcement of a new plan for 15 major countries to forge a climate change policy in 2008 as a bold step forward in tackling the problem. Substantively, it was easy enough to show that this was actually all bunk.
"A BIZARRE NOTION." He ended his answer implying that he'd authorize air strikes against an Iranian nuclear warhead if one's built, but prior to the conclusion Joe Biden made two surprising (for a debate) and welcome points on Iran: that the policy of "regime change" itself -- of making demands on a country like Iran while also touting our intentions to topple the government -- is "bizarre" and should be abandoned; and that, according to actual and credible analyses, Iran is many years further away from developing nuclear weapons than is commonly discussed or assumed.
MANDATES! The subject's now health care, and Obama spoke explicitly in defense of his plan's lack of an individual mandate element to it. This was discussedquite a bit on the site last week, and in fact we'll have another piece on the subject published tomorrow.