This week the Senate will continue debating a housing bill intended to bring some relief to the millions of American homeowners facing foreclosure because of the credit crisis that has become the hood ornament on a U.S. economy headed south. More than 1.5 million people have already lost their homes and there are more than 8,000 new foreclosure filings every day. This July, when rates reset on millions of adjustable-rate mortgages, the pain is only going to go deeper and spread wider.
George W. Bush has been running around Europe misting up and emoting about how much he regrets talking and acting like the warmonger he's proven to be. "I think that in retrospect I could have used a different tone, a different rhetoric," he told The Times of London.
Well, yes; he could have. But tone-deafness has been a defining characteristic of this administration from its inception. Remember that Bush campaigned in 2000 on a promise to "change the tone in Washington," only to keep his promise by making the tone worse. Bush has clearly turned his attention to burnishing his legacy, but it seems a little ridiculous to be apologizing at this late stage for the least of his offenses, when the large ones are so monumental.
The closer Barack Obama gets to the White House, the more some people worry that some crazy is going to take a shot at him. Two weeks ago, when Hillary Clinton invoked the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy as evidence that she was not indecently prolonging the Democratic primary season, the furor that erupted was wildly disproportionate, because whatever Clinton's many sins, she was not in any sense suggesting that she was waiting for Obama to get shot so she could win the nomination.
Harry Reid is optimistic, a rare state for the Democratic Senate majority leader and self-declared cynic ("It means I'm disappointed less often," he says). Given the current political mood it would be hard for him not to be.
The race to watch on Tuesday is a special election in Mississippi. The reddest of congressional districts is poised to elect a Democrat, sending yet another signal that Republicans are in serious trouble come November.
Most Democrats will spend Tuesday night watching election returns from the West Virgina primary. But if they want some hints about what will happen in November, they should really be watching a little congressional special election in the northeastern Mississippi.