Showing posts from October, 2005

Three cheers for the child blogger!

Steve points me to this response by Matthew Yglesias to those who would question his semi-defense (or non-attack) in regards Bill Bennett's recent statements. This is the important part (for me): Recent years have seen a frightening rise in right-wing political correctness. If you criticize Israeli policy or the U.S.–Israel relationship, or even use the word "neocon," you're an anti-Semite. If you're against Al Gonzalez you hate Hispanics. If you're against Janice Rogers Brown you hate black people. If you're generally against the social-conservative judicial agenda you hate Christians. If you're against the Iraq War you hate the troops. Most generally, liberalism itself is defined as an anti-American creed, some kind of slur against the Heartland and its delicate sensitivities. That's all crap, of course, but a defense of rational debate requires some effort at consistency of purpose. The rule that the criterion of acceptibility is not accu

No Go on Gore

Former Vice President Al Gore said Wednesday he had no intention of ever running for president again, but he said the United States would be "a different country" if he had won the 2000 election, launching into a scathing attack of the Bush administration. "I have absolutely no plans and no expectations of ever being a candidate again," Gore told reporters after giving a speech at an economic forum in Sweden. Well, that's that I guess.

Gore and the Republican Noise Machine

via myDD comes a pretty solid dose of cold water to any potential Gore candidacy. His favorables are worse than Kerry. And while Hillary's unfavorables were about as bad at one point, she has steadily risen due to being in the public spotlight, whereas Gore has not. The bottom line: ... from day one, any Gore campaign would be facing an uphill battle to restore a positive public image, and thus would start at a tremendous disadvantage even tot he candidates who will not be national figures before the primaries begin. They will simply have to define themselves. Gore would have to re-fine himself, which is much more difficult. The reason for this is the interview where Gore correctly identified the effect of the Republican Noise Machine and its corrosive effect upon the political discourse. I've reproduced the full text in the extended entry below. And make no mistake about it - Gore was indeed Gored . Brutally enough that even Joe Scarborough acknowledged it. Where I differ th

the center will rise

There's a new book by a pair of political scientists entitled Off Center which seeks to analyze American politics to answer why even though most people are demonstrably moderate, the right side of the political spectrum has enjoyed such electoral success. The basic thesis of the book itself will probably be rejected with prejudice by a comitted Republicanist; however, principled conservatives should take notice, as the book is as relevant to them as it is to liberals. More importantly, as Kevin Drum notes in his succinct review , is that the book sets the stage for the following philosophical question: do Democrats need to fight fire with fire? Or will the center eventually hold if Democrats figure out a more effective way of appealing to moderate voters? I think that finding an answer to this question should not be a question of tactics, but rather of principle. Clearly, fighting fire with fire can only lead to Democratism at some point down the line; it is absurd to think that

Gore on being Gored

Listen: Al Gore addresses The Media Center's We Media conference at AP headquarters in NY (48 min, 20 MB MP3). Well, talk about an Al Gore convergence today. Al gave a speech this morning about the decline of the media as independent arbiters of our public dialog. Full transcript worth reading at TPMCafe, but here's a central point, which echoes critiques I have made elsewhere: The news divisions - which used to be seen as serving a public interest and were subsidized by the rest of the network - are now seen as profit centers designed to generate revenue and, more importantly, to advance the larger agenda of the corporation of which they are a small part. They have fewer reporters, fewer stories, smaller budgets, less travel, fewer bureaus, less independent judgment, more vulnerability to influence by management, and more dependence on government sources and canned public relations hand-outs. This tragedy is compounded by the ironic fact that this generation of journalist

Federalist #76

To what purpose then require the co-operation of the Senate? I answer, that the necessity of their concurrence would have a powerful, though, in general, a silent operation. It would be an excellent check upon a spirit of favoritism in the President, and would tend greatly to prevent the appointment of unfit characters from State prejudice, from family connection, from personal attachment, or from a view to popularity. In addition to this, it would be an efficacious source of stability in the administration. ... The possibility of rejection would be a strong motive to care in proposing. ... [The President] would be both ashamed and afraid to bring forward, for the most distinguished or lucrative stations, candidates who had no other merit than that of coming from the same State to which he particularly belonged, or of being in some way or other personally allied to him, or of possessing the necessary insignificance and pliancy to render them the obsequious instruments of his pleasure.


The Diary at Kos makes some interesting points, but the discussion is even better. Especially this link-rich comment , which I've reproduced below in extended entry. I confess that I've been enamored of Gore for a while - I've been a fan of his since Clinton's first term. And reviewing his policies , I have to admit that he's a far closer fit in terms of being conservative or liberal on an issue by issue basis to my own assessment and instincts than any other pol. I'll keep an eye on him. He did the right thing by bowing out on 2004. But right now what we really need is competent government, and Gore (unlike Kerry) would also bring real vision and principle with him. The only time Gore was ever afraid to be Gore was in the 2000 election and it cost him a comfortable enough margin to win Florida unambigously. I think that since then he has spent the last five years returning to his skin. And he feels more comfortable there than ever before, especially since he is

Purple rising at DailyKos

Link goes to a fantastic and lengthy diary at DailyKos by a decidedly Purple kossack. Its a masterpiece, with some great comments spawned by it as well. Of course the very first reply typifies Democratism at its worst, and got about 300 4.0 ratings. Still, the Recommend list is impressive, I've put them in extended copy below as a sort of roster of who at DailyKos one might consider purple in their politics rather than knee-jerk blue. It says a lot that the diary even made the Recommended list at all; there's clearly a lot of latent dissatisfaction at the dominance of the "progressive" left. The leftists tend to be much more vocal, but what I like to call the Silent Significant Minority does remain active, and not exactly dormant, either. In brief, here are excerpts of Arquebus' main points in the diary: 1. The average American is never, never , never going to believe that George W. Bush is a fascist, a sociopath, or a bloodthirsty maniac. 2. Most Americans beli