. The once great liberal icon, The New York Times, is more and more becoming like The New Republic, a place for self-hating liberals
to talk to themselves.
But it really is absurd to compare the hatred wingnuts felt (feel) for Clinton and Rodham to the anger liberals feel toward Bush & Co. The Wall St. Journal has a 17-volume set of books devoted to Whitewater, for chrissake. The wingnuts hated Clinton because he was, they felt, illegitimate (they despised Bush I, but certainly felt a great patrician like him should not be chased from office by a bubba). And Clinton's effective ability to coopt Republican issues and turn them leftward further enraged them. Liberals have, for the most part, gotten over Bush's legitimate illegitimacy, and instead are genuinely aghast at where he is leading the country through his policies
, rather than his libido of which there may be none...for sex anyway; war is a different story.
Another reason to throw your hands up in disgust. This is brilliant, using kids and AIDS
as a strategy to maneuver around soft-money bans. You got to hand it to the Republicans. Their cynicism knows no bounds.
George Bush and Dick Cheney, the patron saints of redactions, really won big on this one
. And the survivors of 9-11 victims, as well as those of us who live in or near major terrorist targets, are the losers. We will never know what he knew and when he knew it, and the 9-11 commission will issue a final report that will lack teeth. That was the goal of the administration and the Republicans on Capital Hill all along.
And, of course, New York continues to get the shaft
on counter-terrorism funds.
"Even the office of Gov. George E. Pataki, a Republican, voiced concerns over the amount. Lynn Rasic, a spokeswoman for Mr. Pataki, said that "the appropriations do not fully recognize the risks to New York.'
"'Again, we urge Congress to adopt a threat-based formula to appropriate Homeland Security dollars,' she said."
And meanwhile, even a few Republicans are starting to get nervous about the suddenly fevered pace for turning over power to Iraqis. It's starting to sound like "declare victory and get the hell out
"'To announce withdrawals when the number of attacks and deaths of American military are going up is not reasonable or logical,' Mr. McCain said in an interview. 'If the American military can't do it, then certainly half-trained Iraqis cannot.'"
Instead, we're calling in air-strikes
. This strikes me as self-defeating, particularly if the military finds itself forced to hit what few economic drivers there currently are in the country. Apologies, dear readers, for all the links to the Times, but I'm finding little of interest regarding this development in the Post or on such usually great sites as Inteldump
and Juan Cole
"The eloquence would be more impressive if there were any reason to suppose that Bush thinks words have meaning. One test of meaning is the future: what the words lead to. As even some admirers of the speech point out, the details of this "forward strategy of freedom" are missing, except for pursuing our current military adventure in IraqÂwhich was sold to the country on totally non-Wilsonian grounds. But meaning can also be tested by looking at the past. Eloquence is just a hooker if it will serve as a short-term no-commitments release for any idea that comes along." Kinsley on Bush's "empty eloquence
Also in Slate, Daniel Gross on hating Bush but soaking up
his tax cut. I think Gross is being a little too facile. There is an interesting trend out there -- which Krugman
has written about at great length -- of voters' increasing tendency to vote against their own self-interest. In the last election, much was talked about Republican wins in Mississippi and Kentucky, when fat cats like Haley Barbour
were elected by a largely working poor electorate. There was little mentioned of New Jersey, where wealthy suburbanites voted largely Democratic. In other words, the working poor in the South elect politicians who want to reduce taxes on the wealthy while subsidizingg their state shortfalls through cuts of social services and higher rates on regressive taxes such as sales and payroll; and in wealthier Northern suburbs, voters go with politicians who -- if given the chance -- would raise their taxes to pay for services those voters may never need, and for estate taxes to which those voters would be some of the few to be subject.
It would take a wiser sociologist than me to explain it.
There's a curious little nugget in Jackie Calmes "Washington Wire," in today's Journal:
"RISING DEFICITS stir concern among Americans and administration officials.
"Though a White House strategist says the chances of rolling back tax cuts are 'zip,' 41% of Republicans call that 'a good idea' in order to reduce the deficit and finance domestic priorities. Amid signs that prosperity is back, the number of Americans citing the budget as the top economic problem creeps up to 16T from 9% just after Bush took office.
"Bush aides eye savings in entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicaid
[italics mine] in the budget due in February. One possible blueprint: a recent House effort to offset drug-benefit costs by finding $132 billion of entitlement savings. Democrats plan to embarrass Bush when the federal debt ceiling must be raised again in the spring."
Ah, just a few short years ago, we had a surplus large enough to actually believe that "saving social security" and medicaid were feasible. Now the thing that goes bump in the night -- the Bush administration -- will be looking to bleed them to death.