Beware! Etch-A-Sketch Is Contagious
April 23, 2012
The Washington Post’s Metro section, which despite depleted resources continues to do a bang-up job covering the D.C. region, had a sharp story on Sunday raising the terrifying prospect that Etch-a-Sketchism is a highly contagious disease. Apparently, for Republican politicians, mere contact with Mitt Romney is enough to lead them to start erasing and revising central elements of their political profile to make themselves palatable to the electorate at hand.
Bob McDonnell Probes His Veep Chances For A Heartbeat
February 22, 2012
Well, I have to admit that I called this one. Back on February 2, I wrote a post titled “Top Veep Prospect Gets Ready For His Ultrasound,” noting that Virginia was on the verge of passing legislation that would require women seeking an abortion to have an ultrasound allowing them to see and hear the fetus.
Top Veep Prospect Gets Ready For His Ultrasound
February 02, 2012
Back in November, I noted that the Republican victory in Virginia, winning several seats to claim a tie in the state Senate, could make things awkward for Gov. Bob McDonnell, a leading vice presidential prospect. He had campaigned hard to pick up the seats and could claim affirmation in the win, but he was also going to face a challenge in maintaining his image as a moderate, business-minded Republican whose days decrying working mothers and “fornicators” were long behind him.
The Promiscuity Of the Very Rich
February 01, 2012
Sorry, Florida, but the biggest political news Tuesday was not Mitt Romney’s predictable win after his carpet-bombing of Newt Gingrich, but the long-awaited release of the financial disclosures for the Super-PACs that, courtesy of the Roberts Court, will utterly dominate the 2012 campaign. As Dan Eggen and Tim Farnam lay out in today’s Washington Post, Barack Obama’s record-breaking small-donor machine will be sorely tested by the big-dollar Republican donors who, liberated by Citizens United and other rulings, are giving in truly eye-popping sums.
Tuesday night’s election results illuminate the terrain on which the 2012 election will be fought. The American people want government to address their problems, but not at the cost of excessive intrusion in their lives. They recoil from ideologically motivated attacks on workers and on women.
Yup, Rick Santorum went there. The former Pennsylvania senator, known for his less-than-enlightened views on gay rights, has opted for the “Some of my best friends…” approach. Earlier this week, when CNN’s Don Lemon asked him if he had any gay friends, Santorum replied enthusiastically: “Yes! In fact, I was with a gay friend of mine just two days ago. So, yeah, I do. And they respect that I have differences of opinion on that. I talk about these things in front of them, and we have conversations about it.
Tone Down the Mushfulness In Punditry
April 12, 2010
I made a prominent guest appearance in Michael Gerson's Washington Post column the other day. It is very hard to summarize what the column was about. The general theme was a defense of civility. I came into the picture, as you might have guessed, for writing a 2003 article in which I confessed, "I hate President George W. Bush." Among many conservatives, especially those, like Gerson, who worked for Bush and continue to adore him, that article is a seminal moment in American history.
Neo-Confederate History Month
April 08, 2010
As most readers have probably heard, Virginia’s Republican Governor Bob McDonnell got himself into hot water by declaring April “Confederate History Month,” in a proclamation that did not mention the rather pertinent fact that the Confederacy was a revolutionary (and by definition, treasonous) effort to maintain slavery against even the possibility of abolition. After the predictable firestorm of criticism, McDonnell allowed that it must have been a mistake not to mention slavery in his proclamation.
McDonnell To Voters: Ha Ha!
April 07, 2010
Last year, the Richmond Times-Dispatch endorsed Bob McDonnell for governor, citing his "moderate temperament." Now (via Greg Sargent) the newspaper is expressing alarm over McConnell's decision to reinstate Confederate History Month, and to completely ignore slavery in his proclamation, his latest embrace of hard-right social conservatism. Of course this is an inherent problem with Virginia's cockamamie system that limits governors to one term.
March 12, 2010
As is often the case with tales of great discovery, the details of how buried treasure came to be found beneath the rolling countryside of Pittsylvania County, Virginia, have grown a little gauzy over the last 30 years. But here is the story as the prospectors tell it. One day, in March 1979, a man named Byrd Berman, a geologist by training, was driving down a road through cattle pastures when the scintillometer sitting on the dashboard of his Hertz rental car began to beep. The device, similar to a Geiger counter, was designed to detect the gamma radiation naturally emitted by uranium.