Let's Celebrate--and Choose Not To Indulge In The Following Studiously Glum Thoughts
November 04, 2008
The Bradley Effect. "God damn America!" "Kill him!" "Why can't he close the deal?" "Isn't he a Muslim?" The "terrorist fist jab." The New Yorker cover. Michelle's chimerical "whitey" speech. After all of the aggrieved musings and smug insistences, the deal is done. And now, let's celebrate. Don't talk about how Obama didn't win by enough points. Okay: There are whites out there who didn't vote for him because of, or partly because of, his color. We heard all about them in a thousand earnest newspaper and magazine articles all summer and fall. We were told to worry. We did.
A Thought On Stevens's Conviction
October 27, 2008
Who says DC doesn't get a vote in Congress? Twelve residents of the District of Columbia, to state the obvious, effectively elected Mark Begich to the U.S. Senate today. You don't have to feel sorry for Ted Stevens, whose career is ending in a richly deserved fashion, to be at least somewhat troubled by that prospect. Alaskans deserved to have a say on whether the Democratic Party merits a majority large enough to be able to get its agenda through the Senate intact.
October 27, 2008
Alaskan Senator Ted Stevens has just been found guilty for failing to report $200,000 in gifts. Seems like a good time to revisit Michael Crowley's 2007 article, "The Jerk" in which he examines "the Senate's angriest man" and reflects upon "the Washington political culture that allowed him to run amok." --Amanda Silverman
A Real Iraqi Hero, Betrayed By The United States
September 25, 2008
Mithal al-Alusi is a hero of the Iraqi people. What a shame they don't treat him as one. A member of a prominent Sunni family, he was sentenced to death in abstentia in 1976 for plotting to overthrow Saddam Hussein while studying in Cairo. Exiled to Germany, he took part in the 2002 takeover the Iraqi embassy in Berlin. Soon after the American-led liberation, he returned to Iraq and was elected to parliament in 2005. His politics are democratic and secular, and he stands for close ties with the United States, the United Kingdom, Turkey and Israel.
Mccain Tonight: Tell The Swing Voters A Great Story
September 04, 2008
Thanks to his neo-celebrity running mate, John McCain has one tough act to follow. The upside of Sarah Palin's turbocharged speech last night is that, well, the world is now obsessed with her. The downside: She's overshadowing John McCain, and at the same time has amped up the energy here in a way that puts more pressure on McCain to lift up the crowd. McCain needs to muster as much energy as he naturally can.
Look Who's Campaigning On Biography Now
September 02, 2008
Early on in the long, contentious Democratic primaries, Barack Obama was guilty of running a campaign based too heavily on biography and vague promises of breaking through partisan gridlock. It worked well enough initially, since Obama's story really was compelling and his credentials as a bipartisan reformer seemed legitimate. But it was only after Obama started peddling a more substantive message, focused on the actual policies he'd deliver, that he was able to secure the nomination.
With Obama and McCain slated to appear together this Saturday at Rick Warren's Saddleback Church, we asked TNR contributing editor Alan Wolfe, director of the Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life at Boston College, to weigh in on the significance of the event and Warren's broader role in evangelical politics: This Saturday, August 16th, Barack Obama and John McCain will make a joint appearance at Rick Warren's Saddleback Church in Orange County, California. Religion can have that kind of impact.
August 13, 2008
Earlier this summer, when the Obama campaign announced that Jason Furman was joining its staff as director of economic policy, the storyline seemed to write itself: Centrist adviser will pull Obama to the right. Furman had first made a name for himself as a wonky twentysomething wunderkind in the later years of the Clinton administration--a period when, to the consternation of many liberals, Clinton emphasized balanced budgets, free trade, and welfare reform.
August 13, 2008
Congratulations, Congressman Ney! Less than two years after his conviction for being a corrupt little weasel, the Ohio Republican is headed home this Friday. According to the WaPo, Ney has been in a halfway house since February of this year--and working as a liberal researcher for a liberal talk radio station. Anyone care to wager how long it takes him to get his own cable show? --Michelle Cottle
Get Well, Prince Of Darkness
July 29, 2008
I'm sure many around Washington will be blogging about the news of Bob Novak's brain tumor, but indulge me for a second anyway. I like and admire Novak, and even on occasion agree with him. (Hey, no one thought the Iraq war was a stupider idea than he.) The man has the courage of his convictions, something that didn't prove the case with many conservative thinkers under this particular administration. Novak knows what he believes. He sticks by it. And if you--or all those nutty neocons or congressional big spenders--don't like it, you can all go take a flying leap.