The group blog of The New Republic

October 15, 2007

Speaking of smears, Mickey Kaus is still keeping hope alive that the Edwards-infidelity one is true. Mickey (fairly) mocks me for perhaps naively believing that Edwards just wouldn't do such a thing. But then he unfairly faults Edwards for issuing too vociferous a denial of the allegation. Mickey writes:

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There was a good--albeit depressing--Politico article over the weekend about how the Obama-is-a-Muslim smear (first seen on Fox News last spring and quickly batted down by the Obama campaign) has been perpetuated via anonymous emails:

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October 14, 2007

This graf in Anne Kornblut's piece in today's Post was kind of interesting:

At the next Clinton stop, a town hall meeting in Derry, N.H., Leslie Harrison, 52, said the fact that Clinton is a woman is important as she considers how to vote in the New Hampshire primary. "Men have been making a mess of things for a long time," she said. "A woman would be more sensitive to sending our children off to war."

 

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October 13, 2007

The New York Times has an interesting piece today about how changing patterns of development in the mountain west--namely, an influx of wealthy outsiders who are buying up land in order to either develop it or fence it off as "private playgrounds"--are redrawing the region's traditional political battle lines.

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A thought: Amid all this Hillary Clinton-bashing by Rudy Giuliani, is he ever going to have to explain why, the one time he had a chance to beat her--in the New York Senate race in 2000--he chickened out and quit the race? I'm not sure why he'd get a pass on this in any case. But it's particularly weird given that he's selling himself as the Republican with the best chance of "stopping" her.

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October 12, 2007

Traveling this week has kept me from the obsessive Armenian genocide resolution blogging I would otherwise be engaged in. But an afternoon of listening to right-wing talk radio in the car confirmed something I suspected might happen: Conservatives are casting Nancy Pelosi's decision to proceed with the resolution as a sign of Democratic cluelessness on national security--and possibly even a way of hastening the end of the Iraq war (by inflaming Turkey into making trouble for us in the region).

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Today I saw Rudy Giuliani make a couple of appearances in upstate South Carolina. In the afternoon he dropped in at Spill the Beans, a charming ice cream shop outside of Greenville. (As I parked my car, a radio advertisement was guaranteeing termite-free mulch.) Squeezing into the packed cafe--surrounded by his menacing coterie of private bodyguards (some of whom could pass for Blackwater employees)--Rudy delivered quick remarks notable for their square focus on Hillary Clinton. "I have a list of how much money Hillary is going to cost you!" Rudy said.

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A footnote to Giuliani's speech in Rock Hill: During a long riff on national security, Rudy ripped into Bill Clinton for the "massive damage" Clinton supposedly did to the U.S. military by underfunding it during his presidency. He called this "the biggest mistake" Clinton made, before throwing in a striking aside:

I don't care about his other mistakes... some [of which] we may have exaggerated as Republicans.

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The other night I noted that Mickey Kaus had managed to sink below even Drudge in pimping the National Enquirer's "story" about John Edwards's supposed marital infidelity. Today Mickey defends himself from the lower-than-Drudge charge:

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"There are lots of things we do that are irrelevant," Alan Simpson once said, "but that's what the Senate is for." The same might be said of the California state legislature, which year in and year out demonstrates an impressive ability to legislate solutions to problems that appear pressing to almost no Californians besides those who happen to be serving in the legislature. Occasionally, this proclivity for overlegislating serves California well--for instance, when in 1998 the state banned smoking in bars and restaurants, a reasonable law that has caught on around the country.

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