The group blog of The New Republic
September 4, 2007
Say what you will about the underlying substance, Bush's trip to Iraq was expert stagecraft. The White House knew two things about this week's news cycle: One, that the media would be starved for things to cover after a holiday weekend--ensuring that Bush's visit would get massive play.
There was a fair amount of discussion last week of the double standard conservatives exhibited regarding prostitute-using Senator David Vitter (whom very few on the right pressed to resign) and bathroom-cruising Senator Larry Craig (who was encouraged not to let the stall-door hit him on the way out). Some argued that the disparity was strategic: Vitter represents a state with a Democratic governor; Craig represented one with a Republican. Some explained that there's far greater tolerance of sexual scandal in Louisiana than in Idaho. And some chalked it up to simple homophobia.
In this week's print magazine I wrote about Bill Gardner who, as New Hampshire's secretary of state, never runs out of arguments for why the New Hampshire primary should be the first in the nation. But, to Gardner's credit, I don't think he's ever resorted to invoking God. From the Des Moines Register:
For those who read the cover story linked on the front page earlier today, you may not realize (because the link did not say so until just now) that it's an excerpt from my new book, "The Big Con: The True Story of How Washington Got Hoodwinked and Hijacked by Crackpot Economics."
If you like the excerpt, you can buy the book here, among other places.
In my TNR Online piece yesterday I noted that the reverberations from California's recent budget stalemate would likely be felt in the coming debate over Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's universal health-care proposal. An article in the Los Angeles Times over the weekend illustrates how this is playing out.
Robert Draper's new biography of President Bush, Dead Certain: The Presidency of George W. Bush, hit bookstores today. For those who have not yet purchased their copies, the TNR staff will be posting some of the funniest excerpts throughout the day. So far, my favorite is this bit about the future President's time at Andover: