The group blog of The New Republic

September 10, 2007

Newt Gingrich gave a speech at AEI this morning in which he presented an "alternative history" of the war on terror as he would have conducted it. The speech was vintage Newt, complete with bold new capitalization (Gingrich says at war with the Irreconcilable Wing of Islam), exciting-but-kooky ideas ("We should give every student in Iran a free cell phone"), and casual suggestions for huge new military operations (Blockade Iran! After all, "We have an entire Navy not currently occupied in Iraq.")

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September 9, 2007

Unfortunately, Jonathan Rauch's column this week doesn't seem to be up to his usual standards. Rauch's assessment of the surge is, essentially, "too little, too late, but let's keep trying." Not only does Rauch fail to make any case that success in Iraq is even remotely likely, the reasons he does give for staying are fairly unpersuasive:

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Josh, you definitely can make the argument that attempting to withdraw from Iraq will increase American casualties -- at least temporarily. Withdrawing in hostile territory is nasty work, and it's terribly hard to guard your remaining units as they pull back in fragile convoys, especially as fewer and fewer troops remain in the region to get each others' backs. We're not operating in a vacuum over there, and as Iraqi-on-Iraqi violence shoots up violence directed towards Americans probably will, too.

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September 8, 2007

California Republicans are, indeed, well out of the mainstream in the state, but I'm not quite sure I'd put it this way:

"In movie terms, ... we are dying at the box office," [Schwarzenegger] said. "We are not filling the seats."

Most members of the party don't seem to care very much:

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September 7, 2007

Hmm... Josh writes that "coal is an undesirable energy source mostly because... it emits a ton of greenhouse gas." Well, sort of. There are also the mercury and sulfur-dioxide emissions to consider. Plus mountaintop-removal mining, which is destroying broad swaths of Appalachia. Then there are all the miners who die or get injured each year.

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At what point does Rudy Giuliani's "obsessive" fascination with The Godfather become something we should be worried about?

--Michael Crowley

...but still kinda funny. AP:

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Last night, Matt Yglesias looked at some polling numbers Chris Bowers had posted and concluded that

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The DSCC has announced the winner of its '08 bumper-sticker contest. While watching Carville's goofy "behind-the-scenes" strategy videos on this subject has been passing-a-kidney-stone painful, the winning slogan is actually pretty funny. Not laugh-out-loud, picture-Mitt-Romney-varmint-hunting funny. But mildly amusing.

Now someone please put James back in his cage.

--Michelle Cottle

New Hampshire Union-Leader: "McCain reborn: A comeback begun"

--Michael Crowley

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