November 01, 2008

Fantasy League
12:00 AM

There is a line of thought in international affairs, the democratic peace theory, which suggests democracies never go to war with one another.If you consider only those democracies that are well-established and grant individual rights to their citizens (that is, if you ignore cases like Weimar Germany ), the hypothesis stands up pretty well to historical scrutiny. A corollary of this theory--the idea that if there are more democracies in the world, the U.S. will be safer--was one pillar of the neocon logic that propelled the war in Iraq.

Nader Is Self-absorbed
12:00 AM

Al Gore is in Florida campaigning among huge crowds for Barack Obama. Many Floridians feel a certain guilt that their state political apparatus was so under the control of Bush operatives that ballot and  ballot-counting theft were all but impossible to restrain. Then, of course, there was the Supreme Court, the highest judicial equivalent of a hanging jury...and a hanging jury not just for Gore but for the American people. Gore long has escaped his sentence and in a quite majestic way. The American people haven't done as well.

Bush's "busy Schedule"
12:00 AM

March 5, 2008: MCCAIN: I hope that the President will find time from his busy schedule to be out on the campaign trail with me, and I will be very privileged to have the opportunity of being again on the campaign trail with him -- only slightly different roles this time. (Laughter.) Nov 1, 2008: Until recently, Mr. Bush was giving talks about the battered economy on nearly a daily basis, prompting some Republicans to grumble privately that so much presidential face time was hurting their election chances. This week, Mr.

October 31, 2008

Change, of a Sort
12:00 AM

DUNMORE, PENNSYLVANIA--With just two weeks left until the election, Democratic Representative Paul Kanjorski is in the back room of Ragnacci’s, a cozy sports bar just outside of Scranton, doing his best to fire up a crowd of mostly elderly voters. “Obama’s going to win big in northeastern Pennsylvania,” the 71-year-old lawmaker declares. “And I’m going to win”--here he pauses--“reasonably big in northeastern Pennsylvania!” It was not the gentleman from Nanticoke’s most inspired rhetoric.

The Obsessed
12:00 AM

In just a few short weeks, eighteen-term Democratic congressman John Murtha has gone from shoo-in incumbent to a man on the brink. Calling your own district a “racist area”--and then “clarifying” that what he really meant was that the people of southwestern Pennsylvania were “rednecks”--can do that. Now he’s been mocked on “SNL,” pilloried by commentators, and his neophyte GOP opponent, a retired Army Reserve lieutenant colonel named William Russell, has found himself in a virtual tie with the powerful House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee chairman.

Rashid Who?
12:00 AM

By late last spring, concerns about Jews deserting the presumptive Democratic nominee, Barack Obama, had reached a fever pitch. Writing in his popular blog for Politico, Ben Smith declared that Obama had a “Jewish problem.” In late May, Jodi Kantor of The New York Times traveled to Florida to interview the elderly Jews who were thought to be most skeptical of the Illinois Senator.

Doing the Work McCain's People Can't or Won't Do
12:00 AM

Jeremiah Wright is back in the headlines thanks to a new ad by the recently formed National Republican Trust PAC. I spoke over the phone today with the ad’s creator, Rick Wilson, a GOP media consultant who is most infamous for a 2002 campaign ad tying then-Senator Max Cleland to Osama bin Laden:TNR: What made you decide to produce this Wright ad?Rick Wilson: For a variety of reasons, it was unaddressed and seemingly unaddressable by the McCain campaign. Actual Republicans and Independents out in the world, and frankly a lot of Democrats, take issue with this.

Tnrtv: Fairbanks On Rahm Emanuel, House Mafioso, As Obama's Chief Of Staff
12:00 AM

TNR associate editor Eve Fairbanks takes issue with today's report that Obama will select House bruiser Rahm Emanuel as Chief of Staff: why Obama doesn't want a "yes man," where GOP charges of Emanuel partisanship fall short, and how the "Tony Soprano" of congress would run things in the White House. --Ben Eisler

Tying The Next President's Hands
12:00 AM

What, you thought this administration was finished with us yet? The White House is working to enact a wide array of federal regulations, many of which would weaken government rules aimed at protecting consumers and the environment, before President Bush leaves office in January. The new rules would be among the most controversial deregulatory steps of the Bush era and could be difficult for his successor to undo.

The First Shots Of 2012?
12:00 AM

I missed this nugget a few days ago (and have no idea how reliable it is), but The American Spectator's "Washington Prowler" reported that at least some of the McCain aides who've been badmouthing Sarah Palin--including the one who offered the famous "diva" quote--are former Romney staffers: Former Mitt Romney presidential campaign staffers, some of whom are currently working for Sen. John McCain and Gov. Sarah Palin's bid for the White House, have been involved in spreading anti-Palin spin to reporters, seeking to diminish her standing after the election.