September 11, 2006
Surry Hill. So reads a plaque at the end of the long, winding private road that leads to the crown jewel of McLean, Virginia: the 18,000-square-foot mansion that Republican lobbyist Ed Rogers and his wife Edwina call home. To get there from Washington, you drive across the Potomac River and along a parkway that, in the summer, is canopied by lush green trees. Shortly before the guarded entrance to the CIA, you turn off McLean's main road and then down a private lane, passing through brick gate posts adorned with black lanterns and into a grand cul-de-sac. A massive brick Colonial with majestic
Not very long ago, the term conservatives most often used to describe Katherine Harris was "rock star." Writing in The Weekly Standard, John Podhoretz praised her as "a local official in Florida who looked to the letter of the law for guidance at a time when we needed the law the most." Among conservatives, this was one of the more measured assessments. In the eyes of her admirers, she was Mother Teresa, Marie Curie, and Joan of Arc all rolled into one--passionate, deeply moral, and honest as the day is long. Not only that, she was also smart as a whip and a looker to boot. ("In person, Mrs.
September 10, 2006
Joseph C. Wilson and Valerie Plame were one of those Washington couples whose careers had ended on the lower-middle rungs. Of course, this judgment depends on what you call "lower-middle." OK, Wilson did end his State Department career as an ambassador, with the "your excellency" stuff and all that. But his last posting was as envoy to Sao Tome and Principe, two small volcanic islands situated in the equatorial Atlantic, consisting of 386 square miles and populated by 160,000 people. This republic has no yellowcake. It surely is one of those designated diplomatic hardship spots.
September 08, 2006
by Jacob T. LevyIsaac Chotiner, over at our sister blog The Plank, notes: As an American, it's been hard not to follow Blair's descent over the past couple of years without an abiding sense of, well, shame. [...]But, his predicament has been relentlessly worsened by the Bush administration's continued unwillingness to offer rhetorical or substantive assistance to its best (and, in a practical sense, only) ally. From Guantánamo to steel tariffs to rebuilding contracts, the Brits have been consistently stiffed. Just so.
by Daniel Drezner I'd like to thank Jacob for giving me homework in the first week. This really is an academic blog. Jacob's question was:Independent of the merits of Bush's foreign policy objectives, it seems to me to have been instrumentally irrational to be such a consistently bad friend to America's friends; it's made the attainment of those objectives harder, and may have soured important relationships in the medium term.
September 07, 2006
Liberals, Terrorism, And Iraq
by Michael KazinFor a particularly provocative attempt to view the struggle against "Islamic extremism" as little different from the earlier ones against Naziism and Stalinism, take a look at the American version of the Euston statement, mostly written by Jeff Herf, a smart historian from the University of Maryland. The sentiments are similar to those in Peter Beinart's recent book: Only liberals can be trusted to defeat terrorism, but liberals must make that defeat their priority.
September 06, 2006
When Is A Shooting Just A Shooting?
Darrin makes a good point about the gap between what fascist means to academics (when they're not talking about Bush) and what it means to the rest of the American public. However, this Hassan Fattah story in the NYT points out the ways in which the administration's use of the term seems to defy both categorizations: When Mr.
Culture Of Resignation
by Sanford LevinsonI note the important development that in the UK seven junior ministers have resigned in protest over Tony Blair's refusal to indicate a date certain (and fairly soon) by which he will step down. Blair's resignation, whether voluntary or forced, would not force new elections or a transfer of power to the Tories. Rather, a leader viewed, rightly or wrongly, as widely discredited (as was Margaret Thatcher in 1990), simply leaves office, to be succeeded by a fellow party member (as Thatcher was succeeded by John Major, who won the next election).
September 04, 2006
FOR ALL INTENTS and purposes, the only national political story on August 8 was Ned Lamont's defeat of Joe Lieberman in Connecticut's Democratic Senate primary. But all that Nedrenaline obscured another anti-incumbent surprise the very same night. In Michigan's Seventh District, Republican Representative Joe Schwarz was knocked off by a conservative primary challenger. It was an ominous sign of the national mood for sweaty-palmed Washington Republicans. But it was also significant for another reason: The Club for Growth had finally scalped its first incumbent.
After the passage of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1706, which authorizes a robust peacekeeping force in Darfur, U.N. Ambassador John Bolton seemed confident that it would force the unwilling Sudanese government suddenly to allow U.N. peacekeepers into strife-ridden Sudan. "The Security Council has just adopted a resolution. We expect the government of Sudan to comply with it," Bolton announced. But someone as familiar with Darfur as Bolton is ought to be less sanguine. To the surprise of very few, Khartoum bluntly rejected the invitation to allow U.N. troops into the country.