Politics

December 19, 2005

Christmas Party
12:00 AM

"I think there is a general war on Christians underway in our country. … I think it's clear it is liberals who are the purveyors of an anti-Christmas, anti-Christian bias." --Fox News host John Gibson, author of The War on Christmas: How the Liberal Plot to Ban the Sacred Christian Holiday Is Worse Than You Thought DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE TO: Leading Democrats FROM: DNC Executive Committee (cc: Howard Dean) SUBJECT: Overcoming the Anti-Christmas Image While our base strongly supports the war on Christians, polling numbers suggest that we're losing independent voters.

December 14, 2005

Fortunate Son
12:00 AM

It has never been entirely clear just who makes up the Republican establishment--businessmen? evangelicals? freepers?--but it is clear that they've never liked John McCain. A look at the coverage of McCain's 2000 presidential primary campaign reveals hundreds of instances in which the Arizona senator is depicted as waging heroic battle against the GOP establishment, and the establishment is depicted as fighting back just as hard, if less heroically.

December 12, 2005

Adaptation
12:00 AM

Once upon a time, the Democratic family consisted of two basic types of politicians--those who supported the Iraq war and those who were against it. As the war dragged on and the political climate changed, however, varied new species began to evolve, with all manner of ideas and opinions about the occupation. For months, these different Democratic factions lived more or less in harmony. But Pennsylvania Representative John Murtha's dramatic call last month for a fast U.S. exit from Iraq was like a climate-altering asteroid event.

Religious Protection
12:00 AM

In September, the world watched the ringleader of the July 7 London terrorist attack, his voice inflected with a West Yorkshire accent, preach jihad in English. Al Jazeera aired the communiqu? of 30-year-old Mohammad Sidique Khan, which Khan recorded to explain why he helped murder over 50 of his fellow Britons on a bus and in the Underground. "Until you stop the bombing, gassing, imprisonment, and torture of my people, we will not stop this fight," Khan declared. "We are at war. I am a soldier.

Center Stage
12:00 AM

Jerusalem, Israel On a recent warm afternoon in Gilo, a working-class Jerusalem neighborhood that borders the West Bank, a group of teenagers are smoking cigarettes outside a grocery. They are 18, about to be drafted, and about to become first-time voters. They're exactly the constituency Amir Peretz, the Moroccan-born union leader recently elected head of Israel's Labor Party, needs to woo. Last election, Labor was so moribund that it captured barely 4 percent of 18-year-old voters.

Fortunate Son
12:00 AM

It has never been entirely clear just who makes up the Republican establishment--businessmen? evangelicals? freepers?--but it is clear that they've never liked John McCain. A look at the coverage of McCain's 2000 presidential primary campaign reveals hundreds of instances in which the Arizona senator is depicted as waging heroic battle against the GOP establishment, and the establishment is depicted as fighting back just as hard, if less heroically.

December 06, 2005

Run On
12:00 AM

By my count, twelve United States senators are considering a run for president in 2008: six Democrats (Evan Bayh, Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, Christopher Dodd, Russ Feingold, and John Kerry) and six Republicans (George Allen, Sam Brownback, Bill Frist, Chuck Hagel, John McCain, and Rick Santorum). For Biden, Kerry, and McCain it would be their second presidential campaign.Elsewhere in that august body, another eight senators have already run for president, failing to reach the White House but contributing mightily to the craft of colorful campaign coverage.

November 28, 2005

A History Of Violence
12:00 AM

In the spring of 2003, as the Iraq war got underway, I spent many hours learning about violence in a creaky lecture hall at the Sorbonne. It was a sensitive time to be an American in Paris. "La guerre" had made the city's formerly convivial atmosphere heavy and indignant, and I expected my new class--"Shattered Texts," a literature course about the effects of destruction on people and cultures--to be mired in contemporary despair and maybe even hostility. To my surprise, the news of the day was of little analogical interest to my professor.

The Shorn Identity
12:00 AM

To the smoke rising from the Paris suburbs, the American press has been adding a generous portion of fog. Typical was the front-page story in last Friday's New York Times. A "significant proportion of the population," Craig S. Smith wrote, "has yet to accept the increasingly multiethnic makeup of the nation. Put simply, being French, for many people, remains a baguette-and-beret affair." Put simply, this is distressingly close to nonsense, and not just because berets have been far more scarce on French streets than baseball caps for many years.

Base Jump
12:00 AM

The childhood mosque of Abu Musab Al Zarqawi, the Jordanian terrorist who has emerged as the leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq, is a modest affair. It lacks a proper minaret, and, unlike many of the other houses of worship in this hardscrabble industrial city, there are no green or blue neon lights to set it off from the corner bodegas and concrete apartments nearby.

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