July 26, 2007

Administration Critics

Here are the major critics of the administration's Israel-Palestinian policy: Madeleine Albright, James Baker, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and Brent Scowcroft. This is everybody's list, politically wall-to-wall critics. It is also Victor David Hanson's list. But with what authority do they condemn, which is closer to what they do than criticize? If anyone of these haughty individuals had had even a glimmer of success on the Palestine problem that maybe we should look up and listen. As it happens, they all thought they were on their way to Palestinian nirvana.

July 25, 2007

The Mystery Of Bush's Unpopularity

The Washington Post's Peter Baker has an article today on President Bush's massive unpopularity. Oddly, Baker treats the phenomenon as both hard to explain and largely unrelated to anything Bush has done: Yet Bush's political troubles seem to go beyond particular policies.

Nashville, We Have A Problem

It's undoubtedly a mistake to make too big a deal out of campaign staff shake-ups, but it's pretty damn funny that Fred Thompson's campaign has been plunged into turmoil before he's even entered the race. I've long favored the Thompson as Wes Clark analogy, but I also like this bit of wisdom from a Republican Texas State Senator named Dan Patrick who, according to the Houston Chronicle likens Thompson to a quarterback who is on the bench when the team isn't winning. The crowd chants to put him in the game while anticipation mounts. Fred Thompson, the Gus Frerotte of presidential candidates!

July 24, 2007

Richardson's Rhetoric

Like Eve, I thought Bill Richardson had some impressive moments last night (he had some bumbling ones too, recalling Ryan Lizza's profile of the candidate). I particularly liked his honest answer on gay marriage: "Well, I would say to the two young women, I would level with you--I would do what is achievable." In my mind, he scored the best line of the night during the touchy-feely "what do you like about each other" moment (besides Hillary's smart quip about disliking Bush's 2000 election too).

July 23, 2007

Hillary To Guest Star On "24"?

Having never seen "24," I'll defer to Chris's judgment that "the show is beyond politics altogether--or, perhaps more accurately, beneath them." But that hasn't stopped numerous conservative commentators (not to mention the odd Supreme Court Justice) from trying to make political hay out of the show. So, given the current Democratic frontrunner in the '08 presidential race, it's probably worth noting that for the show's seventh and upcoming season, the president on "24" will be a woman.

"here Comes My Wife, The Story Of My Life"

Bill Richardson had the only really specific response to the youth-group-icebreaker question to identify something you like or don't like about the candidate to your left: He lauded Biden's service on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, civil rights, Supreme Court nominees. Impressive, insofar as any response could be. Joe Biden likes Dennis Kucinich's wife -- yikes. --Eve Fairbanks

Heir Time

At first glance, the Democratic nominee for president in 1960, John Fitzgerald Kennedy—the millionaire Caucasian war hero for whom I worked for eleven golden years—seems notably different from the most interesting candidate for next year's nomination, Senator Barack Obama. But when does a difference make a difference? Different times, issues, and electors make any meaningful comparison unlikely.

Oh Brother
12:00 AM

Edgar Allen Gregory and his wife, Vonna Jo, were distressed. It was December 1999, and the couple, owners of the Tennessee-based carnival company United Shows of America, had applied for a presidential pardon nearly a year and a half earlier in the hopes that President Clinton would wipe out their 1982 bank fraud convictions. But the Gregorys couldn't get the president's attention. So they went to someone who could--First Lady Hillary Clinton's kid brother, Tony Rodham.

Final Resolution
12:00 AM

As a rising St. Louis politician in the mid-1970s, Richard Gephardt was among a dynamic group of aldermen dubbed "The Young Turks." So perhaps it's not surprising that, 30 years later, the former Democratic minority leader of the House of Representatives has aged into an Old Turk. This spring, Gephardt has been busy promoting his new favorite cause--not universal health care or Iraq, but the Republic of Turkey, which now pays his lobbying firm, DLA Piper, $100,000 per month for his services.

July 21, 2007

Reactionary Democrats

I agree with MoveOn, or at least I agree with MoveOn that Congressman John Dingell (Dem., Mich.) is a "dinosaur." Or a "dingellsaurus," as the organization puts it. But he is not fossil. He is very much alive, and it is as chairman of the House Energy and Commerce committee that he does his malicious mischief. As today's Times points out, "Mr. Dingell's committee has approved a measure that omits any change in fuel-economy requirements." He is a big fan of big cars that use lots of oil. After all, he represents Michigan where, well, SUVs are made. This is no Republican.