Politics

November 02, 2008

Democratic Gay-baiting? You Don't Say...
12:00 AM

Here is a radio advertisement running right now in Kentucky, paid for by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. AFSCME is one of the largest unions in America and a major Democratic Party ally, and stands to gain much from the public trough should the Democrats take the White House and increase their majorities in Congress substantially. The ad quite clearly raises the allegation that Mitch McConnell was discharged from the military for homosexual conduct some 40 years ago. AFSCME thinks this is very important for the voters of Kentucky to understand.

Delighted?
12:00 AM

I have to pronouce myself less than delighted with the Obama campaign's new "Delighted" ad. The endorsement of the most loathed vice president in the history of democracy, of course, represents a boon to the Democrats. But, like a hitter watching a fat, slow pitch come over the plate, they've used the opportunity to take an undisciplined whack at John McCain, tittering about Cheney's endorsement and McCain's 90 percent record of voting with the administration but failing to use the chance to remined voters why the endorsement is so objectionable.

November 01, 2008

McCain First, Second, And Always
12:00 AM

One day in early March 1986, John McCain, an Arizona congressman, sat down to write a letter. McCain had heard that a long-time friend and donor, Charles Keating, was upset for being listed as a member of McCain’s campaign finance committee when a more prominent position would seem more appropriate. So McCain apologized. Needlessly it turned out, for "Charlie," as he signed his letter, would reply a few days later: “John, don’t be silly.

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.

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