The day after George W. Bush's reelection in 2004, I found my email inbox flooded with marriage proposals--not all of them in jest. As a Canadian living in New York, I had suddenly become a hot commodity to my despondent Democratic friends, who, along with most Americans, tend to think of their neighbor to the north as a bastion of liberalism. In the movie Bowling for Columbine, Michael Moore portrayed Canada as the utopian wonderland long dreamt of by the MoveOn.org crowd, where gay marriage is legal and health care is universal.
Ladies and gentlemen, the photo you've all been waiting for.... No, it doesn't really tell us anything new about Jack Abramoff. It's just fascinating that this photo has always existed--yet took so long to emerge. And as Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, which obtained the photo,puts it: What else might the White House still be hiding? --Michael Crowley
I'm a little confused by Rich Lowry's critique of this Time column by my colleague Peter Beinart. Over at the Corner, Lowry writes: I thought a few months ago I read and reviewed a book by Peter Beinart complaining that the Bush administration is too unilateralist and too committed to trying to solve international problems alone. Now, in this Time essay, Beinart complains that the Bush administration is deferring too much to allies! I'm sure Beinart has some way to try to square this circle, but the principle here looks an awful lot like whatever the Bush administration does is wrong.
Anyway, to get back to politics, yesterday Harriet Miers submitted her resignation as White House counsel. The official line is that the president was reluctant to let her go and that she left, as Tony Snow put it, because: "She's been here for six years. It's hard duty." That's probably true.
Sorry to bring you this article by Roger Cohen five days after it appeared in The International Herald Tribune, of which he is editor. Before moving to Paris, Cohen was foreign editor of The New York Times. And, although we don't now see his wisdom and skills in the Times regularly, people around the world read it in the Trib. This article is about "A manifesto from the left too sensible to ignore." It is called the Euston Manifesto, written by Brits and put out last March. It has been simmering in Britain ever since.
Wednesday: Richard Lyman Bushman Thursday: Damon Linker Friday: Richard Lyman Bushman Friday, January 5 Dear Damon, I appreciate your moderate and respectful reply to my objections. It is often hard for non-Mormons to understand how Mormons believe all we do. You at least see how Mormon beliefs and our way of life could be satisfying to educated, reasonable people, among whom you presumably would include Mitt Romney. What troubles you is the implication of belief in prophetic revelation: Would Mormons perform any dire deed for their prophet no matter how contrary to conscience?
President Bush's op-ed in today's Wall Street Journal is filled with unremarkable pabulum. But one passage jumped out at me: "It is a fact that economies do best when you reward hard work by allowing people to keep more of what they have earned. ... It is also a fact that our tax cuts have fueled robust economic growth and record revenues." These are not facts, they are opinions.
Utah's Deseret Morning News reports that Mitt Romney is preparing a major speech explaining his Mormonism, as Damon Linker predicted in the latest TNR that he likely would. Linker's cover story on Romney and his religion, meanwhile, has been drawing some fire. Here's a discussion of it by Chris Matthews and David Gergen on last night's "Hardball": MATTHEWS: On another front in the Republican Party, Mitt Romney is about to announce an exploratory committee tomorrow.
Ben Smith is a fine reporter and I heartily congratulate him on his boffo scoop: a "lost" copy of Rudy Giuliani's potential 2008 White House game plan. The particulars are interesting--but given that this black book is a whopping 140 pages, it actually sounds like somewhat of a letdown: Did we really need a secret binder to tell us, for instance, that Rudy's camp is worried about his reputation with social conservatives? And no mention of any new skeletons his operatives might be trying to hide? This reminds me of an episode from when I was a TNR intern in the early Clinton years.
"If you want a lower standard of living," conservative policy experts Grace-Marie Turner and Robert Moffit wrote in an op-ed last week, "the Europeans have the right prescription." The topic of discussion was universal health care, but it just as easily might have been government-sponsored child care or generous unemployment benefits.