September 10, 2008

Speed Reading 'the War Within': How We Got Gates

Here's how President Bush chose Robert Gates as Secretary of Defense, according to Woodward. The atmospherics are exceedingly murky:  Bush says he first considered Gates because "a friend he had gone to college with, whom he declined to identify, had first made the suggestion."   Bush is adamant on the fact that he didn't consult George H.W. Bush about Gates.

September 09, 2008

Entry Level
12:00 AM

The thought is on just about everybody's mind. But it is on almost no one's lips. It is a fearsome thought--and, recklessly deployed, could be hurtful. Perhaps given the blow to our country's security, it is inevitable that it will be reflected in various policing initiatives--some just, some not.

Did The White House Play Woodward?
12:00 AM

Derek Chollet is a senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security and coauthor of America Between the Wars. As Bob Woodward's new book The War Within rolls out this week, many Democrats are giddy at the skewering Bush is taking. According to the numerous press accounts of the book and the lengthy excerpts running this week in the Washington Post, Woodward portrays Bush at best as out of touch and at worst as duplicitous about the collapse of his Iraq strategy in 2006.

Ceding The Constitution
12:00 AM

Amidst the left's Great McCain Bounce Panic come some genuinely distressing polling numbers, courtesy of Rasmussen via Orin Kerr: While 82% of voters who support McCain believe [Supreme Court] justices should rule on what is in the Constitution, just 29% of Barack Obama’s supporters agree.

September 08, 2008

The Invisible Woman
12:00 AM

WASHINGTON--John McCain's campaign acknowledged this weekend that Sarah Palin is unprepared to be vice president or president of the United States. Of course, McCain's people said no such thing. But their actions told you all you needed to know. McCain, Barack Obama and Joe Biden all subjected themselves to tough questioning on the regular Sunday news programs. Palin was the only no-show. And it's not just the Sunday interviews. She has not opened herself to any serious questioning since McCain picked her to be next in line for the presidency.

A Partner and an Adversary

Impose sanctions or not? Europe is clearly hesitating, seemingly frightened by its own potential daring. And, as always, when the troubling spirit of appeasement and fear is in the air, Europe is looking for any plausible reason to do nothing at all. We keep hearing, for example, that Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili is an unpredictable, even irresponsible and dangerous character. Who's being made fun of here?

Speed Reading 'the War Within': Heck Of A Job, Casey

The first thing you notice out in the early pages of Bob Woodward's The War Within are the showy indictments of President Bush, who leans on poor General George Casey, Jr. like a fraternity pledge-master disappointed with his charge. Casey, who's something of an academic (he studied IR at Georgetown and the University of Denver, and he'd never been in combat) accuses Bush of focusing on body counts, an attitude that Casey identifies with the "Kill the bastards!

Rich Frum, Poor Frum
12:00 AM

I highly recommend reading David Frum’s sharp and provocative analysis in the New York Times, on the “Vanishing Republican Voter,” who is, despite other ideological underpinnings, falling prey to the siren call of Democratic economic policies.

Chavez, The New Castro
12:00 AM

It's not an exact parallel. But Hugo Chavez is fast approaching the status of Fidel Castro among the armies of discontent. One difference, however, is that socialism no longer has the moral standing it had in 1958 and for almost two decades thereafter. In fact, socialism as an answer to the grievances of the poor is widely seen -- even among the disinherited -- as the remedy of buffoons or actual madmen. What idealism do you see in the eyes of those carrying the red banner in Nepal and North Korea? It's actually a joke, a bloody joke. Now, Venezuela is not North Korea.

Palin, T.r., And Truman
12:00 AM

I'll let Marty decide if he wants to bother responding to the shot Bill Kristol fires at him in today's NYT, but there's another part of Kristol's column that I'd like to take on. It's this graf: Should voters be alarmed by a relatively young or inexperienced vice-presidential candidate? No. Since 1900, five vice presidents have succeeded to the presidency during their term in office: Teddy Roosevelt in 1901, Calvin Coolidge in 1923, Harry Truman in 1945, Lyndon Johnson in 1963, and Gerald Ford in 1974.