In 1985, Barack Obama traveled halfway across the country to take a job that he didn't fully understand. But, while he knew little about this new vocation--community organizer--it still had a romantic ring, at least to his 24- year-old ears. With his old classmates from Columbia, he had talked frequently about political change.Now, he was moving to Chicago to put that talk into action. His1995 memoir, Dreams from My Father, recounts his idealistic effusions: "Change won't come from the top, I would say. Change will come from a mobilized grass roots. That's what I'll do.
There are many horrific things one can observe about Zimbabwe right now. If you have not seen it already, please take a look at the tortured (literally) face of Morgan Tsvangirai, the leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, beamed across the world last week and symbolic of those courageously standing up to one of the world's most vicious men. Yesterday, I was disheartened to see the violence meted out against MDC spokesman and Member of Parliament Nelson Chamisa, whom I interviewed last year, as he prepared to fly to a European Union meeting in Brussels.
Well, the Democratic majority is not quite a majority after all. The party's left flank thought that every Democrat in the House would troop into line on its constitutionally bizarre attempt to limit in advance any military action the administration might want to take against Iran. Imagine, the president and the secretary of state decide that Iran has done something that endangers the country's security or the security of our important allies (which include Israel and Saudi Arabia.) They may just want to fire a warning shot so that Iran knows that we are serious, very serious.
Here's Alberto Gonzales fending off calls for his resignation on CBS's "The Early Show" this morning: I didn't become attorney general by quitting. I hate to quibble with Gonzales at a time like this, but didn't he have to quit his job as White House counsel in order to become the A.G.? --Jason Zengerle
In a (pretty feeble) defense of Alberto Gonzales, David Frum notes a fringe benefit for Democrats in the current US Attorney scandal: Even if he stays, Gonzales is probably toast as a Supreme Court nominee. Whereas until now he would've been a tough pick for many Democrats to oppose. --Michael Crowley
I admit that when I first started reading Josh Marshall's coverage of the fired U.S. attorneys story back in January, I thought he and his TalkingPointsMemo gang were possibly making a mountain out of a molehill. Oops. So there's no way I'm going to make the same mistake about Idolator's conspiracy theory that Britney Spears is doing black ops for the White House. When it comes to this administration, I think it's smart to assume the worst. --Jason Zengerle
Sam Tanenhaus describes how William F. Buckley turned against his own movement (and also discovers that Buckley turned David Brooks down for the editorship of the National Review because he wasn't "a believing Christian"); Tanenhaus also recommends essential books about American conservatism and chats with Isaac Chotiner about the future of the movement (we've got the audio); Cass R. Sunstein thinks the D.C.
It was #1 Hack Harriet Miers who suggested firing U.S. attorneys in 2005 -- that is, firing all 93 of them. Imagine if this had come out with Miers as a sitting Supreme Court Justice. --Eve Fairbanks
Could be: According to this morning's Times, The White House is turning on him: With Democrats, including the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, insisting that Mr. Gonzales step down, his appearance underscored what two Republicans close to the Bush administration described as a growing rift between the White House and the attorney general. Mr.