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Friday, December 23, 2005

DEMOCRATS ENDORSE WEAKNESS: Bush and Kerry agreed on one crucia point during the 2004 campaign: There will be another attack; the only question is when. Now I'm not a fatalist, but there's no doubt that the people who caused 911 are looking for the next opportunity. In light of which, the Democrats' strategy to "kill the Patriot Act" (Harry Reid) and hold hearings on Bush's use of wiretaps suggests the party's death wish is closer to an act of will than a mere desire. Because if and when another attack takes place, the Democrats will have some serious 'splainin' to do to the American people. The embattled state of Israel offers a compelling case study of what happens to political factions that consider "peace" and "appeasement" synonymous. James Pinkerton with some sensible thoughts on why Bush continues to hold a winning hand:
Let's get a grip here. Based on what we've seen so far, Bush is in no danger of losing his job. In fact, if this controversy continues, W. will likely go up in the polls. Why? Because the American people want to be safe. And they will surrender some of their rights to be safer. That political reality may infuriate hard-core civil libertarians, but it's true during all periods of wartime.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

NOT HIT-OR-MISS: "I have been hit by the Americans and tortured," says Saddam. "I have been beaten on every place of my body, and the signs are all over my body" (italics added). In an era when too many are satisfied with partial measures, we're pleased to hear Saddam's handlers took a ... holistic approach. One assumes John McCain and Andrew Sullivan disapprove. Will they have the, oh, gumption to make their case?

Monday, December 19, 2005

ODE TO AN EXHIBITIONIST:
She says she felt ill When Rove spoke her name Bringing desk jockey Val All that "unwanted" fame. So Val and Joe laid low In a bright studio; 'til The new photo shoot In her jammies to boot. "Cons of the year" may seem rather too breezy Since another rad-lib is hardly less sleazy Ma Sheehan's done well with her own con game, All three pious grifters sorely lacking in shame.
EMAIL OF THE DAY:
GORP should yield to GBD — the Generic Beige Deity, inoffensive to all except perhaps the most stubborn atheist. GBD has no name, no gender, no creed, no race, no theology, nuthin'. GBD is the trace deity, unconcentrated, infinitestimal spiritual ppm, so that no one and nothing can possibly be effected or compromised by its invocation.
Now I'm really confused. I was under the impression that GBD is what the National Council of Churches means when it refers to God.
SORT OF SEASONALLY YOURS: Normally I'm quite skeptical of the whole diversity crusade, but there are times when a commitment to inclusiveness must take the upper hand. In the spirit of holiday greetings so tepid that no one can feel offended, I offer for your consideration:
Happy Generic Seasonal Observance, and May the Blessings of GORP be with You.
(GORP: "God or Random Particles") — of course.
BUSH JOINS THE CONVERSATION: The conversation about Iraq, that is. My one word-response to the president's oval office speech to the nation about the war: finally. Why it has taken so long for Bush to make the case for success in Iraq is beyond me. This is a White House that claims not to do public-opinion polling. With all due respect: That's got to be nonsense. It's inconceivable to me that there's not a sophisticated presidential polling operation. But, OK, even if this is a poll-free presidency, surely they have watched public opinion going south on Iraq for the past few months. Prior to Bush speeches during the past ten days or so, the cut-and-run arguments of the so-called peace movement have been allowed to go effectively unanswered. Surely Rove and Cheney have seen the growing political damage — and understood its perilous consequences for an embattled presidency. So: has the White House's chronic silence been strategic? If so, what possible purpose could be served by allowing your critics to dominate the news cycle for so many days and weeks? It is hard to imagine that fierce Bush loyalists outside the White House haven't been concerned at what has seemed like high-level presidential apathy. Team Clinton was brilliant at responding to critics — usually within the hour. In any event: Welcome back to the conversation, Mr. President. Not that you asked my advice, but here goes: Keep making the case — keep defining the argument in terms of your choosing — or be prepared for staggering mid-term congressional losses next year.