Quotes From Around Yon Blogosphere
When President Bush tapped Michael B. Mukasey to lead the scandal-plagued Justice Department nine months ago, Senator Charles E. Schumer could not say enough good things about his fellow New Yorker. Mr. Schumer ran out of time in ticking off Mr. Mukasey’s accomplishments at his Senate hearing, and the senator’s vote of support ensured his confirmation as attorney general.
Yet at a hearing this month, face to face with his pick for attorney general, Mr. Schumer, a Democrat, did not hide his disappointment in what he saw as Mr. Mukasey’s reluctance to move more aggressively in investigating accusations that the Justice Department had brought politically inspired prosecutions against Democratic politicians.. . . The shift in political support underscores the problems facing Mr. Mukasey, a retired federal judge, as he works to restore the credibility of a department that was tainted under his predecessor, Alberto R. Gonzalez. So far, the results appear mixed.
After the well-publicized controversies of Mr. Gonzales’s tenure, an air of caution appears to have pervaded the Justice Department, current and former officials say. From fending off calls to investigate accusations of torture to resisting a nationwide strategy against mortgage fraud, Mr. Mukasey has taken a go-slow approach that has surprised even some admirers, who see him as unwilling to break from past policies and leave his own imprint in the closing months of the Bush administration.
McCain is attacking too much and indiscriminately. The barrage undermines his brand, takes time away from telling voters what he might do for them, and looks awfully old-timey in a year when voters want a new brand. He should go on the offensive, yes, but in targeted forays.
In the interests of a political detente, maybe Barack Obama should admit that he was wrong about the '07 troop surge in Iraq, and John McCain should admit that he was wrong about the '02 decision to invade. But since neither candidate is likely to budge, perhaps the big question for voters should be: In hindsight, whose misjudgment was worse? . . .
The difference is that one guy was wrong about a tactic. The other guy was wrong about a fundamental national security decision.-- DICK POLMANBarack Obama is too young to be president. Yes I know he is 46 and the Constitution sets the presidential age qualification at 35 or higher, but Obama has said that we ought not to interpret the Constitution woodenly and formalistically. Perhaps we should look deeper at the presidential age limit. If we do, we will find that Obama really is too young to be president.
Ol' Phil [Gramm] just ain't the kind of guy who would quit the campaign of Mr. Straight Talk for talking, as he sees it, straight.
We think he is going to get hauled up in front of Senator Levin and his buddies on the Permanent Subcommittee On Investigations, a subcommittee of the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs for being a tax cheat. There are 1,400 names on the list of treasonous tax cheaters who are engaged in economic warfare against the United States provided by a former employee of LGT Bank in Liechtenstein, and Durbin's subcommitte starts holding hearings on Thursday, and we do not think it is coincidence that this report to the subcommittee was released [last] Thursday and Gramm bailed on Friday.
But if you do, we have a killer deal on some beachfront property in Mesa, Arizona and we'll throw in a bridge in Brooklyn as soon as your check clears.-- BLUE GIRL
I had the courage and the judgment to say that I would rather lose a political campaign than lose a war. It seems to me that Senator Obama would rather lose a war in order to win a political campaign.
-- JOHN McCAIN
The truth is that, while the inordinate coverage of Obama hurts McCain in some ways, it also dramatically decreases the costs of his mistakes. What exactly are the stories McCain wishes the press had paid more attention to during the last few weeks? His mathematically irreconcilable economic promises? Adviser Phil Gramm's "nation of whiners" comment and job at subprime abettor (and alleged tax-evasion specialist) UBS AG? Surrogate Carly Fiorina's confusion over McCain's stance on whether insurance plans should cover birth control? McCain's suggestion that he somehow knows what Maliki wants better than Maliki does? The string of gaffes in his presumed area of expertise (Sunni vs. Shia, Somalia vs. Sudan, Czechoslovakia, the "Iraq-Pakistan border," etc.)?
The truth is, when you're running a campaign as weak as McCain's has been, in a political environment as hostile to the GOP as this one, the less attention anyone pays to you the better off you probably are.
-- CHRIS ORR
If John McCain knows nothing about the economy and most domestic issues but wants to be elected based on his foreign policy, which is apparently 'do whatever David Petraeus says,' why not have McCain do a surprise endorsement of Petraeus and drop out? It would certainly be easier than crafting a coherent foreign policy.
Without the Iraq War, the idea of Chuck Hagel as Obama's secretary of state would die a fast, welcome death. But Hagel's been getting quite a bit of love from (male) progressives for some time now . . . Hagel's appeal has been predicated solely upon his willingness to offer rhetorical opposition to Bush's foreign policy. That's right, "rhetorical opposition." He's never actually done anything to hinder George Bush's extreme policies.Aside from Hagel's maverick facade on foreign policy, the man is a down-the-line social conservative.-- STEPHEN SUH
The [McCain] campaign at first seemed to deny that a running mate announcement would occur, but then confirmed to CNN that the possibility was being considered.
Then the McCain people started to anonymously claim that this was all a ploy to distract attention from the Obama trip. The truth is probably closer to the account of the anonymous campaign source quoted in the CNN piece who said that the "ploy" explanation was a hasty attempt to cover up an ill-advised leak: "Because someone is an idiot, so we have to explain it as a tactic."
This incident . . . begs the question: is this one of the worst-run presidential campaigns in modern memory?
It’s not as if John McCain has become irrelevant, but in the main ring of the ‘08 electoral circus, all eyes are now on Barack Obama's solo high-wire act as he walks a racial, political and cultural tightrope toward the White House.
The questions are less about the two candidates’ policies and personalities than about the larger meaning of it all: "Could an Obama Presidency Hurt Black Americans?" CNN asks while citing those "who warn that an Obama victory could cause white Americans to ignore entrenched racial divisions while claiming that America has reached the racial Promised Land."
-- ROBERT STEIN