Quotes From Around Yon Blogosphere
No polling can really express how Europeans view America and American leadership. After eight years of policies that the majority of Europeans oppose it is easy to forget how much they accept and expect America to lead the West. The reservoir of legitimacy for America's lead-role was on full display in the Tiergarten. And so was the tremendous amount of hope that the crowd placed in Barack Obama's ability to lead. . . .
And, yet, parts of this make me uneasy. I'm all for an American Restoration up to a point. But I'm also firmly convinced that America cannot afford the costs in dollars and security risks that are entailed in being the sole hegemon of the West. We cannot be responsible for carrying the load on anti-proliferation, UN Security Council enforcement, and humanitarian efforts. We need to share more of the load and that involves sharing more of the leadership. Other countries need to increase their capabilities. In return, we need to become more deferential and collaborative. If nothing else, our taxpayers need the relief. But it's more than that. There is a cost to being the leader that goes beyond dollars. We also suffer increased security risks and with that comes pressures that undermine our basic civil liberties. We can be a Republic or an Empire, but I am not sure we can long be both.
Nevertheless, Obama's performance was excellent. And it demonstrated for the first time in a long time just how indispensable American power is in the short-term.-- BOOMAN
Last week, John McCain spent at least $2.3 million on TV ads, and moved the polls almost a few microns in his direction. The McCain campaign is in a somewhat odd situation, where he has to spend money before the convention because he's accepted public funds for the general. But it's not clear that it's doing him any good; the McCain campaign doesn't seem able to get the rest of the GOP on message to amplify their attacks on Obama.-- STEPHEN SUH
I can understand, up to a point, why the McCain campaign is freaked out by Barack Obama's largely flawless foreign foray. One of the presumptive Republican nominee's few advantages in this race is the public perception that he, not Obama, seems more credible as a commander-in-chief, a judgment that owes much to McCain's war hero profile and his long Washington experience. Indeed, the latest NBC-Wall Street Journal poll, which is conducted jointly by Democratic pollster Peter Hart and Republican pollster Neil Newhouse, finds that, by a margin of 53 to 25 percent, Americans choose McCain over Obama as the guy with the best commander creds.
In other words, if Obama can manage to significantly narrow that margin, McCain will be left with virtually nothing to sell in this race; without his national security advantage, for instance, he might be stuck having to dwell on the subject area that he confesses knowing little about - namely, economics. For instance, he might have to explain how he plans to make permanent the Bush tax cuts, slash corporate taxes, yet somehow keep his promise to balance the budget by 2012.
-- DICK POLMAN
It was inevitable. American advocates of the Iraq war are now arguing that they know better than Iraq's leaders when it comes to how long U.S. troops should stay in Iraq. And this approach seems to be animating John McCain's view of the war.
-- DAVID CORN
If you vote by mail, but die before Election Day, does your vote count?
Porter Goss' tenure as Director of the CIA is noted for two things above all--and neither has to do with the collection and analysis of intelligence.
First, there's his buddy, Dusty Foggo, whom Goss appointed to be Executive Director of the CIA. In that role, Foggo is alleged to have exploited the weaknesses of the earmark system--not to mention Duke Cunningham's weakness for whores--to steer millions of dollars in contracts to the company of his childhood friend, Brent Wilkes. In addition, Foggo pulled strings to get his girlfriend hired at CIA.
Then, there's Jose Rodriguez, whom Goss appointed to be director of the CIA's Clandestine Services after Goss ousted Stephen Kappes because he wasn't a political hack. Rodriguez is best known for ordering the torture tapes depicting Abu Zubaydah's and al-Nashiri's interrogation destroyed. . . .In short, Porter Goss is known to be an incredible hack who oversaw great ethical (and legal) abuses that, at least so long as Goss was in charge, escaped all consequences.
Precisely the kind of guy you'd want in charge of Congress' Ethics Review Board, right? Oh wait, I mean, precisely the kind of guy Nancy Pelosi would want in charge of Congress' Ethics Review Board. You and I, of course, would think it an utterly ludicrous idea to put a guy like Goss, with huge ethical stains on his record, in charge of Congress' ethics. But I guess the Speaker of the House doesn't agree.
Before he died, death row inmate Dale Leo Bishop apologized to his victim's family, thanked America and urged people to vote for Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.
Cartoon by Tom Toles/Universal Press Syndicate