Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Quotes From Around Yon Blogosphere

Each successive contest in the Republican primary gauntlet has shown that GOP voters are dissatisfied with their choices and have very little idea of who should lead them. They tried on the center-left populism of Mike Huckabee’s religious crusade of a candidacy and didn’t like the fit. They decisively rejected the maverick McCain in Michigan. Now they’re tasting Romney a la King and will decide whether to enjoy the repast or send it back to the chef for being overdone.

Meanwhile, the Democrats watch the Republicans deflating and are rubbing their hands together in anticipation of running against a GOP candidate that elicits little enthusiasm among the rank and file. And while the Democrats have their own problems with trying to resist the temptation to play identity politics with their African American and female candidates, they will have no difficulty energizing their own base whoever the nominee might be.

The aimlessness of Republicans as they continue to search for a leader is not a catastrophe – at the moment. But if the GOP can’t make up its mind prior to the end of the primaries, the small but not impossible chance that they would enter their convention in September without a nominee stares them in the face.


One lesson I have learned over the last sixteen years is that Bill Clinton will always find new ways to disappoint, if not humiliate, his staunchest supporters.


Many Democrats, myself included, believe that the Clintons were subjected to an unprecedented campaign of vilification during the 1990s. We are angry about this. Since I share this anger, it should go without saying that I find it completely comprehensible. But I don't think that it would be a good idea for us to nominate a candidate who brings it out in us, especially not in an election that truly has the potential to reshape the political landscape.

Most obviously, when Hillary Clinton is attacked, it makes a lot of us angry all over again. And it seems to me that a lot of Democrats don't just get angry in whatever way the current attack warrants. We have a lot of leftover anger from the 1990s, and it tends to spill out. I don't think this is particularly useful if we want to win.


Hillary Clinton has a fair point about Barack Obama. He should be vetted more thoroughly than he has been so far during the primary process. He has not gotten the scrutiny she has. But every time she opens her mouth to make this point, a brass band starts playing, an 18-wheeler backfires, and the water heater explodes. This might create sympathy for Clinton—except that her campaign is causing the ruckus.


The former CIA official who destroyed videotapes showing harsh interrogation tactics has been granted a temporary reprieve by the House intelligence committee.

The committee had demanded that Jose Rodriguez Jr. testify before it on Wednesday, but after being told that he would not answer questions without a grant of legal immunity for his testimony, the panel withdrew its demand, according to officials familiar with the arrangement.


Iraq is sort of sucking all the oxygen out of the room. My huge fear is that . . . we're really putting the nation at risk. It could reach absolutely tragic levels if the United States has to respond to a major contingency any time in the near future.


Can't say it's much of a surprise that despite all the Friedman Units and talk of victory and how Iraq won't really play in the 2008 campaign that four years after the 2008 campaign there'll be the 2012 campaign. And four years after that comes the 2016 campaign. And two years after that comes 2018 when Iraqi officials say it might be possible for American troops to leave. My then you'll have 20 year-olds serving in Iraq who were five when the war started.


Cartoon by Tom Toles/Universal Press Syndicate

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