Thursday, January 20, 2011

In defending TPM coverage of Palin

Josh Marshall strikes gold explaining what has exasperated me beyond words for years,
This is actually a real blind spot for liberals in general -- the idea that things that are crazy or tawdry or just outrageous are really best ignored. Don't give them more attention. You're just giving them what they want. Or maybe it's not so practical and utilitarian. Maybe, they say, it's just beneath us. Focus on the important stuff.

On so many levels this represents an alienation from the popular political culture which is not only troubling in itself but actually damages progressive and center-left politics in general no end. It's almost the fatal flaw. Democrats often console themselves that even when they don't win elections, usually their individual policies are more popular than those of Republicans. Too bad you can't elect a policy. It's true for instance that Health Care Reform -- which still has more opponents than supporters -- is pretty popular when you ask people about its individual components. But why is that? It's not random, because that pattern crops up again and again. It's another one of the examples where liberals -- or a certain strain of liberalism -- focuses way too much on the libretto of our political life and far too little on the score. It's like you're at a Wagner opera reading the libretto with your ear plugs in and think you've got the whole thing covered.

Politics can never be separated from policy, unless you're in a political science class or getting a Phd in health care economics. The two are inextricably combined. And any attempt to pry them apart in a deep way is not only hopeless but also deeply wrongheaded.
The failure of center-left to always defend the virtue of their causes is exactly why so many people, including large numbers of independent voters, don't trust Democrats to lead. One need look no further than the last Congress.

Daniel Larison applauds Obama's 'neglect' of Tunisia

In Tunisia, a lesson in benign neglect
For most of the last decade, the United States actively promoted democracy in Arab countries, and the results from Iraq to Gaza have been largely ruinous for the nations involved. Now that the U.S. is "neglecting" the issue, the first Arab revolt against authoritarianism has prevailed. The U.S. and the region would both benefit from a great deal more benign neglect.
I've always found it baffling that Republicans are so eager to involve the US--at tremendous expense--into the affairs of every country with a squabble, despite decades of failure while simultaneously turning hundreds of millions of people against us.

Go read Daniel Larison.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

No guns within a 1000 feet of,_____

Erstwhile Second Amendment devotee Rep Peter King (R-NY) is scared to death and has proposed a bill preventing anyone from having a gun within 1000 feet of him or any other "Federal Official".

This is where Republicans kick Democrats butts every time. Just imagine how much fun a determined opposition could have with this bill?

Amendments to include 1000 feet of schools? 1000 feet of playgrounds? 1000 feet of hospitals? 1000 feet of "medical clinics"? 1000 feet of women and children? 1000 feet of pregnant women? 1000 feet of places of religious worship*? 1000 feet of state or local public officials? 1000 feet of all law enforcement officials? And on, and on and on. Make Republicans vote no on each and every one, so that they only protect themselves, or better yet, vote yes.

My guess is that this bill is DOA.

*Yes, mosques too.

Monday, January 10, 2011

What about Loughner's parents?

Countless news agencies have reported that Jared Loughner was removed from the Pima County Community College midway through the Fall 2010 semester for his strange behavior. In a meeting with Loughner and his parents, college administrators informed them that Jared would not be allowed to continue at the community college until he was released to do so after a mental health evaluation.

Did Loughner's parents ever act on this information and seek a mental health intervention for their son? Until we have an answer to this fundamental question, how can we discuss the adequacy of what was available?

Sunday, January 09, 2011

'A Cautionary Tale' for Republicans

One GOP Senator owns up,
A senior Republican senator, speaking anonymously in order to freely discuss the tragedy, told POLITICO that the Giffords shooting should be taken as a “cautionary tale” by Republicans.

“There is a need for some reflection here - what is too far now?” said the senator. “What was too far when Oklahoma City happened is accepted now. There’s been a desensitizing. These town halls and cable TV and talk radio, everybody’s trying to outdo each other.”

The vast majority of tea party activists, this senator said, ought not be impugned.

“They’re talking about things most mainstream Americans are talking about, like spending and debt,” the Republican said, before adding that politicians of all stripes need to emphasize in the coming days that “tone matters.”

“And the Republican Party in particular needs to reinforce that,” the senator said.
Any guesses on who this senator is? My money is on Orin Hatch.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Gay Republicans

make about has much since as Gay Romans in the 1st Century. "Sure a few of my people get thrown to the lions, but that's a price I'm willing to pay for low taxes and a hard line on Gaul".