Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Happy Tuesday Everybody!

Tuesday dawns here in NYC, where it’s a bit cooler and decidedly rainy.

The news continues unremittingly bad. I now have to find office space within the next 30 days or so. Affordable office space in NYC – should be easy. Cheap, too.

But wait, there’s more. Oh, so much more. It turns out I have a new landlord. A very rich company, supposedly from Kentucky, has purchased our building. I’m sure it’ll be a matter of weeks before we’re faced with a rent increase or eviction. Neat.

Monday, January 23, 2006

You’re Shi***ng Me.

I like to think I’m running a family blog here, but now and then there’s something a bit ****** up that gets through.

For all of the harping we do, we spend relatively little time imagining what the future will look like. One of the fun daydreams I indulge is the one where furry-browed Senators are interrogating middle- aged people (white, well-to-do people) about their former association with the Republican Party: “Are you now, or have you ever been, a member of the Republican Party?”

Here’s another. A tape from Osama bin Ladn is released. It contains a screed against the US and offers to open peace negotiations. A Republican operative is trotted out to comment on CNN, say the Vice President. After having the tape described by the reporter, the Vice President says, “Well, see, what’s sad is that this shows how the Democrats are actually on the same side as al-Quaida.”

At which point, the reporter would utter with dripping disbelief: “You’re sh****ng me.”

And then launch into a tirade to the effect of, “You’ve just seen America’s Most Wanted, the supposed mastermind of 9/11, taunt the US, and what you come up with is how this shows liberals are fools? Come on.”

See, the day that happens is the day the forces of evil will be on the run. Until then, we’ll get Wolf Blitzer saying, “Oh, I see, Mr. Vice President. Why do you think the Democrats are so out of touch with our all-new post 9/11 world?”

Friday, January 13, 2006

Machine Guns!

If we had Dem leadership, we wouldn't have hesitated to have some group turn the Alito nomination into a referendum on guns.

Does anyone think that the Repubs would hesitate to smear our candidate were the tables turned?

Oh my God! Alito is in favor of machine guns!!!


It's hard not to be depressed over the lame handling of the Democratic response to the Alito nomination. As much as we need to be fighting the good fight against the forces of evil, we also need to fight to reclaim our party from the current moribund leadership.

Alito struck me in the hearings as a nominee squarely in the mold of Bush himself. Deeply conservative, yet reluctant to reveal that conservatism except through pap and meaningless platitudes. Strangely uncurious about the world around him. (Evidently, Mr. Alito seems to be one of the only Americans not to have given the current warrant-evasion scandal any thought.) He seems to specialize in explaining the obvious as a way of avoiding giving any detailed views -- indeed, he seems free of detailed views altogether. His record on the bench suggests that the most complicated set of facts will be reduced by him to a simple, predictable outcome: privileged, powerful interests yes, poor, defenseless interests no. Easy.

While I agree that a woman's constitutional right to choose is a transcendingly important issue, I think there will be many other issues that come before the court where we will see just how conservative the court will have become.

So that's the big picture. Of much more immediate concern is our side's pathetic response. We have succeeded by our efforts in further entrenching our opponents. They have had a chance to show the public that they are putting forth someone who is broadly acceptable, and the only warts on him are that extreme liberals grouse that he isn't sympatheic enough to the plight of the common man, and some beleive he's against Roe v. Wade.

We have shown that we have no point of view with any meaning. We took the nominee's plain dissembling on his membership in CAP and managed to make it seem like a quarrel about a line under "interests and hobbies" on a resume 20 years ago. Instead of making it seem like a brazen act of perjury, which is what is was.

We came off as picyune and petty for chastising Alito for not honoring his previous commitment not to hear Vanguard cases. (Instead of making him seem like someone who didn't take his commitment to the Senate seriously.) We failed to construct a meaningful narrative about this guy that anyone could relate to.

I hope at least the next generation of Democratic leaders will be able to use these proceedings to allow President Boxer the right to choose the most wild liberals imaginable. These days, "shoe on the other foot" comparisons seem to be somehow rude (think farting in an elevator), but the truth is that the more these clowns build up their power, the more power we'll have when we return.


Let's all look forward to Hillary Clinton's heartfelt speech about her serious -- serious, I tell you! -- concerns about the nominee, in which she will concede that he is smart, honorable and distinguished. Heck, maybe she'll even vote against him! Ah! Our leadership in action.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Death of Outrage

I can't get over the gap between the nation's reaction to not only the tragic deaths of twelve miners in West Virginia, but also to the bungling of the communication about those death, all on the one hand, and the death in the last 48 hours in Iraq of almost 150 people. In a country of about 28 million, 150 deaths would translate to 1,500 in the US.

And we can't (and shouldn't, of course) shut up about 9/11.

Iraq suffers a 9/11 tragedy at least monthly. Imagine if they were Swedes or Brits!