the blog of DC Drinking Liberally
I heard To the Point today and was struck by this bit (my transcription):
ANN STONE (national chair, Republicans for Choice): Bottom line: conservatives desperately, desperately want to make sure that Hillary Clinton is never president. In the end, they’re going to go with whoever can stop Hillary. Right now the polls show Giuliani is the first person. Thompson also has a shot. The others fall way below that.
JIM STERNGOLD (guest host): Let me ask you this. That is an interesting point, which I’ve heard, and you make it quite strongly, but why would the Republicans let their race be shaped by the other party?
STONE: Because Hillary Clinton, unlike a lot of the liberal demagogues, actually believes the stuff that she’s talking about. She’s actually going to push a very aggressive agenda and probably do more to shape this country for the next, you know, couple of decades way to the left. She would put everything behind it. She actually believes what she’s saying.
So Stone’s fears about Hillary Clinton are pretty much the opposite of mine. If I thought Clinton was really the most liberal of the Democratic presidential candidates, that she really believed in a liberal agenda, and that she wanted to aggressively reshape the country, I’d feel a lot better about her being the front runner. Instead I think she’s the worst of both worlds: a candidate who’s really not that liberal (and so won’t bring the change that’s needed if she wins) but is viewed by much of the electorate as being far too liberal (and so will have more trouble winning than she should).
We’ve already done one “Na na na na, hey hey hey” (for Santorum).
We’re All Sorts of Excited.
Did I say we’re excited? :D
Now let’s see what happens when the Democrats that have been sat on for four years and the Republicans who have been perilously close to committing seppuku over what ShrubCheneyCo has been up to have to confront what has gone before, and how to fix it. :D
I’m betting Cheney and the maniacs Bush has appointed do not go gently into that good night….
Did I mention that we’re excited. :D
I’d like to apologize for that whole gay marriage ban thing.
I’d also like to pre-emptively apologize for Allen not being ridden out of Washington on a rail. I hope I’m wrong about this one.
Heh. Gotta love the 1% culture of life. Here are the rules:
1. If there’s even a fraction of a 1% chance that something will result in Republican voters having a baby, then it must be protected, and all contrary efforts are anathema.
2. Once a fetus hits puberty:
a. If it’s a boy (unless it’s brown, then see 2c, unless already directed here from another rule), give it a gun and point it at brown people. Or give it a keyboard and point it at Democrats or other undesirables. Otherwise, to hell with it; throw it in jail.
b. If it’s a girl (unless it’s brown, then see 2c, unless already directed here from that rule), administer under rule #1. Unless it objects, in which case see 2a.
c. If it’s brown, and it won’t talk like Anne Coulter or worse *cough* better, then see 2a.
Did I miss anything?
Couldn’t resist the opportunity to throw y’all some snark.
See y’all tomorrow at Timberlake’s.
Following on the heels of yesterday’s “marriage protection” foolishness, Bill Frist in his wisdom has decided that the next priority for the Senate to address is the growing gap between rich and poor. The Republican strategy, as you might have guessed, is to make the gap larger. With luck, they won’t be any more successful with this than they were with yesterday’s legislation.
Since the Republicans like to call it the “death tax”, you might think the estate tax applies to everyone who dies. In fact it currently affects only 1 in 200 estates. Nevertheless, the Republicans don’t just want to lower it or tinker with it — they want to do away with it entirely, so that even billionaires can leave their entire estates to their heirs without paying a penny in taxes. It fits in with the general plan of eliminating taxes on all forms of income for the rich (like capital gains), leaving the working class to shoulder the entire burden of paying for government services through taxes on wages.
On the other hand, some of us think that a tax that affects only people who have done nothing to earn the money (other than having the luck of being born into the right family) is not a bad kind of tax to have, if you must have taxes — which we must if we want to have a government. Let’s hope the forces of sanity prevail, and this repeal is defeated again.
The photo above is from a Billionaires for Bush event I participated in back on April 25. It was part of a press conference by Public Citizen and United for a Fair Economy reporting that lobbying for the estate tax repeal was largely funded by 18 ultra-wealthy families who stand to gain billions if it passes. Note that the figures on the graph showing the percentage gain from “investing” in lobbying for the legislation are actually missing two zeros.
Update: The repeal attempt failed again, falling three votes short of the 60 needed for cloture. Most Democrats voted on the side of the average American, along with Republicans Lincoln Chafee (RI) and George Voinovich (OH). Democrats Max Baucus (MT), Blanche Lincoln (AR), Ben Nelson (NE), and Bill Nelson (FL) inexplicably voted for cloture. Unfortunately, the issue will likely return before the end of this Congress.
Alt Hippo and I have talked frequently about the asymmetry in treatment and perception of the “angry right” and the “angry left”. In yet another example, Glenn Greenwald explains the lessons the right (and much of the media) want us to learn from the recent experiences of John McCain and other graduation speakers:
So, to re-cap the rules: (1) When a pro-war politician gives a pro-war speech as part of a graduation ceremony, and students in the audience heckle and boo him, that shows how Deranged the Angry Left is — because they heckled a pro-war speech. (2) When an anti-war politician gives an anti-war speech as part of a graduation ceremony, and students in the audience heckle, walk out and even riot, that also shows how Angry the Left is — because they “provoked a near riot” by pro-war students.
Over at the Corner, John Podhoretz is unhappy:
Suddenly, immigration restriction has become one of those issues about which one is not permitted to disagree, because to disagree is to join with the forces of Evil. Those who favor a less restrictive policy are said to be bought and paid for by Big Business, to want to oppress poor American minorities who can’t earn a decent wage, and to seek the cultural destruction of America. Chief among these villains, it appears, is the president of the United States, whose efforts on behalf of conservative causes — from faith-based policies to stem-cell research to a strict-constructionist judiciary to entitlement reform and massive tax cuts — have all fallen down the memory hole. He is not a conservative, my e-mailers tell me. He is Jorge Arbusto, an agent of the Mexican government. And neither, by the way, am I, a former speechwriter for Ronald Reagan and someone who left mainstream journalism to toil in the fields of conservative media when conservative media weren’t cool, to put it mildly.
Intolerance on the right? How shocking! I really feel for JPod. Who could have imagined that people who regularly denounce other Americans as traitors and terrorist lovers would be so nasty to people who disagree with them?
At Drinking Liberally last night, I mentioned I’d run across some of Christopher Hitchens comments on Hugh Hewitt’s Hackfest. For your amusement, I’ve excerpted some of the more choice bits. He’s discussing Professor Juan Cole, probably the most visible scholar on Middle Eastern affairs, noted author, fluent in multiple languages, and a frequent subject matter expert on the News Hour with Jim Leher.
Hitchens, on the other hand, once a distinguished foreign correspondent, is known mostly for his ability to consume mass quantities, to put it euphemistically.
Of course, Hitchens also says during the interview: “The ad hominem is widely and rightly denounced, because it shows a collapse on the part of the person who uses it.”
Andrew Card has resigned after more than five years as White House chief of staff. The departure is being described in a lot of articles as a shakeup, but since Card’s replacement is Joshua Bolten (not to be confused with UN ambassador John Bolton), the OMB director and another Bush loyalist, it doesn’t seem likely to change things much:
In picking Bolten to replace Card, the current President Bush stayed close to home. Resisting Republican advice to pick a seasoned Washington veteran the way Reagan brought in former Senate majority leader Howard H. Baker Jr. when his own presidency was listing in his second term, Bush characteristically picked someone he knows well and trusts implicitly.
It might be unfair to Card, but I can’t help but remember the previous resignation from the White House staff, when Claude Allen left and the White House said he wanted to spend more time with his family. A month later the real reason came out when Allen was arrested for stealing. Never assume the White House story is the true one.
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