Friday, October 24, 2008
No, this isn't me endorsing Obama. For varying reasons, not least of which is that I work at a 501(c)(3), I'm withholding public endorsement of any candidate. I'll expound on this later, but the point of this is, of course, humor.
Monday, October 20, 2008
While I'm not thrilled at the prospect of an Obama administration (especially with a friendly Congress), the Republicans still need to get their clocks cleaned in two weeks, for a couple of reasons.
First, they had their shot at holding power, and they failed. They've failed in staying true to their principals of limited government and free markets. They've failed in preventing elected leaders of their party from becoming corrupted by the trappings of power, and they've failed to hold those leaders accountable after the fact. Congressional Republicans failed to rein in the Bush administration's naked bid to vastly expand the power of the presidency (a failure they're going to come to regret should Obama take office in January). They failed to apply due scrutiny and skepticism to the administration's claims before undertaking Congress' most solemn task — sending the nation to war. I could go on.
As for the Bush administration, the only consistent principle we've seen from the White House over the last eight years is that of elevating the American president (and, I guess, the vice president) to that of an elected dictator. That isn't hyperbole. This administration believes that on any issue that can remotely be tied to foreign policy or national security (and on quite a few other issues as well), the president has boundless, limitless, unchecked power to do anything he wants. They believe that on these matters, neither Congress nor the courts can restrain him.
That's the second reason the GOP needs to lose. American voters need to send a clear, convincing repudiation of these dangerous ideas.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Good luck to the Rays. See you next year.
WASHINGTON—Former Secretary of State Colin L. Powell endorsed Senator Barack Obama for president on Sunday morning as a candidate who was reaching out in a “more diverse and inclusive way across our society” and offering a “calm, patient, intellectual, steady approach” to the nation’s problems.
Mr. Powell’s endorsement exposed a fundamental policy rift in the fractious Republican party foreign policy establishment between the so-called pragmatists, a number of whom have come to view the Iraq war or its execution as a mistake, and a competing camp, the neoconservatives, whose thinking dominated President Bush’s first term and played a pivotal role in building the case for war.
Mr. Powell, who is of the pragmatist camp and has been critical of the Bush administration’s conduct of the war, was said by friends in recent months to be disturbed by some of the neoconservatives who have surrounded Mr. McCain as foreign policy advisers in his presidential campaign. The McCain campaign’s top foreign policy aide is Randy Scheunemann, who was a foreign policy adviser to former Senators Trent Lott and Bob Dole and who has longtime ties to neoconservatives. In 2002, Mr. Scheunemann was a founder of the hawkish Committee for the Liberation of Iraq and was an enthusiastic supporter of the Iraqi exile and Pentagon favorite, Ahmad Chalabi, who was viewed with suspicion and distaste at the State Department when Mr. Powell was secretary of state.
I was hoping someday for a Powell presidency, but his appearance before the UN selling the Iraq War pretty much killed that. It appears that throwing him under the bus like that has come back to haunt the GOP--as well it should.
The Republican party will undoubtedly react poorly to this, distancing themselves from Powell while not being too critical for fear of racism allegations. It's very possible some lower level operatives and emerging hacks will blame this on some sort of race thing, but it won't be official line. Regardless, however, I expect the party big-wigs to be personally--if only privately--offended as some sort of grand disloyalty. They are missing the larger point that not only McCain, but the larger GOP itself has lost its bearings and has offended a large number of us in the name of Christian populism.