If Republicans were smart — and looked to their long-term interests — they’d take advantage of this. Chris Christie is the definition of a cross-over success; he’s a conservative governor poised to win a huge reelection victory in a liberal state, with support from Democratic voters and Democratic donors. If they can excuse his occasional heterodoxy — and willingness to say nice things to Democrats — Republicans could, finally, have the popular champion they’ve been looking for.
After 121 rounds in five seasons, he still chips right over an easy green. Sh#t, even I could beat this guy. Stick to basketball, Mr. President!
Mr. Obama, who according to CBS News’ Mark Knoller has played 121 rounds of golf during his presidency, hasn’t often had congressional company. This is the fourth time he has invited a member of Congress to be part of his golf foursome. Twice he has invited Rep. Jim Clyburn, R-S.C., and once he’s invited House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio.
What a great commentary on the state of Republican presidential politics. They’re all shooting arrows, but not “love” arrows!
John McCain said in an interview yesterday that when American troops can return from Iraq is “not too important.” Campaigns Collide Over McCain Remark [NYTimes.com].
This position may not, as the Times reported, be much different from McCain’s explanation of his “100 years” comment, but it is nonetheless revealing. John McCain has morphed from an outspoken maverick to an old man protecting traditional Republican thinking and constituencies —regardless of reality — in the space of a few short years. That’s disappointing and scary, but it is just the start of a long Presidential campaign of negativity of which we are just beginning to see the first glances.
This article by William Rivers Pitt should give pause to any of us who are ready to believe that caputuring Saddam Hussein is going to end Iraqi resistance to the American occupation.
“We are not fighting for Saddam,” said an Iraqi named Kashid Ahmad Saleh in a New York Times report from a week ago. . . . “The religious principle is that we cannot accept to live with infidels. We cannot allow strangers to rule over us.”
Welcome to the new Iraq. The theme that the 455 Americans killed there, and the thousands of others who have been wounded, fell at the hands of pro-Hussein loyalists is now gone. The Bush administration celebrations over this capture will appear quite silly and premature when the dying continues. Whatever Hussein bitter-enders there are will be joined by Iraqi nationalists who will now see no good reason for American forces to remain. After all, the new rhetoric highlighted the removal of Hussein as the reason for this invasion, and that task has been completed. Yet American forces are not leaving, and will not leave. The killing of our troops will continue because of people like Kashid Ahmad Saleh. All Hussein’s capture did for Saleh was remove from the table the idea that he was fighting for the dictator. He is free now, and the war will begin in earnest.
This suggests, as one national Republican politician told me last week, that what we are observing in Iraq may be the start of something new, the rise of a new global movement like Naziism or Communism. If that’s right, one must seriously wonder whether the public humiliation of Saddam is helpful or just adds more fuel to the fire.
Hard to believe that the Republicans oppose increasing funding for domestic homeland security, when everyone knows that states, first responders (i.e., police, fire, medical and public health authorities) and federal agencies are all struggling mightily with massive new security responsibilities. Senate Rejects Bid to Boost Homeland Security Funding [washingtonpost.com]. A recent Council of Foreign Relations task force report warned in graphic language that local responders remain “dangerously unprepared” for a catastrophic attack.
The United States has not reached a sufficient level of emergency preparedness and remains dangerously unprepared to handle a catastrophic attack on American soil, particularly one involving chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear agents or coordinated high-impact conventional means.
The CFR report concludes that funding for emergency responders may need to be tripled over the next five years.
The Republicans, claiming budget woes when the Bush tax cuts have put the US in a new era of deficits, have just handed the otherwise lame-ass Demcrats a major campaign issue for 2004. Let’s hope disaster does not strike in the interim.