Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Super Tuesday Snips

Everybody's an expert at speculating. You know what they say about opinions. These snips caught my eye this morning.

The Lovers And The Fighters by Digby

...the campaign will boil down to whether or not independents believe that the way to fix a broken system is through inspiration or confrontation --- in particular whether they believe that the radical Republicans can be tamed by inclusion and compromise or if it will take a metaphorical billy club.

McCain will make the case that he is a man apart, beholden to no one, the only person who can make both parties straighten up and fly right. He'll run as the fighter for America. Obama is making the case that he's a man apart, a leader of millions, who will make both parties work together for the common good. He'll run as the healer of America. It will depend a great deal on a non-partisan voter's personal temperament and worldview as to which one he or she will believe.

All You Need Is Hate by Stanley Fish, NY Times

...Back in November, I wrote a column on Clinton’s response to a question about giving driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants. My reward was to pick up an e-mail pal who has to date sent me 24 lengthy documents culled from what he calls his “Hillary File.” If you take that file on faith, Hillary Clinton is a murderer, a burglar, a destroyer of property, a blackmailer, a psychological rapist, a white-collar criminal, an adulteress, a blasphemer, a liar, the proprietor of a secret police, a predatory lender, a misogynist, a witness tamperer, a street criminal, a criminal intimidator, a harasser and a sociopath. These accusations are “supported” by innuendo, tortured logic, strained conclusions and photographs that are declared to tell their own story, but don’t.

Compared to this, the Swift Boat campaign against John Kerry was a model of objectivity. When the heading of a section of the “Hillary File” reads “Have the Clintons ever murdered anyone?” — and it turns out to be a rhetorical question like “Is the Pope Catholic?” — you know that you’ve entered cuckooland.

The Conservative No McCain Zone: Big Arguments for a Bad Idea by Vanderleun

...the culture war is over. And the conservatives have lost. Reaction? Consume your own.

Here's the news on "The Big 3 Issues:"

Abortion: Alas, this is a done deal. There will not come a time in the foreseeable future when abortion on demand will not be available in the United States. The best that can be hoped for at this point is a widespread understanding among the populace that abortion, though perfectly legal, is morally wrong except in certain, widely understood, circumstances. (And, no, I'm not going to spell those circumstances out -- that's up to you. Work it out with yourself, your family and your friends.)

The law and public morality are not coterminous, nor should they be. When they are the result is dhimmitude. Not really the state one is seeking, correct?

Homosexuality and gay marriage: This too is a done deal. To paraphrase Gay Rights activists from years ago, "They're here. They're queer. Get used to it."

Reversing Illegal Immigration: Done deal #3. I know that, like visions of sugarplums, visions of some sort of "fence" protecting America from the hordes of marching Mexicans dance in the heads of Americans who just want them all to turn around and march back. But, alas, that too joins the previous two issues in the category, "It Ain't Gonna Happen."

I know, believe me, all the designs for a kinder and gentler fence that will have hi-tech detectors and some sort of ready interdiction corps sitting on helicopter scramble pads across the southern border. I know all the arguments for expanding the ever-so-effective techniques used to stop the flow of illegal drugs to stop the flow of illegal aliens. None of these will prove any more effective than "The War on Some Drugs" we've be squandering billions on over the decades.

What would work would be some sort of East German wall 1,969 miles long. This monstrosity would have guard towers, mine fields, attack Dobermans, armored cars, and about 100,000 armed border guards with a shoot on sight policy (3 shifts of 17 guards per mile). After around 500 Mexican civilians were shot dead, this might have some effect on reducing the flow. I'm not quite ready for this draconian a solution. Are you?

Cindy McCain’s Painkiller Problem by Radley Balko

McCain’s condescending, dismissive attitude toward medical marijuana patients only exacerbates the hypocrisy. Cindy McCain’s powerful husband and high profile probably had something to do with the fact that she didn’t get the Richard Paey treatment. But as with Rush Limbaugh, prosecutors likely laid off of her also because she played the drug war game—she admitted she was an “addict,” repented, and sought treatment. Paey had the audacity to insist that he oughtn’t go to jail for treating his own pain, and that he wasn’t an “addict,” but a chronic pain patient who was dependent on the medication in order to lead a normal life.

Contra my friend Jeremy Lott, the problem with the hypocritical practice of letting politicians’ family members get off for drug crimes that land normal people in prison is that it doesn’t seem to do much in the way of making them more sympathetic. It just hardens them into more militant drug warriors. We have to throw Richard Paey in prison so we don’t get any more Cindy McCains. See the logic?

Goodbye to All That: Why Obama Matters by Andrew Sullivan

Cover story. Long and big.
And nope, I didn't read it, but I think it's important.
I'm tired, tired of all the words.
I'm ready to change presidents and see what happens next. I can't imagine, Democrat or Republican, how it can get much worse.

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