Thursday, December 07, 2006

Red Corner

In a stern editorial discussing the Iraq Study Group's "Report" today, The New York Times aptly notes that, "The world has watched as Mr. Bush painted himself into a corner and then insisted it was a strategic decision." Not only does this apply to Iraq, but it also describes the base-pandering Republican Party as molded by Karl Rove. Evidence of this Rovian Red Corner-painting is found in today's interesting column from Harold Meyerson of the Washington Post who writes:

Following the gospel according to Rove (fear not swing voters but pander to and mobilize thy base), George W. Bush and the Republican Congress, together or separately, had already blocked stem cell research, disparaged nonmilitary statecraft, exalted executive wartime power over constitutional niceties, campaigned repeatedly against gay rights, thrown public money at conservative churches and investigated the tax status of liberal ones. In the process, they alienated not just moderates but Western-state libertarians.

Since sneaking into the White House in 2000, the Republicans took a gamble that moderates weren't needed to win or perhaps didn't even exist--recall that recently Bill O'Reilly told an Oprah audience that "there is no center" in American politics--but the reality is that most Americans are comfortable with centrist policies, not only because compromise is the lifeblood of democracy and helps move policy forward, but because we all have to live together every day. Extremism complicates and interferes with our daily lives, not thoughtful compromise.

Have you noticed how blithely revisionist some folks are when it comes to the independent bid for the Presidency made by Ross Perot in 1992? After all that hype and free press surrounding the Texas billionaire, Perot only garnered 19% of the popular vote, respectable for certain, but hardly within the realm of victory. If anything, Perot nudged Bill Clinton closer to the White House. New York magazine sure thinks Michael Bloomberg is the cat's meow. Discontent might be high in 2008, but I don't think that a 3rd party led by Bloomberg is the answer to our nation's problems.

I have always contended that McCain is no maverick. All recent evidence suggests he'd sell his soul to be Commander-in-Chief, and now he has the perfect guy lined-up to run his campaign: Terry Nelson, the man behind those race-baiting anti-Harold Ford ads in the Tennessee Senate race.

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