The new Harry Potter is here!

What's happening in our readers' forum.
Nov. 8 2002 3:53 PM

The New Harry Potter Is Here!

Plus, readers give the Democrats advice.

Suellentropology: Chris Suellentrop discovers  that Harry Potter is a hero straight out of American naturalism—always finding himself doing things (instead of doing them), discovering abilities (not cultivating them). But it's funnier to think of Harry as a little George W. Bush.James offers the following sequels (complete with plot summaries I can't blog here):

Mr. Suellentrop derides Harry Potter as a "glory hog who unfairly receives credit for the accomplishments of others and who skates through school by taking advantage of his inherited wealth and his establishment connections." As history shows us, however, Harry Potter has an auspicious life ahead of him. Watch for the following best-sellers!

"Harry Potter and the Goblet of Budweiser"…

"Harry Potter and the Corporate Boardroom of Secrets" …

"Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Rove" …

"Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Malapropism" …

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Max Fischer Players saw this coming here, and thinks Slate's contrarianism is "trite and boring." Thanks! Early posts have the best chance of a good read—once this hits the msn homepage over the weekend, expect a deluge of Potterphiles … 12:50 p.m.

24 hour party people: What should the Democrats do? Move left, center, or serpentine? There is debate all over the Fray, and the posts below usually have good threads attached. William Saletan thinks it's obvious that "there's no reason to vote Democratic if the Democratic candidate is identical to the Republican" The Slasher—a non-Dem—disagrees. And his main reason is Republican party discipline. For example,

Are you pro-choice and that's your dealbreaker issue? If so, you would be NUTS to vote for a pro-choice Republican Senator over a pro-choice Democrat, because you can never be SURE the Rep will not vote for an activist anti-choice judge for the Supreme Court. He'll be under enormous pressure not to reject the candidate of a Republican President. It's even worse in the House …

The fact is that Democrats AS A GROUP are way to the left of Republicans AS THEY VOTE, and it's silly for them to do other than to emphasize this difference. If the things the Reps are doing work out well, nobody is going to give credit to the Dems if they "me too" on it. Go where you CAN win, not where you can't.

(W.V. Micko envies that discipline here.) …

Kerry on: And where can the Democrats win? Quasi-neocon Abre los ojos (who was yesterday's Hillary booster) thinks  Kerry's eco-defense mix could be attractive:

I remember a few months ago getting excited about Kerry's proclaimed vision of a several year, large-scale national program toward alternative energy sources. Kerry proposed this strategy as an integral component of a strong national response toward gaining a further measure of independence from volatile regions of fossil fuel resources … Indeed, I remember hoping for something of this sort of vision from President Bush, but it never came.

(Even more con Shelia hopes  the Democrats run Hillary, and shudders at the thought of Kerry vs. Bush.)But even Alo sees the problem with Kerry: mobilizing the Democratic base …

Move the center: Doodahman has a suggestion  (that sounds very James Carville circa-1992 to me):

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