Republicans for "Rebranding": John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge give five reasons many conservatives secretly welcome the prospect of Bush's defeat. Most interesting are #3, promoting White House/Congress gridlock (as a means of reducing government spending), and #2, the need to rebrand the U.S. after Iraq:
The second reason conservatives might cheer a Bush defeat is to achieve a foreign-policy victory. The Bush foreign-policy team hardly lacks experience, but its reputation has been tainted -- by infighting, by bungling in Iraq and by the rows with Europe. For better or worse, many conservatives may conclude that Kerry, who has accepted most of the main tenets of Bush's policy of preemption, stands a better chance than Bush of increasing international involvement in Iraq, of winning support for Washington's general war on terror and even of forcing reform at the United Nations. After all, could Jacques, Gerhard and the rest of those limp-wristed continentals say no to a man who speaks fluent French and German and has just rid the world of the Toxic Texan?
[Note: I've restored a clause to that last line (the bit about the "Toxic Texan") that appeared in the Trenton Times, which I hold in my hand, but not in the Minneapolis StarTribune, which has the only Web version I could find.] Update: The Wilmington News Journal posted it, and they had the good sense to not edit out the most persuasive bit. ...4:58 P.M.
I clearly charmed Atrios at that blogger party in Boston! Here he graciously welcomeskf into the Kerry coalition. ... P.S.: It's always hard to distinguish those with genuinely ambivalent or heterodox or nuanced or muddled views from those who are just positioning (e.g., to "preserve their street cred on both sides"). But I wouldn't think this is a distinction Kerry supporters, of all people, would want to encourage. 4:43 P.M.
Friday, July 30, 2004
Good, air-clearing Iggy Post column on the rush to embrace the 9/11 commission's highly questionable recommendations. Ignatius raises the same objection to the cabinet-level intelligence "czar" raised by Sen. Levin and kf's alert e-mailer. ("The White House politicized the intelligence process, so let's create a new intelligence czar in the White House and give him control over domestic spying, too," he writes, sarcastically.) Ignatius busts Kerry at length for his stagey 100% embrace of the commission:
[T]here's something dispiriting about the knee-jerk endorsement of the commission's proposals. The ink was barely dry on the 567-page report when Kerry gave it his blanket endorsement. Hoping to bind himself even more tightly to the commission's image of national unity, Kerry then proposed extending its life by 18 months. ... [snip]
The country needs a president who will take control of anti-terrorism policy, sift good proposals from bad and steer a steady course away from the maelstrom in which the United States finds itself. Sadly, Kerry's me-too approach to the Sept. 11 commission is of a piece with his bland flag-waving on foreign policy in general. America is a nation at war. Yet we have no sense, even after Kerry has been nominated, of just what policies he would pursue in Iraq and the Middle East. There's a three-alarm blaze outside and he's telling us he supports the fire department.
As a loyal Kerry supporter I urge you don't read the whole thing. It will only promote disunity and despair. Best not to know too much. We should do whatever the "9/11 families" want! That's the ticket. ... 1:30 P.M.
Who Stole Teresa's Cookies? Teresa Heinz Kerry doesn't just blame her aides for her less-than-triumphant cookie recipe. She takes it a step further, blaming sabotage by her aides!
Somebody at my office gave that recipe out and, in fact, I think somebody really made it on purpose to give a nasty recipe.