Hillary's Secret Challenger
Now he can be revealed.
Is it really so savvy for Hillary Clinton to make a showy stand against violent video games? Sure, it appeals to centrist, family voters. But it also highlights the least appealing aspect of Hillary's persona--the moralistic nanny who knows best and will use the government to tell you how to live your life (and who has little feel for free speech, or freedom generally). ... P.S.: I'm not saying the legislation Clinton co-sponsored isn't in itself sensible, though it's hard to believe regulating video game sales couldn't be handled on the state level. I'm questioning whether glomming on to this issue will help Clinton politically. ... 7:34 P.M.
OK, how about 45% slave, 55% free? So if only Polk had been more of a consensus president we would have ended slavery without a war? ... 7:06 P.M.
Politicians have always needed to balance the base and the middle. Blogs make this tension, if not more difficult, more public.
Emphasis not added, but appropriate. Perlmutter writes seriously and smartly about Hillary Clinton's dilemma in this regard, though:
a) He takes Kos rather too seriously, calling him "a political kingmaker." (Oh yeah? Name the king);
b) He underemphasizes the extent to which Hillary's character--specifically her innate and exaggerated caution, calculation, and need for control--makes her a particularly bad match for the blog age, maybe as bad a match as Nixon or LBJ were for the TV age in 1960. Perlmutter notes that blogs and blog readers reward risk-taking passion and honesty. That he then actually mulls over the question of whether Clinton herself should blog--treating her dilemma as the same dilemma faced by any frontrunner, as if there were any hope that her blog would ever be worthwhile--shows that he doesn't fully appreciate Hillary's characterological inhospitability to the bloggerly virtues. ...
1:40 A.M. link
Is the Fourth Amendment the problem? Charles Fried raises the interesting issue: Whether the Constitution itself, with its "probable cause" requirement, is incompatible with the sort of Echelon-like "computerized scan of all international electronic communications" that's essential to preventing terrorism. The Constitution isn't always right! ... Fried urges "ingenuity" in interpreting it. ... P.S.: Today it's "international electronic communications," but of course if there's a credible threat of home-grown terrorism it may also become necessary to scan domestic electronic communications, in which case a lot of the Fourth Amendment loopholes currently being cited in the defense of Bush's FISA snooping (e.g., "border search") will not be available. 2:07 P.M.
Photograph of Judith Miller on the Slate home page by Mark Wilson/Getty Images.