Gore Pulls Out ... of Kosistan: The striking thing about Al Gore's appearance on ABC's "This Week" program Sunday was that he did not call for any sort of deadline-driven withdrawal from Iraq. Quite the opposite--he was careful to emphasize the potential of a pullout to make the situation worse. From ABC:
"I would pursue the twin objectives of trying to withdraw our forces as quickly as we possibly can, while at the same time minimizing the risk that we'll make the mess over there even worse and raise even higher the danger of civil war," Gore said.
Dismissing calls for any deadline, Gore added, "It's possible that setting a deadline could set in motion forces that would make it even worse. I think that we should analyze that very carefully. My guess is that a deadline is probably not the right approach; ....
Gore might have said this because he didn't want to make news that would distract from his global warming pitch; he might have said it because he's willing to cede John Kerry the left in any presidential primary Iraq debate. But the most likely reason he said it is because he actually believes it, which will be highly disappointing to pro-withdrawal Democrats who have been pushing a Gore candidacyout of frustration with Hillary's pro-war stands. Turns out he's just another 'now-that-we're-there' Democrat. Sorry, Arianna! ... P.S.: Gore's caution is in keeping with too-easily-overlooked new doubts about a pullout on the left, including those in this In These Times article. ... 2:50 A.M. link
Dead Man Running: Thomas Lipscomb, probably the nation's leading expert on why not all of the Swift Boat veteran allegations against Senator John Kerry are discredited, pokes holes in NYT reporter Kate Zernike's account of Kerry's continuing efforts to defend himself against charges of embellishing his heroism. ... Of course. at this point only artificial conventions of objectivity prevent MSM journalists from openly acknowledging that Kerry has no hope of winning the presidency. He's a dead man who doesn't know it, a political zombie refighting a lost campaign by refighting his role in a lost war, long after both conflicts are over. The delusional, obsessive quality of his permanent campaign ("I have the hat!") is something I suspect Zernike--or at least her headline writer--was trying to get across, even though she seems to Lipscomb (and others) like a gullible Kerry sympathizer. ... 2:11 A.M.
Shoot the Ute! Recent in-depth kf research into cutting-edge consumer attitudes in affluent West L.A. suggests that--as the metrics would seem to indicate--people are trading in their SUVs for large sedans. Affluent people are, anyway. ... And if SUVs ever become unhip-seeming to kids, as they are on the verge of becoming, it's all over for them--since half the rationale for SUVs was that they were, in effect, minivans your kids wouldn't refuse to ride in. ...10:24 P.M.
Follow the Honeys! Disastrous ombudspedant Byron Calame thinks some recent New York Times copy needed to be "purged of its zippiness." Yes, that's the problem with the Times' National section. Too zippy! Calame certainly can't be accused of failing to take his own medicine. ... P.S.: The "too feisty" paragraph in question--about ex-President Clinton running around Los Angeles with a certain publicity-shy billionaire--was about the only reason for publishing the Times' piece on the Clinton marriage. . ... [Isn't there a problem with NYT reporters trying to imitate Maureen Dowd by turning out breezy copy that plays on smug, hidden assumptions?--ed That seemed more of a problem three years ago. And in this case the smug assumption--that Bill Clinton, of all people, might be a philanderer!--is sound.] ... 8:19 P.M.
McCain Blowing It, Part II: He'll suck up to Jerry Falwell, but he won't campaign** for an embattled fellow Republican who opposes his semi-amnesty immigrant-legalization bill--even though the Republicans' loss, in an off-year Congressional election, will be widely interpreted as a further sign of Republican weakness. ... Snide question: Does McCain benefit from his party's weakness? If they were riding high, would they turn to him? ...