What if the 'surge' works?

A mostly political Weblog.
Feb. 2 2007 6:19 AM

What if the 'Surge' Works?

Are foes of Bush's plan taking a political risk?

Peretz on Gore: "He's got enough hair and enough hair in the right places not to use blow-dryer. Honest." 7:44 P.M.

Friday, February 2, 2007

Do "hate crime" laws lower racial tensions or raise them? I'm not sure it isn't the latter. In Long Beach, some black teenagers were convicted of beating three white women on Halloween "with a hate crime enhancement," according to the LAT.  This would be an inflammatory case anyway (despite the initial let's-not-cover-the-news efforts of the Times) even if it were prosecuted as a simple assault.  But adding the hate-crime inquiry makes the race issue central to the trial, and makes it more likely to degenerate into a divisive festival of competitive racial victimization, no? ... 1:19 P.M.

More on Sen. Hagel and the "surge" from an erstwhile antiwar fan of his:

I am a little disappointed in the way he's opposed it.  Not just the level of emotionalism ... [snip] ... but what really disappoints me is, what I've hear, his failure to kind of articulate really solid logic for being sure this is going to fail ... [E.A.]

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Don't look at me!   I didn't say it. 2:50 A.M.

Hon. Loretta Sanchez has quit the House Hispanic Caucus, claiming its chairman called her a "whore." A shocking affront to Congressional dignity! ... Wait. ... Loretta Sanchez ... Loretta Sanchez ... wasn't she the distinguished lawmaker who sent out a Christmas card showing her ... er, cat on fire? I think she was!  ... P.S.:Wonkette is on the case, sort of. But instead of the scandalous flaming "cat" card they chose one with a modest surfing theme! ... 2:32 A.M.

Cynic's Scorecard: 7 Outs and Counting: Are Senators who vote for the Warner anti-surge resolution taking any political risk, or are they just protecting themselves against anti-war sentiment? Inother words, on the off chance that the surge works, would they be embarrassed? Bob Wright says yes. But Senators in this situation have been known to leave themselves escape hatches.

The fewer escape hatches, of course, the greater the political consequences of getting it wrong, and the more support for the anti-surge resolution should actually reflect a senator's judgment that the chances of an embarrassing surge success are small. The more escape hatches, the more the Warner resolution seems simply a convenient way for pols to hedge their bets against any outcome:

After reading Senator Warner's resolution, I'm reinforced in my suspicion that the bet-hedging scenario is a plausible description of what's really going on.

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