Bush: Never mind those back taxes!

A mostly political Weblog.
May 20 2007 4:39 AM

Never Mind Those Back Taxes!

Bush drops a requirement for illegals.

(Continued from Page 9)

P.P.S.: The whole point of the email Sullivan reprinted is that the word "wussy" itself is misogynistic and homophobic, not that it's OK if it's used as an epithet in the "context" of attacking someone Sullivan deems worthy of attacking (in this case, gun owners). ...  

**--Sullivan just made up the part about how "Mickey loved that bar." I didn't. I liked the Raincheck Room down the street. He also again quotes me using "wussy" without mentioning I was trying to characterize the p.o.v. of Ann Coulter and her conservative audience, not my own p.o.v.. (Here's the dingalink--you decide.) I don't think Edwards is "wussy on foreign policy." He is a bit elfin in appearance. So sue me. 1:44 A.M.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Mr. Loaf: In case you had any doubt where Gov. Bill Richardson stands on immigration reform, here he is last year, overheard talking to an aide about the "Hagel-Martinez" immigration plan--the basis for the "comprehensive" reform bill that passed the Senate. It basically would have offered legalization to illegal immigrants who'd been here for two years  or more--but this compromise was too restrictive for Richardson:

Rewind 10 hours. It's 8:15 a.m. and Richardson is running late.

As a state patrolman pushes the governor's Ford hybrid sport utility vehicle toward 90 mph, coaxing it to an unnatural whine, Richardson punches buttons on one of his three cellphones.

He calls an aide and discusses potential fundraising events in April and May with Bill Clinton and Al Gore. Then he dials U.S. Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., leaving a message on the Senate minority leader's cellphone about an immigration-reform bill being debated that day: "I don't like this Hagel-Martinez initiative. It's sort of half a loaf. Let's hold fast." [E.A.]

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If you want the whole loaf, it looks like Richardson is your guy. ... 7:07 P.M.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Modern elections are largely governed by the principle of minimum differentiation which (according to the mean voter theorem) will generally produce a 50-50 split in most polls and elections.

However: every so often an individual candidate will abandon minimum differentiation strategies only to uncover major constituencies "hidden" by 50-50 polling. This generates a poorly-predicted landslide in one direction or the other. (This differs from "wedge issue" thinking in one important respect. A "wedge" creates only the smallest of openings, not a landslide, and I hope you'll pardon this very mixed metaphor.) [E.A.]

2008? Iraq? Health care?** ... Actually, you could you argue that there are almost always hidden constituencies ready to be uncovered--with new ones constantly forming like magma. That would be one reason why the national election industry is less stable than, say, the soft drink industry--and why presidential races won't always be grinding near-ties like the past two. What does seems unlikely is that any lopsided victory margin will persist for more than a cycle or two (e.g., Karl Rove's permanent Republican majority fantasy, the Judis-Teixeira emerging Dem majority fantasy). The losing party will adjust and get back in the game--faster than ever before, thanks in part to, yes, the Feiler Faster Thesis. ...

**--Note that most, maybe all, of these issues could conceivably produce a landslide either way. For example, you'd think a Democrat could steal the hidden pro-universal constituency in the GOP. But if a Republican with a plausible health care plan--say, Romney--somehow managed to get the GOP nomination, he might steal the "constituency" of Democrats who want to go left only on health care. ... 12:20 P.M.

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