October 10, 2007 archive

It’s BUSH who is soft on terror and national security!

I don’t know whether or not the new FISA bill will be a sell-out, a capitulation, or a clever strategy, but I do know what bothers me most about it- the framing of its selling. More important than any particular instance, or possible instance, of Democratic weakness is the rationalization for the weakness. It’s not just about Democrats being weak in confronting Bush as a means of proving that they are not weak, it’s that Bush himself is the weakness!

As noted by BarbinMD, the New York Times reported this:

If it had stalled, that would have left Democratic lawmakers, long anxious about appearing weak on national security issues, facing an August spent fending off charges from Republicans that they had left Americans exposed to threats.

And, in a different article, this:

As the debate over the N.S.A.’s wiretapping powers begins anew this week, the emerging legislation reflects the political reality confronting the Democrats. While they are willing to oppose the White House on the conduct of the war in Iraq, they remain nervous that they will be labeled as soft on terrorism if they insist on strict curbs on intelligence gathering.

And this is what infuriates me, because it’s not about weakness, it’s about stupidity. The Democrats need to stop playing political defense on national security issues and start simply referring to the facts. Because the facts prove that it is Bush who is soft on national security, so opposing Bush is not weakness, it is strength.

The correct Democratic response to any such charge should begin with another story in today’s news. As diaried by redhaze, as reported by the Washington Post:

Profiles in Literature: Oulipo

Greetings, literature-loving dharma bums!  Last week we traveled to contemporary Japan to rub elbows with bestselling pseudo-surrealist author Haruki Murakami.  This week I’m taking a slightly different tack than usual and profiling a group rather than an individual author.

Did you ever wish you could break free from the constraints of language and literature and simply express yourself purely?  Well, one group of mid-20th century writers would tell you that’s nonsense, and we’re bound by more constraints than we even realize.  In fact, why not pile on more!

Sound crazy?  Then let me introduce you to the wickedly funny, darkly screwball, surprisingly warm group of radical theorists who started meeting in France in the 1960s: the Oulipo.

Pony Party: it’s an OPEN THREAD

Cost of the War in Iraq
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Through October 15, I plan to devote my Pony Party slots to support International Blog Action Day and its focus on our environment. Tonight, let’s get reacquainted with US PIRG, an advocate for myriad issues from media reform to net neutrality. UP PIRG has a solid record of advocacy for the planet and has great recommendations on actions we can take. Link and intro below the fold.

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