The Spectacle Blog

Re: Conservative Case Against Giuliani

By on 8.29.06 | 2:29PM

David, I wouldn't ignore social issues, I would just say that they won't play as dominant of a role in 2008. Yes, social issues will still be very important, but they will just be relatively less important than they have been in the past. For all the praise that is heaped on Mitt Romney (his boosters call him brilliant, attractive, charismatic, a business man, a problem solver, a good guy) I haven't seen many people praise him on the basis of his capabilities as a wartime leader. To me, his lack of credentials on terrorism and national security should be seen as a huge liability, one that cannot easily be made up by simply saying the right things. Yes, he may now be on the right side of the abortion issue, but his total about-face on the issue once his political ambitions moved beyond the state of Massachusetts just makes me think of him as a typical flip-flopping politician, which in my view, further undermines his credibility as a wartime leader.  

Re: Conservative Case Against Giuliani

By on 8.29.06 | 1:52PM

Philip, you are absolutely correct to highlight the importance of 9/11, terrorism in general, and national security in the 2008 vote. We haven't had a Republican presidential primary since 9/11, so this one is hard to call. But anyone who ignores that does so at his own peril.

That said, anyone who ignores social issues is similarly foolish. Hawkins's case didn't need anything new about Giuliani's record. His record in public office ended more than four years ago. So there are not many new things to say there or point out. But a lack of new material does not negate the old stuff.

And boy, is there a lot of it. Kate O'Beirne's recent comment, that the Mormon is the only candidate in the race who has only had one wife, comes to mind. I was surprised that Mr. Murdoch failed to mention Mr. Giuliani's problems in this area, especially seeing as one of the headings in his article was "Family Affairs." The whole business with a judge barring his girlfriend from the Gracie Mansion -- where his wife and kids were living -- won't pass quietly.

No Tabloid TAS

By on 8.29.06 | 1:40PM

You may have noticed the welcome lack of coverage TAS has devoted to the John Karr arrest. (Even Fox succumbed to the Jon Benet frenzy. They actually had a man on the plane with Karr coming back from Thailand). And we have also resisted so far any comment on the (yawn) arrest of Warren Jeffs who, though alleged a polygamist and rapist, managed to get on to the FBI's Ten Most Wanted list. Ah, gone are the days of Baby Face Nelson and Dillinger. Bin Laden was probably insulted by sharing post office wall space with the likes of Jeffs.

The point of all this is that while the broadcast media and much of the punditry is consumed by these things, we are on hotter trails.

Another Death Tax

By on 8.29.06 | 12:14PM

Looking through the comment thread trailing this article on the virtues of Canadian single-payer health care, I found the following:

The Bushies love our current system of care because it kills off poor "worthless" people faster than rich folks. That is why they so fervently push no change in our current health care system and no withdrawal from mass murder in Iraq. Another reason they love our current "health" system is that it makes the rich richer and the poor poorer which is the major push of the Cheney presidency (for he really calls all the important shots in their path toward doomsday).

Wait, wait. I thought the whole point of the Bush Adminstration's economic policies was to transfer the tax burden from "wealth" to "work"? How are they going to do that if the "poor 'worthless' people" are all dead? How much taxable income comes out of the sick or near-dead? Or is this a proletariat-chicken-or-the-golden-egg type conundrum? Is a itsy bitsy bit of consistency too much to ask for these days?

Radio Appearance And…

By on 8.29.06 | 11:47AM

Just a reminder, I will be on the "Organization Watch" internet radio program, run by my old employer at CRC, tomorrow to discuss my (and Sarah Haney's) recent piece on the political giving of the Fortune 100 (go here for an abbreviated version). You can hear the program on Rightalk Radio, from 3-4pm EST.

While I am on the subject, Matt Vadum of CRC sent this link at Philanthropybeat, where an An anonymous author criticizes. I wish I could say that once you get through the ad hominem attacks there are actually quite a few legitimate points. However, I can't.

Re: Conservative Case Against Giuliani

By on 8.29.06 | 11:37AM

The Hawkins' post that David linked to has absolutely nothing new to say about Giuliani's record -- it's just a rehashing of what has been said over the past several years about his liberal stances on social issues making him unelectable in a Republican primary.

As I have argued before, while all of those issues may be obstacles for Giuliani, ultimately the issue of terrorism is going to dominate the Republican primary season, and Giuliani is the best positioned on that issue. 2008 will be the first contested Republican primary since 9/11, so while pundits have been focusing on Giuliani's lack of social issue bona fides, what they should spend more time focusing on is the fact that Mitt Romney and George Allen (the theoretically "conservative" options) have very few credentials on the defining issue of our time.

Perfidious Quotation Games

By on 8.28.06 | 6:12PM

Maureen Dowd famously did it. So have many other intellectually dishonest so-called journalists. Now some dude in Maine--L. Sandy Maisel the director of the Goldfarb Center for Public Affairs and Civic Engagement at Colby College--has done it in a local paper up there, probably making my name mud (unfairly) at the Bush family compound in Kennebunkport. If I get time tomorrow, I will try to track down the columnist to demand a retraction in person. Meanwhile, here is a public demand for the same.

By "it," I mean deliberately and dishonestly leaving words out of a quote in order to completely skew the intention of the person being quoted.

Here's the story: Eight days ago, I was quoted by the Wash Post's excellent Peter Baker in this article. Baker got the quote correctly, and like a good reporter he tried to put it into proper context. Baker was quoting this column of mine from this very AmSpec web site. Baker put it thusly:

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