The Spectacle Blog

DeLay Context

By on 4.4.06 | 9:06AM

Some context on the DeLay announcement:

It's true that former GOP House Leader Tom DeLay's decision probably saves the Republicans a seat for the majority. It also takes a huge election-year topic away from Democrats, who planned on using DeLay as a poster boy across the country.

The House GOP has seen some internal polling and focus group materials that indicate DeLay wasn't going to be a huge drag on the party in the fall, but he was going to be a drag nonetheless.

We're hearing that there was no undue pressure put on DeLay, that after winning his contested primary, he had a chance to sit back and look at where things were going. He was looking to raise at least $8 million to $10 million for his re-election, and for what? he wondered.

In the end, this decision is good for the party and may very well save between three to five seats for Republicans across the country. DeLay deserves the party's thanks for his leadership and his service to our country.

On ‘Amnesty’

By on 4.4.06 | 8:41AM

Brandon Crocker implies that those who call guest worker programs amnesty don't "think words have meanings." The definition he offers is "to overlook an offense without attaching any punishment."

That strikes me as a too sweeping. The word is derived from amnesia, suggesting a forgetting of a past crime. Webster's defines it as "an act of authority (as a government) by which pardon is granted to a large group of individuals. The Oxford English Dictionary offers "forgetfulness, oblivion; an intentional overlooking; a general overlooking or pardon of past offenses, by the ruling authority." These don't include "without attaching any punishment," but a pardon does mean to act as though no crime had been committed. So strictly speaking, it's not amnesty.

73 -57

By on 4.4.06 | 1:48AM

That's why they play the game. Late Sunday I wrote to a friend about UCLA, "Because they're deep and play with confidence, I assume they could shut down Florida too, or at least faster than Florida can shut down them." What a blithering idiocy! Florida turned the tables on UCLAns from the get-go, dominating them on both ends and winning almost as one-sidedly as UNLV did in 1990 when it humbled Duke, 103-73. In 1991 Duke came back and got its revenge against UNLV (in the Final Four semifinals). Right now I don't see history repeating itself next year.

Re: Immigration and Ballots

By on 4.4.06 | 1:24AM

John: In David Brooks' rendition, Bill Kristol's "yahoos" are "blithering idiots, frankly" -- that's what Brooks called the people around Rep. Tom Tancredo on the Lehrer NewsHour last Friday. (He also rather dismissively called Tancredo, not a congressman, but "one of the anti-immigration guys in the House.") Right after this Brooks joined in with Mark Shields to praise Andrew Card's niceness.

DeLay Out?

By on 4.4.06 | 12:21AM

That's the word, in spite of remaining sanguine in the face of strong Democratic challengers and the Abramoff scandal.

UPDATE: Via Drudge, Time's Mike Allen has more: says he didn't want to risk the seat and that he could accomplish more outside the House than inside.

For such a formerly effective operator, that goes to show how far he'd fallen on the Hill.

Re: Immigration and Ballots

By on 4.3.06 | 8:15PM

John, Great point. To add to that, Kilgore hardly mentioned the day laborer centers. (Kristol omits that it was a day laborer center -- and not some philanthropic shelter as he implies.) And polling data showed that the issue was probably a winner for him.

Immigration and Ballots

By on 4.3.06 | 8:04PM

Like David Corn and Byron York (video), I'm not really sure how the immigration debate will affect electoral politics. But Bill Kristol's argument-by-anecdote that restrictionist "yahoos" are on the verge of "driving the party off a cliff" is pretty unconvincing. This part in particular:

Oh Say Can You See…And How’s it Make You Feel?

By on 4.3.06 | 7:31PM

Eric Berlin does a really good job parsing out legitimate dismay over recent immigration protests from xenophobic fears, as a reaction to this much-ballyhooed post over at Daily Kos from earlier today. It should be read in its full conext, but here's a taste:

...I find sealing off the border, or deporting or jailing 11 million illegal immigrants, to be completely irrational ideas. I'm more of an open borders person. That said, it is neither crazy nor racist for Republicans to react as they have been to this weekend's protest. (Although I don't doubt that some of the loonier ideologues on talk radio have taken their vitriol to racist levels.) I was put off by those signs, and I largely support the protestors. Or thought I did, until I saw those signs. To pretend this is only about the flying of the Mexican flag is disingenuous.

Mobile on guest workers

By on 4.3.06 | 4:38PM

My old paper in Mobile, newly renamed the Press-Register, ran this thoughtful editorial on Friday. In some ways it resembles a creative plan from the Kreible Foundation. Both call for slightly different spins on President Bush's "guest worker" ideas for immigrants. Frankly, I have no use for ANYbody who comes here illegally, although I like the idea of expanding LEGAL immigration and/or legal guest worker programs... but only AFTER we control our borders better. If that means a double-tiered fence, so be it. One question, though: How is a "guest worker" program different from an ordinary green card? I admit my ignorance here, but it seems to me that the green card program ALREADY is a guest worker program. And if people ignore that legal process and come here by illegal means, I think we ought to send them to Singapore for punishment. All that said, I'm open to having lawmakers look into the Press-Register AND the Kreible proposals...

Zarqawi Demoted?

By on 4.3.06 | 1:13PM

It looks like Iraq's Public Enemy Number One might be having a bad day at the office.

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