The Spectacle Blog

Congressional Defeatism

By on 11.18.05 | 7:26AM

The WSJ has a great editorial today (sub req'd) about the congressional cowardice on display this week. Money quote:

"There are many lessons of the Vietnam War, but two of the biggest are these: Don't fight wars you don't intend to win, and while American troops can't be defeated, American politicians can be. Like General Giap, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and his fellow terrorists understand the second lesson very well, and so his strategy has always been not to capture Baghdad but to inflict casualties in a way that breaks the will of American elites. He'll only be encouraged by this week's show of Beltway duck and cover."

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Intelligent Design Guide

By on 11.17.05 | 11:34PM

A reader asks if anyone has a "reference for a short, concise pro-ID explanation of what ID is." Well, Pete, as a matter of fact we do! It ran in The American Spectator's June issue. It was also posted online (subscription free) in early August, so if you are not a print or digital subscriber to TAS, you can read the article here.

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By on 11.17.05 | 1:12PM

In his column today, George Will calls members of a school board in Kansas who question Darwinism "the kind of conservatives who make conservatism repulsive to temperate people." Well, we can't have that. I would like to know who these temperate people are. My very unfair guess is that many of them sign his checks.

How many philosophically liberal cultural positions has Will advanced over the years? I've lost track. I do remember him endorsing feminism and state experimentation with gay marriage (this involved a lot of impressive throat-clearing and very thoughtful qualifications). He recently scolded social conservatives for being crudely obsessed with letting unborn children live.

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The New New McCarthy

By on 11.17.05 | 12:27PM

Joe Conason's profile of Bill Clinton in the new Esquire is notable mostly in how blandly soundbite-ish the rhetoric of the ex-president it declares "The most influential man in the world" is. There are, however, points of interest here and there, not least of which is when Clinton notes in defense of George W. Bush that "when you've been president and troops are committed and lives are on the line, I think we have to be very careful what we say." Whoa! When did Ari "watch what they say, what what they do" Fleischer start coaching Clinton? And when will the left side of the blogosphere start condemning the 42nd president for this attack on their right to dissent? Is someone at Daily Kos even now photoshopping a picture of Bill Clinton lighting the Bill of Rights on fire with a cigar? Can I expect an online petition and fundraising request from in my inbox this very day?

Joesph McCarthy, you wily rascal, the latest form you've taken on is your most dastardly yet!

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Murtha’s Speech

By on 11.17.05 | 11:11AM

Rep. Jack Murtha (D-Pa) is no Kucinich. He's been a defense stalwart for decades. His speech today, in which he says that the presence of U.S. troops in Iraq is impeding Iraq's progress to self government and defense, and calls for immediate withdrawal, is a serious statement from one of the few remaining Dems who have any credibility on defense.

When Murtha says, as he did today, that "the U.S. can not accomplish anything further in Iraq militarily," he removes one of the last restraints on irresponsible Congressional action on the war. The president and vice president are at least beginning to answer their critics on the pre-war intel issue. But they need to act, decisively and consistently, to win back the support of people such as Murtha. We have Republican Roundheels in the Senate, and antiwar whacko Dems in the House and Senate. We simply can't afford to lose the few remaining Murthas in Congress.

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Alaska’s Bridges Blowup

By on 11.17.05 | 10:10AM

Some of our readers have argued that the removal of the Bridges to Nowhere earmark is a token victory, since local Alaskan officials will still receive more than $400 million to spend as they see fit. Symbolic or substantial, the win over pork still has Alaskan Rep. Don Young, chairman of the transportation committee, so angered that he's cornering House colleagues and reminding them he won't forget it. The Hill has the full story.

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House Repub Tussle

By on 11.17.05 | 9:30AM

Before newbies to the leadership ladder start campaigning, there remain some big dogs to push out of the way. Biggest is Rep. John Boehner, who has been waiting for his shot at the leader's chair now for several election cycles.

Boehner has been doggedly fundraising, working K Street and helping his colleagues for years and isn't because he enjoys the hustle of it all. He will be a tough competitor. But the more the merrier.

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Coup Time

By on 11.17.05 | 8:51AM

Rep. Tom Reynolds mean anything to you? Pat Hynes's thinks he will soon enough. The current chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee wants to move up -- way up -- in the GOP House leadership. He's from Buffalo, so there's a lot more to him than there was, say, from Rick Lazio. But how do he and, say, Mike Pence, mesh?

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On the Air

By on 11.17.05 | 7:20AM

I'll be subbing for Mark Larson on KOGO (600 am) in San Diego today, 3-6 pm EST. For those not lucky enough to be living in SD, you can listen live on the net on the KOGO website. We'll be talking about the latest on the Senate Roundheels, Judge Alito, and lots more.

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GOGs Retake the Field

By on 11.16.05 | 5:33PM

Well, now we have a small lesson in leadership. From, unsurprisingly, the Vice President. Striking back at Dems for their "Bush lied us into war" campaign, Mr. Cheney said:

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