The Spectacle Blog

Re: Sullivan and Libertarianism

By on 10.25.06 | 8:15AM

I'm with you, David. Andrew Sullivan long ago jumped the shark. He cares only about his own sexual desires and placing those desires first in the universe. That's his entire belief system. The rest is just well-educated, energetic verbosity.

October Surprise This Afternoon?

By on 10.25.06 | 6:38AM

At about 3:00 PM Eastern Time, the Supreme Court of New Jersey will be issuing a ruling in Lewis v. Harris, in which seven gay couples have sued the state, demanding marriage certificates. Judging by the oral argument from February, which you can watch online, the plaintiffs have a very good chance of prevailing. Two of the seven justices asked no questions; if I'm reading between the lines of the others' questions correctly, the state can count on only one vote while the plaintiffs have two for certain and another two that seemed to be leaning in their direction. New Jersey has a reputation for activist jurisprudence, which isn't surprising given that the state's constitution opens with a sweeping declaration of vaguely enumerated rights. The case for gay marriage by judicial fiat isn't really such a stretch in light of declared "natural and unalienable rights, among which are those of ... pursuing and obtaining safety and happiness."

Re: Andrew Sullivanism vs. Libertarianism

By on 10.24.06 | 11:19PM

David: Almost everyone who supported Kerry in '04 thought he'd be better than Bush on a range of issues, terrorism included. I don't think we can dismiss them all. Sullivan's ideas are well-expressed and widely-diseminated, idiosyncratic yet influential, and very often not only wrong but wrong in an interesting or revealing way. All those things make him well worth engaging.

Andrew Sullivanism vs. Libertarianism

By on 10.24.06 | 4:42PM

Glenn Reynolds cast an early vote in Tennessee the other day. It wasn't clear from reading Instapundit over the past couple months who he was supporting in the Senate race -- he'd been criticized from the right for being too nice to Harold Ford, Jr. -- until he revealed that he'd voted for Bob Corker:

Expanded Definition of ‘Defeatocrat’

By on 10.24.06 | 1:18PM

CNN's Candy Crowley reports today (make sure you watch the "wuss" video segment embedded in the story) that not all Democrats are feeling confident about their election prospects in two weeks:

On the cusp of an election that could overturn the Republican majority on Capitol Hill, I jokingly asked a senior Democratic aide whether he had ordered new business cards to reflect majority status.

"Don't underestimate our ability to blow it," he said.

There is a reason Democrats are on edge. They have lost so many elections where it seemed they were running with the wind, the phenomenon is known in political circles as Democrats "embracing their inner-defeatist."

...CNN asked self-identified Democrats around Miami, Florida, Chicago, Illinois and Los Angeles, California, how they view their party. It was word association, "I say Democrat, you say ... " Not scientific, but instructive.

Here is some of what we heard:

• "Disorganized"

• "Afraid to take a stand"

Our Screwed Up Justice System

By on 10.24.06 | 12:40PM

Enron's Jeff Skilling gets 24 years in prison. According to Judge Sim Lake, "His crimes have imposed on hundreds, if not thousands, of people a life sentence of poverty."

The problem isn't that Skilling got a tough sentence. Surely he deserved one. The problem comes when you compare that to terrorist-enabler Lynne Stewart:

Southern District Judge John Koeltl gave Ms. Stewart a sentence of only 28 months. The government had asked for 30 years behind bars.

Weighing in Ms. Stewart's favor, the judge said, were her years of service to the poor, the disadvantaged and the unpopular; her battle with cancer and the fact that her actions, though reprehensible, did not result in violence.

Perception Can Become Reality

By on 10.24.06 | 11:24AM

Tabin, Hogberg or someone else worth their political handicapping salt could probably work out whether this John Mcintyre theory is valid or not better than I. My instinct on how elections will go is usually wrong, so I'm of little use here. But some of this does seem plausible on a gut level:

This is a calculated tactic on the part of the Democrats that they have been using very effectively as other reporters, pundits and the blogosphere pickup on the headline to play up the story that more and more GOP House districts continue to be thrown into play. This is all designed to build up the impression that the bottom is totally falling out for Republicans. Perception can become reality if the GOP is not careful and Republicans have been behind the eight-ball this entire cycle in managing the public relations campaign.

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