I've seen the video, and I'm not sure I'd call Allen's response "pitch perfect." I find it odd that he became that angry over the question. He could have just said, "that's not relevant to this campaign" without getting so melodramatic (citing Jefferson, etc.) With that said, it's certainly understandable how he could have reacted in that way. The reporter, Peggy Fox, had already asked him about the Macaca incident, and then asked him about his Jewish background as a follow-up. In other words, she lumped together the Macaca episode and his Jewishishness as if they were both offensive. The way she asked the question, "Could you please tell us whether your forbearers include Jews...?" --as if his grandfather were a member of the KKK--was more offensive than anything Allen said. I can see why a frustrated Allen, egged on by his jeering supporters, would react the way he did. But I wouldn't say it was "pitch perfect." What's most surprising to me about this whole episode is that a Christian politician finding out late in life that he has a Jewish grandfather has become a political issue, whereas it should be confined to being part of a Jackie Mason comedy routine.
The Spectacle Blog
A Fayetteville, N.C. ordinance against "human-propelled wheels" on sidewalks has put a 10-year-old's delivery enterprise out of business.
So George Allen is a born Jew. Hear all about it.
But in the context of the debate and the campaign, it just felt right. Watch the video for yourself, and you'll probably agree with Rich Lowry's assessment: his reply was pitch-perfect. That's how it struck me as I watched the debate -- the man was thinking on his feet and was rightly angry at such a ridiculous question. If a reporter is writing a profile, and could lightly couch the question, it might be appropriate. Debates are for issues, not gotcha.
Bruce Bartlett makes a good point, that having the House of Representatives in the hands of the party not in control of the Presidency can be good for the party that does control the Presidency. However, there are plenty of counter examples, where the party that won the Presidency was in charge of both the Presidency and the House. That includes Bush in 2004, Lyndon Johnson in 1964, and FDR in 1936, 1940, and 1944.
Let me further point out that there are examples of a party losing the Presidency despite the opposition party being in charge of the House. That would include Nixon's loss in 1960, Ford's loss in 1976 and Gore's loss in 2000.
Thus, the historical evidence does not lean heavily enough to one side to conclude that the probability of the GOP keeping the Presidency goes way up if the Democrats are in charge of the House.
Two San Francisco Chronicle reporters are facing jail time if they do not tell prosecutors who were their sources on the Barry Bonds-steroid story. Who is to blame? Why, George W. Bush, of course! From Mike Loopy-ka:
Fainaru-Wada and Williams became the heroes of a story that began with an IRS raid on what was then a little-known Bay Area company called BALCO. They did not deal in the kind of half-truths that this administration used to send us into war in Iraq. Fainaru-Wada and Williams told us the truth. That has become a risky business, though, in George Bush's America.
Today's DC Examiner profiles Mark Warner and analyzes his presidential prospects, while RealClearPolitics points to this New York Observer piece about Warner's recent visit to New York City to woo Democratic donors in Hillary Clinton's "home" state. In my view, Warner is the most electable Democrat in 2008, and perhaps even the only electable one. Hillary Clinton may be the Democratic frontrunner, but she still faces a huge likeability problem and the major handicap of being a senator rather than an executive of some capacity. By contrast, Warner comes across as likeable and reasonable, and was the popular governor of a red state as well as a successful business executive.
All of these comments have been made here in the UNITED STATES in the last 24 hours at the United Nations General Assembly:
"The devil came here yesterday…. He came here talking as if he were the owner of the world." - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez
"If they have difference with a nation or state, they drag it to the Security Council and as claimants, arrogate to themselves simultaneously the roles of prosecutor, judge and executioner. Is this a just order?" -- Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
On our main site, David Hogberg does a great job countering the arguments of those conservatives who say that losing in November would be a good thing.
I have my own mixed feelings on this issue. First off, when discussing this topic, it's important to differentiate between the short-term and the long-term. There's no doubt in my mind that conservatives will be worse off in the next two years if Republicans lose control of Congress. In the long run, depending on what lessons Republicans learn from the loss, it could be bad, but it could trigger the type of soul searching that could renew small government conservatism. The question is whether conservatives want to accept a Speaker Nancy Pelosi for at least two years and risk having Democratic control for many more just for the mere chance that a principled Republican Party that learned the exact right lessons from their loss will re-emerge in two years.