The Spectacle Blog

Bad Mood Rising

By on 6.2.06 | 8:15AM

Just one look at today's lineup on Congress, immigration, and immigration punditry makes it clear as a polished dagger that a profound disgust has gathered in America. It is not only the disgust of Conservatives, but I believe it is a thoroughly conservative disgust.

One way of thinking about this difference is to read Peggy Noonan's meditation on the possibility of a third-party revival in 2008. This kind of talk has never been really infrequent in modern American politics, but that it even can be taken half-seriously now is nothing short of astounding. "It wasn't meant to be this way," one feels -- but then again, that's the coda of feeling that embodies our whole problem.

Kavanaugh and Bush

By on 6.1.06 | 9:08PM

Quin, you are right to praise both Kavanaugh and Bush today.

But on Bush, it would be nice for him to act on judges when the cameras are not rolling. We can scream to high heaven for the Senate to act on the President's nominees, but let's face it -- Bill Frist isn't sweating it because President Bush is not applying pressure. More and more, judicial confirmations hearings look like occasional bones to appease upset conservatives.

Kavanaugh was superb

By on 6.1.06 | 6:47PM

By the way, now-Judge Kavanaugh acquitted himself (pun sort of intended) very well indeed at his swearing in, with very appropriate and wise and respectful words about a judge's role and the necessity of humility, etc. He will make a superb judge -- and, perhaps, down the line, a superb Justice!

Also terrific today was President Bush, who took the opportunity not only to heap praise upon his longtime aide, but also to pointedly make the case for all judicial nominees to get a fair, open, unfilibustered, up-or-down vote on the Senate floor. Great stuff, all around!

Of Starr and Ashcroft

By on 6.1.06 | 6:32PM

At the White House today to see young Brett Kavanaugh be sworn in as the newest federal appellate judge, in this case the important DC Circuit Court of Appeals, I had the chance to speak to a number of the stars of the conservative legal firmament, and was reminded again just what good and decent people we have on our side -- starting with a real Starr, former judge and independent counsel Kenneth Starr. What a warm and gracious gentleman he is! The media caricature of him as a modern-day Grand Inquisitor is so far off the mark, so almost-criminally unfair and removed from reality, as to condemn that caricature's purveyors (if there is any justice) to at least severe danger of long-term residence in one of the realms (or circles) about which Dante wrote. The truth is that Judge Starr is a great American who took on a very tough job and did his duty with honor and care. Sure, critics can carp that he did not always handle the political side well in what became a sickeningly politicized investigation -- politicized, mind you, not by Starr but by his critics.

O’Reilly Factor tonite: The Haditha Story

By on 6.1.06 | 12:52PM

The military is handling the Haditha incident in precisely the right way. Though the Pentagon can't speak about the investigation, the media wants to corner it in a "damned if it does, and damned if it doesn't" position. (see my column in RealClearPolitics today).

I'll be on the O'Reilly Factor tonight about 8:30 or 8:40 to talk about Haditha. Hope you can catch it.

Still a Good Catholic School or Two

By on 6.1.06 | 9:12AM

Despite Notre Dame's apparent retreat from its Catholic identity with Fr. Jenkins's decision this spring to allow the Vagina Monologues, a committed core is still carrying the torch for distinctly Catholic education. Icarus Fallen has more.

Staying Home This November?

By on 5.31.06 | 10:26PM

Some conservative bloggers and many of our readers have suggested that they will stay home from the polls this November as retribution for the Republicans' shameful showing in Congress.

As an apparent answer to that argument, the guys at RedState took a look at who would chair Congressional committees if Democrats were in charge. It is enough to make you vote for Mike DeWine.

That said, I think some very smart people on the right are falling into the trap of looking at these local and state elections through such a national lens. Yes, national events and Congressional actions impact those races. But ultimately, what will matter, is how your guy voted. Urging Republicans to hit the polls or stay home is largely futile -- if they have a good candidate, who well represents his district, they will turn out. If he is a RINO representing St. George, Utah, he will be sent packing.

Radioactive Champagne?

By on 5.31.06 | 10:09PM

According to this report in the FT, the French region of Champagne may be threatened by groundwater containing nuclear waste. Champagne, according to Churchill, is bottled sunshine. Maybe it'll glow in the dark.

Knock Yourself Out, Mr. President

By on 5.31.06 | 5:48PM

Hastert Hits Milestone

By on 5.31.06 | 5:17PM

When I wrote today's column, I did not realize that tomorrow, Thursday, Hastert becomes the longest-serving Republican Speaker of the House in history. More reason for him, after tomorrow, to rest on his laurels and announce that this will be his last term -- not in Congress, but as Speaker.

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