The Spectacle Blog

Baker’s Coven

By on 9.13.06 | 2:09PM

This report in Washington Monthly could be good news, or it could be bad. It says that Jim Baker is becoming the key man for an end game in Iraq. While Baker clearly is good at managing end games, and is ruthlessly competent, I think more of the tea leaves here point to the WRONG end game. It looks to me like Baker is intent on managing an exit strategy, when what is needed is a VICTORY strategy. Anything that involves the former without the latter would be a cop-out and a betrayal of all who have fought and been injured or died in Iraq. Of course, it was Jim Baker's State Department (April whassername) who gave Saddam the clear impression that he could waltz into Kuwait unmolested in 1990 in the first place, and Baker has always been far less of a friend to Israel than to wrongheaded (and in effect, anti-Israeli) notions of "stability" on a region. Sept. 11 of 2001 showed us what a fat lot of good "stability" did us.

Steele Yourselves for Battle

By on 9.13.06 | 10:49AM

This entry from the Real Clear Politics blog explains why the most fascinating race to watch in November, and perhaps the one that's most exciting for conservatives, might be Michael Steele's battle for U.S. Senate. Really interesting stuff.

Chafee Wins

By on 9.13.06 | 7:58AM

Which means that in November Rhode Island voters will have a choice between a Democrat and a Democrat.

Indeed, going into the primary Chafee even adopted the worst tactics of the Dems, making baseless charges of voter intimidation.

Add to that the shameful way the National Republican Senatorial Committee treated Steve Laffey, and this whole episode stinks like three day old fish.


By on 9.13.06 | 2:15AM

Indeed, Chafee has won. In the Maryland primary, Ben Cardin is leading; he'll be a tougher challenger for Michael Steele than Kweisi Mfume, but he'll also be a less-bad Senator than Mfume.

(As long-time readers may recall, I live in a neighborhood where there aren't any seriously contested Republican primaries in which the victor has a real shot at winning office, so I'm a registered Democrat. I took the risk-averse route and voted for Cardin.)

Chafee vs. Laffey

By on 9.12.06 | 10:31PM

I'm hanging out with the Club for Growth gang, following returns in the Rhode Island primary. Pat Toomey looks very unhappy -- which is to say, it's looking like Chafee is going to win.

Conservatives Against The GOP

By on 9.12.06 | 2:12PM

Washington Monthly publishes essays by conservatives Jeffrey Hart, Christopher Buckley, Bruce Bartlett, William Niskanen, Bruce Fein and Richard Viguerie -- all arguing that Republicans should lose the midterm elections.

I challenge anybody to make the case for Republicans -- without mentioning Democrats.

Oliver Stone, The Triangulator

By on 9.12.06 | 2:00PM

The Globe and Mail reports:

U.S. filmmaker Oliver Stone, who surprised many with the patriotic flavour of his new film World Trade Center, hinted in Moscow yesterday that he is considering a more controversial follow-up investigating the "conspiracy" around 9/11.

"There is a great story in a movie, a conspiracy by a group of people in the American administration who have an agenda and who used 9/11 to further that agenda," he told journalists in Russia.

Link via Alarming News.

The Conservative Case Against Pork

By on 9.12.06 | 11:51AM

Actually, it isn't made by a conservative, but by a liberal over at The New Republic, Bradford Plumer:

The point is this: Any big-government program on the progressive wish list will likely prove even more difficult to pass than the 1986 tax reform or 1993 budget. Single-payer health care? Card check for unions? Reductions in carbon emissions? It won't get done without an orgy of earmarks to entice the inevitable skeptics in Congress. That won't be pretty, but if the price of, say, universal insurance is a bit of borderline corruption here and there, it's a tradeoff worth making. And, while it's also true that conservatives can use earmarks to pass their own massive spending programs--the prescription-drug benefit comes to mind--in the long run, institutional mechanisms that are biased toward activist government will favor liberals.

If the right ever needed an air-tight reason why to oppose pork, that's it. Let's hope Plumer's column gets read by every Congressional member of the GOP.