When I criticized the Bush White House for tacitly supporting Ray Nagin for re-election as mayor of New Orleans, providing the crucial difference in his slim victory over Mitch Landrieu, a few people ignored Nagin's record of incompetence and outlandishness and demagoguery to say, well, Bush was right because the national Dems (those evil meanies!!!!) were all in line with Landrieu, and it was better to beat back the Dems. Well, well, well. I'd rather be in bed, politically speaking, with Mary Landrieu and the DNC than with Jesse Jackson. Look at page A-6 of today's Washington Post and you'll see just who it is who got an honored spot at Nagin's (re-)inauguration: The Rev. Jesse himself, in a photograph laughing with Nagin and with incompetent Gov. Kathleen Blanco -- after Jackson and others of his il.. well, his reputation, rescued Nagin with a massive vote turnout by displaced New Orleanians bused back into town.
The Spectacle Blog
Lots going on today. I'll be on "Dayside" on Fox about 1 pm EDT talking about the Haditha mess. A media feeding frenzy like this is not unusual, but can't obscure the fact that if war crimes were committed, it's not a metaphor for the whole war, and an aberration in the history of the Marines.
I'll also be guest-hosting again for Hugh Hewitt (6-9 pm EDT on Salem Radio Network, www.hughhewitt.com). Guests scheduled include Homeland Security Secretary Chertoff and The Beltway Boys - Fred Barnes and Mort Kondracke. The discussion with Chertoff will be, ah, spirited. Hope you can listen in.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.