The Spectacle Blog

George Allen’s Jewishness

By on 9.21.06 | 9:23AM

So George Allen is a born Jew. Hear all about it.

The Corner featured some misguided responses to his debate answer earlier this week.

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.

Ann Nails It

By on 9.21.06 | 8:19AM

As much as I think Ann Coulter crosses way over the line at times, the fact that she does have balls that are big and made of brass comes in handy:

By the way, how did the Geneva Conventions work out for McCain at the Hanoi Hilton?

Yep, that pretty well hits the nail on the head.

Give The President A Foil?

By on 9.21.06 | 8:07AM

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.

That Little Wimp On The Sports Reporters

By on 9.20.06 | 4:50PM

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.

Warner: Hillary Slayer?

By on 9.20.06 | 3:34PM

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.

The Ugly, the Bad, and the Good

By on 9.20.06 | 12:31PM

All of these comments have been made here in the UNITED STATES in the last 24 hours at the United Nations General Assembly:

The Ugly

"The devil came here yesterday…. He came here talking as if he were the owner of the world." - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez

Ugly Runner-Up

"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


The Bad

Losing In November

By on 9.20.06 | 11:18AM

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.

Hmm…There Appears to be a Coup Happening

By on 9.20.06 | 8:39AM

So reads the title of a post from yesterday on Heather Roscoe's wonderful blog about her life and times as a volunteer in Thailand, Lost on Earth. While I would highly recommend the site any day, Roscoe's blurb on the normalcy of life outside of Bangkok during this time of political upheaval is worth checking out.

Come up, Pence

By on 9.19.06 | 9:17PM

Good comments all re: this morning's breakfast -- an excellent event and even better kickoff. And yes, anchoring the awful titular pun is the idea that conservative Republicans will get their comeuppance in '06 according to Pence's zippy formula: what we need are more conservative GOPers, not more liberal democrats. It sounds fine as a stump line, but there's just one problem: Congress is so tightly polarized that a handful of switched seats, particularly in the Senate, can tip the balance in favor of the Dems.

I like and trust Pence -- he has a first-rate team working with him at the RSC, too -- but the argument can be made that the party won't bet on real conservatives unless those conservatives hold seats vital to the party's fortunes. And that means sitting conservatives, the status quo. Regardless of whether or not this is fair, the question must be asked: how can Congress possibly add new -- that is, more -- conservatives, particularly in a hunker-down, circle-the-wagons election cycle? (I'd hoped to ask this question, but duty called in Georgetown.)