The Politics of Hope!

December 27, 2007

Most of the presidential candidates have been shamelessly capitalizing on Benazir Bhutto’s assassination, but Barack Obama moves beyond the realm of shameless self-promotion and into the category of despicable. This, from Time (H/T: TalkLeft):

Bhutto’s death will “call into issue the judgment: who’s made the right judgments,” [Obama advisor] Axelrod said. “Obviously, one of the reasons that Pakistan is in the distress that it’s in is because al-Qaeda is resurgent, has become more powerful within that country and that’s a consequence of us taking the eye off the ball and making the wrong judgment in going into Iraq. That’s a serious difference between these candidates and I’m sure that people will take that into consideration.”

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Bhutto Assassinated

December 27, 2007

Former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto was assassinated today in Rawalpindi, after leaving a campaign rally for the upcoming parliamentary elections. Pajamas Media has a roundup of reactions. And don’t miss analysis of the situation by Juan Cole (Informed Comment).

The Clinton Legacy

December 27, 2007

Ann Althouse blogs that Hillary Clinton is trying to have her cake and eat it too, by claiming the Clinton legacy as qualifying experience while simultaneously trying to distance herself from it enough to avoid responsibility for it. Althouse writes:

Spare me the “formal role”/”tangentially involved” niceties, and hold her to account. Make her defend Bill Clinton’s decisions or tell us exactly what she thinks he did wrong. And don’t let her dodge around by playing on our feelings about the marital relationship.

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The First Noel

December 27, 2007

The first Noel the angel did say
Was to certain poor shepherds in fields as they lay;
In fields as they lay, keeping their sheep,
On a cold winter’s night that was so deep.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel,
Born is the King of Israel.

I haven’t written very much about religion lately, though it may surprise some to know that religious blogging used to be my little niche in the blogging world. Still, as I read that the Salvation Army is falling short of its red kettle goals across the country – here at home as well as elsewhere – I can’t help but think that we’ve all missed the point. We spend more and more every holiday season, this year’s disappointment over a 2.8% increase in consumer spending not withstanding. Why can we increase consumer spending by 2.8% but fall short in caring for the poor?

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Mike Huckabee, Putting the Christ in Politics

December 18, 2007

So Mike Huckabee has this ad out wishing all of us a “Merry Christmas” (not “Happy Holidays”), and politely telling all of his political opponents that ’tis the season to shut up about his flaws. Why? Because Jesus likes it that way.

You can’t make this stuff up.

H/T: Captain’s Quarters.

Andrew Sullivan Backs Paul

December 18, 2007

Andrew Sullivan has endorsed Ron Paul. More at the Political Inquirer.

Iowa First Lady Backs Edwards

December 17, 2007

Blogging for the Political Inquirer, I write that Iowa first lady Mari Culver has endorsed former Sen. John Edwards. Noting that all these endorsements of other candidates are bad news for Iowa front runner Barack Obama, I also point out that Edwards has a new issue to counter Obama’s claim to idealism and Clinton’s claim to experience: electability.

First, this endorsement means that John Edwards is still very much in this race. With Clinton and Obama playing their endless game of Presidential Death Match, it’s Edwards who stands to gain the most from their mudslinging. Recent polling shows that Edwards’ strength lies in his electability, with him polling much better than either Clinton or Obama against any of the possible Republican nominees. The issue of electability could matter a lot to Democrats going forward, because the last thing Democrats want to see is a Republican administration that will continue Bush’s business as usual.

As an opponent of Obama’s candidacy – too far left for me – this is welcome news. I would prefer to see Clinton as the Democratic nominee, but if that’s not possible, Edwards will do.