The Lonely Centrist

A place for reasoned debate about the issues of the day.

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Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Why Didn't Bush Think of That?

According to an article in the New York Observer, John McCain has stumbled across a solution to Iraq that no one else has thought of yet:

“One of the things I would do if I were President would be to sit the Shiites and the Sunnis down and say, ‘Stop the bullshit,’” said Mr. McCain,
I can just see the President, Joe Lieberman, Colin Powell, John Kerry, and other leaders all across America, reading this and going "D'oh!" while slapping their foreheads, sort of like an old V-8 commercial. And this qualifies as "straight talk?"

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Who Cares About Valerie Plame?

So, Valerie Plame has an advance of $2.5 million dollars for her memoirs.

Why would anyone want to read it? Valerie Plame is a name because her name was leaked as the person who suggested sending her husband, Joe Wilson, on a diplomatic/intelligence mission. But has there been, at any point, anything to suggest that her story is particularly interesting? More so than that of hundreds of other CIA operatives?

Well, for those of you who are interested, here is the sneak summary:

Chapter 1: I was really important at the CIA. Most every acheivement there was due to me.

Chapter 2: I had nothing to do with any faulty intelligence leading up to Iraq. Watch me heroically fight the Bush Administration's efforts.

Chapter 3: I suggest my husband for a job, because he's the best man available.

Chapter 4: Joe proves there was no sponge cake - I mean, yellow cake - in Niger.

Chapter 5: Evil Bush people try to set me up to be killed., especially Karl Rove. Did you know he has hoofed feet! Really! That's why you never see pictures of him without shoes on. And Robert Novak's a bad guy, too.

Chapter 6: The persecution of me of Joe by Dick Cheney and other evil Bushies.

Chapter 7: I worry about America's future under Republicans. Pretty soon, we'll be a dictatorship!

There, just saved you $22.95.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Is White Guilt Paralyzing America?

A fine column by Shelby Steele.

I think Steele has it about right. But although Steele limits his comments to foreign policy, the same paralysis of white guilt increasingly afflicts sound domestic policy.

It's interesting to note that America has become the whipping boy for 19th and early 20th century imperialism even thought the U.S. was the most innocent of nations. The U.S. blundered into imperialism when it won the Spanish War, and was never comfortable with the role. By 1902, just four years after the war, Cuba was independent, though, of course, the American role remained large for many decades. The other major acquisition of the War, the Philipines, was also on a timetable for independence by the time World War II broke out. Meanwhile, I think it is fair to say that there is no nation that has done as much as the U.S. to spread peace, prosperity, and freedom around the globe.

Like any nation, any people, and indeed any individual, the U.S. has its black marks. But these black marks cannot, must not, prevent the U.S. from acting decisively and confidently on the world stage.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Straight Talk

Now here's some real straight talk: Speaking on Imus in the Morning, John McCain says his oath to protect and defend the Constitution comes after his obsession with campaign finance reform.

The quote:

"He [Michael Graham] also mentioned my abridgement of First Amendment rights, i.e. talking about campaign finance reform....I know that money corrupts....I would rather have a clean government than one where quote First Amendment rights are being respected, that has become corrupt. If I had my choice, I'd rather have the clean government."

And the link.

Meanwhile, the New York Times has an article of some relevance to the hypocrisy of GOP centrists on this issue.

  • The Skeptic
  • Andrew Sullivan
  • Michael Barone
  • The New Republic
  • National Review
  • Democracy Project
  • Bob Bauer
  • Center for Competitive Politics
  • Ryan Sager
  • Going to the Matt
  • Professor Bainbridge
  • Volokh Conspiracy
  • Mystery Pollster
  • Amitai Etzioni
  • Alexander Chrenkoff
  • Middle East Media Research Institute
  • Right Democrat
  • Democrats for Life