Sunday, June 24, 2007

 

Quick hits

David Ignatius in today’s Post:

“When foreign policy gurus Henry Kissinger, Zbigniew Brzezinski and Brent Scowcroft all start saying the same thing, it's time to pay attention.” David Ignatius - Wise Advice: Listen, and Engage

When you hear Europhiles extol the need to “Listen and Engage”, it’s usually short for “Listen and Engage then follow their advice”. And, besides, when did these three become “gurus”?… Zbigniew Brzezinski?...Doesn’t anybody writing for the Post remember the Carter years?

Michael Bloomberg is all the rage today and a former advisor is fairly gushing over the prospect of his presidential candidacy:

“[Some people]…are eager for him to bring his brand of party-blind leadership to Washington. If you believe the polls, the American public seems to want the same thing.”

These are the telling polls:

“…80% said it was 'very important' that the next President be a person who can unite the country, and 82% said the same about the need for a competent manager. . . . Another 58% said it was 'very important' the next President be able to cross party lines to work with political opponents.”

Well obviously the groundwork for the revolution is in place.

The author, Jonathan Capehart, also thinks it compelling that

“As a Republican in a 5 to 1 majority Democratic city, Bloomberg had to work across party lines to get all of that done.”

His Republicanism was strictly an affiliation of convenience; one that barely even had lip service paid to it. So acting as a nanny state liberal in an overwhelmingly Democratic city hardly establishes ones bona-fides as the king of nonpartisanship.

Later Mr. Capehart acknowledges the problems with third party candidacies:

“Ross Perot pulled in 19 percent of the vote in 1992 against President George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton. Ralph Nader has been called a spoiler who took enough votes away from Vice President Al Gore to allow George W. Bush to win the presidency in 2000, and Bloomberg would run the risk of doing something similar in 2008."

Well, Ross Perot has also been called a spoiler - for the votes he arguably took away from George H. W. Bush, thus allowing Bill Clinton to win…but you don’t get the sense that that’s what Mr. Capehart thinks Mr. Bloomberg would be “risking”, do you?

“Still, what he says is needed in Washington would require a self-assured, unbeholden and fearless man or woman in the White House, one willing to walk through the meat grinder of highly organized special-interest opposition to make Still, what he says is needed in Washington would require a self-assured, unbeholden and fearless man or woman in the White House, one willing to walk through the meat grinder of highly organized special-interest opposition to make the tough decisions the American people are clamoring for.”

“…the tough decisions the American people are clamoring for.” Such language is appropriate for an easily dismissed press release of a campaign but this comes from a member of the Post’s editorial page staff (which is Mr. Capehart’s job when he is not auditioning for a role in Mr. Bloomberg’s prospective campaign).

If the American people are clamoring for something, giving it to them isn’t a politically tough decision. The tough ones arise when there is no consensus. I’ve no doubt Mr. Bloomberg is capable of making tough decisions – you don’t achieve his level of success without that skill – but any such decisions are going to look incredibly partisan to the losing side(s) and hardly cast him as a unifier.

(…and be on the lookout for more hard-hitting analyses from the Post editorial staff.)

Speaking of potential unifiers: Coal Fuels A Debate Over Obama

“More broadly, Obama's contortions on coal point to the limits of the role he likes to assume, that of a unifier who can appeal across traditional lines and employ a "new kind of politics" to solve problems. In reaching out to the coal industry, some observers say, he may have been trying to show that he is a different sort of Democrat, but the gesture had the look of old-style politicking and put him in a corner, where he wound up alienating some on both sides of the issue.”

But perhaps I’m being a bit unfair to the junior Senator from Illinois; after all, he wasn’t afraid to go in front of the Christian Left to criticize the Christian Right.

Comments:
In fairness to Brzezinski, he was probably the smartest guy in the Carter White House and later distanced himself from Carter's policies pretty sharply. Certainly smarter and more ethical than Carter himself.
 
..do you realize how damning a description that is of the Carter administration?
 
Talk about going after the low hanging fruit!
 
"Talk about going after the low hanging fruit!"

another one of the few jobs Americans will still do
 
Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link



<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Preview on Feedage: maryland-conservatarian
Add to Windows Live iPing-it