Saturday, June 23, 2007

Republicons: The Linkening

Ack, I'm behind on current events. So, behold, the directionless megapost that mortal men call – LINK BLOGGING!

Dana Perino. You know, it is kind of interesting just how often these constitutional questions are posed by the Bush administration.

Yes, that's right. Mr. Cheney says the Vice President is some kind of extra-constitutional body that transcends the normal dimensions of governance. Neither fully legislative or fully executive it enters into that strange place known as....the Totalitarian Zone!!!

If I may, I have some expertise in this matter having, apparently unlike anyone in the VPOTUS's office, actually read the constitution. In it, the Vice President has a sum total of exactly two functions. The first, to cast the deciding vote if the Senate is deadlocked (It, by definition, having an even number of members that prospect must have seemed likely at the time. Of course, things like the fillibuster and cloture rules make it largely superfluous today.). And the second, to wait around in case something happens to the President. That's it. The story of how it's been twisted and transformed throughout the years – as has the president's office – is an interesting one. But hopefully when it's written, Mr. Cheney's chapter is going to be a dark, cautionary tale.

I'd say something about the continuing US Attorney flap but, at this point, it's descended into such depths that I can't bring myself to stop laughing long enough. Because when I do, I start sobbing uncontrollably.

Seriously, these are the idiots who are running our country?

Personally, I'm also of the belief that a potential Bloomberg run is more problematic for the right than it is for the left. Democrats are fervently motivated, energized (Largely thanks to the fallout effects of the politics of resentment practiced by the Republicans), and eager to put anyone other than Bush's heir in office. And they've had several cycles to repeat the “Votes for Nader cost us” narrative. So it's unlikely that many are going to be peeled away. On the other side of the aisle, Bloomberg's natural constituency seems to be, not the consultants he can lavish money on, but the Rockefeller Republicans; liberal on social issues and even foreign policy but staunchly pro-business. Liberal to moderate Republicans – and they do exist, somewhere, and not only in the dead end 26%ers - can't be very happy with their party and their potential candidates. Bloomberg would seem tailor fit to appeal to those conservatives discouraged and disillusioned by the past six+ years. So, he grabs more Republican votes than Democratic ones and, likely, it's a wash with independents. The real question is where this takes place. If Bloomberg's presence affects the electoral map at all it matters a great deal if it happens broadly or in Democratic or Republican strongholds. But, at the very least, he causes the Republicans to burn time and money defending their right flank.

The doomsday scenario here, of course, is that Bloomberg fractures the grand Republican coalition of pro-business types, foreign policy hawks, and social conservatives. If that's the case, you could have something like the election of 1860 where one side of the ballot disintegrated into squabbling factions. That, of course, led to civil war. I think that a case more like 2000, 1992, or even 1980 where a small margin for a third party candidate is going to influence the results, somehow. But it's a pretty stunning turn around considering that just a few short years ago it was looking like the Democratic Party was about to implode, resulting in a political realignment and the long-awaited Sixth Party System. So much for the Rovian vision of an everlasting Republican empire, huh?

I, for one, think the CIA is great, just, and kind. And I'm certainly not saying this because I fear being monitored, kidnapped, and then experimented on.

Giuliani tries to talk his way out of his latest mess. You know, the one the press seems to be strangely silent on. The one where he's off accepting speaking fees instead of trying to fix the Iraq mess? It's something you really have to read since it's laughable.

But this whole mess does point out the fact that, as Mr. Yglessias mentions, Giuliani is in the awkward position of anointing himself as the foreign policy candidate while being not only curiously disinterested in actual foreign policy but also stunningly uneducated about it. He, more than anyone else, has built his campaign on the shattered remains of 9/11. On the idea that he, and he alone, can best protect the nation. But he's been studiously silent about the looming issue of Iraq. And that's not something he can really keep up even with the complicit media fawning over him.

This is someone the people running our country find rather influential talking about bombing Iran. I'll be huddling in the corner now.

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