Commentary Magazine


Flotsam and Jetsam

When Barack Obama’s passport records were accessed, it was front page news. But when an ordinary citizen’s private records are tapped after he makes problems for The One, no one seems to care. Rudy Giuliani warns about the coming thugocracy.

Stephen Green on Rep. John Murtha: “Sixty-five million years ago, Murtha was first elected to Congress. Er, excuse me, that was when the dinosaurs went extinct, probably after a meteor strike. If Murtha goes out into the dark on election day, it won’t be by accident. It will be because he’s spent his entire career tempting fate, throwing rocks into the air — and having them barely miss.” Saturday Night Live does its part.

More on the thugocracy from Stanley Kurtz.

ACORN allegations get some traction.

Yes, yes, David Frum, we get that you loathe Sarah Palin. But it’s utterly illogical and a-factual to assert that she is “bleeding” votes from the Senate GOP candidates. If they turn out for her, there’ll be more downticket votes for the latter. However, declaring that the top of the ticket is kaput is a sure-fire way to keep the base home, and make certain those Republicans stay home. Remember Jimmy Carter prematurely declaring the race over in 1980? Lots of western state Democrats do. ( I do agree on the more mild step of shifting resources, which can be done without declaring the top of the ticket dead.)

David Broder describes the tough race facing New Hampshire Senator John Sununu — and some less-than-classy behavior by his opponent.

A gracious take on the McCain camp from Mark McKinnon. Unlike other ex-advisors, McKinnon appears to grasp that there is something unseemly about kicking the campaign you left and the candidate you served, even before election day.

Joe Biden doesn’t like a tough interview — goodness knows they don’t come that often. (He also lies, saying that Obama didn’t give any money to ACORN. He gave $800,000.)

Step away from the polls. Really.

This interesting interview, with Fed Ex’s Fred Smith, provides a wealth of sage analysis on the economy and trade. Perhaps we should start looking at business leaders for high office — they might be more knowledge and have better leadership skills than many recycled politicians.

Ben Smith may be on the Democratic beat, but he gets the inside story on Sarah Palin and the McCain team exactly right.

Tony Rezko is back in an RNC website ad, but you get the sense someone found this at the bottom of a drawer. Where was this three months ago?

Fred Barnes goes after the Palin critics who never met her: “A good example is Ken Adelman, who headed the arms control agency in the Reagan administration. Adelman recently endorsed Obama and said he ‘would not have hired [Palin] for even a mid-level post in the arms control agency.’ Well, I know both Palin and Adelman. And Ken, I’m sorry to tell you, but I think there are an awful lot of jobs in Washington that Palin would get before you.” Ouch. (As for two the female pundits Barnes cites who criticize Palin–one, for peddling in identity politics and the other, for elevating cheap emotion over intellect–their arguments would have more weight if the former did not peddle bizarre sexual innuendo and the latter did not suffer from the same malady she detects in Palin.)

Along similar lines Victor Davis Hanson asks: “So why would any conservative think that Obama—friend of Ayers, Khalidi, Meeks, Pfleger, and Wright, veteran of mysterious campaigns in which rivals in 1996 and 2004 simply dropped out or were forced out, erstwhile advocate of repealing NAFTA, controlling guns, stopping new drilling and nuclear plants, zealot for bringing all troops home by March 2008, advocate of a trillion dollars in new spending, and raising the tax burden on the 5% who now pay 60% of the aggregate income taxes, supporter of more oppression studies and racial reparations—would not likewise try to govern as he has lived the last 20 years?”

Even the ultra-liberal Star-Tribune can’t stomach the idea of Al Franken in the Senate.

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