Dispatches > The Buzz

Blogwatch

Issue: "The Kennedy Assassination," Nov. 22, 2003

Lie and load

Do North Korea's and Iran's dictators have better timing than Iraq's did? Catfish and Cod (catfishncod.blogspot.com) recounted Saddam Hussein's strategy that almost worked: "First, claim that you're a perfectly legitimate country with a perfectly legal and peaceful set of programs. When details pop up to the contrary, throw the weapons inspectors out. Then you can negotiate to have them return, along with your declaration of a 'full and complete accounting' of your program. This should give you the few more months you need to complete your program." Saddam tried that approach, but "North Korea pulled the same trick ... and now they have a full nuclear program and at least two bombs. Now Iran is trying the exact same trick."

On Veterans Day readers could catch ruminations in the Evangelical Outpost (evangelicaloutpost.com) on a recruiting trip by a Marine to Evergreen State College in the state of Washington. There he met a girl who thought he was a Canadian Mountie because she had never heard of the Marines-and this made him happy: "The young girl had the luxury of being uninformed about the military because my fellow Marines had bought that liberty for her.... We often say that freedom can only truly be appreciated when it's taken away. While that may be true, I believe that it can only be enjoyed when it can be taken for granted. When we have to concentrate on each breath, we cannot enjoy our health. When a country's citizens have to remain constantly vigilant, they cannot enjoy liberty."

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Afraid of a debate?

Senate Democratic complaints about Republican attempts to break through the Dems' blockade of judicial nominees didn't win sympathy from Owen at Boots and Sabers (bootsandsabers.com). When Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) argued, "It's inappropriate that we are not going to be able to work through this week; we're going to take two days to talk about judges," Owen responded: (1) Debating judicial nominees is working. That's part of the Senate's job. (2) This wouldn't be happening if the Senate Democrats weren't abusing their duty to "advise and consent" by blocking a vote on qualified candidates with the filibuster process. (3) Methinks that the Dems are a little too upset by this. If they believe that they are on the right side of the issue, then why are they upset about having to debate? If they think that their position is defensible, you'd think that they would welcome the opportunity to highlight it.

But desperate times require desperate measures, and Democrats are looking for traction, especially as the economy seems to be rebounding. Admiral Quixote's Roundtable (solport.com/roundtable) predicts a Bush victory in 2004, no matter what happened to his dad: "While the economy was a factor in the defeat of Bush, Sr., it was not the only factor. In my opinion, the most important factor in the Bush/Clinton election was Ross Perot. Studies have shown that Perot voters disproportionately drew from Republican voters and the split gave Clinton the victory.... Unless the Republican vote is somehow split in 2004, I expect George W. Bush to easily win reelection even if the economy goes into another recession."

A movement goes full circle

James Taranto (opinionjournal.com/best) thinks the Janice Rogers Brown judicial nomination battle signals the end of the civil-rights movement. He notes this from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution: "Prominent blacks charged President Bush deliberately chose a conservative black woman so it would be harder for senators to vote against her." Mr. Taranto: "Having long ago achieved the indisputably noble goal of ensuring that America lives up to the promise of equal justice under the law for all citizens regardless of race, the civil-rights movement turned to the more dubious pursuit of 'affirmative action.' Now, however, they are complaining that blacks receive favorable treatment.... The civil-rights movement has a proud and grand history. Now that its leaders are reduced to carping over what used to be termed 'reverse discrimination,' it seems safe to say that the problems that necessitated the movement are history as well."

Mr. Taranto also commented on the decision by Browning Construction Co. not to build an Austin, Texas, abortion center for Planned Parenthood (see worldmagblog.com). Complaints from the left, Mr. Taranto wrote, are "emblematic in so many ways of the state of American liberalism today. For one thing, shouldn't liberals applaud a business that decides in the name of a higher ideal to forgo an opportunity to make a profit?"

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