Dispatches > The Buzz

Blogwatch

Issue: "Daniel of the Year 2003," Dec. 13, 2003

The 'unseemly' Mrs. Clinton

Mickey Kaus (kausfiles.com) may claim to be a Democrat, but the joy he takes in pouncing on his fellow party-members makes Blog Watch wonder. Target 1 for Mr. Kaus was Hillary Clinton, whose behavior while in Iraq caused Mr. Kaus to "remember why I used to loathe her." He observed "something unseemly about Clinton's inability to refrain from sniping at Bush until she returned home.... If Hillary had gone to Iraq and flat-out blasted Bush, that would have been fine by me. The problem is she smarmily wanted to have it both ways, pretending her trip was in part a morale-building visit to the troops."

Kaus target 2 is Democratic frontrunner Howard Dean: When asked whether the United States or the World Court should try Osama bin Laden if he were captured, Dr. Dean responded, "It doesn't make a lot of difference to me as long as he is brought to justice. I think that's the critical part of that." Mr. Kaus pointed out why no capture would be better than an international tribunal: "We don't really want bin Laden tried anywhere, which would only give him a global media platform. We probably want him killed upon capture. (Barring that, I suspect the Bush administration would just as soon hold him secretly if possible.) ... If we have to give bin Laden a trial upon capture, we might choose not to capture him at all , but rather leave him at large (and relatively underpublicized) while we try to roll up his organization."

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Hugh Hewitt (hughhewitt.com) joined Mr. Kaus in his criticism of Dr. Dean's statements: "I remain amazed by this response, as it shows-completely-that Dr. Dean is unqualified to be president.... He really is off the left edge of the political spectrum, unconcerned with the opinions of the mass of Americans. An elitist, in other words; and elitists don't get to be president."

Doyle's dance

Boots and Sabers (bootsand sabers.com) is keeping accountable politicians such as Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle, who vetoed six school-choice bills before the Thanksgiving break, trying to slide under the radar his rejection of the popular legislation. Blogger Owen noted that the measures "were included in the last budget, but Jim Doyle vetoed them, saying that they should not be part of the budget. Fair enough. The legislature passed them as independent bills. He vetoed them again. Doyle won't even give a real reason for the vetoes. He has refused to meet with the legislators who drafted the bills to try to work out a compromise. There will be no compromise with Jim Doyle. The teachers union says, 'veto' and Jim Doyle says, 'how much?' It's as simple as that."

Evan Kirchoff (101-280.com) offered career advice: Covering the ongoing California supermarket strike, he included some observations about "living wage" proposals, which he said rely on "the pretense that increasingly valueless labor is worth more than it really is. In fact, I would say that we have a positive moral duty in the opposite direction: Our priority should be to discourage young people (for example, through low wages) from becoming lifelong grocery baggers in the first place, since that profession is about to die and their labor is urgently needed elsewhere in the economy."

The Democrats' reality show

WORLD's blog (worldmagblog.com) discussed, among other things, two vaunted news developments: Liberals are talking about setting up a new television network (as though they don't have plenty already), and Democratic second-tier presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich is talking about finding a wife (and apparently finding dozens of applicants). Our suggestion: "Why not combine the two desires by producing a show, 'Joe President,' in which cuties would compete for the hand of the next president, only to find out later that he's a political loser?" (We add "a parental advisory: Kucinich does have kinky tastes, since he only wants a wife who demands 'universal single-payer health care.'")

Worldmagblog also analyzed similarities and differences between conservatives and libertarians by examining a new Reason magazine article, "35 Heroes of Freedom." The two groups would have some in common, such as Milton Friedman, Clarence Thomas, and Brian Lamb of C-SPAN. But others on the libertarian list included Madonna, who helped "destroy whatever vestiges of repressive mainstream sensibilities still remained," and pornographer Larry Flynt, who helped "to strengthen First Amendment protections for free expression." (How about degradation of women and enslavement of some men?) The problem with the non-Christian variety of libertarianism is its amorality.

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