JTA reports that, according to Israel’s Channel 10, Israeli opposition leader and former Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu “may hire former White House adviser Karl Rove.” Sources “close to Netanyahu” said that “Rove’s name has come up on a roster of strategic consultants that the Israeli opposition leader is thinking of hiring as he prepares for a possible leadership challenge against the embattled Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.” Olmert recently met with President Bush and reportedly urged him to attack Iran.
Here’s Obama versus McCain by educational attainment. It’s close in every bracket except those with graduate degrees, where Obama has a big edge. When you look at these numbers it’s important to recall that the largest bloc of people with grad school diplomas are public school teachers. It sometimes gets glossed as a cohort of college professors, but overall the number of people with professionally oriented degrees (teachers, lawyers, dentists, journalism school graduates, etc.) far, far outnumbers PhDs in the United States.
From Benjamin Wallace-Wells’ “The Great Black Hope” in the November, 2004 issue of The Washington Monthly:
Four years ago, the same could have been said about Cory Booker. And so, the most compelling question about the politics of race right now may be this: Is Booker the next Barack Obama? Or is Obama the next Cory Booker? [...]
In the late 19th century, the Republican Party was operating a shameless affirmative-action program for retired Union generals from Ohio. The result was a string of mediocre presidents. In the late 20th century, Democratic Party politics created a powerful market for moderate Southern governors. The result was one middling president, Jimmy Carter, and one pretty good one, Clinton. Politics has its archetypes and its demands, and they will be heard. There’s now an emerging market for a certain kind of black president, the fulfillment of which will be both harder and, potentially, more powerful than any archetype we’ve seen before. It might be Obama, or it might be Cory Booker, or it might be someone else entirely. But chances are, somewhere in America, that person is watching Obama’s career carefully, and dreaming.
And of course what we’re seeing from Obama is that it’s hard. The sort of politician who can appeal to white voters — an Obama or a Booker — tends to run into trouble with black voters early in his career. And as Reverend Wright has made clear to all of us, a politician who threads that needle successfully can wind up haunted by his associations from back when his primary political problem was convincing black people that he was sufficiently authentic. Majority-minority districting is to blame for some of this, but it’s an intrinsic issue for black politicians as long as black and white perceptions of America remain pretty far apart.
On right-winger Mike Gallagher’s radio show today, former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX), who is currently facing charges of money laundering and conspiracy to launder money, launched a fringe attack on Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) by claiming that he is a Marxist. “I have said publicly, and I will again, that unless he proves me wrong, he is a Marxist,” DeLay declared.
Gallagher couldn’t agree more, saying “that’s what he is”:
GALLAGHER: Yeah, that’s, we hear that everyday. Congressman, every day someone will say to me, and I’ve said it, it’s as if this were a guy who’s desperately trying to cover up what seems to be the kind of old school Marxist, radical liberal failed ideology.
GALLAGHER: That’s what he is.
DELAY: No doubt about it.
The laughable Marxist charge is not a new attack from the right.
In April, after Obama made his now-infamous “bitter” remarks, Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol claimed in his New York Times column that it was a reiteration of “Marx’s famous statement about religion.” Karl Rove agreed, calling the comments “almost Marxian.”
Perhaps worse, Obama’s Senate colleague, Joe Lieberman (I-CT), told Fox News Radio that it was “a good question” to ask if Obama is “a Marxist,” though he said he would “hesitate” to call him one himself.
Transcript: Read more
Tomorrow, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) will visit the Everglades to boost his environmental credentials. But as the Wonk Room explains, a year ago, McCain aligned himself with President Bush and opposed “spending $2 billion on restoring the national park.”
After Standing Against Everglades Restoration, McCain Visits Park To Bolster Environmental Credentials
Tomorrow, to bolster his environmental credentials, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) will tour and likely marvel at the pristine Florida Everglades. What a difference a year makes: in 2007, McCain displayed far less concern for “one of America’s greatest national treasures.”
Bucking environmentalists and the state’s political establishment, who had spent seven years lobbying for sweeping Everglades cleanup legislation, McCain, too busy on the campaign trail to vote on the measure, “opposed spending $2 billion on restoring the national park,” and urged colleagues to let President Bush’s veto of the preservation bill stand:
I believe that we should be passing a bill that will authorize legitimate, needed projects without sacrificing fiscal responsibility.
But it’s not clear if McCain is familiar with what’s “needed” for Everglades restoration. The senator, who has called himself an environmentalist, “did not participate in the landmark debate over the state-federal partnership to preserve the Everglades in 2000″ and “was ‘out of town’ for the 85-1 vote in the Senate.”
In fact, McCain has “skipped every one of the 15…critical measures for the environment” in the past year and scored “a stunning zero out of 100 on the latest League of Conservation Voters Scorecard, which rates elected officials on their votes in the most recent Congress.”
McCain has been busy courting land developers who want to trample on the Everglades. Al Hoffman, a top fund raiser for McCain, and former co-chair of Bush’s presidential campaign in 2000, was the head of a group of developers who filed a legal challenge seeking to block the restoration project. At the time of the challenge, Hoffman believed that development of the Everglades was inevitable:
“You can’t stop it…There’s no power on earth that can stop it!…It’s an inevitable tidal wave!“
Indeed, despite his opportunistic photo-ops, McCain’s disastrous environmental record suggests that developers like Hoffman will certainly be unstoppable.
UPDATE: Yesterday, McCain told a group of Florida newspaper editors, “I am in favor of doing whatever’s necessary to save the Everglades.”
Daniel Pipes, a far right-wing pseudo scholar who called the NIE report on the halting of Iran’s nuclear program a “shoddy, politicized, outrageous parody of a piece of propaganda,” said he believes that President Bush will attack Iran if a Democrat wins the White House in November. During an interview posted at the National Review Online, Pipes said that the U.S. and its allies should tell Tehran to “watch out” for “an American attack”:
What I suspect will be the case is, should the Democratic nominee win in November, President Bush will do something. And should it be Mr. McCain that wins, he’ll punt, and let McCain decide what to do.
Pipes also said that countries like Russia and China should aid the U.S. in pressuring Iran, if they want to prevent America attacking unilaterally:
Look, if you don’t want an American attack, then you have to join us in being very serious with the Iranians and making clear to them we will attack if they don’t stop.
Pipes, who has a history of what The Nation calls “signature distortions,” is just the latest in a rising chorus of voices advocating that Bush attack Iran before his term ends. The Israeli newspaper Yediot Achronot reported that Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert planned to encourage Bush to prepare an attack against Iran during his meeting with the President yesterday.
Kabul and the war against the Taliban had not sufficed, for those were Arabs who struck America on 9/11. A war of deterrence had to be waged against Arab radicalism, and Saddam Hussein had drawn the short straw. He had not ducked, he had not scurried for cover. He openly mocked America’s grief, taunted its power.
Astonishing is more like it. Reprehensible, even more. Better yet: Racist. How else to describe the notion that, because Arabs planned and carried out the 9/11 attacks, other Arabs had to be punished, regardless of whether they had anything to do with the 9/11 attacks?
While it’s chilling to consider that Ajami is regarded as one of the “smart” neocons, all this really means is that he offers a more erudite colonialist essentialism in service of disastrously counterproductive military adventures. The statement above is basically just a more lettered, less village idiot version of the “Michael Ledeen Doctrine“, as relayed by Jonah Goldberg: “Every ten years or so, the United States needs to pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show the world we mean business.”
Nice war you got there, guys.
I suppose I was heartened, in a partisan sense, to read Sebastian Mallaby proclaim Barack Obama the candidate of growth, but this part of the argument isn’t really very convincing (other parts, I think, are pretty much right) now is it:
Provided that Obama finds a way of crawling back from his embarrassing talk of reopening NAFTA, the gap between his trade views and McCain’s doesn’t much matter.
One could say much the same about all the areas of dispute between Obama and McCain — if we assume that one of the candidates doesn’t actually mean what he’s proposing, then there’s not much daylight between the two of them! To me, though, the widespread belief among Obamaphilic free traders that he doesn’t really mean what he says about trade policy is a curious phenomenon. You look at Hillary Clinton’s anti-trade rhetoric and you see it coming from a woman with a long association with the free trade faction of the Democratic Party and maybe think, “well, she doesn’t mean that.”
But Obama’s trade-skeptical rhetoric is perfectly consistent with his record. Admittedly, it’s a pretty short record. And maybe he doesn’t mean what he’s saying. Or maybe he does mean it, but could be talked out of it once in the White House. But maybe not! Really, who among us is in any position to say? But he’s a charismatic guy, so people see what they want to see.
According to a new poll from Public Agenda, nearly 50 percent of those who follow the situation in Iran say “the one” best way to deal with Iran is through using diplomacy “to establish better relations.” Only five percent favor threatening military action, down from nine percent in fall 2007. Seven percent support taking military action:
(HT: Democracy Arsenal)