Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Fukuyama's Regret

Francis Fukuyama, perhaps the foremost conservative thinker of the past 20 years, has a fairly scathing opinion piece on the folly of Bush's foreign policy. I expect this will make pretty big waves in conservative discussion circles over the next few days. Who will be the first stooge at The Corner to argue that Fukuyama has lost his conservative credentials?

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Oh, Jonah

He did it! Godwin's law has been upheld yet again. Jonah Goldberg took the Cindy Sheehan discussion to a predictable conclusion, and realized along the way that he had dug himself quite a hole. Watch him backtrack here and here.

A very weird aspect of his latter post is where he decries the left doing guilt-by-assocation with groups such as the so-called "Minuteman" (the border vigilantes), when that is precisely what he's trying to do with Sheehan. It seems that his own follow-up point argues against his original post. I emailed him with that point and he promptly responded:

not really. the point is that when the left does it, as in that example, it's

So, to summarize Jonah: implying that a grieving war mother is in cahoots with Nazis is okay, but questioning the motives of border vigilantes is crossing the line. Or, a more concise summary: it's only wrong if you're on the left.

Jonah is actually one of my favorite conservative writers, along with Andrew Sullivan, but like Sullivan he feels obliged to make at least one bat-shit crazy post per year.

Friday, August 19, 2005


I haven't commented on this story about Cindy Sheehan and her son Casey, partly because it has been so grotesquely used by pundits and bloggers on the far right and left. Juan Cole calls her a media whore and Michelle Malkin employs the improbable phrase "grief pimps" to describe Sheehan's supporters, while the likes of Michael Moore try to capitalize on the Sheehan family's misfortune. But I support her very strongly and find it very distressing to see the amount of vitriol hurled at her from the Right. I found Walter Kirn's passing comment on the matter to be a simple and profound summary:

...a war that can't survive a mourning mother shouldn't be going on at all.

What does it say about the uneasiness of the few remaining war supporters, that even the act of a mother mourning her dead son amounts to treason in their eyes?

Some Candor on the Right

The administration is losing its own party members as this war goes on:

Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska on Thursday said the United States is "getting more and more bogged down" in Iraq and stood by his comments that the White House is disconnected from reality and losing the war.

The longer U.S. forces remain in Iraq, he said, the more it begins to resemble the Vietnam war.

Hagel mocked Vice President Dick Cheney's assertion in June that the insurgency in Iraq was in its "last throes," saying the U.S. death toll has risen amid insurgent attacks.

"Maybe the vice president can explain the increase in casualties we're taking," the Nebraskan told CNN.

"If that's winning, then he's got a different definition of winning than I do."

Monday, August 08, 2005

Savage Blogging

Hooray for Dan Savage guest-blogging over at Andrew Sullivan's site for the week.

Worst Advice Ever

Michael Lind suggests that, in order to regain the majority, Democrats must become socially conservative and economically liberal. Seriously, is this guy a plant? That's the exact opposite of what a party seeking centrist votes should offer. There are a lot of what Andrew Sullivan dubs "Eagles" -- socially liberal, fiscally conservative, fairly hawkish on defense -- out there, and very few, I imagine, social conservatives with leanings towards liberal economics.