No question, I have a bias. But there really are differences between the two parties, and real differences (though Ralph Nader scoffed) between a Gore, say, and a Bush. So with that in mind, a little politics to enliven your weekend.

A GREAT TIME TO BE A REPUBLICAN
IF YOU LIKE THE WAY THINGS ARE GOING

From the Los Angeles Times:

GOP hopefuls are staying Bush’s course
By Janet Hook

More than two-thirds of Americans say the country is ‘seriously off on the wrong track’ under President Bush. Still, a remarkable thing is happening among Republican candidates for the White House: They are enthusiastically embracing Bush’s major policies and principles – even some of the most controversial and unsuccessful ones. Mitt Romney wants to keep the Guantanamo Bay prison open – even expand it – and endorses Bush’s failed plan to overhaul Social Security. Rudolph W. Giuliani, like Bush, sees tax breaks as the key to expanding health insurance coverage. Sen. John McCain of Arizona is a stalwart defender of a war that has left the nation unsettled. All the leading GOP candidates want to continue Bush’s tax cuts. And like Bush, they all oppose a bill to expand a health insurance program for children . . .

RUDY GIULIANI

I don’t think he’ll be the candidate – I think it’s Romney. But if he is, you may be seeing a lot more videos like this one. As usual, it’s not just the error in judgment that’s troubling (why would you locate your command center inside the target?), but also the failure, even now, to own up to it.

JOHN McCAIN

To my Log Cabin friends . . . consider this from the Washington Post. Not only does McCain oppose marriage and civil unions and allowing gays to serve openly in the military, he was recently flummoxed by the acronym ‘LGBT.’

. . . Another student asked McCain what he would do on ‘LGBT’ issues . . . McCain, paused, confused by the question. Someone in the crowd shouted out “lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender.” “I had not heard that phrase before,” McCain said of LGBT. (It’s a mark of the different planets the candidates from the two parties live on that McCain said this. Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards have long lists of “LGBT” supporters they’ve sent to reporters across the country).

McCain then explained that while he opposed discrimination, he also felt marriage was between a man and a woman and noted he supported the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy on gays in the military. The student, a junior named William Sleaster, then persisted, asking the candidate if he supported gay marriage or civil unions. McCain said “I do not.” The student, standing at microphone across from the stage where McCain was speaking then declared “I came here to see a good leader. I do not.” The Senator seemed surprised, but said he respected the student’s views and his right to express them. “That’s what America’s about,” McCain said. At the end of the hour long event, McCain came back to this point, looking at the student’s direction and saying “we should be thankful” to live in a country where such frank discussions can happen.

☞ And McCain is of course right about that. There are many reasons to admire John McCain. Fewer, I think, to vote for him.

AL GORE

I don’t think he’s going to run, even if he wins the Nobel Peace Prize, but I do think his reflections on 2000, recounted in the current Vanity Fair, remind us what the Democrat – whoever he or she is – will face. Also, how very badly the electorate is so often served by the media. An important piece, long overdue.

 

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