Happy New Year!

Just wanted to wish you all a terrific night. Drive safely. Hope you have a wonderful November, 2008!








My Thoughts On Iowa

It seems to me that a lesson from the Dean-Kerry race is that it’s not enough to be the first choice of a lot of Iowans. It seems equally important to rank well as the second choice of people who support other candidates. As I recall John Kerry went into that state with far from a commanding lead in the overall polls, but he crushed Dean largely because he was the second choice of many more voters. It also matters that Kerry had well-connected operators while Dean had a larger number of young volunteers doing this for the first time, but that’s the game.

Given that, it seems weird to me that nobody (that I know of) is polling Iowans’ second choice in the race. I suppose it doesn’t much matter much in the Democratic field since the second tier doesn’t have that many supporters to throw around, but the bizarro Republican field could go anywhere right now. I for one would love to know where Huckabee’s supporters, or Thompson’s or Giuliani’s would go if their guy failed to make the cut.

Or maybe this has already been done and I don’t know about it. Discuss.

***Update***

The word from the comments is that Edwards consistently polls as the top second choice of Iowans, by a wide margin. Based on that, and given the three-way photo finish for first choice, I predict that Edwards will take the state.

I have a hard time understanding why anyone would support any of the Republican candidates this year, which makes handicapping difficult. But since McCain seems like the only candidate with[out] some glaring disqualification hanging over his head (fringe loony, criminality, fake like Pam Anderson’s boobs) I will have to go with McCain.








2008 Predictions

Just in time for the New Year, Andy Borowitz has a few New Year’s predictions:

January: After paying five billion dollars for The Wall Street Journal, Rupert Murdoch will reduce the size of the paper by removing the facts.

June: Population experts will warn that the world’s population will soar in 2008, largely due to the Spears sisters.

August: Sen. Edward Kennedy will abandon plans to write his memoirs, explaining, “I can’t even remember what I did last night.”

More here. Leave your own in the comments.








Fuck Up, Move Up

I guess Doug Feith was unavailable, so I see that Bill Kristol has a new gig:

William Kristol, one of the nation’s leading conservative writers and a vigorous supporter of the Iraq war, will become an Op-Ed page columnist for The New York Times, the newspaper announced Saturday.

Mr. Kristol will write a weekly column for The Times beginning Jan. 7, the newspaper said. He is editor and co-founder of The Weekly Standard, an influential conservative political magazine, and appears regularly on Fox News Sunday and the Fox News Channel. He was a columnist for Time magazine until that relationship was severed this month.

The Politico notes:

The New York Times’ hiring of Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol to write for its op-ed page caused a frenzy in the liberal blogosphere Friday night, with threats of canceling subscriptions and claims that the Gray Lady had been hijacked by neo-cons.

But Times editorial page editor Andy Rosenthal sees things differently.

I guess there are two ways of looking at this- one is that people are afraid of opposing viewpoints, the other that people see Kristol for what he is, a complete imbecile who has (take your pick) either been completely wrong about everything or lying about everything, and thus unworthy of the column. On the upside, letting Kristol’s views out in public might be a good thing, as people unaccustomed with the the two-bit rag the Weekly Standard will now get a good look at what the current Republican party looks like. From a blogging standpoint, this is the equivalent of hitting the Powerball.

As a side note, I would just like to point out that the past decade has completely demolished the concept of the Peter Principle, described here by Wikipedia:

The Peter Principle is a colloquial principle of hierarchiology, stated as “In a hierarchy every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence.” Formulated by Dr. Laurence J. Peter in his 1968 book The Peter Principle, the principle pertains to the level of competence of the human resources in a hierarchical organization. The principle explains the upward, downward, and lateral movement of personnel within a hierarchically organized system of ranks.

If the Peter Principle were true, George Bush and Bill Kristol would be the street-cleaner and dogcatcher in Crawford, Texas.



Clinton And The Haters

Kevin Drum helpfully knocks down the weirdest anti-Hillary argument coming from the kneejerk Hillary haters, the idea that her support comes just as much from hatred and revenge fantasies as does the opposition. If that were true then the political netroots, famously home to the angriest liberal fringe, ought to be teeming with Clintonistas. Yet that just isn’t true. In our own poll Hillary failed to break two digits, and that was better than she ever did on Kos’s tracking poll.

It’s not that online liberals aren’t angry. Believe me, we are. Imagine that you care about the country like you care about your family. Now imagine that somebody raped your sister and then argued with a self-satisfied smirk that it was your fault. That more or less describes it. And believe me, the physical pain that another Clinton presidency would cause the strong executive torture-and-surveillance conservatives (ha ha, sigh) is not lost on me. But she’s still my last choice. I think that the other two frontrunners would govern better, and I think that Chris Dodd would govern much better, and that matters more to me than making Bill Kristol cry.








The Cookie Crumbles

A quote poached from Sullivan:

“It’s gone. The breakup of what was the Reagan coalition — social conservatives, defense conservatives, antitax conservatives — it doesn’t mean a whole lot to people anymore,”

Ed Rollins, Ronald Reagan’s political director and Mike Huckabee’s national campaign chairman.

I have written on the same topic here and here. Regarding issues like immigration or the Huckabee campaign, you really see diametrically opposed camps that won’t settle anymore for sweeping their differences under the rug.