Tuesday, March 25, 2008

How the Democrats Could Lose

Republicans are going through a very rough patch right now. Public approval of the party, and morale of the party faithful, are both at record lows. E. J. Dionne wrote a recent column about two books where you can find Republicans struggling with the future direction of their party.

So, with the Republicans in such disarray, this is the best chance that the Democrats have to win the presidency since the post-Watergate election of 1976. All they have to do is coast to victory. The best that McCain can hope for is if the Democrats do something really stupid to screw up their chances. But, every day that goes by without the Democrats choosing a nominee looks more like McCain might get just what he needs--the Democrats shooting themselves in the foot. David Brooks does a good job of laying out one possible scenario, which would lay the blame mostly on Clinton. (I laughed out loud at the line, "she possesses the audacity of hopelessness.") But, there's more than one way for the Democrats to screw up their chances.

Friday, March 21, 2008

47 senators want guns in national parks - Yahoo! News

Here is an example of how Congress can try to influence the bureaucracy. In this case, it was not a committee hearing, but simply a letter, signed by 47 Senators, to the Interior Secretary asking him to review the rule against carrying firearms in national parks. The Senators want the national parks to abide by state laws. The rule is under review as a result of the letter.

Should citizens be allowed to carry firearms inside national parks, if they are allowed to do so outside the park?

47 senators want guns in national parks - Yahoo! News

Chicagoans: Reports Misrepresent Obama's Church : NPR

Here is an ABC news video of the Jeremiah Wright speech that started the controversy over Obama's pastor:



You can watch Obama's speech on race here.

And NPR ran two stories that I think do a good job of helping us understand the context of Wright's speech, something that few journalists have tried to do.

Chicagoans: Reports Misrepresent Obama's Church : NPR

This whole controversy reminded me of the uproar over Jerry Falwell's remarks after the 9/11 attacks. Falwell said that the attacks were God's judgment on the US for paganism, feminism, abortion and homosexuality.

Both pastors are arguing that 9/11 was God's judgment for our nations sins. In the one case, the sins were the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, support of apartheid in South Africa, and support of Israel, in the other case the sins were were paganism, abortion and homosexuality. I'm surprised that I haven't heard the media pick up on the similarities.

What do you think? Has Obama done enough to denounce his pastor's remarks? Should voters base their judgment of Obama on those remarks? Is my comparison with Falwell a fair one?