West Wing returns tonight!
I don’t get to spend much time online today, but there are a few things I want to share.
First, please read this Guardian column by Markos Moulitsas, who runs Daily Kos. Reading it will help you grasp – in a way that sporadic individual postings (and even that clearing house I pointed you to recently, which is run by Daily Kos) do not – the scale of election fraud the Republicans are trying to accomplish. Read it and pass it around!
Then read The End of Democracy. (Thanks, J.) Perlstein wonders why no one in Washington is fighting this administration’s assault on democracy:
…Democratic insiders use politics to explain their inaction away. They’ve seen the focus groups: Accusations of a president draining the lifeblood from democracy just won’t play in Peoria. “It’s what the folks in this business, we call an ‘elite argument,’ ” says Jeff Shesol, who was a speechwriter for President Clinton and whose firm, West Wing Writers, develops messages for some of the most prominent Democratic campaigns. “It pitches too high to reach the mass electorate.”
Julian Epstein, another Democratic consultant and frequent talking head, puts it more simply. “People will think you’re whining,” he says.
Peter Fenn, a Washington advertising guru who frequently represents the Democratic side on CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC, says reaching voters on this point is hopeless: “Their eyes glaze over when you deal with process kind of issues.”
So much for using the Democratic presidential campaign as any kind of check on the corruption of the democratic process. The consultants have spoken; they’ve decided it’s not worth the fight.
You really should be frightened. Read the sidebar, too.
Juan Cole shows how Bush’s aggression in Iraq is helping to spread Islamic fundamentalism.
Prospect’s Ayelish McGarvey takes on the topic of Bush’s religiosity in a way that no journalist has dared:
Like no president in recent memory, George W. Bush wields his Christian righteousness like a flaming sword.
Indeed, hundreds of news stories and nearly half a dozen books have evinced a White House that, according to BBC Washington correspondent Justin Webb, “hums to the sound of prayer.” Yet for the past four years the mainstream press has trod lightly, rarely venturing beyond the biographical to probe the depth, or sincerity, of Bush’s Christian beliefs. Bush has no doubt benefited from the media’s reluctance; Newsweek, for example, in the heat of the run-up to the Iraq War, ran a cover package on the president’s faith under the headline “Bush and God” — a story whose timing lent the war the aura of having heavenly sanction. Even lefty believers like Jim Wallis, editor of Sojourners, and Amy Sullivan, journalist and Democratic adviser, politely maintain that Bush’s faith is strong, if misguided.
This is a huge mistake, because when judged by his deeds, an entirely different picture emerges: Bush does not demonstrate a life of faith by his actions, and neither Methodists, evangelicals, nor fundamentalists can rightly call him brother. In fact, the available evidence raises serious questions about whether Bush is really a Christian at all.
Read the whole thing. The Revealer has some additional thoughts about it.
Lastly — I’m taking a “vacation day” to study for my midterms, and I just happened to stare at the TV while I heated up a piece of leftover pizza (using a trick I learned in Cook’s Digest: warm it up on the stove, in a covered frying pan, and the crust stays crunchy while the cheese melts!). A robot named “Asimo” was visiting “Regis and Kelly” and I gotta tell you… Well, I burned my pizza. Watch some of the movies on Asimo’s web site, and tell me it doesn’t freak you out a little.