The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Wednesday, March 15, 2006

And now, the news

The lack of posts yesterday wasn't about a lack of news-- just time and an uncooperative server. So for a start, I want to mention a few stories of note:

The incompetent War on Terror
Salon has a round-up of the goverment's most prominent 'success stories' in prosecuting terrorist suspects. Unfortunately, their Keystone Kops methods are undermining the government's case and severely pissing off judges. All in the the name of rushing things for the sake of a talking point about success.

The Party of Ideas
Two things turned up in my Inbox at about the same time. A letter from John Kerry pointing out that as the opposition party we're all "sick and tired of spending so much time defeating bad ideas." Agreed. And TNR's Jonathan Chait agrees. His new piece, entitled simply 'No Idea,' makes the same observation while pointing out that the GOP's "big ideas" are all just repeated attempts to ram through reactionary ideology packaged under new names. This has been one of the most insidious and oft-repeated GOP talking points, and one that was swallowed wholeheartedly by mainstream journalists. The party in power has a vested interest in strangling opposition proposals in the cradle. Which brings me to the next story:

Feingold who?
It was shrewd of Frist to employ the Murtha Strategem to turn the tables on the Dems and force an immediate vote on Feingold's censure motion. Apparently you can't go wrong pushing the current crop of Dems to take bold, immediate action. As Feingold pointed out after being dropped like a hot appetizer by his party, "I'm amazed at Democrats, cowering with this president's numbers so low. The administration just has to raise the specter of the war, and the Democrats run and hide."

Public Enemy Number One
Feingold's efforts did have one predictable result that won't help the GOP any. Several Republicans immediately jumped at the chance to accuse him of treason. As we witnessed from the Dubai ports sale, when you live by fear and xenophobia, there's a good chance it will bite you in the ass.

But in spite of being completely shut out from the democratic process, the Democrats need to be doing more than just waiting for Republicans to repeatedly trip over their own feet. And is tough talk too much to ask?