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Live-Blogging the Debate: The Blogs to Read

26 Sep

I’ll be busy at one of the last Fall For the Book readings tonight so I won’t be following the debate as closely as I’d like.  You, however, should follow along with these fine bloggers who will be giving you some of the best foreign policy and political commentary as they live-blog the event:

  • Ned Resnikoff and Charlie Eisenhood at NYU Local: Sweet political barbs from the Big Apple’s progressive, hipster capital.
  • Democracy Arsenal hits you with a right hook of wonkishness and lays you out with a southpaw of firece foreign policy analysis.  Or some other such boxing/defense policy metaphor-combo.
  • Dan Drezner: The man boasts political economy and foreign policy bona fides. If you mess with him, he will cut you.
  • Think Progress: It’s a virtual room full of wonks and twenty-something Beltway progressives, including Matt Yglesias. You don’t have to drink to hang out, but you will have to provide your own booze.
I’ll weigh in with a (hopefully) substative take post-debate, but until then enjoy your Friday.

Cracks in the Coalition

26 Jun

Andrew Sullivan observes that the current GOP coalition is showing signs of serious wear, with special stress due to the current push for immigration reform.  Laura Ingraham thinks that if the legislation is passed that it’ll be “time to rebuild and restart.”  This after Trent Lott recently said that “talk radio is running America. We have to deal with that problem. ” 

Um, okay. One question: Who do conservative talk radio personalities propose to build a coalition around?  What sort of lasting majority is going to be built around anti-immigration and conservative cultural values?  Current twenty-somethings trend liberal–making all the talk radio sweet spots electoral losers in the future.  Isn’t a pro-market, culturally moderate (or agnostic) Republican party more of a natural coalition?  

Ingraham, Malkin, Coulter, Hannity, Beck, et al. would all have to abandon any hope of cultural victories and join up with the Lou Dobbs, too much change gives me the willies crowd if they had any hope of building support.  And if you have to give up half of your political motivation in the process (i.e. ditching gay marriage and stem cells to appeal to independents), what sort of principled movement would that be?

 In short: good luck with that.

UPDATE: This New York Times article confirms the liberal leaning demographic trend.

Is Cheney Leaving?

26 Jun

I don’t think so.  Sally Quinn in an op-ed for the Washington Post, however, thinks there might be a GOP plan afoot to remove the number two man of the executive branch people who hang out at the White House.  She bases this, in part, on the fact that Barry Goldwater hung out at her house while he agonized over telling Richrad Nixon to beat it for the good of the country and Republican party.  I don’t doubt that there is a certain portion of Republicans who think that removing Cheney would be beneficial, whether it be for ideological or strategic reasons.  But I also don’t think this is a realistic option, nor do, I suspect, any Republican members of Congress or party elders.  But that’s not the best part of the article.  The real fun comes when Quinn speculates who should replace the VP:

Everybody loves Fred. He has the healing qualities of Gerald Ford and the movie-star appeal of Ronald Reagan. He is relatively moderate on social issues. He has a reputation as a peacemaker and a compromiser. And he has a good sense of humor.

I’ll grant that Fred Thomson has charisma, but “the healing qualities of Gerald Ford”?  Ford was in the House of Representatives for twenty-four years before he became president, giving him a lot of time to form relationships with members of both parties.  Thompson was in the Senate for eight years. 

The best reason for Thompson to become VP would be because he isn’t really ready to be president.  He doesn’t have the expereience or the support for a key conservative issue (like Tancreado and immigration) in which to cement a campaign.  Right now his biggest assests are rhetoric, lack of familiarity, and image (the “true conservative heir”)–all of which are fairly cheap and equally short-lived.  He would get to play the “presidential” role and guide his party’s politics without having to make a bid that might flame out under greater scrunity.  Maybe it’s not so crazy afterall….