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December 09, 2003



I don't know about anybody else, but I've been DYING for these things to end. I'm a wonk's wonk, but nine people all essentially in agreement trying to parse their slightly deviating views in a one-minute soundbite is among the finest tortures devised. The first one I watched was interesting. The five minutes of the second one I watched was painful. But I found myself clawing at my eyes in the first thirty seconds of the third one I watched, trying to pluck them out of their sockets. And that was back in April.

(Oh, but of course, Kucinich dominated. Goes without saying....)


He led the way in the anti-Koppel uprising.

Brad DeLong

I was struck by William Kristol http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A47806-2003Dec8.html in the _Washington Post_ saying that Dean is the superior to the Bush administration on economic and social policy, and the equal of the Bush administration on security policy...

Cecil Turner

I would have been struck too, if he'd actually said that. I can't help feeling a really good joke is going over my head.

For less esoteric humor, check out today's Opinionjournal:


I suppose this is the smoking gun passage from William Kristol:

...on domestic policy, Dean will characterize Bush as the deficit-expanding, Social Security-threatening, Constitution-amending (on marriage) radical, while positioning himself as a hard-headed, budget-balancing, federalism-respecting compassionate moderate. And on foreign and defense policy, look for Dean to say that he was and remains anti-Iraq war (as, he will point out, were lots of traditional centrist foreign policy types). But Dean will emphasize that he has never ruled out the use of force (including unilaterally). Indeed, he will say, he believes in military strength so strongly that he thinks we should increase the size of the Army by a division or two. It's Bush, Dean will point out, who's trying to deal with the new, post-Sept. 11 world with a pre-Sept. 11 military.

I think Kristol is predicting the Dean pitch, not endorsing it. Presuambly, he thinks these themes have some credibility or he wouldn't mention them at all, but I suspect he could muster a defense on these points if pressed. He does continue with this:

But what about Sept. 11? Surely Bush's response to the attacks, and his overall leadership in the war on terrorism, remain compelling reasons to keep him in office. They do for me.

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