Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Court Jester

Alberto Gonzalez is performing for an audience of one, his patron George Bush. Bush gets a kick out of watching Gonzalez get up the noses of the senators on the Judiciary Committee. The more outrageous the obfuscation, the more contempt shown to Congress, the better. The administration can say that the senators are playing politics, it can run out the clock in the last year and a half, and above all it can telegraph its notion that the executive is not answerable to the legislature. Where Bush and Cheney get this last idea is moot, considering that it is obviously wrong, flying in the face of the whole idea of a constitutional republic. Meanwhile the Attorney General tries to outdo himself with each appearance, confident about the warm embrace he'll receive when he goes back to the man who would be king.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

The Hillary-Obama Exchange

This week we had the argument between Hillary and Obama over foreign policy. Obama said he would talk to anybody and everybody, defensible as a general, attitudinal statement in contrast to the Bushies. Clinton made a jab, pointing out that each case is ad hoc and one doesn't necessarily display an over-eagerness to talk. This is correct and more sophisticated. Obama loses the argument. It seems, though, that Obama sensed that it might do him some good to be seen fighting the Clintons, so he tried to persist with the argument. That was a mistake: what emerges is that Clinton is indeed more experienced and sophisticated than Obama (just as common sense would tell you, looking at the resumes). Obama loses, Clinton and, perhaps significantly, John Edwards win. Another excess of the endless campaign. Last night on TV someone commented that the primaries are "only six months away." I refer you to Sartre's play No Exit.