Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Some odds and ends

1. Bob Herbert defends liberals. I think Obama should too. You want a strong argument for voting for "the most liberal Senator in Congress"?

Liberals have been so cowed by the pummeling they’ve taken from the right that they’ve tried to shed their own identity, calling themselves everything but liberal and hoping to pass conservative muster by presenting themselves as hyper-religious and lifelong lovers of rifles, handguns, whatever.


Why liberals don’t stand up to this garbage, I don’t know. Without the extraordinary contribution of liberals — from the mightiest presidents to the most unheralded protesters and organizers — the United States would be a much, much worse place than it is today.


It would take volumes to adequately cover the enhancements to the quality of American lives and the greatness of American society that have been wrought by people whose politics were unabashedly liberal. It is a track record that deserves to be celebrated, not ridiculed or scorned.

Self-hatred is a terrible thing. [...]

Liberals need to get over it.

2. David Brooks has some campaign advice: Surprise Me Most. Weirdest takes all.

3. Finally, FiveThirtyEight (Polling Done Right) has some PR suggestions.

I think they're all correct. Which matters oh so much.

Finally, we've been so pathetic about waging any kind of sensible War On Terror that many in the Arab world don't believe we're really doing it. Instead, conventional wisdom holds that the U.S. and Israelis planned it as an excuse to invade Iraq for oil or wage a general war on all Muslims. NOW can we all agree that the efforts, prejudices, and rhetoric have been COMPLETELY MISDIRECTED? I mean, fuck. Whatever happened to hearts and minds?

ETA: Thank god for Robert Gates. We're not going to go poke Russia in the eye and run away giggling.

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