August 31st, 2004


The Steadfast Flip-Flopper

The Steadfast Flip-Flopper

Only George W. Bush can take diametrically opposed positions and call them "principled".

By Matthew Yglesias
Web Exclusive: 08.31.04

John Kerry is a flip-flopper. In 2001, for example, he voted for the No Child Left Behind Act, but now he says that federal education spending should be further increased. In 2002, he voted to give the president authority to threaten the use of force in order to get United Nations inspectors back in Iraq, but now he says that the president was wrong to invade Iraq without a UN mandate when inspectors were already in the country. He's unprincipled, see?

The president, by contrast, is a man of steadfast convictions, as witnessed by the blank gaze he exhibits when speaking. Not one for nuance, George W. Bush papers over the distinction between harsh, accurate advertisements financed by “527” groups capable of raising unlimited funds and harsh, inaccurate advertisements financed by 527 groups capable of raising unlimited funds. No, to him it is a point of principle: The "shadowy groups" must be stopped, whether their charges are accurate or not. It's a bit hard to say what the principle here is, exactly, seeing as the president is apparently untroubled by unlimited fund raising undertaken by political-advocacy groups organized under section 501 of the tax code rather than section 527 of the tax code. Nevertheless, there's got to be one in there somewhere, I’m sure of it. (Just as sure as I am that, if I really thought about it, I could figure out why the president invaded Iraq to halt its nuclear program but literally shrugged at North Korea's.)

Read the rest here:

William Saletan on the RNC

I really like the work William Saletan is doing at the RNC. He's a "liberal Republican" with "libertarian instincts". As he puts it, "I was sick of the liberal dogmatism of my college and post-college friends. I'd come to the conclusion, through personal and political experience, that while Democrats had the right values, Republicans had a better operating theory of human nature: People behave more virtuously and wisely when they bear the consequences of their actions."

Ok. So he's also Slate's chief political correspondent. He wrote a book on the abortion battle, which seems to have gotten good reviews from both liberal and conservative reviewers, so it sounds like maybe he's not entirely biased in favor of the liberal side. So go read his articles, they're well written, and he does a much better job of dissecting the speeches than I did (or could, probably).

Giuliani Plays Offense - Blogging from the Republican Convention

This one is a fairly standard blog, newest entries up top, which is mildly annoying as you have to scroll to the bottom to read it end-to-end in the correct order. Still, it's an interesting read, and a little more thoughtful than some of the writing I've seen on day one of the RNC.

Being There: What does 9/11 tell us about Bush? Nothing.

A good read. Bush supporters probably won't like it, but I think it's not unfair. Unkind, perhaps, but fair. He doesn't attack Bush so much as attack the language that Bush's supporters have been using to compare him and Kerry.

There are some other interesting articles there, but I'll leave it to those. I'm very curious to hear the reactions from my (admittedly few) Republican/conservative readers.

Shocking report: Diebold GEMS vote tabulator has security hole

I know, aren't you stunned? They found another one? Yes, they found another one, and this time, in the central tabulator - i.e. even if all of the thousands of electronic voting machines around the country work correctly, aren't hacked, and aren't tampered with, they can just hit the central tabulator and edit the votes there.


At what point does Diebold get sued and go out of business? I'm confused.

Oh wait, that's right, the administration probably wants machines that are easily tampered with. Never mind, it makes sense now.

Read all about it:
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