Friday, July 18, 2008

Worst argument against Obama yet

Courtesy (sadly, as I like his work) James Joyner.

Nor do I have any reason to believe Obama would be less prone than McCain to overreach in his use of executive power to advance what he believes to be legitimate and necessary goals. Indeed, Obama’s seeming lack of sense of humor and condemnation of any and all criticism as beyond the pale worries me greatly on that front.

Really? You know, point to FISA, point out that his domestic agenda could, one can argue, require greater executive power. Just don't argue that thin skin and an alleged lack of humor has something to do with it. After all, George Bush was certainly funnier than Al Gore in 2000. How'd that work out for the Constitution?

Indy Racing Revolution

I wanted to introduce my newest link (Random Favorites), Indy Racing Revolution by Chris Estrada. Via Chris, two interesting pieces.

The first provides us with real news: New Hampshire and Las Vegas on the '09 IRL schedule. The story includes lukewarm denials, so I'd say it will happen. Also interesting is that LVMS, which has been reconfigured (more banking, sadly) since the IRL last raced there, would be the season finale.

This is both a great opportunity and major risk for the IRL. The opportunity comes from the growing closeness with Speedway Motorsports Inc. (SMI), as opposed to International Speedway Corporation (ISC), owned by the France Family. SMI and ISC are in compettition. Years ago, TGeorge and ISC were BFF's. Now, ISC venues are sparse on the IndyCar schedule. If you want some ovals, (tracks in general), you might need SMI.

It's risky, though, since the IRL left both tracks due to piss poor attendance. Loudon, for instance, featured some the worst crowds I've EVER seen. If the attendance is not much better, this will not end well for anyone.

THIS by Estrada is just full of goodness. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


A picture I thought I'd never see. The same PT who said, "I'm not gonna drive one of those crapwagons!" will do just that. The same PT who, some say, got screwed out of a win in the '02 500 by Tony George is, obviously, going to drive for, uhh, Tony George. Ahh, the ironies of mergification, enough to make Harry Turtledove pause!

More awesomeness: Crazy man Forsythe to Indy Lights! Rumor has it that Forsythe might run a 500 program in '09 and full IndyCar program for 2010, though given the new car in 2011, that makes no sense.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

A Meme That Must Die

As Nate Silver points out HERE, the "pundit class" in America truly has no new ideas and is intellectually bankrupting itself. How about this, idiots? "Barack Obama is... Barack Obama, a politician with some unique traits who can also be utterly conventional." He will chart his own legacy (good or bad) in his time.

Still, one of the memes he cites is "He's the new Carter!!!" I always thought it was nonsensical, but it remains a powerful meme on the right. Just two problems.

1. You can make that argument as often and as loudly as you'd like. Fine by me, though I disagree with it. What you CANNOT do is then argue, as many righties have, that he's a "ruthless, Chicago pol." who will throw anyone "under the bus," ala Charles Krauthammer. Sorry folks, but in this case, the two descriptions ARE mutually exclusive, at least at the degrees you on the right have taken them.

See, one CANNOT simultaneously be a "weak, naive twit," like Carter, and a "cynical, calculating pol." Doesn't work. One or the other folks.

2. To the substance of the question, Ryan Lizza's piece in the New Yorker (what about the cartoon????!! Move on, already) paints a pretty balanced picture of someone perfectly comfortable with working in the system as is. He may not like it (or maybe he does), but he's not naive about it. The profile might upset some starry-eyed supporters, but it is balanced and shows he's most concerned with results, purity or not.

On foreign policy, Eli Lake gives the meme a nice smackdown. Unfortunately, we get another "comparison" (to Reagan!) in return, but clearly, Jimmy Carter he is not.

Finally, Obama's foreign policy speech today is not one of a clueless twit. As Andrew suggests, Bush 41-esque.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Saving Sullivan (and myself?), Part 2

So, as Andrew writes HERE, Iraq, once seemingly lost for good, has seen tremendous progress. Even as one who opposed the "Surge" when announced and for months after, I'll admit that it made a difference. I should note that, by itself, I doubt the surge would have done much if not for the Iraqis (esp. Sunnis in Anbar) finally rejecting Al Qaeda and it's ideology. Still, it certainly helped.

Which is why it defies logic (mine anyway) that Sullivan sees this as being advantageous for BOTH POTUS candidates, esp., he suggests, OBAMA. Huh, come again? Even more than Bush, it was McCain who was out in front of the whole "surge" idea. While Andrew acknowledges that, sort of, he says it STILL gives credence to Obama's overall judgment. Curious, considering he (Andrew) was once one of the blogosphere's biggest cheerleaders for the war. By '06, he had indeed (to his credit) changed his mind, but I think some (most?) of this was a lack of faith in the Administration to win/not totally **** everything up. He's been open to success even since that point ("Victory" is a silly term here, since no one knows how that translates, or if, by definition, it's possible).

Well, I think we have some successes here (short-term anyway; I fear we've armed too many groups, so that, in a few yrs., we'll have a nice Lebanon repeat), so shouldn't the part of Andrew that believed in the underlying rationales for this, be rejecting the one candidate who consistently said this was a terrible idea?

For that matter, if it turns out Iraq ends up in a good spot, shouldn't I reconsider? I opposed the war from the start, never seeing the need or justification. While that still holds, if some good that I had not foreseen does come of this, whither my judgment? And how could I support a party that would have been so wrong on the most important foreign policy issue?

In the end, I still vastly prefer Obama to McCain, and whatever happens in Iraq, I believe that McCain's foreign policy is dangerously hawkish (when coherent). But I'm liberal; Andrew is not.

It is Sullivan's contention that Burkean conservatism is about humility, and not getting caught up in one's (or another's) greatness. Clearly, the Bush Right understands none of this, so Andrew's rejection of it makes perfect sense. His indecision on McCain does not, since domestically, we know a McCain administration will be much more in line with his conservatism (less government, entitlements, etc., not to mention, he doesn't have the in-your-face faith of Bush).

Instead, Andrew seems to have put quite a bit of faith in Barack Obama as a person who is right for the job at this moment. I share this view, but would Burke? Given his prescient rejection of the French Revolution, guided by wreckless men who believed in their own greatness, I doubt he would support ANYONE, however noble they might be, who actually disagreed with him on the issues. No man is that great to put your faith in him purely for who he is, I think Burke might say. Yet, Andrew does just this.

I read Andrew Sullivan everyday. His might be the best blog touching on politics out there. He can believe what he wants. I just think he'll come to regret supporting Obama over McCain, should Obama become POTUS.