Dover Bitch

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Past ready

Via Kevin Drum, I find this at the Corner from former Dan Quayle speechwriter Lisa Schiffren:

Admit it [Lisa Schiffren]

Let's say last night really did indicate that Hillary's negatives will keep her off the ticket. (Or keep her from winning if she's on it.) You know what? Deep in my psyche, in the place that kind of misses the toothache I've been prodding at with my tongue, I am having a tiny little pang of missing Hillary. Not her, but hating her. Hating Hillary has been such a central political impulse for so long now — 15 years — and I have had to work so hard to keep it up as she became more appealling looking, less shrill, more human — I don't really know what I will do with that newly freed strand of energy.

The sad thing is, America is past ready for woman president. Just not a woman who got to office on her husband's coattails. Time for the new crop of professional political women — the ones who are tough enough to run for office — to stick your heads up and start putting your opinions on the table.

Say what you will about Quayle, at least he didn't want people to know he wasn't that smart.

It's one thing to want to hate a political opponent enough that you struggle to do so for a decade and a half... Even worse to want people to know that hating somebody is central to your politics.

But what tips her scales from pathetic to imbecilic is the fact that Schiffren, while calling for "a new crop of professional political women," reveals without irony that her hatred for Hillary grew harder to maintain "as she became more appealing looking, less shrill."

What could possibly be keeping "professional political women" from jumping at the chance to run for president with writers like Schiffren ready to analyze their opinions?

But let's be real here. The fact is, Hillary was wearing a fairly low cut summer top. She was not displaying cleavage, as the shot on Drudge indicates. Someone else wearing the same outfit might have done. But Hillary Clinton does not have cleavage to display. Period. Indeed, Hillary never forgave her mother-in-law, Virginia Kelly for pointing this out decades ago to the young Bill Clinton, a cleavage man if ever there was one.

Perhaps Schiffren can go back to crusading against women in the realm of fiction if no ugly or flat-chested ones answer her call in real life.

Otherwise, I'm sure she can burn off that strand of energy fantasizing about the codpiece.

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Friday, January 04, 2008

Slippery slope

In a piece titled "Who's Afraid of Bill Kristol?" and teased with a link that says "The Left Needs To Shut Up About Bill Kristol's New Column," Slate's Jack Shafer takes critics of the NY Times' hire to task.

Shafer really slams "nearly every liberal with a blogging account" by showing us the absurd logical end to our collective gripe:

If being wrong about the war should disqualify Kristol from the Times op-ed page, then Times op-ed veteran and war-supporter Thomas L. Friedman, who was still calling the invasion "one of the noblest things this country has ever attempted abroad" eight months after the fact, should resign his commission. Bill Keller, Times executive editor today but a columnist at the dawn of the war, should pack and leave, too, because he supported the war in February 2003 as a "reluctant hawk." To be completely consistent, let's have the Washington Post sack its editorial page for its Iraq errors and the majorities of both houses of Congress resign.

Wow, that would be horrible. I now see the error of my thinking.

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Thursday, January 03, 2008

Iowa postscript

DB's brilliant predictions were spot-on:

I will be disappointed with one party's selections and horrified by the other's. Then, I will stop thinking about Iowa.

I'm disappointed that Dodd had such a poor showing (not that I ever thought he'd come away with a significant total). But .02 percent is ugly. The AP story about his withdrawal from the race actually contains more information about him than all the previous stories about the race combined.

Even his (threatened) filibuster of the FISA bill that thwarted Harry Reid's skulduggery for the time being barely netted Dodd any press at all. The system is simply too rigged for a person like Dodd to get the kind of momentum required to make a strong showing in a presidential race. That's a shame, but one I accepted a long time ago.

Obama's win tonight -- and the Democratic turnout -- was impressive. So was his victory speech. I don't have much to add to it that hasn't been said on TV or on other blogs.

On the other side of the coin, Mike Huckabee is a terrible candidate with the right attributes to get support from a certain segment of the nation, one that might be large enough to send him to Washington.

Huckabee is grossly unqualified to be president. There's no denying it. Voting for him because of his religion or his demeanor is inexcusable. Haven't the last seven years taught the Republicans anything?

Besides, Huckabee invented the What Would Jesus Do Loophole: ("Jesus was too smart to [BE IN MY CURRENT SITUATION].")

Memo to GOP voters: You will never, ever have a beer with the next president.

And having someone like this in the White House is just too much for me to fathom:

Five days after the tornado tore through the state, [Arkadelphia, Ark., a] city of 10,000 lay in ruins. The cyclone destroyed an office building, a bank, a pharmacy and 70 other businesses. The electricity was out. The National Guard patrolled the streets. Six people were dead.

In Little Rock, GOP Gov. Mike Huckabee was reviewing a disaster insurance measure that he intended to support when he became troubled: The bill, drawing on centuries-old legal terminology, referred to natural disasters as "acts of God."

In a time of emergency, Huckabee would hold up the measure for more than three weeks to press his personal objection that the Almighty could not be blamed for the region's loss. In the process, he drew damaging headlines and created new strains in his relations with the state's legislature, the General Assembly.


Finally, the television media is as brutally bad as ever. The irony of all these jokers talking about how badly America seems to want change. Howard Fineman said that America wants "a whole new cast."

Yes, and that includes all of you. You don't have front-row seats; you are all part of the same sad show. Today's coverage, with a few exceptions, was agonizing and it didn't even matter what channel my TV was tuned in to. They were all equally bad.

While I'm on the topic... A special "For the love of God, Please Stop!" goes out to Anderson Cooper and CNN for the computer-generated pie chart floating over a hand-held panel and skewing and scaling with every movement, blocking out everybody else's heads.

It made me pine for the halcyon days when Soledad O'Brien shared her time with this guy.

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Chris Dodd

DB received an email from the Dodd campaign and this sentence was boldfaced:

The fight to restore the Constitution and stop retroactive immunity does not end with my Presidential campaign. FISA will come back in a few weeks and my pledge to filibuster ANY bill that includes retroactive immunity remains operative.

Thank you Sen. Dodd!

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Brain Vacuum

I had a brilliant teacher who once said that school would be a wonderful institution if it weren't for the students.

As a political junkie, DB should be revelling in the beginning of actual voting. But on the very first day of the 2008 election, it's already abundantly clear that the Brain Vacuum is going to kill me. Seriously.

How painful it is to flip through the channels to see, consecutively:

  • Lou Dobbs foaming at the mouth with Bill Bennett
  • Larry Kudlow interviewing Ben Stein (are you kidding me?)
  • Chris Matthews babbling with Chuck Todd
  • Shep Smith shooting the breeze with Barbara Comstock

    Good god. It's going to be worse than I imagined.

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  • Tweety

    What a clown.


    CNN's Ticker

    CNN is putting out the idea that Hillary Clinton might put her husband, Bill, on the Supreme Court.

    What an interesting news flash to come out on the day of the Iowa Caucuses! Was this something that leaked from the Clinton campaign? Was it something Hillary said? Has Bill dropped some hints to CNN?

    Uh, no. It's a "prediction" by conservative law professor Doug Kmiec, who worked for Reagan and Bush 41 in the OLC. You remember Kmiec... He penned a lackluster defense of the Bush administration after James Comey testified about the shenanigans in John Ashcroft's hospital room. During the Clinton years, of course, Kmiec was the champion of the "rule of law" and intense critic of executive abuse of power.

    In short, Kmiec has no insight of value on Hillary's intentions. Certainly not enough for CNN to front page his "prediction." Absolutely not enough value to make this a top news item on Caucus Day.

    I guess they didn't have enough stupid predictions to fill the airwaves and internets.

    UPDATE: This didn't even register in my brain when I read it:

    Kmiec worked in the Reagan and Bush 41 White Houses as a top lawyer, but said he has no personal or political "disdain" for Bill Clinton.

    Disdain? What a joke. Trash reporting. Maybe they should have indicated in the article somewhere that the dean of Pepperdine Law School -- that is Kmiec's boss -- is Ken Starr. Actually, they shouldn't have printed this crap at all.

    Shameful reporting.

    UPDATE II: It's 6:50 pm ET and Wolf Blitzer just pushed this story, too -- without even mentioning Kmiec by name.

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    Predictions for Iowa

    I will be disappointed with one party's selections and horrified by the other's. Then, I will stop thinking about Iowa.

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    Wednesday, January 02, 2008

    Happy New Year

    Hello from the Pacific Northwest, the new residence of Dover Bitch. After nearly two decades in sunny SoCal, DB finally packed up the jalopy and headed for wetter digs. I will definitely miss my friends and family there -- and more than a few restaurants -- but the move was for the better and I have no regrets at all.

    Still feeling out the local press. Thank heavens for the Internet. I'm not sure right now if I'm more irritated at the NY Times for giving Bill Kristol a paycheck or for continually enticing New Yorkers to come out to Portland. But at least I can feel good about having dumped my LA Times subscription when they hired that imbecile.

    Sorry I was gone for so long, but after taking a short time off for the move, it became hard to overcome the inertia. I decided to wait until 2008 to get this thing going again. As I've written before, the upside of being a Z-lister is having the ability to disappear every now and then.

    I just wanted to make a mention of one thing before I start up again. DB will be in mourning this year for a family friend who wasn't around this holiday season. Christmas dinner was tough for me this year because we lost her to cancer. I learned she had it this summer and she was gone before Thanksgiving.

    A week after she died, I discovered that she had known about it for nearly two years. She had no insurance and was saving up to get the treatment that would have saved her life had she been able to tackle it sooner. Obviously, I'll be asking questions to myself about this for the rest of my life. But one thing is certain: She should have been eating dinner with us this year and America needlessly lost a great soul.

    Whomever we call president-elect in 2008, that person better be ready to fix a health care system that is, for lack of a better word, fucked.

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