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Archive for P. M. Carpenter (Email)

10/31/05 :: By P. M. Carpenter
As Good As It Gets?
Categories :: Bush Administration The Lewis Libby indictment is an overdue rein on the cowboys of the Bush administration. Finally, some accountability is demanded. Finally, the kneecapping suffered by anyone who publicly questions this White House is being revealed. Finally, a little slice of...

10/27/05 :: By P. M. Carpenter
Aiding and abetting
Categories :: Republicans t is axiomatic that everyone looks good when things are going well. Dealing with high times isn’t a traumatic test of character, and therefore doesn’t reveal true character. It’s when things get tough that authentic personalities are exposed – and...

10/03/05 :: By P. M. Carpenter
The gruesome overview
Categories :: Iraq For the Bush administration, Iraq is no longer a democratic test tube, or tabula rasa for geopolitical mapmakers, or even a Rovian opportunity to whip injured nationalism into a vengeful froth. It is way beyond that. Iraq has become, instead,...

09/30/05 :: By P. M. Carpenter
The GOP’s elephant in the room
Categories :: Republicans Jeff Jacoby, the Boston Globe’s resident conservative, doesn’t usually get it. Most of his columns - reality-based disconnects of Heritage Foundation fantasies and talking-point drafts for the Limbaugh crowd - leave the thoughtful reader either slackjawed or in stitches. But...

09/28/05 :: By P. M. Carpenter
The president’s funk could be bad news
Categories :: George W. Bush I once heard the actor James Cagney reminisce with eloquent brevity about his hard-drinking father. By the time of the younger Cagney’s adolescence, pop, he said, had swilled himself into that psychological vortex of “a good man going downhill fast.”...

09/26/05 :: By P. M. Carpenter
Now for something completely different
Categories :: Bush Administration The most uplifting piece of political commentary I have read in years - and I mean that literally - has come from the pen of none other than right-winger Robert Novak. His column last week filled me with hope. I...

09/23/05 :: By P. M. Carpenter
Right answers, wrong questions
Categories :: Bush Administration Bush’s approval rating is finally beginning to slide into Herbert Hoover territory. He has a long history of doing what he shouldn’t have and not doing what he should have; and voters, whose political consciousness always suffers from attention deficit,...

09/21/05 :: By P. M. Carpenter
Abbott and Costello Meet Reality
Categories :: Bush Administration In a speech at Brown University, John Kerry said Katrina had "stripped away any image of competence and exposed to all the true heart and nature of this administration. The truth is that for four and a half years, real...

09/19/05 :: By P. M. Carpenter
Rich beyond opinion
Categories :: Bush Administration In a perfect world every Bush supporter would be required by law to read Frank Rick of the New York Times. Of course, in a perfect world there would be no need for such a law, because a president by...

09/16/05 :: By P. M. Carpenter
“March of the Pinheads”
Categories :: Fundamentalism We didn’t need more evidence of the Christian right and its socially conservative allies having gone completely ‘round the bend, but they have graciously provided it anyway. In a New York Times piece titled “March of the Conservatives: Penguin Film...

09/14/05 :: By P. M. Carpenter
Conservatism’s favorite fallacy
Categories :: Conservatives In the context of weighing racial and class-based factors in the federal government’s woeful response to Katrina, the Washington Post related this succinct portrayal of the president’s political philosophy with respect to combating poverty: “In the place of traditional poverty...

09/12/05 :: By P. M. Carpenter
Demagoguing failure
Categories :: Republicans It is often astounding to read what passes for brilliant strategic thinking these days. You’ve read the newspaper stories and watched the talk shows in which “party strategist” after “party strategist” bloviates on the contours of contemporary politics - a...

09/09/05 :: By P. M. Carpenter
Da Grate Communikator
Categories :: It was one of those did-it-really-say-that? instances, a flash of disbelief at the astoundingly inane in print. But there it was, nevertheless, in yesterday’s opening to a Washington Post editorial: “President Bush’s response to Hurricane Katrina has been, to put...

09/08/05 :: By P. M. Carpenter
Indulging George
Categories :: Bush Administration George Lakoff, the political guru who wields cognitive linguistics as an analytical weapon, has written extensively about what you might call tough-love conservatism and how the mental framework of tough love (theoretically) dominates hard-core conservatives’ thinking and their behavior toward...

09/06/05 :: By P. M. Carpenter
Our re-inflatable president
Categories :: The Bush administration’s handling of the Katrina crisis has been inspiring. It has inspired red-staters, at long last, to shake their heads in disbelief at their superstar’s staggering cluelessness. It has inspired conservative pols to run for cover while pointing...

08/30/05 :: By P. M. Carpenter
The MSM as the president’s enabler
Categories :: Iraq So now we’ve read the altogether expected news of the bleak prospects facing Iraq’s “founding fathers” in coming together over a workable constitution. Nevertheless the news continues to be framed in Bush’s surrealism - a mindset that has defined this...

08/26/05 :: By P. M. Carpenter
Caricature assassination
Categories :: The right loves to make fun of those on the left it regards as goofy. You know the roll call: Michael Moore, Al Franken, Jane Fonda and assorted others who occasionally say things even they regret. But not to worry,...

08/24/05 :: By P. M. Carpenter
Sometimes I sits and thinks
Categories :: George W. Bush As I recall it was Henry David Thoreau who protested the reading of newspapers not only because of their sensationalism, but because when it comes to actually understanding events, the exercise is ultimately futile. A deep appreciation of any news...

08/22/05 :: By P. M. Carpenter
Fear of loathing
Categories :: Democrats Last Friday the Washington Post’s David Ignatius wrote this increasingly familiar refrain: This should be the Democrats' moment: The Bush administration is caught in an increasingly unpopular war; its plan to revamp Social Security is fading into oblivion; its deputy...

08/19/05 :: By P. M. Carpenter
Olympic doublespeak: A perfect 10 in training
Categories :: “Iraqis are taking control of their country, building a free nation that can govern itself, sustain itself and defend itself. And we’re helping Iraqis succeed,” said our president in a carefree radio speech last Saturday delivered between carefree bike rides....

08/18/05 :: By P. M. Carpenter
All the wrong moves
Categories :: Once again Democrats are agonizing over tactics. The spectacle is even more agonizing to watch, because it’s so unnecessary. The National Abortion Rights Action League launched the Democratic Party’s latest introspection with televised distortions about a Supreme Court nominee that...

08/16/05 :: By P. M. Carpenter
Gingrich on any given Sunday
Categories :: Last week at a Capitol Hill gathering of GOP staffers, Newt Gingrich lectured that liberals have the advantage in “speed, cleverness and shallowness.” He also noted in casual contradiction - that being a chief advantage of conservatives - that liberals...

08/12/05 :: By P. M. Carpenter
Republican Porkers
Categories :: The recently passed, fiscal joke of a transportation bill crafted by our “conservative” government brought to mind some interesting reading of a few years back. Liberals can say what they like about David Frum, the erstwhile axis-of-evil speechwriter, but before...

08/11/05 :: By P. M. Carpenter
Heaps of “unhelpfulness”
Categories :: As promised by the Bush administration, democracy is popping up all over in Iraq - or popping in, in some cases, and rather rudely. This week a band of roughly 100 armed, Shiite militia thugs escorted Baghdad’s new mayor into...

08/10/05 :: By P. M. Carpenter
If you can fake sincerity....
Categories :: New York’s U.S. Senate race is shaping up as a classic Republican challenge. Which is to say it’s starting dirty, will get dirtier and, of course, will thrust onto the back burner any actual issues. As I said, it’s vintage...

08/09/05 :: By P. M. Carpenter
NYT slips into FOXism
Categories :: Sometimes you run across a newspaper “analysis” whose resemblance to a FOX news story leaves you slackjawed - a story whose omissions define it more than the content. One expects this level of print journalism in the administration’s unofficial outlets...

08/08/05 :: By P. M. Carpenter
Kill ‘em with kindness
Categories :: It was the brilliant attorney and early 20th-century American statesman Elihu Root who once suggested the way of proper counsel: “About half the practice of a decent lawyer consists in telling would-be clients that they are damned fools and should...

08/05/05 :: By P. M. Carpenter
The Emperor Strikes Back
Categories :: “They won’t take my blankie. They won’t, they won’t, they won’t,” sputtered Master George with pouty lips. “Now, now, dear. Everything’s okay,” soothed his nanny, Ms. Hughes. “We’ll put ‘war’ back into your little talks right away. Then how ‘bout...

08/04/05 :: By P. M. Carpenter
Any means to an end(run)
Categories :: If ever there was bipedal disproof of “intelligent design,” George W. Bush is it. So it was only fitting that this poster boy for the monumentally simplistic would become the nation’s leading spokesman for the reintroduction of medieval theo-biology into...

08/03/05 :: By P. M. Carpenter
“Never mind”
Categories :: The Bush administration’s scamming of Congress and the American public, not to mention the world, just keeps on rollin’. Nothing seems to make a dent in it - not shame, not exposure, not reality. And what immediately followed the Bolton...

08/02/05 :: By P. M. Carpenter
The joy of being Republican
Categories :: Presidential memo: “Because of partisan delaying tactics by a handful of senators, John was unfairly denied the up-or-down vote that he deserves.” So poof, John is now Ambassador Bolton. Naturally the Republican Senate will defend the recess appointment as an...

08/01/05 :: By P. M. Carpenter
Satan’s liberals
Categories :: I now know that it is indeed possible to die laughing, because last week I damn near lost control of the car as I doubled up with laughter at hearing Tom DeLay on NPR bemoan the terrible, terrible strong-arm tactics...

07/29/05 :: By P. M. Carpenter
The boys at the yacht club are laughing
Categories :: When I read about dis-organized labor’s feud that has now erupted into full-blown gang warfare my first thought - a symptom of desperate escapism, I suppose - was, where is Constantine the Great when you need him? In 325 A.D.,...

07/28/05 :: By P. M. Carpenter
Bush resigns, admits Kerry was right
Categories :: Yesterday I mourned the loss of the Bush administration’s “war on terror” slogan and the appearance of its less than inspiring replacement, “a global struggle against violent extremism.” For an administration that prides itself on horribly misleading catchphrases - “death...

07/27/05 :: By P. M. Carpenter
When good sloganeering goes bad
Categories :: Q. How can you tell when the Bushies are getting worried? A. They start changing slogans. During the 2000 campaign, for instance, before they realized that a handful of juridical hypocrites could do away with all that messy democracy business...

07/26/05 :: By P. M. Carpenter
Bush Incorporated: A case study in irrational exuberance
Categories :: Republicans used to argue that government should be run more like a business. Well, they got their wish in Bush Inc., a bunch of middle-aged white guys intent on strutting their years of private-sector experience both here and abroad. Problem...

07/25/05 :: By P. M. Carpenter
Principled bunk
Categories :: In seeking admission to the Federalist Society it may help if you’re a brilliant licensed attorney; otherwise its exclusive membership is restricted “to anyone who wishes to join.” So you just might be able to wrangle a membership card if...

07/22/05 :: By P. M. Carpenter
A wasted diversion
Categories :: From a political standpoint the president would have been better off had he nominated to the Court the strictest of fire-eating “originalists” -- perhaps someone anxious that our founding fathers’ intentions be re-enshrined by census-adjusting for the two-fifths-inflated African-American population,...

07/21/05 :: By P. M. Carpenter
The chicken or the egg of jackassdom
Categories :: What struck me most about the president’s Tuesday-night introduction of John G. Roberts was his emphasis on the nominee’s purported qualities of “wisdom, fairness and civility.” It seemed clear that given the multiple problems Mr. Bush is experiencing as a...

07/20/05 :: By P. M. Carpenter
Straight-talkin’ POTUS
Categories :: Suddenly we find pundits huddling over the troublesome proposition that George W. Bush is beginning to look a bit shifty. Because of his recent redefinition of what it takes to fire a duplicitous, security-breaching aide, the possibility now looms, warns...

07/19/05 :: By P. M. Carpenter
George W. Nixon
Categories :: It’s beginning to look a lot like the Nixon White House, minus the warmth. A criminal war, a criminal staff, an attack-dog mentality, politics over policy, the systematic smearing of critics -- and now, government surveillance of harmless domestic organizations....

07/18/05 :: By P. M. Carpenter
Our Father, who art in Washington
Categories :: Last Friday Paul Krugman of the New York Times wrote about our sorry political condition in a piece titled “Karl Rove’s America.” His cause for lament was that “there is no longer such a thing as nonpolitical truth,” which is...

07/15/05 :: By P. M. Carpenter
Out of Iraq? Or out of the Middle East?
Categories :: Iraq Twenty-four Iraqi children just gave their lives so that George W. Bush could boldly “stay the course.” The suicide car bomb that took these young innocents, who did nothing more than gather around some American soldiers with candy, also claimed...

07/14/05 :: By P. M. Carpenter
Anatomy of a Hardball gang-babble
Categories :: Media I watch Hardball on occasion hoping for some dram of enlightenment, which, I suppose, renders me the very model of Einstein’s definition of insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. With every show, host...

07/13/05 :: By P. M. Carpenter
The incredible politics of incredible hypocrisy
Categories :: Republicans What a difference a party label makes. When asked about the raging controversy over Karl Rove’s participation in outing an undercover CIA agent, “several Republican senators,” reported the New York Times, said “that they did not know enough or did...

07/12/05 :: By P. M. Carpenter
The sweet clash of the titans
Categories :: Republicans If you want to do your part for the left, send two checks today to the right: one to the political-action arm of the Chamber of Commerce and another to that of the Southern Baptist Convention. Then sit back and...

07/11/05 :: By P. M. Carpenter
Karl Rove on sodium pentothal
Categories :: Mr. Rove’s famous speech redelivered, moments after his icy veins are injected with industrial-strength truth serum. Conservatives saw the savagery of 9/11 in the attacks and prepared for war; liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to...

07/08/05 :: By P. M. Carpenter
“No confidence” is all that’s left
Categories :: Education What could be more emblematic of the Bush administration’s response to global terrorism than its response to global warming? In an expected communiqué at the G-8 summit, the administration proposes "resolve and urgency" on a crisis it prefers to obfuscate...

07/08/05 :: By P. M. Carpenter
The revolutionary right’s bloody civil war
Categories :: There’s good news and bad news. The good news is that modern conservatism is in trouble. The bad news is that the opposition hasn’t been much of a force in helping the trouble along. But for now, let’s just enjoy...

07/07/05 :: By P. M. Carpenter
G.W. Bush: Stale Action Figure
Categories :: George W. Bush In the summer of 1776 the Continental army’s adjutant general, Colonel Joseph Reed, was a tad miffed. The year wasn’t shaping up as a good one. His infant nation had been slogging it out on the ground, suffering military defeats,...

07/06/05 :: By P. M. Carpenter
Redefining Republicanism, one Republican at a time
Categories :: Republicans In a wide-ranging, 10,000-word feature on Howard Dean’s past, present and future, Sally Jenkins of the Washington Post captured the party chairman’s deepest woe in one line: “Message has been a major problem for Democrats.” “Major problem” is, at best,...

07/05/05 :: By P. M. Carpenter
The Great O’Con
Categories :: Supreme Court/Judiciary Before we engage in battle over Sandra Day O’Connor’s successor, we should first take a moment to correct the media’s bandwagon eulogy of Madam Justice as a retiring queen of judicial judiciousness. The New York Times, for instance, in a...

07/01/05 :: By P. M. Carpenter
A mound of manure in 28 minutes
Categories :: Iraq The president’s primetime emphasis this Tuesday on 9/11 and Iraq as cause and effect has received so much attention from the commentariat, other chunks of his speech have suffered critical neglect. For sure, outing Bush’s 9/11 scam is a journalistic...

06/30/05 :: By P. M. Carpenter
43 & Friends: A legacy of criminal pathology
Categories :: Iraq The day after the president’s televised plea for national patience, the New York Times echoed what more than a few liberals, centrists and honest conservatives have advocated for some time: that Bush’s “critics … put aside, at least temporarily, their...

06/29/05 :: By P. M. Carpenter
Guess who’ll take the blame for Bush’s war
Categories :: Iraq Resolved: Iraq is a mess. If there’s anyone present who still believes there isn’t any comparison between this and Vietnam -- other than Michael “there isn’t any comparison between this and Vietnam” Deaver, the former Reagan aide -- let him...

06/28/05 :: By P. M. Carpenter
Karl Rove: The man Democrats should learn to love
Categories :: Bush Administration Democrats should stop taking Karl Rove so seriously. Rove is like the obnoxious little brother who routinely teases his big sister only because her ensuing anger is so predictably rewarding. Democrats fall for it every time. Rove opens his immature...

06/27/05 :: By P. M. Carpenter
Winning at any cost
Categories :: Bush Administration “Before we commit troops, there has to be a clear strategy.” Contrary to recent developments, U.S. military forces should never be sent on “vague, aimless and endless deployments.” Those are not criticisms of the Iraq quagmire expressed by some wimpish,...

06/24/05 :: By P. M. Carpenter
The Democratic politics of troop withdrawal
Categories :: Congressional Democrats are finally assailing the Bush administration for the colossal mess it’s made of Iraq. Their criticism is long overdue. Some proper shadow-governing has been demonstrated, for instance, by Dianne Feinstein. Bush “has got to give regular progress reports,”...

06/23/05 :: By P. M. Carpenter
“H.J. Res. 10: A bill to divert attention from what clowns we are”
Categories :: Republicans Republican members of the United States House of Representatives are in full-panic mode. Now that less than one in five Americans has confidence that Republican lawmakers are even a trifle interested in people’s everyday problems, the Republicans, rather than addressing...

06/22/05 :: By P. M. Carpenter
“A healthier, happier” president
Categories :: Iraq At first I thought it was a joke. We have in the White House a “healthier, happier and sharper chief executive,” read a line quoted in the Washington Post, because “once a day, he puts his desire for a workout...

06/21/05 :: By P. M. Carpenter
Neocon gameplaying
Categories :: Iraq In his role as a monthly columnist for the Washington Post, neoconservative Robert Kagan has written a curious little piece. In its title he poses “Whether this war was worth it,” and he bookends that ponderable with, “the effort to...

06/20/05 :: By P. M. Carpenter
“Lessons from the battlefield”: A memorable memo
Categories :: Democrats The latest polling data (New York Times/CBS News) on Americans’ opinion of Congress would seem to indicate that a wholesale House-cleaning is in store for 2006. The numbers are truly astounding and a reflection of how badly the Republicans have...

06/16/05 :: By P. M. Carpenter
Does “weird” even get close?
Categories :: Bush Administration Is politics in this country getting exponentially weirder, or is it just me? I ask because I’m now seeing little difference between a top-level diplomatic nominee and a madcap talk-radio comedian. But maybe there really isn’t any difference, and politics...

06/15/05 :: By P. M. Carpenter
Up the organization
Categories :: Progressive Strategy Liberals often wonder how conservatives have managed to attract so many people with such an anti-people agenda. Virtually everything the modern right stands for is steadfastly opposed to the average American’s interests. Still, the movement thrives. How does it do...

06/14/05 :: By P. M. Carpenter
Too much substance for yesterday’s sloganeering
Categories :: “People want us to fight, and we are here to fight,” Howard Dean told party leaders over the weekend. “We are not going to lie down in front of the Republican machine anymore.” Then he laid out the big strategic...

06/13/05 :: By P. M. Carpenter
The power of cheesy
Categories :: Media Last week the Washington Post’s Mark Leibovich wrote of a photo-op session staged by Howard Dean and Harry Reid, describing the event as a “spectacle” that “offered yet another distillation of why so many people believe that politicians and the...

06/10/05 :: By P. M. Carpenter
The Bush Chronicles revisited -- if you dare
Categories :: George W. Bush I had forgotten about published conversations between presidential-candidate George W. Bush and his autobiographical ghostwriter, Mickey Herskowitz, until a reader reminded me via a reprinted article from October, 2004. Journalist Herskowitz had met with Bush numerous times in 1999 in...

06/09/05 :: By P. M. Carpenter
A quagmire of opinion for GOP
Categories :: Iraq In a classic, “well, duh” headline Tuesday the Washington Post announced: “Americans Say War in Iraq Has Not Made U.S. Safer.” Actually that was the original headline, which was soon softened to “Poll Finds Dimmer View of Iraq War,” subtitled,...

06/08/05 :: By P. M. Carpenter
A DSM strategy
Categories :: Rep. John Conyers has written: “Why were the President and other high-ranking administration officials so definitive in their statements that Iraq possessed WMD?... We deserve to know whether these statements were the result of a ‘massive intelligence failure’ as some...

06/07/05 :: By P. M. Carpenter
The right’s defense against the DSM: It needs something better than this
Categories :: Iraq Though I anticipated inventive right-wing responses to outrage over the Downing Street Memo, I didn’t go out of my way to track them down. I knew they’d appear in good time and suspected they’d be framed in the flamboyant White...

06/06/05 :: By P. M. Carpenter
The left-right screamfest
Categories :: Propaganda/Spin have previously mentioned columnist Matt Miller’s state-of-the-political-union musings, in which he asked the questions, “Is persuasion dead?… Is it possible in America today to convince anyone of anything he doesn't already believe? If so, are there enough places where...

06/04/05 :: By P. M. Carpenter
The administration’s Original Sin
Categories :: Iraq Like millions of us, John Kerry is vexed by the media’s wholesale neglect of the administration-damning Downing Street memo. “I think it's a stunning, unbelievably simple and understandable statement of the truth and a profoundly important document that raises stunning...

06/04/05 :: By P. M. Carpenter
Of Pots and Kettles
Categories :: Military From the New York Times: “Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, in an unusually blunt public critique of China, said Saturday that Beijing's military spending threatened the delicate security balance in Asia and called for an emphasis instead on political freedom...

06/03/05 :: By P. M. Carpenter
Deadly “disassembling”
Categories :: Iraq This week the nation’s vice president instructed the Air Force Academy’s graduating class (in fundamentalist theology, one assumes) "to hunt down the terrorists before they can hit us again.” Catch that? “Before they” -- and “again.” Then, to quell the...

06/02/05 :: By P. M. Carpenter
The perniciously oblivious Mr. Bush
Categories :: Bush Administration There are 293,655,404 worried people in the United States -- minus one. "I don't worry about anything here in Washington, D.C.," Bush said Tuesday with his usual air of pixilation. At least he finally said something you can put in...

06/01/05 :: By P. M. Carpenter
Iraq, impeachment, illegalities and immorality
Categories :: Tactics Taken together the four topics in the grab-bag title of this piece, if played by Democrats with reasonable (and uncharacteristic) skill, could lead to serious Republican setbacks in 2006. A multiple-front approach -- from Iraq to values -- could be...

05/31/05 :: By P. M. Carpenter
To have and have not
Categories :: Democrats Senate Democrats blew it. Strategically they took one step forward and then two back tactically, the one familiar battle maneuver of the modern Democratic Party. I write, of course, about the filibuster-agreement affair. Its short and unhappy life was, for...

05/29/05 :: By P. M. Carpenter
The nuclear option: It’s not just for senators anymore
Categories :: Media We all know the Bush administration delights in offending the world. That’s hardly news. It bullied and browbeat its unilateral way into an illegal war; turned a blind eye to mountains of global-warming evidence; nominated a personality-disordered megalomaniac as America’s...

05/27/05 :: By P. M. Carpenter
Hellfire and damnation -- in writing
Categories :: Iraq A couple of short quotes said it all. White House spokesman Scott McClellan, after labeling Amnesty International’s just-released, scathing report on U.S. human rights violations as “ridiculous,” said "we hold people accountable when there's abuse.” Retired military judge Kevin Barry...

05/26/05 :: By P. M. Carpenter
The religious right’s stealth politics
Categories :: Framing - Religion I’d have much more respect -- okay, some respect -- for religious rightists if they would simply start telling the truth about their strategic goals. Ever since their more visible political ascendancy in the 1990s, they have back-doored the public...

05/25/05 :: By P. M. Carpenter
It’s the bullying, stupid
Categories :: Republicans The Senate locked horns over the filibuster; TV’s talking heads lectured on the filibuster; op-ed pages, talk-radio asylums and political Web sites parsed every parliamentary aspect of the filibuster -- and the debates were mostly an irrelevance. More on that...

05/24/05 :: By P. M. Carpenter
A pseudoconservative coup on its last, wretched breath
Categories :: The recent New York Times’ story on the world’s increasingly hostile opinion of America in light of detainee-abuse reports was as revealing in what it did not address as what it did. It wasn’t the journalists’ fault; their point was...

05/23/05 :: By P. M. Carpenter
Who’s on first …
Categories :: Iraq Col. Theodore Nicholas, director of intelligence in Afghanistan: “I did not put pressure on the interrogation cell to violate standards to gain information.” (June, 2004) Capt. Britton Hopper, commander of an intelligence battalion in Afghanistan: “There was a lot of...

05/21/05 :: By P. M. Carpenter
A Frist-rate hypocrite
Categories :: In early March, when Democratic Senator Robert Byrd the Republican anti-filibuster campaign to Nazi tactics, fellow senator Rick Santorum demanded that Byrd retract his comments because they "lessen the credibility of the senator and the decorum of the Senate." Naturally,...

05/20/05 :: By P. M. Carpenter
Back to the Future in Iraq
Categories :: Iraq Yesterday I checked out a few randomly chosen newspaper stories from two years ago to see precisely what was being said a couple months after our thumbs-up, mission-accomplished experience in Iraq. What an experience in itself. It began with this...

05/20/05 :: By P. M. Carpenter
This just in ...
Categories :: Blowhards ... "From the Desk of David Horowitz" -- a living, breathing blob of silliness who for God-knows-what-reason has put me on his e-fundraising list. "Dear P.M.: "[yada yada yada] ... The Left in America would rather defend terrorists who murder...

05/19/05 :: By P. M. Carpenter
The ideology of ignorance
Categories :: Iraq Reading journalists’ reports from Iraq is like being sucked into a time warp where ancient incompetence comes flying at you with mocking vengeance. It’s a confirming experience as well -- a confirmation that policy makers will never learn as long...

05/18/05 :: By P. M. Carpenter
The trail from McCarthyism to post-9/11 hysteria -- and liberal complicity
Categories :: Most Americans have either forgotten or never learned that McCarthyism was an equal-opportunity political crime wave. The Wisconsin senator made a big -- and utterly unexpected -- media splash with his Wheeling, West Virginia speech (“I hold in my hand...

05/17/05 :: By P. M. Carpenter
Is there anyone left …?
Categories :: Iraq Is there anyone left other than delusional neocons, Bush-admin propagandists and personality-disordered jingoists who could say we have planted a flowering democracy in Iraq rather than opened a can of virulent worms? Is there anyone left who could intelligently gainsay...

05/16/05 :: By P. M. Carpenter
Missin’ the bloody point, as usual
Categories :: Democrats Last Friday, Chris Matthews and his guests were frolicking in another of Hardball’s analysis-free zones. If you’re a regular viewer of MSNBC’s FOXy-R-Us fare, then perhaps you were as dismayed as I by that night’s “Tom DeLay segment.” The preceding...

05/14/05 :: By P. M. Carpenter
Confession of a blogging newcomer
Categories :: Blogging on Blogging This is your government, at its highest level, in action. The setting is the White House press room, the day after a Cessna aircraft over the nation’s capital caused the evacuation of more than 30,000 terrified people. The following is...

05/13/05 :: By P. M. Carpenter
Another up-or-down vote on black-and-white flakiness
Categories :: Bush Administration Nothing could better define how the Bush administration thinks, how it operates, and how it treats reality than John R. Bolton’s written opinion to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that “A policy official may state his own reading of the...

05/12/05 :: By P. M. Carpenter
Arnold gets his butt kicked
Categories :: Schwarzenegger, Arnold Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger accepts Visa, Mastercard and American Express. But you need to charge at least $10,000 and funnel it through one of his “initiative committees” to gain the personal access you’re bound to tell the public you’re not seeking....

05/11/05 :: By P. M. Carpenter
More Thunder on the Right: The Propaganda Ministry of Christian Broadcasting
Categories :: Religion Thanks to reader Steve Wolfson, who sent an expansive and riveting Columbia Journalism Review article on Christian evangelical broadcasting in America. Its reportage on the movement’s sheer numbers, cultivated by extraordinarily brash propagandists, is enough, however, to prompt one to...

05/10/05 :: By P. M. Carpenter
Blow-back revisited
Categories :: Iraq An ABC News journalist once asked the president why, in the prewar stage, he portrayed Iraqi weapons as an imminent threat to U.S. security when intelligence reports, replete with cautionary tones and caveats, more often referred to potentialities. The president...

05/09/05 :: By P. M. Carpenter
Is Dittodom Dying?
Categories :: Conservatives I’ve related the rise and fall of my hopes for a riveting weekend of locally produced, right-wing talk radio in the Ozarks. In a word, it was pretty much dead. No fire, no passion, no venom spewed. With their boys...

05/08/05 :: By P. M. Carpenter
Categories :: To update my high expectations, I’m sad to report that right-wing talk radio has died here. It appears to be a victim of its own success and its own distortions. Without Bill Clinton’s eight years of peace and prosperity to...

05/06/05 :: By P. M. Carpenter
Entering the Divine Comedy of Talk Radio Hell
Categories :: Satire This morning I’m headed off for parts so redneck they make Capitol Hill’s Republican cloakroom look like a bi-sexual commie bastion. I speak, of course, of the Missouri-Arkansas Ozarks. I once lived there, still have family there, and in a...

05/05/05 :: By P. M. Carpenter
America’s Political History in Less Than 2 Minutes
Categories :: History Some visionaries of the left live in an imaginary America. They live in a nation where pleasant visions lead to socially revolutionary realities. The remaining visionaries of the left live in a nation where exercising a robust imagination leads to...

05/04/05 :: By P. M. Carpenter
The Devil They Think They Know...
Categories :: Activism A few months ago I was sharing some cheap Chianti at a cheap bistro with a rather non-political -- borderline apolitical -- acquaintance. Nevertheless, for reasons forgotten he happened to wonder out loud why our political leaders were permitting a...

05/02/05 :: By P. M. Carpenter
Sticking to Muleheaded Policies like DeLay to Junkets
Categories :: Bush Administration Last Friday E.J. Dionne wrote an excellent piece about George W. Bush being an “egghead.” No, it wasn’t a play on words; he wasn’t accusing Mr. Bush of having the inherent intelligence of a barnyard bird, but of possessing that...

05/01/05 :: By P. M. Carpenter
Go Ahead, Make His Day
Categories :: Social Security Mr. Bush finally offered a specific or two about his Social Security plan. Predictably, a sizable chunk of Washington’s punditry is now falling all over itself in showing fair-and-balanced commentary by saying since Bush was bold enough to offer specifics,...

05/01/05 :: By P. M. Carpenter
A Hole in His Head
Categories :: Bush Administration A former Justice Department subordinate of John Bolton says fondly of his boss: "When you go in to brief [him], as I found out early, you better be prepared…. If you have holes in your argument, he won't work with...

05/01/05 :: By P. M. Carpenter
PM Carpenter here, delighted to meet you
Categories :: Hello. I'm PM Carpenter of p m carpenter's commentary. Tom Ball here at Political Strategy invited me to join him and his colleagues in posting observations on that refined sociopolitical genius known as liberalism, and on its somewhat less refined...


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