Every once in a while I read a news story which is just so breathtakingly unbelievable that I find myself having to pause a moment, lest I spend the next fifteen minutes running through the streets naked and screaming. Here’s today’s: on the front page of the Washington Post, it seems that the Democrats are concerned and arguing internally, about whether they’ll have sufficient turnout in November to win the election.
Put another way, the Democrats believe that their voters are insufficiently motivated to actually get off their butts and vote. Pelosi and Dean and Emanuel are feuding over the best way to resolve this problem.
In other news, the Democrats are uniformly agreed on the policy of “wait for George W. Bush to boil a dozen puppies in white wine and garlic on live television, and then issue a press release noting that this isn’t polite.”
Nancy. Howard. Rahm. In the alternate universe where the Democrats routinely show the mental acumen to find their asses with both hands, their problem isn’t turnout. Their problem is investing millions of dollars upgrading the polling stations of America so their tidal wave of support doesn’t simultaneously violate 10,000 local fire codes.
For example, here’s some of the ammunition your multidimensional counterparts are using. I’ll note that all of this comes from today’s stories. Who knows? If you’re really lucky, you might have more stories to use tomorrow.
A flailing Iraq reconstruction effort that has been dominated for more than three years by US dollars and companies is being transferred to Iraqis, leaving them the challenge of completing a long list of projects left unfinished by the Americans. More than 500 planned projects have not been started, and the United States lacks a coherent plan for transferring authority to Iraqi control. (A1)
Veterans of the fighting in Iraq are more likely than other US soldiers to suffer mild memory and attention lapses back home. [This] could signal more serious mental health problems down the road. (A2)
President Bush has promoted voluntary measures to curb greenhouse gases, but has consistently opposed mandatory targets. (A3)
The Pentagon’s initial story of how it reacted to the 2001 terrorist attacks may have been part of a deliberate effort to mislead the commission and the public. Suspicion of wrongdoing ran so deep that the commission debated referring the matter to the Justice Department for criminal investigation. (A3)
A draft Bush administration plan for special military courts seeks to expand the reach and authority of such “commissions” to include trials, for the first time, of people who are not members of al-Qaeda or the Taliban and who are not directly involved in acts of international terrorism. The plan would also allow the Secretary of Defense to add crimes at will to those under the military court’s jurisdiction. (A4)
The Senate approved yesterday a bill that would open more than 8 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico to oil and gas drilling, but it must be reconciled with a vastly more permissive House measure that would end a 25-year-old moratorium on drilling off the nation’s Atlantic and Pacific coasts. (A7)
More than 2/3rds of the Army National Guard’s 34 brigades are not combat-ready, largely because of equipment shortfalls that will take as much as $21 billion to correct. (A7)
US District Judge Elizabeth Laporte [approved the Forest Service when it] reversed a Clinton administration rule banning new roads on nearly a third of federal forests. But she questioned whether the agency violated federal law by skipping environmental studies. (A7)
A series of bombings and shootings, most of them targeting Iraqi soldiers and police, killed at least 44 people in Iraq on Tuesday in a new surge of violence against people changed with stabilizing the country. (A11)
Ramadi, the capital of Iraq’s western Anbar province, has sunk into virtual anarchy under the stranglehold of a skilled, well-financed, and ruthless insurgency. Now, for the first time, US and Iraqi forces are engaged in a block-by-block campaign to retake the area. (A12)
Acting FDA Commissioner Andrew C. von Eschenbach struggled yesterday to convince a Senate committee that he deserves to lead the agency on a permanent basis, but his efforts were repeatedly undercut by tough questions about the agency’s flagging reputation and its snail’s-pace review of the emergency contraceptive pill Plan B. (A13)
A member of the [Kansas] state Board of Education who approved new classroom standards that call evolution into question held onto his seat Tuesday, turning back a challenge from two defenders of Darwin. (A14)
Apparently, this is not quite enough for a coherent Democratic turnout strategy. Bring on the puppies!
But while you’re waiting for Bush to do something so egregiously stupid that even you can’t screw up your message, I suggest you pick up the phone and call a professor of history. There are quite good ones at Georgetown, it’s a local call. Ask them about the Whigs, the Populists, and the Grange. Ask them about the usual fate of parties which are so stunningly bad that their members routinely have bumper stickers that say “Wake me in 2008” — an implicit admission that we expect nothing worthwhile of you until then, and maybe not even then.
And then you can while away some time measuring drapes for your inevitable dustbin of history. They’re rather drab, and they’ll need some decoration.