THE FREAK SHOW HAS BEEN TO THE MOUNTAINTOP! Hillarys office makes a disclosure—and gets out in front of the freaks: // link // print // previous // next //
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 17, 2006
DRUM DOES THE RIGHT THING: Kevin Drum did the right (and well have to admit, the obvious) thing in response to Paul Krugmans recent column; he compiled the recent historical data about congressional voting. Do Democrats need to out-poll Republicans by seven points just to break even in the House? Kevin says he cant see the pattern. Then he says this: I'm mostly posting this in hopes that someone who knows a lot about this stuff will see it and chime in. I'd be interested to hear some expert opinion about whether there's more to this than meets the eye.
We hope that happens too. As we noted in April and again last week, we dont know if Krugmans math is right on this. (We tend to trust Krug about such matters—but we dont assume that hes always right.) On the other hand, Morton Kondracke made the same observation last week, attributing his claim to Democratic strategists (see THE DAILY HOWLER, 10/11/06). Kondracke is often full of old shoes on Special Report, where he serves on the all-star panel. But there was no party advantage to this statement. It would seem that someone in Democrat Land thinks that this pattern obtains.
Do Democrats face a structural disadvantage in House voting? When Krugman first made this claim in April, it produced the standard response—total silence. Like Kevin, we hope that some of them experts step up and clarify this point. See THE DAILY HOWLER, 10/16/06. Inquiring minds want to know.
LETS PLAY TWO: While were at it, lets cite a point from Krugmans most recent column. Why should voters favor Dems this fall? To provide oversight, Krugman says. He offers some miserable numbers:
KRUGMAN (10/16/06): The current Congress has shown no inclination to investigate the Bush administration. Last year The Boston Globe offered an illuminating comparison: when Bill Clinton was president, the House took 140 hours of sworn testimony into whether Mr. Clinton had used the White House Christmas list to identify possible Democratic donors. But in 2004 and 2005, a House committee took only 12 hours of testimony on the abuses at Abu Ghraib.Bill Clintons Christmas cards? Massive oversight! Abuses that massively harmed U.S. interests? Sorry—not quite so much.
For ourselves, well seize on this gruesome example to make a suggestion weve made in the past. Wouldnt the public interest be served if both parties had subpoena power—the power to perform oversight? In our current arrangement, you can conduct investigations if you have 51 senators—but not if you only have 49. But why cant both parties have this power? Theres no need to restrict this to the majority. Why not give the losers a chance?
THE FREAK SHOW HAS BEEN TO THE MOUNTAINTOP: Hillary Clintons office has made a fascinating disclosure about the origins of her first name. This is precisely the type of inane pseudo-issue which has driven the burgeoning part of our politics which Harris and Halperin describe as the Freak Show (see THE DAILY HOWLER, 10/16/06). Well wait to see how the Freak Show responds, then offer our own further comments.
By the way, well guess that this statement clinches one point: Hillary Clinton is running for president. Through bitter experience, Dems are learning how to get out in front of the freaks.
THE FREAK SHOW SAT ON SANTAS LAP: And it wasnt just Clintons Christmas card list! On Christmas Eve 1999, a Freak Show denizen named Al Kamen penned a review of Al Gores Christmas card! And what a surprise! The card showed how phony the phony Dem was, Kamen told his sugar-plummed readers (see THE DAILY HOWLER, 12/24/99). In those days, we Dems were still finding out how freakish the Kamens could be.
Kamen, of course, writes for the Post. Yep! John Harris paper was a very large part of the endless Freak Show of the Clinton-Gore era. Its a fact he and Halperin work rather hard to obscure in their rather slick book.