Tuesday, July 29, 2008


It's not August, and I'm getting sick of the campaign stuff again. For instance, if Obama picks Sebelius, Biden, Bayh, or anyone from Virginia as running mate, it'll be a yawning letdown. It seems to me that the last two successful campaigns had VP picks that defied the conventional wisdom. When Cheney picked Cheney, that was a real surprise. Clinton picking Gore? At the time it seemed that that the young, southern Gore was the last person the press expected. Maybe it was my lack of attention, maybe it was the dearth of internet and cable information, but I liked the surprises.

Obama picking Russ Feingold. That'd rev me up. McCain picking Tim LaHaye. That'd be fun.

In the meantime, Obama's direct mail folks have finally found me. I got a fundraising appeal yesterday that had a graphic of the U.S. in the background... but with New England inexplicably lopped off. If it had been a G.O.P letter, I would never have believed it was an accident.

I'm not planning on donating to Obama. Obama's got plenty of money, and unless something really bizarre happens, I don't expect a post-mortem that reads "Obama loss blamed on lack of donors." I'd rather my money go where it has the largest marginal effect. And may I remind you that supporting your favorite Statehouse candidate is basically free up to $50 (after rebate).

Speaking of Statehouse candidates, Nancy Garland's opponent has apparently been actively campaigning in his hometown of Gahanna. My commenters chastised me for taunting him. It still seems to me that he's either more cocky or less interested than the race would seem to warrant, but yes, I understand who the underdog is.

And finally, the NYT Editorial Board sums up its discussion of the Justice Department report that confirms many of the worst accusations of politicizing the office thusly:

The strength of American democracy depends on our ability to be shocked by abuses like these — and to punish them appropriately.
As of this morning, I'd be more shocked by appropriate punishment than by the abuse. Four years ago this month, I was dead certain that the United States was going to elect John Kerry as President. All of the confirmed allegations in yesterday's report are completely in line with the administration's behavior over the last seven years. This is no more true now than it was four years ago. Bush is no worse of a president now than he was then, 30% approval ratings or no. The strength of American Democracy depends on our faith in American Democracy, and our faith in American Democracy depends on our not being shocked when the majority of voters can't be counted on to care that the person they're voting for condones or even commits such abuses.

Best not to take that train of thought too far. Enjoy your Tuesday.

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