Sorry about that unscheduled disappearance, which was due to a combination of factors, including my inability to find the words to express the disgust and revulsion I felt about the Mark Foley mess, but mostly because my non-blogging life's been a little (okay, a lot) busier than I expected it would be this fall. At any rate, I've got some things that I want to discuss, and I do intend to post more frequently from here to November 7 at the very least.
- On the Foley scandal, since it seems to remain the elephant in the room: I am utterly appalled that this went on, as everyone is, and I'm sickened that it took so long to discover. If any of the umpteen ongoing investigations find that these matters were known about and hushed up in any way, those responsible must resign their posts. It appears that the Ethics Committee is conducting the kind of wide-ranging and open-ended investigation that needs to happen, and I hope that they'll get to the bottom of this sleazy episode.
- On Mark Warner's decision not to run in 2008, I was disappointed. Of course I can see how such a long campaign would be brutal on a family, and I certainly cannot fault him for his decision to forgo the race. Nonetheless, it's a shame to lose one of the most prominent centrist candidates so early in the process. Watch for Evan Bayh and John Edwards to make the most of Warner's departure.
- On the Casey-Santorum race in Pennsylvania: I watched their most recent debate (video here) last night, and I just have to say, Santorum came across as the most desperate, grasping, obnoxious debate participant I've ever watched. From his ridiculous "quiz questions" designed purely to trip Casey up (but which instead made Santorum look like a pompous ass) to his constant refrain of "you didn't answer the question" (which just made it seem like he wasn't listening to anything Casey was saying), Santorum did himself no favors by his actions.
- On the midterms in general: It looks like November 7th may well be a very, very bad night for those who want to maintain Republican control of Congress (I almost just wrote "Republicans" there and then realized that'd be including myself, and I certainly don't want the party to retain control). Given recent trends and ratings changes, it appears quite likely that Democrats will take the House, and odds are moving in their favor on the Senate side as well. See Rothenberg (House, Senate), Hotline (House, Senate). Now, of course, the Democrats could still snatch defeat from the jaws of victory (as they do so well), so I'm not making predictions of my own yet (but I will, as we get closer to the end).
- On Bob Ney's guilty plea: It's about time. Ney, having pleaded guilty yesterday, should resign his seat immediately. There is no question about that. His excuses about "making sure his staff are okay" are lame and unecessary; Ney should get out of town.
- On Bob Woodward's State of Denial: I finished reading the newest Woodward book last night, and have posted a full review here. It's the most disturbing of the "Bush at War" series, and it really portrays the Administration as we now understand it to operate: a bubbled president, being advised by a micromanaging vice president and SecDef who are both thoroughly bubbled themselves and utterly oblivious to dissent, regardless of its source. It's depressing, because there are so many points where I found myself saying "right there" things could gone differently if only there had been a grownup in the room.
- Alan over at Maverick Views has had some great posts up which I ought to have been linking to: a critique of the Dems, and most importantly some more thoughts on the efficacy of the "vital center."
- More soon (no really). Apologies again for the long absence.