" Gates's nomination unquestionably stands for one proposition: a long-awaited recognition that the administration's war in Iraq has been a disaster. But the broader interpretation of the appointment as representing a victory of Bush 41 over Bush 43 -- or of one school of thought over another -- breaks down when you look at Gates's background and the history of the 1980s and early '90s.
For one thing, that analysis depends on a selective view of the Bush 41 administration. Yes, it included Gates; then-national security adviser Brent Scowcroft, a determined opponent of the current Iraq war; and Baker, who is now head of a bipartisan group searching for a new Iraq policy. But Vice President Cheney was a charter member of the Bush 41 administration. So were Cheney's former aide Stephen Hadley, the current national security adviser, and Condoleezza Rice -- who have been among the principal architects of the war in Iraq."
* billmon: "Praise God and pass the rectoscope"
* For vets day, froomkin excerpts from a book by an vet from the current iraq debacle.
"Shinseki: Competent. Knowledgeable. Independent. Not even a whiff of scandal.* amy:
Gates: Competent. Not knowledgeable. Bush family loyalist. The best that can be said is there wasn't enough evidence to indict him in Iran/Contra.
I see no reason why Congress shouldn't insist on the best.
And I think, for a lot of reasons the Democrats should insist. Bush can start right now. Gates should never have been nominated and he should not be confirmed."
"In other news from Mexico, Mexico City has approved a measure to legalize same-sex civil unions. The legislation allows several rights but stops short of granting gay couples’ the right of full marriage or child adoption."* Foser:
" But consider this: Earlier this year, McCain indicated that if he was governor of South Dakota, he would have signed that state's blanket ban on abortion. On Tuesday, South Dakota voters rejected that ban by a decisive 12-point margin.
Think about that for a moment.
John McCain, the media's poster child for the "sensible center," holds a position on abortion that is far to the right of that held by the people of South Dakota.
So, on what is perhaps the most widely-used ideological litmus test, John McCain is far to the right not just of the country as a whole, but of the electorate of one of the most conservative states in the nation.
On issues ranging from tax and budget policy to health care to the minimum wage to abortion to the war in Iraq to the environment, so-called "far left" Democratic leaders like Nancy Pelosi hold positions that enjoy the support of the American people. Even on issues that Democrats have essentially stopped talking about and acting on, like universal health care and gun safety legislation, their positions are quite moderate.
So when media report that Democrats won by embracing "moderate" or "centrist" positions, that's true - but not in the way that they mean it. Democrats have long embraced centrist positions. The suggestion, however, that they won by running towards the right, or towards the center, rather than by continuing to occupy it, is as wrong as it is widespread.
But when political journalists and pundits use words like "centrist" and "moderate," they aren't talking about Nancy Pelosi and Dick Durbin. They are -- quite bizarrely -- talking about people like the far-right John McCain.
That's presumably why McCain and Sen. Joe Lieberman are reportedly the guests on the first post-election edition of Meet the Press: their reputation, deserved or not, for being moderate consensus-builders."