"There's been a lot of rightwing populist talk in recent years and plenty of econobabble about "the ownership society" and the rest. Modern conservatism's most successful strategy was to merge public relations and politics into a seamless operation in which it could use modern marketing methods to convince people to vote against their own interests. (Perhaps we are seeing the first signs of how that can blow back on them. We'll see.)"* digby:
"I have concluded that while we have all been trying for years to figure out just what in the hell Blair thought he was doing, the simplest answer is probably the right one. He's just as dumb as Bush on this matter. He believes this crap. Now that all the early rationales that made his rhetoric sensible lie moldering in the historical compost heap, he's left with nothing but the puerile ad copy that Junior's team concocted to make these people believe they had been anointed by God to fight a grand struggle between good and evil. Sad."
"As you can tell, I feel strongly about making sure you understand that I understand it's tough."* and again he speaketh:
""I assured the leaders that the White House door will be open when the new Congress shows up. And I think we ought to meet on a regular basis; I believe there's consensus for that. And the reason you meet on a regular basis is so that the American people can know that we're working hard to find common ground. That's what they expect us to do; they expect us to work on big problems and solve them.""
"In the wake of Litvinenko's death, the West must insist on cooperation from the FSB in finding his killers. If that is not forthcoming, it should be assumed that the murder of Litvinenko was ordered by the Russian regime.
Under those circumstances, not only should Russia be expelled from the G-8 but the whole structure of mutual consultation and cooperation would need to be re-evaluated. This is not just a matter of refusing to trivialize a murder. It is also a vital political obligation. Russians of all types are watching to see whether the West will simply swallow this crime or finally react to the rampant criminalization of Russian society. There are forces in Russia that want the country to be part of the West. But to back them, we need to demonstrate that we have moral values that we defend. To do less would be to abandon Russia to the forces of nihilism and obscurantism.