Wednesday, 27 April 2005

This has to be read to be disbelieved

It takes a lot to get me to blog these days, with finals and qualifiers approaching, but this article at The Guardian has done it.

They begin by declaring Tony Blair a “war criminal” and say he’s the worst British PM since Chamberlain. You can see where this is going, right? Chamberlain appeased Germany and Blair “appeased” the U.S. by supporting the Iraq War. Hence, the U.S. is Germany of the 1930s. Well, minus the territorial ambitions, a dictator running the country and a million other things. No socialism either.

I’ll quote a good bit from the article, but you really should read it all for yourself:

Blair has followed in his footsteps, and is destined for the same place in history's hall of infamy. Like Chamberlain, he is an arrogant and God-fuelled appeaser, the unseemly ally of an unbridled country that presents a global threat similar to Germany in the 1930s.

Tony Blair has been the worst prime minister since Neville Chamberlain, a figure with whom he shares a number of significant characteristics. Chamberlain was a supremely confident and arrogant politician, an excellent speaker and a deeply religious man with a hotline to God. He had an unassailable majority in parliament, was popular in the country and presided over a cabinet stuffed with nonentities.

Unfamiliar with the outside world, he conducted his own disastrous foreign policy with the help of backroom advisers as ignorant as himself. By seeking to appease the German government, the principal threat to world peace at the time, he onlysucceeded in encouraging that country's appetite for aggression and expansionism. His egregious errors played a not insignificant role in the outbreak of the second world war, the principal tragedy of the 20th century.

Blair has followed in his footsteps, and is destined for the same place in history’s hall of infamy. Like Chamberlain, he is an arrogant and God-fuelled appeaser, the unseemly ally of an unbridled country that presents a global threat similar to Germany in the 1930s.

Instead of seeking a grand alliance to confront this new danger – “a coalition of the unwilling” that would include the Europeans, the Russians and the Chinese – Blair has sided with the evil empire. He has taken up a role as its principal cheerleader, obliging Britain to become a participant in its wars of aggression. Today’s Labour party has been a supine collaborator in this policy of appeasement, just like the Tory party in the 1930s. Blair’s war party must be defeated at the polls.

So. Britain should have sided with Russia, China and France rather than the U.S. I’m glad this idiot isn’t actually running things in Britain.

Guess who

If I didn’t know better, I’d say Glenn was the political scientist and Andrew the lawyer.

Of course, I might also express some skepticism about this phrase from Sullivan:

Gay couples who have had basic rights taken away from them since November

I’d like to meet these gay couples who have been deprived of a right they actually had on November 1, 2004. Indeed, I tend to think the scorecard over the past few months is +2 for gay couples, as Oregon and Connecticut have civil union bills either passed or well on their way to passage. You could argue that in the states that passed anti-same-sex marriage amendments (including Oregon), gay couples lost constitutional recognition of rights that weren’t recognized by any of those states in practice anyway—and could only be recognized in the future by judicial fiat, since none of those states had ever intentionally created a right to same-sex marriage—but that’s something of a stretch.

Update: Daniel Drezner is underwhelmed by Sullivan’s political theory credentials based on the TNR piece that had something to do with the Sullivan-Reynolds debate.

Another Update: I probably should correct the score to +1, as I forgot about Texas passing its (ill-advised, though probably constitutionally valid) law forbidding adoptions by gay couples.

Stereotype conformance

I walked around Belhaven with my camera today and took a few photos. This was by far the most amusing photo I took:

Belhaven patriotism/Freedom House

I’m sure there’s a perfectly reasonable explanation why a French flag would be flying outside a house in Belhaven, but I found this juxtaposition incredibly funny nonetheless.

Terminal cuteness insufficient

The gals at Go Fug Yourself are right: Bermuda shorts just aren’t appropriate for any event at which you might be photographed, unless it’s a beach party. What’s semi-frightening, though, is that Kristen Bell (q.v.) almost pulls it off through sheer force of cuteness.

Oh, yeah, and that Logan Echolls is a real bastard. Unless he didn’t really do it (and I suspect he didn’t, but what do I know?), in which case he’s cool.

Mayor poll

Today’s Clarion-Ledger reports on a poll showing Frank Melton with a double-digit lead in the Democratic primary (scheduled for Tuesday) of the Jackson mayoral race.

Predicting these things is always messy, especially with Mississippi’s open primary laws and low turnout rates in primary elections, but a 13-point lead (well outside the 4.5 point margin of error) is quite impressive. Mind you, there’s a surprisingly big undecided pool out there—hence why Johnson’s camp is trying to hang the DINO label on Melton to solidify support among Democratic identifiers, not to mention the use of the “northeast Jackson” codeword for “whitey.”

Update: More commentary here and here. For what it's worth, the Mason-Dixon poll shows a somewhat wider margin than the exit poll we conducted in November (712 respondents who were actual voters from five precincts), but we didn't give an "undecided" option (or list any other potential candidates).

Not a guy named Buster from Philly

James Joyner has lots of linkage today on the filibuster, including a link to Steven Taylor’s civics lesson on the origins of the practice (and the meaning of “checks and balances”). It’s good stuff: go forth and read it.

Now is as good a time as any to relink the filibuster op-ed, including (for the first time on this blog) the unedited version of the piece. As the op-ed indicates, I’m more ambivalent than both James and Steven on abolishing the filibuster outright—and, as Jacqueline Passey points out, obstructionism has its uses.

Useful tool

A friend passed along the Ron Mexico name generator. My alter ego is apparently “Bruno Jamaica.”

Incidentally, at least none of my students in intro last night thought the Supreme Court case that applied the exclusionary rule to the states was People v. Ron Mexico. (On the downside, I did have one student who thought the Shakira-Aguillera test had something to do with the free exercise clause.)

This is my entry in today's DIY OTB Traffic Jam.

Ode to ugly chicks

As the web’s resident critic of pop song lyrics, I appreciate the sentiment behind Jesse McCartney’s Beautiful Soul, but I’m not sure the chorus is exactly what your object-of-smittenness wants to hear:

I don’t want another pretty face
I don’t want just anyone to hold
I don’t want my love to go to waste
I want you and your beautiful soul

In other words, McCartney wants to have a homely girl who doesn’t believe in the use of birth control. Then again, maybe I’m just reading too much into his use of the phrase “I don’t want my love to go to waste”...