Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Around Salon

Two stories piqued my interest, one a post by Glenn Greenwald continuing on a theme from yesterday. Republicans and their buddies in the media would like to believe that the Petreaus report was a huge success for President Bush and a debacle for the Democrats.
the percentage of Americans who believe we should either maintain or increase our current troops levels in Iraq was higher B.P. (30%) than it is A.P. (27%). Conversely, the percentage of Americans who want a troop reduction or complete withdrawal increased after the Petraeus Week (from 65% to 68%).

More revealingly still, only a small minority of Americans -- the depressingly familiar Bush dead-enders -- actually believe Gen. Petraeus' claims that "the surge has made things in Iraq better."

. . . They actually thought that a newspaper ad was going to transform deeply entrenched views about the Republicans and the War because their friends Ed Gillispie and Tony Snow and Sean Hannity told them it would. The Rise of Petraeus the Good and the unmasking of the Evil MoveOn Left was going to change everything, back to its rightful place. It changed nothing, including the media itself, which will seize on some other event a few weeks from now to declare yet again the latest surging comeback for the President, the war and the right-wing faction which has followed him.
There it is. Still you can't blame them for seeking hope where they can find it.

Also of note are questions asked by a debate on Family Values, a debate Romney, Guiliani, Thompson, and McCain sat out. And it's not hard to see why. One question piqued my interest.
"While you were senator, you opposed the federal marriage amendment, but recently you stated that you would support a marriage amendment that would prevent judges from imposing same-sex marriage, so long as it would not prohibit state legislatures from adopting same-sex marriage. This reasoning is like saying that you favor a constitutional amendment that prohibits judges from imposing slavery so long as the state legislatures were free to do so. Does not your position fundamentally misunderstand the universal importance of marriage in the same way my latter example about slavery indicates a misunderstanding of human dignity?"
What I find interesting about this question is how it mirrors a question I've had about one standard Republican position on abortion. The theory is that the problem with Roe vs. Wade was that the Courts decided when it should have been the people. But assuming you let the people decide isn't the next question something like this? If the state legislature in Vermont decides abortion is legal and the state legislature in South Carolina decides abortion is murder, how do your reconcile those two views? Isn't the next question for the pro-life crowd something along the lines of "Why is it ok to kill a baby in Vermont but not in South Carolina?"

Or to put it another way, I think that pretending that it should be a states rights question is just a stop on the way to ending it entirely.

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