We're going to begin today with a rather loaded question. How much attention do you think the media should be paying towards a presidential nominee who is right now getting 13 to 15 percent support in public opinion polls of their party's voters?
Archive of Articles for May, 2015
Two things are worth noting here, before I jump in to taking a serious look (as I am doing for all announced presidential candidates from both parties) at the chances Martin O'Malley has of becoming president.
For those of you keeping score at home, the list of official Republican candidates for president is growing by two names this week: Rick Santorum and George Pataki. This brings the official total to eight, as these two join those who have already declared: Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina, Mike Huckabee, Rand Paul, and Marco Rubio. Santorum is announcing today and Pataki has scheduled his big announcement for tomorrow.
Please note that today's headline does not refer to a GOP race "to the bottom," but rather "at the bottom." Examining Republicans racing towards the bottom (however you define that concept) would be an entirely different subject, but what I'm talking about today is what is likely to become the most fierce fighting within the Republican Party's primary campaign -- the race at the very bottom of the polling -- because it will soon have an outsized importance for the overall contest to see which Republican will become the presidential nominee.
This is really just a program note, to state that there will be no column today.
I went looking for a Memorial Day column to re-run today, and found two that are still worth pondering: the first one I think I ever wrote and the one dedicated to all the second-class soldiers and sailors who served [...]
It's one of those rare weeks in Washington where Congress deigns to actually do their job and vote on some stuff... before lapsing back into their default status, which is of course: "taking weeks and weeks off, on vacation."
You know, today was one of those days when I was typing merrily along, writing a column, and then halfway through it had to research a few things -- and found that my entire premise had crumbled beneath me. Also, I found a few existing columns in other media outlets which said pretty much exactly what I was trying to say. So, suddenly, I didn't give a rat's ass about finishing the article.
Jeb Bush certainly had a bad week last week, as he struggled to come up with a clear answer to a question he really should have been expecting in the first place. Other Republicans also struggled to admit that the Iraq War was indeed a mistake (which is somewhat understandable, because by doing so they are criticizing a former Republican president). But while the spectacle of Republicans having to admit a big Republican mistake certainly is amusing, there's an even bigger question which so far has remained unasked: "Knowing all the things we've learned in the past decade and a half, what would it take for you to send American troops to fight an overseas war?" This is the real question the voters deserve an answer to. To put it more bluntly: "How many more wars can we expect if you are elected?"
Ireland may be about to make some history. At the end of this week, citizens of the Republic of Ireland will vote to either give same-sex marriages full and equal rights with opposite-sex marriages, or they will vote the idea down and continue the status quo of not allowing gay people to get married. If the referendum passes, Ireland will become the first country to vote for full marriage equality by means of direct referendum in the entire world. The "Yes" vote is currently polling better than 2-to-1 against the "No" vote, so the chances of passage at this point have to be seen as pretty good.
Everyone who cares at all (one way or the other) about government surveillance should watch the documentary 1971 tonight, on the PBS show Independent Lens. Everyone who has an opinion on the Edward Snowden revelations should watch this film. Everyone who has an opinion on the USA PATRIOT Act should tune in. Disturbed by the National Security Agency's actions? Check your local listings for when Independent Lens airs.