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Catching Up

I didn't do a post yesterday because the WiFi card in my antiquated laptop shut down; I must've forgotten to feed the hamsters again. Before that happened, I did do a long post over at TPMCafe.com, proposing six rules for intra-party etiquette, that you might find interesting. And my enforced inability to cyber-jabber did encourage me to listen to some other voices.Over at Bullmooseblog.com, my colleague Marshall Wittmann indulged in one of his periodic fantasies about a John McCain/Bob Kerrey third party ticket. Upon encountering him today, I suggested The Moose was grazing amongst the funny mushrooms again.On a more serious note, I attended a Progressive Policy Institute event (a link to the video should be up on the CSPAN2 site later today) featuring Larry Diamond, whose new book about the Iraq occupation, Squandered Victory, is a riveting account of the Bush administration's "arrogance, ignorance, isolation and incompetence" in post-invasion Iraq, and the consequences we are facing now and for the immediate future.And just a few minutes ago, I read a powerful piece in The Weekly Standard by Matthew Continetti about the deeper origins of Ralph Reed's latest troubles, which suggests his involvement in the Abramoff/Indian Casino scandal may turn out to be the tip of the ethical iceberg. Continetti runs through a whole series of questionable lobbying and p.r. campaigns Reed has taken on during his relatively brief but extremely lucrative career as a consultant (e.g., several contracts with Enron), and notes that Reed's past ability to disguise his sources of income cannot survive the scrutiny he's invited by running for Lieutenant Governor of Georgia. "For once," says Continetti, Reed's "political timing is off."Reed remains the front-runner for the GOP nomination, with an array of GOP establishment figures in Georgia and in Washington in his corner. And he did manage to intimidate one potential primary opponent, State Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine, into backing off, even though Oxendine was leading Reed in early polls. But he still faces state Rep. Casey Cagle, who has won the support of a large number of Republican legislators. And they aren't being bashful about going after Reed on his ethics record and his unsavory Washington associations. In an Atlanta Journal-Constitution op-ed piece earlier this week, Bob Irvin, a former GOP legislative leader, called on Reed to drop out, with this prophecy: "If you should win the nomination, many thousands of Republican voters will desert us for the Democrats in 2006, defeating not only you but also many other good Republican candidates, maybe even Gov. Sonny Perdue."Now there's an eminently achievable political fantasy that The Moose and I can share.
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