Tuesday, February 15


Paul Krugman on The Fighting Moderates:

By standing firm against Mr. Bush's attempt to stampede the country into dismantling its most important social insurance program, Democrats like Mr. Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Dick Durbin and Barbara Boxer have, at a minimum, broken the administration's momentum, and quite possibly doomed its plan. The more time the news media spend examining the details of privatization, the worse it looks. And those Democrats have also given their party a demonstration of what it means to be an effective opposition.

In fact, by taking on Social Security, Mr. Bush gave the Democrats a chance to remember what they stand for, and why. Here's my favorite version, from another fighting moderate, Eliot Spitzer: "As President Bush embraces the ownership society and tries to claim that he is the one that is making it possible for the middle class to succeed and save and invest - well, I say to myself, no, that's not right; it is the Democratic Party historically that created the middle class."

For a while, Mr. Dean will be the public face of the Democrats, and the Republicans will try to portray him as the leftist he isn't. But Deanism isn't about turning to the left: it's about making a stand.

I listened on the radio this morning to the execrable Laura Ingraham. This morning's juvenile diatribe was about a recently published Norwegian study proving that lobsters don't feel pain when they are immersed in boiling water because like other invertebrates, their nervous systems are undeveloped and their brains are small:

The report looked at invertebrate groups such as insects, crustaceans, worms and mollusks and summarized the scientific literature dealing with feelings and pain among those creatures without backbones.

It concluded that most invertebrates _ including lobsters, crabs, worms, snails, slugs and clams _ probably don´t have the capacity to feel pain.
Mike Loughlin, who studied the boiling of lobsters when he was a University of Maine graduate student, said lobsters simply lack the brain capacity to feel pain.

"It´s a semantic thing: No brain, no pain," said Loughlin, who now works as a biologist at the Maine Atlantic Salmon Commission.

Oh, this was fuel for hilarity on the part of Laura and her staff. Democrats were comically compared to the slugs, insects, and other creatures without backbones mentioned in the report, particularly Ted Kennedy. But Barbara Boxer and a few others came into the picture as well. None of us Dems have any spine, according to Laura, we'd all knuckle under to PETA, terrorists, Saddam, Kim Jong-il and anyone who shouted "boo" at us.

I guess she doesn't remember how Bill Clinton stood against the Gingrich/Dole/Republicans' attempt to blackmail him into acceding to their budget by shutting down the government. Who called who's bluff? Who took a stand and who caved?

"No brain, no pain," the Ingrahams kept chortling as a mantra for Democrats. Tee-hee. God, it was so bizarre. They were all acting and talking like seven-year-olds while charging that Democrats are stupid. Too bad their "unexamined lives" weren't exposed to an audience that would understand the irony of what they were witnessing.

I'd like to rub her flat face (she's nuts about ad hominem attacks, so I'll use some) in the mud over the next few years and show her what a Democratic backbone really is. I think somehow she's confused "spine" with "spite."


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