Political Animal


February 01, 2013 7:22 PM Day’s End and Weekend Watch

By Ed Kilgore

Ah, a long week of real and contrived political events. But most of us had a more pleasant week than did Chuck Hagel. Here are the news remainders of this day:

* Bill Kristol craftily compares Hagel to Harriet Miers, and suggests liberals bail on him as unqualified—which wasn’t actually why conservatives opposed Miers. But whatever.

* Kevin Drum points out the health premiums are too just damn high, pre-Obamacare.

* TNR’s Jonathan Cohn reminds us a “path to citizenship” is going to mean a lot of folks will qualify for publicly provided or guaranteed health coverage.

* At Ten Miles Square, Andrew Gelman shows that “partisan bias” of electoral college is minimal.

* At College Guide, Daniel Luzer suggests it’s a real good year to apply to law school if you want: almost everyone will get in.

And in sorta non-political news:

* Dow closes at over 14k for first time since 2007. But—but—4th quarter GDP down!

Kathleen Geier will be back in for Weekend Blogging!

I’ve got a million non-WaMo things to do this weekend. But for now, let’s end the week with some more Mitch Ryder and The Detroit Wheels:


Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


  • James on February 01, 2013 11:14 PM:

  • Quaker in a Basement on February 01, 2013 11:23 PM:

    TNR’s Jonathan Cohn reminds us a “path to citizenship” is going to mean a lot of folks will qualify for publicly provided or guaranteed health coverage.

    Haven't read Cohn's piece yet, but I sure hope he also points out that a "path to citizenship" is going to mean a lot of new folks also will be paying into the system.

  • mrs j on February 02, 2013 11:09 PM:

    Republicans are in laughable, scoffable territory now.
    And it brings back the ludicrous.

    We had to endure Dubya in a flight suit and codpiece in front of a Mission Accomplished sign--- while never serving in the military or understanding one iota of what Hagel knows--- with Bush accomplishing *nothing*........... while currently these Teapublicans and the bitter and ruined John McCain, his face evident of full throttle jealousy of the president who defeated him in 2008, and McCain now abusing an accomplished military veteran and senator, Chuck Hagel, for no reason other than he lost the election to President Obama. It is so dysfunctional and insane clown rides....
    Don't y'all tire of leaping into the right wing world so often these days. Laughable that Rand AYN Paul saying...if he was president...DREAM ON

  • insiders from the beltway should read this on February 03, 2013 12:00 AM:

    From the Maddow blog, on McCain:

    Frank Rich's summary from 2009.

    "[McCain] made every wrong judgment call that could be made after 9/11. It’s not just that he echoed the Bush administration’s constant innuendos that Iraq collaborated with Al Qaeda’s attack on America. Or that he hyped the faulty W.M.D. evidence to the hysterical extreme of fingering Iraq for the anthrax attacks in Washington. Or that he promised we would win the Iraq war “easily.” Or that he predicted that the Sunnis and the Shiites would “probably get along” in post-Saddam Iraq because there was “not a history of clashes” between them.

    What’s more mortifying still is that McCain was just as wrong about Afghanistan and Pakistan. He routinely minimized or dismissed the growing threats in both countries over the past six years, lest they draw American resources away from his pet crusade in Iraq.

    Two years after 9/11 he was claiming that we could “in the long term” somehow “muddle through” in Afghanistan. (He now has the chutzpah to accuse President Obama of wanting to “muddle through” there.) Even after the insurgency accelerated in Afghanistan in 2005, McCain was still bragging about the “remarkable success” of that prematurely abandoned war. In 2007, some 15 months after the Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf signed a phony “truce” ceding territory on the Afghanistan border to terrorists, McCain gave Musharraf a thumb’s up. As a presidential candidate in the summer of 2008, McCain cared so little about Afghanistan it didn’t even merit a mention among the national security planks on his campaign Web site.

    He takes no responsibility for any of this.

    McCain now seems eager to have a conversation about who has credibility on Bush-era wars, even with the benefit of hindsight. It's one of the more profound examples in recent memory of a politician lacking in self-awareness.

    Indeed, as of this morning, McCain actually seems to believe it's worse to get the surge question wrong than to get the entire war wrong.

    "I want to know if you were right or wrong," McCain said. You first, senator."