From today’s NYT:
Poppy Bush and James Baker gave Sonny the presidency to play with and he broke it. So now they’re taking it back.
They are dragging W. away from those reckless older guys who have been such a bad influence and getting him some new minders who are a lot more practical.
In a scene that might be called “Murder on the Oval Express,” Rummy turned up dead with so many knives in him that it’s impossible to say who actually finished off the man billed as Washington’s most skilled infighter. (Poppy? Scowcroft? Baker? Laura? Condi? The Silver Fox? Retired generals? Serving generals? Future generals? Troops returning to Iraq for the umpteenth time without a decent strategy? Democrats? Republicans? Joe Lieberman?)
The defense chief got hung out to dry before Saddam got hung. The president and Karl Rove, underestimating the public’s hunger for change or overestimating the loyalty of a fed-up base, did not ice Rummy in time to save the Senate from teetering Democratic. But once Sonny managed to heedlessly dynamite the Republican majority — as well as the Middle East, the Atlantic alliance and the U.S. Army — then Bush Inc., the family firm that snatched the presidency for W. in 2000, had to step in. Two trusted members of the Bush 41 war council, Mr. Baker and Robert Gates, have been dispatched to discipline the delinquent juvenile and extricate him from the mother of all messes. Continue reading
House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) will not seek reelection to the Republican leadership when his members return as a minority party after taking heavy losses in Tuesday’s elections, a Republican official tells TIME. Hastert, 64, a low-key former high school wrestling coach, was beloved by members as a “good cop,” compared to the enforcer style of the longtime number two leader, former Rep. Tom Delay (R-Tex.). But Hastert was badly damaged by questions about how much he had known about former Rep. Mark Foley (R-Fla.) and his contact with pages, and members felt Hastert also handled the aftermath of the revelations clumsily. more
So, is this the dismantling of Delay’s machine? The machine that delivered vote after vote for Bush?
For mountain Democrats, the defeat of eight-term Republican Congressman Charles Taylor was a long time coming — 16 years, to be exact.
And it took a political newcomer, former NFL quarterback Heath Shuler, to do it.
Shuler, 34, claimed victory Tuesday night with 123,856 votes to 106,632 for Taylor, with all 298 precincts reporting in unofficial tallies. Shuler collected 53.7 percent of the vote, to 46.3 percent for Taylor.
“We’ve talked about it — how our country deserves better — and it’s going to get better,” Shuler said to raucous Democrats gathered at the Renaissance Hotel in downtown Asheville.
Outstanding. Charles Taylor was a joke. I hope that Heath will do us proud.