Beating Around Bush

Anti-Bush bloggers are positively giddy about reports that young Barbara isn’t following in daddy’s footsteps.

Kos and many others link this story in the NY Daily News claiming that the first daughters “don’t buy into the conservative movement.”

Recently, a source asked the 21-year-old Barbara if she was a Republican. “She made a funny face and rolled her eyes,” reports our snitch. “She said, ‘I really wouldn’t label myself that.’”

(Somehow, Campaign Desk doesn’t see this breathless piece of “news” as a turning point for all that many voters, but it’s the sort of imagined chink in the armor that partisans left and right take great glee in dwelling upon.)

And speaking of partisans, spurred by Tim Noah’s Sunday night column in Slate, the left side of the blogosphere is embroiled in debate over which presidential candidate they’d most like to see emerge on the right to steal votes from Bush. Matt Yglesias at TAPPED is dreaming of Pat Buchanan, who he says will “revive the isolationist and protectionist elements of the American right” and appeal to voters disenchanted with Bush over his spending policies.

But Jeanne d’Arc agrees with Noah that Alabama “Ten Commandments” Judge Roy Moore would be the better candidate, claiming that “many people get irrational when it comes to social issues.” She invokes Adlai Stevenson, who was told after a stump speech that he’d get the vote of every thinking person in America. “That won’t be enough,” said Stevenson. “You see, I need a majority.”

Andrew Sullivan has some choice words concerning what he calls Larissa MacFarquhar’s “obsequious and fawning” Michael Moore profile in the New Yorker, which “treated lying as if it were a kind of aesthetic achievement, to be commented on by critics of mendacity rather than by journalists interested in getting at the truth.” He sees a related problem in the title of Sean Hannity’s new book, “Deliver Us From Evil: Defeating Terrorism, Despotism and Liberalism,” saying “it is … obscene to equate terrorism and despotism with liberalism.”

Finally, Brad DeLong chastises New York Times reporter Edmund Andrews for incorrectly reporting the Bush administration’s jobs projection. After reading Andrews’ response to his criticism, DeLong shows little sympathy. “Perhaps the most interesting thing about Andrews’s email,” says DeLong, “is the apparent absence of any sense of… yes, let’s call it shame.” Observes one commenter: “You must be a tough grader Prof. DeLong.”

Brian Montopoli

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Brian Montopoli is a writer at CJR Daily.