Kabuki, Surfers and Audie Murphy

Finally, the blogosphere finds a way to tie the Bush administration to stylized Japanese theatre.

Josh Marshall, invoking “dingbat kabuki,” rails against Republicans over Dennis Hastert’s announcement that he will not bring up legislation to extend the Sept. 11 commission’s May 27 deadline. Marshall believes Hastert was just doing the White House’s bidding. “I’m genuinely surprised,” says Marshall, that the White House expects anyone to believe that this is Hastert’s work alone.

Calpundit is amazed at the explanation for the decision from Hastert’s spokesman, who said Hastert is worried that “it will become a political football if this thing is extended and it is released in the middle of the presidential campaign.”

Says Calpundit: “Aren’t you supposed to at least pretend that you’re motivated solely by what’s best for the country?” (italics Calpundit’s)

Brad Delong and Jesse Taylor attack yesterday’s Robert Samuelson piece in The Washington Post, in which Samuelson criticizes Democrats for attacking Bush’s record on jobs. “One would think,” writes Taylor, that before complaining about Democrats attacking the failure of the president’s job creation policies, “that you could remember that the president promised job creation based [on] his policies.” (italics in original)

Delong and other bloggers are salivating over web rumors that Dick Cheney might be next to face allegations of dodging military service in Vietnam. “There’s going to be a massive attack on Dick Cheney soon,” says one “unidentified senior Republican.” “The Cheney story of deferments makes Bush look like Audie Murphy.” (Murphy was a decorated WW2 hero.)

And Mickey Kaus points out that reporters are running with tales of Dennis Kucinich’s “victory” in Hawaii — despite the fact that he only got 981 votes. True, in a state that apparently has more surfers than voters, that was good for six delegates and second place. But with 1,151 delegates available on Super Tuesday, it’s not likely to wreck John Kerry’s day.

Brian Montopoli

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Brian Montopoli is a writer at CJR Daily.