Apostasy Watch

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In this corner, National Review (in the person of Michael Rubin) bashes Condoleezza Rice.

Condoleezza Rice may still be a media star, but her track record places somewhere around Warren Christopher in the annals of recent State Department history.

Neoconservative dismay at Rice's record has really been a long time coming; delayed, probably, by an unwillingless to knock the last popular member of the Bush administration from the Vice Presidential stakes.

In this corner, The New Republic (Jonathan Chait) bashes Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Chutzpah).

What's the point of running to uphold Democratic hawkishness when you're running against the Democratic Party and its chosen nominee? Lieberman is fighting on terrain that, from the perspective of the liberal hawks, could not be less advantageous.

It has stopped being a battle for the soul of the Democratic Party and become a battle for Lieberman to keep his prestigious job. If the ideas that he professes to value above all else are really his highest priority, he should drop out of the race.

The left side of the blogosphere likes to malign TNR as "Joe Lieberman Weekly," only in part because the magazine issued a gut-busting endorsement of Mr. Three-Way Split Decision for Third Place in the 2004 presidential gauntlet. It's worth remembering that Chait was one of the TNRers who shook his reasonable head at that.

Read Brian Doherty's analysis of the Lieberman defeat here; read a roundup of more Reason coverage wrapped up by Tim Cavanaugh here.

NEXT: "Hard Work, No Pay, Eternal Glory"

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  1. You’d think that the neocons would have figured out by this point that if, by their standard, every single last State Department employee and appointee for the last 60 years has been incompetent traitrous scum, that maybe the problem lies with their standard rather than with the institution.

  2. Rice is a great pianist. She also apparently loves the work of Doestoevsky, which I can wholeheartedly agree with.

  3. SR:

    See, the problem is that people think the Republican Party is against big government because they are always saying they are against the State.

    I’m sorry, that was pretty bad.

  4. The Lieberman/Beinart argument – that the Democratic Party needs to be saved from people who are “soft on terrorism” and oppose the Iraq War is that the majority of people today who oppose the Iraq War are in no way soft on terrorism. By my math, a majority of the people who oppose the Iraq War today used to support it. And, of course, most of the people who opposed it when it began supported the Afghan invasion. These people hear the charge that those who don’t want to “stay the course” are unAmerican, pacifist wimps, and the speaker’s credibility goes right out the window.

  5. joe,

    What about the Rhett Butlers? 🙂

  6. It’s nice that Chait is one of the few TNR writers (or maybe the only one?) to criticize Lieberman this clearly, but let’s not grant his head more reasonableness than it has earned. Chait was also the TNR staff member who was so aghast at the possibility of Howard Dean getting the Democratic nomination in 2004–and thus making that election, whatever you think of Dean, something approaching a real choice–that he took to the barricades with his Dean-o-phobe blog.

  7. Condoleezza Rice may still be a media star, but her track record places somewhere around Warren Christopher in the annals of recent State Department history.

    Is there any truth to the rumor that her middle name really is Pollyanna?

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