Dodd Responds To Edwards on Iraq

Christopher Dodd is having a tough time getting attention in this year’s crowed field. It took an attack on one of the front runners to get some media attention today:

Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) just released a statement taking former Sen. John Edwards to task for his new ads on President Bush’s veto of a bill establishing a firm deadline for withdrawal of American troops from Iraq.

“As Senator Dodd was the first candidate to support the Reid-Feingold measure, we agree that Democrats in the Senate should stand up to a President who stubbornly refuses to change his failed policy in Iraq,” said Christy Setzer. “We wish that Senator Edwards was still in the Senate for this important fight.”

Setzer added: “If we can’t get his vote in the Senate, of course we would welcome Senator Edwards ‘ support for Senator Dodd’s plan, which would safely re-deploy out troops and bring an end to this war within on year rather than the incremental eighteen-month approach he has proposed.”


The Fix also notes the difficulty Dodd is having getting his message out:

Dodd is the lone presidential candidate to voice support for the measure being sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wisc.) that would set a date certain for not just withdrawal of American troops but for funding for the war. Dodd’s campaign has repeatedly highlighted that fact as an attempt to distinguish himself from the field of better known candidates include Edwards as well as Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) and Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.).

If Dodd wants to distinguish himself from Edwards, he might also use the same argument I recently suggested for Bill Richardson. Dodd, like Richardson, is qualified to be President.

Subpoena Issued for Rove Emails

The Hill reports that Senator Leahy has issued a subpoena for Karl Rove’s emails:

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) issued a subpoena Wednesday for all e-mails from White House adviser Karl Rove that relate to the firings of eight U.S. attorneys.

“Attached please find a subpoena compelling the Department by May 15 to produce any and all emails and attachments to emails to, from, or copied to Karl Rove related to the Committee’s investigation into the preservation of prosecutorial independence and the Department of Justice’s politicization of the hiring and firing and decision-making of United States Attorneys, from any (1) White House account, (2) Republican National Committee account, or (3) other account, in the  possession, custody or control of the Department of Justice,” Leahy said in a letter to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

Somewhere, either here or on Iraq, I suspect we will face a major battle between the White House and Congress regarding the power of Congress to obtain information from the Executive Branch. I hope the Democrats in Congress don’t give up on this, having the ultimate power of the purse to deny funds to those who believe that they do not have to submit to Congressional oversight.

Conservative Pundit Ponders Military Coup

One of the most blatant examples of the undemocratic beliefs of the authoritarian right can be seen in a column from Thomas Sowell yesterday. Reading between the lines, Sowell is disappointed that the country has rejected the fantasy world view promoted by conservatives. He repeats common Republican talking points which are counter to fact to distort the views of liberals, but he makes the contempt for freedom and democracy on the right clear when he writes:

When I see the worsening degeneracy in our politicians, our media, our educators, and our intelligentsia, I can’t help wondering if the day may yet come when the only thing that can save this country is a military coup.

How many other tyrants have offered similar justifications for their actions? Modern conservativism increasingly appears to be not just a different political viewpoint, but an authoritarian movement which follows in the tradition of the Communists and Fascists of the 20th century.

More discussion from Kevin Drum, Steve Benen, and Matthew Yglesias.

Kerry To Attempt to Reduce GOP Senate Backing For War

When he announced his decision not to run for the 2008 nomination, one reason given by John Kerry was the need to more effectively carry on the fight to end the war in Iraq. TPM Cafe reports that Kerry is launching a campaign to put pressure on Republican Senators who are vulnerable in 2008, John Sununu, Norm Coleman, Susan Collins, and GOP Senate leader Mitch McConnell.
Reportedly Kerry will be sending out an email, and will have posts at Daily Kos and Huffington Post on this effort. A copy of Kerry’s email is under the fold. (more…)

GOP Debates Might Exclude Several Candidates

CNS News reports that many of the Republican candidates for the 2008 nomination might be excluded from the debate due to their support being too low in the polls. While there might be some logic in limiting the debate to candidates such as Giuliani, Romney, and McCain who have the best chance at winning, automatically excluding the candidates with minimal support in the polls turns the polls into a self-fulfilling prediction. Some of those being excluded might also be candidates which are the most interesting to hear.

Among those who risk being excluded are Ron Paul, who I have mixed feelings about and would like to see in a debate. I often prefer Ron Paul’s libertarian views over the views of the more traditional Republican candidates, but at times Paul also demonstrates the weaknesses of the libertarian movement which has prevented them from becoming a voice accepted by very many as advocating for greater liberty. At very least it would be interesting to have a strong anti-war voice in the debate.

Mike Huckabee may also be excluded. Even when I’ve disagreed with him, there have been times when he has expressed more rational attitudes than are common in the Republican party at present.

I bet that there are some who are disappointed in the possible absence of Tom Tancredo. I assume he entered the campaign in order to bring more attention to immigration issues, and his absence for the debate would be a serious blow to that goal. Even Sam Brownback, a leader on social conservative issues, is failing to get enough support despite the questions social conservatives have about the three major candidates.

There are also two candidates that I would like to hear from that will not be in the early debates as they are not declared candidates, Newt Gingrich and Fred Thompson. Newt Gingrich, even when I disagree with him, can often raise interesting ideas. Fred Thompson has the potential to win the nomination if he enters the race as expected, and I would like to see how he looks compared to the Republican competition.

Kerry Fund Raisers Remaining Uncommitted

If Hillary Clinton wins the nomination, despite the opposition of many Democrats, it will probably be due to the inexperience of her competition in the top tier of candidates. One measure of this can be seen by who the top fund raisers for John Kerry are supporting. So far most of the 450 bundlers who raised money for John Kerry are remaining uncommitted. Of those who are supporting one of the candidates, Clinton has the most at thirty-eight, followed by Barack Obama with twenty-four, and John Edwards with only thirteen.

I’ve previously discussed the reasons why many Kerry supporters do not support John Edwards. This could also be seen in the views of some of the fund raisers:

“Of the mess that Bush has created, we will really need someone who can come in and govern. [Hillary Clinton] can do that right away,” said John Merrigan, a partner at DLA Piper. Merrigan was Kerry’s Mid-Atlantic finance chairman and is now fundraising for Clinton.

With the vast majority of Kerry’s fund raisers remaining uncommitted, there is still room should someone more experienced decide to enter the race.