I think the democratic position on drilling has to get a little more nuanced. I have always been vehemently opposed to drilling off of our coasts and in ANWR -- but this has been in part because the Republicans have been in control of the legislature and the executive (until 2006 at least) for a while.
If drilling off the coasts and in ANWR were included in a comprehensive energy reform package that included (among other things) dramatically increased cafe standards, increased taxes on oil companies, greater subsidies for alternative energies, and more funding for green research, I'd support it in a heartbeat.
We wouldn't see the oil from these sources for years, but we'd be taking a potentially winning issue for the republicans off the table.
This is awesome news. Allen has been way behind for too long.
In many ways the realignment that began in 1994 with conservatives in the south finally calling themselves Republicans is now finishing its course in the northeast where Bush has destroyed the Republican brand among non-evangelicals. Maine's two Republican senators are an aberration.
Tim Russert was the absolute master of the technique of forcing politicians to confront their own words on the screen. I wish he had been slightly more aggressive in his follow-ups when he really nailed the politicians, but that's a small qualm.
Clinton folks keep using words that don't quite mean what they think they mean...
In other news: Alegre, you were the subject of my diary today, in which I make the argument that in the Democratic nomination process your vote is more important than mine -- and there's no snark involved:
So what? If you had read the diary, you'd know that my point, in part, is that they are exclusionary by design and that there's arguably a benefit to that because they encourage more activists who are necessary to any campaign that wants to win the general election.
"To accept the premise of your diary, one has to accept the premise that caucuses are an accurate gauge of commitment."
This is mostly true. I would argue that one only needs to accept that caucuses are better gauges of commitment than primaries. I believe this is the case because logistically, they simply do require more commitment than going into a voting booth.
On a random side-note, frankly, being childless might be an advantage to an activist. I have a child, myself, and I know how much energy it takes to raise my boy. To the extent that caucuses turn out people who have the time and energy required to get a candidate elected in November, I feel that they might very well turn out the right folks.
"If the Democratic Party wants to espouse this view, that's fine, but to me it flies in the face of democracy."
Again, this isn't about democracy. Would it be possible to get less democratic than the superdelegates? The idea is to come up with a system that produces the best candidate. One of the necessary components to such a candidate is the degree of activist support for the candidate in question. Still, I'm not saying that degree of activist support is everything -- just that it counts for something.
But intensity of support does matter when it comes to getting your party's candidate elected in November! It's not a democratic argument -- it's a pragmatic one. In other words, a political party needs to make sure that the candidate it's putting forth has the type of activists that are necessary for victory in the general. One activist on your side could net you 100 votes in the general, depending on how effective that activist is.