Watchdog Blog

Archive for the '2008 Elections' Category

Herb Strentz: Linus and the Iowa GOP Straw Poll

DES MOINES—Like Linus, who each Halloween prophesied the arrival of the Great Pumpkin, the political press every four years heralds the arrival of the Iowa Straw Poll. Linus proclaimed, “Each year, the Great Pumpkin rises out of the pumpkin patch that he thinks is the most sincere. He’s gotta pick this one. He’s got to. [...]

Herb Strentz: Happy Birthday, Charlie. (You too, Abe.)

As you likely have been told, time and again, Thursday, Feb. 12, marks the bicentennial of the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin — two men who “changed the world forever,” as Smithsonian magazine notes. The National Geographic joins in with a tribute just to Darwin. Let’s focus on Darwin. The February issues of [...]

Carolyn Lewis: Fear Mongers on the Editorial Page

Barely two days after Barack Obama is sworn in as President, the naysayers are turning out in force. Two of the angriest have landed on the Op-Ed page of The Washington Post. Former Maryland Governor Robert Ehrlich is deeply disturbed by Obama’s suggestion that “The nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous.” [...]

Mary C. Curtis: It’s just a name

What’s in a name? I know what’s in mine. My grandmother on my mother’s side died when my older sister was an infant. My parents promised that if they had another daughter, they would honor my late grandmother. So that’s how this fifth and final child of Thomas and Evelyn Curtis came to be named [...]

Gilbert Cranberg: How Did McCain Come to Pick Palin, Anyway?

Nearly three months after John McCain named Sarah Palin as his running-mate, what possessed McCain to select her is still a mystery. The McCain-Palin candidacy crashed and burned, but the usual post-mortems have shed no definitive light on McCain’s thinking. Republicans had a legitimate issue with which to pummel the Democratic ticket:Barack Obama’s thin resume [...]

Herb Strentz: Say Goodbye to White-Male-Only Tickets

Sifting through the 2008 presidential election, one lesson should be that its historical nature, in all probability, goes beyond the election of an African American to the presidency. My guess is that 2004 will turn out to be the last year that all four GOP and Democratic candidates for the presidency and vice presidency were [...]

Saul Friedman: Beware the Conventional Wise Guys

In my first post on this site, after many years covering politics, I warned that we should “run like hell” from the conventional wisdom. Well, Sen. Barack Obama has barely gotten used to being President-elect Obama and here came the conventional wise guys. Their message: don’t overreach…govern to the bipartisan… Even before the election, [...]

Gilbert Cranberg: Barack Obama, Commander-in-Chief

Before the election, a young acquaintance, anticipating a Barack Obama victory, commented how meaningful it must be for someone of my generation to have witnessed both segregation in this country and the election of a black president. His point hit home with special force because my personal experience with segregation was in the armed forces, [...]

Carolyn Lewis: The Idiot Wind

The October 31st headline on The Washington Post editorial said it all: An ‘Idiot Wind.’ Long after the election, I expect that wind will continue to blow, because such habits of mind have a way of perpetuating themselves. The phrase was uttered by Rashid Khalidi, an American-born scholar who heads a Middle East Institute at [...]

Mary C. Curtis: Catholics Count, Again

Every four years, Catholics matter. We get a lot of non-Catholics telling us how we have to vote, what issues matter most and why we will go to hell if we don’t listen to their advice. Bishops and priests weigh in, telling us in letters and from the altar that we should vote. Sometimes they [...]