Watchdog Blog

Archive for the 'Politics' Category

Gilbert Cranberg: Will a Radical Reactionary Trump a Severe Conservative?

U.S. presidential elections come in two parts, the preliminary or nominating phase in the form of state caucuses and primaries, followed by the general election. The latter is considered the main event. This year, though, it’s the preliminaries that may prove to be decisive. In them, the GOP candidates are staking out such uniformly far-right [...]

Mary C. Curtis: Will Trump Take Credit for Romney’s Nevada Win?

“Awww, shucky ducky!” as Herman Cain would say. I was so hoping that Donald Trump would have used his Las Vegas platform to endorse Newt Gingrich. He had hinted at it, but no. The “Celebrity Apprentice” maestro (and don’t you know it will be premiering soon) endorsed Mitt Romney instead. With Romney’s easy Nevada victory, [...]

Gilbert Cranberg: Debating Has Nothing to Do with Governing

By all accounts Newt Gingrich’s debating performance had a lot to do with his big win in South Carolina‘s presidential primary. That’s unfortunate because debating has nothing to do with governing. When was the last time an incumbent president engaged in an actual non-electoral debate with anyone? But now that debates have taken on added [...]

Gilbert Cranberg: Take That, Europe!

You have to hand it to Mitt Romney. He’s no time-waster. No sooner had he vanquished his Republican rivals in New Hampshire, than he put bigger game in his sights. Romney’s victory speech made it clear that he won’t be distracted by minor nuisances like Iraq when there’s more potent enemies to contend with: Europe!! [...]

Gilbert Cranberg: Of Socialists and Extreme Moderates

The winner of the Republican presidential nominating battle is unknown at this writing. It’s not too soon, though, to declare the loser: the English language. When, in politician-speak “moderate” becomes an epithet or President Obama morphs into a “socialist,” language has lost its moorings and meaning. At one time “moderate” had entirely favorable connotations. It [...]

Barry Sussman: Who Are the 25 Most Powerful Unelected People in America?

I got an email from my nephew Daniel Sussman the screenwriter. He has been living in Greece for a while and thus has a calm, detached perspective on what’s going on in American politics. He wrote: Okay, maybe this is naive, but… Just about every sane person is (or a significant number of people are) [...]

Herb Strentz: Will there be Iowa Democratic Caucuses Also? Yes, Teeny Ones.

DES MOINES – A friend in California asked about the ballyhooed Iowa Republican caucuses: “What do Democrats do on Tuesday?” A reasonable question. My answer: At my precinct more than 300 Democrats showed up for voting in the 2008 caucuses. In 2010 as I remember it, about a dozen were there, including several kids getting [...]

Gilbert Cranberg: The Underside of the Iowa Caucuses (One of Them, Anyway)

Mark Shields and David Brooks agreed the other evening on the PBS Newshour that the country was indebted to well-educated Iowans for their splendid show of citizenship in conscientiously attending campaign events and subjecting candidates to informed questioning. Shields and Brooks didn’t happen to wonder where these wonderful, public spirited, Iowans are when the caucuses [...]

Gilbert Cranberg: Debate Sponsors Flunk Fairness Test

Another debate, another round of Obama bashing. The audience barely had settled in their seats Dec. 10 when Newt Gingrich excoriated Obama for a jobs plan consisting of “higher taxes, more regulation, no American energy, and attack(ing) people who create jobs with class warfare.” I counted at least 25 separate assaults on Obama or his [...]

Herb Strentz: In Iowa, Thinking of a Running Mate for Gingrich

Des Moines — If the endless intonations of “God Bless America” at political rallies and in political speeches have any payoff at all, a blizzard will sweep Iowa on Jan. 3, rendering the Iowa GOP presidential caucus meaningless as their Creator keeps thousands of right-wing evangelicals homebound and, at long last, voiceless. That sentiment echoes [...]