Interesting Takes from Home and Abroad:
The Postwar Election — David Brooks
The 2008 presidential election has fundamentally shifted, but it hasn’t been because of events in Iowa and New Hampshire. It’s because of events everywhere else.
How to Defuse Iran — FLYNT LEVERETT and HILLARY MANN LEVERETT
IN the wake of the new National Intelligence Estimate on Iran’s nuclear program, Democrats and others are criticizing President Bush for again having “hyped” a nuclear weapons threat. This criticism, while deserved, does not address the critical policy question: What do we do now?
Paralyze The FEC? Splendid. — George Will
The Post, dismayed by the prospect, in effect asks: What if we had deregulated politics — including the sort of presidential campaigns that produced 33 presidents (including some pretty good ones — Lincoln, TR, the sainted Coolidge, FDR, Truman, Ike) before the Federal Election Commission was created in 1975? Most of the rules, the possible nonenforcement of which has the Post in a swivet, are constitutionally dubious abridgements of freedom of speech and association, so sensible citizens should rejoice about the current disarray of the FEC.
Crisis Clarifies Partisan Divide — GERALD F. SEIB
There are two major political parties in the U.S. for a reason, and it isn’t that two makes for nice symmetry on a ballot. It’s because Americans are split over a very basic question: how big the government’s role should be in a free society.
Poll Finds G.O.P. Field Isn’t Touching Voters — ADAM NAGOURNEY and MEGAN THEE
Three weeks before the Iowa caucuses, Republican voters across the country appear uninspired by their field of presidential candidates, with a vast majority saying they have not made a final decision about whom to support, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.
That NIE Makes War against Iran More Likely — Daniel Pipes
With the Dec. 3 publication of a completely unexpected declassified National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), “Iran: Nuclear Intentions and Capabilities,” a consensus has emerged that war with Iran “now appears to be off the agenda.” Indeed, Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, claimed the report dealt a “fatal blow” to the country’s enemies, while his foreign ministry spokesman called it a “great victory.”
That NIE That Obama the Messianic — Rich Lowry
Barack Obama found the perfect booster in Oprah Winfrey. Not only can she fill a football stadium with 30,000 adoring people and put a hammerlock on a news cycle, she specializes in the warm-and-fuzzy uplift that is the very foundation of Obama’s candidacy.
Laying a Mitt on the Secularists — Bill Murchison
Right. Yes. Mitt Romney, if elected our president, “will serve no one religion, no one group, no one cause and no one interest.” Nor should any candidate “become the spokesman for his faith.” Yes, naturally.
On Second Thought — John McCaslin
On Friday morning, the public affairs shop at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) distributed to everybody on its e-mail list an article from The Washington Post from that same day that was critical of the office’s most recent National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iran.
Is the NIE a Lie? — Rich Galen
I am, as long-time Mullsters know, a huge fan of the Central Intelligence Agency. More precisely a huge fan of America’s intelligence officers who routinely risk their lives, often under dreadful conditions, trying to determine the current state of affairs in states which don’t want us to know what their state of affairs might be.
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