A few quick observations today, since time runs short.
1. When the President said two days ago that he was speaking with officials from BP so that he could know whose a** to kick, was he employing the same rhetoric of violence that a couple of months ago liberals said conservatives must never use? I don't fault the President for saying such a thing--he was throwing a bone to those who found him lacking energy in response to his Katrina. It was, in fact, an oddly dispassionate fit of passion, which therefore belied the sentiment, though if one read the statement in a newspaper, one could read it with all the lively inflection that the President's delivery lacked. The larger point, however, is that the President did precisely what the liberal punditry said must never be done. And when they speak so vociferously about such a matter, one gets the feeling that they don't exactly mean what they say. (One needs only to remember that at the time they were "outraged" that Sarah Palin should put on her website a chart designating with something akin to a bullseye liberal incumbents that she would like to see defeated this year, even as several months earlier the National Democratic Campaign Committee had followed the same practice on their website. From which we can deduce that those decrying "violent political speech" were not expressing a principle but lifting a club with which to hit conservatives. How violent.)
2. Speaking of Sarah Palin, she had a very good last night, as the candidates she endorsed in primaries across the country did very well, not least in South Carolina, where Nikki Haley, recently in fourth place according to the polls came within a fraction of one percentage point of avoiding a run-off in her gubenatorial quest. Her surge was due in large part to Palin's endorsement. It was also due to the favor of such grass-roots organs such as RedState.com and to the preposterous smears against Haley that ended up making the very case against the dank and slimy political climate that Haley proposes to brighten and aerate. I suppose in the end that those three reasons (and there were others, of course) end up being more or less the same. Which is to say that Sarah Palin respresents a politics that rejects the worst of the old backroom dealsmaking as well as a politics that the grassroots find very appealing indeed.