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The Pastor Returns

"What of the reborn Adlai Stevenson? Mr. Obama is befuddled and angry about the national reaction to what are clearly accepted, even commonplace truths in San Francisco and Hyde Park. How could anyone take offense at the observation that people in small-town and rural American are 'bitter' and therefore 'cling' to their guns and their faith, as well as their xenophobia? Why would anyone raise questions about a public figure who, for only 20 years, attended a church and developed a close personal relationship with its preacher who says AIDS was created by our government as a genocidal tool to be used against people of color, who declared America's chickens came home to roost on 9/11, and wants God to damn America? Mr. Obama has a weakness among blue-collar working class voters for a reason . . .

"Mr. Obama's call for postpartisanship looks unconvincing, when he is unable to point to a single important instance in his Senate career when he demonstrated bipartisanship."

Okay, here's a bit of substance: Michael Crowley challenging Obama's withdrawal vow in the New Republic:

"The truth is Obama has no secret plan for Iraq. Interviews with nearly two dozen foreign policy and military experts, as well as Obama's campaign advisers, and a close review of Obama's own statements on Iraq, suggest something more nuanced. What he is offering is a basic vision of withdrawal with muddy particulars, one his advisers are still formulating and one that, if he is elected, is destined to meet an even muddier reality on the ground. Obama has set a clear direction for U.S. policy in Iraq: He wants us out of Iraq; but he's not willing to do it at any cost--even if it means dashing the hopes of some of his more fervent and naïve supporters. And, when it comes to Iraq, whatever the merits of Obama's withdrawal plan may be, 'Yes, We Can' might ultimately yield to 'No, we can't.' . . .

"The fine print of his plan is filled with caveats, ambiguities, and wiggle room--leaving open the possibility of maintaining anything from a token troop contingent by late 2010 all the way to a major force numbering many tens of thousands of American soldiers.

"Obama carves out substantial wiggle room in the phrase 'combat brigades,' a term of art that describes frontline troops who enforce security and do regular battle with militias and insurgents. But there are many other things troops can do, and Obama concedes that he would leave so-called 'residual forces' in Iraq-- although his campaign won't provide an on-the-record estimate."

Arianna Huffington, former conservative, denounces the MSM for daring to hire . . . conservative commentators:

"Coming in the wake of Newsweek's hiring of Karl Rove, and the New York Times' hiring of Bill [Kristol], the mainstream media's embrace of these unabashed propagandists has revealed a self-loathing streak a mile wide.

"What is it with these media outlets? Have they been so cowed by the Right's relentless branding of them as 'liberal' that they feel compelled to show that they are not by sleeping with the enemy? And make no mistake, Rove, Kristol, and [Tony] Snow are the enemies - of honesty, truth, facts, reality, and the public's right to know. Anything."

Here's what Arianna isn't telling you. When Newsweek hired Rove, the magazine also hired Markos Moulitsas. Kristol's once-a-week column is balanced on the Times op-ed page by Maureen Dowd, Paul Krugman, Frank Rich and Bob Herbert. And CNN almost never puts on conservative contributors without balancing them with libs; indeed, Snow appeared with Dee Dee Myers during his debut this week. So is Arianna saying the media shouldn't employ conservatives at all?

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