Monday, March 19, 2007

Lessons relearned

The last week or so has been good for reinforcing preconceived notions. Here's a sampling of things we recently rediscovered.

The Bush administration has the reverse Midas touch:
The Iraq war was poorly planned, distracted from our mission in Afghanistan, and was launched based on assumptions that, at best, were incorrect. Many parts of the Gulf Coast still lie in disrepair a year and a half after Hurricane Katrina. The Fourth Amendment cries out beneath the crushing weight of widespread warrantless domestic wiretapping. Compared to those blunders and bungles, the growing conflagration over U.S. attorney firings seems, to borrow a term from (soon-no-longer-to-be?) Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, downright quaint.

The Valerie Plame leak was as bad as you suspected: Now that both Plame and the CIA director have said Plame was an undercover operative, and now that special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald has said her job status was classified, can we finally stop pretending her outing was no big deal?

Not voting for Nancy Worley was a good idea: The former Alabama secretary of state's tenure was a lengthy litany of disappointments and missed opportunities. Another sad reminder of a term that's better off forgotten came last week, when she was indicted on five felony charges related to a letter she sent to several staffers during the Democratic primary season. Regardless of how the case turns out, perhaps state Democrats shouldn't have been so ready to give Worley a prominent position in the party.

The Alabama Legislature is macabre political theater: After a surprisingly productive 2006 session, it's back to normal for our esteemed legislators. The sneak-attack, voice-vote effort at a legislative pay raise has defined the session thus far, but state senators tried their best to one-up themselves last week when they found themselves at loggerheads over when to debate a school rebuilding measure for the tornado-stricken city of Enterprise. Not over the measure's substance or wording, mind you, but simply over when to talk about it. Simply amazing.

Alabama can't catch a break in the White House race: Sure, it was a great idea to enhance our say in the nomination process by moving our 2008 presidential primary from June to February. But then some other states started getting the same idea. And now pretty much all of them have that idea, including heavy hitters like California, Florida, Michigan, and Texas. We're on the road to a national primary in the years to come, and that means occurrences like this month's same-day Selma twin bill of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama soon may be things of the past for Alabama. Which is a shame, considering they so recently became things of the present.

John McCain is appealing a little too hard to the base: Sinking in the polls against former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, the Arizona senator is striving desperately to connect with the Republican base. His staunch support for staying in Iraq, a position that's growing more unpopular by the day, may be unwise, but at least one could construct a remotely plausible argument in favor of that stance. But McCain's recent coyness on the question of whether condoms help prevent AIDS is a step too far from reality and is entirely unbefitting of a man who calls his campaign bus the Straight Talk Express.

Alabama will always be a football school: With a hurting football program still reeling from probation this season, Crimson Tide coach Mark Gottfried had a chance to make Alabama fans stand up and pay attention to an underappreciated basketball team that marched to the Elite Eight just three years ago. Instead, one of the most talented teams in Gottfried's tenure -- a team some labeled a sleeper pick for the Final Four -- collapsed after New Year's Day and stumbled to a first-round NIT loss. As Roll Bama Roll suggested a while back, this year's performance may have cost Alabama its last real chance for decades to become a two-
sport school, especially after the football team starts roaring back with a vengeance under Nick Saban.

My bracket is perpetually busted: Granted, it's not as bad as 10 years ago, when I had South Carolina in the title game only to watch the Gamecocks flame out against Coppin State in the first round. But Cinderella didn't RSVP to the Sweet 16 this year, and that cost me a few of my bolder picks. I still feel good about my hackneyed pick of a Florida repeat, even with Butler determined to turn the vengeance meter up to 11.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Geez, do you have to reference a million of your own posts in every new post? Does it give you a good feeling when you link to past posts? I think half this post is still in black text - do you not have enough blog posts to make these words link to them?

12:15 PM  
Blogger Alabamian said...

Sorry to offend your aesthetic sense, anonymous commenter.

10:55 PM  
Blogger King Cockfight said...

Yes, liberal, how dare you be as bold as to reference previous comments you've already made.

That type of tyrant subscription to history is nothing a handkerchief, a box of pills and a shotgun could fix.

We'll go rabbit hunting.

That'll show you.

5:39 PM  

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