Saturday, May 16, 2009


A very quiet week in news, interrupted only by Nancy Pelosi's fight with the CIA and Obama's disappointing but entirely expected by me backtracking on publishing torture photos and using military tribunals. The latter is particularly distressing, but without consistent pressure from Congress and the public, presidents are going to do everything they can to centralize power.

Much more interesting to me is the appointment of Utah Governor Jon Huntsman as ambassador to China. Huntsman was the Republican I was most scared about in 2012. Although I don't think he could win the nomination because he's only conservative and not crazy, had he won, he would be an intelligent conservative alternative who could attract moderate voters in a way virtually no other Republican can. I wonder what Huntsman's thought process on this was--like Specter, does he see his future as a conservative Democrat? Or does he want to buy time until the crazy in the Republican Party burns itself out like a supernova? Having bipartisan credentials never hurt a politician on the national level, but that's unacceptable in the current Republican Party.

In any case, it's a great selection by Obama to marginalize a potential rival. I'd say this is nearly as a great a loss for the Republicans as Specter.