Political Animal


MORE PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE….Sam Heldman blogged yesterday that he thought the Supreme Court might well uphold the removal of “under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance. I have a feeling he may be right. Despite the unpopularity of the decision, the court does have to retain some semblance of following the law on this, and suggesting that “under God” doesn’t have religious implications is a hard case to make.

As Sam notes, the best defense is that “under God” is just pleasant mumbo-jumbo, not real religion, but the religious folks themselves might be their own worst enemies on this. By the time it gets to the Supreme Court, there’s going to be so much evidence that churches and church leaders take this very seriously indeed that it will be hard to make this argument with a straight face. If they know what’s good for them, they probably ought to shut up and pray that the court decides to give them a victory just because they don’t want the grief.


LEARNING TO LIVE WITH THE BOMB….The Los Angeles Times reports today that, having done absolutely nothing so far, the Bush administration has already given up on North Korea:

In closed briefings and private conversations with members of Congress over the last several weeks, administration officials have indicated that they expect North Korea to begin reprocessing its plutonium stockpiles soon, perhaps within a few weeks, the sources said. Once reprocessing begins, North Korea will be able to produce enough plutonium for one nuclear weapon a month.

A Senate staff member who is privy to the briefings said the administration was “preparing people up here for a de facto, if not declared, North Korean nuclear state and saying that this is something we can deal with through isolation, sanctions, deterrence and national missile defense.”

This is just a “rumors” report, of course, but it seems pretty well sourced and certainly fits with the administration’s actions to date. So this is the story so far:

  • Bush declared loudly last year that he would never negotiate with North Korea

  • North Korea didn’t budge

  • Bush is now backed into a corner

  • Apparently he feels that allowing North Korea to build a few dozen nuclear bombs is actually preferable to just sitting down at a table with them

Words fail me. It’s like watching a slow motion train wreck ? except we’re all in the path.

And since I seem to have forgotten, can someone from the Bush-is-smarter-than-you-think crowd please remind me how this is better than that awful Clinton/Carter treaty that prevented this from happening for a decade?

POSTSCRIPT: Hey David, does this change your thoughts any? This is bad news, no?