The impromptu "Whom would you betray for a shot at Ashley Judd?" debate that popped up as a result of the previous post has been interesting, but I'd like to pose a few perhaps more serious questions to liberal and conservative readers alike:
1. As Kevin Drum asks, what is the Republican national-security strategy these days? Drum correctly points out that while Republicans have spent the last four and a half years assailing the Democrats -- successfully -- for a supposed lack of coherence on the foreign-policy issue, the Republicans don't seem to have much on their side either, unless "Don't pull out of Iraq and don't do anything different while we're there, and talk tough enough to make Iran think they're next, even though there's no way in hell we could back it up with all those troops still trying to secure Baghdad" satisfies you.
2. On a related note, how does President Bush's speech from the other night "show ideology ceding to reality" (as Andrew Sullivan optimistically puts it here)? I'm glad that Bush is paying enough attention to the situation over there in Iraq to be able to quote statistics, I guess, but am I really supposed to give Bush brownie points for having waited nearly three years to figure out that everything isn't hunky-dory (if in fact he's figured that out at all, and I certainly don't share Sullivan's faith that it has)? More to the point, after three years of obduracy with respect to nearly every facet of foreign policy, why should I believe that this revelation of Bush's, if in fact it did happen, will bring about any substantive change in policy? (On a related note, here's another question: When I read a sentence like "Criticizing him is fine; but rooting for him to fail isn't," am I right to recognize a great deal of irony in this, given that Sullivan and his fellow conservatives have been the ones least able -- or willing -- to tell the difference?)
3. If it's wrong for me to oppose something Bush does just because he's doing it, why is it still OK for conservatives to oppose my point of view just because I'm the one who holds it? Time and time again I hear conservatives pooh-poohing liberal criticisms of Bush by saying, "The only reason you don't like X/Y/Z is because Bush is for it, you're a knee-jerk Bush hater." And yes, I do believe it is wrong for a liberal or progresive to issue an automatic condemnation of something Bush does or says just because it's Bush. So why is it apparently still OK for conservatives to automatically dismiss a liberal's argument because they're a "liberal" or "moonbat"?
4. Why do people (on both the liberal and conservative wings) continue to refer to "Brokeback Mountain" as a political movie? What's the political issue there?
5. Why do people keep referring to Bush as a popular president?