Faithful readers may have noticed that I have not been doing much blogging for the past couple of weeks. This was mostly because I was finishing my work on The Almanac of American Politics 2008, ending as has often been the case with the write-ups of Guam and American Samoa, the two American territories with representation in Congress, which I have never visited. Now my workload is considerably lighter, though I haven't cleared all the detritus of my Almanac-writing off my desk. National Journal has published an edited version of my Introduction to the 2008 Almanac.
And here’s my U.S. News column for the week, arguing that the first-in-the-nation status of the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary seems to be under (well-justified) attack.
After finishing the Almanac, I have resumed my practice of beginning the day by reading the morning papers while walking 30 minutes on the treadmill—thus getting two distasteful things over with early. Since I was out of town over the weekend, I went through the Saturday and Sunday Washington Post. This sentence from a Saturday article by Robin Wright struck me as particularly egregious editorializing:
"The Bush administration's $75 million fund to promote democracy in Iran is the key reason for the recent arrest of several dual U.S.-Iranian citizens in Iran, including D.C. area scholar Haleh Esfandiari."
Huh? I should have thought the key reason for the arrest is that the Iranian authorities ordered it. Certainly the moral onus lies on them, and not on us for promoting democracy. But, as Jeane Kirkpatrick told us, some people always blame America first.