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POSTED: Wednesday, May 5, 2010, 11:35 AM

Those of us who are monitoring the British elections can be excused for feeling a tad envious.

In our own country, we talk constantly about how great it would be to have a viable third party - yet, on the far side of the pond, we have the Brits, on the eve of their unprecedentedly tumultuous election day, showing serious interest in the Liberal Democrats, an ever-present third party that lately has thrived in the national polls due to public disgust with the political establishment.

POSTED: Tuesday, May 4, 2010, 11:36 AM

Roughly 64 hours have passed since the botched Times Square car bomb was discovered, and thus far partisans on the left and right have largely muzzled themselves, resisting the impulse to politicize the incident. For this, we can be thankful. Granted, this admirable restraint may well vanish by hour 65, but so far conservatives haven't reflexively blamed the bomb on Barack Obama, and liberals didn't pounce on the incident to quickly suggest that that the bomber had to be a right-wing nut a la Timothy McVeigh.

Wait, let me amend that: Timothy Soltzfus Jost, a law professor at Washington and Lee University, did suggest, on the Politico website yesterday, that the bomber was probably a right-wing nut. He was skeptical that the eventual suspect would have any foreign ties; in his words, "If, as I believe much more likely, the bomb was placed by a right-wing lunatic, it seems to me that questions need to be raised as to whether the right-wing media bears some responsibility for stoking the delusions of such people through its relentless and often unfounded attacks on the Obama administration and the federal government." (Whoa, prof. How about waiting for some actual evidence?) And, on the right, a few commentators think the car bomb is proof that the Obama team should shelve its idea of prosecuting 9/11 plotter Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in Manhattan.
 
In general, however, we appear to have a rough consensus. The Time Square citizens were vigilant, the cops and the feds have been doing their jobs, the Pakistani-American suspect was caught because the system worked, Obama was reportedly briefed six times yesterday alone...we all seem to be on the same team, for however long this moment lasts.

POSTED: Monday, May 3, 2010, 9:38 AM

The Sunday print column, updated and expanded:

I hold these truths to be self-evident:

POSTED: Friday, April 30, 2010, 11:17 AM

Now that Florida Gov. Charlie Crist has officially decided to bolt the Republican party and run for the U.S. Senate this fall as an independent, thereby transforming that race into a fascinating three-way free-for-all, political scribes are naturally speculating this morning about his prospects for victory in November. I actually covered a lot of that ground eight days ago, when Crist was busy mulling his move, so I won't repeat myself now. Nor will I focus on conservative Republican Marco Rubio, the tea party favorite whose Senate candidacy has essentially driven the politically moderate Crist right out of the GOP.

Instead, let's talk today about Crist's likely Democratic opponent, Kendrick Meek. More specifically, let's talk about the key aspect of Meeks's candidacy that very few observers seem willing to discuss:

POSTED: Thursday, April 29, 2010, 1:55 PM

The crusade to "take our country back" is clearly a full-time endeavor that requires the participation of all real Americans, including our public officials. This is a brief rundown of some actual stuff that has actually been passed or proposed in recent days and weeks by actual lawmakers who were elected by actual voters. Here are my favorite four. They'll leave you dewey-eyed and bursting with patriotic pride:

1. On Tuesday, Georgia lawmakers sent to the governor a bill that will allow people to carry their guns into Georgia airports. The governor reportedly plans to sign it. What a relief. Until now, people have been denied the inherent freedom to tote their weapons at critical airport moments - for instance, while watching friends print out their boarding passes. Freedom will also be restored to the guys who feel the need to pack a piece while peeing in the restroom. Under the law's provisions, people will be able to carry their guns right up until they reach the federal security checkpoints - which is a great thing, when you think about it, because until now Georgians have been forced to patronize those gift shops, and buy overpriced bottled water and munchies, while completely unarmed. I wouldn't want to live in that kind of country.

POSTED: Wednesday, April 28, 2010, 11:39 AM

On numerous fronts:

A few Republicans have finally broken the party's thunderous silence about Arizona's pioneering "papers, please" immigration law, the one that empowers cops to stop anyone who might seem suspicious. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush voiced concerns about the law yesterday, as did Karl Rove and Senator Lindsey Graham. But the most noteworthy critic is Marco Rubio, the imminent Florida GOP Senate nominee and the darling of conservatives everywhere. In a statement released yesterday, Rubio said:

POSTED: Tuesday, April 27, 2010, 10:55 AM

Arizona's new immigration law has prompted me to revise the lyrics of a popular '70s Eagles song, "Takin' It Easy," so that it can be sung by an Hispanic:

Well I'm standin' on a corner in Winslow, Arizona
Such a fine sight to see -
It's a cop, my Lord, in a Crown Vic Ford,
Slowin' down to take a look at me...

POSTED: Monday, April 26, 2010, 11:15 AM


The Democratic strategy for surviving the '10 midterm elections was spelled out this morning in a new video message starring Barack Obama. It's no mystery what he wants to do - rekindle the '08 magic - though it's debatable whether he can pull it off.

He says he wants to "make sure the same people who were inspired to vote for the first time in 2008 go back to the polls in 2010....This year, we’re going to reconnect with voters like Claudia Schulz. At 29 years old, Claudia had never been involved in the political process because she didn't think one person could make a difference. But in 2008, Claudia joined millions of other supporters like you and made her first-ever trip to the polls."He says "the stakes are higher than ever" in 2010, because the Republicans, if successful in November, stand poised "to undo all that we have accomplished." To thwart a GOP victory, he needs "to make sure that young people, African Americans, Latinos, and women, who powered our victory in 2008, stand together once again," and "make sure that first-time voters in 2008 make their voices heard again in November."

About this blog

Cited by the Columbia Journalism Review as one of the nation's top political reporters, and lauded by the ABC News political website as "one of the finest political journalists of his generation," Dick Polman is a national political columnist at the Philadelphia Inquirer. He is on the full-time faculty at the University of Pennsylvania, as "writer in residence." Dick has been a frequent guest on C-Span, MSNBC, CNN, NPR and the BBC. He covered the 1992, 1996, 2000, and 2004 presidential campaigns.

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All commentaries posted before April 18, 2008, can be accessed at www.dickpolman.blogspot.com.

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