June 1st, 2010

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Briefly (as I can) On the Gaza Flotilla Thing

*sigh*

From my perspective, this is the latest iteration of the problem that Israel has no strategy for how to deal with the Palestinian issue. Or rather, the strategy is to wish that the problem would magically go away.

The result is that Israel perpetually responds reactively. This, in turn, make it easy for Israel to be manipulated into a situation like this.
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Link Harvest: FiveThirtyEight On Whether Pelosi Matters In House Races

Short answer: no. http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2010/06/whos-afraid-of-nancy-pelosi.html

Basically, Pelosi is only polarizing to the already polarized. She is not considered the public face of the Democratic Party in the House because Obama is the public face of the Democratic Party generally. To the extent she has low approval ratings, that is a function of general low approval ratings of Congress, and Republicans are not doing any better than Dems in general public perception.

Bottom line remains what I have been saying for a year. This will be the first election since 2002 that is fought primarily on local issues, not national issues. Republicans will do best if they can identify with local voters on local issues and tap specific anti-incumbent complaints rather than run on a general anti-Obama/Pelosi/Reid ticket.