Sunday, July 15, 2007

The Opinionator: A blog at the New York Times by Tobin Harshaw & Chris Suellenthorp

  • A Third Way on Iraq? “Moderate Democrats and politically vulnerable Senate Republicans who want change in Iraq — but fear being lumped together with the anti-war crowd — have been desperately searching for an alternative,” reports Martin Kady II at CQPolitics.

    “Thirteen senators are pushing to modify the defense authorization bill (HR 1585) by adding the recommendations by the Iraq Study Group. Those include a redeployment of troops — from combat status to trainers of Iraqi forces — but without binding timetables. Neither Senate party leader has embraced the measure … The resistance from party leaders, however, is one of the reasons senators have embraced the measure: It offers them cover from both sides of a divisive debate.”

    The Times’s editorial on Sunday that had no interest in compromise, calling for an immediate withdrawal from Iraq, has generated plenty of discussion. Victor Davis Hanson, writing at City Journal, takes his shot: “It is rare that an editorial gets almost everything wrong, but ‘The Road Home’ pulls it off. Consider, point by point, its confused—and immoral—defeatism.”

  • Amazon and Oprah: “If you’ve written a book anytime in the last ten years, you’ve probably become intimately familiar with your sales rank — it doesn’t reveal how many copies are selling, but it’s instant feedback on how well you’re promoting your book,” notes John J. Miller at The Corner.

    “Does your rank improve when you appear on TV? (The answer is almost always yes, though some shows are much better than others.) How about when you write an op-ed for a major metropolitan paper, or appear on a local radio station? (Much more ambiguous.)”