The Note: What Doesn't Kill You Only Makes You Stronger

The Los Angeles Times' Alyssa Rubin and Doyle McManus look at the day-after-election issues that both U.S. and Iraqi officials are going to be dealing with: "Among them are a probable Shiite Muslim-led government that may ask for assurances that U.S. troops will leave the country, a Sunni minority that is likely to feel even more disenfranchised, a long process of drafting a constitution that tries to knit the country back together and an insurgency that may even gather strength." LINK

The Los Angeles Times' Ron Brownstein Notes that even President Bush's conservative allies are taking issue with the way the war in Iraq is causing strains on the military, particularly the National Guard and Reserve, because the Administration has not increased the size of the full-time military enough to deal with demands -- and it's hard to figure out how to have a bigger military when there's a huge and growing budget deficit and no plans to raise taxes. LINK

"These dissents signal an important shift in the political weather as Bush begins his second term. Until recently, complaints about the Pentagon's personnel strategy came from Democrats and a few maverick Republicans such as Sen. John McCain of Arizona. But it's a more ominous sign for the White House when a GOP leader such as Blunt, ordinarily a loyal soldier for Bush, breaks ranks."

The budget numbers " . . . highlight the fundamental contradiction between Bush's expansive vision of America's mission to bring democracy to the Islamic world and his crimped approach to funding the government that must implement it. By failing to provide means to match his ends, Bush is violating the classic test of statecraft that columnist Walter Lippmann laid down in World War II: 'bringing into balance . . . the nation's commitments and the nation's power.'"

Again, as he has before, Brownstein stresses that during past wars, presidents have raised taxes -- not cut them.

DNC chair's race:

A relatively quiet week is on tap for the candidates. Several of them will chat with Democratic mayors in Washington on Tuesday, and several Democratic governors plan one-on-one meetings with the candidates, too.

Jo Mannies recaps Saturday's forum and gives her last paragraph to a cheer-inducing slogan by Donnie Fowler. LINK

Lee Bandy on Donnie Fowler, the South and Democratic politics. LINK

On Saturday, the New York Times' Adam Nagourney examined how the candidates for DNC chair are approaching the gig, and the guiding philosophies they espouse -- don't need to become Republicans to win, have become so identified with particular issues that it's keeping Dems from successfully appealing to a majority -- and what the Democrats face in trying to make a choice. LINK

Dems regroup:

The New York Times' David Kirkpatrick on Jim Wallis, the liberal evangelical who is the new Democratic Party go-to guy on religion. LINK

Same-sex marriage:

The Washington Post's Evelyn Nieves reports that as 11 states consider bans on same-sex marriage this year, lesbian, bay, bisexual, and transgender groups are banding together for the first time to advance an agenda that includes same-sex marriage rights. LINK

Judicial politics:

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