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Tilting at Windmills

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January 29, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

TRAITOR-MONGERING, SPECIAL 2006 ELECTION VERSION....Jon Chait responds to Karl Rove's laughable suggestion that Republicans are more serious about terrorism than Democrats:

So how exactly was Bush transformed by 9/11 in a way Democrats were not? Rove listed three ways in his speech. One is the Patriot Act. "Republicans want to renew the Patriot Act, and Democrat leaders take special delight in proclaiming they've killed it," Rove said. Rove is referring to a controversy over the efforts by Democrats, and some Republicans, to modify some of the more overreaching elements of the Patriot Act while keeping in place its core.

Rove's account is actually close to the opposite of the truth. Democrats have proposed extending the law temporarily beyond the five-week compromise hastily agreed to before the holidays until the two sides can work out their disagreements. Bush has opposed an extension, so that he can say the act was killed altogether by Democrats. Apparently the law is a vital tool in our national defense, but not so vital that it can't be suspended in order to give the GOP a campaign issue.

In the Bush White House, nothing is more important than a campaign issue. Nothing.

Kevin Drum 1:18 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (196)

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Comments

I would like to think that there was once a time when someone as despicable as Rove would have been tarred and feathered and rode out of Washington.

But the fact that Bush employs a man Poppa Bush fired for being a dirty bastard, a man that would make Joe McCarthy blush, seems to be A-OK with Republicans.

There is little good left in that party after 10 years of power. They are a disgrace.

I hope George sleeps well at night knowing that checks and balances were written into our Constitution to thwart bastards like him. Good job, George, you've proved the founding fathers right!

Posted by: teece on January 29, 2006 at 1:27 PM | PERMALINK


Kevin, your anti-Bush zeal has gone a bit too far this time.
If you really think that Democrats have shown themselves to be as serious on national security, and as willing as the Republicans to do what is necessary to prevent another 9/11, then your are seriously deluding yourself.
I have no idea whether the Democrats are more serious on the topic than the Republicans, as I have no idea what is inside their heads, but I can judge them on their words and their actions since 9/11, and they haven't shown me (or enough of the American people) that they are serious on the topic.
To wit, the Democrats' constant carping about the "unilateral" nature of our attack on Iraq, yet their current complaint that the US hasn't been unilateral enough in dealing with Iran.
This kind of foolishness leads people to believe (rightly or wrongly, I'm not saying which) that
the Democrats are more interested in Bush-bashing than in a serious talk about national security.

Until that changes, all your complaining about how bad Bush is will come to nothing.

Posted by: fred on January 29, 2006 at 1:27 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, but nothing is more important than staying in power. What else could matter? As long as you can lead along the gay-haters and the abortion-blinded Als, while bribing the tbrozes and keeping enough ohters afraid, the Republicans can continue to drive the country deeper in debt and let more and more poor people die (in wars, in hurricanes, from lack of medical coverage, etc.).

But the Dems must be civil now! Civility uber alles!

Posted by: Gore/Obama '08 on January 29, 2006 at 1:27 PM | PERMALINK

The realization of the self-described democratic moderates that with these guys it's all about politics and power and winning and not ideology and policies and strategies is a very heartening development. Never again should the Dems succumb to the temptation of assuming that the successors of Nixon and Lee Atwater and Don Segretti are anything other than dirty tricksters extra-ordinnaire.

Posted by: lib on January 29, 2006 at 1:30 PM | PERMALINK

Fred proves the point -- the Dems (and, of course, the "Bush is popular!" corporate press is significant factor in this) just can't communicate -- no ability to settle on a message and push it at all points and to the exclusion of all else.

Deal with the Taliban? Catch Osama? Work to end Islamofascism? Secure our ports, nuclear plants, chemical plants, etc.? Bush has done nothing but give no-bids to tained water Halliburton and destroy our body-armorless military by invading a secular nation with no WMD and no connection to 9/11. And shred the constitution, and bankrupt the country.

But the Dems just can't get their act together. Pathetic.

Posted by: Gore/Obama '08 on January 29, 2006 at 1:33 PM | PERMALINK

to rove and to bush, image means everything; reality means nothing. being perceived as tough on terrorism is much more important than actually creating policies that might stop it. if audie murphy would return from the dead and run as a democrat, rove would make him out to be a terrorist-loving coward and a traitor. but then, what's new?

Posted by: mudwall jackson on January 29, 2006 at 1:35 PM | PERMALINK

This is all well and good, but when are the supposed "liberal" MSM gonna prefix every claim by Dubya's posse about Democratic perfidy with the prominent notice that it is the Democratic members of Congress who wished to extend the core of the PATRIOT Act, not kill it? Until then, the Republican smear gets spread across the landscape. Until then, the fantasy gets prosyletized, not the reality. Until then, the Republic is at risk because of these mendacious incompetents who squat in the Oval Office and do their business everyday on the American people.

Posted by: PrahaPartizan on January 29, 2006 at 1:36 PM | PERMALINK

These guys could shoot puppies on the White House lawn, on national TV, and claim the Democrats did it -- and that Dan Rather's evil MSM helped them.

Posted by: Kenji on January 29, 2006 at 1:41 PM | PERMALINK

In crass political terms, the key would be to find something unpopular (pork barrel or something) that Bush cannot give up in a national security bill, and force him to hold it up or veto the bill without it, the way Republicans nailed Democrats over union protections in creating DHS.

This is difficult, but not necessarily impossible while still a minority in the House and Senate.

Posted by: theAmericanist on January 29, 2006 at 1:41 PM | PERMALINK

I have no idea whether the Democrats are more serious on the topic than the Republicans, as I have no idea what is inside their heads, but I can judge them on their words and their actions since 9/11, and they haven't shown me (or enough of the American people) that they are serious on the topic.

WTF are they supposed to be doing to show you how serious they are? The GOP has controlled the presidency and Congress for most of that period, and has acted in such a way as to deliberately shut the Democrats out of any important decision making. Worse, they've engineered things to make the Democrats look as bad as possible. Personally, I'm not a big fan of the Democrats myself, but I don't really see any opportunity for them to prove their bona fides to the nation.

If they oppose parts of the GOP agenda or the more bullheaded moves of the administration, people like you will slam them as obstructionists who aren't serious about the GWOT. If they roll over and agree to everything they still won't be setting the agenda and people like you will still praise the president's Bold Leadership in a Time of War. If they try to come up with new serious ideas (admittedly a rare event) people like you will just ignore them, especially since the GOP will prevent any of these ideas from ever being voted on. (Unless they appropriate these ideas for themselves. Remember Homeland Security?)

As far as Iraq and Iran, Dems opposed going to war unilaterally against Iraq, and they're complaining about not using non-violent pressure unilaterally against Iran. Do you not understand the difference between Tomohawk missiles and economic sanctions?

Posted by: neoliberal on January 29, 2006 at 1:42 PM | PERMALINK

Interestingly, James Sensenbrenner kind of neutered the political effectiveness of the Patriot Act issue. The White House reportedly wanted a 6-month extension to put the vote at the beginning of summer, closer to the elections. Sensenbrenner's extension expires the first week of February, so, if the sticking points actually get unstuck and the revised PATRIOT Act gets passed, the issue is solved 9 months before the elections. It's tough to imagine Bush stumping in Nebraska or West Virginia (the only red states with potentially competitive Senate races this year) and railing against these Democrats who blocked the Patriot Act back in the Winter, before they voted on it. The Homeland Security/Iraq war Democrat-bashing only worked in 2002 because those votes came right before the election.

All that said, I'm finding it disturbingly easy to imagine Bush proposing some other civil liberties-shredding law or some kind of "Iran Freedom Act" in October, then beating up Democrats for not supporting him 100% on these vital issues of life and death. How effective that would be with his approval 25 points lower than in 2002 is another question.

Posted by: DaveW on January 29, 2006 at 1:46 PM | PERMALINK

"Democrat leaders take special delight in proclaiming they've killed it"

He seems to be back to his old, over-the-top, evil ways.

How funny would it be if they made a "West Wing" type show around a bunch of characters as cynical as Rove?

"OK, but what would happen if we didn't issue an alert that New Orleans is going to flood? This event is sure to remind Americans of the type of damage another terror attack could bring. Besides, look at the demographics of the lower 9th ward. We'll pick up another congressional seat and a mayorship in 2006. Refugees don't vote. This is God's gift to us."

Posted by: tasmaniandevil on January 29, 2006 at 1:46 PM | PERMALINK

lol - You're promoted from See-no-evil to See-some-evil!

The full truth is:

In the Republican Party, nothing is more important than a campaign issue. Nothing.

As if anyone with 1/2 a brain would think it was limited to the White House. And it started with Congress anyway....

Posted by: cdj on January 29, 2006 at 1:49 PM | PERMALINK

Rove's account is actually close to the opposite of the truth.

Go ahead Jon...you can say it...it isn't hard...it is only 3 letters....

L.I.E

Posted by: justmy2 on January 29, 2006 at 1:49 PM | PERMALINK

Ammendum - Florida is a red state with a potentially competitive Senate race this year, although Katherine Harris is the GOP candidate and neither the White House nor state party take her seriously. Bush will campaign for her, but it would be weird to hear him say "Vote for Katherine Harris, because Bill Nelson delayed the Patriot Act renewal a year ago!"

Posted by: DaveW on January 29, 2006 at 1:49 PM | PERMALINK

Let's set 'em all on fire!

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on January 29, 2006 at 1:51 PM | PERMALINK

If only the Boy in the Bubble-in-chief could govern the way that he campaigns...then he might not become known as one of the worst presidents in our history.

Posted by: Susan on January 29, 2006 at 2:07 PM | PERMALINK

The only policy the Dumbercrats have is Bush hating. They have no proposals on defense other than if Bush is for it we are against it. The rest of the time they waste their efforts calling for impeaching Bush because he wants to defend the country.

If the Dumbercrats had any real proposals of their own maybe they would get somewhere. Istead they waste their time trying to filibuster Ailito because they hate Bush and not because he isn't qualified.

It is funny how the Dumbercrats claim Bush is weak, stupid and unpopular. Yet come election time he has kicked their ass all over the place. With the disarray and incompetence of the Dumbercratic leadership in full bloom. It will happen again ibn 2006. I love it!

Posted by: Fat White Guy on January 29, 2006 at 2:30 PM | PERMALINK

Fred and NeoLiberal:A serious argument coming from the Democrats re:War on Terrorism?

I'll give you three...and a bonus one myself that proves that very few people are talking seriously about the War on Terrorism.

#1. Accelerating non-proliferation programs in order to minimize the chances of a mothballed nuke getting in the hands of a terrorist (of any stripe)

#2. Increased funding for port security, to lessen the chances of said weapons finding themselves within said border

#3. STOP THE BLEEDING. Stop creating new terrorists by presenting America as a "Great Satan". When the torture scandal came out Rumsfeld should have been fired the next day. Pronto. He was on the watch, he gets the can. Prove we're better than them.

Bonus: In order to truly fight terrorism, you need to be seen as fighting terrorism as a tactic, and not terrorism as you see fit. This includes admitting, and making reperations for previous terrorist actions that the US had a hand in, (Especially in Latin America)

Unseal the Reagan papers and release them to a public archive so we can all see what really went on. There's nothing the terrorists hate more than sunlight...of all stripes.

But in any case, the current administration isn't fighting a "War on Terror" anyway. They're fighting a "War on Liberalism".

Posted by: Karmakin on January 29, 2006 at 2:31 PM | PERMALINK

In the Bush White House, nothing is more important than a campaign issue. Nothing.

As I recall, you have been trying to formulate the Democratic campaign issues. So how can the Democrats get in front on the security issues, instead of always being reactive and ironic like this?

Posted by: contentious on January 29, 2006 at 2:38 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin Drum and the Dems have spent months whining about wiretapping communication from Al Queda members and associates, and Drum is shocked, shocked, that this issue will be used against the Dems?

The stupidity of the Democrats is astonishing!

Posted by: GOPGregory on January 29, 2006 at 2:42 PM | PERMALINK

If the Dems want to show to the American public that they're serious about security instead of being wimps, support border security and stopping illegal immigration.

Obviously - or at least obvious to many people - Bush is extraordinarily weak in this area.

Yet, for some reason, the Dems don't want to even discuss that. Could it be they're just as corrupt?

-- Immigration Reform

Posted by: TLB on January 29, 2006 at 2:42 PM | PERMALINK

Do you not understand the difference between Tomohawk missiles and economic sanctions?

Bill Clinton used Tomohawk missiles unilaterally against the WMDs of the Iraq government. Are you indirectly recommending that the Democrats stand for a similar policy against Iranian nuclear weapons? It will play in Peoria.

Posted by: contentious on January 29, 2006 at 2:43 PM | PERMALINK

Dumbercrats...Dumbercrats...Dumbercrats...Dumbercratic...

Good one, there, Beavis.

Posted by: stranger on January 29, 2006 at 2:49 PM | PERMALINK

Yet come election time he has kicked their ass all over the place.

5 Closest post-1900 elections

1.2000 Bush-Gore
2.1960 Nixon-Kennedy
3.1968 Humphrey-Nixon
4.2004 Kerry-Bush
5.1976 Ford-Carter

Posted by: Davis X. Machina on January 29, 2006 at 2:50 PM | PERMALINK

If the Dems were smart, they would run to the right of GW Bush on terrorism.

Dems have led the charge against the NSA wiretapping program, which placed them in the bizarre position of defending the civil rights of Al Queda.

Forget blaming Karl Rove - the Democrats have only themselves to blame.

Posted by: GOPGregory on January 29, 2006 at 3:01 PM | PERMALINK

it would be weird to hear him say "Vote for Katherine Harris, because Bill Nelson delayed the Patriot Act renewal a year ago!"

Weird? You can count on it! It probably won't be GWB. It'll be Bill Nelson standing arm in arm with Harry Reid with the voice over of Harry bragging, "We KILLED the Patriot Act". Right directly from the horses mouth. Harry's voice. Harry's words. Expect an echo effect. They'll repeat it and repeat it.

Did you know Bill Nelson was a fan of Michael Moores Farenheit 9/11 and went to the premier. That would have been the week AFTER Moore was touring Europe explaining how stupid Americans are. This was used quite effectively against Daschle.

Did you know Bill Nelson is about to vote to filibuster Alito?

Do you know Bill Nelson will get an opportunity to extend the tax cuts? It'll be fun watching him push tax increases in front of an election.

Bill will have all kinds of opportunites to support his party OR Red State Florida.

Posted by: rdw on January 29, 2006 at 3:04 PM | PERMALINK

Dems have led the charge against the NSA wiretapping program, which placed them in the bizarre position of defending the civil rights of Al Queda.

That's only true if you live in RightWingNutteryLand.

The reality is that Democrats are defending the civil rights of Americans, and speaking out against Bush taking a shit on the Constitution.

No really. We currently have a sitting President that brazenly admits to breaking the law many times. He intends to keep on doing it. He thinks it's his right.

This one is not a grey issue. Right now, we have much, much bigger problems than al Queda. Our problem is that the President of the USA doesn't give a rat's fuck about the Constitution which grants him his limited power.

There is no need to market this or run to the right : the truth will set you free. And the truth is, Bush has broken the law and violated the Constitution, proudly.

If you think AQ's ability to inflict damage is greater than the damage a president who disregards American law can commit, well, you don't really deserve the comforts that American citizenship grants. Hopefully you'll get those comforts anyway,

But with King George, you've got absolutely no guarantees. The Constitution itself is "fungible."

Posted by: teece on January 29, 2006 at 3:13 PM | PERMALINK

Once again, I'd like to thank GOPGregory, rdw, and Fat White Guy for their kind advice on campaign strategy.

Posted by: Doctor Jay on January 29, 2006 at 3:16 PM | PERMALINK

Worrying about winning elections to the exclusion of anything else at all is hardly unique to the Bushes, it's been the central characteristic of the Republican party since at least 1968.

In evidence, this from Fantastic Four 123, june 1972, Galactus is about to eat the Earth,

http://img389.imageshack.us/my.php?image=fromfantasticfour123june19724s.jpg

Posted by: cld on January 29, 2006 at 3:32 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry, is it me, or does the fact that George Bush pronounced himself unconcerned with Osama bin laden 6 months after 9/11 not in and of itself proof that these guys are not serious about terror?

Posted by: theorajones on January 29, 2006 at 3:40 PM | PERMALINK

Neoliberal sorta epitomizes the problem: "As far as Iraq and Iran, Dems opposed going to war unilaterally against Iraq, and they're complaining about not using non-violent pressure unilaterally against Iran. Do you not understand the difference between Tomohawk missiles and economic sanctions?"

Short version: "Hey, voters! Democrats are as tough as the French, and YOU'RE stupid."

More than 20 years ago, there was a great moment on the floor of the House in a debate over the nuclear freeze. Younger Democrats were bitching about how they had a great issue to beat Republicans with, while their leadership was bending over backward to be fair to the White House and the Republican minority, eager to accelerate the arms race as they were. So Tip O'Neill took to the well (oddly enough, Speakers rarely speak) and literally ROARED to them that he was giving Reagan his chance because "I am a PATRIOT!"

Working in the, um, House of Lords at the time, I remember thinking it was sorta odd for Tip to be saying that (to whom? I wondered). I think now it was kind of a last hurrah for something we should oughta get back.

Paradoxically, the surest way to get to Bush's right on national security is probably just to recognize at every opportunity that he's the only President we got, and he clearly needs our help.

Posted by: theAmericanist on January 29, 2006 at 3:41 PM | PERMALINK

The pro-active Democratic campaign on national security:
Bush has made America less safe.

-Ignored warnings about Al-Quaida before 9/11.
-Failed to capture Bin Laden when he had the chance.
-Has failed to improve the security of America's ports.
-Ignored real nuclear threats from North Korea and Iran while starting an unnecessary war in Iraq.
-Failed to plan adequately for the insurgency and occupation of Iraq, encouraging the growth of terrorism and undermining the image of America's power.
-Supports torture, undermining America's moral authority and giving our enemies a basis for attacking America.
-Wastes the time and effort of America's domestic law enforcement by using illegal means to generate thousands of false threats that need to be followed up.

Bush has made America less safe. As Americans and Democrats we are outraged by this.

Posted by: waldtest on January 29, 2006 at 3:45 PM | PERMALINK

It'll be fun watching him push tax increases in front of an election.

You mean the "tax increases" Bush approved when he signed the sunset clauses into law?

Posted by: Gregory on January 29, 2006 at 3:50 PM | PERMALINK

If necessary, the Patriot Act should be allowed to expire. Then, when BushDickRoveCo campaign on the issue, the Democrats should just run on the worst parts of the Patriot Act, pointing out that they are for most of the sensible provisions, and concoct a succinct retort that points to GOP abuse of power, Nixon/Hoover, and that passing the Patriot Act in the middle of the night without debate is typical of how the GOP "does business" - crooks, cronies and corruption.

Meanwhile, the Democrats are ready to debate the hard issues of surveillance, increased law powers, and the balance of liberty/security, but only out in the open, in dialogue with their constituents, and certainly not in the middle of the night allowing the Bush mob to twist enough arms to get it done sans public oversight.

Posted by: Jimm on January 29, 2006 at 3:56 PM | PERMALINK

It seems that none of you remember that DEMOCRATS did show a strong defence against terrorism. After the first World Trade Center bombing, Clinton formed a Terrorist task force and created a cabinet post whose only job was to handle terrorist information. He was also president when those bombers were caught, tried and convicted. I would call that a pretty strong record on defeating terrorism.

Bush, however, removed the cabinet position and dismantled the task force; refusing to even meet with those wishing to pass on terrorist intelligence, wouldn't even interrupt his vacation to read that August 6, PDB telling him bin Lauden was determined to strike within the United States. It was Republican Bush at the "helm of the ship of state" when 4 teams of mostly Saudi-born citizens bombed the World Trade Center and the Pentagon with hijacked airplanes.

Now, why would anyone think it was Democrats who were "soft on terrorism? And why would Democrats feel it would "harm" them to keep reminding the public about who's really "soft" on terrorism?

Posted by: csf on January 29, 2006 at 4:11 PM | PERMALINK

On the wiretapping-of-Americans issue, I just don't understand why republicans are so happy to give up THEIR OWN RIGHTS.

It's not like these are the rights only of the welfare queens, or the towelheads, or any other republican-hated group.

It's their own rights they're happy to give up.

I just don't get it. It's as though they'd happiliy shoot themselves in their own faces,just to "prove" how right they are.

Posted by: cdj on January 29, 2006 at 4:18 PM | PERMALINK

You mean the "tax increases" Bush approved when he signed the sunset clauses into law?

Exactly! Pretty slick move don't you think? It's always a good idea to have taxes at the top of the agenda during a campaign. It always favors the tax cutters.

Posted by: rdw on January 29, 2006 at 4:19 PM | PERMALINK

Republicans just want to steal a little bit so they can have that 'having stolen it' feeling. Then, if they lose their tax break, they can go back to feeling indignant.

Posted by: cld on January 29, 2006 at 4:40 PM | PERMALINK

--It wasn't Rove who first used the word "kill."

--For over two years now, in every controversy the U.S. has had in the war on terror in general, and the war in Iraq specificially, the Democrats, accurately or not, have given the impression that they're coming out for the other side. Fair or not, there it is. You have to admit none of them have tried very hard to give any other impression, and those that have, like Lieberman, are in the process of excommunication by their party.

To the average observer, it looks like the Democrats would cheerfully see half the planet burn, and the U.S. economy go under, as long as Bush went with it.

Kerry and Kennedy post on Kos, and you wonder what your problem is.

You got better ideas? There are Democrats in Congress. Put up some bills, on port safety, non-proliferation, immigration, wherever you think Bush had dropped the ball. Get the buttmonkeys at the New York Times to write stories about the bill, and what it does. Get it out to the public. Try doing something besides sitting in a tree and throwing crap.

Stephen Green comments.

Posted by: tbrosz on January 29, 2006 at 4:50 PM | PERMALINK

But, but... the Dems killed it?

THAT's NOT true - because it was the HOUSE that killed the 6 month extension. Hey, the house GOP didn't even want a 6 months extension of the bill so they killed it. And of course the House is mostly under Republican control and so it was mostly Republicans that killed the extension Kevin.

Those so called "executive power absolutists" in the Bush Administration are really the problem with the Bush Administration - after all government control is a conservative fear factor - how do the Republicans drowned government in a bathtub via the kind of control factors Bush wants? It's not a conservative idea.

If Clinton were asking for this kind of control - the conservatives would be having a cow right now as conservatives are a very paranoid lot, you know, the way Ashcroft was so damn paranoid, so perhaps this is why Bush dump Ashcroft - Ashcroft was just too conservative for Bush. Trent Lott is also one of those self professed old conservatives and NOT a neo-con.

Bush is so far removed from old conservatives like Ronald Reagan and even Bush's old man that Bush jr isn't really a conservative by any standard - Bush is nothing but a criminal hiding his criminal acts. Surely the elderly conservative voter is beginning to see truth of all this with their new crappy drug policy. Bush isn't trying to save the average American taxpyer any money - not with his allowing oil companies to make the huge profits they are make while price gouge the public in the way that record high profits show that they are doing.

No little tax cut Bush peddled too the public is going to make up for what the average taxpayer lost at the gas pumps while Bush has been president under the no price caps banner.

Bush is not a conservative, because Bush doesn't know how to be a conserative. Bush is liberally spending and doing whatever the fuck he wants - that's not conservative behavior - risky changes are actually liberal behavior.

Posted by: Cheryl on January 29, 2006 at 5:13 PM | PERMALINK


Cheryl,

You're wrong.
If the average person drives 12,000 miles a year, and gets 20 miles to the gallon, he/she uses 600 gallons of gas a year. The average price of a gallon of gas has gone up 80cents per gallon since 2000, so the average driver spent $480 more on gas last year than he/she did in the year 2000.

Avg. retail price of gas
2000 --- $1.51
2001 --- $1.46
2002 --- $1.36
2003 --- $1.59
2004 --- $1.88

so you that cumulatively in the first four years of the Bush presidency, the average driver spent a total of $250 more on gas than he/she would have in 2000.

That makes the total increased gas bill to be $730 over five years.

Are you suggesting that the average tax cut was less than $146 per year?

No way.

Get your facts straight, and you may win an argument now and again (although given on which side you are arguing, you probably wouldn't win one then either).

Good luck with the Bush-bashing. I hope it gets you further in 2006 than it did in 2002 and 2004.

Why do you guys always follow the same losing playbook? If a sports coach kept on rolling out the same tactics that led to bad losses, the coach would get fired.

Posted by: Charlotte Bronte on January 29, 2006 at 5:26 PM | PERMALINK

rdw, you have a better chance of beating bill nelson than katherine harris. nelson ain't the most popular pol in florida but harris as absolutely no cred outside her safe republican house district.

Posted by: mudwall jackson on January 29, 2006 at 5:33 PM | PERMALINK

Exactly! Pretty slick move don't you think? It's always a good idea to have taxes at the top of the agenda during a campaign. It always favors the tax cutters.

So you admit that in signing into law the sunset provisions -- which the GOP is defining as a tax increase -- Bush has already approved of this tax increase.

We're all aware of Bush/Rove's reasons for incorporating the sunset clauses, even if we don't share your admiration for them. But if Bush has already approved these so-called tax increases, it seems pretty safe for Democrats to agree with them. Of course, it does open Bush up to a charge of flip-flopping -- seems he was for the tax increases before he was against them.

Posted by: Gregory on January 29, 2006 at 6:09 PM | PERMALINK

I say we set Katherine Harris on fire!

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on January 29, 2006 at 6:26 PM | PERMALINK


Can I ask the lefties on this thread a serious question,please:

What would it take you to change your electoral strategy? If you try Bush-bashing one more time in November, and it fails you again, do you think you might try a more constructive approach for 2008, or is Bush-bashing so much fun that you'll do it again, even if it has proven to be an electoral disaster?

Posted by: howie on January 29, 2006 at 6:36 PM | PERMALINK

howie (and some of your fellow propaganda robots), let's see: george bush was defeated in 2000.

on 9/10/01, his approval ratings were in the low 40s.

after spending a few months in the stratosphere, his approval ratings began their long, steady decline (interrupted a few times: when we started the war against iraq, when we captured saddam) right back to the low 40s.

in short, he is not not, never has been, and never will be a popular president. insofar as his approval ratings topped 50, it was because of a rally round effect, not because this shallow little man of no ethics and poor judgement is popular with the american people.

in addition, the american public doesn't like bush's policies, either. the public didn't want social security destroyed, it doesn't like the medicare bill, and, of course, the public now recognizes that it was lied into the war in iraq, which is failing.

so, in fact, the best strategy for the dems this year is to point out that it was the republican congress that gave this shallow little man a blank check to fuck up america, and he's succeeding.

the real question isn't whether it makes sense to run against bush - of course it does. the question is whether there is anyone who will run in favor of bush come november.

only the most hardcare morons, in my estimation, of which the congressional gop admittedly doesn't lack.

Posted by: howard on January 29, 2006 at 7:54 PM | PERMALINK

Good question.

The first thing to understand is that there is no "you" here in the way the question is phrased. Republicans have far more message discipline, which is another way of saying far less freedom in forming "their" message, than Democrats do.

The second thing is what the mainstream media covers. When a Democrat proposes legislation, nobody cares: it's not going anywhere.

When a Democrat explains a policy position, the only thing that attracts attention is a scandal or political attack (preferably both).

The third thing is that there really is a Gresham's Law online, in which the worst arguments tend to drive out the better ones. Look at Atrios and Kos, doing their damndest to make trouble for popular Democratic Senators.

The Republican base HATED Clinton, and at least perhaps for that reason, Gore didn't run WITH him. It didn't help that Nader was in the race, or Gore would have had more than enough to win (more).

The Democratic base HATES Bush -- but there is no sign that any Republican is gonna run away from him, the way Gore was at least diffident about Clinton in 2000, and there is no Nader for the Right on the horizon, the way Perot ran in 1992.

This fall, Democrats are gonna bash Republicans for Abramoff, more than Bush. (This is why Shadegg will be Majority Leader by mid-week.)

And in 2008, Bush will almost literally be history: if Iraq tanks, it won't give Democrats the election, and (which is more likely) if it is a shaky plus for Bush, that still won't deliver the Republican candidate the White House.

.

Posted by: theAmericanist on January 29, 2006 at 7:55 PM | PERMALINK

It's their own rights they're happy to give up.

I just don't get it. It's as though they'd happiliy shoot themselves in their own faces,just to "prove" how right they are.


Allow me to explain. I am willing to give up my rights to speak to Al Qaeda and any suspected terrorists. I am doing it for my country. I am a patriot. It's really not that big a sacrifice.

Posted by: rdw on January 29, 2006 at 7:56 PM | PERMALINK

"In the Bush White House, nothing is more important than a campaign issue. Nothing."

Nope, that's only #2. What's most important is shoveling money to the usual moneyed interests; campaign issues are next in importance in that they preserve and extend Bush's power to keep on shoveling money to the rich and the big corporations.

I'd go so far as to say everything this Administration does is motivated by one of those two goals: (1) to aid the wealthy, and (2) to accumulate power in order to continue doing #1.

This is RT's Grand Unified Theory of Bushism. Simple. Elegant. Powerful. And supported by scads of examples.

Posted by: RT on January 29, 2006 at 7:56 PM | PERMALINK

Mudwall,

Alas, you are probably correct. However stranger things have happened. Katherine was brilliant as the Sec of State for Florida and probably a very decent congresswoman. I didn't track that nomination but of that's the best my beloved GOP could do we need to get Jeb off his ass and do some recruiting.

Nelson still has to be careful. The GOP has done a real nice job on turnout the last two cycles and Nelson isn't exactly Mr. Charisma.

Posted by: rdw on January 29, 2006 at 8:01 PM | PERMALINK

only the most hardcare morons, in my estimation, of which the congressional gop admittedly doesn't lack.

So how is it there are 233 Republians vs 202 Democrats?

Posted by: rdw on January 29, 2006 at 8:04 PM | PERMALINK

So you admit that in signing into law the sunset provisions -- which the GOP is defining as a tax increase -- Bush has already approved of this tax increase.

You can't possibly be this dense. The sunset provisions are there to ensure tax cuts are the hot topic for the election cycle. GWB will obviously proposed extending them (tax cuts) while liberals will oppose extending them, meaning support tax increases. The biggest fan of this by the way was E.J Dionne. E.J. takes a back seat to no one in his scorn for Bush. But at the time he wrote an admiring essay on the tactical brilliance of timing the extension debate for elections.

The GOP will be supporting Tax cuts. The Democrats will be supporting Tax increases. Read Karl Roves latest speeches and you'll see he's more than happy about this.

BTW: The GOP house did block the 6 month extension of the Patriot Act. Rove was not happy. The Senate, acting under Rove's direction wanted this extension to expire during campaign season so Americans will have it fresh in their minds as to which party is pro-terrorist rights and which is anti.

Posted by: rdw on January 29, 2006 at 8:13 PM | PERMALINK

i see that rdw acknowledges that the constitution means less to him than the idea that al qaeda is the greatest threat to western civilization in human history.

such deep thought processes probably underline his inability to read my posting correctly: there are 223 republicans in the house because 223 republicans won election in 2004. a good number of them are, objectively, morons.

but that's neither here nor there: the question i posed was how many would be vocal in their support of george bush come november, 2006, and my answer is, only the morons will. that will give us a clearcut understanding of the extent to which morons dominate the republican congress.

PS. rdw, it's touching that you think that the government is so wise and all-seeing that it will only tap the phones of people it knows are in touch with al qaeda. too bad that's not what the program is - were it that clear, they could do it under FISA. Even General Haydon has acknowledged that americans have been wiretapped without a legitimate basis. get your facts straight.

Posted by: howard on January 29, 2006 at 8:20 PM | PERMALINK

by the way, rdw, taxes are another area where it would help if you got your facts straight.

the sunset provisions are there because george the liar bush claimed that his tax cuts were affordablel without jeopardizing the fiscal probity of america, and there were still some honorable republicans who took him at his word and said, ok, then we need to limit the size of the tax cut to something that will not jeopardize the fiscal probity of america.

of course, they were completely wrong, but that's why the sunset provisions are there.

once again, i urge you, rdw, get your facts straight.

Posted by: howard on January 29, 2006 at 8:23 PM | PERMALINK

In the Bush White House, nothing is more important than a campaign issue

Kevin, this is news?

Posted by: tomeck on January 29, 2006 at 8:33 PM | PERMALINK

rdw what's your credit card balance. Do you run large deficits with no intentions of paying your creditors back? Are you looking at generous raises to afford your lifestyle? It seems congress is living this way.And why are you not fighting aq face to face. Talk the talk but no walk the walk.

Posted by: morg on January 29, 2006 at 8:39 PM | PERMALINK

Bush is not a conservative, because Bush doesn't know how to be a conserative. Bush is liberally spending and doing whatever the fuck he wants - that's not conservative behavior - risky changes are actually liberal behavior.

Partially right cheryl. On the spending side he has been a huge disappointment. However there are many more things to conservatism. In terms of judges one has to go back 80 years to find someone more conservative. Bush has been brilliant. He's also cut taxes and he's waged an aggressive war on terror.

More ambitious than all of this is the most stunning political realignment in the post WWII Era. Our bases in Europe have for practical purposes been closed and we are in the process of a dramatic State Dept shutdown. We are out of the ABM treaty and have officially informed the UN that Kyoto will NEVER serve as a model for global cooperation on pollution OR anything else. GWB is not pulling out of the UN. He is allowing the UN to collapse under it's own incompetence. As far as the USA public is concerned the UN is a dead institution. Polls are in the toilet and will stay there.

GWB sent them a simple but clear message. Become relevent, or not. If not we'll continue to ignore you.

At the same time Bush has built strong relations with Japan, Australia and Israel and increased cooperation substantially with India, Pakistan and Indonesia. Relations have improved with Eastern Europe, Korea, China, the former CIS countries as well as Brazil, Columbia, Peru, Ecuadore and the CAFTA countries. The UK remains a strong Ally.

The countries we've had problems with; France, Germany, Canada, Spain, Venezuela and to a lessor degree, Russia and Mexico have not been major factors. NAFTA rolls along in mostly solid shape. Martin finally played the anti-American string too long as did Schroeder. Chirac has the lowst polls of any modern head of state.

GWB, as a conservative, quickly recognized most of these countries suffer from a signifcant liberal malaize and may never recover. All of the EU countries have daunting demographic issues combined with significant welfare state demand they cannot possible meet. France, Germany and Canada in particular have starved their military to the extent they cannot be of assistance in a fight. So why pretend otherwise?

GWB has recognized and applied the old maxim, "Nation have permanent interests, not permanent friends." He has adjusted accordingly. NATO remains as a shell in case but for all practical purposes NATO is finished. We have new coalitions with new allies. We've moved on. That's conservatism.

Posted by: rdw on January 29, 2006 at 8:39 PM | PERMALINK

"only the most hardcare morons, in my estimation, of which the congressional gop admittedly doesn't lack.

So how is it there are 233 Republians vs 202 Democrats?"

Americans are stupid.

And republicans have a vested interest in keeping it that way - as only an idiot would vote for one.

Posted by: cdj on January 29, 2006 at 8:53 PM | PERMALINK

i have to say, rdw, that i find your 8:30 remarks exceptionally foolish and misguided on every level.

indeed, i would say that you are living in a total fantasy: your comments bear only the most marginal relationship to reality. it's not even worth going through and pointing out the many, many conceptual, intellectual, or factual errors contained in one posting.

i'll say this in short, though: no honest conservative thinks that george bush is a "conservative." he is nothing of the sort in any respect, from his tax-cutting without cutting spending to his antipathy to the constitution to his utopian foreign policy gestures.

what he is is a know-nothing right-winger.

Posted by: howard on January 29, 2006 at 8:56 PM | PERMALINK

er, that would be rdw's 8:39 remarks that make no sense....

Posted by: howard on January 29, 2006 at 8:57 PM | PERMALINK

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Posted by: rdw on January 29, 2006 at 9:11 PM | PERMALINK

although i'm sure rdw thinks his backward writing is tres amusing, it makes at least as much sense as the rest of his postings....

Posted by: howard on January 29, 2006 at 9:17 PM | PERMALINK

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Posted by: rdw on January 29, 2006 at 9:17 PM | PERMALINK

Damn, that Rolling Rock and Belgian Ale are finally kicking in for rdw - His post at 9:11 PM finally made sense - He also had a late post last night in the same vein. Keep up the drinking.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on January 29, 2006 at 9:19 PM | PERMALINK

Howard, 3rd Paul

I have a fan. The backwords posts are not me.

Posted by: rdw on January 29, 2006 at 9:25 PM | PERMALINK

although i'm sure that rdw's fan thinks his backward posts are tres amusing, they make at least as much sense as do rdw's originals....

(also glad to update when i get more accurate information)

Posted by: howard on January 29, 2006 at 9:31 PM | PERMALINK

howard,

You can disagree but I can guarrantee conservatives are quite happy with his tax cuts and his judicial selections. Roberts and Alito were exceptional picks and he's done just as well on the lower courts.

They are even more enthused we've removed our defense umbrella from Europe and dramatially increased our support for Ariel Sharon and Israel. The Bolton appointment was the best. The UN, EU and NATO are effectiely non-entities.

George has also been exceptionally skilled as party leader. He's been the most effective party leader since FDR. With 55 Senators and 233 congressmen and these two supreme court appointments the GOP is in it's strongest position since the 1920's. Bill Clinton by comparison was a diaster.

George ain't perfect. But he's driven you whacko for a reason.

Posted by: rdw on January 29, 2006 at 9:37 PM | PERMALINK

such deep thought processes probably underline his inability to read my posting correctly: there are 223 republicans in the house because 223 republicans won election in 2004. a good number of them are, objectively, morons.

That's 233.

I didn't miss your point but you missed my point. Answer me this; if a good number are morons what does that make the democrats they whupped? What's the term for dumber than a moron?

Posted by: rdw on January 29, 2006 at 9:40 PM | PERMALINK

Republicans ARE demonstrably more serious about terrorism.

They commit acts of terror all the time.

Posted by: osama_been_forgotten on January 29, 2006 at 9:41 PM | PERMALINK

George ain't perfect. But he's driven you whacko for a reason.
Posted by: rdw on January 29, 2006 at 9:37 PM | PERMALINK

Yes. The politics of division play well with the Party of Hate.

Posted by: osama_been_forgotten on January 29, 2006 at 9:43 PM | PERMALINK

howard,

Fred Barns just wrote a book you won't buy called Rebel-in-Chief: How GWB is redefining the conservative movement and transforming America.

We're such a big tent group there is no single definition that describes conservative. I can't stand John McCain and he drives most conservatives batty but ask him and he'll tell you he is conservative. He may very well be the next President if he can get conservatives to nominate him.

IN any event liberals will not be defining conservatism nor deciding who is and who isn't.

Posted by: rdw on January 29, 2006 at 9:46 PM | PERMALINK

for the record, rdw, george bush doesn't drive me whacko. rather, he drives me to despair for the harm he is doing to our country.

that said, yes, i know there are a lot of people who call themselves "conservatives" who think that means "cutting taxes." that is not what "conservatism" is. conservatism is, among its many virtues, a philosophy of small government, not a philosophy of borrowing to pay the bills. (real conservatives also favor a simple tax system, whereas bush has added thousands of pages of complexity to the tax code.) I'd suggest you take a look at bruce bartlett's new book to see what an honest conservative thinks of george bush.

Now, i do agree that conservatives are happy with roberts and alito, although given that both of them lied their asses off during their confirmation hearings, i don't quite know why. It's amazing to me that neither believes strongly enough in his conservative principles to just flat out state them. i know what that tells me, and it tells honest conservatives the same thing.

you actually seem like a nice enough human being, rdw, so it pains me to say that your comments about the UN, the EU, NATO, Kyoto, and other foreign policy points are complete pifle. Right-wingers appreciate these points. True conservatives, with their respect for precedent, their humility in the face of human nature, their understanding of the law of unintended consequences - they don't think there's anything admirable about bush's foreign policy. (the idea that israel lacked for US support, btw, is beyond piffle and into total fantasy-land.)

as for the notion that george bush is effective as a party leader - surely you jest! he benfits from the fact that the house is led by a group of unethical thugs that is perfectly willing to violate every existing norm of congressional behavior, in particular the ones that say people should have a chance to read what they are voting on and that conference committees are supposed to represent multiple points of view.

here's the bottom line: bush won the states of the old confederacy by 5.5M votes in 2004. He lost the other 37 states (including a number of other red states) by 2.5M votes. The Democratic senators, although fewer in number, received more votes in aggregate than the republican seantors over the last 3 cycles, and i'm pretty sure that even the outnumbered house dems received more votes than the republican house members as well. Generic polling shows a strong trend towards voting democratic in order to keep an effective check on the shallow little man in the white house.

i suppose that's one definition of "exceptional skill."

Posted by: howard on January 29, 2006 at 9:47 PM | PERMALINK

rdw, there's dozens of factors that explain any given election, but rarely is the intelligence of the candidate (unless it's exceptional and used against him or her) one of them. it is entirely possible to be a moron and still win election - happens all the frickin' time. doesn't change the objective facts.

as for fred barnes, you're right, i'm not going to waste my time on a propaganda robot, although i will give fred barnes credit for honestly noting that the reason that bobby jindal didn't beat kathleen blanco for the louisiana governorship is because a good percentage of southern republican voters won't vote for a non-white.

you're welcome to that company, btw.

as for "conservatism," i'm not defining it. It's been defined by many honorable thinkers over the years, people who, as i noted, favor small government, humility, realism, honesty, precedent - all the kinds of things that george bush thinks are for losers.

it wouldn't surprise me that fred barnes thinks those values are for losers, too, because otherwise, why would conservatism have to be transformed?

Posted by: howard on January 29, 2006 at 9:54 PM | PERMALINK
If you really think that Democrats have shown themselves to be as serious on national security, and as willing as the Republicans to do what is necessary to prevent another 9/11, then your are seriously deluding yourself. Posted by: fred
Examine the evidence: Bush was repeatedly warned about bin Laden and domestic terrorist. He did nothing. Bush went after bin Laden in Afghanistan and dropped the ball completely. Bush said we were going to remake Afghanistan, and instead he went after Iraq, a country that had nothing to do with 9-11. Bush went to war so incompetently that years later, we are still fighting, still suffering causalities, and the country is still in a state of chaos. Bush failure rate = 100% Compare Clinton: WTC bombers: in jail; Cole bombers: in jail; Millennium Plot bombers: in jail after unsuccessful attempt. Clinton success rate = 100%
With the disarray and incompetence of the Dumbercratic leadership in full bloom. It will happen again ibn 2006. I love it! Posted by: Fat Angry Guy
While RepubliConTarians march lockstep off a cliff sneering at freedom and individual responsibility.
So how can the Democrats get in front on the security issues Posted by: contentious
By continuing to point out that the Bush efforts are failures and counterproductive.
hey would run to the right of GW Bush on terrorism. Posted by: GOPGregory
Hillary has already attacked Bush from the right about his failed Iran policy. Hey, your 20-20 hindsight is impressive political analysis.
It always favors the tax cutters. Posted by: rdw
Remember Ross Periot and the deficit issue? It didnt work to Republican advantage then, and it won't again. Your 20 20 hindsight is impressive political analysis.
and you wonder what your problem is. Posted by: tbrosz
You support every anti-Democratic, every fiscally irresponsible, every incompetent program and act Bush does, and you think other people have a problem?
the average tax cut was less than $146 per year?Posted by: Charlotte Bronte
The average Bush tax cut for a person earning under $25,000 was zero. Here's a chart of by income group The typical tax cut for the median income taxpayer will be $600 a year. #For the 78 million taxpayers in the lowest 60 percent of the income scale, the tax cut will average $347 a year.

For most American's the amount of the tax cut was insignificant, while the amounts they are paying for gasoline are highly noticible.

I am willing to give up my rights to speak to Al Qaeda and any suspected terrorists. I am doing it for my country. I am a patriot. It's really not that big a sacrifice. Posted by: rdw

A noble sacrifice, to be sure, but one that is not leading to information about al Qa'ida and has accomplished nothing that would not have been had the law been followed, but at least this way, you get a authoritarian big-daddy figure in Dick Cheney.
Of course, you are making no sacrifice in comparison to those losing their lives because Bush lied to justify his invasion of Iraq.
Katherine was brilliant as the Sec of State for Florida and probably a very decent congresswoman. Posted by: rdw

New definition of brilliant: Partisan hack
So how is it there are 233 Republians vs 202 Democrats?
Posted by: rdw

The American form of government gives more voting power to small states in winner-take-all voting. It is not that Democratic. Proportional representation would be a better system, but Republicans are able to block any moves to a more democratic society in every way.
Rove was not happy. Posted by: rdw

Boo f*cking Hoo
The countries we've had problems with; France, Germany, Canada, Spain, Venezuela and to a lessor degree, Russia and Mexico have not been major factors. Posted by: rdw

Don't forget China, Iraq, Iran, Japan, Columbia, Brazil, Britain (the people hate Bush), Saudia Arabia (the 9-11 bombers, remember), Egypt, hell every country in the world except Israel which appreciates any terror supporting state. This administration has the worst foreign policy in memory. Would that adults were still in charge instead of Dick Cheney.

Posted by: Mike on January 29, 2006 at 10:14 PM | PERMALINK
We're such a big tent group there is no single definition that describes conservative. Posted by: rdw
As for a policy definition, I would say big government, big spending, big borrowing, big on sexual and religious hypocrisy. Yup, that covers it: Big talk, small deeds. Posted by: Mike on January 29, 2006 at 10:19 PM | PERMALINK

i suppose that's one definition of "exceptional skill."

I explained my definition. 233 house members, 55 Senators plus Roberts, Alito and a very solid cast of conservatives on the lower benches. Can't forget Bolton either.

I love your stats. It's called losers lament. My favorite I 1st heard from Chucky. More people voted for Democratic Senators than Republican Senators. Damn shame they still only get 44 seats. It'll really sting tomorrow when they can't get 41 votes to filibuster.

I take it the Founding Fathers who designed this abomination are on your list of idiots?

Posted by: rdw on January 29, 2006 at 10:22 PM | PERMALINK

""only the most hardcare morons, in my estimation, of which the congressional gop admittedly doesn't lack.

So how is it there are 233 Republians vs 202 Democrats?"

Americans are stupid.

And republicans have a vested interest in keeping it that way - as only an idiot would vote for one."

Posted by: cdj on January 29, 2006 at 8:53 PM

Not exactly. Americans are ignorant, in that they lack the information they need to be able to think things through in the first place, and that is what it is in the interests of the GOP to maintain. So long as they can run political campaigns that run far more on emotion than they do intellect (the fear campaign since 91//101 is a classic example though not the only one) to work they are likely going to keep on winning. This is why the appeals to nationalism, religion/Faith, and the in some cases literal demonization of all those that dissent as working for the enemy. If issues were getting the discussion between various perspectives instead of the limited and unfortunately usually rather lopsided discussions between conservatives of varying degrees and centrists or reporters to represent the "left" in totality this would not work so well if at all. One of the effects of this is to lend the appearance of varying degrees of perspectives from the right and only a limited and narrow vision from the "left".

There used to be a far more diverse representation of the richness that is American society within the various media than there is today. These days the discussions of policy, such as they are, are at times at the level of elementary school (see GWB explaining what diplomacy was the other week, Jon Stewart did a nice bit on it) and the configuration is always either you agree with Bush's decisions or you are helping the terrorists on all national security issues. On domestic issues again it is the standard Dems will raise your taxes and kill the economy rhetoric that has been around for decades. This in turn helps to discredit any programs advanced to try and actually do something about the many serious long term/structural problems facing America from physical infrastructure to the environment to healthcare and poverty reduction.

It is the degree of ignorance the GOP is able to keep the general American public that is so much behind their recent success. This notion still strong in the right of the liberal controlled/dominated news media, this hasn't been true for a decade or two now, yet it is still such a strong article of faith it is believed by millions of American voters. The underlying core of the GOP strategy is to dominate the message environment as much as is possible and discredit any sources that choose to examine the GOP messages/actions critically instead of simply acting as stenographers. None of this is news to most people here though. It is however why I see Americans not being stupid so much as ignorant and deliberately kept that way. Intelligence is mocked and derided as "elitist" and "ivory tower liberalism" which in turn makes complex analysis automatically carry the taint of the "left" which further discourages doing something about one's ignorance.

If there is anything that I would say does frustrate me about the average American these days it is their willingness to place their trust in the use of such powers and tools any American President has from military to economic, social policy to international affairs, without at least doing enough basic research to tell whether their trust is being broken or not. America is the single most powerful country in the world, although thanks in part to the actions of GWB and the GOP that is going to change within the next decade or two at most (the other part being the rise of China and India as economic powers), and with power comes responsibilities. The founding fathers of America understood that better than most nation founders ever have, and the Constitution of the United States of America reflects that throughout. For them it was the responsibilities of office holders to their constituent and the republic in which they lived, but it was also the responsibilities of power that Britain was abusing and neglecting that fueled the revolution to begin with.

Where is that fire these days? Even back in the Cold War it was still a flame that appeared to burn strongly, indeed it was central to the reason why the rest of the world accepted America as the voice of the West leading the fight for individual rights over the power of totalitarian communist states. Those Americans appeared to understand both the demands of power and the reality that one cannot save a free society by running rampant over the legal rights the citizens of those free democracies governed by the rule of law and not the rule of man have. I do not see that anymore in the mainstream of American society, and that really worries me.

There was always a tendency towards extremism in American society/culture, it was a natural byproduct of such an individualist society. This was generally tempered though by the way power had been decentralized in American government via the Constitution. Combine that with the USSC setting precedents over time further defining the respect rights and responsibilities of both citizens and government and one had a reasonable governor on that extremist edge within the society. That check though has failed, and what has been happening is frightening, and no doubt the elections later this year will only further attempt to continue in this vein to the detriment of America/Americans and much of the rest of the world as well. Which of course will also have long term negative repercussions for America even after (assuming it is knocked from power) the GOP loses the complete control of the reigns of government that exists today. Which in a healthy democracy should be an expected event in the not too distant future anyway.

Posted by: Scotian on January 29, 2006 at 10:30 PM | PERMALINK

why, rdw, here we have a president that you think is brilliant who is spitting on the 4th ammendment and you think i have a problem with the constitution?

of course it's relevant what the total votes are in the senate if you want to have an understanding of exactly what kind of exceptional skill george bush has provided as a leader of the republican party.

the "skill" that bush has shown (other than his special skills at lying, hypocrisy, and poor judgement) is to be the tail end beneficiary of the civil rights act and the voting rights act and the way they drove southern whites into the republican party. anyone who doesn't understand that shouldn't really be talking about political skill....

PS. let me repeat: bush won the 13 states of the old confederacy by 5.5M votes; he lost the other 37 by 2.5M votes. that's what you call "skill?"

Posted by: howard on January 29, 2006 at 10:33 PM | PERMALINK

they don't think there's anything admirable about bush's foreign policy. (the idea that israel lacked for US support, btw, is beyond piffle and into total fantasy-land.)

Yes they do. They wanted us out of Germany in 1990 and a greatly downsized US presence in NATO. They understood Old Europe was able to craft their welfare states because they could underspend on security. We were their protection. Ditto for Canada. We also knew they would be unreliable diplomatic allies. All of this has proven true. It's interesting that in Canada Harper campaigned on higher defense spending. These nations are now faced with the reality of having only soft power. They will suceed or not on this decision. The US will not provide for their protection. This is exactly what conservatives wanted.

As far as Israel Bush was a staunch supporter of Sharon giving him more of a free hand than any other US President. Clinton and the liberals hated Sharon considering him a war criminal. Clinton pushed Israel hard in Oslo in 93 and in Camp David in 00. Each was a disaster. Clinton met with Arafat more than any other leader. Bush wouldn't let that scum near the White House. It was comical listening to the liberals lament Sharons stroke. They hated him. He did the exact opposite of everything they recommmended and he proved them morons.

Posted by: rdw on January 29, 2006 at 10:35 PM | PERMALINK

PS. let me repeat: bush won the 13 states of the old confederacy by 5.5M votes; he lost the other 37 by 2.5M votes. that's what you call "skill?"

Yes, I don't suffer your elitism. GWB, a man as dumb as a post, has won 4 elections in row defeating candidates much smarter than he representing a party full of people much smarter than he.

I'm one of these stupid is as stupid does people. An idiot with an IQ of 180 might be in mensa but they're still an idiot. George might be stupid. But he's not as stupid as your party. He didn't beat you once. He didn't beat you twice. He didn't beat you three times. He didn't beat you four times. He beat you five times.

And you think he's the dumb one?

Posted by: rdw on January 29, 2006 at 10:43 PM | PERMALINK

Scotian -

"Not exactly. Americans are ignorant, in that they lack the information they need to be able to think things through in the first place, and that is what it is in the interests of the GOP to maintain."

That's the most pedantic semantic quibble-contortion I've seen in quite awhile. And the following 1000 word essay does nothing but call to the eye the lengths pansy-ass liberals will go to avoid the plain truth. There are stupid people in this world. Americans make up a hugely disproportionate number of them, considering their relative wealth.

You simply *must* be a litcrit or cultural studies or some such crap student/prof.

I suppose I will agree with you on the "not exactly" in one way: Americans are not just stupid - they're stupid and mean. That's a much more complete, yet still relevant to the question I originally answered

Posted by: cdj on January 29, 2006 at 11:12 PM | PERMALINK

so you that cumulatively in the first four years of the Bush presidency, the average driver spent a total of $250 more on gas than he/she would have in 2000.

First of all your prices are not right.

2000 --- more like $1.21 at the time Clinton was President
2001 --- $1.00 per gallon right after 9/11 for a few months so... this price in 2002... not right.
2002 --- $1.36 - there is no way that price is right - it's closer to 1.60 and more in 2002 - I have a very good memory for this stuff as it was back in 2001 gasoline climbed 20 cents during spring break of that year, and within a two week timeframe. It was only a few months after 9/11 and this jump in prices prompted Sen. Carl Levin to call a special hearing due to oil executives from Marathon oil and others, meeting in Phoenix and conspiring to price gouge consumers it was still a Democratic control congress back then due to Jeffords having gone Indy - remember?
So this number for 2003 --- $1.59 is a low ball figure
2004 --- $1.88
2005 --- about $2.00 at first buy Katrine a lot higher till November of last year.
2006 --- $2.21 to 2.50 per gallon rigth now - that is twice the price of gasoline when Clinton was president.

Drivers who pay their gasoline credit card bills at the end of the month understand the cost all to well AND MOST people drive MORE that 12000 per year, it fact 15000 is closer to the average. MOST midsize trucks/SUVs get less that 20 m.p.g. and many people live in large cities and need to cummute several miles to work every day. folks usually need to filling up the tank once a week, the bill that was about $1.21 when Bush first took office is around $2.26 - a person paying $125 at the month's end for gasoline cost during the Clinton years is now paying $250 at month's end for gasoline if not more than that.

Americans got 250 to 400 back in taxcuts AND they had to turn around and spend that amount in the first few months on their gasoline cost.

Crude oil has gone from 18-20 dollars per barrel in 2000 to 68 dollars a barrel today - people are easily paying twice what they paid a month for gasoline when Clinton was in office - and in same instances people are paying more per month in gasoline cost than they do for their monthly car payment - and a car payment is one of those major household expenses. None of cost of gasoline prices includes the raise in household heating and cooling cost, which also have gone up significantly due to higher energy prices.

Posted by: Cheryl on January 29, 2006 at 11:20 PM | PERMALINK

rdw, we'll start with your 10:43. you can look up and down my comments and i have yet to call george bush stupid. i've called many members of the republican house morons, but last i checked, bush wasn't a member of the house.

but for the record, bush didn't win the election in 2000. he did win in 2004, but it was the closest re-election either in the 20th century or ever (i'd have to double-check).

but the point at hand here is political skill. It takes no political skill to take advantage of a tailwind of racist voters deserting the democratic party for the republican party in the south, and without that tailwind, bush doesn't win anything. do you have an actual explanation of the skill at hand?

now, as for your 10:35, it's really pointless to engage you on foreign policy, and i'm not going to bother. everything you say is, at best, an exaggeration of reality; at worst, it's completely wrong.

and yes, sharon was a war criminal, although that's not the essential matter here. fwiw, the brilliant leadership of george bush has now put hamas in charge of the palestinian's (and therefore the israeli's) future....

Posted by: howard on January 29, 2006 at 11:25 PM | PERMALINK

I love the responses of the Trolletariat, never reasoned, always full of insults and personal attacks. You may find me wordy cdj, but that is no rebuttal to the content of the post. Indeed, your abject failure to address the substance of the post speaks volumes. Not to mention your dismissal of the difference between stupid and ignorant. Leaving aside for the moment that there is a fairly significant difference in their meanings, there is no such thing as "mere" semantics. Semantics are at the core of communications, semantics are at the core of political rhetoric, they are at the core of meaning in language generally. Whenever I see someone use that particular dismissal as a supposedly serious criticism I know I am in the presence of someone that doesn't understand what they are talking about.

Indeed, the GOP/Bush manipulation of semantics (another way to describe it in this case is rebranding) is one of the main reasons they have the successes they do today. I rather doubt Rove or Mehlman thinks semantics are ever a mere thing seeing as their understanding and use of semantics is the heart of their profession and their success. It is too bad that you are so busy being a nice little parrot that you cannot grasp this for yourself. Thank you though for providing an example of what I mean of an American being ignorant of reality thanks to the degree of information control the GOP has built up over the last few decades. Your parroting of GOP thinking without any sign of critical thought was a classic example of how the GOP likes their supporters and hopes more Americans will continue to join them.

I do not dispute there are stupid people in the world, including in America. I do think though that to claim that America is full of stupid people is harsh and inaccurate. I meant what I said about their being ignorant instead of stupid, which is the better of the two. Ignorance can be cured with learning, stupidity is only cured by death unfortunately. As for this being a pansy assed liberal way of avoiding the truth, again you help make one of the points I made in my first post. Instead of even bothering to consider whether there might be any merit you instead choose to dismiss it and lump it into the big bad left monolith that conservatives keep telling everyone exists. It is also an example of anti-intellectualism in your comment, which was another point I made that you illustrated.

Now that I think about it, you provided a very useful set of examples to underscore my post. I should thank you for that.

Posted by: Scotian on January 29, 2006 at 11:32 PM | PERMALINK

Scotian -

After finishing my philosophy Ph.D, I never again will give even the time of day to wordiness-for-its-own-sake. Hence my dismissal of your essay(s).

Anti-intellectual? LOLOL. Anti-your-distinction-without-a-difference filibusters would be more like it.

I did notice one thing that could conceivably be helpful. You say that stupidity can only be cured by death. I take it you think of stupidity as something of a physiological/intrinsic property? I don't. I think that stupid people can learn, and become intelligent, subject to two caveats (a) there is a very small percentage of the population who simply don't have the engines under the hood to do this (I call them forrest gumps), and (b) it gets harder as one gets older.

But chances are that won't be helpful. Nothing is helpful to litcridiots except pot and acceptance.

Posted by: cdj on January 29, 2006 at 11:39 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, scotian, we see what you mean. Dig, dig, dig, cdj!

Posted by: Kenji on January 30, 2006 at 12:07 AM | PERMALINK

RNC STRATEGY 2006
I will sacrifice rdw on Labor Day and blame the Democrats for his death. He will not mind because he believes in the glorious cause. Our supporters can not wait to give up their liberties so it is only a small step to ask them to give up their life. (although strangely they will not fight in the war on terror) Note to self: do not enlist the college Republicans because they do not do sacrifice.
Depending on the bounce we get in the polls we may need more 'volunteers' for Operation Abraham.

Posted by: KRove on January 30, 2006 at 2:13 AM | PERMALINK

Very true. Another campaign issue, in addition to the Patriot Act, is the marriage ammendment act, look for it again this year. Two very important spears of war. No wonder, Republicans always win.

Posted by: eq on January 30, 2006 at 3:15 AM | PERMALINK

You say that stupidity can only be cured by death. I take it you think of stupidity as something of a physiological/intrinsic property? I don't. I think that stupid people can learn, and become intelligent, subject to two caveats (a) there is a very small percentage of the population who simply don't have the engines under the hood to do this (I call them forrest gumps), and (b) it gets harder as one gets older.

First of all, there's no such thing as a 'Forrest Gump' and you are slighting what is an excellent book because you have in mind a film version that doesn't do the book justice.

Second, there's always one idiot who fails to grasp the logic that is presented. Thank you for grabbing it with both hands, wrapping your legs around it, and yelling 'look at me! look at me!'

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 30, 2006 at 7:55 AM | PERMALINK

do you have an actual explanation of the skill at hand?

george bush has now put hamas in charge of the palestinian's (and therefore the israeli's) future....

I would suggest his ability to decide who wins elections here and abroad is a rather handy politcal skill. If you are going to credit his political acumen for Palestine does he get Canada, Germany and Australia as well? Beats anything the libs have doesn't it?

and yes, sharon was a war criminal

It must have been really annoying to hear the world sing his praises after the stoke. What a nasty brew for true liberals. He destroyed the liberals in israel and spent the last 5 years doing the exact opposite of their recommendations and proving them wrong at every turn. He was right and you were wrong and now he's the toast of the town. How cool that Clinton is persona non grata while Sharon is the indispensible man. How pitiful for Bill's legacy Arafat was his closest ally. Pure scum.

Posted by: rdw on January 30, 2006 at 8:29 AM | PERMALINK

it's really pointless to engage you on foreign policy, and i'm not going to bother. everything you say is, at best, an exaggeration of reality; at worst, it's completely wrong.

I speak facts. Condi announced week ago a total restructuring of foreign posts for the State Department. The core is a massive transfer of positions from Western Europe to the Middle East and Asia. Those expecting a transfer to a European capital this year have already been informed they're not going. As people rotate out of Europe they're not being replaced. They also noted the primary languages they'll need in the future and French and German are not among them. That's a note intended more for college and high schools.

We already know our military has essentially vacated Germany except for an airbase and hospital and some staging/storage facilities. We are in the process or returning our leases over to the German government. We do not want the space. We will not be coming back.

We know of EU hard power from Kosovo. They were unable to do a thing about Milosovich. He was stopped by the US alone. The world knows this. The EU no longer has access to US firepower and cannot project any military power outside their own borders. They have ONLY soft power.

Posted by: rdw on January 30, 2006 at 8:42 AM | PERMALINK

I would suggest his ability to decide who wins elections here and abroad is a rather handy politcal skill. If you are going to credit his political acumen for Palestine does he get Canada, Germany and Australia as well? Beats anything the libs have doesn't it?

How much skill does it take to steal elections and spread Islamic fundamentalism throughout the world? Freedom is on the march, so long as your version of freedom includes death squads, car bombs, rioting and clerics running things.

Yeah, rdw. 'Libs' have no experience screwing up the world; in fact, wait around and watch a 'lib' straighten out Bush's mess.

And that really is what liberals are always being forced to do--straighten out the mess left by conservatives who rule by ideology and fear. Someone has to trail behind the GWBs and the Ronald Reagans and the Richard Nixons of the world with a pooper scooper. Liberals have to clean up after these cyclical forays into insanity and then cover all the bad checks the 'conservatives' wrote and then fix all the institutions of government that they wrecked by putting ideological cronies in place instead of competent officials. Show me one example of 'good government' in the Bush era, courtesy of Tom Delay Inc. Show me the 'conservative' ideology that says, no, go ahead and bust the budget five years in a row and don't bother paying for things. Show me how it's 'conservative' to increase the size of the Federal government, ruin the military in a costly Asian land war and allow businesses to shut down their manufacturing plants in America and outsource everything while skipping out on what little tax obligation they still have.

But cling to those fantasies, cling to them! They're all you have.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 30, 2006 at 8:49 AM | PERMALINK

We know of EU hard power from Kosovo. They were unable to do a thing about Milosovich. He was stopped by the US alone.

No thanks to Tom Delay or the Republicans.

That victory was courtesy Bill Clinton, and he had Republicans ripping into him every step of the way and undermining the US military at precisely the moment they were engaged in combat.

Cling to the fallacies and the madness! Cling to them, rdw. Spew and spew and spew. The image of you trying to reconcile success in Kosovo with Bush claiming 'Mission Accomplished' on that aircraft carrier is one for the ages.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 30, 2006 at 8:52 AM | PERMALINK

But cling to those fantasies, cling to them! They're all you have.

Control of the executive, judiciary and legislative is not a fantasy.

I will agree Bush didn't appoint Sharon. We have to give the destruction of the labor party in Israel ALL to Bill Clinton. Bill created Ariel and gave him free rein. He got to watch Ariel review each one of Bills recommendations and do precisely the opposite. He got to watch his best buddy Arafat be imprisoned in the compound Bill built. Bill started the Infatada. Ariel ended it.

Or was that a fantasy too?

Follow Reagan with a pooper scooper? Come on. You have to have chilled on Ronnie by now. Even the libs are singing his praise. The man is a top 10 President. Ask gorby.

Posted by: rdw on January 30, 2006 at 8:56 AM | PERMALINK

Control of the executive, judiciary and legislative is not a fantasy.

Ain't exactly working out the way you thought it would, huh? The polls seem to think the American people are ready to go back to divided government.

Bill started the Infatada.

Now that's a riot, to put it mildly. Forty years of Palestinian discontent fueled by Arab and Iranian money didn't have anything to do with, I suppose? William Jefferson Clinton went into the slums of Gaza and told the Palestinians to pick up rocks and and put on suicide belts and kill Israelis? Hilarious--you truly have no sense of decency and not one shred of common sense.

Come on. You have to have chilled on Ronnie by now. Even the libs are singing his praise. The man is a top 10 President. Ask gorby.

Well, compared to Bush43, Reagan does look pretty good. But give me twenty credit cards and I'll get you all kinds of goodies. Just don't expect me to pay the bills when the party is over.

Bill Clinton paid the bills for the Reagan era--or was that surplus Bush43 pissed away on big government and tax cuts for the wealthy another rdw fallacy?

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 30, 2006 at 9:07 AM | PERMALINK

The image of you trying to reconcile success in Kosovo with Bush claiming 'Mission Accomplished' on that aircraft carrier is one for the ages.

What's to reconcile? Kosovo proves European weakness and American strength as does Mission Accomplished. We all know France and Germany were not helping in Iraq for at least two reaosns. They were on the payroll and they have no hard power to supply.

The point was always about EU hard power. There is none.

The point was were are de-linking from the EU. They are on their own. Givn activity at the State Dept and Defense Dept this is impossible to dispute.

On all of the worlds major issues we are working outside the UN and EU. We maintain the G-8 meetings but we all know they're photo-opts and little else.

The fact is from a military perspective the EU just can't do much. In a real fight we'd be distracted by the need to protect them. We're much better with mission specific coalitions with those nations with credible forces.

Posted by: rdw on January 30, 2006 at 9:08 AM | PERMALINK

ask gorby

Since when does anyone honestly assess the success of a US President based on the opinion of the only living former Secretary General of the Communist Party?

So, if a Communist tells you that Reagan was a good President, the only thing left for a maniac like you is to believe it, huh?

Kind strange how you're allowing Gorbachev to assess things for you. Perhaps you are not what you seem to be, Wooten. Perhaps you are...working for the...other side...

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 30, 2006 at 9:10 AM | PERMALINK

On all of the worlds major issues we are working outside the UN and EU. We maintain the G-8 meetings but we all know they're photo-opts and little else.

Really?

Then who's dealing with the Iran issue, dumbass?

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 30, 2006 at 9:11 AM | PERMALINK

William Jefferson Clinton went into the slums of Gaza and told the Palestinians to pick up rocks and and put on suicide belts and kill Israelis? Hilarious--you truly have no sense of decency and not one shred of common sense.

Slick Willie lit the match that started the infatada and we all now it. In his desperate attempt to salvage some bit of a legacy he tried to force the jews inot a bad deal and slick got outslicked by his best buddy Arafat. That fool actually believed in Arafat. There was never a chance. Bill Clintons failure started the infatada. Bill Clintons failure resulted in the most stunning election in Israeli history and the crushing of the labor party. Bill Clinton made Ariel Sharon.

Posted by: rdw on January 30, 2006 at 9:13 AM | PERMALINK

Then who's dealing with the Iran issue, dumbass?

And what's happened with the Iran issue? Anything change in three years? Dosnt't seem like anyone is dealing with it.

Posted by: rdw on January 30, 2006 at 9:15 AM | PERMALINK

rdw,

It's sad to see you descend into madness. Here, follow the link and try to get some help.

http://www.mhilli.org/network/family.htm

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 30, 2006 at 9:18 AM | PERMALINK

And what's happened with the Iran issue? Anything change in three years? Dosnt't seem like anyone is dealing with it.

This administration let it happen on their watch, and as you pointed out: Control of the executive, judiciary and legislative is not a fantasy.

So I guess it's time to blame Ted Kennedy and Ruth Bader Ginsburg for the development of the Iranian nuclear program, huh?

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 30, 2006 at 9:24 AM | PERMALINK

I think that stupid people can learn, and become intelligent, subject to two caveats (a) there is a very small percentage of the population who simply don't have the engines under the hood to do this (I call them forrest gumps), and (b) it gets harder as one gets older.

No, you are confusing stupidity with ignorance. Stupid people can't learn. That's what makes them stupid. Ignorant people can learn (if they aren't stupid). That is why 'education' is always framed as a 'campaign to overcome ignorance' and not a 'campaign to overcome stupidity'. Ignorance can be overcome through education but stupid will remain stupid.

Posted by: Frankly, my dear, ... on January 30, 2006 at 9:31 AM | PERMALINK

Since when does anyone honestly assess the success of a US President based on the opinion of the only living former Secretary General of the Communist Party?


You're not very good with irony are you?

Conservatives love Gorby. There wasn't a more inept world leader in the post WWII era other than Jimmy Carter. And guess who was the Times man of the decade? Liberals tried valiantly to give Gorby creidt for the fall of socialism in a transparent and pathetic attempt to make sure it didn't go to Reagan. It was utterly laughble. We still get some liberal twits praising Gorby. The man was a total buffoon. When he ran in an election he got less than 1% of the vote. Donald duck gets 1%.

Gorby is a threefer. He represents the utter failure of socialism as well as the utter failure of the liberal media as well as the totla incompetence of the liberal elite. Thse twits were praising Gorby AND Russia throughout the 80's as a successful ideology and a functioning system we needed to reconcile to because they would be around for a long time and we had to share the planet!

Reagan was right. The entire Harvard faculty and State Department staff was wrong.

So when you hear a conservative speak of Gorby it's of fond memories of twits caught with their intellectual pants down.

Posted by: rdw on January 30, 2006 at 9:52 AM | PERMALINK

You can't possibly be this dense.

...said the pot to the kettle...

The sunset provisions are there to ensure tax cuts are the hot topic for the election cycle. GWB will obviously proposed extending them (tax cuts) while liberals will oppose extending them, meaning support tax increases.

howard has already covered this, rdw, but the sunset provisions were there to win the votes of some of the few remaining fiscally conservative Republicans, without which Bush's tax cuts wouldn't have passed at all.

But no matter. The fact is that if the GOP is defining the sunset clauses as a tax increase, then Bush has, by signing them into law, already approved of this so-called "tax increase." QED. And if Bush is going to campaign on making them permanent, then he was indeed for them before he was against them, and therefore a flip-flopper. QED.

Sorry, rdw, but pretending the sunset clauses are a political masterstroke doesn't change the facts -- a point you concede, of course, by your feeble attempt to distract with your usual Bush hagiography.

Posted by: Gregory on January 30, 2006 at 9:55 AM | PERMALINK

So I guess it's time to blame Ted Kennedy and Ruth Bader Ginsburg for the development of the Iranian nuclear program, huh?

Teddy is Gods gift to conservatives. He's almost single handedly moved Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court. Americans love it when that filthy piece of garbage trashes another human being. We all know how Teddy has lived his life. He's the last person to demean another human being.

So no I don't blame Teddy. He's the proverbial useful idiot. Too bad for you he's far more useful to the GOP.

BTW: Teddy has lost it. He is not capable of debate. He can read a script but he can't go off script. When Arlen stomped him he had no comeback. He was unable to do any followup with Alito and it was obvious. He can only do what his staff tells him to do.

Ruth will soon be replaced but has been a valuable symbol. When kerry filibusters alito rith is the perfect example of why that's extreme obstructionism. This ACLU lawyer received over 90 votes. Enjoy her. You'll never see another like her. Kerry is saying it's OK to vote against someone who was once associated with the ACLU. Conservatives will easily filibuster liberal candidates. No President would even consider nominating someone with the ACLU in their past.

Posted by: rdw on January 30, 2006 at 10:07 AM | PERMALINK

rdw is what happens when grandpa gets his own computer, people.

Don't let this happen to your grandpa--stop him before he learns what a B-log is.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 30, 2006 at 10:21 AM | PERMALINK

Sorry, rdw, but pretending the sunset clauses are a political masterstroke doesn't change the facts -- a point you concede, of course, by your feeble attempt to distract with your usual Bush hagiography.

Gregory, I was merely repeating E.J. Dionne who was more than a little unhappy at the prospect of tax cuts being the major campaign theme in this election cycle.

I don't dispute your point about needing those GOP votes. GWB would absolutely have preferred permanent cuts. The compromise was brilliantly crafted however for maximum political gain. Politics is the art of the possible. GWB got what was possible to get and set himself up for the next leg.

Your flip-flopping logic is bizarre but by all means go for it. GWB will follow the KISS principle. Either you are for Tax cuts OR you are for Tax INCREASES. That's as simple and easy to understand as it gets.

If Bill Nelson wants to tell Florida voters he intends to raise their taxes he has my full support. That's how to run a campaign. That filibuster is a nice touch as well. Even better will be a vote against the Patriot Act. You do know of course the Patriot Act will be crafted so GWB can get 50 votes. Let every Democrat vote against protecting America.

Be prepared for a number of difficult votes in the Senate and even a series of 'sense of the senate' resolutions just so we can see how thse Senators actually stand. This is why Senators are rarely elected President. Each vote is an opportunity to alienate. Each vote is an oportunity to vote against after you voted for.

Since GWB has been President the Dems have lost 6 senate seats. but he's the idiot.

Posted by: rdw on January 30, 2006 at 10:24 AM | PERMALINK

GWB will follow the KISS principle.

Bush43 has enlisted the KISS Army to fight the Global War on Terror?

Friends don't let friends like rdw blog drunk, people--remember that. Take away rdw's computer and his car keys and we'll all thank you for it later.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 30, 2006 at 10:32 AM | PERMALINK

Either you are for Tax cuts OR you are for Tax INCREASES. That's as simple and easy to understand as it gets.

Well, since GWB signed the so-called tax "increases" into law, he must have been for them. QED.

And if he's going to change his mind about them now, then he was for them before he was against them, and a flip-flopper. QED.

That logic is far from bizarre; as you said, it's quite simple. And since none of your "Bush is a brilliant politician" hagiography goes one inch to addressing that logic, my statement stands unrefuted:

Sorry, rdw, but pretending the sunset clauses are a political masterstroke doesn't change the facts -- a point you concede, of course, by your feeble attempt to distract with your usual Bush hagiography.

Posted by: Gregory on January 30, 2006 at 10:32 AM | PERMALINK

Gregory,

Were you Kerry's campaign manager?

Posted by: rdw on January 30, 2006 at 10:43 AM | PERMALINK

shorter rdw:

Even when Bush is wrong I'm right because I believe Bush is never wrong.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 30, 2006 at 10:49 AM | PERMALINK

Pale rider,

The GWOT is doing just fine. We have Osama, assuming he really is alive, stuck in a cave communicating by pony express. He's too useless to do any damage except for the GOP to keep the pressure for the GWOT. You know the libs can't be trusted.

I sometimes wonder if we're going to find out the CIA has had a crack medical team in his cave keeping him alive.

Posted by: rdw on January 30, 2006 at 10:54 AM | PERMALINK

I sometimes wonder if we're going to find out the CIA has had a crack medical team in his cave keeping him alive.

Uh huh. It's so easy to believe that Americans like the CIA or like myself are just traitors, isn't it?

I mean, I'm a liberal, and a veteran, so I must want to see Osama Bin Laden elected to the Senate and for America to lose to Al Qaeda, right?

Geez, you got me, rdw. I just want America to lose because I'm a liberal and a traitor and shooting me is just a waste of a perfectly good bullet, right?

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 30, 2006 at 11:07 AM | PERMALINK

Were you Kerry's campaign manager?

Of course not, but I'll admit some satisfaction in seeing Bush leave himself open to the pro-tax-increase, flip-flopper, for-it-before-he-was-against it charges. Charges which, I might add, you've utterly failed to refute in three go-rounds, now. Shall we just call the point conceded?

Posted by: Gregory on January 30, 2006 at 11:07 AM | PERMALINK

Fat White Lie: The only policy the Dumbercrats have is Bush hating.

The only policy Fat White Lie and other conservatives have is Bush butt-licking, followed by a healthy dose of lying.

rdw: The GWOT is doing just fine.

Well, it's a nice lie to tell yourself while you suck Bush's schlong all day long.

rdw: Since GWB has been President the Dems have lost 6 senate seats.

When Hitler was the leader of Germany, the opposition lost a lot more than a few senate seats.

I guess that means under your theory Hitler was both successful and a moral leader.

LOL with that.

Winning is only proof of winning, not proof of righteousness, correctness, or competence (other than in campaigning).

That you crave winning more than honor, integrity, compliance with the law, and furthering our national security simply confirms that you are supporting the right cause for you.

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 30, 2006 at 11:14 AM | PERMALINK

Even when Bush is wrong I'm right because I believe Bush is never wrong

Another area where libs go off the deep end. No President is perfect. I hated every spending bill GWB ever signed as well as his education bill and drug plan. He's far from perfect.

E.J. Dionne wrote a typical column the other day where he suggested because I might support GWB on the NSA wiretaps that means I support him doing anything he wants at anytime. It's this extreme nonsense that's killing your party.

He also made earlier comments thanking Rove for giving up the GOP game plan for the next election cycles. As if he gave up some state secret. Duh!! We'll see Bush hammer Democrats for defending terrorists civil rights in the SOTU and keep at it all cycle. He wants the Senators to challenge him on the law and hand him a huge Supreme Court victory.

Wouldn't it be just perfect if Alito wrote the majority 5 - 4 opinion?

There's a saying that describes conservatives feelings toward Bush. "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good."

He's appointing conservative judges & justices.

He's moving away from Europe.

He's cut taxes.

He's the best we have right now so He's ours.

Posted by: rdw on January 30, 2006 at 11:14 AM | PERMALINK

Of course not, but I'll admit some satisfaction in seeing Bush leave himself open to the pro-tax-increase, flip-flopper, for-it-before-he-was-against it charges. Charges which, I might add, you've utterly failed to refute in three go-rounds, now. Shall we just call the point conceded?


I'll concede. Please lead with this. Liberals have been chanting tax cuts for the rich for 5 years but you're going to change 5 years of hard work in front of an election cycle. By all means please do!!

I do like the flip-flopper thing. My favorite moment of all the conventions was when the GOP faithful started chanting 'flip-flop, flip-flop' with ALL OF THEM wore their flip-flops on their hands, everytime Kerry's name came up. That was hilarious.

Of course if the libs try it it'll be contrived rather than funny. One would think with all of Hollywood one your side you'd have a much better convention.

Was the 'Reporting for Duty' opening your idea?

Posted by: rdw on January 30, 2006 at 11:28 AM | PERMALINK

hat you crave winning more than honor, integrity, compliance with the law, and furthering our national security simply confirms that you are supporting the right cause for you

In America you can only win if you have honor and intgrity. OK scratch that. I forgot about Slick Willie.

In America you can only win if you are furthering National Security because it is the right thing to do.

GWB is in fact a honourable guy trying to do the right thing. He's not just about winning. He's about winning with the right people. That's why Powell is gone and Rumsfeld is here. That's why Condi was promoted. Colin would never have shit down Europe. That move is bitterly upsetting in the State Dept where they're probably still stunned Bush has the audacity to actually run foreign policy but it's done. He's sacrificed all of those votes to do the right thing. OK, maybe they'd never vote for him anyway but it was still the right thing to do.

Posted by: rdw on January 30, 2006 at 11:36 AM | PERMALINK

rdw: I hated every spending bill GWB ever signed . . .

Including the spending for Iraq, then.

Typical stupidity by rdw.

Can't even keep his own memes straight.

We'll see Bush hammer Democrats for defending terrorists civil rights in the SOTU . . .

I see you expect Bush to lie and support that.

Thanks for confirming yourself to be a traitor to the Constitution, not to mention to our soldiers in Iraq.

There's a saying that describes conservatives feelings toward Bush . . .

And it goes like this:

"We enjoy kissing his ass because it tastes so good and because we have no self respect."

He's appointing conservative judges & justices.

Who will destroy American freedom and serve as the legal justification for a totalitarian state.

He's cut taxes.

No, he's deferred taxes for future generations.

He's the best we have right now . . .

Not even close.

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 30, 2006 at 11:40 AM | PERMALINK

rdw: GWB is in fact a honourable guy trying to do the right thing.

No, he isn't.

And it appears you are either illiterate or not an American.

I'm betting on the latter.

As an American, you would be a traitor.

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 30, 2006 at 11:46 AM | PERMALINK

Liberals have been chanting tax cuts for the rich for 5 years but...

Actually, I didn't say a word about the tax cuts being for the rich (although, of course, many of them are).

Of course if the libs try it it'll be contrived rather than funny.

Well, I'm sure you don't find Bush's vulnerability on this issue -- which you concede -- funny at all, but I find your inability to refute it absolutely hilarious.

I have no idea how the Democrats will handle the issue, but all they have to do is point out that those so-called "tax increases" were signed into law by Bush himself. Coupled with our out-of-control deficits and, yes, thank you, the fact that many of the sunset provisions are for tax cuts for the rich, and your confidence is once again revealed as empty bluster.

But of course -- that's a Republican specialty.

Posted by: Gregory on January 30, 2006 at 11:54 AM | PERMALINK

Including the spending for Iraq, then.

Typical stupidity by rdw.


OK, you got me there.

Posted by: rdw on January 30, 2006 at 11:55 AM | PERMALINK

Actually, I didn't say a word about the tax cuts being for the rich (although, of course, many of them are).

This really isn't hard. You are suggesting your party attack Bush as a tax increaser.

This is after 5 years of relentlessly attacking him for being a tax cutter.

Not too bright.

Posted by: rdw on January 30, 2006 at 12:17 PM | PERMALINK

I find your inability to refute it absolutely hilarious.

I haven't attempted to refute Bush as a flip-flopper nor will I. It's a non-starter. It was priceless when attached to Kerry and to copy it is tacky and campy. They wouldn't bother even if he was running in another election.

Posted by: rdw on January 30, 2006 at 12:20 PM | PERMALINK

i was going to deal with rdw in greater detail, but after seeing his mouth foam, it hardly seemed worth it.

i do like the way that rdw shows us the advanced course work they teach in propaganda robot school; so many of the right-wingers get stuck in beginning propaganda, but rdw demonstrates the difference between an amateur and a trye professional.

for instance, a true professional propaganda robot still defends "mission accomplished." is there really anything more to say?

Posted by: howard on January 30, 2006 at 12:20 PM | PERMALINK

your confidence is once again revealed as empty bluster.

But of course -- that's a Republican specialty


No, a republican specialty is 55 Senators.

Empty bluster is filibustering Alito with 44 Senators.

Posted by: rdw on January 30, 2006 at 12:22 PM | PERMALINK

DEAN UNDER FIRE FROM PARTY DEMS; NEARLY ALL CASH SPENT
Mon Jan 30 2006 10:52:31 ET

Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill are privately bristling over Howard Deans management of the Democratic National Committee and have made those sentiments clear after new fundraising numbers showed he has spent nearly all the committees cash and has little left to support their efforts to gain seats this cycle, ROLL CALL reports.

Congressional leaders were furious last week when they learned the DNC has just $5.5 million in the bank, compared to the Republican National Committees $34 million.

You go Howard!

Posted by: rdw on January 30, 2006 at 12:24 PM | PERMALINK

just for the record, rdw, as usual, you are citing spurious information (shocking, isn't it? rdw, a propaganda robot, saying something that isn't...quite...accurate?).

you can learn a few facts about dean's impressive performance in fundraising here:

http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2006/1/30/121721/682

but as i say, someone who is still defending "mission accomplished," who praises rumsfeld, who thinks that bush has reinvented the world, isn't exactly someone to whom there is anything to say here in reality....

Posted by: howard on January 30, 2006 at 12:47 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: Empty bluster is filibustering Alito with 44 Senators.

Then why are you and the White House scared?

Like advice from the crocodile to the fish on how not to get eaten, rdw tries to lure the Dems into doing something the GOP has been using successfully for years, using posturing to shore up the base and push a simple message.

He's praying the Dems will listen to him and stop soon, because the GOP polling is sinking, sinking, sinking to the drip, drip, dripping of scandal, corruption, criminality, dishonesty, and vice.

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 30, 2006 at 12:59 PM | PERMALINK


contentious: So how can the Democrats get in front on the security issues, instead of always being reactive and ironic like this


how's this for irony....

more americans have died from terror on Bush's watch.....than any other president...


Posted by: thisspaceavailable on January 30, 2006 at 12:59 PM | PERMALINK

Howard,

That wasn't my report. That was Roll Call. I'm almost certain they are non-partisan. IN any event those numbers are accurate. If I am not mistaken Dean did the same thing in his primaries. He raised a ton of money but spent even more.

Never said GWB reinvented the world. I said he reinvented US foreign policy to adjust to the real world. The pullout of troops from German and the State Department restructing are the facts on the ground. The pullout from the ABM treaty and continuing Clintons policy of not ratifying Kyoto are facts on the ground. The warming of relations with Japan, India, Pakistan, Australia, etc. are facts on the ground. The Asian - Pacific Partnership, CAFTA and other Free Trade pacts are facts on the ground.

Without even mentioning Afghanistan and Iraq we can easily prove bush has changed direction dramatically.

Posted by: rdw on January 30, 2006 at 1:13 PM | PERMALINK

Then why are you and the White House scared?

Huh?

Posted by: rdw on January 30, 2006 at 1:15 PM | PERMALINK

You are suggesting your party attack Bush as a tax increaser.

Not at all; I'm simply pointing out that Bush himself has already provided all the cover any fiscally responsible Congressperson -- Democrat or Republican, although the latter are a vanishing breed -- to keep the sunset clauses, because Bush himself signed them into law.

You've already conceded this point, hence your feeble attempts at straw men now.

This is after 5 years of relentlessly attacking him for being a tax cutter.

No, it's after 5 years of relentlessly, and correctly, attacking Bush for his borrow-and-spend policies. And it's against the backdrop of Bush's borrow-and-spend policies that the sunset debate will take place. Not a bad position for the fiscally responsible.

Not too bright.

Alas, what isn't too bright is your feeble straw man argumentation.

It's a non-starter. It was priceless when attached to Kerry and to copy it is tacky and campy.

What's priceless is rdw's apparent implication that the GOP invented the flip-flip charge in 2004, and that to use it again would be copying it.

You've already admitted that Bush was for the so-called tax increases before he was against them. Charges of flip-flopping will hold up very well, thank you very much.

The point is that between these facts -- which you cannot deny -- and the very real fact that the US faces deficits and not surpluses now, there's abundant political cover to simply allow the tax cuts to sunset. After all, that's what Bush approved when he signed them into law.

Like you said -- simple.

just for the record, rdw, as usual, you are citing spurious information

howard, I share your amusement at rdw's performance. You noticed, of course, that he, er, forgot to include a citation, let alone a link. We learn that rdw's attempts to bolster his assertions are as feeble as the assertions themselves.

Posted by: Gregory on January 30, 2006 at 1:17 PM | PERMALINK

how's this for irony....

more americans have died from terror on Bush's watch.....than any other president...


I can beat that.

more americans have died from terror on Bush's watch.....and still he was reelected.

The latest Rasmussen poll has President Bush's approval rate at 50 percent, with 49 percent disapproving.


Posted by: rdw on January 30, 2006 at 1:19 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: Without even mentioning Afghanistan and Iraq we can easily prove bush has changed direction dramatically.

Yep. Wrong way Bush.

Huh?

If you really believed the Dem strategy was good for the GOP, you'd remain silent and quit advising them to drop the strategy.

You keep trying to convince Dems to drop a strategy that is, facts on the ground, working and that is according to you a great benefit to the party and president you support.

Clearly, you are scared of the Dems continuing such a strategy, equally clearly because it is working.

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 30, 2006 at 1:20 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: The latest Rasmussen poll has President Bush's approval rate at 50 percent, with 49 percent disapproving.

Still 3 percent below Clinton's worse polling during the strongest GOP attacks against him.

How bad does Bush have to be in comparison to be a "war president" to be spending millions in taxpayer dollars in partisan PR campaigns and still be polling lower than the president that you say was one of the worst in American history?

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 30, 2006 at 1:22 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: We know of EU hard power from Kosovo. They were unable to do a thing about Milosovich. He was stopped by the US alone.


pale rider responds: No thanks to Tom Delay or the Republicans.

"You can support the troops but not the president." - Tom Delay (during Clinton's attack on Bosnia)

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on January 30, 2006 at 1:23 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: .....and still he was reelected.

So was Saddam.

And Castro.

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 30, 2006 at 1:25 PM | PERMALINK

Wow, I knew rdw was a member in good standing in the Trolletariat, but the dedication and the willingness to swallow *anything* so long as it comes from a GOP/Bush approved source is noteworthy. I guess he is a chapter house executive with that kind of dedicated fervour. Not to mention the time he has to dedicate to posting all these comments at this blog. One might almost believe that someone that has such time is being paid to be here...

As for the "rebuttal" cdj provided for the second time, I note that while he/she pumps up his/her own academic credentials the point about semantics being anything but mere was completely ignored. The reality that there is a significant difference between stupid and ignorant was completely ignored as well. Then just to show off the rampant idiocy of the poster he/she then tries to equate stupidity and ignorance even after the two have been clearly defined for him/her. For that matter the exact same point is made to this poster by Frankly, my dear, ... on January 30, 2006 at 9:31 AM. Ignorance can be corrected by learning, stupidity though is incapable of learning, which is why I said only death cures stupidity unlike ignorance which is cured by learning.

I really love these attempts to be critical of my posts by taking on intellectual airs and then demonstrating just how hollow the creds behind such claims their posts demonstrate. Of course one of my favourite ones is the critique on length as opposed to content since I get that one fairly frequently, and as a critique it is empty/hollow yet those that make it seem to feel it is not empty, which just underscores their own arrogance/condescension and not mine as they keep trying to claim is the case.

Posted by: Scotian on January 30, 2006 at 1:35 PM | PERMALINK

Nation's No. 1 oil company reports larger than expected jump in 4Q income to cap record year.

Another GOP lie, that oil companies are struggling and that they are not price-gouging, exposed.

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 30, 2006 at 1:40 PM | PERMALINK


rdw: more americans have died from terror on Bush's watch.....and still he was reelected.

so how is this a good thing for america?

that's how this thread started....

anything to win....

despite more dead americans...

what an achievement....


Posted by: thisspaceavailable on January 30, 2006 at 1:44 PM | PERMALINK

rdw craps himself:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President George W. Bush says Bill Clinton has become so close to his father that the Democratic former president is like a member of the family.

Former President George Bush has worked with Clinton to raise money for victims of the Asian tsunami and the hurricane disaster along the U.S. Gulf Coast.

Asked about his father and Clinton, Bush quipped, "Yes, he and my new brother."

[snip]

Bush said he checked in with Clinton occasionally.

"And you know, he says things that makes it obvious -- that makes it obvious to me that we're kind of, you know, on the same wavelength about the job of the presidency. Makes sense, after all, there's this kind of commonality," he said.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 30, 2006 at 1:47 PM | PERMALINK

Pale Rider,

Crap over what?

Bill Clinton being pals with GHWB? What is wrong with that? Almost all of the ex-Presidents get along as they should. Jimmy has been nasty but GWB as expected has always taken the high ground.

I have no problem with Slick Willie. I don't think he was a good President but he was damn entertaining and not at all bad for the GOP. His instincts as a party strategist have been just awful. His support for Kyoto is priceless. The more face time he gets the less for serious Democrats.

Posted by: rdw on January 30, 2006 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

GOP's new slogan: "Bill Clinton - he's okay; he was right all along."

The most corrupt regime ever, GWB's GOP, embraces the very man that GWB's own base, including rdw, claims is the most corrupt president ever.

Priceless.

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 30, 2006 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

Bill Clinton being pals with GHWB?

What did you drink this morning?

This story was reported on President Bush's reaction to the closeness between Clinton and his father.

Bush is quoted here:

[President George W.] Bush said he checked in with Clinton occasionally.

"And you know, he says things that makes it obvious -- that makes it obvious to me that we're kind of, you know, on the same wavelength about the job of the presidency. Makes sense, after all, there's this kind of commonality," he said.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 30, 2006 at 2:01 PM | PERMALINK

You keep trying to convince Dems to drop a strategy that is, facts on the ground, working and that is according to you a great benefit to the party and president you support.

Clearly, you are scared of the Dems continuing such a strategy, equally clearly because it is working.

Are you out of your mind? There is no chance any candidates or anyone from the DNC are reading these comments. Political consulting is a huge business with an army of pollsters, focus groups, lobbists, etc.

Moreover I don't sweat elections and if I did it wouldn't be mid-term elections. We have 3 more years of George. After that McCain will trash Hillary and if you are smart enough to nominate someone else we'll make George Allen President.

Posted by: rdw on January 30, 2006 at 2:05 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin says: In the Bush White House, nothing is more important than a campaign issue. Nothing. Then the GOP fans (particularly rdw) brag about how great the Bush White House is on campaign issues. Duh. There's no disagreement here. The fact that someone as incompetent at his job as Bush can continue to get support from people like rdw is indeed a testament to how brilliant he (or Rove) is at campaigning.

rdw admits that "On the spending side he has been a huge disappointment. However there are many more things to conservatism. In terms of judges one has to go back 80 years to find someone more conservative. Bush has been brilliant. He's also cut taxes and he's waged an aggressive war on terror."

How can cutting taxes be considered a success in the face of the looming budget deficits? A deficit is a deferred tax increase: Someone has to pay for it eventually (unless the US defaults on its obligations). It's just a cowardly, incompetent's approach to tax increases: postpone them to a future leader's watch. Of course, rdw might call that brilliant, instead of cowardly. Hopefully, rdw will be retired before the consequences of the deficits come into play.

Posted by: Daryl McCullough on January 30, 2006 at 2:18 PM | PERMALINK

Pale Rider,

I have no idea what point you are making about Clinton and the Bushes.

Popa and Slick Willie have spent a lot of time together raising money and get along quite well. The Clintons, including Hillary and Chelsea spent a weekend up at Kennybunksport (sic). They are ex-Presidents. They share a bond. Jr. made a speech on behalf of Bill at the unveiling of his protrait that was said to have been very effusive in his praise for Bill. More than the occasion called for. The speechwriters spent a lot of time on it and did an excellent job, or so reported. Bill was both pleased and impressed.

That's just class and common decency. There's a time for partisanship and a time to bury it. I call him Slick Willie because it's him but he was a two term President and deserves the respect of the office, no matter what mistakes he made while in it. He's got a great life for himself as a political rock star and wealth beyond his dreams. I hope he lives a long time to enjoy it.

GWB is like his father. You will never hear either utter a bad word about Bill OR Hillary or any former leader including Carter. I think Bill is trying to be that way as well. I am absolutely clueless as to what you are reading into or suggesting by this friendship. i can't see a shred of negativity.

Posted by: rdw on January 30, 2006 at 2:24 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: Jimmy has been nasty but GWB as expected has always taken the high ground.

Bush has never taken the high ground in his life.

But we expected no less from a Bush butt-licker like you.

Priceless mendacity is what your role is.

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 30, 2006 at 2:25 PM | PERMALINK

I have no idea what point you are making about Clinton and the Bushes.

When presented with direct evidence from a news story that says that President Bush believes that he is on the same wavelength about the job of the Presidency as Bill Clinton, rdw folds up into the fetal position and cries himself to sleep in a puddle of his own urine...

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 30, 2006 at 2:26 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: You will never hear either utter a bad word about Bill OR Hillary or any former leader including Carter.

Yet another outright lie.

How many times will the Right continue resurrect this falsehood!?

rdw's mendacity gets more transparent each day.

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 30, 2006 at 2:30 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: That's just class and common decency.

Something that rdw and his Clinton-hating buddies on the Right denied that Bill Clinton had.

The rdw flip-flop: priceless.

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 30, 2006 at 2:32 PM | PERMALINK

How can cutting taxes be considered a success in the face of the looming budget deficits?

Anyone who works knows there are two part to a deficit. Cutting taxes is related to the revenue side only. As we can see by the 15% surge in tax collections and the 10 quarters of 3% GDP growth supply-side tax cuts are a great way to stimulate economic growth and will eventually generate high revenues.

This deficit has been caused by several factors including the recession and asset bubbles Clinton left Bush. But from a political perspective the worst thing is runaway spending and GWB is as guilty as congress.

If you want to have a serious debate about the budget I'll have it but don't bother if your not going to address spending.

BTW: It's clear 2008 WILL be about the Deficit and that's terrific. We need them to get religion on spending. 2006 will still be about tax increases. Advantage GOP.

BTW2: The biggest problem in selling the deficit this time will be the old adage, 'they'll drive up interest rates'. That won't sell. The evidence of the last 25 years suggests the oppposite

Posted by: rdw on January 30, 2006 at 2:34 PM | PERMALINK

Something that rdw and his Clinton-hating buddies on the Right denied that Bill Clinton had.

I was talking about GWBs class in heaping praise on Bill.

In fact Bill has a hard time with class but he is trying. Having class requires one to bury their partianship. Bill Clinton breathes politics so it's not easy. I think it's helped him much to see GHWB get over his loss to him. I'll give Clinton a break. Carter is utterly classless. Clinton is trying and I'm sure will suceed.

Posted by: rdw on January 30, 2006 at 2:39 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: As we can see by the 15% surge in tax collections

In dollar terms, federal receipts from personal income taxes, at $802 billion in 2004, are still lower than they were in 1998 ($826 billion) and much lower than in 2001 ($994 billion)...

SOURCE: "Analyzing the Economic and Budgetary Effects of a 10 Percent Cut in Income Tax Rates." - Congressional Budget Office 12/10/05

Federal receipts (measured in contant dollars) were less in 2004 than 2000

http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/TaxFacts/Tfdb/TFTemplate.cfm?DocID=200&Topic2id=20&Topic3id=23

Tax revenues hit "all-time highs" on a regular basis because the economy is constantly growing. Like home ownership.

Revenues hit "all-time highs" under Clinton too.

DID YOU KNOW Clinton had "all time highs" in Federal tax revenues 8-years in a row, before and after Republican congresses, before and after tax increases.

DID YOU KNOW that Federal tax revenues FELL in 2001, AGAIN in 2002, and DOWN even more in 2003. That hasn't happened since the GREAT DEPRESSION.

DID YOU KNOW....the Republican congress and Republican president are hitting "all-time highs" on borrowing and spending.

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on January 30, 2006 at 2:58 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: Having class requires one to bury their partianship.

Then GWB will never qualify for class.

Glad you agree.

. . . and will eventually generate high revenues.

The false economic promise repeated by conservatives every time they cut taxes and it ever fails to come true.

Carter is utterly classless.

Only a truly ignorant or mendacious buffoon would state that Jimmy Carter is classless.

He's lost more class than Bush will ever have.

. . . asset bubbles Clinton left Bush.

Adding one more lie to the rest.

. . . supply-side tax cuts are a great way to stimulate economic growth . . .

Except, they haven't.

BTW, rdw, in which jail are bin Laden and Zawahiri incarcerated?

You know, the 9/11 perpetrators that Bush said he would bring to justice, but whom he has essentially ignored in favor of failing adventures in Iraq.

Fighting terrorism?

Bush couldn't find his own ass with both hands, much less any terrorists.

That's why he ended up looking in all the wrong places.

Maybe he should have joined Neil in the Thai brothels where he would have had more luck.

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 30, 2006 at 3:01 PM | PERMALINK


rassmusan this rdw:

The latest TIME Poll finds the Presidents approval rating off 12 points from this time last year. His current approval rating is little changed from late November (41% approve-53% disapprove).

Posted by: thisspaceavialable on January 30, 2006 at 3:07 PM | PERMALINK

he is on the same wavelength about the job of the Presidency as Bill Clinton, rdw folds up into the fetal position and cries himself to sleep in a puddle of his own urine...


I have no clue as to what you are talking about.

By the same wavelength he's obviously talking about warrentless wiretaps. Bill Clinton and Jamie Gorelick were emphatic regarding GWBs right as President to order wireles wiretaps. Quite obvioously that's where George got the idea.

Posted by: rdw on January 30, 2006 at 3:17 PM | PERMALINK

thisspace.

Rasmusen has consistently been a few % above most pollsters now and in the past regarding GWB. He was also the closest on the actual election.

One of the problems with Time and many of the others is they do not weight for the party idendification of the pool. If they oversample Democrats or Republicans we get distortions. I think 50% is too high but 41% too low. The important thing is GWB understands he's got to stay on top of the news cycle. He's doing it and it's working. He's kept support for the NSA program and will get it for tax cuts.

Posted by: rdw on January 30, 2006 at 3:23 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: Bill Clinton and Jamie Gorelick were emphatic regarding GWBs right as President to order wireles wiretaps.

Quite obviously, you are on drugs. The bad kind, mind you.

Bill Clinton and Jamie Gorelick could not render an opinion on the rights of a president not yet in office.

You are moonbattier than conspiracy nut, rdw.

I have no clue as to what you are talking about.

You simply have no clue. Just leave it at that.

He's doing it and it's working.

Working so well, he's still 3 points down from Clinton's second term low point.

And now Hamas to wreck the picture, Hamas who succeeded because Rice foolishly and against advice (from those stupid EU people) pushed for new elections ahead of schedule.

Now someone has to clean up another Bush-Rice mess.

How many dollars and soldiers will we lose to more such Bush foolishness?

Many, if rdw gets his way.

He loves to see Americans die in battle.

It reaffirms his vicarious vision of his own manhood.

Too bad it's lack thereof.

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 30, 2006 at 3:31 PM | PERMALINK

Bill Clinton and Jamie Gorelick were emphatic regarding GWBs right as President to order wireles wiretaps. Quite obvioously that's where George got the idea.

No, they weren't.

The difference is the Clinton-era wiretaps were legal until Congress -- with Clinton's support -- closed the loophole that made them legal.

The Bush Administration asked for broad powers to be written into the AUMF. Congress declined. The Bush Administration considered asking Congress to change the FISA law to cover their wiretaps -- thus implying that they knew the taps were not legal under the current law. The difference is, the Bush Administration had reason to know the taps were illegal and did 'em anyway.

Pretty poor performance in this thread, rdw. I'm disappointed; you're usually more amusing than this.

Posted by: Gregory on January 30, 2006 at 3:31 PM | PERMALINK

Gregory,

Congress cannot make any laws which infringe on the power of the Preident. That's why they're co-equal branches.

Posted by: rdw on January 30, 2006 at 3:39 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: I think 50% is too high but 41% too low.

Bottom line: even the most favorable view of the polls puts Bush below the 50% mark.

Pathetic for a self-proclaimed "war president" that conservatives say is next to God in holiness.

BTW, rdw, you never did explain why you opposed spending for our troops and for the Iraq war despite proclaiming that it is the central front in the war against the terrorists (who seem to have been everywhere but Iraq before the war!).

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 30, 2006 at 3:39 PM | PERMALINK

rdw writes: If you want to have a serious debate about the budget I'll have it but don't bother if your not going to address spending.

Unfortunately, Bush has been terrible on spending as well. Government spending has gone up under his watch, with a Republican congress.

As I said, tax cuts in the face of skyrocketing deficits is not something to brag about, rdw. It's either incompetence or apathy about the fiscal soundness of the country.

Posted by: Daryl McCullough on January 30, 2006 at 3:41 PM | PERMALINK

Bill Clinton and Jamie Gorelick could not render an opinion on the rights of a president not yet in office.

The power resides in the office. Not the person sitting in it. It doesn't matter who is in office.

Posted by: rdw on January 30, 2006 at 3:43 PM | PERMALINK

you never did explain why you opposed spending for our troops and for the Iraq war despite proclaiming that it is the central front in the war against the terrorists

What ae you talking about?

Posted by: rdw on January 30, 2006 at 3:45 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: Congress cannot make any laws which infringe on the power of the Preident.

And the preident [sic] can't make any laws period, much less unilaterally amend the Constitution to his liking.

The Constitution requires "probable cause" not "mere suspicion" and nothing Bush or you argue changes that.

Warrant or not, probable cause is required.

Your lies to the contrary notwithstanding.

That's why they're co-equal branches.

Something you clearly do not believe in, so quit pretending you do and go back to wallowing in your own urine.

Bringing your filth around here merely stinks up the place.

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 30, 2006 at 3:46 PM | PERMALINK

Bush has been terrible on spending as well. Government spending has gone up under his watch, with a Republican congress.

Daryl, you're late to the thread. GWB's failure on the spending side, pointed out by me, it what started the discussion of deficits.

Posted by: rdw on January 30, 2006 at 3:50 PM | PERMALINK

Pathetic for a self-proclaimed "war president" that conservatives say is next to God in holiness.

Like LBJ and Truman?

Posted by: rdw on January 30, 2006 at 3:51 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: I hated every spending bill GWB ever signed . . .

Posted by: rdw on January 30, 2006 at 11:14 AM

[emphasis added for doofus rdw's benefit]

So, I'll repeat the question . . .

. . . you never did explain why you opposed spending for our troops and for the Iraq war despite proclaiming that it is the central front in the war against the terrorists . . .

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 30, 2006 at 3:58 PM | PERMALINK

Your lies to the contrary notwithstanding.


You really need to work out your anger. This is only politics. Think of it as a board game. It's a matter of the proper strategy, press management, positioning, etc.

For example the NSA wiretapes. Over 2/3's of Americans support them. GWB was smart to immediately go on the offensive and stay on the offensive. The libs want you to think this is 1968 again with J Edgar listening in on everyone. GWB made it clear this is 2006. No one in Congress is going to work against the will of 2/3s of the people. GWB has his political ducks lined up.

He also has his legal ducks lined up. Well almost all lined up. This time tomorrow Alito will be sworn in.

Look at this as a game of strategy. The dems came out of the game and badly overplayed their hand. They had Jamie announce it was illegal and within 1 hours FoxNews had her blessing the exactly same move by Bill Clinton. Jamie has been in hiding ever since. This also kept Bill and the rest of the Clinton team out of it. Then we find out the 'secret' was shared with the congressional leadership on a constant basis. Some secret. At the same time we have GWB out there explaining, "I'm trying to catch terrorists. They're STILL trying to kill us".

Sounds smart to me!

Advantage Bush!

Posted by: rdw on January 30, 2006 at 4:02 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: Like LBJ and Truman?

If you like.

Except liberals don't hold either up as gods, like you do with Bush and neither proclaimed themselves "war presidents".

Again, lying appears to be your specialty.

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 30, 2006 at 4:03 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: This is only politics.

Gee, and I thought the soldiers dying in Iraq, not to mention the Iraqis and other innocents, were real people.

My bad.

You've set me straight.

They are only non-human pawns to conservatives and liberals should also embrace that philosophy.

Hey! I've got an idea!

Since it's only a game, put away your hate for the insurgents, the terrorists, the hostage takers, etc., and work out your anger some other way.

Write Bush to tell him he should do the same.

Tell it to our soldiers too.

Oh, wait, I forgot, they aren't really people, just non-human pawns in your game of partisanship.

Sorry, my bad.

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 30, 2006 at 4:07 PM | PERMALINK

you never did explain why you opposed spending for our troops and for the Iraq war despite proclaiming that it is the central front in the war against the terrorists . . .

Very clever Advocate. You already got me on that one. I'm OK with defense spending and especially Iraqi war spending. Like everyone else it's the pork I disagree with.

Posted by: rdw on January 30, 2006 at 4:07 PM | PERMALINK


rdw: I hated every spending bill GWB ever signed . . .


for perspective....

number of bills vetoed by fdr: over 600

number of bills vetoed by gwb: 0

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on January 30, 2006 at 4:23 PM | PERMALINK

thisspace,

You are speaking to the choir on this one. GWB has been pitiful on spending. If not for alito, tax cuts and Iraq I'd want to impeach his ass.

Posted by: rdw on January 30, 2006 at 4:26 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: This is only politics.

Gee, and I thought the soldiers dying in Iraq, not to mention the Iraqis and other innocents, were real people.

My bad.

You take yourself far too seriouly. What we do here is only discuss politics. We're not deciding anything. Your boy kerry isn't reading your comment and taking notes. This is conversation, nothing more, nothing less. No one in Iraq is living or dying based on your opinion or statements. You're just not that important.

Posted by: rdw on January 30, 2006 at 4:30 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: You take yourself far too seriouly.

Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!

The bowl calling the basin white indeed!

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 30, 2006 at 4:32 PM | PERMALINK

This is good politics:

Not to be outdone by the senior Senator from Judge Alito's home state of New Jersey, junior Senator Bob Menendez has now taken the floor. The incongruence of his two-faced statement attempting simultaneously to pander to his home state and to the liberal Left that controls Democrat campaign purse strings is stunning.

I don't know how stunning this is but it's a hard vote for Menendez in a hard race with Keane for this Senate seat. He's voting against a homeboy and alienating a lot of his fellow citizens. Thanks to John Kerry he's also going to have to filibuster him. There's no doubt that's a vote he'd love to avoid. Keane will use this against him.

This is where Bush excels. Make them take unpopular stands. Folks favor Alito by two to one. The filibuster is an extreme step for this pround and honorourable man. No doubt NJ voters will be seeing clips of Ms Alito running away in tears while listening to the audio of menendez voting for a filibuster. That's just one commercial. Listening to Teddy suggest he's a racist because he grew up in middle class, ethnic Trenton as a catholic won't appeal to Catholics, italians or other ethnic groups, middle class folk, or Trentonians.

Keane has his work cut out deciding how many different commercials he can get from this vote.

Posted by: rdw on January 30, 2006 at 4:45 PM | PERMALINK

The bowl calling the basin white indeed

Where are you from? I never heard that one before.

Posted by: rdw on January 30, 2006 at 4:47 PM | PERMALINK

For example the NSA wiretapes. Over 2/3's of Americans support them.

rdw isn't still trotting out this canard, is he?

Well, why not...he's still pretending the Gorelic/Clinton situation is equivalent, despite being corrected. One thing's for sure...rdw creates his own reality (or, more likely, gets it from PowerLine).

Really, rdw, you're just phoning it in today. You aren't amusing at all.

Posted by: Gregory on January 30, 2006 at 4:56 PM | PERMALINK

I'm OK with defense spending and especially Iraqi war spending.

You mean you support the way "American-led occupation authorities squandered tens of millions of dollars that were supposed to be used to rebuild Iraq through undocumented spending and outright fraud"? Typically Republican.

Posted by: Gregory on January 30, 2006 at 5:00 PM | PERMALINK

he's still pretending the Gorelic/Clinton situation is equivalent, despite being corrected

I missed that correction. When did that happen. Since the hyper-partisan gorelick has been in hiding ever since you'll have to excuse my skepticism.

Posted by: rdw on January 30, 2006 at 5:02 PM | PERMALINK

"the key would be to find something unpopular (pork barrel or something) that Bush cannot give up in a national security bill, and force him to hold it up or veto the bill without it, the way Republicans nailed Democrats over union protections in creating DHS.

This is difficult, but not necessarily impossible while still a minority in the House and Senate."

I disagree. It IS impossible in the House, where the Republican majority can keep any provision out of any bill and can get any bill through.

It is also impossible in the Senate to get anything included in a bill, although it is possible for 41 senators, through a filibuster, to prevent passage of a bill.

The reality is, though, that even if Democrats could get such a provision in a bill, once it went to Conference, the Republicans could pull it right on out.

Without a majority in either house of Congress, the Democrats can do squat re legislation.

Posted by: Cal Gal on January 30, 2006 at 5:37 PM | PERMALINK

Cloture
[Ed Whelan 01/30 05:36 PM]
The Senate has rejected the Davos-inspired filibuster and instead voted by 72 to 25 to invoke cloture on the Alito nomination.

The final vote on confirmation will occur Tuesday at 11:00 a.m.


Notice how they fit Davos in there?

Posted by: rdw on January 30, 2006 at 5:44 PM | PERMALINK

"So how can the Democrats get in front on the security issues ..."

I think they can get in front by using one word, "Incompetant."

The Reps have bungled the Iraq war. They were incompetant in allowing the looting. They were incompetant in managing the reconstruction money. They cannot competantly support our fighting men and women (body armor). They were incompetant in not preventing Hamas from winning the Palestine vote.

Their response to Katrina shows they'd be incompetant dealing with a serious terrorist act. Their Medicare drug benefit shows they are incompetant about providing for health care, etc., etc.

Posted by: Cal Gal on January 30, 2006 at 5:44 PM | PERMALINK

"IN any event liberals will not be defining conservatism nor deciding who is and who isn't. "

Yeah, but conservatives will just keep on defining who is liberal and who isn't. Witness "liberal" Hillary Clinton.

Posted by: Cal Gal on January 30, 2006 at 5:55 PM | PERMALINK

"Bill started the Infatada."

I thought the Intifada started in 1987. Wasn't there a Republican president at the time?

Posted by: Cal Gal on January 30, 2006 at 6:04 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, but conservatives will just keep on defining who is liberal and who isn't. Witness "liberal" Hillary Clinton.


Everyone in the Senate gets rated by their votes. princess is solidly liberal with a 90+ rating in voting for liberal causes. Being republican is not the same as being conservative alhought it's fair to say anyone in the GOP with 90+ rating is conservative.

Posted by: rdw on January 31, 2006 at 7:49 AM | PERMALINK

cal gap,

their have been many iteration of unrest. the recent infatada started with the collapse of Clintons pointless Camp David meetings. Over 1,000 innocent Israli's, and more than a few American tourists were butchered.

This was a direct result of Bill trying to salvage his legacy at any cost.

Posted by: rdw on January 31, 2006 at 7:54 AM | PERMALINK

rdw: . . . the recent infatada started with the collapse of Clintons pointless Camp David meetings.

Defamation surrounded by mendacity and wrapped in hate.

Really, the problems in Israel started with Reagan's cold war strategies.

See, simply because I state it as fact, it must be true.

rdw logic through and through.

Real wages are having trouble keeping up with prices

More proof of rdw lies about the economy.

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 31, 2006 at 9:33 AM | PERMALINK

rdw: Everyone in the Senate gets rated by their votes.

And conservatives dishonestly assign "liberalness" or "conservativeness" to those votes.

So, by simply describing the process, you've not proven that it is not dishonest, but quite the opposite.

princess is solidly liberal with a 90+ rating in voting for liberal causes.

prick (rdw) is solidly fascist, with a 99+ percent rating in spewing forth fascist hatreds.

See how easy this game is!

Being republican is not the same as being conservative alhought it's fair to say anyone in the GOP with 90+ rating is conservative.

Must come as a great shock to the GOP, since this has been their message for the past 30 years or more.

Or is rdw just lying again?

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 31, 2006 at 9:36 AM | PERMALINK

BTW, rdw, the fact that you can't spell "infitada" correctly pretty much shows you don't know diddly about it and are unwilling to learn, but merely spout White House and GOP talking points like a food poisoning victim spews vomit and excrement.

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 31, 2006 at 9:43 AM | PERMALINK

Oops, I can't type.

That should be "infatada", at least as rdw sees it.

It's difficult to keep up with the various butcherings of words and concepts that invade rdw's posts.

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 31, 2006 at 9:58 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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