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Tilting at Windmills

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April 23, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

WHITE HOUSE UPDATE....Time magazine says it's not the next three years that George Bush is worrying about, but the next six months:

The marker that is uppermost in the minds of Bush's inner circle is Nov. 7, when Republicans could lose control of the House and even the Senate. "If we don't keep Congress, there won't be a legacy," said a presidential adviser. "The legacy will be investigations and fights over Executive privilege" with newly empowered Democrats.

That sounds about right to me. Also amusing is this take on Bush's ongoing attempt to reinvent himself: "Aides have claimed to be rebooting the second term so many times (at least three, by Time's count) that even their allies have lost track." And here I thought Bush was a straight talkin' Texan who was comfortable in his own skin. What's all this "rebooting" talk?

You'll also want to check out the White House's 5-point plan for success, which turns out to have approximately zero actual substance except for one thing: a plan to get tough with the mullahs. "In the face of the Iranian menace, the Democrats will lose," says an unnamed GOP apparatchik. Maybe so, but this time I wonder. It sometimes seems that the American public really does have an unending appetite for "getting tough" with whichever enemy du jour the White House casts its increasingly feckless gaze on, but I think it's just possible that Bush might have gone to this well one time too many. Getting tough hasn't worked out too well so far, and the public might well be ready for some straight talk on the subject.

Kevin Drum 9:22 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (98)

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Comments

A couple of points for King Karl to ponder.

First. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

Second. There was once a boy who cried wolf.

At this point nobody really trusts Bush to handle any foreign policy issue. His reputation for ineptness is so pervasive that even a terrorist attack on the US runs a great risk of creating a public outcry against the Administration. Wag the dog won't work.

His best chance to change the outcome is to do something positive for the American people. That is unlikely. My guess is that Bush is screwed. He just hasn't admitted it yet.

Posted by: Ron Byers on April 23, 2006 at 9:29 PM | PERMALINK

They are probably right about one thing. The Democrats will lose. I say this as a Democrat who does not want to lose, and who will be voting. The problem is that the Bush base will vote, and in a low turn-out election, that is enough to make the difference, that plus people are dissatisfied with Congress, but on the whole not sufficiently dissatisfied with their own Representative to vote against him or her.

This brings us back again to the eternal question. Does the Democratic Party have a base, and if it does, do its leaders know how to bring it out?

I think this is where Howard Dean's assumption of the chairmanship of the DNC may make a difference.

We live in hope.

Posted by: Knut Wicksell on April 23, 2006 at 9:31 PM | PERMALINK

While BushCo is rushing to the well for another US war launched when the UN Security Council acquiesed to US demands, the Iranians seem to out-strategize Bush/Cheney/Rummy. Iran seems more likely to get Russia and China (and now India) to block UN action than BushCo is to get an authorizing resolution from the UNSC.

Maybe BushCo can get away with just tough talk (for 06 election purposes), but a US war without UN authorization may be just more than the EU and the rest of the world is willing to tolerate. I certainly hope so, both because a war with Iran is very likely to get out of control, and also because the 06 elections is the right time to end BushCo's adventures in remaking the world.

Posted by: JimPortlandOR on April 23, 2006 at 9:36 PM | PERMALINK

Knut

I think you are wrong on one score. The Republican base is melting faster than a snow ball on the 4th of July. The strongly disapprove of bush out number the people who merely approve of him. A bad, bad place for him to be. Republicans in Congress have shown great message control over the last 5 years. As a result they are tied tighter than a tick to Bush. A lot of "safe seats" are going to be surprised by the backlash. When they figure out that they are in trouble, congressional Republicans are going to focus on saving their own bacon. That means less money for seats that a genuinely up for grabs.

Think I am wrong. Well, I submit congressional Republicans don't. Why do you think they are pushing the house immigration plan so hard. It plays well in districts with 80% Republican majorities. Not so well in districts with a significant latino presence. If the "safe seat" Republicans didn't feel so insecure they wouldn't be pushing their immigration plan. Now would they?

Posted by: Ron Byers on April 23, 2006 at 9:39 PM | PERMALINK

Bush can say anything he wants.

Afterall, didn't god tell him to take out Sadaam's country and make way for his wealthy friends to make out like bandits in the endless rebuilding of Iraq?

God also told George that a government for the rich and nothing but the rich so help us god is the way to go.

Who cares about November 7th? The obscene tax-cuts for the wealthy are already in place.

Mission accomplished.

Posted by: Tom Nicholson on April 23, 2006 at 9:40 PM | PERMALINK

"Who cares about November 7th? The obscene tax-cuts for the wealthy are already in place."

Mission accomplished.
Posted by: Tom Nicholson on April 23, 2006 at 9:40 PM

Bush cares. Cheney cares. Neither of them wants to be impeached.

Posted by: Ron Byers on April 23, 2006 at 9:42 PM | PERMALINK

"...but I think it's just possible that Bush might have gone to this well one time too many. Getting tough hasn't worked out too well so far, and the public might well be ready for some straight talk on the subject."

Absolument mon ami.

But I'd go even deeper with this:

If Bush bombs Iran... there is going to be hell to pay, both domestically and internationally.

Internationally: a boycott of all things American and gasoline at 5$ a gallon.
Domestically: Sub 30% ratings and the absolute hatred of a majority of Americans.

Sore-headed Bush has no idea the hornet's nest he is playing with here.

But then again... I can't think of anyone on the planet that deserves, as much as Bush, to have his ass stung good.

Posted by: koreyel on April 23, 2006 at 9:44 PM | PERMALINK

Ron...

Huh? If they don't want to be impeached than why have they been commiting impeachable offenses for years?

Both of those men could fade from public scrutiny tomorrow and be happy as clams, wealthy for the rest of their days.

Posted by: Tom Nicholson on April 23, 2006 at 9:47 PM | PERMALINK

Tom

It is finally dawning on them that they stand a good chance of losing congress. If they do the pardons they planned for the end of the term to protect themselves are not so likely. The danger is that they are going to act like cornered animals. That could damage the fabric of our Democracy. As to them wanting to retire rich men, men like Bush and Cheney are not interested in wealth for the sake of wealth. They are motivated by the need for power.

The weird thing about Bush and Cheney is that neither of them seem to interested in using power for some purpose higher than advancing their personal privilege. That is why they have done so poorly in their jobs. Neither thinks outside the bun.

Posted by: Ron Byers on April 23, 2006 at 9:53 PM | PERMALINK

If Kevin's view of the political world is true, it is a sad state of affairs for the country. If the democrats win, we will be in for a useless two years of investigation, probably leading to republican gains in 08. And if the republicans win, it will be because of some manipulation of the Iran situation.

I really think it will be largely a status quo election, with the senate staying about the same and the dems picking up 5 to 10 seats in the house. So President Bush will get to complete his 8 years on the same path and then history will be the judge.

Posted by: brian on April 23, 2006 at 9:59 PM | PERMALINK

Agree very strongly with Kevin, Ron Byers, koreyel -- and I want Knut to take heart (I was a Dean man in '04).

The one thing that is *not* going to happen is an Iran action before the election. Special forces crap, sure -- they're already stirring up ethnic minorities and the Arabs around the oil areas. Spying? Disinformation? Psyops? You know it. But nothing like a series of airstrikes that would set back the nuke program.

An Iranian woman the other day -- forgive me, her name excapes me -- in her 50s, who was the first Muslim woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize as a longtime woman's rights activist, just made a hugely jingoistic statement that if we so much as drop one bomb, every last drop of Iranian blood will spill to resist the invader.

This is *exactly* the sort of pro-Western values, anti-government Iranian dissident who should be 110% on our side. And she sounded precisely like Ahmadinejad. This is the depth of Iranian patriotism that will be unleashed, even from the most anti-mullah forces in the country.

Bush knows that if he tries this, even if we can keep the Straits of Hormuz open (doubtful -- and impossible without engaging the whole Iranian navy), the oil markets will freak out, oil will spike close to $100/bbl and gas will hit $5 per gallon right before the election.

He might try to pull some desperate last act to "save" his legacy before '08 -- but not at the expense of definitively losing Congress this year.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on April 23, 2006 at 10:01 PM | PERMALINK

Neither thinks outside the bun.

The best description of this administration I have ever seen.

Posted by: Frequency Kenneth on April 23, 2006 at 10:03 PM | PERMALINK

Bush knows that if he tries this,...

You'd like to think so. But I seriously doubt if Bush "knows" anything. Truly. He lives in a bubble, and only "knows" what the voices in his head say.

Posted by: craigie on April 23, 2006 at 10:05 PM | PERMALINK

Now having read the five point plan, it actually looks like a pretty good strategy to do okay in the elections. The immigration/border issus is easy to score points on in terms of border enforcement, an Iranian showdown will weaken democrat support, and Tony Snow probably will be a hit as press secretary because he is an entertaining and ernest guy. Also, it is probably a no brainer that there will be an announcement of troop withdrawals from Iraq prior to the election. So with respect to the issues that Bush can control somewhat, he seems in pretty good shape in terms of avoiding significant losses.

Posted by: brian on April 23, 2006 at 10:07 PM | PERMALINK

brian:

There is absolutely nothing in the political realm with Iran that could help Bush -- short of an act of terrorism definitively linked to Iran that we could respond to.

In fact, Bush's best (and perhaps only) hope is to pray to Allah that Osama gets lucky one more time ...

Sadly enough for Bush, Osama's currently summoning his fighters to Sudan to go against the UN force there ...

Awwww ... even his bestest buddy no longer wants to play with him :(

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on April 23, 2006 at 10:09 PM | PERMALINK

The only thing scarier than Bush ginning up a war in order to win the election is the fact that it actually might work.

Another dandy little war and some more credit card prosperity might just be enough. If Americans fall for that again, we will, quite unfortunately, deserve what we get.

Posted by: CapitalistImperialistPig on April 23, 2006 at 10:10 PM | PERMALINK

I'd like to see Abraham Lincoln (Republican) in a commercial about Iran:

You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can't fool all of the people all of the time.

Posted by: jerry on April 23, 2006 at 10:12 PM | PERMALINK

" enemy du jour the White House casts its increasingly feckless gaze on"

Right, Kevin. The terrosism, the repression, the murdering, the blood-curdling threats, the holocaust denial and the pursuit of nukes are just something which you can shrug off and ignore.

Everything - absolutely everything is to do with getting your partisan pals into the WH, and nothing else matters. At all, not a little bit. A few million vaporised Jews are neither here nor there.

And you wonder why you guys aren't taken seriously on these matters?

Posted by: am on April 23, 2006 at 10:13 PM | PERMALINK

"I thought Bush was a straight talkin' Texan who was comfortable in his own skin."

He is, he just sheds that skin before each election.

Bush is authentically slick.

Posted by: Joey Giraud on April 23, 2006 at 10:14 PM | PERMALINK

Bob: "The one thing that is *not* going to happen is an Iran action before the election. "

But on the other hand, Bob, look at when Bush's poll numbers have historically been at their highest-- following military action.

It seems a given that an attack on Iran shortly before the election (and close enough that the chickens would not have time to come home to roost) would give him a boost in the polls and, presumably, lengthen his coattails.

Posted by: Dave in AZ on April 23, 2006 at 10:18 PM | PERMALINK

I bet there's a great series of commercials for Democrats to be made using current issues overlaid with quotations from our past presidents, founders, and famous Americans.

Scenes of Halliburton and Eisenhower warning us about the Military Industrial Complex.

Scenes of torture and Reagan talking about America as a city on a shining hill.

Scenes of Global Warming and pollution and Teddy Roosevelt "To waste, to destroy, our natural resources, to skin and exhaust the land
instead of using it so as to increase its usefulness, will result in undermining in
the days of our children the very prosperity which we ought by right to hand
down to them amplified. . . "

Barry Goldwater on religion and politics "Religious factions will go on imposing their will on others unless the decent people connected to them recognize that religion has no place in public policy."

Barry Goldwater on gays in the military. "You don't have to be straight to be in the military; you just have to be able to shoot straight"

Etc.

Posted by: jerry on April 23, 2006 at 10:21 PM | PERMALINK

Back in '04, Kevin Drum predicted that a Bush second term would be characterized by scandal. The man was prescient. He deserves some props.

I think the Dems will not retake the House in November--unless the SCOTUS undoes the careful gerrymandering that has been done. The cards are stacked against the Dems. On the other hand, I believe they will pick up a majority in the Senate. There won't be an impeachment motion, but oversight will be restored. Whether Bush is impeached or not is irrelevant. The man is history: Worst POTUS ever.

Bush is the antithesis of Will Durant's observation that "Great men may not be the causes of the events usually featured in history -- wars, elections, migrations, etc,; but they bring forth the inventions and discoveries demanded by the age. In this sense the growth of knowledge is the essence of history."

Really, think about it. Bush is proudly mediocre, he is behind most of the events featured in the history of our time--war, migrations, elections--and he is not bringing forth the inventions/discoveries demanded by the age. In fact, knowledge is shrinking, imploding on itself, because of him.

The scary part is the damage that he may do through sheer venal meanness and incompetence between now and 2008.

Posted by: PTate in MN on April 23, 2006 at 10:23 PM | PERMALINK

The terrosism, the repression, the murdering, the blood-curdling threats, the holocaust denial and the pursuit of nukes are just something which you can shrug off and ignore.

No, this stuff is too important to ignore, that's why it is imperative to take over the Republican controlled Presidency, House, and Senate that are filled with a) incompetents, b) corrupt, c) cronies. Evidence shows they are the ones responsible for Iran's turn away from a more liberal, open, safer country.

Posted by: jerry on April 23, 2006 at 10:25 PM | PERMALINK

It sometimes seems that the American public really does have an unending appetite for "getting tough" with whichever enemy du jour the White House casts its increasingly feckless gaze on, but I think it's just possible that Bush might have gone to this well one time too many.

I think you're right about this.

I think we Dems ignore the potential power of the immigration issue at our peril, however. It's as emotional as sex and war to a hell of a lot of voters. And they think just as clearly about it.

Posted by: shortstop on April 23, 2006 at 10:33 PM | PERMALINK

brian:

> Now having read the five point plan, it actually looks
> like a pretty good strategy to do okay in the elections.

Which is like saying at 3am that the whore who's been passed
around all night looks pretty good for some sloppy fourths ...

If you're drunk enough, bro ... Truthfully, it's trying to
make lemonade out of some really dessicated, used-up lemons.

> The immigration/border issus is easy to score
> points on in terms of border enforcement,

The immigration issue is a net loser for the GOP. As has been
mentioned, the people who feel strongest about it are in 80%
Republican districts. A strong Party shouldn't feel the need
to pander to that base when it prevents them from coming to
an agreement. And Bush sure as hell disagrees with Tancredo.

Hispanics, OTOH, are fairly unified against this suburban bloc
and will certainly vote Democratic if it gains GOP ascendancy.

> an Iranian showdown will weaken democrat support,

Absolute bullshit. If an Iranian showdown becomes a strike, we lose
the support of Sestani and virtually all the Shia in Iraq. Moqtada
and the Badr Brigades will unite with the Sunni insurgency. Oil will
spike uncontrollably just on the uncertainty. All this does is play
into Democratic criticism of Bush foreign policy. The *only* thing
that could help Bush in foreign policy is another terrorist attack.

> and Tony Snow probably will be a hit as press secretary
> because he is an entertaining and ernest guy.

Oh jesus, you really *do* live in La-La Land. Tony Snow will only
be as good as the (dis)information he's fed. He'll be chewed up
just like any other press flack in that position -- though his
familiarity with media culture might help a wee bit on the margins.

> Also, it is probably a no brainer that there
> will be an announcement of troop withdrawals
> from Iraq prior to the election.

In case you haven't noticed, we haven't been talking about troop
withdrawls since the year ended. The situation in Iraq is extremely
volatile; we've lost more men by April 12th than we did in all of
March, the ISF are still in serious need of training and leadership,
the Interior Ministry is apparently infiltrated with death squads
and the just-formed government hasn't even begun the task of
addressing the constitutional issues that they tabled before the
vote regarding critical things like federalism, distribution of
oil revenues and the role of Islamic law. Iraq is *barely getting
started* as a country, and all hell is on the verge of breaking loose.

> So with respect to the issues that Bush can control
> somewhat, he seems in pretty good shape in terms
> of avoiding significant losses.

Your qualifications, though ("somewhat" ... "pretty good shape" ...
"avoiding significant losses") are pretty damn delicious, though :)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on April 23, 2006 at 10:34 PM | PERMALINK

When Marx told us that history repeats itself, the second time as farce, who knew that he would perfectly foreshadow the way that am repeats the precise same pre-iraq war talking points without the slightest hint of having learned a damn thing?

Fortunately, we're finally down to only about 1/3 of america thinking (if you can call such mindless recycling of propandistic piffle "thinking") the same way....

PTate, i agree that actually retaking the house is probably beyond the dems thanks to gerrymandering, and i think the senate is probably a reach too far, too. Much as i would enjoy the power of the subpoena, though, in a way, i'm fine with that.

I think there are many, many more chickens to come home to roost in this disastrous regime, and if the dems controlled even one house of congress, they'd get caught up in the blame game. Don't forget that the brighter right-wingers (insofar as that's not an oxymoron) are already dissing bush and preparing themselves to run a reformer with results all over again in 2008: we want the messes yet to be fully seen and grasped by the american public to be entirely gop fingerprints....

Posted by: howard on April 23, 2006 at 10:37 PM | PERMALINK

howard: Don't forget that the brighter right-wingers (insofar as that's not an oxymoron) are already dissing bush and preparing themselves to run a reformer with results all over again in 2008: we want the messes yet to be fully seen and grasped by the american public to be entirely gop fingerprints....

I hear this a lot, and I'm not writing it off, but I think we may be forgetting that 1) you never, ever get to control the circs enough to be able to choose your moment, so you play to win every time, and 2) is the American public too far gone (that is, highly polarized on the ends and hopelessly apathetic in the middle) to ever really recognize how much of a Republican fuckup this is? If so, more years of total GOP control simply means more hideous injury to the U.S. without any of the payback for Repubs.

I hope I'm wrong about #2. I really do.

Posted by: shortstop on April 23, 2006 at 10:43 PM | PERMALINK

Ptate:

What are the six Republican Senate seats you think will flip to Democrat? Hard to see that happening.

Posted by: brian on April 23, 2006 at 10:45 PM | PERMALINK

Gridlock is starting to look really appealing.

Posted by: save the rustbelt on April 23, 2006 at 10:46 PM | PERMALINK

Here's my suggestion for the next makeover.

http://medianeedle.blogspot.com/2006/04/daytime-tv.html

Posted by: Morse on April 23, 2006 at 10:46 PM | PERMALINK

am:

The Zionist card has already been played. Israel is quite capable of taking care of itself, thank you very much -- including with a nuclear deterrent. NEXT.

Dave in AZ:

Another terrorist attack -- yes, of course. A unilateral action against Iran -- not at all. It'd have to be done a weekend before the election for the chickens not to come home, because as soon as the first bombs fall, the oil spot market will hit the roof. Bear in mind that this would happen after this year's hurricane season, which is bound to be quite, umm, fruitful.

howard:

I had a co-worker years ago who never tipped waitresses because he was a Marxist, and wanted to hasten the Revolution. I understand your point (and I do think our odds are no better than 50/50 for each house), but I severely wish we'd gain back one of them, just for the purposes of checking this mad rush to oblivion ... and yes -- even if this lessens our chances in '08.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on April 23, 2006 at 10:49 PM | PERMALINK

howard: "the brighter right-wingers (insofar as that's not an oxymoron) are already dissing bush and preparing themselves to run a reformer with results all over again in 2008: we want the messes yet to be fully seen and grasped by the american public to be entirely gop fingerprints."

Yeah, good point. It's a difficult position for the Dems to be in. The right-wingers, who have demonstrated an alarming inability to learn, will be looking for anyone and anything to blame but their own ideology. If the Dems retake the Senate, the Republicans will be doing the whole 2002 schtick again--"the Democrats won't let the President...."

On the other hand, the damage that these conservative radicals have wrought and will continue to do...!

Posted by: PTate in MN on April 23, 2006 at 10:49 PM | PERMALINK

Howard, the problem with waiting another 2 years to be rid of the GOP is that some people said the same thing in 2004: Let the GOP win, so that the American people know exactly who's to blame for all the disasters that happen and chickens that come home to roost afterwards.

And they were right - but the price was too high to pay. Katrina. Iraq. Iran. The SCOTUS. The continuing legal and moral atrocity that is our detainee policy.

I really don't want Bush to have another 2 years of Congress covering up for him. If the American people don't get it by now that the GOP is a clear and present danger to the United States, they never will. I want Democratic control of at least one house of Congress, and a chance to put a brake on the destruction of our country.

Posted by: CaseyL on April 23, 2006 at 10:53 PM | PERMALINK

I guess it would actually take the republicans losing 7 senate seats to lose control. How could that happen?

Posted by: brian on April 23, 2006 at 10:54 PM | PERMALINK

shortstop:

I agree strongly with 1) -- although I used to find the Let Them Choke On It philosophy somewhat darkly appealing -- but it's really just a way to assuage bitterness about losing.

As for 2) -- I do think that the vast electorate wouldn't necessarily view this in starkly partisan terms and throw out the GOP wholesale in '08 for that reason alone. Lack of being in charge also makes it hard to build a resume for leadership -- and that's especially important in a presidential race.

I do believe that we need at least one house -- and while howard's argument is good, it's by no means definitive, either.

Leadership cuts both ways.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on April 23, 2006 at 10:55 PM | PERMALINK

Well said, CaseyL.

Posted by: shortstop on April 23, 2006 at 11:01 PM | PERMALINK

The Democrats won't win back either the House or Senate, although they may make gains in both.

Reasons:

#1) gerrymandering, gerrymandering, gerrymandering

#2) Listen to talk radio? The issue du jour is illegal immigration, and they are flogging it to death (even during station promos at the top and bottom of the hour), working an otherwise demoralized Republican base into a tizzy.

It is not that Democrats aren't right on the issue, or that Republicans are likely to accrue long term benefit from demagoging illegal immigration (they may do to themselves nationally what the California GOP did to itself, alienating the crucial Latino swing vote with overly-harsh measures, or dividing and demoralizing core Republicans by ultimately accepting a compromise after the midterms are over), but the short-term benefits to this nonsense are probably significant. Not only will it help turn out Republican voters, it may help turn out right-leaning Independents (the Perotistas).

#3) Democrats have no real plan to turn out even their base, let alone the mostly-sane majority of Independents. The Washington Democrats still haven't learned that more risky, exviting, independent, "limited government liberal" reform-Democrat candidates are the key to winning back Congress (though not the White House), and establishmentarian dullards like Sherrod Brown who look to Independents like just more hacks to public employee unions, single issue groups, and corporations are what is killing Democratic chances. They'll begin to learn this lesson in 2006.

Posted by: The Blue Nomad on April 23, 2006 at 11:01 PM | PERMALINK

"I guess it would actually take the republicans losing 7 senate seats to lose control. How could that happen?"
Posted by: brian on April 23, 2006 at 10:54 PM

I don't know, but I remember Democrat incumbents whistling past the same graveyard before Newt Gingrich pulled off a bigger change back in 1994. By the way as I recall the Contract with America was rolled out 6 weeks before the election, not six months. Democrats have time.

Oh, as to all the talk about an Iran showdown saving Bush, his national security election boat sailed with the Libby indictment. Nobody even remotely aware of politics will believe him ever again when he says some foreign power is a threat. Too bad because he probably could make a better case with Iran.

Bush would be better served with a domestic triumph. How about real health care reform. Sort of a Nixon goes to China moment.

Posted by: Ron Byers on April 23, 2006 at 11:07 PM | PERMALINK

TBN: It is not that Democrats aren't right on the issue, or that Republicans are likely to accrue long term benefit from demagoging illegal immigration (they may do to themselves nationally what the California GOP did to itself, alienating the crucial Latino swing vote with overly-harsh measures, or dividing and demoralizing core Republicans by ultimately accepting a compromise after the midterms are over), but the short-term benefits to this nonsense are probably significant.

Yes, absolutely. My (rather forlorn) hope is that they've started this too soon--it's going to be a long, hot summer with fresh scandals breaking over the heads of the WH and GOP, and so the immigration issue may not have the staying power these guys were counting on. Six months is proving to be a long time in this administration, as recent events demonstrate.

Posted by: shortstop on April 23, 2006 at 11:07 PM | PERMALINK

PTate - Yeah, good point. It's a difficult position for the Dems to be in. The right-wingers, who have demonstrated an alarming inability to learn, will be looking for anyone and anything to blame but their own ideology. If the Dems retake the Senate, the Republicans will be doing the whole 2002 schtick again--"the Democrats won't let the President...."

I don't think there is any chance that that could work. If the Dem's do get the Majority, they will know they have a mandate to stand up to the President and they will. If that kind of takeover happens, the American people will expect an agressive challenging of the President, and they will get it.

Posted by: CapitalistImperialistPig on April 23, 2006 at 11:12 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, there isn't a chance in hell that Bush could pull of a real domestic policy triumph. He just doesn't have the people in his administration with the smarts to fashion one. He is stuck with the boobs at the Heritage Foundation and the Cato Institute. Don't worry folks. Understanding any domestic problem is beyond them. They could never fashion a real reform that would actually solve any problem.

Posted by: Ron Byers on April 23, 2006 at 11:13 PM | PERMALINK

The Blue Nomad:

Well, I disagree with you. Howard Dean and the DNC have done a helluva lot of mostly unsung and unreported spadework in rebuilding the formerly demoralized state parties. Today, we have professional Democratic ops in all 50 states -- a far cry from the McAuliffe go-for-the-socially-liberal, pro-business yuppies approach. The "limited government liberal" business first doesn't parse, and second only serves to limit our appeal for core constituency groups that are still -- like it or not -- hugely significant parts of the Democratic base. We already *have* Silicon Valley and Lower Manhattan.

The time is to champion *effective* government, not demagogue about size. Bush has grown the government enormously; Republicans have no credibility on that issue.

As for base motivation -- it's huge. Add $3/gal gas to the mix -- and who knows what the price will be after this year's hurricane season. The anger at Katrina is still mostly unassuaged, and that cuts with red state voters. Plus, the anger at Iraq has only grown, and the opposition to staying there only widened, and will continue to get wider short of some unforseen miracle.

Immigration, remember, cuts both ways. Yeah, the Limboids are out in force on it -- but the Hispanic community is getting more and more frightened about punitive measures that *separate families*. The Prop 187 backlash effect may well start to happen *before* the election this time ...

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on April 23, 2006 at 11:15 PM | PERMALINK

You'll also want to check out the White House's 5-point plan for success, which turns out to have approximately zero actual substance except for one thing: a plan to get tough with the mullahs.

All of it is content-free. Not even "get tough with the mullas" has any substance, and the "get tough" rhetoric should be shoved right back down his throat as irresponsible sabre-rattling. We need to ressurect the concept of "walk softly and carry a big stick".

Posted by: has407 on April 23, 2006 at 11:15 PM | PERMALINK

Brian: "What are the six Republican Senate seats you think will flip to Democrat? Hard to see that happening."

It is just wishful thinking on my part, I suppose. I count four possible turnovers. But if the electorate is mad enough, we may see a couple of upsets. If the election of 2004 were held today, Bush would lose. 33% approval. He has more approval than disapproval in only four states: Utah, Montana, Wyoming and Nebraska. Some of that anger has got to turn against Republicans. And according to Ruy Teixera, the gender gap has re-emerged. Not that I trust him since he broke my heart in 2004.

But I agree with Blue Nomad, the Dems still haven't comprehended "that more risky, exciting, independent, "limited government liberal" reform-Democrat candidates are the key to winning back Congress."

And CapitalistImperialistPig, "If that kind of takeover happens, the American people will expect an agressive challenging of the President, and they will get it." That's a very hopeful observation!

Posted by: PTate in MN on April 23, 2006 at 11:21 PM | PERMALINK

rmck1: The time is to champion *effective* government...

Agree. But how about simply "good government"? Subtext: government that obeys the laws; government that keeps its promises; government that doesn't squander our money, heritage or prestige; and government of and by the people.

Posted by: has407 on April 23, 2006 at 11:22 PM | PERMALINK

I'm more sanguine about immigration than a few people here. First, the really wealthy business community doesn't care one way or another about the issue; it doesn't remotely affect their quality of life -- and they surely don't mind hiring servants, illegal or not. Bush's guest worker idea was a Rovian attempt to co-opt Latinos into supporting Republicans while tamping down the issue with his larger middle-class base -- and it's not flying.

Because of this rather large breach, because Bush won't move for Tancredo without some way to assimilate illegals, I think we're hearing shrill demagoguery among the sort of voters who wouldn't be with us, anyway -- and the volume might be misleading us about the size.

Meanwhile Hispanics see the demagoguery for what it is -- and where it's coming from. It's hard to imagine that the Hispanic vote isn't going to go overwhelmingly to Democrats, just on this issue alone ...

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on April 23, 2006 at 11:27 PM | PERMALINK

Actually, come to think of it, what are the odds that the George Bush WH could actually develop and carry out a competent "5-point plan for success"?

Not to worry.

By the way, something I have been wondering about, with regard to illegal aliens. If I were a legal immigrant from Mexico or central America, I would be concerned that others, the authorities, other Americans, would start viewing all Mexicans, including me, as illegal. The marches for amnesty could really backfire.

Posted by: PTate in MN on April 23, 2006 at 11:27 PM | PERMALINK

Boy who cried wolf indeed.

Posted by: Steve L on April 23, 2006 at 11:29 PM | PERMALINK

has407: "Subtext: government that obeys the laws; government that keeps its promises; government that doesn't squander our money, heritage or prestige; and government of and by the people."

Agreed! Good point.

Posted by: PTate in MN on April 23, 2006 at 11:31 PM | PERMALINK

PTate:

I think that phenomenon plays to our advantage. A legal immigrant has nothing to prove -- and the papers to prove it. If they're seen as illegal, it more likely increases their sense of outrage about the whole issue, makes them *more*, not less, likely to raise their voices. Sure, there are legal immigrants who define themselves by their legal status and look down with a contempt on illegals even fiercer than native-born Americans.

But those aren't the type to march for amnesty, either ...

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on April 23, 2006 at 11:34 PM | PERMALINK

I can see it now!.....He's going to come out with a new program.....10,no 20,no no 50,no no wait for it "100 POINTS OF LIGHT"! Everything will be WONDERFUL!

Posted by: R.L. on April 23, 2006 at 11:35 PM | PERMALINK

Its the economy, my friends. How will the electorate feel after $3 per gallon for six months, and Bush's answer is hydrogen cars in 10 years? After six months of this JoeSix might even consider conservation as the best option.

Also, the perfect storm is brewing in real estate. A large fraction of the US work force increase is in housing construction and sales. The subprime mortgage companies are now laying off. House listings are skyrocketing, buyers are scarce, home-equity withdrawal is maxing out, and foreclosures are up. The core ideology of the "entrepreneur" class will be sorely tested this summer -- house flippers are toast.

Part of the helium keeping BushCo afloat is their ability to point to selective economic stats and to people's knowledge that some ordinary folk are still getting rich. By and large these ordinary folks are in real estate -- and most homeowners feel richer because the paper value of theior houses has gone up. Reverse that, and the desire for change in DC increases.

Posted by: troglodyte on April 23, 2006 at 11:37 PM | PERMALINK

Rove has been relieved of his white house duties so he can concentrate on the upcoming election. Look for the Republicans to drag out all the old tired issues to mobilize their base this summer. Forget health care, Iraq, the deficit, and high oil prices. For the next few months Congress will be pandering to the party's base with a gay marriage constitutional amendment, some press bashing, some immigrant attacking, and a strong dose of Iranian fear mongering--it's worked before and it's their only hope in the fall.

Posted by: sparky on April 23, 2006 at 11:43 PM | PERMALINK

troglodyte:

Excellent, excellent, points. Sheesh, I live in central NJ; I should've picked up on that instantly.

ReMaxx has become ReMaxxedOut. Heh, and you consider all the brand-new McMansions with SUVs in their driveways to make that 40mi commute to Manhattan (no bus service, natch), and you really *are* talking about a Perfect Storm -- among the sorts of exurbanites who everyone were crowing were the key to the long-term Republican majority ...

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on April 23, 2006 at 11:43 PM | PERMALINK

rmck1: "I think that phenomenon plays to our advantage."

Yes, I can see that. But, say, you are Joe Smith visiting Arizona. You are eating at a restaurant or staying at a hotel. You see Mexican people everywhere--the nature of discrimination is that Joe will assume everyone is illegal and become even more opposed to amnesty.

I suppose, on the other hand, that it could be like the Danes in WW2. The Nazis demanded that all Jews wear armbands. All Danes began to wear the armbands, so the Nazis couldn't identify the Jews. At least this is how the story was told to me by my father. I don't know if it is true.

Posted by: PTate in MN on April 23, 2006 at 11:45 PM | PERMALINK

Please Allow me Assist in the Demise of Rummy by strangling him with his own words..[X^B

Amidst all the clutter, beyond all the obstacles, aside from all the static, are the goals set. Put your head down, do the best job possible, let the flak pass, and work towards those goals.
Donald Rumsfeld
[Yeh Ignore the torture and the rendition, and just let it pass]

Arguments of convenience lack integrity and inevitably trip you up.
Donald Rumsfeld
[Yes they certainly have.]

As you know, you go to war with the Army you have. They're not the Army you might want or wish to have at a later time.
Donald Rumsfeld

Be able to resign. It will improve your value to the President and do wonders for your performance.
Donald Rumsfeld
[Then why are you not able to resign?]

Be precise. A lack of precision is dangerous when the margin of error is small.
Donald Rumsfeld
[Like answering questions with Smart Ass Answers?[I'm not a Doctor[speaking of Tortures Pain]]

Be yourself. Follow your instincts. Success depends, at least in part, on the ability to "carry it off."
Donald Rumsfeld
[Carry it off? Oh like the Big Lie you told? Be a PNAC groupie?]

Being Vice President is difficult. Don't make it tougher.
Donald Rumsfeld
[Yes those power naps do look difficult, you could at least get the 'GodFather' a neckpillow]

Beware when any idea is promoted primarily because it is "bold, exciting, innovative, and new." There are many ideas that are "bold, exciting, innovative and new," but also foolish.
Donald Rumsfeld
[Like Neo-Cons? And Privatization and Halliburton?]

Congress, the press, and the bureaucracy too often focus on how much money or effort is spent, rather than whether the money or effort actually achieves the announced goal.
Donald Rumsfeld
[I would have to Say it's mostly the Money and the goal is self serving elitism]

Control your time. If you're working off your in-box, you're working off the priorities of others. Be sure the staff is working on what you move to them from the President, or the President will be reacting, not leading.
Donald Rumsfeld
[Please go BACK to your CAGE]

Death has a tendency to encourage a depressing view of war.
Donald Rumsfeld
[Umm This is just to inane to reply]

Don't 'over-control' like a novice pilot. Stay loose enough from the flow that you can observe it, modify, and improve it.
Donald Rumsfeld
[Good think to know your Playing Desk Warrior Ace Pilot Rummy, what does this FLOW and LOOSE have to do with Lying?]

Don't accept the post or stay unless you have an understanding with the President that you're free to tell him what you think "with the bark off" and you have the courage to do it.
Donald Rumsfeld
[Yeh Boss that WIMP AROUND!!]

Don't automatically obey Presidential directives if you disagree or if you suspect he hasn't considered key aspects of the issue.
Donald Rumsfeld
[Unless your a Neo-Con you cannot disagree with Bush, and he seems to have no aspect of key issue]

Don't be a bottleneck. If a matter is not a decision for the President or you, delegate it. Force responsibility down and out. Find problem areas, add structure and delegate. The pressure is to do the reverse. Resist it.
Donald Rumsfeld
[But you MADE yourself the Supreme Advisor? And also the Single Controller of Reconstruction Office. Really What a Hypocrite you are.]

Don't begin to think you're the President. You're not. The Constitution provides for only one.
Donald Rumsfeld
[No, not according to George, its Just a Gottdamm piece of paper]

Don't blame the boss. He has enough problems.
Donald Rumsfeld
[Like Golfing or Napping? or Lying?]

Don't divide the world into "them" and "us." Avoid infatuation with or resentment of the press, the Congress, rivals, or opponents. Accept them as facts. They have their jobs and you have yours.
Donald Rumsfeld
[Seems that's all the Mcarthyite Media, thru Rove, Kristol, Fox news and others, Murdoch consistently do, Blame Game]

Don't do or say things you would not like to see on the front page of The Washington Post.
Donald Rumsfeld
[Like Stick the Finger in Church? [Scalia]

Don't necessarily avoid sharp edges. Occasionally they are necessary to leadership.
Donald Rumsfeld
[Would that be the point of your head or the Dunce Cap George Wears?]

Don't say "the White House wants." Buildings can't want.
Donald Rumsfeld
[Umm WTF?]

Don't speak ill of your predecessors or successors. You didn't walk in their shoes.
Donald Rumsfeld
[Zowie]

Don't think of yourself as indispensable or infallible. As Charles De Gaulle said, the cemeteries of the world are full of indispensable men.
Donald Rumsfeld
[And so is The White House Apparently]

Enjoy your time in public service. It may well be one of the most interesting and challenging times of your life.
Donald Rumsfeld
[Looks like a Gravy Train from Here]

Find ways to decentralize. Move decision making authority down and out. Encourage a more entrepreneurial approach.
Donald Rumsfeld
[Privatize! Fascism!]

First rule of politics: you can't win unless you're on the ballot. Second rule: If you run, you may lose. And, if you tie, you do not win.
Donald Rumsfeld
[Tell that to George and the Scalia Finger Sticking Community]

From where you sit, the White House may look as untidy as the inside of a stomach. As is said of the legislative process, sausage-making and policy-making shouldn't be seen close-up. Don't let that panic you. Things may be going better than they look from the inside.
Donald Rumsfeld
[Sounds Like Abu Ghraib and War eh Sleazebag?]

Have a deputy and develop a successor. Don't be consumed by the job or you'll risk losing your balance. Keep your mooring lines to the outside world - family, friends, neighbors, people out of government, and people who may not agree with you.
Donald Rumsfeld
[If their were ever a man consumed it would be Rummy]

I can't tell you if the use of force in Iraq today will last five days, five weeks or five months, but it won't last any longer than that.
Donald Rumsfeld
[Theirs that easy certainty of being the single military advisor, it was of course either very wrong, or a very nefarious statement]

I don't do quagmires.
Donald Rumsfeld
[Your own word's shall be what brings you down, you DO quagmires]

I'm not into this detail stuff. I'm more concepty.
Donald Rumsfeld
[Oh? Like NEO things? Shock and Awe 5 day wars? Renaming torture NEO style "Rendition'?]

If a prospective Presidential approach can't be explained clearly enough to be understood well, it probably hasn't been thought through well enough. If not well understood by the American people, it probably won't "sail" anyway. Send it back for further thought.
Donald Rumsfeld
[The American People were lied too, along with your help, the IDEA actually was TO make SAIL by the opposite of this Statement]

If in doubt, don't. If still in doubt, do what's right.
Donald Rumsfeld
[If in Doubt go ahead and start a War, it does not matter you mean?]

If in doubt, move decisions up to the President.
Donald Rumsfeld
[Yeh, He KNOWS what to do?]

If the staff lacks policy guidance against which to test decisions, their decisions will be random.
Donald Rumsfeld
[Random Decisions?Help us all, these people are clearly Insane]

If you are not criticized, you may not be doing much.
Donald Rumsfeld
[Or your a complete screwup]

If you develop rules, never have more than ten.
Donald Rumsfeld
[Lemme see so far I count WAY more than 10. You are a deeply, scarily conflicted man Mr Rummy. These Words you type are some scary sheeaht compared to what we KNOW today, Might I suggest a mental evaluation?]

If you foul up, tell the President and correct it fast. Delay only compounds mistakes.
Donald Rumsfeld
[Yeh Dick Cheney, Move Fast to tell the President, but take time to have a few drinks first, after you shot someone, and kept the police at bay]

If you try to please everybody, somebody's not going to like it.
Donald Rumsfeld
[First you would have to actually TRY you insane Man]

Imagine, a September 11 with weapons of mass destruction. It's not 3,000. It's tens of thousands of innocent men, women and children.
Donald Rumsfeld
[Imagine a Wacko like Rummy at the Helm of a Superpower]

In our system leadership is by consent, not command. To lead a President must persuade. Personal contacts and experiences help shape his thinking. They can be critical to his persuasiveness and thus to his leadership.
Donald Rumsfeld
[No, the President SAYS we CANNOT criticize his leadership]

In politics, every day is filled with numerous opportunities for serious error. Enjoy it.
Donald Rumsfeld
[Is the Sky in your World Blue with White Clouds?]

In the execution of Presidential decisions work to be true to his views, in fact and tone.
Donald Rumsfeld
[If Bush is a Wacko Parrot thy Wacko]

Include others. As Senator Pat Moynihan said, "Stubborn opposition to proposals often has no other basis than the complaining question, 'Why wasn't I consulted?'"
Donald Rumsfeld
[Say Options are on the table when they aren't]

Inspectors do not have the duty or the ability to uncover terrible weapons hidden in a vast country. The responsibility of inspectors is simply to confirm evidence of voluntary and total disarmament. Saddam Hussein has the responsibility to provide that evidence, as directed, and in full.
Donald Rumsfeld
[Okay so the Whole Nuclear Program and inspections is, was, and will continue to be a sham and ignored by the White House?]

It is easier to get into something than to get out of it.
Donald Rumsfeld
[Your Pretty Slimy]

It is very difficult to spend "federal (the taxpayers') dollars" so that the intended result is achieved.
Donald Rumsfeld
[If its to enrich your Warmonger friends, you have achieved]

It isn't making mistakes that's critical; it's correcting them and getting on with the principal task.
Donald Rumsfeld
[It's covering them up thats critical]

Keep your sense of humor. As General Joe Stillwell said, "The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
Donald Rumsfeld
[When have you ever had a sense of Humour?]

Know that the amount of criticism you receive may correlate somewhat to the amount of publicity you receive.
Donald Rumsfeld
[Especially when your a confirmed habitual creep and Liar of mass stupidity and self serving agendas]

Know that the immediate staff and others in the Administration will assume that your manner, tone and tempo reflect the President's.
Donald Rumsfeld
[YIKES!!]

Learn to say "I don't know." If used when appropriate, it will be often.
Donald Rumsfeld
[Where's Osama? I don't Know' nor Care -GWB]

Leave the President's family business to him. You will have plenty to do without trying to manage the First Family. They are likely to do fine without your help.
Donald Rumsfeld
[Seems like he needs to clean up his own backyard before he, and you start to contemplate 'morals' with the World]

Let your family, staff, and friends know that you're still the same person, despite all the publicity and notoriety that accompanies your position.
Donald Rumsfeld
[Yeh I bet they Love a Sleazy Cretin]

Look for what's missing. Many advisors can tell a President how to improve what's proposed or what's gone amiss. Few are able to see what isn't there.
Donald Rumsfeld
[Wolfowitz said CHERRY PICK CHERRY PICK CHERRY PICK!]

Make decisions about the President's personal security. He can overrule you, but don't ask him to be the one to counsel caution.
Donald Rumsfeld
[Why?]

Many people around the President have sizeable egos before entering government, some with good reason. Their new positions will do little to moderate their egos.
Donald Rumsfeld
[This coming from an Egomaniac Himself]

Members of the U.S. House and the U.S. Senate are not there by accident. Each managed to get there for some reason. Learn what it was and you will know something important about them, about our country and about the American people.
Donald Rumsfeld
[No they are their by Money and Greed, if your a lobbyist maybe they will learn, err Pay you something]

Most of the 50 or so invitations you receive each week come from people inviting the President's Chief of Staff, not you. If you doubt that, ask your predecessor how many he received last week.
Donald Rumsfeld
[I find it hard to believe that you would get any Invitations, perhaps that's why you have been seen at dinner with Kissinger, the Wacko of Wackos]

Move decisions out to the Cabinet and agencies. Strengthen them by moving responsibility, authority, and accountability their direction.
Donald Rumsfeld
[Weaken thru Privitization]

Napoleon was asked, "Who do you consider to be the greatest generals?" He responded saying, "The victors."
Donald Rumsfeld
[General Insane]

Oh my goodness gracious, what you can buy off the Internet in terms of overhead photography. A trained ape can know an awful lot of what is going on in this world, just by punching on his mouse, for a relatively modest cost.
Donald Rumsfeld
[I suppose Powell wasn't trained, because you USED old Sattelite photos, secondly, One Sattelite was INOP, on the day the 'trained apes' pushed a non-functioning button.]

One of your tasks is to separate the "personal" from the "substantive." The two can become confused, especially if someone rubs the President wrong.
Donald Rumsfeld
[I hear Gannon rubs alot of people the wrong way, including two hours with Blair]

Our task, your task... is to try to connect the dots before something happens. People say, 'Well, where's the smoking gun?' Well, we don't want to see a smoking gun from a weapon of mass destruction.
Donald Rumsfeld
[Our Task is to Invent DOTS]

People say, 'Well, where's the smoking gun?' Well, we don't want to see a smoking gun from a weapon of mass destruction.
Donald Rumsfeld
[Its in IRAN, no WAIT SYRIA! Yes, this week it's in Syria, and the Russians, yes the Russians did it.]

Plan backwards as well as forward. Set objectives and trace back to see how to achieve them. You may find that no path can get you there. Plan forward to see where your steps will take you, which may not be clear or intuitive.
Donald Rumsfeld
[Yes Reconstructionists neo-cons speak backwards, Bush Speak]

Politics is human beings; it's addition rather than subtraction.
Donald Rumsfeld
[Its money Its Realpolitic]

Preserve the President's options. He may need them.
Donald Rumsfeld
[No, he doesn't need laws at all, he's a Unitary Wacko]

Presidential leadership needn't always cost money. Look for low- and no-cost options. They can be surprisingly effective.
Donald Rumsfeld
[Wanna Bet?]

Prune - prune businesses, products, activities, people. Do it annually.
Donald Rumsfeld
[Clear Brush on the Crawford Pig Farm]

Public servants are paid to serve the American people. Do it well.
Donald Rumsfeld
[Screw them Well]

Reduce the layers of management. They put distance between the top of an organization and the customers.
Donald Rumsfeld
[Create more Homeland Security Programs and a Political Police Force]

Reduce the number of lawyers. They are like beavers - they get in the middle of the stream and dam it up.
Donald Rumsfeld
[Damm Congress are Useless Bastards]

Remember where you came from.
Donald Rumsfeld
[Forget where you came from and blow the crap out of whoever you want]

Secretary Powell and I agree on every single issue that has ever been before this administration except for those instances where Colin's still learning.
Donald Rumsfeld
[I think he learned that your CRAZY and got the Hell out]

See that the President, the Cabinet and staff are informed. If cut out of the information flow, their decisions may be poor, not made, or not confidently or persuasively implemented.
Donald Rumsfeld
[Poor Decisions are The Norm for Bush]

Strive to make proposed solutions as self-executing as possible. As the degree of discretion increases, so too does bureaucracy, delay, and expense.
Donald Rumsfeld
[Yeh Forget about those Pesky Human Lives]

Test ideas in the marketplace. You learn from hearing a range of perspectives. Consultation helps engender the support decisions need to be successfully implemented.
Donald Rumsfeld
[Test IDEAS of War in the Marketplace? WTF?]

The Federal Government should be the last resort, not the first. Ask if a potential program is truly a federal responsibility or whether it can better be handled privately, by voluntary organizations, or by local or state governments.
Donald Rumsfeld
[Halliburton has Profitted handsomely, yet they are greedier than Government ever was]

The most underestimated risk for a politician is overexposure.
Donald Rumsfeld
[Yes SHUTUP already]

The price of being close to the President is delivering bad news. You fail him if you don't tell him the truth. Others won't do it.
Donald Rumsfeld
[Tell Bush the Liar the Truth? What are you Crazy? Oh Sorry. I forgot, you are crazy]

The Secretary of Defense is not a super General or Admiral. His task is to exercise civilian control over the Department for the Commander-in-Chief and the country.
Donald Rumsfeld
[And torture, and foment wars thru lies, and to create War, and to enrich war mongers, to not care if people die. Its Money First]

The way to do well is to do well.
Donald Rumsfeld
[Sheesh]

There are a lot of people who lie and get away with it, and that's just a fact.
Donald Rumsfeld
[Sadly this is true, nice to see you admit you and Rice and Bush And Dick are all Liars. Of Course we Knew this.]

There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don't know we don't know.
Donald Rumsfeld
[Confirmed Wacko Alert!]

Think ahead. Don't let day-to-day operations drive out planning.
Donald Rumsfeld
[Let The Crap hit the Fan and ignore it]

Treat each federal dollar as if it was hard earned; it was - by a taxpayer.
Donald Rumsfeld
[Treat it as if its yours]

Visit with your predecessors from previous Administrations. They know the ropes and can help you see around some corners. Try to make original mistakes, rather than needlessly repeating theirs.
Donald Rumsfeld
[Suck Wacko Ass]

Walk around. If you are invisible, the mystique of the President's office may perpetuate inaccurate impressions about you or the President, to his detriment. After all, you may not be as bad as they're saying.
Donald Rumsfeld
[What Is Mysterious about a group of Liars?]

Watch for the "not invented here" syndrome.
Donald Rumsfeld
[Okay I give up, whats 'not invented here' syndrome?]

Watch the growth of middle level management. Don't automatically fill vacant jobs. Leave some positions unfilled for 6-8 months to see what happens. You will find you won't need to fill some of them.
Donald Rumsfeld
[Find the Best Toady you can for your Agenda, if hes corrupt thats all the more better]

When asked for your views, by the press or others, remember that what they really want to know is the President's views.
Donald Rumsfeld
[Stay an Unknown Course]

When cutting staff at the Pentagon, don't eliminate the thin layer that assures civilian control.
Donald Rumsfeld
[No, don't eleminate it, hide it and sell it off to the highest bidder]

When someone with a rural accent says, "I don't know much about politics," zip up your pockets.
Donald Rumsfeld
[?]

When you raise issues with the President, try to come away with both that decision and also a precedent. Pose issues so as to evoke broader policy guidance. This can help to answer a range of similar issues likely to arise later.
Donald Rumsfeld
[Stick your head in your ass, then type words]

With the press there is no "off the record."
Donald Rumsfeld
[Naw they are but Dupes to give declassified information too so they might run around like chicken little]

Work continuously to trim the White House staff from your first day to your last. All the pressures are to the contrary.
Donald Rumsfeld
[Work at nothing all day]

You will launch many projects, but have time to finish only a few. So think, plan, develop, launch and tap good people to be responsible. Give them authority and hold them accountable. Trying to do too much yourself creates a bottleneck.
Donald Rumsfeld
[Start A War, who cares when it Ends?]

You're thinking of Eurpoe as Germany and France. I don't. I think that's old Europe.
Donald Rumsfeld
[Old New Old New]

Your performance depends on your people. Select the best, train them and back them. When errors occur, give sharper guidance. If errors persist or if the fit feels wrong, help them move on. The country cannot afford amateur hour in the White House.
Donald Rumsfeld
[Spys and Corrupt Lobbyists and Senators are dependable. And the White House has passed Amateur Hour a long time ago, You see the Many with the Yellow hat left a long time ago. Curious George, the Incompetent 'Trained Ape' has allowed the other monkies out of the barrel and placed them in Jobs, such as Rummys'..The Monkey House of Neo-Amateurism ]


Posted by: one eye buck tooth [X^B on April 23, 2006 at 11:45 PM | PERMALINK

One-eyed:

Jesus, dude -- that post was way too long. Now you're going to make it hard for the folks who were engaged in an interesting discussion to track their responses.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on April 23, 2006 at 11:47 PM | PERMALINK

Only One Interest. Demise of Neo-Conism.
back to your regularily scheduled Chat.

On the other hand, the damage that these conservative radicals have wrought and will continue to do...!
Posted by: PTate in MN on April 23, 2006 at 10:49 PM | PERMALINK

Agreed. Later tators!

Posted by: one eye buck tooth [X^B on April 23, 2006 at 11:50 PM | PERMALINK

Bob,

I think Howard Dean will be remembered as the third force (after Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton) in moving the Democratic Party toward left-libertarianism, but his contribution has in my opinion more to do with fundraising (more small donors, fewer special interest groups) than "rebuiling state parties" (whatever that means) or anything else.

The overarching point is that the Democratic leadership in Washington is still too lazy and beholden to corporate, single issue group and public employee union special interests to nationalize elections around the kind of broad and deep reform that would excite Democrats and Independents alike, and field candidates that represent those goals.

If Democrats aren't going to become the party of reform than Republicans or some new centrist third party (like in Israel) will. And if no one does there can be little hope for America.

PS The tag "limited government" isn't inherently reactionary. In the early decades of the republic the Democratic-Republicans led by Jefferson were the party of limited government and federalism. They were also the party of progressive taxation (Jefferson supported Madison's tariff as a form of progressive taxation), and social reform, as well as the party against militarism (Jefferson cut the size of the military), and for civil liberties and fiscal responsibility. Thomas Paine - America's founding liberal - supported the Jeffersonians, not the Federalists.

The idea of limited government was only perverted by the politics of slavery, and the interests of plutocracy, but as the Republicans become the party of big government conservatism the Democrats are en route to reclaiming the mantle of Jefferson, and limited government liberalism. There are certain fundamental laws to American politics, and one of them is that you cannot become the party of peace without ultimately becoming the party of limited government, much as you can't become the party of war without ultimately becoming the party of big government.

Posted by: The Blue Nomad on April 23, 2006 at 11:50 PM | PERMALINK

PTate:

Well, but that's the effect on a native-born American. Nothing a non-native citizen or RA (or native born Hispanic, for that matter) can do about that. In fact, if it's the nature of prejudice to assume that all these milling Hispanics are illegals, it's also human nature to get indignant about that assumption if one is legal.

It really only helps to make the amnesty argument. Bring most of the illegals in, and then Joe White Person will have to adjust his assumptions ...

Not that I necessarily support amnesty myself, you understand. Just sayin' ...

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on April 23, 2006 at 11:55 PM | PERMALINK

Only One Interest. Demise of Neo-Conism.

I share your interest but would still recommend that you stifle yourself, Bucktooth.

Posted by: obscure on April 24, 2006 at 12:02 AM | PERMALINK

I understand the notion that there's some peril in having the Dems regain a house of Congress, because they can now be blamed for things going wrong, etc.

But, man, that risk is going to be comletely overwhelmed by what Dems are likely to uncover when they finally have subpoena power.

With subpoena power, Dems can go after abuses both in the legislative arena, via K Street, and in the Bush administration itself.

Personally, I'd be surprised if they couldn't readily come up with offenses by the Bush WH so obviously impeachable that the American people themselves will have little problem getting behind the concept.

The K Street Project has already demonstrated something quite basic. These Republicans were so drunk with their power, so completely persuaded of their own invincibility, that they clearly never gave a thought to whether they were breaking the law, because they would always be the law.

The artificial boost of the 9/11 effect gave these bozos enough rope to hang themselves with. Subpoena power will kick the chairs out from beneath them.

Posted by: frankly0 on April 24, 2006 at 12:03 AM | PERMALINK

rmck1,
In other words, the Republicans are caught in a double bind. They can appeal to their white right-wing base (shades of the old "southern" strategy) and alienate the fastest growing segment of the US population or they can pander to the hispanic vote and alienate the base. Could that tip senate races in Arizona, Nevada? Texas?

The intelligent thing for Bushco would be to change the topic. Oh, LOOK!!! There's another Osama bin Laden tape, that bastard. That enemy of America!

but, hmmm, not in Iraq...so that is kind of a double bind topic as well.

OH, LOOK! Homeland security is rounding up illegals and going after employers.

Posted by: PTate in MN on April 24, 2006 at 12:07 AM | PERMALINK

Rmck1

Thanks for the positive response.

Blue Nomad

I dont think the Dem can retake Congress by focussing on any agenda that can be dismissed as wonkish. Frankly, we have complained for years that BushCo has ruined the nation, and I dont think that we will retake Congress unless the average American agrees. This is happening slowly, but Dems must be able to point to specific items where a Dem-controlled Congress can have a positive effect.

For instance, we are not going back to $1.50/gallon gasoline. Ever. There really is no short term fix. Persuading JoeSix that expanding production is fruitless cant be done with policy statements from Washington. Joe and JaneSix will have to feel the pain and think through the options themselves. The best that can be done, IMO is to pick off BushCos solutions as too little, too late.

The housing market meltdown will also seem to be a disaster without a clear villian, though the inability of BushCo to foresee it will be obvious. However, there is an interesting feature of the new bankruptcy law, which has the RepubCongress fingerprints on it, which specifies that a homeowner in foreclosure will owe US Federal taxes on any shortfall on his mortgage. If you owe the bank $400k, and they can sell your foreclosed home for $300k, the IRS will treat the $100k shortfall as taxable income. I predict that there will be examples of this in at least three states by September. Talk about adding insult to injury. Considering that many recent home buyers are %100 financed, the potential for this kind of tax servitude is huge. Courtesy of the Republican Congress!

Posted by: troglodyte on April 24, 2006 at 12:11 AM | PERMALINK

The Blue Nomad:

Building the state Democratic parties is a very concrete, straightforward set of tasks (hiring a staff, developing a list, maintaining communication with supporters) that you'd only really know about if you knew a state chair personally. Not the sort of stuff that makes headlines. But the fact that the Democrats now have energized and excited organizations in Mississippi and Alabama ought to tell you something. McAuliffe doubtless never set foot in either of those states, much less concerned himself with them. It's a long-term strategy to build the party from the grassroots by running Democrats at all levels of state and local government. Sort of roughly analogous to what the Christian Coalition did throughout the 90s ...

I don't exactly know why you'd call either Carter or Clinton left-libertarian; both those guys were hardly averse to issues that tickle social conservatives. I mean -- executing a retarded guy? (Clinton). Expressing common cause with the Afghan muhajadeen for being "fundamentalists," too? (Carter). Dean, however, *did* work to de-nationalize gun control as an issue, and in that regard I'm sure he remains something of a left-libertarian saint. But Dean himself is no archenemy of corporations. He was a Wall Street guy, and he actually fought his most pitched battles with the Progressives in Vermont.

I understand and appreciate the historical roots of Jeffersonian liberalism, but truthfully, I think I'm more of an FDR-style Democrat. We're going to need big government to tackle global warming and incent alternative energy development. We're going to need big government to solve the healthcare crisis. And we're going to need big government to forestall corporate rape -- since it's *effective* government agencies that keep their hairy eyeballs peeled on the economic predators.

Bush confused us by simultaneously bloating the government and making it virtually ineffectual by stocking all regulatory agencies with foxes guarding the public henhouse. But we still need things like a muscular EPA and SEC and DOJ to halt the corporate rape. There really is no other way; libertarianism only really works at local levels with like-minded people.

And Nixon -- that big-government Republican -- ended the Vietnam War.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on April 24, 2006 at 12:25 AM | PERMALINK

It sometimes seems that the American public really does have an unending appetite for "getting tough" with whichever enemy du jour the White House casts its increasingly feckless gaze on, but I think it's just possible that Bush might have gone to this well one time too many.

People only have an appetite for "getting tough" when it looks like they're winning. If the Iraq war had been a resounding success, Bush could've launched his Iran invasion to standing ovations in Congress and a sea of American flags along every street in rural America. It's an obvious screwup, not to mention a money pit that'll cost $1 trillion before he's left office if we're lucky.

American's don't like being made to look like losers. The humiliation of the loss in Vietnam had been blissfully erased with Reagan's liberation of Grenada and now Bush has gone and resurrected it.

Posted by: Mike on April 24, 2006 at 12:31 AM | PERMALINK

These Republicans were so drunk with their power, so completely persuaded of their own invincibility, that they clearly never gave a thought to whether they were breaking the law, because they would always be the law

I don't know where I saw it now, but I thought the best description of this was the blogger who wrote "they really thought they were building the 1,000-year Reich."

Posted by: craigie on April 24, 2006 at 12:33 AM | PERMALINK

There really is no other way; libertarianism only really works at local levels with like-minded people.

Libertarianism also talks about individual rights, but those individual rights are only granted by the state, as a collective entity.

An individual only ever has the rights that are granted to her or him via the consensus of the group/state - this tension between the inevitable/inescapable State and a completely nonsensical libertarian 'philosophy' is why the republican 'conservatarian' alliance is dissolving.

Posted by: floopmeister on April 24, 2006 at 12:38 AM | PERMALINK

20 years if big government Republicanism, a foreign policy straight from WW2, they are gone.

Posted by: Matt on April 24, 2006 at 12:49 AM | PERMALINK

Found it - it was Digby. She wrote

"This time they really, truly believed they had embarked on a thousand year Reich."

I think that about sums it up.

Posted by: craigie on April 24, 2006 at 12:49 AM | PERMALINK

"I don't exactly know why you'd call either Carter or Clinton left-libertarian; both those guys were hardly averse to issues that tickle social conservatives. I mean -- executing a retarded guy? (Clinton). Expressing common cause with the Afghan muhajadeen for being "fundamentalists," too? (Carter). Dean, however, *did* work to de-nationalize gun control as an issue, and in that regard I'm sure he remains something of a left-libertarian saint. But Dean himself is no archenemy of corporations. He was a Wall Street guy, and he actually fought his most pitched battles with the Progressives in Vermont."

Carter deregulated the airlines, and attempted to take on (without much success) other etrenched interests within the Democratic Party blocking reform. He also presided over a period of renewed civil liberties (which came to an end under Mr. Bush). Clinton was a monster on criminal justice matters, but he continued the anti-inflationary, pro-growth, deregulatory policies of the Reagan era (that had really begun under Carter and even Nixon), slowed the growth of bureaucracy, and made taxation nominally progressive again, as well as being the most socially liberal president in American history.

You seem to confuse libertarianism and corporatism; they are not the same thing. Jefferson and Madison were both suspicious of northern banking elites (Madison left the Federalist movement in part over assumption, and the ass raping of so many veterans). I agree that we need some kind of Manhattan Project on energy independence, but a program of energy independence that aims to preserve centralized power (in the form of nuclear and clean coal) is the big government conservative solution. The Jeffersonian, left-libertarian solution is a nano-solar array on every rooftop, and a hydrogen fuel cell buried in every backyard.

State socialism is dead. This does not mean that we don't have universal health care or universal k-12 education, but that to the greatest extent possible we put power in the hands of individuals and families, small and medium-sized business, and non-profits, rather than in the hands of government or corporations. I support a market-based universal health care system with non-profits keeping the books. I support a progressive (Dutch style) school voucher system. I don't trust the government anymore than I trust the corporate elites.

Posted by: The Blue Nomad on April 24, 2006 at 1:05 AM | PERMALINK

I just think that the Dems are being sad, if they think a "vote for me, I'll impeach Bush" thing will sell.

I don't always understand Americans, but government focused on internal politics instead of economic growth or foreign policy suck.

Posted by: mcA on April 24, 2006 at 1:23 AM | PERMALINK

Stay Focused.

Republican Culture of Corruption.

Posted by: osama_been_forgotten on April 24, 2006 at 1:25 AM | PERMALINK

The very first response, from Ron Byers, had exactly the quote that came to my mind:

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

But the version of it that I had thought of is from a song (if I remember correctly by Nigel Olsson, Elton John's drummer), which I'm afraid may be the version the American people will be singing come November. It goes:

Fool me once and shame on you.
Fool me twice and shame on me.
If I'm still here the third time 'round,
figure I must like it, so fool me again!

Posted by: Robert Earle on April 24, 2006 at 1:27 AM | PERMALINK

I see only a shameful legacy now - debt, pollution, slaughter of innocents, international hatred of the United States and corruption. Democrats aren't going to change that, if by some chance voters wake up and throw the GOP out. However, maybe there is some hope of holding Dubya accountable for once in his pathetic life.

Seeing him being led out of the White House in leg irons and an orange jumpsuit would be a perfect legacy.

Posted by: Stephen Kriz on April 24, 2006 at 6:42 AM | PERMALINK

Bush might have gone
to this well one time too many.

It will not be enough to just conjure up a crisis with bogus intelligence. For this to work again some sort of real provocation will be needed. This probably the real reason for all the threats and for the forces and agents already said to be working inside Iran. Bush needs another 9/11 that bin Laden seems unwilling to supply. Iran's Ahmadinejad and his legions of suicide bombers may be the ones to save Bush's chance at a "legacy".

Posted by: Fred in Vermont on April 24, 2006 at 7:07 AM | PERMALINK

Check out the Drudge Report this morning... top right tells us of NEW Osama tape. Next headline is Islamists THREATENING AMERICANS>

The "threat" is economic.

Even Drudge [another neocon/libertarian Jew posing as a patriotic American] -

These are the kinds of propaganda for war that Americans are not allowed to speak of.

The enemy - as always - resides within both parties... drumming for more war on Islam... but from different angles.

Until we address the dual loyalty Israeli First Americans in the government and media -- we are headed for mushroom clouds on the horizon.

WHO WILL SPEAK UP about these enemies for a foreign government?

Posted by: karen on April 24, 2006 at 9:39 AM | PERMALINK

Jerry,

I like the commercials. but you forgot one:

Lincoln on the Mexican War:

Allow the President to invade a neighboring nation, whenever he shall deem it necessary to repel an invasion and you allow him to do so whenever he may choose to say he deems it necessary for such purpose -- and you allow him to make war at pleasure. . . . If, today, he should choose to say he thinks it necessary to invade Canada to prevent the British from invading us, how could you stop him? You may say to him, 'I see no probability of the British invading us'; but he will say to you, 'Be silent; I see it, if you don't.'

that damn peacenik Lincoln again.

Posted by: northzax on April 24, 2006 at 9:59 AM | PERMALINK

While we are on the topic of commercials, I just got an email about this. Google is striking back.

Perhaps I am the last person in America to discover this, but if not, go to the google search page, type in "asshole", and do an "I'm feeling lucky" search.

They don't like Bush.

Posted by: PTate in MN on April 24, 2006 at 10:32 AM | PERMALINK

Stay Focused:

Democrats lack of vision.

Posted by: Jay on April 24, 2006 at 10:43 AM | PERMALINK

The immigration/border issus is easy to score points on in terms of border enforcement,

Maybe, but I think it'll just piss the Latinos off, don't you?

Posted by: kgb on April 24, 2006 at 11:12 AM | PERMALINK

Not all latinos want the country to turn into Mexico.

I live in that part of the country... and the Latinos I know want to be good little white suburban families.... they are natural conservatives.

Forget the gay agenda with Latinos - they don't like em either.

The furor whipped up by Spanish Radio is NOT The same as the immigrant debate.

Posted by: tj on April 24, 2006 at 11:19 AM | PERMALINK
I don't always understand Americans, but government focused on internal politics instead of economic growth or foreign policy suck.

Yeah, well, I know you don't get democracy, but if you don't effectively hold your leaders accountable, then all the bleating you do about any other policy issue will be ineffectual.

Accountability is the base on which everything else rests. It sucks when the leaders are so bad that it has to be made a major electoral issue, but, nevertheless, it is an omnipresent and fundamental concern.

Posted by: cmdicely on April 24, 2006 at 11:50 AM | PERMALINK

"If we don't keep Congress, there won't be a legacy"

Oh, there WILL be a legacy. Just not the one the Bushies were scheming for. The Boy Emperor Clown Criminal has an excellent shot at displacing President James Buchanan in the history books.
.

Posted by: VJ on April 24, 2006 at 11:58 AM | PERMALINK

And here I thought Bush was a straight talkin' Texan who was comfortable in his own skin. What's all this "rebooting" talk?


These were the people snickering about Al Gore 'reinventing himself'.

Posted by: cld on April 24, 2006 at 12:04 PM | PERMALINK

Just a quick note of historical reassurance for those worried the Dems' taking back a house of Congress would make them liable for some of the failures of '07/'08: Dems took back the House in 1930, and missed a Senate majority that year by only one vote -- roughly the best-case numbers we're looking at for this Fall. They spent the next two years proposing legislation to alleviate the country's problems, all of which Hoover dismissed. The result? A Dem presidential/Congressional landslide in '32. I see no reason to expct different for '08.

Posted by: demtom on April 24, 2006 at 12:42 PM | PERMALINK

Mike: American's don't like being made to look like losers. The humiliation of the loss in Vietnam had been blissfully erased with Reagan's liberation of Grenada and now Bush has gone and resurrected it.

Very important point, IMO, that is rarely addressed. Iraq is still struggling toward the storied democratic government, the establishment of which Bush just last week said is the necessary condition for us to declare "Victory" in Iraq.

So. As long as Iraq doesn't have a democratic government that can sustain itself militarily as well as politically, we haven't won. This is Bush's definition. At what point does this become a loss, rather than a long pause on the way to victory? I'm guessing that Republicans are currently hoping that a Democratic Congress and/or President will take the fall for making Americans look like losers in Iraq. Remember how Bush said it would be for the next President to make decisions about removing troops? He meant it.

As far as Iraq goes, this administration has reached terminal velocity but they're still in the air. I think they're hoping to pull a switch and let Democrats hit the pavement in their place.

Posted by: cowalker on April 24, 2006 at 1:18 PM | PERMALINK
The humiliation of the loss in Vietnam had been blissfully erased with Reagan's liberation of Grenada and now Bush has gone and resurrected it.

I think Grenada was more about overcoming the humiliation of Lebanon; I don't think the much greater humiliation of Vietnam was really dealt with until Bush the Elder's war in the Persian Gulf, and possibly not until both that and Clinton's war with Serbia.

Unfortunately, for too many people (especially, for too many that became influential in the Bush foreign policy team), those really seem to have blissfully erased that humiliation rather than merely serving as a counterpoint to it. The US needs to have the capacity and will to apply the credible threat and, if necessary, actual application of military force to address certain policy (security, human rights, etc.) interests.

But at the same time the use of force must not be unconstrained; it must be informed at all times by understanding of the limitations of its utility and the consequences of its misapplication.

Posted by: cmdicely on April 24, 2006 at 1:48 PM | PERMALINK

"In fact, Bush's best (and perhaps only) hope is to pray to Allah that Osama gets lucky one more time ...
Posted by: rmck1 on April 23, 2006 at 10:09 PM |

Let's not go giving him any ideas now, shall we? (What am I thinking; as if they haven't already got this in the works...)

Posted by: smartalek on April 24, 2006 at 2:11 PM | PERMALINK

"In the face of the Iranian menace, the Democrats will lose," says an unnamed GOP apparatchik. Maybe so, but this time I wonder. It sometimes seems that the American public really does have an unending appetite for "getting tough" with whichever enemy du jour the White House casts its increasingly feckless gaze on, but I think it's just possible that Bush might have gone to this well one time too many. Getting tough hasn't worked out too well so far, and the public might well be ready for some straight talk on the subject.

The question is whether any Democrats with a platform will be ready to provide that straight talk.

No evidence of much, beyond Clark's pushing the administration to negotiate directly. Mainly, the straight talk they need to give is that there is no crisis.

They need to say straight out that the threat Bush is trying to whip up is the effort of a weak, unpopular, corrupt, and incompetent "decider" to make a double-or-nothing gamble with our national security.

He lied us into war with Iraq before we'd finished the job in Afghanistan.

Now he wants to lie us into war with Iran, while making an endless commitment to Iraq.

Posted by: Nell on April 24, 2006 at 2:23 PM | PERMALINK

That unnamed apparatchit was probably working for AIPAC.

Bush has outlived his usefullness in the Israeli war on Islam... he blew it.

NOW they need McCain or Hildebeast - there will be no anti war candidate -- and if we insist on one...

They will pull another 9/11 -- THIS time on what ever demographic needs persuasion.

I think it will be the Southwest... that way they demonize the Mexicans - and enlist them as lifetime Islamophobes.

All those flying dead Mexican baby parts... it has potential.

Israeli First Americans are NOT going to back off.... Israel is on the ropes. Why else did they bomb an Egyptian hotel? -- that attack was on the Egyptian economy, not tourists.

Egypt is probably allowing weapons into gaza again.


Posted by: tj on April 24, 2006 at 5:06 PM | PERMALINK

When the white house talks about rebooting over and over again I think of someone with a damaged Microsoft operating system on a PC. Normally the only way to fix the problem so it stays fixed is to wipe the hard drive and start over. To bad we can't wipe the the executive and Legislative branchs and start over. Like fixing a damaged computer. Like have a vote of no confidence and vote again.

Posted by: dannyboy on April 24, 2006 at 7:17 PM | PERMALINK

I don't think the much greater humiliation of Vietnam was really dealt with until Bush the Elder's war in the Persian Gulf, and possibly not until both that and Clinton's war with Serbia.

Clinton's war was more of a video game than an actual war. There were no boots on the ground nor were many pilots actually placed in harms way. We took zero casualties. That's not a war.

Why would any soldiers, especially in 2002, feel humiliated about Vietnam? My brother and two brother-in-laws each served proudly in Vietnam. Their family and friends have never been anything but proud of them for their service.

Didn't the elections of 2004 prove the only humiliation over Vietnam was the behavior of people like Kerry and Fonda? As well as the fact the good men didn't come home to the parades they earned. Fortunately this generation is getting far better treatment. It's also our good fortune this volunteer force is far better trained and equipped and more professional. They know they're fighting to uphold a proud tradition but only in general. They are not fighting for Vietnam or Genada or France. They are fighting for America and to honor the memory of those who fought before them and upon whose shoulders they stand.

The other cool thing for them in there's no Conkrite to mis-report the news. There's a small army of wannabe's but they're knats in comparison. The real news gets out. It's not on ABC but it's on Fox, Limbaugh, talk radio and the blogs. Dan gave it his best shot and it took 15 minutes to end his career.

Iraq and Afghanistan are going down as historic diplomatic and military achievements. Over 50M people have been extended liberty, freedom and democracy. The Russians got their heads beat in for a decade before getting chased out. We win in 15 days. The military has been fantastic and they're going to get the credit they deserve. No armchair cowards can change that.

Posted by: rdw on April 25, 2006 at 1:45 PM | PERMALINK

It sucks when the leaders are so bad that it has to be made a major electoral issue, but, nevertheless, it is an omnipresent and fundamental concern.

Among the losers maybe. GWB was re-elected less than a year ago increasing his vote totals by a whopping 23%. The people have spoken in hte only poll that matters. 62M of them. You might not like the job he's doing but you are not supposed to like it. I voted for him to appoint people like John Roberts, Sam Alito and to keep people like John Bolton, Donald Rumsfeld and Condi Rice in the game.

He's doing exactly as we wanted. Rummy and Condi are closing bases and State Dept offices in Old Europe and opening them in Asia. Rummy is continuing the Defense Dept transition to a rapid fighting force while fighting an aggressive war in Iraq and building their Army from scratch. Our military has never been stronger. Their morale is sky-high. Reenlistments and recruitments are well above goals and we have a highly experienced team at all levels. At the same time Condi is working the diplomatic side throughout the Middle East and Asia. GWB has already passed 8 free trade deals and has another 17 on tap.

Our foreign relations profile will be totally revamped toward Asia where our primary economic interest lie.

Posted by: rdw on April 25, 2006 at 1:57 PM | PERMALINK

In other words, the Republicans are caught in a double bind. They can appeal to their white right-wing base (shades of the old "southern" strategy) and alienate the fastest growing segment of the US population or they can pander to the hispanic vote and alienate the base.

There's no double-bind. Illegal immigration is a great issue as long as they figure out they have to be clear it's about illegal immigration and they're not anti-immigrant. 1st get control of the border which they're starting to acknowledge and then allow many more immigrants in legally. This is win/win. They want to work. We need them.

If there is a double-bind the left has the same issue. They cannot come out and offer all of them amnesty or amnesty-lite and then campaign for free health care and schooling and deficit reduction. That would be typically incoherent and a blessing for the GOP.

Posted by: rdw on April 25, 2006 at 2:07 PM | PERMALINK

I think Ron Byers got the quote wrong.

It's "Fool me once, shame on, uh, um [look around a bit], shame on you. Fool me twice, uh, um [look around a little more. Dig deep.] uh, see, you can't get fooled again.

Posted by: Cal Gal on April 25, 2006 at 3:50 PM | PERMALINK

"If I were a legal immigrant from Mexico or central America, I would be concerned that others, the authorities, other Americans, would start viewing all Mexicans, including me, as illegal."

Too late. Way too late. That's the situation now, and has been for some time. Ever seen "Born in East LA" btw? Pretty funny.

Posted by: Cal Gal on April 25, 2006 at 3:59 PM | PERMALINK

'rdw' posted:

"Clinton's war was more of a video game than an actual war. There were no boots on the ground nor were many pilots actually placed in harms way. We took zero casualties. That's not a war."

It was an air war, and it was THE most successful air campaign in American history. Let's not forget that the RightWing was not only claiming it would not work, but that it would be disastrous.

Big surprise, they were wrong AGAIN.

.

"Iraq and Afghanistan are going down as historic diplomatic and military achievements."

Only in Bizarro World.

.

"Over 50M people have been extended liberty, freedom and democracy."

Over 50 million people are under an illegal military occupation. Some "liberty, freedom and democracy".
.

Posted by: VJ on April 25, 2006 at 6:57 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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