Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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June 3, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

POPPING THE BUBBLE....Did you ever think you'd see the day when the Washington Post would consider it front page news front page news! that the White House is showing a "willingness to listen to opinions that are at odds with its stated positions"? That's quite an accomplishment.

Still, they're reaching pretty deep if this is the evidence they've dug up:

Bush just hired a Treasury secretary who opposed his policy on global warming and a press secretary who dismissed his domestic agenda as timid and listless.

Give me a break. Bush's inability to govern is so flagrant that there's practically nobody left in the country who hasn't criticized him over something or another. What was he going to do? Nominate Laura for Treasury Secretary?

Yeah, yeah, I know. I'm supposed to be on vacation. I'll just step away from the computer now.

Kevin Drum 1:01 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (54)

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Comments

Someone should write Kevin a little script which posts "I hate Bush!!" once per hour, then he could vacation in peace.

Nobody would notice the difference anyway.

Posted by: am on June 3, 2006 at 1:11 AM | PERMALINK

Maybe Awol will consider catching osama now. After all, with this amount of time after 9/11 comparatively the Japanese were defeated.

Posted by: Where's osama on June 3, 2006 at 1:12 AM | PERMALINK

It's inflective to see how Awol has been so effective in reducing America's worldwide influence to that of impotent ignorant hillbilly in such a short period of time. The US often over-extends itself needlessly and stupidly and Awol has further shown this vast ability to stand for insignificance bordering on vulgarity. America should feel so proud of it's world influence-extreme willingness to participate incorrectly. Massive power-no brain.

Posted by: Where's osama on June 3, 2006 at 1:24 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin is like Congress. The longer they are away from work, the better off the country is.

Posted by: Meatss on June 3, 2006 at 1:24 AM | PERMALINK

More window dressing from the White House. Knowing that Bush is incapable of change, they're trying to manufacture the illusion that he is.

And the WaPo swallowed it. Hook, line, sinker.

As if Bush isn't sitting in those meetings, bored off his ass, not listening to a word.

That's what he does. A lifetime of arrogance and hubris does not get changed overnight, even though they'll go to lengths to make it look that way in an election season.

Posted by: Stranger on June 3, 2006 at 1:25 AM | PERMALINK

Did you ever think you'd see the day when the Washington Post would consider it front page news front page news! that the White House is showing a "willingness to listen to opinions that are at odds with its stated positions"?

And how is this different than Bill Clinton? He also hired people like Robert Rubin, William Cohen, and Madeline Albright who were unwilling to say they had opinions that differed from his. It is true of all Administrations that you can't disagree publicly with what the President says but you just choose to bash Bush over what all other Presidents have done before.

Posted by: Al on June 3, 2006 at 1:37 AM | PERMALINK

Maybe Laura could be co-secretary of state.

Posted by: Brian Boru on June 3, 2006 at 1:38 AM | PERMALINK

Bush finally realizes he isn't Cheney, hunkering down in a secure, undisclosed location?

Symbolically, at least, the White House is eager to rebut the longstanding public impression of a president in a bunker listening only to like-minded advisers.

The problem with this is that it strips the White House of its main excuse, that they don't actually know what's going on. If they can't plead incompetence, that leaves malice as the only other explanation.

Posted by: bad Jim on June 3, 2006 at 1:44 AM | PERMALINK

It is true of all Administrations that you can't disagree publicly with what the President says but you just choose to bash Bush over what all other Presidents have done before.

Al. Please.

This administration's motto for the past five years has been 'Screw You' as far as people who disagree with them are concerned. They not only don't listen to them, they've gone out of their way to trash them. There's a list of people as long as my arm who have been portrayed as un-American or 'disgruntled' or crazy.

And now Bush is changing? You're buying this?

Posted by: Stranger on June 3, 2006 at 1:46 AM | PERMALINK
It is true of all Administrations that you can't disagree publicly with what the President says but you just choose to bash Bush over what all other Presidents have done before.

Come to think of it, Al is right. We dreamed it all up.

This comes as a great relief actually. For a while there I was certain that Bush was hands down the greatest disaster ever to befall the American presidency.

I feel better now. Thanks, Al!

Posted by: obscure on June 3, 2006 at 1:57 AM | PERMALINK

Explains the hesitation to hire Paulson. I hear he talks to conservationists too.

Snow was just angry they didn't succeed at killing social security.

Posted by: B on June 3, 2006 at 2:02 AM | PERMALINK

actually...more to the point---does anyone really believe that the treasury secretary is going to be listened to? Remember Whitman, Christie Todd--took the job thinking she could make an impact and quickly found out that she was given the job merely for appearances.

Posted by: john d'oh on June 3, 2006 at 2:33 AM | PERMALINK

I understand he is planning on hiring a Secretary of Defense who opposes the new overtime rules, and a new Secretary of the Interior who thinks we should send more troops to Iraq too.

Posted by: Linus on June 3, 2006 at 4:01 AM | PERMALINK

All I have to say is those guys better be careful. Criticizing the president once was OK, but if they decide to do it again, he will secretly declassify top-secret information about their relatives in the CIA, allow one of his goons to spill it, then testify as to how BADLY he wants to catch those bad guys who did all that dern leakin! Hey Al, how 'bout that beer with the president? I can't believe you've still got the stomach!

Posted by: Captain on June 3, 2006 at 4:05 AM | PERMALINK

"Kevin is like Congress. The longer they are away from work, the better off the country is."

If you don't like what Kevin does, why don't YOU just go away?
I mean, it's not like anybody needs what you do.

Posted by: Kenji on June 3, 2006 at 4:17 AM | PERMALINK

Someone should write Kevin a little script which posts "I hate Bush!!" once per hour, then he could vacation in peace.

Nobody would notice the difference anyway.

Posted by: am on June 3, 2006 at 1:11 AM

Yeah he could just pilfer the Al/am/AmHawk "Kevin sucks" script.

Posted by: ogmb on June 3, 2006 at 4:45 AM | PERMALINK

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Posted by: biu on June 3, 2006 at 5:00 AM | PERMALINK

Actually, if Laura was nominated for Treasury Secretary there would still be disagreement. They could run that video where she does a complete about face on whether the national anthem should be sung in English.

Posted by: skeptic on June 3, 2006 at 5:30 AM | PERMALINK

Of course they want you to disagree - helps the NSA get a lock-on target.

Posted by: professor rat on June 3, 2006 at 5:44 AM | PERMALINK

Al, Robert Rubin had to sell the idea to CLinton that fiscal policy leading to a balanced budget should be followed. This was hardly a normal position for a Democrat. Republicans had been talking about it for ages without doing anything. Rubin caused a major change in Clinton's approach, and it worked--with the help of Lawrence Summers and Alan Greenspan.

There has been no cabinet member except Rumsfield in the Bush administration who has had even a remotely similar level of influence.

Posted by: RWB on June 3, 2006 at 7:45 AM | PERMALINK

Yeah, yeah, I know. I'm supposed to be on vacation. I'll just step away from the computer now.

Hey, I saw, that, leave the WaPo at the computer! What did I just say? No peeking at the headlines. You can have it back when you are rested....

Posted by: sdf on June 3, 2006 at 8:01 AM | PERMALINK

Whoa....Kevin, you are starting to sound like a liberal. Better tone it down or people will get (gitmo) the wrong impression.

Posted by: i dunno on June 3, 2006 at 8:05 AM | PERMALINK

Yeah, yeah, I know. I'm supposed to be on vacation. I'll just step away from the computer now.

The problem is that there is no place we can run and hide from the damage Bushco has wrought. You could vacation away from your computer, away from wifi--say on a beach on a remote tropical island--and you'll start each day with that uncomfortable sense of anxiety that 5 years of living with Bushco produces. Then, we hope, the lapping waves and one more Mai-tai will help.

You're only going to be gone a week, and Saturday is already here. It's pracically Sunday, really. You just have a couple more days to get through...

Maybe the new, more open to differing opinions Bushco will recruit you as official WH blogger when you get back!

Posted by: PTate in MN on June 3, 2006 at 8:40 AM | PERMALINK

I got to go to a meeting of The Pacific Conference on National Security Meeting. After John met with myself and a few other bloggers for a no hold barred discussion of Politics, and whats going on in America today check it out.

http://www.thehollywoodliberal.com/2006/06/hl-meets-john-kerry.html

Posted by: Johnny on June 3, 2006 at 9:22 AM | PERMALINK

RWB: I agree that Rubin was influential, but he did not have to sway Clintons budgetary philosophy at all. Clinton was a true fiscal conservative (in the sense of pay as you go), thought the deficit/national debt were serious problems, and everything he did, including the people he hired, reflected that thinking.

It amuses me quite a bit to see somebody mention Rubin, Albright, and Cohen as yes people. Three horrible examples, I would say. Since Cohen was a republican, it makes me wonder what democratic defense expert Bush would be willing to hire. Zel Miller maybe?

Kevin, you comments about the Washington Post and Laura for Treasury Secretary are right on and funny. Even the worst of the Bush yes men, including my Representative, Jeff Miller, have criticized Bush during the past year or so.

Posted by: little ole jim from red country on June 3, 2006 at 9:43 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin, you forgot to give Georgie credit for having former General Barry McCaffrey as a guest at the White House, as the article notes. Although I am quite certain Bush had no clue as to who he was. The only downside to that little tidbit is that McCaffrey was at the same White House meeting as professional liar Amir Taheri. Keep this guys name in your memory he is the new Ahmed Chalabi. He is spreading all kinds of lies about the Iranian regime, trying to single-handedly get the U.S. to go to war with Iran. And you know what? Based on past experience, chances are he will succeed!!!

Posted by: Stephen Kriz on June 3, 2006 at 9:56 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin's hatred of Bush has turned into a compulsion. Somehow he doesn't feel OK unless he lets loose with several Bush-bashing posts a day.

After he types "worst. president. ever." he feels better for a few minutes.

Posted by: Frequency Kenneth on June 3, 2006 at 10:05 AM | PERMALINK

kevin, ptate,

Relax, he's only got 2 years and 8 months left to complete his mission. Only 2 years and 8 months left in your self-created prison of agony. Think of how much more damage he can get done.

I have a book recommendation for each of you. Bruce Bawer, While Europe Slept. If you think GWB has destroyed America wait until you see what Europe has done to itself. America will still be America in 75 years. We'll still be rich, proud and free. Europe will be Eurabia. They might be secularists in 2006 but in 2081 they'll be praying 5x's a day.

Did you see the report last week of India's GDP growing over 9%? They are going to be a great trade partner as well as a very active member of the coalition fighting Islamic terror AND Chinese hegemony.

in the 2 years and 8 months GWB has left he will be able to shift another 20% - 40% of State Dept personnel from Europe to India and Asia and continue to cement free trade deals and security aggangements. The next President will inherit a vastly different world with the US centered on the Pacific.

BTW: Blaming GWB for European anti-Americanism is pure stupidity. They've been taught to hate America in their schools and by their media for 40 years. Those fools still look at Mao, Lenin, Arafat, Castro, Cge, etc. as heroes. Although we are both Western we have vastly different value systems and world outlooks. It's been well past time to leave them to their own elevated sophistication.

We've bailed them out too many times. Never again! Besides, we have better markets.

Posted by: rdw on June 3, 2006 at 10:07 AM | PERMALINK

If he did nominate Laura, then the WaPo would probably run a big story about how he publicly disagreed with his gay marriage amendment.

Posted by: Chris O. on June 3, 2006 at 10:07 AM | PERMALINK

After he types "worst. president. ever." he feels better for a few minutes

It doesn't last that long. Kevin knows the press has no say regarding Presidential legacies. Truman was hated with polls lower than GWBs and he's ranked in the top 7. Ike wasn't hated but as with most Republicans, the Press treated him as a lightweight. Ditto for Reagan. Both top 10. JFK was their favorite and while his martyrdom and the camelot myth-making machine gave him immediate top 5 status he's now falling rapidly as the old lefties die off. They will soon be horrified to see LBJ elevated above JFK as more people realize he's the guy who passed most important legislation of the last cenury.

Kevin lived the horror of the Reagan funeral. He knows he'll have nothing to say about GWBs legacy. He's merely venting.

Posted by: rdw on June 3, 2006 at 10:16 AM | PERMALINK

RDW makes an error;
The press helped Reagan get so famous.
Reagan liked to sponsor terror
And he was an ignoramous,
But the MSM adored him,
Bowed to him "on bended knee,"
And so when he died, they scored him
As a great, beloved P.

Now, the MSM loves Bush,
Still, I think no living human
Will give him the kind of push
That they gave to Ron or Truman.
When a guy has a disaster
(And Iraq is surely that),
No one thinks he was a master
Just 'cause Michael Moore is fat.

Truman? Best known for containment,
That is, for not starting war.
Bush's being so insane meant
We've had two botched wars or more.
Bush's screw-ups ought to trouble you;
Here's the ultimate result:
He's just loved by R-D-W,
Leader of the Bushbot cult.

Posted by: M.A. on June 3, 2006 at 10:34 AM | PERMALINK

al: And how is this different than Bill Clinton? He also hired people like Robert Rubin, William Cohen, and Madeline Albright who were unwilling to say they had opinions that differed from his.

the difference is...

the results under bush...

the cost in americans lives and in taxpayer debt has been record setting...

or haven't you noticed?

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on June 3, 2006 at 10:53 AM | PERMALINK

rdw please provide links showing where the Europeans actively promote Anti-american attitudes in their school systems.

Posted by: Neo on June 3, 2006 at 11:16 AM | PERMALINK

America will still be America in 75 years. We'll still be rich, proud and free. Europe will be Eurabia.

Though I certainly enjoy a
Healthy dose of paranoia,
If you're talking of "Eurabia,"
You're a paranoid crybaby-a.
Though I'm sure that Bushbot sheep'll
Cower in fear of bad brown people,
It's for sure no one's tone-deafer
Than a crazy LGF-er.

Posted by: M.A. on June 3, 2006 at 11:18 AM | PERMALINK

From an x-reagan staffer link

Posted by: Neo on June 3, 2006 at 11:22 AM | PERMALINK

Let's give M.A. some cred. We haven't had poetry/satire. And Where's Osama has the best Bush aka sub yet with AWOL.

Posted by: opit on June 3, 2006 at 11:37 AM | PERMALINK

When is he going to nominate an Attorney General that will try him for treason?

Posted by: osama_been_forgotten on June 3, 2006 at 11:45 AM | PERMALINK

And how is this different than Bill Clinton?
Posted by: Al on June 3, 2006 at 1:37 AM | PERMALINK

Fuck you Al. In both eye-sockets.

This isn't about Clinton, or your obsession over his cock.

Posted by: osama_been_forgotten on June 3, 2006 at 12:19 PM | PERMALINK

Someone should write Kevin a little script which posts "I hate Bush!!" once per hour, then he could vacation in peace.

There is nothing wrong with Bush hate, seeing as how there a lot of Republicans are finding they don't care much for Bush and company either. In fact, only radicals are whats left and even Nixon had his radical following.

Off topic but I sure like this news of late:

Walton said Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald convinced him that providing Libby's lawyers with classified documents describing the consequences, if any, of Plame's outing and her CIA employment history "could cause serious if not grave damage to the national security of the United States."

Patrick is playing Bush's old "security" card on Libby, and as Marshall points out, it's not a political case anyway but a case of perjury. I wonder if Libby is feeling somewhat isolated now that he's been totally screwed over by his boss? Does Cheney care, I don't realy think so because it's every man for himself in real world - this is, after all the isolationist administration and Libby is out of the loop. Patrick is one heck of a lawyer and great at playing one heck of a game premeditated poker.

Posted by: Cheryl on June 3, 2006 at 12:48 PM | PERMALINK

Wapo is a fucking useless rag gasping its last few breaths. Neocon op.ed propaganda machine; Bob Woodward's grotesque Rovian Bush apologia arias.

Their next big scoop will be how often the first lady deficates in a day.

Posted by: jim on June 3, 2006 at 1:03 PM | PERMALINK

'After he types "worst. president. ever." he feels better for a few minutes.'

Yeah, what makes you feel better -- fellating the captain of the Titanic just as the water rushes in?

By the time you and Al and the other pathetic, self-deluding douchebags wake up, the lifeboats will be long fucking gone!

Posted by: Kenji on June 3, 2006 at 1:52 PM | PERMALINK

My jaw drops in astonishment whenever rdw goes on in his triumphalist way about GWB abandoning Europe and the recentering of US policy and trade on Asia. He evidently thinks this is a fantastic shell-game, the most brilliant, clever thing ever, heh-heh. The US blows off the best allies we've had to enmesh ourselves with Communists who own our debt, outnumber us 4 to 1 and are beating us in head to head competitions. Yeah, that's a brilliant strategy. That's going to work out real well.

Me, I'm thinking Europe may be praying five times a day in 100 years, but the Latinos who populate the US are going to be speaking Chinese.

Posted by: PTate in MN on June 3, 2006 at 2:36 PM | PERMALINK

Linus: I understand he is planning on hiring a Secretary of Defense who opposes the new overtime rules, and a new Secretary of the Interior who thinks we should send more troops to Iraq too.

ROFL... Hope you don't mind if I borrow that.

Posted by: has407 on June 3, 2006 at 3:53 PM | PERMALINK

BTW: Blaming GWB for European anti-Americanism is pure stupidity. They've been taught to hate America in their schools and by their media for 40 years. Those fools still look at Mao, Lenin, Arafat, Castro, Cge, etc. as heroes. Although we are both Western we have vastly different value systems and world outlooks. It's been well past time to leave them to their own elevated sophistication.

We've bailed them out too many times. Never again! Besides, we have better markets.

Posted by: rdw on June 3, 2006 at 10:07 AM | PERMALINK

This amount of misconceived bile compressed into 2 paragraphs is really quite impressive. This could only be a product of learned propaganda.

Rewriting the truth of the today is par for the course for present republinuts. Ignorance of history has also proved to be one of their "strengths". The War of Independence pitched a basically colonial British society against the British and was financed by the French, without which there might have been no USA. After all we've been through this last 230 years, doesn't it surprise you at all how much of a Anglo-Saxon white man's world the US still is? Johnny-come-lately applies to the US getting involved in two World Wars in both of which we had a vital interest in the outcome and in which other countries contributed proportionately far more. Other than that, before WWII, we mostly contented ourselves with fighting lesser battles: Central and South America, Phillippines, Texas, Indian Colonial Wars.

In Europe, FDR and Eisenhower are admired and appreciated not only for what they did for Europe. JFK amazingly, in such a short time, generated the same affection there as here. Since then presidents have a more mixed reception mostly based around their foreign policy. Clinton stands in stark contrast to Bush not only for what he achieved in Ireland and attempted with Israel and Palestine, but also what he achieved domestically in cooperation with a Republican house.

If you had ever visited Europe you would know American-haters are few and far between. Now, as to the present policy and actions of the US, they were a little more astute than ourselves. Bush generated distrust and dislike since early 2001. Something he has done everything to reinforce.

Oh! And you are so right. Communism really is the flavor of the moment in Europe. NOT! And if you'd ever been to a good French, Spanish, Italian, etc., etc. market, you'd know who has better markets.

Posted by: notthere on June 3, 2006 at 3:58 PM | PERMALINK

rdw thinks French Toast really is French.

Loved the poems, M.A.!

Posted by: brewmn on June 3, 2006 at 5:07 PM | PERMALINK
America will still be America in 75 years. We'll still be rich, proud and freerdw 10:07AM
American isn't America now, let alone for the next 75 years, and no, you're not rich, you the world's biggest debtor. If by proud, you mean sanctimonious, no question, but free is something else you already lost. Europeans developed their opinion of the US from the policies of Bush.
Truman? Best known for containment,

but condemned for his presidential raiment,

His war in Korea

Gave the country diarrhea;

While his battle with Douglas MacArthur

Almost caused him to come a cropper.

Posted by: Mike on June 3, 2006 at 6:24 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: They are going to be a great trade partner as well as a very active member of the coalition fighting Islamic terror AND Chinese hegemony.

You demonstrate as much understanding of India--the ostensible leader of the NAM--as of Europe or Asia. The same depth of understanding one obtains of a salesman when purchasing a used car. In short, nil.

Posted by: has407 on June 3, 2006 at 7:40 PM | PERMALINK

I'm waiting for the WaPo article that announces in a headline,

Bush Shows Willingness To Deal With Facts, Reality

And then proceeds to spell out breathlessly the revolutionary new moves Bush has made to alter his policies by factoring in inescapable truths.

Of course, it would be indistinguishable from an article in The Onion, but what else is new?

Posted by: frankly0 on June 3, 2006 at 8:02 PM | PERMALINK

Good for the Washington Post! I applaud them for breaking with the standing edict at all national print media to maintain a constant attack of all things right-winged.

Posted by: sportsfan79 on June 3, 2006 at 8:38 PM | PERMALINK

Wow! In just a few brief sentences, rdw clearly indicated that he is not only a right-wing loon, he's also high on crack cocaine. You're totally awesome, rdw!

If you think GWB has destroyed America wait until you see what Europe has done to itself. America will still be America in 75 years. We'll still be rich, proud and free. Europe will be Eurabia. They might be secularists in 2006 but in 2081 they'll be praying 5x's a day.
Ooh, ooh! I think I read that one, too! Is that the same one where the Yakuza pays a replicant to hunt down the other replicants and LA is, like, a big Japanese ghetto full of homicidal robots? I LOVE that book!
Blaming GWB for European anti-Americanism is pure stupidity. They've been taught to hate America in their schools and by their media for 40 years. Those fools still look at Mao, Lenin, Arafat, Castro, Cge, etc. as heroes.
My God, when I spent time in Europe it seemed to be a liberal capitalist society where most people like America but dislike our foreign policy. But apparently I made the mistake of living in Europe and talking to Europeans. If I'd stayed at home and read books written by right-wing nuts, and taken a deep drag on the crack pipe, I would have realized that Europe is all one big commie conspiracy! Thanks, rdw!


Posted by: ajl on June 3, 2006 at 8:59 PM | PERMALINK

OT Mavs and Heat can't be beat! Yowsa!

Posted by: Michael7843853 G-O in 08! on June 3, 2006 at 11:32 PM | PERMALINK

Of course, it would be indistinguishable from an article in The Onion, but what else is new?
Posted by: frankly0

A fine precis of my reaction. Thanks.

Posted by: CFShep on June 4, 2006 at 10:09 AM | PERMALINK

"Yeah, yeah, I know. I'm supposed to be on vacation. I'll just step away from the computer now."

BTW, I just want to observe how cleverly Kevin Drum has framed this comment. He is so very, very good at what he does as a writer! Thanks, Kevin, whereever you are!

Posted by: PTate in MN on June 4, 2006 at 10:33 AM | PERMALINK

My God, when I spent time in Europe it seemed to be a liberal capitalist society where most people like America but dislike our foreign policy. But apparently I made the mistake of living in Europe and talking to Europeans. If I'd stayed at home and read books written by right-wing nuts, and taken a deep drag on the crack pipe, I would have realized that Europe is all one big commie conspiracy! Thanks, rdw!

Nice. But I don't think we can be so sure crack is the mistress of choice for rdw. What's the drug where you're determined to turn any concievable topic back to your own favorite one or two talking points, no matter how unrelated?

Posted by: sweaty guy on June 4, 2006 at 5:55 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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