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Tilting at Windmills

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June 10, 2006

'YOU ALWAYS WANT TO POLARIZE SOMEBODY'....In 2002, New Hampshire's U.S. Senate race was too close to call, so top GOP officials came up with a clever-but-illegal plan: have a telemarketer tie up Democratic and union phone lines in order to interfere with their get-out-the-vote drives. Whether the scheme to criminally interfere with the election process was the deciding factor is unclear, but Republican John Sununu won the race by only 19,000 votes.

The scandal, which the Bush White House may or may not have been aware of, sent a few Republican officials to jail, including Allen Raymond, a former RNC official who sat down this week with down the Boston Globe for his first post-incarceration interview. Apparently, he's had time to reflect on what his party is all about.

[Raymond] said the scheme reflects a broader culture in the Republican Party that is focused on dividing voters to win primaries and general elections. He said examples range from some recent efforts to use border-security concerns to foster anger toward immigrants to his own role arranging phone calls designed to polarize primary voters over abortion in a 2002 New Jersey Senate race.

"A lot of people look at politics and see it as the guy who wins is the guy who unifies the most people," he said. "I would disagree. I would say the candidate who wins is the candidate who polarizes the right bloc of voters. You always want to polarize somebody."

Raymond stressed that he was making no excuses for his role in the New Hampshire case; he pleaded guilty and told the judge he had done a "bad thing." But he said he got caught up in an ultra-aggressive atmosphere in which he initially thought the decision to jam the phones "pushed the envelope" but was legal. He also said he had been reluctant to turn down a prominent official of the RNC, fearing that would cost him future opportunities from an organization that was becoming increasingly ruthless.

"Republicans have treated campaigns and politics as a business, and now are treating public policy as a business, looking for the types of returns that you get in business, passing legislation that has huge ramifications for business," he said. "It is very much being monetized, and the federal government is being monetized under Republican majorities."

As Digby put it, "It's amazing what happens to people when they run into trouble with the law, isn't it? Talk about your moral clarity."

According to this former top GOP operative, today's Republican Party believes in not only pushing the envelope in terms of what's legal, but it's also anxious to tear the electorate in half, and hope the GOP is left with the bigger chunk. In terms of policy making, the distinction between cut-throat campaigning and governing is practically gone. It's all part of the "broader culture in the Republican Party."

This should come as a surprise to, well, no one, but it's always nice to have an experienced Republican insider admit it.

Steve Benen 8:08 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (129)

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The Republican Party has, quite clearly, become a criminal organization. Given the Nixon example though, one can hardly blame them. After the head of your party resigns in disgrace there should not be a relatively close election to determine if the guy who pardoned him can continue in the job. The fact that they've managed to canonize Ronald "arms for hostages" Reagan demonstrates that it also has no moral center.

Posted by: not saying on June 10, 2006 at 8:20 PM | PERMALINK

Please. Raymond is a thug. He was a bad apple in the party, and advanced his own career through unethical means. The candidate in the incident you mentioned was unaware of the plan, as was Bush (if you click the carpetbagger link the writer of the blog offers no actual evidence, and Bush was never indicted or convicted in a court of law).

Now that he destroyed his career by being unethical in a party that takes morality seriously, his options are closed. His party won't hire him back, so he turns to the liberal media and talks bad about the party it hates so much. By doing so, he'll get interviews, a book deal, and who knows what else? He's clearly making shit up for his own benefit.

Posted by: American Hawk on June 10, 2006 at 8:21 PM | PERMALINK

"Insider" -- ha. Nice pun.
'Cause he's, like, you know, on the inside in a different sense now.

Posted by: Ryan on June 10, 2006 at 8:22 PM | PERMALINK

Please. Raymond is a thug. He was a bad apple in the party...

At this point, it's time to write off the whole barrel of GOP apples.

Posted by: dj moonbat on June 10, 2006 at 8:25 PM | PERMALINK

"Now that he destroyed his career by being unethical in a party that takes morality seriously, his options are closed."

If idiots like A.H. didn't exist, we'd have to make them up. This is hilarious.

Posted by: brewmn on June 10, 2006 at 8:30 PM | PERMALINK

Well, the Republican party's own RNC has spent mega-bucks defending their guy at the top of the phone jamming scheme. Blatant disrespect for the law if you ask me. Keep the guy beholding and hopefully quiet.

The thing that impresses me more that anything is that the "man on the street" republican has never expressed any real concern over the amazing republican scandals. The only crime, in their view, is getting caught. Nixon? They liked him. Reagan and pathetic trechery re: the arms/hostages/contras? No problem, they've lionized him. GWB? Should be impeached, but they will forgive him anything as long as he can avoid getting caught and convicted.

Posted by: little ole jim from red country on June 10, 2006 at 8:41 PM | PERMALINK

I'm not surprised to see that immigration is mentioned as a tool to get out the Repub base. It worked CA-50, and I wouldn't be surprised if they tried to do the same in November.

Posted by: Renwick on June 10, 2006 at 8:46 PM | PERMALINK

thank goodness we have the scrupulously honest dems as alternative to those nefarious repubs. they would never do something like this.

Posted by: Brian on June 10, 2006 at 8:53 PM | PERMALINK

It's hard for me to compare 2-bit nothings with crimanal records slashing a few tires with high republican officials pouring big bucks, in an organized fashion, into a phone jamming operation, then spending more big bucks defending the biggest and baddest mamajammer.

Posted by: little ole jim from red country on June 10, 2006 at 9:05 PM | PERMALINK

shorter little ole jim: it's okay if dems do it.

Posted by: Brian on June 10, 2006 at 9:09 PM | PERMALINK

Brian: is the DNC defending these guys? High high up were they in Democratic party? Were they any kind of elected or appointed Democratic officials?

If they slashed my tires, I would try to put them in jail. Same for jamming my phones. But the tire slashing was not a plan implemented by high democratic officials. The Republican corruption runs right to the top and it's financed by big bucks.

Posted by: little ole jim from red country on June 10, 2006 at 9:15 PM | PERMALINK

Little ole jim: He's the son of a congresswoman. How much higher up do you want it to be?

Secondly, there's also no evidence that the scheme Steven linked to is part of a broader GOP strateg.y. You're just assuming that.

Posted by: American Hawk on June 10, 2006 at 9:28 PM | PERMALINK

Brian, your party is so overtly amoral that it really is stunning to find anyone willing to demur to this scorched-earth campaign style. There are a few, of course. John Danforth come to mind. And in a few instances, John McCain. But essentially, the paradigm is team sports. Anything your side does to win is "okay". Democrats don't have comparable "team spirit", partly because we're not part of a religious tradition that's morphed with spectator sports. and fervid patriotism. It's a recipe for abuse, and goes all the way up to Karl Rove, Dick Cheney, and most likely Bush. Yes, you appear to minimize your losses with rationalizations and friendly media. No, your efforts to disguise this ethical sinkhole are not completely successful.

Posted by: walt on June 10, 2006 at 9:33 PM | PERMALINK

This will prove to be the last straw for Americans.

As soon as the news of this interview is publicized in the newspapers and television shows, interminably long lines will be immediately formed at the county registrar's offices all over the country by hordes of people wanting to change their party affiliation from Republican to Democratic.

Posted by: nut on June 10, 2006 at 9:36 PM | PERMALINK

loj: a few things:

remember, what this dope did in new hampshire was at least arguably legal when it was done. that argument cannot be made for tire slashing.

also, let's not forget the pervasive fraud that went on in milwaukee in the 2004 election. it's not like that city is run by repubs.

as long as we're reminiscing about 2004, what the heck was going on in the washington gubernatorial race? king county is not exactly a repub stronghold.

trying to pretend that one of the major parties is more virtuous than the other when elections are at stake strikes me as awfully naive.

Posted by: Brian on June 10, 2006 at 9:37 PM | PERMALINK

walt, you assume too much. i have no party. otherwise see my previous post.

Posted by: Brian on June 10, 2006 at 9:41 PM | PERMALINK

American Hawk: You're just assuming that.

No, we're taking it from the mouth of a GOP horse, duly tried, convicted and sent to prison, who in his own words "did a bad thing" and was "caught up in an ultra-aggressive atmosphere".

...there's also no evidence that the scheme Steven linked to is part of a broader GOP strategy.

Well, "according to court records", it was "funded with a $246,000 loan from a group of elite Republicans" and for which the "idea originated with Charles McGee , who was executive director of the New Hampshire Republican Party". You are either illiterate stupid.

Posted by: has407 on June 10, 2006 at 9:48 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry, correction to previous post: You are either illiterate stupid. should read You are illiterate or stupid.

Posted by: has407 on June 10, 2006 at 9:51 PM | PERMALINK

The six million dollars that were given to Tobin's defense only makes sense to me as hush money, Nixon's ghost. I suspect that there is a tale to be told about New Hampshire in 2000. A lot of people who worked on that election are convinced that it was stolen as well as Florida and would have been crucial.

And yes, Republican after six years of Bush-Cheney are criminally responsible for them and the rest of their criminal class.

Posted by: olvlzl on June 10, 2006 at 9:53 PM | PERMALINK

I suspect that there is a tale to be told about New Hampshire in 2000. A lot of people who worked on that election are convinced that it was stolen as well as Florida and would have been crucial.
Posted by: olvlz

what are you talking about? the dems were unsuccessful in their attempt to steal florida in 2000.

Posted by: Brian on June 10, 2006 at 10:01 PM | PERMALINK

But essentially, the paradigm is team sports.

I hae a GOP-leaning relative who is a huge Notre Dame fan and particularly despises Florida because of their thuggish reputation; my pointing out that he's a Gators fan in political terms doesn't win me any goodwill, but I enjoy it anyway.

Most of these pox-on-both-their houses comparisons are like comparing a street kid who steals stereos (or slashes tires, if you will) in between crappy jobs to the Mafia-- one's a freelance and vaguely desperate fool, while the other is an organization based on, and with its extensive training program rooted in, blatant corruption. Hell, all you have to do is look at what College Republicans do within their organization, their dirty tricks against opponents aside, to see that there's a strong anthropological, if not strictly genetic, inclination to criminality in the GOP.

Posted by: latts on June 10, 2006 at 10:03 PM | PERMALINK

It's interesting how when you run across a troll who is smarter than the average troll they're not as funny as the stupid ones and they're still stupid.

Posted by: olvlzl on June 10, 2006 at 10:06 PM | PERMALINK

I'm laughing at the doofus in the 1st post, who said the Republican party has become a criminal organization.

(!)

Posted by: rock paper scissors on June 10, 2006 at 10:07 PM | PERMALINK

Case closed.

Posted by: olvlzl on June 10, 2006 at 10:10 PM | PERMALINK

Brian,

Are you referring to the recount in the Washington gubernatorial race, for which the final results were certified by that states Republican attorney general?

Trying to pretend that "this guy did thing 'a', and this guy did thing 'b' so since they both did something wrong, they're equivalent" strikes me as awfully simple-minded when you're unwilling to address how serious 'a' and 'b' are . . . or is it your contention that a scheme that made it impossible for party and union officials to call registered voters and encourage them to vote is no more serious than vandalism that "caused some delays" in efforts to encourage people to vote?

Oddly enough, the judicial system saw some difference!

as long as we're reminiscing about 2004, what the heck was going on in the washington gubernatorial race? king county is not exactly a repub stronghold.

trying to pretend that one of the major parties is more virtuous than the other when elections are at stake strikes me as awfully naive.

Posted by: Brian on June 10, 2006 at 9:37 PM |

Posted by: keith on June 10, 2006 at 10:24 PM | PERMALINK

It's interesting how when you run across a troll who is smarter than the average troll they're not as funny as the stupid ones and they're still stupid.
Posted by: olvlzl
, says dufusboy.

Posted by: Brian on June 10, 2006 at 10:26 PM | PERMALINK

and really, running commercials in which it is stated that voting for a particular candidate is the equivalent of dragging a man behind a car with chains doesn't represent a strategy in which polarization is a goal. Not at all. Really.

Posted by: Will Allen on June 10, 2006 at 10:27 PM | PERMALINK

keith,

my point is that the idea that one party is good and the other is evil is nonsense. both of them are lilely to do whatever they think they can get away with to win elections.

you can certainly argue that one particular incident is worse that another. that does not mean that one party is more virtuous than the other.

american politics is simply not a matter of angels versus devils.

Posted by: Brian on June 10, 2006 at 10:35 PM | PERMALINK

Will Allen: and really, running commercials in which it is stated that voting for a particular candidate is the equivalent of dragging a man behind a car with chains doesn't represent a strategy in which polarization is a goal. Not at all. Really.

Are there people who are for "dragging a man behind a car with chains? Because I was under the impression that polarizing the populace was dividing voters who were split between two opposing views.

Posted by: tripoley on June 10, 2006 at 10:36 PM | PERMALINK

The margin in Wisconsin in 2004 was about 11,000 votes, a margin far smaller than than the 19,000 vote margin in New Hampshire in 2002, especialy when population percentages are taken into account. Wisconsin's vote tampering was in a presidential election, not a senatorial one.

Posted by: electoralcollege on June 10, 2006 at 10:40 PM | PERMALINK

Can we stop talking like Democrats never heard of dirty politics? You think Carville was hired for his looks?

Posted by: rnc on June 10, 2006 at 10:41 PM | PERMALINK

Saying it's so isn't the same thing as providing evidence, Brian. Don't reinforce a point that was proven, to your cost.

Posted by: olvlzl on June 10, 2006 at 10:41 PM | PERMALINK

James Carville is guilty of voter irregularities? And the Republicans couldn't find it in the tens of millions of our tax money they spent looking for dirt on Clinton? I know they're stupid but if the trolls here can find it why couldn't they?

James Tobin will be sentenced in September if I remember correctly, as you see here Raymond is already in jail. When is Carville going to jail?

Posted by: olvlzl on June 10, 2006 at 10:44 PM | PERMALINK

How dare anyone suggest corruption is widespread amoung Democrats! They are clean as a whistle. Just look at, say, this:


Pelosi PAC Hit With $21K Fine
By Brody Mullins
Roll Call Staff
February 9, 2004

A controversial fundraising committee run by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was slapped with a $21,000 fine by the Federal Election Commission for enabling Pelosi to funnel more than $100,000 in illegal contributions to Democratic candidates in late 2002 as she was vying to become Democratic leader."

Or this:

GOP links tribe funds to Dem sens.
By Alexander Bolton
April 26, 2006

"Senate Republicans have received new evidence that Michigan Sens. Carl Levin (D) and Debbie Stabenow (D) worked closely with embattled Sen. Conrad Burns (R-Mont.) to win federal funds for an Indian-tribe client of indicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Democrats have used the controversial funding earmark to attack Burns in a television ad airing in Montana and in their political message about Burns. The earmark cost $3 million."

And then of course there is the 1996 Democratic Party campaign finance scandal, which culminated in numerous criminal convictions of Democratic party operatives and fundraisers, and in the Democratic National Committee being fined $115,000 by the FEC for its role in illegal fund-raising during the 1996 election campaigns. The FEC's general counsel recommended more severe penalties, but the three Democratic election commissioners on the committee blocked the recommendation on a 3-3 tie vote.

Posted by: GOP on June 10, 2006 at 10:50 PM | PERMALINK

GOP, Democrats don't have to be pure as the driven snow, just cleaner than you bunch of crooks. Republicans have two motives for action, getting into office so they can steal everything that they can and inciting bigots to vote for them so they can steal everything they can.

The Bush II era will go down in history as the most corrupt to date, outdoing the Reagan administration which holds the record for indictments and convictions. They had to outdo Nixon to win.

Posted by: olvlzl on June 10, 2006 at 11:00 PM | PERMALINK

Lest we forget, let's also cast our minds back to the Congressional Post Office Scandal, which resulted in the 1995 conviction and imprisonment of Dan Rostenkowski, Democratic Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, for fraud.

If it had been up to the Democratic leadership in congress, this web of corruption would never have been discovered. They tried to shut down the initial investigation, and it took a public outcry to force them to refer the matter to the House Administration Committee, which eventually led to the criminal prosecutions of Rostenkowski and Robert Rota.

Posted by: GOP on June 10, 2006 at 11:06 PM | PERMALINK

This isn't anything new. It's plain old bribery and corruption. What's new is giving it the frillip of a political ideology. It's bribery and corruption in the interest of bribery and corruption and that's a good thing!

Posted by: cld on June 10, 2006 at 11:09 PM | PERMALINK

The Republican party hasn't just now become a criminal organization, it has no other history.

What's new is they no longer care to hide it. They're proud of it.

And, perhaps, they feel they have so succeeded in causing a jaded and corrupt character and understanding in the general public, they will be applauded for it.

Posted by: cld on June 10, 2006 at 11:12 PM | PERMALINK

Dan Rostenkowski was just one guy. No one ordered him to do that, no one invited him to seminars on how to queer elections.

When you vote for a Democrat you're voting for just one guy, but any vote for any Republicans is a vote for Jack Abramoff, a vote for Tom deLay, a vote for torturing people and wiretapping every line in the country. Any vote for any Republican is a vote for Abu Ghraib, and it always has been.

Posted by: cld on June 10, 2006 at 11:15 PM | PERMALINK

"It is very much being monetized, and the federal government is being monetized under Republican majorities."

Monetized. A very cute term for 'treasury looting', I presume.

Posted by: Kevin Hayden on June 10, 2006 at 11:22 PM | PERMALINK

cld, olvzl,

Your statements are becoming more and more hysterical. I especially liked "any vote for any Republicans is a vote for Jack Abramoff, a vote for Tom deLay, a vote for torturing people and wiretapping every line in the country."

It's obvious you don't know anything about the Democratic Party's own long and sordid history of political scandal and corruption. But that's okay, because other people do.

Posted by: GOP on June 10, 2006 at 11:22 PM | PERMALINK

The sandbox defence won't work Charlie, and posting under multiple names is simply pathetic. Cut it out.

Posted by: Marc on June 10, 2006 at 11:30 PM | PERMALINK

GOP,

The Democratic party's 'long and sordid history of political scandal' ended with the ascendency of Richard Nixon, four decades ago none of that was nationally organized or rationalized as a political theory. Big time political machines and 'honest graft' were local, grass roots phenomena of a far away time.

At it greatest the Democratic party could never come close to competing for plain evil with the GOP because the Republicans were created out of whole cloth by the railroad industry as an instrument of corruption. The Republican corruption was instituted on a national scale from the day they won their first election and has never ceased to be the central fact of organized crime in the United States.

The evil of a Republican has a purity not even the most noxious Democrat could ever match, because the Democrat will always be conscious of wrongdoing.

Posted by: cld on June 10, 2006 at 11:38 PM | PERMALINK

Let's be clear, I wasn't saying that the Republican Party has "just" become a criminal organization. Nixon was a criminal. Ford aided and abetted Nixon's criminality by giving him a blanket pardon. Reagan was a criminal whose treasonous dealings with terrorists in the Middle East and Central America are a blight on our nation. Bush was a criminal whose use of the military to hide his involvement with the Panamanian dictator was another stain on our nation. His idiot son's unprovoked invasion of Iraq is a crime against peace that marks the United States a rogue nation. Forty years of criminals at the head of the Republican Party make it clear that it is nothing more than a criminal organization. That the Democrats may have done bad things in the past changes this not one whit. It is pathetic to see Bush voters trying to justify their culpability and their stupidity by pointing to commercials when the issue is rampant Republican criminality.

Posted by: not saying on June 10, 2006 at 11:40 PM | PERMALINK

One fascinating thing about the recent development of the Republican Party is that its' inherent criminality has become quite plain to even the idle viewer, so a lot of people with something to hide have found refuge among more powerful people with something to hide and this new croud of nouveau crooks has imagined it has something to offer their more reticent elders. So they try, say, to install election stealing on top of a system that was already carefully fudged about five or ten percent in the GOP's favor and the lid simply blows off.

Posted by: cld on June 10, 2006 at 11:46 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, and remember the NAACP commercial wasn't, in fact organized by the Democratic Party (that's called coordination and is illegal), so Will Allen doesn't really have a point related to the topic in any case (though the thread has focused on Republican corruption the initial post does start with "YOU ALWAYS WANT TO POLARIZE SOMEBODY")

Posted by: not saying on June 11, 2006 at 12:00 AM | PERMALINK

already carefully fudged about five or ten percent in the GOP's favo

I like to call this 'careful fudging' jebbing the results.

(Surely he deserves the infamy of Governor Gerry; please take this term and run with it).

I think you're right though that people are becoming more aware of just how dirty today's GOP has become (Brian, the Dems of today are very much petty thieves in comparison. I would add that this could well lead to one of your occassional convulsions of reform (sorely needed at this time) To some extent, Republican overreach is one of the best guardians of American democracy.

.

Posted by: snicker-snack on June 11, 2006 at 12:12 AM | PERMALINK

Amazing how easily the discussion devolved into "But the Democrats..."

The GOP: Standing For Everyone's Personal Responsibility Except Ours Since 1969

Posted by: The Ghost Of CREEP on June 11, 2006 at 12:13 AM | PERMALINK

Diebold: Jebbing the results for a new generation!

Touch-Screen voting, the rim-jeb of tomorrow, today!


Yes, that does work.

Posted by: cld on June 11, 2006 at 12:21 AM | PERMALINK

Let's see, let's tally all these special prosecutor results.

Watergate: 25 felony convictions directly related to government business.

Iran/Contra: 27 felony convictions, directly related to government business.

Carter administration: 0 convictions.

Clinton administration: 0 convictions related to government business, 1 conviction not related to government business (Web Hubbell for over-billing clients).

So, the score is 52-0 in favor of democrats if restrict to government business. Score is 52-1 if you count Web baby. Hmmm.

Posted by: little ole jim from red country on June 11, 2006 at 12:36 AM | PERMALINK
According to this former top GOP operative, today's Republican Party believes in not only pushing the envelope in terms of what's legal, but it's also anxious to tear the electorate in half, and hope the GOP is left with the bigger chunk.

This is old news, isn't it? As Josh Marshall pointed out in early 2004:

It all reminds me of a line from a famous, or rather infamous, memo Pat Buchanan, then a White House staffer, wrote for Richard Nixon in, I believe, 1972 when their idea of the moment was what they called 'positive polarization'. At the end of this confidential strategy memo laying out various ideas about how to create social unrest over racial issues and confrontations with the judiciary, Buchanan wrote (and you can find this passage on p. 185 of Jonathan Schell's wonderful Time of Illusion): "In conclusion, this is a potential throw of the dice that could bring the media on our heads, and cut the Democratic Party and country in half; my view is that we would have far the larger half."

And there you have it. Tear the country apart. And once it's broken, our chunk will be bigger.

Posted by: paul on June 11, 2006 at 1:05 AM | PERMALINK

Tell me again, who is the Democrat working to bring the country together?

Posted by: hold the mayo on June 11, 2006 at 1:16 AM | PERMALINK

I'm working to bring the country together by excluding Republicans from it. I think they need to find their own country to live in. A place they can feel free to feel free in. Greater Pashtunia comes to mind. Or perhaps put them all into Texas and build a wall around it.

Posted by: cld on June 11, 2006 at 1:37 AM | PERMALINK

You want crooked dealings within College Republicans? A few years ago at my school, when there was an election for the new head of CR, one of the candidates shot and killed his competitor and former friend. So everytime someone at Johns Hopkins walks past the library, they are walking over where the would-be head of CR died from a bullet to the head. It is all about winning.

Posted by: Here on June 11, 2006 at 2:13 AM | PERMALINK

Tell me again, who is the Democrat working to bring the country together?

Degrees, my friend, degrees. See all non-wingnut posts for details.

Posted by: DiscoStu on June 11, 2006 at 2:34 AM | PERMALINK

So, the score is 52-0 in favor of democrats if restrict to government business. Score is 52-1 if you count Web baby. Hmmm.

Did you include Spiro "Permissiveness" Agnew?

Posted by: The Ghost Of CREEP on June 11, 2006 at 2:41 AM | PERMALINK

Now that he destroyed his career by being unethical in a party that takes morality seriously, his options are closed. His party won't hire him back,

This is satire, right? Because if anyone has ever been punished by the GOP because they went too far in the quest for victory, I must have missed it.

In fact, I'll bet money that this guy will be back in business with the Party of Fraud as soon as he gets out of jail. Well, unless he keeps telling the truth like this.

Posted by: craigie on June 11, 2006 at 2:51 AM | PERMALINK

The six million dollars that were given to Tobin's defense only makes sense to me as hush money...
U make me crazy.

Posted by: Bing on June 11, 2006 at 3:31 AM | PERMALINK

Well, democrats are a bunch of smart asses that can't hold a political discussion without stooping to tactics like mimicking their opponents or trying to put idiotic and extreme strawman arguments in their mouths.

Posted by: tbrosz on June 11, 2006 at 4:35 AM | PERMALINK

Well, democrats are a bunch of smart asses

Smart? Hope I trip to this attribute from time to time.

An ass? Oh yes, definitely at times!

Democrat? Would that I could, I'd vote for them (given the choice fer chrissakes fake tbrosz!; frankly at this juncture I don't just don't see how it's possible to pay attention and be decent and vote the other choice). But don't know I'd be wiling to call myself one.

Course, if now I can now be an ass and paraphrase:

"The donkeys are a bunch of smart donkeys."

Ah, at last some recognition.

Posted by: snicker-snack on June 11, 2006 at 5:00 AM | PERMALINK

Why is it Repub arguments when confronted with things like this always seem to boil down to "Ignore that pile of shit we made over there -- look at this pile of shit we're making over here!"

Posted by: Wagstaff on June 11, 2006 at 5:04 AM | PERMALINK

Just to beat an old horse to death one more time:the Clintons continually got away with the appearance of impropriety, conflict of interest, and abuse of office, because the MSM stonewalled and apologized for them from day one. When Whitewater cases made it before juries, there would always be one or two stalwart Demcrat jurors who wouldn't believe their own lying eyes when it came to examining evidence.
As Ken Starr said later, when you have jurors that refuse to consider the evidence or the law as the judge instructs them, not much can be done about it. O.J. Simpson and the Clintons benefited from the exact same symptoms of juries that put the fix in on themselves.

It's a fact of life for Republicans. Like Senator Robert Packwood of Oregon or Tom Delay, if one of us does something one-tenth as sleazy as the Clintons, we get executed in the public square and they get the MSM throwing them a tickertape parade.

But that's OK, because our political soldiers will go down fighting but this November we are going to kick ass again. Better yet, the major MSM newspapers are slipping into history as their circulations decline and the MSM TV networks cannibalize each other as market share dwindles.

Pretty soon the only propaganda machines the left has remaining will be blogs and the Hollywood freaks.

I never really was a right-winger until the Clintons came along with their world class talent for artfully dodging prosecution for endless instances of corruption. I still am liberal on criminal justice issues that effect the working poor, on favoring progressive taxation, and on protecting the real interests of union members, which I am one of, but it's an FDR style liberalism--the kind that built TVA and dams all over the West and won W.W.II.

There hasn't been a real Democrat since Harry Truman. He didn't hesitate to drop the A-bomb and most severely chastised the troops in his artillary company in World War One to avoid the whores of Paris. He also liked a big tumbler of bourbon before lunch, even in the White House.

When the MSM of Harry's day picked on his daughter, Harry didn't hesitate to give 'em hell. My kind of guy all around, considering he was the hand-picked product of an extremely sleazy political machine in Kansas City, Missouri.

Posted by: Mike Cook on June 11, 2006 at 5:15 AM | PERMALINK

Shorter Mike Cook: I didn't become a wingnut until I learned how to hate.

Karl Rove: "Mission Accomplished."

Posted by: The Ghost Of CREEP on June 11, 2006 at 5:26 AM | PERMALINK

Mike, at first I wrote a much snarkier reply but cancelled it. Here's my second attempt.

The Clintons corrupt? Oh, please. Self-serving for sure, and Bill certainly out-Jennifer Fitzgeralded the senior Bush. And Hillary comes across as phony and sanctimonious (to me at least) but corrupt? Your post is just assertions but nada evidence. Whitewater was found to be....

NOTHING.

...and a $36 million dollar inverstigation that was supposed to be about a land deal instead became an investigation of whether or not two consenting adults performed sexual acts.

I've seen a lot of Scaife-financed lies but not one iota of real evidence (and I waded through at least two of the junk books that were in circulation at the time; an unpleasant immersion in lies and illogic).


P.S. please don't cite Ken Starr. It's hard for me to think of anyone I hold in lower regard. An evil, little man.

Posted by: snicker-snack on June 11, 2006 at 5:42 AM | PERMALINK

Crony capitalizm, crony socialism.

Each party is all about trying to squeek out increasingly small productivity gains from government expansion. We are stuck because, compared to the past, all the important things that government can do to raise productivity are gone. We are looking at increasingly small gains in response to larger more extensive government programs.

Both parties do it.

Posted by: Matt on June 11, 2006 at 6:46 AM | PERMALINK

f...y...i...


from wash. post:

...

The RNC's legal fees exceed the $2.4 million spent by Sununu, the winner of the U.S. Senate race.

..

Most tantalizingly to Democrats, evidence filed in Tobin's trial in December shows 22 phone calls from Tobin to the White House between 11:20 a.m. Election Day, two hours after the phone jamming was shut down, and 2:17 a.m. the next day, four hours after the outcome of the election was announced.

..

Tobin, a longtime GOP operative, was later appointed New England chairman for the Bush-Cheney '04 campaign, but resigned when he became a subject of the federal criminal inquiry. On Dec. 15, 2005, Tobin, 45, was convicted of two counts of telephone harassment.

Former RNC chairman Ed Gillespie decided to pay Tobin's legal fees. "He was accused of doing something in his capacity as an RNC consultant, and we believed him to be innocent,"


from bangor daily news:

Tobin, 45, of Bangor was sentenced Wednesday, May 17, to 10 months in federal prison and fined $10,000 after being convicted in December following an eight-day jury trial.

He was found guilty of conspiring to make more than 800 repeated hang-up calls and of aiding and abetting the making of those calls.

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on June 11, 2006 at 7:14 AM | PERMALINK

by the way...

tobin is one of 4-people convicted in that phone jamming case...

then you have the poster boys...

jack abramoff....

duke cunningham...

and bush "pioneer"....ken lay

there's about 3-aides of tom delay who went to work for abramoff...

they pled guilty

recently...bush's guy in ohio...tom noe..pled guilty

there's david safavian...claude allen...both of whom worked out of the white house

and scooter libby

not to mention...

GOP gov.'s like the guy in ct. who had to resign,

the one in kentucky who was recently indicted,

and ryan in ill. who was convicted...

The Federal Election Commission has determined that Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist's 2000 Senate campaign violated federal campaign finance laws. - A.P. 6/1/06

i know i'm leaving some out...

almost forgot the powerful house majority leader ...tom delay himself...who was indicted and that led to his resignation..

there are so many investigations that continue...

to name just a few...

Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-CA), Chairman of the House Appropriations committee, is now under criminal investigation as part of the expanded Duke Cunningham probe.

also Dr. lester crawford who was FDA commish for all of 3-months last year....is being investigated

and that's with the gop in total control...

how many investigations you think they have killed?

i guess sen. pat roberts of kansas would have a good count on that number...

absolute power corrupts absolutely...

and now...to be "balanced"...

WILLIAM JEFFERSON...

too funny

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on June 11, 2006 at 7:35 AM | PERMALINK

The trolls here are trying to take advantage of several traits that the left uses to defeat itself.

1. Liberals, leftists, Democrats have to be 100% pure or they are lepers. Any Democrat who is only 99 44/100 percent pure must be dumped. The reason I wouldn't mind seeing Joe Lieberman dumped isn't because he's dirty, it's because he's an ineffective traitor.

2. People on the left tend to be very intellegent and creative with wide ranging interests. It's easy to get us off track and off message. That's the meaning of the sudden departure in the tread below to gay marriage. Let me blow that part of this concerted Republican effort for you. The trolls are using a strategy written for them by someone higher up which plans to change OUR subject.

3. When all else fails call the leftist hysterical or something else and hope you can use our anger to get us off message. Now that you know that they can't do it to you anymore.

I've done the threads of leftist blogs. I've seen them in action. They're not that hard to figure out.

Posted by: olvlzl on June 11, 2006 at 8:24 AM | PERMALINK

Let me add here that "conspiracy theorist" will be used against me to counter my observation in 2.

Posted by: olvlzl on June 11, 2006 at 8:38 AM | PERMALINK

olvizi:

No, actually "incredibly overinflated opinion of their own brainpower" comes to mind first for your observation in 2.

Posted by: bella on June 11, 2006 at 9:18 AM | PERMALINK

" overinflated opinion of their own brainpower"

brainpower, schmainpower... it don't hold cake to wisdom.

And Allen Raymond, where's the wisdom there I ask you?

Posted by: katydidn't on June 11, 2006 at 9:30 AM | PERMALINK

The Republican Party has, quite clearly, become a criminal organization.

That is fun to gloat about, but it misses the point, for I think the Republicans could be even more successful without any lawbreaking.

The idea of "treating public policy as a business" is to move your political strategy toward a higher level of efficiency. It therefore would gain an advantage over your opponents, which it seems to be doing in reality.

"Business" = efficiency. I don't see a Democratic counter to efficiency. The "pushing the envelope", or criminality, whichever term you choose, is a red herring. The real issue is efficiency, and the Democrats have to propose a counter-strategy.

What can the Dems do? Pleading honesty in contrast to criminality just doesn't cut it. It has to be something in contrast to efficiency.

Posted by: Bob M on June 11, 2006 at 9:44 AM | PERMALINK

One of the hallmarks of fascism is a disregard for the electoral process. The current Administration has taken their disdain for elections to a level never seen before in the United States. In both the debacle of the 2000 presidential election where clearly discernible votes were thrown out by corrupt Republican party officials in Florida, and the blatant fraud in the 2004 presidential election in Ohio, that permitted Bush to steal that states electoral votes from the real winner, John Kerry, the GOP has now stolen two national elections and irreversibly corrupted the American election process. Although I struggle to believe that there is still hope, I think the GOP has begun the permanent unraveling of democracy in America. Thanks, assholes.

Posted by: Stephen Kriz on June 11, 2006 at 9:45 AM | PERMALINK

bella, troll off.

Posted by: olvlzl on June 11, 2006 at 10:23 AM | PERMALINK

Years ao I read some essay somewhere that at least partly explains the current state of Repub campaigning: the introduction of business "ethics" to politics. Business isn't supposed to have any real ethics. Making a profit is ultimately the only ethic. That's what makes capitalism work. For example, a corporation only is green (good ethics) to the extent that it saves money (= more profit)or can tout being green to a public that will then buy its product (= more profit). That's why we need the FTC and the EPA and the SEC and the FDA etc. to even make capitalism work. The Republicans introduced business "ethics" (winning is the only ethic) to politics. Anyone who had the displeasure to live in a swing state during the last election (I was watching Albuquerque TV) and watch the barrage of Swift Boat bald-faced deceptions would clearly realise that employing the Big Lie propaganda technique, for instance, is no problem for the Repubs. Sure, in the past, Democrats stole elections. For instance, Jimmy Carter was appalled in his early politican experience in Georgia to see blatant ballot box stuffing by the good ole boy local Democrats. Mayor Daley delivered Chicago for JFK, etc. etc. But what is going on now, led by Republicans, is something completely different.

Posted by: emjayay on June 11, 2006 at 10:27 AM | PERMALINK

In one of the most liberal states in the country and a total voter turnout of only 453,078 in 2002, A republican won by 19,000 votes and the left wants to blame it on jamming phone lines.

Excuse me a minute: hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah

It's that platform thing again people, btw how's that coming for 2008? Or is your strategy to give current maximum security inmates the vote? And what makes you think they'll vote democrat?

Posted by: Jay on June 11, 2006 at 10:32 AM | PERMALINK

That's how democrat Gregoire beat Rossi in Washington State, right emjayay? The "hand" count that over ruled two machine recounts to put a Democrat in office. Could you call that "stealing" an election?

Posted by: Jay on June 11, 2006 at 10:50 AM | PERMALINK

emjayay: yes, different in degree, maybe, but not completely different. Those Dems in Georgia that who tried to screw Carter out of the election... they are all Republicans now and have been for years. Same with the Daley type democrats. They are Republicans now. The old Mayor Daley would most certainly be a Republican today, which is what he basically was toward the end of his career.

Posted by: little ole jim from red country on June 11, 2006 at 10:55 AM | PERMALINK

Jack Kennedy would be a republican today, LBJ would be a republican today, FDR would be a republican today. The democrats have gone so far left, moderate democrats are having a recognition problem.

Posted by: Jay on June 11, 2006 at 11:06 AM | PERMALINK

So, FDR, Kennedy, and LBJ would be trying to destroy the programs they fought a life time to implement? Wow.

Posted by: little ole jim from red country on June 11, 2006 at 11:08 AM | PERMALINK

okay, but somehow when it comes to religious issues (right wing kind of christianity), somehow the distinction doesn't exist, or no one ever dares to poke at it.

Posted by: eo on June 11, 2006 at 11:10 AM | PERMALINK

Hardly, extra-marital affairs are still going strong.

Posted by: Jay on June 11, 2006 at 11:12 AM | PERMALINK

Haven't republicans been relying on polarization since the 50's when Nixon and McCarthy ruled the GOP party of fear and smear. The GOP could never win on the strength of their positions (essentially business gives us money and we give them bigger money from the treasury) so they have always relied and fear and smear. This is the party of nixon, segretti, atwater, rove. It's alot easier to win by taking the low road and appealing to fear and smear. If they had to do it honestly, that would be remarkable.

The politics of fear, smear and polarization works, and it is going to work in November because the hardcore dumb consultants and pollsters and pols in the Dem leadership are totally clueless on immigration and how the hang the label "cheap labor" on every republican and deflect the pro-illegal, pro-amnesty label that repubs have set Dems up for.

Posted by: Chrissy on June 11, 2006 at 11:13 AM | PERMALINK

So Sununu winning in New Hampshire by 19,000 votes was won by illegalities, but Gregoire winning by 120 votes in a "hand" count was on the up and up, right?

Hypocrites.

Posted by: Jay on June 11, 2006 at 11:17 AM | PERMALINK

Chrissy, you just described the very tactics used by moveon.org, and you don't even realize it.

The left is losing because the viewpoints (not too mention lack of platform) represent a small minority and in Democracies, majorities rule. Didn't your liberal professors teach you that?

Posted by: Jay on June 11, 2006 at 11:20 AM | PERMALINK

Just to beat an old horse to death one more time:the Clintons continually got away with the appearance of impropriety, conflict of interest, and abuse of office, because the MSM stonewalled and apologized for them from day one. When Whitewater cases made it before juries, there would always be one or two stalwart Demcrat jurors who wouldn't believe their own lying eyes when it came to examining evidence.

At first, I thought this and the rest of it was simply hilarious in its blinkered cluelessness. But upon further reflection, there's a strain of lunatic conspiranoid delusion here that's kind of sad. We see this in winger responses all the timedespite having all the power, they feel besieged and victimized by their perceived enemies, and everyone, from the MSM to the justice system to pretty much anyone and anything, is part of the conspiracy. There are no meds strong enough for this, but turning off the radio might help.

Posted by: R. Porrofatto on June 11, 2006 at 11:31 AM | PERMALINK

No Porrofatto, you're wrong....again. (of course I am sure you're use to that).

We're merely laughing at the hypocrisy. And you calling the right "conspiracy" minded is much like the pot calling the kettle black, no?

Posted by: Jay on June 11, 2006 at 11:35 AM | PERMALINK

Jay, I'm a citizen of a functioning democracy. You're not. Any system where half the population feel their vote can't change anything and so don't even bother, where over 20% of the votes can't be verified, where you have only about a 1% chance of knocking off an incumbent but where they need vast amounts of money to run (so oddly it's more important for those in Congress to have the approval of those who provide the money than the apporval of those who vote), and where the media coverage sduring election for the most part consists of paid lies can't be called a functioning democracy. You may have the trappings... So does Singapore.

Your comments on LBJ, JFK and FDR are beyond idiocy. What policies are you specifically referring to or can you only sneer in generalities?

And what doees any of this have to do with refuting what Raymond says?

(would love a registration system where I could choose to avoid poop artists like Jay)

Posted by: snicker-snack on June 11, 2006 at 11:36 AM | PERMALINK

Jay you need to get out more often. The "viewpoints" of the left represent the viewpoints of the vast majority of the American people on the so-called 'war', the environment, healthcare, education, national debt, accountability of elected officials, illegal domestic spying, etc. The left is losing because the right has the big corporate loot, the media, and they rely on the great "Fear Factor - GOP style".

And oh puleeze would you right wing nutballs stop the tired old Move-on, Michael Moore dummie reflex answer stupid analogy. Hackneyed, old, weak, silly argument that shows your complete lack of a real argument.

And once again, ask your keeper to let you out more often and have a nice day.

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

".....the viewpoints of the left represent the vast majority of the American people...." Chrissy

Apparently they didn't teach you how to count either.

Posted by: Jay on June 11, 2006 at 11:42 AM | PERMALINK

The Jay troll egested:
Apparently they didn't teach you how to count either.

There are certain organizations that do know how to count, and they show that on most of the important social issues, Americans agree much more with liberal positions than conservative.

October, 2003 Washington Post/ABC poll, by almost a two-to-one margin (62 percent to 33 percent), Americans said that they preferred a universal system that would provide coverage to everyone under a government program, as opposed to the current employer-based system.

In August 2003, Pew found Americans favoring, by 67 percent to 26 percent, the U.S. government guaranteeing health insurance for all citizens, even if that meant repealing most of recent tax cuts. From summary here.

According to a Pew Research Center poll in 2005:

- 86% of Americans favor increasing the minimum wage.
- 60% favor some repeal of the Bush tax cuts (25% favor the repeal of ALL and 35% favor repeal of tax cuts for the wealthy.)
- 61% give a higher priority to reducing the federal budget deficit than cutting taxes.
- 77% believe the country "should do whatever it takes to protect the environment."
- 56% say it is important to conduct stem cell research

[Watch, in true conspiranoid fashion, these polls will be dismissed as the product of liberally biased polling organizations and, of course, the dreaded MSM.]

Posted by: R. Porrofatto on June 11, 2006 at 11:52 AM | PERMALINK

R. Porrofatto: Yes, it's a curious phenomenon.

But it's also funny. That's why I made my comparison earlier about the results of all the special prosecutors. That's comparing apples to apples over a period of decades.

The special prosecutors focus upon the highest officials of the executive branch, so, they are invesitgation, with great power, the folks who really count, the folks who have risen to the top of their party.

The result has been dozens of Republicans convicted, many of them by juries (ane despite expensive legal representation), for crimes directly related to thier government service on behalf of the President.

On the Democratic side, nada. They often are not even focused on alledged wrong doing related to government activity, rather, petty stuff that appears for all the world to be simply attempted vindictive payback.

They got their feeling hurt with Nixon, so they attacked Carter. For example, a special prosecutor appointed to investigate Jody Powell and Hamilton for buying cocaine at a night club? It was a joke. The allegation was made by a fellow who was a joke.

Under Clinton, they went after Mike Espey and failed after spending a ton of money. They went after both Hillary and Bill for all kinds of wild allegations that never would have had the slightest chance before a jury. The prosecutor who succeeded Ken Starr petulantly claimed, as he closed shop after hanging on long enough to enrich himself, that he could have brought charges if he had wanted to. Again, that unethical behavior for a prosecutor, very unusual.

So, to me, this comes across as a party that is all at once petty, vindictive, unethical, wasteful, incompetent, and wimpy. Yes, wimpy, because when push comes to shove, they are scared of juries, scared of sunlight, and scared of due process. They are good at smearing, denigrating, and enriched themselves.

They are not good at government, fighting in the daylight, or winning lasting battles based upon taking up front stands on issues.

Posted by: little ole jim from red country on June 11, 2006 at 11:55 AM | PERMALINK

His party won't hire him back

Yeah, not because he committed the crim, but because he got caught, you moron. Have Ken Mehlman release all of his phone records from that time=period to prove he had no fore-knowledge of that activity. Why won't he release his phone records, Chickenhawk? Because this scandal goes right to the WH.

Posted by: MeLoseBrain? on June 11, 2006 at 12:06 PM | PERMALINK

Jay,

New Hampshire is the most Republican state in New England.

Posted by: cld on June 11, 2006 at 12:14 PM | PERMALINK

MORE TROLL LORE from my blog

My friends, a troll on Kevin Drum's blog has brandishd another weapon from the trolls armamentarium. I have been accused of conceit.

The late John Kenneth Galbraith didn't have much use for the virtue of modesty. He held it to be overrated. He might have been right about that, but more practically, when a leftist lets modesty get in the way they don't fight aggressively for the leftist agenda.

My fellow leftists, please, make the same sacrifice I have. Put aside that most charming of personal trait of demure modesty. It has no place in a brawl and politics is a brawl. If someone, even your inner liberal angel, scolds that you are being immodest, consider it to be a noble and worthwhile sacrifice for the cause. If your angel keeps bugging you, promise it you'll try to cut down on the use of the first person.

Conservatives, motivated only by greed and hate, have much to be modest about. But you don't see them hiding behind the couch.

Posted by: olvlzl on June 11, 2006 at 12:26 PM | PERMALINK

It's beyond reprehensible, not to mention immoral, for any right thinking citizen of even semi-sane-mindedness these days to have the gall to STILL be defending the current administration.

I have no beef with the GOP adherents overall, and understand the fundamental dichotomy between the "right" and "left" viewpoints and allegiances as they have crystallized over the past several decades- I can live with anyone who will appropriately just agree to disagree.

What I have such disgust with, however, is usurpation by the elitist, militarist, xeno/homophopic, holier-than-thou far right wingers of our executive (and legislative and fearfully judicial branches?) of federal governing bodies, and what the hell these virtual felons have done since seizing (legitimately?) control.

I am one of those who has voted for Republicans in the past, and Democrats, and even the occasional local 3rd String candidate if he's talking plain sense. I am not a partisan anybody, no way no how.

But I also can smell rot- and filth- and see dangerously accumulating piles of garbage that typify the current administration vis a vis its denigration of the vastly more admirable achievements of what was indisputably, Bill's dalliances aside, a much cleaner and however imperfect regime of the Clinton crew.

THe stank and threat of fatal fascist(??) disease ravaging so much of what this country at least strives to stand for, uphold internally and in our relations with others in the world, scares the sh*t out of me.

This is no longer a Fox vs. PBS esoteric exercise in political persusions, philosophies, whatever. This administration is an abomination to the civil rights and legitimate needs of we citizens, but has also undone decades of respectability on the world stage.

And PLEASE, no need to get into the haste, and waste and disgrace of its Iraq bulls*t war, the lives it's cost so many thousands and thousands, and in the process borrowing billions of bucks to spend billions of bucks bankrupting our coffers.

The conservative media has in the past few weeks been resigned to abandon the usual pro-Bush banner, so to speak, because their marching with the banner is after all just an American right to be upheld, and they as spokepeople for the more GOP side of things even as moral voices now can't ignore or tolerate what is happening in this administration.

Like the very eradication of THEIR freedom to hold their chosen banner of conservatism, their hegemony as reporters specifically. They're now game, too, and they know it, and are starting to protest.

Americans ARE going to unite in uproar, I think this is the great hope now amongst US ALL. It's beyond abominable what damage to our nation and our nation's world-wide stance has already, and promises to continue, to go down, without even those "right-wing" media pullers jumping up and down in unison with their rival side, because this sh*t has just flat-out gotten out-of-hand.

Posted by: calgal on June 11, 2006 at 12:53 PM | PERMALINK

melosebrain?: Why won't he release his phone records, Chickenhawk? Because this scandal goes right to the WH.

yeah jay....doesnt the argument go...

if he has nothing to hide....he will release them..

just like what limbaugh did.....right?

Posted by: thisspaceavailble on June 11, 2006 at 1:26 PM | PERMALINK

Nixon was just a bad apple. Why did everyone think his views reflected the rest of the party?

Posted by: Kenji on June 11, 2006 at 2:07 PM | PERMALINK

R. Porrofatto

There are certain organizations that do know how to count, and they show that on most of the important social issues, Americans agree much more with liberal positions than conservative.

Tee hee hee. From your same Pew Research poll:

61% oppose gay marriage.

74% think it's proper to display the Ten Commandments on government buildings.

57% favor teaching creationism alongside evolution in public schools.

69% think the next Supreme Court appointment should either make the court more conservative than it is now, or keep it about the same (only 24% want the court to be more liberal).

More Americans have a favorable view of the Christian conservative movement (41%) than an unfavorable view (34%).

To reduce the deficit, more Americans favor cutting spending (54%) than raising taxes (31%).

A much higher number of Americans want to make it more difficult to declare bankruptcy (39%) than easier (8%).

63% want to limit the amount of awards in malpractice lawsuits.

60% believe the preemptive use of military force is often/sometimes justified, vs. only 35% who think it is rarely/never justified.

49% think the Iraq War was the right decision, vs. only 44% who think it was the wrong decision.

Posted by: GOP on June 11, 2006 at 3:15 PM | PERMALINK

74% think it's proper to display the Ten Commandments on government buildings.

Which accounts for the trouncing that Roy Moore got in his home state. At the polls. The ones that count.

Posted by: olvlzl on June 11, 2006 at 3:54 PM | PERMALINK

olvlzl,

Which accounts for the trouncing that Roy Moore got in his home state. At the polls. The ones that count.

Oh, so the Pew Research poll "doesn't count" now? You'd better tell your fellow liberal, R. Porrofatto. He seems to think it does.

No, don't tell me. Let me guess. It does count when it appears to support what you want to be true, and doesn't count otherwise. Is that it?

Posted by: GOP on June 11, 2006 at 4:02 PM | PERMALINK

GOP -- "Tee hee hee" is right; until a majority find the items on that laundry list important enough to base a candidate or party preference, your point is as irrelevant as your kidergarden slur.

Posted by: has407 on June 11, 2006 at 4:09 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry, correction to previous post: "kindergarten", not "kidergarden".

Posted by: has407 on June 11, 2006 at 4:14 PM | PERMALINK

has407,

until a majority find the items on that laundry list important enough to base a candidate or party preference, your point is as irrelevant as your kidergarden slur.

You also deserve a "Tee hee hee." When you've put together a majority that considers stem cell research or the minimum wage important enough to base a candidate or party preference on, let me know. The only plausible majority-vote-determining issue on R. Porrofatto's list is tax-and-spending policy, and as I noted in response, the poll found that far more Americans want to cut government spending than raise taxes to reduce the deficit (54% vs 31%). Even worse news for liberals like you and R. Porro is the poll's finding on foreign policy and military action, with Americans who believe that preemptive military force is often or sometimes justified outnumbering Americans who think it is rarely or never justified by almost two to one. This would seem to suggest that a preemptive U.S. attack on North Korea, Iran or other rogue nations might enjoy strong public support, and I know how much you hate that idea.

Posted by: GOP on June 11, 2006 at 5:16 PM | PERMALINK

little ole jim,

The result has been dozens of Republicans convicted, many of them by juries (ane despite expensive legal representation), for crimes directly related to thier government service on behalf of the President. On the Democratic side, nada. They often are not even focused on alledged wrong doing related to government activity, rather, petty stuff that appears for all the world to be simply attempted vindictive payback.

Utter nonsense. The Clinton Administration set a new record for scandal and corruption, including the following:

- The only president ever impeached on grounds of personal malfeasance
- Most number of convictions and guilty pleas by friends and associates
- Most number of cabinet officials to come under criminal investigation
- Most number of witnesses to flee country or refuse to testify
- First president sued for sexual harassment.
- First president accused of rape.
- First first lady to come under criminal investigation
- Largest criminal plea agreement in an illegal campaign contribution case
- First president to establish a legal defense fund.
- First president to be held in contempt of court
- Greatest amount of illegal campaign contributions
- Greatest amount of illegal campaign contributions from abroad
- First president disbarred from the US Supreme Court and a state court

The 1996 campaign finance scandal alone resulted in the criminal conviction of 17 people on dozens of counts of fraud, conspiracy, illegal campaign contributions, jury tampering and other crimes related to funding for Democratic election campaigns, including Clinton's.

Posted by: GOP on June 11, 2006 at 5:38 PM | PERMALINK

gop.......proof through assertion?

again?

and i didn't even mention the outing a cia agent....

during a war...

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on June 11, 2006 at 6:02 PM | PERMALINK

how does GOP's argument of two wrongs make a right, go with this:


"We must usher in an era of responsibility....[O]ur nation's leaders are responsible to confront problems, not pass them onto others. And to lead this nation to a responsibility era, that president himself must be responsible." - G.W.B. Summer 2000

you think bush is talking about all the guilty pleas?


Posted by: thisspaceavailable on June 11, 2006 at 6:08 PM | PERMALINK

GOP: The only plausible majority-vote-determining issue on R. Porrofatto's list is tax-and-spending policy, and as I noted in response, the poll found that far more Americans want to cut government spending than raise taxes to reduce the deficit (54% vs 31%). Even worse news for liberals like you and R. Porro is the poll's finding on foreign policy and military action, with Americans who believe that preemptive military force is often or sometimes justified outnumbering Americans who think it is rarely or never justified by almost two to one.

Given the question "Higher Priority -- Cutting Taxes or Reducing the Deficit", 61% went with "Reducing budget deficit". Yes, everyone would prefer to reduce taxes (duh), but given the current situation, the deficit clearly trumps tax cuts.

As for "preemptive military force", that is as abstract as "motherhood and apple pie"; where the implication is that US interests are threatened, very few will object (duh), as suggested by "War in Iraq was right / wrong" (49%/44%). However, put it in real $, lives and consequences--"What to do now: Keep troops in / bring troops home" (56%/40%)--and the numbers change dramatically.

In short "Tee hee hee" is about as much as you have to offer. Go fish.

Posted by: has407 on June 11, 2006 at 7:00 PM | PERMALINK

has407,

Given the question "Higher Priority -- Cutting Taxes or Reducing the Deficit", 61% went with "Reducing budget deficit".

Right. But also, given the question "Cut Spending or Raise Taxes" to reduce the deficit, 54% went with "Cut Spending" (and only 31% with "Raise Taxes.")

So, putting the two results together, we see that the majority doesn't want further tax cuts, but also doesn't want tax raises, and does want to cut spending. If you're happy with this finding, terrific. Given that Bush and the Republicans have already cut taxes way below what you want them to be, I wouldn't have thought a finding of "don't cut taxes further, but don't raise them either; cut spending instead" would meet with your approval.

As for "preemptive military force", that is as abstract as "motherhood and apple pie";

Then so are abstract questions about taxation and spending, not to mention health care and the environment. If you're against preemptive military attacks as a matter of principle, or believe that they are justified only rarely, if at all, then a finding that Americans disagree with you by a two-to-one margin isn't exactly a cause for celebration.

where the implication is that US interests are threatened, very few will object (duh), as suggested by "War in Iraq was right / wrong" (49%/44%).

Do you support preemptive military action where U.S. interests are threatened? Do you believe that preemptive military action is "sometimes or often" justified?


Posted by: GOP on June 11, 2006 at 7:53 PM | PERMALINK

how does GOP's argument of two wrongs make a right

GOP hasn't argued that two wrongs make a right.

Posted by: GOP on June 11, 2006 at 7:55 PM | PERMALINK

GOP: Then so are abstract questions about taxation and spending, not to mention health care and the environment.

False. The cost of war and all of its side-effects are far more difficult to establish.

Do you support preemptive military action where U.S. interests are threatened? Do you believe that preemptive military action is "sometimes or often" justified?

FWIW-and I admit that it's worth nothing, sans specifics--my answer would be "rarely".

Posted by: has407 on June 11, 2006 at 8:24 PM | PERMALINK

has407,

The cost of war and all of its side-effects are far more difficult to establish.

I'd love to know how you have determined that the costs and side-effects of war are any more difficult to determine at all, let alone far more difficult, than the costs and side-effects of various tax-and-spending policies. Of course, "abstract" doesn't mean "difficult to determine costs and side-effects of" anyway, so I'm not sure why you think your claim would be relevant even if it were true. Again, it's hard to understand how the poll's findings on either taxes/spending or preemptive military action could give any comfort to liberals. In fact, if you look at the breakdown of responses by political grouping, you'll see that for both questions, the position favored by most liberals is opposed by most Americans in total.

FWIW-and I admit that it's worth nothing, sans specifics--my answer would be "rarely".

Your opinion is shared by just 21% of respondents to the Pew poll. In contrast, a whopping 46% said that preemptive military action is "sometimes" justified, and an additional 14% said that preemptive military action is "often" justified, for a total of 60%. Even I didn't expect support for preemptive military attacks by the U.S. to be that high.


Posted by: GOP on June 11, 2006 at 8:50 PM | PERMALINK

GOP,

True to your name, you even misrepresent a simple poll. (I link to these things because they are relatively objective hoping that people won't do this, but there ya go.)

69% think the next Supreme Court appointment should either make the court more conservative than it is now, or keep it about the same

Or, using your deceptive method of framing, 65% think the the next Supreme Court appointment should either make the court more liberal than it is now, or keep it about the same.

More Americans have a favorable view of the Christian conservative movement (41%) than an unfavorable view (34%).

Or again, using your method, 59% of Americans do not have a favorable view of the Christian conservative movement.

More items from the Pew poll without framing or misrepresentation:
- 55% oppose making it more difficult for a woman to obtain an abortion
- 69% believe that outsourcing is bad for the economy
- 34% believe that trade agreements are good for the U.S.
- 50% favor allowing immigrants to enter and work in the United States legally temporarily.
- Only 46% favor drilling in ANWR.
- Only 14% think that the policy of military pre-emption is often justified.

More recently:
- Now only 47% feel that the military action in Iraq was the right decision.
- 30% approve of Bush's handling of the Iraq situation, with 65% disapproving.
- 70% believe that Bush does not have a clear strategic plan for Iraq.

And speaking of pre-emption:
- 61% of Americans oppose U.S. bombing military targets in Iran.
- 64% favor economic sanctions
- 72% favor the U.N. playing the lead role in the Iran issue.

tee-hee-hee

Posted by: R. Porrofatto on June 11, 2006 at 8:51 PM | PERMALINK

GOP: I'd love to know how you have determined that the costs and side-effects of war are any more difficult to determine at all, let alone far more difficult, than the costs and side-effects of various tax-and-spending policies.

I suggest you compare and contrast the definitive *cough* budget projections by the the White House for tax cuts, Social Security, etc. with the unwillingness to predict or commit to any budget related to Iraq. If you have a problem with that, don't ask me, ask Rumsfeld et. al.

Your opinion is shared by just 21% of respondents to the Pew poll.

And, as I pointed out, when it comes to facts-on-the-ground, $, and lives, that means nothing, as amply demonstrated by Iraq the fact that far fewer support a continued presence in Iraq.

Go fish.

Posted by: has407 on June 11, 2006 at 9:12 PM | PERMALINK

R. Porrofatto,

True to your name, you even misrepresent a simple poll.

Coming from someone who cherry-picked a handful of results from that poll (and on such, er, major issues as stem-cell research) in order to try and create the false impression that the poll is good news for liberals, that's quite something.

Or, using your deceptive method of framing, 65% think the the next Supreme Court appointment should either make the court more liberal than it is now, or keep it about the same.

I have no idea what you think is "deceptive" about it. Only 24% want the next appointment to make the court "more liberal." That's a small minority. 41% want to keep it "about the same" and 28% want it to be "more conservative." If you think the Supreme Court is already liberal enough, the plurality in favor of keeping it about the same might give you some comfort. But I was under the impression that you think the court is already too conservative, in which case the finding is a disaster for you. Am I wrong? Would you not strongly prefer to have justices on the court more liberal than Scalia, Thomas, Roberts and Alito?

Posted by: GOP on June 11, 2006 at 9:17 PM | PERMALINK

R. Porrofatto,

Or again, using your method, 59% of Americans do not have a favorable view of the Christian conservative movement.

Yes, but a considerably higher number of Americans, 76%, do not have an unfavorable view of the Christian Conservative Movement. Since you and liberals in general do have an unfavorable view of the CMM (and a very strongly unfavorable view of it, given how often you attack its members as "bigots," "fundamentalists," "fascists," etc.), I have no idea how you can possibly interpret this finding as something other than bad news for liberals. In fact, all you need to do is look at the breakdown of responses by political grouping to see how out-of-step liberals are with the views of Americans in general on the CCM.

Posted by: GOP on June 11, 2006 at 9:27 PM | PERMALINK

R. Porrofatto,

- Only 14% think that the policy of military pre-emption is often justified.

So what? Your claim is that "on most of the important social issues, Americans agree much more with liberal positions than conservative." As the breakdown shows, not even most conservatives think preemptive military action is "often" justified. But a large majority of conservatives do think it is either "sometimes" or "often" justified, whereas only a small minority of liberals hold that position. So the position of Americans in general is obviously much closer to that of conservatives than liberals, the exact opposite of what you claim. All you need to do to see this is eyeball the bar chart. The bar for "liberals" is pretty much the opposite of the bar for "total."

Posted by: GOP on June 11, 2006 at 9:44 PM | PERMALINK

has407,

I suggest you compare and contrast the definitive *cough* budget projections by the the White House for tax cuts, Social Security, etc. with the unwillingness to predict or commit to any budget related to Iraq.

Huh? Budget and spending projections include projections for military spending. And, obviously, the costs and side-effects of both war and tax/spending policy include much more than just their effect on budget numbers. But this all irrelevant, anyway, since your claim was that preemptive military action is more "abstract" than taxes and spending, and you've offered nothing to support that claim.

The reason you're desperately trying to spin the preemptive military action finding as "abstract" and therefore not relevant is because it so clearly illustrates how small a minority liberals are. The same disparity is apparent, though you don't seem to have recognized it yet, on the issue of taxes. Support for raising taxes amoung liberals is almost twice as high as support for raising taxes among Americans in general (56% vs. 31%) (Though liberals are much closer to the general population on cutting spending--48% to 54%--so I suppose you can draw some small measure of comfort from that, although the kind of spending cuts favored by liberals are clearly very different than the kind favored by Americans in general. Most liberals want to cut military/defense spending, whereas most Americans in general who favor spending cuts want them to come from other areas of the budget.)

Posted by: GOP on June 11, 2006 at 10:08 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, so the Pew Research poll "doesn't count" now? You'd better tell your fellow liberal, R. Porrofatto. He seems to think it does.

Brace yourself for a real shocker, GOP, you callow boy. I not only don't care about the soi disant "liberal" Pew Research Poll, I don't care about any opinion polling anywhere by anyone.

Polling is for finding out how to sell toothpaste. Opinion polling doesn't do a damned thing to find the truth. That goes double for political polls in the United States which are conducted badly and are more often than not push polls looking for a given outcome. I know conservatives don't much care for the truth because it doesn't ever go their way but as for the left, it's the truth that will set us free.

If I could do it today I would outlaw political opinion polling in the United States. It is a distraction from the truth and so it is harmful to democracy.

Sonny boy, this is one liberal who will break every stereotype of what you want a liberal to be. So, stuff it.

Posted by: olvlzl on June 11, 2006 at 10:11 PM | PERMALINK

has407,

And, as I pointed out, when it comes to facts-on-the-ground, $, and lives, that means nothing, as amply demonstrated by Iraq the fact that far fewer support a continued presence in Iraq.

Nice attempt to change the subject. You're comparing apples and oranges. The poll question was about whether and how often preemptive military action by the U.S. is justified in a general sense. It wasn't about any particular instance of such action, and it wasn't about "support [for] a continued presence in Iraq." In fact, I am surprised, given all the bad news from Iraq, that 60% of Americans still believe that preemptive military action by the U.S. is often or sometimes justified. I would have expected Iraq to turn most Americans strongly against preemptive military action, but that doesn't seem to have happened.

Posted by: GOP on June 11, 2006 at 10:31 PM | PERMALINK

R. Porrofatto,

55% oppose making it more difficult for a woman to obtain an abortion

You're again ignoring your own claim. You claimed that the poll "show[s] that on most of the important social issues, Americans agree much more with liberal positions than conservative." You seem to have made the false assumption that conservatives are strongly and monolithically anti-abortion. They're not.

In fact, on the abortion question, the result for "total" Americans is about midway between the results for conservatives and liberals. Again, look at the breakdown on the question by political grouping. So this finding doesn't support your claim, either.

Posted by: GOP on June 11, 2006 at 10:52 PM | PERMALINK

GOP: Huh? Budget and spending projections include projections for military spending.

"Huh?" is right. You have a budget estimate for the cost of Iraq? You get it from a birdie in the White House? Care to share it? If so, then let's hear it, since the last definitive *cough* statement was from Rumsfeld to the effect "...five days, or five weeks, or five months, but it certainly isnt going to last any longer than that...", and subsequently the occasional supplementary funding bill.

The reason you're desperately trying to spin the preemptive military action finding as "abstract" and therefore not relevant is because it so clearly illustrates how small a minority liberals are.

I'm not trying to spin anything. It is you who are attempting to conflate and spin "abstract" and "facts on the ground" (e.g., Iraq), in an attempt to avoid reconciilation of opinon polls with reality.

Nice attempt to change the subject. You're comparing apples and oranges.

I was not attempting to change the subject, simply illustrating that an abstract question and its answer is of limited value, given that we have an existence proof that provides concrete answers.

Posted by: has407 on June 11, 2006 at 10:54 PM | PERMALINK

GOP,

Before you go using the group labeled "liberals" in the 2005 Pew poll, you should note that this poll is a political typology. As such, while the results of the totality are interesting as to what percentages of all Americans think on issues, the individual groupings are not based on political affiliation or even self-description, but by respondents' answers to an attitudinal survey. Thus, a good part of the reason that the various types of conservatives or the type called liberals are classified as such in this poll is because of the answers they give to these very questions, among others. (In fact, if you read the methodology, a good percentage of most of these groups call themselves "independent.") So it is therefore not reliable to extrapolate what percentages of liberals or conservatives agree with the total percentages in this poll, despite the ostensibly political groupings.

My original statement was that "polls show that on most of important social issues, Americans agree much more with liberal positions than conservative" [emphasis added], NOT whether most Americans overall agree with the opinions of percentages of liberals or conservatives, even if the Pew poll delineated what the actual respective liberal and conservative numbers were, which it doesn't. Thus there may be a certain number of conservatives or Republicans who are not rabidly anti-abortion, but by no stretch of the imagination does that make their opposition to making abortion more difficult to obtain a conservative position on the issue. At the same time, I was talking about predominantly social issues, i.e., abortion, health care, minimum wage, etc., not, say, pre-emptive war, but even here the poll on Iran shows that while a majority of Americans may not oppose pre-emptive war on some occasions in theory, they most certainly oppose it when asked about a specific scenario potentially put in practice. (A majority of Americans were also against Bush's particular pre-emption in Iraq practically up to the day it occurred.) On the major social issues, Ten Commandments notwithstanding, the cites offered, including the Pew poll, still show my statement to be true.

Lastly, if I were you I wouldn't lament that You seem to have made the false assumption that conservatives are strongly and monolithically anti-abortion. while also stating Since you and liberals in general do have an unfavorable view of the CMM (and a very strongly unfavorable view of it, given how often you attack its members as "bigots," "fundamentalists," "fascists," etc.) based on nothing but your own knee-jerk opinion.


Posted by: R. Porrofatto on June 12, 2006 at 12:40 AM | PERMALINK

Cheney,

Nah, I'm afraid it will go right over your/GOP/Norman/Don P's pointy head. But we have to try at the very least for humane reasons.

Posted by: R. Porrofatto on June 12, 2006 at 1:07 AM | PERMALINK

GOP, let me tell you once again, I have no intention of letting a lying Republican decide what my subject is.

My fellow leftists, they're a bunch of lying crooks. Don't let them decide which fork in the road to take.

Posted by: olvlzl on June 12, 2006 at 9:15 AM | PERMALINK


gop: Nice attempt to change the subject.


on a thread concerning motives of illegal activity by the GOP in getting votes and polarizing voters...(in a gop majority state no less)

you mention clinton....


so by mentioning clinton you weren't implying that two wrongs make a right?

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on June 12, 2006 at 10:25 AM | PERMALINK

R. Porrofatto,

Before you go using the group labeled "liberals" in the 2005 Pew poll, you should note that this poll is a political typology. As such, while the results of the totality are interesting as to what percentages of all Americans think on issues, the individual groupings are not based on political affiliation or even self-description, but by respondents' answers to an attitudinal survey.

You're wrong. The description of the poll's methodology states: "A statistical cluster analysis was used to sort the remaining respondents into relatively homogeneous groups based on the nine value scales, party identification, and self reported ideology. Several different cluster solutions were evaluated for their effectiveness in producing cohesive groups that are distinct from one another, large enough in size to be analytically practical, and substantively meaningful. The final solution selected to produce the new political typology was judged to be strongest on a statistical basis and to be most persuasive from a substantive point of view."

Your basic problem is that you have such a caricatured, cartoonish view of what it means to be a liberal or a conservative in America that you will never accept real-world findings. In your mind, "conservative" equates to the most extreme right-wing position, and "liberal" equates to your own extreme-left political ideology. The reality is that the terms "liberal" and "conservative," as generally used in American political discourse and as labels of political self-identification, each cover a significant range of views, particularly in the case of conservatives, and the Pew results reflect that reality.

Posted by: GOP on June 12, 2006 at 1:15 PM | PERMALINK

R. Porrofatto,

My original statement was that "polls show that on most of important social issues, Americans agree much more with liberal positions than conservative" [emphasis added], NOT whether most Americans overall agree with the opinions of percentages of liberals or conservatives,

Huh? It is hard to know what "liberal positions" and "conservative positions" are supposed to mean if not the positions generally favored by liberals and conservatives respectively. If the "liberal position" on, say, whether the minimum wage should be raised is not the position generally favored by liberals (94% of liberals favor raising the minimum wage), what the hell is it? If the conservative position on, say, whether it is proper to display the Ten Commandments in public buildings is not the position generally favored by conservatives (92% of conservatives think it is proper), then what the hell is it? I am not sure there is even a single question in the poll on which the position of Americans in total is closer to the liberal position than to the conservative position, and for most of the questions, the position of Americans in total is clearly closer to the conservative position than the liberal one. The Pew study so unequivocally refutes your claim that I have no idea why you raised it in the first place.

even if the Pew poll delineated what the actual respective liberal and conservative numbers were, which it doesn't.

Yes it does. The bar charts provide the results for the groups "Liberals" and for two species of conservative, "Social Conservative" and "Pro-Government conservative." If you want, you can also include the group "Enterprisers" as a third species of conservative, although I think it probably corresponds more closely to libertarians than conservatives.

Posted by: GOP on June 12, 2006 at 1:34 PM | PERMALINK

Check out www.senatemajority.com for a ton on this scandal.

Posted by: firebiscuit on June 13, 2006 at 1:15 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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