Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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September 23, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

DEMOCRATIC NAVEL GAZING WATCH....Earlier today, Arianna Huffington got a bunch of people riled up by linking to a Roll Call article that said Democrats are planning yet again! to pretend that national security isn't a major issue and will instead try to make the economy the central subject of this year's campaign. "Oh. My. God." said Arianna. "Oh, Christ," said Matt Yglesias.

"Not so fast," said Ezra Klein. The Roll Call article was brief and thinly sourced, and the Democratic aides he talked to told him that although certain local campaigns may be focusing on the economy, "the national messaging from the Democratic leadership has been almost all national-security focused."

So which is it? Obviously different Dems have different approaches, but one very prominent Democrat had a very prominent platform in print today, and it suggests Arianna may have been right after all. I hate to do this to you, but I'm going to turn the mike over to conservative Tom Bevan to describe Howard Dean's op-ed in Friday's Wall Street Journal:

He begins with this: "We need a Democratic Congress to fight the war on terror and to end the war on America's families." But if you were looking for an explanation in the 1,056 words that followed as to why we need a Democratic Congress to fight the war on terror, you came away disappointed because Dean never really offered one.

Instead, he launched into a litany of detailed complaints against the Bush economy (falling incomes, stagnant wages, rising heathcare costs, and falling retirement coverage) led off by a muted but obvious piece of populist class warfare right out of Bob Shrum's faded playbook: "An economy that favors the top 1% at the expense of everyone else might be good for President Bush's politics, but a shrinking middle class is bad for capitalism, democracy and America."

Snark aside, this is sadly accurate. Dean's piece is here, and it contains only one short, fuzzy paragraph about national security at the very end. Essentially, he just ignored the whole issue. That's very, very dumb.

And while we're at it, I have one other message for Dean: Dude. You were writing in the fucking Wall Street Journal. Do you really think that's the place for a thousand words of pitchfork-waving, tax-cut-hating, populist agit-prop? Even if you couldn't bring yourself to write about national security, don't you think you could have picked a slightly better approach to win the hearts and minds of the conservative business titans who read the Journal?

Know your audience. This is Persuasion 101. Can't anybody play this game anymore?

Kevin Drum 12:13 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (287)

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Comments

Howard Dean has nothing to offer except for complains about the American meritocracy, and advocating that wealth be shifted from the most productive to the less productive. it's not surprising he couldn't change his message. What's he going to say? "Vote for me, and I'll make your taxes so high, and welfare so wide, it won't even be worth working! It's like a permanent vacation! yays!".

Posted by: American Hawk on September 23, 2006 at 12:17 AM | PERMALINK

Know your audience. This is Persuasion 101. Can't anybody play this game anymore?

Looking at the very first comment by American Hawk: no. Nobody can.

Posted by: scarshapedstar on September 23, 2006 at 12:28 AM | PERMALINK

scarshapedstar: I keep posting in the futile hope that, eventually, maybe some democrats will come around and stop wanting to punish me for being a productive, high-income earning American.

Posted by: American Hawk on September 23, 2006 at 12:29 AM | PERMALINK

Frankly, a OpEd in the WSJ by Howard Dean ain't convincing anybody of anything. He just should have pasted in one of your Chinese spam comments and called it a day.

Posted by: Mr Furious on September 23, 2006 at 12:30 AM | PERMALINK

Hawk: If you're so productive, how do you have the time to watch my RSS feed so obsessively and jump into every thread? Don't you have some productive work calling out to you?

Posted by: Kevin Drum on September 23, 2006 at 12:33 AM | PERMALINK

Poor American Hawk.

I feel your pain. How you must suffer.

Posted by: tweez on September 23, 2006 at 12:34 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin-- The great thing about laptops is that I can work, and the RSS feeder will let me know when a new post is up. Surely you're familar with the concept?

What's more, I imagine you consider yourself a productive person, and you spend a hundred times the amount of time working on this blog than I do...


Anyway, I'm not being productive *at the moment*. It's 11:30 PM on a Friday. But if Democrats had their way, my tax bracket would be in the 75% or so, like in the pre-Reagan area. That's unacceptable.

Posted by: American Hawk on September 23, 2006 at 12:36 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin, I just have to wonder, just how brain-dead are you today?

I have one other message for Dean: Dude. You were writing in the fucking Wall Street Journal. Do you really think that's the place for a thousand words of pitchfork-waving, tax-cut-hating, populist agit-prop?

Now, I know you try hard to curry favor with your right-wing brethren, but today you're trying a little too hard. "Agit-prop"? Hell, you write the same economic wonkery every third day, and now you bash Dean for articulating the same thing, but with a real audience? If you actually believed in what you write, I can't fathom why you'd agree with frickin' Tom Bevan on this.

Even if you couldn't bring yourself to write about national security, don't you think you could have picked a slightly better approach to win the hearts and minds of the conservative business titans who read the Journal?

He frequently tied in economic issues with the war, in a financial newspaper. Crazy, isn't it. What would you have him do differently, really? Was he simply supposed to write about the war, and not about its costs and effects domestically?

You're pretzeling yourself in an effort to appear Sensible. Cut it out.

Posted by: Irony Man on September 23, 2006 at 12:37 AM | PERMALINK

I'd settle for 50% of American Hawk's income to send to our brave men and women fighting overseas.

Of course the're probably not as "productive" as he is.

Posted by: tweez on September 23, 2006 at 12:39 AM | PERMALINK

they're

Posted by: tweez on September 23, 2006 at 12:41 AM | PERMALINK

"I keep posting in the futile hope that, eventually, maybe some democrats will come around and stop wanting to punish me for being a productive, high-income earning American."

Well, no, actually, you keep posting because you love to troll. And you love that you can get people riled through the simple expedient of writing really stupid shit over and over and over again.

Sadly, it takes no particular skill to troll. All it takes is the ability to write really stupid shit over and over and over again.

Posted by: PaulB on September 23, 2006 at 12:46 AM | PERMALINK

Kevvy you're right as rain again. In the WSJ, Dean should have called for more tax cuts.

Posted by: jerry on September 23, 2006 at 12:53 AM | PERMALINK

Tweez-- By definition, they're not. Ever heard of the Broken Windows fallacy? The military.... mostly breaks windows. I'm more on the 'supply' side of government revenue.

paulB-- Yes, I know how it works at liberal blogs. Anything right of Dennis Kucinich is 'trolling' or 'really stupid shit', and any disgruntled democrats are "concern trolls". Hey, at least my side is winning, and will again in 2006

Posted by: American Hawk on September 23, 2006 at 12:54 AM | PERMALINK

LOL... And so entirely predictable. Dear heart, I don't accuse those who disagree with me of writing stupid shit. I accuse those who write stupid shit of writing stupid shit. See, for example, your posts on this thread. Q.E.D.

Good night, dear heart. I don't have time to play with a troll tonight, so you'll have to turn to someone else to get your jollies.

Posted by: PaulB on September 23, 2006 at 12:56 AM | PERMALINK

Uh-oh.

I thwacked Kevin a little in his Euro-bashing thread -- and *now* he decides to go for the ample fleshy jugular of my hero Dr. Dean.

I'm sorry, Kevin. I'll still love ya just because you're shamelessly polishing up your centrist credentials for the InstaCracker cocktail weenie circuit, honestly I will.

Your cats will *always* remain adorable.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 23, 2006 at 1:03 AM | PERMALINK

they might want to reconsider the focus on the economy:

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-poll22sep22,0,2507975,full.story

Lots of swing voters read WSJ.

Posted by: republicrat on September 23, 2006 at 1:05 AM | PERMALINK

Irony Man:

Word.

The Pretzelization of Kevin Drum.

I wonder which blog will flog the press releases once it's in galleys ready to publish? :)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 23, 2006 at 1:07 AM | PERMALINK

What *I* wanna know is ... (speaking of Dr. Dean):

How he could have written a 1500-word editorial in the WSJ talking *exclusively* about Iraq and the GWoT.

That Kevin or his cocktail-weenie friends would find acceptible, that is ...

Seriously. WTF did you want this dude to say?

We're even *angrier* at Osama than the Republicans? How many words does *that* take?

More fearmongering rhetoric -- only the Dems will be even more draconian than the Republicans in rooting out the IslamoBadguy menace?

I mean, c'mon -- Dean said what needed to be said. He hit the talking points on both the GWoT and Iraq. Tougher and smarter. Strategic redeployment. What else *is* there that you would have liked to have heard -- seriously now.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 23, 2006 at 1:14 AM | PERMALINK

Hey Bob
When are you going to launch you blog?
Never you say since it is so much easier to criticize. You are a fucking douche.

Posted by: Bob MyAnus on September 23, 2006 at 1:16 AM | PERMALINK

Which is precisely my point about Kevin's empty criticism of what Dean wrote in the WSJ.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 23, 2006 at 1:18 AM | PERMALINK

Howard Dean, of all people, ain't gonna be Republican Lite. Ain't gonna happen.

Within those parameters -- I'd just love to know what else he could have said (or not have said) in what I thought was a very perspecatious editorial.

He's a Democrat, for crying out loud.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 23, 2006 at 1:22 AM | PERMALINK

Yes, I know how it works at liberal blogs. Anything right of Dennis Kucinich is 'trolling' or 'really stupid shit', and any disgruntled democrats are "concern trolls". Hey, at least my side is winning, and will again in 2006

A concern troll isn't a disgruntled Democrat. A concern troll is a Republican pretending to be a disgruntled Democrat for reasons known only to them and their reflection in the window that they talk to, and possibly Lee Siegel.

Big difference.

Posted by: scarshapedstar on September 23, 2006 at 1:24 AM | PERMALINK

scarshapedstar:

A concern troll's agenda is a little more deliberate and nefarious than that, from what I've observed.

A concern troll's entire intent is to get us to internalize the GOP talking points and run cowering from the strongest and most articulate elements in our party.

A concern troll wants us to fear and loathe our activist base -- despite the fact that the GOP goes out of its way to bestow *its* activist base -- no matter how frothingly extreme -- into a position of power and status, even if only symbolically so.

A concern troll's intent is to provoke a Democratic circular firing squad.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 23, 2006 at 1:29 AM | PERMALINK

Hell, you write the same economic wonkery every third day, and now you bash Dean for articulating the same thing, but with a real audience?

The man's got a point.

Posted by: rnc on September 23, 2006 at 1:45 AM | PERMALINK

Doctors often think they're the smartest person in the room. Med schools need to reel this crap in. Cocky arrogance can be toxic to clear thinking.

Posted by: ferd on September 23, 2006 at 1:45 AM | PERMALINK

At this point, I no longer fucking care if the Republicans retain Congress. The shit is about to hit the fan on just about all fronts. Why shouldn't these assholes still be in power so they can take the blame for it all?

I know, they won't have to shoulder any blame. The MSM will take care of that. Isn't it wonderful how the Corporate Party has a Corporate Media to cover its ass?

Posted by: Winda Warren Terra on September 23, 2006 at 1:47 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin - glad you gave props to RealClearPolitics.com.

It's one of the best political sites anywhere.

And yes, the proprietor, Tom Bevan, is a smart Republican.

Posted by: Frequency Kenneth on September 23, 2006 at 1:55 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin Drum >"...don't you think you could have picked a slightly better approach to win the hearts and minds of the conservative business titans who read the Journal?..."

No one that reads the OpEd page of the WSJ & believes a word of it is EVER going to vote for a Democratic candidate

Oh, and by the way, American Squawker can go jack himself off somewhere else gutless punk that he is

"You see what power is - holding someone else's fear in your hand and showing it to them!" - Amy Tan

Posted by: daCascadian on September 23, 2006 at 2:14 AM | PERMALINK

"But if Democrats had their way, my tax bracket would be in the 75% or so, like in the pre-Reagan area"

You mean, back before we were running trillion dollars in extra debt every couple of years?

"Know your audience. This is Persuasion 101. Can't anybody play this game anymore?"

I offer my challenge again Kevin. Do better. Come up with a plan that won't immediately be trumped by a batshit crazy plan from the right.

Have someone write "loot" on your forehead, and just sit in front of the mirror for a while.

You. Are. A. Tool.

Posted by: Mysticdog on September 23, 2006 at 2:40 AM | PERMALINK

don't you think you could have picked a slightly better approach to win the hearts and minds of the conservative business titans who read the Journal?

Look at it the other way around: WSJ readers know what he really wants, and don't need to depend on second-hand paraphrases.

Posted by: republicrat on September 23, 2006 at 2:47 AM | PERMALINK

I keep posting in the futile hope that, eventually, maybe some democrats will come around and stop wanting to punish me for being a productive, high-income earning American.

That's not why we want to punish you.

Posted by: craigie on September 23, 2006 at 2:51 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin is right. Dean's piece was very good but ill-suited to the WSJ. Conservatives are typically unmoved by the plight of middle-class Americans and even less of the poor. (Why can't they pull themselves up by their bootstraps? Or conversely--why do liberals want to punish me for being a productive, high-income earning American?)

Conservatives do care about fiscal discipline and national security.

Know your audience.

Posted by: Lucy on September 23, 2006 at 3:05 AM | PERMALINK

Oops, Kevin just said "Know your audience."

Um, yeah!

Posted by: Lucy on September 23, 2006 at 3:11 AM | PERMALINK

American Hawk makes the usual Republican mistake of generalizing to the sake of absurdity.

Not everyone, by a long way, who makes a lot of money makes it by being productive. I've known plenty of liars, cheats, manipulators, con artists and just plain criminals who have made plenty of money. And that's just in the banking and financial world. I'm sure we've all got examples.

Look at the auto dealership world. Or mortgage/re-financing.

In the same way, all people held (can't use the word arrested, that don't work) by this administration are presumed guilty as not charged as terrorists. And no appeal!

You guys don't use logic or a moral base. Just word play.

So, economically, it's very plain the lower 2/3 of US society have seen nothing of productivity gains throughout industries, just the big squeeze. And we see the guys at the top over-rewarding themselves. And it isn't good for society.

But then again, these guys have exactly the same morals and attitudes of the fat cats in any other American disfunctional, corrupt state. We're just still going down in the elevator to their level.

Posted by: notthere on September 23, 2006 at 3:14 AM | PERMALINK

I have a request. As one of the smartest liberal writers out there, can you please sometime post the four or five things that Bush has done to "make war on families" and that helped to create this economy that you descibe as awful to the poor and middle class? It strikes me that other than a tax cut and the prescription drug thing, he hasn't really done jack domestically vis a vis the economy.

I get that the left doesn't like tax cuts. Fine, I won't get back into that here. But seriously, what else? Is it the lack of action on stuff like minimum wages or having the government sit on wal-mart in some way? Is it not taking some action to prop up unions? Seriously, I am intensely curious what Bush has done to cause the wage stagnation you blame him for.

Posted by: Coyote on September 23, 2006 at 3:55 AM | PERMALINK

So why can't Democrats talk about National Security? Why can't the Democrats produce a viable strategy to win the War on Terror?

Maybe because the war on Terror is a batshit crazy Republican delusion and has been since 9/11? This is not to say that America does not face tremendous threats. We do. We absolutely do. And some of those threats involve lunatic Muslims who may get their hands on weapons of mass destruction.

...but the reason the Dems can't come up with a coherent War on Terror strategy is because the current WOT is primarily a incoherent, vicious gimmick to consolidate Republican power. Democrats can try to play the Republican game on terrorism and all they will do is help elect Republicans.

And the war on Terror is not why people are voting for Republicans.A substantial proportion of the population votes Republican not because they think the Republicans are such brilliant leaders who will keep us safe in the WOT, but because they are convinced at the gut-level that Democrats are drug-abusing, draft-dodging libertines who want to raise taxes to 75% and squander the wealth of hard working productive Americans on lazy minority groups.

Posted by: PTate in MN on September 23, 2006 at 3:57 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin: "And while we're at it, I have one other message for Dean: Dude. You were writing in the fucking Wall Street Journal. ... Even if you couldn't bring yourself to write about national security, don't you think you could have picked a slightly better approach to win the hearts and minds of the conservative business titans who read the Journal?"

By openly professing before his host -- without apology -- his party's liberal values and proggresive platform, Gov. Howard Dean demponstrated that he was more than willing to take the battle into his political adversaries' home ground. I would therefore offer that the DNC chairman's audience wasn't the few vacillating consciences amongst the nation's corporate capitalist elite, but the Democratic Party's own core activist base.

If -- as the late Sen. Barry Goldwater once observed -- "extremism in the defense of liberty is certainly no vice," then I would further note that your beloved political middle's apparent diffidence in the face of a militant GOP assault upon our country's time-honored and much valued constitutional principles is hardly a virtue.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on September 23, 2006 at 4:36 AM | PERMALINK

Is it Dean's fault or is Dean just the messenger?

Isn't it the Democratic Leadership that tells Dean what to say, what they want to run on? Isn't it Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi that have the November play book that Dean is supposed to spining?

Dean can't very well talk about terrorist agendas if Dems aren't planning to address the issue.

And speaking of play-books, did anyone notice this post from Josh Marshall:

Dem Fav Murtha has his own trail of earmark muck?

-- Josh Marshall

Only when you click on link, you find that there really isn't muck at all:

If the Dems take control of the House in November, Rep. John Murtha (D-PA), now lauded by Democratic activists for his tough stand on Iraq, is poised to retake the helm of an appropriations panel charged with spending hundreds of billions of dollars on defense-related projects, which he last chaired in the early 1990s. He may even ascend to be Majority Leader in a Democratically controlled House.

Oh my Gosh, and ex-marine is spending money on defense, but how can that be a bad thing for Dems who appear to be weak on national defense?

And these part: Just three years after joining Congress, Murtha was targeted in the Abscam sting, a three-year FBI sting that began in 1978. The operation, in which agents posed as representatives of an Arab sheik and offered suitcases of cash to lawmakers for favors (ah, the good old days), busted six lawmakers for bribery and corruption.

According to reports at the time, Murtha declined the agents' cash offer, but suggested the "sheik" find a way to invest the money in his home district. It was perhaps a telling response: for all the ink that's been spilled on his pork-loving ways, his "all-in-the-family" approach to fundraising and earmarking, no one has reported an instance where Murtha has enjoyed a direct monetary profit from an arrangement, as Duke Cunningham infamously did.

Yeah, it was telling response all right, Murtha didnt take the bait. Sounds like the reporter couldn't really find any dirt on Murtha so spends a lot of talk about pork loving in Bush over-spend world. Nobody spends like the Bush and his GOP following but lets pretend that's not true.

It looks to me like centrist Dems are getting ready to take Murtha out.

Murtha must not dare to get in the way of Hillary's big lose to the next Republican president we're going to have after Bush leaves office. You know, McCain.

We're just not going to be able to thank Josh and Kevin enough for that in 2008.

Posted by: Cheryl on September 23, 2006 at 4:42 AM | PERMALINK

OK, since we have all spend a few hours bad mouthing each other can we talk about the Howard Dean editorial now.

I have some questions I would like answered. First, is it the entire editorial? Did the Journal edit it.

Second, is it part of a series of editorials? The first on the economy and a second on national security.

Third, why would Dean write an editorial on the economy? Was he trying to change the subject, to take the initiative away from Karl Rove, or is he simply clueless. It seems to me that GWB has been on the receiving end of a string of "good" news days lately focusing on "homeland" security. Since the national Democrats are scared of saying a word about torture maybe Dean thought the economy would be the way to change the subject. We don't know.

Finally, has anybody done any reporting on any of the above questions? Anybody ask Dean why he said what he said? No. Why not?

You can return to the self-absorbed trollfest this site has become. Fight among yourselves.

Posted by: Ron Byers on September 23, 2006 at 6:40 AM | PERMALINK

Cheryl,

You made some great points. I read the muckraker article as well and thought to myself "what is she talking about?" It boiled down to "if Murtha gains power he might be somebody to watch." Well duh, everybody in power should be watched.

I came away thinking the article was a hatchet job. Which proves that even Josh Marshall's minions can get carried away every now and then.

Posted by: Ron Byers on September 23, 2006 at 6:47 AM | PERMALINK

If Dean had written much about Iraq or terrorism, at least three Democrats would have slammed him within 24 hours.

Kevin would have written a post saying Dean is not the party's war and terrorism spokesman. At the end of the post he would have written.

Know your place. This is Politics 101. Can't anybody play this game anymore?

You expect Dean to make clear, bold statements of policy on war and terrorism. But you overlook that he is the chair of a party that doesn't agree on what to do or what to say about either. He is also the chair of a party that can't even state publicly that they are against torture. Your expectations are unreasonable and your criticism is unfair.

The Republicans know that Dean is a leader with a loyal following. He is one of the few Democratic leaders who can get the attention of the Democratic base. So they have a practice of slamming him every time he speaks or acts. It doesn't matter what he says or does, they find a word, a phrase, or they distort. The key is to slam him every time.

Kevin, like far too many Democrats, has seen and heard this so many times that he has internalized it and is now echoing this practice.

Posted by: James E. Powell on September 23, 2006 at 7:00 AM | PERMALINK

Actually, we need Dems to fight the war on terror *without torturing anyone* -- we need them to fight the war on terrorist activities within the Geneva Conventions. We need them to make the phrase "war on terror" obsolete.

Posted by: Scorpio on September 23, 2006 at 7:02 AM | PERMALINK

Hawk is ignorant of his history.

The Really Best Taxer of Them All was Eisenhower, with a tax of 90% on everything over a million dollars. Now *there* was a man who knew how to tax -- and all for nation building, yanno. The problem with hawks is they want to bomb, but they do not want to pay to fix the damage they cause.

Posted by: Scorpio on September 23, 2006 at 7:05 AM | PERMALINK

Cheryl: "Yeah, it was telling response all right, Murtha didnt take the bait."

This story reminds me of the time in the 1980s, when President Ronald Reagan's Justice Department -- under that paragon of civic virtue, Attorney General Ed Meese -- was so certain that Willie Brown, the longtime and colorful Democratic Speaker of the California State Assembly, was dirty that they set up an undercover sting operation in Sacramento not unlike Abscam.

While Brown similarly declined the bait offered by the FBI's undercover "lobbyists", five or six GOP legislators did bite, and were subsequently arrested, indicted and convicted for public corruption.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on September 23, 2006 at 7:06 AM | PERMALINK

The Wall Street Journal is where democrats write Op-Eds to confuse, distract, and appease the fears of conservative donors.

With that single crappy editorial he just got 1000's of RNC donors to cancel their checks and collectively mutter something to themselves about the democrats falling on the sword.

Posted by: B on September 23, 2006 at 7:46 AM | PERMALINK

"Know your audience. This is Persuasion 101. Can't anybody play this game anymore?"

need to see more of this in 'left wing' blogs: a sense of realism, of strategic nuance and acuity.

Ideology only succeeds through sundry forms of abuse, in this case against one's intelligence and free will [GOP] or one's commonsense rationalism and sense of proportion [Dean et al].

Posted by: heraclitus on September 23, 2006 at 7:55 AM | PERMALINK

Donald from Hawaii,

You're always lucid and persuasive, but I disagree with you here. Even if, as Ron Byers suggests, Dean's editorial is the first of a series, Dean's opening salvo should have played to conservative anxieties about runaway spending and national security. For god's sake, Dean ran for president as a fiscal conservative! He should have used this capital to attack Bush for his fecklessness in allowing spending to spiral out of control.

Dean could have used the same tack to skewer Bush on national security. Bush's foreign policy is a feckless, wasteful failure. Conservatives like to think of themselves as winners. Bush is a loser. He's lost control of the budget. He's lost Osama bin Laden. He's losing the war in Iraq. Etc.

Instead, Dean's editorial is largely devoted to boilerplate rhetoric about issues conservatives not only don't care about but actively dislike. Who cares about struggling families? They're losers.

Furthermore, the Democrats must articulate a coherent national security policy. However undeserved their reputation, Democrats have little credibility on this score. They must hammer away at the fact that Republicans cannot be trusted on national security. 911 occurred on Bush's watch. Bush plunged the nation into a war of choice that has energized our enemies and galvanized the Muslim world against us. The world is a more dangerous place because of Republican foreign policy. And so on.

Dean had a great opportunity to assure the corporate elite about the Democratic alternative. He blew it.

Posted by: Lucy on September 23, 2006 at 9:32 AM | PERMALINK

Some good news:

A day after British business mogul Richard Branson pledged $3 billion to battle global warming, Clinton on Friday announced the launch of a $1 billion investment fund for renewable energy.

Clinton said the new Green Fund would focus on reducing pollution and dependence on fossil fuels and creating jobs.

I don't really like or trust Bill Clinton any more. Clinton spend so much time defending and supporting Bush and this horrible holocaust of a war that both Presidents lied us into.

Still, it would be nice to see that Al Gore's dream of renewable resources did die with Bush v. Gore.

Posted by: Cheryl on September 23, 2006 at 9:35 AM | PERMALINK

"Know your audience. This is Persuasion 101. Can't anybody play this game anymore?"

Yes. They're called Republicans.

"A concern troll's entire intent is to get us to internalize the GOP talking points and run cowering from the strongest and most articulate elements in our party.
A concern troll wants us to fear and loathe our activist base -- despite the fact that the GOP goes out of its way to bestow *its* activist base -- no matter how frothingly extreme -- into a position of power and status, even if only symbolically so.
Bob"

And then some. Panadagon has a hugely funny post on how the NJ Rethugs were caught trolling blogs in that state; apparently they weren't too bright about it:

http://pandagon.net/2006/09/22/rovian-tactics-busted-at-bluejersey/#comments

NYT story:

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/21/nyregion/21blog.html?_r=4&oref=slogin&oref=slogin&oref=slogin&oref=slogin

Posted by: smartalek on September 23, 2006 at 9:39 AM | PERMALINK

The Republicans know that Dean is a leader with a loyal following. He is one of the few Democratic leaders who can get the attention of the Democratic base. So they have a practice of slamming him every time he speaks or acts. It doesn't matter what he says or does, they find a word, a phrase, or they distort. The key is to slam him every time.

Kevin, like far too many Democrats, has seen and heard this so many times that he has internalized it and is now echoing this practice.

James E. Powell. You got that one right. The Republicans are scared shitless of Howard Dean because he is a real Democrat and one of those tame Democrats like Joe Leiberman or Hillary Clinton. They have to keep him down for exactly the same reason the "professional Democrats" have to keep him down. His words can move the rank and file. In that way he is like Harry Truman. Truman was scary to Republicans and their allies too.

If, like the Republican lite Democrats, you like the status quo you have to fear and loath somebody like Dean. His message screams change.

All of that said, I sort of agree that he missed an opportunity at the WSJ.

Posted by: Ron Byers on September 23, 2006 at 10:03 AM | PERMALINK

Study after study shows that no matter how tight the economy gets, most white Americans think they are middle class, rich, or soon to be rich. I am no fan of the DLC, but I've always been a firm believer in one of their central messages: most Americans don't like hearing economic gloom and doom. Now, this does NOT mean you need to offer a corportist message. Rather, it means that, when Dems talk about the economy, they need to talk about opportunity...not disparity. Why? Because that's what people want to hear!

The nation's economic numbers might be terrible. Real wages might be stagnant or falling. But the bottom line is, most Americans don't want to hear about it. They want to hear from a political party who will create the environment for them to make it big. They want to hear from the political party that will help them start a business or invent something. Is this silly and unrealistic? Sure it is. But it wins elections.

There's a reason huge numbers of poor, white Americans vote against their interests every year by going Republican. In part, it's because Republicans play on racial stereotypes and corny Americana themes. But it's also because Republicans tell these people what they want to hear on the economy.

Posted by: owenz on September 23, 2006 at 10:04 AM | PERMALINK

In order to win, Democrats have to stop using Republican frames and talking points, and use their own.

The worst way to fight terrorism was to invade and occupy Iraq. Bush should have never let Osama escape from Tora Bora. Republicans don't think Osama is important Democrats do. Terrorism has increased throught the world since we invaded. Ect. Ect.

I'ts not that hard to turn the debate around, if your willing to stand up and say it with conviction.

Posted by: AkaDad on September 23, 2006 at 10:05 AM | PERMALINK

What happened to "not" in the sentence "not one of those tame Democrats like Joe Leiberman or Hillary Clinton." Odd. I could have sworn I typed it.

Posted by: Ron Byers on September 23, 2006 at 10:05 AM | PERMALINK

To retread a phrase associated with the smartest political leader of the last half century, It is the economy, stupid. Many more Americans (by several orders of magnitude) have their lives shredded and /or ended needlessly early due to economic conditions then due to terrorist actions.


maybe some democrats will come around and stop wanting to punish me for being a productive, high-income earning American.

Oh AH, are you really such a paranoid buffoon? Or are you so short-sightedly greedy? Both? There was a window of time (approx. 70 years) where the economic rules of this society were such that any person who was willing to work hard at a full time job could afford adequate housing, provide for a family, get decent medical care and even see their kids go to college.

The dignity of labor was celebrated and rewarded. Currently, this is so far from the case that it seems to from an alien world.

As a result, our greater community is becoming so out of balance that harm is accruing. Harm that is so pervasive that terroristic threat pales in comparison.

And Kevin Drum, are you drinking an Orange County flavor of the Kool-Aid as well?

Posted by: Keith G on September 23, 2006 at 10:06 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin. I am shocked at the dropping of the F-bomb! Is that a first (or Frist)? However, your point is a good one. Howard Dean and the Dems just don't stay on message with the same laser-focus as the opposition. They also don't use the supposed strengths of the opposition (e.g. national security), as a bludgeon to beat them with, a la Rove. This Administration is weak, weak, weak on national security. The Dems need to exploit that and point it out to the American people again and again and again.

And now, with UBL likely dead, Bush will forever wear the albatross of never having brought the spiritual leader of the worst attacks on America to justice.

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on September 23, 2006 at 10:06 AM | PERMALINK

I'ts not that hard to turn the debate around, if your willing to stand up and say it with conviction.

Posted by: AkaDad on September 23, 2006

I don't think many of our national "leaders" have the conviction.

Posted by: Ron Byers on September 23, 2006 at 10:08 AM | PERMALINK

The Republicans are scared shitless of Howard Dean because he is a real Democrat and *not* one of those tame Democrats like Joe Leiberman or Hillary Clinton

Ron,

I hate to break this news to you but you might want to go back to the 2004 primaries and look at Howards Deans results and ask yourself, "Why on earth would anyone fear a well funded candidate who can do NO BETTER than 3rd in DEMOCRATIC primaries?

Dean is a dream for Conservatives. He's like Michael Moore and George Clooney, Sean Penn, Tim robbins, etc. He's friggin target practice. You've even got lefty Kevin taking shots at him when he's not ducking Chuch Schumer and Rob Emanuel.

It's quite true he owns the lefty freak show.

It's just as true the lefty freak show can't help elect Presidents.

You don't see the head of the RNC in the news often because he's too busy doing his job. Dean creates news putting both feet in his mouth. The man is a loser.

Posted by: rdw on September 23, 2006 at 10:14 AM | PERMALINK

"The man is a loser."

You see? Conservatives are binary thinkers.

Posted by: Lucy on September 23, 2006 at 10:19 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin: the Bush administration has failed on every single facet of good management, and have exported the terror we felt on 9-11 to a Ground Hog's Day like effect throughout the Middle East. The local elections will not be won on the pseudo-arguments and self-serving security issues brought up by the administration. They are absolutely desperate, not to win the election, but to avoid international tribunals and probable impeachment. There obsession with gutting the Geneva Convention--right now--is because this is their last chance to avoid prosecution. I believe they should be prosecuted anyway, because they knowingly violated existing law. This is the most corrupt and dangerous government since Pierce and Buchanan, and we all know what followed those.

Watch polling places carefully. Vote straight Democrat. I don't give a damn whether the GOP candidtae is playing like he isn't a Rovian.

We need to get some investigations going, and get our real security needs taken care of--taking care of the Palestinian question for example. Watching Clinton on Olbermann last night was like a vacation back to competence. I wish he could have served four or five terms.

Posted by: Sparko on September 23, 2006 at 10:21 AM | PERMALINK

There's a reason huge numbers of poor, white Americans vote against their interests every year by going Republican. In part, it's because Republicans play on racial stereotypes and corny Americana themes. But it's also because Republicans tell these people what they want to hear on the economy.

That's not it at all. They just can't stand elitist liberals telling them they're stupid and racist.

Owenz you may be able to help me wth something I just can't figure out. I will admit up front I am conservative so that might be part of my problem. I just don't have the intellectual capacity. but I do what I can and I know if I want to understand something I merely need to ask a liberal. They know everything.

Here's my 'quantry'. We all know religious types, redneck and other racists breed like rabbits. We also know that liberals and other secularists, knowing the strain we are putting on Mother Earth, breed little, if at all. We all of course know we live in a Democracy.

So why do liberals insult this large body of voting dupes? There's more of them now and we know from census data there will be many, many more tomorrow. Why piss off the majority? Are you assuming they're too stupid to figure it out? Or are you too stupid to figure it out?

Inquiring minds want to know!

Posted by: rdw on September 23, 2006 at 10:28 AM | PERMALINK

I don't think many of our national "leaders" have the conviction.

I couldn't agree more Ron.

Americans support the Dems on most issues. The problem isn't the issues, its that they don't know how to speak properly.

Posted by: AkaDad on September 23, 2006 at 10:36 AM | PERMALINK

The man who planned Pearl Harbor was similarly never "brought to justice"

IIRC he was killed when US pilots shot down the transport plain he was traveling in.

Posted by: Keith G on September 23, 2006 at 10:40 AM | PERMALINK

This election is a repudiation of the damage done by Republicans. It is that simple. If one equivocates and votes to empower weakness and weak minds, then our leadership will continue to be wanting. The cringing toadies who troll here are the enemies of freedom. Free speech to them is a weakness; something to be exploited like fear.

There are real economic problems in America. The largest and most real is that damned enormous budget deficit. This administration speaks for a narrow group of interests. You have to repudiate the American Hawk level of discourse. What has Bush done to make the country safe? He has trebled our enemies throughout the world. And humans who hate are resourceful enemies--look at Karl Rove. We must repudiate fear, and validate freedom and courage.

Posted by: Sparko on September 23, 2006 at 10:46 AM | PERMALINK

"In part, it's because Republicans play on racial stereotypes and corny Americana themes. But it's also because Republicans tell these people what they want to hear on the economy."


Is that why Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and Ray Nagin blame the slow Fed response to Katrina because of the numerous black victims? Oh wait, they're all Democrats.

But isn't it the Dems that are telling us how bad the economy is despite historic low unemployment, ever-increasing GDP #'s, low inflation, rising productivity, rising home ownership and increasing federal tax receipts?

Posted by: Jay on September 23, 2006 at 10:49 AM | PERMALINK

It says something that Jim Webb, essentially a Republican who switched sides because of his opposition to the invasion of Iraq, is one of the few Democratic candidates speaking concretely and authoritatively on foreign policy.

Wake up, Democratic leadership!

Posted by: Lucy on September 23, 2006 at 10:51 AM | PERMALINK

btw, I heard a prominent liberal on the radio the other day (can't recall who exactly it was) proceed to tell America that we as a society have an obligation to make it economically viable for girls to decide to have out of wedlock children.

Meaning, we should provide subsidized child care and employers should offer flex scheduling.

Using this logic, what if I chose to spend more time with my family and wanted to work only part time. Shouldn't society subsidize my mortgage?

And you wonder why you're losing elections? Just keep your mouths shut, you might win one.

Posted by: Jay on September 23, 2006 at 10:53 AM | PERMALINK

We must repudiate fear, and validate freedom and courage

Yes. Precisely. We weren't pissing down our legs when we faced the Soviets, who actually had the means to do in huge numbers of Americans. Now if we don't tremble and shake and lose control of bodily functions and rush to the Great White Father in Washington, begging him to take our civil liberties to protect our freedom; we aren't patriotic.

What a crock.

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 23, 2006 at 10:54 AM | PERMALINK

"We weren't pissing down our legs when we faced the Soviets..." - global


When Reagan called the Soviets the "evil empire", the left was definitely pissing down their legs. You don't remember that?

Oh yeah, that's that revision of history so critical to the lefts positions.

Posted by: Jay on September 23, 2006 at 11:04 AM | PERMALINK

Always able to encapsulate in words what the rest of us are thinking, Daniel Shorr once again puts it perfectly when he says:

And so when the law speaks of cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment of captives, it may have more meaning for a senator who served than for a White House official who never had to worry about possibly being tortured.
Posted by: Global Citizen on September 23, 2006 at 11:07 AM | PERMALINK

I was on a SAC installation at that time. The SAC guys were laughing at Reagan.

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 23, 2006 at 11:08 AM | PERMALINK

Gosh mhr, what a workmanline job of recycling GOP distortions and misdirections. Your Medal of Freedom awaits. Heck of a job!

Posted by: Keith G on September 23, 2006 at 11:08 AM | PERMALINK

mhr's rant is a preview of what the GOP attack machine has in store for the next seven weeks.

How will the Democrats respond? "It's the economy, stupid?"

Posted by: Lucy on September 23, 2006 at 11:15 AM | PERMALINK

Global Citizen: And so when the law speaks of cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment of captives, it may have more meaning for a senator who served than for a White House official who never had to worry about possibly being tortured.

I'm sure it does. That makes it more meaningful that the senator has signed on to the president's bill, after receiving some concessions.

Or are you one of the people who respects McCain a lot as long as he opposes the president, and disregards his opinion when he agrees with the president? He's a pretty good man either way.

Posted by: republicrat on September 23, 2006 at 11:17 AM | PERMALINK

Dean is a very odd fellow and it is hard to see how he has been a moderately successful politician. He has nothing to say about national security and, unfortunately, the democrat party also has little to say.

Colbert King has a spectacular column in the Washington Post today about political hacks and national security. Read the whole thing for full appreciation, but below are the money quotes on politicians (Dean, Kerry, Reid and others definitely fall within this description with his incessant talking about how Bush has not gotten Bin Laden and other partisan talking points -- less so Hillary, but even she is going in that direction.)


"Self-regarding members of Congress, intent on keeping their jobs, have forgotten all about enemies who are so convinced of America's evil and their own righteousness that they can justify making everything in this country -- its national treasures and its people -- targets for destruction.

Listen closely to the huffing and puffing on Capitol Hill. It's all about criticizing each other on the war. They work themselves into a lather arguing about which party can best represent Americans in the hallowed halls of Washington. Watch as they strut and brag about how their party is, because of a surfeit of patriotic zeal, best able to hold terrorist-harboring countries accountable.

Each party treats the other like a malignancy on the body politic when the real cancer is the terrorists whose malignant objective is to kill and maim, to show us how vulnerable we are, to instill fear and to bring this country to its knees.

So, while members of Congress slip, slide, peep and hide in their quest for cheap political advantage, somewhere, somehow, a group not unlike those who got to us five years ago is plotting against crowded suburban shopping malls, downtown cultural centers, subway stations, football stadiums and sources of drinking water.

* * *

Congress and the White House ought to be focusing on defeating that enemy -- not each other. The puerile political nonsense on display on both sides of the Capitol dome must end.

Al-Qaeda, as has been written in this space, bleeds, too. The terrorist ilk that attacked on Sept. 11 must be broken -- not chased, harassed or condemned from a U.N. podium, but broken. That means: Take them down here, there or anywhere they're found.

Bring them before the bar of justice if possible, but by all means, and for as long as it takes, hunt them down. To do any less is to invite more strikes, more body bags, more shattered American lives."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/09/22/AR2006092201439.html

Posted by: brian on September 23, 2006 at 11:19 AM | PERMALINK

Tom-one so you are saying that the plane was shot own after a phone call made by or to an American citizen was intercepted?

I smell more GOP misdirection.

Posted by: Keith G on September 23, 2006 at 11:19 AM | PERMALINK

A day after British business mogul Richard Branson pledged $3 billion to battle global warming, Clinton on Friday announced the launch of a $1 billion investment fund for renewable energy.

that's nice, even though lots more than that is already being invested. It's very public, and will raise awareness of how much is being done, as well as how much more needs to be done.

Can't anybody play this game anymore?

When Casey Stengel said that his Mets were winning only about 25% of their games. The Democrats are over 45%, and close to a winning record. It just seems bad because it is so hard to get the last few percent needed for majority.

Posted by: republicrat on September 23, 2006 at 11:25 AM | PERMALINK

Meanwhile....

Compare and contrast:

1) Communist methods

"In 1971, while in Lefortovo prison in Moscow (the central KGB interrogation jail), I went on a hunger strike demanding a defense lawyer of my choice (the KGB wanted its trusted lawyer to be assigned instead). The moment was most inconvenient for my captors because my case was due in court, and they had no time to spare. So, to break me down, they started force-feeding me in a very unusual manner -- through my nostrils. About a dozen guards led me from my cell to the medical unit. There they straitjacketed me, tied me to a bed, and sat on my legs so that I would not jerk. The others held my shoulders and my head while a doctor was pushing the feeding tube into my nostril.

The feeding pipe was thick, thicker than my nostril, and would not go in. Blood came gushing out of my nose and tears down my cheeks, but they kept pushing until the cartilages cracked. I guess I would have screamed if I could, but I could not with the pipe in my throat. I could breathe neither in nor out at first; I wheezed like a drowning man -- my lungs felt ready to burst. The doctor also seemed ready to burst into tears, but she kept shoving the pipe farther and farther down. Only when it reached my stomach could I resume breathing, carefully. Then she poured some slop through a funnel into the pipe that would choke me if it came back up. They held me down for another half-hour so that the liquid was absorbed by my stomach and could not be vomited back, and then began to pull the pipe out bit by bit. . . . Grrrr. There had just been time for everything to start healing during the night when they came back in the morning and did it all over again, for 10 days"
......

2) Republican methods

"The new procedures were instituted in early January. They include strapping detainees to a chair, forcing a tube down their throats, feeding them large quantities of liquid nutrients and water, and leaving them in the chair for as long as two hours to keep them from purging the food, according to detainee accounts and military officials. Detainees told their attorneys that the tactics, first reported last month in the New York Times, caused them to urinate and defecate on themselves and that the insertion and removal of the feeding tube was painful.

Mohammad Bawazir, a Yemeni detainee who was the subject of Friday's filing in U.S. District Court in Washington, told his lawyers he began his hunger strike in August and was determined to die in Cuba but stopped resisting the force-feeding last year when he decided it was futile. Bawazir's attorneys said he had been allowing the feedings -- through a tube that was left in at all times -- but the tactics changed dramatically on Jan. 11, when the military strapped Bawazir to a chair and forced a much larger tube into his nose and down his throat, causing him "unbearable pain."

Richard G. Murphy Jr., a Washington lawyer representing Bawazir, said yesterday that military officials "argue it's a life-saving mechanism, but they were already engaged in saving his life, without resistance."

Mission accomplished..?

Posted by: A Hermit on September 23, 2006 at 11:27 AM | PERMALINK

The Democratic party response to the torture debate? Silence.

WAKE UP AND LEAD!

Posted by: Lucy on September 23, 2006 at 11:36 AM | PERMALINK

We must repudiate fear, and validate freedom and courage

True enough.

We need the courage to defeat the threat. Pointing out that there is a threat, and detailing its nature, its geographic extent, and its ability to kill with simple and commonplace weaponry is a part of defeating the threat. It's foolish to say that there is no threat, or that the threat is negligible.

John Kerry said that the effort should be more like police work and less like war. On the whole, I think most Americans believe the effort should be more like war and not merely like police work. People disagree on whether the Iraq war helps or hurts the effort against Islamist terrorists. Lots of people reasonably do not share my concern about the Islamists in Indonesia. But anybody who writes about how Americans are more scared now than during the Cold War, or that fear-mongers are pissing down their pants, just hasn't apprehended the threat that requires our courage.

Posted by: republicrat on September 23, 2006 at 11:39 AM | PERMALINK

I'm saying that FDR was allowed to do whatever it took (including the internment of AMERICAN citizens) to win the war.

What you seem to be saying is that ill-considered, racist and flat out ineffective methods must be used to "keep Americans safe".

Your Medal of Freedom awaits.

Posted by: Keith G on September 23, 2006 at 11:39 AM | PERMALINK

How do you know..?

I know because people in the America I learned about are innocent until a due process based legal proceedure proves that they are quilty.

Its so sad that you don't believe in that same America.

Posted by: Keith G on September 23, 2006 at 11:51 AM | PERMALINK

Troll fest! Troll fest!

I wish you guy(s) actually stood for something besides ignorance.

I say again, time to repudiate republicanism once and for all. Or have the constitution feasted upon by these cringing toadies. Penny a post.

Posted by: Sparko on September 23, 2006 at 11:53 AM | PERMALINK

I'm an extremist? Ha! That's rich. I'm actually pretty moderate.

Speaking of Lieberman, I called his DC office to demand that the Senator denounce the torture bill (despite his undistinguished record on this issue). His staffwoman's response? "Um, what do you mean, exactly? There's nothing called 'the torture bill'."

You're goddamned right I voted for Lamont.

Posted by: Lucy on September 23, 2006 at 12:14 PM | PERMALINK

I thought this was a peculiarly clueless post, Kevin - quite unusual for you. Some observations:

1. The Wall Street Journal is not just read by the the top 1% of Americans, and by "conservative business titans." It is read throughout the business world, by people enagaged in commerce and finance at many different levels.

2. My guess is that the vast majority of Wall Street Journal readers consider themselves "middle class Americans."

3. Many of these middle class business-oriented Americans are indeed worried about rising healthcare costs, stagnant wages and falling retirement coverage, both because they themselves are feeling those pinches, and because in their roles as managers they run up against these challenges every day.

4. Lots of people in the business world do in fact think that the people at the very tops of their corporations are paid too much, are coddled by their boards, and use their inordinate political influence to enact fiscal and regulatory policies that are bad for business and bad for America.

5. Even some of those at the top are open to a message that a shrinking middle class is bad for capitalism and bad for America. Some of them are actually smart, and since their businesses are often based on selling things to a prosperous middle class, an enlightened long-view concern for their self-interest makes them worry about this problem.

6. One thing we can say that Wall Street Journal readers probably do have in common is that they are much more concerned about economics than the average American. Thus it makes abundant sense to lead with economic policy in addressing Wall Street Journal readers.

7. If you think the issues of threatened middle class prosperity, foreign competition and distorted political priorities focussed on the extremely wealthy are only the concerns of "pitchfork-waving populists", you don't understand 90% of the American business world.

8. In any political forum, your goal is never to convert your entire audience, but to convert enough of the people you need to win. There are abundant prospects for the Democratic economic pitch among Wall Street Journal readers, and Dean deserves credit for going after them aggressively and with confidence.

9. Conceding vast chunks of the American landscape to the Republicans as "opposition turf" is precisely the the sort of simpering counsel of defeat that Dean has been struggling against, and is beginning to reverse. The Dean message is a powerful and sensible middle class appeal capable of attracting a majority of Americans, and thus he should take every opportunity he can to get into every living room, meeting hall and op-ed page he can - even those of the alleged "opposition".

10. People in business tend to admire other people who compete, fight and win, and who are "straight-shooters." Having one message, sticking to it, and fighting for it even in places where the battle is uphill is a better and more attractive approach than the standard tactics of feckless, timid, waffling weaseldom and pandering that have characterized many Democratic elected officials and pundits in our recent history.

Posted by: Dan Kervick on September 23, 2006 at 12:33 PM | PERMALINK
you and Keith would be against the torture of Khalid Sheik Mohammed ("innocent until proven guilty") even if you knew the result was Washington, DC and a couple major American cities being nuked?

Thomas1/Charlie,

The only way you can justify torture is by imagining scenarios which are 100% imaginary.

The idea of actually leading by example and thus living our values is entirely beyond your feeble mind.

You're a goddamned liar to boot.

Posted by: obscure on September 23, 2006 at 12:34 PM | PERMALINK

Thomas1, you sound pretty hysterical and extreme. No wonder considering the hysteria and extremism that has been spouted from your leadership like Dick "No Evidence" Cheney. Why do you and your leadership keep trying to spook people and justify illegal torture crimes with some phantom nuclear threat that doesn't exist? Stop believing in phantoms and fears that are nonexistant. It's your party's confusion and hysteria that has led to the debacle in Iraq. A focused Democratic leadership would have probably put an end to Bin Laden and AQ years ago and done it without destroying the values that made this country great.

The Republican party's record of confusion, ignored warnings, missed opportunities, false wars, trumped evidence, billions of tax payer dollars "reappriated" into the pockets of republican cronies, and illegal torture of innocent people including children clearly shows republicans to be the weak party on terror. You can't be strong and terror and destructive of American values at the same time. You can't claim to be tough on security if you're constantly afraid of phantoms.

Posted by: Chrissy on September 23, 2006 at 12:42 PM | PERMALINK

"My guess is that the vast majority of Wall Street Journal readers consider themselves 'middle class Americans.'"

Right. Since in America, the rich often consider themselves "middle class".


Posted by: Lucy on September 23, 2006 at 12:48 PM | PERMALINK

Oh Thomas, no, no, and no.

Your paranoid imaginings are so off the wall.

You see, I have faith. Faith that this great country has the wherewithal to successfully fight the existent terror threats without throwing the baby out with the bath water.

By that I mean that it is clear that Osama knew that he and his murderous ilk could do nothing on their own to gravely hurt the USA. For that to happen he knew he would have to enlist the cooperation of citizens such as yourself . If he could get our society to over-react, to give in to the darker impulses spawned by fear, he knew he could gain the upper hand.

Thomas, you are want to invoke the names of leaders such as JFK, leaders who could fill the center of a foreign city with tens of thousands of its citizens cheering for an America that gave them hope, an America that was living up it its historic promise.

That, my friend, is our best defense and not the image of a sniveling and bullying coward that you so quickly are willing to provide.

Posted by: Keith G on September 23, 2006 at 1:07 PM | PERMALINK

Dumb post.

Dean writes an Op-Ed on the WSJ and doesn't lay out a War on Terror strategy? Could it be that Democrats don't want Dean to be a point man on the issue Kevin? Could it be they want folks like Murtha and Clark to be the messengers? Sheesh.

Does anybody blogging know how to play this game?

Posted by: Armando on September 23, 2006 at 1:12 PM | PERMALINK

most of the asshats pushing for torture on this board, as in washington, have not been in the military. this is an extension of the supposed tough-mindedness and seriousness of the chickenhawk rightwing, which is too cowardly to actually serve (despite several having been old enough), and yet nevertheless having a military fetish and thinking themselves security experts despite their ignorance.

trashhauler may be an exception, but he's old and white, so his view on torture may be simple bigotry.

the public statments of actual military and CIA service-people contradicts most of the pro-torture rhetoric.

Posted by: Nads on September 23, 2006 at 1:14 PM | PERMALINK

press1forenglish: Bushie had the chance and passed (more likely passed out). Would have, could have, should have and "No one could have predicted" are just loser republican excuses for a bunch of confused cut/torture republicans.

Posted by: Chrissy on September 23, 2006 at 1:24 PM | PERMALINK

French intel leak sez bin laden died in Pakistan a month ago of typhoid.

Posted by: Adam on September 23, 2006 at 1:24 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks Thomas, you have just cut to the chase when you typed:

the torture of one suspected terrorist.

I believe it was some long haired liberal who years ago opined, as you treat the least of these, you treat me.

What was his name?

Posted by: Keith G on September 23, 2006 at 1:27 PM | PERMALINK

Press1, Clinton had the chance and he tried as all the while he was being criticized by the Republicans for being too focused on Bin Laden. He regrets that the attempt was not successful, but he tried. Bush didnt even try until after 9/11.

Stop being a lying putz.

Posted by: Keith G on September 23, 2006 at 1:35 PM | PERMALINK

Dan Kervick,

I would like to be convinced that your thoughtful argument is correct and that Kevin's reaction was way off the mark.

"Threatened middle class prosperity, foreign competition and distorted political priorities" have been problems throughout the Bush years, and indeed many Wall Street types defected to Kerry in 2004. Certainly it makes sense to reiterate the toll on the economy exacted by Republic policy, and you make an interesting point about the WSJ's readership. However, I'm pretty confident the Journal's demographic is upper middle class and up. Many Journal readers, of course, actually work on Wall Street and lost friends and colleagues on 911. They have reason to worry about national security. Dean gave them nothing.

Posted by: Lucy on September 23, 2006 at 1:37 PM | PERMALINK

Er, "Republican" policy.

Posted by: Lucy on September 23, 2006 at 1:39 PM | PERMALINK

ah ... but I don't think that I know better than the multiple CIA and military men who wrote against our revision of the geneva conventions, and who insist torture doesn't work.

I mean, I certainly understand WHY you're a cowardly chickenhawk ... so many of the people you're so busy fellating, from bush to rumsfeld, are either deserters or cowardly chickenhawks, and similarly ignorant of military matters despite thinking themselves expert.

and sure it's an all-volunteer army ... and I clearly don't support illegal wars for profit predicated on lies. However, you do, and given that the only way the armed forces are meeting enlistment quotas is by lowering their IQ and age standards, I just think that you would be duty-bound to volunteer yourself for the noble cause ... except that you're a fat, cowardly chickenhawk.

... fortunately, the standards are so low that they'll likely STILL take your fat, ignorant ass regardless of IQ or BMI.

Posted by: Nads on September 23, 2006 at 1:41 PM | PERMALINK

Dan Kervick on September 23, 2006 at 12:33 PM

That was very good.

Posted by: republicrat on September 23, 2006 at 1:46 PM | PERMALINK

Armando:

Zingo. Exactly.

I thought Thomas E. Powell and Dan Kervick nailed it (to use that horrible troll expression). Dean's editorial is a pretty much word-for-word restatement of his campaign speeches. Not because Dean's rigid-minded -- but because he has a simple, direct, clear message that appeals precisely to "middle class Americans." Kervick is so correct; the WSJ reaches a wide audience of business-oriented people, the vast majority of whom are hardly "titans," and who no doubt snicker at their bosses behind their backs. Of course (as Reality Man noted) Dean's going to hook the Iraq war into its economic impact to this audience. That is precisely the way to pitch both Iraq and the GWoT here.

A problem (which is only a sideshow) is, as TE Powell says, that Howard Dean will be attacked for literally *anything* he says, for *any* reason he can be attacked. He's not a pussyfooter or a triangulator; that's why he's so terrifying to TPTB in both parties. But two short, bullet-point paragraphs on Iraq and the GWoT are really the only things he can say as chairman of a party that happens to be divided on the issue. Consider an alternative -- the Biden/Clark plan for Iraqi partition. It's perhaps the most specific out there. Should Dean have talked that up? And locked the Party into supporting it? Why? Is that really the purpose of the chairman of the Party -- or is it best left to national security point men like Murtha and Biden, as Armando suggests?

A huge problem is that the only *correct* frame on the GWoT is hugely counterintuitive. The correct frame is everything that comes off Global Citizen's fingers: We as a nation need to stop cowering in fear over a threat that has a lower odds of happening to us individually than getting hit by a bus crossing the street. How do we pitch that without looking indifferent to a threat that, no matter how objectively small -- is nonetheless real? And which doesn't address the burning desire that we *all* feel to see Osama and his minions face implacable justice?

Kerry tried to Rove this frame. He ran to the right of Bush on terrorist-hatred, which cloaked a law-enforcement approach to the issue. This frame failed -- in large part because it's self-contradictory. The frame only works with a proper understanding of the Islamic world; you can't simultaneously demonize "evil Muslim terrorists" and deemphasize militarism. The right's "Muslim hoarde" frame is toxically simplistic, but straightforward: Stop them before they try to conquer the world. The message we have to communicate is difficult and subtle: The world is undergoing a maddeningly slow and painful process of cultural assimilation to modernity; Muslim moderates will eventually be the force that delegitimates their extremists, not the US military -- and we need to do all we can to encourage that process. The trick is to make this argument without looking like "appeasing those who would kill us and take away our freedom."

You can't very well expect Howard Dean to make that case in a 1500-word editorial in the WSJ.

Another thing that's bugging me a little about the commentary here is that "fiscal responsiblity" is a well-known code-phrase to Republicans which means cutting social programs. Dean could have talked explicitly about corporate welfare (which many genuine free marketeers despise), but it doubtless would have been even more threatening to some in the business community than reaffirming the Democratic Party's committment to a strong middle class.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 23, 2006 at 1:50 PM | PERMALINK

We have an all volunteer military which meets its enlistment goal. So there are an adequate number of people and no need for everyone that voted republican to go down and enlist.

Actually this is not the case. To fill its coffers the Army as had to 1) increase enlistment age ceiling, 2) waive strictures against enlistees with criminal records, 3) be accommodating to enlistees with involvement in white racist activities. (so you see chicken hawk Repugs are more than welcome)

Additionally, by early next year, the army will have to choose between two equally distasteful and harmful ideas. They will either have to send back to Iraq front line units (like the 3rd I D) before they are adequately reconstituted or they will have to start sending back in already used Guard units well before they are ready.

Posted by: Keith G on September 23, 2006 at 1:54 PM | PERMALINK

crissy: read it and weep, from NRO today. Slick Willie will do his charm offensive but unfortunately in a day of talk radio, foxnews and search engines it's very, very easy to find out just how obsessed Bill was about Osama. As it happens he kept his obsession a secret.

CLINTON, THE WAR PRESIDENT [Byron York]

Justoneminute's Tom Maguire adds a little overlooked perspective to Bill Clinton's latest self-defense on the issue of terrorism:

Pulitzer Prize winner David Halberstam delivered "War in a Time of Peace - Bush, Clinton, and the Generals" in May of 2001. Although he covered Iraq, Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia, and Kosovo, there is not a hint of a mention of Al Qaeda or Osama Bin Laden. That suggests that, in all his digging and interviewing on the topic of Clinton at war, Halberstam never uncovered Clinton's war on terror, or did not experience Clinton's people pounding the table and emphasizing its importance.

Posted at 9:37 AM

Posted by: rdw on September 23, 2006 at 1:57 PM | PERMALINK

Another thing that's bugging me a little about the commentary here is that "fiscal responsiblity" is a well-known code-phrase to Republicans which means cutting social programs. Dean could have talked explicitly about corporate welfare (which many genuine free marketeers despise), but it doubtless would have been even more threatening to some in the business community than reaffirming the Democratic Party's committment to a strong middle class.

Most people would agree that corporate welfare sucks. But go check out the budget documents, add up every nickel of it, and put it next to the social spending and entitlements, and it's pretty small beans. At some point entitlements are going to have to come into it for any serious budget work.

Posted by: harry on September 23, 2006 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

Dean: "We will have a defense policy that is tough and smart, starting with phased redeployment of our troops in Iraq, and shore up our efforts to attack al Qaeda and fight the war on terror. We also will close the gaps in our security here at home by implementing the 9/11 Commission recommendations."

These are the things that Kevin Drum has been advocating. Dean is hammering them and hammering them as though he has the courage of his convictions.

I disagree with Dean and with Drum, but I have to give Dean the points on this one. When you think that you are right, you have to hammer and hammer your message. Drum has said all spring and summer that economic issues are more important. Now all of a sudden he wants a strong stand on security for the sole purpose of winning the election. That is a losing strategy.

Posted by: republicrat on September 23, 2006 at 1:59 PM | PERMALINK

I thought Thomas E. Powell and Dan Kervick nailed it (to use that horrible troll expression). Dean's editorial is a pretty much word-for-word restatement of his campaign speeches. Not because Dean's rigid-minded -- but because he has a simple, direct, clear message that appeals precisely to "middle class Americans."

You've nailed it as well Bob. Well almost. It would seem from looking at the actual results in the democratic pimaries Howard DIDN'T appeal to very many people now did he?

Posted by: rdw on September 23, 2006 at 2:00 PM | PERMALINK

that's why he's so terrifying to TPTB in both parties.

Bob, please! This is just brain dead. A very well funded and televised liberal who can't do better than 3rd in a democratic primary couldn't strike fear in anyone. There's a reason why he's at the DNC. He can't do anything.

Posted by: rdw on September 23, 2006 at 2:03 PM | PERMALINK

rdw:

Hmmm ... I wonder what the GOP talking points would have been if Dean had won the primary and Kerry became chairman of the DNC ...

NOT :)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 23, 2006 at 2:04 PM | PERMALINK

rmck1: But two short, bullet-point paragraphs on Iraq and the GWoT are really the only things he can say as chairman of a party that happens to be divided on the issue.

That's good.

We as a nation need to stop cowering in fear over a threat that has a lower odds of happening to us individually than getting hit by a bus crossing the street.

that's bad. America is not cowering in fear.

However, that is a good line to remember when the topic of nuclear power comes up.

Posted by: republicrat on September 23, 2006 at 2:05 PM | PERMALINK

rdw, since you are compiling a reading list let me add:

http://www.crooksandliars.com/2006/09/22/president-clinton-blasts-chris-wallace/#more-10457

A transcript of the FOX interview.

Posted by: Keith G on September 23, 2006 at 2:07 PM | PERMALINK

rdw:

Look -- I have no clue if you're a "paid troll" or just a bored retired guy, but you're a propagandist. Your job is to say whatever it takes to further the GOP cause. Truth. Means. Absolutely. NOTHING. To. You.

But there's a cloud-chamber effect here. We can't see the particle, but we can detect its trail in the vapors. To the extent that every single thing that crawls off your fingers about Howard Dean is the most slashingly negative that your rhetoric can possibly make it -- is *precisely* to the extent that Howard Dean strikes fear into the hearts of the GOP.

So thank you, Wooten, for so, uhh, eloquently making my case. If Howard Dean were a truly ineffectual nebbish, you'd hardly need to say a word about him :)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 23, 2006 at 2:10 PM | PERMALINK

Yes. Let's talk about the Guard for a moment. They comprise 60% of the troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan and they are running out of troops they can send. Currently a Guardsman can only be deployed to a war zone for 24 of every 60 months. The lack of battle ready troops as we pass three and a half years in Iraq and approach five in Afghanistan has the pentagon considering just changing those rules, out of necessity.

the Guard is getting screwed royal on this front. Guard enlisted personnel can not be promoted during combat deployments. Did you know that? Did you know that Guard families are not entitled to the same benefits stateside that their regular-army counterparts families enjoy?

The National Guard has also seen it's material support dwindle as the desert takes it's toll on trucks and equipment. IED's have damaged or destroyed hundreds of Hummers, and some equipment has simply been left behind.

The Guard deserves better. When the field of operations is comprised of 60% guardsmen, it is time to suck it up and treat them with fairness and extend full benefits to them. Silly and capricious rules, such as refusing to allow enlisted Guard personnel to be promoted need to be suspended.

And once a member of the Guard has deployed to a war-zone for the maximum allowable time in the allotted five-year period, that Guardsman has earned full military benefits, so give them to him or her.

Do not send troops off to do things, auspiciously in my name, and then turn around and screw the troops who do the job.The Guard is comprized of the true citizen soldiers who most often enlist to be of service to the citizens of the communities they are part of in the event of disasters, be they natural or man-made.

The bipartisan legislation proposed by Bond and Leahy would have elevated the supreme commander of the National Guard to Four Star General, and required that the second in command of NORAD be a member of the National Guard.

Instead, the Bond-Leahy provision was yanked from the Defense Authorization Bill, which gives the President the authorization to bypass the Governors, who have traditionally enjoyed control of their states contingent of Guard forces.

Look, if we are going to treat them like "regular Army" personnel, carry it on across the board. Allow them to be a part of the decision-making process that more and more affects guardsmen by sending them to fight and die, and give their families full military benefits, costs be damned. They stepped up, and they stepped forward. Treat them with the respect they deserve.

Under the current system, the guard is kept out of the decision-making process, even though they do a hell of a lot of fighting and dying. To take them for granted in this manner is an outrage. They deserve better, and they are not getting it.

Treat them fairly. Give them full benefits and allow them to be a part of the decision making process; or do not deploy them to hot-spots around the world. There is no room for compromise on this issue.

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 23, 2006 at 2:10 PM | PERMALINK

Actually this is not the case.

Actually it IS the case and they have have already pre-signed 14% of the recruits for next year. Even better is the fact retention rates for the last 2 years have been through the roof and as they continue to reduce troop counts in Korea and Japan the number of troops stationed overeas is actually down from 1995.

Also Keith regarding Slick Willie you've got an impossible problem of verifying his obsession over Osama. All of his speeches as well as those of his administration are online as well as the many press reports of his term in office. It seems he rarely discussed the target of his obsession. Bill doesn't start with much credibility anyway. On this claim he has absolutely none.

Posted by: rdw on September 23, 2006 at 2:12 PM | PERMALINK

"Now all of a sudden he wants a strong stand on security for the sole purpose of winning the election."

Huh? It's not as if Democrats don't think national security is important.

Gee, Bob, you seem to have forgotten that Dean is a budget hawk. That's one reason he was supposed to whip those Bushies in '04.

Posted by: Lucy on September 23, 2006 at 2:14 PM | PERMALINK

Those retention rates are due in large part to $40,000 reenlistment bonuses, that are paid out piece-meal.

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 23, 2006 at 2:16 PM | PERMALINK

We've been through this before, precisely as Kevin says. The Dems tried to win the 2002 election entirely on the basis of domestic economic policies, while being as vague as they conceivably could be on the subjects of foreign policy and military seurity -- and they lost, precisely as Kevin says, regardless of how correct they may have been on those points (and the fact that they unquestionably already HAVE the support of a landslide majority of the public on such domestic issues). It is not only their moral duty, but a politically strategic necessity, for them to start thinking seriously bout fireign-policy issues -- and to stop pretending that those issues are going to magically vanish in the near future and let them resume winning on economic issues. (Had they done so, they also just might have been in a better position to blow the whistle earlier on our Iraq misadventure.) And Howard dean has been an unmitigatd disaster from the moment he first got into the public eye -- anyone who regrets the nomination of Kerry should consider how much we would have lost by in 2004 if Dan hd been nominated and the GOP started broadcasing his statement that it was an "interesting" possibility that Bush might have known about the 9-11 attack in detail in advance and let it happen for political reasons.

As for American Hawk: why, of COURSE you'll think much less hard, and thus be much less productive, if you can only earn $100,000 a year after taxes for a 4-hour workday, as opposed to $200,000 after taxes for a 4-hour workday. (Incidentally, James Tobin -- the economist who initially recommended JFK's 1962 top-level tax cuts -- said years ago that Bush had absurdly overextended the idea far past the point of diminishing returns.)

Posted by: Bruce Moomaw on September 23, 2006 at 2:16 PM | PERMALINK

To the extent that every single thing that crawls off your fingers about Howard Dean is the most slashingly negative that your rhetoric can possibly make it -- is *precisely* to the extent that Howard Dean strikes fear into the hearts of the GOP.

Bob,

This really is quite simple. We do have a record of the 'power' and 'effectiveness' of your beloved Howard Dean. We have several records. They are called Democartic primaries. Liberals have already cast their vote on the man. He had more money and more press than anyone else in the race.

He was a friggin disaster!!!! He was trashed BY DEMOCRATS!!!!!

No one fears Howard Dean unless it's his puppy!

Posted by: rdw on September 23, 2006 at 2:17 PM | PERMALINK

Anybody besides me notice that my dad's old mission in the Cold War drew to a close yesterday?

The F-14 Tomcats were retired yesterday.

When I was a kid, my dad worked on carriers. My first time in a civilian school, when I was about nine, we were starting a Geography unit. The teacher asked if anyone knew what the Great Plains were.

My answer? "The F-14's!"

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 23, 2006 at 2:19 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: There's a reason why he's at the DNC. He can't do anything.

Dean is a really good fundraiser. Another reason that his editorial in WSJ emphasized domestic politics is that domestic economics and social policy is the basis of his appeals to donors. He'd basically be betraying them, as well as his own convictions, if he emphasized strong defense.

Posted by: republicrat on September 23, 2006 at 2:21 PM | PERMALINK

Lucy: It's not as if Democrats don't think national security is important.

It's just less important than 10 other issues. And besides, some think that an aggressive stance toward the Islamists is "kow-towing to fear".

During Spring and Summer, Kevin Drum actually wrote out some lists of important Democratic issues. National security was never high on the list, just as in Dean's editorial. Now Kevin Drum wants it hiher on the lise in order to "play this game."

Posted by: republicrat on September 23, 2006 at 2:27 PM | PERMALINK

rdw, wrong on both counts.

As far a Clinton, his FOX interview, seen on FOX tomorrow morning will provide a definitive public statement. If he is lying, I am sure that you and yours will be all over it citing the established public record as back up. Therefore I see no need to spend time arguing the point today.

As for as the troop level is concerned, I assume that the Army is not taking these unfortunate and, flatly, harmful actions (which are on the public record) just for the hell of it.

They are doing so to cope as bet they can with the serious man power problems with which they are faced. Unless it is your contention that all is okay and the leadership of our military is just plain nuts. Which is it, stud?

Posted by: Keith G on September 23, 2006 at 2:28 PM | PERMALINK

every chicken-hawk needs to read A Captain's Journal. He is unappologetically conservative in matters political and military, but he is not stupid.

I recommend his blog even when I disagree with him on core issues.

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 23, 2006 at 2:30 PM | PERMALINK

Global Citizen:

Where the hell did you get that "60 percent" number?

Posted by: ellis on September 23, 2006 at 2:32 PM | PERMALINK

As far a Clinton, his FOX interview, seen on FOX tomorrow morning will provide a definitive public statement

Now this is just stupid. You think this egomaniac is going to write history do you? The groupies will listen. That's it. History will be quite clear. Few presidents did as much talking as William Jefferson Clinton. If he knew about search engines he may have done it differently. It's quite simple to do a search on every public utterance by WJC on Osama. It's been done. The results are, shall we say, at odds with his definitive statement.

BTW: David Halberstam, liberal icon and very well-known prize winning author, wrote a truly definite book on WJC and our security before 9/11 and as noted above Terrorism was NOT a priority. Clinton will mount his typical offensive and the MSM wil support him but both will be trashed. Halberstam is but one reason why.

His tome is toxic to Clintonista's.

Posted by: rdw on September 23, 2006 at 2:39 PM | PERMALINK

They are doing so to cope as bet they can with the serious man power problems with which they are faced. Unless it is your contention that all is okay and the leadership of our military is just plain nuts. Which is it, stud?

We have by far the most professional military in the history of civilization. I have total faith in their actions. If they want to accept someone as old as 41 that's fine by me. The most important tool any soldier has is their brain and an expereinced savvy 41-yr old should be an asset.

How's that stud!

Posted by: rdw on September 23, 2006 at 2:42 PM | PERMALINK

rdw:

The fact that you're squealing like a little piggy with exclamation points and capitalized words is no greater proof of my analysis of your true motives -- you disingenuous troll, you.

*big, wet, Lieberman kiss*

Now go away and play with yer grandkids.

Bruce Moomaw:

Well sir, I have to respectfully but strongly disagree. If you'd like to see the Democrats speak out more strongly on foreign policy issues -- recall that Howard Dean's protest candidacy took off from nothing entirely on the strength of his position against the Iraq War. He was the first national politician to have an impact on the Party opposing that war.

I also believe that if Dean won the primary, he might very well have won the election -- but that's just a personal opinion and please feel free to disagree. But there's also no question that his party-building efforts -- as maddening as they've been to Rahm Emanuel -- hold the key to the future success of the Party. Howard's our future just as Goldwater was for the GOP in those dark days after '64.

Was he an awkward politician? Sure. Washington gaffes are what happens when somebody goofs and tells the truth :) But of course he's said some boneheaded things -- wanting to be the candidate for guys with Confederate flags on their trucks doubtless being the worst. But calling Job his favorite New Testament book wasn't exactly swift, either. Which of course cuts your political view of Dean a lot of slack. I understand. I still think he would have fired the base so much more strongly than Kerry (without the baggage of Kerry's gun control stands) that it's also arguable that he would have won, warts, fat neck, nerdy (if extremely competent) wife and all. YMMV.

Lucy:

I was a Dean activist in the primaries (can you tell?) and a regular commenter on blogforamerica. But "budget hawk" means something different in a Democratic primary than it does on the national stage. Dean fully supports middle-class entitlements and an expansion of healtcare. He was relentless against Social Security "piratization." He's a fiscal hawk to be sure to voters who were looking at paleoliberals like Gephardt -- but hardly so to a WSJ audience. Better he be who he truly is, and stand up for the time-tested Democratic values that have supported an expanding middle class. Yeah, he needs to flatly contradict that asinine GOP meme that allowing the already rich to become as wealthy as they goddamn well want to somehow helps expand the economy for everybody.

It doesn't. And that's been one of Kevin's biggest and most consistent themes here. Bravo to Dean for making that case as well.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 23, 2006 at 2:46 PM | PERMALINK

Ultimately the same factors are responsible for both the Bush administration's domestic and foreign policy failures: an out-of-control executive beholden to ideologues and corporate cronies who, because they confuse their own power and wealth with the trajectory of American democracy, put their own interests before the well-being of the republic, and indeed believe themselves to be above the law.

We're watching the dissolution of the country before our very eyes. I'm sorry, but the same old rhetoric from the Democrats about working families, however right-minded, is not going to cut it.

Posted by: Lucy on September 23, 2006 at 2:47 PM | PERMALINK

a href="http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/14958938/">NBC News . It was the lead story on last nights broadcast.

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 23, 2006 at 2:47 PM | PERMALINK

Let me try that link again...NBC News

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 23, 2006 at 2:49 PM | PERMALINK

Dean is a really good fundraiser.

That's fine but the head of the DNC does a lot more than fund raise. Dean proved during his disaster of a campaign he's got zero organizational skills. He spent almost all of his cash on the 1st primary and then didn't know how he spent it.

There's been open warfare between him and Chuck Schumer and Rob Emanuel over how to manage the elections and he's constantly making headlines for putting his foot in his mouth often taking a position dofferent than Reid or Pelosi. The head of the DNC is supposed to be a team player not an ego-maniac free agent.

Posted by: rdw on September 23, 2006 at 2:50 PM | PERMALINK

reading the text, I may have misheard the statistic - but the situation with the Guard is still pretty dismal.

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 23, 2006 at 2:52 PM | PERMALINK

Bob,

Thanks, I'm aquainted with Howard Dean's agenda. I like Dean--he's right on all the important issues, and I'm glad he runs the DNC.

But Dean has bad political instincts. As we know.

Posted by: Lucy on September 23, 2006 at 2:52 PM | PERMALINK

So, K.Drum, Ezra Klein and Matt Yglesias - what do they have in common? They all supported Bush's war in Iraq. You guys believed that shit about transforming the ME, believed that things are sooooo bad over there that leaving the status quo alone would result in toooo much terrorism in the US. Thought it better to overturn a country or two, violently, and live with the tens of thousands of deaths of innocent Iraqis, than to just live with the miniscule threat from a couple hundred terrorists.

And now you guys are among the "serious" thinkers on foreign policy, while Dean, who opposed the war, is the idiot?

Posted by: luci on September 23, 2006 at 2:55 PM | PERMALINK

Rahm Emanuel can get bent, as far as a lot of Heartland Democrats are concerned. He would ignore us, except to ask for money for the DCCC, then he expects us to write checks so the DCCC can send it to entrenched blue-state congressmen who would win their elections anyway? Screw that notion. Not one thin dime from this red state dem to the DCCC. I gave that money directly to cy Boyda's campaign to unseat Jim Ryun across the state line from me.

Dean is making strides with Heartland Dems because he is taking a populist approach and building candidates from the ground up.

I wan't a Dean Dem or a MoveOn.org dem last election cycle, but Dean is gradually gaining my respect as he leads the way toward building strong committes in every county in America.

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 23, 2006 at 2:59 PM | PERMALINK

That should have read "Nancy Boyda's campaign in the Kansas 2nd.

Sorry - I screwed up a tag.

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 23, 2006 at 3:01 PM | PERMALINK

rdw, wrong again, though consistency can be a good thing. My point on Clinton is that he is stating his views regarding the actions his administration took vis a vis terrorism publicly on FOX tomorrow. If he is lying about it, the folks like you who wish to label him a liar on that topic will have ample opportunity to do so. Pretty simple, no?

I like the way you isolated the age requirement and ignored the other problematic actions taken to fill the Armies many power needs, still the age requirement is problematic enough. Your dissembling here is noteworthy.

Posted by: Keith G on September 23, 2006 at 3:03 PM | PERMALINK

The fact that you're squealing like a little piggy

Bob,

Let's focus in here. Here's the facts. Dean was crushed in Iowa and New Hampshire and never a factor in the democratic primaries. That wasn't me squealing after Iowa. They call it his "I have a scream speech" for a reason.

No one fears a moron. Howard Dean is a moron. He's well defined. He became the head of the DNC because his own political career is over.

Posted by: rdw on September 23, 2006 at 3:03 PM | PERMALINK

Global C, The last printed source I saw, and used in one of my classes, was that the Guard made up 40% of troops in Irag. That was when I was teaching government, 2004-05.

Posted by: Keith G on September 23, 2006 at 3:08 PM | PERMALINK

Irag? Sorry, I'm typing while watching football and swilling a Moosehead.

Posted by: Keith G on September 23, 2006 at 3:12 PM | PERMALINK

And so when the law speaks of cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment of captives, it may have more meaning for a senator who served than for a White House official who never had to worry about possibly being tortured.

Cheryl,

This isn't what you think it is. What it is, is a tired old liberal war horse who can only find work on NPR because it's the only audience he has left. That's because he's an intellectual dwarf. Daniel will of course sing the praises of FDR and W. Wilson each of whom did far worse than GWB who actually did serve.

This is the sort of bitterness that eats away at the inside of old libs as they watch their beloved institutions rot away. Daniel remembers the says when an anchor could proclaim, "and that's the way it is" and we'd never know any different. Unfortunately Daniel has a clearer recollection of Dan Rather and the disaster the MSM has become. Now we always know better.

Poor Dan, he has to be devastated. He's been campaigning against GWB for how long and GWB keeps on winning. Look at what's happened to the NYTs, The network new and big city newspapers this decade. Subscribership / viewership is down as much as 20% in many cases with Fox now getting 4x's as many viewers as CNN.

Posted by: rdw on September 23, 2006 at 3:18 PM | PERMALINK

Lucy:

Well, I disagree with you there. I think Dean's political instincts are just about pitch-perfect (and miles ahead of the Party). It's is *message delivery* that's none-too-swift. Dean's not great on TV and his brain outruns his mouth in debate. It's like he has mild Asperger's Syndrome or something ... not at all a natural politician. Of course, in fact, he's not. He's an accidental politician. He got into politics the right way -- because he cared about issues.

All the to-dos with Emanuel and Schumer that trollboi rdw loves to gloat over are no better testimony to Dean's vision as a Party-builder. He's absolutely right to pursue a 50-state strategy -- even if that means impeding the size of a Democratic victory in both houses this year. He's absolutely right that Democratic activists need a way to talk about pro-choice in the language of social conservatives (that nice Georgia lady would never *ever* have one, of course -- but she'd understand it's not the government's business if her neighbor "got herself into a little trouble.") Wooten rants about Dean so much precisely because he'd rather see the Democrats consumed in tactical battles that narrow their relevance everywhere but already solidly blue states. Wooten *wants* Schumer and Emanuel to run 15-state strategies because he knows as well as Dean does how the demographics of the country are changing, and the Democrats need beyond everything else to reconnect with red state voters.

Now as far as your alternative message -- the powermad corruption of Bush and corporations wresting control of the country and besmirching time-honored American values -- how, exactly, would you pitch that to a WSJ audience without sounding like a frothing Bush-hater or left-wing conspiracy nut? I'm not saying you're wrong at all -- I believe that, too -- but it's a meta-argument that certainly won't win over anyone not already converted to it.

Dean played it exactly right for that audience. Reaffirmed Democratic values (since no smart business-oriented Republican would be fooled by neolib triangulation rhetoric, anyway) and talked about the economic impact of Bush policies on the middle class -- not because of interest group liberalism, but because a shrinking middle class is a danger to the entire nation.

Once again, hats off to Howard Dean!

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 23, 2006 at 3:19 PM | PERMALINK

rdw:

You realize, I hope, that after the first message or so when you start off once again on your anti-Dean boilerplate -- my eyes glaze over and I stop reading you?

Next message! The scroll key is your *friend* :)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 23, 2006 at 3:25 PM | PERMALINK

If he is lying about it, the folks like you who wish to label him a liar on that topic will have ample opportunity to do so. Pretty simple, no

1st - he's been branded a liar often enough. That's well established. 2nd his statements regarding his legacy are totally meaningless. We already know about his Presidency and his obsession with Osama. It was like his obsession with Monica. It was a secret.

We have a record of his speeches and his actions. He is trying to rewrite history. He has no prayer.

The amazing part here is that a friggin movie has so disrupted his life. He'll always be a rock star. This venture into the real world can only hurt.

Search engines are a bitch!

Posted by: rdw on September 23, 2006 at 3:25 PM | PERMALINK

BoB,

We're going back almost 3 years and many might not recall just how pitiful Dean was in the actual primary elections. I am merely restating that record to prove how stupid it is to suggest anyone could fear Howard Dean. He might pop a few ear drums but that's it.

Posted by: rdw on September 23, 2006 at 3:28 PM | PERMALINK

Hey Congrats! Your grrrlfriend Althouse just used you to bash the Dems and Liberal Bloggers!

Posted by: jerry on September 23, 2006 at 3:31 PM | PERMALINK

rdw:

Your relentless repetitiveness on this point smacks of nothing so much as defensive denial, my friend.

If Howard Dean was truly nothing but a pimple on the left butt cheek of the body politic -- you'd dismiss him once and move on.

Instead, it's like "No! No! Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!"

Pretty goddamn transparent, if you ask me :)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 23, 2006 at 3:32 PM | PERMALINK

Once again, hats off to Howard Dean!

I tend to agree. You remember that Dean was so much of a non-factor in 2000 that the entire noise machine of the right as well as Quisling Dems hyped up the scream non-event in order to derail his candidacy.

Just as Nixon did in 1972, the 2000 Republicans managed to arrange it so that the Democrat of their choice got the nomination.

Posted by: Keith G on September 23, 2006 at 3:34 PM | PERMALINK

rdw, you jest at scars that ne'er felt a wound, and in doing so you doth seem to complain over much.

Posted by: Keith G on September 23, 2006 at 3:37 PM | PERMALINK

Bob:

I'm not going to argue with you over Dean's political instincts. The record speaks for itself.

I'm also not going to argue with you about the 50-state strategy, since I support it.

You can couch all that stuff about corruption, etc. in language WSJ readers appreciate. Irresponsibility and squandered capital. Inefficiency. Bad management. Blood and treasure, waste of. Maybe even ratchet up the rhetoric to stoke a little nostalgia for America's stature, America's moral authority, America's promise. It's all fast becoming a thing of the past.

Posted by: Lucy on September 23, 2006 at 3:41 PM | PERMALINK

Clinton is a brilliant guy and masterful politician, but no one with an once of objectivity will believe him when he points his finger and says something in defense of himself. The reality is that he was mostly asleep at the switch on terrorism and ultimately will be remembered as a lower tier president. The combination of dishonesty and weak on terror will doom him. On the politics, he was a terrific story but somehow managed to blow a 40 year house majority. His most notable long term achievements were pretty conservative -- free trade and welfar reform. The economic boom will mean next to nothing in any historical assessment because honest folks realize presidends normally have little to do with good economic times and he falls in that category. If you think otherwise, tell me a president highly regarded on economic grounds.

Bush also was asleep at the switch for 8 months on terrorism. He will get a pass on that if the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan turn out in a positive fashion and there is not huge terrorist attack that his administration arguably dropped the ball on.

I realize this is a partisan political site, but it makes me laugh when presumably otherwise intelligent people write that the democrats would have done this or that if they had been in power -- like catch Bin Laden or effectively fight the war on terror. You simply don't know what would have happened with democrats in power. Would they have attacked Iraq? I doubt it, but a majority did vote in support of it. As a matter of fact, if you look at their votes so far, a majority has not voted in favor of any policy drastically different than Bush.

Posted by: brian on September 23, 2006 at 3:48 PM | PERMALINK

Keith G:

Nice Shakespeare -- not that rdw would catch it, of course :)

Kerry was such an obvious loser. Your standard-issue Senate egomaniac. The biggest problem of all was thinking that he could run away from all that documented opposition (his finest moments in public life, to be honest) to the Vietnam war. No no -- he prosecuted the BCCI scandal! Everybody remembers *that*, right? Uhh ... *zzzzz*.

"Reporting For Duty" was the stone-stupidest thing he could have done (and I hate myself for typing this, because cue rdw with his SwiftBoat boilerplate ... sorry about that everybody, seriously) because it not only foreordained a SwiftBoat-like attack from embittered vets who still see the war as drafted grunts vs "90-day wonder" commissioned and eminently fraggable lieutenants -- but also because the "war hero" narrative completely undercuts the anti-Vietnam narrative that here was a war where heroism was impossible.

Had Kerry run as the Reluctant Warrior instead -- a man who did his duty to his country in the face of a growing conscientious objection to its means -- and highlighted his opposition to the conflict when he got back home -- thinks *might* have turned out differenly.

Note the "might."

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 23, 2006 at 3:50 PM | PERMALINK

Just tell the Republicans that Bush has added $200 billion a year in interest payments to China, enough to cover their military build up for eternety.

Tell the Repubs that the Bush deficits have allowed China to purchase capital equipment to make our most sophisticated technology, and improve it, build jet airplanes with better performance tyhen ours, using our money.

WHen Repubs get the message that Bush has turned traitor, sold our nation to our mortal enemies, leaving us nothing but the enjoyument of torturing religious fanatics; then they will vote Democratic.

Posted by: Matt on September 23, 2006 at 3:58 PM | PERMALINK

Well, I remember the BCCI scandal. It was a pretty big deal.

"the 'war hero' narrative completely undercuts the anti-Vietnam narrative that here was a war where heroism was impossible."

Heroism certainly was possible during Vietnam as in any other war. Really, is it necessary to trivialize Kerry's actions in Vietnam simply to defend your man Howard Dean?

Posted by: Lucy on September 23, 2006 at 4:03 PM | PERMALINK

RDW, I see, is well into the frothing stage now:

(1) The military isn't just so hard up for manpower that they're accepting 41-year-olds -- they're also accepting large numbers of violent criminals (one of whom executed that recent multiple rape-murder in Iraq), white supremacists, and the mentally retarded. As for the "leadership" of the military, which leader are you talking about? Rummy? A large number of generals think he's a been a goddamn disaster; the decidedly centrist Fareed Zakaria has now been pushed to the point of calling him "deranged"; and that noted pinko George Will has been pushed to saying that this administration's obsession with keeping most of our military uselessly stuck in "the fake and disintegrating nation of Iraq" shows that it is "frantic to repel everything except delusion". (But then, the strongest argument by far for staying out of Iraq was always that we would need the troops far more in other places. Such, as, say, Iran.)

(2) As for anyone who has qualms about the legalization of routine torture being just "a tired old liberal war horse who has no audience left": you're free to take that up with the Republicans -- such as Sullivan, Greg Djerejian, Megan McArdle (aka "Jane Galt"), and John Cole -- who also agree that torture, except in extremely rare emergency situations (where the President's pardoning power provides an adequate shield), is a no-no. Indeed, you're free to take it up with the 2/3 of Americans who told the latest CBS poll two days ago that the US should follow the Geneva Conventions instead of always just "doing whatever the US itself defines as right" ( http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/politics/20060919_poll_results_sub.pdf ,pg. 25 and 29). The smokescreen thrown up obligingly yesterday by McCain will conceal from the public -- for a while longer -- the fact that this latest setup doesn't follow even the most fundamental anti-torture Geneva laws; but it won't conceal that fact forever.

Posted by: Bruce Moomaw on September 23, 2006 at 4:04 PM | PERMALINK

There ya go, Matt!

Posted by: Lucy on September 23, 2006 at 4:04 PM | PERMALINK

Lucy:

No no no, please don't get me wrong; I do not in any way consider Kerry's service less than 100% honorable. I buy into no Swift Boat conspiracy theories that his Purple Hearts were "only scratches," etc.

When a war is inherently unwinnable, when there are no noble strategic objectives, then heroism becomes doing what you can for your buddies in combat. On that score, Kerry was doubtless a legitimate hero -- as the many vets who served with him attested on the campaign trail. I am *certainly* not trying to equate him to any of the odious stereotypes about "baby killers" and such we heard so misguidedly from the antiwar movement at the time -- and which today's antiwar movement has strongly repudiated. We *all* support the troops. Amen.

But no, Lucy. On a broad historical level -- there were genuine national heroes in WW2. There were no national heroes in the Vietnam war. And what I'm saying is that you can't run for president as a war hero on the one hand, while having a strong record opposing the war (thus denying national heroism) on the other. It's an exceedingly easy position to attack, and Kerry should have forseen it and run as a reluctant warrior and downplayed and aww shucks'ed his Purple Hearts instead of making them a centerpiece of the public image he was trying to construct. It was a recipe for political disaster.

As for BCCI, I remember the scandal too. But I don't think that point cut a whole lot of ice for voters looking to corroborate Kerry's campaign image. It's not like he has much (if any) legislation with his name on it. He was (and is), rather, a showhorse who loved the publicity of public hearings more than the hard, tedious work of hammering out legislation.

Okay ... enough Kerry-bashing for one thread. I am done with this topic. Rebut at your pleasure with no further reprisals.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 23, 2006 at 4:27 PM | PERMALINK

Bruce Moomaw:

Excellent post.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 23, 2006 at 4:31 PM | PERMALINK

This thread scares me. If Democratic political leaders start paying attention to Kevin's good advice, the Dems might actually take over Congress. Eek!

Posted by: ex-liberal on September 23, 2006 at 4:32 PM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal:

Spoken like a true concern troll with the not-so-hidden agenda of weakening the Democrats by starting internicene feuds between the moderates and that oh-so-scary-and-unelectable activist base.

When you start scourging the unelectable lunatics in your own goddamned party, perhaps we'll begin to take your "constructive criticism" with a modicum of seriousness.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 23, 2006 at 4:39 PM | PERMALINK

There is no point in taking the Failure Party seriously on National Defense - they failed to stop, mitigate, or otherwise show that they even noticed 9/11 until Bush was wetting his pants flying from place to place looking for a somewhere to hide from the people he'd ignored. They failed to have even a modicum of a plan to protect our soldiers from the WMDs they insisted Hussein had, and they failed our nation by scaring the populace into supporting a war of aggression against a paper tiger. They have also failed to protect the Iraqi people once George W. Bush toppled their government with no plan to secure the peace.

In short, the Republican Party is weak on National Security and should not be allowed to run a Popsicle stand, let alone a nuclear power, still less the most powerful nation in the world. We have given them six unfettered years to demonstrate that they have competence; they have demonstrated none.

Posted by: heavy on September 23, 2006 at 5:02 PM | PERMALINK

Blah blah blah Americans hate the war in Iraq blah blah blah show me evidence they think political reform in the Arab-Muslim world is important blah blah blah Bush isn't protecting the ports blah blah blah Iraq was a diversion from the real war on terror blah blah blah terrorism isn't the biggest problem in the world blah blah blah.

The trouble - as a political matter - with all these blogospheric Democratic refrains (and there are others) is that the Washington Democrats happen to believe them as well. Democrats won't fail to retake Congress solely because of national security (its also gerrmandering, tone deafness in some places, spinelessness in others, and turnout, turnout, turnout), but like 2002 and 2004 it will be an important factor.

But I'm tired of talking about it.

Posted by: Linus on September 23, 2006 at 7:38 PM | PERMALINK
stop wanting to punish me for being a productive, high-income earning American. American Hawk at 12:29 AM
During the period of America's greatest growth, we had the highest tax rate.

There is no historical evidence that tax cuts spur economic growth. The highest period of growth in U.S. history (1933-1973) also saw its highest tax rates on the rich: 70 to 91 percent. During this period, the general tax rate climbed as well, but it reached a plateau in 1969, and growth slowed down five years later. Almost all rich nations have higher general taxes than the U.S....
Obviously, the current tax rates on the richest American's is too low. Obviously, Chickiehawk is not what he claims to be.

The man is a loser. rdw at 10:14 AM

Yup, Bush wins, America lost.
...They just can't stand elitist liberals telling them they're stupid and racist.
... rdw at 10:28 AM

They have elitist talk radio people repeating that lie 24/7.
rdw at 1:57 PM:... Halberstam never uncovered Clinton's war on terror, or did not experience Clinton's people pounding the table...

The pro-Bush Washington Post has a comparison of presidential actions before 9-11

Army Lt. Gen. Donald Kerrick, who had come from top posts on the Joint Staff and the Defense Intelligence Agency to manage Clinton's National Security Council staff, remained at the NSC nearly four months after Bush took office.
He noticed a difference on terrorism. Clinton's Cabinet advisers, burning with the urgency of their losses to bin Laden in the African embassy bombings in 1998 and the Cole attack in 2000, had met "nearly weekly" to direct the fight, Kerrick said. Among Bush's first-line advisers, "candidly speaking, I didn't detect" that kind of focus, he said. "That's not being derogatory. It's just a fact. I didn't detect any activity but what Dick Clarke and the CSG were doing."

Guess what, you're lying. There were people running around with their "hair on fire" and Bush did nothing. Every time Clinton acted, he was attacked by 'publicans

Posted by: Mike on September 23, 2006 at 7:51 PM | PERMALINK

I think the two issues are linked:

The war on terror is a red herring to distract the public while the Republicans loot the treasury and society in general on behalf of the rich.

In the past four years GNP is said to have gone up 12%, but median family income is down 5% while the income of the top .01% has gone up 500%.

The Republicans are looting the country on behalf of the rich.

In his "Structure and Change in Economic History" nobel prize winning economic historian Douglas North states that concentration of wealth and power lead directly to the fall of the Roman Empire, the rich and powerful then used their influence to avoid paying taxes. The result was that Rome didn't have an Army well funded and large enough to beat the roving bands of nomads that consisted of only amateurs.

A further review shows that this same basic theme caused the fall of at least one of ancient Egypts early Kingdoms, Rome, Byzantium before 1071 loss to the muslim Turks, Medieval Japan (collapsed into a multicenturied dark age even though there were no external threats), Hapsburgh Spain, Bourbon France, Romanoff Russia, and Coolidge/Hoover/Economics in the USA.

In the case of Ancient Egypt, Rome and medieval Japan, a multicenturied dark age insued. In the case of Coolidge/Hoover/Economics the great depression ensued paving the way for Hitler, World War II and the holocaust, and as Churchill suggested in his "finest Hour" speech a new dark age was narrowly averted.

Supply-side and trickle down economics is myth. Rich people didn't get rich by allowing money to trickle out of their greedy hands. Supply side stimulus only is arguable during inflationary recession, the rest of the time demand side stimulus is preferable and more effective. Production accounts for only one third of the economy, consumption two thirds.

Not only is demand side economics better at helping the economy it is also much more compassionate on society.

In the end it still comes down to the basic theme of the movie "Its a wonderful life". There are two kinds of rich people, the Mr. Potter's and the Sam Wainwrights, just as their are two kinds of people those that divide the world into two kinds of people and those that don't.

The fact is, demand economics makes everyone rich, supply economics makes only the rich richer and the rest of the nation suffers.

The Republicans are playing with disaster of the most epic proportions. It shows in the failure in Afghanistan and Iraq. Each disaster is met with an even bigger disaster to follow, next up: Iran and tactical nukes.

Despite a history thick with failure from the dawn of history to the recent present, they pursue suicidal policies that are gauranteed to undermine the very system that makes them rich.

Not only are the Repubican policies suicidal, but they are hard on their fellow citizens. I am beside myself in understanding their motive - it isn't just greed that drove Mr. Potter, it was sadism. Remember what Gandhi said, "poverty is the worst form of violence."

Is it any surprise that Republicans are modern fascist, that they believe in putting a gun to a womens head and forcing her to term, or contemplating tactical nukes in a mideast that they have already torn to shreds or enjoy starting wars but never finishing them. It is sadism run amok.

Posted by: Bubbles on September 23, 2006 at 9:22 PM | PERMALINK

Your relentless repetitiveness on this point smacks of nothing so much as defensive denial, my friend.

There isn't anything defensive in my posts nor any shred of denial. The bare facts are Howard Dean is a loser. He is was disaster in the primaries. These were liberals only primaries and he STILL got his teeth kicked in. How could anyone possibly fear such a loser?


If Howard Dean was truly nothing but a pimple on the left butt cheek of the body politic -- you'd dismiss him once and move on.

That is true but for one exception. Howard Dean is a gift from God and as you know it would be a sin to waste it. The man is a buffoon. His guns and gays quotes is still used to remind our southern cousins of liberal pretensions of superiority.

Then there's always the boy scout in me. Sometimes misguided folk can learn to focus when presented with a fact or two. Reminding our fellow travelers of Howards pitiful performance in the liberal primaries is intended to do just that. He has a proven record. All of your babbling can't change the record.

Or was his vote supressed too?


Posted by: rdw on September 23, 2006 at 10:15 PM | PERMALINK

bubbles: In the past four years GNP is said to have gone up 12%, but median family income is down 5% while the income of the top .01% has gone up 500%.
...
The Republicans are looting the country on behalf of the rich.

Two problems:

median income has increased; "inflation-adjusted" median income has decresed. there was a large discussion about this about 2 weeks ago.

if GNP has in fact increased, then the Repupblicans are not actually "looting" the country.

Posted by: republicrat on September 23, 2006 at 10:22 PM | PERMALINK

As for anyone who has qualms about the legalization of routine torture

Bruce

Come clean.

You have to admit GWBs handling of the negotiations with John McCain was fantastic. You'll not find a better example of tactical politics anywhere. 1st your democratic party continues it's pattern of being null and void. We can at least agree the most obvious factor in this week discussions on the rules of interrogation is the Democrats were completely invisible.

The public has two possible answers as to why this happened. Either they don't have any brains and could not decide on a policy or they don't have any balls. Or both!

Then there's the question as to whether or not Big John caved. Acually that doesn't seem to be much in doubt. The interesting part is WHY did John cave. I know why. Because John is ambitious. Because john wants to be President. John knows he can't be President unless he wins the conservative vote in the GOP primaries. GWB drew his line in the sand. Big John drew his line in the sand. Bill Frist, also an ambitious man, whispered in Big Johns ear, "If you don't agree with GWB and submit your own bill I'll filibuster it and see nothing passes. They'll stop the program and blame John McCain".

Big John knows he stops a successful interrogation program he'll never win a single GOP primary.

And you think GWB is as dumb as a post.

The coolest part of this story is Big John doesn't have a shot anyway and GWB will be the last person to explain that to him. He's much easier to 'manage' when he's ambitious.

Posted by: rdw on September 23, 2006 at 10:32 PM | PERMALINK

The pro-Bush Washington Post has a comparison of presidential actions

all well and fine Bruce but we were not comparing Clinton with Bush. We were comparing Clintons mouth with the facts. As we've both seen countless times there's usually only a distant relationship.

The subject was Bill Clinton. My point has been all along that neither the NYTs nor Bill Clinton will write the History of his Presidency AND that History will not be kind to Bill Clinton.

He has the least distinguished Presidency of any two-term President in History. He did so little and so little happened. It's laughable to hear libs tout Kosovo as a military sucess. I don't blame them because here's so little else but it's obviously an act of desperation. It's a sad facg bt it is a fact the only memorably part of his legacy is Monica. In 2020 there won't be anything else anyone can remember.

BTW: I read Halberstams book and it is devastating to Bill Clinton. One of the most devastating citations was from Joe Biden and it was not even intended to be an insult. Coincidently it was about Kosovo. Joe at the time was the head of the Foreign Affairs committee. This was after milosovich agreed to a ceae fire. Joe called Bill to extend his congradulations for finally learning how to use the military to advance US foreign policy. Clinton responded to Joe noting he had been hard on him but thanking him anyway. No doubt Joe told David this to get a mention in the book and to make the administration look good.

Halberstam didn't cooperate. He sardonically pointed out Joe thought Bill's 1st success involving the military was in the 7th year of his Presidency.

History is going to trash Bill Clinton. His incredible over-reaction to a single TV movie suggest he's well aware of the problem. What Bill has never understood is that managing polls has nothing to do with managing history. Sandy Burgler stealing notes won't help either.

Posted by: rdw on September 23, 2006 at 10:54 PM | PERMALINK

He lost a primary. So did Reagan in 1976. Did that make Reagan a loser? And Dean was elected governor TWICE as many times as Reagan was. When you have a point, please let us know.

RR was running against a sitting President in Gerald Ford and gave him a dramatically better contest that Dean managed. He got got his ass kicked by Lurch and it was an ass-kicking and it was despite a huge money and publicity advantage.

Howard Dean is a loser!

Posted by: rdw on September 23, 2006 at 10:59 PM | PERMALINK

What's Bush's record

Amazing electoral success. His performance as party leader in the mid-term elections was the finest example of leadership since FDR in 1936.

Puts him in nice company wouldn't you say?

Posted by: rdw on September 23, 2006 at 11:02 PM | PERMALINK

No no no, please don't get me wrong; I do not in any way consider Kerry's service less than 100% honorable. I buy into no Swift Boat conspiracy theories that his Purple Hearts were "only scratches," etc.

Bob,

You've really lost your mind. There's no conspiracy theory that two of Kerrys purple hearts were awarded for scratches. It's in his record. His staff has admitted it. The Washington Post reported on it and then said so in an editorial.

That said, he served honorably.

What wasn't honorable were the bonehead stupid lies about Xmas in Cambodia and his post-war activities. Big John got the same disease of embellishing everything and the MSM just can't cover-up that stuff up anymore.

The fact is Americans decided they couldn't trust him and you should have nominated a decent candidate.

Posted by: rdw on September 23, 2006 at 11:09 PM | PERMALINK

On a broad historical level -- there were genuine national heroes in WW2. There were no national heroes in the Vietnam war

Bob,

This just proves you are a scumbag. It's not question of the validity of the war our liberal leaders got us into that determines if our soldiers are genuine heroes or not. It's what they do on the field of battle and not you or another 1,000,000 other turds can change that fact.

It's always comical for me to hear liberals tell us how they are all for the common man. The soldiers are our common men and women. They are all heroes and you are a turd.

Posted by: rdw on September 23, 2006 at 11:15 PM | PERMALINK

Not only is demand side economics better at helping the economy it is also much more compassionate on society.

Hate to tell you bubbles but demand side economics is DEAD. It's all about supply-side and that's all it's about. Reagan ended the age of Keynes. Most people under the age of 45 have never heard of demand side economics or Maynard Keynes. It's like socialism. It's a dead religion.

Posted by: rdw on September 23, 2006 at 11:21 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, I wouldn't want to talk about his record as President--you know, the part where he serves as the Chief Executive of the country--either.

We've done this before and it's utterly pointless. Historians will write of GWBs accomplishments and it will be a dramatically longer list than Bill Clintons. Which in fact, doesn't matter. We don't look at RR in regards to Jimmy Carter (with the possible exception of the hostage crises). Presidential records stand on their own.

I cite the election results for two reasons. It's the best poll by far. GWB increased his vote totals by a stunning 23% and created wider margins in Congress. Clintons congressional leadership in congress was the worst in 100 years. Clinton suffered devastating defeats in 1994 because he was doing a rotten job.

The 2nd reason is for the fun.

Posted by: rdw on September 23, 2006 at 11:28 PM | PERMALINK

Jason,

If it's so bad why does he keep winning elections. Votes don't support someone unless they're confident he's doing a good job. They not only supported GWB but gave him more help in Congress.

The counter example is Bill Clinton. They quickly realized he could not be trusted and took Congress away from him and never even considered giving it back.

Posted by: rdw on September 23, 2006 at 11:43 PM | PERMALINK

Try to avoid having to fall back on how he won Florida

Jason,

I never avoid Florida. It was a great moment in GOP history.

Posted by: rdw on September 23, 2006 at 11:46 PM | PERMALINK

I have nothing better to do than troll Kevin Drum's blog.

Posted by: rdw on September 24, 2006 at 12:07 AM | PERMALINK

rdw:

>> On a broad historical level -- there were genuine national heroes
>> in WW2. There were no national heroes in the Vietnam war

> This just proves you are a scumbag.

No, Wooten -- *you're* the scumbag. You're all-GOP-talking-points,
all-the-time. You have lost the ability to think for yourself long
ago -- and have no qualms about being utterly dishonest in the service
of propagating a meme, even if it's no longer useful to your cause.

> It's not question of the validity of the war

Had you quoted my post in context, you dishonest douchebag --
you would have seen that I made that very point. There is
always heroism on the battlefield in any war -- because heroism
is defined by defending your buddies. That never changes.
In that limited if important sense, John Kerry was a hero.

But isn't it interesting how you're trying to have it both ways.
On the one hand you excoriate me for putting Vietnam into historical
context. On the other hand, denying John Kerry's heroism was a huge
part of your game plan. His Purple Hearts were only scratches.
Fuck you, Wooten. You can't even keep your own narrative straight.

> our liberal leaders got us into that determines if our soldiers
> are genuine heroes or not. It's what they do on the field of battle
> and not you or another 1,000,000 other turds can change that fact.

If we had never gotten involved in Vietnam and the North overran the
South after, say, Dien Ben Phiu -- we'd be trading just as vigorously
with Communist Vietnam today. The war had *no larger historical
significance*. There were no dominoes. There was no national
security threat. MacArthur won in the Pacific Theatre and oversaw
the rebuilding and reorganization of postwar Japan. He's a genuine
national hero. There were no national heroes in a war with no
attainable strategic objectives. Only local heroes on the battlefield.

And you just *live* to conflate that distinction, don't you.

> It's always comical for me to hear liberals tell us how they
> are all for the common man. The soldiers are our common men
> and women. They are all heroes and you are a turd.

They are all heroes -- except, of course, for John Kerry.

You hypocritical asshole.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 24, 2006 at 1:06 AM | PERMALINK

rdw:

Okay, I really *do not want* to re-fight the '04 campaign with you -- let alone the Vietnam war. So let me try to ressurect the context of my original exchanges with Keith G and Lucy, because I'm criticizing Kerry's approach to his military service in a way that you should be able to understand and appreciate from a purely political perspective.

Your entire approach to Kerry has always been in the larger context of attempting to rewrite history on Vietnam. If you're going to be obstinate on this point, then we can't communicate. But history just isn't on your side. The Vietnam war was entirely unnecessary in the larger context of the Cold War. We destabilized Cambodia and created the conditions which led directly to the genocidal Pol Pot regime -- who were our allies for awhile against Hanoi. Doesn't *that* make you feel all warm 'n' fuzzy inside.

Kerry's fundamental problem is that he tried to distance himself from his perfectly honorable position against the war. He tried to run as a war hero in a war without national victory. He's a hero -- in a war without national heroes. That's a difficult distinction to explain to the average voter, which entails being able to distinguish between battlefield heroism (and Kerry's buddies eagerly and sincerely attest to that) and heroism which leads to strategic victory (like MacArthur).

The great irony of the Swift Boat Republicans is that it's based on the purest form of class warfare: the age-old battle between drafted working-class grunts and the commissioned college boys who lead them. It's not about the Purple Hearts -- start questioning Kerry's medals and there are thousands of vets whose medals in the last years of the war have to be scrutinized as well. And it's certainly not about Christmas in Cambodia. It's about heavy lifting vs privilege -- a bitter split never to be resolved in the veteran community. Green gung-ho lieutenants weren't fragged in that war for nothing.

Thus working-class resentment was leveraged in attacks on an un-fragged lieutenant who had earned the respect of the men under his command, on behalf of an ultimate son of military privilege -- George Walker Bush.

But you live for ironies like that, don't you, Wooten.

Had Kerry decided to remain humble about his military service and instead stood behind his leadership of the antiwar movement when he got back home, it might have been much more difficult to attack his service. Of course -- that would've also required that Kerry took a less equivocal position on the Iraq war. Wanting to have it both ways is the most wretched temptation in political life.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 24, 2006 at 2:02 AM | PERMALINK

Bill Clinton illustrated on Fox news yet again why he used to beat the Republicans, and why the Democrats will probably lose the next election.
The dynamic of right wing politics is attack and of the left is defense. But defense doesn't means just huddle in a shell like a turtle and whine about unfair attacks.
Defense also means counterattack. There has never been an army in history that misunderstood the nature of defense like the Democrats do. Even the US in the cold war based most of its defenses on couter attack and deterrence.
So every time the Republicans attack on anything the Democrats should commit to counterattacking with equal ferocity that same day to the same people so the same public audience sees it.
Not just correct the facts, that's defense but not counterattack. Deterrence is needed just like nuclear missiles deterred the Soviet Union from a first strike.
When the Republicans started doing automated calls the Democrats should have done just as much, with automated calls in the same district counterattacking, not just setting the record straight in passive defence.
One objection is that this would be unpopular, but if it deters the Republicans from doing it then it is an effective counterattack which is all that is needed. They can hardly complain that the Democrats counterattacked too aggressively against lies.

Posted by: Carot on September 24, 2006 at 2:10 AM | PERMALINK

The most entertaining thing about this thread is that Kevin offered good sense, and people came out of the woodwork to call him republican-lite, particularly regarding his, apparently, far-fetched idea that Dean should talk to his audience in terms they're likely to find favorable.

Look, I know that lots of people here might not believe it, but many corporate execs and CEO types are not down with Bush's economic policies. These are people who understand that you can't spend more than you take in and stay solvent. There is a real opportunity to convince them that Bush has been a disaster and that democrats can do better. Reminding them of how good things were under Clinton would be a good start.

What doesn't get them excited is talk of populist class warfare. That's just going send them away thinking "Ok Bush is clueless, but these guys are just fucking nuts." I'm pretty sure that wasn't the goal of Dean Op-ed, but it was almost certainly the result.

And Drum, Yglesias and Adrianna are right about the national security thing. Until the Dems meet the minimum threshold of trustability on that issue, none of the rest matters.

Posted by: TWAndrews on September 24, 2006 at 3:21 AM | PERMALINK

TWAndrews:

Well (needless to say, since you read the thread), TW, I couldn't possibly disagree with you more.

First, I don't understand this "class warfare" business. Dean talked about what the Democrats stand for -- and a central pillar is an expanding middle class. That's not "class warfare" -- that's the American Dream. It also has long-term political ramifications, because without a strong and expanding middle class, social stability crumbles. Did we read the same editorial? I certainly didn't hear any "eat the rich" demagoguery.

Secondly, everybody who criticized Dean's editorial seems to make suggestions that entail further ways to criticize the Bush adminisration, or talking about the "good old days" under Clinton. Isn't that supposed to be the Democrats' problem -- that all we do is criticize instead of laying out what we stand for?

Republicans, whether corporate WSJ reader types (who really, in their heart of hearts, ain't all that conservative) or cultural conservatives, tend to have a strongly individualist analysis of problems. Incompetence? Corruption? Spending more than you take in? Fire the malefactors and move on. They're not really comfortable with "culture of corruption" memes. They hit a little too close to home. *They*, assuredly, aren't part of the problem -- somebody else is.

The suggestions I've read here which entail talking about the general loss of values under Bush -- the corrosion of Americanism whether it be through sanctioning torture or mortgaging our future to the Chinese -- really belong more in a Weekly Standard op-ed, not the WSJ. Those readers are genuine conservatives, Matthew Arnold types who genuinely care about American values. WSJ readers, OTOH, are corporate whores. They're all about adjusting to modernity no matter how perverse. They have divisions all over the world; they fully support globalization. Multinational corporations and their middle management drones are probably the least patriotic, least genuinely conservative Americans there are. Their alliegance is to the quarterly bottom line.

Now Dean could've tried to *pander* to these types with neoliberal, pro-business rhetoric -- but why? We've tried that four election cycles since Clinton and have fallen flat on our asses each time. That magic is gone. Better to lay out a principled case for the much larger readership who will see the editorial linked -- and admire Dean for sticking to the core principles of the Democratic Party.

Finally, "trustable" on national security? "Trustable" to do what? Invade more countries on dubious suspicions? Capture bin Laden? Piss off the world even more and create more terrorism? Stretch our military past the breaking point? Seriously -- trust them to continue to do *what*? Iraq? Are you serious?

The Democrats need to lay out a case on terrorism that's complex and easy to twist into "appeasement." It's not. It's recognizing that the real struggle against terrorism is happening in the Muslim world, and we need to do all we can to empower and encourage the moderates.

As it stands, though, I'm glad Dean stuck to the talking points: Strategic redeployment in Iraq. Tough and smart on al Qaeda. Keep it simple and straightforward.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 24, 2006 at 4:34 AM | PERMALINK

On the one hand you excoriate me for putting Vietnam into historical
context. On the other hand, denying John Kerry's heroism was a huge
part of your game plan. His Purple Hearts were only scratches.
Fuck you, Wooten. You can't even keep your own narrative straight.

Bob,

Your post reads clearly. You were not putting vietnam into context but rather taking a slap at vietnam vets most of whom were every bit as brave and as heroic as their parents were then and their kids are now.

Every attempt to suggest differently is almost universally an obvious attempt to cover up the fact you did absolutely nothing during Vietnam. You are most likely in my favorite class of scum who will say, "I was protesting". I was there 'assh*le'. Real protest were few and far between and 98% of the protestors went to protests in order to #1 get laid or #2 get high. And counting the 3 hours a year they set aside for such 'community sevice' as protesting is an insult to anyone with a brain.

Kerry's scratches has zero to do with the validity of the war and we know for a fact two awards were based on scratches because it's been confirmed by every witness, by the 'victim' and by the records.

Kerry's action during the war were never the issue. The issue was his record of outdoing even Al Gore with the embellishments and exaggerations. He was absolutely NOT in Cambodia n Xmas eve in 1968 just as Nixon was definitely NOT President.

What goes on in the mind of these little people they need to embellish everything? I'd suggest it's classic 'me' generation narcissism except it does not occur equally on both sides of the politicla aisle. You've got Clinton, Gore and Kerry as the most out-rageous examples of self-absorbtion in a society that includes freaks like Madanna, Michal Moore, San Penn, Tim Robbins, etc.

THe good news is all is changing. We now all know that Uncle Walt was an even bigger liar than Dan Rather and any corruption/ineptitude in the start of and the continued management of the war was in it's entirety a liberal phenomon starting with the now infamous Kennedy Brothers (each is starting to get sliced and diced by history as the kennedy myth machine dies, literally) and then of course LBJ who will in fact see History treat him much kinder than modern liberalism.

Vietnam is being revisited and because of nebbishes like you Bob and the emergence of the conservative media we get a clear view of those who served and fought and those who stayed home to get a buzz. You are Exhibit A of the mebbish crowd. Actually that's not true. One of our esteemed Presidents will be exhibit A. You know, the guy who went over to England and while at protests didn't inhale.

One other funny generational change is how in the 60's and 70's there was a level of 'respect' granted to potheads. As if they were revolutionaries. Looking back I am astounded at me generation narcissism. It's boundless. Recent generations have a far, far more accurate outlook. Pot smokers are slackers. They are losers. When this generation hears old assh*les say we smoked pot and protested they know immediately they're full of shit. Pot smokers would never get off their ass to protest and if a few dod they'd be too stupid to find the protest.

My friend, you are in for a long and were unsatisfying political future. The democrat party of the 60's is dead. All of the myths have been destroyed. JFK was the biggest a-hole of the century. The great protest as the Chicago convention are known to be a disaster with the protestors losing on every front and remaining the specticle of stupid. It remains the most famous protest of the last century for it's ineptitude. All of your history is being rewritten by historians. Uncle Walt was a liar and the soldiers were very brave. In leaving we knowingly turned south Vietnam into a gulag.

And Bob, here's the real kicker, there isn't a thing you or Uncle Walt can do about it. John F Kerry in fact received two of his three purple hearts for scratches. History has already recorded it as such. Of course in 2025 no one will know who John Kerry was anyway.

Posted by: rdw on September 24, 2006 at 8:34 AM | PERMALINK

It's not about the Purple Hearts -- start questioning Kerry's medals and there are thousands of vets whose medals in the last years of the war have to be scrutinized as well. And it's certainly not about Christmas in Cambodia. It's about heavy lifting vs privilege -- a bitter split never to be resolved

This is absolute garbage!

It was about the purple hearts and it was about Xmas in Cambodia. Americans will always seek in a leader a man of strong integrity. Lying is a great measure of somones character as we learned the hard way with Clinton. But at least Slick willie was relatively good at it. Gore and Kerry were awful. The lied about the dumbest things. Either they were unimportant or they were obvious. The was one bit about Al Gore telling a union crowd his mama used to sing a union jingle from a commerical to put him to sleep when he as very young. Let's forget the fact the jingle wasn't written until Al was 15 but why make up such a stupid story anyway? The man is a Dick.

The folks getting fragged in vietnam were not getting fragged because they were of a 'higher' class but because they were reckless and incompetent with the lives of the men under their command. The exact same thing happened in WWII and previous wars.

Posted by: rdw on September 24, 2006 at 8:43 AM | PERMALINK

Had Kerry decided to remain humble about his military service and instead stood behind his leadership of the antiwar movement when he got back home, it might have been much more difficult to attack his service.

Absolutely true! His al gore imitation was poison.

Wanting to have it both ways is the most wretched temptation in political life.

Now you finally recognize the level of the disaster than was Howard Dean. It was his PR and Fund raising machine that caused Kerry to panic and to move to the left and become Mr. I voted for it before I voted agasint it. The great irony here is that Howard was never a threat.

Posted by: rdw on September 24, 2006 at 8:49 AM | PERMALINK

rdw:

> On the one hand you excoriate me for putting Vietnam into historical
> context. On the other hand, denying John Kerry's heroism was a huge
> part of your game plan. His Purple Hearts were only scratches.
> Fuck you, Wooten. You can't even keep your own narrative straight.

> Your post reads clearly.

My post reads fine. You, however, don't.

> You were not putting vietnam into context but rather taking a
> slap at vietnam vets most of whom were every bit as brave and
> as heroic as their parents were then and their kids are now.

*rolling eyes* I made myself perfectly clear. You're willfully
misinterpreting me. Life is too short to deal with this crap.

> Every attempt to suggest differently is almost universally
> an obvious attempt to cover up the fact you did absolutely
> nothing during Vietnam.

Oh jesus, now you're turning this into a personal attack. Hey
asshole, I was born in '59. How old would that make me in '75?

Rest assured I did not bother to read the rest of your message.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 24, 2006 at 8:50 AM | PERMALINK

bob,

I won't have time to watch the former narcissist in chief on Fox but seom a small clip on NRO he's not doing himself any favords.

I will answer all of those things on the merits but I want to talk about the context of which this arises. Im being asked this on the Fox network[note these ellipses are in the Thinkprogress transcript]. ABC just had a right wing conservative on the 'Path to 9/11' falsely claim that it was based on the 911 commission report with three things asserted against me that are directly contradicted by the 9/11 commission report. I think its very interesting that all the conservative Republicans who now say that I didnt do enough, claimed that I was obsessed with Bin Laden. All of President Bushs neocons claimed that I was too obsessed with finding Bin Laden when they didnt have a single meeting about Bin Laden for the nine months after I left office. All the right wingers who now say that I didnt do enough said that I did too much. Same people.

I authorized the CIA to get groups together to try to kill him. The CIA was run by George Tenet who President Bush gave the medal of freedom to and said he did a good job.. The country never had a comprehensive anti terror operation until I came to office. If you can criticize me for one thing, you can criticize me for this, after the Cole I had battle plans drawn to go into Afghanistan, overthrow the Taliban, and launch a full scale attack search for Bin Laden. But we needed basing rights in Uzbekistan which we got after 9/11. The CIA and the FBI refused to certify that Bin Laden was responsible while I was there. They refused to certify. So that meant I would have had to send a few hundred special forces in helicopters and refuel at night. Even the 9/11 Commission didnt do that. Now the 9/11 Commission was a political document too. All Im asking is if anybody wants to say I didnt do enough, you read Richard Clarkes book

At least I tried. Thats the difference in me and some, including all the right wingers who are attacking me now. They ridiculed me for trying. They had eight months to try and they didnt.. {ellipses in the Thinkprogress transcript]. I tried. So I tried and failed. When I failed I left a comprehensive anti-terror strategy and the best guy in the country, Dick Clarke [ellipses in Thinkprogress transcript] So you did Fox's bidding on this show. You did you nice little conservative hit job on me.I worked hard to try and kill him. I authorized a finding for the CIA to kill him. We contracted with people to kill him. I got closer to killing him than anybody has gotten since. And if I were still president wed have more than 20,000 troops there trying to kill him. Now I never criticized President Bush and I dont think this is useful. But you know we do have a government that think Afghanistan is 1/7 as important as Iraq. And you ask me about terror and Al Qaeda with that sort of dismissive theme when all you have to do is read Richard Clarkes book to look at what we did in a comprehensive systematic way to try to protect the country against terror. And youve got that little smirk on your face. It looks like youre so clever

Classic slick willie he says he never criticized GWB but he does so constantly. It's fun to look back at all of the ex-presidents and almost to a man they retire gracefully. We of course have two glaring exceptions. It's hard to tell if Clinton or Carter is the more vain. GWB will of course not respond.

History will not be kind to Clinton or Carter. I find Bill so amusing. ABC lit a fire under his ass and he's been pouring gasoline on it ever since.

Posted by: rdw on September 24, 2006 at 8:57 AM | PERMALINK

rdw:

Hey Wooten, News Flash: I'm not reading your posts.

I'm just sitting here ... flabbergasted. But I shouldn't be, really. This has been your MO since I started posting with you.

No wonder you were so gleeful about swiftboating Kerry. You just tried to swiftboat *me*.

I mean jesus ... what a fucking *tool* you are. The truth really means nothing to you. I'm not, you know, the person who has debated for you over these months and has shared enough personal information so that you'd have an idea of my age. No, I'm some kind of cardboard caracature of a former 60s hippie who dodged the draft.

And you assert this as if it were true, without even having the decency of *asking* me.

There's just no reason in the world to comport yourself like such a lying scumbag.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 24, 2006 at 9:11 AM | PERMALINK

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Posted by: dd on September 24, 2006 at 11:44 AM | PERMALINK

Hey Wooten, News Flash: I'm not reading your posts.

Hey Bob, that's fine.

I still enjoy pointing your absurdities. You claim the right fears Howard Dean. I point out the man is a loser and I prove it. Put facts in front of people and let them judge for themselves. The only thing that could have anything to fear from Dean is his puppy.

Posted by: rdw on September 24, 2006 at 1:10 PM | PERMALINK

I saw that meltdown by Clinton. I am ashamed to say I voted for him twice.

No need for that. You last voted for him in 1996 with the facts you have available at that time. Which in a pre-Fox age wasn't much.

I haven't seen it and probably won't. Of course he's going to defend his record. What else can he do. The most interesting thing about Bill has always been how he uses language to distort rather than explain. He's always been better defined by what he doesn't say and by how he says things than by his direct speech.

I remain shocked at how poorly he is handling this. He probably doubled and may have tripled ABCs ratings. Further, he called direct attention to those scenes he found so outrageous. Most conservative commentators defended him on the merits of the scene in question but used the same opportunity to point out so many other failings. He can't win here.

He doesn't seem to realize the MSM has eroded dramatically since he's left office and that after defending him only to find out he lied the MSM doesn't care all that much. Plus he's an ex-President. He has his day.

What little I've read is as expected. He did not do himself any favors.

Posted by: rdw on September 24, 2006 at 1:28 PM | PERMALINK

No, I'm some kind of cardboard caracature of a former 60s hippie who dodged the draft.

I don't recall you ever sharing your military expereince with me. I make the obvious assumptions based on your braindead statements. Liberals are so comfortable trashing the military they often don't even realize they are doing it. Your comments on Vietnam are puke and only someone who did not serve could speak such rot. Those who served in the 60's were every bit as brave and heroic as those who served in the 40's or 90's or today. Just because you did not support Vietnam has no reflection on their honor. You are the one without honor.

If you want to trash someone over Vietnam put the blame where it belongs and the Kennedy brothers has to be the 1st place.

Posted by: rdw on September 24, 2006 at 1:35 PM | PERMALINK

Wall Street journal is about economics ne? And Howard Dean wrote about Economics right? And Howard Dean is not running the campaigns true?

Problem?

I think it's with Kevin.

Posted by: MNPundit on September 24, 2006 at 1:55 PM | PERMALINK

rdw:

> I don't recall you ever sharing your military expereince with me.

But you might recall that I *have* spoken about my age.

> I make the obvious assumptions based on your braindead statements.

Wooten, you *lied* about me. There's just no excuse for that.

Wooten, how about if I said that the obvious assumption is that
you hold the views you do because you're a child molester. See,
it's a well-known fact that right wingers tend to be sexually
neurotic with sadistic desires to dominate the weak. Yes, Wooten,
only somebody who fondles little boys could ever think like you.

That's, of course, patent bullshit. But what if I kept repeating it
over and over in a public forum? Shut up, Wooten, you child molester.

Don't listen to this guy -- he sticks his tool into 10-year-olds.

It's the very same flawed logic, my friend.

> Liberals are so comfortable trashing the military they
> often don't even realize they are doing it.

And right-wingers (I wouldn't dare dignify you with the
term "conservative") are so comfortable *lying* about
liberals they often don't even realize they are doing it.

> Your comments on Vietnam are puke and only someone
> who did not serve could speak such rot.

Wooten -- you either didn't read my comments or
(more likely) are simply willfully distorting them.

> Those who served in the 60's were every bit as brave and heroic
> as those who served in the 40's or 90's or today. Just because
> you did not support Vietnam has no reflection on their honor.

Which is what I said, several times. I refuse to repeat myself.

> You are the one without honor.

Wooten, *you're* the one who attempted
to slander me in a public forum.

> If you want to trash someone over Vietnam put the blame where
> it belongs and the Kennedy brothers has to be the 1st place.

No, the blame belongs to Eisenhower, who didn't see the writing
on the wall after Dien Ben Phiu -- or heeded Ho Chi Minh's frantic
diplomatic cables comparing his nation's struggle against the
colonial French to our struggle against the colonial British.

My view of the Vietnam war represents the consensus, among the
military, as well. Yeah, there are a bunch of frothers out there
who believe we could've won the war -- but their views are a minority.

What this has to do with battlefield heroism (which
occurs in every war -- justifed or not, won or not)
or supporting the troops, I haven't the foggiest clue.

Except, of course, that lying about
history serves your political agenda.

Heh. Like every totalitarian dictator who ever lived.

Bob

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Posted by: Real Estate Agent on September 24, 2006 at 7:43 PM | PERMALINK

This is an off-topic public Announcement:

rmck1/Bob -- how can you go after rdw when you are the biggest fucking liar and degenerate on the fucking planet?

rmck1/Bob attacks a poster for being a liar, a child molester, then bitches about being "slandered" like he KNOWS what he's talking about and like he has NEVER done the same thing himself!!!

Evidence rmck1 is a SockPuppet
Chris' words touch me...
rmck1 almost admits what he did
The panic of rmck1

Remember when you bitched at ogged???

Ogged:

To be perfectly honest, your obsession with religion is beginning to wreck this blog. I see a lot less traffic here than when Kevin's around.

It's bad form to post new threads which are only a shade different in content than previous threads. It short-circuits the earlier discussion and makes you look indecisive, besides.

Look, I love religious discussions because I prefer commenting on more philosophical and/or sociological issues than current events. But enough is enough. Trying to pander to harcore seculars with a thoroughly obnoxious and unserious (and hardly humorous) "suggestion" for a GOP logo after post upon post of secular-bashing isn't exactly winning you friends here.

Grow some variety or continue to expect the exodus of regulars waiting for Kevin to come back which is already underway.

Thank you,

Bob
Posted by: rmck1 on March 13, 2006 at 12:52 PM | PERMALINK

THIS is what other blogs are writing about the Washington Monthly, rmck1/Bob -- THANKS TO YOU!

Kevin Drum is another blogger Ive met and am personally fond of, and someone I have a great deal of respect for. Sadly, his comments are as bad or I really think, worse, than Charles.

Why worse, you ask?
Well, first, because were not talking about a random website started by a musician/web designer (who became an aspiring media mogul later on) and a bunch of people who have gravitated to him; instead, were talking about the web presence in fact, the home page of the web presence of one of the leading partisan magazines in the country. Dont believe me? Ask them:

Who Reads The Washington Monthly?

Time says our magazine is "must reading at the White House and on Capitol Hill," and and The Washington Post says our magazine is "setting off the Beltway buzzmeter." Even the conservative Weekly Standard calls us "smart." If you subscribe, you'll join people like Tom Brokaw, Dick Cheney, Tom Daschle, Jimmy Carter, Joe Klein, Ellen Goodman, and thousands of others who want the inside stories weeks or months before they appear in the mainstream media. That's why James Carville says, "If you only get one magazine subscription this year, buy The Washington Monthly. If you're getting another, buy two."

This week, guest blogger Steve Waldman riffed off of an interesting question about the antipathy liberals seem to have for the religious actually an important question to anyone whos serious about seeing liberal values get greater political traction and things go just nuts. A few examples:

McAristotle: You need a SacRete enema, dude, is what you need.
Bob
Posted by: rmck1 on March 13, 2006 at 2:53 AM | PERMALINK

Posted by: Public Service Announcement on September 24, 2006 at 8:02 PM | PERMALINK

Discount Wedding Dresses, Bridal Gowns, Wedding Gifts, Wedding Favors, Wedding Supplies, Wedding Store, Wedding Planning... All you can get at Support my wedding com.

Posted by: support my wedding on September 24, 2006 at 8:14 PM | PERMALINK

My view of the Vietnam war represents the consensus, among the
military, as well. Yeah, there are a bunch of frothers out there
who believe we could've won the war -- but their views are a minority.

Your view is the consensus for left wing dingbats. I don't believe we could have won the war I believe we did win the war. The USA cannot be defeated militarily. The playbook is to get the libs to surrender. That is exactly what happened in Vietnam and what the strategy has been in Iran and Afghanistan and Palestine. Terrorism is not a military strategy. It is a political strategy.

Your comments about Ike are stupid. Nam belongs to the Kennedy boys.

One of the more interesting aspects of following Presidential History is to watch what happens when time starts to remove the partisan sentiments and the impact of Presidential decisions can be better seen. It takes decades before a serious Presidential legacy starts to form.

Our era is even more interesting with the rollback of the liberal press. It's laughable to look back on the Kennedy myth machine and see how completely they were able to mold JFKs image. Of cousre those days are over as is JFKs exaulted ranking. He is in fact crashing the more we find out how ignorant and reckless the man really was.

At the same time many liberal targets once labeled as dimwitted are known to be far wiser and far better informed than critics would like us ro know. But that's history. We find out. Harry Truman, Ike and Reagan are now top 10 Presidents much to the dispair of liberal hostorians such as Arthue Schlesinger Jr. and a small army of academics.

BTW: I did finally see some of Clinton on Fox and though he came off badly. He's still carrying that post-Monica bitterness and I actually feel bad for him. He doesn't seem to be the type to accept that which he cannot change but will tend to bang his head agasint the wall needlessly. On one clip he compained the republicans were against his war on terrot and they raised the wag the dog scenario. In fact that was Richard Clark. Bill still doesn't understand the internet. NRO posted it's editorial and the comments from leading Republicans after the famous Afghan missle strike which created the 'wag the dog' comparison and the vast majority wre in full support.

Bill has never learned to take criticism. It eats away at him. He s/b on top of the world, not consumed by bitterness.

Posted by: rdw on September 24, 2006 at 8:17 PM | PERMALINK

The thing I like about the washington senate race is that McGavik, the repulican challenger, is basically running against the republican party. Sure his ads don't quite say that, but any even moderately informed person is very likely to listen to his add about how congress shouldn't be giving itself pay raises with the deficit out of control, or whatever, and ask themselves "so why should I vote for a republican?" His pre-primary ads were all about how nobody should consider party when voting. :)

Seems like his strategy is completely dependent on everyone being totally clueless.

Posted by: jefff on September 24, 2006 at 9:03 PM | PERMALINK

Seems like his strategy is completely dependent on everyone being totally clueless

So how is it working?

Posted by: rdw on September 24, 2006 at 9:33 PM | PERMALINK

persecution troll:

> This is an off-topic public Announcement:

What it is is a lame attempt at character assassination.

> rmck1/Bob -- how can you go after rdw when you are the
> biggest fucking liar and degenerate on the fucking planet?

This is projective identification. You have a serious mental
illness. I have nothing to defend against a persecution troll.

> rmck1/Bob attacks a poster for being a liar, a child molester,
> then bitches about being "slandered" like he KNOWS what he's
> talking about and like he has NEVER done the same thing himself!!!

Of course I've never done anything like that. I don't lie and I
don't make bogus personal accusations. Rdw said that "of course I
didn't serve" in Vietnam. Yeah, because I was 16 in 1975. I said
how would you like it if I called you a child molester, because
that's the same kind of reasoning. Rdw's a (normal) troll and
we've been jousting for months; my indignity was quite theatrical.

I have *defended* trolls here when the regulars
have accused them of literally being child molesters.

News Flash: All posting months-old posts of mine does is make you
look like a stalker. Nobody, least of all Kevin, gives a shit about
somebody's criticism of his blog comments you quote out of context.

Now do is all (especially yourself) a favor and go seek therapy.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 25, 2006 at 8:32 AM | PERMALINK

rdw:

>> My view of the Vietnam war represents the consensus,
>> among the military, as well. Yeah, there are a bunch
>> of frothers out there who believe we could've won
>> the war -- but their views are a minority.

> Your view is the consensus for left wing dingbats. I don't
> believe we could have won the war I believe we did win the war.

Wooten, the technical term for this is "batshit insane." It's like
driving through a red light because you "believe" it's actually green.

Several months after the last helicopter left the roof of
the US Embassy in Saigon, the NVA overran South Vietnam.

Buy yourself a new map, Wooten. South Vietnam no longer exists.

Now I'm hardly going to submit to a lecture in interpretive
history from a guy who makes the past up out of whole cloth.

Oh -- and Clinton kicked righteous ass in that interview;
one of the more exciting things I've seen on TV recently.

Since Clinton referenced him so much in that interview, I
guess what's next up on the wingnut agenda is to demonize
Richard Clarke the way you've demonized Joe Wilson.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 25, 2006 at 8:52 AM | PERMALINK

rmck1/Bob,

Ah, so sorry lad. Nah, not really interested in persecuting you. Verily, it seems that there are a group of people who are sick to death of your juvenile shit and want you to LEAVE and NEVER RETURN.

Get the fuck out and go harass, hound, annoy, bother, and generally irritate decent people elsewhere you worthless git.

Oh, oh. I think reverse psychology might work.

rmck1/Bob: we love you, never leave, you're the best writer we've ever read, everything you post is from the mouths of babes, etc.

Bleh! Fuck off and die, rmck1/Bob.

PSA - KEEP POSTING!!!!!!!

Posted by: Persection Troll on September 25, 2006 at 9:23 AM | PERMALINK

Wooten, the technical term for this is "batshit insane." It's like
driving through a red light because you "believe" it's actually green.

Or posting continually on a blog where there's sufficient evidence you used what they call a 'sock puppet' in a debate.

Now I'm a 'persecution troll' I guess.

Make that a 'prosecution troll.'

Posted by: Just a Thought... on September 25, 2006 at 9:51 AM | PERMALINK

pitchfork-waving

What's with the war on pitchforks? It's a handy tool. Try loading up a wagon with grass clippings without one.

Posted by: Ron Hardin on September 25, 2006 at 9:59 AM | PERMALINK

Rdw said that "of course I
didn't serve" in Vietnam. Yeah, because I was 16 in 1975

The issue was never if you served in Vietnam but if you've ever served anyone AT ALL. It's clear by your classic anti-soldier tone that you have never served. If you did you would never denigrate the service of those which so far exceeds your own.

I always enjoyed those trashing GWBs guard service. Allow me to ask you your opinion. I don't have the facts but I've always assumed of those trashing GWB about 98% never served anyone a day in their entire lives. I always enjoyed meeting these people in person and asking them myself. The steam would quickly be rising from their ears. It's easy to take such obviously hypocritical potshots from the privacy of a blog bit to do so in a group is just stupid.

Liberals, especially the post-68 variety, are almost always reflexively anti-military. Those who do serve are not as bright don't you know. Or they are desperate or have somehow been brainwashed. This of course has been a boon for the GOP as Clinton and others have realized. Thus they play catch-up by recruiting congressional candidates almost exclusively from the ranks of the military and the uber-ambitious Hillary makes sure she gets on the critical armers services committee to the surprise only of braindead libs.

Sorry Bob, but your 68 liberalism is passe. It's over. Bill Clinton was a new Democrat. Anything but the old kind and that was 15 years ago. John Kerry and everyone else wanting a shot has banished the term liberal from their entire biographies. This has to be a stake in the heart of true libs.

The world has passed you by and no one is looking back.

Posted by: rdw on September 25, 2006 at 10:01 AM | PERMALINK

Buy yourself a new map, Wooten. South Vietnam no longer exists.

No map necessry. I am well aware of the fact the South became a gulag thanks to liberals. We only need to compare the relative standard of living between Vietnam and South Korea and to see how important South Korea is as a democratic model in Asia to see who well the people of South vietnam benefitted from liberal policies.

John Kennedy thought we should bear any burden. That was then. Teddy is the now. Need I say more regarding the rot of liberalism?

Posted by: rdw on September 25, 2006 at 10:06 AM | PERMALINK

What about Mehlman's article, right alongside Dean's?

Posted by: Fletcher on September 25, 2006 at 10:14 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin's post # 4, or should I say riposte, was laugh out loud funny.

While I probably vote the same way as America Hawk, our side should no more be contributing to this "dialogue of the deaf" than the Left should be.

Neither side can be persuasive because persuasiveness requires at least appearance of the possibility of being persuaded oneself. That's why I have given up on these web discussions. They never get past the shiboleth phase. Once one side or the other shows their colors, listening stops and attacking begins.

Posted by: tool of some sort on September 25, 2006 at 10:18 AM | PERMALINK

I have *defended* trolls here when the regulars
have accused them of literally being child molesters.

Good for you. Now go away.

Posted by: Bob's Persecution Troll on September 25, 2006 at 10:20 AM | PERMALINK

Since Clinton referenced him so much in that interview, I
guess what's next up on the wingnut agenda is to demonize
Richard Clarke the way you've demonized Joe Wilson.

Joe Wilson is a turd as described on the editorial pages of the Washington Post and a great many other newspapers.

Richard Clark is a partisan hack but still a good source. His book may have been more critical of GWB but it was still damning for Bill Clinton. Confirming, among other things, that he was in fact badly compromised by the Lewinsky scandal and ironically by Hollywood. The 'wag the dog' criticisms, almost entirely from the press, were directly blamed by Clark as the reason Clinton was so feckless on terrorism.

It is a typical liberal reaction to blame everyone else for one's troubles and assume the victim role. That will in fact work well on this blog. Out in the real world however people are under the impression we elect Presidents to make hard decisions and actually LEAD! History is not going to be kind to William Jefferson Clinton and Richard Clark will be one reason why.

According to Richard Clark Bill Clinton turned timid on terror because of the press criticism. That's not leadership. That is the absence of leadership.

BTW: this debate has almost no relevence or value on the current political environment. It is quintessentially Clinton. This is about protecting the legacy of Bill and nothing else. The last thing Democrats need right now is a reminder of 'Wag the Dog' and the lack of a Clinton response to the many terror attacks in the 90's. Why on earth would any democrat want to remind voters Sandy Burgler was actually a critical figure.

You have a disasterous conundrum. Bill Clinton is without a doubt the shinning star and legend of the Democratic Party. You have no one else who can approach his megawatt status. Thus it's a fact everytime he is on center stage he sucks up ALL of the publicity thus denying quality time to potential candidates. Moreover, they actually hide knowing they'll look small by comparison. This is further compounded by his extreme narcissism. Bill has always been about Bill 1st, Hillary 2nd and the party 3rd. This has been debated for most of September and will extend well into October.

This has to be even more disturbing for those aware Hillary will prove toxic to your fortunes in 2008. You just can't get away from Bill and Hillary.

Posted by: rdw on September 25, 2006 at 10:31 AM | PERMALINK

bob,

Read and Weep.

Howard Kurtz of CNN is not going with the Clinton / Moonbat apin. From NRO:

"Wag the Dog?" Don't Blame Conservatives
09/25 09:55 AM - Press Patterns

ABC's Jake Tapper takes a lot of the points the Cornerites made over the weekend about Bill Clinton's outburst on Fox News Sunday and rolls them up into one blog post, with a twist:
ON THE OTHER HAND...there's the mainstream media.

The conservative Media Research Council NOTED that "every network did raise the "Wag the Dog" scenario." And indeed, according to the MRC story linked above, CBS ABC and NBC all raised the notion with Senator Coats as a leading voice.

DATELINE NBC devoted a December 1999 piece directly using clips from the film to question the basis for the bombing.

And Frank Bruni of the New York Times devoted A WHOLE STORY TO THE NOTION.

So...quite frankly, it looks as though the "mainstream" media did a lot more to question President Clinton than did the GOP leadership apparatus, along with Ashcroft, Specter and Coats. The mainstream media along with conservative media such as WORLDNETDAILY.

Howard Kurtz has more from interviewer Chris Wallace:

"I thought it was a fair, balanced and not especially inflammatory question," Wallace said yesterday in recounting his "Fox News Sunday" sit-down with Clinton. "I even said, 'I know hindsight is 20/20.' But he went off. And once he went off, there was no bringing him back. He wanted to talk about it in detail. He wanted to conjure up right-wingers and conservative hit jobs and a theory involving Rupert Murdoch that I still don't understand." [...]

Wallace said the surprise is not that he asked Clinton about terrorism but that no other television interviewer did during a round of appearances last week. Clinton, Wallace said, remained "upset" and "angry" after the interview.

Posted by: rdw on September 25, 2006 at 10:56 AM | PERMALINK

I completely agree with Kevin on this. As a guy who usually votes for the Dems, I'm beginning to get fed up with the party ducking national security issues.
I for one would like to hear what the Democratic Party's position is not only on Iraq but also their policy positions with regards to North Korea, Chavez and Venezuela, a rising China, Lebanon and Hezbollah, a Russia that seems increasingly authoritarian under Putin, increased militarization of the Japanese Defense Forces, and so on.
I mean, I can't be the only person here who wants their party to take national security seriously----can I?

Posted by: Johnny Tremaine on September 25, 2006 at 11:43 AM | PERMALINK

As I recall, right wingers were attacking and ridiculing Clinton for trying to avoid impeachment, not for the concept of going after bin Ladin.

There was a fair amount of discussion at the time of the focus on Osama versus a focus on terror supporting states as well as the general fecklessness of Clintons efforts.

Even now conservatives are not hammering Clinton for his own thoughts and opinions but his lack of leadership. Even on the question of Osama being the correct focus most conservatives who disagree will give him a pass saying AT THAT time it was not an unreasonable approach. It was wrong but not unreasonable.

The problem Clinton ran into is the same GWB deals with constantly. The intrenched bureaucracies at STATE, CIA, DEFENSE, NSA etc., all think they s/b running things. It's rather clear Clinton was far more ambitious than these agencies and THEY did more to stop him than any other groups.

Still, that's leadership and he did not show any. Bill knew the right thing to do but was more concerned about his poll numbers.

History will nor be kind.

BTW: I think impeachment turned out very well for conservatives. I thought he should have been removed from office for lying under oath but in defending him he cost his party severely. If in 1992 you knew the economy would be screaming with budget surpluses and sky high stock markets you'd assume we'd have 8 years of Gore. The fact he actually had to surrender his law license, pay fines, pay Paula and with his other scandals such as the pardon sales leaves little doubt he perjured himself. That feminists decided to defend this scum destroyed the feminist. As we know from this entire Post Clinton remains by far the dominant figure of the Democratic party impeachment, pardon scandal and all.


Posted by: rdw on September 25, 2006 at 12:33 PM | PERMALINK

Another reason why Slick Willie will never rank high among Presidents


Shade of Bush-Rather Cont'd [Jonah Goldberg]

From a reader:

Mr Wallace remarked on "Fox and Friends" this morning, when asked if he
thought the Clinton thing had been a set-up, that he believed that Clinton
was genuinely upset. He said that Clinton refused to be genial after the
interview and that he (Clinton) was even very testy with his
handlers/entourage as they all left the studio. In short, it sounds like
Mr. Wallace inadvertently touched a nerve.

Hope that you're having a great start to your week.


This was from the NRO. Clinton has a history of losing his temper and taking it out on aids. He's so classically self-absorbed he's just amazing. Ronald Reagan by contrast would never think of being rude to anyone. It's a common American trait not to judge people by how they treat their equals or superiors but in how they treat those who might report to them. History will not be kind to Bill Clinton.

Posted by: rdw on September 25, 2006 at 12:42 PM | PERMALINK

persecution troll:

> Ah, so sorry lad. Nah, not really interested in persecuting you.

Bullshit. You disrupt threads with "public service announcements"
that nobody responds to (and when the thread is active unlike this
one I ignore), spam posts from months ago and leave links to dead
threads. Your behavior is entirely more disruptive than most regular
trolls here, let alone anything at all written here by yours truly.

> Verily, it seems that there are a group of people who are sick to
> death of your juvenile shit and want you to LEAVE and NEVER RETURN.

What you're doing here doesn't qualify as "juvenile shit?" If you're
so mature, wby don't you post this under your regular handle? Heh.

Verily, you are lying, and doubtless a committee of one. The
the only "support" you get are from your own sock puppets; not
a single regular has chimed in with support for your position.

>> Wooten, the technical term for this is "batshit
>> insane." It's like driving through a red light
>> because you "believe" it's actually green.

> Or posting continually on a blog where there's sufficient evidence
> you used what they call a 'sock puppet' in a debate.

"Sufficient evidence," that's adorable. Listen, you lying sack
of shit, if you *really* believe this, there's a way to confirm
it. Why don't you write Kevin -- he has the IP information.
Don't IPs give clues as to geographical location? Please
confirm for yourself that it's not likely that Shinobi and
I posted from the same state, let alone the same ISP.

If you really wanna play this game, take it
up with Kevin. Otherwise you're just endlessly
repeating what you'll hope will become a Big Lie.

And that's persecution.

rdw:

> The issue was never if you served in Vietnam
> but if you've ever served anyone AT ALL.

Wooten ... this is a lie. You're moving the goal posts. Your
initial point had to do with the Vietnam era and you know it.

> It's clear by your classic anti-soldier
> tone that you have never served.

I don't have an "anti-soldier tone," classic or otherwise. It's
also abundantly clear that there are many people posting on this
blog with military experience who share my views and reject yours.

Military service per se has nothing to do with it.

> If you did you would never denigrate the service of [...]

I've never denigrated anyone's military service --
though you denigrate John Kerry's constantly. But
what you need to do is to conflate being anti-war
with being anti-soldier. That's the trick of scoundrels
who take their last refuge in a thoroughly bogus "patriotism."

>> Buy yourself a new map, Wooten. South Vietnam no longer exists.

> No map necessry. I am well aware of the fact
> the South became a gulag thanks to liberals.

The entire country is now a "gulag" -- and trading
vigorously with the US. What does *that* tell you, eh? :)

Ahhh ... but once more you attempt to move the
goal posts -- less charitably known as lie.

You *said* that you believed we won the Vietnam war. Which
is kind of like saying that you believe the earth is flat.

Look, whether or not we should've continued that war
until North Vietnam was defeated is a debatable point.

Whether or not we *won* the war is a matter of historical record.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 25, 2006 at 12:59 PM | PERMALINK

persecution troll:

> Ah, so sorry lad. Nah, not really interested in persecuting you.

Bullshit. You disrupt threads with "public service announcements"
that nobody responds to (and when the thread is active unlike this
one I ignore), spam posts from months ago and leave links to dead
threads. Your behavior is entirely more disruptive than most regular
trolls here, let alone anything at all written here by yours truly.

> Verily, it seems that there are a group of people who are sick to
> death of your juvenile shit and want you to LEAVE and NEVER RETURN.

What you're doing here doesn't qualify as "juvenile shit?" If you're
so mature, wby don't you post this under your regular handle? Heh.

Verily, you are lying, and doubtless a committee of one. The
the only "support" you get are from your own sock puppets; not
a single regular has chimed in with support for your position.

>> Wooten, the technical term for this is "batshit
>> insane." It's like driving through a red light
>> because you "believe" it's actually green.

> Or posting continually on a blog where there's sufficient evidence
> you used what they call a 'sock puppet' in a debate.

"Sufficient evidence," that's adorable. Listen, you lying sack
of shit, if you *really* believe this, there's a way to confirm
it. Why don't you write Kevin -- he has the IP information.
Don't IPs give clues as to geographical location? Please
confirm for yourself that it's not likely that Shinobi and
I posted from the same state, let alone the same ISP.

If you really wanna play this game, take it
up with Kevin. Otherwise you're just endlessly
repeating what you'll hope will become a Big Lie.

And that's persecution.

rdw:

> The issue was never if you served in Vietnam
> but if you've ever served anyone AT ALL.

Wooten ... this is a lie. You're moving the goal posts. Your
initial point had to do with the Vietnam era and you know it.

> It's clear by your classic anti-soldier
> tone that you have never served.

I don't have an "anti-soldier tone," classic or otherwise. It's
also abundantly clear that there are many people posting on this
blog with military experience who share my views and reject yours.

Military service per se has nothing to do with it.

> If you did you would never denigrate the service of [...]

I've never denigrated anyone's military service --
though you denigrate John Kerry's constantly. But
what you need to do is to conflate being anti-war
with being anti-soldier. That's the trick of scoundrels
who take their last refuge in a thoroughly bogus "patriotism."

>> Buy yourself a new map, Wooten. South Vietnam no longer exists.

> No map necessry. I am well aware of the fact
> the South became a gulag thanks to liberals.

The entire country is now a "gulag" -- and trading
vigorously with the US. What does *that* tell you, eh? :)

Ahhh ... but once more you attempt to move the
goal posts -- less charitably known as lie.

You *said* that you believed we won the Vietnam war. Which
is kind of like saying that you believe the earth is flat.

Look, whether or not we should've continued that war
until North Vietnam was defeated is a debatable point.

Whether or not we *won* the war is a matter of historical record.

Bob

Posted by: rmcki1 on September 25, 2006 at 1:00 PM | PERMALINK

That was me.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 25, 2006 at 1:01 PM | PERMALINK

Thomas:

That's a pretty trivial "gotcha." Clinton also said that immediately after Somalia, nobody knew what or who al Qaeda was. Clinton *did* become obsessed with getting bin Laden, as Richard Clarke attests.

And Clinton remained in Somalia until the UN became engaged instead of pulling out immediately -- as the Republicans were pushing him to do.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 25, 2006 at 1:09 PM | PERMALINK

This shit is so funny I forgot to laff

The best of rmck1:

Keith G:
I think he'd prolly feel a little *b l o a t e d* after that type of enema, sure.
Nothing a little death wouldn't cure, though :)
Bob
Posted by: rmck1 on July 27, 2006 at 3:52 AM | PERMALINK
-----------------------------------------------

Al:
And 500 hours of community service for masturbation :)
Bob
Posted by: rmck1 on July 27, 2006 at 1:25 AM | PERMALINK
-----------------------------------------------

watcher:
Hope you enjoyed your Zyklon B enema every bit as much as I enjoyed giving it to you :)
Bob
Posted by: rmck1 on July 26, 2006 at 12:00 AM | PERMALINK

-----------------------------------------------
a:
OMG, that's an even funnier image than Jay submissively bending over and getting reamed with a copy of The American Spectator by Ann Coulter's 12-speed dildo :)
Bob
Posted by: rmck1 on July 5, 2006 at 5:56 PM | PERMALINK

-----------------------------------------------
Jay:
You must have one serious, depression-producing crisis of remorse, Jay, after every time you beat off.
All those millions of potential lives all crumpled up in drying gooey white stuff in your Kleenex.
Do you do the Santorum thing, Jay? Do you, like, save your old jizz cloths and make sort of a shrine to them to memorialize all that potential of life wasted? Do you take pictures and light candles?
The Iraqi parliament can't set foot out of the Green Zone without seriously risking their lives.
That is a daily and constant fact.
And one which is hardly amenable to cultivating the instincts of citizenship that any serious political scientist and/or sociologist agrees is necessary for the cultivation of democracy.
Bob
Posted by: rmck1 on July 4, 2006 at 2:31 PM | PERMALINK

-----------------------------------------------
Cristina:
I have a great idea. Since new movies are obviously now considered a worthy topic-driver here -- why don't you put up a post about Adam Sandler's 'Click' (which, sadly enough, I saw last week) so we can debate the subtextual message.
Is it a movie that reaffirms family values and stopping to smell the roses -- or does it sneakily promote techno-lust, because we'd all just *kill* to own one of those Universal Remote Controls that would allow us to fast-forward through tedious parts of our life?
Oooh, I can hardly fucking wait.
Bob
Posted by: rmck1 on June 28, 2006 at 2:30 PM | PERMALINK

-----------------------------------------------
Gay recruitment propaganda pamphlet written for six-year-olds:
Hello boys. My name is Kendrew and I'm here to tell you all about the wonderful joy of being a boy.
Touch the skin on your arm. Now rub it back and forth. Doesn't it feel good ... mmm ... so smo-o-o-th. You have lots of body parts that feel good when you touch them. Just ask your best friend!
Err ... this stuff writes itself so I had better quit while I'm, umm, ahead.
Bob
Posted by: rmck1 on June 27, 2006 at 7:31 PM | PERMALINK

Posted by: Bob's Persecution Troll on September 25, 2006 at 1:11 PM | PERMALINK

Thomas:

For the record, I don't. And yes -- you do qualify as a regular, just as rdw does.

Even if I might also consider you a concern troll.

But I've never seen you post anything near as toxic as the trash that's been following me recently.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 25, 2006 at 1:12 PM | PERMALINK

persecution troll:

You know, this is pretty funny. Obviously you're reposting that stuff from me because it's a little too off-color for your tastes.

Okay, that's fine. I can respect your opinion.

But it's a little like the Catholic League of Decency putting out a compendium of pornography -- just to, you know, show the world how sinful it is :)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 25, 2006 at 1:16 PM | PERMALINK

But I've never seen you post anything near as toxic as the trash that's been following me recently.

No, YOU'RE the trash. We're trying to take out the trash.

Project much? You post shit like what is posted above and anyone who disagrees with you is sick You post endless ridiculous obfuscations and twisted jokes and half assed analyses and everyone who disagrees with you is sick.

Take a long look in the mirror and quit projecting.

Posted by: Bob's Persecution Troll on September 25, 2006 at 1:17 PM | PERMALINK

Thomas:

At least by the time of the Cole incident and probably beginning with the African embassy bombings.

You're going to have to read Clarke's book to be certain.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 25, 2006 at 1:19 PM | PERMALINK

boo hoo boo hoo boo hoo whimper whimper whimper whine whine whine boo hoo

project much?

Posted by: *shorter rmck1* on September 25, 2006 at 1:22 PM | PERMALINK

persecution troll:

That's obviously not something that you can do. You can either write Kevin about it if you're so sincerely concerned (and I can only imagine what his reaction might be) -- or else you can ignore me, as is the time-honored advice to people who object to what they consider trollish behavior.

But attempting to war with me over it is obviously not going to accomplish your stated goal -- since it is I who, yes, thinks you're not only sick but severely lacking in a sense of humor.

Every one of those posts that you unloaded here had a context.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 25, 2006 at 1:23 PM | PERMALINK

Thomas:

As I say, I don't know when he developed his OBL obsession. You'd have to read Clarke's book; I haven't yet.

How do I know it's not you? I don't -- it's just an inference. I haven't seen you express very much skill in using other than your characteristic voice.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 25, 2006 at 1:26 PM | PERMALINK

Whether or not we *won* the war is a matter of historical record

Quite true and we have the statements of various North Vietnamese leaders both political and military. We know for example the North Vietnamese Army was destroyed during the Tet offensive. It was far from the military defeat as portrayed by Uncle Walt and the rest of the MSM. As has proven true for liberals regarding notes and records kept by the leaders of the USSR and so many enemy forces we know what was going on at the time in North Vietnam.

That's how history is written.

Posted by: rdw on September 25, 2006 at 1:37 PM | PERMALINK

I don't have an "anti-soldier tone," classic or otherwise. It's
also abundantly clear that there are many people posting on this
blog with military experience who share my views and reject yours.

You are absolutely anti-military and it could not be clearer. Your distain for Vietnam Vets is transparent. It also classic for liberals of your generation to look down on those who have served as failures who chose the service because the didn't have any other options. On this blog we've seen no shortage of those claims as well as others suggesting those in Iraq are dupes.

This is the reason why Clinton has been so desperate to recruit soldiers. Your party is getting it's ass kicked on national security.

Posted by: rdw on September 25, 2006 at 1:41 PM | PERMALINK

I've never denigrated anyone's military service --
though you denigrate John Kerry's constantly.

If you haven't denigrated GWBs service you are about the only liberal who hasn't.

I've never denigrated JFKs service but I hold him in contempt for his lies about his service. There is a huge difference. The simple ass told some bonehead stupid whoppers on Xmas in Cambodia and in fact 2 of his 3 purple hearts were for very, very superficial wounds.

The fact he received the awards for them is less the issue then the attempt to portray himself as John Wayne. He in fact games the system to get out after 4 months. Good for him. He found a way. Now don't try to pretend to be something more than you are.

Posted by: rdw on September 25, 2006 at 1:46 PM | PERMALINK

persecution troll:

> But I've never seen you post anything near as toxic
> as the trash that's been following me recently.

> No, YOU'RE the trash. We're trying to take out the trash.

No you're not. You're prosecuting a war. If you were genuinely
concerned about this blog, you'd try to handle this through back
channels, as I've suggested. But obviously you're no such thing.

> Project much?

It is you who are exhibiting clinical levels of projection. You have
a whopping load of anger and see me -- for whatever reasons -- as
vulnerable. So you're attempting to annihilate me because there are
parts of yourself that shame you, and that you'd like to annihilate.

> You post shit like what is posted above and
> anyone who disagrees with you is sick

Disagrees? Hardly. You can find that stuff off-color -- but you
really need to take it up with Kevin, because he sets the rules
here. I'm certainly not the only person who posts off-color humor.

What I find literally sick -- because it's so
patently self-contradictory -- is to spam a thread
with a whole bunch of ancient posts you find offensive.

> You post endless ridiculous obfuscations and
> twisted jokes and half assed analyses and
> everyone who disagrees with you is sick.

I also find this redolent of mental illness. "Everyone"? That's
your own diseased ego talking. I debate and disagree with people
here constantly and their mental state enters into it only if it's
a rhetorical and/or facetious jibe at a troll. I think *you* and
*you alone* seem to have serious issues you need to deal with.

> Take a long look in the mirror and quit projecting.

I hold that mirror in your direction.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 25, 2006 at 1:52 PM | PERMALINK

rdw:

> Your distain for Vietnam Vets is transparent.

Wooten, if you're going to spout patent bullshit like this,
rest assured I'm not going to bother to finish reading your
posts. As you can see, I've been dealing with a rather
severe asshole on this thread, and I just don't have the
patience to continue to bat away your absurd lies -- even
if your posts are a joy to respond to in comparison.

I have never uttered Word One that could be construed as disdain
for Vietnam veterans -- or the entire military, for that matter.

Being against particular wars has nothing to do with
support for the military. Some of the posters here I
find most interesting to read are former or current military
people, and I've always honored their experience. I've
defended Trashhauler (a retired Air Force pilot and DoD
employee) against knee-jerk anti-militarists, for chrissakes.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 25, 2006 at 2:07 PM | PERMALINK

Chris' words touch me. Yours don't.
Bob
Posted by: rmck1 on September 21, 2006 at 2:44 PM | PERMALINK


The most unintentionally hilarious post ever. *Classic.*

Golly, Bob, you seem like you're laughing on the outside, crying on the inside. Don't give up. *Everyone* loves you.

Posted by: Bob's Other Persecution Troll on September 25, 2006 at 2:10 PM | PERMALINK

bob,

Bad news about Clintons obsession. It's getting torn to shreds. Limbaugh is doing a sentence by sentence shredding of his interview using Richard Clarkes book, as well as other testimony, as proof of Clintons lies. Rush is of course picking up on the documentation provided by many others.

As Thomas indicated above Clarke may have trashed GWB but he didn't come close to doing Slick Willie any favors and much of wht Clarke provided to condemn Bill have been verified elsewhere.

Clinton has not done himself any favors here by trashing everyone else but himself. He's trashed the CIA and FBI as well as GWB. GWB meanwhile puts on a clinic in 'crises' management. Though this hardly qualifies as a crises GWB has smartly ignored the entire episode including the movie that started it all. That we are treated to a national conservation devoted almost exclusively to Bill Clintons failures. As he tries to point the finger everywhere but at himself all he does is force a closer look and it's not been pretty.

He made the ABC movie far more famous that it would have been and now we're going to see continued magazine coverage in more detail that can only show more of his warts. Bill Clinton is a guy who should have had military experience where he would have learned leadership is more than getting over on people. It's unseemly for the President of that era to now blame the various agencies he was in charge of for the failures of his administration. It's also just plain weak to try to defend ne's record by saying the 'other guys' is bad too.

Bill Clinton will forever be the poster boy for the generation that came of age in the 60's representing a level of self-absorbtion on the edge of mental illness.

Even dumber is that he has to realize that when he was president he had a skilled WH spin machine and a far more powerful MSM at his disposal. He lost the WH and the Democratic party has become pitiful at PR. At the same time virtually every MSM is much weaker than in 1998 while theconservative media is dramatically stronger.

With the advent of search engines Clintons recollection of events can be checked in minutes and even if he makes an honest mistake in his recollection of events will look like a fool. A good example is his claim republicans blamed him fo being obsessed with OBL. Sorry Bill but that's silly. ditto for the claim it was the GOP who hammered him on 'wag the dog'.

It's been a little over 24 hours since his interview was aired and he's getting demolished. Even his friends on the Morning Show in thinking Michael Schuler was a fan of Clinton because he trashed GWB were shocked and likely demoralized in finding Schuler was going to use their show to trash Clinton.

This has been an absolutely textbook example in what not to do.

Posted by: rdw on September 25, 2006 at 2:11 PM | PERMALINK

To be fair, those 4 months were Kerry's SECOND tour of duty

That's well known and changes nothing in terms of Kerry gaming the system to get out of what we actually serious duty. Which again I have no problem with. But don't brag about purple hearts when they're for scratches.

BTW: My older brothers served in the Navy during the 60's and did 6 months off Vietnam. He was never in a shred of danger other than anyone on a ship would be anwhere else. Thus he never tries to tell people he served in Vietnam because he doesn't think it's fair to those who did and actually faced danger. This is actually quite common. While I know it was kerry's 2nd tour his 1st was no more dangerous than a tour off the coast of Florida. To his credit, Kerry has never pretended otherwise on that point.

Posted by: rdw on September 25, 2006 at 2:22 PM | PERMALINK

rmck1 sez Some of the posters here I
find most interesting to read are former or current military
people, and I've always honored their experience.

rmck1 then sez But no, Lucy. On a broad historical level -- there were genuine national heroes in WW2. There were no national heroes in the Vietnam war.

Gawd, that's why we *love* ya Bob. Can't identify your own contradictions, can't own up to shit, can't even beat a 3rd rate troll like rdw.

*Classic.*

Posted by: Bob's Other Persecution Troll on September 25, 2006 at 2:22 PM | PERMALINK

persecution troll:

"Other" persecution troll? You honestly think anybody here believes that? Heh. Stuff it back in your sock puppet drawer.

If you were another person, you'd post under a legit handle -- obviously. Just as obviously, you're ashamed of how you're trashing this blog in order to save it.

Naturally you wouldn't dream of quoting that post in context. Cmdicely and I don't correspond in email, nor did I ever imply that we're BFF. But his arguments matter to me enough to demoralize me when we disagree. The arguments of people like you do not and never have.

And the only respect I referenced is the baseline respect that any honest debater offers to his/her opponent by conducting themselves civilly.

Obviously this is not a respect that I share with you.

Now go ahead and try to spin *that*, cretin.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 25, 2006 at 2:28 PM | PERMALINK

persecution troll:

>> Some of the posters here I find most interesting
>> to read are former or current military people,
>> and I've always honored their experience.

>> But no, Lucy. On a broad historical level --
>> there were genuine national heroes in WW2. There
>> were no national heroes in the Vietnam war.

> Can't identify your own contradictions,

That's a contradiction. Really.

So uhh ... tell me. Who are the national heroes in the
Vietnam War on the level of General Douglas MacArthur?

There is always battlefield heroism in any war, won or lost.

And just about any vet or current military person (save, of course,
Wooten) would support this distinction. How can there be national
heroes in a war with no achievable strategic objectives?

What's really sad is that you're doing the
spade work for a third-rate troll like rdw.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 25, 2006 at 2:38 PM | PERMALINK

3rd rate troll like rdw.

Is that all I rate? That's OK, I can live with 3rd rate. I troll for the fun of it.

BTW: Bob knew he was nailed both on the 'no national heroes' theme as well as on his theory conservatives are 'scared' of Howard Dean. He becomes infuriated when I point out Howards dismal results in the Democratic primaries while pissing away a ton of money with little clue as to where it went. Bob, as a Dean groupie, hates it when I add relevents facts to the debate. But then he wouldn't be a lib otherwise.

Posted by: rdw on September 25, 2006 at 2:39 PM | PERMALINK

Trolls, persecution and otherwise:

Battlefield heroism is not the same thing as national heroism.

See if you can't spot the differences ...

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 25, 2006 at 2:41 PM | PERMALINK

rdw:

Wooten, there's just not enough time in the day to refute your idiocies.

Dean's 50-state strategy is the right thing to do for the Party, whether we win one or both houses this year or not.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 25, 2006 at 2:44 PM | PERMALINK

Wooten, there's just not enough time in the day to refute your idiocies.

But no, Lucy. On a broad historical level -- there were genuine national heroes in WW2. There were no national heroes in the Vietnam war.

You keep losing to rdw and changing the subject, we'll have to upgrade rdw to 2nd rate troll, apprentice.

What part of honoring the service of Veterans do you honor when you say there were no national heroes during the Vietnam War? During the Vietnam War, *245* individuals were awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor; *154* of those were posthumous awards.

Every fucking one of them wasn't a 'national' hero, huh? Congress represents the nation, the Congressional Medal of Honor represents the highest award that the nation can give to someone, and 245 of them were awarded it in Vietnam. But you said none of them were national heroes. Fucking loser.

*Classic*. Now rmck1/Bob will change the subject, claim persecution, cry like a baby and run away.

Posted by: Bob's Other Persecution Troll on September 25, 2006 at 2:56 PM | PERMALINK

Thomas:

Careful with that "we," Kemo Sabe. You said you're not voting Democratic again, so honestly -- what do you really care, except of course you'd obviously love it if "we" lost.

Because we not only lost the war, but it was unwinnable aside from committing out-and-out genocide on North Vietnam. The political brass made the only choice that a non-imperialistic democracy could have made.

And that's why there are no heroes in Vietnam equivalent to General Douglas MacArthur -- who led us to victory in the Pacific and oversaw a successful postwar occupation of Japan.

Sgt. Joe Hooper is no doubt an extremely worthy battlefield hero, and I fully honor and respect the sacrifice he made to his country.

But Joe Hooper is no Douglas MacArthur, either.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 25, 2006 at 2:58 PM | PERMALINK

Sgt. Joe Hooper is no doubt an extremely worthy battlefield hero, and I fully honor and respect the sacrifice he made to his country.

He's just a piece of shit to you because he wasn't McArthur or a national hero, huh? Hate to see a pair of trolls like rdw and thomas1 kick your ass on this subject, but we can sticka fork in you.

*You're done*.

Posted by: Bob's Other Persecution Troll on September 25, 2006 at 3:03 PM | PERMALINK

General MacArthur did.

When did the good general win his medal?

Posted by: rdw on September 25, 2006 at 3:04 PM | PERMALINK

we'll have to upgrade rdw to 2nd rate troll, apprentice.


You've made my day.

Posted by: rdw on September 25, 2006 at 3:06 PM | PERMALINK

persecution troll:

Let me ask you a more general question:

How do you have heroes in a war that your country lost?

This is not a rhetorical question; there's an answer to this. It *is*, of course, possible.

But how can you call any of the extremely worthy battlefield heroes who saved the lives of their buddies and demonstrated extreme courage under fire, went above and beyond the call of duty -- if their exploits did not produce a sustainable victory?

For the country, I mean.

How would you answer the question?

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 25, 2006 at 3:08 PM | PERMALINK

Dean's 50-state strategy is the right thing to do for the Party, whether we win one or both houses this year or not.

It would seem Chuck Schumer and Rob Emanuel are in disagreement with you.

Again you use as an example of electorial smarts and man who was a proven disaster. Give up on Howard. The 1st thing the next Democratic candidate will do is get rid of the mouth that roared.

Posted by: rdw on September 25, 2006 at 3:08 PM | PERMALINK

persecution troll:

Where exactly is the logic in the idea that I somehow must consider Sgt. Joe Hooper a "piece of shit" because he's not MacArthur?

Nowhere, obviously. You're flailing around helplessly; if you're actually Jason, who's been in the military, you know damn well that the distinction I'm attempting to draw is important to the historical evaluation of a war if not to the individual veterans who served their countries above and beyond the call of duty. Sgt. Joe Hooper is an extremely honorable and worthy battlefield hero, whose praises should be sung by every American.

Just which part of this don't you understand?

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 25, 2006 at 3:14 PM | PERMALINK

rdw:

That's Rahm Emanuel.

It's the difference between short-term and long-term thinking.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 25, 2006 at 3:18 PM | PERMALINK

Thomas:

That's a very good point, Thomas. When it's a war of national survival (considering the Confederacy as a nation), heroism is different. No question that Lee was a general of the first rank.

But when you're dealing with a conflict like Vietnam, where we won virtually every tactical engagement but lost the war anyway -- and the war was decidedly not a question of national survival -- then it becomes a different story.

You have to put it into the context of what we were fighting for. The Vietnam war surely was no "noble cause," considering its entire basis was a flawed analysis of the confluence of nationalist aspirations with Communist influence.

At least in the South, it was clear what you were fighting for. I think that helps to clarify the question of national military heroism.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 25, 2006 at 3:25 PM | PERMALINK

Thomas:

That's fine, Thomas. If you want to consider every Congressional Medal of Honor winner a national hero as well, it's certainly no skin off my nose.

It really is kind of a definitional quibble.

Every soldier's courage and committment should be honored. Soldiers who go the extra mile especially so. But history looks at the bigger picture.

My only point about Kerry is that running as a war hero was in sharp contrast with his record as opposing the war. Heroism is very hard to reconcile with "being the last man to die for a mistake."

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 25, 2006 at 3:37 PM | PERMALINK

I have never uttered Word One that could be construed as disdain
for Vietnam veterans -- or the entire military, for that matter.

ROTFLMAO! Fucking liar.

My view of the Vietnam war represents the consensus, among the military, as well. Yeah, there are a bunch of frothers out there
who believe we could've won the war -- but their views are a minority.

Consensus? That there were no fucking national heroes in the Vietnam War?

rdw is hereby promoted to troll of the first rank, apprentice mate for kicking Bobs *ass*.

Posted by: Bob's Other Persecution Troll on September 25, 2006 at 4:28 PM | PERMALINK

Look, I don't want to get into a definitional quibble over the meaning of "national hero." If Vets feel attatched to that term for the highly decorated among them, that's perfectly fine with me. I don't disdain the military, but I don't have a great deal of experise in it, either.

But the bottom line here is that we not only lost the Vietnam war, but that we fought it for dubious reasons. And if there are military geniuses out there on the order of the great generals of WW2 or Korea who won definitive battles -- then by all means sing their praises, let me know about them, and prove me wrong.

The great irony here is that I don't think that Jason or even BOPT would argue with me about whether or not we lost the Vietnam war -- or even whether it was ever winnable to begin with without a genocidal and politically impossible invasion of the North.

Jason:

I see you're beginning to get indignant at being accused of being BOPT. If my suspicions were wrong, I'd be happy to retract them.

You can't, however, consider the suspicion somehow out of left field. But if I was wrong, I was wrong.

BOPT:

There were plenty of battlefield heroes in the Vietnam war, as there are in every war. Call them national heroes if you'd like; I won't dispute the term.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 25, 2006 at 5:21 PM | PERMALINK

Thomas:

We won't know until the history is written about the Iraq war and it's out of the climate of polarized debate. Give it at least 30 years or so.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 25, 2006 at 5:25 PM | PERMALINK

Pathetic fucking twerps. Go out and do something with your lives and then try to tell us how things are supposed to be.

You're a close second to rmck1/Bob as far as being asshole of the year is concerned, *IMHO*.

Posted by: Jason's Persecution Troll on September 25, 2006 at 5:39 PM | PERMALINK

Jason:

My gods that was an insane post.

Listen -- the only reason I responded on this thread is because it's almost off the main page. If you go back a couple threads, you'll see precisely the same kind of attacks where I wasn't responding at all -- because the thread was active and that would be rude.

I hardly consider it rude if the audience here consists of a troll, you and Thomas.

Look -- like I said to the troll: If you really think I'd be retarded enough to sock puppet Shinobi, by all means write Kevin about it and ask for the IP numbers, then do a little research as to where they were coming from.

Why they named themselves Bob's Persecution Trolls -- it's called sardonic humor, Jason. Like usual, you seem to have a little trouble with it.

Get the IP numbers. I give you full permission to ask Kevin about it; I don't give a shit if that reveals the physical location of my ISP.

Otherwise, drop this false accusation as I will drop the accusation that you were one of them.

Deal?

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 25, 2006 at 5:39 PM | PERMALINK

Jason:

Jesus Christ, let *alone* sock puppeting the Persecution Twins.

Get *those* IPs from Kevin, too.

Hehe ... wouldn't *that* be interesting :)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 25, 2006 at 5:44 PM | PERMALINK

Jason:

Jason ... I suggested the only objective way to prove your accusation.

If you're going to persist in lying about something of which you have no knowledge -- then you can hardly say you're doing any more than trolling yourself.

I haven't sock puppeted a soul. Write Kevin about it or kindly S. T. F. U.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 25, 2006 at 5:50 PM | PERMALINK

Jason:

Just like our last debate, you completely lost this one on the merits.

And now you're declaring victory and going home.

Whatever, dude.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 25, 2006 at 5:54 PM | PERMALINK

thomas1,

Did not know Douglas received the award although I'm very suspicious it was a political rather than a military award. Still, he has it. Thanks for the heads up.

Posted by: rdw on September 25, 2006 at 6:05 PM | PERMALINK

rdw:

Who's the equivalent of MacArthur in the Vietnam war?

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 25, 2006 at 6:12 PM | PERMALINK

That's Rahm Emanuel.

Thanks

It's the difference between short-term and long-term thinking.

I understand that. I'll even concede Dean could be right. But only in the sense a broken clock is right 2x's a day. The worse aspect of Deans primary race wasn't his poor finishes but his poor management of his campaign. He was a disaster never having control of his money and having extreme turmoil.

I believe Schumer and Emanuel would quote Keynes on ths issue, "In the long run we're all dead".

Posted by: rdw on September 25, 2006 at 6:12 PM | PERMALINK

rdw:

Dean's major mistake was to hire Joe Trippi long before he thought he'd be anything more than a protest candidate.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 25, 2006 at 6:16 PM | PERMALINK

Thomas:

From your favorite source:

Under Westmoreland's leadership, the United States "won every battle
until it lost the war." The turning point of the war was the 1968 Tet
Offensive, in which Communist forces, having baited Westmoreland into
committing nearly 40% of his strength to Khe Sahn, attacked cities and
towns throughout South Vietnam. US and South Vietnamese troops
successfully fought off the attacks, and the Communist forces took
heavy losses, but the ferocity of the assault shook public confidence
in Westmoreland's previous assurances about the state of the war.
Political debate and public opinion led the Johnson administration to
limit further increases in US troops in Vietnam.

Westmoreland was convinced that the Vietnamese communists could be
destroyed by fighting a war of attrition that, theoretically, would
render the Viet Cong and the North Vietnamese unable to fight. His war
strategy was marked by heavy use of artillery, airpower and attempts
to engage the communists in large-unit battles. However, the NVA and
the Viet Cong had a firm grasp on the battlefield initiative and so
were able to dictate the pace of attrition to fit their own goals.
Westmoreland repeatedly rebuffed or suppressed attempts by John Paul
Vann, Victor Krulak and Lew Walt to shift to a "pacification"
strategy.((Neil Sheehan, A Bright Shining Lie: John Paul Vann And
America in Vietnam))

=-=-=-=-

Doesn't exactly sound very MacArthurlike to me ...

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 25, 2006 at 6:23 PM | PERMALINK

but the ferocity of the assault shook public confidence
in Westmoreland's previous assurances about the state of the war.
Political debate and public opinion led the Johnson administration to
limit further increases in US troops in Vietnam

This would be because in one of the most famous war reports of the modern TV era Walter Chronkite reported the American military suffered a major defeat when in fact we now know the opposite is true. We know this because of North Vietnamese records.

I would not select Westmoreland and the best general the USA had during Vietnam but he is the most important given he had command when it most mattered. I can't remember his replacement but he was very well respected. Unfortunately we had already sirrendered politically.

BTW: I don't think MacArthur was our best WWII General nor do I think he was especially good.

Posted by: rdw on September 25, 2006 at 6:36 PM | PERMALINK

Thomas:

And one of the reasons we lost is because Westy had such a poor understanding of the enemy. You can't make direct comparisons of the Vietnamese to Western militaries. Nor did he take into account the patriotic fervor of the enemy fighting for its homeland, which makes high casualty rates sustainable with high morale.

If Westy's "hands were tied," it's because non-imperalistic democracies don't do genocide.

There's no way his big-battle tactics would have ever won that war in a politically acceptible manner.

The United States is not the Roman -- or even the British -- Empire.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 25, 2006 at 6:38 PM | PERMALINK

rdw:

Wooten -- it didn't matter.

You don't win insurgencies through military victories alone -- unless your explicit goal is to virtually annihilate the entire country of Vietnam.

By the time Westy was gone and we switched from big-battle attrition strategy to a clear-and-hold strategy, it was too late.

And the proper time for that was well before Tet.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 25, 2006 at 6:44 PM | PERMALINK

Think Kevin will comment on Slick willie meltdown? He seems to be ignoring it although that's not surprising. Talk radio is boiling as are the righty blogs and Bill Clinton is getting toasted. As predicted the vast majority of his claims were easily proven false and the discussion is not one which favors him and especially not his party.

Chris Wallace will receive more fame over this interview than any he has ever done. He's getting major publicity and exposure. How can someone as smart as Bill Clinton be so stupid.

Posted by: rdw on September 25, 2006 at 6:54 PM | PERMALINK

mike: Every time Clinton acted, he was attacked by 'publicans


here's just one piece of evidence....

"You can support the troops and not the president." - Tom DeLay (R-TX) 1999

Posted by: mr. perspective on September 25, 2006 at 7:51 PM | PERMALINK

You don't win insurgencies through military victories alone --

Wars have always been won by one method and one method only. That's by killing the enemy. It has become more important to do what Sharon did in the West Bank and that's targeting the leadership. In Islam where the leaders have zero regard for their people it's critical to kill the leaders. The bomb carriers are meaningless. Their own families don't even care about them. It is also true in a war with Islam the leadership muat be willing to accept collateral damage as Islamic leaders wll happy sacrifice even their own children to provide protection.

The lesson in Vietnam was to fight to win. The politicians were not willing to do what was necessary.

Posted by: rdw on September 25, 2006 at 7:59 PM | PERMALINK

Also, who was the best WWII General?

I'm not the expert but my readings suggest Patton was by far the best battlefield general and he was the one the Germans feared most. However WWII was unique in terms of being a global war with large numbers of allies on each side. The massive coordination required incredible organizational and political skills such that the importance of Eisenhower and Marshall cannot be under-estimated. Many think Marshall was our greatest General and his decision to remain in Washington one of the great selfless acts in our history. He could have had Ike's job and one would expect one of the jobs after.

Posted by: rdw on September 25, 2006 at 8:31 PM | PERMALINK

I agree, rdw, that we need to fight in Iraq to win. Do you honestly think Bush and Rumsfeld are doing that?


Let's try to stay sane. Quibble with their methodology all you want. Questioning the war time decisions of Presidents and Generals has been a popular sport as long as there have been wars.

Their dedication to winning cannot be questioned.

I in fact think they are doing the exact right thing. I have a number of problems with the 1st year but not since. They are preparing the Iraqi's for self rule while radical Islamic elements are conducting a civil war which is quite separate.

We have an outstanding ambassador over there and amazing military leadership. What they have accomplished under horrific circumstances is quite amazing. The failures are the failures of Islam and Islam alone.

Further, Rummy has been brilliant.

We've seen from this recent Clinton meltdown that it is nerely impossible for a President to gain control of entrenched bureaucracies. The gist of his defense of his lack of results was that he ordered things to be done but the CIA, FBI and State did not do it.

We've seen in the last year one of Colin Powells top aids go ballistic on GWB making the incredible charge that Bush actually tried to run foreign policy from the White House. More amazing is no one in the MSM saw anything wrong with that. And here's GWB acting as if he was in charge of foreign policy. Imnagine that! The guy we elected President thinking he's in charge. More recently wer saw a devastating example of treachery from Powell and Richard Armitage against the same White House in the Joe Wilson mess.

Now ask yourself what you would do if you were President and you knew every single agency was loaded with senior executives waiting to bury a knife in your back. One of the criticisms of Clinton was from his 1st CIA director. I think James Woolsley served more than 3 years and met Clinton once. Bill did not want to take any political risks. In hindsight he was probably wise.

Which brings me back to Rummy. If you remember his charge was to remake the military into a smaller, faster, more lethal force. Obviously in a huge Defense Dept bureaucracy job one before undetaking major change is to identify those capable of putting up bureaucratic roadblocks and get rid of them. Rummy, having been Sec of Def, having been WH chief of Staff and having been in congress knew all of the rules and how to play. He was an exceptional pick as was Cheney just as experienced and well versed in the same game.

They've done a remarkable job. The invasion of Afghanistan was remarkable and it will remain remarkable in both it's planning and execution. The same is true of the current 'occupation'. much is made of the resurgent taliban. They're getting slaughtered while 'some' NATO troops are gettig valuable experience and we learn who our real freinds are. This is critical as we are in a real war and it will get much hotter. But for now and for all of the problems remaining in Afghanistan progress has been remarkable and the entire Bush administration will be very well remembered by History.

The invasion of iraq was just as remarkable as the invasion of Afghanistan and will be another major acheivement by Rummy. There will be some criticism of the steps after victory but that history isn't close to being written and Rummy will not be the only important player.

He's still in office and Powell is gone because Rummy can be trusted and Powell can not be trusted. His treachery regarding Armitage was disgraceful and very likely played a role in his dismissal.

Because Rummy has so many real accomplishments on the battlefield and has remade the military in an extraordinarily positive way and has been so articulate all along regarding the various missions History will be extremely kind to Donald Rumsfeld. GWB has also been lucky because Donalds obvious brilliance, confidence and self-assurance has pissed off the press which often looks foolish agsint him such that Donald takes much of the heat that s/b directed at Bush.

In fact he's been their primary target for years. It's to Rumsfelds credit that he takes the abuse with pride. It's great for Bush.

Posted by: rdw on September 25, 2006 at 9:16 PM | PERMALINK

Jason:

The posts stopped on this *thread* because this thread is in fucking archive.

Are you *really* this much of a dumb shit, Jason?

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 26, 2006 at 12:29 AM | PERMALINK

Thomas:

National heroism in the sense I mean it is something bigger than the actions of any individual soldier on the battlefield, no matter now noble. So let's not continue to play definitional games about it -- I think you know the sense to which I refer.

In theory, the goals of the Cold War were noble. But if the goals of the Cold War don't match up to the situation in Vietnam -- then it's like saying it's noble to beat up a guy accused of raping your sister without any evidence that he, in fact, raped your sister.

Now -- what was going in in Vietnam was a nationalist struggle, not only against the French but against centuries of occupation and oppression by the Chinese. We interpreted that as a struggle *by* the Chinese, to increase the global dominance of Red China. That proved to be entirely wrong -- and many observers knew at the time it was wrong, as well.

In the mid-50s, around the time of the battle of Dien Ben Phiu, Ho Chi Minh was frantically telegraphing the State Dept., begging for our assistance in helping him to drive out the French colonial oppressor. He made reference to our Revolutionary War -- surely the Americans can understand what it's like to fight against an oppressive colonialist power, no?

Had we entered the war in that capacity -- to further the Vietnamese national cause, long before Ho became a dedicated Communist -- or had we merely exercised diplomatic pressure against the French in the name of the new Vietnamese nation -- then yes, Thomas, it could be said that our motives were entirely noble and non-self interested.

As it was, we got involved in that war based on a deeply flawed geopolitical analysis -- in part because our Indochina experts were driven out of the State Dept. in the wake of the McCarthy persecutions over "who lost China."

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 26, 2006 at 12:34 PM | PERMALINK

Thomas:

It's accessed through the September 2006 *archive file*.

The comments haven't yet been turned off.

Two different things.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 26, 2006 at 12:35 PM | PERMALINK

Thomas:

I did not directly accuse Jason of using Rovian tactics in that sentence.

I accused the persecution trolls of using Rovian tactics.

Don't attempt to stir this pot, Thomas.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 26, 2006 at 12:40 PM | PERMALINK

Thomas:

What the Washington Monthy *itself* calls the
file through which this thread is accessed.

From the main page:

Political Animal Archives
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006

[...]

Stop being such a jesuitical dork.

And yes -- you can strike "non-self interested"
from my last sentence if you'd like.

Doesn't change my overall meaning.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 26, 2006 at 12:56 PM | PERMALINK

Thomas:

The phrase I used was "national heroism," not national war heroes -- speaking of, you know, moving the goal posts. Having a hard time dealing with the geopolitical argument I made?

PS: You being in Jason's corner is only going to make his position seem even more dorkish to him than it already is objectively.

Gahh -- I'd shudder to think of how bogus an argument of mine must be if *you* jumped in to defend it "on the merits."

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 26, 2006 at 1:03 PM | PERMALINK

really don't want to either = really don't want to offer either

Posted by: rmck1 on September 26, 2006 at 5:20 PM | PERMALINK

Thomas:

Please. Disingenuous is your middle name. The implication by both you and Jason was obvious. And then you identified me as being in that video in a recent thread. Doesn't being so dishonest trouble your conscience every so often?

You're wrong about when the blog turns off comments, btw. It can happen at any time. I've seen them go off in the middle of the afternoon.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 26, 2006 at 6:29 PM | PERMALINK

Thomas:

Yes, you certainly are dishonest. You posted the YouTube link as if it were me in it.

That's a blatant lie, Thomas. Jason's question was rhetorical, because he carried on as if that *was* me in the video.

If your conscience is untroubled by this, it only means that you're a sociopath.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 26, 2006 at 7:11 PM | PERMALINK

Thomas:

To answer your question more directly: Because rhetorical questions aren't questions; they're assertions in the grammatical form of a question.

And maybe the comments will shut off at midnight, who knows. All I'm saying is that I've seen them go off at different times. Maybe tonight will be your lucky night, Thomas :)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 26, 2006 at 7:17 PM | PERMALINK

Thomas:

You jesuitical dork. You're trying to tell me that "So, when did you stop beating your wife?" is a legitimate question and not an assertion?

Thomas, you posted that fucking video and said it was me on a recent thread.

You fucking lied about it. I don't know what your mental diagnosis a shrink might offer for the way you behave. For all I know, you act like a dork in cyberspace as a release and are perfectly sane in real life.

But it assuredly is a factual statement that refusing to acknowledge the lie you told about that YouTube link, accompanied by an assertion that you're a honest person with an untroubled conscience, qualifies as genuinely sociopathic behavior.

Sociopaths tell lies with a straight face.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 26, 2006 at 7:27 PM | PERMALINK

Thomas:

If the premise of a rhetorical question is untrue, then it is, by definition, a lie. If you've never beaten your wife, then "So, when did you stop beating your wife?" is a lie. The question cannot be answered directly without rebutting the hidden premise.

Jesus, you'll try to wiggle out of *anything*, won't you.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 26, 2006 at 7:32 PM | PERMALINK

Jason:

Do you ever get tired of sounding like a sixth grader?

Thomas:

The blog timestamps are EDT.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 27, 2006 at 12:02 AM | PERMALINK

My timestamps are EDT.

Oh and there's a difference between telling a lie and making an honest mistake.

Apparently the blog doles out timestamps according to location. I guess that must be keyed in by IP address.

Do you ever get tired of having an abusive personality?

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 27, 2006 at 1:03 AM | PERMALINK

Thomas:

What exactly do I lose, Thomas?

Oh, BTW -- you're not done spamming that other thread. I suggest you get cracking -- you've got a *lot* of material to dump there uselessly that nobody will read.

Think of all the people not sufficiently annoyed with you yet :)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 27, 2006 at 1:32 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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