Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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October 31, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

A SEARING SYMBOL?....The New York Times' Jennifer Steinhauer says that Nancy Pelosi has "emerged as a searing symbol of the country's deep partisan divide." Bob Somerby comments:

The notion that Pelosi has emerged as a searing symbol of the country's deep partisan divide is, of course, pure RNC claptrap....Meanwhile, can you think of a single Democrat for whom Pelosi embodies their raw antipathy for the Republican Party? Is such a person alive on Earth? Funny Steinhauer doesnt name any such person. And no one is quoted saying such things, not even anonymously.

The reason, of course, is that it's solely Republicans who have spent the past few months trying to rally the troops with their laughable Pelosi-as-Grim-Reaper demagoguery. But as Steinhauer knows perfectly well, the truth is that Pelosi is only a symbol of partisan divide to the extent that Republicans have insisted on trying to make her one for their own purely partisan reasons. (Namely, that it's all they've got this election cycle.) In the real world Pelosi has gone to extraordinary lengths to present a moderate face and a moderate agenda. Jon Chait reminds you of that agenda here in case you've forgotten it.

POSTSCRIPT: Speaking of Pelosi, did anyone see the 60 Minutes segment about her a week ago? I read a lot of comments disparaging CBS for "fawning" over her two weeks before the election, but it sure didn't seem like an especially warm profile to me. I didn't write about it at the time, which means my memory has grown dim, but it seemed distinctly unfriendly to me. Am I off base here, or did it strike other people that way too?

Kevin Drum 1:09 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (158)

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Comments

Frist?

Posted by: Joe Bob Briggs on October 31, 2006 at 1:12 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, let's look at her agenda, removing the liberal media spin.

Put new rules in place to break the link between lobbyists and legislation.

Prevent concerned citizens from addressing their concerns to lawmakers.

Enact all the recommendations made by the 9/11 commission.

Enact the dubious recommendations of a partisan liberal think tank.

Raise the federal minimum wage to $7.25 an hour.

Rob from those that provide jobs, give to those too lazy to finish high school.

Cut the interest rate on federally supported student loans in half.

Subsidize the next generation's elite (those getting college degrees) at the expense of those who don't go to college.

Allow the government to negotiate directly with pharmaceutical companies for lower drug prices for Medicare patients.

Make it so drug companies can't make money, reducing incentives to make discoveries that will heal millions.

Broaden the types of stem cell research allowed with federal funds.

Use federal money to kill babies.

Impose pay-as-you-go budget rules, requiring that new entitlement spending or tax cuts be offset with entitlement spending cuts or tax hikes.

Prevent citizens from getting the help they need, unless we also tax them to death.

I notice there's no mention of the so-called death tax, wherein the federal government robs graves. Perhaps the democrat party is catching on that Americans don't like graverobbers.

Posted by: American Hawk on October 31, 2006 at 1:14 PM | PERMALINK

Pelosi is a divider, not a uniter. That is obvious to anyone who follows public affairs.

Fortunately she will never become house leader, becaouse the GOP is going to retain its majority.

Posted by: Al on October 31, 2006 at 1:14 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah -- dreadful bit of reporting.

You have to wonder why her editors didn't flag that piece and ask her to substantiate her claims.

Posted by: Auto on October 31, 2006 at 1:15 PM | PERMALINK

I wonder what percentage of the adult public could even identify Nancy Pelosi? Maybe a bit lower than the percentage that can find Iraq on a map.

Posted by: Virginia Dutch on October 31, 2006 at 1:16 PM | PERMALINK

Al is write, as always. Bush, Hastert, Delay, and Bill ("Dems want to surrender to the terrorists!") Frist are the real bipartisan patriots!!

Posted by: Al's Mommy on October 31, 2006 at 1:16 PM | PERMALINK

Hawk, are you sure you aren't Al's long-lost brother? You are so wise, equating 15-cell blastocysts with Babies, and ending more deficit borrowing from China with preventing citizens from getting help! Oh, how people suffered under Clinton's surpluses!!

Posted by: Al's Mommy on October 31, 2006 at 1:19 PM | PERMALINK

Al is write, as always. Bush, Hastert, Delay, and Bill ("Dems want to surrender to the terrorists!") Frist are the real bipartisan patriots!!

I'm serious you fucking bitch. Get the fuck back in the kitchen!! There will not be a third warning, only the back of my hand.

Posted by: Al's Daddy on October 31, 2006 at 1:19 PM | PERMALINK

Speaking of "Al", can anyone create a compilation of Al's dumbest hits? The latest will be especially memorable after Nov 7.

Posted by: Gene in Chicago on October 31, 2006 at 1:20 PM | PERMALINK

From the article:

Ms. Pelosi ate nothing and even in casual conversation seemed to be reading from a script. One woman complained to her about Republican advertisements. ''The Republicans are unconcerned about money, truth or decency,'' Ms. Pelosi said, staring into the woman's eyes while delivering one of her standard speech lines.

My God, a politician actually doing her job by getting her message out! Can nothing stop this monster?!?!

Her voting record is among the most liberal in Congress. She gets an ''A'' from the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League and an ''F'' from the National Rifle Association. She favors alternative sentencing over prison construction, schools without prayer and death with taxes. She voted against the use of force in Iraq, though after the war started she voted to finance it.

As Somerby points out, the above lines about "schools without prayer" and "death with taxes" are nothing more than scripted (there's that word again) Republican spin, virtually word for word from a GOP propaganda pamphlet. On wonders how much Steinhauer got paid for this article....

Posted by: Stefan on October 31, 2006 at 1:21 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, I watched the 60 Minutes piece and I, too, thought it was not particularly flattering. It was more like, "OMG, this woman is so agressive, who does this woman think she is, does she know she's a woman, blah, blah, blah." If she was a man, they'd be praising Pelosi for being a bold leader.

I was once hopeful that with Couric on board (yeah, i know i'm the only one) that maybe CBS would take a risk, stick their neck out, and really do some honest to God fair and balanced reporting.

Eh, and what has happend is not so much.

Posted by: Miles on October 31, 2006 at 1:22 PM | PERMALINK

The GOP's previous candidate for The Great Satan was milquetoast Tom Daschle. Tom Daschle. Let that sink in. It's obvious that their rhetoric has certain elements in it that are simply off-the-rack ready-made. It doesn't matter who it is that it's aimed at. If Mother Teresa were the Democratic leader, she'd be tricked out as Satan Spawn too.

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on October 31, 2006 at 1:23 PM | PERMALINK
In the real world Pelosi has gone to extraordinary lengths to present a moderate face and a moderate agenda.

Pelosi, like many Democrats, has bent over backwards to avoid Republicans attacking her, and gotten attacked nonetheless in the way she sought to avoid when she ruled out impeachment and otherwise pre-emptively caved in to the right: its unsurprising, she's showed that she can be moved by fear of the right, so they keep attacking gleefully.

When will Democratic leaders realize that they need to fight the other side, not run in fear?

Posted by: cmdicely on October 31, 2006 at 1:27 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah. They got a script and by god they're sticking to it. Why are there reporters so dumb or unobservant that they dont understand this?

Posted by: Sandals on October 31, 2006 at 1:27 PM | PERMALINK

WHAT Liberal media?

Posted by: Global Citizen on October 31, 2006 at 1:30 PM | PERMALINK

Good grief, Miles, why on earth would you expect that from Katie Couric? Look at the forum she's offered to right-wing loonies on that "Free Speech" segment of the evening news (with the exception of Bob Schieffer).

I thought some of the questions on 60 Minutes were straight from Ken Mehlman's RNC.

Posted by: Linkmeister on October 31, 2006 at 1:31 PM | PERMALINK

American Hawk - your deluded trash has no place in a rational discourse. You are taking advantage of this site's lax moderation.

Posted by: matt on October 31, 2006 at 1:32 PM | PERMALINK

It was neither a puff piece nor a hit job.

I regretted that they didn't talk more about difficult votes that she had made, and that they also didn't talk about who finances her.

They did, however, hit many Republican talking points. They asked about impeachment, they mentioned the war vote. They asked specifically about gay marriage.

They also presented her as tough, which I think plays much better for men than women. (And she does indeed seem tough.)

Some human interest stuff, a bit infused with the idea that she was politicing (which I thought was fair).

Hardly fawning. For fawning, see: Katie Couric with Condi Rice.

Posted by: Saam Barrager on October 31, 2006 at 1:33 PM | PERMALINK

definitely sign me up for more federal money to kill babies. and convey my sympathy to the poor struggling drug companies. when will they ever be allowed to turn a profit in the United Socialist States of America?

and I can only imagine that the radical homosexual agenda is that we all look faaaaaaaabulous!

can reason and facts ever pierce the veil of stupidity on the right?

Posted by: mencken on October 31, 2006 at 1:33 PM | PERMALINK

I read a lot of comments disparaging CBS for....

Now, seemingly more than ever, people have on their tinted glasses and intrepret things according to their political gestalt. Normative reality, if it does exist at all, is not of interest to these people.

This is especially true of the person submitting as Am Hawk

Prevent citizens from getting the help they need, unless we also tax them to death.

I notice there's no mention of the so-called death tax, wherein the federal government robs graves. Perhaps the democrat [sic] party is catching on that Americans don't like graverobbers.

Hawk, do you ever wonder what life would be like if you'd had enough oxygen at birth?

Posted by: Keith G on October 31, 2006 at 1:35 PM | PERMALINK

The '60 Minutes' profile of Pelosi was not, as you say, especially warm-- but it was informative. This is very important because Pelosi is basically an unknown, and there's a lot of Republican-sponsored misinformation out there.

In particular, my brother-in-law had asked me before seeing the segment, how Pelosi had gotten to be such a big deal-- afterwards he said 'Never mind, I get it'.

Posted by: MattF on October 31, 2006 at 1:36 PM | PERMALINK

Matt: American Hawk - your deluded trash has no place in a rational discourse. You are taking advantage of this site's lax moderation.

If you're looking for a site that has thought police, I suggest democraticunderground.com or dailykos.com. Both adequately stamp out anybody to the right of Dennis Kucinich.

Keith-- You can't address points, so you make personal attacks. You do liberalism proud. Isn't this where you accuse me of being racist? Come on, you can do it.

Posted by: American Hawk on October 31, 2006 at 1:38 PM | PERMALINK

"Enact all the recommendations made by the 9/11 commission.

Enact the dubious recommendations of a partisan liberal think tank."

Thank you, AH, for so succinctly reminding me of why when I see your name at the bottom of a comment I just skip to the next one.

Posted by: oldgreenguy on October 31, 2006 at 1:38 PM | PERMALINK

I saw the "60 Minutes" piece on Rep. Nancy Pelosi, and I did not think it was a "warm" piece of reporting. Leslie Stahl was tough, skeptical, and a touch bitchy. I sensed no respect from Ms. Stahl; maybe a bit of envy - ?

Posted by: mannikin on October 31, 2006 at 1:39 PM | PERMALINK

American Hawk - your deluded trash has no place in a rational discourse. You are taking advantage of this site's lax moderation.

Yup. Emphasis on the deluded part. The amazing thing is she doesn't think she is a troll.

Posted by: Ack Ack Ack Ack on October 31, 2006 at 1:40 PM | PERMALINK

This ridiculous attempt to demonize a 66 year old grandmother highlights how desperate the Dirty Tricks Party has become. The majority of Americans dont even know who she is, for God's sake!

Let these imbeciles continue to flail at windmills, as they are hoisted on their own petards on November 7th!!!

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on October 31, 2006 at 1:40 PM | PERMALINK

This is actually one of my (many) pet peeves with the media - how they blithely accept the GOP talking points about a Democratic candidate and say, "Look, she's a symbol of partisan divide." They most notably do it on a regular basis with Hillary Clinton, when discussing whether she will run in 2008, by saying, "She's a very polarizing figure." Well, she's polarizing because the GOP and its media lapdogs have made her so. In other words, Republicans hate her, gin up hatred toward her - and so, somehow, that means she is ineligible to run for national office? Let's face it, no matter who the Democrats nominate in '08, the GOP and right-wing media will "hate," so every Democrat could be said to be a polarizing figure. Why bother holding elections?

Posted by: jbk on October 31, 2006 at 1:43 PM | PERMALINK

Oldgreenguy-- Yet obviously you didn't, because you read my comment. But thanks for playing.

Ack Ack Ack Ack-- Yet more ad hominem. Good work!

Conservative Deflator: Let these imbeciles continue to flail at windmills, as they are hoisted on their own petards on November 7th!!!

Wow. Way to mix a metaphor, dumbass.

Posted by: American Hawk on October 31, 2006 at 1:44 PM | PERMALINK

I saw the 60 minutes piece - in my opinion, it was not flattering - Stahl was just using the party line to try to bury Pelosi - I thought Pelosi has brilliant in her replies - right on message. I loved it when she said that the Republican Congress was worse than crooks.

Posted by: Peg on October 31, 2006 at 1:46 PM | PERMALINK

You can't address points.

Oh Hawk, I just view it as a waste of time to point by point address the dredge that you so readily excrete (like your imaginary friend, the death tax). So much bullshit and so little time, especially since I have jack-o-lanterns to carve and hard cider to sip.

Posted by: Keith G on October 31, 2006 at 1:46 PM | PERMALINK

Ack Ack Ack Ack-- Yet more ad hominem. Good work!

Calling a troll a troll isn't ad hominem.

Posted by: Ack Ack Ack Ack on October 31, 2006 at 1:51 PM | PERMALINK

.The New York Times' Jennifer Steinhauer says that Nancy Pelosi has "emerged as a searing symbol of the country's deep partisan divide."

the article is worth reading in its entirety.

Posted by: papago on October 31, 2006 at 1:54 PM | PERMALINK

death with taxes

WTF?

"I'd like some death please."

"Would you like taxes with that?"

"No, just fries, thanks."

Posted by: craigie on October 31, 2006 at 1:55 PM | PERMALINK

Democrats could use this tactic. Santorum is already toast, but he was a good candidte for demonizing. Virginia's highest profile bigot has also been treated to becoming a poster boy symbolizing what is wrong with Republicans.

It is time to smear all Republicans and Bush supporting Democrats with the idea that they want to send your children to fight in Bush's War.

Posted by: Hostile on October 31, 2006 at 1:56 PM | PERMALINK

Ack Ack: Calling a troll a troll isn't ad hominem.

Good point, troll.

Posted by: American Hawk on October 31, 2006 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

American Hawk: I notice there's no mention of the so-called death tax, wherein the federal government robs graves.

Does American Hawk think that decedents bequeath their money to graves? The inheritance tax removes money from inheritors who have not earned the money. Of all taxes, the inheritance tax is the least unfair to living people who have earned the money that is taxed.

Posted by: papago on October 31, 2006 at 2:00 PM | PERMALINK

The one thing that stood out to me in the 60 Minutes piece is that they several times mentioned the designers of Pelosi's outfits. I remember thinking they would never say, "and on Monday, Hastert was wearing an Armani suit.", as they did about Pelosi.

Posted by: Samba00 on October 31, 2006 at 2:02 PM | PERMALINK

American Hawk, I'm a troll's troll. Get it straight you nobody.

Posted by: Ack Ack Ack Ack on October 31, 2006 at 2:04 PM | PERMALINK

Hastert was wearing an Armani suit

Better that than a Speedo!

Posted by: Determined to Strike on October 31, 2006 at 2:10 PM | PERMALINK

I used to challenge people to name a single Democrat in the House who was as relentlessly partisan, ruthless, and downright nasty and meanspirited as Tom Delay. Maybe I'm missing someone, but I don't think such a person exists, even on the left fringes of the party. And Delay wasn't in the fringes among House Republicans--he was their leader.

Posted by: Anthony Greco on October 31, 2006 at 2:12 PM | PERMALINK

I didn't see the 60 Minutes piece. My father, who is pretty much the embodiment of Midwestern common sense, saw it and thought Pelosi seemed really great. I don't think he had any idea who she was up until then.

I think Pelosi's rather vanilla personal life (married to college sweetheart, 5 kids, 5 grandkids) will create an interesting contrast when compared to certain politicians who talk a lot about family values but seem to have a mistress in every port.

Posted by: Steve on October 31, 2006 at 2:14 PM | PERMALINK

Impeachment (of Bush/Cheney) isn't a rightwing talking point.

It's a fucking moral imperative.

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on October 31, 2006 at 2:15 PM | PERMALINK

If Mother Teresa were the Democratic leader, she'd be tricked out as Satan Spawn too.

But in the case of Priest Teresa, it would be true.

Posted by: Hostile on October 31, 2006 at 2:18 PM | PERMALINK

American "Hawk" -- the schtick is lame, stupid, boring. I know Perl scripts that have more self-awareness than you seem to. So give it a rest. Nobody believes you, hell, nobody thinks you're anything more than another barely employable shithead. So fuck off already.

The GOP's previous candidate for The Great Satan was milquetoast Tom Daschle. Tom Daschle. Let that sink in. It's obvious that their rhetoric has certain elements in it that are simply off-the-rack ready-made. It doesn't matter who it is that it's aimed at. If Mother Teresa were the Democratic leader, she'd be tricked out as Satan Spawn too.

Yeah, I was thinking that too. It's astonishing how quickly the tools (see AH, above) do as their told, and direct the hate as ordered. It's going to be great fun watching them devour themselves, when the great GOP meltdown -- which has only just begun -- really takes off.

Posted by: sglover on October 31, 2006 at 2:22 PM | PERMALINK

American Hawk, are you related to America's Hog, Rush Limbaugh? You sound like something he would excrete.

Posted by: f the trolls on October 31, 2006 at 2:24 PM | PERMALINK

American Hawk's desperate attempts to demonize Nancy Pelosi illustrate how morally bankrupt and pathetic the right-wing is, now that their positions have been exposed as the fraud and pathetic charade that they are.

Don't believe me? Check this sewage out!

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on October 31, 2006 at 2:27 PM | PERMALINK

Shooting fish in a barrel:

Key:
Pelosi
UnAmerican Reich Wingnut
me

Yes, let's look at her agenda, removing the liberal media spin , watching UnAmerican Reich Wingnut insert some Republican't spin in its' place, and then checking out some counterpoint to the lies and distortion of the Greedy Obstructionist Pederasts.

Put new rules in place to break the link between lobbyists and legislation.

Prevent rich corporate concerned citizens from addressing their concerns to lawmakers without interference or oversight.

Enact all the recommendations made by the 9/11 commission.

Enact the dubious recommendations of a partisan liberal think tank that just happens to be primarily composed of Republican'ts.

I'm sorry, did UnAmerican Riech Wingnut just refer to the 9-11 commission as a think tank? Must be the oxycontin talking....

Raise the federal minimum wage to $7.25 an hour.

Rob from those that provide jobs, give to those too lazy to finish high school - but make sure there's enough money to give every congress critter an annual raise greater than the poverty level those poor minimum wage schlubs can't get to in a year.

Cut the interest rate on federally supported student loans in half.

Subsidize the next generation's elite (those getting college degrees) at the expense of those who don't go to college instead of letting Putsch borrow trillions from the Chinese. That way, everyone but the richest of the rich can be hopelessly in debt for the rest of their lives!

By the way - that last bit was an exaggeration on my part. I'm not really sure how much the student loan reduction will come directly out of the next generation's elite's pockets. Somehow I think they might get the lion's share of those subsidies.

Allow the government to negotiate directly with pharmaceutical companies for lower drug prices for Medicare patients.

Make it so drug companies can't make money, reducing incentives to make discoveries that will heal millions unless they want to experiment with stem cells. Then we gots to stop them with every means possible.

Funny, I don't see any incentives for discovery bring reduced in the countries that have their governments negotiate directly with pharmaceutical companies for lower drug prices. Could it be that UnAmerican Reich Wingnut is talking out of his a$$ yet again?

Broaden the types of stem cell research allowed with federal funds.

Use federal money to kill babies - because, if us religiously insane Reich Wingnuts say it's killing babies, then it's killing babies! Don't you know that reality has a liberal bias?

Impose pay-as-you-go budget rules, requiring that new entitlement spending or tax cuts be offset with entitlement spending cuts or tax hikes.

Prevent citizens from getting the help they need, unless we also tax them to death instead of tossing the burden over to our grandchildren's grandchilren so that rich Reich wingnut fatcats can get even richer.

I notice there's no mention of the so-called death tax, wherein the federal government robs graves. Perhaps the democrat party is catching on that Americans don't like graverobbers.

It's too bad that we don't hear more mention of the Paris Hilton tax. Perhaps the Republican'ts are starting to crumble because most real Americans can see through their kimchee about taking family farms away.

Posted by: American Hawk on October 31, 2006 at 1:14 PM | PERMALINK

Too easy. UnAmerican Reich Wingnut can spew his lies all day - there's more than enough truth to counter anything these clowns can come up with.

Posted by: (: Tom :) on October 31, 2006 at 2:30 PM | PERMALINK

One of the joys of this election cycle has been to witness the panic, fear and cowardice of the Republican Party.

Another joy will be to see how the American people repudiate the Reptiles a week from today.

But best of all will be to see the myth of Karl Rove's genius shattered once and for all. Even now the GOP is trying to move the goalposts (from "retain Congress" to "The Democrats won't have that much of a majority!"). Sweet!

Posted by: Gregory on October 31, 2006 at 2:32 PM | PERMALINK

"a searing symbol of the country's deep partisan divide?"
To this guy, yes:
http://www.fredericksburg.com/News/FLS/2006/102006/10282006/232595/printer_friendly

Posted by: Steve Paradis on October 31, 2006 at 2:41 PM | PERMALINK

Nancy Pelosi a searing symbol!?

As noted this is pure RNC invention. They wish that this was the case.

The fact of the matter is that most people either have not heard of Nancy Pelosi or know enough to rate her. See, e.g. http://www.pollingreport.com/P-Z.htm#Pelosi

Hastert is a far better candidate for searing symbol of a partisan divide. Bush, Cheney, Frist, Karl Rove, etc are all more represenatative of such a title. If you had to pick a Democrat then I suppose Hillary Clinton might make the list at least before Pelosi.

The Republicans have tried and failed to make Pelosi the issue. The fact of the matter far more people want to see the current Speaker of the House out of his position.

Why does the NYT feel the need to run this stuff?

Posted by: Catch22 on October 31, 2006 at 2:42 PM | PERMALINK

Man, American Hawk is just getting lazy in his trolls:

* No minimum wage raise cuz we don't want those lazy non-high school finishin' kids to get rich off the sweat of small business owners...

* No help for tuition cuz we don't want them smart kids gettin' no college edumacation.

So apparently the consensus troll view is that kids should finish high school, and then immediately open their own small business. Good, we're clear on that.

Posted by: whazzmaster on October 31, 2006 at 2:42 PM | PERMALINK

Nancy Pelosi is a nice Catholc-school girl and grandmother, who married (and stayed married to) a nice smart Italian boy from San Francisco. End of story. She is exactly like many of the upper-middle-class Catholic wives who now vote reliably Republican. What's to demonize?

Posted by: MaryLou on October 31, 2006 at 2:48 PM | PERMALINK

You can't address points, so you make personal attacks

At least the personal attacks are more entertaining than that "grave robber" routine you've been doing. That is so lame.

Posted by: tomeck on October 31, 2006 at 2:55 PM | PERMALINK

If Mother Teresa were the Democratic leader, she'd be tricked out as Satan Spawn too.

Hitchens already has a book slagging on her, so that would save the right some time, as long as nobody actually *read* the book...

Posted by: me2i81 on October 31, 2006 at 3:01 PM | PERMALINK

tomeck >"...That is so lame."

Well, that is all that is required to Take Karl Rove`s Money

"The mind is its own place,
and in itself can make a heaven of hell,
and a hell of heaven." - John Milton

Posted by: daCascadian on October 31, 2006 at 3:03 PM | PERMALINK

Face It! It's pure sexism. The Republicans don't want a woman as Speaker of the House.

Posted by: Ray Waldren on October 31, 2006 at 3:07 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, the reports on what she was wearing were ridiculous sexism. Lesley Stahl is the WORST when it comes to this; her reports tend to have these tangential, irrelevant nonesense thrown in. However, I thought it was flattering, but I do not think that her rhetoric is that bad. Someone who might would think otherwise, which may be where Kevin sees the unflattering aspects (besides the sexist wardrobe reports).

Posted by: Flaffer on October 31, 2006 at 3:14 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah run that "Pelosi is a moderate" up the flag pole and see who salutes. She said, "impeachement is off the table," in the interview to slide her words to the center while she is still bent over for the leftwingers.

Thank you Lord for giving John Kerry to the Democratic party. Please give him increasing places to speak publicly as it gets closer to election day. Thank you for small favors. Amen!

Posted by: Orwell on October 31, 2006 at 3:26 PM | PERMALINK

Social conservatives understand only themselves and see others only terms of themselves so they see in Pelosi a reflection of their antisocial malice.

Posted by: cld on October 31, 2006 at 3:32 PM | PERMALINK

I didn't write about it at the time, which means my memory has grown dim, but it seemed distinctly unfriendly to me. Am I off base here, or did it strike other people that way too?

I don't think the 60 Minutes piece was fawning, nor was it unduly critical. I think Pelosi came across well, however, and I say this as a strong GOP leaner. She has a certain -- dare I say almost "Thatcheresque" -- no B.S. toughness about her. I frankly would trust her more than a lot of these seemingly asleep at the wheel Republican poobahs in these dangerous times. Did I mention I usually vote Republican?

Posted by: Jasper on October 31, 2006 at 3:34 PM | PERMALINK

Pelosi opposed the War on Iraq, and occasionally makes somewhat vigorous statements of opposition to the Republican leaders.

The New York Times, its owners, editors and writers, hasn't yet met a War on Muslims that it doesn't like.

Hence, Pelosi is shrill. The only acceptable criticisms of the Iraq War relate to its prosecution, planning, competence, etc. That's basically true here, at TNR, NYT, WashPost, media wide.

Similar to the criticism (within Israel) of their recent Lebanon misadventure, killin Muslims ain't the problem, its all in the execution. Like Ledeen says, "faster, please"....

Posted by: luci on October 31, 2006 at 3:34 PM | PERMALINK

"Face It! It's pure sexism. The Republicans don't want a woman as Speaker of the House."

Yeah, and they don't want an African-American man or woman to be secretary of state either! Or a Supreme court justice!

Face it! Democrats only want the Hoyers, Kerrys and Grand Wizard Byrds of the world to be in charge of their agenda.

Kerry hates Bush so much he is willing to insult every soldier now serving. There's a solid moderate voice for you! With him in the senate leadership we will be cutin and runnin by January.

Posted by: Orwell on October 31, 2006 at 3:54 PM | PERMALINK

Pelosi is pro-choice. Lesley Stahl asked her why she didn't have more "centrist" leanings on that issue. This is a peculiar use of the the word "centrist" considering most Americans are pro-choice in poll after poll.

Yeah, the Pelosi piece on 60 Minutes had an RNC-based feel to it.

Posted by: Slothrop on October 31, 2006 at 3:55 PM | PERMALINK

Media matters on this...
http://mediamatters.org/columns/200610240013

Posted by: anon on October 31, 2006 at 3:56 PM | PERMALINK

I have a friend at 60 Minutes who worked on the Pelosi piece. I can assure you that it wasn't a bunch of Republicans who put that one together.

Slothrop: the majority of Americans are pro-choice only for the first trimester.

Posted by: Nathan on October 31, 2006 at 3:57 PM | PERMALINK

"Thank you Lord for giving John Kerry to the Democratic party. Please give him increasing places to speak publicly as it gets closer to election day. Thank you for small favors. Amen!"

Posted by: Orwell on October 31, 2006 at 3:26 PM | PERMALINK


Actually, I think now is the perfect time for anyone who wants to be a Democratic Party presidential candidate in 2008 to get ot to Cincinnati, Ohio or Orlando Florida to convince the voters.

Posted by: MarkH on October 31, 2006 at 4:04 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, bring John F. Kerry to Ohio! Perfect! He could talk to all the parents of soldier from Ohio and tell them how stupid their children are. Kerry could lose just as elegantly in 2008 as he did in 2004. Botoxman strikes again.

Liberals have such positive messages. They will do so much to, I mean for, America.

I believe Pelosi said, "Bush is stupid." That alone should get her removed from possible speakership for unoriginal content in her public speaking. Get some new material Nancy, Jon Stewart has a copyright on that phrase anyway.

I think Republicans were saying Pelosi looks like the grim reaper than actually is the grim reaper.

Posted by: Orwell on October 31, 2006 at 4:10 PM | PERMALINK

If I may rerun my comment from October 25:

But on "Sixty Minutes" Lesley Stahl said Nancy Pelosi was responsible for the breakdown of civility in Washington.

Posted by: Ross Best on October 31, 2006 at 4:13 PM | PERMALINK

Bush and republicans hate the troops. They sent our troops off on a fool's errand and from day one until now have not adequately planned or funded this disaster. Don't blame the democrats for this quagmire or for stating the obvious.

Posted by: f the trolls on October 31, 2006 at 4:17 PM | PERMALINK

Keith-- You can't address points, so you make personal attacks. You do liberalism proud. Isn't this where you accuse me of being racist?
Omigod - that "American Hawk" post was for real?! I thought that was the most hilarious parody I've read all campaign season. You were serious? The mind boggles!

Posted by: chasmrich on October 31, 2006 at 4:19 PM | PERMALINK

Nathan,

Slothrop: the majority of Americans are pro-choice only for the first trimester.

You are either outlight lying or just being disingenous. How so? What about cases of rape and incest? A majority of Americans are pro-chioce in those cases even after the first trimester.

Posted by: Edo on October 31, 2006 at 4:26 PM | PERMALINK

I have been giving some thought to the estate tax, and it seems to me that once I am dead I won't need the money anymore. The issue for me is what is in the best interests of my children and grandchildren. I am not sure I want my descendants to live in a world dominated by a few "royal" families, even if mine is one of them.

I don't mind an indexed estate tax deduction that would allow my wife and me to pass on enough to our kids and grandkids to get them started in life, but I don't see any reason why I would want them to miss the kinds of struggles we have enjoyed. A world of generally affluent people is far preferable to a world of a very wealthy few and a vast pool of poor.

In short I think Bill and Milinda Gates and Warren Buffett are right. The "royal" Bush family is wrong.

Posted by: Ron Byers on October 31, 2006 at 4:29 PM | PERMALINK

Bush's Legacy - Debt, War amd Pollution.

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on October 31, 2006 at 4:31 PM | PERMALINK

There's the other reason you failed to mention for why the Repubs hate and fear Pelosi, and it's not just because she's a liberal: She's a Woman Who Speaks Her Mind. To Repubs, this makes her particulary frightening and dangerous.

Posted by: CT on October 31, 2006 at 4:38 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin: "I didn't write about it at the time, which means my memory has grown dim, but it seemed distinctly unfriendly to me."

No - I got that impression, as well.

Is it just me, or has others also noticed that any time there's a profile of a female political leader on major media, over 90% of the time it somehow always manages to include some comment on her attire, her hair, or both?

How come we don't ever see similar catty comments in the media about the dowdy John Warner, the slovenly Dennis Hastert, the blow-dried Bill Frist, or the dyed and lacquered Tom DeLay?

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on October 31, 2006 at 4:52 PM | PERMALINK

"There's the other reason you failed to mention for why the Repubs hate and fear Pelosi, and it's not just because she's a liberal: She's a Woman Who Speaks Her Mind."

Yeah we know Republicans hate Ann Coulter.

Posted by: Orwell on October 31, 2006 at 4:53 PM | PERMALINK

It does seem ironic, they say 'she's from San Francisco!' as if that completely swayed the fact that she's prolly the most conservative Democrat in the next congress...

Posted by: Crissa on October 31, 2006 at 4:54 PM | PERMALINK

Uppity Wimmin give them the heebie-jeebies.

Posted by: Global Citizen on October 31, 2006 at 4:54 PM | PERMALINK

Jeebus, the national newspapers sure have loved Bush sorched earthy gossip policies.

A regular war against Dems and liberals that the nations news media cant wait to induldge daily in, screw the hard work of decent reporting. Its made real news totally Irrelevant. We dont need to know if Hastert lied about knowing what Foley was doing for more a few weeks, all the public really needs to know is that Hastert blamed it all on Dems, end of news or was it end of gossip?

I see that those blue states, in accordance with Rove divine plan to scurge the earth of nasty liberals, has resulted in a scurge of Republicans from blue states.

We get this from Daily Kos:

Chafee admits the reason he will lose:

People tell me, Linc, I really like you, but I want to send Bush a message.

And in Rhode Island, they will. They will.

Bush doesnt want red state voting Dem, so Tom DeLay gerrymander the state of Texas. AND so, seeing as the Supreme Court approved it in the end, really I dont know what blue states are waiting for, time to gerrymander CA, NY and all the otthers that fit the blue and shove supposed moderates Repugs right out of the way.

If dems cant win in red states, who cares if Republicans can win in Blue states because at least with gerrymander they cant, right?

The press is printing headline that read like this:

Midterm Vote May Define Rove's Legacy Washington Post

Frankly, I'm sure the real legacy will an era in newspaper reporting, whereby the newspaper wrote off all fact and research in exchange for cheap partisan gossip.

Jennifer Steinhauer article should be only a column somewhere in gossip/social secion of the paper because its not news, it's pure partisan gossip and not a damn thing else.

Posted by: Cheryl on October 31, 2006 at 4:55 PM | PERMALINK

American Hawk: "Yes, let's look at her agenda, removing the liberal media spin."

Mahalo nui loa for your completely unbiased analysis of Rep. Pelosi's agenda for the first 100 hours. It's nice to see that there still are people out there in the heartland who support President Bush through thick and thin - you can all practically be counted on one hand.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on October 31, 2006 at 4:59 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah we know Republicans hate Ann Coulter.


Posted by: Orwell on October 31, 2006

Ann Coulter is a woman? Who knew?

Posted by: Ron Byers on October 31, 2006 at 5:01 PM | PERMALINK

How many people are citizens of the United States? Residents?

...How many people see the 'Death tax'? How many family businesses? Farms?

'9/11 commission == liberal think tank'? Who was on the commission? Who led the commission? Who created the commission?

How can you argue with someone who makes points which don't even have any basis in reality?

...

Posted by: Crissa on October 31, 2006 at 5:05 PM | PERMALINK

It appears now Kerry is being made the searing symbol over Pelosi, which is understandable from a GOP operative's POV since they managed it with Kerry in 2004 and the campaign to demonize Pelosi does not appear to have caught on. Now, the offending sentence Kerry is being tagged with as meaning the troops are stupid and uneducated was this:"If you don't, you get stuck in Iraq.". Now, once the GOP and the Bush WH decided to try and make a federal case out of them to claim this proves how Kerry is so anitisoldier/military he responded with an explanation. He says he mangled the punch line of a joke where the intended target was the President. So he clarifies it by making the point that if one is uneducated one makes decisions such as the one to invade Iraq with no occupation plan, ill fitting amour for combat soldiers to fight in, and incredibly bad execution of war fighting policies in general.

Now, let us look at the offending sentence once again. "If you don't, you get stuck in Iraq." Now, to get the meaning for the punch line Kerry claims this was supposed to be and originally written how hard is it to get there from here? The answer is two letters, something very easy to drop without realizing you did so at the time. The two letters are "us", and they would fit into the sentence here: "If you don't, you get *us* stuck in Iraq.". So Kerry's explanation seems entirely credible, and the current jumping on it in the manner the GOP and Bush is doing is clearly distorting and clearly yet another attempt to swiftboat someone they had already successfully portrayed as anti-military and anti-soldier to enough people in the last election via the Swiftboat slandering of his military record. This time though Kerry is swinging back off the top and in his statement went out of his way to make clear he learned his lesson on this point last time out, learned it completely and totally and therefore is not going to sit by and let this WH and GOP machine repeat said process to try and salvage a looming Congressional massacre in the House and potential loss of the Senate without said fighting back.

This is typical GOP spin in action, and Kerry I think did the right thing in coming out strong today to respond to it, and that his explanation as I demonstrated with the offending statement is quite easy to see having happened. What I find incredibly ironic about this coming from the Bush WH is this is a President who routinely mangles sentences and paragraphs on a regular basis across the board topic/issue wise. I am not sure this will work for them this time, and by making such a big stink about it at this point in the last week of the election campaign where Kerry is not running himself will be seen by many as further evidence of desperation. The hard core GOPers of course will faithfully stand up and raise a hue and cry about how awful this was, how this is clear evidence Kerry has contempt for soldiers, as shameless as 2004 when the GOP thought purple heart band-aids where appropriate commentary at their 2004 convention. The fact that Kerry's record for fighting for aid to soldiers in the field and to veterans after their service in his career exists showing his real feelings about those in uniform notwithstanding, just like everything else in the faith based reality too many GOPers live in. I think while Kerry clearly made an initial gaffe that gave the GOP/WH an opening the GOP/WH are overreaching and that Kerry's explanation makes sense and his refusal to sit back and be whipped yet again plays into the 2006 perception of Dems that fight back, not simply wimp out, which has been one of the most potent GOP frames for decades now.

Posted by: Scotian on October 31, 2006 at 5:05 PM | PERMALINK

Crissa: "It does seem ironic, they say 'she's from San Francisco!' ..."

... with "San Francisco Values", as opposed to, say, the "Houston Values" as offered and practiced by George H.W. Bush, Barbara Bush, Ken Lay, Tom DeLay, Andrew Fastow, Jeff Skilling and other high-minded paragons of civic virtue.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on October 31, 2006 at 5:11 PM | PERMALINK

The answers:
'about 300 million'
'over 300 million'
'less than 0.01%'
'less than a dozen'
'none'
What 'Death tax'?

'Majority: Republicans'
'Republican'
'Republicans Congress'
Republicans make liberal think-tanks now?

And lastly...
'I have no idea.'

When you figure out how to argue with him, please tell us.

Posted by: Crissa on October 31, 2006 at 5:15 PM | PERMALINK

Oh. My. God. This Republican GOTV ad is so far over the top, it achieves orbit.

(Sigh. I miss tbrosz.)

Posted by: Global Citizen on October 31, 2006 at 5:31 PM | PERMALINK

yes, I saw it and spent a lot of time complaining that it seemed like a republican hit piece. not at all fawning. i forget who did the interview, but she spent 90% of it making the republican case and 10% on motherhood stuff.

it seems like msm thinks that making the other side's case somehow represents interviewing.

she didn't present any facts. only spun opinion straight out of rove's arse.

Posted by: stuck in bama on October 31, 2006 at 5:37 PM | PERMALINK

Scotian,
I understand what you are saying and agree regarding the Kerry gaffe. The problem is that the Repubs can run with this (witness Chimpy speechifying about it already). And they can feign outrage. It's a case of the Reps being able to state "Kerry says troops are dumb" versus a two-paragraph explanation of what Kerry really meant to say. That's a losing proposition. The damage is done.

Why Kerry couldn't simply say "Kids, stay in school and graduate, so if you ever become the leader of the free world, you won't be an ignorant mistake-prone moron like that jackass we're suffering with now" is beyond me.

See how easy that is. No nuance, no chance for misinterpretation.
Jesus H. Christ, I think Kerry is a Goddamn mole for the Republican party. I say this based on this remark and his entire feckless 2004 campaign.

Posted by: ckelly on October 31, 2006 at 5:44 PM | PERMALINK

Nancy Pelosi is so scary to Republicans this dinosaur is carving her image in his pumpkin tonight!

I'd do a Harry Reid pumpkin too but that may be a bit too scary for them, and I don't want to have to clean up any accidents on my sidewalk.

Posted by: trex on October 31, 2006 at 5:45 PM | PERMALINK

Re: 60 Minutes

I thought the piece Lesley Stahl did was well done. She asked Pelosi some tough questions that could have come an RNC fundraising letter, but that just presented Pelosi with an opportunity to rebut the standard criticisms. I came away liking Pelosi even more after I watched it.

(I also did not like the mention of her Armani suit and agree that if she were a man her sartorial tastes would have gone unnoticed. Why do journalists perpetuate this double standard?)

Posted by: fembot on October 31, 2006 at 5:57 PM | PERMALINK

The Pelosi profile on 60 Min wasn't bad - mostly positive in the bio sections, somewhat on the hostile side in the questions, overall reasonably fair especially considering the source.

It does contrast sharply with Couric's piece on Condi Rice, which reached levels of groveling adoration normally seen only in North Korea.

Posted by: Alex on October 31, 2006 at 6:00 PM | PERMALINK

I didn't see the Pelosi interview, but you Dems have benefited from media bias. A new study released today by the non-partisan Center for Media and Public Affairs (CMPA) confirms the bias.
More than three fourths (77%) of ABC, CBS and NBC evening news references to Democrats this fall have been favorable, while 88% of the coverage given GOP candidates has been negative, an unprecedented disparity.
The study is at http://www.cmpa.com/documents/06.10.31.Study.pdf

Posted by: ex-liberal on October 31, 2006 at 6:03 PM | PERMALINK

If the study were peer-reviewed, then ex-lib wouldn't believe in it.

Posted by: ckelly on October 31, 2006 at 6:08 PM | PERMALINK

The White House war plans are soured, Abramoff is talking his head off, DeLay resigns in shame, the GOP constituency is fragmenting and the House leadership covered up pedaphilia: what were the media supposed to report?

How nice Mark Foley's hair looked?

Posted by: Dave In Texas on October 31, 2006 at 6:10 PM | PERMALINK

ckelly:

If he had said the "us" where I pointed out it fit to make the joke work as he claims he was trying for then none of this would have happened now would it? I understand your point, perhaps better than you may realize as I was one of the voices that vigourously attacked the Swiftboat campaign from the outset at this blog when they first attacked his war record in their first ad. However, to expect that Kerry, the 2004 Presidential candidate that got the most votes any Dem Presidential candidate ever got (if you believe the totals are true, I do not, as I have stated before I do not trust the integrity of the American vote counting process anymore, which means if anything I believe those numbers were lower than actual) to not be able to make shots at the GOP President seems quite unreasonable too.

I stand by what I said first time out on this. Kerry made a gaffe, probably didn't even realize it at the time (which given how small the dropped word is I can believe, I've done that many a time without realizing it in print as well as verbally as I have seen many others do so, including some very well spoken/literate people) and corrected it. To find fault with him for the decision of the GOP machine to focus upon him strikes me as more than a little unreasonable since they will attack whenever and where they can anyone that they can, it is their nature like the scorpion. I think if he had left it hanging without making clear what his original intent was I think would have been far more helpful to the GOP machine than what he did today.

I understand your concern and where it is coming from as well as the history upon which it is based. I just think that in this case since it is very easy to see how this joke/punch line could have been mangled from the meaning he intended to the one which appeared in the mangled version this will appear to be more desperation than substance outside of the GOP core base, and generally those already willing to crawl over broken glass to vote against Dems at that. I think Kerry's fighting spirit this time out combined with the clear overreaching in the GOP/WH spin/reading of what Kerry said will to anyone that isn't already solidly in the GOP camp will find this a bit of a stretch and reeking of desperation at this late a date in the election campaign. The tsunami the GOP is facing is built upon some very strong and deep running currents, this is not going to be able to make any appreciable headway against that I believe. I would be far more concerned with fair counting of the votes for any bad performance of the Dems Nov 7 than this bit with Bush and Kerry. That is where I think the trouble point is likely to appear at.

I know Kerry is not popular with many in America, including within his own party. I understand the cringe factor he comes with. I just think that this time out with this particular attack the GOP/Bush look more desperate than anything else, and that Kerry coming out forcefully to explain his gaffe, point out the WH knows better, and that this is yet one more example of how they smear opposition with such crap instead of actually talk about substantive issues will work more to Dem advantage than disadvantage. Now, if this becomes something the media drives with the assistance of the GOP feeding it then you are right, it could end up hurting, but then that is true in politics generally speaking especially for the Dems since they do not have the megaphones in the media that the GOP does.

Posted by: Scotian on October 31, 2006 at 6:12 PM | PERMALINK

Imagine that. With Iraq boiling, umpteen Repub Congressional scandals, and Bush failures in the war on terror, I guess the major news outlets forgot to report all those positives coming from the Republican party this fall

Posted by: ckelly on October 31, 2006 at 6:12 PM | PERMALINK

What the hell were you folks thinking when you put that nitwit Kerry on your ticket??? I've been saying for six months that my team deserves to have their ass kicked, but you guys just will not get the job done no matter what. I don't know why we spent all that money on Diebold when you send out Major Frank Burns from MASH as your spokesman.

Doesn't anybody on your side know how to play this game?

Posted by: minion of rove on October 31, 2006 at 6:14 PM | PERMALINK

No, George W. Bush is "a searing symbol of the country's deep partisan divide."

No--forget I said that. George W. Bush is a flaming dork.

Dennis Hastert is a "searing symbol of the country's deep partisan divide."

Posted by: BroD on October 31, 2006 at 6:22 PM | PERMALINK

minion of rove: Major Frank Burns from MASH


"Unless we each conform, unless we obey orders, unless we follow our leaders blindly there is no possible way we can remain free" - Frank Burns

frank would be a republican...

meanwhile, death and debt continue...under the gop majority...

Posted by: mr. irony on October 31, 2006 at 6:36 PM | PERMALINK

minion of rove:

Yeah. Too bad about Kerry speaking the truth. I know how the truth bothers conservatives. How about this truth - George W. Bush went AWOL from the Texas Air National Guard in 1972 because of a serious cocaine problem and never served the time he was required to. Thanks to family connections he got an honorable discharge, when most people would have been court-martialed and his military records were conveniently purged of all negative documentation before he ran for president in 2000. John Kerry, on the other hand, served honorably in Viet Nam, was wounded and was decorated with honors.

Those are the facts - anything else you add is fluff or conservative lies. Have a nice evening.

TCD

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on October 31, 2006 at 6:38 PM | PERMALINK

ex-lib: you Dems have benefited from media bias


"We have the media now." - Ann Coulter 7/25/05

Posted by: mr. irony on October 31, 2006 at 6:41 PM | PERMALINK

I saw the 60 minutes piece. It was definitely an unfriendly profile. I wanted to strangle Leslie Stahl.

At least, however, they gave her a chance to respond to Stahl's ridiculous questions. I suppose you could say that giving Pelosi a chance to reply to the right's accusations could be a positive for our side.

Posted by: Lee on October 31, 2006 at 6:45 PM | PERMALINK

Scotian -

I tend to agree with you. I believe that Kerry mangled the punch line of a joke meant to be an insult to President Bush. However:

1. It was a poor joke, since Kerry's college grades were even worse than Bush's.

2. Kerry's fluff sounds like a Freudian slip. What he said mirrored the contempt for the military that I used to indulge in during my liberal period. E.g., I thought a really clever joke was, "Military intelligence is an oxymoron."

3. Assuming Kerry fluffed his line, the fluff was his mistake. Why is he responding to criticism by attacking various conservatives, rather than simply apologize for his mis-statement?

Posted by: ex-liberal on October 31, 2006 at 6:49 PM | PERMALINK

More than three fourths (77%) of ABC, CBS and NBC evening news references to Democrats this fall have been favorable, while 88% of the coverage given GOP candidates has been negative, an unprecedented disparity.

Yes, why couldn't the networks have run some positive stories on the Iraq War disaster, North Korea getting a bomb, Mark Foley, Denny Hastert's cover-up for Foley, Jack Abramoff, Tom DeLay, Bob Ney getting convicted, David Safavian getting convicted, Duke Cunningham getting convicted, etc. etc.

This only goes to prove "The Daily Show's" point that, as Rob Corddry explained, "the facts are biased...the facts...have an anti-Bush agenda."

Posted by: Stefan on October 31, 2006 at 6:52 PM | PERMALINK

I didn't see the Pelosi interview, but you Dems have benefited from media bias.

"Don't believe the right-wing ideologues when they tell you the left still controls the media agenda. It does not any longer. It's a fact." -- Bill O'Reilly, 7/26/05

Posted by: Stefan on October 31, 2006 at 6:54 PM | PERMALINK

ex-lib: 1. It was a poor joke, since Kerry's college grades were even worse than Bush's.

kerry isn't stuck in iraq...


gwb is...

Posted by: mr. irony on October 31, 2006 at 7:00 PM | PERMALINK


stefan: Yes, why couldn't the networks have run some positive stories on the Iraq War disaster


"You never hear about the cars in Iraq that don't explode." - Jon Stewart

Posted by: mr. irony on October 31, 2006 at 7:02 PM | PERMALINK

mr. irony: kerry isn't stuck in iraq...gwb is...,/i>

mr. irony, Kerry voted in favor of the Iraq war. Now the going has gotten tough, so he wants to turn tail and flee.

Thanks goodness Bush remains committed. He intends to defeat the insurgents and al Qaeda terrorists and allow a stable democracy to come into being in Iraq. Bush knows that we can't withdraw from the War on Terror, because al Qaeda remains committed to establishing a Caliphate by force over a large portion of the world. And, al Qaeda leaders comsider Iraq the central point of their war right now.

Similarly, FDR and Churchill knew they needed to defeat the fascists. They knew that there was no choice but to win WW2, because the fascists were committed to territorial expansion by force. Withdrawal wasn't an option.

Future historians will credit Bush for taking the battle to the enemy in the War on Terror.

Posted by: ex-liberal on October 31, 2006 at 7:16 PM | PERMALINK

"3. Assuming Kerry fluffed his line, the fluff was his mistake. Why is he responding to criticism by attacking various conservatives, rather than simply apologize for his mis-statement?"

Posted by: ex-liberal on October 31, 2006 at 6:49 PM

Normally I don't bother responding to you even when you make comments about my work, but you allow me to underscore an important point with this. The last time he thought baseless criticism should be ignored instead of responded to was when his military service (not his anti-war activities later, only his actual war service in Vietnam) was attacked by the Swiftboaters. Indeed, it was the first attack they leveled at him, and his failure to respond intensely from the outset allowed them to portray him in a very unfavourable negative light not just for being anti-war but as a gutless coward in his military service that deliberately lied and cheated to get medals he did not really earn despite all contemporaneous evidence to the contrary and no contemporaneous evidence to support said allegation nor any evidence then or to this day that held any actual proof and survived examination. If he did not come out exactly in the manner he did today to knock down what you agree was a misstatement and not his original intended meaning from conservative voices of great power including President Bush and the White House he would be inviting the same response all over again as in 2004. Which I am quite certain you recognize and would have loved to have seen happen.

Indeed, part of the underpinning of the GOP/WH attack on Kerry today rests on believing the premise that Kerry is contemptuous of soldiers, especially combat soldiers despite having been a volunteer soldier himself that did two tours of duty (yes the second was short but only because his service allowed for it to be completed out of combat theater but the first was a full term) in Vietnam. The whole idea of Kerry being willing to make such remarks about the average soldiers rests on believing that Kerry is an effete snob that does not have any understanding nor appreciation for those that choose to serve their country by choice in uniform fundamentally rests on a fiction the GOP has unfortunately been very effective at selling. His record for speaking up for the needs and duties of government to vets of military service is clear and unequivocally demonstrates his respect for such service regardless of whether he believes the policy that service is in is a good one.

Thank you for providing an excellent example of why Kerry did have to respond to these attacks forcefully ex-liberal, and for just how slimy the GOP machine that you so clearly admire is as dangerous as it is. Not to mention how duplicitous and dishonourable it is in it's constant quest to win and hold power at any and all costs. It is the GOP that is the party of cowardice and moral relativism and elitism these days, this sort of thing tends to bounce back and forth over generations between the two parties, and this time out the GOP have really gone down the rabbit hole of the politics of personal destruction and total warfare. I take comfort in one thing. There appears to be widespread anger and discontent at the total GOP government of the past four years, and if somehow there is not the change in government/Congress this time out the degree of anger and contempt for the GOP will only increase making 2008 a real watershed. It also may finally make enough Americans suspicious about the electronic voting machines and the questions surrounding GOP operations to hack the vote counts to force real action/exposure. Either way though the writing is on the wall for the GOP, not just in this election season but for a generation thanks to their own actions, inactions, corruption, and incompetence across the board from health care to national security and warfare.

Posted by: Scotian on October 31, 2006 at 7:19 PM | PERMALINK

Is it comical or psychotic to see Newt Gingrich criticizing Pelosi's left wing morality? She's a grandma married for decades - to the same guy - who is criticized by a guy infamous for dumping his second wife at the hospital as she lay dying of cancer. I'm not really sure how many wives Newt has collected so far...

Posted by: Jim Hudson on October 31, 2006 at 7:23 PM | PERMALINK
Is it comical or psychotic to see Newt Gingrich criticizing Pelosi's left wing morality?

Its not psychotic to see Newt Gingrich. It may be psychotic to be him, though.

Posted by: cmdicely on October 31, 2006 at 7:29 PM | PERMALINK

mr. irony, Kerry voted in favor of the Iraq war.

This is a lie. Senator Kerry voted in favor of an Oct. 2003 resolution empowering Bush to use all necessary means to force Saddam Hussein to comply with UN weapons inspections.

He did not, and never could have, voted "in favor of the Iraq war" as there has never been such a vote in the US Senate.

Posted by: Stefan on October 31, 2006 at 7:29 PM | PERMALINK

Is it comical or psychotic to see Newt Gingrich criticizing Pelosi's left wing morality? She's a grandma married for decades - to the same guy - who is criticized by a guy infamous for dumping his second wife at the hospital as she lay dying of cancer. I'm not really sure how many wives Newt has collected so far...

Newt's on Wife Number Three. She's a former mistress who worked in his Congressional office and whom he had an affair with while married to Wife Number Two.

Can't we get a Defense of Marriage Act to get Gingrich to stop despoiling the institution....?

Posted by: Stefan on October 31, 2006 at 7:32 PM | PERMALINK

What is it with the media and high powered Democratic women? With the exception of Katherine Harris I can't think of a single GOP woman in Congress who has had to take the crap that Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi have. It just seems that female Democrats are automatically smeared as polarizing and unable to compromise. I didn't hear one bad thing about Denny Hastert or his views when he was chosen as speaker. Regardless of the bad press its going to be a magical day for women when Pelosi becomes Speaker. Its been 200 years in the making.

Posted by: aline on October 31, 2006 at 7:37 PM | PERMALINK

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Posted by: 手机图片 on October 31, 2006 at 7:38 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin: Your recollection is better than you think. In spite of being baited by Leslie Stahl several times, Pelosi came across as firm, but not in no mood to suffer fools. She said most Americans have no idea who she is, and she's right. The Republicans'(and the media's) need to find a woman in order to create a witch was on full display, but fortunately Pelosi is way too smart for them. We can only hope that she is about to make history.

Posted by: horatio on October 31, 2006 at 7:48 PM | PERMALINK

Why can't Nancy be more like Lynne Cheney - So soft spoken, so demure - Felt so sorry for her when that bully the Blitzman attacked her unmercifully - Tears flowing as she crooned "Stand by your man" - choking back emotions - And this from a poor lady who had, obviously, spent the entire day baking cookies for the children in Darfur. Sitting there in her baking apron, having been rushed to the studio for a "supposed" interview about her children's tour book. Ambushed by an evil liberal.
God, they don't make them that way anymore.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on October 31, 2006 at 8:03 PM | PERMALINK

'Thanks goodness Bush remains committed. He intends to defeat the insurgents and al Qaeda terrorists and allow a stable democracy to come into being in Iraq.'
--ex-liberal

Two words, deathbreath - Tora Bora. Why wasn't Bush committed to destroying al-Qaeda when we had their leadership cornered in the caves and canyons of Tora Bora? By the way, this "allowing a democracy to come into being in Iraq", is not why we went into Iraq in the first place. It was because Saddam had WMDs, remember? This is classic "bait and switch" and only dupes like you fall for it. I'll bet used car salemen love you.


Bush knows that we can't withdraw from the War on Terror, because al Qaeda remains committed to establishing a Caliphate by force over a large portion of the world. And, al Qaeda leaders comsider Iraq the central point of their war right now.

This notion of a Caliphate is pure whimsy. No one in the Muslim world outside of bin Laden believes it. al-Qaeda wants us to stay in Iraq, because it helps recruiting.

Future historians will credit Bush for taking the battle to the enemy in the War on Terror.

No, future historians will call him a fool and a title we all love around here - Worst. President. Ever.

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on October 31, 2006 at 8:04 PM | PERMALINK

Lets see how Frank Burns and Kerry match up: both were pompous prigs that thought some time in a combat zone would burnish their resume; both repeatedly put in requests for medals for frivolous stunts; both were obnoxious hypocrites and backstabbers. Other than that they had nothing in common.

Posted by: minion of rove on October 31, 2006 at 8:04 PM | PERMALINK

scotian, I agree that some of the Swift Boat attacks on Kerry were unfair, Nevertheless

1. Unfair attacks are a normal part of a Presidential campaign. Consider, e.g., the forged Bush National Guard records.

2. How does an unfair attack two years ago relieve Kerry of the obligation to apologize for his mistake yesterday?

I would add that Kerry's failure to apologize is keeping this issue alive and hurting every Dem candidate. (Note that Kerry isn't running.) As I see it Kerry is either
-- foolish, or
-- out of control, or
-- playing some deep game that he thinks will help him get the Presidential nomination in 2008.

Posted by: ex-liberal on October 31, 2006 at 8:05 PM | PERMALINK

The Conservative Deflator; This notion of a Caliphate is pure whimsy. No one in the Muslim world outside of bin Laden believes it.

I agree. Nevertheless, the notion of Caliphate does motivate al Qaeda to recruit and to make vicious, bloodthirsty attacks in many countries. It's something we need to understand about our enemy's motivation.

Also, if nobody resisted al Qaeda, the notion of Caliphate might not be so fanciful. The reason the notion of Caliphate is whimsy is because Bush is committed to not letting it happen. I believe that if Hillary is elected in 2008, she will continue Bush's policy of forceful resistance against it.

Posted by: ex-liberal on October 31, 2006 at 8:11 PM | PERMALINK

Also, if nobody resisted al Qaeda, the notion of Caliphate might not be so fanciful. The reason the notion of Caliphate is whimsy is because Bush is committed to not letting it happen.

Has anyone ever diagnosed you with a learning disorder? Seriously. It would be hard to conjure up something this blithely idiotic on a bet.

Posted by: trex on October 31, 2006 at 8:16 PM | PERMALINK

The Conservative Deflator; future historians will call him [Bush] a fool and a title we all love around here - Worst. President. Ever.

Note that Dems criticized Bush for demanding six-party talks with NK. They wanted one-on-one talks. Bush's approach succeeded in getting NK to cancel nuke tests after the first one. Presumably China took a stand with them.

Bush's approach has now succeeded in getting NK to the bargainint table. (See N. Korea Agrees to Rejoin Nuclear Talks http://www.lasvegassun.com/sunbin/stories/w-asia/2006/oct/31/103101148.html )

Posted by: ex-liberal on October 31, 2006 at 8:21 PM | PERMALINK
Nevertheless, the notion of Caliphate does motivate al Qaeda to recruit and to make vicious, bloodthirsty attacks in many countries. It's something we need to understand about our enemy's motivation.

Yeah, for one thing, if we thought about it, we'd understand why invading largely Islamic countries (whether with secular governments or not) on false pretenses and acting belligerent toward other Islamic countries is a really bad idea if we want to defeat al-Qaeda.

Also, if nobody resisted al Qaeda, the notion of Caliphate might not be so fanciful.

That's true. If none of the dozens of governments in the region that al-Qaeda would need to overthrow to establish the Caliphate, nor any of the people in the region, were to resist al-Qaeda, the idea would not be fanciful. OTOH, if reindeer really did fly and toy-making artic elves were real, the story related in the poem "The Night Before Christmas" wouldn't be fanciful.

On the real Earth we live on, though, both are rather fanciful.

The reason the notion of Caliphate is whimsy is because Bush is committed to not letting it happen.

There is very little evidence of that, since Bush has, since at least 2003, taken the actions available to the US which most promote the al-Qaeda dream of Caliphate, notably by invading Iraq on transparently false pretexts, validating al-Qaeda's propaganda that the US campaign in Central Asia was not mere focussed retaliation for 9/11 but part of a general campaign against the Islamic world born of hatred for Islam.

Posted by: cmdicely on October 31, 2006 at 8:23 PM | PERMALINK

Since Republicans can't argue the facts, all they can do is try to find someone to demonize. Apparently they have decided to try to make Nancy Pelosi their next demon. LOLOLOL. Like anyone cares about Nancy Pelosi -- or even knows who she is.

Posted by: The Fool on October 31, 2006 at 8:25 PM | PERMALINK
Note that Dems criticized Bush for demanding six-party talks with NK. They wanted one-on-one talks.

Yes, the Democrats have criticized Bush's failed approach for months, years in some cases.

Bush's approach succeeded in getting NK to cancel nuke tests after the first one.

Bush's approach also succeeded in getting NK to test nuclear weapons in the first place.

Bush's approach has now succeeded in getting NK to the bargainint table.

Bush approach has succeeded in getting North Korea to abandon the Agreed Framework, kick out international monitors, begin processing nuclear fuel for weapons, construct nuclear weapons, test nuclear weapons, and then return to the table to negotiate where no one is really optimistic about getting even back to where Bush started with North Korea.

That's a whole lot of retrograde progress.

Posted by: cmdicely on October 31, 2006 at 8:29 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely - al Qaeda has been attacking us for 20 years or so. These attacks started long before we invaded Afghanistan and Iraq. During our period of inaction, al Qaeda gained the use of Afghanistan and made serious inroads in various African countries.

It's true that al Qaeda uses our resistance to enroll and motivate. However, regardless of what we do, they can always find some excuse to hate us. Israel is always a handy whipping boy. Or, US troops in Saudi Arabia. Or, our failure to follow their view of proper morality. (E.g. our failure to execute gays.) If all else fails, they can go back 1000 years or so and use the Crusades.

I firmly believe that resistance to al Qaeda is the right strategy for us to follow.

Posted by: ex-liberal on October 31, 2006 at 8:41 PM | PERMALINK

20 years of attacks at the hands of al Qa'eda is quite a feat, as the group was formed in the wake of the first Gulf War, in response to what bin Laden saw as an affront to Islam: The installation of foreign troops on the sacred soil of the "Land of the two Mosques" (Mecca and Medina).

Posted by: Global Citizen on October 31, 2006 at 8:49 PM | PERMALINK

al Qaeda has been attacking us for 20 years or so.

No they haven't. Are you high?

Twenty years ago the Mujahadeen, some of whom would eventually form Al Qaeda, were being given weapons and training by the CIA in Afghanistan. They didn't "gain the use of Afghanistan," they were friggin' fighting the Soviets there, and were ostensibly on "our" side. The U.S. didn't get on bin Laden's bad side until the Gulf War, when we parked our troops in Saudi Arabia. The teeny tiny group known as Al Qaeda didn't even come into being until about 1990 or so, and at the time they weren't attacking anybody.

You really have no idea what you're talking about, do you? But you just gotta say something anyway.

Posted by: trex on October 31, 2006 at 8:53 PM | PERMALINK

Global Citizen and trex - I stand corrected on the age of al Qaeda. As I recall, there were Islamic terrorist attacks in the 1980's, but I guess they were conducted by some other Islamic terrorist organizations.

BTW, I presume you support the 1st Gulf War, even though it led to the formation of al Qaeda, as well as the war in Afghanistan, which must have provoked them. Do you think we should gear any part of our foreign policy to not provoking al Qaeda? I don't. I think we should do whatever we can to destroy them.

Posted by: ex-liberal on October 31, 2006 at 8:58 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, what trex said - 20 years ago, they were preoccupied with killing Soviets...A hobby the United States was more than happy to aid and abet with both cash and weapons.

Posted by: Global Citizen on October 31, 2006 at 8:59 PM | PERMALINK

Why can't Nancy be more like Lynne Cheney - So soft spoken, so demure - Felt so sorry for her when that bully the Blitzman attacked her unmercifully - Tears flowing as she crooned "Stand by your man" - choking back emotions - And this from a poor lady who had, obviously, spent the entire day baking cookies for the children in Darfur.

And had spent the morning penning lurid fantasies about lesbians and gang-rapes in Wild West brothels....

Posted by: Stefan on October 31, 2006 at 9:07 PM | PERMALINK

I see Globe beat me to the punch (sharper mind, better small muscle coordination).

Do you think we should gear any part of our foreign policy to not provoking al Qaeda? I don't. I think we should do whatever we can to destroy them.

The parts of our foreign policy that have provoked Al Qaeda have been those that have been perceived as unjustly interfering in the affairs of Muslim nations. So the question is really: should we interfere in sovereign countries where a significant Muslim population will resent it? Because they are the ones who may eventually join Al Qaeda or a similar group. Should we prop up friendly dictators? Arm Israel with missiles that are used to kill Lebanese? Invade Iraq on false pretenses? Prop up oppressive regimes in Egypt and Saudi Arabia?

If you think the answer is yes to those, then know that you aren't doing "everything we can to destroy Al Qaeda," you are in fact helping it grow. Blunt force is not only not the answer to all the problems in the world, it often creates worse problems than those it intended to fix.

Posted by: trex on October 31, 2006 at 9:12 PM | PERMALINK

Well, I can certainly understand why Publicans want their wives to be like their mothers and their girlfriends and mistresses to be like Democrats.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on October 31, 2006 at 9:12 PM | PERMALINK

I think we should do whatever we can to destroy them.

Such as, maybe, oh I don't know, capturing or killing bin Laden? How's that been going five years on from September 11th?

Or such as diverting money and resources from a country where they were to invade a country where they weren't?

Posted by: Stefan on October 31, 2006 at 9:15 PM | PERMALINK

I always thought of Nacy as a searing symbol of idiocy in politics.

Posted by: aaron on October 31, 2006 at 9:17 PM | PERMALINK

Global Citizen and trex - I stand corrected on the age of al Qaeda. As I recall, there were Islamic terrorist attacks in the 1980's, but I guess they were conducted by some other Islamic terrorist organizations.

Seriously, we're all a little worried about you -- if you don't have a learning disorder, and you're not high, are you having some sort of medical crisis? This sort of detachment from reality could be a sign that you've had a brain malfunction, perhaps a small stroke or some sort of seizure. Get help.

Posted by: Stefan on October 31, 2006 at 9:19 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan Or such as diverting money and resources from a country where they were to invade a country where they weren't?

They weren't? We kiilled the leader of al Qaeda in Iraq, al Zarqawi just a few months ago.

Posted by: ex-liberal on October 31, 2006 at 9:24 PM | PERMALINK

They weren't?

No, they weren't. As you well know.

We kiilled the leader of al Qaeda in Iraq, al Zarqawi just a few months ago.

Again as you well know, Zarqawi had no prior affiliation with al Qaeda before our invasion of Iraq, and only named himself head of "al Qaeda in Iraq" on his own say so. He was not part of bin Laden and Zawahiri's Qaeda organization.

Posted by: Stefan on October 31, 2006 at 9:27 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, ex-Liberal pondering that great question of the ages, the Chicken or the Egg.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on October 31, 2006 at 9:30 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan: Again as you well know, Zarqawi had no prior affiliation with al Qaeda before our invasion of Iraq, and only named himself head of "al Qaeda in Iraq" on his own say so. He was not part of bin Laden and Zawahiri's Qaeda organization.

Stefan, are you saying that because al Qaeda is somewhat decentralized, Zarqawi wasn't "really" in al Qaeda?

Zarqawi claimed al Qaeda membership, he pledge allegiance to bin Laden, he killed people in the name of al Qaeda, yet you say he was not be a part of al Qaeda, What was the problem? Did Zarqawi lack an official al Qaeda franchise agreement? Had bin Laden not given him an official licensing agreement? Had Zarqawi missed the secret handshake?

Posted by: ex-liberal on October 31, 2006 at 11:03 PM | PERMALINK

"3. Assuming Kerry fluffed his line, the fluff was his mistake. Why is he responding to criticism by attacking various conservatives, rather than simply apologize for his mis-statement?" Posted by: ex-liberal on October 31, 2006 at 6:49 PM


Answer: Because Kerry is an asshole... and periodically gets an opportunity to prove it.

He could have kept his mouth shut for another week.

Posted by: pencarrow on October 31, 2006 at 11:34 PM | PERMALINK

"3. Assuming Kerry fluffed his line, the fluff was his mistake. Why is he responding to criticism by attacking various conservatives, rather than simply apologize for his mis-statement?" Posted by: ex-liberal

or ... because there's nothing of value to be gained by caving in to conservatives. why not attack first all of the sundried trash that will attack him anyways?

Posted by: Nads on October 31, 2006 at 11:39 PM | PERMALINK

why not attack first all of the sundried trash that will attack him anyways?

Kerry's unwillingness to back off the comment and apologize for his "misstep" could quite conceivably cost Veteran votes, something I don't believe the Dems can spare for this election.

Posted by: pencarrow on October 31, 2006 at 11:52 PM | PERMALINK

were these the same veterans who couldn't be bothered to get past their militarism to see through the osama-fication of max cleeland? who couldn't see how an actual combat vet may have been a better CIC than some pussy deserter who liked to play dress-up? who seem to have forgiven being lied into a war of choice so that oilmen can make profits?

THOSE vets? believe me, if that's all it takes than those vets deserve whatever leader they get.

Posted by: Nads on October 31, 2006 at 11:58 PM | PERMALINK

Vets = votes

Votes are good.

Get the votes first; argue the policies later.

Why take the chance on losing even a few hundred votes in one of the closer races?

Posted by: pencarrow on November 1, 2006 at 12:04 AM | PERMALINK

meanwhile, something something more important happened but we're still fixated on Kerry's statement.

Posted by: Dave In Texas on November 1, 2006 at 12:56 AM | PERMALINK

Unless I've missed somthng,Cond Rice seems to be missing in this runup to elections. Is it her turn to be relegated to an "undisclosed location"

Posted by: Brian Boru on November 1, 2006 at 1:31 AM | PERMALINK

The reason, of course, is that it's solely Republicans who have spent the past few months trying to rally the troops with their laughable Pelosi-as-Grim-Reaper demagoguery

The did the same to Hillary Clinton. Repugs seem to excel at smear campaigns.

Posted by: cough cough on November 1, 2006 at 1:32 AM | PERMALINK

Demonizing Pelosi is a stupid and unimaginative waste of time. She is not ego driven like Newt, and she's a grandmother unlike Hillary. She doesn't get ruffled and she doesn't need the press embrace.

The fat walrus that is current right wing machine has jumped the shark.

Exhibit A: Bush's pathetic interview on Rush tomorrow. They couldn't add their approval ratings together to get to 50%. The party's over fellas show some class and lose gracefully.

Posted by: patience on November 1, 2006 at 1:35 AM | PERMALINK

ex lib: Thanks goodness Bush remains committed.


"We will stay the course." - GWB Salt Lake City, Utah 8/30/06

"Weve never been stay the course." - GWB on ABC 10/22/06

Posted by: mr. irony on November 1, 2006 at 9:21 AM | PERMALINK


ex lib: Future historians will credit Bush for taking the battle to the enemy in the War on Terror.


why wait for the future?

Bush Tops List As U.S. Voters Name Worst President In 61 Years

- Quinnipiac University National Poll 6/1/06

Posted by: mr. irony on November 1, 2006 at 9:25 AM | PERMALINK


stefan: Or such as diverting money and resources from a country where they were to invade a country where they weren't?


you mean....afghanistan?

Afghanistan is..."close to anarchy."

- Lt. Gen. David Richards Head of NATO's security force in Afghanistan 7/21/06

Posted by: mr. irony on November 1, 2006 at 9:28 AM | PERMALINK

pencarrow: Kerry's unwillingness to back off the comment and apologize for his "misstep" could quite conceivably cost Veteran votes


"Nope, no WMD's over there...(looking under a couch)...Maybe under here." - President Bush June 2004

as cheney says...f*ck'em if they can't take a joke..


Posted by: mr. irony on November 1, 2006 at 9:32 AM | PERMALINK

Also, if nobody resisted al Qaeda,

Dear Asshat, Nobody, repeat NOBODY, is suggesting we don't resist Al Qaeda. What many are suggesting however is that we fight them intelligently. Fight them where they were in Afghanistan instead of abandoning it. Use international cooperation to root them out and yes, international law and police work (the Horror). Many were against destabilizing Iraq needlessly and creating anarchy there and weakening our capabilities. Many are against abandoning our civil liberties and Constitution and believe that doing so plays RIGHT into Al Qaeda's agenda.

But you already knew all this, you're just being an ass.

Posted by: ckelly on November 1, 2006 at 11:14 AM | PERMALINK

ckelly Dear Asshat, Nobody, repeat NOBODY, is suggesting we don't resist Al Qaeda. What many are suggesting however is that we fight them intelligently. Fight them where they were in Afghanistan instead of abandoning it. Use international cooperation to root them out and yes, international law and police work (the Horror). Many were against destabilizing Iraq needlessly and creating anarchy there and weakening our capabilities. Many are against abandoning our civil liberties and Constitution and believe that doing so plays RIGHT into Al Qaeda's agenda.

We need to fight al Qaeda where they are - which is Afghanistan and Pakistan and Iraq, and parts of Africa. You can argue some hypotheticals, but today's reality is that bin Laden and his #2 Zawahiri have publicly said that Iraq is the central point of the war for them.

Bush is using international cooperation. The original attack on Saddam came after 17 or so Security Council resolutions. The attack had dozens of countries involved. A couple of days ago, Pakistan and the US cooperated in attacking a Madrassa in Pakistan used by al Qaeda, where a high-ranking al Qaeda leader was thought to be,

International Law barely exists. It't a nice concept, but that's all. E.g., Saddam may have been the world's biggest violator of IL, with his invasions of Iran and Kuwait, unprovoked attacks on Israel, genocide against the Kurds and Marsh Arabs, etc. But, no international police force arrested him. He was stopped by the US in 1991 and again in 2003 by the US. His genocidal attacks on the Kurds were stopped by the US in the 1990's and have been prevented by a No-Fly zone policed by the US. Similary, IL violaters in the Balkans were stopped by a coalition led by the US.

IL is a nice dream, but in reality the closest thing the world has to policing of IL is the US.

My civil liberties are important to me. But, I cannot see how restricting American civil liberties "plays into al Qaeda's agenda." Al Qaeda doesn't care whether the US reviews international financial records or wiretaps phone calls from terrorist suspects. Al Qaeda'a agenda is to establish a Caliphate ruled by their version of Islamic law.

Posted by: ex-liberal on November 1, 2006 at 11:53 AM | PERMALINK

You can argue some hypotheticals, but today's reality is that bin Laden and his #2 Zawahiri have publicly said that Iraq is the central point of the war for them.

Odd, then, that they remain in Pakistan. We have two choices: we can base our strategy on what bin Laden and Zawahiri say, in which case we'll be continually at their beck and call, or we can base our strategy on what they do, which is remain in Pakistan, and therefore we hunt for them there.

Or, to put it more simply, if bin Laden suddenly announced tomorrow that Norway was the central point in the war for them would we invade Oslo?

The rest of the post was too stupid to really be worth responding to....

Posted by: Stefan on November 1, 2006 at 12:16 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan, I just posted on the All About Oil thread about Dems' seeming inability to hold more than one thought at time. It's not a question of fighting al Qaeda in Iraq or in Pakistan; we're fighting them in both places.

Posted by: ex-liberal on November 1, 2006 at 3:52 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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