Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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January 1, 2007

IF KRISTOF'S WISHES WERE HORSES.... Kevin frowns upon highlighting items behind the New York Times' pay wall, but Nick Kristof's year-end piece, published yesterday, was a sight to behold.

Kristof noticed that President Bush's legacy "doesn't look good right now," and imagined a future obituary that described Bush leaving office "vilified and disgraced." Kristof proceeded to offer 10 suggestions for the president to pursue in 2007 that might help him "rescue" his legacy." It's quite a list.

* Negotiate with Iran and Syria, and "renounce permanent military bases in Iraq."

* Start working on an Israeli-Palestinian peace plan.

* Confront the genocide in Darfur.

* Dump Dick Cheney and get a new VP.

* Expand the government's efforts to combat AIDS.

* Address climate change.

* Give up on the idea of attacking Iran.

* Give up on privatization and embrace a Clinton-like approach to Social Security reform.

* Address our disgraceful inequities in health care and pursue Carter's idea of comprehensive coverage for children up to age 5.

* "Steal [policy ideas] from your critics and rivals."

It's enough to make me wonder if Kristof has been watching the same president as the rest of us the last six years. As Matt Yglesias put it: "I agree with Nick Kristof -- George W. Bush would be a pretty good president if he reversed, um, all of his ideas about public policy and started governing like a liberal Democrat."

I suspect this isn't going to happen. Call it a hunch.

Steve Benen 9:54 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (82)

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Comments

Would have to require a serious news bulletin:

President Bush rushed to George Washington Medical Center for a brain and heart transplant.

Of course his system would probably reject any of a liberal bent.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on January 1, 2007 at 10:05 AM | PERMALINK

It would be simpler to just replace Cheney with Gore and then resign.

Posted by: B on January 1, 2007 at 10:07 AM | PERMALINK

Might work. The last 'resurection' was a serious crowd pleaser, and changed many hearts & minds.

Posted by: wishIwuz2 on January 1, 2007 at 10:15 AM | PERMALINK


As for moi, I'm holding out for Jesus to save us.

h (short for ha-ha)

Posted by: h on January 1, 2007 at 10:20 AM | PERMALINK

I keep having this recurring dream where George Bush wakes up one morning with a sudden flowering of conscience.

He stares out the window for 20 minutes before murmuring, "what have I done?" He stands up gingerly and walks to his closet and reaches into a small cubby and becomes the first president in US history to commit suicide in office.

Posted by: Alfred E. Newman on January 1, 2007 at 10:22 AM | PERMALINK

h,

You are on the list.

Posted by: Frank O Phobe on January 1, 2007 at 10:24 AM | PERMALINK

Hmmm, "Dumbicide"

Posted by: stupid git on January 1, 2007 at 10:27 AM | PERMALINK

Anyone ever wonder if there might be something just a teeny bit screwy about El Presidente?


Posted by: Sam Thornton on January 1, 2007 at 10:28 AM | PERMALINK

...and if my grandmother had balls
she'd be my grandfather.

sometimes i think kristof is as detached
as bush.

Posted by: daveminnj on January 1, 2007 at 10:31 AM | PERMALINK


in bush's mind....

none of this is his fault...

why would he take any suggestions..

Posted by: mr. irony on January 1, 2007 at 10:35 AM | PERMALINK

This über-egalitarianism on the editorial page is the equivalent of our Al, Jay, and TOH dimbulb festival. Pundits who aren't idiots inevitably respond, anticipate these retarded lines of thought, or just plain give up on nuanced argument and complex historical analysis. The whole page becomes unreadable.

Come on NYT, giving a mentally disabled sailor a command position in gunnery sinks a lot of our own ships.

Anyway, I think this reinforces Kevin's point.

Posted by: rewolfrats on January 1, 2007 at 10:37 AM | PERMALINK

I am so tired of all the 'if-only-he-would-do this-or-that' pieces by NYT and WP columnists.

Geez, I wish they would get a grip. Stop it with the wishlist pieces, and wake the heck up. Their writings are a waste of decent newsprint and web space.

Posted by: kimster on January 1, 2007 at 10:38 AM | PERMALINK

Wish-list pieces are what New Year's Day journalism is all about. Easy reading, sells papers. Besides, everyone else is on vacation.

Are you a fluff journalist? I wish I wuz too.

Posted by: wishIwuz2 on January 1, 2007 at 10:44 AM | PERMALINK

That's right, Bush could be the greatest president ever, if only he were someone else.

Posted by: craigie on January 1, 2007 at 10:44 AM | PERMALINK

Those jackass pundits are always trying to morph Bush into someone he isn't. Pundits would do far better to LISTEN to what Bush actually says. Instead of acting like they don't believe Bush really means what he says, they need to ridicule Bush for being so ridiculous.

Escalate or Stay the course Iraq- Ridiculous policy
Tax cuts- Ridiculous fiscal policy
Abstinance only- Ridiculous policy
Failure to listen to critics- Ridiculous management
Failure to address global warming- Shortsighted environmental policy

From the very beginning, Bush was UNFIT to be president. I remember my bumper sticker from 2000: "GW Bush: How dumb is too dumb?" The media acted like it didn't matter. We could have a dumbass figurehead and the real decisions would be made by wise men like Colin Powell. The presidency is too powerful and being a dumbass negates all the wisdom advisors can muster.

Bush was too naive, too uninformed, too incurious and too ideological and too insulated to run our government in the manner that we deserve. The media has been a major failure for its refusal to criticize Bush incompetence.

Posted by: bakho on January 1, 2007 at 10:55 AM | PERMALINK

BTW, I figure they're main problem is that they're stretching their columnists too thin. They should get a dozen more so that Brooks can focus on internet dating, Safire can focus on grammar faux pas, and Dowd can just come up with snipy little phrases and derogatory names for other columnists to use.

Posted by: rewolfrats on January 1, 2007 at 10:57 AM | PERMALINK

I like your musings Stephen as well as Kevin.

Posted by: mb on January 1, 2007 at 10:58 AM | PERMALINK

It would be simpler to just replace Cheney with Gore and then resign.

Bears repeating.

Posted by: grytpype on January 1, 2007 at 11:01 AM | PERMALINK

bakho, you stray off subject, but I'll accept.

That was (is) central to my displeasure with how the public endorsed Bush for so long. During the campaign in '99 and '00, he presented himself essentially as the plain-spoken, traditional values "regular guy" candidate that every American could relate to.

My position then, now, and most likely in the future, is that the office of the President of the United States is simply too powerful and important to hand to a "regular guy". However personally reprehensible some of our past Presidents may have been, they were intelligent enough to handle the responsibility of the job.

Posted by: wishIwuz2 on January 1, 2007 at 11:08 AM | PERMALINK

I'm betting that there will be no Medal of Freedom for Kristof.

Maybe a Kool-Ade formula adjustment!

Posted by: Mark-NC on January 1, 2007 at 11:14 AM | PERMALINK

All good comments. However, I think that George W. Bush, while clearly uninformed and uncurious, is most dangerous because he is delusional. He thinks invading Iraq on false pretenses was the right thing to do, despite all of the evidence to the contrary. He thinks cutting taxes actually can lead to a balanced budget without cutting spending, logic and history be damned. He thinks not talking to people you disagee with leads to the most favorable outcome, even though any mature mind knows that is utter foolishness.

Being stupid limits the repertoire of responses that a person can make in a given situation. Being delusional means any response is possible. This guy could end up doing anything - even the unthinkable - because he is delusional. I'll leave it to your imagination to finish that thought....

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on January 1, 2007 at 11:17 AM | PERMALINK

Here is the link with the Times Select wall defeated

Posted by: Global Citizen on January 1, 2007 at 11:25 AM | PERMALINK

I've never felt that Bush is stupid. I really don't think he is. His ideological stubbornness and past failures aside, he's not necessarily dumb. He's average.

Very, very average. That's my objection. The Presidential title is far too demanding a job for an average intellect. I know I couldn't handle it -- wish I wuz that smart. I make mistakes at my job that a more intelligent person would never make.

As President of the United States, such common errors have too much consequence. The job demands above-average intelligence.

Posted by: wishIwuz2 on January 1, 2007 at 11:26 AM | PERMALINK

To put it D&D terms, I don't think a President necessarily needs to have a high Intelligence score--but if he doesn't, he'd better have a nice, high Wisdom score.

Bush? I'm thinking about I 9, W 7. No spell bonuses.

Posted by: PCash on January 1, 2007 at 11:29 AM | PERMALINK

You can be sure that when the chimp dies, regardless of how he is treated before then, the nation will treat him as a fallen, beloved visionary.

Posted by: Michael7843853 G-O in 08! on January 1, 2007 at 11:34 AM | PERMALINK

I love to start the new year with humor like that list. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA LOOK! A FLYING PIG!

Posted by: R.L. on January 1, 2007 at 11:34 AM | PERMALINK

A photo remembrance of Saddam Hussein and how he got to be what he was.

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on January 1, 2007 at 11:36 AM | PERMALINK

He will do none of that list, save perhaps to claim that he has already increased aid to Africa for AIDS; as de Long has indicated, from $2 to $6 per person.

Posted by: Hedley Lamarr on January 1, 2007 at 11:44 AM | PERMALINK

A photo remembrance of Saddam Hussein and how he got to be what he was.

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on January 1, 2007 at 11:47 AM | PERMALINK

Steve - one more Liberal piece of advice for Bush: "Surrender to the insurgents in Iraq."

That one would make you Lefties really happy.

Posted by: Frequency Kenneth on January 1, 2007 at 11:47 AM | PERMALINK


wishiwuz2: I've never felt that Bush is stupid. I really don't think he is. His ideological stubbornness and past failures aside, he's not necessarily dumb. He's average.


indifferent, perhaps?

When asked about his high point since becoming president in January 2001 President Bush replied.....

"I would say the best moment of all was when I caught a 7.5 pound bass in my lake." - 5/7/06

Posted by: mr. irony on January 1, 2007 at 11:51 AM | PERMALINK

I greatly admire Kristof as a columnist, but this one seems to be mostly wishful thinking or puffery.

* Negotiate with Iran and Syria, and "renounce permanent military bases in Iraq."

The only thing Iran and Syria want to negotiate is our defeat.

* Start working on an Israeli-Palestinian peace plan.

How can there be a peace plan when the Palestinian government is officially committed to the destruction of Israel?

>* Confront the genocide in Darfur.

Confront how? Kristof has no idea what to do, so he uses the vague word "confront."


* Dump Dick Cheney and get a new VP.

Ha ha.

* Expand the government's efforts to combat AIDS.

Whatever the government is doing to fight AIDS, it could always do more. Recall that Bush implemented an enormous expansion of AIDS efforts in Africa, backing an approach that had been effective in Uganda.

* Address climate change.

It is clear that the world will not reduce its CO2 nearly enough to reverse global warming (assuming the correctness of the weather model showing a link between CO2 and global warming.)

Nevertheless, it's almost a religion for many to make cuts in their CO2 usage, even those the combined effect isn't remotely enough. Should Bush demogogue this issue and attack some handy target, like auto manufacturers?

* Give up on the idea of attacking Iran.

So, what should we do to stop Iran from getting nukes?

* Give up on privatization and embrace a Clinton-like approach to Social Security reform.

In practice Bush long ago gave up on "privatization" (i.e., letting us maintain ownership and direct the investment of a small portion of our own money.) The Clinton approach, as I understand it, is to make a fuss and accomploish nothing.

* Address our disgraceful inequities in health care and pursue Carter's idea of comprehensive coverage for children up to age 5.

The inequities are a function of differences in wealth. John Kerry will get better health care than I will, becauase he has much more money.

I would like to see children receive some basic health care, but I don't think the federal govenment can put together an effecttive plan.

* "Steal [policy ideas] from your critics and rivals."

Which ideas? Bush appears ready to "steal" from John McCain the idea of adding troops in Iraq. Is this what Kristof wants?

Posted by: ex-liberal on January 1, 2007 at 11:52 AM | PERMALINK

That one would make you Lefties really happy.

If by "Lefties" you mean "the majority of Americans and the majority of people on earth" then yes, it would.

Come in out of the cold, Kenneth. Your fantasy "war" is over. Now all we have to do is see how many more people are pointlessly killed before the referee blows the whistle.

Posted by: craigie on January 1, 2007 at 11:53 AM | PERMALINK

Lest anyone forget, Frequency Kenneth sock-puppets as Havlicek Stole the Ball and Down Goes Frazier. Give him the due consideration that a sock-puppet loser deserves.

Posted by: Global Citizen on January 1, 2007 at 11:54 AM | PERMALINK

Sorry for the double post, but the link is definitely worth clicking....

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on January 1, 2007 at 11:55 AM | PERMALINK

And the highpoint of Shrub's time in the White House during his father's tenure was when GHWB held a bag of cocaine aloft, which had been sold near the White House, while announcing his War on Drugs policy - The "high" point was that Shrub got to keep the bag.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on January 1, 2007 at 11:56 AM | PERMALINK

ex-lib, Kristoff is offering deeper thoughts than your brilliant I don't know.

Posted by: Global Citizen on January 1, 2007 at 11:56 AM | PERMALINK

"ex-lib" could have played Schultz on Hogan's Heroes.

He could say "I know nothing" and not be accused of method acting.

Posted by: stupid git on January 1, 2007 at 12:08 PM | PERMALINK

"If Kristoff's wishes were horses", they would be extreme long shots.

However, as the Chiefs made the playoffs by the aid of three teams losing at home, hmmmm?

07 could be a very strange year.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on January 1, 2007 at 12:18 PM | PERMALINK

Kristof wrote that "George W. Bush... achieved tremendous acclaim for his handling of the 9/11 terror attacks." I recall reading that when Bush was first informed that the country was under attack he was visiting a school in Florida for a photo-op and his response was to continue reading the storybook My Pet Goat to the children. And that in a time of crisis hw sat there for twenty minutes doing nothing. Perhaps Kristof has confused the President with Rudolph Giuliani, whose handling of 9/11 did receive acclaim.

Posted by: Myrna on January 1, 2007 at 12:19 PM | PERMALINK

Isn't it just beyond strange that The New York Times, the most influential and prestigious news organ in the country, perhaps even the world, should feature a pundit like Kristof who so clearly lives in a fantasyland? Who on earth, except for Kristof himself and perhaps his fellow pundits, would believe that George Bush might adopt any one of the suggestions Kristof puts forth?

Given its position in the world, The NYTimes might hire virtually any writer/thinker on earth to offer his or her opinions in its editorial page.

Yet it chooses a man who is demonstrably more clueless than the drunkest loudmouth in the nastiest bar in the US of A -- for even such a sot would know in his gut that Bush would never do a damn thing like what Kristof is recommending.

Sometimes, really, I just don't get it.

Posted by: frankly0 on January 1, 2007 at 12:30 PM | PERMALINK

Reading ex-lib and Kenneth and the usual gang, you could easily come to the conclusion that the right wing response to every world issue is to bomb somebody.

If only we could find out where this "climate change" guy lives, conservatarians could bomb that place, and everyone would be happy.

Posted by: craigie on January 1, 2007 at 12:51 PM | PERMALINK

I think people had hope that Georgie's wife being educated would have some ameliorating influence on him but she has turned out to be as clueless and self centered as Nancy was for Ronnie. For instanstance, her selfish reaction to her bout with cancer which might have been used to help take the fear out of this dreaded disease is typical of the whole regime and the whole right-wing philosophy "me and me only". It was really too bad that Georgie didn't do a lot more serious damage to himself when he had that cocaine induced fall off the couch early in his reign. Think of the lives both military and civilian that might have been saved. This is the legacy that is being built.

Posted by: murmeister on January 1, 2007 at 12:58 PM | PERMALINK

This is a reminder that while Brooks and Dowd and Friedman represent the summit of head-up-the-ass pontificating, pretty much the entire national pundit world is populated with dopes and tools. Lefties too often give Kristof and Frank Rich a pass because they say the "proper" thing, they're on our side. But in fact both these guys have built their careers on glibness and superficiality. They're like Dowd with the celebrity/pop culture obsession dialed down a couple of notches.

Posted by: sglover on January 1, 2007 at 1:00 PM | PERMALINK

These columns by pundits, offering advice to Bush on how to turn things around, are getting to be too much. Friedman and Kristof actually think Bush cares about their opinions? Of course not. If you don't know why Cheney and Bush insisted on invading Iraq inspite of all the evidence that the country posed no threat to us, then you can't really advise them on how to achieve the desired outcome.

So what Friedman, Kristof, and the rest of these clowns to is to advise the administration on how to achieve the outcomes THEY would prefer. As near as I can tell that leaves them twice removed from reality, and yet the Times management continues to pay them handsomely while wondering about their declining subscriber base.

Posted by: Slideguy on January 1, 2007 at 1:29 PM | PERMALINK

Reminds me of an aquaintance I once had who, during a discussion of wine and spirits, said with all sincerity, "I like champagne. But not the French brands."

I understand people souring on the President's inept policies. The thing I could never grasp is the idea that a lot of people supported Bush not because of any particular policy views, but because he seemed like someone they would like personally. I don't think I can imagine a less-likable person that the President.

Posted by: Pat on January 1, 2007 at 1:31 PM | PERMALINK

stupid git on January 1, 2007 at 12:08 PM

Hilarious!

Posted by: Apollo 13 on January 1, 2007 at 1:42 PM | PERMALINK

Kristof's solutions are a mixed bag.

* Negotiate with Iran and Syria, and "renounce permanent military bases in Iraq."

Iran and Syria will not abandon their national interest in order to help the U.S. pursue ours. We should renounce permanent bases in Iraq, however. We should not be in there another six months, let alone permanently.

* Start working on an Israeli-Palestinian peace plan.

The whole point of the War on Terror is to teach the Arab world that terrorism is not an option they have when it comes to getting their grievances with the U.S. addressed. The Arab world may have disagreements with the U.S. Middle Eastern policies, as do many Americans. But they have no right to kill American civilians and soldiers simply because they hate the actions of American leaders. Furthermore, negotiating with terrorists, such as the Palestinian leadership, will not end terrorism. Once we give in to their demands, they simply demand more, and if we teach them that terrorism can be used to get a seat at the bargaining table, they will use terrorism again and again to satisy whatever new demands arise. Peace between Israel and Palestine would be advantageous, but it should only take place after the Palestinians renounce terrorism. Bush is right on this one.

* Confront the genocide in Darfur.

It's amazing how liberals rightly think that preventing genocide was not a good reason to invade Iraq, but wrongly think that preventing genocide is a good reason to wage war in Darfur. They bash Bush for invading Iraq and intend to do the same exact thing in Darfur. There is a necessary war we need to fight in Afghanistan; we should not divert resources to Iraq nor Darfur.

* Dump Dick Cheney and get a new VP.

This is simply impractical. If Bush did this, he would likely be taking sides in the 2008 Presidential Race and dividing his own party against him.

* Expand the government's efforts to combat AIDS.

This is a good idea.

* Address climate change.

If we focus on Energy Independence through use of ethanol, nuclear power, and other resources we have at our disposal, then the U.S. will do all it can to address climate change. If we focus on trying to change our sources of energy, rather than restricting the amount of energy we use, we could be successful. Neither Party, however, seems seriously interested in this.

* Give up on the idea of attacking Iran.

A horrible idea. If attacking Iran is put off the table, and Iran gets nuclear weapons, they will be able to harbor terrorists that will attack us without having to fear being crushed as the Taliban was. We shouldn't invade Iran, but we should do with Iran what we should have done with Iraq: destroy all suspected weapons sites if Iran refuses to comply. There will be a hostile reaction, but that will not be nearly as dangerous to the U.S. as a nuclear Iran.

* Give up on privatization and embrace a Clinton-like approach to Social Security reform.

Social Security can be made solvent with a simple reform: switch from wage indexing to price indexing. This way, the real spending power of senior citizens will rise with inflation, instead of faster than inflation, the latter of which is true now. Bush will have a challenge doing this, however. First, he lost credibility with his whole privatization attempt, which would have run up the national debt $2 trillion. Second, there is a chance that Bush's opponents would attack the switch as a "cut" in Social Security. The only person who could and would achieve this type of reform would probably be Bill Clinton, or someone like him.

* Address our disgraceful inequities in health care and pursue Carter's idea of comprehensive coverage for children up to age 5.

The health care crisis is too small for incremental reform. We should go for a universal system, definetely not a single payer system, but possibly a voucher system like the one described in a Washington Monthly article a year or so ago. The latter would not result in the hundreds of thousands of Americans employed in the insurance industry losing their jobs, and would avoid the inefficiencies that plague many single payer systems. But any kind of universal health care would run directly against Bush's beliefs and politics, so it is unlikely to happen with him.

* "Steal [policy ideas] from your critics and rivals."

Good ideas can come from all sides of the aisle.

Posted by: brian on January 1, 2007 at 1:48 PM | PERMALINK

New years fun!

>The only thing Iran and Syria want to negotiate is our defeat.

Establishment of a 'democratic' government in what once was Iraq will result in a theocratic islamist state aligned with Iran and a Kurdish state dedicated to recovering territory from Turkey. That's what the people living there want.

This is 'democracy in action' but probably doesn't count as a 'victory' for US interests. By toppling one of the last secular regimes in the mideast we started down a path without any possibility of 'victory'. (I guess depending on how you define same). If victory was the destruction if Iraq as a state... you've got it.

>How can there be a peace plan when the Palestinian government is officially committed to the destruction of Israel?

Peace between Israel and Palestinans was well within reach until the Israeli government renigged on the Oslo accords and the US government caved to the will of their financiers.

Eventually the existence of an aparthied state dominated by a single racial/religous group will prove to be unsustainable. The question is how many will die before then.

>Confront how? Kristof has no idea what to do, so he uses the vague word "confront."

Confront in this sense means 'to address with high importance'.

>:Dump Dick Cheney and get a new VP. Ha ha"

You are correct here. Dick Cheney is the one really in charge.

* Expand the government's efforts to combat AIDS.
>Whatever the government is doing to fight AIDS, it could always do more.

Irrational argument. (This is a truism, ala 'some lakes are deeper than others'). Again the idea presented here is to elevate AIDS to a 'front burner' issue.

* Address climate change.
>It is clear that the world will not reduce its CO2 nearly enough to reverse global warming

If you accept that as true then it probably follows that a good portion of human civilization will be destroyed. Might as well slay yourself now.

* Give up on the idea of attacking Iran.
So, what should we do to stop Iran from getting nukes?

Really pretty easy. However, the media won't talk about it. Iran has already proposed creating a 'nuclear free' zone in the Mideast along with regional security agreements. (Translation: the US or Israel won't attack Iran)

The real obstacle here is getting Israel to give up it's nuclear arsenal. Something that cannot be done (or even discussed in the MSM) as long as the AIPAC controls the financing of political campaigns in the United States.

* Give up on privatization and embrace a Clinton-like approach to Social Security reform.

>"In practice Bush long ago gave up on "privatization" (i.e., letting us maintain ownership and direct the investment of a small portion of our own money.)"

Sorry, is there is something preventing you from doing the above? Do you not have a 401K etc?

>"The Clinton approach, as I understand it, is to make a fuss and accomploish nothing."

The reality is that any real action is blocked by massive financial interests. (more below)

* Address our disgraceful inequities in health care and pursue Carter's idea of comprehensive coverage for children up to age 5.

>The inequities are a function of differences in wealth. John Kerry will get better health care than I will, becauase he has much more money."

Another truism. The rich can afford better everything than the poor. The real issue is that the non-wealthy should be able to receive care rather than die in the street or be driven to bankruptcy.

>I would like to see children receive some basic health care, but I don't think the federal govenment can put together an effecttive plan.

Oddly, the rest of the western industrialized world has been able to accomplish the above. The real blocker, as in 'Mideast Peace' is financial control of the political process by parties not operating in the best interests of the American people. In this case the primary blocker is the medical industry /insurance cartels.

* "Steal [policy ideas] from your critics and rivals."

>Which ideas? Bush appears ready to "steal" from John McCain the idea of adding troops in Iraq. Is this what Kristof wants?

You are confusing the concept of accepting good ideas no matter where they originate with a single issue that really doesn't even count as an 'idea' belonging to anyone.

Posted by: Buford on January 1, 2007 at 1:51 PM | PERMALINK

Dump Dick Cheney and get a new VP.

The Vice President of the United States is an elected official, not a mere cabinet officer. The President has absolutely no authority to "dump" him.

The only people that can "dump" the Vice President are Congress, the American electorate once every four years, and the Vice President himself.

Posted by: Moo Goo Gai Pan on January 1, 2007 at 1:53 PM | PERMALINK

George Bush, Stupid Dumbass:

Dumb: Conspicuously unintelligent
Ass- A vain, self-important, silly, or aggressively stupid person

Stupid: Slow to learn or understand; obtuse.
Tending to make poor decisions or careless mistakes.
Marked by a lack of intelligence or care; foolish or careless

Bush is a stupid dumbass. He is not fit to be making decisions. Congress needs to intervene and save Bush from himself.

Posted by: bakho on January 1, 2007 at 2:00 PM | PERMALINK

B: "It would be simpler to just replace Cheney with Gore and then resign."

I just needed to see that one more time.

Posted by: EmmaAnne on January 1, 2007 at 3:30 PM | PERMALINK

The sad truth is that our country would be better off if Bush and Cheney were represented by two randomly selected mayors of cities of more than 100,000 population. It's a waste of time to blab about how nice it would be if B & C just changed their "minds". The real worry is how the next Prez will escape these same mistakes- Americans culture keeps putting forth simplistic ideas. How many Europeans for example believe that a cure for cancer is just around the corner? How many European health ministers say that suffering from cancer can be ended very soon, as our idiotic FOD (friend of Dubya) Dr. Andrew von Eschenbach does, who prattles on about cancer cured by 2015. These are irresponsible people; responsible Americans are screened out by the White House.

Posted by: maracucho on January 1, 2007 at 3:50 PM | PERMALINK

We should go for a universal system, definetely not a single payer system, but possibly a voucher system like the one described in a Washington Monthly article a year or so ago. The latter would not result in the hundreds of thousands of Americans employed in the insurance industry losing their jobs,
Posted by: brian

This last point is so fucking low on the list of considerations for implementing a comprehensive health care plan, that it deserves a side post of its own regarding its irrelevance.

Posted by: Nads on January 1, 2007 at 3:56 PM | PERMALINK

The Top 10 GOP Sound Bites, Final 2006 Edition:
1. "New Way Forward"
2. "Surge"
3. "San Francisco Values"
4. "Fresh Eyes"
5. "(Democrats) Pamper the Terrorists"
6. "Terrorist Surveillance Program"
7. "Cut and Run"
8. "Culture of Life"
9. "No Civil Liberties When You're Dead"
10. "Criminalization of Politics"

Here's the complete "Bushboard Top 10 Chart."

Posted by: AngryOne on January 1, 2007 at 4:09 PM | PERMALINK

Someone with the time and talent should make a list of the many, many outrages of the Bush-Cheney Administration.

Tops is the Iraq War.

But there are so many others, including the effort to turn Social Security over to the Wall Street traders and investors, the desecration of our National Parks, the assignment of an industry lobbyist to oversea our national forests, the asssignment of individuals to key posts in the bureaucracy who oppose what the bureau is charged with doing, the appointment of an incompetent political loyalist to head Homeland Security, the appointment of a 24-year-old Republican Party campaign worker to go to Iraq and set up a stock exchange, Katrina, the Homeland Security boondoggle involving new Coast Guard vessels, the rise of hostile regimes in several key Latin American nations, the dumping of the Kyota accords, the rape of national public broadcasting, the record debt by the federal government, corporations and individuals, tax cuts that favor the wealthy at the expense of the middle class, etc., etc., etc.

How about it? Anyone?

Posted by: richard on January 1, 2007 at 4:33 PM | PERMALINK

California energy crisis.

Richard is so correct. Once all the investigations are finished and the corruption exposed, there is nothing that Bush will be able to do to salvage his sorry-ass corrupt legacy. Congress needs to finish Bush the way they failed to finish Iran-Contra.

Posted by: bakho on January 1, 2007 at 4:53 PM | PERMALINK

The mainstream media appears to be the last to know. The country has moved on. The GOP has moved on. Even the right wing is moving on. The public is done with this Presidency. There will be no rally around the leader and his new ideas. There is no fixing this. Too much national treasure (men, money, national reputation, moral values, our Constitution) has been lost. January 2009 can't come soon enough.

Posted by: aline on January 1, 2007 at 5:16 PM | PERMALINK


how strong is bush's state of denial?


"I thank these men who wear our uniform for a very candid and fruitful discussion about how to secure this country and how to win a war that we now find ourselves in." - GWB 12/13/06

..."we now find ourselves in." ....

Posted by: mr. irony on January 1, 2007 at 5:22 PM | PERMALINK

Replace Cheney.... Kristoff joins a growing chorus of bloggers and op-ed writers calling for the president to "fire" Dick Cheney and appoint someone else like McCain or Condi.

Perhaps these writers have forgotten that unlike every other political functionary in the executive branch, Cheney was elected in 2004 just like the President. He does not serve at the President's pleasure.

Politically marginalized for the remainder of his term is conceivable, resigned if he were willing to do it is possible, but fired by Bush just can't happen without impeachment and conviction.

So barring death, impeachment or resignation, Cheney --like Bush-- will remain in office until January 20, 2009. tks rich

Posted by: richard on January 1, 2007 at 5:41 PM | PERMALINK

...The sad truth is that our country would be better off if Bush and Cheney were represented by two randomly selected mayors of cities of more than 100,000 population.

I like that one. Make it a lottery. Any of those eligible mayors can opt out of it so noone gets freaked if they have to serve.

Posted by: Snidely Whiplash on January 1, 2007 at 6:28 PM | PERMALINK

barring death, impeachment or resignation, Cheney --like Bush-- will remain in office until January 20

Any of which could be easily arranged. I suggest leaking a few tidbits to oversight committees in the new congress. The minutes for the energy taskforce meeting. Plame related material. Condi has to have a little stockpile somewhere.

Posted by: B on January 1, 2007 at 6:36 PM | PERMALINK

He left out ponies for everyone.

Posted by: Kevin Rooney on January 1, 2007 at 7:32 PM | PERMALINK

Hey, it worked with Arnold Schwartzenager.....

Posted by: exlitigator on January 1, 2007 at 8:56 PM | PERMALINK

The only thing Iran and Syria want to negotiate is our defeat.

I find it amusing how the Bush supporters are generally convinced that American diplomats are too stupid to connive their way into getting what they want out of foreign governments.

Posted by: Constantine on January 1, 2007 at 10:16 PM | PERMALINK

The career diplomats are capable, but the Bush appointees - not so much. They probably are too stupid to negotiate.

Posted by: Global Citizen on January 1, 2007 at 10:28 PM | PERMALINK

The career diplomats are capable, but the Bush appointees - not so much. They probably are too stupid to negotiate.

Well, since their qualifications involve not much more than passing out bibles on sunday, they are right to be afraid of being snookered.

Posted by: craigie on January 2, 2007 at 12:46 AM | PERMALINK

We should go for a universal system, definetely not a single payer system, but possibly a voucher system like the one described in a Washington Monthly article a year or so ago. The latter would not result in the hundreds of thousands of Americans employed in the insurance industry losing their jobs

Another proponent of buggy whips.

Posted by: Disputo on January 2, 2007 at 1:46 AM | PERMALINK

He will do none of that list, save perhaps to claim that he has already increased aid to Africa for AIDS; as de Long has indicated, from $2 to $6 per person.

GWB's plan to increase by three times the per capita spending on AIDS in Africa is to wait until 2/3s of the people die of AIDS.

Posted by: Disputo on January 2, 2007 at 1:48 AM | PERMALINK

Well, also if we had a voucher system instead of a single payer system, we wouldn't have people not recieving vital treatment because they were stuck on a long waiting list. I didn't mention it because I thought geniuses like Nads and Disputo already knew about that. So I thought I'd make a different point, the one Barack Obama has made about employment and the insurance industry. But I bet they don't like Obama either, as he's not socialist enough.

Posted by: brian on January 2, 2007 at 2:17 AM | PERMALINK

The dolts who want to maintain an inefficient system in place just to keep hundreds of thousands of people employed in non productive jobs are the socialists (not to mention Luddites).

I didn't emphasize this more clearly, because I knew brian was too stupid to get this, and I wanted to bait him into making yet another embarrassingly inane post.

Posted by: Disputo on January 2, 2007 at 2:35 AM | PERMALINK

* Dump Dick Cheney and get a new VP.

Dick Cheney was elected, and can't simply be dumped. The details add some complexity, but unless there is a criminal case, as there was with Agnew, that's a completely empty thought by Kristoff.

Posted by: MatthewRMarler on January 2, 2007 at 3:28 AM | PERMALINK

* Confront the genocide in Darfur.

Want to add some precision to the vague verb "confront"? We are busy "confronting" ethnic cleansing in Iraq, and will remain busy at that for quite a while yet.

Posted by: MatthewRMarler on January 2, 2007 at 3:31 AM | PERMALINK

* Address climate change.

Time again for the Democrats to push the Clean Edge Act. Does Kristoff, or anyone else in the MSM, know about the Clean Edge Act?

Posted by: MatthewRMarler on January 2, 2007 at 3:35 AM | PERMALINK

MatthewRMarler: We are busy "confronting" ethnic cleansing in Iraq


Iraqi deaths hit record as Bush mulls changes

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - The number of Iraqi civilians killed in political violence hit a record high in December, according figures compiled by Iraq's Interior Ministry.

Posted by: mr. irony on January 2, 2007 at 6:07 AM | PERMALINK


if the gop was smart...

they would get rid of bush and cheney...

and prop up ford...

again..

(red state mike...how's that for snark?)


Posted by: mr. irony on January 2, 2007 at 8:44 AM | PERMALINK

Mr Irony,

With the group of thieves at 1600 and Blair, suspect that propping up "Spiro" would be a better fit.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on January 2, 2007 at 10:03 AM | PERMALINK

Can George Bush award himself the Medal of Freedom?

Posted by: pj in jesusland on January 2, 2007 at 10:15 AM | PERMALINK

"award himself a Medal of Freedom"

Just before 43 peals of the bells of the National Cathedral

Posted by: thethirdPaul on January 2, 2007 at 10:44 AM | PERMALINK

There is a better chance of honour among thieves than the list will have any affect on reality.
Isn't there another pressing problem ? It is clearly demonstrated that with nincompoops in charge nothing worthwhile can happen and much that is disastrous will.

Posted by: opit on January 2, 2007 at 2:04 PM | PERMALINK

Dick Cheney was elected, and can't simply be dumped. The details add some complexity, but unless there is a criminal case, as there was with Agnew, that's a completely empty thought by Kristoff.

There are plenty of ways that POTUS can dump VPOTUS short of proving a criminal act by the VP. Loss of confidence would be sufficient to force the resignation of any rational VP, though I concede that that category does not include Cheney. But unless Cheney is insane enough to force a showdown in the Congress between GWB and himself (or, alternatively, attempt to get the cabinet to invoke Amendment 25, Section 4), he would end up exiting stage left.

Posted by: Disputo on January 2, 2007 at 4:43 PM | PERMALINK

Gotta love the right wing take on Global Climate Change!

>It is clear that the world will not reduce its CO2 nearly enough to reverse global warming

So, 3 decades ago when we started talking about this, we just didn't know enough to make the effort of reversing it a worthy goal because what would the benefits be?

Now, with many on that side still disagreeing with the preponderance of evidence and opinion, we've moved to the "it's too late" attitude.

Notice it follows a pattern. Lefties were wrong on climate change, then right, but too late to fix the problem. Just like Iraq.

Posted by: B on January 2, 2007 at 5:48 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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