Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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March 26, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

THE I-WORD....Whatever else you can say about him, Robert Novak has pretty good sources among Republicans. Today he writes about Purgegate and Alberto Gonzales:

"Gonzales never has developed a base of support for himself up here," a House Republican leader told me. But this is less a Gonzales problem than a Bush problem. With nearly two years remaining in his presidency, George W. Bush is alone. In half a century, I have not seen a president so isolated from his own party in Congress -- not Jimmy Carter, not even Richard Nixon as he faced impeachment.

....The word most often used by Republicans to describe the management of the Justice Department under Gonzales is "incompetent."....The I-word (incompetence) is also used by Republicans in describing the Bush administration generally....A few Republicans blame incessant attacks from the new Democratic majority in Congress for that image. Many more say today's problems in the administration derive from the continuing impact of yesterday's mistakes. The answer that is not entertained by the president's most severe GOP critics, even when not speaking for quotation, is that this is just the governing style of George W. Bush and will not change while he is in the Oval Office.

Italics mine. Novak is right: the deficiencies of the Bush governing style are legion, but when all's said and done I think that the very first critique from the very first administration apostate is going to turn out to be the one that nailed the Bush presidency's core problem. Ladies and gentlemen, John DiIulio:

In eight months, I heard many, many staff discussions, but not three meaningful, substantive policy discussions. There were no actual policy white papers on domestic issues. There were, truth be told, only a couple of people in the West Wing who worried at all about policy substance and analysis....On social policy and related issues, the lack of even basic policy knowledge, and the only casual interest in knowing more, was somewhat breathtaking -- discussions by fairly senior people who meant Medicaid but were talking Medicare; near-instant shifts from discussing any actual policy pros and cons to discussing political communications, media strategy, et cetera. Even quite junior staff would sometimes hear quite senior staff pooh-pooh any need to dig deeper for pertinent information on a given issue.

George Bush and his team practically ooze contempt for the naive conceit that policy analysis is a serious business. That makes competent governance impossible -- and as Novak says, that's not going to change until we have a new occupant in the Oval Office. Until then, keep your seatbelts fastened.

Kevin Drum 1:15 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (167)

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Comments

But doesn't incompetent government prove that small government is best?

Posted by: Jeff S. on March 26, 2007 at 1:53 AM | PERMALINK

No. It only proves that incompetent government is bad.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C) on March 26, 2007 at 1:59 AM | PERMALINK

I wonder how long they could have gotten away with incompetence, if they hadn't tried to couple it with such spectacular endeavors like Iraq and bureaucractic overreach like politicizing the DOJ.

Posted by: kis on March 26, 2007 at 1:59 AM | PERMALINK

One of the rare occasions during his presidency in which Bush has actually managed to say something truthful was during the 2004 debates, when he announced his discovery that being president is hard work. Yes, Mr. President, it is hard work. And if your approach to the job is to not give a shit about fucking it up, it is a 100% certainty that you will, in fact, fuck it up.

Worst. President. Ever.

Posted by: Beale on March 26, 2007 at 2:04 AM | PERMALINK

Kis: Hard to say, but incompetence is one of those things that snowballs over time no matter what. For a few years it's not that noticable unless someone like DiIulio blows the whistle, but after a while there's a tipping point where everything is going completely to hell and there's no way to stop it. Iraq made it worse, but I think it would be obvious by now even without it.

Posted by: Kevin Drum on March 26, 2007 at 2:05 AM | PERMALINK

This just goes to show that it takes someone with the deep insight and decades of Washington insider experience like Robert Novak to see the ... umm ... obvious.

This begs the real question: why isn't this obvious to Washington press corps and the MSM in general? Are they so overwhelmed by neutrality and objectivity that facts elude them? Or have the fallen victim to super secret dumb rays emanating from hidden transmitted in the West Wing? Or maybe someone is slipping some king of stupid drops into their power lunch martinis.

The mind boggles ...

aa

Posted by: aaron aardvark on March 26, 2007 at 2:09 AM | PERMALINK

I think the problem is larger than just Bush. True, he is a sterling example of policy know-nothingism, but he didn't just arrive where he is by accident, and for most of the past six years he has been able to count on rock-solid support from his party.

Are there wonkish republican policy nerds just waiting to take their places in a new republican administration? Is there some batch of deeply knowledgeable policy types lurking either in congress or in righty think tanks? Is there any indication anywhere that some part of the republican party respects honest inquiry and the scientific method?

The questions answer themselves. Both the party and its infrastructure have no interest in policy per se or disinterested inquiry. Instead it is all a great, utterly dishonest multilevel marketing scheme operating to enrich itself and gather as much power as it can. Policy, and any recognizable notion of the common good, have nothing to do with it.

Bush, as bad as he is, will pass. But the republicans we will always have with us, and unless they can transform into an actual political party instead of a criminal conspiracy, the country will be in danger if they have any chance of returning to power.

Posted by: jimBOB on March 26, 2007 at 2:10 AM | PERMALINK

Well said, Kevin.

In answer to the question, why did it take the mainstream media so long to notice the Bush Administration's incompetence, partly it's because the one thing the Bush Administration is good at -- media manipulation -- is what the media most notices. So, they just assumed that the Administration is doing a similarly crackerjack on its more important responsibilities.

Posted by: Steve Sailer on March 26, 2007 at 2:18 AM | PERMALINK

No one could have foreseen that electing an administration that doesn't believe that gvmt can work would generate a gvmt that doesn't work....

Posted by: Disputo on March 26, 2007 at 2:20 AM | PERMALINK

As John Legend noted on Realtime with Bill Maher, the Bush administration shows a consistent pattern of valuing loyalty over competence.

Posted by: Andy on March 26, 2007 at 2:46 AM | PERMALINK

But policy analysis shouldn't really be important if you've accepted Jesus Christ as your personal savior; He'll make sure everything comes out right. There is power, wonder-working power, in the blood of the lamb. Iddinit?

Posted by: brooksfoe on March 26, 2007 at 2:46 AM | PERMALINK

The incompetence charge a huge cop out.

If, after deaths of tens of thousands of people in Iraq, after Katrina, after Abu Ghraib, after wiretaps on Americans, all you can do is charge them with incompetence, then they have indeed been very successful in message control. These are not the acts of incompetence, but premeditated frontal assault on all that America should stand for.

Incompetence is the inability to speed up the line at the sandwich shop. Or making me wait for my tax refund for months. It's definitely not what these guys have done.

Posted by: gregor on March 26, 2007 at 2:52 AM | PERMALINK

The Movement Conservative Republican Party runs the party like a corporation, and they market themselves, most effectively, like a corporation.

But the flaw in the ointment is the substance central to that which is being marketed: their product is pure crap. Its based upon flawed ideas. It can't be manifested in a functional way. Its garbage in, Garbage out.

So eventually, like GMs cars, built with flawed, planned obsolence, eventually, the public gets wise, after the contraption breaks down, en masse.

In this case, the Republicans entrusted their delivery to a real flunky who could only make worse, what already was bad. Being a bully makes for a functional politician, but not a functionaly administrator.

The Bush administration couldn't pore piss from a boot if the instructions were written on the heel.

Posted by: Bubbles on March 26, 2007 at 2:55 AM | PERMALINK

It's gratifying to hear Novak say this, but is his observation as startling as he makes it out to be?

Republicans fancy themselves the party of individual initiative and responsibility. How can they ignore the fact that Bush is a singularly unaccomplished man? He was a mediocre student, poor Guardsman, and a failed Executive. He was debilitated by alcoholic and probably drugs for much of his life. He never learned a skill or trade. He has no remarkable interests or hobbies. His main capability is to use wealth and intimacy with the powerful to get what he wants while avoiding responsibility. Is the Republican party bankrupt, or are they just pretending that they can't see the man? Which is it, Mr. Novak?

Posted by: Sam Spade on March 26, 2007 at 2:55 AM | PERMALINK

gregor >"...These are not the acts of incompetence, but premeditated frontal assault on all that America should stand for..."

Exactly

This is the destination that Americans set course toward w/the election of Ronald Reagan & now we have "arrived". Bush Handlers, Inc. is our payoff.

Certainly one of the stupidest periods in human history.

"There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things." - Niccoló Machiavelli

Posted by: daCascadian on March 26, 2007 at 3:03 AM | PERMALINK

I don't think anyone would deny that Novakula has good sources in Republican circles. It's been he talks about Democrats that he is suspect. Molly Ivins(bless her soul), was warning us for a long time about Chimpy McFlightsuit and his crew. People ignored her warnings at their peril. Anyone with half a brain could have seen the Republics didn't give a damn about policy. Whenever they were questioned on anything, they never had a good answer, they answered every question by attacking Democrats, calling them un-american or baby killers or other 3rd grade playground taunts. Their whole idea was to run the government into the ground. Didn't Grover Norquist say that he wanted to drown the government in a bathtub? It's exactly what the Bush junta is trying to do.

Posted by: This Machine Kills Fascists on March 26, 2007 at 3:09 AM | PERMALINK

Its worth pointing out, that the last time the Republicans ruled without impunity, it ended in the Great Depression, ten years of poverty in the U.S., ushering in the rise of Adolph Hitler, World War II, and the Holocaust.

Their product is crap.

No telling what Bush's policies could lead to, but he had the opportunity to be, like Harry Truman, to lead the world in a successful ideological struggle and he pissed on the opportunity.

That the Republicans survived the Great Depression to rule another day, is a testimony to the flaws in America's political culture.

Fool us once, shame on you, fool us twice, well, maybe after being burned twice by these people, they'll go the way of all fascist movements.

Posted by: Bubbles on March 26, 2007 at 3:12 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin: "Until then, keep your seatbelts fastened."

Why would we do that -- especially when we may soon need to rush the cockpit?

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on March 26, 2007 at 3:29 AM | PERMALINK

Just as in the Nixon days, the real "I" word will not be on the table until the vice-president is removed from the line of succession.
The country as a whole is done with Bush. What is happening now that the even the elites who enabled him are starting to peel off.
Will this be an intra-elite palace coup (modern style) or will the broader failure that made Bush possible be dealt with?
The existence of blogs like this where we can talk to each other outside the elite-controlled channels will be crucial.

Posted by: Kevin Rooney on March 26, 2007 at 3:46 AM | PERMALINK

It's not that there wasn't any policy it's just that earnest folk like DiIulio who would have blown the whistle on it had to be kept as far from the true policies as possible.

Posted by: Boronx on March 26, 2007 at 3:55 AM | PERMALINK

Refresh my memory: Were there competent people serving in the Reagan administration?

Posted by: KathyF on March 26, 2007 at 4:08 AM | PERMALINK

The best word to describe Bush's ability to be in the White House is: Unqualified.

At all levels.

Wonder which company will want to hire him in the future?

Posted by: James on March 26, 2007 at 4:12 AM | PERMALINK

Stunning. Do any of you people have the ability to read for comprehension?

Novak isn't saying the DoJ is run by incompetents. He isn't saying the White House is run by incompetents. He's reporting that senior GOP leaders are saying that, and then he explains why they're lying.

The President and this administration are not incompetent. These fuckups are all the deliberate result of a concerted effort to "build out the chaos" as JMM would say. WTF do you people insist on pretending to be stupid?

Posted by: s9 on March 26, 2007 at 4:13 AM | PERMALINK

George Bush's "policy," such as it exists, is to politicize every aspect of government in an attempt to insure that Republicans win elections forever.

Bush and Rove figure that as long as Republicans control the levers of power they can eventually stumble upon solutions to the many, many problems their administrative incompetance has caused.

These people will never compromise, never admit being wrong and never surrender. They need to be replaced as soon as possible before they turn the practice of good government into a joke.

Has anyone considered the impact of this administration's extreme partisanship on the long term ability of government to attract talented civil servants? Who but partisan lickspittles will ever want to work for the government after this?

Posted by: pj in jesusland on March 26, 2007 at 4:15 AM | PERMALINK

The truest measure of a political party are the acts and deeds of the government when that party controls the legislative and executive branches (not to mention majority sway on the supreme court).

To elaborate on JimBob's excellent point, the GOP appears to have little interest in policy, truth, procedural integrity (enforcement of laws), science, or even the longterm wellbeing of the nation itself (note the 10 trillion dollar projected reversal in our federal debt, the 'global war against terrorism' not being waged against terrorists, or even competently against Iraqi insurgents, the failure to implement the 911 commission recommendations, Katrina, denying the existence of global warming, etc.). They are only concerned with their own power and self-enrichment and little if anything else.

Sadly, the Democrats squandered their time in the minority and failed to implicate the GOP as a whole as willing enablers and henchmen of this administration. Now that the GOP is no longer controlling the House and Senate, it will be much harder if not impossible to extend the blame beyond the White House.

As Bush's stock sinks, more Republicans will abandon him as a convenient scapegoat for crimes in which they all acted as willing accomplices. The opportunity to reveal the GOP for what it really is diminishes by the day.

Posted by: Augustus on March 26, 2007 at 4:25 AM | PERMALINK

If you fire law enforcement officials for blatantly political reasons, but can't convince people that you didn't just fire law enforcement officials for blatantly political reasons, that's not incompetence.

If you try to set up a flourishing liberal democracy in a deeply divided Muslim society with no history of liberalism or democracy, and don't end up with a fourishing liberal democracy, that's not incompetence.

Repeat as necessary.

Posted by: BC on March 26, 2007 at 4:28 AM | PERMALINK

Novak isn't saying the DoJ is run by incompetents. He isn't saying the White House is run by incompetents. He's reporting that senior GOP leaders are saying that, and then he explains why they're lying.

Actually he doesn't say that at all, but the boldness of that bit of misdirection is nothing compared to your next line:

The President and this administration are not incompetent. These fuckups are all the deliberate result of a concerted effort to "build out the chaos" as JMM would say.

Most trolls deny the fuckups, although in doing so they end up looking pretty pathetic. You, however, don't just admit the fuckups you embrace the fuckups. And you don't go with the usual conclusion, namely that any administration that could fuck things up so badly in so many ways must be massively incompetent. No, you take absurdity to the next level by insisting that the Bush administration is fucking up all over the place, and they know they're fucking things up, and ... they're doing it all on purpose.

Breathtaking. You've taken trollery to new heights. I salute you.

Posted by: bobb on March 26, 2007 at 5:32 AM | PERMALINK

Exactly, Blue Girl. The longest-term damage of this maladministration may be the destruction of the American people's belief that government can be a force for good. Even Reagan could not kill that legacy of FDR, and Clinton did much to restore it, but it'll be along time before anybody puts their faith in government again.

Posted by: Yellow Dog on March 26, 2007 at 5:46 AM | PERMALINK


WE TOLD YOU SO

Posted by: gore & kerry voters on March 26, 2007 at 6:03 AM | PERMALINK


John DiIulio wasnt the only one.....


Bush "was like a blind man in a room of deaf people." - Paul O'Neill - The Price of Loyalty 2004

bush and rove were "smart", they used 9-11 to THEIR advantage...

more so than osama, that's for sure...

Posted by: mr. irony on March 26, 2007 at 6:05 AM | PERMALINK

O'Hanlon's razor states that one should never impute to malice what might simply be due to incompetence. This has never been a very good rule; even in the Nixon administration there was as much bloody-minded malice as brain-dead incompetence.

The worst thing about this bunch is that it's hard to tell the difference between malice, incompetence, and batshit insanity.

Posted by: bad Jim on March 26, 2007 at 6:19 AM | PERMALINK

But doesn't incompetent government prove that small government is best?

The inherent dilemma of governing is that a small leadership team is indeed best, however there is quite a bit of governing to do, especially in a nation the size of the US.
Cut back on the governing and entropy takes over killing progress, enlarge the governing body and you get bureaucracy and lose national coherence (people love freedom).

Now, do we want to put Man on Mars or do we want to ensure that everyone can buy a new SUV every 3 years?

Posted by: OmniDane on March 26, 2007 at 6:32 AM | PERMALINK

I absolutely agree with your analysis, Kevin. But what solution are you offering? More dithering and hand-wringing for another two years? When a senior senator from the opposing party,Chuck Hagel, is talking impeachment, I think the Democrats better re-think what’s “on the table”. And here is more evidence of Karl Rove’s corruption of the workings of government.

Democrats should be focusing like a laser of impeaching Bush and Cheney and throwing lawsuit after lawsuit at Karl Rove, since he is unimpeachable. Unless they do those things, anything else is just re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. They need to take Bush, Cheney and Rove down and do it now!!!

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on March 26, 2007 at 6:52 AM | PERMALINK

Government is a complex business, and mistakes will always be made. But are you better off than you were eight years ago? Of course you are! Back then we had a president who was having an affair with an intern and lying about it!

Posted by: Al on March 26, 2007 at 6:57 AM | PERMALINK

We have a government largely unconcerned with governing, a media largely unconcerned with the news, and a public largely unconcerned with civics and voting.

I guess this is what the fall of Rome looked like, or late 19th century Russia looked like, from the inside.

"What is to be done?" -- rebuild from the ground up, on first principles, with missionary zeal. It sucks, but we have to put a big chunk of our lives aside and rebuild our communities and nation.

Posted by: Xenos on March 26, 2007 at 7:14 AM | PERMALINK

The next generation will live and die trying to rehabilitate the febrile machinations of the current regime. Not only have we lost our "soft power" worldwide, we've lost faith in ourselves--ruthlessness, power-mad lying and paranoia have become an American trademark. The great optimism of the USA has gone sour.

Posted by: TomChicago on March 26, 2007 at 7:16 AM | PERMALINK

A few Republicans blame incessant attacks from the new Democratic majority in Congress for that image.

True, Bush certainly has a alot of problems of late but of the last three scandals, only one is a Dem one.

1. Libby conviction - that was Patrick Fritzgerald
2. The Walter Reed incident - (a show case of Bush's lack of policy) that was Dana Priest and the WP.
3. And then blogger Josh Marshall nailed the "loyal Bushies" with the only policy this administrtion every really had - the single political agenda of Karl Rove to rig elections by any means necessary, no matter how illegal or unethical.


And Novak must be kidding right? George W. Bush is alone. In half a century, I have not seen a president so isolated from his own party in Congress

With all that lack of oversight???? Bush was isolated? Bush has had the GOP kissing his royal little Bushie ass every since he's been in office. AND the GOP still do this. Bush did some mighty ugly things with Republicans in complete lock step with him. The GOP didn't care that Bush had no policy, so where the hell is Novak coming from here?

Remember what David Brooks wrote about wonder why he wasn't sitting with Novak and loyal Bushies at at a baseball game in one of his columns. Novak must have gotten the blame for writing all about Ms. Plame and that supposed junkett she sent her husband on to Niger, even if that's exactly what Dick Cheney wanted from Novak, still Novak got expelled from the loyal Bushie skybox club. Novak is writing a petty and vindictive column here.

Novak may have had good sources among Republicans at one time but I seriously doubt he does anymore.

Posted by: Cheryl on March 26, 2007 at 7:18 AM | PERMALINK

When K. Rove said, "There's a lot in American politics that's up for grabs" what he meant was:

"Americans are so fucking stupid you won't believe what we can get away with."

He was more of less correct, for 6 years anyway.

Posted by: obscure on March 26, 2007 at 7:30 AM | PERMALINK

"I" word? I had a different I-word in mind when I read the headline. ROBERT NOVAK CALLS FOR THE IMPEA.........

Posted by: wren on March 26, 2007 at 7:50 AM | PERMALINK

While it is true that the country is done with this President and this administration, the country won't support impeachment. It wants Congress to provide adult supervision, force Bush to get some competent people around him and hold on for deal life until the next President is elected. His great flaw is that he never really had to govern in Texas. He rented out the job to his Lt. Governor and he couldn't do the same in Washington. Marketing is no substitute for policy. He thought Cheney and Rumsfeld could run the country for him, but those hard core Nixonites time had passed. Don't forget the role of all those think tanks that influenced so much of their policy. Too many people with great conservative ideas but no day to day hands on practical experience in government or regular people. How else can you decide their brain dead attempts to end Social Security?

Posted by: aline on March 26, 2007 at 8:06 AM | PERMALINK

> That makes competent governance impossible

The Radical Right has stated in public and consistently for more than 30 years its desire to destroy the federal government. The Radical Right strongly supported George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004.

There was never any intention to have any sort of competent government, nor is there any such intention now. The goal (which has been mostly achieved) was to dismantle the government. Along the way they found that a convenient method was to loot said government and hand the proceeds over to their friends, so they did that too. But destruction was and is the priority.

Much as it hurts me to say so, W is one of the most successful Presidents in US history /if you measure him by HIS goals upon entering office/.

Cranky

Posted by: Cranky Observer on March 26, 2007 at 8:16 AM | PERMALINK

bad Jim"The worst thing about this bunch is that it's hard to tell the difference between malice, incompetence, and batshit insanity."

So true, bad Jim, so very, very true!

I think, that ever since the loyal Bushies took the WH in 2000, with the help of the Supremes and Katherine Harris, the US has been in a kind of implicit Constitutional crisis. Our government is founded on the assumption that those who run the USA will honor the Constitution and try to run an effective government for all Americans. However, this has never been the case for Bushco. Bushco has always operated like a oligarchy: Government of the people, by the few, for the few. The Founding Fathers, who thought through so many things so carefully, made provisions in the Constitution for addressing individual malfeasance, but it never occurred to them that a group, a Party, could win an election and still have such such contempt for our Constitution, government and for the interests of all Americans.

The reason why it has taken so many people such a long time to wake up to the reality is because 1) Bushco manipulates the media so skillfully, 2) because they couldn't believe it the truth even when it was in front of their faces, and 3) because even if one knows the truth, it isn't clear what to do about it other than win the next election.

The consititutional crisis is that removing individuals from office will not stop the damage. The entire government--including the judiciary--has been corrupted and we need to clean house. It really is a Herculean task, like cleaning the Augean stables. But we have no constitutional procedures for accomplishing that, except waiting until the next election cycle.

During the Bushco years, I have come to appreciate the flexibility of a parliamentary system.In that case, the gig would have been up for the Bushies in Nov 2006.


Posted by: PTate in FR on March 26, 2007 at 8:30 AM | PERMALINK

"But the republicans we will always have with us, and unless they can transform into an actual political party instead of a criminal conspiracy, the country will be in danger if they have any chance of returning to power." jimBOB (am I the only who hears banjos playing)


Well let's see........

Republicans have won 7 of the last 10 POTUS elections and in that time America has become the most powerful country in the world, both economically and militarily. America continues to lead the world in technology innovations, medical research breakthroughs and renewable energy process's while leading recent humanitarian efforts in Indonesia, Africa and Turkey. Currently the DJIA is at an all time record high, unemployment is at record lows, GDP continues to strong growth (despite an acknowledged bloated gov't), and America is leading the effort in eradicating the recent spate of spree killers that masquerade as Muslims (despite their defenders on the left).

So I guess my opinion differs from the incessant negativity from the left.

Posted by: Jay on March 26, 2007 at 8:30 AM | PERMALINK

aline on March 26, 2007 at 8:06 AM:

Marketing is no substitute for policy.

Exactly. Every policy initiative is another campaign season; it doesn't matter if the product is any good, just that it is purchased. Once that happens, it's off to the next candida..er, policy initiative. It's what his people know.

Just how many people who worked on Dubya's 2000 and 2004 election campaigns hold places in Dubya's administration, anyway?

Too many people with great conservative ideas but no day to day hands on practical experience in government or regular people.

Not that it would matter if they had any practical experience...Ultimately, the neoconservative ideology they follow is flawed in that it is barely applicable to the real world.

Posted by: grape_crush on March 26, 2007 at 8:32 AM | PERMALINK

"The reason why it has taken so many people such a long time to wake up to the reality is because 1) Bushco manipulates the media so skillfully,....." - PTate


But I thought he was INCOMPETANT?

And do you honestly think GW manipulates Dan Rather, Katie Couric, Chris Matthews, Tim Russert, Keith Olbermann, etc.....?

Posted by: Jay on March 26, 2007 at 8:34 AM | PERMALINK

Jay on March 26, 2007 at 8:30 AM

..am I the only who hears banjos playing

Having that erotic Deliverance fantasy again, Cut-n-Run Jay?

Well let's see..

That doesn't count if you are wearing blinders.

So I guess my opinion differs from the incessant negativity from the left.

Jay's a fan of The Secret. Who knew?

Posted by: grape_crush on March 26, 2007 at 8:41 AM | PERMALINK

..."Don't forget the role of all those think tanks that influenced so much of their policy.".....
Posted by: aline on March 26, 2007 at 8:06 AM

the acronyms RICO and PNAC look so good together.

Am I dreaming?...or did Robert Novak just come back from the "Dark Side". I never thought I'd ever see him write a column like that.

We are truly living in strange days.

Posted by: tescht on March 26, 2007 at 8:41 AM | PERMALINK

Jay on March 26, 2007 at 8:34 AM:

But I thought he was INCOMPETANT?

PTate said 'Bushco' was skillfull, not Bush himself. Talk about having blinders on...

Posted by: grape_crush on March 26, 2007 at 8:45 AM | PERMALINK

Don't see how Elmore Leonard could improve on the White House Boiler Room as the Repugs have made Leonard's characters look like pikers and/or saints.

Matthews and Russert are Puppets - The Shrubians are the Puppeteers - They have a 50 week supply of soft beach balls for their Repug guests - Hardballs are only used on Dems on the other two weeks.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on March 26, 2007 at 8:48 AM | PERMALINK

But I thought he was INCOMPETANT?

I love the subtle irony of that last vowel.

Jay, as everyone else on the thread seems to realize, they're good at media manipulation, incomptetent at actually governing. Get with the program!

Posted by: Wilbur on March 26, 2007 at 8:54 AM | PERMALINK

This is PRICELESS. The following are comments from the media when Congress was looking into suspicious foreign campaign contributions. Can you guess who was President?

"Today co-host Katie Couric asked reporter Bob Woodward: “But are members of the media, do you think, Bob, too scandal-obsessed, looking for something at every corner?”

On August 1, even as the Senate moved to subpoena the White House, co-host Matt Lauer professed: “But there aren't any major storm clouds on the horizon for Bill Clinton, other than maybe Medicare reform.” Newsweek's Jonathan Alter replied: “Yeah, but of course there are these possible scandals, but when the economy is doing well, the public really doesn't seem to care much about anything else.”

On October 8, Today co-host Katie Couric framed the hearings for Sen. Arlen Specter: “Perhaps this is an intentional effort to embarrass the Democratic Party?” On the November 7 Today, NBC's Lisa Myers pressed Senator Fred Thompson: “Your hearings clearly reinforced the public's already low opinion of politicians and politics. Beyond that, what did it accomplish?”

Posted by: Jay on March 26, 2007 at 8:59 AM | PERMALINK

"...they're good at media manipulation, incompetent at actually governing. Get with the program!" - Wilbur

Oh I see........they can fool, and manipulate the media and the leaders of the Democratic Party, but are overall incompetent, right?

Well then what would that make the media and the leaders of the Democratic Party?

Gullible?

Naive?

Ignorant?

Posted by: Jay on March 26, 2007 at 9:02 AM | PERMALINK

Ah, yes, beloved Lisa Meyers of "Whitewater is Really, Really, Really a big deal. I'll have more and more and more tomorrow night. It really, really is Tom, why won't anyone believe me. I try so hard, but I'm getting a tad tired of having to eat grits every day just so America will finally understand that Whitewater is a Really, er did I already mention that"

Posted by: thethirdPaul on March 26, 2007 at 9:11 AM | PERMALINK

Incompetence and arrogance leave the door open for corruption. This explains the loss of hundreds of billions of dollars in the Bush administration adventures. Since their party benefits so much by the waste, fraud and abuse, it's a virtuous cycle. Kind of makes the "welfare queens" with their Cadillacs small change.

Posted by: NJBR on March 26, 2007 at 9:22 AM | PERMALINK

I think first of all that the Bush people don't care about anybody but themselves and their war-profiteering buddies at the Carlyle Group and at Halliburton. Second, I don't think they're entirely incompetent. It's just that the things they focus on don't help the rest of us, so they appear incompetent on those other things like governing.

They're no incompetent, they're just Evil.

Posted by: MarkH on March 26, 2007 at 9:30 AM | PERMALINK

The Bush presidency should permanently bury the idea that the president only needs to be a man of sound instincts, that he doesn't also need to be intelligent, learned, and wise. We were assured that Bush's instincts would help him sort out the proper policy from the inevitably divergent advice he'd get from his advisers.

Well, no. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No.

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on March 26, 2007 at 9:42 AM | PERMALINK

Unless he's taking baths in virgin's blood, Novakula must know that he's not much longer for this sphere--he looks like he's in the early stages of vapor lock as it is--anyway, I don't think he's too worried about burning his sources. He could do a "match" column: match the "incompetant" off-record remarks with the "all-that-is-man" on-record remarks from the same people.

Posted by: Steve Paradis on March 26, 2007 at 9:53 AM | PERMALINK

"[republicans blah blah... etc]So I guess my opinion differs from the incessant negativity from the left. "

Jay, that's exactly what they thought in 1928 too.

Posted by: Buford on March 26, 2007 at 10:20 AM | PERMALINK

Today's Repukeliscum Party is the party of looters. They can't do anything, since they are just absolutely incompetent. They can arrange the laws to steal the money from the working and middle class, and that is what they are doing.

1) The Iraq war is a huge set of transfer payments from our children to the defense contractors.

2) They have cut their own taxes, and raised taxes on the middle class. How? By increasing fees and cutting subsidies for college.

3) They have favored big business over small business.

4) The farm programs are again transfer programs of welfare from cities to rural regions.

Posted by: POed Lib on March 26, 2007 at 10:22 AM | PERMALINK

"Jay, that's exactly what they thought in 1928 too." - Buford

And things have turned out pretty well haven't they?

Compare any other country to America from 1928 to present. I'd bet that America is far and away the leader in economic development, human and civil rights, technological development, and humanitarian aid, among others.

Posted by: Jay on March 26, 2007 at 10:23 AM | PERMALINK

"4) The farm programs are again transfer programs of welfare from cities to rural regions." - POed

You might want to check the recent "war funding" legislation that Pelosi rammed through the House last week. Or as I like to call it, the Farm Subsidy/support the troops legislation. LMAO.

Posted by: Jay on March 26, 2007 at 10:25 AM | PERMALINK

Oh, please settle down, liberals.

You are safe and sound and no one has attacked you for the last five years. If this is what incompetence looks like, give me more of that!

Could it be that this administration has been working around the clock to keep the enemies of America off balance and guessing? Could there be another strategy, other than surrender and appeasement, that is working in the war on terror?

Didn't think of that, did you? Of course not. We see the derangement of liberals and we laugh. And by we, I've been instructed in the proper use of the royal "we" and we are using it properly. And when I refer to "we" I am referring to people like myself, who make up a silent majority of Americans who see all of this as a bunch of nonsense manufactured by an INCOMPETENT media and an INCOMPETENT liberal base. Really, when you think about it--where are the most virulent attacks on Speaker Nancy coming from? Oh, that's right--MoveOn.organization and Code Pinky.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on March 26, 2007 at 10:36 AM | PERMALINK

Compare any other country to America from 1928 to present. I'd bet that America is far and away the leader in economic development, human and civil rights, technological development, and humanitarian aid, among others.

Um, you'd lose that bet.

Posted by: Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland and Holland on March 26, 2007 at 10:42 AM | PERMALINK

Speaking of incompetence, what does this say about that half of the country that voted this bozo and his circle-jerk of morons a second term long after the incompetence writing was on the wall?

Posted by: ckelly on March 26, 2007 at 10:48 AM | PERMALINK

Norman,
How long was it between attacks on the WTC? Bush can't be trusted with anything, so I would put very little stock in your comments.

Posted by: This Machine Kills Fascists on March 26, 2007 at 10:50 AM | PERMALINK

Normie, be true to your ilk - Remain silent.

Ah, the refrain of Simon and Garfunkle about a certain sound.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on March 26, 2007 at 10:52 AM | PERMALINK

Even Reagan could not kill that legacy of FDR, and Clinton did much to restore it, but it'll be along time before anybody puts their faith in government again.
Posted by: Yellow Dog

'And yes, the political system has increasingly been subcontracted out, with malice aforethought, to thieves, looters, cronies, and absolute dopes. Little wonder that Americans, living through the Age of Enron, scanning the horizon from Iraq to New Orleans to Walter Reed Army Medical Center, and watching Halliburton head for Dubai, generally believe their system no longer works; that those high-school civics texts are a raging joke ....; and that, if you took to the streets of the capital, no one in either party would be paying the slightest attention.' - Tom Engelhardt

Posted by: MsNThrope on March 26, 2007 at 11:05 AM | PERMALINK

Speaking of incompetence, what does this say about that half of the country that voted this bozo and his circle-jerk of morons a second term long after the incompetence writing was on the wall?
Posted by: ckelly

That they were bought out by their tiny share of the tax cut bonanza and frankly didn't give a shit who or what had to be fucked over in the process...

'When the era of shared growth ended, so too did much of the growth: the U.S. economy slowed down and recessions were deeper, more frequent, and harder to overcome. Growth spurts that did occur left most people out: the bottom 60% of U.S. households earned only 95 cents in 2004 for every dollar they made in 1979. A quarter century of falling incomes for the vast majority, even though average household income rose by 27% in real terms. Whew!' - James M. Cypher
Who's Gorging and Who's Getting Roasted in the Economic Barbecue?
http://www.alternet.org/workplace/49374/

Posted by: MsNThrope on March 26, 2007 at 11:09 AM | PERMALINK

Did anyone see George Will on Stephanopolis? He argued that Bush should consider replacing Gonzo because he lacks the intellectual agility to successfully defend the aggressive White House positions on the prerogatives of the unitary executive. Doesn't that sound more like the job description of the WH counsel rather than the AG? So, no only has Gonzo never really changed jobs, the rightwing punditocracy never expected him to.

Posted by: tim on March 26, 2007 at 11:12 AM | PERMALINK

It's simpler than all this, really. The only way progressives can lose is if they play the bad guys' game by the bad guys' rules.

Since Nixon, Republicans have historically won on the three sides to their triangle: better on national security/law and order, better on the economy, and better managers.

Nixon's exploitive "Southern strategy" was generally pretty marginal in the sense that it helped to marginalize Democrats rather than expand the core appeal of the GOP. But it worked well complementing the big three.

Bush may have managed to BREAK all three, particularly their connections. The standard GOP strategy can't work in 2008 unless progressives play their role in it; we can't be FORCED into it this time, can we?

Consider: Reagan was famously optimistic, even funny. He played brilliantly to Carter's weaknesses, without bothering to debate the merits: "There you go again..."

Who can do that for progressives against a Republican candidate next year? Aren't we more likely to have somebody who tries to argue specifics -- and loses on vision?

Reagan was the pure model on national security/law and order; on the economy (cut taxes!); and nobody ever doubted that Reagan's management style was to let somebody competent run things.

There ain't no Jim Baker in Bush's White House, is there?

Iraq alone, not to mention 9-11 happened on Bush's watch, substantially erodes the basic presumption that Republicans are better on national security issues -- UNLESS Democrats are drawn into an argument about it.

Progressives won't want to admit it, but there is a profound alienation from Bush on law and order issues because of the immigration mess.

And every Republican candidate next year is going to try to find some symbolic way to communicate that they can, so, run the Federal government (not like SOME Presidents we know): I half-expect somebody to put a pet cat named Katrina on their campaign plane. In fact, basic competence rather than his war hero status could be Hagel's ace in the hole: the guy bet his savings on creating an enormously successful multi-national.

But, geeze, folks, arguing that Quislings and socialists and the country that gave up Anne Frank are better than us? Do you WANT to lose?

Posted by: theAmericanist on March 26, 2007 at 11:13 AM | PERMALINK

Norman,
How long was it between attacks on the WTC? Bush can't be trusted with anything, so I would put very little stock in your comments.

Seven years. But that was only because they were afraid that a strong Republican president would be elected after Clinton, so they didn't dare attack us here at home. Then after 9/11, they haven't dared attack us here at home again because we now have a strong Republican president at the helm. If they attack before Bush leaves office it will be because they think a weak Democrat president will be elected.

Do I have to tell you liberals everything?

Posted by: Moron Rogers on March 26, 2007 at 11:15 AM | PERMALINK

How long was it between attacks on the WTC? Bush can't be trusted with anything, so I would put very little stock in your comments.

You're absolutely right--Clinton had all that time to prevent 9/11 and what did he do? He caused pain in his marriage instead.

What I believe is this--liberals won't stop until George W Bush is forced to divorce his wife in order to keep defending America. Every aspect of these charges that are levelled against him is part of a plot to make him look incompetent and unable to defend America. Once liberals succeed in driving the man's wife to leave him and seek refuge in Crawford in order to avoid the same kinds of hounding that tore at President Nixon, then they'll cry out with triumph.

As many of you know, President Nixon was hounded--day and night--by screaming hippies outside of the White House. As the left wing ratchets up its attacks and starts tormenting this poor man and wife in their own home, those of us who support the President will merely tsk tsk at you and regard you with contempt.

Really. Have you no shame?

Posted by: Norman Rogers on March 26, 2007 at 11:15 AM | PERMALINK

With all the huffing and puffing about Republican incompetence, compulsive overmanager and tennis court overseer Jimmy Carter remains the single most incompetent president the Republic has suffered since James Buchanan.

Posted by: daveinboca on March 26, 2007 at 11:16 AM | PERMALINK

Government is a complex business, and mistakes will always be made. But are you better off than you were eight years ago? Of course you are! Back then we had a president who was having an affair with an intern and lying about it!
Posted by: Al

Worst. Fake. Al. Ever.

Posted by: Winda Warren Terra on March 26, 2007 at 11:18 AM | PERMALINK

'when all's said and done I think that the very first critique from the very first administration apostate is going to turn out to be the one that nailed the Bush presidency's core problem. Ladies and gentlemen, John DiIulio:'

And, Ladies and Gentlemen, Kevin Drum:

"What do we have to look forward to if George W. Bush is elected to a second term? One word: scandal.
...There are three good reasons to think that second terms naturally lend themselves to scandal, and George Bush is almost preternaturally vulnerable to every one of them. Let's count them off."

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/features/2004/0409.drum.html

It's not quite as prescient as the Onion, who with their "Bush: Our Long Nightmare of Peace and Prosperity is Over", managed, in a satirical piece, be more on the money than the entire Washington political pundocracy, but it still was a damned good call by Kevin.

Posted by: No Longer a Urinated State of America on March 26, 2007 at 11:19 AM | PERMALINK

Consider: Reagan was famously optimistic, even funny. He played brilliantly to Carter's weaknesses, without bothering to debate the merits: "There you go again..."

Yes, you're correct. And he was able to say "there you go again" because his people had stolen Carter's debate briefing book. That's why Reagan was a winner throughout history--nothing stood between him and victory.

You talk about playing "games" when, in fact, this is about defending America and beating the living hell out of our enemies. That's not a game, sir. Hence, you lose.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on March 26, 2007 at 11:20 AM | PERMALINK

To me it is all a huge rightwing conspiracy, the MSM, MIC and both parties.
The people were manipulated, the journalists knew Bush was not qualified to govern. He failed in all his endeavers, in Texas it was Bullock who ran the show. Rove, Cheney, Rumsfeld, all the Neo-cons knew he would do as told as long as he could pretend to be President and could say " I am the leader, war president, decider, I don't have to explain and I don't have to work, I can just fly around in Airforce #1"
A wise leader seeks wise councel.
The Bush people wanted power and loot the nation, and they are competent to do just that.

How powerful the Bush cabal is, the time he was AWOL for a year or two no one has ever come out and said where he was during that time. Where did he live, who knew him and spend any time with him getting drunk or doing anything, did he have dates or what did he do?

If small government is best would no government be better?

Posted by: Renate on March 26, 2007 at 11:29 AM | PERMALINK

Actually, this administration has been VERY competent at implementing its agenda: extending personal wealth, market share and Government access for a few. (Plus, making it difficult for a change in administration to reverse the effects.) They even got re-elected by marketing fear and social/religious conservatism--and then literally phoning in their support (e.g., Right to Life).

These are smart, capable people. They're just not here to govern.

Posted by: Sophie in VA on March 26, 2007 at 11:30 AM | PERMALINK

For the latest news, email archives, hearings, legal filings and other essential documents on the Bush DOJ prosecutor firings, see:
"The U.S. Attorney Scandal Documents."

Posted by: AngryOne on March 26, 2007 at 11:39 AM | PERMALINK

The Republican Congress could have undertaken extensive policy analysis. Right-wing pundits, think tanks, and scholards could have. They could have critiqued the Bush administration proposals and offered counter-proposals.

6 years of encouraging and helping incompetent governance suggests that this problem extends far beyond the Bush administration to the party as a whole. Republican party members should start thinking about that quite seriously. They should start looking to back real experts in the primary. It couldn't hurt to start addressing this.

Posted by: MDtoMN on March 26, 2007 at 11:41 AM | PERMALINK

These are smart, capable people. They're just not here to govern.
Posted by: Sophie in VA

These are at best middling smart but very, very greedy people. They're just not here to govern but to loot.

And they've done a heck of a job of it, too.

Business Week put it bluntly: "Some people will obviously have to do with less... .It will be a bitter pill for many Americans to swallow the idea of doing with less so that big business can have more." The long-range strategy was to cut workforces and their wages, scour the globe in search of cheap labor, trash the social contract and the safety net that was supposed to protect people from hardships beyond their control, deny ordinary citizens the power to sue rich corporations for malfeasance and malpractice, and eliminate the ability of government to restrain what editorialists for the Wall Street Journal admiringly call "the animal spirits of business." - Bill Moyers

Posted by: MsNThrope on March 26, 2007 at 11:47 AM | PERMALINK

Jay: On October 8, Today co-host Katie Couric framed the hearings for Sen. Arlen Specter: “Perhaps this is an intentional effort to embarrass the Democratic Party?” On the November 7 Today, NBC's Lisa Myers pressed Senator Fred Thompson: “Your hearings clearly reinforced the public's already low opinion of politicians and politics. Beyond that, what did it accomplish?”

What did it accomplish, then, Jay?

Rasmussen:

On Iraq, 50% Trust Dems, 38% Prefer GOP

President Bush's performance in Iraq is considered "poor" by 52%, an increase from 49% in February. Just 30% currently say President Bush is doing a good or excellent job in Iraq.

Thirty-nine percent (39%) of American voters believe Attorney General Alberto Gonzales should resign. A Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of 800 Likely Voters found that 31% disagree and say he should not resign . . . [and 30% are like Jay and have their heads buried in the sand or Bush's ass so far they don't know what's going on in the world.]

Posted by: Google_This on March 26, 2007 at 11:48 AM | PERMALINK

I don't think that what DiIulio reveals is really "incompetence". Its not that these people don't think policy analysis is serious business, they just don't think it is their business. They recognize their role as implementing a policy agenda crafted outside of government. Policy analysis in government, where it might become public, especially by people who haven't bought wholly into the idea of government serving only the narrow elite that this administration represents, serves only to shine unwelcome light.

This administration takes public, objective policy analysis very seriously: that is, they view it as a very serious threat, and therefore are devoted to stamping it out. They are incompetent, if at all, only in overestimating their ability to get away with that: then again, they've made it through most of their two terms, and if the idea is widely held that their problem was incompetence rather than malevolence, allowing the future election of a similarly oriented administration so long as they project, in advance, an air of competence, well, then I'm not so sure they will have overestimated anything at all.

Posted by: cmdicely on March 26, 2007 at 11:52 AM | PERMALINK

They recognize their role as implementing a policy agenda crafted outside of government. Policy analysis in government, where it might become public, especially by people who haven't bought wholly into the idea of government serving only the narrow elite that this administration represents, serves only to shine unwelcome light. - cmd

Precisely.

'By the time World War II was over, we had become the middle-class society that the baby boomers in this audience grew up in. We had become a much more equal society. That high degree of equality began to go away -- depending on exactly which numbers you look at -- during the late 70's, maybe a little earlier than that. And at this point we're basically back to pre-tax and transfer to the levels of inequality that we had in 1929.' - Paul Krugman

Posted by: MsNThrope on March 26, 2007 at 11:57 AM | PERMALINK

theAmericanist:
But, geeze, folks, arguing that Quislings and socialists and the country that gave up Anne Frank are better than us? Do you WANT to lose?

Quisling? That was 1940, bud. During the German invasion.

Anne Frank? That was 1944. One informer does not a country make.

And the Scandinavian model of social democracy was very successful in bringing peace and progress to its citizens even as the business community prospered. Only a few far-right cranks would argue against this.

If your beloved Republicans had as much concern for the US and its people as you're showing here to us poor, benighted liberals, the country might have a chance of salvaging something positive from the present travesty.

Posted by: skegmongrel on March 26, 2007 at 12:00 PM | PERMALINK

Quisling? That was 1940, bud. During the German invasion. - skegmongrel

Further Quisling (a real person BTW) did not operate in the Netherlands.

Posted by: MsNThrope on March 26, 2007 at 12:08 PM | PERMALINK

The I-word is IMPEACH.

Posted by: Extradite Rumsfeld on March 26, 2007 at 12:09 PM | PERMALINK

Purgegate: Holding a Mirror to Soviet Style Thuggery
.
A Commissariat in action:

Political appointees oversee science (FDA & global warming) in this administration.

Political appointees botch, bungle and butcher Iraq reconstruction and Katrina relief.

Political appointees are sent into the CIA executive suite for a political cleansing mission.

Political appointees set up a propaganda office in the DOD to deliberately and maliciously mislead the nation into war while refusing to plan for known obstacles ultimately leading to thousand of troop' deaths and injuries.

The hue and cry over Purgegate is that the Justice Department has traditionally been significantly and honorably immune to rank political interference. Not under our presently governing thugs.

Despoiling democracy and honor while emulating a Soviet/Communist Commissariat model government is the operational and ethical basis of Gonzalez and his handlers.

Good news. If politicizing the Justice Department finally brings out the backbones of our legislators, Republican and Democratic alike, shout hosannas. Citizens of the entire planet sincerely want the America that strives for honor, honesty and equal treatment under the law to reappear.

Craig Johnson

Labels: Bush, Cheney, commissariat, communism, gonzales, Purgegate, soviet

Posted by: craig johnson on March 26, 2007 at 12:10 PM | PERMALINK

No. It only proves that incompetent government is bad.

Yup. Why anyone would expect that people that have contempt for government in general could run a competent government is beyond me.

Posted by: Simp on March 26, 2007 at 12:11 PM | PERMALINK

The I-word is IMPEACH.
Posted by: Extradite Rumsfeld

Hear! hear!

Posted by: MsNThrope on March 26, 2007 at 12:12 PM | PERMALINK

Given Purgegate, there are inevitable comparisons between Bush and Nixon. What Novak is doing, however, is drawing an important distinction. Nixon's criminal instincts notwithstanding, government was still competent. As noted in these comments, "incompetence" under Bush is one part nihilism and another part ideological conceit. This is the end-stage of a revolution that begun with Reagan. It is finally devouring its young.

It's been a heady run for the far right. Has there ever been a period in American history where extremists seized control of the government for such an extended period?

Posted by: walt on March 26, 2007 at 12:14 PM | PERMALINK

Republicans have won 7 of the last 10 POTUS elections

There is more than a little reason to believe that is closer to 5-5.

and in that time America has become the most powerful country in the world, both economically and militarily.

I am not as optiomistic as you are about the economy, and on the military, you are flat out wrong. This administration has devastated the military and if a real threat cropped up, we would be hard pressed to deal with it, and it would take longer and cost more lives. The DoD says so. Look it up if you don't believe me. The modern Republican party has been the absolute worst thing that has ever happened to the U.S. Army and Marine Corps.


America continues to lead the world in technology innovations, medical research breakthroughs and renewable energy process's while leading recent humanitarian efforts in Indonesia, Africa and Turkey.

What innovations would you be referring to? Would you mind citing the statistics for relief spending? Since you brought it up, it is incumbent upon you to back up your assertions.

Currently the DJIA is at an all time record high,

After losing ground immediately after Bush took office and recovering to the Clinton-era levels within the last six months or so.

So I guess my opinion differs from the incessant negativity from the left.

Proving that you are either uneducable or insane.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C) on March 26, 2007 at 12:17 PM | PERMALINK

Has there ever been a period in American history where extremists seized control of the government for such an extended period?
Posted by: walt

Reconstruction and its aftermath. aka 'The Gilded Age'. aka 'the Great Barbeque' as Sam Clements named it.

Posted by: MsNThrope on March 26, 2007 at 12:18 PM | PERMALINK

Purgegate: Holding a Mirror to Soviet Style Thuggery

Been saying for ages that I didn't spent my entire fucking life locked in an ideological struggle against authoritarianism just to sit idly by while an even worse version took over here at home.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C) on March 26, 2007 at 12:20 PM | PERMALINK

So I guess my opinion differs from the incessant negativity from the left.

Proving that you are either ineducable or insane.
Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State

Both.

(fixed a little oopsie for you, babe.)

Posted by: MsNThrope on March 26, 2007 at 12:21 PM | PERMALINK

The US is a declining power for some time and rightwing policies has a lot to do with it.
Every Democrat had to feel pressure from the right and the MIC. The nations wealth was wasted on more than enough military hardware, we produced enough nuclear weapons to destroy the planet several times over and still they want more. How insane.

Posted by: Renate on March 26, 2007 at 12:25 PM | PERMALINK

These people will never compromise, never admit being wrong and never surrender. They need to be replaced as soon as possible before they turn the practice of good government into a joke.
Posted by: pj in jesusland on March 26, 2007 at 4:15 AM

Yes, but there is a whole other set right behind these ones, talking and believing the same garbage these ones do.
Limbaugh, O'Reilly and Mouthpieces have puked their version of twisted Republican mantra all over the airwaves of America, enflaming scads of up and coming GOP generations. Who counters these brainwash terrorists so that our young people can see both sides of the political coin?

Posted by: Zit on March 26, 2007 at 12:26 PM | PERMALINK

The deluge of brain-death twitterings here by left-wing trash talkers reveals their witless illiteracy.

Posted by: daveinboca on March 26, 2007 at 12:35 PM | PERMALINK

what does this say about that half of the country that voted this bozo and his circle-jerk of morons a second term long after the incompetence writing was on the wall?

They get a free pass. The real villians are those couple of people who voted for Nader. They went against the DLC, so the Naderites are the most dangersous threat to the American Way and must be ostracized with all of the political hate Democratic moderates can muster.

Posted by: Brojo on March 26, 2007 at 12:36 PM | PERMALINK


"The root of all evil truly is money, especially in politics. We can't any longer exist as a democracy unless we come to grips with that problem and we unite as a people and stop it." Ronnie Earle

Posted by: MsNThrope on March 26, 2007 at 12:37 PM | PERMALINK

"...In half a century, I have not seen a president so isolated from his own party in Congress..."

Ah! So that is why they have all been voting against him!

..oh..wait...

Posted by: Frank Wilhoit on March 26, 2007 at 12:40 PM | PERMALINK

The deluge of brain-death twitterings here by left-wing trash talkers reveals their witless illiteracy.
Posted by: daveinboca

Boca Raton means 'Mouth of the Rat' in Spanish. Nuff said.

Posted by: MsNThrope on March 26, 2007 at 12:40 PM | PERMALINK

I think that JimBob way upthread really nails the issue.

Just to add my own two cents to his comments, there's no reason in the world to believe that Bush did anything more than to select the best and the brightest among Conservative "policy wonks" (a term I can only employ here with scare quotes) when he populated his administration. We heard no complaints whatever from the Conservative movement when Bush took office that they had been in any way overlooked when it came to filling the ranks of the Bush administration. All the evidence is that there was a steady, frictionless movement back and forth between the Conservative "think tanks" and other "intellectual" institutions on the one side, and the Bush adminstration on the other.

The point is, this really was their best possible shot at turning their ideology into a set of governing institutions. No stone seemed to be unturned in the effort to bring about a strictly Conservative government. They spent 40 years putting together a movement, defining and refining their ideology and principles of governance, and this sad story is all they have to tell.

And if you need still further evidence that this was their best possible effort, consider how little real criticism the Conservative movement has been able to muster up toward the Bush administration, even in its current state of extreme unpopularity and disgrace. What little they have been able to say has been unfocused and inconsistent, one Conservative saying the Bush adminstration went to far in one direction, another asserting that it went to far in the other.

As I've said, the Bush administration is really the reductio ad absurdum of the Conservative movement.

Our job is to make sure that the American people neve forget it.

Posted by: frankly0 on March 26, 2007 at 12:47 PM | PERMALINK

neve = never

duh.

Posted by: frankly0 on March 26, 2007 at 12:48 PM | PERMALINK

The deluge of brain-death twitterings here by left-wing trash talkers reveals their witless illiteracy.

Do elaborate, Dave. Explain this statement. Make this *illiterate liberal* understand how this is all much ado about nothing. I await your sage imparting of wisdom.

Just make sure to use fresh ideas because the stale, debunked ones have been deleted lately.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C) on March 26, 2007 at 12:52 PM | PERMALINK

Conservative "policy wonks" = lobbyists

Posted by: MsNThrope on March 26, 2007 at 12:55 PM | PERMALINK

hey norm...

in between the 2-wtc bombings....(8.5-years)

the #1 killer of americans by terror was...

timothy mcveigh...

by 3-to-1 margin...

mcveigh is dead...

osama?

well....after 2-invasions....3200-dead american soldiers....tens of thousands of innocent iraqi's dead....and 419-billion spent...and counting...


U.S. spy chief says Bin Laden in Pakistan - United Press International 2/28/2007

gwb...that's one heck of a job....

Posted by: mr. irony on March 26, 2007 at 12:56 PM | PERMALINK

It's been obvious since long before he was elected that George Bush was a lightweight. Then came Paul O'Neill's book that confirmed it. After all O'Neill was a renowned professional manager. Then despite mountains of evidence he was re-elected, how anyone who watched that first debate could vote for this buffoon is beyond me, but they did, which just demonstrates that emotion is more powerful than rationality. Finally, the light bulb seems to have come on and it's obvious he has lost the country. The only good news to come out of all this is that he seems to have taken the Republican party with him if you look at the latest poll from Pew.

Posted by: John on March 26, 2007 at 1:27 PM | PERMALINK

mcveigh is dead...

That's right--put to death by...

drumroll, please...

June 11, 2001 during the Bush Administration.

Clinton--things happen, nothing gets done about it.

Bush--things happen, entire countries are destroyed, governments toppled, democracy is brought to people and the purveyors of death and destruction are either hanged or die by lethal injection.

Clinton--smarminess and triangulation
Bush--results and prosperity

When are you liberals going to learn? The world has always hated us. There has never been a time in our history when the world, as a community, ever sat back and admired us or approved of us. You say that the standing of the US in the world is low right now? When has it ever been high? American foreign policy is predicated on the notion that the world is always going to disapprove of us, so grow up. We make moves, we make a few mistakes and break a few eggs here and there, but one thing you cannot escape--

--we haven't been attacked since 9/11, now have we?

You're very, very welcome.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on March 26, 2007 at 1:28 PM | PERMALINK


davefromboca:Jimmy Carter remains the single most incompetent president the Republic has suffered since James Buchanan.


try using this criteria...

dead americans from terror and record debt....

those two allow gwb to stand alone...

heck of a job...

Posted by: mr irony on March 26, 2007 at 1:36 PM | PERMALINK

Clinton--things happen, nothing gets done about it.

Well, except for the capture, conviction and sentencing nothing got done.

Bushco had the easy part. All they had to do was buy a couple of pints of ice cream and drop a line in his ac vein...

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on March 26, 2007 at 1:40 PM | PERMALINK

Bush--results and prosperity

Results that include: A housing bubble that might take down the entire economy and a decimated military that could not respond to a real threat. An officer corps that is depleted of leadership, and you don't find Bird Colonels at the mall recruiting center, you know. A Justice department that has been turned into a political arm of the RNC...

We can do this all day. Do we need to?

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on March 26, 2007 at 1:43 PM | PERMALINK

>"And things have turned out pretty well haven't they?" [since 1928]

Wow. Jay, do you know history at all? The crash of '29 and the great depression financially destroyed millions of Americans and lasted more than a decade. Ever hear of that? Study it in school at all?

The voters had enough of Republicans at that point and subsequent Democratic regimes under FDR and the 'New Deal' patched things up a bit. In reality the depression really lasted until massive WWII spending came along to rescue the economy.

If that's your definiton of 'pretty well'... I really dunno what to say.

Oddly, the periods of greatest general prosperity and growth you were all under a Democratic congress.

Under a Republican congress we have pretty much reverted right back to good old days of 1928... so here we go again. Historically depressions are repeated when the generation that remembered the last one passes on... which is right about now.

Posted by: Buford on March 26, 2007 at 1:46 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely: I don't think that what DiIulio reveals is really "incompetence". Its not that these people don't think policy analysis is serious business, they just don't think it is their business. They recognize their role as implementing a policy agenda crafted outside of government. Policy analysis in government, where it might become public, especially by people who haven't bought wholly into the idea of government serving only the narrow elite that this administration represents, serves only to shine unwelcome light.

The administration (and by and large the GOP by extension, at least its current leadership) operates on faith-based beliefs that come pre-programmed.

There is no need for policy analysis because everything has already been decided in their collective minds.

Thus, their only job is to implement government consistently with those beliefs, no matter what evidence to the contrary is presented and no matter how many times those beliefs prove to be unfounded through failure to achieve the anticipated results.

If the beliefs don't succeed in producing the anticipated results, it is not the beliefs that are wrong, it is the result of some outside evil force (Democrats, liberals, communists, Islamic extremists, the axis of evil, etc.).

That is why the current leaders of conservative philosophy are suffused with denial, dishonesty, defamation, deceit, and dishonor and why the government is being entirely controlled by party hacks without reference to policymakers, philosophers, scientists, or other experts.

It is also why conservatives consistently ridicule experts: objective analysis by people who study a particular field interferes with a faith-based belief system where all are already known. In other words, if those experts are producing new answers, then they must be wrong and concurrently, experts aren't needed because all answers are already known and all issues decided.

Incompetence is merely a reflection of this paradigm of belief over fact - no one who is not open to learning, to new information, or to new ways of thinking will be able to effectively respond to a world that is both real and ever-changing.

The dishonestly and lack of integrity in the administration is simply a reflection of the desperate need to deny anything that conflicts with the pre-ordained set of beliefs and to act in such a way as to prevent the successful dispersion of truth that would undermine their ability to sell their philosophical snake oil.

Posted by: Google_This on March 26, 2007 at 1:55 PM | PERMALINK

buford...good points...


consider in history...

how many times have the gop won control of congress in the last 100-years....

a handful of times...

and...

they always blow it...

in a relatively short time too..

go figure...

Posted by: mr. irony on March 26, 2007 at 1:57 PM | PERMALINK

Currently the DJIA is at an all time record high..

That's so true.

The DJIA has returned a whopping 2.8% annually since GWB took office.

Everyone should invest in the DJIA based index funds.

Posted by: gregor on March 26, 2007 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

Under a Republican congress we have pretty much reverted right back to good old days of 1928... so here we go again. Historically depressions are repeated when the generation that remembered the last one passes on... which is right about now.
Posted by: Buford

Give that man a cigar.

'If you had asked me what I think actually will happen -- and again, I cannot foresee the future -- the economic news encourages me in this thought. I believe we will stagger along under the façade of constitutional government until we're overtaken by bankruptcy. Bankruptcy will not mean the literal end of the United States, any more than it did for Germany in 1923, or China in 1948, or Argentina just a few years ago, for 2001 and 2002.

But it would mean a catastrophic shake up of the society, which could conceivably usher in revolution, given the interests that would be damaged in this. It would mean virtually the disappearance of all American influence in international affairs. The rest of the world would be greatly affected, but it would begin to overcome it. We probably would not.' - Chalmers Johnson

Posted by: MsNThrope on March 26, 2007 at 2:00 PM | PERMALINK

Incompetence is a facile complaint. They have been competent at undermining environmental protections, the FDA, the FCC, the tobacco settlement, FERC, just about every federal agency has had its agenda modified, shortcircuited, and altered to serve the industries that they were supposed to regulate.

Their handling of the media is easy for them. Drudge and Fox set the story and tone, the rest follow like obedient little serfs claiming that if they don't, they will have no access. In fact, the corporatist media is the main supporter of the Republican agenda: tax cuts and high profits.

They are also competent at promoting the evangelical agenda, funneling money to churches that in turn promoted Republican candidates and agenda. Of course, they refuse to deliver on some crucial issues, but to do so would end the evangelical passion and involvement.

The incompetence charge has become overwhelming only after Katrina policy only produced photo-ops and finally, the people awoke to the fiasco that is Iraq.

If it were not for the elections of 2008, the Republicans would still be defending Bush, but they saw that voter disgust in '06 was sufficient to overcome their inherent electoral advantages.

…So I guess my opinion differs from the incessant negativity from the left. Jay at 8:30 AM
You're entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts. Back to school for you.
nd do you honestly think GW manipulates Dan Rather, Katie Couric, Chris Matthews, Tim Russert, Keith Olbermann, etc.....?Jay at 8:34 AM
Olbermann, no; but even Rather has complained about the lack of spine in the American media.
And things have turned out pretty well haven't they?…Jay at 10:23 AM
Thanks to the social policies of FDR, Truman, LBJ and the efforts of Democrats
…for the last five years. If this is what incompetence looks like, give me more of that!… Norman Rogers at 10:36 AM
Since Clinton protected American for a longer period until your precious decided to ignore all warning for his neo-con agenda, your confidence is obviously misplaced. The third string has antsy panties today.
and beating the living hell out of our enemies… Norman Rogers at 11:20 AM
In Xanadu did Osama bin Laden A stately pleasure-dome decree : Where Alph, the sacred river, ran Through caverns measureless to man Down to a sunless sea. So twice five miles of fertile ground With walls and towers were girdled round : And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills, Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree ; And here were forests ancient as the hills, Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.... Yep, old bin Laden is sure sufferin' from the ass-whopping Bush failed to give him.
…The world has always hated us. … Norman Rogersat 1:28 PM
Nope, not till your precious spat in their face and shat on their place. Posted by: Mike on March 26, 2007 at 2:00 PM | PERMALINK

Norman "Bates" Rogers: There has never been a time in our history when the world, as a community, ever sat back and admired us or approved of us.

There was right after 9/11, but then Bush blew it by accusing the wrong people, attacking the wrong people, belittling those people who were right about Iraq, including his own secretary of state and his own generals, torturing innocent people, incarcerating innocent people, spying on innocent people, and defrauding Americans of their right to vote, showing the entire world that his statements about democracy were hollow and full of deceit.

Posted by: anonymous on March 26, 2007 at 2:05 PM | PERMALINK

…The world has always hated us. … Norman Rogers [brilliantly posted this] at 1:28 PM

Nope, not till your precious spat in their face and shat on their place.

Bwah hah hah hah hah! Yes, the world was just enthralled with us and offered to buy us drinks and give us a foot massage, yes? What about all of that international opposition to the US invasion of Afghanistan? What about the continuing denunciations of the US for supporting the right of Israel to exist? What about all of that vicious and hateful bile directed against this country by virtually every single major power in this world for deciding to fight terrorism rather than surrender to it and appease it?

You are deluded if you think this country has ever been safe, secure and well liked. You can select any era in American History you wish to select--we have always been denigrated, disrespected and deplored. Moron!

There was right after 9/11, but then Bush blew it by accusing the wrong people, attacking the wrong people, belittling those people who were right about Iraq, including his own secretary of state and his own generals, torturing innocent people, incarcerating innocent people, spying on innocent people, and defrauding Americans of their right to vote, showing the entire world that his statements about democracy were hollow and full of deceit.

Excuse me? Right after 9/11 we invaded Afghanistan. 18 months after 9/11, we disarmed Saddam Hussein. Figure out the difference and get back to us.

This nation has the right to defend itself, despite what liberals want to believe. Boo hoo, liberals! Boo hoo! George W Bush is still your President and you are still paying him a nice salary. A pity you can't be more gracious about the safety he has worked tirelessly to provide you.

Boo hoo!

Posted by: Norman Rogers on March 26, 2007 at 2:12 PM | PERMALINK

While it is true that the country is done with this President and this administration, the country won't support impeachment. It wants Congress to provide adult supervision, force Bush to get some competent people around him and hold on for deal life until the next President is elected. His great flaw is that he never really had to govern in Texas. He rented out the job to his Lt. Governor and he couldn't do the same in Washington. Marketing is no substitute for policy. He thought Cheney and Rumsfeld could run the country for him, but those hard core Nixonites time had passed. Don't forget the role of all those think tanks that influenced so much of their policy. Too many people with great conservative ideas but no day to day hands on practical experience in government or regular people. How else can you decide their brain dead attempts to end Social Security?
Posted by: aline on March 26, 2007 at 8:06 AM

I recall Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., talking about how many successful companies have been run well by a good CEO/COO team. The former does all the handshaking, schmoozing, and speechmaking-the latter is the "nuts and bolts guy". I don't think that W excels as a speechmaker nor does Cheney excel as an operations genius. The phenomena we are seeing now is the marketing exec (Karl) scoring all the touchdowns... but the touchdowns are empty PowerPoint victories in the end-especially for the public.

Posted by: Doc at the Radar Station on March 26, 2007 at 2:14 PM | PERMALINK

*offers mike a 'high five'*

Uncle Normie: Please tell us more about the chicken suit.

Posted by: MsNThrope on March 26, 2007 at 2:16 PM | PERMALINK

Norman said:

"When are you liberals going to learn? The world has always hated us. There has never been a time in our history when the world, as a community, ever sat back and admired us or approved of us. You say that the standing of the US in the world is low right now? When has it ever been high? American foreign policy is predicated on the notion that the world is always going to disapprove of us, so grow up. We make moves, we make a few mistakes and break a few eggs here and there, but one thing you cannot escape--"

I usually lurk rather than posting, but I cannot let this LIE go unchallenged.

A personal anecdote first. In 1988 the choir I sing with, the Arizona Repertory Singers, toured in Hungary and Yugoslavia. We participated in a choral competition in honor of Bela Bartok, held every two years in Debrecen, Hungary, east of Budapest.

The competition is kicked off with a huge parade, in which all the choristers march. The choruses from other countries are first, arranged alphabetically by country, using English names. Then the Hungarian choruses follow, arranged alphabetically by city and then by name of chorus.

The United States choruses followed the Soviet Union choruses. Since our name starts with A, we were the first of the U.S. choruses.

The citizens of Debrecen lined the streets with banners and flags. The Soviet Union choruses were greated with silence or polite scattered applause. Then we came along. The crowd went bananas. Stomping, screaming, clapping, yelling, flag-waving. Shouts of "Amerikai! Amerikai!"

We were also given extremely cordial welcomes all throughout Hungary, and in 1988, it was considered very "IN" to wear American clothing, listen to American TV and music, etc., etc. Any Hungarians who could speak some English hung out with us and questioned us eagerly on our way of life and what they could do to imitate it.

End personal. I remind Norman that we indeed WERE greeted with flowers and candy at the end of WWII. I would also add that the single best thing this country has done, from a diplomatic standpoint, was the Marshall Plan.

When 9-11 occured, the FRENCH, those "despicable surrender monkeys", were carrying banners with the message "Nous sommes Americains". The Germans' message was in the first person rather than the third, "Ich bin ein Amerikan". Sympathy and offers of support came from all over the world, including from many many Muslims (those dancing in the street were in the minority).

Norman, I feel sorry for you. If you are accurately representing yourself on this board, you are clearly suffering from paranoia and delusions of grandeur. I suggest you seek medical help.

Posted by: Wolfdaughter on March 26, 2007 at 2:22 PM | PERMALINK

Norman "Bates": Right after 9/11 we invaded Afghanistan. 18 months after 9/11, we disarmed Saddam Hussein. Figure out the difference and get back to us.

Still no capture of bin Laden.

Afghanistan still not under control.

The Taliban still not defeated.

Al Queda still operating all over the world.

America mired in Iraq whereas most of the terrorists are elsewhere.

Posted by: anonymous on March 26, 2007 at 2:28 PM | PERMALINK

This nation has the right to defend itself, despite what liberals want to believe. Boo hoo, liberals! Boo hoo! George W Bush is still your President and you are still paying him a nice salary. A pity you can't be more gracious about the safety he has worked tirelessly to provide you.
Boo hoo!
Posted by: Norman Rogers on March 26, 2007 at 2:12 PM | PERMALINK

You dumb ass Republicans and your dumber ass President are a bunch or pro Iranian taitors. You numb nuts have put Iran on top in the middle east, have rebuilt the Taliban in Pakistan and have grown Al Quaeda in Iraq.

GOOD WORK YOU RIGHT WING MORONS NOW WATCH AS WE KICK YOUR GOD DAMN CORRUPT ASSES OUT OF OFFICE. WE'RE COMING TO CRUSH YOU, YOU CLOSET CASE FAGGOT REPUBLICAN MOTHERFUCKERS.

Don't cry too much Norman, you big pussy, I hate to see a fat man cry.

Posted by: Nemesis on March 26, 2007 at 2:28 PM | PERMALINK

Wolfdaughter,

Wow. You got to hang out with a bunch of choir nerds.

Too bad I was making money and working at the time; doubtless my experiences building wealth and having countless foreign businessmen denigrate my country went sailing past my head, unnoticed. And at the time I dealt with Europeans, Asians and Latin Americans who were movers and shakers, men of substance, who were trying to find a way into the US Securities marketplace.

I say trying, but the fact of the matter is, they were desperate to buy anything American and while they were desperately trying to buy American, all I ever heard was how crap-tacular this country was. The Germans still hate us for burning their country to the ground, killing a third of their men, and making them follow Konrad Adenauer.

Boo hoo to you, too.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on March 26, 2007 at 2:29 PM | PERMALINK

Come on, folks.

Norman is a parody troll. Spar with him if you must, but don't make the mistake of taking him seriously.

Posted by: Disputo on March 26, 2007 at 2:31 PM | PERMALINK

You dumb ass Republicans and your dumber ass President are a bunch or pro Iranian taitors. You numb nuts have put Iran on top in the middle east, have rebuilt the Taliban in Pakistan and have grown Al Quaeda in Iraq.
GOOD WORK YOU RIGHT WING MORONS NOW WATCH AS WE KICK YOUR GOD DAMN CORRUPT ASSES OUT OF OFFICE. WE'RE COMING TO CRUSH YOU, YOU CLOSET CASE FAGGOT REPUBLICAN MOTHERFUCKERS.
Don't cry too much Norman, you big pussy, I hate to see a fat man cry.

No derangement there. And I'm the one who is supposed to seek medical help? Hello, the person suffering from Tourette's Syndrome obviously needs to be sedated and taken to a half-way house.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on March 26, 2007 at 2:32 PM | PERMALINK

Chicken suit! Even Russian judges gave chicken suit a 5.6.

Posted by: MsNThrope on March 26, 2007 at 2:37 PM | PERMALINK

Norman is a parody troll. Spar with him if you must, but don't make the mistake of taking him seriously.

Yes, of course I am. It wouldn't have anything to do with the fact that I'm right, would it? Of course not. Polite little echo chamber that we have here, yes? When the Republican shows up and highlights what's wrong with the Democrats, he MUST be a parody, right? Because normally the "wingnuts" have their rear-ends handed back to them, right?

Well, I'm still carrying mine around. And I weigh all of 185lbs soaking wet, children. I'm tall, slender, and I have silver hair and a thirst for life. Deal with it.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on March 26, 2007 at 2:40 PM | PERMALINK

Norman Rogers:
This nation has the right to defend itself, despite what liberals want to believe.

The dead-enders always say shit like this as if the rest of us ever denied it.

What we (liberals, if you must) ARE saying is that this admin puts on a great show of defending America even as the country gets obviously weaker. And what good is keeping this country safe if you're just sending soldiers off to die in another country's civil war? Don't these men and women deserve the right to wise and prudent leadership in return for their offer of service?

Anyway, what I see in you is a nihilistic fabricator who doesn't believe what he's spewing but who's a little too addicted to baiting liberals.

You can always change your handle and start posting as a decent, rational person. That's the beauty of an anonymous forum.

Posted by: skegmongrel on March 26, 2007 at 2:41 PM | PERMALINK
No derangement there…Norman Rogers at 2:32 PM
That's read like an assemblage of your quotes, and no, the US was well respected and admired during the Clinton Administration, immediately after 9-11 and for most of its history. American science, technology, arts and culture are predominant throughout the world. You can repeat your BS ad infinitum, but you can't make it true. So much for finding truth and love up the rosy red rectum of your precious. Posted by: Mike on March 26, 2007 at 2:42 PM | PERMALINK

The phenomena we are seeing now is the marketing exec (Karl) scoring all the touchdowns... but the touchdowns are empty PowerPoint victories in the end-especially for the public.
Posted by: Doc at the Radar Station

Yep. Doc, I like your style.

"The water won't clear up 'til we get the hogs out of the creek." -- Jim Hightower

Posted by: MsNThrope on March 26, 2007 at 2:43 PM | PERMALINK

That's read like an assemblage of your quotes, and no, the US was well respected and admired during the Clinton Administration, immediately after 9-11 and for most of its history. American science, technology, arts and culture are predominant throughout the world. You can repeat your BS ad infinitum, but you can't make it true. So much for finding truth and love up the rosy red rectum of your precious.

Bwah! It only takes a minute to blow your silliness right out of the water!

Thomas Friedman...

On August 11, 1998, Friedman issued a bitter denunciation of the Clinton administration. “In the wake of the US embassy bombings in East Africa, the White House kept putting out the same sound bite on every network: An unnamed senior official was quoted as saying, ‘We will not forgive and we will not forget.’ That is a noble sentiment. There is only one problem. If you look at the Clinton Administration’s foreign policy over the past two years, there has been a consistent pattern of forgiving and forgetting.

Chomsky:

Chomsky: The Clinton administration is exactly like its predecessors in that respect. With regard to markets, the U.S., and the west generally has generally had kind of a double edged stand. It would very much like to impose market discipline on the third world, because that will make it much easier to rob them. In a market situation, the rich and powerful win out. On the other hand, no developed country, certainly not the United States would accept market discipline at home. Every developed society, beginning with England in the 18th century, and up to the east Asian tigers today, and crucially including us, has gotten that way by radically violating market principles, and stays that way by doing exactly the same. The Reagan administration, for example, was one of the most protectionist in recent American history, and in fact James Baker, when he was secretary of the Treasury, took pains to announce quite proudly (to the business community, of course, not to the public) that the Reagan administration had been more protectionist than any in the past 50 years. This was quite accurate, and that remains the case. So, markets are great for them, because it makes it easier to rob them, but we'll violate the market principles as we like. and in fact part of the new Clinton program in this rash of speeches and panels and so on that came out in the last week of September coordinated was in fact an international economic policy which announced what they called a New Export strategy that would violate the GATT rules, the international trade agreement. It would violate them more radically than the Reaganites had done and they said so pretty straight. this would include new GATT violating subsidies through the export-import bank for purchase of U.S. goods, of course in violation of GATT as they always have been, and new subsidies for purchases of U.S. goods, and so forth and so on. Of course, they said we're opposed to the policies we're implementing, because they're interfering with the market, but then comes the usual apologia that by violating these principles we'll be in a better position to stop others from violating them. That's the standard "War means Peace" line, straight out of Orwell. As far as democracy's concerned, the Clinton administration is at one with its predecessors in being in favor of a certain form of democracy.

The Atlantic - Bystanders to Genocide

During the entire three months of the genocide Clinton never assembled his top policy advisers to discuss the killings. Anthony Lake likewise never gathered the "principals"—the Cabinet-level members of the foreign-policy team. Rwanda was never thought to warrant its own top-level meeting. When the subject came up, it did so along with, and subordinate to, discussions of Somalia, Haiti, and Bosnia. Whereas these crises involved U.S. personnel and stirred some public interest, Rwanda generated no sense of urgency and could safely be avoided by Clinton at no political cost. The editorial boards of the major American newspapers discouraged U.S. intervention during the genocide. They, like the Administration, lamented the killings but believed, in the words of an April 17 Washington Post editorial, "The United States has no recognizable national interest in taking a role, certainly not a leading role." Capitol Hill was quiet. Some in Congress were glad to be free of the expense of another flawed UN mission. Others, including a few members of the Africa subcommittees and the Congressional Black Caucus, eventually appealed tamely for the United States to play a role in ending the violence—but again, they did not dare urge U.S. involvement on the ground, and they did not kick up a public fuss. Members of Congress weren't hearing from their constituents. Pat Schroeder, of Colorado, said on April 30, "There are some groups terribly concerned about the gorillas ... But—it sounds terrible—people just don't know what can be done about the people." Randall Robinson, of the nongovernmental organization TransAfrica, was preoccupied, staging a hunger strike to protest the U.S. repatriation of Haitian refugees. Human Rights Watch supplied exemplary intelligence and established important one-on-one contacts in the Administration, but the organization lacks a grassroots base from which to mobilize a broader segment of American society.

Bill Clinton takes a shot at Saddam, 1998:

US hopes that its high-tech missiles would either kill Saddam Hussein or shatter his security forces and undermine his regime were dashed when the Iraqi strongman emerged apparently unscathed and defiant. The circumstances surrounding the assault, moreover, undermined the pretense that Washington was merely carrying out the will of the "world community." The US and Britain acted in open defiance of the majority on the UN Security Council. The flagrant collusion between chief weapons inspector Richard Butler and the Clinton administration provided proof of UNSCOM's role as an appendage of the US State Department and the CIA.

The air war intensified the divisions between the major powers over US policy in the Persian Gulf. Russia and China immediately denounced the bombing campaign. Yeltsin recalled Russia's ambassadors to the US and Britain for several days--something that never occurred during the Cold War--and placed its naval forces on military alert. France called for the lifting of the oil embargo against Iraq, and joined with Russia and China in demanding the sacking of Richard Butler.

Bwah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah {cough} hah hah hah hah hah hah

Poor Mike--destroyed yet again!

Posted by: Norman Rogers on March 26, 2007 at 2:52 PM | PERMALINK

You can always change your handle and start posting as a decent, rational person. That's the beauty of an anonymous forum.

No thanks, Bob.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on March 26, 2007 at 3:03 PM | PERMALINK

It's silly to know what you're talking about 'round here, but fwiw: ""Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland and Holland" posted to refute the idea that the United States has done better than any other country "since 1928" on stuff like human and civil rights (what's the diff, btw?), economic growth, technological advances, etc.

So I concluded a longer post about how Bush has disconnected the infrastructure that has held together Republican political success (which pointed out that the only way progressives can lose is if we sorta re-solder the sucker for 'em), by noting that y'all are trying to do just that: "arguing that Quislings and socialists and the country that gave up Anne Frank are better than us? Do you WANT to lose?"

Now, observe a typical reaction to this common sense: Skeg objects that Quisling was during the German invasion. In 1940.

Which, as it happens, is between 1928 and now; and Quisling was a Norwegian, one of the country's named. So this knucklehead points to two PROOFS of what I said, as if they're contrary facts.

That's as good a f'r instance of what's wrong with progressives as any. If you can't make distinctions (like the one between supporting and contrary evidence), you cannot make sense.

But he goes on, that Anne Frank was merely betrayed, 'one informer does not a nation make'.

Oy, ye Gods and little fishes.

First, as a matter of practical fact, NO NATION IN THE HISTORY OF THE PLANET has ever done more for humanity than the United States to the present time, since 1928, or any other year you can name. This may seem like a qualititative and thus arguable statement, but it is fairly easily quantified: without us, the dictatorships would almost certainly have won the Second World War. It was Eleanor Roosevelt, more than any other person, who insisted that the UN be founded in human rights. Without us, it is unlikely that Communism would have collapsed.

Those feats alone, for which the United States earns the largest share of the credit, prove the claim.

Consider the rest -- what nation has had a tenth the positive economic impact of the United States, starting any time you like?

We are by far the world's largest economy, and we share our wealth. More people prosper in their own nations BECAUSE we buy and sell with them: is this not so?

Does it not compare favorably in scale with Sweden, or Norway, or Denmark, or Holland?

So WTF are you bitching about?

Innovation? There isn't even a second place to us -- and last I looked, Linus Torvalds came HERE first chance he got, dude.

Whaddaya think the odds are that Bill Gates wanted to move to... Scandinavia, as a teen?

To remake the same point: Bush has utterly screwed up the basic structure of Republican/conservative political support in the U.S. Any competent alternative should blow these guys away; the electorate is that eager for progress.

Unfortunately, Bush's principal political opponents are progressives in general, and Democrats in particular, whose kneejerk stupidity (defending Norway against the observation that Quisling was Norwegian?) and reflexive opposition to the most elementary patriotism simply beggars speech.


Posted by: theAmericanist on March 26, 2007 at 3:17 PM | PERMALINK

When the Republican shows up and highlights what's wrong with the Democrats, he MUST be a parody, right?

No, but when a "Republican" highlights what is wrong with the Democrats by quoting Chomsky arguing that Clinton is to the right of Reagan, he is most definitely a parody.

Nice touch, btw, but you should tone it down if you don't want to appear so obvious.

Posted by: Disputo on March 26, 2007 at 3:18 PM | PERMALINK

bobb writes: " No, you take absurdity to the next level by insisting that the Bush administration is fucking up all over the place, and they know they're fucking things up, and ... they're doing it all on purpose."

I know it sounds absurd. It also happens to be the simplest explanation for the phenomenon under observations. Science, bitches— it works. You should try it sometime.

Posted by: s9 on March 26, 2007 at 3:21 PM | PERMALINK

Not much argument from me on your post, Paul, but I will attempt to answer the question you posed at the top: on stuff like human and civil rights (what's the diff, btw?)

I personally see human rights as flowing from, or an extension of, civil rights. (If you want, I can elaborate on that after class, but I kinda hope you don't as I have homework tonight...)

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C) on March 26, 2007 at 3:23 PM | PERMALINK
Poor Mike--destroyed yet again! Norman Rogers at 2:52 PM
You could check with a pollster like Pew Global Attitudes Project,

…But there is worse news. In the past, while Europeans, Asians and Arabs might have disliked American policies or specific U.S. leaders, they liked and admired Americans themselves.
Polls now show an ominous turn. Majorities around the world think Americans are greedy, violent and rude, and fewer than half in countries like Poland, Spain, Canada, China and Russia think Americans are honest.
"We found a rising antipathy toward Americans," said Bruce Stokes of the Pew Global Attitudes Project, which interviewed 93,000 people in 50 countries over a four-year span. …
…found that fewer and fewer people see the United States as a land of high ideals and opportunity. More than half of those asked in France, Germany, Italy, Canada and Britain said the "spread of American ideas and customs" was a "bad thing."…

Which readily illustrate America's decline thanks to your precious.

…quoting Chomsky arguing that Clinton is to the right of Reagan, he is most definitely a parody…. Disputo at 3:18 PM

It was Raygun who sponsored death squads, mined harbors, killed thousands of peasants and sent arms to Iran to fund his terrorist Contras.
That was way back when Republicans were competent at killing people and negotiating with those they promised never to do so.

Posted by: Mike on March 26, 2007 at 3:28 PM | PERMALINK

(defending Norway against the observation that Quisling was Norwegian?)

Where did anyone do that?

Ahem. I pointed out that he didn't have anything to do with the Netherlands nor, in any direct way, the fate of Anne Frank. I'm fully aware he was Norwegian.

But since you only deal in rank absurdities and history perverted for your own purposes, it's entirely moot.

You're truly insufferable. Go cry on Uncle Normie's shoulder. Here's a hankie.

Posted by: MsNThrope on March 26, 2007 at 3:40 PM | PERMALINK

Blue Girl: I think it's directly relevant, now that I reflect a bit.

"Civil rights" apply to someone who is part of a polity, whether marginal or central. That's why abolishing Jim Crow was vital -- we had a genuinely second class 'citizenship' in this country.

"Human rights" apply to anybody who is, er, human -- not a fish or furniture. In that sense, a foreigner living illegally in the United States has human rights, but (so to speak) not civil rights, exactly: their rights are not those of a person living here as part of the polity, much less as a citizen.

The Declaration founded us on human rights, 'endowed by the Creator' which we set up governments to secure.

The Constitution builds on that foundation, so (if this makes sense) our civil rights are constructed from the Constitution itself, the government we established to secure our inalienable rights as humans.

This is quite simply the engine more responsible for the expansion of human liberty and prosperity than any other. Now and again, progressives might just SAY so, yanno?

For those who still doubt American exceptionalism, I had a great conversation about it once with Jim Sheriden, the Irish film director, after a premiere of In America. Naturally, somebody asked him about In the Name of the Father. I wish I'd been transcribing his answer, partly cuz I admire the art (and am genetically disposed to it. It is one of the weirder traits in my character that when I speak to Irish people, I develop a brogue. Go figure.)

Sheriden's got the storyteller thing (there was something about a snowstorm and his uncle on a roof and the tv antenna and the signal shadow of the steeple across the street; hard to explain), but basically when asked about where the political change in Ireland came from he said: It was your fault, you Yanks. You fucked us up. There we were watching our pitiful TV shows, and we saw your civil rights marches on the news, and so we thought -- 'why don't WE do that?' So we did, demanding the rights we were entitled to... and of course, we WEREN'T entitled to 'em, we don't have the system you have, but we didn't know it and that was your fault too, you bastards. And so they showed OUR marches on the telly, too, and then the bastards in London had to do something about it, and they knew the TV was on, and that's how we got here.'

Hmm... the conservatives have "Human Events". Any progressives want to back a new weekly, "A Candid World?"

Posted by: theAmericanist on March 26, 2007 at 3:53 PM | PERMALINK

Ms writes: "I pointed out that [Quisling] didn't have anything to do with the Netherlands..."

Who said he DID, you fucking idiot?

Please, do reply. Use quotation marks.

Posted by: theAmericanist on March 26, 2007 at 3:55 PM | PERMALINK
Bwah hah hah hah hah hah …Norman Rogers on March 26, 2007 at 2:52 PM
Tsk, I believe someone has flunked his psychiatric evaluation test .... again.
Here's a hankie MsNThrope at 3:40 PM
Perhaps muzzles and face masks would be in order today. There is more frothing from the mouth than usual from the third string trollitariat. Bush's terrible two's petulance is contagious among his liddle lickspittles.


Posted by: Mike on March 26, 2007 at 3:59 PM | PERMALINK

Perhaps muzzles and face masks would be in order today. There is more frothing from the mouth than usual from the third string trollitariat. Bush's terrible two's petulance is contagious among his liddle lickspittles.


Posted by: Mike

No lie, babe.

Posted by: MsNThrope on March 26, 2007 at 4:04 PM | PERMALINK

btw, it's trollEtariat, not trollItariat...:)

Since I am the one that coined the word so long ago this matters to me...:)

Posted by: Scotian on March 26, 2007 at 4:18 PM | PERMALINK

Sheriden's response sounds a little bit sarcastic/ironic.

Posted by: Aaron G. Stock on March 26, 2007 at 4:21 PM | PERMALINK
This may seem like a qualititative and thus arguable statement, but it is fairly easily quantified: without us, the dictatorships would almost certainly have won the Second World War.

Which makes some nice quasi-historical mythology, but in the real world "the dictatorships" were fighting on both sides, and so, in any case, were guaranteed to "win", no matter which side won.

Would more people have suffered worse under Axis domination until that totalitarianism collapsed than suffered under the postwar dictatorships sponsored by both the US and the Soviets in the Cold War? Its impossible to say for certain; what can be said for certain is that your assertion that the claim that the US has done more for humanity than any other nation in history is adequately demonstrated by reference to the US contribution to Allied victory in WWII alone is ludicrous.

Without us, it is unlikely that Communism would have collapsed.

This is inconsistent with your prior claim; insomuch as we contributed to Allied victory in WWII, as you point to, we stopped Soviet Communism from collapsing nearly 50 years prior to the time it actually collapsed, and enabled it and its ideological descendants to spread over Eastern Europe, much of Asia, and various parts of Africa and the Americas.

But, please, continue to indulge on your imaginative, if mutually incompatible, nationalistic fantasies.

Posted by: cmdicely on March 26, 2007 at 4:25 PM | PERMALINK

Since I am the one that coined the word so long ago this matters to me...:)
Posted by: Scotian

It's an excellent coinage. Bravo.

Posted by: MsNThrope on March 26, 2007 at 4:30 PM | PERMALINK

Poor Mike--

Destroyed and dazed and confused.

Not as confused as AMerican-nist but oh well.

Can't any of you think and chew gum at the same time? You're arguing about the Norwegian collaborator Quisling, who was hung for his crimes?

The only one I've seen hung lately is Saddam and I have it on my cellphone with the ringtone with that crazy frog or whatever. Every time my phone rings, Saddam dangles for a minute and then the downbeat kicks in.

Couldn't have happened to a nicer fellow.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on March 26, 2007 at 4:31 PM | PERMALINK
We make moves, we make a few mistakes and break a few eggs here and there, but one thing you cannot escape--

--we haven't been attacked since 9/11, now have we?

The US "homeland" was attacked after 9/11 in the anthrax attacks in 2001, then again in the LAX attack; US interests abroad, of course, have been targetted more frequently and with more lost lives in foreign terrorist attacks abroad since 9/11 than in any comparable period prior to 9/11.

So, yes, in fact, no matter how you slice it we have been attacked "since 9/11".

If you haven't got reality on your side, I guess making up lies and repeating them until they became popular mythology is the only chance you have to be seen as "right".

Posted by: cmdicely on March 26, 2007 at 4:39 PM | PERMALINK

MsNThrope:

Thanks, it and Talibangelist are two words I came up with several years ago that seem to appeal to others when talking about either the troll community and those religious freaks that would impose their specific faith upon all the rest of society whether the rest of society wants it that way or not. Pat Robertson is an excellent example of a Talibangelist, especially when he calls for the US to assassinate other heads of State as he did to Chavez a year or so ago (Aug 2005).

Posted by: Scotian on March 26, 2007 at 4:42 PM | PERMALINK

Novak would like us to believe that incompetence is the leading contender for the sad state of our government and he asserts, although I dispute it, that Bush is alone.

Bush has had plenty of help from his fellow Repubs in converting our government into the politicized arm of the GOP whether that came by strengthening the DOJ to do its Rove-inspired dirty work at the state level... in Norquist screening Rove's calls to make sure only the right GOP lobbyists got an audience... in Pat Roberts' stonewalling intelligence oversight... in the congressional push for tax cuts, renewing the Patriot Act, doling out corporate welfare like Junior Mints... or in subverting every agency of the executive branch to the president's priorities.

Novak would like for us to forget the rubber stamps in Congress who were the wind beneath the president's wings.

Novak spins a story for a reason and don't believe his tale. Repubs are trying to save their corrupt asses by designating the WH as the Incompetent Presidency. Better for it to be judged incompetent and distance one's self from the Idiot King than to be identified with a systematic corruption that has poisoned D.C. and reaches out over the land under the all-seeing eye of Mordor's GOP.

These same R-thugs, now conveniently finding voice enough to disagree with Bush, were before the transformative 2006 elections complicit in back-room deals on behalf of the glorious GOP regime. As the Boston Globe, Oct. 3, 2004, illustrated:

With one party controlling the White House and both chambers of Congress, and having little fear of retaliation by the opposing party, the House leadership is changing the way laws are made in America, favoring secrecy and speed over open debate and negotiation. Longstanding rules and practices are ignored. Committees more often meet in secret. Members are less able to make changes to legislation on the House floor. Bills come up for votes so quickly that elected officials frequently don't know what's in them. And there is less time to discuss proposed laws before they come up for a vote.
Corruption hidden with "secrecy and speed" ... this is the culprit that Novak disguises as the I-word. Corruption is a loser at the polls. So here comes an insider's mouthpiece wagging his finger at incompetence so no one looks further for explanations. How timely and convenient now that the treasury has been looted.

Bush has never been alone and he never will be alone without the ultimate test, the better I-word that Novak failed to select: impeachment.

Posted by: Apollo 13 on March 26, 2007 at 4:46 PM | PERMALINK

Talibangelist

I missed that one. Also a great neologism. I'm currently really liking 'sanctimoneyous' as well. Much in the same vein but with more 'play'.

Posted by: MsNThrope on March 26, 2007 at 4:49 PM | PERMALINK

Though Norman Rogers' parody credentials were pretty well established when he claimed to have written "She Loves You" a few weeks ago, his citing of Noam Chomsky upthread clinches it. Real conservatives lack the desire and motivation to read Chomsky, much less go around quoting him. Norman is Political Animal's Ed Anger.

Posted by: dr sardonicus on March 26, 2007 at 5:01 PM | PERMALINK

Dr s: Nobody else could have spun the chicken suit fantasia. No one.

He's a parodist. Maybe not Dr. Swift, but he has his moments.

Posted by: MsNThrope on March 26, 2007 at 5:06 PM | PERMALINK

Dice, you're too cute. There were 'dictatorships' on both sides in WW2? Oooh, really? I suppose you will treat us next to your original discovery that some Unionists didn't think much of African Americans.

Golly, the insights you provide us. Why don't you charge?

For folks with a bit more on the ball than Dice here (not setting the bar high), he is arguing Hitler's line, that the only thing necessary for the collapse of the USSR was for the door to be kicked in, as Germany did by invading, and the whole rotten edifice would fall.

In point of fact, the Wehrmacht DID kick the door in -- and the Soviets did not collapse. (Psst, Dice: google "Stalingrad".)

Subtle minx that he is, Dice doubtless feels that he is accurately alluding to the notion that without boatloads of American support, the Red Army could not possibly have held off the Germans and, thus, that it was the United States which "stopped Soviet Communism from collapsing nearly 50 years prior to the time it actually collapsed..."

LOL -- man, even for Dice, this is an impressive piece of proctological haberdashery.

After World War One pretty much ended monarchies and discredited folks like Churchill, then accelerated by the Great Depression, there was a very widespread view that the democracies simply couldn't function as well as the various dictatorships that sprang up all over the world. "I have seen the future, and it works" was one view of Stalinism, and there were lots of apologists for Hitler, as well. American isolationism (plus the way we screwed Germany over money in the 20s), and the general floundering after 1929, was seen as just more evidence that maybe dictatorships were the way to go: the only question was which sort?

Cui bono? (Dice, that's Latin. It was a language. but I bet you can find references to it online. You do know how to google, right?)

Britain's steady appeasement of Hitler in the 30s wasn't done from fear, exactly, as it was in the twin hopes that 1) it would keep the Nazi revolution from becoming a Bolshevik one, and 2) that, having given Hitler what he wanted in the West, he would turn East.

In fact, the fabled Munich 'sellout' in 1938, was precisely the effort to turn Hitler toward a conflict with Stalin, in which the West, particularly Britain, would have happily been a bystander. It was only when Stalin and Hitler proved even more adept at the mutual doublecross that, first by dividing Poland and then by Hitler's invasion of the USSR, we wound up allies with Stalin after all.

Our purpose was to defeat Germany and Japan: the latter, because they attacked us, the former, because Hitler had declared war on us after Pearl Harbor.

To that end, we were happy to delay a second front in Europe until it was impossible for Stalin to make a separate peace, as had nearly killed the West when Russia did it in the First War.

We were also happy to invite Stalin into the war against Japan, for that same reason. (Didn't you ever take a history class, Dice? Read a book, perhaps? Watch the History Channel?)

How Dice reads preserving Communism into this is worthy of Joe McCarthy ... which, come to think on it, may explain more of Dice than I had considered.

Still, even for Dice, it's pretty stupid to think of the American role in WW2 as anything less than heroic and a HUGE contribution to the absolute amount of freedom and prosperity on the planet.

But then, nobody's ever gone broke over-estimating how stupid this guy can be, have they?

BTW, Ms: found that quote yet where somebody connected Quisling and... the Netherlands?

Have some class, and answer the question I asked you.

Posted by: theAmericanist on March 26, 2007 at 5:32 PM | PERMALINK

"Its worth pointing out, that the last time the Republicans ruled without impunity, it ended in the Great Depression, ten years of poverty in the U.S., ushering in the rise of Adolph Hitler, World War II, and the Holocaust."

Times have changed. Ask an old-style Democrat what "HHH" meant, and he or she would proudly say "Hubert Horatio Humphrey". Mention "HHH" today, and the spittle-flecked response is "Herbert Hoover's Holocaust".

Posted by: G. Weightman on March 26, 2007 at 6:24 PM | PERMALINK

>"arguing that Quislings and socialists and the country that gave up Anne Frank are better than us? Do you WANT to lose?"

"Now, observe a typical reaction to this common sense: Skeg objects that Quisling was during the German invasion. In 1940."

Jeez. Look up the thread.

Waaaaahhhhaaa!

Now go away.

Posted by: MsNThrope on March 26, 2007 at 6:28 PM | PERMALINK

The only thing left to debate is:

Was it the ham sandwich or the stick of butter that killed Anna Nicole Smith?

Morons.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on March 26, 2007 at 6:38 PM | PERMALINK

Times have changed. Ask an old-style Democrat what "HHH" meant, and he or she would proudly say "Hubert Horatio Humphrey". Mention "HHH" today, and the spittle-flecked response is "Herbert Hoover's Holocaust".
Posted by: G. Weightman

I proudly worked for HHH. Though 17 and unable to vote...

Now sing-a-long:

What ever become of poor Hubert
has anyone heard a thing?
Once a fiery Liberal spirit
but now when he speaks
he must *clear* it....

Posted by: MsNThrope on March 26, 2007 at 6:42 PM | PERMALINK

Ms, if YOU had bothered to read up the thread -- or, for that matter, the post you QUOTED, objecting -- you'd have noticed that I was replying to a post signed by "Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland and Holland".

Which I had pointed out denoted "Quislings and socialists and the country that gave up Anne Frank..."

Had you applied literacy to your, er, reading, you'd observe that by citing three f'r instances I referred to three of the five listed countries, viz, Norway (Quisling), Sweden (socialism), and Holland (the country that gave up Anne Frank).

It was out of mere charity that I didn't point out your stupidity the first time.

But you pretty much insisted that the thread elaborate on just how blindfuckingstoopid you are... by TWICE posting as if anybody but you read that as if Quisling referred to any nation BUT Norway.

Even Skeg wasn't that dumb. (His error was in not noticing that 1940 comes between 1928 and now.)

This weird, infantile anti-Americanism pretending to be intellect (see pretty much anything Dice posts) is precisely Republicans' best hope in 2008. Somebody pointed out that one reason Reagan's "there you go again" looked so easy is because he had Carter's briefing book.

Not quite. If Carter had had Reagan's briefing book, he wouldn't have been anywhere near so smooth and credible, much less funny. He'd have carefully rebutted points Reagan probably didn't understand he was supposed to make in the first place -- and STILL lost.

Put it this way: even after what Bush has done to Republican credibility on national defense, and MANAGEMENT (the incompetence issue), if progressives are as stupid as the bulk of this thread has been: we will lose, anyway. You could see the tendency in the House debate over Iraq -- next year, sure as the Cubs folding in the fall, somebody will speak up for how it's unfair to tag Norway with Quisling, CUZ THEY'RE TOO STUPID TO KNOW THAT THE REAL INSULT IS TO FAVORABLY COMPARE NORWAY WITH THE US.

Much less socialist Sweden and Anne Frank's onetime refuge.

The whole odd aside proves my observation (again): progressives will go an astonishing distance to miss the point, if it is anything BUT how publicly stupid they can be.

Ms, take a bow.

Posted by: theAmericanist on March 26, 2007 at 7:09 PM | PERMALINK

For folks with a bit more on the ball than Dice here (not setting the bar high), he is arguing Hitler's line, that the only thing necessary for the collapse of the USSR was for the door to be kicked in, as Germany did by invading, and the whole rotten edifice would fall.

Actually, no, I'm not.

You are arguing that when you suggest that US involvement was a sine qua non of Allied victory in wWII. I merely accept your premise for the sake of argument, and then show that it is inconsistent with your giving credit to the US for the defeat of Communism, since if your claim about the US contribution in WWII is accepted, the US is responsible for the survival of Communism.

In point of fact, the Wehrmacht DID kick the door in -- and the Soviets did not collapse. (Psst, Dice: google "Stalingrad".)

I'm quite aware that the Soviet Union was on the winning side in WWII. I'm quite aware that the Nazis underestimated the Soviets. I'm not the one who was suggesting that the only thing preventing an Axis victory was US involvement.

After World War One pretty much ended monarchies and discredited folks like Churchill, then accelerated by the Great Depression, there was a very widespread view that the democracies simply couldn't function as well as the various dictatorships that sprang up all over the world.

Quite true: its a view that continues to this day, in fact; outside of the West, it manifested in support for all kinds of thuggery after the war, both on the fascist model and on the Communist model. In the West, it manifested in the selling out of liberal democracy to the emerging national security state in which wartime emergency powers which paralleled the powers of government in authoritarian regimes became, instead of an exception in times of crises, part of the norm of government. Of course, the rhetoric wasn't that liberal democracy was ineffective, but rather that we could not allow freedom to be "abused" by "enemies". While Communism may have largely been defeated, the creeping authoritarianism justified by the threat, first of Communism and now more often of terrorism, in the West has not, nor has dictatorship outside of the developed West, which continues to frequently be sponsored by the West, though now more often as a bulwark against "terrorism" than against "Communism".

Our purpose was to defeat Germany and Japan: the latter, because they attacked us, the former, because Hitler had declared war on us after Pearl Harbor.

Correct. So? Like most of your post, this has nothing to do with the points I make, the disagreement I highlight to your points in the post I was responding to, or anything else other than your apparent fondness for incoherent ramblings loosely connected to the topics of posts, and dotted with repetitive claims that people who disagree with you (but to whose arguments you are unable to craft specific responses that address the actual points raised) are stupid.

Posted by: cmdicely on March 26, 2007 at 7:21 PM | PERMALINK

I'm so happy to report that my inoculations are up=to-date.

And that my comprehension of history remains intact.

The people who turned in Anne Frank did so in hopes of a handful of ration coupons...

Makes ya proud, eh?

Posted by: MsNThrope on March 26, 2007 at 7:41 PM | PERMALINK

Dice, you don't make "points". You interject, then insist.

If you weren't in a profession (for which you were obviously trained) which makes money off that, you'd realize how useless it is.

Posted by: theAmericanist on March 26, 2007 at 10:12 PM | PERMALINK
Dice, you don't make "points".

Yes, I do.


You interject, then insist.

I'm not sure what your point here is supposed to be. Certainly, while I can see anyone's participation in these comment threads that isn't just a run-by being fairly characterized that way, there is nothing inconsistent between that and making points. The characterizations are orthogonal, not opposed.


If you weren't in a profession (for which you were obviously trained) which makes money off that, you'd realize how useless it is.

I think you are making an inaccurate presumption about my profession.

Posted by: cmdicely on March 27, 2007 at 1:28 PM | PERMALINK

(snort) Riight.

I'll spell it out for you, dude, since subtler approaches don't seem to work. Kevin posted how even conservatives are catching on that Bush is incompetent (that's a bit oversimplified, but we gotta start someplace).

I noted that the structure of Republican political appeal is based on three more or less well-understood characteristics -- and that the Bush record has not only eroded all of those characteristics, but effectively severed the way they work together. (That is, folks who may have objected to Reagan's economics might have voted for him on national security grounds.)

My main point was that Bush has so screwed up the way the Republican political structure works, the only way progressives (or Democrats) can lose is if we're so stoopid as to in effect re-solder the GOP structure together.

And the thread promptly yielded up an example: somebody favorably compared Sweden, Norway, Finland and Holland, I think it was, to the US over the last 3/5s of the 20th century.

I pointed out that (over and over and over again) that this was historically false and politically insulting to the overwhelming majority of Americans who, evidently, have a better grasp of both history and good taste than this thread.

Now -- a sensible person, Dice, much less an educated one, would understand that both the politics and the history here are pretty elementary stuff.

But not you, dude. Having missed the point, you had to prove it yourself, in your inimitably impervious manner.

You spoke up with the idea that it isn't true that America was not decisive in defeating "the dictatorships" in ww2 cuz... Stalin was an ally?

Your 'explanation' of this non sequitur (look it up) was that by defeating Hitler we actually prolonged Communism?

Something I don't think you've noticed, Dice, though others have: I only note that folks are stupid when folks say stupid stuff here. I don't say that about folks who are NOT stupid.

Your posts speak for themselves, dude: what you focus on... (and get wrong), and what you ignore completely (which is generally the most important).

Which is how you prove you're stooopid.

Posted by: theAmericanist on March 27, 2007 at 3:11 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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