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Tilting at Windmills

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April 7, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

McCAIN'S LATEST SCREWUP....More Catholic than the Pope? Apparently that's John McCain's new strategy:

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) will launch a high-profile effort next week to convince Americans that the Iraq war is winnable, embracing the unpopular conflict with renewed vigor as he attempts to reignite his stalling bid for the presidency.

This sounds like a godsend for McCain's opponents: he's making it slam-dunk easy for them to run to his left on the war without having to sound like they're completely giving up on it. Romney and Giuliani ought to be dancing in the streets at this news.

Kevin Drum 1:30 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (106)

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Romney and Giuliani ought to be dancing in the streets at this news.

Aren't Mormons against dancing?

Posted by: Disputo on April 7, 2007 at 2:00 PM | PERMALINK

Get this:

"A Vote For McCain is a Vote For Victory"

"I think this is a bold, brave and possibly even smart move on McCain's part."

http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=ZDFiM2FkZDc2NDcxZTVjY2I0NmM3ZDYwZWI3OTNjMWY=

Unreal.

Posted by: nikkos on April 7, 2007 at 2:06 PM | PERMALINK

Aren't Mormons against dancing?

Actually, he's celebrating his good luck with a nice hot cup of Postum™.

Posted by: skeg on April 7, 2007 at 2:07 PM | PERMALINK

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) will launch a high-profile effort next week to convince Americans that the Iraq war is winnable, embracing the unpopular conflict with renewed vigor as he attempts to reignite his stalling bid for the presidency.

Sounds like a good idea to me. The National Review dispatches from Baghdad the Situtation in Iraq is getting much better.

Link

"I am convinced things are getting better in Iraq, and with perseverance we and the Iraqi people will come out of this in a far better position than Al Qaeda in Iraq"
"some of the really good underreported news is that our tactical intelligence is improving dramatically thanks to the Iraqi people; and that increasing numbers of Iraqis, sick of the fighting, do not blame the U.S. In fact, they want the U.S. to get tougher with their own government, and they are terribly afraid that we are going to withdraw before the work is completed."

Posted by: Al on April 7, 2007 at 2:10 PM | PERMALINK

Has McCain had a neurological exam lately?

I don't think he's processing information the way a healthy adult should.

And John McCain is no Ronald Reagan. Reagan had an affable charm. McCain doesn't have this.

Posted by: Carl Nyberg on April 7, 2007 at 2:11 PM | PERMALINK

This sounds like a godsend for McCain's opponents: he's making it slam-dunk easy for them to run to his left on the war without having to sound like they're completely giving up on it.

That's not the way wingnuts work. Ask Al and egbert.

In fact, by running even further to the right on the war, he likely forces all other candidates to go even further right than they had hoped to, if they're going to capture any of the nutwing vote. If they don't seem as hawkish and optimistic about Iraq as McCain, they're RINOs - so declared by Rush himself.

It's the same reason Libertarians can't just say that they would allow AK-47s, but machine guns, and grenades -- because it's a defining issue for the bizarro crowd.

Posted by: frankly0 on April 7, 2007 at 2:13 PM | PERMALINK

Al: "Sounds like a good idea to me. The National Review dispatches from Baghdad the Situtation in Iraq is getting much better."

Wow, you really sound enthusiastic. Have you thought about the benefits of selling Amway products?

Posted by: Kenji on April 7, 2007 at 2:16 PM | PERMALINK

It doesn't matter where McCain runs. Conservatives already believe the war is winable. They just don't believe in McCain.

Posted by: TruthPolitik on April 7, 2007 at 2:22 PM | PERMALINK

McCain's painted himself in the corner on this. He has nowhere else to go. He has to hope that the surge works, or at least looks like it's working, or he's toast.

And speaking of corners, has anyone at the Corner been right about anything related to this war, ever? Al, you really need to find some other sources.

Posted by: lewp on April 7, 2007 at 2:26 PM | PERMALINK

At this point I think we have to ask --do the Bushes have something on him?

Like some movie from North Vietnam?

Where they force him to shoot somebody?

Posted by: cld on April 7, 2007 at 2:37 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, Kevin.

Still trotting out the old "we're losing in Iraq" canard?

There's a new strategy in Iraq, Kevin, used successfully by Commander Petraus in Mosul. It's called the ink spot strategy, and it's working. Violence is down in Bagdad 80% since Jan.

When you have no facts to back you up, just make them up.

Posted by: egbert on April 7, 2007 at 2:39 PM | PERMALINK

"increasing numbers of Iraqis, sick of the fighting, do not blame the U.S. In fact, they want the U.S. to get tougher with their own government, and they are terribly afraid that we are going to withdraw before the work is completed."

Nice verbal slight of hand. It presupposes that "work" is being accomplished and that more time will allow it to be "completed." Too bad that we are in fact moving backward and more time will only make things worse.

Posted by: EmmaAnne on April 7, 2007 at 2:45 PM | PERMALINK

...There's a new strategy in Iraq, Kevin, used successfully by Commander Petraus in Mosul. It's called the ink spot strategy, and it's working. Violence is down in Bagdad 80% since Jan.

When you have no facts to back you up, just make them up.

Posted by: egbert on April 7, 2007 at 2:39 PM | PERMALINK

Because politics has moved into the pentagon they're using the word "stategy" and applying it when they mean "tactics".

As to making facts up, look no further than the mirror.

Posted by: notthere on April 7, 2007 at 2:48 PM | PERMALINK

If things are so optimistic, why was the four month period of December-March of this year the most lethal for Americans in Iraq than the same time period in the previous three years?

And someone should ask Dave Petraeus about that pallet of cash that disappeared.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 7, 2007 at 2:55 PM | PERMALINK

The HUG was beinginning of the end of McCain.

He was not smart enough to realize that a Kiss a la Joe would not have been that fatal.

Posted by: gregor on April 7, 2007 at 2:58 PM | PERMALINK

Having grown up in OR, I am familiar with the 'backwoodsy' politics of Oregon liberals. I love the state, one of most beautiful in USA, but cringe whenever the leftist establishment campaigns to make the state into a large socialist commune with greenies legislating to restrict logging, fishing, and whatever free enterprize is left.(Gov't always knows best, right?) I'm always embarrased when Wayne Morris is mentioned with the ardor of OR "progressives." (The euphemistic descendants of Marx)

Posted by: Jon on April 7, 2007 at 2:59 PM | PERMALINK

We all been waiting for soom good news from
Bag-h-dead, thanks al.

Posted by: artemiscal on April 7, 2007 at 3:07 PM | PERMALINK

Jon, I'm not familiar with OR politics, but this was apropos of what, exactly? al-Qaeda turned up there, or something? Death toll rising due to bombings from the Oregon militia?

I'm not clear why Oregon came up.

Posted by: notthere on April 7, 2007 at 3:08 PM | PERMALINK

Just learned that the death stats for this week are two higher than previously reported. Two more yesterday from separate roadside bombs.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 7, 2007 at 3:13 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, what notthere said. That post really didn't follow Jon.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 7, 2007 at 3:14 PM | PERMALINK

Amazing non sequitur, Jon. I completely forgot with the original post was about, and now I have a powerful craving for trail mix.

Posted by: chaunceyatrest on April 7, 2007 at 3:15 PM | PERMALINK

T-shirt idea:

Trillion dollars wasted in Iraq,
And all I got was a rotten egbert post.

Posted by: ROTFLMLiberalAO on April 7, 2007 at 3:20 PM | PERMALINK

Chauncy - Slip into your Birkenstocks, pull on your flannel and hop on your mountain bike and go to the natural foods co-op on Alder in Eugene. (Having paid taxes in Lane County, Oregon in the past, I get to poke fun at the Earnest Vegan Liberals on east 11th.)

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 7, 2007 at 3:22 PM | PERMALINK

Some fat troll upstream:

(Gov't always knows best, right?)

No.

Gov't only knows best when it is legislating against abortion, rewriting science reports, and spending our tax dollars funding Christian churches and schools.

For goddam sakes...
Wake up and smell the stink of your own ass troll.

Posted by: ROTFLMLiberalAO on April 7, 2007 at 3:23 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, sadly, if this continues we are on route for a bad month for US troops.

This is the predictable result of the new tactics, leaving troops out in the city and more frequent patroling, if there is not a countervailing high suppression of resistance.

Petraeus' tactics may well work short term, and I wish him luck, but there is no evidence for an improved outcome longer term. That requires the Iraqi forces to stand alone -- and we've seen how close they are to that! -- and a political outcome.

Not happening.

Posted by: notthere on April 7, 2007 at 3:26 PM | PERMALINK

Trillion dollars wasted in Iraq,
And all I got was a rotten egbert post.

Fucking Brilliant!!!

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 7, 2007 at 3:29 PM | PERMALINK

I also fear that as there is more and more demand by GOPs running for President for photo ops strolling unmolested through Baghdad, that the US body count will increase.

Posted by: Disputo on April 7, 2007 at 3:31 PM | PERMALINK

BGRS,

Sitting under my Bodhi tree, incense a-burnin', and visualizing myself at your co-op. Prevents me from tracking my carbon footprints all over Gaia, donchaknow?

Posted by: chaunceyatrest on April 7, 2007 at 3:33 PM | PERMALINK

Jon, you fuckwit.

It was Wayne Morse.

Posted by: angryspittle on April 7, 2007 at 3:40 PM | PERMALINK

Perhaps Jon was using Morris code.

Posted by: shnooky on April 7, 2007 at 3:51 PM | PERMALINK

McCain really seems to have been affected by his imprisonment in Viet Nam. Normally, someone who went through what he did would be loath to subject soldiers to a stupid war. But he seems unable to get over our loss/stalemate in Viet Nam.

Just sad.

Posted by: Hedley Lamarr on April 7, 2007 at 4:10 PM | PERMALINK

And we will see McCain continue to struggle in fundraising and in the polls since his "vision" is as out of touch as Bush's. That rhetoric is old, and it makes McCain seem old. His platitudes sound so hollow and false. Psychologically, his affect appears flat.
I'd almost feel sorry for him except for the fact that he too is accountable for the lies that orchestrated this ill-conceived war.

Posted by: consider wisely on April 7, 2007 at 4:22 PM | PERMALINK

mccain continues to be a prisoner of war.

Posted by: mudwall jackson on April 7, 2007 at 4:23 PM | PERMALINK

If I did not dislike McCain so much, I could almost pity the old man.

Fantastic expression, mudwall jackson.

Posted by: Brojo on April 7, 2007 at 4:41 PM | PERMALINK

Regarding Sen. John McCain's current campaign problems:

It's extraordinary difficult for any person to reconcile in perpetuity a public facade of piety and humility with a an all-consuming personal ego. The latter almost always wins out, and more often than not will inflict enormous damage to one's public reputation.

I only need offer the sorry example of Sen. Joe Lieberman, a formerly widely respected elected official whose personal reputation underwent a similarly fatal metamorphosis since his political pinnacle in 2000, and who eventually also came to be disdainfully regarded by most members of his own party as lttle more than a craven schmuck.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on April 7, 2007 at 4:41 PM | PERMALINK

His mouth

Posted by: Al on April 7, 2007 at 4:43 PM | PERMALINK

egbert:

Some punchlines just write themselves.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on April 7, 2007 at 4:48 PM | PERMALINK

McCain should have a problem with opinion pieces like these. :)
(h/t hilzoy at Obsidian Wings)

Visiting an Indiana market. :)


Posted by: Detlef on April 7, 2007 at 4:57 PM | PERMALINK

The saddest thing of course, is that McCain's "we are turning the corner," message, while giving him something to say on the campaign trail, will also give this Iraq misadventure several more months of cover -- just long enough to get a lot more young folks killed and maimed.

Posted by: Pat on April 7, 2007 at 5:04 PM | PERMALINK

chaunceyatrest: "Sitting under my Bodhi tree, incense a-burnin', and visualizing myself at your co-op."

Kayaking with the honu (sea turtles) at east Oahu's Maunalua Bay does the trick for me.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on April 7, 2007 at 5:05 PM | PERMALINK

McCain is deluded and doesn't have a clue.
Rosy-colored fantasies to justify reckless policy.

Posted by: consider wisely on April 7, 2007 at 5:32 PM | PERMALINK

As a contributer to McCain's 2000 bid, I've received numerous fundraising letters from him recently. I scrawl "END THE WAR" on each and mail them back.

It is inexplicable how HE JUST DOESN'T GET IT!

Posted by: bdrube on April 7, 2007 at 5:32 PM | PERMALINK

A week ago last Monday we set a new record high for 26th April by 7 degrees: 81F.

Today we are in our third day in a row below 32F.

I say we ask our Dakota B-1/B-2 owning friends to seek out and destroy Donald from Hawaii in his kayak and sink his skinny ass.

Mind the turtles though.

Posted by: notthere on April 7, 2007 at 5:46 PM | PERMALINK

Most priceless cover of the last 10 years goes to

The Weekly Standard: "We're Winning" (that was back in 2005, right?)

Posted by: chuck on April 7, 2007 at 5:53 PM | PERMALINK

egsmell: "Still trotting out the old "we're losing in Iraq" canard?"

He got it the same place you get the old canards about:

The sky being blue.

The earth being round.

Republican politicians out to line the pockets of their friends.

Trolls sucking up to said pols from crumbs of attention that will never come.

Posted by: Kenji on April 7, 2007 at 5:56 PM | PERMALINK

A theretical question:

Let's say we could prove we were winning. Would you guys still deny it?

Posted by: egbert on April 7, 2007 at 6:19 PM | PERMALINK

>>Still trotting out the old "we're losing in Iraq" canard?

Yeah, we've been "winning" for over 4 years now. Let's have 4 more years of winning in Iraq! (and maybe 4 more after that).

Posted by: Orson on April 7, 2007 at 6:20 PM | PERMALINK

Let's say we could prove we were winning. Would you guys still deny it?

Present evidence of such and we will examine it on it's merits. Nothing *theoretical* about that.

(And by the way - the word you were looking for is hypothetical.)

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 7, 2007 at 6:36 PM | PERMALINK

Or was your question about gravity?

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 7, 2007 at 6:39 PM | PERMALINK

He's trying to assert his core convictions so he can compromise on smaller issues. He truly believes that the U.S. should and can win. With the American public as it is, that's probbly a long shot. However, if he switches, he's doomed. So he might as well say what he believes in loudly and clearly.

It is a clear contrast with the Senator Clinton, whose semi-change in position has brought scorn from left and right. The best hope in 2008 is probably for those who did not have to cast a vote in 2002, 2003, and yearly thereafter.

Today's combat is in Diwaniyeh, where locals are assisting the US and Iraqi forces to root out the Mahdi army. As long as McCain supports such action and votes to fund it, he might as well say that it is a good idea, has been successful, and will be successful. He wouldn't want to be the man to order the last soldier to die in a lost cause.

Posted by: MatthewRMarler on April 7, 2007 at 7:00 PM | PERMALINK

Administration Definition of Winning..Stock market steadily improving, yearly executive bonuses are obscene, still pleanty of dumb redneck�s kids to do the dying (ours are on Spring break)�life is good!

Posted by: AluminumKen on April 7, 2007 at 7:08 PM | PERMALINK

Let's say we could prove we were winning. Would you guys still deny it?

That is a stumper. Let's prove that and see what happens.

Posted by: cld on April 7, 2007 at 7:13 PM | PERMALINK

Thursday, April 05, 2007
"Bush has become the "F* You" president. With his apparent "f* you" to the American public regarding the wide split between his views on Iraq and their's, and his "f* you" to the Democrats with his indignant and slimy recess appointments including "Swift Boat" Fox, Bush has decided to spend the rest of his term doing whatever he damn well pleases and to hell with everyone else. We all know he hasn't remotely been the uniter he once promised, but it's obvious he's now kicked this divisive mode of governing into another gear. Is it any wonder Bush is more isolated and alone in the White House than Nixon at the peak of Watergate?

And don't think Fox was the heavyweight appointee. Susan Dudley was installed at OMB to oversee federal regulatory policy. She was an anti-regulatory zealot as an academic at George Mason University and she has written it's more cost-effective for people to stay indoors on smoggy days than for the government to force polluters to clean up emissions. Oh boy.

The other appointee is Andrew Biggs, installed as deputy commissioner at the Social Security Administration. Biggs was employed at the libertarian Cato Institute and strongly supported privatizing Social Security.

The Fox appointment will get all the media attention, and to a point it's deserved, but the fact is Dudley and Biggs will be wielding much more power than Fox. Here's hoping all three appointees get close scrutiny."
from theangryliberal.com

Posted by: consider wisely on April 7, 2007 at 7:23 PM | PERMALINK

Bingo, CWA - I am starting to think Fox is a diversion to give cover for those two.

(p.s. - check your email)

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 7, 2007 at 7:30 PM | PERMALINK

I wanna say something nice about McCain -- and frankly, if you guys weren't so caught up in, well, what you do (including Kevin), I suspect you'd ALL agree: he's willing to lose on this one.

It is the canary in a coal mine of the health of our republic, how often and clearly folks running for office are willing to take clear positions that are NOT shared by the electorate. I don't want to vote for somebody who can't or won't.

The fact is, most of the decisions that we pay these folks to make aren't simple or clear. It's easy to fudge 'em, to moonwalk, to articulate something with "I am against the death tax" rhetoric that has a radically different meaning than people hear in it.

McCain isn't doing that. He knows the war in Iraq is a political loser, and he is doubling down anyway. He's been absolutely consistent in his support for it, and why, and I give him credit.

If things had been different in 2000, it's not impossible that I would have voted for the guy. There's no way I'd vote for him now, and not simply cuz of Iraq.

But if we're serious about the kind of democracy we OUGHT to have, with a genuine dialogue between the public and the people we hire to run the republic, folks ought to give McCain credit for doing precisely what we all pretend we wish folks had done BEFORE the war -- namely, take a clear, and clearly unpopular, position.

The guy wouldn't make a good President --- but on the issue that is surely the most important, he's damn sure making a fine candidate.

Posted by: theAmericanist on April 7, 2007 at 7:30 PM | PERMALINK

Let's say we could prove we were winning.

let us know when you can, and we'll go from there.

Posted by: haha on April 7, 2007 at 7:33 PM | PERMALINK

Posted by: theAmericanist on April 7, 2007 at 7:30 PM
He knows the war in Iraq is a political loser, and he is doubling down anyway. He's been absolutely consistent in his support for it, and why, and I give him credit.

McCain's campaign is toast, and he's taking the only shot he has to revive it. I don't consider that to be a virtuous act -- quite the opposite, in fact, considering the stakes. This is a cynical, desperate act from a cynical, desperate guy, whose ambition is consuming him. If a Democratic candidate took a stand like this the punditry would be howling like starving wolves about their self serving opportunism.

McCain has also certianly not been consistent about the war, although he's been portrayed that way. Somerby has catalogued some of his flips and flops on it, among others. But McCain the brand, even now that he's demonstrated himself to be a doddering, shameless buffoon, overwhelms McCain the flawed, pandering man.

Posted by: Martin Gale on April 7, 2007 at 7:41 PM | PERMALINK
McCain isn't doing that. He knows the war in Iraq is a political loser, and he is doubling down anyway.

Actually, I think he knows that while the war in Iraq is a loser with the general electorate, he's got a long time before he has to face them: the arch-Republican faithful, the diehards, the 30% that are still behind Bush—that important Republican primary constituency is wants to be stroked and reassured it was never wrong to support Bush's war, that its not failing, and if it is going less than well it is only from not being prosecuted vigorously enough. And that's who McCain's trying to woo. Courage isn't a factor.

Posted by: cmdicely on April 7, 2007 at 7:48 PM | PERMALINK

I didn't think McCain would flame out quite this early, but he's most certainly done. He just doesn't have support from either side of the Republicon party--the cultural conservatives don't trust him no matter how much he kisses Falwell's ass, and the more libertarian and anti-war faction doesn't trust him either.
all that he's left with are his admirers in the media. George Will was actually right on this one, the media is his only reliable constituency.

Posted by: haha on April 7, 2007 at 7:50 PM | PERMALINK

I actually disagree strongly with the war and with McCain, and probably with the Americanist as well on many things, but I think his post at 7:30 PM is thoughtful and well constructed. Keep coming back, Americanist!

Posted by: Pat on April 7, 2007 at 7:55 PM | PERMALINK

He's putting it all on red.

He can't run away from his hawkish views, so he's embracing them and putting them right up front.

Still ain't gonna win him the Jesus crowd, however.

Posted by: Cal Gal on April 7, 2007 at 7:58 PM | PERMALINK

Poor little McCainie.

Stuck all these years in Vietnam. It was just such a shock since for new McBush of 08 to awake to Dem control congress.

It's the war - a real hazard to be associated with the war in Iraq and lying about it's winnablity.

It's a sure loser.

Yep, cause you know - Bush lied so much about the Iraq war all the time so now McCain must have thought that was so cool, or something. McCain is surely the most stupid Senator in DC.

Posted by: Cheryl on April 7, 2007 at 8:05 PM | PERMALINK

TheAmericanist: He's been absolutely consistent in his support for it, and why, and I give him credit.

Since there is nothing supportable about the Iraq war and since John McCain has never actually explained, with any logic, the WHY behind his support, I don't see how he deserves the credit you're offering.

Posted by: skeg on April 7, 2007 at 8:30 PM | PERMALINK

Actually, McCain has changed positions on Iraq. "No confidence in the Bush administration's handling of Iraq. (Associated Press, 12/13/04)
THEN:
McCain Senate release 2/21/06: "McCain said Bush administration "earned our trust" in the war on terror."

2/26/06: "McCain said the US made 'serious mistake' which led to insurgent victories in Iraq." ABC news 2/26/06
THEN;
3/1/06--MSNBC: "McCain said Iraq was on the right track."

Posted by: consider wisely on April 7, 2007 at 8:40 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin: "Romney and Giuliani ought to be dancing in the streets at this news."

Disputo: "Aren't Mormons against dancing?"

That's Baptists. Mormons are known to dance, in numbers approaching that of a small army:

The biggest dance camp in the USA is held at Brigham Young University, every summer:
http://ce.byu.edu/cw/cwdance/

"The BYU Ballroom Dance Company is known as one of the best formation ballroom dance teams in the world.[4], having won the United States National Formation Dance Championship every year since 1982.[5] BYU's Ballroom dance team has won first place in Latin or Standard (or both) every single year they have competed at Blackpool, and they were the first United States team to win a trophy at Blackpool.[6] The NDCA National DanceSport championships have been held at BYU for many years, and BYU holds dozens of ballroom dance classes each semester, totaling thousands of students per semester, making it by far the largest ballroom dance program in the US."
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brigham_Young_University#Other_sports)

Posted by: Barry on April 7, 2007 at 9:13 PM | PERMALINK

And speaking of McBush the second, is it just me or is Bush sounding more and more like a lonely moron to most Americans?

Bush Restates Vow to Block Iraq Withdrawal
President says congressional Democrats are jeopardizing safety of service members by delaying passage of a $100B war funding bill.

I wonder if Americans are going to want to impeach Bush just to get the all this worthless rubbish out of their way.

Posted by: Cheryl on April 7, 2007 at 9:20 PM | PERMALINK

Actually, I think he knows that while the war in Iraq is a loser with the general electorate, he's got a long time before he has to face them: the arch-Republican faithful, the diehards, the 30% that are still behind Bush...

Yes, my take on McCain is that he thinks he learned a lesson from GWB in 2000 and 2004, that being that you’ve got to be really nasty and ruthless to win the Presidency. The nasty is self-explanatory, but the ruthless, in this case, means not caring one whit about an honest stand on any particular issue. Do what you gotta do to attract support and win. Election stances and positions are meaningless, just win and then do want you really wanted to do.

The real McCain is the guy who ran last time. The Falwell/Robinson despiser, etc. This McCain will say anything to win.

Posted by: little ole jim from red country on April 7, 2007 at 9:32 PM | PERMALINK

John McCain ... John McCain. It rings a bell. Didn't he used to be someone important?

Or am I thinking of Fred Thompson?

Posted by: craigie on April 7, 2007 at 10:11 PM | PERMALINK

Those poor, poor Republicans. Their fail-safe front-runner Straight Talking Maverick McCain has become a dessicated caricature of himself. Between his bouts of senility & blurts of mendacity, he totters perplexed towards his political twilight. Go towards the light John, towards the light...

Meanwhile thrice-wed transvestite & rage-a-holic Giuliani announces, bravely if suicidally, his support for federally funded abortions to startled South Carolina klansfolk. DOH!

Mormonist Mitt, wooing the NRA declares himself a constant killer of critters, but his staff admit he's only hunted twice in his life (totally killing the fuck out of 2 bunnies & a pheasant, mind you.) Kinda like his pro-choice/pro-gay stance that magically transmogrified into anti-choice, anti-gay positions as soon as the Oval Office beckoned. Despite his granite-jawed Mormanliness, Mitt is proving decidedly flippity-floppity on the stump. For me though it was the Coulter-geist endorsement that truly capped his candidacy....

Who else? Fred Whats-his-name from Law & Order whose mediocrity as an actor (scowl-sigh, repeat) is only surpassed by his inconsequence as a legislator. Then there's Huckabee & Brownback whose names, though resonant with red-neckery, don't appear to have fired the Republican imagination (insofar as one exists.)

No wonder the New York Post is so desperate that they're sincerely calling for Cheney, the only man more loathed than the Chimperor, to run. One question I have though: since the conservative candidacy cup does NOT runneth over, what's the likelihood of a late, last-chance run by Jeb?

Posted by: DanJoaquinOz on April 7, 2007 at 11:22 PM | PERMALINK

Eggblurt: "A theretical question: Let's say we could prove we were winning."

There's your whole anti-war argument in a nutshell. Couldn't'a said it better myself.

Geez eggfart, I hope you're not changing sides. You're such an incompetent I'd prefer you to stay on theirs. Incompetence is the hallmark of you Bushcultists, after all.

Posted by: DrBB on April 7, 2007 at 11:35 PM | PERMALINK

eggbutt is a genius. Look:

"A theretical question:..."

Given my monica (sic) I am forthwith setting up my new philosophy school of theretics and its antithesis nottheretics.

I will of course appoint the leading light, Prof. eggbutt to the chair of the school of theretics, and think we should have a poll for the most suitable post to chair for the school of nottheretics.

I am, of course, looking for large donations to get this off the ground.

Anybody?

egbert? Al? US chickenheart? Yu? Blackwater?

Yeah. Blackwater School of Nottheretics has a real nice ring. And they've got our maoney, right?

Posted by: notthere on April 8, 2007 at 12:12 AM | PERMALINK

Brilliant post, DJO. You covered the whole territory there. I think it was the New York Sun that loves them some Cheney, but in any case your summation should hold up nicely for months to come.

Posted by: Kenji on April 8, 2007 at 12:14 AM | PERMALINK

The fact is, most of the decisions that we pay these folks to make aren't simple or clear. It's easy to fudge 'em, to moonwalk, to articulate something with "I am against the death tax" rhetoric that has a radically different meaning than people hear in it.

This is absolutely the wrong track to take. The decisions we pay these people to make come down to personal conviction; either the candidate HAS personal convictions or they don't. What you should have said was, "Anyone who doesn't have a shred of personal conviction is making decisions that are wrong and that do the Republic no good."

Opposition to McCain is easy--he is wrong on the war. He opposed our good President one too many times for my taste, but the fact of the matter is, anyone who is anyone now sees that enough time has gone by, the surge is a proven loss leader, the war has been won on the battlefield but lost in the complex shuffle of internal Iraqi politics.

Here is where all of you differ from me--I see the war as being very cut and dried. We need to take everyone who is charge of anything in Iraq and put them in a room. Put a gun on the table if need be. Once they sort out their differences, we can leave.

It was the right war that happened at the right time and now we have stayed too long. We did what we were obligated to do and now any damned fool can see it is time to go. This army is needed elsewhere.

So either one has the courage of their convictions or they don't; John McCain knows we aren't going to get anywhere in Iraq militarily--his actions bespeak those of a man who cannot recognize the reality of current events. Rudy Guiliani--he sees things as they are. McCain is seeing them as he wants them to be based on a political calculus that is going to dissipate in 18 months.

No, one does not give a pass to anyone who cannot act on the courage of their convictions. Not in America and not ever, sir. Peddle your shopworn cliches elsewhere.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on April 8, 2007 at 12:15 AM | PERMALINK

NR: "He opposed our good President one too many times for my taste..."

Wow, you don't like that he gave Clinton a hard time? I'm impressed.

Posted by: Kenji on April 8, 2007 at 12:24 AM | PERMALINK

...what's the likelihood of a late, last-chance run by Jeb?

Posted by: DanJoaquinOz on April 7, 2007 at 11:22 PM | PERMALINK

Stained by the name. And Florida 2000.

Oh, yeah, GWB has left a lot of collateral damage in his wake, and not just in Afghanistan, Iraq and Louisiana. And Jeb's probably intelligent enough not to try. We'll see.

But, yes. Very nice post.

Posted by: notthere on April 8, 2007 at 12:36 AM | PERMALINK

DanJoaquinOz: ...what's the likelihood of a late, last-chance run by Jeb?

We all saw pappy crying, probably cause he knows W ended the legacy.


BTW notthere- you & i oughta reenact the "there's only one person at this party named Skeeter, and that's me" bit. I can't tell if you're the one not saying it or if I'm not saying it anymore.

Posted by: absent observer on April 8, 2007 at 12:45 AM | PERMALINK

How pithy it is to note that you are all tearing McCain a new one--and rightly so, in my estimation--while a prominent BANNER AD sits in the righthand stack of ads on this very blog.

Apparently, someone who spends money on McCain's behalf thinks one or three of you might vote for McCain someday.

Bwah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah!

Posted by: Norman Rogers on April 8, 2007 at 12:56 AM | PERMALINK

Norman Rogers, you sure do a nice job of parsing and sliding around issues. I'm not seeing much of conviction from you.

Your best paragraph was this one:

"It was the right war that happened at the right time and now we have stayed too long. We did what we were obligated to do and now any damned fool can see it is time to go. This army is needed elsewhere."

I have to ask.

1) "Right war" in what way, for what? What was the objective? Remind me.

2) "Right time" as in how, why? Any options that could have played there? Of course that presumes 1).

3) "We have stayed too long" because? Objectives achieved? Invite rescinded? They don't like us much anymore? We've done enough damage?

4) "Did what we were obligated to do", which was what? Wreck the country? Help kill thousand upon thousand Iraqis? Unsettle the balance of the whole Middle East?

5) "Any damned fool can see." Bush can't, and he's the biggest damn fool I know.

6) "This army is needed elsewhere." Christ! I hope you mean home, or have you got another crackpot idea for the wingnuts running this country.

See why I've got problems with what you think is so crystal clear?

Politics isn't about convictions. At bottom it should be about morality, and then it is "the art of the possible".

That's why this administration is so wholly awful. It fails in such grand style at both levels.

Posted by: notthere on April 8, 2007 at 1:04 AM | PERMALINK

..."there's only one person at this party named Skeeter, and that's me" bit. I can't tell if you're the one not saying it or if I'm not saying it anymore.

Posted by: absent observer on April 8, 2007 at 12:45 AM | PERMALINK

I've been here (Stateside) a long time but the allusion escapes me. Sorry. Explanantion?

Posted by: notthere on April 8, 2007 at 1:09 AM | PERMALINK

Find evil. Fight evil. Why not? John McCain has this exactly right. I like the Kurdish people and the marsh Arabs and felt real bad that George H.W. Bush screwed them royally. Dubya isn't that kind of guy. The diehard Sunnis are never going to get dominance of Iraq, no matter how many innocent people the terrorists blow up every day.

Posted by: mike cook on April 8, 2007 at 1:44 AM | PERMALINK

There's Only Room at this party for...

it gave me a chuckle, as usual. good night.

Posted by: absent observer on April 8, 2007 at 1:51 AM | PERMALINK

Find evil. Fight evil. . . .

Sure. Why not. Pakistan. Uzbekistan. Zimbabwe. Darfur. Sudan. China in Tibet.

It's hard to know where to stop.

Colombian government is pretty evil; oh, but they're our allies in our "war on drugs". Of course, Turkey is pretty evil towards the Kurds. So is Iran. Yeah. And the Israelis are pretty evil towards the Lebanese and Palestinians. But then again the Lebanese and Palestinians are pretty evil towards the Israelis.

Getting a little difficult?

Boy, and those Basques. Or is it the Spanish. And Russia, or is it Chechnya. And those East Europens with the Romanies. And those Italian soccer fans, Oh my!

Boy! And then again, we, the USA, are pretty evil towards other nations, governments, even our own people.

This is really getting difficult.

You know, how about sticking with international law and institutions, and deal with what we can cope with. Stop applying childishly simple "solutions" to complex problems.

That's how the Iraq war started.

Posted by: notthere on April 8, 2007 at 2:22 AM | PERMALINK

DanJoaquinOz -- Wonderful post. No answer to the Jeb question, although I think the probability of him throwing his hat in the ring is nil.

Posted by: has407 on April 8, 2007 at 3:47 AM | PERMALINK

A shorter Noah Feldman

Lets just let Bush have his little surge (just so Bush can have his cake and eat too, for the GOP's sake, I guess) and THAN, in a Dem controlled congress, we can pull out from Iraq only after Bush leaves and let the killer fields begin.

Why not simply delay the inevitable so that little Bushie will look good.

We could call this "Rummy" Feldman's Doctrine - In that an all-volunteer army is nothing more that toilet paper - cause if they're stupid enough to be re-deployed and end up either in a body bag or at Walter Reed's rat infested outpatient housing, than just let'em stay and die for the sake of Bush's fail policy.

Oh, and Feldman sez : Most Americans and Sen. Carl Levin are stupid.

Feldman must of drank from ExxonMobil/BP's oil tinted water goblet. This lawyer is either very stupid or ExxonMobil/BP slipped him a some form of compensation.

Posted by: Cheryl on April 8, 2007 at 5:48 AM | PERMALINK

oops, here is the link again.

NOAH FELDMAN's big losing statement

Posted by: Cheryl on April 8, 2007 at 5:53 AM | PERMALINK

New bumper sticker for McCain:

Reads: Bush isn't half as stupid as I am - McCain 08

Posted by: Cheryl on April 8, 2007 at 6:05 AM | PERMALINK

Norman Solomon:
"The media spectacle that John McCain made of himself in Baghdad on Sunday was yet another reprise of a ghastly ritual. Senator McCain expressed “very cautious optimism” and told reporters that the latest version of the U.S. war effort in Iraq is “making progress.” Three years ago, in early April 2004, when an insurrection exploded in numerous Iraqi cities, U.S. occupation spokesman Dan Senor informed journalists: “We have isolated pockets where we are encountering problems.” Nine days later, President Bush declared: “It’s not a popular uprising. Most of Iraq is relatively stable.”

For government officials committed to a war based on lies, such claims are in the wiring.

When Defense Secretary Robert McNamara visited Vietnam for the first time, in May 1962, he came back saying that he’d seen “nothing but progress and hopeful indications of further progress in the future.”

In October 1966, when McNamara held a press conference at Andrews Air Force Base after returning from a trip to Vietnam, he spoke of the progress he’d seen there. Daniel Ellsberg recalls that McNamara made that presentation “minutes after telling me that everything was much worse than the year before.”

Despite the recent “surge” in the kind of media hype that McCain was trying to boost last weekend in Baghdad, this spring has begun with most news coverage still indicating that the war is going badly for American forces in Iraq. Some pundits say that U.S. military fortunes there during the next few months will determine the war’s political future in Washington. And opponents of the war often focus their arguments on evidence that an American victory is not possible.

But shifts in the U.S. military role on the ground in Iraq, coupled with the Pentagon’s air war escalating largely out of media sight, could enable the war’s promoters to claim a notable reduction of “violence.” And the American death toll could fall due to reconfiguration or reduction of U.S. troop levels inside Iraq.

Such a combination of developments would appeal to the fervent nationalism of U.S. news media. But the antiwar movement shouldn’t pander to jingo-narcissism. If we argue that the war is bad mainly because of what it is doing to Americans, then what happens when the Pentagon finds ways to cut American losses — while continuing to inflict massive destruction on Iraqi people?

American news outlets will be inclined to depict the Iraq war as winding down when fewer Americans are dying in it. That happened during the last several years of the Vietnam War, while massive U.S. bombing — and Vietnamese deaths — continued unabated.

The vast bulk of the U.S. media is in the habit of defining events around the world largely in terms of what’s good for the U.S. government — through the eyes of top officials in Washington. Routinely, the real lives of people are noted only as shorthand for American agendas. The political spin of the moment keeps obscuring the human moment.

Awakening from a 40-year nap, an observer might wonder how much has changed since the last war that the United States stumbled over because it could not win. The Congressional Record is filled with insistence that the lessons of Vietnam must not be forgotten. But they cannot be truly remembered if they were never learned in the first place."



Posted by: consider wisely on April 8, 2007 at 7:26 AM | PERMALINK

Well, his own stupidity led him to the Golgotha political hill - But, he has been entombed for more than three days, hasn't he? Any perceived movement of that boulder at the mouth of the tomb, as yet?

Has his buddie's, Falwell and Dobson, vigil come to naught?

Posted by: thethirdPaul on April 8, 2007 at 8:09 AM | PERMALINK

DanJoaquinOz -- Wonderful post.

Not that anyone should be surprised by that. Just true to form...:)

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 8, 2007 at 9:28 AM | PERMALINK

Why anybody would vote for this pathetic old man with leprosy, I have no idea. Maybe they are just morbid and want to watch McCain decompose on national TV, I don't know. Watch his nose fall off during his next press conference and be horrified by the spectacle of this decrepit old fuck straining to appear relevant....

Posted by: The Grim Reaper on April 8, 2007 at 11:07 AM | PERMALINK

This caught my eye while surfing -- on outer-loop.com:

"...Part of Thompson’s allure is that hypocritical gene within the Republican genome that craves to have an actor return to the Oval Office. Conservatives were at their peak when Ronnie Reagan was at the helm, the man inspired an entire generation of youthful liberals to vote for him with nothing more than a homey grandpa-like swagger and two million gallons of Just for Men..."

Posted by: consider wisely on April 8, 2007 at 11:20 AM | PERMALINK

Today's combat is in Diwaniyeh, where locals are assisting the US and Iraqi forces to root out the Mahdi army.

In order to be accurate, this should read:

"Today's combat is in Diwaniyeh, where the Badr Corps are assisting the US and Iraqi forces to root out the Mahdi army, their bitter rivals in the turf war that is Iraq.

The Badr had time to assist the U.S. in fighting the Mahdi Army because they weren't busy attacking the British today, who are slowly withdrawing from the area after the Badr helped drive them out.

Meanwhile back in Baghdad, elements of the Badr Corps are very busy. They are involved in death squads, forced relocation of Sunnis, beating women whom they consider to be dressing immodestly, harassment of suspected gays and shopkeepers who sell alcohol, and random executions.

This has been today's 'Good News from Iraq But Not Really,' brought to you by Matthew Marler, notorious for not being able to find his ass with both hands when he tries and rarely if ever providing any meaningful context for his assertions, much less fact checking."

Posted by: trex on April 8, 2007 at 11:23 AM | PERMALINK

Jonathan Alter has an article in Newsweek's April 16th edition about McCain--this caught my eye:

"...Then there's the question of whether his time has passed. (He'd be 72 when inaugurated, the oldest American president to be sworn in to a first term.) On some critical global issues, McCain seems out of touch. "Do you think contraceptives help stop the spread of HIV?" he was recently asked aboard his bus, the Straight Talk Express. After a long pause, the senator replied, "You've stumped me."

Posted by: consider wisely on April 8, 2007 at 12:00 PM | PERMALINK

frankly0 and cmdicely get it (and Kevin doesn't). This is a contest for the votes of the right of the Republican party (those who turn out in primary elections). They see McCain, they see the war, the way Egbert and Al do. McCain's move is by no means foolish (though it would trouble him in November if he won).

Amazing how we tend to think either the other guy agrees with us or he's virtually insane and to be dismissed.

Posted by: Cansee on April 8, 2007 at 12:06 PM | PERMALINK
Find evil. Fight evil. Why not?

Sure, mike cook, but remember to make some accounting for capacity. For example, in your particular case, you need look no further than your own soul to find evil and sadly you manifestly lack the capacity to fight evil, especially that closest to home.

Result: you flap your unknowing jaws in advocacy of widespread murder and mayhem. Thanks, but no thanks.

Posted by: obscure on April 8, 2007 at 12:08 PM | PERMALINK

LOL -- I don't take him seriously, but since he expressed the stupidity in pure form, it's worth smacking Norman anyway: "The decisions we pay these people to make come down to personal conviction; either the candidate HAS personal convictions or they don't."

This is most emphatically NOT what the Founders intended, nor has it ever been the way our (or any other) republic works.

There are a TON of political issues that come along on which nobody in their right mind has "personal convictions", which are purely matters of practical balance. Somebody has to pay for all those aircraft carriers and the asphalt on the interstate, but if you regard the precise mix of HOW as a mass of "personal convictions", well... get a life.

It's the exercise of power, pure and simple, and in a republic with ten zillion competing interests it's ALL about compromise and balance, not "personal conviction". That is a skill very few people have; don't dis it, cuz without it, we can't keep a republic indefinitely.

There have been a lot of 'personal conviction' issues, e.g., civil rights, on which the political and parliamentary manuevering have historically been downright Byzantine -- and woe betide the fool who confuses tactics for strategy, or tacking for navigation.

With McCain and Iraq, I disagree with folks who point to stuff he's said about Bush from time to time. That's not inconsistent, except for folks who confuse the President with the country, or support for the war with support for failures and errors. (Which, as it happens, is what Bush does.) McCain has always supported the war; still does, his views of Bush aren't relevant for that reason.

Henry Hyde long ago argued that anybody who runs for public office ought to be able to say what the issue is on which they are prepared to disagree with their employers, the voters, and just walk away. If you can't or won't say what it is, Hyde observed, you're no good.

McCain is obviously prepared to disagree with the voters (including primary voters: the issue ain't polling well) CLEARLY, on Iraq.

I think he can be forgiven for not knowing lots of issues in detail -- like I said, the job is complex. And I wouldn't vote for the guy.

But I say again, don't we WANT candidates who happily take positions most people clearly don't agree with, just cause they think it's right?

LOL -- and as a purely political matter, golly, can't anybody here play this game? The proper response for progressives to McCain is to applaud his candor, commend his courage, demand to know why his fellow Republicans aren't as honest and forthcoming... reading the likes of Dice analyzin politics makes me long for G.W. Plunkitt.

Posted by: theAmericanist on April 8, 2007 at 1:06 PM | PERMALINK

Commend his courage?

Damn straight - Takes a real "Man" to walk to the market with only three Blackhawks, two Apaches, and over a 100 heavily armed personnel, while wearing a flak jacket and steel pot.

And I enjoy seeing more and more Repugs convicted, er was that supposed to have personal "convictions", such as DUIs or whatever.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on April 8, 2007 at 1:31 PM | PERMALINK

...reading the likes of Dice analyzin politics makes me long for G.W. Plunkitt.

If "Dice" asked you to sharpen his pencil, you'd be in over your head.

Posted by: skeg on April 8, 2007 at 2:31 PM | PERMALINK
Violence is down in Bagdad 80% since Jan…. egbert at 2:39 P
Indeed?
…Today's combat is in Diwaniyeh, where locals are assisting the US and Iraqi forces to root out the Mahdi army…MatthewRMarler at 7:00 PM
Close your eyes and wish really hard
…I see the war as being very cut and dried…Norman Rogers at 12:15 AM
Do not your convictions impel you to Iraq posthaste? Hie thee on thy way, little Missy! Glory awaits!
Dubya isn't that kind of guy… mike kook at 1:44 AM
Yes, he is. His true believers get a good screwing daily.

Bush has clearly Won the hearts and minds
10 U.S. Troops Die in Iraq; 6 on Sunday
Apr 8, 5:45 PM (ET)
By STEVEN R. HURST
BAGHDAD (AP) - The powerful Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr ordered his militiamen on Sunday to redouble their battle to oust American forces and argued that Iraq's army and police should join him in defeating "your archenemy." The U.S. military announced the weekend deaths of 10 American soldiers, including six killed on Sunday.
Security remained so tenuous in the capital on the eve of the fourth anniversary of the U.S. capture of Baghdad that Iraq's military declared a 24-hour ban on all vehicles in the capital from 5 a.m. Monday. The government quickly reinstated Monday as a holiday, just a day after it had decreed that April 9 no longer would be a day off.
Among the 10 U.S. deaths announced Sunday were three soldiers killed by a roadside bomb while patrolling south of Baghdad; one killed in an attack south of the capital; and two who died of combat wounds sustained north of the capital, in Diyala and Salahuddin provinces. On Saturday, the military said, four U.S. soldiers were killed in an explosion near their vehicle in Diyala....

Posted by: Mike on April 8, 2007 at 7:53 PM | PERMALINK

LOL -- I don't take him seriously, but since he expressed the stupidity in pure form, it's worth smacking Norman anyway: "The decisions we pay these people to make come down to personal conviction; either the candidate HAS personal convictions or they don't."

This is most emphatically NOT what the Founders intended, nor has it ever been the way our (or any other) republic works.

Right. "Personal convictions" are to a liberal what a bicyle is to a fish.

Run with that theme and see how far it gets you. Washington, Lincoln, Roosevelt (TDR), Eisenhower and Reagan led with their personal convictions and the led this nation ably; if you think they led with some craven bloodlust for the exercise of power, you've got it all wrong and you need to quit reading Chomsky on you toilet.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on April 9, 2007 at 10:17 AM | PERMALINK

...except of course for the fact thatthe Pope rarely plays Bob Jones University.

Posted by: Chesire11 on April 9, 2007 at 2:01 PM | PERMALINK

Hmm.... I suppose this was deleted. A few days ago, I asked Skeg to kindly tell us who GW Plunkitt was.

Posted by: theAmericanist on April 9, 2007 at 10:53 PM | PERMALINK

LOL -- Norman, it's REALLY stupid to reason with you, but fwiw as a f'r instance: Lincoln in particular took great pains his entire career, and especially in his Presidency, to distinguish between his personal convictions and his job.

The most famous example -- surely even you've heard of it, Norman -- is Lincoln's letter to Horace Greeley, which was published after he had decided but before he had issued the Emancipation Proclamation. There had been a couple attempts by lesser Union officials, including a couple generals (Butler and Fremont) to emancipate slaves and make the Civil War about slavery, which in every case Lincoln had powerfully opposed -- for several reasons, one of which is that he regarded them as unlawful because, as Lincoln well knew, the Constitution protected slavery. The military necessity to free slaves in parts of the nation then in rebellion was not a decision to be made by anyone UNDER Lincoln -- and so he took strong exception to Greeley's criticism of him for overturning those who had tried:

"Executive Mansion,
Washington, August 22, 1862.

Hon. Horace Greeley:
Dear Sir.
I have just read yours of the 19th. addressed to myself through the New-York Tribune. If there be in it any statements, or assumptions of fact, which I may know to be erroneous, I do not, now and here, controvert them. If there be in it any inferences which I may believe to be falsely drawn, I do not now and here, argue against them. If there be perceptable in it an impatient and dictatorial tone, I waive it in deference to an old friend, whose heart I have always supposed to be right.

As to the policy I "seem to be pursuing" as you say, I have not meant to leave any one in doubt.

I would save the Union. I would save it the shortest way under the Constitution. The sooner the national authority can be restored; the nearer the Union will be "the Union as it was." If there be those who would not save the Union, unless they could at the same time save slavery, I do not agree with them. If there be those who would not save the Union unless they could at the same time destroy slavery, I do not agree with them. My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union. I shall do less whenever I shall believe what I am doing hurts the cause, and I shall do more whenever I shall believe doing more will help the cause. I shall try to correct errors when shown to be errors; and I shall adopt new views so fast as they shall appear to be true views.

I have here stated my purpose according to my view of official duty; and I intend no modification of my oft-expressed personal wish that all men everywhere could be free.

Yours,
A. Lincoln"

He's quite clear that he is NOT acting out of "personal conviction", dude. He is doing his job. (He spoke of it in the First Inaugural.)

You might try a remedial civics course, to find out just what that job IS.

Posted by: theAmericanist on April 9, 2007 at 11:05 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, what the hell -- to help with Skeg's education (Dice is lost), here:

This "is the way and the only way to’ make a lastin’ success in politics... Get a followin’, if it’s only one man, and then go to the district leader and say: “I want to join the organization. I’ve got one man who’ll follow me through thick and thin.” The leader won’t laugh at your one-man followin’. He’ll shake your hand warmly, offer to propose you for membership in his club, take you down to the corner for a drink and ask you to call again. But go to him and say: “I took first prize at college in Aristotle; I can recite all Shakespeare forwards and backwards; there ain’t nothin’ in science that ain’t as familiar to me as blockades on the elevated roads and I’m the real thing in the way of silver-tongued orators.” What will he answer? He’ll probably say: “I guess you are not to blame for your misfortunes, but we have no use for you here.”

- George Washingon Plunkitt, New York State Senator (1842-1924)

Posted by: theAmericanist on April 9, 2007 at 11:12 PM | PERMALINK
with some craven bloodlust for the exercise of power…Norman Rogers at 10:17 AM
That would define Bush, Newt, Giuliani, McCain. Bush especially likes the power to send men to die. In 1999, Bush was planning to be war president

…'One of the keys to being seen as a great leader is to be seen as a commander-in-chief.' And he said, 'My father had all this political capital built up when he drove the Iraqis out of Kuwait and he wasted it.' He said, 'If I have a chance to invade·.if I had that much capital, I'm not going to waste it. I'm going to get everything passed that I want to get passed and I'm going to have a successful presidency." Herskowitz said that Bush expressed frustration at a lifetime as an underachiever in the shadow of an accomplished father. In aggressive military action, he saw the opportunity to emerge from his father's shadow. The moment, Herskowitz said, came in the wake of the September 11 attacks. "Suddenly, he's at 91 percent in the polls, and he'd barely crawled out of the bunker."….

You'll find a whore with a heart of gold easier than a Republican with principles. The last one I heard of was Teddy Roosevelt.

Posted by: Mike on April 10, 2007 at 12:10 AM | PERMALINK

He's quite clear that he is NOT acting out of "personal conviction", dude. He is doing his job. (He spoke of it in the First Inaugural.)

You're a simpleton. Who is responsible for the conviction of "saving the Union?"

Prior to the Civil War, the state of South Carolina tried secession. Andrew Jackson stopped it. The same Andrew Jackson who did more to preserve the Union, win the war of 1812 and drive the Spanish from Florida than virtually all of his predecessors.

"Preserving the Union" was not in vogue, of course--Jackson's warlike tendencies were reviled. He spent his entire political career locked in a struggle with his enemies. He was not just "doing his job" because he had to define that aspect of his responsibilities as President as a new precedent. The problems Jackson faced were nothing like what Washington faced; therefore, he had to act out of personal conviction.

Lincoln had only Jackson's example to inform him, and one can see that in his letter to Greeley. His personal conviction is that the Union must be preserved. Lincoln's "...view of of my official duty..." is his conviction speaking.

Were you capable of original and independent thought, you could see that. You are informed by a misguided strain of intellectualism that replaced colloquial "aw shucks" hipness with actual information--typical of your generation. As you die out, so does the fracture you have caused in the American body politic and psyche.

And thank the Creator for that...

Posted by: Norman Rogers on April 10, 2007 at 10:04 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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