Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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June 20, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

FIRST QUARTER SCOREBOARD....Ron Brownstein writes today that Democrats haven't been ruthless enough against their own party's dinosaurs. Nancy Pelosi, he says, should take a page from Newt Gingrich's playbook and start dumping a few of the party's most recalcitrant committee barons in favor of loyalists who actually care about moving the party's agenda forward:

Gingrich's changes replaced a culture of seniority with a culture of competition that awarded chairmanships to legislators who most reliably supported the leadership. Republicans carried the system to excess by systematically denying chairmanships to moderates and punishing almost any independent thinking. But overall, Gingrich's approach helped Republicans consistently move their agenda through the House despite persistently narrow majorities.

When Democrats regained control after the 2006 elections, they insisted they had learned from Republican techniques. But they blinked at the toughest step. Pelosi, ruffling senior Democrats, maintained Gingrich's term limits for chairmen. But she reverted to a seniority system in naming the chairman of every permanent House committee.

The result of this Democratic blinkery is John Dingell, who seems dedicated to using his chairmanship of the Energy and Commerce Committee to block any and all environmental legislation in favor of yet more short-sighted protectionism for the auto industry in his home state of Michigan. Because, you know, protecting the American auto industry from the outside world has worked out so well for them over the past few decades.

But if Pelosi is too soft on Democrats, John Judis think that Harry Reid is too soft on Republicans. Judis harks back to the late 80s, and tells us that majority leader George Mitchell and speaker Tom Foley pursued a successful strategy of passing moderate legislation that President Bush was forced to veto, thus making him look like an obstructionist:

During his term, Mitchell and Foley sent Bush 36 pieces of legislation that he vetoed. These included the Family and Medical Leave Act, tax relief and urban aid (in the wake of the Los Angeles riots), extended jobless benefits (during a recession), a crime bill, the removal of a Bush administration ban on federal funding of fetal tissue research (which had been instrumental to discovering a polio vaccine), a bill removing the gag rule that forbade federally funded family planning counselors from discussing abortion, a bill regulating cable rates, and a campaign finance measure.

Unfortunately, all of these votes, as Judis acknowledges, required support from Republican moderates in order to pass. But that strategy pretty clearly won't work in today's Senate, which contains no more than half a dozen Republicans who could truly be called moderate. And even those half dozen are rarely willing to join Democrats in passing moderate legislation. The Gingrichization of the Republican Party has made moderate insubordination too costly to seriously consider.

The result is that Senate Republicans can filibuster anything they want to keep off Bush's desk, allowing through only those bills that he's willing to sign — or those in which a veto is actually helpful to the cause. Democrats simply don't have the ability to force moderate legislation to the Oval Office as veto bait.

Neither Pelosi nor Reid look ready to join the pantheon of great congressional leaders yet, but given the slim majorities they command I've been reasonably impressed with their performance so far. These are nonetheless useful critiques, I think. Congress hasn't accomplished much so far this year, and unless Pelosi and Reid can either turn this around or else place the blame on Republican obstructionism, Democrats might have a tough time at the polls next year.

Kevin Drum 12:48 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (45)

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Neither Pelosi nor Reid look ready to join the pantheon of great congressional leaders yet, but given the slim majorities they command I've been reasonably impressed with their performance so far.

Pelosi, OK, but why the praise (however faint) for Reid? He's holding up reform legislation, and went for cloture on the immigratiion reform when he didn't have the votes, instead of permitting a lengthy debate leading to a vote on the (ammended) bill itself. Plus he criticised the Supreme Court for upholding a law (prohibiting partial birth abortions) that he voted for. His comments on the Iraq war are not well received among swing voters and more centrist Democrats. Someone wrote that Reid speaks like the boxer he used to be, an appalling comment when you consider Reid's age, suggestive of "punch drunk".

Posted by: MatthewRmarler on June 20, 2007 at 1:10 PM | PERMALINK

Mr. Brownstein has a point. A political party that continues to use consultants like Shrum and old party hacks like Harry Reid is becoming sclerotic. A lot of Barack Obama's appeal springs from the fact he is a new face.

If the Democrats can't gain political traction against a president who:

- Started a war illegally, based on a pack of lies;
- Has issued dozens of "signing statements", that basically say "kiss my ass";
- Has rung up trillions in debt that our children and grandchildren will be paying off;
- Has given massive tax breaks to the superwealthy, while urinating on the middle class by outsourcing manufacturing jobs to Asia;
- Gutted environmental laws and gainsayed global climate change;
- And, has an overall approval rating with the American public of 29%.

Then, that political party needs to go the way of the dinosaur, in my opinion.

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on June 20, 2007 at 1:18 PM | PERMALINK

The result is that Senate Republicans can filibuster anything they want to keep off Bush's desk, allowing through only those bills that he's willing to sign — or those in which a veto is actually helpful to the cause. Democrats simply don't have the ability to force moderate legislation to the Oval Office as veto bait.

Yes, they do. Their weapon, if they ever choose to use it, is the filibuster - that is, forcing the GOP to actually filibuster popular legislation (I'm thinking a 'clean' minimum-wage hike bill would be a good place to start) when they block a cloture resolution, rather than simply moving on to the next order of business.

Remember, the Senate votes on a bill when debate ends. A cloture vote is simply a way of artificially bringing debate to an end. If cloture is blocked, and the Dems choose to keep the bill on the floor, then the GOP will have to talk talk talk to prevent the bill from being voted on.

That's what a true filibuster is, and the Dems should force the GOP to actually filibuster once they've blocked cloture on popular legislation.

Posted by: low-tech cyclist (formerly RT) on June 20, 2007 at 1:21 PM | PERMALINK

Even allowing all of Marler's imaginary faults for Reid, he is still far better than the guy whose brutalization of Iraq led to 300 dead and wounded yesterday. You remember, George W. Bush?

This is the problem Republicans have. Every criticism they bring against Democrats has a simple response - Bush. Bush was a failed businessman whose only qualification was that his daddy was President. Once the USSC elected him, his track record was one of failure (9/11) and incompetence (Iraq).

Reid's complaint about the USSC may have been hypocritical, but no more so than the Republicans complaining about upholding eminent domain after voting for someone whose fortune is the product of abusive eminent domain.

Posted by: heavy on June 20, 2007 at 1:21 PM | PERMALINK

Pelosi is trying. She set up Markey's Committee as a counterweight to Dingell, who admittedly is an albatross on environmental issues.

I's dispute that a veto of stem cell research is a plus for the GOP. We need more issues like that--real wedge issues that split off the far right from the right-of-center. Contraception is another good one. Global warming/energy independence. And the spending bills, with no tax cut extensions. Bush can veto, but he can't appropriate money all by himself, nor can he extend the tax cuts. I think we'll see lots more of this later in the summer.

And I agree about the filibuster. Let's have a real debate on the war, where the GOP has to talk it to death, not just whine and Reid pulls the bill after a quick cloture cote, or worse, just pulls the bill.

Posted by: Mimikatz on June 20, 2007 at 1:35 PM | PERMALINK

Reid and Pelosi (and Lieberman, and Clinton - both of them) are part of the problem. Not part of the solution.

Posted by: osama_been_forgotten on June 20, 2007 at 1:36 PM | PERMALINK

My thoughts exactly on Reid. I thought more of Judis than to make a clearly fallacious historical parallel.

Posted by: Steve on June 20, 2007 at 1:37 PM | PERMALINK

I think the 1980s techniques were a little more effective against a president actually up for re-election.

Posted by: melrose on June 20, 2007 at 1:52 PM | PERMALINK

As I said over at my place:

Blame the victims. Kill the messenger. Please, folks, show some reality-based thinking.

As long as the Right has a veto-proof number, and as long as GWBushCo will VETO EVERYTHING ON HIS DESK FROM DEMOCRATS, the power of the Democrats, while nominal, is really ephemeral.

Posted by: SteveAudio on June 20, 2007 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

I second Mimikatz. Contrary to what Kevin implies, Bush's veto of stem cell research funding is not "helpful to the cause" -- not in a general election. It's a wonderful wedge issue. As Mimikatz says, so is contraception.

In fact, the issue of contraception could be instrumental in winning the White House. Here's what the Democrats can (and should) do: Introduce a bill that codifies the Supreme Court's Griswold vs. Connecticut decision that affirmed the right to use contraception, based on privacy grounds.

First of all, this bill would be a wonderful wedge that splits the marfoley Republican Party. It'll shine a light on the markfoley cockroaches who wish Griswold vs. Connecticut had never been resolved that way.

Second, and more important, the markfoley Republicans would whine that the law is unnecessary, because the Supreme Court decision has stood since 1965. This allows the devastating Democratic response: That a statutory law is necessary because the Supreme Court would overturn Griswold vs. Connecticut if a markfoely Republican wins in 2008. It would remind moderate, independent voters that the markfoley Republicans are radically insane.

Lots of otherwise moderate voters regard abortion as "icky." But they absolutely will not vote for anyone who evinces any wobbliness in their support of legalized contraception.

Posted by: Queequeg on June 20, 2007 at 2:00 PM | PERMALINK

I third Mimikatz on the stem-cell research veto.

And is anybody else amused that Newt "No, I Won't Go Away and You Can't Make Me" Gingrich is being held up in 2007 as an example of how to jettison dinosaurs?

Posted by: shortstop on June 20, 2007 at 2:06 PM | PERMALINK

When I look at the right direction/wrong direction numbers I see a glowing opportunity for Democratic gains in 2008. Substantial gains. The American people know that Republican fillabuster is responsible for holding up much legislation in the Senate. So, while I agree with many of the points made, I disagree sharply with the conclusions. I do give Pelosi higher marks than Reid, however.

Posted by: DallasNE on June 20, 2007 at 2:14 PM | PERMALINK

As long as the Right has a veto-proof number, and as long as GWBushCo will VETO EVERYTHING ON HIS DESK FROM DEMOCRATS, the power of the Democrats, while nominal, is really ephemeral.
Posted by: SteveAudio on June 20, 2007 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

We're not stupid. We know the numbers.

The question isn't whether we want our Democratic representatives to override the Republicans. (and I think there's some rightwing message-framing going on with this narrative. . . ) It's whether we want to see them triangulate, and compromise.

We didn't elect them to roll-over to Republican demands.

We elected them to fight - even if losing is guaranteed.

Fight, damm you! Fight!

Or we'll elect someone who will.

Posted by: osama_been_forgotten on June 20, 2007 at 2:15 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, they do. Their weapon, if they ever choose to use it, is the filibuster - that is, forcing the GOP to actually filibuster popular legislation (I'm thinking a 'clean' minimum-wage hike bill would be a good place to start) when they block a cloture resolution, rather than simply moving on to the next order of business.

Here here! I totally agree, though I do add another weapon to the arsenal that was placed there by none other than the GOP! The nuclear option. That's right, the GOPers created a so-called nuclear option and the Dems acted as though they had already lost the ability to filibuster by never EVER considering a filibuster. They can pull that shiny new weapon from the arsenal and threaten to fire it whenever the GOPers threaten to stop all business. This should be done only AFTER making the GOP actually filibuster in the precise old-fashioned Mr Smith Goes to Washington way. Make it happen rather than turning it into a purely theoretical exercise.

Posted by: Praedor Atrebates on June 20, 2007 at 2:16 PM | PERMALINK

I've been reasonably impressed with their performance so far. I am fearful of an attack on Iran, however, and wonder how the Democratic Congress will prevent it.

Posted by: Brojo on June 20, 2007 at 2:19 PM | PERMALINK

"Every criticism they bring against Democrats has a simple response - Bush."
____________________

However, it can potentially hurt the Democratic Party when that is the only response.

Posted by: Trashhauler on June 20, 2007 at 2:59 PM | PERMALINK

"This is, certainly not an attempt to muzzle science," White House press secretary Tony Snow said. "It is an attempt, I think, to respect people's conscience on such an issue."

And yet, Bush doesn't respect people's conscience on the war in Iraq.

Indeed, he seems to never respect the conscience of the majority of Americans, but only the minority that agree with him.

Bush basically pisses all over any set of people who disagree with him, so it has nothing whatsoever to do with respecting people's conscience, unless the only set of people whose conscience he respects is limited to people who agree with him.

Trashhauler: However, it can potentially hurt the Democratic Party when that is the only response.

Hurt 'em so bad they retook both the Senate and the House.

Love it when the wingers keep giving Democrats advice on how to win and that advice is always the opposite of what has been shown to work.

Posted by: anonymous on June 20, 2007 at 3:08 PM | PERMALINK

If the measure Bush vetoed would have become law, the White House said it would have compelled taxpayers for the first time in our history -- to support the deliberate destruction of human embyros. . . . "The president does not believe it's appropriate to put an end to human life for research purposes," Snow said.

Of course, this is disingenuous, since all of the embryos to be used would and will be destroyed anyway, regardless whether used for research or not, and no "life" (no matter how one defines it) is going to be saved by Bush's veto.

Yet another lie to add to his long, long list.

But it is okay for Bush to compel taxpayers to support the deliberate destruction of innocent people, including actual real children, in the Middle East.

Posted by: anonymous on June 20, 2007 at 3:12 PM | PERMALINK

Republicans "filibuster anything they want to keep off Bush's desk"? Really? I don't remember reading about any "filibusters" do you? We heard plenty about it—and how bad it was for the country—when the Democrats were in the minority, but I don't really hear much about it now. Why is that?

Because Reid isn't making the Republicans "filibuster" anything. He counts heads and has a cloture vote, which brings debate to an end artificially, and they move on to the next item. Bullshit. MAKE. THEM. ACTUALLY. FILIBUSTER. Make these assholes actually go to the podium and speak. I don't care if they argue their positions or read the phone book, make them earn it. Reid is letting them off easy with an "implied" filibuster. Fuck that.

The Republicans invested heavily in painting the filibuster as the last resort of desperate obstructionists. Make them fucking wear it. It highlights their hypocrisy, it won't win them any fans (or at least will confound and confuse) their moronic base, and puts them—and here's the important part—visibly on the wrong side of issues popular with everybody else.

The Democrats swept back into power by promising a bold new direction. Reid (and Pelosi) are ceding too much to the Republicans in Congress and Bush if they continue to let them stall and run out the clock until 2008. They may not actually be able pass any bold new initiatives with their slim majorities, but they sure as hell should look like they're trying.

"More Democrats?" Great. But first lets outfit the ones we have with some testicles.

Posted by: Mr Furious on June 20, 2007 at 3:59 PM | PERMALINK

Ron Brownstein writes today that Democrats haven't been ruthless enough...

Golly gee willikers...

I hadn't noticed.

Like the name says:

Posted by: ROTFLMRuthlessLiberalAO on June 20, 2007 at 4:01 PM | PERMALINK

Trashy wrote: However, it can potentially hurt the Democratic Party when that is the only response.

How is Bush's mendacity, incompetence and corruption -- which everyone but dead-ender Bush cultists like you now recognize -- a negative for the Democrats?

Posted by: Gregory on June 20, 2007 at 4:10 PM | PERMALINK

[Apologies to the regulars - while cleaning up unpublished link spam, a couple of comments disappeared.]

Posted by: . on June 20, 2007 at 4:35 PM | PERMALINK

Gregory wrote:

"How is Bush's mendacity, incompetence and corruption -- which everyone but dead-ender Bush cultists like you now recognize -- a negative for the Democrats?"
__________________

Okay, have it your way. If the Democratic Party has only one response on every issue - Bush, it cannot possibly hurt the Party.

Posted by: Trashhauler on June 20, 2007 at 4:36 PM | PERMALINK

Trashhauler: However, it can potentially hurt the Democratic Party when that is the only response.

Hurt 'em so bad they retook both the Senate and the House.

"Love it when the wingers keep giving Democrats advice on how to win and that advice is always the opposite of what has been shown to work."
______________________

Like I said, have it your way. If Democrats have no other response to anything but Bush, it cannot possibly hurt the Democratic Party. Is that better?

Posted by: Trashhauler on June 20, 2007 at 4:48 PM | PERMALINK

You didn't mention Mitchell's brilliant ploy against Bush I when he blocked capital gains tax cuts and ensured a recession when Bush was running for re-election. The tax increases that Bush signed when he reneged on "Read My Lips" plus Mitchell's investment killer cap gains tax let Clinton and Perot combine to end Bush's try for a second term. Of course, it hurt the country but who cares about that ? Winning elections is what politicians do.

Posted by: Mike K on June 20, 2007 at 4:59 PM | PERMALINK
one response on every issue Bush, it cannot possibly hurt the Party. Trashhauler at 4:36 PM
Unless and until his actions and ideology is repudiated by any other Republican candidate, they are giving de facto endorsements. Since Bush's approval is in the toilet and in the process of being flushed, being against those acts and ideology is the better place to be. You may not have noticed, but almost all of the Democratic candidates have policy links on their sites offering, in some cases, highly detailed policy positions. If you ever want to think outside the talking points, you can check 'em out.
….it hurt the country but who cares about that …. Mike K at 4:59 PM
Yeah, eight years of economic growth, rising employment, higher worker participation, and decreasing poverty rates really really "hurt the country." Don't believe everything you think. Posted by: Mike on June 20, 2007 at 5:25 PM | PERMALINK

"[A]lmost all of the Democratic candidates have policy links on their sites offering, in some cases, highly detailed policy positions."
____________________

Yes, certainly they do. That wasn't the issue, though. The man said every criticism against the Democratic Party has a simple answer - Bush. The Democratic Party projects a stronger voice when it also offers alternative policies, than when it merely blames President Bush on whatever the subject might be.

Admittedly, sometimes they do not, such as with Congressional earmarks or immigration. But overall, stated policies and criticism of the Administration is stronger than criticism alone.

Posted by: Trashhauler on June 20, 2007 at 5:42 PM | PERMALINK

"Yeah, eight years of economic growth, rising employment, higher worker participation, and decreasing poverty rates really really "hurt the country." Don't believe everything you think. "

Well, at least somebody else here appreciates Bush's accomplishments !

I'm sure you guys prefer the highly ethical Democrats in power, like those that run Los Angeles.

Posted by: Mike K on June 20, 2007 at 5:51 PM | PERMALINK

heavy on June 20, 2007 at 1:21 PM

Kevin didn't write "thank goodness Reid isn't as bad as Bush." He wrote that Reid is actually doing a good job.

Praedor Atrebates on June 20, 2007 at 2:16 PM

Well said. Haven't you been gone a long time? I have missed your posts.

Posted by: MatthewRmarler on June 20, 2007 at 6:13 PM | PERMALINK

more disappointment with Reid:

http://www.tnr.com/user/nregi.mhtml?i=w070618&s=judis062007

Posted by: MatthewRmarler on June 20, 2007 at 6:50 PM | PERMALINK

more criticism of the Democratic leadership:

http://thehill.com/dick-morris/dems-like-gop--like-nepotism-2007-06-20.html

Posted by: MatthewRmarler on June 20, 2007 at 7:07 PM | PERMALINK

Can't we turn the tables on them and give them clean legislation that they will filibuster and then go on tv with all barrels blazing and say:

-If the Republicans are against the legislation why won't they let it come up for a vote?

-Obstructionist worked pretty well against Daschle, use it against the other side

-Put up that minimum wage for Susan Collins, Norm Coleman and Gordon Smith to vote for or against cloture

-Same with Iraq funding

-At the very least, you can get the moderate R's to either vote with the D's or squirm and take serious heat for voting with the staunch conservatives; you might even get a D to replace them in 2008

C'mon take off the gloves, fight back...Reid and Pelosi know exactly what stymied and turned them back...no they don't have the presidency of course so it's different, but the tactics would actually work just the same. Except they could only force a veto or filibuster.

Cmon Harry and Nancy, it's getting hard for me to defend you...show some spunk like you did in the beginning and towards the middle. You have to give the true believers some reason to root for you or it's all gonna fall apart.

Don't spend so much time trying to impress the moderates --it's early, give them just enough not to piss them off. Don't work too hard for them, after all, they don't get excited about anything if they even notice. They will like your moderation one day and then whimsically glorify Bloomberg the next. Your true believers will write checks, make calls and talk to their friends. Which is more important in 2007?

And you can do that by bringing up issues that have very strong support across the spectrum: getting out of Iraq, minimum wage, helping working people, etc. Bring up the issue, yes, it will probably go down in flames --it's your only option right now. Do it.

Otherwise, the press will report, you are getting nothing done and what's worse, you aren't saying anything lately either.

Sheesh.

Posted by: david in norcal on June 20, 2007 at 7:11 PM | PERMALINK

"However, it can potentially hurt the Democratic Party when that is the only response."

Not as long as the Republican Party, and Congressional Republicans, in particular, are so firmly tied to Bush.

Posted by: PaulB on June 20, 2007 at 8:27 PM | PERMALINK

Perhaps Senator Reid and Speaker Pelosi simply are waiting until nearer the actual primaries before starting any legislative offensives?
It would certainly perk up a lot of races if various Senators and Representatives had to explain how they voted. Or why they didn't vote.
Just a thought.

Posted by: Doug on June 20, 2007 at 8:56 PM | PERMALINK

I'm sure you all have an explanation for this. I was unhappy with the Republican Congress and I know a lot of Republicans who were not that unhappy to lose the House after the disgraceful year we had from 2005 to 2006. Looks like the Democrats have blown a good opportunity. It's just amazing how corrupt Washington has become. The immigration (amnesty) bill shows some of that. The Republicans who are voting for it are going against 89% of their voters. The Democrats at least have a rational expectation that amnesty will help them with new voters but they might notice that the Mayor of Hazelton, PA won both primaries after he supported ordinances that banned renting to and employing illegals. He won the Democratic primary as a write-in. I suspect that, if this passes into law, the turnout for Republicans in 2008 will be a record low. I think the Democrats may not do much better.

Posted by: Mike K on June 20, 2007 at 9:30 PM | PERMALINK

Marler, when the opposition supports the guy whose blundering has resulted in the slaughter of Iraqis, everyone in the opposition looks like they are doing a good job. All of these things are comparative. Reid is doing a better job than Frist did in moving legislation that is good for the nation. Therefore Reid is doing a good job. Could it be better? Sure, but compared with the idiots we've had recently and the idiots that would be doing the job if there weren't a Democratic majority he is doing a great job.

And please, quoting Dick "Toes" Morris? The guy hasn't had any credibility for nearly a decade (actually, he never had any, but the effect of being around credible people made him seem credible).

Posted by: heavy on June 20, 2007 at 9:36 PM | PERMALINK

does Congress really have an approval rating of 14%?

http://blogs.usatoday.com/gallup/2007/06/what_do_hmos_an.html

is Reid part of the problem?

Posted by: MatthewRmarler on June 21, 2007 at 12:29 AM | PERMALINK

Fight, damm you! Fight!

Or we'll elect someone who will.
Posted by: osama_been_forgotten on June 20, 2007 at 2:15 PM

Sounds like the death knell for Republican-Lite "neo-liberalism". We can only hope.

Posted by: Doc at the Radar Station on June 21, 2007 at 1:33 AM | PERMALINK

The problem is that the public expects more than can be accomplished with the obstructionist Republicans and the incompetent Bush ensuring that nothing real can be done. That's why Congress has a low approval rating. The Republicans hate Congress because it is run by people who want to do the right thing for America and the Democrats hate Congress because it is incapable of fixing all that the Republicans have destroyed over the past six years.

Contrast that with Bush who gets blind support from the idiot brigade who think that the wholesale slaughter of innocents is okay by them.

Posted by: heavy on June 21, 2007 at 2:36 AM | PERMALINK

By the time Pelosi decides to do something about Dingell, it will most likely be sometime after the 2008 general elections. Brownstein's column is one of the most depressing I've read in a long, long time (and that's saying a lot).

Clearly, Pelosi and Reid are not up to the job at hand. The Dems deserve everything that's coming to them in 2008.

Posted by: decaffeinated on June 21, 2007 at 6:21 AM | PERMALINK

"Contrast that with Bush who gets blind support from the idiot brigade who think that the wholesale slaughter of innocents is okay by them.

Posted by: heavy"

And blind opposition from idiots who know no history and have no idea of what militant Islam has planned for them. Bush has made lots of mistakes and the Republican base is furious with him, but not about Iraq.

Posted by: Mike K on June 21, 2007 at 11:48 AM | PERMALINK

Bush's base is too stupid to know that "militant Islam" is a boogie-man used to frighten them into acting like small children. Which is pretty much their developmental level. Bush's base supports him on his Iraq policy because they are too mindlessly violent to care about the massive slaughter of innocents in Iraq or even Afghanistan.

Suggesting that opposition to Bush is largely "blind" or comes from "idiots" is merely Mike K's way of saying he doesn't really know the difference between National Security and National Car Rental.

Posted by: heavy on June 21, 2007 at 2:32 PM | PERMALINK

Mike K, trying to denigrate your opponents with name-calling only works if you are demonstrably correct. Just as invading a nation to rid the world of WMDs is only brilliant if the nation in question actually has WMDs. Otherwise you are a blithering idiot.

Case in point: do you know, Mike K, where you demonstrated to all and sundry that you were incapable of serious discussion of foreign policy? When you conflated Iraq with "militant Islam."

See, as soon as you do that you demonstrate quite clearly that you are either too stupid to know there was no threat from "militant Islam" in Iraq until George Bush started butchering the locals or you are so dishonest as to ignore this fact.

In the end it doesn’t really matter if you are a liar or if you are merely stupid. The fact remains that you cannot discuss national security with thinking people.

Posted by: heavy on June 21, 2007 at 2:48 PM | PERMALINK

Is John Judis crazy? Its called Ohio, stupid. The Democratic nominee has to carry it to be elected and the nominee has a pretty good chance of carrying Michigan as long as he doesn't tick off the auto industry.

Posted by: aline on June 21, 2007 at 7:06 PM | PERMALINK

Is John Judis crazy? Its called Ohio, stupid. The Democratic nominee has to carry it to be elected and the nominee has a pretty good chance of carrying Michigan as long as he doesn't tick off the auto industry.

There were days when being a leader got ya elected; now all that is left is pandering.

Posted by: Disputo on June 21, 2007 at 8:19 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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