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Tilting at Windmills

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July 31, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

CRAZIFICATION....According to Rasmussen, 28% of Americans hold a favorable opinion of Alberto Gonzales. It's yet more evidence for the John Rogers Theory of Crazification. I mean, it's one thing to argue that, technically, maybe Gonzales isn't quite guilty of perjury, but to actively approve of him? Why?

Kevin Drum 11:51 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (48)

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Just another reason that Bush should keep him.

Where else could Bush go to find somebody who will sign off on torture, spying on US citizens, taking the Justice Dept. into a political gutter, and anything else Bush wants - and he STILL polls higher than Bush.

Sounds like the perfect guy - Bush will keep him!

Posted by: Mark-NC on July 31, 2007 at 11:54 AM | PERMALINK

The same people that approve of Bush. Or is there some glitch in polling that always gives a basal level of 28%?

Posted by: ckelly on July 31, 2007 at 11:55 AM | PERMALINK

Since (apparently) 43% of the people in the survey aren't following the story even somewhat closely, chances are that a good percentage of that 28% don't really have much of a clue who Gonzo is or what he's done.

Posted by: Wilbur on July 31, 2007 at 11:56 AM | PERMALINK

Since (apparently) 43% of the people in the survey aren't following the story even somewhat closely, chances are that a good percentage of that 28% don't really have much of a clue who Gonzo is or what he's done.

Posted by: Wilbur on July 31, 2007 at 11:56 AM | PERMALINK

It's called Democrat Derangement Syndrome. Among many Rush Limbaugh listeners and Fox News viewers, the only relevant question is: "What do the Democrats (or "liberals") think?" All you have to do is answer that question and your own position is made up for you: Just the opposite. There's really no analysis going on here, its just a reflex action, and then a search for some basis on which to support that reflex (i.e. support for executive privilege, which wasn't such a big deal when it was Clinton in the Oval Office).

Democrats could come out in favor of kittens and puppies and these guys would automatically be opposed to kittens and puppies (and would taunt the Dems for being soft in the process).

Posted by: Doug-E-Fresh on July 31, 2007 at 11:58 AM | PERMALINK

face it, there's a 28% hardcore of gloriously ignorant americans out there utterly impervious to reality.

Posted by: linda on July 31, 2007 at 11:59 AM | PERMALINK

I think they're following the well-known principle, "He may be a ill-in-the-blank, but he's our fill-in-the-blank."

Posted by: RSA on July 31, 2007 at 11:59 AM | PERMALINK

Polling on the president's approval rating makes sense to me, as does the question about whether or not to stay in Iraq. Even the most apolitical among us are vaguely aware of those things. But frankly, I'd be surprised if 2/3 of Americans even know who Gonzalez is -- which may be the biggest reason his approval rating is even that high.

Posted by: junebug on July 31, 2007 at 12:04 PM | PERMALINK

face it, there's a 28% hardcore of gloriously ignorant americans out there utterly impervious to reality.

Probably much more than that, I'd say.

Posted by: Vicente Fox on July 31, 2007 at 12:04 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, Kevin.

I approve of him.

He has made sound decisions as Attny Genl, and has shown loyalty to the President. He has aggressively persecuted terrorists and has backed proposals to increase security in this country to make Americans safer.

Most important: he has not allowed the Democrats in Congress to bully him into submission. He has served the President's interest well and has served for his pleasure. That's all you can ask for.

Posted by: egbert on July 31, 2007 at 12:05 PM | PERMALINK

to actively approve of him? Why?

To paraphrase Doug-E-F, presumably because he drives Democrats frothing mad.

Posted by: Shelby on July 31, 2007 at 12:05 PM | PERMALINK

I love the statistical evidence that backs this up. BTW it's 27% that is bedrock conservative crazification constituency.

Fact 1) Alan Keyes vs Obama; 27% supported crazy assed Keyes.
Fact 2) Public support for Nixon as he was bording the helicopter .... 27%
And now we have Gonzo support levels. Let's drop 1% as a counting error and say ... 27%

It's gone beyond a theory, It's a law, the Law of right wing Crazification. 27%ers.

That is a scary amount of crazy wandering around in the Worlds only superpower. Maybe Pakistan and America have more in common then we want to admit.

Posted by: Northern Observer on July 31, 2007 at 12:13 PM | PERMALINK

He has made sound decisions as Attny Genl, and has shown loyalty to the President.

Oh, dear.

1. Which 'sound decisions' has he made? Signing off on torture? Obstructing justice? Lying to Congress?

Wasn't that a sound basis for impeachment for your side, just a few years ago?

2. 'Loyalty to the president' is not his goddamn job. Upholding the law is his job, and he clearly does not have the first clue of how to do that.

The fact that he even got the AG job is a shining testament to Republican cronyism.

Posted by: Stranger on July 31, 2007 at 12:19 PM | PERMALINK

He has made sound decisions as Attny Genl, and has shown loyalty to the President.

That's the problem. He isn't White House Counsel anymore. He heads the department of Justice, and that is supposed to mean something. It no longer does. It was turned into a law enforcement mechanism for the republican party. That sort of abuse by The Party was one of our gripes against the Soviets, remember?

He has aggressively persecuted terrorists [suspects]

Even a blind pig finds an acorn now and then, whether he means to or not. The Gonzales-Yoo Torture Doctrine was certainly persecutory, but that is not a good thing. It isn't (supposed to be) about persecution, it is (supposed to be) about prosecution - pursuit, capture and trial.

He has served the President's interest well and has served for his pleasure.

As AG, it is his responsibility to serve the Constitution and all of the American People, not just one of them.

and has served for his pleasure.

Your homoerotic slip is showing.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on July 31, 2007 at 12:22 PM | PERMALINK

He has served the President's interest well and has served for his pleasure. That's all you can ask for.

Bwah-hah-hah! That's what we've suspected all along about Fredo and Bush. Nice to see a Republican admit it.

Posted by: agum on July 31, 2007 at 12:25 PM | PERMALINK

More seriously -- maybe they support Fredo because he's staying around TO PERSECUTE TEH PEDOS FOR TEH CHILDREN.

Some Americans must be stupid enough to believe it.

Posted by: agum on July 31, 2007 at 12:27 PM | PERMALINK

He has served the President's interest well and has served for his pleasure. That's all you can ask for.

yep, there ya go. for republicans, service to the party trumps any allegiance to the country. nice to see a repuke finally admit it.

Posted by: linda on July 31, 2007 at 12:28 PM | PERMALINK

The crazification theory is proven out time and again. If they had had polls in the Roman Empire, 28% of the people would have approved of making Caligula's horse a senator.

Posted by: The Next to Last Pope on July 31, 2007 at 12:48 PM | PERMALINK

are they all Mexican-Americans?

Posted by: Michele on July 31, 2007 at 12:49 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin says, "technically, maybe Gonzales isn't quite guilty of perjury." Eliminating the spin, that translates to, "Even though Gonzales is innocent, he's being demonized and hounded out of his job." When an underdog is being unfairly attacked, he should be defended and supported.

Support for the victim is even more appropriate when the attack may be motivated be bigotry (that is, bigotry against a Hispanic who has the effrontery to be a Republican.)

Is Gonzales doing a good job? As far as I know, the Justice Dept. is pretty much doing what it's supposed to be doing. The Attorney General has considerable responsibility for preventing terrorist attacks against the US. So far, so good. He has responsibility for Justice Dept prosecutions. I've heard no evidence that these prosecutions are in disarray.

Posted by: ex-liberal on July 31, 2007 at 1:03 PM | PERMALINK

Why do 28% of Americans still approve of Gonzales? Because Bush approves of him, and God has commanded them to approve of everything Bush does. After all, he prays regularly.

Posted by: Bruce Moomaw on July 31, 2007 at 1:07 PM | PERMALINK

Is Gonzales doing a good job? As far as I know,

well, that's your problem right there. you don't know very much. the department staff is demoralized; they are unable to find people willing to staff the upper levels of the department; investigations and prosecutions are interrupted/delayed ... and on and on and on.

but, hey, as far as you know, everything in bushworld is okey dokey..

Posted by: linda on July 31, 2007 at 1:13 PM | PERMALINK

Meanwhile, let us look at yesterday's Survey USA polls on Gonzales ( http://www.surveyusa.com/breaking.aspx , Poll #12435):

"Do you have confidence in Gonzales?" "No", 58-25.

"Do you think Gonzales is fundamentally dishonest?" "Yes", 43-26.

"Should Congress investigate him?" "Yes", 70-25.

"Is the Bush Administration more or les corrupt than previous ones?" "More, 51; "less", 21.

Of course, all of this is among the Americans who say they're following the Gonzales story at all -- which is only 46% of them...

Posted by: BruceMoomaw on July 31, 2007 at 1:14 PM | PERMALINK

linda, do you have cites for the problems in the Justice Dept.?

Posted by: ex-liberal on July 31, 2007 at 1:22 PM | PERMALINK

ex-laxat 1:03 PM:
.... Eliminating the spin.....
No, eliminating the spin and temporal parsing, he has committed perjury. There is also the facts of his dishonesty in testifying about the U.S. Attorney firings which is clearly a perversion of justice. No one today can have faith that the Bush DoJ is not a partisan operation for the political benefit of Republicans.

Support for the victim is even more appropriate when the attack may be motivated be bigotry....
That is another of your silly projections. It is after all the Republican Party which has taken a strong anti-Hispanic stance. There have been very few times in the post-Nixon Republican era when taking a bigoted stand hurt a Republican office seeker.

Is Gonzales doing a good job....
There are others, more knowledgeable, who say otherwise
...Under Gonzales] there was an almost immediate influx of young political aides beginning in the first half of 2005 ... whose inexperience in the processes of government was surpassed only by their evident disdain for it....
"It became quite clear that under Gonzales, the department placed no more than secondary value on the standards that I and my office had valued so heavily for the preceding 25 years—accuracy, integrity, responsibility, and quality of decision-making being chief among them.... [The] strong tradition of independence over the previous 30 years was shattered in 2005 with the arrival of the White House counsel as a second-term AG. All sworn assurances to the contrary notwithstanding, it was as if the White House and Justice Department now were artificially tied at the hip ... as if the current crop of political appointees ... weren't even aware of the important administration-of-justice principles that they were trampling."...

Posted by: Mike on July 31, 2007 at 1:30 PM | PERMALINK

Mike, Ruth Marcus of the Washington Post says although she dispproves of Gonzales, he hasn't commited perjury. She says she finds herself "in an unaccustomed and unexpected position," defending him. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/07/30/AR2007073001335.html

Posted by: ex-liberal on July 31, 2007 at 1:44 PM | PERMALINK

"ex-liberal," you really do get a sick thrill out of posting the most insulting, bad faith comments you can think of, don't you?

It's a sad sign of the degeneracy of neocons that insulting their betters is more important that appearing to have even a shred of integrity.

Posted by: Gregory on July 31, 2007 at 2:03 PM | PERMALINK

Who the hell is Ruth Marcus and why should I care what she says? Lemme guess, another "harsh critic of this administration"TM? (patent pending; inventors O'Hanlon and Pollack)

Posted by: ckelly on July 31, 2007 at 2:21 PM | PERMALINK

Even people who follow every story on The Tube will have no idea whats going on beyond some people were fired & the Bushies deny it was improper although they cant get their story straight.

The TeeVee newsclowns never get around to Hatch Act violations, records destruction, selective prosecution, caging, & all the other reasons Abu still has his job as firewall.

That a large plurality has at least figured out that AG must go is sort of a positive.

Posted by: Downpuppy on July 31, 2007 at 2:23 PM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/28/washington/28gonzales.html?ref=us

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19857833/

Posted by: linda on July 31, 2007 at 2:55 PM | PERMALINK

"God created human beings pretty much in their present form within the last 10,000 years": 39%

Belief in Astrology: 25%

"the sun revolves around the earth": 20%

People with an IQ below 100: 50%
Below 80: 9%

Posted by: Bruce the Canuck on July 31, 2007 at 3:07 PM | PERMALINK

One question for ex-liberal: If Gonzalez is not participating in a cover-up, how come, after six months and multiple Congressional testimonies by DOJ personnel, we still do not know who made the list of USAs to be fired and why?

Posted by: sceptic on July 31, 2007 at 4:13 PM | PERMALINK

"Eliminating the spin, that translates to, 'Even though Gonzales is innocent, he's being demonized and hounded out of his job.'"

LOL.... Well, sure, if you're a mindless partisan incapable of rational thought. To the rest of us, it doesn't translate to anything of the kind.

"When an underdog is being unfairly attacked, he should be defended and supported."

Dear heart, Gonzalez is not even remotely "an underdog," nor is he being "unfairly attacked," since he has already established that he is a liar and that he is woefully incompetent to hold the position he holds.

"Support for the victim is even more appropriate when the attack may be motivated be bigotry (that is, bigotry against a Hispanic who has the effrontery to be a Republican.)"

ROFLMAO... But since that doesn't apply in this case, this is just another bit of mindless partisan drivel.

"Is Gonzales doing a good job?"

No, dear, he's not. Next question?

"As far as I know, the Justice Dept. is pretty much doing what it's supposed to be doing."

Dear heart, since you have already repeatedly established that you know nothing about, well, anything, forgive us if we take this as further proof of your mindless partisanship.

Posted by: Paulb on July 31, 2007 at 5:07 PM | PERMALINK

Is Gonzales doing a good job? As far as I know, the Justice Dept. is pretty much doing what it's supposed to be doing.

Unless the Dept. of Justice has changed its mission statement to "alienate the FBI, politicize the US Attorneys, and make career DOJ officials leave in droves," no, I don't think it's doing what it's supposed to be doing.

There have been numerous complaints in the press of everyone from DAG Comey and FBI head Mueller on down to the rank-and-file saying that he's ruined the department.

Nice fig leaf with the "as far as I know." You apparently know nothing.

Posted by: TR on July 31, 2007 at 5:13 PM | PERMALINK

I haven't seen the poll. How exactly did Rasmussen frame the question?

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on July 31, 2007 at 5:16 PM | PERMALINK



Posted by: ex-liberal on July 31, 2007 at 5:55 PM | PERMALINK

"ex-liberal" wrote: Kevin says, "technically, maybe Gonzales isn't quite guilty of perjury."

No, you dishonest neocon toad, Kevin quoted someone else as saying that. That's a dishonest post even by your standards.

You really do get a sick thrill out of posting the most insultingly disingenuous, bad-faith arguments you can, don't you, "ex-liberal"? I realize we both know that there's no honest way of defending the mendacity, incompetence, corruption and tyranny of the Bush Administration, but your nihilistic glee at pissing on the floor here is disgusting. Why Kevin's moderator(s) tolerate your bullshit is beyond me.

Posted by: Gregory on July 31, 2007 at 6:23 PM | PERMALINK

Ex-Liberal,

That Seattle Times article you pointed out had nothing to do with McKay's firing. The ACORN indictments are related to evidence that was just recently made available, and none of those false registrations voted in any elections - it was not done to fraud an election, but rather to line the pockets of those getting paid to register people. By and large, those who have paid attention to the US Attorney firings have found evidence that McKay was fired for not pursuing election fraud in the '04 Governor's race between Gregoire and Rossi. No evidence for such charges existed at the time, and since then, nothing substantive has surfaced. In fact, the Republican Party tried to challenge the results in the Chelan County Superior Court, and the judge (who was, btw, considered a 'conservative' by all those who decided to check) found that none of the illegitimate votes that were submitted (as happens in all elections) had a substantive outcome on the election. In fact, when considering those votes and controlling for their contribution, it only furthered the gap in Gregoire's favor.

Posted by: Everblue Stater on July 31, 2007 at 6:30 PM | PERMALINK

Of course, what a dishonest neocon toad like you "guesses" or "supposes" to excuse Gonzales' evident perjury isn't worth a bucket of piss (hell, what anyone "guesses" or "supposes" to defend his very evident perjury is worthless, but a serial liar like yours', doubly so).

And in your breathless fever to link the latest thoroughly dishonest neocon defense of the Surge, you've already shown you know how create links, so you can take your cut-and-paste bullshit and shove it.

Jackass.

Posted by: Gregory on July 31, 2007 at 6:32 PM | PERMALINK

That Seattle Times article you pointed out had nothing to do with McKay's firing.

"ex-liberal" certainly knows that. "ex-liberal" does not post in good faith; rather, he seems to be venting his cognitive dissonance at the overwhelming evidence of the mendacity, incompetence, corruption and tyranny of the Bush Administration that he still supports in posting the most insultingly disingenuous bullshit here he can.

Why Kevin's moderator(s) put up with "ex-liberal"'s bullshit psychodrama is beyond me.

Posted by: Gregory on July 31, 2007 at 6:36 PM | PERMALINK

If radical Islamists actually take over a nation-state and use that nation-state as a base of hostile operations, they should be easy to deal with. Under such circumstances, we could carpet bomb them into submission as we did Germany and Japan in World War II.

No Islamist state is going to be able to cobble together a competent army, navy, and air force, so they are not going to be a strategic threat. (Example: it took Iran eight years to fight Iraq to a stalemate. The US twice beat the Iraq army in less than a month).

It's the undercover, non-state cells that are hard to deal with. But once they put on the cloak of a nation-state, they're a naked target.

Posted by: McCord on July 31, 2007 at 6:43 PM | PERMALINK

"Why Kevin's moderator(s) put up with "ex-liberal"'s bullshit psychodrama is beyond me."

In this case, they didn't, since his most recent post has been deleted. Too bad, actually, since I live in Seattle and could easily respond to the type of crap he undoubtedly posted about McKay.

Posted by: PaulB on July 31, 2007 at 7:18 PM | PERMALINK

Everblue Stater: I stand corrected. I was confusing the two elections. As you say, McKay was probably fired for failing to pursue voter fraud in the 2004 election.

You say there was no evidence of fraud, but local blogger Stefan Sharkansky would disagree. In post after post after post, he documented lots of evidence of irregularities, such as this one:

It was last reported that there were 3,539 more ballots counted in King County than voters who cast them. The discrepancy is actually much larger.

The 3,539 is only the net. This comes from having roughly 1,500 more voters than counted ballots in some precincts, and about 5,000 more ballots than known voters in other precincts.

It may be that there was no significant fraud in this election. Or, it may be that there was fraud. but sufficient evidence couldn't be found. Either way, there was enough reason to suspect fraud that McKay's firing sounds like it was done in good faith.

Posted by: ex-liberal on July 31, 2007 at 8:40 PM | PERMALINK

Irony alert: Bad-faith commentor "ex-liberal" -- whose very handle is an insulting lie -- commenting on good faith.

Posted by: Gregory on July 31, 2007 at 9:11 PM | PERMALINK

My guess is that the approximately 28% who approve of Gonzo is a function of the number of authoritarians we have in our society. Research has shown about 25% of the people can be classified as right-wing authoritarian (and these folks are the core support for Bush and his crew of thieves).

FYI on what authoritarianism is, the web book by Bob Altemeyer is a good first step: http://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/~altemey/

The short definition of authoritarian: Dick Cheney.

Posted by: lownslowav8r on August 1, 2007 at 2:09 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin,
I agree with the premise of Rogers' Theory of Crazification and thank you for providing the link. However, I must add that anyone who isn't immediately aware that any talk of an Islamic empire stretching from Spain to points far East is referring to the re-creation of the medieval Islamic empire is probably too ignorant to write on such matters. I mean, this guy initially assumes the reference means heading East from Spain across Southern Europe. That is just plain dumb. Dumb enough, perhaps, even to match the craziness of people who take the idea seriously.
-- Joel

Posted by: Joel Bloom on August 1, 2007 at 9:48 AM | PERMALINK

"As you say, McKay was probably fired for failing to pursue voter fraud in the 2004 election."

No, dear, he was fired for failing to create a voter fraud issue when there was no such issue to be found. Do try to keep up.

"You say there was no evidence of fraud, but local blogger Stefan Sharkansky would disagree. In post after post after post, he documented lots of evidence of irregularities, such as this one:"

ROFL... That was the best you could come up with, dear? A rabid partisan whose posts contain no real data and no support for his many assertions?! And you expect us to take this seriously?! The mind boggles... even for you, this was cluelessness of high order.

"It may be that there was no significant fraud in this election."

There is no "may be," dear. The Republican Party spent several million dollars trying to prove voter fraud and came up short. Their own handpicked judge in their handpicked venue ruled that they had zip. The FBI and the Justice Department both investigated and came up with nothing.

"Either way, there was enough reason to suspect fraud that McKay's firing sounds like it was done in good faith."

ROFL... Nope, not even close, but thanks for playing. I absolutely loved the fact that you had to quote a rabidly partisan blogger rather than actually try to come up with some real evidence. That was so hilariously stupid, we ought to frame the post.

Posted by: PaulB on August 1, 2007 at 2:13 PM | PERMALINK
....Ruth Marcus of the Washington Post says although she dispproves of Gonzales, he hasn't commited perjury....ex-lax at 1:44 PM
I already emailed Ms Marcus this morning with the data that she overlooked :

...But Marcus did not quote Mueller's full statement, leaving out a key part in which Mueller affirmed the opposite of what Gonzales now claims.
In addition, Marcus focused exclusively on the question of whether Gonzales perjured himself regarding the hospital confrontation, while ignoring other aspects of Gonzales testimony that may constitute perjury. For instance, while Gonzales told the Senate Judiciary Committee on July 24 that a March 10, 2004, briefing for the congressional "Gang of Eight" concerned "other intelligence activities" as opposed to the warrantless domestic wiretapping program, an unclassified letter from then-Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte to then-Speaker of the House J. Dennis Hastert (R-IL) stated that the meeting was "on the Terrorist Surveillance Program," the administration's preferred term for that NSA program. Gonzales also testified to the House Judiciary Committee that he had "not gone back and spoken directly with" those "involved" in the controversial firing of nine federal prosecutors, a claim disputed by former Justice Department official Monica Goodling. Both of
these instances were noted by four Democratic senators in their request for the appointment of a special counsel to investigate Gonzales. However, Marcus made no mention of either issue in her column....

Posted by: Mike on August 1, 2007 at 7:35 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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