Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

November 1, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

15 MONTHS TO GO....How the mighty have fallen: In the Telegraph's list of America's most influential conservatives, George Bush ranks a meager 21st, barely higher than Christopher Hitchens. Here's the explanation:

The short answer: the list is about the future rather than the past....we believe Bush will fade into relative obscurity after 2009.

The announcement of the departure of Karen Hughes from the Bush administration yesterday was laden with symbolism. She and Karl Rove represented a collective alter ego for Bush before 2000 and in the early days of his presidency. Now they are gone, along with Dan Bartlett, Don Evans, Alberto Gonzales, Joe Allbaugh and the rest of the Texas posse that rode into town. Bush is alone and isolated.

....In just over three months, Republicans will choose a presidential nominee who will become the de facto leader of the party and, by extension, of US conservatism. In a bid to attract centrist voters, he — whether it be Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney, John McCain or Fred Thompson — will rush to distance himself from Bush.

By this time next year, many American conservatives may be asking: "George W. who?"

Sic transit etc. Two comments, though. First, it couldn't happen to a more deserving guy. Second, don't let conservatives get away with "distancing" themselves from Bush. They all loved him when he was riding high, and they'd love him still if he weren't polling in Richard Nixon territory. But his lousy numbers are mostly because he's stuck with policies that conservatives all hailed as visionary a mere couple of years ago. So here's the new Pottery Barn rule: they broke him, they bought him. Like it or not, he's your baby.

Kevin Drum 3:19 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (58)

Bookmark and Share
 
Comments

They will distance themselves.

The media will play along.

Bush won't be a factor in the 2008 election -- the media need a horserace, and the corporate overlords want to keep a Republican (or Hillary) in power.

Posted by: Gore/Edwards 08 on November 1, 2007 at 3:24 PM | PERMALINK

That's absolutely right, and it's where the internet, google, and the wayback machine will come in handy.

Still. Start mirroring the archives of the various right wing sites.

Because we have to keep rubbing Bush on their nose.

(Perhaps a poor metaphor, admittedly, I am trying to rub my nose in some bush.)

Posted by: jerry on November 1, 2007 at 3:24 PM | PERMALINK

they broke him, they bought him.

No. They bought him, he broke them.

Posted by: DJ on November 1, 2007 at 3:28 PM | PERMALINK

Of all the brazilian things my Preznut has said, the one that history will remember is..

.."stop waving the Constitution in my face it's just a goddam piece of paper!"
(GWB sometime during his reign...ooops I mean presidency)

Posted by: Tom Nicholson on November 1, 2007 at 3:29 PM | PERMALINK

Have you LOOKED at these lists!!??? On the list of LIBERALS ranked we have:

23. Colin Powell
38. Chris Matthews
47. Joe Lieberman

In what possible sense are these "liberals"? Is this just more evidence that liberalism is suffering a total absense of high-quality talent?

Krugman, who is a liberal, ranks only at 53.
Chomsky is at 63.
Putting Stewart down at 81 - lower than Obama's wife, is also absurd.

Posted by: JohnN on November 1, 2007 at 3:31 PM | PERMALINK

I'm surprised he even ranks in the top 50 today. He has been, as with everything in his life, a complete failure as a president - alienated all our allies, pissed-off a good portion of the Muslim world, started an unnecessary and disastrous war, which led to, along with his idiotic and counter productive tax cuts for the rich, the bankrupting of the nation and a dramatic devaluation of the the dollar.

Posted by: JeffII on November 1, 2007 at 3:31 PM | PERMALINK

Irrelevant indeed a year from now, when our primary concern will be avoiding the Blackwater roundups to the concentration camps opened under martial law imposed in the wake of nuclear war with Iran.

Posted by: Yellow Dog on November 1, 2007 at 3:36 PM | PERMALINK

How the mighty have fallen...

I saw that line and thought this post was going to be about USC football. And since when did Christopher Hitchens become a conservative?

Posted by: Brian on November 1, 2007 at 3:39 PM | PERMALINK

In the Telegraph's list of America's most influential conservatives, George Bush ranks a meager 21st,

What an absurd thing to say. When liberals tried to pass their socialized SCHIP medicine bill, Bush vetoed it and it was sustained. When liberals tried to pass their bill to end the continued liberation of Iraq, Bush vetoed it and it was sustained. When liberals tried to convince the American people to cut and run, Bush sent General Petraeus to the Hill and suddenly everyone backed Bush again because they knew the American people trusted the General.
So long as President Bush has his veto and the support of General Petraeus, he will always be influential and relevant. Liberals just can't stand this fact.

Posted by: Al on November 1, 2007 at 3:39 PM | PERMALINK

. . . in the wake of nuclear war with Iran.
Posted by: Yellow Dog

WTF? Is Iran going to borrow some from Pakistan, Russia or China, as well as the ICBMs or long range bombers to deliver them?

If there is a "nuclear war" with Iran, it will be a rather one-sided and short-lived exchange with Iran entirely on the receiving end.

Posted by: JeffII on November 1, 2007 at 3:42 PM | PERMALINK

GWB surely ought to be in the top five of influential conservatives.

His influence simply happens to be bad from the point of view of those who, despite GWB's influence, still think American conservatism is a good thing.

Posted by: jefff on November 1, 2007 at 3:48 PM | PERMALINK

I think if I were Pottery Barn, I'd be more than a little upset with this new rule. I mean, Pottery Barn sells product with a whole lot more appeal than George W. Bush.

Posted by: Glenn on November 1, 2007 at 3:49 PM | PERMALINK

If there is a "nuclear war" with Iran, it will be a rather one-sided and short-lived exchange with Iran entirely on the receiving end.

George's other one-sided wars haven't turned out as well as he would have liked.

Posted by: freelunch on November 1, 2007 at 3:50 PM | PERMALINK

When liberals tried to pass their socialized SCHIP medicine bill...

Orrin Hatch and Charles Grassley are liberals? Thanks for the scoop, nutjob.

Posted by: TR on November 1, 2007 at 3:50 PM | PERMALINK

It's really, really sad, but your mention of Nixon made me feel a bit nostalgic. He was an amoral bastard, and deservedly was forced from office for his crimes, but overall I think he served the Nation significantly better than W has. (And I voted for McGovern with some enthusiasm, back in the day, and never regretted it.)

Posted by: idlemind on November 1, 2007 at 3:51 PM | PERMALINK

. . . whether it be Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney, John McCain or Fred Thompson — will rush to distance himself from Bush.

Actually, the exact opposite seems to be true with this bunch - they can't come across too cock-sure and ready to rumble enough for their own tastes. They all seem to be ready to stay at war indefinitely while continuing to ignore health care problems, global warming, and the nations' fiscal crisis.

Posted by: JeffII on November 1, 2007 at 3:53 PM | PERMALINK

Great post, Kevin. The Repub candidates have already distanced themselves from Bush; they pretty much never mention him at all. So it is up to the Democrats to hang Bush around their collective necks. While the bulk of the MSM will cry "moi?" there are enough who can do this and should be supported.

Posted by: MaxGowan on November 1, 2007 at 3:54 PM | PERMALINK

*

Posted by: mhr on November 1, 2007 at 4:03 PM | PERMALINK

When Democrat president Harry Truman left office in 1952 the polls showed that his popularity with the American public was about what the popularity of the current liberal congress is. After all, Truman gave us the unpopular Korean war in which the US suffered 36,000 combat deaths. But a president's standing in history is not decided by popularity polls. Truman does much better today. Posted by: mhr

Tell me, just how did someone so stupid ever learn how to type? You are so confused that you could almost be mistaken for a parody.

Posted by: JeffII on November 1, 2007 at 4:08 PM | PERMALINK

Bush actually has far more influence over the Republican Party even today -- even, I'm sure, until November 2008 -- than anyone gives him credit for.

In fact, the Republican nominees, and to a very large extent the Republican Congress, must mostly be at least right wing on issues as he is. Basically, he's still in the role of setting the expectations for the right wing base -- in foreign policy, and in most of domestic policy. That base demands that the Republican nominees be at least as aggressive and pro the Iraq war as Bush, and at least as right wing on domestic issues as Bush. Indeed, if there's one way Bush has not been followed by the base, it's been on immigration, where he is regarded as not right wing enough.

I'd argue that the major reason that the Republican nominees will come into the November election gung-ho on staying the course in Iraq, and therefore pretty much doomed to certain defeat, it will be because Bush refuses for his own reasons to give up on Iraq, and the base can't see any good reason for supporting a nominee who is less committed to the use of force as a cure for all foreign woes than its current very Republican President.

Posted by: frankly0 on November 1, 2007 at 4:09 PM | PERMALINK

Can't you just see Truman cursing mhr right now? They were about as different as two persons can be in every possible respect, their personal lives and their outlook on humanity. Bush Sr. tried to wrap the Truman mantle around himself in the closing days of the '92 election, and that was equally phony.

Posted by: MaxGowan on November 1, 2007 at 4:18 PM | PERMALINK

One way to think about George Bush's effect on the expectations of the right wing base: fundamentally, every radical right wing thing he chooses to do legitimizes their fanatical right beliefs. Their belief, I'm sure, is that if someone in the position of responsibility like that of the President can believe that some extreme right wing action is warranted, how can any other Republican nominee have grounds to shy away from that position?

If Bush had said that, gee, the Iraq war is turning out terribly, maybe we should start to think about getting out of there, then the base might have felt that, while their impulse was to fight and fight until the evil-doers are all dead, maybe that really isn't going to work here, because responsible Conservative people think otherwise.

But when Bush says the Iraq war can be turned around, the right wing will accept nothing less from anyone who declares himself a Conservative.

Posted by: frankly0 on November 1, 2007 at 4:23 PM | PERMALINK

Karen Hughes is the one who introduced, at the very beginning of the Bush usurpistration, a lie into the American political discussion: the lie of "Tax Relief." It's a lie because it presumes that Americans are overtaxed compared to other countries, which we are not. It's a lie because it presumes that it is possible in the long run to fight wars (which were already planned at the time!) and receive government benefits and amenities without collecting tax revenue to pay for them. It's a lie because the purpose of cutting taxes is not to unburden American taxpayers, but to place downward pressure on social programs that address poverty, inequality, environmental degradation, and basic needs of the middle class. It's a lie because the one group needing tax "relief" the least is dead people, yet reducing taxes on dead people was the Bush usurpistration's top tax priority.

Karen Hughes is a Liar, liar, liar, liar.

Posted by: Joel Rubinstein on November 1, 2007 at 4:25 PM | PERMALINK

Tell me, just how did someone so stupid ever learn how to type?

mhr was home-schooled by baboons.

Posted by: DJ on November 1, 2007 at 4:31 PM | PERMALINK

Today, America's first true dauphin, delivering to the friendly, hand-picked audience the Heritage Foundations yet another in a rapid-fire series of truly petulant speeches in which he rails against his political opponents, actually admitted that:

"We actually misnamed the War on Terror. It ought to be 'The Struggle against Ideological Extremists Who Do Not Believe in Free Societies Who Happen to Use Terror as a Weapon to Try to Shake the Conscience of the Free World.'"

The new name just rolls of the tip of your tongue, doesn't it? The only thing that's shaking at this point is people's collective heads.

We're living out a live-action, NC-17 rated, and very deadly Bugs Bunny "Looney Tunes" cartoon feature.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on November 1, 2007 at 4:35 PM | PERMALINK

Have you LOOKED at these lists!!??? On the list of LIBERALS ranked we have:

23. Colin Powell

Well, this is the Telegraph. They consider lying to the UN to start an unprovoked war liberal. A true conservative would start the unprovoked war without bothering to lie to the UN.

Posted by: ferg on November 1, 2007 at 4:35 PM | PERMALINK

Karen Hughes is a Liar, liar, liar, liar.

The perfect Bush advisor!

Posted by: craigie on November 1, 2007 at 4:37 PM | PERMALINK

Why, oh, why aren't Dems pounding the TV ads day after day with "These guys are all like Bush. They all supported Bush. Do you want another Bush elected?" Is there anything else they need to do?

Posted by: K on November 1, 2007 at 4:39 PM | PERMALINK

"So here's the new Pottery Barn rule: they broke him, they bought him."

Are you saying that because they once believed in what he said, they are forced to associate themselves with him and his policies? If that's the case, then I don't agree. In fact, if that's what you are saying, then I think it's the exact reason why they shouldn't get away with trying to distance themselves from his presidency and his beliefs.

In almost every single instance I can think of, they've basically promised to continue what we've gone through over the last seven years. The war with Iraq? How about war with Iran, too? The tax cuts of the past few years aren't enough, they claim. They want to go a lot further, in some cases making them ludicrously regressive. And so on. The point is--and if you were saying this and I missed it because I'm having a brain fart right now, forgive me--they shouldn't be let off the hook because they are essentially no different than Bush. Were they proposing a different course of action, it'd be another story.

Posted by: Brian on November 1, 2007 at 4:45 PM | PERMALINK

Why, oh, why aren't Dems pounding the TV ads day after day with "These guys are all like Bush. They all supported Bush. Do you want another Bush elected?" Is there anything else they need to do?

Sure. Just wait until there's one man standing. Then he gets all the ads saying "A Vote for ____ is a Vote for Four More Years of Bush Mis-Rule." Saves valuable campaign money.

Posted by: DJ on November 1, 2007 at 4:46 PM | PERMALINK

30 posts and still no "But Bush is not a True Conservative (tm)" ?

Posted by: craigie on November 1, 2007 at 4:52 PM | PERMALINK

Is it just me or is it impossible to fine the 1-20 lists on the Telegraph site? I looked for like 10 minutes!

The problems with this list are legion. First, where does the Telegraph get off selecting the most influential liberals/conservatives in the US? And Al is completely correct in essence. Regardless of how you feel about his policies, Bush continues to be incredibly influential. He continues to get pretty much anything he asks for. And all of the Republican field show fealty to him (save Ron Paul). Outside of immigration, I can't think of one Bush policy that the Republican field criticizes. Not one.

In the general they'll try to distance themselves, though. That is for sure. But I'm reminded of the 1996 campaign. Dole said afterwards that he didn't lose that election. Some guy named Dole-Gingrich did. And he was right.

Gingrich was very unpopular. Every negative ad the Clinton campaign ran referred to Dole-Gingrich and showed a slow-mo b/w image of Dole and Gingrich on a stage together or something. It was brilliant.

Who ever gets the Dem nod in '08 would be wise to take a page from that book. Run hard against Guliani-Bush or Romney-Bush.

Less effectively, Bush often referred in 2000 to Clinton Gore. "We can't afford four more years of Clinton-Gore." That rallied the base, but since Clinton was hugely popular wasn't much of as strategy.

Posted by: Rob Mac on November 1, 2007 at 4:57 PM | PERMALINK

Failure is not enough to dissuade the revolution. The Republicans only count gains; loses are for the other side. The grand strategists of the revolution see Bush as a tool, they wish they had a better tool, but Bush worked out fine. Of course, he is just the speech reader and cheerleader in chief of the Cheney Regency.

He will be remembered as a dull, shallow and childish executive who thought he was a much bigger man. Although some revisionist writers will address the possibility he was a genius most scholars will focus on the anti-liberal (in the broad sense) challenge presented by Dick Cheney and the other lawless authoritarians. They will connect Cheney to Nixon and Nixon to the authoritarian takeover of the Republican party in the 1960's. Bush, like Reagan, will be a poster boy but not a man of substance.

Posted by: bellumregio on November 1, 2007 at 4:57 PM | PERMALINK

Sic transit etc. Two comments, though. First, it couldn't happen to a more deserving guy. Second, don't let conservatives get away with "distancing" themselves from Bush. They all loved him when he was riding high, and they'd love him still if he weren't polling in Richard Nixon territory. But his lousy numbers are mostly because he's stuck with policies that conservatives all hailed as visionary a mere couple of years ago. So here's the new Pottery Barn rule: they broke him, they bought him. Like it or not, he's your baby.

Tasty graf. You've been quite decisive today--not a single post sputtering out with "What am I missing?" or "I don't really know what I think/have anything to say about this." I like it when you've got some fire in your belly.

Posted by: shortstop on November 1, 2007 at 5:11 PM | PERMALINK

Does it worry anyone that this Telegraph article is possibly the stupidest thing ever written?

Posted by: DBake on November 1, 2007 at 5:16 PM | PERMALINK

I like it when you've got some fire in your belly.

Yeah. Keep having huevos rancheros for breakfast.

Posted by: Disputo on November 1, 2007 at 5:21 PM | PERMALINK

Anybody remember Lee Attwater? He was Karl Rove's mentor. To paraphrase Lee, let's make George "every Republican's running mate." It worked for the Republicuns.

Posted by: CT on November 1, 2007 at 5:25 PM | PERMALINK

You go into elections with the leader you have, not the leader you wish you had.

Posted by: Rosali on November 1, 2007 at 5:33 PM | PERMALINK

I would love for all of these estimations and "distancings" to have any relevance in the real world, but they don't. Nothing is going to fill George W. Bush's heart with regret and nothing is going to make any members of the Republican Party (and Joseph Lieberman) feel any scrap of shame.

Bush is going to keep on doing what he was born to do, what his family trained him to do--suck up to the rich and powerful, treat poor people like shit, and line his pockets with the ill-gotten gains of cronyism.

Bush's maternal grandfather was a corporate thug who taught his abusive daughter that the way to get ahead was to smash in the faces of the poor and anyone else who gets in your way.

A century of Bush forebears taught him that you get ahead by allying yourself with the rich and then being the slimiest toady imaginable.

Bush combines all of his parents' worst traits in one toxic, repugnant package.

Posted by: Anon on November 1, 2007 at 5:36 PM | PERMALINK

Excellent post. This dysfunctional, diseased and damaged man (Bush) is the sole property of the Republican Party. He was not elected by the will of the people in 2000, in fact, the Republican members of the SCOTUS set aside the will of the people to annoint this failure.

To win in 2008, the Democrats absolutely MUST rub their noses in the Bush stink, over and over and over again... Done properly, we could make the albatross known as George W. Bush, the bete noire of the GOP for decades to come.

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on November 1, 2007 at 5:37 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, Kevin.

You. Just. don't. get. it..

Notice the war in Iraq? I know you try to downplay the surge's success. But the good news is that body counts are down, across the board. Soon, political reconciliation will follow. By this time next year, Iraq as an issue will be a forgotten memory.

Then there are the California fires. Remember when you liberals got all huffy because Bush kept the government out of the way during Katrini. This time he decided to outflank you morons, and by all critics, the Federal response to the California fires has been a real success hailed by all critics.

Don't turn around now, but opinions on Bush are going to change very soon.

Posted by: egbert on November 1, 2007 at 5:42 PM | PERMALINK

mhr: "When Democrat president Harry Truman left office in 1952 the polls showed that his popularity with the American public was about what the popularity of the current liberal congress is. After all, Truman gave us the unpopular Korean war in which the US suffered 36,000 combat deaths. But a president's standing in history is not decided by popularity polls. Truman does much better today."

It's now 5:40 pm EDT. How long will it be before mhr becomes a mere "*" on the screen?

President Truman is indeed considered in a far better light by most historians today than by his own contemporaries in the 1950s, in part because he resolutely ignored fickle public opinion when firing the then-popular but dangerously headstrong American commander of U.N. forces in Korea, Gen. Douglas McArthur, a vainglorious and self-absorbed peacock of a man whom most intelligent people now recognize as the person most responsible for the near-disaster and subsequent quagmire that became our military's Korean War effort, from the commencement of the Dec. 1950 Chinese offensive over the Yalu River until the truce was signed at Panmunjon on July 17, 1953.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on November 1, 2007 at 5:58 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, egbert, my son. How did I ever raise such a self-deluded loser? I guess I can forget getting any grandchildren from you, since you're forever doomed to be merely a disposable neocon buttboy. For once, just STFU, will you?

Posted by: egbert's totally disgusted Mom on November 1, 2007 at 6:08 PM | PERMALINK

egbert, I would call you a halfwit, but that would be too generous by half, and an insult to halfwits the world over.

First of all, as I have been saying for months - and the GAO agrees with me (.pdf alert) - that the reason for any perceived drop is due to the fact that the ethnic cleansing has been successful.

And second: The numbers may have been massaged to project a lower number than reality dictates. October was deadlier than September.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on November 1, 2007 at 6:24 PM | PERMALINK

Gen. Douglas McArthur, a vainglorious and self-absorbed peacock of a man whom most intelligent people now recognize as the person most responsible for the near-disaster and subsequent quagmire that became our military's Korean War effort, from the commencement of the Dec. 1950 Chinese offensive over the Yalu River until the truce was signed at Panmunjon on July 17, 1953. Posted by: Donald from Hawaii

It's also commonly accepted that he was pretty much a fuck-up during WWII as well.

Posted by: JeffII on November 1, 2007 at 6:28 PM | PERMALINK

In December 2000, just after the Supremes made W prez, my brother made this prediction: "They will rue the day they made that man president".

"They" are the Repubs.

Most amazing prediction ever.

Posted by: BigRed on November 1, 2007 at 6:36 PM | PERMALINK

My favorite new bumpersticker:

"My dog is smarter than your president"

Almost crashed my (automatic) car.

Posted by: craigie on November 1, 2007 at 7:06 PM | PERMALINK

Excellent and thanks, Donald from Hawaii, on Truman.

In 1998 a good buddy said of W, "I think this guy may be a wolf in sheeps clothing." As soon as he said it, I could see it. Shortly thereafter was the infamous mocking of Karla Faye Tucker.

But I'd be careful about saying Bush will fade into obscurity or that he will not be a player right up until January 19, 2009 - which is one reaso, perhaps, why impeachment should not be off the table.

Posted by: MaxGowan on November 1, 2007 at 7:17 PM | PERMALINK

15 months to go--- THANK GOD----- Bush says no Attorney General if not Mukasey, this is my point still a fvcking DICTATOR trying his best to ruin this country of ours, another reason to pick a Democrat we can live with, Republicans have shown us what they can do so it is time to pick a different party whomever it is as long as it is NOT a FVCKING REPUBLICAN.

Posted by: Al on November 1, 2007 at 7:17 PM | PERMALINK

Keep having huevos rancheros for breakfast.

Just remember to refrigerate the toilet paper.

Posted by: has407 on November 1, 2007 at 7:17 PM | PERMALINK

JeffII: "It's also commonly accepted that [Gen. Douglas McArthur] was pretty much a fuck-up during WWII as well."

I won't disagree with that assessment. While Gen. McArthur certainly had his moments of sheer military genius during his long tenure as army general, such as Inchon and Leyte, his career is generally checkered, and some of those points bordered upon the criminally negligent.

Exhibit No. 1 amongst his military transgressions was McArthur's inexplicable nonchalance and apparent indifference to the looming menace of a Japanese invasion of the Philippines after the attack on Pearl Harbor and Oahu on December 7, 1941 (which was December 8 in Manila). The Philippine Dept. commander had clear and ample warning of war with Japan in December 1941, in that the Japanese assaulted Hawaii well in advance of launching initial air raids upon the substantial numbers of American forces then deployed in the Philippines.

Yet McArthur left nearly his entire air force parked out in the open, like rows of sitting ducks displayed on the tarmac for two whole days at Clark Air Base north of Manila. OIn December 10, the Japanese Naval Air Force swooped down upon the base and took decisive advantage of their good fortune, reducing the American air defenses to mostly ashes in only a matter of hours.

McArthur then further compounded his troops' misfortune by deploying the majority of his still-formidable ground forces at the head of Lingayen Gulf in northern Luzon, despite repeated appeals from his subordinate, Gen. Rufus Wainwright, that the Japanese Army was showing every intention of landing on the vast stretches of undefended beach to his immediate northeast, and thus would easily outflank McArthur's present positions and force a hasty withdrawal.

The Japanese again took advantage of their good fortune, landed totally unopposed exactly where Wainwright said they would, easily outflanked McArthur just like Wainwright predicted, and forced the American army to quickly retreat southward -- not to Manila, but to the isolated Bataan peninsula at the mouth of Manila Bay, thus sealing his command's own inevitable fate while also abandoning thousands of American civilians in Manila, who were quickly interned at Santo Tomas University for the next three-plus years.

Effectively besieged with no realistic hope of relief, Gen. Wainwright was forced to surrender the remnants of the entire command in April and May, 1942, after McArthur was ordered by President Roosevelt to turn over command to Wainright and flee to Australia, leaving behind only his famous message, "I shall return."

The American surrender on Bataan and Corrigedor, which effectively reduced our then-standing U.S. Army by 25% (those numbers were quickly replenished by the draft, and then some, and then some more), remains the largest single capitulation of American forces in our nation's history.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on November 1, 2007 at 8:37 PM | PERMALINK

The only reason Dubya edges out Hitchens is that Dubya isn't drinking -- at least, not much, yet. Hitchens still is, I think. Hitchens is still interesting drunk.

Posted by: david78209 on November 1, 2007 at 10:22 PM | PERMALINK

23. Colin Powell 38. Chris Matthews 47. Joe Lieberman... In what possible sense are these "liberals"? Is this just more evidence that liberalism is suffering a total absense of high-quality talent?

Though the list is entitled "most influential US libs", the authors explain in the entry for Arnold that the list is more about the people who are best positioned to most influence liberal politics. Powell, eg, gets the nod because they expect him to have a role in the next Dem admin (unlikely, but that is their argument). He certainly didn't have any influence in the GWB admin.

Posted by: Disputo on November 1, 2007 at 10:31 PM | PERMALINK

Well, of course Bush will fade into obscurity after 2009. What does he have of interest to offer? He hasn't learned a fucking thing since junior high school, you think he'll travel the world getting paid to share his "wisdom"? Maybe dedicate himself to spreading "compassionate conservatism" 'round the world?
He'll retire to live off of the Bush family's ill gotten gains, and die long after he deserves to.

Posted by: labradog on November 1, 2007 at 10:32 PM | PERMALINK

Al - So long as President Bush has his veto and the support of General Petraeus, he will always be influential and relevant.

He will be influential and relevant...to the almost total destruction of the republican party. I'll drink to that.

Posted by: steve on November 1, 2007 at 10:51 PM | PERMALINK

I've been wondering this for the past few weeks: where is Karl Rove these days? Which campaign is he secretly running?

Posted by: arteclectic on November 1, 2007 at 11:48 PM | PERMALINK


mhr: When Democrat president Harry Truman left office in 1952 the polls


did you know..gwb broke truman's consecutive months record last june...

last month....gwb had been under 50% approval for..

31-consecutive months...

that's 31-months...in...a....row...

and he's got 14-months to go...

Posted by: mr. perspective on November 2, 2007 at 7:20 AM | PERMALINK

JeffII, Donald:
It's commonly accepted that MacArthur had some bad moments during World War II (as did almost every commander of consequence), but it is certainly not commonly accepted that "he was pretty much a fuck-up". Most of his campaigns, including the ones Donald mentioned, were clever and effective. In the late 1990s some of MacA's campaigns were still presented as model cases for students at West Point and the Command and General Staff College. It's possible that things have changed in the past decade -- I don't know anyone at either of those institutions now (well, no one who'd be able to tell me about their military history classes) -- but I doubt it.

It's also commonly accepted that he was pretty much a fuck-up during WWII as well.
Posted by: JeffII on November 1, 2007 at 6:28 PM |

Posted by: keith on November 2, 2007 at 8:27 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

Read Jonathan Rowe remembrance and articles
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

Advertise in WM



buy from Amazon and
support the Monthly