Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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January 4, 2008
By: Kevin Drum

AFTER A GOOD NIGHT'S SLEEP, I STILL THINK THE SAME THING I THOUGHT YESTERDAY....One of the nice things about being a hermit blogger is that I almost never get sick anymore. Sadly, the holiday party/eating/visiting/shopping season puts my immune system back into normal circulation, and this year I didn't quite make it through. So I'm sitting here with a cold, trying to think of something interesting to say about yesterday's primary through puffy eyes and a fuzzy brain, and nothing is popping up. I still think Obama had a helluva victory last night and is now the likely (though far from certain) Democratic nominee, while Huckabee also had a helluva victory but seems highly unlikely to be the eventual Republican nominee.

So who will be? I don't know, but after watching this I sure hope it isn't John McCain. What an imperialist! Then again, I also hope it won't be Rudy Giuliani. What a lunatic! And not Huckabee of course. What an empty Bible-thumping suit! But not Mitt Romney or Fred Thompson either. What a couple of image mongers! Can I root for them all to lose?

Kevin Drum 12:10 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (87)

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Comments

What a choice! Corporatist authoritarian/dictator/christianist/hollywood reject/washed-out hero!

GOP is a party of ideas alright! Just that the ideas suck.

Posted by: gregor on January 4, 2008 at 12:17 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, you can root for the all to lose, but I think it will be McCain/Huckabee against Obama/?

Who should Obama ask? Who will he ask? Will they say yes?

Posted by: Gore/Edwards 08 on January 4, 2008 at 12:18 PM | PERMALINK

Run, Newt, run!!!

Posted by: lampwick on January 4, 2008 at 12:18 PM | PERMALINK

Time to review Obama's Kos diary posting from 2005

…According to the storyline that drives many advocacy groups and Democratic activists - a storyline often reflected in comments on this blog - we are up against a sharply partisan, radically conservative, take-no-prisoners Republican party. They have beaten us twice by energizing their base with red meat rhetoric and single-minded devotion and discipline to their agenda. In order to beat them, it is necessary for Democrats to get some backbone, give as good as they get, brook no compromise, drive out Democrats who are interested in "appeasing" the right wing, and enforce a more clearly progressive agenda. The country, finally knowing what we stand for and seeing a sharp contrast, will rally to our side and thereby usher in a new progressive era.
I think this perspective misreads the American people….

Let's see ... attacking progressive positions from the right .... wasn't there a term for that back in the 90s? Was it triangulation?

Obama's entire piece is worth reading. No pull quote can be suficient.

Posted by: Mike on January 4, 2008 at 12:20 PM | PERMALINK

"Brokered Republican Convention"

I'm an agnostic, but please god, please

Posted by: tripath1 on January 4, 2008 at 12:21 PM | PERMALINK

Cheney

Posted by: steve duncan on January 4, 2008 at 12:24 PM | PERMALINK

I heard Al Gore has been dieting and working out... should throw his hat in the ring any day... well, maybe not.

Posted by: nonplussed on January 4, 2008 at 12:25 PM | PERMALINK

""Brokered Republican Convention"

I'm an agnostic, but please god, please

-------------

Why, god why? The options available are all crappy enough that it's highly likely they will lose. What will emerge from a brokered convention might be a sane enough choice to actually win, or if not win, at least pull in enough voters to swing the Senate and Congress in the wrong direction.

Posted by: Maynard Handley on January 4, 2008 at 12:25 PM | PERMALINK
I still think Obama had a helluva victory last night and is now the likely (though far from certain) Democratic nominee, while Huckabee also had a helluva victory but seems highly unlikely to be the eventual Republican nominee

And I still think both of those predictions are premature. And my own gut feelings, which I will also-so-generously share, are that the developments on the Dem side are fun to watch and interesting to watch, while developments on the Republican side are not fun, or uplifting, or even very interesting.

Really. Decent rational Republicans need to get involved in their party in a serious way. It’s currently a total negative force.

Posted by: little ole jim on January 4, 2008 at 12:26 PM | PERMALINK

The press loves John McCain. He and Joe Lieberman make the most beautiful couple.

The American people have awakened to the lies they have been told by the neocons and their corporate masters. The days of John McCain and his ilk are almost over.

I really hope the Republicans nominate John McCain. Maybe he can talk Joe Lieberman into running for VP. That way the Democratic victory will be a romp in the park and the Republicans will be in disarray for generations. If they nominate Huckabee, the Democrat will still win, but the Republican party will be a step closer to redefining itself.

Posted by: corpus juris on January 4, 2008 at 12:30 PM | PERMALINK

I still say that if they know what's good for them, the Republicans would announce that they're going to cut their losses and sit this year out. Just let the Dems win an uncontested presidential race and save their money for a brighter future.

Posted by: jbarab on January 4, 2008 at 12:36 PM | PERMALINK

You, like Faux News, seem to have forgotten Ron Paul. Ron Paul is sort of like the Bizarro World's Dennis Kucinich, but certainly as viable candidate as any of the second tier candidates at this point.

Problem with the Republican field is that they don't really seem to have any first tier candidates. When you look at them - all tripping over themselves to gain the support of "the Republican Base" - they are all pretty much disqualifying themselves for the general election. None of the Republican candidates will be able to generate much support among independents and they will all be anathema to anyone who is a registered Democrat. They are all unelectable. That being said, Ron Paul probably has the broadest appeal, outside the hardcore Republican Base, of any of the candidates...which may be why Faux News is snubbing him.

Posted by: majun on January 4, 2008 at 12:36 PM | PERMALINK

I hate to sound too needy, but I'd like you to read about my experience caucusing last night in Iowa. It's over at WTWC http://proctoringcongress.blogspot.com/2008/01/first-person-account-caucus.html . It's a pretty human look at the caucus process.

There. Just needy enough.

Posted by: Henry P Wallace on January 4, 2008 at 12:37 PM | PERMALINK

The press loves John McCain. He and Joe Lieberman make the most beautiful couple.

Um...ewwww.

Honestly, I think that if McCain does get the nod, he'll go with Gov. Tim Pawlenty from Minnesota (remember where the convention will be this year), who's also chairing his campaign.

Just a hunch.

Posted by: Zap Rowsdower on January 4, 2008 at 12:39 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin,
Chicken soup, a warm blanket, doped up on various medicines, and some loves from a sympathetic source (2- or 4-footed)will get you through these primarys. Might help with your cold as well. Feel better soon!

Posted by: Zit on January 4, 2008 at 12:40 PM | PERMALINK

Obama inevitable? Giuliani toast? Not according to Intrade.com. Iowa is very important, but it is not the end of the campaign.

Posted by: Bush Lover on January 4, 2008 at 12:43 PM | PERMALINK

corpus juris wrote: "I really hope the Republicans nominate John McCain. Maybe he can talk Joe Lieberman into running for VP."

If that happens, the general election will be another very close contest in which the Democratic nominee will win, the Republicans will steal the election, and the next president will be John McCain and the next vice-president will be Joe Lieberman.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on January 4, 2008 at 12:44 PM | PERMALINK

Henry I loved your piece. Everybody interested in the Democratic process needs to give it a look.

SecularAnimist, your assessment of John McCain's ability to attract votes is so 2000. The man is old and worn out. He is the very broken down face of the old guard. We are facing a change election. Old man McCain would be run over big time. He wouldn't win a single state.

Posted by: corpus juris on January 4, 2008 at 12:51 PM | PERMALINK

When you look at them - all tripping over themselves to gain the support of "the Republican Base" - they are all pretty much disqualifying themselves for the general election.

Therein lies the problem. The "base" is 3 distinct groups which overlap in some areas but not all. Social Conservatives are a base, Libertarian/Fiscal Conservatives area a base and Neocons/Corporatists are a base. There isn't a single candidate on the R side that can bring all 3 together in unity. The Corporatists bring the money to the table but the SoCons bring the votes and they are tired of being shuffled to the back of the bus after the election. Rove sold the Republicans a false bill of goods in GWB and the SoCons & FisCons are pissed. The only guys who got what they wanted out of 43's presidency are the Corporatists.

Posted by: arteclectic on January 4, 2008 at 12:53 PM | PERMALINK

Am I being needlessly paranoid when I say that McCain's the only one of the bunch who might conceivably beat the Democrat? corpus is right; the media loves its version of him, and I really don't want us to have to run against the media version of McCain. Friends, please reassure me.

Posted by: shortstop on January 4, 2008 at 1:00 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin posted...
So who will be? I don't know, but after watching this I sure hope it isn't John McCain. What an imperialist!

Right on, bro. It's time for a little old time isolationism. It' worked so well in the past.

McCain spouted the truth. We have been in Korea and Europe for 50+ years. They're our friends. How long have we been in Bahrain? Previously in the Phillipines? In Japan? We've provided stability to all those places. Our sticktoitiveness has paid off in spades in all of them.

I hope it is Obama vs McCain. I can live with either one of them. I've posted this portion of an Obama speech before...

So I reject the notion that the American moment has passed. I dismiss the cynics who say that this new century cannot be another when, in the words of President Franklin Roosevelt, we lead the world in battling immediate evils and promoting the ultimate good.

I still believe that America is the last, best hope of Earth. We just have to show the world why this is so. This President may occupy the White House, but for the last six years the position of leader of the free the world has remained open. And it’s time to fill that role once more.

Posted by: SJRSM on January 4, 2008 at 1:04 PM | PERMALINK

What would an Obama administration look like? I have a hard time imagining it. The only thing I can come up with is a lot of missteps as he adjusts to the new setting.

Will Americans still rally to him when he has to tell them what they don't want to hear? Or will he not tackle the tough issues (such as climate change), precisely so as to avoid being associated with gloom and doom? He's got the "vision thing," but does he have the managerial thing? Or will policy be made in an uncoordinated way à la George W.? And how will someone with such a dovish temperament handle his military responsibilities?

One thing he has proved: grace under pressure. And it would be fabulous to see him and his family in the White House.

Posted by: illume on January 4, 2008 at 1:05 PM | PERMALINK

Shortstop -- the Media absolutely need this to be a close horserace. And they love McCain. Putting Huck on the ticket secures the nutcases. It will be very close.

Posted by: Gore/Edwards 08 on January 4, 2008 at 1:10 PM | PERMALINK

McCain will be unelectable in a general election. 2000 was his year and GWB stole it from him. He is still trying to sound like a Mavrick, but he has caved on too many votes with the Republican majority to hold that image on close scrutiny. His biggest problem will be his caving on torture. Given his personal history, that was unconscionable. And his uber-hawk approach to Iraq won't fly in the face of the Democratic nominee's position, which (no matter who the nominee will be) will be closer to popular opinion. 2000 plus 8 is not a good number for McCain.

Posted by: majun on January 4, 2008 at 1:12 PM | PERMALINK

One can only hope that the Republican convention becomes brokered, and frustrated GOP delegates turn to a draft of Vice President Dick Cheney on the third or fourth ballot.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on January 4, 2008 at 1:13 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry of course to be snarky about Obama (OK, I'm not really sorry, but isn't it polite of me to say otherwise?), but here's something I've been wondering about for a long time. The quote from Obama in SJRSM's post above pretty well exemplifies the issue I have in mind.

Despite Obama's reputation for eloquence, I can't say I can recollect a single memorable or genuinely funny line or phrase coming out of his pen. The quote above would be a good example -- yes, there are some nice phrases, but they are actually taken from others -- FDR and Lincoln.

I went to the Wikipedia site on Obama looking for quotable quotes, and likewise found nothing but pretty pedestrian, if simultaneously hifalutin, prose.

Could somebody please come up with a single memorable or truly funny statement out of Obama's pen? (And don't cheat by coming up with phrases that were likely composed by a speechwriter).

Thanks in advance!

Posted by: frankly0 on January 4, 2008 at 1:13 PM | PERMALINK

"Right on, bro. It's time for a little old time isolationism. It' worked so well in the past."

LOL.... Dear heart, has it not yet occurred to you that we have more than two choices? And that Kevin has never once suggested a policy of isolationism? Do try to think before you post, dear; you'll do ever so much better.

"McCain spouted the truth."

Oh, garbage. The differences between Iraq and those other countries are so enormous that McCain simply looked like a fool with those comparisons. I hope he keeps it up, though, since that position is, and will continue to be, enormously unpopular.

Posted by: PaulB on January 4, 2008 at 1:15 PM | PERMALINK

Well, I'm not happy about it but I will predict right now that John McCain will be the next president. And probably Huckabee will be the next vice president. Between them they will be able to keep enough of Republican coalition together, and bamboozle enough "independents", to get close enough to steal the election. And in office, they will continue to serve America's Ultra-Rich Ruling Class, Inc. much as the Cheney-Bush regime has done.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on January 4, 2008 at 1:20 PM | PERMALINK

"Could somebody please come up with a single memorable or truly funny statement out of Obama's pen?"

Sigh.... Eloquence is not the same thing as sound bites.

"(And don't cheat by coming up with phrases that were likely composed by a speechwriter)."

And that's all we need to realize you're not serious about this; that you're just trying to slam Obama. Give it a rest; we already know you don't like him.

Posted by: PaulB on January 4, 2008 at 1:20 PM | PERMALINK

That McCain quote is a ready-made :30 spot if he gets the nomination.

Once you drop the verbiage of "security" and "terror", and you replace it with numbers like "1oo,ooo troops", "50 years" and "100 years", you've left the American people behind.

Posted by: Fred on January 4, 2008 at 1:21 PM | PERMALINK

majun: maybe, but there probably aren't half a dozen GOP voters who care about torture. They just don't. His Iraq idiocy, however, will turn off millions, so I hope you're right about his unelectability.

SJRSM: So now you're back to being pro-occupation? Under one of your other handles, you were arguing for us getting the hell out of Iraq like yesterday and letting the chips fall where they may because the place is way too fucked up to unfuck.

Interesting that you were too chicken (and too dishonest and accountability-ducking) to sign your regular handle to posts in which you finally changed your pathetic "you're all cowardly defeatists" stance re the war. Even then you just blamed the Iraqis for their "ingratitude" rather than ever admit you were fucking wrong wrong wrong. Dude, the contortions in your rationalizations are Cirque du Soleil quality.

Posted by: shortstop on January 4, 2008 at 1:21 PM | PERMALINK

Read his autobiography, frankly0. He writes pretty well, even poetically in places. I'm not going to get into the quote business 'cause it's a silly way to think about writing, which should develop ideas, no?

Posted by: Colin on January 4, 2008 at 1:23 PM | PERMALINK

McCain is a war criminal, a panderer to the crazy evangelical right and a war monger. He was wrong about two wars that greatly weakened America. Giuliani is the front man for the Neo-con, Big Oil and powerful Israeli lobbyies. His very poor record before and during 9/11 and his sleazy personal life make him a nightmare choice.

Posted by: allie on January 4, 2008 at 1:26 PM | PERMALINK

By the way, frankly0, if you really were serious about this, rather than attempting a lame "push poll," a Google search for Obama quote yields 828,000 hits, several of which contain multiple Obama quotes, many of them both eloquent and moving. As for humor, I'd go with: "I inhaled. That was the point."

Since you really don't like Obama, I don't expect you to find a single good quote from those 828,000 hits, which is why I'm not going to bother to cite any.

Posted by: PaulB on January 4, 2008 at 1:27 PM | PERMALINK

SJRSM: So now you're back to being pro-occupation?
Posted by: shortstop

Are we occupying Japan, Germany, Bahrain, Kuwait, Italy, Spain, etc., etc. right now?

There is a difference between presence and occupation.

Posted by: SJRSM on January 4, 2008 at 1:29 PM | PERMALINK

PaulB,

What the hell are you talking about?

Look, if you go to Lincoln's speeches, for example, you'll find any number of direct quotes from speeches he actually penned that are justly famous.

Indeed, Obama himself quotes one in the quote I pointed to, when he says, "America is the last, best hope of Earth".

I'll tell you, every time I read that phrase, I am moved -- and I don't get moved easily.

Likewise, you can find real eloquence, and memorable lines in, say, Martin Luther King's speeches.

Where is the eloquence in Obama's speeches, some of which he himself has penned? If it exists, why can't it be quoted?

Why is this in any way an unfair question?

Posted by: frankly0 on January 4, 2008 at 1:29 PM | PERMALINK

Mmmmmmm, you look beautiful in those spangled tights, Jingo.

Posted by: shortstop on January 4, 2008 at 1:31 PM | PERMALINK

"What the hell are you talking about?"

Since you know quite well what I'm talking about, I'm not going to bother to respond to this question.

"Look, if you go to Lincoln's speeches, for example, you'll find any number of direct quotes from speeches he actually penned that are justly famous."

So? That doesn't change my point.

"Where is the eloquence in Obama's speeches, some of which he himself has penned? If it exists, why can't it be quoted?"

I already told you how to find it. That you choose to not do so, and would not find it even if you looked for it, says more about you than it does about Obama.

"Why is this in any way an unfair question?"

It's not an "unfair" question; it's a dishonest one.

Posted by: PaulB on January 4, 2008 at 1:32 PM | PERMALINK

"Are we occupying Japan, Germany, Bahrain, Kuwait, Italy, Spain, etc., etc. right now?"

Nope, but we sure are occupying Iraq, nor is there any evidence that this will change any time soon.

"There is a difference between presence and occupation."

Might I suggest you learn that difference?

Posted by: PaulB on January 4, 2008 at 1:33 PM | PERMALINK

Again, I will voice my enthusiasm for Huckster's win.

I really, REALLY hope he gets the nod despite all the inside-the-beltway attempts at sabotage.

It is going to be so deeply and truly enjoyable watch the GOP eat their own and the utter despair that will follow. Not to mention all the priceless one-liners we'll get from Huck.

Just remember Al et. al. There always comes a time that you have to pay the price for your party.

Posted by: Simp on January 4, 2008 at 1:36 PM | PERMALINK

"Are we occupying Japan, Germany, Bahrain, Kuwait, Italy, Spain, etc., etc. right now?"
Posted by: PaulB

Nope, but we sure are occupying Iraq, nor is there any evidence that this will change any time soon.
Posted by: PaulB

We occupied Japan and Germany too. We don't now.

Posted by: SJRSM on January 4, 2008 at 1:37 PM | PERMALINK

PaulB,

The precise reason I raised the question is that I've read a fair amount of material from Obama's books, and have asked myself the question, "where's the famous eloquence?"

So I've looked at and listened to other quotes from Obama. I still couldn't find anything that did it for me.

I've already done a Google search and couldn't find anything that struck me as memorable.

Which is precisely why I'm asking someone who does believe in Obama's eloquence to come up with convincing passages. I know for sure that if I asked the same question of Lincoln or MLK Jr., it would be very easy to do.

And how about keeping your accusations of dishonesty to yourself? Nobody likes a snotty little hall monitor.

Posted by: frankly0 on January 4, 2008 at 1:42 PM | PERMALINK

"We occupied Japan and Germany too. We don't now."

LOL.... Still trying to dig that hole deeper and deeper. Two points, dear:

1. How long did we "occupy" them?

2. Name at least one key difference between the occupation of Germany and the occupation of Iraq.

McCain's response was stupid. That you think he "spouted the truth" and are trying to defend that stupidity is just pathetic, particularly in light of McCain's remarks just last month:

ROSE: Do you think that this — Korea, South Korea is an analogy of where Iraq might be, not in terms of their economic success but in terms of an American presence over the next, say, 20, 25 years, that we will have a significant amount of troops there?
MCCAIN: I don’t think so.
Posted by: PaulB on January 4, 2008 at 1:42 PM | PERMALINK

"So I've looked at and listened to other quotes from Obama. I still couldn't find anything that did it for me." [Emphasis added]

Q.E.D.

And I stand by what I wrote above. The question was dishonest.

Posted by: PaulB on January 4, 2008 at 1:43 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, and frankly0, since I couldn't stop you from posting here even if I wanted to, and wouldn't even if I could, forgive me if I ignore your attempted "hall monitor" slam. You're free to post all the dishonest questions you want, just as I'm free to point out that you're doing so.

Posted by: PaulB on January 4, 2008 at 1:45 PM | PERMALINK

If HRC manages to get the nomination I think it will be McCain. If Obama is the Democratic nominee it will be Huckabee because all of the other R's will look WAY too old and creepy.

Posted by: Doc at the Radar Station on January 4, 2008 at 1:50 PM | PERMALINK

PaulB,

So that's all you've got? You can produce one single quote from Obama, "I inhaled. That was the point."

Pretty slim reed, I'd think, to build a case for eloquence on. Not exactly "with malice toward none, with charity for all".

Do I think that Obama's reputation for eloquence is overrated? Yes I do, given what I've seen -- but I also know that there may exist material that he's produced that would reasonably change my mind.

Or even if didn't change my mind, it might convince others who are as yet unconvinced.

But where is it?

Posted by: frankly0 on January 4, 2008 at 1:50 PM | PERMALINK

I still fail to see why Iowa is always made out to matter so much, especially now when the Big States are voting earlier.

When it comes to Big Tuesday, voters really aren't going to care who won Iowa.

Obama probably does get some buzz and mo considering the non-stop talking heads culture, but his main challengers will also be sharpening their knives in the meantime.

I'm not sure anyone believes Huckabee is going to win this thing, so why would Obama suddenly be more likely to win?

Posted by: Jimm on January 4, 2008 at 2:01 PM | PERMALINK

I live in a Super Tuesday swing state - I'm bracing for the onslaught now. I fully expect to have my front door knocked on, and I live in a security building. February 5th can't get here fast enough...

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on January 4, 2008 at 2:04 PM | PERMALINK

February 5th can't get here fast enough...

You say that now, but after Feb. 5 the losing candidates' most rabid fans will still be posting heavyhanded slogans, disingenuous questions, obsessive-compulsive rants and all manner of general control-freak petulance.

Posted by: shortstop on January 4, 2008 at 2:12 PM | PERMALINK

I think the back and forth about Obama's eloquence is misplaced -- Lincoln lived in a different literary environment, comparing his definition of eloquence to Obama's is unfair. A better comparison would be JFK or RFK, where spontaneous off-the-cuff repostes are more indicative than setpiece oratory. I think Obama's spike to Hillary - "I'm looking forward to you advising me too..." - was a good example of the effective yet not mean spirited way the man can think and communicate on his feet.

Posted by: mr insensitive on January 4, 2008 at 2:16 PM | PERMALINK

Another reason I'm glad that someone is moderating this site now!

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on January 4, 2008 at 2:17 PM | PERMALINK

An added bonus of the take down of Huckabee that will play out over the next month or two will show the evangelicals what the rest of the GOP really thinks of them. Voting for GOP candidates is great; running things-not so much.

Posted by: Th on January 4, 2008 at 2:31 PM | PERMALINK

frankly0: your comments inspired me to go to this site and read the quotes.

http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/b/barack_obama.html

Lucky for you, I take responsibility for my own actions.

Posted by: little ole jim on January 4, 2008 at 2:31 PM | PERMALINK

mr insensitive,

Look, I appreciate that Lincoln lived in different times. Martin Luther King Jr., not so much.

JFK and RFK, as far as I can tell, mostly had their greatest speeches crafted by someone else; this always raises in my own mind a serious question about what their eloquence really amounts to.

What I'm really asking for is something, whatever it may be, that backs up the claim that Obama is eloquent, based on his own writings or speeches he himself penned. It has always been said of him that the speeches and material he himself composes are eloquent.

One reason I turned to his Wikipedia entry is that typically some of the best material, the quotable quotes, will turn up there. In fact, I do find there an allusion to his speech at the 2004 Democratic convention, which he composed, and upon which considerable praise is heaped. And I find three direct quotes from it, which, one would expect, should capture his finest moments.

And here is what they are:

No, people don't expect government to solve all their problems. But they sense, deep in their bones, that with just a slight change in priorities, we can make sure that every child in America has a decent shot at life, and that the doors of opportunity remain open to all. They know we can do better. And they want that choice.
...When we send our young men and women into harm's way, we have a solemn obligation not to fudge the numbers or shade the truth about why they're going, to care for their families while they're gone, to tend to the soldiers upon their return, and to never, ever go to war without enough troops to win the war, secure the peace, and earn the respect of the world.
...The pundits like to slice-and-dice our country into Red States and Blue States; Red States for Republicans, Blue States for Democrats. But I've got news for them too. We worship an awesome God in the Blue States, and we don't like federal agents poking around in our libraries in the Red States. We coach Little League in the Blue States and yes, we got some gay friends in the Red States. There are patriots who opposed the war in Iraq and patriots who supported the war in Iraq. We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United States of America.
Suffice it to say, I am underwhelmed. And I don't know how to read these passages so that I get whelmed.

Posted by: frankly0 on January 4, 2008 at 2:34 PM | PERMALINK

Don't worry, Kevin- Jeb Bush is waiting in the wings for his coronation. Remember: the GOP has stolen 2 elections in a row; only a fool would suggest that they won't go for a 3rd.

-Z

Posted by: Zorro on January 4, 2008 at 2:38 PM | PERMALINK

little ole jim,

I went to your quotable quotes site on Obama.

I'm less whelmed than I ever was.

Please, which quote was supposed to impress me?

Posted by: frankly0 on January 4, 2008 at 2:40 PM | PERMALINK

Mr. Frankly O, sir, you put me in mind of my gone but not forgotten manservant, Manuel. He also suffered from obsessive compulsive disorder, but unlike you he had no health insurance. Something about his papers not being in order. I don't know; I don't pry into the personal problems of the staff. Anyway, he used to do this to break himself of whatever his current obsession was: he used to slam a hammer on his fingers. Hard. Before you knew it, he was on to something new. Worked every time.

Sometimes I would help him by wielding the hammer myself when he had failed to notice his own obsessions. In a particularly difficult case I was forced to use a Louisville Slugger, which did the trick but ended up setting me back $200 in emergency room costs, paid in cash and with Manuel using the name of "Geraldo Virera" on my advice. I don't think anyone caught on.

I tell you this because you liberals are always wailing that the players on my side have no ideas for health care. Perhaps now we can put an end to that foolishness?

Posted by: Norman Rogers on January 4, 2008 at 3:02 PM | PERMALINK

So is McCain going to win NH on "War is good for YOU". I doubt it, so who does that leave? Perhaps it the empty Bible-thumping suit?

Obama won by a large margin but not as large a magin as Huckabee won against fellow big spending Repugs. So I bet Huckabee takes NH too.

McCain would only give Dems a shoe-in in November. Can't be having none of that can they. The establishment Repugs better start learning to love Huckabee real fast, real soon and I'm sure they will. It's amazing how the big tent always comes around in the end.

Posted by: me-again on January 4, 2008 at 3:34 PM | PERMALINK

"So that's all you've got?"

ROFL.... Having trouble reading, are you? I already told you that I had no intention of playing your silly little games, and I told you why.

"Do I think that Obama's reputation for eloquence is overrated?"

Dear heart, of course you do. We already know that, just as we know that you have a visceral dislike of Obama, for no rational reason, as far as we can tell. That's why your "question" and this silly game you're playing are so dishonest.

Posted by: PaulB on January 4, 2008 at 3:35 PM | PERMALINK

"I'm less whelmed than I ever was. Please, which quote was supposed to impress me?"

Q.E.D. Thanks for clearly demonstrating that this was never more than a silly, not to mention dishonest, game you're playing.

Give it a rest, frankly0; you're just hurting yourself.

Posted by: PaulB on January 4, 2008 at 3:36 PM | PERMALINK

I don't know what this sudden requirement for eloquence is .. GWB had and still has the eloquence of a 4yr old and the repubs couldn't get enough of him. He was elected, or appointed, twice. Not that he couldn't just suspend the constitution and remain in power for a while longer. And don't think Darth Cheney hasn't pondered the possibilities.

Posted by: Erika on January 4, 2008 at 3:57 PM | PERMALINK

LOL.... Still trying to dig that hole deeper and deeper. Two points, dear:

1. How long did we "occupy" them?

I'm sorry, were you trying to make a point or get someone else to pay for your education?

2. Name at least one key difference between the occupation of Germany and the occupation of Iraq.

They're all different. It's the similarities that are important.

Posted by: SJRSM on January 4, 2008 at 4:02 PM | PERMALINK

Sick from Society, huh? You should try constitutional homeopathy. Works wonders for me when it comes to revving up my immune system during the cold season.

Posted by: Fred S. on January 4, 2008 at 4:11 PM | PERMALINK

"I'm sorry, were you trying to make a point or get someone else to pay for your education?"

ROFL.... I do so love it when you make my point for me, dear. Thanks for conceding defeat.

"They're all different. It's the similarities that are important."

Only if the differences don't overwhelm the similarities dear. In any case, since McCain (and you) can't actually think of any similarities, I'm afraid the point is moot. Just admit that McCain's argument was stupid and move on, dear; you'll feel ever so much better.

Posted by: PaulB on January 4, 2008 at 4:15 PM | PERMALINK

frankly0: my attempts at subtlety are not always successful. My implication was supposed to be that I found the quotes quite boring and I was blaming you (and agreeing with you) for prodding me to do such research.

Posted by: little ole jim on January 4, 2008 at 4:20 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, I'm thinking a LOT differently than I was a couple of days ago. Obama convinced me yesterday that he has what it takes to not only win the presidency in 2008, but also to put a new veneer on the Democratic Party that it hasn't had since the 1960s. We truly can become the party of hope and dreams once again. We sure as heck DON'T need more Clinton waffling, triangulation and making nice.

And for God's sake, please don't mention one word about EXPERIENCE. Obama has more experience than he needs. I'll seek experience when I am looking for a surgeon or airline pilot. For a political leader, give me charisma, a good smile and an uplifting message. If you think I am crazy, I have two words in reply - Ronald Reagan.

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on January 4, 2008 at 5:02 PM | PERMALINK

We occupied Japan and Germany too. We don't now.

Are you retarded on purpose? Tell that to the guys who are in Germany, Japan and Okinawa right now.

Quite a few Japanese, for example, would love to get our troops out of Okinawa and Misawa. And quite a few Germans are glad to see our troops being rotated out of Germany. However, a good chunk are still left behind to...do what exactly? Paint rocks and buy used BMWs?

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 4, 2008 at 5:43 PM | PERMALINK

Are you retarded on purpose? Tell that to the guys who are in Germany, Japan and Okinawa right now.
Posted by: Pale Rider

Did you fall on your head again? Google on "status of forces agreement" (SOFA) to educate yourself. Same for DearHeartPaulB, if he cares to allow a new thought to penetrate his skull.

Quite a few Japanese, for example, would love to get our troops out of Okinawa and Misawa.

So that means they're occupied? I'll give you a hint. It doesn't.

Posted by: SJRSM on January 4, 2008 at 5:53 PM | PERMALINK

So sorry about your cold. I used to get them every 6 weeks during the winter regular. Then somebody told me I should take fish oil, that it's great for the immune system. So for the last year and a bit, I've been taking a fish oil pill with a big glass of orange juice at breakfast and a fish oil pill after lunch. Voila--haven't been sick with anything at all since. Maybe it's all in my head, but I'm not arguing with success. Plus, they're very inexpensive, which is a huge plus for me!

Posted by: Helena Montana on January 4, 2008 at 7:13 PM | PERMALINK

"Same for DearHeartPaulB, if he cares to allow a new thought to penetrate his skull."

ROFL.... Oh, the irony...

Dear heart, you still haven't managed to find a single point that actually supports McCain's pathetically inept argument. Were you planning to do so anytime soon? Free clue: when you're in a deep hole, stop digging. What McCain said was monumentally stupid. Your support of it is hilarious.

Posted by: PaulB on January 4, 2008 at 7:27 PM | PERMALINK

"Tell that to the guys who are in Germany, Japan and Okinawa right now."

We aren't "occupying" those countries, by any reasonable definition of that word, which is precisely that dear little Mikey keeps ducking.

We are, most emphatically, "occupying" Iraq, by the strict definition of the word. McCain's comparison was woefully inept, not to mention stupid, which is why dear little Mikey is so busy playing silly little games rather than admit to being wrong when he said that McCain "spouted the truth."

The differences between the situations in post-war Germany and Japan, and the current occupation in Iraq, are so numerous that no meaningful comparisons can be drawn between them, which is why McCain himself just a couple of months ago said that we wouldn't be staying in Iraq.

Posted by: PaulB on January 4, 2008 at 7:32 PM | PERMALINK

We aren't "occupying" those countries, by any reasonable definition of that word, which is precisely that dear little Mikey keeps ducking.
Posted by: SweetSweetPaulieB

Eh? Been drinking the wood alcohol again? I'll write s l o w l y so you can understand.

We occupied Germany and Japan. We don't now. But we are still there, under SOFA.

We occupy Iraq. But we won't forever. I expect we still be there for a number of years though, under a SOFA.

It really is that simple, and you really are that stupid for not understanding such a simple, simple concept.

Counterflailing post in 3,2,1,...

Posted by: SJRSM on January 4, 2008 at 9:29 PM | PERMALINK

What Mary doesn't want to admit is that there was never any actual resistance to the American occupation of either of the nations she cites. That's why she repeats the bullshit about how we should ignore how they are different and focus on how they are the same.

How many wedding parties did we bomb in Japan while occupying them Mary? How many years was it after the victory over their leaders that we continued to drop bombs on the heads of women and children in Germany?

This is an occupation, it has been an occupation ever since Bush declared Mission Accomplished. The people of Iraq have no reason to think well of the kind of people who would plant hundreds of terrorist bombs in the capitol city of Iraq in an attempt to assassinate that nation's leader. No matter how hated he was, killing Hussein should never have been attempted via terrorism. It is hardly surprising that they resist their invaders.

At no point has any Swaggering Jingoistic Goon considered the welfare of the Iraqi people. They are not better off now than they were under Saddam Hussein. Which is saying something. He was a brutal dictator who is only missed because even as a brutal dictator he provided a more secure nation with better services (electricity, water, oil) than under the iron heel of Bush's occupation.

The only "sharing" that will come any time soon is the sharing of Iraqi blood with the dust. But at least that entertains the kind of person who makes a career out of killing people for money.

Posted by: heavy on January 4, 2008 at 11:15 PM | PERMALINK

Let me go back for a moment to the ostensible topic here, Republican nominees. I have been imagining that whatever grown-ups there are left in the Republican party would eventually throw the nomination to McCain, the only remotely viable contender in the current lot. (I do like the suggestion above that they should save their time and money and just sit the next election out!)

But Iraq is a millstone around McCain's neck, surely sinking him in a general election. That started me wondering whether the Republicans might eventually turn in desperation to the one person who just might have a chance against Obama, Colin Powell.

Posted by: Steve S. on January 4, 2008 at 11:18 PM | PERMALINK

Steve S., I don't think Colin would be interested even if he was pressured to run. With the winding down of Iraq and a tanking economy to deal with, the Republican leadership would be smarter to just punt it to the Democrats. Of course, that doesn't prevent someone like Mike Huckabee from thinking he can pull a successful Hail Mary. If Bloomberg enters the race and splits the Republican vote and cements a Dem win (like Perot in 1992), then they don't have to worry about Mike Huckabee. If MH gets the nomination, I think the big money Republicans would definitely prefer the evangelicals to lose BIG, so their influence will diminish to "manageable" levels and doesn't threaten their economic agenda.

Posted by: Doc at the Radar Station on January 5, 2008 at 12:36 AM | PERMALINK

But Iraq is a millstone around McCain's neck, surely sinking him in a general election.
Posted by: Steve S.

I'll agree that his fortunes are tied to Iraq, but if things ramp upwards there, so will his.

Posted by: SJRSM on January 5, 2008 at 11:28 AM | PERMALINK

"I'll agree that his fortunes are tied to Iraq, but if things ramp upwards there, so will his."

Not if he is foolish enough to continue insisting on a 100-year occupation.

"Eh? Been drinking the wood alcohol again? I'll write s l o w l y so you can understand."

ROFL.... Dear heart, I know precisely what you were saying. Saying it slowly doesn't make it any smarter. It just makes you look even dumber, since you continue to defend an indefensible statement. Here, I'll even repeat it for you:

McCain spouted the truth

No, dear, he didn't. He spouted something incredibly stupid and you've been, vainly, moronically, and pathetically, trying to defend it ever since. There are no meaningful comparisons, none, between the situations in Germany and Iraq. To pretend that there are is laughably stupid.

In any case, dear heart, the voters will decide. If I were the Democratic candidate facing McCain, I'd hang that "100 years" quote around his neck every time I faced him. Unlike you and McCain, they know the difference.

Posted by: PaulB on January 5, 2008 at 1:53 PM | PERMALINK

Not if he is foolish enough to continue insisting on a 100-year occupation.
Posted by: PaulB

Nice to see you're firmly stuck on stupid.

Posted by: SJRSM on January 5, 2008 at 5:12 PM | PERMALINK

"Nice to see you're firmly stuck on stupid"

ROFL... Dear heart, coming from you, that's a compliment. Still can't defend McCain or defend your own statement, can you? All you can do is attack when someone points out how idiotic you've been.

You still can't come up with a single reason why the current occupation in Iraq even remotely resembles our presence in Germany, South Korea, Japan, or Bosnia at any point in our presence there.

You got nothing and you know it, which is why all you can do is vainly and pathetically twist and spin instead of actually engaging the point. Thanks for conceding defeat, Mikey. Always a pleasure.

Posted by: PaulB on January 5, 2008 at 7:55 PM | PERMALINK

By the way, Mikey dear, framing matters. You'd better believe that if McCain gets the nomination that his opponent will refer to McCain's desire for a "100-year occupation" and all that McCain will be able to do is splutter that that isn't really what he meant. The sound bite will resonate far more than the explanation -- just ask John "I voted for it before I voted against it" Kerry.

So tell us again who is "firmly stuck on stupid," dear? Both politically and practically, it's McCain. And you, of course, but that goes without saying, I'm afraid.

Posted by: PaulB on January 5, 2008 at 8:01 PM | PERMALINK

And as long as we're talking about Kerry, let's talk about "flip-flop", shall we?

ROSE: Do you think that this — Korea, South Korea is an analogy of where Iraq might be, not in terms of their economic success but in terms of an American presence over the next, say, 20, 25 years, that we will have a significant amount of troops there?
MCCAIN: I don’t think so.

John "I was in favor of removing our troops before I was against it" McCain. Has a nice ring to it.

Posted by: PaulB on January 5, 2008 at 8:04 PM | PERMALINK

ROSE: Do you think that this — Korea, South Korea is an analogy of where Iraq might be, not in terms of their economic success but in terms of an American presence over the next, say, 20, 25 years, that we will have a significant amount of troops there?

MCCAIN: I don’t think so.

No kidding. We're in Korea because we are protecting them from North Korea across a DMZ in a situation where the war really has never been resolved and where our troops are on hairwire alert. Not a good analogy to where we will be in Iraq. Think Japan or Germany or Bahrain or Kuwait.

You're getting more stupider with each post.

Posted by: SJRSM on January 5, 2008 at 10:03 PM | PERMALINK

ROFL... Oh, the irony of this statement:

Not a good analogy to where we will be in Iraq.

followed immediately by this one:

Think Japan or Germany or Bahrain or Kuwait.

Dear heart, you still can't get your head wrapped around the undeniable fact that Japan, Germany, Bahrain, Kuwait, etc., are terrible analogies to the situation in Iraq. You can't even be bothered to try to actually defend the analogy because you know damn well just how stupid it is.

"You're getting more stupider with each post."

ROFLMAO.... I do so love it when a moron tries to play games. Dear heart, you just can't bring yourself to acknowledge the McCain flip-flop, can you? Nor the utter stupidity of McCain's 100-year statement. Ah, well, we'll see in November if McCain gets the nomination. Sorry, dear, but the voters don't want to be in Iraq for 100 years.

Posted by: PaulB on January 5, 2008 at 11:13 PM | PERMALINK

And what's really hilarious, Mikey, is that you're not even trying to be rational anymore. You know you got caught saying something stupid and instead of just acknowledging it and moving on, you just keep digging that hole deeper and deeper. See, Mikey, that's the reason you occasionally get censored; the moderators don't like teh stupid.

Posted by: PaulB on January 5, 2008 at 11:15 PM | PERMALINK

I am a Democrat. I hate Bush’s presidency. I hated the war in Iraq before we were involved and continue to. I think we are in deep sheet politically and economically due to the money wasted on this war. I believe we need a President who can get us out of it. I am not going to vote Democrat if Obama gets the nomination. Depending on the Republican nominee, I might vote Republican - because he could be less evil then Obama.

Change is a beautiful word that sounded very seductive when used by Obama, especially today considering the sheet that we are in. Without change, mankind would stand still. However it is only a seductive word at the moment. What we need right now is somebody who can and knows how to navigate us out of where we are and Obama is not this person. There were political leaders before that wanted change, but what they achieved was destruction - like in Russia &Iraq. Not all changes are good and it is extremely important when, where and how changes are implemented!
What is Obama’s position today in Kenya?

Posted by: an on January 6, 2008 at 10:50 AM | PERMALINK

See, Mikey, that's the reason you occasionally get censored; the moderators don't like teh stupid.
Posted by: PaulB

No, I get moderated when I act like Al-heavy.

Posted by: SJRSM on January 6, 2008 at 12:10 PM | PERMALINK
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