Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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January 21, 2008
By: Kevin Drum

THE REPUBLICAN TICKET....Lisa Schiffren is part of the conservative brigade that would rather stay home than vote for John McCain, but she has some advice in case the worst happens:

If either McCain or Romney gets the nomination, as unfortunately seems likely, he must choose the single most conservative running mate he can find, who is sane and articulate. Or else Obama becomes President, with a lot of crossover GOP votes.

Does this make any sense? I understand why conservatives would want a conservative vice president, but they aren't the ones who are going to cross over to vote for Obama. Moderates are. And they'd be more likely to vote for Obama if the Republican ticket features Cheney Jr., wouldn't they? What am I missing here?

Kevin Drum 1:42 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (163)

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Being from Mississippi, I can say that Kevin may well be underestimating Obama's appeal to conservatives. It may not be rational, but I can say that many of my most right wing relatives are Obama admirers. Strongly. I do not understand it entirely; part of it may simply be that their hatred of Hillary Clinton (which truly knows no bounds) leads them to like and sympathize with any opponent of hers. But I can say, at least anecdotally, that Obama has significant appeal among conservatives.

And, getting beyond anecdotes, there is also the Pew study showing that Republicans rate Obama as far more moderate than they do Hillary Clinton. Democrats correctly perceive the two as ideologically similar, but conservative Republicans think HRC is coming to take their kids and Bibles.

HRC is the worst of all possible worlds. She is too hawkish & too DLC for many Democrats, but among Republicans she is perceived as no different than Ted Kennedy.

Posted by: Fran on January 21, 2008 at 1:48 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe the idea is that Obama is going to get lots of crossover votes anyway, so the GOP need to get massive turnout from their rightwing base to counter the defections, and the real right-wingers might just stay at home if they don't see a kindred spirit on the ticket.
That's the only way that sentence makes sense, anyway.

Posted by: ajay on January 21, 2008 at 1:51 PM | PERMALINK

Finding the most conservative running mate who is both sane and articulate will not be an easy task.

Posted by: AJ on January 21, 2008 at 1:51 PM | PERMALINK

Sheesh, that Democrats actually are thinking about whom to nominate from their OWN party based on attempts to psychoanalyze the Wingnuttiest of the Wingnuts. What a poisonous cesspool.

Isn't there some way to drive them back into the holes they came from? Shouldn't we nominate Hillary just because it may cause all their heads to explode?

Posted by: bleh on January 21, 2008 at 1:55 PM | PERMALINK

I can understand why they would want someone who is articulate, but do Republicans really care about sanity in their candidates?

Colin

Posted by: Colin on January 21, 2008 at 1:55 PM | PERMALINK

You're missing Lisa Schiffren's massive self-regard and solipsism, which leads her to assume that the key to winning the presidency is doing everything to appeal to voters like her.

Posted by: anonymous on January 21, 2008 at 1:59 PM | PERMALINK

read: huckabee? to make sure the evangelicals don't simply stay at home on election day? though i wouldn't exactly call huck sane....

Posted by: snarky_boor on January 21, 2008 at 1:59 PM | PERMALINK

What you are missing is that the conservatives want one of their own in the White House, and if they cannot get one at the top of the ticket, they will only settle for one waiting in the wings. I hope they get a "real" conservative on the ticket, if only because it should cost them votes in the long run. I would not hold my breath, however, for the idea that they can find a "sane" one -- it's an oxymoron.

Posted by: Outis on January 21, 2008 at 2:00 PM | PERMALINK

The main thing I want with resepct to a Vice President is that they return to their traditional role of attending state funerals, being the 101st member of the Senate, and doing nothing else important. What began with Al and led to Dick, this idea of actually letting the Veep do stuff, should not be repeated.

Otherwise, there shouldn't be tickets. You should be able to vote for each independently.

Posted by: SJRSM on January 21, 2008 at 2:00 PM | PERMALINK

A conservative who is "who is sane and articulate"

Again, asked and answered.

Posted by: Matt on January 21, 2008 at 2:03 PM | PERMALINK

As I understand the Conservative Mind, the thinking is something like this: America is a conservative, Christian nation misled into appearing liberal by the liberal press. That Americans hate Bush is not because he was a reactionaly, fashist loon, but because he turned out not to be a Real Conservative. If he'd been a Real Conservative, then America (which is really conservative) would have rallied to him. Thus, putting a Real Conservative on the ticket is the best way to rally America, since, as we know, America is really conservative.

QED. Proof.

Meanwhile, back in the real world ...

Posted by: JohnN on January 21, 2008 at 2:07 PM | PERMALINK

"...he must choose the single most conservative running mate he can find, who is sane and articulate."

Talk about an oxymoron. Emphasis on moron!
--

Perhaps Duncan Hunter would be available? Or Fred "the dead".

Posted by: Jay in Oregon on January 21, 2008 at 2:09 PM | PERMALINK

Does this make any sense?

I don't think it makes any sense with Romney because he is the most conservative of the candidates. With McCain it does make sense. One can't win elections without the support of ones base, and conservatives don't trust McCain. If McCain chooses a real conservative, like Fred Thompson or fmr General Peter Pate as his Vice-President, more conservatives would vote for him. Otherwise conservatives wouldn't see any difference between a President McCain and a President Hillary so they would just sit this election out.

Posted by: Al on January 21, 2008 at 2:11 PM | PERMALINK

I think her point is that McCain/Romney already appeal to moderates and independents (although that may be iffy for Romney) but only a true conservative is going to bring out the hardcore base.

Thus, her argument is, if you bring in a Buchanan type, at least the base has something to be happy about and will go to the polls. It's like having your pudding after your greens. You may not like em, but you'll eat em just to get to the good stuff.

Posted by: Nobcentral on January 21, 2008 at 2:11 PM | PERMALINK

A McCain/Thompson ticket would get the grumbling conservatives on board, while also taking more from the middle than other possible Repo tickets. I think Thompson has been running for VP all along. It's a position that doesn't require getting out of bed most mornings.

Posted by: bobb on January 21, 2008 at 2:13 PM | PERMALINK

"What am I missing here?"

Energizing the base. The hardcore conservative right needs a compelling reason to get off its collective butt and go pull the levers. People like Rush, Malkin, etc. absolutely loathe Mr. McCain.

I just hope they don't let Mr. Cheney run the selection process this time.

Posted by: Quaker in a Basement on January 21, 2008 at 2:15 PM | PERMALINK

what are you missing ???

the fog of BULLSHIT that surrounds anything a repuglitard says

these lying assholes tell us bullshit just so we have to spend time sifting thru the bullshit

let them spin their little sophist's wheels

ignore them

let the repuglitard base unravel this nest of sophistry and illogical dreck

let the repuglitard party spin off the cliff without trying to understand their babble

Posted by: free patriot on January 21, 2008 at 2:16 PM | PERMALINK

McCain/Thompson? Maybe their slogan could be "Don't Trust Anyone Under 70".

Posted by: Quaker in a Basement on January 21, 2008 at 2:17 PM | PERMALINK

Short answer to Kevin's last question: Yes!

We've already got two moderate candidates, but not all Republicans have figured out yet that they'd better do likewise.

Posted by: djangone on January 21, 2008 at 2:27 PM | PERMALINK

If there's one thing we've learned in the Republican primary race is that it is a bit silly to think there is one "brand" of conservative, so it's hard to tell what she means when she uses the term. After the conventions, I suspect the large majority of Republicans will mostly begin to pragmatically focus on how much more important it is to have a Republican president than a Democratic one - whether the Democratic opponent is Obama or Clinton. Certainly the nominee will want to win and knows that the "independent" voters are the key, so they will probably choose a running mate that will have a lot of appeal to those "independent" voters. I think there is a better than even chance that McCain or Romney will give a serious look at Colin Powell and pick him as a running mate if he is willing. If Clinton gets the Democratic nomination I think there is a good chance she will pick Wesley Clark as her running mate. That would be interesting - two Generals as Vice Presidential running mates.

Posted by: TK on January 21, 2008 at 2:28 PM | PERMALINK

After reading the comments of Matt Yglesias, I followed the link to Krugman expecting to find that Krugman had overstated his case. But I agree 100 percent with Krugman. The Reagan narrative as created by his worshipers has been at least partly accepted by Obama.

Reagan exacerbated partisanship and division of the country by race. Suddenly, you had a whopping 90 percent of African Americans voting Democratic, against Reagan whom they rightly perceived as anti-civil rights. Suddenly, you had huge majorities of Whites Southerners voting Republican. Reagan absolutely capitalized upon a white backlash to the Civil Rights movement and he was very divisive. It is totally ironic to see Obama describe Reagan as an effective leader (without agreeing with his policies) when Reagan was so different from the kind of politician Obama aspires to be.

By the end of Reagan’s term, not only was the country more divided along lines that proven to be very persistent, but many of his supporters were openly admitting that they did not care so much that he failed to make progress toward many of his “conservative” goals, such as smaller government and lower deficits. By the end of Reagan’s terms, many conservatives were taking solace in the fact that his huge deficits tied the hands of liberal politicians who wanted to spend money on something other than the Department of Defense.

The Democrats in Congress who supported Reagan were hardly the result of an effort toward bipartisanship. They were the Bole Weevils, a group of 45 conservative Southern Democrats, led my Congressman at the time, Sonny Montgomery, who supported Reagan more reliably than even his Republican supporters. These people and their supporters, during the Reagan years, were converting to the Republican Party in droves. They are still conservative republicans and they will not support a Democrat or progressive democrat initiatives.

I think all this would be more prominent in the writings of Matt Yglesias if he were not so obsessed with selling the equation that a vote of yea on the Iraq AUMF = a vote to invade and plunder Iraq = an unbridled pro-war disposition.

Posted by: little ole jim on January 21, 2008 at 2:32 PM | PERMALINK

So now Obama is the big bad boogieman of the right? But I thought he was going to bring everyone together, disarm all that right wing vitriol?

Anyway, If this person isn't a complete dimwit, I find it interesting that they are pretending Obama (whom the Republicans still want to run against), is a lock for the nomination. Looking at the electoral map, the polls, and how he's done so far, it's really hard to see how Obama wins the nomination at this point. He won't win California without dramatically improving his showing among whites and Hispanics, and he won't win New York at all. Outside of that, he's trailing in every non-southern state except his home state of Illinois. I can see things turning around some if we get another anti-Clinton fullcourt media press, which isn't impossible considering what we've seen, but barring that, Obama is on very shaky ground. The opinion of someone who pretends otherwise -- pretends somehow Obama is the favorite -- isn't worth a whole lot.

It is interesting, though, that it wasn't Hillary who was used as the Emmanuel Goldstein here. Isn't she supposed to be the polarizing one, the one who will unite the Republican hordes, etc etc?

Posted by: Martin Gale on January 21, 2008 at 2:34 PM | PERMALINK

I wonder what Lisa Schiffren would say if McCain chose Romney, or Romney chose McCain. Would we get to hear a head explode?

Posted by: Outis on January 21, 2008 at 2:35 PM | PERMALINK

I just don't get these assholes...John McCain has been the most consistent actual conservative of all the guys running. The interesting question is who exactly these guys would consider to be a sane & articulate.

Posted by: Nathan on January 21, 2008 at 2:35 PM | PERMALINK

Revisit her analysis when Obama actually wins the Democratic nomination- an assumption that looks increasingly unlikely at the moment.

Posted by: Yancey Ward on January 21, 2008 at 2:38 PM | PERMALINK

Some of my GOP relatives like Obama because he comes across as a Strong Man (deep voice, commanding presence, confident, steely gaze, etc). That's a big deal with those people; they're always on the lookout for some John Wayne figure, even if he's a black Democrat.

Posted by: Speed on January 21, 2008 at 2:40 PM | PERMALINK

You know, this primary season is really interesting. You have Republicans/conservatives declaring that if McCain/Romney is nominated, he will lose, and you have Democrats/liberals proclaiming that if Clinton/Obama were dominated, he or she would lose. Who is right? Gonna be a great general election.
And both parties are going to be rather unenthusiastic about their candidates I think. Conservative despise McCain, and every Obama supporter I know would rather stay home than vote for Clinton. I really think the Dems are in the process of dividing the party and throwing away a sure win, but it makes for fun viewing!

Posted by: Steve M on January 21, 2008 at 2:42 PM | PERMALINK

Errr..I mean nominated, not dominated, in my comment above. wow. oops.

Posted by: Steve M on January 21, 2008 at 2:43 PM | PERMALINK

The ideology of a Vice President is overrated. A running mate has one job: run. The VP nominee has to be a capable campaigner, otherwise the ticket won't get elected. Up until the Age of Cheney, the VP had no other duties of any importance.

I suppose ideology would be important if you wanted the VP to campaign to like-minded voters. This carries as much weight as geography, though, since it speaks to the VP's ability to mobilize voting blocs.

IMHO, a VP should be chosen from the party's bench as a resume' booster for the next election.

Posted by: Grumpy on January 21, 2008 at 2:50 PM | PERMALINK

Up until the Age of Cheney, the VP had no other duties of any importance.
Posted by: Grumpy

I'd say that Al Gore was the mold breaker in that regard. Cheney just took it to the next level.

Posted by: SJRSM on January 21, 2008 at 2:54 PM | PERMALINK

Sounds to me like Schiffren is longing for McCain to finally tie the knot with Joe Lieberman. Whiny-ass Joe is certainly the most conservative running mate McCain could select who would be happy to stand with him, and the Democrats don't want or need Lieberman muddying things up in their ranks. There remains that problem of her sanity litmus test, but that will just have to be overlooked.

Posted by: Emily on January 21, 2008 at 2:55 PM | PERMALINK

You're missing nothing but conservative illogic, Kevin.

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on January 21, 2008 at 3:00 PM | PERMALINK

Isn't she supposed to be the polarizing one, the one who will unite the Republican hordes, etc etc?

Can you go back over that argument again? First of all, if Obama is so much like a Republican, how do you conclude that he's the one the Republicans would want to run against? He'd be stealing votes from the middle, and unless Nader runs (and let's remember that Nader said a Hillary nomination makes it more likely that he'd feel obligated to run again) that would be bad news for the Repos.

Second, you seem to be missing the fact that it's the Democrats who favor Hillary who are making this argument against Obama. And there are two significant parts of that. First, they're Democrats. So attempting to read something into this about what Republicans think is odd. And second they favor Hillary. So of course they're looking for ways to tear down Obama. Take it with a grain of salt, rather than with the same sort of credulity that leads Hillary supporters to believe that her vote for the AUMA wasn't a vote for war (but at the same time, somehow managing to simultaneously believe that she wasn't fooled by Bush's lies when he said it wasn't a vote for war when it really was).


Posted by: bob on January 21, 2008 at 3:11 PM | PERMALINK

Since Bush/Cheney threw most conventional ideas about running mates out the window, I don't know how the GOP nominee will chose his.

My guess: McCain will chose based on loyalty, not strategery. Probably Thompson or Lindsey Graham.

Romney will chose strategically, but I'm not sure what his strategy will be. Because his chief liability is inauthenticity, he will probably need a strong conservative running mate, because choosing someone more moderate will just muddy things further and make himself look even more like a panderer.

Posted by: Alex Parker on January 21, 2008 at 3:18 PM | PERMALINK

wasp republican + southern republican = next ticket.
McCain y Huckabee?

Posted by: Percy on January 21, 2008 at 3:28 PM | PERMALINK

What you're missing is two things:

Obama vs Romney--religion. The religious right isn't really comfortable with Mormons, and Obama speaks our language (the last Democrat to do so and run for President was Carter). On actual policy, he is mostly against us--but the Republicans haven't done much for us except talk. At this point, Obama vs Romney has a decent chance of splitting off some chunks of the religious right.

McCain--McCain-Feingold is so hated by the activist groups that they won't work for McCain.

Posted by: SamChevre on January 21, 2008 at 3:31 PM | PERMALINK

Probably Thompson or Lindsey Graham.

What strength has Thompson shown that he can bring to the ticket, or do you mean someone other than Fred?

Posted by: AJ on January 21, 2008 at 3:32 PM | PERMALINK

"I just don't get these assholes...John McCain has been the most consistent actual conservative of all the guys running."

You may be right, but you forget that he voted AGAINST the Bush tax cuts. That's the only thing most non-evangelical Republican'ts care about. MONEY money money money money.

To them "conservative" means cut taxes at each and every opportunity because when tax = 0, revenues will f'ing BOOM.

I could see where she was going if she was talking about motivating the "base," until she talked about "a lot of crossover GOP votes."

What the heck voter would vote for Obama UNLESS there was a real true blue (or should that be true red) conservative VP on the Republican't ticket? That just does NOT make any sense.

The crossover voters seem to be torn between Obama and McCain, so having McCain at the top of the ticket would seem to be the ONLY way to keep their votes for the Can't party.

Posted by: Cal Gal on January 21, 2008 at 3:41 PM | PERMALINK

Moderate Republican politicians pander to the extremists and radicals of their party -- the so-called Base -- because they worry that the freaks will stay home on election day. This is just an empty threat to McCain by the base.

Moderate Democratic politicians, though they're smeared as liberals and radicals, don't pander to their own base for fear of even worse smearing, trusting that the liberal voters wil still vote for the moderate Democrat.

This only works, though, if someone like Nader isn't running as an Independent.

Gee, I wish Obama and Clinton would pander to me at least a little bit... Until then, I'm an Edwards man.

Posted by: Howard on January 21, 2008 at 3:45 PM | PERMALINK

It's interesting that Schiffren includess Romney with the unacceptible non-conservatives, but Rush Limbaugh doesn't. I think she's right. Romney governed Mass. pragmatically, not according to a strict conservative playbook. He appointed liberal judges and initiated more-or-less universal health-care.

Posted by: ex-liberal on January 21, 2008 at 3:53 PM | PERMALINK

I don't know why conservatives wouldn't vote for Obama. As you keep saying, there isn't much daylight between their positions (Hillary and Obama), but I think the implacable Republicans know he'll be the most triangulating choice from the Dem line up. And he's been sending them lots of signals, like the Reagan and Soc. Sec. comments. I think, and I think they think, he is the least threatening choice for Republicans, and they know they have much to answer for. I guarantee he will issue blanket pardons as soon as he's inaugurated.

Posted by: jussumbody on January 21, 2008 at 4:06 PM | PERMALINK

Remember her goal: To get people to accept her suggestion. I suspect that, since she is a GOP person, her instinct is to do this via threats, rather than reasoned persuasion.

I expect to see several variations of this, among GOPpers, in the months to come:

* Do this or expect PRESIDENT OBAMA (oooh, scary black man!)

* Do this or expect PRESIDENT HILLARY (aaagh, the anti-christ of all good conservatives, and a woman, to boot!)

The selection of "threat object" will be more of a reflection of what the speaker views as "an ultimate horror" than any real expectation or political analysis.

Posted by: Cathexis on January 21, 2008 at 4:30 PM | PERMALINK

Hey, I know, lets "pretend" that McCain is NOT a far-right conservative.

The thing about Bushism is the complete lack of understanding of what conservativism IS about anymore?

The National Review does NOT know what conservative behavior is, at least not unless Cheney or Rove tells them what it is, and because it is not like that National Review is going to ask conservative voters what they think.

In order for Mr. Bushie to stay in power, Bushie had to trash alot of conserative ideas, but don't tell NRO that problem, because THEN they would just make-shit-up in order to pretend it isn't true. The NRO is far too busy NOT voting for McCain for any of us to go and tell them anything or try to clue them in.

Please lets not tell them that hey, maybe it's not a problem with conservative voters, maybe it's a problem with Mags that think they represent conservative voters?

Jeebus.

IF NRO doesn’t know who their readers are, and they just want to keep talking to the brick wall, than more power to em. I mean, is anyone other than Lisa Schiffren and Kevin Drum reading Lisa's two-cents worth here?

Posted by: me-again on January 21, 2008 at 4:32 PM | PERMALINK

ex-lib, I am still waiting for an answer to my question...

How many deferments did you ask for and receive during the Vietnam war?

By your own words, you were draft-eligible from 1963 onward. You drew a high number ten times? I think not.

You had to receive deferments.

How many?

Posted by: Isle of Lucy on January 21, 2008 at 4:42 PM | PERMALINK

Here's a snapshot of Democratic candidate fav/unfav as of 2008.
Note, Clinton and Obama close 49/50 Clinton, 51/47 Obama, but Obama hasn't been put through the Republican slime machine. Yet.

For Republican numbers, click "Republican Presidential Candidates Key Stats" on page.

I really doubt that hhe Republican v Democrat match ups mean anything at this stage of the election. More people will see McCain doddering as he walks and talks.

Posted by: Mike on January 21, 2008 at 4:54 PM | PERMALINK

After Ron Paul, Hillary is probably the next most conservative candidate.

Realistically we should judge conservatives on how little they believe in spending and big government rather than how cheap they are in paying taxes.

Posted by: Luther on January 21, 2008 at 5:01 PM | PERMALINK
I don't know why conservatives wouldn't vote for Obama. Posted by: jussumbody on January 21, 2008 at 4:06 PM | PERMALINK

Conservatives would not vote for a Democrat, period, unless Lowell Weicker somehow resurrected his political career and won the Republican nomination. And even then, they'd think about it.

Obama isn't dumb enough to think he can win many conservative votes; what he's trying to do here is keep the Broderite media pleased with him, while laying the grounds for casting himself as some kind of reconciling figure, both during the election and if he wins it. He thinks he can smoothtalk the conservative machine into giving him a fair shake, at least for a while. I think he's wrong on all counts. The Broderites will support him only as long as he's running against Hillary, while the conservative machine is built to do nothing except attack non-liberals and stir up anger and discontent. It isn't going to stop these highly rewarding -- in every sense -- activities because of Obama's manifest charm.

Posted by: Martin Gale on January 21, 2008 at 5:15 PM | PERMALINK

Oops. That should have been "the conservative machine is built to attack non-conservatives"

Posted by: Martin Gale on January 21, 2008 at 5:24 PM | PERMALINK

Republicans don't trust McCain or Romney. She's saying they want a bonafide religious wingnut on the ticket they can trust to balance either one out. If they get one they may still man the phones, raise money and knock on doors. If not McCain and/or Romney will have to place their trust in the voting machines and hope for the best.

Posted by: markg8 on January 21, 2008 at 5:25 PM | PERMALINK

Schiffren: ". . . he must choose the single most conservative running mate he can find, who is sane and articulate."

This candidate must be the tallest to be found, with a 28 inch instep and shoe size of 7. And for the Inaugurable Ball his wife must choose the most classic and tasteful accessories, which both bark and leak. The couple must be the childless parents of a large brood of female boy children. Dedicated members of Opus Dei who devoutly follow the traditions of their Orthodox Jewish upbringing while remaining true to their Evangelical Baptist roots are preferred.

Posted by: cowalker on January 21, 2008 at 5:36 PM | PERMALINK

A good GOP choice would be former Wisconsin governor Tommy Thompson.

Speaking of Wisconsin - let us have a moment of silence in honor of the poor, defeated Green Bay Packers!!

Posted by: Brett Favre on January 21, 2008 at 5:39 PM | PERMALINK

I have been thinking for a long time that the real election is going to be February 5. Whoever wins the Democratic nomination, wins. I still think that. The issue of this election boils down to a simple choice. Do voters want 4 more Clinton years, or do you want to bury the Reagan legacy forever by turning the page.

I view Clinton as being a very successful Reagan Democrat who really adopted Reagan's bullshit with a Democratic twist. He hasn't been a progressive since he was beaten in his second run for governor of Arkansas. He changed in his third campaign and has stayed a conservative Democrat ever since. That is why Talking Head Conservatives hate Bill and why he gets along so well with Poppy Bush. He co-opted Reagan for his own purposes. That fills the Talking Head Republicans with hate, but Poppy knows Bill is a kindred spirit.

Obama says he might be a transitional president, capable of taking us away from the Reagan era. That is a rejection of every thing Clinton's presidency accomplished.

Posted by: corpus juris on January 21, 2008 at 5:42 PM | PERMALINK

I think the implication is that a lot of true conservatives would stay home rather than vote for McCain or Romney, but they may turn out to vote if a very conservative vice presidential nominee is on the ticket.

Posted by: little ole jim on January 21, 2008 at 5:55 PM | PERMALINK

The myth of Obama's appeal to Republicans is growing by leaps and bounds . . . among his delusional supporters at least.

Obama's crushing defeat, if he should slime his way to the nomination through race-baiting, when Republicans abandon him for the GOP, since they are only voting against Clinton, will at least put a sock in his supporters collective mouth.

Posted by: anonymous on January 21, 2008 at 6:08 PM | PERMALINK

Lynne Cheney? Are we talking about Darth's wife for VP? Will I move to Russia if she/they win? I think so as I have a right to return. So, don't count on me as being part of the new USA mix.

Let the nazi bastard conservatives eat dandelions–actually they’re pretty healthy, locally grown, not much of a carbon input but all that does not let that fool Bush and the rest of the free traders off the hook.

Impeach the bastards, take the country back, tax the rich, give to the poor, stop playing globo-cop and for godsakes, stop being this militaristic Sparta with its weird death cult.


Posted by: Dr WU-the last of the big time thinkers on January 21, 2008 at 6:10 PM | PERMALINK

Schiffrin supports Rudy, so that should give you some idea about the logical coherence of her complaints about McCain and Romney not being "conservative" enough.

Posted by: awt on January 21, 2008 at 6:11 PM | PERMALINK

If McCain ends up the Repub nominee.........remember, he's over 70 years old and has had cancer. There's a real possibility his running mate will become president, just from the law of averages. That makes HIS VP pick more important than usual (something, in my opinion, isn't all that meaningful when it comes to whom one votes for president).

Posted by: KYBob on January 21, 2008 at 6:30 PM | PERMALINK

"What am I missing here?"

So much for political insight. It's called turning out the base. It's what both parties spend most of their time trying to do,

Posted by: JM Hanes on January 21, 2008 at 6:41 PM | PERMALINK

Obama isn't dumb enough to think he can win many conservative votes; what he's trying to do here is keep the Broderite media pleased with him, while laying the grounds for casting himself as some kind of reconciling figure, both during the election and if he wins it.

No, what he's doing (that Hillary supporters get upset about and misrepresent, because Hillary can't do it also) is appealing to independents and moderates.

I'm one such person. I don't consider myself a Democrat. I held my nose and voted for Kerry because he was better than Bush (which isn't saying much). Same for Gore. But I'd support Obama enthusiastically, no matter who the GOP puts up against him.

I'd only vote for Hillary if the GOP puts up someone extremely odious like Giuliani or Huck. If it's McCain vs. Hillary, I'd probably not vote, although if Hillary keeps going the way she's going I might even change my mind and vote for McCain. I think they'd both be terrible presidents, but in very different ways. And at least with McCain the Clinton/Bush dynasties would be ended, not to mention that at his age he might be a one-term president. And McCain has a lot of conflicts with the hard-right wingers, so McCain probably ends up working with the Democrats more than Hillary could ever hope to work with the Republicans.

But put Obama (or Edwards, if that were still possible) up as the Democratic nominee, and I'll not just vote for them I'll support them every way I can.

Posted by: bobb on January 21, 2008 at 6:48 PM | PERMALINK

"Does this make any sense? I understand why conservatives would want a conservative vice president, but they aren't the ones who are going to cross over to vote for Obama. Moderates are. And they'd be more likely to vote for Obama if the Republican ticket features Cheney Jr., wouldn't they? What am I missing here?"

I think in all honesty the Republican party would fall apart if an honest to G-d Fiscally Conservative Republican actually arose amongst them.
They wouldn't know what to do...no, they wouldn't...they're too use to having Tax-cut and Spend liberal Bush as an example of a what a "conservative" is.
I think once the Democrats start whipping the government into some form of fiscal restraint, the Republican's will have flash-backs to what Conservative really means...but thats about it.

Posted by: sheerahkahn on January 21, 2008 at 7:00 PM | PERMALINK

Vice presidential nominations seldom make a difference. They came into play in 2000, when the Cheney pick was very favorably received and a boost to Bush (probably sufficent to make the difference in the race) and the Leiberman pick was a boost in Florida that almost won it for Gore.

This year may be an exception. If Hillary successfully begs Obama to be her VP, it probably is worth a couple points for her in some states and avoids a bloodbath within the party. It will be an interesting test to see if Obama is just a politician who says yes or a man of principle who says no.

And if McCain picks the current Wisconsin or Minnesota governor, or the former Pennsylvania governor Tom Ridge, it might swing those states. Ridge in particular would be a good pick, because Pa has a lot of electoral votes and Ridge could be presented as most qualified because of his stint as director of homeland security. i think Ridge also endorsed McCain early on.

Prior to 2000, I think you need to go back to 1960 and, maybe, Johnson was a difference maker.

Posted by: brian on January 21, 2008 at 7:26 PM | PERMALINK

And the Republican Vice-Presidential nominee is... Newt Gingrich!

I can see this coming to pass, particularly if McCain gets the nomination. McCain's health is iffy, and movement conservatives would see a chance to get Gingrich in position to be next in line if McCain were unable to complete his term. Gingrich is who the True Believers have wanted in the White House all along, and they all know there's no way in hell he'd win the Presidency on his own merits.

They won't worry about Newt torpedoing the ticket because they're 100% sure they'll beat Hillary with whoever they nominate. If Obama gets the Democratic nomination, it's a moot point - Republicans will be too busy shitting their pants to care about who their VP nominee is.

Posted by: dr sardonicus on January 21, 2008 at 7:38 PM | PERMALINK

And they'd be more likely to vote for Obama if the Republican ticket features Cheney Jr.
Of course they would. Who wants a dead horror movie actor as VP?

Posted by: sc on January 21, 2008 at 7:42 PM | PERMALINK

Ridge is pro-choice. That makes him a more difficult, but perhaps more interesting and maybe more valuable pick. But the bottom line is Ridge probably flips PA with 21 electoral votes and makes the demcocrats have to flip Florida or two to four other states to make up for the loss of Pa.

Posted by: brian on January 21, 2008 at 7:58 PM | PERMALINK

bobb: "But I'd support Obama enthusiastically, no matter who the GOP puts up against him."

Quick, they're having a run on koolaid at the store, better hurry before they're out!

Then again, you could probably get a lifetime's supply from your local Obama campaign headquarters.

It is because of supporters like you that I will consider voting for McCain if Obama is the nominee instead of Clinton or Edwards.

I cannot stand another eight years of political orthodoxy and hate-spewing supporters like we've had with Bush, regardless whether they are from the far right or the far left, and that is clearly what Obama will bring to the White House, the delusions of his acolytes notwithstanding.

Posted by: anonymous on January 21, 2008 at 8:12 PM | PERMALINK

And if McCain picks the current Wisconsin...governor...

...who is a Democrat, brian.

Ridge in particular would be a good pick, because Pa has a lot of electoral votes and Ridge could be presented as most qualified because of his stint as director of homeland security. i think Ridge also endorsed McCain early on.

He's a senior aide to McCain. He's also irreparably tarred with the Bush brush, tied for eternity to the massive pile of stinking failure that is the Bush presidency, and more specifically to the total joke that is the Bush DHS. Ridge as a VP candidate would be a dream come true for Democrats. The ads write themselves.

Posted by: shortstop on January 21, 2008 at 9:17 PM | PERMALINK

We already are involved in two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, are you going to allow another Republican to start a another war with Iran this time you folks need to wake up, hasnt 8 years of Bush not shown you anything at all, McCain is a hot tempered war hawk much worse than Bush could ever be he is a nut to the first degree, so you need to give someone else a chance to pull the United States out of the spiraling pit that the Republican party has put us in.

Posted by: Al on January 21, 2008 at 9:38 PM | PERMALINK
Being from Mississippi, I can say that Kevin may well be underestimating Obama's appeal to conservatives. It may not be rational, but I can say that many of my most right wing relatives are Obama admirers.

I'd really like to meet your right wing relatives. I have more than a few myself. Being from Mississippi, my guess would be that of the approximately one million right wing voters, approximately zero would vote for Obama. Maybe a few would screw up their ballots and vote for him by mistake.

Posted by: little ole jim on January 21, 2008 at 9:50 PM | PERMALINK
...massive pile of stinking failure that is the Bush presidency...

You'll never be elected talking that way. But I kinda like it. Uh huh uh huh.

Posted by: little ole jim on January 21, 2008 at 9:55 PM | PERMALINK

shortstop: massive pile of stinking failure that is the Bush presidency

little ole jim: You'll never be elected talking that way.

Oh? Eisenhower won in 1952 by campaigning against the then very unpopular Truman. Of course Ike was running against Stevenson, not Truman, but hey, it worked.

Posted by: alex on January 21, 2008 at 10:17 PM | PERMALINK

I believe jim was just goofing on me, alex. He'll get on down in the mud and wrestle with the pigs when necessary. But he's got to be sure it's necessary.

Posted by: shortstop on January 21, 2008 at 10:24 PM | PERMALINK

If it's McCain/Thompson, I've got my bumpersticker: Fuck Grandpa.

Posted by: SqueakyRat on January 21, 2008 at 11:50 PM | PERMALINK

I honestly dont see why people think Obama will get alot of crossover votes. Maybe thats because they like him now, but once they find out how liberal he is that will change, and that will happen in a general election.

He also has a problem with southern whites (there was an article on HuffPost about that) and with hispanics. I think Obama is alot less electable that people think. I dont think Hiallry is that great either, but I think her chances are better.

Im beginning to think that some conservatives are spreading this idea because they think he isnt electable and know he'd be easier to beat. They actually fear Hillary more.

Posted by: Jonesy on January 22, 2008 at 12:11 AM | PERMALINK

shortstop,

thanks for the correction. Doyle is not a likely pick for McCain.

But I think you underestimate Ridge's ability to flip Pennsylvania and, regardless of what you think of Bush, Ridge was director of homeland security during a time of no attacks. The pro choice position is the problem. It would cost McCain some votes on the right, but enhance his reputation to moderates. If there is another vp candidate for either party worth 21 electoral votes, I don't know who it is.

Posted by: brian on January 22, 2008 at 12:30 AM | PERMALINK

Jonesy: Speaking for herself, this Rethuglican doesn't fear Hillary one little bit. I fear Obama like heck, though.

Posted by: Shoshana on January 22, 2008 at 1:58 AM | PERMALINK

It is simply a threat that conservatives will stay home if no true believer is on the ticket. It's basic Karl Rove "appeal to the base" politics.

Posted by: John Downey on January 22, 2008 at 7:12 AM | PERMALINK

brian: regardless of what you think of Bush, Ridge was director of homeland security during a time of no attacks.

Yes, I was certain you would say that. He was also director of homeland security during a period in which no bears entered my condo, and I give him full credit for that.

I also credit him with not doing a damn thing to secure the ports, helping to wreck FEMA (yes, it became part of DHS on his watch), standing up at press conferences doing humiliating demonstrations of how to duct tape your family home into a suffocation chamber, helping ensure the TSA resembles nothing so much as a group of Keystone Kops, issuing orange alerts every time Bush was asked a tough question about something else, and generally becoming a comic figure of incompetence. His political life is over, although I'm sure he'll do quite well with the right sort of corporation.

As usual, you speak of what you wish were true, brian, not what is.

Posted by: shortstop on January 22, 2008 at 9:26 AM | PERMALINK

But I think you underestimate Ridge's ability to flip Pennsylvania and, regardless of what you think of Bush, Ridge was director of homeland security during a time of no attacks.

Ridge also came out and said that waterboarding is torture, no "ifs, and or buts". See how that plays...

Posted by: SJRSM on January 22, 2008 at 9:41 AM | PERMALINK

Tom Ridge is best remembered for gems of abusing the power of his office to scare Americans into voting for Bush, like this dandy from 2004:

"Credible reporting now indicates that al-Qaida is moving forward with its plans to carry out a large-scale attack in the United States in an effort to disrupt our democratic process," Ridge warned darkly.

When pressed he could not actually provide any credible evidence or even make any shit up, he was lying so badly though his teeth.

It was such a brazen lie he couldn't even bring himself to raise the terror alert to orange.

Remember all those terror alerts needed to get Bush elected and jail peaceful Democratic demonstrators?

Good times.

Posted by: trex on January 22, 2008 at 10:50 AM | PERMALINK

When pressed he could not actually provide any credible evidence or even make any shit up, he was lying so badly though his teeth.

So you damn Bush for ignoring the evidence before 9/11, and then damn his surrogate for listening to the evidence post 9/11. Has it occurred to you that they were planning another attack, but it was foiled?

I mean, it is a "$%^-ing duh!" moment to conclude AQ was planning more attacks. I expect they still are, and will continue to do so into the future.

Posted by: SJRSM on January 22, 2008 at 10:56 AM | PERMALINK

The deal with McCain is that he is older than dirt. He is going to kick the bucket before a first term ended (this assumes that somehow a Rethug actually took the Presidency) so it is his VP that matters. A loony VP is, guaranteed, to become President in relatively short order in a McCain Administration as McCain either strokes out early, or his heart craps out.

Gouliani, while LOOKING like the Cryptkeeper, is not likely to croak during a term in office so his VP would be irrelevant. Unless he chose Cheney (no rules against a perpetual VP) - in which case it would be another 4 years of Cheney rule.

Posted by: Praedor Atrebates on January 22, 2008 at 10:58 AM | PERMALINK

Lisa Schiffren is part of the conservative brigade that would rather stay home than vote for John McCain [...]

I do not know this person, Lisa Schiffren, but she makes good sense to the likes of me, and the likes of me won't vote for a John McCain. I won't vote for a Democrat, of course, but I can affect this process in a number of ways.

First, I am likely going to be named a convention delegate for New Hampshire, and when I travel to St. Paul--the land of the 10,000 Lakes and the home of the beer drinking Irishman who falls down in the gutter and pees himself after attending a pot-luck because he can't figure out the insane way they number their streets and organize their fair city--I may decide to become an intractable delegate. I may cause havoc and vote my conscience over the wishes of my fellow Republicans.

Second, no money from me. I regularly contribute a significant amount of money each four year cycle, and can raise well over a $100K--no way, Jose if it is John McCain.

Third, someone is going to wave the Queen of Diamonds in his face, and McCain is going to go into zombie mode and start eating the flesh from the hands of the people who try to hold him back.

There are more reasons, but I'm too depressed to continue and too disinterested in what a bunch of liberals think about things to really put much effort into it today. I have some residual soreness from snow-shoeing over the weekend and a little bit of frostbite on the tip of my nose. If the skin turns black and peels badly, should I be concerned? Should I be worried? I keep putting aloe vera lotion on it but it doesn't seem to be getting any better.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on January 22, 2008 at 11:05 AM | PERMALINK

So you damn Bush for ignoring the evidence before 9/11, and then damn his surrogate for listening to the evidence post 9/11.

He did no such thing! Damn you, sir! Damn you straight to hell!

George W Bush did not "ignore" the intelligence. He listened to it, considered it, delegated responsibility to his people, and moved on to the next threat at hand. For you to suggest that he was not carefully considering our next move is to suggest he was not engaged. He was, and the record proves it.

The problem is, al Qaeda is already here, people! Have you not been watching the news? They have cells that are active in this country and the media wants people to think otherwise. We are stopping their plots and breaking up their cells, but we are years away from bringing down the entire network.

Here in the Northeast, there are always Arab-looking fellows skulking about. They wear hats and track suits and they are usually found taking pictures of bridges and tunnels and nuclear power plants. When I see them, I phone 1-866-347-2423 and they always take my calls promptly and efficiently. They are friendly and professional and this country is in good hands.

But damn you for lying, sir. Damn you! I'm so tired of the lies.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on January 22, 2008 at 11:11 AM | PERMALINK

So you damn Bush for ignoring the evidence before 9/11

Yes, and correctly, too. Meanwhile, you can't think of a single action he took in response to the August 6 PDB and give him a free pass. Nice one, Mike.

and then damn his surrogate for listening to the evidence post 9/11

What evidence? He couldn't provide anything concrete to justify his claims. Given that we're well past the point where we can trust Republicans to act in good faith -- as you continually prove, Mike -- it's a safe bet that he was, as trex said, spouting bullshit to scare America.

Has it occurred to you that they were planning another attack, but it was foiled?

For about a tenth of a second, but then, if they had foiled an attack, they wouldn't hesitate to trumpet it -- Ford knows they trumpet it every time they bust a bunch of trash-talking yahoos. While it's likely that al Qaeda at least has further plans on its wish list, there's precious little evidence that your faith that the Bush Administration has been keeping us safe is actually justified.

Which makes it of a piece with your usual faith in the Bush Administration, I might add.

Posted by: Gregory on January 22, 2008 at 11:19 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin wrote: "What am I missing here?"

What you are missing is that a conservative Republican voter wants to see a Republican ticket that reflects her actual conservative Republican values and is likely to pursue an agenda to realize those values.

If more liberal Democratic voters thought the same way, then John Edwards and Dennis Kucinich would be leading the Democratic field. Unfortunately a lot of liberal Democratic voters seem more preoccupied with who is "electable" rather than who will actually pursue an agenda to realize liberal Democratic values once in office.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on January 22, 2008 at 11:24 AM | PERMALINK

So you damn Bush for ignoring the evidence before 9/11, and then damn his surrogate for listening to the evidence post 9/11.

Not at all. I damn Bush for ignoring the evidence before 9/11, as all right thinking people should, and damn him for exploiting the spectre of a terror attack to get himself reelected because he had nothing else to run on.

Has it occurred to you that they were planning another attack, but it was foiled?

As shortstop pointed out above, this was just another scare in a line of many the administration foisted on the public every time they were encountered a politically dangerous situation for themselves. It was so transparent it's not funny.

Also, if it were true the Bush administration would have splashed it everywhere as one of their "successes" in the war on terror. They would have produced suspects in custody a la Padilla. They did not.

In fact, not even they claim they foiled an attack. To do so on their behalf is a testimony to one's useful idiocy and the placement of "sport arguing" and trolling above actual analysis.

I mean, it is a "$%^-ing duh!" moment to conclude AQ was planning more attacks. I expect they still are, and will continue to do so into the future.

You hit the nail on the head, there. It is nothing but a "$%^-ing duh!" moment to assume Al Qaeda is planning more attacks somewhere - which is to say it doesn't take any brains at all to accept that.

It does take brains, however, to discern both the capabilities of Al Qaeda (who by that time were "on the run" and "mostly disbanded" according to various administration members) and the pattern of exploiting terror threats by the Bush administration for their political advantage to conclude that this was yet another scare tactic to get people to vote for the stern daddy figure who would protect them.

Posted by: trex on January 22, 2008 at 11:27 AM | PERMALINK

For about a tenth of a second, but then, if they had foiled an attack, they wouldn't hesitate to trumpet it -- Ford knows they trumpet it every time they bust a bunch of trash-talking yahoos. While it's likely that al Qaeda at least has further plans on its wish list, there's precious little evidence that your faith that the Bush Administration has been keeping us safe is actually justified.

Oh, bah! One cannot reveal how one broke up an al Qaeda cell--the other cells with learn of how it was done and correct their methods! Best to let it all seem transparent and hidden. That way, our enemies don't learn how to defend themselves against our counter-terrorism efforts.

YOU would have us reveal those methods so that the terrorists could kill us! YOU would have the administration hobbled by a rabid media and a Democrat Congress, hell bent on nitpicking! YOU would surrender us to our enemies just because it's too icky to fight back. Were you picked on as a child? Did bullies give you "snuggies" and make you duck walk with your pants down about your ankles? It sure sounds like appeasement to me.

The fact of the matter is, regular citizens, calling alert phone numbers and talking plainly and honestly to the Department of Homeland Security have made a huge impact in the war on terror. We must all be sentinels and help guard this country. We must all be Americans.

Too bad liberals don't want to be Americans. They want to be traitors and give up and let the terrorists win another round against us. Well, too bad, sir. I'm not falling for your bullcrap anymore.

I used to ask liberals to say "thank you!" to Bush and Cheney for keeping us safe. Well, we know what abuse I received for thinking that some of you could be gracious, yes?

So where are your thanks? Where is the graciousness?

Posted by: Norman Rogers on January 22, 2008 at 11:30 AM | PERMALINK

It does take brains, however, to discern both the capabilities of Al Qaeda (who by that time were "on the run" and "mostly disbanded" according to various administration members) and the pattern of exploiting terror threats by the Bush administration for their political advantage to conclude that this was yet another scare tactic to get people to vote for the stern daddy figure who would protect them.
Posted by: trex

All we know for sure is that AQ and Islamic Fundie Terrorists in general had put together a long string of attacks against us going back at least to the first WTC bombing, but that there have been no major attacks against us since 9/11. Why?

Well, one thought is that they declared success and decided to take their ball and go home. But their talk and their successful attacks against European counties suggest otherwise.

Another thought is that, once roused to action and taking the threat seriously, we've been able to disrupt future attacks in early or late stages. But they still want to kill us.

Occam's Razor suggests the second of the two.

Posted by: SJRSM on January 22, 2008 at 12:45 PM | PERMALINK

One cannot reveal how one broke up an al Qaeda cell--the other cells with learn of how it was done and correct their methods!

I know this iteration of Norman is a parody, but...

Who said anything about revealing how they did it? As trex points out, the Bush Criminal Organization hasn't even claimed to have broken up any al Qaeda cells -- and the so-called "terrorist plots" they have claimed to have foiled are either suspiciously short on details or nothing but a bunch of trash-talking yahoos.

My point stands.

Posted by: Gregory on January 22, 2008 at 12:48 PM | PERMALINK

Who said anything about revealing how they did it?

You want proof, but proof reveals methods.

Posted by: SJRSM on January 22, 2008 at 12:52 PM | PERMALINK

All we know for sure is that AQ and Islamic Fundie Terrorists in general had put together a long string of attacks against us going back at least to the first WTC bombing, but that there have been no major attacks against us since 9/11.

No, we know much more than that for sure. We know that the WTC attacks took literally decades to plan. We also know that they depended on slight of hand, fooling people on the planes that they were ordinary hijackings. That's not going to happen again.

We know that the original Al Qaeda group was largely scattered. You're the one so find of saying "bin Laden's in a cave, what can he do against us?" I take it from your remarks here you don't really believe that.

Or that like the Bush administration, you're trying to have it both ways.

We also know that the Bush administration was using the threat of terror attacks for political reasons. How do we know? For one, our allies went out on a limb to say so:

Ministers and senior figures in the security service are known to have been dismayed at the nakedly political use made of recent intelligence breakthroughs both in the US and in Pakistan.

"Is it really the job of a senior cabinet minister in charge of counter-terrorism? To feed the media? To increase concern? Of course not. This is arrant nonsense."

The remarks follow those made yesterday in which Mr Blunkett drew a contrast between "alerting people to a specific threat and alarming people unnecessarily".

And finally we know it because Tom Ridge himself, who you are defending, said so:

"The Bush administration periodically put the USA on high alert for terrorist attacks even though then-Homeland Security chief Tom Ridge argued there was only flimsy evidence to justify raising the threat level… Ridge [said] .he often disagreed with administration officials who wanted to elevate the threat level to orange, or "high" risk of terrorist attack, but was overruled.

I would like nothing more than to use this thread to show conclusively that the Bush administration schemed to defraud the American people and use the terror alert system to manipulate the political landscape in their favor.

Next.

Posted by: trex on January 22, 2008 at 1:11 PM | PERMALINK

Parody?

Well, someone should shut their mouth, because, apparently, the "parody" is right about this issue and you're a clown with floppy shoes and a little horn that goes "tooty tooty tooty."

Suck eggs, liberals. Suck those eggs dry.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on January 22, 2008 at 1:12 PM | PERMALINK

Boy, Mike, you are desperate to maintain your misplaced faith in this Administration's competence, aren't you?

All we know for sure is that AQ and Islamic Fundie Terrorists in general

Note that here Mike moves the goal posts, conflating al Qaeda and "Islamic Fundie Terrorists in general." I'm endlessly amused that even the Bush Administration's most ardent water carriers tacitly admit that there's no intellectually honest means of defending its mendacity, incompetence, corruption and authoritarianism.

had put together a long string of attacks against us going back at least to the first WTC bombing

Given the reference to "Islamic Fundie Terrorists in general," I'm curious as to who Mike means when he says "us." The US alone? The US and her allies? Including Israel? Because if it's just the US, that "long string" is nothing of the kind, at least on US soil.

Though we must here acknowledge what happens when an Administration -- Democratic, naturally -- actually does foil a terrorist plot: The Millennium Bombings. Which were, you know, publicized.

but that there have been no major attacks against us since 9/11. Why?

Because my magic rock keeps them away -- an assertion that has as much logical and evidentiary weight as yours, Mike.

Well, one thought is that they declared success and decided to take their ball and go home. But their talk and their successful attacks against European counties suggest otherwise.

An actual thought by non-deranged people is that the US attack on Afghanistan degraded their command and control and logistical capabilities.

No one is denying that Bush's attack on al Qaeda's bases in Afghanistan -- which just about everybody supported -- degraded AQ's ability to attack the US. (Indeed, those of us not desperate to carry the Bush Administration's water fault him for giving short shrift to Afghanistan in favor of Iraq, a practice you've utterly, completely and indeed comically failed to defend.)

Of course, if they lack the ability to carry out attacks against US soil -- and even for al Qaeda, 9/11 was an outlier in that regard -- then your evidence-free claim that the Administration has disrupted plots is all hollow.

Another thought is that, once roused to action and taking the threat seriously

The assertion that the Bush Administration takes the terror threat seriously as anything other than a campaign issue is not in evidence. Point against: The ridiculous TSA hassles.

we've been able to disrupt future attacks in early or late stages.

Again: al Qaeda's ability to attack us is almost certainly degraded, and the Administration doesn't claim to have disrupted anything more impressive than trash-talking internet yahoos. You're trying to build a logical case given the lack of evidence -- even your precious Bush Administration won't help you out here! -- but that dog just won't hunt.

How sad, Mike -- the vigilance of the hated Democrats foiled an actual terrorist attack on US soil; Bush was asleep at the switch and his incompetence led to 9/11. Now your cognitive dissonance forces you to imagine things that not even the Administration claims to have done, and all the while in defense of its demonstrably cynical and manipulative behavior. Always stay classy, Mike.

But they still want to kill us.

I may want to go partying with Lindsey Lohan, but that doesn't mean I have the means or ability to do so.

But the question of whether al Qaeda has the desire or even ability to attack the US is irrelevant to your claim that the US has foiled actual plots. I grant that they probably have the desire. But even if I granted that they retain the capability -- and I don't -- the burden is still on you, and the Administration you defend, to provide evidence that they actually have disrupted plots. This notoriously mendacious Administration doesn't even dare claim it's foiled any al Qaeda plot worthy of the name. Why do you? Are you that deranged in your defense of this Administration's mendacity and incompetence? Is cognitive dissonance that powerful a force with you?

Occam's Razor suggests the second of the two.

No, not at all -- again, given this Administration's lengthy and undisputed record of mendacity and incompetence, coupled with the absence of, you know, any credible claims by this Administration, Occam's razor suggests precisely what you're so desperately to avoid: That the Bush Administration is exploiting the threat of terror for political gain.

If only there were a term for that kind of behavior....

Posted by: Gregory on January 22, 2008 at 1:14 PM | PERMALINK

You want proof, but proof reveals methods.

Bullshit, Mike. If -- and please note that I said if -- the Administration had indeed busted an actual al Qaeda cell, AQ would know about it. Too, the Administration hasn't shied from trumpeting its phony accomplishments in busting Internet braggarts. Furthermore, again, the Administration isn't even making specific claims of busting al Qaeda cells. And moreover, al Qaeda must assume we perform routine police work, so revelations of those methods are hardly damaging (see again the Millennium plot).

No, Mike, you don't get to use the conspicuous absence of evidence that the Administration has done as you claim to pretend that they have but somehow must keep it secret. Rip that one up.

Posted by: Gregory on January 22, 2008 at 1:18 PM | PERMALINK

Please stop interrupting us while we're pissing all over ourselves in constant abject terror. We are impervious to facts. We deal only in uncontrolled emotions.

Posted by: brian and SJRSM on January 22, 2008 at 1:21 PM | PERMALINK

sjrsm: All we know for sure is that AQ and Islamic Fundie Terrorists in general had put together a long string of attacks against us going back at least to the first WTC bombing, but that there have been no major attacks against us since 9/11.

no major attacks...

just more dead americans overall..

fyi..

#1 killer of americans by terror inside the usa from 1993 (1st wtc attack) until 9-11:

timothy mcveigh

facts show..

fewer americans died by terror under clinton..

gwb fixed that...

how's that working out?

Posted by: mr. irony on January 22, 2008 at 1:22 PM | PERMALINK

A lot to respond to, Trex, but first let me point out that I said AQ and Islamic Fundie Terrorists in general so I'm talking about morethan AQ. AQ is more of a viral phenomenom anyway.

Second, we've had no attacks stateside, and none overseas either. No embassies destroyed, no ships almost sunk, etc.

Third...

Tom Ridge argued there was only flimsy evidence to justify raising the threat level… Ridge [said] .he often disagreed with administration officials who wanted to elevate the threat level to orange, or "high" risk of terrorist attack, but was overruled.

Well, sounds like we've made a circle. This little threadlet was about how Tom Ridge was playing Chicken Little and trumpeting attacks, but now you're saying he felt they were overplayed, which ought to be a *good thing* in your eyes, no? Add to that his statements that waterboarding is torture pure and simple, and he ought to be your least hated republican.

Did Bush use terrorism politically? Idunno, was Clinton "wagging the dog" when he struck at AQ during his travails? Pundits everywhere can argue. The fact remains that we've suffered no major attacks since.

And this surprises me, since there are plenty out there that want to hit us. I think luck plays no small part, personally. Which is bad news for the next President, because you can only be so lucky for so long.

Posted by: SJRSM on January 22, 2008 at 1:28 PM | PERMALINK

No, Mike, you don't get to use the conspicuous absence of evidence that the Administration has done as you claim to pretend that they have but somehow must keep it secret.

The absence of any discovered plots PROVES that we are safe--every rational, patriotic American knows that.

Terrorists just keep coming at you, sir. They are like ex-wives and serial philanderers and those people who file nuisance lawsuits. They keep coming at you and coming at you and you let the family attorney take care of things. You let your family attorney sort out those issues so that you can go about your business, you see.

For years, I have been pestered by lawsuits and whatnot, and I have ignored every one of them because my family attorney is more than capable at hitting back at people who try to suck money out of my pocket. I won't go into any details--even though I don't care what you people think about me.

Suffice it to say, you're alive right now because people like me pay attention to chemical spills and make telephone calls when we think something is fishy.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on January 22, 2008 at 1:28 PM | PERMALINK


sjrsm: none overseas either


http://icasualties.org/oif/

Posted by: mr. irony on January 22, 2008 at 1:31 PM | PERMALINK

http://icasualties.org/oif/
Posted by: mr. irony

That is a running battle against our military rather than terrorist plot against our civilians. And it is also AQ's great defeat on military and ideological grounds.

Posted by: SJRSM on January 22, 2008 at 1:34 PM | PERMALINK


sjrsm: against our military

so they aren't...americans?

some logic there...

Posted by: mr. irony on January 22, 2008 at 1:39 PM | PERMALINK

first let me point out that I said AQ and Islamic Fundie Terrorists in general so I'm talking about morethan AQ. A

Yes, we noticed that, but thanks for admitting that you're dishonestly conflating the two. Tell us, which of the "long string of attacks" you referred to were carried out by "Islamic Fundie Terrorists in general" as opposed to al Qaeda?

Second, we've had no attacks stateside, and none overseas either. No embassies destroyed, no ships almost sunk, etc.

True, but again, it does not follow that the Bush Administration foiled any specific plot, as opposed to degrading al Qaeda's ability ot operate in general, which anyone would have done (and, as you admit with your "wag the dog" reference, hardly started with Bush).

Well, sounds like we've made a circle.

Given your poor grasp of facts and logic, I'm not surprised.

This little threadlet was about how Tom Ridge was playing Chicken Little and trumpeting attacks

...for political purposes...

but now you're saying he felt they were overplayed

No, trex is saying Ridge acknowledges the politicization of terror and went along with it despite disagreeing with it. Hardly admirable, but then you wouldn't know honor if it walked up and said howdy.

Did Bush use terrorism politically?

According to the evidence in this thread, of course they did

Idunno,

Not-so-shorter Mike: I can't refute the assertion, but LA LA LA LA LA I CAN'T HEAR YOU!

was Clinton "wagging the dog" when he struck at AQ during his travails?

Ah, the inevitable Clenis reference! But, no, thanks for asking.

Pundits everywhere can argue.

Sure...which doesn't change the fact that our side has the facts; you have nothing but unjustified faith.

The fact remains that we've suffered no major attacks since.

Which, again, does not come close to providing that the Bush Administration disrupted any specific plots. You've been told that assertion is hogwash, and I know it's all you have, but it doesn't make your repetition any less dishonest.

And this surprises me, since there are plenty out there that want to hit us.

Mike, are you truly too dense to understand that desire != ability, or is it just central to your congnitive dissonance?

I think luck plays no small part

True -- we were unlucky to have such an incompetent President in 2001, for example.

Which is bad news for the next President, because you can only be so lucky for so long.

...and if we suffer another attack under a Democratic Administration, we know you'll honestly and forthrightly admit Bush's culpability at contributing to the current mess.

Naaaaaaahhhhh.

Posted by: Gregory on January 22, 2008 at 1:42 PM | PERMALINK


sjrsm: terrorist plot against our civilians

iraq had a terror plot against usa civilians?

do tell....

Posted by: mr. irony on January 22, 2008 at 1:43 PM | PERMALINK

some logic there...
Posted by: mr. irony

I know you're just sniping, but for other readers, emphasis on running battle vice terrorist plot.

Posted by: SJRSM on January 22, 2008 at 1:43 PM | PERMALINK

And it is also AQ's great defeat on military and ideological grounds.

What a coincidence -- ours, too!

Posted by: Gregory on January 22, 2008 at 1:43 PM | PERMALINK


srjsm: emphasis on running battle vice terrorist plot

moving goal posts for freedom..

got it..

srjsm: have been no major attacks against us since 9/11.

us = americans?

Posted by: mr. irony on January 22, 2008 at 1:46 PM | PERMALINK

...but for other readers, emphasis on running battle vice terrorist plot.

Yes, yes--I got that.

We are in a pitched, fierce battle with terrorists and only the vigilant will prevail. Sitting around in a funk, complaining about George W Bush accomplishes what, exactly?

Meanwhile, I will go for a walk in the brisk cold and if I see any large pools of chemicals or areas that might have been doused with chemicals, I will contact the authorities if I think something is untoward.

I am on the front lines. I am defending America. I am America. I love this country.

Pity none of you have the same love and devotion for anything other than your collection of hemp products and illegally downloaded movies.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on January 22, 2008 at 1:49 PM | PERMALINK

1st major attack INSIDE the usa by islamic terrorists: WTC - Feb. 1993

2nd major attack INSIDE the usa by islamic terrorists: WTC/PENTAGON - Sept. 2001

...gap = 8.5-years

today's date...1/22/08

how long since 9-11? 6.3-years

Posted by: mr. irony on January 22, 2008 at 1:53 PM | PERMALINK

norman: I love this country.


if that were true...wouldn't your FONT be larger?

Posted by: mr. irony on January 22, 2008 at 1:54 PM | PERMALINK

I am on the front lines. I am defending America. I am America. I love this country.
Posted by: Norman Rogers

Bless you, Norman. You're brave for going out into the cold. Watch for mooses.

I was on a flight from LA to WashDC which got diverted into Las Vegas. Turns out one of the pax got caught by the metal detector, and eventually it turned out that he had wires and a magnet up his wazoo. He was held back, but his luggage was on the flight. Just another wacky Iraqi? Or a plant to see how much can be snuck on board a plane? It's a little disconcerting to look out the window of the plane and see guys with guns surrounding you.

Mr. Irony, you're just being stupid now.

Posted by: SJRSM on January 22, 2008 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

if that were true...wouldn't your FONT be larger?

Sir, you'd better back off. You'd better cool your jets.

If you mean to insinuate that I use the typeset and font that I do because I am somehow lacking in love for this country, you are sorely mistaken.

Now, shush. I have some brisk walking to do.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on January 22, 2008 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

Mr. Irony, we've had no USS Cole's, no Khobar Towers, No embassy bombings either. Put those in the mix.

Posted by: SJRSM on January 22, 2008 at 2:00 PM | PERMALINK

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - An Iraqi national wearing wires and concealing a magnet inside his rectum triggered a security scare at Los Angeles International Airport on Tuesday but officials said he posed no apparent threat.

The man, identified by law enforcement officials as Fadhel al-Maliki, 35, set off an alarm during passenger screening at the airport early on Tuesday morning.

A police bomb squad was called to examine what was deemed a suspicious item found during a body cavity search of the man. Local media reports said a magnet was found in his rectum.

"He was secreting these items in a body cavity and that was a great concern because there were also some electric wires associated with that body cavity," Larry Fetters, security director for the Transportation Security Administration at the airport, told reporters.

There's an explanation for that, but I doubt that any of you who have not lived overseas would understand it.

I, personally, see this as a non-event and a simple cultural misunderstanding. In the Orient, and in the Middle East, it is standard practice for men to swallow their valuables in order to travel safely without getting robbed. Bandits abound, and even in this country it is difficult to travel without fear of being accosted by thugs and thieves. Fortunately, we have banned knives on planes and it makes it practical to swallow valuables when travelling. This is why the slashing of the belly and the intestines of an enemy is so important to remember--this is often where one finds rings, jewels, diamonds and coins. Any careful reading of Medieval history will show that.

A magnet inserted in the rectum ensures that any valuables that pass through the human body can be collected later so that one can avoid having to carefully parse feces. So, total non-issue. I would have had a dog sniff him, just to see if he had been around bomb making materials, though.

What is it about this you people don't understand? Why do you keep interrupting me? I need to have my brisk walk. Stop with the inane questions. I am tired of having to explain these things to you.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on January 22, 2008 at 2:06 PM | PERMALINK

Just another wacky Iraqi?

Speaking of stupid, Mike, the Iraqis were not involved in 9/11, or, by and large -- donations to the families of some Palestinians aside -- that greater Islamic terrorism you were on about.

And really -- why do you keep harping on the point that there have been no major al Qaeda attacks on US soil when it doesn't support your assertion that the Bush Administration foiled any plots (absent which, of course, the contention that they're exploiting terror for political gain is hard to deny, unless your a Republican water carrying fool in denail, like yorself)?

Posted by: Gregory on January 22, 2008 at 2:09 PM | PERMALINK

I was on a flight from LA to WashDC which got diverted into Las Vegas. Turns out one of the pax got caught by the metal detector, and eventually it turned out that he had wires and a magnet up his wazoo.

I am surprised, sir, very surprised, that you never mentioned your presence on this flight before. You and I and all non-kumbaya-singing people need all the anecdotes we can get to drive home the seriousness of the situation to these skeptics and naysayers. Demanding proof and crying about the administration never having claimed to have foiled a terrorist plot and boo-hooing over minor civil liberties and what-not isn't what's keeping this country safe.

It's people like us whose vigilance serves as a patriotic militia for freedom and security, except without the tacky mustaches of those militia fellows out west. People who know a suspicious-looking Muslim when we see one and aren't afraid to call him in even if it means waiting to get our Slurpees or pay for our Financial Times or take our taxi rides. Yes, even if it means giving up all that. That is loving America.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on January 22, 2008 at 2:10 PM | PERMALINK

...one can avoid having to carefully parse feces.

AKA post debate analysis.

Posted by: SJRSM on January 22, 2008 at 2:11 PM | PERMALINK

People who know a suspicious-looking Muslim when we see one and aren't afraid to call him in even if it means waiting to get our Slurpees or pay for our Financial Times or take our taxi rides.

I would have been much happier if they'd have kept his luggage off my flight too.

Posted by: SJRSM on January 22, 2008 at 2:13 PM | PERMALINK

Gregory, piece of trivia. It looks like I live in the county where you were born. Ever go to the quarries when you were there?

Small world.

Posted by: SJRSM on January 22, 2008 at 2:15 PM | PERMALINK


sjrsm: ...you're just being stupid now.

8.5-years between 1st wtc bombing and 9-11..

just 6.3-years between 9-11 and now..

why do calendars hate america?

Posted by: mr. irony on January 22, 2008 at 2:19 PM | PERMALINK

Iraqi stopped at LAX in bizarre incident had priors
Man who had metal hidden in his body has domestic violence and weapon convictions. He could get deported.By Doug Irving
STAFF WRITER

An Iraqi national stopped last week at Los Angeles International Airport with a metal object hidden inside his body now faces deportation after immigration agents discovered two violent convictions in his past.

Fadhel Al-Maliki, 35, is being held at a Terminal Island detention center on immigration offenses related to his prior arrests for domestic violence and a weapons violation. His case will go before an immigration judge, who could order him sent back to Iraq.

Al-Maliki drew a full bomb-squad response last week when he tried to pass through security at LAX with two objects in his rectum. He later told investigators he was using the objects to fight stress; they were described as a polished stone and a magnet or piece of metal covered in a puttylike substance and wrapped in a napkin.

The FBI found no reason to think Al-Maliki posed a threat, and no evidence of any links to terrorism. The agency turned him over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement because his green card documents had expired.

"The activity, although strange, does not constitute a federal offense," FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said.

But immigration agents reviewing Al-Maliki's case found that he had been convicted in the past for domestic violence and for possession of an illegal weapon, said Lori Haley, a spokeswoman for the immigration agency. Those convictions violate the terms of his status as a permanent U.S. resident and make him subject to deportation, she said.

She had no further details about those earlier convictions, such as when or where they happened. Police in Atlantic City, N.J., where Al-Maliki lives, said they have no record of arresting him; his name also does not appear in a register of New Jersey state prison inmates.

But a newspaper account from 2003 indicates that a man named Fadhel Al-Maliki was arrested near a train station in Atlantic City after he was spotted hiding in some bushes. He was carrying a 9-inch knife, according to the report, and transit police booked him on charges of trespassing and possessing a weapon.

An immigration judge will decide whether Al-Maliki should be deported, and to where. Deportees are usually returned to their countries of origin, but the situation in Iraq might make it difficult to get Al-Maliki the travel documents he needs. He could be sent to another country because of that, Haley said.

The judge also could order Al-Maliki to undergo a mental examination.

Haley did not know when the deportation proceedings would begin. "Sometimes, they take a little time," she said.

Al-Maliki came to the United States in the mid-1990s and had lived in Atlantic City as a permanent U.S. resident. He was returning to Philadelphia on March 6 after a one-day visit in Los Angeles when he was stopped at LAX.

A security screener had pulled him aside for extra screening, and noticed that the metal-detector wand kept going off as it passed his midsection. Al-Maliki immediately acknowledged that he had objects inside his body that would set off the metal detector, federal agents said.

The Los Angeles Police Department's bomb squad responded but declared the objects nonthreatening. Nonetheless, the US Airways flight that Al-Maliki had planned to take was diverted to Las Vegas after it took off, and its 143 passengers were rescreened as a precaution.

Posted by: Shut the living fuck up on January 22, 2008 at 2:22 PM | PERMALINK

sjrsm: no USS Cole's, no Khobar Towers, No embassy bombings either. Put those in the mix.

what?

the green zone, home to the usa embassy in baghdad isn't bombed?

Washington Post Baghdad Bureau Chief Sudarsan Raghavan was in a Green Zone cafeteria on Thursday when it was struck by a suicide bomber, who killed an Iraqi lawmaker and wounded 22. - Friday, April 13, 2007; 11:00 AM


Green Zone Bombing-NOT Al Qaeda
CNN--update: AP-- is reporting that Baghdad's Green Zone was hit by as many as 35 rockets this evening--3 dead, 18 wounded. July 10, 2007 4:37


sjrsm...time to move the goalposts..

again..


Posted by: mr. irony on January 22, 2008 at 2:28 PM | PERMALINK

Nonetheless, the US Airways flight that Al-Maliki had planned to take was diverted to Las Vegas after it took off, and its 143 passengers were rescreened as a precaution.
Posted by: Shut the living fuck up

When we landed, we were followed by a whole bevy of police cars and others. We were shut down on the far side of the airport, away from the terminals. They had us leave *everything* on the plane (coats, purses, etc.) and board buses, where we were taken to a not-so-big room and held under armed guard for 4 hours. We even had to be escorted to the bathroom by armed guard. Finally, we got to enjoy going through the airport security screening again, then board the plane, get our stuff, get off, and go wait some more. During all of this the went through all of the luggage.

Fun day.

Posted by: SJRSM on January 22, 2008 at 2:39 PM | PERMALINK

**Fun day.**

sjrsm...freedom isn't free...

Posted by: mr. irony on January 22, 2008 at 2:41 PM | PERMALINK

sjrsm...freedom isn't free...
Posted by: mr. irony

I got a voucher for anywhere CONUS and an upgrade to Silver Preferred out of it.

Posted by: SJRSM on January 22, 2008 at 2:44 PM | PERMALINK


sjrsm...

meanwhile,

the green zone, home to the usa embassy in baghdad isn't bombed?

Washington Post Baghdad Bureau Chief Sudarsan Raghavan was in a Green Zone cafeteria on Thursday when it was struck by a suicide bomber, who killed an Iraqi lawmaker and wounded 22. - Friday, April 13, 2007; 11:00 AM


Posted by: mr. irony on January 22, 2008 at 2:46 PM | PERMALINK

This little threadlet was about how Tom Ridge was playing Chicken Little and trumpeting attacks, but now you're saying he felt they were overplayed, which ought to be a *good thing* in your eyes, no?

No, because he admits that he knew better than to trumpet false attacks and did it anyway.

While in office he played chicken little, after he admitted his role in the fraud.

That's a bad thing. That makes him an unprincipled political tool.

You're the one who argued that the Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee should have broken laws and gone to jail to reveal what they knew about Bush hyping the NIE regarding Iraq.

All Ridge had to do was have some balls and say, "you know, I don't agree with this, but the administration wants me to pass along this information."

He contributed to lowering the signal to noise ratio which makes it more difficult for the American people to react when there's a real threat.

Mr. Irony, we've had no USS Cole's, no Khobar Towers, No embassy bombings either. Put those in the mix.

Yes, let's do put them in the mix, as it shows just how overhyped the Al Qaeda threat really is.

They haven't attacked because they are a small criminal organization that takes years and years to set up and execute attack, all the while having to evade intelligence agencies around the world.

The fact remains that we've suffered no major attacks since.

With respect to Ridge and the terror alerts, they stopped once Bush was reelected -- proving they were nothing but a political stunt.

Posted by: trex on January 22, 2008 at 2:47 PM | PERMALINK

Let's repeat that last bit so it sinks in:

The terror alerts stopped after Bush's reelection, proving they had been nothing but a political stunt.

Bush didn't need them anymore.

Posted by: trex on January 22, 2008 at 2:50 PM | PERMALINK


trex,

remember...

the alerts have NEVER been on either blue or green...

ever...

tha's over 2100-days and counting...

Posted by: mr. irony on January 22, 2008 at 2:52 PM | PERMALINK

When we landed, we were followed by a whole bevy of police cars and others. We were shut down on the far side of the airport, away from the terminals. They had us leave *everything* on the plane (coats, purses, etc.) and board buses, where we were taken to a not-so-big room and held under armed guard for 4 hours. We even had to be escorted to the bathroom by armed guard. Finally, we got to enjoy going through the airport security screening again, then board the plane, get our stuff, get off, and go wait some more. During all of this the went through all of the luggage.

What a remarkable thing to have happen, remarkable and hugely trying. And in all this time, in all your courageous face-offs with mocking liberals who neither love this country nor their own lives, who value a piece of paper over their own sorry hides, you never mentioned this. No, yours is not to bawl and cry, yours is but to do or die. We are cut from the same cloth, sir--from the very same bolt.

I take off my hat, which in this day and age cost me a trip to Manhattan where the last decent American hatmakers ply their trade, to you. I doff my hat at your extreme self-control in never before having brought up this important personal experience in the face of extreme provocation from the terrorist lovers here.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on January 22, 2008 at 2:53 PM | PERMALINK

Norman, upon the trials already described they heaped...airline food. Although held under guard in a terminal with a TGIF's just down the hall, they wheeled in trays of what we would have eaten if we'd been on the plane. I heard retching.

The horror...

Posted by: SJRSM on January 22, 2008 at 3:00 PM | PERMALINK

so, about this Iraqi at the Los Angeles Airport

shouldn't he be attacking us OVER THERE, instead of, you know, OVER HERE ???

isn't that how george bush's plan is supposed to work

attack them over there before they attack us over here

so what's that guy doing in the LAX ???

oh wait, read that statement again ...

so, we attacked them OVER THERE

and now they are attacking us OVER HERE

so george bush's plan was to attack THEM before they attack US

shouldn't we have developed a plan that didn't include "THEM ATTACKING US OVER HERE" ???

george bush's small brain logic bites us in the ass again

Posted by: free patriot on January 22, 2008 at 3:23 PM | PERMALINK

Norman, upon the trials already described they heaped...airline food. Although held under guard in a terminal with a TGIF's just down the hall, they wheeled in trays of what we would have eaten if we'd been on the plane.

Insane. Insane and inhumane, and yet until now, you never complained nor even hinted at your unfortunate presence on this endangered aircraft. You stood those wearing hours proudly and stoically, and you resisted every perfectly natural urge to throw your higher knowledge in your ungrateful countrymen's faces until 10 months later.

But now it can be told. And you've told it well, friend. You have a natural gift for raconteurism that reminds me of myself.

Still, I remind you that eating at a TGIF would not have put a smiley face on an already trying day. My daughter Miranda occasionally drags me to one of these establishments on my visitation weekends. We have a little deal. She pretends I've been an attentive father and I pretend that "fried mac and cheese" and "cinnadunkers" are real food. When the check comes, we flip for it.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on January 22, 2008 at 3:27 PM | PERMALINK

But now it can be told. And you've told it well, friend. You have a natural gift for raconteurism that reminds me of myself.
Posted by: Norman Rogers

You should visit here. You would find a rapt audience. A place where left and right can come and fling their poo with wild abandon, and talk about other sophisticated stuff too like mooses.

Posted by: SJRSM on January 22, 2008 at 3:36 PM | PERMALINK

Let's put this issue of terror alerts to bed for good for those who haven't been paying attention for the past six years.

Among others, Keith Olbermann was able to show a correlation between news stories that were harmful to the administration and the issuance of terror alerts that were later found to be overstated or outright bunk.

Here are some highlights:

* On May 18, 2002, details of the president’s daily briefing of Aug. 6, 2001, are revealed, including its title, “Bin Laden Determined To Strike In U.S.” Two days later, FBI Director Robert Mueller declares another terrorist attack “inevitable.” The following day, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issues warnings of attacks against railroads and New York City landmarks.

* On June 6, 2002, Colleen Rowley, the FBI agent who tried to alert her superiors to the specialized flight training taken by Zacarias Moussaoui, testifies before Congress. Four days later, Attorney General John Ashcroft reveals that Jose Padilla is under arrest, accused of plotting a bomb attack. By this time, Padilla has been detained for more than a month.

* On Feb. 5, 2003, Secretary of State Colin Powell tells the UN Security Council about Iraq’s concealment of weapons, justifying a UN or U.S. first strike. Two days later, amidst anti-war demonstrations around the world, Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge cites “credible threats” by al-Qaeda, and raises the terror alert level to orange.

* On July 24, 2003, a congressional report on 9/11 concludes that Iraq had no link to al-Qaeda. Five days later, amid headlines about U.S troops abusing Iraqi prisoners, the Department of Homeland Security issues warnings of further terrorist attempts to use airplanes for suicide attacks.

* On Dec. 17, 2003, 9/11 Commission Co-Chairman Thomas Kean says the attacks were preventable. The next day, the chief U.S. weapons inspector in Iraq, David Kay, who has found no weapons of mass destruction, announces he will resign. Three days later, DHS again raises the threat level to orange, claiming “credible intelligence” of further plots to crash airliners into U.S. cities.

* On March 30, 2004, the new chief weapons inspector in Iraq tells Congress that investigators still haven’t found any WMD. Three days later, DHS issues a warning that terrorists may try to blow up buses and trains.

* On July 6, 2004. Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry selects U.S. Sen. John Edwards as his running mate, producing a swing in media attention. Two days later, DHS Secretary Ridge warns of information about expected al-Qaeda attacks during the summer or autumn.

* On July 29, 2004, the Democrats nominate Kerry for president. Three days later, the DHS raises to orange the alert status for financial centers in New York, New Jersey, and Washington. The evidence proves to be four years old and out-of-date.

* On Oct. 6, 2005, the press reports that Karl Rove will testify again to the CIA leak grand jury, and that the special prosecutor can’t guarantee that he will not be indicted. Hours later, New York officials disclose a bomb threat to the city’s subway system, based on information supplied by the federal government and later proven false.

http://www.vermontguardian.com/dailies/102005/1021.shtml

The rest can be found here.

Were terror alerts used by the White House to defraud the public, to distract from their political problems, and to gain political leverage? Check.

Was Tom Ridge complicit? Check.

There is nothing else to say about this except "geez guys, I was really wrong about this" and perhaps to muse about what penalties should possibly be applied to the Bush administration for playing games with national security.

Posted by: trex on January 22, 2008 at 3:36 PM | PERMALINK

>SJRSM: You should visit here.

No, you fucking jerk, the link is *NOT* safe for work.

Posted by: Shut the living fuck up on January 22, 2008 at 3:39 PM | PERMALINK

hey norman, you still ain't splained why an Iraqi was trying to attack us "OVER HERE"

guess you're waiting for a new load of bullshit to cover that one

gonna take more than one truck load, dude

I don't think 100 truck loads of bullshit can cover that one

so how did an Iraqi end up "Attacking us OVER HERE" ???

and remember, the judges from "the world's best bullshitter" are watching

Posted by: free patriot on January 22, 2008 at 3:39 PM | PERMALINK

There is nothing else to say about this except "geez guys, I was really wrong about this" and perhaps to muse about what penalties should possibly be applied to the Bush administration for playing games with national security.

Don't you do it! Don't you do it, Mr. SJRSM! These whining layabouts would like nothing better than to see you bent and broken.

Conceding a mistake gets you nothing in this world. I have had an unspeakably succcesful career in business, a thriving sideline in Republican activism and several initially workable marriages simply because I knew how to move on rather than wallow in admissions of error. When I get something wrong, I'm on to the next thing. Whoosh! I'm like the wind. You can't catch me, ungainly liberals in your thick-soled unisex footwear!

You and I are about the future, sir. Stand tall with me. Don't you dare let these negative nellies and their nitpicking drag you into the past.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on January 22, 2008 at 3:46 PM | PERMALINK

Don't you do it! Don't you do it, Mr. SJRSM! These whining layabouts would like nothing better than to see you bent and broken.
Posted by: Norman Rogers

All of his anecdotes can be explained as Al Qaeda's effort to influence the election. Obviously. They stopped once the election was over. Clearly.

Posted by: SJRSM on January 22, 2008 at 3:48 PM | PERMALINK

Among others, Keith Olbermann was able to show a correlation between news stories that were harmful to the administration and the issuance of terror alerts that were later found to be overstated or outright bunk.

In a coincidence that will surprise no one except cognitive dissonance victims like Mike -- who babbles about airline food among the smoldering ashes of his contentions -- Emptywheel noted a correlation between the missing White House emails and legal or political developments that potentially reveal the White House's criminal conduct -- er, were embarrassing to the Administration (why, since fools like Mike stand ready to give them free pass on everything, is hard to imagine).

Mike, you've complained that I don't engage in "substantive" arguments. Yet in this thread myself, trex and others have substantively shown how your pathetic hypothetical that the Bush Administration's fearmongering was somehow related to foiled terror plots is utter hogwash. And you haven't addressed any of those criticisms, except to repeat the mantra of "no attacks (on US soil) since 9/11," despite being told how phony an argument that is.

Since you're obviously unembarrassed to be such an intellectually dishonest tool who won't engage in substantive debate -- the fact that there's no honest defending the Bush Administration's mendacity and incompetence is your problem, not ours -- why should you be treated with anything but scorn and revulsion?

Maybe the sound of retching you heard wasn't directed at the food.

Posted by: Gregory on January 22, 2008 at 3:53 PM | PERMALINK

All of his anecdotes can be explained as Al Qaeda's effort to influence the election. Obviously. They stopped once the election was over. Clearly.

Bullshit, Mike. The Administration warnings weren't necessarily tied to al Qaeda statements, and -- thanks to Bush taking his eye off the ball yet again -- Osama bin Laden and his deputy have continued to issue statements since the election. What's clear is that, since you don't have any honest means of defending either the Bush Administration or your own wretched misdirections, you aren't arguing in good faith. Way to stay classy, Mike.

Posted by: Gregory on January 22, 2008 at 3:57 PM | PERMALINK

What's clear is that, since you don't have any honest means of defending either the Bush Administration or your own wretched misdirections, you aren't arguing in good faith.

What a breathtaking ability to avoid admitting one has been wrong. It's like watching those exposés where housecleaners have been caught on hidden camera stealing while they work and they just sit there and deny that's them on the tape.

Kinda reminds of the time Mike denied there were any refugees fleeing Iraq when in fact the largest refugee crisis in modern times in the Middle East was underway.

Now there's a special talent for avoiding realities one doesn't want to admit.

But of course Mike didn't believe it because he hadn't seen it on TV (duh, no reporters outside the Green Zone). And then when it was proven to him he complained that not all the estimates matched (they were, in fact, too low); that it wasn't that bad and that people weren't suffering (in fact it was and is horrific for those involved; read the stories on Iraqi parents and children prostituting themselves in other countries to get by); and that he was mad because, you know, Saddam was worse and that bringing attention to this crisis of historic proportions was an example of "cherrypicking" news stories in Iraq.

Just. priceless.

Posted by: trex on January 22, 2008 at 4:26 PM | PERMALINK

That was a fun thread. I miss scotian, wonder where he wandered off to.

Posted by: SJRSM on January 22, 2008 at 4:38 PM | PERMALINK

That was a fun thread

Nice to see you're amused by your displays of ignorance, illogic and dishonesty. Mike. Stay classy.

Posted by: Gregory on January 22, 2008 at 4:43 PM | PERMALINK

That was a fun thread

Abosolutely. If you can overlook the topic of the terrible refugee crisis forcing Iraqis to brave deadly roads while fleeing only to live in poverty in surrounding nations without enough food or healthcare, facing retribution from natives and resorting to prostituting themselves to get by, I'm sure that thread was nothing but shits and giggles.

None of these issues are real anyway. It's all about the sport arguing and then having a few beers afterward, right?

Posted by: trex on January 22, 2008 at 4:47 PM | PERMALINK

SRJM: Second, we've had no attacks stateside, and none overseas either. No embassies destroyed, no ships almost sunk, etc.

None? Is Mike forgetting a little thing that happened on September 11th? Or is he saying "none besides September 11th", which is a bit like saying "besides Pearl Harbor, the Japanese Navy never attacked the US naval bases in Hawaii."

And no terrorist attacks overseas? Then what's going on in Iraq, exactly? After all, his "no ships almost sunk" is a reference to the Cole attack. But if we count an overseas attack against a military target as an act of terrorism, then we must also to be consistent count every attack against a US military foot patrol, Humvee, helicopter or base in Iraq as an act of terrorism -- and if we count those, then we've had several hundreds of thousands of attacks under Bush.

Posted by: Stefan on January 22, 2008 at 4:55 PM | PERMALINK

That is a running battle against our military rather than terrorist plot against our civilians.

The Cole wasn't manned by civilians, and yet you counted that as a terrorist act.

And I'm confused -- isn't Iraq, by the Bush regime's own definition, part of the war on terrorism? So are the deaths there caused by terrorism or aren't they? Or is it that they're caused by terrorism when it's politically convenient to say so and not caused by terrorism when it's politically convenient otherwise?

Posted by: Stefan on January 22, 2008 at 4:59 PM | PERMALINK

It's all about the sport arguing and then having a few beers afterward, right?
Posted by: trex

Sometimes...sure. Today's a good example. I'm mailing it in today, in between other stuff. Should be obvious if you pay attention.

Who are you kidding, Trex? Think you're changing the world by jousting with me here? Making a Difference today? Don't kid yourself.

I wish I was a dog so I could lick myself.
Posted by: Gregory

There's your classy, Gregory.

Stefan, you probably need to read some earlier posts than what you quoted to get the whole drift.

I'm off the go skiing, so you can talk about me while I'm gone.

Posted by: SJRSM on January 22, 2008 at 5:01 PM | PERMALINK

sjrsm: no USS Cole's, no Khobar Towers, No embassy bombings either. Put those in the mix.

Can we put this in the mix as well? But I guess if Mike didn't hear it on Fox News, then it never really happened.....

U.S. lauds Syrian forces in embassy attack
POSTED: 3:32 p.m. EDT, September 12, 2006

DAMASCUS, Syria (CNN) -- U.S. officials praised Syrian security forces for thwarting Tuesday's attack on the U.S. Embassy in Damascus despite the usually tense relationship with the Middle Eastern country.

The Syrians killed three attackers and apprehended a suspect outside the embassy after a car exploded near the walls of the American compound, the Syrian Information Ministry said.

"I do think the Syrians reacted to the attack in a way that helped to secure our people, and we very much appreciate that," U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said while visiting Canada.

Four attackers detonated the car bomb before attempting to storm the compound, the Syrian ministry said. (Watch officials go through evidence from the attack -- 5:43)

The Syrian forces met the attackers, and an embassy guard was killed battling them, the ministry said.

Fourteen people were wounded, including the suspect, an embassy policeman, a security worker and 11 civilians, among them two Iraqis and a Chinese official, according to Syria's state-run news agency, SANA.

Posted by: Stefan on January 22, 2008 at 5:06 PM | PERMALINK

sjrsm: no USS Cole's, no Khobar Towers, No embassy bombings either. Put those in the mix.

Does this make it into the mix as well?

Al Qaeda-linked group takes credit for Saudi attack: At least 5 employees killed in assault on U.S. Consulate
Tuesday, December 7, 2004 Posted: 6:36 AM EST (1136 GMT)

CNN) -- A Saudi group linked to al Qaeda claimed responsibility early Tuesday for the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, in which at least five employees and four attackers were killed.

A U.S. State Department official told CNN that al Qaeda was suspected in the attack. Asked who the gunmen were, the Saudi Interior Ministry official said they were "wanted" but it was unclear if they were al Qaeda members.


Posted by: Stefan on January 22, 2008 at 5:09 PM | PERMALINK

And what about this?

Attack on U.S. Embassy car kills 3 near Beirut
By Nada Bakri Published: January 15, 2008

BEIRUT: A bomb evidently meant to destroy a U.S. Embassy car exploded as the vehicle passed by Tuesday, narrowly missing the car but wounding its Lebanese driver and a fellow passenger and killing at least three civilians traveling in the car behind, according to local reports, aid workers at the scene and State Department officials in Washington....

Other reports and aid workers said that at least 20 other people had been wounded, including bystanders and people working in nearby shops and offices. At the scene, glass littered the road and the police had sealed off the area. Two cars were badly damaged in the attack, but the American car - a large, four-wheel-drive armored vehicle - sustained much less damage.

Posted by: Stefan on January 22, 2008 at 5:11 PM | PERMALINK

And more for the mix!

U.S. embassy in Athens is attacked: No casualties after a grenade is fired
By Ian Fisher and Anthee Carassava
International Herald Tribune
Published: January 12, 2007

ATHENS: An anti-tank grenade was fired into the heavily fortified American Embassy here Friday just before dawn. The building was empty, but the attack nonetheless underscored deep anti-U.S. sentiment here and revived fears of a new round of homegrown terror.

Posted by: Stefan on January 22, 2008 at 5:14 PM | PERMALINK

I'm mailing it in today, in between other stuff. Should be obvious if you pay attention.

I'd be obvious if you usually argued better than this. Alas for you, you don't. (See: the refugee thread trex cited.) Your laughably feeble attempt to imply that you could have argued better, but didn't -- and hey, Mike, we'll just take that as a tacit admission you know you were pwnzed once again -- is just icing on the cake.

As for me, no, I don't think I'm changing the world, and you're too heavily invested in the Bush Administration to be honest -- too bad there's no option for you but dishonesty, but then you choose to wallow in it -- but I do take comfort in rightards like you proving how morally and intellectually bankrupt you are, and that once you get out of your Fox News bubble, you couldn't argue your way out of a paper bag. You party is rotten, Mike, and you're corrupt right along with them. The intellectual bankruptcy of movement conservatism, from you to Jonah Goldberg to Mike Huckabee, truly gives me hope for this nations future -- if we can undo the damage done by Bush's incompetence, of course.

At least now we know which one of us is capable of substantive arguments other than insults. It ain't you.

Posted by: Gregory on January 22, 2008 at 5:15 PM | PERMALINK

Now this is getting embarrassing....it just feels like I'm piling on....

Three Al Qaida bombers attack U.S. consulate in Morocco

SPECIAL TO WORLD TRIBUNE.COM
Monday, April 16, 2007

CAIRO — Al Qaida has succeeded in attacking U.S. interests in Morocco, despite a government crackdown resulting in the capture of network leaders.

On Saturday, two suicide bombers blew themselves up outside the U.S. consulate in the Moroccan city of Casablanca. A woman was injured in the daytime explosions, and the two bombers were killed in the attempted strikes on the U.S. consulate and nearby American Cultural Center.

Posted by: Stefan on January 22, 2008 at 5:16 PM | PERMALINK

Nicely done, Stefan. Your posts were the proverbial nail in the coffin for Mike's posts here today.

RSM: Sometimes...sure. Today's a good example. I'm mailing it in today, in between other stuff. Should be obvious if you pay attention.

Mailing it in? That's odd, your performance today was typical, no worse than usual. And for the record, we're all doing this "in between other stuff."

Who are you kidding, Trex? Think you're changing the world by jousting with me here? Making a Difference today? Don't kid yourself.

You've had your ass handed to you twelve ways to Sunday on this thread by half a dozen people. I mean, you've been totally and thoroughly rebutted. Anyone reading can see that.

So you must think there's value to this forum or you wouldn't be trying so desperately to subvert the message here and waste so much time humiliating yourself on a progressive blog trying to change minds.

As for me, I do think it makes a difference. Lots of people lurk here and take away what they read. There is no forum too small in which to fight for the right thing.

Posted by: trex on January 22, 2008 at 5:30 PM | PERMALINK

As for me, I do think it makes a difference. Lots of people lurk here and take away what they read. There is no forum too small in which to fight for the right thing.

Perfectly correct and perfectly eloquently stated, as always.

Posted by: shortstop on January 22, 2008 at 5:59 PM | PERMALINK

Just one more, I can't resist.....

Bush: 'Radical killers' behind Karachi bomb: Group warns of more attacks

June 14, 2002 Posted: 8:53 PM EDT (0053 GMT)

KARACHI, Pakistan (CNN) -- A previously unknown militant group called "Al-Qanoon" claimed responsibility for a bombing that killed 10 people Friday at the U.S. Consulate in Karachi and warned the attack was just "the beginning."

In Washington, the State Department said it suspected Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network was behind the attack.

Posted by: Stefan on January 22, 2008 at 9:39 PM | PERMALINK

So you must think there's value to this forum or you wouldn't be trying so desperately to subvert the message here and waste so much time humiliating yourself on a progressive blog trying to change minds.
Posted by: trex

Skiing was great.

First, there is value to this forum. It's a great place to test arguments and see what flies and what doesn't. You don't get that arguing on "home turf". Plus, it's fun at times.

I'm not trying to subvert a message here, and I suffer no delusions about convincing anyone of anything. As for having my ass handed me...heh...that's BS. Stefan listed off a handful of attacks, which if you total them don't add up to a single Khobar Towers or USS Cole. They are proof that we are still hunted, but that force protection measures put in place since 9/11 have made us hard(er) targets. And if you bother to go back and read earlier stuff, his posts contradict other earlier arguments that there is no threat. But go ahead and pat your self on the back.

As for me, I do think it makes a difference. Lots of people lurk here and take away what they read. There is no forum too small in which to fight for the right thing.
Posted by: trex

OK, yours to act like you want. If you think every thread needs to be a cage match to the death, go for it. You're not alone, that's for sure.

You ever watch the UN? See how they debate? Are they having spittle-flecked arguments there? Don't think so. An occasional Kruschev pounding his shoe on the table. So when lurkers come here and see one...ask yourself what they walk away with.

I'm off for two weeks sans internets. Enjoy the ideological group hug while I'm gone.

Posted by: SJRSM on January 22, 2008 at 10:41 PM | PERMALINK

If you think every thread needs to be a cage match to the death, go for it. You're not alone, that's for sure.

Well, I can see why you'd rather people let your bullshit stand, but I doubt that's going to happen.

I believe that it's vitally important to correct the misinformation and misdirection that's put out there. Why? Because as the invasion of Iraq has tragically shown, spreading misinformation eventually costs lives.

You engage in a lot of that, unfortunately. Particularly misdirection through a false assignment of blame and refusal to accept and assign accountability. When caught at it you deny it and move on.

That's just garden-variety trolling, nothing more.

For me, I believe these issues are serious and not meant to be diminished in importance for partisan gain or propaganda purposes under the guise of "just good fun" or enthusiastic debate. You do a lot of that, too.

Integrity matters. Lives matter. The truth matters.

It's too bad you got punked by Bush and the Republicans and the neocons and the wingnuts. Maybe you should take if up over at little freep goofballs.

Posted by: trex on January 22, 2008 at 11:53 PM | PERMALINK

sjrsm: Stefan listed off a handful of attacks, which if you total them don't add up to a single Khobar Towers or USS Cole.

add up? here is what YOU SAID...

"No embassy bombings either."

well...obviously that has been proven to be false...

aren't you embarrased?...

but since you brought it up..

let's add some things up..

dead americans by terror 1993 until 9-11:

1st wtc bombing - 6

khobar towers - 19

uss cole - 17

us embassies - 12

total = 54


oklahoma city bombing - 168

so..timothy mcveigh killed more americans by terror than al qeuda over an 8-year period that you seem to think is important..

and its not even close...at 3-to-1..

let's do some more adding..

dead americans by terror from 9-11 til today:

9-11: 2800+

iraq - 3800+

sjrsm...why does math hate america?

or perhaps more importantly..

why do you hate logic?

Posted by: mr. irony on January 23, 2008 at 5:50 AM | PERMALINK

It's a great place to test arguments and see what flies and what doesn't.

Do you ever get tired of seeing your arguments crash and burn so often? Obviously not.

You don't get that arguing on "home turf".

...partially because conservative blogs -- when they allow comments, are notoriously orthodox -- and you whine about some imaginary "echo chamber here," you mendacious tool! -- and partially because, as you demonstrate, movement conservatives have piss-poor debating skills (since, as you note, even commenting, let alone straying from the party line, isn't allowed on many conservative blogs.

Plus, it's fun at times.

Again, it's nice to see you admit so openly that you get a sick amusement from your trolling. I don't think anyone harbored any illusions of you as a good-faith commentator -- our Norman parody nailed you with his sermon about never admitting when you've been proving wrong -- but it's interesting to see you admit it.

I'm not trying to subvert a message here, and I suffer no delusions about convincing anyone of anything.

Because your arguments are unconvincing, Mike. That statement is very revealing -- when your arguments fail, as they inevitably do, you chalk it up to what you imagine to be close-mindedness on the part of your betters here. That's nice, because it lets you pretend -- as you do here -- that you haven't embarrassed yourself with your dishonesty and ignorance.

As for having my ass handed me...heh...that's BS.

Mike, you started this whole thing off by claiming that the Bush Administration might have had some legitimate reason for issuing all those terror warnings, not just manipulating public opinion. Yet you have not cited a single instance of an actual al Qaeda plot the Bush Administration foiled -- not surprising, as even the Bush Administration dares not go that far. You have had your ass handed to you, Mike, but more to the point you failed to defend your own premise.

Stefan listed off a handful of attacks, which if you total them don't add up to a single Khobar Towers or USS Cole.

Nice moving of the goalposts, there, Mike. You cite a broad spectrum of attacks by al Qaeda as "islamists in general" in order to suggest a great threat, then claim that we haven't been suffering such attacks thanks to Bush. Stefan proved you wrong, plain and simple.

They are proof that we are still hunted, but that force protection measures put in place since 9/11 have made us hard(er) targets.

But that's our point, Mike -- that the lack of attacks on US soil since 9/11 is attributable more to increased security than to Bush foiling al Qaeda plots.

And if you bother to go back and read earlier stuff, his posts contradict other earlier arguments that there is no threat.

You are a liar, Mike. No one claimed there is no threat -- no one. What Stefan's posts contradict is your claim that the US hasn't been subject to attack since 9/11.

But go ahead and pat your self on the back.

No need -- any honest reader of this thread will see that you've been pwnzed six ways from Sunday.

OK, yours to act like you want. If you think every thread needs to be a cage match to the death, go for it. You're not alone, that's for sure.

As trex said, we're happy to rebut GOP bullshit, because we have the truth on our side. But anyway, what a whiny, pathetic cop-out that is! You're blaming us for continually calling you on your bullshit? Screw that!

Again, Mike: You claimed that the warnings could have been from discoveries of actual al Qaeda plots. You were challenged, since even the Bush Administraion doesn't claim as much, to name one. You never did. I know it's important to you to pretend that the Republican Party whose water you carry acts in good faith, but you simply failed to challenge the notion that the Bush Administration exploited terror for political gain.

If only there were a term for those who do that...

You ever watch the UN? See how they debate? Are they having spittle-flecked arguments there? Don't think so. An occasional Kruschev pounding his shoe on the table. So when lurkers come here and see one...ask yourself what they walk away with.

Ah, this gets us to the conservatroll whine about "civility." But I think you've well established -- not only by your dishonesty and bad faith, but by admitting you get a kick out of trolling -- that you and your bullshit aren't entitled to courtesy.

And besides, you constantly resort to insults, since they're often all you have left.

I'm off for two weeks sans internets. Enjoy the ideological group hug while I'm gone.

I hate to break it to you, Mike, but you aren't some half-assed Diogenes, bravely venturing into our echo chamber to speak truth to power. You're a feeble, ignorant, dishonest and dishonorable conservative tool who patently refuses to argue in good faith. Thanks as always for demonstrating the moral and intellectual bankruptcy of the modern conservative movement.

Jackass.

Posted by: Gregory on January 23, 2008 at 9:25 AM | PERMALINK

855 words, counting the quotes from you. But for a change, you do have a point, Mike. Since you profess amusement, not embarrassment or shame, at having your bullshit refuted yet again, it's clear that your bad faith trolling doesn't merit a substantive response, so I only need one word for you:

Jackass.

Posted by: Gregory on January 23, 2008 at 11:27 AM | PERMALINK

Whoops....Mike's trolling got modded, apparently.

Posted by: Gregory on January 23, 2008 at 11:41 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin,

Lisa Schiffren's point is this:

McCain and Romney have trouble with the conservative base of the GOP. So, they need to pick a VP that shores the base's support up.

It's not dissimilar from Obama needing someone with decent national security cred. It is something he lacks and can help compensate for with a solid running mate.

Not very complicated... ;)

Posted by: doug on January 23, 2008 at 3:21 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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