Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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February 25, 2008
By: Kevin Drum

SNEAK PREVIEW....I have to hand it to Bill Kristol. He manages to sum up the upcoming conservative attack on Barack Obama in a single paragraph:

Barack Obama is an awfully talented politician. But could the American people, by November, decide that for all his impressive qualities, Obama tends too much toward the preening self-regard of Bill Clinton, the patronizing elitism of Al Gore and the haughty liberalism of John Kerry?

Yes, yes, and yes! I'd say that insinuations of preening self-regard, patronizing elitism, and haughty liberalism are almost certain to be the heavy lifters in the Republican attack toolbox this fall. Unless, of course, Hillary Clinton wins the nomination, in which case they'll attack her preening self-regard, patronizing elitism, haughty liberalism, and grating shrillness. Who says conservativism is out of new ideas?

Kevin Drum 1:26 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (62)

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Comments

You funny. Sadly, you are also correct.

Posted by: hollywood on February 25, 2008 at 1:29 PM | PERMALINK

Heavens, don't forget the middle name! Already I've seen two letters to the editor on that from alarmed little old ladies.

Posted by: Claire on February 25, 2008 at 1:36 PM | PERMALINK

And I take Kristol at his word that if Obama had explained that he doesn't wear a flag lapel pin because it interfered with his hip, minimalist sense of fashion, that Kristol would have had nothing to complain about. What a jerk.

Posted by: Scott on February 25, 2008 at 1:36 PM | PERMALINK

Hey.... don't forget Michelle Obama = Hillary Clinton. By November, Michelle will be a ball-busting, secret lesbian, radical leftist, kitten killer who throws lamps.

Posted by: Teresa on February 25, 2008 at 1:37 PM | PERMALINK

Hey.... don't forget Michelle Obama = Hillary Clinton. By November, Michelle will be a ball-busting, secret lesbian, radical leftist, kitten killer who throws lamps.

I note Bill O'Reilly's new attacks on her (when he's not calling for a lynching party) as "militant," since sadly he can no longer call her "uppity."

Posted by: Stefan on February 25, 2008 at 1:42 PM | PERMALINK

It all translates--in dog-whistle terms, but also for the masses--into a phrase that begins with the word "uppity." As progressives, we are absolutely crazy to forget that.

I still think he's far and away the best candidate against McCain, but we're getting a clear preview of the memes and messages, and we'd better have a stronger response that yelling "unfair."

Posted by: itsmekaren on February 25, 2008 at 1:42 PM | PERMALINK

Preening self-regard, patronizing elitism, haughty....that reminds me of someone, but who, who....something like "Lush"? No, wait, that's not it....

Posted by: Stefan on February 25, 2008 at 1:44 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry, I'm outta here, life is too short to be spending Mondays with Bill Kristolnacht.

Posted by: Fran the Upper East-Side Limousine Liberal on February 25, 2008 at 1:46 PM | PERMALINK

I also worry about attempts to infantilize him. "Is he serious enough?" "Is someone that young really ready to face down Vladimir Putin?" Or -- patronizing and coded racism in one easy slogan -- "Don't send a boy to do a man's job."

And the media will eat it up.

Posted by: bleh on February 25, 2008 at 1:49 PM | PERMALINK

Why bother.

Posted by: Dilbert on February 25, 2008 at 1:49 PM | PERMALINK

"Who says conservatism is out of new ideas?"

Well, Billy-boy Kristol (for one)....

Posted by: Uncle Jeffy on February 25, 2008 at 1:52 PM | PERMALINK

Hmmmm........ "tends too much toward the preening self-regard", "patronizing elitism" and "haughty"..sounds like everyone at the Weekly Standard and the National Review.

Sounds like Bill Kristol, most of all. And his best pals in the White House, also, of course.

Posted by: Miss Otis on February 25, 2008 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

I believe the term Kristol is reaching for, but has not polled to well, is "uppity".

Posted by: Memekiller on February 25, 2008 at 2:00 PM | PERMALINK

It's laughable that Kristol is using "preening self-regard" as a criticism of Obama in a general that is against McCain. I mean, McCain is the guy who continually tells us that he is unaffected by special interests and lobbyists, despite -- more than any other candidate in either party -- surrounding himself with them. TPM had a great observation that senior adviser Charlie Cook is literally carrying out his lobbying business from the Straight-Talk Express. And neither he nor McCain see anything wrong with this. McCain tells us that he has always acted with integrity, despite Keating Five and cheating on his first wife. My point is not that McCain's ethical lapses are the worst of the worst in Congress. Far from it. Just that "preening self-regard" is a pretty apt description of his own attitude towards himself and his record.

None of this is to say it can't work. Bogus charges have worked in the past. Exhibit A: dubbing Gore a fibber worked like a charm for the Republicans (and the media) in 1999-2000, despite the reality that while Bush really was fibbing (most notably on his Social Security plan) the press had to continually fib to pretend Gore was fibbing.

Posted by: Crust on February 25, 2008 at 2:01 PM | PERMALINK

I just don't see stuff like that working very well this year. Most people really are tired of pols and pundits who tear down other pols over fake issues.

I think the proper response is, "that's all they've got, isn't it? They don't like their own candidate, and the American people don't like what he stands for. So all they've got left is to try to throw random dirt at the other guy, and hope some of it sticks."

Posted by: low-tech cyclist on February 25, 2008 at 2:02 PM | PERMALINK

Not My Man Mitch was on NPR last night, interviewed at the governor's conference. He said the Democrats problem is that they are nominating a left-wing extremist. He kept repeating that phrase. After about the fourth time, the reporter got around to questioning Mitch about what he meant by that. His reply was that Obama believes in big government and was a left-wing extremist. A lot of intelligent thought there. So what do you call someone who believes in selling off the state's assets to private oversees companies?

Posted by: ann from indiana on February 25, 2008 at 2:02 PM | PERMALINK

We can laugh but here's the text of an email that greeted me this morning:

My fellow Identity-Americans:
As your future President I want to thank my supporters, for their ... well, support.
Your mindless support of me, despite my complete lack of any legislative achievement, my pastor's relations with Louis Farrakhan and Libyan dictator Moamar Quadafi, or my blatantly leftist voting record while I present myself as some sort of bipartisan agent of change.
I also like how my supporters claim my youthful drug use and criminal behavior somehow qualifies me for the Presidency after 8 years of claiming Bush's youthful drinking disqualifies him. Your hypocrisy is a beacon of hope shining over a sea of political posing.
I would also like to thank the Kennedys for coming out in support of me. There's a lot of glamour behind the Kennedy name, even though JFK started the Vietnam War, his brother Robert illegally wiretapped Martin Luther King, Jr. and Teddy killed a female employee he was having an extramarital affair with who was pregnant with his child. And I'm not going anywhere near the cousins, both literally and figuratively.
And I'd like to thank Oprah Winfrey for her support. Her love of meaningless empty platitudes will be the force that propels me to the White House.
Americans should vote for me, not because of my lack of experience or achievement, but because I make people feel good. Voting for me causes some white folk to feel relieved of their imagined, racist guilt.
I say things that sound meaningful, but don't really mean anything because Americans are tired of things having meaning. If things have meaning, then that means you have to think about them.
Americans are tired of thinking.
It's time to shut down the brain, and open up the heart.
So when you go to vote in the primaries, remember don't think, just do.
And do it for me.
Thank You.

Posted by: hollywood on February 25, 2008 at 2:05 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin Drum is confused over the difference between GOP and conservative. Even while the GOP will be doing one thing, those not affiliated in any way with the GOP might be doing something more substantial, such as going to Obama's appearances and videotaping his response to this question or similar. That's something that the GOP - especially with McCain - would never do since they're on the same basic side as he is.

When someone presses him on that, I don't think he's going to be so very glib at all. Kevin Drum might want to consider what's going to happen if Obama does a "Kirk Watson" (youtube.com/watch?v=jj4VK9wVAi0) on his own past actions, and it gets hundreds of thousands of views on Youtube.

For instance, my video about what an Obama volunteer did (youtube.com/watch?v=DCja99KpjWU) has gotten over 27,000 views, and the similar one from GlennBeck has gotten twice that. And, that's just about what a volunteer did: imagine what would happen if a regular citizen is able to render Obama unable to defend his own actions.

Kevin Drum might want to kick that "upstairs" and see what they think.

[Note: WM and/or KD have a habit of deleting and editing comments without notice, so this comment might disappear or be edited.]

Posted by: The annoying LonewackoDotCom on February 25, 2008 at 2:05 PM | PERMALINK

...a ball-busting, secret lesbian, radical leftist, kitten killer who throws lamps.

Wow, that's the beginning of one hell of a movie script there! Need to get a hold of the Coen brothers.

Posted by: Doc at the Radar Station on February 25, 2008 at 2:06 PM | PERMALINK

Kristol is really getting under your skin, huh, Kevin.

Posted by: Brian on February 25, 2008 at 2:07 PM | PERMALINK

I must admit, it is rather awe-inspiring to see the Rove-ian "attack the strength" strategy done by an old pro like Kristol after watching Hillary Clinton flail around with her half-baked "change you can Xerox" cracks. The blithe condescension, the subtle racism, the maddening ignorance...it's all there.

I hope Obama is better at fighting back than Kerry or Dukakis were. He certainly comes across as a much more aggressive personality, which is a start.

Posted by: Tom on February 25, 2008 at 2:09 PM | PERMALINK

You guys better not write her off -- loved what SNL had to say...."Bitch is the new Black". It's about time someone said something like this. I am so tired of Obama does no wrong attitude. He is an inexperienced uppity dude that dresses nice. Not wearing a flag pin is WRONG plain and simple.....just ask the vets and kids fighting in this war and we all would be wearing larger pins and talking about the real stuff we should be like how the media is giving Obama a free pass to everything and not asking him any details at all.

Posted by: abc55 on February 25, 2008 at 2:21 PM | PERMALINK

The problem with Bill Kristol, John McCain, Joel Stein, and Hillary Clinton, to a certain extent, is that they keep reading from the old playbook when it comes to Obama. I am not naive enough to know that the opposition (today it's Hillary, tomorrow it's Rush and the rest of the GOP) is going to try to jump all over the 'youthful' idealism that Obama has been trumpeting to rousing and growing success over the past 6 months. But they - the GOP, the anti-Obama vote, etc. - are totally misreading the general public. A growing majority of Americans are tired of the constant rancor and and partisan-hack politics that has been strangling Washington over the past 2 decades and that has come to a head with the current administration. The GOP had their whipping boy to attack during the 90's - Bill Clinton. The Democrats had their favororite target to attack during the last 8 years - George Bush. Now, enough people are saying - enough is enough. This whole red state-blue state crap has gotten incredibly old and stupid and reached disporoportionate, if not ridiculous, levels.

This is what is going on in America today and it is why Obama is so appealing. His politics aside, the public wants to BELIEVE his message, and is willing to forego his future policy disclosure to buy into his message.

Of course, 8 years ago, Compassionate Conservatism was another clever slogan sold as a magical elixir and we all know where that got us....

Posted by: peacefrogx on February 25, 2008 at 2:29 PM | PERMALINK

Not wearing a flag pin is WRONG plain and simple....

Personally, I myself walk around literally wrapped in a four by six American flag which I drape around my torso like a toga. Not to do so is WRONG plain and simple. Just ask any vet.

Posted by: Stefan on February 25, 2008 at 2:29 PM | PERMALINK

abc55:

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Love it.

Toad

Posted by: The Fabulous Mr. Toad on February 25, 2008 at 2:30 PM | PERMALINK

abc, Hillary is finished. Get over it. The latest ARG poll has her down 8 points in Texas. She would need to win BOTH Ohio and Texas by 60 - 40% or so even to begin meaningfully cutting into Obama's delegate lead. In fact she'll lose in Texas and may even lose in Ohio.

By the way, we're not naive enough to think people like you who spout asinine wingnut talking points were going to vote for ANY Democrat in November. So go right ahead and vote for McCain- a loser, like you.

Posted by: Steve LaBonne on February 25, 2008 at 2:31 PM | PERMALINK

Are you kidding? The attacks will be more along the lines of; he is a Taliban plant, a pedophile, a transsexual, drug smuggler, pornographer, murderer, etc. etc. You must have forgotten who we are dealing with.

Posted by: LAYNE on February 25, 2008 at 2:33 PM | PERMALINK

Is it now OK for us to mention that the GOP is rife with both deeply closeted, self-loathing gay homophobes who project their latent insecurities upon the country at large, and aging, prostitute-procuring man-pigs who'd sell out their constituents for a little hot nookie?

I think so.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on February 25, 2008 at 2:35 PM | PERMALINK

And what'll it get them? The lizard brains who eat that stuff up are the Republican base. They were voting for McCain in any case. On the other hand, it will help to complete the exit of rational moderate Republicans form their former party.

Posted by: Steve LaBonne on February 25, 2008 at 2:36 PM | PERMALINK

Let the Republicans follow Bill Kristol's advice. They will lose their shirts come November if they do!

Enough Harry Dent, Lee Atwater, Karl Rove, Nixon's Southern Strategy, and now the Neocons and Bill Kristol. It's time to think about the future of America.

Posted by: Gerald L. Campbell on February 25, 2008 at 2:40 PM | PERMALINK

I wonder how he'll parse it if Mittens jumps back in the race. I see it somewhere along the lines of:

McCain - brings all the hot-head temperament of Moe.

Romney - tries to dominate others, but generally fails, like Larry.

Huckleberry - "N'yuk-n'yuk" and "Wooo-wooo."


Posted by: Joshua Norton on February 25, 2008 at 2:42 PM | PERMALINK

I absolutely agree with the comments by Peacefrogx about the country being tired of the entire red state-blue state crap. I live in Fairfax, Virginia, in a great neighborhood that has both conservative Republicans and liberal Democrats and we all get along fine. It's much more accurate to characterize Virginia as a red, white and blue state because the sense of patriotism is real.

Let's not forget that it was just a media short cut that created the entire blue state-red state term, when they were televising Presidential returns and used the blue red colors on the TV map.

How about if the media started actually taking some responsiblity for improving the civic life of our country, instead of always appealing to the least common denonimator.

Not a political example, but I personally don't care if there is never again a story about Britney Spears. She's obviously mentally ill, leave her alone, and let her get some help. If the tabloids and TV refuse to buy the pictures, there's no market.

Posted by: Bill on February 25, 2008 at 2:48 PM | PERMALINK

I wonder if they have given any thought to what Obama is saying. It sounds like they aren't listening to his message. You can't hope to win if you don't understand your opponent.

Hillary has made the mistake throughout the primaries of confusing oppo research with intelligence. It sounds like Kristol is doing the same thing. They need to examine Obama and his message carefully. Mostly they need to understand why it is attractive. They will not have any answer until they do.

If that's all the conservatives like Kristol have this cycle they are literally playing into Obama's hand. He is selling hope and common purpose and sacrifice. People are buying common purpose and sacrifice and most of all hope. Obama is telling people that he isn't like the partisan hack conervatives, and the partisan hack conservatives like Kristol seem more than willing to prove that he isn't like them.

Conservatives really are that stupid.

Posted by: Corpus Juris on February 25, 2008 at 2:52 PM | PERMALINK

I don't know- I have a hunch the anti-Obama effort is going to end up fizzling somehow down the road. Maybe it'll just strike the wrong key with the American people and hurt the media's credibility too much. People will start shutting up eventually.

Posted by: Swan on February 25, 2008 at 2:52 PM | PERMALINK

Y'know, I can't help but think that, when a tosser like Kristol starts bashing Obama, it's got to be a good thing for Obama.

What did old Georgie Porgie say once? 'Bring it on?'

Obama-Richardson '08,
-Z

Posted by: Zorro on February 25, 2008 at 2:53 PM | PERMALINK

First, Bill Kristol is an idiot. Second, his imagined GOP plans of attack on Obama are tame by comparison to those Hillary is unleashing on Obama.

Hillary is self-destructing in front of our eyes. She's quickly becoming the political equivalent of Lindsey Lohan or Britney Spears. Worse, actually, because at least neither Lohan or Spears is actively lashing out at anyone.

If there was any doubt that the Clintons are arrogant elitists with a sense of entitlement who will do or say ANYTHING to advance their own interests (even to the detriment of the party and country - never mind honesty, decency, her word or the DNC rules she helped draft), she's pretty much removed all doubt. If she spent half the energy talking about what she stands for as she does insulting, ridiculing, and condescending to Obama's supporters, she might not be so behind. And she has the hypocritical temerity to compare Obama to Rove.

Remember, too, that it was Hillary who first tried to push the 'Obama is a Muslim, went to a madrassa = terrorist training camp'. Now her followers are circulating a photo of Obama wearing traditional Muslim garb that he wore as a sign of respect during an official overseas trip. Pandering to religious bigotry to win votes. Nice.

Posted by: Augustus on February 25, 2008 at 2:53 PM | PERMALINK

Bill Kristol talks as if self-regard, elitism, and liberalism are bad things. Oh, it's that Obama and the Democrats he's compared with overdo it. Nice try, Bill. Next time, call out the preening-self regard, the patronizing good-ole-boy affectation, and the haughty conservatism all wrapped up in the current President.

Posted by: RSA on February 25, 2008 at 2:58 PM | PERMALINK

Augustus I completely agree with you even though I don't believe I'm agreeing with you completely.
Also since when is it a requirement for anyone to wear a flag pin to show how much patriotism they're full of?

Posted by: Gandalf on February 25, 2008 at 3:01 PM | PERMALINK

Wow, that's the beginning of one hell of a movie script there! Need to get a hold of the Coen brothers.

It is, but Russ Mayer already beat them to it.

Posted by: Gregory on February 25, 2008 at 3:09 PM | PERMALINK

Krisol Demonstrates First Rate Projection

You have to give Kristol one thing, he certainly seems to have first hand experience with "preening self-regard" and "haughty" "partonizing elitism."

see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychological_projection


Posted by: Catch22 on February 25, 2008 at 3:13 PM | PERMALINK

"But could the American people, by November, decide that for all his impressive qualities, Obama tends too much toward the preening self-regard of Bill Clinton, the patronizing elitism of Al Gore and the haughty liberalism of John Kerry?"

Even if that absurd caricature were true, I'd still take any of those people over what douchebag stuffed shirts like Bill Kristol want to offer us, which is a repeat of the Dubya years.

Why Bill Kristol is anything but an object of derision is beyond me. He has wasted any intellectual weight his family name might have once possessed and is little more than a well-groomed, frequently-wrong partisan hack.

Posted by: grape_crush on February 25, 2008 at 3:15 PM | PERMALINK

Doesn't work for me. I would concentrate on how he walked into the job of U.S. senator with luck akin to winning the lottery when superior primary and general election opponents self-destructed.

Let's face it, this guy is just a minor Illinois legislator who nobody even in his home state of Illinois had heard of before he lucked into his senatorial position. Then after a few resonant sound bites on "one America," the lib media puffed him up, but we really don't know if there is anything there besides PC lib media hype.

Posted by: Luther on February 25, 2008 at 3:35 PM | PERMALINK

Well, Luther, that'll just make you feel that much worse when this minor-leaguer knocks your candidate into next week.

Posted by: Steve LaBonne on February 25, 2008 at 3:39 PM | PERMALINK

Hell that's how I think of him, and I'm a democrat

Posted by: mlawyer on February 25, 2008 at 4:30 PM | PERMALINK

Luther,

What is this "lib media" of which you speak? Are you speaking Dittohead?

Toad

Posted by: The Fabulous Mr. Toad on February 25, 2008 at 4:55 PM | PERMALINK

He's good for the country, and therefore bad.
He has the ego of a politician, and therefore shouldn't be one.

George Bush for life presidency. He's unqualified on all counts, therefore perfect for the job.

Posted by: Kenji on February 25, 2008 at 4:56 PM | PERMALINK

The Republicans are irrelevant since they all supported Bush and his disasters.

The American public know their tactics and the Democratic Party nominee is going to win in November.

Republicans are just along for the show this time.

Still, it would be helpful if the American public knew a bit more about Obama before anoiting him. He had a Liberal senate voting record and few of his supporters seem to realize that. He hasn't explained what he's offering Independents and Republicans to vote for him. It would be nice to know how far he'll go to make nice with them.

Some things, like the Republicans and the pic, are irrelevant. Some, like who Obama really is, are more important.

Posted by: MarkH on February 25, 2008 at 4:56 PM | PERMALINK

Luther says: "we really don't know if there is anything there...."

You mean besides his issues pages, his Senate speeches, and, get this, his sponsoring and voting record?

Posted by: Aaron G. Stock on February 25, 2008 at 4:59 PM | PERMALINK

MUST READ. Insightful analysis of the revealing exchange between Dems in Texas last week.....

http://blog.psaonline.org/2008/02/25/the-clinton-obama-exchange-you-might-have-missed/

Posted by: JHA on February 25, 2008 at 5:01 PM | PERMALINK

Aaron: That's exactly the problem for me. The gap between the Senator's "issues pages, his Senate speeches, and ...his sponsoring and voting record" and his soaring rhetoric of change and biaprtisanship is nothing short of a chasm. I've looked at the things you cite. And while I agree with most of it, and I'll vote for the guy, I don't know how anyone can honestly say that the record you reference is more than a fairly undistinguished hodgepodge of policies and votes could have been attributed to almost any Democrat in Congress. It's like there's two different guys: The one who makes the awesome speeches and the guy with the record you cite. Where's the excitement and the change and the charisma in the RECORD?

Posted by: Pat on February 25, 2008 at 6:24 PM | PERMALINK

So if you're pointing out that he's above average politically, and average from policy perspective, i'm willing to vote for that.

Soaring radical policies are often dangerous, especially you don't have solid public support behind. If obama can govern reasonably (and in conjunction with congress) while making a convincing political argument that moves people - I'd be really happy with that. It won't change the world in 4 years, but it is a strong long term play for liberal policies and the democratic party.

Posted by: doug on February 25, 2008 at 7:02 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, you have such a wonderful sense of humor.

Thanks

Posted by: elr on February 25, 2008 at 7:03 PM | PERMALINK

Where's the excitement and the change and the charisma in the RECORD?

You are aware, aren't you, that most Senators aren't able to pass legislation on their own, but have to get the cooperation of (at least) a majority of the other Senators? You do understand what a legislative body does, right? Exactly what kind of a RECORD are you hoping for? Obama single-handedly lifting the budget deficit by himself?

Posted by: Stefan on February 25, 2008 at 7:13 PM | PERMALINK

The Republicans do use the same attacks over and over again. But they work because Democrats, time after time, give them ammunition. This quote that Kristol pulls from a speech by Michelle Obama really is a good example of the kind of appeal that works in a Democratic primary, but makes you wince when you imagine it spoken to a very different audience in the general election:

"Barack will never allow you to go back to your lives as uusual, uninvolved, uninformed."

Posted by: mary on February 25, 2008 at 7:26 PM | PERMALINK

This is just the Republican way. They can't run on a record of success against terrorism - 9/11 and Anthrax (the attacks, not the speed metal band) happened on their watch, and this after undermining Clinton's attempts to go after terrorists. They can't run on their foreign policy - what, we're going to invade yet another nation, with what army? They can't run on fiscal responsibility - have you seen the debt under Bush, Bush, and Reagan? They can't run on domestic policy - hell, they don't even want to talk about domestic issues.

No, all that remains for the toads that make up the Republican Party (as well as the "conservatives" who haven't had any useful critique of the issues since long before "Bomb them all" Goldwater) is fear. Fear that someone might get something for less than you paid for it. Fear that the brown people are coming. Fear, fear, fear, and when that stops working they throw in a little fear for a change.

No rational person could vote for the modern Republican Party.

Posted by: the on February 25, 2008 at 9:28 PM | PERMALINK

Where's the excitement and the change and the charisma in the RECORD?

Compared with what? Senator Torture? Senator Bomb, bomb, bomb; bomb, bomb Iran? Senator Fatcat Lobbyists working for him and their clients right from his bus?

Sorry, not buying.

Posted by: the on February 25, 2008 at 9:31 PM | PERMALINK

No rational person could vote for the modern Republican Party.

Sadly, I've found that rational people are inordinately difficult to find. Hence, campaigns specifically tuned to work on irrational levels are typically quite effective. Note: the Democrats have, by and large, run as the party of rationality for most of the past 30 years, + been royally creamed for it on most instances. The Republicans have run unabashedly irrational + emotional campaigns- remember the circling pack of wolves ad from '04?- and been rewarded for doing so.

In short, banking on human rationality is a *very* bad campaign strategy, both in the US and in the world in general. Humans just aren't rational enough.

-Z

Posted by: Zorro on February 25, 2008 at 10:18 PM | PERMALINK

1. Kristol is a smart and honest, up front guy. He has at times been complimentary about both Hillary and Obama. You guys just disagree with im.

2. These type of arguments would not work against democrats if there was not some measure of truth in them. They may well not work against Obama.

3. Liberals make the same type of personal arguments against republicans and, in fact, they are made throughout this thread. One of the first comments states:

"Preening self-regard, patronizing elitism, haughty....that reminds me of someone, but who, who....something like "Lush"? No, wait, that's not it...."

Posted by: brian on February 25, 2008 at 10:54 PM | PERMALINK

No brian you fucking moron, Kristol is clever (which is completely different from being smart), massively dishonest, and generally a disgrace to the nation. He has been wrong on pretty much everything (actually, his track record of dishonesty and being wrong rather mirrors yours - you aren't really Norm and Midge's idiot son are you?).

These types of arguments work because there is a large sub-literate population who will pass on any smear no matter how baseless. For an example, see the lackwit above who claims "These type of arguments would not work against democrats if there was not some measure of truth in them." A perfect example of someone too stupid to breathe commenting on people smarter and better than he is.

Of course we are making personal arguments you thick-witted clod. It is the only thing that nitwits like you understand. Reasoned discourse is so far beyond you that only a 2x4 to the head will get your attention.

Posted by: the on February 26, 2008 at 1:31 AM | PERMALINK

abc55: Not wearing a flag pin is WRONG plain and simple.....

gop Duke Cunningham wore a flag pin while taking bribes...

gop brent wilkes said the pledge before he bribed cunningham

republican Bob Ney wore a flag pin while illegally taking favors from lobbyists

GOP Rep. Rick Renzi pledged allegiance to the flag before he was indicted for extortion and more than 30-other charges..

Posted by: mr. irony on February 26, 2008 at 7:05 AM | PERMALINK


brian: 1. Kristol is a smart and honest, up front guy.

"I admit it -- the liberal media were never that powerful, and the whole thing was often used as an excuse by conservatives for conservative failures." - William Kristol in the New Yorker 5/22/95

Posted by: mr. irony on February 26, 2008 at 7:07 AM | PERMALINK

Yes, Stefan, I am aware that the Senate largely works on consensus. As a matter of fact (thanks for asking) I flatter myself that I know a fair amount about how the chamber operates. That's precisely why I'm so struck (and slightly troubled) by the gap between the rhetoric and the record.

Because you know about the Senate you know that you don't need unanimous consent to introduce legislation. The Senator has no record I can see of introducing "biparitisan change" legislation in the Senate nor at the state level.

You don't need unanimous consent to offer amendments (even multiple, non-germane amendments) to measures. I haven't seen him using this power to pursue a drive for change.

You don't need unanimous consent to call a hearing when you chair a subcommittee. He hasn't done that.

Frankly, you don't need unanimous consent to simply highlight issues in debate. He hasn't really been a vocal champion for change in Senate debate either.

And his voting record -- not there either.

As I said, I generally like the guy. I'll vote for him. But in my opinion anyone who refuses to acknowledge that the drive for bipartisanship and change that he calls for in his admittedly awesome speeches has not evidenced itself in his prior actions at the state or federal level is a bit of a homer.

Posted by: Pat on February 26, 2008 at 9:14 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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