The Truth Hurts

Dana Milbank must want some more abuse from the left flank of the blogosphere:

The new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds congressional Democrats in the best position they’ve held in 14 years, besting President Bush and Republican lawmakers on Iraq, the economy, health care, immigration, ethics and more.

All of which can mean only one thing: It is time for the Democrats to eat their own.

Right on cue, liberal activists including Cindy Sheehan and Ramsey Clark gathered yesterday at the Busboys & Poets restaurant and bookshop at 14th and V streets NW for what they billed as a forum on “The Impeachment of President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.” But the participants, while charging the administration with “crimes against humanity,” a “war of aggression” and even “the supreme international crime,” inevitably turned their wrath on congressional Democrats, whom they regarded as a bunch of wimps.

Ouch. The patented Democratic circular firing squad, dusted off and ready for 2006. Gabe Rivera’s always awesome Memeorandum has a round-up of responses to the article.

The Future Is Now

Daley’s Brave New World:

Mayor Daley on Monday embraced a radical plan to require every licensed Chicago business open more than 12 hours a day to install indoor and outdoor cameras.

“Block clubs, community organizations want cameras. … They can’t walk down the street. … Their kids have to go around a corner away from the gang-bangers. You can’t walk to church. You can’t get on the CTA. … Cameras really prevent much crime. Cameras also solve a lot of crime. The terrorist attacks in London were solved by cameras. The whole incident was solved by cameras,” Daley said.

And to meld the grand tradition of Chicago/Daley politics with this new proposal, he called for the immediate placement of cameras in the offices of his political opposition.

Another Dead Laptop

If you were ever thinking about hitting the tip jar, now is the time. My laptop was illing the last few days, and is now officially dead.

Or the Amazon Tip Jar, or you could just go buy one of the laptops on the Amazon Wish List. Yeah. That will happen.

I am so sick and tired of computers breaking down on me.

Alito Confirmed

Alito has been confirmed, 58-42.

If you are wondering why 42 people voted against but a filibuster could not be sustained, that is because of the Gang of 14. You know- the group that the far right was screaming bloody murder about a few months back and telling me I was an idiot to support. Some disaster they turned out to be- just ask the Kossacks, who are livid with Lieberman.

Adam C. gloats, as well.

Quit Citing Polls

Can I ask you commenters a favor? Quit citing poll after poll after poll of Bush’s approval ratings. They suck. They are historically low. I will concede they are probably going to stay that way, barring a miracle. So until they change dramatically, quit citing them.

Why? Because they DO NOT MATTER. This administration CLEARLY does not give two hoots in hell about poll numbers. They have both houses of Congress (and, barring a total disaster, will retain them in 2006), they have the White House, they just rammed through two very conservative Supreme Court Justices, they are filling the State Department and the CIA and every agency with young conservative political appointees, and they are simply having their way with the government and the country.

Bush and Cheney and Rove do not care about the poll numbers. If they did, they would change their behavior and do all sorts of popular little things like the famous Dick Morris triangulation schemes (school uniforms, etc.). But they aren’t, and they won’t.

Why? Because they don’t give a shit about the polls, which is why I really don’t, either.

*** Update ***

Ezra says I am full of it, and that Bush not only uses polls, but does it so carefully that he has me fooled.

Don’t get me wrong- I think they ‘use’ polls. I just don’t think they give a shit what they say. They are going to do what they want to do, and they use the poll as the best way to get what they want. But I am willing to bet that other than losing support in Congress, they would not care if Bush’s approval ratings were in the teens.


Kos, referring to a Dan Balz WaPo piece, writes about the importance of the State of the Union:

Balz notes that much will ride on King Bush’s SOTU address, though I don’t think it’s as influential a tool as it may once have been. There are too many alternatives on TV for anyone but the biggest Bush fans and political junkies to tune in.

History suggests that Bush will get some sort of bounce regardless thanks to the inevitably fawning media coverage. The real question will be how long any such bounce will last, and whether congressional GOoPers will get any benefits from said theoretical bounce.

I tend to agree. I simply can think of nothing the President could say that would change my mind about President Bush or this administration. Perhaps things will work out in the Middle East, and thirty years from now when I am nearing retirement, historians will have a glowing review of the Bush administration. Right now, though, from my perspective, this administration, regardless what happens in the next few years, will always be remembered as eight years of missed opportunities.

This will be the administration and Congresses that spent more time paying lip service to groups who demonized gays and wanted to pretend that half the electorate was traitorous and un-American than actual competent, boring, governance. It was the permanent election with a permanent bad aftertaste. Divide and conquer, writ large, with no recognition that after the conquering comes the governing.

Even when the administration was right on issues, and they have been many times, they haven’t managed to carry out their goals effectively. Granted, Bush faced an uphill battle to win the hearts and minds of the public- the oppostion, who spent the first two years unwilling to concede Bush had won (and some dead-enders to this date still refuse to recognize he won), though feckless and useless when it matters, has been as angry and as nasty as the Republicans were in the 90’s. Yet, this administration still managed to drop the ball, even with a bunch of clowns like Pelosi and Daschle throwing underhanded softballs.

Like I said- missed opportunities. What the hell can Bush say tonight that will change that?

“A Man of Honor”

The NY Times chronicles the attempts of Kennedy’s staff to slime Judge Alito, and offers us this glimpse behind the scenes:

Their most indefatigable strategist was James Flug, a longtime friend of Senator Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts who, at 67, was decades older than most of the other legal counsels on the Judiciary Committee staff. Mr. Flug first worked for Mr. Kennedy 35 years ago when they led a liberal minority of senators to block the Supreme Court nominations of Judges G. Harrold Carswell and Clement F. Haynsworth Jr., in both cases by mobilizing a coalition of civil rights groups and unearthing embarrassing aspects of the nominees’ records.

Among other things, several Democratic aides said, Mr. Flug drove the investigation into Judge Alito’s failure to recuse himself, as he had pledged to do during his court of appeals confirmation hearing, from cases involving his mutual fund company, Vanguard. But Mr. Flug met with polite skepticism from many of his colleagues.

“You are going to ask more questions about that oversight where Alito made no money?” a staff member for another Democratic senator said he asked Mr. Flug.

“It became clear to us early on,” the staff member added, “that the guy may be way too far right for our tastes, but we think the guy is a man of honor.”

That is basically how I see it. I don’t really care for many of his views, and he is too far to the right for my tastes on some issues, and I think his liberal opposition is accurate on his views of executive power and his deference to government authority, but I don’t think he is evil and I don’t think he should be filibustered. If I were a Senator, I would have wavered back and forth on whether to vote for him, but I would not have supported a filibuster.