Talking Turkey

The other day I mocked a few people who seem to think the most important aspect of Bush’s visit to Iraq was the opportunity to once again revisit the bogus claims that Bush help up a ‘fake turkey’ in a previous visit to Iraq. As the person I was chiding was a Democrat, predictably, the comments section here exploded:

That’s right, it should be possible to watch your country being dragged into the ditch and listen to the chestbeating of the a–holes who are doing it, and remain completely level headed at all times, never utter an oath, never lose your temper, always be non-petty and always be congenial.

You know, like you are.

F—you, John. Really, f— you. Don’t you ever get tired of being the phony a–hole?

How convenient for you to carve out a little ledge to sit on like a word-pigeon and s— on the passers by …. while your country is going to hell in a handbasket.

Very admirable, really. All props to you.

That reaction was pretty amusing on several levels, but in particular, it was ironic because it so completely missed my point:

This administration has screwed up so many things that it is hard to keep track, and yet some still persist in being petty and foolish about things that not only don’t matter, but aren’t even true.

I have come to the conclusion that this administration has screwed up a number of things, but most importantly, as Andrew Sullivan states, “they have screwed up a war they described as vital to our national security.” Pretty much. Combined with the fiscal irresponsibility, the lack of foresight in regards to this nation’s long-term fiscal well-being, the seeming deference to the lunatic fringe of the religious right, and the contempt for science, mixed in with the gay-bashing and the apparent love for a nanny-state in which privacy and liberty are quaint ideas, and I see no reason to vote Republican in 2006 and 2008. Yet, it seems, there are those on the activist left who seem to think the way to throw these guys out of office is to emulate them- to be as petty, as mean, and as offensive as Rove on his worst day.

It makes no sense. You already have a core of people who are going to vote Democratic- it would seem to me that you would want to reach out to libertarians, moderate and disaffected Republicans (like me), and expand your appeal. Not, as it appears, some have chose, to prove that the Democrats can be just as irritating as the Republicans. Today’s example of this silliness come from an apoplectic Peter Daou:

Let me first say that Bush may not have known he was talking to a legally blind reporter when he engaged in this exchange:

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, Peter. Are you going to ask that question with shades on?

Q I can take them off.

THE PRESIDENT: I’m interested in the shade look, seriously.

Q All right, I’ll keep it, then.

THE PRESIDENT: For the viewers, there’s no sun. (Laughter.)

Q I guess it depends on your perspective. (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT: Touche. (Laughter.)

As Think Progress notes, “[Peter] Wallsten is legally blind. Wallsten tells us he has a rare genetic disorder called Stargardt’s Disease. The disease is a form of macular degeneration that can be slowed “by wearing UV-protective sunglasses and avoiding exposure to bright light.”

The point of this post is not that Bush intentionally taunted a blind man, but that his insistence on clowning with the press is undignified and highly inappropriate.

The title of the post was “Bush’s Banter Goes Too Far: Taunting a Blind Man.”

For the past five+ years, many on the right have chalked up any and every legitimate criticism of Bush to “BDS- Bush Derangement Syndrome.” It is a way to effectively dismiss criticisms by snidely stating that the people making the criticisms are ‘insane’ and ‘deranged.’ It is a transparent attempt to shift issues when there is no defense for the criticisms, and it happens all the time. However, as I have stated before, it does appear that some people (in this case, Daou), are deranged when it comes to the President. They may have a whole host of reasons to be angry at Bush (I sure do), but it doesn’t make them sound any less nuts when they write things like this.

So let’s clear some things up- Bush didn’t taunt a blind man. He playfully teased a reporter in a press conference about wearing sunglasses. Bush did not know (nor did Peter Daou, I wager), that Wallsten is legally blind.

Second, legally blind is not the same as blind. Bush did not stand up and openly mock Stevie Wonder. He joked with someone he thought was inappropriately wearing sunglasses at a press conference. He, nor anyone else, for that matter, had anyway of knowing Wallsten was legally blind:

Wallsten said he interrupted and told the president that no apology was necessary and that he didn’t feel offended since he hadn’t told anyone at the White House about his condition.

Finally, this last Daou update takes the cake:

I’ll reiterate my point: it’s not this particular case – where Bush now admits he screwed up – but Bush’s juvenile joshing that is so unbecoming of a U.S. president at a time of war.

We have spent almost the past five years with the GOP and this administration using the ‘war’ and 9/11 as excuses for anything and everything- it appears that Daou just wants in on the action. The idea that we should flay alive the President for being insufficiently serious (to Daou’s standards, at least), because we are at a ‘time of war’ is the kind of crap I would expect to dribble out of Karl Rove’s mouth.

None of this is going to make me vote for the GOP in the fall. It doesn’t matter how insane and crazy the activist left is, I am not voting for Rove/Cheney/Santorum/et. al., which is how I have come to view this administration. They had their shot, they got my votes, and they blew it and proceeded to advance an agenda that is, almost to an issue, diametrically opposed to my beliefs. I don’t think that because Kos, Peter Daou, and the Huffington Post are clearly insane when it comes to Bush that it means the Democrats are unfit for office. But I am not the target audience- my mind is made up.

I do, however, think that when the insane people are the most vocal components of the Democratic left, it will turn off a lot of undecided middle-of-the-road voters- in other words, the exact people you should be courting. The middle of the country does not want the Santorum right in charge anymore, but neither do they want the Democratic Underground. When the left seems to be represented by the lunatic fringe, the outcome will be predictable. Rather than going to the polls and voting for a democrat for the first time in two decades, people will get turned off, seeing no real choice- just achoice between two parties run by crazy people.

And in case you can’t figure it out on your own, I will make it clearer. THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT KARL ROVE WANTS. His base is going to show up- they are going to bash immigrants, homosexuals, whip up some religious controversy, and call anyone with legitimate criticisms of the war traitors, and their base will show up. We will probably hear Terri Schiavo’s name for the first time in a while, and I am sure they will cook up some anti-abortion or anti-gay marriage ballots for the state level to make sure the Falwell right comes out to vote. What they need to win, though, is an economy that isn’t disastrous and a bunch of disaffected voters to decide that there really is no reason to vote because they think the left is just as nuts as the right.

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298 replies
  1. 1
    Andrew says:

    Wow, of all possible sufferers of Bush Derangement Syndrome, you choose Daou?

    He’s one of the most level headed, moderate bloggers around, and he has a good point about Bush’s continuing, weird, juvenille fascination with nicknames, inappropriate comments, and odd personal interactions. How horrible for Daou to suggest that Bush be somewhat more serious than a 12-year-old while he’s taking questions about a war. Bush has used his stupid joking as a way to deflect legitimate questions for years.

    There are plenty of BushitlerChimpyMcHali-whatever the right likes to say examples of hyperbole on the left. Daou really isn’t one of them.

  2. 2
    John Cole says:

    Which is why I chose him- I was really surprised to see him go nuts about this issue. The HuffPo I expected. Kos I expected. I expect FireDogLake to run a series on it.

    But Daou?

    And you also completely missed the point of the post, choosing to focus on who I was using as the subject matter for my examples. Which, I guess, should not surprise me.

    I have to admit I am surprised that the first comment was not someone calling me a Bush apologist for ‘defending’ Bush. We’ll give it another half hour.

  3. 3
    Andrew says:

    Well, you should also know better than to think that anything Daou says will have any effect whatsoever on “undecided middle-of-the-road voters.” And not just him, but the sum total of lefty bloggers. Bill Clinton has taken more significant craps than the entirety of the blogosphere.

    Bloggers think way too much of themselves.

  4. 4
    Andrew says:

    Oh, sorry about not slandering/demeaning/insulting you. Here:

    Kneepads, John, kneepads!

  5. 5
    ppGaz says:

    Let’s go back over the last 16 months or so (the time I am familiar with at BJ) and count the number of times you’ve claimed that you were misunderstood or that commenters “missed the point.”

    Do we suppose that a pattern might emerge?

    A professor who teaches some kind of communications stuff, has his points missed and is misunderstood with regularity, causing uproar on his blog.

    And the remedy, of course, is to chide the audience.

    Okay, whatever, it’s your blog.

    The fact is that the country is going to hell in a handbasket, thanks to the guys you supported. The remedy is to vote for the other guys. You can spin that up into page views any way you like, the facts are the facts.

  6. 6

    These are good points – I actually thought this whole incident (the remark and the apology) showed that he isn’t the fire-breathing asshole we all wish that he was. Rather, it just shows he’s the idiot we all know he is.

    I barked this blog entry because I think it is important that Democrats listen up to what guys like you have to say. If you stay home in November, Democrats will likely loose. They need to give you something to get out and vote for.

  7. 7
    John Cole says:

    Kneepads, John, kneepads!

    Much better.

    A professor who teaches some kind of communications stuff, has his points missed and is misunderstood with regularity, causing uproar on his blog.

    Please cite where in the Comm journals/texts it explains to you how to communicate with people who in bad faith misinterpret everything you say. When you are done, please cite the reference to’How to be clear all the time to 4000 people in print yet maintain a conversational tone.’

    This blog has a conversational tone, but one of the problems is that unlike oral communication, I do not have the opportunity to immediately clarify to those who get confused or miss the point. The problem arises with those who fail to recognize that, and it is compounded when I clarify, and that is ignored or overshadowed by DougJ’s intentional snark- which puts a whole new perverse spin on things.

    In short, the ‘communication’ problems on this website stem from a few things-

    1.) Some in the readership who intentionally and willfully misinterpret everything I say.

    2.) Some in the readership who have taken no time to learn my patterns of communicating, and are under the impression that there is “ONE CLEAR WAY” to communicate.

    3.) Some in the readership who refuse to accept my clarifications or attempts to clarify.

    4.) DougJ’s snark or snark in a similar vein.

    5.) The fact that I frequently say unclear things, coupled with the fact that we talk about a lot of hot issues, so even when I don’t make unclear statements, people’s political opinions jaundice their perceptions.

    Good luck finding those references.

    And for everyone else, if you want to come in here and try to take potshots at me because I teach comm yet you can’t understand me despite having read me for 4 years (so clearly I must be a shitty teacher, as PPGAZ is insinuating), save yourself the time.

  8. 8
    Steve says:

    On what planet are the Democrats represented by the extreme left? Maybe if you read blogs too much, in which case any legitimate “middle of the road” voter would find both sides equally appalling. But we all know that come November 2006, the face of the Democratic Party is not going to be Peter Daou or Jane Hamsher or whatever “outrageous” blogger you choose to cherry-pick today, at least for the vast majority of the electorate. The far left was against the Iraq war, they want immediate withdrawal, they want impeachment. But no matter how far the elected Democrats steer clear of those positions, somehow the elected Democrats are not the face of the party; it’s the agitators behind the scenes. John may rail against Michelle Malkin’s extremism, but I never hear him say the Republicans need to marginalize people like Malkin if they want to keep winning elections.

    Seldom do you hear wiser heads suggesting that the Republicans distance themselves from the more extreme elements of their party, the racists, the white supremacists, the ones who want to make the Middle East into a sheet of glass. Seldom do you hear anyone saying Vice-President Cheney better stop appearing on Rush Limbaugh’s show lest he appear extreme. Seldom do you hear anyone saying the Republicans better distance themselves from Ann Coulter lest they appear too extreme. For some reason, these obligations are only imposed on the Democrats – perhaps because aligning themselves with fringe elements has proved to be a winning strategy for Republicans, so no one dares advise them to change it.

    I seriously don’t understand this phenomenon. When Michael Moore says the Iraqi insurgency are the “Minutemen,” crickets chirp. Find me an elected Democrat who agreed with those comments. But when Ann Coulter says the 9/11 widows are enjoying their husband’s deaths, mainstream Republican strategists like Mary Matalin go on TV to say that Coulter was right. Where are all the pundits saying how the Republicans need to distance themselves from Coulter?

    Why is Peter Daou more the face of the Left than Ann Coulter is the face of the Right, and what exactly do you expect the Democrats to do if they are consistently judged by this unfair double standard?

  9. 9
    ppGaz says:

    I am surprised that the first comment was not someone calling me a Bush apologist

    Surprised, or disappointed?

    I am relatively sure I have never called you a Bush apologist. But I have on numerous occasions wondered loudly and with plenty of swear words, why you talk as if there is any remedy for Bush other than voting for the other guys. If you can explain another remedy to me, I will be glad to consider it.

    The idea of voting for the other guys, in case it’s over anyone’s head, is not because they are perfect. It’s because voting for the other guys is what you do in a two-party country. If you don’t like the choices in your two party country, then you are SOL for the time being. Meanwhile you have two parties to choose from, and if the one in charge now isn’t doing well, you have to go with the other one to fix the problem.

    I din’t invent this system, therefore you can yell at someone else if you don’t like it.

  10. 10
    John Cole says:

    On what planet are the Democrats represented by the extreme left?

    On the planet earth. You know- the same place where the Republicans are represented by the extreme right.

    Regardless, you have missed the whole point.

  11. 11
    Cherub says:

    These are good points – I actually thought this whole incident (the remark and the apology) showed that he isn’t the fire-breathing asshole we all wish that he was. Rather, it just shows he’s the idiot we all know he is.

    I agree with this. I thought it was funny cause he just went ahead with his “jesting” and didn’t even think there might be a reason the reporter was wearing sunglasses. Just like most things, he didn’t bother to think, just did what he wanted to do and/or say.

    John, I also agree with your post, but you have to take into account the BS that the “left” has put up with for the Bush years. The implied and sometimes outright mention that I, as a liberal, am un-american,etc..burns deep and will always color how I think of Republicans. It’s not unusual for people to react in kind when faced with such slander. While I understand it might turn off some moderate voters,it is catharic to stand up and fight fire with fire.

  12. 12
    Jack Roy says:

    That reaction was pretty amusing on several levels, but in particular, it was ironic because it so completely missed my point….

    Sorry, obligatory pedantry, but that’s not “ironic,” it’s just “stupid.”

  13. 13

    I din’t invent this system, therefore you can yell at someone else if you don’t like it.

    You’re right, so perhaps John (and all of us) should find a different hobby such as supporting Instant Runoff Voting? That might have a greater impact than voting for the other side would. Of course, I would prefer we first get ourselves out of this ditch and then try to fix the system.

    Btw, ppGaz, taking a dig at John’s day job was kind of low.

  14. 14
    Steve says:

    Please explain the point to me, John. Because my point is, the presence of whackos in both parties is a fact of life, and you just have to deal with it.

    The only difference worth noting is that the whackos actually have power under the current incarnation of the GOP. The Terri Schiavo law. Jerry Falwell getting consulted by the White House on Supreme Court nominations. Whereas no one believes that if the Democrats take back the White House, Michael Moore will suddenly become a foreign policy advisor.

    Again, please tell me why Republicans win one electoral victory after another by outright embracing the most extreme elements of their party, but it’s the Democrats who constantly receive these lectures?

  15. 15
    Krista says:

    The problem is that many people on the left don’t feel that they are being represented by ANYBODY. There are many Democrat politicians who feel that they best way to win an election is to become completely centrist, to the point where they’re barely distinguishable from the moderate Republicans (yes, some do still exist, I’ve heard.) Then, we have the far-far left with the loud voices, who are no more representative of the “average” lefty than Ann Coulter is of the “average” righty (I hope. God, I hope.)

    I think what needs to be heard is a Democrat who is not going to roll over and play dead for the right wing, thinking that centrism is the way to get votes. Nor does anybody need someone who only knows how to criticize, but has no ideas of his/her own.

    What is needed, IMHO, is someone who is willing to stand up for the principles that those on the left believe in: diversity, freedom of control over your own body and your own love life, equality, stewardship of the environment, the basic right to education and health care for everybody in the country, ensuring that the country’s elderly are not dying of starvation or hypothermia due to not being able to afford food or heating oil, protection of the worker’s interests taking precedence over protection of the corporation’s interests. The Right has monopolized the conversation when it comes to “values”, but the Left has values too — strong ones. And it’s time that a candidate says so, and is clear about what those values are, and how he or she is going to implement them into the country’s agenda. I think if the Dems could find a candidate like that, with real substance and who can deliver that message with true conviction, without worrying about that “electability” bullshit like they did with Kerry, they’d find their candidate to be very electable indeed.

    But, maybe I’m being idealistic.

  16. 16
    db says:

    Well said, John Cole.

    Each day I do get more tired of Dubya. But the extreme anti-Bush haters reaction to every little frickin’ trivial thing also wears me out. To bash Bush over him joking with somebody who is wearing hip shades and not using a walking stick? C’mon – focus people.

    Has Wallstein responded since that incident? My bet is he’ll say it was no big deal.

  17. 17
    Faux News says:

    Steve Says:

    Please explain the point to me, John. Because my point is, the presence of whackos in both parties is a fact of life, and you just have to deal with it.

    The only difference worth noting is that the whackos actually have power under the current incarnation of the GOP. The Terri Schiavo law. Jerry Falwell getting consulted by the White House on Supreme Court nominations. Whereas no one believes that if the Democrats take back the White House, Michael Moore will suddenly become a foreign policy advisor.

    Again, please tell me why Republicans win one electoral victory after another by outright embracing the most extreme elements of their party, but it’s the Democrats who constantly receive these lectures?

    Post of the Day.

    and

    End of Thread.

    Thanks Steve!

  18. 18
    John Cole says:

    Please explain the point to me, John. Because my point is, the presence of whackos in both parties is a fact of life, and you just have to deal with it.

    The point is that the Democrats have been pretty effectively portrayed as the party of insane crazy people, and the election results of the past few cycles would prove that this has been beneficial to the GOP. Shut up your lunatics, pull a few moderate voters over, and it is President Kerry. Quit giving Rove and company the ammunition to shoot you in the back.

  19. 19
    Marcus Wellby says:

    Kos, Peter Daou, and the Huffington Post

    John, outside of the blogworld those people are invisible. I would say 90% of voters have no friggin’ idea of who Kos is, shit, I’d say 90% of blog readers don’t know who Peter Daou is.

    People aren’t disaffected because Kos says mean things, or Daou pisses his pants over a genuine and minor mistake on Bush’ part. They are disaffected because the GOP caters to a bunch of fringe nutjobs who want nothing short of a theocracy and a democratic party that doesn’t do or say anything.

    But I am glad to see you getting all pissed off with the angery rhetoric coming from the lefty blogs. Its the same shit we Democrats have had to put up with on talk radion for years now.

  20. 20
    Blue Neponset says:

    However, as I have stated before, it does appear that some people (in this case, Daou), are deranged when it comes to the President. They may have a whole host of reasons to be angry at Bush (I sure do), but it doesn’t make them sound any less nuts when they write things like this.

    Daou is deranged because he doesn’t appreciate the overly familiar tone the President uses in press conferences? You are setting the derangment bar pretty low, John.

  21. 21
    John Cole says:

    Again, please tell me why Republicans win one electoral victory after another by outright embracing the most extreme elements of their party, but it’s the Democrats who constantly receive these lectures?

    Wrong. They don’t embrace to them publicly, they play to them. They pass bigoted anti-gay laws, and tell the majority of the public they are ‘defending marriage.’ They don’t stand up and scream “God hates fags.”

    They confirm very right-wing judges, but they don’t cast them as right-wing- they label them as normal, or middle-of-the-road. You guys seem to want to embrace your extremism, so you can do just what the GOP is doing, yet you miss exactly what has happened.

  22. 22
    srv says:

    I guess it depends on your perspective.

    Ah, we need a name for this recurring meme.

    I know many of the Coles of the Right perceive themselves as moderates, and pine for creating a discourse of reason, but this medium is primarily a freak-show. Extremism on the right has to be villified and humiliated. Bush isn’t about rare freak who ambled into leadership. Bush is about how a good % of the population have blind moral and civic values.

    This is about pushing those people into the closet, and it’s working. When I go back to Texas now, the last thing all those Klinton and Kerry cluckers want to talk about is Bush. Humiliation is too good for them. Giving these knuckleheads a voice or opinion again is just too dangerous today.

    If that hurts the dems, well, I could care less. You want to appear pragmatic and help them with their efforts to take over. Good luck with that.

    I want a country where preventive war is impossible, and a Congress that checks Unitary Executive Theory. A country where 50% doesn’t wet their underpants over what 19 guys do. Yeah, it’s unlikely to happen, but it’s never going to happen by embracing your crowd.

  23. 23
    Pb says:

    Oh goodie, a flame war thread.

    once again revisit the bogus claims that Bush help up a ‘fake turkey’ in a previous visit to Iraq

    Er, yeah, not a ‘fake turkey’, just a ‘display turkey’ that wasn’t intended to be (and indeed wasn’t, I believe) eaten. Bush held it up, the troops ate something else. Mission bait and switch accomplished.

    As the person I was chiding was a Democrat, predictably, the comments section here exploded

    Oh yeah, *that* must have been the reason. I might not have agreed with them on that before, but I do now. Fuck you, John. Really, fuck you.

  24. 24
    Jim Allen says:

    These are good points – I actually thought this whole incident (the remark and the apology) showed that he isn’t the fire-breathing asshole we all wish that he was. Rather, it just shows he’s the idiot we all know he is.

    I was the one who first mentioned the incident here — and that’s pretty much how I took it as well. I never thought Bush would be one to mock the blind, I took it as an indication he’s pretty much clueless as to how someone behaves with dignity. It was a lame attempt at humor, and backfired on him.

  25. 25
    moflicky says:

    I seriously don’t understand this phenomenon. When Michael Moore says the Iraqi insurgency are the “Minutemen,” crickets chirp. Find me an elected Democrat who agreed with those comments. But when Ann Coulter says the 9/11 widows are enjoying their husband’s deaths, mainstream Republican strategists like Mary Matalin go on TV to say that Coulter was right. Where are all the pundits saying how the Republicans need to distance themselves from Coulter?

    well, most righty pundits have been falling all over themselves trying to distance themselves from Coulter’s “harpie” quotes from her book this week. Libertians and other non-evangelical republicans continually talk about what a liability the Ralph Reids, Pat Robertsons and Jerry Falwells are to the party’s image.

    On the other hand, Mickey Moore was given an honored place at the Dem Convention, sitting right next to Carter, and last week Reid, Pelosi, Clark, Vilsack, Warner and Boxer all enthusiastically attend yearlykos.

    For any elected democrat to vocally support Moore’s minuteman comment would be political suicide, and they know it. but you don’t have to vocalize to show support.

    Personally, I have no problem with democrats associating with the fringe left of the party. It only clarifies the choice.

  26. 26
    Pb says:

    And, oh yeah, Bush, juvenile? Film at 11. Accurate reporting, but 6+ years late. Come on, we’re talking about Mr. “no weapons of mass destruction over here”… I’ll leave you with one more classic stupid and juvenile Bush quote/’joke’/lie:

    He is so confident about his abilities he claimed he invented the Internet. But if he was so smart, how come all the Internet addresses start with “W.”? Not only one “W,” but three “W”s.

    Yeah, really.

  27. 27
    Pooh says:

    The point is that the Democrats have been pretty effectively portrayed as the party of insane crazy people,

    Interestingly passive voice, JC…

  28. 28
    Pb says:

    The difference between Moore and Coulter is that Moore actually has made some positive contributions in his lifetime. Coulter isn’t even as honest or as polite as Michael Moore, and of course her brand of hate and demonization isn’t ‘funny’ at all, but given all that, she still thinks she’s more like Mark Twain–go figure.

  29. 29
    Steve says:

    Upon reflection, I think why the Republicans get a better shake is that they managed to make extremism mainstream by embracing it. Now, that’s not to say that I hope the Democrats will do the same thing. But I think the empirical evidence supports my conclusion.

    Let’s get one thing out of the way first. There was clearly as much insane Clinton hatred in the 90s as there is insane Bush hatred today. I hope everyone would acknowledge that.

    But did the Republicans of the 1990s distance themselves from the people who were slavering over Clinton’s destruction? Far from it. You had elected Congressmen calling the President a “scumbag.” You had Jesse Helms threatening the President’s physical safety if he came down to North Carolina.

    And when the muckrakers of the right dug up dirt on Clinton, did the elected Republicans distance themselves? No, they wholeheartedly embraced each and every rumor. Congressional investigations were launched at the drop of a hat. These days, we can’t even get an investigation into billions of dollars missing in Iraq, but back then, it was fair game to investigate the President’s cat. Was Socks’ fan club being financed with public funds? The American people have a right to know! And of course, you had a partisan political impeachment that was widely believed to be bullshit by a clear majority of the public, but they went ahead and did it anyway.

    My point is that by making Clinton hatred into an actual political agenda, the Republicans managed to redefine it as a “non-extreme” view. If Daily Kos starts agitating for impeachment, mainstream pundits can laugh it off as a fringe movement. But when the Speaker of the House talks impeachment, then by definition, it’s no longer fringe, even if the grounds are equally flaky. The media talked about Whitewater every day, a scandal with no merit whatsoever, because the Republicans made it a front-and-center element of their agenda. But who talks about, let’s say, the Downing Street Memo? John Conyers and some random people down in the basement? So it’s easy for the media to shrug it off.

    I don’t want the Democrats to play that game. I don’t want an investigation every time the President falls off his bike. I don’t want to wage scorched-earth warfare. But I don’t have a good answer, because the Democrats, by largely ignoring their whackos, are constantly beset with demands to purge the fringe element from the party, while Republicans, by embracing their whackos, have somehow avoided that dynamic altogether.

    What I’d really like to see is some sign that the electorate rewards sanity and responsibility. I just don’t see it.

  30. 30
    moflicky says:

    Let’s get one thing out of the way first. There was clearly as much insane Clinton hatred in the 90s as there is insane Bush hatred today. I hope everyone would acknowledge that.

    I can agree with this. no more hate today, just more microphones.

  31. 31
    Pb says:

    Steve,

    I think you’re underestimating the degree of complicity that was actually going on then as well–remember, it was a Republican billionaire (the man behind much funding of Republican think tanks) who quietly funded many attacks on Clinton, who fed those stories into the media. These efforts, and similar ones, spawned NewsMax, World Net Daily, and launched Coulter’s career.

  32. 32
    Dave Ruddell says:

    As the person I was chiding was a Democrat, predictably, the comments section here exploded

    Oh yeah, that must have been the reason. I might not have agreed with them on that before, but I do now. Fuck you, John. Really, fuck you.

    Well, it would seem to me that when John chides a Republican, the comments are generally pretty positive. Certainly less use of such salty language. I mean, my stars…

  33. 33
    HH says:

    “Bush did not stand up and openly mock Stevie Wonder.”

    I guess I’ll beat one of your lefty trolls to the punch by pointing out yet another lie about Bush (on par with Bush’s “fake turkey” – never mind that Bush served turkey to the troops) – Bush waving to Stevie Wonder. I’m surprised I forgot this one on top of Bush and the backwards binoculars and Bush and the upside-down book, as well as Bush saying that catching bin Laden is his “number one priority” before he even claimed bin Laden was behind 9/11… I could go on, but Cole is spot-on about this derangement, at many times not even based in fact, from our “reality based community.”

  34. 34
  35. 35
    Davebo says:

    Wrong. They don’t embrace to them publicly, they play to them.

    Total Bullshit and if you don’t know it you really aren’t paying attention.

    Why does John McCain dog evangelicals one minute, then speak at Liberty University the next?

    I know why. If you don’t it’s probably best you just don’t vote.

  36. 36
    HH says:

    “remember, it was a Republican billionaire (the man behind much funding of Republican think tanks) who quietly funded many attacks on Clinton, who fed those stories into the media”

    Billionaires funding attacks on the president of the U.S.? Wow, that really shows a big difference between then and now…

  37. 37
    Steve says:

    The point is that the Democrats have been pretty effectively portrayed as the party of insane crazy people, and the election results of the past few cycles would prove that this has been beneficial to the GOP. Shut up your lunatics, pull a few moderate voters over, and it is President Kerry. Quit giving Rove and company the ammunition to shoot you in the back….

    Wrong. They don’t embrace to them publicly, they play to them. They pass bigoted anti-gay laws, and tell the majority of the public they are ‘defending marriage.’ They don’t stand up and scream “God hates fags.”

    They confirm very right-wing judges, but they don’t cast them as right-wing- they label them as normal, or middle-of-the-road. You guys seem to want to embrace your extremism, so you can do just what the GOP is doing, yet you miss exactly what has happened.

    John, you’re making some very good observations here. But what I’m not seeing is any kind of acknowledgment that this state of affairs is, you know, wrong.

    The Democratic Party takes largely moderate positions, but they’re hapless when it comes to distancing themselves from extremists, and they don’t spin their positions as cleverly as the Republicans, so they lose.

    Whereas the Republicans take extreme positions, but they come up with clever code words to disguise those positions, and thus they win even though they’re clearly the more extreme party.

    For the Democrats to adopt the Republicans’ winning strategy, they would have to spend more time portraying the Republicans as extreme. They would have to make as big a stink about Dick Cheney being a regular guest on Rush’s show as the other side makes about the guest list at Yearly Kos. They would have to convince people like John Cole that when George Bush speaks at Bob Jones University, it’s just as notable as when Michael Moore gets a good seat at the convention.

    And then the Democrats should reverse the current situation – where they pander to the Kos constituency by showing up, but then refuse to do anything the far left wants them to do – and instead studiously distance themselves from the radicals while quietly passing radical laws. I agree that it’s a more effective way to pander, but it’s like you’re acknowledging how the Republicans behave dishonestly to win elections, and expressing puzzlement as to why the Democrats don’t just do the exact same thing.

  38. 38
    Pb says:

    Dave Ruddell,

    John gets heat whenever he says something stupid, inflammatory, or wrong, which is as it should be. If he was criticizing a Democrat for saying something really stupid, I’d agree with him, sure, but he didn’t. In the meantime, he blathers on about how Ann Coulter had a point, because he hates Cindy Sheehan *so much* etc. etc. Zzzzz…

  39. 39
    HH says:

    “Moore actually has made some positive contributions in his lifetime.”

    Can you vague that comment up a bit? Coulter has appeared at concerts for charity to the families of dead or wounded soldiers… next.

    As so many on the left have said, refusal to condemn Coulter is endorsement from those on the right, and it’s hard to find a Democrat truly condemning Moore… and the Michael Moore of the blogosphere just got feted by multiple Democrats this past weekend.

  40. 40
    VidaLoca says:

    John,

    I’ll agree with you that Daou’s comment about “at time of war” was unnecessary — first because endless whinging about “at time of war” is becoming tiresome, and second because a lot of Bush’s ideas of humor are inappropriate at any time, war or no war. Other than that though, I don’t see the invective that you do; instead I see Daou trying to make a serious point in his quote of Digby:

    “There’s an interesting simple psychology involved in such things. If someone can coerce those in a group to help him attack a single member they become his accomplices. For instance, getting everybody in the press corps to laugh at a reporter’s baldness makes those reporters part of the president’s gang. And, of course, it intimidates them. If they stray, they too will be subject to that kind of public humiliation. It’s the evil fratboy theory of social relations, very primitive stuff. That Bush may be reduced to plying this unconsciously with senior citizens in wheelchairs is not surprising, given his poll numbers.”

    Bush: privileged, immature, insensitive, manipulative. Agree or not, take it as his biggest weakness or not, it’s a reasonable topic of discussion (and, it gets to the question of why the press never calls him on it).

    As to your larger point, as long as the crit is about Bush it seems to me that people are astute enough in an election (which is supposed, after all, to be a performance review of the incumbent with a view toward deciding whether to renew his party’s mandate) to consider the source in that light. Really, you’d expect the Dems to be bashing Bush — I’m frankly more scared when they sit around in their tweed jackets with the leather elbow patches, smoking their pipes and making gentle mooing sounds as the country swirls down the drain — as long as the bashing comes with some ideas for pulling us out of this mess.

    However, when the crit is about the former Bush voter, there I absolutely agree with you. Doesn’t matter a damn how you voted last time, what matters is how you vote next time, and if the voters start to think the Dems are deriding their past decisions (even if they wouldn’t make the same decision again) then the Dems are putting themselves in a seriously bad position.

  41. 41
    Mona says:

    Well John, some of us libertarians are returning Kos’s cautious overtures; a mutual feeling each other out has begun to evolve with an eye toward forging a coalition that will evict the populist buffoons in the current GOP.

  42. 42
    Vladi G says:

    Second, legally blind is not the same as blind. Bush did not stand up and openly mock Stevie Wonder. He joked with someone he thought was inappropriately wearing sunglasses at a press conference.

    That’s what happens when you never act like a professional. You assume others are also being unprofessional. Bush is childish and unprofessional and always has been. There’s a time for playful needling. Bush is too stupid to know when that time is.

  43. 43
    Steve says:

    I think you’re underestimating the degree of complicity that was actually going on then as well—remember, it was a Republican billionaire (the man behind much funding of Republican think tanks) who quietly funded many attacks on Clinton, who fed those stories into the media. These efforts, and similar ones, spawned NewsMax, World Net Daily, and launched Coulter’s career.

    Billionaires funding attacks on the president of the U.S.? Wow, that really shows a big difference between then and now…

    Well, you both have good points. The Republicans, in my book, have always had a louder noise machine since the 90’s. That’s not to say that the Democrats have no noise machine at all, but they still lack the ability to orchestrate a smear the way the Republicans routinely did it to Clinton and other Democrats. Not for lack of trying, surely.

    The question, if you’re a liberal, is what to do about it? Now that it’s known how the Republicans did what they did, you can try and help the Democrats respond tit for tat with their own smear machine, and maybe win more elections just like the Republicans did, at the cost of debasing the political dialogue still further. Or you can try and find a better way, which is kind of what I’m searching for here.

    Dirty tricks, slimy tactics, and outright lies have always been part of politics, one assumes because they work. How can we move towards a system that actually rewards the good people?

  44. 44
    Steve says:

    Well John, some of us libertarians are returning Kos’s cautious overtures; a mutual feeling each other out has begun to evolve with an eye toward forging a coalition that will evict the populist buffoons in the current GOP.

    Mona, don’t you realize you’re engaging with the “Michael Moore of the blogosphere”? (snicker)

  45. 45
    Pb says:

    HH,

    You’re right, that was vague, I had been thinking on elaborating and making it a bit more specific, as in, positive contributions to the ‘useful arts’, i.e., compare Moore’s movies to Coulter’s books, or their messages in general.

  46. 46
    DJAnyReason says:

    The question, if you’re a liberal, is what to do about it? Now that it’s known how the Republicans did what they did, you can try and help the Democrats respond tit for tat with their own smear machine, and maybe win more elections just like the Republicans did, at the cost of debasing the political dialogue still further. Or you can try and find a better way, which is kind of what I’m searching for here.

    The Democrats need to amass an army of Dick Tucks – not just because it would be effective, but because it would enhance my own personal level of amusement greatly

  47. 47
    Pb says:

    Heh. Where all these liberal billionaires, anyhow, and why aren’t they pushing shocking stories in their vast media empires…

  48. 48
    Mr Furious says:

    First, let me address the topic of the post—Bush behaving like a jackass at his press confrerence.

    As someone above said, “Film at eleven.”

    I was searching for my “Dick of the Week” and was poised to pounce on Bush for this when I paused, hoping something better might come along. This really is a pretty stupid story. And not something that people of any substance should be making a big-assed deal about.

    The President is an immature, petty, self-aggrandizing, spoiled prick. A man who expects every possible courtesy and respect befitting the office of a Head of State, yet simultaneously eschews all expected protocol on his part. Routinely cracking jokes at the expense of foriegn leaders, making fun of people’s appearances, nicknaming people, etc.

    It’s the behavior of a spoiled frat boy dick.

    When I was in college, my friends and I had names for people who came into the store where we worked because we had no other way to refer to them: “Oh, here comes Iggy Pop (guy who never wore a shirt).” or, “When is the Little Mermaid (fetching redhead) coming in?”

    But we were nineteen and working in a late night snack shop in the basement of the dorms. This asshat is a sixty year old Leader of the Free World who behaves like that at formal affairs of State and in press conferences.

    I don’t think Bush had any idea this guy was blind, he was just being his usual douche-y self and taking advantage of his position either make an inopportune and inappropriate joke or to dress somebody down for a perceived slight or sign of disrespect.

    He has a history of this crap…What kind of a dick makes a joke to a person in a wheel chair?

    Come to think of it, maybe Bush IS the Dick of the Week.

  49. 49
    guav says:

    For what it’s worth, I’m a Bush administration-hating [mostly] liberal and I also thought that criticizing Bush for this latest “gaffe” was COMPLETELY idiotic.

    Why the hell should Bush have known the man was blind? He was not making fun of him. I was dissapointed to see quite a few lefty blogs I generally appreciate for their balanced, rational entries treating this like it was an actual story, rather than the mere “DOH!” moment it actually was.

  50. 50
    KC says:

    John’s post is spot on. We can dilly-dally all around it, quibble up and down, but he makes a great point.

  51. 51
    Mr Furious says:

    Steve, you are really seeing the ball this week and hitting the hell out of it. Some reallly good stuff upthread…

  52. 52
    Mr Furious says:

    John, the Democrats really don’t have a lot of control over how the Republicans and the willing accomplices in the media portray them. The Democrats also label their positions and appointments as “mainstream,” but the Right has an army of TV and radio loudmouths calling them “leftwing extremists,” “feminazis,” and “lunatics”…

  53. 53
    moflicky says:

    Steve,

    I think you’re underestimating the degree of complicity that was actually going on then as well—remember, it was a Republican billionaire (the man behind much funding of Republican think tanks) who quietly funded many attacks on Clinton, who fed those stories into the media. These efforts, and similar ones, spawned NewsMax, World Net Daily, and launched Coulter’s career.

    Pb,

    I think you’re underestimating the degree of complicity that is actually going on now as well-remember, it is a Democrat billionaire (the man behind much funding of Democrat think tanks) who quietly funds many attacks on Bush, who fed thiese stories into the media. These efforts, and similar ones, spawned by the nytimes, washington post and launched Kos’s carreer.

    it’s not so hard to add Soros to the mix, is it?

  54. 54
    WilliamB says:

    John, I don’t know how to say this politely, but this is nuts. You are demonstrating the kind of bizarre overreaction you are apparently trying to criticize.

    Yet, it seems, there are those on the activist left who seem to think the way to throw these guys out of office is to emulate them- to be as petty, as mean, and as offensive as Rove on his worst day.

    Are you really saying that merely displaying a Bush PR photo (distributed by Bush’s team, of course) of him holding a turkey is “as petty, as mean, and as offensive as Rove on his worst day”? For real?

    It’s absurd enough to claim that the writer for The Left Coaster represents or typifies the Democratic party or liberals in general. But moreover, contrary to your fulminations, the post itself didn’t even make any jabs about the turkey being “fake” as far as I could see (even though it was a prop turkey, as if anyone really cares). Just the photo itself–Bush’s own PR photo!–is so evocative of unfair criticism that it’s as bad as Rove on his worst day? Good grief! You’re embarrasing yourself.

  55. 55
    ppGaz says:

    Btw, ppGaz, taking a dig at John’s day job was kind of low.

    Sorry, can’t agree. More than once, Mr. Cole has pointed to his day job as an indication that he has knowledge and expertise in certain areas, and we should be aware of that.

    Okay, fine. So if one is going to represent himself as an expert in communication, I think it’s a little odd to see him turn around so often and claim to have been misunderstood, or that his point has been missed.

    Seems to me that understanding and the recognition of points is a responsibility that lies equally with the sender and the receiver of the message.

    What’s really frustrating is that IMO John is an expert and does want to be understood. I don’t see him playing a game, although it’s an easy score to claim that he is based on the results. So I have to conclude that he has a very thick tin ear on this subject. I don’t know of any other explanation.

    Using that expertise and this resource, then, he could easily be an advicate of effective opposition to the current Potemkin Government, simply by pointing out that the remedy is to vote for the other guys in one or two election cycles. That’s how it works. You cannot reform an entrenched party. You have to kick it out first.

    A good Republican party starts on the day that these assholes get their comeuppance. Not before. So if you want a good GOP, you have to vote out the idiots who have turned it into this pile of crap and rebuild. If there’s another way, tell me what it is.

  56. 56
    fwiffo says:

    I get your point that the partisan screaming is irritating. No denying that. What I’m not getting, I guess, is why, when kowtowing to the most extreme elements of their party has worked so well for Republicans. As you say John, they’re going to do it again – that’s their strategy, because it works.

    Meanwhile, Democrats for more than a decade have been triangulating, and trying to appear moderate, and bipartisan. They rolled over on Schaivo, they rolled over on the war, they rolled over on the Patriot act, and continue to try to pander to this much-talked-about middle. That’s the whole Clinton strategy. What has that gotten them? They’ve continually lost. Even Bill Clinton never managed to win a majority of voters. God knows they’re going to pay Bob Shrum to tell them to do the same damn thing this fall.

    Isn’t there a pattern here?

    So, please explain to me why these left-wing bloggers are going to such a disaster for Democrats. Do Michael Savage, Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter and the hunchback mutants at LGF spell electoral doom for the GOP?

  57. 57
    Mr Furious says:

    Guav, you are right. It was truly a “Doh!” moment, and nothing more. It’s worth pointing out that Bush put his foot in his mouth because he was being a tool, as usual, but then it’s time to move on.

    Since Wallsten didn’t seem to be bothered, I think all of the rushing to his defense is almost more unseemly than Bush’s inadvertant “insult.”

    I’m glad it happened because it plays to Bush being either a clueless fool or insensitive prick, but this is for the Jon Stewarts to make hay of, not Peter Daou or anyone else in a position to make progress on real matters of substance.

  58. 58
    ppGaz says:

    and it’s hard to find a Democrat truly condemning Moore

    Condemn for what? Correctly portraying the Bush family as being a bunch of Saudi bonesmokers, and using rented (as in “widely available”) footage to do it with?

    Is the Bush family not a bunch of Saudi bonesmokers? Or was the portrayal inappropriate in some way? Because I thought it was right on, and should be shown at the beginning of every appearance by this shitstain of a president.

  59. 59
    Mona says:

    Steve writes: Mona, don’t you realize you’re engaging with the “Michael Moore of the blogosphere”? (snicker)

    Yeah, and 2 years ago I’d have said you were on drugs if you predicted that I, Cato, and folks at Reason were negotiating w/ Kos. But there is quite the discussion going on about this possible alliance. I made my contribution (speaking of John’s suggestion that the name Schiavo will come up) here (and the comments to my post — and the posts it generated in response– at that neo-libertarian site (QandO) show who is really libertarian, and who is a Republican partisan in libertarian drag.)

    Liberal Dem hilzoy at ObWi carried my discussion forward here. It’s burstin’out all over the blogosphere.

  60. 60
    Mr Furious says:

    The Democrats need to amass an army of Dick Tucks

    I fully expected this link to take me to a site about Ann Coulter really being a man…

  61. 61
    Steve says:

    I think you’re underestimating the degree of complicity that is actually going on now as well-remember, it is a Democrat billionaire (the man behind much funding of Democrat think tanks) who quietly funds many attacks on Bush, who fed thiese stories into the media. These efforts, and similar ones, spawned by the nytimes, washington post and launched Kos’s carreer.

    What you’re overlooking in your repeated invocations of George Soros is that Soros alone has not made the Democratic noise machine equivalent to that of the Republicans, nor is the infrastructure of the Left anywhere near that of the Right, although Soros’ money certainly helps get them in the game. It’s not really comparable and, like I said above, I’d sure like to find a better path than simply helping the Dems to emulate what I see as the Republicans’ distasteful yet successful tactics.

  62. 62
    John Cole says:

    Sorry, can’t agree. More than once, Mr. Cole has pointed to his day job as an indication that he has knowledge and expertise in certain areas, and we should be aware of that.

    Got any links?

    I pretty specifically keep my job out of my blog and vice versa. The closest I may have come to mentioning what I do is responding to someone asking me “What do you do for a living.”

    I may very well have pulled on my expertise (and thrown out some comm theory) once in the past to make a point, but I have NEVER used my position as if it alone proves my argument. I think you are making things up here.

    Daou is deranged because he doesn’t appreciate the overly familiar tone the President uses in press conferences? You are setting the derangment bar pretty low, John.

    Daou is acting deranged because instead of merely stating a displeasure with ‘the overly familiar tone,’ he claimed that “BUSH TAUNTED A BLIND MAN” and that he shouldn’t joke around with the press because “WE ARE AT WAR.”

    That is deranged and silly.

    John gets heat whenever he says something stupid, inflammatory, or wrong, which is as it should be. If he was criticizing a Democrat for saying something really stupid, I’d agree with him, sure, but he didn’t. In the meantime, he blathers on about how Ann Coulter had a point, because he hates Cindy Sheehan so much etc. etc. Zzzzz…

    A more dishonest representation of that Coulter post would be difficult. And I don’t hate Cindy Sheehan. I hate a lot of her politics. I hate the way that many have used Cindy Sheehan as a tool to advance their arguments- to them, Cindy Sheehan is nothing but a pawn.

    I feel sorry for Cindy Sheehan. She lost her son, she is clearly in distress, her family life has been disrupted, and all she has to show for everything so far is a bunch of fawning politicos who will dump her like a hot rock as soon as she is not longer a viable political tool or Bush is no longer President.

  63. 63
    Zifnab says:

    Bush said something ignorant and shortsighted (no pun intended). Again. Stack it on his long list of blunders, from “nukelear” to “we need to privatize social security” and it’s juat another day in the life of Dear Leader. I don’t see why John has to go out and kill the messanger or defend Bush’s right to say stupid things.

    If he acted like a Commander-in-Chief rather than a drunking buddy with these reporters, we wouldn’t hear shit like this nearly so often.

  64. 64
    Mr Furious says:

    Condemn for what? Correctly portraying the Bush family as being a bunch of Saudi bonesmokers, and using rented (as in “widely available”) footage to do it with?

    Exactly. Every time somebody on the right mentions something Michael Moore said or did (to no effect on any policy or politician) it should be met with the fact that Dick Cheney has a fucking chair with his name on it in the “EIB Studios” and a whole host of religious fanatics are on the White House speed dial (and vice versa.”

    Some fucking perspective please.

    Next will be the call for everybody in the Democratic Party to disavow Al Gore and his movie.

    Bullshit.

  65. 65
    ppGaz says:

    Got any links?

    Got any that prove I’m wrong?

    I’m not going to dig back through a year of your blog to prove to you that you said something. If you want to be a dick about it, fine, go ahead.

    I guess I knew it because I dreamed it.

  66. 66
    Perry Como says:

    Steve Says:

    I don’t want to wage scorched-earth warfare.

    I do. I want to see the government so tied up with trivial bullshit that it can’t spend my grandchildren’s money. There are 8,375,365,051,008 reasons to want the government to squabble over petty things.

    Mona,

    Interesting post from Kos. The Webb primary win is a good sign. If the Dems can drop the gun control argument, I think they can pull alot of people who agree with them on alot of other issues.

  67. 67
    Steve says:

    Yeah, and 2 years ago I’d have said you were on drugs if you predicted that I, Cato, and folks at Reason were negotiating w/ Kos. But there is quite the discussion going on about this possible alliance. I made my contribution (speaking of John’s suggestion that the name Schiavo will come up) here (and the comments to my post—and the posts it generated in response—at that neo-libertarian site (QandO) show who is really libertarian, and who is a Republican partisan in libertarian drag.)

    I’ve been following the discussion, and it’s got to be one of the more worthwhile dialogues in the blogosphere in quite some time. The commentors at QandO were mostly clowns, but I like what Jon Henke has to say on the subject.

    If nothing else, the discussion has helped get some people past the stereotype that liberals want a centrally planned economy, and libertarians don’t believe in traffic lights. Er, you do believe in traffic lights, right…

  68. 68
    ppGaz says:

    but I have NEVER used my position as if it alone proves my argument

    Accidental gratuitous strawman, from a communications guy?

    Or just dumb-ass debating tactic?

    I never said that. I said that you have represented yourself as a communications professor, which is true, and that you have often claimed to have been misunderstood, which is also true.

    Others can judge what those two facts mean, in juxtaposition.

  69. 69
    Steve says:

    I do. I want to see the government so tied up with trivial bullshit that it can’t spend my grandchildren’s money. There are 8,375,365,051,008 reasons to want the government to squabble over petty things.

    Well, that’s a good argument as to why I’m extremely pleased to see this year’s legislative calendar full of gay marriage and flag burning measures. However, for anyone who believes government can be a force for good, total gridlock is not a long-term solution.

  70. 70
    ppGaz says:

    I feel sorry for Cindy Sheehan

    Oh, brother.

  71. 71
    Tom says:

    Hating George Bush is Karl Rove’s Tar Baby for the Left.

    While they have spent the past five years looking for any verbal slip-up, any indescretion, any slip-up that will allow them feel superior, fein indignation and to squeal “chimpy”, “stupid”, “dick of the week”, the Republicans have quietly steered the electorate to a point where all it takes to retain power is to rally a small amount of voters.

    The Republicans will retain power in 06 and in 08 and the Left will only have Tar Baby Bush as a prize.

    (But hey! You got to call him a dry-drunk, cocaine addicted, AWOL chimp for eight years…)

  72. 72
    VidaLoca says:

    Mona —

    Thanks for the links. Very interesting.

  73. 73
    fwiffo says:

    Interesting post from Kos. The Webb primary win is a good sign. If the Dems can drop the gun control argument, I think they can pull alot of people who agree with them on alot of other issues.

    I think they pretty much already have. There were quite a few posts on places like DailyKos (I think there was even a front-pager by Kos) after the 2004 elections basically saying “the NRA won, gun-control is a loser, let’s drop it as a federal issue.”

    Remember too — darling of the left and now DNC chairman Howard Dean was repeatedly endorsed by the NRA.

  74. 74
    John Cole says:

    Got any that prove I’m wrong?

    I’m not going to dig back through a year of your blog to prove to you that you said something. If you want to be a dick about it, fine, go ahead.

    LMAO. You will just attack my position, then assert I have “pointed to his day job as an indication that he has knowledge and expertise in certain areas,” and then when asked to prove that I have, you get too busy to dig the links up. You made the claim- now back it up.

    Or, we could do this. I assert that PPGAZ sleeps with goats. According to your rules, it is now up to you to prove you don’t. I am too busy to go through a year of links to prove you do.

  75. 75
    Perry Como says:

    Well, that’s a good argument as to why I’m extremely pleased to see this year’s legislative calendar full of gay marriage and flag burning measures. However, for anyone who believes government can be a force for good, total gridlock is not a long-term solution.

    They are still spending like drunken sailors. At this point, gridlock is the best we can hope for. That’s why I support the scorched earth strategy. Once the treasury has stopped hemorrhaging trillions of dollars, we can move on to discussions of good governing.

    The real problems for Dems in the near future is if they gain control they are going to be forced to raise taxes thanks to this Republican government’s reckless spending. Then the Repubs will bitch about tax and spend Dems, yadda yadda, rinse repeat.

  76. 76
    jg says:

    the Republicans have quietly steered the electorate to a point where all it takes to retain power is to rally a small amount of voters.

    But this is ok because they didn’t specifically use words like nigger, fag, and wetback to do it. Right John?

  77. 77
    Pb says:

    moflicky,

    remember, it is a Democrat billionaire (the man behind much funding of Democrat think tanks)

    Heh, I wish. Name them.

    who quietly funds many attacks on Bush, who fed thiese stories into the media

    That’s the difference between you and me–I can back up my assertions.

  78. 78
    Adam says:

    The sad fact is, we have no perspective left in this country. We have absolutely no common ground in society, language or culture. This country is broken, and I think it will take a generation (or longer, if the conservatives have their way) for us to come out from under it.

    The fact that we’re even discussing how a turkey or a blind man at a press conference equates to five years of the Bush administration proves my point exquisitely.

  79. 79
    Perry Como says:

    The Republicans will retain power in 06 and in 08 and the Left will only have Tar Baby Bush as a prize.

    And the American people will have Tar Baby Iraq as a prize. Remeber that joke about the Iraq reconstruction paying for itself? That was a good one. Billions of dollars missing and the Republican government just neutered the people responsible for controlling waste and abuse.

  80. 80
    Pb says:

    John Cole,

    Got any links?

    Search for “communications professor”. Hard to believe, I know.

    A more dishonest representation of that Coulter post would be difficult.

    Nah, the original post wins every time.

    And I don’t hate Cindy Sheehan.

    You’ve sure got a funny way of showing it.

    I hate the way that many have used Cindy Sheehan as a tool

    This is the hate Sheehan bullshit talking point I hate most–the faux ‘I don’t hate her, I hate the people behind her pulling the strings’ talking point, like she’s some dupe who doesn’t know what she’s doing. She’s out there saying what she thinks because she thinks it’s the right thing to do. She’s not a ‘pawn’ in some shadowy game, there’s no nefarious conspiracy pulling her strings, there wasn’t a leftist cabal to create or manipulate Sheehan. She is who she is and she says what she says on her own merits whether you love her or hate her for it.

  81. 81
    Andrew says:

    Well, I’m glad that everyone quite clearly agrees that hating Clinton was, for the most part, irrational, and that hating Bush is, almost entirely and completely rational.

  82. 82
    Blue Neponset says:

    Daou is acting deranged because instead of merely stating a displeasure with ‘the overly familiar tone,’ he claimed that “BUSH TAUNTED A BLIND MAN” and that he shouldn’t joke around with the press because “WE ARE AT WAR.”

    That is deranged and silly.

    I think we have different definitions of deranged and silly. Daou’s headline is certainly hyperbole, but that doesn’t make him deranged or silly. His point that a President should act with a little more decorum in public is one that has been made about Bush many times by many people. Unless everyone who makes that point is deranged and silly, I don’t see how Daou’s comments stand out among the many others as being deranged and silly.

  83. 83
    jaime says:

    The Republicans will retain power in 06 and in 08 and the Left will only have Tar Baby Bush as a prize.

    Bully for America. Choosing shitty, corrupt, single party leadership because of fake outrage over the tone of debate?
    Anne Coulter last week publically called Bill Clinton a rapist. For the last thirteen years he’s been called a murderer, rapist, and all kinds of terrible names and he’s not even president.

  84. 84
    DJAnyReason says:

    Daou’s headline is certainly hyperbole, but that doesn’t make him deranged or silly.

    I’d agree with you on deranged, but it is rather silly of him, dontchathink?

  85. 85
    OCSteve says:

    it would seem to me that you would want to reach out to libertarians, moderate and disaffected Republicans (like me), and expand your appeal. Not, as it appears, some have chose, to prove that the Democrats can be just as irritating as the Republicans.

    Well said. I’ve posted here and many other places – put forth a plan I can believe in (something other than cut-n-run or not Bush) and a person I can vote for without gagging (not sKerry, the HildaBeast, or GoreBot). That is really all it would take to get my vote.

    Ain’t gonna happen though, mainly because the nutroots and the far left in general have too much influence in the primary. They will never accept a moderate Dem. Fortunately they won’t accept Hillary either.

  86. 86
    D. Mason says:

    I may very well have pulled on my expertise (and thrown out some comm theory) once in the past to make a point, but I have NEVER used my position as if it alone proves my argument. I think you are making things up here.

    I haven’t been around here all that long, but for what it’s worth I haven’t seen you use your profession as credentials relating to your opinions. I do seem to recall you using it to cover your bad habit: ambiguous wording. While some people do seem hell bent on mis-reading everything you say, you also leave things open to interpretation a little too often. I’m just sayin.

  87. 87
    Perry Como says:

    Ain’t gonna happen though, mainly because the nutroots and the far left in general have too much influence in the primary. They will never accept a moderate Dem.

    Really? What about Webb?

  88. 88
    ppGaz says:

    I assert that PPGAZ sleeps with goats

    Sure, defame goats in your wild attack. Helpless animals must now suffer embarassment thanks to your inability to simply accept a simple and obviously true assertion …. that our knowledge of your job came from you, and it came right here on these pages. Find it on your own time. No, you’ll be a dick about it forever, I’m sure.

    You already tried the “I never used my job as the only defense of an argument” routine, which was just ridiculous, and that didn’t work, so now this.

    I may very well have pulled on my expertise (and thrown out some comm theory) once in the past to make a point, but I have NEVER used my position as if it alone proves my argument. I think you are making things up here.

    Nope, the context was propaganda, and you allowed as how we should accept that you know that subject, since you teach it. It was a lame defense at the time, and still is.
    And no, I am not looking it up for you. Unless you want to pay me $200 an hour to be your archivist.

  89. 89
    Blue Neponset says:

    I’d agree with you on deranged, but it is rather silly of him, dontchathink?

    No, Bush actually did taunt a blind guy, he just didn’t do it knowingly. That headline certainly makes Bush look like a bigger dick than he actually was, but headlines are meant to get people to read the article.

  90. 90
  91. 91
    Al Maviva says:

    Well John, I’m impressed with the caliber of commenters here. Most of them went all out to prove your point. Damn. Kos has nothing on you when it comes to reader loyalty.

  92. 92
    Pb says:

    OCSteve,

    Ain’t gonna happen though, mainly because the nutroots and the far left in general have too much influence in the primary. They will never accept a moderate Dem. Fortunately they won’t accept Hillary either.

    Amen. But of the prospective candidates, who would you support? Here, I’ll give you a list.

    Evan Bayh
    Joe Biden
    Wesley Clark
    John Edwards
    Russ Feingold
    Bill Richardson
    Mark Warner
    Other?

  93. 93
    Nash says:

    John, your whole point would be well taken if it weren’t predicated on a confluence of conventional wisdoms that, like the presidential turkee, isn’t true. And that, my friend, is the picture I find next to the word “irony” in the dictionary.

    One of the big level conventional wisdoms you rely on is this core certainty that people go into the voting booth angrily determined to vote for one candidate/party because someone they associate with another candidate/party has been mean to them. Or that they go in there without having that seething anger, but once in the blissful quietude of the voting booth, it suddenly hits them how mean those SOBs were who said such and such and darn it, doncha know, it actually *changes* their votes.

    Says you:

    Yet, it seems, there are those on the activist left who seem to think the way to throw these guys out of office is to emulate them- to be as petty, as mean, and as offensive as Rove on his worst day.

    I don’t think that on his nastiest, most evil-minded day, Karl ever chased a vote away from him. I don’t think it even turns into a coin-flip decider in close cases. I believe this with as much self-certainty as you assert in saying it happens. I meet people like you who claim it so, but I maintain these people are of the same mind as those who tell pollsters how tired they are of negative campaign ads at the same time actual election results prove that negative campaign ads are effective.

    At a lower level of conventional wisdom, you say:

    …and I am sure they will cook up some anti-abortion or anti-gay marriage ballots for the state level to make sure the Falwell right comes out to vote.

    Well, I do not have a citation to give you right here and now, but through enough perusing of poll pundits such as Mystery Pollster, I can tell you that it may not be true that having such issues on the ballot in 2004 had a significant effect on any of the results. I’d be careful, were I you, not to be found holding the turkee on this belief–it might just turn out to be plastic.

    So, yes, you want that they should speak and make nice, instead of nasty, so they don’t chase some votes away. I think that’s noble of you…as well as immature and irrelevant.

  94. 94
    ppGaz says:

    the Democrats can be just as irritating as the Republicans

    A point I myself have made more than once on these very pages.

    However, when the country is being totally fucked by an all-Republican government, the remedy is to vote for Democrats and then nail THEM when they get drunk with their own power and start picking your pockets, which they surely will. That’s what politicians do.

    But you don’t fix the current problem by quibbling over Dem imperfections. You THROW THE FUCKING REPUBLICANS OUT ON THEIR ASSES and then start watching the other guys just as closely.

  95. 95
    Fledermaus says:

    John,

    I will be the first to admit that you get flipped a lot of crap here. But I just have to take issue with this:

    I do, however, think that when the insane people are the most vocal components of the Democratic left, it will turn off a lot of undecided middle-of-the-road voters- in other words, the exact people you should be courting.

    Let’s take a trip in the wayback machine to Clinton. Remember haircutgate? Travelgate? Vince-Foster-was-murdered-by-his-lesbian-lover-Hillary-gate? And it didn’t end with Clinton. Kerry faked his injuries? Kerry windsurfing? Sen. Max Cleleand and Osama? Dems offering aid and comfort to terrorists? Therepy and understanding?

    And all of this was from major conservative media outlets and sitting representatives not a bunch of bloggers who don’t run squat. All of that, yes, insanity didn’t stop you one bit from voting for the GOP for the last decade and a half. It didn’t stop voters from giving the GOP control of every branch of government.

    The fact of the matter is it worked, all the petty silly crap that you claim will turn off middle of the road voters fucking WORKED! That’s where we are today. I really do believe that you want success for the democratic party and are trying to help.

    But look we’ve been trying to stop the GOP for a hell of a lot longer than you. We’ve had front row seats to all this crap, we’ve seen it work time and time again. And for the last 15 years you’ve rewarded them for their efforts – even if you didn’t approve of them. The so-called middle of the road voters weren’t turned off one iota.

  96. 96
    ppGaz says:

    But you don’t fix the current problem by quibbling over Dem imperfections. You THROW THE FUCKING REPUBLICANS OUT ON THEIR ASSES and then start watching the other guys just as closely.

    Unless, of course, you think all of this is just a big parlor game played for the benefit of bloggers and talk radio hosts. Unless you think all the significance lies deep in your own navel. Then you do what John is doing, and make it about the blogs and the appearance of things and the snark. Because, obviously, those are the important issues.

  97. 97
    Andrew says:

    Pb:

    Amen.

    Amen my ass. The “radical left” hardly drove the party to choose Kerry. Kerry spent a bunch of money and did well in Iowa. Most progressives wanted someone else. You and OCSteve are confusing supporting Kerry against Bush for Kerry being the choice of the leftists.

    OCSteve is just being dishonest; he won’t vote for a Democrat unless Cheney happens to change party registration. But you? I’m disappointed that you’re getting suckered into such obviously untrue spinning.

    And, dear god, ANYBODY BUT:

    Joe Biden

  98. 98
    Shawn says:

    John,

    My husband has started saying, “Heh, heh, heh, want some wood?” in a George Bush voice. I love my husband dearly, but I despise George Bush so completely. On a good day, I laugh. But… One day my husband will say that after Bush has done something heinous, and I will club him (Dear NSA, by “him” I mean my husband, not Bush) over the head with a blunt object. Those of us who have despised Bush for 5 years have little tolerence for his idiocy.

    Having said that, I don’t believe Bush was unusually malicious about the sunglasses, just being his usual idiotic self.

    Mona, my thanks, too, for those links. I like what the Libertarian Dems stand for.

  99. 99
    ppGaz says:

    No, not anybody but Biden. Anybody but Biden, Clinton or Lieberman or McCain or any other mealy-mouth triangulating self-serving spinning mendacious ambitious asshole or assholette.

    Enough of that kind of people. Enough failed oilmen. Enough demagogues. Enough liars.

    I don’t what party they belong to. Fuck em all.

  100. 100
    Pb says:

    Andrew,

    Fuck off and go pester someone else–I didn’t say a goddamned thing about Kerry or about 2004, and I didn’t get ‘suckered’ into anything. Personally I hope OCSteve is right that the netroots do choose someone sufficiently to the left, but my ‘Amen’ was really for that last bit, about not picking Hillary. And agreed about not picking Biden as well.

  101. 101

    It makes no sense. You already have a core of people who are going to vote Democratic- it would seem to me that you would want to reach out to libertarians, moderate and disaffected Republicans (like me), and expand your appeal.

    I don’t wish to dismiss this point, John. You may very well be right. It’s hard to say.

    But I think when you get down to it, it’s not about what the parties say but rather what they do. At least to the intelligent few who don’t vote just based on their emotions, but rather strategically to try to push the country forward.

    Let me explain where I come from…

    In 1980 I watched Reagan/Carter debates in school. I wrote down a list of promises Reagan made, and I recall how he mentioned something about balancing the budget by 1984 at least two dozen times.

    In 1983, I won the Minnesota chapter of the Veterans of Foreign War essay contest, the topic of which was on patriotism and what it means to be an American. Not political, but I just throw it in here to demonstrate where I come from.

    In 1986, I wrote a series of papers for my high school english class defending support for the Contras in Nicaragua. Largely quoting articles from the National Review.

    In 1987 in college, I wrote severa letters to the college newspaper complaining about how they were silencing conservative voices.

    In fall of 1987 in college, I put up an anti-gay poster on my dorm room door. It came from the local GOP rag, and it was fairly clever, one of those red signs with the line through it over a shadow image of two guys.

    In early 1988, I supported Bob Dole in the Iowa Republican caucus.

    Sometime in there, I don’t recall if it was summer of ’87 or ’88 I listened to Rush Limbaugh. I just remembered thinking his vacuum cleaner sound when talking about abortion was funny.

    But then something happened in the fall of ’88. This guy I was working with, by the name of Bill… it turned out he was gay. I didn’t know it, I didn’t realize it, and it shocked the hell out of me. I didn’t talk to him for three days.

    Then something else happened, and I came to realize that the abortion argument was bullshit. The realization that no matter how you stereotyped it, the reality was individuals each have different reasons, circumstances, justifications and capability to make these determinations on their own.

    My safe little conservative viewpoint came face to face with the Reality based Community.

    For whatever reason, it woke me up to some things. In total absolute disgust with the Willie Horton ads. I voted for Dukakis in 1988.

    That vote was emotional.

    Then I started thinking. I was somewhat in shock at the first Iraq war. I knew Saddam was a bad guy, as I had seen the devestation from the Iran/Iraq war. But the whole thing was distant to me. I mainly remember being pissed off that the Kuwaiti royalty was partying it up in Egypt while our soldiers were in the desert.

    What really hit me was not being able to find a job in 1991 when I graduated from college. Coupled with the 1992 political season. Listening to the various arguments, I kind of liked Perot. But I made a calculated decision and ended up supporting Bill Clinton, mainly because I no longer trusted Republicans on fiscal discipline. That 1984 balanced budget promise really blew it for me.

    1994 was another interesting year. I supported Fred Grandy for Governor of Iowa, whow as running a primary challenge against the corrupt crony Terry Branstad. The GOP flayed Grandy and treated him like shit. He left politics in disgust, ended up as president of Goodwill enterprises for a bit, and I know he works for a charitable lobbyist group now.

    Gingrich’s contract with America was interesting. I was apathetic about the congressional race that year. I was a regular watcher of C-Span though. I watched Gingrich have his sessions and hearings and so on to talk about the Contract. And after nearly every single one of the provisions was flushed down the toilet, I watched him excuse it all away with “I never promised we’d implement them, just that we’d talk about them.” Man did that ever disgust me.

    By 1996, job market was heating up. I sat there and listened to the GOP convinced that the economy royally sucked and it was all the fault of Clinton’s tax hikes. The visceral hatred they had for this man really did turn me off. I proudly voted for Bill Clinton that year.

    From 1996 until 2000, my salary TRIPLED. I was able to buy a house, and everything was going well.

    In 2000, I was apathetic. I didn’t much care about Gore, until he lost to slick willy from Texas.

    Then I watched the visceral hatred of the Republicans again, as they continued to slam, smear, hurl insults and such at Clinton. This was before 9/11.

    After 9/11, they got even worse. Push polls claiming they were all glad Bush was in office and not Gore. Accusations that 9/11 was the fault of Bill Clinton. And it just started going downhill from there. I saw the desire and want of the Democratic politicians to work with Bush to try to respond to these attacks. And I saw Republicans saying “piss off, we know better”.

    Well where are we today? Republcianism has been an utter failure to America. Bush has been the worst president ever. Every single claim, every thing certainty of the Republicans in Congress and the punditry, and the blogosphere has turned out to be one big fucking Confidence Game.

    I’m pissed. But I’m not stupid. I don’t vote on emotions, but rather intelligent excercised reason. I don’t want Republicans because I know just how disasterous they have been. This deficit that has concerned me since 1986 or so, has just ballooned, and these fuckwads don’t give a shit any more. At least in the past they used to pretend they cared. Now it’s “1984 taught us deficits don’t matter”. Why does it bother me? Because in about 10 years, we’re all gonna be bankrupt. I’m keeping my options open right now of being able to leave the country when the 70% tax rates are implemented to pay for all of Reagan and Bush’s lack of giving a shit.

    I vote for Democrats mainly because I don’t have any other choice. What Clinton taught me though, is even if there are a few fucktards in the party that I don’t agree with, the elected politicians are perfectly capable of listening to advice and working to do the right thing. The republicans have no such capability.

    So while, I understand, in part your concern over rhetoric and how rhetoric can turn people away from a party. It certainly had an impact on my total disgust for the Republicans.

    But obviously the rhetoric didn’t turn you off from the Republicans, because that shit has been going on since the days of Reagan.

    What turned you off was the results. So if you don’t like the rhetoric, don’t listen to it.

    Only somehow who votes using emotions rather than logic would continue to support Republicans at this stage of the game.

  102. 102
    ppGaz says:

    In 1986, I wrote a series of papers for my high school english class defending support for the Contras in Nicaragua

    I KNEW there was something fishy about you …..

  103. 103
    Perry Como says:

    TOS, PotD.

  104. 104
    ppGaz says:

    Yes, TOS, fine post. But still, the Contras?

    OMG. The shame.

  105. 105
    D. Mason says:

    Only somehow who votes using emotions rather than logic would continue to support Republicans at this stage of the game.

    Thats funny. I’m pretty sure the people who still support republicans have no emotions. They are cold, uncaring, unfeeling and unthinking electoral puppets. They support Bush because whoever they look to for their opinions told them to support Bush. That’s what I think anyway.

  106. 106
    Nash says:

    Quit giving Rove and company the ammunition to shoot you in the back.

    This type of statement, consistently proffered as a “helpful suggestion,” is specious–another form of CW that isn’t.

    Rove and company are not only wholly owned, they are a 1890s Standard Oil vertical monopoly, with complete control of all of the raw materials, means of production, and modes of delivery and sale. Which means, Rove and company make their own ammunition. Arguing that anyone on the left is providing them support is like complaining to the kid who is pouring out a bucket of water during a driving rainstorm that he is getting the street wet.

    One of my favorite CW examples of this is the oft-repeated, Kerry wouldn’t have ever faced the SBVT gauntlet if he hadn’t (and here’s the predicate always given)

    made the mistake of running on his military record

    or

    come out saluting at his convention acceptance speech

    or

    appeared at all those campaign events with that faker Cleland in tow.

    Do you get the picture? Kerry brought it all on himself.

    Which CW always conveniently forgets how the Republicans announced, yes I said “announced,” in early part of 2004 that they would attack Kerry’s military record as a strength because they knew that Bush’s couldn’t stand up to scrutiny by comparison. Attacking strength is a frequently used tactic in politics and it has worked time and again for Rove.

    You say we give Rove ammunition. I say that’s a foolish thing to say–Rove has the means and intent and history of making his own bullets while we argue over the caliber to be had.

    But thank you for caring.

  107. 107
    ppGaz says:

    They support Bush because

    Yeah, funny. Go ahead and list all the reasons why Americans should support him at this juncture.

    You know, just for the record.

  108. 108

    Ain’t gonna happen though, mainly because the nutroots and the far left in general have too much influence in the primary. They will never accept a moderate Dem. Fortunately they won’t accept Hillary either.

    Well, I’m part of the “nutroots”, which while we may be nutty we at least aren’t moronic like the nutty roots of the Republican party.

    You know why they won’t support Hillary?

    Because they’re fucking tired of Clinton’s and Bush’s and all the bullshit. They want the tone of Washington to change. They want to go back to a time when politics ended at the border of the country. When consensus of how best to get things done was the norm, not the exception.

    But they’re not sure what the best way is to change that. There is a huge debate ongoing within the community about that. Everybody in the hearts says “You know, we’d like a guy like Mark Warner of Virginia. Competent, able to get things done”

    But in their heads they say “Moderation doesn’t win elections.” They say we’ve tried moderation. We’ve tried being reasonable. Since 1980 or so that’s been the party agenda. Jimmy Carter was a moderate, so was Mondale, and Dukakis. Bill Clinton was a moderate but he got lucky, and we benefited greatly from that luck.

    They look back at when the Democratic party was king, from 1932 until 1968 or so, and they say what defined us? It was a fighting spirit. Fire in the bellies of Roosevelt, Truman and Kennedy. It was personality, and it was an ability to divide on the campaign trail, but unite while in office.

    So they don’t want Hillary, because she tries to unite on the campaign, and divide in office.

    They’re not sure yet about Warner, becuase while he can unite in office they want to see his campaigning. Does he have fire in his belly, and can he stand up to the Republican slime machine. In our hearts, this is the man we want, but we’re not sure if he’s the smart candidate now.

    They like Feingold because he can campaign from the heart, but they’re not sure about his governing ability.

    They like what they hear from Wesley Clark, because he’s got fire and has shown competence.

    But they’re not sure. The Republicans like yourself are all whining about how divisive some Democrats are. But you don’t QUESTION THE TERRIBLY DIVISIVE RHETORIC coming from the President and his supporters. So what credibility do you really have? Your President is polling at 30%. He’s regarded as the most divisive President in the past century. But yet you continue to support him and kiss his ass. So obviously being Divisive isn’t the problem, is it?

    I think kos is just about the smartest political operative I’ve seen in my lifetime. So I’m 100% in support of what he does, even though I don’t always agree with him.

  109. 109
    Pb says:

    The Other Steve,

    Great post–it reminds me somewhat of this book by advisorjim over at Daily Kos (if you read through his diaries, that’s a lot of what is in the book, but I liked them so much that I bought it anyway). Although his transformation was a bit more recent, the reasons behind it weren’t so different.

  110. 110
    Steve says:

    Here’s the point that seems to be too obvious for some to mention, and too relevant for some to take into account.

    We are not really talking about one left-right axis here. There are two axes.

    One is the reasonable-angry axis, perhaps with Kevin Drum and Matt Yglesias on one side of the Democratic spectrum, and Atrios and the Rude Pundit on the other.

    The other axis is the ideological axis, the left-right spectrum where the far left is, you know, socialism, pacifism, whatever.

    Now some people, like Michael Moore, are both loud and on the ideological fringe. No question about that. And if you want to say the Democrats should steer clear of those folks, like the Republicans should steer clear of the Minutemen and Operation Rescue, hey, no argument there.

    But many of the Democrats routinely derided by the Right aren’t on the far-left side of the ideological spectrum at all – they’re just on the angry end of the emotional spectrum. Howard Dean, he says nasty things about Republicans all the time, but he’s a long way from being far-left. Markos is anything but far left – he’s always getting in trouble with his own readers for belittling the “women’s studies crowd,” the “visualize world peace” movement, or other such groups – but the people who take shots at him as an extreme leftist either don’t know his politics or don’t care.

    Of course, it’s in the Republicans’ interest to confuse the two groups, and pretend like everyone who is a vocal opponent of George Bush is also an extreme liberal. That doesn’t mean we have to believe them.

    So, is John Cole’s advice for the Democrats to steer clear from their most liberal fringe, or to steer clear from their most vocal fringe, even if the vocal people are quite reasonable in their politics? Because the latter sounds a lot like universal disarmament, to anyone who notices that there seem to be an awful lot of partisan Republicans going around throwing bombs for the last decade or two.

  111. 111
    ppGaz says:

    Thursday, June 15, 2006

    Republican Congressman Henry Hyde blames John Kerry for September 11
    by John in DC – 6/15/2006 01:05:00 PM

    I’m watching it live. There is no other interpretation than admitted-adulterer Henry Hyde is blaming John Kerry for the predicament America is in today with regards to the war on terror.

    3,000 Americans “incinerated,” per Henry Hyde. (Isn’t it nice that 3,000 Americans lost their lives in order for Henry Hyde to use their dead corpses for political gain.) And apparently it’s all John Kerry’s fault because, according to Henry Hyde, John Kerry hates defending America. He hated defending America in the mid-90s, and, well, look where we are today.

    These people really are pigs. And it’s even sadder that the Republicans have so little to offer America that their only new idea for winning the Iraq war is to bash John Kerry.

    Our troops deserve better than an incompetent commander in chief and a Republican congress that has no more ideas.

    John Aravosis (via DKos)

    In case anyone was wondering why we fight these pieces of dirt. That’s why.

  112. 112
    Steve says:

    Great post—it reminds me somewhat of this book by advisorjim over at Daily Kos (if you read through his diaries, that’s a lot of what is in the book, but I liked them so much that I bought it anyway). Although his transformation was a bit more recent, the reasons behind it weren’t so different.

    It reminded me of David Brock’s book, frankly. What’s interesting is that so many people choose their political allegiance not by seeing someone who articulates what they believe in, but by seeing offensive people that they instinctively realize they don’t want to be aligned with.

    The Democrats won’t win over a good conservative like John Cole simply by winning a war of ideas – sorry, would that it were so, but there’s simply too much noise and bullshit in politics for it to ever work like that. The Democrats will win over someone like John Cole because he sees the Republicans pulling their crazy Terri Schiavo stunt and says hey, no way do I want to keep hanging around with these guys.

    It’s sad, but true. And what kind of commentary is it on democracy if the only way power ever changes hands in this country is because one party or the other decided to blow itself up?

  113. 113

    Yes, TOS, fine post. But still, the Contras?

    OMG. The shame.

    Yep. But I think D. Mason explained it best…

    They support Bush because whoever they look to for their opinions told them to support Bush. That’s what I think anyway.

    The arguments running in the National Review seemed reasonable. It was not until later that I understood what was going on, because we weren’t presented with all sides.

    Oh, I forgot to mention in 1986/1987 I also did not support the boycott of South Africa to end apartheid. At the time I thought that we’d be better served to push American values into their nation by way of our corporations influence.

    I was wrong.

  114. 114

    Total agreement with the 1:44pm post about the two axis. Markos isn’t left. Either am I.

    I don’t support US intervention in Sudan. I want to send the guys guns, so that they can shoot the other bastards in the face. That’s not a liberal argument, per se, they don’t want to send them guns because it’ll escalate the violence.

    That’s also my feelings on Iraq. I welcome civil war. I just don’t think our soldiers should be target practice.

    Oh yeah, and I think we should stop tut-tutting the Israelis when the Palestnians start itching for a fight. The biggest mistake made in that region was not letting the Israelis sack Damascus back in ’68.

    The Democrats won’t win over a good conservative like John Cole simply by winning a war of ideas – sorry, would that it were so, but there’s simply too much noise and bullshit in politics for it to ever work like that. The Democrats will win over someone like John Cole because he sees the Republicans pulling their crazy Terri Schiavo stunt and says hey, no way do I want to keep hanging around with these guys.

    This is a good point.

    BTW, I met Michael Schiavo last weekend at yearlyKos. He strikes me as an intelligent, thoughtful guy with a great amount of compassion. I bought his book so I could get it signed. It’s going on my book shelf in the living room.

    That’s where I put the books I want others to see. My bizarre science fiction collection, things like the John Norman Gor series(all 24 books, if I hadn’t already sold it on ebay) go up in the office bookshelf.

  115. 115
    ppGaz says:

    I was just pulling your chain about the Contras, TOS.

  116. 116
    Pb says:

    things like the John Norman Gor series

    Heh. Now that is some messed up stuff. :)

  117. 117
    Davebo says:

    John, Dauo is “apoplectic”?

    I suggest you read his reply to this inane rant linked above.

    Then look up the word “projection”.

  118. 118
    jaime says:

    Speak of the devil, Mr Daou has a nice guest blog on our buddy, Amato’s, Crooks and Liars.

  119. 119
    Darrell says:

    Where are the conservative equivalents to this or this type of leftist extremism? Or this?

    Senior Dem congressman Charlie Rangel compared Iraq to the Holocaust. Dem party leader and former Presidential candidate floats kook theories like this regularly

    Howard Dean: “I don’t know. There are many theories about it. The most interesting theory that I’ve heard so far — which is nothing more than a theory, it can’t be proved — is that he was warned ahead of time by the Saudis. Now who knows what the real situation is?”

    Equivalent examples from Republicans?

  120. 120

    One last comment to John Cole, as I read more of his post.

    So let’s clear some things up- Bush didn’t taunt a blind man. He playfully teased a reporter in a press conference about wearing sunglasses. Bush did not know (nor did Peter Daou, I wager), that Wallsten is legally blind.

    Second, legally blind is not the same as blind. Bush did not stand up and openly mock Stevie Wonder. He joked with someone he thought was inappropriately wearing sunglasses at a press conference.

    So if it was inappropriate for a reporter to wear sunglasses to a press conference.

    Can you please explain to me why the John Cole’s of the right attacked people for pointing out that Dick Cheney wearing sunglasses at a state ceremony was inappropriate?

    I mean, I’d agree with you that this was much to do about nothing, but you guys just don’t have much credibility in that department. Especially not after all the little nit picking of clinton. Jogging with shorts, eating hamburgers? Those are important things to talk about?

  121. 121
    Davebo says:

    TOS

    Don’t forget the haircuts. Bubba’s haircuts nearly brought this nation to it’s knees.

  122. 122
    Richard Bottoms says:

    >Wrong. They don’t embrace to them publicly, they play to >them.

    In short, they lie better they we do.

  123. 123

    Heh. Now that is some messed up stuff.

    Actually, with regards to John Norman. I thought the first couple books offered an interesting social commentary. Not one to be taken literally, but there was some interesting thought that went into it. The male/female relations, but also the relationship of technology, etc. By the sixth book or so, he’d given up on social commentary and was telling a fantasy story. The latter books in the series were fun to read.

  124. 124
    Darrell says:

    BTW, I met Michael Schiavo last weekend at yearlyKos. He strikes me as an intelligent, thoughtful guy with a great amount of compassion

    Example of Michael Schiavo’s compassion.. getting in his vindictive last digs. A real class act.

  125. 125
    Davebo says:

    Darrell,

    I’m guessing you have no idea how hilarious it is for someone to offer a Malkin link to talk about deranged lefties!

  126. 126

    Equivalent examples from Republicans?

    It’s interesting. you guys do purple heart bandages at the convention, and that’s fine. nobody stopped them and said “this is inappropriate” at an official function.

    But you get all up in arms over some nut hurling forth a protest poster at a non-party affiliated anti-war protest.

    Seriously, Darrell, you have no credibility.

    It seems all you can play is Gotcha politics, which relies solely on emotions rather than facts and logic. That’s why people here think you are so utterly pathetic.

  127. 127
    Darrell says:

    Darrell,

    I’m guessing you have no idea how hilarious it is for someone to offer a Malkin link to talk about deranged lefties!

    You’re right, the link didn’t work. Here you go.

  128. 128
    Darrell says:

    It’s interesting. you guys do purple heart bandages at the convention, and that’s fine. nobody stopped them and said “this is inappropriate” at an official function.

    In the grand scale of things, purple bandaids aren’t nearly as offensive as the tens of thousands of “Bush = Hitler” signs held by leftists, or the accusations of Bush “knowing” about 9/11, wouldn’t you agree?

  129. 129

    Example of Michael Schiavo’s compassion.. getting in his vindictive last digs. A real class act.

    If you want a better picture of the gravestone, I have one from his book.

    BTW, there’s nothing wrong with the gravestone, or the fact that he didn’t invite the family who cared so little for Teri while she was alive to the funeral.

  130. 130
    ppGaz says:

    Ooops. It’s a Darrell thread now. John will be happy.

    That about it wraps it up, then.

  131. 131
    Pb says:

    Darrell,

    Michael S. Steele, Roy Moore, Pat Buchanan, Coulter, Malkin, and least of all you. Now fuck off.

  132. 132

    In the grand scale of things, purple bandaids aren’t nearly as offensive as the tens of thousands of “Bush = Hitler” signs held by leftists

    Hmm, let’s think.

    Attacking one man.

    Versus

    Attacking Every American Veteran whose ever shed blood in the service of his nation.

    We report, you decide.

  133. 133
    Steve says:

    I knew that just as we were getting some constructive points out of the discussion, Darrell would show up to queer the thread. Rather than argue about whether some radical anti-war type is more or less kooky than a white supremacist type, I’ll just bow out until signs of intelligent life return.

  134. 134

    Yup. Darrell has spooed upon an otherwise intelligent thread.

    I’m outta here.

  135. 135
    Darrell says:

    BTW, there’s nothing wrong with the gravestone, or the fact that he didn’t invite the family who cared so little for Teri while she was alive to the funeral.

    Wow

  136. 136
    jaime says:

    What Darrell attributed to Dean:

    “I don’t know. There are many theories about it. The most interesting theory that I’ve heard so far—which is nothing more than a theory, it can’t be proved—is that he was warned ahead of time by the Saudis. Now who knows what the real situation is?’‘

    What Darrell the intellectually bankrupt asshole left out.

    …but the trouble is that by suppressing that kind of information, you lead to those kinds of theories, whether they have any truth to them or not, and then eventually they get repeated as fact. So I think the president is taking a great risk by suppressing the clear, the key information that needs to go to the Kean commission.” —

    You just ooze dishonesty Darrell. You wear it like a car salesman’s cheap suit.

  137. 137
    Darrell says:

    jaime, Dem party leader Howard Dean floated another bizarre kook conspiracy theory followed by “who knows” for sure? Nothing in the followup paragraph changes that.

  138. 138
    fwiffo says:

    Where are the conservative equivalents to this or this type of leftist extremism? Or this?

    Fred Phelps? Any of a number of creeps that advocate and/or participate in the killing of abortion doctors? Stormfront? Any of a number of right-wing fringe white-supremecist organizations? Nuts who’ve been sending death threats to judges?

    Of course, anyone wanting to engage in an honest argument knows that those sorts of people don’t represent most conservatives. Likewise, a honest person knows that extremest totalitarian fucktards like ANSWER are hated by most liberals.

    Actually, calling ANSWER a group of totalitarian fucktards is an insult to the totalitarian fucktard community.

  139. 139
    Davebo says:

    Jaime,

    Consider the possibility that Darrell isn’t dishonest at all but merely intellectually lazy.

    I mean, he got it from an LGF thread so it had to be honest right?

    Independant thought is not a capability Darrell posseses. That’s what Rush, Malkin et al are for.

  140. 140
    Darrell says:

    Of course, anyone wanting to engage in an honest argument knows that those sorts of people don’t represent most conservatives. Likewise, a honest person knows that extremest totalitarian fucktards like ANSWER are hated by most liberals.

    Except that the liberal extremism is parrotted by the leader of the Dem party and Senior Dem congressman. But please feel free to ignore all evidence that conflicts with your narrative if that’s what floats your boat

  141. 141
    jaime says:

    Up until the 9/11 commission’s report no one knew really what happened that day Hell, we’re still talking Grassy Knoll and second gunmen about JFK. Conspiracy theories flourished as they do to this day. Were we warned ahead of time by the Saudi’s? Do you know that for a fact?

    Dean was saying the Bush administration is allowing these theories to flourish by suppressing the facts. You know that’s what he meant, asshole. You would lie about your own mother if it were to help Bush, wouldn’t you?

  142. 142

    Likewise, a honest person knows that extremest totalitarian fucktards like ANSWER are hated by most liberals.

    Do you think Darrell is honest? I mean after all, he’s been caught distorting peoples statements to try to make them say something other than what they say.

    Actually my favorite was when Matt Drudge took words from a Wesley Clark speech to make up a whole new quote. I mean, like three words from page 4, two from page 3, four from page 12, and 3 more from page 6… in that order, into a sentence with lot’s of … ellipses….

    That’s the way conservatives argue.

    It’s not about facts and logic

    It’s about emotions.

  143. 143
    Pb says:

    Darrell,

    Nothing in the followup paragraph changes that.

    Heh, sure. The most intriguing theory is that Darrell is a gay scoutmaster. That’s just a theory, though, no one knows for sure.

    But please feel free to ignore all evidence that conflicts with your narrative

    No thank you, even one Darrell is more than enough around here.

  144. 144
    Richard 23 says:

    I was enjoying reading this thread until Darrell came in to take a dump on it. Thanks, Darrell.

  145. 145
    jaime says:

    Except that the liberal extremism

    What is extreme liberalism? Being against the Iraq war? Thinking Bush is an idiot? That oil companies, the Chinese, and Saudis have way too much influence in Washington? That Karl Rove is a scumbag? Universal healthcare? Not giving a shit whether gays get married?

    What is it? What fucking country have YOU been living in?

  146. 146

    Actually my favorite fucktard conspiracy was the one the Republicans spread after Pearl Harbor, claiming Roosevelt knew in advance and didn’t send a warning.

    The Republicans even wasted time in Congress investigating this WHILE WE WERE AT WAR WITH JAPAN AND GERMANY! There’s been numerous reports which present the facts and totally dispute the argument. But even so, about once every 4 years or so you’ll get some fucktard Republican tossing it out as a legitimate argument.

    My guess is, Darrell even believes in the “Roosevelt knew Pearl Harbor was going to happen” conspiracy fucktard.

  147. 147
    Perry Como says:

    Darrell, your party has sunk this country into over $8 trillion in debt. Now kindly STFU about wacky political statements until you fuckers clean up the mess you’ve made.

  148. 148
    Darrell says:

    Independant thought is not a capability Darrell posseses

    Which ‘independent’ thinkers gave us “clap louder”, “Dear Leader”, “party before country”, and “no war for oil”?

  149. 149
    Some Other Brian Guy says:

    Darrell

    You never did answer the question as to why you want to marry your own mother?

    I’ve ran some polls, and the general feeling of most people I talk to says that you’re a sicko motherfucker for wanting to do that. Many of them thought you ought to be locked away for life in a mental health institution.

    Do you have any comment?

  150. 150
    jaime says:

    My guess is, Darrell even believes in the “Roosevelt knew Pearl Harbor was going to happen” conspiracy fucktard.

    I’m sure he’s one of those “Janet Reno and the ATF deliberately murdered the good kind folks at Waco” types.

  151. 151
    fwiffo says:

    parrotted by the leader of the Dem party and Senior Dem congressman.

    How about when a Republican senator makes not-so-subtle threats against judges?

    Do you think Darrell is honest?

    He’s a good troll. I think we need to put together a collection so we can buy a bridge for him to live under.

  152. 152
    Perry Como says:

    Which party gave us “flag burning amendment”, “gay marriage amendment”, “estate tax repeal”, etc.? Talk about priorities. There’s roughly 8,000,000,000,000 things more important than anything the Reublicans are offering up. Oh wait. The House is currently debating a non-binding resolution on staying the course. Impressive governing. Maybe we’ll break 10 trillion reasons to discuss petty bullshit by 2008.

  153. 153
    Darrell says:

    Richard 23 Says:

    I was enjoying reading this thread until Darrell came in to take a dump on it. Thanks, Darrell.

    I’m sure you were. Before I showed up it was just another typical mindless leftist circle jerk.. engaged in the usual self congratulatory back slapping, complimenting each other on the penetrating insightfulness of deep-thinking concepts such as ‘no blood for oil’.

  154. 154
    Steve says:

    You people are complicit in the queering of the thread, I hope you know that.

  155. 155
    Darrell says:

    Darrell

    You never did answer the question as to why you want to marry your own mother?

    I’ve ran some polls, and the general feeling of most people I talk to says that you’re a sicko motherfucker for wanting to do that

    More deep thoughts from the ‘insightful’ left. You loons consider yourself normal?

  156. 156
    Pb says:

    More deep thoughts from the ‘insightful’ left. You loons consider yourself normal?

    Why not? I know *I* don’t want to marry my own mother.

  157. 157
    jaime says:

    Before I showed up it was just another typical mindless leftist circle jerk..

    That statement only proves you didn’t read a single post on this thread. I guess it add’s weight to Davebo’s argument.

    circle jerk…back slapping…penetrating

    Paging Dr. Freud. For someone who considers it his patriotic duty to hate the queers, you sure seem like your repressing the gay yourself.

  158. 158
    Darrell says:

    For someone who considers it his patriotic duty to hate the queers

    Keep screaming at the top of your lungs at anyone who disagrees with you.. how they must “hate” queers. I want everyone to see how you really feel.

    I guess over 60% of the state of California ‘hates’ queers since they voted for Prop 22 defining marriage as between a man and a woman.

    Louder now! I can’t hear you!

  159. 159
    ppGaz says:

    What makes a thread with Darrell in it a Darrell Thread is that the topic of discussion becomes … Darrell, and his bullshit.

    Not politics. Not BJ. Nothing but Darrell.

    All Darrell, all the time.

    With me and John, at least you get goat sex.

  160. 160
    ppGaz says:

    how they must “hate” queers

    Yeah, we know you don’t hate queers, Darrell. Just explain again why (a) they should not be allowed to marry, and (b) you can’t trust them to go coampipng with your kids.

    Explain why YOU think that, not why someone else thinks it.

    After a year of this bullshit, don’t you think you owe us an explanation?

  161. 161
    ppGaz says:

    That is to say, “camping.”

  162. 162
    ppGaz says:

    Oh, and if you DON’T think it, then please explain why you defend people who either (a) do, or (b) pander to people who do.

    thanks.

  163. 163
    Perry Como says:

    You people are complicit in the queering of the thread, I hope you know that.

    Sure. But the Darrells of the Right have queered the country.

  164. 164
    Perry Como says:

    With me and John, at least you get goat sex.

    Since the thread has been officially queered, prison shower scene anyone?

  165. 165
    jaime says:

    Darrells of the Right have queered the country.

    That’s the other kind of queer, Darrell, we know you’re a 100% redblooded raging heterosexual who loves sex with women and only women and don’t you dare infer otherwise fag!

  166. 166
    mrmobi says:

    Darrell

    getting in his vindictive last digs. A real class act.

    You are unbelievable. Up till now this has been a pretty informative exchange of ideas.

    But let’s talk about how despicable Mr. Schiavo is. Any more than Dr. Frist, diagnosing a patient via video? How about more than the President who couldn’t be bothered to deal with a hurricane about to destroy New Orleans, flying back to Washington, interrupting one of his many vacations (more than any President, ever) to sign a law to keep a dead woman alive? And let’s not forget Mr. DeLay, who took time out from a very busy crime schedule to inject himself into a private family matter. Truly a piece of shit, is Mr. Delay, we are well rid of him.

    So, the government should be in all of our bedrooms, hospital rooms, wherever they want, because we wouldn’t want someone to make a decision about how their life ends, or be able to get an abortion because the mother’s life was in jeopardy.

    While we’re at it, we should end all “do not resuscitate” orders, people must be kept alive, even if they never regain consciousness. And no more birth control of any kind.

    Or were you just in here throwing a bomb? You know, I think you got me. I’m going to go back and read more of the discussion now, you may return to whatever Orwellian nightmare state you reside in.

    By the way, that is a beautiful and touching headstone. Mr. Schiavo deserves an apology from all the nutjobs like you, Darrell, who think they have any business in a families’ private end-of-life decisions.

  167. 167
    Oops there it is says:

    John Cole Says:
    I may very well have pulled on my expertise (and thrown out some comm theory) once in the past to make a point, but I have NEVER used my position as if it alone proves my argument. I think you are making things up here.

    http://www.balloon-juice.com/?.....ent-171229

    John Cole Says:
    PPGAZ- I teach a course in propaganda, and I think I understand what propaganda is and is not. Stating it is ‘unethical’ to use propaganda indicates to me that they have no clue what propaganda is.

    http://www.balloon-juice.com/?.....ent-107189

  168. 168
    ppGaz says:

    B-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-h.

    “Goats in Prison” starring Lambzie Divey and Sheb Woolley.

    Shear delight!

  169. 169
    Tim F. says:

    I’ve posted here and many other places – put forth a plan I can believe in (something other than cut-n-run or not Bush) and a person I can vote for without gagging (not sKerry, the HildaBeast, or GoreBot). That is really all it would take to get my vote.

    It constantly amazes me that people are unaware that the Democrats actually have a detailed policy agenda.

    In fact, the Democratic policy agenda goes into quite a bit more detail than that of the GOP. People who demand that the Democrats need to step up should do a bit more introspection.

  170. 170
    Richard 23 says:

    Or you could skip darrell and bubba shower scenes and goat sex and go straight to Miss Annie Angel. Pure wingnut gold.

  171. 171
    ppGaz says:

    Darrell, we know you’re a 100% redblooded raging heterosexual who loves would like sex with women

    fixed.

  172. 172
    Some Other Brian Guy says:

    More deep thoughts from the ‘insightful’ left. You loons consider yourself normal?

    Why won’t you answer the question!?

    Is my argument any different from many of your own? Isn’t that what you like to do, ask people if they have stopped beating their wives and then patting yourself on the back for being so clever.

    Apparently a dose of your own medicine disturbs you so much that you find no way out of the argument other than to call me names.

    Kind of telling.

  173. 173
    Darrell says:

    By the way, that is a beautiful and touching headstone. Mr. Schiavo deserves an apology from all the nutjobs like you, Darrell, who think they have any business in a families’ private end-of-life decisions.

    Which family are you referring to? The mother and father who cared for her daily? Or the husband who had ‘moved on’ with a new family.

    Part of what makes so many leftists so extreme, is that they can’t comprehend the complexity of issues.. This type of simpleton mentality is required to dismiss, as mrmobi has done, the parents as not being part of the family.

  174. 174
    Perry Como says:

    Tim F., from the article you linked:

    “Democrats are calling for more taxes, more spending, and more government-funded programs,” said House majority whip Roy Blunt, a Missouri Republican.

    Versus the Republican policy agenda of less taxes on the wealthy, more spending, more government-funded programs and less civil liberties.

  175. 175

    You people are complicit in the queering of the thread, I hope you know that.

    Perhaps you are right. But I think we’d already said all there was that needed to be said on the subject matter at hand.

    Now it’s time for our afternoon name calling, with tea and bisquits.

  176. 176
    Perry Como says:

    Part of what makes so many of the rightists so extreme, is that they can’t comprehend why increasing the power of the government and allowing for reckless spending is bad. This type of nannystatist mentality is required to dismiss, as Durrrrell has done, the government as being the bestest thing ever and its always here to help.

  177. 177
    Perry Como says:

    In the name of keeping the thread queered, internets is serious business.

  178. 178
    Darrell says:

    Perry Como Says:

    Part of what makes so many of the rightists so extreme, is that they can’t comprehend why increasing the power of the government and allowing for reckless spending is bad.

    Most on the right agree that spending has been reckless. In fact, so many on the right agree on that point, that you would be hard-pressed to find any who support the President’s big spending tendencies.

  179. 179
    Pb says:

    Richard 23,

    Wow, I didn’t know Stormy had a blog! :)

  180. 180

    Which family are you referring to? The mother and father who cared for her daily? Or the husband who had ‘moved on’ with a new family.

    It’s curious how Darrell is able to pass judgement on people he’s never met and never knew.

    Part of what makes so many leftists so extreme, is that they can’t comprehend the complexity of issues.. This type of simpleton mentality is required to dismiss, as mrmobi has done, the parents as not being part of the family.

    Talk about Obtuse and Stupid. This coming from the guy whose willing to call Michael Schiavo evil, while having no knowledge of the circumstances or the history.

    At least us leftists understand that we can’t pass judgement on personal issues, which is why we want to leave it up to the FUCKING FAMILIES rather then the GOVERNMENT!

  181. 181
    Pb says:

    Darrell,

    Most on the right agree that spending has been reckless. In fact, so many on the right agree on that point, that you would be hard-pressed to find any who support the President’s big spending tendencies.

    Except for those who just support him unconditionally–the “I support the President” crowd. Which is to say, most of them. And where the hell were they when Clinton was President?

  182. 182
    jaime says:

    Part of what makes so many leftists so extreme, is that they can’t comprehend the complexity of issues..

    And how many mullet headed knuckle draggers were arrested trying to bring in bottles of water…that would have drowned her?

  183. 183

    Most on the right agree that spending has been reckless. In fact, so many on the right agree on that point, that you would be hard-pressed to find any who support the President’s big spending tendencies.

    Funny how they do nothing about it, but instead keep coming up with new ways for us to spend money we don’t have.

    Ohhh, we have to build a bridge in Alaska! It’s for the children! And we need another $100 billion for Iraq, because it’s for the children! And let’s save all the gay midget circus clowns in eastern pottswatistan, because it’s for the children! And anybody who suggests maybe cutting the budget is mean and hates christians and the military, because you know… it’s for the children!

    Kind of makes you wonder if maybe their outrage is nothing but a sham.

    What ever happened to the Balanced Budget Amendment? Why did the Republicans oppose it?

  184. 184

    And how many mullet headed knuckle draggers were arrested trying to bring in bottles of water…that would have drowned her?

    But it was for the children!

  185. 185
    Darrell says:

    In fact, the Democratic policy agenda goes into quite a bit more detail than that of the GOP

    Not much beef that I could see.. raise minimum wage, repeal the Bush tax cuts, vague ‘special’ treatment for entrepreneurs. yawn

  186. 186
    Pb says:

    The Other Steve,

    At least us leftists understand that we can’t pass judgement on personal issues, which is why we want to leave it up to the FUCKING FAMILIES rather then the GOVERNMENT!

    This is the sort of simple thing that you’d hope a *real* ‘conservative’ would understand. Why do these fake conservatives have those guns, anyhow–they don’t need guns to protect their civil rights, obviously, because they’re perfectly willing to give their civil rights away.

  187. 187

    This is the sort of simple thing that you’d hope a real ‘conservative’ would understand. Why do these fake conservatives have those guns, anyhow—they don’t need guns to protect their civil rights, obviously, because they’re perfectly willing to give their civil rights away.

    The Republican party today isn’t conservative.

    It’s a mixture of Bleeding Hearts and business interests.

  188. 188
    Steve says:

    Perhaps you are right. But I think we’d already said all there was that needed to be said on the subject matter at hand.

    Now it’s time for our afternoon name calling, with tea and bisquits.

    I suppose you’re right. Knock yourself out.

  189. 189
    Perry Como says:

    And we need another $100 billion for Iraq, because it’s for the children!

    $3000 per second. That’s what we are spending on GWB’s nation building excercise. I keep hearing self-proclaimed conservatives say they are concerned about reckless spending. But it’s all a bunch of crap. If they wanted to stop the spending, they’d kick the idiots out of office. Instead they are more worried about Kerry’s wind surfing or whateverthefuck Michael Schiavo is doing.

  190. 190
    Davebo says:

    John,

    I’d like to thank you for offering advice to democrats. It’s mighty big of you.

    And given your stellar track record over the past 5 years I’m certain your advice will be given the serious consideration it deserves.

  191. 191

    Not much beef that I could see.. raise minimum wage, repeal the Bush tax cuts, vague ‘special’ treatment for entrepreneurs. yawn

    Yeah, they ought to spend $500 million building a bridge in Alaska to win over the Republican vote.

  192. 192
    Darrell says:

    Except for those who just support him unconditionally—the “I support the President” crowd. Which is to say, most of them. And where the hell were they when Clinton was President?

    Judging by Bush’s approval ratings, it’s for certain that the number of unconditional supporters is not “most”

  193. 193

    $3000 per second. That’s what we are spending on GWB’s nation building excercise. I keep hearing self-proclaimed conservatives say they are concerned about reckless spending. But it’s all a bunch of crap. If they wanted to stop the spending, they’d kick the idiots out of office. Instead they are more worried about Kerry’s wind surfing or whateverthefuck Michael Schiavo is doing.

    But Kerry wasn’t windsurfing FOR THE CHILDREN!

    See, if you do it FOR THE CHILDREN! Then it’s all ok.

  194. 194
    Perry Como says:

    Not much beef that I could see.. raise minimum wage, repeal the Bush tax cuts, vague ‘special’ treatment for entrepreneurs. yawn

    And the Republican run House is spending the entire day debating a non-binding resolution about staying the course in Iraq. Considering they work roughly 90 days a year, it seems like a waste of time, no? Don’t they have 8 trillion other things to discuss?

  195. 195
    jaime says:

    And how many mullet headed knuckle draggers were arrested trying to bring in bottles of water…that would have drowned her?

    But it was for the children!

    Actually the knuckledraggers sent their children to be arrested…and face possible manslaughter for drowning Mrs. Schiavo.

  196. 196

    Judging by Bush’s approval ratings, it’s for certain that the number of unconditional supporters is not “most”

    Yeah, but the other 70% are all shrill Bush Haters!

  197. 197
    Davebo says:

    Alaska, despite being populated by people who consider themselves “rugged individualists” has long been sucking on the federal teat to a greater extent than any other state.

    From it’s sweetheart deal for mineral and oil revenues from federal lands to it’s more recent bridge to nowhere.

    But man.. the FISHING! Almost makes it even.

  198. 198
    Darrell says:

    Yeah, they ought to spend $500 million building a bridge in Alaska to win over the Republican vote.

    Hilarious to read all these born-again leftist budget hawks

  199. 199
    ppGaz says:

    Not much beef that I could see

    Stop trying to treat gays as second class citizens in the interest of currying favor with some voters.

    Yawn. How boring. Who cares about them?

    Stop lying about and demagoguing immigration in the interest of curring favor with some voters.

    Yawn. Who cares about Mexicans?

    Stop misrepresenting the intent and purpose of the Social Security Trust Fund. Yawn, who cares about that?

    Stop cutting taxes while spending like a drunken sailor. Yawn. Who cares about tomorrow’s taxpayers and the mountain of debt they’ll inherit?

    Stop misrepresenting the issues in healthcare. Yawn. who cares about sick people? Or people without money?

    Stop interfering with science in the interest of pandering to the religious nuts and the superstitious. Yawn. Who cares about a bunch of pointy-headed labcoat wearers?

    Stop trashing the judiciary. Yawn. Who elected them?

    etc

  200. 200

    Actually the knuckledraggers sent their children to be arrested…and face possible manslaughter for drowning Mrs. Schiavo.

    Well you wouldn’t want to risk your own ass, now would you? Much better you send the kids in, because they can’t be tried as adults.

    This is how you set a proper example For the Children.

  201. 201
    Perry Como says:

    Yeah, but the other 70% are all shrill Bush Haters!

    And Leftists. Anyone that disagree with this train wreck of a government is a Leftist.

  202. 202
    John D. says:

    Most on the right agree that spending has been reckless. In fact, so many on the right agree on that point, that you would be hard-pressed to find any who support the President’s big spending tendencies.

    Wow, you’d think that an expert in Constitutional Law like Darrell might realize that the President has absolutely no authority to fund *anything* in government. That authority rests solely with Congress — US Constitution, Article 1, Section 8.

  203. 203
    Perry Como says:

    In other news, it seems that Zarqawi was trying to stir up a war between the US and Iran. Anyone else think that the US is being played by al Qaeda?

  204. 204
    Pb says:

    Darrell,

    Judging by Bush’s approval ratings, it’s for certain that the number of unconditional supporters is not “most”

    You’ve got it backwards–I think it probably is by now, amongst his supporters. For instance, if you look at the partisan breakdown of a recent CBS poll (that had him at 33%) — his approval amongst Democrats was 6%, and amongst Independents it was 26%, but amongst Republicans, it was 74%!

    And if you look at the trend, you’ll see that when he loses the support, first he lost the Democrats, then he lost the Independents, and now he’s *finally* lost some Republicans.

    Historically speaking, he has more support amongst Republicans now than other Presidents have had when their approval ratings have gone this low. So I think I’m justified in saying that most of his supporters now are of the unconditional variety, although it was not always thus.

    Oh, and good news, Darrell–Bush’s approval numbers are up marginally this month, to 37%! Now he’s over 50% in five states, instead of three, and he got Texas back!

  205. 205
    Pb says:

    Perry Como,

    In other news, it seems that Zarqawi was trying to stir up a war between the US and Iran. Anyone else think that the US is being played by al Qaeda?

    If not, I hope the CIA cut him a check or something. It’d suck to do all that work and then just get bombed by people who actually shared one of your goals.

  206. 206
    Darrell says:

    Perry Como Says:

    In other news, it seems that Zarqawi was trying to stir up a war between the US and Iran. Anyone else think that the US is being played by al Qaeda?

    Well besides the fact that al Queda has attacked US civilians and military, what is so ‘surprising’ about the possibility that Zarqawi was trying to get the Iranian mullahs to go along with his fanatical war against the infidels. Is that really so remarkable?

  207. 207

    And Leftists. Anyone that disagree with this train wreck of a government is a Leftist.

    You’re absolutely right… I mean look at what Darrell had to say:

    Hilarious to read all these born-again leftist budget hawks

    LOL! I’m a leftist.

  208. 208

    Well besides the fact that al Queda has attacked US civilians and military, what is so ‘surprising’ about the possibility that Zarqawi was trying to get the Iranian mullahs to go along with his fanatical war against the infidels. Is that really so remarkable?

    No, what was surprising was Zarqawi was trying to get the United States to attack Iran.

    Kind of like how the Iranians conned the United States into attacking Iraq.

    We’re being played so bad, because we’ve got morons like Darrell in charge.

  209. 209
    Darrell says:

    LOL! I’m a leftist.

    You were at the annual KOSfest, right?

  210. 210
    Pb says:

    You were at the annual KOSfest, right?

    I hear Byron York was. I missed it, though.

  211. 211
    Darrell says:

    No, what was surprising was Zarqawi was trying to get the United States to attack Iran.

    1) Why would that be sooo surprising, especially since Iran is such a major supporter of terrorism?

    2) Where in the article did it say that was what he was trying to do? The article just mentioned creating disputes between Iran and Iraq

    “Creating disputes between America and them could hinder the US co-operation with them, and subsequently weaken this kind of alliance between Shiites and the Americans,”

  212. 212

    You were at the annual KOSfest, right?

    LOL!

    Darrell, you’re more of a bleeding heart leftist than I’ll ever be.

  213. 213
    Darrell says:

    LOL!

    Darrell, you’re more of a bleeding heart leftist than I’ll ever be.

    Did you attend the yearly KOS or not? Did you wear a “I had an abortion” tee shirt?.. you know, in order to fit in

  214. 214
    Perry Como says:

    Well besides the fact that al Queda has attacked US civilians and military, what is so ‘surprising’ about the possibility that Zarqawi was trying to get the Iranian mullahs to go along with his fanatical war against the infidels. Is that really so remarkable?

    You should go tell the Republican House member that was on the floor about an hour ago that you read the information in a different way. You do have access to the intel they got after killing Zarqawi, right (I forget if the good Senator sits on an intelligence committee)? Because that House member was pretty sure Zarqawi wanted to get the US to attack Iran based on trumped up WMD charges. That way he would have more latitude to operate in Iraq.

  215. 215
    prettyfunny says:

    I think it is pretty funny that someone who doesn’t have enough time to actually try to back up his claims still finds the time to post, and post, and post responses on the blog of a guy he clearly doesn’t like. What an ass.

  216. 216
    Steve says:

    Atrios has this up:

    This afternoon on the Senate floor, several Senate Republicans are DEFENDING the proposal to give amnesty to terrorists who have killed or wounded American troops. Here is a quick compilation:

    TED STEVENS – “IF THAT’S AMNESTY, I’M FOR IT:” “I really believe we ought to try to find some way to encourage that country to demonstrate to those people who have been opposed to what we’re trying to do, that it’s worthwhile for them and their children to come forward and support this democracy. And if that’s amnesty, I’m for it. I’d be for it. And if those people who are, come forward… if they bore arms against our people, what’s the difference between those people that bore arms against the Union in the War between the States? What’s the difference between the Germans and Japanese and all the people we’ve forgiven?” – Sen. Ted Stevens

    MCCONNELL SUGGESTED A RESOLUTION COMMENDING IRAQIS FOR GIVING TERRORISTS AMNESTY. “…might it not just be as useful an exercise to be trying to pass a resolution commending the Iraqi government for the position that they’ve taken today with regard to this discussion of Amnesty?” – Sen. Mitch McConnell

    ALEXANDER COMPARED IRAQI AMNESTY FOR TERRORISTS TO NELSON MANDELA’S PEACE EFFORTS. “Is it not true that Nelson Mandela’s courage and his ability to create a process of reconciliation and forgiveness was a major factor in what has been a political miracle in Africa…Did not Nelson Mandela, win a – the co-winner of – a noble Nobel Peace Prize just for this sort of gesture?” – Sen. Lamar Alexander

    CORNYN: IRAQI AMNESTY DEBATE IS “A DISTRACTION.” “It makes no sense for the United States Senate to shake its finger at the new government of Iraq and to criticize them… it really is a distraction from the debate that I think the American people would want us to have.” – Sen. John Cornyn

    CHAMBLISS: AMNESTY IS OK FOR EX-INSURGENTS AS LONG AS THEY ARE ON OUR SIDE NOW. “Is it not true today that we have Iraqis who are fighting the war against the insurgents, who at one time fought against American troops and other coalition troops as they were marching to Baghdad, who have now come over to our side and are doing one heck of a job of fighting along, side by side, with Americans and coalition forces, attacking and killing insurgents on a daily basis?” – Sen. Saxby Chambliss

    I mean really, in the middle of an ongoing war, why can’t we stop and forgive some of the people who have killed or wounded our troops? I’m sure the troops are on board with this one 100%.

  217. 217
    ppGaz says:

    Okay, John and Tim won’t ban this cocksucker, but that doesn’t mean we have to talk to him.

    How hard would it be to just agree that nobody speaks to the sonofabitch unless he is at least willing to provide direct simple answers to direct simple questions about his views?

    Otherwise, he’s just apparently a threadjacker that John pays to come here and queer — literally — any thread that isn’t going John’s way.

    Yes, I am dragging John into it, because I know he reads this shit, and he has to see what Darrell is doing.

    Darrell can shit on you all day and all night and never has to answer a reasonable question or even take a position. But if you call somebody a forbidden name, and that somebody is somebody Joh likes, your ass gets banned.

    Those are apparently the horseshit rules around here. So why don’t we make up our own fucking rules?

  218. 218

    Did you attend the yearly KOS or not? Did you wear a “I had an abortion” tee shirt?.. you know, in order to fit in

    LOL! I was standing next to the guy in the Pith helmet, and BTW that red thing on the wall was the Great Seal of the United States shined onto the wall by a spotlight. It said ‘E Pluribus Unum’ with an eagle that had arrows in one claw and olive branches in the other. Something, you and your buddy Michelle Malkin are obviously unfamiliar with the history of to claim it was a satanic symbol.

    But a leftist? Come on, just because I’m a Bush Hater doesn’t make me a leftist.

  219. 219
    t. jasper parnell says:

    This being no longer neither here nor there, it would seem that John Cole erred in his assertion of never seeking to use his position to “win” an argument.
    PPGAZ- I teach a course in propaganda, and I think I understand what propaganda is and is not. Stating it is ‘unethical’ to use propaganda indicates to me that they have no clue what propaganda is.

    On a considerably less important note, did it ever occur that the constant reliance on accusations, as they seem to be, of leftist or rightist misses the point that most of us are neither but often both? It is, in fact, possible to support a balanced budget and a welfare state, the right to keep and bear arms and the right to choose, a deep belief in Xtianity and gay marriage. There is nothing inherent to any single position that precludes some other seemingly contradictory one, unless you are the kind of lunatic that thinks that the world is far more orderly than it is.

    Indeed, as some have shown elsewhere, it is possible to err in this or that trivial matter of politics and constitutional protections and yet be one hundred percent correct about the beauty of the bicycle.

  220. 220

    I mean really, in the middle of an ongoing war, why can’t we stop and forgive some of the people who have killed or wounded our troops? I’m sure the troops are on board with this one 100%.

    I’m against given Amnesty to anybody who hates the United States.

    and that includes them confederate rebels and their bastard children.

    LOL! I do think it’s a funny discussion for the moronic Republicans to be involved in. Two years ago, they would have been accusing Democrats of being traitors for suggesting such a thing. Now apparently they’re starting to understand the reality that if Iraq is to govern itself, it must govern itself.

  221. 221
    Perry Como says:

    So why don’t we make up our own fucking rules?

    We aren’t paying for the bandwidth?

  222. 222
    ppGaz says:

    We aren’t paying for the bandwidth, but why should we license darrell to crap on the proceedings without exhibiting even the most common courtesy of a reply to a reasonable question?

  223. 223
    ppGaz says:

    Thanks TJP, that is the way I remember it more or less.

    But John’s “error” is less important than the larger issues here.

  224. 224
    Perry Como says:

    We aren’t paying for the bandwidth, but why should we license darrell to crap on the proceedings without exhibiting even the most common courtesy of a reply to a reasonable question?

    Because expecting Darrell to have an honest conversation is like expecting a salt shaker to change a flat tire.

  225. 225
    ppGaz says:

    like expecting a salt shaker to change a flat tire

    Exactly. Well, I was thinking mayonnaise squeeze bottle, but same concept.

    But my point is …. why should we talk to him? In real life, would you carry on a conversation with somebody like that?

  226. 226
    Steve says:

    It’s too bad Darrell seems to have left. I was waiting for his zombie-like defense of the amnesty concept. Because we didn’t execute all the German soldiers after the war! Yes, great point, Senator Stevens!

  227. 227
    Perry Como says:

    In real life, would you carry on a conversation with somebody like that?

    Sure. But absurd things amuse me.

  228. 228
    t. jasper parnell says:

    And what are the larger issues?

    It seems to me that TOS in his political biography laid out an accurate version of how most come to vote the way they do, although the “reality based” is self congratulatory. There was some Canadian short story writer, Paul St. Pierre or some such, who made the same point, although with a great deal more humor in one of his Cariboo stories.

  229. 229
    tBone says:

    In real life, would you carry on a conversation with somebody like that?

    Only if I was a gay Scoutmaster looking to score.

  230. 230
    Perry Como says:

    Vote for Gridlock, It’s the patriotic thing to do:

    Today I’m going to do something that I have never done—I will vote in Virginia’s Democratic Party primary. Oh sure, I’ve voted Democratic—once. That was for George McGovern back in 1972. I was 18 years old. Since then it’s been a mix of Libertarian and Republican candidates for various local, state and federal offices. What is motivating me to do this? It’s not the platforms of the Democratic primary candidates.

    Unhinged Lefists.

  231. 231
    Perry Como says:

    Lefists

    A French…nevermind.

  232. 232
    Pb says:

    You know, I’ve been chuckling all the way down reading these comments, but tBone takes the cake… somehow the ‘gay scoutmaster’ references are always funny.

  233. 233
    tBone says:

    Stop it, Pb. Darrell’s going to come barrelling in here at any moment to accuse us of having a self-congratulatory lefty circle-jerk.

  234. 234
    ppGaz says:

    And what are the larger issues

    Well, that depends on who you ask!

    If you asked me, I’d say that the fate of the country trumps the snarky navel-gazing harping over whether the elephants or the donkeys are looking sillier today. The latter being the grist of the blogosphere, as near as I can tell.

    As I have said to John before, why waste all that talent and these resources on snarky silliness when the real question is how to break the stranglehold of one party on the government? It’s a useful thing to know, because one day, it might be the other party that is fucking it all up. But talking about which party has the most spinach in its teeth at any given moment doesn’t get us there.

    IMO.

  235. 235
    John Cole says:

    This being no longer neither here nor there, it would seem that John Cole erred in his assertion of never seeking to use his position to “win” an argument.
    PPGAZ- I teach a course in propaganda, and I think I understand what propaganda is and is not. Stating it is ‘unethical’ to use propaganda indicates to me that they have no clue what propaganda is.

    I would quibble with the assertion that my remark was using my position to prove I am right, rather than stating I have some expertise in the area and think I can tell the difference between right and wrong.

    I stated that I think I know what propaganda is, as I teach a course in it (well, used to and will again in the near future). That is hardly the same as “I’m an expert- you are wrong,” which was what I felt PPGAZ was asserting- particularly since if you read the comments section in which that statement was made, it is pretty clear that people do not know what propaganda is. For reasons that are understandable, people seem to think that propaganda in any form is wrong- that propaganda is defined by the negative connotation people derive.

    That isn’t the case, and all propaganda is not, in and of itself, unethical. If it were, then seatbelt campaigns and non-smoking campaigns would be ‘unethical.’ certainly there can be debates about the ethical and unethical use of propaganda, but that is not what some were asserting.

    On another note, I see this thread has now completely gone to hell with the appearance of Darrell. Nice to see there is someone who pisses you guys off more than me.

  236. 236
    Richard 23 says:

    Maybe he’ll slap you with his cock like Jeff Goldstein….

  237. 237
    Steve says:

    I really can’t get over this Iraqi amnesty thing.

    Our troops are risking their lives every day in order to defend this new Iraqi government.

    And now the very same Iraqi government is considering granting amnesty to insurgents who have killed or wounded our troops… and the Republicans are falling all over themselves to defend the seemingly indefensible idea.

    Can there be any doubt that “Support the troops” is nothing more than a slogan to these people?

  238. 238
    ppGaz says:

    Nice to see there is someone who pisses you guys off more than me

    Groan.

  239. 239
    Richard 23 says:

    I mean Darrell in regards to the fish slapping dance, not John. *blush*

  240. 240
    John Cole says:

    Groan.

    Don;t groan. Laugh. It is healthy for you.

  241. 241
    ppGaz says:

    which was what I felt PPGAZ was asserting

    Yes, hilarious, the chronically misunderstood professor, making up a fanciful version of what I meant and propping it up here.

    No, what I was asserting, as in the past, was that it seems a little odd to me that you would be in the wordy business and are so often “misunderstood.” Perhaps I should be more clear: I don’t think you ARE misunderstood, I think you just like to bust our chops.

    Which is fine, its your bandwidth as somebody (Perry Como?) pointed out. My point is, why not use the talent and the resource to HELP GET RID OF THE REPUBLICAN BUMS and turn things around? Then, when the DEM BUMS get out of hand, turn it around again.

    Just acting as if it doesn’t matter because the two parties are both able to make fools of themselves, doesn’t solve the problem. What solves the problem is CHANGING the guard when it needs to be changed.

    You could be a big help. Later, when our side has fucked up, throw us out.

    Simple.

  242. 242
    ppGaz says:

    to accuse us of having a self-congratulatory lefty circle-jerk.

    Well, this is normally where the prison shower scene starts to come up.

  243. 243
    prettyfunny says:

    …and the guy who doesn’t have enough time continues to post, and post, and post…

  244. 244
    Perry Como says:

    Well, this is normally where the prison shower scene starts to come up.

    A prison shower scene…with jackalopes! Talk about distracting.

  245. 245
    Darrell says:

    Steve Says:

    I really can’t get over this Iraqi amnesty thing.

    Our troops are risking their lives every day in order to defend this new Iraqi government.

    And now the very same Iraqi government is considering granting amnesty to insurgents who have killed or wounded our troops…

    I didn’t see a link on Atrios…do you believe the unsourced quotes? Faith based? If you have a link, I’d like to see it.

  246. 246
    Steve says:

    Yes, I believe the unsourced quotes.

  247. 247
    t. jasper parnell says:

    RE amnesty and such.

    Someone or another once said if you kill the body the head will die. Obviously, the Rethuglocarticans’ well-known Bush Fellatiate Tendencies preclude taking seriously their suggestions, particularly as other reasonable folks had been smeared for uttering a meme or some other such blogorifical rhetoric. But how are we to end the the Great War on Terror, which by the way must be a comfort to all three yr olds ascared of both the dark and things under the bed — you see it really is about the children, if we cannot convince those poor deluded and otherwise unwilling members (see Mourad Benchellali “Detainees in Despair,” NYT, 8/14/06/ A23) to give over mindless and pointless murder? Surely those who take up arms for all the wrong reasons led by men madder than ever a hatter was need to be encouraged to give off killing. What better way to kill, in a non-violent sense, the body then letting them complete the task Thomas Wolfe held to be impossible?

  248. 248
    Darrell says:

    Obviously, the Rethuglocarticans’ well-known Bush Fellatiate Tendencies preclude taking seriously their suggestions

    You’re speaking truth to power brother. The faith based Bush fellators will never stop clapping for their dear leader.

  249. 249
    t. jasper parnell says:

    PPGAZ,
    I agree that is a if not the larger issue, but missed that point earlier.

    Mr. Cole “I would quibble with the assertion that my remark was using my position to prove I am right, rather than stating I have some expertise in the area and think I can tell the difference between right and wrong.”
    This is what is wrong with the country. Asserting that I teach a course about X and therefore know what X is, is without a doubt using yourself as your own authority to show “people do not know what propaganda is” what is it is. You see? And as to the context of the comments. After I found the quote on Grit I went and leafed or scrolled through the comments and the dispute was on the nature of propganda and pretty clearly you used your expertise as a teacher of propganda to win, or in any attempt to attempt to win, the battle. Admit that you erred, who the f@ck cares?

    And Darell, why not defend the idea? It did work of Mandella, sort of, and the short circuiting of de-Nazification by the USA after the war, immoral, wrong and evil though it was, did perhaps help get Germany back on its feet with greater rapidity than might have been the case. The Soviets did the same thing, only more so, and indeed made a great film (The Murderers are Among Us) in to speed on the process.

    Do we want to be “right” or do we want to end the Great War On Terror and/or Global Extremism and/or other related notions?

  250. 250
    tBone says:

    On another note, I see this thread has now completely gone to hell with the appearance of Darrell. Nice to see there is someone who pisses you guys off more than me.

    I knew there had to be a reason you kept him around.

  251. 251
    t. jasper parnell says:

    Just to be clear, I do not approve of this administration, hold them responsible for leadning us into an illegal, immoral and idiotic war. However, like most folks standing ass deep in whatsmadoosey alligators? I am much more interested in getting the f@ck out and then getting the lying pricks locked up.

  252. 252
    t. jasper parnell says:

    and if that ninconpoop Bush, about whom I feel no detastation, would have admitted that he erred we would not be in this mess.

  253. 253
    Steve says:

    I find it quite amusing that Darrell won’t comment on the merits of the amnesty issue until he finds out for certain what his darling Republicans are actually saying about it. Later he’ll be back to ridiculing us because calling Bush “the decider” proves we’re not independent thinkers like him.

  254. 254
    t. jasper parnell says:

    Detestation.
    My larger point being, admission of error is the first step to fixing the problem not the first step in the long slog to perdition.

  255. 255
    ppGaz says:

    TJP, appreciate the good work. But I’m not out to prove Cole wrong. I’m out to get him working for the right side.

    Later, when the country is imperiled by that side, we turn it around and thrown THOSE bums out.

    Throwing the bums out … is what the Republic is all about. Kneeling to the bums …. same as having a king. No good.

  256. 256
    Darrell says:

    Steve Says:

    I find it quite amusing that Darrell won’t comment on the merits of the amnesty issue until he finds out for certain what his darling Republicans are actually saying about it.

    In other words, you find it amusing that someone might want to see, you know, actual facts before forming an opinion. That is a radical concept for the Fitzmas crowd I suppose. I already asked for a news article source.. still waiting

  257. 257
    t. jasper parnell says:

    I do not know as there are “sides” in this case only specific issues that need to be resolved. The sidedness of the conversation is the problem. Others, like Mona and apparantely Kos, have begun to build coalitions designed to deal with specific problems. I really liked TOS’s take on his change and whatismore his rejection of the “leftist” label. Labels are, ultimately, of greater utility for canned goods and ideologues then for resolving the problems that face us as a nation, which is to say community of oxen hitched to a plow we neither created nor can shirk.

  258. 258
    t. jasper parnell says:

    And one other thing, as clearly I have drunk too much, when TOS was teased about the Contra thing, what did he say? I was wrong. All decent Americans, which is to say me, and the last butterfly Pandora, often mistakenly I think, allowed to flee the coop gave a loud cheer.

  259. 259
    Steve says:

    Poor Darrell. Suddenly, for the first time in history, he can’t get his Google button to work. Try here.

    In Wednesday’s news conference, Maliki said that reconciliation could include an amnesty for those “who weren’t involved in the shedding of Iraqi blood…

    Another Maliki aide, asked if the amnesty being considered by the government was likely to apply to those who had attacked U.S. forces, said Maliki had been “clear, saying those whose hands weren’t stained with Iraqi blood” may be eligible for any amnesty…

    On the issue of clemency for those who had attacked U.S. troops, Kadhimi had said in Thursday’s Washington Post: “That’s an area where we can see a green line. There’s some sort of preliminary understanding between us and the MNF-I,” the U.S.-led Multi-National Force-Iraq, “that there is a patriotic feeling among the Iraqi youth and the belief that those attacks are legitimate acts of resistance and defending their homeland. These people will be pardoned definitely, I believe.”

    In Washington, Senate Democrats offered a resolution after the appearance of the article in The Post demanding President Bush repudiate the amnesty proposal regarding attackers targeting American forces.

    “It is shocking that the Iraqi prime minister is reportedly considering granting amnesty to insurgents who have killed U.S. troops,” Senate Democratic Leader Harry M. Reid (Nev.) said. “On the day we lost the 2,500th soldier in Iraq, the mere idea that this proposal may go forward is an insult to the brave men and women who have died in the name of Iraqi freedom. I call on President Bush to denounce this proposal immediately.”

    “Terrorists and insurgents shouldn’t be rewarded for killing American soldiers,” said Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, who also sponsored the resolution.

    The Senate resolution declared, in part, that, “President Bush should immediately notify the government of Iraq that the United States government opposes granting amnesty in the strongest possible terms.”

    I maintain that most Americans, when asked what they would think if the Iraqis were considering granting amnesty to people who killed American troops, would not ask to see a news story before forming their opinion. But Darrell, you know, he needs to see how the Democrats and Republicans are lining up before he says anything. Well, now he knows.

  260. 260
    ppGaz says:

    I agree that the labels are of limited value. But right now the entire US Government is wearing one color.

    That’s a problem. It needs to change before these numbskulls completely ruin the country.

    Priority One is taking the House of Representatives away from the Potemkin Government. With that, the bleeding can be stopped.

  261. 261
    ppGaz says:

    clearly I have drunk too much

    If you can still type, you have not drunk too much.

  262. 262
    t. jasper parnell says:

    Sorry I do not agree. The current crop of louts ruining the country are particularly awful but simply voting for others wearing differnt labels holds only the slimmest hope of fixing the actual problems confronting us. The solutions to those problems are not the property of this or that party but rather the property of individuals committed to fixing problems and not individuals associated with one or another party. In the current case, the Dems could do much more than they have but do not. In short, authentic problem solving means isolating the problems and then fixing them. In short, there is little hope for the problems being fixed so long as we think about their solutions in terms of sides, teams, or ideologies.

  263. 263
    Darrell says:

    Steve, the quote you provide does not contain the Ted Stevens quote you were so outraged over. Do you have a news source for his quote?

    No amnesty for any terrorist insurgents should be considered. For uniformed former members of the Iraqi army under Saddam, those soldiers who were fighting US troops under orders at the time of invasion, should be considered for amnesty imo.

    What’s your point Steve? That I don’t freak out over unsourced accusations like you bedwetting libs did with White Phosphorous?

  264. 264
    ppGaz says:

    Yes, you are thinking long term. Which is good.

    But I am thinking short term. Stop the Potemkins now, in their tracks.

    Then figure out what to do next.

    The way to do this is to flip the House from R to D.

    This is where the DKos approach is attractive. Markos sees the thing as a seat-by-seat struggle. That’s how the R’s got it, and that’s how the D’s have to take it back.

  265. 265
    Steve says:

    I’m just happy you agree that the Senate Democrats have the right position on this one. As for what Stevens and the others may have said on the Senate floor, I’m sure it will all be in the Congressional Record tomorrow.

  266. 266
    t. jasper parnell says:

    Darrell this claim “[n]o amnesty for any terrorist insurgents should be considered” means that we may have to kill or imprison god knows how many millions, to say nothing of conflating terrorists and insurgents. Are you actually serious? WE fight now a war the nature of which is new and unknown to rule out of court apriori any solution to that war is a sign of gross stupidity and tremendous lack of seriousness, in my opinion. It is a puzzle how to me how the claim after 9/11 everything changed limits itself to civil liberty and morality and not to tactics, military or other.

  267. 267
    t. jasper parnell says:

    I do see what you are saying PPGAZ, and certainly throwing this lot of louts out is a priority but I fear that much like the success of the Republican effort the short term will become the long term, if you take my meaning.

  268. 268
    Steve says:

    A few points:

    1. To the extent we can identify any insurgents or terrorists who have killed or wounded U.S. troops, I absolutely believe they should be brought to justice. That does not mean we are under an obligation to find each and every one of them, although it would be nice.

    2. I’m pretty sure the number of people in this category does not number in the “god knows how many millions.”

    3. The issue of what we should be done when we’re ready to wrap up the Iraq adventure is quite different from what should be done now, while fighting remains ongoing. You don’t just grant amnesty to people mid-conflict and let them go free, hoping they won’t take up arms against you again.

    4. The Iraqi government is sovereign, and it’s not that we can exactly stop them if they decide to grant amnesty, but it’s my belief that we certainly shouldn’t be happy about it.

    5. It’s so nice to reach bipartisan consensus with Darrell.

  269. 269
    ppGaz says:

    Well, I agree, it’s a never-ending battle.

    We can’t turn our backs on the politicians, no matter what color state they are from. I don’t trust any of them without plenty of adult supervision.

  270. 270
    ppGaz says:

    It’s so nice to reach bipartisan consensus with Darrell.

    It’s …. Faustian.

  271. 271
    t. jasper parnell says:

    Steve,
    Okay, maybe the number is too high and if so sorry for the error. My intention was simply this we do not know how many are involved in the insurgency nor do we know how many are involved in terrorism. The number could be and most likely is much larger than those strapping on planting bombs or shooting at our soldiers. If we rule out of bounds amnesty or something functionally similary we make much more difficult stopping them doing so.

    However, your claim that we not or that “you don’t” offer amnesty in the course of conflict requires more proof than its assertion. Why not? According to Lawrency Wright (The New Yorke 8/19/06, 30) support for the terrorist insurgency is dropping among Muslims and there have venn public demonstrations agaist AQ in Jordan. Why not encourage those who might want out to get out?

  272. 272
    t. jasper parnell says:

    That was supposed to be the New Yorker.

    9/11 changed everything: Embrace the change.

  273. 273
    Steve says:

    My view of the outrage here is that insurgents or terrorists who have killed or wounded American soldiers should not be considered for amnesty.

    There are undoubtedly many insurgents who don’t fit into this category; and I’m not trying to categorically rule anything out as far as they are concerned. But if you’ve killed an American soldier, I’m not willing to give you a free pass. And it troubles me that the new Iraqi government is considering doing just that.

  274. 274
    ImJohn Galt says:

    Wasn’t there a greasemonkey script posted here at one time that allowed you to screen out Darrell’s posts? I’m all for engaging people who disagree if they manage to keep the word “kooks” and the phrase “it’s who you are” out of their posts, but would have no problems with adding Senator Darrell to the list – hard to engage with what you can’t see.

    I’m a big fan of what Kos and the libertarians are doing. I so wish that it was how congress worked. People of like minds regardless of their party affiliation trying to reach consensus through negotiation, concession, and pragmatism. Did ever such a system exist outside of a coalition government?

  275. 275
    Richard 23 says:

    tjp is so loaded!

  276. 276
    t. jasper parnell says:

    Steve
    “There are undoubtedly many insurgents who don’t fit into this category; and I’m not trying to categorically rule anything out as far as they are concerned. But if you’ve killed an American soldier, I’m not willing to give you a free pass. And it troubles me that the new Iraqi government is considering doing just that.”

    It does not trouble me, I find it infuriating. However, my personal feelings about amnesty needs must give way, I think , to the larger goal of ending terrorism and/or insurgency. Thus and therefore, I refuse to allow my desires for revenge to color my desire for this war’s end.

    You see? Amnesty in this situation is most likely wrong in a moral sense and certainly the wrong way to treat our troops but it may well be right in the sense of resolving the issue. It is, or in any event might be, that effective solutions to real problems seem to stink, but what of the alternative? A longer war? More dead? Increased instability? Rising Hatred? Isn’t this some kind of a balancing act and not a test of moral fibre?

  277. 277
    Steve says:

    Well, in a parliamentary system, you have coalitions making formal arrangements to trade off this law for that law, and so forth, in order to get pieces of their agenda passed. In a two-party system like ours, I’m not convinced the same process doesn’t take place, just on a less formal basis. For example, the religious fundamentalists and the tax-cut fanboys who make up a big chunk of the modern GOP aren’t necessarily part of the same party, but clever strategists have managed to bring them together for the (hoped-for) benefit of both agendas. They all get called Republicans at the end of the day, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a coalition, obviously.

    One thing that’s a constant battle over at dkos is that many of the people at that site are rather idealistic, or maybe just unsophisticated, as far as politics goes, and they don’t really get the idea of a coalition. They don’t understand that, for example, Johnson’s Great Society never would have been passed if the Democrats didn’t have all the conservative (and oftimes, flat-out racist) Dixiecrats as part of their coalition; these are the people who want to primary Ben Nelson of Nebraska every time he votes against the Dems, even though it’s like a gift from the gods to even have a Democratic Senator from that state.

    To me, it’s a no-brainer; if you’re a liberal whose favorite Senators are Ted Kennedy and Barbara Boxer, and you can achieve a Democratic majority that will pass at least some of your legislation by allying with Southern moderates or quasi-libertarians or whoever, of course you should do it, even if you wouldn’t necessarily be fans of every piece of legislation these people want you to pass. It’s certainly a less offensive alliance than teaming up with people who thought Jim Crow was awesome. But for a lot of the netroots, they’re all about ideological purity and they just don’t get the idea of political give and take, and what can you do? In a parliamentary government where there was a more formal coalition maybe these people would “get it” a little more.

  278. 278
    t. jasper parnell says:

    Steve,
    Why is it okay to behave pragmatically in the service of a presumed legislative good and not in the serive of clear foreign policy good?

  279. 279
    ImJohnGalt says:

    Steve,
    I think the reason why people at Kos get so bent about allying with Southern moderates (if they are Republicans) is that IMHO the Republicans are actually changing the time-honoured legislative processes to make the opposition party irrelevant. As long as they do that, working with them to help pass a piece of legislation you’re passionate about might help in the short run, but in the long run a) they’ll take credit for it, and b) when they are re-elected, they’ll keep evolving the process (no filibusters, for example) to further push you into irrelevancy.

    What’s the profit in working with someone whose party is trying not only to win the battle of ideas, but to keep yours from being heard at all?

  280. 280
    Steve says:

    I’m not talking about allying with Republicans. (Are there any moderate Republicans from the South? I can think of like one.) I’m talking about the kind of moderate Democrat who is the only kind of Democrat who has a chance to win in some states. There are some people, for whatever reason, who would rather have an ideologically pure minority of 30 Democrats in the Senate than team up with such people.

  281. 281
    tBone says:

    these are the people who want to primary Ben Nelson of Nebraska every time he votes against the Dems, even though it’s like a gift from the gods to even have a Democratic Senator from that state.

    Actually, that’s not true. Nebraska is as red as it comes in terms of presidential elections, but has had at least one Democratic Senator continuously since 1976.

  282. 282
    Steve says:

    I think you know what I mean!

  283. 283
    tBone says:

    I think you know what I mean!

    Sure. I just like to be a nitpicky a-hole from time to time. I feel it’s my duty as a blogospherian.

  284. 284
    fwiffo says:

    But for a lot of the netroots, they’re all about ideological purity and they just don’t get the idea of political give and take

    That’s a popular thing to say, but it’s pretty much completely untrue. There are very few who would seriously run a primary against Ben Nelson. The great majority recognize that it’s a totally different situation than Connecticut. Some of the netroots favorites – Harry Reid, Brian Schweitzer, Jack Murtha, etc. are moderates. The netroots also are pretty excited about Jim Webb, and favored him quite strongly over the less conservative Miller.

    Chris Bowers’ new netroots surveys (check them out at mydd.com) have some data that strongly refute the notion that the netroots is after ideological purity.

  285. 285
    ImJohnGalt says:

    FWIW, my understanding of the Anti-Lieberman lobby is not that he is ideologically out-of-step, as much as the wingnuts would have you believe that it’s only because he is pro-Iraq. Rather, he consistently undermines the Democratic party by supporting Republican positions on issues where the Democratic position is fairly well staked out, such as on Social Security. He is so often used by the Republicans to demonstrate “bi-partisanship”, that the Venn diagram of Republican policies and Joe Lieberman’s “principled” positions is pretty much a circle.

    I will be very surprised if he loses in the primary, given how far behind Lamont was to start, and his lack of name recognition, but will be pleasantly startled if he manages to pull it off.

    I’m with fwiffo here, Steve. Kos has pretty consistently talked about letting Democrats in traditionally red states figure out how best to reconcile the Democratic platform with the local issues. In fact, he was pissed that NARAL came out for Chafee rather than the Democratic candidate who was anti-choice, even though the Chafee would have little to no influence on his party, which has pretty consistently been anti-choice.

    It’s a point-of-view (Kos’s) that I think many on his site are starting to come ’round to, and one of the primary arguments in Crashing the Gates.

  286. 286
    Steve says:

    You guys aren’t following me. I’m not trying to make some massive generalization about the netroots, and I already acknowledged that Markos and most of the opinion leaders aren’t about ideological purity at all.

    Was there a lot of support at dkos for Webb? Absolutely. Were there several commentors in every Webb diary criticizing some of Webb’s more conservative stances and saying how wrong it was to ever support a Dem like that? Indeed there were. That’s all I’m saying. I’m not trying to tell you those people represent a majority or they control the netroots or anything like that.

    Look at Bob Casey Jr., a pro-life Dem who is most likely going to beat the #3 Republican in the Senate. It’s been a bloodbath at dkos and elsewhere between those who are happy to beat Santorum and those who think the Dems were evil for putting up a pro-life candidate, those who think the party should have supported a solid liberal no one ever heard of in the primary, etc. As someone who comments every day at dkos, I’m pretty qualified to say that it’s an ongoing struggle.

    I agree with Markos’ book but not everyone does.

  287. 287
    MikeLucca says:

    Steve says:

    On what planet are the Democrats represented by the extreme left?

    Uh, earth, maybe. Name one Democratic leader — other than Lieberman — who is not a member of the extreme left. Pelosi? Dean? Sheehan?

  288. 288
    Jim Allen says:

    ppGaz —

    Exactly. Well, I was thinking mayonnaise squeeze bottle, but same concept.

    It was that splurtching sound when you get to the bottom of the bottle that made you think of Darrell, right?

  289. 289
    tBone says:

    Uh, earth, maybe. Name one Democratic leader—other than Lieberman—who is not a member of the extreme left. Pelosi? Dean? Sheehan?

    Huh. I must have missed Cindy Sheehan being elected to Congress. How about that.

    Of course, Howard Dean’s record – NRA endorsements, balanced budgets – obviously reveals him as a whacko extremist.

    And Nancy Pelosi is a self-professed liberal, and we all know that liberal=extreme left.

    Wow, I’m convinced. Thank God the Republicans are led by moderate, sensible conservatives.

  290. 290
    Steve says:

    Uh, earth, maybe. Name one Democratic leader—other than Lieberman—who is not a member of the extreme left. Pelosi? Dean? Sheehan?

    hahahaha

  291. 291
    MikeLucca says:

    Sheehan is a leader of the anti-war movement. I didn’t say “political” leaders. And I didn’t say Michael Moore, who is not the leader of any movement except the nation’s movement towards obesity.

  292. 292
    Jim Allen says:

    Sheehan is a leader of the anti-war movement. I didn’t say “political” leaders. And I didn’t say Michael Moore, who is not the leader of any movement except the nation’s movement towards obesity.

    You left out Barbra Streisand. And Alec Baldwin. Oh, and don’t forget the Dixie Chicks.

  293. 293
    tBone says:

    Sheehan is a leader of the anti-war movement.

    “Leader of Anti-War Momement” != “Democratic Leader”

  294. 294
    Richard 23 says:

    And I didn’t say Michael Moore, who is not the leader of any movement except the nation’s movement towards obesity.

    You are charming aren’t you? What movement do you lead? The bowel movement? Oops. Ad hominem alert. ;-)

  295. 295
    Jim Allen says:

    You are charming aren’t you? What movement do you lead? The bowel movement? Oops. Ad hominem alert.

    That really was uncalled for. He obviously has a problem in that area. Otherwise he wouldn’t be quite so full of shit.

  296. 296
    Perry Como says:

    MikeLucca, the public debt called. It said you owe $8 trillion to your Republican government.

    (if I’m sounding like a broken record it’s because bringing up the obscene amount of money we are in debt is the only thing that will make the Defenders shut up)

  297. 297
    ppGaz says:

    It was that splurtching sound when you get to the bottom of the bottle that made you think of Darrell, right?

    Disgusting. But true.

  298. 298
    neil says:

    MikeLucca, are you aware that the earth has other countries besides America on it? Perhaps you’re not, it might explain some things.

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