If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Join ‘Em

I guess after years of deriding MoveOn, the next thing to do is to mimic them:

House Republican leaders and conservative activists are targeting critics of President Bush’s plan to send more combat forces into Iraq — and some GOP lawmakers are on the hit list.

Amid a mounting campaign in Congress to limit Bush’s military options, conservatives led by talk show host Hugh Hewitt have created an advocacy group designed to counter the anti-war MoveOn.org. And its first round of targets will be the 17 GOP lawmakers who voted for last week’s Democratic resolution in the House opposing the troop increases.

First in the sights of the new Victory Caucus is Rep. Ric Keller, R-Fla., whose district includes Orlando.

I support this wholly, and hope to assist Hugh in creating his permanent right-wing crazy minority party. They can focus on abortion, patriotism, and immigration. Hell, I even have a Presidential candidate for them- Harriet Meiers.

In all seriousness, Hugh and company- you guys show ’em. I think anyone who demonstrates anything less than absolute and complete fealty to the Decider’s plans should be excommunictaed and defeated, and replaced with someone crazier.

The best way to keep Hugh’s ideas from ever infecting the public agenda is to support them in this cause, because working to defeat the few moderates remaining in the GOP will only keep the Republicans in the minority for a long time coming. So you show ’em, Hugh! I fully support your quixotic quest for ideological purity. But please don’t roll out the phrase “The big tent party” anytime soon.






177 replies
  1. 1
    ThymeZone says:

    I hope it works. I hope they screw the 17, and end up with Dem replacements.

  2. 2
    Dungheap says:

    This is more akin to the Club for Growth strategy which, as far as I can tell, calls for hardcore right-wing primary opposition to moderate Republicans in districts where the hardcore right-winger is destined to lose in the general.

    Whatever the corollary, I’m all for it.

  3. 3
    DougJ says:

    Yeah, this isn’t really much like MoveOn. MoveOn is just general progressive advocacy. This more like a Khmer Rouge style party purge.

  4. 4
    les says:

    Great; the political version of the Purity Ball. May they live well and prosper.

  5. 5
    Jake says:

    Hugh Hewitt for President! He can run on the All George Base r belong to us, platform.

  6. 6
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    Well, William Odom already completely destroyed the *chuckle* “intellectual” underpinnings of the Victory Caucus (which primarily exists to give wingnuts a name to scream out as they masturbate, I’m guessing), so now it’s on to loyalty measurements. Next, we can look forward to angry diatribes about how this is NOT a “purge” like what those unhinged Democrats did to poor, innocent Joe Lieberman whose only crime is loving America.

    That said, I do agree with John that if this results in the creation of a permanent right-wing crazy minority party, I’m all for it. Peeling away extremists and leaving them to scream at passing cars or whatever the hell they do spells “progress” no matter how you slice it.

  7. 7
    cd6 says:

    Victory Caucus?

    What’s a matter? Copyright office wouldn’t approve the “War is Peace Caucus”?

  8. 8
    Perry Como says:

    I think it’s a brilliant idea. Frank “Hang ’em High” Gaffney was just on TV talking about the problems with debating issues. The iconography is especially good, in a crypto-fascist sort of way.

  9. 9
    Vladi G says:

    Frank “Hang ‘em High” Gaffney was just on TV talking about the problems with debating issues.

    Yeah, I mean, if only people wouldn’t call him out on using fake Lincoln quotes and stuff, debating the issues would be so much easier.

  10. 10

    Yeah, I mean, if only people wouldn’t call him out on using fake Lincoln quotes and stuff, -debating- debasing the issues would be so much easier.

    Fixed

  11. 11
    Mike S says:

    Baby Hewy has been getting deeper and deeper into the cult over the last few years. It’s almost funny to listen to him these days, especially when he gets his cult friends from “The Northern Tier” to come on his show. AssRocket happens to be one of my faves.

  12. 12

    The best way to keep Hugh’s ideas from ever infecting the public agenda is to support them in this cause, because working to defeat the few moderates remaining in the GOP will only keep the Republicans in the minority for a long time coming.

    Precisely what I’ve advocated for the last 2 1/2 years.

    But then, I’m a Democrat.

    Heh.

  13. 13
    Jess says:

    Hey John–

    Before you deride MoveOn any futher by comparing them to these guys, please do us all a favor and go to the MoveOn website and check out what percentage of their positions are held only by the extremist, lunatic fringe of the left.

    As a moderate member of MoveOn, I would be grateful if you could bring yourself to portray them more accurately, even if you do disagree with them. Thanks.

  14. 14
    semper fubar says:

    So, the ultra right wing is now calling itself the VC? It’s getting hard to keep up….

  15. 15

    I am not in favor of a radicalized Republican Party, nor its consignment to decades long minor minority status, and I am a lefty Democrat.

    I regard one Party rule with very real scepticism and I have six years of evidence and a preceding six of lead up as further evidence. A tyranny of the majority is never to be trusted.

    That said, there is a bunch in Congress that deserves and needs a serious ass-kicking. Some lessongs need to be learned at the end of a very large stick.

  16. 16
    CaseyL says:

    Chuck, the Democrats will never be a One Party government, not even if we hold the Congress and the White House. We’re just too fractious – we always have been, and now that we’ve adopted a lot of homeless Republicans, we’ll be even more so.

    The GOP has to die. It’s been taken over by people who have no business setting public policy, who are downright anti-American, who advocate nothing more than belligerant ignorance.

    If the GOP becomes a fringe Party, then at some point the Democratic Party might split into Progressive/Liberal and Traditional/Conservative wings, at which point we’ll have the competing points of view we need.

  17. 17
    Tsulagi says:

    Hell, I even have a Presidential candidate for them- Harriet Meiers.

    Don’t forget her running mate, Mean Jean Schmidt. Following the Bush/Cheney mold personifying the brains and backbone that is the party of Bush. Keep the revolution alive.

  18. 18
    grumpy realist says:

    John: your party has turned itself into the sort of place that seriously allows a voice to people who don’t believe the Earth goes around the sun.

    I mean, what’s next? Insisting that medical schools go back to Galen and the “four humours” view of sickness?

    A country that doesn’t kick this sort of silliness to the side is NOT going to stay at the top of any race in science and technology. And frankly, I’m getting to the point that I don’t care about what happens to the US. Too many inhabitants are brain-dead idiots.

  19. 19
    DougJ says:

    I agree that this is a bad development. I don’t like the Republican party, but I’d rather it being taken over by moderates (even if that means they do better in elections) than further hijacked by right-wing nuts.

    Anything that empowers Hugh Hewitt is, by definition, bad.

  20. 20
    Andrew says:

    go to the MoveOn website and check out what percentage of their positions are held only by the extremist, lunatic fringe of the left.

    Looks like they support surrendering to the terrorists like the majority of the Leftards, so no, their views aren’t out of sync with the “Hate America First” crowd.

  21. 21
    ThymeZone says:

    DougJ now hopes for a political pony.

  22. 22
    Rome Again says:

    I agree that this is a bad development. I don’t like the Republican party, but I’d rather it being taken over by moderates (even if that means they do better in elections) than further hijacked by right-wing nuts.

    Too late, this is where the Republican party is headed, permanently. These are the people we’re going to have to suffer from now on until the next huge political trend takes over (which will probably be dictatorship if these people can get away with it).

    I hate to say I told ya so…

  23. 23
    DougJ says:

    TZ: this current insanity can’t last forever. It’s a question of how much damage the far right-wing does before they are brought to heel. Will they completely destroy our country as we know it or not?

    I think there’s a very real chance that the Republicans in Congress will turn on Bush over the next two years. That could make the difference between having a war with Iran versus getting out of Iraq.

  24. 24
    Rome Again says:

    A country that doesn’t kick this sort of silliness to the side is NOT going to stay at the top of any race in science and technology. And frankly, I’m getting to the point that I don’t care about what happens to the US. Too many inhabitants are brain-dead idiots.

    Grumpy… science and technology are on the cutting block. Self-righteous Godism with rapture euphoria and hellbound damnation for anyone who doesn’t agree is the wave of the future. Get on board.

  25. 25
    Bombadil says:

    What the fuck is going on? I stay away from the site for few days and when I come back, I see thirteen consecutive posts by John Cole!

    Is it spring break already?

  26. 26
    Rome Again says:

    I think there’s a very real chance that the Republicans in Congress will turn on Bush over the next two years. That could make the difference between having a war with Iran versus getting out of Iraq.

    Do you really think those who would turn on Bush will do so before the war with Iran?

    I’m not so sure.

  27. 27
    DougJ says:

    I hope so, Rome. It’s going to be tough to get some sanity into our Middle Eastern policy if it’s Democrats versus Republicans. It needs to become sane people versus George Bush. I know it may be a long shot, but I’m hopeful.

  28. 28
    Rome Again says:

    Well, DougJ, I certainly hope there are enough sane people to pull it off, I’m not so sure anymore.

  29. 29
    ThymeZone says:

    I don’t agree, DougJ. I think that the radical right has shot their wad, I think the GOP is mortally wounded, I think the policy influence on the US by these assholes is over. I think that the longer it takes the GOP to recover from this disaster, the better. They sold their souls to the rad-right devil, so let them suffer the consequences.

    Meanwhile the US moves on. See November, 2006, for more on this.

    This game is over, I have no patience for talking like we should still play it.

    911 changed everything. George Bush’s hubris and incompetance changed it back.

    Let’s move on.

  30. 30
    Rome Again says:

    TZ, I need your confidence. I don’t share it, unfortunately.

  31. 31
    jake says:

    I mean, what’s next? Insisting that medical schools go back to Galen and the “four humours” view of sickness?

    “I recommend…a…course…of…leeches.”

    But we know the radicals will never go after any science that brings us all of the groovy stuff: Viagra, TV sets, giant assed SUVs…

  32. 32
    ThymeZone says:

    Well, I grew up in a political environment where you work your ass off, you get good candidates, you get your message out, and you win.

    That’s how it works. That’s how it worked in 2006.

    The party we want to rebuild is not the worthless Republican party right now. It’s the Democratic Party. A strong, middle-class-friendly and competant part is the best insurance against whatever shit the bad guys want to foist on us.

  33. 33
    Joe1347 says:

    I support this wholly, and hope to assist Hugh in creating his permanent right-wing crazy minority party. They can focus on abortion, patriotism, and immigration

    How about adding war with Eurasia, No separation of church and state, and that ‘freedom of the press’ thing? Plus the first Amendment is starting to really bother me.

  34. 34
    Rome Again says:

    Gosh, you make me want to believe, TZ, but I guess I have to see more evidence before I can. I am pessimistic about the radical bible thumpers going away. Give me some time, I may yet recover.

  35. 35
    jg says:

    The party we want to rebuild is not the worthless Republican party right now. It’s the Democratic Party. A strong, middle-class-friendly and competant part is the best insurance against whatever shit the bad guys want to foist on us.

    It’ll only work if you can convince millions that what they think of the democratic party is wrong. Good luck with that. The people who would do the convincing are the last people ‘they’ will listen too.

  36. 36
    ThymeZone says:

    It’ll only work if you can convince millions that what they think of the democratic party is wrong. Good luck with that.

    You have a strange view of politics. If course you can convince them. You start by demonstrating with actions.

    Politics is a contest. You sound like you think the sportwriters determine the outcome.

  37. 37
    ThymeZone says:

    I am pessimistic about the radical bible thumpers going away.

    They aren’t going away. They are just going to lose.

    Politics is about winning. Winning is not about cowering in fear of your opponent.

  38. 38
    Rome Again says:

    Politics is about winning. Winning is not about cowering in fear of your opponent.

    Agreed, but even if they were a single digits minority, they would still find a way to create chaos.

  39. 39
    ThymeZone says:

    but even if they were a single digits minority

    Nothing wins like winning. I think you are going to see the GOP start running away from the crazy shit that got us into this pile of crap, or …. lose in disastrous numbers that they couldn’t even imagine two years ago.

    And I think the GOP members on Capitol Hill know this even better than I do. I think they know they are fucked.

  40. 40
    Rome Again says:

    And I think the GOP members on Capitol Hill know this even better than I do. I think they know they are fucked.

    God I hope so. I’ll take a wait and see and get back to you. I want to believe you, I really do.

  41. 41
    t. jasper parnell says:

    Did anybody else hear that Blair is going to remove the British troops?

  42. 42
    DougJ says:

    I don’t agree, DougJ. I think that the radical right has shot their wad, I think the GOP is mortally wounded,

    And you say _I’m_ looking for a political pony.

    Truthfully, my view of the GOP may be skewed — I live in western NY where our Republican Congressmen have started voting with the Democrats on most of the big bills (including one defection out of three on the anti-escalation resolution, Walsh, who is now a target of Hugh Hewitt).

    I worry about a future where the GOP, even in a weakened state, is still run by complete Kool-Aid drinking whack jobs. I don’t think it’s good. And I hope they change.

  43. 43
    t. jasper parnell says:

    Did anybody else hear that a major Republican donor has been charged with being a terrorist?

  44. 44
    ThymeZone says:

    And I hope they change.

    What do you think will make them change, Doug?

    Losing. That’s what makes a party change.

    They started changing in November of last year. They see the train wreck coming at them in 2008. Change is coming.

    We change them by being better, and beating them.

    That’s not a pony, that’s what fucking politics is about.

  45. 45

    I worry about a future where the GOP, even in a weakened state, is still run by complete Kool-Aid drinking whack jobs. I don’t think it’s good. And I hope they change.

    DougJ, you, TZ, Rome Again, and I all remember the Democrats in the early seventies. I’d say we went through a few years when we were kind of out of touch with reality. Did we get over it? Yup.

    The Republican-Americans will, too. Their leaders really aren’t stupid — they’ll reign in the worst of their wingnuts when they discover that the wingnuts haven’t got anywhere else to go, anyway, and when the wingnuts discover that there’s a reason to get out and vote for any moderates the Republican-Americans put up for election. You can count on it: politicians like to get elected, and they will do what it takes.

  46. 46
    ThymeZone says:

    You can count on it: politicians like to get elected, and they will do what it takes.

    Correctamundo.

    And the GOP has worn out its reliance on trickery and bullshit. People are getting smarter. Netroots are making a difference. People are learning to look at results, not slogans and rhetoric.

    With any luck, the Rove Revolution has hit bottom. With any luck, a revived Democratic Party is going to be kicking ass and taking names for a while.

  47. 47
    CaseyL says:

    Demi, what positions did the Democratic Party take in the early 70s that comes close to the corruption and insanity the GOP stands for now?

  48. 48

    And the GOP has worn out its reliance on trickery and bullshit. People are getting smarter. Netroots are making a difference. People are learning to look at results, not slogans and rhetoric.

    And they like ponies, too. :)

    I wish I believed that things were changing, but I don’t. People are fundamentally uninterested in politics, and *that’s a good thing*. For most of us, political game-playing is a luxury which is only important when things get very bad. Yes, that means the Groping Old Pedophiles are hitting bottom, but it doesn’t mean that people are getting smarter or that the netroots makes any difference at all.

  49. 49

    Demi, what positions did the Democratic Party take in the early 70s that comes close to the corruption and insanity the GOP stands for now?

    Unilateral nuclear disarmament. Continued expansion of the Great Society. Urban renewal.

  50. 50
    ThymeZone says:

    I wish I believed that things were changing, but I don’t. People are fundamentally uninterested in politics, and that’s a good thing. For most of us, political game-playing is a luxury which is only important when things get very bad. Yes, that means the Groping Old Pedophiles are hitting bottom, but it doesn’t mean that people are getting smarter or that the netroots makes any difference at all.

    Luckily, your thinking will not affect the outcome. The change is happening despite your pessimism.

    What happened in the four years between November 2002 and November 2006 is huge. A huge sea change. And that’s the beginning, not the end, of the change.

    But, you guys go ahead and wallow in your pessimism and abject fear of those powerful Haggard-loving righties and their mighty grip on the psyche of America.

    Only problem is, you are about 4 years behind the times.

    What got Dems into the holes of 2002 and 2004 wasn’t the mighty righties, it was a weak and disorganized, cowardly Democratic Party. It was fear of standing up for what we believed in. It was second-rate candidates and self-serving politics.

    We win by reversing those trends. Simple as that.

    If that’s not true, then this blog should be shut down, because all of it is just a waste of fucking time.

  51. 51
    DougJ says:

    What do you think will make them change, Doug?

    Losing. That’s what makes a party change.

    Indeed, my local changed because they almost lost.

    You’re probably right — it will take a crushing defeat to se the Republicans straight, or at least straightish, once again. I hope they don’t manage to take us into a war with Iraq in the meantime.

  52. 52

    We win by reversing those trends. Simple as that.

    If that’s not true, then this blog should be shut down, because all of it is just a waste of fucking time.

    What part of “ill-informed banter” are you having trouble with? Of course this blog is a waste of fucking time.

    You appear to believe that people get better and can be broadly redeemed. I don’t. If so, our difference is as simple as that, and we’re going to have to agree to disagree, because people a lot smarter than either of us have argued that point for thousands of years, and never convinced one another.

    The nice thing about democracy, though, is that neither of us has to be right. If you’re partly right, and some people can be redeemed, then they’ll vote more wisely in the future. If I’m right, and people respond to serious threats by getting involved until things get better, then they’ll vote wisely while it counts, and retreat into apathy when they no longer need to get excited. (And, if we’re both half right, then some of both will happen.)

    Either way, though, those things which are currently broken will get fixed, and that’s all that really matters.

  53. 53
    DougJ says:

    Demi, the Democrats were never as out of touch with reality as the current GOP crew are. The current Republican party is a personality cult wrapped inside a plutocracy inside a theocracy. It’s the most frightening thing to happen to this country since the civil war.

    I’m not convinced mere defeat will be enough to change them. Remember — the bedrock of the party is people who are proud to have lost the civil war.

  54. 54
    tBone says:

    You’re probably right—it will take a crushing defeat to se the Republicans straight, or at least straightish, once again.

    Whatever, leftard. All it takes is a three-week spiritual retreat to become straight. Just ask Ted Haggard.

  55. 55
    ThymeZone says:

    You appear to believe that people get better and can be broadly redeemed.

    Uh, yes, as a matter of fact, I do. And if this is not true then the American Experiment is basically a practical joke. But that’s off topic.

    I’m a Democrat, lifelong and steadfast. I am not a Defeatocrat, especially about Dem politics.

    We have a lot of defeatocrats around here. You, I’m not sure what you are. And I’m not really asking, just stating a fact. I don’t know.

  56. 56
    RSA says:

    Hell, I even have a Presidential candidate for them- Harriet Meiers.

    What, no love for Roy Moore? If Republicans want to establish a big tent party for right wing crazies, they need to let all the right wing crazies in.

  57. 57

    Hugh and Company can’t even come up with an original idea:

    Victory Caucus

  58. 58

    Demi, the Democrats were never as out of touch with reality as the current GOP crew are. The current Republican party is a personality cult wrapped inside a plutocracy inside a theocracy. It’s the most frightening thing to happen to this country since the civil war.

    You know, I’m not sure I agree with all of that. Are the current Republicans scary? Yes. Is the bedrock of the party a bunch of kooks? You betcha.

    But I wonder if the current Republican base really is a whacked out as HH and his crowd? I mean, if you think about it, there were plenty of New Left loonies in the Dems, too, but, just as they didn’t really affect the heart of the party, so the authoritarian whackjobs don’t really express the core of what the Republican party is.

    But, you know, I’m not able to say what the Republicans ought to be, either. I’m just a nanny-statist, longing for the government to make it possible for me to keep my special-needs child in the meds he needs and the support services he requires. So I’m just as selfish as the worst of the Republican-Americans, and not qualified to judge them.

  59. 59

    What, no love for Roy Moore? If Republicans want to establish a big tent party for right wing crazies, they need to let all the right wing crazies in.

    I think that they feel that they payed their debts to the most right of the right wing when they let David Duke in.

  60. 60
    ThymeZone says:

    So I’m just as selfish as the worst of the Republican-Americans,

    Nah, just an informed voter who knows what his interests are and how to look our for them.

    That makes you the ideal citizen. I’m quite serious.

    If ten percent of those idiot rad-righties had the same clear idea of what their real interests are and how to vote for them, we wouldn’t be in the mess we are in today.

    Their problem is that they don’t even know where their real interests lie. That makes them vulnerable to emotional, personality-based appeals.

  61. 61
    Rome Again says:

    Their problem is that they don’t even know where their real interests lie. That makes them vulnerable to emotional, personality-based appeals.

    That’s true.

  62. 62

    A Man In Full: Bush’s Sexual Fantasies About Bin Laden.

    Apaarently the leader of the Western World told Ariel Sharon he’d screw Osama bin Laden in the ass if he ever caught him.

    http://www.chris-floyd.com/ind.....Itemid=135

  63. 63
    DougJ says:

    But I wonder if the current Republican base really is a whacked out as HH and his crowd?

    I think about half are, about half aren’t. The half that aren’t need to wake up — that’s what I’m talking about. Until that happens, we’ve got trouble.

  64. 64
    Tulkinghorn says:

    The GOP has to die. It’s been taken over by people who have no business setting public policy, who are downright anti-American, who advocate nothing more than belligerant ignorance.

    The GOP needs to go the way of the Federalist Party, and for the same reasons.

  65. 65

    I think about half are, about half aren’t.

    Wow. Someone who makes *me* look like an optimist. Dude, that’s quite an achievement.

    I think that there is a small and noisy crowd of morons in the Republican party. I think that crowd has been propped up by a lot of money so that it seems to be a lot bigger than it actually is. I also think that its influence has crested, and that we are now in the long and bloody mopping-up phase of taking care of it.

    I agree that the rest need to realize what the kooks have done to their party. That, my friend, will take electoral humiliation on the order of 1972, 1974, and 1976 — but I think it’s going to happen. I don’t see 2008 as being a good year to be a Republican in Washington state, for instance, yet as recently as eight years ago, Washington was solidly red outside Seattle.

  66. 66
    Zifnab says:

    Hugh Hewitt

    Now lets all form a big circle. Ok, everyone cock your gun and point it at the man to your right. Now, the next person who steps out of line gets one right between the eyes. And… George Will, did you just look at me funny? Oh fuck this!

    Honestly, demimondian, I suspect there are a great many more Darrells in this world than we care to acknowledge. (To use a tired, timeworn, and hackneyed analogy) you think the Nazis were just a handful of rich guys in a country club gone mad?

    Republicanism isn’t a cult, it’s a religion. They’ve got legions of diehard dumbasses. The only thing that’s been breaking the herd mentality is pure survival instinct. Not every lemming is willing to throw himself off the cliff.

  67. 67
    Goober says:

    Any military action against eye-ran and da R’s are toast 4 a decade…

  68. 68
    Richard 23 says:

    Hopefully the 17 pieces of silver (RINOs) can be replaced with good solid Republicans. But I think we can all agree that good Democrats, like Joe Lieberman (the conscience of the Senate) and Zell Miller would be acceptable too.

  69. 69
    ET says:

    It occurred to me while reading this post that the GOP – or at least those still frantically/fanatically holding on to Bush – that they are going to have to make some decisions when he is no longer president. This group has so tied itself to Dubya as being the GOP standard-bearer that when he is no longer president their standard-bearer is just another citizen – though one who was once president. Who do they glom onto next? Sure their loyalties and hearts may still belong to Dubya, but politically speaking, who can get their juices reved up? If it was just about political belifs/philosophy Dubya would have been toast. It is also about the Dubya himself. They have spent the last 6 years (and will likely spend the next two) defending and lionizing him – what next?

  70. 70
    Face says:

    We’re SOOOOOOOOOOOO going to war with The Rugs

  71. 71
    cleek says:

    which primarily exists to give wingnuts a name to scream out as they masturbate

    OMG. i fucking love that.

  72. 72
    spoosmith says:

    I was on a right-wing blog the other day (I think you have to be aware of what extreme right-wingers are advocating) and some guy actually said this:

    “Remember who attacked us on 9/11. It was Iran.”

    I shit you not.

    I don’t know how the U.S. can possibly survive when the electorate is so -almost violently – divided on basic issues (and reality). All it would take is one more attack on U.S. soil and every freedom that Americans are proud of would vanish in a puff of paranoid smoke. Free press? Gone. Free speech? Gone. Suspended elections, martial law and an authoritarian nightmare will likely ensue. The scary thing is, there will be a lot of people screaming at the top of their lungs that they have to suspend freedoms in order to safeguard them.

  73. 73
    John S. says:

    They have spent the last 6 years (and will likely spend the next two) defending and lionizing him – what next?

    See: Reagan, Ronald

    After Bush is out of office, they will go to work re-writing history (which they have already begun). Remember how Reagan ‘saved us’ from the Soviet threat by wrestling Gorbachev with one arm tied behind his back? Look for the same talking points about Bush who valiantly ‘saved us’ from the Islamofascist menace. If it weren’t for Reagan, we’d all be speaking Russian! And if it weren’t for Bush, we’d all be speaking Arabic! Stuff like that. Also, all future Republicans that are tough on terror and make rash and stupid bold and courageous decisions will be dubbed as ‘Bushesque’.

    Republicans aren’t really all that creative, so I guarantee they will use the same old playbook they’ve been using for Reagan.

  74. 74
    Punchy says:

    “Remember who attacked us on 9/11. It was Iran.”

    And Poland. Everyone forgets about Poland.

  75. 75
    Wilfred says:

    The scary thing is, there will be a lot of people screaming at the top of their lungs that they have to suspend freedoms in order to safeguard them

    Thus: In order to save the village, we had to destroy it.

    The pretzel logic of the ideologue.

  76. 76
    Pb says:

    spoosmith,

    Well, it seems that Iran had a closer relationship with al-Qaeda than Iraq did, but that’s really not saying much. And if that was really the standard, then we should instead be threatening to invade Pakistan or Saudi Arabia or something.

  77. 77
    DougJ says:

    Ok, everyone cock your gun and point it at the man to your right.

  78. 78
    DougJ says:

    I think that there is a small and noisy crowd of morons in the Republican party.

    I go through phases where I think that way, but the more I talk to them, the more I realize about half are authoritarian nuts. John Dean thinks about 25% of the population is authoritarian. I think that’s about right. If you classify half the country as Republican-leaning, then that makes about half of that half authoritarian. So that’s my rationale.

  79. 79

    John Dean thinks about 25% of the population is authoritarian.

    I’m curious what you mean by the term “authoritarian”. Depending on what you by it, there is academic data speaking to that point.

  80. 80
    ThymeZone says:

    John Dean thinks about 25% of the population is authoritarian

    You’re looking at the wrong end of the problem set, Doug.

    That chunk of demographic has always been there.

    What’s changed is that a political machine has invented ways to harness that demographic and turn it into votes, and built a coalition that turned that into a slim majority.

    Good for them. But that’s not the end of the story.

    First of all, that machine has passed its prime. Its heyday is over. Second, guess what? There’s another party out there, which basically sat back and let this happen without putting up an effective fight. That phase is also now over.

    The antidote to the GOP strategy is a better strategy. Better messages, better candidates, better fundraising, better GOTV, better everything. We are seeing those things now. And it doesn’t hurt that the stupid morons everyone here is so afraid CAN’T GOVERN and have alienated and energized an opposition against them.

    Result? Well, the first result was November, 2006. The next big one is coming next year. Unless the Democrats totally blow their chance, the White House is going to be ours, and we will have further gains in Congress.

    We win by playing the game better. Not by sitting around and whining about how awful our opponents are.

    When you look at the details of November 2006, you will see an ass whipping of historic proportions. Those turds on the other side went from thinking they had a permanent lock on power in this country, to being OUT, in one day.

    That’s the beauty of politics, dude. It works. Not often pretty, but in the hands of competant people, it works. And if the contest is between competancies, then we win, and long term we win more and more. We can govern, and they can’t. That’s not trivial.

    You defeatocrats talk about the GOP the way Republicans talk about terrorists. SCARY! RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!

    Feh. Republicans are essentially stupid and self serving. Use that against them, and utltimately, they lose. They aren’t that scary. Have you listened to any of the Iraq debate in Congress lately? Those guys sound like complete fucking idiots and jerks. They are killing themselves politically.

  81. 81

    How come nobody is asking the question.

    Why does Tony Blair hate America and love terrorists?

  82. 82

    I think that there is a small and noisy crowd of morons in the Republican party. I think that crowd has been propped up by a lot of money so that it seems to be a lot bigger than it actually is. I also think that its influence has crested, and that we are now in the long and bloody mopping-up phase of taking care of it.

    I don’t think so. Not until after they lose in ’08.

    In ’95 Spector felt that the fringe had gotten too vocal and was pushing away moderates. He was booed from the Iowa convention.

    In ’00 McCain claimed the religious right had gotten too vocal and was pushing away moderates. He was ousted from the nomination in the Carolinas by a whisper smear.

    Guess what John McCain is doing today? Is he yelling about the crazy fringe?

    Nope.

    He’s embracing them.

    That’s not the sign of a bloody mop up job.

  83. 83

    Result? Well, the first result was November, 2006. The next big one is coming next year. Unless the Democrats totally blow their chance, the White House is going to be ours, and we will have further gains in Congress.

    We win by playing the game better. Not by sitting around and whining about how awful our opponents are.

    A–Men, brother!

  84. 84

    Speaking of wingnutville…

    I hear Arizona is looking at passing the David Horowitz, protect the children from professors who have an opinion.

    I wonder how Glenn Reynolds feels about that?

  85. 85
    ThymeZone says:

    He’s embracing them.

    That’s not the sign of a bloody mop up job.

    Yeah, but you’re watching a presidential bid basically implode right before your eyes. He is being pegged as a gratuitous flip-flopper, and he is trying to triangulate a position on Iraq that can only appeal to the Thirty Percenters. If the GOP nominates him, they lose 60-40. If they don’t …. then who will they nominate who will do better?

    You guys are just obsessed with watching your opponents. Let them do what they are going to do. How has it been working for them the last six years? What’s the trend? Outside of the Thirty Percenters, they’re the butt of every joke in the country.

    Concentrate on your side, that’s where the future is.

  86. 86
    ThymeZone says:

    I hear Arizona is looking at passing the David Horowitz

    Arizona is the only state in the Union to have rejected DOMA.

    Don’t sell the Grand Canyon State short.

  87. 87
    ThymeZone says:

    Arizona is only a traditionally Red State because of a large exurban population of retired people, and Mormons.

    Menwhile the urban centers have grown and the center of politics here has shifted slightly to the left. Our reelection of a gay woman governor by a huge landslide was not an oddity. The governor showed that she could get the job done and serve the interests of large demographic groups in this state, and the voters rewarded her at the polls. Even when her rad-righty pseudo-Xtian opponent tried to use her “lifestyle” against her in a brazen demagogic smear attempt, and play the “values” card.

    The values bullshit only works when the good guys aren’t doing their jobs. Good governance actually attracts votes. That’s really good news.

  88. 88
    Punchy says:

    You defeatocrats talk about the GOP the way Republicans talk about terrorists. SCARY! RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!

    I used to think an attack on Iran would seal the fate of the R’s for good. But now I’m not sure, and I would not sell short the idea that the Admin will initiate a war precisely to fire up Americans into voting for a Republican. Read: FDR and WWII and four terms and all…

    You’d think that such a move would solidify the R’s as warmongers and country-destroyers and douchebags bar none, but after seeing the sick froth of war well up in the populace in 2002 (and being a part of it, admittedly), I’m not sure we wouldnt have the same response. Something about genuine fear that brings about the most unrational of choices….

  89. 89
    Face says:

    Arizona is only a traditionally Red State because of a large exurban population of retired people, and Mormons.

    You left out pedophillic, incestual, back-assward felons known for housing and hiding other felons. Nope, nevermind…you mentioned Mormons.

  90. 90

    […] Hewitt and friend push for idealogical purity in the Republican Party.      […]

  91. 91
    Sam Hutcheson says:

    You guys are just obsessed with watching your opponents. Let them do what they are going to do. How has it been working for them the last six years? What’s the trend? Outside of the Thirty Percenters, they’re the butt of every joke in the country.

    I think you’re right in charting the trend here, but I think you do yourself and your cause disservice by relegating the opposition — even the batshit insane opposition — to “permanent minority” status. If the last 50 years of American politics teaches us anything it is that there is no such thing as a “permanent” anything. We’re still essentially a 48/48 nation. What the Republican overreach of 2000-2006 and the resultant midterm results of 06 teach us is that the Rovian “base strategy” only works up to the point where the batshit fringe tilts so far afield that the moderate middle abandons them. 2006 was a confirmation of the centrist ideology of Clinton’s third way, only the Dems didn’t have to sell themselves as “centrist” per se, they just had to point at the Reps and say “we’re not like them.”

    I’m on board with turning the Hewitt wingnuts into the US version of the British National Party. I fully endorse that. But I think you should guard against over-playing your hand too. The Dems are in power now because enough of the center-right cottoned on to the insanity of Cheneyism. They will retain and gain more power in 2008 only by demonstrating an ability and willingness to lead the country out of Cheneyism — all of the country, including the center-right who held their noses and pulled the D levers in 2006.

  92. 92
    DougJ says:

    What’s changed is that a political machine has invented ways to harness that demographic and turn it into votes, and built a coalition that turned that into a slim majority.

    That’s my point. I also suspect that the authoritarians used to be more evenly divided between the two parties.

  93. 93
    Zifnab says:

    The Dems are in power now because enough of the center-right cottoned on to the insanity of Cheneyism. They will retain and gain more power in 2008 only by demonstrating an ability and willingness to lead the country out of Cheneyism—all of the country, including the center-right who held their noses and pulled the D levers in 2006.

    But that’s the goofy thing. The entire country has been yanked hard right, even the hard lefties. No one talks about welfare anymore or communism or government free handouts. After 20 years of screaming “balance the budget”, the Republicans have finally drilled the idea into the Democratic side of the aisle. After another ten years of abusing the budget, they’ve all but handed the issue to the Dems on a platter.

    The Dems sit squarely in the center of the political spectrum in part because the right has run so far afield and abandoned so many of their bedrock GOTV issues. Lefties are stepping and filling up the vacuum the once pro-troop, pro-fiscal sanity, pro-moral values party left behind.

  94. 94
    Rome Again says:

    We’re SOOOOOOOOOOOO going to war with The Rugs

    I’ve been anticipating a war on rugs for years, even had an email address with that name.

  95. 95
    Rome Again says:

    Those turds on the other side went from thinking they had a permanent lock on power in this country, to being OUT, in one day.

    You are correct. I’ve just been in a place for so long where their audacity knows no bounds. I have to remember I’m not there anymore.

    Thanks, I’ll get it right eventually.

  96. 96
    Rome Again says:

    Have you listened to any of the Iraq debate in Congress lately? Those guys sound like complete fucking idiots and jerks. They are killing themselves politically.

    That’s true, but they still get standing ovations.

  97. 97
    Zifnab says:

    That’s true, but they still get standing ovations.

    From themselves. I hardly think that counts.

  98. 98
    DougJ says:

    pro-moral values party

    A pro-moral values political party is an oxymoron. No political party could actually be pro-moral values and survive beyond a single election cycle.

  99. 99
    Sam Hutcheson says:

    The Dems sit squarely in the center of the political spectrum in part because the right has run so far afield and abandoned so many of their bedrock GOTV issues. Lefties are stepping and filling up the vacuum the once pro-troop, pro-fiscal sanity, pro-moral values party left behind.

    Agreed. 2004-2008 is about moving the Overton window — the window of what’s “acceptable” to say in politics and not be considered fringe — back to the left, which is the center. The right wing has been systematically moving the window to the right ever since Reagan. They’ve been moving the goal post ever rightward for decades. What used to be the center has come to be defined as “the left.” The Dems have finally started to move the window back towards a more rational “center”, thanks in great part to the Reps overreach. You can see this in play with Barack Obama’s campaign as anti-Iraq. A candidate for president in 2004 literally couldn’t have said they were anti-Iraq, no matter how reasonable that position might have been. Two years ago the Overton window was so far rightward that being “anti-war” made you fringe — Dennis Kucinich fringe. Now the most popular candidate from either party is making opposition ot Iraq the centerpiece of his campaign. That’s progress.

    But it is not “permanent.” The left-shift of the frame is no more set in stone than was its previous shift rightward (and like someone said earlier, I suspect another attack on US soil would kick the reactionary juices back in full-bore and move that window back right again.) That’s why I take some issue with TZ’s rhetoric to the effect that the Hewittites are permanently out. That is the exact same rhetoric we heard about _Democrats_ from 2001-2005. Nothing was so certain in politics during that time as Karl Rove’s genius in establishing a “permanent Republican majority.” It seems specious and ill-advised, to me at least, for the left to be talking in those same terms after one meagre midterm win. I agree that the trends _point_ in the direction of a major shift back to Democratic power, but I don’t think anyone should act as if that shift is inevitable or in any way destined. It seems counterintuitive on the one hand, risking the same sort of cockiness that blinded the Reps, and ahistorical on the other, ignoring the greater trend-lines of recent history that paint the US as a very precariously balanced teeter-totter politically.

    Reagan’s revolution wasn’t permanent. Clinton’s triangulation was permanent. Rove’s permanent majority wasn’t permanent. And if Obama or Hillary or Edwards win in 08, that too will not be permanent. It may graph the line back to the left for a bit (and hopefully inch the country back to the left “permantly” if incrementally), but it will not be the end game by any means.

  100. 100
    Rome Again says:

    From themselves. I hardly think that counts.

    It’s a fucking carnival, and their the clowns… the truth is the unintitiated (childlike as they are) like clowns.

  101. 101
    Rome Again says:

    A pro-moral values political party is an oxymoron. No political party could actually be pro-moral values and survive beyond a single election cycle.

    I could never understand why people don’t get that.

  102. 102
    DougJ says:

    There’s a good piece in the Post.com on hard Republicans (the whack jobs) versus soft Republicans (the non-whack jobs).

  103. 103
    Jake says:

    There’s a good piece in the Post.com on hard Republicans (the whack jobs offs) versus soft Republicans (the non-whack jobs offs).

    Hur, hur, hur.

  104. 104
    ThymeZone says:

    I think you do yourself and your cause disservice by relegating the opposition—even the batshit insane opposition—to “permanent minority” status.

    I would, if I were. I’m not. I’m saying, they can be put in that position, if we do what we are supposed to do. That’s not a given. It means playing the best game on the field that we can play. It means keeping our party from being grabbed by the same kind of self-serving power-seekers that we saw in the pre-Gingrich era, and that we saw recently on the GOP side. Not as easy as it sounds.

    Hard work. Requires constant committment and renewal of focus and purpose.

    Which is exactly why I say, focussing on the rottenness of the opposition is a waste of time. Focus on it only to the extent that it provides the means to beat them. But focus more on improving our game and our ability to deliver good government to the people. That’s where the future lies.

    Yes, it’s an optimistic view. The dirty little secret about me is that I am an optimist and I believe in the American Experiment. And those little creeps on the GOP side are not enough to deter me.

  105. 105
    ThymeZone says:

    I used to think an attack on Iran would seal the fate of the R’s for good.

    An attack wouldn’t. A war would, IMO.

  106. 106
    Rome Again says:

    econd, even among those who believe the United States has done a bad job in Iraq, President Bush — and Bush alone — bears considerable blame. The strong belief that the war is primarily Bush’s doing (and fault) provides a glimmer of hope for Republicans hoping to hold the White House in 2008. If the American public primarily blames Bush and not the wider Republican party for the problems in Iraq, voters may not punish the eventual GOP nominee. While this may be a bit of wishful thinking, it does provide empirical evidence that Bush owns this war in the eyes of the American voter.

    Nope, the entire PNAC entourage should get the blame, but we’re not allowed to TALK about THAT on national television.

    ::sigh::

  107. 107
    Sam Hutcheson says:

    I’m saying, they can be put in that position, if we do what we are supposed to do. That’s not a given. It means playing the best game on the field that we can play. It means keeping our party from being grabbed by the same kind of self-serving power-seekers that we saw in the pre-Gingrich era, and that we saw recently on the GOP side.

    Considering this clarification I retract my criticism. I agree with you here 100%. The key for sustained Democratic success is _changing governance for the better_, not just campaigning as the outsider party. As you say, it’s a serious but tricky point to play. Campaigning as the new guys that are going to clean up DC is not a new thing. Reagan did it. Clinton did it. Bush did it. The key is actually changing DC once you get there, rather than being changed (or in the case of entrenched pols like Hillary Clinton) reverting back to the norm.

    Good governance and sound policy is the key, on this we agree.

  108. 108
    Rome Again says:

    An attack wouldn’t. A war would, IMO.

    ::searching for something to calm my nerves::

  109. 109
    Wilfred says:

    The left-shift of the frame is no more set in stone than was its previous shift rightward (and like someone said earlier, I suspect another attack on US soil would kick the reactionary juices back in full-bore and move that window back right again.)

    Hey, one mixed metaphor to a man out here. I agree with all, in any case.

  110. 110
    ThymeZone says:

    I suspect another attack on US soil would kick the reactionary juices back in full-bore

    Not sure I agree. I think Americans have learned a lot in the five years since 911. And I think that the Republicants have made a serious mistake with their “we haven’t been attacked” line of bullshit. Even the smallest attack puts the lie to that line of horsecrap.

    George Bush has no more credibility. He couldn’t sell a drink of water to a man dying of thirst at this point.

    Cheney has even less credibility. Nobody in this administration has credibility.

    One good appearance by James Webb and the Dems can win the battle for confidence on the day after an attack.

  111. 111
    ThymeZone says:

    Good governance and sound policy is the key, on this we agree.

    I think that’s right. And the beauty part is, it’s based on sound ideas and simple principles. Whereas the GOP approach is all based on lies, smoke and mirrors, and bullshit. I think simple principle wins over trickery.

    When the contest is between government that takes action to help you, the middle class voter, versus one that wants to pimp fear and sell you DOMA which is worth exactly nothing to you in the long run, I think that good government wins out in the end. Not every time, not in every election, or every district, or every situation. But over time, it wins out more than the BS does.

    I have a lot more confidence in Jim Webb than I have in the likes of the Trent Lotts of the world.

    In my world, Webb beats Lott. Of course, like I said, I’m a loyal Dem. Heh.

  112. 112
    ThymeZone says:

    If we need an issue to rally around after the war, this one isn’t going away any time soon.

  113. 113
    Sam Hutcheson says:

    Hey, one mixed metaphor to a man out here.

    C’mon, Friedman’s made a career out of butching metaphors — why can’t I?

  114. 114
    jg says:

    ThymeZone Says:

    It’ll only work if you can convince millions that what they think of the democratic party is wrong. Good luck with that.

    You have a strange view of politics. If course you can convince them. You start by demonstrating with actions.

    Politics is a contest. You sound like you think the sportwriters determine the outcome.

    ‘Sportswriters’ do determine the outcome when the ‘sport’ is elections. Tons and tons of people don’t give a shit about action unless told by trusted sources that the action is good for them. They don’t think for themselves, they’ve been trained not to. So again I say good luck demonstration through action that the democratic party is the right party for the majority of americans. Good luck because for every five ‘actions’ the dems perform it’ll only take one word out of Hannity’s mouth to kill any chance of the heartland seeing the value. People have hitched their wagon to the republican party and are looking for nothing but assurances that they made the right choice. Look how long it took JC to come around and he’s pretty damn intelligent and and follows the reality on a daily basis rather than getting a dose of the days news in a FOX wrap up. Again good luck reaching those who only have time for daytime talk radio and nighttime tv.

  115. 115
    chopper says:

    C’mon, Friedman’s made a career out of butching metaphors—why can’t I?

    hey, you’ve buttered your bread; now sleep on it.

  116. 116
    Sam Hutcheson says:

    Good luck because for every five ‘actions’ the dems perform it’ll only take one word out of Hannity’s mouth to kill any chance of the heartland seeing the value.

    I think you overestimate the universiality of Hannity’s appeal. He’s the voice of the beehive for the 30%ers but outside of those guys, he’s not that widely respected.

  117. 117
    ThymeZone says:

    Tons and tons of people don’t give a shit about action unless told by trusted sources that the action is good for them. They don’t think for themselves, they’ve been trained not to.

    A lot of people think that. I am not one of them.

    The idea is completely anti-democratic (small d).

    I’m a firm believer in the idea of democracy. I believe that people figure out what their interests are and figure out how to vote for them. It’s ugly, messy, and the voters have the right … and the ability … to be wrong. That’s their sovereign right.

    But I still think it’s the best scheme out there, and I still think it works.

    Very few people get their ideas from talk radio. Talk radio is anti democratic mainly because it exists to deflect from true interests, not focus on true interests. It works for a while, and for some people. But not indefinitely, and not for enough people.

  118. 118

    There’s this quote I once read, attributed to a guy named “Lincoln”: “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and you can fool all of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.” In my opinion, that captures the power — and the pitfalls — ofdemocratic government perfectly.

    Now, of course, I’ve got to wonder if Lincoln did really say that, though, or if Frank “Hang ’em high” Garrity just made it up because it was convenient.

  119. 119
    Rome Again says:

    Now, of course, I’ve got to wonder if Lincoln did really say that, though, or if Frank “Hang ‘em high” Garrity just made it up because it was convenient.

    Who actually cares who said it? The words and the truth in them are what matters.

  120. 120
    ThymeZone says:

    There’s this quote I once read, attributed to a guy named “Lincoln”: “You can fool some of the people

    Dammit, I wanted to take credit for the idea :-)

  121. 121
    Rome Again says:

    Dammit, I wanted to take credit for the idea :-)

    As far as I’m concerned, TZ, you can be the author of it; I care not who said it.

    :)

  122. 122
    ThymeZone says:

    As far as I’m concerned, TZ, you can be the author of it

    Ah, in that case I have this fine compendium of bridge listings …….

  123. 123
    Rome Again says:

    Ah, in that case I have this fine compendium of bridge listings …

    I’ll look at your fine compendium of bridge listings after I get my imaginary inheritance, okay? Deal?

  124. 124
    Punchy says:

    If Southern Iraq is so peaceful and nice and friendly that the Brits have decided “hey, our job is done here” (as per WH spin), then why the hell aren’t they shipping off to Baghdad where things are WAY out of control?

    Shorter–why are we adding more if the Brits have so successfull peaceified the place that they’re packing up?

  125. 125
    Rome Again says:

    Shorter—why are we adding more if the Brits have so successfull peaceified the place that they’re packing up?

    Because American pissants aren’t supposed to think that far ahead, Punchy.

  126. 126
    jg says:

    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Good luck because for every five ‘actions’ the dems perform it’ll only take one word out of Hannity’s mouth to kill any chance of the heartland seeing the value.

    I think you overestimate the universiality of Hannity’s appeal. He’s the voice of the beehive for the 30%ers but outside of those guys, he’s not that widely respected.

    I used Hannity for convenience not because I think he’s all powerful. But combine him with Glenn Reynolds, Rush, Ledeen, Savage, and the folks like LGF and Powerline and you reach a sizable chunk of the population. The fact that I’m surrounded by right wingers who don’t have time to listen to the radio yet they still all spout the same thousand points of distraction talking points is troubling to me. Tells me that simply demonstrating action won’t be nearly enough to get through to the proles. Democrats don’t produce legislation with immediate easy to understand impacts. Their legistaion is more robust and in some ways abstract in its effect. It has to be to be any good for the bulk of the people. Its the republicans who produce immediate action legislation that can clearly be ‘seen’ as attacking a specific issue. They fly to washington to sign laws for Sciavo or they rush to arizona to enact a law that will stop the flow of illegal immigration. The fact the law is toothless doesn’t matter since the only people pointing that out are people who ‘they’ don’t fucking listen to. ‘They’ listen to the folks providing the means of dismissing what the democrats say.

  127. 127
    Jake says:

    OT: Awww look! The Russians want to play Cold War. Isn’t that cute?

  128. 128
    Punchy says:

    These quotes are simply laughable:

    “I think if we were to do what Speaker Pelosi and Congressman Murtha are suggesting, all we will do is validate the al-Qaida strategy,” the vice president said in the interview

    Translation–if you attempt to stop us, you’re responsible for 9-11 and killing 3000 Americans, and probably drinking an abortion milkshake for breakfast while fellating your gay meth-dealing illegal poolboy.

    Presidential spokesman Tony Snow, on a trip with Bush to Tennessee, said Britain’s decision was not made on a timeline of the sort the president has rejected for American troops. “What you had is progress first, and then the removal,” Snow said.

    So it’s a timetable, just not a timetable. And why isn’t anyone asking them to help out up in B-ville? Ungrateful bastards.

  129. 129
    The Other Andrew says:

    On the subject of the Republican base…the theocons are going to become increasingly non-viable as a demographic, IMHO. I think this is happening for two key reasons, which are interrelated.

    The first reason is the obvious one–the culture is moving away from them, and their strangehold on religion is becoming watered-down. The science they’ve been trying to cover up or beat down is becoming more powerful, and I’m guessing that the average Republican isn’t quite Dobson’s idea of an ideal Christian. No doubt they did drugs or had sex before/outside of marriage at some point.

    The second reason is that the theocrats became more heavily involved in politics (starting with Reagan, I think) because they thought that doing so would transform America into “their” kind of country. That evil Clinton obviously dragged that plan off-track, so they propped up boy-king Bush…except, seven years later, abortion is still legal, gay people are more prevalent than ever, marriage is becoming less popular, etc. Why, the Republicans even have gay people working for them. I don’t think they care about government, unless it involves reining in lifestyles (straight or otherwise) that they don’t approve of…they got into this to change the culture, but government can’t change culture.

    So they’re becoming more and more demanding that the next Republican candidate truly work to remake America in their image, but such a task is more and more difficult, due to the culture-shift.

  130. 130
    Rome Again says:

    From Riverbend yesterday:

    And yet, as the situation continues to deteriorate both for Iraqis inside and outside of Iraq, and for Americans inside Iraq, Americans in America are still debating on the state of the war and occupation- are they winning or losing? Is it better or worse.

    Let me clear it up for any moron with lingering doubts: It’s worse. It’s over. You lost. You lost the day your tanks rolled into Baghdad to the cheers of your imported, American-trained monkeys. You lost every single family whose home your soldiers violated. You lost every sane, red-blooded Iraqi when the Abu Ghraib pictures came out and verified your atrocities behind prison walls as well as the ones we see in our streets. You lost when you brought murderers, looters, gangsters and militia heads to power and hailed them as Iraq’s first democratic government. You lost when a gruesome execution was dubbed your biggest accomplishment. You lost the respect and reputation you once had. You lost more than 3000 troops. That is what you lost America. I hope the oil, at least, made it worthwhile.

    There you have it wingnuts, the voice of an Iraqi on the ground telling you it’s over. Do we really need any more debate on this shit?

  131. 131
    DougJ says:

    I can’t get enough of those Friedman metaphors. They’re so bad.

    Do any of you ever read Frank Bruni (the restaurant critic for the Times) or the blog devoted to mocking him, Bruni digest? If you ever get through a Friedman column and your thirst for bad metaphors hasn’t been slaked, check it out. When I’m really feeling down, that’s where I go for a quick pick me up.

  132. 132
    Zifnab says:

    There you have it wingnuts, the voice of an Iraqi on the ground telling you it’s over. Do we really need any more debate on this shit?

    He’s probably a terrorist insurgent. You can tell because his skin isn’t white and he talks funny. Why hasn’t a US soldier killed this guy yet? They must not being doing their jobs because the Democrats tried to pass that anti-war resolution.

    If not for the Democrats, people like this wouldn’t even exist.

  133. 133
    Rome Again says:

    He’s She’s probably a terrorist insurgent.

    If you have never read Riverbend Zif, you should, really, you should.

    This is her first post since right after Saddam’s execution. She had to stop posting for a while, she’s back and telling it like it is. Check her out.

  134. 134
    Punchy says:

    There you have it wingnuts, the voice of an Iraqi on the ground telling you it’s over. Do we really need any more debate on this shit?

    It’s obvious she’s just trying to sell her book.

  135. 135
    Rome Again says:

    It’s obvious she’s just trying to sell her book.

    Which book is that again? I seem to be forgetting…

  136. 136
    Punchy says:

    Which book is that again? I seem to be forgetting…

    This one

  137. 137
    Punchy says:

    Which book is that again? I seem to be forgetting…

    This one

  138. 138
    Rome Again says:

    Wow, had no idea the blog was turned into a book, is John Cole gonna do that too? Could be lucrative, probably not so much, but anything is possible.

  139. 139
    Andrew says:

    Look it y’all, we just need to get the Republican base to be true to their word and give up on evolutionary biology. A few decades without modern medicine, and things will be set.

  140. 140
    dreggas says:

    The Other Andrew Says:

    The first reason is the obvious one—the culture is moving away from them, and their strangehold on religion is becoming watered-down. The science they’ve been trying to cover up or beat down is becoming more powerful, and I’m guessing that the average Republican isn’t quite Dobson’s idea of an ideal Christian. No doubt they did drugs or had sex before/outside of marriage at some point.

    Oh but they can be, after all there is that whole “born again” get out of hell free card that so many use. It’s why dear old pastor supertelevangelisticsexanddrugpsychosis Haggard is collecting a nice salary from his church even after bein outed. Because he has been born-again to the power of two making him even more born again than his followers and he is 100% cured of his latent bi-sexuality.

    They may not be as holy as the dobsonites wish they were but all it requires is a confession of ones sins, preferably public with lots of onion induced tears in front of a large crowd and suddenly, magickally, all is right for them.

  141. 141
    Punchy says:

    is John Cole gonna do that too?

    If you’re not busy, could you please scrub my computer monitor for me? It’s covered in Coke.

    Can you imagine Cash-Strapped Cole trying to pimp a book of TZ/Darrell brawls to Bra and Panties Publishing? A tome chock full of all 481 different DougJ identities and over half the 240 pg. book consisting of Al Maviva rants (all 3 of them)?

    Jane Hamsher would SO want to advertise this on her website.

  142. 142
    dreggas says:

    Add to the above that this is the same hypocrisy card these jackasses play in order to justify the promotion of wars in Iraq and their own proclivities to sin and vice. After all they go to church and are somehow cleansed of their own past sins. They changed “go forth and sin no more” to “go forth, sin all week, come to church and get cleansed, then repeat”.

  143. 143
    Rome Again says:

    Can you imagine Cash-Strapped Cole trying to pimp a book of TZ/Darrell brawls to Bra and Panties Publishing? A tome chock full of all 481 different DougJ identities and over half the 240 pg. book consisting of Al Maviva rants (all 3 of them)?

    It IS hilarious, isn’t it?
    ::can’t stop laughing::
    ::tears streaming down my face::

  144. 144
    jg says:

    supertelevangelisticsexanddrugpsychosis

    Classic. LOL

  145. 145
    Andrew says:

    Can you imagine Cash-Strapped Cole trying to pimp a book of TZ/Darrell brawls to Bra and Panties Publishing? A tome chock full of all 481 different DougJ identities and over half the 240 pg. book consisting of Al Maviva rants (all 3 of them)?

    Jane Hamsher would SO want to advertise this on her website.

    It’s like the greatest love story never told.

  146. 146
    dreggas says:

    jg Says:

    supertelevangelisticsexanddrugpsychosis

    Classic. LOL

    I truly wish I could take credit but it’s from here:

    Spaff

    and has actually been recorded as a song.

  147. 147
    Zifnab says:

    If you have never read Riverbend Zif, you should, really, you should.

    This is amazing work. I will definitely keep this on my blogroll.

  148. 148

    This is amazing work. I will definitely keep this on my blogroll.

    Wow. I thought everyone read Riverbend.

  149. 149
    Rome Again says:

    This is amazing work. I will definitely keep this on my blogroll.

    Glad to hear it. Her writing is truly awesome.

  150. 150
    Grrr says:

    “Under the *Victory Caucus* tree I sold you, and you sold me”

  151. 151
    dreggas says:

    I wonder if they will ever get the fact that they will be referred to as “The VC” and that “Victory Caucus” will not be what people think of when they hear them called that…

  152. 152
    Rome Again says:

    I wonder if they will ever get the fact that they will be referred to as “The VC” and that “Victory Caucus” will not be what people think of when they hear them called that…

    Shhhh! dreggas, I think they should run with it… all the way to the “end” zone.

  153. 153
    dreggas says:

    then again they could just have the slogan:

    “VC one letter removed from VD but just as irritating”

  154. 154
    Rome Again says:

    “VC one letter removed from VD but just as irritating”

    ROTFLMFAO – OMG, I like it!

  155. 155

    Let’s not even deal with theoretical politics, the Dems were out for 12 years and they seem to be back. The Republicans have had their 12 years of hubris, now they pay. This is good. It’s good because politics is about winning or setting up to win. This means that a losing strategy, especially one that crashes hard, educates. There will always be a loon fringe, either party, but the ability to get away with running the party has to do with winning.

    I don’t know that Americans in general are smarter now, they are less scared shitless. This promotes a little more thinking.

    For the Repubs, some folks have 6 years to go, the looney ones ain’t going away, some have the misfortune to be 6yr coming up in 08, that’s rough for a loon, then there are the every 2 years folks, unless you’ve got a loon District a loon is in trouble. As things are going, the R herd is going to take a serious culling in 08, the problem is the loon Districts, they’re liable to stay which may or may not provide education to the Rs. The “moderate” Rs will probably get the axe, they’re moderate to fit their districts and that little tilt left will kill them. I do believe the R’s are going away for awhile, what concerns me is how badly away and how long. Their education will depend on the message they hear.

    I’ve said it before, the John Cole Republicans occupy an important place at the table, having them disenfranchised is bad business. If the R’s split into a Republican and Loonatic Parties, maybe that’s what they need to do. I personally like the fractious nature of my Dems.

  156. 156
    Mike says:

    demimondian Says:

    John Dean thinks about 25% of the population is authoritarian.

    I’m curious what you mean by the term “authoritarian”. Depending on what you by it, there is academic data speaking to that point.

    Demi, this is some of the research.

    Dean is also referencing the long line of research, which followed the 1950 publication of the Authoritarian Personality, written by Theodore Adorno. et alia. Google it, pretty scary stuff.

  157. 157
    Glen says:

    I like the idea of the Victory Caucus being a kind of asylum “of the inmates, by the inmates, and for the inmates.” Toxicity concentrated to that level will be unmistakeable. (I’m not mixing a metaphor, I’m changing it.) Aside from the well-knowns (Rushbo, O’Reilly, Hannity, et al., who are achieving a rare purity of poisonousness, coupled with increasing recklessness; Savage, of course, a toxin unto himself), a lot of this stuff is still too diffused: a WTF? remark here and there. It may be heard during rush hour traffic, maybe sound clever, but not really thought through. (At that point, you’re more interested in the idiot cutting you off…)

    Titered to such a degree of purity, however, this should produce some clear reactions: “I think I need an antidote!”

    Finally, as to the “VC” irony: get real. These people think that irony is something the little woman or the maid does in the basement.

  158. 158
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    Wow, that Riverbend chick sure is shrill. Why is she so ungrateful about the tremendous service Bush has done for her? Sheesh.

    OK, seriously, count me among those who were not aware of that blog before but now will be checking it on a regular basis. It’s pretty harrowing stuff for sure.

  159. 159
    dreggas says:

    Finally, as to the “VC” irony: get real. These people think that irony is something the little woman or the maid does in the basement.

    It was merely rhetorical and I said it fully aware that the mouth breathing, second generation of their family to walk upright dupes of the republican party won’t get it. I just found it amusing :D

  160. 160
    Rome Again says:

    OK, seriously, count me among those who were not aware of that blog before but now will be checking it on a regular basis. It’s pretty harrowing stuff for sure.

    BT, she doesn’t post a lot, her last post before yesterday was right after Saddam was hanged, but when she posts, her points of view are always very profound.

  161. 161
    Krista says:

    Can you imagine Cash-Strapped Cole trying to pimp a book of TZ/Darrell brawls to Bra and Panties Publishing? A tome chock full of all 481 different DougJ identities and over half the 240 pg. book consisting of Al Maviva rants (all 3 of them)?

    Jane Hamsher would SO want to advertise this on her website.

    And each chapter would have a different BIRDZILLA quote as its title.

  162. 162
    DougJ says:

    Speaking of books and FDL… when the whole Foley thing broke, I went over there and joked that these kids probably just had books to sell. They nearly chased me off the blog. Most humorless group of people on the face of the earth. They make the commenters at Kos look like the Marx brothers.

  163. 163
    Rome Again says:

    They make the commenters at Kos look like the Marx brothers.

    My God, is that truly possible?

  164. 164
    Pb says:

    DougJ,

    I went over there and joked that these kids probably just had books to sell.

    It’s funny because it’s true. :)

  165. 165
    Punchy says:

    Most humorless group of people on the face of the earth

    Word. I was banned for referring to Jane as “The Hamster”, natch.

  166. 166
    Richard 23 says:

    Until they moved to MGM and were forced to tone things down a bit, the Marx Brothers were pretty seditious. (I wonder if they were related to Karl Marx….) Just watch their first flop (a classic now): “Duck Soup” from 1933. It’s a scream.

    It’s number 26 on debased’s top 100 cult films list:

    The Marx Brothers completely mad Duck Soup was their first critical and financial bomb. It seems depression era moviegoers looking for escapism weren’t in the mood for a vicious assault on Nationalism, politics, capitalism and the bourgeois.

    Commies!

    When he [Groucho Marx as Rufus T. Firefly] promises during a raucous State of the Union musical number that if you think times are bad now, “Wait until I get through with you,” you can’t help think of our contemporary politicians who seem so hell bent on destroying the country.

    Yeah, just like the Democrats!

    Rufus blasting away at his own men during the war with Sylvania – when told they are his own army he replies, “Here’s five dollars, keep it under your hat!”

    Something John F Kerry probably said after wounding himself to get a purple heart (he knew he’d be running for political office soon enough).

  167. 167

    OT: Awww look! The Russians want to play Cold War. Isn’t that cute?

    We should’ve made better friends with the Russians than this. I thought Condi was supposed to be an expert on the Soviet Union, and this Stalinist talking point is the best she can come up with?

    They have legitimate security concerns we might be able to help them out with. Chechnya is a gaping sore through which the lifesblood of the nation is oozing out. We should offer to lean on Georgia to clean up the Pankisi Gorge, to help Russia out. We should send some of our military advisers in Georgia to the region. Chechnya, unlike Iraq, is a legitimate front in the War on Terror.

    Russia is permitting massive amounts of supply transit through its territory into Afghanistan. They also supplied our military with their intelligence information on military concentrations in Afghanistan after 9/11. They, unlike us, appear to know when they have a dog in a fight.

    Ah, fuck it, it’s like yelling at the wind. It’s not like this Administration knows how to do anything besides twist arms anyway. They sure as shit can’t return a favor. Biggest bunch of gangster asshole imperialists on the world scene since [Godwin’s Rule kicked in].

  168. 168
    ThymeZone says:

    One of the most interesting pieces on the Iran question I have seen. Kevin Drum says:

    Iran is not some wayward child with a heart of gold that can be made into our bosom buddy by sitting down and swapping a few stories. It’s a harsh, illiberal theocracy that’s been a state sponsor of terrorism for decades. But the weird thing is that this senior official is right: there really aren’t any fundamental geopolitical reasons that Iran and the United States need to be enemies. Iran isn’t territorial, they’re happy to sell their oil to the highest bidder, and they really do hate al-Qaeda.

    There’s still Israel. And obviously I don’t have any magical solution to that. But even there, there might be a deal to be struck. Not an easy one, or a quick one, but something. But we’ll never know unless we actually make a serious effort.

    Read, as they say, the whole thing, but obviously our Iran policy is grounded in some kind of adolescent bellicosity and “talking tough” idea of how to be in the world.

    If you want to see where that attitude takes us, AFAIC, you need look no further than Baghdad 2007.

  169. 169
    Andrew says:

    I thought Condi was supposed to be an expert on the Soviet Union, and this Stalinist talking point is the best she can come up with?

    As soon as you realize that Condi’s skills involve creating policy papers that reflect her masters’ wants and sucking up to powerful men, and nothing to do with knowledge or skillful analysis of the world, things will become a lot more clear to you.

  170. 170
    dreggas says:

    Andrew Says:

    As soon as you realize that Condi’s skills involve creating policy papers that reflect her masters’ wants and sucking up to powerful men, and nothing to do with knowledge or skillful analysis of the world, things will become a lot more clear to you.

    So in essence she is nothing but a whore to the administration? No wonder she doesn’t get married. Sorry but that woman deserves just as much scorn as the rest of these needle dicked bug fuckers. She’s nothing more than a buck toothed suck-up klingon wannabe.

  171. 171
    Tsulagi says:

    As soon as you realize that Condi’s skills involve creating policy papers that reflect her masters’ wants and sucking up to powerful men, and nothing to do with knowledge or skillful analysis of the world, things will become a lot more clear to you.

    You got that right. Secretary is the correct job title for her, but it should be with a small ‘s.’ Condi, among others, is a living example that college degrees do not automatically confer intelligence, competence, and leadership qualities.

  172. 172

    Thursday Links

    Civilization. A Sid Meier update at Drezner. Meier says he cannot win at his game.Greedy Geezers want more of our money. Viking. Of course they do – everyone wants to separate me from my money. Honestly, they don’t give a damn about me. Why don’t t…

  173. 173
    DougJ says:

    Condi, among others, is a living example that college degrees do not automatically confer intelligence, competence, and leadership qualities.

    But she’s a concert level pianist and an excellent figure skater. And you have to admit: she’s very well-spoken.

  174. 174
    jg says:

    But she’s a concert level pianist and an excellent figure skater. And you have to admit: she’s very well-spoken.

    …and clean.

  175. 175
    Tsulagi says:

    But she’s a concert level pianist and an excellent figure skater. And you have to admit: she’s very well-spoken.

    …and with an impressive shoe collection.

  176. 176
    Andrew says:

    And you have to admit: she’s very well-spoken.

    The funny thing about this is that she really isn’t. She sounds like a timid, embarrassed school girl with a shaky voice whenever she is talking. And I’ve never heard her say anything interesting or profound. Maybe she’s working on things behind the scenes, but she seems like a glorified (weak) spokesperson at best.

  177. 177

    Good points, all. But the suck-ups who pander to the neocons’ personal histories portray her as being semi-competent in her outlook at one point in life or other, so it’s easy to see how one could get confused on the subject.

    Richard Armitage was really a war hero, though. If there really is such a thing, he’s gotta be it.

    The funny thing about this is that she really isn’t. She sounds like a timid, embarrassed school girl with a shaky voice whenever she is talking. And I’ve never heard her say anything interesting or profound. Maybe she’s working on things behind the scenes, but she seems like a glorified (weak) spokesperson at best.

    Well, she’s better than Cheney or Bush, anyway.

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