Calling All Saviors

With nearly 25% of the vote, “None of the above” leads the latest GOP presidential poll from AP. Apparently the pro-choice crossdresser, the imploding torture maverick, the empty suit TV star and the plasticine Mormon generated less Joementum! than expected.

For what it’s worth I strongly doubt that random chance produced a GOP field this comically out of touch. If you haven’t done so already, take a minute to read Johann Hari’s story about communing with The Base on National Review’s annual cruise. Set aside some time, becuase once you start you can’t stop. It is like trying to drive past a 747 crashed into a train. A representative snippet:

I lie on the beach with Hillary-Ann, a chatty, scatty 35-year-old Californian designer. As she explains the perils of Republican dating, my mind drifts, watching the gentle tide. When I hear her say, ” Of course, we need to execute some of these people,” I wake up. Who do we need to execute? She runs her fingers through the sand lazily. “A few of these prominent liberals who are trying to demoralise the country,” she says. “Just take a couple of these anti-war people off to the gas chamber for treason to show, if you try to bring down America at a time of war, that’s what you’ll get.” She squints at the sun and smiles. ” Then things’ll change.”

No shit. Gas chambers. Or read this, about The Base’s grip on reality:

“Aren’t you embarrassed by the absence of these weapons?” Buckley snaps at Podhoretz. He has just explained that he supported the war reluctantly, because Dick Cheney convinced him Saddam Hussein had WMD primed to be fired. “No,” Podhoretz replies. “As I say, they were shipped to Syria. During Gulf War I, the entire Iraqi air force was hidden in the deserts in Iran.” He says he is “heartbroken” by this ” rise of defeatism on the right.” He adds, apropos of nothing, “There was nobody better than Don Rumsfeld. This defeatist talk only contributes to the impression we are losing, when I think we’re winning.” The audience cheers Podhoretz. The nuanced doubts of Bill Buckley leave them confused. Doesn’t he sound like the liberal media? Later, over dinner, a tablemate from Denver calls Buckley “a coward”. His wife nods and says, ” Buckley’s an old man,” tapping her head with her finger to suggest dementia.

Conservative lions like J-Pod (N-Pod? my bad.) represent a movement that has run so wholly off the rails that even objective, easy-to-prove truths become anathema. Relativism is the new word of the day. Things that they want to be true, need to be true, become true by virtue of how painful it would be to admit their falseness. The only way to maintain the fiction that Movement Conservatives represent pure, metaphysical good is to move further and further into an imaginary cartoon world inhabited by armed, pastel-colored conservative unicorns and an inchoate mix of pernicious Others.

They rush through the Rush-list of liberals who hate America, who want her to fail, and I ask them – why are liberals like this? What’s their motivation? They stutter to a halt and there is a long, puzzled silence. ” It’s a good question,” one of them, Martha, says finally. I have asked them to peer into the minds of cartoons and they are suddenly, reluctantly confronted with the hollowness of their creation. “There have always been intellectuals who want to tell people how to live,” Martha adds, to an almost visible sense of relief. That’s it – the intellectuals! They are not like us. Dave changes the subject, to wash away this moment of cognitive dissonance. “The liberals don’t believe in the constitution. They don’t believe in what the founders wanted – a strong executive,” he announces, to nods. A Filipino waiter offers him a top-up of his wine, and he mock-whispers to me, “They all look the same! Can you tell them apart?” I stare out to sea. How long would it take me to drown?

We get crazies because only crazies are acceptable today. Iraq did not sink John McCain; every frontrunner supports sending more kids and staying forever. McCain’s heterodoxy on immigration and torture did him in. The Base demands nominees who will satisfy their view of the world and themselves, but their worldview is a half baked, self-contradictory mishmash of cartoons and caricatures.

The Base got what it asked for. They feel entitled to leaders who reflect their worldview no matter what the real-world consequences. Like other parties that flirt with irrelevancy (e.g., Greens) they would rather be pure than win. Loath as I am to give Republicans useful advice, Bill Buckley needs to simmer down the loopy Base before his precious GOP becomes an irrelevant catchbasin for islamophobic Naderites.

***Update***

On a slightly different topic, the first time I read this snippet:

“The liberals don’t believe in the constitution. They don’t believe in what the founders wanted – a strong executive,”

…two words popped into my mind: President Hillary. I bet that the 2009 National Review cruise will be hopping with demands for unrestrained presidential power.






108 replies
  1. 1
    John Cole says:

    This kind of proves your point, but it ain’t Bill Buckley’s base anymore. He is too far “left” for them on many of the important issues.

  2. 2
    zmulls says:

    It depresses me to no end that you are describing anywhere from 25-33% of the country.

  3. 3
    Dreggas says:

    zmulls Says:

    It depresses me to no end that you are describing anywhere from 25-33% of the country.

    Ditto, sadly there weren’t more of them on said cruise and said ship did not sink. Sorry but that’s how I feel reading what those morons were saying…gas chambers indeed.

  4. 4
    David says:

    “The liberals don’t believe in the constitution. They don’t believe in what the founders wanted – a strong executive,”

    If possible, that is more depressing than all the religious-right nutcases who insist that Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and Ben Franklin were doctrinaire evangelical Christians.

  5. 5
    Punchy says:

    There’s a good 25% of this country that would nod their head in approval if Bush tomorrow announced it was necessary for the US to simultaneously nuke China, Russia, and India. And Mexico, provided we spare Cancun.

  6. 6
    Rick Taylor says:

    Greenwald had an interesting article making the same point here. http://www.salon.com/opinion/g.....index.html

    While John had a good point about Cindy Sheehan, but the Deomocrats’ treatment of her and the resulting damage is a speck compared to the way the Replublicans have exploited their base, fanning their extreme views, and the resulting price they’re going to pay. Firing up the base and demonizing the opposition kept them in power for a long while, but now moderates and sane conservatives are finally finally waking up to the insanity of this administration us crazy lefties have been painfully aware of for so long, and the GOP will finally pay the price. It can’t come too soon.

    –Rick Taylor

  7. 7
    Jake says:

    I lie on the beach with Hillary-Ann, a chatty, scatty 35-year-old Californian designer.

    Scatty? Is this slang for someone who gets off on poo? Would not surprise me.

    That’s it – the intellectuals!

    He should have followed up with a question about Bush’s education: Phillips, Yale, Harvard, hardly non-intellectual establishments. I guess he didn’t want their little heads to pop. Neo-con brain ooze leaves a nasty stain.

    And yet I find it comforting that even with a president like Bush in charge, these crazy mofos haven’t formed large Anti-Librul vigilante squads and gone on a rampage.

    They may be sick, spiteful, psychos but thank gods they are lazy, sick, spiteful psychos.

  8. 8
    jg says:

    Telling a king to take his taxes and his tea and stick ’em up his ass is a conservative value?

    Saying we will make our own rules and choose our leaders from amongst the common man are conservative values?

    Declaring that government derives its power from the consent of the governed is a conservative value?

    To speak out against your government, to view God in your own fashion, to have privacy, these are conservative values?

  9. 9
    Jake says:

    They may be sick, spiteful, psychos but thank gods they are lazy, sick, spiteful ^cowardly psychos.

    I forgot that in neo-con fRightwing Vurld, all of liberals have virulent cooties and the brown ones carry great big knives.

    Needless to say we are all hopped up on 11 herbs and spices.

  10. 10
    norbizness says:

    I think the Podhoretz is N-Pod (the elder), not J-Pod.

    And I’ve decided to start roundly ignoring the 27% of Americans represented by the NRO cruisers. At most, the damage they can inflict alone is a few Congressional seats in heavily gerrymandered districts. Any moderate or liberal politician who worries about alienating these authoritarian nitwits deserves to lose.

  11. 11
    Cyrus says:

    To speak out against your government, to view God in your own fashion, to have privacy, these are conservative values?

    If you start with the assumption that the core liberal values are “all sex is rape,” “all property is theft,” and “all religion is a scam on the feeble-minded,” then, well, yes, those things you list are conservative values just by the process of elimination.

  12. 12
    Chad N. Freude says:

    what the founders wanted – a strong executive

    Otherwise they would not have created the Congress and the Supreme Court to do the Executive’s bidding. QED.

  13. 13
    Chad N. Freude says:

    Bush’s education: Phillips, Yale, Harvard, hardly non-intellectual establishments

    Prestigious diplomas do not an intellectual make.

  14. 14
    RW says:

    Ah, I always love coming here to find out what the GOP base really thinks. You’re so different than atrios or kos because you have different colors.

    “. Like other irrelevant parties (e.g., Greens) they would rather be pure than win.”

    Did you get that from Jane Hamsher, Markos or straight from Lieberman?

    —-

    You really need daily sustenance to make you feel better about yourslevs don’t you?

  15. 15
    Tim F. says:

    I’ve decided to start roundly ignoring the 27% of Americans represented by the NRO cruisers.

    They might be 27% of America, but they’re 50-60% of Republicans and they’re more likely to vote. Someone has to win the nomination.

    Needless to day, as long as these guys go on thinking that they’re entitled to politicians who accurately represent them the Dems can nominate carrot top and win.

  16. 16
    aliceandbob says:

    If possible, that is more depressing than all the religious-right nutcases who insist that Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and Ben Franklin were doctrinaire evangelical Christians.

    Yes, well, “Our Founding Fathers were good Universalist/Humanist men with strong values, common-law wives, and multiple out-of-wedlock children.” doesn’t play as well in Peoria.

  17. 17
    Rome Again says:

    Yes, well, “Our Founding Fathers were good Universalist/Humanist men with strong values, common-law wives, and multiple out-of-wedlock children.” doesn’t play as well in Peoria.

    If they were animals, it would be normal behavior. You see, that’s what is wrong with people, they forget they’re mammals!

  18. 18
    jenniebee says:

    The Base got what it asked for. They feel entitled to leaders who reflect their worldview no matter what the real-world consequences. Like other irrelevant parties (e.g., Greens) they would rather be pure than win. Bill Buckley needs to simmer down his loopy Base before his precious GOP becomes an irrelevant catchbasin for islamophobic Naderites.

    Allow me to beg to differ, Tim. I’ll posit that this mindless-set is the natural result of the Conservative ideology, which has always been inherently anti-democratic (inasmuch as its bedrock principal, when boiled down to its essentials, is that the People should be deterred from using their own government to protect themselves from the financially and socially powerful among them), fundamentally unstable, and utterly dependent for its survival on forcing a false dichotomy between itself and the quasi-demonic threat du jour (be it Communism, abortion, Islam/terra). The ideology should not be watered down to be made fit again for popular consumption; it must be allowed to die of its own theories.

  19. 19
    Edmund Dantes says:

    On a slightly different topic, the first time I read this snippet:

    “The liberals don’t believe in the constitution. They don’t believe in what the founders wanted – a strong executive,”

    …two words popped into my mind: President Hillary. I bet that the 2009 National Review cruise will be hopping with demands for unrestrained presidential power.

    Funny. The first thing that popped into my mind were all the debates as to why a strong executive was anathema to the founders, and why they put in such weakness to the position and hamstrung the position the way they did beyond the whole “these people have no fucking clue as to what the founders wanted or aimed for”.

  20. 20
    The Other Andrew says:

    Anyone remember the ’90s, when the cultural right was firmly against relativism? Bush was going to rely on black and white moral clarity…but as we’ve gotten further into things, we’re being told how complicated it all is.

    Also, I like how liberals are the ones who want to tell people what to do. Because mandatory seatbelt laws are exactly the same as denying access to birth-control…

  21. 21
    Jake says:

    Prestigious diplomas do not an intellectual make.

    Granted, seconded, whatever. But if one believes “Eastern Elitist Intellectual” = “Baby murdering, Bible burning, radical homosexual,” then the very fact Bush went near these schools should be problematic for the hard core neo.

    Fortunately there’s always room for another bucketful of CogDis in the great heaving fetid ocean of contradictory known truths that slops around in fRightwingers craniums.

  22. 22
    Zifnab says:

    Funny. The first thing that popped into my mind were all the debates as to why a strong executive was anathema to the founders, and why they put in such weakness to the position and hamstrung the position the way they did beyond the whole “these people have no fucking clue as to what the founders wanted or aimed for”.

    Haha. Yeah. Because if we look at the Articles of the Confederation, we can clearly see that the first thing on every New Englander’s mind was “How can we get another King George in office as soon as possible? Because that worked out great just a couple years ago.” And a scant 230 years later…

    Seriously, we should have a law passed. No more Presidents named George. It’s just a bad sign.

  23. 23
    Pb says:

    Yeah, after that whole “King George” thing, what the founders really wanted was a strong executive. Unbelievable. Dear National Review readers (and writers): as an American, I implore you to please STFU until you both read and comprehend the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and hopefully the Federalist Papers and the Anti-Federalist Papers as well–you’re (still) embarrassing the rest of your nation.

  24. 24
    BFR says:

    Part of me is shuddering to see how the 2008 elections will play out. I fear that it will be nastiness to a whole new level, where the Republican operatives pull out all the stops to prevent the poor & minorities from voting. I mean, if this group thinks that executing the anti-war crowd is just dandy, why would they stop short of using violence to affect the vote?

  25. 25
    Pb says:

    Because mandatory seatbelt laws are exactly the same as denying access to birth-control…

    Next up: mandatory fetus seat belts!

  26. 26
    Tim F. says:

    Ah, I always love coming here to find out what the GOP base really thinks.

    Bwahahahaha. It doesn’t take a psychologist to figure out things that people will come right out and tell you. Go ahead and read that article in full. Those guys are the base, your brothers. Gas chambers and all. If you don’t like it, switch parties.

  27. 27
    Chad N. Freude says:

    the very fact Bush went near these schools should be problematic for the hard core neo.

    I don’t think so, because that all occurred before he found God. Being born again washes away all previous sins, like learning and thinking.

  28. 28
    ThymeZone says:

    The “Conservative Movement” is over.

    Actually, it never was really a movement with any coherent themes or rationale. Some would argue, what about Goldwater conservatism? Well, I live in Phoenix, and I can assure you, Goldwater conservatism was something that people who don’t live here don’t understand. It was Arizona conservatism, and that is a rather odd blend of libertarianism, and anti-Eastern skepticism. It really never was a coherent model of government.

    It also was never a coherent basis for building a coalition. The coalition, above all else, is the basis for power in this country. And the conservative “movement” never built a winning coalition. What it did is morph into a movement whose goal was power, not conservatism, and it succeeded in building an ugly coalition to get power, and it worked for a while. But that coalition was dysfunctional, dishonest, and constructed out of fear, bigotry, and greed mostly. Bound to collapse, as it is collapsing now.

  29. 29
    Tony J says:

    Johann Hari really, really pissed me off with his liberal-interventionist themed cheerleading for the invasion of Iraq back in 2002/3, but you have to give him credit. Unlike, for example, David Abramovich who opined before the invasion “If we don’t find WMD in Iraq then I’ll never believe another word this (British) government says ever again“, only to shift his lardy arse from the Guardian to Murdoch’s Times when it came time to pay the piper, Hari acknowledged how stupid he’d been very early in the day and has since produced a lot of consistently excellent commentary.

    As for the article itself, I agree with Tim. I read the whole thing in one go and just gawped at the relentless stupidity and malevolence on show.

    Then I spent 30 seconds imagining how easily the MSM could use the opinions aired in the article to totally screw the GOP’s election chances for the next decade simply by asking every candidate to support or repudiate each sickening quote. Followed by 2 minutes laughing at my own naivety, because, y’know, it’s not like the MSM would ever hold the GOP to the same standards as those creepy Democrats. That would be rude.

  30. 30
    Rome Again says:

    It also was never a coherent basis for building a coalition. The coalition, above all else, is the basis for power in this country. And the conservative “movement” never built a winning coalition. What it did is morph into a movement whose goal was power, not conservatism, and it succeeded in building an ugly coalition to get power, and it worked for a while. But that coalition was dysfunctional, dishonest, and constructed out of fear, bigotry, and greed mostly. Bound to collapse, as it is collapsing now.

    The wicked witch is dead, all hail Dorothy!

  31. 31
    zmulls says:

    Actually, some early conservative positions have “won out.”

    When I was a young man, and got most of my politics from Allen Drury novels, I believed most strongly in a balanced budget and a strong national defense (not to be used except in emergencies, mind you).

    I think I moved firmly to the “left” when Clinton took a huge risk and balanced the budget. That passed by…what, one vote? Republicans voted against it, Marjorie Medvinsky was thrown out of office, and we got the “Contract on America.” I was furious at the voters for rebelling against something that I thought was the smartest fiscal move we had made in years.

    I don’t think I’ll vote Republican again for the rest of my life. There will have to be a seismic and fundamental change in the base of the Republican party before I’ll even consider it.

  32. 32
    Wilfred says:

    FWIW, the one thing that pisses me off with these people is that they are a bunch of flat-out yellow bastards. To openly demand a war and further insist that it continue week in and bloody week out without actually joining the service or going over to Iraq and fight is just lame, weak, chickenshit cowardice. The only difference between them and the jihadis is that the jihadis have guts. National Review is the safe harbor for pussies, the way that Michael Yon is the “Ernie Pyle of the Bed-wetting crowd”.

  33. 33
    jrg says:

    Wow. Scary Article. Amazing that people think like this. Do these people really think that executing liberals for exercising free speech is constitutional, or American? These people really need to move to Iran.

    One thing is for sure, if these sick Republican brownshirts show up on my doorstep, expecting me to be unarmed, practicing French, and sipping a latte, they have another thing coming.

    “The liberals don’t believe in the constitution. They don’t believe in what the founders wanted – a strong executive,”

    …two words popped into my mind: President Hillary. I bet that the 2009 National Review cruise will be hopping with demands for unrestrained presidential power.

    It will be Waco/Oklahoma City all over again, and the Republican hate machine will still be saying “liberals hate America”.

  34. 34
    Chad N. Freude says:

    Good heavens, Wilfred. You surely don’t expect them to fight. That’s why God gave them poor people. On the other hand, they do a good job of building the morale of the troops here on the home front, like the Bush girls partying for the paparazzi.

  35. 35
    ThymeZone says:

    some early conservative positions have “won out.”

    Uh, no, the whole idea of a “balanced budget” is nonsense for a country the size of ours and in our position economically, and in the world.

    It’s a shell game. Running a country like this is all about managing for the future, which means growth, which means borrowing when it’s appropriate.

    Balanced budget is a slogan like “war on terror” or “war on drugs.” It’s bullshit. Might work at the state level, not at the national level in the modern world.

  36. 36
    ThymeZone says:

    Unless you want to make the entire government bond concept disappear, and along with it, every program and project in every city, district, county and township and at the national level, in this country for the last 150 years, roads, bridges, schools ….

    Then stop talking about “balanced budget” as if it were anything but demagoguery and sloganeering, because it isn’t.

  37. 37
    BFR says:

    To openly demand a war and further insist that it continue week in and bloody week out without actually joining the service or going over to Iraq and fight is just lame, weak, chickenshit cowardice.

    I’m not very comfortable with the chickenhawk rhetoric, since it carries an implication that the voices of those on active duty should in some way count more than those who aren’t. I’m 4-F personally, but I don’t think that means that my opinion shouldn’t count.

    Obviously the in-uniform & veteran crowd can offer much more informed opinion with regards to combat realities & the state of the military, but they aren’t necessarily any more informed than I am on the geopolitical consequences of military engagement.

  38. 38
    Punchy says:

    where the Republican operatives pull out all the stops to prevent the poor & minorities from voting

    Poor and Minorities don’t deserve to vote. After all, they’re all just poor and probably illegal. And they’ll just vote for the wrong guy.

    I too, relish the day we have President Hillary. Just wait and see how fast that Patriot Act, Warrantless whatever, and Vice-Pres Obama-can-do-whatever-he-wants gets tossed. I’m guessing sometime very early in November.

  39. 39
    Jake says:

    Being born again washes away all previous sins, like learning and thinking.

    Bumpersticker!

  40. 40
    RSA says:

    If I wanted deep insight into the problems facing America today, the first place I’d look is on a cruise ship.

  41. 41
    ThymeZone says:

    Just wait and see how fast that Patriot Act, Warrantless whatever, and Vice-Pres Obama-can-do-whatever-he-wants gets tossed. I’m guessing sometime very early in November.

    Unless the GOP miraculously gets its act together and comes up with something of any value to Americans soon (I actually heard a wag the other day saying that the GOP could attract more black votes if they spoke frankly to blacks about gay marriage. I swear, I am not making this up) …. President Obama will have a solid Dem majority for eight years. They’ll do his bidding, mostly. Which is fine by me.

  42. 42
    Andrew says:

    You know, if we’re going to put people into internment camps, we might as well start with the National Review staff.

    Vote Hillary 2008.

  43. 43
    Wilfred says:

    Obviously the in-uniform & veteran crowd can offer much more informed opinion with regards to combat realities & the state of the military, but they aren’t necessarily any more informed than I am on the geopolitical consequences of military engagement.

    Say what? I’m talking about able-bodied men like Jonah Goldberg, Jon Podhoretz and the entire right wing blogosphere, people who want to continue a war they don

  44. 44
    Tony J says:

    When I was a young man, and got most of my politics from Allen Drury novels

    Really? The Allen Drury who seemed to think that 1970’s America was at risk of being betrayed from within by a secret consortium of the Black Panthers, the Ku Klux Klan and a crypto-Stalinist grouping basically made up of Liberals and their KGB handlers?

    It really puts a bit of perspective on the whole BDS meme that someone who became a Republican because they were influenced by Drury could be driven away from the Party by George W Bush. I think a round of applause is in order.

    polite clapping

  45. 45
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    Next up: mandatory fetus seat belts!

    Now there’s a compromise everybody can love!

  46. 46
    The Other Steve says:

    Uh, no, the whole idea of a “balanced budget” is nonsense for a country the size of ours and in our position economically, and in the world.

    It’s a shell game. Running a country like this is all about managing for the future, which means growth, which means borrowing when it’s appropriate.

    Balanced budget is a slogan like “war on terror” or “war on drugs.” It’s bullshit. Might work at the state level, not at the national level in the modern world.

    Great idea, look where it’s gotten us. Pass tax cuts for the rich, and borrow more money so you can spend more.

    No sir, a balanced budget is a good thing. It’s good because it forces a choice. It forces the government to say “We can’t afford this”, or “We have to cut this”. You don’t get both, you get either/or.

    You get to choose, if we’re going to spend this extra money we need a revenue source. That means either new taxes, or we cut out something else. Similarly if you are going to pass tax cuts, that means you have to trim the cost of government.

    This forces the voters to have a real choice. Is it worth it? Do we want taxes to pay for this new stuff, or are they too high.

    Without that, you get the bullshit that Reagan/Bush/Bush gave us. Voodoo economics. Tax cuts and greater spending.

    Stop piling shit.

  47. 47
    Wilfred says:

    Cut myself off mid-rant.

    …they don’t have the balls to fight themselves, It has nothing to do with military acumen but everything to do with common decency. They are the moral equivalent of rich Union conscripts who bought their way out of serving and sent some dumb bastard in their shoes. Like Rockefeller and J.P. Morgan.

    Can anyone imagine a guy with a college deferment from the Vietnam era draft running around claiming the war was right and good? I can’t, but that’s what these scumbags do. They are as yellow as pissed-on snow and all their complaints about ‘chicken-hawking’ doesn’t change their real colors.

  48. 48
    jg says:

    the founders really wanted was a strong executive. Unbelievable. Dear National Review readers (and writers): as an American, I implore you to please STFU until you both read and comprehend the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and hopefully the Federalist Papers

    the federalist papers is where they get the idea of a powerful executive. My boy Hamilton wanted a more powerful executive. Of course he didn’t want Cheney and actively fought against limitless power but he was down with the more power crowd. He was also all for an aristocracy which is most definately a conservative value.

  49. 49
    Chad N. Freude says:

    BFR –

    In your post above, I think you’re misreading the post you’re responding to. There are large numbers of pro-war enthusiasts who refuse to join the armed services if they are eligible, or who support the refusal of their eligible children. They claim the war is righteous and necessary, but when challenged about their participation, they say they have “other priorities”. (That’s an actual quote of a frequently used excuse.) These are the targets of contempt.
    Take a look at Operation Yellow Elephant.

  50. 50
    Chad N. Freude says:

    You know, if we’re going to put people into internment camps, we might as well start with the National Review staff subscribers.

    Fixed.

  51. 51
    Zifnab says:

    Great idea, look where it’s gotten us. Pass tax cuts for the rich, and borrow more money so you can spend more.

    No sir, a balanced budget is a good thing. It’s good because it forces a choice. It forces the government to say “We can’t afford this”, or “We have to cut this”. You don’t get both, you get either/or.

    You get to choose, if we’re going to spend this extra money we need a revenue source. That means either new taxes, or we cut out something else. Similarly if you are going to pass tax cuts, that means you have to trim the cost of government.

    Thank you. Yes. You saved me the energy of typing this myself.

    No one is saying “Governments should never borrow money”, but the idea that a government can simply take out massive loans for the sheer thrill of it… I’m sorry, but unlike in the first two thirds of the M.C. Hammer Behind the Music Documentary, it is not the case that “Money never runs out!” America can and will go broke if it spends hundreds of billions more every year than it takes in. Unless you want to completely devalue the dollar, you can’t create a $10 trillion dollar debt and just assume the economy will grow you out of the ditch you dug for yourself.

    That said, if there’s one thing Bush has managed to prove, its that a government, unrestrained, can waste epic amounts of money. What happened to the millions we poured into FEMA? The billions in NOLA reconstruction? The fucktons of cash we’ve dumped on Raytheon and Halliburton? We’ve received literally nothing in exchange, and its a tragic fucking waste. If a government can just rack up debt without accountability – that accountability coming in the form of a thousand other special interests groups asking why they didn’t get the money – then you end up with the gross corruption and malfeasances we see today.

  52. 52
    Richard Bottoms says:

    >the Dems can nominate carrot top and win.

    That’s Carrot Top. Don’t diss the Top.

  53. 53
    Tsulagi says:

    Can anyone imagine a guy with a college deferment from the Vietnam era draft running around claiming the war was right and good? I can’t

    Umm, five-deferment Cheney?

  54. 54
    The Other Steve says:

    That said, if there’s one thing Bush has managed to prove, its that a government, unrestrained, can waste epic amounts of money. What happened to the millions we poured into FEMA? The billions in NOLA reconstruction? The fucktons of cash we’ve dumped on Raytheon and Halliburton? We’ve received literally nothing in exchange, and its a tragic fucking waste. If a government can just rack up debt without accountability – that accountability coming in the form of a thousand other special interests groups asking why they didn’t get the money – then you end up with the gross corruption and malfeasances we see today.

    Mega Dittos!

    This is a very good point. The borrow and spend mentality, has brought with it an era of lack of accountability. You’re certainly not accountable to the tax payers, because well, uhh, they don’t notice because they didn’t get taxed.

    You are accountable to the future generation who has to pay off this debt, but don’t worry cause they can’t vote.

  55. 55
    The Other Steve says:

    One last thing on government borrowing money. It’s a bit like a home budget.

    It’s worthwhile to borrow money to buy something which will pay off in the future. Say to build a new road, or a new school, hospital or airport.

    But you don’t borrow money to buy groceries, pay the power company, and buy gas for the car.

    The problem with the borrow and spend Republicans, is that they don’t have a governing philosophy. All they can think about is short term gains… cut taxes, raise spending = mega votes!

  56. 56
    zmulls says:

    I believe in a “balanced budget” insofar as I don’t think we should be adding to the national debt every year, and should pay for general operating out of tax revenues — as a general rule. I was happy to see a surplus on Clinton’s watch, with the possibility of putting money aside for future needs.

    I certainly understand sometimes you have to “borrow to invest in the future” –and I’m willing to be persuaded by Edwards that it’s time to do so.

    Have we finished paying for the S&L bailout yet, by the way?

    As for Drury, I think if we all posted a list of what we were reading in high school, we might find all sorts of interesting philosophies. ADVISE AND CONSENT, which is dated now, is a wonderful novel, full of Senate lore and procedure; and despite the obvious “Soviets bad, US good” tone, has a lot of good character sketches. The later novels devolved into deep paranoia, but some were fun to read (I enjoyed the one about the brokered convention, and the sheer over-the-top paranoia of the one where Ted Jason becomes President).

    BDS didn’t get me — it was Gingrich, the newspeak of delegitimization, and the contract on America that did it.

  57. 57
    ThymeZone says:

    Stop piling shit.

    I’m describing reality.

    I don’t know what the hell you think you are doing, other than talking like somebody who just discovered the slogan “tax and spend” last week and think it means something.

    There will never be a balanced budget in this country, and hasn’t been in your lifetime, regardless of what the politicians tell you.

    And there never should be, there is no rational defense for having one.

    What’s next, TOS? Defense of Marriage? I mean, honestly, you’d have a better chance of realization of the goal, and a smarter rationale for DOM than “balanced budget.”

    My favorite would be “flag burning amendment.” Why don’t you tout that? More your speed.

  58. 58
    Chad N. Freude says:

    Speaking of burning our money supply, this is up on TPM.

    USA Today conducted a Freedom of Information Act review of Pentagon contracting in the Iraq war. The paper found that, through October, more than two-thirds of contracts flagged by auditors as “inflated, erroneous or otherwise improper” eventually found their way to approval, representing over $1 billion. In total, auditors have raised red flags about 10 percent of contracts for about $38.5 billion in bidded-out Iraq funds.

    BTW, read the front page of the site. Josh Marshall has outdone himself today.

  59. 59
    Tsulagi says:

    Thank you. Yes. You saved me the energy of typing this myself.

    Yep. Have never understood these idiot Bush Republicans, who when not imagining themselves as Jack Bauer, are also absolutely certain they’re business geniuses. Who shook their pom poms for Bush’s tax cuts while at the same time Republican control was running up TRILLIONS in new debt. For investments that returned great value and benefit like the prescription drug bill.

    Somehow for these geniuses monumental deficits go through some voodoo spin cycle in their minds that make them lighter than air and then just dissipate with no consequences. Note to brilliant Republican financial wizards: Deficits are future taxes with interest added. That money gets paid back. You’ll wind up paying three times what you borrowed. But, I guess in keeping with the current party of responsibility and accountability theology, as long as someone else pays the bills long after they’re dead, praise Jesus.

  60. 60
    ThymeZone says:

    Have we finished paying for the S&L bailout yet, by the way?

    Like most people, I think you are confusing control of foolish and wasteful spending, with “balanced budget.”

    They are hardly the same thing. And the latter is often used as a slogan for the former, which is very counterproductive.

  61. 61
    ThymeZone says:

    one thing Bush has managed to prove, its that a government, unrestrained, can waste epic amounts of money.

    Yes, but the cure for waste is to eliminate waste, not to try to “balance” the budget.

    Fred Thompson will argue that the balanced budget cuts down on the waste as an indirect effect by throttling the spending machine.

    Well, two things. One, I don’t trust Fred Thompson on any subject, ever, at any time. Two, you don’t govern well by throttling. YOu govern well by governing well. By spending wisely, and reducing waste. Then you will know how much you need to borrow to do what you need to do.

    “Full faith and credit” is real important. Necessary.

  62. 62
    Andrei says:

    And yet… given the laughable GOP position for 2008, we currently have the worst possible candidate out in front for the Dems: Hillary Clinton.

    All you people can have your fun as much as you want at the expense of the dead end 26%ers, but if you want real change and you actually mean it, you’ll do your damndest to make sure Edwards, Obama, Richardson or even Carrot Top get the nomination over Hillary.

    I repeat: No way in hell I’m voting for any of the GOP candidates. But there’s also no way I’m openly endorsing an oligarchy by voting for Clinton either. I’ll pencil in Gore or Obama if it comes to that. She needs to step aside so this country can attempt to heal and deal with real change after twenty years of utter bullshit from all involved. With her at the helm, it’ll be the worst aspect of the past 20 years all rolled up into one adminsitration and a group of extremists on both the right and left that will basically rip us all aprat with the kind of damaging vitriol we have not yet seen.

  63. 63
    Tom Hilton says:

    When William F. Buckley is the voice of reason, you know you’re way off the deep end.

  64. 64
    zmulls says:

    Sigh. I was not conflating the S&L bailout with balancing the budget.

    I was merely asking whether we’ve actually finished paying for it, as it’s an example of stuff we have spent too much money on that I wish we had had to spend on other things. The S&L bailout was my first major wake-up call, in my mid-20’s, that perhaps deregulation was not a particularly wise strategy.

  65. 65
    ThymeZone says:

    Sigh. I was not conflating the S&L bailout

    Fine, then take the blockquote out of my post, and it stands as written, even better. I was just looking for a way to tie my remarks to yours.

    Deficit spending is not unwise spending. Unwise spending is unwise spending, deficit or not. That’s my first point.

    My second point is that more can be done with wise deficit spending than with balanced budgets.

    If the spending isn’t wise, then make it wise, don’t attack the deficit concept. That’s foolish.

  66. 66
    capelza says:

    Tom Hilton Says:

    When William F. Buckley is the voice of reason, you know you’re way off the deep end.

    True story!

    I remember him, though, from his old TV program (black and white). Well spoken and classy. WHen politics on television included actual discussion. Then I realised that his ideas were scary. But he did have actual debates.

    However, I do enjoy NRO when Buckley finally has enough of the idiocy he has spawned and lays the hammer down on the idiots who yammer over there. I can’t remeber the last article I read that he was doing this in, but it was sweet. The playground got real quite for a minute. Then when Buckley had ascended back to whatever perch he was on, they came back out, dumb as ever. God, I despise them. Elitist twits (Monty Python style).

  67. 67
    Zifnab says:

    TZ, what amazes me is that you don’t believe our national government can balance its own checkbook honestly, but you do believe that it can curb wasteful spending honestly.

    Like guys upthread pointed out, if the government wants to “take out a mortage” on expensive projects like roads or schools by issuing bonds, that’s fine. If they want to issue bonds to pay for tax cuts or social security, that’s not fine.

    I think we’re collectively referring to deficit spending as when your yearly operating budget exceeds your yearly income, while you’re running on the “do I owe any money at all” or at least “what’s my net worth” definition.

    Running a yearly deficit six years straight isn’t “inevitable” unless you’re referring to the economic disaster it will lead to. You can’t spend $100 billion / year more than you make every year!

  68. 68
    Rome Again says:

    When William F. Buckley is the voice of reason, you know you’re way off the deep end.

    Then or now?

  69. 69
    Tsulagi says:

    Have read part of that Hari article now; will read the rest later. It’s funny. But sadly a lot people in furrin countries now see us as cartoon figures like those in the story. Of course our 28%ers wear that as a badge of pride.

    One good thing for our Cartoon in Chief is apparently he often sounds more intelligent in foreign countries. A few American friends/people I know living and working outside the country have told me when Bush appears on the local news, the translation is more intelligent than what actually stumbles out of his mouth. They clean him up. Guess it’s hard to translate stupid. Also maybe a desire on the translator’s part to make some coherent sense in what Tard is saying. They’ve said even with the cleanup he still often sounds like an idiot, but the depth is missing in the translation.

  70. 70
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    Who shook their pom poms for Bush’s tax cuts while at the same time Republican control was running up TRILLIONS in new debt.

    But the tax cuts are WORKING, moonbat! Just like they did for Reagan, just like the ALWAYS will work! Because it’s the ONLY economic policy that makes any sense at all! Really ! I learned it from wingnut blogs–capitalization, exclamation points, and all!

  71. 71
    Bruce Moomaw says:

    Look; Nixon still had 25% support even after the “Smoking Gun” tape came out and the Senate had made it clear that it was prepared to almost unanimously remove him from office if he didn’t quit. Really, about 60% of the people in this country (and probably in any democracy) would vote for their own party’s candidate if he was seen eating a live baby on television. Let’s not overestimate the rationality of the Average Man even at the best of times.

    Parenthetically: anyone care to estimate the odds that Nixon would ever have been removed if he HADN’T suicidally tape-recorded his own criminal conspiracies? He wouldn’t have been, of course — even in the face of other overwhelming evidence. The Founders’ comments at the time about impeachment make it clear that they expected it to be done a lot more easily than we do, simply because — as always — they totally failed to foresee the rise of political parties. (Madison, for instance, defended an unconditional right of the President to issue pardons because — as he said — if the President started doing so in order to cover up illegal actions by his own staffers, Congress would instantly impeach and remove him. Right…) Yes, Virginia, we desperately need a new Constitution — something I intend to repeat from now on as obsessively (and as justifiably) as Cato kept repeating that Carthage must be destroyed.

  72. 72
    The Other Steve says:

    Yes, but the cure for waste is to eliminate waste, not to try to “balance” the budget.

    Right, because if you can’t trust a government to balance it’s budget you surely can trust them to eliminate waste. Sorry, Zifnab is right… the lack of accountability of budget balancing leads directly to the waste.

    Fred Thompson will argue that the balanced budget cuts down on the waste as an indirect effect by throttling the spending machine.

    Well, he would be right on that. Except Fred Thompson doesn’t believe in balanced budgets. He just believes in lower taxes. Like all Republicans, he doesn’t care a wit about spending, that is someone else problem in the future when he’s dead. Republicans are afraid of cutting spending, cause, the voters might revolt on them.

    I’m not talking about Republican balanced budget bullshit, I’m talking about real honest to goodness balancing like we have at the state level. The bulk of states have constitutional amendments mandating a balanced budget.

    you put a provision in there requiring a 2/3rds vote to override, just in case.

    But at least the discussion will be forced. Even if the Government has to be shut down to make it happen. The sides will make the arguments, and the voters will decide who they agree with.

    Well, two things. One, I don’t trust Fred Thompson on any subject, ever, at any time. Two, you don’t govern well by throttling. YOu govern well by governing well. By spending wisely, and reducing waste. Then you will know how much you need to borrow to do what you need to do.

    And you can’t govern well and reduce waste if there is no penalty for not doing so.

    You’ve once again fallen instinctively into the far left dilemna of arguing against concepts, solely because the Republican party has used that concept as a buzzword in elections despite believing in it.

    Just because the republicans have misused a word, is no reason to fear the word.

  73. 73
    Bruce Moomaw says:

    By the way, Tim forgot to include Hari’s quote from Podhoretz that “Nobody was tortured at Abu Ghraib.”

  74. 74
    ThymeZone says:

    TZ, what amazes me is that you don’t believe our national government can balance its own checkbook honestly, but you do believe that it can curb wasteful spending honestly.

    I didn’t say the former, so when you are done rooting around for strawmen, call me.

    What I said was said more than once, and very clearly: The cure for wasteful spending is to cure wasteful spending.

    Deficit spending is not wasteful spending, and it is not the cause of wasteful spending. The causes of wasteful spending are many. I do in fact believe that wasteful spending can be controlled.

    Control of waste, like so many other desirable things in government, will come as an expression of the will of the people, first of all, and second, as an expression of the capacity of the people to choose wisely and vote their interests intelligently.

    Good government is not rocket science, it’s basic stuff. when people care, when they pay attention, when they are honest, when they choose wisely, you will get good government. Demagoguing about “balanced budgets” will not move you one inch toward that goal. Never has, never will.

  75. 75
    ThymeZone says:

    Just because the republicans have misused a word, is no reason to fear the word.

    Even for you, that is a mighty pile of nonsense.

    There are, and will be, no balanced budgets in this country at the national level because there is no imperative for having them. They are no more a cure for wasteful spending than being the evil thing that you are lying and saying that I believe they are. They are largely irrelevant to the question of proper spending.

    Credit is a financial tool It can be used wisely by those who understand it and respect it, or foolishly by those who do not. The fact that foolish people have used it doesn’t make it a foolish thing. Any more than bad drivers make automobiles a bad thing.

    If you want responsible spending, you act to promote responsible spending. Not by imposing some arbitrary limit and calling the dysfunctional result “responsible.”

    I haven’t fallen into any “dillemma,” asshole. I don’t have a dillemma, you do, you can’t win an argument if I gave you a six month head start.

  76. 76
    LarryB says:

    Andrei Says:

    And yet… given the laughable GOP position for 2008, we currently have the worst possible candidate out in front for the Dems: Hillary Clinton….With her at the helm, it’ll be the worst aspect of the past 20 years all rolled up into one adminsitration and a group of extremists on both the right and left that will basically rip us all aprat with the kind of damaging vitriol we have not yet seen.

    Wow, Andrei. HRC is the “worst possible” Dem candidate because boneheads like the subjects of this thread really, really hate her? No, wait! It must be because Hillary, the torch-carrier for the DLC/Third Way, is a (snort) wild-eyed Leftist radical? Get a grip, man. Your own anger seems to be interfering with your thinking.

  77. 77
    The Other Steve says:

    I didn’t say the former, so when you are done rooting around for strawmen, call me.

    There’s no strawman there. It’s exactly what you argued.

    I think at this point in time, it should be obvious to anybody especially liberals, that YOU CANNOT TRUST THE GOVERNMENT. Why? Because the other bastards might get elected and running things.

    That’s the beauty of a Balanced Budget Amendment, it forces something to happen. It’s why states have them, and it is why they work so well.

    Here in Minnesota, we had Borrow and Spend Republicans come into office, and they fucked up our budget with tax cuts. The Balanced Budget forced a debate, because without the money in the coffers, the state GOP controlled legislature decided they had to cut money for education, roads and such to balance things.

    The next election came, and people were pissed, and kicked the bums out. Now granted, they didn’t kick out the governor, so when the legislature tried to raise gas taxes by a small percentage, it was vetoed.

    But we had a public discussion, and the public is pretty much in favor of increasing the tax if it’ll mean they upgrade the roads, install commuter rail, etc.

    One shouldn’t fear public debate if your ideas are sound and valid.

  78. 78
    The Other Steve says:

    There are, and will be, no balanced budgets in this country at the national level because there is no imperative for having them.

    You are arguing that we should not create an imperative to have balanced budgets, because it is impossible to have a balanced budget without an imperative.

    You sound like Darrell.

  79. 79
    The Other Steve says:

    Wow, Andrei. HRC is the “worst possible” Dem candidate because boneheads like the subjects of this thread really, really hate her? No, wait! It must be because Hillary, the torch-carrier for the DLC/Third Way, is a (snort) wild-eyed Leftist radical? Get a grip, man. Your own anger seems to be interfering with your thinking.

    What I love is the Edwards folks over at dKos complaining about her being too conservative, given Edwards record in the Senate. ;-)

    And then the wingnuts complaining she’s a liberal radical.

    i think the truth is, most who think they know her, don’t.

  80. 80
    Tim F. says:

    That’s the beauty of a Balanced Budget Amendment

    Wait, what? No, a BBA is an absolutely horrible idea. When a state gets knocked flat by a hurricane it can appeal to the feds for emergency aid. When the nation gets knocked flat by, say, a Japanese carrier group it can do what? Ask Canada for some money? It can’t be a loan since, well, BBA. Canada would have to give the cash to us.

    Really. In extremis the guvmint absolutely must run some deficits until (for example) the Japanese don’t have carrier groups any more. Granting that the Constitution is not a suicide pact, I see no reason why we should make it one.

  81. 81
    Zifnab says:

    Here in Minnesota, we had Borrow and Spend Republicans come into office, and they fucked up our budget with tax cuts. The Balanced Budget forced a debate, because without the money in the coffers, the state GOP controlled legislature decided they had to cut money for education, roads and such to balance things.

    Exactly. People only care when they’re pained enough to notice. And people only notice when they suffer. So you need an amendment that – when politicos fuck with the system – makes people suffer.

    It’s the same reason American Progressives have been slowly embracing the idea of a draft. If American parents have to face the idea that their sons are going to be sent off to war, they’ll demand whoever is in power have a damn good reason for warring. If American taxpayers see their taxes go up, or their government services go down, because a politico wants to mess with the status quo, they’ll demand whomever is in power have a damn good reason for spending their money.

  82. 82
    Pb says:

    Regarding balancing budgets vs. deficit spending, the real test is to look at what all our remaining debt has funded–and over the past few decades, a great deal of it has paid for elective wars and old weapons systems, and has made possible more tax breaks for the rich. That’s not to say that it can’t fund ventures that we might find more worthwhile as well–it also funded our involvement in WWII. Just that it hasn’t done so in quite some time.

  83. 83
    Zifnab says:

    When the nation gets knocked flat by, say, a Japanese carrier group it can do what? Ask Canada for some money? It can’t be a loan since, well, BBA. Canada would have to give the cash to us.

    Ok, here’s a thought. Maybe the government should raise taxes? What? We’re the richest country on earth, we’ve been in an endless trillion-dollar war for six years – WITH TAX CUTS – and we can’t afford to up the income tax by 5% across the board? We’ve got 300 million people in America. We can’t charge everyone an extra few hundred bucks to protect our borders? Raise a business tax? Throw up a tariff? Cut a social program? (yeah, listen, oil welfare is cool and all, but they just bombed Pearl Harbor and we need that money back now). Are you seriously implying that if the US Government needed cash, the ONLY way they could get it is by going into debt?

  84. 84
    Tim F. says:

    Zifnab,

    When a country enters a war with an enemy of equal or greater stature, in which its major advantage is a massive industrial capacity, it doesn’t want to do so with a tits-up economy. Yet that is exactly what would happen if we balanced up the cost of gearing up for war with tax revenue in the same year. The economy would die. Aircraft plants would sit empty because their owners went into bankruptcy trying to pay the tax bill. A government needs the ability to pay off massive crisis expenditures over the long term.

    Claiming that a government is not capable of managing its long-term debt strikes me as only an argument to not have governments at all. Somehow our suboptimal system made it two hundred years and I suspect that even with our present crop of stark nutters, we will go on for a while in the future.

    The debate is moot anyhow. Our government will pass a BBA the day after it passes the Mandatory Morning Wedgies For The Majority Party bill.

  85. 85
    Zifnab says:

    The debate is moot anyhow. Our government will pass a BBA the day after it passes the Mandatory Morning Wedgies For The Majority Party bill.

    :-p Well, with Nelson being a total wanker and knowing that Lieberman will always flip, the latter is more likely than you’d think. I mean, the Dems would have to put it up for a vote or Republicans would call them pussies.

  86. 86
    Bruce Moomaw says:

    For the record, kids: Nobody is proposing a BBA absolutely mandating a balanced budget. They’re proposing one that would make it MORE DIFFICULT to run a deficit by requiring a Congressional supermajority to do so, to compensate for the inevitable strong temptation of many politicians to pump up their own popularity by running a current-day deficit and leaving it for later suckers to clean up. Presumably, in situations where we genuinely do need to run a deficit, anough additional Congressmen would sign on to run that deficit.

    The usual supermajority proposed is 3/5 (as with the BBA that Clinton narrowly stopped in the mid-1990s, despite its support by people including Sen. Paul Simon and Micheal Kinsley). I’m not sure that a 2/3 supermajority might not be a better bet.

  87. 87
    Tsulagi says:

    Yet that is exactly what would happen if we balanced up the cost of gearing up for war with tax revenue in the same year. The economy would die.

    And I would agree with that.

    But for planned expenditures, which is the overwhelming bulk of the budget year in and year out, balance it with incoming revenue. You want something new, identify or create a source of revenue to pay for it.

    If a major unplanned event happens like war (not elective wars based on 1% bullshit) or a Rapture level of hurricanes during a season, allow a supermajority level of Congress to immediately fund costs through debt paid off over time. If we had another Pearl or a number of Katrinas in a season, I seriously doubt you wouldn’t be able to get that majority vote regardless of the party makeup in Congress.

    All I’m saying is have at least a basic level of fiscal responsibility. Right now the Pubs have maxed out the country credit cards continually getting higher limits each time they’ve hit one. Thank Jesus creditors like China kept giving them the okay scarfing up treasuries and other US based bonds. They got only our best interests at heart.

  88. 88
    MBunge says:

    On the subject of deficits and balanced budgets, there’s one point to remember. A country’s budget deficit is one of those problems that absolutely doesn’t matter, right up until it’s the most horrible problem imaginable.

    Why was balancing the budget such an important thing during the Clinton years? Because the shape of the post-Cold War global economy was still unclear, and the rest of the world wasn’t going to support putting America at the top of the economic pyramid when our accounts were so far out of whack. Clinton and the Congress got our financial house, at least temporarily, in order…and a new global economic system was formed around the U.S.

    We’ve been able to go back to financial irresponsibility because the rest of the world is propping us up, because allowing the U.S. economy to unravel would destroy the current status quo for EVERYONE. The day will come, however, when other countries are less afraid of global economic chaos than they are of being stuck with America’s credit card bill. At that point, the budget deficit problem will go from being a non-issue to TOTAL ARMAGGEDDON!

    Mike

  89. 89
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    HRC is the “worst possible” Dem candidate because boneheads like the subjects of this thread really, really hate her? No, wait! It must be because Hillary, the torch-carrier for the DLC/Third Way, is a (snort) wild-eyed Leftist radical?

    Well, I think HRC is viewed as the “worst possible” Dem candidate because a decent chunk of people–not just Repubbies and various wingnuts, but regular folks–just plain don’t like her for whatever reason. There’s also the the very real (though often jokingly addressed) sense that we’ve already had enough Bush and Clinton presidencies as it is, so let’s give some other family a chance.

    And that’s not even getting into the fact that few things can galvanize the very fractured Republican base like some good ol’ fashioned Clinton-hatin’.

    Personally, I don’t give a crap about Clinton–or any candidates for that matter, as it is only July of 200-fucking-7 so they all can shut the fuck up and go away for all I care–but she does have some serious real-world liabilities, rational or not.

  90. 90
    Aaron says:

    Tim F.: “the Constitution is not a suicide pact, I see no reason why we should make it one.”

    It is. cf: War of Treason a/k/a U.S. Civil War.

    Freedom is not free.
    Those who would trade liberty for peace deserve neither.
    The price of liberty is eternal vigilance.
    Why don’t you become an American, Tim?

  91. 91
    Zifnab says:

    And that’s not even getting into the fact that few things can galvanize the very fractured Republican base like some good ol’ fashioned Clinton-hatin’.

    Honestly, watching the Republican party galvanize at this point would probably be like watching a paraplegic suddenly break into a sprint. It would be all amazing and awe-inspiring for the quarter of a second it took before the whole thing falls apart again.

    The only thing the GOP achieves by yelling louder and more collectively at this point is proving they’re all collectively loud and collectively crazy. I liked Kos’s primary plug for Clinton – that it would be the biggest finger-in-the-eye the Dems could throw at the Republican Party. I might not support her politics, her habit of pandering, or her questionable ties to DINOs at the DLC, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to turn her down because she’s not “electable”. Bullshit she’s not electable. If she wasn’t electable, Republicans wouldn’t piss themselves at the sound of her name.

  92. 92
    Bill Arnold says:

    But, I guess in keeping with the current party of responsibility and accountability theology, as long as someone else pays the bills long after they’re dead, praise Jesus.

    You’re close. A good fraction of the base thinks that they and their children probably won’t have to pay the bill, because the end times are very near. Running a deficit is like accepting a gift of free money from God. (Not running a deficit is tantamount to rejecting God’s gift – not a good idea.)

  93. 93
    Cain says:

    The Other Steve,

    The same shit happened to us in Oregon. Republicans controlled the legislature, cut taxes, raped all the funds, spent like crazy and then we had no money to pay for state police, education, or anything else. Education took a dive because we didn’t fund it properly.

    Secondly, even when corporations didn’t mind a corporate tax, the Republicans were trying to kill it. So even with corporations willing to pay in order to get better services, the republicans were whining about it.

    No matter where they are, they just seem to gum up the works. That party is so screwed…

  94. 94
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    Republicans controlled the legislature, cut taxes, raped all the funds, spent like crazy and then we had no money to pay for state police, education, or anything else.

    That’s the whole idea–“starve the beast,” quoth Grover Norquist. Cut taxes, and then oh, gee, ya know what, we’d love to fund some health care initiatives–you know how much Republicans love to fund such things–but wouldn’t ya know it, we just don’t have the money to do it. Sorry!

    Supply-siders who try to argue that such tax cuts actually help things are basically just useful idiots for the Norquists of the world; they put a happy “everybody wins!” face on lousy tax policy.

  95. 95
    AnonE.Mouse says:

    Sorry to hear about your troubles in Minnesota and Oregon-I thought it was only here in Michigan that Republicans fucked things up as bad as they have.On top of the demise of the domestic auto industry,we’ll soon be competitive with Mississippi in the quality of education and other services.

  96. 96
    Zifnab says:

    Hey, Republicans aren’t against all taxes. For instance, we’ve got a nice high sales tax and toll roads that help us raise money for more toll roads down here in Texas. And there’s always enough tax money to subsidize a dozen more coal-fired power plants. Horray, waste-on-so-many-levels!

  97. 97
    Andrei says:

    No, wait! It must be because Hillary, the torch-carrier for the DLC/Third Way, is a (snort) wild-eyed Leftist radical?

    You obviously didn’t read what I wrote. I suggest you read it again, then go look up the word “oligarchy.”

  98. 98
    Andrei says:

    I liked Kos’s primary plug for Clinton – that it would be the biggest finger-in-the-eye the Dems could throw at the Republican Party. I might not support her politics, her habit of pandering, or her questionable ties to DINOs at the DLC, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to turn her down because she’s not “electable”. Bullshit she’s not electable. If she wasn’t electable, Republicans wouldn’t piss themselves at the sound of her name.

    Proof positive why HRC is an absolutely terrible choice for this country. If she’s in office, we’ll get more of the same vitriol and bullshit from all sides instead of even remotely attempting to actually move ourselves into the next decade where real problems are going to suddenly require a lot of real solutions coming from everyone.

    FWIW, I’m not saying she’s not electable. In fact, she’ll probably win given the laughing stock of GOP competition. I will still refuse to vote for her. I’m saying she’s entirely the wrong person needed for the job at this very specific point in history. Some of you left leaning types really need to ask yourselves if you’re going to go to the mat for HRC in the same asinine way the right leaning types went for Bush just because that’s what partisans do regardless of what might be the right thing to do.

    And I’m also willing to bet that many of you who vote for Clinton will feel like John Cole does right now two years into her presidency if she were to win.

  99. 99

    Proof positive why HRC is an absolutely terrible choice for this country. If she’s in office, we’ll get more of the same vitriol and bullshit from all sides instead of even remotely attempting to actually move ourselves into the next decade where real problems are going to suddenly require a lot of real solutions coming from everyone.

    I doubt it. Because she’s actually competent. If the GOP starts throwing the shit they did at Bill after 8 years of Bushie… the American public is going to turn their backs on them even harder then they are now.

    The GOP may end up being surpassed by the Green Party and the Loonietarians at the rate they’re imploding.

  100. 100
    Zifnab says:

    Some of you left leaning types really need to ask yourselves if you’re going to go to the mat for HRC in the same asinine way the right leaning types went for Bush just because that’s what partisans do regardless of what might be the right thing to do.

    Hey, currently I’m a big fan of Obama and Edwards. I’ve made that clear on multiple occasions. That said, Hillary isn’t Bush. The idea that a giant failure second son of our 41st President, who rode into power on Fear of Clenis and a few well-picked SCOTUS judges, is going to compare to our 42nd President’s most trusted adviser and most ardent campaign supporter, is laughable. If it’s between Generic Republican Dumbass and HRC, I’m voting for Hillary. I’d rather be voting for Obama or Edwards, but in the end I won’t have trouble sleeping on Nov 8th, 2008 if I know she’s going to be in office by the following January.

  101. 101
    The Other Steve says:

    Regardless of who gets the nomination.

    I’m having a big party on January 20, 2009. You’re all invited and we’re breaking open the Scotch.

  102. 102
    Andrew says:

    To paraphrase the Onion, it would be horrible to head back into the long national nightmare of peace and prosperity called the 1990’s with another President Clinton.

  103. 103
    Andrew says:

    Regardless of who gets the nomination.

    I’m having a big party on January 20, 2009. You’re all invited and we’re breaking open the Scotch.

    Are you telling me that you haven’t been breaking out the Scotch on a regular basis for the pas few years?

    I’m going to celebrate January 20, 2009 by not drinking.

  104. 104
    Grumpy Code Monkey says:

    There’s also the the very real (though often jokingly addressed) sense that we’ve already had enough Bush and Clinton presidencies as it is, so let’s give some other family a chance.

    If Hillary wins in 2009, then the office of the President will have been held by one of two families for a quarter of a century. That’s not the main reason I’m reluctant to vote for her, but I’d be lying if I said it didn’t play some role.

  105. 105
    conumbdrum says:

    Proof positive why HRC is an absolutely terrible choice for this country. If she’s in office, we’ll get more of the same vitriol and bullshit from all sides instead of even remotely attempting to actually move ourselves into the next decade where real problems are going to suddenly require a lot of real solutions coming from everyone.

    Big news flash: you’re going to see the same vitriol and bullshit from the GOP if any Democrat wins.

    Jesus, look at Bill Clinton, a moderate Republican in everything but name (remember NAFTA? the Telecommunications Act? welfare reform?); and the GOP still regards the guy as a liberal Mephistopheles.

  106. 106
    jake says:

    If Hillary wins in 2009, then the office of the President will have been held by one of two families for a quarter of a century.

    When did the Rodhams hold office?

    Seriously, I don’t get this argument: Hilary is married to Bill ergo … ?

    Would it make a difference if they got a divorce?

    While I think HRC is running on and getting a boost from the Clinton logo, who she’s married to doesn’t even make the list of my problems with her.

  107. 107

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    […] It would be fun to hear what this guy from that famous National Review cruise thinks in 2009: […]

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