Happy Halloween- Now For Something Scary

I have only been a Democrat for just a few hours, and already I feel the need to defend Hillary. Brace yourselves.

Hillary is getting a bum rap for this:

On the blogs and elsewhere, it is being played out as if this is more evidence of Hillary engaging in doublespeak, or flip-flopping, or whatever, and, quite frankly, it is bullshit. Kevin Drum goes so far as to call it “unusually spineless.” Hillary’s position is quite clear- we have a mess, what Spitzer is doing makes sense, and I may not like it and it may not be the best solution and it is certainly not without flaws, but in the void created by the lack of action by Congress and this administration, I understand why he is doing it. Read the transcript, and get out of ‘Gotcha’ mode:

Clinton: Well, what Governor Spitzer is trying to do is fill the vacuum left by the failure of this administration to bring about comprehensive immigration reform. We know in New York we have several million at any one time who are in New York illegally. They are undocumented workers. They are driving on our roads. The possibility of them having an accident that harms themselves or others is just a matter of the odds. It’s probability.

So what Governor Spitzer is trying to do is to fill the vacuum. I believe we need to get back to comprehensive immigration reform because no state, no matter how well intentioned, can fill this gap. There needs to be federal action on immigration reform.

***

Clinton: Well, I just want to add, I did not say that it should be done, but I certainly recognize why Governor Spitzer is trying to do…

(Unknown):
Wait a minute…

Clinton: And we have failed. We have failed.

Dodd: No, no, no. You said — you said yes…

Clinton: No.

Dodd: … you thought it made sense to do it.

Clinton: No, I didn’t, Chris. But the point is, what are we going to do with all these illegal immigrants who are driving…

Dodd: That’s a legitimate issue. But driver’s license goes too far, in my view.

Clinton: Well, you may say that, but what is the identification?

If somebody runs into you today who is an undocumented worker…

Dodd: There’s ways of dealing with that.

Clinton: Well…

Dodd: This is a privilege, not a right.

Clinton: Well, what Governor Spitzer has agreed to do is to have three different licenses, one that provides identification for actually going onto airplanes and other kinds of security issues, another which is another ordinary driver’s license, and then a special card that identifies the people who would be on the road, so…

That isn’t doublespeak. That isn’t trying to have your cake and eat it, too. That isn’t the classic Clinton triangulation that infuriates us all so much. It is someone recognizing that there are realities on the ground that supercede simple responses that may make one or another political faction happy, or make a good soundbite, but won’t deal with the problem at all. You would think you all had had enough of rigid and reflexive stupidity the past seven years and ‘solutions’ that work great in fantasyland (“The war will pay for itself!”and “We will be greeted as liberators!”), and would appreciate someone being, well, sensible. Sometimes you don’t have a magic answer that makes you 100% happy.

I understand the need for the candidates to put pressure on Clinton, and believe me, I am one of the foremost believers that Hillary will say or do anything to get elected. But in this case, the pressure Dodd and Obama are putting on Clinton is not only unfair, it is simplistic and stupid and plays right into the narrative the idiots in the media love to tell (and I can guarantee they will). Hell, poor Bob Somerby will probably have to spend a week documenting the idiotic Hardball reactions to this one segment.

This kind of crap is self-defeating, and as much as I like Dodd and dislike Hillary, I think he was wrong on this. I recognize the real value he is bringing to the current Democratic field and the national debate, and were it not for him, none of the other candidates probably would have come out against Mukasey (in what we all know is Kabuki dance that will end predictably- only the candidates running and a few safe seats will oppose his nomination, the rest will fold after the “reasonable” Republicans back down. Already Graham and Specter are doing the predictable walkback, so predictable that Tim even has a category here called Spectering).

However, in this case, the Democrats were too overzealous in their attacks on Hillary. The simple fact of the matter is there is no good answer to the mess of illegal immigration, Spitzer is trying to do something, anything, to gain some order, and Hillary may not like it (I certainly don’t), but recognizes the value in what he is attempting to do.

That isn’t double-talk or flip-flopping. It is called dealing with reality. And if you have a better idea to deal with Spitzer’s problem, by all means, spit it up.

*** Update ***

Christ. Jane at FDL says basically the same damned thing at roughly the same time. I guess I am one of the Jane Hamsher’s of the left now and the assimilation was quicker and less painful than I thought it would be. I need a drink.






79 replies
  1. 1
    Jimmm says:

    I was going to write something about what an asshole Sullivan was being over on his site, but thought better of it, lest I send traffic his way.

    God, I’m becoming the same way about Sully that Sully is about Hillary and The Clenis. It feels … dirty.

  2. 2
    capelza says:

    Spitzer is doing that nuance stuff. Hillary recognises this and rightly points out that the federal government has done diddly squat to deal with illegal immigration and most likely has no real desire to.

    It’s a stop gap measure, trying to do something instead of just blathering. But it is an easy target…”Illegal immigration…bad”.

    The other contenders are trying to knock Clinton out and are resorting to cheap soundbites to do it. When they know better, especially Dodd..who I also like.

  3. 3
    ThymeZone says:

    Good catch.

    What’s missing from this phony “debate” (as wanted by, say, Chris Dodd) is an understanding of things such as “what do we want people to have identification for?”

    Since I’m on a blog, I’m allowed to paraphrase the right’s position on this: They think that a “driver’s license” or ID card is some kind of privilege thing, a membership card for the club of approved people.

    Clinton is talking from another point of view: That identification is for us, not for the identified person. It’s for US so that we know who that person is, and can deal appropriately with that person. It’s for our benefit, not just his, to carry such a card.

    I agree with Clinton on this. ID is for us to be able to identify people. If the carrier of the ID benefits from that too, so be it. The greater good is served by having them carry ID.

    The idiots on the right think everything is about “sending a message.” It isn’t.

  4. 4
    Heywood Jablomy says:

    I can barely abide Hillary too, but you are right, Cole – she is piercing the b.s. fog here. She’s also right on with her simple statement on Iran: “As president, I will do everything in my power to keep Iran from gaining a nuclear weapon.” What can be better than that? The media hate it cos it allows for no freak show entertainment. Fuck the freak show, this is how serious candidates answer major international questions when they are not in power but must send a firm coherent signal. I hate having to defend her but she is correct here and the sharks are pissed at the lack of chum in the water. Welcome to the world of dealing with hillary derangement syndrome, population you.

  5. 5
    MNPundit says:

    Liquor? Post something about Skull Fucking Kittens!

  6. 6
    nightjar says:

    According to the AAA{via AP], unlicensed drivers are 5 times more likely to have accidents that licensed drivers. Since my state of New Mexico started issuing drivers licenses to illegal aliens, accidents have gone down, especially the drunk driving fatality kind, which we’ve always led the nation on if not the world.

  7. 7
    rawshark says:

    Christ. Jane at FDL says basically the same damned thing at roughly the same time. I guess I am one of the Jane Hamsher’s of the left now.

    Now that is funny.

  8. 8
    jc says:

    Actually, the constant attacks on Clinton, were what were interesting.

    It’s funny – she’s not my candidate – but to see all those guys just simply go after her, and only her, especially that tool Russert, without thinking about it, I got PISSED. WTF are all these guys ganging up on only her? (Yes, I understand why, she’s in the lead, I’m simply reporting my emotional reaction.) She handled herself with great aplomb.

    I won’t vote for her in the primary. But I will say, the right wing sleaze machine, I don’t think this time, will get a free ride. I may be a lefty, but I was still raised in Texas. You go after after a woman unfairly, it does get my blood up.

    I think this time around, IF she gets the nod, there will be lots of “Clinton Knights”, that will go after sleazy f**ks giving her shit, with “great veangance and furious anger”. I can’t take another rightwing smarmy sleazy campaign against the Clintons again.

  9. 9
    PaulW says:

    Welcome to Hell. Where you get screwed no matter what you say.

  10. 10
    AkaDad says:

    I need a drink.

    My nipples get hard when John drunk-blogs…

  11. 11
    TRex says:

    Christ. Jane at FDL says basically the same damned thing at roughly the same time. I guess I am one of the Jane Hamsher’s of the left now and the assimilation was quicker and less painful than I thought it would be. I need a drink.

    Welcome aboard, Mr. Cole. We’re glad to have you. Hope that you enjoy getting alternately kicked in the teeth and ignored by the Democratic Establishment, vilified by the Right (not that you’re a neophyte in that arena), and roundly denounced on every cable news program out there.

    “The Angry Left, Why They Don’t Matter, tonight at 6pm, 10pm and 1am! Now, for more about why the Left means nothing, here’s John Gibson, who will be followed by Brit Hume, talking about Liberal Blogs and their corrosive effect on healthy American families…”

    Care for a Scotch?

  12. 12
    RSA says:

    I need a drink.

    You’re a Democrat now–have two! (What the hell, it’s not that big a bottle. . .)

  13. 13
    Tom Hilton says:

    Agreed. And isn’t it depressing that thanks to the nativist demagogues, an obviously common-sense position like this (denying licenses won’t make illegal immigrants go away; they’ll just end up driving without licenses; licensed drivers are safer drivers, as nightjar notes) would be overwhelmingly unpopular?

  14. 14
    GeneJockey says:

    We are the Left. Prepare to be assimilated. We will add your political and technological distinctives to our own. You will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile.

  15. 15
    jnfr says:

    So you actually went Dem rather than Independent? I’ve been registered Independent for more years than I can count, but I’m thinking of going Dem now just so I can caucus here in February. Does it hurt much?

  16. 16
    John Cole says:

    Does it hurt much?

    Completely painless. Besides, I am so used to the GOP not listening to me I had to have a new party structure that would pay no attention to me. Given that I voted for Bush twice, that may not be all that bad of an idea, though.

  17. 17
    ConservativelyLiberal says:

    I don’t care for the Hillary! dog pile, but I disagree with the plan to issue drivers licenses to illegal immigrants. I don’t know if there are court rulings to this effect, but I have always been told exactly what Dodd said: driving is not a right, it is a privilege. You don’t automatically get a drivers license as an American citizen, and it can be denied you if specified conditions are not met. Handing out licenses is not going to solve anything.

    We need to deal with the illegal immigration problem at a national level. State by state is not going to be the solution, and I think it will cause more problems than it will solve.

    Not to rain on the parade, but I just wanted to state my opinion on this thorny issue.

  18. 18
    Andy K says:

    John, yer right on this one. But right now I don’t think any of the other Democratic candidates can allow her any wiggle room on any topic, lest she widen her lead on the field to Secretariat-In-The-Belmont-like lengths. Dodd shoulda allowed her the nuancin’…then kicked her on her support fer Iraq. Or her ties to Wal-Mart. Or…well, there’s a lot to choose from.

    As fer Spitzer’s plan: If I was an illegal alien I don’t think I’d wanna wait in an 8 hour line at the DMV just to put it on record that I’m an illegal alien. But, hey, that’s just me. Hypothetically, anyway.

  19. 19
    qwerty42 says:

    Yes, she had a good point and -horrors- had a sensible, kinda wonky reason for it. That she tried to explain. It was reasonable, and is how elected officials have to deal with real-life situations – not the theory of how governments are formed. Real governance. It was a good question (I’ll give that to Russert) mostly because it prompted a good response: she took an off-beat, unexpected question -one with national overtones- and attempted to address it in a non-bumper sloganish way. Not a perfect situation, but we have to deal with it. She isn’t my first (or even second) choice, but she is good.
    I like Dodd as well, but this was not a good issue for him. Somewhat OT, but I thought Biden’s comments on Giuliani were great. Oh, one other OT note, this time re Kucinich – his suggestion the prez might have a screw loose – from Wonkette.

  20. 20
    Jess says:

    I’m impressed–she handled the situation very well. I’m not a fan, but I respect her more every time I see her in action. It’s funny that she is probably the most moderate and pragmatic of the candidates and is also the most polarizing one. The criticism directed against her is valid at times (and mindless hysteria too often), but I’m beginning to think it pales in the light of her obvious competence and intelligence. I don’t know if I’ll support her in the primaries, but I won’t have a problem with voting for her in the general election. I know I’ll disagree with a lot of her positions, but I trust that she knows what she’s doing and that she’ll do a lot of good. At least she won’t fuck things up the way the GOP has done, and that’s enough for me at this point. Good is relative.

  21. 21
    Tsulagi says:

    This kind of crap is self-defeating, and as much as I like Dodd and dislike Hillary, I think he was wrong on this.

    Since I’m not a registered Democrat, speaking for part of what I guess is now the “far right” here, I agree. Thought that last night. I like Dodd too, but thought he was breezily dismissing the issue with a jingo: “It’s a privilege, not a right.”

    Duh. Didn’t hear Hillary saying it was a right. A driver’s license isn’t going to give an illegal citizenship. It’s not going to give them anything other than approval to drive a car. The state and drivers on the road benefit by having someone judged competent to drive, and getting a better figure of how many are in their state.

    I looked at this question a couple of years ago. I believe more than half of the states already allow illegal aliens to obtain driver’s licenses for pretty much the reasons Hillary cited. Some very red states among them Also found that most states, when someone is seeking a DL but doesn’t have citizenship, run a more thorough background check including federal.

    Out of that number, some have been found to be wanted in their home countries. Your everyday stuff: murder, rape, drug dealing, robbery, whatever. Then for them, instead of getting their license in the mail, they likely wind up getting extradited or deported. I would think the Tancredos out there would like that.

  22. 22
    Jess says:

    We need to deal with the illegal immigration problem at a national level. State by state is not going to be the solution, and I think it will cause more problems than it will solve.

    Which is exactly what Hillary was saying.

  23. 23

    I haven’t had a chance to watch any of the video but I’d have to agree based on the transcript that Hillary took the correct position on this issue and Dodd made a mistake in going after for it. Unfortunately, at least 80% of the country has become convinced that illegal immigrants are the source of all our ills so it won’t likely hurt him.

    But in general, I’m not buying this idea that it’s not okay to challenge Hillary because she’s the anointed frontrunner, handpicked by the establishment. I’m out on a limb with a handful of people who think her electability is a real issue, not just a GOP talking point. Besides, if she can’t defend herself in the primary, how the hell is she going to overcome CDS in the general?

  24. 24
    Jess says:

    Besides, if she can’t defend herself in the primary, how the hell is she going to overcome CDS in the general?

    I think you should take a look at the video–she’s pretty good up there facing down the slavering beasts.

  25. 25
    Rick Taylor says:

    I felt the same way when heard it. I’d read about how she missed up, listened to the clip, and what,wait, she’s making sense.

    I don’t think it’s a liberal versus conservative thing. I think our discourse has become so dumbed down that anything more complicated than 4 legs good, 2 legs bad, is considered vaciliating political calculation.

  26. 26
    John Cole says:

    But in general, I’m not buying this idea that it’s not okay to challenge Hillary because she’s the anointed frontrunner,

    Criticize her all you want, as I know I will. But have it make sense. Don’t just bitch at her to bitch at her, and over things that make you look dumber.

    Remember, I want Dodd to win.

  27. 27
    Mike says:

    It’s OK to be a Democrat if you like, but if you’re going to think things through logically and admit that issuee instead of venting your gut reaction as The Truth, you will have to turn in your blogging license.

  28. 28
    Rick Taylor says:

    Christ. Jane at FDL says basically the same damned thing at roughly the same time. I guess I am one of the Jane Hamsher’s of the left now and the assimilation was quicker and less painful than I thought it would be. I need a drink.

    Actually, I think the assimilation happened back about the time you kept saying, damn, Paul Krugman has to stop making so much sense. :)

  29. 29

    Now having watched the vid, I think she did great on that question and she’s absolutely right. But I think Russert was the real creep here and not Dodd. Dodd was pandering to the 80% on that one but Russert was the one advancing the GOP narrative on it.

  30. 30
    Jon H says:

    Christ. Jane at FDL says basically the same damned thing at roughly the same time. I guess I am one of the Jane Hamsher’s of the left now and the assimilation was quicker and less painful than I thought it would be. I need a drink.

    ROFL. I’m dying here.

    I’d blame the Mac, but it doesn’t seem to have helped Rush much. Are you wearing black turtlenecks yet?

    Don’t worry, John – we’ll stage an intervention if you start saying you’d vote for Kucinich.

  31. 31
    curtadams says:

    One of the good things about Clinton is that there is a point to criticizing her. She’s constantly ragged on for endlessly adjusting her sails – but adjusting her sails *is* responding to criticism. Government by focus group has advantages as well as disdvantages.

    In a democracy, a political leader has to be a follower as well as a leader. I think pretty much everybody agrees the Clintons get that message *too* well. But it has its advantages. It’s why I’m not worried about residual forces if she gets elected. If 70% of the population wants to be out of Iraq, she’ll get out of Iraq. Her attitude means we’re not going to see anything disasterous if she gets in.

  32. 32
    goldberry says:

    A voice of reason and enlightenment is always welcome no matter where you come from. You didn’t even need to switch parties. Rational thought and critical analysis transcends political affiliation.
    Welcome home, John.

  33. 33
    JGabriel says:

    Conservatively Liberal: “We need to deal with the illegal immigration problem at a national level. State by state is not going to be the solution, and I think it will cause more problems than it will solve.”

    Which pretty much matches John’s analysis of what Clinton said: She’s not crazy about it, it needs to be dealt with at the federal level, but in the absence of federal legislation and guidance, she understands why Spitzer is proposing it.

    I mean, it’s kind of silly to be a contrarian about it, then say the same thing.

    .

  34. 34
    Zuzu says:

    nightjar Says:

    According to the AAA{via AP], unlicensed drivers are 5 times more likely to have accidents that licensed drivers. Since my state of New Mexico started issuing drivers licenses to illegal aliens, accidents have gone down, especially the drunk driving fatality kind, which we’ve always led the nation on if not the world.

    Actually, New Mexico is one of seven states that allow undocumented immigrants to get driver’s licenses. The other six are Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, Oregon, Utah and Washington .

    Stateline

    North Carolina and Tennessee only stopped issuing licenses to undocumented aliens last year. Florida changed it’s policy pretty recently as well. Few Californians realize that undocumented aliens were being issued licenses until 1994.

  35. 35
    mrmobi says:

    John, I didn’t catch much of the debate last night, but I did catch that exchange and, to me, Hillary looked like a savvy, wonky, competent politician who was actually interested in finding solutions to complex problems. Everyone else on stage was desperately trying to score points, logic be damned.

    My wife asked me today about the debate and I told her that all the candidates were piling on Hillary. She asked me how Hillary looked, and I said, “like the only adult in the room.”

    You are just hitting them out of the park every night lately, John.

  36. 36

    You know, if more people would listen to what is actually being said, as John just did, maybe we wouldn’t have an election run by soundbites and asshattery.

    Perhaps Hillary is giving us hope for that, because I do agree that attacking her backfires.

  37. 37
    MDS says:

    John — If you’re going to assimilate, Jane at FDL is about the best you can ask for, IMHO!

    Actually, I’m a long-time registered nonpartisan, but you may inspire me to go Democratic, registration-wise, despite my frustration with them at times. What else do we have to get this country back on track?

    As for Hillary, while she’s not my first choice, I totally agree with you on this point. And if she’s the nominee, I’ll definitely support her, whether or not I change my registration!

    Thanks for your voice of reason!

  38. 38
    Psycheout says:

    Yeah, Shrillary is pro-illegal. But what’s new about that. I do agree with John, that this isn’t a flip flop. She’s been pro-illegal all along.

  39. 39
    Nathanael Nerode says:

    Ugh.

    I’m pro-Spitzer. Apparently Hillary *sort of* is, but isn’t willing to quite *say* it, which is irritating. Dodd & company were not reasonable on this, much though I like them on other issues.

    As far as I’m concerned, a drivers’ licence should be a certification of ability to drive, period. We should have something entirely different for an ID card — drivers’ licenses should not constitute general-purpose IDs, in fact, and should *only* prove ability to drive.

    There’s no rational reason for preventing illegal immigrants from being able to prove their ability to drive; it would be like preventing them from carrying (for instance) proof of polio vaccination. It has nothing to do with — *and is more important than* — immigration. It’s a matter of safety.

    Why can’t Hillary (or any of the others for that matter) just come out and *say* that?

  40. 40
    Nathanael Nerode says:

    ‘“As president, I will do everything in my power to keep Iran from gaining a nuclear weapon.” What can be better than that?’

    Lots would be. Like saying “Even if Iran gets a nuclear weapon, Iran would not be a threat to the United States.” Which is true.

  41. 41
    jo6pac says:

    Few Californians realize that undocumented aliens were being issued licenses until 1994.

    This true in 82 I had one hit my new VW Bus not only a licenses but insurance. The bus got fixed it’s always pissed me of when they took away their licenses, so there was no reason to get insurance.

    I second what T Rex says you now have new home were the party pays no attetion to you except when they want something $.
    j06pac

  42. 42
    Psycheout says:

    As far as I’m concerned, a drivers’ licence should be a certification of ability to drive, period. We should have something entirely different for an ID card

    How about an implanted RFID chip? Why not 666 tatooed on your forehead.

  43. 43
    TR says:

    When Obama got the inane question about what his Halloween costume would be, he should’ve said he couldn’t find one because the Republicans had cornered the market on fearmongering.

  44. 44
    Zuzu says:

    jo6pak:

    When you go to get insurance, don’t you have to show your driving record? So…seems like you’d need a license.

    I have read that in states where undocumented persons can obtain drivers’ licenses, the hit and run rate also goes down. Makes sense.

  45. 45
    FaulknA says:

    I’ve been reading this blog for years as it was one of the few from the Right that actually showed some respect for the facts. You get them right and you didn’t have to become a Democrat to prove that to me. I’ll keep reading whatever your party because you make sense. Keep up the good work.

  46. 46
    fleinn says:

    ..”Well, so maybe it was a crappy suggestion when you actually look at what was suggested. But the thought (while misguided and impossible to implement in any way, as well as politically and logistically improbable) was good – and it’s important to acknowledge that fact (i.e., that the thought was a good and important one)”. …?

    We’re really warming to the idea of another Clinton in the White House, aren’t we?

  47. 47
    Fledermaus says:

    Christ. Jane at FDL says basically the same damned thing at roughly the same time.

    Dogs and cats living together!

  48. 48
    Crissa says:

    No matter what people say, I said this over on Washington Monthly’s comment, but…

    People live, visit, work, and study in the US.
    Not all of them are citizens.
    Some are immigrating.
    Some are on visas.
    Some aren’t.

    And you know what? The feds can and will change people from one category to another without warning or planning.

    The states do not know, cannot afford, and really, should they be in the federal business of determining who belongs in the country? They have enough trouble determining if people live in their state and know the rules of the road.

    Why does immigration conflate to driving privilege? Should one’s driving privilege be consistent on whether a visa is valid this quarter and the INS hasn’t lost the paperwork for next term?

  49. 49
    Rick Taylor says:

    I understand the need for the candidates to put pressure on Clinton, and believe me, I am one of the foremost believers that Hillary will say or do anything to get elected.

    I have to ask a this point, why? If she really was going to say or do anything to get elected, would she have defended Spitzer? It sure doesn’t seem like what raw political calculation would suggest to me.

  50. 50
    dbrown says:

    Just a minor point – the expression is not “have your cake and eat it, too” (which you can easly do) but rather “eat your cake and have it, too (which is impossible.)

  51. 51
    laneman says:

    She eated their face. Period

  52. 52
    Bombadil says:

    There’s an article in today’s Boston Globe about Clinton’s strategy here — she’s looking not to get pigeon-holed into a blanket statement on many of these policy topics. And I think she’s making emminent sense, and her primary opponents would be well advised to start looking at doing it themselves. There is a real danger in making a policy decision based on a a three-second sound bite, locking yourself into a position and simultaneously opening yourself up to charges of flip-flopping if you modify or change the position based on changing circumstances.

    It’s quite frustrating to the opponents that they can’t pin her down to a one-size-fits-all statement on, say, Social Security, one that they can then attack, but it should be obvious to anyone who even thinks for a minute that an issue of that magnitude is not something that can be “solved” by a bumper-sticker platitude.

    Dodd and Edwards know this and look petty and foolish. Obama apparently doesn’t know any better, and looks just as foolish.

  53. 53
    drindl says:

    Welcome, John. I always enjoyed you as a blogger, even when you were on the dauo report’s right hand column. I’m a dem, too– have to hold my nose sometimes, but i still think that’s better than having to keep my hands over my ears and screaming buh, buh, buh, I can’t hear you…

  54. 54
    Billy K says:

    Christ. Jane at FDL says basically the same damned thing at roughly the same time. I guess I am one of the Jane Hamsher’s of the left now and the assimilation was quicker and less painful than I thought it would be. I need a drink.

    Two things:

    1) The “far left” (i.e. Kos, FDL, MoveOn, Kerry, Clinton) isn’t that far or that left as many would have you believe.

    2) Those “on the left” have been practically the only ones making sense or arguing in good faith for…oh, I’d say about 12 years.

    That doesn’t make you, John, a radical lefty, it just means the left isn’t radical and your venn diagram intersects with theirs because of those honesty and logic thingies.

    I know it’s their means and their end, and I shouldn’t get frustrated by the blow-hards on the right, but what really infuriates me about them is when they flat-out lie and refuse to actually discuss something, then turn around and accuse their opposition of the very same thing. I guess it pisses me off so much because the media buys it, as well. I can respect and debate almost anyone and their views (one of my best friends is practically a LaRouche-ian) when they are ernest, but that is not the MO of the Party of Rush.

    /tangenting…

  55. 55
    Fe E says:

    It’s why I’m not worried about residual forces if she gets elected. If 70% of the population wants to be out of Iraq, she’ll get out of Iraq. Her attitude means we’re not going to see anything disasterous if she gets in.

    Y’know, I’ve been starting to think along these lines myself. One of the many things that irritated me most about Bill was his strategy for dealing with the Yugoslavian civil war; namely doing everything and anything necessary to keep from getting embroiled in what might be a risky political situation. It was abundantly clear who the aggressors were, it was blatanlty obvious how savage the fight was, and it was just as clear that he didn’t intend to do a damned thing about it. Until it got so out of hand that Bob Dole started picking up approval for reccommending action, bang, then Bill releuctantly swung into action and ended a years-long civl war in a matter of weeks.

    I might have a visceral distaste for the Clinton’s corparatist leanings, traingulation and so on, but they have a track record of not seeing the military as a plaything or a go-to solution for all of our nation’s problems. They are too worried about how it might play electorally. That’s probably a good thing.

  56. 56
    Fred says:

    Obama looked the most foolish because not only did who do a “me too! me too!” after Edwards commenting that Hillary flip-flopped (gasp!) but he then said “I couldn’t understand her answer”. That left me, sitting on the couch wondering just how stupid he is since Hillary’s answer made sense to me. Not to mention, a few minutes later Obama said he supported the Spitzer plan anyhow.

  57. 57
    BIRDZILLA says:

    Those liberal demacrats are americas worse nightmae we dont ned any of them

  58. 58

    […] John Cole defends Hillary’s response re: Gov. Spitzer and licenses for illegals. (Speaking of licenses for illegals, did you know this?) […]

  59. 59
    sparky says:

    I agree with the post–gotcha is stupid–but I don’t agree about Hillary. How many people clicked “next” on the transcript and saw this:

    You told the New Hampshire paper that it made a lot of sense. Do you support his plan?

    Clinton: You know, Tim, this is where everybody plays “gotcha.” It makes a lot of sense. What is the governor supposed to do? He is dealing with a serious problems. We have failed. And George Bush has failed. Do I think this is the best thing for any governor to do? No. But do I understand the sense of real desperation, trying to get a handle on this? Remember, in New York, we want to know who’s in New York. We want people to come out of the shadows.

    It hits a lot of right notes, but it’s not an answer to a direct question. Not at all. And that’s why people like me have a problem with her. I’d much rather hear her say “I think dropping bombs on Iran is a bad idea” than a lot of wonky-sounding mish-mash about “policy” and options. To me, this is the inverse of Bush-2000: sounds nice, but what the hell does it mean?

  60. 60
    sparky says:

    A question maybe someone here can answer: I can see what’s in it for US nationals to have non-legal immigrants have some kind of license (incidentally, it will probably have to be a second-tier license given the Federal Driver’s license law that is about to fall on the states like another ton of bricks), but (pause for breath here), what is in it for a non-documented person to come forward if you can’t use it to establish residency? I mean, I’d be thinking no good could come of it if I had to register, get insurance and all that stuff BUT could not use the license/permit for general ID purposes–and might also have to pay taxes as a consequence. I’m sure there’s a counter-argument but couldn’t find anything. Could someone enlighten me?

  61. 61
    j.cro says:

    You realize, John, that you said pretty much the same thing that Olbermann said last night on Countdown? I didn’t read your blog at all before the link from FDL, so I can’t say how “conservative” you might have been before, but since your conversion to the Democrat(ic)party, you’re already talking like a true liberal.
    Congrats on coming over to the darkside…

  62. 62
    j.cro says:

    In fact, here’s the part in the show where he talks about the very thing in your post…

  63. 63
    j.cro says:

    Fe E, you said…

    “I might have a visceral distaste for the Clinton’s corparatist leanings, traingulation and so on, but they have a track record of not seeing the military as a plaything or a go-to solution for all of our nation’s problems. They are too worried about how it might play electorally. That’s probably a good thing.”

    You do recall that BILL was our president, not Hillary? I know it’s hard for people to see them as two different people, but they are. You keep saying THEY in your comment, but it’s Hillary that’s running for president, not Bill. I’m not exactly a huge Hillary fan, but she’s NOT Bill Clinton, she’s her own person and should be judged as such.

  64. 64

    Hey, John. Yeah, it would be nice for the Dems to find a level of self-discipline that’s higher than what exists now, but stops short of the GOP’s infamous locksteppery. The problem is that so many Dem voters don’t identify as such and can’t be made to identify as such. (It would help if the media wasn’t constantly crapping on them, but that’s an old story.)

  65. 65
  66. 66

    Heh! This is what I get for avoiding the internet for 24 hours — I see you found your way to the bar already!

    What the heck, have another martini. :-)

  67. 67
    Geeno says:

    I think Tim secretly wants to help Hil. When he “moderated” the debate for the Senate race in NY back in 2000, it looked like a pile on Hilary and her polls shot up in the wake of it. I’ll bet the same thing happens here.

  68. 68
    Fe E says:

    You do recall that BILL was our president, not Hillary?

    No foolin’, really?

    Show me where I’ve misused a plural in place of a singular and I’ll take it back. Bill was big time DLC-corp-o–dem and so is Hillary, I believe “triangulation was coined to describe Bill, and is now widely applied to Hillary, and whatever his failings, Bill did not have an itchy trigger finger and manhood issues. While technically this hasn’t yet been proven in the case of Senator Clinton, we’ve seen enough out of her to suspect (strongly) that she will be loathe to risk political fallout from a botched military adventure.

    The only wildcard I see is she might have some “manhood” issues and needs to blow things up just to show she can. Given how popular her husband was around the globe, I don’t think “airstrike” will be Ms. Clinton’s first choice out of the toolbox.

  69. 69
    grumbles says:

    Welcome John! I have read you for a long time and the only question is-what took you so long? You are an asset and I am proud to have you beside me fighting the good fight…Good luck to you!

  70. 70
    Jim says:

    I am greatly encouraged by most of the comments here. My first visit and now newly bookmarked.

    John you joined a party that above all eschews consensus so your arrows are most welcome in the chaos that is us.

    The country has become so inured to the right’s “black and white” view of reality that an instructive thoughtful answer to a complicated question is now considered waffling. Rather what seems to be expected is the bumbling fumbling inarticulate dead or alive mission accomplished with us or agin us bullshit we’ve been hearing for what now seems forever.

    Glad I found y’all.
    Jim

  71. 71
    jonst says:

    Felt the same way. It is an odd position for me to be in defending Hillary. But I can’t help it. She did not say what her critics are implying she said. Last night Hardball opened with the nut saying that “Hillary plan is to hand out NY driver’s licenses to people as they cross the Ariz border”

  72. 72
    Spencer says:

    I agree. It’s awkward to defend a Clinton and I certainly won’t condone deception and lack of conviction. But at least when it comes to the issue, I don’t really care who says it, we need a reasonable solution. It’s unwise to give anyone an I.D. they can use to board a plane but it’s equally unwise to encourage people to drive without a license and therefore often without insurance. We have more than 12 million undocumented immigrants here. We cannot make public policy such as who gets a driver license while pretending they aren’t on the roads.

  73. 73
    Neo says:

    Will al Qaeda members in the USA get their own cards under the Clinton/Spitzer plan ? What about Hamas, Fatah, Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah ?
    For that matter will there be vanity cards for Sandinistas, Black Panthers, Tupamaros, Basque separatists, Viet Minh, Bosnians, Bohemians, nihilists, Tamil Tigers, Moors, Ulster Unionists, Nazis, neo-Nazis, Aryan Nation, Communists, Boxers, Janjaweed, Fedayeen, Underground Railroaders, Vegans, Dead Heads, and Earth First-ers ?

    Since the comprehensive dhimmifacation package hasn’t been passed by the Congress, the states must step in and take up the matter on their own.

  74. 74
    Randolph Fritz says:

    It’s not too hard to see; an alien who can’t get a drivers license is going to flee the police, possibly at high speed. (Of course, most Mexicans flee the police in Mexico as a matter of course. If you travel in Mexico, it’s a good idea. Mexico, sigh.)

    BTW, John, why do you dislike Hilary? She is very much your sort of conservative, I think.

  75. 75
    Phoebe says:

    Everything she said made sense, but the thing is she never said whether she was for it or not. Dodd said he wasn’t, Obama said he was – for the same reasons she said it made sense. The next day or the day after she finally said she was for it but she just could not do that then. Squirmy.

  76. 76

    […] I was expressing my frustrations to my friend Other Lisa, and she told me that Balloon Juice had written a great post that agrees with how I viewed Hillary Clinton’s remarks and the idiocy of the media pile-on: I have only been a Democrat for just a few hours, and already I feel the need to defend Hillary. Brace yourselves. […]

  77. 77
  78. 78

    […] And now Mr. Cole, a conservative who (we learned) has formally renounced the Republican Party for a Democratic registration (good on him): I have only been a Democrat for just a few hours, and already I feel the need to defend Hillary.  Brace yourselves….I understand the need for the candidates to put pressure on Clinton, and believe me, I am one of the foremost believers that Hillary will say or do anything to get elected. But in this case, the pressure Dodd and Obama are putting on Clinton is not only unfair, it is simplistic and stupid and plays right into the narrative the idiots in the media love to tell (and I can guarantee they will)….the Democrats were too overzealous in their attacks on Hillary. The simple fact of the matter is there is no good answer to the mess of illegal immigration, Spitzer is trying to do something, anything, to gain some order, and Hillary may not like it (I certainly don’t), but recognizes the value in what he is attempting to do. That isn’t double-talk or flip-flopping. It is called dealing with reality. And if you have a better idea to deal with Spitzer’s problem, by all means, spit it up. […]

  79. 79

    […] It is almost as if they inhabit a different universe than I do. I know that I am susceptible to charges of merely being a Clinton hater (because, let’s face it- I did hate them when I was a Republican. It sucked having your ass kicked in by Bill Clinton on everything through the 90’s.). I understand that I may have residual hate for them that is spilling over. But I really tried to give them a chance. I chided Sullivan for his full-on Clinton Derangement Syndome (something he admits to having), I defended Hillary from bullshit attacks. I recognize there has been a lot of sexism chucked her way. […]

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] It is almost as if they inhabit a different universe than I do. I know that I am susceptible to charges of merely being a Clinton hater (because, let’s face it- I did hate them when I was a Republican. It sucked having your ass kicked in by Bill Clinton on everything through the 90’s.). I understand that I may have residual hate for them that is spilling over. But I really tried to give them a chance. I chided Sullivan for his full-on Clinton Derangement Syndome (something he admits to having), I defended Hillary from bullshit attacks. I recognize there has been a lot of sexism chucked her way. […]

  2. […] And now Mr. Cole, a conservative who (we learned) has formally renounced the Republican Party for a Democratic registration (good on him): I have only been a Democrat for just a few hours, and already I feel the need to defend Hillary.  Brace yourselves….I understand the need for the candidates to put pressure on Clinton, and believe me, I am one of the foremost believers that Hillary will say or do anything to get elected. But in this case, the pressure Dodd and Obama are putting on Clinton is not only unfair, it is simplistic and stupid and plays right into the narrative the idiots in the media love to tell (and I can guarantee they will)….the Democrats were too overzealous in their attacks on Hillary. The simple fact of the matter is there is no good answer to the mess of illegal immigration, Spitzer is trying to do something, anything, to gain some order, and Hillary may not like it (I certainly don’t), but recognizes the value in what he is attempting to do. That isn’t double-talk or flip-flopping. It is called dealing with reality. And if you have a better idea to deal with Spitzer’s problem, by all means, spit it up. […]

  3. […] I was expressing my frustrations to my friend Other Lisa, and she told me that Balloon Juice had written a great post that agrees with how I viewed Hillary Clinton’s remarks and the idiocy of the media pile-on: I have only been a Democrat for just a few hours, and already I feel the need to defend Hillary. Brace yourselves. […]

  4. […] John Cole defends Hillary’s response re: Gov. Spitzer and licenses for illegals. (Speaking of licenses for illegals, did you know this?) […]

Comments are closed.