This Will Get Ugly

After the crazy outrage over Rick Warren, I fear this is going to have a predictable outcome:

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates is asking many of the Bush administration’s 250 Pentagon political appointees to remain on the job until the incoming Obama administration finds replacements — a move designed to prevent a leadership vacuum with U.S. troops engaged in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The unusual request by Mr. Gates, whom President-elect Barack Obama has asked to continue in his Cabinet post, ensures that key policy positions will not be left to “acting” subordinates as typically occurs when political appointees are directed to resign during a presidential transition.

I am almost afraid to check my usual left-wing sites, because I am terrified I am going to see another idiot chorus of “OBAMA LIED! THAT’S NOT CHANGE WE CAN BELIEVE IN! OBAMA IS JUST ANOTHER BUSH.”

Unless someone can explain to me how it is responsible for us to run two wars while hundreds of key personnel positions remain vacant, I am going to say this is a responsible thing to do, and will not partake in this round of the vapors. I hope I am wrong about the response from certain quarters of the Democratic party, or wrong that these positions need to be filled. Right now, I am full on fed up with the whining.

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130 replies
  1. 1

    Agreed. Letting that exist and fill by ideology is what the children did. I don’t want to see that again — except for positions where the ideology matters.

    However, seeing how all these combat troops are getting re designated "support" is a bit disturbing, but that’s not Obama’s fault.

  2. 2
    JL says:

    John, You are posting on the wrong post.

    Right now, I am full on fed up with the whining.

    Sound like a grievance to me.

  3. 3
    Ugh says:

    and will not partake in this round of the vapors

    But this round of the vapors involves exciting prizes!!

  4. 4
    Zifnab says:

    First, please have the good decency to actually check the crazy Kos-Koolaid fringe radical leftist commie tree-hugging dumb-as-a-sack-of-hammers peacenik Osama-lover liberal blogs before you dive under your desk in horror and shame.

    Second, if these are the same jackholes and shmoes who have been "losing" $9 billion in hard cash and rubber stamping shit like Abu Garab and Gitmo, I would appreciate if Obama would fill those positions with all due haste. There’s no guarantee that the second-in-command is going to be any less wingnutty than his ranking officer, so it would be nice if we could inject some sanity back into the Pentagon ASAP.

  5. 5

    Time for the Airplane slap scene again. Followed by an around the clock session of the Supreme Netroots Internecine Tribunal S.N.I.T. followed be, well, something else portending imminent DOOM.

  6. 6
    John Cole says:

    Second, if these are the same jackholes and shmoes who have been “losing” $9 billion in hard cash and rubber stamping shit like Abu Garab and Gitmo, I would appreciate if Obama would fill those positions with all due haste.

    Agreed.

  7. 7
    JL says:

    Silly question but how many of the positions are political appointments?

    250 Pentagon political appointees to remain on the job until the incoming Obama administration finds replacements

  8. 8
    Mike says:

    Did similar things happen in 1952 and 1968?

  9. 9
    cleek says:

    this is a total slap in the face.

    Obama loves torture! Obama loves torture!

    LIAR!

  10. 10
    srv says:

    John, it’s nowhere near as ugly as Afghanistan and Pakistan are going to get with Obama’s protect-the-Karzai-family-heroin-business and destabalize Pakistan strategery.

  11. 11
    Tim in SF says:

    I’m one of the people who is still very pissed off about Warren at the inauguration. So, classify me as one of whiners.

    This, however doesn’t bother me a bit. I don’t care if Obama keeps every single lackey from the Bush years as long as he fulfills his promise to get us out, all the way out, in sixteen months.

  12. 12
  13. 13
    JL says:

    @John Cole: There was never a Pakistan strategy, only payoffs.

  14. 14
    John Cole says:

    @Tim in SF: If I had my way, none of our political events would have blowhards on stage blowing kisses to invisible jeebus.

  15. 15
    That One - Cain says:

    @Tim in SF:

    Do you need a hug?

    cain

  16. 16
    El Cid says:

    What I fear will get ugly is any actual attempt to change the Pentagon and achieve any real reductions in the military budget.

    Right wingers cursed Clinton for ‘destroying the military’ for a decade, into the Bush Jr. administration (when they just became less vocal about it) for continuing George Bush Sr’s post-Soviet collapse base closings & force drawdowns program.

    And we’ve already heard the kind of threats which suggest that the Pentagon thinks that it’s the President’s job to follow their agenda, not vice versa.

  17. 17
    Jody says:

    Well, in defense of those left-wing sites, vacancies would be preferable to many of the Bush administration’s appointees.

  18. 18
    Genine says:

    I am almost afraid to check my usual left-wing sites, because I am terrified I am going to see another idiot chorus of “OBAMA LIED! THAT’S NOT CHANGE WE CAN BELIEVE IN! OBAMA IS JUST ANOTHER BUSH.”

    Ugh. I can see it now. I’ve definitely been ashamed to call myself a progressive the last few weeks. But maybe they’ll take a break. One can hope… I hope. Heh

    Anyway, its good not to have a vacuum with two wars going on. But I hope Obama fills those positions as quickly as possible. I’m sure those 250 positions aren’t in very good hands right now. (Especially Bush appointees.)

    The sooner they are out, the better.

  19. 19
    Genine says:

    @Jody:

    Good one. :-)

  20. 20
    TenguPhule says:

    I am almost afraid to check my usual left-wing sites, because I am terrified I am going to see another idiot chorus of “OBAMA LIED! THAT’S NOT CHANGE WE CAN BELIEVE IN! OBAMA IS JUST ANOTHER BUSH.”

    Preemptive cringing for stuff that hasn’t happened yet, now you are truly a Democrat, John Cole.

    That said, if these are same appointees in charge of operations during the last 5 years, who would notice if they left?

  21. 21
    JL says:

    @Jody: I hate to be ornery but there is not enough information in the article to decide. Bush took the opportunity to rid himself of some pretty decent appointees and that didn’t work out so well. I’m sure that once Obama has replacements all of the Bush appointees will be gone. Hallelulah!

  22. 22
    Karen says:

    Maybe the whiners will see this, realize it applies to them, grow up a bit & not whine.

    Somehow, I doubt that. Even as I type it.

  23. 23
    Steve V says:

    Somewhat responding to El Cid’s comment that things will get ugly over the Pentagon, but possibly OT, hasn’t throwing fits about everything simply become the standard right wing protocol now? Maybe it will be a little more intense when it comes to the Pentagon, but I’m not sure it can actually be much more intense than it is for everything else. I mean, even before the Blagojevich scandal I was reading blog posts saying that Obama is the most corrupt politician in American history. I think a substantial portion of right wingers sincerely believe this already.

    I don’t like thinking about it getting uglier than it already is.

  24. 24

    @El Cid:

    And we’ve already heard the kind of threats which suggest that the Pentagon thinks that it’s the President’s job to follow their agenda, not vice versa

    What the main problem is with the Pentagon Budget is all the pet projects by congresscritters for creating jobs in their district and rewarding Mil Industrial Complex companies for campaign contributions, and other perks and bribes (IE Duke Cunningham). It leads to all sorts of unnecessary and unneeded weaponry and programs. And also, like you said, ideological assaults by wingnuts on liberals as being "soft" on defense, or unpatriotic.

    Fifty some odd years ago we had a Harry Truman willing to take on the MIC with his special commission on Military waste. Can you imagine that happening today? It’s the cancer of the GOP corruption and smear politics, coupled with some dem complicity, and a lot of dem spinelessness.

  25. 25
    DJShay says:

    To all the "whiners":

    How long has it been since we’ve seen a president elect take the reins so effectively from a sitting president? Ever? He has filled his cabinet in record time, but with careful consideration. You may not agree with his picks, but there isn’t a horse trainer among them. He and his team fully grasp the daunting issues we face and are ready to fight them head on instead of distracting us with culture issues like the Republicans did. Obama is light years better than Bush and I dare say more grounded and focused than Clinton. I listen to the complainers and just shake my head.

  26. 26
    Mar says:

    strange that you’re whining about the supposed "whiners"

  27. 27
    SGEW says:

    Obama’s protect-the-Karzai-family-heroin-business and destabalize (sic) Pakistan strategery.

    While I may take exception to your assumption that this is, indeed, the Obama/Gates strategy, you do raise an essential point.

    Specifically: the issue that folks on "the left"* should be discussing and debating (rather than any "pearl-clutching" over temporary staff decisions or whatever it is that Mr. Cole seems to fear) is WTF Obama should do about the looming disaster in/between between Pakistan and Afghanistan (not to mention Pakistan and India!).

    In other words, more blogging on real problems, please; less hyperventilating over perceived slights** and over-the-top reactionary personality criticisms and partisan litmus tests and whatever.

    *No one knows what this means, of course.
    **N.B. This is not a criticism over the initial Warren reaction. I put in my two cents about that already.

  28. 28
    gbear says:

    After the crazy outrage over Rick Warren

    I am almost afraid to check my usual left-wing sites, because I am terrified I am going to see another idiot chorus of “OBAMA LIED! THAT’S NOT CHANGE WE CAN BELIEVE IN! OBAMA IS JUST ANOTHER BUSH.”

    Right now, I am full on fed up with the whining.

    Come for the strawmen, leave in disgust. Have a good new year, Mr. Cole.

  29. 29
    flavortext says:

    What "certain quarters of the Democratic party"? Is it merely "whining" or "crazy" outrage to point out what a bad move Obama’s elevation of Rick Warren to inaugural speaker is? Or are you referring to mysterious and yet-unknown-to-me bloggers who’ve seen the sparkles fall off the magical unity pony and now think Obama is the enemy?

    Maybe I’m just another part of the idiot chorus?

    I agree with you though, this whole problem (and many others) could be solved if we stopped sponsoring religious events at government functions.

  30. 30
    Reverend Dennis says:

    Some of Bush’s appointees may actually be doing a good job. Some may even be doing a damned good job. Others are likely poor performers or complete duds. To replace all of them with new people solely on the basis that they were appointed by the previous president sounds like something that, well, Bush, would do.

  31. 31

    @Mar:

    strange that you’re whining about the supposed "whiners"

    It’s the classic historical conundrum. Which came first, the whiner whining or the whining about the whined whining about the whiner. My vote’s on the former/

  32. 32
    Tom says:

    As the child of a career civil servant with my own time in the federal bureaucracy, I must say that the idea that having these 250 positions filled with temporary career bureaucrats would leave a power vacuum is absurd. The federal bureaucracy is very used to this, they’ve been doing it every four years for quite a while now. And like the earlier commenter suggested, it isn’t unprecedented to change ruling parties during wartime, it’s happened twice in the modern era (going on a third). Very presumptuous on Gates’ part. He will probably end up with some key people held over that he can convince the new Administration he needs, but a blanket demand for the entire org chart? Nah gah happen.

  33. 33

    The worst part of the Bush Administration is the idea that his post-alcoholic Christian idealism can overcome Islamic realism. 4:89-9:5-9:29-33:21.

    I hope Barack makes good on his campaign promise. I doubt he will though. The imagery involved in having water find its own level in Iraq would take a good deal of strength to stand by and watch.

  34. 34
    TenguPhule says:

    Some of Bush’s appointees may actually be doing a good job.

    The fatal flaw in your argument.

    None of them is doing a good job.

  35. 35
    Hyperion says:

    @Mar: g1

  36. 36
    John Cole says:

    What “certain quarters of the Democratic party”? Is it merely “whining” or “crazy” outrage to point out what a bad move Obama’s elevation of Rick Warren to inaugural speaker is? Or are you referring to mysterious and yet-unknown-to-me bloggers who’ve seen the sparkles fall off the magical unity pony and now think Obama is the enemy?

    Well, we can start with anyone who kaiboshed their inaugural party because Warren is speaking and label them as a hysterical lunatic, and then work your way through the last week of overblown outrage, all of which is trackable through memeorandum.

    Also, there never really was a contingent of pro-Obama supporters who thought there were “sparkles on the magical unity pony.” There was merely a contingent of Republican moles and Hillary dead-enders and concern trolls who accused all Obama supporters of being blind to his faults.

    In fact, you might want to check out where the name “Magical Unity Pony” started.

  37. 37
    srv says:

    @SGEW: While the ‘adult’ dems think we should just wait six months or more before commenting on the stupidity of a policy that throws more bodies at a problem and will likely make it worse, progressives and non-ideological conservatives are talking about this stupidity.

    But talking about Obama wanting to throw 30K bodies after bad is whining to these serious folks.

    Twelve months from now, when more guys are dying in what is essentially a drug war, and Pakistan is doing worse, maybe, just maybe, they’ll consider it worth discussing. But don’t bet on it.

    Gates is not off the reservation on comments like ‘support’ troops. All this has been vetted by Obama.

    Notice Maddows rants about ‘meet the new defense secretary’ don’t get classified as whining by the MUP echo chamber.

  38. 38

    @Hyperion:

    g1

    Have you taken to speaking in code Hype? It’s OK! to spell out what you mean in full words> It is Festivus after all. Bwwa Haa haa.

  39. 39
    Hyperion says:

    Someone does not understand the difference between choosing to do something and considering a request to do something.

    Why not wait for Obama’s decision (and the response)? Instead YOU whine.

    It seems Mr. Cole is as much a part of the problem as the folks he is poking fun at. Imagine an internet without projection.

  40. 40
    Joe says:

    Jesus, dude. Can’t we at least wait until the "whining" happens? Talking about screechy …

  41. 41
    The Other Steve says:

    This is a slap in the face to our service men and women.

    It’s amazing how much disrespect Obama has for our military.

  42. 42
    John Cole says:

    I should also point out that because of the unending whining on the subject of Warren, my original opinion, which was “I can understand why some people are upset by this, because Warren is an asshole” has now morphed into “STFU, I am sick of hearing your whiny bullshit.”

    Not only is it irritating, but the gay rights movement, something I am behind on virtually every issue that should matter to them, is now doing themselves harm. They aren’t fighting for their cause. They aren’t advancing gay rights. They aren’t enlightening people. They are making the gay rights lobby look like a bunch of fringe lunatics.

    I would bet the majority of the country looks at Warren as some fat schulb televangelist who wrote a book, and not some frothing hatemonger, and that includes most Democrats. Hell, half the country probably has a minister or reverend who holds the same damned beliefs or is MORE conservative on the issues than Warren. Ever heard of the Catholic church?

    On the far right side of things, they are looking at the gay rights lobby and thinking “Warren is a liberal- if he is too extreme for them, we ain’t never going to find common cause.” I pay attention to the Christian nuts, and Warren was never that high on my radar, because we need to face facts- compared to Falwell, Dobson, Tony Perkins and the rest of the lunatic Christers, Warren is pretty milquetoast.

    And in the process of making themselves look like foolish dolts, they are now inflicting collateral damage on the President, feeding MSM stories about divided Democrats.

    So while I was initially sympathetic, this is now my firm position:

    You all lost my sympathy on day 5 of the freakout. All this because some idiot you don’t like is playing the role of voodoo priest for three minutes at the inauguration.

  43. 43
    Hyperion says:

    @Comrade Stuck:
    when i first read your comment, i asked myself "what is code Hype?"

    so my response is: have you ever seriously considered using commas to make your wit and wisdom more…um, witty and wise? so there!

    ps i am a fan of your funhouse proverbs.

  44. 44
    Sister Machine Gun of Mild Harmony says:

    But John, being a Democrat means that every day is Festivus, at least with regard to that airing of grievances part.

  45. 45
    flavortext says:

    Also, there never really was a contingent of pro-Obama supporters who thought there were “sparkles on the magical unity pony.” There was merely a contingent of Republican moles and Hillary dead-enders and concern trolls who accused all Obama supporters of being blind to his faults.

    Aren’t you doing the same thing? I understand you’re exaggerating in your original post, but the message you’re sending is that you’re tired of people on the left splitting Obama into either black or white and then dumping him the moment they realize he’s not an angel. No?

    [Edit: I see your point now in #42]

  46. 46
    Ripley says:

    Who needs the fucking Pentagon – we’re winning the war!

    We’ve always been winning the war, so there’s no need to worry about vacancies in the Pentagon or any other dept. because, even if there are vacancies, we’ll be winning the war.

    Say it with me, people!

  47. 47
    cleek says:

    @John Cole: damn straight.

    Hell, half the country probably has a minister or reverend or Pope who holds the same damned beliefs or is MORE conservative on the issues than Warren.

    amended.

  48. 48

    @Hyperion:

    so my response is: have you ever seriously considered using commas to make your wit and wisdom more…um, witty and wise? so there!

    Absolutely not! Proper speling and grammer is a sign of the bourgeois elite oppressors, like Dr. Phil. And I was just curious what G1 meant, smarty pants. :-)

  49. 49
    Hyperion says:

    @John Cole: To show my happiness the subject is closed (and I personally will not bring it up again..ahem), i will not mock certain of your usages or point out flaws in your argument. ;=)

  50. 50
    Hyperion says:

    @Comrade Stuck:

    FYI i was playing poker online at the time.
    nobody writes "good hand" or "good bet".
    just g1, quite often.

  51. 51
    Tim (The Other One) says:

    "There’s trouble in the cockpit !"

  52. 52

    Melissa Etheridge sees some hope in Mr. Warren (or sometimes one shouldn’t always judge a book by it’s cover).

    Would an evil and unredeemable man do what he did for her?

  53. 53
    Shinobi says:

    As I pointed out the other day at a table full of slightly tipsy rampaging liberals, the fact that liberals are willing to go to such great lengths to criticize Obama is not a bug, it’s a feature.

    As frustrating as it is to see stomping, whining, yelling, moaning and generally ridiculous infighting, this is the very reason that liberals are less likely to screw the country half as bad as the US.

    Now, I could be wrong, but it always seemed to me that no matter what the Bush Administration did, most of the conservatives responded with banner waving and cheers. There were some dissenters (John, and Myself being some key examples.) But these people were disowned, declared disloyal. There was simply no room in the republican party for whining (or even the less annoying "constructive criticism") the last 8 years.

    And you know what. They FUCKED IT UP. Having a base who bowed to their every whim was not a benefit, it was a net loss, it ensured that no matter HOW stupid a move the Chimpymchitlerburton administration made it had supporters. It kept their approval ratings from dropping to 0 while they ran roughshod over all the things that make this country great. They weren’t accountable to anyone. And they screwed us as a result.

    Personally, I’d rather listen to incessant whining about things I don’t care about than go through another administration who is not held accountable for their actions. (I’d like to believe that I"ll still feel the same after 8 years of incessant whining. But… it’s going to be tough.)

    So yeah at no point am I going to tell someone to shut the fuck up and believe in the Magical Unity Pony. If they have a problem they should pitch a fit. I may not agree this time, but maybe next time I will.

  54. 54
    Hyperion says:

    evidently writing about playing a particular card game on the intertubes is enough to trigger moderation.

    has anyone ever requested a list of blocked terms?

  55. 55
    GSD says:

    This Obama feller better not jeopardize the new stealth helicopter dildo that is going to bring millions of dollars and thousands of jobs into my congressional district.

    -Rep. Virgil Pudd III

  56. 56
    Sister Machine Gun of Mild Harmony says:

    I don’t care about Rick Warren giving the invocation, despite the fact I am a big lesbian. That being said, we have to remember that this is Melissa Ethridge we are talking about. The red necks just LOVE her, even if they can’t stand the rest of gay America.

  57. 57

    @Shinobi:

    As frustrating as it is to see stomping, whining, yelling, moaning and generally ridiculous infighting, this is the very reason that liberals are less likely to screw the country half as bad as the US. Now, I could be wrong,

    This is a very good point and I fully agree. But what we have is a kind of scripted hysteria similar in form to the Malkin’s of the world. Although with obvious difference in substance. It has the smell of self importance to it (though with the Warren case it is understandable for those directly affected, up to a point), and a lack of rationality. Maybe it’s just a continuing by product of 8 years of Bush GOP constant flow of unadulterated bullshit, I don’t know. But the volume and venom attached to a lot of it is not a good thing for dems and Obama, IMO. The guys not even president yet and this stuff gets recycled to the MSM who feel allowed to run with it because it’s liberals making the charges. An incoming presidents power is also directly related to his/her popularity among the public, especially among the congress. So far, luckily, this constant carping from the left hasn’t affected Obama’s very high approval ratings , yet. Which also signifies the disapproval is coming from a tiny number of people, that are important activists, but very small in numbers.

  58. 58
    John Cole says:

    Spare me the “it is a good thing that Democrats criticize their guys” canard.

    Of course it is, if it is constructive and there is a point to it. Whining about Warren giving a three minute invocation, completely overlooking the real event- Lowery giving the Benediction, and somehow acting all butthurt because Obama hates the gays now is not either.

    And pro-tip: No one in favor of gay marriage has ever given the invocation or benediction. Lowery is the real story here, and it is lost in the fauxtrage.

  59. 59
    Tonybrown74 says:

    Shinobi:

    Thank you!

    I think that is all we could really ask for.

  60. 60

    The thing that makes me angry about Iraq is that Iraq is all about energy. In the 1980s, we were supposed to deny it. In the 1990s, we were allowed to say it. And now it is supposed to be about bringing democracy to the Middle East. The scary part is that some people, including perhaps the President, believe this.

    None of it has to be. We should be building nuclear electric plants by the dozen. Burning natural gas to create electricity is idiotic. Save our domestic liquid fuels for more valuable uses. Kerogen is the most valuable of liquid fuels because you can make any type of hydrocarbon out of it. This is the stuff in shale oil. We have lots of shale oil. We do not need the Middle East.

    People say that protectionism made the ‘Great Depression’ worse. And it might have for the US in the 1930s, because we were the world’s biggest exporter. Protectionism worked out well for England though, because they were an importer back then. Protectionism today would be great for America. Enough Imperialism, it is bad for us.

  61. 61
    Genine says:

    Lowery is the real story here, and it is lost in the fauxtrage.

    I totally agree. If Lowrey does get mentioned its in passing like "Obama is just tossing us a bone." (Did it ever occur to anyone that, maybe, Warren is the bone being tossed?)

    Well, Lowrey is speaking longer and giving the benediction (the blessing). Rick Warren is just the opening act.

    But all the attention is put on Warren.

  62. 62

    I may not agree this time, but maybe next time I will.

    Funhouse Proverb– When the Wolf becomes accustomed to the boy who cries for it, the Wolf cries boy and it’s BREAKING NEWS on CNN.

  63. 63

    @John Cole:

    Lowery is the real story here, and it is lost in the fauxtrage.

    Yes, but then liberals couldn’t save the country with complaints.

  64. 64
    Brachiator says:

    After the crazy outrage over Rick Warren, I fear this [Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates is asking many of the Bush administration’s 250 Pentagon political appointees to remain on the job] is going to have a predictable outcome.

    John, you’re very probably right here. But as has typically been the case so far, the weak sisters of perpetual dissatisfaction totally ignore the more interesting stories developing as the Obama administration takes shape.

    For example, should we be more concerned about Republican holdovers or the possibility of the Clintons (Hillary and Bill) attempting to carve out an quasi-independent power base at the State Department (Clinton Moves to Widen Role of State Dept.)?

    Even before taking office, Hillary Rodham Clinton is seeking to build a more powerful State Department, with a bigger budget, high-profile special envoys to trouble spots and an expanded role in dealing with global economic issues at a time of crisis.

    Mrs. Clinton is recruiting Jacob J. Lew, the budget director under President Bill Clinton, as one of two deputies, according to people close to the Obama transition team. Mr. Lew’s focus, they said, will be on increasing the share of financing that goes to the diplomatic corps. He and James B. Steinberg, a deputy national security adviser in the Clinton administration, are to be Mrs. Clinton’s chief lieutenants. … As Mrs. Clinton puts together her senior team, officials said, she is also trying to carve out a bigger role for the State Department in economic affairs, where the Treasury has dominated during the Bush years.

    Can the demand that Bill Clinton be named a special envoy be far behind?

    Steinberg has roots in the Clinton administration, but was also an early Obama supporter, so pundits are going to have a great time trying to determine where his loyalties lie.

    The main concern that I have with these appointments is not that they are liberal or conservative, but that they don’t represent any innovative approach to current foreign policies issues. The AP story about these appointments was kinda bland, focusing on the administrative rather than the political aspect of the choices:

    In a unique division of authority, Steinberg is expected to focus on foreign policy issues while Lew will handle day-to-day operations. Hillary Clinton is also known to be exploring the appointment of special mediators for trouble spots such as the Middle East.

  65. 65
    D-Chance. says:

    Meanwhile, ROM is off to Africa… coincidentally (I’m sure), just as the document drop on the Blagobama affair (and on Christmas Eve, another coincidence, I’m sure) begins.

    Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss. We won’t be fooled again!… Unless he has a "D" in front of his name, then it’s OK. We want to be fooled by those types. Kittens and unicorns and rainbows (well, not rainbows, because the MUPpet Master hates teh gheys).

  66. 66

    While I agree the story around Gates will earn some undeserved outrage, the Warren thing is kinda different.

    I guess when Obama is going to have an invocation by someone who thinks I should be killed because of who I am, then the outrage will make a lot more sense — that and having states pass laws that treat me less than human.

    I guess maybe they’re mad as hell and not gonna take it any more?

  67. 67

    @D-Chance.:

    You need more Eggnog D-Chance. A lots more.

  68. 68
    Glenn says:

    I agree all the outrage is un-called for. The man hasn’t even taken the oath yet. Let’s give him a few months to get his feet on the ground. I didn’t expect Obama was going to get all of the BV$Hiviks even before he got on the job.

  69. 69
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    @JL:

    250 Pentagon political appointees to remain on the job until the incoming Obama administration finds replacements

    At which time it will be referred to as a "purge."

  70. 70
    Zifnab says:

    Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss. We won’t be fooled again!… Unless he has a "D" in front of his name, then it’s OK. We want to be fooled by those types. Kittens and unicorns and rainbows (well, not rainbows, because the MUPpet Master hates teh gheys).

    That’s why D-Chance voted for Bush in all three of the last elections. You can’t get fooled more than once if you just stick with the same fool. Progress!

    Meanwhile, Mountain = molehill and Obama is totally guilty of something which we will determine once we are done trying and convicting him of it.

    Maybe that Rick Warren thing. Surely that’s illegal somehow.

  71. 71
    Reverend Dennis says:

    Can the demand that Bill Clinton be named a special envoy be far behind?

    Only if there’s such a country as Blowjobistan.

  72. 72
    Jim says:

    And of course we’re hearing from the Congressional Black Caucus that Obama hasn’t appointed enough blacks to his Cabinet ("only" 4 appointed). Was there really an expectation that their would be 8 or 9 blacks in the cabinet? It has become the United States of Whiners.

  73. 73
    Emma says:

    Yes, all those whining liberals. Goodness, they have been so wrong about everything… Iraq, Afghanistan, the shredding of the Constitution…

  74. 74
    gnomedad says:

    @Hyperion:

    ;=)

    Bzzzzt. Godwin’s Law violation.

  75. 75

    @Emma:

    Goodness, they have been so wrong about everything… Iraq, Afghanistan, the shredding of the Constitution

    Damn You Obama!

  76. 76
    ranger3 says:

    teh gay is in my warz…

    slappn me en da face

  77. 77

    @Reverend Dennis:

    Only if there’s such a country as Blowjobistan.

    I’m pretty sure Soi Nana in Bangkok would be close enough.

    The Washington Times piece is a non-story. This really isn’t to far out of the ordinary. Clinton not asking people to stay in in ’92 was a bit unusual.

    The blogs eat this shit up. Maybe the reporter could have done a little more homework and found out this really IS NOT that unusual. But alas we are talking about a paper owned by a cult figure.

  78. 78
    Genine says:

    And of course we’re hearing from the Congressional Black Caucus that Obama hasn’t appointed enough blacks to his Cabinet ("only" 4 appointed). Was there really an expectation that their would be 8 or 9 blacks in the cabinet? It has become the United States of Whiners.

    There was a story on CNN about some feminists groups upset that Obama has only appointed 5 women to his cabinet so far. Obama isn’t doing enough to help women, either.

  79. 79
    Iola says:

    Liberals only care about symbolism and who gets to pray for our future president for three minutes. Didn’t you know who gives the invocation becomes the moral leader of the USA? I read it on one of the blogs.

  80. 80
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    The railroad-Christmas-village-project-from-hell is complete!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    My theme is "Two Americas". On one side, there is a giant estate on a lake. That’s where John Edwards lives. On the other side, there are regular houses set off a winding road. That’s where the rest of us live.

    Pictures soon, Laura.

  81. 81
    Mrs. Peel says:

    Would an evil and unredeemable man do what he did for her?

    Spare me. Would he have done the same thing if Melissa Etheridge was a man instead of a "Hollywood babe"? He was being a patronizing boob to someone he didn’t see as a threat and who shouldn’t worry her pretty little head.

    These "holy" christianists don’t have any problem with lesbians. Some of their horniest jo sessions involve girl-on-girl porn. (a lot of them involve guy-on-guy porn, too – that’s where all their frustrations come from).

  82. 82

    @Genine:

    There was a story on CNN about some feminists groups upset that Obama has only appointed 5 women to his cabinet so far.

    We just need a bigger Cabinet is all such as;

    Department of Peace
    Department of Blogs\
    Department of Porn
    Department of Feminism ( with 5 dom. master agencies)
    Department of Inadequate Males (We could have that already)
    Department of Bad Puns

    Etc…

  83. 83
    David Hunt says:

    And of course we’re hearing from the Congressional Black Caucus that Obama hasn’t appointed enough blacks to his Cabinet ("only" 4 appointed).

    This I hadn’t heard. If it’s true the Black Caucus is full of it. IIRC, there’s about 15 Secretaries (including the A.G). Four would be about 25%. I believe blacks comprise about 11% of the U.S. population. So unless the "Cabinet" is over two times larger than I understand it to be…I leave the rest as an exercise to the student.

  84. 84
    SGEW says:

    We have a Department of Peace, fer cryin’ out loud. It’s called the Department of State, thank you very much Mr. Kucinich.

  85. 85

    Fuck me to tears. It really does look like Obama has turned out to be a huge failure. Let’s impeach him now so we can save ourselves from eight years of shame and degradation.

  86. 86
    Reverend Dennis says:

    @The Grand Panjandrum:
    Sounds like you may be familiar with the acronym "LBFM."

  87. 87

    @Mrs. Peel:

    Mrs. Peel, if your not a ratfucking troll, you surely do sound like one.

  88. 88
    garage mahal says:

    For example, should we be more concerned about Republican holdovers or the possibility of the Clintons (Hillary and Bill) attempting to carve out an quasi-independent power base at the State Department (Clinton Moves to Widen Role of State Dept.)?

    NOW you’re talking! All this other nonsense about Obama palling with right wing evangelicals is SO boring compared to Clinton scandal-mongering. I think you’ll get the proprietor’s attention with this.

  89. 89

    I am a big lesbian

    How big are you exactly? Are we talking, Amazon Woman?

    (As opposed to, say, e-bay woman).

  90. 90
    Mrs. Peel says:

    Mrs. Peel, if your not a ratfucking troll, you surely do sound like one.

    And you sound as deluded as some wingnut clinging to anything that will justify their ideological fantasies. Big deal. He talked to a pretty girl. Lets see him talk to ACT UP and I’ll believe he probably isn’t a knuckle dragging christist.

  91. 91
    SGEW says:

    How big are you exactly? Are we talking, Amazon Woman?

    Fuck that. I want 50 foot tall and smashing buildings or nothin’.

    Also:

    Lets see him talk to ACT UP and I’ll believe he probably isn’t a knuckle dragging christist.

    He could talk to every LGBT individual in the world and I’ll still think he’s a knuckle dragging christianist.

  92. 92
    John Cole says:

    NOW you’re talking! All this other nonsense about Obama palling with right wing evangelicals is SO boring compared to Clinton scandal-mongering. I think you’ll get the proprietor’s attention with this.

    You know, I was accused of Clinton Derangement Syndrom frequently throughout the campaign, but let me defend myself on this little below the belt jibe. First off, the VERY first thing I did as a Democrat was defend Clinton. That was literally HOURS after registering as a Democrat.

    Additionally, I defended Hillary every time I felt she was being unfairly picked on throughout the campaign, to include after the primary season when fools were stating she was not doing enough and blah blah blah.

    Now- were there times during the campaign when I did have CDS? Absolutely. I remember a whole weekend where I had nothing but ‘Fuck Hillary’ open threads (stay classy, John Cole).

    But the key thing to remember is that Hillary and her supporters are the ones that drove me to that point. She ran a terrible campaign. She said some horrible things. She and her staff tried to out-Rove Karl Rove at times. The RFK remarks, the white people won’t vote for him tour, the “this state doesn’t count” and the insistence there was a way she could win when mathematically it was impossible, the lies about sniper fire, the bullshit about Florida and Michigan when she agreed to the rules but then compared it to the civil rights movement and the vote in Zimbabwe, the constantly shifting delegate math that always conveniently raised the hurdle for Obama, the sense of entitlement, Lanny Davis and Gerry Ferraro and Howard Wolfson and that scumbag who owns BETV, as well as the legions of openly racist and quasi-racist scumbags who all of a sudden found love with Hillary, on top of all the ratfuckers and scumbags like NoQuarter and Harriet Christian and the Clinton campaign embrace of those nutters pushed me there.

    I submit that if you did not have CDS at some point during the primary, there is something wrong with you.

    So while I do lose control sometimes, I do try to be fair and maintain some perspective. During the primary, when she was doing her level best to drive me insane, I didn’t want her anywhere near this administration. And while at first I was unsure of her at State, I have not pitched a fit, I have decided that if they can work together it is fine by me, and I think Clinton did a bang-up job getting Obama elected after the primary.

    Long story short- I am not going to freak out about her at State. For now.

  93. 93

    @Mrs. Peel:

    And you sound as deluded as some wingnut clinging to anything that will justify their ideological fantasies

    Ms. Etheridge didn’t seem to think so. My point was maybe there is something more to this man, other than his bigoted statements. Now Mrs. Peel, go fuck yourself with a rusty screwdriver. (From Dept. of Bad Puns)

  94. 94
    SGEW says:

    Long story short- I am not going to freak out about her at State. For now.

    Cripes. After that recap of the Clinton Primary Madness you just laid down I’m starting to freak out about her at State. And I was more or less fine with it up ’till now.

    Yikes. That was one hell of an ugly election cycle.

  95. 95
    Reverend Dennis says:

    Speaking of groups unrepresented in the Obama cabinet there was an article complaining that Obama hadn’t appointed any Southerners. For "Southerners" read: inhabitants of states that were in the Confederacy.

  96. 96
    theturtlemoves says:

    @Reverend Dennis: I for one will continue to be outraged. OUTRAGED. As long as Obama doesn’t appoint enough folks from the upper Midwest, preferably the Dakotas, to an important post. Oh, wait. Daschle. Ok, folks from the Dakotas with primarily Scandanavian roots over 5′ 8" in height. OUTRAGED, damnit!

  97. 97
    Steve S. says:

    Unless someone can explain to me how it is responsible for us to run two wars while hundreds of key personnel positions remain vacant,

    God, no, we wouldn’t want the troops in the field to be exposed to certain annihilation while some bureaucratic posts back in Washington remain unfilled. We all remember why Bataan happened, don’t we? The Undersecretary to the Assistant to the Undersecretary for Western Pacific Affairs didn’t show up to work back in Washington for a few days. Lord knows, if some bureaucratic posts in the Pentagon are covered by mere middle managers for a couple of months then the Taliban are certain victors.

  98. 98
    garage mahal says:

    John
    Cheers. I like your blog alot but you did get way crazy during the primaries. I think I supported Hillary for no other reason than the real weirdness coming at her from all sides.

    But voting for Obama was the most satisfying vote I ever cast, and in fact, would have swam through a river of piss to do.

  99. 99
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    I don’t mind Hillary so much. It’s her fucking supporters that suck like a hoover. Kinda like the Dallas Cowboys, same principle.

  100. 100
    KevinD says:

    I think the real problem here is the fact that we have 250 Political Appointee Hacks in the first place, every one a potential “Brownie”. When are we ever going to put our government in the hands of qualified career professionals?

    The State Department is better at putting career foreign service officers in most of the higher positions.

  101. 101
    Hyperion says:

    @John Cole:

    Long story short- I am not going to freak out about her at State. For now.

    well, that’s a relief.

  102. 102
    demimondian says:

    OK, so you’re right, John, I’m a vaporizing hypocrite. After all, Warren’s selection strikes me as obnoxious, but the holding over of 250 people who helped to make policy during the Bush administration makes perfect sense.

    Thank God the adults are in charge.

  103. 103
    KevinD says:

    @Steve S.:

    Good point. Anyway, it’s not like they’ve been doing such a great job so far.

  104. 104

    I should also point out that because of the unending whining on the subject of Warren, my original opinion, which was “I can understand why some people are upset by this, because Warren is an asshole” has now morphed into “STFU, I am sick of hearing your whiny bullshit.”

    Not only is it irritating, but the gay rights movement, something I am behind on virtually every issue that should matter to them, is now doing themselves harm. They aren’t fighting for their cause. They aren’t advancing gay rights. They aren’t enlightening people. They are making the gay rights lobby look like a bunch of fringe lunatics.

    Bingo. Thank you – I’m updating my only comment on the matter with a link to your words above.

  105. 105
    Comrade Kevin says:

    Pre-emptive meta-outrage! Excellent.

  106. 106
    Laura W says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: I am just now reading this thread (I saved it for last because I am outraged-out and uproared-fatigued and left bereft and cranky and feel horrible for that dead horse) and I did not see this and now I am so excited I can hardly breathe in anticipation.
    gasp
    gasp
    gasp

  107. 107
    Laura W says:

    @John Cole:

    canard
    butthurt
    fauxtrage

    and this is also why I come here.
    People…where else are you going to find those three words used in one post by a blog host?
    Group Hug!

  108. 108
    SGEW says:

    Group Hug!

    Dammit all, this is Festivus. There’s no hugging in Festivus. Only tears of recrimination, plus wrestling.

  109. 109
    Laura W says:

    @SGEW: I’m a giver, SGEW. What can I say?

    Only tears of recrimination

    Now you’re talkin’! No reason we can’t all start my traditional Christmas ritual a couple nights early.

  110. 110
    Joshua Norton says:

    Only tears of recrimination, plus wrestling.

    I used to call that a third date.

  111. 111
  112. 112
    Jean King says:

    Good to have you to tell us how we should feel, John.

  113. 113
    Mnemosyne says:

    It has the smell of self importance to it (though with the Warren case it is understandable for those directly affected, up to a point), and a lack of rationality. Maybe it’s just a continuing by product of 8 years of Bush GOP constant flow of unadulterated bullshit, I don’t know.

    A lot of it is left over from the Bad Years (about 2001-2005) when straight, white male Democrats spent a lot of time blogging about which pesky rights should be given up so we could win over a few right-wingers. Somehow, the rights that would have to be given up were always women’s rights (like abortion) or minority rights (like affirmative action) or gay rights (like DOMA and DADT) and never anything that would actually affect the lives of the straight, white male Democrats who were talking about getting rid of them.

    So that feeling that a lot of people have that their rights are going to be trampled on to try and win over a few right-wingers does have some basis in fact, since it’s been discussed as a strategy for quite a while now. Any sign that the trampling is about to begin is going to get a huge defensive reaction, even if said reaction seems to be out of proportion to the actual action involved.

  114. 114
    Conservatively Liberal says:

    John is only practicing a habit that he has held over from the Bush era: Preemptive Whining. Some Republican traits are just hard to ditch. ;)

    Oh my! I think ah have the vapors! /fan face

    What to do? What to do?! I guess taking another hit is an option. /toke

    What was the question?

    Dammit all, this is Festivus. There’s no hugging in Festivus. Only tears of recrimination, plus scantily clad women wrestling in Lime Jello.

    Fixed.

  115. 115

    @Mnemosyne:

    So that feeling that a lot of people have that their rights are going to be trampled on to try and win over a few right-wingers does have some basis in fact,

    Here is the basis in fact, DOMA, DADT, Late Term abortion, not only had, and has (lesser all the time) the support of more than a few right wingers, but also a sizeable chunk of dems as well. That’s just reality. And up until 2006 and this election, for the past thirty years the country has put in, and kept in power republicans, who champion these bad policies because of public support for them. Match that with red state dems in congress who went along with wingnuts for fear of being voted out of office –A not unreasonable fear btw– and you have formidable resistance to change.

    That doesn’t make it right, especially with core rights for gays in particular, but it is the hard truth. Things are changing with the American people right now, and as always, the politicians attitudes will change with the tide. The voters are leading the pols around by the nose, not the other way around. And that shouldn’t be surprising in a reasonably stable democracy.

  116. 116

    Despite all their failings the Democrats aren’t shy about holding officials accountable – on their own particular issue. Being a Democrat means being a part of a coalition, if you play in that arena you’d best know it. Sometimes a particularly noisy (and well financed) piece of it will get out ahead of their real vote swat.

    There are plenty of numbers available that show the Brady bunch cost Al Gore and John Kerry their elections. Now you can take your position on that issue and measure it against the outcomes and decide how hard you want to push it. But where ever you land on it, you can be sure that there is another piece of the Party pushing back.

    Barack Obama will not get a free pass from involved Democrats, but in that equation is also the question of how you want it to work out. I’m a fan of having something real to work with, whether I’m amping it or bashing it, because I’m going to try to sell my POV to people who are sceptical of any political activist. I am now the Democratic Party County Chair (on top of a bunch of other shit) so I have to consider what and how I say it. (remember those unfortunate Republican County Chairs?)

    I’ve been inteviewed on politics from local level to national level and I know enough to be careful and still honest. They like me because I’ll talk to them and be straight and I get away with it because I don’t do stupid. Sometimes my political "friends" do things that are awkward for me – oh well. Pah, I’m rambling….

  117. 117
    liberal says:

    @Reverend Dennis:

    To replace all of them with new people solely on the basis that they were appointed by the previous president sounds like something that, well, Bush, would do.

    Give me a f*cking break. They’re political appointees.

  118. 118
    Broken says:

    Still Warren? Nice to know Dems are focused like a laser beam on the important stuff.

  119. 119
    Punchy says:

    "stop the whining"? Jesus and his mirror wept.

  120. 120
    Fencedude says:

    @liberal:

    Doesn’t this just boil down to a request to NOT fire the staff until they have replacements lined up?

    Mountains, molehills, etc etc…

  121. 121
    tavella says:

    @Tom: As the child of a career civil servant with my own time in the federal bureaucracy, I must say that the idea that having these 250 positions filled with temporary career bureaucrats would leave a power vacuum is absurd. The federal bureaucracy is very used to this, they’ve been doing it every four years for quite a while now.

    Yup. There’s a permanent bureaucracy that actually runs things. The machinery of running wars will go on just fine in the Defense Department should each and every one of those people resign, as they should.

    What leaving 250 people in place means is that you have 250 people burrowing in, in place to sabotage the new administration. One of the fears of keeping Gates in place was just that; he would keep the Bushites. And, of course, now every single ‘replacement’ will suddenly be a evil political purge, meaning that many of them will probably never get replaced. Which will be an absolute fucking disaster when we get an actual Democrat Secretary of Defense.

    I thought there was a legitimate case to be made for keeping Gates at Defense, but things like this make me think the negatives outweigh the positives.

  122. 122
    tavella says:

    @John Cole: I should also point out that because of the unending whining on the subject of Warren, my original opinion, which was “I can understand why some people are upset by this, because Warren is an asshole” has now morphed into “STFU, I am sick of hearing your whiny bullshit.”

    Shorter John Cole: "you fail to agree with me and you are being noisier about it than I like, so you are the problem, not Obama hiring a homophobe!"

  123. 123
  124. 124
    fish says:

    Here’s an idea. How about not running two wars anymore?

  125. 125
    Reverend Dennis says:

    Shorter John Cole: "you fail to agree with me and you are being noisier about it than I like, so you are the problem, not Obama hiring a homophobe!"

    Shorter tavella: "I’m so wrapped up in my one issue that I fail to note the difference between hiring someone for a job and asking someone to give a ninety second invocation."

  126. 126
    Steve S. says:

    Go read this.

    Yes, we already knew this. So why did you make up this rationalization:

    Unless someone can explain to me how it is responsible for us to run two wars while hundreds of key personnel positions remain vacant

    All of us who have ever worked in an organization larger than an espresso stand are well aware of bureaucratic inertia. But insinuating that the national weal will be harmed because some of Bush’s Cylons are prematurely dismissed from their pointless jobs in the Pentagon? Please.

  127. 127
    margaret says:

    I can’t for the life of me figure out why people would even come to this blog to get covered with such abuse. "Crazy Outrage"? Sick of the whining are you John? Maybe you wouldn’t be if your face had gotten pushed in because of your orientation. I wonder how upset you would be with the Warren pick if some of his followers had injured you so severely that you will never again be pain free in your lifetime? I wonder if you would find the man objectionable if you couldn’t go an hour with urinating and it causing a great deal of pain when you did so? Don’t lecture me about "whining", you sanctimonious jerk. If you took even one of the beatings that I have taken for no greater a "crime" than the persuit of happiness in life, maybe you would feel differently. As it is, you have zero compassion or empathy. I suppose once a Republican, always a Republican though.

  128. 128
    Tim Fuller says:

    Bring the troops home and you won’t have two wars to worry about fighting. Then the generals can be unemployed like the rest of America and we won’t have to worry about not enough people to fight two wars.

    Enjoy.

  129. 129
    Blue Raven says:

    Margaret, my orientation’s been spat on and abused, too, and I want the perpetual fauxtragers to STFU. It’s a PRAYER. Go whine to people who give a fuck.

  130. 130
    Screamin' Demon says:

    @margaret:

    Two.
    Minute.
    Invocation.

    Not a speech.

    And five minutes later, no one in this entire nation will remember one goddamned word he said.

    Or care.

    Except for a bunch of whiny liberals who can’t see past the ends of their noses. And a media eager to exploit your whining as a sign of partisan discontent, in order to drive a wedge between the netroots and a pro-gay rights administration that hasn’t even yet begun to govern.

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