Show Me

In the comments section of the Swampland post DougJ linked earlier, Michael Scherer says the following:

greenlyfe, I don’t see anything wrong with saying you do not want any political leader to succeed in his policy goals. It happens all the time, and is the basis of a free democracy.

Let’s put aside the absurd notion that the very existence of “free democracy” hangs in the balance. What intrigues me is the assertion that this happens all the time.

I remember 2000 and 2001 pretty well. I was a Republican at the time, and we have talked before about how excited I was to vote for Bush. I remember not being able to sleep, waking up early to go vote as soon as the polls open, and I remember going to see a movie during the afternoon to take my mind off the election (I even remember what movie it was- Charlies Angels, which was brand new in the theatres, and I went with my friend’s girlfriend, who was just dying to see it, but he refused to go because he thought it would suck. He was right. They later got married.). I remember coming home and watching the returns until late in the morning, I remember the sinking feeling over Florida, and thinking “We are going to get screwed. The Democrats are going to steal this.” I remember all of that.

Many of you will have a hard time understanding this, because one thing we as a country aren’t very good at politically is putting ourselves in the opposition’s mindset, but I remember at the time thinking the whole process was screwed up and the Democrats were trying to pull a job over on the Republicans. Why was Al Gore only asking for recounts in a few select counties that just so happened to have huge Democratic majorities? Why were all these mistakes just magically appearing in Democratically controlled counties where Democrats were the ones who designed the damned ballots? Theresa LaPore, anyone? Why were the standards for counting votes changing with every day? WTF is a hanging chad? Voter intent? How convenient.

Again, most of you won’t understand it, but the Republican base was just as convinced the Democrats were screwing them as the Democratic base was convinced the Republicans were stealing the election. Both sides were equally convinced the other was up to no good.

I also remember the aftermath, and I do remember a lot of anger. I remember the “Selected, not Elected” stuff, I remember protests and a sullied inauguration, I remember a lot of anger. People are just pretending if they say there were not a lot of angry people on the left. It was there, and it was real. Democrats who try to deny that today are full of it (and in fairness, I see very few people who deny that there was a lot of anger). I don’t remember it among the mainstream of the minority in Congress- they sort of seemed resigned to the fact that Bush was President and mouthed stuff about working with him.

I also remember what was going on at the time. There was a mild economic downturn, but the country overall was in pretty good shape. The big crises in the first couple of months in the Bush administration was the story about “W” keys on the White House keyboards (since debunked), the continuing fallout of the Marc Rich pardon, the sad case of the US submarine that t-boned a Japanese fishing ship, and I remember an Air Force plane being forced to land in China. That was the “big stuff” in the early months, if my memory serves correctly.

Other than that, the big issue was the tax cuts. Our surplus was going to be too big, and we had to return the money to the people. I remember Alan Greenspan concern trolling the country about too much government ownership of private companies. I know, I know. We got the government ownership of companies anyway, Alan, and this all sounds like the history of an alien universe considering the mess we are in right now. And I remember a lot of Democrats were really opposed to the tax cuts, and called them irresponsible and said they would lead to real financial problems (how did that prediction work out?) and that we had a lot of stuff to pay for (like the national debt). I remember them repeatedly saying it was bad policy and it should be stopped.

But here is what I don’t remember. I don’t remember one single Democrat standing up on national television and loudly proclaiming “I hope George Bush fails.” I simply do not remember it happening at all.

So until Michael Scherer and others can show me the clips or transcripts of Democrats sitting around rooting for Bush and this country to fail, I think he and everyone else defending the Republicans and Limbaugh, who are explicitly stating they want President Obama to fail and stating it at a time of FAR greater consequence than we had in 2001, can quite simply just shut up.

And just so we are clear, until shown otherwise, what I remember is the following:

2001, time of mild economic downturn but with a large budget surplus projected as far as the eyes can see, and Democrats stated the tax cuts are bad policy and should not be adopted.

2009, during two wars, a financial disaster, an economic crisis and massive unemployment and trillion dollar deficits as far as the eye can see, and the Republicans and Limbaugh are rooting for Obama to fail so they can regain some political power.

Until I am shown otherwise, that is how I see things. What is happening right now is nuts, and there simply is no comparison. Show me the tapes. Show me the transcripts. Show me Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid standing in front of a camera saying “I want President Bush to fail” just like we have seen Mike Pence and the parade of other Republican leaders do in the past few days. Bring it on, and I don’t mean some random jackass on the internet or some crazy tenured prof at a community college somewhere. I will admit my memory was wrong if it happened, but I want to see it, because I don’t remember it. And I’m not merely talking about opposition to policy. I mean stating that they wanted the President to fail. And then when you are done, you can show me the video tapes or transcripts of all the Democrats groveling and begging for forgiveness at the feet of Michael Moore (who, by the way, is fat) after dissing him.

*** Update ***

Also, when a real crisis happened on 9/11, I remember the Democrats rushing to do whatever Bush wanted. I remember hand-holding and singing on the Capitol Steps. I don’t remember them hoping Bush’s response would fail.

Edited for clarity.






251 replies
  1. 1
    Josh Hueco says:

    But Michael Moore is fat. And Al Gore uses electricity. And. Also. Though.

  2. 2
    Keith says:

    The closest I can remember was the straw man argument that those opposed to the war so hated Bush that they wanted the war to fail, and thus they wanted soldiers to die.

    Big difference in that case was that the sentiment (and to be fair, this was the sentiment of the mythical "some people" as opposed to specific pundits and/or Kos’ers) was considered treasonous by the party in power rather than the cornerstone of free democracy.

  3. 3
    sgwhiteinfla says:

    John Cole

    Here is the major difference. Dems/Liberals/Progressives criticized President Bush’s policy choices like the tax cuts during two wars, Iraq War, torture, illegal eavesdropping on citizens etc etc. Almost every single time we did so we were called traitors who wanted to give aid and comfort to America’s enemies and Republicans/WingNuts SAID we were rooting for failure. Thats how they believe the last 8 years went down even though on just about every issue that Dems/Liberals/Progressives were opposing Bush on we eventually found to be right in our opposition. So in their minds getting labeled as wanting Bush to fail equals them actually saying themselves that they want President Obama to fail. Its a twisted way of thinking and my mind hurts from just putting myself in their shoes but I think thats exactly where the false equivalency comes from.

  4. 4
    John PM says:

    Why aren’t you on TV? This post is a thing of beauty.

    At the very least, send it to Michael Scherer and tell him to shove it up his ass!

  5. 5
    John Cole says:

    @Keith: There simply was no “kos’ers” at this comparable point in the Bush administration. Daily Kos arose as a force much, much later on in the Bush administration. Hell, as late as late 2002 it wasn’t much more than folks like me, Oliver Willis, Matt Yglesias, Steve Gilliard, Josh Trevino, Kos, and others arguing with each other on his website that got to the toon of 500 hits a day.

  6. 6
    flounder says:

    Jonah Goldberg was just on Talk of the Nation trying to claim that all this Limbaugh stuff is unfair because Republicans never anointed Michael Moore the leader of the Democrats.

  7. 7
    John Cole says:

    @John PM: I have a face for radio.

  8. 8
    SpotWeld says:

    The best I can remember is a lot of folks standing up as saying "let’s get this changed", or perhaps "what you just said, that’s not true" (ref: Mission Accomplished)….

    Not so much requests for failure. (Though the idea of "surrendering to terrorists" was a popular right wing cant)

  9. 9
  10. 10
    Martin says:

    And you didn’t see a Democratic Party take action to remove the President from power in spite of everything that happened. Yeah, there were plenty of people calling for it, but the party leadership restrained, much to the irritation of the base.

    Compare that to the GOP actions during Clinton’s term, when you still only had a minority of the public calling for action, but the leadership acted anyway.

    Much of the anger from the Democrats side in 2000 came because not satisfied with the Clinton circus that the GOP set up, we then saw the goon squad show up in Florida. What was a tense but seemingly open attempt to unravel the clusterfuck that Florida wrought turned into Clinton revisited. If the impeachment stuff hadn’t have happened, I don’t think Dems would have been quite as pissed as we were.

    http://archive.salon.com/polit...../28/miami/

  11. 11
    Elvis Elvisberg says:

    FWIW, I too have left a cult since 2000-01– that of Friedmanesque Centrist Democratism. And I don’t recall much anger directed at Bush over FL after he was sworn in, not from the mainstream of the Democratic Party.

    I too could be wrong. But that’s how I remember it.

  12. 12
    rock says:

    I think it’s unfair to say Rush and the Republicans are "hoping America fails". Their premise, and correct me if I’m wrong, is that Obama’s policies are a long-term disaster for this country. He is attempting to steal money from the rich to bribe poor people for their votes. This strategy could be politically successful but it will fail the country — it is not designed to help America but rather to preserve Democratic power. Rush is hoping that Obama fails politically and that his policies fail so as to be discredited before they can do much harm.

    Now, I don’t happen to agree with Rush that about the purpose of Obama’s policies or that the 39.6% bracket will destroy the country. But I have no problem with him saying that he hopes Obama’s policies fail quickly so as to save the country from greater long-term harm. I don’t see that as being anywhere close to the most obnoxious thing I’ve heard from that side of the aisle.

  13. 13
    Xecklothxayyquou Gilchrist says:

    Like others have been saying – I don’t remember any Democrats saying they wanted Bush to fail, just lots of the same people who are now saying they want Obama to fail saying that the Democrats were saying they wanted Bush to fail.

    And because it was them saying it, it was true.

    Selah

  14. 14
    bayville says:

    You forgot …
    AlGore went into hibernation and then reappeared with a beard.
    Gary Condit and the missing intern.
    Barnicle was caught plagerizing (again_) and…
    The March 2001 recession – ya’ remember the Clinton Recession.

  15. 15
    Sam Hutcheson says:

    John, you don’t remember it because it didn’t happen. Liberals and Democrats were up in arms over the election fiasco of 2000 and opposed the Bush tax cuts, but there was nothing like this. Nothing at all. And of course, come 9/12/2001 even that level of dissent subsided for two or three years. In point of fact, the right wing echo chamber was so desparate to find a "liberal" or "lefty" who would say something like "I hope the President fails" they dug up nobodies to use as proxy stand-ins for actual Democratic leadership. Unable to find mainstream liberals or Dems who stated what dittoheads just "knew" liberals "really believed" they trotted out Micheal Moore movies and Ward F’in Churchill.

    Turns out they were desparate to find a liberal or two with seditionist thoughts not because it was a widespread liberal trope but because it was what the dittoheads themselves would have believed and said when the tables were turned.

    Now we know the rest of the story.

  16. 16
    JenJen says:

    John, thanks for expanding upon these thoughts in a full post; I enjoyed reading them in comments last night.

    I had this great bartending gig back in 2000, and remember very well being a huge Al Gore supporter. I watched the election returns with my dad excitedly that night, and I’ll never forget this one moment as long as I live… Florida had been called for Gore, we were ecstatic, and then a few minutes later, suddenly the TV was carrying a live feed of the Bush Family watching the returns. They looked so relaxed, so calm, Poppy and Bar and George and Laura. I didn’t think anything of it, but my father did… and he said, "Uh-Oh." He got it immediately; he knew what was happening.

    It was all downhill from there. I went to work the next day, having gotten little sleep, just infuriated. It was the first time I was ever truly angry about something political (a feeling I would become well-acquainted with in the years that followed.) I was shocked that nobody at my workplace, including my bar regulars, was upset about what was going on. "Gore’s trying to steal it," was the mantra of the day. You’ll have that living in Cincinnati, I suppose, but I was just so surprised and felt really alone in my support for the Democrat.

    Of course I remained pissed off for years about the 2000 Election. Turning the budget surplus into a massive tax cut for the wealthy elite infuriated me, and I knew it was the wrong thing to do and would have disastrous economic effects down the road. But 9/11 really did change things, and I threw my support behind the President because that’s what you do when you’re an American. He lost me again when he started the Iraq War and he never got me back, but I was still convinced he’d find Bin Laden. I was certain we’d be victorious in Iraq. I never rooted for his failure. I was disgusted and shocked by it, but never rooted for it.

    By the time Katrina came around, I full-on hated the President. I really did. And even in that hatred and anger and disgust, it never once occurred to me to think, "Gosh, I hope he fails. I hope he really blows it. That would be so awesome for Democrats if he did." Instead, I often thought, "Good gawd man. Pull it together, do it for your country."

  17. 17
    Lee from NC says:

    @John Cole:

    I’d say that the rise of Kos was, in fact, a response to Bush being in the White House. That site wouldn’t be where it is today if Gore had won.

    And I was there as well, John. My UID over there is 1545. I even used to email Kos back then with news items and he actually would respond. Those were the good old days, lol.

    Anyway, I don’t recall any politician of either party ever going before the public to say that they hope the President fails. Yeah, sure, they’ve stated that specific policies are doomed to failure, etc. But never coming right out and saying they hope the President and his administration are a complete failure.

  18. 18
    square1 says:

    There is a difference between hoping someone fails to enact a policy and hoping that the actual policy fails. Rush deliberately straddles that line because it is in his best interest to stoke the flames of controversy, even if it is to the GOPs ultimate detriment.

    I hoped that Bush would fail to invade and occupy Iraq. I didn’t hope that the invasion and occupation would fail.

    I hoped that Social Security would not be privatized. If it had been, I wouldn’t have hoped that millions of Americans would lose their retirement savings.

    I hoped that Bush would fail to implement massive tax cuts. After they were passed, I didn’t hope that America would plunge into massive deficits and risk insolvency.

    The difference between Democrats and Republicans is that Democrats are not married to their policy prescriptions. Democrats are generally pragmatic. Don’t I wish that the Laffer Curve was good science and that supply-side economics worked? Don’t I wish that there was no global warming? Don’t I wish that I could pay less in taxes and have tax revenue increase? Don’t I wish that corporations could be trusted to not pollute, not scam their customers, and not engage in dangerous practices?

    Democrats don’t oppose GOP ideas because we don’t like them. We oppose them because they don’t work. If the GOP brings the evidence to the table, I will happily support their policy ideas.

    The GOP is much less pragmatic. Their policies are grounded by moral convictions that are impervious to facts.

  19. 19
    Jay B. says:

    Good point on the other shoe on the other foot, John.

    That said, I’m still pissed at 2000 and no Democrat outside of Washington would ever admit otherwise. However, to your point, many of us are ALSO pissed at the idiots Gore had lawyering for him (we were also wondering why they didn’t just press for a full state recount. They almost certainly would have won it.).

    But beyond that, it wasn’t about "fail" and certainly the Democrats as a party did almost nothing to oppose GW, even coming in as the loser of the popular vote. Whether that was from a misplaced sense of fairness or a general spinelessness is a question for Tom Daschele.

    What most of us wanted then was what even more of us want today: a semblance of honesty. The media spent 20 months lying about Gore while Bush openly insulted our intelligence with "fuzzy math" and "tax cuts" and everything else — but a small, select few (primarily Paul Krugman) saw through the bullshit. Eight years later, bullshit is still everywhere, but the tide is turning. The bullshit is being sussed out earlier. The president is amazingly straightforward about his priorities and his actions prove it. The Democrats have even begun to call the GOP on its bullshit. At long fucking last.

  20. 20
    bayville says:

    @flounder
    Yesterday, the oldest Jonahs Brother, compared Limbaugh with Bill Moyers.

  21. 21
    Krista says:

    2009, during two wars, a financial disaster, an economic crisis and massive unemployment and trillion dollar deficits as far as the eye can see, and the Republicans and Limbaugh are rooting for Obama to fail so they can regain some political power.

    That’s exactly it. There are some people on the right who genuinely believe that Obama’s goals and policies are going to damage the country, and thus, hope that he fails in those goals and policies. To say that they hope he "fails" still sounds abhorrent, but I can at least drum up a bit of sympathy for them, as the context of that statement is "I hope he fails in all of those ways in which he’s trying to destroy our fine country." It would be as though McCain had been elected, and we were under the impression that he was going to overturn Roe vs. Wade, implement 100% tax cuts for the top 5% of earners in the country, make push-up bras illegal, and eliminate SCHIP. It’d be very easy to say "I hope he fails."

    Unfortunately, I think that a lot of the actual politicians and pundits on the right very well are hoping that Obama fails in general. That his efforts wind up making things worse. Solely so that the Republicans can crow about it and potentially regain power. And that is beyond abhorrent and tiptoeing into what one would call treason.

  22. 22
    SpotWeld says:

    @rock: you said:

    Rush is hoping that Obama fails politically and that his policies fail so as to be discredited before they can do much harm.

    The thing is, things are quite frankly; so bad that any additional harm is unacceptable. Hoping that the currently implemented policies fail even just a little bit is hoping for some pretty bad things to happen to the world economy and the American population.

    People may have hated the use of the atomic bomb in WWII, but everyone still wanted Japan to surrender. What Rush is proposing is that if Obama uses the "a-bomb" of his economic policy, that the Japanese continue to fight back just enough that Obama (and the use of the a-bomb) are discredited… regardless of the amount of causalities that might entail.

    I refuse to let fuzzy-headed thinking about the economy let right-wing pundits forget that the current economic situation is creating human casualties!

  23. 23
    Porkulus fka Media Browski says:

    John,

    This is my favorite post you’ve ever written.

    I want to make you brownies out of Ghirardelli dark chocolate and pure WIN!

  24. 24
    AhabTRuler says:

    I think that the big difference is that in 2000, despite legitimate questions about the rationale behind the Bush v. Gore decision (equal representation, my ass), democrats were angry, but accepted it. Same after 9/11, dems lined up behind Bush and saluted, and he shoved it up their ass, repeatedly, then broke it off and jammed the stump back up their ass.

    Obama clearly won a clean election and these guys are figuratively calling for his head, with a likely move to literal in the near future.
    It’s fucking depressing.
    Oh, and the country is fucked, also

  25. 25
    Hedley Lamarr says:

    I’d say you are correct. Also, Bush was indeed selected.

  26. 26
    John PM says:

    @John Cole: #7

    So does Limbaugh, but that doesn’t stop him.

  27. 27
    TheLorax says:

    So until Michael Scherer and others can show me the clips or transcripts of Democrats sitting around rooting for Bush and this country to fail,

    Again, simply another strat out of the GOP partisan playbook. They paint democrat objection to something that the GOP does in their own terms (i.e. asking for oversight = "siding with terrorists"). Repeat it ad naseum such that it becomes the defacto "truth" on the matter.

    Then, when the GOP actively champions Obama to fail, they recall their own bastardized version of events as fact and say "They did it too!"

    I honestly think that there may be a few in the GOP understand this political game of rhetoric and semantics, but the great majority them actually believe the alternate reality that they create. And because they become so convinced its easy to take media along on the ride.

    What utter horseshit.

  28. 28
    valdivia says:

    I love this post John. Thanks so much for it.

    Do you think that maybe the Village is pushing the ‘let us blame Obama for distracting us with Rush’ bs because they have taking it as part if their religion that anyone who dares to say anything about Rush pays and the public is not obliging them with this so they have to push the story even further? Actually blame Obama for the pettiness of the republicans?

  29. 29
    QrazyQat says:

    There’s a difference between hoping Bush’s goal of trashing the constitution and ridding the land of habeus corpus would fail, and hoping Obama’s plan of getting the economy into recovery will fail.

    In other words, it’s typical false equivalence on the part of rightwingers.

  30. 30
    Uli Kunkel says:

    @rock: "He is attempting to steal money from the rich to bribe poor people for their votes."

    You know the soundbite I’ve been enjoying lately is the GOP socialism thing where "why should the top 20% earners pay 80% of the taxes — it’s an outrage!" Never mind that the top 20% make more than 80% of the income.

    This, and the confusion about what part of income gets taxed at a higher bracket indicates people like "rock" are dumber than a bag of them.

  31. 31
    flounder says:

    @rock

    I think it’s unfair to say Rush and the Republicans are "hoping America fails".

    Obama is trying to get the economy back on track. That is people’s jobs, 401Ks, etc. By saying you want efforts to stimulate the American economy to fail you are by definition saying you want the American economy to fail.
    Rush can dress it up in as many disclaimers as you want, but remember, it is his listeners who couldn’t understand that when Dick Durbin compared the torture at Guantanamo to something that would have happened in a concentration camp he wasn’t calling Bush Hitler. Dittoheads have never shown they are smart enough for asterisks and footnotes.

  32. 32
    Martin says:

    Of course I remained pissed off for years about the 2000 Election. But 9/11 really did change things, and I threw my support behind the President because that’s what you do when you’re an American. He lost me again when he started the Iraq War and he never got me back, but I was still convinced he’d find Bin Laden. I was certain we’d be victorious in Iraq. I never rooted for his failure. I was disgusted and shocked by it, but never rooted for it.

    Yeah, that’s pretty similar to me. I remember consoling my wife in 2000, telling her that Bush would be fine. I stayed pretty optimistic about him even through the tax cuts and through 9/11. The runup to Iraq really set me off though – you had Hans Blix on TV saying that Iraq had nothing and Bush 5 minutes later warning about a mushroom cloud. It was clear we were going to war even in fall 2002. I hoped at that point he’d learn from his dad and be quick about it. When it was clear he hadn’t, I figured we were totally fucked – we’d just given the military a near-impossible task. Then I was really pissed.

    Once Bush started really dialing up Iraq, I figured we’d never catch Bin Laden. He just wasn’t important any more.

  33. 33
    DJShay says:

    SPOT.EFFING.ON.

  34. 34
    JenJen says:

    @John Cole: I’d have to take a bit of issue with this… Democratic Underground was the first real leftie comments site, and it was launched on Inauguration Day, 2001. I was one of the charter members, and I really found it to be an oasis, because there was nobody around me to talk about what was happening politically. If it weren’t for DU, I wouldn’t have gotten off my ass to go to DC to protest the Iraq War, for example. They awoke my inner activist. :-) It was an interesting community, one in which I haven’t participated for years, but during Bush’s first term, I don’t know what I’d have done without the place.

    DU had a lot of crazy-talk going on back then, but even I can’t recall any of the more prolific and respected posters just out-and-out rooting for Bush’s failure.

    Kos, et al was around, but didn’t really explode in popularity until a year or so later. But DU was always there, the way I remember it.

  35. 35
    NutellaonToast says:

    I do remember one instance of it. It was somewhere on the internet. I don’t remember if it was a blog post or an article. Someone said that they hoped Iraq was a failure and in the same article explained that it was because Iraq was bad policy. Their reasoning was that a single success does not change bad policy to good policy, it’s just luck. However, if it were a success then preemptive war would be seen as good policy and there’d be a lot a more of it.

    Basically, they were convinced that on balance preemptive war was bad even if it were possible for single instances of it to be good. They were afraid that Iraq might be such single instance but would be viewed as proof that all situations required it.

    Of course, whoever wrote this was not as popular as Rush Limbaugh, and I doubt anyone had to apologize to them for disagreeing.

    That’s all I got.

  36. 36
    Shawn in ShowMe says:

    Why aren’t you on TV? This post is a thing of beauty.

    Too much depth and not enough self-pimping. He’s the anti-Sirota.

    Show me Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid standing in front of a camera saying “I want President Bush to fail” just like we have seen Mike Pence and the parade of other Republican leaders do

    Wingnuts have access to secret knowledge, like the Whitey tape, that is only available to members of its inner circle.

  37. 37
    Uli Kunkel says:

    rock, I misunderstood that you were describing the Limbaugh stance, not endorsing it. Apologies.

  38. 38
    Ash Can says:

    John, you’re a national treasure. Thank you for this.

    @rock: This is whitewashing. The basic premise of Limbaugh and the GOP is that, if Obama’s policies succeed, then the jig is up for them — no more getting away with perpetuating the Gilded Age, no more enormous radio contract, no more lucrative government gigs. No more pulling the wool over people’s eyes.

    If Limbaugh and the GOP had established themselves as a serious and thoughtful opposition, then I could see the potential for problems with taking their statements out of context. However, not only have they not established this kind of track record for themselves, Limbaugh has reiterated and re-emphasized his desire for Obama’s failure in the face of a situation that no reasonable person can claim would be made worse by any good-faith recovery policy — hence his apparent extrapolated desire to see America fail. The fact that neither the GOP nor Limbaugh have put forth any serious proposals of their own underscores their own lack of good faith. To argue otherwise is to grasp at straws.

  39. 39
    demkat620 says:

    John, I can’t believe you are not buying Scherer’s both sides do it excuse.

    That is the MSM’s favorite let the GOP of the hook card.

  40. 40
    Keith says:

    FYI, I use the term "Kos’er" in the generic sense of a relatively obscure/anonymous person who says something outrageous in either a forum comment or a Kos diary who then becomes elevated to spokesperson for the Democratic Party by mere connection to DailyKos. No intent to alter history or make a statement as to the organic development of the netroots…it’s just easier to type that "person who says something outrageous in a forum comment or Kos diary")

  41. 41
    John PM says:

    BTW, Scherer has not made any further responses, and is continuing to get his ass handed to him by the comments. Coward.

  42. 42
    DougJ says:

    I was as angry as anyone about Bush being selected, nt elected. The decision in Bush v. Gore was a disgrace. But I so much hoped for a successful response to 9/11 that I wouldn’t go to war protests, even though I thought the Iraq war was a bad idea. I think I’m pretty typical.

    There’s just no comparison here. None at all.

  43. 43
    John Dillinger says:

    There were very moral grounds to root for our failure in Iraq. Few doubt that if the Cakewalk Clowns had been right, they would have turned to jucier targets, like Iran or NK, and would have continued until an Iraq-style quagmire occurred somewhere. Better it occurred before we became even more over-extended and even bigger international pariahs.

    In contrast, I don’t see any national benefit to Obama failing. His failure will only benefit those put who their personal interests over the country’s.

  44. 44
    Xecklothxayyquou Gilchrist says:

    @TheLorax: Then, when the GOP actively champions Obama to fail, they recall their own bastardized version of events as fact and say "They did it too!"

    This. Said much better than I could have.

  45. 45
    Tonal Crow says:

    Can we please raise a thread to give Maureen Dowd some clown shoes for her McCain-promoting mockery of many perfectly good earmarks in the proposed budget? E.g., Dowd/McCain mock:

    1. $200,000 to remove former gang members’ tattoos (If this prevents 2-3 person-years of prison time, it pays for itself just in prison costs, let alone other crime costs);

    2. $1 million for Mormon cricket control in Utah (Mormon Crickets can be a serious pest.

    3. $2.1 million for the Center for Grape Genetics (Yeah, grape products and associated economic activity total ~$100B annually. (Wine industry says $162B: http://www.wineinstitute.org/r.....m/01172007). Maybe it would be helpful to know more about vine genetics? Naw, that’d be libtarded "science"….)

    Etc., etc.

  46. 46
    Ailuridae says:

    Not to pile on the congratulations but as only a recent commentator and a lurker for two years before I can say that this is the best post I have read of John’s and I suspect its going to be linked to high heaven.

    Good to see you still have the fastball.

  47. 47
    rock says:

    This, and the confusion about what part of income gets taxed at a higher bracket indicates people like "rock" are dumber than a bag of them.

    If you read more closely you’ll notice that explicitly said I disagreed with Rush’s premise and, although I didn’t say it, I hope Obama and his policies are wildly successful. I may be dumb but don’t say I’m a dittohead. Sheesh.

  48. 48
    Ninerdave says:

    Neiwert over at Crooks and Liars posted about this last night too.

  49. 49
    Kashford says:

    James Taranto of the The Wall Street Opinion Journal once tried to accuse former Clinton advisor Nancy Soderberg of "hoping" that the Iraq War failed, based on her interview with Jon Stewart (see here).

    What Taranto didn’t understand (at the time) was that she and Stewart were being "tongue in cheek" and sarcastic. He later had to print a clarification.

    This goes to what an earlier commenter said — at best, one can only find evidence of Bush supporters claiming that Bush opponents hoped the Iraq War would "fail".

  50. 50
    Martin says:

    I think it’s unfair to say Rush and the Republicans are "hoping America fails". Their premise, and correct me if I’m wrong, is that Obama’s policies are a long-term disaster for this country.

    There are two kinds of decisions – ones that initiate and ones that sustain. This is the argument we had with Iraq supporters. There’s no inconsistency to opposing an initiating action but supporting a sustaining one. It’s fine to oppose starting a war, but once started, supporting it, because you can’t undo that which has been done, all you can do it make the best of it.

    The fair argument for Obama to fail on the stimulus comes when there is an alternative option. There wasn’t one. It wasn’t a case of ‘I hope our option succeeds’, rather it was one of ‘I hope no options succeed’. And that’s the problem the GOP has – they don’t seem to be able to recognize the difference. I had a real drag out argument with a friend of ours over Iraq and finally got through in this way:

    If a woman doesn’t want to have kids but accidentally gets pregnant, she doesn’t get to ignore the kid on the basis of the first decision. She made a choice to not have kids, but that choice was overruled by fate, and every subsequent decision must be made with the acceptance that the kid cannot be un-born.

    Rush is basically offering that because his vote was to not have an economic mess, that even when handed an economic mess, that we should just ignore it.

    His proposal here is the equivalent of a Democrat standing up in 2003 and saying ‘I didn’t want this war and I don’t support these troops – I hope they fail’. Democrats had just as much ground to say that Iraq was a long-term disaster for the country, but once the die was cast, we went along and made the best of it. Rush and some of the GOP are saying that doesn’t apply to them – they don’t need to go along with the plan and make the best of it – they can ask that the plan the nation has committed to should fail.

  51. 51
    Carnacki says:

    I was one of those angry about the Brooks Brother suited staged riots from the Republican Congressional staffers at Florida election offices and the crooked decision from the U.S. Supreme Court when they selected George W. Bush, ignoring that Florida’s election laws were not being followed by the U.S. Supreme Court.

    But throughout the administration of George W. Bush, I don’t recall hoping for failure. I remember hoping against hope that he wouldn’t be a failure. I even remember hoping against hope that they would find the WMDs in Iraq even though I knew they wouldn’t and that the entire war was built upon a flimsy stack of lies. But I wanted, I desperately wanted, to be wrong about that because I knew it would be an even worse disaster than the invasion itself for the country if it was shown we invaded on totally false premises. Rightwingers often misstate that the left wanted us to lose the war in Iraq. Many of us saw there was nothing to be won, an entirely different view point. People critical of Bush’s policies, people ashamed of his policies, but people actively rooting for his failure? I don’t think so. I only recall one rock singer who stated something even close to hoping for failure and defeat and to this day I don’t listen to her though I loved her music.

    Just because those of us who were critics got so much right about Bush and we knew everything he touched turned to sh@t that doesn’t mean we cheered for it to happen that way like Rush Limbaugh and his Republican stooges are now. It would have been nice to have been wrong about Bush occasionally, but unfortunately we weren’t.

  52. 52
    JenJen says:

    By the by, just to point out what hypocrisy looks like, I’d ask everyone to reflect upon the year 2003, and the utter hysteria brought about by a little country group called The Dixie Chicks. I imagine today’s GOP is thinking about them when employing their "but they did it too!" line. Of course, anyone who recalls those days will remember that the Dixie Chicks moment was rather innocuous. "I’m ashamed the President is from Texas" does not equal "I hope the President fails."

    "Shut Up And Sing" should be on the American History Required Viewing List.

  53. 53
    Max says:

    It’s brilliant posts like this, plus Michael Scherer’s wretched blog post, that make me think about how much I miss Media Whores Online.

  54. 54
    Kashford says:

    jenjen:

    By the by, just to point out what hypocrisy looks like, I’d ask everyone to reflect upon the year 2003, and a little country group called The Dixie Chicks.

    UPDATE: Okay, I see jenjen has expanded her(?) post.

    The Dixie Chicks said they were ashamed of coming from the same state as George Bush.
    They did not say that they hoped Bush’s war policy would fail.

  55. 55
    AhabTRuler says:

    I desperately wanted, to be wrong about that because I knew it would be an even worse disaster than the invasion itself for the country if it was shown we invaded on totally false premises.

    This. And again, this. ONE.MOAR.TIME: THIS.

  56. 56
    mistermix says:

    @John PM:

    BTW, Scherer has not made any further responses, and is continuing to get his ass handed to him by the comments. Coward.

    Don’t worry, Scherer will be bemoning the lack of civility and extremism of his commenters in future posts, hoping for more angry reaction. He will also use their angry response as evidence that he’s right, because the Swampland commenters are not serious enough to understand the deep truth of his post.

    Unlike Joe Klein, who actually thinks about what his commenters say and responds honestly, Scherer is in this to stir the pot. I think his bullshit needs to be called, but there also needs to be a bit of a meta-conversation about how unserious he is, which will ultimately lead to his posts being ignored, which is what the guy really fears.

  57. 57
  58. 58
    Mr Furious says:

    Awesome post John. Perfectly articulates what others have chocked on trying to get the words out. Plus with the added bonus of the view from the other side.

    Inspired.

    P.S. Also an early Kos’er, #2387

  59. 59
    valdivia says:

    @Ash Can:

    @rock: This is whitewashing. The basic premise of Limbaugh and the GOP is that, if Obama’s policies succeed, then the jig is up for them—no more getting away with perpetuating the Gilded Age, no more enormous radio contract, no more lucrative government gigs. No more pulling the wool over people’s eyes

    .

    This is what has been making me angry about the argument. If they think these policies are bad they should just say that and then say–I hope that in spite of that the country recovers or something like that. But no, they do not say this because if Obama succeeds then it is empirical proof that they were wrong and bad politically for them. o this is all about putting political interest ahead of our country.

  60. 60
    OGLiberal says:

    The big problem here – and Scherer doesn’t get this, apparently – is that Rush and gang are not just hoping that Obama fails to implement his plans and policies. Of course they would hope that. And they should – they don’t agree with him or the Dems on most things. What they are doing in addition to this is hoping that Obama’s plans/policies that have already been passed by Congress. The recovery package has already been signed into law – the debate is over, there is no GOP alternative to argue about at this point. (was there ever?) To hope that it fails is to hope that the American economy worsens, to hope that it doesn’t create jobs, to hope that it sinks the country further into economic hell.

    I’m sure we’ll see this same pattern with future legislation. Let’s say Obama achieves something close to univeral healthcare. You may disagree with the concept, you may hate the concept, but once it’s law, are you going to hope that it fails, hope that it doesn’t help to cover the millions of uninsured in this country, hope that it doesn’t cut costs, hope that it provides crappy medical care? You may be convinced that it won’t work, you may be convinced that all of the bad things above will happen as a result. But should you HOPE that it FAILS? My guess is that Rush and his pals will do exactly that.

    I don’t know if you would call this treason – I’m not willing to go there because a) I don’t think it is and b) that’s wingnut talk. But it’s pretty despicable.

  61. 61
    Porkulus fka Media Browski says:

    @Tonal Crow: Don’t forget McCain’s twitter about money for "controlling the beaver" (don’t blame me, he twittered it!).

  62. 62
    JenJen says:

    @Kashford: Right… I intended to illustrate Republican hypocrisy, but didn’t put it all that elegantly.

    We’re not reacting nearly as hysterically to Rush Limbaugh’s noxious comments as the GOP, even President Bush himself, did to the Dixie Chicks’ rather benign statement.

  63. 63
    JD Rhoades says:

    Anyway, I don’t recall any politician of either party ever going before the public to say that they hope the President fails. Yeah, sure, they’ve stated that specific policies are doomed to failure, etc. But never coming right out and saying they hope the President and his administration are a complete failure.

    It’s because it’s been a long time since any President proposed this big an overhaul of the way things are done. They want Obama to fail because, in the words of Governor LePetomaine:

    "We have to protect our phoney baloney jobs here, gentlemen! We must do something about this immediately! Immediately! Immediately! Harrumph! Harrumph!"

  64. 64
    Cris says:

    @John Cole: So until Michael Scherer and others can show me the clips or transcripts of Democrats sitting around rooting for Bush and this country to fail,

    @NutellaonToast: I do remember one instance of it. It was somewhere on the internet.

    And just so we’re clear on the rules, Scherer et. al. are not allowed to come up with "someone on the internet." Rush Limbaugh is not just some fringey blog commenter; he’s a national, if unofficial, spokesman for the party and is the guest of Presidents. To be equivalent, any example of "wishing for failure" from the Other Side has to be someone widely recognized as representing the party. (NutellaonToast, I interpret your post as underscoring this point.)

  65. 65
    Joshua James says:

    I remember those days well, I remember thinking Bush and company stole the election from democracy (courtesy of Justices appointed by Bush’s father) and I remember protesting the Iraq war …

    I remember a lot of anger, A LOT OF ANGER … I remember a half a million people protesting the invasion of Iraq the month before it happened in NYC … I remember seeing Moore’s film 9/11 and being floored by it …

    But at no time, despite everything, do I remember ANYONE who opposed Bush saying "I hope Bush loses this war in Iraq."

    At no time do I remember anyone saying "I hope Bush doesn’t catch bin Laden".

    At NO TIME did I or anyone I know say "we hope Bush fails".

    Even Moore didn’t say that … he said he though Bush was a liar, incompetent, a lot of things, but he never rooted for Bush to fail in his obligation to our country.

    He predicted it, he didn’t hope for it.

    This really pisses me off … I hate it when media folk do this (they did the same when they said, "everyone thought Iraq had WMDs, despite the fact not everyone did and some tool renamed french fries because the French didn’t buy it" … this false, dishonesty equivalency is a terrible, terrible thing and those who traffic in it (such as the reporter named above) need to be made aware of their own intellectual dishonesty and hypocrasy.

    Thanks for calling them on it.

    Rush is rooting for this country to go into the crapper JUST SO HE CAN PROVE A POINT … people dying, starving, means nothing to him … he’s obviously a terrible human being.

    John Wayne said about JFK, after he voted for Nixon and Nixon lost, "Well, I didn’t vote for him and I don’t agree with him, but he’s my President and I’ll support him."

  66. 66
    JGabriel says:

    @John Cole:

    I have a face for radio.

    That doesn’t stop David Brooks.

    .

  67. 67
    aimai says:

    John, this was a great post and it is one of the reasons I come here. I’d like to make a point here. I think its disingenous to argue, as some on this thread do, that when Democrats argued that the war or the tax cuts were a bad idea and the Republicans argue that the stimulus and national health are a bad idea that these are mirror images of each other or tit for tat arguments. They aren’t. I was very, very, much opposed to the war and went out and protested it. I thought it would be a disaster for this country in exactly the way it has turned out. No, repeat no, leading democrat turned up at our marches, turned up on radio to agree with us publicly, or in any way acknowledged the very real anti war movement. But more importantly no one thought that if Bush prosecuted the war sucessfully it would mean "the end of the democratic party." We didn’t "hope the war would fail" because we were afraid it would strenthen the Republican party. We expected it to fail, and probably to bring down the country with it and even though we thought that meant eventual electoral success for the democrats we were opposed to it.

    But Kristol has been writing the same damn article since Clinton: if the Democrats succeed in getting national health care for the american people the republican party is a goner and for that reason the democratic party must be stopped. And he’s still writing it. And republicans are still citing it and acting on it. Sure, they may also think that obama’s stimulus plan is too little too late and also too big and etc… but they have more or less publicly acknowledged that a) if something isn’t good for rich people its not going to be considered good for the country and b) if something is merely good for 95 percent of the country its bad for the republican party.

    There is one and only one party that is putting party success (albeit ineptly) over the welfare of the country and that is the republican party. And they’ve been quite open and honest about it.

    aimai

  68. 68
    canuckistani says:

    I remember being outraged by the theft of the election by Bush, and I knew he was incompetent, but I figured that he had a competent backup in Cheney who would keep him in line. And that was the wrongest I have been in my entire life.

  69. 69
    Cris says:

    @Carnacki: I only recall one rock singer who stated something even close to hoping for failure and defeat and to this day I don’t listen to her though I loved her music.

    Who?

  70. 70
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Furthermore John, there aren’t any Democrats I know rooting for a failure of Republican policies (read: tax cuts, tax cuts, tax cuts.) There are plenty who think those policies will fail and there are plenty more who now think those policies did fail but Democrats by and large approach government as a mechanism to solve problems with an agnostic eye towards the solution: whatever works. If a majority of Republicans and blue dog Democrats think tax cuts will stimulate and grow the economy, Democrats as a group don’t hope that tax cuts fail to stimulate the economy, instead they work to ensure the tax cuts are done in such a manner as they accomplish other progressive goals.

    So Scherer’s analysis fails either way you look at it.

  71. 71
    Original Lee says:

    John, thanks for channeling those memories. So many of them are very close to mine that I wonder how you did a Vulcan mind meld all the way from West Virginia.

    I remember distinctly going through the checkout line at the local grocery store a little after 8 PM EST on Election Day in 2000. The cashier told me that the networks were calling Florida for Gore, and I remember this horrible sinking feeling in my stomach. I somehow just KNEW that a horrible mess was about to ensue, because I knew that the polls in the Panhandle hadn’t closed yet. I underestimated the storm, though.

    I was talking to a retired Marine officer friend recently, who like me also voted for Bush twice and voted for Obama. We just kind of laughed and shook our heads and agreed that voting for Bush seemed like a good idea at the time. Neither of us can watch Faux News anymore, either.

    I also still feel a little like the lone voice in the wilderness about the recount (aside from the Supreme Court decision and other frequently aired issues), because friends of mine helped out with the Washington Post-Miami Herald project later, and it seems as if nobody ever heard about the results of the project or even cares. Doesn’t it matter that a whole bunch of people spent a whole lot of time counting each of those ballots in Florida 5 different ways? Doesn’t it matter that Gore only won in that fairly apolitical recount by a very slender margin if the ballots were counted only in one way with a very very generous interpretation of the intent of the voter?

    Maybe I get kinda riled up about this stuff because after 8 years of the Incredible Spinning Shrub I’m trying to approach news events as apolitically as possible. It’s like the Monica Lewinsky thing. If you take out the personalities and just look at the job descriptions, you have an executive having oral sex with a college intern who is subordinate to him in the organization. Not a firing offense in most organizations, but certainly worth some form of censure, IMO, and I’m still baffled as to why so many write it off as just a blow job.

  72. 72
    Pennypacker says:

    Hypocrisy. I remember plenty of Republicans accusing any liberal who criticized Bush, the war on terror, the invasion of Iraq, or torture, of "wanting Bush to fail". These liberals were accused of sedition in a time of war.

    Assholes.

  73. 73
    gnomedad says:

    one thing we as a country aren’t very good at politically is putting ourselves in the opposition’s mindset

    Another reason this post is so awesome. Thanks!

  74. 74
    Shawn in ShowMe says:

    Not a firing offense in most organizations, but certainly worth some form of censure, IMO, and I’m still baffled as to why so many write it off as just a blow job.

    Spending tens of millions taxpayer dollars to investigate said blow job goes WAY beyond "some form of censure".

  75. 75
    Comrade Kevin says:

    Can we please raise a thread to give Maureen Dowd some clown shoes for her McCain-promoting mockery of many perfectly good earmarks in the proposed budget?

    Is there someone who can explain to me how Maureen Dowd managed to win a Pulitzer Prize?

  76. 76

    What has galled the shit out of me since 9/11 is that I remember having a long conversation with my wife that night. We both hated Bush, and I thought he would be a disaster as President. I didn’t know how big a disaster but I new he didn’t have the horses to pull the intellectual wagon. But we decided that night that it was more important to support the President. I was disappointed by a lot of the rhethoric coming out of the White House but we were "at war" as far as I was concerned. As I watched how they handled the Afghanistan I became very concerned that they weren’t serious about winning in Afghanistan. Then in early December 2001 I happened to be talking to an old Army buddy who is still plugged into the DOD when he told me something that almost floored me. He said he had it on good authority that many of the SF units in Afghanistan had been ordered to stand down and were being redeployed to prepare for a "new mission". By early 2002 my worst fears were confirmed. They were training for missions in Iraq.

    I had given Bush the benefit of the doubt after 9/11. I have not done so since that time. He and his gang are war criminals and should be tried as such.

    When Republicans in general, and more specifically, the congressional caucus at least attempt to negotiate in good faith I will consider the possibility they are worthy of respect. Until that time they are only worthy of our derision and scorn. They are not serious people.

  77. 77
    AkaDad says:

    At the time, Liberals didn’t say out loud that they wanted Bush to fail, but they they did secretly wish he did. By keeping their true feelings hidden, it triggered their Bush Derangement Syndrome.

  78. 78
    mmiddle says:

    @JenJen:
    bingo for your father’s reaction to the serene Bush family on election night 2000. I had the same experience and have never till now heard anyone else tuning in to that – but it was extremely creepy, more so in retrospect.

  79. 79
    Dennis-SGMM says:

    It’s like the Monica Lewinsky thing. If you take out the personalities and just look at the job descriptions, you have an executive having oral sex with a college intern who is subordinate to him in the organization. Not a firing offense in most organizations, but certainly worth some form of censure, IMO, and I’m still baffled as to why so many write it off as just a blow job.

    I thought that Clinton was appallingly stupid and irresponsible in the Lewinsky matter. His attempt to invoke executive privilege to keep his aides from testifying was an egregious misuse of power. That said, the Republican Congress did not go for censure, they went for impeachment. A sex act between consenting adults fails, at least for me, to reach the standard of "high crimes and misdemeanors".

  80. 80
    Carnacki says:

    Cris @ 69

    Chrissie Hynde. From the March 3, 2003, San Francisco Chronicle

    Between songs, the pugnacious Hynde, in a classic black T-shirt and jeans, bantered and battled with the crowd. She dedicated "You Know Who Your Friends Are" to "all you junkies and f–," gave a shout-out to the late Joe Strummer, opined that she hopes the United States loses if it goes to war with Iraq ("Bring it on! Give us what we deserve!"), and introduced the song "Fools Must Die" with the self-deprecating quip, "I’ll show you how it’s done."

  81. 81
    Rick Taylor says:

    It’s been a part of conservative ideology that liberals wanted the country to fail in Iraq because they’d benefit politically. I remember visiting Captain Ed’s site (on the basis that people here said it was one of the more reasonable conservative sites), and found that it was common for people to be sympathetic to the view that people who opposed the war ought to be lynched for treason. There may have been a tiny number of liberals who did think that way, but at the least it was very rare. We certainly didn’t have Michael Moore saying he hoped Bush would fail in Iraq, for example.

  82. 82
    gnomedad says:

    @JenJen:

    I’ll never forget this one moment as long as I live… Florida had been called for Gore, we were ecstatic, and then a few minutes later, suddenly the TV was carrying a live feed of the Bush Family watching the returns. They looked so relaxed, so calm, Poppy and Bar and George and Laura. I didn’t think anything of it, but my father did… and he said, "Uh-Oh." He got it immediately; he knew what was happening.

    That’s really creepy. What we know about is bad enough, but if they felt that confident …

  83. 83
    Stooleo says:

    Ash Can @ 38

    This is whitewashing. The basic premise of Limbaugh and the GOP is that, if Obama’s policies succeed, then the jig is up for them—no more getting away with perpetuating the Gilded Age, no more enormous radio contract, no more lucrative government gigs. No more pulling the wool over people’s eyes.

    This reminds me of a line out of Jon Scalzi’s post " I hate your politics" "Genuinely fear and hate those who are not “with” them — the sort of people who would rather shit on a freshly-baked cherry pie than share it with someone not of their own tribe." This goes along with a story I heard last night. During desegregation, the city of Nashville TN (where I live) had a problem. In one of the major city parks (centennial park) there was a large public swimming pool. So instead of opening up the pool to all, the city filled it up with cement. This is the sort of scorched earth tactics that are being used.

  84. 84
    J.W. Hamner says:

    The equivalent to what Limbaugh is saying is like somebody in 2003 saying "Well, I hope this Iraq thing turns into a quagmire that costs thousands of American soldiers’ lives for the explicit purpose of giving Democrats an issue upon which to use to return to power." I can’t even begin to fathom being that cynical.

    I can see thinking a policy is a terrible idea that will lead to disaster… I can see noting that if a war or the economy are doing terribly in an election year that it’s good for the political prospects of the opposition party… but I really can’t imagine hoping for a lot of deaths or a lot of people to lose their jobs for… well… any reason whatsoever, but let alone for something as correspondingly meaningless as the number of Democrats in the Senate or whatever.

  85. 85
    valdivia says:

    OT but now that the DOW is up maybe it is all to do with Obama talking yesterday? Which proves the stupidity of people blaming him for every down movement. Sorry just had to say that.

  86. 86
    Comrade Stuck says:

    The 2000 post election gave me the politics bug. Before then, I sort of followed things of major importance, but really didn’t know how things worked, and most importantly about ideology. I knew there were democrats and republicans and the basics that repubs were for business and dems for labor, but that was about it. Watching the ideological flame war during and after the recount opened up a whole new world to me, and explained how people with a certain way of seeing the world had been giving me fits in dealing with them all my life. They were called wingnuts, and now I sorta began to understand their bullshit and how to spot and deal with it better.

    As for the 2000 election itself, it is the Supreme Court actually taking on the case that made me mad. Not a lawyer, but every one I’ve heard give an opinion on the matter says that it was the ultimate act of activism, and went against 100 or more years of state courts given primacy on how to solve electoral disputes in their own states.

  87. 87
    Dan says:

    Don’t forget the Dems stumbling over each other to denounce the Betrayus ad. Heaven forbid.

  88. 88
    marjo says:

    I remember a lot of anger toward George Bush getting the Presidency as well as anger toward Gore for doing the noble thing and not fighting back hard enough. Seemed to me Democrats were always doing the "noble" thing or maybe it was just Democrats always caving in.

    But the first time I really remember George Bush doing anything that captured my attention was the stell cell decision in the summer. I listened to his address, and not being an expert on the subject (although pro-stem cells), I thought, well, I guess that’s a reasonable compromise, and kind of thought he handled it well. (Of course, after that it became clear it wasn’t a good decision.) I gave him the benefit of the doubt.

    Then after 9/11, I was one of the few that worried that war of any kind, both Iraq and Afghanistan, were mistakes. I remember how Afghanistan basically did in the Soviet Union, and I thought about how many people (innocents) would get killed even if we did get Al Qaeda. But the whole country seemed so blood-thirsty for revenge that I just hoped, hoped that Bush & company knew what they were doing. I gave them more credit than the deserved.

    What I also remember is that the economists and lawyers on DailyKos (GOS) told my YEARS in advance of any other media that 1) the economy was going to tank, badly, sooner or later and 2) our civil liberties were gone, baby, gone.

    I’m not an economist or a lawyer, but it seems to me when the shrill left is proven right OVER AND OVER AND OVER again, I’m figuring they know more than I do about stuff.

    Meanwhile all the right seems capable of (capable being relative here) is lying, covering up and bamboozling. Not to mention convenient amnesia about all of the above.

    You’d think the fact that free market Wall st. types like Bernake and Paulson started buying up toxic bank assets would convince Republicans that maybe some socialism is the only tool left in the tool box, and thus not Obama’s fault.

    but then that would require honest, rational thinking.

  89. 89
    Cyrus says:

    @rock:

    I think it’s unfair to say Rush and the Republicans are "hoping America fails"… Rush is hoping that Obama fails politically and that his policies fail so as to be discredited before they can do much harm.

    Actually, Limbaugh has elaborated on exactly what he meant, and your charitable interpretation seems unjustified. His premise is that Obama’s stated policies don’t reflect Obama’s true goals. The failure Limbaugh hopes for is the failure of the goal he has imputed to Obama: to "attack wealth, producers and achievers."

  90. 90
    gex says:

    @marjo:

    I’m not an economist or a lawyer, but it seems to me when the shrill left is proven right OVER AND OVER AND OVER again, I’m figuring they know more than I do about stuff.

    For emphasis.

  91. 91
    The Populist says:

    greenlyfe, I don’t see anything wrong with saying you do not want any political leader to succeed in his policy goals. It happens all the time, and is the basis of a free democracy.

    Yep, the same democracy that Bush abused? I’d better "watch what I say" or how about "If I was dictator, things would be easier."

    Who says things like that? Certainly not somebody interested in real democracy. May I remind Mr. Scherer what righties tell me all the time? We don’t LIVE in a DEMOCRACY. We live in a REPUBLIC. Big difference.

    How is it democratic to call somebody a traitor because they don’t agree with a war? What about being called a socialist when some of your very own could be labeled as such?

    See, in my world I look at more than just the black and white. I see the shades of colors in every statement. When you call me a traitor or that I do not support the troops because Iraq is a clusterfuck, how is that democracy? Seems to me if I don’t walk in lockstep with righties, I am some lesser American.

    See, Mr. Scherer, democracy rolls both ways. Until YOU point out the hypocrisy of the right you are abusing the term and your right to defend such a ludicrous idea that it’s not democratic to tell Rush to STFU.

  92. 92
    The Populist says:

    I think it’s unfair to say Rush and the Republicans are "hoping America fails"… Rush is hoping that Obama fails politically and that his policies fail so as to be discredited before they can do much harm.

    Yet the same fucks had no issue or problems with Bush running up the national credit card? Fuck this shit. I am SO FUCKING TIRED of this bullshit.

    Rush said he "hopes Obama fails". What part of fail do they not understand? Words mean something to me. If he didn’t mean it, he needs to clarify. If he hopes Obama fails then he hopes I fail and other small businesses fail.

    How the fuck do these asstards know what will fail? Like their ideas haven’t already been discredited over and over and over again!

  93. 93
    libarbarian says:

    I’m sure they will have no problem finding some obscure academic or leftwinger who did same something. Then they will put forward this nobody like he is equivalent to GOP politicians and the real bigshots in the party like Rush. Who knew Ward Churchill before they made him the poster child of the antiwar movement?

  94. 94
    The Populist says:

    I can see thinking a policy is a terrible idea that will lead to disaster… I can see noting that if a war or the economy are doing terribly in an election year that it’s good for the political prospects of the opposition party… but I really can’t imagine hoping for a lot of deaths or a lot of people to lose their jobs for… well… any reason whatsoever, but let alone for something as correspondingly meaningless as the number of Democrats in the Senate or whatever.

    You see, JW, it’s the fact that the fringe right HATES the fact that we all have a seat at the table. They HATE that they can’t pull the wool over our eyes anymore. The right used to repeat the same mantra until it was the perfect talking point. Now people are hurting and they see right through these maroons.

    The elitists like Limpbaugh want the power and everybody else must shut up and accept it. If this were the revolutionary war, these would be the idiots who thought appeasing the King of England to be the right course for America.

  95. 95
    geg6 says:

    Another long-time lurker (mostly) who just wants to say that this might be the best post ever, John.

    I was one of those Dems outraged beyond belief by the 2000 election/selection. So much so that I, a poli/sci major political junkie, refused to read or watch or listen to anything having to do with politics for months afterward. I didn’t root for him to fail, I just wanted it all to stay out of my consciousness. That ended with 9/11 and, at that point in history, even I, an avowed Bush hater, stood up and said I had his back. Only to spend early 2003 frantic about the run up to the war and, literally, in tears for a week before the invasion actually began (try sitting in a bar and getting drunk on St. Patty’s Day, crying uncontrollably while everyone thinks you’ve lost your mind) because I was so sure it was all a lie and the whole thing would be a deadly fiasco. It was a month before I could stop with the tears. This is no lie.

    The difference between me then and the GOP today is that I kept my mouth shut about what I thought except with those who I trusted, which was only prudent as voicing opinions tended to get you called a traitor to the country. A reality I found out when I naively stated an opinion a few times early on. I was sure that W was nothing but FAIL and, thus, his policies were, too. But I hoped I was wrong. I hoped Saddam did have WMD. I hoped that al Qaeda was in Iraq. I hoped we’d be greeted with cheers and flowers. Hell, I even hoped the damn tax cuts worked a magic I had no faith in. Because what had made those tears uncontrollable for days and days was my despair at the thought of all the American and Iraqi lives that would be destroyed for decades to come. And even today, I wish I hadn’t been right.

    Rush and the GOP have no such feelings and have given no indication that they are even hiding such feelings behind their bluster. It’s all a game to them, as it always has been. While I despaired and agonized over my conflicting feelings of contempt for W and his policies and hope for my country and the world, they see nothing but who is winning some non-existent tactical contest to out-macho, out-shout, out-outrage the other side and to hell with all the collateral damage.

    I have good friends who are Republicans, people I dearly love. And most of them (no, not all) are ashamed of what is happening in their party and have been for quite some time. I feel sorry for them during this intra-party fiasco that is happening in the GOP. But I am still angry enough to find great pleasure in watching the implosion among their elected representatives and unelected dictators. And I just get angrier when I hear them saying the same things they accused me of saying (but I didn’t). But this has been their MO all along. Whatever FAIL they have found themselves in is simply the next accusation they throw at us.

    And Michael Scherer is, possibly, a bigger FAIL than any of them simply because of his simpering, condescending attitude when called out on his lies and false equivalencies. And we should all let him know just how much FAIL he’s made of, I think. :)

  96. 96
    The Populist says:

    Oh, and this nonsense about earmarks is funny. Righties, prove me wrong but if it creates a job in this environment, it’s worth trying.

  97. 97
    Atanarjuat says:

    I guess Cynthia McKinney doesn’t count, since no one ever grovelled an apology to her after criticizing her wackier remarks while in Congress, nor was she ever deemed as a leader of anything other than the tinfoil hat brigade.

    All that said, she was constantly critical and dismissive of the Bush administration’s efforts in Iraq, and certainly wasn’t applauding any success that particular American endeavor.

    -A

  98. 98
    The Populist says:

    At the time, Liberals didn’t say out loud that they wanted Bush to fail, but they they did secretly wish he did. By keeping their true feelings hidden, it triggered their Bush Derangement Syndrome.

    Prove it liar. Until then you are just a fool with hatred in his soul.

  99. 99
    mcc says:

    So until Michael Scherer and others can show me the clips or transcripts of Democrats sitting around rooting for Bush and this country to fail

    I think it would be pretty easy to find period clips of Limbaugh/Hannity/etc claiming Democrats want America to fail…

  100. 100
    JL says:

    @gnomedad: Pat Buchanen sure did get a lot of votes.

  101. 101

    Atanarjuat

    I guess Cynthia McKinney doesn’t count, since no one ever grovelled an apology to her after criticizing her wackier remarks while in Congress, nor was she ever deemed as a leader of anything other than the tinfoil hat brigade.

    Correct. As opposed her conservative equivalent, Rush, who is the de facto leader of the Republican Party.

    All that said, she was constantly critical and dismissive of the Bush administration’s efforts in Iraq, and certainly wasn’t applauding any success that particular American endeavor.

    Again correct; that is what a responsible opposition does. If Mr. Limbaugh had limited himself to being critical and dismissive of the Obama administration’s efforts, and didn’t applaud the successes of the stimulus package, this ongoing PR disaster wouldn’t be happening to your party.

  102. 102
    someguy says:

    Liberals were remarkably restrained, polite and civil compared to the vicious gutter swamp right wing over the last 8 years. The white gloves never came off, yet every peep that liberals made was met with a firestorm of Republican noise machine hatred from the Christofascists, the Wall Streeters who own the party, the Terry Schiavo ghouls, and the 101st Chairborne.

    Rush’s hoping and praying for the failure of Obama’s policies is typical of the mean-spirited hatred they spew. The utter dominance of wingers over every aspect of our lives is truly chilling; even now when we control both houses and the WH, they control the conversation and are getting their way. Look at the way the Blue Dogs cower in horror at the approach of Rush, and that fool Bayh going on about the budget in the WSJ… I think it’s time we took the gloves off and made a full-throated defense of our values. We need to silence the right wing noise machine.

  103. 103
    jenniebee says:

    My family divided sharply in 2000 between Gore and Nader (in ’96, my dad and aunts were so put off by the Clinton scandals that they started a "Draft Muriel" campaign and all voted for my senile, septuagenarian grandmother). I remember the aftermath of the 2000 election as an astonishing, dizzying affair, in which nobody had the power or interest to step in and state the obvious: that in Democracies we count all the votes, so count all the votes and have done with it.

    I was against the tax breaks. We’d just accomplished this great, herculean thing, we’d eliminated the deficit, we were going to pay down the debt, we were going to engage in fiscal responsibility for a change… which was, of course, our signal to take out another congressional credit card and shift the tax burden down, because only the little people pay taxes.

    We turned on the television in time to see the second plane hit the towers. I turned to my husband in that moment and said "we’re at war for the rest of our lives." But for a long while it seemed like the only war that the powers that be were prepared to fight was the one against Americans’ civil liberties.

    I remember in the summer of 2002 telling my husband that, barring a miracle, the US would be invading Iraq the next spring, and I hoped for a miracle. I did not hope Bush’s policies would fail, or that his war would fail, but I did hope that he would be prevented, by act of God if no other means were forthcoming, from enacting the policies that were bad ideas and from starting the wars that were worse ideas than even his policies. I did not hope for God to fail.

    I never, in the entirety of Bush’s administration, hoped that the country would be forced to learn from its President’s mistakes. I hoped that, when I disagreed with him, that the fault lay with my understanding and not with his. I didn’t think it was very likely to be the case, but I had hope.

    So suck on it, Red State.

  104. 104
    Olliander says:

    I remember the Democrats rushing to do whatever Bush wanted. I remember hand-holding and singing on the Capitol Steps.

    With all due respect, if any Democrat (or Republican) came out and said screw George Bush in the wake of 9-11, it would have amounted to political suicide.

    Rush Limbaugh is not an elected Congressman, Senator or governor. Limbaugh doesn’t believe in an overreaching government, doesn’t believe government is the solution to anything, hence is opposition to Obama and his policies. He’s entitled to say these things if he chooses to. Doesn’t make him smart or stupid, ignorant or brilliant.

    I don’t see Mitch McConnell or John Boehner saying things like I hope Obama fails—they disagree with his politics to be sure. But once we blur the lines between disagreements on policy and patriotism (or lack thereof), it’s time to find a new country to live in. And the liberals doing this right now is no different from the Republicans crying treason to anyone opposed to the Patriot Act.

    And to lump Limbaugh in with "Republicans" in conversation is fine, I guess. But to do that means you can throw Olbermann, Maher, Garofalo, Matthews, endless number of columnists, etc. in with the "Democrats". In which case, you can find a seemingly endless list of clips/excerpts/posts not only degrading Bush’s character but hoping for his failure as President. Too pretend that this never happened over 8 years is insane.

    The knife cuts both ways.

  105. 105
    El Tiburon says:

    John Cole-

    Following up on what John PM said: this was a thing of beauty.

    I don’t know if you have it in you, but I’d love to read some more about your story, a la David Brock.

    Is there a place in your archives where you recount your "conversion" as it was happening real time?

    I just started kind of reading your blog right as you made your announcement you switching, but I’d like to hear more.

    FWIW, I voted for Bush in 2000, not for any ideological reasons, other than he was a "texan" and Gore was some whiny liberal. Obviously I have learned a lot since then.

    But I am very interested in your conversion.

  106. 106
    John S. says:

    Atanarjuat the goat fucker sez:

    I guess Cynthia McKinney doesn’t count

    Sure she counts. Provided that:

    1) You can cite her making a statement as incendiary as anything Rush has said.

    2) You can cite her making a statement rooting for failure which is =/= NOT cheering for success.

    Of course, if you could show either of these things about her or ANY prominent liberal, you would have.

  107. 107
    Napoleon says:

    But to do that means you can throw Olbermann, Maher, Garofalo,. . . endless number of columnists, etc. in with the "Democrats".

    Go ahead and do it, and you still will not see anything like what Rush, Delay, Steele et al have said in the last few days, oh, and the number 3 guy for the Republican’s in the house, Mike Pence.

  108. 108
    JL says:

    @Atanarjuat: She lost the next election..

  109. 109
    jibeaux says:

    @canuckistani:

    Chin up. That’s pretty damn wrong, true, but it’s not like Bill Kristol wrong.

  110. 110

    And to lump Limbaugh in with "Republicans" in conversation is fine, I guess. But to do that means you can throw Olbermann, Maher, Garofalo, Matthews, endless number of columnists, etc. in with the "Democrats".

    Name me one Democratic office holder who has apologized to Olbermann, Maher, Garofalo, or Matthews.

    Hello?

    How’d all of these crickets get in here?

  111. 111
    Shawn in ShowMe says:

    All that said, she was constantly critical and dismissive of the Bush administration’s efforts in Iraq, and certainly wasn’t applauding any success that particular American endeavor

    Shorter Atanarjuat: Criticism of Bush policy = rooting for its failure.

    Why set your sights so low, oh wondrous Practitioner of False Equivalency? Surely Robert Byrd should have been sent to the stockades after his historic anti-war speech on the Senate floor.

  112. 112
    Shinobi says:

    And to lump Limbaugh in with "Republicans" in conversation is fine, I guess. But to do that means you can throw Olbermann, Maher, Garofalo, Matthews, endless number of columnists, etc. in with the "Democrats".

    I think the question you need to ask yourself right now is, if say, Howard Dean got up and sayed Keith Olberman/Michael Moore/ Garafalo… etc was an idiot and did not represent the democratic party, would he later be forced to recant?

    Seriously, Limbaugh is so important to the Republican Party that the head of the RNC had to go back on what he said and retroactively agree with him. No one is going to do that for Bill Maher.

    Great Post John.

  113. 113
    Cris says:

    But to do that means you can throw Olbermann, Maher, Garofalo, Matthews, endless number of columnists, etc. in with the "Democrats". In which case, you can find a seemingly endless list of clips/excerpts/posts not only degrading Bush’s character but hoping for his failure as President.

    Indulge me, because I’ll accept Olbermann as an example. Find me one clip — or an endless stream, if you wish — of Olbermann hoping for Bush to fail.

    And remember, people are not putting the words "I hope he fails" into Rush’s mouth. Those are his words, verbatim. Find Olbermann saying it.

  114. 114
    John S. says:

    Rush Limbaugh is not an elected Congressman, Senator or governor.

    Which makes the constant genuflecting of elected congressmen, senators and governors before him even more odious, Olliander.

    Find me a comparable example of this on the Democratic side of the aisle and then we can talk about it "cutting both ways".

  115. 115
    jibeaux says:

    a seemingly endless list of clips/excerpts/posts not only degrading Bush’s character but hoping for his failure as President

    I point out but two things:
    1) shouldn’t be so hard to link to one or two from a seemingly endless list, and
    2) to note that someone is a failure is not the same as to hope for his failure.

  116. 116
    The Populist says:

    Proof # 1 that the right is full of shit on this hatred of Bush issue:

    How many times did the Dems give Bush what he wanted without any real fight?

    The very fact they voted in Alito and Roberts is an example of how the right should behave. This was the same bunch of tards that wanted to destroy the filibuster. NOW they can’t get enough of it.

    Fucking hypocrites. To all who defend them…you are foolish.

  117. 117
    mcc says:

    I guess Cynthia McKinney doesn’t count

    You mean the person who got kicked out of the democratic party?

    I don’t think she should count as representative of democrats, no

  118. 118
    Blue Raven says:

    @Carnacki:

    Chrissie Hynde. From the March 3, 2003, San Francisco Chronicle

    We are discussing a woman who told her audience at a different concert that if they didn’t agree with her on the issue of factory farming that they could go fuck themselves. She also told Iggy Pop’s daughter that the only reason Hynde never fucked Iggy is because he eats meat. In short, this Hynde is a psycho.

    That goes for Cynthia McKinney as well. We need someone equivalent to a reporter for Time magazine in this example set, or the defense rests.

  119. 119
    Olliander says:

    Which makes the constant genuflecting of elected congressmen, senators, governors before him even more odious, Olliander.

    I completely agree with you on that point.

  120. 120
    The Populist says:

    Indulge me, because I’ll accept Olbermann as an example. Find me one clip—or an endless stream, if you wish—of Olbermann hoping for Bush to fail.

    You won’t find any. What Olbermann does is the critique approach. Give Bush the rope and report when he hangs himself.

  121. 121
    The Populist says:

    We are discussing a woman who told her audience at a different concert that if they didn’t agree with her on the issue of factory farming that they could go fuck themselves. She also told Iggy Pop’s daughter that the only reason Hynde never fucked Iggy is because he eats meat. In short, this Hynde is a psycho.

    I used to LOVE her music until she started talking like this.

    She’s a bad example as she’d be the equivalent of Toby Keith on the right.

  122. 122
    Porkulus fka Media Browski says:

    I love the wingnut responses "Limbaugh isn’t an elected representative" (we just treat him like the Pope) and "Cynthia McKinney, obviously insane, criticized Bush" (so all liberals are obviously insane and wanted Bush to FAIL).

    You guys are determined not to learn anything from the past couple elections, nihilism be damned.

  123. 123
    valdivia says:

    anyone watching the cable shows (I am at work) and how they are taking to the new Scherer-promoted meme that Obama is to blame for everything?

  124. 124
    Original Lee says:

    @Dennis-SGMM: If it were just sex acts between consenting adults, I’d be totally in agreement. I also agree it was a stupid waste of money to pursue the investigation and impeach Clinton at any cost, and to use Lewinsky as the means to get there was colossally stupid.

    But my point is, it was *sexual harrassment*, and if Clinton had been a corporate executive it would have been called sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is *not* worthy of impeachment, but it is worthy of censure, and I still really fail to understand why people on this thread are continuing to characterize it as sex acts between consenting adults just because the Goopers used it in an impeachment when they would be calling it sexual harassment for anybody besides Clinton.

  125. 125
    Cris says:

    @The Populist: She’s a bad example as she’d be the equivalent of Toby Keith on the right.

    Hey, Toby Keith is a Democrat.

    Well, he compares himself to Lieberman. So he’s that kind of Democrat. But anyway.

  126. 126
    BethanyAnne says:

    @Olliander: The head of the freakin RNC just apologized to Rush. He *owns* the Republicans. Why do you think that any of the elected R’s that say something bad about him grovel the next day? Like folk do that for Garofalo. Give me a break. How many people did Dr. Dean have to call and apologize to? None.

    Your statement about Rush thinking that government is never the solution to any problem makes him *precisely* both ignorant and stupid.

  127. 127
    Napoleon says:

    We are discussing a woman who told her audience at a different concert that if they didn’t agree with her on the issue of factory farming that they could go fuck themselves. She also told Iggy Pop’s daughter that the only reason Hynde never fucked Iggy is because he eats meat. In short, this Hynde is a psycho.

    Hysterical – she owns and operates (and my impression is that it is in a hands on sense) a resturant a little south of me in the Akron area, that Imy impression of it is that it is a kind of veggan/organic type place. I think I will go to it some day and order a hamburger, rare, and a little bit bloody at that.

  128. 128
    aimai says:

    Olliander’s post up above demonstrates just how confused people are about what is under discussion.
    Rush Limbaugh is not an elected Congressman, Senator or governor. Limbaugh doesn’t believe in an overreaching government, doesn’t believe government is the solution to anything, hence is opposition to Obama and his policies. He’s entitled to say these things if he chooses to. Doesn’t make him smart or stupid, ignorant or brilliant.

    I don’t see Mitch McConnell or John Boehner saying things like I hope Obama fails—-they disagree with his politics to be sure. But once we blur the lines between disagreements on policy and patriotism (or lack thereof), it’s time to find a new country to live in.

    No one on the left is calling Rush "unpatriotic" as a way of preventing him from saying what he wants. We actually want him to keep saying this shit. And no one is calling Mitch McConnell "unpatriotic"–we’re just querying his motives in undermining the only person and party currently in a position to stop the economic destruction of our country and our way of life. If McConnel has a better plan he can step forward with it. But simply gumming up the works isn’t a plan.

    Sure, you could argue that Rush is a private citizen who "doesn’t believe in big government" (or whatever) and is entitled to say that. No one says anything different. Like everyone in the entire world I’m happy for Rush to be Rush. The question before the people in charge of the Republican party, the Boehner’s and the McCain’s and the Jindals and the Steeles is–do they agree with rush or not. What Rush wants from and for government and the American people is, by definition, selfish, private, and (just going on what he says and how he lives) ugly and meanspirited. I personally don’t expect anything more from Rush. But his fans do. They think its a prescription for running the country. And if the republican hiearchy does, too. Well? That’s a problem *for them* to the extent its a problem for the voters. Because they want to get the votes.

    This is a purely republican problem. It has nothing to do with what Democrats said or did under Bush, and nothing to do with Democrats now. The Republican party has to decide–and we’ll know what they decide by the way they act–whether they want to be the party of Rush Limbaugh or the party of american voters. Right now the polls show pretty conclusively that they aren’t doing or saying the things the voters want them to do. Its an odd definition of "the country" to continually aim to piss off 95 percent in favor of the top two percent. But that’s Rush’s definition and they are running with it.

    aimai

  129. 129
    Cris says:

    Original Lee vs Dennis-SGMM:
    I didn’t want to run down the Clinton impeachment derailment, but you’ve forced me. Can both of you acknowledge that the impeachment was not technically about the blowjobs?

    The sex acts opened the door for a grand jury hearing, which set the stage for the President to lie under oath. The impeachment itself was about perjury.

    I’m not defending it, mind you. But the question of whether the Clinton-Lewinsky affair was consensual or harassment is not directly material to whether Clinton should have been impeached. (The question of whether it belonged in the grand jury hearing is a separate one.)

  130. 130
    BethanyAnne says:

    @Original Lee: Er, ok, it was harassment, and that’s vile. And they should have had a motion to censure him.

    Why you think "censure" and "impeachment" are in the same league is what confuses me.

  131. 131
    Egilsson says:

    Criminy, McKinney was beaten in the next PRIMARY.

    That’s an example that proves you are exactly wrong.

    Try again?

    Great post John.

    You can’t really understand left anger toward Bush without considering their anger over how Clinton was treated by the republicans and by the media. I can’t tell you how routinely outraged I was. I’m still ticked off about it.

    But I was hopeful at one point about Bush; I just thought it wouldn’t work. I was right.

  132. 132
    The Populist says:

    And to lump Limbaugh in with "Republicans" in conversation is fine, I guess. But to do that means you can throw Olbermann, Maher, Garofalo, Matthews, endless number of columnists, etc. in with the "Democrats".

    Here’s some education for you:

    Olbermann is not demanding apologies from people because they don’t like him. Olbermann is a commentator and never once has ripped America or wished for our troops to die or Bush to fail. What he does is take a news item and talk about it.

    Bill Maher rips dems as much as he rips the GOP. FYI, if you can’t understand his coward comment with regards to the Twin Towers, you are not very bright. While I agree it was a bad thing to say, he isn’t out there saying he hopes Bush fails.

    Chris Matthews? You know how I know you have no clue? It’s when you people hold up Chris "I love Tom DeLay" Matthews as an example. Sorry bud, you lose this one. He’s a middle dwellar who may favor the dems but in the end has never wished for Bush’s failure.

    Garofolo? While I may give you that, she’s fringe. She’s the leftie version of Rick Santorum. So what? Limpbaugh is the leader of the con movement. Garofolo is a b-level actress/comedienne with a small following of fringers. Try again.

    Either name the columnist or go away. I bet you believe the media is left leaning, right?

    These folks have every right to question his character as Bush has shown numerous times he’s got issues in this department (secrecy? cronyism?). Sorry, but if Jeanene Garofolo is your example of a dem wishing for Bush to fail then you lose.

  133. 133
    Cyrus says:

    @Olliander:

    Limbaugh doesn’t believe in an overreaching government, doesn’t believe government is the solution to anything, hence is opposition to Obama and his policies. Doesn’t make him smart or stupid, ignorant or brilliant.

    "Shape of the Earth: views differ"

    you can throw Olbermann, Maher, Garofalo, Matthews, endless number of columnists, etc. in with the "Democrats". In which case, you can find a seemingly endless list of clips/excerpts/posts not only degrading Bush’s character but hoping for his failure as President.

    Really? Can you find some for us, then?

  134. 134
    The Populist says:

    Hey, Toby Keith is a Democrat. Well, he compares himself to Lieberman. So he’s that kind of Democrat. But anyway.

    Really? Wow. This guy was pro-Bush in a way that makes no sense.

  135. 135
    valdivia says:

    sorry but quite a few elected republicans have said they want Obama to fail. see a list at Think Progress.

  136. 136
    BethanyAnne says:

    @Cyrus:

    "Shape of the Earth: views differ"

    /cheer

    Hmm, I wonder how this will come out. Preview has it all fubar.

  137. 137
    jenniebee says:

    @Original Lee:

    I still really fail to understand why people on this thread are continuing to characterize it as sex acts between consenting adults just because the Goopers used it in an impeachment when they would be calling it sexual harassment for anybody besides Clinton.

    Because the relationship started when she flashed him her thong?

    Republicans have routinely expanded the scope of sexual harassment in order to discredit it, claiming that it includes mutually voluntary relationships between work colleagues. Then, with Lewinski, they applied the fringes of the standards they’d just criticized as too expansive to Clinton, trying to hoist their opponents with imaginary petards. Kabuki ad absurdum.

  138. 138
    Cris says:

    @The Populist: This guy was pro-Bush in a way that makes no sense.

    I suspect he knows on which side his bread is buttered.

  139. 139
    JGabriel says:

    @Olliander:

    But to do that means you can throw Olbermann, Maher, Garofalo, Matthews, endless number of columnists, etc. in with the "Democrats". In which case, you can find a seemingly endless list of clips/excerpts/posts not only degrading Bush’s character but hoping for his failure as President. Too pretend that this never happened over 8 years is insane.

    The knife cuts both ways.

    Really, Olliander? ANY number of clips hoping for Bush’s failure?

    How about one? One is a number. Cite one.

    We’ve got at least two of Rush hoping for Obama’s failure – and that’s within 8 weeks, much less 8 years.

    The truth is that if such a clip existed, the R’s would have trotted it out and made a media circus of it at the time. No such clip exists. That particular knife does not cut both ways.

    .

  140. 140
    Shawn in ShowMe says:

    I still really fail to understand why people on this thread are continuing to characterize it as sex acts between consenting adults just because the Goopers used it in an impeachment when they would be calling it sexual harassment for anybody besides Clinton.

    And anybody who called it a consensual sexual relationship harrassment would still be wrong. Geezus man, Monica wrote love letters to the guy.

    Smooches

    Trying to redefine the meaning of harrassment doesn’t change the reality of what went on.

  141. 141
    Tax Analyst says:

    John Cole – I have a face for radio.

    Just super-impose (or PaintShop or whatever it’s called) Tunch’s mug over yours. Folks’ll love it. The Talking TV Cat chewin’ out the Limbaughrites or whatever they need to be called. Maybe he could be whacking a picture of Limbaugh’s face with a clawed-paw now and then for emphasis.

    …and he could even call Limbaugh out for being fatter than he is.

  142. 142
    Sirkowski says:

    Tell it like it is, Cole!

  143. 143
    jenniebee says:

    @Cris:

    Indulge me, because I’ll accept Olbermann as an example. Find me one clip—or an endless stream, if you wish—of Olbermann hoping for Bush to fail.

    LOL, I was looking at that list and thinking "OK, maybe, of all of those, you could find a Maher clip where he says something like that, but then Maher does a lot of drugs and Rush doesn’t have that excuse… oh, wait nvrmind."

  144. 144
    [delurk]...[/delurk] says:

    "Fail" has a couple of different meanings. When Bush stole the election, I hoped against hope that he would fail to implement the policies I knew Goddamn good and well that he was going to try to implement. I knew if he did implement them, that they would bring disaster, but that’s not the same thing as hoping for disaster.

    After 9/11, I thought attacking Al Qaeda in Afghanistan was a perfectly reasonable thing to do, because that’s where they were. When the war in Afghanistan unfolded and it became obvious that the whole strategy appeared to be to chivvy Osama and Mullah Omar to safety in Pakistan, I wasn’t hoping for that outcome to discredit Bush, I just saw what was happening in front of my eyes and hoped that everyone else would see it, too, and Bush would take the blame.

    When it became obvious that he intended to attack Iraq, of all the Goddamn places, I hoped that the American people would see the idiocy of that strategy and he would therefore fail to do so. I had watched Iraq under the sanctions regime destroy any materials they may have had that could be fashioned into WMDs, even after the neocons had cynically elevated chemical weapons into that category and no-one in the media had called them on it. I had read Khidr Al-Hamza’s book, for crying out loud, and I knew their nuclear program was going nowhere, so I knew that there were no WMDs to find, but I still wanted the invasion, once started, to go as well as possible, for the lack of WMDs to be revealed, and for Bush to take the blame for starting an unnecessary war. That is not the same thing as wanting the war to fail.

    I actually expected the invasion to succeed more easily than it did. While waiting white-knuckled for the ground attack in 1991, I was actually half-convinced it would be a major disaster. Imagine my surprise when it was over in 20 hours. My only reaction was not disgruntlement that Pappy Bush would be credited with its success; it was: "Shit! The fucking flyboys have finally delivered on the promises thay’ve been making for 75 years, to one failure after another! Now they’re going to be in the driver’s seat from here on! I hope this doesn’t bite us in the ass next time!" Notice the "hope" part. I knew it would, but I hoped it wouldn’t.

    So I never hoped that Bush would fail. I knew he would fail (i. e. that he would succeed in failing, because he was made out of 100% FAIL in every particular.)

    I did, however, and still do, want the election fraud in Florida that put him in the White House to be revealed, and him, Jeb, and Katherine Harris at a bare minimum to spend the rest of their miserable lives busting rocks in Leavenworth. Does that count?

  145. 145
    The Populist says:

    Really? Can you find some for us, then?

    Cyrus,

    I’ll help him but he’d still be wrong:

    Olbermann has his Bushed segments and his worst person of the day countdowns. Seems he hates BillO and Rush more than Bush. All he ever wanted from Bush was honest government and that makes Keith a bizarre choice by righties.

    Maher once said this: (paraphrasing) – "the US was cowardly for sending missiles thousands of miles to kill vast populations of people while the terrorists who attacked the US were willing to face death for their cause."

    Now I GET what he was saying. Bill’s problem is that he is so righteous in his approach that it was brutal. He has a valid point that even Ron Paul would agree with.

    BTW – If Bill was anything, he’s a real independent with left leaning roots. He’s another bad choice to call out.

    Garofolo has a bunch of comments but this one is king: "We are doomed if we go into this war into the heart of the Arabian world with a U.S. led effort against world opinion. We are doomed if we do this."

    BUT righties don’t ever credit her with something Limpbaugh would ever say: "I would be so willing to say I’m sorry, I hope to God that I can be made a buffoon of, that people will say, ‘you were wrong, you were a fatalist,’ and I will go to the White House on my knees on cut glass and say, ‘Hey, you were right, I shouldn’t have doubted you.’ But I think that is preposterous."

    I’d love to find somebody who can show me how this is a "I hope Bush fails" type quote? So if that’s her worst one can say she is fairminded in her critiques.

    Matthews never has ONCE wished for Bush’s failures. I dare this poster to show me one quote.

  146. 146
    The Populist says:

    The truth is that if such a clip existed, the R’s would have trotted it out and made a media circus of it at the time. No such clip exists. That particular knife does not cut both ways.

    The right love myths to sell to their followers. Take the myth of the returning Vietnam vets being spat on by protestors. I have NEVER found a clip or proof of this ever happening.

  147. 147
    eyepaddle says:

    And to lump Limbaugh in with "Republicans" in conversation is fine, I guess. But to do that means you can throw Olbermann, Maher, Garofalo, Matthews, endless number of columnists, etc. in with the "Democrats".

    Wait a minute MATTHEWS!?!?

    I call shenanigans

  148. 148
    bvac says:

    I just want to recap what has happened so far:
    Republicans and PUMAs call Obama an america-hating, white-hating, terrorist-sympathizing, socialist, fascist, hitler-esque messiah for a year leading up to the election. Obama wins in a landslide.

    Republicans continue to call Obama a socialist, hitler-esque thug leading to his inauguration. His approval numbers are in the low 70’s regardless.

    Before he even makes a single policy proposal, Republicans and their mouthpieces say "I hope he fails." They then say that they only hope the policies (that he hasn’t proposed yet) fail.

    Obama proposes a bill to deal with the economic crisis he was handed. Republicans run around teabagging each other and screaming "porkulus!" The ZOMG largest spending bill in history passes.

    Republicans line up to kiss Rush Limbaugh’s ass-cyst and listen to the political advise of a 13-year-old. Robert Gibbs remarks how quickly Republicans fall into line after criticizing Rush. This is somehow a conspiracy to silence private citizens.

    I know I’m leaving a lot of good stuff out, but if this is the way the next few years is gonna go then I don’t care if Republicans call for a bloody revolution. They simple don’t have any power, nothing they say has any consequences, and even the stupid comparisons that the media makes don’t have any effect. Plus it is entertaining as hell.

  149. 149
    Mary Jane says:

    Don’t forget JIm Jeffords basically being forced out of the Republican party, and others such as Chaffee contemplating it, because they were being strong-armed by their party to march in lockstep.

  150. 150
    Carnacki says:

    Blue Raven @ 118

    I quite agree. There’s no comparison between Hynde and Rush Limbaugh. I was asked who I referred to in my original comment (at 51 ) and gave an answer. I used that as an illustration to show how that was the only person I’d heard ever hope for Bush to fail, but not to make a false comparison between them.

    To make Scherer’s point, not only would Hynde have to have the ear of presidents who present her with birthday cakes, she’d have to have the ability to make political leaders grovel in apology to her for not agreeing with her statement hoping for failure. That’s how extreme Rush Limbaugh is yet media hacks will bend over backwards to avoid showing him as anything but mainstream in his views.

  151. 151
    The Populist says:

    Wait a minute MATTHEWS?

    LOL, weird huh? They hate him because he shut down Malkin and embarrassed her. Funny, he LOVES DeLay and brings him on all the time so how is this a guy that the right can hate on?

  152. 152
    Dan says:

    John, an obvious corrollary of the well-established Green Lantern theory would be that anyone who thought that the war in Iraq was a bad idea was, in those immortal words, "objectively" rooting for failure; I don’t think there’s a difference in the mindset under question between believing that a policy would have a bad outcome and wanting it to have a bad outcome, because the outcome is determined by the collective Will of the people.

  153. 153
    Comrade Stuck says:

    @Shawn in ShowMe:

    And anybody who called it a consensual sexual relationship harrassment would still be wrong.

    Aunt Milly Whitehead of the Kansas Church of the Pentecostal Jeebus Beavers says Bill Clinton is a very, very, very bad man for what he done with that lieberal clenis.

  154. 154
    The Populist says:

    To make Scherer’s point, not only would Hynde have to have the ear of presidents who present her with birthday cakes, she’d have to have the ability to make political leaders grovel in apology to her for not agreeing with her statement hoping for failure. That’s how extreme Rush Limbaugh is yet media hacks will bend over backwards to avoid showing him as anything but mainstream in his views.

    EXACTLY! Hynde’s last album barely sold 10,000 units so if she’s the best the right can do, that would be the ultimate in FAIL. Even during her heyday, she was more critics darling than multi-platinum superstar. She’s had a few hits and that is it.

    Limpbaugh has "millions" of dittoheads, he speaks at big functions and gets paid more money than God for it. Bush always bragged he would consult with the guy so the rightie defenders need to wake up and realize that Obama isn’t calling Mike Malloy, Keith, Bill Maher or Randi Rhodes for advice. Now maybe the Obama folks let Ed Schultz sit in the front row on one of the pressers they held but it’s not much different than the idiots that the Bushies gave passes to.

  155. 155
    Zifnab says:

    @The Populist:

    Funny, he LOVES DeLay and brings him on all the time so how is this a guy that the right can hate on?

    Matthews has had a forty foot man-crush on DeLay long after the conservative base fell out of love with him. Meanwhile, Michelle Malkin continues to pom-pom her way into the hearts of millions of wingnutmericans.

  156. 156
    The Populist says:

    John, an obvious corrollary of the well-established Green Lantern theory would be that anyone who thought that the war in Iraq was a bad idea was, in those immortal words, "objectively" rooting for failure; I don’t think there’s a difference in the mindset under question between believing that a policy would have a bad outcome and wanting it to have a bad outcome, because the outcome is determined by the collective Will of the people.

    Well, any smart person could tell you this plan would fail and it has. Even Daddy Bush thought it was folly to invade Iraq. So does that mean he wanted his son to fail?

  157. 157
    Gregg Vulinec says:

    >Show me Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid standing in front of >a camera saying “I want President Bush to fail”

    Harry Reid went on TV and said that the Iraq war was a failure. They called General Petraeus a liar.They wanted it to fail because it was a bad idea. Same with this opposition to the "stimulus" package.

    >Also, when a real crisis happened on 9/11, I remember >the Democrats rushing to do whatever Bush wanted. I >remember hand-holding and singing on the Capitol Steps. >I don’t remember them hoping Bush’s response would fail.

    W’s response was to an immediate threat of war. Not "we’ve got to pass this huge appropriations bill right now or we’re doomed". And soon after that they went right back criticizing everything he did. The only reason they couldn’t do anything about it was because they didn’t have the votes.
    Now they do. Why are they so desperate to have the Republicans go along with their game? They want a partner in the blame when the whole thing goes down in flames.

  158. 158
    The Populist says:

    Jonah Goldberg was just on Talk of the Nation trying to claim that all this Limbaugh stuff is unfair because Republicans never anointed Michael Moore the leader of the Democrats.

    Idiocy…Michael Moore has Dem critics who aren’t afraid to call him out on his zingers. When Rush says something dumb the idiots on the right parrot it.

  159. 159
    Atanarjuat says:

    Lay off, fellas. I’m agreeing with you that there’s no real equivalent on the left to Rush Limbaugh. No need to be so knee-jerk adversarial when I’m merely amplifying on the original point Mr. Cole made in his post above.

    To further press home the point, there can be no Rush Limbaugh on the left because that would mean that liberal radio is very popular with Americans, when in fact it’s not. Conservative radio is the true pulse of the nation, hence its popularity, which is further augmented by someone who speaks truth to power like Rush Limbaugh.

    -A

  160. 160
    The Populist says:

    Now, I don’t happen to agree with Rush that about the purpose of Obama’s policies or that the 39.6% bracket will destroy the country. But I have no problem with him saying that he hopes Obama’s policies fail quickly so as to save the country from greater long-term harm. I don’t see that as being anywhere close to the most obnoxious thing I’ve heard from that side of the aisle.

    The price of doing nothing is going to cost us more in the long run than a few trillion to fix it now.

    If Bush and the right had not spent us into this mess, they may have a point. This mess is proof the Ronald Reagan Revolution is a failure and so is Rush.

  161. 161
    [delurk]...[/delurk] says:

    Hey, Janeane Garofalo is number one on my "freebie list!" So lay off her. Also.

  162. 162
    The Populist says:

    To further press home the point, there can be no Rush Limbaugh on the left because that would mean that liberal radio is very popular with Americans, when in fact it’s not. Conservative radio is the true pulse of the nation, hence its popularity and, by extension, that of someone who speaks truth to power like Rush Limbaugh.

    Bullshit. When you program Rush on two or three stations per market, you will get bogus ratings. Schultz draws 3 million and wins timeslots in big markets. Stephanie Miller succeeds in many markets as did Randi Rhodes.

    Why do you people lie about liberal talk radio like this? O’Reilly just left radio because in some markets he got killed by the Rush x 3 factor. Mainstream radio companies are afraid of giving lib talkers shots not because of what you say but because they have a bias.

  163. 163
    The Populist says:

    Might I add that BillO is losing marketshare on TV to Rachel Maddow? She skews young and that is what advertisers like.

    Olbermann draws quite well too.

    This myth about rightie radio is dead wrong. Funny, Jim Fracking Rome has better ratings than some of these maroons.

  164. 164
    Indylib says:

    @Olliander:

    Limbaugh doesn’t believe in an overreaching government, doesn’t believe government is the solution to anything

    You’re fucking kidding right? Limbaugh seemed pretty damned convinced that that government under BushCo was the solution to the terrorist threat – he believed that the Afghanistan War, the Iraq war, Gitmo, warrantless wiretapping, and extraordinary rendition- all things carried out by our government were worth supporting. Those things could not have been carried out by individuals , they could only be done by the damned government. And I believe a good portion of Americans would consider many of these policies to be "overreaching".

    I

  165. 165
    Indylib says:

    @Olliander:

    Limbaugh doesn’t believe in an overreaching government, doesn’t believe government is the solution to anything

    You’re fucking kidding right? Limbaugh seemed pretty damned convinced that that government under BushCo was the solution to the terrorist threat – he believed that the Afghanistan War, the Iraq war, Gitmo, warrantless wiretapping, and extraordinary rendition- all things carried out by our government were worth supporting. Those things could not have been carried out by individuals , they could only be done by the damned government. And I believe a good portion of Americans would consider many of these policies to be "overreaching".

    Sorry for the double post, moderation told me to slow down, I was posting things too quickly lol.

  166. 166
    The Populist says:

    Tom fracking LEYKIS and his depraved radio show drew better in the markets he used to broadcast in than Rush.

    Rush is not as popular as he once was.

    Shit, in some Texas cities, spanish radio outdraws Rush.

  167. 167
    binzinerator says:

    I remember 2000 and 2001 pretty well. I was a Republican at the time, and we have talked before about how excited I was to vote for Bush. I remember not being able to sleep, waking up early to go vote as soon as the polls open, and I remember going to see a movie during the afternoon to take my mind off my erection the election

    Sorry, I thought it read that way on the first read. Considering your wingnut starbursts of ardor for Dubya and all at that time…

  168. 168
    Lee Hartmann says:

    John:

    word. thank you.

  169. 169
    The Populist says:

    Howard Stern used to outdraw Rush 2-1 when he was broadcasting in key "red" markets.

    This myth about Rush is wrong. He may have "millions" of listeners but it doesn’t mean he succeeds in the ratings the way they say he does. His audience skews older and therefore the advertisers don’t come out for him.

    His advertisers are think tanks and rightie causes.

  170. 170
    Lihtox says:

    First, thanks for the former-Republican perspective.

    I agree that one can read Rush’s words several ways. Sure, the GOP wants Obama to fail in creating a more left-wing nation. They want Obama to fail in increasing regulation. Most of them probably don’t want him to fail at saving the United States from annihilation. You can give Rush the benefit of the doubt. The thing is, he’s had plenty of time, and the rest of the GOP has had plenty of time to elaborate. It would be simple for any of them to say "I fear that he will fail, and I hope that he comes to his senses". But they don’t; they refuse to make the correction, and that means to me that either (a) they mean it exactly the way we are interpreting it, or (b) they are incapable of understanding how we are interpreting it. The first is deplorable; the second is pathetic.

    It’s perfectly reasonable for conservatives to oppose "socialism" because they believe it is the wrong strategy, but the Republicans have gotten to the point that, if they reached the pearly gates and found out that Heaven was run via socialism, they’d refuse to enter. Wingnuts, indeed.

  171. 171
    cfaller96 says:

    @rock:
    "I think it’s unfair to say Rush and the Republicans are "hoping America fails"."

    Why? Do we have some alternate government structure that I’m not aware of? The Obama Administration is America’s Administration. Like it or not, our country is on the Obama bus now, and we either succeed or fail based on the success or failure of the Obama Administration’s economic policies.

    There’s no way around that- this is our President, this is our Administration, and this is our best, only hope for economic recovery. Hoping Obama fails is hoping our government fails, which is hoping our country fails. There’s no getting around that.

  172. 172
    Elderta says:

    I love you, John Cole.
    Thanks.

  173. 173
    The Populist says:

    Wanting Obama to fail means that the right wants average American middle class citizens to lose.

  174. 174
    Cris says:

    @Mary Jane: Don’t forget Jim Jeffords basically being forced out of the Republican party, and others such as Chaffee contemplating it, because they were being strong-armed by their party to march in lockstep.

    Ah, memories. I happened to be visiting Burlington the very day Jeffords left the caucus. Not quite as cool as when I happened to be visiting Banff when the Canadian hockey team won the gold medal, but still pretty cool.

    Anyway, the thing about Jeffords is, well, Lieberman. Your description ("being forced out of the party… strong-armed by their party") sounds a lot like what Holy Joe’s defenders have to say about the Democrats.

    So maybe Jeffords is a useful example, but more to remind us that one man’s moderation is another’s treason.

  175. 175
    Indylib says:

    @The Populist:

    Really? Wow. This guy was pro-Bush in a way that makes no sense

    Actually not so much, if you go look at what he actually said.
    He’s a hawk, hardly the only one in the Democratic Party. Just one of the cat herd.

    "…he also said that Barack Obama is the best Democratic candidate since Bill Clinton".

  176. 176
    dand says:

    Ummm, maybe because Dems aren’t allowed on teevee… :)

    I do remember Repuubs accusing Dems of rooting for failure in Iraq for political gain. Boy do I remember that.

  177. 177
    va says:

    This is pretty simple, I think. Republicans now want Obama to fail like Bush failed. Democrats in 2001 couldn’t have had this thought if they wanted to, because Dems at the time had no such model for epic presidential fail.

  178. 178
    Lihtox says:

    @Cris: I think the analogy between Jeffords and Lieberman isn’t that strong (although maybe I’m missing your point; don’t mean to be overly kneejerky here). I don’t know enough about the Jeffords case, but the impression I get is that the GOP congressional leadership wanted him to vote en bloc with them, he refused and bolted. In Lieberman’s case, it wasn’t the Democratic leadership that pushed him out of the party, it was the voters. The Dem leadership have been nothing but kind to him, even after he (a) left the party, (b) ran against the Democratic candidate for Senate in Connecticut, and (c) campaigned for the Republican presidential candidate after promising not to. How this compares with Jeffords and the GOP, I don’t know. Maybe a Republican’s sense of treason is more finely tuned than a Democrat’s, and that makes it equivalent?

  179. 179
    Kirk Spencer says:

    Conservative radio is the true pulse of the nation, hence its popularity and, by extension, that of someone who speaks truth to power like Rush Limbaugh.

    Dammit, I was trying to eat supper and now it’s all over my keyboard.

    ok. Arbitron – the radio equivalent of the Neilsen – says that in 2008 radio was heard by approximately 235 million listeners per week. This is the same company that says Rush had a listener base of 14.5 million people in 2008. Now before we get too wound up here, let me point out that this is 235 million people who listen to at least 15 minutes of radio per week, and the 14.5 million measure is not 14.5 million different people through the week, but 14.5 million "listens." To give a specific example, if I listen twice a day, five days a week, the count is ten.

    To both put this in context and explain my laughter, Nielsen (using almost exactly the same methodology) says that television is watched for at least 15 minutes per week by about 250 million viewers. Last night, American Idol had 22.7 million viewers in the first hour, and 25.7 million the second. Using the methodology, that gives American Idol a 48.4 million viewers JUST for Tuesday night, never mind the other showings during the week.

    I’m sorry, but it’s easier to believe that vapid voyeuristic entertainment is the real pulse of America when these numbers start being considered.

  180. 180
    Cris says:

    @Lihtox: Interesting, now you’ve got me revisiting Jeffords’ defection. According to this CNN article, it appears to have been a bit more nuanced than "the Republican leadership tried to make him vote lockstep," though I don’t doubt Lott would have preferred things that way. But you do get the impression that Jeffords felt pressured by the GOP hardliners.

    So anyway, I think you’re right to eschew the false equivalence. Lieberman strikes me as having a persecution complex, while Jeffords appeared to be able to make a pretty convincing case.

  181. 181
    amorphous says:

    I think it’s important to point out that 180 comments in, no one here has accused Republicans or conservatives of "hating America." No one, not even in snark.

    What did I have to do, say, 12 months ago to be accused of that? Next to nothing. That, I think, says a lot about Republicans’ world-view and their obsessions.

  182. 182
    Allen says:

    Great post, and while you say you have a face for radio, that sadly hasn’t stopped the dumbest (and ugliest) man alive, Charles Krauthammer. In fact I would say that:

    He has a face for radio,
    a voice for newsprint,
    and the intellect for a baby monitor.

  183. 183
    TenguPhule says:

    If a woman doesn’t want to have kids but accidentally gets pregnant, she doesn’t get to ignore the kid on the basis of the first decision. She made a choice to not have kids, but that choice was overruled by fate, and every subsequent decision must be made with the acceptance that the kid cannot be un-born.

    Viva abortion!

  184. 184
    Max Renn says:

    @JenJen:

    And let us not forget Mediawhoresonline.com, the site that for me was a refuge and blessing above all things. Ah, The Horse, MWO, without whom we would not have The Baby Blue Cherub and so many others.

  185. 185
    TenguPhule says:

    Harry Reid went on TV and said that the Iraq war was a failure. They called General Petraeus a liar

    It was. He is.

  186. 186
    mrmobi says:

    …And I remember a lot of Democrats were really opposed to the tax cuts, and called them irresponsible and said they would lead to real financial problems (how did that prediction work out?) and that we had a lot of stuff to pay for (like the national debt). I remember them repeatedly saying it was bad policy and it should be stopped.

    John, among your other recollections here, this seems quite accurate to this life-long Democrat. I also remember being inclined to give the benefit of the doubt to the President (who I felt was seriously out of his depth) in the aftermath of 9/11, all the way up to Mr. McFlightsuit’s landing on the deck of an aircraft carrier, when I had an "Oh Jesus, how could I have been so fucking stupid?" moment and pledged to never trust a Republican President ever again. If any Republican ever again attains the Presidency (NA. GAH. HAPPEN.), I intend to keep that pledge.

    But here is what I don’t remember. I don’t remember one single Democrat standing up on national television and loudly proclaiming “I hope George Bush fails.” I simply do not remember it happening at all.

    You don’t remember it because it didn’t happen. In the time of crisis after 9/11, Democrats demonstrated loyalty to country in a manner which belies Rovian "they wanted to get counseling for the terrorists" bullshit, and puts present-day Republicans, busily trying to exploit an economic disaster for political gain, to shame. Democrats, during those difficult days and months after 9/11, actually put country first. I’m talking to you, Atanarjuat.

  187. 187
    Max Renn says:

    @Shawn in ShowMe:

    But, but, but, Byrd was a Grand High Kleegle, or something, 80 years ago, which proves that the DemocRAT party is really the racist party (that nominated a black man, who then won the Presidency).

    Ask not what a Wingnut can do for your country, ask if they can do windows.

  188. 188
    ironranger says:

    That was awesome. Now if I could only have my still voting republican friends & relatives have a long chat with you.

  189. 189
    Incertus says:

    @Max Renn: When you can cite the Horse, you know you’ve been around a while.

    And John, you remember that period the way I do, which means we’re either both losing our memories or the people who are arguing otherwise are full of shit. I’m betting on the latter.

  190. 190
    Max Renn says:

    @Cris:

    Please, if you’re going to invoke history, get it right. Ms. Lewinsky never filed suit against Bill Clinton. The instance of parsing (which became ‘perjury’ in the minds of the right) was part of the deposition Clinton gave in the Paula Jones harassment lawsuit, a lawsuit entirely ginned up by people like Ann Coulter and the other ‘elves’ working within DC for The Arkansas Project. Gene Lyons and Joe Coneson are your guides to this matter in The Hunting of the President

  191. 191
    Ash Can says:

    @Gregg Vulinec:

    They wanted it to fail because it was a bad idea.

    Key words here emphasized. Now you have to pony up with the link or citation (preferably both) backing those key words up, like John said. Otherwise this isn’t rebuttal, it’s just whining.

    As for the rest of your post, let me reiterate John’s point, because you’ve either accidentally or intentionally left it unaddressed: Going into W’s administration, no prominent Democrats, or Democrat backers, explicitly and publicly expressed a desire that W fail in his presidential endeavors. Rush Limbaugh, on the other hand, did exactly this. This point is broad and general because Limbaugh’s statement, which he has reiterated more than once, is broad and general. Your challenge, if you decide to accept it, is to furnish proof that John is wrong.

  192. 192
    Atanarjuat says:

    @mrmobi:

    Moby, of course Democrats put country first in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. The media and congressional record are very clear in that regard.

    However, during the buildup to the War in Iraq, there certainly liberal voices that openly questioned the validity of attacking and destroying the terrorist infrastructure abroad, and after the invasion and occupation, Democrats became more strident in their lack of support for the war effort and the troops as well (see: Harry Reid, Jack Murtha).

    Country first isn’t just a political slogan, Moby; it’s a principled belief that one should sacrifice everything or even give up one’s life for the survival of the nation. I don’t think your Porkulus-grabbing fellow leftists want to give up anything to maintain their comfortably lifestyles, including the impending, deficit-boosting government handouts.

    -A

  193. 193

    Just before the Afghanistan action I said that something had to be done but that I was afraid they’d try to do it on the cheap. I got a lot of shit for that.

    In the run up to Iraq I warned that LBJ got the intel he wanted and we paid. I warned that the Iraqis are a tribal group and hated interlopers. I warned that the experts on the ground said no there aren’t WMD and you can’t prove a negative.

    What I got for that would involve a lot of ***s between letters. I got it personally and I got it from the admin. and the Rush etc. Somehow I was a traitor who didn’t support the troops and wanted American cities destroyed. Hmmm.

    I have less than no sense of humor with these people and their behavior.

  194. 194

    Don’t even take that as a response to Attaboy who snuck in while I was typing. He is the local representative of the little girl faction of Republicanism and worthy of mockery, only.

  195. 195
    Jess says:

    Harry Reid went on TV and said that the Iraq war was a failure. They called General Petraeus a liar.They wanted it to fail because it was a bad idea.

    Ahh…a perfect example of the right-wing up-is-down thinking. "They" (move-on, NOT elected dems) thought the war was a bad idea because it would fail to benefit our country. I guess in the neo-con universe that’s the same as wanting the war to fail, because we make reality out of our super-heroic willpower. Those protesters claiming that we’re steering America over the cliff are just losers from the reality-based community. Yeah, that’s it–no reason to question our assumptions or look more closely at the results of our policies…

  196. 196
    John O says:

    John, that was one mo-fo of a post.

    And the commentary has been typically brilliant.

    I love this place, and thank FSM for the sanity here.

    I have some conservative tendencies, or what used to be conservative tendencies, like, I don’t in general think we should spend more than we take in other than in emergencies (like now), I don’t want government involved in ANY personal decisions like life or death, what we choose to imbibe, abortion, et al. I prefer a very pragmatic and old-school definition of foreign policy, shorter: Stay out of it as a default position.

    But what conservative dogma has become is a freak-show of epic proportions. I NEVER wanted Bush to fail; hell, I didn’t see a dime’s difference between Bush and Gore in 1999, and when the cognitive dissonance became too intense, I started reading blogs. The rest, as they say, is history. I work for a corporation, just like Scherer. I know how they work. You have to be beholden to The Man.

    Blogs are to media what media used to be to government.

    Thanks, John. GREAT post.

  197. 197
    sylvainsylvain says:

    I don’t have the time to read through all the comments, but upon reading the post, I have something simple to add.

    When I said anything against Bush post-9/11, I was called a traitor. This continued till public sentiment turned against the war.

    There are a few clowns on the right that have said something to the effect that "…now I don’t agree w. Obama, but he is president, so we should support him", but w. the annointing of Rush as the only voice that matters, we’re not hearing that anymore. Which doesn’t bother me a bit. I stopped caring what the right has to say about anything about the same time I was first told I didn’t love my country because I couldn’t support the Most Supreme Leader.

    The Repubs are going to be lost in the wilderness till one of them stands up to Rush. Let’s see how long that takes…

  198. 198
    NeilS says:

    That is how I remember it also.

    I would also add that I naively thought that ‘at least Bush will show some fiscal restraint.’

    How young and foolish I was.

  199. 199
    The Populist says:

    Country first isn’t just a political slogan, Moby; it’s a principled belief that one should sacrifice everything or even give up one’s life for the survival of the nation. I don’t think your Porkulus-grabbing fellow leftists want to give up anything to maintain their comfortably lifestyles, including the impending, deficit-boosting government handouts.

    Yep, it is called sacrifice. Funny, you think your response is so smart yet it proves you listen to Rush a bit more than you admit.

    When the country was asked to sacrifice, Bush gave the richest of the rich a tax break. HOW THE FUCK IS THAT SACRIFICE? In my book it’s pork to the extreme. They did not need that tax break.

    The war was pork. The people who HURT US were in Pakistan and Afghanistan. What part of that do you not understand? I love how you have clever little witicisms to share on your reasons why lefties are bad people (not) yet not ONCE do I see you look in the mirror and point the pork barreled finger at your buddies who spent trillions on useless wars, tax breaks that weren’t necessary and cronyism.

    You, sir, have zero clue as to what pork is if you think it’s all on Obama.

  200. 200
    The Populist says:

    I would also add that I naively thought that ‘at least Bush will show some fiscal restraint.’

    I thought he’d honor the Clinton surplus. If it weren’t for 9/11, he’d have been a one term prez like his father.

  201. 201
    Atanarjuat says:

    @Chuck Butcher:

    Don’t flatter yourself, Chucky. There’s this thing called coincidence. And more importantly, there’s very little you can say in response to my prior comments because I merely described historical events. Partisan gyrations from the left are no substitute for fact.

    Too bad for you.

    -A

  202. 202
    The Populist says:

    Remember when Bush wanted to "rescue" social security? How is turning my account over to a private investment house not pork?

    How is giving out no-bid contracts where asshats charged the guvmint billions for things that didn’t cost much not pork?

    How are Alaska, Mississippi, Alabama, Kentucky, West Virginia, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Wyoming, Idaho, Louisiana and Florida not living high on the earmarks during the Bush years? Is this not pork for red states?

    Fuck this stupid, idiotic, retarded, asshat thinking that Obama is Mr. Pork when the right is full of assholes who pretend to be conservatives when it suits their needs.

  203. 203
    The Populist says:

    Don’t flatter yourself, Chucky. There’s this thing called coincidence. And more importantly, there’s very little you can say in response to my prior comments because I merely described historical events. Partisan gyrations from the left are no substitute for fact.

    And your points have been disproven. Easy for you to feel better by arguing that any counterpoint made is lefty in nature? Try again…a lot of us here are independents that lean to the Dems.

  204. 204
    Atanarjuat says:

    @The Populist:

    Poppy, I beg to differ, but fighting murderous assholes in the Middle East who keep killing Americans is not my idea of pork, but of patriotism and duty to one’s country.

    I suspect you have your priorities somewhat confused. If you call yourself an American, that’s lamentable.

    -A

  205. 205
    The Populist says:

    However, during the buildup to the War in Iraq, there certainly liberal voices that openly questioned the validity of attacking and destroying the terrorist infrastructure abroad, and after the invasion and occupation, Democrats became more strident in their lack of support for the war effort and the troops as well (see: Harry Reid, Jack Murtha).

    And to this day they are correct in their criticisms. Weren’t your friends on the right against Clinton’s war in Serbia? How many idiots like DeLay stood up and whined that the congress had to have a say and the war was "wag the dog" politics?

    Not one democrat wished for failure in Iraq. NOT ONE. This war has done nothing but hurt America’s standing and deplete her treasury.

    There’s the facts, dude. Try again.

  206. 206
    The Populist says:

    Poppy, I beg to differ, but fighting murderous assholes in the Middle East who keep killing Americans is not my idea of pork, but of patriotism and duty to one’s country.

    Iraq didn’t have terrorists. Did you not read my post?

    Notice I didn’t question your patriotism? That’s okay buddy because my business gave money to veteran causes. Oh yes, the right only want us to support the troops until they come back broken from useless war.

    Afghanistan was necessary. Iraq was not. I own you on this point if your best comeback is questioning my love of this great nation.

    Wow.

  207. 207
    Incertus says:

    @Atanarjuat:

    However, during the buildup to the War in Iraq, there certainly liberal voices that openly questioned the validity of attacking and destroying the terrorist infrastructure abroad, and after the invasion and occupation, Democrats became more strident in their lack of support for the war effort and the troops as well (see: Harry Reid, Jack Murtha).

    That, however, is not "wishing that the administration would fail," no matter how much you squinch your eyes up and stamp your feet and demand it were so, you Veruca-Salt-wannabe. That is the equivalent of Republicans Congresspeople standing on the floor of the House and Senate and voting against a package because they feel it is the wrong thing to do. They have every right to do that and any shit they take for it should be based on the weakness of their arguments, not simply because they voiced their opposition.

    But what these Republicans are taking shit for is openly wishing that the current administration fails in its attempts to get the economy back on track. Democrats never wished anything like that as regards Iraq. We warned that it was likely to happen, and we said it was a bad idea, but we never wished for failure. We expected it, but we openly hoped to be proven wrong. That’s the difference between us–when it really comes down to it, we’d rather be wrong and have the country succeed. Your side, at this day and time, is not saying that. You are not saying that. And you are a despicable little troll as a result.

  208. 208
    The Populist says:

    Hey Attaboy,

    How much money have you given to help ailing veterans in need? Just asking since you want to turn a valid point into a question of patriotism.

  209. 209
    The Populist says:

    Incertus,

    He will just come back and question your patriotism. Funny how they can dish it out until somebody hits them with facts.

  210. 210
    The Populist says:

    Notice how not one person here questioned Attaboy’s patriotism?

    He can’t debate so he calls out a person’s love of country. Proof positive that people on the right are bankrupt of ideas.

  211. 211
    John Cole says:

    Why are you all arguing with a damned spoof? He is a fake, a troll. Do I have to ban him so you all quit ruining threads arguing with atanarjuat, who is an OBVIOUS DAMNED SPOOF.

  212. 212
    The Populist says:

    And you are a despicable little troll as a result.

    Yep, he sure is. Can’t back his points up and comes in here to flame legit debate.

  213. 213
    chuck says:

    Jonah Goldberg was just on Talk of the Nation trying to claim that all this Limbaugh stuff is unfair because Republicans never anointed Michael Moore the leader of the Democrats.

    Perhaps Goldberg has missed the point. How many DNC keynotes has Moore given? How many Democratic senators genuflect to him daily?

    Or maybe he knows it and doesn’t care. That’s the very essence of cynicism, and cynicism is the very oxygen these fellows breathe.

  214. 214
    The Populist says:

    Really, John? Wow.

  215. 215
    Laura W Darling says:

    @John Cole: TEASE!!
    (Edit: If you did just that, I would be willing to cancel my Funniest Fat Tunch Jokes, First Quarter, 2009, compilation. Course, I’d probably just throw them into Second Quarter, 2009, but still…)

  216. 216
    The Populist says:

    Jonah Goldberg was just on Talk of the Nation trying to claim that all this Limbaugh stuff is unfair because Republicans never anointed Michael Moore the leader of the Democrats.

    What I said earlier…Michael Moore is not loved by all dems and gets criticism from some in the party. He is not the same thing. Agree 100%.

  217. 217
    Atanarjuat says:

    @The Populist:

    Populist, all partisan jousting aside, I apologize for having caused offense or even seeming to question your patriotism. I simply don’t agree that those who have sacrificed greatly in the cause known as the War in Iraq are just part of some pork-filled scheme. To me, that’s simply wrong, but I wish to disagree without being disagreeable.

    By the way, since you asked, I’ve recently started donating to Soldiers’ Angels.

    -A

  218. 218
    John O says:

    John, not that it counts for much, but I prefer the trolls be free to prove themselves stupid.

    I’m a First Amendment absolutist, which is not to say you don’t have control over your own blog, but is to say that the retards need to be exposed and shouted down.

    I live near Chicago. I remember very vividly as a young adolescent Mom’s wise words regarding a Nazi march in heavily Jewish Skokie: "What if they had a march and no one showed up?"

  219. 219
    TenguPhule says:

    Do I have to ban him so you all quit ruining threads arguing with atanarjuat, who is an OBVIOUS DAMNED SPOOF.

    No need to go that far.

    He need only say "I like pie" on every post.

    That would be fine.

  220. 220
    TenguPhule says:

    But to do that means you can throw Olbermann, Maher, Garofalo, Matthews, endless number of columnists, etc. in with the "Democrats".

    Olbermann and Krugmann are the only true blues there.

    Everyone else was pretty much a righttard WATB.

    Now please DIAF.

  221. 221
    Atanarjuat says:

    @Incertus:

    Incertus, I appreciate the Veruca Salt reference, but that has more to do with the band rather than a movie character.

    I suspect you’ll disagree, but I think I hit a sore spot because you DO know that many Democrats and liberals in general did not sincerely back the war effort in Iraq. All the openly expressed doubts and naysaying had poisoned the military mission, and likely contributed to the all-too-slow stabilization of post-invasion Iraq. This is why the Surge was needed, because too many on the home team refused to believe in the mission and the honor of our troops.

    Anyway, I think I’ll let this be my last observation on this thread, as Mr. Cole has threatened to ban my participation due to the fact that some of you are just too riled up for rational discussion.

    That’s always a shame.

    -A

  222. 222
    bvac says:

    I think it’s important to define failure in this debate.

    Objectively, Obama passed his economic recovery package and in that sense it was a success. If the economy tanks over the next few months like we’ve never seen, then it can be deemed to have failed. If the economy recovers as the administration says it will, it can be deemed a success. However, when Republicans say that they "hope it fails," they aren’t just hoping that the bill doesn’t get passed. Obviously they don’t have to hope for that to happen, as they have a wide palette of obstruction tactics to make sure it doesn’t happen. It would be one thing if they just said they hope the vote fails and a different policy is enacted. What they hope for though, is for the policy to fail and for the economy to tank. It will be interesting to see what they come up with if the economy recovers quickly, because if a policy is enacted and has positive results, what possible grounds are there for opposing it?

    Any comparison between Democrats rooting for failure in Iraq and Republicans rooting for failure in economic recovery are likely going to be flawed. In one case, Republicans were claiming a threat existed where there was none. In the other, Republicans were denying that a threat exist when it clearly did. Democrats were just barely against going into Iraq, but when we did they mostly kept their mouths shut even as it became completely evident that a) there was no threat b) it was a really, really bad strategic move c) it became a boondoggle and d) it turned out the entire thing was predicated on lies. In comparison, Republicans ignored all indicators except for their bank account balance when they declared the foundation of the economy is sound, even after a) continued job losses b) skyrocketing foreclosures and c) huge companies posting historic losses every quarter. Democrats offered textbook solutions to the problem, and they rejected them and took to the airwaves to warn of the coming socialist revolution.

    There was a clear alternative to invading Iraq: Don’t Fucking Invade Iraq. After the boots were on the ground, no one hoped that they’d all die. Any opposition was simply a plea to realization that preemptively invading a country, especially in the middle east, is a bad idea. All anti-war people wanted was for troops to get home, not for Iraq to fail so they could score points. Withdrawal would not be a failure for America, but a failure for Bush and that is why Republicans defended the war.

    The only alternative Republicans have for recovery is more tax cuts, which have been tried for 8 years and did not have any positive net result. Once the stimulus goes into effect, any opposition to the economic recovery is rooted in the failure of the country as a whole. Republicans want the economy to fail so they can blame it on Obama.

  223. 223
    WereBear says:

    I thought Limbaugh’s choice of words spoke volumes:

    I hope he fails.

    This is not saying, "This is the wrong tactic." This is not saying, "It will fail."

    This is simply hoping that President Obama’s plans to save the economy will fail. Because if they work; people will like it.

    And that’s doom for the Republicans.

    Any remaining credibility they might have left will be completely destroyed if they not only crashed the economy in the first place; but if the opposite policies get us out of it.

    This will make their lies so Freakin’ Obvious that even people without a political bone in their body will get it.

  224. 224
    John O says:

    A, the point we’re trying to make is that while many of us felt about the war the way you do about Obama’s economic policies, none of us save for 5% morons were openly HOPING for it to fail. In fact, most of us found the overriding goal worthy, if foolish.

    Don’t be confusing a disagreement about policy with a hope for failure. That is intellectually disingenuous, and factually stupid. John had it right. 90% of this country supported the POTUS after 9-11.

  225. 225
    Brian Siano says:

    I’d like to thank you for at least one comment in your post: that you’ve never heard Democrats saying they wanted Bush to fail. I’m with you on that: I won’t say that _nobody_ said that (I know of many posers who might have), but certainly no one of any importance or influence.

    This fact was more or less the core of a blog post I did about Limbaugh’s complaint, readable at http://briansiano.livejournal.com/640814.html.

    The basic point is this. It’s one thing to dislike a President’s policies. And okay, we may even secretly wish that the policies lead to failure, and thus vindicate our opposition. But most of us keep that part secret because we _know_ it’s a crummy thing to wish. Limbaugh, on the other hand, not only announces that this petty and resentful desire is the core of his opinion, but he proclaims himself brave for saying it aloud. This puts him on a much lower moral plane than, well, just about everybody else.

  226. 226
    HRA says:

    Thank you, John Cole. You made my day and what’s left of it at the present. You have great writing skills.

    What I remember after Bush was first elected is a lot of bitterness among the Gore voters in an email group I have mentioned in previous comments in this blog. When 9/11 happened , the bitterness disappeared. The Iraq War eventually brought it back. Yet, during this entire time no one ever hoped or said they wanted Bush to fail. I have to add these people were quick to criticize and voice their distrust about the Bush administration. Each recent current revelation brings it back as well.

    There have been presidents I did not admire for their policies. I still respected them and their office.

  227. 227
    neal peart says:

    I confess I haven’t read all of the comments but I know that if 4 years anyone said anything remotely close to what Rush said about GWB, they’d be labeled a traitor. Remember the whole thing about how crticism of the Commander in Chief hurts the morale of our troops, blah, blah, blah.

  228. 228
    gil mann says:

    I’m a First Amendment absolutist, which is not to say you don’t have control over your own blog, but is to say that the retards need to be exposed and shouted down.

    Sure, but maybe keep your powder dry for the ones who actually believe what they’re saying and aren’t just trying to get a rise out of you for kicks.

    The fucking General tips his hand less than Atanarjuat.

  229. 229

    […] Requiescam in Pacem Copied and pasted wholesale from John Cole, because there is really nothing more to add: And just so we are clear, until shown otherwise, what […]

  230. 230
    Tax Analyst says:

    Atanarjuat said: "…but I think I hit a sore spot because you DO know that many Democrats and liberals in general did not sincerely back the war effort in Iraq."

    Do I KNOW that? Do YOU KNOW that? No, you’re just pulling that out of your butt because you want to say it.

    And even if that were true, do the anonymous, unspoken thoughts of those "Democrats and liberals" form any sort of real equivalency with the public declarations of the self-proclaimed "Voice of the People"?

    But why am I talking to you in the first place? You’re just a spoof, albeit a rather annoying one.

    I’d tell you to kiss my ass, but in all honesty, I’d really rather you kiss Rush Limbaugh’s.

    – bye –

  231. 231
    Tim says:

    Ditto John Cole.

    As a Dem, I’m not likely to be rooting for Rush to shut his piehole. He helps us far too much.

    But for those who’ve been seduced by his egomaniacal spew for all these years, I’ll give you a little hint: All Rush cares about is Rush. He is a paranoid, projecting, malignant narcissist who will march you all off a cliff rather than face himself (or anyone else who won’t go on his little controlled show).

    He will destroy your movement and party and at some point it will get dangerous for the country to have no opposition party.

    But please take your time to get to this conclusion yourselves … 2016 seems like a good target date … Separation and grief takes time…

  232. 232
    pattonbt says:

    Its at times like this I really hate being on the other side of the world…..last in the comment queue.

    I stridently believed and was outspoken that Bush would be a disaster – I mean he had a proven track record of failure. I never questioned that belief and if questioned I would state why I believed such.

    I would explain my seething hatred and argue, mostly politely, with anyone who wished to engage. Did I wish for fail? Never. Did I believe fail was inevitable? Without a doubt. Did I try and convince others that these courses were full of fail? Without a doubt. Did I want to be proven wrong. No, but I would have eaten my words and accepted the fact I was wrong. Was I wrong? Not on one thing.

    The Republicans have nothing. They are, in their modern form, a party of hate and money. They actively state that government can NEVER be part of the solution, and people wonder why, then, when Republicans are put in charge, that things fall apart so drastically. They have reason, no rationality, no ideology, no compassion and no integrity. Some individual Republicans may be good people, but until they stand up to the rotten core, they are not people to me.

    Are Democrats perfect? Hell no. And I would never argue that. But at least they recognize government is a important necessary player in the health of a nation. We will all always disagree on where to draw the lines on what government should and should not do, how much a safety net there should be, how many social benefits should be mandated and such. Im willing to compromise because I know what I believe to be the right amount will never be matched one for one with anyone else. So I know I will pay for something I never use and something I really want I will never get, but that most of what is basically required for a nations health is provided.

    At least Democrats try to make the country better.

    The Republicans dont believe in anything except that magic fairy dust was sprinkled over the US when the white man landed at Plymouth rock (not the Spaniards mind you and god forbid the Native Americans) and that we are immune from the laws of human nature and are the rightful heirs to godliness on earth just because they clap hard enough.

    Fuck Bush and the Republicans. May their political death come quickly, painfully, publicly and permanently.

    Rant over.

  233. 233
    JenJen says:

    @mmiddle & gnomedad: To this day, dad and I remember that moment, and can laugh about it now. "They’re gonna take Florida back," he said, and then, *poof*, they did. I learned a lot about politics that night, I think. Election Night 2008, he said to me, "No uh-oh’s."

    Whew.

    @ Max Ren: The Horse! To this day, just thinking of the logo makes me smile. Did anyone ever figure out who wrote that thing?

  234. 234

    Some Republicans Say Democrats Said They Wanted Bush To Fail…

    But former Republican John Cole says he doesn’t remember it that all, spells it out — and says “Show me.” A must read post.
    SHARETHIS.addEntry({ title: "", url: "http://themoderatevoice.com/" });……

  235. 235
    Dax says:

    One thing I remember: Near the end of the run-up to the Iraq war, as it became clear that we were in fact going to invade, I remember lots of liberal Democrats on TV saying they thought it was a horrible decision that would have horrible consequences for the country, but then in the next breath actually said they hoped and prayed that they were wrong and that the war would be successful. And now in a time of crisis GOP leaders are saying they hope Obama’s economic policies will fail — that his policies, some of which are already law, will be ineffective in helping the economy. Think about that for a second. It’s more important to them to be proven right on a point of ideology than for the economy to improve.
    _
    These are the sorts of comparisons that make me think that although both parties engage in cynical partinship, the GOP is on balance more cynical and partisan than the Democratic party.

  236. 236
    Mary says:

    As others have said, I’ve never heard anyone on the left outright wish that Bush would fail. Honestly, in 2000, it wouldn’t have even occurred to anyone to do so – the conventional wisdom was that the two parties were the same, or close enough, and so it didn’t really matter who was president except for the smaller details.

    Then the last eight years happened, and, well. We can all see that presidential leadership or lack thereof can move mountains.

    For every insane-seeming initiative Bush presented, I remember thinking: this is going to be a disaster. I didn’t hope for it, in fact I *hoped* it’d somehow all be okay, but I absolutely believed that the Iraq war was a bad idea that would be bad for the country.

    That they’re saying "hope" rather than "believe" is just a sign that even the wingnuts know on some level that their ideology is critically flawed – if they were coming at this from a place of faith in their own ideas and not childishness, they’d be a lot more confident. All told, not the signs of a healthy movement.

  237. 237

    […] John Cole used to be a Bush Republican, suggests, looking back at when Bush was first elected, now some line has been crossed: […]

  238. 238
    Joe says:

    To put in the perspective of a conservative, imagine instead of Obama being sworn in, Hugo Chavez was sworn in as President of the United States. Using the history of events in Venezuela from 1999 to now, would the statement ‘I hope he fails’ (meaning short term failure and loss at the next election instead of short term success and long term failure) be objectionable.

  239. 239
    Max Renn says:

    @JenJen:

    I heard that a woman named Jennifer Kennedy, who was a DC communications specialist for Dems, had a major hand in it. They used to front-page so much cool commentary (including a deal o’ mine, hence at least a little of my love for them) and Duncan Black played a pretty major role in gathering embarrassing anecdotes about Hitchens, et. al., which he used to pass on.

    Man, how many times did Russert win Whore of the Week?

  240. 240

    […] See John Cole. Spotlight Financial Crisis, Iraq War, Obama Derangement Syndrome, pseudo conservatism, […]

  241. 241

    […] Juice: John Cole says “show me the tapes” to those who argue that wanting a president to fail happens all the […]

  242. 242
    biggie says:

    You’re right, not I hope Bush fails.

    Google Bush will fail.

  243. 243
    deBeauxOs says:

    John Cole, you are a brave blogger, as well as a person of great personal and intellectual integrity.

    Hopefully, if there are more conservatives like you in the US, the great damage that the Republican party and the likes of Limbaugh and Coulter can be overcome.

  244. 244
    JoeTX says:

    Hey, and don’t forget about that "LOCKBOX"!

  245. 245
    Brian T says:

    I believe there to be a far difference between the two sets of policy that are being complared…

    The Policy of George Bush, even though flawed and maybe targeted to the wealthier 20-30% of this country did one thing… It decreased the reach of the arm of the goverment into peoples lives and pocket books…

    The Obama policy has the opposite effect it expands the role of government into everyone’s life, not just the wealthy, but creates a greater welfare state as well…

    There in lies the difference, the Rush’s stance may be portrayed (intentionally or not) as a stance against Obama and the democratic party. However, in fact the stance is merely for limited government…

    A tax/law on the books is infinitely harder to remove rather than one never inacted… The wealthy will figure ways around the new taxes and laws, they always have it is the middle class and lower class that will be resitriceted and held down ulitimately by higher tax rates…

    Let’s provide incentive for people to be successful rather than a cushion for people to be lazy on… One leads to a greater more productive society, the other only leads to dependence and ruin… People have chosen…

    They need a hand up right now, but at what cost to the future generations to this country? You want a real hand up for working Americans, declare a 3 month income tax holiday… No income tax… that would be the greatest single periosd of wealth generation in this country in 100 years. But you can’t because peoples eye would be opened and a real revolt will occur in this country…

    Check your pay stubs people then judge if Rush is wrong, bigger expensive inefficient govt or lean effective govt? You choose…

  246. 246
    deadrody says:

    You are so full of shit, John. The left has been hoping for Bush policies to fail for years, INCLUDING the war in Iraq, knowing full well that means more dead US soldiers.

    And the whole "I remember after 9/11" line ? Stuff it. Yes that was a real crisis, so is this. And nobody is hoping we fail to revitalize the economy. What any sane person would oppose is the nationalizing of private economy, the turn towards socialism, and the enactment of policies that are time tested to worsen a recession rather than end one.

    Yeah, I hope he fails too. The sooner the better. And don’t doubt for a moment that the moderate Democrats will eventually turn on him since a whole bunch of them need to get re-elected in 18 months or so.

  247. 247

    […] John Cole explains the difference between liberal reaction to The Most Holy George W. Christ The Infallible and the conservative reaction to B. Hussein Osama X The Kenyan Indonesian Muslim Manchurian Candidate. […]

  248. 248

    […] Republican wingnut John Cole wants proof: And just so we are clear, until shown otherwise, what I remember is the […]

  249. 249

    […] Cole asked the same question, on March 4 — and unlike me, he was a Republican when Bush was in his first term: I remember 2000 and 2001 pretty well. I was a Republican at the time, and we have talked before […]

  250. 250
    Jesus says:

    Limbaugh wants America to fail, that doesn’t surprise me, nazi loving, life hating traitors, have been in control of the GOP for quite some time.

  251. 251

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] Cole asked the same question, on March 4 — and unlike me, he was a Republican when Bush was in his first term: I remember 2000 and 2001 pretty well. I was a Republican at the time, and we have talked before […]

  2. […] Republican wingnut John Cole wants proof: And just so we are clear, until shown otherwise, what I remember is the […]

  3. […] John Cole explains the difference between liberal reaction to The Most Holy George W. Christ The Infallible and the conservative reaction to B. Hussein Osama X The Kenyan Indonesian Muslim Manchurian Candidate. […]

  4. […] Juice: John Cole says “show me the tapes” to those who argue that wanting a president to fail happens all the […]

  5. […] See John Cole. Spotlight Financial Crisis, Iraq War, Obama Derangement Syndrome, pseudo conservatism, […]

  6. […] John Cole used to be a Bush Republican, suggests, looking back at when Bush was first elected, now some line has been crossed: […]

  7. Some Republicans Say Democrats Said They Wanted Bush To Fail…

    But former Republican John Cole says he doesn’t remember it that all, spells it out — and says “Show me.” A must read post.
    SHARETHIS.addEntry({ title: "", url: "http://themoderatevoice.com/" });……

  8. […] Requiescam in Pacem Copied and pasted wholesale from John Cole, because there is really nothing more to add: And just so we are clear, until shown otherwise, what […]

Comments are closed.