We Should All Be So Lucky To Be So Unknown

Ed Morrissey, pivoting off of Jackson Diehl, offers this up:

Another part is that Obama failed to sanction those who went to the media to fight out the dispute. Neither Biden nor Gates got a dressing-down like McChrystal will get, even though both owe some loyalty to the man in the Oval Office. Biden would have remained a daffy, gaffe-prone backbencher in the Senate had it not been for Obama’s inexplicable decision to choose Biden as a running mate.

When Biden was “inexplicably” selected (if Biden’s pick was inexplicable, how would you describe Palin?), he had been in the Senate for four decades, had chaired the Judiciary and Foreign Relations committees, and had a legislative record that was quite accomplished, along with the fact that Obama and Biden had become quite close on the campaign trail and in the Senate together.

I’m reasonably sure Ed has no idea what the terms back-bencher or inexplicable mean. Some might even say that Biden was actually a pretty big fucking deal as far as US politicians go.

This is what I seriously don’t get about current movement conservatism- they are simply operating in their own made-up fictional universe in which history and the English language mean different things to them than to anyone outside the cult.

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138 replies
  1. 1
    J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford says:

    This is what I seriously don’t get about current movement conservatism- they are simply operating in their own made-up fictional universe in which history and the English language mean different things to them than to anyone outside the cult.

    Reality is for elites and fags. I mean, reality is for elite fags. Too, also.

  2. 2
    Brent says:

    Biden was also a serious presidential contender who performed quite well during the debates, but that’s so long ago, we can’t expect anyone to remember.

  3. 3
    ChrisWWW says:

    I think Ed thinks it was inexplicable Obama didn’t choose Sarah Palin. After all, she is the greatest eVAR!!!!

  4. 4
    Brian J says:

    What did Biden and Gates do to dress down McChrystal?

  5. 5
    Redshirt says:

    Karl Rove really summarized our era when he said, paraphrasing: “We make our own history now.”

    These neocons are Revolutionaries, which makes their constant, hypocritical references to “tradition” and “Constitution” so laughable. They are post-modern revolutionaries who would gladly burn down the city in order to have their one, pure, cherished idea (whatever the hell it is that day) given a chance. To fail, of course….

  6. 6
    James Hare says:

    I wouldn’t mess with Joe Biden. This is probably a good example of how much of an out-of-touch coastal elitist I am, but I think Joe Biden comes across as pretty darn genuine to most people. After seeing his comments on Joe Barton I’m reminded of how much I really like Joe Biden. He was my first pick for Obama’s VP from day one.

    I just can’t see how you get the idea that it’s a good idea to go after Joe Biden. He seems about as ordinary as anyone in Washington EVER does.

  7. 7
    beltane says:

    Since when was Joe Biden a backbencher. They didn’t call MTP “Meet Joe Biden” for nothing. If he was a backbencher then so is John McCain. Sarah Palin is not even a backbencher; she is more like like a tourist who was caught shoplifting at a Capitol Hill souvenir kiosk.

  8. 8
    Zifnab says:

    This is what I seriously don’t get about current movement conservatism- they are simply operating in their own made-up fictional universe in which history and the English language mean different things to them than to anyone outside the cult.

    Hey, back in the day you had politicians working together over regional and cultural issues. Now it’s just straight ticket Republican / Democrat without even blinking.

    If you’re not a blind, hysterical ideologue you don’t matter.

  9. 9
    ChrisWWW says:

    P.S. This is how it’s gonna play out in conservative quarters:

    Either…
    a) Obama doesn’t axe McChrystal. Conservatives will use this as proof Obama is weak, not a good CinC, and all that.

    b) Obama axes McChrystal. Conservatives will use this as proof that Obama hates the troops, doesn’t listen to his expert generals, is not a good CinC, and all that.

  10. 10
    Violet says:

    Joe Biden is a Grandma’s Boyfriend. It’s not smart of the Republicans to be dissing Grandma’s boyfriend.

  11. 11
    JCT says:

    if Biden’s pick was inexplicable, how would you describe Palin?)

    Really don’t think I know of any good words in English to answer this. Stupefying, maybe? Seems like there should be a good Yiddish term for this…

  12. 12
    licensed to kill time says:

    @beltane:

    Sarah Palin is not even a backbencher; she is more like like a tourist who was caught shoplifting at a Capitol Hill souvenir kiosk.

    LOL to the fucking ROFL!

  13. 13
    Comrade Javamanphil says:

    @Violet: It’s not really smart to constantly inflame one of the fastest growing demographic groups (Hispanics) either but that doesn’t seem to bother them. Long term strategery is not their forte.

  14. 14
    danimal says:

    ChrisWWW, you forgot the Chicago thug reference in option B.

  15. 15
    Fledermaus says:

    I think the reason they do this because they are fundamentally lazy. Its hard to wade through health care reform and make strident criticisms of medicare reimbursement rates, but opposing death panels? That’s a no brainer. It doesn’t require any additional argument

  16. 16
    dww44 says:

    @beltane:

    Sarah Palin is not even a backbencher; she is more like like a tourist who was caught shoplifting at a Capitol Hill souvenir kiosk.

    Thanks for that. And, I agree about Biden. Hope he’s in the meeting with Stan the Man McChrystal.

  17. 17
    Dave Fud says:

    @Brent: Exactly this. He was a potential pick because he performed well (enough) in the primary.

  18. 18
    Dave says:

    If four decades in the Senate make you a “back-bencher”, what does being half-a-governor make you?

  19. 19
    Tank Hueco says:

    I think the answer to Ed is pretty simple. McChrystal is an officer in the military who, per the Constitution, is ultimately accountable to the C-in-C. The vice president’s responsibilities, per the Constitution, are to preside over the Senate and cast tie-breaking votes. His only real relationship to the President is to take the office if the President dies. That doesn’t state or imply a hierarchy of VPOTUS being accountable to POTUS.

  20. 20
    Brachiator says:

    @beltane:

    Sarah Palin is not even a backbencher;

    I was thinking more that Sarah Palin would be a bentoverthebackbencher.

    But that would be so wrong.

    Starbursts.

  21. 21
    Joseph Nobles says:

    I disagree that they are totally out of touch with reality. They do know when things sound bad to most people (Katrina) and then churn the news relentlessly to find a way to attach that label to people they want to destroy (Obama’s Katrina). In other words, it’s a movement driven by the techniques of Frank Luntz.

  22. 22
    Midnight Marauder says:

    I’m reasonably sure Ed has no idea what the terms back-bencher or inexplicable mean

    You are only reasonably sure he has no idea what a back bencher means?! No, this guy doesn’t even understand the most basic of basic clues on what the fuck a back-bencher is, and what the word “inexplicable” actually means in the real world.

    This is what I seriously don’t get about current movement conservatism- they are simply operating in their own made-up fictional universe in which history and the English language mean different things to them than to anyone outside the cult.

    Actually, it sounds like you get the current conservative movement pretty fucking well.

  23. 23

    If four decades in the Senate make you a “back-bencher”, what does being half-a-governor make you?

    Millions.

  24. 24
    Violet says:

    @Comrade Javamanphil:
    Yeah, but considering that what the Republicans do have is the older, white demographic, insulting a boyfriend-type of women in that demographic isn’t very smart right now, let alone long term.

  25. 25
    beltane says:

    @Dave: A wingnut sex goddess. Is that mean? OK, they love her for her thoughtful policy analysis and intellectual heft.

  26. 26
    Violet says:

    @Dave:

    what does being half-a-governor make you?

    An ernor?

  27. 27
    Brian J says:

    @JCT:

    There are plenty of good words to describe it. It’s just that none of them are nice. I’ll give it a try.

    It’s somewhat unclear, but a decent amount of evidence suggests that McCain picked Palin after talking to her once or twice. About what, we can’t say, because when asked anything about the selection process, he and his team became angry and defensive. They employed the same platitudes defending their pick that they used to defend the candidate when she came under fire. It was, simply put, a blatantly political pick from someone whose entire motto was to put the needs of the country above the needs of his own and his party’s own desires. When he picked her, he thrust into the spotlight a woman who has few redeeming qualities based on what most say they want in a leader. He picked this lady who has never demonstrated the maturity, the mental dexterity, or the intellectual curiosity necessary to lead the most significant nation on the planet, showing that he himself lacked the qualities necessary to be president.

  28. 28
    kay says:

    I just think it’s a ridiculous comparison.
    Biden didn’t trash Gates or Obama, or the military, or the broader plan (which he disagrees with).
    Biden came out and stated his preferred (strict) interpretation of the draw-down dates, understandably, I think, because Biden is the Vice President and Biden seeks to cement those dates as a promise. Gates objected to that interpretation. That’s a perfectly valid public disagreement, and well within either man’s job description, and it has nothing to do with civilian control of the military, not to mention neither man trashed anyone else while promoting their position, unlike the General.

  29. 29
    jl says:

    From the descriptions I have read the objectionable stuff is mainly McChrystal pissing on Biden, Eikenberry, and some other administration officials.

    But didn’t McChrystal get his way on US military plans in Afghanistan. If things are not going well militarily, how is that Biden’s or Eikenberry’s fault.

    Seems like an emotionally undisciplined piss party by McChrystal and his staff, or at an attempt to preemptively provide excuses for the fact that McChrystal’s strategy is not going as well as anticipated. Or if McChrystal is really dim, this is a way to pressure the administration to give him more time.

    There is one thing this flap has in common with most of our domestic political debate: there seems to be no substance, it is just McChrystal and his staff pissing on people.

    This is not same as McArthur heading for the Chinese border.

    I agree with Cole: if Obama thinks this guy can still be useful then let Obama keep him. Otherwise he should go.

  30. 30
    Calouste says:

    You wonder what the movement conservatives would make of the UK government’s (the Tory/LibDem coalition) decision to put up the capital gains tax from 18% to 28% overnight. It was announced today and will take effect at midnight.

    Obviously that is far worse than what the so-cia-list/fascist/communist guy in the White House does, so what would they call that?

  31. 31
    Jeff Fecke says:

    According to Joke Line, McChrystal has resigned. I assume this came after another White House “shakedown.”

  32. 32
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    they are simply operating in their own made-up fictional universe in which history and the English language mean different things to them than to anyone outside the cult.

    What’s really tricky is that their fictional history and their private language are superficially very similar to actual history and the actual English language. It’s a lot of the same people/places/things/events/words/syntax, but with strange twists that render them completely bizarre to people who are in the real world instead of in the wingnut bubble. A lot of times, when I see some wingnut screed, I feel like Lisa Simpson when shown a picture of a sign for the Yahoo Serious Film Festival: “I know those words, but that [statement] makes no sense!”

  33. 33
    mantis says:

    All Democrats fit into two categories for wingnuts: Grand Master of Evil and bumbling dimwit nobody. Which category you belong to can vary from day to day, depending on what’s in the news and who is at the top of the grand enemies list. Pelosi, Reid, and Obama are usually crafty grand masters of evil whose machinations will turn the US over to gay terrorist mexicans, but sometimes they’re just fools who can’t do anything right. Most other Democrats are bumbling dimwit nobodies most days, and grand masters of evil whenever they do something (or don’t do something) that raises the ire of the outrage police.

    So, for these purposes, Biden is some nobody hack who never did nothin, because it fits Brainless Ed’s “argument.” Tomorrow he may be Sauron, Dark Lord of Mordor. The wingnuts have internalized the “Biden gaffes a lot and is dumb” meme, so it’s more often the former than the latter, but who knows what changes a day’s events can bring!

  34. 34
    stuckinred says:

    Updated at 4:41 p.m.] Gen. Stanley McChrystal has submitted his resignation, Time magazine’s Joe Klein told CNN, citing an unnamed source. CNN is working to confirm Klein’s information.

  35. 35
    Lyrebird says:

    Humph. That “backbencher” who, among other things, improved the safety of women all over the country with his “daffy” little legislating manner…

    What I really don’t understand, though, is why this guy made the comparisons to Gates and Biden in the first place. It’s McChrystal who is in the military (unlike Biden) and who has broken the code of military justice (unlike Gates, so far as we know).

    Sigh.

    May this be a weird, Zen-like opportunity for better options in Afghanistan to prevail…

    PS: kay said what I wanted to say, only so much better! (Thanks! I wish you were a pundit instead of the ones we usually hear from!)

  36. 36
    geg6 says:

    @Violet:

    Seriously. If my mother was alive, she’d personally flay the skin off anyone who disses Joe Biden. She lurved him. Just absolutely lurved him. Even kinda pissed my dad off sometimes (and my dad was the world’s most level-headed guy), the way she drooled over him.

  37. 37
    jl says:

    Diehl’s big insight is that since civilians in the administration have been allowed to go off message wrt to Afghan policy, then it is OK for a military leader to trash talk the civilian leaders. ‘Cause it’s kind of sorta the same thing, somehow or other So, it is all Obama’s fault. So McChrystal should not be fired. Obama should apologize to McChrystal.

    Apologizing to people who are to blame for screwing up and messing you over seems to be another absurd and bad thing initiated by Cheney.

    That makes no sense to me, so I assume that Diehl is a contemporary US conservative writer. Not sure where I heard of him before the name seems familiar.

  38. 38
    Tonybrown74 says:

    @JCT:

    if Biden’s pick was inexplicable, how would you describe Palin?)

    Really don’t think I know of any good words in English to answer this. Stupefying, maybe? Seems like there should be a good Yiddish term for this…

    I think the most appropriate description/word would be CRAVEN.

    Edit: I know it’ not yiddish, but still works for me …

  39. 39
    stuckinred says:

    Huff Post confirms, resigned.

  40. 40
    geg6 says:

    @stuckinred:

    Exactly what should happen. No intelligent high level military officer with an eye to his career would ever have done the stupid shit or said the stupid shit he said in front of a fucking Rolling Stone reporter, ferchrissakes.

  41. 41
    beltane says:

    @mantis: Bill Clinton was the ultimate in Grand Master of Evil. He personally caused the erectile dysfunction of millions upon millions of Republican men. He haunts their dreams and he will hound them eternally from this life through the next. Do not mess with the power of the Clenis.

  42. 42
    stuckinred says:

    @geg6: Fuckin A.

  43. 43
    Amanda in the South Bay says:

    Well, didn’t Biden used to be Sen. Biden, (D-Banking Industry)?
    That’s probably the biggest strike against him in my book, but he always seemed pretty solid, a good debater, and a very experienced legislator. A pretty solid pick for Obama’s Veep.

  44. 44
    Mnemosyne says:

    I had an ex-boss who “submitted his resignation.” That’s corporate-speak for “resign voluntarily or we’ll have security throw you out on your ass.”

  45. 45
    atlliberal says:

    This is what I seriously don’t get about current movement conservatism- they are simply operating in their own made-up fictional universe in which history and the English language mean different things to them than to anyone outside the cult.

    You get it exactly. They decided in the Bush administration that they would from now on create their own reality, and sadly for them they too often,really believe their own rhetoric.

  46. 46
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Amanda in the South Bay:

    I think he was usually referred to as “the senator from MBNA.”

  47. 47
    stuckinred says:

    Stupid-ass Tweety has got to know but he’s driving on with his interview with the Stone editor without mentioning it.

  48. 48
    mantis says:

    @Jeff Fecke:

    According to Joke Line, McChrystal has resigned. I assume this came after another White House “shakedown.”

    No shakedown, just an insult to every man and woman in uniform (and all veterans, and God), as the president should stay in his place and not question or control the military leaders in any way, because he’s way too black-er, um, inexperienced. McChrystal may also have been thrown under a bus with Obama’s grandmother, mother, neighbors, Kenya, the American people, Hillary Clinton, Santa Claus, Jebus, and the Harlem Globetrotters (it’s a big bus).

    We’ll just have to wait for Brainless Ed and the rest of the single-helix crew to tell us why this Commander in Chief shouldn’t expect those under him to follow his commands, and how those expectations just reveal Obama’s arrogance and Chicago-style thuggery (and socialism).

  49. 49
    Uloborus says:

    @Brachiator:
    Am I the only straight male in America who finds Palin completely unattractive?

    And John, yes. They are operating in their own fictional, made-up universe. A lot of politics is like that, but my best guess is it’s a combination of neocons being in charge and playing so hard to the tribalist community. Both of them make no bones about their attitude that belief is more important than facts. However it started, it’s completely taken over.

  50. 50
    Violet says:

    So if McChrystal has resigned, is this a prelude to him running for President? The Republicans will be drooling all over him.

    Personally, he kind of creeps me out. I’m not sure how well he’ll play as a candidate.

  51. 51
    stuckinred says:

    @Uloborus: I wouldn’t fuck her with your dick. How’s that?

  52. 52
    dadanarchist says:

    Remember what Ron Suskind reported in his famous and oft-quoted New York Times article from way back in 2004:

    The aide said that guys like me were “in what we call the reality-based community,” which he defined as people who “believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.” … “That’s not the way the world really works anymore,” he continued. “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors…and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”

    The historian of science, Bruno Latour – much derided for his discipline of science studies and his advocacy for a postmodernist approach to grappling with the nature of truth – read that and wrote an article wondering whether the true legacy of the postmodernist project was the creation of a fundamentalist neo-conservatism that gave strength to all manners of crankery in the name of “balance” and “subjectiveness.”

    You can (warning, pdf) read it here.

  53. 53
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Violet:

    So if McChrystal has resigned, is this a prelude to him running for President? The Republicans will be drooling all over him.

    He’s gonna have to battle Petraeus for that spot, because Petraeus has been positioning himself to run for a couple of years now.

    I can’t wait for the cage match, personally.

  54. 54
    stuckinred says:

    @Mnemosyne: I don’t think this deep spook special ops dude is going to run for anything but the border.

  55. 55
    Brachiator says:

    @Calouste:

    You wonder what the movement conservatives would make of the UK government’s (the Tory/LibDem coalition) decision to put up the capital gains tax from 18% to 28% overnight. It was announced today and will take effect at midnight.

    Ya gotta be careful with these comparisons. The Brits are also upping their VAT to 20%, there is a public sector pay freeze, and serious cuts to various social services. In other words, something to make everyone unhappy. Even the queen, who may have to pawn some of her baubles.

    By the by, one thing that is interesting about the Brits (and the InterTubes) is not just the relative speed of these budget decisions, especially given the fears of a hung parliament or weak coalition government, but also the relative transparency. The BBC news site has good details about the budget, and you can download the entire budget document itself and review the highlights.

    @jl:

    I agree with Cole: if Obama thinks this guy can still be useful then let Obama keep him. Otherwise he should go.

    I haven’t had a chance to read the entire interview yet (which was linked from an MSNBC story). I’m not sure which comments were attributed to the general, and which to his aides, but it’s a messy situation. I think that the fact that the general offered an apology should be taken into consideration.

  56. 56
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @Violet:

    So if McChrystal has resigned, is this a prelude to him running for President? The Republicans will be drooling all over him.

    I really don’t understand why people keep tossing out this idea like it’s a legitimate option. I don’t think McChrystal would last long at all in a Republican presidential primary. It’s permanent Lord of The Flies season with Republicans; they’re all going to eat each other alive. Personally, I would leave to see wingnut heads explode across the country when Palin, Huckabee, or Romney took their first shot at McChrystal for his “dishonorable service to our country.”

    One of the best things that could ever happen for the Democratic Party is for someone like McChrystal to join the Republican presidential fray and serve as another catalyst to their ever-fracturing “coalition.”

  57. 57
    stuckinred says:

    @Brachiator: He resigned, what the fuck does the apology matter?

  58. 58
    El Cid says:

    Slap Fight in the Wingnut-o-Sphere!

    Crazy right winger (yet admirable hater of Sean Hannity’s profit-skimming with his not-troop-supporting ‘Freedumb Consurts’) Debbie Schussel is angerfied that Cassie Fiano (thanks to Sadly No! we can all know impossibly minor right wing shit-head bloggers) somehow supported some other nut who’s bothering Schlussel:

    Check out this photo, below. Is it a two-bit backwoods hooker . . . or an anti-Semitic “conservative” blogger who, today, joined the Twitter chorus of anti-Semitic bloggers on the right who’ve defended and praised lunatic Emily Zanotti and her four-year campaign of stalking me, filing raving (and quickly dismissed) complaints against me to the Michigan Attorney Grievance Commission, and praising Holocaust-denying death, rape, and torture threats on my life?
    __
    It looks like the former, but “looks” (if you can call this sleaziness that) are deceiving. I’d give you her name, but her site is barely read, and I don’t want to give her any new readers or traffic. She’s currently in oblivion where she belongs. Sorry, I’m not sure what she charges, but the outfit screams “no dolla, no holla.” Trash is trash. Belongs on the curb to get picked up.

    Then, Cassie Fiano (“Smoking Hot Commentary”):

    As for my being a hooker and a whore, I’d like to point out that I am married. I am MARRIED, to a Marine, no less. I love my husband so much and I am so proud of him. And he loves me. We are happy together. If we were out somewhere and a man called me a hooker and a whore in front of my husband, Matt would beat the living shit out of him. Debbie Schlussel should thank her lucky stars that she’s a woman, that she doesn’t live in North Carolina, and that she didn’t bring her crap to my husband. But we’re talking about a blogger who has absolutely no ammunition against me except idiotic personal attacks. I’ve been blogging for years now, and I’m used to the personal attacks. They don’t bother me much. In fact, I’m a little disappointed that anti-Semitic whore was the best Schlussel would come up with. It’s just so unimaginative! Come on, Deb. You can do better than that!
    __
    Seriously. Is this really the best you can do? Bring it on, Debbie. BRING. IT. ON.

    This dialogue does, however, prompt the question of whether or not there is a specific prostitute market supplying the needs of anti-Semites. This being the internet, I am afraid to seek answers for that question.

  59. 59
    mantis says:

    According to Joke Line, McChrystal has resigned. I assume this came after another White House “shakedown.”

    No shakedown, just an insult to every man and woman in uniform (and all veterans, and God), as the president should stay in his place and not question or control the military leaders in any way, because he’s way too black-er, um, inexperienced. McChrystal may also have been thrown under a bus with Obama’s grandmother, mother, neighbors, Kenya, the American people, Hillary Clinton, Santa Claus, Jebus, and the Harlem Globetrotters (it’s a big bus).

    We’ll just have to wait for Brainless Ed and the rest of the single-helix crew to tell us why this Commander in Chief shouldn’t expect those under him to follow his commands, and how those expectations just reveal Obama’s arrogance and Chicago-style thuggery (and socialism).

  60. 60
    Mnemosyne says:

    @stuckinred:

    Oh, I don’t think so, either. It’s just funny how people have gotten it into their heads that any general who disagrees with Obama is going to run, because they’ve been saying that about Petraeus for at least a couple of years now.

    Either that or people are mixing up Petraeus and McChrystal and get confused about which general is rumored to be planning to run (sorry, Violet!).

  61. 61
    kay says:

    @jl:

    Diehl’s big insight is that since civilians in the administration have been allowed to go off message wrt to Afghan policy,

    I don’t think Biden was off-message. He wanted firm draw down dates, and he got them. He’s repeating that publicly to promote the idea that they’re firm. Gates doesn’t agree with that interpretation, and he said so.

    Am I now to believe that Dick Cheney wasn’t out and about for 8 years promoting his personal agenda within the Bush agenda on the war on terror, to the public? My ass he wasn’t. He dominated the conversation. The same was true on Iran. Cheney wasn’t selling an Iran invasion, and it wasn’t obvious that Bush and Rice and Gates were the moderates there?

    I think the objection to Biden is he isn’t selling endless war. If he were to the warmonger RIGHT within Obama’s strategy, we wouldn’t be hearing this.

  62. 62
    cmorenc says:

    @John Cole

    This is what I seriously don’t get about current movement conservatism- they are simply operating in their own made-up fictional universe in which history and the English language mean different things to them than to anyone outside the cult.

    For all the focus on Ayn Rand in conservatives’ must-read self-education curriculum, we too often overlook another foundational must-study author for conservatives – Lewis Carroll. One passage they take particularly to heart is the following from Chapter 6 of “Through the Looking Glass”.

    But “glory” doesn’t mean “a nice knock-down argument”,’ Alice objected. “When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean, neither more nor less.’ ‘The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things.’ ‘The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master, that’s all.’

    Conservatives have extended that concept beyond words to also include history and facts.

  63. 63
    Davis X. Machina says:

    Petraeus. McChrystal. Today I heard Honoré’s name being thrown around. Before then — and before he turned all black and shit — there was Powell. And way back, MacArthur.

    The GOP really loves themselves some Caesarism, don’t they?

    The 2004 Wes Clark phenomenon left me strangely unmoved, probably because of this.

  64. 64
    stuckinred says:

    Before we are quick to judge the general for showing impatience with those who issue directives at a far distance from the daily tactical challenges he must overcome, we should remember that there are flawed people in both Washington and in war zones. But in war zones there are brave warriors who walk the battlefield to protect us and the nation. They are, in the words of President Theodore Roosevelt, our men in the arena “marred by dust and sweat and blood.”

    My advice to those in Washington, where McChyrstal attends meetings Wednesday? Cut the general a little slack. And remember to thank him and his soldiers for their courage and commitment before you criticize their impatience with policy questions launched from thousands of miles from the battlefield where they fight.

    The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Frances Fragos Townsend.

    I can’t get the damn blockquote to work, that is all Fran.

  65. 65
    The Populist says:

    They all live in a made up/make believe world where what they say is true. Repeat it enough times and other clueless folks buy into the b.s. as well.

    THAT is what I fear with these people.

    Obama is owned because a FLY landed on him
    Obama is weak because his generals HATE him
    Obama is a socialist
    Obama overreaches
    Obama extorts BP

    It’s all garbage and factually challenged BUT they will keep doing it because they think if you keep repeating the bullshit people will believe.

  66. 66
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    He’s gonna have to battle Petraeus for that spot, because Petraeus has been positioning himself to run for a couple of years now.
    __
    I can’t wait for the cage match, personally.

    If McChrystal wants it, I’m sure it’s going to be all his. I might be in the minority on this, but I actually believe Petraeus when he says he has no intention of running ever. He’s been saying it for so long and so resolutely that I’ve never gotten the impression he’s hedging his bets for the “perfect opportunity” in the future or whatever.

    “I thought I’d said ‘no’ about as many ways as I could. I really do mean no,” he insisted when asked if he was destined for politics. “I’ve tried quoting a country song ‘What part of ‘no’ don’t you understand?’ but I really do mean that…I will not ever run for political office, I can assure you.” — General David Petraeus, March 2010

  67. 67
    Sentient Puddle says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    He’s gonna have to battle Petraeus for that spot, because Petraeus has been positioning himself to run for a couple of years now.

    The hell? Since when does categorically denying that you’ll run for office count as positioning yourself to run?

  68. 68
    bkny says:

    fdl has link that stan the man has resigned:

    Gen. Stanley McChrystal has submitted his resignation, Time magazine’s Joe Klein told CNN, citing an unnamed source. CNN is working to confirm Klein’s information.

  69. 69
    GregB says:

    Speaking of Turdblossom, his new vehicle that was supposed to be a big challenge to the RNC money-machine raked in about 200 dollars last month.

    At least some of the wingnuts appear to be hoarding their cash instead of blowing it on Dink Tanks.

  70. 70
    stuckinred says:

    @bkny: That was posted here 30 minutes ago.

  71. 71
    Michael says:

    @stuckinred:

    Updated at 4:41 p.m.] Gen. Stanley McChrystal has submitted his resignation, Time magazine’s Joe Klein told CNN, citing an unnamed source. CNN is working to confirm Klein’s information.

    Oooooh – Joke Line has got hisself a scoop, whatever the fuck that means in the broader context of things. That should set off hours of fevered speculation among luminaries like Fred Barnes and Luke Russert and Meghan McCain about what it all means.

  72. 72
    Lyrebird says:

    @Uloborus: Can’t speak for male readers, but speaking for myself, THANK YOU!

    And she (not Palin, but Ulmer, below) may be a bit older than your range, but there is
    an Alaskan woman who looks pretty good in pictures who Obama calls on for oil and energy policy advice, Fran Ulmer.

  73. 73
    Brachiator says:

    @Uloborus:

    Am I the only straight male in America who finds Palin completely unattractive?

    Maybe. I still wouldn’t vote for her, though.

    @stuckinred:

    He resigned, what the fuck does the apology matter?

    His resignation is faster than an InterTubes news cycle. Most sites I see have his future still undetermined.

  74. 74
    Michael says:

    @Uloborus:

    Am I the only straight male in America who finds Palin completely unattractive?

    I’d fuck a snake if somebody held it down, but that woman’s shrieking voice causes my spine to ache.

  75. 75
    stuckinred says:

    @Brachiator: Yea, looks like CNN pulled it off.

    No, it’s still there but not a banner.

  76. 76
    Keith G says:

    This is what I seriously don’t get about current movement conservatism….

    I do not get the perpetual state of angry that I get from conservative friends. These are folk who I might disagree with in the past, but I understood where they were coming from.

    Now I get emails like this from a guy I used to have rational discussions with:

    Face it, Obama is in way over his head and is incompetent as an executive, though not as a politician). I could have handled the oil spill better than he has. You need to make decisions first then ask for forgiveness from the unions later.

    Strange.

  77. 77
    mantis says:

    Am I the only straight male in America who finds Palin completely unattractive?

    No. Try as I might, I just can’t find stupid women attractive.

    For me, a woman can go from good-looking to ugly real quick just by talking, and a woman can get much more attractive the same way.

  78. 78
    Svensker says:

    @Uloborus:

    Am I the only straight male in America who finds Palin completely unattractive?

    No. The Hubster doesn’t think she’s cute either. One of the many reasons I keep him around.

  79. 79
    Ailuridae says:

    @Uloborus:

    No you are not.

  80. 80
    Mike Kay says:

    Obama should have picked Carrie Prejean. A much better looking version of palin, who tosses less word salad.

  81. 81
    kay says:

    @Keith G:

    They think Obama won’t waive the Jones Act because of pressure from seaman’s unions. Of course, that doesn’t really make sense, but this idea caught fire with them, and they won’t let a good union-bashing go, so….

    Some critics have suggested that Obama is protecting the pocketbooks of his union allies by keeping foreign vessels at bay. But several Jones Act experts told me that makes little sense because unions have minimal influence in the Gulf. Foreign competition, therefore, would do little to hurt their bottom line.

    In addition, the Seafarers International Union, while supporters of the Jones Act, maintained good relations with the Bush administration. In 2000, the union donated $3,544 to candidate George W. Bush and nothing to Democrat Al Gore. Bush benefited with a $2,000 donation in 2004, while Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) received nothing. The union didn’t donate any money to candidate Obama in 2008.

  82. 82
    mr. whipple says:

    @mantis:

    For me, a woman can go from good-looking to ugly real quick just by talking, and a woman can get much more attractive the same way.

    Agreed. Also.

  83. 83
    kay says:

    @Keith G:

    Tell your friend:

    The administration defends its stance by citing a well-established waiver process for foreign vessels. In short, a request to U.S. Customs and Border Protection prompts an inquiry to the Maritime Administration, which leads to a search of the U.S. fleet. If an American ship can provide the same services, the request is denied. Otherwise, the foreign vessel gets a waiver. That process differs from a blanket waiver — the tactic used by then-Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff in 2005 after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The Bush administration justified the move by citing a need to transport oil and gasoline in the Gulf region.
    Jones Act expert Charlie Papavizas said the 2005 Katrina waiver, which lasted from Sept. 1 to Sept. 19, was used primarily to move cargo between ports, but it didn’t result in any new foreign ships in the region. “Twenty days is not enough time to reposition and do anything useful,” he said.
    Mark Ruge, who works with the Maritime Cabotage Task Force, was even blunter: “After the fact, if you look at Katrina and ask, ‘What was the advantage to the United States of America by blanket waiving the Jones Act?’ The answer is nothing came of that — nothing that couldn’t have been accomplished with the usual process. It was just one more thing you could say you did.”

  84. 84
    Tsulagi says:

    @Uloborus:

    Am I the only straight male in America who finds Palin completely unattractive?

    Jeez, no need to be mean. She’s not completely unattractive. If I were unattached, drunk, and wearing a great set of earplugs, I could go there. My range is broad.

  85. 85
    Comrade Javamanphil says:

    @Violet: They’ve read one book, it was by Mark Halperin and all they know is “win the cycle!” Anything beyond that is too deep for them.

  86. 86
    kay says:

    @Keith G:

    You can ask your friend why conservatives object to the US government showing a preference for US vessels, when it is determined that there is a US vessel that can provide the same service as a foreign vessel.

    I hope he doesn’t hate America.

  87. 87
    freelancer says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    Fuck it, let’s just put Encino Man in charge.

  88. 88
    Eric S. says:

    @Uloborus:

    Am I the only straight male in America who finds Palin completely unattractive?

    Nope.

  89. 89
    Uloborus says:

    @cmorenc:
    Okay, but Carroll was being silly, and he’d loathe the modern conservative movement. He was very serious into empathy as an issue, which we know because he wrote a few papers on the morality of social issues of the time.

    @Lyrebird:
    Yes, much too old for me, alas, but you’re right that she’s good looking in that age group. Just an aesthetically pleasing woman to look at.

  90. 90
    Bob L says:

    Mnemosyne: Pertraus verses McChrystal, reminds me of what Lincoln told McClellan after McClellan’s coup attempt during the Civil War; only victorious generals get to become dictator.

  91. 91
    Maude says:

    @Michael:
    Man, if you hear a rattle…

  92. 92
    Bob says:

    A post like this why I just love this blog. JC, thanks so freaking much.

    And happy birthday – many more.

  93. 93
    Ash says:

    @freelancer: What is it about Rolling Stone reporters that makes people say stupid shit out loud?

    I’m reminding you who your enemy is. The enemy.

    No truer words have ever been spoken.

  94. 94
    Mnemosyne says:

    With regards to McChrystal’s rumored resignation, apparently Obama is not going to make a final decision until he talks to the general.

    I’m assuming that you don’t fly almost 7,000 miles to get chewed out by the Secretary of Defense and the POTUS without having a resignation letter ready in your pocket, so I’m guessing that, at a minimum, McChrystal is prepared to offer his resignation even if the president hasn’t decided to accept it.

  95. 95
    gwangung says:

    I’m assuming that you don’t fly almost 7,000 miles to get chewed out by the Secretary of Defense and the POTUS without having a resignation letter ready in your pocket, so I’m guessing that, at a minimum, McChrystal is prepared to offer his resignation even if the president hasn’t decided to accept it.

    Um, duh. That’s what I thought about first.

    Still not sure what’s the best course of action here, though.

  96. 96
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @Ash:

    What is it about Rolling Stone reporters that makes people say stupid shit out loud?

    Apparently, the answer is case after case of Bud Light Lime.

  97. 97
    schrodinger's cat says:

    Is McChrystal on some kind of diet, or is he sick. He looks gaunt and skinny in his pictures.

  98. 98
    Violet says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Either that or people are mixing up Petraeus and McChrystal and get confused about which general is rumored to be planning to run (sorry, Violet!).

    I don’t think I was mixing them up. I’ve hear Petraeus say he’s not running a whole bunch of times. Anyway, I’m just speculating on the potential McChrystal run. It would be irresponsible not to speculate! (Lolz)

  99. 99
    BeccaM says:

    I would describe McCain’s picking Palin as “criminally insane, maliciously negligent, and proof of McCain’s manifest unfitness for the office of President.”

  100. 100
    Brachiator says:

    @Midnight Marauder:

    Apparently, the answer is case after case of Bud Light Lime.

    Oh, the irony!

    He would have been better off smoking a joint with Sarah Palin.

    Former Alaska GOP Gov. Sarah Palin said Wednesday night that law enforcement should not focus its energy on the “minimal problem” of marijuana….

    “However, I think we need to prioritize our law enforcement efforts,” Palin added. “If somebody’s gonna smoke a joint in their house and not do anybody any harm, then perhaps there are other things our cops should be looking at to engage in and try to clean up some of the other problems we have in society.”

    Palin then urged law enforcement to “not concentrate on such a, relatively speaking, minimal problem we have in the country.”

    Also, doobie, too.

  101. 101
    Ash says:

    @Midnight Marauder: Jesus, they might as well be drinking Mike’s Hard Lemonade.

  102. 102
    TuiMel says:

    This is what I seriously don’t get about current movement conservatism- they are simply operating in their own made-up fictional universe in which history and the English language mean different things to them than to anyone outside the cult.

    Oh, me thinks you get it.

  103. 103

    Re: Sarah Palin’s attractiveness. I find the mind to be a greater part of beauty than the purely physical. Looks will fade away quickly. And with Palin, there’s no there there.

  104. 104
    GregB says:

    McChrystal stated on 60 Minutes that he eats only one meal a day.

    Perhaps that is the reason he got hammered on watered down Bud lime?

  105. 105
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: Wasn’t attracting women voters, who were Hillary supporters the rationale behind her selection ? That to me is even more inexplicable.

  106. 106
    sunsin says:

    @stuckinred: Generals walk no battlefields and their acquaintance with dust and sweat is strictly limited. The chance they’ll get killed or injured is virtually nil. The writer should save that sort of respect for the poor buggers who are actually on the pointy end of My Lord General’s bright ideas.

  107. 107
    Chyron HR says:

    Biden would have remained a daffy, gaffe-prone backbencher in the Senate

    Backbencher? Why, he’s such an important political figure that they were already teaching his speeches in high school thirty years ago.

    Right, Sarah?

  108. 108
    Dee Loralei says:

    @TuiMel: Don’t forget science ( biology, geology, etc.) and logic and probably all 7 Arts and sciences Bob used to go on about. OY. People in serious denial of reality.

  109. 109
    stuckinred says:

    @sunsin: Thank you dear I had no idea.

  110. 110
    Ruckus says:

    John
    they are simply operating in their own made-up fictional universe in which history and the English language mean different things to them than to anyone outside the cult.

    And how is this different than any other cult? Scientology, Jim Jones, teatards, conservatives in general, whatever. It’s part of what makes a cult a cult, their own version of history and sayings to spread the message. Dog whistles with grammar.

  111. 111
    JGabriel says:

    Anyone remember when Morrisey was supposed to be the “sane conservative”?

    Even back then, I had a feeling that reputation wouldn’t last long.

    .

  112. 112
    Uloborus says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:
    There is that. I think her expression is a lot of it for me. She *looks* like there’s no there there. All I see is mindless ego and hate in that face.

    @GregB:
    Does this have something to do with keeping his vital fluids pure?

    @schrodinger’s cat:
    I heard an explanation I rather liked for that. It’s a lot like picking Michael Steele. Senior GOP officials like McCain view women and minorities as inferior. So Palin’s idiocy and incompetence were simply natural – no woman could be a competent politician anyway – and if she was a little on the dumb side even for him, well, because they’re inferior all women care about is that they’re voting for a woman, right?

  113. 113
    JGabriel says:

    Ruckus:

    And how is this different than any other cult?

    It’s not. That’s the point.

    .

  114. 114
    TuiMel says:

    @Bob L:

    I have been thinking more about Lincoln’s comments to Joe Hooker:

    I have heard, in such way as to believe it, of your recently saying that both the Army and the Government needed a Dictator. Of course it was not for this, but in spite of it, that I have given you the command. Only those generals who gain success can set up dictators. What I now ask of you is military success, and I will risk the dictatorship.

    That is some prime snark, and one of the reasons I love Lincoln.

  115. 115
    TuiMel says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    According to the RS article, consuming only one meal a day, sleeping only 4 hours a day, and running seven miles every morning is part of the general’s persona (a point of pride). That, and the unquestionable pressure of his position, may account for the gauntness.

  116. 116
    AhabTRuler says:

    He picked this lady who has never demonstrated the maturity, the mental dexterity, or the intellectual curiosity necessary to lead the most significant nation on the planet

    Wait, wait, wait, do you mean China or India? Cause Palin’s got nothing on Madame Mao or Indira Gandhi.

  117. 117
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @TuiMel: No wonder he is so cranky.

  118. 118
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Wasn’t attracting women voters, who were Hillary supporters the rationale behind her selection ?

    Pretty much, yeah. And as an added bonus, she was a sop to the religious right, who weren’t too fond of McCain because he didn’t Bible-thump enough for them.

  119. 119
    JGabriel says:

    @TuiMel:

    According to the RS article, consuming only one meal a day, sleeping only 4 hours a day, and running seven miles every morning is part of the general’s persona (a point of pride). That … may account for the gauntness.

    And the assholery. Sounds like a recipe for crankiness.

    .

  120. 120
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    @beltane:

    she is more like like a tourist who was caught shoplifting at a Capitol Hill souvenir kiosk

    Win.

  121. 121
    cmorenc says:

    @Uloborus

    Okay, but Carroll was being silly, and he’d loathe the modern conservative movement.

    Yes, I agree, but the conservatives apparently don’t realize that Carroll’s passage in “Through the Looking Glass” is a snark, they take it seriously.

    (I succinctly repeat the key part below):

    But “glory” doesn’t mean “a nice knock-down argument”,’ Alice objected. “When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean, neither more nor less.’

  122. 122
    Uloborus says:

    @cmorenc:
    Yeah, I knew which part you meant. It’s just, you know… having one of my idols associated with the conservative movement in any way whatsoever feels creepy, even if it’s totally justified for them to appear in the same sentence!

  123. 123
    Jim, Once says:

    During the Iowa caucuses, I got to know Joe Biden as well as any Obama precinct captain could who listened to at least a half dozen of his speeches and met with him repeatedly at various events. He is an extraordinary speaker and human being – passionate and deeply concerned about the morality of governance, the good of the common weal, and amazingly eloquent. The more I listened to and spoke with him, the more impressed I was. We are lucky to have him.

  124. 124
    TuiMel says:

    @JGabriel:
    I think the anecdotes about his youth (and the failure by any adult influence to tamp down the often-exhibited hubris) goes further to explain the “assholery.”

  125. 125
    sherifffruitfly says:

    “they are simply operating in their own made-up fictional universe in which history and the English language mean different things to them than to anyone outside the cult.”

    They can do this with relative impunity because Americans are so incredibly stupid.

  126. 126
    TuiMel says:

    @Jim, Once:

    I do not know much about Biden. I have, at times, found him far too in love with the sound of his own voice. But, when I observe him, I usually come away with the impression that Biden loves and cares about the “hoi polloi.” I think he comes across as though he loves people. If I could believe that such love could drive the public service of any politician, I could believe it about Joe (can I call him Joe?). And, as others have observed, he certainly has accomplished a lot for a backbencher.

  127. 127
    robertdsc says:

    Am I the only straight male in America who finds Palin completely unattractive?

    She is teh yummy to these eyes. Starbursts, I haz!

  128. 128
    LikeableInMyOwnWay says:

    @robertdsc:

    Um, no.

    IWFHWYD.

    I’d write it out, but there are ladies present.

  129. 129
    Viva BrisVegas says:

    @El Cid:

    This dialogue does, however, prompt the question of whether or not there is a specific prostitute market supplying the needs of anti-Semites. This being the internet, I am afraid to seek answers for that question.

    Ask and ye shall receive, whether you want it or not.

    Google “Max Mosley nazi sex scandal”.

  130. 130
    El Cid says:

    @Viva BrisVegas: Yeah, that one came to mind, but that’s just an individual case, particularly of a son weirdly, freakishly obsessed with his father’s own pro-fascism.

    I meant, you know, like, a market, meaning, not just one or two deranged individuals, but an actual countable market. Hence, I will not pursue this question.

  131. 131
    Mnemosyne says:

    @El Cid:

    Let’s put it this way: until it started getting on the news, did you think there was an actual market for people to dress up as teddy bears and have sex with each other?

    There’s a market somewhere for anything sex-related. Anything.

  132. 132
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    I heard a rumour that McChrystal is leaving in order to spend more time with his fami

    Wait, wha ?

    Never mind

    /emily Litella

  133. 133
    Viva BrisVegas says:

    @El Cid:

    I meant, you know, like, a market, meaning, not just one or two deranged individuals, but an actual countable market.

    I hate to disillusion you, but SS slut is a pretty standard dominatrix uniform.

    Not that I would know anything about that sort of thing.

    Hence, I will not pursue this question.

    Pursuing such questions is what the ever cheerful BJ commentariat lives for.

  134. 134
    paperbagmarlys says:

    Palin? Hmmm, I’ve started to think that she’s more or less a trial run for the kind of stuff that Berlusconi’s been doing for years. In fact, I’d guess that a surprising amount of recent GOP strategy comes from a close study of what’s worked for Berlusconi. Yes, of course, there are differences but Berlusconi’s focus on controlling the courts (the Federalist Society leading to Citizens United leading to unlimited corporate funding, etc. here), running the party from the top down, controlling the media (his, of course), neutering regulatory groups, using federal law enforcement to tar political enemies, and running bimbos to distract from all of above sure sounds familiar. Take a look at Alexander Stille’s survey of Berlusconi’s various bimbo issues in the April 8 NYRB. For example:

    [Berlusconi] “… handpicked a couple of dozen showgirls, many of them young women in their early to mid-twenties, to be groomed as candidates for the European Parliament. Few of them had any political experience…He set up a school to give them a crash course in European politics so that they wouldn’t embarrass themselves during the campaign…”

    Palin needed a bit more schooling and, of course, she had a tiny scrap of a paper record but, subtract a few years, add a few IQ points, toss Todd, and I suspect Berlusconi would have considered her.

  135. 135
    matoko_chan says:

    @robertdsc: ima hetero-grrl so Palin is purely repulsive to me…..but…..but….shes not a MILF…..shes a GILF.
    Aren’t GILFs just icky?

  136. 136
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @Violet: Ahem. Joe Biden is MY pretend-boyfriend, so there. Seriously, I have a soft spot for Joe. I could not read his memoir, however, as it was just too gosh-darned homespun-y for me.

  137. 137
    Mitchell Coffey says:

    @danimal:

    Danimal,

    And, you know, I don’t get the Republican’s “Chicago thug” insults. You’d think from the rest of their behavior they were going for the thug demographic.

  138. 138

    And unlike the dead head Red State “foreign policy experts”
    Biden knows how to say “Bosniac”,
    knows what it means and he even knows how to use it in context.

    The right wing is always so damned predictable in their cluelessness.

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