What He Said

That is all.

I repeat Lewis Black’s statement about our two party system being a bowl of shit looking at itself in the mirror.

267 replies
  1. 1
    Oscar Leroy says:

    But what about Obama’s plan to cut Social Security benefits? Still think both parties are the same????

  2. 2
    Mark S. says:

    Cue 500 comment thread arguing over whether Greenwald is an asshole or not.

  3. 3
    cleek says:

    meh.

    i read that DNC statement as a sarcastic “how do you like it?” to the GOP. they used the exact same phrases and rhetoric that we’ve heard the GOP using for the past 9 years. that’s no accident.

  4. 4
    Paul says:

    Cue 500 comment thread arguing over whether Greenwald is an asshole or not.

    Being an a-hole doesn’t mean that Greenwald is wrong, though.

  5. 5
    slag says:

    The DNC keeps calling me asking for money. I was strongly considering giving them some. I just changed my mind. I can’t support that kind of garbage.

    Who do people donate to around midterm time, anyway? Progressive groups, DNC, individual representatives? I always just sorta wing it, but I’m constantly looking for the most effective use of funds.

    Is a Balloon Juice midterm Act Blue page in the works?

  6. 6
    Adam Collyer says:

    I have to say that rank-and-file Democrats have me completely confused.

    For the past year and a half, many Democrats have savaged Democratic officials for not being nearly tough enough on the Republican Party. Damn the practical results, they wanted their pound of flesh and they wanted it at that very moment.

    Today, the DNC issues a statement that rips the Republican Party to shreds. It did exactly what most people wanted it to do. Now we’re upset?

    On principal, I guess I agree. Fine. But it’s not a wonder we lost elections for 20 years or so….

  7. 7
    slag says:

    @cleek: Yeah. They did use Rove-quality phrases. But if they were truly engaged in meta-level sarcasm, I think it failed.

  8. 8
    Adam Collyer says:

    I just can’t help myself, but….

    When the DNC, a front page Daily Kos writer and Bill Kristol all join together to smear someone with common language for opposing a war, it’s clear that something toxic is taking place.

    That’s true. When Jane Hamsher and Grover Norquist join together to smear someone with common language for passing health care reform, it’s clear that something toxic is taking place.

    (I’m clearly going to regret this)

  9. 9
    Corner Stone says:

    @Oscar Leroy:

    But what about Obama’s plan to cut Social Security benefits? Still think both parties are the same????

    Nope. Because when Bush tried it on, he got it shoved in his face.
    But now that the D’s are in charge, it’s a full on GO!

  10. 10
    Zifnab says:

    Gee, I was wondering why the various Democratic committees came across as weak-kneed and feckless. The whole time they just didn’t have the right issues to fight for.

    Would be nice if we could see this kind of fire over – I don’t know, water boarding or wire tapping or, hell, handing out purple heart band aids.

  11. 11
    Corner Stone says:

    @cleek:

    i read that DNC statement as a sarcastic “how do you like it?” to the GOP. they used the exact same phrases and rhetoric that we’ve heard the GOP using for the past 9 years. that’s no accident.

    Myself, and other assholes on blogs, can do this with impunity.
    The DNC doing it is just stupid.

  12. 12
    Corner Stone says:

    @Adam Collyer: Oooo ~ you’re going to regret this!
    You and your little dog too!

  13. 13
    tim says:

    Glenn Greenwald rocks.

    The venom he attracts from many commenters here is…weird.

    Thank you for posting the link, John.

  14. 14

    Can I just say I want both these wars to end post haste. I don’t care whose war we call it. I’d rather be debating who ended it.

  15. 15
    cleek says:

    @Adam Collyer:
    i’m not upset.

    but really, it’s silly to take anything the RNC or the DNC says seriously. they’re salesmen, all of them. even if the DNC is selling a better product (IMO), they still exist to convince people to part with their money. and, as with all salesmen, they have a somewhat pragmatic relationship with the truth.

    that’s why i never give them money.

    @Corner Stone:

    The DNC doing it is just stupid.

    i don’t think so.

    but, again, i don’t expect much from the DNC.

  16. 16
    KCinDC says:

    @Adam Collyer, not all forceful attacks on Republicans are the same. Clearly liberals aren’t going to favor the DNC attacking Republicans for taking liberal positions. I don’t see what’s so hard to understand.

    I was skeptical about cleek’s sarcasm defense, but looking again, talking about “the likes of John McCain and Lindsey Graham” is pretty blatant. Not that sarcasm was ever going to be appreciated in this sort of statement.

  17. 17
    Zifnab says:

    @Oscar Leroy: Obama approved a commission to investigate deficit reduction. He made the mistake of letting conservatives take a seat, and now the commission is set on fucking over everyone under 50 and a fair number of people over 50.

    I’m curious to see how well that commission holds up in the House or the Senate. But I’m not ready to gamble my future retirement benefits on it. :-p

  18. 18

    All that said, Michael Steele is about the dumbest chairman from either party evah.

  19. 19
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Wait, hasn’t the biggest complaint of people on blogs been that the Democrats aren’t hitting Republicans hard enough? And now that they have, the problem is that they’ve hit back too hard?

    I see the Goldilocks Democrats are rearing their heads again. “They’re being too wimpy! Now they’re being too mean!”

  20. 20
    wengler says:

    It would’ve been much better to just call Steele hypocrite, rather than saying if you don’t defend endless war you are a traitor.

  21. 21
    Hal says:

    Fuck it. I had to sit through 8 years of “Why do you hate America soooo much!” every time someone dared to question the war, so I like seeing Republicans get ripped on this for once.

    I actually don’t even disagree with GG either, so I admit I’m being hypocritical. But, it is also sort of annoying that GG would spend an entire article going after the Dems while giving nothing but cursory mention to the immense idiocy of Steele’s statement that all but makes it sound as if the war started on Jan 20th 2009 and Republicans had nothing to do with it.

  22. 22
    LT says:

    I just said the very same. The doofuses at the DNC – fuck. Just so dumb. Steele is guilty of 1) being an idiot of mindblowing proportions, 2) revolting opportunism in using the Afghan war in such an obvious way, and 3) being the head of the RNC.

    The head of the RNC. He was voted into that position by prominent Republicans. He IS them. He’s just more stupid and therefore obvious.

  23. 23

    This is the drivel you get when appointing a DNC chairman that is a Virginia democrat. I like Kaine ok, but not as being in charge of the party central apparatus, Where you get parsed mush replete with DLC gooper light talk. They should have made Dean chairman for life, or picked someone other than a conservadem. That goes for the senate leadership as well. The ghost of Ronnie Reagan still strikes fear into party elders. Even after 20 years and him deing dead as Julius Caesar.

    There is a way to maintain genuine patriotism with liberal speak, without shit like this

    without finishing the job.

    George Bush giggles his approval

    because we were attacked by terrorists on 9-11.

    The public knows this and there is no point of repeating it ad nauseum

    betting against our troops and rooting for failure in Afghanistan.

    undermine the morale of our troops

    etc…. etc…….

  24. 24
    slag says:

    @cleek: OFA is now part of the DNC, which may explain why they don’t bother doing anything but ask people for money anymore. Nonetheless, I still say the Democrats need salesmen.

  25. 25
    Corner Stone says:

    @Mnemosyne: Give us a break.
    Hard hitting is good. Stupidity is bad.
    No one is going to get this rebuttal by the DNC.

  26. 26
    Gus says:

    It just confirms for me that the Democratic Party doesn’t share my values. I’m not high on jingoism and simplistic catch phrases. YMMV.

  27. 27
    cleek says:

    @Hal:

    GG would spend an entire article going after the Dems while giving nothing but cursory mention to the immense idiocy of Steele’s statement

    makes one wonder, don’t it….

  28. 28
    Hunter Gathers says:

    Congratulations DNC.
    You just snatched Defeat from the jaws of Victory.
    How hard is it to immigrate to Canada?

  29. 29
    LT says:

    @tim:

    Glenn Greenwald rocks. The venom he attracts from many commenters here is…weird. Thank you for posting the link, John.

    I agree. And the way people mock him by mimicking his “Update I; Update II…” just weird. Seems to reveal the emptiness of the anger. He updates blog posts. And? It’s like mocking a cat for having paws.

  30. 30
    Corner Stone says:

    @Zifnab:

    Obama approved a commission to investigate deficit reduction. He made the mistake of letting conservatives take a seat, and now the commission is set on fucking over everyone under 50 and a fair number of people over 50.

    He didn’t make a mistake. Don’t let that just slip by sir.

  31. 31
    slag says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    And now that they have, the problem is that they’ve hit back too hard?

    Ummm…no. That’s not the problem.

  32. 32
    Toast says:

    If Steele’s opposition to the war was sincere then I’d be irritated to see rhetoric like this aimed his way by the DNC, whether it’s tongue-in-cheek or not. But Steele is not sincere. He’s just adopting the GOP stance of “We’re against whatever Obama is for, no matter what.” So fuck him sideways with a railroad tie.

  33. 33
    Todd says:

    Two links

    One, Gore Vidal on the two party system (to complement John’s Lewis Black quote) : http://fromthevaultradio.org/h.....ore-vidal/

    Two, Robot Chicken Terrorism sketch, Highlighting the Absurdity of the “Acting in an Unpatriotic manner emboldens the terrorist” concept, which is at the root of Rove’s and now DNC’s arguments : http://www.dumpalink.com/video.....-4648.html

  34. 34
    LT says:

    @Hunter Gathers: No they didn’t. Stop. This will own the news and blog world for a while – and I bet he’ll resign. One idiotic statement from the DNC isn’t going to turn this.

  35. 35
    Toast says:

    Oh, and fuck Lewis Black and his tired, Nader-esque bullshit. I was horrified to see him open his latest show with that noise. (I was even more horrified to realize that, if you strip away his tics and his persona, Lewis Black isn’t terribly funny.)

  36. 36
    Corner Stone says:

    @Zifnab:

    I’m curious to see how well that commission holds up in the House or the Senate.

    Nancy set it up so that any recommendation that passes the Senate (a very Conservative body) MUST receive an up or down vote in the House.
    With R’s on board to privatize, and Conservadems willing to listen ~ what do you think is going to happen?
    It’s set so that Nancy can’t stop a vote from coming to the floor.

  37. 37
    fucen tarmal says:

    given that the two elements in the scenario are a bowl of shit and a mirror, its still better to be the mirror when you can, and to its greatest effect.

    also, too, this is slapping at stupid things steele said, which is infinitely less worthy of the description than say selling out on gitmo, or surveillance, or hcr, or fin ref….

  38. 38
    jetan says:

    Agreed. Obama isn’t being tricked. This is what he believes. Everyone, pro and con, seems to want to believe that deep in his heart the Pres is a true lefty as opposed to being a fairly hard-nosed centrist as the evidence would indicate. Or, as Clinton once said, “We are all Eisenhower Republicans now.”

  39. 39
    Hunter Gathers says:

    @LT: The issue of whether Steele resigns or not (he won’t, the RNC will shit-can him) is beside the point. The DNC’s response is pure Rovian bullshit. All they had to do was knock him for forgetting that Bush put us in Afghanistan in the first place. But they didn’t do that. They pulled out a classic Rovian “why do you hate the troops” trope. Which makes me want to puke.

  40. 40

    I don’t attack Greenwald when I think he is right, And he usually is when his target is the media or republicans. It is his scorched earth campaign against government power, and specifically executive power that pisses me off. Because it is sloppy and polemic, but mostly that it wreaks of conflation and is devoid of nuance.

  41. 41
    cyntax says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    “They’re being too wimpy! Now they’re being too mean!”

    It’s not that they’re being “too mean,” it’s that they’re using the Republican’s terms to debate the issue. Hit the Republicans hard on the idiocy and hypocrisy of the statements (i.e. on the “merits” of the tripe they’re peddling). But don’t use tired, old arguments that Obama effectively rebutted in the election, that’s just typical beltway chasing-the-crowd bullshit.

  42. 42
    jetan says:

    a href=”#comment-1866114″>Corner Stone:

    Agreed. Obama isn’t being tricked. This is what he believes. Everyone, pro and con, seems to want to believe that deep in his heart the Pres is a true lefty as opposed to being a fairly hard-nosed centrist as the evidence would indicate. Or, as Clinton once said, “We are all Eisenhower Republicans now.”

  43. 43
    Martin says:

    @Mnemosyne: The Republicans hit hard, but on stupid, meaningless shit. The Democrats shouldn’t also hit hard on stupid, meaningless shit.

    The proper response would have called out Republicans for using the war as a political foil, supporting it when they’re in power and then immediately opposing it as soon as they’re out of power. That the American public deserves politicians that care about the public and public policy, not just about making political hay.

    The DNC could have gone to town on this point, pointing out Republican duplicity on all manner of issues without invoking the patriotism/support the troops bullshit.

  44. 44
    TooManyJens says:

    @wengler:

    It would’ve been much better to just call Steele hypocrite, rather than saying if you don’t defend endless war you are a traitor.

    Thank you! Jesus, how hard is this?

  45. 45
    Catsy says:

    This is not “getting tough with Republicans”.

    This is “doing exactly what we’ve spent the last eight years condemning Republicans for doing”.

    Getting tough on them and giving them a taste of their own medicine would be something to the effect of: “RNC Chairman Michael Steele’s recent comments are as rich with irony as they are with revisionist history. Republicans have spent eight years reading from Karl Rove’s destructive playbook, smearing anyone who opposes either of the wars they started as unpatriotic and accusing them of not supporting the troops. But now that President Obama has inherited the mess that they left behind and committed to resolving it responsibly, they’ve suddenly rediscovered the horrors of war and the virtues of questioning their government. Like the lockstep Republican obstructionism in Congress that is harming families across America, this only further demonstrates that the Republican party has no solutions, no principles, and no agenda other than reflexive opposition to anything this administration does, regardless of its merits.”

    The recent “on their side” ad the DNC put out was pretty good, but they really need to up their game.

  46. 46
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Corner Stone:

    No one is going to get this rebuttal by the DNC.

    Considering how many people are freaking out at what is probably about the millionth sarcastic press release from the DNC, you’re probably right. If you pay no attention to what the DNC does, and then look at this one press release and assume that it’s serious, then I can see where someone would freak out.

  47. 47
    TooManyJens says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    If you pay no attention to what the DNC does

    That’s the problem. If their sarcasm relies on people having kept track of their other press releases, it’s a failure.

  48. 48
    Mnemosyne says:

    Hey, look, the DNC’s press release has put the RNC on the defensive.

    Clearly yet another total DNC FAIL.

  49. 49
    Scamp Dog says:

    @jetan: Except we’re not all Eisenhower Republicans—the Republicans are now radical right-wing nationalists with a taste for authoritarianism and theocracy.

  50. 50
    frankdawg says:

    @General Egali Tarian Stuck:

    Sorry, I don’t see much nuance in the executive abuses we have had unleashed in the last 10 years.
    ————

    We have forgotten many lessons from Viet Nam but the most painful one is that kids die in war & no matter how brave, no matter how well intentioned, no matter how pure those kids were if you cannot envision the end point, if you cannot describe the end point and you cannot show the path from here to that end point those kids will have died for nothing. It does not matter if you walk away now or 10 years from now those already dead died for no good reason. It does matter to those who have not yet died but their sacrifice will not make all these deaths any more meaningful.

    And the kids, like my son, that came back only wounded – do you suppose it is going to make them feel any better that another thousand or ten-thousand or hundred-thousand are also wounded?

  51. 51
    MikeJ says:

    I wish the DNC would put out a statement like this every day. I really don’t give a shit about being nice or fair to Republicans. Whatever it takes to make them look stupid and weak is fine with me.

  52. 52
    El Cid says:

    First of all, it’s a bunch of nationalist bullshit.

    Second, the Democrats are simply not going to be taken seriously politically — no matter the real historical record — as being the party strongest on the military and belligerence.

    Third, the Democrats as a party railed against these Republican attacks not just because they didn’t apply to them, but because it was a perversion of patriotism.

    Fourth, there’s no reason the DNC couldn’t have used the same theme, but embedded in a charge of hypocrisy.

    This was just dumb, dumb and unconvincing to anyone I can think of who isn’t already an instinctive Democratic voter, anyway.

  53. 53
    TooManyJens says:

    @Mnemosyne: Steve Benen’s post about the RNC trying to walk back Steele’s remarks is timestamped 12:35 pm. I’m assuming EDT because it’s the Washington Monthly. Greg Sargent posted at 1:15 pm EDT that the DNC’s statement was “just out”. I’m going to have to dispute that the press release put the RNC on the defensive.

  54. 54
    eemom says:

    The Republicans hit hard, but on stupid, meaningless shit.

    But that WORKS.

  55. 55
    Martin says:

    @Zifnab: No, part of the reason that Obama’s approval is still as high as it is in spite of all the shit going on is that a lot of people, particularly independents think he’s taking quite reasonable efforts toward the nations’s problems. He may not always be getting reasonable results, but that’s in the hands of the GOP.

    My guess is they’ll put forward a SS proposal that does a little of everything – raises ages, raises the contribution cap, etc. The GOP can either oppose a reasonable proposal and continue to lose independents and moderates or they can keep stroking the base. I don’t think the elections will favor a stubbornly partisan party here. The polling suggests they won’t, at least.

  56. 56
    El Cid says:

    @Mnemosyne: What evidence is there that the DNC memo has anything to do with Steele’s backtracking, or weighs more significantly than right wing and GOP derision and calls to quit?

    After all, the right’s main issue with this is that Steele gave credit to Bush Jr’s Afghanistan war when the GOP and Kristol want to own it as theirs to wage and Obama’s to lose.

  57. 57

    @Mnemosyne: Not surprising using GOP talking points for rebuttal has put the goopers on the defensive. They are lizard brains after all. But this was an opportunity to go one better and use liberal speak and not appear as in a tit for tat childish spat. It still would have put the goopers on the defensive, but with sounding actually more like the daddy party, or all grown up. That would have made the wingers seem even more crass and smaller. And I realize this is but a small dust up, but over the long haul, it matters to create a new narrative that is both liberal and patriotic.

  58. 58
  59. 59

    @frankdawg:

    Sorry, I don’t see much nuance in the executive abuses we have had unleashed in the last 10 years.—

    I do, but you are entitled to your opinion.

    And I would just include one example that Obama has put an end date to the ground war in Afghan. next year. I don’t think Bush or any republican would have done that.

  60. 60
    Corner Stone says:

    We’re getting the shit kicked out of us in The Greater Houston Metro Area. Thunderstorms and a seriously nice rain downpour.
    Everyone ~ if I don’t post again for a while…know that I love you all.

  61. 61
    Todd says:

    It’s interesting that you can tweet the guy in charge of DNC Communciations. Couldn’t find an email. http://twitter.com/woodhouseb

  62. 62
    Mnemosyne says:

    @TooManyJens:

    Steve Benen’s post about the RNC trying to walk back Steele’s remarks is timestamped 12:35 pm. I’m assuming EDT because it’s the Washington Monthly. Greg Sargent posted at 1:15 pm EDT that the DNC’s statement was “just out”. I’m going to have to dispute that the press release put the RNC on the defensive.

    Looking at the timing between that and the Kristol column, I think the DNC’s press release is some shit-stirring. If Kristol says that Steele should resign for dissing the troops, and the DNC comes out and says, “Yeah, what Bill said!” that highlights the divisions within the Republican Party. You’re probably right that the DNC release was not a direct influence on the RNC’s walkback, but it was definitely an attempt to keep the controversy going after Kristol started it.

    There’s more than one discourse going on here.

  63. 63

    @Martin:

    My guess is they’ll put forward a SS proposal that does a little of everything – raises ages, raises the contribution cap, etc

    Exactly, and therein lies the difference with what the goopers want, which is privatization and cutting benefits. That is their plan in it’s entirety.

  64. 64
    KCinDC says:

    @MikeJ, you don’t care that the tough talk is actually supporting Republican positions, as long as it’s supposedly making the blue team look strong? So if the DNC were denouncing Republicans for not caring about the deficit, or not being enthusiastic enough about torture, or not wanting to bomb Iran fast enough, you’d be fine with that?

    Not me. The whole reason I want Democrats to win is that I mostly prefer Democratic policies, not that I’m attached to the name “Democrat” and rooting for them like a sports team.

  65. 65
    TooManyJens says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    There’s more than one discourse going on here.

    Too bad they all seem to be on the warmongers’ favored terms.

  66. 66
    JGabriel says:

    OT, mostly, but the 27% Crazification Factor rears its head again: 26% Of U.S. Clueless On Who We Declared Independence From.

    So it’s proven – the 27 Percenters who voted for Alan Keyes, still support GW Bush, and joined or support the Teabaggers: they’re ignorant morons.

    .

  67. 67
    TooManyJens says:

    @JGabriel: I was really hoping that would be a Research2000 poll.

  68. 68
    Mnemosyne says:

    @TooManyJens:

    Too bad they all seem to be on the warmongers’ favored terms.

    When you’re trying to goad the warmongers into firing someone on their side who said he’s not on board with the warmongering, what terms are you supposed to use?

  69. 69
    Mnemosyne says:

    Steve Benen agrees with Greg Sargent, but he does at least bring up this point:

    Part of me sympathizes with DNC staffers reading Greg’s post and thinking, “We just can’t win. Everyone tells us to play rough and be just as vicious as the RNC, but when we do, we’re criticized by the left and right.” I get that, and I know why it seems unfair.

  70. 70
    cleek says:

    sheesh, people.

    this first line of that DNC statement is:

    “Here goes Michael Steele setting policy for the GOP again.”

    snap! a flick right to the GOP’s nose. right off the bat, you know this is a pour-gas-on-the-fire statement, not a policy statement.

    The likes of John McCain and Lindsey Graham will be interested to hear that the Republican Party position is that we should walk away from the fight against Al Qaeda and the Taliban without finishing the job.

    another flick on the nose. it’s using the GOP’s own words to divide the party from its chairman. it’s not advocating policy, it’s calling out two of its biggest names to repudiate their own chairman.

    that’s what this statement is about. it’s not “adopting GOP framing”. it’s taunting the GOP and trying to stir up internal conflict.

    GG’s reflexively anti-Democratic take is BS. this isn’t a jingoist flag-waving support the troops thing, it’s an attempt to split the GOP. anyone who’s paid any attention to politics in the past decade should recognize that the bulk of the statement is GOP boilerplate. it’s supposed to sound like a collection of GOP talking points, because that’s what it is. but it’s not an endorsement, it’s a wedge.

  71. 71
    TooManyJens says:

    @Mnemosyne: I really don’t give a shit if Michael Steele keeps that job forever. It’s not like he’s any good at it. Why is “getting Michael Steele fired” a goal that warrants giving traction to the “war opponents are traitors” narrative?

  72. 72
    Bruce (formerly Steve S.) says:

    @Adam Collyer:

    Today, the DNC issues a statement that rips the Republican Party to shreds. It did exactly what most people wanted it to do. Now we’re upset?

    Yes, people are upset that the Dems are savaging the GOP with GOP rhetoric. It would be like savaging them for not cutting taxes enough or being too accommodating on gay rights.

    But it’s not a wonder we lost elections for 20 years or so….

    This isn’t true. From 1980 to present the Dems have controlled one or more of the Presidency, Senate, or House all but four years, and themselves have controlled all three at the same time for four years. Aside from being factually false your statement is revealing in that you appear to view this as a game of blue jerseys versus red jerseys. I would hope that policy beneficial to the common weal would enter into this equation somewhere.

  73. 73
    LT says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Part of me sympathizes with DNC staffers reading Greg’s post and thinking, “We just can’t win. Everyone tells us to play rough and be just as vicious as the RNC, but when we do, we’re criticized by the left and right.” I get that, and I know why it seems unfair.

    Are you saying that you agree they’re getting criticized for playing “rough and be just as vicious as the RNC”? Cuz they’re not.

  74. 74
    cat48 says:

    As much as gg & fdl whine about Dems not being tough enough, they should both sit down & shut up when it happens. Not taking criticism from either of them seriously, ever!

  75. 75

    @cleek:

    it’s not “adopting GOP framing”. it’s taunting the GOP and trying to stir up internal conflict.

    It is both, and all some of us are saying that it is possible to stir up internal conflict within the GOP without using GOP talking points to do it. And still sound tough, but with original or liberal verbage and concepts. Taunting is not required, and never contributes to a viable liberal narrative.

  76. 76
    TooManyJens says:

    @General Egali Tarian Stuck: I think people have gotten used to the Republicans attacking and Democrats cowering for so long, that they see Republican language and aggressive language as the same thing. Like you can’t be aggressive without talking like a Republican.

  77. 77
  78. 78
    Allan says:

    I didn’t know that the DNC had so much power, or that an entire party and all its individual members get no second chance to work a Republican gaffe to our advantage beyond an initial comment.

    Other Democrats will make other statements about Steele that have more nuance, perhaps that will make you bruised flowers feel better.

  79. 79
    jl says:

    There may be an interesting experiment concering the success of rabid GOP attacks in the CA gubernators race.

    Whitman is running over the top rabid attack ads against Jerry Brown in CA. Their production tone and content is identical to what has been used in the GOP primaries. Sarcastic insulting tone of the narration, sarcastic clown show circus music, total scorched earth attack on everything the opponent has ever done.

    Brown is being protrayed as a clownish failure in everything he has ever done. Some of the charges are, shall we say, a tad broad and doubtful as to their mere truthiness (even less so in terms of actual history and truth).

    Which may be a problem since many older voters remember Brown’s terms themselves. And CA voters of all ages have, for better or worse, voted Brown (the clownish failure) into office repeatedly.

    I wonder this appraoch will work as well with the general CA voting population as it did with the GOP base. And so far, nothing at all about Brown’s term as CA AG, his current job.

    Edit: should have said that Whitman is currently carpet bombing CA drive time radio with rabid attack ads.

  80. 80
    demimondian says:

    @General Egali Tarian Stuck: Exactly.

    Was Steele’s statement utterly stupid? Yes. Was it completely inconsistent with his recent past statements? Yes. Was it wrong? Yes.

    But was it “disrespectful to the troops”? I can’t see how it could possibly be read that way. It was disrespectful to the Eternal Warriors of the 101st Chairborne, to be sure — but isn’t that appropriate? Irving Kristol’s son, Lucianne Goldberg’s son, these are people who deserve disrespect — but since none of them ever served, that has nothing to do with “the troops”, “our brave men and women in uniform”, or whatever other blethering pomposity you want to spew.

  81. 81
    demimondian says:

    @Allan: I can see why you don’t find it distasteful when other people engage in Rovian misrepresentation.

  82. 82
    cleek says:

    @General Egali Tarian Stuck:

    Taunting is not required, and never contributes to a viable liberal narrative.

    the ‘narrative’ for this weekend will be “Disarray in the GOP!”, which is great news for the Dems – Steele told the truth : the war sucks and everybody hates it. but now the GOP is going to have to spend the next four days telling everybody that the war is great and that they started it and that they want it to continue, and that their own party chairman was speaking out of turn, etc.. and the DNC has wisely done what it can to encourage that.

    now’s not a good time to start talking about the Dem’s plans for Afghanistan – because, frankly, the official Dem plan sucks (let’s maybe start thinking about slowly leaving in a year, if there’s enough progress! that’s not what people want to hear). but it’s a fine time to discuss the problems inside the RNC/GOP.

  83. 83
    Kered (formerly Derek) says:

    @Toast:

    You’re full of shit.

  84. 84
    Lurker says:

    @slag:

    The DNC keeps calling me asking for money. I was strongly considering giving them some. I just changed my mind. I can’t support that kind of garbage.
    __
    Who do people donate to around midterm time, anyway? Progressive groups, DNC, individual representatives? I always just sorta wing it, but I’m constantly looking for the most effective use of funds.

    I’m supporting Organizing for America right now. I want to help OFA with efforts like Raise Your Vote.

    That said, my credit card reports my donations as “DNC, BarackObama.com” instead of “Organizing for America.” I do not know if all of my funds go towards OFA.

  85. 85
    Adam Collyer says:

    @Bruce (formerly Steve S.):

    This isn’t true. From 1980 to present the Dems have controlled one or more of the Presidency, Senate, or House all but four years, and themselves have controlled all three at the same time for four years. Aside from being factually false your statement is revealing in that you appear to view this as a game of blue jerseys versus red jerseys. I would hope that policy beneficial to the common weal would enter into this equation somewhere.

    Oh please. 20 years was 1990. If you want to be more accurate, 20 years from 2006 (when we took back both houses) was 1986. From 1986, Republicans won both houses at various times and had Reagan and both Bush 41 and 43 in the White House. Quite frankly, the reason 2006 was such a big deal was because Democrats (both liberals and moderates) had been beaten back and on the defensive for about 20 years.

    My statement was about realities. Yes, I’m a Democrat. I didn’t just randomly choose the party. I chose it because it reflects most of my values – or “policies beneficial to the common weal.” In order for those policies to be enacted (things like health care, education, financial regulatory, and immigration reform), we have to win elections. So yes, I guess that puts me on a team. And if releasing sarcastic press releases that savage the GOP by using GOP talking points is effective for the “blue team,” then I’d suggest that Democrats should stand in support instead of nitpicking and decrying everything that the party does.

  86. 86
    Allan says:

    @demimondian: And you can see why I find it distasteful when people engage in Greenwaldian aspersions about the kind of person they imagine their opponent to be instead of engaging on issues.

  87. 87

    @slag:

    Same here – was thinking about throwing the DNC a little coin after the whole “BP apology” event, not now. DNC had a PERECT opportunity to promote a progressive ideal while slamming the living shit out of RNC revisionism bullsh!t, and they grope around like its still 2006 election.

    Benen and Glennzilla, rock the house.

    Who do people donate to around midterm time, anyway?

    Woo hoo! ActBlue baby, don’t wait for the page – find your favorite progressive Dem and donate, donate, donate. Spend 15 minutes rooting around the ActBlue site, you’ll find groups already set up, you can look up your favorite name, state, zip code, i expect you’ll find someone worthy of your coin.

  88. 88
    demimondian says:

    @Allan: If you mean I can see why you find real debate distasteful, you’re right. If you think that I intend to dignify your comment with anything more than the sneering dismissal it deserves, though, you are wrong.

    Now go away, pupkins. There are people around here who are worth talking to.

  89. 89
    Brachiator says:

    @General Egali Tarian Stuck:

    There is a way to maintain genuine patriotism with liberal speak, without shit like this

    Great point, and maybe the Democrats should be more principled, but …

    The GOP has tried hard to present themselves as the most macho, patriotic, Real American supporting bunch ever. They preach to a crowd eager to accept easy answers.

    But now, the Democrats are forcing the Republicans to eat their own words, and reaping huge benefits from conservative disunity as they are forced to deal with Michael Steele’s latest stupidity.

    Perhaps by hijacking the Patriotism Express from the Republicans, by forcing the GOP to more openly support Obama, the Democrats might give themselves more room to actually implement a better foreign policy.

  90. 90
    Allan says:

    @demimondian: Why, it’s almost like talking with Greenwald himself! You channel him almost effortlessly, don’t you?

  91. 91
    El Cid says:

    I hope that Democrats win, and I hope that Democrats hit Republicans really hard, but though Steele is in the hottest water in the GOP for having apparently given credit for Bush Jr’s invasion of Afghanistan to Obama, I agree that we have no business being in Afghanistan, and I too am ‘betting against our troops’, meaning, I am unwilling to fantasize that they can create an Afghan state out of warlord shit and create love and solidarity by having drones bomb wedding parties, no matter what bullshit “COIN” or “SURGE” or WHATEVERTHEFUCK new strategy is proclaimed.

    I just prefer Democrats hit the GOP hard with stuff I don’t believe is utter bullshit.

    I mean, given the DNC’s wording, Democrats in Congress who oppose the Afghanistan war are somehow scurrilous troop-doubters.

  92. 92
    CalD says:

    I repeat Lewis Black’s statement about our two party system being a bowl of shit looking at itself in the mirror.

    It’d be kind of a funhouse mirror I guess. But yeah, the bowl of shit should probably still be able to recognize itself.

    The same might be said of the left and right-wing fringes. Sometimes the only way I can tell them apart is by the slogans on their T-shirts, or the fact that one goes around quoting Noam Chomsky while the other goes in more for Ayn Rand and/or Leviticus.

  93. 93
    slag says:

    @BruceFromOhio:

    find your favorite progressive Dem and donate, donate, donate.

    Good advice. I’ve definitely got to donate to my senator. Maybe all my cash should go there, given this tough election cycle. I’m just always trying to be more strategic, which often fails. I usually just end up doing what you mentioned.

    @Lurker:

    That said, my credit card reports my donations as “DNC, BarackObama.com” instead of “Organizing for America.” I do not know if all of my funds go towards OFA.

    Yeah. That’s my problem. We were donating to OFA monthly for HCR, but after that ended, I wanted to see some more accomplishment before the Dems got more money out of us. We were thinking of a post-FinReg donation (flawed though the legislation is) but not now. It is the OFA-DNC combo that kind of rankles. If I can’t support one without supporting the other, I’m probably not going to be supporting either.

  94. 94
    demimondian says:

    @Allan: Oh. I see — you’re a crystal -worshiping reality-denier.

    Shnookums, “channeling” is pseudo-scientific w00. There’s no such thing.

  95. 95
    demimondian says:

    @El Cid: This is the point.

    I consider the war in Afghanistan to be very important, but it’s not “disrespecting the troops” to do your job as a citizen to say that you believe otherwise, or to say that the strategy we’re pursuing there is nonsensical. In fact, it’s disrespecting thee troops who are out there fighting for your right to do either of those to call it disrespecting the troops. *That* is un-American.

  96. 96
    El Cid says:

    @CalD: I’ll be happy to keep quoting Noam Chomsky if it’s something which was well-argued and relevant, and people are free to keep thinking that my ‘fringe’ status makes me wrong, and I’ll still not care, since I’ve never cared, and since the sensible middle has [more often than not] been horribly wrong.

  97. 97
    burnspbesq says:

    A complete waste of time. Utterly irrelevant to anything meaningful.

    Can I have my 2005-model Greenwald back, please?

  98. 98
    Allan says:

    The DNC is defending the official US policy in Afghanistan, set and executed by a Democratic President and Congress, against a shocking attack by the head of the RNC. Our mission in Afghanistan is to hunt down and capture, kill or otherwise disrupt the ongoing operations of as many of the people who attacked the US on 9/11 as we can before leaving.

    I understand why Greenwald and others who disagree with that policy don’t care to see the DNC stand with the administration in this manner.

    Many individual Democrats can and will attack Steele’s comments from another angle, and that is also a good thing. Let a thousand flowers bloom.

  99. 99
    El Cid says:

    @demimondian: I think the war and occupation of Afghanistan is indeed very important, but not in the way that it should be continued, nor that a continued U.S. presence would be better for the Afghan citizenry.

    After all, the Taliban were able to take over precisely because the warlord murderous fundamentalist narco-trafficking freaks the U.S. hired to destroy the secular Afghan government in order to hurt the Soviets were warring so badly that a unifying force was, however glumly and reluctantly, accepted by much of the population.

  100. 100
    Allan says:

    @demimondian: I thought you weren’t going to engage with me?

  101. 101
    harlana says:

    This is an interesting discussion. When I first read it, I was repulsed. However, if one considers it was written tongue-in-cheek, it’s not bad stuff. As for republicans, we will just have to wait and see what Limbaugh or Beck have to say before we pass judgment on whether this is effective or not. If you haven’t noticed, everything rides on what these two say since the party is now being run by Teabaggers. If Limbaugh says it’s crazy to fight a ground war, they will be right up his ass saying the same thing. If you haven’t noticed, these people are utterly immune to irony. And, ironically, for Michael Steele, “history” does not resonate with the remainder of the party and has not been for quite some time.

    Of course, you can correct me if I am wrong. I may be a bit myopic about republicans because I live in SC where even well-educated people (lots of well-educated people) hang onto everything that comes out of Glenn Beck’s mouth as Truth from the Gods.

  102. 102
    Allison W. says:

    I don’t understand the derangement and panic that is coming from the Left on the debt commission. First of all what they say is not binding. Secondly, why the complaints over who is on the panel? What world are you living in that you think the president should have a panel full of Liberal Democrats? Like it or not, we have to deal with republicans and republican VOTERS – remember some of them voted for Obama. Third, old people are a part of the Democratic base – that’s right, its not just Dkos, FDL and the commentors you’ve met on the internet. It would be political suicide to go after them. I also find it interesting that Obama is accused of doing things half-assed but you have no problems accusing him of fully going along with whatever the so-called Catfood Commission says like destroying SS and raising the SS age all the way to 70.

    As for the DNC statement? I smell hypocrisy. The Left is always telling the DNC to act and talk like Republicans – so there ya go. be careful what you ask for.

  103. 103
    TooManyJens says:

    @Allison W.: This blog =/= “The Left”. HTH.

  104. 104
    El Cid says:

    @Allan:

    Our mission in Afghanistan is to hunt down and capture, kill or otherwise disrupt the ongoing operations of as many of the people who attacked the US on 9/11 as we can before leaving.

    I don’t see the evidence for that statement. U.S. operations do not seem to be guided by that mission statement. In addition, this is not how the U.S. has been characterizing its mission in Afghanistan, as it has turned to the need to create a stable Afghan state.

    In addition, the people who attacked the U.S. on 9/11 were primarily from Saudi Arabia and other Arabic, and non-Afghan nations, and operated from European and U.S. territories.

  105. 105
    demimondian says:

    @Allan: I didn’t say I wasn’t going to engage with you. I said I was going to *make fun* of you.

    Seriously, little one, you need to get your game on. You don’t have much of a future as a Rovie Boy if this is the best you can do.

  106. 106
    harlana says:

    oops, I mean from Jeezus!

  107. 107
    Anya says:

    @Mark S.: He is an asshole but correct on this particular issue. I winced when I read the DNC press release. Steel’s argument was problematic without restoring to GOP dirty arguments.

  108. 108
    Allan says:

    @El Cid: I got it from this guy:

    And that’s why, shortly after taking office, I approved a longstanding request for more troops. After consultations with our allies, I then announced a strategy recognizing the fundamental connection between our war effort in Afghanistan and the extremist safe havens in Pakistan. I set a goal that was narrowly defined as disrupting, dismantling, and defeating al Qaeda and its extremist allies, and pledged to better coordinate our military and civilian efforts.

  109. 109
    Nick says:

    I fail to see the problem here. It seems pretty clear this was an attempt to rile rank and file Republicans. Why is everyone overanalyzing this?

  110. 110
    demimondian says:

    @El Cid: Um, yeah. Listen, the “secular” Afghan government you imagine in your dreams? It was a puppet state, nothing more. Of course, it *could* be that you were also a fan of the Diem government…but I think that’s unlikely.

  111. 111
    Allan says:

    @demimondian: Ah, thanks for clarifying. That would explain the lack of content in your responses to me.

  112. 112
    slag says:

    @Allison W.:

    The Left is always telling the DNC to act and talk like Republicans – so there ya go. be careful what you ask for.

    Is this a joke? How many times have I seen Cole, in particular, bitch about progressives using rightwing frames? A lot. I know this because it’s something I despise as well.

  113. 113
    harlana says:

    For my part, I prefer Grayson-style indignation.

  114. 114
    El Cid says:

    @demimondian: So what if it was a “puppet” state? What, did we “liberate” them?

    Bringing in a bunch of murderous Islamic terrorist warlord drug dealers — whom we and the Saudis hired — and who left the country in a murderous shambles was better than a secular ‘puppet’ state?

    And the joke of an Afghan government which is lucky to control parts of Kabul and which is at every whim of the United States and who were installed by said foreign government — they are not a puppet state?

    I’m supposed to feel ashamed that the reality was that it might have been better for us all to have had Afghanistan remain a secular ‘puppet’ state than the warlord Islamic fundamentalist terrorist breeding ground it became because our freedom fighters freed it from their awful puppet-hood?

    Good lord, give me a fucking break. ‘Cause if there’s one thing the U.S. is opposed to, it’s puppet states.

  115. 115
    Malron says:

    @Hal:

    But, it is also sort of annoying that GG would spend an entire article going after the Dems while giving nothing but cursory mention to the immense idiocy of Steele’s statement that all but makes it sound as if the war started on Jan 20th 2009 and Republicans had nothing to do with it.

    Actually, its exactly what I expect from Greenwald. I doubt if Greenwald would have addressed Steele’s statement at all if the DNC response hadn’t provided him with another excuse to go after the Democrats.

  116. 116
    Nick says:

    @Mark S.: Greenwald is an asshole. The DNC wasn’t attacking him, they were turning the GOP’s own points against their leader. They were exposing his hypocrisy. It was a very brilliant move that may force Steele out and replace him with a Sharron Angle-type person right before the midterms.

    But as usual reactionary knee-jerkers like Greenwald took it personally, even though the DNC has NEVER said beep to an anti-war Democrat.

    Call me when they write this about Nita Lowey.

  117. 117
    bemused says:

    @JGabriel:
    That is shameful. Not that I’m surprised. We have too many people in this country who bitch about paying their hard earned taxes to fund education and those ‘overpaid, union pampered’ teachers. If I was going to be cynical, I’d say that there are conservatives that are hoping the percentage of ignorant americans keeps climbing….

  118. 118
    demimondian says:

    @El Cid: Um, hey, dude — what color is the sky on your planet?

  119. 119
    El Cid says:

    @bemused:

    If I was going to be cynical, I’d say that there are conservatives that are hoping the percentage of ignorant americans keeps climbing….

    I think if you look at their work on school boards — from questioning evolution to erasing entire historical events from being taught — and going after any publicly-funded arts programs, and privatizing education for corporate profit, it’s pretty obvious.

  120. 120

    @cleek: I had already stated this is only a small dustup in the big scheme of things. To create a long term liberal narrative on something like war and peace and patriotism liberal style is a long term project. But you have to start somewhere.

  121. 121
    El Cid says:

    @demimondian: It depends — when it’s daytime and sunny, it’s blue. When it’s night, and clear, it’s often dark purplish. Sometimes in the daytime when it’s cloudy it’s gray.

    Also, I don’t think it’s the U.S.’ prerogative to go to war against other nations if they consider said target nation to be a ‘puppet’, any more so than the Soviets should have attacked Guatemala and Nicaragua in the 1950s or Chile in the 1970s, though the USSR would have had much more justification than the U.S. did in hiring thugs to attack Afghanistan.

  122. 122
    demimondian says:

    @El Cid: So, in fact, you did support the Diem government. Well, well, well…I thought that all the nineteen sixties Cold Warriors had left the party.

  123. 123
    Allan says:

    If Steele goes, who replaces him?

    I can see the party asking Newt Gingrich to play Petraeus to Steele’s McChrystal. Take one for the team, rally us once more like you did in ’94.

  124. 124
    El Cid says:

    @demimondian: So, the Mujahedeen were like the Viet Cong?

    Opposition to the US’ hiring of Islamic fundamentalist warlords, murderers, and narco-traffickers to destroy the Afghan state — however ‘puppet’ — is the equivalent of a native, indigenous anti-colonialist uprising?

    Is water wet in your world?

  125. 125
    El Cid says:

    Also, the Afghanistan puppet government of the USSR never hosted terrorists who attacked the U.S. domestically. The aftermath of the mujahedeen war did.

  126. 126
    bkny says:

    dan balz, chuckie-t and some other dude were just talking about steele and how donors are flocking to the republican governors assn (haley barbour) with balz saying a conversation with a whiny boehner about how the rnc is really hurting, esp not being able to assist with the upcoming election.

    there’s gotta be a way to exploit that tension — all those flush republican governors; while the national party leadership looks on with envy. lol.

  127. 127
    demimondian says:

    @El Cid: That depends on what you mean by “wet”. Given the fabrications you’ve engaged in about the Viet Cong and the resistance to the Nazibullah government, though, I’m sure your interpretation of “wet” has little to do with anyone else’s.

  128. 128
    Mnemosyne says:

    @bemused:
    Note this scary factoid:

    Looking at the numbers more deeply, it appears the closer to 1776 you were born, the more likely you are to know the correct answer.

    I guess the answer to “is our children learning?” is “nope.”

  129. 129
    frankdawg says:

    @General Egali Tarian Stuck:

    He may have said a date but until we are out of there it is just another deadline that may, or may not, be met.

  130. 130
    eemom says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Nah gwinne happen.

    Same reason you’ll never get back yer 2005 FDL, Hamsher or Wheeler, and it’s actually quite simple: success suffused their heads, and inflated their egos to a size where they starved out all reason, humility and perspective that ever coexisted therein.

    I think everyone needs to take a deep fucking breath and focus on the following concept: Speaker John No-Boner.

  131. 131
    LT says:

    @Nick: Took it personally? What do you mean? Greenwald is making an argument that criticizing a war is not the same as dissing troops—a Republican ploy for years, and that the DNC was doing that with their statement. There is nothing “personal” about that except that a “person” made the argument.

    BTW – did you call Greenwald an “asshole’? Just checking.

  132. 132

    @eemom:

    Speaker John No-Boner.

    This thought makes me weep for joy, and social justice and baked potatoes, for some odd reason.

  133. 133
    Nick says:

    @LT:

    Greenwald is making an argument that criticizing a war is not the same as dissing troops—a Republican ploy for years, and that the DNC was doing that with their statement.

    Which is why exactly why the DNC used those terms, to expose hypocrisy. How much of an idiot is Greenwald that he doesn’t see that?

    I mean in the previous thread about Steele’s comments, almpost EVERYONE suggested doing the EXACT SAME FUCKING THING.

    No wonder why we suck at messaging.

  134. 134
    LT says:

    @Malron and Hal: Greenwald said this in the piece:

    By all means, the ludicrous hypocrisy and illogic of Steele’s attempt to place all blame on the Democrats for this war should be screamed from the mountaintops…

    You say cursory, I say tomato.

  135. 135
    LT says:

    @Nick:

    Which is why exactly why the DNC used those terms, to expose hypocrisy. How much of an idiot is Greenwald that he doesn’t see that?

    Let me get this straight: To expose hypocrisy – you become a hypocrite. Yay! All figured out!

    Or: You expose hypocrisy by intelligently pointing to hypocrisy without being a hypocrite yourself.

    How much of an idiot is […] that […] doesn’t see that?

  136. 136
    LT says:

    Greenwald adds this:

    Generally, when progressives demand that Democrats be “tougher,” what they mean is in defense of progressive policies, not in defense of endless war in Afghanistan.

    I don’t see how this isn’t easy to get.

  137. 137
    Nick says:

    @LT:

    You expose hypocrisy by intelligently pointing to hypocrisy without being a hypocrite yourself.

    I think the mistake is you’re all believing Democrats are actually endorsing this concept, rather than merely pointing out the hypocrisy of it.

    I’m not really sure how they could point out hypocrisy without themselves sounding like hypocrites unless they endorsed what Steele said.

  138. 138
    Mnemosyne says:

    @LT:

    Wow, Greenwald devoted an entire line to the fact that it was Bush who started the war, not Obama, before heading off on his anti-DNC rant. Well, clearly we’re all completely wrong that he barely addressed it since he has one whole line about it.

  139. 139
    Nick says:

    @LT: Another words “Democrats should only be tough when it suits my views”

    yeah, we get it Glenn. Obviously the better thing to do would be to say “Michael Steele is right, how stupid we are!”

    but just this time because, hey, it’s “the right thing”

    and yes, Glenn Greenwald is, in fact, an asshole. He could be joining the DNC and saying “Is it strange the Michael Steele suddenly thinks it’s ok to criticize a war. Maybe he should apologize to us after all these years” but instead, he felt the need to attack the DNC. In the meantime, the DNC attack paid off, Republicans, triyng to play to their base, are calling for Steele’s head and what are we doing? Whining, as usual.

  140. 140
    Mnemosyne says:

    BTW, the RNC has issued a second press release defending Steele.

    Good thing this DNC press release was so useless and counterproductive, or the RNC might be feeling some heat right about now.

  141. 141
    El Cid says:

    @demimondian: I haven’t fabricated anything. The NLF, or “Viet Cong” was an anti-colonialist, indigenous force.

    The Soviet-supported Afghan states were certainly not beloved indigenous democracies any more than the mujahedeen struggle was, nor than the succeeding Hekmatyar and Taliban governments were, though, yes, the Taliban were (for a short time) more welcome by the population than continued civil war by the US’ former mujahedeen allies.

    I haven’t made any ridiculous, false allegations about ‘you would so love teh Nazis’ or ‘I bet you love Pinochet and want to marry him,’ etc., etc. The fact that I said the Soviet-backed regimes were secular was the only part I emphasized.

    If there is the notion that the U.S. was backing the mujahedeen warlords for the cause of Afghan ‘freedom’, then this is drug-induced hallucination, no matter how many anticipatory mortars of ‘you love Diem so much why’ont you marry him’ are launched.

    But despite the many, many drawbacks (i.e., the murderous repression of many authoritarian regimes) and ridiculous instability of the Soviet-backed Afghan regimes, they certainly weren’t hosting bands of warlord thug mujahedeen Islamic fundamentalists whose civil war aftermath led to the U.S. being attacked by forces allied to our hired mujahedeen army funding bands of Saudi and other Arab citizens to hijack airliners.

    (For that matter, the USSR never attacked the US domestically either. Though in principle Cuba could have claimed the right to attack South Florida as the U.S. was hosting anti-Cuban terrorist groups such as those who attacked Cuban businesses and killed Cuban civilians and who sponsored exile agents who hijacked and blew up civilian airliners. Though I don’t think this would have worked out too well for Cuba.)

    There are lots of awful regimes around the world, and there have been for many years, and it’s not often the best thing in the world to either destroy them directly or hire insurgents to overthrow them for you. Sometimes. But not often.

    Clearly this means I wanted to go to meet Najibullah and buff his shoes with my tongue while wearing my “Go Diem!” t-shirt and humming praises to Mobutu Sese Seko.

  142. 142
    LT says:

    @Nick: There is a very simple way to expose that hypocrisy – just point to it. Pointing out that Republicans responded to that kind of talk by Dems by accusing them of hurting the morale of the troops and so forth is simply pointing to it. The sheer stupidity of what Steele said what’s going to get the most attention anyway, and that’s fine.

  143. 143
    LT says:

    @Nick: for fuck’s sake, if the DNC did nothing the Rs would be calling for Steele’s head.

  144. 144
    Brachiator says:

    @LT:

    Let me get this straight: To expose hypocrisy – you become a hypocrite. Yay! All figured out!

    Well, we are talking about politicians, not church deacons. The Republicans have consistently demonstrated that they will use any means they can to further their ends.

    I don’t think that the Democrats have to behave exactly like Republicans, but every now and then you have to press an advantage.

  145. 145
    eemom says:

    I can haz “Meta Madness” tag plz?

    This is all fucking crazy — and if we do end up with Speaker No-Boner, it’s gonna be due in no small measure to this kind of insane flesh-eating-our-own bullshit.

  146. 146
    LT says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Wow, Greenwald devoted an entire line to the fact that it was Bush who started the war, not Obama, before heading off on his anti-DNC rant. Well, clearly we’re all completely wrong that he barely addressed it since he has one whole line about it.

    How is this not a rewrite of the “he didn’t write about what I think he should write about!” whine, with a dose of “how dare he criticize the Dems?!?” thrown in.

  147. 147
    TooManyJens says:

    @LT: This. I don’t get why this is so hard to figure out. Hell, just juxtaposing the clips ala Jon Stewart would get the job done effectively without shoring up the idea that if you ever criticize a war, you hate America and the troops and puppies and why won’t anyone think of the puppies!

  148. 148
    LT says:

    @Brachiator: They have to press an advantage, yes. But smartly. They could have simply responded to this part:

    Keep in mind again, federal candidates, this was a war of Obama’s choosing. This is not something the United States had actively prosecuted or wanted to engage in.

    They could have killed on just that. There is no way to lose on that.

  149. 149
    Nick says:

    @LT:

    The sheer stupidity of what Steele said what’s going to get the most attention anyway, and that’s fine.

    what fucking country do you live in? Because clearly it isn’t the United States.

    If all we did is say “Steele’s a hypocrite! He told us we were unpatriotic for saying that!” (which is essentially what the DNC DID say) wouldn’t keep the story in the news. Instead the media, if they even kept the story alive, would ask Democrats “do you think Steele is unpatriotic?” to which they’d say “of course not, we don’t think like they do” and progressives would scream and yell that we’re not pounding them hard enough, as usual.

    Instead they responded with a defeaning “Yes, you bet he’s unpatriotic!” and now it’s Steele was has to defend himself, and the GOP who has to either sack him or admit it’s not unpatriotic to criticize the war like they’ve always said.

    This was a brilliant move by the DNC to put heat on the Republicans. Nothing makes me believe the DNC honestly believes what they said in the statement is true, but they sure put pressure on the other side.

    This is called fighting fire with fire.

  150. 150
    Allan says:

    @LT:

    Generally, when progressives demand that Democrats be “tougher,” what they mean is in defense of progressive policies, not in defense of endless war in Afghanistan.

    If progressives are making that demand of the DNC, then they are really wasting their time. I’m a progressive, and I make that demand of the individual legislators in our party.

    But I don’t expect the DNC to make statements that oppose the policies of a Democratic administration. I think that’s the kind of thing parties consider firing their chairs over (see Michael Steele, the real topic, remember him?)

    I also don’t consider myself to be the audience for a DNC press release. Maybe that’s why I don’t take them personally.

  151. 151
    eemom says:

    @Brachiator:

    I don’t think that the Democrats have to behave exactly like Republicans, but every now and then you have to press an advantage.

    @Mnemosyne:

    Good thing this DNC press release was so useless and counterproductive, or the RNC might be feeling some heat right about now.

    Careful, if you utter any words of sense in this environment you’ll get your flesh eaten.

  152. 152
    LT says:

    Not to mention in all this – Jesus, did most of you here not get accused directly or indirectly of “hating the troops” or somesuch? It really is a truly offensive thing to do. Why is it so bad to call it out in reverse?

  153. 153
    fucen tarmal says:

    @General Egali Tarian Stuck:

    dude its friday of a holiday weekend,

    gg is a nerd, i’m a nerd, you’re a nerd, we’re all nerds here….

    this isn’t anything at all in the broader context, this is porn for donors, and a little funzie for the wonkygeeks….

    most of the country, about 98% on the low end, won’t catch this or the gop response, and if they catch anything at all from the gop it will sound odd and a beat off, which will be all they care to hear….

    really i should have started defensive drinking hours ago.

  154. 154
    TooManyJens says:

    @Nick:

    Instead they responded with a defeaning “Yes, you bet he’s unpatriotic!” and now it’s Steele was has to defend himself, and the GOP who has to either sack him or admit it’s not unpatriotic to criticize the war like they’ve always said.

    Instead they responded with a defeaning “Yes, you bet he’s unpatriotic!” and now they’re agreeing with the GOP that criticizing war is unpatriotic.

    You can’t really believe that the GOP will ever admit that criticizing war isn’t unpatriotic. So maybe they fire Steele, or maybe they just live with the contradiction and hypocrisy LIKE THEY ALWAYS FUCKING DO. I’m not seeing an outcome here that’s worth agreeing that criticizing war is unpatriotic.

  155. 155
    Nick says:

    @LT:

    for fuck’s sake, if the DNC did nothing the Rs would be calling for Steele’s head.

    Again, what fucking country do you live in?

    It’s the Friday before a holiday weekend, if you want a story to die today, you shutup. If the DNC said nothing, the story would just disappear before the workday ends. By doing this, the DNC FORCED the story to live a little longer and FORCED the GOP rank and file to comment or make a move. Now the narrative is going to be “Will this kill Steele?” all weekend long and the GOP are in defense.

    Savor it for a little while, would you?

  156. 156
    Mnemosyne says:

    @LT:

    How is this not a rewrite of the “he didn’t write about what I think he should write about!” whine, with a dose of “how dare he criticize the Dems?!?” thrown in.

    You claimed that Greenwald made it clear that it was Bush who started the war, not Obama. I pointed out that it was a single throwaway line in an entire essay about how much the Democratic policy in Afghanistan sucks.

    You may want to read Greenwald’s two updates if you’re still confused.

  157. 157
    DickSpudCouchPotatoDetective says:

    Meh, I don’t agree about the Rovian thing.

    When countries and lives are at stake, and your opponent is playing dirty, it’s stupid to try to play nice all the time. This is one of those times when a kick in the junk is more than called for.

    I’m with Benen’s “part of me” statement. That is all of me. There are no points for fair play when you are wrestling for your life with a fucking sociopathic lunatic.

    I think that pearl-clutching over the DNC statement is just asinine. This is not a gentleman’s game here.

  158. 158
    LT says:

    @Nick: You have lost your mind. This story owned the internet before the DNC responded. He was getting laughed out of teh building before it. I think Kristol made his statement before it came out. No way this story just goes away without the DNC doing something. They could have said nothing and it would have ran.

  159. 159
    Nick says:

    @TooManyJens:

    I really don’t understand why getting the least effective RNC chair ever fired is worth that.

    because it puts them on defensive for a while and Dems will win a couple of news cycles.

  160. 160
    TooManyJens says:

    @Nick: And that’s worth it to you.

  161. 161
    wengler says:

    @Allison W.

    The panel won’t do any actual groundbreaking work. It’s a political cover to pass very unpopular legislation that the elite think is very important.

    I’m guessing most people didn’t vote for Obama so he could slash Social Security benefits. But then again Republicans only care about deficits when Democrats are President. And they pay no political price for their hypocrisy, because they own the corporate media and their non-wealthy supporters don’t base their votes on reality much preferring fantasy.

    So there you go. If you think deficit-reduction should come out of the pockets of the millionaires and billionaires that robbed the economy and took it hostage in fall of 2008 demanding a 700 billion dollar ransom then oppose this panel. If you instead believe that every person on the bottom 95 percent of the wage scale should have to pay for the excesses of the crazed gluttonous zealots worshipping at the Church of Ayn Rand, then by all means scourge the leftists opposing the creation and makeup of this PR machine masquerading as a “blue-ribbon panel”.

  162. 162
    El Cid says:

    In news which Democrats — at least the non-Ben-Nelson types — might want to emphasize, one of McCain’s economic advisers, an an economist with Moody’s, says that withdrawing unemployment support for deficit purposes could push the U.S. back into a recession.

    Mark Zandi, chief economist with Moody’s Economy.com and a former adviser to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), said Friday that Congress needs to hurry up and reauthorize expired jobless aid or risk derailing the nascent economic recovery.
    __
    “The odds that the economy will slip back into the recession are still well below even,” Zandi said during a conference call with reporters. “But if Congress is unable to provide this help, those odds will rise and become uncomfortably high.”…
    __
    …The sticking point in Congress has been the deficit. Republicans in the Senate, joined by Nebraska Democrat Ben Nelson, filibustered the most recent attempt to pass a bill on Wednesday because an extension of the benefits through November is not “paid for” and would add $33 billion to the deficit.
    __
    Zandi said the deficit dithering is just bad economics — it’s more important to get the benefits to the people, who will immediately spend the money and help the economy.
    __
    Paying for it should not be a necessary condition for passing it,” he said. “In my view, the risks are just too high.”
    __
    Zandi said it would be a good idea for Congress to plan to offset the cost of benefits — but not this year or the next year…
    __
    …Zandi also blasted the notion that extended unemployment benefits are worsening the economy by discouraging recipients from looking for work.
    __
    “For me, the most telling statistic with regard to this issue is that there are five unemployed workers for every one job opening,” he said. “That is well above what one would see in a normal well-functioning labor market, when it’s generally one for one.”

    On the complaint that the benefits are ‘not paid for,’ the article points this out:

    Historically, federally-funded unemployment benefits are always used in times of recession and have never been paid for. (Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Wash., said paying for extended benefits would set a precedent that would essentially undermine the New Deal.) And they’ve never been allowed to expire with a national unemployment rate above 7.2 percent.

    For a lot of politicians, including some Democrats, ‘undermining the New Deal’ is not a bad thing.

  163. 163
    eemom says:

    @DickSpudCouchPotatoDetective:

    You too. STOP MAKING SENSE or someone will accuse you of being a paid DNC troll, or something.

    And whatever you do……don’t you DARE call Greenwald an asshole.

  164. 164
    Nick says:

    @TooManyJens: That’s how you win nowadays, politically and electorally.

  165. 165
    Nick says:

    @LT:

    This story owned the internet before the DNC responded.

    The liberal blogsphere and HuffPost does not qualify as the “internet” and even if it did, something like this would have been long dead by now.

    I didn’t even hear about this until I saw the DNC statement. the statement keeps this alive for another couple of news cycles. It’s ingenious.

  166. 166
    TooManyJens says:

    @Nick: That is what the Very Serious People say, I’m sure.

  167. 167
    LT says:

    You claimed that Greenwald made it clear that it was Bush who started the war, not Obama. I pointed out that it was a single throwaway line in an entire essay about how much the Democratic policy in Afghanistan sucks.
    __
    You may want to read Greenwald’s two updates if you’re still confused.

    I’m confused. I don’t think I ever mentioned Bush, but whatever. I did point out that it was an idiotic statement by Steele, for that reason.

    And the essay was “about” the DNC’s statement. It veered off to the policy, which Greenwald hates. Is this simply about disagreeing with Afgh. policy for you?

    And I read both updates. I even quoted the first:

    Two points about this: (1) there’s nothing “tough” or “rough” about the DNC statement; it’s actually lame, desperate and ineffective.

    I agree with that. Especially that what Steele said would “hurt the morale” of the troops. Offensive fucking nonsense.

  168. 168
    Amanda in the South Bay says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Because the substance of what the DNC said was fucked up, not that the tone was too strong.

    I sure as hell didn’t vote for the Dems to be tough on the war and to call Michael Steele a troop hater. By all means call him a fucking dumbass hypocrite, but I don’t want the Dems to be GOP lite on the war.

    It makes me miss the good old days of 2005-ish. At least there was more anti-war sentiment there, not this shit.

  169. 169

    @fucen tarmal: Well, we have to bitch about something, there must be conflict, or else all we would talk about is furry critters and the web version of ColeTV. But I agree, it has now gone too far and into another round of round firing squads.

  170. 170
    TooManyJens says:

    @Amanda in the South Bay:

    I sure as hell didn’t vote for the Dems to be tough on the war and to call Michael Steele a troop hater.

    Co-sign. I swear, the comments here sound like IOKIYAD.

  171. 171
    LT says:

    @Nick: I first saw it on TPM, I think. I posted it about it myself before 10 am PST.

    Do you get your primary news from DNC statements?

    And for the “one line in a whole article” people, this is how GG’s post started:

    RNC Chairman Michael Steele today lashed out at President Obama by saying: “if he’s such a student of history, has he not understood that you know that’s the one thing you don’t do, is engage in a land war in Afghanistan?” Of course it’s absurd for Steele to voice that criticism without mentioning that it is his own Party which started that war and waged it for 8 years — as well as the fact that virtually every Congressional member of his Party continues to support the war…

  172. 172
    wengler says:

    @Nick

    This isn’t fighting fire with fire. The corporate media WILL report on Democrats being hypocrites while safely ignoring Republicans because they are Real Americans.

    All this does is isolate Michael Steele and from a Democratic perspective that is a bad thing. Steele has been one of the worst heads of the RNC in their history and every day he continues on is a good day for Democrats. Crazy people like Bill Kristol get to use their consistency in believing in endless war to hammer everyone else out of the debate.

    Incinerating wedding parties in Afghanistan makes us safer. Everyone knows this.

  173. 173
    gil mann says:

    I wish the DNC would put out a statement like this every day. I really don’t give a shit about being nice or fair to Republicans.

    IT’S NOT ABOUT BEING NICE OR FAIR. Christ, what is this, the Obtusolympics? I refuse to believe people can truly have this hard a time getting something so eminently gettable.

  174. 174
    LT says:

    @TooManyJens:

    Co-sign. I swear, the comments here sound like IOKIYAD.

    They ARE that.

  175. 175
    Bruce (formerly Steve S.) says:

    @Adam Collyer:

    20 years was 1990. If you want to be more accurate, 20 years from 2006

    I don’t see how this helps you, in that the Dems controlled half the federal government if you count Gore as having won in 2000 and 43% of it if you don’t. Either way that doesn’t add up to 20 years of losses. The two parties have been more or less splitting the difference since the 60s, with the biggest advantage for either side being the Dems in the first two years of the Carter, Clinton, and Obama admins. There have been plenty of opportunities to install the progressive utopia but, alas, it never seems to come to pass.

    My statement was about realities.

    One of the realities is that adopting GOP framing on an issue of life or death (for people on the other side of the world, but I digress) tends to be dispiriting to an awful lot of people. People like me, Glenn Greenwald, and John Cole.

    In order for those policies to be enacted (things like health care, education, financial regulatory, and immigration reform)

    …you might want to win once in a generation majorities in the federal government? And then get half-assed compromises loaded with concessions to the GOP anyway? Mission accomplished.

    Health care was strictly a hold your nose and vote for it affair, and while it’s a mild improvement on the status quo it’s still a parsec away from solving the central problem of costs. FinReg is still in question and was watered down but could turn out to be the best thing to happen these two years, but please note; the financial sector was deregulated in the first place when Dems capitulated to GOP framing on the issue. Not much has happened with education and nobody wants to touch immigration right now. Security/foreign policy has improved in some areas and actually gotten worse in others. The current Dem majority was elected on a slightly left of center platform but has governed as center-rightists. Adopting GOP rhetoric on top of all that isn’t exactly paving the yellow brick road to 2010 electoral success, is it?

    Democrats should stand in support instead of nitpicking and decrying everything that the party does.

    In the present instance what is being decried is the party acting just like the opposition. If Dems want their party to be better than that they should say so.

  176. 176
    fucen tarmal says:

    @TooManyJens:

    you are simply assuming a tectonic shift in policy to “criticizing the war is unpatriotic” on the part of democrats.

    1 some would argue that horse is out of the barn as per the votes on iraq and the funding thereof.

    2 even if you believe the dems don’t stand for that, this is far to inconsequential of a memo, to affect such a change. its a giggle at how foolish they are…first boehner now this…there is your grand narrative.

  177. 177
  178. 178

    I don’t know how this got molded into being about being tough. Look at Obama. Tough can be smooth. It can float like a butterfly and sting like a bee.

  179. 179
    DickSpudCouchPotatoDetective says:

    @eemom:

    STOP MAKING SENSE

    Okay. I will start writing long incomprehensible essays like McClarence and Brachiradiator.

    I hope I got those names right.

  180. 180
    Hunter Gathers says:

    @Nick:

    because it puts them on defensive for a while and Dems will win a couple of news cycles.

    By the time Tuesday rolls around, nobody will give a shit about any of this. Steele isn’t going anywhere. He won’t quit. If they were going to shit-can him, they would have done it by now over the BondageGate shit. They won’t do that either. If they do, there’s going to be a massive ‘leak’ of RNC documents as Steele burns all of his bridges, since his political career would be over. Steele seems like the “Fuck me? No, fuck you.” type. Don’t think he’ll pull the “I was fired because I’m black” card? Think again.

    A million ‘hard hitting’ DNC statements won’t change a damn thing.

  181. 181
    Bruce (formerly Steve S.) says:

    @gil mann:

    IT’S NOT ABOUT BEING NICE OR FAIR. Christ, what is this, the Obtusolympics?

    Yep.

  182. 182
    debbie says:

    It seems to me that Steele and the Republican Party in general are in fact rooting for failure. Isn’t that why they’re fighting financial reform, unemployment compensation, and just about everything else the Democrats bring up?

    Isn’t that what all this “no”ing everything is about?

  183. 183
    El Cid says:

    what is this, the Obtusolympics

    As long as they’re in HD, I’ll tune in.

  184. 184
    Nick says:

    @gil mann: And I refuse to believe you people have a hard time realizing why this statement did a world of good. We just don’t understand each other I guess.

  185. 185
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Allan:

    But I don’t expect the DNC to make statements that oppose the policies of a Democratic administration. I think that’s the kind of thing parties consider firing their chairs over (see Michael Steele, the real topic, remember him?)

    Yep. I don’t find it at all strange that Greenwald is using this opportunity to take another shot at our screwed-up Afghanistan policy, but pretending that he’s equally criticizing Republicans in that piece is just weird. He’s using the DNC press release as a jumping-off point to criticize the overall policy. I don’t think that even Greenwald thinks that the Democratic National Committee would take this opportunity to criticize the Democratic president’s policy.

  186. 186
    Nick says:

    @Hunter Gathers: So good, can we stop bitching about the “bully pulpit” now?

  187. 187
    Mnemosyne says:

    @LT:

    And the essay was “about” the DNC’s statement. It veered off to the policy, which Greenwald hates. Is this simply about disagreeing with Afgh. policy for you?

    No, it’s about being amused that Greenwald thinks that the Democratic National Committee is going to take this opportunity to criticize the Democratic president’s policy.

  188. 188
    Nick says:

    @LT: So the story came out at 1pm…it would have been dead by 4 if not for the DNC.

  189. 189
    Mark S. says:

    C’mon people, we can get to 500! Cole and the bitchez are off to a party so there won’t be many fresh new threads.

    Glenn Greenwald for DNC Chairman.

  190. 190
    DickSpudCouchPotatoDetective says:

    @General Egali Tarian Stuck:

    It’s hip to be square?

    I just made that up.

  191. 191
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Corner Stone #60:

    Love you too.

    :: HUG ::

  192. 192
    Hunter Gathers says:

    @Nick: I don’t believe in the ‘bully pulpit’. Anyone who thinks that “Obama can pound the podium to get shit done” is smoking a higher quality of weed than I can get my hands on, FWIW.

  193. 193
    gil mann says:

    @Nick:

    We just don’t understand each other I guess.

    Which one’s the planet where people are cool with throwing charges of Dolchstoss around all willy-nilly, Mars or Venus?

  194. 194

    @Mnemosyne:

    Yep. I don’t find it at all strange that Greenwald is using this opportunity to take another shot at our screwed-up Afghanistan policy, but pretending that he’s equally criticizing Republicans in that piece is just weird. He’s using the DNC press release as a jumping-off point to criticize the overall policy. I don’t think that even Greewald thinks that the Democratic National Committee would take this opportunity to criticize the Democratic president’s policy.

    After reading GG’s entire piece, I agree. But this story really isn’t about him. It is a small story and the DNC memo was not a grave error, just a ham handed one. And, which highlights dems long term problem with defining patriotism and national security for mainstream liberalism.

  195. 195
    Mnemosyne says:

    @wengler:

    All this does is isolate Michael Steele and from a Democratic perspective that is a bad thing.

    I’ll have to disagree with you there. Disarray in the Republican Party is good and, as Hunter Gathers said, they’ll have to drag Steele out of there by his fingernails. How is several more months of internal bickering by Republicans bad for Democrats?

  196. 196
    LT says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    No, it’s about being amused that Greenwald thinks that the Democratic National Committee is going to take this opportunity to criticize the Democratic president’s policy

    .

    Except he didn’t say that. He said this:

    By all means, the ludicrous hypocrisy and illogic of Steele’s attempt to place all blame on the Democrats for this war should be screamed from the mountaintops…

  197. 197
    ruemara says:

    I just can’t join in the outrage. Somehow, it pales in comparison to Michael Steele rewriting history to start Afghanistan war on Obama’s watch and the general unwillingness of Americans to demand we pull out completely from Iraq & Afghanistan. Wanking about this is, like wanking about the quality of the tap water in the bucket that’s being used to put out a house fire.

  198. 198
    LT says:

    @Nick:

    I am just lost. “If not for the DNC.” I don’t think you know how completely irrelevant the DNc is to most people’s lives.

    And William Kristol called for Steele’s resignation before the DNC statement. What you’re saying just makes no sense.

  199. 199
    Kobie says:

    If I had one problem with GG’s column, it’s this:

    When the DNC, a front page Daily Kos writer and Bill Kristol all join together to smear someone with common language for opposing a war, it’s clear that something toxic is taking place.

    This is implying that Michael Steele was actually opposing the war. From what I am seeing, he’s not advocating troop pullouts. He’s simply trying to pass the buck for us being there in the first place from Bush to Obama. Steele’s a shill, nothing more.

  200. 200
    TooManyJens says:

    Why do people think that those of us who object to this statement don’t understand that it’s good to foment discord in the GOP? We’re not actually fucking stupid. We just think this was a bad way to do it, in that it undermines liberal (though not always Democratic) values.

    And there was no need for it! This isn’t like passing legislation, where there are real barriers and you have to get shit through the Senate and yadda yadda, sometimes you end up with a not-great bill but realistically you still have to support it. The DNC didn’t have to run this one by President Snowe or President Nelson. They chose to make an ugly, illiberal statement to score political points that they could have scored by other means.

  201. 201
    TooManyJens says:

    @gil mann:

    Which one’s the planet where people are cool with throwing charges of Dolchstoss around all willy-nilly, Mars or Venus?

    Planet of the Very Serious People. I think Doctor Who will be doing an episode there next season.

  202. 202
    LT says:

    @Kobie: But that’s not the common factor that Greenwald was discussing about the memo, Kos, and Kristol. It was the “hurt the troops” thing. And he’s right about that.

  203. 203
    Allan says:

    A lot of people really loved it recently when Rachel Maddow gave the speech she wished Obama had given.

    In that spirit, it would be great if Glenn Greenwald would write for us the press release he believes the DNC should have released.

    Oh, and he has thirty minutes.

  204. 204
    LT says:

    Nick, The Hill had this story hours before the DNC statement. do you believe that would have caused nothing?

  205. 205

    @TooManyJens:

    Why do people think that those of us who object to this statement don’t understand that it’s good to foment discord in the GOP? We’re not actually fucking stupid. We just think this was a bad way to do it, in that it undermines liberal (though not always Democratic) values.

    Well stated:)

  206. 206
    Brachiator says:

    @DickSpudCouchPotatoDetective:

    Okay. I will start writing long incomprehensible essays like McClarence and Brachiradiator.

    Gee. My feelings are almost hurt. As long as you keep reading, I guarantee that both your comprehension and ability to get posters’ handles right will improve.

  207. 207
    El Cid says:

    @Kobie: Although I think Republicans are mad at Steele for suggesting that Commander Guy Bush Jr’s invasion of Afghanistan was done by Obama, this doesn’t sound like simple buck-passing:

    “If he’s such a student of history, has he not understood that, you know, that’s the one thing you don’t do is engage in a land war in Afghanistan? All right? Because everyone who’s tried, over a thousand years of history, has failed,” Steele said. “And there are reasons for that. There are other ways to engage in Afghanistan.”

    I’d like to think he was being strategic and trying to blur peoples’ understanding of the timeline, but I actually think Steele forgot on whose watch the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan began.

  208. 208
    LT says:

    @El Cid: Steele once said, on the record, that he thinks women should have the right to choose. He of course had to later backtrack. I think he often doesn’t think at all before he talks. Fine and dandy – but this is what the Rs choose for leadership? Bizarro land.

  209. 209
    Kobie says:

    @LT: Oh, he absolutely is right about that. I really dislike the fact that people on “our side” are using that “supporting the troops” meme that the Republicans so disingenuously (and successfully) milked for so long. I was simply pointing out my one quibble with his analysis is all. Also. Too.

  210. 210
    bemused says:

    @El Cid:
    Indubitably. Works for conning republican voters too.

  211. 211
    Kobie says:

    @El Cid: Entirely possible. If there is one thing we’ve learned about Michael Steele during his tenure as head of the RNC, it’s that he’s a blazingly stupid nincompoop.

  212. 212
    AhabTRuler says:

    @Kobie: I’ll always think “aw, you dumb fucker” when I think of the Chairmen. I want him to never, ever leave.

  213. 213
    debbie says:

    @TooManyJens:

    You said:

    Why do people think that those of us who object to this statement don’t understand that it’s good to foment discord in the GOP? We’re not actually fucking stupid. We just think this was a bad way to do it, in that it undermines liberal (though not always Democratic) values.

    I think over the past decade, it’s been shown to Democrats time and time again that taking the high road accomplishes nothing (Kerry and the Swift Boaters is just one example). Like they say, If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.
    Sad but true.

  214. 214
    Kobie says:

    @AhabTRuler: He is good for many, many lulz. The fact that he drives so many Republicans absolutely batshit is just gravy.

  215. 215
    DickSpudCouchPotatoDetective says:

    @Brachiradiator:

    Good lord, did you really write that shit?

  216. 216
    Kobie says:

    @debbie: I dunno. I think there’s a happy medium between “taking the high road” and “sleeping with dogs.” I’d rather Kerry & Co. have taken those Swift Boaters and told them to stick it where the sun don’t shine, but that’s a far cry from pushing the same tired memes that we bitched about when they were used on us.

  217. 217
    Nick says:

    @LT: Cause a story on The Hill is sure to be a top story in the news cycle.

    Who could forget that piece about Marcia Fudge’s bill? Oh, right, EVERYBODY

  218. 218

    @debbie: If anyone wants to surf the archives here, I have preached for years for dems to crawl into any sewer and fight the wingnuts with their own weapons when that is what is called for. And have crawled those sewers with winger trolls when we used to have them.

    This was repubs imploding on themselves, and really doing nothing but sitting back with popcorn was necessary. Taking a road, low or high was not necessary. The old political adage is, when your opponent is destroying himself, don’t get in the way. And if you have to say something, make it smart and adult. But not about the other side, make it about your side.

  219. 219
    Brachiator says:

    @El Cid:

    In news which Democrats—at least the non-Ben-Nelson types—might want to emphasize, one of McCain’s economic advisers, an an economist with Moody’s, says that withdrawing unemployment support for deficit purposes could push the U.S. back into a recession.

    Congress left for their holiday break, and everyone knows that they will vote to extend unemployment benefits when they come back. In the meantime, those most affected will be left worrying until Congress returns.

    It’s political cynicism per usual. Because this is happening on a Friday and before a holiday, this story won’t register at all on many people’s radar. But the most boneheaded GOP Congressmen will be able to show up at a few picnics and brag about how they are being responsible and forcing lazy bums to go out and get a job instead of sucking on the gummint teat.

    Meanwhile Rand Paul is out comparing the bad economy to the latter days of the Roman Empire.

    He said Thursday that in the latter days of the Roman Empire, with the economy in shambles, emperors tried to appease people with food and entertainment to distract them.

    Apparently Julius Caesar was a libertarian.

  220. 220

    @Nick: Sorry Nick, but you are wrong on this one, though right a lot of other times. The DNC statement did nothing to cause angst in the winger tent. It was a self contained implosion, and the only possible effect the DNC statement as it was written, would be to give the wingers something to focus on other than the fire in their own tent. Though it likely will be ignored by civil warring goopers, this was only the latest internal flareup.

  221. 221
    socratic_me says:

    @TooManyJens: I thought it was the Planet of the Adult Party.

  222. 222
    TooManyJens says:

    @socratic_me: Damn. I’m a meme behind, aren’t I?

  223. 223
    Corner Stone says:

    There’s nothing I want more in life than to have Ari Fleischer* speaking for the D party:
    “Michael Steele would do well to remember that we are not in Afghanistan by our own choosing, that we were attacked and that his words have consequences.”

    Oh wait. That’s not Ari, that’s the DNC spokesman Brad Woodhouse.

    *”all Americans that they need to watch what they say, watch what they do.”

  224. 224
    Corner Stone says:

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:
    I love Michael Steele and I don’t care who knows it.

  225. 225
    DickSpudCouchPotatoDetective says:

    @Corner Stone:

    I know how you feel, all true Dems love Steele.

    If he didn’t exist, we’d want to invent him.

  226. 226
    AhabTRuler says:

    @Corner Stone: To think, I got the opportunity to vote against him…twice! Sadly, I was successful only once, but Lt. Governor Steele was much preferable to Senator Steele. OTOH, if he had won the latter race, he wouldn’t have been available for the RNC job, and then where would we be?

    Un-entertained, that’s where.

  227. 227
    henqiguai says:

    @TooManyJens:

    Co-sign. I swear, the comments here sound like IOKIYAD.

    Actually, it sounds like a bunch of whiny-arsed boy-bitches gettin’ all pissy ’cause the actual political operatives aren’t playing by their (the whiny-arsed boy-bitches) pitty-pat rules.

    (Good thing I never promised myself I would never sink to personal attacks around here)

  228. 228
    Nick says:

    @General Egali Tarian Stuck: Disagree, sorry. I think it was brillant. By the end of the day, the narrative in the newsroom was “Will Steele survive? What does he think of the DNC statement?”

    DNC may have punched some hippies, but they won the news cycle and they put Steele into a corner and made him sweat. It was brilliance that would not have occured if the DNC just said “oh, that Michael Steele, he’s sure something.”

    At the end of the day, that’s far more important than making Glenn Greenwald happy, since nothing would make Glenn Greenwald happy anyway.

  229. 229
    Yutsano says:

    @Nick:

    since nothing would make Glenn Greenwald happy anyway.

    You know, there are people who you look at and think their spouse must be a damn saint in order to put up with that person constantly. Then again Glenn could be a completely different individual in person.

  230. 230

    @Nick:

    LOL, I know better than to argue with you past a certain point.

    At the end of the day, that’s far more important than making Glenn Greenwald happy

    And, as everyone on this blog knows, I live to make Glenn Greenwald happy. You hear that Cole?:)

  231. 231

    @henqiguai: You are so big and strong. Can I sit closer to you?

  232. 232
    Corner Stone says:

    @Nick:

    By the end of the day, the narrative in the newsroom was

    So, in your mom’s basement you and the stuffed animals all thought the DNC made a brilliant move eh?
    Good to know.

  233. 233
    Corner Stone says:

    @henqiguai:

    Actually, it sounds like a bunch of whiny-arsed boy-bitches gettin’ all pissy ‘cause the actual political operatives aren’t playing by their (the whiny-arsed boy-bitches) pitty-pat rules.

    Are you actually Jason Statham in real life?

  234. 234
    henqiguai says:

    @General Egali Tarian Stuck: No. You frighten me. Besides, I simply stated an opinion, I didn’t do any calling out or make demands for satisfaction; no flexing of mighty internet muscle. Just said a lot of the bitching sounded like a bunch of whining ’cause the DNC didn’t do something like a bunch of the commenters here seem to be demanding. That doesn’t work for you ? I freely admit I’m no political operative, so I have no idea what was the “right thing” to have done. But I did think their action was sort of entertaining, and that works for me.

  235. 235
    henqiguai says:

    @Corner Stone: Okay, I make one off-the-wall smart-assed comment, and suddenly all you turkeys are channeling some ‘you heap big kung fu master’ noise. What, y’all coordinating this stuff in the background ?

    http://www.balloon-juice.com/2.....nt-1866771

    Are you actually Jason Statham in real life?

    And no, I’m physically bigger than him, and don’t have the cool Britishy accent.

  236. 236
    Corner Stone says:

    @henqiguai: It just sounds like how I imagine him to talk.
    All cockney and shit. Or some kind of British lower class slang or whatever the heck it’s called.
    He doesn’t really say a lot in the Transporter movies, so I have to extrapolate.

    And I can guarantee you we do not coordinate.

  237. 237

    @henqiguai:

    No. You frighten me

    LOL, I am really a big softy. And besides, I’ve turned over a new blogging peace leaf. Want to hear me chant some?:-)

  238. 238
    Arclite says:

    I love Greenwald, and read him daily, right after coming here. He is logical, passionate, and well-researched. His arguments are unusually well constructed. However, I find this part inconsistent. Yesterday, he (rightfully) claims that comparisons to Nazis are necessary lest we forget the lessons learned, i.e. there shouldn’t be a blanket ban on using references to Nazis. As an example of something relevant and important, he pulled this quote from Goering:

    “Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.”

    However, the very next day, he says this about those very tactics:

    I understand and even accept the need to use the other side’s rhetoric against them, though once you start doing that, you forever forfeit the ability to complain when it’s used against you. More to the point: the 2006 and 2008 elections proved that this “against-the-Troops/cut-and-run” rhetoric is now as ineffective as it is ugly. That’s why the GOP lost so overwhelmingly in those elections while relying on those smears; why would the DNC want to copy such ineffective tactics?

    If those tactics don’t work, then why use the Goering quote as an example of something important and relevant to today? Or is it the case that they DID work after 9/11, but got over-used and the public didn’t fall for that rhetoric any longer?

  239. 239
    henqiguai says:

    @Corner Stone: Heh. Nope, I work with a few Brits and watch British television programming (now mostly BBC America and PBS since A&E went all reality programming and dropped the British mystery television programming) so a few of the verbal tics have rubbed off. Especially if I’m trying to be a smart-ass; they do it much better than us.

  240. 240
    TooManyJens says:

    @henqiguai:

    (Good thing I never promised myself I would never sink to personal attacks around here)

    That’s OK. It doesn’t matter what you say as long as you win the news cycle anyway.

  241. 241
    Kobie says:

    @henqiguai: I don’t think you came off quite as smart-ass as you intended..

  242. 242
    henqiguai says:

    @General Egali Tarian Stuck (#237):

    I’ve turned over a new blogging peace leaf.

    Yeah, I was one of the one’s sorry to see you go, and was happy to see your return. Even when I think your comments are full of crap, they’re generally worth a read. Minimally, you tend to force the trolls to either defend themselves or leave, and I have gone off to do some reading after a couple of your comments (information junkie here, and I tend to jump on any reason to go learn something new).

  243. 243

    I hate to say this, but when the Dems are defending Obama’s dumbassery on Afghanistan in classical GOP style, it just shows that there has not been nearly enough change. And no, I really don’t give a shit if Steele is a moron who can’t string together a coherent critique of the president. I also don’t give a shit if he gets fired and replaced by another idiot or if this causes a fracas among conservative pundits for a few hours before they move on to anothr scandle. In terms of the coming election this will all be irrelevant. What is relevant is what it says about the Democratic Party.

    I was always a bit cynical towards Obama and always found the Pumas and their opposite numbers to be hysterically stupid in their faith that either Obama or Clinton would be substantially more progressive than the other despite no solid evidence of any significant policy differences between the two. Still, I had hoped that conditions might have forced whoever won the nomination and the presidency to set a radical new course in both domestic and foreign policy. That alas has not happened.

    Everything has gone more or less as Bernhard over at Moon of Alabama predicted. The stimulus was not enough to rescue the economy and with its failure there is no political will for further stimulus or even to extend current unemployment benefits. Most of the western politicians have now adopted a neo-hoover mentality towards the economic crises. Obama, a prisoner of his own lack of audacity early in his presidency when he had the political capital to actually achieve things, is powerless to stop this. At best this means further economic stagnation in the west, at worst it means a double dip recession. At this point we are all like Luke Skywalker on the second Death Star, being laughed at by the evil emperor who knows we are doomed. Luke and his buddies were bailed out by an army of munchkins dressed as teddy bears. I don’t think we can count on that.

    The Europeans are fortunate at least in that they are mostly under center-right governments and will have viable alternatives when election time comes. We yanks on the other hand shall be presented with a choice between a rational crypto -Republican and and irrational Republican. What don’t believe me? Let’s say that the new austerity leads to a double dip recession? What is Obama going to do? Is he going to dust off FDR’s New Deal and run against his own record? Are the tea baggers going to suddenly discover Keynesian economics? Is Christopher Hitchins going to invite Pope Benedict over to his place to administer last rights? Nope.

    In a wonderful post, the great Bilmon said that in spite of all their flaws the Democrats were the only hope for progressive change in this country. That assessment was correct in 2008 and it may be correct in 2016, but it is probably not true today and it certainly won’t be after the midterms. It does not matter whether the GOP retakes the house or not. The dems will lose seats simply because the massive majority they gained in 2008 is unsustainable. This won’t matter though, the media narrative will be the same as when Brown won-that this is push back against Obama and big government, The remaining conservative dems will eat it up and nothing besides spending cuts and war appropriations will get passed. Obama was a force for change, but in terms of anything that needs a congressional vote, he is a largely spent force.

    There are things that he could do in his role as chief of the executive branch such as change strategy in Afghanistan and role back some of the more pernicious claims of executive power that he inherited from Bush, but he has shown no will to do such. The passage of health care reform is almost certainly going to be seen as the peak of Obama’s presidency. All that is left now is to watch this paralyzed administration be destroyed by poor economic and foreign policies and then watch him hand over the keys to the Bush security state(largely preserved by Barry despite his rhetoric) to the next king.

    There seems to be a lot of bitterness towards the likes of Greenwald and Luis Black for not indulging in the tribal chant of the Democratic Party loyalist. I suppose this is understandable. Alcoholics do not like to be told that they are addicts and religious fundamentalist do not like to be reminded that their bible is contradicted by fact. It is of course great fun to make fun of the fundies, the homophobes, the birthers, the war nuts, etc. etc. But then some smart ass comes by and points out that your party sucks. Yeah you can always point out ways in which the dems are better, but that is a bit like claiming your couch potato child is athletic because he can out compete Christopher Reeves. So without anything substantive or even particularly clever to say in return, you just call them assholes or naderites for exposing you to reality.

    Good Night and Good Luck!

  244. 244
    henqiguai says:

    @Angry Space Cadet: Um, what ? What are you, a somewhat more coherent BoB ?

    (Man, a shot of Kaluha in a small Frosty !)

  245. 245
    Nick says:

    @Corner Stone: What are you? Ten?

  246. 246
    El Cid says:

    @Brachiator:

    Congress left for their holiday break, and everyone knows that they will vote to extend unemployment benefits when they come back.

    Okay, I didn’t know that, so, I hope that’s correct.

  247. 247
    FlipYrWhig says:

    Re: pointing to the hypocrisy alone:

    If the DNC had said, “Hey, when we questioned a war you called us unpatriotic, un-American, and a big pack of wussies,” IMHO it seems like all that really accomplishes is reminding people that Democrats tend to get called unpatriotic, un-American, and a big pack of wussies. That’s not good for business.

  248. 248
    Corner Stone says:

    @Nick: Nick,
    You’re a fraud, a liar and an idiot.
    There is absolutely nothing you post here that can be considered true without independent verification.
    IOW, you’re a lying sack of shit.

  249. 249
    Corner Stone says:

    @El Cid: I didn’t know that either. And I’m wondering if the 200K+ people per week who lose their meager benefits know it as well.

  250. 250
    Allan says:

    @Angry Space Cadet:

    I hate to say this…

    No, you really don’t.

  251. 251
    cokane says:

    Greenwald is pretty damn skilled at him medium.

  252. 252
    NobodySpecial says:

    @Angry Space Cadet: Beware of the coming shower of postings about your mental status, puppies, unicorns, rainbows, cannibalism, and how the US is really a center-right nation.

  253. 253
    El Cid says:

    @FlipYrWhig: That’s a good point.

  254. 254
    Brachiator says:

    @El Cid:

    @Corner Stone:

    Okay, I didn’t know that, so, I hope that’s correct.

    The Republicans, at least the mostly sane ones, realize that it’s risky to indulge the inane fantasy that unemployment benefits keep lazy bums from looking for work. They have signaled a willingness to pass an extension, but want to score political points and also continue to pretend that they are deficit hawks.

    And even though their tactics amply demonstrate that they don’t give a rip about the average citizen, tea baggers and others continue to believe in them.

    A few tidbits from The Hill.

    Reid expects the bill will get through the upper chamber once a replacement is named for Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) who died early Monday. Senators return to Washington for legislative business July 12.

    By the time Congress returns, more than 2 million people who have been out of work for six months or longer will have lost their extended benefits, up to 99 weeks in some states with high unemployment, according to the Labor Department. Benefits lapsed June 1.

    Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) argued tonight that his party has “offered ways of paying for these programs, and we’ve been eager to approve them. But we can’t support job-killing taxes and adding tens of billions to the already unsustainable national debt.”

    Overall statistics on unemployment benefits are off the charts — 46 percent of 15 million unemployed Americans have been out of work for at least six months, with an average jobless for 34.4 weeks, the highest in history, according to NELP and Labor Department statistics.

    A total of 54 percent of everyone who use unemployment insurance exhaust all of their benefits.

    But as I noted, Congress might have done something before they went on break if they really wanted to. They passed a technical correction to the home owner credit that benefits some homeowners but also helps lenders and other corporate interests.

    But as I noted, they pulled this stuff on a Friday around a holiday to fool as many as they could.

  255. 255
    Objective Observer says:

    @Arclite:

    If those tactics don’t work, then why use the Goering quote as an example of something important and relevant to today?

    Because Greenwald is a dumbshit.

  256. 256
    Objective Observer says:

    And I fucking mean that. Anyone who sticks up for Jake Motherfucking Tapper is a dumbshit, a pathetic nerd who oh so wishes he can sit at the Beltway table but gets thrown out anyway. Oh well, he’ll earn more this week than we’ll earn in ten years, so I guess he’ll live with it, the fucking poser.

  257. 257
    jetan says:

    @Scamp Dog:

    I meant on our team.

  258. 258
    El Cid says:

    @NobodySpecial: Wait — who doesn’t like a bit of cannibalism now and then?

    What?

  259. 259
    Nick says:

    @Corner Stone: I’m sorry, turns out, you’re actually eight.

  260. 260
    Corner Stone says:

    @Nick: My friend, everything you have ever posted at this blog leads me to believe you don’t actually understand much of any topic.
    You didn’t know Japan went through a horrible deflationary cycle, you don’t know anything about what Bin Laden said after 9/11, you don’t know anything about financial regulations, and you sure as hell do not understand PR and the Democratic Party. And that’s a short list of what you don’t know and/or don’t understand.
    God help the D party if they ever listen to the nonsensical dribble you post here. It’s a relentless tirade of how to turn further Right, and how to weigh the things the Right feel are important.
    I’ll repeat that I do not believe you to be a reporter, of any kind, and certainly not one who has “uninterrupted access to the thoughts and opinions of Wall St. bankers”.
    Your advice, such as it is, is anathema to everything America is about and believes in.
    You’re like the Jude Law character in Road to Perdition. The deaths you take erotic pleasure in filming aren’t enough for you, and you’re not above causing a few if you can, so long as you get to watch.

  261. 261
    Jenny says:

    Who was the DKos writer people are referring to?

  262. 262
    The Truffle says:

    @Corner Stone: Wait. When did Obama plan to cut SocSec benefits?

  263. 263
    Corner Stone says:

    @The Truffle: Are you fucking obtuse? Don’t play the Dumass.
    He asked Congress to form a “deficit commission” and they told him to fuck off.
    He then did so anyway and it’s stacked with very conservative people.
    Now, Nancy has passed legislation forcing an up or down vote for any recommendation from the commission that passes the Senate.

    So don’t play fucking silly buggers with me.

  264. 264
    apnea says:

    Outstanding comment, Angry Space Cadet. (I came to this thread by way of Greenwald’s post.)

    I guess some people can’t manage the notion of principles : not being for one or the other team (force every issue into political scorecards) but to consider the ethics and basic human impact of policies and stances.

    You stand against warrant-less surveillance, government secrecy, indefinite detention, torture, due-process-free ‘targeted killings’, or you don’t.

    You follow the laws your government enforce on the rest of us, or you don’t. You believe in egalitarian due process, or you don’t.

    Simple as that, really.

    Political savvy and world-weary pragmatism have nothing to do with this. In recent times, no other Western government has equivocated on these issues as much as the US.

  265. 265
    Bukko Caukko says:

    Another reader who came here via Greenwald and says “Right on! AngrySpaceCadet”. (I read B-J from time to time, but never commented before.) My wife and I are left-wing enough that we actually moved out of the country during the reign of the Bush Crime Family (and voted for Obama by absentee ballot when we were living in Australia) but I’m disgusted by him now. He’s no different to Bush, except in the visuals and being able to speak intelligibly. Reflexive Democratic Party loyalists are the same as knee-jerk Repukes. Happy July Fourth in a doomed nation, Americans.

  266. 266

    @Brachiator:

    Perhaps by hijacking the Patriotism Express from the Republicans, by forcing the GOP to more openly support Obama, the Democrats might give themselves more room to actually implement a better foreign policy.

    The Republicans originally hijacked the Patriotism Express with the help of the Democrats.

    The way for the Democrats to regain the Patriotism Express was to prosecute Bush era crimes, and create a new narrative that was about courage and American values rather than fear of the terrorists.

    But that train left on the day Obama said he was going to look forward, not backward, or even earlier when he reinforced the “security” narrative regarding the FISA vote.

  267. 267
    ishmael says:

    Oh, how I love reading the comments on any Greenwald-related post.

Comments are closed.