Guess I’m glad not to be the only one whose first thought was of an obscene gesture.
My second thought was that it looked as though the P and the stripes were trying, and failing, to keep the T under control. Which is also appropriate, if perhaps not the image I’d choose for my party candidates…
Apart from derision and schadenfreude, what’s on the agenda as we start the weekend?
https://www.balloon-juice.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/balloon_juice_header_logo_grey.jpg00Anne Lauriehttps://www.balloon-juice.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/balloon_juice_header_logo_grey.jpgAnne Laurie2016-07-15 21:51:222016-07-15 21:52:51Friday Night Open Thread: Branding
This is something I hope Adam will take up in earnest, but we should probably have a thread for the Chilcot report on Tony Blair and the British rush to war in Iraq. Here’s a link to the Guardian’s coverage.
In brief, and in my reading of the press reports only, it looks like Sir John Chilcot has produced a devastating body of work that effectively condemns both Blair and Bush — and by extension the many more who enabled them in their catastrophic rush to war.
That’s obviously going to hurt, and we’ve already got a taste of the derp to come in David Frum’s claptrap, discussed below. We’ll see a lot more ass-covering, excuse-bandying, and outright bullshit from all the usual suspects over the next few days.
But what struck me most in the immediate reaction to Chilcot’s report was one snippet from the few minutes of Tony Blair’s press conference that I managed to catch.
There, he admitted the failure to plan for what to do after an initial military victory (you think?) — but he said he stood by his decision to go to war and would make the same decision now, given the intelligence at the time. He admitted that the intelligence was faulty, but noted that leaders have to decide based on what they know at any given time, which is certainly true.
The problem with that pivot to “bad intelligence” is that it is bullshit.
Those in a position to know understood at the edge of war that Saddam did not have weapons of mass destruction as generally understood. I give you a speech that should be much better known than it is, Robin Cook’s personal address to the House of Commons to explain his resignation from Tony Blair’s government:
Our leaders knew that the stated reason for war in Iraq was false. They did it anyway. There’s plenty of blame to go round — and while it’s not clear how much individual members of Congress or Parliament knew, compared to the heads of government and the cabinets in both the US and the UK, some of that responsibilty certainly accrues to those legislators who went along to get along.
But the central villains of this piece are the leaders who made the choice to cajole and coerce their colleagues and their countries into war.
One last thought: the upcoming election is between someone who’s learned from the Iraq disaster, and someone who just yesterday hearts him some murderous Saddam.
Reading the Huffington Post, I saw this political bodice ripper and I still can’t figure out how to make the mechanics of the piece actually work in our shared reality:
Suddenly they realize, “holy shit, what if we could stop Donald Trump and keep Hillary Clinton out of the White House?”
So they run a moderate establishment Republican as a third-party candidate — 100 percent as a spoiler candidate. Worst case scenario oh, they prevent Donald Trump from winning the White House. Best case scenario they pull enough votes away from Hillary Clinton to prevent her from securing the necessary majority of 270 electoral votes.
Then the election goes to a House of Representatives ballot presided over Speaker Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney’s former running mate in 2012.
If neither candidate gets 270 electoral college votes, Congress picks the president. And he will be called President Mitt, the one who is laying the groundwork for this doomsday electoral scenario.
The basic theory is that a third party candidate who is Generic Republican Establishment (no not Pawlenty) would be able to do three things at the same time:
Insure that Trump does not get 270 electoral votes
win at least one electoral vote
Insure that Hillary Clinton does not get 270 electoral votes
In an alternative universe, that could work, but in this universe, I am having a hard time seeing how to actually make it work with a generic Republican running as a non-Trump alternative.
I think the first part is achievable. However, the third party Republican spoiler is not needed. Continual video playback of Trump’s speeches to non-Trump fans will isnure that. If the Republican establishment decided it needed at least one electoral vote, it’s sock pocket could probably win Utah or a Congressional district in Nebraska. Worse comes to worse, an elector could be a faithless elector. I’ll concede the mechanics on this one.
The problem with this pre-emptive pants shitting is the third part.
https://www.balloon-juice.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/balloon_juice_header_logo_grey.jpg00Richard Mayhewhttps://www.balloon-juice.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/balloon_juice_header_logo_grey.jpgRichard Mayhew2016-03-21 17:00:492016-03-21 17:00:49Three ways in the House
Not so very long ago I remember this guy, funny hair, blocky, ungainly posture, brash fantasist — a Noo Yawk equivalent of those our Texan friends describe as All Hat; No Cattle — infesting the green rooms and bloviator sets of Fox News, talking about President Obama’s birthplace and demanding the infamous “Long Form Birth Certificate.”
Well, we’ve got a new controversy now, a puzzle inside a riddle wrapped in an enigma: can the Republican front runner boast masculine sufficiency — or is he a little leaguer, if you know what I mean, and I think you do.*
Given Donald Trump’s distinguished record as a campaigner for truth and unvarnished, unequivocal, impossible-to-falsify empirical evidence on the matter of our current president’s citizenship, there really is only one way forward.
Show us the long form!
Or rather…please don’t. Not ever.
Or to put this another way: perhaps the most remarkable thing about the GOP race this year is the way the Republicans have figured out a new and truly innovative way to kill American jobs. After last night’s debate, any market for political satirists is dead. Imagine the writer’s room at The Daily Show right now: why bother with new copy when you can just revoice that transcript?
This thread? It despairs of our democracy. And it is open.
Hard for us cynical sane people to credit, but it would seem like the Establishment GOP really didn’t understand, until after South Carolina, that the Trump-Monster emerging from fifty years of Repub propaganda about undeserving moochers, atheists, and subhumans was not going away because they ignored / mocked / threatened him. They had a lovely big-budget musical planned… Springtime for Patricians, featuring a third-generation celebrity, a tiny ethnic sidekick, a creepy rival to better highlight the lead, and a backup cast of goofy stereotypes for the audience to mock. Then this yammering BRUTE appeared out of nowhere, tearing up the pretty sets, pissing on the terrified prop crew, tearing some of the cast members limb from limb. Trump is their history made visible, a nightmare from which they are fruitlessly attempting to awaken…
Trump is building a "new Republican Party." One without as many Republicans.
Who is doing best so far? Jeb Lund thinks Marco Rubio is putting on a good performance – but should stop laughing at his own jokes:
Marco Rubio is doing very well. He hit Trump smartly on apt points, and he even had a good punchline. Cruz isn’t doing as well as Rubio, which should probably be alarming for Cruz supporters, because he’s the one who should be tap-dancing around everyone on stage. Kasich seems pleased to talk when people remember him and just as pleased to watch when no one does. Ben Carson was let out by the roadside to run free through a meadow as mom and dad peeled off in the car…
Shorter #GOPDebate: Younger ape challenges alpha-monkey, gets smacked, while previous alpha grunts, worries about losing his Texas home.
https://www.balloon-juice.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/balloon_juice_header_logo_grey.jpg00Anne Lauriehttps://www.balloon-juice.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/balloon_juice_header_logo_grey.jpgAnne Laurie2016-02-26 20:20:512016-02-26 20:20:51Open Thread: GOP Realizes Its Stalker Is Calling From Inside the House
For the last eight months or so, a significant portion of the Republican party’s voters have been in thrall to a bizarre, Occupy-esque conspiracy theory, which holds as its central thesis that sabotage and pusillanimity are the root causes of the Right’s recent woes. In this mistaken view, the conservative movement’s failure to counter all of the Obama era’s excesses is not the product of the crucial democratic and structural factors that prevent any one faction from ushering in substantial change, but of a lack of will or desire. Sure, the advocates of this view will concede, the shutdown of 2013 was doomed from the start, in large part because the public sided with President Obama. But if the GOP had just held out a little longer, they imagine, the “power of the purse” would have prevailed and the popular dynamics would magically have shifted. The same insistence obtains elsewhere: Sure, there is no precedent in which a second-term president willingly repeals his centerpiece legislative achievements simply because the legislature has elected to play hardball with its powers. But somehow, the critics believe, this time would have been different. Why, they ask repeatedly, didn’t the Republican party just “fight” harder?
Given how broadly this opinion is held, one would have expected the 2016 primary season to reveal a penchant for purity that redounded to the favor of a candidate such as Ted Cruz. And yet, oddly enough, quite the opposite has happened thus far. Led by Donald Trump, the most frustrated voters have instead put their efforts behind a well-telegraphed attempt to burn down the whole political edifice and reconstruct it from scratch. Because it has been imperfect, the GOP must be destroyed.
My bad. That last one is a Democrat. Fuck you, Robert Kennedy, you fucking stain on our party and your family name.
But that list is real. I didn’t make any of it up. And that’s just a list of things they BELIEVE IN, and not a comprehensive list of the stupid shit they’ve actually done or the vile things they have said. That’s just too depressing to actually tabulate.
So yeah, Mr. Cooke, while you are calling on a Manhattan Project to defeat Trump, maybe you should sit back and reflect on just how the fuck this train got so far off the rails. If this list isn’t comprehensive enough, I’ve got another something that may convince you. Something that appeared just this fucking morning in your own god damned magazine:
Fuck you, Charles Cooke, and every one out there like you. You made this fucking mess.
https://www.balloon-juice.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/balloon_juice_header_logo_grey.jpg00John Colehttps://www.balloon-juice.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/balloon_juice_header_logo_grey.jpgJohn Cole2016-02-24 20:32:402016-02-24 21:29:18Yes, Guys, You Actually Built This
https://www.balloon-juice.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/balloon_juice_header_logo_grey.jpg00John Colehttps://www.balloon-juice.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/balloon_juice_header_logo_grey.jpgJohn Cole2016-02-12 12:21:542016-02-12 12:21:54He's Got the Electrolytes We Need