May 14, 2006

"Obviously, from a party point of view we want to get in and do things, but I'm talking about the ideal political thing."

Adam Nagourney notes that winning Congress might not do the Democrats much good.
[S]ome Democrats worry that the worst-case scenario may be winning control of Congress by a slim margin, giving them responsibility without real authority. They might serve as a foil to Republicans and President Bush, who would be looking for someone to share the blame. Democrats need a net gain of 6 seats in the Senate, and 15 seats in the House. "The most politically advantageous thing for the Democrats is to pick up 11, 12 seats in the House and 3 or 4 seats in the Senate but let the Republicans continue to be responsible for government," said Tony Coelho, a former House Democratic whip. "We are heading into this period of tremendous deficit, plus all the scandals, plus all the programs that have been cut. This way, they get blamed for everything."

Mr. Coelho quickly added, "Obviously, from a party point of view we want to get in and do things, but I'm talking about the ideal political thing."
Worse:
"It's going to be very difficult to lead, because the loudest voices in both parties will be those that feel the strongest about their certitude," [Bob Kerrey, the former Democratic senator from Nebraska who is president of the New School said.] "That's going to be the left: Impeach him! Investigate him!"
Doesn't it make you want to avert your eyes? Let see. What are the monkeys doing today? How about bats? Hyenas?

Insects?
You have to leave now, and never come back here. Have you ever heard of insect politics? Neither have I. Insects... don't have politics. They're very... brutal. No compassion, no compromise. We can't trust the insect. I'd like to become the first... insect politician. Y'see, I'd like to, but... I'm afraid, uh...

I don't know what you're trying to say.

I'm saying... I'm saying I - I'm an insect who dreamt he was a man and loved it. But now the dream is over... and the insect is awake.

No. no, Seth...

I'm saying... I'll hurt you if you stay.

72 comments:

erictrimmer said...

The Fly!

Have you seen the new special edition DVD? The cover says it has an alternate ending.

Maybe it's a happy ending - Mr. Brundlefly Goes to Washington ...

brylin said...

Sounds to me like the Democrats are trying to lower expectations of victory in 2006 ("Well, we are better off losing anyway!")

Bruce Hayden said...

What worries me the most about the Democrats getting control of the House is that they would spend the next two years trying to impeach President Bush. John Conyers would get the Judiciary chairmanship, and has repeatedly said that he would hold a lot of hearings on the Administration, covering the NSA programs, the CIA prisons, GITMO, etc. Apparently, he got his hands on a conference room recently and held "hearing" in which a string of witnesses (with near zero credibility) testified how criminal the Administration was. Apparently, again, he had so much fun, he started having everyone call him "Mr. Chairman" and was overheard mumbling procedural decisions in the Halls.

So, yes, if the Democrats do get the House, it will be entertaining, and, they would likely lose it by much more than they might gain in the next election in the subsequent one.

altoids1306 said...

Regardless of the validity of the Democrat's agenda, they're willing to sacrifice that agenda and their own success to embarass Bush! Amazing. Not only does the party take priority over the country, embarassing Bush takes priority over the party!

The Mechanical Eye said...

Ugh. Hearings. Has everyone fogotten why MoveOn.org was so named...

But there is a silver lining. Democrats, after being shut out for six years, will be responsible for what they say and do - something they currently don't worry over, since their national constituents aren't the public per se, but activists. They'll have to be a bit more broad-minded then they are at the moment - if they succeed in that, maybe their stay in Congress will be longer than two years.

Moreso, if the inevitable hearings and commissions and reports and panels drag on for more than a few months, they look like pointless exercises in revenge, not governance. I can see Republican reactions now - "Osama and Zarqawi are still out there and our Do Nothing Congress is investigating how we spy on them!"

It just might temper the rush to revenge.

Or perhaps I'm being overly optimistic. Republicans didn't act in their best interest in the late 90s with their impeachment hearings either.

DU

Ross said...

I have no particular interest in impeachment or censure of Bush, but can the supporters out there really see no reason for congressional oversight hearings beyond political payback?

Tens of billions of reconstruction dollars have disappeared down a black, apparently bottomless pit in Iraq. And the administration sidelined the inspector general. As a taxpayer I'd like to know what's going on with the money.

After less than two years after Bush's new CIA director hand-picked Dusty Foggo to be his No. 3, the FBI is raiding his home and office. Apparently they let a crook become executive director of the CIA during a war. Wouldn't anyone like to know what's going on there?

Homeland security ... don't get started there.

One big reason for constitutional checks and balances is that accountability helps the government do its job better. Since the recent GOP Congress cares little about how the current GOP Executive Branch does its job -- so long as there's no political trouble -- we've had precious little accountability in our government.

Quite aside from which party wins and which loses, changing that system is a good thing.



Oh, and as to Tony Coehlo's point (when did he become a credible source again anyway?): Sure, it always makes for nice musing among politicos that it would be better to let the other guy drown when he's splashing around. Funny though, push comes to shove they always try to win the election.

Aspasia M. said...

Ad Nags wrote that article.

That pretty much explains it.

XWL said...

John McIntyre at RealClearPolitics said something similar, earlier (though more succinctly).

Is that piece by Nagourney opinion or news?

(and I swear I was going to write up just about the same thing as McIntyre (without all that analysis and projections of voting patterns))

As far as Iraq being a 'bottomless pit', name one country in the neighborhood that has a better functioning democracy than Iraq.

Most Iraqis are already better off, and better governed, than Egyptians, Libyans, Algerians, Saudis, Persians, Yemeni, Palestinians, among others.

It's a better mess than any of the other messes in SW Asia and Northern Africa, and a more hopeful mess, which when turned around (which every indicator available suggests is already in the process of getting better, and has turned the corner) will serve as a beacon for all those other peoples I mentioned.

Iraq will be Bush's greatest success in the longview of history, not his worst failure as so many want to claim it is now.

vnjagvet said...

Nihilism is a poor political strategy, no matter which party uses it.

Merely another manifestation of late 60's yippie political BS. Jerry Rubin would be proud of this gang.

Jacob said...

Osama and Zarqawi are still out there...
And who's fault is that?

As far as Iraq being a 'bottomless pit', name one country in the neighborhood that has a better functioning democracy than Iraq.
Er- Israel? Anyway, Ross was talking about the fact that the Bush admin has lost massive amounts of money in Iraq. Money that has simply disapeared or gone to crooked companies. Maybe this is less corrupt then, say, Iran. But US taxpayers aren't paying for the Iranian government and they (the US taxpayers, not the mullahs) have a right to know where their money went.

Aspasia M. said...

Most Iraqis are already better off, and better governed, than Egyptians, Libyans, Algerians, Saudis, Persians, Yemeni, Palestinians, among others.

There's a lotta people dying every day in Iraq. And the people showing up at the Baghdad morgue have been tortured in horrible ways. (There's a line to see if one's loved one has shown up there.)

I think I would be hysterical with fear if I was living in Baghdad.

SippicanCottage said...
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PatCA said...

Coehlo is just saying what a lot of Democrats say: life in the minority is pretty good, what with earmark power and a safe seat, where political discussion is simple opposition to the guys in charge who have to do all the hard stuff.

It really is better for the country to have two-party gridlock. Eight years of hegemony by either party results in our pockets picked clean by new entitlements and by chaotic governance. That's why regular elections IMO are such a good thing (and why our democracy is essentially conservative). I agree with deToqueville that it shows a lot of wisdom about the flaws in human nature. If man were really able to "progress" into perfection, we wouldn't need an election every four years to vote the latest rascals out.

Aspasia M. said...

Do you really think it was better before? There are mass graves all over that country. I'm not being snarky, I'm curious what you think.

I don't think it was better before the No Fly Zone - in the times when the Shi'ites and Kurds were being massacred.

But I think it's worse then it was in the decade before '03.

I think during the No Fly Zone patrols that Iraq was better off then it is now.

Is there someone there that you believe we should be killing that we ain't? The military is a blunt instrument, after all; who should we use it on that we're not?

1) yes - the militias are a huge problem. (In particular the militias controlled by the Ministry of the Interior and those controlled by Sadr.)

We've got private militias that are kidnapping people in Baghdad & dumping them on the street. Sooner or later this is going to cause those neighborhoods to form militias. Then then it's only a matter of time until they start fighting each other.

And quite frankly, if anybody did to my relatives what I'm reading about happening to those bodies -- I wouldn't be satisfied until I had revenge.

I think if we don't stop these killings, we should fully expect people in Baghdad to protect themselves and their families.

The militias they are scared of are either from the Ministry of the Interior or dressing like they are. So if militias (or neighborhood watches) form in reaction to these killings it's a huge political problem. And it can escalate into a medium level urban civil war.


1.5) the problems began right away with not establishing security in Baghdad & leaving troops to patrol danger spots on the way to Baghdad.

2) I agree - the military is a blunt instrument - the Sec. of State's office needed a lot more power starting a lot sooner for Reconstruction efforts.

I could write an essay on this - I think a lotta stuff should have been done and should be done that wasn't/isn't done. But do we really want to talk about Iraq?
--------------------------------
Why do you find his analysis unworthy of merit? Does he have some sort of track record you could elaborate? Help me out.

oh - he tends to write stuff like "Democrats can't find a voice" and stuff like that. So I'm not surprised by an article that says Democrats don't want to win. But I don't trust him to write a ballanced article; I tend to ignore his stuff.

That's not to say I don't think there's a lot of dumb as a rock Dem. consultants out there!

(If any Democrat doesn't want to govern, they should get the heck out of politics.)

somefeller said...

Sippican: While I know you asked geoduck the question, I think I can answer it. Nagourney has something of a reputation for being a reporter who reliably writes articles about how the Democrats can't get anything right and who takes the Bush Administration line on any given issue at face value, without doing any digging or subjecting the Administration to the kind of critical (cynical?) analysis that he subjects the Democrats to. Among lefty blogger types, his name has a connotation not unlike that of Dan Rather among conservatives.

That having been said, I think most Democrats would be happy to have the problems that come with being in charge of Congress. Such problems are better to have than the ones that come with not being in charge. And as someone said above, why the hell is anyone asking Tony Coehlo what he thinks anyway?

Jacques Cuze said...

So what's more cliche, an Ad Nags article about how horrid the Democrats are, or the reflexive post from Spin-meister Althouse echoing that post?

Some of your prior posts taken from Ad Nags "columns"

- Why the Democrats' Left Wing Is Muted
- Why can't the Democrats take advantage of Bush's woes?
- That was a mistake - we need to seize on it.
- Adam Nagourney and Jodi Wilgoren paint an unflattering picture of John Kerry's management style in tomorrow's NYT.
- Adam Nagourney has a little piece in today's NYT headlined 'Moral Values' Carried Bush, Rove Says.
- Glum Democrats Can't See Halting Bush on Courts.
- Splits within the party about what it means to be a Democrat

Slow days in NYC imply an Ad Nags dems are bad column, but what is your excuse?

A dialogue is an intellectual process. Propaganda is often just the automatic repeating of any statement your party spokesman suggests.

Johnny Nucleo said...

Happy Mother's Day, Number 6!

If pee-pee is Number 1, and poo-poo is Number 2, what could Number 6 be? Something really gross, I bet. Perhaps alien poo-poo? Gross!

Bruce Hayden said...

Geoduck

Instead of blanket statements about tortured bodies showing up, how about some verifiable figures. I am not saying that it isn't happening some, but I haven't seen any indication that it is happening routinely.

As for the no-fly zone, what you are forgetting is that sacntions were on the verge of failure. Captured documents show that France had assured Saddam Hussein that (in trade for all the bribes they had received), the next vote on sactions in the Security Council would fail. Indeed, it looks like 3 of the 5 permanent members would have voted against - all three having recently received large oil field concessions, plus having (illegally) sold arms to Iraq.

So, while it would have been nice to have been able to maintain the sanctions and the no-fly zones, that isn't a realistic alternative scenerio.

And that, of course, also ignores another big reason to go to war - the no-fly zones and the sanctions required that our military maintain a large presence in Saudi Arabia. This was cited by OBL as one reason for 9/11. This thorn would have remained in the side of much of Islam until we pulled out - which we did shortly after the invasion. In particular, the Wahabbis just don't like infidels that close to Mecca and Medina, and, in particular, our unveiled women driving so close to those cities.

Jacques Cuze said...
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Bruce Hayden said...

One big reason that the Democrats are having a problem with capitalizing on Bush's problems is that they can't connect with those who have moved away from Bush on the Right. My guess is that his big problem there is immigration, and from their point of view, not shooting illegals crossing the border. The Democrats apparent solution is to legalize them, without addressing the underlying problems.

The President seems to be trying to take a middle ground here, and the activists on both sides are outraged by this.

Also, a lot of the things that they think should resonate, don't, outside their own activist base. NSA spying? A majority think it is a good idea. Corruption? The party of Bill and Hillary Clinton screaming that the present administration is the most currupt in memory just doesn't resonate.

There have been exactly zero real corruption scandals involving the top of the administration. If the President, et al., violated the law, it wasn't to get the FBI files of their enemies, but to protect us from al Qaeda. Abramhoff was an equal opportunity briber, and DeLay resigned his post (and will most likely be acquitted anyway). And if Libby did anything wrong, it was in crossing the line when defending the Administration. That isn't corruption, that is loyalty.

Think about the rest of the "issues" being pushed by the left right now. Minimum wage increases don't excite that many. Moving administration of the Medicare drug benefit to Medicare before the program has even started is just as silly.

I am not saying that the Democrats aren't going to win at least the House in November, it is just that the Democrats don't have anything really to offer that those in the center want to buy. They may vote against the Republicans, but are not going to be voting for the Democrats.

Jacques Cuze said...

No fly zone: $1B per year.
Iraq War: Currently $10B per week.


And that, of course, also ignores another big reason to go to war - the no-fly zones and the sanctions required that our military maintain a large presence in Saudi Arabia.

Yes, luckily we no longer have to worry about maintaining a large military presence in the region.

(Please ignore the 14 permanent bases and the $1B embassy in Iraq.)

This was cited by OBL as one reason for 9/11. This thorn would have remained in the side of much of Islam until we pulled out - which we did shortly after the invasion.

I presume that "much of Islam" is going to be okay with our 14 permanent bases in Iraq as well as the regional civil war.

Just how far should we go to appease OBL anyway? Destroy our civil liberties? Would it make OBL happier if we no longer had habeas, or maybe were torturing prisoners and wiretapping our citizens?

If OBL told you to jump off a cliff, would you jump off a cliff?

Note to "JN" "pee-pee and poo-poo"? I can see why Illudium-Q36 would want to sit next to you and not me at the adult table.

Jacques Cuze said...

There have been exactly zero real corruption scandals involving the top of the administration. If the President, et al., violated the law, it wasn't to get the FBI files of their enemies, but to protect us from al Qaeda. Abramoff was an equal opportunity briber

Hmm. Rove next, Cheney soon thereafter. #3 in the CIA Foggio busted for handing out contracts. Savavian busted for doing Abramoff's bidding.

Please name a single Democrat that Abramoff gave money too.

Cheney et. al., outed and smeared Plame not to protect us from Al Qaeda but to protect themselves from criticism over their phony war in Iraq. Plame it is now known was a covert agent working on WMDs in Iran. By outing Plame, Cheney et. al., for their own needs, severely damaged the American people wrt Iran and WMD proliferation.

Your comment is patent nonsense.

Jacques Cuze said...

There have been exactly zero real corruption scandals involving the top of the administration.

Katrina, California Energy Scam run by Enron backed by Bush. Halliburton's contracts. 24 year old college dropout telling NASA scientists what they can and cannot say based on political reasoning. HUD Secretary proudly telling audience that he awards contracts to inferior vendors based on their fealty and punishes contractors that he believes oppose Bush.

I'd like to be your banker Bruce.

Seven Machos said...

I like to talk to reasonable people on/of the left. That's one of the reasons I come here.

Why does quxxo/Symbol Guy/Number Six have to ruin it all? Can't you go and spount your inanities somewhere where people care to listen?

Jacques Cuze said...

I have a XXO license. License to spount, but only here. Sorry. You're free to speak to M.

Ross said...

As Jacob said, yes, it's the massive amounts of money lost. Here's a fairly typical story, published by the L.A. Times last month: tinyurl.com/gcy8l

WASHINGTON — Parsons Corp., the Pasadena engineering firm that won one of the largest rebuilding contracts in postwar Iraq, fell dramatically short of a number of goals, according to interviews and documents that cite shoddy work and negligent government oversight.

The firm was to have rebuilt Iraq's health and security infrastructure. However, an audit and interviews show it will finish only 20 of 150 planned health clinics, and nearly $70 million of medical equipment meant for the clinics sits unused.

Additionally, as few as 12 of 20 hospitals planned to be refurbished will be completed. Some border forts built by the company lack walls, and some fire stations may be structurally unsound.


Doing construction work in Iraq can't exactly be easy. I don't mean to suggest that failures like this are per se signs of corruption or malfeasance. But they're certainly evidence that are govt. needs to be doing a better job of the tasks it has taken on.

Seven Machos said...

Number 6. You got me. I misspelled a word. You only have your entire worldview warped and wrong and unreasonable.

I guess, for you, it is the critic who counts; the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is woefully far from the arena...who only occasionally errs when spelling; who changes his name a lot...who knows the great enthusiasm of hating President Bush in a strangely clinical fashion, the great devotion to vaingloriously advocating unworkable and dangerous foreign policy positions, who spends himself in a worthless cause, who at the best knows in the end how to spout senselessly and anger most everyone and who at the worst, when he fails, kills intelligent conversations and makes sensible people turn away in disgust. So that his place shall always be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.

Seven Machos said...

That's the same government that the left wants to totally control the healthcare system the United States.

SippicanCottage said...
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ATMX said...

The southern no-flyzone that Clinton implemented was rather worthless in protecting Shi'ites. Saddam could kill them quite efficiently with the secret police if they got out of line. Not only that, but implementing that no-flyzone was used as justification by the French to weasel out of participation of the northern no-flyzone, and then use their UN Security Council vote as a bargaining tool for gaining concessions from Saddam.

The northern no-flyzone implemented after the Gulf War was effective because it allowed the Kurds to organize a defensible perimeter in which Saddam's forces could not operate.

But regardless, one needs to recognize the costs of these no-flyzones (and sanctions and other containment operations) went beyond the simple price tag and deaths in Iraq. They were used as justification by al Qaeda for attacking the US. 9/11 and Cole attack are all related to the issue of Iraq. The funny thing is that former Nebraska Democratic Senator Bob Kerrey and 9/11 committee member understood that. Actually he understood the connection before 9/11. A month or so after the Cole bombing in 2000, he said our response should be to depose Saddam.

Seven Machos said...

Iraq had nothing to do with any kind of terrorism -- not Al Queda, not suicide bombings in Israel, nor did Saddam Hussein treat his people unfairly, nor was it important to get out troops the hell out of Saudi Arabia, nor was it important to get them closer to Iran or Syria, nor was it important to try to establish a Western beachhead somewhere in the Middle East to change the dynamic there.

The fact is, Saddam Hussein was just minding his own business, trying to get along, and the NEXT THING YOU KNOW, out of nowhere, comes this bug army to depose him, COMPLETELY changing course from the Clinton foreign policy toward Iraq, by the way.

America is a genocidal tyrant and should be destroyed.

Seven Machos said...

That's right. A bug army. Huge insects with gaping maws and a thousand eyes, sent from the USA to destroy peaceful, democratic, peace-loving Iraq.

BeckyJ said...

Number 6: Please name a single Democrat that Abramoff gave money too.

Patrick Kennedy & Harry Reid among others. The article from the
Washington Post can be found here. (If the URL doesn't work just Google Abramoff & Washington Post).

Cindy said...

Thanks for the link Becky, I like the graphs.

Jacques Cuze said...

Patrick Kennedy: Bzzzt, wrong, thanks for playing.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/12/17/AR2005121701014.html

The Dec. 12 news graphic "How Abramoff Spread the Wealth" may have left the inaccurate impression that I had a connection to Jack Abramoff. While many Native Americans have supported my reelection efforts, I have never met Jack Abramoff or worked with him. The contributions to which the graphic referred were the product of my relationships with tribe members and leaders who also happened to have had the misfortune of being among Mr. Abramoff's alleged victims.

The Indian Tribes were the victims of Abramoff's scheming. The Indian Tribes were already giving money to Abramoff. Studies have shown that after Abramoff arrived on the scene, the Indian Tribes gave LESS money to democrats than they had prior to his arrival.

The graphic shows what the tribes gave. It shows what the VICTIMs of Abramoff's crimes gave.

Nobody disputes that Indian tribes legally gave money to politicians. The question is did Abramoff bribe politicians he gave money too and scam those Indian Tribes.

Aspasia M. said...

Somefeller sumed up Ad Nags much better then I could.

It strikes me that all this talk of the next Congress is a bit premature. We don't know what will happen in the next election yet.

I'm waiting to see what the races look like at the end of the summer. As of now, I'm not ready to say that Dems will win either the House or the Senate. (They might, but as of now it's a long shot.) I'd like to see a Cook political report breakdown race by race.

Remember how "everyone" was "sure" that Dean would win Iowa? The Conventional Wisdom can be fun gossip. However, until people actually vote it doesn't mean much.

Jacques Cuze said...

Same thing with Harry Reid. Harry Reid, Senator from Nevada has had a long standing relationship with the Indian Tribes in connection with tribal gambling. Get it, Reid is the senator from Las Vegas after all.

He did not receive money from Abramoff. He did receive money from Abramoff represented tribes. Those tribes were the victims of Abramoff's crimes.

If you think that Harry Reid or Kennedy is guilty of anything than you should consider calling for special prosecutors to look into this matter.

Jacques Cuze said...

Whoops. "The Indian Tribes were already giving money to Abramoff." Should of course be "The Indian Tribes were already giving money to Democrats."

Aspasia M. said...

But regardless, one needs to recognize the costs of these no-flyzones (and sanctions and other containment operations) went beyond the simple price tag and deaths in Iraq. They were used as justification by al Qaeda for attacking the US. 9/11 and Cole attack are all related to the issue of Iraq. The funny thing is that former Nebraska Democratic Senator Bob Kerrey and 9/11 committee member understood that. Actually he understood the connection before 9/11. A month or so after the Cole bombing in 2000, he said our response should be to depose Saddam.

1) I think it was a bad choice (and the wrong choice) to go into Iraq.

2) But if they were going to do it, the US should have invaded with overwhelming force. The US should have gone in with troops to spare and established security throughout the South and Baghdad AND through out all the provinces.

Overwhelming force. Not on the cheap.

MadisonMan said...

Beckyj: Abramoff as a person gave money exclusively to Republicans. Entities he was involved with, or attempted to control, gave to all. Therein lies your confusion, I believe.

Insert appropriate Lord Acton Quote here.

MadisonMan said...

The sad part in this is that the Democrats could do great things for the country if they were to take over the House/Senate. Investigate the President, sure, but how about passing laws to clean up the mess in Washington -- what can a weakened Bush and Republican party do against a drip-drip-drip backdrop of scandal but agree?

Alas, the uberlefties will want to impeach, and the Republicans can argue, with traction (but falsely, IMO), that the impeachment is payback for the Clinton.

I can at least hope that a split in power will steer the country back from its profligate spending.

Maybe I'm just gloomy cause of the drippy drizzly dark dank dreary damp weather.

Johnny Nucleo said...

MadisonMan,

I disagree with almost everything you say, but you're a good poster, so this pains me (not really).

"Democrats could do great things for the country if they were to take over the House/Senate."

This is dreamy in the extreme. Do you mean "could" or "would"? I know you said "could" but I get the sense you mean "would". I agree with you Democrats "could" theoretically do great things. But "would"? No serious person believes this. What would they do? Forget domestic stuff for now, tell me what they would do on the war.

While you're googling, I'll tell you. Nothing new. Nothing particulary different. Surrender? Please. You may want that, but it ain't gonna happen. You know that. I know that. Why can't we talk about that? Why can't dems get serious?

You know, if you guys got serious on the war, you could pretty much have your way with domestic stuff.

MadisonMan said...

I so agree with your close: if the democrats could find a winning strategy on Iraq, the Republican Party would be in severe jeopardy. Someone here will probably remind me, but other than the terrorism fighting I can't think of one good thing that has come out of the present administration. It's interesting that the Republicans have been able to craft this ill-conceived war that is a mutated outgrowth of the war on terror into a box surrounding the Democrats.

SippicanCottage said...
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Jacques Cuze said...

You may be right. We shall see what happens this week. One of those two must be wrong. Is it Rove's attorney's spokesman (or Rove's spokesman?) Or is it the journalist/blogger that presumably had two sources? Who knows?

Jason Leopold has also promised to disclose his sources if they lied to him.

Hey Slip, what did you think of Dick Cheney's handwriting all over the Wilson op-ed piece? Isikoff: "In the margins of the op-ed, Cheney jotted out a series of questions that seemed to challenge many of Wilson's assertions as well as the legitimacy of his CIA sponsored trip to Africa: "Have they done this sort of thing before? Send an Amb. [sic] to answer a question? Do we ordinarily send people out pro bono to work for us? Or did his wife send him on a junket?"" You can see the document here.

If I am wrong, as usual, I will be the first to admit it.

In the meantime Slip, I congratulate you and thank you. Illudium-Q36 and the rest just whine about me. Not only do you whine, and spam-link, but you also write the occasional funny rejoinder as well as the occasional substantial rebuttal.

Jacques Cuze said...

In the meantime, it is nice that you put yourself on record as objectively pro-Abramoff and pro-corruption as usual.

Are you aware of the specific Abramoff scam in which he, Grover Norquist, and Ralph Reed lobbied against his own clients so that he could bill them more? That doesn't quite sound like business as usual....

Also good to know you think that the Indians had it coming to them. I do find that odd considering the name of your avatar/handle/business, but it does indicate your moral flexibility, and we should always think more highly of people that prove to be flexible, right?

Have you looked into all of the claims? The diversion of tribal money to Israel? The diversion of tribal money to a bogus think tank headed by a lifeguard friend of his? The Marianas Island child/slave labor charges? The defrauding of the Hebrew School he founded?

We know you're into monkeys so I assume you laugh heartily at the emails in which he calls the tribes monkeys and troglodytes and morons. "These mofos are the stupidest idiots in the land for sure." In another email message he wrote, "we need to get some money from those monkeys!!"

Let's just ignore the stuff about the SunCruz casino and the fraudulent wire check, and the details of the Marianas labor violations and the payment of $9,000 that looks like they were made to avoid reporting. And the restaurant and the skyboxes and the $100,000 trips for Tom Delay to go golfing.

It is frankly good to know that you think that Abramoff is business as usual for Republicans.

SippicanCottage said...
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Mark said...

"...other than the terrorism fighting I can't think of one good thing that has come out of the present administration."

I'll offer three:

1. Tax cuts.

2. Two high-quality supreme court justices.

3. Saddam, filthy and bearded, dragged from a rat hole and obediently sticking out his tongue for a G.I., and now on trial.

And I'll note that we haven't had another terrorist attack on our soil in almost five years - in 2001 no one would have expected that level of success in dealing with Al Qaida.

Those things aside, his failure to protect my beloved nation from Mexican invasion negates all of the above. And so I no longer support him and am indifferent to him being impeached.

Mark said...

Wait, I want to add one more really big one:

Uday and Qusay Hussein have been dead and rotting in their graves for three years - those indescribable monsters. How many innocent people have been saved just because of that one fact?

knoxgirl said...

Anyone who argues that they're against the war because of death and especially hideous torture is being disingenuous. If you really cared about people being killed and brutalized, you would have supported the ousting of Saddam-- and yes, his sadistic piece-of-sh*t sons too. (thanks for the reminder, Mark)

Bruce Hayden wrote a pretty good post in this thread that sums up nicely why the head-in-the-sand policies of the '90s were doomed to failure. I notice that his points were roundly ignored....

knoxgirl said...

by the way, thanks for giving me the shivers with that quote, Ann! It took me a second to realize what that was from. Yuk

MadisonMan said...

I'll offer three:

1. Tax cuts.

2. Two high-quality supreme court justices.


If the tax cuts had come with, oh, I don't know, spending cuts or a cut in the size of the bloated government, I might agree with you. You write tax cuts, though, and I only see increases in borrowing. That's not healthy. I'm not wealthy though -- maybe if I were a millionaire I'd be more appreciative of the largesse given to the rich on the backs of future citizenry.

Re: Supreme Court -- well, past performance is not indicative of future returns. History will judge the relative quality of the two new Justices. So far, at least for Roberts, it's a hit. Alito, who knows?

Simon said...

Nagourney is late to the party. Q.v. my post last week. It seems to me that the Dems will win the House, but it will be a white elephant, as they will tear themselves apart trying to bridge the gap between their base and civilized society over questions like tax and impeachment, and ultimately, succeed only in underwriting the GOP's victory in 2008.

MadisonMan said...

and ultimately, succeed only in underwriting the GOP's victory in 2008.

That is certainly a possibility, the only silver lining of which would be a change in leadership. The Democratic Party really has to shed its Coastal Leaders and regroup using Midwestern sensibilities. Not electing a sitting senator to run for the Presidency would be a gigantic first step IMO.

Simon said...

MadisonMan-
FWIW, I think the worst-case scenario (from your perspective) will not come to pass; contra Nagourney, who simply assumes that the majority leader will become the Speaker, I find it hard to believe that the Congressional Democratic Party would actually be stupid enough to elect Speaker Pelosi. I imagine that it will be Speaker Hoyer and Majority Leader Pelosi, for much the same reasons as the GOP declined to install a lightning rod like Tom DeLay as Speaker, and ignored seniority entitlements to select the less controversial Denny Hastert. Pelosi as Speaker would be the icing on the cake for the GOP, and I think the non-screaming part of the Dem base knows it. I mean, the Dems couldn't make a worse move than choosing Pelosi (for them) unless they elected Howard Dean as Speaker. Hmm. Now there's an idea...Dean for Speaker!

Simon said...

Not electing a sitting senator to run for the Presidency would be a gigantic first step IMO.

The sheer, unmitigated track record of only two sitting Senators being elected to the Presidency in over two centuries is excedingly pleasing to those of us who would go out and campaign for anyone - up to and including Hillary Clinton - if it kept a nomination out of Joe Biden's hands. Indeed, if it weren't a moot point in Indiana, I'd change my registration to vote against him in the primary. Concluding that Biden is an idiot should be (and usually is) a bipartisan process.

With that having been said, though, I think that a Senator can win, and I suspect that the next President will be elected directly from the Senate, insofar as I think both parties will, for better or worse, ultimatley nominate a sitting Senator (Clinton vs. McCain or Hagel), guaranteeing that result.

MadisonMan said...

ultimatley nominate a sitting Senator (Clinton vs. McCain or Hagel), guaranteeing that result.

I'm (still) holding out hope for a Democratic Governor. I can think of 2 I could be enthusiastic about -- Iowa and Virginia -- but the Democratic party doesn't listen to me. It's probably scared of nominating another man with chiclet teeth -- look what happened with Carter!

Simon said...

MadisonMan -
I don't think it's out of the question that you'll get your wish; a lot of folks are touting Warner, who I think could actually win, if the GOP blands out and nominates someone like George Allen (why some non-entity mediocre Senator is considered a frontrunner for anyone's nomination is beyond me, but hey, it worked for John Kerry). The problem is that being a governor is a double-edged sword, particularly in times such as these. On the one hand, historically, Americans seem to like people with executive experience for the Presidency, but on the other hand, Governors lack experience in dealing with those areas that are peculiarly the ken of the President of the United States (particularly foreign policy). In the present climate, I really think that the natural predisposition to elect governors is counterbalanced by the desire to have a strong hand on national security, an area of policy that is inherently outside of a governor's experience.

It's going to be an interesting primary season, I think. I'll also go out on a limb and say that I think there's a not inconsiderable chance that the draft Condi movement might ultimately succeed, if not well enough to put her top ticket, then well enough that she will be - willingly or not - drafted as the Veep nominee.

Richard Dolan said...

Reading this thread makes one appreciate the MSM. The commentary often veers from banality and cliche to foolishness and worse, and then back again, with only the occasional gem hidden away in the mess. Even skimming the back-and-forth with quoxxo/number 6 is getting pretty pointless. Am I the only one who feels that nothing new has been said in these threads about Iraq in quite a while? Sometimes blog commentary is compared to shooting the breeze in the office. But at least in that context, people know when to give a particular topic a break.

As for the Nagourney piece that got it all going, he's never struck me as a friend of Republicans or conservative politicians in general. Instead, like most of the NYTimes guys, he's critical of the Dems because, for him, that is the team that really interests him, and which he finds personally most congenial. It's not that as a political reporter he doesn't cover the Republicans. But he keeps having to push himself to take their policy positions seriously, because for him and those who share the Times-ian worldview, they aren't (at least not often). At any rate, that's how he's always come across to me.

Coelho's quote confirms, if confirmation were needed, that the Congressional Dems are too divided, too timid actually to have a plan to govern. Lacking that, all they have is a plan to criticize, in the hope of scoring political points. It's all about tactics and power, and has nothing to do with accomplishing anything. As a group they clearly have strong views on Iraq, the GWOT, the efforts by Bush to obtain intelligence through the NSA program, etc. But they lack confidence in those positions, and are afraid to be upfront with them. And they have the usual positions on health care/education/jobs that happily always coincide with the views of the teachers' unions and entrenched social welfare bureaucracies. The Dems have been pushing the same policies, essentially unchanged, for 40 years. Even the soundbites are stale.

Given all of that, I think Coelho may get his wish, in that the 2006 election will turn into the political revolution that wasn't.

PatCA said...

Sure, the Dems should have another plan on Iraq, but they won't because there is no 'better' plan. How can you better the record so far, which is not perfect but a great start against what is basically a worldwide guerilla war:
56 of 58 Radicals Killed

What are the possibilities here for a "better" plan? Nuke Riyadh...stop fighting all together...capture Osama?

Walt said...

It just makes me proud to live in a democracy where our leadership parties want to win elections -- well sort of. If I get this straight, the ideal victory is one in which your opponent wins but by a small margin. And this is good because you can blame them for the things that go wrong.

On the flip side, the republicans want the democrats to win the house so that they can share the blame. All of this sounds so logical to everyone?

And it gets even better. The American dollar is falling in value, but don't worry. The pundits on both sides have decided that that is a good thing. Is anyone else tired of trying to argue for one party or the other, by ignoring your own god-given logic. For me, everytime I have a conversation about politics, I feel like I need a shower. I think it is time for one of those Aegean stables-type cleanings.

Seven Machos said...

Simon -- You can't POSSIBLY believe that Chucl Hagel has an ice cube's chance of hell of sniffing the nomination. You can't believe that.

DaveG said...

I think during the No Fly Zone patrols that Iraq was better off then it is now.

Those planes were being fired on by Hussein. Does that fact make any dent in your lack of support for removing the regime?

Walt said...

daveg is right. And if they had UN painted on the wings, they would have been shot down!

Simon said...

Seven Machos said...
"Simon -- You can't POSSIBLY believe that Chucl Hagel has an ice cube's chance of hell of sniffing the nomination. You can't believe that."

I'm not saying that I want him to get the nomination, and I'm not laying odds on him getting the nomination, but I certainly can (and will) say that I believe he'll probably seek the nomination, and I think that the GOP could do much worse.

Moreover, the 2008 primary is probably going to be a very fractious and wide field on our side, so I think he's got as much chance as any of the others who are likely to run; there simply isn't a clear-cut winner at this point, not least because every potential GOP nominee has problems, in some cases merely possible, in others, very real - problems that could be either minimized or exacerbated by events beyond their control and their own behavior in the next two and a half years.

Coco said...

"Reading this thread makes one appreciate the MSM. The commentary often veers from banality and cliche to foolishness and worse, and then back again, with only the occasional gem hidden away in the mess. Even skimming the back-and-forth with quoxxo/number 6 is getting pretty pointless. Am I the only one who feels that nothing new has been said in these threads about Iraq in quite a while? Sometimes blog commentary is compared to shooting the breeze in the office. But at least in that context, people know when to give a particular topic a break. "

Well said and long overdue. I simply don't post on such topics anymore and haven't for well over half a year becuase its the same strident voices so confident in their own world view that they cannot possibly have anything to learn from the other side. So transparent. Worse, so boring.

Thankfully Ann keeps the "war" posts (or even posts that might LEAD to a war discussion...like the current one) to a relative minimum.

Ann Althouse said...

Coco: You're right. I hardly ever blog about the war, and I notice that when I do, it gets a lot of comments.

Coco said...

Ann, I'm glad that in your blog market, supply does not follow demand. Save us from ourselves!!!

MadisonMan said...

I guess my question for Ann would be -- which subject gave the most unexpectedly long commentary?

Ann Althouse said...

Coco: I'll try. I hope you appreciate my complete resistance to blogging about immigration.

MadisonMan: I've forgotten, but there was something recently that went up over 400. I think abortion was involved, but I don't think that's too surprising. What drives the numbers up is when a conversation gets going. It's the same few commenters, with many comments each.

Jacques Cuze said...

End of Monday, Slippery, it's looking good for your side. DHinMI posted a pretty negative story about Leopold today.

I may indeed have drunk too deeply from the fountain Saturday. But we'll see!

Who will turn out to be the biggest fraud, the lawyer and the spokesman, or the junkie reporter?

How are you doing? That amnesty/not amnesty program, militarize the border/not militarize the border, guest program/not guest program up to snuff? What do you supposed the exit strategy for sending our troops to the borders will be? Some are suggesting that we will declare victory over the invaders just prior to the election in November.

Using the PATRIOT Act to snoop on reporters' cell phones, you're down with that, right?

Me, I am glad I have Qwest, but I wish I could get a taste of that $50B lawsuit against Verizon. Hope you do better!

Hey did you get signed up for Medicare D? I think you have till Midnight!

Am I the only one to perceive that Ann posts less about politics as well as the war these days? I think she used to do a lot more of both.

SippicanCottage said...
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