November 5, 2006

"The most miserable, neurotic and obsessive collection of individuals he had ever met."

That's a description of the students at Georgetown Law School, attributed to Jim Webb (the Democratic candidate for Senator in Virginia). Here's the TimesSelect link to the David Brooks column where I found that.

It's a good column, describing Webb's attitudes:
He began to see an America riven by a social divide. On the one side were people like himself: tough, independent, hard-working traditionalists who know how to shoot, fight and endure; and on the other side were what he has at various times called the “drug-drenched,” “sex-enshrined” narcissists, who cower in their parochial elite enclaves and pass judgment on everybody else.

Webb named his son after Robert E. Lee, and wrote a book, “Born Fighting,” which is a full-throated defense of “Rednecks. Trailer-park trash. Racists. Cannon fodder. My ancestors. My people. Me.”...

“For the last 50 years,” he wrote in “Born Fighting,” “the Left has been doing everything in its power to sue them, legislate against their interests, mock them in the media, isolate them as idiosyncratic, and publicly humiliate their traditions. ...”

Jewish culture produces a lot of lawyers, Webb has argued, but Scots-Irish culture produces fighters, and he has spent his life defending the interests and values of these manly, individualistic, brawling populists. He’s criticized affirmative action and women in combat. He at one time opposed the Vietnam memorial, which seemed to rebuke the warrior virtues. “Watching the white phallus that is the Washington Monument piercing the air like a bayonet, you feel uplifted,” he said. But the “degrading ditch” of the Vietnam memorial seemed to do no such thing.
So why is Webb running as a Democrat?

Can you imagine how the Democrats would rake him over the coals for saying these things if he'd happened to run as a Republican? "Degrading ditch" as the opposite of a phallus? A "white phallus," no less. And you know what color the "degrading ditch" is. I don't have to spell out what they'd be saying about him. "My people"... "racists." Yeeze! And all those "miserable, neurotic" folks at Georgetown...

You might guess he chose to run as a Democrat precisely because if he'd run as a Republican, the Democrats would have destroyed him with material like this. But what's the next step? What happens if he wins? Per Brooks:
So the Democratic Congressional delegation that convenes next year will be different from the ones we’ve seen. It will feature ideologically and culturally diverse people who cannot be silenced or reduced to lockstep party loyalists...

[W]e may be about to learn if the party of Nancy Pelosi can make room for the Jim Webbs of the world. We’ve already learned that the party of George Bush and Tom DeLay did a terrible job making room for its own mavericks and moderates.
I can already hear the true-blue Democratic bloggers yelling: No fair! You see that we're about to win so you're staking your claim to our victory.

114 comments:

Shanna said...

And all those "miserable, neurotic" folks at Georgetown...
Heh. The buzz on Georgetown parties when I was in school was that you had to get their really early or all the beer would be gone. Because they were all depressed. I guess that would fit Webb's definition.

Also, I didn't realize that the web that was running for Senate was the same one who wrote the book about the Scots. I guess I haven't been paying enough attention, but this is the first time I've seen that mentioned.

Edward said...

Webb has evolved and become more enlightened on the issue of women in the military. He’ll do the same on other issues.

No matter what you say about Webb, George Allen is a lot worse.

Dave said...

Well, I know a lot of lawyers, a lot of whom are neurotic, miserable, obsessive, etc.

My guess is that Webb is off base in his assessment but it is nonetheless true that most lawyers seem a motley combination of neurotic, miserable and obsessed. I suppose, though, you could say the same of people in any competitive profession.

Edward said...

I also doubt that George Allen has the imagination and linguistic skill to create quotes like these hilarious ones from Webb.

Webb’s statements (often from many years ago) are definitely cringe-inducing, but they reveal more skill than Allen probably has demonstrated in his entire career.

Ann Althouse said...

I'm happy to see Webb in the Senate. He's smart and independent. And he has a way with words. I expect a lot from him. It will be interesting!

Gerry said...

"It will feature ideologically and culturally diverse people who cannot be silenced or reduced to lockstep party loyalists..."

If it comes to be, it will prove to be significantly less ideologically diverse than people expect, and you can expect lockstep voting from the Democrats.

I do not expect anyone reading this comment to change their voting intention this time around. Just think back, when it comes to pass, and realize that it was not that the events were unforeseeable.

Balfegor said...

He's smart and independent.

And if he helps the Democratic caucus evolve rightwards, I might even vote for them again!

I think, though, that Webb is a little too much like Pat Buchanan for my tastes. Though, truth be told, I think he would be a better addition to the Senate than George Allen, who is kind of the Casey of the Virginia race -- the colourless rich man's son up against a colourful and rather more thoughtful scrapper (Santorum in PA, Casey here). But I'm still not voting for either of them.

JohnF said...

This was strange:

"We’ve already learned that the party of George Bush and Tom DeLay did a terrible job making room for its own mavericks and moderates."

Does he mean the way the Republicans tossed out Chafee, Snowe, et al.?

Or the way they threw out Lieberman? Oh, wait a minute...

Gerry said...

Yanokidding. Not to mention "Maverick" John McCain.

Then again, Rudy Giuliani really does toe the party line pretty much across the board, does he not?

Why the Democrats succeed in projecting their party's negative attributes onto Republicans is something I wish I understood.

Fenrisulven said...

At least the GOP gets a few bonus points on this one - Allen's campaign has been a preview of why he won't make a good POTUS nom in 08. Thinning the herd. We'll spend our energy elsewhere.

Edward said...

derve:

Yes, Republicans travel in herds these days.

Doesn't everyone know that?

I thought that was common knowledge.

Knemon said...

"Thinning the herd."

This is a very bad thing, from this RINO's perspective.

The thinner the "herd" is on the right side of the party, the easier it will be for a harder-right candidate to consolidate base support, lessening the chances of McCain a/o Giulani.

Fenrisulven said...

Speaking of thinning the herd:

ORSON SCOTT CARD via Instapudit:

"I say this as a Democrat, for whom the Republican domination of government threatens many values that I hold to be important to America's role as a light among nations.

But there are no values that matter to me that will not be gravely endangered if we lose this war. And since the Democratic Party seems hellbent on losing it -- and in the most damaging possible way -- I have no choice but to advocate that my party be kept from getting its hands on the reins of national power, until it proves itself once again to be capable of recognizing our core national interests instead of its own temporary partisan advantages.

To all intents and purposes, when the Democratic Party jettisoned Joseph Lieberman over the issue of his support of this war, they kicked me out as well. The party of Harry Truman and Daniel Patrick Moynihan -- the party I joined back in the 1970s -- is dead. Of suicide."

Nice work gents. YOu going to purge Card from the party too?

We’ve already learned that the party of George Bush and Tom DeLay did a terrible job making room for its own mavericks and moderates

Classic.

Internet Ronin said...

Derve: Great line - never heard that one before!

Fenrisulven said...

This is a very bad thing, from this RINO's perspective. The thinner the "herd" is on the right side of the party, the easier it will be for a harder-right candidate to consolidate base support, lessening the chances of McCain a/o Giulani.

I'm not discounting Allen b/c of his politics [RINO's like him?]. I'm saying that he has run a weak campaign that makes me question his judgement. He's not being tossed from the party, he's just not ready for prime time.

"Thinning the herd" of POTUS noms - that money and energy will be better spent on someone more competant.

The Drill SGT said...

I met and like Webb. Voted for him in the primary, but am turned off by his campaign.

Edward said...

After this election, the Republican herd will so thin that even McCain and Giuliani will be forced to shift far to the right to win their party’s nomination.

In another year, McCain and Giuliani will no longer be recognizable, much less attractive, to RINOs like knemon.

And the Democrats will do a fine job fighting terrorism.

Zeb Quinn said...

So why is Webb running as a Democrat?

That's a good question. Webb spent the majority of his adult life as a Republican, even working in a high-level position, in the Reagan administration (Secretary of the Navy). His views are much more consistent with Republicans than they are with Democrats.

Since their days as classmates at Annapolis he and Oliver North seem to have been joined at the hip, locked in a competition. First they boxed. Then they both went into the Marines. Next they were Republicans who worked for Reagan. And through it all they were mutually disdainful of one another. I think that somewhere in there lies a clue.

tjl said...

Why in the world is Webb running as a Dem? The statements Ann quotes would in a normal election cycle be more than enough to get him anathematized by the NYT and the other enforcers of liberal orthodoxy.

I hope I'm wrong about this, but I fear the moderates running as Dems this year won't remain so moderate once they get in office. Webb may be allowed to retain some of his independence, since the Senate gives its members more autonomy than the House. But Pelosi doesn't seem the type to easily tolerate dissent in the ranks, and she will have powerful tools like committee assignments to make freshmen toe the line. Just ask Jane Harman.

Fenrisulven said...

After this election, the Republican herd will so thin

I think you're already drunk on the post-election champagne. Allen/Webb are in a dead heat. My guy, Steele, is locking in his lead. The GOP had Big Mo going into the weekend - the races are tightening up just as the superior GOP GOTV effort launches.

We'll keep the Senate, and maybe even the House. I don't think you'll get 20 house seats.

Edward said...

Tjl: You’re wrong about Pelosi. She has already committed to running a House that is more transparent in its operation and much more tolerant of minority views.

Pelosi just may be the first Speaker in our country’s history to run the House in a truly democratic (small d) manner.

That is one of the best reasons to feel excited about the prospect of her becoming Speaker.

Fenrisulven said...

Geez Edward, I hope you didn't buy that bridge off her too.

Edward said...

Fenrisulven: Can’t you just feel the excitement? I know I sure can.

Fenrisulven said...

Wapo via my mothership, Captain's Quarters:

"A new Washington Post-ABC News poll shows some narrowing in the Democratic advantage in House races. The survey gives the Democrats a six-percentage-point lead nationally among likely voters asked which party they prefer for Congress. It was 14 points two weeks ago, but this remains a larger advantage than they have had in recent midterm elections"

From 14 to 6. And I think the MSM polls were already off, like those notorious exit polls in 04.

tjl said...

Excited about the thought of Pelosi as Speaker?

Just look at Pelosi's frozen botoxed face. The expression is that of a true ideologue, not someone who hopes to "let a hundred flowers bloom, let a thousand schools of thought contend." (To quote Chairman Mao, someone else who didn't brook dissent gladly).

boston70 said...

I think Webb would be a good thing for the senate and for the democrats. In order for the democrats to survive they need more diversity and different voices and Webb could help them.

I would also like to see another democrat other than Nancy Pelosi be the speaker of the house. The republicans are aleady having a field day with her. You know, "San Francisco democrat" Code words for very gay.

The Republicans are in fear of losing their more moderate candidates this election. Specifically, what many hard core conversatives refer to disparingly as "RINOS" or "Northeast Socially Liberal Republicans". The focus on the hardcore social issues have turned quite a few moderate republicans off.

The fact is the republican party need these RINOS and Northeast Socially liberal Republicans. If they lose them they will become a minority and primarily a party of Southern Republicans.

Any many moderate republican northeasterns do not want to be represented by some republican hick from Alabama or Mississippi.

Sorry, but it is the truth.

Paco Wové said...

"...You see that we're about to win so you're staking your claim to our victory."

Oh, absolutely. The base doesn't think they owe anything to anybody. (Then again, what base does? Learn nothing, forget nothing.)

boston70 said...

Also, "maverick" John McCain is no longer the "maverick". He is friends with Jerry Falwell now and it putting up ads for the Gay Marriage Amendment in every state.

Can't we all agree that Mccain is now longer a "maverick".

He wants to be president and as a result he has become a conformist.

Fenrisulven said...

The Republicans are in fear of losing their more moderate candidates this election. Specifically, what many hard core conversatives refer to disparingly as "RINOS" or "Northeast Socially Liberal Republicans".

Chafee is leading his race in RI now, with the help of the RNSC. Sure, there are some in the GOP who moan about Republican's In Name Only, but the rest of us already know that we have to have a big tent to remain a majority party. Hell, we'd even find a home for Lieberman if asked.

PatCA said...

I just saw a most interesting movie, The Last King of Scotland. Yes, Whitaker's acting was brilliant, but what is really compelling is the other lead character, the privileged, likeable young doctor who possesses all the negative attributes Webb abhors. Quite transgressive for a modern day film!

Joe Baby said...

Dems might win a nice victory on Tuesday, and they might go on to rule in a mature manner. (First is possible, second I'm less sure of.)

But the Democratic Party has a central problem in that they are frequently (and especially here in AZ) running against type and against previous statements/actions.

Take a look at the Dem candidates for Senate -- other than Lamont (who will spend millions to basically lose to Joe-mentum in OT), the candies are conservative.

Also note that Nancy Pelosi has gone to the mattresses for the last few weeks, and will be in DC on Tuesday night rather than risk being filmed in the great city of SF.

This dilemma won't go away even if they deal the GOP a tasty smackdown this Tuesday.

Knemon said...

"After this election, the Republican herd will so thin"

Well, we'll see.

"And the Democrats will do a fine job fighting terrorism"

Again, we'll see. If so, that would be super-neat.

Fenrisulven said...

Somalia
Kobar Towers
USS Cole
WTC bombing

Yup, those Dems sure do know how to handle terrorism...

They'll be like Chamberlain: "This line and no further - no wait! This other line instead"

Gerry said...

"he has already committed to running a House that is more transparent in its operation and much more tolerant of minority views."

Oh, yes. Campaign promises are generally to be taken at face value. And one can really get a feel for her respect for minority views by the way her caucus has been bludgeoned into near-unanimity time after time again.

knoxgirl said...

I used to like what this guy had to say, now he just sounds more like a jerk than a maverick.

It's funny to see the democrats in this thread saying nice things about him.

There's good country people and there's rednecks. There's a difference. I've lived in plenty of neighborhoods with rednecks and trailer trash--their racist, course culture is not something to be praised any more than say, urban gang members. Yuk.

Paul Zrimsek said...

You’re wrong about Pelosi. She has already committed to running a House that is more transparent in its operation and much more tolerant of minority views.

Having already seen what Edward's idea of tolerance is like, I'd advise any Congressman thinking of straying from the party line to be careful about checking under the bed.

Elizabeth said...

There's good country people and there's rednecks. There's a difference.

knoxgirl, you're absolutely right. It's an important distinction, and I'm not sure if Webb does enough to make it.

Edward said...

Paul Zrimsek: You have a mistaken image of me. I’m very tolerant of dissenting opinions.

I also think it’s important to speak with both honesty and civility.

I don’t think any of my comments here have run counter to these principles.

Palladian said...

"There's good country people and there's rednecks. There's a difference."

I'd third this sentiment. I grew up in south central Pennsylvania (I spent several of my earliest years living with my mom in a trailer park), which is in many ways like the deep South. There were plenty of good people, but plenty of horrible, trashy people as well.

johnstodderinexile said...

Just look at Pelosi's frozen botoxed face. The expression is that of a true ideologue...

So, do you think she told her botox doctor to freeze her face in an especially fanatical pose in order to scare her underlings into conformity?

If I ever took botox, I'd want to be as expressionless as possible. Then I would go to a poker club and win big, because no one could ever "tell" anything about me.

Shanna said...

And the Democrats will do a fine job fighting terrorism.
One can only hope, because there is currently no evidence of that.

Any many moderate republican northeasterns do not want to be represented by some republican hick from Alabama or Mississippi.
Isn't it nice, then, that congress is composed of candidates from people's OWN state? Because I know a hell of a lot of "republican hicks" who don't want to be represented by Massholes either.

I fourth the redneck hick v. country debate, however I think we're at a stage where alot of people in the south have gotten used to being considered a redneck, regardless of the facts, and have thus taken the term on in a prideful, joking way. Of course, that doesn't make them actual, real rednecks of the inbred/racist stereotypes.

tjl said...

"do you think she told her botox doctor to freeze her face in an especially fanatical pose"

No, the frozen face would naturally display the default expression it had when alive.

Fenrisulven said...

Edward: I’m very tolerant of dissenting opinions. I also think it’s important to speak with both honesty and civilityI don’t think any of my comments here have run counter to these principles.

Uhm, you called me a bigot b/c I pointed out that servicemembers would not respect a superior who takes it up the butt.

Knemon said...

"And many moderate republican northeasterns do not want to be represented by some republican hick from Alabama or Mississippi."

As a moderate, raised (though no longer living) in the NE:

1) It's not where someone's from, it's their ideology.

2) Odd that Democrats had no problem being represented by "some democratic hick" from *Arkansas.*

3) Giulaini/Huckabee: sounds so funny, you just have to vote for it.

vnjagvet said...

It would not trouble me if Webb won in Virginia so long as Steele wins in Maryland and the Senate still stays under Republican control.

Joan said...

My father was Scots-Irish. I find Webb's stereotyping of the Scots-Irish horrid. His defense of racism and rednecks is absurd. It is equally absurd that the Democrats are embracing Webb -- because he's against the war in Iraq -- when they've kicked Lieberman to the curb for supporting it. The Democrats used to be a single-issue party revolving around abortion rights. Now they're a single issue party on the Iraq War. Neither position is defensible, and the fact that they'll embrace someone like Webb who professes so many anti-liberal beliefs reveals how shallow their convictions are.

Edward, I don't know whether to find your faith touching or disturbing. You believe Nancy Pelosi will run a transparent, democratic House, and you believe that Webb can be converted to other Democratic ideologies as he has "softened" on women in the military. It's either sweet or insane that you cling to your wide-eyed naivete in the face of so many relentless facts.

Edward said...

Fenrisulven: I don’t think it’s civil or polite to use crude sexual language in a political debate, as you just did.

And civility has always been important to me.

So you fail by that standard.

Crude bigotry is always uncivil and impolite. It’s uncivil and impolite by definition.

Often when I refer to bigotry, however, I’m talking about much milder forms. This kind of bigotry is often unconscious and unintended. I’m not harsh when I write about this kind.

In this society, there’s still so much misunderstanding about homosexuality, that even a lot of people of good will still routinely express these mild forms of bigotry against their gay neighbors.

AJ Lynch said...

When Webb shows he can develop a national following, he will be called a maverick and outspoken.
He could become the populist figure to win a presidential election for the Dems.

But let's have some fun, who is everyone picking in the close Senate races? Here are my picks to win (most I am rooting against) : Casey in a landslide, ditto Menendez, Whitehouse, Steele (but only if he actually gets substantial white support), Webb, Corker and Talent. Oh and Burns.

Doyle said...

It is equally absurd that the Democrats are embracing Webb -- because he's against the war in Iraq -- when they've kicked Lieberman to the curb for supporting it.

No it would be absurd if Webb supported the Iraq War.

Pick a criticism: Either liberals are totally intolerant of heterodox views, as shown by the Lamont primary win, or they have no "conviction" as shown by their support of Webb.

Lieberman is a Bush follower on foreign policy, and George Allen is about as nauseating as Republicans come. It's totally understandable that liberals would work to unseat both, and that ousting the latter requires a more "centrist" candidate.

Edward said...

Joan: I’m not being naïve in my hopes about Pelosi.

One of the great scandals of American history is the way the House of Representatives has nearly always been run as a tyranny, with the leaders of the majority party exerting virtually tyrannical control over everything that happens there.

This has been true since almost forever, and it’s been that way regardless of which party has been in the majority.

Pelosi is aware of that sad history and is determined to change House rules to make its operation more democratic.

In other words, as the new minority party, House Republicans will have privileges never before enjoyed by any minority party in the House.

And greater democracy in the operation of the House will produce better legislation.

I’m not saying Pelosi will be perfect, but the mere fact that she has already articulated a clear plan for improving the basic procedures by which the House operates is a very good sign.

Her Speakership will be one for the history books if she accomplishes nothing else but that. But, of course, she will accomplish much more than just that.

tjl said...

Don't be so childlike. What about Pelosi's decision to ditch Jane Harman from the intelligence committee? Harman is too moderate for Pelosi, so she has to go to make room for Alcee Hastings, impeached for bribery. Pelosi's Speakership will be memorable, but hardly for the reasons you expect.

Fenrisulven said...

Edward: I don’t think it’s civil or polite to use crude sexual language in a political debate, as you just did. And civility has always been important to me. So you fail by that standard. Crude bigotry is always uncivil and impolite. It’s uncivil and impolite by definition.

Crude sexual language? How else would you put it? I even went so far as to say "butt" instead of "a**"". By your standard, any description of homosexual sex is "crude bigotry"? Too ashamed to describe it?

Old Dad said...

Webb is an interesting candidate. He's running as a Democrat because the opportunity presented itself. I don't fault him for it in the least.

Most politicians are power players and not ideologues. Moreover, both parties are fairly heterodox. There are broad ideological tendencies, but these tend to get very blurry when applied to individual cases. Consider Zell Miller, Rudy G., McCain, Lieberman, and now Webb. Centrist politicians are tough to label.

Edward said...

Tjl: You’re basing everything you just wrote about the intelligence committee on one Washington post article from earlier this week.

As far as I’m aware, Pelosi has not made a final decision on any of what you talk about.

You’re just getting yourself all worked up over nothing.

Pelosi has spoken publicly and clearly, however, about how she plans to make the operation of the House more transparent and democratic. She has clear plans for that.

Doyle said...

Harman is too moderate for Pelosi

If by moderate you mean unbelievably accomodating of Bush's flagrantly illegal "Terrorist Surveillance Program", I agree that's a fair description of Harman.

Edward said...

Fenrisulven: I prefer to call it anal sex, and I’m not embarrassed to talk about it.

It’s just that extreme homophobes love mentioning anal sex in political discussions about gay rights. They mention it for shock value.

I have every justification to be suspicious of someone who carelessly throws in a mention about anal sex in a discussion about civil rights.

George said...

Professor, God bless you, you surely are having a merry time today.

From reading your fevered posts, I s'pect you may have a touch of the vapors.

Yet somehow I'm reminded of what Jimmy Carter (or Maynard Jackson) said of Andrew Young: "He has more fun with white people than a kitten does with a ball of string."

It's not news that Southerners are (or, better, were) racists, as Webb admits.

The Washington Monument a phallic symbol? The Vietnam Memorial a gash of shame? Not very original thoughts.

"My people?" Don't see a thing wrong with it. No different from Jesse Jackson reaching out to, say, black voters in urban slums.

Y'all go on back to talkin' 'bout anal sex, now, y'hear!

Internet Ronin said...

SCENE: THREE RING CIRCUS
(a.k.a. The Commonwealth of Virginia, Mother of Presidents)

PRODUCER [to assistants in control room]: Will someone please help those human pretzels out of the ring before we bring on the dancing horses?

PRODUCER: Cue Clowns!

PRODUCER: Bring on the Clowns.

VOTERS: Choose one.

Fade to Black.

Ernst Blofeld said...

Webb, when he was in law school, was one pissed off dude. And rightfully so. It was the immediate aftermath of the war, and law school was full of lefty anti-war types. He was a wounded vet with a Navy Cross, and they were a bunch of jerks. There's one much-told story of Webb receiving an exam with a hypothetical question that involved heroin being smuggled in the body of a dead soldier returning from Vietnam. The prof crafted it with him in mind, knowing that it would piss him off, and amuse the other students. With provocations like that it doesn't surprise me that he developed a hostile attitude towards those around him.

Webb has always been a Democrat, though he served in the Reagan administration. He has a more populist attitude towards economic issues, and isn't a Reaganite quasi-Libertarian.

What kind of a senator would he make? I don't know. He'd be, and was, a fine platoon or company leader. But that eagerness to close with and destroy the other guy can be a drawback in other contexts. He might be a bit on the excitable side, in other words. I predict the left will be deeply disapointed in him, and that includes his future positions on Iraq if elected. There's a pretty good chance he'd advocate something like increasing the number of troops in Iraq to ensure victory, even though he opposed the initiation of the war.

James said...

This is the first time I have ever seen the phallicness of the Washington Monument used to compliment it rather than make fun of it.

James Kabala

Chris said...

The thing you have to keep in mind about Webb is that he is being used by the DSCC to win a seat. If Webb were a Republican, the Democrats would excoriate him for everything he had written, and Edward up here would be condemning Webb for his Scots-Irish chauvanism.

Allen has a pretty good record and deserves reelection. The good thing is, we have found out that he cannot possibly run a national campaign. So much for the Movement Conservatives back at CPAC who tried to convince everyone that Allen was the next Reagan. In fact, Allen has out Fristed Bill Frist in the campaign incompetence department when it comes to 2008.

It is interesting to listen to libs try to handicap 2008 for Republicans, btw. The three most popular Republicans with the Base are Rudy, Mitt Romney, and Condi. You'll notice I didn't mention McCain. While Condi may not run for President, it is instructive to note that the Party isn't taking seriously the likes of Brownback and Tancredo.

As for the Democratic majority, if it should come to pass, expect a duplication of Reagan's strategy from the early 1980's. A lot of Blue Dogs will vote with Bush on the war. Almost exclusively, the Dems that are poaching seats are running as conservative Dems. Take Heath Schuler down in NC for instance. Yes, he's complaining about the war, but he's not "antiwar" by any stretch of the imagination. Expect John Boehner and Mike Pence to give San Fran Nancy fits as Karl picks off stray Blue Dogs who don't want to buy into Nancy's Troisieme Republique defeatism.

Republicans know how to be an opposition, and the Dems will find that they will have to accept part of the blame with none of the Responsibility. This is hideous for them, and worse for Hillary, who wanted to run against a Republican congress in 2008.

Of course, the Clintons were always out for themselves, anyway.

Fenrisulven said...

Edward: I prefer to call it anal sex, and I’m not embarrassed to talk about it. It’s just that extreme homophobes love mentioning anal sex in political discussions about gay rights. They mention it for shock value.

I mentioned it to convey how the troops would react to a leader who recieves anal sex. They don't respect him. I guess I could have said "allows another's reproductive organs to be inserted into his waste tract" but that sounds like an abomination. Maybe because it is? What is the PC way to identify the one who recieves anal sex?

I have every justification to be suspicious of someone who carelessly throws in a mention about anal sex in a discussion about civil rights.

Civil rights? The point is that you assume all opposition to homosexual "rights" is based on bigotry. And you tag all who dispute your worldview as being bigoted. You are not tolerant of dissenting opinion.

Doyle said...

Almost exclusively, the Dems that are poaching seats are running as conservative Dems.

Almost exclusively? Harold Ford and Jon Tester are the most prominent, and they're running in fairly red states.

Take Heath Schuler down in NC for instance.

Yeah lets take the ex-QB North Carolinian as the prototypical Democratic candidate.

Yes, he's complaining about the war, but he's not "antiwar" by any stretch of the imagination.

Isn't everybody against war as such? The disagreement is whether this war was a good idea, and, for those incompetence-dodgers (like Richard Perle!), whether it has been conducted well.

I do love this "if the Democrats win it will be because they're really Republicans" line though.

One counterexample: Michael Steele. The man is trying so hard to make people think he's a Democrat that even CNN mislabeled him on their graphic.

Being a Republican is nothing to be proud of these days.

Fenrisulven said...

One counterexample: Michael Steele. The man is trying so hard to make people think he's a Democrat that even CNN mislabeled him on their graphic.

Now you're just making stuff up. The attack ads on Steele complain that he supports Bush 96% of them time.

AlaskaJack said...

I think the liberal/left wing of the democrat party has a great deal to fear if Webb gets elected. His views and sound bites will get a great deal of media attention and are likely to resonate with Reagan democrats and the rest of middle America. The liberal/left will either have to try to marginalize him or else get out of the way. The first strategy wont work and so the result will be that they will lose power and influence. The second option just means that they will see the handwriting on the wall and voluntarily give up their power and influence.

Doyle said...

Fenris -

It may surprise you to learn that some politicians seek to market themselves in a certain way even if they have no intention of voting that way if elected.

Steele is absolutely a company man, but in order to get elected in Maryland he has to deny it.

That's why there's no reference to the Republican party, and a decidedly blue color scheme, on his campaign website.

Although in fairness, self-hating Republicans are my favorite kind.

Doyle said...

I think the liberal/left wing of the democrat party has a great deal to fear if Webb gets elected.

Yeah well that's what we call a good problem. Liberals aren't half as scared of moderate Dems as they are of the lunatic fringe right that has been running the show.

johnstodderinexile said...

It's pretty absurd to try to deprive the Democrats of the significance of their likely victory by saying it's just history doing its normal sixth-year thing, or that the Democrats who'll win are just running like Republicans.

The Republicans have worked as hard as the Democrats to nationalize this election. Some of them think they have the upper hand. Every conservative commentator I read or hear has made it very clear that if the Dems take the House, it's Speaker Pelosi, Chairman Rangel, Chairman Conyers, etc. and they've been as vivid as the priest in "Portrait of the Artist" about the torments that await. Apparently, as of today, it's not working.

This election is about three issues: Iraq, Iraq and Iraq. It's about Rumsfeld's mismanagement. It's about the poor planning for the insurgency. It's about Bush's refusal to be a candid commander-in-chief. It's about the dysfunctional policy-making apparatus, overseen by a president whose heart might be in the right place, but who's too weak to manage the strong egos around him.

As a Democrat, I tend generically to trust Republicans more than Democrats on national security. But for this election, I think it is perfectly reasonable for a national security minded voter to vote down the line for Democrats. Nothing good can come of continuing the one-party domination of Washington for the next two years. The public is getting ready to say that in a big way, I think.

tjl said...

"It may surprise you to learn that some politicians seek to market themselves in a certain way even if they have no intention of voting that way if elected."

There you have it. Dems running as moderates in normally red districts will jump to do Pelosi's bidding as soon as she turns her botoxed stare in their direction.

Cedarford said...

tjl - Webb may be allowed to retain some of his independence, since the Senate gives its members more autonomy than the House. But Pelosi doesn't seem the type to easily tolerate dissent in the ranks, and she will have powerful tools like committee assignments to make freshmen toe the line. Just ask Jane Harman.

Webb doesn't have to worry boo about Pelosi as a Senator, if he wins. She doesn't make committee assignments in the Senate.

As for Harmon, she is no freshman. And Harmon has been cat-fighting with various members of the California delegation since she ran for Governor. Especially recently with powerful Hollywood's bagman and manna-dispenser, Rep. Waxman...over precious terrorist rights.

Lurking in the weeds are allegations that Harmon asked Israel's tremendously potent lobby, AIPAC, to intervene in Hollywood to get Pelosi and Waxman off her case. Which may cause separate problems for her retaining her intelligence seat, if there is any merit to the allegations.

Fenrisulven - Hell, we'd even find a home for Lieberman if asked.

Lieberman is famous for "agonizing and Hamletizing" an issue publically, then voting liberal Democrat anyways 95% of the time. Except for matters affecting Israel, he is pretty predictable in voting more Leftist than all but 10 Leftie Dems in the Denate. His track record is more liberal than Hillary, Kerry, Dodds, Cantwell, and Feinstein's - for example..

If there is a home for Lieberman, it is the "well to the Left" of Chaffee, Jeffords, and Spector's home. Except on issues affecting Israel and a few cultural things that offend his Orthodox values.

*****************
On Webb - He and Ford are refreshing Democrats, with Webb far more authentic in being a true national security Democrat like Scoop Jackson and Sam Nunn than Ford, who is more a "positioner" trying to appeal to a more conservative audience than he would face in Blue States.

He depiction of the Memorial as a degrading ditch was widely held by other Vets - and led to the balancing of the statues added to the design later so it wasn't just a row of dead. A good memorial has to have positive elements - commemorating bravery and sacrifice and hopefully, a message that their lives made a difference and mattered. Otherwise it is just an obituary notice in marble. Maya Lin's orginal design lacked the features that the Vets insisted on that made the Memorial more accepted by the Vet visitors and public.

To that end, Webb performed a great public service. He has also been fearless in condemning PC in several instances, suffered largely liberal condemnation for it, and it makes for a very different sort of Democrat than the Kennedy-Pelosi wing.

Hope he is elected.

And he is right about the Scots-Irish. From George Washington onwards, name a great American military leader or hero and you have good odds of naming a Scots Irishman like Lee, Audie Murphy, SGT York, Pappy Boyington, Andrew Jackson. The other prominent group are German Americans like Eisenhower, Schwartzkopf. Of course...der Deutcheslanders und Var are like Jews and Law and Belgians and Chocolate.

Doyle said...

tjl -

I sure hope so. I for one don't want Heath Shuler thinking for himself :-)

tjl said...

Doyle,

No doubt you'll enjoy Alcee Hastings putting his special talents to work as chairman of the intelligence committee.

Dave said...

The liberal press is making a big deal of the number of "moderate" Democrats who have a chance of getting elected. They say it will change the character of the Democratic caucus in the House.

I'm not convinced that they're right. They may be overstating it to soften the image of the left-wing Dems in the House.

But if they're right, it's definitely a good thing. If the House Dems can reverse their three-decade move to the left, it can only be positive for getting things done in DC.

Doyle said...

After Peter Hoekstra? Damn straight.

Congress has aided and abetted this administration's numerous crimes for far too long. Your crazy vindictive liberal is my knight in shining armor.

Joel said...

The blind leading the blind.

You cannot ascertain the color of an object if you are looking thru a tinted lense, and you cannot ascertain the character of a man if your looking thru the tainted lense of the media reports, that goes for all ideologies.

The comedy of trying to make a judgement on who to vote for by using newspaper and television reports would be hilarious if it was not so pathetic.

Jim C. said...

"So why is Webb running as a Democrat?"

Maybe I'm crazy, but I thought that was obvious. He's against the war. And liberals call pro-gay marriage, pro-embryonic stem cell research Instapundit a "conservative" because he's for the war.

Old Dad said...

The Allen-Webb race is somewhat representative of this election cycle, and our politics in general.

Allen ran a crappy campaign, but both candidates have liberally covered themselves with muck. Webb is a decent candidate, but a better one wold have buried Allen by now.

Same is true of the broader House Senate races. Better Dem candidates would have and should have buried the Republicans by now.

Should the Dems take one or both houses, the startling result is that it will be by so narrow a margin.

In my view, we're looking at relatively bankrupt and incompetent political leadership on both sides of the aisle.

Speaker Hastert vs. Speaker Pelosi. By God if we can't do better than either we're in a world of hurt.

johnstodderinexile said...

Pelosi is not going to put a guy who took a $150,000 bribe in charge of the Intelligence Committee. I know she says she is thinking about it, and I know she has this weird grudge against fellow California married-rich lady Jane Harman, but at the end of the day, I think she's going to look carefully at the symbolic value/political threat of everything she does, and that one seems like a reckless throwing-away of the Democrats' national security credentials. It is far too easy to make Hastings look like an enormous security risk, and Pelosi must recognize this. She's dancing around it because of the politics of the Congressional Black Caucus, and also to make Harman twist in the wind a little. But it would be so stupid to actually go through with this--I just think she won't.

The partisan moderate said...

http://holdthesenate.blogspot.com/

Webb is running as a Democrat because he was against the War in Iraq and because of convenience. He is a free agent. He supported George Allen in 2000 but he he supported Chuck Rubb in 1994, over his old nemesis Oliver North who beat him in boxing.

Unfortunately, Webb has little knowledge of domestic issues and would make a poor Senator. He still has never explained sufficiently why he switched parties (other than Iraq) and the media has never really followed up.
Past portrayals have also demonstrated that he doesn't work well with others (see his really short stint in the Reagan administration), which is necessity in the close-knit world of the Senate. Temperament matters.

It would be nice if he was forced to take positions on domestic issues and really demonstrate any kind of grasp of the issue. I also ponder how he could resign from the Reagan administration to protest lack of military spending. Few people if any, have ever criticized Reagan for not spending enough on the military.

For more commentary, please check out my blog.

johnstodderinexile said...

Better Dem candidates would have and should have buried the Republicans by now.

No, I think the narrow poll results are more a product of caution. Despite the Iraq disaster, the public still retains a feeling that Republicans protect the country better than Democrats. Gee, gosh, I don't know why they'd think that (cough-Clinton-cough- Kerry-cough-Carter-cough), but it's a hurdle that has had to be overcome. My sense is the Democratic candidates this year are actually pretty good generally, and have earned a shot at showing that they can govern in his era.

I think what you're really seeing is that the Republicans had a political advantage due to the historic times we're in; but their rotten, moronic, feckless, corrupt and small-time leadership failed completely to do anything with it, and gave the Democrats an opening. The Dems have handled this opening better than I thought they would. With the exception of the Lamont foolishness, they've pretty much disregarded the hard-left nutroots. Truly, whatever the size of their victory is, they've earned it. I'm a huge critic of the Democrats' political acumen, usually, and it's still within their power to screw things up (cough-Kerry-cough), but I have to say, they've impressed me.

Old Dad said...

johnstodderinexile,

Spoken like a true partisan. And I'm one, too, by the way.

I think you give your party too much credit, though, but I do agree that you've fielded better candidates than in years oast.

Please, explain, though, why the party can't crush "rotten, moronic, feckless, corrupt and small-time" Republicans. Are Democrats that lame on national security?

johnstodderinexile said...

Are Democrats that lame on national security?

Mostly. Yeah. They are that lame. It's a big problem. But the Republicans clearly need help from somewhere, and I'm hoping that there is a Harry Truman or a Daniel Moynihan whose true face will emerge after they take control.

So I'm a "true partisan?" That would get a huge laugh from most of my friends who think I'm a closet Republican (oops, guess that's a loaded term now.)

Ernst Blofeld said...

I believe Webb has always been registered as a Democrat. I recall him writing an op-ed on gun control for the WSJ back in the 90's in which he stated he was a Democrat, and argued against gun regulation.

Simon said...

"The three most popular Republicans with the Base are Rudy, Mitt Romney, and Condi ... [Although] Condi may not run for President."

She may not run, and I doubt that the movement to draft her will come to much, but I suggest that she's a leading candidate for veep.

Thomas Nephew said...

Paco Wove -- Oh, absolutely. The base doesn't think they owe anything to anybody. (Then again, what base does? Learn nothing, forget nothing.)

No, we don't think that. We just don't think we owe anything to you. Or Althouse.

michael a litscher said...

We’ve already learned that the party of George Bush and Tom DeLay did a terrible job making room for its own mavericks and moderates

I need to find a leftist who can project in 1080P in time for the superbowl.

Shanna said...

No, I think the narrow poll results are more a product of caution.
And the polls always narrow the closer we get to election day.

I do think the Dem's are running a good number of moderates, but the leadership is not moderate at all. Pelosi? There is a reason she is going to be in DC on election day. She doesn't want to remind the country that she is from one of the most liberal parts of the country. It's likely the house will break to the dem's and it is entirely because of the Republicans abandoment of their base on fiscal issues and their poor management of the war. So although I don't think the Dem's are any better, I"m ok with the Republicans loosing a few seats if it will knock some sense into them! I would be more ok with it if I had any confidence in the Dem's on the war.

Joe Baby said...

I think Dems have been wise to run more conservative candidates, but beyond that, I'm at a loss for what they've done "wisely" in this campaign.

Being anti-Iraq is easy -- most of the public is. But what do the Democrats propose, and why is it seen as prudent to only target al Qaeda in one cave in Afghanistan?

I know that Dems would repeal certain tax cuts, but beyond that, what would they do? Raise the minimum wage?

And when Dems talk about energy policy I just get all goofy-eyed, esp. with the complaints about gas prices. Simply nonsensical.

Also, was targeting Joe Lie!-berman for destruction the dumbest political move in a decade? (Definitely contrary to Edward's theory that Congressional Dems will be more democratic than their predecessors.)

And on matters of style, the old guard has come across as quite nasty. Instead of a Smilin' Sam routine, most Dems get the furrowed brow and bottom picket teeth flying.

I'm left to believe that if Dems don't get a blowout, they only have themselves to blame.

Ann Althouse said...

Jim C: "Maybe I'm crazy, but I thought that was obvious. He's against the war."

I think he's too serious of a man, too significant of a man to be running for office on that single position, especially since he doesn't even seem to share the overall attitude toward national security that has marked the Democrats. I hope he intends to change things from the inside and to be part of remaking the party into something I can support again.

Gerry said...

Knoxgirl wrote:

"There's good country people and there's rednecks. There's a difference."

Elizabeth followed:

"knoxgirl, you're absolutely right. It's an important distinction,"

I vaguely recall Sen. Robert Byrd making a similar argument regarding a different demographic.

Some forms of bigotry are less taboo, I reckon.

johnstodderinexile said...

I think Dems have been wise to run more conservative candidates, but beyond that, I'm at a loss for what they've done "wisely" in this campaign.

There is no "beyond that." That was enough; a huge move in the right direction. The other "wise" thing, which I didn't expect, was essentially to ignore the nutroots.

But what do the Democrats propose, and why is it seen as prudent to only target al Qaeda in one cave in Afghanistan?

But that's not what the candidates are saying. They are being vague for both good reasons and bad, but mostly good. I think they've accepted the notion that a pre-announced "timetable for withdrawal" is hazardous. But they are going to force the Bush administration to develop a more broadly acceptable plan to get us out of there.

I know that Dems would repeal certain tax cuts, but beyond that, what would they do? Raise the minimum wage?

They are not being elected to make economic policy. But given the Republican fiscal irresponsibility of the past six years, I think some mutual accountability might be healthy.

And when Dems talk about energy policy I just get all goofy-eyed, esp. with the complaints about gas prices. Simply nonsensical.

No one is leveling with the public about energy. I don't know why this is. One can be thoroughly committed to the exploration of all feasible clean alternatives while insisting on more drilling to ensure the supplies we need are available to keep our economy rolling, because there is no alternative on the horizon that can replace oil & gas for decades to come.

Also, was targeting Joe Lie!-berman for destruction the dumbest political move in a decade?

Yes. But I have a feeling the hangover from that sorry episode sobered the party up.

And on matters of style, the old guard has come across as quite nasty. Instead of a Smilin' Sam routine, most Dems get the furrowed brow and bottom picket teeth flying.

Again, I think your stereotype is about six months out of date. The 'fuck-you-asswipe-wanker-pantload' style of rhetoric popularized by Kos, Atrios, and our friend here "dave" might reign on the internets, but I haven't seen it on the campaign trail. When the history's written, I suspect the Ned Lamont fiasco will prove to have been a timely reality check.

I'm left to believe that if Dems don't get a blowout, they only have themselves to blame.

Huh? Doesn't this contradict everything you just said? In your eyes, it's a surprise the Democrats can walk and chew gum.

I don't foresee a blowout necessarily, but I think you'd have to agree that the Republicans' position has slipped rapidly in the past 4-6 months. A lot more seats are being contested than expected. That helped the Democrats, as the Republicans had to spread themselves thinner.

Rowena Hullfire said...

I think if the D's win the house, it will be by a thin margin. All these new blue dogs will put a furrow back into Pelosi's chemically smoothed brow. It will be highly entertaining to watch her try to grab her whip and beat the blue dawgs into submission--and don't fool yourself, she is known for her party discipline *whipcrack* as if she were Dominatrix in Chief.

Congresscritters are a wily bunch.

Where's the popcorn?

By the way...check out the cool caricature of Pelosi on the Economist's Democracy in America (new) blog. The article about her is marked subscriber only, but if you click through from here, you can RTWT.

http://www.economist.com/debate/democracyinamerica/2006/11/pelosi_is_poised.cfm

The Exalted said...

webb is running as a democrat because he is a democrat. that was a tough nut to solve.

fenris:


Somalia
Kobar Towers
USS Cole
WTC bombing

Yup, those Dems sure do know how to handle terrorism...

They'll be like Chamberlain: "This line and no further - no wait! This other line instead"


wtc bombing? the men responsible are in prison.

somalia? that wasn't terrorism you ass. and the gop demanded that clinton get out immediately, the next day. he at least waited 6 months.

uss cole? that is as much on bush as it is on clinton.

your "serious" republicans spent the 90's fetishizing about clinton's sex life rather than stopping terrorism.

i notice you left out the fact that bush focused entirely on china and building a missile shield rather than terrorism after assuming office. and you left out that he demoted richard clarke and no longer allowed him to attend cabinet meetings for the counter terrorism briefing. yup, he sure was serious about it.

i think we all know a democratic president would have been impeached by the GOP congress if 9/11 occurred on his watch with evidence as damning as the "bin laden determined to attack US" memo lying about.

Joe Baby said...

johnstodder,

Don't agree w/ everything you said, but I see where you're coming from. And one of these times the Dems will have to exceed expectations b/c we can't dial them any lower.

John Kindley said...

On other threads about James Webb I've objected to aspects of his art, particularly "A Sense of Honor," in which characters who are supposed to embody honor do things that appear philosophically and psychologically incompatible with having honor (e.g. having an affair with the wife of a brother-in-arms). The things that Ann quotes from Webb in this post make me believe there are other negative behaviors (e.g. being a racist) that Webb would also find compatible with having honor. ("Sneaking around with our friend's wife and lynching negroes is just part of our white trash culture, man. But we Scots-Irish sure can kick ass.")

I wondered to myself if I was being too nitpicky and prudish about Webb's art. After all, a man can be great and honorable without being perfectly great and honorable all the time. On the other hand, the meaning of "honor" can only be stretched so far. The differences in opinion about the types of behavior which would render it nonsensical to regard a man or woman as honorable still seem significant and revealing to me.

I felt much more justified in my criticism and "nitpicking" of Webb's art when I compared it to what I regard as one of the truly great artistic representations of honor -- the movie "Rob Roy." The hero of that movie (played by Liam Neeson) makes mistakes and is not as skilled a fighter as the main villain (played by Tim Roth), but all of his actions are consciously informed by his true conception of honor (notably his actions with regard to his friends and with regard to women).

The comparison is all the more relevant because Rob Roy is the archetypical hero of Scots history. A Scots-Irish commenter above (joan) took issue with Webb's conception and stereotyping of Scots-Irish culture. I strongly suspect that "Rob Roy" is a far truer representation than Webb's not only of honor but of the values of Scot-Irish history and culture.

Ernst Blofeld said...

I'm willing to give Webb a lot of slack in the depection of characters in his novels. Novels can depict humanity in all its contradictory, ambiguous, changing glory. But some of his writings do give me pause; he want through a sort of Japanese hysteria phase for a while in the late 80's-early 90's, and I suspect that if he had had political power then he'd have been going after the Japanese in a dumb populist way.

Rob Roy as a historical figure was a charming, wily bandit. Those who had their cattle lifted by him were probably not impressed by his honor.

michael a litscher said...

And the Democrats will do a fine job fighting terrorism.

If the terrorists in question are evangelical Christians, maybe.

Otherwise, I expect Democrats to continue to do as they have in the past - fight for terrorist's rights.

johnstodderinexile said...

Otherwise, I expect Democrats to continue to do as they have in the past - fight for terrorist's rights.

Members of Congress can do two primary things: Vote, and subpoena witnesses to hearings.

If they have to vote, they will not vote for "terrorists' rights" unless they are either politically stupid or in a very safe seat. If they're in a safe seat, they're already in Congress. None of the flipped seats are going to ultra-liberals.

(What ultra-liberals hope for, always, is a court decision that ratifies their views. They know if what you're calling "terrorists' rights" comes to a vote, at least half the Democrats will defect.)

And as for hearings... that's what we've needed all along. Hard questioning of the administration's policies. A debate about technology, and terror, and unorthodox combatants, and Gitmo, and monitoring phone calls... all of it.

I think the hawks can win most of the points in such a debate. It's because they haven't been seriously challenged that they've seemed to be governing in an autonomous vacuum. Debates will reinforce that we're in a war, and will build a consensus for the most important tactics.

Timekeeper said...

uss cole? that is as much on bush as it is on clinton.

How? The Cole bombing was in October of 2000; Bush was not elected until December of that same year.

i notice you left out the fact that bush focused entirely on china and building a missile shield rather than terrorism after assuming office.

Hmmm, what was the first major foreign policy incident of the Bush admininstration? Oh, yeah, that little EP-3 incident with (wait for it...) China! Maybe a little cause/effect there...

and you left out that he demoted richard clarke and no longer allowed him to attend cabinet meetings for the counter terrorism briefing. yup, he sure was serious about it.

The NSC is not a cabinet agency, although some of its members are also members of the cabinet. Clarke would not have addressed the cabinet on a regular basis, and Clarke was not demoted; he retained the title he had acquired during the Clinton administration (National Coordinator for Counter-terrorism).

i think we all know a democratic president would have been impeached by the GOP congress if 9/11 occurred on his watch with evidence as damning as the "bin laden determined to attack US" memo lying about.

Oh, please. You mean the one that had no specific dates, times, or methods? If Bush had used that memo as a pretext to crack down on airport security, the ACLU and every Democrat to the left of Genghis Khan would have been screaming about Bush "shredding the Constitution" and sniveling about how fascism was descending upon us. The New York Times would have acquired a copy of the memo (they certainly have enough sources in the CIA and State Department) and that would have unleashed another firestorm of anguished wailing.

Catzmaw said...

Sorry, but when I was a law student at Catholic University's law school in the early '80s the term "miserable, neurotic, and obsessive" was about what everyone heard about the students there. The complaint often came from Georgetown students themselves. I used to research in their law library periodically and must say they just did not seem to be the same as Catholic's happy go lucky folks, and often complained that Georgetown was hell on earth.

johnstodderinexile said...

every Democrat to the left of Genghis Khan would have been screaming about Bush "shredding the Constitution"

Don't you mean "Jenjis Kahn?"

If the POTUS had been a recognized psychic who was able to do a mind-merge with every American showing them the 9/11 attacks two months before they happened, he might have been able to clamp the nation's commerce sufficiently to prevent it. Otherwise, based on the information the government had, he would have had no basis on which to ask not just civil libertarians, but the business community that depends on foreign trade and travel to accept the kinds of measures needed. If Bush had taken any of it to a vote in Congress, the vote would've been 100-0 against. If he'd tried to impose via executive order, he would've been impeached.

No, the only coulda shoulda woulda turning point was Atta's laptop. The blame for that is on Jamie Gorelick and Janet Reno -- their "wall." But even then, I'm not sure whether the FBI would've believed what they were reading.

9/11 was a systemic failure that implicates the entire government, both parties and the press. The politics of that event should be over.

Fenrisulven said...

Exalted: wtc bombing? the men responsible are in prison.

And it ended there. Treated as a criminal action rather than terrorist attack. The same blind spot when Clinton was given the chance to grab Osama. If Clinton had treated it as an act of war, the same way Bush did 9-11, we wouldn't be here today. Under the Democrats watch, we were attacked over and over again without responding. No wonder they thought us to be weak and feckless.Note that the terrorists are also hoping for a Dem sweep at midterms. Its obvious why.

somalia? that wasn't terrorism you ass.

Ass? Getting irrational only reveals your weakness on the topic. Somolia taught Al Queda that if you kill a few American troops, the Yanks will quit. How many lives have been lost trying to correct that "lesson"?

If Clinton had spent less time sodomizing interns and more time focused on national security, the WTC would still be standing.

Elizabeth said...

What is the PC way to identify the one who recieves anal sex?

Why would you want to do that? Do you discuss heterosexual women according to whether they receive oral sex or describe them as taking it up vagina? And how to you personally know whether a gay man a) does or doesn't engage in anal sex, and if he does, b) prefers to receive, give or likes both? How do you know whether straight men like a little up the butt during sex with women? Or do you only spend time thinking about gay men's rectums? Really, Fen, any time you want to talk about men taking it up the ass, don't whine about intolerance and being called a bigot, or having your arguments dismissed as crude.

Kirk Parker said...

johnstodderinexile.

"But they are going to force the Bush administration to develop a more broadly acceptable plan to get us out of there. [Emphasis added]"

Sorry, that's still an incredibly stupid and harmful goal. How about a "broadly acceptable plan" to "move the American agenda forward"? That's something we can all agree on.

Yes, of course, we'd have to settle what that agenda is. But that's exactly the point: saying "get us out of there" is just begging the question.

Daryl Herbert said...

boston70 wrote: Also, "maverick" John McCain is no longer the "maverick".

You do realize that a "maverick" is someone uncontrollable, who does things that annoy you from time to time?

A true maverick can toe the party line half the time if he so chooses. Anyone who wants him to be something he's not is going to be disappointed. McCain's not really a "moderate," he's a conservative Republican with a few eccentric positions. If he wants to hop in bed with Jerry Falwell, he will, and that's entirely in character.

Fenrisulven said...

Elizabeth; Why would you want to do that? Do you discuss heterosexual women according to whether they receive oral sex or describe them as taking it up vagina?

I was explaining to Edward that Officers who take it up the butt lose the respect of their male troops. Hence the need to distinguish between homosexual types.

any time you want to talk about men taking it up the ass, don't whine about intolerance and being called a bigot, or having your arguments dismissed as crude.

Actually he said my language was crude, even though I used "butt" instead of "ass". For that I'm a bigot?

Really interesting how tolerant you guys are of differing povs. Please explain how noting that troops won't respect officers who receive anal sex is bigoted? You're overreacting b/c the subject somehow frightens you.

michael a litscher said...

John "lost turkeys" Conyers as House Judiciary Committee Chairman.

Charlie "no death for Uday and Qusay" Rangel as House, Ways, and Means Committee Chairman.

Alcee "impeached for bribes" Hastings as House Intelligence Committee Chairman.

Robert "KKK" Byrd as Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman.

Joseph "Geneva for al-Qaeda" Biden as Senate Foreign Affairs Chairman.

Jay "NYT mole" Rockefeller as Senate Intelligence Chairman.

Barney "gay prostitute ring" Frank as Senate Banking Committee Chairman.

John "pull out" Murtha as Senate Appropriations - Defense Subcommittee Chairman.

Barbara "guns for me, but not for thee" Boxer as Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman.

Ted "the swimmer" Kennedy as Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chairman.

Well, it is Halloween season, after all.

James said...

I wonder what he would think of UVa law student Mike Stark.

Noumenon said...

Geez, I gave Webb money this year, based on the recommendation of some blogger or other. Had no idea what I was getting into.

Elizabeth said...

Fen, the more you go on about anal sex, the weirder you get. What am I frightened of? Please, give up the freshman psych. As for tolerance, no, I'm not tolerant of anti-gay propaganda. Here's some freshman psych: straight men obsessed with gay men and anal sex have some issues of their own to deal with. I'm intrigued by your fantasy life. How exactly do the troops know if their commander pitches or catches, by the way? Is that part of training, some lessons in homosexual taxonomy? There are openly gay troops in militaries around the world right now. How do they handle the situation? Can you even discuss that without speculating about whose penis goes in what hole?

Derve said...

Elizabeth. Well put. I'm just wondering if MissAnn really let this guy pick her up at the DC airport. Creepy creepy Fen!

Elizabeth said...

Derve, when Fen's not getting all frazzled about men's asses, he's okay, not creepy at all. There's something about gay sex that just knocks some folks off their rocker.

Tibore said...

"The most miserable, neurotic and obsessive collection of individuals he had ever met."

Cripes... he's never met a pre-med, has he?

knoxgirl said...

Gerry,

I've had redneck neighbors tell me that our street is "pretty nice" because there's not too many black people living on it.

I've lived next to a redneck who bragged to me about taking in her friend's dog when her friend went to a nursing home--then she chained it up in her backyard with no shelter, and her husband beat it when it barked. (oh, and she once told me the last dog she had was hanged by neighborhood kids...)

I was followed once when jogging by two scary rednecks in a beat-up truck who drove next to me, honking and yellling, until I could get away from them to a safe place.

If you want to call it bigotry that I qualify that behavior as "redneck," I'm a bigot!