September 25, 2007

Hillary's lead proves the netroots are ineffectual.

Says David Brooks:
... Clinton has established this lead by repudiating the netroots theory of politics. ... [T]he netroots emerged in part in rebellion against Clintonian politics. They wanted bold colors and slashing attacks. They didn’t want their politicians catering to what Markos Moulitsas ZĂșniga of the Daily Kos calls “the mythical middle.”...

The fact is, many Democratic politicians privately detest the netroots’ self-righteousness and bullying. They also know their party has a historic opportunity to pick up disaffected Republicans and moderates, so long as they don’t blow it by drifting into cuckoo land. They also know that a Democratic president is going to face challenges from Iran and elsewhere that are going to require hard-line, hawkish responses.
I'm ready to vote for her if she maintains that hawkish edge. That is, I think there's a hawkish edge in there somewhere, since she going to so much trouble to hide what must be it.

Brooks ends by saying that the netroots' "influence is surprisingly marginal, even among candidates for whom you’d think it would be strong." Evidence? "Several weeks ago, I asked John Edwards what the YearlyKos event was like. He couldn’t remember which event I was talking about, and looked over to an aide for help."

Oh, come on now. He looked over at his aide because he couldn't remember it? I'm thinking he looked over at his aide because he knows it's a tricky matter -- it helps him and it threatens to hurt him -- so he's got to play it just right. Seeming not to be closely connected to them is crucial to getting the best leverage out of their support. Edwards isn't dumb and confused. He's smart and strategic.

AND: Matt Yglesias is right about this, I think:
... David Brooks has decided to celebrate his liberation from TimesSelect by penning a column seemingly designed to get tons of liberal bloggers to link to him by pissing us off.

AND: Andrew Sullivan takes umbrage:
The conservative Washington Establishment is swooning for Hillary for a reason. The reason is an accommodation with what they see as the next source of power (surprise!); and the desire to see George W. Bush's invasion and occupation of Iraq legitimated and extended by a Democratic president (genuine surprise). Hillary is Bush's ticket to posterity. On Iraq, she will be his legacy.

Yes, as noted earlier today, Hillary is already consulting with Bush about the war.
... They may oppose one another; but they respect each other as equals in the neo-monarchy that is the current presidency. And so elite conservatives are falling over themselves to embrace a new Queen Hillary, with an empire reaching across Mesopotamia, a recently deposed court just waiting to return to the salons of DC, a consort happy to be co-president for another four years, and a back-channel to the other royal family. She'll even have more powers than Clinton I, because Cheney has given her back various royal prerogatives: arrests without charges, torture, wire-tapping, and spy-ware on your Expedia account. Only the coronation awaits.
Why all the monarchy imagery? Anyone who wins the presidency acquires great power. Sullivan has found a way to repeat what we already know: He doesn't like Bush's ideas about the scope of presidential power and the way to use it, and he thinks Hillary Clinton is too much like Bush. But going on about "Queen Hillary" has a bit of a sexist edge to it, especially when Sullivan has chosen to illustrate his post with a photo of a sculpted bust of Hillary, which includes bared breasts. (Yes, I know the bust is supposed to call to mind grandiose Roman emperors who were depicted this way. Nevertheless.)

59 comments:

Maxine Weiss said...

How come I'm always first these days? Fast typist!

The Drill SGT said...

Hillary loses respect from the middle when she does things like:

1. votes against a sense of the Senate resolution condemning the "Betray-Us" ad. Hell, the only Dems who personally went on record opposing the ad were Lieberman (of course), Biden (of course) and Kerry (I was surprised.) Both Clinton's deride the "politics of personal destruction" yet don't seem to mind when others are the target.

2. Attending YearlyKos and not the DLC meeting

3. Hiring Sandy Burglar (I know this really isn't a netroots thing, it just really pisses me off)

I still think she is the only Dem with the nads to be the POTUS, but I don't like her cynical ethics and most of her positions.

shadow said...

Take two steps back and look at the world from a broader perspective.

Hawkishness is not a good thing.

It will only hasten the demise of America's standing in the world.

Paddy O. said...

"It will only hasten the demise of America's standing in the world."

That might be true, I suppose, hard to say what the postmodern world has become. But it's interesting that the 20th century, the century of America's rise to dominance in every way, came through our involvement in 2 world wars, and 1 cold one.

Hawkishness is the reason America has standing. We've used that standing to give other reasons. I'm not entirely sure those reasons are really respected enough around the world to let go of the hawkishness. Europe, certainly, fell into the worst sorts of wars when it was high on the ideal of human moral progression.

Windbag said...

A disturbing development is the move of some states to circumvent the US Constitutional provisions for the electoral college (e.g. California). This fits into the desire of fringe groups, particularly on the left, to further polarize the democratic process.

The electoral college was brilliantly devised to force moderation between the two parties. Populist parties have never flourished in the US, thanks in part to the electoral college.

For all their whining about the Bush administration's being a fascist theocracy, it's the left-wing nutroots who are intolerant of other ideas. Hillary has demonstrated that she has no qualms about squelching any speech that is counter-productive to her goals (e.g. GQ).

Hillary's lead says nothing of the potency of the MoveOn and Kos Kid crowd. She has paid homage to that crowd, as a means to an end, and it has appeased enough of them to keep her out in front. She's performing the triangulation dance that her husband did so well, keeping everyone happy enough to continue the charade.

The ultimate danger is that the mainstream candidates who are willing to feed the monsters such as the Kos Kids and MoveOn, do so thinking that they can control them in the end. They can't. If successful in circumventing the Constitution in an area such as the electoral college, they will only be emboldened to move on to other areas.

John Stodder said...

Isn't the point of the Edwards anecdote, however, what Edwards didn't say? He didn't say:

"Yearly Kos was the highlight of my campaign. The netroots are in touch with the heart and soul of the Democratic party. Their support means everything to me, and with them on my side, I know we can't lose!"

If the netroots were politically formidable, that's the kind of thing Edwards would've said, instead of pretending not to be quite sure who they are. It's possible that in the campaign's polling that "Kos" or "netroots" or some of the other words associated with this movement have started to test negatively, and that he feels the need to back away.

I've been into politics my whole life, been a Democrat my whole life, and I find the netroots progressives insipid, childish and paranoid. What they say they're bringing to the Democratic Party is very different from what they're actually bringing. They say Goldwater and Reagan's followers are their model, but I don't think the conservative ascendance rose on the wings of dorm-room insults. Throughout the sixties and seventies, Reaganites were only too happy to engage their opponents in both parties in stimulating debates. The netroots won't do that. Argue against their point of view and you're a "fucktard." Or your comment is erased because you're a "troll." This is not the future of the Democratic party, or if it is, the Democratic party has no future.

Beldar said...

Prof. Althouse, you wrote,

"I'm ready to vote for her if she maintains that hawkish edge. That is, I think there's a hawkish edge in there somewhere, since she going to so much trouble to hide what must be it."

There is no edge. Edges imply principles. Hillary Clinton, like her husband, has but one, and it is omnipresent and universal in her actions (but not her words): Decide in a way that creates or preserves power for Clintons.

In terms of the actual decisions she makes, this can be comforting. It does guarantee, as a practical matter, that she will act in a more "moderate" fashion than someone who makes decisions based on a direct perception of right and wrong.

But she is, and will always be, The Triangulatrix. Accept that, and she will never surprise you.

EnigmatiCore said...

"I'm ready to vote for her if she maintains that hawkish edge."

I was strongly considering it, started to think about it less with the whole Hsu thing, but when I heard she brought Sandy Berger into her campaign, any consideration evaporated.

I don't see how anyone who cares about national security can vote for her considering that.

Anthony said...

There is no edge. Edges imply principles.

True. Talk is cheap. Bill C. talked a tough game, but about all he ever did to the Islamofascists was lob a few cruise missiles here and there and put up some Wanted posters. Big whoop.

Oh wait, they had this really great plan for dealing with Al Queda but those ninny Bushies refused to implement it.

Revenant said...

the desire to see George W. Bush's invasion and occupation of Iraq

I'm sorry but Sullivan doesn't get to call it "George W. Bush's invasion". The United States invaded, and Sullivan was one of the most energetic supporters of the invasion. He can't even pull the "but Bush lied to us!" stunt, because he supported the invasion for reasons beyond the WMD issue.

Maybe he truly doesn't like the way Bush has run the war, but that doesn't mean he gets to pretend like it wasn't his idea too.

peter hoh said...

Rev, I believe that elsewhere, Sullivan has elaborated on this idea that the war is our war, not merely the president's.

As for Queen Hillary, that's in keeping with Sullivan's use of King George.

Henry said...

... David Brooks has decided to celebrate his liberation from TimesSelect by penning a column seemingly designed to get tons of liberal bloggers to link to him by pissing us off.

Did anyone notice that Paul Krugman and Bob Herbert celebrated their liberation by writing the same column?

Point to Brooks. The first job of a columnist is to be interesting.

dave in boca said...

Brooks will get double the traffic the two airheads Krugboy & Herbie put together.

Jeffrey Goldberg wrote Brooks' column two years ago in a splendid New Yorker piece on Midwestern Dems & how out of touch the twin Left Coasts are with mainstream Dems in the "flyover" states.

The demented rants of freepers and Kossacks & Huff/Puffs belie the silent mega-majority in the middle. As Goldberg said in his NYer article, a Pew survey then said 21% of Americans classify themselves as liberals, 34% conservatives, and the rest are the 45% who actually make the decision, in the end, who gets into the WH.

Hillary dances with the left or at least flirts, but bedtime is with the Midwest where she hails from---the territory that swings.

michael farris said...

"hawkish edge"

How anyone on earth could doubt that Hillary would bomb foreign political enemies back into the stone age is a source of wonderment. I really don't think W has the cojones for all out military confrontation (no matter how much his supporters have deluded themselves). But Hillary? She's got 15 years of stiffling and _not_ lashing out at people who've severely pissed her off, If I were the head of an unpopular foreign state, I'd walk very carefully if she were in office.

I'm officially in favor of her at present since I don't think she'd be any worse than any of the other candidates and I think her election would piss off a lot of the right people (pun intended). But holing off because you think she's not tough enough is just ludicrous.

hdhouse said...

Beldar said...
"has but one, and it is omnipresent and universal in her actions (but not her words): Decide in a way that creates or preserves power for Clintons.

she will act in a more "moderate" fashion than someone who makes decisions based on a direct perception of right and wrong."


Well Beldar that makes no sense and I frankly expect better of you. Disappointment showers my day.

Are you suggesting that Hillary has no right/wrong button, but a perpetual dimmer switch set to moderate? Do you even remotely think that she has Chelsea out on the marriage market so she can marry a titled nobleman and birth yet another generation of Clintons, after, of course, Chelsea serves her 8 years? What claptrap. What silliness.

It hasn't occured to you that the far left wing of the democratic party isn't to be feared because 1. they won't mount a third party candidate and 2. they are in no danger of jumping ship and voting republican...God strike me dead for even thinking that thought.

Everyone to the left of Hillary generally is a given. Every reasonable astute and moderate republican is in play. Only the Uber Alles end of the republican party is safe and those looneys are so Rovian-strident as to be past scary.

This isn't about a dynasty at play. The KOS of the world don't call the shots and they are safe votes - rumpus or not. This is about taking 10-15% of the republican vote up for grabs because of the failure of the republicans to lead this country in any direction other than the waiting line to the boat crossing the river styx.

Roger said...

I think HD's analysis of the electorate is pretty much on target. Neither Dennis Kucinich nor Ron Paul is going to be nominated. The fringes of either party will ultimately hold their noses and vote for their party's nominee. This assumes, of course, that the right remembers Ross Perot in 1992, and the left remembers Ralph Nader in 2000. Both candidates will fight it out for that rather ill defined middle of both parties.

Christy said...

HDhouse, I've always heard that Republicans must pay lip service to the values crowd or else they would stay home on election day. Do you think the KosKids will turn out to vote for even a disappointing Democratic candidate? My instincts say they will, but I have no basis for that feeling.

hdhouse said...

Christy...that is a valid point but my argument against it would be that the blog-left Koscrowd is so angered and energized by republican rhetoric and deeds that they just might show up.

An example would be the move-on.org group which is very energized and unlikely to miss the election Hillary noseholding or not. I am not sure that certain segments of the right wing - particularly one issue groups (abortion/guns/etc.) will feel the same if their candidate - Rudy for example - isn't on board.

Aside from the Iraq war, I'm not sure that the left is fragmented in the same way as the republican right is...but I can and am probably very wrong on that assmuption.

The title is "netroots are ineffectual" and in Hillary's case I am kinda sticking with that in agreement.

SMGalbraith said...

Every one of these serious candidates for the presidency will fight like hell to hold on and even expand executive powers, especially in the arena of foreign policy or national security.

An "invitation to a struggle" as one scholar noted the Constitution's handling of foreign power. Presidents know that if the country is harmed, Congress won't be blamed; the President will.

Hell, even the Carter Administration argued that the president had inherent powers that Congress couldn't limit.

Bush has done nothing in terms of expanding executive powers that no other president would have done in his situation. Perhaps they would have finessed things more; but not abandoned them.

SMG

Joseph Hovsep said...

I think the monarchy imagery is also supposed to remind us of the transfer of power directly from Bush to Bill, from Bill to Bush's son, and from Bush's son to Bill's wife.

ron st.amant said...

The netroots are effectual at raising money, but not in actually turning that into victory, but this is old news see: Howard Dean in '04. I guess they thought they'd have a better chance this time with Dean in control of the DNC and Republicans at such a low ebb.
But what they should have learned from the lack of general shrillness of Dean is that they party isn't theirs. There are many more centrist Democrats and fluid Independents that must be appealed to to win a majority.
They are like right-wing radio...a nice story of an echo-chamber mentality. The only difference is that right-wing radio has had a longer time to become ingrained in political discourse. Perhaps in another decade or so the netroots could have some type of real political effect beyond what they are now...but technology is moving so fast who can really predict?

ricpic said...

A Hillary presidency will settle the question of what is and what is not a sexist statement. Any statement critical of any woman for any reason whatsoever will be declared chargeably sexist by executive order commencing on day one of her ascendancy.

PatCA said...

I think the netroots are the only ones surprised by this.

The netroots (and the wingnuts) are always used by their candidates for money, voter reg, publicity, until it's time to tack to the Great Middle, where the voters are.

And if I trusted her hawkishness, I might consider voting for her, too, but she sounds like an opportunist and as consistent as Kerry, and I want a non-legacy president for once. I trust Rudy's hawkishness more--he's been consistent.

XWL said...

I'd go on about "Queen Andrew" the way Sullivan goes on about "Queen Hillary", but that'd be an insult to queens everywhere.

(besides, of the many things Mr. Sullivan comes across as, a "queen" isn't one of them)

On a more serious note, SM Galbraith says above, "Every one of these serious candidates for the presidency will fight like hell to hold on and even expand executive powers, especially in the arena of foreign policy or national security."

I believe Sen. Fred Thompson is sincere in his case for Federalism, and if that's the case, a reduction in Executive overreach would go hand in hand with increased rights to the states.

I think you can be for a continued agressive prosecution of the War on Terror (domestically, and internationally) while decreasing the Federal Gov't's reach into areas it doesn't belong. The War on Terror is one of the places that a strong Federal Gov't presence is required in an age of easy travel, easy communication via the internet, and international threats sponsored by foreign powers. You can be pro-Federalist without becoming an isolationist/crazed-idealist like Pat Buchanan, Mike Gravel, or Ron Paul.

The steps taken by the Bush administration to centralize certain information gathering, and to clarify rules of conduct when monitoring overseas and domestic threats have been reasonable and constitutional. I'd hope whichever candidate follows Pres. Bush does keep those clarifications, while doing their best to reduce the overall role of the Federal Gov't in most every other aspect of life. I have little hope that any of the Democratic candidates would be better at this than any of the Republicans.

So far, Sen. Thompson's campaign has hinted in the direction of strengthened defense and strengthened Federalism, but he's been light on substance, so it might be an illusion.

Luckyoldson said...

Based on what we've seen from George W. Bush, how could Hillary, or for that matter, ANY of the candidates on either side of the aisle do any worse?

Are people here actually saying they're afraid Hillary or any of the others will screw things up?

Get real.

Verso said...

Drill Sgt. said: Hillary loses respect from the middle when...

I love it: the far-right wing Rush Limbaugh fan speaking for the middle! :D :D :D

Funny stuff!

AlphaLiberal said...

"Why all the monarchy imagery?"

Because the Presidency has become far more authoritarian under Bush and Cheney. There's actually a considerable conversation occurring in our country over this.

Dick Cheney basically wants a king, for example. Bush acts like one. We're not sure Hillary would return all those powers.

As far as your love for the "bombs away" approach to security and foreign policy, Ann, it's not making us more secure. Turns out, blowing up people doesn't stop people from blowing up other people.

Further, the idea that we should bend other peoples' to our will under threat of violence is morally repugnant.

This belligerent approach has had a real test and it has failed miserably. Worldwide terrorist attacks are up, many Iraqis continue to die.

The only way ending violence with more violence works ins when the peace of the graveyard prevails.

Meanwhile, the right wing is all in a lather because someone talked to the leader or Iran and let him talk. Shorter version: don't talk to people, kill them.

"Culture of life," my ass.

SMGalbraith said...

I believe Sen. Fred Thompson is sincere in his case for Federalism, and if that's the case, a reduction in Executive overreach would go hand in hand with increased rights to the states.

Yes, he does make sounds like he is sincere in devolving power on domestic issues; but not on national security ones.

Unless I've missed those statements.

SMG

Simon said...

It's said that on seeing his official portrait, Thomas Brackett Reed lamented with dismay that "my enemies are revenged," and I can imagine Hillary having a similar reaction to that bust: her face just isn't that lined.

Simon said...

Roger said...
"Neither Dennis Kucinich nor Ron Paul is going to be nominated. The fringes of either party will ultimately hold their noses and vote for their party's nominee."

And if they don't, to borrow from H.L. Mencken, they'll get what they deserve, good and hard: the election of whichever major party candidate is least convivial to their worldview.

Simon said...

SMGalbraith said...
"[Thompson] does make sounds like he is sincere in devolving power on domestic issues; but not on national security ones."

I think you mistake federalism for subsidiarity. Federalism isn't about "devolving" power, it's about recognizing the lines of demarcation between federal power and state power set by the Constitution. Power is not the federal government's to give, generally speaking (obviously one could say that in areas of concurrent jurisdiction, repealing legitimate federal laws that preempt potential state regulation would qualify as "devolution," and certainly, federalism isn't a concept in tension with subsidiarity); it has been arrogated to the federal sphere, and to return it is no more "devolving" it than returning stolen property is "gifting."

Thus, it would be in no way inconsistent for Thompson to take a modest (or even narrow) view of federal power so far as domestic issues are concerned, yet take a very broad vision of federal power generally (and Presidential power particularly) on national security issues. The Constitution commits foreign affairs almost exclusively to the federal sphere, and in that sphere, primarily to the executive branch. Thompson need not (although probably does) believe in subsidiarity to believe in federalism.

AlphaLiberal said...

Having looked at the Brooks column I have to agree it is largely fact-free. His logic is pretty bad, too.

For example, he says that Clinton's lead is due to her willingness to bluster and bomb. But is he aware that "name ID" is, you know, kind of important in politics? And most people have heard of "Clinton?" Isn't that relevant?

If Bill's wife was a liberal, would high poll numbers then validate liberalism? I expect it wouldn't. Brooks fits the conclusions to his worldview, not vice versa.

Quick: Name Hillary's signature campaign issue. Whatever that is, is that why she polls higher?

Might it be that people with more education follow political events more and know who the candidates are? Or that more people will learn about candidates once the campaigns begin?

Anyway, I'm afraid if Hillary gets the nomination and the GOP don't nominate one of their child molesters, that the GOP walk away with it.

We had an AG race here in Wisconsin that had a similar pattern. The insider know-it-alls told us the incumbent couldn't win, they knocked her out and their candidate blew it.

The Drill SGT said...

Verso said...
Drill Sgt. said: Hillary loses respect from the middle when...

I love it: the far-right wing Rush Limbaugh fan speaking for the middle! :D :D :D


Verso, do you have any basis what so ever to make the claim that I am not a middle of the road voter or that I listen to Rush?

I thought not, you idiot.

For what its worth, I've supported 4 Dems and 4 Reps over my voting life, and in the last election I voted for Webb over the GOP incumbent in my state.

I'm a registered independent. In my generation, that is the way all Army Officers registered.

I'm socially moderate, well educated (UC grads), fiscally conservative, non-religious, pro-defense white male.

as for Rush? never heard him. ever.

Simon said...

AlphaLiberal said...
"I'm afraid if Hillary gets the nomination and the GOP don't nominate one of their child molesters, that the GOP walk away with it."

You're not going to believe me, but FWIW I mean this sincerely (not least because I have the same anxiety about Romney): if you nominate any of the other candidates, and we nominate Giuliani or Thompson, we're going to walk away with it. Hillary's the only candidate you've got who can beat either of those guys, and - boy, I never thought I'd hear myself say this - quite frankly she's the only candidate running for the Dem nomination who I think can do the job. I don't like what she'll do with the office, but I think she's competent and is certainly capable of running the GWOT at least as effectively as has Bush (quite possibly more so), even if she'll likely balk at doing so.


"Quick: Name Hillary's signature campaign issue."

Well, she's the best-looking candidate on either side, that has to count for something.

Anthony said...

hdhouse --

Actually, I think in many ways except for the Iraq War the left is far more fragmented. The right is split between "social conservatives" and "economic conservatives". Most share a general distrust of government. yes, there was the issue of "compassionate conservatism" which really is a combination of social conservatism and economic liberalism, but I doubt that mistake will be made again.

The left however, is really a bunch of one issue little fifedoms, some of which are in contradiction with the others. Take away the War and George Bush and I doubt they would agree to order lunch at noon.

But as Dave pointed out, the real decision of course comes from the center. The Clintons are experts at faking left and running right, dragging the center along. Hillary Clinton will throw the left the bone of health care and will govern as a yuppie liberal.

Internet Ronin said...

Once again, I believe that HD House is spot on in his comments. About all I'd add is a comment to Beldar that the triangulation you apparently despised accomplished a few good things for this nation and I only hope she is half as good at it as Bill was, if she is elected. (Beldar, I suggest you look up tiangulation before denouncing it. IIRC, it was a policy of moving towards the center, co-opting GOP proposals. Maybe I'm wrong.)

Thus far, Clinton has run an excellent campaign, doing what she has to do to keep the loony left from abandoning ship all the while repeatedly tacking to the center where the election will be won or lost. Her primary opponents, however, do not have that luxury.

I am greatly disturbed, however, that Clinton has allowed Berger back into the inner circle. I don't give a damn whether he was a Republican, a Democrat, a Libertarian, or a Socialist, his theft of the property of the American people from the National Archives of the United States of America was disgraceful. I assume, however, that he will have no formal role in a Clinton White House as it is highly unlikely that he will be confirmed.

NOTE TO JOHN STODDER: You really are going to have to sit down with my brother one of these days and have a good talk about the rabid right in the '70's. The Kos Krowd reminds me a bit of them - rather be morally correct and lose than actually gain power and have to compromise. True, their language was far less repugnant.

BTW, do you remember John G. Schmitz? Did you know that the infamous Mary Kay Letourneau is his daughter? Stranger things...

Revenant said...

I am not sure that certain segments of the right wing - particularly one issue groups (abortion/guns/etc.) will feel the same if their candidate - Rudy for example - isn't on board.

That might be true IF the Democrats nominate someone other than Hillary, but the Republican base's immediate gut reaction to Hillary's presence is to throw holy water at her and shout "The power of Christ compels you". I don't think there's any doubt that they'll show up to vote for whatever Republican runs against her, even if it is Rudy.

Anyway, I don't see the conflict between Beldar's "Hillary's sole concern is the power of the Clintons" and your claim that she is tacking to the center in order to maximize her vote total. It seems to me that you're both probably right -- Hillary is willing to move to the center because that's her best shot at election, and as a person without any significant political ideals she's got no ideological problem with abandoning the Left whenever that is convenient.

SMGalbraith said...

Simon:
Federalism isn't about "devolving" power, it's about recognizing the lines of demarcation between federal power and state power set by the Constitution

Thanks, yes I understand (I'm pretty sure) the difference between Federalism - i.e., how the power of government is divided - and devolving - or passing on to others - those powers.

E.g., Washington has the power, constitutionally, to do "A" but will allow the states to do "A".

E.g., Thompson is against (perhaps?) national testing requirements and will, instead, allow states to setup their own testing standards.

Brevity (especially near dinner time*) breeds sloppiness.

*Baked chicken with broccoli rice au gratin and a salad.

SMG

Verso said...

The Drill SGT said: Verso, do you have any basis what so ever to make the claim that I am not a middle of the road voter or that I listen to Rush?

I thought not, you idiot.

For what its worth, I've supported 4 Dems and 4 Reps over my voting life, and in the last election I voted for Webb over the GOP incumbent in my state.

I'm a registered independent. In my generation, that is the way all Army Officers registered.

I'm socially moderate, well educated (UC grads), fiscally conservative, non-religious, pro-defense white male.

as for Rush? never heard him. ever.


If I have incorrectly pigeon-holed you as "far right" and a Limbaugh fan, you have my apologies.

I assumed you were a "dittohead" based on your use of the term "Sandy Burgler."

As for your claim that you voted for Jim Webb? That seems to directly contradict your previous claim to have voted for George Allen, despite his obvious racism.

Your words:
I was disgusted by Webb's campaign and reacted negatively to the MSM shilling for Webb. I voted for Allen last Friday.

Lying then or lying now or just a bad memory?

The Drill SGQ says he voted for George Allen.

Luckyoldson said...

It's always nice to hear someone with the guts to tell the truth:

This morning, Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY03) stood up on the House floor and to ask President Bush a couple of questions.

With brave American soldiers dying in record numbers, I have two questions for the President — just whose posteriors are we kicking and how do you know? With Sunnis and Shiites killing themselves and each other, plus an incompetence Maliki government, we don’t know who we’re fighting, much less where we’re kicking them.

And while we’re tied up in Iraq, Al Qaeda thrives in Pakistan and Afghanistan. So the President’s turn of phrase will go to the blooper hall of fame with other Bush Golden Oldies like last throes, links to Al Qaeda and Mission Accomplished.

There was a time when America’s success meant defeating Nazis, tearing down communism’s Iron Curtain and walking on the moon. Supportng our troops meant honest safeguards, not trash talk. How low have our standards fallen when the President points to the debacle he created and says, this is what I’m proud of.

Most Americans believe in a country that’s capable of much higher standards, and if America were really “kicking butt,” the President wouldn’t need to say anything, every one would know it.

Luckyoldson said...

verso question to Drill Sgt: "Lying then or lying now or just a bad memory?"

Probably just forgot about lying.

The Drill SGT said...

Verso,
Your memory is clearly better than mine. I'll plead old age and note that in the previous post I said I voted for Webb in the primary. I apparently voted for Allen in the general.

so my statement about voting for Webb was correct and the clause mentioning that I did it over the GOP incumbent was inaccurate.

as for Rush, no interest, not my kind of guy. I'll stand by that part.

Internet Ronin said...

Voting for George Allen was a crime or something? A lot of people in Virginia voted for him. Pretty close to half, in fact. And a lot of those weren't conservatives. I didn't live in Virginia, so I didn't have to chose between those two, thank God (or whoever, whatever). FTR, I voted for Feinstein. While it is obvious that you are capable of a coherent exchange of views, it seem to me that you revel in being as disruptive as possible as well as personally abusive at almost every opportunity. Whence comes this anger and what possible joy can you derive by spewing it so often here? Rage like that which you manifest is very unhealthy, physicially as well as mentally.

The Drill SGT said...

oh, and the Sandy Burglar comment, chalk that down as a visceral dislike for folks who steal classified material and lie bout it, regardless of which party they belong to. If you do some research, you'll find quotes for that as well.

Frieda said...

OMG, how easy people change their mind about Clinton..just one weekend of Hawkish talk and all of a sudden she is IT.

what happened to her flip flopping? what about her judgment calls..she first was for war, then was for us staying and then she wanted us out asap and then she voted not to fund the troops and now she wants us there because all of a sudden she realized there is a big geopolitical risks that she need to consider.

Please, She is no Angela Merkel, or Thatcher ...there is no depth in her convictions, I can't vote for some who bases her judgment on latest poll data...

If being hawkish is the ticket to win centrists' vote, then everyone should vote for Bidden, at least he has been consistent in his analysis, and he seems to be the only adult among the Democrats.

XWL said...

I know facts won't matter to the sort of folks who write, "With brave American soldiers dying in record numbers", but the facts(pdf of the Congressional Report Service regarding American Casualties from 1980 to 2006 at link) are easy enough to come by.

Page 10 shows total deaths for each year since 1980. I created a spreadsheet to calculate the death rate per 1000 in each of those years. Since 1981, the worst year was 2005, with 1.17 deaths per 1000 persons in the military. That's more than double the fewest in 2000 under Clinton with .50 deaths per 1000 persons in the military. I suspect if you look at the mortality rates for the general population of adults 18-49 in the United States, the death rate in the military, even in 2005 is lower than that of the general population.

They also offer some instructive historical comparisons in the CRS study. During WWII the death rate was 25.16 per 1000, during Vietnam 6.66 per 1000, and during the Mexican-American War (even deadlier for the Union on a per capita basis than the Civil War) 168.74 per 1000.

All lives lost too soon are to be mourned, but to suggest that the deaths now are in 'record numbers' is to display a willful ignorance of history, or out and out mendacity.

The mortality rate for the military dropped quite a bit in the first Bush and Clinton administrations, but even while fighting an active and confrontational War on Terror, the current mortality rate is comparable to that during the Reagan years.

If you believe nothing is being accomplished by our presence in Iraq and Afghanistan, than a single death is too many, but Iraq is a part of the War on Terror now, like it or not, and leaving immediately would have dire consequences.

Sen. Clinton is the best of a bad lot of Democratic candidates when it comes to their rhetorical stance on continuing the War on Terror. But that's not saying much, and her willingness to allow for the possibility that fighting is better than retreat, hasn't won her any friends amongst the 'netroots'.

Beldar said...

Ronin: I know exactly what "triangulation" is, and I didn't say I despised it. If Hillary is elected, I will indeed take comfort that her craven, unprincipled lust for power will motivate her to ignore the Hard Left fringes that she must placate for the moment in order to get the Democratic nomination.

Candidates who govern based on focus groups and opinion polls aren't likely to be bomb-throwing revolutionaries, and Hillary, if she's elected, won't be.

It's possible, however, to respect small-d democracy, and to have due (but not unlimited) respect for the common sense of the American public, and yet to yearn for a leader who actually leads and whose leadership is founded on principle rather than polls.

If that's what you want in your candidate, then whether you're from the political right or the political left, Hillary leaves the taste of ashes in your mouth.

richard mcenroe said...

If only she could get over those little peccadilloes like taking campaign money from registered sex offenders, con artists and Arab slavers, Hillary would be just dreeeeeeamy....*sigh*

Simon said...

Frieda - I take it you've skipped his highly childish "me me me" approach to Supreme Court nominee hearings. Joe Biden isn't even the adult in a room full of elementary students. Regular Althousians may know that I hav a visceral dislike of Obama, but Biden somehow manages to be yet more loathsome.

vnjagvet said...

Hillary! and her husband are steeped in the art of "practical politics" after the likes of FDR and (believe it or not) Richard Nixon. They are, in fact, in my opinion, the best practitioners of that art in over 50 years.

Whether the personal qualities necessary for skillful and successful practitioners of the art of practical politics are to be praised or abhored, I leave to you commenters.

Some of these folks are likeable (FDR, WJC). Some are not. (RN, HRC).

I am not sure whether we will elect another unlikeable practitioner of the art after the experience with Nixon.

But I am convinced that HRC is tough-minded and ruthless enough to be President in time of war.

My question is whether she is wise enough, and I am not convinced she is.

Verso said...

Drill SQT,
I apologize for the "lying then or lying now or bad memory comment. There is no reason to presume dishonesty on your part, and since you did vote for Webb (in the primary) there is ample reason to believe that you made an honest mistake. (Still, I don't know how you could in good conscience vote for an obvious racist pig like Allen, but that's another debate.)

And I googled for some of your other posts looking for evidence that you are "far right." In the few minutes I spent, I was unable to find any evidence supporting this theory, so I apologize again for characterizing you as "far right."

Cheers.

Verso said...

Jesus. I seem to have trouble typing SGT! *rolls eyes*

First I called you "SGQ" and then "SQT."

Hopefully at least one of those is a promotion in somebody's Army! ;)

AlphaLiberal said...

It's kind of weird reading all these Republicans and con's giving Democrats advice on how to win. Not to doubt your sincerity or anything, but Democrats really need to win elections without Republicans. After all, that's a shrinking party.

Anyway, Democrats are the national security party, according to actual polls, not pundit make believe.

Brooks is repeating an old outdated framework. Bellicose, belligerent war mongering is not making us safer and that's been very clearly demonstrated by the Bush Command.

docweasel said...

You can't go wrong putting "breasts" in the tags, but take it from me, the "tits" tag rules.

Revenant said...

Democrats are the national security party, according to actual polls

Does this mean that Democrats will finally stop claiming that the terrorist threat is just a Republican plot to scare people into voting for them?

Anyway, the reason why pundits think defense is still a Republican issue is that voters don't elect "the Republican Party" or "the Democratic Party" -- they elect specific candidates. Take a look through this collection of polls. Rudy Giuliani does much better than the unnamed "a Republican" option; in contrast, Hillary actually does slightly worse than an unnamed Democrat.

That's why the issue matters. The question won't be whether we trust "the Democrats" or "the Republicans", but whether we trust Rudy or Hillary. Defense is one of Rudy's strongest issues. Hillary's is health care.

Internet Ronin said...

That was very gracious of you, verso (and kudos for doing the research in the first place). For my part, I'd like to apologize for the tone of my own comment.

Kirk said...

Drill SGT,

"the Sandy Burglar comment, chalk that down as a visceral dislike for folks who steal classified material and lie about it"

Yes, that, but for me there's also something more: he got the tiniest slap on the wrist for it. If he were languishing in prison somewhere, as he so richly deserves, who would care to lampoon his name? But he's creeping back into respectable society, so what else do we have?


vnjagvet,

"Some of these folks are likeable (FDR, WJC)." [emphasis added]

Whoa, whoa, whoa! Could you emend that to read, "Some of these folks are likeable to some people", please? Obviously, WJC has a lot of appeal for plenty of folks, but there's also a substantial minority who, like myself, find ourselves instantly repulsed by him in the same matter as we are by Thénardier. Think of the Marc Rich pardon; or WJC's constant "we're the most X administration in history" refrain.

Ralph said...

That was very gracious of you
And now, back to the blood letting...

Daryl said...

Yes, I know the bust is supposed to call to mind grandiose Roman emperors who were depicted this way.

I think the penalty for making a statue of a Roman Emperor with boobs would probably be Crucifixion.

The artist who made that "bust" was at least honest enough to say he put the boobs in to stress her womanhood (instead of saying "what breasts? you people are sexist! stop looking at my statute's breasts!")