August 18, 2008

Bill Kristol on the Saddleback Forum.

He makes 3 points:

1. Rick Warren was great:
Warren’s queries were simple but probing. He was fair to both candidates, his manner was relaxed but serious, and he neither went for “gotcha” questions nor pulled his punches. And his procedure of asking virtually identical questions to each candidate during his turn on stage paid off. It allowed us to see the two giving revealingly different answers to the same question.
I agree. I can't think of anyone I've seen do a better job of probing prospective Presidents. He did a brilliant job of demonstrating the way and the extent to which religion belongs in politics. If Warren is to be the new face of Christian evangelism in America, we are experiencing a great advance.

2. McCain won.
Obama made no big mistakes. But his tendency to somewhat windy generalities meant he wasn’t particularly compelling. McCain, who went second, was crisp by contrast, and his anecdotes colorful.
I agree that McCain was crisp. McCain kept launching anecdotes, which ought to have made him seem windy too, but they were such good anecdotes, he kept them very short, and he acted like he thought it was stretching the format to include them, so I never got the feeling that he was padding and running out the clock.

But I think Obama was good too. He does tend to drift about abstractly, but he seems to be thinking out loud, and this often makes him seem real and compelling. Sometimes, such as when he talked about same-sex marriage, we think we can see him dissembling. Now, you might think it would be great to have a President whose dissembling shows, but he's going to have to engage in world diplomacy on our behalf.

Kristol bolsters his opinion that McCain won by pointing to Andrea Mitchell on “Meet the Press,” who said “the Obama people must feel that he didn’t do quite as well as they might have wanted to in that context. ... What they’re putting out privately is that McCain ... may have had some ability to overhear what the questions were to Obama.” Ha ha. Thanks to Andrea Mitchell for revealing that the campaign is prompting the press to take that line.

3. Obama and McCain "have different 'worldviews'":
Obama said ... “Now, the one thing that I think is very important is for us to have some humility” as we confront evil. Why? Because “a lot of evil has been perpetrated based on the claim that we were trying to confront evil.” After all, “just because we think our intentions are good doesn’t always mean that we’re going to be doing good.”...

But here as elsewhere, Obama stayed at a high level of abstraction. It would have been interesting if Warren had asked a follow-up question: Where in particular has the United States in recent years — at home or especially abroad — perpetrated evil in the name of confronting evil? Hasn’t the overwhelming problem been, rather, a reluctance to effectively confront evil — in Darfur, or Rwanda, or pre-9/11 Afghanistan?

John McCain appears to think so. Unlike Obama, he took the question about evil to be in the first instance about 9/11. McCain asserted that “of course evil must be defeated,” and he put “radical Islamic extremism,” Al Qaeda in particular, at the top of his to-defeat list. In this context, McCain discussed the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and concluded by mentioning “the young men and women who are serving this nation in uniform.”
They were different in response to the question about whether evil exists and, if so, what we ought to do about it. We all know McCain thinks much more readily of the military and that he'll doggedly go for victory once we've engaged. Obama, by contrast, tends to mull over America's failings. There were many other differences on display at the forum. Compare their answers on abortion and their efforts to put a number on "rich." It's this displaying of differences that matters far more than any conclusions about who won.

95 comments:

ricpic said...

Speaking of evil: Obama has voted for the legality of killing a baby that has miraculously survived an attempted abortion -- but that's not evil, oh no.

Simon said...

Ann said...
"Thanks to Andrea Mitchell for revealing that the campaign is prompting the press to take that line."

That's a positive way to think about Mitchell's role. Being a cynic, though, I can't help but think that another way one could think about it is as lamppost journalism. Mitchell is presumably an Obama supporter, and this rumor would be a useful way to limit McCain's victory last night and grab back the headlines. No one was talking about this before Mitchell brought it up, and if Mitchell wants to maintain the veneer of journalistic neutrality, she can't raise the suggestion herself. Ah, but she can raise it herself if she can claim to be simply reporting what the Obama campaign is saying.

Simon said...

---:
"Hasn’t the overwhelming problem been, rather, a reluctance to effectively confront evil — in Darfur, or Rwanda, or pre-9/11 Afghanistan?"

Absolutely.

Sloanasaurus said...

It's starting to become more and more clear every day that Obama isn't going to win this election. His "move-to-the-center" is failing because unlike Bill Clinton, he is not a center-left man. He is from and of the far left.

Aside from the deomcratic year, Obama had going for him that he was fresh and African American. Electing a black politician made a lot of fence sitters feel good, so they picked him in a toss up. However, the feel good days are over and Obama has nothing else to sell to the center becasue he himself is not a centrist.

McCain will end up being an acceptable alternative to most independents and conservative democrats. Obama will not win a single red state and McCain will take Michigan and Pennsylvania.

Evan said...

Ann, I think you mean "the new face of American evangelicalism," not evangelism. Otherwise, it's been great to read your blogging on the Saddleback forum.

Sloanasaurus said...

Thanks to Andrea Mitchell for revealing that the campaign is prompting the press to take that line.

There is a whiff of sore-loserman coming from all of this. Democrats when they lose claiming that Republicans cheated.

McCain should offer to redo the entire format and let Obama go second after listening to all of Mccains responses. Obama will still lose, because Obama has no substance.

MadisonMan said...

I wonder how many people actually paid attention to this Forum. I know no one who did. I see it does give the punditocracy of the World something to chew on. They must be thankful.

I spent an absolutely glorious weekend away from all things political. This really has been the most fabulous August weather-wise in Madison that I can remember in a long long time.

The 100-m race (Mens') was totally riveting. Lightning Bolt looked like he was strolling at the end!

ricpic said...

You know what's evil? Titus plunking down $350 on a shirt that's bound to get mangled and soiled when he takes Jesus in the bushes. That's evil.

Paddy O. said...

There's a funny thing about the manufactured controversy about McCain hearing the questions.

Of course he heard those questions. They were fairly obvious questions he had likely heard on the campaign trail.

Obama heard those questions too. You could tell the questions he had especially prepared for. When Warren would ask a question in a different way than was expected, Obama would stumble a bit.

McCain has experience in a lot more campaigns than Obama so has heard more questions. He has been doing town halls, so has heard more questions.

Obama has kept himself somewhat aloof from questioning, so wasn't as ready to answer differently phrased questions.

But they've all heard those questions. Warren didn't have a gotcha question, one that would test an obscure political or historical point. Every question he asked was fairly obvious and general.

It really was like a job interview. You don't have to know the questions, or hear what the interviewee before was asked, to know the questions and have very sharp responses that blow away that earlier interviewee.

McCain just had a better interview and was more broadly able to respond to the varied form of quite expected questions.

Plus, you could so tell McCain wasn't ready on some of these. The question on what he has changed his mind about stands out. That's not an expected way to phrase the question. And you could totally see the gears in his head moving. Then there was that instant, his eyes got really bright, and he came alive. "Drill!" he said, and passion came pouring out. You could see the self-satisfaction and the smile as he realized as he was speaking he nailed the question. Just like you know when you've gotten a somewhat unexpected test question but actually have a really good answer.

downtownlad said...

It would have been interesting if Warren had asked a follow-up question: Where in particular has the United States in recent years — at home or especially abroad — perpetrated evil in the name of confronting evil?

Torture.

downtownlad said...

McCain obviously didn't cheat. The charge is absurd. He's simply a much, much, much better debater. Obama will be lucky to hold his own in the debates.

Meade said...

Think how evil it would be if he plunked down $400!

Simon said...

Sloan - I fear that might justly be called whistling past the graveyard.

Freder Frederson said...

Mitchell is presumably an Obama supporter, and this rumor would be a useful way to limit McCain's victory last night and grab back the headlines.

What on earth about Andrea Mitchell makes you think she is an Obama supporter? If anything, considering who she is married to, I would assume that she is at least very fiscally conservative leaning towards libertarian. Anyone who is read Ayn Rand on a first date and doesn't run screaming must be a fan herself. I would assume she is more likely to be a McCain supporter.

chickenlittle said...

I'm disturbed by “a lot of evil has been perpetrated based on the claim that we were trying to confront evil.”

Isn't this veiled threat to American servicemen and women (this point was made by a commenter in view of another Obama statement, so I'm sorry for the lack of originality).

Obama's comment seems to play right into Code Pink's agenda.

John said...

Obama of course is right about evil coming cloaked in good intentions. Obama is not an honest enough or deep enough thinker to see the implications of that fact on his own views. How many millions have been murdered in the name of "equality and justice" over the last 100 years? How much harm has been done to the poor and sick in the name of helping them? How many people people were victimized by criminals who had been let go by the system in the name of "rehabilitation and fairness". Yeah, evil often comes with good intentions and those intentions tend to be very liberal.

AJ Lynch said...

If you support Obama, there are two ways to view McCain's better performance.

One is that McCain heard the questions beforehand and the second is no one watched it as Madison Man hopefully commented.

The second belies the fact that the most of the regulars here saw this debate.

Either argument tacitly admits Obama lost the debate.

Freder Frederson said...

Isn't this veiled threat to American servicemen and women (this point was made by a commenter in view of another Obama statement, so I'm sorry for the lack of originality).

No, it was a veiled reference to an administration that has admitted to torturing detainees and shredding the Geneva Conventions.

The debate about whether waterboarding is or is not torture is silly. Nobody in this country (except maybe Cedarford) would have claimed it wasn't on Sept 10, 2001.

Paddy O. said...

Torture.

Obama's team is missing the mark in emphasizing McCain's performance and charging cheating.

I thought Obama did a good job. I sat down and heard a number of good lines and good points. Only they're not being emphasized. Obama is choosing to undermine the competition, conceding defeat.

Instead they should go out and reframe it to emphasize Obama's strong answers on key questions.

Obama made a point of mentioning torture on the question about religious persecution, and I thought it a very good answer and a very solid point, especially in regards to the Evangelical vote.

Obama did a good job. But his campaign is weirdly, and tellingly, making the issue about McCain, making it appear that Obama somehow was crushed. He's conceding the loss when he doesn't have to by quibbling on throw away points and accusations of it being unfair.

The world is unfair, make good out of it. Emphasize what you did tell us and the points that could resonate. Don't tell us more about McCain.

It suggests Obama, and his team, don't know how to handle adversity.

rhhardin said...

Reviled did I live ; evil I did deliver.

Nobody talks about Panama anymore.

gophermomeh said...

Sorry, John. The humility he speaks of , means there’s two sides to every coin - liberal or conservative.

And cheers to MM for enjoying his weekend. Yes, fabulous weather, some great races to watch and a little bit of the Packers. Life is good.

MadisonMan said...

AJ, the question is: at this point in the election, were undecideds watching?

Other than the Professor and me, I don't know of anyone commenting here who has not decided, so trying to figure out the reaction to Saddleback from this blogspot isn't going to give a very accurate picture.

MadisonMan said...

...except it will give an accurate picture of spin efforts.

William said...

I could not help but note how quickly he disassociated himself from Clarence Thomas and compare it to the slow, tortured way he distanced himself from the Rev. Wright....Obama is a man of considerable charm and magnetism. It was all on display during the forum, but it's a thin melody. He's Mr Tambourine Man but McCain is the full orchestral suite, from Sousa marches to threnodies. Obama has known a certain amount of shocks and dislocations in his life, and he has drawn useful lessons from them. That is his weakness. He has done well in the introductory course and is ignorant of failure. He has not been vaccinated against hubris... McCain has known many pains and griefs and has participated in failure. There is wisdom in his scars.

Simon said...

MadisonMan said...
"Other than the Professor and me, I don't know of anyone commenting here who has not decided...."

Hey, there are things that Obama could do to win me over! Granted not many, and none that he'd actually do, but still. Give me a lever long enough...

Sloanasaurus said...

Obama will be lucky to hold his own in the debates.

Obama is the more elegant speaker and supposedly the better intellectual. Thus, Obama has the advantage in all of the debates.

What hurts Obama is that most of what he says is contrived, packaged, and assembled to mean various things to different groups, therefore, small deviations and mistakes can be very revealing and costly because they can unwind Obama's entire persona.

Take Obama's abortion response as an example. His response was manufactured to appeal to all groups without exposing his real position (which is to support all abortions for all children not wanted by the mother). However, the format of the debate with McCain answering the same question revealed Obama's response to be phoney. Thus, Obama ended up alienating more groups than if he just stated that he was pro-choice (like Hillary would have done).

chickenlittle said...

Feder said: "No, it was a veiled reference to an administration that has admitted to torturing detainees and shredding the Geneva Convention"

If that were ALL it could be than I'd give him a pass on this. However, his lack of explanation leaves open a lot of possibilities.

I'd love to follow this thread today but I'm off to jury duty.

John said...

“Now, the one thing that I think is very important is for us to have some humility” as we confront evil. Why? Because “a lot of evil has been perpetrated based on the claim that we were trying to confront evil.”

This from the person who claims that he is the "chosen one" and that humanity will look back on his being elected as the day the "seas began to fall". Does he even listen to what he says?

Note that Obama is not saying the root of evil is lack of humility. Instead he is saying that the root of evil is the lack of humility when confronting evil. The root of evil in the world is not evil but the inability to compromise when confronting evil. That ladies and gentlemen is thinking that only an intellectual with a high dollar post modern education could believe.

The Drill SGT said...

downtownlad said...
McCain obviously didn't cheat. The charge is absurd. He's simply a much, much, much better debater. Obama will be lucky to hold his own in the debates.


only one small nit DTL, I would think that a trained Law School Prof would do better in a debate, I would attribute it as paddy O did to a lot more practice in town hall meetings and in bull sessions with the press. McCain hasn't done more debates, but has fielded thousands more questions.

plus: McCain's viewpoint was more aligned with the audience. He wasn't afraid of an honest response, and

The cocoon that Obama lives in, with no press interaction except under controlled events is going to show.

AJ Lynch said...

Madison:

I thought you wrote that "no one you know watched it". You meant to write that they are all undecided voters too. My mistake.

Christy said...

Freder, I can't quote the instances, but the last three times I've seen Andrea Mitchell on TV it has been obvious that she is so in the tank for Obama that she would challenge McCain if he said the sky was blue. Seriously. You know how a rabid homophobe will say something so absurd that you know they can't be reasoned with? I get that same vibe from Mitchell. She decided where truth lies and new evidence to the contrary makes no impact. And that strikes me as very Randian.

Haven't Republicans been fearful that with McCain as the standard bearer the evangelicals would stay home this November and not vote? I think this forum was a win for McCain on that front. Doesn't matter what the rest of us think about who won. Did the evangelicals like him well enough to turn out?

Randy said...

MM wrote: I wonder how many people actually paid attention to this Forum. I know no one who did.

I've been wondering the same thing as none of my 3D friends report having watched. I'm not sure that the Obama campaign attempt to turn this into an issue of John McCain's personal integrity will work to their advantage.

Paddy wrote: It suggests Obama, and his team, don't know how to handle adversity.

Yes, it does. Their over-reaction here is just one more in a series of similar over-reactions that leaves one thinking of the phrase, "Not ready for prime time..."

Don Singleton said...

Many accuse us of torture, although compared with what does on in any real torture facility makes waterbording look like a nice hot bath. But even if it was torture. McCain opposes it.

As I indicated here we can't defeat evil, but McCain is right, we should do everything we can to do so.

MadisonMan said...

I will confess that I've not actually been asking people if they watched the debate -- because I don't care if they did or did not! So some of my ignorance as to whether people watched is deliberately self-imposed.

downtownlad said...

You're right Drill Sgt. Obama is extremely inexperienced, so Harvard Law School or not, he has not had a lot of time to participate in debates. McCain is vastly more experienced, he's been a senator for thirty years, and he's run for president quite a few times. So of course he's going to excel in the debates. Plus, Obama can't put together a sentence without a teleprompter. Everyone knows that.

McCain is going to destroy Obama in the debates. Everyone knows that.

John said...

Has anyone else noticed how in the last year or two Andrea Mitchell looks more and more like the old goat of a husband she has?

The Drill SGT said...

DTL,

The first post was much better. The expectation setting was a lot more subtle in the first. The second was far too blatant :)

The Drill SGT said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
downtownlad said...

Well when the person you're torturing dies, I'd definitely consider that torture. And the US has killed what - 10, 20, 30 detainees? These are documented by the US government, but I don't have the exact figure.

And no - McCain does not oppose torture. He voted for torture after all.

This report says at least 21 "homicides" by the US government.

http://www.aclu.org/intlhumanrights/gen/21236prs20051024.html

But Don Singleton thinks murder is just like a "hot bath".

John said...

http://www.aclu.org/intlhumanrights/gen/21236prs20051024.html

How many people does any country murder during a war? A lot. US soldiers shot 45 German prisoners on Sicily. Actually 21 is pretty low for a war that has gone on this long. Further, in the cases where there really was wrongdoing, the perpetrators were prosecuted.

AllenS said...

I'm pro waterboarding. The Geneva Convention rules will get you killed. If you're in the military, following those rules would be foolish, not only for yourself, but for your buddies. Freder is a gutless coward. Easy to be on the sidelines, out of harms way, and spout nonsense.

john said...

Sloan,

I agree with some commenters here that it doesn't natter who "won" at Saddleback, as the forum did not reach very many people. Especially the few undecideds, who are, IMO, largely conservative. I think the democrats (left and center-left) will by and large vote for Obama no matter what happens between now and November. I think he will get practically 50%, automatically, and only needs a few swing votes.

McCain, on the other hand, is only guaranteed, 30-40% and must pick up a lot of swing votes, which frankly, don't exist in those numbers.

Chickenlittle - see if you can nullify that jury!

Kirby Olson said...

Obama's constantly measuring everybody for a lamppost, including Rick Warren. As soon as Warren asked the question, Obama said you'll be up a lamppost faster than I can say jackrabbit, with your millions from your Money-Driven Purpose. I'll redistribute your income faster than you can say jackrabbit, dude.

Freder Frederson said...

If you're in the military, following those rules would be foolish, not only for yourself, but for your buddies.

I'm curious allens, what branch of the military are you in that allows you to exercise independent judgment about which parts of Geneva and the UCMJ you follow? In your branch, are orders just "suggestions"?

Middle Class Guy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Middle Class Guy said...

downtownlad said...
Well when the person you're torturing dies, I'd definitely consider that torture.



What do you call it when the person you are torturing doesn't die? You really need to take your meds. You make no sense.

bleeper said...

Allens, I am with you. We should, maybe, pay more attention to them than the belt bombing head chopping pre-moderns we are battling, but only just maybe. Sure would be nice if the press was on the side of civilization.

The Drill SGT said...

Allens,

I'd express it this way. Torture is forbidden by the GC. Waterboarding is not torture.

The Drill SGT said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sloanasaurus said...

I think the democrats (left and center-left) will by and large vote for Obama no matter what happens between now and November. I think he will get practically 50%, automatically, and only needs a few swing votes.

Sorry to dissappoint you but there are not enough left and center-left voters out there to get to 50% in some of the states Obama needs to win. Obama needs to win centrists, independents, and moderate republicans to win in states like Virginia, Ohio, Colorado, and Florida.

Middle Class Guy said...

downtownlad said...
Well when the person you're torturing dies, I'd definitely consider that torture.



Are you related to Yogi Berra?

Freder Frederson said...

Sure would be nice if the press was on the side of civilization.

When did the definition of civilization include the use of torture. I always thought eschewing torture was one of the marks of a civilized society.

Freder Frederson said...

Waterboarding is not torture.

According to who (other than this administration)?

Freder Frederson said...

I'd express it this way. Torture is forbidden by the GC. Waterboarding is not torture.

Actually, more than the GC prohibits torture, and more than torture, is prohibited by both statute and treaty. The International Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel and Degrading Treatment and Punishment prohibits more than simply torture. So even if waterboarding is not torture (and it is ridiculous to argue that it is not torture as defined by both treaty and statute), it is still prohibited under the lesser standard. This point always seems to be lost on you apologists.

Host with the Most said...

Since our more left-of-center friends are just joining us this Monday morning on the Showdown at Saddleback conversation, let us recap:

-) This is the 6th posting by Ann since Saturday about Saddleback.

-) There are already over 800 comments

-) Most everyone who has posted so far is in basic agreement that:

... 1. The forum worked out surprisingly well, and was obviously both more comfortable and more thought provoking for the candidates.

... 2. Obama comported himself basically well, no major gaffes.

... 3. McCain handled the forum much better than Obama, leading most to say that if there was a winner, then

... 4. McCain won the debate.


Contrary to what several of our more liberal friends believe, there was no piling on Obama's performance in these comments. Of course, on Obama's qualifications, there's a free-for-all rule that still applies here. But no one on the center-right has been truly disparaging about his overall debate performance.

Lastly - why all the bitching about the way the questions were asked?

It was a Church sponsored debate, held in a church, and moderated by a church pastor, who primarily asked questions on behalf of the evangelical church to two candidates who freely agreed to participate. They didn't shop this to the networks; the networks came to them because of the historic opportunity. But the media presence in no way obligates the church to change what it's doing to please everyone.

What part of that do you not get?

Kirk Parker said...

"an administration that has admitted to ... shredding the Geneva Conventions."

If only!

The Drill SGT said...

Allen and I understand that if too many lawyers get in the way of military operations, then the reaction can be forseen at the squad level. A squad leader will need to make a positive affirmation to his teams that:

"yes, we really want prisoners today, 2 of them. Now let me review the Legal Orders of the day provided by our friendly Company JAG Commissar. OK, saddle up. Remember, let's be careful out there. 2 in the chest and 1 in the head!"

William said...

The preferred instrument of torture of AQ was a power drill. Saddam had a vat full of acid in which he dipped the lower extremities, including the groin, of his enemies. The muted response of many on the left to these atrocities makes me question their objectivity and good will.

downtownlad said...

You're not following me Middle Class Guy.

Commenter claims that the US doesn't torture.

Commenter claims that what US did was no worse than giving someone a "hot bath".

Downtown Lad points out that at least 21 detainees have died under out "intensive interrogation techniques".

Downtown Lad makes the point that if interrogation that results in death (i.e. homicide) cannot be considered torture, then nothing can be considered torture.

Just proving that the US government absolutely did engage in torture.

Freder Frederson said...

The preferred instrument of torture of AQ was a power drill. Saddam had a vat full of acid in which he dipped the lower extremities, including the groin, of his enemies.

I don't no where I have ever expressed anything other than absolute horror or contempt for AQ or regime of Saddam Hussein.

That they undoubtedly used and use torture (and much less elegant forms than we use) is relevant exactly how? Does it justify our use of torture? That is a third grade level of justification.

One good reason of many to object to our use of torture is because our use of torture reduces our ability to object when others commit atrocities. All we are left arguing, is like a third-grader: "yeah, but they're worse!"

integrity said...

I believe Rick Warren to be one of the biggest con-men on the planet.

I will vote for McCain hoping that this country ends up at war non-stop, a draft is reinstated, and ultimately the dying empire finally loses all of it's power.

The older generation of Americans that have done this to the United States can't die soon enough. Things will get better when these people are dead and buried.

Hopefully this older generation will also be left in the hands of liberal health care workerswho are fully aware of the damage these folks have perpetrated on this country, and treat these corrupt old scumbags accordingly.

I say leave them sitting in their shit-filled diapers, beautifully poetic and appropriate.

Freder Frederson said...

Allen and I understand that if too many lawyers get in the way of military operations, then the reaction can be forseen at the squad level.

Actually, allens was advocating the torture of detainees. Apparently, he believes that contrary to whatever orders he has, the ROE, or the longstanding practice of moving prisoners to the rear as quickly as possible for interrogation (under the restrictions of the Army Field Manual), he has the right to independently decide to torture prisoners if he believes it is tactically advantageous. I was just wondering what branch of the military has such an appalling breakdown of military discipline.

The Drill SGT said...

Way to stay objective "Integrity". Speaking truth to power again, or just off your meds?

http://trashalthousereynoldsblog.blogspot.com/

integrity said...

I believe Rick Warren to be one of the biggest con-men on the planet.

I will vote for McCain hoping that this country ends up at war non-stop, a draft is reinstated, and ultimately the dying empire finally loses all of it's power.

The older generation of Americans that have done this to the United States can't die soon enough. Things will get better when these people are dead and buried.

Hopefully this older generation will also be left in the hands of liberal health care workers who are fully aware of the damage these folks have perpetrated on this country, and treat these corrupt old scumbags accordingly.

I say leave them sitting in their shit-filled diapers, beautifully poetic and appropriate.

Freder Frederson said...

I'd express it this way. Torture is forbidden by the GC. Waterboarding is not torture.

And allens was arguing from the point of view of the military. Whether or not waterboarding is prohibited by the GC or whether it is torture or not, it is most certainly prohibited by military policy and the UCMJ. In fact any mistreatment of prisoners (regardless of their status) is prohibited by military law.

Simon said...

Blogger Sloanasaurus said...
"Sorry to dissappoint you but there are not enough left and center-left voters out there to get to 50% in some of the states Obama needs to win."

If Obama wins a "popular vote" majority but is nevertheless crushed in the electoral college -- McCain holds all the Bush states and adds Michigan, for example -- what do you want to bet that he'll claim the Presidency anyway, with the full backing of his supporters?

Middle Class Guy said...

downtownlad said...
You're not following me Middle Class Guy.


Your own words:
Well when the person you're torturing dies, I'd definitely consider that torture.

So, are you related to Yogi Berra?

Examples:

"I never said most of the things I said."

"It's like deja vu all over again."

"You can observe a lot just by watching."

"You should always go to other people's funerals, otherwise, they won't come to yours."

"You've got to be very careful if you don't know where you are going because you might not get there."

"We made too many wrong mistakes."

"I don't know (if they were men or women fans running naked across the field). They had bags over their heads."

"I'm not going to buy my kids an encyclopedia. Let them walk to school like I did."

“When you reach the fork in the road, take it.”

“Everyone stand up according to height in alphabetical order.”

"A nickel ain't worth a dime anymore."

"Baseball is ninety percent mental. The other half is physical."

"I always thought that record would stand until it was broken."

john said...

Sloan said...
Sorry to dissappoint you but
... where the hell did that come from? You take offense quickly.

The point I was making was that Obama needs only a few percent of the undecideds, whereas McCain needs much more than a few percent. I wasn't refering to swing states because I just don't know enough about them yet.

Debates don't appear to sway voters much; everyone agrees that their side won or that it didn't matter.

Middle Class Guy said...

integrity said...
The older generation of Americans that have done this to the United States can't die soon enough. Things will get better when these people are dead and buried.

Hopefully this older generation will also be left in the hands of liberal health care workers who are fully aware of the damage these folks have perpetrated on this country, and treat these corrupt old scumbags accordingly.


Ah, I love people like you. Hate is not a family value. HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!!

Palladian said...

"The older generation of Americans that have done this to the United States can't die soon enough. Things will get better when these people are dead and buried."

I agree, the sooner the nasty communist boomers die off, the sooner we can start getting back to having a great country once again.

Did anyone notice that many of the so-called "liberals" that comment here seem mentally ill? How can Althouse attract less, uh... psychologically challenged liberals?

john said...

Integrity -

Regarding yesterday's scumbag court decision, one can only hope Althouse, Reynolds and the zeppole (Scalia) all indulge their guns and blow their own or each other's brains out. The zeppole (Scalia) is a gluttonous pig, so he will probably die of a massive heart attack rather than a self-inflicted gun wound. Here's hoping.

This is funny spit-my-ccoffee-out stuff, your too rich. And with Doyle as your sole commenter....

john said...

Sorry,

Here is the link to the italicized text.

AllenS said...

I have no idea what's in the Geneva Convention rule book. Never read it. I could care less. The UCMJ is another publication I never read. Why should I? What was the Army going to do if I didn't know the rules. Send me home?

My main concern was my weapon being sighted in. My safety and the safety of my friends is what I cared about.

People like you can't serve in the Army, especially in the field. You'd get your teeth knocked out, pronto. You pull that rule book out in the grass, you'll find out you have no friends. So, go ahead and make your silly arguments. Some of us that have combat experience know what a small insignificant twit you are. Quit watching tv.

Middle Class Guy said...

Palladian said...
Did anyone notice that many of the so-called "liberals" that comment here seem mentally ill? How can Althouse attract less, uh... psychologically challenged liberals?


It has to do with ours being a diverse, tolerant, and accepting society Palladian. Also, there is the ADA, which would prohibit the mentally, intellectually, psychologically, and socially challenged people from being discriminated against. They have their rights to. This is America, you know. LOL.

Middle Class Guy said...

"...the zeppole (Scalia)"

I really love our liberal friends, especially the far right, angry whack jobs. They are affended if one makes racist statements about Blacks and they are aggrieved if one makes anti-semitic statements.

Yet they can make derogatory statements about other people's ethnicity and worse, get away with it! Ah, hate is not a family value; HYPOCRITES.

Bob said...

Freder - the rub you have is that the GC affords rights to those who are legitimate combatants, those in protected status, or civilians. Once someone is deemed as an illegitimate combatant (spies and partisans) you are provided no such protections. Why might you ask? Because the GC's unstated premise is "both side's need to play by rules to work". What the US should have declared early is martial law with an explicit warning that those engaging in combat & not in uniform would be executed. AllenS understands, in a way you seem incapable of, that decisions are being made by PFCs in combat. The de facto decision is now why bother? You going to keep calling us war criminals anyways..

Host with the Most said...

Well, McCain supporters, we should all enjoy this small respite of joy in the "McCain won glow" while we can.

Because today, all the debates and all the Obama imagery will be controlled by the Main Strem media, where any McCain "attack" on Obama will be immediately questioned or countered by the media themselves. And where in any article on McCain, Obama's people will always get the last word.

Chip Ahoy said...

Shredded the Geneva Convention. Ha ha ha ha ha. What a total load. There's that dumbass remark again.

I realize I'll never get through that brick you're using for brain, so at risk of imitating a damaged MP3 file ... wait ... hang one, let me put on this recording for you since you've put on yours.

Geneva Convention is an international agreement between signatory states. It amounts to a suicide document when applied to states and non-state parties that don't recognize it. It's beyond stupid to insist upon it when engaged with hostile organizations that mock it. You may be suicidal, I'm not. Please spare me the supposed acrimony of our allies. They've long demonstrated their affection to be less than skin deep and have already shown they prefer us as victims.

I'm glad our waterboarding has become public. I have no regret whatever. I want the rest of the world to know at least a portion of the US is capable of producing maniacs sufficient to deal with their tactics, that we can out-maniac the maniacs when necessary. And then revert to our customary light-hearted, pleasant, candy-tossing selves when conditions allow. It pleases me that the very thought of Guantanamo Bay scares the living piss out of our harshest enemies, and doesn't bother me in the slightest that our so-called allies, unable to defend themselves, demonstrate occasional alarm. You equate waterboarding with all the other torture you know to exist and to have been performed on our armies, and sniff. You state damaging figures of deaths during incarceration once again without citations and when they are cited they're cited from the most hateful unreliable sources hostile to the administration discovered while purulently pouring over material supportive of your internal narrative cultivated by the political party to which you're beholden.

End recording.

Ha ha ha ha ha. I love that recording. It's so mean. See? You're not the only ass hole.

I played that recording just to piss you off. You piss me off with this "shredding the Geneva Convention" crap. It's of a piece with "shredded the Constitution" crap. A phrase you picked up on some hateful blog, it marks someone too dumb to contrive a unique phrasing. Both of them dog doo on a stick you use to poke in every conversation because that brick of yours is so thick. Somebody else's dog, somebody else's stick.

I look forward to your next book How to Lose a War Fought With Lawyers and With One Arm Stabbing You in the Back and the Other Arm Tied, not to read, but to have a wee on.

But once again, I'm reminded how damaged and utterly stuck this brick-for-brain is when this pathetic poo-on-a-stick poking comes up in a post about how well two candidates performed relative to each other in a confab exposing their grasp of issues in a church by a evangelical relatively unknown until now. Your "Hey, look over there," is informative.

I'd like to see McCain turn to Obama and in a debate to ask, "How's that lint in your navel coming along?" We'll all be treated to seeing an over-sized immaculately tailored suit deflating to rumpled fabric piled atop a pair of shined shoes, like a cartoon.

Once again, for the record, neither of these two candidates represents me, but I'm stuck in this miserable two-party system that has created a severe and unnatural divide between us and tends to bring out the worst in all of us.

Freder Frederson said...

Freder - the rub you have is that the GC affords rights to those who are legitimate combatants, those in protected status, or civilians. Once someone is deemed as an illegitimate combatant (spies and partisans) you are provided no such protections. Why might you ask? Because the GC's unstated premise is "both side's need to play by rules to work". What the US should have declared early is martial law with an explicit warning that those engaging in combat & not in uniform would be executed.

You and others (although I think the drill sgt understands them, he just doesn't like what they require, so he pretends he doesn't understand them) have a profound misunderstanding of the Geneva Conventions and U.S. military law. I have explained this over and over again, providing links, but it just hasn't sunk in. Even after I have provided links demonstrating the correctness of my point (and also pointed out that the U.S. Supreme Court agrees with me) not one of you has provided a shred of evidence for your ridiculous contention that the current GC (at least since they were amended in 1949) allows for summary execution.

But one more time. The UCMJ and the Geneva Convention do not allow summary execution of anyone under any circumstances. There are no exceptions to this rule. Summary execution is always a war crime.

If you think otherwise, please provide a link to the section of the GC and any reasonable supporting interpretation or documentation under what circumstances summary execution of anyone is ever acceptable.

Freder Frederson said...

AllenS understands, in a way you seem incapable of, that decisions are being made by PFCs in combat.

What allens fails to understand is that the government sometimes has greater priorities than keeping him alive in combat and that his priorities as an individual soldier and the strategic goals of the Army and the country might be quite different.

He may not like the UCMJ or the GC, but as a soldier he is bound by them. Apparently he doesn't like reading much, but maybe he should read the introduction to the Army Field Manual on Interrogation so he gets an idea why his Army thinks abusive interrogation tactics are a bad idea. And that is not something that a bunch of pansy-assed bedwetting liberals like me came up with but the uniformed military.

I find it amusing that I am accused of being some kind of hopelessly deluded and naive coward because my position is exactly in line with rules established by the uniformed military.

garage mahal said...

I'm glad our waterboarding has become public. I have no regret whatever. I want the rest of the world to know at least a portion of the US is capable of producing maniacs sufficient to deal with their tactics, that we can out-maniac the maniacs when necessary.

This sounds like what an early Al-Qaeda meeting might have sounded like. Lovely.

Trooper York said...

Hey Madison Man I haven't decided yet. And like Simon there are some things that Obama can do to get me to vote for him. I just sent out a big selection of clothes to a big time celebrity and would be happy to send Michele Obama a dazzling selection of the latest fashions. If she should happen to wear one of them on the View or perhaps the Today show, not only would I vote for her, but I would personally go out on Court St. and get every single person I know to vote for her husband up to and including all the patients at the Cobble Hill Nursing home who I would carry on back to the polling station no matter how many of them peed on me. So come on Michelle, show me you are serious!

From Inwood said...

The dog that didn't bark:

No one seems to be saying that Obama won.

The Drill SGT said...

From Inwood said...
The dog that didn't bark:

No one seems to be saying that Obama won.


1. He gets points for showing up.
2. The crowd gets points for being much more polite than the same crowd at let's say an NAACP confab
3. I think he got a few votes, I think McCain got many more, and got folks energized in his base who were holding their noses.
4. I am sure that Obama will avoid any other similiar formats in the future
5. Obama's base was embarrassed by his showing

he lost ground.

MadisonMan said...

Did anyone notice that many of the so-called "liberals" that comment here seem mentally ill?

Why should the so-called "liberals" be any different than the so-called "conservatives"? "Know" what I "mean", my "friend"?

Fen said...

Freder: The International Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel and Degrading Treatment and Punishment prohibits-

You and I have been down this road so many times, so instead..

I would ask what your International Laws and Geneva say about the Russian rape of Georgia. And why they were so ineffective at preventing it.

From Inwood said...

Fen

Don't you have your copy of the talking points in front of you?

We have to be better than the Bad Guys to lead the way.

And the Russians have to be allowed some leeway in protecting themselves in a, shall we say, Cone of Security, which apparently encompasses all of the former USSR.

PatCA said...

IMO Shakespeare knew everything about leaders and human nature. Obama is Hamlet; McCain is Henry V.

Which do you want in the White House?

The Drill SGT said...

Duh!!

Hamlet was prettier and gave a good speech, but

Henry V was a much better leader, knew his troops,

King Henry V: And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by from this day until the ending of the world but we in it shall be remembered. We few, we happy few, we band of brothers, For he today who sheds his blood with me shall be my brother, Be he ne'er so vile, this day shall gentle his condition, and gentlemen in England now abed shall think themselves acursed they were not here, and hold their manhoods cheap whilst any speaks, that fought with us upon St. Crispin's day!

and got the girl at the end of the play :)

King Henry V: [after kissing Princess Katherine] You have witchcraft in your lips, Kate. There is more eloquence in a sugar-touch of them than in the tongues of the French Council.

both the 1989 and the 1944 version were great. William had no greater play than Henry V

The Drill SGT said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Freder Frederson said...

I would ask what your International Laws and Geneva say about the Russian rape of Georgia.

I don't know what it is about me that would make you think that I am not appalled about Russia's incursion into Georgia. They have definitively violated international law although of course with their veto on the Security Council they will likely get away with it.

As for Geneva--it does not address the legitimacy of a conflict, but its conduct. There have been allegations of violations on both sides (especially the deliberate targeting of civilians), which of course are deplorable.

We have to be better than the Bad Guys to lead the way.

I'm glad to see that the point I have been making all this time is finally sinking in (even if you are being facetious).

Fen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fen said...

Freder: I don't know what it is about me that would make you think that I am not appalled about Russia's incursion into Georgia.

You're misdirecting. I don't care if you're appalled or not.

What I want to hear is your explanation re why we should hitch our wagon to a body of international law was so ineffective at preventing the rape of Georgia.

It wasn't useful in preventing Russia's rape. It won't be useful in punishing Russia's rape. Whats the use? Other than tying America's hands when faced by enemies that ignore it.

bleeper said...

Henry V was awesome.

"We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition;
And gentlemen in England now-a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs'd they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.

I would follow that speaker into battle. Especially against the French. D'oh!

I never saw Henry VIII, but I did see Henry IV twice, so I think that makes up for it.

PatCA said...

I am partial to Henry V also. Thanks for the lovely quotes. I can't imagine Obama ever saying them or thinking them. More's the pity!