November 1, 2010

"A Vote Against Dems, Not for the GOP."

Says Rasmussen.

The theory is, the Republicans will win big because people want to say "no" to the Democrats. If so, the Democrats should be kicking themselves — stomping themselves — for going all-out defining the GOP as "the party of 'no.'" These days, no is what people are for.

Rasmussen makes the argument that we will see a lot, that the GOP victory shouldn't be understood as a preference for conservatism:
[I]t would be wise for all Republicans to remember that their team didn't win, the other team lost. Heading into 2012, voters will remain ready to vote against the party in power unless they are given a reason not to do so.
Elected politicians also should leave their ideological baggage behind because voters don't want to be governed from the left, the right, or even the center. They want someone in Washington who understands that the American people want to govern themselves.

126 comments:

kent said...

"NO" is the new black.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I don't think anyone truly believes that the GOP is going to be any better, but just not as worse as the Democrats.

That's the problem with a two party system, it gets to a point where the two are nearly indistinguishable from each other, at least in terms of how much government they want to foist upon us. This is when a viable third party would be a breath of fresh air in keeping the GOP and Dems honest.

Bart DePalma said...

Ann: "Rasmussen makes the argument that we will see a lot, that the GOP victory shouldn't be understood as a preference for conservatism..."

Ras: "Elected politicians also should leave their ideological baggage behind because voters don't want to be governed from the left, the right, or even the center. They want someone in Washington who understands that the American people want to govern themselves."

Ras has been making the case for months that this is a libertarian wave. On economic issues, that generally intersects with Reagan conservatism.

1jpb said...

"voters don't want to be governed from the left, the right, or even the center. "

That sounds better in theory, than it does in practice.

PatCA said...

I think it's more libertarian too, the natural response to the frenzied statist impulse of our current regime.

Bob Ellison said...

There's a lot of polling-based commentary in that piece-- big surprise, since a pollster wrote it-- but not enough analysis, and the analysis in it is simplistic. The last two sentences ("Elected politicians should...") contradict each other. Classical liberalism is, after all, an ideology. It's more internally consisten than modern "liberalism" or modern "conservatism". Most government officials seem to subscribe to it in at least one or two areas: drug legalization, business deregulation, etc. There's something for everyone.

I think the polis needs more ideology, not less. What a bunch of weenies we are if we keep saying things like "politicians should leave their [ideology] behind"!

ricpic said...

The co-option begins. Of course the truth is just the opposite of what Rasmussen says: if the Republican congress doesn't deliver on killing Obamacare, or at least making a major effort, not once but over and over again, well then...the Republicans are dead. And the same for spending and the border.

The Crack Emcee said...

Kent,

"NO" is the new black.

Dude, I'm the only new black around here, and I've been saying "NO" for years.

t-man said...

I think the vote should be viewed as preference for Conservatism, but not the GOP, which hasn't really represented Conservatism for a while.

The Crack Emcee said...

Hoosier,

That's the problem with a two party system, it gets to a point where the two are nearly indistinguishable from each other, at least in terms of how much government they want to foist upon us.

That kind of talk drives me nuts: Obama outspent Bush, by a country mile, but you still can't tell the difference?

Man, it's incredible how well blinders work these days.

MadisonMan said...

I think the Democrats won in '08 because they weren't Republicans.

The pendulum will continue to swing both ways.

The Crack Emcee said...

Bob Ellison,

What a bunch of weenies we are if we keep saying things like "politicians should leave their [ideology] behind"!

It's the unwillingness to admit that - boomers have turned us into a nation of weenies - that's the biggest stumbling block to this country getting it's act together again.

This vote is for The Macho Response.

AllenS said...

Our problems are so numerous, and have been going on for so long, that I doubt if it will matter who gets elected.

traditionalguy said...

A very insightful statement by Rasmussen. Americans only want a leader gutsy enough to stand out in front of them like a band Drum Major, providing a focus on doing OUR desires. The Marxists had goten so spoiled in Academia, where they rule ruthlessly over all, that they forgot Americans can arise and govern themselves. Which brings us back around to the Gutsy Point Guard that has single handedly lead the uprising against the Socialist Regime using her facebook postings and a great attitude. Now she is going up against Frank (Rove)Miller at High Noon. Who will fight with her against the RINO gang, and who will run for cover like the 7 Dwarves of GOP did this past year when Sheriff Palin first sent the now on the loose GOP's Rino/Bush Gang to the Penitentiary.

former law student said...

Maybe two years without new legislation would be good for the country.

ricpic said...

Maybe co-option should be co-opting. My American miseducation is to blame, not me, not me!

former law student said...

Americans only want a leader gutsy enough to stand out in front of them like a band Drum Major, providing a focus on doing OUR desires.

Certainly explains why Obama's not pushing for same-sex marriage -- there's far from a groundswell of support for it.

Robert Cook said...

I disagree: I don't think people are for "NO," but for policies that will effect noticeable improvements in our currently wretched national conditions, particularly as regards jobs and the economy.

According to some economists, the stimulus, which I believe was proposed in Bush's final months in office, and which Obama voted for while still a senator, has actually helped prevent a full on depression. However, "preventing a depression" isn't apparent enough when conditions nationally are still dire, still unsolved, and where falling into a depression seems still to be a potentiality.
Also, this administration, like its predecessors, is lying about the real unemployment rate: they persist in report 9% unemployment, when, in fact, it is closer to 20%. People know things are worse than are being admitted to, and this sows distrust.

Moreover, given the unrelenting rhetoric of right wing idiocy--that Obama is a "socialist," a non-national usurper of office, etc.--a beleagured populace, desperate for improvements, is easily led to believe that the ongoing economic crisis is a result of Obama, particularly, and of his "socialist" (sic) policies.

In fact, the ongoing crisis is the result of Obama not doing enough to rescind policies favorable to the banks and the big Wall Street firms, and not enacting strict regulations on them. In short, it is due to Obama behaving too much like a Republican in office.

If the Dems and Obama had barreled into office and had tried and succeeded in pushing through dramatic new policies governing the behavior of the big corporations and banks and financial instituitions, had they tried to enact real health insurance reform with implementation to be immediate, (rather than the misbegotten insurance company friendly bill they passed), and had these initiatives been well-explained to the public such that they could understand them, I think we would see the Dems as coming into mid-term elections with a more positive general public feeling.

As it is, they've done too little or nothing, have offered no explanations, and so are their own authors of the antipathy the public has toward them.

ricpic said...

tradguy hitting the sauce before the sun is over the yardarm.

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

I’ll be blunt. I do not need or want “leaders.” Having spent six years in elective office I am particularly suspicious of the crushing majority of politicians in both parties who fervently believe they somehow know better than the people they are supposed to serve ... what is ‘good’ for those people.

The real issue is this—a government worth struggling to control is probably too powerful. Full Stop.

Big Business cannot hurt me. It does not have the power to tax. It cannot create regulations that may well destroy my business. It does not have the power to send heavily-armed men to seize my goods and property. Big Business cannot force me to do a single thing.

The ONLY threat to my success, prosperity, and well-being is Big Government. The great failure of Republicans in the last 15 years is their decision that Big Government is okay as long as it is imposing [socially] conservative ideals instead of liberal ones.

Existentially Epic Fail. They shall have one more chance, or they will become this century’s Whigs.

I repeat (from earlier comments), there is one and only one sustainable political position in America, which is:

a) Strong on defence and security
b) Very conservative about taxation, spending, and the size of government.
c) Socially, more or less libertarian.

Republicans had better figure that one out. Even here in Kansas the fury against get-along-go-along Big Government Republicans is palpable. After 2012—their very last chance—all bets are off.

edutcher said...

Conservatism has been fighting the RINOs for years. This is about the Tea Party, which includes a great many Conservatives, finding a vehicle for their cause, as opposed to trying to start a third party.

As to the Libertarian thing, I think you have a hybrid of the old Conservatism with some Libertarianism added. The Ls want very badly to be at the head of this and I don't think they are. Most of what is heard out of the Tea Party is the Constitution and fiscal responsibility. The Libertarians are more into a theory of their own about how things should run, including a very laissez-faire attitude about social issues, and most Americans seem to have rejected that.

traditionalguy said...

Ripic ...A rested and recreated weekend with NO Internet connection gets a commenter salty.

Big Mike said...

If the Republican leadership interprets tomorrow's results as being a "Yes" vote for social conservatism, then they'll be totally wrong.

If they interpret the results as being a "No" for runaway spending on worthless pork barrel projects, and government spending growing as a percentage of GCP, then they'll be on track to do good things.

DaveW said...

No is fine.

I am under no illusion that republicans would repeal Obamacare. I'm sure they secretly like aspects of it. I've long thought of republicans as being just a different symptom of the same national political disease, which I would describe as the decline of the concept of service to one's country and the ascent of the idea that you can get elected and cash-in.

If republicans stop Obama from further destruction that will be enough. Above all things Obama must be stopped. The House has the power to stop everything with the power of the purse.

I have very little confidence that republicans will do what we need done because I believe they are equally invested in the dysfunctional aspects of the system as it has evolved. But right now republicans are our only hope.

former law student said...

The election presents a clear choice between

Tax and spend Democrats, and
Borrow and spend Republicans.

For at least 30 years there's been no check on spending by either party.

Hoosier Daddy said...

That kind of talk drives me nuts: Obama outspent Bush, by a country mile, but you still can't tell the difference?

Speaking of blinders, did you bother to read the first part of my post?

I don't think anyone truly believes that the GOP is going to be any better, but just not as worse as the Democrats.

That's my point, Crack, all we're doing anymore is deciding between a shit sandwich and a shit sandwich with lettuce bacon and tomato.

DaveW said...

Actually it's more like a choice between borrow and spent Trillions democrats and borrow and spend Billions republicans FLS.

Scott M said...

FLS

That completely discounts non-RINO newcomers and establishment Republicans that are smart enough to see that they've got one more chance...and probably just one more...to get it right. We'll just have to wait and see.

MadisonMan said...

Mmmm. Bacon. Mmmm.

Robert Cook said...

"But right now republicans are our only hope."

Then we might as well go ahead and put up signs at our borders stating "Abandon Hope, All Ye Who Enter here".

The Crack Emcee said...

Hoosier,

I don't think anyone truly believes that the GOP is going to be any better, but just not as worse as the Democrats.

That's my point, Crack, all we're doing anymore is deciding between a shit sandwich and a shit sandwich with lettuce bacon and tomato.


Mmmm, bacon.

O.K., let's try it this way:

Tell me when Bush scared the beejeezus out of the electorate because he's letting the government take over the country?

HD, I think at some point, those who rallied against Bush are going to have to come to grips with the case of mass delusion that enveloped the country during the first war years. We went crazy after 9/11. It's as simple as that.

The one reason I'm glad Obama became president is because his example has proven, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that all that bitching about Bush was totally unhinged - as anyone who could vote with Code Pink should now acknowledge. The lunatics took over the asylum, and now the rest of us are trying to get control of the place again.

Bush did nothing wrong: others went mad under stress of war and blamed him for it.

We will have matured, as a people, when we can admit these things openly.

Scott M said...

Then we might as well go ahead and put up signs at our borders stating "Abandon Hope, All Ye Who Enter here".

Paraphrasing a military axiom, RC, you govern with the conservatives you have, not the conservatives you wish you had. This will hopefully be the first enema of a long, clensing, federal high colonic.

kent said...

Moreover, given the unrelenting rhetoric of right wing idiocy--that Obama is a "socialist,"

Supporters at Obama Rally: "Socialism is cool!"

dave in boca said...

It's the unwillingness to admit that - boomers have turned us into a nation of weenies - that's the biggest stumbling block to this country getting it's act together again.

Yes, the newest generation after the Y Gen is showing an admirable return to conservative genetic structures or old-timey civics, if my daughter and her friends are any indication. She's a registered Republican at age 21 & wants to work for the Heritage Foundation in DC, against heavy competition...!

Hey, Crack-Emcee, I had a one-on-one lunch with Allan West here in Boca three months back and you'd like his style. I hope he creams Ron Klein, who resembles all the other Ezra and Rick & Joe Kleins as though they're long-lost cousins.

Klein is putting up non-stop ads against West's motorcycle gang buddies, which is giving West a big advantage in the latest polls. [47-44 anyway]

Robert Cook said...

"Bush did nothing wrong: others went mad under stress of war and blamed him for it."

Except lied us into an illegal war, instituted a torture regime, conducted warrantless wiretapping of Americans, brought about mass murder in Afghanistan and Iraq, betrayed the Constitution, helped destroy our economy...not a thing wrong there.

shoutingthomas said...

Except lied us into an illegal war, instituted a torture regime, conducted warrantless wiretapping of Americans, brought about mass murder in Afghanistan and Iraq, betrayed the Constitution, helped destroy our economy...not a thing wrong there.

Jesus, Cookie,

Why don't you just move to North Korea?

You'll be very comfortable there.

As I said, you are stark raving bonkers. Apparently able to feed and house yourself, but start raving mad.

shoutingthomas said...

What happened to you, Cookie?

Just born start raving mad?

Some sort of head injury in your formative years?

Visited late at night by the devil?

Please tell me how a person falls into the pit you inhabit. Maybe there's a treatment for it.

Original Mike said...

"A vote against Dems, not for the GOP."

Well, yeah!

Hagar said...

The Republicans are not going to repeal "Obamacare" because they do not have a veto-proof majority.

I think "Obamacare" - or rather "Reid-care" - should be repealed, because I do not want to "find out what's in it," not least because of all the things I suspect is in it that do not have anything much to do with medical matters, such as f. ex. the 1099 disaster.

There is a very thin hope that the Republicans can put together a veto-proof coalition with such "moderate" Democrats as have survived to repeal the act in toto, against an iron-clad promise that the Democrats can take up such provisions as they like, and think can pass, separately in, say 100-page max., chunks with no extraneous matter attached.

But that is a very thin hope indeed.

edutcher said...

Big Mike said...

If the Republican leadership interprets tomorrow's results as being a "Yes" vote for social conservatism, then they'll be totally wrong.

According to the last couple of election cycles, Americans do want some form of social conservatism.

However, the RINO establishment cares no more about social conservatism than it does fiscal responsibility. It's about Go Along To Get Along.

Robert Cook said...

"Bush did nothing wrong: others went mad under stress of war and blamed him for it."

Except lied us into an illegal war, instituted a torture regime, conducted warrantless wiretapping of Americans, brought about mass murder in Afghanistan and Iraq, betrayed the Constitution, helped destroy our economy...not a thing wrong there.


Of course, Cook can't stand the idea that we defend ourselves after being attacked, defines torture according to the Pelosi Galore dictionary, confuses us with Al Qaeda and the Taliban, and doesn't want to admit that subprime mortgages is a Demo thing.

I think shout is right about the insanity thing.

kent said...

The Republicans are not going to repeal "Obamacare" because they do not have a veto-proof majority.

So long as they can make certain it remains wholly and utterly unfunded, "repeal" is (thankfully) not strictly necessary...

... and budgets are the responsibility of the House, remember. ;)

Clyde said...

As P.J. O'Rourke wrote the other day, "this isn't an election, it's a restraining order."

Bingo!

And if the Republicans get to big for their britches and go hog-wild on the spending again, we'll throw them out and keep doing so until we finally get some decent, responsible people in office. They're on probation, and they damn sure better understand that, or they'll be on the wrong end of the tsunami in two years.

Hagar said...

Crack,

I think I saw something yesterday about there being 14 Black Republican candidates running this time. If a substantial number of them win, they can hardly join the Congressional Black Caucus. So, what do you think they will do, and what will be the effects on the CBC?

The Crack Emcee said...

Robert Cook,

I don't read your comments. Anyone, at this late date, who is still harping on that "lied us into an illegal war" bullshit is either a fool, or a liar themselves, who couldn't be bothered, even after all these years, to check where the truth was.

Let me guess, Captain Deluded:

Scooter Libby released Valerie Plame's name, too, right? Sure he did:

The Code Pink Crew told us so.

Bruce Hayden said...

The election presents a clear choice between

Tax and spend Democrats, and
Borrow and spend Republicans
.

Not quite accurate - you should call the Dems "Tax, borrow, and spend", as their recent borrowing dwarfs any Republicans borrowing. And, please, no comparisons between Clinton and Bush here - we are talking Congress, which means 1994-2006 versus much of everything else.

But if you really believe that above, you haven't been listening at all to the Republican leadership or candidates. The minimum goal is to cut the federal government back from the current approx. 25% of GDP back to the 21% or so that the feds had before the Dems retook Congress.

And, yes, look for implementation of ObamaCare to be zeroed out.

Robert Cook said...

No, Scooter Libby committed perjury in his testimony about Valerie Plame.

The Bush Administration revealed her name, through various dupes in their own adminstration and their friendly minion in the press, Robert Novack.

Robert Cook said...

I said,

No, Scooter Libby committed perjury in his testimony about Valerie Plame.

The Bush Administration revealed her name, through various dupes in their own adminstration and their friendly minion in the press, Robert Novack."


This is a reply to Crack at 11:23 a.m.

Scott M said...

According to the last couple of election cycles, Americans do want some form of social conservatism.

Saying that our nation doesn't want any social conservatism is a bit ridiculous. However, what I believe was meant re social conservatism is the core issues that seemed to have locked up the GOP over the past couple of decades, ie, abortion, gay rights, etc.

My own take is that those things are far, far less important right now than the fiscal matters. Arguing about what paint to use in the bathroom while the house is burning down...that sort of thing.

Hagar said...

Kent,

That would only be true for such provisions as would require funding. There is a lot of stuff in there that are just marching orders for the existing bureaucracy.

The best hope may be that the act will be thrown out in court somehow - as has been remarked, judges do read election returns - and that the non-severability principle is sustained.

kent said...

That would only be true for such provisions as would require funding.

Granted. Hasty phrasing on my part; "in the short term" should have been appended to the sentence in question.

(I do, in fact, fully expect the steaming, awful guts of Obamacare to be ultimately eviscerated in the courts... so we are in fundamental agreement, there.) ;)

Der Hahn said...

Robert Cook said...

The Bush Administration revealed her name, through various dupes in their own adminstration and their friendly minion in the press, Robert Novack.


Uh, no.

Richard Armitage, who was working for the Cheney-unfriendly State Department and not a noted W supporter either, leaked it to Novak to after the CIA developed WMD intelligence that was put in Powell's mouth for his UN speech on Iraq fell apart.

The Crack Emcee said...

Dave in Boca,

Allen West could be president, one day, if he wanted it. And he'd have my vote. But I don't think the Keith Richards-type Rock 'n' Roll lifestyle of The Crack Emcee is to his taste, except for entertaining the troops - which, as a veteran, I'd be honored to do for him.

Hagar,

What do you think [14 Black Republican candidates] will do, and what will be the effects on the [Congressional Black Caucus]?

What they'll do is be Congressmen. I think some of the best we've ever seen. Like me, I don't think they'll be "black" unless pushed.

They will not be joining the CBC - why should they? One, they had to reject the race straightjacket to think (and to get others to think) they were electable.

The CBC is a joke in 2010, ready for the ash heap of history, and these future Congressmen (and their constituents) prove it.

alan markus said...

"The Republicans are not going to repeal "Obamacare" because they do not have a veto-proof majority."

Maybe yes, maybe no. Whose to say that such a future vote would follow party lines? I think Senator Feingold is the only Democrat who is running on his vote for Obamacare as a positive thing. Take Reid & Pelosi out of the picture, note that most Democrats who get elected tomorrow will be by very thin margins, and you could have a dynamic where it's, "No thank you, Mr. President, we aren't counting on "having you" this time."

Big Mike said...

@edutcher, what Scott M said just above.

The Crack Emcee said...

Robert Cook,

The Bush Administration revealed her name, through various dupes in their own adminstration and their friendly minion in the press, Robert Novack.

You didn't even look at the link I provided before putting this nonsense out there, did you?

It's settled:

You're a fool and a liar.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Robert Cook,

I don't read your comments.


You shouldn't have to. If you see his name just say "mass murder, torture regime, oligarch and war criminals and that about sums up his view of the USA.

Robert Cook said...

Here's a link to an apt article on COUNTERPUNCH today that explains the ills of the Democrats and why they have brought about such negative public opinion on themselves:

http://www.counterpunch.com/higgs11012010.html

shoutingthomas said...

Cookie... COUNTERPUNCH !!

You really are stark raving mad.

I repeat, why not just move to North Korea and be done with it?

Kensington said...

I think it would be very healthy for the GOP to be aware that many of us who are voting for them hold them in almost as much contempt as the Democrats.

Bring on that sweet, sweet gridlock!

Scott M said...

Ad hominem gets us no where and, frankly, is just blog porn. I hope it's accomplishing something for you.

The Crack Emcee said...

I've got to go to work, but I want to ask something, because y'all seem reasonable:

This morning I read this post by Steve Salerno, a guy I used to admire, and talked to often. He's gotten sucked into the Obama cult, big time (he's accused me of hating blacks because I wouldn't vote for the Oprah/Obama cult) so we don't really talk anymore. Still, I wrote him and asked:

Do you ever consider there are black conservatives when you write this nonsense?

Please, enlighten me to the evil of Thomas Sowell, will you?


And he wrote back:

Oh, you mean the black conservatives who "got theirs" and want to keep every penny, so now they don't give a damn about those who may be less fortunate? Seems to me there was a rather impolite terms for such types back during the 1970s. It began with the word "house"....

Salerno writes for Skeptic magazine and The Wall Street Journal. Should I let them know he's become a racist?

kent said...

Cookie... COUNTERPUNCH !!

A.K.A. "Children's Highlights for 'Progressives'."

The Crack Emcee said...

Sorry:

Here's the link I spoke of.

Bruce Hayden said...

I think that Cook has reached a new low by citing a quasi-official Democratic party site for their talking points as proof of anything besides that they are spinning this upcoming disaster as fast as they can.

But I do give him credit for his attempt to hijack the thread away from the Dems coming disaster to the perjury conviction of Scooter Libby.

Robert Cook said...

Crack:

I know that Armitage is the one who admitted he was Novack's primary source for Plame's name, that's old news.

How did he learn it?

The Bush admininistration put it out covertly to various people in their administration, hoping--or knowing--that someone of them would reveal it to a reporter.

See Wikipedia for this, regarding Armitgage:

"While the document is 'classified,' Armitage states, 'it doesn't mean that every sentence in the document is classified.... I had never seen a covered (sic) agent's name in any memo in, I think, 28 years of government.... I didn't know the woman's name was Plame. I didn't know she was an operative.... I didn't try to out anybody.'[60] In a phone interview with The Washington Post, Armitage reiterates his claim, stating that in 40 years of reading classified materials 'I have never seen in a memo... a covert agent's name.'"

This confirms what I said and implicates the Bush Administration more deeply: in all his years in office, Armitage had never seen a covert agent's name listed in even a classified memorandum. The Bush administration--read Dick Cheney--put this out there in such a way that they could get her name into the press and yet claim plausible deniablility later.

This is why Armitage was not prosecuted: he admitted his role and could not be shown to have known he was revealing a state secret.

Libby was convicted of several counts of perjury relating to his testimony in the case. He was not convicted of releasing Plame's name.

Hagar said...

Crack,
10-12 Black Republican Congressmen would shoot such large holes in so much conventional wisdom, that I fervently hope it comes to pass.

And they do not have to be "the best ever," just normal congresscritters going about their business will do fine.

Robert Cook said...

"I think that Cook has reached a new low by citing a quasi-official Democratic party site...."

Hahahahahahaha!

Bruce, if you think COUNTERPUNCH is a "quasi-official Democratic party site" you don't know the first thing about the site.

Jim said...

article on COUNTERPUNCH today

THAT explains EVERYTHING.

Counterpunch is that site for people that think dKos is too far right-wing. That you're getting your information from these guys says everything we need to know about the quality of your information.

Say no more.

Scott M said...

@Robert Cook

Given what's about to go down tomorrow, the Libby/Plaine thing is epic yawn material.

shoutingthomas said...

Oh, God, Cookie, you're a foreign policy expert, too!

Booking that flight to North Korea, now?

The Crack Emcee said...

Hagar,

They do not have to be "the best ever," just normal congresscritters going about their business will do fine.

Most black people, of a certain age, were raised to think we have to be "twice as good" as whites to be successful/acceptable. Even those of us who reject racial thinking still think working under that premise is the way to go, since it builds good work habits, and all that.

Please answer my question above, regarding Salerno, because I'm conflicted.

shoutingthomas said...

So, the question I keep wondering about, Cookie, is:

How do you feed and house yourself?

In Woodstock, the various characters who share your views are all on SSI.

Are you living on the crazy money?

Alex said...

Losertarians shouldn't misread this election. It's more about a vote for more big government. You see people are upset that Obama didn't push health care down everyone's throat HARD ENOUGH, got pissed and threw the Democrats out.

Alex said...

Tax and spend Democrats, and
Borrow and spend Republicans.


What's wrong with spending MORE MORE MOAR? Paul Krugman is a Nobel Prize winning GENIUS and we should just do what he tells us to. Elites and experts exist for a reason - to guide us plebians to the right path.

Hagar said...

Robert Cook needs to be called on this B.S.

The Joe Wilson caper was a State Department deal (Ambassador Wilson - remember?), and what Armitage told Novak was that he was recommended for his mission by his wife, who worked at the CIA, and Novak took it from there.

Scooter Libby was convicted of "obstruction of justice" for lying about who told him about Valerie Plame a.ka. Mrs. Wilson.
He got a stupid attack and lied to the Grand Jury, whether from embarassment - after all, it was his job to tell Cheney things, not the other way around - or that he instinctively wanted to keep Cheney out of it, when he should have just said he did not remembver, by that time there were so many people talking about it, and they could not have proved different.

That prosecution was just a witch-hunt to get revenge on someone, anyone, of the hated Bush Administration after so many years of frustration.

Randy said...

Crack:

RE: Please answer my question above, regarding Salerno, because I'm conflicted.

If you'll feel better after sending the letter or email, go ahead. Do I think it will accomplish anything else? No. Would I do it? No, I wouldn't bother because I suspect they already know and don't care.

JMO, FWIW, which isn't all that much. YMMV. Others will undoubtedly disagree.

Almost Ali said...

Republican congress:

1) Impeach Obama

2) Turn all Al Qaeda strongholds into moonscapes.

3) Outlaw Islam. Stop all Muslim immigration.

4) Defund ObamaCare.

5) Restore the free market.

(for openers)

Hagar said...

Crack,

I have not heard of this Steve Salerno before, but from your post I guess that he is Black, and surely you know that racism is a condition that can only afflict people of European descent.

However, you might ask Mr. Salerno how he feels about Vernon Jordan, the former civil rights activist who became the Clinton era Clark Clifford, so to speak. Would Mr. Salerno use such ugly words about Mr. Jordan - a Democratic Party stalwart?

sunsong said...

I agree with the majority of comments here. One of the big things I'll be watching after the election is what happens in the states. The GOP will pick up a number of governor's seats. I am hopeful that they will rise to the occasion and begin to solve their own problems, as states.

We have so many noble and remarkable states in this union. They have constitutional responsible for much! I am hopeful that, the example Christie has set in NJ, will inspire the GOP governors to tackle and solve the difficult problems facing their states. Dealing with public employees and public pensions will be an easy place to start, imo.

Fr Martin Fox said...

"...lied us into an illegal war..."

Oh, why do seemingly intelligent people allow such stultifyingly idiotic statements to fall from their lips?

Stipulate--for sake of argument--the war was a bad idea, it had no redeeming value; let us, in isolation, examine this bit of stupidity that keeps getting repeated: that Bush "lied us into an illegal war.

To simplify it, let us suppose I am standing outside a house. I call the police, I yell and scream and get all the neighbors to come outside.

"What's going on?"

"There is a ginormous bomb in that house! It's a threat to everyone, we have to invade that house to stop it NOW!"

However I do it, I persuade everyone to go with me, and follow my lead, and we charge into the house--to get that ginormous bomb!

Now--according to the "he lied" folks (applying their logic to this scenario, and I'll be the bad guy):

I KNOW there is no bomb at all. Nothing that will validate my claims. I know this before we charge in.

So we charge in...bunch of people get killed; house gets wrecked...lots of trouble...but: oopsy, no bomb!

Tell me, "he lied" folks: why would I think this plan--go in and say "oops!"--would work?

If I am so evil as to try this--and I know before going in that no bomb will be found--If (back to Bush now) I'm such a powerful puppeteer: why don't I manage, in the ensuing excitement, to have at least something planted? Or else, why don't I have some sort of plan for how I'm going to explain no bomb?

Why, instead, would I charge in, and then seem to have absolutely nothing prepared to explain my lie--which, after all, according to the "he lied" theory, I would have known with certainly would be exposed!

Let's try thinking of some more-clever explanations than we got:

> We succeeded: see that ginormous crater, created by our brave fighting men and women? That's where the ginormous bomb was; see how hard it was to destroy? Now see why we had to? Don't believe me? See those geiger counters clicking away? Look at all that radiation! See?

> Why those sneaks! Here's our intelligence that shows they spirited the bomb out to _____ (fill in with name of next country for which a pretext of invasion is needed); off we go!

> Here it is! (Here produce the bomb that Bush had plenty of time to build in secret, and make look like the Iraqis built it--akin to bad cops planting guns or dope in a crime scene)

No, instead of these, Bush's plan for explaining his lie was to search endlessly for what he knew didn't exist--meanwhile making zero effort to plant anything to "turn up" as validation...until such time as Saddam himself shows up to say, I was bluffing.

In short, the argument is that Bush is simultaneously an evil genius and an absolute moron. He pulled off a massive conspiracy, yet unaccountably neglected the key part.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Oh and by the way...as if it matters...

I didn't vote for Bush; and I didn't support his decision to go war. I have no vested interest in defending him or his decisions.

But I think those who want to criticize him over that should have scorn heaped upon them for amazingly stupid arguments. Up your game, please?

davis,br said...

I see a lot of speculation along the line about "cannot repeal Obamacare". Really?

I think the repeal of Obamacare could be EASILY passed - even over the president's veto - by a bipartisan (yes w/Dem' support) IF the Republicans will couple a repeal of the existing bill with the introduction of healthcare bill that actually reforms the issues that most Americans would find popular and useful to fix the situation (which has been discussed many times ...such as opening up insurance plans across state boundaries, etc.).

No-brainer, actually. (It's smart politicking, and puts you both for something - healthcare reform - and against something - big government centralization of power - at the same time ...this would be extremely popular, even with the unions ...well, their members, at least.)

slarrow said...

Couple of thoughts related to this:

1) In Obama's irritating car-in-the-ditch metaphor, "D" means 'drive' and "R" means 'reverse'. To rephrase Rasmussen, the American people want politicians to put in "P", get out of the car, and give us back the damn keys.

2) I hope libertarians can refrain from viewing tomorrow as an "I won" moment and try to kick social conservatives to the curb. First, there's a lot of social conservative Tea Partiers. Second, there's still enormous common ground in the premise that there is too much power concentrated in D.C.. Much of the spending and regulation is a symptom of that problem, not the cause. It really is a grassroots moment based on a philosophical position, not an issue-driven groundswell (like a tax revolt with which people are at least moderately familiar.)

davis,br said...

We have so many noble and remarkable states in this union.

Sigh. Well, so long as you aren't including California. (I speak as a native Californio, approaching retirement ...who is finally facing up to the probability that I'm going to have to leave my birth-home for a lesser circus ...and some fiscal sanity.)

hawkeyedjb said...

Republicans would be mighty damned foolish to look around on Wednesday morning after a big victory and say, 'Hey, they love us!' But they are probably dumb enough to do just that, even in the face of massive evidence that the message of this election is: No. I mean, NO! DAMMIT, I SAID NO!

I'll be voting 'R' for the same reason I voted for John Kerry: not because I expect anything great to come out of it, but because the other guy has already proved he shouldn't get another term. In a choice between Worse and Worser, I know which side I'm on.

edutcher said...

Big Mike said...

@edutcher, what Scott M said just above.

Basically, I think the Republicans, mostly the RINOs, have allowed the Demos to run the debate. I think social conservatism, in its proper place, can still help a candidate.

Abortion, to use Scott's criteria, is not the vote-getter for the Demos it once was, rates are way down along with the number of abortion mills. Homosexual rights - DADT repeal and same sex marriage - are hideously unpopular as referenda over the last 2 election cycles have shown. People are becoming more sophisticated to the Demo rap and aren't being swayed as much.

That said, a lot of Conservatives, social or otherwise, can live with somebody like Rudy Giuliani, who was my choice in '08. For somebody strong on defense and law & order, fiscal conservative, a good many people were willing to agree to disagree on the social stuff, particularly if it isn't his biggest priority.

PS would have answered sooner, but obligations...

JAL said...

A friend told me he wants to elect people who know how to "Delete."

As in how to delete the myriad of awful, invasive and stupifying useless laws -- and thus regulations -- we are being controlled by or drowned in.

Sounds good to me.

Robert Cook said...

"Tell me, 'he lied' folks: why would I think this plan--go in and say 'oops!'--would work?"

1.) It did work.

2.) I don't say he knew there were absolutely no WMD. I say he lied regarding their certainly of knowledge or proof. They didn't say their statements were conjecture, based on best possible evidence. They asserted--explicitly--that they knew he had WMD, they knew where the WMD were, and that they had "bullet-proof evidence" of their existence.

They went out of their way to make us believe they had absolute, foregone, no doubt about it, we're not guessing, we're not just stating what we believe may be so, incontrovertible proof of the certainty of their statements. Bush even went out of his way to list a precise catalog of the WMD Saddam had, even accounting for inventories of each weapon named. They probably did believe they would find some remnants of old WMD stocks, enough to support their claims or at least to satisfy the public regarding those claims, but they lied about their proof and about their degree of sure knowledge.

They did know there was no truth at all to their suggestion of Saddam's being close to making a nuclear weapon. This was why they smeared Joe Wilson and destroyed his wife's career--because he revealed publicly that they had been told there was no basis to any talk of Saddam making nukes.

(They also probably thought the war would be won in a cake-walk--hence their stupidly premature "Mission Accomplished" Banner on the aircraft carrier--and no one would care about or question whether WMD were found or not.)

3.) Bush lied repeatedly after it was found there were no WMD, stating that "We gave Saddam every chance to let our inspectors in to affirm whether he did or did not have WMD, but he refused to let 'em in, so after due deliberation we had no choice but to go in." In fact, the inspectors were on the ground for months prior to our invasion, and they reported findings of...NO FINDINGS. Blix even said later that he had never seen such a case of "100% certainty that weapons existed coupled with 0% knowledge of where they were." The inspectors were told after four months they should vacate Iraq as the invasion was about to begin. They wanted several more months to complete their inspections and were told the invasion was to begin. Bush had his prearranged schedule, the war was his first choice, not a last choice as he claimed, and he was determined to keep to schedule.

Bush apologists can insist to their last breath he was simply "wrong," the "victim of bad intel," or what have you, but Bush will never wipe away the reality that he is a war criminal and mass murderer and torturer.

JAL said...

Based on FL and AK, I'd say the Republican Party is in its death throes.

If they can't get it together and realize they need to represent the people, not the peacocks, there will be a third party in 2012.

When people (not peacock) nominated GOP candidates have the defeated GOP candidates turn on them (and therefore their party <--- get that?) there is going to be mayhem and the GOP will be a goner. (Thanks Charlie and Lisa, it was about time.)

shoutingthomas said...

Bush apologists can insist to their last breath he was simply "wrong," the "victim of bad intel," or what have you, but Bush will never wipe away the reality that he is a war criminal and mass murderer and torturer.

Oh, God, Kookie, you laid a turd again.

Haven't you boarded the flight to North Korea, yet?

I guess they've got the internet there too?

JAL said...

RC hasn't been following wikileaks, has he?

AJ Lynch said...

Fr. Fox said:
"Up your game, please?"

Father, you are starting to sound like Althouse. Heh.

c3 said...

I think this is what the American electorate is saying

And the slogans are replaced, by-the-bye
And the parting on the left
Are now parting on the right

c3 said...

but Bush will never wipe away the reality that he is a war criminal and mass murderer and torturer.

Well then its a good thing he's not running for anything this year (and not likely to run for anything in the foreseeable future)

Bruce Hayden said...

Well then its a good thing he's not running for anything this year (and not likely to run for anything in the foreseeable future).

But he does drive a golf cart. Now, admittedly, it was probably because his father seems to be having problems walking these days. But, still, our latest picture of him is driving out that golf cart, and then throwing (well) the opening pitch at that World Series game.

Fr Martin Fox said...

I said:

"Tell me, 'he lied' folks: why would I think this plan--go in and say 'oops!'--would work?"

Robert Cook replied:

"1.) It did work."

OK, so your assertion is that there was no appreciable negative consequence to Bush being caught--as you say--lying us into an illegal war," as opposed to planning for a cover story that got him off the hook for said lie?

In other words, Bush was able to foresee clearly that:

* He would not be tossed out of office in 2004;

* His party would not suffer losses in 2004;

* He would not be impeached;

* He would manage to get approval for the surge strategy, as opposed to having Congress cut off funding and force withdrawal.

In other words, Bush was simultaneously astonishingly brilliant and yet amazingly stupid.

Again, he said:

They went out of their way to make us believe they had absolute, foregone, no doubt about it, we're not guessing, we're not just stating what we believe may be so, incontrovertible proof of the certainty of their statements.

Well, see, I distinctly remember Bush, those in his government, and Blair all emphasizing it was based on intelligence, and no one could be certain, but the intelligence was pretty good and what it turned up was scary enough to demand urgent action, because of the alternative.

I remember this, because it's the main reason I wrestled with my own reaction to Bush's call for war, and whether I agreed with it (and as I said, I did not).

And I remember lots of other folks wrestling with that as well. Including folks in government, including folks in the Senate.

I guess saying Bush lied feels a lot better than admitting an idiot duped you. (FYI, those energy bracelets on TV? They don't work. Save your money.)

kent said...

[B]ut Bush will never wipe away the reality that he is a war criminal and mass murderer and torturer.

Just a scant thirty-six hours from now, you're going to have inarguable, "real time" evidence, re: the overall electoral efficacy -- or, rather, the demonstrable lack of same -- inherent in still attempting to secure national office by metronomically squawking BUSHBUSHBUSHBUSHBUSH at the voters, like so many stunned, Tourette-afflicted parrots.

Take notes.

former law student said...

Fr. Fox, as long as you're here -- can you point to some Just War analyses of the Iraq invasion?

Scott M said...

FYI, those energy bracelets on TV? They don't work. Save your money

...well, shit...

Jim said...

I'm still trying to figure out how the war was illegal or that Bush was a war criminal.

If he was an actual war criminal, he'd be up on international charges, right?

I mean, the international courts are certainly no friend to Americans. So is Bush now so all-powerful that he can control the notoriously anti-American international courts?

And as to the war being illegal, please cite exactly which American laws were broken and your definitive proof for each.

These words have meanings and legal consequences. You can't just throw them around as if they mean something and then pretend that you should be taken seriously when you can't back them up.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Back to the election tomorrow...

> Social issues are going to play a major role in any GOP gains; but it won't get much media play for obvious reasons. A lot of prolife candidates are going to win, precisely because prolife voters were mobilized.

The fact that a lot of folks are mad about big government and massive spending and debt, doesn't change the fact that lots of folks are made about other policies being pursued by President Obama, and they see a Congress entirely too ready to go along. Or have folks forgotten about the sudden collapse of Bart Stupak's political fortunes?

> The GOP would do well to note that President Obama and the Democrats were actually pretty astute in pushing through Obamacare. If it isn't substantially modified or repealed, it will have the farthest-reaching impact.

That's why "health care" has been the brass ring Democrats have been reaching for lo these many decades. It's all about shifting a very large number of citizens into the category of clients of government.

It seems obvious to me that the calculation was, yes we'll take losses, but we were going to take losses anyway; we might as well have some long-term benefit along the way.

(Now, I admit I was wrong in one regard: I didn't see how they'd get enough Senators to walk the plank. And they nearly didn't.)

So here's the question the GOP should be asking, but probably isn't:
What can we do in the next two years, in a similar way, to change the game for the long-term? I.e., it's not enough to make things work better (as good as that would be in the short term for all of us); in fact, that plays into Obama's long-term goal. Obama changed things for the long term with the right move; what's our best counter-move to change the game back, at least much as we can?

Trouble is, a lot of the GOP doesn't care; too many of them are perfectly fine being along for the ride to ever-increasing government. Sorta like a mid-level manager at a big corporation, as contrasted with an owner of a small company. Someone who owns his or her own business knows, she screws up, its curtains for her business and for her own future.

Whereas, a mid-level manager at a huge corporation can reasonably bet that his or her decisions, while bad for the company in the long-term, are not so likely to mean his or her financial security is all that much at risk.

Fr Martin Fox said...

FLS asked:

"Fr. Fox, as long as you're here -- can you point to some Just War analyses of the Iraq invasion?"

Oh, I probably could, if I did an internet search for the next hour or so. But if you're asking if I have anything ready-to-hand, no.

But since I wasn't arguing the justness of the Iraq war, I feel no obligation to spend my next hour doing so.

And, if I was unclear on that, then I will make that explicit. I was not in favor of going to war against Iraq in 2003 (I was pretty unhappy in 1991; and I just happened to be in the Senate Gallery when they voted that one). And at no point was I arguing here for the "justness" of the war. I simply think the "he lied" claim is incredibly stupid.

Now, if you're asking me my own, personal, calculation of the "just war" question? In my own personal judgment--at the time--I was skeptical about whether Bush had a legitimate justification for war; but I conceded he wasn't completely lacking in justification, given the violations of the terms ending the 1991 war, and given the various UN declarations that only had meaning if someone actually threatened force if they weren't complied with. And Bush went through various diplomatic stages that--for purposes of just-war analysis--have to be pursued before it can be acceptable to resort to force. Whether it was "enough" or sincere is, of course, a matter for debate; but had he done none of it, the argument against the justness of the war would have been easier.

Part of what bothered me most was the idea of preventive war; that struck me as a dangerous idea and requiring a clearer, imminent threat.

But--part of the Just War theory (at least for Catholics) is that lawful authority has some room for prudential judgment and gets some--I repeat, SOME--deference in this regard.

So while I was perfectly entitled to oppose a vote for war, and to think it was the wrong thing to do, nevertheless Bush and the Congress were the lawful authorities whose job it was to make the call.

They did not--to my mind--so completely lack an argument as to make their decision obviously wrong (while I also thought they didn't have a strong enough argument in favor). I felt--and I still feel--in such matters, lawful authority gets some deference in this matter.

Robert Cook said...

"Well, see, I distinctly remember Bush, those in his government, and Blair all emphasizing it was based on intelligence, and no one could be certain, but the intelligence was pretty good and what it turned up was scary enough to demand urgent action, because of the alternative."

They may have said that at some point, or your memory may be wrong. They also said, explicity, that their assertions were not surmise but were hard fact.

http://motherjones.com/politics/2010/03/karl-rove-book-george-bush-iraq-wmd

By the way, the "bullet proof" evidence I remarked upon before had to do not with WMD, as I had remembered, but with assertions of Saddam's allegend-but-nonexistent relationship with bin Laden. This was another part of the Big Lie they added on top of the scare stories about WMD, that Saddam's (non-existent) alliance with (non)pal bin Laden would get first crack at using those (non-existent) WMD against us.

garage mahal said...

What's funny is they all went on the Sunday talk shows waving the New York Times and Washington Post, and their scary headlines as validation of their claims. The untrustworthy "liberal rags".

Fr Martin Fox said...

Robert Cook:

Well, your argument seems to be that I should have believed him--based on his representations--and yet I didn't.

So I guess that makes me a dullard...and yet I somehow managed to be right in my failure to be convinced.

Were you convinced? Is that why you're reacting this way? Being had is infuriating.

Alex said...

What's funny is they all went on the Sunday talk shows waving the New York Times and Washington Post, and their scary headlines as validation of their claims. The untrustworthy "liberal rags".

They're ridiculing them dummy.

Robert Cook said...

"I'm still trying to figure out how the war was illegal or that Bush was a war criminal."

Because the war was prosecuted without legitimate basis. The USA is a member nation of the United Nations and of the UN Security Council. Our signatory obligations to the UN provisions are the law of the land. No member nation may mount a war against another nation unless either authorized by the UN Security Council or unless defending against an imminent or already initiated attack by another nation. Neither circumstance held in the case of our invasion of Iraq, and thus the invasion itself was a war crime, and all its perpetrators and planners are war criminals. Compounding this, of course, is the regime of torture the Bush administration instituted, with, ahem, "legal authority," (just as the Nazis had done, and just as the Nazis did, calling their wretched practices "enhanced interrogation").

Alex said...

Fr. Martin Fox - I never really believe Iraq had WMDs. But I believe that the initial war to topple the regime was just. What was wrong was the police-action that has been going on the next 7.5 years after that.

Alex said...

Robert Cook - you know that Bush will never be prosecuted for war crimes. So why expend all this energy for nothing?

Roger J. said...

IMO: Just war theories are interesting but have the smell of scholastic disputations about them. I take as my gospel that of the foreign policy realists (eg, Hans Morgenthau et al). They basically argue national in terms of power--a very truncated argument, of course, but those interested can look it up. The foreign policy realists have as much right to propound their theses and do the just war proponents--and neither of course represents truth--just opposing points of view couched in higher rhetoric.

Robert Cook said...

"Were you convinced? Is that why you're reacting this way?"

Not at all...I opposed the invasion of Iraq from the start and considered it a crime from the start. But most Americans, it seemed, did believe him, and many still accept his discounted claims as having been true. (Bush himself later admitted, when there was no alternative, that there were no WMD in Iraq.)

Why wouldn't I react this way? If my country, in my name (and yours) commits war crimes, torture and mass murder, should I just do as the putz Obama has done, shrug it off and say, "Well, we're looking forward, not back"?

Michael said...

Fr Martin Fox: You will recall that Whittaker Chambers famously put the struggle between communism and the West as between materialism and faith. Our poor Cooks are those whose faith lies in the certainty that GWB lied about weapons of mass destruction. That tenet is the foundation upon which the catechism of Cook's faith, and his fellows' faith, is based. Cook is a materialist and his lack of belief in anything transcending cripples his reasoning. It is an old story and a sad one.

Alex said...

Cook - if you believe that America is THAT evil then you better do something about it. Otherwise, all talk no action.

Clyde said...

No WMD? Oh, please! Gimme an effing break! That was the most telegraphed, slow-motion invasion in the history of warfare. It took over three months of going through UN meetings and miscellaneous bullcrap before the troops went in. There was plenty of time for Saddam to move almost all of his WMDs out of the country (Can you say "Syria", boys and girls? I'll bet you can!) with only small remnants left to be found, because with as much of the chemical weapons as he had, it was almost impossible to get rid of it all. We KNOW that he had them, because he USED them on the Iranians, the Kurds and the Marsh Arabs. Saddam was required by the terms of the 1991 ceasefire to get rid of all of his WMDs AND PROVE IT TO THE UN INSPECTORS! He did not do so! He was obviously stalling in hopes that the bribery inherent in the Oil For Food program would cause the sanctions regime to fall apart. It almost did. Had Bush not invaded, by now the sanctions would be long-gone, as would the UN inspectors, and Saddam with be in a nuclear arms race with the mad mullahs in Iran.

Fr Martin Fox said...

I asked:

"Were you convinced? Is that why you're reacting this way?"

Robert Cook replies:

Not at all...I opposed the invasion of Iraq from the start and considered it a crime from the start. But most Americans, it seemed, did believe him, and many still accept his discounted claims as having been true.

LOL!

So...your argument is that most Americans are pretty stupid and will go along, lemming-like.

Aside from the amazing condescension of that position, and that it's awfully convenient to argue folks who don't do what you think are stupid...

There remains the fact that--if you're right that so many folks are stupid and gullible (including lots of Congressmen and Senators)...

Then why bother with an easily-falsifiable lie in the first place???

If you're resolved to lie to get something you want--in what world is it better to serve up an easily falsifiable lie--as opposed to one that cannot be so easily disproven?

We're back to, Bush is both an evil genius and an unbelievable moron, simultaneously.

Synova said...

I suppose everyone already pointed out that this applies to the Democrats the last two elections. Even in 2008 with Obama who I will admit was vastly popular, the fact is that Obama was still vigorously running against Bush. Obama might have said "we won", but how much of it was actually "Bush lost?"

I don't recall too many people warning the Democrats not to assume that the electorate was swinging liberal.

cubanbob said...

Naturally on planet commie it all makes perfect sense to RC. Here on planet earth the reality is that Saddam Hussein ran a scam implying he had WMD's. No doubt to deter the Iranian's and the Western Allies. He was on the verge of getting sanctions lifted and figured once they were lifted he could get his WMD programs fully back on line. Considering the Iranians were at the time actively working on a nuclear bomb project and are now on the verge of getting one, Saddam Hussein's thinking was not at all illogical. What he did not consider was that unlike Clinton who fired a few missiles at baby formula plants but didn't have the stones for an invasion and unlike Bush's father who would only go as far as a UN Mandate would let him go, W would take his disinformation seriously and would have the stones to take him out. A mistake he would pay for literally with his head. That RC is the long and short of it. No great conspiracies and other deluded thinking that you and truthers stretch your two neurons with.

The funny thing is that in ten years time Iraq will wind up having the bomb along with Saudi Arabia just to protect themselves from the Iranians.

Bruce Hayden said...

Because the war was prosecuted without legitimate basis. The USA is a member nation of the United Nations and of the UN Security Council. Our signatory obligations to the UN provisions are the law of the land. No member nation may mount a war against another nation unless either authorized by the UN Security Council or unless defending against an imminent or already initiated attack by another nation. Neither circumstance held in the case of our invasion of Iraq, and thus the invasion itself was a war crime, and all its perpetrators and planners are war criminals. Compounding this, of course, is the regime of torture the Bush administration instituted, with, ahem, "legal authority," (just as the Nazis had done, and just as the Nazis did, calling their wretched practices "enhanced interrogation").

This is, frankly, about the weakest argument in favor of the proposition that the war in Iraq was "illegal" as I have ever heard. It ignores the numerous Security Counsel resolutions that we were operating pursuant to, and that Iraq, at the time, was in direct violation of the cease fire resulting from our intervention, under U.N. auspices, when they invaded Kuwait. Indeed, we needed nothing more than the cease fire violations to renew hostilities, and the violations were material, frequent, and blatant, including shooting at our planes and preventing inspections.

cubanbob said...

Rasmussen is absolutely correct. The expected vote tomorrow is going to be as much anti-Obama-anti-progressive democrat as it is anti-RINO and anti-country club republican.

The party the gets it first and not just pay lip service is the one that will be the dominant party for the next several decades. The Taxed Enough Already movement is just that. They are tired of paying for other people's 'entitlements' and maintaining civil service employees making more than them with better benefits than them. They are tired of having politicians buy other peoples votes with their money. They are tired of politicians doing them favors with their money. They are tired of paying taxes for 'services' that don't benefit them. It really is that simple. If the republicans don't get this time they can expect primary challenges until such time the republican party becomes the TEA Party. The welfare state has hit its high water mark. Its unsustainable and certainly unaffordable. The retrenchment is coming and nothing the progressives can do will stop it.

Revenant said...

The notion that the Iraq War is a "war crime" because of alleged violations of the UN Charter is particularly amusing.

First of all, Congress cannot sign away its authority to legally declare war. Doing so would require a Constitutional amendment, and no such amendment was passed. So even if the UN Charter forbade the invasion (see below), that would simply mean that the Charter is invalid.

Secondly, the Charter asserts the following:

Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security.

Iraq carried out armed attacks against United States forces from 1991 through 2003. The Security Council failed to take measures to maintain international peace and security. Therefore the United States was free to wage war with Iraq.

Now, you can certainly argue that Iraq wasn't a credible threat to the United States. But the UN Charter doesn't require that the enemy nation be a credible threat; it just requires that attacks have taken place. They did, end of story.

Not that any of this will change Cook's mind. You can't reason a man out of a belief he didn't reason himself into.

Robert Cook said...

"So...your argument is that most Americans are pretty stupid and will go along, lemming-like."

No, I said simply that while I did not believe Bush's arguments promoting war against Iraq, many Americans accepted and believed his lies...as he intended they do. This doesn't make them stupid...it just means they trusted the President in a time of anxiety and fear, (which the administration did much to keep boiling), and could not accept he would lie about such grave matters.

"Aside from the amazing condescension of that position, and that it's awfully convenient to argue folks who don't do what you think are stupid...."

How is my position condescending? It's absolutely true that many, perhaps most, Americans believed the President's lies at the time, and it's just as true that there are a considerable number who still believe them as having been true.

But then, it seems many Americans looked at Bush then and look at him now and see an honorable man, an honest man, a good man and this just always flummoxed me. From the start, it has always been apparent he is none of those things, that he is a spoiled child of privilege, a smug entitled asshole and bully...a real life blend of Doug Niedermeyer and Greg Marmalad (from "Animal House," of course).

There are many stupid Americans of course, and many of them spend their time explaining away the crimes of the Bush administration and calling the slaughter and torture of Iraqi and Afghanistan civilians as "just" and in "defense of our country."

Not that is just plain dirt dumb.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Robert Cook:

Before this thread dies, I want to say that while I disagree with you, you've made your points respectfully (at least to me; President Bush might complain!). I appreciate that.

For my part, I was a little snarky a couple of times. I'd prefer to make my points without any snark, and thanks for setting a good example.

davis,br said...

There are many stupid Americans of course, and many of them spend their time explaining away the crimes of the Bush administration and calling the slaughter and torture of Iraqi and Afghanistan civilians as "just" and in "defense of our country."

There are many stupid Americans of course, and one of them just spent a great deal of effort fruitlessly imagining - with a decided lack of logic and scant regard to sensibility - that the obligation of the Bush administration to respond to acts of war and abrogation of treaties was a criminal act ...rather then the natural outcome of provocations against innocent civilians by agents (whether - or both - in secundum and/or in primarium) of the nations involved in subsequent reaction to said provocation.

Some of us - those with at least a smattering of sense, and a more than rudimentary grasp of history, would rather not drink the koolaid of self-destruction and self-loathing that you seem to have deeply imbibed, Mr. Cook.

...useful idiots indeed.

...but at least both despicable and loathsome; you do have that going for you.

Fr Martin Fox said...

(And I'm letting you have the last word; I think I said all I came to say.)

davis,br said...

...I obviously do not share your sentiments Fr Martin Fox, about the tenor of the exchange ...and my expressed views on the other gentleman are not reflective of what I think of your arguments.

former law student said...

But if you're asking if I have anything ready-to-hand, no.

Right, I didn't want to put you to any significant trouble; I just figured you might have consulted some for your own purposes. So I really appreciate your own analysis.