February 18, 2007

Don't do it, Hillary.

Don't listen to him. I want to be able to love you, and I think there are a lot of people in my part of the electorate.

Listening to the lefty bloggers won't get you far. You know what happened to Edwards after he embraced them:
A new Zogby poll of 500 likely Iowa Democratic caucus-goers found Clinton tied with Edwards with 24 percent, followed by Illinois Sen. Barack Obama with 18 percent. A month ago, Edwards was at 27 percent, Obama at 17 percent and Clinton at 16 percent.

ADDED: People are reading way too much into my offhanded use of the word "love." I never really "love" politicians. "Accept" would have been a better term.


peter hoh said...

Pissing off the lefty bloggers may be the best tactic that Hillary has. She'd be wise not want to do it too early, but it's got to be done.

Gerry said...

I don't think Hillary cares one iota if people like you love her. All she wants is your vote, and she probably thinks (correctly I guess, barring a Giuliani nomination from the GOP) that she will get most of the vote from people like you, even if she courts her party's left flank to the exclusion of its center.

Gahrie said...

If I was a Democratic candidate, the first thing I would do (given his track record) is exactly the opposite of anything Markos told me to do.

hdhouse said...

then what are bloggers? really?

are they reporters? no
are the commentators? some but mostly there is vanity blogging and if you can gorilla enough to get readership or page visits, well, there you go.

blogs, including this one, serve the roll of the central square kiosk now replaced by the Kroger Posting Bulletin Board. Unfortunately posting blogs have questionable accuracy and therein lies the problem. Who knows what is true - on here or anywhere.

In Hillary's case, there will be blogs set up, linked to, and visited in an attempt to get under her skin. There will be a ton of swifboatinaccuracy dredged up and after a while will transform into urban myth.

Hillary can take a shot at it now or later and it won't matter. This is the sorcerer's apprentice medium of all time.

AJD said...

Sunday with Annie's Kos Obession Disorder. Some things are so predictable it is comforting.

But about this: "I want to be able to love you, and I think there are a lot of people in my part of the electorate."

Now really, professor, that's just a lie and you know it.

LoafingOaf said...

First of all, is a 3% drop even outside the margin of error?

But it's irrelevant, because you misread that news article due to the misleading way it and its headline were written.

That Zogby poll was taken Feb. 9, and the reason for the changes in numbers (mostly a Hillary surge) was Hillary anouncing her campaign.

It's possible that the Catholic League's attacks on Marcotte, their lies about McEwan, and all the B.S. that's been flying around the blogosphere on all sides ever since, has hurt Edwards in Iowa, but this post might need to be corrected.

Theo Boehm said...

I, too, am inclined to vote for Sen. Clinton, although I certainly do not now nor ever will "love" her.

I think I am a typical swing voter in Althouse's camp. Although I pay attention to blogs, I take them for what they are, รก la hdhouse.

I frankly don't mind a candidate kissing up to blogs on the extremes. Kissing up to extreme groups in any party has been done forever to hold on to votes they represent. Hdhouse is absolutely right, though, about the Sorcerer's Apprentice nature of the blog world.

Anyway, as of now, Sen. Clinton has no viable opponent in either party. Obama doesn't have the money or deep connections of the Clintons, and Edwards just self-destructed. I will tell you, as a Catholic, that Catholic voters pay no more attention to blogs than anyone else, but they do have antennae for anti-Catholicism. Edwards now has, fairly or unfairly, among the wider Catholic community the firm reputation as the anti-Catholic candidate.

On the Republican side, Mitt Romney is the proverbial man on the wedding cake, stiff and offputting. He may communicate crisply, but who cares what he has to say? McCain is too old, too devious, and frankly too scary to be elected. Giuliani is also too old/too sick with too many skeletons in too many closets. I think Cedarford called it the "Giuliani ossuary."

So, I think it's all over. The only question I have is where will Bill wind up when the dust settles after the new Clinton Administration is elected?

somefeller said...

"The only question I have is where will Bill wind up when the dust settles after the new Clinton Administration is elected?"

Bill will wind up in big, luxurious office, enjoying many a belly laugh at the expense of his adversaries.

Hillary doesn't need to get the love of the voters, just the vote of enough of them to win in the Electoral College. Ann, if gaining your love is a requirement for your vote, I think Hillary needs to spend her efforts elsewhere.

That having been said, while she needs to do some damage control per her Iraq vote, playing up to the lefty blogosphere isn't a good move for her. The perpetual complainer factor is much higher in the blogosphere than in the real world, and they'll never be loyal supporters for her. Better for her to focus on middle-class white females as a voting group. They are the swing voters who will count in the next election.

Joe Baby said...

Althouse has a Kos obsession?

As a regular reader, I figured this was crap...my recollection is that Althouse rarely mentions him.

So go to the upper left hand portion of the webpage, type in "Kos", and click on "Search Blog."

Generally no more than 2 posts per month that even mention Kos. Some obsession.

Theo Boehm said...

I might add that we know where the Kos/Netroots types will be:

In the same place groups that think they have more influence than they do have always would up.

VICTOR said...

Given that the majority of this country thinks that the Iraq war was a mistake, she could do well to admit she was wrong.

As for pissing of the right blogosphere by appearing to cave in to the nutroots that's no big loss.

Hillary's attempts to "explain" her vote is her main point of weakness. Although no one exists who will formidably challenge her on this it's still a weakness.

VICTOR said...

When Rudy emerges as the frontrunner I'm most interested to see how the likes of Bill Bennett deal with his past - indiscretions. Now that will be fun.

George said...

I'm a swing voter. Though it's unlikely I'd vote for a Democrat for president in 2008 under the present circumstances, Sen. Clinton is on the road to proving that she's got balls.

Or 'scrotum' as they say in prize-winning childrens' books.

AJ Lynch said...

Most of us hear at Althouse are blog addicts and very informed people. Therefore, we are aware of the details about the Edwards's blogger fiasco. I doubt, however, that the average voter or even the average Catholic is aware of Edwards' screwup.

I am going to a shower later to eat the leftovers and will ask the mostly Catholic guests if I am coorect or is Mr. Boehm.

Zeb Quinn said...

Given that the majority of this country thinks that the Iraq war was a mistake, she could do well to admit she was wrong.

Therein encapsulates the essence of the left's (and derivatively the Democrats') biggest problem: an utterly incompetent reading of the tea leaves. Yes, the 30% far left nutbag fringe believes that Iraq was a mistake. But most everyone to the right of that --IOW all the normal folks-- don't think that Iraq was a mistake. To the extent that they disapprove of the war in Iraq it's the way it has been mishandled. Big difference. A difference that the left doesn't get and I'm predicting will be their undoing in 2008. You heard it here first.

LoafingOaf said...

Oops, I'm sorry. I meant that the Zogby poll was released on Feb. 9. It was taken on Feb. 7-8.

The Catholic League's press release on Edwards' bloggers was issued on Feb. 6. Michelle Malkin ran with it on Feb. 7.

The poll's margin error was +/- 4.5 percentage points.

So, at the time of the poll Edwards either didn't drop at all, or maybe dropped slightly, with no relation whatsoever to those lefty bloggers.

Which is why the poll was released by Zogby under the headline: "Hillary Surges on Campaign Announcement, But Edwards, Obama Lurk in Key States" (link above).


A good opinion piece on Hillary's tough spot with the anti-war left is by Hitchens: Year of the Rat: Hillary Clinton scurries away from her old line on Iraq. Worth bookmarking to remember what she said and how she said it.

I've already rejected her due to her spinning positions on the war thus far. Others can give her advice on what position she should take this year on the war to dupe the most voters. That makes me sick.

Giuliani (my choice) vs. Obama would be healthier for the people - a clear choice between between two candidates with whom you know where they stand on the most important issue.

Time to move on from the Clintons as well as the Bush's, IMHO.

DaveG said...

When Rudy emerges as the frontrunner I'm most interested to see how the likes of Bill Bennett deal with his past - indiscretions. Now that will be fun.

That shoe fits both feet. It's not as if the Clinton's have been paragons of virtue.

That's actually one of the few benefits of a Hillary presidency: she already has the china.

dearieme said...

Vote for the Little Madam? Is that in spite of the Cattle Futures business, or because you don't understand how that scam worked?

Anil Petra said...

Guiliani is too old? He is just five years Hillary's senior. You going to raise "cancer" as an issue? His prognosis after successful prostate cancer surgery without reoccurance for so many years is excellent. He would probably have beaten Hillary in 2000, even before 9/11. Theo, your posting was not only foolish, but offensive.

Ruth Anne Adams said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Peter Palladas said...

Yes, the 30% far left nutbag fringe believes that Iraq was a mistake. But most everyone to the right of that --IOW all the normal folks-- don't think that Iraq was a mistake.

Mistake? As in: it was a really dumb mistake to use self-raising flour in that receipe; how could I have been so mistaken as to believe he would phone me; are you mistaking me for someone who gives a toss? And so forth.

No. The invasion of Iraq was not a 'mistake'. It was an illegal act under international law; it was not a 'just war' in its technical [by principle and/or by theology] sense; it was an utterly unnecessary, pointless and counter-productive step to take in any 'war on terror'; it was so screamingly obvious [yes it was] from the outset it would go badly wrong; it was a war based on deliberate lies to the electorate by US [Bush] and UK [Blair] leaders about the supposed threat Saddam Hussein posed to the West or the Middle East; it was a war enacted by one man who can't bang two bricks together and make a noise and another man who can't bang two bricks together without pretending he's holding three bricks; it is a war that has caused, is causing and will cause more suffering to the Iraqi people than anything Saddam could have dreamt of; it is a war that has been fought with weapons of terror, barbarism and cruelty [rape and murder of children do you?]; it is a war that has seriously de-stabilised the Middle East and rendered void any authority either America or Britain has in the area - apart from 'Hey, let's do Iran next buddy.' It is, above all, a war that will continue long after American and British troops have withdrawn. It is an evil and a shameful thing.

If that then is how you define 'mistake' then God help the English language.

And don't you either dare define me as some 'lefty loon.' Firmly to the right of right I am. So I know Hillary and her kind didn't 'make a mistake' in voting for the war - she and hers [like so many gutless frauds among British Labour MPs] voted for the war because it was politically expedient to do so. They knew precisely what they were doing and why.

I have more respect for people who believe the war in Iraq was right then and now, than I do for these turning worms.

vbspurs said...

Do it, Hillary! Do it!

Last nail in the coffin for her candidacy, in terms of showing she has cuillons.

Listen to EVERYTHING that Kos has to say.

Oh, and hire the Marcotte woman. Very smart. And going cheap, too.


Simon said...

"On the Republican side, ... McCain is too old ... [and] Giuliani is also too old/too sick."

This reminds me of the Reagan / Mondale debate - "I will not make age an issue of this campaign. I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent's youth and inexperience."

Simon said...

LoafingOaf said...
"That Zogby poll was taken Feb. 9."

Does that matter? Marcottegate was in full swing by the 9th. To be sure, it hadn't yet gotten absurd (the firing, unfiring and re-firing), but it was on the radar.

M. Simon said...

Dave G. 2:01PM,

I believe she wants a second set.

M. Simon said...

What about the Vietnamese and Cambodians?

What about the Iraqis?

Theo Boehm said...

Anil: Foolish I may be, but not so foolish as to not recognize partisan motives when I see them. It's also hard to avoid giving offense in the modern world. But don't worry. My remarks come pre-denounced.

I will say that as a middle-aged man, I have a number of friends who have had prostate cancer, and I am concerned about it as well. In fact, I'm due for a PSA test next month.

I admire and respect Mr. Giuliani, but I think he has aged appreciably since 9/11. Every person's reaction to disease is different, and I'm concerned not only about Giuliani's stamina, but about the perception of him as sick and old.

I know I will be watching him carefully in the coming months, as he is about the only Republican I could vote for.

Al Lynch: All I know is what I hear in my Church basement over weak coffee. Practically every one of my Catholic friends is aware of Edwards' situation, but not one of them reads blogs. I think the anti-Catholic/Edwards connection has made the mainstream press. I also go to a church where newspaper reading is not unknown among the parishioners, after Mass, of course.

TMink said...

Peter wrote about the Iraq war: "It was an illegal act under international law;"

Our leaders swear to uphold the U.S. Constitution. There is no oath to obey the United Nations or International opinion. We are still a sovereign nation. International Law, whatever that is, is nonbinding.

It is our Constitution that makes us a great nation, that and avoiding the socialism that has given Europe 20% unemployment.

We can discuss whether the Iraq war was justified, prudent, or short sided; but as long as we are a sovereign nation, all we must follow are our own laws and the Constitution.


jakemanjack said...

A vote for Hillary will be a vote to raise your already high taxes.
She has many nanny-state/socialist pet projects to promise and deliver.

Just so long as everyone is okay with that.

SGT Ted said...

You would vote for a person who just last week said that she would confiscate the entire profit margin of a major American company?

Ann, I didn't know you had a taste for socialist totalitarians.

When will you oppose her? When she proposes seizing the assetts of law firms and universities?

Chaufist said...

What part of the populace are you talking about?
I know and your secret is out.
The lawyer, blond hair, female, lesiban populace, that's it, isn't it!
Your a dyke Ann, you and Hillary admit it.

Frieda said...

Clinton already lost me as a voter..she is selling her soul to get the nomination and then what, how can she reclaim it.
I want to see a woman president but not her anymore!!!

Theo Boehm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ann Althouse said...

Hey, you guys took the word "love" awfully seriously. I never actually love politicians, "Accept" would have been a better word.

Theo Boehm said...

Simon: I do hope that Sen. McCain ages as well as President Reagan, but I'm frankly not encouraged by what I see or hear. Also, I don't support McCain for political reasons. He's lost me on the campaign finance issue. I'm something of a First Amendment purist. I hate all restrictions on speech. Period. He's also more conservative on most domestic issues than I am. This conservatism hasn't been emphasized much in the mainstream media for reasons we all know.

BTW, although I disagreed with many of President Reagan's policies, I find I miss the old coot.

As I said, I don't mind candidates appealing to the extremes—as long as we all know they'll be back in the center soon enough. The only difficulty is where the extreme groups hold views that will seriously offend mainstream voters.

Many Catholics, for example, have pretty much discounted the abortion issue, and are not too concerned if a candidate talks about "the right to choose" in a campaign. Abortion is in many ways a settled issue, and candidates yammering the weasel words necessary to get votes don't bother a lot of Catholics I know. Catholics may not like abortion, but it's obvious that the secular society has a different perspective. If a candidate is otherwise a good choice, it makes sense to gulp hard and vote for him or her.

However, many Catholics, like many Jews, are very sensitive to generalized, free-floating hostility. Issue-by-issue, we can talk about it. But if you, as a candidate, associate with aggressively atheistic, anti-Christian, perhaps anti-Catholic individuals and groups, well, it's all over. My Jewish friends react similarly to anti-Semitism. One reason, I suspect, for the very high percentage of Jews who vote Democratic is the cultural memory of old white-shoe Yankee Republican anti-Semitism. The case is often made that Jews could be expected to be represented more evenly in the two parties. Modern Republicans say that given what the party stands for, Jews might take a second look at Republican candidates and policies. Trouble is, the memory of old Republican anti-Semitism still lingers, and for that and a lot of other reasons, Jews remain overwhelmingly Democratic. Catholics tend Democratic for a lot of the same political and philosophical reasons Jews do, but many, like myself, have become swing voters.

The dividing line is less and less between Republicans and Democrats, Catholics and Jews and Protestants, but between atheists and believers, or at least those who respect religion. Many Catholics I know, for example, are very supportive of Joe Lieberman. In the not-too-distant past, an observant Jew such as Sen. Lieberman would have been the object of some scorn, to say the least, among certain Catholics. In the past forty or fifty years, there has been a growing realization that we all, Christians and Jews, worship the same God, and our very real theological differences are nothing as compared to our differences with the aggressive atheist elements in our political and cultural life. Jews and Catholics often hold similar views about social and economic justice, and it is incredibly painful to see aggressively anti-religious people appropriating many of these same positions, but inform them with a kind of snarky groupthink that only serves to alienate traditionally religious and mainstream voters.

So yes, candidates can and should appeal and interact with groups of all political stripes in and outside the blogosphere. I don't mind if a Democrat kisses up to parts of the Looney Left. I may have a difference of opinion, but we'll work it out through the political process once the Democrat is elected. Similarly, I don't care if Republicans want the support of snake-chuckers on the Repulsive Right. But once a candidate has associated with those who mock and heap scorn on religious people and work against their interests, that candidate has touched a third rail in American politics. This nation remains a hugely religious one. And so I shed no tears for Sen. Edwards in his unbelievable stupidity.

I suspect Sen. Clinton will make no such mistake.

hdhouse said...

This is my point exactly:

"dearieme said...
Vote for the Little Madam? Is that in spite of the Cattle Futures business, or because you don't understand how that scam worked.."

Dearieme leaves out that this has been investigated to death for how many years???? drum roll please....28 years! yes nearly 3 decades and by the likes of every two bit neocon who can walk and chew gum and a shitload of them who could do neither. and for what? nada! zip! zero!

so out trots little bloggerette dearieme with this on sentence zapper like it is breaking news...dititdititditit...breaking news...Hillary made 100k over 10 months 30 years ago and we looked at it for 30 years and found zip....MORE TO FOLLOW~~

That is the effect of bloggers and blogging at their worst. Just tireless old bullshit...dug up to make some one shine for 15 minutes.

and Thanks Theo Boehm....I'd rather not respond on a public board to your other thread's questions...please contact...x wife was not only a lawyer but a flutist as well (Alex Murray and Baron decades ago) probably crossed paths.

Baiting neocons is actually almost as much fun as Ravel.

Simon said...

Theo - I wasn't suggesting for a moment that I'm in favor of McCain, only that his age isn't really an issue. I'm far more concerned about his views on immigration and the first amendment (and to some extent, his views on federalism, although his position on gay marriage is reassuring to me) than his age. That having been said, though, I will say this: I'm by no means ready to sign onto the "over my dead body" view of McCain. My esteemed SF co-blogger Pat is far more hostile to McCain than am I - although I agree with his assesment (and yours) of McCain's deficiencies, I'm perhaps a little more sanguine on the grounds that McCain is one of only two Republicans I think can win the '08 election at top of ticket (the other is Giuliani), and realistically speaking, I'll take a candidate who is weak on the First Amendment who's weak on everything.

"The dividing line is less and less between Republicans and Democrats, Catholics and Jews and Protestants, but between atheists and believers, or at least those who respect religion."

I think that's basically right - it's between the militant atheists on the left, and all the rest of us (I'm an agnostic, but for reasons too long and boring to explain, I feel far more comfortable with religious people than I do with atheists).

joelr said...

This is just too easy. Zuniga has set Hillary up for her Sistah Souljah moment, and all she has to do is cash in on it.

And -- best for her; not so good for those of us who would very much rather she not be President -- she's pretty much triangulated the Kos Kidz Kollective permanently; she can pull the trigger on that any time that she needs to, and doesn't have to rush.

LoafingOaf said...

Simon: Does that matter? Marcottegate was in full swing by the 9th. To be sure, it hadn't yet gotten absurd (the firing, unfiring and re-firing), but it was on the radar.

See my follow-up. The poll was conducted on Feb 7-8 and measured the impact of Hillary announcing her campaign, thus Althouse unknowingly misrepresented it.

The Edwards bloggers themselves didn't know they were a controversy until the evening of the 6th. The scandal was in "full swing" - in terms of influencing mainstream voters - not when Mary Katherine Ham was posting, but around the time The O'Reilly Factor picked it up.

It's not Althouse's fault for the error. The article she linked to was poorly worded. But InstaPundit has linked and thousands are thinking the poll measured something it didn't.

While we're awaiting polls that show what the scandal did to Edwards, let it be noted that Bill Donohue still hasn't been fired by the Catholic League despite troubling charges of bigotry going back years.

It seems the Catholic League is willing to abide a hater as their president for years whereas Edwards distanced himself from two controverisal peons within days.

Despite their poor judgment in picking and sticking with their president, the Catholic League may come out of this unscathed (see Camille Paglia's condemnation of the sickly partisan blogosphere for why - linked yesterday by Althouse).

But should we be giving Donahue's manipulations credit for poll results he had nothing to do with?

Mortimer Brezny said...

My problem with McCain is I have no idea what kinds of judges he would nominate, given some of the legislation he has sponsored.

LoafingOaf said...

The tug-o-war over which direction Hillary will go on the biggest issue for the purposes of her campaign - whether she'll triangulate or veer leftwards - kinda bugs me. Why are people bothering to tug over a phoney?

Can we have respectable candidates who will talk straight about what they believe on the biggest issue? If Clinton wants to be respectable she should state what she believes. Why would someone be open to loving a candidate who won't do that?

Why would someone want to see a president sworn in in 2009 without the country having had clear choices in a healthy debate? And without having the faintest idea what she'd actually do in office?

Clintons. Psh.

I would be upset, worried, and fearing the worst if certain anti-war candidates were sworn in, but this country has got to have a healthy election with clear choices where the majority can decide what foreign policy they actually support.

TallDave said...

Hard to believe anyone takes them seriously. I mean, given that in actual elections the nutroots are what... 0-29? 1-26?

Remember Ned Lamont?

Richard Fagin said...

"We're going to take things away from you for your own good!", she screamed. Really, seh screamed it into the microphone. Her passion about taking things away from us was crystal clear.

Prof. Althouse, do you really want to love that?

vnjagvet said...

Hillary's major problem, IMO, is that she will be the complete center of attention for the next two years. There is only one person who may be in the news more than she will, and that is the current president (and that will not be true in the latter part of 2008).

Unlike her husband, Hillary does not seem to thrive under that kind of spotlight.

I have my doubts that she can weather that constant scrutiny, no matter the skill of her vaunted PR machine and other handlers.

Peter Palladas said...

International Law, whatever that is, is nonbinding.


...to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained...

Leave the Security Council then would you?

Kirk said...

Peter Palladas,

Point taken: you're a loon on the right. Is that any better?

Theo Boehm said...

Simon: Yes, the other issues are a worry about McCain, as well, but I agree that he shouldn't get the "over my dead body" treatment. A few short years ago he could have become President by acclamation were that possible. I must say, frankly, I don't support him and wouldn't vote for him, but he is certainly a worthy candidate with a plausible chance, as we look at it today, of winning.

Thanks for restating my position more succinctly and elegantly: "...it's between the militant atheists on the left, and all the rest of us."

I have absolutely no issue with people who identify themselves as agnostics, or who doubt the existence of a God as defined by traditional religion. I have taken these paths myself. But, like you, I have always been more comfortable around religious people. And I have always realized that, as inadequate as so much organized religion and theology is, it represents an ancient human need and tradition. To attack it is to attack one of the bedrocks of all human society throughout the ages.

Mortimer: Yes, that is a question, isn't it? What would a McCain-appointed judiciary look like?

Loafing Oaf: It would be wonderful if we could indeed have a "...healthy election with clear choices...." I'm afraid there are too many ambiguities, as ever. First and foremost, Sen. Clinton or any other realistic candidate wants to win. And, sadly, there is so much disunity in the land, that any candidate who would win must appeal to people of differing views. It would be nice if we had a candidate who could unite the country, but failing that, we will probably have candidates who will lie to us.

M. Simon said...

tall dave,

Hillary remembers Lamont.

Smokin' Joe lost the primary.

Could Hillary run for President as an independent?

Simon said...

Mortimer - I think the answer is "better ones than would any Democrat running." That isn't good enough for me in a primary, of course, but it's good enough for me to support McCain if he gets the nomination.

Peter - in my view, a treaty signed by the United States "may bind the conduct of the executive branch, but it cannot restrain Congress ... [A]n act of Congress, by definition, cannot violate a treaty, because all ratified treaties are born coequal to, not superior to, Federal law." Although the Supremacy Clause incorporates our ratification of the United Nations treaty, since "no treaty obligation can bind the hands of Congress, ... [and] since this war was begun with an explicit [Congressional] authorization to use military force, see Pub. L. 107-243, that authorization supercedes any and all treaty obligations to the contrary, leges posteriores priores contrarias abrogant, which renders such obligations void unless they can be finessed per Charming Betsy."

TMink said...

Peter asked a cogent question: "Leave the Security Council then would you?"

Yes, sounds like a good idea now that you mention it. And how about we stop funding 40% of the UN budget while we are at it. And wouldn't it be better if the UN relocated to say, Geneva? I view the UN as a cesspool of corruption and posturing. It is a 24/7 non-binding resoloution masturbatory con job.

Let me think on it a little more and I will tell you how I really feel!


Blue Texan said...

Speaking of polls, don't 63% of Americans opppose the surge? Isn't that Kos' position? So, wouldn't it be prudent to adopt Kos' position?

And actually, Ann - there's not a lot of people like you in the electorate--unless you think the 30% that supports Bush and the less than that that supports the war is "a lot."

Simon said...

Theo- re McCain, I hope you mean that you wouldn't vote for him in a primary, in which case I entirely agree. I can't imagine myself voting for McCain in the primary, unless Rudy jumps out and Newt doesn't jump in, but if he's the nominee, I'll grudgingly support him. There's simply too much at stake in 2008 to engage in a circular firing squad about whether the nominee is good enough. I'll bet a significant amount of money on John Paul Stevens and Ruth Ginsburg retiring before 2012.

Re religious matters - faith is not sufficient, of course, but is is certainly necessary. I lack it, and that's something I regard as a significant failing. But even lacking it myself, I agree very much that "as inadequate as so much organized religion and theology is, it represents an ancient human need and tradition. To attack it is to attack one of the bedrocks of all human society throughout the ages." Even the agnostic conservative (or, for that matter, the atheist conservative) should be sympathetic to the traditional role of religion in society.

Of course, "to attack one of the bedrocks of all human society throughout the ages," in service of replacing it with whatever solutions they can devise from the genius of their own rational minds, is precisely the goal of the left. I think that you might very much enjoy Michael Oakeshott's essay Rationalism in Politics, which you can read online split into two parts here and here (I also commend it very much to all other readers); Oakeshott observes that "[t]o the Rationalist, nothing is of value merely because it exists (and certainly not because it has existed for many generations)[;] familiarity has no worth, and nothing is to be left standing for want of scrutiny. And his disposition makes both destruction and creation easier for him to understand and engage in, than acceptance or reform. To patch up, to repair (that is, to do anything which requires a patient knowledge of the material), he regards as waste of time: and he always prefers the invention of a new device to making use of a current and well-tried expedient."

Mortimer Brezny said...


But it is still (pre) primary season. Guiliani has already said he favors judges in the mold of Roberts, Alito, and Scalia, and leaving controversial issues to the states. Romney has gone whole hog over to the right.

But McCain has these strange issues -- aside from abortion and gay marriage -- like the First Amendment and so forth, that one wonders about. What is your reply to that?

Simon said...

Mortimer - no, I agree with you about McCain's problems, so I don't have any reply. Let it not be thought that I come to defend him. ;) My position on him is that I'd prefer that he wasn't the nominee, but that I'll get behind him if he is, and will be disappointed if intramural disagreements in the GOP lead to people declining to support him (or worse yet, a third party candidacy). I blame the people who walked out on Bush 41 for Ginsburg and Breyer, and if we lose the election because people couldn't put their concerns over McCain aside for the greater good, I'll blame those people when President Clinton 44 nominates Joe Biden to the Supreme Court. So I don't support McCain in the primary, but I will support whomever our nominee is, even if it's McCain, and would implore anyone else who doesn't think that the Supreme Court doesn't matter all that much to do the same.

The only exception to the foregoing is if the primary field contains no one other than McCain who can win the election. If Giuliani ducks out, and it's between Sam Brownback and McCain, then in that circumstance, I can entertain the idea that I could support McCain, not really out of any hostility towards Brownback, but because he won't win.

Let me also add, there was some speculation by various commenters in response to Ann's post about Rudy on Sean Hannity's show as to why Giuliani excluded Justice Thomas from his list of models. But when you go back and watch the show -- as I subsequently did when it inevitably showed up on YouTube -- the reason is because Hannity named Scalia, Alito and Roberts (I dissent in the strongest possible terms, by the way, from the suggestion that those three Justices are of a piece and fit the same mold, but that's another discussion).

M. Simon said...

Stance on the war

53% of Dems think winning is important.
63% of Independents
85% of Republicans

43% of Dems are hopeful.
80% of Republicans
53% of Independents.

If the Dems go with their rabid base and repudiate the mainstream they are gonners in '08.

OTOH if they repudiate their base and go with the mainstream they are gonners.

Tough choice.

Kirk said...


"And wouldn't it be better if the UN relocated to say, Geneva?"

What a terrible idea! Geneva is a nice place; and the Swiss, despite some questionable dealings half a century ago with those People Godwin Says We Shouldn't Mention, are really fairly OK people. Why foist the UN on them??? No, if it has to be relocated (instead of the simpler solution of just disbanding) then Harare is the place. Either that, or Pyongyang.

Other than that, your views on the UN are exemplary.

Mortimer Brezny said...


My recollection is that Guiliani brought up Roberts and Alito and noted that he respected them and worked with them and supported their nominations; Hannity brought up Scalia and Guiliani then talked about how great Scalia was and incorporated him into his answer. I thik Hannity knew not to push for Thomas because Guiliani's whole point in appearing was to reassure the base while also seeming moderate. Roberts and Alito sound moderate -- Scalia is known as a bomb-thrower.

The only reason I thought you supported McCain is because you and he seem to share a dislike of free speech. Everytime I mention how hot Ann is you go bonkers.

Blue Texan said...

If the Dems go with their rabid base and repudiate the mainstream they are gonners in '08.

I don't think "mainstream" means what you think it means. Tell me how many people support:

a) the president (who's a Republican)
b) the president's Iraq policy
c) the surge
d) setting a timetable for withdrawl

If you said (d) is the largest number, you're correct!

A-C is nowhere near the mainstream. 30s. 20s. Antithetical to mainstream.

Also, what is the specific policy difference between the "rabid base" (in this case, supposedly Kos) on the war, and the numbers for a-c?

Answer: none.

But hey, if you think running on Bush's war is a winner for the GOP in '08---I absolutely strongly encourage you to do so.

It worked so well in November.

Simon said...

Mort - you seem to conflate the natural law right to free speech with the First Amendment restraint on government supression of free speech, then, which I don't. :) Saying that I think you should be a little more discrete is a far cry from saying government should be able to step in and stop you.

Re Scalia, Giuliani and Hannity - I'm not sure you're right, but the video is here,so folks can make their own mind up. It isn't that much of a big deal. Without implying any disrespect for Thomas, I'd rather a Scalia than a Thomas in any event. There's not many people who I hold in higher regard, or who I find myself more wont to agree with, than Nino.

Simon said...

And for Pete's sake, it's not every time, Mort. And it isn't just you - I thought Peter went a little far the other day and said so. And, lookit, I know for a fact that I've gone too far on occaision, and sometimes - as, unfortunately, anyone who subscribes to comment threads through Atom may know - I realize it after I hit "publish" and often that means deleting it and hoping that nobody noticed.

Theo Boehm said...

Simon:  First of all, thanks for Oakeshott links.  I'm printing the essay out for bedtime reading.  (Unlike our hostess, I don't take my computer to bed.)  I also have an Edmund Burke anthology on the nightstand, so I may poke into that as the spirit moves me.

I don't want to shock you too much, but, liking Burke as I do, I'm still going to vote in the Democratic primary, most likely for Sen. Clinton.  And I plan to vote for Hillary in the general election if the opportunity presents itself.

My personal outlook is neither conservative nor liberal in present-day terms, but more eclectic and informed by the social and moral teachings of the Catholic Church as well as other religious and ethical traditions.

What does that mean in practical terms?  For one thing, I am in favor of a single-payer health care system of some sort for this country.  I am in favor of greater union representation for working people, and efforts through the tax code and other means to reduce income inequality.  Immigration remains a difficult problem, but I will always be in favor of anything that will reduce human suffering in the aggregate.

You get the idea.  When it comes to voting and acting politically, I'm something of a traditional, meat-and-potatoes Catholic Democrat, who has been driven into the arms of the Republicans occasionally by the antics of the Looney Left tendency in the Democratic Party. Also, living as I do in one-party Massachusetts, I sometimes vote Republican out of sheer cussedness. 

So, while I'm very happy to discuss politics and anything else with conservatives, I'm really not of that persuasion.  The reason I like solving the problems of the world with conservatives is for the same reason that I suspect Althouse attracts and interacts with so many:  They tend to be rational and keep civil tongues in their heads.

I had the distinct pleasure a few weeks ago of having dinner with a priest I know who is far to the Left politically.  He is a warm, kind, intelligent and genuinely spiritual person.  He is also an expert on Catholic labor history, and has written quite a bit on the subject.  I may be asking too much, but where are the Left interlocutors here on the Internet who reflect even some of this man's essential civility and humanity?

Until the utopia arrives of all participants being civil, rational, and sometimes amusing, I will be happy to carry on a discussion with anyone who embodies these qualities, Simon being first among equals.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Mort - you seem to conflate the natural law right to free speech with the First Amendment restraint on government supression of free speech, then, which I don't.* :) Saying that I think you should be a little more discrete is a far cry from saying government should be able to step in and stop you

*I don't believe that the First Amendment guarantees the right to free speech. What the First Amendment does is to prevent the government from taking away that right to free speech,

Actually, I think what you meant here is discreet. If I were more discrete, I would probably have to be more particular and graphic, which would probably take me rom innuendo all the way to pornography. (So, you're the one conflating concepts.)

As for the First Amendment, I would substantively agree, but I think you're equivocating on the word guarantee. When most people think of obstacles to exercising rights, they think of government prohibition. The First Amendment gets rid of government prohibition, so in that sense it's a guarantee -- that the government won't prohibit your speech. I don't think anyone (except some nutty law professor) is twisting the First Amendment into a guarantee -- or a positive benefit -- e.g., a subsidy for megaphones or a tax-break for starting up a newspaper for every citizen. So I disagree that the First Amendment does not guarantee free speech; it does, by forbidding government interference. But I agree that the First Amendment does not mandate that the government send each citizen a printing press.

That said, I do think you support policing the content of the speech of others, which certainly runs afoul of the spirit of our First Amendment jurisprudence.

Seven Machos said...

Lefties -- I am late to the party but, please, tell us: what international laws did the United States break by invading Iraq and how are we bound by those laws and who is the enforcer of those laws? Is it the same international law that the USSR broke when invading Hungary? That Great Britain and/or Argentina broke invading the Falklands? That France broke trying to enforce its colonial power in Algeria?

Having spent professional some time at the UN myself -- the entity I'm assuming you will resort to -- I am very curious about your deep insights here. I look forward to the enlightenment.

Simon said...

Theo - in many ways, Oakeshott built on Burke, so if you're sympathetic to the latter, the former should appeal. My only objection to both is that they lack any external pressure valve - a way to appeal to transcendant moral concerns over issues that may be deeply imbedded in traditional practise but that are so morally repugnant as to demand action to repudiate them. Defeating slavery and segregation, for example, or breaking the back of entrenched patriarchy, both of which required action that I have little doubt Burke would have lost sleep over, but both of which were necessary.

I also agree that those with religious views are obligated to consider how those views translate into the political domain and vote accordingly. I'm not sure how a Burkeian Catholic gets to voting for Hillary, but I'll try to gently nudge you the other way over the next two years. ;) The force (of argument) is with us. ;)

It's worth noting that a person can have conservative instincts without necessarily being politically conservative; I'm sure HDH's brain will start to hurt when I say this, but I really do consider myself to be a moderate; I'm happy to accept the label conservative, and I'll use it to refer to my views (especially in terms of jurisprudence), but I can sympathize with Ann's experience in Chicago with the libertarians - put me in a room with the guys from Red State or Powerline, and I'm the token liberal in the room. I'm going to be in Chicago next week, and one of the items on the docket (IIRC) is gay marriage, a subject that I'm probably going to be the most sanguine guy in the room on.

Lastly, I'm not sure that someone who looks to Justice Scalia and Thomas Brackett Reed as role models can claim to be "first among equals" in civility, but I'll blush and take the compliment - if I'm not living up to Tom and Nino, I'm at least pleased to be failing upwards. ;)

Seven Machos said...

Peter -- Reading further through the thread, you have no idea about the organization of the UN or the scope of its power.

Simon said...

"Actually, I think what you meant here is discreet."

You're right; that's a typo on my part. Sorry.

As for the First Amendment, I think we're in substantial agreement; it's a distinction that has more impact on other rights, but even in the free speech context, I get sick of people claiming that private actors are abridging their first amendment rights ("the blog admin deleted my post, wah wah, first amendment, wah wah, christofascist"). Likewise, that I would urge you to perhaps retain a respectful level of abstraction doesn't even amount to a violation of the spirit of First Amendment cases - if I was a member of Congress, I couldn't vote for a law obligating you to moderate your tone, but as a private individual, I can suggest that you ought to.

And besides, I think that you're generalizing a rule from a pattern of behavior that is plainly limited to its facts. If you want to go over to Feminist Law Profs and make those kind of comments about Ann Bartow, go for it. ;)

Peter Palladas said...

Peter -- Reading further through the thread, you have no idea about the organization of the UN or the scope of its power.

...it's not that difficult really. I say jus in bello; you say MCA, or gravy or whatever takes your fancy

Mortimer Brezny said...

but as a private individual, I can suggest that you ought to.

But you aren't making a suggestion. You're condemning me simply because I don't share your prudishness, and you won't stop!

And that Ann Bartow is thin-skinned, I suspect, has nothing to do with feminism. Rather, I suspect, feminism is a convenient outlet.

TMink said...

Hey Kirk, I have never been to Geneva, so please forgive my unintended threat to that apparently great city.

There is a place in the Cayman Islands known primarily for postcards and the the tiny post office. Post cards sent from that location typically say "Wish you were here."

It is of course, the hamlet of Hell. Perhaps we have solved the relocation dilemma.


Simon said...

Mort, I didn't mean to pick on Bartow, per se, I just needed a convenient example to illustrate the point that you seem to be wrongly assuming that my objection is a general rule, rather than a specific and particularized concern.

As to the other point, it starts to feel as though I'm repeating myself. I'm not "condemning" you, merely advancing suggestions. And it isn't even restricted to just you, as noted upthread.

Theron said...

Ann, if you love her, (or find her acceptable) after what she's already done, you can't not love her.

How you gonna leave him for good when you already took him back the last 10 times he hit you?

Bruce Hayden said...

The idea that we violated international law when we invaded Iraq is the usual liberal untruth that they believe that if they say it enough, enough people will believe it, that it will become the truth.

But above and beyond all the debate about whether treaties can bind Congress, what must be remembered is that we invaded pursuant to U.N. Security Council resolutions that were enacted pursuant to the First Gulf War as a result of Iraq's invasion of Kuwait. There was a cease fire with Saddam Hussein's Iraq, that he repeatedly violated. And those violations were the legal justification for our incursion into Iraq to finish what we would have finished a decade earlier, if he hadn't signed the cease fire.

Of course, there is a real possibility that we would have lost the Security Council's blessing if we had let it come up to another vote, since Saddam had effectively bribed two, and maybe three, of the permanent members of the Council through the Oil for Bribes (sorry, Food) program/scandal.

But legally, because the Cease Fire was so repeatedly violated, we didn't need anything else. Nothing. We had it.

And note that there haven't been any credible claims by any parties with real interest that our incursion into Iraq was illegal under international law - whatever that means.

Fen said...

Also note, that under international law and Geneva Convention [which the Left loves so much], an occupying power is obligated to rebuild the country.