Friday, November 30, 2007

The public includes liberals -- Republicans outraged!

The gay general at the CNN/YouTube debate has turned into a major controversy (lol) among Republicans who are shocked and confused to discover that the general public includes people across the political spectrum. Here are some excerpts in the relevant threads at

I really question Republican Candidates agreeing to go on CNN for their debates especially after incident like last night where the questioners turn up to be Clinton and Obama supporters instead of supposedly Conservative thinkers.
At least six of the questioners were people with ties or allegiences to Democratic Party politicians, candidates, and activist groups.

Heavens no, CNN allowed Democrats to ask questions too? Somebody get Michelle Malkin on the Bat phone!

But the ISSUE is as to CNN's credibility. They presented this debate as being one to allow the public to pose via online video questions to the GOP candidates. Instead, they appear to have produced a work of theatre with a cast of predictable, sufficiently Liberal posers functioning as "questioners."

So...liberals who ask questions are not "questioners" but are merely posing as questioners...and "the public" does not include those liberals. Curious.

Perhaps the GOP has gotten a little too used to pre-screened Town Hall meetings where a "No Blood for Oil" bumper-sticker gets you ejected.

There are legitimate complaints to be made about the CNN/YouTube debate; mainly that most of the questions were stupid and uninformative, designed to trip up candidates for gotcha moments or to allow them to mindlessly pander, with a dose of pure comedy mixed in. The selection process appears designed to be maximally insulting to thinking Americans or the product of drunken monkeys with dartboards.

That questions from the general public included questions from non-Republicans is not a legitimate complaint, it is an inane and incoherent one.

A slightly more sophisticated complaint is that questions from skeptics are acceptable but that Democrats didn't receive any in their parallel debate. For your reading pleasure I will now reproduce all the questions from the CNN/YouTube Democratic debate that appear to be Republican-influenced or otherwise gotcha questions:

I have a question for Hillary Clinton. Mrs. Clinton, how would you define the word "liberal?" And would you use this word to describe yourself? Thank you.

Spider-sense tingling!

My question is for Mike Gravel. In one of the previous debates you said something along the lines of the entire deaths of Vietnam died in vain. How do you expect to win in a country where probably a pretty large chunk of the people voting disagree with that statement and might very well be offended by it? I'd like to know if you plan to defend that statement, or if you're just going to flip-flop.

This guy probably wasn't a Gravel fan. I'm just guessing here though.

This here question's for all you candidates. Mainstream media seems awfully interested in old Al Gore these days. Is he losing weight? What's it say in his book? Is he still worried about all the ice? They interpret all these as signs that he may or may not run. They really want to know if Al Gore's going to run again. Yes. Well, what we want to know is does that hurt you-all's feelings?

This guy made fun of the candidates and Al Gore at the same time. Bonus points. The Gravel guy must have been embarrassed by this clever upstaging.

(SINGING) Pay taxes on my clothes and food, pay taxes on my place, pay taxes on my moisturizer, I pay taxes on my weights. I pay taxes on my land. Every year, y'all make me pay. I pay tax on this guitar so I can sing for you today. My taxes put some kids in college I can't afford to send myself. Now, tell me, if you were elected president, what would you do to help? Also, I got a parking ticket last week. Could one of y'all pardon me?

This guy would probably make a better living if he ditched the singer/songwriter gig, it's just not working.

My name is Marcus Benson from Minneapolis. And I'd like to know, if the Democrats come into office, are my taxes going to rise like usually they do when a Democrats gets into office?

Because one question on Democrats overtaxing people clearly wasn't enough. I suspect Marcus may be a "plant" and not actually a dyed-in-the-wool Democrat.

Hi. My name is Chris Nolan and I'm a Democratic precinct committeeman from Mundelein, Illinois. And my question is for Hillary Clinton.
With Bush, Clinton, and Bush again serving as the last three presidents, how would electing you, a Clinton, constitute the type of change in Washington so many people in the heartland are yearning for, and what your campaign has been talking about?
I was also wondering if any of the other candidates had a problem with the same two families being in charge of the executive branch of government for 28 consecutive years, if Hillary Clinton were to potentially be elected and then re-elected.

Clearly a huge Clinton fan.

Hi, I'm Zenne Abraham in Oakland, California. The cathedral behind me is the perfect backdrop for this question. This quarter reads "United States of America." And when I turn it over, you find that it reads "liberty, in God we trust." What do those words mean to you? Thank you.

I already used the "It's a Trap" picture. I got nothing.

Good evening, America. My name is Jered Townsend from Clio, Michigan.
To all the candidates, tell me your position on gun control, as myself and other Americans really want to know if our babies are safe.
This is my baby, purchased under the 1994 gun ban. Please tell me your views.

That's funny. See the subtle wordplay at work? You're all like "great, this guy just lobbed me a softball" but then he's all like "psych!!! I call my gun my baby 'cause I'm craaaazy!"
I'm going to make yet another indefensible guess that this was sort of a trap question and that the questioner wasn't totally down with the typical Democratic position on guns.


By my count that's eight questions that were hostile to (at least some) Democrats, and most of those also exhibited a clear Republican mindset. Certainly the "liberal" question, the two taxation questions, the gun question and the Gore question at least. So Republicans please stop whining about how some mean old Democrats asked you some trick questions while Democrats got off easy. You got your trick questions in as well.

If you want to complain that the CNN/YouTube debates were vapid go right ahead, I'm right there with you. But the complaint that the debates were biased against Republicans because Democrats got to ask some questions is laughable on every level; open to the general public is the entire premise of the debates and the Democrats were on the receiving end as well.

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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Artful Dodgers Debate

Some disorganized thoughts on the Republican YouTube debates.

Artful dodgers is the best term. All the definitive statements collected together would span perhaps five to ten minutes, and that's only if you include the blatantly silly and pandering tangential statements. In our country we suffer from severely depressed expectations, to the point where a candidate answering a question is a pleasant surprise. How long should we stay in Iraq? As long as we need to, no more no less! How much power should the VP have? As much as he is given by the President!

The military is unprofessional. That was the implicit answer to the question about gays in the military. The question was well-phrased; to paraphrase "why do you believe that American soldiers are too unprofessional to serve alongside gays in the military without it disrupting operations?" That wording cuts to the heart of the issue: if our military is the best trained and best disciplined military in the world why would a few openly gay men throw it into turmoil? The answer is apparently that our military is composed of rampant homophobes who would drop their guns on the battlefield for some spirited gay-bashing instead.

CNN is trying to drum up some controversy by revealing that the questioner is on a Clinton committee. And? These are YouTube debates, where anyone including a devious Clinton partisan can submit questions which are then selected via some agreed-upon process. There is no conflict of interest here or misrepresentation, the rules do not state that only avid Republicans can offer submissions. The man was not posing as a reporter or faking his military service. His question was deemed valid and worthy enough for inclusion, who he is doesn't change that.

McCain was eloquent on torture. What Romney said was nonsense, his typical strategy of dismissing questions as "hypotheticals" unworthy of answer. He's for waterboarding and it's not torture but he's against stating whether he is for or against waterboarding and whether it's torture - did I get that right?

Nobody knows how to rebuild America's reputation. Did a single candidate answer this question at all? The "best" (read: most amusing) answer was that we help typhoon victims so people in Iraq, which is apparently a frequent sufferer of typhoons, should shut up and be thankful. Every answer was some variation on that: let them eat cake. Everyone loves an arrogant bully.

We would have won Vietnam if not for those rascally kids and their dog. You have to love stock Republican tropes straight out of the rhetorical equivalent of central casting.

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The MSM emperor naked

"I have neither the time nor legal background to figure out who's right." (But that won't stop me from writing an entire column based on definitive claims I defend.)

The background: Joe Klein writes an entire column based on something obviously false. Hilarity ensues as Klein and his editors toss out contradictory explanations and follow-ups while digging their shared hole ever deeper.

In a previous post I covered how reporters, rather than report facts, report what people characterize as the facts. This Klein incident is an excellent example of that and more generally of "everything that is rancid and corrupt with our political media." He-said/he-said reporting, opinion columns devoid of standards and fact-checking along with a generous helping of sheer laziness.

"I have neither the time nor legal background to figure out who's right."

Yet he wrote the piece. Joe Klein doesn't know if what he wrote is actually true - but that didn't stop him or his editors. The heart of journalism is verification - ha.

Others have done a wonderful job of bashing Klein. What I want to comment on is not his typically wretched "reporting" but the response to it. Ten years ago the piece would have run and the response would have been a few unpublished letters to the editor. There would be no way for the average Time reader to know that information in his column was fabricated, and no way for the informed reader aware of the fabrications to share that knowledge. To everyone without detailed knowledge of the subject matter Joe Klein would have remained an informed expert.

Mainstream journalists (including Klein here) relentlessly attack blogs while simultaneously attempting to co-opt and corporatize them. The reason is simple: blogs represent a way for people to get information and analysis from sources outside of the mainstream media, and to get negative information about the mainstream media itself.

Blogs are simply writing and information sharing, yet the mainstream media is scared to death of blogging -- because it is increasingly obvious that the mainstream media offers little over amateur enthusiasts. Across the country local coverage and beat reporting is being scaled back, as are in-depth investigations and independent reporting of all kinds. Serious journalists tell us they offer a valuable service that blogs can't provide while their organizations increasingly shuffle staff to online ventures that crudely approximate popular blogs.

The typical MSM attack on blogs is little more than "I'm in a major publication so that must mean I'm good at my job! I mean look - Time Magazine!" That emperor has no clothes.

Thanks to those meanies in the blogosphere the fact that Klein is revered by his peers as a thoughtful and serious journalist takes on a very different light. The peer of an incompetent fraud is another incompetent fraud. (This is a man who staked his credibility on the fact that he didn't write Primary Colors, so yes, fraud is the correct term.) When Joe Klein and his friends tell us that their robes are simply fabulous we no longer have to smile and nod dumbly. Instead some voice in the crowd can point out that his fabulous robes are really his wrinkled naked skin.

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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

Some light turkey day reading.

President Bush, Karl Rove, and other top administration officials were "involved" in misleading the White House press corps about the outing of ex-CIA agent Valerie Plame, a forthcoming book from former Press Secretary Scott McClellan alleges.

Maybe after Thanksgiving I'll try to compile a list of all the former Bush Administration officials with extremely negative things to say after their tenures have ended. That's a long list.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Alan Dershowitz is like totally opposed to torture

Alan makes a brilliant case for torture:

Recently, Israeli security officials confronted a ticking-bomb situation. Several days before Yom Kippur, they received credible information that a suicide bomber was planning to blow himself up in a crowded synagogue on the holiest day of the Jewish year. After a gun battle in which an Israeli soldier was killed, the commander of the terrorist cell in Nablus was captured. Interrogation led to the location of the suicide bomb in a Tel Aviv apartment. Israel denies that it uses torture and I am aware of no evidence that it did so to extract life-saving information in this case.

But what if lawful interrogation failed to uncover the whereabouts of the suicide bomber? What other forms of pressure should be employed in this situation?

We should torture because in Israel not torturing someone worked out great. Got it. A well-chosen example.

What does Alan mean when he says "I am personally opposed to the use of torture" in an op-ed promoting torture? Perhaps it would be better put as "I am opposed to personally torturing" or "I am opposed to being personally tortured." Either of those might make some sense.

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Thursday, November 08, 2007

Bush and Perino, two small children

From the White House Press Briefing today.

Q Why is the President dodging a personal phone call to Musharraf?

MS. PERINO: The President has had his Secretary of State --

Q I'm asking you directly why doesn't he call him?

MS. PERINO: The President feels very strongly that President Musharraf knows exactly how he feels about the situation.

Q That isn't the point.

MS. PERINO: It is the point.

Q Dana, does the White House believe that Musharraf is now a dictator?

MS. PERINO: Look, I think that that is -- it's premature to say that. This is a President --

Q Well, why is premature when the First Lady --

MS. PERINO: -- who has worked closely with an ally in the war on terror, President Musharraf. We're doing two things with them: on the one hand, working cooperatively to take the fight to the enemy, to fight against terrorists; and on the other hand, trying to help President Musharraf and the other members of the Pakistani government to move along the path to democracy, because ultimately what's going to help solve this problem is a free society, a democratic society. And yes, President Musharraf, we believe, has made a mistake. We are gravely concerned about the situation. We are calling for an immediate return back to --

Q But wait a minute, why are you calling it a mistake? You seem to be giving Musharraf the benefit of the doubt.

MS. PERINO: -- we are calling for an immediate return to civilian rule, and we are in communication with them because we have a lot of cooperative interests. We have a broad relationship, and we cannot lose sight of the fact that we have very serious counterterrorism operations that are currently underway in Pakistan as well.

Q Why did -- the First Lady was very clear in her op-ed in The Wall Street Journal about Burma, Myanmar, saying it's a military dictatorship; what they're doing is wrong. We're not hearing the First Lady, we're not hearing the President being that sharp either on Pakistan. Why do you seem to be giving Musharraf the --

MS. PERINO: And what you have heard -- what you have heard from the President and this administration is that we were made aware that this state of emergency could possibly be declared. We have averted it before, in trying to work cooperatively with President Musharraf. This time the President of Pakistan decided that this is the direction he wanted to go in. We disagree with it. We want him to return to civilian rule. We want the normalcy of the democracy to come back. We're in the early stages of this crisis, and it's going to evolve. We're assessing the situation, and we're reviewing our aid packages.

Q But why is it evolving? It's been days that he basically said, no more constitution, and we're going to round up political --

MS. PERINO: We have condemned the action. We have condemned the action. We cannot support any means that are happening outside of the constitution. And that's why we are calling for him to return to the constitution. But remember, this is a country that we want to see democracy. There is a way to get them back on that path. It would be in the best interests of not just the Pakistani people but for people like those of us in the United States, who want to work with an ally in order to fight against terrorists.

Q But why should Musharraf believe that you guys are really serious about what you're saying from this podium when the President doesn't actually pick up the phone and call him to let him know personally? That carries a lot more weight than having Condoleezza Rice or somebody else talk to him.

MS. PERINO: Well, we disagree. The President has made his points very clear with Musharraf; he's had many meetings with President Musharraf. And Secretary Rice has delivered those messages. And we feel that we are going to keep pressuring them to get back to that rule of law, working with our Ambassador, Anne Patterson, who is in constant contact with President Musharraf.

Q It still does not carry the same weight as the President having direct contact with Musharraf -- (inaudible).

MS. PERINO: Well, I'll let you -- I'll let that be your opinion. I'll let that be your opinion.

Q But what is the tactic? I mean, what is the strategic reason for President Bush not to actually pick up the phone and talk to him?

MS. PERINO: I feel confident that the President is being well served and advised by his senior national security team. The decision has been made to have Secretary Rice be the one directed to have this communication.

Q Why shouldn't we see this as double standard? I mean, it's not the same standard as applied to Burma.

MS. PERINO: I can understand why that question would be asked, but I think everyone has to remember that we are in the early days of a crisis, looking at a country who had decided to try to move down the path to democracy in establishing freedom of the press, civil societies, improving the education system, the public health system, allowing for freedom of expression and assembly. Democracies take time to develop. It is not easy. And this is certainly a setback, and we're --

Q Well, they certainly don't have freedom of the press or assembly at the moment.

MS. PERINO: And we have called for a return to it.


Q Dana, where does the review on aid stand?

MS. PERINO: It's still ongoing. It's early to say.

Q I mean, is there a sense of urgency to it? Do you expect any --

MS. PERINO: I can assure that people have been working on this ever since we had heard that the state of emergency may have been what he was going to decide to do, and early on -- early to mid last week that they decided to have Secretary Rice call once again to President Musharraf to make our feelings known. The aid review that you talked about is ongoing. It's interagency, and I don't have anything more on it right now.

Q And more broadly, you've outlined, again, the White House strategy of urging Pakistan to return down a democratic path, reviewing aid. But you also said yesterday that you shouldn't rush -- you shouldn't rush into a strong action.

MS. PERINO: I don't know if I said that. I said that we have to be mindful to make sure that we do not undermine any of our counterterrorism efforts. We have -- the President has to protect the American people. Pakistan is a country where extremists try to take -- are trying to take hold and have a safe haven, and we had to deny them that. And working -- we have been working with the Pakistani government, through President Musharraf, for the past several years on that.

Q What I'm wondering is, are you concerned at all of a world view that perhaps the White House response to this is too passive?

MS. PERINO: We -- I believe our -- look, our allies understand that we have -- that we have a problem here. It is difficult. The world is not tidy. It is certainly a difficult situation in Pakistan right now. But they also understand that we have counterterrorism efforts there. And I believe that the world community would understand that we would like to try to get him back on the path to democracy, to have the free and fair elections, for him to take off his uniform. And that's what we are going to continue to push to do.

Q Dana, may I quick follow, please?

MS. PERINO: I'm just going to go -- since you had a couple, I'm going to go back to others who haven't.


Q Doesn't Musharraf's actions, in rounding up lawyers, judges, activists, people who have opposed him politically, doesn't that betray his stated reason for the state of emergency, which was supposedly to -- out of concern over Islamic militants? Does the White House perceive that --

MS. PERINO: Clearly we are very concerned that people who wanted to express themselves freely would have been put in prison. We would like for them to be released immediately. The common enemy that we all have are the extremists and the terrorists, and it's not just the extremists and the terrorists that want to attack Americans or other Western allies, but they have attacked the Pakistani people as well. That's the common enemy.

Q Has Secretary Rice or anybody else in the government engaged the Pakistani government on this level, saying, why are you arresting people, lawyers --

MS. PERINO: Yes, certainly. Ambassador Patterson and Secretary Rice have been very involved in it. And Steve Hadley has talked to his counterpart as well.

Q And have you had any feedback from the Pakistan government that talked about the Attorney General, about elections? Have they talked at all about --

MS. PERINO: I would say that we do not have official word, and we certainly don't have a date yet. So hesitant to say that for sure that those are going to take place.

Q But, I mean, have they talked about releasing any of those folks that have been arrested?

MS. PERINO: I have not heard that.


Q Can you concede that the U.S. doesn't have the leverage that it once did over Pakistan? And perhaps the reason the President isn't picking up the phone is because it's easier to point out that Musharraf turns his back on Secretary Rice than it is to point out that he turns away from the advice --

MS. PERINO: No, the President feels strongly that he and Musharraf have had a good relationship in the past. They have worked well together to help prevent terrorists, as well as the President has helped him on the way to establishing a free and fair Pakistan, one that is democratic.

The United States is certainly a powerful country, and the President feels very confident that his feelings are well known by the Pakistanis, especially President Musharraf.

Q But as far as our leverage over what's happening in Pakistan.

MS. PERINO: I think that we are quite comfortable with where our leverage is. This is a situation where, look, the United States, we can be a powerful country; we can urge, we can provide aid. But Pakistan is a sovereign nation. And they made a decision that we disagreed with. We think it's a mistake. We'd like to see them move to democracy, because ultimately what they want is peace for their region and peace for their country, and that's going to come from democracy. This is a step backwards. And in order to get to that peace that they say that they want, and that we certainly would like to see, getting back on that path to democracy is the only way to do that.

This is how I used to act when my mom asked me to clean my room or eat my vegetables.

The rich thing about the Pakistan situation is that Musharraf has suspended the Constitution and is rounding up dissidents in the name of fighting terrorism; stealing a page right out of the Bush playbook. He's adpoted trademark GOP rhetoric, decrying "activist judges" while comparing himself to Lincoln.

This comes on the heels of Turkey justifying excursions into Iraq using similar logic: why surely Turkey must be allowed to defend itself from Kurdish terrorism!

The world has realized we've remodeled our house with glass. What are we going to say to Musharraf exactly? That jailing people without trial or counsel in the name of fighting terrorism is wrong? Does that admonition come with a cough and a snicker?

Turkey and Pakistan have learned from the pros. Make vague appeals to terrorism and you can justify anything.

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Tuesday, November 06, 2007

The Ironic Times - now with 100% less irony

From the wonderfully funny Ironic Times

Bush Pick for Attorney General Headed for Confirmation
Mukasey last piece in puzzle keeping Bush, Cheney from firing squad.

No attorney general under Bush is going to consider waterboarding torture -- because torture is illegal and we waterboard. Sometimes it really is that simple.

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Monday, November 05, 2007

Useless Democrats explained

I was going to write about something else, but this is just too good to pass up. DailyKos is a funny place. There is a reason it's not linked to the right, though I admit I read it daily. It has a lot of nice content but is also depressing in the naivete so often displayed there by certain members.

Democrats in the House and Senate are doing a lousy job, and in many ways are more compliant than the previous Republican Congress. I won't argue that in this post beyond pointing out that Democrats have supported every one of Bush's Constitution-destroying power grabs. (Though you can read previous posts on the subject)

In a previous post I looked at some explanations for the Democrats' behavior. But now I have it right from the horse's mouth, in the form of a DailyKos diary called In Defense of Nancy Pelosi. It's worth looking at both the post and the subsequent comments, as they nicely illustrate the mindsets of those who support the utter failure of the Democratic leadership.

Nancy Pelosi has the difficult and often competing tasks of not just trying to enact new legislation now but also of trying to create a climate for the election of a Democratic president in 2008. "But the majority of the people want what we want" is the frustrated cry of so many on here "Why can’t Pelosi deliver?" Yes, the majority of people want to end the Iraq war, but it is a skittish opinion and insecure in its willingness to accept the concept of defeat – even self-inflicted defeat through mal-administration.

Translation: The Democratic Congress was elected with a mandate to end the Iraq War, the majority of Americans want to end the Iraq War, but that opinion is "skittish" due to murky psychological reasons and thus not ending the Iraq War somehow makes sense. After all, that's only why the Democrats were elected.

Maybe it was just me, in my country bumpkin way in the hills of Wales three thousand miles away, that was so surprised to find, after the euphoria of taking control of Congress, that a firm minority and a stubborn President could combine to veto those policies that had suddenly seemed attainable.

Refresher: to pass bills over a veto you need two-thirds. To vote down bills you need one-half. The Democrats have one-half. (And we won't even get into filibusters and the like) This is Middle School material.

Democrats chose to affirmatively vote for FISA "fixes." They chose to affirmatively vote for more Iraq War funding time and time again. Democrats will vote to confirm Mukasey and will probably vote for telecom immunity. The President does not have the power to revive a bill that has been voted down; he does not have to power to reverse-veto failed legislation. To defeat these bills and appointments Democrats must merely not vote for them -- yet they do vote for them, and prominent Democrats, including the Democratic leadership, are often the first to cave.

Now we get to the centerpiece argument:

Since then, despite Bush, despite the solidarity of the Republican vote, much has been achieved in Congress by her. I will criticise the level of that achievement freely with many of you, I will question the effectiveness of the tactics, and I will certainly bewail some of the outcomes. That is my job as a writer on Daily Kos, that is our entire job as radicals. I will do so without having to modify those views by obscuring them with the obfuscation that is called political realities. I ask only that we do not do the Republican job for them by disparaging personally our leaders, whether they be leaders of the Senate Majority or Primary candidates struggling to enunciate our views against a GOP back-cloth of deliberate misinterpretation and a superficially influenced electorate. That is not our job on Daily Kos nor anywhere else where we are fighting for our ideas.

What is "our job" on DailyKos exactly? I wasn't aware that DailyKos paid by the hour to shill for Democrats.

Despite the pledge to the opposite, this is the ultimate invocation of "political realities" -- that we must carry water for Bush enablers in the same way Rush Limbaugh and John McCain carried water for them before the 2006 elections. McCain kept his unhappiness with the Iraq War private, jeopardizing American lives and strategic interests in a failed attempt to keep Republicans at the Congressional helm. That is what this Kos diarist is advocating: we must put a happy face on the situation and allow it to deteriorate further, in the hopes that the future will bring better things.

This thinking is wrong on multiple levels. From a strategic standpoint our failed Congress makes the election of a Democrat in 2008 less likely as that candidate will be associated with those weak-willed enablers. Further a Democrat may not be elected in 2008, or a Democrat elected in 2008 may not be a significant change. The Democratic Congress promised much and delivered little; now we are told that we should double-down on a Democratic President as well.

Fool me once, fool me twice.

The diary above includes the note "[Promoted by DHinMI]." Such a tantalizing morsel, if you are familiar with DHinMI, and sure enough he wastes no time infesting the comments section of the diary with his own brand of do-nothing defenses.

DHinMI posts are a primer in total leadership failure. Poll-driven with no imagination or affirmative agenda DHinMI is incapable of conceptualizing a drive to change public opinion rather than be dictated by it. Public opinion is based on media messages and that opinion can be changed through effort and new messaging -- a concept Republicans grasp very well while Democrats often remain oblivious.

This Two Year Period Was About Preventing... damage. We aren't going to end the war with Bush in office, because the only way to do that is to completely cut off all funding, and the public is hostile to that idea, so the Dems won't even consider it.

Textbook do-nothing reasoning: polls show the public is against something, so instantly give up.

When Republicans wanted to oppose the estate tax they renamed it the "death tax." When they wanted to oppose capital gains taxes they claimed they were "double taxation." (Despite the fact that transferred assets are taxed an infinite number of times in our taxation system.) When they wanted to let Scooter Libby off the hook they claimed that Valerie Plame was a non-covert glorified secretary hen-pecking her husband while Libby was a patriotic hero with a lifetime of valuable service who had committed "no underlying crime." They did not just read the polls on those issues -- they drove the polls. They researched in front of focus groups (no joke) to hit on the right formulations and messages that would resonate with the public, then saturated op-eds and the airwaves with them to great success.

To people like DHinMI public opinion is set in stone and simply congeals from the surrounding ether without explanation or reason. If people are against impeachment today, they'll be against it tomorrow, period. If people are against cutting funding for the Iraq War today they'll be against it tomorrow, even if today they don't understand what that defunding means. This is what DHinMI has to say on Pelosi ruling impeachment off-the-table:

The Public Doesn't Want Impeachment
The Senate won't convict.
Period. That simple equation has never changed, and won't this Congress.

And again:

Oh, So Impeachment or Failure
She knows how to read a poll, and she knows how to count non-existent Republican votes in the Senate.

Those poll-reading Democrats -- gotta love 'em! God forbid attempting to change public opinion rather than be enslaved by it. You know, to "politick" for things. These people take inspiration not from The Devil and Daniel Webster but from The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.

The case for impeachment is strong and remarkably as many support it as oppose it already. Convince some of the rest. The public is tired of the Iraq War; convince it that cutting funding is safe and effective. Make an affirmative case.

Time and time again the Democrats are unable to convince the public that they are right, even when the public already agrees with them in broad scope -- and most of the time they don't even bother trying. At the same time a President with a 24% approval rating can repeatedly convince Democrats to go along with him on his major proposals using nonsensical terrorist hyperbole that was old five years ago.

What happens if a Republican is elected in 2008? We write off the last two years of Democratic control of Congress as squandered for nothing?

This is a bit meaner than my normal stuff but I don't think there is a good way around that while still addressing the topic without relying on abstracts. DHinMI is a prominent DailyKos poster and these comments are not cherry-picked to prove a point, they are representative of a consistent worldview.
The picture is just plain silly.

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Posting schedule

Been busy, regular posting should resume this week.