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Thursday, January 19, 2006


"I'm not going to lend my support to an effort by this president to move the Supreme Court and the law radically to the right and to remove the final check within our democracy," Sen. Patrick Leahy, the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said during an address at Georgetown University. "At a time when the president is seizing unprecedented power, the Supreme Court needs to act as a check and to provide balance," Leahy said. "Based on the hearing and his record, I have no confidence that Judge Alito would provide that check and balance." - CNN

It ain't over yet. If this guy doesn't get in, God willing, I wonder who GW will pick next. Most of the quality nazis are long dead.

Sure, sure. It's not over. Probably would help the Democrats to win an election or two so they'd, uh, had enough votes to actually matter in a confirmation vote.

I'm not holding my breath.
Fortunately, now that all three branches of the government are controlled by Republicans, we won't have to worry about any pesky Democratic victories...
How so? Democrats can't run in elections now?
If the Democrats actually had any victories, they'd have the votes.
They can run, but they can't hide. For every Democrat who runs there's a well funded 'swift boat veterans who lie for money' waiting to pounce. If the Dems put as much funding into smearing as the GOP does, then there'd be a fair fight I guess.
One word:

Can I get another word? Chads didn't really get me anywhere. Is that plural, like I saw some chads walking down the street?
You mean the chads in the election that Bush won by every standard Gore proposed?

Those chads?
The Dems have a lovely little organization called MoveOn.org that does all the heavy lifting you could ask for in smear.

If the Dems really think that it was the Swifties and not the fact that Kerry was such a boring, unaccomplished, uncompelling candidate, that made them lose, then it will be a long, long, long time before they win again.

Here's my advice: The "you redneck, Christian bumblefucks are too stupid to understand this, but we are right so you should vote for us" election strategy isn't working. Time to change strategies?
I actually doubt that you'll be surprised by the fact that I completely agree with you, Dave. The Dems have been shooting themselves in their feet with both their choice of voice, and choice of candidate. I think that those on the left who truly have vision, and charisma, are just plain not interested in opening themselves up to the scrunity we apply to our leaders.

I liked Bill Clinton, and I knew he was flawed from the get go. I'm willing to let the little things go. But, like many other liberals, I'm not willing to extend the offer across the isle.

Why? Because.
i am doing a series of fundraisers for democrat candidates for the US Senate this winter and spring.

i am not sourcing contributions in your comments section ted, but just want you to know that i agree with all of you that winning elections is more important than complaining and i intend to help the Dems do that.
I didn't hear any "Redneck Christian bumblefucks are too supid to understand this" in the last election, but I might have missed it.

It seems to me that the Dems, being the party of inclusion, simply do not have the united front that the Republicans have, and this is why it's so hard for them to win elections.

The Republicans have been very good at allying with (arguably) the most politically powerful group in the nation, the right wing Christians - forgetting that a) religion hand in hand with politics makes for dangerous times and b) that the Republicans in power are certainly not "model Christians."

Let's not forget that the Dems recently had someone in the White House, someone who was a FAR better President than the current one. (It's hard for me to understand how someone could disagree with this, except for partisan reasons.)

Of course the Dems have not been good at sticking to message, since their message is so unclear.

But I'd much rather have that than the simple "every man for himself, screw the poor and the non-Christians and anyone who's not a white male, and everyone out of the USA's way" message of the Republicans. THAT's a strategy I could never get behind, regardless of how many elections it might win.

Sometimes (usually, perhaps) it's better to be in the minority.
What he said
Can't disagree all that much with everything that has been said here on both sides really. Yes, the Dems have made it a habit of insulting those who hold Christian beliefs, not just the wingnuts and it’s killing their chances. They need to find away to direct their ire at idiot hyper-Christian individuals in a way that doesn’t offend the rational amongst the flock. Wholesale assault of the faith is losing people on the party by the droves. They need to repair this to win next go round and certainly STOP this line of attack. More Americans say they believe in God than don’t, and whatever anyone’s personnel opinion is on the subject, telling them that they’re all delusional fools will cost Democrats another election if it continues. Being of agnostic mind, I know where the line is amongst my family and friends when it comes to assailing Christian dogma. They have a point that they reach when they stop smiling at my lame but challenging quips about their faith, but I make sure NOT to insult them, and apologize in instances when I do.

I cannot be all that critical of Clinton’s eight years in the White House from a domestic policy stand point. While I think he got lucky by happening to be the sitting president during the glorious Dotcom boom, I can’t deny that he also got closer to a peace agreement between Israel and Palestine than any one preceding him. Ultimately, all it did was expose how much of a phony Arafat was. While that’s unfortunate, it has helped both Israel and the U.S. to know the real truth and intentions of Arafat’s government (steal aid money and give it away to his cronies while stoking the Jihad fires).

In hindsight, where Bill Clinton failed was not addressing the Bin Laden/Taliban/terror issue. It would never had been a blip on the historical radar screen had it not been for the 9/11 attacks. You can squawk all you want about how President Bush has bumbled this and that since (I agree with a lot you’d say), but the fact is he inherited an eight year laissez affair approach to growing Islamic militancy in the middle east. He put our forces into Somalia and yanked them right out. He fired a pathetic couple of cruise missiles at some factories in Sudan, as a “warning shot” I guess, in response to two very significant terrorist attacks against allies. Bill Clinton had his chance to marry all the intelligence agencies pre-9/11 and didn’t. Bill Clinton, not wanting to rock the boat too much, let Saddam damn near worm his way out of the UN sanctions that were put in place for good reason. Bill Clinton watched the Taliban take over Afghanistan and blow the faces off those ancient Buddhist carvings while the regime sent the country and it’s people back to the stone age.

I’m not blaming Bill Clinton solely as much as pointing out that in my opinion what made the Dems weak last presidential election was that many on the fence were afraid of returning to the Clinton like laissez affair approach to real threats from the Middle East. I never once got the feeling that the Democratic candidate(s), or the party had a tough enough stance militarily. Not even close. The people of this country want to be protected, and as much of a buffoon the president is or is perceived to be, he is NOT weak on this front in comparison.

If Democrats want to win elections STOP being the party of the weak on defense. This is why I like Hillary (all apologies to the Misanthrope). I will tell you right now…If you STOP goofing on people of Christian faith (at least publicly) and throw up a “hawkish” candidate, not a phony hawk, but a real one, YOU’LL WIN. Starting with my vote.
Tony Alva says:
"You can squawk all you want about how President Bush has bumbled this and that since (I agree with a lot you’d say), but the fact is he inherited an eight year laissez affair approach to growing Islamic militancy in the middle east."

Who do you think Clinton inherited the growing Islamic militancy from? The groundwork for the debacle in Somalia was artfully laid by Bush I. Just for the record, the destruction of the Buddhist statues took place early in the Bush II administration, not Clinton. Not only did Clinton do more than any other head of state to try and repair the Israel/Palestine problem, he did more than any other head of state to heal the troubles in Northern Ireland and accomplished the unforseen. Sure, it would have been great if he had killed Osama when he was in his sights - the Clinton Administration had plans to take him out - but at the time it would have appeared a ridiculous overuse of force. As they say, hindsight's 20/20. The "warning shots" into Somalia, turned out to be bad intel, and Clinton was sharply criticized for them. I think he was afraid of biting off more than he could chew in Somalia, a lesson the current president would benefit greatly from.

Tony Alva says:
"Bill Clinton, not wanting to rock the boat too much, let Saddam damn near worm his way out of the UN sanctions that were put in place for good reason."

Bill Clinton was bombing Iraq on a daily basis towards the end of his second term. He was bombing, sanctioning, negotiating... that's called diplomacy, and it ussually produces a more favorable outcome than invading a country, wasting trillions of dollars and thousands of US soldiers lives (which hasn't accomplished much that is favorable, apart from deposing Saddam Hussein, who will probably spend the rest of his life lying on some powder-sand beach in the West Indies, commanding a staff of 12 at an opulent villa, having drinks with Idi Amin, or some other former despot that isn't dead. I don't think Bill Clinton was ever weak on defense, as you say. He was just a whole lot more thoughtful about it than W is. I'm sure much could be found to criticize Clinton for the handling of the Baltics, but how many US soldiers did we lose there? UMMmm... none? (I suppose we did lose one guy, but he found his way back after eating shrubbery and insects for a week) Relatively speaking, the region is now stable and open for business. The place he really dropped the ball was Rwanda, and as cold as it is to say, Clinton stated plainly that we weren't going in because we have no interests there. I think Clinton was a lot more "hawkish" than you percieve him to be. Think long and hard, do you want a President that is overly cautious about going to war, or one that makes up his mind to go to war and then backtracks to fabricate the reasons for doing so?

Tony Alva says:
"I’m not blaming Bill Clinton solely as much as pointing out that in my opinion what made the Dems weak last presidential election was that many on the fence were afraid of returning to the Clinton like laissez affair approach to real threats from the Middle East."

You are absolutely accurate on this point. That's clearly one of the reasons the Dems lost, but what you see as a "laissez'faire approach" I see as a sensible means of averting WWIII. I find myself wondering if 9/11 would have happened at all if Gore was in the White House (Gore/Lieberman certainly not my dream team, by the way). I have to say, I believe the Bush II administration dropped a couple of straws in their short existence at that time that broke the camel's back as far as the Arabs are concerned (no racial slur intended). Namely, vetoing any and all UN resolutions that had to do with Israel's aggression towards Palestine. I don't believe 9/11 was a fait accompli in 2000.
Ahhh, the squawking I alluded to...

Your guy was there for eight years. That's four more than Bush Sr. who did it YOUR way (i.e. with the U.N. and approval of the world) and Bill let it all go. He had every chance to right the "wrongs" of the previous administration. Diplomacy means exactly shit if your enemy does nothing but exploit the fact that military intervention is something you are unwilling to do. This is what happened, and it's what Americans want to make clear to our foes abroad even though a majority think Iraq was a mistake. The Democratic party has not, in my opinion, nominated ANYONE that will talk tough like this, even though there are some "Hawks" that exist amongst your ranks that I think would satisfy bi-part/centrist fence sitters like myself.

"Think long and hard, do you want a President that is overly cautious about going to war..."

No, I want one who understands that it's an option that must always be on the table in order to compel jackasses like Ahmadinejad to behave themselves or suffer the consequences.

We can argue blue/red issues all day long and wear ourselves out, but at the end of the day, Iraq policy failure or not, leaders in the ME know what will befall them and their countries if we bring the might of the American military to bare on them. They/we're aware of the power of insurgancy on rebuiding efforts, but they are also aware of what havoc and destruction our B52's can do to their cites, oil fields, economy, etc... It must be a part of their consequence thought process as they consider our diplomancy efforts. Without it, our diplomatic overtures are nothing but a punchline of a joke to them.

Oh, and I don't think Saddam will be lying around any beaches in his future. Also, I wasn't being critical of Bill's shooting cruise missles at those factories, I was being critical of the fact that he didn't fire more of them and at other targets.

Your Favorite Hawk,

I love how Religion in the US = Christianity for some of the commentors here. The words are used completely interchangably, without batting an eye.
I understood that you meant he should have bombed more in Sudan. The point I was trying to make but didn't articulate very well is that Clinton wisely responded to the criticism he received, and thought twice about what could be gained by bombing the shit out of Sudan. I don't think he was being cowardly, and I don't see Bush doing a whole hell of a lot to eradicate Sudanese warlords nowadays either. Sudan will become Bush's Rwanda, but somehow I don't think he'll ever reap the criticism that Clinton did.

There is a huge difference between being percieved as strong and willing to use military force, and invading a country on false pretenses and killing tens or hundreds of thousands. If I had the choice between the brut strength exhibited by Bush and the so-called weak stance that Clinton took, I'll take Clinton anyday. We should not be distancing ourselves from the Arab world like we are. We should be working hard to embrace the mainstream Arab, and alienating them from the fringe element. Instead we drive more and more Arabs over to the dark side every day.

I don't care who is president, I don't think anyone in the middle east would blithely underestimate the might of the US military or gamble on whether or not we would use it. It's not relevant. Terrorism is an inexpensive, extremely powerful tool, and those involved are a new breed who care little for the possible consequences, clearly. It seems to me that all the bombing we've done in recent years has only served to create more terrorists. There's got to be a better way.

I guess what I'm trying to say is.. C'mon Tony Alva, give peace a chance, man.
"Qiuck to judge, quick to anger, slow to understand"

Unfortunatley, Clarkie, we can't change the way Tony, Dave, and the jerk-offs who run this country think. They see reasonable behavior, based on basic morality as 'weak'. The problem is they are confusing strength with greed and opportunism.
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