Wednesday, April 26, 2006

The Irony Gods Are Full Today

So, after everything Bush has done wrong...

...a decision to invade Iraq that was either based on bad information or pre-decided before any information came in;

...the errors made in the post-war occupation;

...the failure to contain any spending at all while cutting taxes;

...the Medicare bill debacle;

...placing cronies with no experience where they can do the most harm;

...the Katrina implosion and thumb fingered response;

...the wiretapping without court approval and the lack of caring about law;

...the increasing Presidential powers via signing statements;

...the selective leaking and uneven response to leaks;

...the failure to hold anyone responsible for Abu Gharib;

...the continuing "I made the decision and I'm not changing it now!" attitude over Rumsfeld;

...the equating of disagreement with his policies to treason and helping the enemy;

...after ALL THESE ACTS, which were made by the President and enacted by the President; which were active choices of his own volition and discretion; which were actions he did himself and he had control over and chose to do of his own accord...

...the American public is getting mad at him over gas prices, something he has negligible control over.

I can't tell if the little shiver in my gut is from schadenfreude or fear at the American public's view of the Presidency.

It's like a neighbor saying, "Yeah, well, I liked ol' Carl there. I mean, I know he was a thief, and he cheated on his wife, and yeah there was that problem he had with drugs, and the drunk driving, and when he got caught on video with the teenage girl and a shaved ferret and a gallon of olive oil, yeah, that was awkward, but Carl, he was a good ol' guy, you know?

"But dammit, when that storm blew his leaves off his trees into my driveway, THAT'S when I got good and mad!"

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

An Example

Running these numbers, anyone other than a flack would say that this detention wasn't a success in anything except a way to smear our image. Yet, question the wisdom behind the policy and the next question you'll get from a TBIB (true believer in Bush) will be, "Do you support the enemy?"

A good question back would be, "Given the propaganda victory just handed to them in these actions, do YOU?"

In A Perfect World

The thing is, I wholeheartedly agree with these sentiments. I've always said that overthrowing Saddam was a good thing. I've never argued, as did some stupid or deluded fools, that Saddam was never a problem. I've never called the soldiers criminals or etc., excepting those involved in actual criminal acts such as Abu Gharib. And yes, it would be a good thing if all the name calling, the backbiting and the useless recriminations would stop. And condemning the morons who feel innocent blood is oil for their evil machine is the least we should do.

However, there is a problem there. We have in office an administration that has decided time and again that opposition to their actions - good ones, bad ones, incredibly stupid ones - is equivalent to and tantamount to treason, sedition and aiding the enemy. (All actions as well, but let's just focus on Iraq and its problems.) Any opposition, from the ones that ARE stupid and anti-American to the ones that have reasoned arguments and correct facts - are simply lumped into the most negative category possible.

Forget the whole adrenalin thing in most people that finds it hard to make nice with the other side as the other side continually calls you names at the peace table. Skip over the fact that, to date, the Decider-in-Chief has refused to listen to any other side at all and feels he hasn't messed up at all with anything.

The major problem with trying to be logical and reasonable in debates with people who refuse to be logical and reasonable doesn't work. Try debating a true believer in IDiocy. Doesn't matter how many times you show a shortcoming in their theory, faith sustains them. They just know they're right and any evidence to the contrary is null, white noise in the brain. Faith overrides all. In the case of the Admin, it's faith in their infallibility - Shakespeare would have called in o'erweening pride - overrides any facts they find inconvenient.

As a guideline for how liberals would do things in Iraq if they take control of the Presidency, a statement is perfect - it's what the Democrats need to get away from the central plank of their strategy being an empty space of "We're not them." I support that without reservations. But to say, as the quotes in the above links do, that we need to only focus in Iraq and not domestic factors about the debate - can't be done.

Liberals: "Here's how we think Iraq should go..."

Administration flack: "TRAITOR! AL-QAEDA SUPPORTER! LIAR!"

Liberals: "...we need to..."


I'm sorry, but pointing out the way Administration treats their opponents has to be done as part and parcel of the Iraq debate, because it will be when the opponents get tarred. We can't hold a debate only about Iraq b/c the Admin won't let such a debate start - they'll start screaming from the start. You can't have a debate with someone who refuses to listen. It's even harder when the match the wax-filled ears with a venom-filled mouth.

Monday, April 24, 2006

It was just too good an idea

For every action, there is a reaction.

For every wonked-out paranoid idea from one political side, there's one for the other.

The Vast-Left Wing Conspiracy has come home.

Balance is restored to the whackjobs.

More evidence

Again, as if we need more proof, we find that the intel on WMD wasn't as strong as believed. News? No.

I think after a while we have to ask the question, "How solid does your information have to be to go to war?" There are several angles to take here, of course, ranging from absolute proof (which may come too late, see Iran) to if you have suspicion (which may blow up in your face, see Iraq). After we get through asking that question, I'd ask, "Was the information Bush and co had up to any standard of proof?"

At the very least, for every yes story there was a no story. Some of the sources for the yes stories should have been deemed non-credible from the start - Curveball. Perhaps, as is argued in the comments in the link above, some of the sources for the no angle could be discounted for suspicions of subterfuge. Possible.

But when you shake all of that out, was the information we had credible enough to take us to war, or was there an agenda there that made information at best a helpful tool?

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Cold Water

The bad news for the Bush Presidency has been coming even faster than their abilities to make excuses for them. You've got his still-low approval rating, with more people strongly disapproving of him than approving of him at all. (h/t Andrew Sullivan) You have the revelations that Bush allowed leaking (which, again appears to be legal here, and there is no mention of Plame as of now - condemn him for what he did, not what people think he did) selectively while getting in high dudgeon about it in public, which doesn't help his credibility at all. You have the New Hampshire phone scandal having possible ties to the White House, and of course as per usual the WH is stalling. You've got Iraq and several once-fierce defenders calling for withdrawal, the most recent being Newt Gingrich. Polls now give Democrats edges in almost all areas, from immigration to (barely) defense. Clinton never had this kind of perfect storm.

But I'm here to throw cold water on hope, kick the fantasy in the groin, and slap the dreamers about the face, saying "It's ain't over yet."

First, like them or hate them, the Republicans can campaign. They may do it dirty, they may Swift Boat Lie, they may sleaze, what have you, but they win. Do not count on the ever-increasing bad news as a bellwether for the election.

Second, and we must be honest here, this isn't an election about right ideas vs. wrong ideas. Mostly, it's an election about wrong ideas vs. no ideas at all beyond opposition. This could very well be a winning hand - it helped in the Republican Revolution (so quickly tainted) of '96, but they also had the Contract w/America as well and they seemed to have a different idea. I don't know if it's a big deal to the electorate at large, but I do know that should Democrat get voted into power, they will have to have some ideas beyond uncovering what the Bush group has done wrong. That's a worthy endeavor, don't get me wrong, but beyond that needed goal,. they'll be in charge of everything else.

Third, anything can happen. There are rumors of a military attack on Iran - I can already hear the echo of "Don't change horses in midstream!" Iraq may, somehow, turn around. bin Laden could be captured. Threat levels could be raised and lowered like tube tops during Mardi Gras. No one knows what the future will bring.

And finally, the Democrats have an unerring talent for pulling defeat out of the jaws of victory. Someone will do something stupid (for God's and Bast's sake, keep McKinney quiet until after the election!) and the Republicans will leap all over it.

I do feel a change is possible - I just wish the Democrats made more of a slogan then "We're better than Bush." Of course they are, given how pathetic and divisive he's been, that's the "Taller than Mickey Rooney award." Given how the world is, given how badly Bush and co. have screwed it up, and given the massive need to fix things, I'd like to see some concrete ideas (as concrete as one can be during election campaigning, anyway). I trust the Democrats more than Bush's circle of cohorts, yes.

Again, "Taller than Mickey Rooney". That attitude of Anybody but Bush won't last.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

I'm So Tired

Yes, it's been a while.

There's many reasons for the falloff. We've been passing around various bugs and germs. We've been bust doing stuff around the house. I've been trying to keep up with the energy blast that is my son. We've been doing stuff outside the home more and more.

So I'm tired. But it's not just a physical weariness.

I understand now how some Republicans and conservatives felt when Clinton was in office and every week seemed to overturn another slimy rock of scandal. It's disturbing at first, to see the scandals. Then it's frustrating to watch more and more things come up. Then it's like Novacaine via repetition. At first you get up and scream. Then you stay seated and scream. After a while your throat hurts, so you pound the table. Then your hand hurts so you shake your head. Then your neck hurts, so you just glare. And after the eyestrain sets in, you just close your eyes.

In the past few months, we've seen from the Bush Admin:

Evidence that while he was proclaiming he hadn't made up his mind to go to war, he was talking about making an aerial Tonkin incident. And from here as well, yet more evidence he wasn't even considering troubles after the war.

Evidence that shows he knew some pre-war talking points weren't as solid as he proclaimed them to be. I'm sure there'll be a huge meaning argument over what lies are, whether exaggeration should count as such, and claims that since Bush meant well this should be overlooked The fact that this makes the President of the United States who ran on promises to restore honor to the White House have the same regard for the truth as the stereotypical used car salesman is, to some people, of no consequence now.

More evidence that Bush feels when the President does it, it's not illegal - see wiretaps and leaking. The wiretapping claims seem to be hubris of the mad-King kind, as does his decisions that keeping Congress informed of what he's doing is just too much of a demand. The recent revelations of Libby may be legal, but at the least they show a man who is Nixonian in his political zeal. And I feel sure the leaking story isn't dead yet, despite the somnolence of the press mixed in with their cowardice at being called liberal when they tell something bad about Bush and his cohorts.

It's all too much. Bush has succeeded in making me completely unsurprised by his ineptness, his power grubbing, his lying, and his general lack of any positive trait besides being an "average man" through some new redefinition. I'm tired of it all and nothing more shocks me from this Admin.

Way to go, guys.


Sunday, April 02, 2006

Hiatus ending soon, hopefully

I've been having to do a lot of work around the house and with the family, so I haven't been posting for some time. Hopefully this will end this week and I can get back to it.

Thanks for waiting.