How does that Frank Sinatra song go…”flying high in April, shot down in May”…something like that, right? Sounds exactly like the Republican Party right now, doesn’t it?
Unless the Repubs have their version of David Ortiz to hit a bottom of the ninth homer, I better get myself a Jack Murtha screen saver.
Talk about shooting yourself in the foot. The last two weeks have been as disastrous for the Republican Party, as the Democrats could have possibly hoped.
Even Teddy Kennedy has a spring in his step today, for crying out loud.
Who's gonna bail the Party out and save the day...where's our David Ortiz?
It's not that the Dems have done anything right mind you...they continue to be just as clueless as always. It's that the Repubs have become the Party of Sleepwalkers and Dimwits, it seems.
The oldest trick in the book..a sex scandal...has rocked our Party. A well worn trick used on occasion by the very party that is now reeling, and they can't seem to get behind it. The proverbial Deer in The Headlight syndrome.
I better find that picture of Nancy Pelosi and throw a donation into Move On quick, I think.
Gonna fight it out, I think. Go down swinging (in the political sense, that is).
We can still pull this out. Bring me the head of OBL. Let them eat cake. Something.
Looks like a nuke in North Korea wasn't enough. No, we need something big...very big...to save the day.
Wonder what that can be? Hmmmm.....
Posted by Sicilian Eagle at October 11, 2006 6:56 AM
Sicilian Eagle, I and many others have been pointing out to you and other defenders of the Republican Party in government here at WatchBlog, the many actions which were inevitably going to bring your party down. And through it all, we have been branded traitors, disloyal, unpatriotic, sympathizers of the enemy, and on and on.
Well, it is no consolation for us critics of the Bush administration and Republican Congress’s actions these past few years, that this party may lose control of power. For the damage done our nation cannot be consoled, nor easily remedied.
But, the remedies cannot begin, until this party is removed. America has a lot of heavy lifting to do in a very short time to meet the challenges of lost international credibility, a massive economic torpedo called the boomers retirement wave, and broad sweeping imbalances in our separation of powers and government branch oversight and accountability measures.
It is a long and arduous road ahead of us. Perhaps Republicans will do the honorable and inherently American thing as we go forward, and own the problems created and make it their mission to share the heavy lifting in correcting and repairing the damage done by massive debt, erroneous and falsely based foreign policy, and increasing the authoritarian power of the executive branch of what was always supposed to be co-equal branches of government.
David R. reemer
You’re not gloating, are you?
Are the Democracts really the alternative? Here and now? Honestly, I don’t think so. The “Throw the Bums Out” campaign that you endorse will serve to throw the Rebus out, since they are the majority, and replace them with Dems.
You call that improvement? I don’t.
Plus, a sex scandal is the issue these last few days…up until then, the president was getting the essage on the economy and the War on Terror out effictively.
A post-mortum on you part is a tad premature, I think.
Here is the Democratic lead, in percentage points, from various polls taken in the past one to two weeks for a generic House of Representatives Election:
USA Today/Gallup: 23%
ABC/Washington Post 13%
CBS/New York Times: 14%
All between 10 and 23 percent lead for Democrats. You can always put your hope on those Diebold machines.
“It looks like a nuke in north korea wasn’t enough”
Enough to do…. what? Scare people enough that they’ll bend over and take it you-know-where because they’re scared of the big, bad, terrorists?
God God, man. Is that what you’re trying to say? You hope something really bad happens so your party can stay in power?
You think David Remer’s post is gloating? If it is, it’s the most genteel gloating I’ve seen in a long time.
I understand that we’re all culpable for standing by without kicking up much of a fuss while many of the liberties in the greatest country in the world were being sripped away. But the people who orchestrated this should be done away with. I’m not advocating shooting anyone, I’m just venting.
The last two weeks have been as disastrous for the Republican Party, as
the Democrats America could have possibly hoped.
The oldest trick in the book..a sex scandal…has rocked our Party
Give me a break, a “trick”?. A “trick” by whom? Who IM’d whom? Was Foley a Dem, as Fox would like to rewrite, or a Repub?
The Repubs need to grow up, take responsibility for their own actions, and stop all the crybaby whining.
Or, I could take the high road like David Remer and been called a gloater anyway.
Sic looks at this as a political game only. there is no “best for America” it’s all about “Keep my team in power”
Sicilian Eagle asked: “The “Throw the Bums Out” campaign that you endorse will serve to throw the Rebus out, since they are the majority, and replace them with Dems.
You call that improvement? I don’t.”
I call that a beginning, Sicilian Eagle. See the Vote Out Incumbents Democracy web site for the goal.
You say you don’t like the “Throw the bums out” idea? You say you think the Dems are offering change but not necessarily anything new? I beg to differ, but even so, the change part of the equation is vital.
Let’s run over some of the recent hot issues:
The Economy: Do I even need to talk about this one? We have just hocked our very economic souls to the Chinese to pursue an illegal and unnecessary war in Iraq - which looks more and more like it is devolving into a sectarian civil war with our troops caught in the middle. Afghanistan, the Abandoned war, is losing more and more ground every day to a resurgent Taliban and OBL is still at large!
Foreign policy: See above. Then consider: Kerry and other Democrats wanted us to prioritize Afghanistan and pursue Iraq as a U.N. action that would have saved countless American lives and American economic stability as well by sharing the burden in a way that also would have allowed America to retain the moral authority and high ground. That’s more than just “Throw the Bums.” That’s a working alternative that got missed by the Bums.
Immigration: IF you want to understand this issue, just follow the money. There are major republican party contributors who are INVESTED in the status quo. Entities like DR Horton Homes, the largest home builder in the country, who either directly or indirectly (In some areas they hide behind sub-contractors) employs construction crews that are almost entirely composed of the undocumented who they then rob by calling in INS or now, Homeland Security, to scare them away from the work place on the last pay-day. When I first saw this happening in my neck of the woods I thought it was an unfortunate local horror. I have since discovered it is common practice all over the country. They aren’t the only entity - there are others as well - who are also contributors to the republican party. They, and their republican lackies, are literally INVESTED in the status quo. I recently heard an analogy made of the neighbor who moves into our living room and makes themselves at home…bad analogy. It is more like the neighbor who moves in from the block where we have run our sewege into their living room and our block association has worked to close all shops and economic development on their street because it might compete with ours. Mexico is a captive nation whose development will only ever happen if and when it can best be profitted from by America. We can help Mexico develop in a way that benefits both our nations but only the current political mind set changes. Meanwhile it is the disparity that drives them across the border to our ‘living-room’ as it were. A disparity that will not be remedied in any way by any wall or fence which will only result in more creative and ingenious ways to get across. Heck, the Haitians and Cubans are swimming and floating to get here! But keep voting republican, and you keep voting for those invested in the Status Quo.
Energy Policy: One of the first things Bush did in office was to pull all funding to alternative fuel research and development. That put us behind 4-5 years at a time when we needed to INVEST in such things the most.
Then he helped put together a Federal bill, that passed into law, that directly and specifically gave secondary energy market traders like ENRON the ability to manipulate the energy markets across the country in the same way as they had in California. Thank the grace of God that ENRON collapsed under the weight of their own corruption before that happened!
Now we have this Foley scandal - I am still stunned at the degree of spin coming from the republicans. It is as though the republicans somehow think the Democrats MADE Foley do it. Or perhaps they think the Democrats PLANTED Foley in their midst. It’s absolutely stunning to me to see the label-is-everything and power-is-everthing republicans who are actually, to this day, defending a pedophile and those who would hide the problem to maintain political strength!
—-Then they have the unmitigted GALL to accuse the Democrats of playing politics! Stunning.
The Democrats didn’t nominate him or run him or support him. YOU DID! Foley is YOUR man! Can you not even take responsibility for that much?
By all means, lets do something about N. Korea. But do you think the clowns that cooked up this disaster are the ones to lead the effort?
Time for a change, I’d say.
“Unless the Repubs have their version of David Ortiz to hit a bottom of the ninth homer, I better get myself a Jack Murtha screen saver.”
Be careful with these polls out there; one poll that the MSM has not been (and will not) reciting is the one where over 60% of the people say they are satisfied with their incumbent politician. I’m not sure how much merit these polls have, though that one definitely is an eye opener when compared to the other ones we’ve been bombarded with. In the end, it still is about what happens on election day and, I’m not talking about exit polls.
“We have just hocked our very economic souls to the Chinese to pursue an illegal and unnecessary war in Iraq”
Prove that the Iraq war was illegal?! Presents facts, not opinions.
Bravo! I checked out the linked article you included - What is it with Bush? - In response to those staggering civilian casualty numbers he responds, “I applaud the Iraqis for their courage in the face of violence.”
He realy doesn’t get the consequences of what he says, does he?
Like when the violence in Isreal/Palestine flares up again immediately following his adamant and spirited comment: “Isreal has no greater friend than the U.S.”
He’s about as dumb as a box of rocks isn’t he?
Prove that the Iraq War was illegal?
I have. Ad nausium. On several blog threads for a VERY long time. Where have you been?
Let me run through ti one more time, briefly -
We went to the U.N. and obtained article 1441.
The U.N. remained seized of the issue as a result of the agreement. Part of the agreement was that no unilateral action would be taken.
Bush then turned around and sold congress on the idea by means of telling them we were going to pursue and honor article 1441. That was later used to make ANY potential Deomcratic opponent look like a waffler since the Senate voted for action…but in accordance with article 1441.
It turned out that Kerry was the one to walk into the trap. All Kerry had to do was stick top his guns about doing it the right way in accordance with article 1441 and he *look* to the shallow looking eye like he was waffling when it really Bush who waffled by ultimately violating the agreement with the U.N.
I have linked to all of this before ad nausium, but it’s there for you to verify if you would rather look into it than defend those who hide pedophiles in the harm’s way of kids. I hope you do. You will be more likely to believe it if you have also verified it for yourself.
rahdigly, 40% of the population unhappy with their own incumbent is historic! Huge! No doubt larger than in 1994. Up to now, an average of 90+% of incumbents have been reelected. If on Nov. 7, that number drops to 85%, it will be an earth shaker to pollster, statisticians, and pundits. And likely will mark a growing movement not easily reversed in 2008.
You have an open invitation to migrate one column left and join us in the independent sector. I don’t see simply seeing the dems take over resolving any of the institutional problems that exist in Washington. We must develop an active independent voice in the Congress if, for nothing else, we break the stranglehold of the committee chairmanships. If we could get to the notion of pluralistic government versus this arcane duality of embedded corruption, then some progress could be made that is attractive and meaningful to both liberals and conservatives. The notion of “majority rules” is in and of itself flawed if the idea is that the Congress speaks for the American people as a whole.
Come on over, the water’s fine in the independent pool.
Dennis, a couple days ago I read a comment on another blog that went: “America is a team sport, Independents don’t belong here”.
I got a real chuckle out of the ignorance and naievete’ of that comment. Probably a middle schooler with an above average IQ for word cleverness.
It’s sad a sex scandal is what it takes in today’s day and age. Fitting though, after the hell you guys put Clinton through. For us Dems though, it’s not the sex scandal. It’s everything. It’s the bad news that arrives every single day. It’s 600,000 Iraqi deaths a year, and a reluctance by the Bush administration to say Iraq is in a civil war. It’s our enormous debt. It’s the malfeasance, mistakes, graft.
Ultimately, I’m too tired of all the fighting to get things to this point to really gloat Too much has simply become wrong and stayed wrong, and all that will have to be handled by the new majority in Congress. The job of defeating the Republicans may be nearing its end, but now the Democrats must defeat the problems that the Republicans created, and which pop up regardless of who’s in power. The problems of this country have always taken precedence of the politics, and not realizing this is probably the most central cause of the Republican’s loss of power.
If we fail, then it will be the source of our party’s downfall, too.
Everday it’s something new with this administration….
The Cost of Doing Your Duty
During the recent debate over how to handle the prisoners at Guantánamo Bay, the Bush administration made a lot of noise about its commitment to fair treatment for the detainees and its respect for the uniformed lawyers of the armed forces. Anyone who believed those claims should consider the fate of the Navy lawyer whose integrity helped spark that debate in the first place.
In 2003, Lt. Cmdr. Charles Swift was assigned to represent Salim Hamdan, a Yemeni citizen accused of being a high-ranking member of Al Qaeda — for the sole purpose of getting him to plead guilty before one of the military commissions that President Bush created for Guantánamo Bay. Instead of carrying out this morally repugnant task, Commander Swift concluded that the commissions were unconstitutional. He did his duty and defended his client. The case went to the Supreme Court, which ruled in June that the tribunals violated American law as well as the Geneva Conventions.
The Navy responded by killing his military career. About two weeks after the historic high court victory in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, Commander Swift was told he was being denied a promotion. Under the Navy’s up-or-out system, that spelled the end of his 20-year career, and Commander Swift said last week that he will be retiring in March or April.
With his defense of Mr. Hamdan and his testimony before Congress starting in July 2003, Commander Swift did as much as any single individual to expose the awful wrongs of Guantánamo Bay and Mr. Bush’s lawless military commissions. It was a valuable public service and a brave act of conscience, and his treatment is deeply troubling.
The law creating military tribunals for terror suspects, passed by Congress in a pre-election panic, leaves enormous room for the continued abuse of prisoners and for the continued detention of scores of men who committed no crime. If their military lawyers are afraid to represent them vigorously, their hopes for justice dim even further.
The Navy gave no reason for refusing Commander Swift’s promotion. But there is no denying the chilling message it sends to remaining military lawyers about the potential consequences of taking their job, and justice, seriously.
Saddam broke the “Gulf War” cease fire agreement; 17 UN Violations; and shot at our planes in the “NO-Fly-Zone”. Those are grounds for War and, 1441 was broken by Saddam when he didn’t let the inspectors in where they needed to inspect. This war is not illegal and we have every right to be there.
What’s important for people to understand is, it’s one thing to be against the war; it’s an (entirely) different thing to want us to lose b/c you think it’s the wrong place to be. Remember, we you route for “us” to lose, the “us” is our troops that are fighting to win this war; regardless of whether you think it’s legal or not.
So, I ask you, are you routing for us to win this war?! Yes or No?
Republicans didn’t completely blow it overnight, as you’d have people believe.
No … they’ve been crappin’ in their own nest for a long time, and now that sagging branch is about to collapse.
But don’t worry.
History shows that 80% to 90% of incumbents will be re-elected.
You say we need something big? A miracle?
Here’s what we need.
But, of course, not all seats are up for re-eleciton, but wouldn’t that be great?
Oh well … we can both dream.
You can dream of Bin Laden’s head,
and I’ll dream of a good strong flush in D.C.
“The job of defeating the Republicans may be nearing its end, but now the Democrats must defeat the problems that the Republicans created, and which pop up regardless of who’s in power.”
There’s your problem right there, your enemy is the Repubs when most of us view the real enemy as: Al Qaeda, Iranian President, North Korea, Chavez, and the rest of the sick commi’s and fascists out there. You’re wasting all your energy on partisan politics when you could use that (same) energy and use it against our “real” enemies.
“So, I ask you, are you routing for us to win this war?! Yes or No?”
What war would that be?
The war “our” troops are fighting in!!
And there you have it folks. The Republican befuddlement. They can’t distinguish between the Iraqi civil war and the war on terrorists. Two distinctly different wars with distinctly different sets of combatants fighting for distinctly different causes.
Thank you rahdigly for highlighting why the polls are sinking for your party and why so many Republicans are abandoning your party to become independent voters or vote Democrat this November.
The low estimate of the number of Iraqi’s dead.
Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 (Public law 107-243, 116 Stat. 1497-1502), authorized the use of force, if necessary against Saddam in Iraq.
As of yet, there has been no declaration of “war”, against any country.
The “war” on terror is a catch phrase, a metaphor, used to acknowledge that something is actually being done against those that produced Sept 11th.
“The Republican befuddlement. They can’t distinguish between the Iraqi civil war and the war on terrorists. Two distinctly different wars with distinctly different sets of combatants fighting for distinctly different causes.”
There is also the question of whether or not Stephen thinks the Republicans are the enemy.
We hear this continuing mantra that anyone that is against the Republicans is against the “war” on terror, is for the terrorists, is in league with the “enemy”, and against America.
I am personally no against bringing those that planned and help execute the attack that occurred on Sept. 11th.
That said, however, I am against the wasteful use of our men, and women of our military, and the fraudulent use of our tax dollars on a “whack-a-mole” adventure.
Let’s do this right or not do it at all.
after 1441, the U.N. inspectors were never denied access to anwhere they chose to go.
You are confusing 1441 with the U.N. sanctions following the first Gulf War. Even then, the inspectors ultimately had access. We made the case that they (Sadaam’s people) were sending in trucks to vacate any possible incriminating items, but even before we went in the second time we already had public disclosures of the aireal photos that showed that was not what was happening. I believe in one photo, the van supposedly showing up prior to the arrival of inspectors turned out to be not only too small for the alleged cleaning out of all evidence, but was shown to be selling ice-cream to kids!
Now, of course, we KNOW there were no WMD’s. 20-20 hindsight. But look at what is has, and continues to, cost us.
“I am personally no against bringing those that planned and help execute the attack that occurred on Sept. 11th.”
That should be;
I am personally not against bringing those that planned and helped execute the attack that occurred on Sept. 11th to justice.
Now that we’ve been tricked (no WMD) into this war, let’s do it right or get out now.
The Republicans aren’t my enemies. They’re my rivals. I have no illusions that our problems will just suddenly go away with your party’s defeat, but I think America will have an easier time in dealing with them with us in charge. If not, I’ll want to know the reason why myself, and I’ll hold my people accountable for what they have done or not done.
As for all those others? Worst threats first, and loudmouths who don’t pose a threat last. So al-Qaeda takes priority. Worlds full of dragons to slay, but that’s not our job unless they’re foolish enough to start causing us problems.
Your mistake in analyzing my motives is that you don’t realize how much my belief that Bush and the Congress’s policies are taking us down the wrong track figures in my motivation. If Bush had handled the threats facing the country right, many Democrats would not have become passionate opponents of his.
It’s time to stop this foolish notion that Democrats oppose Bush because they support the enemy. The fact is the exact opposite. Bush is in the way of the policy necessary to take them on right. That is what has made the opposition so fierce, not some misanthropy towards our own country. We fear for what happens when Bush is unopposed, when only a rubber stamp lies between him and his next error.
BOUNCE……..BOUnce…..Bounce….bounce…bounc…b… … kaput!
9/11 merely provided a ready-made excuse for the invasion of Iraq. This war was never about terrorism; it is the real-world manifestation of the preventive war doctrine of the neocons most recently re-formulated at the end of the Cold War.
If the United States is the sole superpower, then it can shape the world into the way it wants through sheer military might. Old news. Part and parcel of this effort was a domestic misinformation campaign that was remarkably effective.
This insanely hubristic approach met the real world. Iraq wasn’t the piece of cake it was supposed to be. Victory in Iraq was going to 1) put massive pressure on other countries to toe the line, and 2) be the beginning of future conquests in the region.
Instead of that rosy scenario, we have the mess we have now. Iran, seeing the mess in Iraq, knows we have overextended ourselves. It no doubt sees development of a nuclear bomb essential for deterrence, as North Korea does. The axis of evil saw Iraq go down; what the hell did we think they would try to do to preserve themselves?
It didn’t have to be this way. As the sole remaining superpower, we could have led the world in far more constructive ways. Force is most effective, sometimes, when it remains an unused threat.
We need more realistic foreign policy doctrines based on what we like to claim are the values of this country.
Are you suggesting that a violation of a UN resolution is grounds for war depite the fact that the war wasn’t authorized by the UN? I’ve heard this tired argument ever since the real justifications for the war fell through. I’d just hate to think of how thin we’d be spread were we to unilaterally acknowledge every violation of a resolution to be an act of war.
Maybe you have heard this argument from your party’s leadership so many times you take it as gospel, but I happen to recall recent history pretty clearly. The UN wanted more time to inspect and it turns out it was for a reason…there were no WMD’s. But I’m sure you’ll still argue, even after spending $350 billion and 3000+ lives to create the scariest security situation in the world, that clearer heads prevailed.
The UN wanted more time to inspect—sure, but they’d had nearly a decade to inspect already. The only reason ANY inspections took place again was that Bush hung a sword over Saddam’s head. The second that threat disappeared, Saddam would have returned to his old games, just as he did every time before.
The mistake Bush made, and it was a significant one, was in framing so much of the rationale for the war according to the demands of the UN. Saddam was firing missles at US planes regularly, a clear act of war. He was supporting terrorism in Israel by paying bounties to suicide bombers. He had conspired to assassinate a former President of the United States.
WMD became the prime focus because that was the clearest path to gaining UN approval. There were countless other reasons, including the threat of WMD, to take action, but Bush foolishly got locked into playing the UN’s game.
Even now, while North Korea is starving millions to build nukes- and threatening to plunge Asia into war, we have members of the Security Councel dithering about whether or not to even enact strong sanctions. I don’t advocate war with North Korea, but it’s foolish to attempt to solve this issue primarily through the UN.
The UN is a joke. A dangerous joke. Diplomacy is crucial, and the US needs to be heavily involved in it, but not within the confines of the UN.
If Dems cannot win under these condition, they are the biggest chumps in the world. I think they have a decent chance of winning that title.
Speaker Pelosi? How about Conyers or Murtha? It would be fun for us red guys. All the screw ups will be easy to find. But it would be bad for our country.
Bush needed to make at least a token attempt to get the UN on board, because otherwise he wasn’t going to have enough support for this war domestically. Moreover, Americans had doubts, after all this time concerning what we might find, and didn’t want to be on the wrong side of the facts.
The necessity of that dramatic scene in the UNSC with Colin Powell and his presentation was to get Americans to believe that this government had not knowledge, not just suspicions, of the Iraqis actions and infractions.
Many people suspected he still had WMDs. I did as well at the time. So did most people. If you asked, though, whether most believed they knew for sure, that’s another question.
That question becomes altogether necessary because pre-emptive war, which to be justified, must concern a threat that is really there. Intelligence failures like which happened to us go from being problems to becoming deal breakers.
Bush needed to be absolutely certain of finding something there to justify the war.
We treat the UN as a lap dog. Our policy as stated by many government officials is do to what we want. We can veto anything critical of us. When people say the UN is a joke, they mean it resists us in some way. We bully it, tell member nations you are either for us or against us, disregard it when we want. Calling it a joke is like painting a clown face on your dog and laughing at it.
We are really only squeezing the balloon. What if we had attacked N Korea instead of Iraq? We might have forestalled the nuclear bomb test that happened this week. We might have gotten rid of a dictator and cleaned up the Korean peninsula. In the meantime, Saddam gets his nuclear thing going and by this time of year it might have been him testing the bomb. Or maybe if we had started with Iran…
Just in the nick of time. Harry Reid, leader of the democratic party in the Senate…caught taking one million dollars form a lawyer with mob connections. supposedly for sale of a property that get this…Harry hasn’t owned in years. And there is something about his not having reported it to the Senate and there may be some income tax issues as well.
Mr Harry Reid….his own little world of corruption. And as I recall Mr Democrat Harry Reid took Abramhof dollars as well and refused to return them. Well, good old Harry is on the mob payroll, no wonder he understands about corruption ehh?
Now, what do you want to bet that the mainstream press will continue to beat the Republicans to death over an ex congressmen and give mob man Harry Reid a free pass and burry their coverage of his corruption on the 15th page somewhere until after the elections are over?
Israel has 100 UN Resolutions hanging over it. Are we going to enforce those next?
Nope we just give them more missles and cash.
I see the (r)wingnuts are still diving desperatly for slime…Any crumb for a dying ideology, eh?
If Dems cannot win under these condition, they are the biggest chumps in the world. I think they have a decent chance of winning that title.
Speaker Pelosi? How about Conyers or Murtha? It would be fun for us red guys. All the screw ups will be easy to find. But it would be bad for our country.
True. All the more reason to stop re-electing all of those incompetent, irresponsible, bought-and-paid-for, look-the-other-way incumbent politicians, eh?
After all, you seem to be admitting that Republicans have blown it. You don’t seem to have any faith that Democrats will make things better, and I’m in complete agreement with that.
So, why keep letting both take turns using and abusing everyone, enjoying their cu$hy, coveted seats, and a 90% re-election rate, while the nation continues a gradual decline into total fiscal and moral bankruptcy?
Do you think the partisan warfare is the real war you should be fighting?
Do you ever get the feeling that YOUR party has priorities other than the welfare of the nation?
Do you ever get tired of trying to make your value system fit YOUR party’s agenda?
Do you ever get the feeling that this petty partisan warfare, resulting in 90% re-election rates, is actually programming Congress to grow ever more irresponsible and corrupt?
Do you ever get tired of sheepishly saying “my party isn’t perfect, but it’s better than the OTHER party”?
Do you ever get tired of trying to convince yourself of that?
Do you ever get the feeling you may be helping the problem grow worse?
Do you ever get the feeling that you have been seduced into a circular pattern of behavior that distracts from real issues, and everything else has taken a back seat to merely making sure that YOUR party retains and/or gains more seats in Congress ? Afterall, we’ve done that over and over. Where did it get us? All it got us was more irresponsibility and more corruption.
Do you still think things are “good”, or “very good”?
Do you think this illusion of a “good” economy can last much longer, since it has been funded with massive debt, borrowing, spending, and money-printing?
I can see it now. The economy is about to go down the toilet, and Republicans will blame the Democrats for it. Never mind record level debt, borrowing, spending and money-printing while YOUR party was the “IN PARTY”.
At any rate, we all know what is most likely to unfold:
- Democrats will get their turn at being the “IN PARTY” after 7-Nov-2006
- Do-nothing Congress (in grid-lock due to a Democrat Congress and a Republican executive branch) will allow the nation’s many pressing problems fester and worsen.
- Massive debt, borrowing, spending, and mone-printing will continue to grow more out-of-control (all $22 trillion of federal debt is now 200% of GDP).
- A recession in 2007 or 2008 will make voters more unhappy. Iraq will be an even worse quagmire than it already is. Republicans will blame the new “IN PARTY” (Democrats) for everything, and vise-versa. In 2010, frustrated voters will oust a few more incumbents, but Congress will still enjoy an 70% to 80% re-election rate.
- The nation’s problems continue to increase in number and severity.
- In 2012, with debt, borrowing, spending, and money-printing truly out-of-control, another recession begins, and hangs on, and on, and on
- After that, who knows? What ever it is, we probably will not be well prepared for it, due to massive debt, limited growth, increasing global competition, declining public education, shortfalls in Social Security & Medicare, increasing cost and declining quality and safety of healthcare, increasing energy vulnerabilities, continued decline of the middle-income-class, increasing size and incompetence of government, increasing nation-wide debt, increasing foreclosures, and median incomes continue to decline.
And who do we have to thank for it?
Congress, and brainwashed voters that keep re-electing them, trapped in a circular pattern of thought and behavior. By the time they figure it out, it will most likely be too late.
You libs kill me with all of this talk of Bush having to take responsibility of his failures while in office. Has it ever occured to any of you about the responsibilities of the Clinton Admin? Oh wait! Im sorry slick Willy “tried”. So did Carter. He tried and failed at every damn thing he attempted from his handling of errositsto his dealings with N Korea. You Libs and so called independents act like each administration exists in a vaccum and that the current situations are all Bush’s fault and no one elses. Remind me who was in power during Somalia? The USS Cole? How about the Iran Hostage crisis? Who was the yahoo in charge that gave N Korea nuclear tech?
YOU have got to be kidding!
Clinton balanced the budget, produced a surplus, oversaw the the longest sustained growth this country has ever seen, brought into law the Welfar-back-to-work program, negotiated the Oslo accord, ditto the Kyoto accord.
your *messege* is silly!
You should submit a post to Watchblog about the “Mob guy Harry Reid” and the million he took from the mob.
Or maybe, it really wouldn’t be such a hot story after all. Like, maybe you might actually READ ABOUT WHAT ACTUALLY TRANSPIRED before you print such scurrilous slander. Really, read the entire story (or have someone who CAN explain it to you) before you go spouting off.
Say, BTW, what ever happened to Senate majority leader Bill Frist selling hospital stock that was supposedly in a blind trust? I haven’t heard anything about THAT in a while.
“We need more realistic foreign policy doctrines based on what we like to claim are the values of this country.”
I don’t know about you, but I have become sick unto death of this country’s ‘values’.
Massive debt, borrowing, spending, and mone-printing will continue to grow more out-of-control (all $22 trillion of federal debt is now 200% of GDP).
The National debt is actually around 8.5 trillion with a GDP of roughly 12.5 trillion (per U.S. treasury and Bureau of Economic Analysis) making it ABOUT 68% of our GDP not 200% (Please note that 68% is a moving target, it will likely be lower - 63-66% - when the BOE reports new numbers). I’m not sure where your source got it’s numbers but if it’s comparing inflation adjusted debt to non-inflation adjusted GDP it’s a distorted number. Don’t get me wrong, 68% is still WAY too high. It’s been worse, ~121% of GDP in 1946 but we also had very good prospects of growth after World War II. In short, we were able to grow ourselves into a lower debt ratio to under 40% in the late 60’s early 70’s. I don’t see the same growth prospects today.
National Debt=$8.6 trillion
+ Social Security Debt=$12.8 trillion
+ Pension Benefit G.C. Debt=$450 billion
TOTAL current debt = $21.85 trillion
($21.85 trillion / 12.5 trillion GDP) = 174%
ADD liabilities for 2007:
+ Unfunded Medicare liabilites=$200+ billion
+ Unfunded Drug Presciption liabilities=$100 billion
+ Unfunded Medicaid liabilites=$50+ billion
+ Unfunded Iraq liabilites=$150+ billion
+ Unfunded Afghanistan liabilites=$50+ billion
+ Unfunded Katrina liabilities=$200 billion
+ Other unfunded federal liabilities=$100 billion
TOTAL Unfunded liabilities for 2007 = $850 billion
TOTAL federal Debt through 2007 = $22.70 trillion
Current GDP = $12.5 trillion
(22.8 trillion /12.5 trillion GDP) = 182%
It’s not quite 200% yet.
Give it a few more months, and hope for no more Katrinas (or worse).
At this point, does it matter?
Daily Interest (alone) is over $billion per day (only on the $8.6 trillion National Debt).
There will eventually be consequences for that much debt, borrowing, spending, and money-printing.
This illusion of a good economy is being finaced with massive debt, borrowing, spending and money-printing. What happens when that runs out? Look for more money-printing. There will be no other choice.
I perhaps should have clarified who I meant by “we” in the sentence of mine you quoted. At any rate, we proclaim the values of democracy, human dignity, freedom, liberty, etc. But if you look at our foreign policy for the last 100 years, you hear these terms used to justify actions we take to secure our economic interests, to quell unruly foreign populations resisting tyranny and thus making it more difficult for U.S. investors, and to prop up rightwing authoritarians. Here’s an article on the topic, but, rightwingers beware!!!, it quotes Chomsky.
Stephen(my ill-informed namesake)
He only made 700,000 in profit. The ownership of the land, which only he and his partner owned was transferred to an LLC…
…which only he and his partner owned! No money changed hands. When it was sold, he still owned it.
This is from the same guy who tried to claim that Harry Reid was under the influence of Jack Abramoff, when he voted against what the man was lobbying for. This is from the same guy who accused him of taking boxing tickets for free, when what he used were VIP credentials he was forbidden to pay for by law.
You may get lucky and find a scandal to pin on us, but currently the facts pin nothing truly unethical on Harry Reid.
I think that youhavegottobekidding makes a better point than you think.
Budget/surplus/economic growth: Clinton was the beneficiary of conditions that came about through no credit of his own. The collapse of the Soviet Union and the subsequent end of the Cold War produced good economic conditions. Further, Reagan’s tax cuts stimulated large amounts of research in the 80s that paid off in the 90s. To his credit, Clinton didn’t screw things up, but remember that he also had a Republican Congress that actually passed the budget. Finally, that same growth you tout was 3 months into a recession when Bush took office. The growth of the economy since then, when factored with 9/11, 2 wars, Hurricane Katrina, and the unstable situation with Iran and North Korea is far more remarkable than any of Clinton’s achievements.
Welfare to Work: This was a Republican initiative. Clinton had 2 years with a Democratic Congress to “end welfare as we know it” and did nothing. It was only when Republicans came to power that meaningful welfare reform came about. Clinton’s only influence was to sign the bill into law.
Oslo Accord: That worked out well. Clinton gave false legitimacy to a terrorist organization and its corrupt head Arafat. At the same time, that Accord did not address the fundamental problems of Israel’s security and relied on the “good faith” of murders who to this day refuse to acknowledge Israel’s right to exist.
Kyoto Protocol: I’m surprised you even brought this one up. Anyone who knows the first thing about the American government knows that the Senate must approve all treaties. Clinton negotiated in bad faith knowing that Kyoto wouldn’t even get out of committee, to say nothing of seeing the Senate floor. Hell, the whole damned Senate, to include the Democrats, told him it was dead on arrival, and he still pushed it, negotiating in bad faith.
Agreed Framework: Jimmy Carter negotiated a deal that was foolish at its heart. Any agreement that depends on the good faith of a dictator like Kim is doomed to failure. North Korea was cheating from the beginning and laughing at us the whole time.
Clintonian diplomacy: Based more on feeling good than anything of substance. None of Clinton’s diplomatic initiatives have panned out. This doesn’t excuse Bush for his failures, but to hold up Clinton’s record for praise is like polishing a turd. You can do so as much as you want, but its still a turd and now you have shit on your hands.
Military: Clinton cut the active Army by 8 divisions, far more than Bush I proposed, reduced the Navy and Air Force, and at the same time deployed the military more than every president since Roosevelt combined. We’re still in Bosnia a decade after the Christmas Clinton said we’d be back, Haiti is still a mess, and Rwanda and Somalia are killing fields.
Terrorism: WTC bombing I, our embassies in Tanzania and Kenya bombed, Khobar Towers bombed, USS Cole bombed. Clinton’s response? Condemn the terrorists, take a pass on having bin Laden extradited from Sudan, lob a couple of cruise missiles at Iraq, miss a call to authorize a strike to kill bin Laden because you’re on a hot streak on the golf course, and remind everybody that it’s the economy stupid.
Conclusion: Bush has made plenty of mistakes, but Clinton did him no favors. Instead, he ignored foreign threats or dealt with them in a way that showed more concern for domestic consumption and his “legacy” than American interests and solutions to problems. He preferred to trust dictators and failed to recognize, despite repeated attacks, the danger posed by al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations. At the same time, his weak handling of Europe eroded America’s role as leader, encouraged the Franco-German block as an alternative leader and made it far more difficult for the West to negotiate from a position of strength.
It’s not clear Reagan Tax Cuts stimulated much of anything. Even then, one has to remember that he raised taxes three times, and that the deficits he ran contributed to the Recession that kicked Bush’s ass later. We were in that condition in the years after the cold war. The reality is, you can’t get something for nothing, and we’re going to pay a whole lot with our economy for the something Bush has been getting on deficit spending. In fact, because of interest rates, we’re going to be paying even more for it than if we had just used tax money.
Giving the Republican congress credit for the fiscal discipline of the 90s tells only half the story, since in the absence of Clinton, they’ve gone hogwild. Furthermore, we must realize that part of what got us even was the explosive growth in the economy, growth that was created by the internet revolution, which the Clinton administration supported conscientiously.
We didn’t have a recession when Bush took office. That didn’t happen until later. We had an economic slowdown, much more of it due to republican backed accounting and finance law “reforms” that essentially allowed corporate leaders to lie their asses off.
We also didn’t have huge structural deficits until Bush decided to spend without taxing to raise the revenues for what he spent. The reason we’re in a deficit is only partly economic. For the most part, it’s simply that Bush is knowingly failing to ask for most of the money he needs for all of the new spending, on budget and off, that he has been engaging in with the GOP Congress.
I would still say that Bush’s tax policy has had little to do with the economy’s strength. If that were the case, we would be doing better than we were under Clinton. As it is, we’ve done worse than Clinton, only now matching the heights previously attained, and with little cause to believe that the corporations of America are being honest about their finances.
On the subject of the Oslo Accord, at least Clinton had a plan. So far all Bush has been able to offer is the license for Israel to dig itself deeper and maintain the corrosive status quo. You can’t separate the military actions they take in the Palestinian Territories from the actions that keep people enraged and on the side of the terrorists. So far, the policies hav made terrorists like Hezbollah more attractive to them. So where’s our gain with getting tough? We chose Fatah because there really wasn’t a good alternative. By refusing even the lousy alternative, Bush has allowed the even worse alternative to become attractive to people. You can’t make a pressure cooker like the occupied territories better by increasing the heat. You have to inch back from hostilities, undo the tension, and reintegrate the territories into the wider community of the Middle East.
On the subject of Kyoto, again, Bush has eschewed the Clinton alternative without a real plan of his own. In fact, one might argue that he didn’t even see the necessity. He’s refused to see the scientific writing on the wall, even editing reports from scientists working for the government because of his disdain. Most Americans are convinced that this is foolish. Majority rules in America. What gives?
On the Agreed Framework we see more of this practice of rejection of Clinton policy, without the benefit of an active alternative. Bush’s response to the admittedly unreliable North Koreans was to try and intimidate this country that had stood against the world for half a century, and then threaten them as a implicit part of a trio he was going to make war against. Having done this, he did absolutely nothing to really get in the way of what they were doing, not even confronting them face to face. Under this agreement, the North Koreans were not processing Plutonium. They didn’t start again until Bush started making his threats. Who got better results, considering that North Korea just detonated a nuclear device?
Clinton Diplomacy got results. The West Bank and Gaza became more peaceful, not less. North Korea stopped the most crucial of the bad operations leading to making a bomb.
Military wise, Clinton employed the military in many conflicts, but never in the kind of numbers Bush has. Note the important fact that Bush did nothing to expand the size of this army when he decided to go on such huge ventures. Clinton’s downsizing of the army, to the degree he did, might have been mistake, but he didn’t compound it by sending America to war with so few soldiers.
Bosnia, if you’ll notice, is in a hell of lot better shape than Iraq is in, Haiti’s was a mess before we got there (and may be for some time) Rwanda was more of a case of our failure to intervene, and Somalia was in civil war and our intervention was not meant to resolve that, but rather the humanitarity situation. Moreover, Somalia was started under Bush 1.
On the subject of terrorism, Reagan and Bush had their share of terrorist attacks on American interests, with the actual attacks on America only coming as an unintended consequence of the first Gulf War. Clinton had an active counterterrorism program going, something Bush would put on the backburner until it bit him on the ass on 9/11. The extradition of Bin Laden was unlikely because the Saudis wouldn’t take him, and the Sudanese were far too chummy with Bin Laden. Iraq had nothing to do with terrorism in those days. And the this whole thing about having the president nowhere to be found when an actual order was asked for? We never had Bin Laden in our sights to kill, and otherwise, the immediacy of getting an order is meaningless.
Clinton strengthened international and UN relationships. He came up with actual plans that got results. He didn’t solve most problems, but he did better than just stand around and talk at them. He didn’t go sending us gallivanting to war unprepared, and he recognized and took steps to confront Bin Laden. Under Clinton, we were a world leader, and not just a world power. Under Bush, we now negotiate without a rested army free to kick people’s asses, with many idle threats made, and many problems Bush was supposed to be better at facing worse than when Clinton was handling them.
Bush has been worse at foreign policy than his predecessor, and we have lost much ground under his tenure. But hey, we get to act tough! We get to act like we’re in control! We don’t have to listen to critics, or admit that we’re wrong! We just have to pretend we’re doing better than we actually are.
Stephen - the real; Great Post. Of course that might just be because I agree with you :-) but still…
I didn’t even need to respond to 1lt at all, myself.
I’ll add this anyway -
The republican version of welfare reform did not include any re-training, re-education of any kind or any job search program or initiative of any kind - the very additions that have made the whole thing so successful!!! Clinton did that.
AS for Clinton’s diplomatic initiatives, look to the republicans who blocked or perverted every one of them. Oslo accord: Bush’s refusal to recognize the PLO or Arafat left us with HAMAS…is that supposed to be better? He’s an idiot.
Kyoto: GREAT idea and VERY necessary, but the republicans blocked it.
Response to the terrorism: Whehether you choose to recall it or not we went hunting for those perpetrators immediately and we did so with help from much of the rest of the World. Something Bush will never be able to wield. Again, he’s an idiot. Bush’s answer to diplomacy is ill-considered force.
There is a basic principle of power that Poker players and Democrats understand but which eludes Bush and the republicans completely: Power creates greater influence when it is UNWIELDED than when it over-spent. In other words - The threat of power accomplishes more than the excercise of it. Once it is excercised, the hand is revealed. It’s too late to go back and make adjustments or consider new information. Power wielded without careful considered care inevitably creates enemies.
“Clinton Diplomacy got results. The West Bank and Gaza became more peaceful, not less. North Korea stopped the most crucial of the bad operations leading to making a bomb.”
What Clinton’s diplomacy did was allow people like Kim and Yasser to fly under the radar and do whatever they wanted with nobody watching them.
When you make deals with thugs and thieves, you need to remember to check your wallet when you leave.
Unwielded, overspent- I dislike both. It’s the economy of a policy, the value gained for the power used, that defines the good that can come from it. For example, the use of more soldiers earlier, though entailing more trouble and expense, would have better served the objective we had left over after Iraq fell and we were left short of the things we were looking for.
More to the point, A bloody war in Afghanistan would have been far easier to stomach than this bloody war in Iraq, since defeating the Taliban and al-Qaeda permanently would be a more valuable use of resources than the persistent use of Iraq as a killing ground for would-be jihadists, and a muddled attempt at nation building. Somebody should have told Bush you can’t have a battlefield for getting into fights with terrorists and a functioning republic in one place. You must choose peace as your objective, or war, and you got to have a better idea of when your war is over than “when the terrorists get tired of getting killed.”, because its far easier to waste your efforts when you don’t have a clear idea of what will substantively lead to your triumph over the enemy. The insurgents and their terrorist allies/rivals/counterparts altogether have a very clear idea of how they can continue to win: keep on killing Americans, force Americans to leave. With such clarity of purpose, the only thing that can get in their way are the people of Iraq.
That, I think, is the biggest failure of this president. He lead us into a war with only an idealistic notion of what victory was, and without a clear notion of what conditions had to be met in order to leave- not even so they could be proved wrong and replaced by better understandings.
More than anything else, my call has been on this President and his party to get their act straight on planning the endgame of this war. Either we figure out how to finish this war off right in some organized, workable fashion, or we will be forced by economic and political pressures to leave with our victory undone, both cut short and rendered impossible.
Bush’s confrontational mentality only works when you can and will commit to a war. Otherwise, it’s a bunch of hot air. Bush has neither the troops nor the political support to go gallivanting into armed conflict with either of these two powers over their lies and misdeeds until people sense a true threat in the making. That being the case, Bush’s approach is either about making things worse by broadcasting needlessly inflammatory rhetoric, giving the other side the excuse to both escalate their actions, and escalate their words, or letting things get worse by refusing to consider other means of dealing with the problem.
We can’t make honest men of our politicians here, so it puzzles me how we intend to prevent the dictators out there from being dishonest about their dealings. What we can do, is let them save a little face, then wield real power over them by giving them aid and commerce that we can withdraw if we catch them doing something. That’s the name of the game. That’s the difference between Bush’s official version of how we got Khaddafi to cooperate, and the real story.
The Bush supporters need to wake up to the fact that America’s power is built not on the broad capability to act, but the capability to act from situation to situation. A protracted war like we’re fighting reduces that capability. The idle threats Bush flings around only serve to make us look that much weaker, and erode our power. He’s letting them demonstrate for the world how little power we have. Clinton’s agreements, though not always abided by, at least forced noncompliance underground, making it more dangerous to their interests to misbehave, to get caught doing wrong. That gave more control over the situation to us, even though we did not have total control. If things spun out of control, it would not be us who took it to that point.
In short, we should be making agreements, and allowing our enemies to reduce their own power and dig their own graves by not abiding by them. Let our enemies frustrate the international community, not us. Let them be made pariahs for their defiance, not us. We win by making it harder for them to get what they want and easier for ourselves by comparison.
“Clinton’s agreements, though not always abided by, at least forced noncompliance underground, making it more dangerous to their interests to misbehave, to get caught doing wrong. That gave more control over the situation to us, even though we did not have total control. If things spun out of control, it would not be us who took it to that point.”
Do you really believe half of the stuff you shovel? It was better to let them go underground? Who’s the ostrich now?
It was a simple point Keith.
We cannot assert control over every potential nuclear nation to the extent of knowing everything and regulating everything relating to their nuclear programs. It is simply impossible to do. Therefore, if the choice is to, as Clinton did, take a less stringent approach but have a more unified coilition backing you up…effectively forcing rogue nations into secrecy where one slip-up would unite the world against them. Or the second option being, as Bush has done and continues to do, to publicly antagonize them with rhetoric that is inflexible (calling them “evil” for instance) making it so that most nations refuse to back up our words and instead call for a softer approach, and also making it so that the weapons programs can be carried out in the open.
Now, you tell me, which approach is better? It’s not burying your head in the sand…it is simply not putting sand in the ass-crack of every other nation we hope would support us in our “noble” endeavers. A smart leader will take the approach that yields the best results reletive to the goal, and NOT the approach that yields the best talking points on domestic television and radio.
I’m a conservative who believes that America should never be made into a World Police Force operating at the expense of American taxpayers. This new crop of Bush-esque republicans seems to revel in the idea of paying incredible amounts of money to beat other nations over the head with a stick. To do otherwise is labeled as “passivism” or “appeasement”.
I simply look at it as staying true to my conservative values. The federal government should stay out of issues whenever possible. They tend to only make a mess of anything they touch. This especially includes foreign issues. Nuclear proliferation, for example, is an issue that affects all nations…not just one or a few. Therefore, the only good enforcement is universal (world-wide) enforcement. The only way to ensure this is feasible is to first come to a consensus.
Trying to force a more extreme approach on nations will simply cause them to repulse…effectively shooting yourself in the foot. It’s like they say: Rome wasn’t built in a day. Our troops may be good, but they are not THAT good. Lets help them out whenever possible…what do you say? Do you support our troops or not? (haha…sorry, I couldn’t resist that last one)
I’m not in the habit of lying to people. I’m simply saying, in the games of international politics, its better to be the lawgiver than the lawbreaker. Power accrues to those who can set consequences for actions, and the Bush Doctrine makes it easier for others to react against us from a position of power.
Tell me, with NK, who do you think has the power, the person who has to bluff and bluster with a nuclear program to get noticed, or the people who can determine what aid to give them or deny them?