John McCain: A Man with Integrity

Liberals & the media loved John McCain when he criticized the President for sending in too few troops and mismanaging the war. It was what Senate Dems claimed to believe. McCain was popular for speaking truth to power, but when the President switched to a strategy more in line with what McCain & Senate Dems had long advocated, Dems scurried away and left McCain standing alone.

Dems are less fond of truth when it does not support their current political goals. I will not speculate about the motivation for their inconsistency. John McCain lays out the truth. We made lots of mistakes in Iraq. The surge in its early stages seems to be producing positive results. We cannot know yet if the new strategy will work, but given the terrible risks of precipitous withdrawal, i.e. defeat (sometimes euphemistically called redeployment) it is wise to give the surge a chance.

It is hard to see how his holding his ground will help McCain politically - unless he is right and we should all pray that he is right. If he is wrong, nothing will save him or us. McCain knows this. He loves his country more than his political future. He will not take the road to perdition so conveniently and brightly blazed by the Dems. If we stay and he is wrong, America will face a costly defeat, which is - BTW - the almost the same thing that will happen to us if we “redeploy” too soon. THe surge is the only chance to avoid defeat.

Defeat will bring harsh consequences. In the optimistic scenario, it will be similar to what happened after our redeployment out of Vietnam. After "Vietnam scenario" possibilities rapidly decline.

McCain doesn’t know whether or not we can achieve the reasonable result with the surge. Neither does anybody else. We can only make decisions in the present that affect the future and all we make all important decisions in a climate of great uncertainty. The only question we need to address is whether staying longer will produce a better result than rapid redeployment. Everybody, starting with the President wants to bring American troops home as soon as practical. There are no disagreements about that and never were. There are, unfortunately, no good alternatives. Every choice has costs. We will pay the price staying too long. We will the pay a price for leaving too soon. We will pay the price even if we get it just right.

It takes courage to face the hard choices and not pretend we have an easy out. McCain has courage.

Posted by Jack at April 9, 2007 9:46 PM
Comments
Comment #215790

Jack, he lost a lot of his integrity sucking up to Falwell and his ilk.

Posted by: j2t2 at April 9, 2007 9:57 PM
Comment #215792

Not a sparrow falls w/o your noting it. I didn’t even finish editing. Thanks for noticing.

Posted by: Jack at April 9, 2007 10:01 PM
Comment #215794

Jack,

It’s ‘cause we love you.

So what are the terrible consequences, if we withdraw by the end of 08 as opposed to later, or are you suggesting we adopt Iraq as a colony?

Posted by: gergle at April 9, 2007 10:09 PM
Comment #215796

I wanted to add, I do like McCain for his moments of honesty. I watched the 60 miniutes piece where he admitted his blunder about Iraq and confessed to sometimes being driven by ambition to make phoney statemnts and disingenuous positions.

I don’t think he’ll ever be president for exactly that reason, though. He lacks vision, and while he does seems to have a moral grounding, he too frequently strays from it.

Posted by: gergle at April 9, 2007 10:20 PM
Comment #215799

j2t2, agreed.
Actually I believe that McCain is now coming close to completely losing his reputation for “maverick” integrity — and he has clearly lost his feel for what the average American is thinking in many ways. I’ll give a few examples:

1. He just went to Iraq walked around with a bunch of bodyguards in and near the Greenzone, came back and spoke of great success — completely at odds with what the facts on the ground actually are. He claimed we’re making “significant progress” when the average daily death toll of Iraqi people was higher in March than it was in February. People DO notice such things, yet he was obviously hoping they wouldn’t. When they did, he needed to quickly back pedal on 60 Minutes.
2. Straight out of the gate with his campaign, he immediately hired a group of notorious Bushie thugs, began a strategy of wooing the very hardest of the hard-core conservatives (this because he knows they control the primaries), and has become a total hypocrite trashing his own campaign finance reforms in order to rake in bundles of cash from lobbyists.
3. Because of #’s 1 and 2, he’s made a very clear statement that he doesn’t care at all about what Moderate Republicans, or the Liberal and Independent voters who used to like and support him now think. As a result, they don’t think much.

It seems ridiculous of Mr. “Straight Talk Express” to believe that these kind of factors aren’t going to matter in the general election.
They defintely will.

Posted by: Adrienne at April 9, 2007 10:37 PM
Comment #215809

Adrienne & j2t2,
Ditto. I figured McCain would be a lock for the Republican nomination, simply because he is the institutional candidate, and for the past six presidential elections, Republicans have stuck with the institutional candidate. The institutional candidate represents the corporatist element of the party, the big money, and McCain wants the presidency so bad, he is willing to be that candidate.

But he actually lags Giuliani and Romney when it comes to fundraising. I suspect that will change, since neither Giuliani nor Romney have been subjected to the white hot spotlight of a presidential primary campaign.

McCain had the fundamental decency to oppose the policy of torture carried out by the Bush administration. That stand by McCain, along with the personal fortitude he demonstrated during his wartime experiences, will always have my respect.

McCain is tying his political fortunes to Iraq. My best guess is that he will win the nomination, but lose the election, and he will lose because of Iraq. He is doomed.

Jack,
You write: “Everybody, starting with the President wants to bring American troops home as soon as practical.”

That is simply not true. The Iraq Study Group recommended that the Bush administration refer to the 14 US military bases in Iraq as “temporary” rather than “permanent.” To date, the Bush administration refuses to do so. Those permanent bases will be there as long as a Republican is in the White House. They are needed to protect the incredibly lucrative oil deals struck by Exxon, BP, and other western Big Oil companies. These represent the sweetest deal for Big Oil in the entire Middle East, bar none, and nothing will stop Republican presidential candidates from kowtowing to the corporatist element of the party.

Hagel is the lone, legitimate exception.

Posted by: phx8 at April 9, 2007 11:54 PM
Comment #215812

Jack, you don’t lose the war and THEN decide to send in more troops. That only results in far higher casualties than were ever necessary in the first place had sufficient troops been sent in the beginning.

This is so typical of Republicans these days: screw it up and then come to their senses as to what is needed AFTER the damage is done. So true of the Gonzalezgate, Libbygate, DeLaygate, Pagegate, Iraq, Afghanistan, N. Korea, Abramoffgate, Soc. Sec., Medicare Rx program, etc. etc. etc.

America can’t afford this crap which stems from trading loyalty to hide wrongs and misdeeds for competence and righteous policy in the first place.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 10, 2007 12:06 AM
Comment #215815

Unfortunately, McCains presidential ambitions are clouding his judgement.

I used to have more respect for John McCain.
He was one politician that was tough on fighting pork-barrel (except for that $1 million dollars for the brown tree snake in Guam; some unnecessary pork at a time when some of our troops were going without body armor, inadequate medical care, and promised benefits).

But it turns out that he is as delusional as Bush.
This last little visit by John McCain to a market in Iraq was a blatant attempt to twist the truth.
John McCain went into an Iraqi marketplace in the Green zone and talks about how things are improving.
Never mind that he’s wearing a bullet proof vest, surrounded by a hundred troops, three circling Blackhawk helicopters, and U.S. snipers on all the nearby roofs. Also, the market was also (most likely) thoroughly scanned/surveyed before entering it. John McCain also admitted to mispeaking about Petraus driving around alone in his humvee.

And, never mind that there were sniper incidents 24 hours later in that same market.
Never mind that the market inside the small Green zone is only a tiny region within a large country where civil war and sectarian violence continues to rage.
I’m not trying to take anything away from John McCain’s service record (in Vietnam), but John McCain pretty much went on camera and lied to all of us.
That does not equate to integrity.
That one little market in the Green zone is NOT representative of the rest of Iraq.
John McCain’s position on Iraq is all messed up.

Also, John McCain’s name is on this list.
He is one of many senators that voted to give Social Security benefits to illegal aliens.

One of the most fundamental duties of the federal government is to secure the nation’s borders.
Yet, the federal government is failing at that most basic duty.

Here are some other things that are hard to explain:

  • John McCain Supports Amendment against flag-burning. (Apr 1999)

  • Voted YES on recommending Constitutional ban on flag desecration. (Jun 2006)

  • Voted YES on Amendment to prohibit flag burning. (Dec 1995)

  • Supports anti-flag desecration amendment. (Mar 2001)

  • Voted NO on repealing tax subsidy for companies which move US jobs offshore. (Mar 2005)

  • Admitted about instances where he looked the other way too (on NPR in 2005)

  • Violence in media caused Littleton shootings. (Apr 1999)

  • Supports overthrowing “rogue” governments to keep Americans safe. (Feb 2000)

  • Voted NO on banning more types of Congressional gifts. (Jul 1995)

  • Supports term limits on Congress. (Jul 1998), but two years later …

  • No term limits; they throw away the good with the bad. (Jan 2000)

  • Higher taxes on cigarettes. (Jan 2000)

  • Matching funds for seniors citizens’ prescription drugs. (Dec 1999)

  • We don’t have as much to fear as we had in the past. (Apr 2004)

  • Voted NO on restricting business with entities linked to terrorism. (Jul 2005)

  • Make possible for immigrants to do a job Americans won’t do. (Oct 2004) (a.k.a. corporations want cheap labor)

  • Voted YES on establishing a Guest Worker program. (May 2006) (a.k.a. amnesty)

  • Voted YES on allowing illegal aliens to participate in Social Security. (May 2006)

  • Voted YES on allowing more foreign workers into the US for farm work. (Jul 1998) (yes, we need cheap labor to exploit rather than pay Americans a fair wage)

  • Voted YES on visas for skilled workers. (May 1998) (more cheap labor; never mind that it is all a huge burden on Americans workers; where is John McCain’s compassion for his own fellow Americans?)

  • Voted NO on raising the minimum wage to $7.25 rather than $6.25. (Mar 2005) (well, it doesn’t really matter when cheap labor is flooding across the borders by the millions)

  • Trust Fund is a ticking time bomb, set to go of fin 2014. (Jan 2000) (yet, they keep spending the surpluses)

  • Disallow using Trust Fund for “emergency” spending. (Jun 1999) , yet …

  • Voted YES on using the Social Security Surplus to fund tax reductions, yet … (Jul 1999)

  • Voted YES on Social Security Lockbox & limiting national debt. (Apr 1999)

  • Voted NO on across-the-board spending cut. (Oct 1999)

  • Recommended we send in a heavy wave of troops to Iraq to establish order. (Nov 2006)

  • The Iraqi war was necessary after years of failed diplomacy. (Aug 2004)

  • The Iraqi war was necessary, achievable and noble. (Aug 2004)

  • The cause of the Iraqi war was just. (Apr 2004)

  • Important to win, important for US to be superpower. (Jun 1999)

  • Voted NO on redeploying troops out of Iraq by July 2007. (Jun 2006)

  • Voted NO on investigating contract awards in Iraq & Afghanistan. (Nov 2005)

  • Voted YES on authorizing use of military force against Iraq. (Oct 2002)

  • CIA assessments ib Iraqi WMDs were all wrong. (Mar 2005)
John McCain can kiss his chances at the presidency good bye.

Posted by: d.a.n at April 10, 2007 12:30 AM
Comment #215819

One other item on the McCain visit to the Shora market. The next day, minibuses carrying 22 marketplace workers were ambushed, and the workers were killed.

Posted by: phx8 at April 10, 2007 1:30 AM
Comment #215823

Gergle

I think it would be great to withdraw next year. I would like to withdraw earlier. It depends on conditions. It seems to me that if the surge does not work, we should know by the end of summer. If at that time the cost of withdrawing is less than the cost of staying, I think we should leave. We just should not make up our minds at this time. We do not have sufficient information for that decision.

Adrienne

I agree that McCain doesn’t seem to care what people think. He knows he cannot win only with the support of only hard core conservatives and yet he still hold to the position he did, even when Dems have abandoned it. Whether we like it or not, that is what mavericks do. They are not mavericks if they do what people want them to do. That is why lots of people like to be called mavericks, but there really are not many of them.

I think McCain is giving up his chance to be president. Even if the surge works, many people will never forgive him for being so up front. I respect that he is willing to sacrifice his ambition for what he thinks is right.

Phx8

The president repeatedly said he wanted to leave as soon as possible. In fact the early Dem criticism of Bush was that he was too eager to get out. As he changes his position, they change theirs.

Nobody knows is the surge will succeed. Initially the bad guy will try to kill as many people as possible. That should be no surprise. In fact, they will try to kill as many people as possible in places where things are getting better. I know a couple of people who run PRTs. They have good news stories. They do not share them for fear the bad guy will read about them and kill people in an extravagant fashion to negate the good news.

We need to remember that the enemy is made up principally of horrible terrorists. They are not fighting an insurgency; they are murdering Iraqi civilians. Unfortunately, murdering civilians is a low cost operation, especially if they can convince some poor loser that his sex life will improve in the afterlife if he kills a bunch of his fellow citizens.

Posted by: Jack at April 10, 2007 7:48 AM
Comment #215826

“Extremist Shiite militia leader Moqtada al-Sadr is in hiding, his followers are not contesting American forces, sectarian violence has dropped in Baghdad and we are working with the Shiite mayor of Sadr City.”

JMcCain

Todays Headline;

Huge Protest in Iraq Demands U.S. Withdraw

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/10/world/middleeast/10iraq.html?hp

“There is no guarantee that we will succeed, but we must try. As every sensible observer has concluded, the consequences of failure in Iraq are so grave and so threatening for the region, and to the security of the United States”

J McCain

So grave? So threatening? Hype talk of the worst variety that will lead to 1,000 more dead soldiers…..I’m thinking the evidence suggest this 7,000 year region will do better without us. It’s time to leave. We’re not going to help settle 7,000 year old tribal differences and its their oil not Exxon Mobiles.

Posted by: muirgeo at April 10, 2007 8:14 AM
Comment #215827

Jack,

You obviously admire McCain. Whether he has shown integrity in regard to Iraq is somewhat subjective. Some people might call him pig-headed or delusional. I suppose he is slightly more honest than the average politician.

I actually feel kind of sorry for him lately. He was a big hero when he passed campaign finance reform. Now his reform has been completely ineffective, and he has to defend himself for “only” raising 12 million dollars. The world has really passed him by.

Everybody, starting with the President wants to bring American troops home as soon as practical. There are no disagreements about that and never were.

This is wrong in so many ways I don’t know where to begin. Plenty of people were on record against the war before it even started. Barack Obama, for one. Then we have many people who want to bring the troops home immediately, and always have. At the other extreme is Bush who wants to leave his mess for the next President.

Posted by: Woody Mena at April 10, 2007 8:33 AM
Comment #215829

Another reason I feel sorry for McCain is the cold shoulder he is getting from conservatives.

OK, I’m an outsider, but this just doesn’t make any sense to me: You have John McCain, who has been consistently conservative except for a few points like campaign finance reform. Then you have Rudy Giuliani, who oppose the conservatives on abortion, gun control, gay rights, cross-dressing, etc. Then you have Mitt Romney, who doesn’t know who the hell he is. It is patently obvious that he simply chooses his identity to fit the political needs of the moment. All politicians do this to some degree, but he isn’t even subtle about it.

Given these three options, it seems to me that a conservative would choose McCain in a heartbeat.

Posted by: Woody Mena at April 10, 2007 8:50 AM
Comment #215832

Woody

It is just a turn of phrase. Yes, some people opposed the war in general, but I would guess they were for getting out as soon a practical once we were in.

I do admire McCain. The line between stubbornness and integrity can be blurred and is usually decided after the fact depending on the success or the enterprise. Churchill was a pig headed fool to oppose Hitter in 1938 and a prescient prophet a couple years later.

Of the three candidates, I like each of them for different reasons. McCain has character and integrity. On the downside, his only experience is in the Senate, which is not good practice for the executive. Guiliani and Romney have leadership experience. Romney is obviously the smartest guy in the race, but you are right that he does not really know who he is. Giuliani’s views are more in tune with my own. I do not have a problem with gay marriage and I think abortion is very bad, but should be legal.

I think that liberals underestimate conservatives on the maturity of their views. Just as some Dems can never accept a pro-life candidate, some conservatives cannot accept a pro-choice one. But these groups are shrinking.

Posted by: Jack at April 10, 2007 9:29 AM
Comment #215835

Jack,

“Maturity” is an interesting choice of words. If someone is really committed to outlawing abortion, I don’t see anything immature about exclusively voting for people who share your views. Maybe a better word would be “open-minded” or “pragmatic”.

What puzzles me is why this maturity or open-mindedness or whatever leads conservatives to embrace Giuliani more than McCain. I can only guess that they don’t trust McCain because he has gotten too much good press from the wrong people.
Giuliani, on the other hand, got beat up a lot as mayor of New York so conservatives figure he must be alright.

Just the view of outsider, trying to fathom the conservative mind.

Posted by: Woody Mena at April 10, 2007 9:53 AM
Comment #215837

Jack,

You know that I have been a McCain supporter in the past.
That said, I would be hard pressed to decide which image was more hilarious;
McCain walking around Baghdad in the flack jacket surrounded by a cadre of armed troops,
or
Dukakis in that tank.

Posted by: Rocky at April 10, 2007 10:15 AM
Comment #215838

And what about Giuliani’s and Romney’s positions on illegal immigration ?

Giuliani had a policy (as mayor of NYC) of preventing city employees from contacting the Immigration and Naturalization Service about immigration violations, on the grounds that illegal aliens must be able to take actions such as to send their children to school, or report crime and violations without fear of deportation. He ordered city attorneys to defend this policy in federal court. The court ruled that New York City’s sanctuary laws were illegal. After the City of New York lost an appeal to the United States Supreme Court, Giuliani vowed to ignore the law. By doing so, Giuliani is pitting American citizens and illegal aliens against each other. Giuliani also expressed doubt that the federal government can completely stop illegal immigration. In 1996, Giuliani said, “I believe the anti-immigration movement in America is one of our most serious public problems”. In 2000, Giuliani said of New York City, “Immigration is a very positive force for the City of New York. Immigration is the key to the city’s success. Both historically and to this very day.” In this speech, he did not mention illegal immigration. Hence, Giuliani has little respect for immigration laws and cares nothing about the burdens (over $70 billion per year) it places on American citizens. Democrat and Republican politicians want cheap labor, and Democrat politicians want voters (since they believe most illegal aliens will become Democrats).
The American voters get screwed.
There is no compassion for the American citizens that can’t get medical care because the hospitals are overrun with illegal aliens.
There is no compassion for the American citizens that can’t get welfare or aid because 32% of all illegal aliens receive welfare.
There is no compassion for the American citizens that are burdened with the high cost of law enforcement and increased crime, and 29% of all incarcerated are illegal aliens.
There is no compassion for our children’s declining quality of education; largely a result of massive burdens on our schools overrun by illegal aliens.
There is no compassion for our the victims of crime by illegal aliens; 95% of all arrest warrants in Los Angeles are for illegal aliens.

Did any of you see McCain being interviewed on his bus a few weeks ago, and he called the reporter interviewing him a “jerk” ?
What’s up with that?
He’s driving about in his bus looking for publicity and money, and he calls the woman interviewing him a “jerk”? ! ?

In fact, he was being critical of all reporters because he said to her “jerks like you”.

Posted by: d.a.n at April 10, 2007 10:49 AM
Comment #215840

Jack:
“I agree that McCain doesn’t seem to care what people think.”

Right, exactly like Bush.

“He knows he cannot win only with the support of only hard core conservatives and yet he still hold to the position he did, even when Dems have abandoned it.”

Yes, holding to a position that no longer reflects reality or is effective, just like Bush.
America has had quite enough of that, I believe.

“Whether we like it or not, that is what mavericks do. They are not mavericks if they do what people want them to do.”

No. Mavericks hold onto their own PRINCIPLES come hell or high water, but when holding leadership positions they know they still have to be answerable to the people.
Holding onto strategies or ideas that clearly aren’t working isn’t being a Maverick. People who do this might want to think of themselves as such, but in reality they are either very immature, or stubborn, or delusional, or psychotic. Or some combination of those four.

“That is why lots of people like to be called mavericks, but there really are not many of them.”

Maybe not in the circles you frequent, Jack. Happily enough, I happen to be acquainted plenty — some alive, and some dead.

Here are the sentiments of a true Maverick:

Let them call me rebel and welcome, I feel no concern from it; but I should suffer the misery of devils, were I to make a whore of my soul by swearing allegiance to one whose character is that of a sottish, stupid, stubborn, worthless, brutish man.

—Thomas Paine, The Crisis, December 23, 1776

In my view, McCain used to be a Maverick, but he is now making a whore of his soul over the chance to become the president.

Posted by: Adrienne at April 10, 2007 11:00 AM
Comment #215841

What cares a partisan for truth? A partisan’s use of the term is disingenuous, at best.

Posted by: Gerrold at April 10, 2007 11:08 AM
Comment #215844

McCain’s problem, according to Jonathan Alter, is that he just can’t stand back and be objective on Iraq.

I remember reading The Best and the Brightest, one of the definitive works on how we got into and lost Vietnam, and he did an introduction to that work, explaining that when he got back from his time as a POW, he went through that book trying to find out how things went so wrong.

I think he should re-read it, because a number of the failures that it details have analogues in Iraq. One of those failures is the unwillingness to step back and consider what’s going on from a detached perspective.

In all human endeavours, from fixing the plumbing, to working on the car, to running a business, to running a war, there’s a point where pride and the unwillingness to admit failure can lead you to make things worse. The Republicans need to step back and take a detached look at what they’re doing. Unfortunately, much of Republican party doctrine rejects such detachment as weak vacillation, as being wishy-washy.

So there you go. The Republicans care too much about vindication, about not admitting defeat, and not enough about figuring out the right way to do things when things become difficult.

There’s a chinese story about this butcher who is astonished to find that a colleague rarely needs to sharpen his knives, as his get constantly dull. When he asks, the other butcher tells him that this is possible because he doesn’t dull his blades cutting against the bones, but instead finds the spaces between the joints, the cuts that go around the bones, rather than trying to hack against them.

We should have worked smarter, not harder, on Iraq. Determination will not win what victories means will not afford.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 10, 2007 11:21 AM
Comment #215850

Adrienne

McCain has stuck to his position re the war when most others have abandoned it. Whether or not you like that position, he clearly knows it is unpopular and will do him little good in the presidential race. I do not see how it could be cynical calculation to cripple himself in this way.

Thomas Paine wrote a lot. We do enjoy his rhetoric. It is somewhat easier to support in rhetoric rather than deeds, however. Paine also supported the French revolution, which was a disaster.

I do not know about you, but when I was in HS I was a bit of a nerd. I recall writing a paper on being a rebel. The nerds are the true rebels, in that they do what they want w/o reference to the good opinion of the cool kids. The cool kids feign rebellion, but are actually well disciplined by the cool kid society. Lots of rebels are like that. Would you be re Iraq if you held the opinion that 65% of the other people hold? It is much more a rebel stand to support that surge than oppose it.

Stephen

I recognize the Taoist tale. We should always work smart. But fighting a war is not like butchering a cow. The cuts you make in the cow are all your initiative. In war, the enemy is also intelligent. He responds to your moves and learns. Very often determination is what DOES win wars.

Posted by: Jack at April 10, 2007 11:42 AM
Comment #215852

Re: Senator John McCain

Stick a fork in ‘im, I think he’s done.

His flip-flops regarding the Crazy Christian Right, torture, corporate welfare and insane military-complex spending puts him in league with his country’s greatest triangulators—the Clintons. He, like the Clintons, being the ambitious type that he is, is more interested in positioning himself instead of taking a position. That is the difference between leadership and whoring for personal self-aggrandizement.

Maverick my ass!

Posted by: Tim Crow at April 10, 2007 11:53 AM
Comment #215851

Jack,

“He responds to your moves and learns. Very often determination is what DOES win wars.”

Not if you don’t respond to your enemy’s moves and learn.

Posted by: Rocky at April 10, 2007 11:53 AM
Comment #215855

Rocky

Yes. We also need to respond and learn. How about this for learning on both sides. We COULD stay in Iraq for a very long time. The terrorist COULD break. Is it not a matter of determination on both sides?

Tim

I really fail to see how McCain’s current postitioning can be done for cynical advantage. The smart play would be to lay low to see which way things are going.

Posted by: Jack at April 10, 2007 12:00 PM
Comment #215860

Jack,

I agree with you that McCain is probably sincere in his support for the surge, but that doesn’t mean he’s right. Many Republicans, including Generals, think the surge is a bad idea. Tens of thousands of Iraqis protested America’s presence in Iraq yesterday, chanting “Death to America”. These are the people we are in the process of liberating and whose support we are relying on to win this war. It’s not McCain’s sincerity I doubt, it’s his judgement.

You wrote:

The president repeatedly said he wanted to leave as soon as possible. In fact the early Dem criticism of Bush was that he was too eager to get out. As he changes his position, they change theirs.

This was back when Bush and company were openly predicting the war would be won and troops home in a couple months. It was a totally different situation. Don’t make it out as a case of hypocrisy.

Posted by: Max at April 10, 2007 12:16 PM
Comment #215864

Jack:

“I really fail to see how McCain’s current postitioning can be done for cynical advantage.”

I know you fail to see it, Jack, I know already. Nevermind that the man stepped in it by saying ‘the good news’ isn’t getting out about Iraq and that many neighborhoods are safe to stroll in. And when someone calls him on it, he endangers a couple hundred soldiers and scores more civilians to ‘prove’ his point—and by doing so, proving the opposite.

And because of his mindless stunt, twenty-one merchants from that market are murdered several days later to prove someone else’s point. McCain’s ploy not only lacked integrity, it lacked even a smidgen of humanity—and simple common sense.

The man is finished. And you, sir, get your integrity on the very cheap.

Posted by: Tim Crow at April 10, 2007 12:26 PM
Comment #215866
but when the President switched to a strategy more in line with what McCain & Senate Dems had long advocated

The whole premise for this article is spin. McCain is on record saying that 25,000 troops isn’t enough — we need to send hundreds of thousands more. If McCain hadn’t flip-flopped, I’d still be on his side on that issue.

Posted by: American Pundit at April 10, 2007 12:32 PM
Comment #215874

Jack,

“Is it not a matter of determination on both sides?”

Determination is one thing, stubbornness in the face of a failed strategy is quite another.

We have yet to adapt and learn from our experience.

Those that we fight have nothing to lose. They can exist on next to nothing.
You cannot fight a war of attrition on those terms, especially if we cannot provide the security that will swing the Iraqis back to our purpose.
If we haven’t learned that yet then what are we doing?

McCain should know better.

Posted by: Rocky at April 10, 2007 1:02 PM
Comment #215876

Jack

There was a time when I admired McCain because of his distance from mainstream lockstep conservatism. I used to feel he was genuine and held great conviction in his beliefs. But I no longer see a passion for his convictions when I hear him speak. His words seem hollow and rehearsed as if he is following some sort of regimented agenda just to elicit support. When I view a candidate I try and determine thru body language and tone if this person is genuine in what they believe. And I no longer see a strong indication of being genuine with McCain.

He honestly has no choice but to retain his position with regards to Iraq. To change it would immeadiately make him a flip flopper and no one in todays world of politics wants to be labeled as such. As we all know the latter is a favorite ploy of the republican party. With respect to that I can not imagine that the press or dems would hesitate to throw it right back in their faces. In this regard he is stuck between a rock and a hard place.

I am not questioning his loyalty to his country. It is a percieved lack of genuine loyalty to his convictions that concern me.

Posted by: ILdem at April 10, 2007 1:10 PM
Comment #215879

Jack,

I almost feel this post is in response to my postings yesterday? Hmmm, big ego :-)

Anyway, integrity requires HONESTY, At best, McCain has confused definitions, but most likely the problem is allegience. Unlike the benefit of doubt from IlDem, I think he’s become more beholden to the repub bigbucks, his political future, and “stay the course” than to Truth, Justice, and the American people.

Extremist Shiite militia leader Muqtada al-Sadr is in hiding, his followers are not contesting American forces. — Sen. John McCain, 4/8/07
You, the Iraqi army and police forces, don’t walk alongside the occupiers, because they are your archenemy….God has ordered you to be patient in front of your enemy, and unify your efforts against them — not against the sons of Iraq. — Muqtada al-Sadr, 4/9/07
Posted by: Dave1-20-2009 at April 10, 2007 1:24 PM
Comment #215884

had a few minutes to read the whole thread:

Thomas Paine wrote a lot. We do enjoy his rhetoric. It is somewhat easier to support in rhetoric rather than deeds, however….Posted by: Jack at April 10, 2007 11:42 AM
Now that’s funny! Since when does Common Sense have anything to do with this administration anyway! Except for crowning w as king, for you religious people:
This shall be the manner of the King that shall reign over you. He will take your sons and appoint them for himself for his chariots and to be his horsemen, and some shall run before his chariots” (this description agrees with the present mode of impressing men) “and he will appoint him captains over thousands and captains over fifties, will set them to ear his ground and to reap his harvest, and to make his instruments of war, and instruments of his chariots, And he will take your daughters to be confectionaries, and to be cooks, and to be bakers” (this describes the expense and luxury as well as the oppression of Kings) “and he will take your fields and your vineyards, and your olive yards, even the best of them, and give them to his servants. And he will take the tenth of your seed, and of your vineyards, and give them to his officers and to his servants” (by which we see that bribery, corruption, and favouritism, are the standing vices of Kings) “and he will take the tenth of your men servants, and your maid servants, and your goodliest young men, and your asses, and put them to his work: and he will take the tenth of your sheep, and ye shall be his servants, and ye shall cry out in that day because of your king which ye shell have chosen, AND THE LORD WILL NOT HEAR YOU IN THAT DAY.”

Posted by: Dave1-20-2009 at April 10, 2007 1:47 PM
Comment #215886

Jack,

I think it would be great to withdraw next year. I would like to withdraw earlier. It depends on conditions. It seems to me that if the
surge does not work, we should know by the end of summer. If at that time the cost of withdrawing is less than the cost of staying, I think we should leave. We just should not make up our minds at this time. We do not have sufficient information for that decision.

Great non answer.

Yet,upon saying we don’t know, you go on to posit that:

Defeat will bring harsh consequences. In the optimistic scenario, it will be similar to what happened after our redeployment out of Vietnam.

You are simply playing both sides of the fence, and talking out of both sides of your mouth.You claim dire consequences if we begin a plan of withdrawal now, but the best of all possible worlds if we begin next summer. Why next summer? Is there some magical context there? Or is there political opportunism by timing an exit near an election, claiming we have acheived stability, and leaving the following consequences until after the election? Is that why you wish to risk our soldiers lives further?

You failed to answer my question as to why you see gloom and doom if we begin withdrawal now, but sunshine if we wait to time the withdrawal so consequence will be hidden until after election.

Ali Allawi has written a book that gives good answers to what is going to happen and why. It is why we need to stop this rather politically shallow political surge and move toward a solution that will aid the issues in Iraq rather than the political winds of the Republicans.

Posted by: gergle at April 10, 2007 1:52 PM
Comment #215894

Jack - courage is standing up to pressure. And McCain is flying in the face of public opinion, and therefore, I agree, standing up to pressure from voters. But not from special interests:

McCain voted ‘No’ to establishing a special committee of the Senate to investigate the awarding and carrying out of contracts to conduct activities in Afghanistan and Iraq and to fight the war on terrorism. Voting YES would have: created a Senate special committee to investigate war contracts, taking into consideration: bidding, methods of contracting, subcontracting, oversight procedures, allegations of wasteful practices, accountability and lessons learned in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Now, where’s McCain’s money going to come from for his campaign? Can we expect to see some of those no-bid contractors donating? (Some of those no-bid contractors accused of embezzling vast sums of money from the American public?)

Heck, yeah - he just saved them millions, potentially billions of dollars.

That’s not courage. That’s cowardice and self-interest.

Posted by: Jon Rice at April 10, 2007 2:26 PM
Comment #215896
Stephen Daugherty wrote: McCain’s problem, according to Jonathan Alter, is that he just can’t stand back and be objective on Iraq.
Exactly.

His last visit to Iraq proved it.
I was truly surprised, and incredulous to see McCain doing that.
He’s either delusional, lying, or a little of both.
Which is worse?
If it is mere delusion, then his integrity may still be a valid argument. However, it looks more like judgement clouded by abmitions for the presidency. This was his last chance, yet his position on Iraq and illegal immigration is opposite to that of most Americans.

Stephen Daugherty wrote: I remember reading [Jonathan Alter’s] “The Best and the Brightest”, one of the definitive works on how we got into and lost Vietnam, and he did an introduction to that work, explaining that when he got back from his time as a POW, he went through that book trying to find out how things went so wrong. I think he should re-read it.
Yes, he should.

However, while there are some analogies, the two wars are very different in many ways. There are some factors that make Iraq worse in some ways than Vietnam:

  • (1) Vietnam didn’t have the complication of the sectarian violence/civil war

  • (2) religious fanaticism was not as big a factor; the Vietnamese were not suicidal

  • (3) while not diminishing Iraq, it is dwarfed by the scale of the operations in Vietnam

  • (4) Vietnam was a protracted struggle for independence; Iraq is a struggle with itself.

  • (5) Iraq’s infrastructure was deteriorated by years of sanctions

Posted by: d.a.n at April 10, 2007 2:30 PM
Comment #215924

Max

I am only making the point that the President has consistently said that he wanted to bring the troops home as soon as he could. Dems in the early time criticized him for wanting to get out too fast. They cannot now claim that he always intended to stay.

Tim

The only way you could be right is if indeed the good news is not getting out and the enterprise ends well. If that is true, he is prescient. If it is false he is finished.

As I wrote above, there is good news at some of the PRTs. They do not want to announce it precisely because the bad guys are eager to murder to stop progress in very loud ways. It is always a problem when fighting such evil and a dilemma for good people. It is the nature of terrorism and the classic Stalinist way of imposing the will of an armed and ruthless minority.

AP

The Dems would not be. Maybe you would. McCain is reaching for the last chance.

Rocky

See above re fighting terrorism. Whole books have been written on this subject. It is always possible in the short run to save lives by giving in to tyranny. But in the long run, we yield to the most ruthless parties.

Dave

al Sadr is speaking from where?

Re Thomas Pain - I was making the point that it is easier to be consistent when there is not bottom line to what you say. Even the biggest rebel needs to make some accommodations when trying to produce a practical result. Politics is the art of the possible.

When I first started my career, I always wanted to do what is right. After a while I learned two things. 1) A little humility – I was not always right even when I though I was 2) A little pragmatism. I could accomplish more good things if I didn’t bang my head against walls. I am not talking about McCain or anybody else specifically here. It is just what I have learned. A person like Thomas Pain, who has no practical responsibilities, can say what he wants. He was really wrong re the French revolution, BTW. Burke was right. Pain was not so much a rebel as a dissident. He opposed most authority.

Gergle
I do not know how to put it differently. My hope is to get our troops home. By the end of summer, we will know better whether the new strategy will produce results or not. If not, we should begin to withdraw. If we are making progress we should plan to stay until we can achieve success. At this time, no valid decision is possible. I would expect the military is developing contingency plans for either.

Jon

McCain is not making much money. He could get more by redeploying his integrity.

There is always a problem with setting up special investigators in the political atmosphere. Think of how special prosecutors always get out of hand. I know you probably do not have a problem with Fitzgerald, so think Kenneth Starr.

Posted by: Jack at April 10, 2007 4:46 PM
Comment #215925

Jack-


The tale about the cow is indeed taoist, but I think you’re interpreting it too rigidly. What it means is that if you know the nature of the beast, if you know potential problems ahead of time, and if you’re open to acting with the situation, not against it, you can save wear and tear on yourself and your means of carrying actions out.

Determination without flexibility is obstinence, and is not a virtue. Carl Von Clausewitz singled it out as being a parody of true determination.

The Republicans are cursed with their self-inflicted need to justify everything that came before them. They can’t let go. They have to rationalize every problem, ascribe their failures to things being tough, to them being complicated, and then continue pushing through.

Like the butcher dulling his knives by hacking through the bone, the approach itself has been counterproductive. Bush would have had an easier time raising the troop levels or going in with them high in the years before, and also in recruiting the soldiers to make this workable over the long term, if he hadn’t waited until domestic frustration with the war had become bad enough that it lost his party majority in the legislature.

Bush is one of those people who doesn’t understand that although history may repeat itself, it does not reverse itself. The past does not go away. You either move on from it, or the world moves on from you.

The world has moved on from Bush. The reality is, although Democrats and many Americans wanted something like what he’s doing right now, the time and the situation that we wanted it during has gone, and in its place is a civil war that was not yet going on during that period of time.

It’s like coming back to hold the ladder after the person who asked you to do it is no the ground with a broken leg. You may just take this as me saying so to rationalize having changed my mind so conveniently, but I think the view has enough external support, in terms of how things have gotten markedly worse, to support this.

The surge has succeeded in reducing the violence, but not stopping it. The parties have not come to political agreement. Casualty rates have doubled among our troops. Taking the emotional content out of there, the persistence of the violence, even in the face of our increased presence is one strike against this working. The failure to compel a settlement is another, as is the increase in casualties.

What threshold is Bush hoping to cross? At what point does this long-term trend towards chaos and anarchy end, and something else take its place.

It’s not good enough to lessen the violence. What causes the violence must be removed, so that when we remove ourselves, the chaos doesn’t return. The Republicans, for all their warnings of Chaos in the wake of our departure, have not shown or really said what will happen to ensure that this chaos fails to return. They just say, as they always have, that Plan A will work.

Just like they’ve said a million times before.

Dan-
David Halberstam wrote that book, not Jonathan Alter. Alter is the author of the linked article.

1)Vietnam’s problems were political, but no less contentious for it. It was a civil war, in classic terms.

2)Political fanaticism more than made up for the lack of religious fanaticism.

3)Iraq may not be as big, but it’s pretty damn expensive anyways

4)Vietnam was independent by the time we got there. The only question was who was going to rule: the government that the French left behind, or the North Vietnamese.

5)Vietnam’s infrastructure wasn’t hot stuff either.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 10, 2007 4:47 PM
Comment #215927

jack,

a) McCain had 100+ of our finest covering his ass but you think Sadr should head out in Baghdad? He’s smarter than that, hundreds would Martyr themselves, or one of our snipers…

b) I find it more of a Pain to listen to the wingnuts than listen to 20/20 critiques. (BTW, I was being punny, not an advocate of his writings.)

c) You need to find some of that humility. It appears to have been lost.

Posted by: Dave1-20-2009 at April 10, 2007 4:58 PM
Comment #215931

Dave

There is a time for everything. I understand that I am often wrong, but it is better not to be in doubt when writing advocacy.

Humility is not always useful in the blogosphere.

Posted by: Jack at April 10, 2007 5:14 PM
Comment #215936

As an independent, I admire McCain, but I seriously doubt I would vote for him if he got the nomination. My main concern with him is his trying to make amends with Falwell (as stated earlier).

Posted by: Thomas at April 10, 2007 5:47 PM
Comment #215940

I put McCain in the same boat as Hillary. They tried to weasel out of a solid, ethical stance on the war (for OR against) in order to reach the middle ground. Doing might have positioned them untrue to their real political beliefs. I don’t trust either at this point. McCain should have stuck it to Bush when the BushCo crowd Roved his backside in South Carolina in 2000. McCain kowtow’d to BushCo and lost all respect in my eyes.

Hillary tried to look like a hard liner on ‘defense’ giving Bush a free pass to invade Iraq and is now backtracking hard. Too bad for her. She’s shown she cannot take a stand and live by it. Both are aiming for the middle ground and deserve neither left nor right votes in my book.

McCain has called for more troops all along. Now he has them, he has to live with the call. As far as Democrats are concerned, if they have been criticizing the inept handling of the war all along, sending more troops at this late hour doesn’t disqualify their right to continue to criticize. But I think ALL of Congress has rolled and I’ve lost respect for most of them. As much as I revolt at the thought of Kucinick, at least he stood his ground all along.

McCain can’t softsoap criticize Bush’s policy and say that he’s been a hard critic all along. Deal with it.

Posted by: LibRick at April 10, 2007 7:02 PM
Comment #215941

Jack,

At this time, no valid decision is possible.

I suppose if you ignore reality, then no answer is possible. In another thread you rant about decisions made to go to war in the absence of information, now you argue that continuing war is the only course in the absence of information. Jack, there is never enough information. It’s a pejorative statement.

No one, of any gravitas, is saying there is a military solution in Iraq, that is reasonable or acheivable near term. You know what the answer is, Jack, you simply won’t admit to it. Withdrawal HAS begun. The difference between what McCain, and Bush and everyone else is selling is American politics. American politics at the expense of our soldiers and taxpayers. Bush, and McCain are choosing a purely political timetable, everyone else advocates an exit strategy that reduces our exposure and forces political compromise on the Iraqis.

Your usual common sense is completely blinded by your political perspective.

Posted by: gergle at April 10, 2007 7:11 PM
Comment #215945

The folks listen too much to consultants, instead of developing their own instincts, and using the consultants to help them flesh out and work out the particulars. There’s a middle ground to be had between having a finger in the wind, and a couple fingers in your ears.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 10, 2007 7:22 PM
Comment #215950
Stephen wrote: 1)Vietnam’s problems were political, but no less contentious for it. It was a civil war, in classic terms.
Yes, it was a civil war in Vietnam … but the point was that it was not amoungst many different factions, such as in Iraq (Shi’ites, Sunnis, Kurds, Turkomans, Assyrians, etc.). Also, the U.S. was there for South Vietnam against Northern Vietnam, which was being supplied by Russia. We are not fighting another country in Iraq, nor any faction that is being significantly supplied by another nation.
Stephen wrote: 2)Political fanaticism more than made up for the lack of religious fanaticism.
Not quite. The Vietnamese were not suicidal fanatics. Nothing to the degree seen in Iraq.
Stephen wrote: 3)Iraq may not be as big, but it’s pretty damn expensive anyways
Expensive monetarily ($416 billion so far). However, that is 3% of GDP. The $453.7 billion (2006 dollars) for Vietnam was 12% of GDP in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Not nearly as costly in lost lives. Iraq: 3,292 U.S. troops killed. 24,476 U.S. troops wounded Vietnam: 58,168 U.S. troops killed. 153,303 U.S. troops wounded.
Stephen wrote: 4)Vietnam was independent by the time we got there. The only question was who was going to rule: the government that the French left behind, or the North Vietnamese.
Vietnam was a protracted struggle for independence. Also, there was massive meddling by other communist countries in Vietnam (i.e. Russia and China). Iraq is a struggle from within. There is not anywhere the meddling in Iraq from other countries (e.g. Syria or Iran) as there was in Vietnam (i.e. from Russia).
Stephen wrote: 5)Vietnam’s infrastructure wasn’t hot stuff either.
It’s relative. Not by today’s standards. But Vietnam had a lot of natural resources and at one time, Vietnam had a lot of exports. Iraq just has oil, and it was fragile, and easy to disrupt (easy to bring to a complete halt). A decade of Sanctions against Iraq had whittled it down terribly. The infrastruture was falling apart.

There are some similarities, but there are many differences too.

WAR COSTS and PERCENT OF GDP (in 2006 DOLLARS ):
Revolutionary Wars: $2.45 billion - 63% of GNP (US victory)
War of 1812: $1.23 billion - 3% of GNP (US victory)
Mexican War: $1.78 billion - 3% of GNP (US victory)
Civil War: $69 billion - 104% of GNP (US Northern victory)
Spanish American War: $10.7 billion - 3% of GNP (US victory)
World War I: $212.4 billion - 24% of GNP (US-allies victory)
World War II: $3.23 trillion - 130% of GNP (US-allies victory)
Korean War: $374.4 billion - 15% of GNP (US-allies ceasefire ongoing)
Vietnam War: $494.3 billion - 12% of GNP (US-allies defeat)
US Persian Gulf War #1: $84.8 billion - 1% of GNP (US-allies ceasefire ongoing)
US Persian Gulf War #2: about $416 billion ? - 0.3 % of GDP (ongoing)

Monetary Costs, current dollars, 2006 dollars (billions)
The American Revolution (1775-1783) $0.10 , $1.9
War of 1812 (1812-1815) $0.09 , $1.1
Mexican War (1846-1848) $0.07 , $1.7
Civil War (1861-1865): Union $3.20 , $42.8
: Confederate $2.00 , $26.8
: Combined $5.20 , $68.6
Spanish American War (1898) $0.40 , $9.9
World War I (1917-1918) $26.00 , $308.1
World War II (1941-1945) $288.00 , $3,279.5
Korea (1950-1953) $54.00 , $413.8
Vietnam (1964-1972) $111.00 , $543.7
Gulf War #1 (1990-1991) $61.00 , $95.8
Gulf War #2 (MAR-2003-to-APR-2007) $416.00 , $416.0+

Posted by: d.a.n at April 10, 2007 7:33 PM
Comment #215951

Jack,

Bush was claiming the war would be won and the troops would be home in a couple of months at very little cost to this nation. It was going to be a “cakewalk”. The Dems at the time said this is not enough time to stabilize Iraq. They were right. Bush was wrong.

Now Bush wants to stay in Iraq until the war is won, whatever the cost. Dems are saying that this war is now unwinnable, and the costs of staying are too high. They are right. Bush is wrong.

It’s obvious to me that this Iraq fiasco happened because Bush engineered support for a war that did not need to be fought and had very little relation to 9/11. He did this because he thought it was a mistake that his Daddy left Iraq, and he wanted a quick win to build enormous support for the rest of his neo-conservative platform, which was also poorly thought out.

The tragedy is there was real work to be done and real dangers to be addressed. The effort and money going into sustaining this lost war should be used to address global warming in my opinion, though I suppose anything is better than continuing to watch it go up in smoke in Iraq.

Posted by: Max at April 10, 2007 7:33 PM
Comment #215958

D.a.n.,

What’s the significance of the two figures under cost of wars?

Posted by: gergle at April 10, 2007 9:12 PM
Comment #215961

gergle,

Stephen and I were discussing the differences and similarities of Iraq and Vietnam, and the scale of each (i.e. cost in terms of lives lost and monetarily) was debated.
Interestingly, while both wars are not that vastly different (monetarily) in cost ($416 billion for Iraq, and $543.7 billion for Vietnam; both in 2006 dollars), the difference in cost as a percentage of GDP, and the lives lost is vastly different.

I’m not making any justifications for the war in Iraq or Vietnam. In my opinion, both were a mistake. Neither war was worth the lives of the Americans lost. Yet, McCain is supporting Bush’s “stay the course” no matter how far off course it is, and McCain’s statements after that visit in the Shora market raises questions about McCain’s integrity.

It is one thing to say we are there for a good reason, but it’s entirely different to be trying to lead Americans to believe things are better in Iraq to any significant degree.

Sen. John McCain and Lindsey Graham put American soldiers’ lives at risk just so they could have a photo op. That’s the bottomline.

John McCain may be delusional, but his survivla instincts are still alive and well. When McCain goes somewhere, he wants to be protected. Thus, he had on a bullet proof vest, was surrounded by 100 troops, U.S. snipers on all surround roofs, three Blackhawk helicopters, two Apache gunships, and U.S. troops swept the area BEFORE the American legislators and their security team showed up.

If the Shora market is as safe as he says it is, why were body armor. Does that mean it’s safe as long as everyone in the market also wears body armor? Or must they also be accompanied by 100 troops, U.S. snipers on all nearby roofs, three Blackhawk helicopters, and two Apache gunships? Or mayby only half that? Or maybe just 100 troops? So, which is it? What’s the message?

The message is, McCain is full of it.
How any of that equates to integrity is hard to explain. I don’t know why Jack does this. Maybe he really doesn’t like McCain, because bringing this up right after that incident can only end badly.

Posted by: d.a.n at April 10, 2007 9:41 PM
Comment #215970

Dan-
Have you actually read Halberstam’s books. It might be quite illuminating for you, if you haven’t.

There are dissimilarities, but there are a lot of core doctrinal and political problems that converge in a rather chilling way in both wars. When I got done reading the book, my basic sense was “Oh F***. They’re making the exact same mistakes.” The secrecy, the muddled justifications, the obsessive fixation with not losing a war they didn’t have the guts to prosecute at full scale… So much alike. The Bubbling, too. Saigon and Washington didn’t really talk, and neither did Saigon and the rest of Vietnam. And Washington certainly wasn’t straight with the people about how we were doing.

I see folks lambasting the media here for being negative, and they were doing the same thing about Vietnam, and as with Vietnam the problems and the screw-ups were more real than the stories the officials were giving I see people blaming America in general for not having the guts, yet in both wars we have publics that start out willing, and who maintain support for victory even in the face of high casualties.

Besides, in Both wars, the screw-ups and the attempts to cover for them start long before the public abandons hope of victory.

It’s almost as if they did this to prove that the policy Vietnam soured people on could work, this kind of limited war, if they were allowed to do things their way. Then they went about trying to make everything that didn’t work the last time work this time, trying to vindicate all that. And what ends up happening? The same bloody things. They believe that the failures of Vietnam were the result of the frustration of those aims. In fact, it was the consequences of those policies that killed Vietnam, more than any protestor, more than any negative report in the media.

Ultimately, these people, for political reasons, look at the symptoms and diagnose them as the disease, when the disease is actually a particular kind of deceptive policymaking, not even necessarily tied to one party or another, that they feel is necessary for the defense of the country, but is actually, in practice, unsuited for productive foreign policy.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 10, 2007 11:03 PM
Comment #215979
It’s almost as if they did this to prove that the policy Vietnam soured people on could work

And they’re going to come to the same false conclusions. One being the myth that America is casualty-averse. Which is BS, of course. When the cause is necessary and righteous — like WWII or going after bin Laden in Afghanistan — Americans will sacrifice gladly.

But in an unecessary war, fought for some ideology rather than in the defense of the United States, Americans have little patience.

In the case of Iraq, President Bush made it even worse by failing to give Americans a stake in the war. The average American isn’t affected at all by the war.

The fact that the majority of Americans want to withdraw our troops from Iraq has nothing to do with casualties and much to do with an unclear mission and lack of percieved benefit for staying.

Posted by: American Pundit at April 11, 2007 12:02 AM
Comment #215984

Stpephen,

No, I haven’t read the book.
Yes, no doubt there are probably some of the same thought processes among those in government.

No doubt about the MSM’s faults, but I don’t see why the MSM should be lambasted for being negative. Afterall, it’s sort of hard to be positive about war, death, and destruction. Especially when the situation hasn’t improved, but Senators are lying to us to make us think different.

AP,
Yes, I’m surprised so many Americans fell for it again (including myself).

You’re right.
We’ve been in Iraq long enough.
It’s now just looking like occupation.
Why? Oil perhaps?

Stephen,
Yes, there are many that want to stay and win, just so we won’t have to say we lost.

As far as I’m concerned, our troops have done their job well.
It’s the civilian government bozos that have made blunder after blunder.

Did you also see John McCain trying to use fear?
McCain said if we leave Iraq now, they will follow us here.
That’s more blatant fear mongering.
He doesn’t know that.
It’s a long ways to Iraq.

If they follow us here, perhaps the biggest reason for it is starting an unnecessary war?
Also, the terrorists have already been here.
It has already happened, and the guy (Bin Laden)behind it is still running around loose in Pakistan, Afghanistan, or elsewhere.
Bin Laden might have been apprehended by now had we not lost focus on Afghanistan.

Also, if they are going to follow us here, then perhaps we should secure the borders and ports?

Posted by: d.a.n at April 11, 2007 12:23 AM
Comment #215990

Jack:
“McCain has stuck to his position re the war when most others have abandoned it. Whether or not you like that position, he clearly knows it is unpopular and will do him little good in the presidential race. I do not see how it could be cynical calculation to cripple himself in this way.”

He needs the Neocons to get him the nomination, and as a result, everything he’s been doing has been cynical and calculated.

“Thomas Paine wrote a lot. We do enjoy his rhetoric. It is somewhat easier to support in rhetoric rather than deeds, however.”

Because of Thomas Paine all of us enjoy living in a free country. Without his Common Sense writings, the freezing, starving men who fought our Revolution would have turned around and gone home — something a great many admitted to after they’d won the war. But since deeds seem so much more important to you Jack, I must also inform you that Paine didn’t just provide the kind of rhetoric that kept those men fighting for a country of their own, he also went and fought in the Revolution himself.
Perhaps if you’d try to read a bit more American history, you’d soon be able to discern a real maverick from a fake one.

“Paine also supported the French revolution, which was a disaster.”

Mavericks hold to their principles, yes. So Paine supported their revolution too, but he was in no way responsible for how it turned out.

“The nerds are the true rebels, in that they do what they want w/o reference to the good opinion of the cool kids.”

Often, yes. But when nerds are put into leadership positions they generally realize that they have to represent everyone, and so, will do their best to search for the most effective solutions that will benefit the majority of the group. Nerds tend to take such responsibilities very seriously too — indeed, that’s one of the most irresistible things about them — their brilliance paired with intense sincerity.

“The cool kids feign rebellion, but are actually well disciplined by the cool kid society.”

People like that are dull-witted sheep. They also tend toward being mindless yet voracious consumers of mass-marketed pop culture, and are highly suseptible to various other forms of propaganda as well.

“Lots of rebels are like that.”

Rebels like that are Rebels Without A Cause.

“Would you be re Iraq if you held the opinion that 65% of the other people hold?”

When it comes to my opinions, I don’t generally worry about a running tally of percentages. I try to be well informed, and concern myself with forming my own opinions. Other peoples opinions can sometimes influence me, but only those who I already respect, feel are trustworthy, and have proven to be intelligent and thoughtful and wise.
As you know, I was against this war from the beginning. I’m happy to see that the majority now agrees with what I’ve believed all along. I might think they’ve been a little slow on the uptake, but I don’t like to hold a grudge over what has already passed. That the majority now sees the light is the only thing that is important at present.

“It is much more a rebel stand to support that surge than oppose it.”

Again, Rebels Without A Cause. It’s a freaking civil war, and they’re in the streets chanting “Death to America”. Time to bring our soldiers home.
Btw, when people subvert their principles for an ulterior motive — like raking in campaign money for instance — it isn’t rebellious or maverick-like.

“A person like Thomas Pain, who has no practical responsibilities, can say what he wants.”

Nothing practical about wresting America free from English tyranny? I don’t agree, I think it was highly practical.

“Re Thomas Pain”

You’re spelling his name wrong — on purpose?

“I was making the point that it is easier to be consistent when there is not bottom line to what you say. Even the biggest rebel needs to make some accommodations when trying to produce a practical result.”

Paine’s bottom line was living in a free country that wasn’t ruled by an English king. He gave you that, and I hope your enjoying it. Had he (and many others) failed, his bottom line would have taken the form of a hangmans noose and a Redcoat to lead him up to meet it.

“He was really wrong re the French revolution”

He was right about America — and clearly you aren’t grateful that he was.

“BTW. Burke was right.”

Of course you would think that Whigish ass was right. This is the man who said:

The occupation of a hairdresser or of a working tallow-chandler cannot be a matter of honour to any person - to say nothing of a number of other more servile employments. Such […] men ought not to suffer oppression by the state, but the state suffers oppression if such as they, either individually or collectively, are permitted to rule.

Edmund Burke is the father of stuffed-shirt, elitist, Authoritarian Conservatism.
The thing is though, only those who could agree with the above quoted nonsense still read Burke’s mean-spirited, factually inaccurate rantings, while the entire WORLD reads Paine’s brilliant response to Burke: The Rights of Man along with everything else he ever wrote.

“Pain was not so much a rebel as a dissident. He opposed most authority.”

Let them call me rebel and welcome, I feel no concern from it; but I should suffer the misery of devils, were I to make a whore of my soul by swearing allegiance to one whose character is that of a sottish, stupid, stubborn, worthless, brutish man.
Posted by: Adrienne at April 11, 2007 3:53 AM
Comment #215992

D.a.n.,

I was refering to the following figures:

The American Revolution (1775-1783) $0.10 , $1.9
War of 1812 (1812-1815) $0.09 , $1.1
Mexican War (1846-1848) $0.07 , $1.7
Civil War (1861-1865): Union $3.20 , $42.8
: Confederate $2.00 , $26.8
: Combined $5.20 , $68.6
Spanish American War (1898) $0.40 , $9.9
World War I (1917-1918) $26.00 , $308.1
World War II (1941-1945) $288.00 , $3,279.5
Korea (1950-1953) $54.00 , $413.8
Vietnam (1964-1972) $111.00 , $543.7
Gulf War #1 (1990-1991) $61.00 , $95.8
Gulf War #2 (MAR-2003-to-APR-2007) $416.00 , $416.0+

Each war has two figures associated with it, separated by a comma. I was curious about the significance of the first and second figures.

I agree McCain was full of it there.

Posted by: gergle at April 11, 2007 6:06 AM
Comment #216001

Adrienne

As you and others have pointed out, the Neocons are pretty much out of the power stream these days.

Paine was important, but I do not think he was the essential man in our revolution. Re the French revolution, you made exactly the same argument I was trying to give when you wrote: “So Paine supported their revolution too, but he was in no way responsible for how it turned out.” That is precisely the advantage of being a Maverick writer as a opposed to a Maverick doing practical things. The writer is not responsible for the real consequences. (of course you do credit him with our successful revolution, why not blame him for the French fiasco?)

BTW - I am not dissing Paine. I am merely pointing out that using a writer (or artist etc) as an example of a Maverick makes an inappropriate comparison with someone who has to be responsible for outcomes.

My spelling was just a mistake BTW. As I said. I do not diss Paine.

Re Rebel stand - you are mixing up rebel with what you think is right. The rebel will often do what you think is wrong and will often BE wrong. That is what makes him a rebel. Most rebellions fail, BTW, so it is probably not a good idea to be a rebel all the time.

Re Burke

I am not talking to totality of Burke. He was right about the French and he was right to say that he was a representative, not an agent.

Posted by: Jack at April 11, 2007 8:20 AM
Comment #216007
gergle wrote: Each war has two figures associated with it, separated by a comma. I was curious about the significance of the first and second figures.
Oh … the first line above those figures was meant to indicate that, but perhaps it wasn’t very clear …

_________
Monetary Costs, current dollars, 2006 dollars (billions):
The American Revolution (1775-1783) $0.10 , $1.9
War of 1812 (1812-1815) $0.09 , $1.1
Mexican War (1846-1848) $0.07 , $1.7
Civil War (1861-1865): Union $3.20 , $42.8
: Confederate $2.00 , $26.8
: Combined $5.20 , $68.6
Spanish American War (1898) $0.40 , $9.9
World War I (1917-1918) $26.00 , $308.1
World War II (1941-1945) $288.00 , $3,279.5
Korea (1950-1953) $54.00 , $413.8
Vietnam (1964-1972) $111.00 , $543.7
Gulf War #1 (1990-1991) $61.00 , $95.8
Gulf War #2 (MAR-2003-to-APR-2007) $416.00 , $416.0+
_________

That is, the first number is cost in current (nominal) billions of dollars (of that time), and the second value after the comma is the cost in billions of 2006 dollars (adjusted for inflation).

What is strange is the similar monetary cost (in 2006 dollars) but the large difference as a percent of GDP (for Vietnam and Iraq), and the large difference in loss of life and wounded.

Posted by: d.a.n at April 11, 2007 9:15 AM
Comment #216032

Jack:
“As you and others have pointed out, the Neocons are pretty much out of the power stream these days.”

Their rhetoric has been losing power among the general public, but they still control the GOP party machine, and they’ve still got the strong support of the American Theocrats. McCain clearly believes he needs them to win the nomination — otherwise, and considering his previous stances, he wouldn’t be sucking up to both.

“Paine was important, but I do not think he was the essential man in our revolution.”

I can’t think of anyone more important than the guy whose stirring and passionate truth kept our soldiers from fleeing during the entire course of the Revolution. He also influenced what Jefferson and Madison went on to write in the Declaration and Constitution. I think this country should be very proud of the fact that a poor English printer like Paine could manage to be so incredibly influential. It’s a brilliant metaphor for the real strength of our nation: that someone of low birth, in possession of a brilliant mind and decent, honest, deeply felt principles could so change history. Indeed, defeat a king.

“Re the French revolution, you made exactly the same argument I was trying to give when you wrote: “So Paine supported their revolution too, but he was in no way responsible for how it turned out.” That is precisely the advantage of being a Maverick writer as a opposed to a Maverick doing practical things.”

As I said before, Paine didn’t just write, he also went and fought in the Revolution. He was actually asked not to do so, since what he was writing was having such a widespread affect upon on our soldiers, but he couldn’t live with himself to just sit writing and not risk his own life for the Patriot cause. So he went and joined them, fought in a bunch of battles, then came back to write some more.

“The writer is not responsible for the real consequences.”

Paine was nothing if not responsible. We are still enjoying the real consequences of what he did, and what he helped others to do: give us an independent country of our own.

“(of course you do credit him with our successful revolution, why not blame him for the French fiasco?)”

Because while Paine played a role in inspiring the French Revolution, and obviously felt a responsiblity toward it for that reason, he wasn’t French. He was an American Patriot who lent his support, but who was ultimately arrested, imprisioned, and dismayed at how events unfolded in that Revolution.

“BTW - I am not dissing Paine. I am merely pointing out that using a writer (or artist etc) as an example of a Maverick makes an inappropriate comparison with someone who has to be responsible for outcomes.”

Paine was no mere writer, Jack. I’m sorry that you can’t see that.

“Re Rebel stand - you are mixing up rebel with what you think is right. The rebel will often do what you think is wrong and will often BE wrong. That is what makes him a rebel.”

You’ll note that in that quote of Paine’s that I put up he says: “let them CALL me rebel…” Obviously he didn’t think of himself that way. He thought of himself as a Patriot using Common Sense. That is how I think of him, too.

“Most rebellions fail, BTW, so it is probably not a good idea to be a rebel all the time.”

I agree. But when it cuts right down to ones principles, and needing to support them with actions, rebelling is usually worth the trouble.

Posted by: Adrienne at April 11, 2007 11:53 AM
Comment #216054

Like much of political discourse from the right, McCain’s rhetoric has been divorced from reality and no longer subject to suasion. To go to a Baghdad market in bullet-proof vest accompanied by a phalanx of soldiers, armored vehicles and air cover to proclaim that it has become a safe place is so laughable that upon witnessing it, one need not even comment: it parodies itself. Yet no amount of discussion would ever get him or his supporters to admit the absurdity of the claim. When discussions become this disconnected from ordinary sensation of the world, reason has fled and only partisan advocacy remains. Such advocates scare me, frankly. Given his willingness to engage in that sort of stupidity, I would never consider McCain again, although I previously admired his forthrightness and outspokenness.

Posted by: Mental Wimp at April 11, 2007 1:39 PM
Comment #216100

Jack,

“John McCain: A Man with Integrity”

Thanks for the laugh, Jack. McCain fought in Viet Nam for democracy. The very same democracy he denies today as issue after issue finds him on the other side of the majority of the American people. He’s become an elitist and a not very clever one at that.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 11, 2007 6:05 PM
Comment #216119

One must remember that informed people who study facts and issues are the exception not the norm in this country. Whatever you think of McCains positions I don’t think it will matter. In this age of television presidents I believe McCains, age, looks and somewhat sour dispostion will override issues. I’m not saying this is a good thing but personality does matter and I think Rudy will score very high with voters on the likeablity meter regardless of the divorces etc.

Posted by: Carnak at April 11, 2007 8:44 PM
Comment #216125

Adrienne

The committee was made up of Jefferson, Franklin and Adams. The Declaration parallels Locke and includes many of the ideas floating around at the time. Paine was a popularizer and polemicist. He did a good job, but men like Jefferson, Franklin and Adams would not have needed him to understand the ideas. Sort of like an astronomer reading a Carl Sagen book.

Remember the timelines too. Boston tea party, Concord, Lexington, Bunkers Hill, the Continental Congress, Washington appointed commander, American army and navy formed all came before Common Sense was published. If I was making a list of indispensable men, Washington, Jefferson, Franklin and many others would be ahead of Thomas Paine. Just because he in not MOST important does not mean he was not important at all. My abiding point is not about his importance, but that it is easier to be a rebel in word than in deed.

RE not being responsible, you made the point, not me, when you said he was not responsible for what happened in the French revolution.

David

Surly you do not believe in government by opinion poll. In America we have a representative democracy where the rule of law applies. The majority of Americans supported the war until a couple months ago. A majority voted for George Bush in 2004. Did you feel that all elected officials should have supported him and the war, following the polls?

A majority of Americans opposed Roosevelt’s “pre war” policy. Lincoln would have lost the election had it been held a couple months earlier in 1864. Leadership and following are not the same things.

Posted by: Jack at April 11, 2007 9:39 PM
Comment #216130

Jack-
Pearl Harbor in FDR’s case, Turnarounds in the civil war in the other. People like to make big complicated deals out of it, but generally people like and dislike a war for simple reasons.

Leadership is not telling a bunch of people that they’re wrong, it’s being able to convince them of the fact. In Iraq, the basic metric has been the success of the policy. What has been the measurement? The war hasn’t succeeded, despite consistent promises from the White House.

When you consistently promise, but do not deliver, people will turn on you.

McCain, for whatever reasons, has decided to support what the majority of Americans oppose. The Republicans blew the political capital of the guilt trip during the 2004 election. They gave Bush a second chance, despite what where by November 2004 obvious problems with the war.

McCain has planted his hopes in soils impoverished by all the political nutrients the debacle of Bush’s last six years have leached out. The Republicans have the same problem, and Bush is not the only one of them who has worn out their welcome among voters.

The Democrats may not have much more patience among voters, but at least they have some inkling of what stupidity it is to tell the voters they’re wrong.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 11, 2007 10:10 PM
Comment #216138
Stephen Daugherty wrote:When you consistently promise, but do not deliver, people will turn on you.
Stephen,

Yes, and YOUR party had better remember it.
You may be eating those words before too long.
Continually putting YOUR party up on a pedastal is risky.
Especially when YOUR party hasn’t accomplished much of anything yet, and continues to ignore the nation’s most pressing problems. I have a growing suspicion that 2008 will see a growth in the third parties, independents, and anti-incumbents. Voters are so stupid they can’t see that nothing is getting done.

Posted by: d.a.n at April 11, 2007 11:04 PM
Comment #216150

CORRECTION: Voters are aren’t so stupid they can’t see that little (if anything) is getting done (except that Congress gave itself another raise; the 9th raise in 10 years).

Posted by: d.a.n at April 12, 2007 12:22 AM
Comment #216213

Dan-
I have made a number of statements concerning my own party’s imperfections before. I have also made the point multiple times that I don’t appreciate being embarrassed by my party.

Either I am a liar, deluded, or I mean it. I don’t put my party up on a pedestal.

I would tell the politicians in my party that there is no reason why what happened to the Republicans can’t happen to us. However much I want my party to succeed, I acknowledge that it can fail.

You have already convinced yourself that nothing has changed, and that nothing will change. On the Pelosi column, I present evidence defending her actions that you disregard- you continue to take the Republican line on the matter, seeming without any critical analysis of their claims, any detective work to seek out the truth on the matter. Same thing with Edwards. You accepted the Republican Party’s claims there and the claims of the tort reform movement, which is heavily rooted in Conservative politics. Admittedly, you also accept information that presents an unflattering portrait of the Republicans. The basis for such claims is not equal, though.

You were once a Republican, if I’m not mistaken, and you probably carry a number of attitudes and a number of sources as a legacy from those days. What you might not realize is the much closer proximity of those sources to party politics than what might be comparable for the MSM.

I think you honestly don’t want to be decieved. However, you’ve essentially gone for a pox on both your houses approach, which doesn’t really clear things up, or provide good alternatives.

If you want to be a watchdog on the Democrats, I have no problem. I’m realistic enough to know that I will not always have the heart to go after my own party. We need critics keeping the sunlight coming in on our affairs. That said, you need to police yourself, and not just for the sake of given the Democrats like me a fair shake.

The factual and argumentative shakiness of the Pelosi pseudo-scandal makes it very difficult to convince Democrats that it should concern them. Therefore, they come out in support of their politicians. The more you stick to claims that can proceed from solid fact, the easier it is to turn public opinion.

That is a big part of what helped Democrats turn the tide, despite the efforts, largely successful at that point, to create a permanent majority on the part of the Republicans. The facts made it difficult for the Republicans to manuever, without lying, and digging themselves in ddeper. The stark nature of the facts lead many reasonable supporters of the Republicans to walk away, sapped Republican confidence, and inhibited many of them from caring or giving support. It lead a number of top intellectual figures on the civilian side of the movement to come out against the party. Arguments by themselves do not unseat incumbents and punish parties.

The leverage that is needed is the sentiments of the voters, and the facts and the narratives they compose are some of the most powerful fulcrums for making that change. If you get the facts wrong, though, people will dismiss your claim, and you’ll fail to persuade them.

McCain suffers for that. I think he really feels that not admitting defeat is for the best. But what we ourselves feel is irrelevant. It’s what we can bring others to believe and act on that is important. If McCain had been able to walk through a market without a whole company as escort, without visibly wearing body armor, he might have been able to make his point believeable, a basis for other people’s sentiments. Instead, the facts of his visit made the opposite point. With public sentiment so far against the war that more people actually support the notion that Congress should wait the President out, McCain’s Baghdad stroll, and his pro-continuation views contribute to his political liabilities.

You’ve become better about providing facts. Keep that up. People can easily dismiss an argument they already know how to feel about. The real key to changing people’s minds is confronting them with facts and arguments that together make it more difficult for them to feel honest about keeping their old notions intact.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 12, 2007 12:32 PM
Comment #216224

Gergle,

Actually, adopting Iraq as a colony would not be such a bad idea. That is what we did with the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Cuba, and Guam after the Spanish American War. We did this because they were absolutely strategic at the time to prevent our enemies from using them as outposts. Iraq is in much the same position, and it is even more important in regard to world resources.
It’s a funny thing. When Cuba fell to Castro, and the Soviets began placing missiles there, Democrats like Kennedy and Johnson had a cow, and were nearly willing to threaten nuclear war. What will happen if Iraq falls to terrorists?
Now, Islamic fascists are over-running the Middle East, gaining a foothold in Europe, killing hundreds of thousands in Algeria and other parts of Africa, making in-roads into the Philippines and Asia, and even have terrorist cells within Canada and the U.S.! But, alas, Democrats view this War on Terror as no issue of strategic American interest. How spineless the Democratic Party has become since the days of Kennedy!

JD

Posted by: JD at April 12, 2007 1:43 PM
Comment #216228

Jack:
“The Declaration parallels Locke and includes many of the ideas floating around at the time.”

Yes, I agree that Locke was an enormous influence on the Declaration, but it is wrong to underestimate Paine’s influence on many of the founders and on the people of the United States at large. It was Paine’s Common Sense disgust and relentless excoriation of the entire idea of monarchy and the hated elements of Old World political and economic power (and all that this entailed: hereditary aristocracy, primogeniture and land entailment) that so drove the Revolution. Jefferson was very much aware of this fact, and by the time the Revolution was over, the writings and sentiments of Paine’s Common Sense were so widely accepted and popular among early Americans (most especially amongst the soldiers who had fought the Revolution) that he and the rest of the founders could not possibly have ignored them — even though the majority of these men were extremely wealthy land owners.
Jefferson ultimately took Paine’s original conception of what America was meant to stand for, and what it was meant to become to heart, for in the years following the Revolution, many of the rich landowners amongst the founders began supporting ideas that came to be known as Federalism.
By the time the Constitutional Convention rolled around, we already have Hamilton making a speech where he called for a president and Senate that would be elected, but who would then serve for life on “good behavior.” Jefferson and Madison were admantly against the ideas of these Federalists, for they smacked too much of the monarchy that the Revolution had fought against. Jefferson was in France during the Convention, but in his letters to Madison it was he who suggested that the Constitution needed a Bill of Rights. He wrote to Madison: “Half a loaf is better than no bread. If we cannot secure all our rights, let us secure what we can.” Afterward, it was Jefferson and Madison’s Anti-Federalism that lead to the formation of the Republican-Democratic Party — the foundation of the Democratic Party that still exists today.
By 1791, Jefferson (then serving as Secretary of State) was praising Paine’s Rights of Man, because he immediately saw that what Paine was saying could effectively crush the rise of the anti-republican sentiment that the Federalists were preaching. Most especially the things that John Adams (vice president at the time) was expressing in his writings. One of these was called Discourses on Davila, a series of “anonymous” essays that appeared in newspapers where Adams praised aristocratic government and spoke ominously of what he saw as the dangers of democratic ideals being allowed to drive American politics.
In other words, Adams and the Federalists were trying to gut the Common Sense principles that Paine and the Patriots fought and died for in the Revolution.

“Paine was a popularizer and polemicist.”

He was, but he was so much more than merely that, Jack. Thomas Paine was a Liberal Philosopher. Indeed, he is proto-liberal, because if we look at what he called for in the body of his writing, it is exactly like looking at a roadmap for Liberalism and the Democratic Party. I’ll give you some examples: Inheritance Tax to prevent family empires from taking over the country — not Woodrow Wilson — but Paine. The idea of a living wage and breaking up the power of corporations — not Teddy Roosevelt — but Paine. Pensions for old-age as part of a Social Safety Net and the idea of a Progressive Income Tax — not FDR — but Paine. Anti-poverty programs in the form of public assistance for food, housing and healthcare — not LBJ — but Paine. International Dissarmament — not JFK — but Paine.
And he didn’t just influence this country, his writings also influenced Europe — he made sure that this would be the case by insisting that his works be printed cheaply and sold affordably to the masses both here and in Europe. This is why he never got rich and in fact, he died in poverty.

“He did a good job, but men like Jefferson, Franklin and Adams would not have needed him to understand the ideas.”

In my opinion, you are snobbishly underestimating the impact and importance of Paine to this country, to the world, and to the realm of ideas in general.

Posted by: Adrienne at April 12, 2007 2:23 PM
Comment #216247
Stephen Daugherty wrote: d.a.n I have made a number of statements concerning my own party’s imperfections before.
Yes, but try to avoid it in response to something the Democrats did wrong (i.e. well, nobody’s perfect.?
Stephen Daugherty wrote: I have also made the point multiple times that I don’t appreciate being embarrassed by my party.
No one does.

Keep holding their feet to the fire, and the less you’ll have to be embarrassed.

Stephen Daugherty wrote: Either I am a liar, deluded, or I mean it. I don’t put my party up on a pedestal.
I’m not saying you are a liar.

But, I would warn against getting your hopes up too high. Just based on track-record and history … and the evidence that neither party has the nation’s best interests in mind is overwhelming; and the ranks of voters catching on are growing. I’m not sure Democrats really believe it, but the Libertarians and Greens are growing and Democrats stand to lose more votes than Republicans that have already been whittled down, and the last election was NOT a landslide. Only 10% of incumbents were unseated. Historically speaking, that is a tiny percentage.

Also, be careful of the bias revealed by the “identifying” with YOUR party too much.
For example, when you say “MY party”, “OUR party”, “WE”, “DEMOCRATS”, etc., it comes across us against them.
And the sad part is that the politicians really don’t appreciate your loyalty.

Stephen Daugherty wrote: I would tell the politicians in my party that …
No offense meant, but see? MY party?

I cringe, because I used to do the same thing.
Think about how that looks and sounds.
For example, consider if I were still a Republican and said, “MY party has an inkling”.

Would tell? Please do. Please tell them.
So, when’s the last time you mailed, E-Mailed, called, or FAXed your congress persons, representatives, or politicians of YOUR party? (NOTE: I realize your your Senators are not Democrats, since you live in Texas).
I E-Mail Congress persons several times per month; sometimes several times per week; sometimes several times per day.
But, still, that’s not enough.
The real leverage is the ballot.
Congress persons won’t become responsible by being rewarded for being irresponsible by getting re-elected repeatedly.

Stephen Daugherty wrote: I would tell the politicians in my party that there is no reason why what happened to the Republicans can’t happen to us. However much I want my party to succeed, I acknowledge that it can fail.
That’s good.

They would be wise to SERIOUSLY heed your warning, because a number of things are getting more painful, and I think they’re going to get worse before they get better. But, pain is a good teacher.

And some of us are gonna help you.
I would love to see the Democrats solve some problems, because we’re running out of time.
We’re sailing directly toward a huge generational/democraphic/77-million-baby-boome iceberg, and with so much federal debt, huge trade deficits, an abused fiat-funny-money-system, and an irresponsible Congress, we may not be able to change course in time to avoid some really bad consequences. It will hit people like you the hardest. Not me. I’ve already paid off my two homes (one in Texas, one in the mountains in New Mexico), have no debt, assets, and my wife and I are engineers. We’ll be OK. So you may be wondering why I do what I do? Because I care. I have children. While my son and his wife already graduated from college, already have established careers, they may not have it as well in the coming decades. Especially when younger Americans are as good about voting as the AARP group.

Unfortunately, is STILL ignoring the nation’s most pressing problems.

Stephen Daugherty wrote: You have already convinced yourself that nothing has changed,
That’s right.

Things improved only slightly, but NOT nearly enough.
That conclusion is based on facts that would fill volumes (or entire libraries).
The last 30+ years have been one of decline.
While all eras have problems, the last 30+ years are the making of a major economic meltdown.
Not because it can’t be fixed.
Mostly because of our .
The White House and Congress are ONLY half the problem.
The other half are slumbering Americans that have grown far too complacent and apathetic.

So, what has Do-Nothing Congress accomplished (other than give themselves another raise; the 9th in 10 years)?
Want to talk about minimum wage and illegal immigration?
Dems have a terrible position and record on illegal immigration.
Heck, many of them want to give illegal aliens Social Security benefits? !?

Stephen Daugherty wrote: You have already convinced yourself that nothing has changed, and that nothing will change. On the Pelosi column, I present evidence defending her actions that you disregard- you continue to take the Republican line on the matter, seeming without any critical analysis of their claims, any detective work to seek out the truth on the matter.
Not true. The facts are, Pelosi is wasting the tax payers money.

Pelosi is grandstanding.
She is showing her arrogance, and throwing her weight around. She’s full of herself.
And time will prove it out (if it hasn’t already).
At the same time I was justifably critical of Pelosi, I was even more critical of John McCain (since I am not torn between party loyalities, objectivity comes a little easier).

Stephen Daugherty wrote: Same thing with Edwards. You accepted the Republican Party’s claims there and the claims of the tort reform movement, which is heavily rooted in Conservative politics. Admittedly, you also accept information that presents an unflattering portrait of the Republicans. The basis for such claims is not equal, though.
Stephen,

I find fault in politicians where ever it exists.
Especially the corruption, pork-barrel, waste, lies, pandering, and catering to the vastly wealthy that abuse wealth to control government.

And you know what?
The politicians, these days, make it awfully easy to do, because so many are FOR-SALE, and refuse to pass any reforms that might even remotely reduce the politicians’ power, opportunites for self-gain, or reduce the security of their cu$hy, coveted incumbencies. The corruption is rampant and the evidence of it is plentiful, and the numbers of non-main-party voters is growing because of it.

Re: John Edwards; that has nothing to do with parties. John Edwards uses law suits to make millions for himself, and that, in my opinion, is a manifestation of unchecked greed, even if it is legal. That’s my opinion, and I stand by it 100%, and it has nothing to do with Republicans or Democrats at all. In fact, I do not even know which Republicans agree with my opinion about the abuse of law suits, but it’s safe to say few Democrats probably would agree (or would simply remain silent about it). In fact, what many Republicans want are caps on over-all awards. That’s wrong. Caps just let the defendants off too easy, and penalizes the plaintiff. I’m looking for caps (e.g. 10 times the median income annually + expenses; per case) so that some greedy lawyers won’t be able to abuse the system and unjustly enrich themselves by capitalizing on someone else’s pain and misery, and reducing the funds that would have otherwise gone to the plaintiff. Because of that, I don’t think much of John Edwards and mantra of “looking out for the little guy”. Also, a good example of the greed I’m talking about is this. A few years ago, ALL neurosurgeons in Washington D.C. were being sued by personal injury lawyers. Is that because ALL of those neurosurgeons are bad? No, I don’t think so. I think neurosurgeons are an easy target because of the many complexities in neorological medicine.

Stephen Daugherty wrote: You were once a Republican, if I’m not mistaken, …
That’s right.

But not anymore. Neither party has much to offer. The politicians of BOTH just take turns being irresponsible.

Stephen Daugherty wrote: You were once a Republican, if I’m not mistaken, and you probably carry a number of attitudes and a number of sources as a legacy from those days. What you might not realize is the much closer proximity of those sources to party politics than what might be comparable for the MSM.
Nonsense.

There are a few things BOTH parties say that I agree with.
But there is little (if anything) EITHER party does that I agree with.
There are a few differences. For example:
Most Republicans think flag buring should be illegal. They are wrong about that.
Most Republicans think abortion should be illegal. They are wrong about that too.
Most Democrats vote to give illegal aliens Social Security benefits. They are wrong about that.
Most Democrats vote on more pork-barrel. They are wrong about that too.

Stephen Daugherty wrote: I think you honestly don’t want to be decieved.
That’s right. I admit to it in the past.

And I don’t think you want to be deceived either.
But I see you making the same mistake I made.

Stephen Daugherty wrote: However, you’ve essentially gone for a pox on both your houses approach,
That’s right.

And it is justified, since politicians of BOTH parties are too irresponsible.

Stephen Daugherty wrote: However, you’ve essentially gone for a pox on both your houses approach, which doesn’t really clear things up, or provide good alternatives.
Not true.

I present more solutions than most.
Just click on the SOLUTIONs link at One-Simple-Idea.com .
And the best, most simple, most most common-sense, no-brainer, responsible solution is to quite simply STOP re-electing bad politicians.
STOP pulling the party-lever (by the way, did you do that last election?).
STOP making excuses for YOUR party and YOUR politicians, because they just makes them MORE irresponsible.

Stephen Daugherty wrote: If you want to be a watchdog on the Democrats, I have no problem. I’m realistic enough to know that I will not always have the heart to go after my own party.
At least you are honest about it, but that won’t solve anything. That will make it worse.

Want your party to be better?
Spend more of your time being a watchdog of the Democrats, instead of the Republicans.

Stephen Daugherty wrote: We need critics keeping the sunlight coming in on our affairs. That said, you need to police yourself, and not just for the sake of given the Democrats like me a fair shake.
I go after BOTH, regardless of party.

That’s what WE should all do.
That’s difficult when blind party loyalism interferes.

Stephen Daugherty wrote: The factual and argumentative shakiness of the Pelosi pseudo-scandal makes it very difficult to convince Democrats that it should concern them. Therefore, they come out in support of their politicians. The more you stick to claims that can proceed from solid fact, the easier it is to turn public opinion.
That’s what I’m doing.

I was more critical of John McCain than Pelosi.
In fact, I said several times what John McCain did was worse.
That irritates some Republicans, but that’s too bad.
That is what happens when you allow yourself to be embarrassed by your party, and feel like you have to explain or rationalize their bad deeds. It’s sad to watch people get all bent out of shape trying to stubbornly explain, rationalize, and divert attentiona away the bad deeds of THEIR party.

Stephen Daugherty wrote: That is a big part of what helped Democrats turn the tide, despite the efforts, largely successful at that point, to create a permanent majority on the part of the Republicans.
I think you are giving the Democrats too much credit.

The fact is, there really ain’t much difference.
It took me too long to figure it out, which is why I admire the people that figured it out sooner than me.

Stephen Daugherty wrote: The facts made it difficult for the Republicans to manuever, without lying, and digging themselves in deeper.
No doubt about it.

Yet, it’s not a problem that only afflicts the Republican party.
The problem is seriously out of control in BOTH parties.
Not just politicians, but the voters the empower them.

Stephen Daugherty wrote: The stark nature of the facts lead many reasonable supporters of the Republicans to walk away, sapped Republican confidence, and inhibited many of them from caring or giving support.
No doubt about it.

The Republicans screwed the pooch.
Before that (before 1996), the Demoacrats scewed the pooch.
And, now it’s the Democrat’s turn to screw the pooch again.
And I’ll bet you $100 now they do.
That’s a safe bet, if I were to go on track record and history alone.
Already, Congress ain’t accomplished much of anything (except give themselves another raise).

Stephen Daugherty wrote: It lead a number of top intellectual figures on the civilian side of the movement to come out against the party. Arguments by themselves do not unseat incumbents and punish parties.
Yes, the Republicans lost a lot of voters and politicians too.

That’s good.
Do you think I’m arguing with you?
Do you think I’m not happy about the Republicans being taken down a few notches?
I am. It was needed.

But what I would really like to see is a LOT of irresponsible incumbent politicians in BOTH parties ousted.
Especially those refusing many badly-needed, common-sense, no-brainer reforms, such as campaign finance reform; eleciton reform; ending automatic annual raises for Congress; end Gerrymandering; pass strong ethics reforms; enforcement of existing laws (such as illegal immigration laws … something Democrats are very weak on); end eminent domain abuse; stop the pork-barrel, waste, and graft; stop the irresponsible spending, borrowing, and excessive money-printing, stop plundering Social Security surpluses; stop pandering and bribing voters with their own tax dollars (e.g. Medicare prescription drug); stop blocking access for third parties and independents to ballots; stop refusing to hold an Article V Convention despite all 50 states that have made 568 applications for it; stop the corporate welfare; stop rewarding and subsidizing corporations for moving operations overseas; stop despicably selling out Americans; STOP despicably pitting American citizens and illegal aliens against each other, etc., etc., etc., etc.

Stephen Daugherty wrote: The leverage that is needed is the sentiments of the voters, and the facts and the narratives they compose are some of the most powerful fulcrums for making that change. If you get the facts wrong, though, people will dismiss your claim, and you’ll fail to persuade them.
That’s right.

However, the leverage needed is Conscience first.
Then Education, Transparency, Accountability, and Repsonsibility (in that order).

We have to assume we have enough Conscience not only know what the right thing to do is, but the conscience to do it.

  • Conscience = the source of moral and ethical judgment; a sense of right and wrong; a sense of caring. A good Conscience is not merely knowing what is right or wrong, but caring enough to do what is right, and provides the motivation to seek the balance of Education, Transparency, Accountability, and Power required for any successful society, government, or organization;

  • Education = an understanding of the importance of: Education, Transparency, Accountability, Power, Responsibility, Corruption, and the fundamental human desire to seek security and prosperity with the least effort and pain, and that some will resort to dishonest, unethical, or illegal methods to obtain it;

  • Transparency = visibility and simplification of cleverly over-complicated processes to reveal and identify abusers, create outrage, reduce opportunities for abuse, and discourage abuse and dishonesty;

  • Accountability = consequences needed to encourage law enforcement, encourage ethical behavior, and discourage abuse and dishonesty;

  • Power = force required to enforce the laws, discontinue abuse, ensure consequences, punish abusers, and discourage abuse and dishonesty; but unchecked Power without sufficient Education, Transparency, and Accountability breeds Corruption.

Stephen Daugherty wrote: McCain suffers for that. I think he really feels that not admitting defeat is for the best. But what we ourselves feel is irrelevant.
I used to have more respect for John McCain.

What he just did destroyed that.
I still respect his sacrifices for the nation and his service in Vietnam.
But that is not a free pass or warrant any slack on the important issue of whether things are really getting better (or not) in Iraq. Unfortunately, John McCain has grown arrogant and delusional. He won’t get my vote. But, he wasn’t likely to get it anyway because of his position on illegal immigration.

Stephen Daugherty wrote: It’s what we can bring others to believe and act on that is important. If McCain had been able to walk through a market without a whole company as escort, without visibly wearing body armor, he might have been able to make his point believeable, a basis for other people’s sentiments. Instead, the facts of his visit made the opposite point.
Agreed, 100%

I’m actually glad to find this out.
For a while, I had a funny suspicion about McCain. Now we know.

Stephen Daugherty wrote: With public sentiment so far against the war that more people actually support the notion that Congress should wait the President out, McCain’s Baghdad stroll, and his pro-continuation views contribute to his political liabilities.
What McCain seems to refuse to admit is that the war in Iraq has turned into the occupation of Iraq.

That is NOT the right thing to do to our troops.
Our troops shouldn’t be used for nation-building, the world police, or refereeing the Iraqis’ civil war.
And I find the statement that they “terrorists will follow us” here “if we leave Iraq now” disgusting.

Stephen Daugherty wrote: You’ve become better about providing facts. Keep that up. People can easily dismiss an argument they already know how to feel about. The real key to changing people’s minds is confronting them with facts and arguments that together make it more difficult for them to feel honest about keeping their old notions intact.
Thanks. However, I do provide a lot of facts, sources, articles, links, calculations, graphs, history, etc. My web-pages and numerous organizations I’m a member of, and/or support have tons of links and sources. But, I’ll try to continue to do so.
  • Posted by: d.a.n at April 12, 2007 5:18 PM
    Comment #216537

    Dan-
    The real leverage is not the ballot. It’s what a candidate thinks might or might not happen to that ballot based on their behavior.

    That’s why I emphasize going against the candidates one by one, armed with facts and narratives to make sense of them. It’s alway why I emphasize getting the facts right. Lies can hide the guilty and incriminate the virtuous.

    The emphasis on Bias is a red herring. Bias is an elusive thing, and sometimes there’s more bias in the reader than what’s being read. it’s hard to distinguish the two. For me, it’s important to cross reference facts and run them down to source.

    As for graphics? Don’t rely on them. Rely on words. I usually only use italics and bolds to either mimic the emphasis of voice, or in the case of a movie or book to use typical collegiate style to set it apart. Otherwise, I use word choice, sentence and paragraph structure, and logical underpinnings to provide the force. graphics can distract, even detract from credibility of what’s being put together.

    Don’t repeat yourself so much. Save your effort for what you haven’t said. If anybody needs to see your original arguments, well you got them written down all over the place. People have gotten your message. The time has come to send other messages. If people aren’t convinced, it’s time to reexamine what you’re saying and how you’re saying it.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 14, 2007 1:34 AM
    Comment #216602
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: d.a.n The real leverage is not the ballot. It’s what a candidate thinks might or might not happen to that ballot based on their behavior.
    ? ? ? I have no idea what that means.

    Ballots count (literally).
    One thing is for certain: rewarding irresponsible incumbent politicians and repeatedly re-electing them won’t make them more responsible. It’s that simple, but so elusive due to laziness and delusion.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: That’s why I emphasize going against the candidates one by one,
    I do. More than most here. And most certainly not partisanly (i.e. not just ONE party).
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: That’s why I emphasize going against the candidates one by one, armed with facts and narratives to make sense of them. It’s alway why I emphasize getting the facts right. Lies can hide the guilty and incriminate the virtuous.
    That’s right. But people can have opinions too, based on history and track-record. That’s Pelosi’s problem now. Olmert might be lying, but Pelosi’s behavior doesn’t command confidence in her honesty.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: The emphasis on Bias is a red herring. Bias is an elusive thing, and sometimes there’s more bias in the reader than what’s being read. it’s hard to distinguish the two. For me, it’s important to cross reference facts and run them down to source.
    Bias is not a red herring. People’s bias clouds their judgement. It makes them stubbornly resistant to the truth and facts.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: As for graphics? Don’t rely on them. Rely on words.
    I disagree.

    Ever heard of “pictures are worth a thousand words”.
    Why are you so irritated by it?

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: I usually only use italics and bolds to either mimic the emphasis of voice, or in the case of a movie or book to use typical collegiate style to set it apart. Otherwise, I use word choice, sentence and paragraph structure, and logical underpinnings to provide the force. graphics can distract, even detract from credibility of what’s being put together.
    I disagree.

    And your focus on them proves how effective they really are.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Don’t repeat yourself so much. Save your effort for what you haven’t said. If anybody needs to see your original arguments, well you got them written down all over the place. People have gotten your message. The time has come to send other messages. If people aren’t convinced, it’s time to reexamine what you’re saying and how you’re saying it.
    Stephen Daugherty,

    Don’t you ever get tired of tellin’ people what to do. And so directly too. Not your opinion. You blatantly tell them to do this and that? You think that’s good style? You think that makes you qualified about style?

    Also, you now seem to want to change the subject from government irresponsibility to writing style?
    And you still didn’t answer my question.
    Did you pull the party lever in the last election?
    I’ll take your silence on that as a “YES”.

    Stephen,
    You repeat yourself too.
    And your style is flowery, circular, and often seems like you’re merely trying to mesmerize yourself with your own words.

    For example, something you repeatedly do is tell me what to do.

    Also, most regulars here repeat themsevles a lot.
    Besides, it’s not all 100% repeats.
    Links to more information and resources are being added daily.

    Stephen, you also keep forgetting that you are not the only person here.
    Thousands of people read this blogs daily.
    I write most posts with that in mind.
    If ever you don’t want to read one of my comments, just scroll right past it.
    It’s easy. Especially with a wheel mouse.

    Posted by: d.a.n at April 14, 2007 4:42 PM
    Comment #216747

    Dan-
    There’s this Monty Python bit, a while back, where this guy does this protest song. He starts by doing this painfully off key tune up of his guitar. Before he launches into the song, he says “I’ve suffered for my art. Now it’s your turn.”

    More on that later.
    What’s important about a ballot is that it produces a psychological effect on the leaders. The thought of losing voters might convince somebody not to screw up, while the thought of gaining them might lead them to seek out better alternatives- rather simplified and idealized picture of things, but that’s the essential drift of it.

    The real question here is how these people think they win or lose votes. If they believe they can get them without doing good things, they might not do them. If they believe they can avoid losing them without avoiding bad behavior, they might not avoid that behavior.

    Politicians go after funding because they have this funny idea that getting it improves their chances of election. If, however, we can provide equal or greater electoral carrots and sticks on the matter, we might be able to rest back some control over their behavior. The nice thing is, no matter how much these people get paid by the special interests, we reserve the final vote, literally, on whether all that is worth it. Folks just got to get a little less predictable about it.

    Getting back to suffering for one’s art, well, I’m a formally trained student of the visual arts. Bachelor of Arts, Telecommunications.

    A picture is worth a thousand words, but which ones? the other question is, how well does that picture send the message. How do you plan to guide and maintain people’s attention? There’s a reason that so much of the web is still text based, and why so many of the videos you see on the web look so terrible. It’s like a whole other language. It is a whole other language.

    I write the way I do, because knowing the lengths my nature compels me to write, I feel morally obligated not to bore people.

    I could make a snarky comment at this point, but instead, let me challenge you to something: show me any other person who repeats him or herself word for word so much on this site. You are unique in your willingness to cut and paste (or at least seem to) vast tracts of identical text, identical talking points. It’s nice to have a visual style all your own, but not at the expense of the clarity and the power of your prose.

    An additional problem is that it makes you seem more trollish than you might want to. When you post essentially the same post everywhere regardless of the subject, I can assume that perhaps your intent is to push your points by shear ubiquity into people’s minds. Perhaps you’re pleased as long as folks are paying attention.

    Here’s the problem, though: the less surprising information a message has, the less meaning it conveys. There is more to conveying meaning than just plain words and flashing graphics. You got to ask yourself on any given subject what information there matters, what stuff actually relates to the matter at hand, and stick to that.

    Incumbency can’t be topical for every topic, and it becomes a sign for others to use that invention you so helpfully illustrated above. People skip the information they’re already familiar with, which means any minor variations lost in that forest of indentical talking points is going to get lost.

    If you want to be heard better, and disregarded less easily, you have to make the arguments no others can, including older versions of yourself. You’ve put yourself in a semantic trap by making so many of your comments so absolutely similar.

    As for that Monty Python performance? The key to good writing is to make people suffer as little as possible. The whole joke of the skit is the artist more concerned with the perfection of his work than the audience’s reception of it. I know I write, and get caught in the rhythms of writing, so I try to break things up, make each part interesting in its own right. If you’re going to take up a large amount of people’s time, they might as well find it a pleasing or invigorating experience.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 16, 2007 1:34 AM
    Comment #216925
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: The nice thing is, no matter how much these people get paid by the special interests, we reserve the final vote, literally, on whether all that is worth it. Folks just got to get a little less predictable about it.
    What good is it if people just pull the party-lever.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: A picture is worth a thousand words, but which ones?
    That’s right.

    It must have been effective, since you didn’t fail to miss it; you even got emotional about it.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: I write the way I do, because knowing the lengths my nature compels me to write, I feel morally obligated not to bore people.
    Then you’d better keep workin’ at it.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: show me any other person who repeats him or herself word for word so much on this site. You are unique in your willingness to cut and paste (or at least seem to) …
    Actually, only some pieces are cut and paste. Most of it is not.

    Besides, it’s not all about the same things.
    I comment on all of the following often:

    • environment

    • corruption

    • Gerrymandering

    • National Debt

    • Federarl Reserve

    • Inflation

    • Interest rates

    • recessions

    • depressions

    • laziness

    • trade deficits

    • Pelosi’s galivanting about acting like the secretary of state

    • population

    • M3 Money Supply

    • minimum wage

    • government FOR-SALE

    • election fraud

    • Social Security

    • Medicare

    • Healthcare

    • Energy/Fuel alternatives

    • bloated government

    • Medicare

    • Poverty

    • Public Education

    • Do-Nothing Congress

    • Corporatism, Corpocrisy, and other manifestations of unchecked greed

    • lawsuit reform; abuse of lawsuits to win lottery type awards

    • Rep. William Jefferson

    • Incomes

    • War in Iraq and Afghanistan

    • Taxes

    • Property taxes

    • partisan warfare

    • 77 million baby boomers

    • foreclosures (2005:846,000 ; 2006:1.2 million ; 2007:estimated 1.6 million)

    • PBGC $450 billion in the hole

    • foreign affairs

    • pulling the party lever

    • the two party duopoly

    • Illegal Immigration

    • rewarding irresponsible incubments by repeatedly re-electing them

    • border security

    • arable land

    • dysfunctional legal system

    • government refusing to enforce existing laws

    • terrorism

    So, I cover a lot of topics, some over and over, just like many others here.
    If it is so bad and so uninteresting, why do you follow from thread to thread to comment on my posts?

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: An additional problem is that it makes you seem more trollish than you might want to.
    Yeah?

    Then why do you follow from thread to thread to comment on my posts?

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Perhaps you’re pleased as long as folks are paying attention.
    Lots of people comment. Some good; some bad. I’ve noticed those that get mad are usually the most staunch blind party loyalists.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Here’s the problem, though: the less surprising information a message has, the less meaning it conveys. There is more to conveying meaning than just plain words and flashing graphics. You got to ask yourself on any given subject what information there matters, what stuff actually relates to the matter at hand, and stick to that.
    I offer lots of information. Why you perpetuate the myth otherwise is interesting.

    Again, if it is so bad and so uninteresting, why do you follow from thread to thread to comment on my posts?

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Incumbency can’t be topical for every topic,
    See list above. It reveals the inaccuracy of your statement.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: If you want to be heard better, and disregarded less easily, you have to make the arguments no others can, including older versions of yourself.
    That’s your opinion.

    Again, if it is so bad and so uninteresting, why do you follow from thread to thread to comment on my posts?

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: If you’re going to take up a large amount of people’s time, they might as well find it a pleasing or invigorating experience.
    Then you’d better work on it.

    While you’re criticizing others about repetition, you might want to take a look at your articles which are constantly bashing Republicans ONLY, making excuse for Democrats ONLY, and fueling the partisan warfare. They are all starting to look very similar.

    Posted by: d.a.n at April 16, 2007 10:34 PM
    Post a comment