House of strife

Well, we know what Democrats will be doing every day until the 2008 election. Attacking, smearing, accusing, belittling, impeaching, insulting, assaulting, and generally throwing a daily tantrum until their enemies are destroyed. Destroying Al Qaeda? No, I said their enemies… the GOP.

What a way to climb to power, eh? Through a death of a thousand cuts and a drumbeat of defeat. Here's just a miniscule sampling of news:

Subpoenas Approved for Rice, Other Bush Officials

Kucinich Files Articles of Impeachment Against Cheney

The Re-Making of a Quagmire

Bush blames the troops

House Panels Vote Subpoenas, Immunity in Probes on Prosecutors, War, Political Activity

The Bushies Lied About Tillman and Lynch

Some are even being driven to "take action" as a result of all this demonization:

A man has been arrested in connection with an incident earlier this month, when someone pressed a rifle to the face of a Nevada Republican Party official and threatened to "take action" if President George W. Bush vetoed a particular piece of legislation. ~fox5vegas.com

Declare defeat and legislate surrender, that's the road to power in post Vietnam America.
We're going to pick up Senate seats as a result of this war. Senator Schumer has shown me numbers that are compelling and astounding.

~Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, April 12.


It is axiomatic to say that Democrats are invested in our defeat. But why? They voted for the war. The reason is that they see political advantage in it. Democrats believed Bush, not because he played them like a Stradivarius, but because they believed their own intelligence. Bush said nothing that was not already known. Democrats voted to authorize the war because they believed that it was necessary according to the best intelligence of the time. Or did they?

I'm at the point where I just don't care anymore. As far as I'm concerned Bush should nominate a Democrat for Veep and then step down. Good luck. Edwards perhaps. He says he's for defeat, let him own it. It's easy to talk about how we need to surrender, perhaps Democrats need to be in power so that they can root for America again. If that is the only way to heal this divided nation then perhaps Republicans should just sit out the next election for the good of the country.

But then would Democrats truly unite the country? Or would they set about consolidating their power and grinding their political enemies into the dust so that they never again pose a threat to their power? I suspect the latter would be the case.

And why would I believe that, you might ask? Because 'cooperation not competition' is not the true philosophy of liberals or the left. They don't believe in getting along with those who disagree. They believe in getting their way. They don't believe in compromise, they believe in dissent. They believe that those who stand in their way do so out of malice and hate, not honest disagreement.

The great irony is that those who rail against hegemony the most do so because it is the wrong kind of hegemony, not because they are against the idea of hegemony in the slightest.

So after uniting with Bush on the authorization for war Democrats set about opposing the war once it had been set in motion. The idea that you would authorize an action and then demonize the one you gave approval to (to do the action) is perverse but no longer unexpected.

In retrospect, the signs of discord and division were there long before any policy like the Iraq war. The 2000 election itself was reason enough. But Democrats were actually blaming Bush for 9/11. And still do! How I thought that the Iraq war would be any different, I do not know. Somehow I gave Democrats more credit than they deserved.

Essentially Democrats say that surrender is the price of peace. But if they truly believed that, wouldn't they practice what they preach?

In moments like this I feel inclined to agree with Solomon; let's not cut the baby in half.

Better a dry crust with peace and quiet
than a house full of feasting, with strife.

~Proverbs 17:1

Posted by Eric Simonson at April 29, 2007 12:33 AM
Comments
Comment #218707
It is axiomatic to say that Democrats are invested in our defeat. But why? They voted for the war.

Let me clear up your confusion, Eric. Republicans are the ones invested in a policy of defeat. We’re going on the fifth year of the war and you guys still can’t win it. What the Hell? We have the most powerful military on the planet and you guys are still losing this war.

Senator Reid is absolutely correct, incompetent Republican handling of the Iraq war is losing GOP seats in Congress. If only those guys had done their jobs and questioned Bush’s war policies, maybe we wouldn’t be losing.

Posted by: American Pundit at April 29, 2007 2:03 AM
Comment #218708

Getting something right would really help Bush. Blaming people for noticing how much going wrong? Well, go for it. If you liked the results of the way the Americans voted in the 2006 midterms, you will absolutely love 2008.

Posted by: phx8 at April 29, 2007 2:33 AM
Comment #218711

Eric,

When are you going to write about something meaningful?

Like why we still don’t know who most of the detainees at Gitmo are, or why this administration finds it so embarrassing to let those we do know aren’t guilty of anything go back to the lives we’ve ruined?

Or why even though this administration has had a blank check since the beginning of the war on terror, it’s the “obstructionist” Democrats fault that our military is suddenly falling apart?

Or why the minute anybody even suggests that we might have some of the Constitutionally mandated oversight of the Executive branch, all we hear is whining about obstructionism?

Someone once said the difference between reality and fiction is that fiction needs to be credible to be believed.

This partisan drivel is long past being tiresome.

Posted by: Rocky at April 29, 2007 8:44 AM
Comment #218713

Eric, the GOP destroyed itself through very, very bad governance. The people have spoken. Remember that election in 2006? The people, Eric. Get over it. Democrats literally gave the GOP all the rope they needed to hang themselves at the hands of voters.

The GOP gave us a war without a cause, 3 Trillion dollars more national debt in an unbelievable scant 6 years. The GOP gave us Nixon style ethics violations and corruption, pedophiles, and lies so high one could climb to closed pearly gates upon them. They gave us Katrina’s aftermath of indecision and mismanagement, they gave us more growth in the size of government than Democrats could have dreamed of. They gave our children a tax burden even their grandchildren won’t be able to pay off. They gave us 9/11 on their watch. They gave us wide open borders still 6 years after 9/11. They gave us our illegal immigration debacle. They gave us deregulation and Enron, Adelphia, and Student Loan scams and scandals now breaking into the news.

I could go on, but, the point is adequately made. Many Democrats are reveling, many more are still extremely concerned and anxious for our future. That they have in common with Republicans, no thanks to the GOP. But, in 2008, Democrats will control the whole shebang, and then it will be your turn to act just like some Democrats are now toward Republicans.

I say vote out incumbents of both parties until they both yield to the concept of democracy and representing the American people and America’s future through consensus instead of all this division and very destructive juvenile bickering.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 29, 2007 9:11 AM
Comment #218714

As good as getting on our six o’clock news might be for the terrorist, being unable to repeatedly pierce our security and disrupt our operations would have made such triumphs hollow and ineffectual. The insurgency and the terrorists of course want us discouraged, but they could not win a war merely by doing that, nor actually discourage us by propaganda alone.

They had to show us as ineffectual protectors, and we had to demonstrate ourselves ineffective governors and rebuilders of Iraq. As much as the Republicans insist that our failures are the result of a loss of faith and morale, these are not the causative agents, for the most part, of our problems. They are the symptoms.

The real problem is that we couldn’t and have’t secured Iraq under Bush’s military policy. We don’t have the numbers, we don’t have the support of the people. The time we spent screwing around, waiting for “stay the course” to win, waiting for insufficient numbers and logistics to win, and for counterproductive strategy to work, was time well spent by our opponents essentially building an incident by incident case for our weakness.

In terms of governance and rebuilding, this is perhaps the most pernicious of the failures of this Administration, one that compounded and compounds the military failure to provide security. By so badly misreading Iraqi politics, we handed the opposition a wealth of disenchanted loyalist, who would not want to adapt to our new Iraq. By the failure to repair the infrastructure, the services, and the economy, we dealt a major blow to their image of America as a powerful, capable, and sensible force for order in their country. We also created the intolerable conditions that made people pine for better days, or rage for our removal from the scene.

But of course, the Bush administration and its supporters are worried about what we’re saying and doing here. Well here’s a little clue: most of the early dissent was people asking this president to get on the ball stabilizing Iraq and rebuilding it. Bush could have cut short both the political failures at home and the failures in the war in Iraq by admitting his mistakes and adapting his policy to suit.

Instead, he focused on vindicating himself, on proving that his party never made any mistake in going to Iraq, in how it was waging it, or in how it was justifying it at home. This, by you, Eric, is just more of the same.

The truth is, many of us didn’t care about embarassing or not embarassing the president. Many of us cared about winning this war, and only lost hope because of the President’s unwillingness to end failing policies.

It would be convenient to your side if the only reason we’re opposing all this is the psychopathic wish to see Bush defeated at all costs, but the truth is, we want Bush and the Republicans defeated because they have been leading us to one failure after another, and we care too damn much about this country to leave it in their hands. They and this war have done enough harm already, and both have proved themselves unredeemable at this point. The time has come to cut our losses, and cut away the losers who brought them about.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 29, 2007 9:30 AM
Comment #218717
It is axiomatic to say that Democrats are invested in our defeat.
axiomatic
adjective
1. evident without proof or argument.

I’m glad you admit that your claims have no proof or support from logical argument.

Thanks, Eric.

Posted by: LawnBoy at April 29, 2007 10:50 AM
Comment #218744

Well, we know what Democrats Republicans will be doing every day until the 2008 election. Attacking, smearing, accusing, belittling, impeaching, insulting, assaulting, and generally throwing a daily tantrum until their enemies are destroyed. Destroying Al Qaeda? No, I said their enemies… the GOP Democrats.

Posted by: Woody Mena at April 29, 2007 4:41 PM
Comment #218745

Oops, I used the wrong command. My point is that your reasoning works just as well either way. Unless Republicans and their allies are willing to focus all of their fire on Al Qaeda and our foreign enemies then you really don’t have an argument.

Posted by: Woody Mena at April 29, 2007 4:43 PM
Comment #218760

Eric:

Being a godless, immoral, lunatic leftist, I was actually following along your latest diatribe—until you quoted Proverbs.

I know a lost election, along with investigations, allegations, subpoenas and revelations (not the Bibilical one) seems like political Armageddon, especially after having things pretty much your own way for six-plus years. Knowing the Dems like a do, though, and their penchant to lose their collective train of thought to any pretty harlot with cash stuffed in her pockets—really, you don’t have to worry. I suppose they could be chasing young pages, but to each his own, eh?

Actually, I just came over from the other columns to ask you to keep it down over here—you’re frightening the donkeys. And could you use a kleenex please? I got some of your spittal from your mouth-foaming on me.

Thanks.

Posted by: Tim Crow at April 29, 2007 7:07 PM
Comment #218778

The GOP doesn’t need any Democratic assistance in destoying itself: think Jonestown 1978 — only this time, it is GWB who is providing the grape Flavor Aid to the GOP.

Posted by: Dr Poshek at April 30, 2007 12:48 AM
Comment #218799

AP,

Let me clear up your confusion, Eric. Republicans are the ones invested in a policy of defeat. We’re going on the fifth year of the war and you guys still can’t win it. What the Hell? We have the most powerful military on the planet and you guys are still losing this war.

Your comments illustrate my point exactly.

We aren’t losing because of military failure. We aren’t losing because of inadaquete resources. We are losing because fighting insurgents and terrorists is not wholly a technical enterprise. It is a morale problem. It is a sustaining of domestic support problem.

There are no battles. There are no territorial gains or losses, like retaking a country. It is a guerilla war.

Democrats and the left have successfully redefined (reframed) this as ‘losing’.

Congratulations!

Posted by: eric simonson at April 30, 2007 12:58 PM
Comment #218800

woody,

My point is that your reasoning works just as well either way. Unless Republicans and their allies are willing to focus all of their fire on Al Qaeda and our foreign enemies then you really don’t have an argument.

I have no doubt that Afghanistan is next on the list woody.

Have you heard Pres. candidate Edwards? There is no war on terror.

Part of the problem is that Bush has neglected domestic politics. He doesn’t respond to the attacks of democrats. What little response they do engage in is far short of what the attacks require in order to repel them effectively.

C’mon, when your basically blamed for 9/11 by congressional democrats you can’t take the high road thinking that not fighting back will be perceived as principled.

Posted by: eric simonson at April 30, 2007 1:06 PM
Comment #218801

The GOP doesn’t need any Democratic assistance in destoying itself: think Jonestown 1978 — only this time, it is GWB who is providing the grape Flavor Aid to the GOP.

Posted by: Dr Poshek at April 30, 2007 12:48 AM

YOUR 100% RIGHT! The GOP is doing a very good job of insuring it won’t win in 08.
So why doesn’t Congress get down to business and work to resolve the REAL problems of this Country? That would do more to insure the Democrats win in 08 than all the BS they’re pulling now.

Posted by: Ron Brown at April 30, 2007 1:06 PM
Comment #218806

Eric,

… and when you’re blamed for losing the Iraq War by Republicans (even though they have been in charge for almost the whole time) you can’t take the high road thinking that not fighting back will be perceived as principled. Like I said, it goes either way.

Posted by: Woody Mena at April 30, 2007 1:57 PM
Comment #218818
There are no battles. There are no territorial gains or losses, like retaking a country.

Ah. So you don’t see the need for combat forces in Iraq at all. You’re supportive of a complete withdrawal.

That’s quite a bit further than even Democrats will go, but you’re entitled to your opinion, eric, and I will fight for your right to speak it.

Posted by: American Pundit at April 30, 2007 3:04 PM
Comment #218828

AP,

Well, if you’ll remember. The invasion was also characterized by democrats and the left as a complete disaster— as it happened. We were told how badly we were losing by Democrats and not just Al Sahaf. And yet the truth was that in the history of warfare, the invasion was a textbook case of perfect warfare.

A conventional war against a conventional armed force doesn’t last very long.

Counter insurgency is something different.

In that we are doing what is supposed to be done, but it is not about pitched battles with conventional armed forces. It takes a lot longer for one thing, without the rah rah siss boom bah that Democrats seems to be saying is missing.

Posted by: eric simonson at April 30, 2007 3:34 PM
Comment #218830

Al Qaida is an OUTSIDE enemy that wants to do us harm.

The GOP (at least the Bushies within the GOP, anyway) are a grave threat WITHIN that has already undermined our very foundation, THE CONSTITUION and engaged in acts of treason, perjury and illegal war in the furtherence of goals which are themselves illegal and violations of trust and that cost American lives.

Who do you suppose the greater threat is - the enemy without, or the one within?

Posted by: RGF at April 30, 2007 3:41 PM
Comment #218870
The invasion was also characterized by democrats and the left as a complete disaster

How so, eric? I don’t remember anythiong but valid criticism that things would have gone better if we had sent more troops — a fact that everyone involved would agree with. You should read the history of the invasion — “Operation Cobra II” — then you’ll have a better idea what you’re talking about.

Counter insurgency is something different.

LOL! You’re telling ME that? I was telling you that here on WatchBlog years ago. Glad you finally decided to come on board — way too late for it to be relevant.

The conflict in Iraq is no longer a counter-insurgency conflict. It’s a sectarion civil war. Most US operations in Iraq right now have nothing to do with al-Qaeda and neither do the vast majority of attacks on US soldiers.

Get up to speed, Johhny-come-lately. What’s going on in Iraq has nothing to do with America anymore.

Posted by: American Pundit at April 30, 2007 7:55 PM
Comment #218874

Eric-
Your comments bring back to mind the old joke about keeping people in high spirits: the beatings will continue until morale improves!

You present morale as an abstraction, as something that stands alone by itself as a contributor to the war effort. The trouble with that argument lies in the failure to see the feedbacks to morale from other efforts.

Failure can lower morale. Domestic support can falter because people do not see successes coming from the strategy they are asked to support.

Guerilla wars may not take on the classic profile of the pitched battle that thrills you so, but they are none the less about territorial gains and losses.

The difference is one of potentialities, as opposed to actualities. A more conventional force, to take a whole country, fights for it, and when it takes it, tends to want to keep hold of it. A guerilla force choses instead to maintain areas of potential activity, and is willing to take and leave ground as is strategically necessary, up until the point where the forces cross the threshold into conventional status, or the efforts succeed at their aim.

The only way to successfully combat an insurgency is to deny them the potential, as well as the actual areas of activity. To do that, you have to have the cooperation of the people there. A good counterinsurgency either has political power by proxy, or by force. Our proxies are weak, and many of our efforts are hampered by the cooperation of residents with the insurgents and terrorists. Retaliating against these people doesn’t help things, so we are left somewhat impotent in the face of the support there for the insurgents.

Bush did not neglect domestic politics. That claim is ludicrous. His has been one of the most politicized administrations in recent history. If you want a guide as to how much attention this president pays to domestic politics, observe that this president kept on doing photo-ops even as New Orleans was underwater. This President had blocks re-electrified, then de-electrified to make photo ops. He would show up to a photo op with equipment, then take it away with him when he went. He was doing a photo op when he got the News about 9/11. America was under attack, and the president finished the photo-op, rather than leave immediately with apologies.

The President has become known for doing big rounds of speeches with any number of professionals of some kind lining up bleachers behind him. He’s pushed any number of policies in extended tours.

I mean, Bush doesn’t pay attention to Domestic politics? Why do you think Karl Rove has a job? No, the problem is not that Bush pays too little attention to domestic politics. Far from it. He pays too damn much attention to it, at the price of having any kind of coherent policy in any direction. The trouble isn’t that Bush hasn’t been answering the Democrat’s Criticisms, it’s just that after all the screw-ups, very few people accord his positions much credibility.

The victory in Iraq was pretty impressive, but it was far from perfect. If our only goal came down to dethroning Saddam, it was a brilliant success. Unfortunately, we had to administer, secure, and govern Iraq with an invasion plan that never really provided for those needs, or for many of the possible outcomes. This was a war planned by people who had one-track minds of using small-wars tactics to effect regime change, and who considered little else beyond that in any great detail.

Moreover, this administration only recently jumped on the counterinsurgency bandwagon, having spent the four years before that denigrating such options. Even so, his efforts are disappointing to those like General William Odom, who know the game there. We don’t have enough soldiers to saturate the ground with our presence, to nurture the goals of the counterinsurgency.

The truth is, not only is the surge insufficient, it’s main motivation is domestic politics. Not that it’s doing much good for the Republicans, but the point of escalating rather than withdrawing, is that Bush is that Bush wished to gamble on three things: improvements, even just local and short term to shore up the image of the war, neutralizing the Democrat’s push for withdrawal, and at the same time playing to the base.

The problem for Bush in terms of domestic politics is that he waited too long to get serious, both in a real fashion, and in a political sense. Perseveration does not always indicate strength of character, of approach. Often it just constitutes paralysis, the incompetent asking people to defer judgment time and again, until their time is safely over.

Additionally, his strategy was just wrong. It made or allowed things to get worse, even while people, even his own political rivals, were screaming at him to do better. He wasted the chance to demonstrate both some humility and some leadership by persisting in his policy.

Now, he’s trying to push a war that most Americans hate, with a surge most Americans strongly disagree with. Events in Iraq do not indicate progress, and if they weren’t getting covered in sufficient detail by the media, Bush could use the bully pulpit to get past that, to make it news.

You just don’t want to face the ugly truth: that your party, your president, has lost a war, and that no amount of boosterism or scapegoating of the press can save, or ever could save it.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 30, 2007 8:09 PM
Comment #219041

Eric,

If we force the Iraqi government to stand up for itself, that’s defeat?
Benchmarks and timetables. The Democrats are funding the war, they just want accountability.
That is the true enemy of the GOP. Accountability.
The American people want questions answered. It is the job of Congress to get those answers.
You want Congress to pretend this administrations failures and activities are a thing of the past. They’re not.

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at May 2, 2007 10:03 AM
Comment #219076

I think the Cheney impeachment case is as good as the Bush impeachment case over the war; both are “slam dunks.”

Posted by: mental wimp at May 2, 2007 2:42 PM
Comment #219078

Another note. Be cautious about adopting the language that is given by partisans. Technically, we are not at war. We are occupying a country wherein a civil war rages, and at the same time there are external forces there trying to inflict damage on our troops. But there is no “battle” between our forces and some other forces for control of a specific geography. Talking about “being at war” and “winning the war” only serves to obfuscate the issues for those that would have us continue whatever it is we supposedly are doing in Iraq.

Instead, we should talk about our occupation as a peace-keeping or peace-restoring operation that has been botched badly by the administration cowboys who think that every military operation is a “war.” They have the subtlety of a bull in a china shop. Clearly, the majority of Iraqi’s no longer want us there, Al-Qaeda loves us being there so they can kill some soldiers, and we have decimated their infrastructure to the point of dysfunction.

So, we need the Bush administration to be clear about what they hope to accomplish by continued occupation of Iraq. Then we need to have a clear explanation of how that continued occupation will meet that objective and metrics that will tell us how much progress (or regress) is being made. All this crap about supporting troops, or “we’re at war!” are just smoke screens to prevent the American public from understanding just how futile our efforts have been in Iraq and how unlikely they are to be fruitful in the future.

We also need to get clear updates on progress (or regress) in Afghanistan and our “hunt” for Bin Laden. Not only is that likely to be more successful than the Iraq fiasco, but it is more critical to the safety of the US and the rest of the world. Don’t forget, fear-mongers, that’s where the 9/11 attackers came from, right?

Posted by: mental wimp at May 2, 2007 2:52 PM
Comment #219822

Eric,

How much smearing do think is really necessary?
Bush has run up more deficiet and more debt than ALL THE PREVIOUS American administrations in our history COMBINED!

We have an administration that has committed acts of treaon (Libby’s, at the VERY least), lied to the American people, lied to congress and lied to the UN. This group of nuts have even taken us into an illegal war, manipulated intelligence (now by there own admission) and have not even prioritized the search for the real perpetrators of 9/11 (bin Laden). Rather, we have pulled funding OUT of Afghanistan and handed it over to NATO. These twits have even undermined the Constitution, spied on American citizens and violated the Geneva convention.

These aren’t smears, eric, these are now open and accepted (even admitted) facts.

Then when you consider the rank and file republicans -
Child molestation, campaign money laundering, corrupt and illegal pressuring (and then firing) of federal attorneys for political purposes…

I don’t think the Democrats even need to waste their time and energy doing any dirty campaigning or smearing.

The truth speaks for itself.

Posted by: RGF at May 8, 2007 2:24 PM
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