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My Problem with Bruce Bartlett

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 1:21 am - March 14, 2006.
Filed under: National Politics,Ronald Reagan

Las fall, when I first heard about Bruce Bartlett’s then-forthcoming book,
Impostor: How George W. Bush Bankrupted America and Betrayed the Reagan Legacy
, I was eager to read it. A senior White House policy analyst in the Reagan Administration, Bartlett served as deputy assistant secretary for economic policy at the Treasury Department from the last year of the Gipper’s second term through the end of George H.W. Bush’s administration. A smart economist with libertarian economic views not too different from my own, he had his first job on Capitol Hill working for Texas Congressman Ron Paul (one of the few men who has retained his small-government principles despite decades on the Hill). Later, working for New York Representative Jack Kemp, he helped draft the Kemp-Roth bill — which, when passed (in slightly revised form) in 1981, helped spur the economic boom of the Reagan years.

Over his three decades in public life, he has consistently advocated cutting taxes and reducing the size of the federal government. (One does wonder what he thought when his boss in 1990, the first President Bush, betrayed his campaign promise and pushed through a tax increase.) I generally enjoy Bartlett’s columns (available here) because of his keen understanding of economic issues — and our shared libertarian principles. Given Bartlett’s domestic policy background, one would expect him to be critical of the current Bush Administration because the president has basically failed to follow the Reagan domestic policy agenda.

While the president has done a better job in his three most recent budgets of holding the line of federal spending (than he had in his first few budgets), he has still failed to veto a single bill, especially those spending bills “enhanced” with “Set-Asides,” federal money earmarked for “pet projects.” Those who want to see Gipper’s agenda realized should be upset about this failure to hold the line on federal spending.

Ronald Reagan’s agenda, however, involved more than just cutting federal spending. Indeed, while he wanted to reduce the size of (if not just plain eliminate) many federal programs, he saw national security as the paramount issue. Believing, when he took office, that we needed to counter the Soviet threat, the Gipper compromised with the Democrats who then controlled the House of Representatives and agreed to backtrack on some of his proposed spending cuts in order to get the increases in military spending he believed necessary to win the Cold War.

The current president, however, doesn’t have a Democratic Congress with whch to contend and has so far, shown an inability to stand up to a spendthrift Republican one. That said, the above anecdote reminds us that Ronald Reagan’s agenda included more than cutting the size and scope of the federal government.

In addition to supporting a strong national defense and an aggressive foreign policy, the Gipper’s agenda also included appointing conservative judges who would interpret the federal constitution and laws rather than legislate from the bench. And on those issues (national defense and judicial appointments), the president (with a few exceptions) has basically followed a course set more than a quarter-century ago by Ronald Reagan.

Bartlett is right to fault President Bush for betraying the “Reagan legacy of fiscal conservatism and smaller government.” In this column, he succinctly puts forward a strong case against the president’s domestic agenda. Had he focused those issues while noting that, in many cases, the President has stayed true to the Gipper’s vision, I likely would have bought the book and reviewed it here. But, when he says “if you look at Ronald Reagan’s philosophy as being the cornerstone of what Republicans believe in, I think [President Bush has] done more to go against it than to go towards it. And that’s really the gist of my argument,” I think Bartlett goes too far and downplays many of the president’s accomplishments which were fit in comfortably with the Gipper’s philosophy, still the cornerstone of what we Republicans believe.

Unlike most critics of the president, Bartlett relies on facts and has made solid arguments against the president’s policies. I continue to recommend his columns (particularly on domestic policy) to you. Yet, I wonder why he, like other erstwhile supporters of the president, turns a valid criticism of certain Administration policies into an overall indictment of his leadership.

Bartlett is spot on when he says President Bush has betrayed the Gipper’s legacy on fiscal conservatism. But, on many other issues, the president has stayed true to Ronald Reagan’s great vision for our nation. It’s too bad the Gipper’s successors can’t live up to his high ideals. But, then that great man set the bar pretty high.

-Dan (AKA GayPatriotWest): GayPatriotWest@aol.com

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79 Comments

  1. Without a doubt, Bush is no Reagan.

    Comment by Robert Bayn — March 14, 2006 @ 1:27 am - March 14, 2006

  2. No, alas, he is not.

    Comment by GayPatriotWest — March 14, 2006 @ 1:40 am - March 14, 2006

  3. Ah, very nice — they’re starting to eat their own. We’ll see it here, too, soon — hellish baring of teeth by one Wingnut at another, as Dear Leader’s numbers sink to new historic lows. Acting President Ted Stevens, anyone?

    Comment by Queer Patriot — March 14, 2006 @ 5:22 am - March 14, 2006

  4. My primary objection to Bruce Bartlett’s characterization of the president is the word “Impostor,” which, in interviews, Bartlett has also backed off from. Bush never claimed to be a Reagan Republican. He campaigned as a “Compassionate Conservative,” which we found out too late meant a Big Government Conservative. Which is how we end up with ridiculous policies like spending more than half-a-million dollars per New Orleans resident on Hurricane Katrina relief.

    Reagan was not a lucky president. He got the country through rough times and ended the Cold War on the strength of his personality and ideas. Bush and Clinton, on the other hand, have been much luckier. Clinton was lucky because he came to power during a period of vast, technology-driven economic expansion his policies largely didn’t have anything to do with (and to the extent that they did, it was the Enron, Tyco, Adelphia, and Global Crossing scams that ripped off employees and shareholders while the Clinton Admin looked the other way). Bush has been lucky in that his opposition is filled with incoherent, mindless rage (like Cowpie in #3), and the Democrats are too trapped by their radical-left base to formulate alternative policies that would appeal to the middle class voter.

    While the president has done a better job in his three most recent budgets of holding the line of federal spending (than he had in his first few budgets)

    One last thing, even though I totally disagree with Bush’s philosophy of massive deficit spending, I understand why he did it. After 9-11, I think Bush’s advisors told him the economy would slip into recession without massive Federal spending. However, that doesn’t excuse his massive prescription drug boondoggle, which is going to hurt our country’s fiscal situation for decades to come unless it is repealed.

    Comment by V the K — March 14, 2006 @ 7:42 am - March 14, 2006

  5. Holy mackerel — are we actually (gulp, gasp) criticizing our President, however feebly and tentatively? And does this mean we’re not allowed in the GOP’s conservative clubhouse any more?

    Comment by Tim Hulsey — March 14, 2006 @ 10:05 am - March 14, 2006

  6. 3: Oh my, now that’s just mean… since polls was a recent topic, here’s a more recent one on Mr. Bush:

    http://poll.gallup.com/content/?ci=21904

    It includes a full analysis of all data points, groups, etc. What I find most interesting is the fact that he’s pretty much been on a slow decline ever since topping out just after 9/11/01. Interestingly enough, his approvals was at 51 on 9/10/01, the lowest of his term. This guy is an intellectual lightweight. Had it not been for 9/11, he would have been a one-termer, just like his father. Within days of 9/11, it became clear that his strategy for 04 would become “only republicans can protect you.” Scare the crap out of people and they will vote for you. Of course they also got people to the polls in 04 believing that the destruction of the nation would be in the form of gay marriage too.

    Comment by Kevin — March 14, 2006 @ 10:09 am - March 14, 2006

  7. 6: whoops: that should have been “polls were a recent topic”

    4: Reagan wasn’t lucky? You’ve got to be kidding. He was elected on a wave of want for change in this country, brought on by the disastrous economy during Carter’s 4 years in office (started though during the results of Watergate). Although, let’s give Carter some conservative credit for starting involvement in Afghanistan…one of the conservatives greatest wins over the Soviets.

    And as far as the Soviets are concerned: He was in the right place at the right time. Soviet/communist rule by the 80s was a complete and utter failure and the country was falling apart. Their brand of government was gasping its last breath and Reagan was lucky enough to be around to say “tear down that wall” at the right time – they were pretty much huddled en masse behind that wall at that exact moment, poised with pick axes to knock it down and get money flowing into the east.

    Interesting you mention those big companies in the Clinton years, because weren’t republicans mighty friendly with them as well? Bush referred to Ken Lay as “kenny boy” and they threw massive resources to Bush in the 2000 election debacle – I believe enron planes even flew in “grass roots protestors” to help stop the FL recounts. Ah politics…. a river of crap that flows in both directions at the same time.

    Comment by Kevin — March 14, 2006 @ 10:21 am - March 14, 2006

  8. At the risk of being accused of being a Ripon Republican, I have to say that I’m not too worried by Bruce Bartlett or Grover Norquist or Cato or Heritage or vonMises supporters… they have a view of small govt that even fearless leader RR couldn’t advance –or else he would have ended Education, HUD, Energy HHS, or the Interior Depts. Heck, RR couldn’t even cut NASA or NOAA or FEMA… and having Davey Stockman count ketchup as a vegetable is hardly moving DC toward the small govt model RR hyped on the 25+ yr campaign trail leading to 1600. And please, don’t get me wrong: I liked RR –even when he was portrayed as war monger within the GOP… I liked him. He restored American might and power abroad.

    BB got it wrong when he offered his political insight that there’d be a revolution in the GOP if W won in 2004. Nope, no revolution is likely; in fact, accomodation with the country’s political middle is needed or else we hazard the WH to those who are a whole lot worse. Just like we did with Jerry Ford being challenged by RR for too long; or GHWB being challenged by Perot for too long. We got Carter and Clinton >and recent history shows how well those two have acquitted themselves in and out of office.

    BB, a fellow native Ann Arborite btw, has his views but there on the fringe of the party, on the fringe of DC, and the underlying premise that RR’s torch was supposed to be passed to W is pure poetic fantasy and political folly. No torch. In a real way, RR was the successor to Goldwater’s torch.

    BB’s premise is just wrong: there is no “impostor” because RR’s legacy was illusional –like Kennedy’s Camelot. A fiction for the out going guard.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — March 14, 2006 @ 10:24 am - March 14, 2006

  9. It’s the CowPie, Kevin tag team… can Stephen and hank be far behind?

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — March 14, 2006 @ 10:27 am - March 14, 2006

  10. #5 — Actually TIMMEH!, Bush is criticized much more frequently on this forum than you, Kevin, or any of the rest of the cult of the left ever criticize Democrats.

    And what Kevin conveniently overlooks in #7 is that Reagan’s economic reforms and his fight against communism were fought tooth and nail by the Democrats and the liberal media every step of the way…. Many of whom still act as if the wrong side won the Cold War.

    And what Kevin leaves out also is that one of the key players in a 90’s business scandal (Global Crossing) made off with $18.5 Million and was made chairman of the Democrat Party; Terry MacAuliffe. This would have been like the Republicans making Ken Lay Chairman of the RNC.

    But, of course, there is no “culture of corruption” in the Democrat party.

    Comment by V the K — March 14, 2006 @ 10:37 am - March 14, 2006

  11. Web Reconnaissance for 03/14/2006

    A short recon of what?s out there that might draw your attention.

    Trackback by The Thunder Run — March 14, 2006 @ 10:52 am - March 14, 2006

  12. Frankly, I’m not sure what Bush’s effective governing policy’s are. I know he goes on campain-style stump speeches every few months to try and bolster his flagging poll numbers, but in practical terms what the hell does he do on a daily basis?

    And GPW, I’d like to know exactly where you think Reagan and Bush are similiar?

    I think Bartlett goes too far and downplays many of the president’s accomplishments which were fit in comfortably with the Gipper’s philosophy, still the cornerstone of what we Republicans believe.

    Exactly what accomplishments are you thinking of?

    And you have defined Bushes “Big Government” views primarly in the area of fiscal spending. But I think he goes far beyond that. He is big government when it comes to using government to impose his personal social values as well. You see this mostly in the polcies his Adminstration sets on health care, aid to developing countries, the Federal DOMA support, support of sodomy laws, etc. (when he was governor of Texas) His choices prove he wants Big Government involved in our everyday personal lives in a big way.

    Comment by Patrick (Gryph) — March 14, 2006 @ 11:03 am - March 14, 2006

  13. VdaK, “Many of whom still act as if the wrong side won the Cold War.”

    I only wish that wasn’t so true… when “Reds” came out and Warren Beatty –a liberal Hollywood radical Leftie– was running around glorifying Communism, all things Soviet, and decrying the progress secured by the HUAC and Sen Joe McCarthy, I thought then that these guys really are pulling for the Soviets to win.

    Now, with Geo Clooney picking up the botoxed, facelifted mantle of Warren Beatty, I wonder how long it will be before we get a litany of revisionist films projecting the glory of Liberals in the New World Order… oh, wait, we’ve already started releasing those films.

    The Blame-America-Firsters do think the wrong side won in the Cold War. But they were successful in seeing America defeated in VN… I hope they succeed in helping to defeat us in Iraq or the WOT.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — March 14, 2006 @ 11:12 am - March 14, 2006

  14. Something Kevin also leaves out in #7, even though Ken Lay was a supporter of Bush, that didn’t stop Bush from unleashing the full force of his Justice Department against him. Maybe Ken Lay should have been a Clinton supporter instead. That way, he could have just bought himself a pardon.

    Comment by V the K — March 14, 2006 @ 11:13 am - March 14, 2006

  15. insert “don’t” before “succeed” in the last line.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — March 14, 2006 @ 11:14 am - March 14, 2006

  16. ouch, I forgot how Clinton’s debauchery of the federal penal (or is it penile for SlickWilly?) led to all those scandalous pardons as he and Hillary were ferreting art treasures, silver and furniture out of the WH.

    Bless you Kev on bringing up Ken Lay… I seem to recall that Ken Lay’s operations gave hefty sums to ol’ Slick Willy’s buddies too … like Shelia Jackson Lee, Ken Bentsen, Charlie Schumer, John Dingell, etc… the Florida Dem Party… and on and on. So be careful in pointing the finger for once; three of those fingers point right back at ya.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — March 14, 2006 @ 1:48 pm - March 14, 2006

  17. Actually, I find interesting parallels between Bush and Reagan.

    Both inherited economies in the process of collapsing.

    Both managed major economic turnarounds.

    Both did so via the same means — tax cuts and increases in government spending.

    The fundamental difference between Bush and Reagan is that Bush was able to do both more quickly, both by force of circumstance and because his party controlled Congress.

    Meanwhile, what I think Bartlett and the others criticizing Medicare Part D forget is that, by law, the government is obliged to cover the hospitalization costs (Medicare Part A) of all individuals covered by Medicare. That includes not just acute hospitalization and recovery, but also skilled nursing, home health care, and other costs.

    With that as a given, it makes sense for the government to pay for prescription drugs if doing so will reduce the necessity and duration of invoking Part A. Think about it; which is cheaper, paying for cholesterol-lowering drugs, or paying the cost of all expenses associated with a heart attack?

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — March 14, 2006 @ 2:10 pm - March 14, 2006

  18. #17 — The problem, NDT, is that GWB signed off on a massive, sweeping new entitlement for prescription drugs instead of simply aiding people who were having trouble paying for medications; without any other systemic or structural reform to Medicare, a system where fraud and abuse account for at least 20% of expenditures already. And also, don’t forget, Bush deliberately lied to Congress about the size of the program in order to get it to pass.

    And the prescription drug boondoggle — the largest entitlement program since the 1960s — was on top of massive new federal education spending and an obscenely bloated agriculture subsidy bill. It was followed by a porktacular highway bill, and now the Hurricane Katrina half-million-per-New-Orleans resident boondoggle. GWB’s domestic politics are much more LBJ than RWR.

    Comment by V the K — March 14, 2006 @ 2:21 pm - March 14, 2006

  19. Tim (in #5), did you read the entirety of my post in which I called Bartlett’s criticism of the president’s fiscal policy as “spot on”?

    Many conservatives have made many valid criticisms of this president, including Bartlett. My problem with him is that he seems to limit the Gipper’s legacy to his domestic policy agenda and excludes other things where the president stayed true to the Gipper’s vision.

    And Patrick, I just don’t see the president’s policies as “imposing” social values on us. I have mixed feelings about faith-based initiatives, but even those policies do not impose values, merely promote certain ones.

    Comment by GayPatriotWest — March 14, 2006 @ 2:30 pm - March 14, 2006

  20. He is big government when it comes to using government to impose his personal social values as well

    Amazing, isn’t it, how liberals don’t understand a man of principle who actually starts implementing his campaign promises, rather than going back on all of them the minute he’s in office.

    Comment by rightwingprof — March 14, 2006 @ 3:31 pm - March 14, 2006

  21. Dan please contact me.

    Comment by hank — March 14, 2006 @ 4:50 pm - March 14, 2006

  22. 10: Oh please….Reagan’s voodoo economics are even today being criticized by Republicans as a bad idea. it was a big party time of tax cuts and spending that Bush I was unable to clean up (part of the reason for his 1 term) and it took us well into the 90s with both republicans and democrats working to balance it out.

    14: Ummmm….didn’t that only happen after his advisers told him what a PR debacle it would be for him not to do so? I don’t recall him making the decision personally on his own. (Let’s face it …. everyone seems to just cringe anytime he deviates from the plans/scripts prepared by others). Same with harriet meiers….he cant’ think beyond his own perosnal little world, so he picks the female lawyer in the office closest to him.

    16: Check out the last sentence of my post. That pretty much sums it up for all.

    Comment by Kevin — March 14, 2006 @ 8:32 pm - March 14, 2006

  23. 20: Principle?? Desiring to write discrimination into the constitution is a principle? Not having the brains to mobilize federal resources in the face of a national disaster? To sit looking shell-shocked holding a child’s book at the moment of the worst attack on the US in history?

    I don’t think he is a question of conservative/democrat. This is an issue of a man who, prior to being forced in to politics by his family for the race of Governor of Texas, had no achievement made on his own in his life (and since then, it’s mostly been done by handlers). We can sit and go back and forth debating clinton, bush sr., reagan, carter, nixon, etc, etc. The difference between them and Bush, Jr. is that these people made achievements in some way, shape or form that set them apart as having some kind of outstanding quality to the American voter. There is absolutely no principle involved when you continue to make dumb statements, decisions, etc. I can’t recall any president who has so often required his press reps and handlers to make the statement “what he meant to say….” so many times. Perhaps he can become an ob/gyn so he can properly love his patients.

    Comment by Kevin — March 14, 2006 @ 8:52 pm - March 14, 2006

  24. Kevin snidely observed…

    ” Principle?? Desiring to write discrimination into the constitution is a principle? Not having the brains to mobilize federal resources in the face of a national disaster? To sit looking shell-shocked holding a child’s book at the moment of the worst attack on the US in history?”

    Ladies & gentlemen, I give you the DNC platform.

    Thank you, Kevin, for trumpeting, yet again, every lame-ass, petulant rant you “enlightened ones” seem to think none of us have never heard before. I’m so grateful to you, Kev, as I can’t seem to get enough of the same old BULLSHIT.

    Do me a favor, brainiac…

    Try shutting the fuck up and getting back to the fry station. I’ll be driving through for my Wendy’s combo meal in about an hour or so, and I just hate it when my fries are cold & soggy.

    Eric in Hollywood

    Comment by HollywoodNeoCon — March 14, 2006 @ 9:10 pm - March 14, 2006

  25. I’d say Kevin hit a nerve with HollywoodNeoCon. What HNC can’t deny, he tries to call Democratic as if its a dirty word, and what he can’t defend he tries to call “old news” as if its unimportant.

    At first blush, the Wendy’s fry cook attack seems just childish, but its really emblematic of where the Bush/Cheney erosion is taking place; in the great unwashed that have always been Bush’s right-wing base. Those 17/34% poll numbers for Cheney/Bush are the real problem, and not something you can swift-boat your way out of.

    Bush is dying by the same sword with which he’s classically skewered his political opponents. He can’t counter the port debacle without making a nuanced argument that depends upon a global economic understanding that–unlike gay marriage–his core supporters can’t understand. He can’t fully attack the religious fundamentalism that is tearing Iraq apart from the inside without raising questions about the delitirious effects of the Dobsons, Falwells and Robertsons right here at home.

    When you’re driving through Wendy’s keeping that cholesterol high, pay close attention to that guy at the fry station you’re so anxious to bash. He’s the guy who is going to vote the GOP out of office.

    Comment by PBCliberal — March 15, 2006 @ 2:36 am - March 15, 2006

  26. Reagan’s voodoo economics are even today being criticized by Republicans as a bad idea.

    OK, Kevers, let’s reinstate the 70% tax rate that existed under Reagan. It kicked in as low as $40,000 of annual income and was not indexed to inflation. Since Reagan’s tax cuts were so reckless, let’s put you down as favoring the Carter-Era 70% top marginal rate. Shall we? I’m sure when you do your taxes, that’s what you pay, even though you don’t have to, because you believe it’s better for the country if politicians and bureaucrats make your economic decisions for you.

    Not having the brains to mobilize federal resources in the face of a national disaster?

    Left-Wing Myth Alert: According to Popular Mechanics, the post-Katrina mobilization was among the fastest in US history, with over 100,000 soldiers and relief workes mobilized within three days of the Hurricane making landfall. Helicopters were flying rescue missions within two hours of the storm clearing.

    Desiring to write discrimination into the constitution is a principle?

    It’s preferable to having left-wing judges make up stuff that isn’t in the Constitution and shoving it down people’s throats. Supporting a Constitutional Amendment to Ban Same-Sex Marriage is an extreme position… but supporting the imposition of same-sex marriage by judicial fiat is equally if not more extreme, and decidedly less democratic than the process for amending the Constitution.

    And, now that polygamy is popping up right-and-left as the next great crusade, I still await apologies from all of those of you who attacked me when I pointed out that this was bound to follow on the heels of same-sex marriage.

    Comment by V the K — March 15, 2006 @ 5:10 am - March 15, 2006

  27. Kevin at #22 “Let’s face it …. everyone seems to just cringe anytime he deviates from the plans/scripts prepared by others”

    Kevin, you really ought to get some experience inside the beltway or in a political office on the Hill cause your lack of knowledge on the fundamentals is showing through with screaming colors… and it isn’t the rainbow, Kevin. You got this “shoot from the hip rant” down to an artform –trouble is, that’s about the sum total of the DNC’s strategy for winning control over even one institution of govt at this point… shoot from the hip, see what sticks.

    Professional staff in other EOs will tell you that this Administration’s leadership –from the Prez & Veep, the COS’s office, the upper level advisors and the few outside consultants– are on top of their game and the message doesn’t come from anything like Bill Clinton’s ol war room with Step, Morris and the junkyard dog Carville laying out policy triangulations based on yesterday’s polling. Missteps? Sure. Used by opponents to great political advantage. Sure. But that’s part of Washington ..has been since the days of Thos Jefferson undercutting American interests by seditious entanglements with the French.

    You, Kevin, really haven’t got a clue. The point about “everyone cringes” when Bush goes off script? Pure, utter, brain-infarcted fantasy. I would be just as wrong to offer that Sen Dems cringe when Teddy-drive-my-way-Kennedy goes off the reservation in one of his alcohol induced red-faced speechifying moments on the Floor.

    You have to find some real facts Kevin, support your rants, and quit shooting from both hips if you want to go beyond being just a mouth for the DNC –and then only in the water cooler mentality levels.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — March 15, 2006 @ 7:23 am - March 15, 2006

  28. PBCLiberal said…

    “I’d say Kevin hit a nerve with HollywoodNeoCon.”

    You’re absolutely right, but then again, I tend to get rather annoyed when sheeple repeatedly demonstrate a complete lack of respect for reality. Trumpeting horseshit talking points again and again will make them neither real or accepted by the “proletariat.”

    I’d respond further, but V and Matt have done so quite nicely, thank you.

    Eric in Hollywood

    Comment by HollywoodNeoCon — March 15, 2006 @ 9:10 am - March 15, 2006

  29. Actually TIMMEH!, Bush is criticized much more frequently on this forum than you, Kevin, or any of the rest of the cult of the left ever criticize Democrats.

    Guess again, V. I’m a Republican and a conservative, and I criticize liberal Democrats quite often (especially on my own blog). I don’t do it so much here because most of you are able to do that on your own, and because contrarian voices in a sea of facile consensus always deserve support.

    I’ve been reading GayPatriot for several weeks now, and this is the first post I’ve read that could reasonably be interpreted as critical of Bush. Conservatives need more (and stronger) criticism from within.

    Comment by Tim Hulsey — March 15, 2006 @ 9:12 am - March 15, 2006

  30. I’m a Republican and a conservative

    Who claims that public schools are in the vise-like grip of the right-wing. Yeah, whatever…

    Comment by V the K — March 15, 2006 @ 11:09 am - March 15, 2006

  31. That’s like claiming Hollywood is dominated by pro-life Christian fundamentalists.

    Comment by V the K — March 15, 2006 @ 11:20 am - March 15, 2006

  32. Hollywood is dominated by socialist-yet-money-hungry Jews.

    Everyone knows that, don’t they?

    But then again, I’M dominated by that persistent hope that talent and passion speak to people.

    Eric in Hollywood

    Comment by HollywoodNeoCon — March 15, 2006 @ 12:27 pm - March 15, 2006

  33. “And, now that polygamy is popping up right-and-left as the next great crusade, I still await apologies from all of those of you who attacked me when I pointed out that this was bound to follow on the heels of same-sex marriage.”

    I’m sure that doesn’t apply to me, V. Because, for the record:

    – I don’t think I ever “attacked” you for pointing it out. And,

    – I believe I even agreed with you, that it was happening (or would happen). I simply add that it (polygamy) is not logically necessary or a valid implication of gay marriage, and hence, is easy to swat down, and not much of a reason to be against gay marriage.

    Comment by Calarato — March 15, 2006 @ 12:29 pm - March 15, 2006

  34. Calarato – I brought it up not as a reason for or against SSM, but just to point out that the legal rationale SSM advocates were using also applied to polygamy, and therefore, there was no legal reason plural marriage couldn’t walk through the same legal doorway opened by SSM. I wanted to point out that SSM advocates were being dishonest in denying this fact. I took a lot of gried for pointing it out, but it turns out I was right.

    Comment by V the K — March 15, 2006 @ 12:51 pm - March 15, 2006

  35. Well I hope the “grief” part of it (as opposed to the other stuff I said) didn’t come from me!! Have a good one.

    Comment by Calarato — March 15, 2006 @ 1:30 pm - March 15, 2006

  36. There sure is a lot of subject changing being attempted here, and a lot of personal attacks on people who haven’t been in power in Washington for 6 long years.

    The GOP is in control of the government, the Democrats are meek as lambs and almost totally ineffectual, so blaming Carville and trying to use gay marriage as a sacrifice against left wing judges is an obvious tap dancing act.

    And yes, polygamy becomes an issue if you get the government out of the marriage business. I thought less government intrusion in people’s lives was a right wing mandate. In fact, there is a lot more christian and biblical history on multiple wives and concubines than for gay marriage. Why aren’t the bible thumpers upholding scriptture when it comes to harems?

    But this is really about the ability of the Bush administration to govern in a responsible, efficient manner, and I don’t mean drowning New Orleans in a bathtub.

    This administration is incompetent, no matter what Popular Mechanics says about it. We’re in a war we can’t win, taken there by a chief executive who is unwilling to listen to his own generals. We’re fighting a “war on terror” with people who lack the ability to do so; the ones who have that ability having left only to be swift-boated for telling the truth.

    This is the reality fostered by a party and an administration that have nearly absolute control of the reigns of government. The downside of that, is there’s nobody on the other side to blame any more.

    Comment by PBCliberal — March 15, 2006 @ 2:10 pm - March 15, 2006

  37. PCBLiberal not PBCLiberal at #35 “taken there by a chief executive who is unwilling to listen to his own generals”

    Good God! W has been busted by hero-for-an-hour Murtha for listening to the military commanders too much; slammed by Kerry for not listening enough; and now PCB contends W’s unwilling to listen!

    The reality is that being in control of all branches of govt means that, at some point, mistakes will happen and your political opponents will try to make some hay. That’s the reality, PCB. And rop the HowieDean talking point about being in a war we can’t win… we sure as Hell can’t do with people like you sniping from the sidelines.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — March 15, 2006 @ 3:10 pm - March 15, 2006

  38. rop = drop

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — March 15, 2006 @ 3:12 pm - March 15, 2006

  39. This is the reality fostered by a party and an administration that have nearly absolute control of the reigns of government.

    Pea-Brained Commie Lib, explain to me why, thanks to the meek and ineffectual democrats blocking SocSec reform, I will spend the rest of my working life having 12.6% of my income confiscated to pay into a retirement scam that will be bankrupt before I retire? Explain to me why, thanks to the meek and ineffectual Democrats, Miguel Estrada isn’t sitting on the First Circuit?

    But if the donks can accomplish nothing other than blocking good decent men from serving on the bench and blocking the needed reforms to prevent SocSec from going over the cliff, maybe it’s because instead of fomulating policy alternatives, they spend all their time throwing temper tantrums and demanding Bush’s impeachment for the outrageous crime of conducting intelligence on the enemy in time of war.

    Comment by V the K — March 15, 2006 @ 3:43 pm - March 15, 2006

  40. Do you consider Kerry credible? I certainly don’t and I voted for him (merely as a way to save the country from what we’re currently facing).

    To me, this isn’t about talking points, or making hay against political opponents. Perhaps it is to you, but at some point we are going to have to solve the mess that these guys got us into.

    Kerry, Murtha, Hillary, damn near everybody of every stripe voted for this war and turned a blind eye to the problems when the outcome was clear to anybody who lived through the last quagmire.

    If you and the rest of the partisans around here think that the solution is to keep trying to make this about Kennedy’s driving record or that our disrespect in the eyes of the world is just some Dean talking point, then get ready to have our country take its place as an also-ran.

    There is no leadership in this country from either of the major political parties. There is no understanding in the general public of the grave problems we face and the painful solutions we must endure to overcome them.

    Murtha has begun that process, so has Edwards. We made a big mistake and it is costing us a fortune, and responsible people on both sides of the aisle (like Bruce Bartlett (which is the subject of this thread) are starting to talk about our serious problems in more depth than a 30 second sound byte.

    It would be great if you joined us.

    Comment by PBCliberal — March 15, 2006 @ 3:49 pm - March 15, 2006

  41. V the K

    I came here looking for intelligent discourse. If your first and most compelling argument is to namecall, ie “pea brained commie lib,” I don’t think you’re able to rise to the occasion. Would you like to try again.

    Comment by PBCliberal — March 15, 2006 @ 3:57 pm - March 15, 2006

  42. But then again, I’M dominated by that persistent hope that talent and passion speak to people.

    Eric in Hollywood

    The only people I’ve heard say that about Hollywood are the waiters at brunch.

    Comment by Patrick (gryph) — March 15, 2006 @ 3:59 pm - March 15, 2006

  43. #41 — I don’t name-call, I describe accurately. I made my points, if you’d rather whine about name-calling than refute them, that’s your choice.

    Comment by V the K — March 15, 2006 @ 4:08 pm - March 15, 2006

  44. If you and the rest of the partisans around here think that the solution is to keep trying to make this about Kennedy’s driving record or that our disrespect in the eyes of the world is just some Dean talking point, then get ready to have our country take its place as an also-ran.

    Our “disrespect in the eyes of the world” is coming from the UN and from countries like France, all of which were paid vast sums of money by Saddam Hussein to ignore his blatant and criminal actions, including the wholesale imprisonment, torture, and murder of millions of Iraqis for crimes such as political opposition or being a family member of political opponents.

    That’s like saying a district attorney should care about the fact that the people he caught embezzling hate him. Moreover, it explains why the countries and Democratic Party members that so sanctimoniously said it would be a good thing if Saddam Hussein was removed are pissed as hell that he’s gone.

    And you know what? What’s going to make them hate us even more is when you and your protectionist, racist Democratic friends start yanking jobs and capital out of their countries, blocking their imports, and bashing their national corporations as terrorist supporters because you have to pander to labor unions back home.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — March 15, 2006 @ 4:32 pm - March 15, 2006

  45. PCBLiberal at #40 “…we are going to have to solve the mess that these guys got us into.”

    Really? And I guess you and the other liberals intend to do that by forcing either the Bush Administration or the next GOP WH to agree to an arbitrary timeline? Or will you do that by sending Jesse Jackson or JimminyCricketCarter to Iraq to talk reason and compromise with the insurgents?

    Frankly, you aren’t going to get a chance to manage any part of the WOT because American voters won’t let you or the party you support near the power center of govt. Not in the midterms. Not in 2008. Not even in 2010 midterms.

    The Party of Just Do No is going to keep feeding Feingold tokens, Cindy Sheehan will find another media stunt, and your best hope will remain the unelectable Hillary Clinton.

    Good points NDXXX and VdaK!

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — March 15, 2006 @ 5:02 pm - March 15, 2006

  46. Remember, Sadaam was our bitch first. We paid him as an assassin, but he turned out to be a poor shot. Now we’re learning that he had some of the same problems running Iraq as we are, thanks to the British dividing up the middle east like a loaf of bread with no understanding of the religious and tribal differences.

    Its a great idea to try a political leader for crimes committed at their torture prisions. Salon just published some more of Abu Jihrab photos. Go have a look at how much better George Bush was running that hellhole than Sadaam was.

    The neocons screwed this one up even worse than we thought at the time. If Bush43 had even talked with daddy (Bush41) and Brent Scowcroft, they’d know that the weak link of an Iraq invasion was there is no exit strategy.

    I would have felt a lot better about the Ports deal if George Bush hadn’t learned about it from a staffer who heard it on Michael Savage.

    Once again, this is about competence. That’s the thread here…Bartlett’s book. These aren’t Democrats making political claims, they’re conservative Republicans, so stop trying to make this partisan to take the heat off what is nothing more than bad public policy.

    If George W. hadn’t played the 9/11 card every time he got in political hot water, the ports deal wouldn’t cause such dissonance among his own base, and he’d be able to make that nuanced argument about why Dubai should be allowed to run our ports.

    He cut himself off at the knees. What concerns me, and I believe should concern everyone, is that he cut the rest of us off at the knees at the same time.

    Comment by PBCliberal — March 15, 2006 @ 5:08 pm - March 15, 2006

  47. Michigan-Matt at #45 “Really? And I guess you and the other liberals intend to do that by forcing either the Bush Administration or the next GOP WH to agree to an arbitrary timeline? Or will you do that by sending Jesse Jackson or JimminyCricketCarter to Iraq to talk reason and compromise with the insurgents?”

    By, let’s say, November, the Republicans will be more than happy to accomodate the growing majority of Americans, and particularly the growing number in their own party, who think this war is a bad idea. Dennis Kucinich described during the last primaries how it will probably be accomplished. We will declare victory and leave.

    Remember that other great imperial president, Richard Milhous Nixon whose secret plan to end the war involved helicopters with people hanging off of them leaving Saigon as North Vietnamese troops advanced on the city?

    Its real simple. George Bush told us we’d stay until the Iraqi people asked us to leave. They’re asking.

    Comment by PBCliberal — March 15, 2006 @ 5:44 pm - March 15, 2006

  48. Remember, Sadaam was our bitch first

    No, he was not. We gave him minimal support during the Iran-Iraq war because he was the lesser of the two evils, but we also supported Khomeini in the same way against Hussein. But no, Hussein was never “ours,” nor was he ever a “good guy.”

    At least once, try to deal with facts and reality instead of fantasy.

    Comment by rightwingprof — March 15, 2006 @ 6:21 pm - March 15, 2006

  49. PCB, you actually referenced Dennis Kucinich as having some great insight into military exercises or geo-political strategies? Well, isn’t that special? Little Dennis Kucinich? Mr Dead Lst in every Democrat poll except down at the union hall with the crazies? LOL.

    RWP took care of your nonsense about Saddam being our bitch, boy, pawn, tool, etc. I think many of your other friends here have used the “Rumsfeld met with Saddam” KOS-conjecture to better use and failed.

    Let’s deconstruct the other nonsense:

    1) “Go have a look at how much better George Bush was running that hellhole than Sadaam was.” No, PCBLib, the army’s military police units along with independent contractors ran the prison after kicking out Saddam’s henchmen. It’s incorrect to argue a comparative equivalency between Bush and Saddam on the point of control of the prison… besides, through Bush’s leadership, public trials and convictions have been secured against US citizens for those abuses… I’m waiting for you to point to single reprimand of any Saddam torturer for their abuse? Can’t do it? Ask Dennis Kucinich; he’s got the hot line to Iraq these days.

    2) “there is no exit strategy” for Iraq? Gheez, maybe because real leaders don’t expect the military to begin operations with defeat in mind. Only the party of Ted-drive-me-to-the-water-Kennedy think in terms of exit strategies, legal manuevers, press conferences before committing to action. Oh wait, the last Democrat who had an exit strategy for a military op was Carter –remember, we asked the Iranians to drag our dead soldiers throught the sand after the press took pictures? Yeah, let’s talk about the wisdom of exit strategies, PCB. That’s a winner for your twisted party line.

    3) “If George W. hadn’t played the 9/11 card every time he got in political hot water, the ports deal wouldn’t cause such dissonance among his own base, and he’d be able to make that nuanced argument about why Dubai should be allowed to run our ports.” OK, you got me there; but it’s more in confusion. George’s own base is deserting him in droves? Is that why he continues to have 70+% support among GOP voters? Dissonance in his base is because politicians in his base saw the opportunity to gain political chits by demonizing the ports deal… please see Frist, Clinton, et al for further details. I guess you mean you’d like to believe his base is running away… ok, that kind of reality for political convenience I’ve seen from your side before. If it helps you sleep, you go.

    and 4) George Bush told us we’d stay until the Iraqi people asked us to leave. They’re asking”… umm, actually PCB laced Liberal a majority of Iraqis polled aren’t asking us to leave. And when you factor out Sunni insurgent simpaticos, the support for continued US presence is astounding.

    Like RWP suggested, if you can’t deal in reality, stop the nonsense. It’s a waste of scarce resources.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — March 15, 2006 @ 7:47 pm - March 15, 2006

  50. RightWingProf in #48:
    No, he was not. We gave him minimal support during the Iran-Iraq war because he was the lesser of the two evils, but we also supported Khomeini in the same way against Hussein. But no, Hussein was never “ours,” nor was he ever a “good guy.”

    At least once, try to deal with facts and reality instead of fantasy.”

    "U.S. Support for Saddam Hussein could be traced all the way back
    to 1959, when the CIA hired him as a twenty-two-year-old assassin
    to shoot Iraqi prime minister General Abd al-Karim Qasim.

    "Saddam fired too soon, however, and as a result he killed
    Qasim's driver and only wounded the prime minister."

    –House of Bush, House of Saud. Craig Unger pp 65,
    –footnoted as Richard Sale, “Saddam Key in Early CIA Plot,” UPI April 10, 2003

    I never said he was a “good guy,” I said he was “our bitch.”

    Having a populace so stupid that few can find Iraq on a map is a plus for Bush at home. But in the mideast, its pretty well known just how unclean our hands really are.

    Comment by PBCliberal — March 15, 2006 @ 8:07 pm - March 15, 2006

  51. If we in fact were responsible for putting Saddam in power, then I say that gave us a moral imperative to remove him from power. Unlike the left-libs who were content to see Saddam continue to oppress his people, to continue to fill the children’s prisons, the rape rooms, and the mass graves. It was the left-libs who felt comfortable taking bribes from Saddam under the Oil-For-Palaces program. Opposing the removal of Saddam Hussein is really nothing to be proud of, but apparently, many liberals are.

    Comment by V the K — March 15, 2006 @ 8:13 pm - March 15, 2006

  52. Oh, the US has dirty hands all right; however, I think they’re more of a result of Democrats like yourself, PBC, who fought like hell to keep George H.W. Bush from sending troops to kick Saddam out of Kuwait (see Barbara Boxer, John Kerry, etc. who all voted AGAINST Desert Storm) and whose media outlets like CNN flat-out HID Saddam’s abuses while theoretically under UN “sanction”.

    The Iraqis know we left them to die under Saddam. The rest of the Arab world knows we left them to die under Saddam — and worse, that liberals around the world, the UN, and Democrats were lining their pockets with Saddam’s bribes while he systematically committed religious and ethnic genocide.

    Furthermore, PBC, if the American public knew that liberals like yourself hid Saddam’s little abuses, like imprisoning and torturing the children of political dissidents, in the name of “dealing peace”, there WOULD be more of an uproar.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — March 15, 2006 @ 8:22 pm - March 15, 2006

  53. Michigan-Matt…you might want to read what I wrote again. I tagged Kucinich as predicting–I believe correctly–what we’ll do to get out of the quagmire. I never suggested he thought it up, or that he was remotely electable.

    The credit for thinking the “declare victory and leave” strategy up, which you’re now refreshed on if you did go back to read it again, goes to Richard M. Nixon, the closest thing we’ve seen to Bush43 since Wilson.

    I believe Bush’s base is running away, I believe an exit strategy was important unless we never plan to leave, as did Bush41 and his whole Maine-based group of advisors.

    A lot of what we’re discussing is speculation over what will happen. I have mine, you have yours, but I’d suggest that before you claim I’m making stuff up in the future, that you give me the courtesy of asking for my sources.

    There’s knowing, not knowing and not wanting to know. I’m getting the feeling around here that the only way you can keep this party going is by opting for the latter.

    Comment by PBCliberal — March 15, 2006 @ 8:23 pm - March 15, 2006

  54. What is it with liberal left and dictators anyway? What Fidel Castro does to political dissidents is thousands of times worse than what the US is alleged to have done to terrorists at Club Gitmo. Yet, Castro is a hero to pea-brained commie liberals everywhere. Why is it lefties get so upset when a brutal dictator is removed from power? Why do they work so hard to keep the likes of Castro and Mugabe in power? Why did they work so hard to keep the Soviet Union going? What is it with liberals and dictators?

    Comment by V the K — March 15, 2006 @ 8:26 pm - March 15, 2006

  55. Kind of funny that pea-brained commie liberal brings up Richard Nixon and Vietnam. The defeat of America in Vietnam was the liberal left’s proudest moment. Oh, afterwards there was the genocide of three million people, but the important thing is liberals felt good about America’s defeat.

    And, of course, if America is defeated in Iraq, liberals will once again feel good about themselves. Of course, Iraq would be left in a state of terrorist anarchy, exactly the kind of breeding ground that produced the Taliban and incubated the al Qaeda terrorist network, and thousands upon thousands more people will die, but who really cares? At least PBCLib and all his fellow lefties can do a big Snoopy dance about Bush’s failure.

    Comment by V the K — March 15, 2006 @ 8:32 pm - March 15, 2006

  56. Anyone who thinks that the US military or Bush compare poorly to Saddam’s management of Abu Ghraib isn’t paying attention.

    Or else they are indulging in the double standard of the intellectual elite, where we hold ourselves to Western standards but don’t have the cultural or moral authority to hold anyone else to a standard of decency because they aren’t… white.

    Before the US could use Saddam’s prison, our people had to clean it.

    My husband has had to clean an abattior. Imagine, instead of cows blood, you knew it was human.

    Or else put your fingers back in your ears and go la la la la la la.

    It’s worked so far.

    Comment by Synova — March 15, 2006 @ 8:43 pm - March 15, 2006

  57. (In fairness, our soldiers did not have to clean the abattior… the US commander ordered it bulldozed.)

    Comment by Synova — March 15, 2006 @ 8:47 pm - March 15, 2006

  58. #54 – #55 – They’re not about reality, perspective or human freedom.

    I believe they’re about “getting even” with Americans whom they see as (too) confident and successful in the world. Plus, secret awe/admiration of the dictators. Scratch a committed left-liberal, and I will show you a closet fascist.

    Now, should such people burn in hell, who dress up their envy and resentment as “morality” and put them ahead of the imprisonment and slaughter of millions under dictators? – Well, it’s not for me to say; just for starters, I don’t really believe in hell.

    Comment by Calarato — March 15, 2006 @ 8:48 pm - March 15, 2006

  59. Fair point, Tim in #29. I think the President needs to do a better job on domestic spending, but I did fault him here for his failure to follow the Gipper’s vision of federalism.

    Conservatives did take him to task for Harriet Miers (I called it a blunder — and a number have stayed on his case on the spending issue. We need to keep up the pressure.

    And PBCliberal in #36, this president does listen to his own generals. That’s just some line dredged up by the left because a handful generals happen to disagree with the president. (Just like a number of generals disagreed with some of Sherman’s actions in 1864-65 even though that Ohioan’s plans helped hasten the end of a bloody conflict.) It seems that whenever the left finds one general (or one poll or one investigation) who agrees with its conclusions, they will tout him as the one with all the answers — and ignore those whose conclusions differ from their own.

    By referencing the Craig Unger book in #50, you reveal your bias. Michael Moore used that book (because of its heavy anti-Bush bias) in his deceitful film. I wouldn’t trust any claim from this book (unless it had been confirmed by another more reliable source) given the author’s reputation for sloppy sourcing and making claims with little (if any) factual basis.

    Comment by GayPatriotWest — March 15, 2006 @ 9:04 pm - March 15, 2006

  60. GayPatriotWest in 59:
    “By referencing the Craig Unger book in #50, you reveal your bias. Michael Moore used that book (because of its heavy anti-Bush bias) in his deceitful film. I wouldn’t trust any claim from this book (unless it had been confirmed by another more reliable source) given the author’s reputation for sloppy sourcing and making claims with little (if any) factual basis.”

    As I noted, Unger sourced his comments to the UPI investigative piece which they moved April 10th, 2003. Unger was indeed attacked by the White House over his book, specifically its claims, based upon reportage by two jounalists from the Tampa Tribune, that Saudi royal family members left in a jet for Saudi Arabia while Americans were still stranded in cities because domestic flights were locked down.

    Ultimately, the administration conceeded that the flight did leave, just as the Tribune reporters said it did and Unger was exonerated with them.

    Just because Michael Moore uses a book as a source, the taint doesn’t go upsteam. The question here is whether or not you believe UPI’s investigative work. Its you’re right not to, but don’t try to claim bias because you don’t like people who like the book.

    Comment by PBCliberal — March 15, 2006 @ 9:32 pm - March 15, 2006

  61. 43: I made my points, if you’d rather whine about name-calling than refute them, that’s your choice.

    And how exactly would you go about refuting “whiny pea brained commie lib,” V? What evidence, for instance, would suffice to disprove your claim of “pea brained”? It certainly sounds like an epithet to me.

    Comment by Tim Hulsey — March 16, 2006 @ 3:27 am - March 16, 2006

  62. BTW, good call on the Unger, GPW. It’s really not a credible source.

    Comment by Tim Hulsey — March 16, 2006 @ 3:34 am - March 16, 2006

  63. Well, he could refute being a pea-brained commie by…

    – Not citing Michael Moore as a reliable source

    – Answering my questions about why lefties like him attack the US both for keeping that evil dictator Saddam Hussein in power and for removing that evil dictator Saddam Hussein from power

    – Answering my question about why lefties were content to leave Saddam in power while knowing he was committing mass murder, imprisoning the children of dissidents, engaging in rape and torture on a mass scale and why, in the wake of the oil-for-palaces bribery scandal, they still think the UN is a viable institution for dealing with tyrants like Saddam?

    – Answer my question why lefties like him lionizes Fidel Castro, who commits far more and worse atrocities than anything the USA is even accused of doing at Club Gitmo

    – Answer my question about why lefties like him cheer for America’s defeat in Iraq, knowing that the consequences of such a defeat will be terrorism, genocide, and anarchy.

    – Answer my question about why lefties like him are proud of America’s defeat in Vietnam and take no responsibility for the subsequent genocide of over 3,000,000 people; not to mention the genocide in Rwanda that they stood by and watched happen under Bill Clinton and the UN

    But, of course, pea-brained commie (his choice of initials, not mine) would rather whine about “name-calling” than answer tough embarrassing questions… just as Timmeh! hangs by his idiotic assertion that high schools are in the vise-grip of the right-wing despite mountains of evidence to the contrary and no supporting evidence.

    Comment by V the K — March 16, 2006 @ 5:15 am - March 16, 2006

  64. (I also note that Timmeh! has developed kind of a creepy fixation on me, and now feels obligated to attack every comment I make here. Creepy.)

    Comment by V the K — March 16, 2006 @ 7:11 am - March 16, 2006

  65. there is no exit strategy

    When you leftists come up with an exit strategy for the failed and destructive War on Poverty, we’ll come up with one for Iraq.

    Comment by rightwingprof — March 16, 2006 @ 7:57 am - March 16, 2006

  66. LOL PCB Liberal. Gotta love that effort of yours –like a worm on the hook in sight of a hungry trout… you are twisting like crazy to get back in the bait bucket. But, I took your suggestion and reread your comments. Guess what? You’re still wrong and still twisting like a hapless worm on the hook of your own devices.

    You offered that Dennis Kucinich predicted where the Iraqi war was headed and what American’s exit strategy would be. Nixon, despite your best efforts to avoid reality, hasn’t been alive since April ’94. He didn’t comment on the need for an exit strategy in Iraq; your boy Dennis Kucinich did. And you offered Kucinich as a reference point underscoring, I think, the notion that even a simpleton like Kucinich understood the need for an exit strategy. Or isn’t that how the Kucinich-4-President goons down at the union hall see it?

    Or was it: even a genius like Kucinich could foretell the need for an exit strategy, based on the most infamous GOP President of all time -RMN- who understood the need for exit strategies in Viet Nam?

    No, PCB, you go back and refresh. It’s clear. It’s obvious. You’re just wrong on this point, on the attempt to twist away from the outrageous idea and silly notion.

    To me, it’s interesting how googling on “Exit Strategy” and “Iraq” brings you to every possible LeftWing, Liberal website or Liberal MSM mouthpiece. WaPo, Slate, Salon, Anti-War.com, KOS, the Guardian, Boston Globe, the Telegraph, democracyrising (which should be Democrats Crazy) and of all things: Al Jazeera.com!

    No PCB, that’s a toxic view held and advanced by those who would undercut our troops, their mission, the innocents in Iraq, and the long term interests of the free world in a stable Middle Eastern democracy.

    And you’re right in there with them. Shoveling the crap faster than a worm can twist on its own hook.

    Here’s the rub of it, though: If you can’t be honest about what you write and say you’ve written, how can you have credibility anywhere other than in pity parties and whine fests at DNC events?

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — March 16, 2006 @ 9:12 am - March 16, 2006

  67. #64 – Well, at least he runs a blog and (apparently) isn’t just doing the dumb multiple-anonymous-personality games of some.

    Comment by Calarato — March 16, 2006 @ 9:26 am - March 16, 2006

  68. #65 and earlier –

    Now come on. President Bush detailed the exit strategy in a series of major speeches last fall. The original commentor should learn basic information before commenting and not flaunt his/her ignorance.

    For the ignorant: The exit strategy, in shortest essence, is: (1) democracy-building, (2) training native Iraqi security forces, and (3) WE (and they) CAPTURE OR KILL THE TERRORISTS.

    Comment by Calarato — March 16, 2006 @ 9:31 am - March 16, 2006

  69. Incidentally:

    The Iraq exit strategy (above) is not unlike Nixon’s from Vietnam. He called it Vietnamization; some today call it Iraqization.

    And Vietnamization worked: the 1973 peace agreement was essentially done on U.S. terms, and it wasn’t until a liberal Democrat Congress, in 1975, suddenly cut off every drop of aid to South Vietnam that the North saw their moment to invade and reverse (what was then) a defeat for them.

    And Iraqization stands a better chance of working, because Iraq’s nascent democracy is much more genuine or broadly-based than South Vietnam’s ever was, and there is no civil warexcept in the fevered, wishful hopes of the left-wing MSM. (2 articles.)

    The one thing that can defeat the U.S. in Iraq, is the MSM. (If they perpetrate the “quagmire” myth and successfully make the American people want to give up.)

    Comment by Calarato — March 16, 2006 @ 9:44 am - March 16, 2006

  70. PBC, it’s not just that Michael Moore referenced Unger’s book that renders it not credible. Others have found his findings less than accurate. And it says much about Mr. Moore that it would rely on a biased book.

    If you can find another source outside of Unger to back up your claim I make take you seriously, but you cite his reading of UPI report. Why not get that report yourself rather than refer to Unger’s representation? Until then.

    Comment by GayPatriotWest — March 16, 2006 @ 6:43 pm - March 16, 2006

  71. I did read that report directly when it first was moved by UPI, and it seems credible. I quoted Ungar’s reference because I believe that book to be credible, it was on my shelf, is on a lot of others, in most public libraries and therefore easy for others to check.

    But checking the facts doesn’t seem to be big around here. Indeed, the line of argument went from: “Try to deal with the facts instead of fantasy.” to “If we in fact did put Saddam in power…” which is a claim neither I nor UPI ever made. We paid him to shoot somebody, and he botched it.

    The whole exchange screams that the primum mobile around here is the facts aren’t nearly as important as how they can be cast in the best light for the president and current administration.

    If that can’t be done. then let’s claim the liberal poster said something he clearly didn’t, or try and get him to defend positions he’s never advanced on subjects that aren’t even relevant to this thread. And while we’re at it, let’s call him names.

    With respect to House of Bush, House of Saud I don’t know of anyone who has successfully raised an objection to the facts in his book and been proven out. One of the upshots of the Clarke testimony was that Ungar was right in his assessment (as was that section of Farenheit 911 based upon it) of special treatment for the Saudi royal family. After that, it appears the white house swift boaters were losing more in calling attention to the book than they gained in trashing it.

    If you doubt Ungar, then go find the UPI piece for yourself, or go hunt down the documents (if they haven’t been reclassified) on which it was based. But as I previously suggested, posters here would be well served to at least have the civility to ask for the sources before they claim they’re fiction.

    I’ve enjoyed the dialog here because its given me great insight into how King George can hold his base against a growing mountain of evidence of wrongdoing and criminal behavior. But my time here is over and I’ll be moving on.

    Today, the new legislature in Iraq adjourned after 30 minutes, and the U.S. launched another massive attack in an area already inflamed against us. I’ll leave the convincing that this is a wrongheaded policy that will only kill more of our troops to the growing chorus of conservatives who are coming to the conclusion that when the Iraqis didn’t throw roses at our feet, W was fresh out of plans.

    If you don’t clean up your own act, the American public will clean it up for you. If my party doesn’t grow some balls, we’ll have a Congress full of independents. And we come back to the start of this thread, the good advice being given by Bruce Bartlett and the increasing band of rightwingers who can actually read the writing on the wall.

    Comment by PBCliberal — March 16, 2006 @ 7:34 pm - March 16, 2006

  72. PBCliberal said…

    “But my time here is over and I’ll be moving on.”

    Now that I have that in writing, can I count on you to actually, you know…LEAVE?

    Your arrogance is exceeded only by your petulance, neither of which will be missed here.

    Eric in Hollywood

    Comment by HollywoodNeoCon — March 16, 2006 @ 8:40 pm - March 16, 2006

  73. But my time here is over and I’ll be moving on.

    And… unsurprisingly… without answering any of the challenges in #63. A real profile in courage.

    Comment by V the K — March 16, 2006 @ 10:40 pm - March 16, 2006

  74. Oh PCB Liberal, right… you’ll be back in one form or another, under this handle or another. But you’ll be back.

    See, the opportunity for you to shoot from the hip, loosen up those lips, and try to do a policy tango with informed conservative gays is something you can’t do on the other sites you occupy: whether it’s OutSports, KOS, BlogActive, Democrat Underground, etc.

    Two thirds of all you write has been either an attack mode or setting up for what arguably passes in your mind as a slamdunk. All the while, talking out of both sides of your mouth about “policy”, decrying personal attacks and so forth. My God, I have it! You’re auditioning for Patrick’s sidekick?

    Nope you’ll be back because your ego drives you here — this is one small spot in the vast blogland where gays don’t march lockstep to the Democrat Plantation and, up til now, you didn’t imagine there could an viable alternative.

    You’ll be back; a different handle, a different name. But you’ll be back.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — March 16, 2006 @ 10:50 pm - March 16, 2006

  75. To add to what Matt said, I would mention that I attempted to post on DailyKos some time ago, if for no other reason than to see what sort of reaction I would get. While I was pleased to see a few (literally, three) Kos’ers begin to engage me, I never got the opportunity to get much further than that. You see, minutes after the whole “Fag Fascist Nazi Undercover GOP Cocksucker” thing began flying my way, I was banned from posting there. I tell you, once I got my activation, it took less than 30 minutes for the Kos High Priests to roundly boot my ass.

    Unless I’m mistaken (and excluding the MilBlogs for good reason), I don’t know of any conservative/right-leaning blogs that conduct themselves in such a fashion. Correct me if I’m wrong, please.

    The point is that “our side” consistently, albeit grudgingly, accepts posters like PBC on these blogs because we don’t wish to cram dissent back into the bunghole from whence it came. In other words, while PBC/Stephen/Kevin/Whomever are free to piss and moan over our unity, We the Fourth Reich are denied the same privilege on their “turf.”

    PBC will unfortunately be back, primarily because like most moonbats, he revels in the freedom he has here, even if he has no clue as to the double standard involved.

    Eric on the Left Coast

    Comment by HollywoodNeoCon — March 17, 2006 @ 10:32 am - March 17, 2006

  76. #75 — I got banned from a left-wing blog simply for asking another poster to cite proof supporting some of his allegations.

    Comment by V the K — March 17, 2006 @ 11:22 am - March 17, 2006

  77. I got banned from OutSports ’cause I suggested that not all gays were Democrats. I know, too radical a concept to fathom. But not before I got villified as a Nazi, Chickenhawk, self loathing, homophobic, RePUGlican by the overweight, grey haired leering men with fantasies about athletic str8 males objectifying them.

    Ooops, that sounded a tad bitter on my part. Strike the grey hair –everything eles works.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — March 17, 2006 @ 1:32 pm - March 17, 2006

  78. I got banned from DU, back when, merely for saying that I didn’t think the U.S. had gone into Iraq unilaterally; that I thought we had gone in with British, Australian, Italian, etc. allies.

    No joke. True story.

    After I then flaunted my (quite real) credentials as a longtime gay activist and (at that point) Democrat, they relented slightly and said I could be on probation. I politely told them, in effect, that probation is a 2-way street and they flunked it.

    Comment by Calarato — March 17, 2006 @ 10:49 pm - March 17, 2006

  79. 64: I also note that Timmeh! has developed kind of a creepy fixation on me, and now feels obligated to attack every comment I make here. Creepy.

    Only when your comments are abusive and/or stupid, V.

    Comment by Tim Hulsey — March 18, 2006 @ 4:21 pm - March 18, 2006

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