Nov 05, 2008 by OCSteve
You don't have to love the "other guy." You don't have to hold back on fighting against policies you don't like. You don't have to pull punches. But once someone is duly and legally elected president, you do owe some respect to the office and the Constitution. And to your fellow Americans.
I'm not an Obama fan, particularly, but a lot of people I like and respect are. To treat Obama as something evil or subhuman would not only be disrespectful toward Obama, but toward them. Instead, I hope that if Obama is elected, their assessment of his strengths will turn out to be right, and mine will turn out to be wrong.
I have many, many disagreements with Barack Obama. But tonight I congratulate him on his victory. I have seen a few critics say, "he won't be my president," but that is nonsense. He will be my president, and I will wish him well, particularly as he takes on the duty of protecting the American people in a dangerous world.
Look, I expect to be one of the most severe critics of the Obama administration and the Democrats generally in the years ahead (though I sincerely hope I won't find that necessary). But Obama ran a brilliant race and he should be congratulated for it. Moreover, during the debate over the financial crisis, Obama said that a president should be able to do more than one thing at a time. Well, I think we members of the loyal opposition should be able to make distinctions simultaneously. It is a wonderful thing to have the first African-American president. It is a wonderful thing that in a country where feelings are so intense that power can be transferred so peacefully. Let us hope that the Obama his most dedicated - and most sensible! - fans see turns out to be the real Obama. Let us hope that Obama succeeds and becomes a great president, for all the right reasons.
So in that spirit, congratulations to Barry O on a race superbly run and to our country for not having let the wrong reasons deter it from making the wrong choice. I'll never be a fan, but I swear I'll never take a nutroots posture either in relishing his failures because it helps my party. Like it or not, he's my president. As a great man once said, country first.
I'm curious what you think popular blog pundits on the left would be saying had it gone the other way. (I know what I think, I'm curious what you all think.) Would you find anything remotely like this on FDL or TPM or Greenwald's site or HuffPo? Can you think of any popular left-wing bloggers who would have had something like this to say this morning? Oh sure, you can find plenty of ODS posts on the right. I'm not saying it's a uniform reaction. But I can't think of any popular blog pundits on the left who would have voiced similar thoughts had it gone the other way.
Yes I know you all have reasons for your anger and I share some of that. I understand that your anger at Bush would have automatically transferred to McCain. But these folks all have a lot of fear and building anger over what they believe is coming.
I like to think I would have seen something like this at OW this morning. After the last few weeks I have my doubts though. If any OW front-pager had a post prepared just in case I would love to see it.
Nov 05, 2008, 21:56:57 John Thullen wrote:
I've often wondered if John McCain had won the 2000 primary, especially South Carolina, would George W. Bush and Karl Rove have called him and said:
"John, you are our nominee. We hope you and your brood of illegitimate black children lead our Party and our country to new heights." ........
..... would John McCain have said "Gosh, thanks, guys."
OCSteve, you're a mensch. But you were a mensch before and during elections.
Goldberg, especially, (I don't read Reynolds and Geraghty) is a little late in my book.
He's merely slipped into the shadows to sharpen his toy daggers for another day, the lout.
Maybe he's counting on a more legitimate gig a la Pat Buchanan and Al Sharpton.
Buchanan, Sharpton etc should never have been given legitimacy by ANY media.
It institutionalized the lowering of the level of discourse in this country.
If Goldberg (and Limbaugh), had any shame whatsoever, they would shut up and disappear.
That said, your instincts are golden.
Nov 05, 2008, 23:33:36 Ugh wrote:
[i]Would you find anything remotely like this on FDL or TPM or Greenwald's site or HuffPo?[/i]
I don't know, probably not, but you can get an idea by looking back to those sites after GWB won in 2004 (if they were around, ObWi was, and I think TPM/HuffPo was too, Greenwald not, though).
More generally, had McCain eeked out a victory last night, do you think he would have deserved congratulations, based on the campaign he ran and his VP selection (among other things)? Obama didn't run completely innocent campaign, but compared to McCain he was a saint, and very gracious, and I think that allowed those you quote to be gracious in return (assuming they mean what they say).
Nov 05, 2008, 23:38:06 Ugh wrote:
Nov 05, 2008, 23:47:38 russell wrote:
[i]Would you find anything remotely like this on FDL or TPM or Greenwald's site or HuffPo?[/i]
Not on FDL. Probably not Greenwald. HuffPo tends to be mixed.
TPM, probably yes.
That's my take on it.
[i]Can you think of any popular left-wing bloggers who would have had something like this to say this morning?[/i]
hilzoy. publius. Eric Martin. Farber.
[i]Yes I know you all have reasons for your anger and I share some of that.[/i]
Thanks for recognizing that.
[i]But these folks all have a lot of fear and building anger over what they believe is coming.[/i]
To be honest, I don't see what any of those guys have to fear from an Obama presidency. I don't make him out to be a guy looking to settle grievances, or to shove any particular agenda down anyone's throat.
I could be wrong about that, but I don't think I am.
Nov 05, 2008, 23:58:34 russell wrote:
As an aside, I think my motto concerning folks like Reynolds, Geraghty, Goldberg et al will be "trust but verify".
It is, frankly, terrific that they're starting off their discussion of an Obama presidency with such a balanced tone. I will be interested to see how they present themselves six months, or three months, or one week, from now.
Trust but verify.
Nice to meet you, but what's that bulge in your jacket pocket? Hope you don't mind if we pat you down.
Trust is something you earn.
Nov 06, 2008, 00:24:19 Turbulence wrote:
OCSteve, your question is interesting, but I suspect your analysis is flawed because it incorporates bad assumptions. Specifically, I think you assume an equality where there really is none.
How lefty sites would respond is not just a function of their lefty-ism, but also a function of the candidates and the campaign. Obama went out of his way to make it easy for Republicans to like him and agree with him and respect him even if they didn't vote for him. He never claimed that Republicans are evil or that their political beliefs are illegitimate or that they all want to destroy America. He said that he disagreed with many of their beliefs but that he also respected their service. He said that we were all in this together and that we were all Americans.
Now, if a Republican candidate had consistently said those things and then won, I really do believe you'd see a disappointed but respectful reaction from lefties on the intertubes. But such a candidate was simply implausible: they could never have won a Republican primary. Heck, even someone who acted as respectful as Mike Huckabee lost by a large margin.
Conservatives have a tendency to assume that people's actions depend entirely on who they are and that external effects play no significant role. That's a caricature, but there's some truth to it. Conservative blogs wrote what they did not only because of who they are but because of how Obama treats conservatives in general. Give me a Republican nominee as decent and respectful of the other side as Obama was and I'll show you a respectful acceptance of his Presidency, even if I think his policy positions are wrong.
Nov 06, 2008, 00:35:04 Turbulence wrote:
[i]I understand that your anger at Bush would have automatically transferred to McCain.[/i]
I'm not sure how you mean this, but I don't think it is right. McCain earned my anger by pushing for a war based on lies and by being genuinely ignorant of major policy questions. Governance requires more than a gambler's mentality combined with a drunken uncle's contrarianism. McCain pushed a lot of lies that lead to the brutal killings of half a million Iraqis and while I know most Americans can't be bothered to care about dead Iraqis any more than they care about dead pets at the local humane society shelter, it still matters a lot to some of us.
[i]If any OW front-pager had a post prepared just in case I would love to see it.[/i]
I seriously doubt any of them did: OW posters were following the numbers and the numbers suggested a serious Obama win. 538 predicted Obama would get 349 to 189. Assuming NC goes for McCain, the final count will be 349 to 188. Even if some front pager had written such a post, I don't think you could infer anything from it: it would have been tainted by the belief that Obama was very likely to win.
In any event, the real question is what would have happened if Obama lost fair and square to a Republican candidate who was as respectful of the other side as Obama had been. McCain was not that candidate.
Nov 06, 2008, 01:27:25 libjpn wrote:
A stroll at the corner reveals the following
[i]It is of course a great thing that we are (it seems pretty certain) electing a black President. It's just a crying shame it had to be this shallow, empty man, who has never shown a flicker of interest in wealth creation, whose head is stuffed with all the vapid nostrums of 1980s student leftism, and who seems — putting the most charitable construction on it — not to mind the brazenly thuggish tactics of his supporters.
I'd gladly join in the cheering and self-congratulation of our nation's first black president, if it were a person of the caliber of Margaret Thatcher. This guy is just Jimmy Carter lite. Way lite — ol' Jimbo had at least run a business and served in the military.[/i]
[i]The Obama campaign was smart as hell and corrupt as hell. To raise it, give it credit, and not discredit, is to be inaccurate.[/i]
[i]Senator McCain is an American hero, a remarkable man. I can think of few I respect more. But he's likely to be the first to be leading the charge toward bipartisanship. This would be a mistake of galactic proportions. This must be resisted.
It's all well and good for Republicans to congratulate Obama today, and on Inauguration Day. The GOP shouldn't oppose merely for the sake of opposition. But if they were paying any attention to what Obama, Pelosi, Reid, Rangel, Schumer, etc, have been saying over the last year, they should realize that on the major issues of the day, liberals are determined to take the nation down a hard left path that will, in the words of Obama, "fundamentally transform" America.[/i]
And finally, the pushback against [url=http://corner.nationalrevie...]Goldberg[/url]
[i]Lots of readers are putting words in my mouth about my general happiness about having a black president.[/i]
With all due respect, the people you pick out are not presenting the mood of Republicans, so the equality of response you are demanding is already askew.
Nov 06, 2008, 02:17:45 OCSteve wrote:
lj: [i]the people you pick out are not presenting the mood of Republicans, so the equality of response you are demanding is already askew[/i]
I never claimed it was representative of [i]all[/i] Republicans somehow. I specifically said:
[i]Oh sure, you can find plenty of ODS posts on the right. I'm not saying it's a uniform reaction.[/i]
My point was more that you’d have been hard pressed (IMO) to find [i]any[/i] comments like that had it went the other way. (more below)
Thanks for the responses all. I put this up because:
a) I was pleasantly surprised to see it myself.
b) The level of rage and vitriol has been building and building over the last few weeks IMO – at OW and any other lefty blogs I wandered into. Had McCain eked out a victory or the outcome still been in doubt this morning the sound of lefty heads exploding around the blogosphere would have been deafening. That rage continued to build [i]even after it was very clear that Obama was going to win[/i]! From my viewpoint, it became clear that Obama was going to win, resignation began to build on the righty blogs, yet rage [i]continued[/i] to build on the left. It’s a phenomenon I’ve never witnessed before. But I have no doubt that rage would have boiled over this morning had the outcome been different… And (IMO) you would have been hard-pressed to find one prominent lefty blogger posting anything similar to the above.
I don’t have a handle on why that was the case. You’re winning but you’re getting angrier and angrier… All I can think of is that many people did not want to let themselves believe it was happening. Easier not to get your hopes up? I don’t know. But it seemed to me that many people were really stoking their anger…
Nov 06, 2008, 02:37:32 russell wrote:
[i]You’re winning but you’re getting angrier and angrier[/i]
I'm not sure that's true. But, in terms of left and right, I'm on the inside looking out. Maybe it looks different from the outside.
I think you're right in observing that many, many people on the left found it hard to put confidence in Obama's likely win. For me, I didn't consider it a done deal until I saw and heard, with my own eyes and ears, McCain's concession speech.
To be honest, I think everybody is pissed off, and everybody's nerves are raw. Not just lefties.
We'll see how it goes. Obama's rhetoric has consistently been no red states, no blue states, just the United States. That's both a challenge and an invitation. It's up to us how to step up to both.
Nov 06, 2008, 02:54:01 nous wrote:
I'm still angry and finding it damn hard to be gracious...not to those on the right whose decisions I understand, though disagree with, but who have always striven to be compassionate (my family comes to mind). I am mad at the would-be conservative cultural warriors who are perfectly happy to go all scorched earth in pursuit of their narrow ideals.
I'm angry that the former conservatives allowed the latter to have the mic and the spotlight for so long. I understand that most of the decent religious conservatives I know would be embarrassed to have the mic, but that's no excuse.
I'm aware of the implications of all this. I know that the latter sort of conservatives (and some of the former) would call my attitude liberal hypocrisy and intolerance, but there's a core value they miss in such accusations -- I try not to foreclose on other people's values so long as they extend the same courtesy. Fundamentalists *can't* do this, so they don't get this courtesy.
And while I'm on the subject of anger, I'm particularly pissed at every Californian who voted both for Obama and for Prop. 8, and well and truly dismayed by every minority person that falls into that category.
So at least my pissed-offedness crosses party lines.
Nov 06, 2008, 03:12:41 JanieM wrote:
OCSteve, What Turbulence said, for starters.
Also: The representative core of why I would have felt no need to be gracious in the face of a McCain/Palin victory is this:
I am f*cking sick of these people saying (since Dan Quayle at the very least) that I am not a "real American." You're damned right that I'm angry about that and I've been angry about it for a long time.
If McCain/Palin had won this election after using that stupidity as one of their favorite rabble-rousing crowd-pleasers, then no, I would have seen no reason for anyone on the losing side to be gracious.
And that's to say nothing of the fact that their election would have signaled no significant break with the last 8 years.
I suspect that if McCain had won, Obama himself would have been gracious. Maybe we can finally start remembering that we are *all* Americans, and acting like it.
Nov 06, 2008, 03:14:13 JanieM wrote:
Meant to add, at the end: McCain's speech was good, and I hope it opened the way for a more productive way forward.
Nov 06, 2008, 03:50:54 russell wrote:
[i]I am f*cking sick of these people saying (since Dan Quayle at the very least) that I am not a "real American."[/i]
That, in all of its forms, is pretty much what always sets me off.
I think exploiting that line of argument kind of blew up in the face of the Republicans this time around. I think that that, specifically, is great, because maybe they will finally stop going to that well.
We'll see how it plays out.
Nov 06, 2008, 04:29:04 marbel wrote:
@OCS: it would not have been comparable. Firstly because much of the rage has been building in the Bush years about the Bush policies and a McCain win would have unleashed that too. Secondly because a McCain win would not break such historical barriers as the first AA president - many republicans feel that breaking that barrier is a good thing too. Thirdly because a McCain win would also mean a totally unfit and unprepared VP.
The only good thing about a McCain win would be that there would be a female VP for the first time and frankly I don't think Palin deserved it.
Nov 06, 2008, 04:44:04 DonaldJ wrote:
What Turb and Marbel said. Hell, I'm not even that happy with Obama, speaking for myself.
I won't comment on the bloggers you cite because I don't read them, so I don't know if these nice little speeches are consistent with what they've been saying all along. But McCain gave a very gracious speech last night and I was torn. Yes, the words were very nice, the sort of thing I'd expect from the Alan Alda Republican character in the final season of West Wing. (A show I loved and hated simultaneously). But the Alan Alda character was consistent all the way through--he would always say his opponents were men of honor, but wrong on the issues. McCain and Palin said that Obama consorted with terrorists, including that terrifying advocate of nonviolence Rashid Khalidi. (I think McCain compared him to a neo-Nazi). So there's this consistency issue--who is the real McCain?
And consistency aside, I don't know that I value niceness quite so much anyway. Bush was also gracious last night. Big deal. My fondest hope is that he spends the remainder of his life in prison. We all live in one country and have to thrash out our differences, but one of the things wrong with the US political system, in my humble far left opinion, is the way the "Serious People" all get together and graciously decide to bomb the Other, while ignoring or at best sneering at the crude people outside the corridors of power who question their reasoning.
Nov 06, 2008, 04:45:29 KCinDC wrote:
OCSteve, the fact that everything indicated Obama was going to win is precisely why you'd not have seen many comparable posts from the left in the event of a McCain victory. It would have been impossible, especially this early, for people to have overcome their suspicions of the outcome.
Also, I have no idea what makes you think the left has been angrier than the right recently. The amount of vitriol and crazed conspiracy theories from the right seems to be to have been increasing daily, not decreasing because of resignation.
Nov 06, 2008, 07:40:37 Phil wrote:
OCSteve, for an explanation of why Democrats might be getting angrier despite winning, let's go to John Avarosis at Americablog, via Digby:
[quote]I'm watching THE VIEW, and Joy Behar was talking about how last night McCain "finally came back to who he was." I.e., he's been kind of an ass for the past several months, and finally started to find his honor again. The token Republican countered with the following:
"I think it's hard because campaigns... really bring out the ugly in everyone on both sides. It's when you see them in their pure moments, Barack's speech last night, and John McCain's speech lsat night, that you see these moments of hope that they really have given us."
After eight years of having Republicans call me an un-American troop-hating fag-loving socialist, after months of John McCain embracing the hate to a level where his own supporters were calling out for Barack Obama to be assassinated, no one is going to be permitted to tell me with a straight face that "oh you know, both sides do it."
Your side was abominable. Your side was hateful. Your side race-baited. Your side gay-baited. Your side lied like we've never seen in recent presidential campaign history. Your side used a tax-cheat who would do better under Obama's tax proposal to be your everyman on the issue of taxes. Your side, in a veiled effort at race-baiting, said Obama doesn't put his country first. Your side had the audacity to call Obama a socialist. Your side suggested he was a Muslim. Your side suggested he was a terrorist. Your side suggested he was Osama bin Laden.
Spare me the crap about how both sides do it. You people are a disgrace, you've been a disgrace for eight long years, and all your hate and lying and venom and vitriol finally bit you in your collective fat ass.
Democrats don't do nasty, and they certainly don't do it well. Lord knows I wish they did, but they don't. Republicans elevate it to a religion. You are the party of Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter and Sean Hannity. Angry, bitchy, bitter and elitist. What do we have to compare? Jesse Jackson, I often hear from my Republican friends. Um, maybe in 1980 when he was relevant. It's been 28 years, got any other examples? Michael Moore, you say? What has Michael Moore said - name one thing - that's comparable to the filth that regularly issues forth from Limbaugh, Hannity and Coulter and, of late, McCain and Palin?
Democrats, when they skewer (which isn't often enough), do it with biting truth. Republicans skewer, early and often, with vicious lies. It goes back to a more general philosophy that liberals have: If we just tell them the truth, the people will agree with us. Republicans are far less sanguine. They know that a good lie beats the truth any day of the week.
Except on a Tuesday in November.[/quote]
Nov 06, 2008, 08:33:16 OCSteve wrote:
I said off the top that I know you all have reasons for your anger. But it seemed clear to me that the closer it got to Election Day, and the more obvious it became that Obama was going to win, the more pissed off people seemed to get and the more the vitriol flowed over there (OW). Maybe you didn’t notice it participating at OW, but I certainly did just checking in periodically. I found it unusual and worth noting.
Ya’all won. Take a deep breath, pat yourself on the back, and enjoy the moment. The honeymoon will be too damned short as it is.
Nov 06, 2008, 09:21:48 Turbulence wrote:
OCSteve, you haven't really grappled with my 12:24 comments. So, to clarify, do you think that McCain's campaign made it as easy for Democrats to respect him as Obama's campaign made it for Republicans to respect him?
To put it another way: did the Obama campaign repeatedly claim that McCain was working with terrorists and depended on them for his support? Did the Obama campaign claim that people who didn't vote for him weren't real Americans? Did the Obama campaign do anything nearly as insulting to our intelligence as picking someone as ignorant as Sarah Palin to be VP?
Nov 06, 2008, 10:35:08 Ugh wrote:
[i]But it seemed clear to me that the closer it got to Election Day, and the more obvious it became that Obama was going to win, the more pissed off people seemed to get and the more the vitriol flowed over there (OW).[/i]
I'm not sure what you wanted people to say. Something like "oh, now that it looks obvious that Obama will win, we don't think the other side is so bad", while meanwhile the McCain campaign and its surrogates' attacks became more and more ridiculous?
I mean, shit. I voted for Bush in 2000, was a die-hard republican from 1993 until circa early 2004, and I am fucking as pissed off about Bush/Cheney specifically and the Republican party in general as anybody. They had, essentially, complete control of the federal government starting on September 11, 2001 until January 2007. And what the fuck did they do?
We have two fucked up endless wars. A financial crisis that has my savings down 35% in one year and lwhat ooks like will be the worst economic situation to face the U.S. since before WWII. The reputation of the United States as a beacon of freedom and liberty in the world fucking wrecked. A war criminal that holds the purported position of "leader of the free world." Etc. etc. etc. etc. fucking etc.
Some portion (or maybe all) of which has commendably led you to vote for the democrats the last few years. And really, I'm happy to know that at least some people can be convinced to change their mind with reason and civility (not that I'm currently showing much of the latter).
But fuck. If McCain had won yesterday due to the fucking "Bradley effect" or voter suppression shenanigans, or, hell, even fair and square, I don't think the record of the Republican party under Bush since 2001 is worth "congratulating".
He and his henchmen should be in fucking prison. On a good day.
Nov 06, 2008, 10:46:37 Ugh wrote:
And let me note, despite my rant above, that I didn't get a lick of work done today. I spent half the day welling up over reading the various reports of Obama's victory, people celebrating it, the increased Democratic majority in congress, etc., but most of all the fact of Obama being the first (half) African-American President elect.
A jewish friend of mind in college once declared that there would be a black President before there would ever be a Jewish one. I didn't believe him, and basically dismissed the thought that there would be either until I was retired (this was circa 1991), if then. He was right.
But, just, wow. Let's hope Obama takes all the goodwill he appears to have been granted due to his victory from the rest of the world and puts it to good use furthering the well being of the U.S. and, perhaps more importantly, the rest of the globe. It's not often that a country as big and dominant as the U.S. gets a second chance to do so.
Nov 06, 2008, 11:16:06 von wrote:
That was an enjoyable trip down memory lane: to see Edward Underscore and Slartibartfast on the front page. And who is this von chap? He seems quite excitable.
Nov 06, 2008, 11:38:20 DonaldJ wrote:
I found a link that explains why I don't like Obama's nonpartisan rhetoric. Yeah, it's enticing--even I can feel it. But it's wrong. As the blogger says, we started an unnecessary war that killed hundreds of thousands and I don't think that should be papered over. The rhetoric of cheap reconciliation that we get in the US reminds me of the way historians used to sentimentalize the Civil War and how all the wounds were healed, by which they meant that the real moral issues were ignored for another 100 years.
I can see why Obama talks this way--it's his approach to politics, compromising and trying to unite people and that's maybe a good approach on many issues. But there are some issues where that approach doesn't work. There's no nice polite way to ensure that American Presidents don't commit war crimes. You confront it or you do what America did after 1876 with the issue of black civil rights--sweep it under the rug.
Nov 06, 2008, 14:07:04 DaveC wrote:
<i>As the blogger says, we started an unnecessary war that killed hundreds of thousands and I don't think that should be papered over.</i>
Look, after Bush said that the US would not tolerate nations that support terrorism, Saddam Hussein started paying off the families of Palistinean suicide bombers.Well, you may not think much of Israel and Israelis, but that was an immediate positive recommendation on Hussein's part for terrorism in general, and a provocation to the US in particular. Of course this thing has been argued about for almost seven years after the suicide bombings at Mike's Place and Hebrew University, among others; that was terrorism, pure and simple. Freedom vs terrorist states. Others may disagree, but that's how I see it.
Nov 06, 2008, 14:15:08 DaveC wrote:
[i]That was an enjoyable trip down memory lane: to see Edward Underscore and Slartibartfast on the front page. And who is this von chap? He seems quite excitable[/i]
Well I guess "townhall meetings" are not so much in vogue anymore. It's get on board with the "community organizers" or you are off the bus.
Nov 06, 2008, 19:00:09 OCSteve wrote:
Turb: [i]So, to clarify, do you think that McCain's campaign made it as easy for Democrats to respect him as Obama's campaign made it for Republicans to respect him?[/i]
I don’t think any of the folks I listed have much respect for Obama the [i]man[/i] beyond his organizational skills in running his campaign. They have respect for the [i]office[/i], no matter who sits in the chair. I don’t think that blog pundits on the left would have been able to see past their rage (had it gone the other way) to even acknowledge respect for the [i]office[/i] because that respect at this point is totally dependent on [i]who[/i] sits in the chair. I find that a little disconcerting.
Look, I avoided getting into the “your side does it too” game here because the larger point I was trying to make boils down to “you guys won now would you please take a deep breath and chill the fuck out just a little”. Playing that game would only keep you riled up so I avoided it and I’m still going to pass.
Nov 06, 2008, 21:30:35 Slartibartfast wrote:
To address the "bipartisanship" point, I think that as long as we're looking at it like compromise or even capitulation, that's a mistake. I'd settle for decency and civility, while disagreeing. That would be a nice starting point. Also, abandonment of the us-or-them horseshit.
That last is probably never going to happen, though.
Nov 06, 2008, 21:31:47 russell wrote:
[i]Look, after Bush said that the US would not tolerate nations that support terrorism, Saddam Hussein started paying off the families of Palistinean suicide bombers.[/i]
Iraq is this generation's Vietnam. Folks will be arguing about whether the invasion was right or wrong thirty years from now, just like they do about Vietnam.
Shall we wade back in, yet again? Sure, why not.
Here's my bottom line on it, FWIW: Bush lied. He perpetrated a deliberate fraud on the American people, just like LBJ did with Gulf of Tonkin.
The man lied.
[i]Look, I avoided getting into the “your side does it too” game here[/i]
Look OC, I'm not trying to pick a fight with you, but the *entire point of your original post* here is "your side does it too".
Or, actually, your side does it and mine doesn't.
If you don't want to get into it, then don't get into it. But if you do get into it, then you really ought to own it, because it's yours.
Nov 06, 2008, 21:32:41 russell wrote:
[i]I'd settle for decency and civility, while disagreeing. That would be a nice starting point. Also, abandonment of the us-or-them horseshit.[/i]
Nov 06, 2008, 22:12:50 OCSteve wrote:
russell: [i]Look OC, I'm not trying to pick a fight with you, but the *entire point of your original post* here is "your side does it too".[/i]
I’ll take your larger point (that was not the intent but I certainly see how you could take it that way), but what I meant was that I avoided the temptation to respond to things like the Avarosis rant Phil posted. “Democrats don't do nasty” – please…
My larger point, poorly made I’ll concede, is that while I understand the basis of the anger, I’m surprised that it (IMO) continued to grow even after it was pretty clear that the election was won, and it doesn’t seem to have subsided a lot even [i]with[/i] the election being won. It’s such that I can’t even [i]imagine[/i] the reaction had McCain been clearly ahead in the final weeks and then won. It’s not everyone of course, more like the general vibe. Beyond that – what slarti said.
Nov 06, 2008, 22:29:47 libjpn wrote:
I've been trying to figure out why this argument gets under my skin. One reason is that for us to imagine Obama losing, we have to imagine a whole range of hypotheticals. Would it have been enough if McCain had run a competent campaign? Or picked Huck instead of Hockey Mom? Or would we have to posit competence on the part of W? It seems that the number of hypotheticals that you ask us to make in order to deal with your hypothetical of how Dems would have reacted is a bridge too far.
As for anger building, I said it before and I'll say it again, you think it is bad now, just wait. It is like those pics of the tsunami in Thailand. The water just keeps rising and rising.
I also get the nail on the blackboard vibe when you write
[i]I don’t think any of the folks I listed have much respect for Obama the man beyond his organizational skills in running his campaign. They have respect for the office, no matter who sits in the chair. I don’t think that blog pundits on the left would have been able to see past their rage (had it gone the other way) to even acknowledge respect for the office because that respect at this point is totally dependent on who sits in the chair. I find that a little disconcerting.[/i]
What I find disconcerting is that there seems to be no attempt to give Obama credit for anything but his organizational skills, which functions as a prelude to dismissing them. Obama seems to be an uncommonly grounded person who, as Hilzoy noted, seemed to purposely tamp down his strongest gifts because he didn't want things to get out of hand. I'm willing to acknowledge that Bush 41's effort keeping the international coalition together in Gulf War 1 was hugely important, I can acknowledge that Reagan was sincere and that sincerity made a difference when he was working with Gorbachev. So I'm wondering how pig headed one has to be to not notice that Obama has some qualities beyond organizing that are pretty damn good. And the fact that so few people are good organizers on this scale should make one wonder if we are valuing the wrong traits. Hilzoy also pointed out how Obama seems to have to warn himself away from solitude. If you think about it, one of the reasons he is a good organizer is that he stands apart, and that gives him a clear view of the pitfalls and possibilities of organization. Given that many of our other presidents have been so enamoured of the limelight (looking at you Big Dawg) that organization is something they leave to others. That Obama can organize suggests deeper gifts rather than the notion that he is just better than average at making lists.
Nov 06, 2008, 22:55:54 OCSteve wrote:
Well lj, I said “I think” but I shouldn’t presume to speak for those pundits. They have likely noted other Obama strengths, I just picked up on a common theme that everyone seems to acknowledge and credit his organizational skills. His rhetorical skills are pretty commonly acknowledged as well. Beyond that I think they all noted the truly historic nature of his candidacy and his win. I don’t think they give him much credit beyond that though. But there I am with "think" again... ;)
Nov 06, 2008, 23:32:07 Turbulence wrote:
You say that you see anger building and building and can't fathom how great it would be if McCain had won. With respect, you don't shit about our anger. You don't know us. If you understood lefties well enough to reliably and robustly make the assessments that you're trying to make, you would not be nearly as confused about why lefties make the basic political judgments that they do. Because you don't know what drives us or how we think, every time you try to make some complex assessment of how lots and lots of people feel or how they would react to some bizarre poorly specified counterfactual, you end up doing nothing but projecting your own feelings onto us. That makes the whole exercise worthless in the extreme.
If you want to know what people feel or how they would react, you need to talk to them. Their answers may not be totally reliable, sure, but your alternative process of deciding that lefties are so consumed with burning hatred that they can't respect the "office" of the Presidency is just ridiculous.
If you bothered to ask us what we thought, rather than just assuming lies that comfort your own sense of superiority and nurture your own sense of grievance, you might learn something interesting.
Nov 06, 2008, 23:52:31 russell wrote:
Thanks for your reply.
Without any interest in sparking further poo flinging, but just in the interest of letting you know what one particular lefty thinks, I would like to make a comment on this:
[i]I don’t think that blog pundits on the left would have been able to see past their rage (had it gone the other way) to even acknowledge respect for the office because that respect at this point is totally dependent on who sits in the chair.[/i]
I, personally, do not mind saying that I have little respect for George Bush, *especially* in his position as President. I respect the office of President, but not the sitting President.
A very large part of the reason for that is because he, himself, does not respect the office he holds. He does not respect the responsibilities of the office, he does not respect the limitations of the office, he does not respect the Constitution that he took and oath to uphold and protect.
I don't know how folks would have responded to a McCain presidency. My sense is that if he had demonstrated the humility and/or sense of gravity that the office deserves, and not seen it has his personal due and/or shiny new toy, he would have been given the benefit of the doubt.
But we'll never know.
Nov 06, 2008, 23:58:25 DonaldJ wrote:
DaveC, I know you just toss that stuff out about not caring about Israelis because that's how you think--people have to be on one side or the other. Most of us lefties are appalled by suicide bombing and agree with, say, well-known neo-Nazi Rashid Khalidi (whose book "The Iron Cage" I'm reading) that Palestinian violence has been both immoral and ineffective. But we also think that Israeli violence against civilians is immoral.
The difference between most lefties and your brand of rightwinger on this issue is that we read sources like B'Tselem and Human Rights Watch and Shlomo Ben-Ami (an Israeli historian and member of Barak's government) and Rashid Khalidi and we know that both sides commit atrocities and both sides have grievances, though in US politics we mostly get a sanitized version of Israel's conflict. You, on the other hand, are happy to ignore any and all Israeli atrocities and see everything as good guys (us) vs. bad guys (them). Which is exactly how the extremists on both sides see it.
The funny thing is that we lefties are accused of moral relativism, when it's rightwingers of your stripe, DaveC, who operate on morally relativistic principles--the morality of an action is determined by which side does it.
Nov 07, 2008, 00:04:24 DonaldJ wrote:
On the respect and civility thing, I make a distinction between ordinary people and public figures. I am friends with people who support torture, or did until recently. I treat them with respect by either arguing with them about this if they are willing, or by avoiding the subject altogether and talking about the things we have in common. In an argument I try to keep my emotions under control and if I can't, I change the subject.
George Bush would be treated with the respect he is due as a human being if he were given a fair trial with all the rights an American citizen should have under those circumstances.
Nov 07, 2008, 00:04:38 JanieM wrote:
I am going to try to make time for a rather long post in this thread later today, and if it gets done it will be far more calm and measured than what I'm about to say right now.
But right now, I'm laughing incredulously again. In relation to [i]respect for the office[/i], I think your premises are false, just as is the premise that I should be gracious to people who have made political hay for 25 years out of the idea that only people like them (or really, like the people they're addressing at any given moment) are "real" Americans, while the rest of us (at least half the country at any given time, as far as I can tell) are some kind of treasonous and undesirable "other."
I see no evidence that GWB himself has any [i]respect for the office[/i], as distinct from his (and Cheney's and Roberts et al.'s) desire to turn it into a unitary power, the law and the legislature and the courts be damned. And can you please tell me how McCain's choice of Sarah Palin as a running mate squares in any way with the idea of [i]respect for the office[/i]? I don't know why I should respect these people because of "the office," when they clearly don't respect it themselves.
I don't know how long the [i]respect for the office[/i] of the people you originally quoted, and McCain's statement of same in his concession speech, is going to last into an actual Obama presidency. But when Obama and McCain both say that Obama is going to be [i]everyone's[/i] president, there's ample evidence supporting the idea that that is exactly his intent. McCain ran a campaign that belied the very idea that he would be [i]everyone's[/i] president, so it shouldn't have been a surprise to anyone if, had he been elected, some of us would have taken him at his word.
Nov 07, 2008, 00:07:36 JanieM wrote:
Russell beat me to it.........and was nicer, too. ;)
Nov 07, 2008, 00:52:52 OCSteve wrote:
Turb: [i]If you want to know what people feel or how they would react, you need to talk to them. … If you bothered to ask us what we thought, rather than just assuming lies that comfort your own sense of superiority and nurture your own sense of grievance, you might learn something interesting.[/i]
Uhm, could I direct you to [b]my very first frackin’ sentence in this post[/b]?
[i]I'm curious what you think popular blog pundits on the left would be saying had it gone the other way. (I know what I think, I'm curious what you all think.)[/i]
I got a couple of thoughtful replies to that. What followed that was justification for the anger (which I said from the start I understood, just not the dimensions it took at the end), more anger, and more justification for the anger.
I get it – a lot of folks are angry and they have good reasons to be angry. Now what? I mean, I understand that anger can be a great motivating force. I have no problem believing that this historic election happened this way precisely because so many people were angry. But now what? Are people going to nurture that anger for 2 more years in hopes of picking up a few more seats? Is it going to be turned on Obama the first time he lets you down? You’re right - I don’t know shit about your anger. I pretty much said that. So rather than assuming lies that comfort my own sense of superiority and nurture my own sense of grievance, I’m asking – now what?
Nov 07, 2008, 01:59:57 Phil wrote:
[i]Look, I avoided getting into the “your side does it too” game here because the larger point I was trying to make boils down to “you guys won now would you please take a deep breath and chill the fuck out just a little”.[/i]
You know, Steve, you're a good guy, and I'm glad you decided to be part -- along with John Cole and many others -- of purging the Republican Party of its nasty elements and sending them into the wilderness. Good on you for that.
That said, given the orgy of sore winnerdom and constant calls of "In your FACE, libtard treasonous commies LOL ROFL !!11!!" that accompanied the 2004 election, I'm inclined to wonder just where you get off with this.
I don't know if you were a part of that or not, but after how you've expressed your thoughts about your mindset on 9/11, and how you just wanted to make someone, anyone, pay for it, surely you can understand how Democrats are not willing to be quite so magnanimous here.
Yeah, it would be great if everyone could just succumb to their better instincts here. But why should they? Even though you've jumped ship now, you, as an erstwhile GOP-er, helped sow this wind, and now you've gotta sit back and watch the reaping of the whirlwhind. To the extent that it tears down your house, I'm sorry, but, well . . .
Nov 07, 2008, 02:43:28 dr ngo wrote:
[i]while I understand the basis of the anger, I’m surprised that it (IMO) continued to grow [b]even after it was pretty clear that the election was won,[/b] and it doesn’t seem to have subsided a lot even with the election being won. It’s such that I can’t even imagine the reaction had McCain been clearly ahead in the final weeks and then won.[/i]
I think you're gliding right over a sore point here. I believe - along with many others here (not just Jesurgislac) - that the GOP stole the election in 2000, and may well have done so in 2004 again.
Thus in the immediate run-up to the election, when according to you and the polls, "it was pretty clear that the election was won," I remained apprehensive, verging on paranoid, that this "clarity" might be wrong again. I read the polls, I "knew" what they said, and I was still nearly paralyzed with fear.
And so was every single Obama supporter I know! I was a veritable rock of stability compared to some (such as mrs dr ngo, who was not even consoled after 11pm, when the networks started calling it for Obama - "I remember when they called the last election for Kerry!"). The not unreasonable fear that even at the very last minute this liberation might be snatched from us gave rise to very strong emotions indeed.
To ask why the emotions ran high then is, IMHO, equivalent to asking why the prisoners in a Japanese POW camp, despite rumors - which turned out to be true - that liberation was on the way, remained angry and apprehensive during the last few weeks of the war.
And even for some time after. (James Clavell never went anywhere for twenty years after he survived Changi without a tin of sardines somewhere on his person, because he knew that you could survive with that and a little rice.)
(OT: Does citing the Pacific War count for Godwinism? Just curious.)
To the extent that one could be a dispassionate observer of the election, noting the trends but not being moved by them, an absence of malice is not unreasonable. I would expect that of most foreigners, and those Americans whose political leanings are ambivalent. (I observed several foreign elections when I was overseas, and managed to maintain my equanimity without much difficulty. Even American elections were easier to handle from ten thousand miles away.)
But to those of us who have lived through the Bush Occupation of this country, and who witnessed the efforts to continue this Occupation through continuous appeals to fear and hatred, such dispassion is not easy to come by. I'm not sure how long it will take us.
Otherwise, I can only endorse the general comments of those before me, especially on the bullshit of respecting the "office" of a president who so singularly disgraced that office that it ought to be subjected to both fumigation and exorcism before Obama moves in.
Nov 07, 2008, 03:03:00 russell wrote:
[i]I’m asking – now what?[/i]
Now we get to work. There's a lot to do.
The impression I have from Obama's rhetoric is that ordinary folks are going to be asked to step up to the plate one way or another, so "we" might end up being pretty inclusive.
Nov 07, 2008, 03:15:01 OCSteve wrote:
phil: [i] surely you can understand how Democrats are not willing to be quite so magnanimous here[/i]
Certainly I can. That I understand with no problem.
dr ngo: Thanks for the explanation.
Nov 07, 2008, 03:23:17 Turbulence wrote:
OCSteve, did you not write this?
[i]I don’t think that blog pundits on the left would have been able to see past their rage (had it gone the other way) to even acknowledge respect for the office because that respect at this point is totally dependent on who sits in the chair. I find that a little disconcerting.[/i]
You showed up already knowing that lefties would not have been able to see past their rage...you asked the question seemingly without caring what the answers would be since you already knew THE answer: lefties can't see past their rage.
What blows my mind is the sloppiness and laziness that you're demonstrating here. You keep talking about rage without ever quantifying it. Even if all this rage exists as you claim, is it possible this rage has to do with people losing their jobs or watching their retirement disappear or watching their friends get foreclosed on? What makes you say there's been rage after the election, besides your own psychological need for that to be true so you can justify believing that lefties are irrational rage junkies compared to the tranquil peaceful zen Buddhists of right blogistan?
[i]I’m asking – now what?[/i]
Now I go get some lunch because I'm hungry. Seriously, wtf are you asking? No one here is a high level party or government official. Now stuff in the real world will happen and we'll analyze and discuss it. Just like we did before. What are you looking for, some big kumbya moment where we decide that there will be no hard feelings to Republicans? Some sort of accountability amnesia moment where we decide there will be no consequences for bad acts that have been done in the last eight years? What?
Nov 07, 2008, 05:40:31 OCSteve wrote:
Turb: I showed up [i]thinking[/i] I knew – again, 2nd sentence, I said “I know what I think, I'm curious what you all think.”
I got a “probably not” from Ugh, and a “TMP, probably yes” plus OW posters from russell. OW posters of course get the benefit of doubt, so that leaves the only [i]actual[/i] (non-OW) response as TPM - probably. What reason at that point would I have to discard my original thoughts on the matter? You mostly rejected the hypothetical and never really responded to my question, then you came back later and said I should ask if I want to know what you thought rather than “just assuming lies that comfort your own sense of superiority and nurture your own sense of grievance”. Okay then…
[i]What are you looking for…[/i]
Not a damned thing at this point. I got some responses to my original post; I got some follow up responses that helped me to understand the anger dynamic that had me curious. I’m happy as a pig in shit (lipstick optional). Not looking for anything at all at this point. I might be interested in digging a little deeper into the “respect for the office” angle, but that seems pretty fruitless right now. Maybe some other time.
Nov 07, 2008, 06:14:25 russell wrote:
OK OC, do you really want to understand the anxiety and rage that we all feel, even with the prospect of an Obama win?
Well, [url=http://www.theonion.com/con...]here you go[/url] man.
And don't forget, you asked.
Nov 07, 2008, 08:29:53 Turbulence wrote:
How people respond to the election doesn't really matter to you per se, does it? I've been assuming that you care about that only insofar as it helps you answer interesting questions like "are lefties good people" or "are lefties rational or are they too enraged to think clearly". After all, this election can only happen once, so if you are only interested in how people respond to this election and nothing else, you're interested in, by definition, useless information that tells us nothing about the future. For interesting questions like those I listed, your hypothetical is worthless. It only gives you meaningful information if you assume that the two campaigns acted the same and the only meaningful differences at work here are innate temperaments of liberals versus conservatives. Those are bad assumptions to make. You can make them, but then your hypothetical won't elucidate the answers to any interesting questions.
Another reason that your hypothetical makes no sense is that liberals aren't very likely to deny the legitimacy of a President so they don't feel much reason to affirm it. And yes, there were lots of liberal complaints about Bush's selection in 2000, but you have to admit, the process was completely borked. There were far fewer complaints in 2004 when Bush actually won the election. Surely, you of all people agree that something is suspicious when the Supreme Court makes a ruling and then insists that that ruling can never be used as precedent for anything in the future, right? Because Republicans insist that their political opponents are traitors, they will occasionally feel compelled to affirm the legitimacy of a Democratic President. It would never occur to me to declare publicly that a President McCain was legitimate because it wouldn't occur to me to claim that he wasn't my President in the first place or that he wasn't a real American or that he wasn't loyal to his country. Conservatives who have spent the last year chastising the Dem nominee as some sort of anti-American terrorist-sympathizer Stalin-wannabe have to walk that talk back by affirming Obama's legitimacy if they want to preserve their credibility among moderates who thought "huh...we've got a black guy as President...regardless of policy, that's pretty cool." Those conservatives don't get any points from me for doing what they have to do in order to not appear out of step with the nation on a historic day.
Maybe it would be more productive if you explicitly told us what conclusions you were taking from your hypothetical experiment.
Nov 07, 2008, 09:57:10 Jeff wrote:
[i]the more obvious it became that Obama was going to win[/i]
To piggyback on dr ngo: With Diebold machines in wide use and **MASSIVE** disenfranchisement by the Republican Party, and an election much closer than it would be in any sane country, it was **NEVER** "obvious" that Obama was going to win. When McCain conceded, that's when I felt, "We did it! By golly, we did it!"
A lot of the anger came from the fact that the race was closer than it should have been. Obama was clearly qualified to be President; McCain clearly wasn't. How the hell could those ***s not see that?
Nov 07, 2008, 10:41:35 john miller wrote:
I actually understand where you are coming from, and despite a pledge I once made of not trying to do any deep psychological assessments, I am going to do so both from "our" sise and from perhaps where you are coming from.
In terms of "our" side I need to break it into 3 segments. The first is relting to the increased anger going in to the election itself since it was becoming (not really) obvious Obama was going to win. dr ngo spoke to some of it. There is the old saying that Dems know how to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
Actually, most Dems don't believe that, but there is a real concern about having the election stolen in one way or another. Compounding this was all the totally ridiculous accusations about vote fraud directed at ACORN, which is probably the most honest of the groups doing voter registration.
Dems saw all that as a sign of the Reopublicans doing whatever they could to eke out a win.
That may have been enough for the anger but there was something even more. O(nce u8pon a time McCain may have been viewed as a different type of politician, someone honorable and not into character assassination. Willing to win or lose on the issues. And also someone who might, if he somehow won, produce a future that directed into a more positive direction than the last 8 years. The campaign proved that to be a false hope.
Remember, anger is really a secondary emotion triggered, 95% of the time, by either hurt or fear. And in this case both were there. The "fake America" accusation, the treason accusations, the anti_america accusations. And then the very legitimate fear of having the election stolen and the country taken further in a disaterous direction.
If McCai9n had shown himself to be honorale, if he had shown a real "Country First" approach to this election, if he had shown respect for the office of the President, and if he had then won, there would have been griping and some blogs might not have been very gentle in their approach, but I think you would have found a larger pe5rcentage of blogs on the left giving him an opportunity to prove himself than you see on the right.
Concenring respect for the office. I don't know anybody on the left who doesn't have respect for the office of the Presidency and isn't willing to give the person elected to that position some initial respect unless, like Bush in 2000, that person right from the beginning shows that the office is a prize in a game to him/her and not something which has real meaning other than a place to use power.
McCain, unfortunately, with his approach to this campaign and some of his earlier statements, showed that was all he saw it as.
I am not going to say that that isn't part of Obama's approach, but it never really showed during the campaign. He has almost always, in my opinion, shown a respect and humbleness about the road ahead of him.
Finally, as promised, my perspective on where you are coming from by bringing this up. I discard almost everything Turbulence says. I don't know why s/he has an almost Jesian reaction to you, but he/she does.
But here is what I think. Tell me to shove it if you wnat, but here goes. I have a brother-in-law w2ho I mentioned before is a loong time Republican. Greatest guy in the world, multi-millionaire but you would never know it. Ran for Congress a few elections ago in Wisconsin but lost in the primary to a person who epitomizes everything you now say you dislike in the party. I am sure he voted for Obama. At the same time, his basic values and philosphies remain on the conservative, old type Republican side. The side where you could have honest discussions without trying to tear down your opponent's character.
The is the Republican party you used to love and the one you wnat to see return. I don't blame you. And it is that position that you find yourself that things such as the quotes you posted provide you with, dare I say it, hope that your party might be able to resurrect itself. I also hope it does. Unfortunately, if you read the comments following Allahpundit's statement, the hope may seem distant.
Nov 07, 2008, 12:05:42 russell wrote:
C'mon, click the link. It's funny.
I think we could all use a laugh.
Nov 07, 2008, 12:12:48 john miller wrote:
Russell, yes it was. But then the Onion has been so darn close to the truth lately that it is scary.
Nov 07, 2008, 12:17:10 russell wrote:
[i]I have a brother-in-law w2ho I mentioned before is a loong time Republican. [/i]
Hey John -
Yes, I remember that. You mentioned it in the same thread as my mention of the old school conservatives my wife and I know.
We heard from one of those guys today. He's the 40-something guy now serving in Iraq with the Army guard, former Naval office, life-long Republican, planning to put a few more years into the Guard and then retire in Germany on a US military pension.
He voted Obama. His reason: Sarah Palin.
The money quote from his email:
[i]When McCain chose fluffy the bunny as his running mate, I opted out. Had he tapped Lieberman, it would have looked different.[/i]
It is what it is.
Nov 07, 2008, 20:01:43 OCSteve wrote:
I agree with you John. I think that is a fair assessment. My anger is mostly directed at Republicans for leaving me hanging out here to dry. But I’ve also pretty much lost hope that they will learn from this and reform. I mean, what did they learn from 2006?
Russell: That was pretty good.
Nov 08, 2008, 03:46:43 Barry wrote:
Glenn Reynolds has spent years as a highly dishonest wh*reson, repeatedly insulting the patriotism of Democrats. This latest column is Forbes is equivalent to McCain's concession speech:
1) One classy speech doesn't make up for years of bad behavior.
2) He's spent years demonstrating that he's simply not honest and not trustworthy.
Nov 08, 2008, 05:43:47 Slartibartfast wrote:
1) Barry, I think you can say "whoreson" here.
2) I think that it's time for some walkback on certain issues some of us (namely, me) have held our own way. I'm about two-thirds of the way through "Breach of Faith" by Jed Horne, and my eyes are beginning to belatedly open. I'm not saying that I was all wrong about the activities of FEMA following Katrina, but it appears that I was quite wrong in some key ways that I may detail later. Things of this nature are, I think, fuel for the kinds of rage that OCSteve sees on the left, and some of it at least is justified.
"A day later, landlines, cell phones, and many other forms of communication had failed, but [FEMA envoy Marty] Bahamonde's wireless Blackberry was still working, and so was his sense of urgency. "Sir, the situation is past critical," he messaged Brown from the Superdome. Public order was an issue, what with an increasingly angry, dehydrated, and hungry crowd of refugees trapped by rising water. Lives were also at stake, Bahamonde cautioned, with relief workers estimating that they would begin to lose special needs patients "within hours."
Brown's response: "Thanks for the update. Anything specific I need to do or tweak?"
Three hours later, Bahamonde got another response to his increasingly desperate effort to pull his boss's head out of the sand, this time an e-mail from Brown's press secretary scolding Bahamonde for demanding the big man's time and attention. Brown was doing MSNBC's 'Scarborough Country' talk show that evening from a studio in Baton Rouge and really needed to put a good meal in his belly beforehand. They had reservations at Ruth's Chris, a steak house much favored by politicos and lobbyists."
Bahamonde's response was something like: tell him I just ate an MRE and crapped in the hallway.
Unbelievable. And there's lots more. I think I'm going to have to find another book, just to see how much of this is consistent from one account to the next. Even the stuff that's not written emotionally is enough to piss me off, though.
Nov 08, 2008, 05:57:02 Turbulence wrote:
Slarti, I've been looking for a good book on the Katrina response. Would you recommend Breach of Faith? Is there any other book you'd like to suggest?
Obviously, I'd be delighted to see any post you'd care to write on these issues, either here or at the mothership.
Nov 08, 2008, 06:15:12 Slartibartfast wrote:
As I said, I'm about two-thirds of the way through it, and I think it's well done. There is plenty that's missing, and some of it is disjoint, but it's still a good piece. I haven't read any others, yet. I picked this up in Faulkner House Books at the recommendation of the lady who runs the place (or at least, was running it at the time) last January, and it's been waiting in my input queue ever since.
So: yes, I recommend it. The author doesn't try to pull any punches that I can tell. He does have a different story on the whole National Guard thing that doesn't fit with what I remember, but what I remember might just have been a competing narrative. Horne's account states outright that there was a disinformation campaign running out of the Bush administration; that's one of the things I'd like to read further about before I regard it as true. What I thought I knew about it was something like: Blanco was asking for guard support from other states, and Bush (rightly, IMO) told her that she had to request it in a specific way before he could comply, in order to avoid violating posse comitatus. Horne's account says that Bush was insisting that she federalize the LNG, which might be true, but isn't how I remember it.
I don't tend to write about politics anymore because I realized, a couple of years ago, that I absolutely suck at it.
Nov 08, 2008, 21:43:18 Phil wrote:
OCSteve, I should have mentioned before, if it makes you feel any better, I actually voted for a couple of Republicans for local and county offices here, including -- of all things! -- county prosecutor. (She lost.) The county government here in Cuyahoga has long been controlled by a cabal of corrupt, venal Democrats, and it's high time they were all tossed out on their ears. Since many of them never face opposition from within the party, I have to vote for their Republican opponents if I want to see some changes.
Nov 09, 2008, 16:24:21 magistra wrote:
For an international perspective see [url=http://www.guardian.co.uk/c...]Jonathan Freedland's argument[/url] that the world would not have forgiven the US for electing McCain/Palin. I didn't send that to my liberal US relatives when it was written, because it would just have knotted them up more. The anger comes from the fear, of course, but a lot of the fear comes from the impotence, which is why non-Americans on ObWi and elsewhere have also been angry. The US election will affect us, yet we can't do anything about it and there was a lingering fear (and I'm afraid there's no polite way of putting this) that the Americans would collectively be stupid enough to go for Sarah Palin, [b]because[/b] she was a stereotype of right-wing belligerant American ignorance.
The last 8 years has been like a slow motion car crash: liberals throughout the world have seen the disasters coming, screamed out about them and yet the car just keeps on going towards the wall. It's not surprising we couldn't relax till our side definitely, absolutely won.
Nov 10, 2008, 01:54:09 russell wrote:
[i]there was a lingering fear (and I'm afraid there's no polite way of putting this) that the Americans would collectively be stupid enough to go for Sarah Palin, because she was a stereotype of right-wing belligerant American ignorance. [/i]
Quite a few folks were. It was no idle fear.
Nov 10, 2008, 14:16:57 hilzoy wrote:
I would probably have written something like this:
I didn't have anything prepared, one way or the other, this time or in 2004.
Nov 11, 2008, 04:24:06 DonaldJ wrote:
What russell said. McCain/Palin won the white person vote. They won the white male vote in a landslide.
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