Archive for October 30th, 2006


It’s all about Karl:

By many calculations, Democrats are ready to make big gains in the midterm elections, enough to take over the House and possibly the Senate. But White House Chief of Staff Joshua B. Bolten says there is one reason he is feeling upbeat amid so much Republican gloom.

“I believe Karl Rove,” Bolten said in an interview in his West Wing office Friday. “Karl Rove, somewhere inside that massive brain of his, has figured out the political landscape more clearly than the entire collection of conventional-wisdom pundits and pollsters in the entire city of Washington.”

That was true for two elections in a row, in 2002 and 2004, and President Bush’s senior adviser has insisted to West Wing colleagues and party faithful alike that it will be again. But Rove is just eight days from having his genius designation revoked — or upgraded to platinum status.

Even within Rove’s own party, expectations are widespread that the Nov. 7 elections will mark a repudiation for the base-rallying, contrast-drawing brand of politics with which he and Bush have been so closely aligned. But it is a mark of the particular place Rove holds in the Washington psyche that even the most exuberant Democrats are wondering why he seems so confident.

There are two questions. Is Rove just acting cocky as a way of lifting GOP morale, or does he really believe it? And, if the latter, is he deluding himself, or does he once again know something that Democrats do not?


If the Republicans were to lose control of at least one chamber, those in the party who have long seen Rove’s approach as polarizing would feel emboldened….

“The architect may find his engineering plans were faulty,” said one former senior official of past GOP administrations, who has watched the current one with increasing dismay. “Turning out the base this year may not be a winning or a governing strategy. America seems to be looking forward to making things work together, rather than dividing people across the board.”


The flip side of adulation is paranoia. Many Democrats are convinced Rove has some trick up his sleeve — Osama bin Laden in the freezer, perhaps, ready for release just before Election Day — that will save the Republicans from electoral disaster this fall.

I am particularly intrigued by the part I bolded, about Republicans feeling that Rove’s strategy is “polarizing.” Well, no duh. What’s telling is that they apparently only consider this a problem if it loses elections. The DLC wing of the Democratic party establishment has the opposite problem: They have embraced a Republican-lite philosophy of right-wing pandering and capitulation in the name of winning elections. Of course, in their case, it doesn’t actually win elections, but we’ll let that pass – they do.

It’s a dilemma that’s probably been around at least as long as there have been elections: On the one hand, you want to stick to your core principles; but on the other hand, you want to get elected, or else you can’t defend your core principles at all. What’s twisted about today’s political environment is that either party would probably do a lot better with their voters if they actually did stick to their core principles, but they’ve become so cynical and focus-grouped and obsessed with pandering to the cowardly bigoted lowest common denominator that they’ve totally lost their way.

Can’t we just slaughter all the consultants on both sides and start fresh?

2 comments October 30th, 2006 at 09:03pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Democrats,Elections,Favorites,Politics,Republicans,Rove,Wankers

“Smooth Operator,” By de Sade

From Der Spiegel, by way of The All-Seeing Eye Of Froomkin:

SPIEGEL ONLINE: With all your access to high-level sources, have you come across anyone who still thinks it is a good idea for the U.S. to torture people?

Suskind: No. Most of the folks involved say that we made mistakes at the start. The president wants to keep all options open because he never wants his hands tied in any fashion, as he says, because he doesn’t know what’s ahead. But those involved in the interrogation protocol, I think are more or less in concert in saying that, in our panic in the early days, we made some mistakes.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Because they could have gotten information through normal interrogations . . . .

Suskind: . . . yes, and without paying this terrific price, namely: America’s moral standing. We poured plenteous gasoline on the fires of jihadist recruitment.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: So the average interrogator at a Black Site understands more about the mistakes made than the president?

Suskind: The president understands more about the mistakes than he lets on. He knows what the most-skilled interrogators know too. He gets briefed, and he was deeply involved in this process from the beginning. The president loves to talk to operators.

Am I the only one who finds that last bit kinda unsettling and creepy? Like Bush hangs on the torturers’ every word, panting and begging for ever more cruel and gory detail? (God help them if they’re bald; he’d never leave them alone…)

Maybe he can be an interrogator after his term finally, mercifully expires. He has the temperament and the total lack of empathy for it.

6 comments October 30th, 2006 at 02:31pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Politics,Torture,Wankers

Monday Media Blogging

Special Dee D. Jackson Disco Edition:

Her automatic lover’s antenna seems a bit, uh, floppy. Maybe he needs some C3POalis?
Dunno what it is with Dee D. and the superhero costumes… This video was actually how I accidentally discovered her, while searching for The One Funny Scene from Robert Townsend’s otherwise awful Meteor Man.

And if you just can’t get enough Dee D…
It’s just not the same without the sci-fi theme, really.

3 comments October 30th, 2006 at 07:05am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Monday Media Blogging

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