Archive for April 22nd, 2007

Strategery

Pachacutec asks whether it would be better for the conference committee reconciling the House and Senate versions of the supplemental/stop-the-war bill to choose the House version (mandatory withdrawal deadline) or to cave to the President’s feet-stamping veto threat by choosing the Senate version, where the withdrawal deadline is merely a “goal.”

Pach (and Kagro X) argue that if they pass a supplemental war-funding bill where withdrawal is voluntary, and Bush signs it, then they have just made themselves co-owners of the war. The counterargument, as I understand it, is that passing a weak bill is better than failing to pass a stronger one, and the Democrats must water it down to appease “centrist” Democrats and moderate Republicans to ensure passage.

I have to side with Pach and Kagro on this one. There are two primary objectives here: The first is to end the war, and the second is to ensure that the Republicans lose big in 2008 so that the Democrats have the latitude to start cleaning up Bush’s many messes.

Frankly, I’m not convinced that the Democrats can end the war by themselves, not without enough Republican defections to override a presidential veto (although it would be interesting to see how this game of chicken plays out if Congress refuses to give Bush a stringless war budget before the money runs out in June).

If the Democrats cannot end the war by themselves, then the next best thing they can do is to brand themselves very clearly as the anti-Iraq-war party, and the Republicans as the pro-Iraq-war party. Furthermore, it is important to remember that Bush is not running for election next year, but Congressional Republicans are.

Viewed from that perspective, I don’t really see how passing a toothless bill that Bush vetoes (or doesn’t) is better than failing to pass a strong bill. Forcing Bush to veto puts him on the spot, sure, but he’s not our target in 2008, except by association. Why not force Congressional Republicans to go on the record as unequivocally opposing an end to the war? If the “centrist” Democrats don’t want to be on board, then remind them that they’ll have to explain their votes in both the primary and general elections next year.

On the other hand, passing an ineffective bill sends the message that the Democrats aren’t really serious about ending the war. If the voters believe that the Democrats have been merely posturing all along, their feelings of betrayal will keep them home in 2008. After all, why bother to vote for Democrats if they’re not going to end the war either? It also gives Bush an incentive to keep vetoing or threatening to veto, if it gets him ever-more favorable terms, until he ends up with a bill so weak that he can sign it and posture as the magnanimous bipartisan hero. (Actually, I’m not too worried about that – that’s the last thing he wants to be seen as.)

If the Democrats do not display total commitment to ending the war, it will not end, and the electorate will hold them accountable for it in 2008. They might still gain seats out of sheer anti-Republican revulsion, but they will forfeit any chance at the same kind of landslide that their anti-war stance won them in 2006.

4 comments April 22nd, 2007 at 06:51pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Democrats,Elections,Iraq,Politics,Republicans,War

No, It’s NOT Just Like That.

Melanie Morgan’s latest abomination, from Media Matters, by way of David (Austin, TX):

I have lived on the other side of the gun barrel pointed by Media Matters for America for the better part of three years, and I know what it feels like when a bunch of crackpots with keyboards pull the trigger, backed by millions upon millions of dollars in funding from George Soros.

[…]

Like that mentally unbalanced and angry gunman at Virginia Tech, they’ll methodically march through the domiciles of the conservative movement, targeting the movement’s leaders for career elimination — until and unless we stand up and fight back against their campaign of mayhem against conservative leaders and causes.

Yes, that’s right: Media Matters is just like an insane rampaging gunman, and Melanie Morgan and all the other right wing crazies are just like his innocent victims. Maybe kill-or-be-killed is just how she sees the world.

1 comment April 22nd, 2007 at 03:23pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Media,Republicans,Wankers

Greed… Is Good.

50-State Strategy, bitches!

A few months ago I took a look at the two hundred or so House districts currently represented by Republicans to see realistically how many might be open to a challenge this cycle. The number I came up with — which accounted for each district in which the incumbent took 55 percent or less of the vote and/or voters in the district tend to vote 5 or less points more Republican than the nation as a whole in presidential elections, according to the Cook Partisan Voting Index — was 71, meaning well over a third of Republican districts (and perhaps even more) are sufficiently competitive that Democrats could make serious challenges, and potentially even pick-ups, next year.

While the Democrats will no doubt play quite a bit of defensive in 2008 in the hopes of maintaining their majority in the House of Representatives, the wealth of potential targets should put the leadership of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Commitee — which, by the way, has been seriously outgunning the House GOP in terms of fundraising — on notice that they have the opportunity to not only hold on to their majority but indeed extend their numbers to levels unseen by either party in well over a decade. Indeed, if early recruitment efforts are any indication, it appears that the DCCC is focusing not only on holding onto Democratic seats but also on going after Republican districts that haven’t seen the type of Democratic campaigns their numbers have merited in recent cycles….

(…)

Democratic recruitment all around the country has been showing signs of life as Democrats appear bullish on their party’s chances in next year’s elections. While the Democrats don’t already have candidates in all 435 districts around the country, these early signs seem to augur well for hopes that the Democrats will at least put themselves in the position to increase the size of their majority in the House in 2008 — perhaps even greatly.

And, of course, 21 of the 33 Senators up for re-elect next year are Republicans, and Dubya and the war (which will still be going, BTW) will be even more unpopular. There’s also a good chance that the Republican base will be underwhelmed by their presidential nominee, so Republican turnout could be depressed. As long as the Democrats don’t do anything stupid to claim co-ownership of the war, 2008 could be a bloodbath for the Republicans.

2 comments April 22nd, 2007 at 02:30pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Democrats,Elections,Politics

Wanker Of The Month

Yet another conservative blames the shootings on liberals:

In the wake of the 1999 shootings at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich laid the blame for the tragedy at the feet of liberals. Here’s what he said:

“I want to say to the elite of this country – the elite news media, the liberal academic elite, the liberal political elite: I accuse you in Littleton…of being afraid to talk about the mess you have made, and being afraid to take responsibility for things you have done, and instead foisting upon the rest of us pathetic banalities because you don’t have the courage to look at the world you have created.”

On ABC’s This Week, host George Stephanopoulos asked Gingrich if he would apply those same words to the Virginia Tech tragedy. “Yes,” Gingrich said, offering a rambling, nonsensical response that segued into Don Imus and McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform….Gingrich has a history of spinning tragedy for ideological and partisan gain.

– In 1994, after Susan Smith confessed to drowning her two children in South Carolina, Gingrich quickly blamed liberals, saying the only way to avoid similar future incidents was “to vote Republican.”

– After former Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL) was forced to resign over his sexually inappropriate behavior towards House pages, Gingrich declared that conservatives didn’t act to stop Foley because they “would have been accused of gay bashing” by liberals.

– At the Conservative Political Action Conference earlier this year, Gingrich blamed the residents of New Orleans’ 9th ward for “a failure of citizenship,” by being “so uneducated and so unprepared, they literally couldn’t get out of the way of a hurricane.”

In Gingrich’s mind, anything bad that happens can always be traced back to the culture created by liberals.

Newt is an evil, evil man. But I suppose we’re responsible for making him that way.

April 22nd, 2007 at 02:06pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Republicans,Wankers

Digby’s Pulling My Leg, Right?

According to James Lewis in The American Thinker (found by Hilzoy on Rush Limbaugh’s website), Cho was taught to hate… by the left.

Riiiiight. Because we liberals are notorious for our hate speech and eliminationist rhetoric. Unlike those sensitive new-age guys on the right who are always preaching tolerance and understanding.

April 22nd, 2007 at 01:58pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Media,Republicans,Wankers

Sunday Mr. Deity Blogging


The Holy Trinity struggles to come up with ten.

From Joe. My. God, by way of Bigezbear.

April 22nd, 2007 at 01:27pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Monday Media Blogging,Mr. Deity,Religion


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