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April 20, 2005

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Indeed, we -- and by this I mean both Republicans and Democrats -- need to keep in mind that, whatever the merits of the Iraq war, our national credibility took a terrible hit when we promised that WMDs existed in Iraq, but failed to find them.

1) Whatcha mean we, paleface?

[Yes, yes, I actually do know what you mean. But still.]

2) I find it ironic that those who were so breathlessly credulous about the allegation of WMDs in Iraq now find themselves so supremely skeptical about allegations towards the Bush Administration's favored sons.*

* Obligatory disclaimer will be provided if people cannot parse this.

I just love the phrase "every ass gets a free pass". It's one thing I'm glad to see cross-posted from RedState.

Would anyone have any information, or know where information might be found, on those historical occasions where a President's nominee for Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense, UN Ambassador (or other high-level foreign policy position) has been rejected or had to withdraw from consideration?

John Tower comes to mind, but I can remember no others. Les Aspin I think was confirmed, and then resigned, and it was a very serious blow to the Clinton Administration. Anyone else?

Interviews with nannies/au pairs Mr & Mrs Bolton may have hired over the years ought to bring this process to a rapid conclusion.

I'm not real eager to see the US regain its credibility. Unless, of course, we deserve it. Bolton is exactly the representation we deserve.

I do want him shot down if it'll hurt Bush, however.

It's not necessary to interview nannies -- just invent one. In the Kerik case, there never seemed to be any evidence that the nanny actually existed.

I'm not real eager to see the US regain its credibility. Unless, of course, we deserve it. Bolton is exactly the representation we deserve.

I do want him shot down if it'll hurt Bush, however.

David, it's in all our interests that our national credibility on intelligence matters be restored. There are bad things in the world (i.e., North Korea, al Qaeda), and they don't much distinguish between Republicans and Democrats.

von,

While I don't agree with Donald Johnson's point, I think you are missing it. He's saying that changing the reality of whether we are credible is more important than changing the perception of whether we are credible.

Boltin’ on Bolton

What sort of credibility repair are you proposing? Is it anything Bush would actually do? It's not clear to me that Bolton would necessarily be any worse at repair than any other Bush appointee would, but I suppose others might be less likely to do further damage.

Was there a reason you linked to that NRO editorial, without commenting on it yourself, Mac?

Maybe you're too shy and retiring to note that the editorial is nothing more than a loosely wrapped collection of unattributed and non-substantiated talking points?

Ir were you hoping that anyone luckless enough to click on the editorial would somehow not notice it's all empty calories and whining?

Empty calories? Don't we have another thread for that?

"Which is one of just many reasons why President Bush should use every bit of leverage at his disposal to win Bolton's confirmation."

Absolutely. It is very important to realize that the contempt and incredulity of the World Community does not extend to all Americans...tho the last election did not help. It is the Bush administration and the Republican party that has lost respect and credibility, and when they are replaced by Democrats the good will will instantly return. Iran and China are openly laughing at them, and are not only not deterred from following policies detrimental to American interests, but are actually encouraged by the Bush administration's incompetence and iniquity. Japan trusted Bush and allied themselves with him, and gained a recession in return.

Almost every policy initiative of the Bush administration, whether thru incompetence or ill intent, is detrimental to the long term interests of the United States, and we should all choose our positions based on what will damage Bush's ability to govern, for the less he can accomplsh, the safer we will be.

Bolton as UN Ambassador would cause much greater damage to the image of the Bush administration than any damage he could do to the UN or the United States. Therefore he should be confirmed.

As Bush loses control and ability to govern, there are moderates in the Senate and elsewhere who will be able to protect the country. One can hope that in frustration and terror Bush will commit obviously impeachable offenses. And of course there is a risk that in collapse Bush will resort to atrocities at home or abroad. The danger he presents is so extreme I am willing to take that risk.

The ambassador to the UN is not the face of America to the world. We have presidents and Sec States for that.

No, the ambassador to the UN is our face to the UN. It ought to be ugly, angry, and disdainful.

Consequently, I support Bolton for the position. I hope when he gets there he completely refuses to participate in the farce, thumbs his nose at every tin-pot, crack-pot dictator and petty tyrant in the place, and moons the sec-gen when he climbs on his high horse.

And frankly, I don't care which one of them climbed on the horse.

nothing more than a loosely wrapped collection of unattributed and non-substantiated talking points?

Perfect description of the opposition to Bolton. Bravo!

I hope when he gets there he completely refuses to participate in the farce, thumbs his nose at every tin-pot, crack-pot dictator and petty tyrant in the place, and moons the sec-gen when he climbs on his high horse.

Then why go at all?

Not going at all would also be fine.

I'm still having trouble understanding why some in the GOP are all in a tizzy about Bolton but there was nary a peep about Gonzales (i.e. no GOP votes against him).

Although the former is a poor choice, the latter is far more eggregious to me. Hell is manipulating intelligence is ground for disqualification half the administration would have to resign, IMHO.

I hope when he gets there he completely refuses to participate in the farce, thumbs his nose at every tin-pot, crack-pot dictator and petty tyrant in the place, and moons the sec-gen when he climbs on his high horse.

That boy's got a real career in passive-aggression ahead of him.

FWIW, I rather like Caitlyn Antrim's idea of sending George H.W. Bush to the UN.

Mac once again astounds and amazes.

Hey, Mac? You want to give the attribution to any, and I mean any, of NRO's content-free defenses?

Bob, you've got to include in your calculations how much it might damage Bush's ability to govern to have another nomination go down in flames, but then he can probably use the fake nanny excuse at least once more to mitigate the damage.

Also, I think you're overstating the instant return of good will that a change in administrations would bring. It's going to be a long recovery, whenever it gets started.

And of course there is a risk that in collapse Bush will resort to atrocities at home or abroad.

I hereby commit the most heinous cross-threading of this blog to date, and nominate bob as the next Pope.

"nothing more than a loosely wrapped collection of unattributed and non-substantiated talking points?

Perfect description of the opposition to Bolton. Bravo!"

Such deep and incisive anaylsis. What's next, I'm rubber and you're glue?

What's next, I'm rubber and you're glue?

You seem to have beat me to it.

Von: David, it's in all our interests that our national credibility on intelligence matters be restored

Absolutely. But, that's not going to happen under the Bush administration. In order to restore the US's national credibility on intelligence, a new administration is needed. Since it appears unlikely that Bush will be impeached, you haven't much choice but to wait for 2008 and hope for a better administration - one that will work to restore US credibility on intelligence.

Under the circumstances, it's hard to see how Bolton could do much more damage to US credibility on intelligence than has already happened.

However, I appreciate that there is the large possibility of crises that the presence of Bolton as the US ambassador to the UN could make worse.

"FWIW, I rather like Caitlyn Antrim's idea of sending George H.W. Bush to the UN. "

I actually suspect that Bush Sr. could be reasonably effective at the U.N.. He's got intelligence, good foreign policy experience and diplomatic skills, and probably decent respect from abroad. However, I'm not sure the internal family dynamics would work well with father taking orders from son.

"and nominate bob as the next Pope."

I am torn between renaming myself Hilarius, Simplicius, Felix, or Pelagius.

I have to confess that I cannot see his picture without thinking about an ancient Dutch comedian/singer known for nice simple songs and a kiddy program on the (black and white) telly...
Isn't the ressemblance striking?

Well, I asked Mac early on in our last Bolton thread for some evidence to support his claim that this is all just character assassination, and I'm still waiting for a reply...

Hey, Mac? You want to give the attribution to any, and I mean any, of NRO's content-free defenses?

I don't think the NRO article linked by Macallan is "content free"; far from it. But I don't think it's ultimately persuasive either. (See my update.)

Incidentally, quit picking on Macallan just because he doesn't want to open himself up to forty attacks from fifty different angles. If I find out comment section generally hostile (even when it agrees with me!), I can't even imagine how Macallan perceives it.

Incidentally, quit picking on Macallan just because he doesn't want to open himself up to forty attacks from fifty different angles.

Unfortunately (and this is just an observation on the blog world rather than a particular observation about anyone in particular), the snarky asides increase because it often seems that this is the only way to get the original poster to respond. This is a problem on both sides, and I don't see any general solution to it.

Incidentally, quit picking on Macallan just because he doesn't want to open himself up to forty attacks from fifty different angles.

von, I appreciate your looking out for me, but that isn't it really. I'd never post here or elsewhere if I were concerned about that. In fact, the pack mentality is pretty amusing sometimes. Other times it's simply depressing and makes the place a tedious read.

It is rather that some questions aren't worth the time. For instance, I posted an article without comment, yet someone wants me to justify the positions of the editors of National Review, why would I waste a single brain cell on that? If he were really concerned he'd write them and ask.

Or Hilzoy wants to me explain why I see the long knifes, but she also states she's studied this extensively and sees no evidence of it. If the latter is true, my telling her I see it isn't going to go anywhere. Nor is revealing my sources appropriate on a blog. Not to mention, I certainly wouldn't expect anyone to believe that someone posting pseudonymously as 'Macallan' might have sources into such a thing. I know I wouldn't, so I would not expect others to believe it. Either I already have enough credibility with a reader for them to value my opinion or I don't, Hilzoy didn't find my opinion credible on this so I'm not going to spin my wheels changing that. Hilzoy's very nice and I probably should have attempted it, but I just didn't think it would go anywhere productive. Plus DC infighting doesn't float my boat and inspire me much to write on it.

Shoot, I can't even convince people to stop calling the new pope a Nazi…

I can't even imagine how Macallan perceives it.

Overwhelmingly the biggest perception I've gotten is that I am simply astonished at how ill-liberal some* self-identified liberals can argue. In fact, there is often more liberal tradition demonstrated by the evil conservatives here than many of the other commentators. There have been certain threads where the only ones arguing a liberal point of view were in fact conservatives.

*Please notice the use of 'some' as in 'not all'. There are many here who are excellent examples of the liberal tradition and work very hard at it.


Mac - no dice. You come in essentially accusing all of those opposed to Bolton's nomination of character assasination and provide little or no support for your position. You compound the foul by imagining that we're so intent on your supposed goal that we're impervious to persuasion. If that's the case, why bother with the initial comment?

BTW - the allegations that he has witheld information from his organizational superiors are perhaps the most damning. The position of UN Ambassador should provide access to a wealth of back channel communication. If the ambassador cannot be trusted to make sure that this information reaches those who need it, that person presents a threat to our national interests. If the allegations are true, Bolton is quite clearly unsuited for the post.

Just for the record, I didn't spoof JerryN simply to prove my point. Pure coincidence.

I notice that the pro-Bolton people here, rather than say how they think Bolton would be an effective UN Ambassador, prefer to accuse anti-Bolton people of 'character assassination.' Which is a bit odd, since Bolton's character isn't being assassinated, just described.

Also, since - judging from what I've heard on RW blogs - the 'wingers actually like Bolton precisely because he's a backstabbing abusive lying sack of fishguts, I don't understand why pointing out that he's a backstabbing abusive lying sack of fishguts is 'character assassination.'

Nor is revealing my sources appropriate on a blog. Not to mention, I certainly wouldn't expect anyone to believe that someone posting pseudonymously as 'Macallan' might have sources into such a thing.

I don't want to be too dismissive about this, as we all have sources of information, but you might want to consider that if you can't reveal your sources, then talking about it and having a lot of people scream 'put up or shut up' and you can't doesn't do much for the atmosphere around here. Given the way the world is today, it would be stupid to put up every detail about one's life on a blog, and I don't begrudge anyone wanting to maintain anonymity. But if you are getting snarky because you know something is true and we are challenging you on it and you can't reveal your sources, it's just going to make everyone angry.

I also believe that an important part of the liberal tradition that you mention is an urge towards making information transparent. It obviously can't always be, but I believe that most liberals push for it.

I don't think the NRO article linked by Macallan is "content free"

What's NRO got to do with this subject?

Have any of the allegations been proven to be factual or are they still just allegations? For that matter can they be proven one way or the other in the context of a confirmation hearing? For Macallan to prove that this is a character assassination, would he not first have to prove that the allegations are false?

Look, I'm not real big on Bolton (mainly because things like his "ten floors" statement will make it hard for him to be effective in an organization that is in desperate need of reform), but I'm under the impression that some here are taking the allegations at face value and then expecting Bolton's supporters to prove them false. One is free to follow that path if so inclined, it just seems a bit unreasonable.

Have any of the allegations been proven to be factual or are they still just allegations? For that matter can they be proven one way or the other in the context of a confirmation hearing?

Which brings us back to the eternal question: what constitutes proof?

Macallan: For instance, I posted an article without comment, yet someone wants me to justify the positions of the editors of National Review, why would I waste a single brain cell on that? If he were really concerned he'd write them and ask.

If you feel the positions of the editors of National Review are unjustifiable, why did you post a link to the article in which they are outlined?

If you feel they are justifiable, why not respond with your justification?


blah
That's a good question, but one has to give some credit when people submit an document to the committee (not total and complete, just some) as well as when they come before the committee and testify under oath (I assume that documents submitted are also "testimony' and therefore need to be truthful).

One also has to look at, and parse to a certain extent, the testimony given by Bolton. The system is necessarily adverserial (though not to the extent of a court trial), but it is also a show for the benefit of the Senators, and if that show can convince others to support or reject Bolton, then what is incumbent on the supporter's of Bolton is not to produce evidence showing that what has been said/alleged is false, but to produce witnesses who can counter balance the charges, such that people can feel comfortable voting for him. Of course, presenting witnesses to rebut the charges made is also a possibility, and it just depends on, as football announcers say, which side wants it more.

Steve Clemons pointed out that McClellan is raising the stakes on this, so it is getting interesting, at least for me.

Shoot, I can't even convince people to stop calling the new pope a Nazi…

If someone took up arms to protect a factory in which slave laborers from the Dachau concentration camp were forced to manufacture weapons for Hitler, guess what? They were a Nazi. By definition. The definition being a supporter of the policies of the political party of Adolf Hitler.

Words have meanings. Those meanings do not disappear when they become politically inconvenient to you, Macallan. The head of the Catholic church is a bigot, is completely ignorant (or pretending to be) of the ethnic history of Europe, is an enemy of the poor in Latin America, and, yes, is a (at best, since he has never apologized) former Nazi.

Glad to be of service, Mac.

If someone took up arms to protect a factory in which slave laborers from the Dachau concentration camp were forced to manufacture weapons for Hitler, guess what?

Where does that end? Were prisoners Nazis because they complied in doing Nazi work instead of refusing and being killed for it, like a truly conscientious objector would?

Slarti: Were prisoners Nazis because they complied in doing Nazi work instead of refusing and being killed for it, like a truly conscientious objector would?

If you make no distinctions between prisoners and "good Germans" like Ratzinger, sure.

If someone took up arms to protect a factory in which slave laborers from the Dachau concentration camp were forced to manufacture weapons for Hitler, guess what?

I guess that calling the new pope a Nazi would be accurte, but not the truth. The man was conscripted, then he fled the army. Calling him such is, in effect, a smear tactic because of what being a Nazi has connoted. But like Mac said...

FRM, I really have to jump in on this one. Words have meanings, and it is absolutely not correct to call any German who acted in support of the government a Nazi. Do you call every soldier in Iraq a "Republican"? Every soldier in Korea? In 1997, would you have called the pilots enforcing the no-fly zone -- or better yet those who participated in the Kosovo war -- a "Democrat"? Did our soldiers in Vietnam change in January 20, 1969? Seems to me you're headed for Bob Dole country . . .


(Context: IANAC, so while I might not have picked the guy, it's hardly up to me to decide whether the new pope is disqualified. I will give a story, though, of my mother-in-law, who, my wife recently learned, was "drafted" by the German army. It was the winter of 44-45, and she was not yet 15, living with her parents and sister in a rural German village near the borders with France & Luxembourg. She was all set to join a group that was going to dig trenches and lay tank traps, but her father tricked her into oversleeping -- pretending to set the alarm, but not doing so, and she missed the group's bus. He'd been shot in the face on the Russian front in WWI, and had lost both sons already [one at Stalingrad, the other at Marseille] and wasn't going to do any more. No one ever said anything about it -- the fact that the village was overrun within weeks probably made all the difference.)

This is not directed at anyone in particular, but while cross thread posting the occasional witticism is fine, anything more just muddies the waters, which really raises the temperature and leads me to mix all my metaphors.

Wow! I just took a look over at the Ratzinger / Benedict thread and I've got to second lj. Although I now understand the tone that this thread developed.

Was it my nomination of bob mcmanus as next Pope that did it, LJ?

"Was it my nomination of bob mcmanus as next Pope that did it, LJ?"

Read thru a great deal of the Ratzinger thread, but still can't seem to quite get what Slart's joke was. I presume it was at my expense, a gentle or not-so-gentle chiding, but can't really go even so far for Idon't understand.

I skipped that thread. I have very mixed feelings toward the church of my youth. Unlike Katherine, although I am also a "fallen" Catholic, I remain a Catholic. The Church I stand in opposition to I prefer to remain very coherent and logical, at least in my imagination. I was very upset at the reforms of Vatican II, and retain a vague sense that all other Christianities are burnable heresies. I am almost Opus Dei in my vision of what the Church should be, and would make a very very conservative Pope.

Something like David Horowitz, I suppose, or the other neo-cons. I want my apostasy to have force and meaning. What fun would there be in being an ex-Unitarian?

Was it my nomination of bob mcmanus as next Pope that did it, LJ?

I really don't know. I'm on the other side of the Pacific, and I come back to these threads and go to the bottom and work my way up to where I left off. When I came here, I thought 'damn browser, I just looked at the Pope thread'

Though I do understand that some might like to talk about their thoughts on Catholicism and Christianity without having to don multiple layers of flame and bulletproof blogging gear.

The man was conscripted, then he fled the army

Fled the army? That's funny. Yes, after Hitler had committed suicide and the Soviets had taken Berlin, and after sitting on his a** waiting for the American advance which, according to his own account, was taking too long, he headed away from the Soviets towards the American army, as many Nazis with a wish for the preservation of their skins did in those days.

He fled the army during the death throes of the Third Reich! He's a hero! That is called "defining heroism down". The man was a Nazi and a coward. He remains a bigot, and worse, and has to all appearances learned nothing from the Holocaust he participated in.

There are men, still living, who braved death or worse to fight the Nazis against impossible odds while the Nazis still ruled. The Catholic church could have chosen any of those men to be pope. They did not. They chose a former Nazi, a former Hitler Youth, a soldier of Hitler's army who took up arms to protect a factory staffed with slave labor from concentration camps.

That says, to me, all I need to know about the current state of the leaders of the Catholic church. They do not share my values. I detest facism. If I were to choose a leader from that era, I would choose one who decided, at great personal peril, to fight facism while it stalked the earth.

The pope did all that was required for evil to triumph - and more.

Oh, it was bob's prediction of atrocities here and abroad, which resonated nicely with Ratzenberger's prediction of increased violence against homosexuals.

But given that I had to explain it, it probably wasn't all that funny. Where's the bit-bucket and -mop when you need it?

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