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July 25, 2005

Comments

"You say yes, I say no,
You say stop, and I say go, go, go."

Is this a Dick Morris trick you're trying to pull here, Charles? ;) Advise Hillary to say yes; advise me to say yes; then sneaky-Pete back across the foul line to lead a big chorus of "No".

Heck, the Republican Party said nothing but "no" from 1937 until Reagan said "Hell, no!" in 1980. Democrats have only been saying no since 2000.

The first thing I say when a server brings me a big plate of lousy food at a restaurant is "no!" The server doesn't ask me, "hey, if you're so smart, what's your alternative plan?"

But if he does, I take the opportunity to point at my taster, dead from poisoning on the floor, and I reiterate: "No!"

Maybe I won't like Hillary's plans either.
Then it's "None of the Above!"

Ah, yes, we're back to the "Party of No" talking point. Hasn't the RNC come out with anything fresh lately?

And somehow I don't think identifying more closely with the DLC is going to help Hillary "bury the hatchet" with MoveOn and Kos.

But thanks for your kind advice to the Democrats, Charles. I hope they'll accept it in the spirit it was given.

When you say Hillary opposes CAFTA, does she oppose any and all free trade, or a particularly bad bill?

I ain't voting for her in '08. This post provides only one of many reasons. The ground, the environment, has not been prepared for anything but the most Republican of Democratic administrations. A Democratic win in '08, under current circumstances, would be a disaster for both the Party and the country. As the Clinton administration was;by not clearly and finally refuting the policies of the Reagan years, he only set the stage for their strengthened, tho twisted and corrupted, resurgence.

Despite the Hillary fixation of the media, other presidentially ambitious DLC stalwarts presented their own agenda to attract red-state voters to the Democrats. Whether the agenda will work is another matter.

Hillary Clinton, in accepting the role of "directing a new initiative to define a party agenda for the 2006 and 2008 elections" for the Democratic Leadership Council, has basically announced that her emphasis will be a Better Ideas Party instead of a No Party for the Democrats.

I'm confused. You're honestly saying that this is a) a "change of course" and b) that she's somehow ceased belonging to a "No Party" to become a "Better Ideas Party"; and, hell, c) that the DLC is somehow a forceful vessel for change that the rest of the Democrats ought to emulate? That's just... weird.

Kleiman Tyranny Advances in Georgia

First thing a viable opposition Party might do is to make certain the American people understand that we no longer have honest elections in this country. Since they appear to be unwilling or unable to make them fair.

I don't see the reason for the fuss,Hillary doesn't believe a word of it,the center might just as well be the planet Pluto for all she cares. For all the nonesense about Bill being a centrist president it has been forgotten that for the first two years in office he went to the left,casting to the winds the centrist id he had carefully constructed not in his campaign but for years prior. two things about Hillary; when her stupidly conceived and miserably organized health care plan blew up in her uncomprending face she graciously blamed Bill,couldn't be her fault. Also;although ferociously denied for quite a while afterwards by loyal hillaryettes the plan as originally presented did contain ten year jail sentences for those mad enough to think they were free Amaricans who might try and opt out for their own coverage or care. When Sen George Mitchell got his hands on it he performed radical surgery knowing suicide when he saw it. My source for Hillary's ten yr plan was the NY Times,about two days after the horror was left out of the cellar. This reminder should cheer up liberals and give them hope for a Hillary presidency but there is a downside. First,if Hillary is elected how much of the White House furniture will be broken and smashed. Second,assuming Bill is even allowed to enter the WH will Hillary finish the job she started as first lady and beat Bill to a pulp. Third,and most important, is there a freight entrance in the WH large enough,not to mention cavernous,that they can squeeze Hillary thru? Or will they have to grease her hips? Serious issues to be considered seriously.

I don't see the reason for the fuss,Hillary doesn't believe a word of it,the center might just as well be the planet Pluto for all she cares. For all the nonesense about Bill being a centrist president it has been forgotten that for the first two years in office he went to the left,casting to the winds the centrist id he had carefully constructed not in his campaign but for years prior. two things about Hillary; when her stupidly conceived and miserably organized health care plan blew up in her uncomprending face she graciously blamed Bill,couldn't be her fault. Also;although ferociously denied for quite a while afterwards by loyal hillaryettes the plan as originally presented did contain ten year jail sentences for those mad enough to think they were free Amaricans who might try and opt out for their own coverage or care. When Sen George Mitchell got his hands on it he performed radical surgery knowing suicide when he saw it. My source for Hillary's ten yr plan was the NY Times,about two days after the horror was left out of the cellar. This reminder should cheer up liberals and give them hope for a Hillary presidency but there is a downside. First,if Hillary is elected how much of the White House furniture will be broken and smashed. Second,assuming Bill is even allowed to enter the WH will Hillary finish the job she started as first lady and beat Bill to a pulp. Third,and most important, is there a freight entrance in the WH large enough,not to mention cavernous,that they can squeeze Hillary thru? Or will they have to grease her hips? Serious issues to be considered seriously.

Charles,

In response to criticism of your previous posts on this subject you have claimed, repeatedly, that the Democrats are not lacking for ideas, but have done a poor job marketing them. So are you praising her for developing an agenda or trying to promote an existing set of ideas?

BTW, I read the Barone piece you link to. Now this is the same guy who was claiming not so long ago that the Democrats were the party of trust-fund babies. This piece is worse, if possible. It is nothing but right-wing talking points, mostly blatantly false. Go back and read it again.

You have been criticized a lot here, and some of it has been quite unfair. But when you continually give credit to the views of people like Barone, you deserve derision.

Consider, as one example, "mainstream media coverage of Iraq has been mostly negative." Well, yes. Daily suicide bombings are bad news. Abu Ghraib was bad news. Lack of sufficiently armored vehicles is bad news. The Administration has made a mess of Iraq. But Barone thinks it's unfair to write about that. This is someone worth listening to?

Will Enough Democrats Follow?

Actually, the essence of this Clinton strategy is to peal off those Republicans who are sick and tired of the bankruptcy of current Republicanism. Please note that Republicans who are successful in 2008 will also be running against the current combination of corruption and incompetence that is in charge.

We are all the party of NO in these times.

my my. what a troll that was.

We are all the party of NO in these times.

Giblets has a plan to solve everything by grinding up Democrats and turning them into delicious pepper sausage... but you can guess what Democrats have said to this one. (Answer: not yes.)


I've thought that the people who think Hillary is the Socialist Hildebeast, and who will never be persuaded that she's a centrist, are also the people who aren't going to vote for ANY Democrat.

That's why I think Yglesias may be wrong to dismiss Hillary.

On the other hand, he may be right, because what really matters is what the media does with her. If they insist on treating her as some far-left freak, she's toast. One hopes that she's learned more about dealing with the media than she knew during Bill's administration, or than Kerry ever figured out.

You mean to tell me we have Rick "no I won't pay for my kids' educations" Santorum suggesting states ought to be allowed to say "no birth control," and you call us the party of no?

The funny thing about "yes" is that it is almost always "no" to something else. If Democrats were pro onion rings, they'd be characterized as being anti-fries. My guess is that no matter what ideas Democrats have, the Republicans will try to characterize those ideas in the negative version to maintain the narrative.

The Republicans, on the other hand, have certainly made "no" their platform. No gay marriage, no reproductive rights, no right to death with dignity, no oversight of government, no medical malpractice, no importation of Canadian drugs, no Medicare, no Medicaid, no academic freedom, no safety net, no pot, no protests, and hey! no taxes.

This is from the linked Barone article:

But beneath the hubbub, we can see the playing out of another, less reported story: the collapse of the attempts by liberal Democrats and their sympathizers in the mainstream media -- The New York Times, etc., etc. -- to delegitimize yet another Republican administration

Barone goes on to say that the Watergate investigation and the Bork nomination hearings were examples of the Dems attempts to delegitimize Repub administrations.

I just don't understand Conservatives, and I don't think they understand Democrats, liberal or otherwise.

This 'Party of No' BS is getting tiresome. It is the equivalent of a schoolyard taunt IMO. I usually try not to speak in absolutes, but there is no benefit for the Dems to try and negotiate with Bush and his ilk on anything.

Case in point: The Roberts nomination

Dubya invited Dem Senators to the White House to "discuss" the SCOTUS nomination. What good did this do the Dems? Does anyone think Bush's discussions with the Dems had any affect on his decision? Does anyone think thier discussion will affect the nomination hearings? Or....

Does anyone, like me, think Bush invited the Dems to the White House just so he could claim he consulted with them on the SCOTUS nomination?

On the other hand, he may be right, because what really matters is what the media does with her. If they insist on treating her as some far-left freak, she's toast.

Hmm, considering that the words "Howard Dean" and "Birkenstocks" were joined at the HIP in all 2004 primary coverage, one can guess what the media will do to Hillary.

Hillary and Schumer serving their Wall Street Masters

Catastrophically Corrupt Chris Cox Comfortably Coasts to Confirmation

What do you think is gonna happen here? Like a good infield or Steve Nash or a 2-woman volleball team, Bush is setting Hillary up. The deficit and debt will be out of control, interest rates and oil rising and the dollar falling...President Hillary will say:

"OK, a deal. If the Republican House and Senate accept just a teensy tax rollback, I will get behind some massive entitlement reform."

And yeah, she will lose a hunk of her base and gain nothing to her right, and she will be a one-term followed by a 2 term wingnut, but it is all about money anyway. Republicans can vote for a tax increase if they can blame Democrats. It will be a VAT or other reressive tax anyway. And Lord how the Washington media will love her. I'll bet my left arm on this.

Now if a Republican gets elected in 2008, SS and Medicare probably survive. You makes your choices.

So are you praising her for developing an agenda or trying to promote an existing set of ideas?

The article talked about her defining a new agenda, Bernard, which I do praise her for. It was silent on whether this agenda would introduce new ideas or promote an existing set.

But when you continually give credit to the views of people like Barone, you deserve derision.

Barone's a respected conservative who has a unique knowledge and analysis of voting and polling patterns. He's one of the better ones out there.

But Barone thinks it's unfair to write about that. This is someone worth listening to?

Barone has a wider view on what's newsworthy in Iraq, which all too often focuses all too much on numbers of casualties and insurgent/terrorist attacks. I agree with his take on that.

Barone's a respected conservative who has a unique knowledge and analysis of voting and polling patterns. He's one of the better ones out there.

I'm not familiar with all of Barone's work. I will say the column you cite is full of foolishness. A few points:

Nixon was brought down not just by Democrats but also by responsible Republicans who rejected his abuse of power. Characterizing Watergate as a Democratic effort to delegitimize a Republican president is partisan psychosis. Ultimately, Nixon deligitimized himself.

No one tried to "delegitimize" Reagan, unless you think that criticizing a President or opposing his policies is an effort to delegitimize him. That's a strange view of democracy. Republicans had lots of nasty things to say about Carter and Clinton also, some justified, some not. Barone is over the top on this issue.

Barone seems to think that opposing judicial nominations is somehow unfair, and repeats the tripe about Senate tradition, as if Clinton nominees all got floor votes.

Finally, his comments on Plame are absurd. He carries on the disgusting practice of sliming Wilson, and seems to think that if enough mud sticks it will somehow vindicate Rove.

On the basis of this column at least calling him "one of the better ones out there," says something I don't think you want to say about conservative commentators.

Well, it seems Yomtov and others have already made hash of the link to Barone.

Charles -- is the link your idea of an example of respectable writing by Barone? Maybe you'd care to address the responses above, which demonstrate that his writing (as shown by the link) is barely drivel.

Or else what qualifies one as a "respected conservative" commentator is how effectively they chirp right wing talking points -- not whether the twittering makes any sense.

I don't think Democrats are pro-torture enough...and in today's "traditional values" America, that is very important.

Ultimately, Nixon deligitimized himself.

Funny that Barone wrote that very thing, Bernard, when he wrote that Nixon "unwittingly colluded" in the besmirching of his administration. As for Reagan, etc., tell me how there hasn't been a Watergate mentality for the last 30 years. We're seeing it right now with the Plame mess. Barone didn't slime Wilson, unless you consider taking information from the Senate Intelligence Committee report a "sliming".

Nixon "unwittingly colluded" in the besmirching of his administration.

That's the best bizarro Dan Ratherism I've yet heard.

The bar has been set very high. In order to get to the bottom of the Plame affair, we must yet again prove Richard Nixon's perfidy in the Watergate scandal.

Charles, my bias is huge. You are utterly objective. ;)

Charles,

How can you besmirch someone or thing if your allegations are true? I don't think you are claiming Nixon was innocent of any wrongdoing in regard to Watergate, or are you?

I truly don't understand where you and Barone are coming from on this one.

Bernard Yomtov: Ultimately, Nixon deligitimized himself.

Charles Bird: Funny that Barone wrote that very thing...

Oh, come on, Charles. Barone says: "Richard Nixon, by obstructing investigation of the Watergate burglary, unwittingly colluded in the successful attempt to besmirch his administration." Do you really think he's assigning the majority of the blame for the besmirching to Nixon, or to those nasty Democrats who were just out to get him? As for whether there's been a "Watergate mentality" for the last 30 years, how does this have anything to do with Democratic attempts to delegitimize Republican administrations? Have you really managed to forget the Clinton years so quickly? I'm sure Republicans didn't want to delegitimize Clinton by investigating all those "scandals", they just had the best interests of the country at heart. Yeah, that's the ticket. And while we're in the land of make-believe, of course Barone calling Wilson a liar is not sliming him at all. No sirree. Just the facts, ma'am. Perhaps you can point me to the part of the Senate Intelligence Committee report that states "Joe Wilson is a liar." No? And this isn't even getting into the nice little strawman he sets up about Democrat's presumed objections to Roberts, or his bizarre objection to the "negative" press coverage of the Iraq fiasco. Barone's column is a prime example of partisan hackery at work. Bad Democrats! Bad!

Hey Birdie,

Please give up. You are so full of shite it's coming out of your ears.

"Charles, my bias is huge. You are utterly objective. ;)"

Quit your bragging. I am told that size doesn't matter, if accompanied by imagination, sensitivity, and enthusiasm. No wait...umm...I have a friend who is told that.

I truly don't understand where you and Barone are coming from on this one.

Of course Nixon was not innocent of wrongdoing, BN. The point Barone made is that, by participating in the cover-up and other nefarious acts, he made his plight worse, adding fuel to the controversy and accelerating his own political demise.

Perhaps you can point me to the part of the Senate Intelligence Committee report that states "Joe Wilson is a liar." No?

The report itself doesn't call Wilson a liar, Larv, it just reveals the lies that Wilson put forth, starting with statements that his wife had nothing to do with his selection and so forth and so forth.

The bar has been set very high. In order to get to the bottom of the Plame affair, we must yet again prove Richard Nixon's perfidy in the Watergate scandal.

If you really believe that's what Barone wrote, John, then you should really check into that reading disorder.

Charles:

Well, if I wrote a column which included the sentence, "Bill Clinton, by ordering pizza late at night and lying about whether it was with or without pepperoni, unwittingly colluded in the successful attempt to besmirch his administration," you might conclude that the words "unwittingly" and "besmirch" are used with at least a thin connection to their original meaning, this being behavior both witless and liable to lead to remarkably heightened besmirchment.

That Barone uses these words in that sentence leads me to conclude that we are dealing with the same sort of partisan hackery regarding historical events as we were when Dick Armey called the original Watergate break-in a "third-rate burglary".

My point, again expressed in my usual sidelong and slightly off-kilter manner, is that I'm not interested in discussing the Plame affair with someone like Barone who hasn't figured out Watergate yet, except as some sort of childhood formative experience that forever feeds his sense of victimhood at the hands of the groping Democrats and slavering Uncle Dan Rather.

After all, I have my own victimhood to nurture.

Because like you, and I write this in pure fun because I admire the way you constantly handle the ration you take here, including from me, I know all the facts and nothing but the facts and no bias gets past my discerning filter.

Also, McManus is on to something. My bias isn't really THAT huge; I had an implant.

Of course Nixon was not innocent of wrongdoing, BN. The point Barone made is that, by participating in the cover-up and other nefarious acts, he made his plight worse, adding fuel to the controversy and accelerating his own political demise.

That's just not how I read Barone's comments. Let's go to the video:

Richard Nixon, by obstructing investigation of the Watergate burglary, unwittingly colluded in the successful attempt to besmirch his administration.

1. No mention of Nixon's involvement in the original offenses, which included not only the burglary but also efforts to use the full machinery of government, legally or not, against his enemies.

2. "Besmirch his administration?" As Blue Neponset and others point out, the word "besmirch" implies an unfair attack. Criticisms of Nixon for abuse of power were fair and accurate.

3. Barone implies that the attack on Nixon was purely partisan affair, and that he only succumbed because of tactical errors on his part. This is very far from the truth. Sure, he made it worse, but that doesn't mean it wasn't aready very bad. In fact, it's likely that once the facts emerged Nixon had no winning strategy available. So to say that he colluded in his own downfall by adopting a bad strategy is probably wrong in any case.

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