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September 27, 2006


Here's a good exercise, come up with a list of genuinely conservative things the Bush Administration has accomplished

in addition to the two on your list...


nope. i got nothin.

and, to pull something from farther up the thread: i'm not sure how i got myself placed in the LIBRUL column of DaveC's list, either. i honestly don't think i make many pro-liberal-policy statements here. i'm pretty anti-Bush, but that's because Bush is pro-authoritarian, pro-wars-of-aggression, anti-privacy, anti-intellectual - none of which are really conservative. and Ugh's list makes it pretty clear that Bush's conservative accomplishments are pretty meager. (it might be interesting to see a list of Clinton's "conservative" accomplishments, for comparison.) but being opposed to the non-conservative things Bush does should make me appear more conservative - in a logical world (with a 1-D political range).

that said, i am a lefty. i just don't talk about it all that much - i'm not much of a wonk, and my fundamental unseriousness precludes me from offering detailed policy proposals.

"Give a troll a response, and he's happy for a few minutes. Teach a troll to respond to himself, and he can carry on sock-puppet conversations for the rest of his life."

I think the collective commentariat can put together a whole series which may rival the children's classic If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. I'll lead off:

If you give a troll an answer, he's going to want a cite. If you give him a cite, he'll probably present his own list of competing cites.

DaveC: Your tally of people posting to this thread perfectly displays the warped post-9/11 distinction between 'libruls' and 'conservatives'. In this skewed metric, 'Librul'=against Bush - period. Which is amusing, because if you asked the people you placed in the 'librul' category, I'm sure you'd get a number of different answers with regards to individual ideological leanings.

(BTW DaveC, call me a liberal again and there will be words. Of the uncivil variety. I am most certainly not a liberal, small or capital 'L'. Don't make me break out the keys to the monster truck.)

If you give a troll an answer, he'll respond to your words while ignoring their meaning.

(commonly observed in the subspecies Trollus Pedanticus)

I'd just like to say that I'm happy to be on the scorecard. You like me! You really like me! ;)

That said, I think it's inaccurate to characterise me as A Liberal. I'm certainly more 'liberal' than you on many issues, Dave, but that doesn't take too much work. A lot of positions I hold are liberal ones, but I'm conservative on other issues, too. I mean, I'm a protestant pro-lifer from the midwest, for crying out loud. My disagreement with Republicans is not, in fact, about many core principles of Conservatism but rather with the implementation that they've found.

I have no love for the liberal 'team' or the conservative 'team'. I've never watched a Michael Moore video and I've voted for a Democrat once -- once! -- in my entire life.

The principles I work from, to be honest, are my faith and the constitution. I understand that some find it difficult to accept, but in many cases that causes me to take up causes that liberals have also taken up.

I'd just like to say that I'm happy to be on the scorecard. You like me! You really like me! ;)

I'd just like to say that I'm really disappointed not to be on the scorecard. Whatsamatter, I'm too far left even to count as a liberal?

My disagreement with Republicans is not, in fact, about many core principles of Conservatism but rather with the implementation that they've found.

For far too many people, there's no difference between the two.


I'd just like to say that I'm really disappointed not to be on the scorecard. Whatsamatter, I'm too far left even to count as a liberal?

That kind of baffles me, too. I mean, agree or disagree with your views, but one can hardly deny that you're definitely one of the regulars.


For far too many people, there's no difference between the two.

Well, perhaps I'm not that good of a conservative: I think that most of the differences between liberalism and conservatism are, essentially, implementation details. At a core-principles level. That's not to say that there is no difference, clearly there is. But if someone believes in good faith that the best way to help the poor is by cutting government welfare and creating an atmosphere of prosperity -- if they GENUINELY believe that and are not using it as a rationalization -- then I have no disagreement with them.

One can certainly say that they are mistaken, or present facts that contradict their beliefs about what will and won't help. But I've never regretted starting with the assumption that someone I'm talking to has the same bedrock goals -- helping the less fortunate, maintaining peace, preventing the selfish and destructive from taking advantage of others, etc -- that I do.

When I realize they don't share those underlying assumptions, dialogue pretty much ends and it's just a matter of negotiating least-destructive outcomes.

The Republican party as currently led by Bush and his close allies in Congress has only a single principle: win. If it means abandoning the conservative ideal wholesale, then they will do it. Has the budget been cut? Has social security been even partially privatized? Have government programs been "zeroed out"? Have the Departments of Education and HHS been shuttered? Has the power of the federal government been diminished relative to that the states? No. How long has the Republican party controlled the house, senate and Presidency at one time? 3 1/2 years.

F*ck 'em.

The Republican party as currently led by Bush and his close allies in Congress has only a single principle: win.
Indeed. And that's one of the main reasons that I parted ways with my party affiliation around the final years of the Clinton administration.

Especially Jeff Eaton's comments reminds me of something I heard from Kevin Phillips a year or two back (close paraphrase):

"My political views are about the same as they were 40 years ago, it's just that the Republican party has moved so far to the right over those years that I look like a liberal by comparison."

22. Things have to get worse before they can get better.

23. If we hadn't invaded Iraq, there would be even more significant terrorist attacks.

24. We're fighting them over there so we don't have to fight them over here.

DaveC: "And Andrew was chery-picked to post on ObWi because he is an anti-Bush conservative."

Yes, but I still have to pay for my own meals, and I never did get the promised parking space, so what's it all really worth?

The blog groupies, Andrew. Don't forget the blog groupies.


"This country is safer than it was prior to 9-11," Bush said from the airport tarmac here where he was appearing at events focused on the economy."

"That statement was made August 10, 2006 btw. It's quite possible the President hadn't read the April NIE by then as it was, what, only 3 months old."

I think it is true. We are safer today knowing who the enemy is and how badly they desire to kill us. And how many times they have threatened to do so. I think a reasonable person can feel safer knowing that the enemy is being fought directly rather than being ignored.

Ugh and Prodigal,

"Ironic that somebody talking about cherry-picking missed that Hilzoy wasn't the one who wrote the headline, innit?"

Not reading a title is cherry picking? FYI, at some point MSNBC changed the title.

The new title: "Intel report: Iraq a ‘cause célèbre’ for extremists"

And Hilzoy did make use it as HER title.

I admit that I am not actually sure when the title changed. But regardless of what the title was when I read the article it doesn't change my critique. Hilzoy agreed with, supported and promoted a misleading title at the top of her post.

You are both awarded 10 points for irrelevant nitpicking.

Anyone care to find out when the title changed?


I think I directly answered your questions. The ball was dropped by everyone. But from the PDB:

We have not been able to corroborate some of the more sensational threat reporting, such as that from a [deleted text] service in 1998 saying that Bin Laden wanted to hijack a U.S. aircraft to gain the release of "Blind Shaykh" 'Umar' Abd aI-Rahman and other U.S.-held extremists.

Nevertheless, FBI information since that time indicates patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks, including recent surveillance offederal buildings in New York.

So from the PDB what should Bush have done? Based on the PDB would you have supported the U.S. attacking a sovereign nation? An invasion? Lobbed some more missles at AQ and the Taliban. Should he have declared war on the Taliban? Would you have supported him? Would you have supported Bush if the strikes had killed women and children? Should Bush have implemented a new screening technique at the airports in a matter of 3 weeks? Did Clinton do that? Did he hand Bush a report recommending that? Would you have supported him before 9/11 spending billions on Homeland Security? Can you identify any specific details in the PDB that Bush could have acted on in order to prevent 9/11.

I don't think so. The PDB is vague. It doesn't even identify definite activity. Just some "suspicious" activity.

Hilzoy you have stated "ignoring the problem before 9/11" Rice adamantly disagrees with you. Others here based on someone they know who is married to someone calls her a liar. (Although why someone would work for a known liar is an issue for another time.)

Is it your position that Rice lied when she stated:

The notion somehow for eight months the Bush administration sat there and didn't do that is just flatly false that also your position?

I can see the headlines if Bush had taken action on the unactionable PDB:

Emperor Bush bombs Afghanistan: Stifles ALL dissent in U.S.

Democrats bravely violate non-dissent order and fight the President every step of the way on T.V. and in all major papers.


Well, it doesn't surpise me that college students would not know anything about scud missiles. Personally, I have first hand experience with the capabilities of Scud missiles and I base my decision on what I did know about Hussein. Our kids aren't being raised in the real world. And our teachers are very blinded by their ideology.


"If you can name 10 that pass the smell test I'll give you a hundred bucks."

Because the Democrats think so:

1) President Clinton considered Iraq enough of a threat to bomb it numerous times during the 90's.

2) September 4, 2002: “If we wait for the [Iraq] danger to become clear, it could be too late.” -Sen. Joseph Biden (D-Del)

3)“Every day Saddam remains in power with chemical weapons, biological weapons, and the development of nuclear weapons is a day of danger for the United States.” -Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-CT)

4) September 19, 2002: "We begin with the common belief that Saddam Hussein is a tyrant and a threat to the peace and stability of the region. He has ignored the mandate of the United Nations and is building weapons of mass destruction and the means of delivering them." - Sen. Carl Levin (D, MI),

5) September 23, 2002: "We know that he has stored secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons throughout his country." - Al Gore

6) September 23, 2002: "Iraq's search for weapons of mass destruction has proven impossible to deter and we should assume that it will continue for as long as Saddam is in power." - Al Gore

7) September 27, 2002: "We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction." - Sen. Ted Kennedy (D, MA),

8) October 3, 2002: "The last UN weapons inspectors left Iraq in October of 1998. We are confident that Saddam Hussein retains some stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, and that he has since embarked on a crash course to build up his chemical and biological warfare capabilities. Intelligence reports indicate that he is seeking nuclear weapons..." - Sen. Robert Byrd (D, WV),

9) "I will be voting to give the President of the United States the authority to use force -- if necessary -- to disarm Saddam Hussein because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a real and grave threat to our security." - Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA), October 9, 2002

10) "When Saddam Hussein obtains nuclear capabilities, the constraints he feels will diminish dramatically, and the risk to America’s homeland, as well as to America’s allies, will increase even more dramatically. Our existing policies to contain or counter Saddam will become irrelevant." - Senator Jay Rockefeller (D, WV) October 10, 2002:

And since Gore made it in twice, I'll throw in one extra...

11) It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons." - Senator Hillary Clinton (D, NY),

If you can't trust that crowd, who can we trust?

And sometimes even the post nails it. What a booby trap Clinton left.

On Jan. 29, 2001, The Post editorialized that "of all the booby traps left behind by the Clinton administration, none is more dangerous -- or more urgent -- than the situation in Iraq. Over the last year, Mr. Clinton and his team quietly avoided dealing with, or calling attention to, the almost complete unraveling of a decade's efforts to isolate the regime of Saddam Hussein and prevent it from rebuilding its weapons of mass destruction. That leaves President Bush to confront a dismaying panorama in the Persian Gulf," including "intelligence photos that show the reconstruction of factories long suspected of producing chemical and biological weapons."

If you're referring to the New York Post, the only thing it nails is the coffin that whatever good reputation its publishers may have wished it to earn is buried in.

If you can't trust that crowd, who can we trust?

You realize that you completely failed to answer the original question, right?

Wow. Reading bril's posts is like being transported to early 2004 again, when it was possible to pretend that we hadn't learned any new information since the 90s.

In other news, scientists thought that we'd experience a new ice age! In the 70s, but still...

I wish the mean ole libruls round here would stop picking on bril as I'd like to see what our kind friends on the other side of the aisle do. I do hope that they would surprise me, but hope springs eternal...

What I heard in college was that technically, we were still in the waning days of the last Ice Age.

Which would, if correct, at least partially explain why it's so bloody hot nowadays.

hang in there bril, and remember that most all of the people that disgree with you are genuinely sincere and nice people even if their rhetoric is kindof harsh.

links would be be good, even though I (a bad example) many times riff in the "lets just wing it from memory" mode.

bril: If you can't trust that crowd, who can we trust?

It's been long-established that cut-and-pasting already-published material is neither useful, nor helpful, nor convincing. You'll find the complete list of the quotes you cut-and-pasted here, which also gives the context from which they were cut, and even some links to the original text.

Doing this kind of thing once might be considered a naive mistake. Doing it more than once makes you look like a troll.


I'm sorry if my "rhetoric is kind of harsh" (1:42) Let's try again.

-"Well, it doesn't surpise me that college students would not know anything about scud missiles."

Which is why my wife brought in factual info on them.

-"Personally, I have first hand experience with the capabilities of Scud missiles"

I don't. Does your experience contradict every source I know of that indicates that the Iraqi Scuds did not have the range to hit the US from Iraq?

-"and I base my decision on what I did know about Hussein."

What exactly did you know and how did you now it?

-"Our kids aren't being raised in the real world."

Where are they being raised? Can you farm them out somewhere? I'm curious because my wife's been bugging me about having one or two for a few years now, and I'd rather get a helper monkey instead.

I will admit that the university is a parallel dimension that can only be entered through a rift in the time-space continuum.

-"And our teachers are very blinded by their ideology."


Now, "[I]n your estimation, what was the top reason, or maybe top three reasons, Iraq posed a threat to "unarmed and unsuspecting Americans"? I ask because I would like to know not just your response but how you come to your conclusion and from where you get your information."

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