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November 17, 2006

Comments

"Nancy Pelosi made a stupid call"

See comments here for what seem to me reasonable Realpolitik as it were explanations of Pelosi's action - e.g. a cheap sop to her anti-war base.

With reference to Rilkefan's comment above (I went and read the thread he recommended) it is kind of ironic that one of the few people in Congress with the spine to speak out realistically on the issue of the Iraq war - someone who got the accolade of "loser-defeatist" from our ranting Bird - was so thoroughly rejected by the Democratic caucus.

I hope that isn't a foreshadowing of what the Democratic Congress will do with regard to the Iraq war: it's a mess, it's Bush's mess, and the choice for the US is now "Do we lose the army and the war, or do we just lose the war and rescue what's left of the army?"

As much as I would like the Dems to demonstrate the same kind of party discipline and unity that permitted the Republicans to run roughshod over them, I have to admit that part of me is relieved to see that they are still the same fractious, squabbling Democrats that I know and love.

Rilkefan: From the comments in the thread you linked (Thomas):

If Pelosi is able to do that consistently--if she consistently maintain the support of the base while screwing them--she'll be successful, in a way.

Having been the screw-ee of late, let me say you can only get away with that for so long :)

Jes: it is kind of ironic that one of the few people in Congress with the spine to speak out realistically on the issue of the Iraq war - someone who got the accolade of "loser-defeatist" from our ranting Bird - was so thoroughly rejected by the Democratic caucus.

That actually gives me some hope for the next two years.

of course even Mighty Mr Newt wasn't always able to get the picks he wanted. why isn't that seen as total disarray and chaos and weakness and the End Of Days ?

OCSteve: That actually gives me some hope for the next two years.

Via Slacktivist, I point you to an essay pointing out that, over the next two years, the US has the choice of losing the war in Iraq and the army, or just losing the war in Iraq. Murtha gets called a "loser-defeatist" for wanting the latter option: I don't see exactly what "gives you hope" about the Democratic party rejecting Murtha.

Recognising the latter option, rather than wanting it.

And of course the people still currently heading for the former option don't want it, exactly, I suppose; they're just like a householder burying their head under the pillow and pretending that all is well and they can't smell smoke or hear the smoke alarm, until the bedding actually goes on fire.

Nothing here to disagree with. Excellent post, hilzoy. I agree that the selection of Murtha was a mistake, but it's not one I'm unwilling to forgive. Kudos to the Democrats for not rubber-stamping Murtha in.

Right around here I feel I should acknowledge that I don't harbor any ill feelings toward Murtha. I simply think he carries too much baggage, has shown himself to at least be willing to play along with corruption, and has repeatedly babbled nonsense in the matter of the Iraq war. It's not that his time in service gets him no credit, rather that service doesn't make up for everything.

Self-correction is a wonderful feature of democracy; self-overcorrection, on the other hand, can result in sustained oscillation. If I were to fall back into my old habit of offering advice to Democrats, I'd take this occasion to suggest that the best thing they could do to consolidate power is to not grab on to it quite so tightly as the Republicans did.

Slarti: and has repeatedly babbled nonsense in the matter of the Iraq war.

Now are you deliberately getting provocative in the hope of a pile-on, or is this yet another example of your just not paying attention to the news - ever?

Murtha has been very supportive of Pelosi in the past, and Hoyer has always been a rival. Of course she supported him. This is a very normal story of disagreement, voting and reconciliation. It happens twenty times a week in Washington, and it's shocking what a story is made out of it (see http://digbysblog.blogspot.com>digby today, of course).

As digby points out, Newt Gingrich didn't want Tom Delay as Majority Leader, and got overruled (and it wasn't a big story).

Trent Lott shoved his way into the Minority Whip chair, and it got *some* coverage, but not the "Republicans in Disarray -- Are they Finished?" treatment. There's Republican elections in the House today -- there are challenges to Bohner. Is this the end of the Republicans?????? Or just another story about a leadership election.

I am especially disheartened at the Media speculating on whether the Pelosi Speakership is a total failure, or irreparably damaged, or whether the Democrats can ever recover. The election was how many days ago? And we haven't even finished with this lame duck session yet, let alone *started!!!* the new Congress.

I would like everyone to give the leadership at least until Groundhog Day before taking out the knives. And that goes for Democrats as well.

Mostly I would like to see the media taken to task for not giving the Democrats at least a very brief honeymoon, after fawning over Bush for so many years.

This Murtha/Hoyer thing was a small story, one of many. Work to do.....

Mostly I would like to see the media taken to task for not giving the Democrats at least a very brief honeymoon

nah guhn hapin.

i predict Bob Somerby is going to have a very busy two years.

She hasn't liked him since 1963?

What? He didn't show the proper amount of enthusiasm for the British invasion? That must be one juicy grudge.

I think all of this is a whole bunch of nothing.

CNN? Drop dead. Who are they --- the Tom Delay network? The Coddling Newt Network?

What is it about a woman reaching a leadership position --- anywhere --- that brings out the catty yowling in society, particularly among men?

What is it about a woman reaching a leadership position --- anywhere --- that brings out the catty yowling in society, particularly among men?

Boobs.

What is it about a woman reaching a leadership position --- anywhere --- that brings out the catty yowling in society, particularly among men?

Dude. That catty yowling is so not limited to male reporters and pundits.

Let's all wait to see Maureen Dowd's upcoming columns, Cokie Roberts' upcoming broadcasts, and see how Jodi Wilgorn or Elizabeth Bumiller covers Pelosi in the NYTimes.....

What is it about a woman reaching a leadership position --- anywhere --- that brings out the catty yowling in society, particularly among men?

The patriarchy.

I'll accept "boobs" as an answer.

zmulls:

Yup, Dowd and Roberts et al. should be pretty grating. I'm waiting for Peggy Noonan, Michelle Malkin, and Lynn Cheney to show us all how to take it like a man.

I'll accept "patriarchy", too.

O.K., that's "boobs" AND "patriarchy".

The bidding is closed.

Now are you deliberately getting provocative in the hope of a pile-on, or is this yet another example of your just not paying attention to the news - ever?

I've been redeployed to Okinawa, and the news here just isn't as fresh.

I've been redeployed to Okinawa, and the news here just isn't as fresh.

How are the peas?

I don't see exactly what "gives you hope" about the Democratic party rejecting Murtha.

It’s not just about the war. He was tainted, he has fought ethics reform in the past, and just this week he was calling the Dem’s ethics reform plans crap. I hope to see the Dems actually follow through on their promise to drain the swamp. So seeing Hoyer elected over him gives me hope.

On the war – neither of us is going to change the other’s mind so it’s pointless.

OCSteve: It’s not just about the war. He was tainted, he has fought ethics reform in the past, and just this week he was calling the Dem’s ethics reform plans crap. I hope to see the Dems actually follow through on their promise to drain the swamp. So seeing Hoyer elected over him gives me hope.

Oh. Fair enough. I'm not sure I agree that Hoyer's any better on that front than Murtha, but I do agree that draining the swamp is almost as important as running free and fair elections in 2008.

On the war – neither of us is going to change the other’s mind so it’s pointless.

Well, it's pointless because neither one of us has any way to influence the US's behavior in Iraq: I don't doubt that if you'd been running the war, or anyone with more common sense and willingness to listen to the facts, many things would have been done fundamentally differently from the way Bush did them: but if I'd been in Tony Blair's shoes, I'd never have let troops from the UK join in the US invasion of Iraq in the first place: I'd have told Bush I wouldn't have any part of a pointless and aggressive war.

But, the fact is that the US can "win" in Iraq will now only be accomplished by declaring that whatever condition Iraq is in represents "victory" and getting the troops out. And it would appear that Bush - since he's now saying that he never said "stay the course" now knows that he won't be able to ignore the situation until a few months in 2008 when it can be some other President's problem: the US army won't last that long.

I don't think this matters all that much. The only reason we're all staring so hard and analyzing so much is because it's the first decision-first contested decision--of the new Democratic-led Congress. In a year, after they have made lots of decisions, this one won't look so important.

Slarti, Murtha didn't speak crap about the war. He just spoke the truth before a critical mass was ready to hear it. Bt truth, I mean that he said we needed to get out because we weren't winning. At the time he said that there was a lot more denial than there is now. After all the Baker group came back a week or so ago with the suggestion that we do some kind of slow pull out overr time, an unacknowledged acknowledgement that we aren't headed in the direction of winning.
It's a heartbreaking situation. It seems to me that the only way to be wrong about Iraq is to be inn denial of the problems and to belittle the barers of bad news. Ideas and sugestions about what to do are just that: ideas and suggestions. And god knows we need ideas and suggestions because the mess is getting worse every day.
If you really want to get depressed read Totten's article about Lebanon. He's predicting take overr by Syria and Iran.

I thought Churchill said democracy is the worst possible system, not "is not".

But going back to the topic, I think Podhoretz is right. Pelosi used poor judgment with her clumsy backing of Murtha, but it's way too premature to call her "damaged goods" like some idiots are saying. In comparison, the Republicans are acting like idiots, electing Lott to minority whip and Boehner, Blunt, Putnam and Granger to the House leadership.

Slarti, Murtha didn't speak crap about the war.

I didn't say "crap". I said "nonsense". If you don't know what I'm talking about, you've been ignoring both Murtha and me.

I don't think this matters all that much.

Agreed. It's hardly big news that there are rivalries within the Democratic Party (or the Republican Party) and that they sometimes show up in intra-party contests.

The attention being given to this by the media just reflects their unending desire to act like insiders and cover races and infighting at the expense of more substantive matters.

Thanks for this post, hilzoy; a good attitude with which to head into the next several months.

Hostile observers are ready to have it both ways: if Murtha had been chosen, it would have indicated that Democrats are just as corrupt as the rejected Republicans; the choice of Hoyer, on the other hand, is being treated (completely incorrectly, in my view) as Democratic rank-and-file rejection of the antiwar base.

It's nothing of the kind. Hoyer had sewed up the Majority Leader vote early on (before the election), by getting commitments from many influential Dems, including many who advocate withdrawal from Iraq. Pelosi's support for Murtha was, I'm sure, at least partly a gesture to the antiwar base -- but it was only effective among the portion of that base that knew almost nothing of Murtha before November 2005.

OCSteve: I hope to see the Dems actually follow through on their promise to drain the swamp. So seeing Hoyer elected over him gives me hope.

Then you need to know more about Steny Hoyer.

If you don't know what I'm talking about, you've been ignoring both Murtha and me.

And you've been ignoring Baker and Bush, but who could blame you when they start talking the same kind of "nonsense" about the war in Iraq as Murtha talked? Never mind them, Slarti. Reality is what you make it... especially if you pay no attention at all to current events.

And you've been ignoring Baker and Bush, but who could blame you when they start talking the same kind of "nonsense" about the war in Iraq as Murtha talked?

Groovy. Because I don't cover all topics (which are, naturally, not this one), my coverage of this particular topic must be invalid.

I just know you think you're going to get some mileage from this, but I can't see how.

I can't help but call greater attention to the machinations of Our Liberal Media as demonstrated in hilzoy's excerpt above:

"Basically, she got spanked," said a House Democrat close to both Pelosi and Hoyer, who spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of repercussions.
Think of all the dozens -- nay, hundreds -- of anonymous "Administration officials" you've seen quoted in major media over the last six years. Have any of them ever received an attribution like this?

Slarti: Groovy. Because I don't cover all topics

Your comment about Murtha - that he had "repeatedly babbled nonsense in the matter of the Iraq war" - was (I assumed) with reference to Murtha's sensible but unwelcome news that the US had lost the war in Iraq and it was just a matter of deciding whether or not to lose the army, too.

In January 2005, James Baker was babbling the same nonsense, in October 2006 the Times announced that the Iraq Study Group was to babble the same nonsense, and shortly after Bush met with his generals, it appears Bush is beginning to babble the same nonsense.

But, hey. Just as you like. Murtha is babbling nonsense: you know so much more about Iraq and the capabilities of the US military than he does, I'm sure.

Slartibartfast: "Right around here I feel I should acknowledge that I don't harbor any ill feelings toward Murtha. I simply think he carries too much baggage, has shown himself to at least be willing to play along with corruption, and has repeatedly babbled nonsense in the matter of the Iraq war. "

I'd be *fascinated* to know what sort of 'nonsense' he has babbled.

I assumed

Always, but almost always incorrectly.

Look, this isn't hard. It's not as if I haven't mentioned even one stupid thing Murtha's suggested in this thread.

Barry: I'd be *fascinated* to know what sort of 'nonsense' he has babbled.

So would I, since Slarti isn't (he says) referring to any of the things I'm aware of that Murtha has said about Iraq.

I'm sorry, Slarti, if my response to you semed snappish. I honestly didn't feel that way when I wrote it. I just felt sad. I do think Murtha's "nonsense" is well on the way to being conventional wisdom. Or as much wisdom as anyone has to say about this mess.

I assumed
Always, but almost always incorrectly.

Look, this isn't hard. It's not as if I haven't mentioned even one stupid thing Murtha's suggested in this thread.

And then you wonder why you're characterized as "slippery."

Look, this isn't hard. You said Murtha "babbled nonsense about the Iraq war." Several people have responded that what they understand as Murtha's position is far from nonsense.

In response, you might:
1) Agree with them. Not bloody likely. (Fair enough.)
2) Disagree with them by showing how Murtha's position is nonsense.
3) Point out (politely?) that the "nonsense" to which you alluded was in fact something quite different, call it X.

Instead, you choose:
4) Suggest that it's something quite different, but you're not saying what.

Slippery, that's what it is. And bloody rude.


Slart's 10:32 AM is a hint.

kenB, hint at what? If Slartibartfast has some Murtha nonsense to point out, why would being in Okinawa prevent that? Unless this means that Slartibartfast went to Okinawa via an FTL method, and so posting that news to us would be posting out-of-light-cone information, causing Eschaton retaliation....

Barry: Unless this means that Slartibartfast went to Okinawa via an FTL method, and so posting that news to us would be posting out-of-light-cone information, causing Eschaton retaliation.

I think you've hit it! Very responsible of Slarti. I wonder what's going to happen next week that he's hinting at now?

I seem to recall someone saying, somewhere, that Murtha had suggested redeploying our troops from Iraq to Okinawa. If anyone cares about this argument, it might be worth checking out.

The 'Okinawa' reference seems to come from a news conference one year ago, when Murtha first announced his opposition to continued US military enagement in the midst of a civil war.

While we're already thrashing about with Pelosi-Hoyer-Murtha .........

...I thought I'd point out the most recent Kevin Drum post citing someone or other's summing up of the Republican class of 1994 ..

...it hits the nail on the head (the one I've been trying to hit for 12 years) so completely, finally, and devastatingly that I think I can now kick back and get a life.

Pelosi/Hoyer/Murtha will probably screw things up, for all I know, but at least they will do it from a basis of human fragility, imperfection, and haphazardness, having practiced being human beings since birth.

The other guys --- even now that their butts are well kicked they claim that the hymens of their Randian virginity remain intact.

Willfully, sadistically, damaging people.

John, it's on Brad DeLong's blog:

http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2006/11/cbss_dick_meyer.html

The title of the post is: "CBS's Dick Meyer Is a Journamalistic Skank".

This goes in a list with Thomas E 'Forget what I said before, believe me now' Ricks' book 'Fiasco', and Bob 'A President's Man, until he becomes a loser' Woodward's book 'State of Denial' (subtitle: 'My previous two books are no longer operative'). The list is called 'Liberal Media? What Liberal Media?'

MSM comments on Pelosi's "failures" as Speaker of the House before she's even been, y'know, actually elected to the job brings back memories.

In 1992, literally the day after Clinton was elected, I happened to be listening to Larry King, who was taking calls about the election. Some callers were in a frothing rage that the Democratic candidate had won.

One of them declared that he would give Clinton "exactly 100 days" to keep all the promises Clinton had made during the campaign before he intended to file a lawsuit for breach of contract. He even named the date he intended to file the lawsuit... 100 days after the election. Larry King was a bit startled and confused as he told the caller, "You do realize, don't you, that Clinton won't actually be inaugerated until January 21, 1993?" The caller phumpha'd and muttered- clearly, he had not realized that small yet oh so salient point.

Neither, apparently, had the news media. Clinton, as you might recall, had some difficulties naming who his Cabinet would be. The big story - again, note, before Clinton had actually taken office - became "disarray in the Clinton Administration." It got so bad that Dave Barry famously cracked a joke about how the Clinton Administration was being called a failure before it had even started.

Looking back, those were the first signs of the phenomenon Wingnuttias ignoramus which has so enlivened our public discourse ever since. And the first sign that the MSM was about to embark on its new paradigm of subjecting Democratic leaders to much closer and more hostile scrutiny than Republicans.

I seem to recall someone saying, somewhere, that Murtha had suggested redeploying our troops from Iraq to Okinawa. If anyone cares about this argument, it might be worth checking out.

All: Please excuse my slipperiness in assuming the Okinawa bit was as widely known and recognized as, say, Grover Norquist, and feel free to further ridicule anyone of your choosing for that assumption.

The Norquist thing refers to Gary Farber's justifiable bashing of me for not having been familiar with Norquist's manipulation of the GOP. Or whatever you want to call it. This information has been provided to avoid the appearance of rudeness.

I'd have linked video clips that contain the Murtha/Okinawa reference, but I couldn't find any that had been edited down to just that segment (as opposed to, for example, 15 minutes on either side of it. I'd be happy to dig it up for anyone whose Google is broken.

Anyway, it wasn't my intention to be slippery or rude. I did lose my patience toward the end, which you should interpret as me declining to re-explain the punchline for the dozenth time.

I suppose now I can open my trophy case and add "slippery" and "bloody rude" to the other things that dr ngo has pasted on me. I'm starting to run out of room, though, so it'd be good to know what else might be coming.

Slarti: I did lose my patience toward the end, which you should interpret as me declining to re-explain the punchline for the dozenth time.

"Re-explain"?

As Dr Ngo pointed out, you came across as rude and slippery because you refused to explain at all what you meant. (Matttbastard did eventually figure it out and let the rest of us in on it.) For you to claim you were tired of "re-explaining" is, not to put too fine a point on it, a lie: you can't get tired of "re-explaining" when your pattern of response was to refuse to explain, though you may indeed have lost patience with the repeated questions asking you to explain which you as repeatedly refused to answer.

Sorry, Slartibartfast: I shouldn't have accused you of lying.

We all know by now that you find it a horrible, hateful imposition to have to spell out what you meant: that when asked to explain yourself, your habit is to respond with further obfustication: and that when people misunderstand what you wrote, you get angry and attack them verbally for being stupid. It's a pattern that by now we're all familiar with, and I'm sure you do think that your habit of further obfustication counts as "explaining", and repeating without clarification counts as "re-explaining", so you weren't actually lying when you claimed to have "re-explained", and we know that you don't regard your habit of doing this as being "slippery" or "rude": it's all the rest of us who are at fault.

I'd have linked video clips that contain the Murtha/Okinawa reference, but I couldn't find any that had been edited down to just that segment (as opposed to, for example, 15 minutes on either side of it. I'd be happy to dig it up for anyone whose Google is broken.

Oddly enough, Slarti, many bloggers have developed the habit of kind of editing interviews down to "just that segment" themselves when they want to post it. You can find transcripts, you see - I know that's terribly oldfashioned compared to videolinks, and you want to be hip and cutting edge - and take a quote from the transcript, post that, and then link to the full transcript. Add video links, if you like. If you have trouble working out how to do that, I'd be glad to help out.

I'm sure if you think about it for a moment, the connection with Morquist will come to you.

Or, probably, not. So, here it is: I assumed everyone who pays attention to what's going on in the world had heard Murtha's comment about redeploying to Okinawa. In hindsight, a bad move on my part.

Of course - apologies for the triple comment - a major problem for right-wing bloggers who want to claim Murtha is "babbling nonsense" is that if people get to read the full transcript of the interview, it won't look like "babbling nonsense": the only way it can look like "babbling nonsense" is if you go the Fox News route and cut out one tiny little video clip from the interview and show only, only that clip, without any reference to anything else Murtha said and the context in which he said it. And as Slarti said himself, he didn't know how to do that, and evidently he didn't want to link to the full interview in which it would be clear that Murtha was talking much more sense than Bush.

Slarti: So, here it is: I assumed everyone who pays attention to what's going on in the world had heard Murtha's comment about redeploying to Okinawa. In hindsight, a bad move on my part.

And naturally, there was no way you could find a transcript of the interview in which he said it, pull the quote you wanted to describe as "babbling nonsense" off the transcript, post the quote, and link to the transcript.

After all, people might well then have read the interview and started asking you hard questions about why you're claiming Murtha "keeps babbling nonsense" about the Iraq war, when what you meant was that there was one line in one interview that you didn't like, in the middle of a lot of hard sense.

Slarti,

You might want to drop the defensiveness a bit, it's really not helping. The only reason you think everyone should know about Murtha's statement is because the righty blogosphere went nuts about it. The top five google results for "Murtha Okinawa" are townhall, Malkin, Powerline, Blackfive, and Prairie Pundit The first two pages of links are virtually all right-wing websites. The same search at the Wapo and NYT gave me a single off hand mention in a Post article about Rove. Those of us who don't read righty blogs on a regular basis can probably be forgiven for not being aware of who they awarded the Unserious Democrat of the Week award to that week, or why. Now, maybe we can discuss the babbling of nonsense?

Sure, we can discuss that.

Is there any amount of sense that you can see in redeploying to Okinawa? Is there any amount of sense that can be made of that?

Is there any amount of sense that you can see in redeploying to Okinawa? Is there any amount of sense that can be made of that?

Is there any amount of sense that could be made in your claim that one line in one interview constituted "keeps babbling nonsense"?

Is there any amount of sense that you can see in redeploying to Okinawa? Is there any amount of sense that can be made of that?

Well, as opposed to what? Does staying in Iraq make much sense? Look, it's not like Murtha has released a detailed plan to redeploy our forces to Okinawa. He was asked in the interview where we might redeploy forces to, and after mentioning Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar as possibilities, he mentions Okinawa. He seems to be casting about for a non-islamic country where we already have facilities and from which we could respond to trouble in the ME reasonably rapidly. I don't know enough of military logistics to say just how absurd this is, but it's pretty much a throwaway line, not a detailed plan. As a response to the question he was asked, it doesn't seem wholly unreasonable to me. Is it a poorly thought out response? I don't know, that depends on exactly what function he intends those forces to have. I certainly don't think it constitutes babbling nonsense. If you think it does, please feel free to share your reasoning.

Jes:

(Matttbastard did eventually figure it out and let the rest of us in on it.)

Actually, upon further investigation, it appears the 'Okinawa' ridicule stems from a Meet The Press appearance Murtha made this past June:

MR. RUSSERT: You say redeploy. Again, Mr. Rove challenges that comment.

Let’s listen and give you again a chance to respond to the White House.

(Videotape, Monday):

MR. ROVE: Congressman Murtha said, “Let’s redeploy them immediately to another country in the Middle East. Let’s get out of Iraq and go to another country.” My question is, what country would take us? What country would say after the United States cut and run from Iraq, what country in the Middle East would say, “Yeah. Paint a big target on our back and then you’ll cut and run on us.” What country would say that? What country would accept our troops?

(End videotape)

MR. RUSSERT: What’s your response?

REP. MURTHA: There’s many countries understand the importance of stability in the Middle East. This is an international problem. We, we use 20 million barrels of oil a day. China’s the second largest user. All these countries understand you need stability for the energy supply that’s available in the Middle East. So there’s many, many countries.

MR. RUSSERT: Who?

REP. MURTHA: Kuwait’s one that will take us. Qatar, we already have bases in Qatar. So Bahrain. All those countries are willing to take the United States. Now, Saudi Arabia won’t because they wanted us out of there in the first place. So—and we don’t have to be right there. We can go to Okinawa. We, we don’t have—we can redeploy there almost instantly. So that’s not—that’s, that’s a fallacy. That, that’s just a statement to rial up people to support a failed policy wrapped in illusion.

MR. RUSSERT: But it’d be tough to have a timely response from Okinawa.

REP. MURTHA: Well, it—you know, they—when I say Okinawa, I, I’m saying troops in Okinawa. When I say a timely response, you know, our fighters can fly from Okinawa very quickly. And—and—when they don’t know we’re coming. There’s no question about it. And, and where those airplanes won’t—came from I can’t tell you, but, but I’ll tell you one thing, it doesn’t take very long for them to get in with cruise missiles or with, with fighter aircraft or, or attack aircraft, it doesn’t take any time at all. So we, we have done—this one particular operation, to say that that couldn’t have done, done—it was done from the outside, for heaven’s sakes.

Slarti spells out his objections to the plan here and here.

Video here.

Brief clip here.

Thanks, Mattt. One day, Slarti will learn to do what you just did for him.

Can't believe I linked to Protein Wisdom AND Expose the Left.

I feel dirty.

In penance, here's tristero on born again war opponent Ken "Cakewalk" Adelman.

Which, at an unfavorable reading (Murtha suggested several spots, and interviewers focused in on one of them), that Murtha has commited approximately one MiliBush of nonsense.

Or, perhaps more appropriately, there's definitely a speck in Murtha's eye.

I was going to say much of what Larv said so, instead:

Here's the actual interview in which Murtha talked abut Okinawa, here's the page on which the reference arose and here's the actual reference:

MR. RUSSERT: You say redeploy. Again, Mr. Rove challenges that comment.

Let’s listen and give you again a chance to respond to the White House.

(Videotape, Monday):

MR. ROVE: Congressman Murtha said, “Let’s redeploy them immediately to another country in the Middle East. Let’s get out of Iraq and go to another country.” My question is, what country would take us? What country would say after the United States cut and run from Iraq, what country in the Middle East would say, “Yeah. Paint a big target on our back and then you’ll cut and run on us.” What country would say that? What country would accept our troops?

(End videotape)

MR. RUSSERT: What’s your response?

REP. MURTHA: There’s many countries understand the importance of stability in the Middle East. This is an international problem. We, we use 20 million barrels of oil a day. China’s the second largest user. All these countries understand you need stability for the energy supply that’s available in the Middle East. So there’s many, many countries.

MR. RUSSERT: Who?

REP. MURTHA: Kuwait’s one that will take us. Qatar, we already have bases in Qatar. So Bahrain. All those countries are willing to take the United States. Now, Saudi Arabia won’t because they wanted us out of there in the first place. So—and we don’t have to be right there. We can go to Okinawa. We, we don’t have—we can redeploy there almost instantly. So that’s not—that’s, that’s a fallacy. That, that’s just a statement to rial up people to support a failed policy wrapped in illusion.

MR. RUSSERT: But it’d be tough to have a timely response from Okinawa.

REP. MURTHA: Well, it—you know, they—when I say Okinawa, I, I’m saying troops in Okinawa. When I say a timely response, you know, our fighters can fly from Okinawa very quickly. And—and—when they don’t know we’re coming. There’s no question about it. And, and where those airplanes won’t—came from I can’t tell you, but, but I’ll tell you one thing, it doesn’t take very long for them to get in with cruise missiles or with, with fighter aircraft or, or attack aircraft, it doesn’t take any time at all. So we, we have done—this one particular operation, to say that that couldn’t have done, done—it was done from the outside, for heaven’s sakes.

I'd agree that, looked at as a policy statement, this is kind of silly; but I also think that looking at this as a policy statement is itself kind of silly.

I think my position could stated, in conformance to the Anarch form, "looked at as a public statement of general things that could be done as regards Iraq, made by a member of Congress who is (ostensibly) to be taken seriously, this is kind of silly".

Slarti: "looked at as a public statement of general things that could be done as regards Iraq, made by a member of Congress who is (ostensibly) to be taken seriously, this is kind of silly".

Looked at as a revision of your initial claim that Murtha "keeps babbling nonsense", that's a rather fairer assessment.

(Since I think that the US military ought to be sent home to prevent it from being a further destabilizing force in the Middle East, I even agree with you - though probably not for the same reason - that it's rather silly to suggest only redeploying the same units elsewhere.)

I believe the term for my previous post is: pwned. Sorry matttbastard et al; verily, I suck at life, or at least these intarwub tubey things.

Anarch: I have some experience being teh winnar, so don't worry 'bout it.

Slarti: You started off saying, I simply think he carries too much baggage, has shown himself to at least be willing to play along with corruption, and has repeatedly babbled nonsense in the matter of the Iraq war.

So far we've found one bit of prospective babble - of five countries enumerated, he rejects one as a host for the obvious reason that it's close but really doesn't want our troops any more, cites three right in the region where we do have bases and presumably could continue to use them, and cites one at a distance. To me the context is pretty clear, that the last would be a reasonable staging ground for force that doesn't have to be on call and on site in minutes, but what the hey, I feel mellow, I see why you'd object.

Okay. That's one.

What else? Or is saying one thing you find somewhat impractical ever sufficient for "repeatedly"?

Adding on to what Bruce has said:

Posted by: Slartibartfast: "Right around here I feel I should acknowledge that I don't harbor any ill feelings toward Murtha. I simply think he carries too much baggage, has shown himself to at least be willing to play along with corruption, and has repeatedly babbled nonsense in the matter of the Iraq war. It's not that his time in service gets him no credit, rather that service doesn't make up for everything."

Emphasis: 'Repeatedly babbled nonsense in the matter of the Iraq war.'

I'm now even more of a believer in the supernatural nature of duck tape Only a supernatural binding agent could have kept Slart's head from literally exploding under repeated assaults of nonsense from Bush, Cheney, et al, if that statement by Murtha was enough nonsense to cause Slart to have feel that Murtha has 'too much baggage'.

Or, at the risk of repeating myself, Matthew 7:3.

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing but spend time chasing sleazy right-wing obfuscation-artists. Precision trolls.

They love it when you chase them, you know. It means their thread-jack worked. All of your forward progress was brought to a halt, and you had to spend dozens of exchanges establishing what everyone already knew, namely that people who supported a regime that came to power on dishonest smears are still engaged in--what do you know?--dishonest smears.

I used to visit this site more often. But the spectacle of its descent into dysfunction is just too pathetic. And don't deceive yourselves that the dysfunction is accidental, or just ordinary give-and-take. For some people, interrupting progressive discourse is an end in itself.

sad to see: I think that as a sporadic visitor you're missing an important aspect of Slartibartfast - he's not a troll. (He may occasionally behave like one, but let the blogger who never lived under a bridge throw the first billygoat.) He's a regular who joins in discussions, albeit with an annoying habit of assuming that everyone will "get" his unspoken assumptions, and refusing to explain when it's clear that people didn't. This is not to say that it isn't bloody irritating when he does that - it is, and I wish that he'd quit - but he is not a troll.

(He may occasionally behave like one, but let the blogger who never lived under a bridge throw the first billygoat.)

*Baaaaaaa!*

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