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November 06, 2006

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It takes a lot of gall for them to turn around and accuse the Democrats of not having a plan for victory in Iraq.

shorter GOP: i know you are but what am i ?

and what does it matter if the Dems have a plan or not? they won't get a chance to implement any plan until 2008, at least (FSM forbid 2012 or worse).

"What's Your Plan?"

Drinks, early and often.

That Powerpoint slide cracks me up* every time I see it.


*In a mordant, despairing kind of way.

That Powerpoint slide

1. invade Iraq
2. apply aimed pressure to achieve end state over time
3. democracy, whiskey, sexy
4. GOP permanent majority

Bush's speech may play well inside the Bubble [tm], but on the outside, I'm pretty sure Democratic candidates would love to have citizens come up to them and say "What's your plan?"

5. Profit!

Question for the ObWi commentariat: If the Democrats do take control of Congress, what do you hope and/or expect to happen?

Myself, I'm hoping that they'll jealously guard the purse strings and that we'll see a return to the relative fiscal sanity of the 90s.

I'm also hoping that they pressure Bush into backing off of his most egregious Constitutional shenanigans, and into trying to seriously negotiate a settlement in Iraq and devoting more attention to Afghanistan.

In other words, I'm hoping for a resurgence of actual "conservatism" in government.

Do I expect this will happen? Nope.

If the Democrats do take control of Congress, what do you hope and/or expect to happen?

What do I hope will happen? That George W. Bush gets his military tribunals. Literally.

What do I expect will happen. That George W. Bush will quite suddenly become rather enamored of his heretofore barely-used veto power.

That George W. Bush gets his military tribunals

i'd settle for impeachment. but a military trial would be fun, too


Sigh.

Bush can't even plan his way out of a compound sentence.

I don't understand the "what's your plan" argument. I thought congress had the power to declare war, and has oversight and power of the purse responsibility. Isn't up to the executive to plan and execute wars? Wouldn't congress be interfering with the executive if it tried to run the war? If someone were running for president, this argument has weight. For congress, not so much. Especially since the President is asking the question. There's no way this president will defer to congress on any issue he perceives as his turf.

Whether a congressman or a party has a plan is irrelevant without the power to implement it.

I remember only two years ago when having a plan was supposed to be a bad thing for some reason.

I'm reminded of a recent political cartoon. The Oval office is trashed, with broken furniture, garbage, etc. In front of it is George, his hands spread wide, saying "It comes down to, 'who are you going to trust to clean up the mess?'".

Several points, none cogent:

I notice President George Bush stresses the fact that al Qaeda now considers Iraq "the central front on the war on terror."

Leaving aside the odd phrasing, which part of whose plan was that? Is that a forward movement of al Qaeda's front or is it a forward movement of our front? Both?

If you examine the Powerpoint slide carefully, closing one eye, sipping from a glass of Scotch as you do so, and following the squiggly arrows to their destination, you will notice that Iraqis have HillaryCare, but we don't.

See, Democrats had a plan, but it was stolen and instituted somewhere else.

As to the question being asked of us: "Where's your plan?", after being told for six years that the governance of my country is none of my business, my answer is "You've got me!" with a shrug of the shoulders.

The same as everyone else, I'll wager. Where does America get the idea that its plans have any relevance in this world?

As to the person of George W. Bush asking for my (our) plans, I'm reminded of the scene in the musical "Oliver", wherein Fagin,
clutching his horrid little bundle of misbegotten gains and demagogic shiny things, sings "I'm reviewing the situation", as his artful dodgers scurry over roofs and into alleys for their slim chance of a private life outside of jail.

That's HIS plan, whether Barney and Laura like it or not.

As to the question being asked of us: "Where's your plan?", after being told for six years that the governance of my country is none of my business, my answer is "You've got me!" with a shrug of the shoulders.

It bears repeating that Mr. Thullen is either (a) absolutely, 100%, batsh!t crazy; (b) Wile E. Coyote, super genius; or (c) my hero (in a Greatest American Hero/KITT sort of way).

All of the above is not an acceptable answer.

Great. Now I'll have "Believe It or Not" stuck in my head all evening.

Great. Now I'll have "Believe It or Not" stuck in my head all evening.

I often thought that that should be GWB's themesong:

Look at what's happened to me
I can't believe it myself
Suddenly I'm on top of the world
Should've been somebody else

Believe it or not I'm walking on air
I never thought I could feel so free
Flying away on a wing and a prayer
Who could it be?
Believe it or not it's just me

Etc.

It bears repeating that Mr. Thullen is either (a) absolutely, 100%, batsh!t crazy; (b) Wile E. Coyote, super genius; or (c) my hero (in a Greatest American Hero/KITT sort of way).

Word. About 3 words into each of his posts I find myself wondering "Is this a John Thullen joint?" I am seldom disappointed.

Great. Now I'll have "Believe It or Not" stuck in my head all evening

and i'll have the George Costanza version:

Believe it or not
George isn't at home
Please leave a message
At the beep
I must be out
Or I'd pick up the phone
Where could I be?
Believe it or not
I'm not home

First, this election is the Democrat’s to lose. There are conservative’s abandoning the party – more than just John Cole and myself. Corruption, the insane spending and pork, and yes – lack of a serious (any) plan for post war Iraq are high on the list of reasons. So if the nation was split 50/50 before, it is definitely leaning in your favor this morning.

But what I did not hear from the Democrats in the run up to today was a coherent plan that the entire party is behind. Individual Democrats and blocks of Democrats have plans – but the party as a whole does not, or at least it was not made apparent to me.

When I watched Cardin on MTP last week there was a jaw dropping moment. When asked about his plan for Iraq, he said (from memory and paraphrasing), “Immediate withdrawal of our troops. Then, the international community will see that we are not intent on occupying Iraq, and they will jump in and come up with a diplomatic solution.” Even Tim Russert was like, Huh? And he would not say unequivocally that he would not vote to cut off funding for the troops.

He should have been able to talk about a coherent plan that the entire party was talking about. Every Democrat on every news show a few days before the election should have been talking about the same plan – they were not. They were all over the map.

Terry McAuliffe was on FNC last night talking about the first 100 days if Democrats get control. It actually sounded pretty OK. It didn’t make me want to hide under the bed. It actually made me stop and think, Hmm, maybe they do have a plan. But it was election eve and it was the first time I was hearing it presented in that way!

So if you win big today, it will not be because Democrat’s gave us a coherent plan we could vote for – it will be because enough conservatives and independents have decided they can not vote for Republicans this time around. I did not vote for Democrats this morning – I voted against the GOP.

BTW – my polling place was pretty crowded at 7:30 this morning. I would say that turnout is well up from other years.

I agree that a huge factor in this election is the anti-Bush vote. Also it seems quite logical that people who usually vote Republican would not suddenly vote Democratic because they hhad been struck down on the road to Damascus. A one time decisin to vote Demcratic in order to drive the theocrats and oligarchs and authoritarians out of the Republican party is understandable ( I donn't thinnk it will work but that's another stary.)
However the mass defection of independents from voting R is a bigger factor than the defection of Republicans. It is also a much more complex phenomenon.
The Democrats do have a plan for what thhey wouuld do if they hhad the power: Pelosi outinned it a week or so ago. I don't think there was annything inn it that wouuld horrify ordinnary voters and thhere were some thinngs thht would gratify rank and file R's: paygo, for example. ideologs will faint over the minimum wage increase, but part of the problem with thhe R party is their commitment to ideology has put them as out of touch with thhe voters as with reality itself.
There wasn't a plan for Iraq that I know of. Partly this mmay be because there is no general agreement. It isn't easy to decided which bad choice to settle on. Partly it might be because the Democratic leaderrship knows that if they take anny responisbility for leadership on Iraq it will be used to blame them for how things endup. They don't want to get Vietnammed again.
As to why the Democrats didn't seem to have a plan: well, the Noise Machine in action. If I got my perceptions from the mainstream media, I'd thinnk Pelosi was a firebrand radical, the democrats were going to shred America with partisan witchhunts and drive themselves off a far left cliff and John Kerry was spokesperson for thhe party. That spin will all be worse after the election, too.
Please excuse the typos: typing in the dark again.

The war in Iraq is probably unwinnable now. The best we can hope for is to stave off complete catastrophe.

Hilzoy is describing (indirectly) a successful strategic retreat -- that is what it means when you say victory in probably unattainable and you are trying to avoid catastrophe. That means that the larger struggle has been lost, and its only a matter of moderating the extent of it.

Funny how everyone is so shy about just saying it -- the war is LOST. Bush has lost this war in that good old fashioned Viet Nam kind of way.

Yeah -- Americans are not supposed to say such things, and its so loser defeatist while our guys are still there bleeding. Better to think there is still hope for some shard of victory. It does not matter that there remains no one espousing any meaningful plan on how that is supposed to happen -- as always, victory is to be achieved by hope, will and clapping harder.

Funny how Bush thinks he can fault Dems for allegedly lacking a plan.

And for those still unwilling to say it, make a list of the alleged goals of this war. Other than removing Saddam (so what), everything on that list has not been and cannot now be attained now. Iraqis will hate us for generations. Democracy or some semblance of it in Iraq (to say nothing of that wave spreading it elsewhere)? Greater stability in the Middle East? Lessened Islamic radicalism and terrorism?

The war is LOST.

So if you win big today, it will not be because Democrat’s gave us a coherent plan we could vote for – it will be because enough conservatives and independents have decided they can not vote for Republicans this time around. I did not vote for Democrats this morning – I voted against the GOP.

As if Repub victories in 2000 to 2004 were based on postive plans for the future, instead of successfully demonizing Democrats.

OCS, they don't have a plan. There's not even a they.

And I wouldn't want a bunch of politicians to come up with an Iraq plan without serious input from the military, and from people deep in the diplomatic endeavor. I'm fully on board with any reservations any of the senior commanders have had about getting themselves involved with planning by candidates. If, though, control of the House changes, it's perfectly appropriate for the jurisdictional committees to bring appropriate people before them and start talking about what can be done, what cannot be done, and what must not be done.

I think the hour of the amateur has long passed. Thus while I have my own ideas about what should be done in Iraq, I would want to summarily fire any politician who promised to implement them without real inquiry of real experts. I'm not saying that politicians should or must unthinkingly defer to the military, or other experts. rather, they should recongize that 'want' and 'can' are very different, and should talk it pretty thoroughly through.

Edward Tufte on PowerPoint:

At a minimum, a presentation format should do no harm. Yet the PowerPoint style routinely disrupts, dominates, and trivializes content. Thus PowerPoint presentations too often resemble a school play -very loud, very slow, and very simple.

The practical conclusions are clear. PowerPoint is a competent slide manager and projector. But rather than supplementing a presentation, it has become a substitute for it. Such misuse ignores the most important rule of speaking: Respect your audience

Please feel free to read this as a criticism of either PowerPoint or Bush's foreign policy.

Thanks -

So if you win big today, it will not be because Democrat’s gave us a coherent plan we could vote for – it will be because enough conservatives and independents have decided they can not vote for Republicans this time around. I did not vote for Democrats this morning – I voted against the GOP.

I think, actually, the Democrats do have a coherent plan. Regarding Iraq, specifically, a very coherent and reasonable plan was articulated by John Murtha several months back. I just think it's one that many conservatives don't like.

In spite of that, many conservatives, apparently including you, appear to be willing to vote for Dems, or at least not vote, because the Republican plan has been revealed to be such a complete and dismal failure.

In any case, I'm happy to have your vote, whatever the reason it was given.

Thanks -

I'm all for plans, but in relation to wars and kitchen renovations, what I look for in a leader or a general contractor is an individual who can go with the flow when reality spits the plan back and says change.

God's plan for my kitchen renovation did not forsee that the intake vent for the furnace would need to be routed through a steel beam.

As an agnostic, I don't know why God didn't catch that, though I'm tolerant of God's mistakes, because after all, every time I pray, I find that I'm talking to myself.

The plan had to change and if the petulant Bush/Rumsfeld God had been on site, I suspect we would have attempted cutting that beam in two and the house would have fallen down, whether the house or the beam or the planning commission liked it or not.

As to George Bush's plans, I've always been curious about reports that he conceived of privatizing Social Security way back in the middle 1970s during his first political race.

Knowing what we think we now know about George Bush, how did this occur to him? Did he read a heavy tome on the subject, perhaps wading through some Social Security Commission volumes and footnotes? Did he ponder this issue for months, brow furrowed, weighing all the alternatives?

I doubt it. His gut, in which God's tapeworm lives, told him it was a bully idea.

Then he called it a plan, never to be altered, never to be challenged, never to be abandoned.

And then he thanked the tapeworm, even directing some federal money towards its sustenance.

Great. Now I'll have "Believe It or Not" stuck in my head all evening.

True story: Believe It or Not was playing today in the deli where I get my lunch almost everyday.

This, of course, means Mr. Thullen is God (or the Devil).

God, the devil, or both? As Tom Waits teaches us, there ain't no devil, just God when he's drunk.

And I wouldn't want a bunch of politicians to come up with an Iraq plan without serious input from the military, and from people deep in the diplomatic endeavor.

CharlieCarp – that is a really good point and I agree with you.

But from the viewpoint of running a national campaign, it just made them appear to be all over the map. It appeared that there was little unity within the party and that no one was steering the ship.

Maybe it was just that way to me. Maybe it is just because I paid more attention to what they were saying this time.


I'm happy to have your vote, whatever the reason it was given

It was actually two votes. I brought my wife over to the dark side as well :)

Terry McAuliffe was on FNC last night talking about the first 100 days if Democrats get control. It actually sounded pretty OK. It didn’t make me want to hide under the bed. It actually made me stop and think, Hmm, maybe they do have a plan. But it was election eve and it was the first time I was hearing it presented in that way!

I first heard about Pelosi's "First 100 Hours" plan 31 days ago, when it appeared in the 'A' Section of The Washington Post. The Baltimore Sun, on the other hand, appears never to have heard of it. That you also have not must have something to do with Our Liberal Media, I imagine.

That you also have not must have something to do with Our Liberal Media, I imagine

From the perspective that they may want to bury it? Yes.

Details will have to be worked out, she emphasized.

Uhm, yeah. Can I get a pony with that? :)

Drain the swamp – you have my full support…

I keep thinking there ought to be a way to get all of us who give money to candidates and want nothing in return to get together and say to politicians: we offer you all this money as a bribe to exercise your own judgment and do what you think is right. One sign that you aren't giving us what we want -- by letting other people with money influence you, for instance -- and we are out of here.

It was actually two votes. I brought my wife over to the dark side as well :)

Thanks, OC. My comment was not snark, I really do appreciate it. I recognize the mixed feelings that most likely accompanied it.

I re-read your post and realized I missed your larger point, i.e., Democrats don't have anything like the consistency and unified front that Republicans present.

I think that's true, and agree that in some contexts it is a liability. For better or worse, I think a lack of that kind of party discipline is just a part of the Democratic psyche these days.

Thanks -

Rumsfeld.

Gone Baby Gone:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nSxkAZcnMPA

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