This is amazing. Truly. Mike Pence's bill is a "fallback"? It is diametrically opposed to almost everything about the Kennedy/McCain approach.
The man has no core beliefs. Even I thought that his immigration stance was one of the few points on which he seemed to have some principles. And to backtrack now ... when he's staked out the other side so publicly ... wow. Craven and stupid.
But he's not doing what you say he's doing. He's not doing anything close to what Coulter did. Not even in the same ball park.
I'm fairly agnostic about this race. I liked Richardson for a bit, then he fell back into the pack as I got more familiar with his economic views. I probably have a slight Obama lean, but Edwards appeals to me some days, too. Basically, either of those two guys would be fine with me.
But what I don't like is the tendency by supporters to equate anything mildly negative to the worst of what the right-wing does. I'm very confident Edwards can deal with being called "good-looking" ... being called a "faggot" however deserves a strong and powerful response. It's just a whole different sphere, and it mainstreams Coulter to try to equate the two.
Lordy, no offense, but this is the silly season around here. A viral ad is "swift-boating" and mentioning that Edwards is "good looking" is the same as calling him a "faggot."
This is a bad thing to do. Using these "Obama is doing something just like (bad GOP smear)" every time cheapens the nastiness of the original offense by the GOP. This is nothing, barely even an attack. You think Obama is somehow giving the GOP ideas or something? This angle against Edwards is as old as his time in politics. Hell, lawyers in the court-room probably used it against him.
But by constantly crying wolf, people are lessening the impact of any subsequent complaints against right-wing viciousness. "Hey, Ann Coulter's not so bad. Barack Obama does the same thing!"
Look, this shit is mild compared to what happened to Dean last time, let alone the crap that the GOP pulled against Kerry. Give the hyperbole a rest...
In my Grand Unified Theory of scandals, my basic analogy are that scandals are like forest fires. If they start big enough, they can do a lot of damage on their own, but the real danger of them is when they start to jump the fire breaks and jump ridge line to ridge line. And when multiple scandals converge into one conflagration ... watch out.
We may be about to see that happen. Congress is also holding hearings this week on the misuse of the authority to go through people's personal information.
Say it with me: a rogue Justice Department.
It's a short step from that to a rogue White House.
So it came from nowhere and got picked up? Big deal.
It's not dishonest, it's not coming from an institutionalized group of financiers and noise-makers.
As I said above, this is free speech. This is what the Internet is supposed to do, allow for open debate and new modes of distribution. In a way, this is the anti-Swift, where a well-funded group has no advantage in getting something viral. Well, not as much of an advantage as they do with cable news, anyway.
That's what Obama's "inspiration gap" over other candidates is all about ... people do this kind of stuff for him and distribute it. If Clinton wants to keep up, she should inspire folks to counter it.
I strongly agree with you. This is not a Swift Boat style attack ad. There's nothing dishonest about it. There's no money behind the distribution of it. It didn't depend on a right-wing noise machine to spread it throughout cable news.
I'm sorry, but this is free speech. If Hillary's campaign wants to do something about it, they should inspire others to make ads for them or against her opponents.
Lordy, I just saw Specter on FNS yesterday and he was awful. He got the ball rolling on the "Schumer shouldn't be 'leading' this investigation as the head of the DSCC" smear. Which is so ridiculous I'd qualify it as outright dishonesty. He's a partisan hack who makes a game of honest debate. He makes noises about being "pro-choice" and for our Constitution, but then he actively undermines both of those causes any time he has to make a choice.
I agree with you. Basing conclusions about the importance of various issues in the base of the GOP based on polling right now would be like saying that Joe Lieberman's good showing in polls this time last primary cycle meant that Democrats didn't care about Iraq. It's way too early and not enough people are engaged to say anything definitive.
One thing I've been shocked to learn over the last year or so: right wingers actually believe the sh*t they peddle. It's amazing. I always assumed that what they said was just rhetorical bluster, but they really have no idea where their talking points stop and reality begins.
I was talking to an old friend who's now a senior staffer for a prominent GOP Senator; this guy is not a foot-soldier, but a insider political hack. And he simply assumed that Obama had the "netroots" wrapped up because George Soros indicated support for him. And, since Soros runs MoveOn ... Obama had "the online crowd" wrapped up. I told him, "man, you guys actually believe that crap?" Then I explained distributed networking, bottom-up organizing, etc, etc ... and how George Soros was pretty far down the list of influentials when it came to online politics, below a bunch of people he's never heard of.
But the propaganda about big, bad Soros and his online horde ... they actually believe that.
Doesn't surprise me that the LGF crowd actually believes a diary praising Khalid Sheik Muhammed would get a positive response. They probably believe it's just some trick that it didn't.
This is an excellent post. It's really important to put the actions of our nominal and real allies in Congress into a proper perspective. Our nations militaristic stance to the world is a huge problem, and dealing with Iraq without acknowledging that greater problem is a recipe for ... well, maybe not disaster. But it's not good.
What we need to do as a party and as progressives is to support infrastructure as close to the "inside" as possible that is working toward the long-term goals we share. We have a very large opportunity here to begin to walk back our national psyche from the Cold War attitude of institutionalized perpetual war. But it's important that we see that that's the goal, not just ending Iraq. As Richardson said, "Iraq is not the disease. Iraq is a symptom." Now, he said that the disease was "arrogance," which is true enough but not the whole truth.
The old saying has a lot of relevance here: "when all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail." Only in this case, the American people know that the problem isn't a nail now. They just have no idea what it is and what the solution to that problem could be. Because we have no context from which to see any other solution.
That's what we as progressives need to build, the context of a world-view that has different tools with which to deal with problems. An invasion isn't the best solution to almost every problem, and a continued military occupation isn't any sort of solution to the current problem.
As evidence of the immigration thing, just check out that RS thread ... sheesh. Maybe immigration doesn't need to flare up at all. Here's one comment:
I absolutely refuse to vote for him for ANY elected office ever again because of his refusal to do what's needed to secure our borders & deport every criminal immigrant invader (or as many as possible). Every business who's found to employ these invaders needs to be heavily fined & buiness owners/hiring autorities need to be jailed if they don't make a serious and concentrated effort to find LEGAL employees. Social security numbers need to be verified, especially when they're obviously bogus, like 000 00 0000, and anyone using such a number should be deported immediately.
I'll back you up to some extent. The overall social conservative/economic corporatist thing makes me absolutely, passionately opposed to Brownback, but I will give Brownback credit for extending his "pro-life" stance in a more logical way than, say, Bush. His stance on prison reform, Darfur, etc really do reflect a more principled stand than the extreme heartlessness I see in Bush.
But that attitude causes his one major disadvantage with the socons in Iowa and elsewhere: immigration. He's a more "compassionate conservative" on immigration than the GOP base (he's for what the base calls "amnesty"). I have it on good authority that that's a major drag on his Iowa efforts.
If the top of the GOP manages to keep the immigration issue defused somewhat, Brownback has a chance to grab Iowa. If not and immigration flares up again, he'll have rough sledding.