I have had a few stats classes, so I have a general working knowledge of interpreting statistics. I am, by no means, an expert, but I have a general understanding of how to interpret polling data. When I am confused or want to learn more, I turn to people who know more, like the Mystery Pollster.
That is why, when I see that the President’s polling numbers are stuck in the mid-30’s, I scratch my head in disbelief when I read stuff like this:
Why Bush Is (Still) Winning the War at Home
“I was up there in the cockpit of that airplane coming into Baghdad,” the President told the press corps assembled on the White House lawn after his dash into and out of the war zone last week. “It was an unbelievable, unbelievable feeling.” In fact, George W. Bush’s body language—let’s call it the full jaunty—was reminiscent of his last, infamous cockpit trip, onto the deck of the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln in May 2003 to announce the “end” of major combat operations in Iraq, beneath a mission accomplished sign. His public language is more cautious than it used to be, but he seemed downright frothy in a private session with the congressional leadership after his press conference.
He called the new Iraqi Defense Minister an “interesting cat” and Abu Mousab al-Zarqawi, the deceased al-Qaeda leader, “a dangerous dude.” Bush had reason, finally, to strut. The al-Zarqawi raid had netted valuable intelligence data that were enabling U.S. and Iraqi forces to roll up al-Qaeda cells—the best haul since the capture of Saddam Hussein, which made it possible for U.S. forces to disable much of the dictator’s inner circle in early 2004. What’s more, the first elected Iraqi government was finally fully in place. Back home, Karl Rove was officially unindicted in the cia leak case, and the Democrats were busy being Democrats—divided, defensive and confused about the war, with Bush’s favorite punching bag, Senator John Kerry, leading the charge.
Bottomed out in the polls, a government is finally in place months (years) after it should be, troops abducted, chaos everyday, and the White House is ‘celebrating’ the fact that the President’s closest advisor was not indicted.
Maybe the Democrats should be happy they are ‘losing’ and George Bush is ‘winning.’
Good lord. He sounds like a little kid that got to go up front in the plane and meet the captain. Makes you wonder if they gave him a little set of tin wings to wear on his jacket.
Don’t scratch your head too much, John — disbelief is the appropriate reaction. Klein is a lying sack of shit.
Didn’t Amy Sullivan write about this exact phenomenon (to some degree) in the WaMo?
Obviously, Joe is now writing for Scrutator. That’s the same crap they had going over the weekend. Somebody over there even stated that Bush’s poll numbers were “through the roof” … after he got a one percent “bounce” from the killing of Zarqawi (as reported in two MSM polls, MSNBC and Time-CNN).
Thank you Mark Twain
Hey, it’s Joe Klein.
He’s about as accurate (and relevant) as Glenn Reynolds.
Was Bush in the cockpit or Klein? It reads to me that Bush was.
Bush needs to watch CNN and read The Washington Post more.
Klein really, really seems to hate liberals and Democrats. I mean, he doesn’t just criticize his “own side,” as most liberal pundits do (liberal pundits do tend to be rougher on their own side than conservative pundits, as a group). He just loathes what is supposed to be his own side, and loves the Republicans. He’s constantly pushing every conservative talking point about weak, unserious, cowardly Democrats, and has been doing so ever since he was “Anonymous.” Not that it’s wrong for a pundit to praise Bush, but if he’s going to do it, could he at least praise him for stuff that actually happened rather than his manly “strut?”
Time really, really needs an actual liberal columnist. Maybe they should replace Joe Klein with Ezra Klein — they wouldn’t even need to change the name on the parking place.
Joe Klein is Time’s liberal columnist. Think about that next time you hear a winger bitch about the Bush hating librul MSM.
The way the media has been gushing over fratboy-flyboy Bush the past and drooling over his huge two point bounce has been absolutely embarassing.
Kevin Drum on our ambassador’s take on life in Baghdad these days. Things that might not be apparent when gazing out at the city from an airplane window.
So, we’re supposed to think Bush is doing great because Bush *acts* like he’s doing great?
To steal a line from Craig Vetter … Joe Klein’s putting his name to that column was like his signing a confession of his own stupidity.
I’ve been hearing this “Bush is Back” chatter the moment that Zarqawi hit the dirt… it is the is belief that one event (major or minor) is going to right the ship… I’ve had bosses who thought this way and as far as I know, they are still unemployed after sinking the company with this kind of mentality…
I would say that Bush and company are not that naive to actually think that Zarqawi’s death + Rove not indicted = Happy Days Are Here Again but then again this President and his staff have proven time and time again that they really believe that reality is the vision of losers…
It’s because Klein has come to the bizarre conclusion that elections probably have two factors, the incumbent and the challenger. Was Bush such a great performer in 2004 that he won the biggest vote count in history? Of course not, but he was running against an unappealing empty suit. Even if voters accept your assessment of the current situation, unless there are Democrat candidates who seem like improvements (and not like Kerry), the Republicans aren’t likely to lose much. Obviously, Klein is of the opinion that the Democrats are still shooting/will keep shooting themselves in their feet.
The Republicans are the Chicago White Sox. The Democrats are the longtime-loser Detroit Tigers. Detroit’s ahead now, but who knows if it will still be that way come the fall?
On the other hand, one cannot overestimate the ability of the Democrats to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Just the fact the Hillary seems to be the front-runner for the 2008 Democrat presidential nomination pretty much shows they are not serious about winning
That’s what makes him such a great president now, right?
The fact that his victory creates an opportunity for you to post snark, I mean.
That’s what counts, right Mac?
Yeah, I should be more careful with pronouns. The first paragraph refers to Bush’s “oh boy, oh boy” reaction to the flight in. The second part was, as it reads, about Klein.
You can call him a great president, if you want, Ppg.
Snark is your bag. I do thoughtful analysis.
Hey guys, I didn’t get indicted today either!
I killed my nemesis last week (a big moth).
I flew in a plane to a foreign country (Quebeckistan).
AND I get electricity 24 hours a day (take that Baghdad).
What a day!
Anderson really hit the right note in asking the following:
This question really captures Klein’s whole schtick. He’s so trapped up in tough-guy images that he can’t see what’s right in front of his face. I mean take him and the rest of the Klein-types in the press, and it’s like a mass psychosis of some sort.
Actually, that remains to be seen. As recently as this past January, Zogby wrote, “Since then, his job approval numbers have bottomed out around 40%. . .” after which the numbers dropped another 8%.
There are a lot of important questions that we can’t really answer without sound intelligence, like what the extent of Zarqawi’s influence or importance actually was in Iraq and within al-Qaeda. So, instead, riddle me this: now that we’ve autopsied Zarqawi’s corpse, do we finally know if he had two legs, or only one, as had been reported previously?
Oh, sorry, Jim. I see you beat me to it.
Anyway, this is interesting … we’ll discover a new side of Mac.
Pb, excellent question. Does Zarqawi have two legs or one? Can anyone answer that here?
For the thousandth time, let’s call bullshit on the whole “less electricity in Iraq now” meme:
Saddam let the Iraqi power grid deteriorate because all he cared about were the 20% Sunni population — the rest could all burn to death, for all he cared. So now there’s twice as much electricity than there was under Saddam — it’s just not being routed only to Saddam’s strongholds anymore. So Baghdad and the Sunni triangle have less, and the rest of Iraq have much, much more.
This is Bush’s last chance to gloat over Iraq. There’ll be no more elections directed by us. There’ll be no more cabinet positions “to be filled”. There’ll be no more “Zarquai (sp?) did it” excuses for IEDs. In short, this is it. Go time. Giddy up.
If Iraq functions in November, then Bush looks like a genius. If he does not, however, he’s got no more “to be determined” cards to pull out. And considering that no one even peripherally associated with the gov’t can even leave the Green Zone with assissination, I’m guessing things will be just as bad as ever.
Perhaps I underestimate the ability of the WH to come up with new bogeymen and “stumbling blocks”….
As I said, “You do snark…”
Excellent meta-snark, Mac.
Hay Mac, throw a link with that electricity blockquote or it is worthless.
(It’s likely worthless anyway, but I want to know who’s manure you’re spreading…)
Iraq? Iraq is so 2004… get ready for some new bogey men.
Oh, and Joe Klein is a fucking joke / double agent. With friends like that…
That’s our ambassador to Iraq, writing within the last 30 days.
But, Mac undoubtedly knows more about the situation than the ambassador does.
Mac doesn’t “do links” for obvious reasons.
Total estimated megawatts produced prewar: 3,958 megawatts
Total estimated megawatts produced May 2006: 3,900 megawatts
Forgot the link.
Ah, Mac, who are we to believe, you, or our lyin’ eyes…
Was Bush such a great performer in 2004 that he won the biggest vote count in history? Of course not, but he was running against an unappealing empty suit.
God do I hate this factoid. Quick question, Mac. Who won the second biggest vote count in history? Oh yeah, that “empty suit” John Kerry. And the third? That would be Al Gore, another hapless Democrat. Boy, those Democrats just keep nominating unpopular losers, don’t they?
Did you ever stop to think that perhaps he IS the Ambassador to Iraq?
The Other Steve
If only we could capture all the hot-air spewed by Mac Buckets, Iraq’s energy problems would be solved!
Come on Mac, this was from our Ambassador. If he doesn’t know how things are there, who does?
The government of Iraq governs (?) from a tiny fortress in the capital, where they are virtual prisoners and their lives are at extreme risk if they venture outside.
Kerry may be an empty suit to you Mac, but to many of us he represented a possible return to some kind of normalcy in our foreign policy. Instead we got a man who cannot recognize failure when he sees it. Do you really want more of this kind of foreign policy, Mac?
Who got the second biggest vote count in history. Apparently your “thoughtful analysis” doesn’t translate to counting stats.
By the way Mac, You’re right.
It’s time to call bullshit. I’ve done so. And you.
Well, not so much
The Other Steve
If this is going to turn into another one of those threads where Mac Buckets calls us all shrill because we don’t believe Bush is the Greatest President Ever, I think we ought to go outside and play tennis.
Yeah, that electricity link was from notorious rightwing scandal sheet, the Washington Post from last month.
Yes, well, there’s only so much you can do about the Mac Buckets of the Right…
What he said and what the Washington Post report are not in any way mutually exclusive — jeebus, you guys are thick.
Well then obviously the WaPo got their prewar figures horribly wrong.
From one of the comments in the scienceblogs linke:
I’m not sure why people insist on arguing with Mac even when he makes a good point. I could say that Kerry was a lousy candidate and all the Democrats in the room would nod their head like “yeah, I wish we had picked someone better.” But if one of the bad guys says it, oh no, we must close ranks!
Yes, of course Kerry almost won the election. Of course he had the second-largest vote total in history. None of that changes the fact that he still managed to lose to an incredibly lousy president. If it was, say, Kerry vs. Reagan, would it have been close?
People like Joe Klein look at Bush’s 51-48 margin of victory and say “that’s it, Republicans are the natural governing party now, all the Democrats can do is concede that the war was a great idea and hope to pick at the Republican mandate around the edges.” And then you have Mac essentially admitting, “Hey, my guy’s not real great, but your guy sucked even worse.” And Mac is the one you pick on? Come on!
Speaking of the vital importance of links to stop people from talking out of their asses, I’ll bet you never found even one comment from me where I a) called anyone “shrill,” or b) said Bush was the G.P.E. I’ll bet you still can’t.
While you’re at it, would you mind calling bullshit on the whole “we’ve turned a corner in Iraq” meme?
In all the froth about Klein and later Mac, we all just let that crap slide?
Bush might feel he has a reason to strut, as Klein might have a reason to swig a bottle of mouthwash after that column, but for the life of me I cannot fathom a reason why the alleged Commander in Chief should ever refer to a guy responsible for countless US and Iraqi deaths as any sort of “dude.”
Jesus Fucking Christ.
Shorter Mac Buckets:
“Three plus years later, the electricity is almost back up to the level of a brutal dictatorship under international sanction.”
I think Klein is engaging in what someone once called “the soft bigotry of low expectations.” There’s a certain karmic balance in the fact that Bush himself is a ‘victim’ of this…
You know I don’t mind it, Steve — I just wish their responses weren’t quite so silly. “Kerry got the 2nd most votes ever!” may make them feel less inadaquate, but it doesn’t begin to address the point as to how Bush didn’t lose by millions and millions of votes in 2004, given all the “failures” the Dems were citing then!
You know, it’s all Sharks v. Jets to a bunch of these guys. Oh, and… “My guy?” I never even voted for Bush. I can understand why you’d assume that in this context, of course.
See, you learn something every day.
No, actually, it’s double, according to the Washington Post. But I read your comment above — you had already dismissed it before you even read it or knew what manure-spreading rightwing talking point paper it came from. Very open-minded of you.
Thanks for proving the intertron adage: Whatever follows the word “shorter” is always such a lame, warped, spun interpretation of the original comment that it is totally unrecognizable.
Ooh, Mac wants to play the “prove a negative” game. Because it isn’t enough that Mac is a dishonest hack, he wants to frame everyone else as thus. Sadly, he doesn’t realize there is a great difference between supplying a link to prove an affirmative statement versus supplying a link to disprove a statement. Or, if Mac is aware of the difference, he is hoping the rest of us aren’t.
So rather than say that Mac likes to fuck goats, I will challenge Mac to prove that he doesn’t fuck them.
If you’ll look at the link I’ve provided you’ll see that the post is misquoting the Bagdad only prewar levels with the country at large.
Of course that would require reading the source material.
As much as you’d like to be operating in a Moebius strip world, Iraq is like an Zocchihedron. There are many corners to turn.
I notified the author of the WaPo piece of his error (again, providing links and showing how he most likely screwed up).
I’ll certainly try to let you know if he replies.
Damned librul media!
It might be interesting to talk about why there is so much difficulty getting the eletricity going in Iraq.
It’s because the government there, and our forces, don’t have enough control over the streets and factilities to get the job done any faster or better. It’s because of the 138,000 American troops there, about 6 in 10 are in a support role, which means only about 50-60k are actually involved in keeping the country physically safe at any given time. Mostly, they are keeping our own bases and facilities safe. As for keeping Iraq itself safe, nobody is really doing that. The Iraq government can’t do it, and that’s why the electricity is iffy, along with the other infrastructure basics.
Iraq is in the first stages of a civil war and nobody is actually governing the country at this point.
You’re not very bright, John, which that comes as no surprise to anyone here. Even for you, though, that post was retarded.
I’m asking him to prove a positive — namely, that I did post what he said I posted. Asking him to prove a negative would be like me asking for him to prove that I never posted something, which would require him to peruse everything I ever posted (and then I could still claim that he was just not thorough enough and missed the one in question). Got it?
I’m so glad you didn’t ruin your 100% record of being wrong about everything! Keep at it!
Oh sorry, my previous entry will confuse those who probably thought that Iraq’s electrical power deficits were due to a fault circuit breaker that keeps tripping and nobody can reset it. Inasmuch as all those high-powered contractors are in there and billions of dollars in men and materiel are being pumped in there for three and half years and yet still they can’t keep the power on.
So as soon as we find that errant circuit breaker, I’m sure it will all be hunky dory again. Just a minor thing.
No that’s what I call a defense strategy!
Yeah, the volunteers to scan your posts are lining up now.
As soon as we can get them some amphetamines …..
We’ll get to the b-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-h-tom of this once and for all.
It’s Mac’s policy of No Goat’s Behind Left Behind.
I love when GWB talks about “Iraq” because “he’s been there and seen it.”
No, you’ve seen only 5 hours of Iraq’s version of Club Med separated from a cesspool of violence and ethnic strife by a shitload of fences and barriers.
Switch “Goat’s” back to “Child’s”, and you’ve got the Dept. of Homeland Security’s motto.
The Other Steve
Right! It’s on my list of things to do, right after I find the link where I supposedly cheered for Bush to be assassinated.
The Other Steve
Actually, I think it’s because Americans don’t know how to work with duct tape and bailing twine.
That article someone else linked to about the jet engines being used to power a plant and not having a reliable fuel source. I mean what were people thinking? Seems to me they were more concerned with getting the contract to sell the engines than in how they’d be used.
But then, nothing about this war has made much sense except for the greed of the war profiteers.
The Other Steve
Speaking of good news.
I am impressed that thus far President Bush has not offered to build a Nuclear reactor for Baghdad.
That shows he’s at least somewhat concerned with public perception.
Steve (and Mac),
The point isn’t that Kerry was a great candidate (he wasn’t, and he wasn’t my choice), but that Mac’s point about the vote count is meaningless. Mac brought it up as a way of showing how horrible Kerry was, that is, that he was such a bad candidate that the most people ever(!) voted for the other candidate.
But it shows no such thing, the record vote had much more to do with population growth and turnout. Unless Mac’s saying that Bush voters were actually just so appalled at the thought of a Kerry presidency that they turned out to vote for Bush aginst their better judgement, I don’t see the relevance of the vote numbers. It would make just as much sense to argue that John Kerry was the best candidate the Democrats ever fielded, as evidenced by his record tally. After all, he received the largest vote total of any Democratic candidate ever. For the record, I don’t believe that, but the ’04 election was the closest in history. That simply doesn’t say much about the general popularity or unpopularity of either candidate. Should Kerry have beaten Bush? Sure, but there were a lot of factors more important in the election than his unappealingness.
Thus taking “kidding” to a whole new level …..
John, dems have been wondering the very same thing since, oh, about 2000!!!!!! Just another case of Bush is good, everyone else bad, according to the fawning press. He hooked ’em good back in 2000 and they’ve been bowing to him ever since. It’s nice to see a Republican finally coming around to the ruse.
BUSH ALSO HAD THE MOST VOTES AGAINST ANY PRESIDENT IN HISTORY!!!!!!!
Experiences of some of the three female Iraqi employees at the US embassy in Iraq:
So, tell me again how democracy is on the march in Iraq?
Per Punchy’s comment:
Oh, easy: the fundamentalist, Shiite majority of the Iraqi population is finally able to express its heartfelt desire to see Islamic Sharia law imposed on everybody. That’s democracy, majority-rule, in the Middle East. Especially once you’ve wrecked the secular, Arab-nationalist alternatives.
(not ‘you’ personally, but ‘you’ as in ‘USA’.)
With all the sexual predators running the agency, I thought the motto was “Doing Kids in the Behind”.
Everyone’s a critic. Does anyone have any better ideas? Do you want to put Saddam back? Do you want to do an immediate withdrawal? Do you want to send more troops there? Come on. The government was put in place 6 months after the all the elections according to the plan, all taking place on time. So 6 months, 3 more than the government gets here to transition – not the end of the world for a country’s first elections. You are defintiely turning into a Democrat with all this whining and glass is half empty stuff instead of marveling that the government is at least holding for now and seeming to move forward little by little.
Yes there is ethnic cleansing but it’s not like it was so great before the war and it will go on there long after Bush is gone. Their cultural attitudes is not Bush’s fault. We are not there to change their culture. We are there to set up at least a minimally funtioning democracy that can hold a minumum of order as their culutural attitudes develop (or don’t) so we can at least give them a good start. And so far the government is holding and seems likely to hold. I say Bush has reason to crow.
What really puzzles me is whether Mac and the other Bushists actually believe the crap they’re peddling, or if it’s just a chant they intone as part of their Bush Worship ceremony, with no more meaning than reciting Biblical begats.
On the one hand, I find it hard to credit that anyone can be that insulated from seeing the reality of what we’ve done to Iraq, to our military, to our national reputation. Much easier to believe they’re simply that dishonest.
On the other hand, being that dishonest, for no other reason than displaying loyalty to Team Bush – as if the horrors they’ve unleashed are no more real or meaningful than a video game – argues that Bushists have pretty thoroughly dehumanized themselves. And I get nervous thinking that 30% of the electorate has voluntarily zombified itself.
So Iraq before the war was a peaceful paradise? These horrors were “unleashed”?
Funny you should say that. Bill O’Reily might just have an answer for you.
I’m not saying we should listen to Falafel Bill, but it’s telling that voices on the right believe we should be treating Iraqis like their foregone oppressor.
If the “most votes in history” phrase wads your panties, just forget it, replace it with “Bush beat Kerry by 3 million votes,” and my point (and Klein’s) is still made: Elections are not simply a referendum on the incumbent anymore, for a variety of reasons. The opposition candidate does matter in an election, or Bush would’ve been beaten to a pulp in 2004.
Shorter scs: The insurgency is in its last throes. Cheney said it (in May 2005), I believe it, and that settles it.
Well got to disagree with Bill on this one, seeing as most bombings happen in broad daylight in crowded marketplaces. I don’t know how a nighttime curfew is going to help. No, I say we just continue what we’re doing and start withdrawing after a year or so, so as to give the new government time to get set up. My suggestion is bribes are always good. Start bribing more Sunni’s with more police and government jobs. Once they feel their bread is buttered with the government, they may be less likely to rise against it.
Hmmm is this the same as this?
I realize that pundits get pretty free reign when writing, but do the editors proof the copy at all? What does “officially unindicted” mean?
Hold on, hold on, hold on. Because I think the Democrat running against Bush had a big hand in Bush winning in 2004, that means I “worship” Bush? Yeah, me and Joe Klein, Bushists! Dude, I never even voted for the guy. Try again, without the ridiculous attempts to create a fictional cult that you can rail against. That’s just silly.
My suggestion is bribes are always good.
Where do you think the missing $9 billion went, ScS? The Bush crew believe in bribery, too. Are you worried that the Iraqi government isn’t corrupt enough already?
Um hmm. A view that’s been expressed pretty much unanimously by everyone who posts here since I’ve been here.
I dunno, Mac, maybe you, like John Cole, are just chronically understood. That is what you want, isnt’ it?
I’m just saying. If you wanted to be … uh … understood, wouldn’t it be easier to just make yourself understood?
Are you here to seek agreement? Or are you just here for the ballbusting?
Just curious, but certainly not expecting a real answer.
Did it, though? I think that 2004 was so marked by the country being divided on pretty damn near EVERYTHING, that there were really very few undecideds. The Dems could have run the “perfect” candidate, or they could have run a bowl of pea soup, and I honestly think the outcome wouldn’t have been all that different. Look at how many Republicans are only now beginning to admit that they’re disillusioned with Bush. Look at how many of them, in 2004, would have eaten glass before hearing so much as a questionable word against the war or the president. A dynamite Dem candidate might have swayed the small number of undecided voters, and it very well might have made enough of a difference to win, but I bet it wouldn’t have been by a large margin.
The explanation for the high spirits of Bush and his people, John, is very simple: they’re seriously stupid, which we already knew.
What’s harder to explain is why acclaimed pundits like Klein are comparably stupid in appraising the real political situation — but then, we learned how dumb most of the Talking Heads really are when they were virtually unanimous in predicting political apocalypse for Clinton and the Democrats in 1998 over the Monica affair. As with celebrity in general, celebrity in the media for being a “major” reporter, alas, has little connection with actual ability.
You should explain that to Larv and Vlad, then. They seem to think Kerry was a real winner! If you had actually read the thread, perhaps you wouldn’t be “chronically confused.”
And Krista, too, I see.
Can you, uh, describe your role here, Mac?
Really. Give it a shot. C’mon, we’re all friends here, don’t be shy.
Hey, I could very well be wrong. That was just the impression that I got, looking in from the outside. I do think the fact that the Dems ran a dud made a difference — I’m just not certain of how much of a difference it would have made.
Before the cock crows Mac Buckets will note 3 times in this thread that he did not vote for Bush.
Mac…you are not fooling anyone, you clearly have a death grip on that ax you are wielding to chop down any comments that do not paint Bush, and by extension, the GOP, as a glorious beast, worthy of praise on bended knee.
The above is my way of saying Mac Buckets comments make me laugh, and puting a little humor in ones life should not be a major cause for concern.
Almost forgot to mention that scs’s comments are also good for a head shaking chuckle or two (or three, or four…).
While those two paragraphs are as convincing as a racist, high school dropout’s argument for their inherent superiority, they’re not nearly as funny.
Mac, please accept my apologies; I must’ve had you confused with someone else.
My take on Kerry is ambivalent. He was a good Senator, but not my first choice as Presidential Candidate. Once the deal was done, I supported him and wrote nice things about him. But he annoyed the hell out of me, by blowing off one chance after another to take a stand, and by playing that dumb game of muttering remarks he should have shouted from the rooftops, and apologizing for things he shouldn’t have apologized for. When, instead of going after the Swiftboat libels boots and all, he decided “not to dignify” them with a response, I was in despair. And when, contrary to his frequent vows to “fight for you!,” he folded his tent without a mumblin’ word after Ohio, I lost respect for him.
It galls me to say it, but the pundits and GOP were right about one thing: Kerry lacked leadership qualities. He seemed to not have the slightest clue how to grab the initiative and hold onto it. Looking back, that gives a new spin on why his BCCI investigation never went anywhere: he ran into some obstacles, and lacked either the will or the imagination to get around them.
Since Kerry absolutely had both guts and initiative before he was elected to the Senate, I wonder if being in the Senate for so long is what robbed him of them. Something about all that speechifying and compromising and clubbiness must wear down your edge until you don’t have one anymore.
And that makes me wonder about the latest Democratic star, Obama. Everyone says he should wait a term or two before running for President. Now, that makes a lot of sense – he needs a record to run on, he needs to show he’s more than a great speaker with a terrific sense of humor – but if he loses his will and ability to lead the same way Kerry did, maybe he should think about a Presidential run sooner rather than later.
You shouldn’t say that. He WON both his elections, you know. If he’s stupid, then his opposition is stoopider. Bush is stupid is getting old. When you guys gonna give it up? I think you guys are too stupid and can’t think of anything else. You sound like children when you say that. List what you don’t like about the man but when you call him stupid and he wins, then you lose credibility.
Andrew J. Lazarus
Well, I don’t think we have to pile on Mac’s bogus electricity claim anymore, but it would be nice to see him retract it in the face of massive evidence (e.g. Brookings). Instead, let me return to Joe Klein.
Look, the MSM has always grooved to Bush’s personality. I’m not sure why, but it’s true. They swallow his insulting nicknames and ask for more. And watching Bush dance his little jig in the cockpit excites them. The fact that we’re still up the creek in Iraq and the American public still sees that just doesn’t register within the Presidential reality distortion field.
Answering John’s original question about Klein’s piece. What’s your role?
I won’t retract the Washington Post’s claim, Andrew. Get them to do it if you have the goods (and I’m not sure if Brookings will be sufficient).
Read much, Mac?
Just to be clear, you’re conceding that Bush’s incompetence was manifestly clear by the time of the election, then? And no, without the “most votes in history” phrase, you just don’t have a point. It was a close election. Both sides had record turnout. If John Kerry were the unelectable, unappealing loser you make him out to be, wouldn’t that depress Democratic turnout? And as you’ve admitted Bush should have been unpalatable to any thinking person at that point, why was Republican turnout so high? Could it be that the personal appeal of the candidates simply wasn’t that important a factor? Kerry wasn’t a perfect candidate for a lot of reasons, but his faults didn’t seriously affect the election. I’d have preferred Clark or even Dean, but Kerry was plenty good enough. So why didn’t he win? Well, a lot of reasons, including the relentless swift-boating and other attacks, the willingness of the President to invoke 9-11 and the WoT whenever convenient, the Supreme Court, FAGS!!!, and a hundred other reasons unrelated to Kerry’s stiffness, wordiness, or East Coast liberal-ness. Let’s be serious, John Kerry isn’t responsible for Bush being in office today. That responsibility rests squarely with the idiots who voted for Bush in spite of his obvious failures the first time.
The Other Steve
I find all the talk about how bad Kerry was in 2004 compared to Bush rather pathetic.
As a man, Kerry is far more competetent and capable to be President than Bush. There’s no question about that, especially having suffered through six years of the Bush record.
The reason Kerry lost in 2004 was politics. Not policies, but political dirty tricks and games. Kerry didn’t know how to respond, and he should have. Anybody who claims otherwise is being dishonest. The whole game today is about perception and personality.
See that’s because Democrats have this stupid idea that politics is fair, and voters will come out and support the guy who has the best policy ideas. It’s not, it’s about Machiovellian perception.
That’s why Rove had Bush build a brush ranch in 1999 near Waco. Or land on a carrier wearing a flight suit. All these staged photo-ops… the wording in the background at speeches, etc. It’s all about perception.
Should the Democrats be better at calling it what it is? Absolutely.
But who have been the real losers as a result of the disasterous Bush Presidency?
Democrats? That’s what the Republicans would want you to believe.
But the real losers have been Americans, of all political stripes.
The Other Steve
Yeah, it might be getting old… but it’s certainly not getting less true.
Winning elections doesn’t mean you are smart enough to govern. Bush has proven that utterly and completely.
Since John didn’t actually ask a question, can you describe the question?
You see, Joe Klein goes to those cocktail parties in DC and this is his entire frame of reference. I remember Chris Matthews being shocked on hardball when Bush’s approval ratings dropped into the thirties. He looked at his guests and said “Do you hear this kind of dislike at the parties you go to?” All of the guests nodded “no”.
Well, except for Mac Buckets. He’s in snark heaven.
Which is the point, right? I mean, the whole Rove, Bush thing. It’s about lording it over liberals, right?
Let me help out O’Reilly on this one… “since so many bombings happen during the day, if I was the leader of Iraq I would have orders to shoot everyone on sight… shoot them right between the eyes…”
You can’t prove that. All you can prove is that he’s governed differently than you would have liked. Listing what you would have done differently would be interesting. Calling him stupid is lazy.
Larv, I kind of agree with you on this, but, maybe not so much.
It’s telling that Kerry is going after the Swift boat slime crew NOW, after several years. What he should have done is go after them right away, gotten his rhetorical hands dirty, and made the point that just telling lies about someone over and over again doesn’t make them truth, except in Nazi Germany. He should have been relentless.
There was a moment in a long ago presidential debate when Mike Dukakis was asked by a reporter whether, if his wife was raped and murdered, that would change his anti-death penalty stance. He made a very measured response, exactly the wrong response. What the reporter was after was a human reaction and what Dukakis gave was boilerplate. It was an important moment and it struck me how such a simple thing could change the direction of a debate and, I think, an election. I never liked Reagan as a politician, but I would argue it was well nigh impossible to not like him as a person.
It was with great horror that I heard the “Dean scream” on NPR. No one could listen to that tape and not know that the Dean campaign was done.
I’m no pundit though, I remember W being asked who were his heros were. You remember he answered “Jesus Christ,” and I thought at the time “RIGHT, he’s really stepped in it now, that’s an unresponsive answer and a phony one.” WRONG.
A QUESTION to Mac Buckets. So, if you don’t mind, who DID you vote for in 2000 and 2004. I’m not being tricky here, I’m just genuinely curious.
Fine. Then I will call him a liar.
He touted himself as a fiscal conservative. I can give you 8,839,338,436,564 reasons why that isn’t even close to being true.
I think Mac voted for himself. Write-in.
I think it was this:
Since Republicans have totally fucked over the country, who should I vote for in… OMG!!! LOOK! It’s Cindy Sheehan! And she’s chasing Tunch, who is riding on Roethlisberger without a helmet! Oh no, they just crashed into some lame truthiness from Joe Klein.
It could be greed, but I think it’s just incompetence. They were thinking that they have to build up Iraq’s generating capacity quickly, to make the rebuilding project look like a success. Gas turbine generators can be put in place a lot more quickly than steam generating plants. But gas turbines require clean fuel, like natural gas. Iraq has only crude oil to burn. This causes huge maintenance problems, and high fuel costs, since most of the fuel must be trucked in from Turkey. The article I think you are talking about is here, it explains it all:
It’s excellent, anyone interested in this stuff should read it. Best quote:
It sounds like classic short-term thinking, or perhaps wishful thinking, without considering the real situation in Iraq. A lot like the rest of the war.
Ah, that explains Mac’s private thread-within-a-thread then. He could come along and say “Kerry is a funny looking poophead who didn’t renounce Jane Fonda and also couldn’t beat this failed president in 2004 when by the way I didn’t vote for Bush myself so don’t blame me but despite that I’m just tons smarter and better educated than any of the likes of you. ”
Personally, I blame the tragicly ridiculous voting irregularities that always ended in Bush’s favor. Remember seeing all the exit polling coming out of Ohio, New Mexico, and Pennsylvannia? Remember the voting lines in poor black neighborhoods that stretched for miles? Or the scandals involving New Hamphire Democratic phone banks being blocked by an Idaho phone company paid off by Republican agents.
Don’t blame this on the Dems not having a plan or the candidates coming across as weak-kneed or uninspiring. This isn’t about who voted for what, but about who didn’t get to vote at all.
Don’t buy into that bullshit Republican party line.
The Other Steve
Bush’s shitty performance long ago passed beyond the partisan “I would have done it differently” into the “My God, how fucking stupid can you be!?” realm.
I mean we all knew he wasn’t going to be as good of a leader as Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton. That was obvious from the start. But to sink to Richard Nixon looks better levels.
Man, you gotta be really trying to accomplish that, and that’s the sure sign of a stupid person.
I’ve got 8,339,346,916,430.96 reasons for everyone to vote against the people in power.
Mac Buckets says:
Saddam let the Iraqi power grid deteriorate because all he cared about were the 20% Sunni population
That’s exactly right. The cherished liberal myth of how the electricity situation is worse now than under Saddam simply isn’t true. Undoubtedly, the Sunnis had better electricity under Saddam, but the rest of the grid was in awful shape when we got there. I know it’s easier to try to blame Halliburton or Bechtel for it, but sometimes it really is Saddam’s fault.
And as for the president being stuck in the 30s, he’s had a 4 point bounce since the Zarqawi capture. Politics isn’t about poll numbers, it’s about momentum, at least at this time of the year with the elections 6 months off. Bush has momentum and the Democrats are seeking into political, I hate to use this word, quagmire.
Ever heard of the phrase “dead-cat bounce”?
I guess we’ll see about what kind of bounce it is when we have the real polls in November. Until then, I don’t see how whether or not the president is stuck in the 30s makes much difference.
And if Zarqawi’s capture caused this much of a bounce, just imagine what will happen if Osama is caught before November.
Amen, MikeLucca. Those Democrats are going to be shaking their heads in dismay a couple of months from now, and it couldn’t happen to a worse bunch. Moral laxity, fiscal recklessness, and suicidal pacifism didn’t play well with America in 2004, and are unlikely to do so this November either. Hopefully, by then Iraq will be going much better, driving erstwhile allies and vacillating RINOs back into the Big Tent. If not, the Democrats will enjoy a short two-year success, followed by a lengthy period acclimating themselves to minor party status.
You’d think after Kerry and Gore both tanked, they’d begin to wise up to the fact that the American people aren’t buying their shell game anymore. But these bozos make the mistake of listening to their own lies. Most of them actually BELIEVE the nonsense they spew about Iraq, global warming, evolution, gay marriage, and what have you. A couple of them are actually spoofs- DougJ, Paddy O’Shea, probably ppGAZ- but the rest are simply pathetic adherents to the doomsday cult of alarmist science and the ill-fated coalition of tree-huggers, trial lawyers, and limousine liberals of every ilk and stripe.
I’d feel sorry for them, if they weren’t so unrepentant and surly.
Half the moonbat talking points will vanish instantly; with GWOT wrapping up, they’ll probably have to whine and moan about how Bush bought Crawford in 1999 instead of losing it to their precious estate taxes like most Americans do. That’ll be the biggest issue they’ll have to talk about. That, or whining about how some Republican dog-catcher in Toledo turned out to be a crook. The Democratic Party has no ideas and no direction, and every time they open their mouths they buttress this opinion in the minds of every thinking American.
I gave you a link to a really good article about this, which you obviously haven’t read. Do you even care what the truth is? Sure, the grid was in bad shape when we got there, but since we have gotten there, we’ve continued to screw it up.
Another good example of this sort of thing is with the oil pipelines. You can read an example of how that’s going here:
Here, Halliburon was given $75 million to tunnel under a river for a pipeline. They knew that the local geology made tunneling impossible, but did they point this out to anyone, did they suggest another plan? No, they just spent all the money drilling away, even though they knew it wasn’t going to work.
“They” referred to Democratic strategists. Kerry and Gore will never wise up, IMHO.
Oh crap. The tunnel article I linked to above is in the pay-only archives. I’ll try to find a better link to the story later.
Hopefully, by then Iraq will be going much better, driving erstwhile allies and vacillating RINOs back into the Big Tent.
Hopefully, Iraq will be doing better, yes, but I’m tired of people calling each other RINOs. Enough with that. It’s just stupid and divisive.
Politics isn’t about poll numbers, it’s about momentum, at least at this time of the year with the elections 6 months off. Bush has momentum and the Democrats are seeking into political, I hate to use this word, quagmire.
What Klein ignores (and what you also ignore, via your adherence to Klein’s narrative) is that life doesn’t work like that. After a large number of bad things happen and a large number of castles turn out to be built on sand, things don’t just “turn around” after a few positive developments. Klein and much of the media is accepting a “Hollywood-narrative” type of turnaround fed by the White House where suddenly the president, after being battered down and bruised, has a “turning point moment” (in this case, the capture of Zarqawi) after which he rides a group of successes to victory. Real life does not conform to the Hollywood narrative. Successes are built on a deep foundation of planning and persistent work to maintain those successes over time. I confess that the narrative appeal of the “turnaround” story is compelling, but it is one that doesn’t actually exist. The structural reasons for Bush’s decline are too deeply ingrained, and the Bush administration hasn’t bothered to address these structural problems and were depending on the Hollywood-narrative to save them.
What else do you call people like John Cole? He sounds like a Democrat most of the time, despite being a nominal Republican who voted for Bush twice. (No disrespect intended, I appreciate the forum and the effort, and I hope one day you’ll see the light and return to us.)
A former Republican who is now an independent?
I actually know several Conservative Republicans who are now Libertarians thanks to Bush. They won’t be voting Republican any more. Some will vote for 3rd party others for Dems.
Sorry if my post has in any way interfered with your daily self congratulatory hand job here on BJ.
I don’t think it would affect Bush’s ratings very much at all. Didn’t Bush go from saying he wanted Osama dead or alive, to saying he really wasn’t all that worried about him? People remember that stuff, and I think that most people, if Osama is caught, would give all of the credit to the military, and none to its Commander-in-Chief.
Bush isn’t interested in catching Osama. I think that’s pretty obvious. I’ve heard this “pull the rabbit out of the hat” for 4 years now and it hasn’t happened. Bush has allowed the trail to run cold on Osama and it’s unlikely that he will be ever caught.
Not if he’s still a registered Republican, though.
Thank you for the pointless anecdote having nothing to do with RINOs specifically or derogatory nomenclature for leftish Republicans in general. Perhaps next time you can tell me some other irrelevant information- the plot of the story you wrote your 9th grade book report on, perhaps; or, your favorite color; or, what you want to be when you grow up (an astronaut? a pirate? a cowboy? a rock star? some strange combination of the aforementioned careers?); or perhaps about some other things that pertain to matters other than what current Republican Party members are thinking or doing. Anything else is fair game, really. Knock yourself out. It’s a very broad range of potential topics.
Well, I post here very seldomly, my posts aren’t self-congratulatory, and they in no way, shape, or form resemble sexual activities. Other than that, though, no problem.
I’m pretty sure we still want Osama dead or alive, or we wouldn’t have so many troops looking for him. Remember, in the interim between those two statements, we overthrew the Taliban and took away most of OBL’s freedom to act. You can be not worried about someone committing more crimes, but still want to punish him for his past crimes. Happens all the time.
Ok, I think this link will work.
It’s too bad your posts don’t resemble your sexual activities, though – at least then they would have the benefit of being much, much shorter.
Cool — the gang at Crooks and Liars uses John as an example that it isn’t just lefties who think Klein is a tool.
Bullsit strawman. I brought the subject up and I’ve never said it is worse. I simply quoted our ambassador to Iraq, who said that it sucks. After three and a half years and billions of dollars, it sucks.
And as I said, and you ignored, the reason why it sucks is the reason why it’s important. It sucks because we don’t have enough control over the country to fix the electrical supply problem. Neither the US nor Iraq can maintain that control and get things working. According to recent reports, already posted and referenced by me, the situation is deteriorating, not improving. Our forces are mostl hloed up in safe zones and protecting our own assets, and Iraq forces are mostly impotent.
That’s the message, not some bullshit about whether they now have more KW hours than they got from Saddam.
But by all means, keep making that stupid argument.
You’re a spoof.
Sure. If you call “passive looking” the same as cornering him at Tora Bora. Of course they are looking for him, but there are not platoons of soliders on the dog hunt for OBL.
Trying to suggest that OBL is this administrations main focus is disingenuous at best.
For example, just the other day, in Pakistan, an American soldier was heard to say, “Is that him?”
But seriously folks, the issue revolves around this pair of very stupid statements by the Most Powerful Man in the World:
Fall 2001: Wanted, dead or alive!
Spring 2002: I am really not that concerned with him.
Getting him went from top priority to way down the list in early 2002 when Bush decided to have his war in Iraq.
Not many people any more are fooled by the weaseling and spinning around this story from the apologistocracy. But we are blessed to have a couple of people and a couple of spoofs here who want to keep up the charade.
Mac Buckets says:
I’m pretty sure we still want Osama dead or alive, or we wouldn’t have so many troops looking for him.
I’ve heard we’ve actually got about a quarter of our special forces over near the Pakistani border looking for Osama. It’s tricky because Mushareff can’t openly support finding him, so reports of the troop numbers have to minimized.
In the simplistic Howard Dean world, catching Osama is simple. But given the global realities we face in the war on terror, it is much more difficult than that. And Bush is doing a much better job of it than we can publicly know, for now.
Really? Then how would you know that, Mister Spoof?
C’mon Doug, this is not your best work.
All conservative blog posters get those top-secret briefings. It’s the same way they know exactly what the NSA spy program involves and doesn’t involve.
Ah. The Limbaugh broadcasts contain a sideband channel that decodes into the secret briefing material?
Brilliant. Knowledge, as they say, is power.
What the hell is ppGaz’s problem? Is sarcasm is his only mode of expression?
While we’re at it, what’s up with GOP4Me? He can’t be serious. Is that what you all mean when you talk about spoofs?
I’m all for spoof, Doug, as you know. I just think that we’ve graduated to the point where the spoofing is going to have to get a little better. 2005 spoof doesn’t work in 2006, man. Not here, anyway.
Spoofing, like being president, is just Hard Work.
Try harder. Seriously, your Lucca material is pretty obvious. At least GOP4Me is funny.
How much of a bounce do you think he’ll get for two American soldiers tortured to death as compensation for the Zarqawi kill?
Well, Soj, it’s about time for the horse’s ass to make another Bring It On gaffe.
The man governs by gaffe, and we haven’t seen a good one for a couple of months.
Sad but true. I don’t see how any reasonable American can stomach anymore of the BS this administration continues to spew.
So we should just all sit down, shut up, and trust Daddy Bush to take care of the big bad man? This administration has been overwhelmingly marked by incompetence and arrogance. If you still think that Bush is doing a great job in the hunt for Bin Laden, then that’s your prerogative. But a large majority of Americans (and a large majority of America’s allies) wouldn’t trust Bush to find his own ass with two hands and a flashlight right now.
And like ppGaz said, if he’s doing a better job than we can publicly know, then how do you know that?
Karl, is that you?
Wow. Did anybody actually read the Klein column? He SAVAGES Bush and Rove! The first two seemingly pro-Bush paragraphs are just the setup for the rest of the column, which takes Bush to the woodshed. Read the article for yourselves!
Hilarious! John Cole has morphed from disgruntled conservative all the way into “liberal leader.” Check it out.
I thought that ridiculing a blind man for wearing sunglasses was pretty good. You must gave higher gaffe standards.
I’ve read some offensive diatribes here before, but this analogy takes the cake:
As a lifelong White Sox fan and the blood relative of a former player, I can tell you that this is the most unforgivable abomination ever to appear on this blog. From the grave, Shoeless Joe curses you, Mac B, and your descendants to the seventh generation.
Of course, it is obvious to anyone paying attention that in baseball terms, the Republicans are BALCO, Grimsley and Conseco, up to and including guilty pleas and time served.
MikeLucca, if you want to learn how to build a better spoof, try scrutator.net and blogsforbush.com. GoPee4Me comes from the former, dribble from the latter.
I followed the Daily Howler link and you’re right that Klein actually mostly went after Bush. Is Klein the same guy who wrote the book about Clinton they made into that Travolta movie?
I checked scrutator.net out. I wasn’t impressed.
The Republicans are clearly the Yankees. I can’t imagine a more obvious analogy.
Blogsforbush doesn’t look much better.
GOP4Me, I hope you are enjoying one-party rule, because that’s going to be ending in November. I do agree with you about “suicidal pacifism” though. There’s just one way to spread democracy, and that’s at the end of a cannon. I’ll bet you would support Bill O’Reillys’ position, sending in a couple hundred thousand more troops, eh? Or are you more of a “final solution” kind of guy?
Um, weren’t those two very close elections? Are you taking your meds? Again, I’m forced to agree with you about Global Warming, especially if you discount all those moonbat scientists. How can they all agree about this, they must be tree-hugging limousine liberals? However, you of all people should know that we all come from apes, except that your family tree seems to have decended more from the slimy side.
I must apologize here, we moonbats are getting very crabby watching as our system of government is defiled by people who can’t understand science, are afraid of their shadows, whose marriages are, apparently, so shaky that gay marriage will dissolve them, who think the first amendment is first because that’s the order we eliminate amendments in, and whose solution to every problem is…tax cuts!
This is beyond stupid and funny in a hideous way. Besides, your party doesn’t want the war to end, how will they hold onto power without the never-ending war? Now, go out there and help your friends disenfranchise some voters, ok? With luck you might be able to steal another election. You don’t really need to steal it, just get it to the Supreme Court, we’ve got people there, know what I mean, nudge nudge?
One last thing, feel sorry for yourself if you really believe any of the scurillous trash you posted earlier.
Ah, a little history… once upon a time, there was a poster who used the pseudonym DougJ. He would make right-wing arguments that were very weak, exaggerated to the point of absurdity, or otherwise dumb. As it turned out, he was faking. He is left of center — or maybe a moderate conservative but disgusted by Bush and his supporters, I seem to remember he’s claimed that background — and just trying to mock or even discredit actual reactionaries.
He has used other pseudonyms as well. He’s been very convincing sometimes. He has also inspired imitators, although I don’t think any ever took it ask far as he did. (He’s still around, but doesn’t try to maintain a wingnut facade any more.) And ppGaz seems to think that your posts are DougJ’s creation.
Personally I don’t think so. (But then, DougJ has fooled me before.) In some ways you fit the pattern — a handle that’s not very distinctive, opinions that are uniformly right-wing, possible contempt for liberals but few or no actual insults. But in other ways you don’t. For one thing, I’m pretty sure DougJ has never said a word about his background, while you have. And the fact that your opinions seem to be uniformly right-wing so far doesn’t mean much, since if I’m not mistaken you’ve only been around for a few threads.
Either GOP4Me is for real, or he is one of the most elaborate hoaxes in the history of the Internet. He has a blog all his own, with other posters (at least, posts written under other handles) and everything. He has even got in an argument or two with DougJ. Be afraid. Be very afraid.
There are spoofs, and then there are trolls. Spoofs don’t believe what they’re saying, and are trying to poke fun at those who they are imitating. Trolls may or may not believe what they’re saying, but their main m.o. is to deliberately be antagonistic, offensive, or provocative in an attempt to piss people off and derail a thread. That’s my read on it, anyway. I think there are wikipedia entries for both categories of posters.
I’ve got $50 that says he is a spoof.
Have any spoofs on here (besides DougJ) ever admitted to spoofery? I’m inclined to agree with ppGaz, but the chances of us ever finding out for sure are slim to none, IMHO.
I am ppGaz and Darrell.
Andrew J. Lazarus
I have found via Google what must be the best summary ever of our “improvement” in electricity generation ever created. It ends with May 2005 (not 06), but I’m sure an update would be more of the same. It takes as textual narrative Arthur Chrenkoff’s “Good News from Iraq”, juxtaposing his many dramatic announcements of improvement and new construction with Brookings’ calculation of the amount of power generated. The summary:
Wow. I wonder if anyone has ever juxtaposed the announcements of Goebbels with the position of the Wehrmacht on the Russian Front in quite that way.
The State department publishes electricity figures [page 11], and they are falling all over themselves to report a good week (!) in electricity generation. Even their own numbers, however, show that we are behind the amount generated in August 2005 and July 2005, which makes it hard for me to accept the idea this is a real improvement.
You know, if Iraq really is much better in November, then the Democrats aren’t going to do so well, except if they (again) manage to serve as Snowball to Bush’s Napoleon. But tell me, O GOP spoofers, if it’s just the same quagmire as now—your own Golden Boy president has admitted that it won’t be fixed up in his presidency—will you be voting Democratic or looking for fresh excuses?
Pleased to meet you. I’m scs, DougJ, Brian, and BIRDZILLA (haven’t used that persona in awhile…I’ve run out of weed.)
Of your many incarnations, I’m particularly impressed with BIRDZILLA. Maintaining such an extreme character must be as taxing as performing Lucky’s monologue in “Waiting for Godot”. And not having anything from this planet to use as a model makes it that much more difficult. I’m putting you up for a Webby next year — “Best Alien Blogger”.
They do have a category for everything.
Oooh, I just love seeing those poor balls getting kicked