One of the most perplexing things about the last 6-7 years is that time and time again, this administration has violated nearly every conservative principle, yet there remains a core of supporters who continue to cheerlead these fools. Whether it be campaign finance reform, the prescription drug plan, the hideous spending- you name it, the administration has sold conservatives down the river. And faced with the fact that they have been shat on, the Bushbots, rather than reflect on whether their alleged core beliefs mean anything, choose to switch rhetorical strategies and state that the Bush position really is the conservative postion. I mean, how many laughably absurd posts did we have to endure from Hugh Hewitt in which he assured us that Harriet Meiers was the best choice for the Supreme Court?
What is really depressing about all of this is that the administration, I have come to believe, believes in nothing other than maintaining power. They do not plan, they do not have an over-arching philosophy, they have no goals or ideals, and their rhetoric and public positions shift depending on what is determined to provide the most immediate short-term political benefit. Everything is done with a political calculus, and decisions are made solely for what provides the most immediate benefit. Need some support for the far right? No problem. Appoint some nutters to NASA and the FDA. The neocon wing is rumbling? Not an issue- just insert some crazy talk in the next speech. It is governing by political strategery, and it has been a disaster. It is not unlike watching an addict- he/she will say whatever is necessary just to get past the immediate situation, with no thought of the future implications of their current actions.
The best most recent example of this was the administration’s attempted walkback on the “Stay the Course” mantra. When it was pointed out that “Stay the course” actually was the “policy” of this administration, the blowhards and the bloggers spent the next few weeks backtracking, looking for the right rhetorical strategy to explain that “Stay the Course” didn’t really mean “Stay the Course,” it meant doing whatever it takes to win. Except, of course, it didn’t, and the automatons whose daily job is to wake up and defend America from the attacks of evil liberals and the media looked like fools once again.
At any rate, the administration has done it to their diehards again. After years of treating us to tales that we are winning in Iraq- just the evil media won’t report the good news, I am unsure how the blogosphere and the administration mouthpieces are going to handle this:
Robert Gates, the White House choice to be the next defense secretary, conceded Tuesday that the United States is not winning the war in Iraq and warned that if that country is not stabilized in the next year or two it could lead to a “regional conflagration.”
At the outset of his Senate confirmation hearing, Gates said he is open to new ideas about correcting the U.S. course in Iraq, which he said would be his highest priority if confirmed as expected.
Gates, 63, said he believes President Bush wants to see Iraq improve to the point where it can govern and defend itself, while seeking a new approach. “What we are now doing is not satisfactory,” Gates said.
“In my view, all options are on the table, in terms of how we address this problem in Iraq,” he added.
So forget all that stuff your heard from the right the past few years (up to and including the last few weeks), because the administration has pulled the rug out from under them once again. The funny thing (if there is any humor in this) will be to watch the usual suspects now claim that they have been saying we are losing Iraq all along (they haven’t) and coming to grips with the notion that all options are now on the table (presumably, that would include “cutting and running.”).
I doubt they will even notice that the administration has sold them down the river once again (they either can’t or won’t, as the last six years have demonstrated), although in fairness it has to be difficult to see with all that egg on their collective faces. But, no matter. They will rally around the President and this corrupt and incompetent administration regardless, because, after all, we all know what they are thinking:
“The Democrats are Worse.”
*** Update ***
The upside to the Gates statement today may be that the administration, having pretty much lost everything in the elections last month, may now be willing to embrace a sense of realism. Or maybe this is just a token to get Gates appointed and to slow down/stave off investigations. Who knows? From my standpoint, they do not deserve the benefit of the doubt, although I do appreciate this rare bit of honesty coming from an prospective administration appointee.
What a fool believes, he sees.
We remember that loyalists “rallied around the President and (his) corrupt …government regardless …” right up until the very hour that Nixon resigned.
Seen this movie before.
My favorite loony-tnes wingnut, Mark Noonan:
Now that is some good denial!
Don’t hold your breath. I think Gates just hasn’t had the opportunity get to browbeaten and run around by the existing administrators to learn when not to speak his mind and toe the line. Give him till March and he’ll either be in the loop (like Rice) or out in the dark (like Powell).
Honestly, I expect Gates to become intimately familiar with Powell’s reasons for leaving. When he starts getting left out of meetings and told to run out in front of the media to spout deliberate falsehoods without being filled in on what he’s saying, it’ll be interesting to see how he handles it.
jesus, that’s just nuts. everybody in the administration has stated over and over again that they want to ‘win’ iraq. one more gets added to the pile and its the news story of the year or something?
“what’s the big story is that Gates admits he likes pie. the MSM will obviously ignore that one.”
And so it begins…
Instapundit has said we are “winning in Iraq” up to very recently and said everyone who is “paying attention” should understand this. Now, he’s offering to chair a “What To Do About Iraq” blogwankathon that includes “cutting and running” alla John Murtha.
I think it is hilarious all the folks who are taking shots at Rumsfeld like National Review’s Rich Lowry after cheerleading him on for so very, very, very long.
It doesn’t matter who says what about Iraq, it will always be open to debate if it contradicts with whatever the voices tell you. Amazing.
If Gate’s assesment of Iraq is open to debate, his determination to win must also be debatable (along with every thing else he says). Unless that point isn’t open to debate because the writer says it is so. Yeah.
Can we convince these guys that “gravity” is just a liberal fairy tale created to keep us from flying and then take them up the Empire State Building?
MAY 09, 2006
AL QAEDA SAYS WE’RE WINNING: That’s not news, really, if you’ve been paying attention.
posted at 09:04 AM by Glenn Reynolds
Feeling slightly ungenerous today (somebody emailed me spoilers of the season finale of The Wire…) so, I’m going to point out how John’s sentiments were just crazy talk when brought up 4 years ago
So, welcome to the party, I guess…
Powerline has seized on a later statement by Gates that, “we’re not winning or losing, ‘at this point'” as an opportunity to attack the vile MSM.
Here is the straight jacket the administration has placed around Powerline, Hewitt, Instapundit, RedState, et al…
We’re not winning.
But we’re not losing, either.
We’re not staying the course!
But, how *dare you* suggest we’re cut ‘n running?!
Basically, they are just NOT! Period. Full. Stop.
I really did laugh out loud when I read that sentence.
Probability much higher. In addition, appointing Gates buys some time to do nothing about Iraq. See your accurate analysis above that this administration will say anything or do anything for short-term political benefit. Dumping Rumsfeld provides that too.
Actually, the statement that it’s “debatable” whether or not we’re losing in Iraq is, in a way, a monumental step forward for Noonan. Previously, if anybody suggested that we’re losing in Iraq, then to Noonan, all that proves is that person’s hatred of America and his anti-Bush psychosis, for it was to be considered concrete truth that we are winning–and winning big–in Iraq.
It is not unlike watching an addict dry drunk alcoholic– he/she will say whatever is necessary just to get past the immediate situation, with no thought of the future implications of their current actions.
Little help there.
Oops — the strikethrough tag worked in preview. Apologies. Above, please consider “addict” and “dry drunk” to have strikethroughs. Thank you.
The Other Steve
I really doubt Gates will/can change anything. He serves the President, and the President’s strategy is Stay the Course, because to implement any other strategy would be to show weakness politically. That is, it’d be having to admit he was wrong, and he’ll never do that.
So I don’t expect anything to change, until Congress starts pushing for change.
Gates seems like he’s willing to engage with reality. That’s great, but the president is betraying no hint of any such engagement. Expect more messenger-shooting from the president and his Republican enablers. I think it’s more likely that Bush bombs Iran than that he gets our guys out of Iraq.
That Reynolds link is very good, Myrtle. It shows how extreme partisans have been unable and unwilling to deal with reality. “Al Qaeda says we’re winning” is a woefully inadequate way to describe the actual news he was relating. Bad news for al Qaeda in Iraq, while good news in itself, is far from a sign that “we’re winning,” because there are lots of bad forces in that country. But if you really believe that terrorists = evil = the other side, then you are going to determinedly ignore anything that accurately describes the complexity of the chaos we’ve created.
The Other Steve
BTW, has anybody noticed redstate.com has been awfully quiet about Gates?
They’re very concerned about Jeb Hensarling being head of RSC, who will assuredly be defeated in a landslide.
Since Bush doesn’t bother to read the papers, maybe he doesn’t know that Gates said we’re losing. So long as Gates assures the Prez he’s determined to win, then all will be well. Nothing to see–move along.
John, I clicked this link 5 times and came back to todays front page. The address has Harriet+Hewitt in it but it just dowsn’t work.
I swear I haven’t done any drugs. Well not today at least,
Maybe I should have take drugs. This post is at the top of that page but the Meir’s post is three posts down.
I don’t think Bush has any incentive to face realism since the administration no longer has any “accountability moments” left. Why would he suddenly embrace accountability? To save his legacy? I don’t think so.
I think that no matter how badly this administration fails the American people, his base of supporters will be the most righteous defenders of Bush brilliance and gusto, similar to what Hew Hewitt did when he headed the Nixon Presidential library. They could start with, say, building $500 million dollar Presidential
templelibrary. I think Bush will be much happier in his bubble with Barney and Laura at his side.
Besides, it’s probably Clinton’s fault.
Speaking of Drugs, and the War On, Greenwald:
Just when you think you’ve lost the capacity to be shocked by this group of [string of expletives deleted]…
How will “losing” be explained…
I believe it will involve something about the dirty-liberal-hippies badmouthing the war with the support of the pro-terrorist media and making up all that bad news to undermine the effort and give the terrorists the propaganda victory that saps the will of a generation raised in Godless schools by witches, evolutionists and Homos and thereby stab all the God-fearing real Americans in the back.
Of course the only way to win is to “get serious” with more torture (let God sort them out), more bombs (let God sort them out), more killing (let God sort them out), more restrictions on free speech (Hell, lets just get rid it all together), racial profiling for non-whites not wearing a “God Bless America” T-shirt, and banning all abortions.
Um, that is not egg on their faces. They actually need large industrial size cans of belly-button polish to see out from where their heads are.
What you say about Bush and his pack of incompetent cronies is also true of his political base — from the Southern Baptist Convention crowd to the corporate fat cats, the high-power/low-road lobbyists, cynical ideologue-opportunists like Ralph Reed and Grover Norquist, the gun nuts and redneck trailer trash that frequent Red State and Free Republic. Oh, and let’s not forget those who think the sun rises and sets on Hugh Hewitt’s righteous rump and that Rush Limbaugh is an acute, honest and well-informed commentator on public policy.
What we’ve seen is a major political party, the GOP, sell its body and soul to win elections, keep power and enrich its supporters at the public’s expense.
In a very real sense, we’re only one small step short of what America would be like if Mafia crime bosses were to get control of the federal government. The chief difference is that — so far — Bush and the neocon Republican crackpots and greedmongers behind him don’t use physical violence against their enemies, whereas the Mafia bosses undoubtedly would.
Um… maybe you haven’t seen the “Terrorist Watchlist” or heard about the Presidential Wiretapping, or perhaps you’ve been neglegent in reading up on the various anthrax attacks that seem to only show up in a Democrat’s office. And that’s not even getting into the various arm-twistings on the Capital floor, K-Street bully projects, or redistricting gambits.
They haven’t had any ranking political leaders wacked yet, but if you’re not a US citizen they won’t hesitate to drag you down to Gitmo and waterboard you for a few years.
I think the real difference between the Bush family and a crime family is that most Mafia bosses were more competent.
Oh, man… that’s cause for some serious smackdown. I feel for ya.
Spoilers aside, it’s been one amazing goddamn season, eh?
(Apologies for going off topic, especially on a thread as good as this one… but The Wire does things to a man.)
“The democrats are worse.”
This is the brick wall I run into whenever I try to debate politics with those on the other side of the aisle.
“Well, Bush may have accidentally nuked Disneyland, but think about how much worse it would have been if Kerry were president.”
You just can’t argue with some people…
The damn Frenchie probably would have missed.
Gee, could it be that these sacks of shit didn’t really believe in conservative principles in the first place? Could it be that all along they really just wanted a smug sense of superiority over all the dirty hippies so that they could finally shake that nagging feeling that maybe they should have been getting high and getting laid in the 60s and 70s instead of being douchebags? Could it be that this need to stroke their ego triumphs over all rational concerns? Does this remind you of a certain man-cretin in the White House? Does this have anything to do with their vaunted sense of “identification” with such a worthless creature?
Salty Party Snax
I’m not sure that all of this isn’t being over-thought here. We’re a fat and self-satisfied country populated for the most part by people with the depth of a spoon. Why should we be surprised by the anointing of the half-mad scion of a powerful family? One propped up by handlers who see him as a useful tool in obtaining what their powerful patrons are paying them to get?
Bush is far more a symptom of a problem than he is the problem itself.
Kerry would have nuked DisneyWorld, which is in Jebs state so that’s much worse.
Oh, my God, Pooh. That’s…I don’t even have any words…
I can’t even begin to express my thoughts on this, except to maybe hope that Karma comes swiftly. May Hecate take them.
So Mote It Be.
We are war with Oceania. We have always been at war with Oceania.
We are war with Oceania. We have always been at war with Oceania.
I we were always at war with Disneyland.
Tim in SF
I just got Civilization IV for Mac. It’s a great game and a lot of fun (if you like playing games based on economic principles, that is…). Now, Civ IV has several “victory conditions” which are when your civilization is superior in some way (be it economically, culturally, militarily, technologically, diplomatically, etc.), then you win the game. It’s over, you’ve won, time to play another game.
After all this time, I still haven’t heard a good definition of the “victory conditions” for this Iraq mess. John Stewart was talking about that just last night.
How can you win something when the victory conditions are not clearly spelled out? What the hell is the mission?
For Bush, Victory is met when he escapes from office without impeachment and fleeing the country to a place without extradition treaties.
For Republicans, Victory is successfully blaming the loss on Democrats.
For Democrats, Victory is getting the damn media to actually do its job while they try and fix the mess dumped on their laps.
Personally, I’ll call it victory when Bush gets a one way ticket to the Anbar Province, sans Secret Service protection.
They would have been much better off with Sid Meier instead of Donald Rumsfeld, from the looks of things…
Considering how well they’re securing the person of one Barbara Bush, I don’t think it would matter. Seriously, what the hell happened to the Secret Service? Purse snatchers get through now? ABC reporters can just walk up and chat the twins up in hotel lobbies?
They would’ve been better off with Timothy Parker, 5, of Peoria, Illinois, instead of Donald Rumsfeld, from the looks of things.
They would’ve been better with Salacious Crumb, 12, one of my mother’s dogs, instead of Donald Rumsfeld, from the looks of things.
They would’ve been better off with pie, an actual, baked pie, instead of Donald Rumsfeld, from the looks of things.
Maybe they sent the agents to help fight for freedom in Iraq. Or defend al-Maliki or something. He probably needs it more than the Bush twins, anyway.
I think part of the problem with the pundits and bloggers is that they don’t so much support BushCo as oppose us. (‘Us’ being liberals, progressives, anyone who doesn’t applaud BushCo/war/class warfare/take your pick.) So, it’s not as much ‘Bush was right’ (dumbest song ever burned on CD?) as ‘well, we’re still right and you’re still wrong! Plus, my Dad could beat up your Dad!’
And yet, these people drive cars and roam in public, unchaperoned. It is to sigh…
They would’ve been better off with the Matt Damon puppet from Team America: World Police.
“Mr. Secretary, we didn’t put enough boots on the ground after the initial invasion to quell the resulting violence. What should we do now?”
To some of us, this became abundantly clear when we were called traitors 4 years ago. But you’ll notice Gates basically offered a version of “the next X time frame X will be crucial and then we will know!” that does not inspire confidence in a chance in the course. But we shall see and all I can do is remain hopeful until the transfer of power.
BTW in response to Team America… stuff it Trey Parker and Matt Stone, Colorado is going blue and that’s better revenge on both of you than I could ever dream of! :)
One problem is that the Right in the US fail to realise something about their party that every other Right wing part in a democracy in the world realises.
The fact is that right wing parties are natual supporters of a monarchy and aristocracy. All these other right wing parties support their own monarchies, whether as part of the British Commonwealth or European monarchies.
The US is in the same position as France though in that they repudiated the aristocracy in their respective revolutions. However aristocracies have a way of reasserting themselves and the Right typically welcomes this monarchist resurgence.
So unless the Left realises this then the aristocracy (whether simply “old money” or aristocratic bloodlines) has little obstacle to getting a stranglehold on power. The Right in the US is currently under the thrall of the Bushes and their aristocratic blood lines stretch back to join with the English monarchy. Dubya is quite similar to Prince Charles.
So the US Right has as much chance of avoiding becoming a monarchist party as any other right wing party. In a dictatorship that means like having Saddam’s sons taking over Iraq, or the succession having already occurred in Syria, Jordan and Saudi Arabia.
But monarchy is not an efficient form of government which is why those on the Right who are not monarchists find their principles are sacrificed to keeping the artistocracy of the Bushes in power.
In England they give the aristocracy titles and castles, and so it is easier to see if they try to regain power. In the US they are not as easy to keep out of politics.
So until this problem is addressed we will see Jeb running as perhaps VP in 2008 while the Bush progeny will be groomed as future rulers.
Here’s a scary thought, maybe there really is a plan. Yes, all the wreckage wrought is a part of the plan. It’s means to an end that’s still some years out. Damn, I’m not going to sleep well tonight…
They would’ve been better off with Zombie Santa.
“Brains… toys… brains… toys…”
Well, all the goings-on certainly did help Halliburton et al steal a lot of money while everyone was focused on the violence…
Those guys aren’t dicks… they’re assholes. To be fair, though, they are pretty funny. I’m never sure what their politics are, but I think that’s the way they like it.
Cut off at the knees. That is what you get from this??
Wow. Take a break. Relax. Get a grip. Seriously.
Here is a dose of reality for Sherard; His Republicans are a bunch of whiny ass titty babies:
At least, that’s what this says to me. I’m sure Sherard will come up with a “grip on reality” that justifies congress working less than half as much as the average American while complaining about it twice as loudly.
John Cole: “The upside to the Gates statement today may be that the administration, having pretty much lost everything in the elections last month, may now be willing to embrace a sense of realism.”
Zifnab Says: “Don’t hold your breath. I think Gates just hasn’t had the opportunity get to browbeaten and run around by the existing administrators to learn when not to speak his mind and toe the line. Give him till March and he’ll either be in the loop (like Rice) or out in the dark (like Powell).”
And that’s making the very large assumption that Gates isn’t just as dishonest as anybody who’s already in the administration. Remember, he’s a Bush nominee, which is a very bad recommendation.
It’s easy. The same excuse Bush made for hanging out at Crawford so much in 2001: “I can work from anywhere, I don’t have to be in DC to get my job done.”
DC is obsolete. From now on, we should allow Congress to perform its job via wireless Internet. Maybe they can all travel to DC for ceremonial functions, but beyond that I don’t see the point of that city anymore. Let’s let the Canadians have it, or maybe the Chinese in exchange for $14 billion in DVD players and stereos.
Salty Party Snax
Yesterday George W. Bush’s nominee for Secy of Defense conceded during his confirmation hearings that we are not winning the war in Iraq.
A few hours later Tony Snow countered that President Bush disagrees with Gates, and that we are winning the war.
How about that, eh? Now the Bush admin is spinning against its own nominee.
Can we say c-i-r-c-u-s c-l-o-w-n-s?
Salty, this administration is now in the last stages of The Nixon Effect.
Seriously, it’s in meltdown. The people at the top are completely out of touch with reality, and the rest of them are starting to babble incoherently.
I don’t think Bush is going to last six months.
When they aren’t busy being Libertarians, they’re busy being Glibertarians–that is to say–yeah, they’re assholes, or they play ones on TV. But at least they have a sense of humor, which is something that a lot of assholes just can’t tolerate!
Actually, John S., the numbers are even worse than you point out: that’s 103 days over *two* years. The average American worker is supposed to work 2000 hours a year (many work more, due to one form of mandatory overtime or another). Assuming an eight-hour day, that’s 250 days of labor per year, or 500 days over two years.
Newsflash, Congressman: your constituents might not exactly feel your pain.
“Six months” is the old way of measuring time. The new unit of measure is a “Friedman Unit”, or “one FU”.
103 is 7 days less than the famous “Do Nothing” Congress!
Victory in the war against work is complete!
George Bush’s Irony of the Day.
(royalties paid to TP)
One-Note Sherard strikes again. “John, you’re hyperventilating.” He literally never makes ANY point other than that!
“One of the most perplexing things about the last 6-7 years is that time and time again, this administration has violated nearly every conservative principle, yet there remains a core of supporters who continue to cheerlead these fools.”
That is because they were never conservative but radicals. There is clearly an authoritarian fringe in this country. In Bush, that fringe has found its man. They want order, and they want to give the orders.
You have been linked to the right side of the Daou report. Expect the nutters to blast you.
“You have been linked to the right side of the Daou report. Expect the nutters to blast you.”
Actually this is the most reaosnable post on a right-wing blog I’ve seen in a while.
We may disagree on the policies, but it’s reefreshing to see some on the right see what’s happened to them.
I wrote a long post yesterday about how the crooks behind Bush, who use the republicans but have their own agenda, have been able to get away with murder in large part simply because they don’t have a name to refer to them by. That one simple fact prevents discussing their wrongs, as any attacks end up having to ‘define terms’ so you are not attacking all republicans, and people rarely go to that trouble. The site here has taken to refer to ‘the administration’ as the bad guy, but that too fails to note that the same people who are behind the Bush agenda are going to be continuing to try to run the republican party after Bush.
The quesiton is, can republicans get their act together and kick them out – and are republicans willing to put their nation ahead of winning elections, and lose elections if that’s the price to kick the people behind Bush’s agenda out of power, or are they SO committed to seeing an “R” in power that they’ll put up with more of the Bush agenda?
The democrats are a hell of a lot better than the Bush followers demonize them to be, despite disagreements.
And the democrats are a hell of a lot better than the Bush agenda.
Well Gates may have said we’re not winning but note that he didn’t say that we are losing. This may seem like hair splitting and it is. So maybe it’s a tie.
I don’t have any faith that Gates’ confirmation will change a thing. Bush is still the decider after all.
And there’s still people out there who think we can still kick a field goal and win this thing.
t. jasper parnell
Mr. Cole’s bete noirs were on NPR trashing someone or another, possible the ISG, odd how those boobocratic enablers are given air time by the MSM, particularly an outlet so securely in the pocket of the Liberals, like Darrel and SCS, who seek to sell this country down the river to either China or India.
Well the good news Bush’s base of fundamentalist Christians who believe in the End Times and are awaiting being taken up by the rapture and ARE STILL SUPPORTING HIM !!
You know, planting the seeds of democracy in culture and region in which such freedoms and political processes are virtually unknown, takes time… and given what we are trying to do, 4 years is a blip.. transforming that region takes “staying the course”. Now I can understand the argument that Iraq is costing us more in lives and treasure than will benefit us if the result is a reasonably democratic Iraq.. I don’t agree with that position (yet), but at least it’s a valid argument.
What I don’t understand is the mocking of “stay the course” strategy, which, with the exception of tactical adjustments, stay the course is exactly what is needed in order to transform Iraq.
John has taken a lot of shots at the execution of the Iraq war.. In many cases he’s had legit reasons for complaint. But with so much criticism, I have yet to read where John Cole has elaborated what he would like to see done. Pull out in 6 months? Add more troops? Whack Al-sadr? What are your ideas John with regards to what we should be doing in Iraq?
Wrong. ‘Staying the Course’ is only digging an already deep hole even deeper. The only seed being sown in Iraq is of revenge and hate, and that bitter harvest will be reaped in years to come for America and our allies.
That idea is so full of shit it’s a wonder you can pass it without a laxative. What Bush did was blow apart Iraq’s entire social infrastructure and support networks and then tried to believe they’d be grateful to him for doing it. There is no Democracy in Iraq, hell there isn’t even Saddam’s basic law and order in Iraq, it’s a clusterfuck teetering on the boundries of pure anarchy. Government effectively exists in NAME ONLY there now. After 4 years we and they are WORSE OFF then when this whole stupidity started. Calling these last couple of years ‘a blip’ is the kind of rank stupidity and kool aid that should have been left buried in Vietnam.