Please take a moment to remember the victims of the tragic events of September 11, 2001.
Honor their memory.
Please take a moment to remember the victims of the tragic events of September 11, 2001.
Honor their memory.
It's that kind of week -- if you're a newshound, you can just about pick your scandalous story du jour.
The MSM and the right wing wackadoos are still bothering to call on the President to pardon Scooter Libby, like idiots. If this is really -- really -- the issue they want to latch on to, fine with me. There's plenty of new stuff to go around for the normals to talk about, weirdos.
For example, General "Cover Up" Kiley, as he is hilariously and appropriately known to Don Imus, is out. That's good, period. Look, I fully realize that I'm the equivalent of a slack-jawed yokel out in Podunk in the world of blogging, hardly the mainstream voice of millions, but I figure if you're going to have soldiers go and fight in a war, at least -- at the very freakin' least -- treat them well when they get back. Or not. Fine, whatever. I guess this administration has it all figured out (nevermind the recent press about traumatic brain injuries).
As if all that is so last week for you, then how about General Peter Pace's comments about gay people? Pace, by the way, is the top of the top brass. He's Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and he thinks being gay is "immoral."
Say, Chairman, if you think two dudes doin' it is immoral, what say you to 3,195 American deaths and more than 30,000 American wounded -- not to mention the more than 60,000 Iraqi deaths -- in the name of a war that means, literally, nothing? Would you say that's immoral?
Listen, Pete, you're a Marine and there is no doubt that you could kick my ass in about five seconds. But let a peacenik surrender monkey give you a little free advice: if you and that mouth-breathing Daddy's Boy in the Oval Office are going to keep waging useless and empty wars like this, you ought to be a little nicer to the gays. Because, brother, you're going to need them.
Not big on the war talk? Alright. How about the heat coming down on the only man that could ever make you long for the days of John Ashcroft: Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez. It's a whole complicated affair, and to be totally honest with you, I kind of missed out on the crux of the thing. Others have been more diligent than me. But long story short, he and some, oh, mysterious ghoul at the White House basically conspired to fire a bunch of U.S. Attorneys so they could replace them with their fellow right wing wackadoos. Frankly, I think someone should stick a fork in ol' Alberto: he's done.
Want a good old fashioned "I told you so?" How's this for injustice: Let's say that a seat in the U.S. House comes open. Let's say it's U.S. House District 13 in Florida. Now, who was it used to have that seat? Hm. Anyway, let's say you run for it, and let's say the campaign gets real ugly with the guy running against you. Then let's say that you quote-unquote lose that seat in an ugly bit of irony because the electronic machines that are supposed to fix all the voting problem in Florida malfunction not counting a remarkably high number of votes. Let's say you stomach having the guy who ran against you -- and "won" by only a few hundred votes -- seated in Congress, as most pundits suggest that it was an ugly campaign and maybe just that many people were turned off and didn't vote at all. Let's say you have a little backbone and a shred of a belief in the democratic process and you take it to court.
You endure weeks and weeks and weeks of anger, bitterness, humiliation, and pretty much everything that goes along with not ending a campaign that, by rights, should've ended on Election Day.
Then let's say that the manufacturer of the electronic voting maching gizmo comes out and says that, before Election Day, he sent a warning to the Supervisor of Election about possible problems with the machine and that it would be advisable to make people aware of this issue.
Let's say all of that happened to you.
Wouldn't you be just pissed as hell if the Supervisor of Elections ignored the manufacturer?
Lord, I sure would. Go get 'em, Christine.
I realized I never regaled you with my in-depth post-election overview. Not that you asked for it.
Now that I'm back after a few days in San Diego for my paying job, let's discuss election stuff. It's as good a time as any. The congress is a lame-duck -- as is the President, not incidentally -- and I'm taking notice that the theories people have about the relatively near future are starting to sort of fizzle. They're left working to figure out the Democrat's plan of attack, an exercise that just doesn't inspire quite the same hysteria election forecasting does.
Oh, there was the sort of quasi-firestorm around the Hoyer/Murtha bit, but I just don't see that there's much to it. Besides, in three or four months, that'll pale in comparison to whatever it is Pelosi and Reid tee up first in terms of legislative priorities.
But back to Election Night.
Yeah, there were some bummers for sure on Election Night, but that's part of the deal when it comes to national politics. You'll win some, you'll lose some. It is my sincerest hope that at long last, Democrats are "out of the woods." Meaning, one of the biggest victories of Election Night is psychological. Given the chance, my greatest hope for Speaker Pelosi and Leader Reid (and Company) is that they'll prove that Democrats being in power isn't the first sign of the Apocalypse. They'll need to be practical, and they'll need to be smart, and they'll need to be -- and I don't mean this in the political sense -- conservative. I think a minimum wage hike is a good first step, as are stem cells.
On stem cells, the President and Rove just royally screwed the pooch on that deal. They thought that they could make it equivalent to gay marriage in the collective mind of their weirdo, whackadoo base. In other words, that they could make it equivalent to gay marriage as an effective way to gin up their Christian base. But that model fell apart for them this time around. Seventy-plus percent of Americans approve of embryonic stem cell research, and the feeble attempts of the Rove Machine and the ultra-pro-lifers to tie it to everybody's worst idea of "cloning" simply fell apart in their hands. There's a hard and fast rule in politics: the minute you play the American Voter for a slack-jawed idiot, you lose. I think Rove & Co. thought they could out-smart America on this one, and it turned around and bit 'em right in the ass. I feel pretty sure that it was stem cells (and, I'm not kidding myself, Michael J. Fox) that pushed McCaskill over the top in Missouri. My sister, who lives in Springfield, MO, tells me that the stem cell ballot initiative passed there, too, so there you go. So, if Pelosi can pass a version of H.R. 810 (the stem cell bill the President vetoed, like the fucking idiot that he is) with a veto-proof margin, that may well be the political cous de gras that firmly entrenches Democrats in power on the Hill. At least until the next political tidal wave.
The tricky issue for Democrats from my perspective is the 9/11 Commission recommendations. I think that politically it sounds good, but there's just so much stuff to undo. Meaning the Military Commissions Act, the shitty parts of the Patriot Act, all the torture shit, Habeas Corpus, plus figuring out how to keep Bush from continuing to rule by executive order. My very legitimate worry is that it'll be very easy for Democrats to start looking like they're the party of just un-doing everything Bush has done, rather than being more pro-active in keeping America safe. Follow me? Don't get me wrong: it's true, they have to undo some of this stuff. But all the while simultaneously enacting things that, you know, actually make us safer. This, tied in with whatever is next in Iraq, tied in to the great unknown which is that there could be another terrorist attack. To me, those are two things that are hard to sort of game out politically. Iraq is clearly Bush's blunder, Bush's disaster, but how much will Democrats be held to account to clean it up? And how much time will they be given to do so? Hard for me to say. Hard for anyone to say, I think. That said, Pelosi has clearly and rightly married herself to this one, so I think something's got to fly with it.
There are early signs the Democrats are cracking up on this one, but it's a sincere hope of mine that they do something on the lobbying reform-slash-campaign-reform front, also called the ethics front. They've got to do it, and soon. Abramoff-gate and all that shit is still too fresh in people's minds not to. Hey, I understand it's hard to dam up the river of money that flows down K Street, but as long as Mister Cash McMoney can pump wads of dough into campaigns and politics, it'll stay corrupt. On both sides of the aisle.
A quick aside on campaign cash. There's a little piece of me that's dirty and wrong, I know, but sees it sort of the same way I see steroids in sports: let 'em go for it. Steroid it up, sure. I say, let them inject or ingest whatever in the hell they want. We pay athletes millions and millions of dollars, why not? Why should we care so much? In fact, I kind of want to see a guy so goofed up on steroids that he can hit a seven-hundred foot home run. Every time. Come on, admit it. It'd be a lot more fun to see some monster at bat so full of 'roid rage that he breaks the bat, the ball and half the lights in the outfield. And maybe murders someone rounding to home plate. This whole holier-than-thou bullshit about how we have to keep steroids illegal because the players are role models for kids... what a load of malarkey. Or at least it should be malarkey.
Anyway, same principle with campaign cash. Let 'em have at it. If some billionaire wants to donate every last penny to, let's say Norm Coleman for Senate, I say, why the fuck not. I'd prefer it if he'd give the money to somebody with a little more brainpower, but whatever. Let them just go to town with the cash. Let Phillip Morris (or whatever they're calling themselves now) give 'til it hurts. Let them all give until they're crying tears of blood. Why am I sort of psuedo-this way? One, because it's like my version of the lottery -- a cheap way to get rich fast, only it involves politics. Wouldn't you love to be on a campaign where you could get endless donations of any amount? And two, because ultimately we'll discover that if we recruit people who genuinely care about public service as opposed to campaign cash whores, I have faith that the system will prove to be self-correcting, and pretty soon you're going to see candidates (like Keith Fitzgerald) running races with very little money but a message so effective, and so effectively delivered to community leaders in a grassroots way, that it permeates the community and, put simply, you win.
Anyway, back on message, I think they very first thing they ought to do (and boy, do they need to get it right), is fix Medicare Part D. For these reasons. One, it's deeply complicated. The American people -- seniors, mostly -- don't understand what's wrong with it, or at least can't articulate why, but they damn sure know it's broken. They're right. So if Pelosi and her crew can come in with a quick but effective fix, then Americans, and again, especially voting seniors, will reap the rewards immediately -- and not soon forget it. Following that, number two, is that it's broken specifically because Bush and McClellan fucked it up, hardcore. Democrats fixing it will be a very bright line (another very bright line) between competent, effective leadership and an incompetent chief executive. I seem to be the only guy in America who remembers a time, pre 9/11, when Bush got ragged on virtually every day for being a half-baked dumbshit. Third, it's a very wonky thing, very government. I think if the Democrats take a crack at fixing it and aren't successful, at least the American people will see that they tried to fix something that was hard to do, and not that they tried to ram through some big-government, scary liberal, take-my-gun-abort-my-fetus kind of thing that a fair chunk of the country probably thinks they're going to do.
So, my prediction for how the Democrats will do is that they'll get an 80%, or let's say a B-minus. I'd give them an A-plus -- I want to give them an A-plus -- but I think that Bush has already shown just how flagrantly partisan he intends to stay (despite his makey nice-nice talk) by sending up that fucknut John Bolton's nomination for U.N. Ambassador again to the lame ducks. What a lousy piece of shit our president really is. And kudos to Chafee for calling him on it.
Anyway, I think that the Democrats will at least be able to band-aid Medicare and that we'll get a minimum wage hike. They may even get stem cells through. Where they're going to hit a brick wall is Iraq. Bush is dumb as a post, but he really does fancy himself a war-time president and this is, in every respect, his war, and I think he'll see the Democrat's moves on Iraq as somehow encroaching on his territory. It'll make the work of the Democrats that much more difficult, unfortunately.
Back to the horse race of election politics. I think I said early on that 2006, while important, was perhaps most important as a sort of staging ground for 2008. Actually, trying to interpret what this means for Democratic presidential hopefuls in '08 isn't all that easy. The Democrats winning has, somehow, made that harder. I'll start with the (ahem, presumptive) front-runner, Hillary Clinton. See, I think that Democrats running the Senate make this very, very difficult for her. And the likelihood that Reid offers her the Leadership post even more likely. Hillary wants to be president. There's no denying it. But we have to remember that she's a calculating politician, as is her husband, and I don't wonder if they're not thinking very seriously about waiting it out one more cycle. I think that the idea that it could be Hillary versus Bush for the next couple of years is almost too tempting to pass up.
Also, there's something still nagging in the back of my mind telling me she might want the New York Governorship before she runs for POTUS. We elect Governors (I'm sure that's what Bill is telling her), not Senators. Any way you slice it, life just got complicated for Senator Clinton.
So... what's the deal with Vilsack? I know very little about him, except for the fact that he flirted with a run last time around. And now he's announced. Well, you have to admit, the guy has big brass balls.
I think that Dodd and Biden will think that Democrats running the Senate is great news for them because they get higher visibility. But the truth is, nominating them would be the same as nominating, oh, I don't know, an effete Massachusetts liberal wind-surfing Senator with more money and ego than common sense. For the love of God, Kerry better not even try.
I'm not sure why I keep seeing Wes Clark in straw polls on the web. I know the netroots love him, but for crying out loud...
I should obviously say something about Richardson and Obama and even Edwards, too, but it's all basically the same as it has been -- that's all we can deduce now, anyway. Still too early for Obama, though his profile is inevitably raised, and there are some newly elected Democrats who owe him a real sincere "thank you" for his campaigning on their behalf.
Richardson... I just don't know. I think he's vice-presidential material, at least right now.
You know of my thing for Edwards. I don't know that Democratic victory helps him or whatever, but I think he's probably going to announce at some point sooner rather than later.
Well, for now I think we ought to take a deep breath and step back and relax -- while we can. Election 2008 will start soon enough. Before you know it, actually. So, in the end, let me say this. Enjoy your holiday season. Be thankful for not just a Democratic-controlled Congress, not just for living in a free society, not just for being involved enough in politics and the process enough to read this entire post, but mostly for your friends, for your family and for your loved ones. Happy Thanksgiving.
If you've followed this blog at all, you know that we're fans of James Carville. He's been a sort of role model to us since we got started in politics. Now, I made a big deal out of disagreeing with him before on this blog, and I was right to do it. His phoney-baloney plea for cash on behalf of Hillary for Senate 2006 was total hogwash. She blew something in the neighborhood of 26 million bucks to beat someone you've never heard of. Quick, what was the name of Hillary Clinton's opponent in her Senate race this year? That's right. You don't know her opponent's name. Of course, if I spent that much money that James Carville had raised for me, you wouldn't know the name of my opponent, either. It's a hell of a lot of money to spend.
So, I don't want you to get the wrong idea, here. I'm going to stay loyal to James. But I'm pretty angry with him right now.
According to The New Republic's blog, The Plank, James is leading the charge to -- get this -- oust DNC Chairman Howard Dean. As the kids say today, dude, WTF?
Here's how some of the post reads:
Says James Carville, one of the anti-Deaniacs, "Suppose Harold Ford became chairman of the DNC? How much more money do you think we could raise? Just think of the difference it could make in one day. Now probably Harold Ford wants to stay in Tennessee. I just appointed myself his campaign manager."
You may remember that I didn't support Dean -- was never a "Deaniac" -- in 2004, but I did support his being Chair of the DNC, fully support the 50 State Strategy, and think that the vindication of that was witnessed in the elections we just saw the other day. In short, I think Dean has done great as head of the DNC and to try and get rid of him is... dumb.
By the way, I think Harold Ford is fantastic, too, and my heart is just breaking over his loss in Tennessee. But he's young (well, he's my age -- depends on your perspective whether we're quote-unquote young or not). He's got a hell of a future in front of him.
I don't think there ought to be a giant fistfight right after we take the House and the Senate. We ought to relish it and prove we can lead by working together.
I'm not all that naive, though. Harold Ford is an old Clinton hand (as am I), from way back, and he is no doubt their choice to reign over the DNC. The Clinton's never liked Dean. I'm sure this is just James acting as their public proxy to make life uncomfortable for Dean and for the so-called netroots.
But I think this move is a mistake. If James and the Clinton's really want to advance the Senator as a leader in the Democratic Party, then have her extend an olive branch to the progressive movement, not shun it. They're reading Dean as too liberal, and that's a mistake. They keep this stuff up, and we could be in trouble again by 2008. Lord, I hope not.
Great night for Democrats on Tuesday, wouldn't you say?
Democrats took back the U.S. House, and some real losers were retired from service, with thanks to overwhelming will of the American People.
First of all, full disclosure: I publicly predicted to friends who are probably too decent to call me on it, that the Democrats would only pick up 17 seats. Talk about lowering expectations. Worse, I said that we'd never take the Senate, and sure enough, with Allen's impending concession, we will. I don't know what I was thinking, but I'm sure a decade of (basically) losing didn't help with the pessimism-factor. Anyway, it never felt so good to be so wrong.
Speaking of the Senate, I was very disappointed to see Harold Ford lose, but the guy is my age -- we started in the Clinton Administration at the same time -- and my guess is that his political career is far from over. Besides, mean-spirited Bob Corker doesn't strike me as the kind of guy who'll just be a Senate superstar...
So, while that was a bit of a bummer for the evening in terms of the Senate, let me tell you what a real freakin' joy it was -- just an absolute pleasure -- to see Rick Santorum retired. If you're looking for one of the better images from Election 2006, here you go:
Thanks for the absolutely priceless picture, Wonkette.
That's right, little Santorum Girl. Now Daddy doesn't have a job. Do you know what we call people with no jobs, little girl? Bums. Say it with me: "Bums." Now that Daddy is a bum, it probably means that your family will become very, very poor. Just like the people your Daddy disdains so very much. In fact, you'll probably have to sell your dolly for food, and you'll all have to sleep under a dirty bridge next to a hobo named "Ringworm Randy" on the outskirts of Pittsburgh.
Sure, I'm a prick. But then again, so is Rick Santorum. At least I have a job.
As a former Virginian, I'm going to feel especially warm and fuzzy when the Senate's resident racist and all-around dumbshit George Allen finally has to concede. Now there was a career worth stopping cold. Remember, it wasn't that long ago that he had presidential aspirations. Now he can focus all his time on figuring out what "Macaca" means and his half-baked football analogies. Not that anyone will be listening.
Mike DeWine got sent packing, which is great news for the people of Ohio, and Conrad Burns is toast over in Montana.
Of course, you can guess which DOA political career I took the most pleasure in seeing crash and burn.
Kitty and the twins ride off in to the sunset, forevermore...
Her devastating loss to Bill Nelson just lifted my heart and let my spirit soar. I just couldn't be more pleased that hateful bitch is finally out of work, finally off the government payroll. It is my sincere and profound hope that she'll simply skulk off, lamely, wallow in her dead daddy's millions and never, ever be heard from again. Honestly, truly, I really do despise that woman. And Nelson just smoked her like a cheap cigar.
On the House side, I was bummed out about Tammy Duckworth in Illinois. If anyone deserved to win a race that got personal and ugly, it was her. Other disappointments of the evening included Patty
Wetterling (who lost to a real nut job named Bachmann, who truly is crazy as
a shithouse rat) in Minnesota, Shays managing to hang on in
Connecticut, Mark Foley bit-player Reynolds managing to hang on in New York and it looks like
Christine Jennings is down by a little more than 300 votes here in Florida, and there
were, without question, under-votes. I will keep my fingers crossed on that one, and hope that a recount will swing in her favor.
That said, it's nice to see real pieces of shit like Charles Taylor in North Carolina done. Thanks for that, Heath Shuler. I'm very happy about Ron Klein here in Florida, and especially happy about Mahoney winning over in Mark Foley's district. Joe Sestak beat crazy Curt Weldon (another certifiable nut job of the highest order) and a guy named Carney just trounced the ever-lovin' hell out of Don Sherwood. Lampson won Delay's seat, thank God. Baron Hill won his seat back in Indiana (a testament to the political skills of Senator Evan Bayh. I haven't mentioned his name much on these pages, if at all, for '08 aspirations, but considering how well Democrats did in red-state Indiana, maybe we should). Hostettler, who I always heard was one of the biggest losers on Capitol Hill, is out of a job, as is Chris Chocola, both in Indiana.
That bitch Anne Northup (whom has never not been referred to as "That bitch Anne Northup") is toast in Kentucky.
Deval Patrick: Pahks his cah in the Hah-vahd Yahd?
On the governor's side, I was pleased to see Deval Patrick win in Massachusetts. I think that's good news. And Spitzer in New York seems to be well on his way to a, let's just say a higher office if not in 2008 then possibly 2012. (Please, let it be said that I was the first to invoke the Presidential Race of 2012! Start your engines!)
I'm not going to lie to you, though. It was a big night for me, personally, although I was more or less just a minor bit-player in the whole thing. Keith Fitzgerald won his race for State House in District 69. It was a hell of a victory. The whole team ran an upstanding campaign, and they ought to be proud of their efforts. I'm pretty proud of his campaign manager, Duncan Warner, who also happens to be my wife. She poured her heart and soul into this deal, and it was all totally worth it.
Here's a prediction for you: Representative Keith Fitzgerald is going to make an outstanding member of the Florida Legislature. He's got his work cut out for him, no doubt, but I believe that he'll be the same kind of Representative as he was candidate: a smart, thoughtful, hard worker who is more interested in solutions than the politics of personal destruction and partisan nastiness. If he sticks with his successful formula, he'll represent the people of District 69 quite successfully, and for a long time.
Keep reading. I'm sure there'll be more exciting news -- political or not -- from Florida and around the nation, even though the horse race is over. Hey, don't be too glum that the '06 festivities are over... Surely 2008 can't be that far around the corner, right?
I decided that the whole "The Editors" thing was getting to be too weird and pretentious, so I scrapped it. Well, let's face it -- it had always been sort of weird and pretentious. In the same kind of way that it was weird and pretentious for Bob Dole to refer to himself in the third person all the time. "Bob Dole believes this... Bob Dole does that..." Jesus. It's just creepy.
As a sort of way to put a face to a name, this is me (pictured at left), and though this picture may not be the best proof of it, I myself am not weird and pretentious. So, anyway, I'm dropping "The Editors" bit and I'm going to go in a little bit different direction.
I'm going to try more "blog-style" entries, more frequently, too. Oh, I'll still try to make it funny, when appropriate. And I'll certainly try to stick to the principles I outlined in that very first post "we" did.
Oh, and if you're wondering, that picture was taken at the Oregon coast, where it was cold. I don't usually wear a coat and long pants to the beach. That would be weird and pretentious.
Okay, this isn't supposed to be about me.
As you know -- or if you don't know, it should've been evident by the number of posts I did on it -- I've been doing some work on the side for Keith Fitzgerald for State House. I can attest to the fact that he's running hard and trying to execute a clean, honest campaign. Hard to do when the opposition is being, well, pretty crummy about the whole thing.
There's a lot happening in these last days, and if you're one of the eleven or so people per day who read this very, very obscure (though hardly weird and pretentious!) blog, and you live in Florida, or near Florida's State House District 69, then you ought to come by and volunteer a bit of your time. Wave a sign. Walk a neighborhood. Help us out. Com on. It'll be fun.
Look, I haven't given up on this blog, but it's just going to have a little different look and feel now. Time to try something new. So thanks, and come back again -- sooner this time. More later.
With a sincere hat-tip to Crooks & Liars. It's one of the finest editorial comments we've heard in a very, very long time. Thank you, Keith Olbermann. Read the transcript below:
And finally tonight, a Special Comment.
On the 22nd of May, 1856, as the deteriorating American political system veered towards the edge of the cliff, Congressman Preston Brooks of South Carolina, shuffled into the Senate of this nation, his leg stiff from an old dueling injury, supported by a cane. And he looked for the familiar figure of the prominent Senator from Massachusetts, Charles Sumner.
Brooks found Sumner at his desk, mailing out copies of a speech he had delivered three days earlier — a speech against slavery.
The Congressman matter-of-factly raised his walking stick in mid-air, and smashed its metal point, across the Senator's head.
Congressman Brooks hit his victim repeatedly. Senator Sumner somehow got to his feet and tried to flee. Brooks chased him, and delivered untold blows to Sumner's head. Even though Sumner lay unconscious and bleeding, on the Senate floor, Brooks finally stopped beating him, only because his cane finally broke.
Others will cite John Brown's attack on the arsenal at Harper's Ferry as the exact point after which the Civil War became inevitable.
In point of fact, it might have been the moment — not when Brooks broke his cane over the prostrate body of Senator Sumner - but when voters in Brooks's district started sending him new canes.
Tonight, we almost wonder to whom President Bush will send the next new cane.
There is tonight no political division in this country that he and his party will not exploit, nor have not exploited; no anxiety that he and his party will not inflame.
There is no line this President has not crossed — nor will not cross — to keep one political party, in power.
He has spread any and every fear among us, in a desperate effort to avoid that which he most fears — some check, some balance against what has become not an imperial, but a unilateral presidency.
And now it is evident that it no longer matters to him, whether that effort to avoid the judgment of the people, is subtle and nuanced — or laughably transparent.
Senator John Kerry called him out Monday.
He did it two years too late.
He had been too cordial — just as Vice President Gore had been too cordial in 2000 — just as millions of us, have been too cordial ever since.
Senator Kerry, as you well know, spoke at a college in Southern California. With bitter humor, he told the students that he had been in Texas the day before, that President Bush used to live in that state, but that now he lives in the state of denial.
He said the trip had reminded him about the value of education — that quote "if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. If you don't, you can get stuck in Iraq."
The Senator, in essence, called Mr. Bush stupid.
The context was unmistakable: Texas;the state of denial;stuck in Iraq. No interpretation required.
And Mr. Bush and his minions responded, by appearing to be too stupid to realize that they had been called stupid.
They demanded Kerry apologize — to the troops in Iraq.
And so he now has.
That phrase "appearing to be too stupid" is used deliberately, Mr. Bush.
Because there are only three possibilities here:
One, sir, is that you are far more stupid than the worst of your critics have suggested; that you could not follow the construction of a simple sentence; that you could not recognize your own life story when it was deftly summarized; that you could not perceive it was the sad ledger of your presidency that was being recounted.
This, of course, compliments you, Mr. Bush, because even those who do not "make the most of it," who do not "study hard," who do not "do their homework," and who do not "make an effort to be smart" might still just be stupid — but honest.
No; the first option, sir, is, at best, improbable. You are not honest.
The second option is that you and those who work for you deliberately twisted what Senator Kerry said to fit your political template. That you decided to take advantage of it, to once again pretend that the attacks, solely about your own incompetence, were in fact attacks on the troops — or even on the nation itself.
The third possibility is, obviously, the nightmare scenario; that the first two options are in some way conflated.
That it is both politically convenient for you, and personally satisfying to you, to confuse yourself with the country for which, sir, you work.
A brief reminder, Mr. Bush: You are not the United States of America.
You are merely a politician whose entire legacy will have been a willingness to make anything political — to have, in this case, refused to acknowledge that the insult wasn't about the troops, and that the insult was not even truly about you either — that the insult, in fact, is you.
So now John Kerry has apologized to the troops; apologized for the Republicans' deliberate distortions.
Thus the President will now begin the apologies he owes our troops, right?
This President must apologize to the troops — for having suggested, six weeks ago, that the chaos in Iraq, the death and the carnage, the slaughtered Iraqi civilians and the dead American service personnel, will, to history, quote "look like just a comma."
This President must apologize to the troops — because the intelligence he claims led us into Iraq proved to be undeniably and irredeemably wrong.
This President must apologize to the troops — for having laughed about the failure of that intelligence, at a banquet, while our troops were in harm's way.
This President must apologize to the troops — because the streets of Iraq were not strewn with flowers and its residents did not greet them as liberators.
This President must apologize to the troops — because his administration ran out of "plan" after barely two months.
This President must apologize to the troops — for getting 2,815 of them killed.
This President must apologize to the troops — for getting this country into a war without a clue.
And Mr. Bush owes us an apology… for this destructive and omnivorous presidency.
We will not receive them, of course.
This President never apologizes.
Not to the troops.
Not to the people.
Nor will those henchmen who have echoed him.
In calling him a "stuffed suit," Senator Kerry was wrong about the Press Secretary.
Mr. Snow's words and conduct — falsely earnest and earnestly false — suggest he is not "stuffed" - he is inflated.
And in leaving him out of the equation, Senator Kerry gave an unwarranted pass to his old friend Senator McCain, who should be ashamed of himself tonight.
He rolled over and pretended Kerry had said what he obviously had not.
Only, the symbolic stick he broke over Kerry's head came in a context, even more disturbing: Mr. McCain demanded the apology, while electioneering for a Republican congressional candidate in Illinois.
He was speaking of how often he had been to Walter Reed Hospital to see the wounded Iraq veterans, of how, quote "many of the have lost limbs." He said all this while demanding that the voters of Illinois reject a candidate who is not only a wounded Iraq veteran, but who lost two limbs there: Tammy Duckworth.
Support some of the wounded veterans. But bad-mouth the Democratic one.
And exploit all the veterans, and all the still-serving personnel, in a cheap and tawdry political trick, to try to bury the truth: that John Kerry said the President had been stupid.
And to continue this slander as late as this morning — as biased, or gullible, or lazy newscasters, nodded in sleep-walking assent.
Senator McCain became a front man in a collective lie to break sticks over the heads of Democrats — one of them his friend; another his fellow veteran, leg-less, for whom he should weep and applaud, or at minimum about whom, he should stay quiet.
That was beneath the Senator from Arizona.
And it was all because of an imaginary insult to the troops that his party cynically manufactured — out of a desperation, and a futility, as deep as that of Congressman Brooks, when he went hunting for Senator Sumner.
This, is our beloved country now, as you have re-defined it, Mr. Bush.
Get a tortured Vietnam veteran to attack a decorated Vietnam veteran, in defense of military personnel, whom that decorated veteran did not insult.
Or, get your henchmen to take advantage of the evil lingering dregs of the fear of miscegenation in Tennessee, in your party's advertisements against Harold Ford.
Or, get the satellites who orbit around you, like Rush Limbaugh, to exploit the illness — and the bi-partisanship — of Michael J. Fox — yes, get someone to make fun of the cripple.
Oh, and sir, don't forget to drag your own wife into it.
"It's always easy," she said of Mr. Fox's commercials — and she used this phrase twice — "to manipulate people's feelings."
Where on earth might the First Lady have gotten that idea, Mr. President?
From your endless manipulation of people's feelings about terrorism?
"How ever they put it," you said Monday of the Democrats, on the subject of Iraq , "their approach comes down to this: the terrorists win and America loses."
No manipulation of feelings there.
No manipulation of the charlatans of your administration into the only truth-tellers.
No shocked outrage at the Kerry insult that wasn't; no subtle smile as the First Lady silently sticks the knife in Michael J. Fox's back; no attempt on the campaign trail to bury the reality that you have already assured that the terrorists are winning.
Winning in Iraq, sir.
Winning in America, sir.
There, we have chaos: joint U.S./Iraqi checkpoints at Sadr City, the base of the radical Shiite militias — and the Americans have been ordered out by the Prime Minister of Iraq… and our Secretary of Defense doesn't even know about it!
And here — we have deliberate, systematic, institutionalized lying and smearing and terrorizing — a code of deceit, that somehow permits a President to say, quote, "If you listen carefully for a Democrat plan for success, they don't have one."
Permits him to say this while his plan in Iraq has amounted to a twisted version of the advice once offered to Lyndon Johnson about his Iraq, called Vietnam.
Instead of "declare victory — and get out"… we now have "declare victory — and stay, indefinitely."
And also here, we have institutionalized the terrorizing of the opposition. True domestic terror:
– Critics of your administration in the media receive letters filled with fake anthrax.
– Braying newspapers applaud, or laugh, or reveal details the FBI wished kept quiet, and thus impede or ruin the investigation.
– A series of reactionary columnists encourages treason charges against a newspaper that published "national security information" — that was openly available on the internet.
– One radio critic receives a letter, threatening the revelation of as much personal information about her as can be obtained — and expressing the hope that someone will then shoot her with an AK-47 machine gun.
– And finally, a critic of an incumbent Republican Senator, a critic armed with nothing but words, is attacked by the Senator's supporters, and thrown to the floor, in full view of television cameras, as if someone really did want to re-enact the intent and the rage of the day Preston Brooks found Senator Charles Sumner.
Of course, Mr. President, you did none of these things.
You instructed no one to mail the fake anthrax. Nor undermine the FBI's case. Nor call for the execution of the editors of the New York Times. Nor threaten to assassinate Stephanie Miller. Nor beat up a man yelling at Senator Allen. Nor have the first lady knife Michael J. Fox. Nor tell John McCain to lie about John Kerry.
No, you did not.
And the genius of the thing, is the same, as in King Henry's rhetorical question about Archbishop Thomas Becket: "Who will rid me of this meddlesome priest?"
All you have to do, sir… is hand out enough new canes. ts
You know of our loathing for Katherine Harris.
For some unfathomable reason we just can't figure out, our post on Glenn Beck is the most popular story, the most searched-for story on these pages. (Our personal favorite? It's a tie between one of our earliest ones on Kitty Harris, and one of our very first posts entitled "Huckabees Heart Each Other.") Anyway, we like to think we've done a real hatchet job on ol' Kitty. Don't get us wrong, though: it was well deserved. Oh, so well deserved.
We were down in Sarasota in 2002 working for a Democratic congressional candidate trying to mount a real challenge to Katherine Harris, and no one seemed willing, at the time, to step up to the plate with us. Katherine Harris was a terrible state senator, a corrupt Florida secretary of state, and just a downright idiotic congresswoman. Too bad for the people of Florida.
Finally, though, it looks like Florida -- and the rest of America -- is waking up to the fact that Katherine Harris is not only way out of her league, she's a little nuts, too. Washington Post staff writer Libby Copeland has a story on what she is describing as a campaign going south... But is it so much a campaign as the sanity of one woman? The lede paragraph should clue you in:
Katherine Harris, who is trying to become a U.S. senator, says she is writing a tell-all about the many people who have wronged her. This includes, but is not necessarily limited to: the Republican leaders who didn't want her to run, the press that has covered her troubled campaign, and the many staffers who have quit her employ, whom she accuses of colluding with her opponent.
Check it out here:link.
And there are others that are not just writing the obituary of this campaign -- they're actively relegating Congresswoman Harris to the more-than-a-lost-cause column.
Here's a story from The Lakeland Ledger. Senator Bill Nelson is up by double digits. Read it here:link.
The Orlando Sentinel is getting in on the game, too. The lede in this story is one sad sentence: "The low point came in August." Read the whole thing here:link.
Maybe you think we're being unfair, or just mean-spirited at a week out. We don't think so. Katherine Harris is a crook and a lightweight one at that. She deliberately disenfranchised hundreds -- possibly thousands -- of Florida voters in 2000, and she's been a crooked Congresswoman ever since. She represents everything bad in Republicans, and frankly, everything bad in politicians.
To paraphrase Al Gore, appropriately enough, it's time for her to go. Goodbye, Katherine. And good riddance. ts
Unfortunately for you, we don't have a link to this ad on YouTube and we don't have the ability to stream this ad. But it's a real stinkin' doozy. For example, we were particularly taken aback as the announcer put everyone within earshot on notice that Keith Fitzgerald could well "tear apart the fabric of our nation." Oookayyy....
We realize it's less than two weeks out and everyone -- everyone -- is asking for your help (today alone we've gotten emails from Clinton, Obama, Carville, Congressman Jim Moran and Mark Warner and it's not even lunch time). But Keith needs your help to combat this foolishness, and he needs it today.
Keith's campaign manager sent this out just today:
Today, Laura Benson and her GOP handlers launched an outrageous negative ad campaign on Keith. Keith is disgusted with the Republicans' nasty attempts to distract voters from the real issues that matter for Florida and for our nation. Here is Keith's response:
Laura Benson promised the people of District 69 that she would keep her campaign honest and positive.
She broke her word.
My opponent has now aired a ridiculous TV ad alleging that I support uncontrolled immigration to the United States. This is a complete and utter lie, and Laura Benson knows it.
Here is the truth. For twenty years, I have been a harsh critic of the way that the United States looks the other way at illegal immigration and refuses to punish the employers who knowingly profit from it.
In my book, published before the 9/11 attacks, I pointed out that illegal immigration made us vulnerable to terrorism and predicted that the public would ultimately become fed up.
I have been right on illegal immigration for twenty years.
Why has Laura Benson unleashed this dishonest smear campaign? Because I have a positive agenda for change. I will stand up for families and small businesses against the big insurance companies. I am a real educator who will help Florida build a world-class school system. I have a constructive agenda for growth management and affordable housing.
Laura Benson is scared because I am right on the issues that matter most to real people and that is why she has had to make up lies and use scare tactics. It is time for the citizens of Florida to have the courage to reject fear-mongering and dirty politics and get behind real leadership for a change.
Political advertisement paid for and approved by Keith Fitzgerald, Democrat, for State House District 69.
We are as sick as you are of the over-the-top, fear-mongering ads that don't do anything but drown out reasonable and necessary debates about what's important in Florida and America today. We implore you, if you hate negative advertising and want to see genuine grassroots candidates win as much as we do, please help Keith today if you can.
We think Senator Bill Nelson is fantastic. He's a moderate voice in what has become an increasingly shrill and partisan echo chamber. We like that.
We also like that he's totally going to destroy -- just absolutely crush -- his miserably pathetic opposition in this senate race. We think that's just great, and have said so on these pages.
Funny enough, our friends over at Florida Politics beat us to the punch and posted on an issue we'd like to take with Senator Nelson: the fact that he has not donated nearly enough to what some have called "benchbuilding," or more precisely, to local Florida candidates. As of right now, he's donated a woefully anemic $250K to the Florida Democratic Party, and helped raise about another $30,000. That's after he's raised $18 million for his own race.
We may not be the best political minds of our time, but we feel fairly safe in saying that Nelson's going to win his race. We think he can afford to share a little love.
As the poster over at Florida Politics says, if he only gave just 10% of his haul, he'd be donating almost 2 million dollars. 2 million bucks donated to help candidates across the state, candidates that could use the help in a year when we are so close to taking back the House and Senate, we can taste it. 2 million bucks out of his pocket, which would leave him with 16 million -- plus whatever he'd continue to bring in.
Now, we saw an ad the other day for Nelson. In Spanish. And not to belittle the Spanish vote here in Florida -- it's important -- but if Bill Nelson can afford to spend money on ads in Spanish, we think he can afford a few million to candidates in races that could decide the makeup of the House of Representatives. Or even local races for State Senate and State House.
The logic of the Nelson Campaign is eluding us just a little bit. For what amounts to a pretty small price tag, he'd be more than the Senior Senator from Florida -- he'd be King of Florida, or at least King of the Florida Democrats.
So, it's win-win, as far as we're concerned. We can't understand why he wouldn't do it.
That's why we've decided to voice our concern to Senator Nelson. If you're reading this, take some time out of your day and thank Senator Nelson for his service to America. Then strongly encourage him to donate some of his cash to his fellow Democrats. It's only right. ts
Some good news came in for Keith Fitzgerald down in Florida’s State House District 69 over the weekend. If you follow politics and campaigns, even a little bit, you already know that the toughest thing to nail is the free media.
And in a local race like this one, it’s especially hard. For a number of reasons. First, there’s Katherine Harris near to the top of the ballot. Kitty’s managed to go from rising Republican star, to rising Republican nuisance, to falling Republican nuisance, to quirky distraction, to insane distraction, to train wreck, to just plain pathetic. You sort of half expect Sally Struthers to be standing outside Kitty’s campaign headquarters begging you to send all you can for only the price of a cup of coffee. There’s the whole Mark Foley thing. Sure, Foley’s pedophilic predilections are disgusting and unforgivable, but from our perspective, the cover-up is nearly just as bad. Is this how the Republican Leadership in the House behaves? And if so, what else are they covering up? These are important questions that deserve answers, but when they’re being asked, they’re taking up valuable ink in newspapers and TV time that could be used to cover races like Keith’s. It’s kind of a shame. Then there’s the fact that there are a number of national races and national issues – Iraq at the top of them – that easily overshadow local campaigns. But Tip O’Neill said, rightly, that all politics is local. Has that ever been proven wrong to anyone’s knowledge, by the way? We sort of think not. Anyway, the local paper in District 69 is the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, a fine and decent New York Times-owned news outlet that has done some fine reporting in their time. And we’re not just sucking up because they endorsed Keith over the weekend. Their endorsement noted that Keith has “…an astonishing grasp of the issues on the Legislature’s agenda,” and that he, “…offers ideas across a broad range of issues -- and, most important, expresses them in concise, digestible language. His service on the city of Sarasota Charter Review Commission showed that he can work effectively in an open, public forum outside the halls and walls of academia. Oh, but that’s not all, friends and readers! The Sarasota Herald-Tribune’s writer Carol E. Lee featured a profile of Keith on Sunday. We won’t go in to it, but believe us, it’s really quite good. Check it out here:link. And, as if that’s not all, political chief Jeremy Wallace has a piece on Keith’s recent standing-up-to of the Christian Coalition in his weekly column. Read it here:link. This is exactly the kind of free media that candidates are constantly looking for – and Keith is certainly deserving. Remember, gang – we’ve got three weeks, almost exactly, to get this thing right. Please, if you can, support Keith’s campaign. If you can’t donate money, come on by and donate some of your time. Keith will thank you. We will thank you. And, most important, the people of District 69 will thank you. ts
Our favorite line reads: “Fitzgerald says he hopes to coax the Florida House back toward the political mainstream – a worthwhile mission.” How often have you heard the words “political mainstream” this election cycle? Yeah, endorsements are always made all the sweeter when they’re true. Read the whole thing here:link.
And in a local race like this one, it’s especially hard. For a number of reasons.
First, there’s Katherine Harris near to the top of the ballot. Kitty’s managed to go from rising Republican star, to rising Republican nuisance, to falling Republican nuisance, to quirky distraction, to insane distraction, to train wreck, to just plain pathetic. You sort of half expect Sally Struthers to be standing outside Kitty’s campaign headquarters begging you to send all you can for only the price of a cup of coffee.
There’s the whole Mark Foley thing. Sure, Foley’s pedophilic predilections are disgusting and unforgivable, but from our perspective, the cover-up is nearly just as bad. Is this how the Republican Leadership in the House behaves? And if so, what else are they covering up? These are important questions that deserve answers, but when they’re being asked, they’re taking up valuable ink in newspapers and TV time that could be used to cover races like Keith’s. It’s kind of a shame.
Then there’s the fact that there are a number of national races and national issues – Iraq at the top of them – that easily overshadow local campaigns.
But Tip O’Neill said, rightly, that all politics is local.
Has that ever been proven wrong to anyone’s knowledge, by the way? We sort of think not.
Anyway, the local paper in District 69 is the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, a fine and decent New York Times-owned news outlet that has done some fine reporting in their time. And we’re not just sucking up because they endorsed Keith over the weekend.
Their endorsement noted that Keith has “…an astonishing grasp of the issues on the Legislature’s agenda,” and that he, “…offers ideas across a broad range of issues -- and, most important, expresses them in concise, digestible language. His service on the city of Sarasota Charter Review Commission showed that he can work effectively in an open, public forum outside the halls and walls of academia.
Oh, but that’s not all, friends and readers! The Sarasota Herald-Tribune’s writer Carol E. Lee featured a profile of Keith on Sunday. We won’t go in to it, but believe us, it’s really quite good. Check it out here:link.
And, as if that’s not all, political chief Jeremy Wallace has a piece on Keith’s recent standing-up-to of the Christian Coalition in his weekly column. Read it here:link.
This is exactly the kind of free media that candidates are constantly looking for – and Keith is certainly deserving.
Remember, gang – we’ve got three weeks, almost exactly, to get this thing right. Please, if you can, support Keith’s campaign. If you can’t donate money, come on by and donate some of your time. Keith will thank you. We will thank you. And, most important, the people of District 69 will thank you. ts
We weren't at this event, but sure wish we had been. This is the kind of rhetoric we need to see coming out of good Democrats like Keith Fitzgerald. We understand that Vern Buchanan said some pretty outrageous stuff. Guess they'll say anything when they're desperate. Here's the header from Duncan's email, and then the except from Keith's speech after.
Last night, Keith participated in a candidate night hosted by the Sarasota Christian Coalition. He spoke after congressional candidate Vern Buchanan, and was outraged at what he heard. I was proud to hear a candidate stand up for what he believes in, and I wanted to share some of his remarks with you.
"I’ve been here before, I’ve met you before, I see a lot of friendly faces. And the last time I started with my storied campaign speech, but since you’ve already heard that I think I’m going to start in a slightly different way, and I’m going to talk to you briefly from the heart because I have to tell you something folks, I heard some things from Mr. Buchanan and some of your responses that really made me ashamed, really made me ashamed.
One of the reasons that I ran for this office is that I think our country is in trouble. I think this country is in trouble because we allow ourselves to be divided, we allow ourselves to be told that we are two different people that are warring with each other and that’s false, and there is a high level of manipulation in that. And folks, I heard you tonight being manipulated. Give me a break.
Is he telling me that the biggest problem we have with this page deal up in Washington is that 23 years ago a Democrat did it? Give me a break.
Is he telling me that this is being caused by the news media that brought this to your attention? Give me a break.
What this is about is men who are in power who will do anything to keep that power and will tell any lie and sweep anything under the rug in order to maintain what they have.
Now, it’s important for all of us from different backgrounds, different beliefs, different faith traditions, to face up to the fundamental obligation to recognize the power of the truth. What that man did was wrong. What those people he worked with did was wrong. And that is the issue. And by the way, when the fellow who left here, Mr. Buchanan, said that the media held this back, (for a surprise) in October – a lie. A flat out lie. Don’t allow yourself to be manipulated. The reporter who broke that story has come out on the record and said he got that story from a Republican source.
Now look, we’ve got some real problems in this country. The moral core of this country is eroding, and part of the reason it’s eroding is not just folks out in Hollywood who give us movies and records we don’t like, part of the reason we’ve got a moral problem in this country is not because there’s gays and lesbians out there or people who are different from some of the rest of us, part of the reason we have a moral problem in this county in not just because there are people from different traditions and different backgrounds, part of it is us – who don’t cull from our better selves. You should have room in your hearts to be outraged for what happened up there.
Morality is not Republican and it’s not Democrat.
The truth is not Republican and it’s not Democrat.
And I challenge you all tonight to do better than this, instead of letting yourselves be manipulated. Come on. Come on. We can do better than that. What’s going on up there is wrong.
One of the problems in our country is the political system is broken. There is too much concern with political careers and power, and not enough concern about using government to make people’s lives better, to address the real problems that affect real people. And that’s what I’m about.
I have a lot of background in government, I have a Ph.D. from Indiana University with specialization in American Politics and a specialization in Public Policy. One of my specializations – I told you last time I was here – was the way that ideas and institutions work together over time to make our country great. A lot of those key things, those key ideas and key institutions are under erosion right now. One of the fundamentals is a sense of duty and a commitment to the truth. I think that we ought to be fools to be manipulated by anyone who tells us that that belongs to one religious belief, one political party. It’s time for us to step up to the plate and call on our public officials to do better. And so I was really embarrassed to sit here and listen to you get manipulated by that stuff.
You can do better than that. You can do better than that. You’ve got a guy up there preying on kids and you’ve got his bosses covering up because he’s the biggest fundraiser in this part of the country. Give me a break. Shame on you all, to be manipulated like that."
# # # #
Be sure to support Keith, however you can. ts
Good Lord, we were going to take the high road and let Kitty Harris kind of fade off in to a necessary oblivion with as much dignity as she could muster. Just let her corral whatever sense of decency she might have had left over after this humiliating campaign and never be heard from again. Maybe she'd take off with her husband -- who creeps us out, by the way -- Anders, back to his home country somewhere in Europe.
Well, we gave her the out, but she's still plugging along. And now it's obvious the dementia has gotten the best of her. Here's the headline from one of her most recent press statements:
Harris Beats Nelson -- Leads 54% to 45%
Yes, she's managed to finally round the bend and totally fool herself. It's tragic, in a humanitarian sort of way.
The first line of her statement sort of tells the whole story, really:
Congresswoman Katherine Harris, the Republican candidate for the United States Senate, soundly defeated Bill Nelson this evening by a 54% to 45% margin in the straw poll conducted at the Lakeland Bi-Annual Politics in the Park.
Well, problem Number One is that it's a straw poll. And to vote in the Lakeland Bi-Annual Politics in the Park straw poll, you have to first pony up twenty-five bucks. And, not incidentally, here, does anyone really think that something with the words "Politics in the Park" can possibly taken seriously? It's probably sandwiched in between the Johnson-Bettison Family Reunion Picnic and the Lakeland Chamber of Commerce Division Five Softball Playoffs.
Well, the Lakeland Ledger was having none of it, anyway. Mr. Bill Rufty decided to call her out on it:
One of the biggest frustrations for public opinion pollsters and academics dealing with applied statistics is the misuse of and sometimes downright bending of the truth when it comes to poll results, especially by politicians.
Readers of poll stories then begin to doubt scientific polls and blame pollsters, writers, everybody, it seems, but the people who purposefully distort the numbers.
Well, that's the truth. And then Mr. Rufty finally reveals the two paragraphs that must've really gotten under his skin:
The truth is you couldn't vote at Politics in the Park unless you paid $25. The Ledger even ran a picture of Harris helping a six-year-old vote in the straw ballot.
Recent, scientifically-conducted polls show that among most likely voters in Florida, Nelson still leads Harris by double digits.
Yeah. The key words there being "scientifically-conducted."
Although it's intriguing to learn that Katherine Harris is for allowing children to vote. Maybe that could be her new campaign slogan: Give Kids The Vote!
Don't worry, Kitty -- just a little under four weeks, and your oblivion awaits. ts
Dear Spencerian Editors:
So, now that Foley is totally toast, just how bad are the Democrats going to thrash the Republicans in four weeks? Is it going to be bad? It's going to be bad, isn't it? Is it bad? How bad?
J.R. "Jimbo" Hochstettler
Okay, Jimbo, you clearly didn't read our last post on this issue. That's kind of offensive. You should read us more often, Jimbo.
We only sifted through thousands and thousands of questions from loyal readers of The Spencerian to answer yours because there are a couple of new developments since we last posted on this, and we thought we'd give it a shot. The fact that Mark Foley had inappropriate IM and e-mail relationships with underage House Pages is a really big deal. We've heard all kinds of crap from the right about Bill Clinton and... if you remember him... Gerry Studds.
But at the heart of this scandal -- the political heart, anyway -- is the story of a pretty disgusting coverup by the Speaker of the House, and probably a lot of his colleagues.
So, to get to your insunation, Jimbo: just how bad will it be for Republicans come November thanks to the Hastert coverup of the Mark Foley disaster? Well, look, it's not going to be a good day for them. No doubt about it, and they have Mark Foley's illegal and despicable actions to thank for that. But the Democrats needs something like 15 seats if they want to take the House. Most pundits are talking about how there are 11 in play. Eleven. That's still four short.
Yes, Delay and his cronies have done a fine job of engineering it so that there remains a 98% retention rate in Congress. It's tough to knock off an incumbent.
Our big point is this, Jimbo: four weeks is an eternity in politics. It may as well be eons. In two weeks will we still be talking about Mark Foley? Will we still be talking about Dennis Hastert? We're barely talking about them today, thanks to the insane North Koreans. Smooth, guys, real smooth.
So remember that, Jimbo, when you're visiting us again in two weeks. See what we're talking about. And then go and donate some time and money to your favorite candidate. ts
Well, the Washington Times has thrown us all a curve ball, and has called for the resignation of House Speaker Dennis Hastert (read their editorial in-full here:link). Now, you couldn't exactly characterize the Washington Times as the mortal enemy of people like Speaker Hastert. To say they are conservative in their political philosophy is an understatement along the lines of suggestion that it's possible that Mark Foley might be kind of a creep. The former Florida Congressman is, in the words of the Times, aberrant, predatory and possibly criminal. And the Times burns effigies of the Clinton's each day in a morning ritual.
Okay, they probably don't, but read the rest of their paper -- it's not that hard to imagine.
You know that we don't usually post on the biggest news of the day. It's not what we do, really. We prefer to comment on the back stories that no one else has seen, or at least not many people. It means we're not the most popular blog out there, but whatever.
But this deal with Foley might prove to be the final undoing of Congressional Republicans who swept into power under the Stewardship of Evil, New Gingrich and Company. We hope the Republicans lose, and lose bad in November, but not for this reason alone.
And in the meantime, maybe we'll actually be citing the Washington Times to friends and neighbors. After all, there's no denying that they got it right:
House Speaker Dennis Hastert must do the only right thing, and resign
his speakership at once. Either he was grossly negligent for not taking
the red flags fully into account and ordering a swift investigation,
for not even remembering the order of events leading up to last week's
revelations -- or he deliberately looked the other way in hopes that a
brewing scandal would simply blow away. He gave phony answers Friday to
the old and ever-relevant questions of what did he know and when did he
know it? Mr. Hastert has forfeited the confidence of the public and his
party, and he cannot preside over the necessary coming investigation,
an investigation that must examine his own inept performance.
Will Hastert resign? Doubtful. But we don't doubt for a minute that he -- and Congressional Republicans -- have "forfeited the confidence of the public." Good riddance. ts