Thursday, September 20, 2007

"pointless exercise"

David Kurtz at Talking Points Memo stirred up a bit of controversy over whether the Democrats are foolish to let the Republicans "filibuster" costlessly.

Reader, AC writes: "Politics is the art of the possible. And when nothing concrete is possible, that leaves theater. I am baffled at Democrats' continual willingness to concede the stage. Veto or no veto, making the GOP filibuster a bill like Webb's is not pointless. It puts vulnerable GOP moderates on the hot seat, it puts the blame for obstruction on the minority where it belongs, and it may force a series of unpopular high-profile vetoes from Bush."

I agree with AC and the several other readers quoted by David Kurtz.

The great political storm is underway, and it needs drama. Does anyone know how to play this game? Cause 25 Democrats in the Senate voted to condemn an newspaper ad by

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

They're Jealous

Democrats Won't Temper Iraq Legislation:
After weeks of suggesting Democrats would temper their approach to Iraq legislation in a bid to attract more Republicans, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid declared abruptly Tuesday that he had no plans to do so.

The Democratic leader said he will call for a vote this month on several anti-war proposals, including one by Sen. Carl Levin that would insist President Bush end U.S. combat next summer. The proposals would be mandatory and not leave Bush wiggle room, said Reid, D-Nev.

"There (are) no goals. It's all definite timelines," he told reporters of the planned legislation.

. . .

When asked why Democrats won't soften the deadline, the majority leader said he doesn't have confidence Republicans are willing to challenge Bush on the war.

"I think they've decided definitely they want this to be the Senate Republicans' war, not just Bush's. They're jealous," he said with a smile.

The great P.R. offensive, associated with Petraeus's testimony got Bush a bump of only 2 to 3 percent in the polls, from just below 30% to just above 30%, while Democratic leaders in a supine position just made the base of the Democratic Party mad as hell.

It is time to fight. If the issue is the 2008 election, then Democrats should not be suckered into any bi-partisan cover for a disastrous Republican policy.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

in the real world, things are different

Dan Froomkin:
"In the alternate universe that President Bush occupies, he gave a smashing speech . . .

"Over there, the people of Iraq need our help to save them from the al Qaeda terrorists who intend to overthrow their brave and united government on the way to attacking America. It's a battle of good versus evil. We have 36 countries fighting alongside us. And the fight is going very well indeed. Ordinary life is returning to Baghdad.

"A few more things about Bush's universe: There, the president can make things true simply by solemnly pronouncing them from the Oval Office. He can reach out to his critics just by saying he is doing so. And people believe him."

Fred Kaplan - Slate :

"President Bush's TV address tonight was the worst speech he's ever given on the war in Iraq, and that's saying a lot. Every premise, every proposal, nearly every substantive point was sheer fiction. The only question is whether he was being deceptive or delusional."

New York Times:

"Mr. Bush was clear last night — as he was when he addressed the nation in January, September of last year, the December before that and in April 2004 — that his only real plan is to confuse enough Americans and cow enough members of Congress to let him muddle along and saddle his successor with this war that should never have been started."

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Crackpots Everywhere

On the eve of David Petraeus' testimony, note is taken that Rudy Giuliani is taking counsel from crackpots.

Matthew Yglesias notes the association of Rudy Giuliani with Norman Podhoretz: "something's gone badly wrong with a country where a major political figure sees associating himself with this kind of lunacy as a smart political move"

Tristero at Hullabaloo has more on "Giuliani's Unhinged Adviser"