Friday, June 16, 2006

Willful Ignorance

Will someone please explain to Insty why this is dumb?

Oh, wait...he already understands. He's just pretending not to.

Which is not to say that I disagree with the more general point that Dems are whining too much about leaving rather than winning. For I do. They make it easy for the Republicans to paint them as cutters and runners, b/c much of what many of them say sounds suspiciously close to "hey, gang, let's cut and run!"

Not that I blame them that much. I mean, in a situation like this I think we have to put more blame on the party that supported the idiotic and disastrous policy than we do on the party that says "let's abandon this idiotic and disastrous policy"...even when abandoning it would be worse. But for the implementation of the idiotic and disastrous policy, we wouldn't face this choice in the first place.

Still, I wish the Dems didn't always make it so damn easy for the Republicans to do the wrong thing. Because it's not like they're insufficiently inclined to do so already...


Blogger Tom Van Dyke said...

I like it when people are forced to go on the record. Bush is a poo-poo head, fine. Now, what shall we do about Iraq?

4:01 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

He's more than a poo-poo head, he's an incompetent liar and quasi-stealer-of-the-office-of-president who got us into this mess, let the perpetrators of 9/11 get away, classivied everybody who pointed out his errors traitors, alienated our allies, and strengthened our enemies.

Now, given all THAT, I agree that the central question is 'what do we do about Iraq? But if the Bushies were serious about Iraq, then they wouldn't have done most of those things they did. Or they'd recognize that they could get much of the country behind them by admitting their errors...and then do so.

If they were really, really serious about Iraq, they'd leave office and turn the job over to someone competent.

But they aren't. Rather, they just use Iraq as a stick to beat their political enemies.

But, given all that, what do we do in Iraq? Answer: I don't know. Neither does anybody else. Too many too serious mistakes have been made. Now nobody knows what to do.

4:15 PM  
Blogger Tom Van Dyke said...

Well, at least we sent the world a signal that we've decided what we won't do: cut and run.


And who is beating whom with the Iraq stick is another question.

4:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, no. Musn't cut and run. We've only had 2,500 soldiers die in Iraq; we can tough it out until 20 times that number are dead. It's a shame, though, that the American people are such cowards though.

2:40 AM  
Blogger Tom Van Dyke said...

256-153. The only number that counts.

3:53 AM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

256-153 on a bullshit, politically-motivated resolution that, like almost everything that the Republicans say and do about Iraq, has *nothing to do with Iraq*. That was political theater for domesetic consumption, and you know now that, Tom.

So much for Republican seriousness about Iraq.

If they were really serious they'd have called for a vote on a serious resolution.

And, remember: I'm not even an advocated of withdrawal. I'm not an advocate of anything currently, because the Bushies have botched things so badly I haven't a clue *what* we should do...

7:27 AM  
Blogger Tom Van Dyke said...

I think the vote is probative: 3/4 of Democrats want a deadline. Virtually none of the GOP do.

If the opinion polls are accurate and the US electorate wants a deadline, the Democrats should have an easy time of it in November.

"Cut and run," although accurate, is admittedly pejorative. There are good arguments on both sides---a deadline may give comfort to the insurgents, particularly the Sunnis, who of late seem to be choosing the political over the violent option in increasing numbers.

But a deadline may also get the Iraqis out of their complacency in taking over their own security.

Unfortunately, that real discussion hasn't taken place. But once again, I put the onus on those who want change to make an affirmative case. That would also require dropping the club of the road to war issue and bashing Bush with it, something the Democrats seem unwilling to do.

Attempting to have it both ways has led to getting boxed into a corner themselves instead of cornering the GOP through Bush. They had quite a good opportunity to show leadership instead of opposition.

2:09 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

No, the issue of how we got in Iraq cannot be ignored. I know you guys would like us to forget it, but it's not going to happen.

It IS, of course, a separate issue, and can't be allowed to interfere with our deliberations about what we should do now.

But that's one way the Republicans show that they aren't serious about victory. Instead of allowing an investigation that would put the pre-war lies behind us, they allow the issue to fester.

The Dems aren't serious enough about what's going on, but at least--as usual--they are noticeably less idiotic and dishonest than the Republicans. That's the best that can be said for them, but it's decisive in a two-party system.

3:07 PM  
Blogger Tom Van Dyke said...

I'm afraid I've seen the same evidence as you re the runup to war, have come to different conclusions, and voted accordingly in 2004.

If the Democrats want to re-litigate the issue in 2006, that's fine. But don't expect it to work. I think even those Americans who have decided the war wasn't worth it after all see that as water under the bridge. They have put the "pre-war lies" behind them.

It is impossible to get them to care about what they don't care about, although you're invited to try. But I see flogging the issue as opposition, not leadership, and elections are about who should lead. Bush is out in 2 years, and to me (and I bet most Americans), the pre-war issues are as irrelevant as the unanswered questions about the Clinton presidency.

But, hey, I could be wrong.

3:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I put the onus on those who want change to make an affirmative case.

If it's FUBAR, something should change. It's FUBAR.

That would also require dropping the club of the road to war issue and bashing Bush with it

Some of us can do two things at once. I don't see why we can't continue to bash Bush. No one deserves it more.

But I see flogging the issue as opposition, not leadership

The Dems ARE the opposition, not the leadership.

But, hey, I could be wrong.

That's an understatement. Every time a president gets away with lying us into a war, it adds another precedent, and makes them believe that they have less of a burden to justify war. And they DID lie. I'm not going to debate it. That's been done ad nauseum. But they continue to lie. If you can't see it, that's because you haven't really looked.

5:19 PM  
Blogger Tom Van Dyke said...

Well, we agree about the nausea part.

But it's not really about me. I have looked, and didn't find exactly what you think you've found. Perhaps when one looks for something very very hard, one finds it even if it's not there.

Way back in the 1990s, I got a great kick out of reading the American Spectator digging up the dirt on Clinton. One day, after reading another collection of ominous-sounding "facts" presented in the form of a smoking gun, I realized they amounted to exactly nothing conclusive.

Where they're smoke there's fire, they say, but sometimes when there's smoke, it's just smoke. (AmSpec went belly-up shortly thereafter.)

I'm not really discussing the "lies" issue itself here, Becca, just saying that most folks have heard it all and have made up their minds, either about whether the charges are true or if they just aren't relevant to where we go from here. I think their conclusion is that autopsies are hazardous to the patient's health while he's still alive.

Just sayin'. The Democrats have a real chance to grab a house of congress in November, but not if they don't offer leadership. If the party wishes to define itself simply as the opposition, and you indicate it does, so shall it remain. There's perhaps some political currency in setting a withdrawal date, none in Joe Wilson and the sixteen words at this late date.

In my opinion, of course.

9:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


The Democrats have not defined themselves as the opposition. They ARE the opposition. That's how it works in congress. One party is the leadership (majority), the other is the opposition (minority). It's difficult to lead when whatever you do will be voted down on party lines. Just sayin'.

You say that the "lies" issue is not relevant. I say that it is. Your autopsies analogy is a poor one. Our system of government is as much--probably more--about process than about result. It's the process that has been corrupted. It's like the whole "get over it" attitude of a stolen election. The winners and the losers are one issue. The ability to steal an election is another. I can get over the first but not the second. Again it's a question of process. The Bush Administration has taken the process that is what defines America and thrown it out the window in almost every case. It's not just Iraq.

9:42 PM  
Blogger Tom Van Dyke said...

I was referring to Iraq as the patient. And I do not say that the "lies" are irrelevant, only that many (and me) consider them so in a political sense, of facing the future.

I understand your process argument, Becca. A dear friend of mine from the left has a similar focus. But if there was a failure, the entire US congress acceeded to it, and so did the opinion polls.

I do not think we went to war over Nigerian yellowcake. That certainly was not my reason for supporting it.

I almost hardly ever never refer to other blogs. But I was so impressed with this "righty" discussion, both the post and comments, of the exchange between two gentlemen of the left, Peter Beinert and Michael Tomasky, that I must break my rule.

It's all there. All voices are heard, and I think there's precious little sophistry. I think it's worth your time. Virtually everyone is right.

The intractable human problems, I believe, are insoluable by words, or processes.

10:20 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

Bush lied, and he got us in a tight spot. You can try to change the issue if you want--to whether people CARE that he lied, or...that beloved GOP the Clenis--but it won't change the fact that Bush lied.

Some Americans care whether the president lies in a big way. I'm one of them. There are lots more.

We take this country and its laws and history seriously. We won't be distracted by rhetoric and appeals to political expedience.

That stuff's beneath you, Tom.

7:25 PM  
Blogger Tom Van Dyke said...

Oh, man, I'm sick of talking about the "lies." We've done that one to death. I was trying to, um, move on, as they say, and talk about the 2006 election.

But I don't want to distract you. Rock on.

3:47 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

Well, I was a bit agressive, for which I apologize.

But I wasn't interested in talking about the "lies"...I was interested in talking about the *lies*...

12:53 PM  

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