Thursday, October 25, 2007

10.5 Things the Next (Democratic) President Should Say:

1. I will restore honor to the White House.

2. I will not lie to you except for strategic reasons when there is no reasonable alternative. I will not stretch, twist, nip or tuck the truth in order to trick you into doing something that you would never acquiesce to otherwise. The decision to go to war is the most important decision a president makes. I will, in particular, not lie to you about reasons for going to war.

3. I will restore the balance of power the Founders built into the Constitution by ceding illegitimate power recently arrogated by the executive branch.

4. The decision about whether or not to go to war is Congress's decision, not that of the President. The President is merely the Commander-in-Chief. Commander-in-Chief means something like 'SCAEF' or 'SACSEA', not something like 'dictator' or 'fuhrer.'

5. The United States of America will speak softly and carry a big stick.

6. Politics has no place in science. Anyone in my administration who puts pressure on scientists for political reasons will be fired.

7. We're all in this together, and I'll try my best to close the partisan divide and (actually, really) unite the country. We don't all agree, and we need to focus on how to live, work, and govern together as harmoniously as possible under those conditions. We are all the intellectual and spiritual children of Madison. We need to start acting that way. (Translation: I will endeavor to be an actual uniter, not a divider in uniter's clothing.)

8. We are not the kings of the world. We need to start treating other democratic nations as our equals. More guns do not equal more brains. And the bigger and badder you are, the more care you must take not to squash and intimidate others. Sometimes you have no alternative but to throw your weight around: but you can't make it your SOP.

9. Al Qaeda is a bunch of punk-ass bitches. They sucker-punched us once, and in response we started shooting ourselves in our own feet. That shit is over. They're barely worth our attention. We have lots of other, more important things to attend to. We're done letting them play us.

9.5 Oh, we're going to kill those insignificant little sh*ts. Don't get us wrong.

10. No more politics in the Justice Department. We're going to put the firewall back up and minimize the number of WH staffers who can contact people in the DoJ.


Blogger Jim Bales said...

Yes, yes, 10.5 thousand times yes!

9:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you really mean "strategic" reasons? Or do you mean "operational" reasons?

I think Bush was lying for strategic reasons when there was no other option: the strategy was war with Iraq, and there was no honest way to do it.

- mac

9:33 PM  
Blogger Random Michelle K said...

Al Qaeda is a bunch of punk-ass bitches.

Just out of curiosity, which candidates can you *actually* picture saying this?

(picturing John Edwards saying this)


Mind you, I *like* Edwards, and he's my second choice. I just can't picture him saying the words "punk-ass bitches"


10:25 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

Kucinich, definitely...

11:39 PM  
Blogger Tom Van Dyke said...

Per 7), I've been of a mind to vote for anyone who's interested in being the president of all the people of the United States, I'm so sick of this stuff. But I'm not sure there's anyone out there like that. For one thing, it makes it hard to get through the primaries.

1:35 PM  
Blogger Myca said...

I think Obama has been making promising noises that direction, especially with his religious rhetoric, which I believe is heartfelt.


1:58 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

Yeah, Obama's the man in that regard.

And Tom's right: that's part of why he probably doesn't have a chance.

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

It appears so, WS. I ran across some approving WaPo articles that said it's quite a deliberate choice on Obama's part, too, but perhaps "too nice" to have any appeal.

But it's the only reason he has any appeal for me, and I agree with Myca that Obama's been the best of all of 'em. (Surely I agree with him on virtually none of the issues.)

There is even a possibility that I'd vote for Obama over Mitt Romney, who like the past two Democrat nominees, I suspect of being genuinely weird. Look up the dog-carrier story, which I've also written about on my blog. Folks in his party and the press are keeping their powder dry on that one, but if he starts getting anywhere, it's kerblooey, and I don't think he can ever survive it and win nomination, let alone the election.

Otherwise, John McCain's record of reaching across the aisle is unimpeachable, and Rudy's been pretty good, too, which is why I might support him in the primary even tho I predictably don't see eye-to-eye on a number of things.

Both Clinton41 and Dubya waited until their second terms to start bashing the other party by name. (They each had it coming, in my view.) I don't think Hillary will wait that long: I think she honestly hates the GOP, and in many quarters, the feeling is mutual.

This pretty much reflects my view, altho I think Obama's as left as Edwards is, he just does a far more statemanlike job in conveying it.

(Prediction: Giuliani/McCain vs. Clinton/Bayh, altho Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell might slip in if Hillary decides she needs a good-humored hatchet man. Homeboy is goood, real good.)

4:20 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

I dunno, Tom...I gotta say, I got the feeling Dubya was giving me the finger as soon as the recount debacle began. He seemed about as divisive as he could get about as soon as he could manage it.

Now, I left the recount debacle and the Bush v. Gore dust-up absolutely fuming. My colleagues kept saying they thought my head was going to explode. So my impressions could be all out of whack.

4:35 PM  
Blogger Tom Van Dyke said...

Well, I was taking note. I remember a day in 1997 or so when Clinton bashed the Republicans by name, and thinking, "I don't remember him ever doing that before."

So I watched the Dubya administration for the same thing. The first bash I noticed wasn't until summer 2004 when Ashcroft criticized Clinton in the 9/11 hearings. For Bush himself, the second term.

These are just my observations, but I was on the lookout.

5:24 PM  
Blogger lovable liberal said...

WS, terrific list. It puts front and center the need for restoration from the Bushists running roughshod over the Constitution. That, coupled with craven Republicans and lily-livered Democrats in Congress, erased separation of powers for long enough to let Iraq happen, so fixing it is the priority. But, then, you obviously know that already.

5:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I suggest one edit. aQ did not get just one sucker punch, they got at least three: the first WTC bombing, the attack on the USS Cole, and 9/11.

I was disappointed to learn that the USS Cole bombers have not only escaped, but now some of them have been formally released:

6:53 AM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

Tom, you've just got to stop trying to equate Clinton with Bush in these ways. It's simply absurd. *Of course* every president has some dust-ups with the other party. But Clinton was preternaturally restrained given the abuse he had to put up with. This is an error you keep making, and I keep calling you on: what's relevant here is a profound difference in degree. No one is saying that no other president has ever blasted the other party. Certainly no one is saying that Clinton didn't (despite the psychopathic attacks he endured).

Bush and Clinton were both divisive figures--but in both cases the fault lay primarily on the right. Clinton tried to govern from the center, yet the right went rabid. (Actually, they went rabid before he ever did anything...) Despite Bush's attempt to seize power in the 2000, liberals didn't kick into *hate Bush* mode until Bush had given them ample reason. (E.g. lying us into a war.)

So no, you can't count the two cases as equivalent. I really don't see why I should be expected to make this point over and over, man.

9:15 AM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

Good point, Richard.

And it's 4-5 counting the embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania.

(Retaliation for which was, of course, called dog-wagging by our friends on the other side of the aisle...)

Given that we retaliated for this, and given that the Clinton admin warned the in-coming Bush admin about the threat, and given the "al Qaeda Determined to Strike Inside United States" PDB, maybe we shouldn't get to count 9/11 as a sucker punch *per se*...

9:24 AM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

Last point to Tom:
You're focusing overmuch on calling the other party by name or something. If you think that Bush didn't become divisive until 2004...jeez, man, I just don't know what to say to you!!!

9:26 AM  
Blogger Tom Van Dyke said...

I'm willing to listen to your evidence.

I was reporting on something I personally was paying particular attention to. As always, I could be wrong.

7:40 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

Surely you are not seriously suggesting that this point is in question and requires us to compile a list of Bush's divisive actions?

That's just silly, man. C'mon. If you're not going to take this seriously, then why should I?

It sounds like you're just assiduously applying the differential standards of proof ploy. Goes like this: I insist that my opponent prove beyond a shadow of a doubt each of his claims--with documentation, preferably--no matter how clearly true.

Beautiful way to waste the opposition's time. A ploy beloved of skeptics and partisans.

If you don't buy the claim, that's nothing to me. I'm talking to people who were (a) paying attention during both the Clinton and Bush administrations and (b) who are willing to be honest about what happened.

Anybody else is welcome to go do their own research to get up to speed.

12:59 PM  
Blogger Tom Van Dyke said...

One example, one sentence would have sufficed. I don't see the point of writing me numerous paragraphs if there's not a single fact or argument included. That's a waste of time.

What I recall is GOP partisans warning Bush not to bother to cozy up to Ted Kennedy, who would screw him in the end. Which is what happened.

2:47 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

I think I've made it clear I'm not going to let you waste my time with stuff like this anymore. You want to defend the claim, e.g., that the Earth is flat, don't ask me to scrupulously Google my sources when I dismiss your silliness.

Exactly how many times do I have to say "I'm not going to waste my time anymore?" We've been over this stuff a million times. When facts and arguments are offered, you ignore and obfuscate. When people then get fed up and start dismissing you, you demand facts and arguments.

In fact, this pattern has even been pointed out to you by many different people on many different occasions. Yet here we are again...

11:14 PM  
Blogger Tom Van Dyke said...

I do not recognize the verdict of this kangaroo court. Sorry. I don't believe you or your fellows would fare very well in even a neutral venue, let alone as one partisan as this with colors reversed.

I searched for evidence to support your proposition, WS. Didn't come up with anything, really.

4:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I posted this on another thread, but it seems appropriate here too:

If you really think that this is just a partisan echo chamber, I have two questions for you.

First, why do you continue to post here? And second, why don't you post at a diverse place like Obsidian Wings? Posters from all over the political spectrum post there, with the only requirements being that one remain respectful and bring good arguments, good evidence etc.

1:57 PM  

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