Re: That's Right

1

The power to torture Muslims? Doubt it. Secretly committing felonies in general could be a problem though.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 10:54 PM
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Speaking of power, the abbreviation PWR at the end of any Calphalon cookware product code means that it's a limited-time-only, mega-sale priced, special offer item. I snatched up a $150 anodized nonstick frying pan for $50 this weekend at Crate and Barrel, because it was PWR-tagged.

And it turns out you can Google "Calpahlon PWR" to see which online retailers are selling PWR stuff at any given moment. Go for it, cooking fans.


Posted by: Gaijin Biker | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 12:39 AM
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If "Calpahlon" is short on stock, google "Calphalon PWR" to find the PWR-tagged items of that far more popular retailer.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 1:04 AM
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">wocka!


Posted by:
Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 1:05 AM
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">let's try that again

figures I'd screw up the tags after a pedant post.


Posted by:
Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 1:06 AM
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">are tags broken tonight or do I really need to go to bed?


Posted by:
Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 1:06 AM
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OK, not my fault.

http://www.kitchenkapers.com/cookware-calphalon-contemporary-nonstick-cookware.html


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 1:07 AM
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You're just bracing yourself to vote for Hillary, Ogged, so that when the Republicans impeach her you won't care as much. What a selfish, sexist thing to do.


Posted by: arthegall | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 4:18 AM
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Atrios' cynicism is typically dead-on, about everything.


Posted by: cleek | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 6:52 AM
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The very powers Bush claimed will, for a Democratic president, be the foundation for impeachment.

There's a very easy solution to this, which is for the next Democratic president to roll back these powers, which is what they ought to do anyway, and which is what liberals who've been complaining about those powers should be demanding of them. Bitching and moaning about how Republicans didn't impeach Bush when he committed impeachable offenses but they'll probably impeach Democrats when they commit impeachable offenses doesn't really get you anywhere. If Democrats actually had a strong commitment to civil liberties and rule of law as a party, Duncan Black wouldn't be fretting about the possibility that the next Democrat in the White House might get burned for not giving a shit about them.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 6:57 AM
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stras, talking sense never got anyone anywhere in politics. You'll be saying they ought to act in the national interest next.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 7:03 AM
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And I'll go Atrios's cynicism one further: if the next Democratic president retains Bush's powers (on torture, wiretapping, signing statements, etc.), and the GOP tries to impeach him/her over this, the GOP will fail, because the Democrats will shamelessly fearmonger on behalf of those powers in exactly the same way the GOP has done over the last seven years. And the end-result will be the retention of increasingly dictatorial power in the executive branch and increasingly bipartisan acceptance of jingoistic militarism and imperial power.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 7:05 AM
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12 is pretty cynical, but try this: I can't quite believe that the Democrats will manage to actually prevail in a political battle against Republicans.


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 7:10 AM
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13: or try, even


Posted by: cleek | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 7:13 AM
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13: Do you remember the last impeachment battle, when the then-Democratic president suddenly and curiously decided to start bombing Iraq, and congressional Democrats kept saying over and over again that questioning our commander-in-chief at a time when our nation was at war was dangerous and counterproductive? Don't fool yourself; Democrats are fully capable of sinking as low as Republicans.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 7:16 AM
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13, 14: That's the crux of it. They could prevail; they hold the cards. They just haven't shown any willingness to stand up to anything except SS privatization. Good on them for that, but still.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 7:18 AM
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I have to admit that if Hillary waterboarded Rove and a dozen others I'd forgive her for everything.

I wouldn't even demand that they be fed to starving hogs.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 7:21 AM
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I actually doubt Duncan Black's scenario is going to play out at all, by the way. Republicans can only be bothered to care about civil liberties when one of their own is getting burned - in the Clinton years, this meant Waco and Ruby Ridge and the fear that executive overreach would be used on militia types. In our glorious Post-9/11 World, the target is scary brown people, and no one in the GOP is going to take up their cause, even for an opportunistic shot at a Democrat. Instead they'll continue to get to the right of wherever the Democrats are, saying we aren't torturing enough or spying enough or killing enough. The next Dem president is going to have to start drawing down troop levels in Iraq and close Guantanamo (whether or not torture actually stops), and these are going to be the points where the GOP presses the attack, saying we're abandoning the brilliant Bushian tactics that protected America for so long. If America gets hit with another terrorist attack, that's when they'll pounce, claiming that the soft lefties in the White House left the country vulnerable by cutting and running. If you want to start worrying, start worrying over that.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 7:29 AM
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And with that, I have to go vote for Obama.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 7:30 AM
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You know, because of the hope.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 7:31 AM
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Back in the old days (2002) I used to argue with DLCers on Democratic Underground. (One of them, David Olstein, still comments occasionally on TPMemo.) Their basic plan was this: the Republicans move farther right, the moderate Republicans become Democrats, and the new Democrats plus the DLC take over the Democratic Party and marginalize the doves, the ACLU, the populists, the anti-free-traders, the anti-corporate crusaders, the liberationists, etc.

That's close to what's happened. There hasn't been much ideological committment coming along with the electoral strengthening of the party. Or I guess you can say, as Clinton did, that the ideology is Rockefeller-Eisenhower Republicanism.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 7:32 AM
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I guess you can say, as Clinton did, that the ideology is Rockefeller-Eisenhower Republicanism.

This is correct. Apart from a few social issues, it's very difficult to detect much difference between Bill Clinton and GHWB.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 7:35 AM
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it's very difficult to detect much difference between Bill Clinton and GHWB.

Mmm, I think that's mostly on economics, and I don't think Obama's going to be radically outside of whatever circle circumscribes the other two. I'm not sure what viable Democratic presidential candidate would be outside of that circle. WJC really did move the party a fair bit.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 7:39 AM
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between Clinton and Eisenhower, I'll grant you. Where do you see the most striking similarities between Bill Cinton and Bush Sr.?


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 7:44 AM
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I believe that Ogged has said that he thinks that the US's committment to an imperial international / defense policy is permanent, bipartisan, and unchallengeable. I fear that he is right, though I haven't given up yet.

If he didn't say that, he should have.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 7:45 AM
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After their terms ended, both GHWB and Bill said that free trade was their greatest accomplishment.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 7:46 AM
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I believe that OggedEmerson has said that he thinks that the US's committment to an imperial international / defense policy is permanent, bipartisan, and unchallengeable. I fear that he is right, though I haven't given up yet.

Fixed.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 7:47 AM
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I believe that Ogged has said that he thinks that the US's committment to an imperial international / defense policy is permanent, bipartisan, and unchallengeable.

To the extent that's an accurate characterization, I think bipartisan commitment to that policy has been there since we first received from the Brits the charge to go forth and rule.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 7:51 AM
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Tim, what did you just say? That what I said may or may not true, but that if it's true, it's been true since 1781? It seems to me that the two parts of your statement should be spaced far enough apart that the reader isn't forced to think of them simultaneously.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 7:59 AM
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Apart from a few social issues, it's very difficult to detect much difference between Bill Clinton and GHWB.

Healthcare's an obvious exception, too. There are others. And "a few social issues" seems excessively dismissive of the difference between, say, Clarence Thomas and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

These conversations always seem to omit Republicans, the media and the actual American people. Those groups have considerable influence over policy, and in places where Bill's heart seemed to be in the right place, he often got steamrolled.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 8:01 AM
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Where do you see the most striking similarities between Bill Cinton and Bush Sr.?

Domestic policy and foreign policy.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 8:01 AM
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Tim, what did you just say? That what I said may or may not true,

You mean your statement about what ogged said? I'm willing to believe that it's accurate.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 8:02 AM
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And "a few social issues" seems excessively dismissive of the difference between, say, Clarence Thomas and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

But not between, say, David Souter and Ruth Bader Ginsburg. I believe that Bush was basically a Rockefeller Republican himself, who often got steamrolled by the right wing of his own party.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 8:03 AM
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That what I said may or may not true, but that if it's true, it's been true since 1781?

No, but it's been true since 1945. Once Truman and Eisenhower decided to fight the Cold War via 3rd world proxies, rather than a full scale confrontation in Europe, the permanent bipartisan imperialist consensus became inevitable. That decision may have been the lesser evil, but that simply underscores the scale of the greater evil, had that come about. The third choice, to allow the iron curtain to fall on the Pyrenees and the Channel, was politically inconceivable.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 8:06 AM
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34: it wasn't inevitable post cold war. (I'd say not even in the cold war either, but I see your point).

What we're seeing now is about the decision to maintain unilateral hegemony in the Persian Gulf and related areas. That didn't start till the late 70s. Andrew Bacevich at BU has written well on this.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 8:09 AM
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Are y'all talking about when I said this? I've probably said something like that a few times and Emerson is totally right that I'm totally right.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 8:09 AM
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Clarence Thomas and Ruth Bader Ginsburg

There's a good point here about why even Republican-lite Democrats are worlds better than real Republicans. On this specific nomination, though, Bush obviously felt the need to replace Thurgood Marshall with another A-A jurist and I can't imagine he had many other black Republican judges from which to choose.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 8:10 AM
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Arguably (as in, I've seen it argued persuasively) it was inevitable as of about 1948, just by virtue of not dismantling the military infrastructure of WWII.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 8:22 AM
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There's a good point here about why even Republican-lite Democrats are worlds better than real Republicans.

That's really the only point I was making, though I respectfully disagree with you still about Thomas - there are black jurists in the Souter mold, and Thomas was also an unusually young appointee.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 8:24 AM
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38 to 35 and so on.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 8:24 AM
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35. What alternative do you believe would have been possible post war (abandoning their European and Pacific markets and the British, French and Dutch colonial extraction industries to the Communists does not constitute a serious answer)?


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 8:27 AM
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What alternative do you believe would have been possible post war

Hugging it out with the Sovs.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 8:28 AM
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42 was me. I fucking hate the "remember" box.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 8:29 AM
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38: Just to be pedantic, we did dismantle the military infrastructure after WWII, it wasn't built back up again until really the Korean War, when the Cold War really got cemented in place. Military outlays dropped from $80+ billion in 1945 to 9 billion in 1948 back up to 46 billion in 1952, then never dropped much again until that little interregnum between Vietnam and the Reagan buildup.

But anyway, the more important point is we had another chance to get off the imperialist train with the end of the Cold War. But now we're deeper in the shit than ever.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 8:31 AM
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March on Moscow. Right. Lots of good precedents there. With an army that's been fighting inch by inch across Europe and island by island across the Pacific for the last three years. Thank you.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 8:33 AM
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I agree with OFE, except that I'd say 1941 instead of 1945. Once we mobilized we were never going to demobilize again. There were some drawdowns and flat spots, but we were always looking towards the next war, and none of the bureaucracies or leadership establishments has ever tried to define a alrernative, non-imperial foreign policy. Demand for an alternative always comes from outsiders, who are always accused of being naive, emotional and uninformed. There's no real debate about objectives, just about tactics and strategy.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 8:34 AM
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41: put Europe and Japan under the nuclear umbrella, play China and Russia off against each other. Avoid stupid colonialist wars. Still a cold war, but not an imperialist one. Europe and Japan wanted us there (the publics, not just the government), and Europe shared a common culture.

With the exception of Middle Eastern oil, I don't think "colonial extraction industries" were ever very important economically. And we will always be able to buy ME oil.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 8:35 AM
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Andrew Bacevich at BU has written well on this.

That poor fucker. It doesn't speak well of me that a rich white anti-this-war-now academic's personal suffering is so much more vivid to me than that of people more representative of the Americans (let alone Iraqis) who are bearing the brunt of this disaster, but it's totally the case. Just thinking about the Baceviches is crushing to me.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 8:36 AM
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21: you haven't seen ideological movement from 2000 & 2004 to 2008? I worry that the presidential candidates are faking it a bit for primary voters, but they sure do sound bolder.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 8:36 AM
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44: I meant the administrative infrastructure, mostly.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 8:38 AM
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You'd expect some drop in military spending when you stop blowing stuff up and killing people. That's not really demobilization, just mothballing.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 8:40 AM
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46: two notions of inevitability John -- if you're saying that it's inevitable because leaders will choose their own power over the interests of their people, well, maybe, but it's not necessary for the public interest.

Also, we demobbed after WWI, when we also were in a situation of great strategic power. (That didn't work out too well, granted).

Anyway, as I said a couple of times above, the real issue now is the post Cold War 90s-00s. Foreign policy recently has been marked by the desire to find a post Cold War enemy who could justify the continuation of red-baiting scenario, military buildup, etc. The very different threat of Muslim extremism has been forced into the Soviet mold to play the heavy. That was unnecessary.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 8:40 AM
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51: you'd be surprised how much of the military budget is bases, procurement, and personnel maintenance as opposed to blowing up and killing. Military spending hardly dropped at all from 1955-1962 compared to the Korean War peak, because we had decided to build a world-spanning network of troops and bases and define strategic interests everywhere on the planet. There was a period in the late 40s when it looked like we might just defend Europe with nukes and go home like we did post-WWI.


Posted by: Perfectly G.D. | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 8:43 AM
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21: There's been some movement, most gratifyingly on health care, but the signs of timidity and caution are everywhere, and I'm still trying to figure out what O. means by bipartisanship. I'm completely against the kind of bipartisanship that involves putting Hagel, Lugar, or Schwarzenegger on the cabinet.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 8:45 AM
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Fetishizing partisanship isn't any more useful than fetishizing bipartisanship.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 8:48 AM
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a rich white anti-this-war-now academic's

Bacevich is much more than this, I think -- he was against the Vietnam war (after fighting in it), and he has articulated a really sweeping critique of the assumptions underlying U.S. strategy, as well as our culture of militarism in general. I think he's an important thinker, wish he got more play.

It *is* hard to think about what happened to his family -- so many layers of irony and tragedy.

the kind of bipartisanship that involves putting Hagel, Lugar, or Schwarzenegger on the cabinet.

I think Hagel would actually be great. He's showed a lot of courage and intelligence over this war.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 8:49 AM
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Inevitable because the establishments are united on general principles, and because the opposition is scattered and without leverage. Even an opinion-poll margin of 80% against really means nothing at all if the 80% aren't organized, committed, and activist.

I'm not well-informed about the immediate post-WWII period, but 9 billion in 1948 dollars is still a lot for peacetime. Part of the demobilization just consisted of returning W. Europe to the Europeans rather than continuing our occupation of France, etc.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 8:51 AM
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I mean, with Hagel: he has been more willing than most democrats to express doubts about wars with Iraq, Iran & U.S. imperialism in general, in a way that seems sincere to me. He also tends to vote with his a party a lot more than you'd think given his public statements & press coverage. If the former represents his convictions, & the latter is just dancing with those that brung him--well, maybe he'd be similarly loyal to Obama. Or not. I'm not sure. But it doesn't seem crazy to consider it. I'm fully prepared to start calling Obama a jerk after his election if he sells out or does badly on policy, but I don't care whether he's partisan or bipartisan if he gets good results.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 8:58 AM
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He's showed a lot of courage and intelligence over this war.

Not when it counted.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 9:02 AM
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He also tends to vote with his a party a lot more than you'd think given his public statements & press coverage.

Indeed.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 9:06 AM
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55: I'm not sure we have a lot more to talk about on this. There's no fetishizing going on on my part. I disagree with what you're saying without understanding why you would ever say it. I can't think of any good reason. It seems like a mushy kind of Gandhianism, which strikes me as an untenable strategy in democratic policy debates.

Parties exist for a reason, and the two-party system is a functional part of our way of deciding things. Having two distinct parties ideally makes it possible for voters to know what they're voting for.

In the present case, almost all of the remaining Republicans are extremely conservative. Lugar and Hagel seem moderate because they are not complete idiots and are not complete slaves of the Republican leaders. But one of the best reasons for voting Democratic is to keep conservatives out of policy-making positions, and neither of the two has effectively or consistently opposed Bush, even on Iraq.

When the Republicans were in power they were not only partisan, the right wing of the part bullied and increasingly drove out the centrist wing. Their party has been transformed into one with which bipartisanship is especially unwise.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 9:06 AM
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57: $9 billion in 1948 is as low as our defense spending ever went again, either in real dollars or percent of GDP terms. 1946-51 is a really interesting and IMO understudied period. Right post WWII it looked like there were a lot of directions things could go (including potentially a return to the Depression). What happened ended up creating the recognizably modern U.S. Not just in terms of foreign policy, but domestically there was a massive decline in income inequality, the beginning of mass middle class prosperity. The baby boom took off, the modern suburbs started to be built, etc.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 9:08 AM
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"neither of the two has effectively or consistently opposed Bush, even on Iraq. "

Neither has Clinton, but I'll vote for her in November anyway if it'd be useful. Neither has Harry Reid, or Nancy Pelosi. If Hagel is substantively similar to Obama on defense policy & competent at it, would do a good job, etc. etc.--open questions, to be sure--etc. I don't really care that much that he's a Republican. Appointing token Republicans to your cabinet who will effectively implement liberal/Democratic policies doesn't bother me. Having significant numbers of republicans vote for your programs, because they're afraid of the electoral consequences of not doing so, doesn't bother me. I think the blogs prize "saying mean things about Republicans" over actually implementing good policy. That's what I mean about "fetishizing." It's annoying.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 9:13 AM
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I'm completely against the kind of bipartisanship that involves putting Hagel, Lugar, or Schwarzenegger on the cabinet.

But (as I don't have to tell you), that's not what Obama did. What he did was he said he would consider this. Which, politics being what it is, is entirely consistent with not doing it, or even considering it.

Promises of bipartisanship have exactly zero content. Bush, after all, is a uniter, not a divider.

David Ignatius wrote an unbelievably stupid piece in favor of bipartisanship in its most fatuous form - and I think he is rightly suspicious that Obama may not be an idiot on this matter.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 9:14 AM
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Katherine, bipartisanship in context means "working with Republicans". What of value do Republicans have to bring to the table that can't be found elsewhere? What good reason is there for working with Republicans.

Bipartisanship basically has two valid motives: one is to patch together a sort of a coalition when your own party is too weak to govern effectively. The other is to marginalize a troublesome part of your own party by working with members of the opposing party. I don't see the need for the first, because I expect the Democrats to be in a pretty good position next January. I am bitterly opposed to the second, since I'm one of the people who'd be marginalized.

The bad reasons for bipartisanship are lack of confidence in yourself and your own party and fear of the opposing party. It amounts to a way of disenfranchising your own voters.

One of the important aspects of democracy is that sharp, partisan political struggles, with winners and losers, are a good, healthy thing. Anti-democratic thinkers deny this, and an increasing number of Americans seem to be anti-democratic in that sense.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 9:15 AM
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Neither has Clinton, but I'll vote for her in November anyway if it'd be useful.

That's a really, really low standard, and not the standard you want in choosing the secretary of state or defense.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 9:17 AM
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John has a good point. Every time you appoint a cabinet secretary, you increase that person's credibility, visibility, and power for the rest of their career. It's useful to do that for people you can be confident will be on your team in the future. It's part of building up the strength of your party.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 9:19 AM
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Katherine, there are institutional reasons to support a Democrat against an otherwise identical Republican. (That's a very rare choice, incidentally, and I don't think that Clinton is as bad as Hagel or Lugar). You seem either to be completely unaware of how our system works, or else actively opposed to it. I dislike the way the two-party system smothers minority views, but bipartisanship makes that problem worse rather than better.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 9:19 AM
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Neither State nor Defense can be a token position.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 9:20 AM
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By fetishization I mean: "treating partisanship as an end in itself," which you are doing, & I think is dumb. There are plenty of decent bills out there with Republican cosponsors, and I hope the next President will have a filibuster proof Democratic majority but I doubt it. Even if so, you've still got the Democratic caucus members who tend to bolt on party-line votes; peeling off a few Republicans can be helpful. I'll take support for good legislation & policy from whoever will give it. I'm also happy to take individual Republicans' votes for Obama.

I suppose "fetishizing" is an obnoxious way of describing this.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 9:22 AM
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Where's the original piece that has Obama talking about possible Lugar, Hagel, and Schwarzenegger appointments? Without seeing it, I'm not convinced this isn't just campaign bullshit.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 9:22 AM
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It IS a two party system--that's why it'd be useful to yank the GOP to the left by moving public opinion. Because they're not going away.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 9:23 AM
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Katherine, the word "annoying" popped into my mind too. I find your own attitude baffling and annoying, as if you'd just parachuted in from Never-Never Land. It's infantile to boil it down to "saying mean things about Republicans". I don't want to respond to that kind of argument, and I think I'll bow out.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 9:23 AM
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While agreeing with Emerson generally, I also just want to note that being a member of the Republican party indicates generally bad policy judgment, in my view, whatever individually reasonable things the person has done. Someone who thinks associating themselves with the Republicans now in power was a clever idea might think almost anything -- I just don't trust them to be sensible.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 9:24 AM
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71: here's one report from December 2007.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 9:29 AM
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Back before he'd completely left the party, how much of a compromise would we have thought it was to pick Lieberman as Secretary of Defense? Hagel's not quite that much of a turncoat, and I don't know whether it would be a good idea to appoint him or not, but he'll never find work as a GOP politician again if he served in Obama's cabinet anymore than William Cohen did. You do *fail* to promote a great Democrat, & presumably there's a great Democrat out there I've never heard of who'd be a better choice. But the idea that appointing Hagel matters more than, oh, a candidate's substantive position on private military contractors, or torture, or administrative detention, annoys the crap out of me & is all too common in the blogosphere. At least, that's what blogs pay attention to.


Posted by: katherine | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 9:29 AM
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I meant to say: "saying he'd consider appointing Republicans."


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 9:30 AM
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74 gets it exactly right.

There are plenty of decent bills out there with Republican cosponsors, and I hope the next President will have a filibuster proof Democratic majority but I doubt it.

That's to make them easier to pass, not to make them better bills. Republicans don't inherently have anything to contribute at all.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 9:31 AM
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Dammit, Katherine, if you don't shut up I'm going to support Clinton at the county convention tonight. This is unbearable.

Your last two sentences are a misrepresentation.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 9:32 AM
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"That's to make them easier to pass, not to make them better bills. "

No shit. It doesn't make it a better bill or a worse bill.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 9:32 AM
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79: they're not a specific representation of you. As far as lefty blogs in general, I'll stick by them.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 9:34 AM
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I'm with Emerson on the Lugar/Hagel thing, but 70 is right, and uncontroversially so. We don't have a parliament; we have a senate. As long as that's the case, and as long as Democrats have less than 60 seats and a blue dog caucus, they're going to have to cut deals with Republicans.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 9:37 AM
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74: That's the real problem, the core of the current GOP has essentially no credibility. A thunderous defeat for them this election might have the generally positive effect of reforming the party power structures along new lines, but I don't think it's going to happen. The country is really polarized, and a fairly large percent are going to vote GOP (or stay home, which would help) for nearly any candidate. The other problem is that I'm not at all convinced that Obama or Clinton are strong enough or principled enough to actual dig out from under the nasty bits of undermining that Bush has been up to. Some of the powers he's claimed are certain to be quite useful looking (short term) when your sitting in that chair. Likewise, some of the oversight etc. he's gutted has to be a pain in the ass at times. I'm certain either one of them would make a show at some rollback, but not at all convinced they won't keep what suits them, quietly.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 9:38 AM
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I can't stay away, but to me this confirms the rumor that there's something weird about Obama's support.

Between about 1800 and a few years ago partisanship was regarded as the way business was normally done and bipartisanship was a rare exception for specific reasons. Now a significant faction of the Democratic party apparently has come to believe that bipartisanship is the way to go, and they've decided this at the very moment that the most rabidly partisan, toxic Republican party in history is starting to show signs of weakness. the moment when they can actually be defeated and we might be able to quit begging.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 9:39 AM
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84: Emerson, calm down. One online conversation with one Obama supporter doesn't "confirm" any rumor at all.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 9:41 AM
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While agreeing with Emerson generally, I also just want to note that being a member of the Republican party indicates generally bad policy judgment, in my view, whatever individually reasonable things the person has done. Someone who thinks associating themselves with the Republicans now in power was a clever idea might think almost anything -- I just don't trust them to be sensible.

This is even more true than I realized at first.

Any Republican who started his political career recently, in the late Clinton years or during the Bush administration, is quite likely to be one of the most horrible people on earth. There might even be a 100% chance of that. With the Republicans in Congress, the newer they are, the more likely they are to be not just a brainless hack but someone actually devoted to evil as a matter of principle, with the most notable example being Patrick McHenry.

A Republican who started being a politician when the party had some semblance of principles, however, might have something to offer.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 9:42 AM
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Now you're blatantly misrepresenting me. I don't value bipartisanship any more than partisanship as an end in itself. I am saying the same thing I've always said, the same thing I say to people who are obnoxiously Broder-ish: bipartisanship and partisanship are mere tactics. Which is going to work better to get good policies enacted depends. If bipartisanship means Democrats supporting bad policies I'm against it. If it means Republicans supporting good policies I'm for it.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 9:44 AM
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That is to say, the Republican party claims to stand for a lot of things now, but the only things it stands for strongly enough to actually motivate somebody to decide one day to run for office are
A) Furthering the dominion of Jesus Christ in what might very well be the End Times (Michelle Bachmann)
B) Randian nihilism and social darwinism (Patrick McHenry)


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 9:44 AM
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87 also gets it right.

Okay, time to do some work around here.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 9:45 AM
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Stras, this isn't the only evidence. Katherine is a bright person, and she's pretty adamant about her position, and she's throwing around a lot of negative stuff about sharper people than herself (the whole blogosphere), and it apparently comes from devotion to Obama.

She seems to have no concept of what the Republican party is, or what Lugar and Hagel are. Apparently to her the Democrats and Republicans are Hertz and Avis, both with their good points. She's even offended when an Obama supporter (me) expresses doubts about Obama's bipartisan rhetoric.

I fear that a lot of the Obama people expect an era of good feeling, and maybe even Obama too, where I think that what it's reasonable to expect is a bloody, vicious mess instigated by the Republicans. And Democrats have been hoping for sane conservatives and Republican moderates to save them for five years or so, and none of them have ever come through.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 9:52 AM
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Katherine, for me partisanship is the defauly, whereas you seem to be neutral between the two. I don't understand that, especially given the Republican Party we have today.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 9:53 AM
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"default"


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 9:53 AM
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oh, bullshit, emerson. I suppose the "left blogosphere" is too imprecise a def'n because I think we probably have different people in mind.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 9:54 AM
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I fear that a lot of the Obama people expect an era of good feeling, and maybe even Obama too, where I think that what it's reasonable to expect is a bloody, vicious mess instigated by the Republicans.

No, they don't. But they see (I think) a fractured Republican base that they'd like to fracture a little bit more. Seems like a pretty good plan for big and long-lasting wins to me.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 9:58 AM
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You said "lefty blogs in general". That's pretty clear. And I am at the left side of that group, so it does apply to me.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 9:59 AM
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when the then-Democratic president suddenly and curiously decided to start bombing Iraq and destroyed the remaining WMD capacity of Iraq, which is why the 2003 invasion was utterly unnecessary.

I know that Clinton-haters loooove the wag-the-dog story, but it's, um, not at all fucking true. The 1998 Desert Fox bombings did exactly what Clinton said they would, and were in fact more effective than anyone dreamed.

You can argue about why we were still dealing with Iraq in 1998*, but you can't honestly claim that what Clinton did was wagging the dog (that is, lobbing missiles for the sole purpose of distracting from impeachment). What he did was exactly what he claimed he was doing, and exactly what everyone in Washington thought should be done (that is, eliminate Saddam Hussein's war-making capacity). I'm sympathetic to arguments that Clinton was too free with the military, and that Dems are too imperialistic; but I have no patience for this facile wag-the-dog bullshit. It's masking a valid, but unpopular, anti-imperialist argument with an easy, but false, slur.

* And the whole spying-through-UNSCOM thing was clearly odious; but, again, obviously not part of an elaborate distract-from-Lewinsky plan


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 9:59 AM
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I supported impeaching Cheney despite its "partisan" nature. I support thorough investigation & prosecution of crimes by the Bush administration. So please go to hell trying to portray me as Mrs. David Broder. What I'm saying is that liberalism is more important than partisanship. Ted Kennedy over Chuck Schumer.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 10:00 AM
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If Obama subscribes to Tom DeLay's "date rape" definition of bipartisanship, then I'm cool with that. If he's putting out meaningless platitudes for electoral purposes, I'm semi-cool with that, with the caveat that by doing that he's not preparing his supporters and the nation for the bloody Republican onslaught.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 10:01 AM
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I think there are two uses of the word "bipartisanship" that are being muddled here: bipartisanship as a tactic, and bipartisanship as an end in itself.

One can debate bipartisanship as a tactic - I've halfheartedly defended Obama for saying he might pick a guy like Hagel for the Cabinet. This is a "bipartisan" thing to say, and as a tactic, I think it's at least debatably okay.

It seems a very hard case to make, however, that Hagel is a good guy on merit to actually put in the Cabinet. The only reason I can think of for doing so is the pursuit of bipartisanship as an end, and that would be wrong.



Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 10:02 AM
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94 is a really good point. You don't necessarily deal with entrenched opposition by going at it head on and increasing polarization. It worked for the Republicans (for a while), but I'm open to the idea that Obama might have a better way.

Only a pretty small minority of Republican *voters* (as opposed to activists) are convinced movement conservatives who are beyond reach.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 10:02 AM
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If Obama subscribes to Tom DeLay's "date rape" definition of bipartisanship, then I'm cool with that.

One hopes he'll do it with substantially more sophistication than DeLay, but I think you can trust in his natural ambition not to help people who will always be particularly his enemies.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 10:03 AM
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With the Republicans in Congress, the newer they are, the more likely they are to be not just a brainless hack but someone actually devoted to evil as a matter of principle, with the most notable example being Patrick McHenry.

I mostly agree with this. But I think it's at least possible that some of these Republicans are less devoted to the cause than they are committed to being on the winning team. I'm very wary of Obama's post-partisanship stance, but I'm open to the possibility that I am completely missing the point. The point being something like, Here's how to establish the Democrats as the party of grownups who can get stuff done while/by co-opting their opponents.

My worry is that this will require moving the Democrats even further to the right, rather than encouraging some Republicans to move to the centre.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 10:04 AM
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90: I can't speak for Katherine, but I know I identify less and less as a Democrat as the party proves itself time and again to be a shithouse. It's not so much that "both sides have their good points" as much as there are incredibly important areas of policy that neither party gives a flying fuck about. I'll still vote Democratic based on the handful of issues where they're better, but I can't blame people on the far left, for instance, for not being partisan footsoldiers for a party that repeatedly demonstrates that it doesn't care about their concerns.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 10:05 AM
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My worry is that this will require moving the Democrats even further to the right

Right. I could see this being the major GOP strategy for the next 4-8 years.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 10:09 AM
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103: That cuts both ways, of course. If the Left decides that Democrats aren't worthy of support, then the Democrats have to look elsewhere for support.

Feingold didn't run for president because he believed the votes weren't there. I believe he was right.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 10:10 AM
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If the Left decides that Democrats aren't worthy of support, then the Democrats have to look elsewhere for support.

Man, where have you been? The Democrats have been "looking elsewhere" for the past couple decades.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 10:12 AM
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106: Right.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 10:14 AM
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What I'm referring to about the left blogosphere is Kos' argument that electing partisan Democrats the goal, & ideology is "interest group politics" & doesn't matter. Or finding support for the Iraq war more forgivable than saying too many nice things about Republicans. To be fair, the latter is a minority position, & the former--a lot of the "netroots" say they believe this, but they don't so much act like they believe it. What I'm really annoyed about is many weblogs' failure to keep their eye on the ball, issue-wise, as opposed to writing about what everyone else is writing about that day. Which is really orthagonal to this whole discussion.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 10:15 AM
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107: It's not like they had a lot of choice.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 10:17 AM
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Obama's response to the State of the Union address showed an appopriate understanding of bipartisanship.

The last three paragraphs have the relevant stuff. Here's an exerpt from the last paragraph:

Each year, as we watch the State of the Union, we see half the chamber rise to applaud the President and half the chamber stay in their seats. ... Imagine if next year, the entire nation had a president they could believe in. A president who rallied all Americans around a common purpose.

He's not apologizing for his own failure to applaud during the SOTU. He's saying he's going to be bipartisan because everybody's going to agree with him. While it's entirely correct to sit on one's hands during this State of the Union, he says, during the next one, any failure to applaud him will demonstrate a lack of bipartisan good will.

That's the kind of bipartisanship I can get behind.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 10:26 AM
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Look, Obama is going to put a Republican in his cabinet. Clinton did it. Bush did it. Obama is going to want to do it, because he's trying to pull the same old trick that everyone worth his salt does: transcending division, re-portraying it as an expression of our wonderfully diverse and free political landscape, and then getting his original agenda accomplished.

We can fret about who that pick is and for what position. I agree that it would be good to reject the idea that Dems can't do defense. I would prefer the Norm Mineta bucket of piss strategy. But to set this up as The First Betrayal of many seems hysterical. Even the R's didn't bother making an automatic stink over Norm Mineta.

And yeah, stras, in the article he's just naming Republicans that he likes and could work with -- he's not saying "I'm talking to Lugar about State."


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 10:29 AM
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It's not like they had a lot of choice.

Let's refresh our memories, shall we? About halfway through the Carter administration, a bunch of Democratic politicos and self-styled policy wonks decided that the real problem with the Democratic Party wasn't the oil crisis, a stagnant economy and a resurgent right wing, but that the Democratic Party was just too liberal. And so over the next ten years they embarked on a project to turn the Democratic Party into a party of soft Reaganism. By the time Bill Clinton got the nomination in 1992, there was no liberal party; there was the party of the economic conservatives and the party of the economic and social conservatives.

Now: at what point was the Democratic Party forced to take this turn to the right? And once they had, what did that party have to offer anyone on the left?


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 10:29 AM
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Michelle Malkin actually *hates* Norm Mineta for being anti-racial profiling & thinking that Japanese-American internment was a bad thing. I think this is more a sign that she's stupid than that Mineta has been a strong liberal force, though.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 10:32 AM
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And yeah, stras, in the article he's just naming Republicans that he likes and could work with -- he's not saying "I'm talking to Lugar about State."

Yeah, I just read it, and all of this "partisan v. bipartisan" talk seems a bit overblown.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 10:34 AM
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I just voted. 7 ½ hours until we caucus!


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 10:56 AM
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112: You read my meaning backwards. I meant that the party moved, not `the Left' (who were then stuck having to look elsewhere).


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 10:58 AM
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I'm not accusing katherine of Broderism, but I do ssometimes suspect Obama of it. Time will tell.

Each year, as we watch the State of the Union, we see half the chamber rise to applaud the President and half the chamber stay in their seats. ... Imagine if next year, the entire nation had a president they could believe in. A president who rallied all Americans around a common purpose.

I don't get it. What are the chances that any of the Republicans will applaud? Does he expect to sweep the Congressional races 100%?

There might be a misunderstanding here. To me bipartisanship doesn't mean "weakening the opposition party in Congress by splitting off a few key members." That's what Bush did -- the date-rape definition, and I'm cool with it. It means "working with the opposition party leadership." Triangulation is the extreme case. (And of course, that explains why I still support Obama even though I don't trust him. Hillary is a known, Obama is an unknown.)

As far as Kos's willingness to support partisan Democrats who are wrong on the issues, I have problems with that too, and Kos seems to be having second thoughts after everal of his babies turned on him in a big way. This is a different argument, though. Someone who doesn't like Blue Dogs is going to like Republicans even less. It's not an argument for bipartisanship except for people whose main issue is centrist.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 11:07 AM
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Speaking of bipartisanship, here's an instant Clinton Classic:

"I have a lifetime of experience I will bring to the White House. I know Senator McCain has a lifetime of experience he will bring to the White House. And Senator Obama has a speech he made in 2002."


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 11:29 AM
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Well, there are issues where bipartisanship doesn't necessarily entail either side selling out. I have no problem at all with wonk-y disaster preparedness & loose nukes bills. And there are fairly loathesome Senators who sincerely hold some isolated non-loathesome positions. John Cornyn is in favor of expanding FOIA for some strange reason. Norm Coleman & Sam Brownback can be good on asylum & refugee issues. Orin Hatch is decent on SCHIP if I'm remembering right. etc. By the same token, sometimes Democrats bolt not because they're being date raped or intimidated but because they either agree with the GOP, are trying to suck up to their contributors, and/or just don't give a fuck.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 11:40 AM
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Stras, I say this as someone who just went out and voted for Obama, but as the disastrous and epoch-making clusterfuck of the 1994 election and subsequent developments indicate, the Democrats really did have a problem around the time Clinton was making a run for things. Even if the facts of the matter indicated that the idea of the Democrats being hostage to a bunch of so-called "special interests" -- code words for "lazy Teamsters" and "the blacks", with "snobs" and "fags" being slightly late to the party -- wasn't true (and you're right that it hadn't been since about midway through the Carter administration*, although my read on this is slightly different than yours), it was a tremendously effective rhetorical bludgeon. Clinton's systemic whittling of economic populism was arguably the only way that the Democrats could have taken the Presidency.

That said, I don't know that I'd agree with that argument, and I'm not sure that it's relevant to the current election. One of the reasons that I'm voting for Obama is that I think HRC has taken away precisely the wrong lessons from the Clinton years.

* Apparently takes about fifteen years for the facts to ossify as Broderist conventional wisdom, and the American people run very slightly ahead of that. The polls would seem to indicate that the public has realized that today's Republicans are a bunch of incompetent lunatics, which means Tim Russert should catch on sometime around 2011.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 11:42 AM
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Stras, I say this as someone who just went out and voted for Obama, but as the disastrous and epoch-making clusterfuck of the 1994 election and subsequent developments indicate, the Democrats really did have a problem around the time Clinton was making a run for things. Even if the facts of the matter indicated that the idea of the Democrats being hostage to a bunch of so-called "special interests" -- code words for "lazy Teamsters" and "the blacks", with "snobs" and "fags" being slightly late to the party -- wasn't true (and you're right that it hadn't been since about midway through the Carter administration*, although my read on this is slightly different than yours), it was a tremendously effective rhetorical bludgeon. Clinton's systemic whittling of economic populism was arguably the only way that the Democrats could have taken the Presidency.

That said, I don't know that I'd agree with that argument, and I'm not sure that it's relevant to the current election. One of the reasons that I'm voting for Obama is that I think HRC has taken away precisely the wrong lessons from the Clinton years.

* Apparently takes about fifteen years for the facts to ossify as Broderist conventional wisdom, and the American people run very slightly ahead of that. The polls would seem to indicate that the public has realized that today's Republicans are a bunch of incompetent lunatics, which means Tim Russert should catch on sometime around 2011.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 11:42 AM
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Fuck, sorry about that.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 11:43 AM
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I don't get it. What are the chances that any of the Republicans will applaud? Does he expect to sweep the Congressional races 100%?

Obama describes this year's failure of bipartisanship as a failure on the part of the president. Next year's failure will be a failure will be on the part of those Republicans who refuse to stand and cheer Obama.

A president who rallied all Americans around a common purpose.

This is bipartisanship, Bush-style. Which is to say, it's not bipartisanship, and therefore just the sort of thing I'd like to see from a Democrat.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 11:43 AM
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Each year, as we watch the State of the Union, we see half the chamber rise to applaud the President and half the chamber stay in their seats. ... Imagine if next year, the entire nation had a president they could believe in. A president who rallied all Americans around a common purpose.

Either sheer rhetoric, or, from a certain perspective, a little frightening. Insofar as it's a pipe-dream (sorry, all Americans are not going to rally around a common purpose any time soon; the existing system privileges the haves at the expense of the have-nots, and the former will not embrace a redistribution of wealth), it sounds like little more than a proposal for a one-party system.

Rhetorically, though, good stuff.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 11:48 AM
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Either sheer rhetoric, or, from a certain perspective, a little frightening.

I can't believe you beat mcmanus to making this point. He must not be online today.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 11:49 AM
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Bah. My italics-fu has deserted me.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 11:50 AM
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126: I've only been half-following mcmanus's comments.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 11:59 AM
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Too bad, Katherine. My practical political goal for this year is to get rid of that nice Norm Coleman and replace him with one of three Democrats who are all much better than he is.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 12:01 PM
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Clinton's systemic whittling of economic populism was arguably the only way that the Democrats could have taken the Presidency.

But Clinton ran for president in '92 as an economic populist. He ran as the guy who was going to give everyone universal health care and was in touch with the common man, etc. He did this primarily because he was running against the more-pragmatic-than-thou Paul Tsongas, but nevertheless, that's how he did it. People didn't rally around Bill Clinton because he was going to gut the welfare state and increase deregulation - remember that "welfare reform" was, for a time at least, being sold as an expansion of the welfare state, complete with new job training programs and universal daycare - they rallied around him because he was The Man From Hope.

It also didn't hurt that Clinton was personable, charming, and charismatic, while the last couple candidates the Democratic Party had nominated were unbearably wooden and flat and ran shitty campaigns. And it also didn't hurt that Clinton had Ross Perot. Moving right didn't win the White House in '92 - and it certainly didn't keep the party's fortunes for long, either. There's nothing that forced the Democratic Party to embrace conservatism as a political strategy or a governing philosophy. The party chose conservatism on its own.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 12:02 PM
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128: you're being a condescending jerk. Coleman is a crappy, sleazy Senator, who I don't like or think is nice, whose election was one of the most appalling things about 2002, & I really hope you defeat. But occasionally he supports a good bill or amendment concerning asylum/refugee issues. I am happy to take his support on those issues & I don't think it taints decent bills or the Democratic Senators who cosponsor them. And yet, I will be very happy if he is defeated.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 12:07 PM
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It also didn't hurt that Clinton was personable, charming, and charismatic,

Good thing there's no one like that this time out!


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 12:09 PM
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Really, Emerson, get a grip. Katherine's being perfectly reasonable about the need to work with Republicans in the system as it currently exists. I think it's a stupid and fundamentally corrupt system that needs to be swept aside and replaced, but while that system's here, Democrats will actually need to work with some Republicans to get things done.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 12:11 PM
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129 - I'm certainly more in sympathy with that narrative, although even at the time welfare reform was perceived as Clinton tacking sharply to the right. I'm sure if I cared I could find Mickey Kaus-ish pronouncements from back then about how this took welfare off the table and how Republicans were never again going to say that Democrats want to raise taxes to give your money to black people.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 12:11 PM
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Good thing there's no one like that this time out!

Did I say that there wasn't?


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 12:12 PM
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This is what I'm talking about, with not having your eye on the ball on the issues: I pay attention to obscure things like the material-support-of-a-terrorist organization issue. I notice that Coleman for some odd reason is co-sponsoring a good amendment with Leahy, on an issue where most Democrats are afraid to do the decent thing because it can be characterized as supporting terrorism. I say he's weirdly decent on refugee issues, while noting that he is generally "loathsome" in the very same comment. And this somehow proves to you that I think he's a nice man & am rooting against him being defeated & am a sellout.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 12:15 PM
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To wildly oversimplify, there's good bipartisanship and bad bipartisanship. If Republicans can be talked into supporting good policy, terrific! More power to them. And if Obama has a knack for seducing Republicans into voting sanely, that's beyond terrific. The more votes for good policies the better, and they're not tainted because they're Republican.

But there's no added value from working with Republicans for its own sake, and I don't trust their judgment. Someone who thinks it's worthwhile to give up substantial policy goals in order to get Republicans on board is misguided.

The problem is figuring out how to interpret 'bipartisanship' rhetoric, and we really can't tell until we've got a track record. But appointing Republicans to non-token Cabinet positions seems over the line to me.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 12:17 PM
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As I said I don't think that Katherine understands partisanship or bipartisanship. Obama's talk bothers me a lot, especially because our most recent Democratic President practiced the very worst kind of bipartisanship, triangulating against the Democrats with the help of the Republican leadership. Like PF I hope and pray that Obama's bipartisanship is the right kind, but I don't see any reason to be confident that it will.

The idea of Hagel or Lugar at Defense or State was on the table, and it bothered me and not Katherine. To me that signals agreement with the idea that Democrats can't do serious international stuff.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 12:19 PM
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In fact, in the past bipartisan single issue liberal groups did support their Republican guy (Packwood, Chafee) over much superior Democrats. It's not an imaginary issue.

But we're now talking about three things: 1. working with a given Congress on a given issue, 2. weakening the other party by splitting off members, and 3. actual bipartisanship -- i.e., working with the Republican leadership. Obama's statements are good politics but they led me to fear #3. And Katherine's defenses of Obama did not reassure me at all, this time or last time.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 12:24 PM
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I am happy to take his support on those issues

Of course we would be happy if Republicans would support our bills without question. That is as much a strawman as what Emerson is putting forth. The reality of politics is that 90% of the time Democrats will have to pre-emptively or post hoc adjust their positions, accept riders and amendments to get that Republican support.

Coleman most likely will expect & ask for a favor someday from Leahy, perhaps a little less liberal judge or Leahy's support for a local Republican Federal appointment. Hagel & Lugar will not be Obama's robots, without influence of their own on policy.

This view of politics, that we can magically gain unequivocal support from Republicans on certain issues/bills with no accompanying cost, sacrifice, on other issues is a large part of the problem I have with the Obama supporters, of whom Katherine is a prime example.

PS:I voted for Edwards.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 12:26 PM
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There's no moral value in "working with Republicans". If there's a tactical gain & no susbtantive policy loss, I don't mind. Saying "I will consider appointing Republicans to the cabinet" is costless. Actually doing so, depends. If Defense Secretary Hagel is going to pursue the same policies as Defense Secretary Democrat-To-Be-Named-Later, I can see tactical arguments in both directions: you pass up the opportunity to appoint a Democrat, but it may be useful to have an ex-military ex-GOP Senator defending & overseeing your withdrawal from Iraq. Of course, "same policies" is a big if, & for most Republicans in most positions, an actively stupid assumption.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 12:26 PM
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I'm sure if I cared I could find Mickey Kaus-ish pronouncements from back then about how this took welfare off the table and how Republicans were never again going to say that Democrats want to raise taxes to give your money to black people.

Sure, because there were multiple lines of argument for why welfare reform Must Be Done. One was the right-wing argument: that it had to be done because welfare was funneling millions of taxpayer dollars to inner city welfare queens. One was the opportunistic argument: that it had to be done to "take welfare off the table," as you say, so that Republicans would never pick on Democrats again. And one was the center-left argument: that welfare-reform was actually going to come with all these additional programs that would expand the welfare state and make it better for poor people. These additional programs, of course, vanished along with the labor and environmental standards in NAFTA, although plenty of center-left types still want to maintain the argument that actually-existing welfare reform "helped" the poor people who were abandoned by it.

All of this is besides the point, since Clinton didn't really get elected on welfare reform. He got elected on the state of the economy, Perot's cutting into Bush's base, and on his own strength as a candidate, which, as I said before, had little to do with his policy positions and far more to do with his charisma and public persona. Democrats have always read Clinton's presidency as some kind of triumph of triangulation and DLCism, which is utterly mind-boggling to me. Democrats lost Congress two years into the Clinton administration, and for every issue Democrats caved on in order to keep something "off the table" (welfare, crime, taxes) the Republicans came up with something else (gays, "partial birth" abortion, terror). Taking these things "off the table" doesn't work - not then, and not now. At some point liberals have to stop caving and learn how to win the argument.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 12:27 PM
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In fact, in the past bipartisan single issue liberal groups did support their Republican guy (Packwood, Chafee) over much superior Democrats.

You're wrong on Chafee. NARAL endorsed him in order to head off the Democrats' coronation of Langevin, who would've been considerably worse than Chafee on anything to do with civil liberties. And it worked: the party got the message, Langevin dropped out of the race, and Rhode Island got Whitehouse instead.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 12:31 PM
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It's like Katherine simply doesn't understand in the slightest way how the fucking Senate works.

Coleman's is "good" on certain issues? Leahy and other Democrats appreciate that, so in that spirit of comity and bipartisanship Mukacsy sailed thru confirmation.

Mukacsy and Alito are the price you paid for Coleman's friendship, Katherine.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 12:32 PM
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Also: you can block legislation with a party line vote. You can't pass it with a party line vote, unless you convince a huge # of independents & Republicans to vote for Democratic Senators. The fact that increased partisanship among Democrats might have prevented a lot of the worst abuses of the last 7 years doesn't mean that Democratic party unity is going to actually undo the damage or pass good legislation. And I know that NARAL was dumb to support Chafee, but the idea that I was advocarting support for Coleman was stupid & asshol-ish in light of: (1) my general take on these things (2) the fact that I called him "loathesome" in that very post, & immediately jumping down people's throats over stuff like that is PRECISELY what I'm objecting to.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 12:33 PM
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I should note that in Rhode Island, "Democrat" and "Republican" tells you exactly nothing about any politician, except that the Republican probably inherited his party affiliation along with his state senate seat. Rhode Island isn't a liberal state; it's just a state where everyone happens to be a Democrat. The party leadership in the general assembly is full of pro-lifers and supply siders, for instance.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 12:34 PM
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143 is total bullshit, of course. Mukasey sailed through because Schumer--a very partisan Democrat who is utterly unreliable on policy--& Feinstein wouldn't join Leahy & the rest of the Democrats on Judiciary & block his nomination. Coleman's cosponsorship of an obscure, failed amendment on the material support bar had fuck all to do with it.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 12:36 PM
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Look, the blogosphere has been thru this argument before. NARAL "kept its eye on the ball" and supported pro-choice Republicans, especially those in powerful positions, over Democrats. With a Republican majority, we got Roberts and Alito.

NARAL was wrong.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 12:37 PM
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I just don't see the straw man part. My fear is that Obama will triangulate like Clinton and Blair did. Awhile back OFE concluded that Obama would be a Blair. To me that seems like a very reasonable fear, in part because of his bipartisan rhetoric.

Despite my empty threat above, I'm going to the county convention tonight to vote for Obama. But with reservations.

Democrats haven't won for so long (40 years) that apparently they've forgotten the concept of winning. And Democrats need a vetoproof majority, and Republicans don't. And so on.

Hopefully Obama will use pork barrel as a club to break the power of the Republican leadership and to enforce a bit of partisanship on the Blue Dogs. That's a kind of bipartisanship I'd like to see.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 12:37 PM
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There's no moral value in "working with Republicans".

Well there you go. Comity. What are we arguing about here?


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 12:39 PM
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147: Bob, I live in Rhode Island. I know Langevin and Chafee and Whitehouse. NARAL knew what they were doing, and Kos and the mighty blogosphere, as usual, had its collective head up its ass.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 12:40 PM
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146 still refuses to ever admit that there is always a price for Republican support. Or doesn't care about anything but her own pet projects.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 12:40 PM
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149: because a bunch of people think "working with Republicans" is intrinsically immoral regardless of the policy specifics, I think.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 12:40 PM
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"working with Republicans" = making deals, throwing core constituencies under the trainwheels

Always.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 12:43 PM
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Getting Coleman to do the right thing here and there is trimming at the edges. Getting Coleman out of there would be something substantial. That's a pretty general rule. Once the Republicans are broken, it makes sense to look at the Democrats more closely.

It seems to me that the Democrats are planning to play a strong hand like a weak hand, whereas the Republicans succeeded in playing a weak hand like a strong one.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 12:45 PM
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I see Katherine making actual arguments and using actual examples, and I see Statler and Waldorf coming back with vague aphorisms.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 12:46 PM
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150: Justify that, Stras. I was already dealing with NARAL's nasty BS with Packwood back in the 80s. I came in with an abiding dislike of them.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 12:47 PM
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Bob and Emerson: the structure of your government is built around politicians making deals with each other. The overwhelming majority of these deals are fairly unsavory, and you're entirely justified in feeling disdain for them. But again, this is not merely a product of the immoral character of your elected representatives, but a product of the structure of your government itself. If you find this untolerable, it may be that the structure of your government itself is untolerable.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 12:50 PM
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155:Katherine is an impassioned lawyer, I am just a shmoo.

I also think Katherine would trade "material support for terrorists" or waterboarding for a bankruptcy bill or ten million people losing their homes and credit. It is easy to look morally superior if you keep your focus very very narrow and avoid responsibility for larger political events and movements.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 12:52 PM
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I woudn't worry about Big Human & Refugees' Rights throwing the election to Coleman. I don't think the relevant orgs. even endorse candidates. If they do: (1) no one will pay attention, but (2) even so, they damn well should not grade Republicans on a curve. But there is not a damn thing wrong with lobbying Republicans on specific issues & sending them a nice letter or whatever about voting the right way on a specific bill. That's exactly what issue advocacy groups should be doing--along with lobbying Democrats, & above all, moving public opinion. The idea that they should devote all their energy to "break"ing the Republicans & get Democrats into power & only when that finally happens start dealing with the fact that the Democrats routinely betray them is pretty stupid, and exactly the strategic blunder I was attributing to the lefty blogosphere above.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 12:54 PM
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Goddammit, Stras, I asked about NARAL and Chafee / Packwood. You were cool with NARAL. To me that was a prime example of harmful bipartisanship. You can leap up to the high philosophical sphere if you want to, but I say that people were stupid to support Chafee and Packwood because they were nice moderates, because they weren't very nice. Chafee seems to regret his own role, while of course telling everyone that the Democrats were much worse. NARAL stuck with both men far longer than they should have.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 12:56 PM
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Big Human Rights is just another one of the special interest groups destroying the Democratic party. Obama needs to have a Sister Souljah moment where he stands up to them.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 12:56 PM
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Lobbying repulicans on specific issues is not wrong and it's not bipartisanship. Bipartisanship is an overall strategy, and is mostly suited to weak and / or divided parties.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 12:57 PM
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Big Human Rights is just another one of the special interest groups destroying the Democratic party

PGD hates fat people.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 12:58 PM
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156: I already did, but to elaborate: Langevin was and is an adamantly anti-choice, anti-speech social conservative - not an unfamiliar sight at all in the Rhode Island Democratic Party - and Jack Reed and the rest of the RI machine was giving every indication that they were going to line up behind him in the primary. NARAL's endorsement of Chafee was a shot across the bow from a pro-choice organization, warning the Dem leadership that Langevin wasn't acceptable and that they were going to make an issue of this. And if they did, I don't think Langevin would've won a Langevin-Chafee race - remember that Chafee's approval rating was north of 60% at the time he was voted out of office; this is a man who even now is incredibly well-liked in Rhode Island and the only issue people had with him was that he was a Republican. If he were running up against a guy who actually disagreed with a majority of the state on a couple hot-button issues, he almost certainly would've kept his seat.

Like I said, NARAL was sending a message, and the Rhode Island Dems got that message loud and clear. Langevin dropped out of the race, leaving it to two solid liberal candidates. And now we've got Whitehouse, who, while far from perfect, has been doing pretty well so far.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 12:59 PM
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Yeah, I defended NARAL for a long time, and in a way still would--they're a single-issue organization, after all--but in hindsight, supporting pro-choice republicans didn't work out very well.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 1:00 PM
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Goddammit, Stras, I asked about NARAL and Chafee

And I just responded to you, you crazy old nut.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 1:01 PM
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I find this debate really, really puzzling. I know stras would be irate if I had posted 156 in a conversation about Bill Clinton. But it actually applies, at least somewhat, to Bill.

Obama is running for office in a very different political era, and it will be very disappointing if he gets all caught up in phony "consensus" and "bipartisanship" at this stage of this country's degeneration.

I'm genuinely optimistic about Obama, but I'm perfectly prepared to be disappointed. Emerson articulated this nicely in the other thread:

At the moment I'm going for the triangulator I don't know as opposed to the one I know.



Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 1:01 PM
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I know stras would be irate if I had posted 156 in a conversation about Bill Clinton.

Pardon me? How does 156 relate to Bill Clinton?


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 1:04 PM
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160: If stras is right, didn't NARAL's strategy land a pro-choice Democrat in RI? I am not seeing the harm.

Overall, it seems to me that there are two things one can mean by bipartisanship. One comes from a perceived position of weakness (Lieberman) and results in selling our your position; one is convincing other people of your position's merits diplomatically and results in your position winning the day. I think the difference between the two is being elided.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 1:05 PM
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I woudn't worry about Big Human & Refugees' Rights throwing the election to Coleman.

This was awesome.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 1:06 PM
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stras, Why "Duncan Black" rather than "Atrios"?


Posted by: Adam Kotsko | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 1:06 PM
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171: 'Cause that's his name, and because it adds variety? Why do some people call you "Adam" and some people call you "Kotsko"?


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 1:08 PM
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In 167, I meant to point to 157 and not 156.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 1:10 PM
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I'm pretty sure everyone just calls me Kotsko in the context of online discussions.


Posted by: Adam Kotsko | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 1:13 PM
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For the record, I meant no disrespect to Duncan "Atrios" Black.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 1:15 PM
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NARAL had a 20+ year history of supporting Republicans, including Chafee and Packwood. It wasn't just Langevin. They were only moderately successful on abortion (look at the Supreme Court, with Stevens past 80). Meanwhile Chafee and Packwood and the others did lots of dirty work on other, non-abortion issues, and the Democratic Party became successively weaker until Congress was lost, and finally all three branches of government ended up Republican for about 4-5 years.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 1:15 PM
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one is convincing other people of your position's merits diplomatically

And I think this, like me talking Cala into giving me all her money, only exists in ponyland. I'm serious.

So why the fuck am I commenting? I have no more reason to hang here than on wingnut blogs. But then I am no exception, and behave irrationally most of the time.

Walking the dogs.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 1:16 PM
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How about Adam and the Adamites?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 1:17 PM
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176: NARAL is run state-by-state. I don't see the point in comparing the Packwood and Chafee cases, since they were endorsed by different state-level affiliates.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 1:19 PM
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It wasn't just Langevin. The next election too.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 1:21 PM
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Same problem in two different places with lossely-affiliated groups with the same name. That's one of the main things NARAL did.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 1:23 PM
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Meanwhile Chafee and Packwood and the others did lots of dirty work on other, non-abortion issues

As for this, why should NARAL care about non-abortion issues? The entire point of issue advocacy is to advocate for a specific issue. If you're going to look outside abortion, though, Chafee was better than the majority of Democratic senators on the war and foreign policy - better, in fact, than every other major Democratic presidential candidate but Barack Obama.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 1:23 PM
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180: That's from the same election cycle, dummy.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 1:24 PM
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182: Nothing - nothing - matters more than your vote on which caucus you are participating in. Not any more.

Lieberman is better than Chafee on matters of war and foreign policy.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 1:27 PM
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184: Remind me again: what party controlled the Senate when the Iraq war vote came up? I'll give you a hint: the name starts with a D.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 1:29 PM
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183: I don't know from RI politics, but even though it's the same year, it shows NARAL supporting Chafee against Whitehouse, rather than as against Langevin. If the point of the endorsement was to keep Langevin out, what's the excuse for continuing support once Langevin had dropped out of the race? Just that they couldn't withdraw an endorsement once made?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 1:30 PM
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Just that they couldn't withdraw an endorsement once made?

An endorsement isn't really an endorsement if you can take it back at any time, is it?


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 1:31 PM
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185: I ain't saying that Democratic control is a sufficient condition for good results. I'm just saying that Democratic control is a necessary condition for good results.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 1:32 PM
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185: But the Republicans voted party-line, and the Democrats didn't. That's part of what we're talking about-- that the Republicans can make narrow majorities, or close minorities, work for them because they have lockstep discipline, and Democrats can't. Working on the lockstep discipline seems important.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 1:32 PM
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||
So the politics thread seems like the place to note that it has been brought to my attention that I am now officially old enough to run for President. Which also means I am available if anyone is still looking for names to add to their VP shortlist...
|>


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 1:35 PM
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187: Yeah, but they could have endorsed Whitehouse as well, making it clear that on abortion they were indifferent between the two (I suppose this might be impossible somehow, but I don't see why). Instead, they supported the Republican. This seems misguided.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 1:35 PM
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190: Happy birthday! Whippersnapper.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 1:36 PM
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190: Buck's toying with a presidential run in 2012; I'll throw your name in the hat.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 1:37 PM
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I am 100% in favor of increased Democratic party discipline in Congress & decreased GOP discipline, obviously. Unfortunately, there are so many skittish Democratic Senators & House blue dogs who bolt constantly that I don't think simply being a hardass enforcer is going to work. The 21 Democrats who opposed the Iraq resolution didn't have much to hold over the 28 who voted for it, for instance (especially given that Daschle & Reid both voted yes).


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 1:39 PM
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188: No, you're specifically saying that caucusing with a particular party - that is, getting control of the legislative agenda - is more important than what a particular senator thinks about war and peace. And I'd buy that, if the Democratic Party had any institutional commitment at all to a sane foreign policy. But as recent history has demonstrated, time and again, it simply doesn't. Feingold is an outlier. Boxer is an outlier. Sanders and Durbin and Dodd are outliers. In fact, I would argue that they are no more representative of the core of the Democratic Party than Lincoln Chafee was representative of the GOP. There may be more outliers on the Democratic side, but all that matters is there aren't nearly enough of them to make a difference when it counts.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 1:41 PM
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191: Endorsing Chafee and then going on to endorse his opponent too is more or less equivalent to retracting the initial endorsement. If an endorsement from NARAL is going to have value - and it's supposed to have value if politicians want to work for it - then it has to mean something, and in order for it to mean something it can't be the kind of thing you pull away.

The whole thing seems like sour grapes to me; I can tell you from living here that after Langevin dropped out, and it came down to Brown and Whitehouse on the Dem side and Chafee and Laffey in the GOP primary, the NARAL endorsement didn't matter much at all, except to the extent that Laffey (a right-winger endorsed by the Club For Growth, for non-Rhode Islanders) used it to browbeat Chafee in the primary. The endorsement served its purpose, which was to eliminate the only social conservative who could have possibly won the seat.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 1:47 PM
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In fact, I would argue that they are no more representative of the core of the Democratic Party than Lincoln Chafee was representative of the GOP.

I know you would. That's a very precise summary of where we disagree.

Republican war opposition was always a dead letter. Always. Democrats and Republicans, as political bodies, are not substantially the same on issues of war and peace.

And no, for the thousandth time, noticing this obvious fact does not mean that I regard the Democrats as having been sufficiently anti-war.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 1:50 PM
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Republican war opposition was always a dead letter.

Of course it was; did anyone say anything different?

Democratic war opposition, on the other hand, has yielded such startling successes.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 1:53 PM
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Just so we're clear: this entire asinine argument about I'm-still-not-sure-what has been sparked by an article about Obama saying nice things about Chuck Hagel, right?


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 1:54 PM
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That's right. He also said "We coach little league in the blue states and, yes, we've got some gay friends in the red states." By lulling gay Midwesterners into trusting their neighbors, Obama is setting us up to get rolled again.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 1:57 PM
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Democratic war opposition, on the other hand, has yielded such startling successes.

Okay, 1001th time:

And no, for the thousandth time, noticing this obvious fact does not mean that I regard the Democrats as having been sufficiently anti-war.

Or, to put it another way, as I did earlier and you also ignored:

I ain't saying that Democratic control is a sufficient condition for good results. I'm just saying that Democratic control is a necessary condition for good results.

Really, what's your problem? Talking to you about politics is like talking to McCardle about collective action problems. It's like a chunk of your brain is missing and some concepts are simply unavailable to you.



Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 2:06 PM
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201: Um, why are you copying and pasting stuff I've already read and replied to? Wait, no, don't answer that, this conversation is approaching lethal levels of stupidity, and I should really get out before it's too late.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 2:12 PM
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||

I love MY, but this is pretty hilarious. I don't think the Clintons are out of touch, either, but that has nothing to do with whether they quit tomorrow. After all, the delegate math is already not there.

I don't think she and Bill are that out of touch with reality, and I don't think that most of her key supporters are either. If her results today are good enough to give her a realistic shot at winning the nomination through winning primaries, then of course she'll stay in. But if the delegate math isn't there, then I think she'll get out.

|>


Posted by: asl | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 2:14 PM
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153

""working with Republicans" = making deals, throwing core constituencies under the trainwheels

Always."

So what's the alternative? You aren't going to get your entire agenda through or even most of it. You have to prioritize and make deals to get anything done and some groups will lose out in the process. Refusing to deal with the Republicans doesn't make it more likely that your priorities will win out, it just makes it less likely anything will get done.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 2:15 PM
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After all, the delegate math is already not there.

Nah, a huge win today could put her in the lead. It's not likely, but it's not ridiculous. Without a big win today, though, it starts getting ridiculous going forward.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 2:16 PM
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I'll give you a hint: the name starts with a D

Only sorta. 51-49 if you count Jeffords with the Democrats, but then you've got Joe Fucking Lieberman to even the score and make Dick Cheney the tiebreaker. None of which excuses the complete cravenness of so many Senate Democrats, but just for the sake of hair-splitting.

Nah, a huge win today could put her in the lead. It's not likely, but it's not ridiculous.

It would have to be ridiculously huge, though.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 2:41 PM
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180: That's from the same election cycle, dummy.

Fuck you, Stras, you piece of shit. NARAL showed that they would support Chafee over any Democrat, regardless of their opinion on abortion. And you praise them for this. The Oregon experience with Packwood was identical, granted that Oregon NARAL

I used to think that you were left, but you're just vehement. I often agree with you when your weather vane floats my way, but your NARAL / Obama pimping tells me that your judgment is worthless.

This particular hysteria here took place because I said that, even though I was an Obama supporter at the precinct caucus and at the county convention, and in general, I had very serious doubts about Obama's proclaimed bipartisanship. This offended Obama true believers Katherine and Stras. And so I explained why I thought that, and things got worse and worse as I explained while I explained that I just didn't trust Lugar and Hagel and Schwarzenegger and Chafee, and thought that non-daterape bipartisanship was a terrible mistake. And then people started criticizing the Dmeocrats from the left, as though that justified making alliances with the right.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 9:48 PM
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"granted that Oregon NARAL is, of course, completely unrelated to any other NARAL anywhere else, just as one man name "John" has no real relationship to all the other Johns in the world.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03- 4-08 9:57 PM
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