Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Couldn’t Happen to a Nicer Bunch

This front-page story in today’s Washington Post contains this fun little nugget:

Rep. Rahm Emanuel (Ill.), who is leading the [Democratic] party’s effort to regain majority status in the House, stormed out of [Howard] Dean’s office several days ago leaving a trail of expletives, according to Democrats familiar with the session.

Everyone knows about Dean’s "Mad How" disease, but by election day many folks will come to realize that Emanuel is just as vein-bulgingly frenetic as Dean. This won’t be the last blow-up we hear about. The interesting thing is to make book on how long Dean lasts after the election: win or lose, the party’s Capitol Hill bulls are going to force him out.

Discussions - 42 Comments

Those Dems hardly have a monopoly on being "vein-bulgingly frenetic." Aren’t you guys big fans of this mouth-frother?

Those Dems hardly have a monopoly on being "vein-bulgingly frenetic." Aren’t you guys big fans of this mouth-frother [S. Hannity]?

Your attempted comparison is beyond silly. Even if your mid-guided premise is given, since when is it wise for political party leaders to sound as if they’re merely seeking to draw media rating points. Well, then, your comparison is quite illustrative of the media-induced style of governance that has become the acceptable vogue of the Democratic Party: all spin and blather 24/7 and no substance at the end of the day.

Thanks for the confirmation of what we’ve already known for many years anyway. :)

Actually I don’t care for Hannity much; has has none of Limbaugh’s wit or whimsy, or Limbaugh’s subtlety. (I know that will provoke some frowns.) But then, Hannity isn’t an elected official or senior party leader, as Publius points out. Apples and oranges, you know. . .

Good grief people, get some perspective. Bush is president.

And Bush is "vein-bulgingly frenetic"? You may think Bush is a lot of things, but I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone accuse him of being short-tempered. So what’s your point, Brian?

So what’s your point, Brian?


I you don’t get the point your either willfully stupid, or irredeemably partisan or perhaps both.


The list of Bushes character flaws is so lengthy and obvious, that it precludes me wasting my time typing up the list.


Here is the google search result. Inform yourself.


http://www.google.se/search?hl=sv&q=bush+%26+%22character+flaw%22&btnG=S%C3%B6k&meta=

Gosh, I didn’t know you had been channeling Dain and now simply insulted people when they asked you to clarify your point. Dually noted. I’ll remember in the future that when you are vague and don’t have a discernible point that it’s my fault.

One of the reasons that Dean appeals to many of us is that he expresses our outrage and disbelief that it took this country so long to see what we knew before the first debacle of an election, in 2000. He sure took a hit, politically, but he speaks the truth as he sees it, and he doesn’t waste time couching his objections in polite language.

Once in a while, I wince at his terminology, but in general, I appreciate his willingness to shine a light on the bush administration’s eagerness to flush this country down the toilet.

If the country had listened to Dean years ago, then we would have been spared the 6 years-too-late 34% approval rating.

How many families would trade his bulging veins for bush’s "style" to have their sons and daughters back?

Then Steve points out: "But then, Hannity isn’t an elected official or senior party leader, as Publius points out. Apples and oranges, you know".

I would point out that, so far, Dean has not told any of his colleagues to go F themselves. Nor has he shot anyone, that I know of. Nor has he been indicted like that cool customer "The Hammer!" so, I am not sure if Dean is supposed to be the apple or the orange.....

I’ll remember in the future that when you are vague and don’t have a discernible point that it’s my fault.


Still don’t get it eh? Condescending bluster won’t help.


Fung, thanks for the follow up:-)

Condescending bluster won’t help.

Take your own advice.

"If the country had listened to Dean years ago, then we would have been spared the 6 years-too-late 34% approval rating." Yeah, because we’d be living under Islamic law.

Guys. WAKE UP. Dean’s analysis of the situation in 2003 was correct in every significant respect.


He is correct now about universal health care.


I mean listen to the paranoia in the statement :
Yeah, because we’d be living under Islamic law.


Explain to me how that is even remotelypossible? Not in 50 or even 100 years, let alone 5. Yet for fear of such ephemeral fluff, Bush and his winged monkeys want to pour
more middle eastern lives into the molochs maw of war, leavened with the merest sprinkling of minority worlders.

Dean, like the Spanish government, would have capitulated in the face of rising casualties long ago. It is a simple fact that if we wait this thing out long enough, our overwhelming military and economic might will ensure victory. As the Islamo-fascists know, the only way they can beat us is by breaking our will to fight. Osama bin Laden has said as much, calling "the American soldier a paper tiger" (PBS interview). Everytime there is a casualty, and the media reports it and Cindy Sheehan gets more air time, the terrorists have their beliefs reaffirmed. Osama bin Laden and his allies believe they single-handedly brought down the Soviet Union, and he claims "It cleared from Muslim minds the myth of superpowers." These guys are convinced they can defeat us and guys like Howard Dean, who want to withdrawal from Iraq, would only strengthen their convictions.

As a follow up to Brian’s comment 12: Do you think these guys are going to be content with driving America out of Iraq and Afghanistan? Once they’ve driven the Great Satan out of the Middle East, they will simply take the fight somewhere else. If you’ve read anything about the philosophy and ideas behind these guys (Sayyid Qutb and Hassan al-Banna would be a good place to start), you’ll realize if we’re not fighting them in the Middle East we’ll be fighting them in Europe or America.

Osama bin Laden and his allies believe they single-handedly brought down the Soviet Union...


People also believe that Ronald Reagan and the Pope "brought down" the Soviet Union. Everyone seems to forget the actual citizens of those nations did most of the work.

Actually I contend that the EU brought down the Soviet Union.


Once they’ve driven the Great Satan out of the Middle East, they will simply take the fight somewhere else.


Yes and dropping bombs on innocent people has really helped so far right?


In fact indiscriminate warfare has been a boon to every country that ever faced a terrorist threat ... oh wait, thats not right. That’s complete irrational crap.


I finally see it. The real spinelessness is the failure to do the hard work, to engage, to take risks along with everyone else. It’s so easy to blow stuff up, and yell excitedly yell "mission accomplished". Daddy, Daddy loooooook Daddy, "misshun acumplished".


God I’m sick of the US.

Good grief Andrew did you just fall through a time warp from the 1960’s?


You sound like the template for every idiot that cheerlead the Vietnam war.

No, Brian, I just read a lot.

God I’m sick of the US.

I’ll donate $10 for a one way ticket preferably to an Islamic country. Nothing like a taste of reality to make one appreciate the good ol’ USA.

Brian, I think Andrew has a point. Remember the U.S. withdrew from Vietnam, caving in to the liberal wimps and Commie sympathisers. We played right into the Communist notion that we were soft-bellied capitalist bourgeois babies with no stomach for fighting. We pulled out, and Communism has been on the march ever since, taking over country after country, like Cuba and umm, China, except it was already Communist, and except for the influx of American companies there, and the Soviet Union, (which was already Communist, too, so it really doesn’t count)at least before it collapsed due in part to successful insurgents in Afghanistan that we supported and trained. Well, Cuba, anyway, is much more threatening to us than it was before we capitulated in Vietnam, right?

Not only that, but since leaving Vietnam, we have had to fight Vietnamese elsewhere, just like Andrew predicts for Islam. Those Vietnamese are everywhere; in Europe, America, Canada. We should have stayed there, run up the body count, and forced a democracy on the North, just like the one that was unanimously embraced in the South, except for the VC, who were not too keen on it, and who kept attacking us despite their great joy and gratitude for our presence.

So, I think that History and Andrew together make very compelling arguments.

No, Brian, I just read a lot.


About Vietnam? Well you appear to be absorbing and regurgitating verbatim the propaganda of the period.


Trying absorbing some of the lessons.

God I’m sick of the US. I’ll donate $10 for a one way ticket preferably to an Islamic country. Nothing like a taste of reality to make one appreciate the good ol’ USA.


Ah gee ... thats really sweet Ken. How is Barbie?


I’m not one of the poor wretches that actually have to live next door to good people like yourself. The people who like nothing more than to drop bombs on strangers, for some ... reason ... or other.


I digress ... I’m not an American, and I don’t live there. So y’all ’r outa luck on that score.

Getting back to the original article about Emanuel and Dean. I agree with Steven, Dean’s days are numbered and since I don’t have to kick in the $10 that I offered to use to send Brian to a foreign country, I’ll bet all of it that Dean will be out on his keester by November 15, 2006. He’ll be assigned the blame for the coming democrat train wreck in the upcoming mid-term elections.


Gratifying, but the lunatics may be in charge of the asylum after November.

Well, Fung, I never said anything about Vietnam, but why not? During the Tet Offensive, what many consider to be the turning point in the war, we crushed the PLAF and PAVN- we lost 4,324 but killed an estimated 45,000 (probably inflated). Despite this victory, American public opinion began to turn against the war. Like many on the Left, I see similarities between Vietnam and Iraq, but they are similarities that could and should easily be avoided.

And Fung, your facetious remarks about having to fight the Vietnamese in Europe, etc. only speaks to the problem I’m pointing out. That is, these Islamist terrorist groups are already reaching out into the rest of the world. Argentina, 1994- Hezbollah bombs a Jewish community center. France, 1995- Paris metro bombed. Kenya, 1998- Simultaneous bombing of two American embassies. Philippines, 2000- US Embassy bombed. Peru, 2002- Car bomb at US Embassy in Lima. Spain, 2004- Three major bombings of railroads. These are just a few examples, but by all means, feel free to ignore the ramifications.

Andrew, I agree with you that terror is a global phenomenon. We might remember that next time we send our reserves into Iraq, where terrorism as NOT a problem until we invaded.

By all means, let’s go after terrorists where they are -- Paris, London, Yemen, Kenya, Buffalo, Oklahoma City, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia. Let’s maintain and benefit from the good will of our allies, and kill or capture terrorists across the globe. Let’s NOT lose that good will, and deplete our forces, our resources, and our moral footing by throwing it all down the rabbit hole that is Iraq.

I you don’t get the point your either willfully stupid, or irredeemably partisan or perhaps both. Comment 6 by Brian Coughlan

Brian, I have had many disagreements with you and occasionally we’ve both been pleased to find common ground. I have never known you to commit such a vicious personal attack.

By all means, let’s go after terrorists where they are -- Paris, London, Yemen, Kenya, Buffalo, Oklahoma City, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia.

Interestingly, you left Iran out of that little list.

Fung and Andrew:
Very could link here from Victor Davis Hanson. I draw your attention to this segment:

"DESPITE RECENT ARGUMENTS TO THE CONTRARY, THE media in themselves did not lose the Vietnam War. Ultimately, the American military command itself did, despite brave soldiers, fine equipment, and plentiful supplies. The top echelon lost the conflict because it accommodated itself without imagination to the conditions of political audit and scrutiny that made it difficult to win. Conservatives and principled liberals were correct in their assessment of the absurdity of the prevailing American strategy, the former demanding that Americans fight to win any war they undertake, the latter insisting that America could not fight to win, given the political situation, and so should not fight. Ultimately, once the nation understood the conditions under which the war had to be fought, and the cost required to fight it that way, it determined it was not in their interest to pay it."
I think in other words to talk the talk one must be prepared to walk the walk. It is evident that we have and have had the great military to do the latter (just 21 days to do what the world thought would take months if not years). It is interesting to note that public opinion (in the U.S. and UK) was decidedly for the war during those initial 21+ days but since has been chipped away by a agenda driven partisan segment of the population.
Full text of VDH article. The Meaning of Tet

I you don’t get the point your either willfully stupid, or irredeemably partisan or perhaps both. Comment 6 by Brian Coughlan

Brian, I have had many disagreements with you and occasionally we’ve both been pleased to find common ground. I have never known you to commit such a vicious personal attack.



OK. You’re right, my bad. I was in a mood yesterday. Dominick Roark sorry about that.:-(

What Hanson (a lunatic as far as I’m concerned) is proposing is "Totaler Krieg". I believe Goebbels (was it Goebbels who coined that phrase?) had a penchant for that.


I’m happy to report that global civil society simply will not allow you to conduct "Totaler Krieg" any longer. It’s just not done. Welcome to the new world order:-)

Apology accepted.

Brian,
It was Clausewitz who initiated the idea of absolute war (war without politcal manipulation), which is the point that Hanson is trying to make. The idea of Total War (as you suggest) was generated by Ludendorff as a means of fighting the First World War (and later used to a greater extent during the Second). I think that the days of fighting a Total War are largely over (the exception would obviously be nuclear conflict). So the question becomes can an absolute war be waged? I would offer that yes it can when the intent of a minority of madmen (bin Laden et al.)try to infect the majority of world society with their twitsted ideology.

I would offer that yes it can when the intent of a minority of madmen (bin Laden et al.)try to infect the majority of world society with their twitsted ideology.


The absolute war you describe has done more to advance the cause of the few and scattered genuine threats that liberty faces, than those threats themselves could ever have imagined in their wildest and wettest dreams.


On 9/11 some 3000 innocent people lost their lives. In the intervening 3 years, 10’s of thousands of innocent people have been killed.


Americans, previously broadly accepted as a force for good, have become cowardly basket cases, willing to sanction any invasion of their privacy, any rollback of civil rights to faciliate the GWOT (or whatever it’s called this week).


Willing to sanction the killing of thousands of innocent people on the kind of evidence that would be dismissed out of hand in almost any other minority world country you care to name.


Willing to sanction torture and eager to justify and even vigourously defend same.


Guy, the enemy have won, because you have become them.

Brian


Your rhetoric defeats your purpose. The only conceivable reason for you spending so much time on this blog is to make a convincing argument. You start too large, you’re then criticized, you concede some (the grandiose, at least) and reformulate, a debate ensues, you make some strong points, and then you conclude with the same grand accusations you began with. It is difficult to take an argument seriously when you begin and end in the same fashion.

On 9/11 some 3000 innocent people lost their lives. In the intervening 3 years, 10’s of thousands of innocent people have been killed.

Americans, previously broadly accepted as a force for good, have become cowardly basket cases, willing to sanction any invasion of their privacy, any rollback of civil rights to faciliate the GWOT (or whatever it’s called this week).

Willing to sanction the killing of thousands of innocent people on the kind of evidence that would be dismissed out of hand in almost any other minority world country you care to name.

Willing to sanction torture and eager to justify and even vigourously defend same.

Guy, the enemy have won, because you have become them.

This is chilling stuff. If true, then it looks like we have become (at least in the popular sense of the term) the "facists" we like to call the Islamic terrorists. But is it true?...


I have no doubt you are motivated by a sense of justice. Do you think there is a difference in the type of injustice committed when innocent lives are killed in an act creating a war as compared to the innocent lives lost in the course of war? I know that Hussein and Iraq did not fly the planes into the towers. I also recognize that the evidence attaching the two is not the strongest (a grand jury would call for an indictment, but probably not a conviction). However, the (admittedly overly broad and perhaps premature) declaration of a "War on Terror" by President Bush had an obvious purpose. Hussein, in all respects, was a serious leader in terrorism and there were justifications to enter there (beyond the bad intelligence). If a War on Terror is accepted, then the U.S. presence in Iraq is justified.


The "Rabbit Hole," as Fung calls it, began as a staging area. It has become the hotbed. The War on Terror, which is in motion, has begun and will be fought in Iraq. The forces on both sides are there. The people of Iraq have acted (assuming their actions have not been "forced" by the American hand)in a manner that indicates liberty is desired. It will take steps to show them that liberty can only become manifest upon the recognition that all men are created equal. But the desire for liberty can/will bring them to that realization. There is a combination, no doubt, of an insurgency and terrorists resisting the regime. Of course there would be. Occupation is a messy and difficult thing. But Rousseau to the contrary, general will does not justify pulling out now. Look at Ghandi’s India and Pakistan after the British Empire’s military pulled out..nothing but factions killing factions. The death of the innocent occurs when power-hungry tyrants attempt to implement their will. Pulling out would not cleanse our hands of the guilt when the factions go to work and the innocents are slaughtered.


Fundamentalist Islam and bin Laden have an ideology. Hussein was not a fundamentalist muslim, but he championed the cause when it served his purposes and he was a terrorist to a T. Fundamentalist Islam is being fought now in Iraq. You can’t say this is only an arbitrary clash between idelogues because you, within the global conception, accept liberty and therefore democracy (assumingly in a republican form) as the truest form of government for mankind. You’re on a side, whether you like it or not. Management of the war can and should be criticized, but you’re grand accusations and conclusions are simple and without merit because you don’t take the bigger stakes into concern in drawing them.

-Evil triumphs when good men do nothing.

-Evil triumphs when good men do nothing.


Exactly why I spend too much of my time trying to stop Bush.


He’s evil all right.

See what division and argument results from a Howard Dean thread.
Yeeeeeeargh!!

Brian


Nice blog. You write well. I’m not a slaveholder. I’m not ignorant of the situation. I believe in superiority by the strengths of argument. I do draw sides. "Justification to lynch...not likely," no, necessary. We had this situation here in the middle of the 19th century where what you cite as the modern problem, or, the "attitude" was forcefully undone. It persists, as it is a part of human nature, but on the political scale, it was forcefully abolished (and slavery with it) by brave men who gave the last full measure of devotion. I’ll only leave this:

"Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Thank God for giving us a man that could see through the muck of reality to re-articulate a principle that both needs and is worth saving.

You’re on a side, whether you like it or not. Management of the war can and should be criticized,


I know that. I’ve even said it.

but you’re grand accusations and conclusions are simple and without merit because you don’t take the bigger stakes into concern in drawing them.


Well the argument is gradually being won, and it appears I’ve been on the right side all along.


As to the stakes, I see them but my perspective is different. Yes, Iran with a nuclear weapon in 5 years time represents a small risk, which must be monitored and managed.


However, the bombing and invasion of Iran in the short term is nothing short of lunacy and guarantees 100’s if not millions of deaths in short order.


As regards the slaveholder mentality, the words of Twain reasonated so strongly that I stopped what I was doing and searched out the book online for the quote. It’s disturbingly accurate and cutting, he was a great writer.


Americans, and lets face it Europeans too, have become a kind of global aristocracy. To change that, we need to recognise it.

Beware the surplus population!
Leaflets should have been dropped on Afghanistan, Iraq, and Iran for fair warning. Then the U.S. should have made the desert glow for a generation.

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