Archive for June 23rd, 2006

Apparently the policy advocated by Karl Rove is to run the midterm campaign on the Iraq war. We’ve seen how this will look already in the recent debates in the House and Senate, and the sycophantic regurgitating of the message by the major news outlets, that the GOP has “a plan” and the Democrats are confused and squabbling.

Rove’s master plan kicked into action with the death of Zarqawi. Freepers around the country crawled all over themselves to crow and quickly turn a military success into a rhetorical advantage over their lefty counterparts. “What’s Right…” (find your own link) ran the following headline: “#1 Terrorist in Iraq killed – bad news for the Democrats.”

This is indeed bad news for Democrats, who hope for defeats & set-backs in Iraq so they can keep criticizing.

In fact, the Democrats new hero in Montana, Jon Tester wants to implement a policy of cutting & running in Iraq.

What makes you feel safer, cutting & running, or killing the terrorist leaders one-by-one?

(Forget for a moment that the main solace Coobs finds in a rogue terrorist’s death is the hope that it props up his favorite politicians a bit, or that no Democrat could claim this was “bad” news, or that a so-called “independent” blogger would pump this hate-filled rhetoric into the Net at the exact same time Rove the GOP started their like chest-thumping.)

The idea, of course, is to show that Democrats have an “irrational” dislike of Bush, and that they would gladly lose a war if meant winning an election. The position is also intended to show how the GOP has a backbone and the Dems don’t.

In reality, however, the Republican lawmakers have just yoked this country to a rudderless Iraq policy that threatens to last at least two more years. That’s the real story, and while it will probably increase the advantage of the Dems to win seats in the midterms, I’d rather have the GOP Congressional representatives do the right thing.

At the very least, the Republican Congress needed to force the president to make some sort of coherent policy.

I admit, I didn’t feel any sense of wild ebullience when Zaraqawi was killed. I did feel dread, because I knew Bush, Co. and its GOP yes-men would beat us over the head with his death. As they have, even touting it as a watershed moment in Iraq, the turning of the tide. Rove accused Dems of “cutting and running.” I didn’t celebrate because I knew Republicans would use it to play up their failed plan and commit us to Iraq indefinitely. Well, what’s happened since this “watershed” victory?

Iraqi insurgents set up roadblocks in downtown Baghdad and fired on US, Iraqi troops. State of emergency declared, over 20 killed.

–Ten killed in a mosque explosion.

–Britain sets timetable for troop withdrawal.

–Japan announces troop withdrawal.

–News of US atrocities in Iraq grows, including the murder of an Iraqi by several marines, sailors.

–Questions swirl around senior officers’ conduct surrounding the Haditha massacre.

–North Korea threatened a missile launch.

–The Army considers troop reduction.

Bad news and more bad news. And not just the usual run-of-the-mill roll call of the dead, but news that reveal larger issues that will promise to plague us. News that shows how unstable the country is, that insurgents could take over parts of the capitol. News that hints that US military officers might have suppressed information on atrocities – for political reasons? The North Korea situation should remind us all the natural reaction of gunboat diplomacy and military aggression: increased tensions with states opposed to us, and a rush to gather nuclear weapons to prevent US invasion. Iraq has weakened our national security.

And the Army is considering pulling out some troops anyway. (Does this mean the administration is “cutting and running”?)

Just the events in the last week show how unstable and dangerous Iraq has become. Can the Republicans survive the summer with a constant barrage of bad news? Bet on seeing a whole lot of terror plots broken up, like the news of a home-grown group stopped before blowing up Chicago’s Sears Tower. I’m with Andrew Cohen:

It is entirely possible that the government has just foiled a plot that would have led to immeasurable loss of life and property. It is also entirely possible that the government once again is trying to sell us a pig in a poke; trying to make much more out of a terrorism investigation than the facts warrant.

Even if the FBI did save the Sears Tower, we’ve been fed so much hooey about terror plots – all of which have been laughable or pathetic or untrue. Can you blame us if we don’t believe the administration anymore? Based on accounts what’s not disputable is that these men were never a real threat.

I dislike Bush because he’s incompetent, he disdains the Constitution, and he’s a wayward spender. I don’t revel in our minor victories because I know as long as he’s in power – and the Republican Congress rubber-stamping all of his policies – the war will not be won. I wish Congress had sent a clear message to him and the American people, that we will not accept business as usual in Iraq.

Had enough? I have. Vote the bums out.

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So my old man did it. He sent in his letter, and our local newspaper dutifully printed it:

To the Editor of THE EAGLE:

With the recent kick-off of the Art of the Game and in an effort to add to Pittsfield's rich baseball heritage, I think we should institute new rules to the game calling for offensive and defensive teams, to move in the same direction as the NFL. After all, now that NFL players have to take a break to take on oxygen after a 20-yard-run, should we penalize our baseball players by making them play both sides?

We should have nine players who only play defense, which would eliminate having a good batter who cannot catch a fly ball on the field. The good batters can all be on the nine-man offensive team and flail away at the ball. Fans would love the additional offense and marvel at good fielding plays. After all, wouldn't this just be the natural progression after the initiation of the designated hitter?

As this concept is adopted in the Major Leagues, we can all proudly say it started here in Pittsfield, just as baseball itself started in 1791. Ah the Glory!

I’ll keep you posted on the reactions. Baseball talk is the crack of New England: rest assured we’ll see some steamy reaction to this epistle. Heck, I might even have to create a “curmudgeon” tag just to track the discussion. (I just hope no angry football players ambush pop outside the A&P.)

By the way, how fast did the Eagle print that letter? That was fast! They must know a good baseball brouhaha when they see one.

Links…

David Crisp compares Coulter to Hitler. Coobs defends her: “She's much better looking than Adolph Hitler!” Matt Singer found a “Hitler vs. Coulter” quiz.

New West comes out against Initiative 154. Nice summation.

The West is not “nowhere.”

The Slog reports on lying signature gatherers trolling for John Hancocks for a Washington initiative ending the estate tax.

PBS has made Frontline’s show on Dick Cheney, “The Dark Side,” available online.

Firedoglake on the Senate vote yoking us to the Bush administration’s rudderless war policy.

The GOP upends the Voting Rights Act. These guys are lovely.

White House “happy talk” infiltrating the “liberal” press, despite the fact that the majority of Americans and troops want out of Iraq.

TAPPED has breakfast with Grover Norquist.

The “Had enough?” campaign in action. Have you had enough? Then this is a little way you can add to the buzz.

Digby thinks, like US Grant, it’s time to stop thinking about what the GOP, and start making the GOP think about what we’ll do.

Matt Singer posted this link, but I think it’s worth posting here, too. “My Lieberman problem – and ours.” An not-unsympathetic profile of the Senator and why he needs to go.




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