A Hopeful Prophecy


Animal Nuz #194 (detail)

Round and round in circles; when do we get to breathe clean, fresh air? The carousel is vicious; each pass brings greater distress.

I don’t know, is that too dramatic?

The problem, of course, is simply that life is unpredictable. Heh. Simply. Unpredictable.

Yet, for all the things that are genuinely predictable, something about politics is problematic. Setting aside the cyclical examinations of what went wrong, both in the internal and public polling, the nature of politics seems to openly and proudly defy the punditry.

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There Must Be An Answer, Let It Be, Let It Be


Do It!And then there are the things we probably didn’t need to think about, but it’s America, so setting the obvious point aside, yes, there are scarier things in the world, and risk is choice, you know?

And, no, there is nothing about The Beatles that actually goes here. I just needed a title, and Macca mewling over Mother Mary happened to be the first thing to mind that didn’t involve the proverbial bleach and eyeballs.

Today in Talking Points


Tom Tomorrow, ca. 1997It’s almost like connect the dots. Of course, that’s why they’re called “talking points”:

  • Politico covers the latest conservative argument, that wealth and conscience don’t mix.
  • Steve Benen explains the obvious about that argument.
  • And Tom Tomorrow dusts fourteen years off an old cartoon, for obvious reasons.
  • Meanwhile, Rob Goodman hopes to intellectually validate equal criticism against all political players, the feelgood fallacy also known as “both sides do it”.
  • And why not get some election coverage from Karl Frisch, a Democratic strategist trying to explain what’s wrong with Republicans.
  • If that doesn’t do it for you, try the latest Obama-hates-Christians “war on Christmas” lament. (At least it’s not as mortifying as Rush Limbaugh’s astonishing defense of the Lord’s Resistance Army.)

Or, it’s just another day in the life. Something about decadence. Something about the fall of Rome. Something about what we do with what we are given.

    Let me say this is as clearly and as simply as I can: Republicans did not overreach. What they did is who they are. It is what they stand for. It is what they campaign on.

    To claim otherwise would be like saying fish live under water because they suffer from unquenchable thirst.

    Karl Frisch

Gutter politics


w/apologies to Jimmy MarguliesThe back story: RNC Chairman Michael Steele criticized President Obama for engaging a land war in Afghanistan. (Where is Wallace Shawn when you need him?) The DNC, through spokesman Brad Woodhouse, responded with a press release saying that “Steele bets against our troops, roots for failure”.

Thus prefaced, read on. Glenn Greenwald explains:

As The Washington Post’s Greg Sargent writes, and I couldn’t agree more: “this is Karl Rove’s playbook. I don’t care how often Republicans do it — this blog is not on board with this kind of thing from either party.” Indeed, at The Weekly Standard, Bill Kristol revealingly echoed the DNC, demanding that Steele resign for his “affront” to the soliders. Ironically, there was just a vote on war funding last night in the House, and numerous Democrats — 93 of them on a mild anti-war measure and 22 on a stronger one — voted to end the war in Afghanistan, many arguing exactly what Steele just said about the futility of the war. Do the DNC’s Rovian insults mean that these anti-war Democrats are also guilty of wanting to “walk away from the fight against Al Qaeda,” “undermin[ing] the morale of our troops,” and “betting against our troops and rooting for failure in Afghanistan”?

Replicating the worst of the GOP rhetoric is unfortunately not limited to the DNC. Over on the front page of Daily Kos, Barbara Morrill ends her post about Steele’s comments this way: “What the family and friends of those who died or those who are still fighting there today think is, of course, another story.” A couple of months ago, Jonathan Alter and Keith Olbermann both suggested that criticisms of Obama weaken the U.S. and thus help Al Qaeda. Last October, both the DNC and some progressive groups accused Steele respectively of “siding with the terrorists” and being “downright unpatriotic” because he questioned whether Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize was merited.

I understand and even accept the need to use the other side’s rhetoric against them, though once you start doing that, you forever forfeit the ability to complain when it’s used against you. More to the point: the 2006 and 2008 elections proved that this “against-the-Troops/cut-and-run” rhetoric is now as ineffective as it is ugly. That’s why the GOP lost so overwhelmingly in those elections while relying on those smears; why would the DNC want to copy such ineffective tactics?

No, really. It’s come to this. Read the whole thing. Or, if you really can’t be bothered, and absolutely need the capsule, here you go:

When the DNC, a front page Daily Kos writer and Bill Kristol all join together to smear someone with common language for opposing a war, it’s clear that something toxic is taking place. By all means, the ludicrous hypocrisy and illogic of Steele’s attempt to place all blame on the Democrats for this war should be screamed from the mountaintops . . . but equating war opposition with disrespect to the Troops or cowardice is destructive and stupid no matter who is doing it.

Yes, ’tis true that Michael Steele is exactly the sort of disgrace who can only ever speak truth as a clodhopping political ruse, but there is no reason for respectable society to dwell in the gutter with him.

(Image credit: Apologies to Jimmy Margulies.)

An amusing “conspiracy” theory


While I may not agree with every detail of her construction, Tina Dupuy offers up a long-overdue theory to the political arena:

It seems everybody gets their own pet conspiracy these days: Birthers, Birchers, Deathers, Truthers and whatever you call the people who won’t get their kids inoculated. According to the theories, nothing is as it seems and everyone is in on it. Following this reasonable assumption, I’ve come up with my own. Here it is: former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, RNC Chairman Michael Steele and Congressman Paul Ryan from Wisconsin are all Democratic plants.

The rest of the article pretty much spells out the theory, and as conspiracy theories go, it’s probably less crazy than Truther conspiracies, and clearly less insane than Birthers. Continue reading