Sunday, June 18, 2006

Goldberg Wears An Empty Moral Hat

Goldberg Wears An Empty Moral Hat
..covering a Democrat-hating head

I'd never view Jonah Goldberg as a leader, especially after what I just read. His imagination seems to be about as wide as the walls of his closed little mind. All he seems to know and to understand is "kill or be killed."

Reading his latest attack piece on Democrats, I sense that he cannot seem to imagine any other route to settling the Iraqi situation with any scenario other than crack downs and more futile killings. Goldberg feigns shocked distaste over what appears to be a common-sense belief among many political leaders (and sensible American people) that, when Iraq's Prime Minister al Maliki gives amnnesty to murderers of Americans, it will change the conscience of the people, making more Americans much easier to target and kill. Although there is no realistic correlation, Goldberg transposes his feigned distaste about those who refuse to join him in supporting amnesty for murdering insurgents into hyperbole about Democrats wanting to "cut and run" from Iraq. Goldberg takes great pains to remain fact-free about the hundreds of entirely reasonable points that the Democrats made on the House floor this week about changing the course in Iraq while debating HR861. I guess he thinks no one was paying attention.

Blowhards come a dime a dozen these days, and I suppose Goldberg is one of the Kings of the Blowhards. I haven't seen him sign up to go and fight the war yet. I guess he'd rather sit behind a desk and make stuff up about Democrats while he defends 'get-out-of-jail-free' cards for the murderers of American troops.

He shows that he hasn't got the smarts to see beyond our military occupation in Iraq. (Or if he does have the smarts, he's reserving them for when he can best use them to make Republicans smell like roses). Dear God, I hope someone in power has the smarts to see beyond U.S. military involvement, because the time has come for the occupation in Iraq to end. For all their rhetorical complaining about Democrats having few ideas, the party enjoying majority status today has nothing to offer except for vacuous rhetoric and pundits that offer no creativity; no rationale that follows an acceptable moral course.

Fathers Day

Fathers Day

Me and Dad

"Certain is it that there is no kind of affection so purely angelic as of a father to a daughter. In love to our wives there is desire; to our sons, ambition; but to our daughters there is something which there are no words to express."

- Joseph Addison



I'm wishing a Happy Fathers Day to every loving father, and a very special Fathers Day to my own Dad.

Tar Heel Tavern #69

Tar Heel Tavern #69

Erin Monahan hosted #69 beautifully. (Hey - we'll have no naughty comments!) She got a great response to her topic of Reciprocity: The joy of giving, and receiving in return. Thanks, Erin!

Rich: Dems Screwed By Lack of Narrative

Dems: Please don't tell us Karl Rove is going to push you into your corners again. 42 of you in the House voted for the vacuous HR861. Who on God's earth told you that would be a good move?

Rich: Dems Screwed By Lack of Narrative

Who knows how to spin a great web? According to Frank Rich, not many in the Democrats' camp. Last week, I read a post by "journalist3072" at the One America Committee blog about a lost opportunity for the left because of inefficient spokespeople. I saw the same thing happen throughout the last Presidential campaign. Karl Rove is a treasure to his party only because there's no Democratic spider who can spin a web quite like him. As Mr. Rich explains:
What's most impressive about Mr. Rove, however, is not his ruthlessness, it's his unshakable faith in the power of a story. The story he's stuck with, Iraq, is a loser, but he knows it won't lose at the polls if there's no story to counter it. And so he tells it over and over, confident that the Democrats won't tell their own. And they don't — whether about Iraq or much else. The question for the Democrats is less whether they tilt left, right or center, than whether they can find a stirring narrative that defines their views, not just the Republicans'.

What's needed, wrote Michael Tomasky in an influential American Prospect essay last fall, is a "big-picture case based on core principles." As he argued, Washington's continued and inhumane failure to ameliorate the devastation of Katrina could not be a more pregnant opportunity for the Democrats to set forth a comprehensive alternative to the party in power. Another opportunity, of course, is the oil dependence that holds America hostage to the worst governments in the Middle East.

Instead the Democrats float Band-Aid nostrums and bumper-sticker marketing strategies like "Together, America Can Do Better."

This war in Iraq is an issue that will never go away until we make it go away by bringing our troops home and concentrating on regaining some of the incredible amount of international respect and influence that we've lost. When the GOP is forced, by Democrats, to start facing some truth, we can get on with some kind of national reconciliation. Until then, the public will remain divided on the issue, deeply and bitterly so. And Democrats will take a hit at the polls for not standing up and hanging more tightly together with one clear message. If Democrats cannot stand up for one another and publicly reject the failed policy in Iraq, they could find the most creative, air-tight narrative in the world on all the other issues and still come up losers.

If I could tell Democrats anything, I would ask them to think about one of the last scenes from the film "The Wizard of Oz", where Dorothy discovers she never needed ruby slippers for power...she'd always possessed the power she needed to get where she wanted to go. If Democrats want to win, they have to stop looking to high-paid campaign consultants who create boring campaign slogans and listen to the people out here who are speaking from our hearts. They have to fight back like sentry dogs with a narrative so strong and tight that no Rovian teeth can break through its skin.

Last week, my high-school aged son spoke to two older friends who have come back from their respective tours of duty in Iraq and being a curious young man, he asked many questions about their war experiences. He came home and told me he'd learned a new word. FUBAR. Both soldiers had told him that they thought that the Iraq war is FUBAR (f**ked up beyond all repair). Last February, a survey of US troops found that 72 percent wanted to withdraw within a year. The troops' morale has slipped not because of what we say, but because of what they've seen.

Today's LA Times editorial sees things in a slightly different way. They seem to trust that the public will see right through the GOP's tactics this week with the meaningless resolution of flimsy rhetoric on Iraq. They give the hypocrisy of a couple of Bush's recent statements a decidedly kind treatment, saying that "there is, to put it mildly, a tension between" the two statements. Bush has said that "success in Iraq depends upon the Iraqis" while he tells us that Iraq cannot be left to the Iraqis just yet. He talks about not wanting to "fail" in Iraq, but he cannot tell us what "victory" would realistically look like or how we could expect to get there in any reasonable time frame. Do Republicans want to be in Iraq for another 10, 15, 20 years? Why don't the Democrats start asking them - or at least begin to create a narrative in which that is the case? If the totally disingenuous "cut and run" is Rove's battle cry, the Democrats can create a narrative surrounding the myriad Republican f**k-ups in Iraq, the squandering of billions of our tax dollars - a good chunk of which has never been accounted for; the legally authorized resort to torture of prisoners with official approval of the abandonment of Geneva convention agreements leading to kidnapping and mistreatment of our own troops; and the GOP's seeming desire (with their allergy to timetables, we can draw no other conclusions) for a 20-year quagmire in that same country while they fight a civil war (and the Iraqi government gives amnesty to those who kill our troops, making them fair game for murder-happy insurgents).

It wouldn't take a Charles Dickens to create a narrative that would convince the public that a change in course is not only necessary, but essential to the security of this nation.

What Neocons and Zarqawi Have in Common

What Neocons and Zarqawi Have in Common
They both would have loved the U.S. to make war on Iran

Juan Cole has something to say that I hope you will not miss. He says that the American hawks who've been connected with the Likud Party in Israel, such as Michael Ledeen and Michael Rubin, who've been hoping and "trying to get up an American war on Iran, have turned out to have the same goal as Abu Musab al-Zarqawi!

Professor Cole gives fair warning about the likelihood of an ugly outcome should the U.S. decide to do what the neocons and Zarqawi have wanted so badly:
It is the case that if you did want to see the US completely defeated and humiliated, you could not do better than have Washington open a second conventional front in Iran. Iran is much bigger than Iraq, more rugged in terrain, and 3 times more populous, and its population is politically savvy, literate and highly mobilized.

So, it doesn't matter whether you listen to Ledeen and Rubin on attacking Iran or to Zarqawi on the same subject. Either way, such a move spells disaster for the United States and should be opposed by genuine patriots who care about this country--until and unless Iran actually does something to the US that calls for a military response.