I think that the "dangerous rage by the left against Bush" was largely fueled by how Bush handled Republican control of both the Presidency and Congress. If Obama is elected and Democrats make large gains in Congress, we're going to see a situation where Obama will need to quash the more extreme elements of the left and make an effort to include Republicans in the policy-making process. If he fails to do this, we'll see another extreme swing in the pendulum and a continuation of the divisive politics we've seen through the Clinton and Bush years.
I'm also dubious about the Republicans' ability to function as an effective minority. But it looks like they are conveniently rediscovering fiscal restraint, so hopefully they will bring some good ideas to the table.Comment Posted By Aaron On 13.10.2008 @ 13:57
Not even David Frum thinks that this dog is gonna hunt:
"But Bill Ayers? Does anybody really seriously believe that Barack Obama is a secret left-wing radical?"
I suspect that most people on the right don't really care about the association either, they're just hoping that something about it will click with the voters. Ayers is just not a household name.
In a word, yawn.Comment Posted By Aaron On 7.10.2008 @ 12:49
I think it is a good time for all responsible Americans to adjust their 5-year plans to include some sort of post-apocalyptic scenario. I plan on catching and selling rats for food. I think I'll mention that in my next job interview.Comment Posted By Aaron On 24.09.2008 @ 13:03
Rick, I'm glad to see your response on #5, I was afraid your might be catatonic with disgust about McCain's VP pick. Can you post something about it so we can comment on-topic?Comment Posted By Aaron On 29.08.2008 @ 15:13
I'd give the speech a B+, but I think he did exactly what he had to do.
Most importantly, it spurred McCain to throw the biggest hail-mary I've seen in a long time and pick Palin as his running mate. When Republicans are listing things like "she's easy on the eyes" and "hopefully Biden will go easy on her in the debate because she's a woman," it doesn't bode well...Comment Posted By Aaron On 29.08.2008 @ 12:45
At Saddleback Church John McCain mentioned a couple touching moments with one of the guards in his camp. Oh my goodness, it just occurred to me that the guard was a communist! I can't believe that the right-wing MSM has not pressed him about this admitted relationship with a communist! McCain has definitely not addressed this to a degree that I'm satisfied with. Why is he avoiding the issue?
I know from the cold war days that communism, like radicalism, is a virus-like contagion. You get close to it, and zap! I'm sure McCain is a communist.Comment Posted By Aaron On 26.08.2008 @ 14:10
No, McCain really stepped in it, and although Obama may be taking a chance, he had to respond. Call it arrogance if you want, but every political campaign out there cynically discusses events like this and decides how to take advantage of them. It's way to easy to make the case that Rove is the one who led with his chin (or rather the collective Republican chin) when he tried to paint Obama as the elitist in the race. My prediction is that this will continue to hurt McCain, and he'll continue stepping it. Righties will continue howling about Rezko, Wright, and Ayers, but so far there's not enough out there to constitute proof to the average voter that his association with them makes him a criminal, a black militant, or a 60s-era radical. But keep up the propaganda! Maybe repetition will work where reason does not.
Reason? An american president on a first name basis with an admitted, unrepentant terrorist? Reason would demand Obama be banished to the outer darkness. Don't bring up reason - you haven't a clue of what the concept means.
ed.Comment Posted By Aaron On 22.08.2008 @ 14:28
I understand what you're saying, and I agree that many on the left have pretty much made up their minds that the program is illegal. But we've been trying to debate this for years, and overall the positions of the GOP have been as follows:
- Any attempt to debate this issue is unpatriotic and endangers America.
- Any attempt to change parts of the surveillance program is unpatriotic and endangers America.
- Any attempt to find out the details of the program is unpatriotic and endangers America.
When you mention debate, I assume you're talking about the kind of debate where we weigh the details of the program and make changes if necessary. You may think that this type of debate happen when all we know about the program are leaked details and the speculation of experts, but I think that this is totally naive.
One of the frustrations of those of us on the left is the complete lack of curiosity of those on the right. Although I disagree with a lot in your article, I was happy to see this:
I just don’t see them getting so all-fired upset at a President Obama if he were to continue these surveillance programs or even expand them.
Yes! This is the conversation we should be having. Righties should be skeptical about the use of this program by a Democratic president. I think our government should be using high-tech methods of rooting out terrorism, but the details of this program should not be dependent on who is in the White House at the time. All Americans should be worried about a program that gives the government too much opportunity to invade the privacy of law-abiding citizens.
I agree attempts to close off debate on the right by raising patriotism or national security has been there. But I am pretty sure it is not as widespread as the vast majority on the left screaming taht the program is illegal.
I hope Obama uses the program in whatever way is legal and cognizant of individual rights. And you won't hear the right complaining about it. If you do, you have every right to yell hypocrisy.
ed.Comment Posted By Aaron On 26.06.2008 @ 14:06
Reasonable, honest people can debate how this program skirts the law and may – depending exactly how it works which is something that to this day remains hidden – cross the line of legality.
Do you understand the absurdity of this sentence? How are we supposed to debate this if the details remain hidden?
There have been numerous analyses by outside intel experts who have guessed the parameters of the program. My point is that we can debate several aspects of it - necessity, scope, even what kinds of info would constitute a violation of privacy - without knowing the exact details of the technological functions that bring in the data.
It has been speculated by some, for instance, that FISA warrants were not necessary because of the way the data was collected. I have no clue whether this is true and wouldn't include it as a defense of the program at all. But when one side of the debate simply says "debate over, no argument is needed or necessary" that's stupid. And that's the point of the post.
ed.Comment Posted By Aaron On 26.06.2008 @ 10:20
I've traveled quite a bit since 9/11, and for the most part I’ve found the following to be true:
- The American government, especially with regard to foreign policy, has always been somewhat unpopular, but overall people like Americans and America as a country.
- People in other countries were overwhelmingly sympathetic to Americans when 9/11 happened. They became much less sympathetic when we re-elected GWB in 2004. The torture issue and the way we went about the Iraq war seem to be at the top of everyone's list, and electing him again was a reflection on the American people, not just the government.
I think Republicans should take a critical look at the 'go it alone' approach. President Bush is simply an ineffective leader who was not able to rally the kind of coalition necessary to make Iraq a true international effort. Bush Sr. obviously saw the benefit of building a real international coalition for the first Iraq war, and he had the leadership skills to make that happen. The 'go it alone' approach is the only option available to Bush because he's not good at his job, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it's a good policy across the board.
America definitely needs to be able to act in its best interest, and part of that involves making other countries want what we want. I'm not sure if Obama or McCain will be able to do this effectively, but they'll have a tough time doing it worse than Bush.Comment Posted By Aaron On 13.06.2008 @ 12:11