Friday, August 25, 2006

Did you lose your mind all at once, or was it a slow, gradual process?

Stop. Please. I beg you.

First there was BDS or "Bush Derangement Syndrome." The right-wing shorthand for an unreasonable hatred of President Bush. (Unreasonable as defined by any sort of criticism whatsoever.) Fair enough. I'm sure all of the inmates at the asylum consider the guards and doctors deranged as well. "Can't those deranged fools see I really AM Teddy Roosevelt?"

But it struck me while reading this article by Jonah Goldberg who coins the term "Wal Mart Derangement Syndrome (WMDS)" that the whole use of "derangement syndrome" by conservatives has seriously spun out of control. A quick Google of the term confirmed my suspicion. I found "Rove Derangement Syndrome," "Christianity Derangement Syndrome" and "Israel Derangement Syndrome," all on the first page. Do I have to point out that when your primary counter-argument to political opponents is to label them deranged it really doesn't say a lot of positive things about the strength of your position to begin with?

We've seen this show a dozen times. Please, I beg you- come up with some new material or get off the stage. You're embarrassing yourself and you're boring the hell out of the audience.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

My dear penguins, we stand upon a great threshold! It's alright to be scared; most of you won't be coming back.

It's difficult to come up with a word that succinctly describes this silly bit of wingnut dead-ender logic. The one word that comes immediately to mind is "inane." I'm sure you could come up with a better descriptor.

To try and wrap your brain about where he's coming from you really should read the Boston Globe piece he links that he's so unsuccessfully trying to riff on. He's basically taken the original opinion piece by Joan Vennochi and inserted Harry Truman's name wherever George Bush appeared in the original. Hey, nobody ever accused conservatives of originality.

This ongoing pattern of attempting to conflate the war in Iraq with WW 2 has quickly moved from cute but wrong-headed to downright sad. It's one thing to formulate an analogy only to have it collapse under the weight of it's own internal logic. It's quite another thing entirely to stick with that analogy after said collapse.

It should be more than obvious to anyone with even a smathering of understanding of world history that the current conflict against fundamentalist extremists is nowhere near the scale, nor poses nowhere near the threat, as the conflict against global tyranny that was the Second World War. Our enemy has no standing army. No navy. No air force. All they have is anger and intent. Hardly much of a threat to the world's last superpower, particularly if it remains vigilant and aware.

But what really elevates such screeds to the realm of pathetic is invariably the author won't be typing out their global call to arms from a tent in Baghdad or an aircraft carrier off the Gulf, but from the safety of a keyboard a half a world away. In the case of the above article the author, DJ Drummond, is a grad student. He is not fighting in this war.

I'm sure Drummond would have some excuse or another as to why he's not in uniform patrolling the streets of Baghdad but the long and the short of it is that, whatever his excuse, his argument in support of the war comes across thusly:

We are fighting WW III in Iraq. Our enemies threaten our lives, our faith, our very way of life. But don't ask me to fight because I have better things to do like finish college.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Just a walk in the park Kazansky.

So Maverick is now saying we were "misled" on the difficulty of the Iraq war.

I think one of the biggest mistakes we made was underestimating the size of the task and the sacrifices that would be required,” McCain said. “Stuff happens, mission accomplished, last throes, a few dead-enders. I’m just more familiar with those statements than anyone else because it grieves me so much that we had not told the American people how tough and difficult this task would be.

His "grief" might be a tad bit more believable if he hadn't spent the Presidential election humping George Bush's leg like Mini-Me.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Hello, Seattle. I'm listening.

First he was a "Uniter." Then he was Commander Codpiece the "War President." After that he became the "Decider." Now he's our national shrink?

Bush says Iraq straining the nation's psyche.

"See, the problem is ya got your ego fightin' with your superego. It doesn't wear a cape - I asked."

"This superego-ey thingy is also fixin' to stir up some trouble with the libido which ain't good. Libidos are tough but, luckily they're mostly concentrated in big cities like New York and vote for Kennedys."

"Anyhow, this brawl is gonna happen in your subconscious brain which, interestingly enough doesn't involve an actual submarine - I asked."

"Your problem with Iraq is that you're in denial of the displacemament... displacemint... displacebubint... of your projection of your fear of inadequacy. Got it?"

Monday, August 21, 2006

Truth is, after a while, we sort of avoided gettin' to know them.


I love a man with integrity - I wish I knew one.

I got into a short discussion with my favorite cousin about blogging this weekend and inevitably the issue of Lieberman came up. I have been making a conscious effort to NOT write about the Lamont/ Lieberman race but it's practically impossible under the current political environment. As Steve Gilliard points out Lieberman is the "Flying Wedge" of the Republican strategy for retaining control of congress in 2006. Like it or not the Connecticut Senate race has implications well beyond the state and that's putting aside Lieberman's effect on the three House seats Democrats might be in better position to pick-up in Connecticut if Joe dropped out.

It was fascinating to read the give and take between several prominent moderate to progressive sites on this very issue. Most notably Josh Marshall has been bantering back and forth with Duncan Black and Matt Stoller over where progressive netroots support and energy ought to be heading. Josh takes the position that the resources being poured into the Lieberman race would be better spent on other important races around the country. I say Josh but most of his arguments have been posted in the form of emails he received from "TPM reader DK"

Putting self above party at the expense of party should have consequences. But at what cost? I part ways with those wanting to enforce party discipline even as they admit it might cost Dems a Senate majority. As I have said before, a Democratic Senate with Lieberman in it far surpasses a GOP Senate without Lieberman.

It'd be difficult to quantify how ignorant this comment is of the current mood among grassroots Democrats and party activists. Most Democrats have a difficult time imagining how a Democratic Senate would be better than it is under Republican control. The party's failure to morph into a true opposition party over the course of the last decade in the minority makes it clear they have yet to see the modern Republican party as the threat it really is. There is little possibility that the a Democratic Senate wouldn't revert to the same go-along-to-get-along form it took the last time they were in charge. That means that all of the things which the Republican majority took away by brute force (blue slips, committee make-up, ability to get legislation to the floor, conference committee) would be ceded back to Republicans when they are then in the minority.

And all of that's taking Joe Lieberman's ego out of the equation AND taking the dubious promise he's made to caucus with Democrats at face value. Once you figure him in and his "Meet the Press" approach to governing it's impossible to see how a Democratic Senate would be better if Joe Lieberman were a part of it.

But you ain't got no legs, Lieutenant Dan.

Of all the things I find annoying about George W. Bush (it's a long list,) probably the single biggest irritant is when he goes into "lecture mode." I tried to listen to a bit of his Press Conference just now and just couldn't get past the finger wagging and assumption that Americans are just as stupid as Bush himself.

“I hear a lot of talk about civil war. I’m concerned about that, of course, and I’ve talked to a lot of people about it. And what I’ve found from my talks are that the Iraqis want a unified country. And that the Iraqi leadership is determined to thwart the efforts of the extremists and the radicals,” Bush said. - MSNBC 8/21

Imagine the above only in Bush's voice speaking as if he was trying to explain the Theory of Gravity to a toddler.

I simply can't stand it. It's like being lectured on geopolitics by Barney the Purple Dinosaur. It's like having Forrest Gump slowly explain quantum physics. It's just... wrong.