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Posted at 8:43 AM ET, 01/13/2011

The Morning Plum

By Greg Sargent

* After Obama's speech: The President's speech last night, in which he eloquently called for healing, civility and national unity in the wake of the Arizona killings, has been rightly hailed on all sides. He managed to call for us all to tone down the political discourse without appearing political, tackling large themes in plain, emotionally accessible language.

In a remarkably agile way, the speech implicitly bridged the gap between both sides of the argument over the meaning of the shooting. Obama gave something to the right by insisting that uncivil discourse did not cause the tragedy. Yet he also gave something to the left by insisting that the shootings should drive us to strive for "more civility in our public discourse."

In other words, Obama didn't flinch from taking on the core challenge of addressing the political battle that has erupted over the massacre's significance. But he managed to do it in a way that carried appeal for those in the trenches on both sides. This was a very delicate balancing act, and in this sense, the speech was a first stab at healing the rift exacerbated by the massacre.

But it's only a first stab. The question now is: What comes next, both for his presidency and the country? Obama reminded us once again of his ability to transcend the clutter and noise when necessary, and reminded the political world of the power of incumbency heading into 2012. But major fights loom with newly-empowered Republicans over health reform, the debt, taxes and other issues, and history has shown that such presidential calls for unity in the wake of wrenching events quickly get overtaken by events and ultimately are forgotten. In short: The rancor and division -- which are the result of profound ideological divides that run far deeper than the argument over the shooting -- will soon reassert themselves with a vengeance.

* Onward to the State of the Union: Along those lines, Perry Bacon has an interesting look at how the White House views the next big speech as the launching point for the next phase of his presidency, one that will be dominated by the need to reach deals with the emboldened GOP.

* The subtext: Obama blew Sarah Palin out of the water. Jonathan Martin sums up the political world's reaction to the juxtaposition of the Obama and Palin responses yesterday:

In the span of a single news cycle, Republicans got a jarring reminder of two forces that could prevent them from retaking the presidency next year. At sunrise in the east on Wednesday, Sarah Palin demonstrated that she has little interest -- or capacity -- in moving beyond her brand of grievance-based politics. And at sundown in the west, Barack Obama reminded even his critics of his ability to rally disparate Americans around a message of reconciliation.

* A tale of two speeches: Indeed, as Taegan Goddard notes, it's clear that the Obama-Palin comparison, or "a tale of two speeches," is well on its way to becoming the official narrative.

* Stinging Palin rebuke of the day: Still more signs that this is becoming the narrative: Doyle McManus says Palin's response to the shootings "will probably be remembered as the end of Palin's chances of being taken seriously as a Republican presidential candidate."

I wonder if any finger-pointing and recriminations are taking place among Palin and her inner circle today.

* An Obama rebound? A new Quinnipiac poll out this morning finds that the President's approval rating has rebounded to 48-44, up from 44-49 just after the November elections. And his personal attributes are quite strong, with 63 percent saying he's honest and trustworthy and 64 percent saying he has strong leadership qualities.

Key caveat: He still lags with key demographics -- men, whites, and independents -- suggesting the areas he'll need to make up ground heading into 2012.

* Lame polling on filibuster reform: The Q-poll also finds that a plurality opposes "the idea being pushed by Obama's Democratic allies in the U.S. Senate to require 51 votes to break a filibuster."

Of course, this isn't the proposal that's being pushed in the Senate, so this tells us nothing. Weak.

* Reality check of the day: E.J. Dionne has an important look at how the national failing that makes all the militarized rhetoric truly dangerous -- making no real strides forward on gun control -- has been largely absent from the national conversation.

* No action on gun control? Relatedly, some gun control advocates are disappointed with the White House for failing to use the tragedy to advance that cause, yet another sign of how far this issue has receded from the Dem agenda.

* Tea Partyers against the Afghanistan war: Worth watching: The bipartisan Afghanistan Study Group released a poll this morning finding only 28 percent of Tea Party supporters back keeping current troop levels, while 64 percent want to scale back, another suggestion that there may be space on the right for a 2012 GOP nominee to run against the wary. Also: Is a left-right alliance possible?

* Question of the day: Jason Linkins asks: If Sarah Palin believes crimes "begin and end with the criminals who committed them," then why does she oppose the "Ground Zero mosque"?

* And yesterday's bright spot: Gabrielle Giffords opened her eyes for the first time.

What else is happening?

By Greg Sargent  | January 13, 2011; 8:43 AM ET
Categories:  House Dems, Political media, filibuster  
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Next: Obama's Tucson moment

Comments

Obama said last night

"We can not use this occasion for another opportunity to turn on each other"


Well, Obams SHOULD have made that statement ON SATURDAY AFTERNOON.

Obama and his people did everything they could this week to get maximum political gain from the deaths of these people.

For 5 days, Obama sat there, SILENT on this issue while his people ATTACKED the Tea Party and Sarah Palin. Then he stands in front of a crowd in the way he did, what a shameful embarassing display.

The country can see clearly the HYPOCRISY. Obama just doesn't cut it. Few people are saying good things about Obama this morning beyond the partisans who are loath to speak the clear truth.

The democrats really have something to be concerned about, which was on full display last night. Obama lacks the ability to pull off things like this. People are watching Obama's actions, not his words, and Obama simply does not have the ability to bridge the gaps when his actions are so far away from what the speechwriters say.


ON this, Obama is allied with no other other person than the shooter who said:


"What's government when words have no meaning."

Obama just spent the last week actually proving that the shooter had a point on that issue.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 13, 2011 8:44 AM | Report abuse

If the White House didn't want to appear political, they should have allowed a bipartisan list of speakers - NOT a bunch of people from Washington


Senators McCain and Kyl were NOT allowed to speak.

And yet, Attorney General Holder was speaking. Napolitano, being from Arizona, was OK.

Yet, there was a Senator from New York in the front row.

Sandra Day O'Connor could have spoken for a few minutes.


POLITICAL? Look at the speakers list and who was in the front row.

The only Republican was Gov. Brewer, who would have been hard for the Obama people to leave out.


ACTIONS, not words


ACTIONS, look at what Obama's people did over the past 5 days.


The media has got

to
be
kidding.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 13, 2011 8:48 AM | Report abuse

UMMM..... this unbelievable, and Obama and Bill Ayers seems to INVOLVED WITH THE SHOOTER FOR A NUMBER OF YEARS.

Unbelievably, Obama was involved in funding the school the shooter attended.

AND Bill Ayers was involved in this ultra-liberal program.


The report:


Jared Lee Loughner, the suspected gunman in Saturday's Arizona shooting, attended a high school that is part of a network in which teachers are trained and provided resources by a liberal group founded by Weatherman terrorist Bill Ayers and funded by President Obama, WND has learned.

The group, Small Schools Workshop, has been led by a former top communist activist who is an associate of Ayers.

Obama provided the group with funds in the 1990s when he worked at an education reform group alongside Ayers.

Loughner attended Mountain View High School, which is part of Arizona's Marana Unified School District.

Since 2003, Mountain View has been part of what is known as the Smaller Learning Community, a network of schools that have been restructured to create a more personalized learning environment where students often have the same teachers and fellow students from grade to grade.

Read more: Bill Ayers, communist provided Arizona shooter's curriculum? http://www.wnd.com/?pageId=249429#ixzz1AvJEjC8c

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 13, 2011 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Those comparisons of Palin's and Obama's addresses are pure jackassery.

Palin's "response to the shootings" was a short note of condolence that she issued Saturday. Yesterday she responded to the four days of unhinged attacks on her supposed responsibility for the shootings, which you'll recall you were demanding she do.

Obama, as POTUS, instead had the luxury of sitting back while his ideological brethern savaged his opposition. Did you notice that he remained completely silent about that until last night? Why was that, do you think? If as he suggested last night those attacks and recrimminations were inappropriate, why didn't he as POTUS "lead" while it mattered? Why didn't he do the responsible thing and clamp down on his own "side" while the wilding was in process?

Greg, tell us you get some of this. You actually think Palin and Obama were faced with the same task yesterday?

And do you feel at all chastened by your President?

Posted by: quarterback1 | January 13, 2011 8:56 AM | Report abuse

"First STAB"?! We can't say stuff like that anymore. Or does that just apply to conservatives.

I thought the crowd last night was worse than Wellstone's memorial.

Posted by: clawrence12 | January 13, 2011 8:58 AM | Report abuse

"Along those lines, Perry Bacon has an interesting look at how the White House views the next big speech as the launching point for the next phase of his presidency, one that will be dominated by the need to reach deals with the emboldened GOP."

The "deals" Obama may reach with the "emboldened GOP" are what frighten me. There is no mention of Social Security or any other New Deal program in Bacon's article. Will Social Welfare programs will be addressed in SOTU?

Posted by: wbgonne | January 13, 2011 9:02 AM | Report abuse

Greg writes:

"But it's only a first stab"

_________________


Sorry, Greg but now if anyone takes out a knife and kills someone, you can be blamed for dragging down the atmosphere and causing the incident.


So, watch the papers, Im sure someone will pull a knife on someone


Greg - it's ALL your fault. How could you cause such VIOLENCE in this society?


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 13, 2011 9:02 AM | Report abuse

Out, danged surveyor's symbol! Out, I say!
.

Posted by: jprestonian | January 13, 2011 9:03 AM | Report abuse

Greg writes:

"But it's only a first stab"

_________________


Sorry, Greg but now if anyone takes out a knife and kills someone, you can be blamed for dragging down the atmosphere and causing the incident.


So, watch the papers, Im sure someone will pull a knife on someone


Greg - it's ALL your fault. How could you cause such VIOLENCE in this society?


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 13, 2011 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Obama is preparing for campaign 2012. He cannot afford to insult and malign the right anymore. His political capital is spent. He must now be as one with his mentor, Bill Clinton. The real Obama is gone forever. He will "Blue Dog" it from now on.

But, Obama will have it much tougher than Clinton. Obama will NOT have a Ross Perot spoiler to chip away at the Republicans' numbers.

Here's the only way Obama gets re-elected:

1. He becomes Republican-light, like Clinton..

2. Republicans nominate another fuddy-duddy, RINO loser in 2012.

3. The economy is good and getting better.

Mark my words! That is the formula for an Obama 2nd act.

Posted by: battleground51 | January 13, 2011 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Greg writes:

"But it's only a first stab"


_______________________


Greg

If thousands of people attack you because you made this statement - and they blame you for the crime.


One word of advice: MAKE SURE you research carefully that etymology of every phrase in your statement responding to the baseless attacks.

If you happen to use a phrase which could offend a group which makes up 2% of the population, they will use that to villify you for another day.


So, be careful, MAKE SURE you research the sensitivities of every group which makes up 2% of the population.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 13, 2011 9:10 AM | Report abuse

A few weeks ago I told you folks you need to wrap your heads around Mitt Romney for President, but did you? No and you still have not. You support Mitt, you always have, he is your choice, get it, got it? None of the rest of the people on your card are electable and you know what that means. Remember the unelectable people you embraced? Republicans need to find a way to like Mitt and soon you will. You will be telling us all about how great he is compared to Obama. Times'a wastin' Republicans.

Posted by: shrink2 | January 13, 2011 9:10 AM | Report abuse

What else?

From the Report of the President's Commission on Deep Water Drilling:

"Even those who privately thought the federal government was doing the best it could under the circumstances did not say so publicly. Coast Guard responders watched Governor Jindal—and the TV cameras following him—return to what appeared to be the same spot of oiled marsh day after day to complain about the inadequacy of the federal response, even though only a small amount of marsh was then oiled. When the Coast Guard sought to clean up that piece of affected marsh, Governor Jindal refused to confirm its location.

Journalists encouraged state and local officials and residents to display their anger at the federal response, and offered coverage when they did. Anderson Cooper reportedly asked a Parish President to bring an angry, unemployed offshore oil worker on his show. When the Parish President could not promise the worker would be “angry,” both were disinvited."

http://permanent.access.gpo.gov/gpo2978/DEEPWATER_ReporttothePresident_FINAL.pdf

Posted by: wbgonne | January 13, 2011 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Was this a Memorial Service for victims who were senselessly gunned down? or a Rock Concert?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8rycZLU6vzg&feature=player_embedded

I don’t get it: Why were Leftists hooting and cheering at a memorial service?

/orgiastic

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | January 13, 2011 9:13 AM | Report abuse

I was expecting to see Metallica come out on stage at any second with all the cheering and hollering going on.

Obama can't even hold a proper memorial service without turning it into a political rally. They have NO respect at all for those killed by their own kind.

What is wrong with Leftists?

*sick*sick*sick*

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | January 13, 2011 9:15 AM | Report abuse

"He cannot afford to insult and malign the right anymore."

Yeah -- there are plenty of righties waiting to vote for him in two years! Say, can I get a pony with that?
.

Posted by: jprestonian | January 13, 2011 9:16 AM | Report abuse

"Is a left-right alliance possible?"

Absolutely not. Right wing nut bars against the AfPak war are only against it because Obama is for it. Tora Bora was Waterloo for the Bush/Cheney war on terror. So the right is fine with cutting and running now that they can set the blame for the lost cause on Obama.

Posted by: shrink2 | January 13, 2011 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Was this orgiastic cheering what Barry Soetoro learned in the Jihadi Republic of Indonesia?

*sick*sick*sick*

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | January 13, 2011 9:20 AM | Report abuse

So the militarized rhetoric keeps your hands off my guns? Great! Double down, people!

Posted by: pcannady | January 13, 2011 9:21 AM | Report abuse

who on earth would be surprize that obama gave a great speech?
it's his talent.
he's a great reader, but no leader!

Posted by: newagent99 | January 13, 2011 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Must have been a moving speech.

The usual suspects are on here even more unhinged than normal.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | January 13, 2011 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Awful..."in the last nine years some 1,000 Americans have been killed on fuel-related missions in Iraq and Afghanistan." Anyone want to drive a fuel truck through the Khyber pass? Anyone?

"Nine years into that war, they are living more or less as Alexander the Great’s men did 23 centuries ago in tents and shacks." NYT

To the CIC I say, |red:Peace NOW!|

Posted by: shrink2 | January 13, 2011 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Sometimes I turn off Kevin's RainForest blocker and look at his posts before reading anything, not that there's anything substantial to them, except the number of them, with such impressive vehemence (quadruple spacing!!) shows that Obama must have indeed done a pretty good job last night to rankle poor Rainforest so.

Posted by: Papagnello | January 13, 2011 9:28 AM | Report abuse

I am going to draw a triangle of links. QB1's first comment here, wbg's oil spill comment, and Greg's use of the phrase
"official narrative" all point up [to me] the sheer nonsense of
much inside DC talk and/or news-as-entertainment 24/7 cable exigencies.

No one need compare an address by a POTUS with what anyone else said about a subject.

That SHP defended herself from accusations that she was responsible for Loghner's conduct is perfectly understandable, even if she cannot pronounce the word "pundit".

That 24/7 cable wanted angry voters to enliven its ratings is no longer a surprise.

Try an experiment: only get your news from ""The Economist"" online for one week. It will be as if you went somewhere quiet where no one yelled, and no one predicted doom by 5 PM.

Greg, "official" means approved by an officer with authority, not "approved" by pundits creating a narrative.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | January 13, 2011 9:29 AM | Report abuse

@qb: “Yesterday she responded to the four days of unhinged attacks on her supposed responsibility for the shootings“

Which she could have handled more gracefully. And with 100% less references to "blood libel".

“which you'll recall you were demanding she do.“

More proof of my long held contention that it's best not to do the things your political enemies are demanding that you do.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | January 13, 2011 9:33 AM | Report abuse

I agree with mikey. Obama did a great job... I missed who got "best actress"?

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | January 13, 2011 9:33 AM | Report abuse

@battleground

"3. The economy is good and getting better."

I agree with this point...it's ALWAYS about the economy...if the economy is really strong and everybody is fat and sassy then other issues emerge..and obviously huge events like 9/11 change everything....

And so a question for you Battleground

If the economy improves enough to get Obama reelected will that disappoint you?

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 13, 2011 9:34 AM | Report abuse

"But it's only a first stab."

Obama's next address will no doubt be at the memorial honoring all the needless deaths engendered by Greg Sargent's reckless advocacy of knife violence. This event will be especially tragic due to the victims inability to be slaughtered by higher priced weaponry. (T-shirts for the "Words Have Consequences: Tragedy on the Potomac" Rally will be available soon.)

Posted by: TobyTucker1 | January 13, 2011 9:38 AM | Report abuse

Colbert
http://www.salon.com/entertainment/tv/the_colbert_report/index.html?story=/politics/war_room/2011/01/13/colbert_arizona_shootings

Posted by: bernielatham | January 13, 2011 9:38 AM | Report abuse

@qb: “Yesterday she responded to the four days of unhinged attacks on her supposed responsibility for the shootings“

Perfect timing. Sarah gets her fee fees hurt and on the day we going to have a memorial for six dead and more than a dozen wounded we have to hear her list of personal grievances again. She couldn't have the class and decency and political smarts to pick another day...another forum? She couldn't have taken the high ground as suggested by such noted liberals as Pat Buchanon and David Frum?

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 13, 2011 9:38 AM | Report abuse

I told you all the speech would be fine, and that he would walk the delicate line perfectly as he always does in these delicate and important situations.

While I was watching, I started daydreaming about how amazing a President he could have been if it weren't for the timing of being President during some of the most vile political times in modern history. Then I realized that this is exactly the time we need him most.

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | January 13, 2011 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Sensitive much Kadaffi?

Posted by: mikefromArlington | January 13, 2011 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Palin's teleprompted "airing of the grievances" was a little late for Festivus, and definitely too late to save her political career. The plug on that was pulled on Saturday, given the coincidence between the Palin ad and the gunman's target. What Palin did yesterday was nothing more than she had to do to keep the cash flowing. And she probably succeeded. So comparing it to Obama's address is really apples and oranges.

Posted by: oldabandonedbeachhouse | January 13, 2011 9:45 AM | Report abuse

I'll be honest...I'm usually not a big softie but when he mentioned her opening her eyes for the first time, my eyes glazed over for a short second.

Good for her.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | January 13, 2011 9:45 AM | Report abuse

"As difficult as it may be to accept, we must prepare ourselves for more violence and more casualties in coming months," Adm Mullen told reporters in Washington on Wednesday. "The violence will be worse in 2011 than it was in 2010 in many parts of Afghanistan," he added. "Now is not the time to rest on our laurels, it's the time to press on our advantages and to redouble our efforts." BBC

Laurels? Laurels? Now is not the time to rest on our laurels?
Obama is going to have more and more political trouble with this effort unless he tears another page out of the Republican book. He needs to declare victory and leave.

Posted by: shrink2 | January 13, 2011 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Good post on Democratic Power Elite (via Naked Capitalism)

http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2011/01/matt-stoller-understanding-the-strategy-of-the-democratic-power-class.html

Since the 1970s, Democratic elites have focused on breaking public sector unions and financializing the economy. Carter, not Reagan, started the defense build-up. Carter, not Reagan, lifted usury caps. Carter, not Reagan, first cut capital gains taxes. Clinton, not Bush, passed NAFTA. It isn’t the base of the Democratic party that did this, but then, voters in America have never had a lot of power because they are too disorganized. And there wasn’t a substantial grassroots movement to challenge this, either.

Posted by: Papagnello | January 13, 2011 9:48 AM | Report abuse

@BBQ - Yup. It wouldn't matter which individual had won the Dem primary and gone on to the Presidency. The attacks from Limbaugh et al would have been equally constant, emotive, ad hominem, and filled with whatever falsehoods or insinuations that could be used to fill the media space negatively. Clinton, Gore, Kerry, Obama...same techniques and agents deployed.

But Obama's cool and rationalism, though insufficient for many, has values in the present which, perhaps, a fuller historical perspective will make more evident.

Posted by: bernielatham | January 13, 2011 9:49 AM | Report abuse

@mikefromA

Are you still my friend after the whipping my Lightning put on your Caps last night? :-) I know I know what about the last 3 years when we couldn't win a period against the Caps much less a game.


And while I'm on sports....Sarah Palin's actions remind me of a saying one of my favorite football coaches, Sam Wyche used to say when his team would lose a particularly frustrating game they could have won..."We managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory"

That's Sister Sarah for you. As David Frum..I know a RINO and Pat Buchanon...don't know his current standing amongst Conservatives...pointed out...yesterday was the perfect opportunity to come out with
Sarah Palin 2.0. She could have charted a new course and broadened her support, appeared like a "real" leader...but no Sister Sarah has to reinforce all of the most negative taunts the left has hurled at her..a shrill harpy concerned about one thing and thing only...Sarah Palin!!!!!

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 13, 2011 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Kevin,

"Which she could have handled more gracefully. And with 100% less references to "blood libel"."

Well, that's very damning of her. Damn you, Sarah Palin for not handling your response to these insane personal attacks more gracefully! There. Is that okay? Perhaps in the spirit of nonrancorous and healing bipartisanship, Obama should have lent her his speech writers, so hers could have been more graceful and polished.

As for blood libel, as has already been widely circulated, the term has been commonly used this way for many many years to refer to libels against entire groups and especially malign libels. It was in the headline of Glenn Reynolds' column in WSJ on this just the other day. I don't recall the usuals going ballistic until Sarah said it. Do I see a pattern here?

"More proof of my long held contention that it's best not to do the things your political enemies are demanding that you do."

True, but then they'd just be damning her for not responding. If she rescued a stray kitten, they'd find a way to damn her for that, too.

You'll note she was also damned for "waiting" until yesterday and for "obviously" reciting a prepared and rehearsed statement. Foul play, obviously. She should have ad libbed, as Obama surely did.

Posted by: quarterback1 | January 13, 2011 9:51 AM | Report abuse

I guess

This is how the liberals look at their deceptions:


They are only looking to fool about 10% of the population.


I supposed the liberals believe they will get 41% of the people to support them out of party loyalty - some misguided "brand loyalty" because someone's grandparents liked FDR 75 years ago..


So, the liberals are LYING just so they can deceive 10% of the American People.


Because it is CLEAR that wide segments of the American People are just not buying into the garbage the liberals put out all the time.


It is a constant stream - almost as if Ethan and his friends are supplying all the liberals with GARBAGE MACHINES.


Anyway - it is a sad state.


By the way, whatever one may recall about Bill Clinton and his attack after the Oklahoma City bombing, there are important differences. First, there was never a massive smear campaign going on from the left.

The topic was not really discussed widely - it was more like a one-time deal from Clinton.

The other important thing - for Clinton, the attack really didn't work. There was a negative reaction, and Clinton LOST more people than he gained.

Clinton is being praised for moving to the center during that period - however that attack was during that time - quite to the CONTRARY, the negative reaction to Clinton's attack probably convinced him finally to move toward the center.


Obama is messing this whole thing up - he doesn't appear to understand the dynamics of the whole thing.

Obama's do-one-thing and say-another-thing DOESN'T FLY ANYMORE.


The media this morning doesn't get it - the people watching their tvs do.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 13, 2011 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Kevin,

btw, what do you think about my question -- where was Obama during the four-day wilding? Why did he wait until last night to "lead"? Should he be faulted? Should we assume it served his political purposes to let it run wild and then step in as the national healer?

Posted by: quarterback1 | January 13, 2011 9:54 AM | Report abuse

I see the Club of Perpetual Outrage is out in force this morning.

"Oh noes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! There were t-shirts!"

"Oh noes!!!!!!!!!!!!!! People clapped!"

Posted by: schrodingerscat | January 13, 2011 9:56 AM | Report abuse

It's pretty tough for me to find common ground with Grover Norquist, but if conservatives take up the peace mantle, you may see liberals joining the effort. I've been looking into Veterans 4 Peace as a starting off point to protest the war. I think if conservatives make Afghanistan an issue in 2012, democrats will have a tough time.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"Norquist, the spirited leader of the anti-tax wing of the Republican Party, also noted that the cost argument alone is a potent one against the war.

The Congressional Research Service estimates that total Afghan war funding in fiscal year 2011 will hit $119 billion, up from $19 billion in 2006 -- and all that in a country with an annual gross domestic product of less than $12 billion.

Norquist said the question for those who want to reduce government spending is this: "If you don't take $10 billion out of the occupation of Afghanistan, you're going to take it out where?"

He said the debate about the war in Afghanistan should include discussion "about the vast expenditures of cash, the vast expenditures of other people lives, and the opportunity cost" of money and effort that could be expended elsewhere.

"It seems to me that it has been more expensive than not. And it has made America weaker than otherwise," he said.

A recent CNN poll found that while 63 percent of the general public now opposes U.S. involvement, support remains strong -- 52 percent -- among Republicans and Tea Partiers."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/12/norquist-afghanistan-debate-conservative_n_807947.html

Posted by: lmsinca | January 13, 2011 9:57 AM | Report abuse

@Q.B. re; your list of conservatives who help make this blog more informative and entertaining...you said Kevin is getting wish washy but that you'll keep him despite his weakness.

Now is the time to make your move...a trade.
We'll take Kevin for our side in exchange for two posters and of your choice and a pick to be named later...see how much I think of you Kevin we're willing to give up 3 selections for you.

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 13, 2011 9:58 AM | Report abuse

ruk,

"Perfect timing. Sarah gets her fee fees hurt and on the day we going to have a memorial for six dead and more than a dozen wounded we have to hear her list of personal grievances again. She couldn't have the class and decency and political smarts to pick another day...another forum? She couldn't have taken the high ground as suggested by such noted liberals as Pat Buchanon and David Frum?"

Give me a break. Just say you hate her and all she does.

Posted by: quarterback1 | January 13, 2011 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Last night was not a Memorial Service, it was a political rally.


A duck is a duck - and this one actually quacked.


The people in the audience were cheering because they wanted Obama to get a bump in the polls from the killings.

Plain and simple.


The people were showing support for the smear campaign against the Tea Party, and support for Obama who was weathering the backlash. Plain and simple.


EVERYONE IN AMERICA could see that plainly.


Few people watching at home could believe that the White House, which scripts Obama's appearances so carefully, would allow this to go on.


I would say that Obama SEALED his defeat last night.


A Memorial Service is a Memorial Service.


The people watching at home were horrified.


Obama, or any one of his cronies, from Napolitano to Eric Holder - COULD HAVE ASKED THE CROWD TO TONE IT DOWN, AND BE RESPECTFUL OF THE DEAD.


Anyone from Obama's advance staff COULD HAVE MADE THE REQUEST for such an announcement.


Last night WAS A COMPLETE FAILURE OF LEADERSHIP FROM OBAMA AND HIS PEOPLE.


Any other interpretation is simply not acceptable.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 13, 2011 10:00 AM | Report abuse

@lmsinca

I saw that Norquist post yesterday and had the same reaction you did.

There's hope for us peaceniks after all.

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 13, 2011 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Get a good taste of what police-state tactics are being committed on Wikileaks volunteers when they return to US airports...

http://www.boingboing.net/2011/01/12/wikileaks-volunteer-1.html

Posted by: bernielatham | January 13, 2011 10:00 AM | Report abuse

rukidding

Wouldn't you be much wiser to trade for me?

Imagine if I was pro-Obama.

.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 13, 2011 10:02 AM | Report abuse

A few days before this concert they had a real memorial services at a Catholic church. A Rabbi was there and they had 9 little girls who were in Christina’s choir come in and sing Amazing Grace.

That was a respectful Memorial. The families were able to greave and were embraced by those whom really matter.

The sideshow freak-fest must have been a shock to these poor people. I noticed the Husband of Gabby’s was non-plussed during the show. I saw him shake his head a few times, albeit slightly. Guess he didn’t want MSM riding his ass.

God Bless those who have injured and murdered families. They will one day be able to heal from this tragedy and move on with their lives.

I have a feeling Obama and his fools just made a whole batch of new conservatives over that embarrassment of epic proportion.

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | January 13, 2011 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Kevin,

btw, what do you think about my question -- where was Obama during the four-day wilding? Why did he wait until last night to "lead"? Should he be faulted? Should we assume it served his political purposes to let it run wild and then step in as the national healer?

Posted by: quarterback1 | January 13, 2011 9:54 AM | Report abuse

---

I think I'll intercept that throw.

He was at the White House where he participated in a moment of silence. A statement was also released. Had Obama interrupted prime time for a statement from the White House, you would have ripped him for narcissism. The memorial service was the appropriate place for a speech, just as Oklahoma City was the appropriate place 16 years ago and Ground Zero was 8 years ago.

And he returns it for the score!

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | January 13, 2011 10:05 AM | Report abuse

ruk,

Kevin has been getting squishy on taxes and the economy in your absence. Now he's sorta liking Obama a smidge. So he could I could see Rove putting him on the waiver wire. (Just kiddin, Kevin, mostly. ; ))

But I don't see anyone on your team we'd want in trade.

Kevin is probably Greg's mvp, though, I'll concede. When he is around, he tends to smooth out the rough edges a bit.

Posted by: quarterback1 | January 13, 2011 10:05 AM | Report abuse

In one part of Parwan Province, there are 53,000 people and only 44 police. In the back streets of Charikar, it is plain to see that unemployment is a huge issue. In the narrow lanes, there are plenty of men standing around outside mud houses with nothing to do. Unemployment is running at 70% in the province and there are more than 15,000 drug addicts.

"The police don't have enough resources. From the security point of view this location is problematic," said Haji Rohuall, a member of the provincial council. Transferring power to Afghans in six years will be difficult, never mind six months, because our forces are not ready."

Ok, that's it. No more antiwar posts for me today. But this thing is not going to get better. In the only way that matters, it is already over. The Taliban are all around and the only economic activity is opium production.

Posted by: shrink2 | January 13, 2011 10:05 AM | Report abuse

One reason there might be a difference in tone between Obama's and Palin's addresses just MIGHT be due to the fact that Obama hasn't been ceaselessly attacked as being the proximate cause of the tragedy practically from the moment it occurred. Reverse the situation and see if the tone changes.

Posted by: TobyTucker1 | January 13, 2011 10:05 AM | Report abuse

@Q.B. "Give me a break. Just say you hate her and all she does."

Hate is the wrong verb. I also don't even wish to think of her on personal terms so I would even say dislike HER personally comes to mind.

I will candidly say however that YES I can't wait for her to leave the political scene as anything more than a pundit...or is it pundint, sorry Q.B. that was a cheap shot from yesterday I shouldn't have repeated it...in fact while I don't personally like her voice...she is attractive and as someone who has read plenty of prompter in my life I will quickly admit that she is a great teleprompter reader...that is one place where her talent does equal Obama's...I say this sincerely without snark.

But has this moment proved serendipitous for me....yes..yes..yes. I don't hate her.
I just want her to realize her true talents and move into broadcasting...she truly isn't qualified to be an elected leader...again IMHO. If she had done as Karl Rove and others had advised and finsished her term as Governor all the while embarking on a crash course of endless reading to catch up on her educational deficiencies...ahhh but Sarah has made an entirely different bed and now she has to...uh uh..oh no..is it lie or lay in it grammar police?

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 13, 2011 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Terrific: Politico reports that Obama’s remarks about federal judge John Roll undermine federal charges against Loughner for his murder.
http://www.politico.com/blogs/joshgerstein/0111/Obama_speech_undercuts_federal_charge_for_judges_murder.html

*Obamateur*

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | January 13, 2011 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Obama rose to the occasion and judging by the hysteria level from the trolls, he hit it out of the park.

Palin had one last shot at portraying herself as an adult and managed to confirm yet again that she's anything but. More grievances, more playing the victim, more caterwauling.

Members of the House seem honestly chastened.

Hey, Palin supporters, what are you gonna do now? She's left you with NOTHING to work with.

Posted by: caothien9 | January 13, 2011 10:14 AM | Report abuse

FB,

He could easily have included a sober, dignified statement that no one should be rushing to judgment and speculating and recriminating. He could have said that Saturday or in connection with the moment of silence or any other time. Surely his minions and handlers were aware of the mau mauing under way.

But he said nothing about it and let it go on and reach a frenzy. That wasn't leadership.

Posted by: quarterback1 | January 13, 2011 10:14 AM | Report abuse

@mikeinarlington-

Word. Sometimes the relationship is so transparent.

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | January 13, 2011 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Political violence in America. Who profits?

"Political violence in America always has been a matter of great convenience to the people who actually own the country. They don't have to inspire it, or finance it. They can even deplore it. All they really have to do is control the reaction to it — not let it get so wild that it disturbs the stock market and, at the same time, not let the reality of political violence disrupt the anesthetic consensus that swaddles the centers of real power. Thus do we get lone gunmen, and ritualized "healing," and infinite misdirection. Earnest cud-chewing about talk-radio. David Gergen wonders about violence on TV and David Frum talks about marijuana, but nobody asks the old Latin question: Cui bono? Who profits?
There is even a reluctance in the prim and proper precincts of the elite corporate press to call what happened to Gabrielle Giffords an assassination attempt, and to call what Jared Loughner did a political act, because it is not nice to admit how thoroughly ingrained violence has become in our amnesiac American politics, because then we might ask who profits from walking on the fringe...."

http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/political-violence-in-america-4834173#ixzz1Ave66RTA

Posted by: bernielatham | January 13, 2011 10:17 AM | Report abuse

@kaddiffi Q.B. gave you a reference and so I'll try here...:-)

"Terrific: Politico reports that Obama’s remarks about federal judge John Roll undermine federal charges against Loughner for his murder."

Does this make your happy? Terrific? Snark?
Do you REALLY believe that there will be any difficulty prosecuting this guy. I'm not attorney and so I'll defer to Q.B. and especially Mark in Austin who was actually a prosecutor.

What is your point? Surely you already understand that we realize your need to score points against Obama. Why?

Oh btw if you come back with birther crap, or other personal absurdities you get tossed back into the bin with RTF Q.B.'s reference notwithstanding.

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 13, 2011 10:17 AM | Report abuse

"* Tea Partyers against the Afghanistan war: Worth watching: The bipartisan Afghanistan Study Group released a poll this morning finding only 28 percent of Tea Party supporters back keeping current troop levels, while 64 percent want to scale back, another suggestion that there may be space on the right for a 2012 GOP nominee to run against the wary. Also: Is a left-right alliance possible?"

You may wish to read Dan Froomkin's piece in the Huffington Post about how Grover Norquist has come out in favor of a conservative debate on withdrawing most combat forces from Afghanistan, citing Ronald Reagan's withdrawal from Lebanon in the 1980's.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/12/norquist-afghanistan-debate-conservative_n_807947.html

The best case I read on why our current Afghanistan strategy won't work is Matthew P. Hoh's resignation letter from 2009.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/hp/ssi/wpc/ResignationLetter.pdf

I haven't seen anything in the meantime to change my opinion that a strategy of building a strong centralized government in Afghanistan is unlikely to succeed. A better approach was outlined here using a smaller footprint of special forces and abandoning any attempt to create a strong centralized government:

How to win in Afghanistan, one village at a time

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/12/04/AR2009120402608.html

Special Forces Maj. Jim Gant's strategy paper on Afghanistan "One Tribe at a Time".

http://agora.stevenpressfield.com/2009/10/one-tribe-at-a-time-4-the-full-document-at-last/

Posted by: jnc4p | January 13, 2011 10:17 AM | Report abuse

You say pundint, I say corpseman.

Posted by: quarterback1 | January 13, 2011 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Uh Greg, no on the coalition.

The baggers are against AfPak because Obama is running it, and that's as far as it goes. They're nothing more than a negative sign.

Posted by: caothien9 | January 13, 2011 10:20 AM | Report abuse

@RFR "rukidding

Wouldn't you be much wiser to trade for me?

Imagine if I was pro-Obama.

At the risk of offending some of my fellow posters for responding to you RFR I must confess that was amusing...who is your other sock puppet...I forget his name..the one that compliments you on your sense of humor...well finally he has a genuine example of RFR being witty.

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 13, 2011 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Glock sales have skyrocketed in Arizona. Why? Perhaps the demonstrated effectiveness for quickly slaughtering lots of nine year olds?

Posted by: bernielatham | January 13, 2011 10:23 AM | Report abuse

[rukidding7 whined: "What is your point?"]

Politico's point serves to demonstrate my larger point: Your Dear Leader performed (as usual) like an *Obamateur*.

Own him, ruk.

"Politico reports that Obama’s remarks about federal judge John Roll undermine federal charges against Loughner for his murder."
http://www.politico.com/blogs/joshgerstein/0111/Obama_speech_undercuts_federal_charge_for_judges_murder.html

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | January 13, 2011 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Taegan Goddard has a round up of some responses to the 2nd speech yesterday.
http://politicalwire.com/archives/2011/01/12/reactions_to_obamas_speech.html

Here are some of them. Strong stuff. Positive stuff.

Joshua Green: "My own impression is that he provided what had so far been missing from this tragedy: a response that dignified the memories of the victims and properly placed them at the forefront of public attention."

Andrew Sullivan: " I am glad that the president has said we should debate the manifold ways in which we can help prevent this from occurring again; but that we should debate these things in a way that is worthy of the victims, in a way that would make them proud. It's an elegant threading of a very small needle. Watching Christina Green's parents as the president speaks brings home the enormity of this crime. Making her brief nine years of life the focus for hope and inspiration is a lovely peroration."

James Fallows: "The standard comparisons of the past four days have been to Ronald Reagan after the Challenger disaster and Bill Clinton after Oklahoma City. Tonight's speech matched those as a demonstration of "head of state" presence, and far exceeded them as oratory -- while being completely different in tone and nature. They, in retrospect, were mainly -- and effectively -- designed to note tragic loss. Obama turned this into a celebration -- of the people who were killed, of the values they lived by, and of the way their example could bring out the better in all of us and in our country."

Marc Ambinder: "By using the youngest victim of last week's rampage as his focal point, Obama made her America's cause and asked the nation to live lives as compassionate and caring as those felled by the gunman's bullets. Without wading into the who-coarsened-our-culture debate, he overshadowed it with a call to the better angels of our nature."

Garance Franke-Ruta: "President Obama tonight in Arizona not only did what he needed to do, he did what the nation need him to do, which is to let its members -- like members of a dysfunctional family whose brittle cousins spent the last five days snapping at each other -- finally break down and feel, together, what they were really feeling, the full weight of awfulness of the national tragedy and crimes that were committed in Arizona."

Jacob Heilbrunn: "There was a finality to Obama's speech, a lapidary effect that endowed it with humility and gravity. It would be hard to think of a more moving and dignified speech, particularly when set against the foil of Sarah Palin's creepy and self-absorbed effusions earlier today."

David Corn: "President Barack Obama's speech in Tucson was undeniably a high moment of his presidency. But you can judge that for yourself. (As the father of a nine-year-old daughter, I could not imagine delivering such an address--and keeping it together.)"

Posted by: michiganmaine | January 13, 2011 10:25 AM | Report abuse

@shrink2 "A few weeks ago I told you folks you need to wrap your heads around Mitt Romney for President, but did you? No and you still have not. You support Mitt, you always have, he is your choice, get it, got it? None of the rest of the people on your card are electable and you know what that means. Remember the unelectable people you embraced? Republicans need to find a way to like Mitt and soon you will. You will be telling us all about how great he is compared to Obama. Times'a wastin' Republicans. "

I'm telling you, it's going to be Jeb Bush. He's started laying the groundwork by touting the success of his education reforms in Florida.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703860104575508141083798802.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop

http://nationaljournal.com/politics/jeb-bush-calls-for-education-reform-20110103

Posted by: jnc4p | January 13, 2011 10:26 AM | Report abuse

ruk,

I'm so disappointed in the CAPS this year. They started out strong then had some ridiculous losing streaks that should have never happened. I know they had a couple personnel changes but sheesh.

I just hope they can hold things together till the end of the year.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | January 13, 2011 10:26 AM | Report abuse

"He could easily have included a sober, dignified statement that no one should be rushing to judgment "

==

Why not shoot the moon? He could have boiled the whole speech down to "it isn't Palin's fault, quit being mean to her". But he didn't have to, she beat him to it.

Go lick your wounds in private, QB, this public display is embarrassing you.

Posted by: caothien9 | January 13, 2011 10:26 AM | Report abuse

If Barry "Hussein" Soetoro were president during the Civil War, historians would recall The Gettysburg Address as "Gettysburg-apalooza 1863!"

*disgraceful*

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | January 13, 2011 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Meyerson's very smart column yesterday cited American historican Richard Hofstadter. I've recommended various titles and essays from Hofstadter before including the one linked below which Meyerson implicitly referenced. If you haven't yet read "The Paranoid Style in American Politics" you really need to...

http://www.kenrahn.com/jfk/conspiracy_theory/the_paranoid_mentality/the_paranoid_style.html

Posted by: bernielatham | January 13, 2011 10:29 AM | Report abuse

OT: carried over from previous thread (for lmsinca):

@lmsinca: “Can you tell me how to do a blockquote, I think bold is "" "" right?“

Probably. Alas, two-asterisks in a row won't show up if you're running the Troll Hunter. Next version, I think I need to do a |xmp| tag so I can more easily give examples. However, blockquotes are left-smartquotes or curly quotes. That's option-[ on the Mac. On the PC, it may be trickier. I can't test this right now, but according to the web, you would type:

For Windows, use ALT 0147 for the left-curly quote, and you would both open and close your blockquote with ALT 0147.

This is awkward, but I chose that specifically so it still appears as a quote to the outside world, but will rarely overlap with actual quotes in cut-and-pasted text, etc., though I've seen a few overlaps.

Alt 0149 is a bullet (option-8 on the Mac), and that does italics. Alt 0150 is an en-dash, two of which do a strikethru. I figured that wasn't to disruptive to non-Troll Hunter users.

Then two underline, or shift-dash characters should do underline if I remember correctly. And, of course, pipe-hi-colon-myPhrase-pipe will give you highlited text in the latest version.

“BTW, I'm not using a mac. I like the highlight a poster, at first I thought we were going to see other commenters highlights and it was going to be a popularity contest :(“

That would require that I be able to gather data from each Troll Hunter user, which would require some 3rd party website to bounce it all off of. While not impossible, it's more difficult, and would also require that I have a open-to-the-world server to devote to the task, which I don't. And would cost money, which I'm not going to spend. ;)

It's all about allowing you to organize things the way you want, anyway. If I could gather data and share it, I'd send everyone a list of what other Troll Hunter users had refreshed the page within the last 10 minutes or so. But, again, it'd be complicated, add more ms to script execution, and cost a few $$$ for the server. So, that's not gonna happen. ;)

“But now I see we only see the ones we highlight. Good idea for a busy thread.“

That's what I said. :o) And you just click on the name, just the same way, to unhilite 'em. Easy flagging. It's like WaPo sticky flags.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | January 13, 2011 10:35 AM | Report abuse

"Go lick your wounds in private, QB, this public display is embarrassing you."

What happened to Trollhunter?

Colonel Kurtz's remarks would make more sense if he were able to follow an argument. As the PL commenter who has singularly wished for murders, this ghoul must be quite please with the week's news from his former country.

Greg, again the question arises. Why is caothien still here?


Posted by: quarterback1 | January 13, 2011 10:35 AM | Report abuse

@Caothen While I truly admire your intellect and agree with your substance may I respectfully disagree with your style.

You are our Q.B. on the left. You make some great points but sometimes you kick them when they're down.

"Hey, Palin supporters, what are you gonna do now? She's left you with NOTHING to work with."

Alas many of our leaders have feet of clay and when they finally self destruct it disappoints us on both sides of the aisle.
I recall how horribly I felt the day Bill Clinton looked into the camera straight at ME and said "I did not have sex with that woman" Game set match. I really cannot look at Bubba the same way...in fact the dipstick is pretty much a Bubba...very dissapointing to have a Dem Pres so successful and then blow it...pun intended!

Think of all that BJ meant...8 years of G.W. Bush.

And so my feelings toward the Palin supporters...especially those like Clawrence who adore her..are sorry...sh*t happens, she's not really what you had hoped...BUT..look at the good side...if you're honest you'll realize like virtually all of the top R's that S.P. was unelectable in a general election yet posed the danger of getting the nomination.
This has been good for the R party..and it's so far ahead of 2012 that it'll be forgotten by then.
As for Sister Sarah...Don't cry for me America...she will do just fine...she is now free to utilize her real talent...entering the field she actually went to college for preparation...broadcasting.

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 13, 2011 10:35 AM | Report abuse

jnc4p, I'm watching. But he has to run on his record and Florida is an unmitigated disaster. Jeb and Crist were in charge and now, watching this Rick Scott guy flail is going to be ugly, he has no idea how hard it is to do something real, all he knows is mining Medicare. I'll say if Florida makes a comeback that paces the rest of the country this year, I wouldn't rule out Bush III.

Posted by: shrink2 | January 13, 2011 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Recall: There are young adults (taking their cue from real leaders) who know how to act appropriately at a college campus memorial for victims of mass murder.

FLASHBACK: President Bush @ VTech
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=zdvpw86_qkg

In stark contrast, The Obamateur's performance at the Tucson-apolooza was disgraceful.

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | January 13, 2011 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Tomasky on Palin and Obama...

"So, including those two words ensured that the focus would be on that section of the speech, which in turn ensured that the thing that the chatter would be about Palin herself, not about Gabby Giffords or Christina Green or anyone else. Her.

In contrast, read the coverage this morning of the president's speech. It was maybe a good speech, maybe a great one, depending on whom you're reading. But it was not about him. It was about the victims, the heroes and the country. We had one leader yesterday, and one sulker. And I am sure that the sulker will only be reinforced in her sulking - the reaction to her speech is all the fault of the media, etc.

The lack of moral imagination and empathy for people who don't see the world as she does is total and it is stunning."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/michaeltomasky/2011/jan/13/barack-obama-sarahpalin

Posted by: bernielatham | January 13, 2011 10:42 AM | Report abuse

No TH for iCabMobile, the 3rd party browser I use on my Apple devices. So I see some sickles I normally wouldn't.

Honored to be compared to Brando's bravura of Kurtz. I can do the radio snail straight razor soliloquy perfectly but it hurts my throat.

Gratified that a hate-crazed troll wants me banned, must remind myself to keep doing whatever it is I've been.

Wondering how many organizations affiliated. With Palin will be dropping her this week. The dead fish is going away with the flow. Phew.

Posted by: caothien9 | January 13, 2011 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Shrink-
"Absolutely not. Right wing nut bars against the AfPak war are only against it because Obama is for it. Tora Bora was Waterloo for the Bush/Cheney war on terror. So the right is fine with cutting and running now that they can set the blame for the lost cause on Obama."

Right on. So transparent and cynical.

Posted by: ashotinthedark | January 13, 2011 10:43 AM | Report abuse

"The question now is: What comes next, both for his presidency and the country?"

NPR interviewed the mayor of Tucson, a Republican, who came away from the event with a renewed sense of needing to show political leadership in working together to solve problems; he was talking about how perhaps mayors could work together to try to civilly solve problems at that level. Perhaps he'll beat the odds & the entrenched interests that find bickering to be the easier path.

Posted by: bsimon1 | January 13, 2011 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Not kicking when down, ruk, it's a serious question. Palin's true believers are unchanged from a week ago, unchanged in devotion, unchanged in number. What will they base their arguments on now? Her response, even after four days to prepare and sage advice, was pitiable. Six dead, a Congresswoman fighting for her life, but no it's all about Sarah.

What kind of person esteems someone as small as that?

Posted by: caothien9 | January 13, 2011 10:50 AM | Report abuse

bernielatham asks
"Glock sales have skyrocketed in Arizona. Why?"

My guess is people think that weapon will be banned, so are buying them all up while they still can.

Posted by: bsimon1 | January 13, 2011 10:51 AM | Report abuse

@ruk: “You are our Q.B. on the left. You make some great points but sometimes you kick them when they're down.“

QB can definitely be a bit vitriolic, but I'm not sure he's ever said his ideological opposites should be deprived of fresh water, or that liberal politicians, for their crimes against America, should get the gas chamber (yes, I realize he's trying to tweak people like me, but the point remains). If he has, then shame on QB. ;)

“Think of all that BJ meant...8 years of G.W. Bush.“

I really don't think the people cared that much. Maybe they did. But W. won in a coin toss in 2000 . . . and, even so, even if Gore had won, he might have lost in 2004. The longer the incumbent party is in power, especially in regards to the the presidency, the harder it is to win the next election, especially when the person standing for election is of the in-power party, but is not the in-power president.

Even without the BJ, 2000 could have been a coin-toss, and it would not have guaranteed 8 years of Gore. Just sayin' . . .

“S.P. was unelectable in a general election“

As a practical matter, I really don't think there is a such thing as a primary winner being unelectable. In each contest, someone wins and someone loses--do we say John Kerry was unelectable, or that he lost? Palin was electable, especially coming of 2008, but I think she wrote of any real chance of elective office when she resigned the governorship. You don't do that if you have serious designs on the Whitehouse. In my humble opinion.

“This has been good for the R party..and it's so far ahead of 2012 that it'll be forgotten by then.“

Irrelevant. Obama wins unless he faces a credible primary or 3rd party challenger (or ideally, both). Or he intentionally destroys his own presidency, and don't think that's likely. Incumbency is power and Obama presents well and, to political dilettantes, his triangulation and compromise with the Republicans is a positive.

If the economy does better, he's a shoe-in . . . unless he's primaried. Getting attacked from the left and the right could be the one-two punch that renders the power of incumbency meaningless.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | January 13, 2011 10:53 AM | Report abuse

@shrink "jnc4p, I'm watching. But he has to run on his record and Florida is an unmitigated disaster."

As someone who lives directly in the center of the disaster zone I wish I could disagree, but you are largely correct.
As their mother Barbara has "allegedly" thought...Jeb was the "smart" Bush boy.
From my perspective, I've actually met Jeb but not George...can't say I know either...but I'm with Barb and not just as a G.W. hater..IMHO I believe Jeb is the smart one. But while jcnp might be correct Bush is observed pretty neutrally in my state..at least from my anecdotal observation...there will be no groundswell for him as a "favorite son" but he doesn't have Palinesque negatives...so who knows.


As for Scott he is already hitting his first speed bump and it's with his own R's in the state Senate...let me tell you as it's currently constructed the Florida legislature is one of the most conservative in the nation...TOTALLY DOMINATED by the R's and the special interests who pour the money into Tallahassee but Scott is even having problems with them.

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 13, 2011 10:58 AM | Report abuse

@cao: "Gratified that a hate-crazed troll wants me banned, must remind myself to keep doing whatever it is I've been."

Presuming that the "hate-crazed troll" you refer to is QB, he has stated repeatedly that he doesn't want you banned, he just thinks that not banning you, while banning some of RFs personalities and JakeD2 and some other guy that predates me, but not banning you, is inconsistent. This is a challenge to Greg, not a call to ban you. If anything, it's a call to un-ban those others, I think.

You can't have missed the part where he said he doesn't want you banned, or the fact he is asking why you haven't been banned, not agitating for your banishment. At least, I don't think you could have missed it. It's come up on more than one occasion.

That being said, QB is no more a hate-crazed troll than you are. And I don't particularly think either of you are hate-crazed, just a little overly fond of the invective. ;)

QB, please correct me if I'm wrong.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | January 13, 2011 10:59 AM | Report abuse

@cao: “No TH for iCabMobile, the 3rd party browser I use on my Apple devices. So I see some sickles I normally wouldn't.“

I actually think I can get Troll Hunter to work as a module on iCab mobile. Never even really occurred to me. May have to buy a copy to see if I can get it running. It would have to be supported separately, I think, because the initiation is different. No promises (each userscript interpreter is different) but I should be able to get it to work.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | January 13, 2011 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Must post some new graphic hyperbole to be cut&pasted out of context and presented as sincere intent, because Kevin and QB are deeper into reruns than I Love Lucy.

Posted by: caothien9 | January 13, 2011 11:04 AM | Report abuse

No, Kevin, JakeD and 37th are nothing more than deliberate nuisances. You may find some of my colorful language objectionable but I have never in 20 years online set out to be a nuisance.

I don't care to split hairs about QB. He's not worth my time.

Posted by: caothien9 | January 13, 2011 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the Tomasky link, Bernie. I always enjoy his writing so much, but usually forget to check his blog. My favorite part:

"Palin thrives where she can persuade her people that the establishment is against her. Usually that's been the liberal establishment, but in 2011, that's going to be the Republican Party establishment, which wants to block her. Let them see what kind of demagogue they've unleashed. Nothing would be more fitting than for this most expert retailer of conservative victimhood politics to bring down her own party because of it."

Posted by: schrodingerscat | January 13, 2011 11:11 AM | Report abuse

@Kevin As usual I accept your points.
They are cogent and well thought out but I suspect we'll have to agree to disagree about the effects of Bubba's BJ.

Perhaps it's my own personal angst. GW's first term happened to be the last time I voted R remember while I am progressive I am a registered I. Still looking back I have to confess my stupidity...I could never and still cannot get past some arsehole looking me directly in the eye (OK there was a TV Camera between us but I took it VERY personally) and saying "I did not have sex with that woman" Perhaps I place to high a premium on honesty...but I think Clinton's HORRIBLE handling of the Lewinsky matter and specifically that infamous early statement are actually more egregious than Sister Sarah's lack of class and victimization. Yeah I said it...not talking about the BJ itself but the coverup..it was worse than anything Palin has done so far.

I believe I'm not the only one who felt that way and voted R as a result, although perhaps I am the singular idiot (go ahead and hit that one out of the park Q.B.lol)
who did vote because of that.

You accurately point out the power of the incumbency which includes passing a % of the power to your V.P. when he runs. Clinton was such an enormous embarrassment Gore had to stay away and could not really use that power of incumbency..instead walking the incredibly thin line of calling out Clinton for the idiotic fool he had been...or just trying to skirt the issue.

Whatever..when an election is so close it needs to be decided by the Supreme Court IMHO I don't believe it to be a stretch to say if Bubba hadn't gotten the BJ rendering him ineffective as a campaigner (one of his greatest talents which would have certainly been a huge asset for the bland Gore) there would have been a different outcome.

As to your point about 4 years not necessarily leading to 8...yes I could have been more specific. At most we would have only had 4 years of Bush...but those were the critical 4 years. He wasted that period of rapprochement immediately following 9/11 to attack Iraq...would Gore have made the same mistake? Perhaps. Perhaps not.

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 13, 2011 11:13 AM | Report abuse

@cao: “because Kevin and QB are deeper into reruns than I Love Lucy.“

I missed the gas chambers episode of I Love Lucy. That one must've been a laff riot. :P

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | January 13, 2011 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Kadaffi's criticim of Obama undermining the prosecution is really quite sad. The statement by Obama is obviously hearsay and a jury will have to decide whether the Judge was there on official duties or not. I doubt Obama's statement was something that a defense attorney wouldn't have picked up on particularly since the issue determines whether Loughner gets the death penalty or not.

I also find it interesting that QB's criticism of Obama's speech seems to boil down to it being a day or two late. If Palin had adopted Obama's tone, then Obama's delay would have backfired.

Posted by: ashotinthedark | January 13, 2011 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Listening to a Libertarian talk radio guy who can't stand Obama this morning. He did not watch the speech, but read it. He said the speech as written was great and was highly complimentary of what Obama said. Too bad the often raucous audience couldn't tell the difference between a eulogy and a campaign speech.

Agree with RUK that Palin needs to find another calling. She rubs too many people the wrong way, especially women. I agree with talk show host that nominating her for president will absolutely guarantee a second term for Obama.

I really like a guy named Herman Cain who is forming an presidential campaign exploratory committee. A conservative Republican and successful businessman who is a true descendant of American Slavery.

Posted by: actuator | January 13, 2011 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Ruk- So you are enjoying the Steve Yzerman era? I'm glad he's been so successful so quickly, but afraid letting him get away will come back to haunt my beloved Red Wings.

Posted by: ashotinthedark | January 13, 2011 11:20 AM | Report abuse

James Watt went into broadcasting too. For like a week.

RUK, I wasn't paying a lot of attention during BJGate but in general I regard a lie as a fitting answer to prurient curiosity. I'd have preferred he came clean and said "so what."

Disagree it was electorially pivotal for Gore. Gore was a boring speaker, he'd been advised to speak slowly and he was glacial.

Posted by: caothien9 | January 13, 2011 11:24 AM | Report abuse

@ruk: “Yeah I said it...not talking about the BJ itself but the coverup..it was worse than anything Palin has done so far.“

Fair enough, I just don't hold Clinton's behavior in that respect against him. I'm kind of in the "was he doing a good job" camp, and while I wasn't a big fan of selling missile targeting technology to China (and, yes, I recognize this did not happen in a vacuum), elections have consequences, and there you go. Of course, I'm of the opinion that that question should never should have been asked because there shouldn't have been a special prosecutor and sitting presidents should not be under investigations for 20 year old land deals (either do it before he's president, or do it after, or don't do it).

I voted begrudgingly for Bush in 2000 (was really not happy with Gore). Enthusiastically in 2004, in part because he seemed to be on the right path at that time to me, and because Kerry really, really, really rubbed me the wrong way.

Now, Bernie Latham would disagree with me, but I'm often in the Simpson's camp and consider Jimmy Carter history's greatest monster (just joking--but, I don't care for him), but I think Clinton has, most of the time, been an exemplary former president. And, if anything, he seems more serious about policy solutions now than he did when he was president. Did you catch him on the Daily Show?

Look into your heart, Ruk. Forgive the Bubba.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | January 13, 2011 11:29 AM | Report abuse

@cao: "No, Kevin, JakeD and 37th are nothing more than deliberate nuisances."

Well, it's probably not your intention, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't Jake's intention, either. RainForest . . . well, okay, that's performance art.

"You may find some of my colorful language objectionable but I have never in 20 years online set out to be a nuisance."

Okee-dokee. I guess I'll have to take your word on that. ;)

"I don't care to split hairs about QB. He's not worth my time."

Well, he apparently was when you first said the hate-filled troll thing and how you were doing the right thing, so when I replied to that, he was still worth your time, but now that he's not, we'll just table the topic, what say?

Looking into that iCab thing, BTW.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | January 13, 2011 11:32 AM | Report abuse

@cao: “RUK, I wasn't paying a lot of attention during BJGate but in general I regard a lie as a fitting answer to prurient curiosity. I'd have preferred he came clean and said "so what."“

Well, the question shouldn't have been asked, anyway. Ken Starr had a blank check to prosecute Clinton for whatever was convenient, which was, in my opinion, a horrendous precedent. What does fooling around with Monica Lewinski have to do with Whitewater? Nothing. At all.

And while I'm sure there was something shady about Whitewater, it was a real estate transaction involving politicians and lawyers. I'm pretty sure those are always kind of shady. Not that Clinton should have been immune from accountability for any involvement, but the time for that was, say, maybe before 20 years had passed, or after he was done being president. Fishing expeditions for anything and everything to disrupt a sitting president also struck me as a very bad idea.

And I agree that Gore's popular vote victory, but loss of the electoral vote, was not due to Clinton. Gore had his own issues as a campaigner (the eye-rolling and sighing debate--oh, my gosh). And, he almost certainly would have won decisively if not for Nader.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | January 13, 2011 11:42 AM | Report abuse

"But it was not about him."

Yes, and as someone at Powerline pointed out, that's what made O's speech different from every other one he's ever given. For once it wasn't all about him. He wasn't the culmination of American and world history, apotheosis of all goodness and justice, over-man. But then he had let his mob of bad cops have their run since Saturday. It was the perfect political play for him.

And, as I noted earlier, these comparisons by the likes of Tomasky are jackassery, since it was jackasses like Tomasky who spent the previous four days "making it all about" Palin and shrieking for her to respond. When she did it was too early, too late, too hot, too cold, too about her, too rehearsed, not polished and gracefully enough, blah blah.

I know bernie can't be this dumb, so he and the rest obviously continue to operate in bad faith.

This has, appropriately, blown up in the left's face. Joseph Conrad wrote more than one novel foretelling the modern left.

Kevin, yes, you're correct. I don't advocate Colonel Kurtz's banning, and I don't even expect Greg to fess up and unban anyone. I'm just putting the question to him, especially in light of his obviously insincere preachment on Sunday about the need to police our rhetoric.

As for comparing me to Colonel Kurtz, at that I do take offense. If you (or ruk -- I know he wasn't here) had read all his crazed imprecations and wishes for liquidation of capitalist and conservative enemies, and his rashes of vulgarity, etc., I don't think you would make that comparison.

You note he alternates between saying he ignores me and I'm not worth his time (his time being worth 0) and launching errant insults at me. He really didn't like having his ignorance of matters like Soviet history exposed. He's still sore about it. And, Kevin, he is very much hate-driven. Folks like ruk, clearly not. Colonel Kurtz, clearly so. Look up tao's judgments pronounced on him if you think I'm to vitriolic a source.

Posted by: quarterback1 | January 13, 2011 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Well, it looks like the right wing nutbags are working overtime here an wasting bandwidth to spew their usual garbage. Apparently, they didn't hear even one word that the President said last night.

Posted by: bonncaruso | January 13, 2011 12:17 PM | Report abuse

@qb: “As for comparing me to Colonel Kurtz, at that I do take offense. If you (or ruk -- I know he wasn't here) had read all his crazed imprecations and wishes for liquidation of capitalist and conservative enemies, and his rashes of vulgarity, etc., I don't think you would make that comparison.“

Well, all our experiences are slices of events, never the entirety. I would not be surprised to find I missed something. At the same time, he thinks you are somehow a hate-filled troll, based on your behavior, and I find that ironic, based on his behavior. I'm not trying to make a 1:1 comparison, although it seems Cao has been relatively subdued recently, and if I were to compare the postings of you both over the past 24 hours, you might both reasonably seem to be obverse sides of the same coin. Over a long term, no. As I noted, I don't recall you wishing to deprive your political opponents of fresh water. :)

“And, Kevin, he is very much hate-driven.“

I agree, it would seem so on the surface, but I'm getting the impression he doesn't see it that way. So the dichotomy becomes interesting, to me, so I try not to rush to judgement, for myself.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | January 13, 2011 12:59 PM | Report abuse

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