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View Diary: Throw the Bums Out - Part 2 (192 comments)

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  •  And, my friend, if we don't win in November? (17+ / 0-)

    If Democrats only increase in the Senate to, say, 47 or 48 seats? And the margin in the House is tightened, but the Republicans maintain the majority?

    Then what, for Iraq?

    We have long and respectfully disagreed on this, Armando. Originally your idea was that this summer was the time for the Democrats to come forth with their Iraq plan. Now, you say, that plan must await a Democratic victory in November.

    The polls say a very large margin of voters want Congress controlled by Democrats. But, as we know from the past, voters often say they don't like what Congress is doing, but they're OK with what their Congresscritter is doing.

    I say it's taking one helluva big chance for the Democrats to depend for victory on keeping the Iraq albatross stapled around Republican necks if they are completely unwilling to offer some alternative. The majority of Americans believe Iraq is a lost cause. Democrats won't be telling them anything they don't already know by telling them it's time to stop sending good money after bad in that war, time to stop the pretense that if just another thousand or Americans are killed, and few thousand more are wounded that it can be turned around.

    I think a Democratic victory in November may well depend on putting forth a reasonable exit strategy. Those of us who walk the precincts hear a lot about how bad the Republicans are. But we also hear: What is the Democratic alternative? If our reply is, trust us, wait and see, give us a victory and you'll find out, a lot of doors get closed in our faces.

    •  No (0+ / 0-)

      I am fine with  running on it starting this summer.

      But the pan won;t be implemented unti AFTER Dems win.

      •  I'm confused. On the one hand ... (7+ / 0-) say  We're truly fucked. But it is not an easy thing to say or write in this New McCarthyite nation. And it is not an electoral winner right NOW. ... Don't buy the nonsense that Dems must have a plan, and on the other you think it's "fine" to have a plan?

        Of course, Dems cannot implement a plan unless we win. My point is, if we don't have a plan, we reduce our chances of winning. (And, yes, I obviously realize how tough it is for us to agree on a plan - since I can't even convince you (and other Kossacks).

        I agree with "Rubber Stamp Republicans" and "Throw the Bums Out." Finally, we get some slogans to match GOP spinners tarring of Dems in phrases like "tax and spend"  and "acid, amnesty and abortion." And, of course, you and I agree down to the nanopoint about how truly dreadful the Republicans are.

        But I greatly fear a campaign - especially in a non-presidential year - that depends for victory solely on the Republicans being major screwups. Will Katrina, Iraq, NSA spying, torture, GOP corruption and all the rest be enough to win without a positive message alongside? I am doubtful.

        •  Read the cite from McClatchy (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          "By this summer"

          The point is to let the voters know in NOVEMBER when they can do something about it.

          Anytoime before that is fine. I think today is a time to blast the Rubber Stamp Repubicans.

        •  Actually I left out the quote (5+ / 0-)

          "We helped make this mess; we have a moral obligation to try to leave Iraq in one piece. It is not an endless obligation, though. By the summer, it should be apparent whether Iraqi leaders can form a unity government that shuns violence.”

          Maybe now you see my point.

        •  the problem is that any plan (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Meteor Blades, LeftHandedMan, srkp23, JanL

          based in any part in reality is going to be a real fucking bummer. here's david mack quoted in today's san francisco chronicle:

          David Mack, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Arab Emirates and one of the organizers of a pre-war State Department study on how to rebuild Iraq, which he says was largely ignored by the administration, said victory now may mean little more than avoiding the worst.

          "Americans would like to think that for all we've done, we should have gotten something really good for our efforts," he said. "We just have to accept that we are not going be happy with the outcome. In fact, nobody over there in the region is viewing any of this as being positive."

          Mack added, "Did I imagine when we went in things would become this bad? No, I never envisioned we'd have this disaster."

          any plan put forth by dems is going to be a major buzzkill for mostr americans. we like to think that we always win, even if we have to send in chuck norris 15 years after the fact to win it on basic cable. any plan we submit that doesn't come right out and say "this country fucked up and the situation is long past lost" will be a lie.

          meanwhile you'll have the GOoPer warbots offering, well, lies only they'll be more slightly hopeful lies, ones that show us winning on a last second fieldgoal or some other such nonsense.

          what scares me is that many people will grasp at fading hope wrapped in bullshit before they accept that any chance of achieving what most folks hoped for in iraq is lost. hell, it's been lost for years. the jig is up and the pooch is screwed and we all will be paying for it in more ways than one for the rest of our lives.

          not exactly a message of hope.

          "after the Rapture, we get all their shit"

          now rocking the UK. check out An Angry Yank in Kent, yo.

          by lipris on Sun Mar 19, 2006 at 11:07:25 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Agreed. And I sure wish large numbers ... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            lipris, LeftHandedMan

            ...of elected Dems could say right now "We told you so." Unfortunately, a lot of them can't. Now, we as Dems need to tell the truth - the unvarnished, nasty truth: The political and military situation in Iraq has gotten worse and worse over the past three years. Chaos is spreading. Hatred of Americans is spreading. Keeping our troops in Iraq for another three years will not make the situation better.

            •  exactly (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              the nation needs to be told the truth and then blame for this colossal tragedy needs to be firmly and forever fixed upon those that insisted on this needless war and insisted doing it their way from top to bottom.

              doing anything else is patently dishonest and, goddammit, the nation has been lied to for long enough.

              we need more murthas and maybe a tsongas or two.

              "after the Rapture, we get all their shit"

              now rocking the UK. check out An Angry Yank in Kent, yo.

              by lipris on Sun Mar 19, 2006 at 11:44:13 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  MB, what do you think will be the impact (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              on the existing hatred for America if we get out now and, basically, leave then hanging with a civil war in place? I believe this will only increase the hatred but I'd love to hear your thoughts.

              What a fucking mess Bushco has created!

              •  Damned if we do, damned if don't ... (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Peanut, lipris, maxschell, Truza

                ...and, unfortunately for the Iraqi people, damned for them, too. If we stay it gets worse; if we leave, it gets worse. But if we stay, the chances of things getting better at some future time are, imo, lessened.

                See this from today's Financial Times:

                “But Iraq’s politicians are indulging in petty theatrics and short-term advantages while the country is ripping itself to pieces,” he says. “What this leads to is something that could be worse than a civil war, it could be violent anarchy, with islands of comparative stability scattered across the country in a sea of violence.”

                U.S. policy has created exactly what we were falsely told Iraq was before the war: a base for radicals to launch terror attacks throughout the region and beyond. We are far worse off in securing our national security than we were on March 20, 2003. And we've put millions of other people at risk, too. America looks weak because it can't stop the fighting in Iraq; it will look weak if it leaves. And there's no greater hatred in the world than that for a bully who is perceived to be vulnerable.

                It seems to me clear the Kurds will break off if civil war can't be stopped - and stopping it seems pretty unlikely at the moment. Such a separation, which is de facto already, may well generate a regional war: 5 million Kurds in Iran; perhaps 14 million Turkey; 2 million in Syria; 5 million in Iraq.

                How Iraq turns out depends, in great part, I think, on whether there is any hope that the international community can intervene in a meaningful way. I don't think we can expect much from the United Nations, and the same goes for, say, the Arab League. So I am not hopeful.

                If Democrats do not speak up loudly in opposition, and they are not doing so now, the Administration may
                very well make matters even worse with an assault on Iran. Instead of reducing the chances that Tehran will get the Bomb, the chances for a spreading threat to international security, an attack is likely to heighten the threat and spur the Iranians to deploy some of those America-haters in acts that will make 9-11 look like a playground skirmish.

                •  Yes. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  The Bush/neocon plan for the Middle East is massive destabilization and destruction for the next 20-50 years.

                  This will finance the defense contractors and feed money to their Republican appartchniks.

                  U.S. Treasury => Defense contractors => Republicans

                  Their plan is to destroy the Middle East to save it.

                  Added bonus: they get rich and consolidate power at the same time.

                •  Thanks MB (0+ / 0-)

                  ... spur the Iranians to deploy some of those America-haters in acts that will make 9-11 look like a playground skirmish.

                  So freaking scary! I'm not hopeful on the Int'l community stepping into Iraq either. I think the Iraquis are fucked either way and they will always blame us.

                  I'm going to have to dust off my Venezuelan passport and start traveling with it. Yeah, yeah, I know, I only wish it was snark. :-)

            •  Message: BushCo had EVERY tool at its disposal (6+ / 0-)

              ... and frittered it away with recklessness, arrogance and ABUSES OF POWER. You can't ask for more support than this administration had, and look at how badly they screwed things up. Even Dem-unfriendly media can't ignore what's on the public record.
              All this GOP-generated crap about the Dems having "no plan" is ridiculous: the Dems need to say, "We can't start repairing THIS MESS unless there is a full and complete accounting." It's not an I Told You So, it's not playing into the usual GOP strategy of kicking up dust over its latest pile'o'poo and pretending someone else did it.
              It's sane, reasonable, and already rumbling through the public.
              The Bush administration used their power and opportunities to reward cronies, put Party before Country, pander to extremists, fatten the top 1% -- ALL IN A TIME OF WAR.
              Bush and Cheney spent nearly half their time fundraising, living large with cronies, and going after personal enemies. Everyone sacrificed BUT THE GOP ELITE.
              The administration and DoD used counterterrorism and military strategies NOT to ensure security but to inflate poll numbers, fundraise, go after political enemies and to cover up past incompetence. The public record is too replete examples of these arrogant abuses of power to ignore for even the staunchest defenders of the Worst. Administration. Ever.
              MAKE THEM DEFEND THEIR WRONGNESS -- they can't.

              napoli: To brutalize, rape, sodomize a young, religious virgin

              by Peanut on Sun Mar 19, 2006 at 12:24:02 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  Rapture-Spin to blame God for Global Warming (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            many green, yellow, blue and now purple dogs are a majority.

            by Prove Our Democracy with Paper Ballots on Sun Mar 19, 2006 at 11:58:30 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  The Dems have the resources to fight and win (5+ / 0-)

          If they choose to. I agree that any small gains Dems might make by being passive won't be enough to reverse this downward reel and start repairing this mess.
          I wish they'd stop taking cues/warnings from LuntzRove. They'll fail with this strategy of indulging, even with silence, the GOP's "Stay the Wrong Course" CW which conveniently dismisses their own appalling wrongdoing by pretending it's necessary for security. (They were WRONG then, have been WRONG all along and they want to continue being WRONG -- why on earth would the Dems want to be a distaff version of that?)
          Dems are deluded to think there's anything to be gained by "working" with the GOP -- who will smear and blame them no matter what Dems do -- than by holding them to account and speaking frankly and boldly to the public, as Feingold is doing.
          Big-D needs to pound a message about restoring real checks and balances to government. They need to remind people about the merits of having a TOUGH and FEARLESS Congress that will do its job of sane oversight rather than rubber stamp appointments for incompetent cronies or pander to fanatical religious extremists.
          This smacks down the usual GOP whines about partisanship or "obstruction" -- we're talking after all about a GOP House, Senate, Judiciary, GOP-stoking media etc.
          That dovetails with each candidate's campaign whether s/he wants to focus on Iraq or domestic issues pertaining to his/her district. (I'm mystified at why this isn't an umbrella message.)
          Still have my fingers crossed about Impeachment, though.

          napoli: To brutalize, rape, sodomize a young, religious virgin

          by Peanut on Sun Mar 19, 2006 at 11:27:29 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Nothing Can Change While Republicans Rubber Stamp (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Peanut, greenearth

          all of Bush's failed policies.

          There are no good American solutions to Iraq. The future of that country will really be determined by the Iraqis. The longer we continue to say that we will stay indefinitely, the longer we shelter their government and their people from taking responsibility for their future. We may have started this nightmare but unfortunately we can not end it.

          While the Republicans are in power and rubber stamping Bush's policies, there will never be a meaningful debate of alternative solutions or developing an exit strategy.

      •  Global Warming most important, not war, terrorism (0+ / 0-)

        The Democratic Party is going to have to tell the truth about global warming and try to do something to help us all, everyone save ourselves and turn this around, if still even possible. We have to try even at this late date. It is too depressing otherwise. What do we tell your kids? Why did we allow the silencing of experts in science and the insurance industry who could have been helping all along?

        Forecast for this upcoming Hurricane season: the same or worse than last year. Brace yourselves people, this is the biggest thing to fear, not the war, not terrorism, not even scary Bush.

        But, because Bush is part of the problem for avoiding the problem and solutions, this upcoming Hurricane season with him is very scary. Bush has the power to take us all down with him with global warming.

        But, Bush can't be having much fun anymore. I sometimes wonder if he would consider stepping down before this upcoming Hurricane season--to step down before Hurricane season and before the Ohio trial in September (?) brought by Libertarians and Greens that would count the paper ballots that will show the one-sided manipulations that occurred in 2004.

        What will Bush do then? Is that what the 4 million capacity Halliburton prison building is all about? Is funding a private company, Blackwater, to own and operate by this December surveillance blimps with payloads here in the U.S. part of his plan to save who?

        Can't we ask him to step down now, before Hurricane season, to save ourselves.

        Or, would paying him money to leave actually work? George HW Bush talk to your son. Any better ideas from Good Steward Republicans to save us all?


        The Weather Makers: How Man Is Changing the Climate and What It Means for Life on Earth
        by Tim Flannery

        Terrorists, as we noted last week, aren't likely to do nearly the harm to the inhabitants of earth -- us -- as our destruction of the environment will.
        Jared Diamond, who knows a thing or two about how external factors can cause the downfall of civilizations, says of "The Weather Makers," "At last, here is a clear and readable account of the most controversial issues facing everyone in the world today." No, he isn't speaking of the Bush/Cheney diversionary "war on terror"; Diamond is talking about something far more potentially destructive -- the lethal payback an environment gone awry is likely to give us.

        This is why we should be setting up a crisis world task force, if there is still time. But, if you have non-reality-based Republicans (George Bush, and most Republican Senators all deny global warming) running the only superpower on earth, our descent into ecological destruction is accelerating, not increasing.

        A recent newspaper review noted: "Last month, Canadian scientists reported some scary news from the Arctic. Each year, sea ice cover is shrinking by nearly 30,000 square miles -- an area larger than Lake Michigan. Within 15 years, the Arctic could be ice-free in the summer for the first time in more than 1 million years....

        In a nation where fear mongers have played us like a fiddle, the "Weather Makers" details that they -- the global reality deniers -- are exacerbating the problem that could devastate not just America, but the entire earth.

        At one time, championing the environment was as American as apple pie in the United States. But due to a combination of Armageddon "It's All Going to End" right-wing religious fanaticism and "K Street" lobbying success with both parties, we find ourselves facing a ruinous future that few on Capitol Hill want to talk about. The White House is in deep, greedy denial -- and doing everything possible to prevent the likely catastrophe from becoming the subject of political debate.


        Will the Democratic Party problem solve to mitigate global warming? For all of our kids--regardless of party. Say

        A great new resource for information:


        JAMES LEE WITT, National Co-Chair
        Former Director, Federal Emergency Management Agency
        Chief Executive Officer, International Code Council

        ADMIRAL JAMES M. LOY, National Co-Chair
        Former Deputy Secretary, Department of Homeland Security
        Commandant, U.S. Coast Guard (Retired)

        Their mission is to raise awareness, educate the public and policymakers, and offer solutions that will better prepare and protect America from major catastrophe in a sensible, cost-effective fashion.

        many green, yellow, blue and now purple dogs are a majority.

        by Prove Our Democracy with Paper Ballots on Sun Mar 19, 2006 at 11:56:35 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  if that happens (0+ / 0-)

      -6.63, -3.59 If we shall fail to defend the Constitution, I shall fail in the attempt.

      by spoon or no spoon on Sun Mar 19, 2006 at 10:47:47 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I thought the Dem slogan in 2004 (6+ / 0-)

      was largely "Throw the BUM Out".  It didn't get us very far and it certainly didn't help me when I had at least a few life-long Republicans considering voting Dem.  I just didn't have a thing to tell them about Kerry's position that would have filled the void that they believed would have been created.

      I think it is important to consider the void mostly because a lot of voters - even the less sophisticated ones - will be able to recognize that a change can create a void.  They want to know what will happen if the situation is changed.  They want to be able to asess if it will be better or now.

      Throw the Bums out is cool for us here because we are the choir.  My friends who are trying to figure out what to do this round because they are so pissed now they can't stand it keep asking me why there is no Democratic plan that they can take a look at.  They are sincere and I don't think they are wrong in wanting to know either.  I'd sort of like to know that what I'm signing onto is something I could support too.

    •  Don't give them a target (2+ / 0-)

      Our plan has to be getting the troops out as soon as possible.  I think it's useful to be vague about that, at least until just before the election.

      I've read that Newt's Contract with America came out less than six weeks before the 1994 election, when the Republican wave was already obvious.  He then claimed a mandate for his last-minute agenda.  

      It's an useful model for us this year.  This election should be about Republicans.  "Throw the Bums Out," while nonspecific, at least doesn't paint a bullseye on the donkey's forehead.  Being vague and castigating Republicans should serve us well this year.  We can afford to only highlight issues early that make us look better:  corruption and election reform come immediately to mind.

      -4.50, -5.85 Lies are the new Truth.

      by Dallasdoc on Sun Mar 19, 2006 at 10:48:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Some vagueness I can handle ... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LeftHandedMan, srkp23, jorndorff

        ...But may I suggest that total invisibility on an alternative policy will harm us?

        •  I agree with you there (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Meteor Blades, LeftHandedMan, vcmvo2

          But the problem, as ever with Democrats, isn't total invisibility but total chaos.  We have a range from the get-out-now faction to the DLCers.  I'd love to see a consensus develop somewhere in the neighborhood of Murtha's proposal, which would get us out of the line of fire and provide some (at least) tacit support from the military.

          A general impression of what Democrats favor is all we need to provide.  We won't get to implement an agenda until 2008, at the earliest.  

          One bright line:  NO WAR WITH IRAN.  One historic catastrophe per president ought to be enough.

          -4.50, -5.85 Lies are the new Truth.

          by Dallasdoc on Sun Mar 19, 2006 at 11:01:41 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Trouble is, the Dems aren't putting ... (7+ / 0-)

            ...up a bright line on Iran.

            My view is that, in addition to having an exit strategy, the Dems could do themselves a world of good if they would pound really hard on how veterans - or Iraq and other wars - are being badly treated by this Administration.

            •  If only we had Dems with spines (4+ / 0-)

              Full agreement on both your points.  Veterans' issues, and the support of military families, are ripe for the plucking.  Vets know how crappy the system has become under Bush, and remember the improvements in the Clinton years.

              -4.50, -5.85 Lies are the new Truth.

              by Dallasdoc on Sun Mar 19, 2006 at 11:17:31 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Not as bad as all that (0+ / 0-)

                I agree completely that our party leaders could be doing a lot more to take veterans' issues.  All reports are that these programs are just disasters.  

                However, I also believe that at the grassroots level, we've got more energy, more organization and more action than we've had as a party in a long time.  This energy, if properly utilized, will do what no paper agenda could accomplish, it is an agenda of spirit that will take back the nation.  I feel it, in just a few short months, we will control Congress and hold those criminals accountable for what they've done.

        •  i agree (0+ / 0-)

          but i probably don't agree with you about iraq.

          but i will concede that america at large is incapable of cognitively understanding anythint at all in between....

          cut and run.


          stay the course.

          so if dems want to set themselves apart from repugs they will have to unite behind an anti-war agenda.

        •  kind of like (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          the Dem deer-in-the-headlights/lack of response to the censure motion hurts Dems overall.

          "Why can't you and the idea of separation of powers just hug it out, bitch?" Wonkette

          by Hollywood Liberal on Sun Mar 19, 2006 at 11:03:18 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Strategically (0+ / 0-)

          it makes sense to have a policy alternative defining the Dems' view as well as the 'throw the bums out' approach. It shows that Dems are serious about leading and governing with ready definable alternatives and that they're not relying on one tack to be a silver bullet in convincing voters to support them. Will voters support an uncertain majority over a corrupt, incompetent and dishonest one? I wouldn't rely on that assumption.

          As for Iraq plans, I surely hope there are behind the scenes talks on the issue among Dem. leaders. It's the #1 issue and they can't simply rely on faith that voters will choose whatever is behind door #2 over the current failure. (Plus, a future Dem. majority would force a consensus anyway. Why not strategize now and capitalize on it by solidifying your message before the mid-terms?)

          Everything in the throw the bums out approach is absolutely true, but it doesn't tell voters anything more about the people saying it and how they would do better. I can say the Yankees are terrible wankers but that doesn't mean I can play baseball worth a damn.

          'You can't begin to imagine how effective the Big Lie is.' N. Mailer 'TNatD'

          by jorndorff on Sun Mar 19, 2006 at 12:24:30 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Avoid the Trap (0+ / 0-)

            We can't allow our message to get bogged down in policy semantics.  Yes, the GOP in 1994 outlined the contract, but it was it stood for, not what it was, that made the difference.

            What could better define what we stand for, than that we will no longer tolerate their corruption?  It's about trust, it's about making a government worth believing in again.  Step one has to be throwing those bums out.

            The majority of people didn't agree with that idiot we've got now, but they elected him.  Why?  Because, they thought, whether i agree or disagree with him on this issue or that issue, i'll know where stands and blah blah blah.

            We need to do the same thing, only better.  Throw those bums out.  Build a Government Worth Believing In.

            To use your baseball team analogy...bottom of the ninth...bases loaded...the situation doesn't get any  more important...this is not the time to bunt with bland policies and talking points; this is the time to point your bat towards the outfield wall and then swing for the fences.

    •  Trust us; wait and see... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LeftHandedMan, jorndorff, greenearth

      Are you kidding, Armando?

      You are exactly right, Meteor Blades!  The trust that this diary asks for doesn’t fit any definition of trust that I can find:

      • a firm belief in the reliability or truth or strength, etc. of a person
      • the state of being relied on
      • confident expectation
      • a thing or person committed to one’s care

      In fact, the general Democratic response to most of the madness of the Bush administration has consistently betrayed any of the values that I associate with the Democratic Party.  

      Read what House Democrats say about Iraq:

      Democrats continue to support an ongoing, strong American commitment to ensuring a peaceful and stable Iraq. It is in the interests of the United States that a stable, democratic, and unified Iraq emerges in the Middle East, the U.S. must continue to work closely with the new Iraqi government to achieve success.

      Link to original.

      Doesn’t this sound just like a passage from a Bush speech?

      This kind of bland alternative doesn’t elicit votes, nor does it suggest that something better will follow if Democrats are elected.  

      One other thing, to call “checks and balances” a substantive issue and Iraq merely a “political issue” is exactly what is wrong with the political scene today, be it in DC or DKos.  Iraq is a humanitarian issue, a moral issue, an issue related to the rule of law, a geopolitical issue that trickles down right into my neighborhood, and on and on.  Neighborhood?  Yes—a former student at the school where I teach was killed in Iraq last year.  If those aren’t issues of substance, then what is?  

      If checks and balances is the issue of substance, then the Democrats can’t even muster the courage to do the right thing on that.  Witness the slowness of the Democratic response to Feingold’s boldness.

      So, with the strategy you advocate, we wait on the Republicans to implode.  Maybe they will.  Maybe we will win.  Then what?  Where, Armando, is the “then what?”  

      I do not trust a Democrat who cannot find the courage to openly criticize and take a proactive Out-of Iraq-Now position on the illegal and immoral war on (and occupation of) Iraq after all that has been learned.

      I am not alone.  Witness the emergence of sites such as this--Voters for Peace.  They are urging people to make this pledge:

      I will not vote for or support any candidate for Congress or President who does not make a speedy end to the war in Iraq, and preventing any future war of aggression, a public position in his or her campaign.

      Seems reasonable to me.  And trustworthy.

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