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Reuters, earlier today:

Nov 18 (Reuters) - Fighting a decline in public support for the Iraq war and his own leadership, U.S. President George W. Bush and Republican allies have chosen to court his political base with a campaign-style offensive against Democrats.

The Republican National Committee on Friday unveiled a new television advertisement accusing Senate Democrats of dishonesty for turning against a war they originally supported, although polls show the broad U.S. public following a similar track from support to disillusionment.

It was the latest volley in an offensive Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney launched last week to attack war critics as unpatriotic and hypocritical.

The following is merely a small, niggling detail, but it struck me as one of those minor moments that could presage something bigger. Or maybe it is simply a minor scene in a minor play... I honestly don't know. But I had to watch it three times, just to make sure I was not misinterpreting, because it was just so... odd. I'm certainly a close follower of what people have to say, but in politics, how they say it is often the more striking clue to what will come next.

On Countdown tonight, Newsweek's Howard Fineman was tapped with commenting on the Republican attack on Murtha, which has now devolved into Republicans asserting they will launch an ethics probe of Murtha in explicit retaliation for his stance on the Iraq War. Fineman is a frequent guest on the program, an expert commentator, a solid reporter, and usually meets the challenge with the same plays of detached though good-natured bemusement that most reporters choose for such occasions. Punditry has to be light, it seems, to make up for the subject matter.

But this time around, on the heels of a report on the Iraq War debate in the House, Fineman was somewhere between somber and simmering, from the first moment of the interview to the last. Professional, yes, but the raw darkness of the mood was striking.

Fineman was remarkably blunt in his assertions that the "ethics" and other attacks on Murtha are being orchestrated by Karl Rove -- by name -- and the White House, which intends to hit Murtha with everything "necessary". He stated directly that the White House sees everything as a political operation. He was blunt in Murtha's record and leadership position in the war, and in attributing to Murtha the behind-the-scenes voices of many top Pentagon voices who are unhappy with both the state of the war effort and with Rumsfeld's planning in the specific.

In short, he made it perfectly, bitterly clear that the White House itself sees Murtha as a tremendous threat, considers itself at war with Murtha, and that Rove -- again, by name -- intends to hit him with everything at the administration's disposal.

And without betraying any secrets of the Washington press corps, I'd have to say that Fineman, for one, met the airways today genuinely either angry or disgusted with the effort.

I encourage you to seek out a transcript, tomorrow, when it becomes available, but the transcript won't quite do the mood of the moment justice. It will be interesting to see if anyone else in comments or around the blogs had the same reaction.

There is something different in the air, the past few weeks.  Murtha has managed to tap a tuning fork that the whole war sounds off of -- one I'm not sure he ever intended to find. The Libby indictments were the opening strain, but rather than fading out, the Fitzgerald investigation has continued to dog the administration, and threatens at any moment to break into entirely new revelations. Against that background, the White House is both furious, defensive and distracted; the House is, as we saw tonight, nearly dysfunctional in a new tainted-DeLay environment, and the press itself is, well... hmm.

The press isn't having fun anymore.

The battles are too acrimonious even for good television. The stakes, when even vaunted idols like Bob Woodward are finding themselves dashed upon the rocks, are getting too personal, and too close to home. And in cases like Fineman's, I have to wonder if what I am positive I saw, tonight, I actually saw: a man calling the White House out, rather directly. A man who was no more impressed with the attacks upon Murtha than anyone else watching, to the point where it shifted the tone of the debate, because a lighter tone, in this particular case, simply could not be conscripted.

Whether or not Karl Rove survives the excesses of being Karl Rove, I have to wonder if the same crass, one-note song will play, or if the audience has changed. When the only weapon the White House is capable of using is to impugn the very patriotism and Americanness of their opponents, what happens if the reactions to that attack change?

What happens if the press decides that dissent is, after all, patriotic? And is it happening, just the twinges, because of the utter collapse of the poll numbers, because of the Plame indictment(s?), because of the continuing quagmire of the war, because of the 2,000 deaths mark, because of the other Republican investigations and indictments, seemingly raining down like hailstones anywhere Abramoff has brushed up against the woodwork of power, and/or simply because of the continuing Republican political schtick that works so well for dismissing a minority, but considerably less well when you are calling sixty percent of the country traitors for not dancing to the tune?

I'll be honest with you. Some days, I don't like blogging. A quick look around the blogs will show idiot upon idiot upon blowhard upon liar upon racist upon CLAP LOUDER upon fool, stacked like cordwood at every IP address in use. Republican divinations of the Fitzgerald investigation -- which roundly expected Fitzgerald to indict Wilson, in a fever dream of antilogic -- were long ago enough to convince me that the value of internet punditry is worth far less than the collective electrons that contain it.

So I don't know if I really see, tonight, what I think I see, or if it is only a vapor. But I know there's... something... there. Tonight was, all told, a very good night for the Democrats, if for no other reason than the same Republican skirmish led, this time, to a very different result -- perhaps solely due to the shocking, belligerent, over-the-top crassness of the language directed towards Murtha by the newest House self-proclaimed expert on patriotism and sacrifice, perhaps not. I am disheartened that we are no closer, after these years, to either achieving basic accountability for the war, or even being able to ask the questions without a sea of Republicans chewing the flag in partisan protest. I am disheartened, further, that we seem to be intent on replaying the political fights of Vietnam down to the last pictures and notes.

But accountability is now a majority position in America. Accusing the American people of treason for demanding it is not simply cowardly -- it is also being met with decidedly more organized hostility than in previous Republican "campaigns" against the American citizenry. That may be something.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 12:33 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Dishonesty? (4.00)
    If they want to open up that can of worms, so be it.

    "The concentration [of the legislative, executive and judicial powers] in the same hands is precisely the definition of despotic government." - Jefferson

    by El Payo on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 12:34:15 AM PST

    •  Jumping In... At some point the battered wife.. (4.00)
      actually gets up and leaves. The media, the Democrats, and the public have been exposed to so much abusive bull crap.

      At some point enough is enough, and the shackles that used to bind no longer hold.

      The tide is indeed turning, and how great an America we would have if the press did their job, Democrats stood proud and strong-- (for the People), and the public refused to be lied to.

      "Who are these dirty nasty people making comments about John Murtha?" --Charlie Rangel

      by DeanFan84 on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 12:58:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  right on. damn straight. (4.00)
        •  I called my congresman's office at 5 PM today (4.00)
          and the guy who answered the phone recognized the name Abramoff immediatly

          I saw the Fineman piece, but I didn't catch the importance of the "Rove" references that you point out

          I agree that even Fineman looked disgusted

          I wouldn't wanna be that dumb Schmidt bitch right now

          enjoy the rest of your miserable existence you waste of skin

          the shitstain on the presidency is growing

          •  Hopefully, that clip of hers gets huge (4.00)
            TV play over the weekend so some of the public will see how despicable these guys are.
            •  I agree, Hunter (4.00)
              I saw the end of the Fineman piece, and you are right about the tone of it.  He jumped the shark.  And on Hardball, it seemed to me that Andrea Mitchell has finally jumped the shark, too.  I cannot remember the words, but the tone was sombre, for once.
              Regarding the Schmidt soundbite, it reminded me of "what if they gave a war and nobody came?" -- what if they attacked someone's patriotism and nobody believed it anymore?  Can Karl Rove still be a bogeyman if no one is scared of him anymore?So now a patriotic lightweight, the whining Schmidt, attacks the patriotism of someone like Murtha, and it turns back ON HER rather than on him.

              Do not go gentle into that good night. Blog, blog against the dying of the light. CathiefromCanada

              by CathiefromCanada on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 04:54:25 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  I agree about tone but disagree with this: (4.00)
              from Hunter:

              "the House is, as we saw tonight, nearly dysfunctional in a new tainted-DeLay environment, and the press itself is, well... hmm."

              My disagreement: The House is, I think, for the first time in 5 years, actually functioning, with the Dems getting up and fighting for what they believe instead of going down quietly.  I believe democracy should be loud, it should be messy, without, of course, doubting anyone's patriotism, dem or repub, but democracy is the fight, with words, in the public square, for the hearts and minds of the constituents.

              I thought the Democrats last night were awesome.

              "If you are not outraged, you are not paying attention."

              by adigal on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 05:03:21 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  you're both right (4.00)
                I think what Hunter meant - and I apologize if I'm misinterpreting - was that, under DeLay, the Republicans ran an efficient scorched-earth organization that ran roughshod over the Democrats (not to mention decency and decorum). Now, under Blount, they're a mess.

                And you're right, too - the House if finally doing what it should always be doing, thanks to the breakdown of the Republican machine.

       ain't "schadenfreude" if the bastards deserve it. this is infidelica...

                by snookybeh on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 05:26:58 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  The Reps looked like the British (none)
                House of Commons, which I've always enjoyed watching.  When you watch them on BBC or C-SPAN they are really debating, standing up, shouting out remarks, booing and so forth.  Its not like our Senate where the Gentleman from Indiana yeilds the floor to the Gentleman from Kansas and the said Gentleman reads a speech to an empty chamber while his aides whisper behind him and shuffle papers.  

                If not for the cat,
                And the scarcity of cheese
                I could be content.
                --Jack Prelutsky

                by Reepicheep on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 07:28:38 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  There was a resemblance to Commons, and... (none)
                  One could also see the faint outline of an older U.S. congressional etiquette, in which a certain style of empty pomposity ruled the day. Although it is stil rather revolting to watch them praise and applaud each other's pendulous histories, it's much better than the stab-and-run ethics of the current Republican party. I see it as a step back toward sanity.
                  •  Loud and messy democracy (4.00)
                    is what we have here in India, with our equivalents of both Congress and Senate in pandemonium, members almost coming to blows, shrieking and going red in the face - when the issue merits it.

                    The rest of the time they sink into a light doze, waking up only for lunch.

                    But it works. Last year the electorate threw out our rightwing Janata party, who'd been riding the gung-ho globalization gravy train while the peasantry starved - it's true, about 20,000 deaths by starvation and suicide among the farmers of just one of our states, while its capital was turning into a big-time centre for software coding coolie labour (i.e. outsourcing). The progressive Congress Party swept the polls.

                    Passions running high is a good thing in democracies. I've watched some clips and broadcasts of US Congress in session, with their 'My good friend Bob This or Billy That seems to think that...' or 'I must disagree with the views of my good friend Henry Whatsis'. I thought, well, they're all being very polite - until I realised good friend meant foul and despicable scoundrel and my enemy unto death'.

                    /Gentleman from... too is a euphemism, or should be.

          •  This backfired so far that Schmidt has whip lash (4.00)
            When the late night comics are saying that the repugs have to send out a woman to call a decorated Vietnam War Vet a coward, it is a new low.
            Of course, if you look of the list of who served, there really wasn't anyone they could send out to throw under the bus so might as well send the newbee wicked witch of Ohio.
      •  Potential is the great disappointment (3.88)
        You make a good point, but you leave an awful lot of 'ifs' exposed that generally don't line up.
        " great an America we would have if
        *the press did their job,
        *Democrats stood proud and strong-- (for the People), and
        *the public refused to be lied to."

        The press are doing their jobs, just like Walmart is doing its job in this version of the capitalist format. If Jack Welsh and the other Bush backing media company owners say (before the 2000 election), that the Bush formula is good for GEs business, then everyone under that CEO is going to play that game. Not until enough of the edge of the American fabric starts to shred will the media owners have to change their minds...for then it costs them money and influence.  

        In a world where anything can and will be justified, every Democrat thinks and will say that they are showing backbone, even as their inaction puts another dozen soldiers into bodybags this week. Kerry did it again this week. They want to 'win' this war, whatever that means. They don't care how many children die in the effort, how much influence around the world we lose. 50 years from now it will be remembered that the US broke every convention of the Geneva accords, that chemical weapons were used, that tens of thousands of civilians have been onerously killed. How Kerry and his ilk can mitigate their actions to being strong and proud for the People is absolutely beyond me...not that he gives a damn.

        And don't get me started on this most disappointing of all topics, the public refusing to be lied to. Disney/ABC radio, ClearChannel, and the whole list of limburger stinking shills do an effective job of whipping up hysterical propaganda. But it is the people who turn the dial there, the people who moved from anti-war to pro-war on the basis of obvious lies...ah, forget it. There is too much in the way to get a change on the "public refusing to be lied to" hope. They generally don't know their own history, they generally don't want to know and don't want to have a perspective of anyone else's.  

        Battered wife syndrome, indeed. But where are they going to go to rehabilitate?

        •  I am reluctant (3.25)
          to send the Democrats more money. Politicians who are able to speak in plain English like Murtha are few and far between. Let's face it the Democrats are no longer the people's party.
          Everything they do comes filtered by their interest in protecting/promoting the perogatives
          of corporations, defence or otherwise. It makes me consider running for office. Should I call myself a Progressive or Populist......?

          Yeah the American people don't seem to know their own history anymore. Like all good teachers we need to be passionate and dedicated when we teach it to them.

          "Are you trying to play Darwin to the lemurs in your head?"

      •  At some point (3.75)
        the battered wife sets the bed on fire with her abuser in it.

        Fascism will come to America in the guise of National Security - Jim Garrison

        by elveta on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 04:47:26 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  and... (none)
          first cutting off his "manhood."

 ain't "schadenfreude" if the bastards deserve it. this is infidelica...

          by snookybeh on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 05:28:47 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  LOL ... Just Think If Congress Rather Than Our CA (none)
            (Commonwealth Attorney) had tried that case. I'm ROTFLMAO over that thought. And John Wayne "Bob It" didn't even know it was gone until Loreana had left.  And if the county cop hadn't spotted her throwing the evidence out her car window, so that it could be retrieved and "restored"?!? Priceless!

            My thoughts on Dems vs Repubs? Democrats treat the general public like shareholders, while Republicans treat them like sharecroppers--Me

            by Robert de Loxley on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 06:42:50 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  You'd have to find it (3.00)
            in order to cut if off.

            Aye, there's our problem.

            Did you hear that? That was the sound of Democracy stirring. Ever so far, ever so faint, oh so sweet.

            by bablhous on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 10:14:51 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Indeed (3.83)
        I think what we're witnessing is the benefit of the doubt fading.  After 9/11, the press gave Bush a lot of leighway to do what he claimed he needed to do.  It's been clear to many of us that the administration was for more intent on playing politics than on running the government.  That for all his supposed vision, when the rubber meets the road, he can't cut it.  

        It's only in the time since Katrina that things have seriously begun to unravel.  The press is beginning to realize how badly it's been duped and nobody, no matter how good the ratings, likes to be made a fool of.  Katrina sort of slapped the press in the face with the realization that the basic competence of our government was falling apart.  Too many of them had to sit there and watch dead bodies float by them for a week and I think they collectively snapped.  

        It's from there that the press found it's spine again.  With them finding the gumption to seriously criticize this presidency that the people have been woken up to the utter incompetence on display.  They see the Hurricane mess and then start to seriously doubt the trust they put forward on Iraq.

        --- If trickle down economics worked, Marie Antoinette wouldn't have lost her head

        by sterno on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 05:47:27 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I only hope this is true (none)
          This morning I read the AP article on regarding what happened last night.  The headline they ran with was "Murtha' Bill Voted Down".  I don't think they quite got the facts right on that one.  I only hope that people can actually see for themselves through whatever clips are shown this weekend and next week what really happened last night.

          Keeping my fingers crossed

          "Great minds have purpose; Little minds have wishes. Little minds are subdued by misfortunes; Great minds rise above them" Washington Irving

          by outsourcebush on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 05:52:49 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The tendancy of the press (none)
            The thing is, in this case I think we'll hear more about it because the press has a good story here.  AP just reiterates what happened, but on the various analysis and pundit shows, there's a lot more to run with here.  We'll see...

            --- If trickle down economics worked, Marie Antoinette wouldn't have lost her head

            by sterno on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 06:39:58 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  All of MSM got it wrong (none)
            Every channel I turned to spoke of it as if they were voting on the "Murtha resolution" and even in the House, Dems had to clarify several times what the Repubs were referring to. On C-Span, Erin Billings of Roll Call described the Murtha version instead of the Hunter rendition. ONE WOULD THINK THEY WOULD GET IT STRAIGHT. But no. I can hardly think this was accidental.

            Democrats should do a commercial showing what the scam really was, noting, by the way, that the majority of Republicans voted for immediate withdrawal!

      •  As my husband says, "If you loved me, (4.00)
        you'd believe me when I lie to you." (The reason he says this to me is because he is a teller of long, extended stories that usually end up as complex conceptual jokes, but now I can spot him doing it because he looks a certain way and his pace slows down.)

        In our household, it's a joke. In some households, someone is saying it seriously with violence.

        Republicans: Strong on corruption, cronyism, and weapons systems that don't work.

        by lecsmith on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 06:55:46 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  if she had any sense (none)
        that batteered wife would wait until the prince she is married to is asleep, tie him in the bed, use a two by four on the soles of his feet, then leave-- taking the kids, the car, the cat and draininag his bank account on her way past.

        The only way bullies can be handled.

        On a planetary scale, habitat and life are interchangeable.

        by libbys mom on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 02:20:24 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Retaliation!!! (3.91)
      I caught that and agree the full force can't be gleaned from a transcript. Two adds: at the beginning, Chris asked him if this was retaliation or investigation.  Usually, Howard would pause and ponder a moment.  This time he just snapped "retaliation!"  

      Also, he described vividly the visceral reaction in the House Chamber to Jean Schmidt's despicable attack on Murtha "Cowards cut and run--Marines never do."  He said Dems literally leapt to their feet in outrage.  Let's hope they stay w/him and let this seasoned Marine show them the way out of their own quagmire and to a strong, unified voice on this most critical of issues!!!

      This was Howard the Human at his best.

      •  The worm turning? (4.00)
        I had a reaction somewhat similar to Hunter's while watching Lou Dobbs last night.  I'd like to draw your attention to the last bit of the following exchange between Dobbs and one of his correspondents, Dana Bash:

        BASH: The gloves-off White House effort is to paint a Democratic congressman calling for troops out of Iraq in six months as out of the mainstream.

        "Congressman Murtha is a respected veteran and politician who has a record of supporting a strong America," said the White House press secretary in a blistering statement. "So it is baffling that he is endorsing the policy positions of Michael Moore and the extreme liberal wing of the Democratic Party."

        By trying to link John Murtha, a known hawk, to the dovish filmmaker Michael Moore, Bush aides hope to stop independents and Republicans already skittish about Iraq from following the influential Democrat's lead.

        SEN. JOHN KERRY (D), MASSACHUSETTS: I respectfully disagree with John Murtha.

        BASH: White House officials note even outspoken war critics in Murtha's own party think an immediate troop withdrawal would be dangerous.

        But the Bush strategy to dismiss Murtha's biting criticism of the president's Iraq policy by calling him part of the left wing fringe may be undermined by past statements like this.

        DICK CHENEY, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: One of my strongest allies in Congress when I was secretary of defense was Jack Murtha, a Democrat who is chairman of the Defense Appropriation Subcommittee. We used to be able to do more together on a bipartisan basis than seems possible these days.

        BASH: It's that kind of glowing comment in the heat last year's campaign that makes the Bronze Star, double Purple Heart recipient's slam at the vice president on Iraq so stunning.

        REP. JOHN MURTHA (D), PENNSYLVANIA: I like guys that got five deferments and never been there. And send people to war. And then don't like to hear suggestions about what needs to be done.


        BASH: And, Lou, on that vote that will happen shortly in the House of Representatives that Republicans are pushing to withdraw troops immediately from Iraq, as you know the White House has eventually been coordinating very carefully with members of Congress in -- Republicans in Congress on the whole political hit back, if you will, against Democrats on Iraq.

        This particular tactic, according to a couple of White House officials, is not one that the White House certainly endorsed to begin with, and some at the White House don't necessarily think that it is a good idea politically to be doing this.

        But in the end they hope perhaps they will at least get some Democrats on the record, saying that they don't want to withdraw troops from Iraq. Because as you know at the White House they think that is not a good policy -- Lou.

        DOBBS: I'm not sure what the White House is thinking. And Dana, if you would clarify something for me: did or did not the White House link Jack Murtha to Michael Moore in their response? BASH: they absolutely did.

        DOBBS: Then what in the world are we talking about they don't endorse this approach?

        BASH: I'm talking about the political tactic, Lou, of putting a piece of legislation on the floor of the House of Representatives to force a vote among Republicans and Democrats on withdrawing troops immediately from Iraq.

        The idea, politically, from the perspective of the White House, in the end, perhaps, they think it might help them. Again, I'm talking just politically. But to do this at this point, it's not something that the White House necessarily coordinated with the House of Representatives with the Republican leadership. They said they did this on their own. It's not necessarily something they think politically is a very good idea right now.

        DOBBS: And while a man of Congressman Murtha's standing requires no defense whatsoever, it is also, it seems to me, Dana, to be perfectly clear that when Jack Murtha referred to the vice president's five deferments, he was doing so only after the White House had attacked him rather personally, correct?

        BASH: Certainly, that would be what Jack Murtha would say. And there's no question, Lou, the war of words between those two men, particularly since they both have said that they go back a long time and are old friends is very telling about where this situation, where this debate has gone in Congress and in the country.

        DOBBS: Without question. And as you say, that would be Jack Murtha's perception, but chronologically and factually it is also the case, is it not?

        BASH: Well, the vice president didn't attack Jack Murtha personally, specifically. I think he certainly was talking generally about congressional Democrats and Jack Murtha is one of them. So Jack Murtha fall -- fell under that broader category but he didn't specifically directly attack Jack Murtha personally, no.

        DOBBS: But chronologically that is the case in which it occurred, correct?

        BASH: Correct.

        DOBBS: Right.

        BASH: The vice president in a speech a couple of nights ago did broadly say that the congressional Democrats were wrong on this issue, correct.

        DOBBS: Thank you very much. Dana Bash from Busan, South Korea, thank you.

        It takes two direct questions from Dobbs to get Bash to say that Murtha's attacks on Cheney came only after Cheney impugned Murtha's "backbone."  Bash tries to parse words and avoid taking any sort of stance by framing her replies by talking about "perception" and "attack...personally."  Dobbs resorted to his teeth-pulling pliars to finally extract from her that yes, Cheney's attacks did indeed come first.  I'm not sure why that was so difficult for her to do other than her being part and parcel a part of the he said/she said, avoid-facts-so-i-don't-have-to-check-them crowd that so dominates televised journalism.

        It was heartening to see Lou Dobbs keep asking questions until his question was finally answered and not talked around.  Agree with him or not, Dobbs does not let his guests or his correspondents talk around the issue he's trying to report on.  The country would be well-served if other journalists would emulate this particular characteristic of Dobbs.  

        •  dobbs trying to break out of he said, she said (3.90)
          Dobb asks Bash if Murtha attacked Cheney personally only after being first attached himself. Bash replies that that would be Murtha's perception. And Dobb does this amazing thing:

          DOBBS: Without question. And as you say, that would be Jack Murtha's perception, but chronologically and factually it is also the case, is it not?

          That's just astounding. The idea that the press would report the facts, instead of just the war over the facts as if it were a-- sports event.

          First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. ~~ Mohandas Gandhi

          by TimeTogether on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 04:30:51 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  How about the exchange (3.66)
            Between Blunt and Wolf Blitzer about Al-Jazeera?

            Blunt implied that Murtha went straight to Al-Jazeera and Wolf would have none of it, and forced Blunt to back down on that charge on the Situation Room last night.

            Never underestimate people. They do desire the cut of truth. Natalie Goldberg

            by Carolyn on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 04:55:24 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  I don't always agree with Lou Dobbs, (none)
            but I love watching him work.

            In prison, Tom Delay will no doubt be called 'the Hummer' by his fellow convicts.

            by soonergrunt on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 05:22:14 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I love watching Dobb, of late (none)
              His anti-immigration, xenophobe thing is horrible. But he does call out the administration for wasting resourses, cronyism, lying about policy and such. And often bluntly and forcfully.

              He's become the poor man's Olbermann in many ways, since my cable company has now put MSNBC into the next higher cost cable package. So I only have Dobbs and Jon Stewart for my TV news commentary.

              "She was very young,he thought,...she did not understand that to push an inconvenient person over a cliff solves nothing." -1984

              by aggressiveprogressive on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 05:35:07 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  thank you.... (none)
            ...for concisely stating what i was trying to communicate.  i tend to get too verbose and then distracted from my main point.  gotta work on that...
            •  your post was great (none)
              I read every word of your post, and many rated it highly, I think if you have something to say, say it. I've been known to post diaries as comments so I understand the fear of over-writing, but in this case your post above (the dobb transcript included) was important and new.

              First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. ~~ Mohandas Gandhi

              by TimeTogether on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 11:46:34 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  they don't report sports events that way (none)
            That's just astounding. The idea that the press would report the facts, instead of just the war over the facts as if it were a-- sports event.
            Sports reporters tell you exactly what happened, who reacted to what, and there is none of this obfuscation.  In sports reporting, it would be "Murtha responded to Cheney's speech ..."

            That's why I can't stand to watch news, I just watch sports.

        •  Thanks for posting (none)
          the Dobbs exchange.

          It felt like he had to ask her more then twice but that must have been just because she was so reluctant to just admit to facts. It is a good thing he knew the facts or her warped impression would have been left.

          To what gain? A very odd exchange.

  •  Amen. (3.92)
    I absolutely share your hope that the tide is turning and that Fineman's reaction presages a more general disgust among the public at the loathesome, truly McCarthyite tactics now being deployed by Bush/Cheney/Rove.
    •  I second that!!!!! n/t (none)
    •  I Third It (none)
      Fineman seemed as though he really wanted to say so much more.  Perhaps the press finally realizes -- after being lied to do many times by Scotty, et al; and knowing the reporters were directly involved in the Plame leak and used by the Administration -- that this Administration is truly dangerous to democracy.  And if democracy goes, so does freedom of the press.
      •  is it the polls? following their audience? (4.00)
         Or is it that the Fourth Estate really has more in common with the public (whose interests they are supposed to represent) than with those in power?

        Pundits sharing the tv screen with pols. First naming the powerful. Getting phone calls from "sources" Riding on Air Force One. Reporting from Korea. Yeah yeah yeah But really, like us, they're discovering that they are really only spectators. Witnesses.

        Scandals, graft and death.  The accumulation of seediness and fatalities.  Hard to bear even for them.

        imo, the GOP went off the rails with Schaivo and have not found their balance since.

  •  More Fog of War (3.92)

    Read of Pfc. Joseph Dwyer's struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) here.

    And yes, Hunter, I think there is 'something there' -- I feel it, too. I don't think it's vapor. I think it's the first real crack of sunshine filtering through our national nightmare.

    Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. -- Margaret Mead

    by ilona on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 12:40:58 AM PST

  •  A Personal attack (3.95)
    On a 73 year old white conservative expert on military affairs is going to explode on Hastert and Blunt. This, more than anything Rep. Murtha has said, done or is going to say will crystallize opinion on the Iraq war.

    What they effectively said was: "Do you or do you not support the Iraq war?" Asked like that, given the state of affairs, most everyone is going to say no. And they'll be saying that in every election from here to 2008.

    I prefer DKos News to Google News

    by inetresearch on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 12:40:59 AM PST

  •  Since I seem to be alone in here at the moment, (3.97)
    I want to say Hunter that I have the same feeling sometimes, hust observing,not even actively blogging. But the Bush Administration has missed the sea change that has happened amongst the independents. So they blindly are doing what worked before, without realizing that the whole thing, the whole ugly, seamy, convoluted mass of lies and deception and attacks and desperate posturing simply won't work when it's about to blow up in their faces. When you find yourself in a hole, the first rule is to stop digging. Unless you're a part of the Bush Team. Then the first rule is to attempt to piss out of the hole onto anyone telling you to try to get out of the hole. Problem is, when the hole gets this deep, you end only wetting yourself.

    "The concentration [of the legislative, executive and judicial powers] in the same hands is precisely the definition of despotic government." - Jefferson

    by El Payo on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 12:41:38 AM PST

    •  hust = just (none)

      "The concentration [of the legislative, executive and judicial powers] in the same hands is precisely the definition of despotic government." - Jefferson

      by El Payo on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 12:43:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Rule of thumb... (none)
      Under stress almost everybody resorts to the coping strategies and routines that are most basic to their nature.

      Rove can't help it. Even if it occurred to him to use some imagination, he's not capable of it, and in the broader scheme, neither is the GOP smear machine he crafted.


      Smoke and flashing lights are turned up, as the Great Oz pronounces. Meanwhile, out the back door go the flying monkeys - Dallas Doc.

      by deepfish on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 03:12:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The beauty part is (4.00)
      the Roves and Cheneys and Bush's may be just about the last to know that they have lost their secret powers. So they keep going to the same old b.s. and are just now finding out that it only makes things worse.

      Murtha coming right after Cheney as a Chickenhawk when he was attacked the other day was a HUMONGOUS moment. You know that Dick's sphincter tighten right up when he heard that. "Uh oh. This ain't John Edwards coming at me."

      "I shall follow the light of reason, express my honest thoughts, help destroy superstition, and work for the happiness of my fellow beings." - Robert Ingersoll

      by JavaManny on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 03:57:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  "Secret powers" lol (none)
        I like the "secret powers" part.  Of course they were never real, like the clothes that the emperor thinks he is wearing.  The repug-thugs have gotten a free pass from the complacent press for 5 years which enabled the secret powers to work, but now, we hope, the press is opening its collective eyes.  Do we dare hope that the press has had enough and they won't  take it any more?  No more secret powers?

        "Investigative reporting is not stenography", Maureen Dowd, Oct. 22, 2005

        by Jackson on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 07:47:32 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I love this! (none)
      Nixon went down slowly, smoldering under a veil of whispers.

      Would be Bushwankers will be able to replay his demise for centuries right here on what people say on the Dailykos. It is all here, out in the open.

      Hopefully, therefore, it won't take decades for the common wisdom to be that this was a big mistake like it did for Viet Nam. Heck, my dad probably still thinks it was the right thing, although he has not a clue why.

      There won't be any chance for them to hold on their delusions so long for this one.

      The sundown on the union was made in the USA, sure was a good idea, till greed got in the way. -Bob Dylan

      by PoPEar on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 04:36:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Hopefully (4.00)
    <blockquote? I have to wonder if the same crass, one-note song will play, or if the audience has changed. </blockquote>

    I think (hope?) that people are really starting to get tired of their shit. At some point, and I hope we are nearing it, there is a breaking point for all reasonable people. They will realize that they've seen these same tricks before, over and over again, and just finally stop buying it.

    I get hope from the changing attitudes of my two time Bush voting parents in the past few months. Normally, we avoid discussing politics at all costs because the conversation never leads anywhere good. But lately they have been gingerly approaching me when we talk - asking my opinion on issues, asking me to explain my point of view, hesitantly voicing their growing dissatisfaction with Bush and the Republican party in general. If they are any indication of most people in this country, it won't be long before the tide of public opinion is completely on our side.

    The basic division in society isn't liberals vs. conservatives, but those who believe that they should control the love lives of strangers and those who don't.

    by tempest in a d cup on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 12:42:08 AM PST

    •  I get hope from anecdotes like yours (4.00)
      And my hope is that these situations are being repeated by the thousands and millions all over the country (and particularly in the swing states!).

      ...And also, you have one of the best usernames ever!

      •  Thanks - I like it too (4.00)
        I don't think it's just the war that's swaying them, and I certainly wish I had been able to convince them to come back from the dark side a year ago, but I'm happy it's starting to happen.

        I remember a conversation with my mother in summer of 2004 - she said something to the effect of "Well, I do think it seems like our civil liberties are being removed, and that's bad, but I want the tax cut." Nothing I could say would change her mind. But now she's starting to wake up and realize it wasn't anywhere close to worth it.

        My father was all for the war because he thought it would somehow protect his four daughters. Nothing would convince him that it wasn't making us safer. And every attempt to persuade him used to result in something like "You'll feel differently when you have children." Now, that same fear for his daughters' safety is swaying him in the other direction. Finally he seems to understand that our involvement in Iraq makes the world more dangerous.

        I think Katrina was the turning point for both of them. They've become increasingly more vocal about their dissatisfaction since then, but that was definitely the wake up call.

        I take comfort in that, but at the same time it breaks my heart what had to happen and all the people who had to suffer to make them stop thinking so selfishly.

        The basic division in society isn't liberals vs. conservatives, but those who believe that they should control the love lives of strangers and those who don't.

        by tempest in a d cup on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 01:02:25 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well Said, Tempest... (none)
          ...and hopeful.  If this scenario is playing out across America, we may be on our way to better days.  I can just imagine your parents' reaction (revulsion) when they see the full extent of the Abramoff/DeLay Sleaze Machine!
          •  the scenario is changing across America (4.00)
            My neighbor, a good Christian, voted for bu$h$hit both times.  She is not the brightest bulb in the pack, but is a very sweet, good person.  Her husband registered to vote, at my urging, for the first time last year to try and defeat this misadministration.  Anyway, last week she said that bu$h$hit is leading America and Americans down the wrong path and wished she could take her votes back.  
        •  definitely katrina (4.00)
          not only the horrible lack of response from fema, but bush's obvious void of understanding and unbelievable tone-deafness the entire week. everyone watched the horrors unfold on cnn and even fox news. and there was bush strumming that guitar and eating cake on the tarmac, showing his true clueless colors.

          i'd rather fight in the war of words than in the war in iraq

          by sadair on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 05:17:13 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  I can't find anybody that voted for Bush here (none)
      in CT. Heck, I can't even find anyone willing to call themselves a Republican.

      It's taken four years for the flag-waving to fall on its face. But now it is so close to being over.

      You always had to believe that America would rally 'round. I am so happy that the proud history of our Country isn't over.

      "Who are these dirty nasty people making comments about John Murtha?" --Charlie Rangel

      by DeanFan84 on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 01:11:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  try Fairfield County (none)
        My mom, stepfather, both of my grandparents, about half of my friends (most of the ones who actually vote) all voted for Bush

        And Republicans are all over the place here.

        But most of those people also haven't followed what's going on.  My mom and stepfather both seemed convinced when I told them how truly bad a president Bush is.

      •  I have relatives in Westport (none)
        who were pretty hard-core kool aid drinkers. I doubt they've changed their minds, but I wouldn't know since I don't speak to them anymore.

        The basic division in society isn't liberals vs. conservatives, but those who believe that they should control the love lives of strangers and those who don't.

        by tempest in a d cup on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 01:32:29 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The challenge is how to convince them and (none)
          the others like those callers on C-Span last night that were drunk on kool-aid.  Some people just don't get it!!!!
        •  I live in Southbury, between Waterbury and Danbury (4.00)
          My mother is a Republican who voted for Bush. As the morning news ran this morning and they showed highlights from last night's House debate, I brought her up to speed.

          She, in essence, voiced the very position articulated by Murtha: it was time to get out. We had done all we could do. We had enough to take care of here at home.

          I can't help but feel that, as one reasonable Republican after another come to similar conclusions and as this Administration remains as arrogant and stubborn and stuck in Rovian slash-and-burn campaign mode, Bush's and the Republican Congress' approval numbers among their base will drop more precipitiously than we've seen lately. I think you will also see the number of people who call themselves Republican also drop greatly. This much vaunted Republican realignment that Rove and Delay thought they were engineering will have been shown to have been built on the demonization of the opposition rather than the affirmative values of the Republicans.

          As the fog of spin and invectives finally dissipate, the wreckage of these incompetent, corrupt fools will be made clear to this country and it'll be difficult for them to get elected dog-catcher.

        •  Thankfully, my two grown daughters (none)
          have seen the light but my siblings and the rest of the kinfolk think Bush has been betrayed and that he needs to clean house.  Sigh.  I don't dare send them information to the contrary.  They are among those who still vote in favor of him in the polls.  

          Memory... is the diary that we all carry about with us.

          by DianeA on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 07:10:33 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  That's nice... (none)
        outside of the five other Dems  and two independents in my department, my parents, and my parents' neighbors...I can't find anyone in Polk County, FL who didn't vote for him.

        From now on James Dobson shall be referred to ---son. I'm not sharing three letters of my last name with that s.o.b.

        by Dobber on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 04:28:11 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Lakeland (none)
          THat is where all of my repug relatives live.
          They still listen and watch ONLY Faux. Everything else is so librul, like me the lefty,hippy, commie. I can't wait to visit for thanksgiving where i will keep my opinions to myself. (except they make me drink too many beers, and then i just can't keep quiet) Before every visit i  repeat my mantra
          Lord grant me the ability to keep my damn mouth shut.

          Good things:
          SOme of their best friends seek me out every visit for the latest on OUR side. They just keep the peace by not discussing politics. Dad's 87 and i don't see any breaks in his belief system.
          My sister and her family..well let's just say when i visit she reminds me NOT to talk Librul talk in her house.

          Bush/Cheney04 Because it takes 8 years to Destroy the Country Download GeckosAgainstBS song

          by demnomore on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 07:03:02 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  I the neighbors stopped calling the cops on me (4.00)
      Instead of complaining about my screaming at the tv, I think my neighbors want me to explain what I'm yelling about a little better

      I think America is waking up, and they finally want to know what the presnit has done

      it's morning in America, and guess what folks, george bush trashed the place last night

      just LOOK at this mess

      BTW, only half of the beer cans on the whitehouse lawn are Jenna's

      •  Yeah, (4.00)
        That beer doesn't smell quite the same the next morning when you're hung over and see the big f***ing mess you've gotta clean up, huh?
      •  Brilliant! (4.00)
        . . . it's morning in America, and guess what folks, george bush trashed the place last night,  Just LOOK at this mess. . .
        What a brilliant line!

        Do not go gentle into that good night. Blog, blog against the dying of the light. CathiefromCanada

        by CathiefromCanada on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 05:04:11 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Let's start an amnesty program for Bush supporters (4.00)
          I have been an outspoken Bush critic for years at work, and last year before the election one of our attorneys, a staunch Republican, brought "Unfit for Command" to my desk and told me I needed to read it.  I told him I would be glad to read it but he had to read my copy of "The Price of Loyalty" in return. This week (fourteen months later) I came in to find my book on my desk.  Later, when I tried to hand him "Unfit for Command", the attorney told me to throw it out.  He walked away muttering "I can't believe I voted for that asshole."   I had a grin on my face all day.  

          "Just because your voice reaches halfway around the world doesn't mean you are wiser than when it reached only to the end of the bar." Edward R. Murrow

          by justrock on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 10:11:40 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  water shed , critcal mass (none)
    take your pick .
  •  Whenever I think of BushCo (4.00)
    lately, I think of a car stuck nose-down in a ditch. The driver either doesn't know he's in a ditch, or thinks he'll somehow un-ditch himself if he just keeps his foot steady on the gas. And any time someone comes by to say, "Hey, you're stuck in the ditch", the driver says, "Oh yeah? I'll show YOU, Asshole", and floors the gas pedal, further burying the drive wheels into the ground, and flinging bits of mud and turf everywhere.
    •  That's... (none)
      a damned fine description of the situation...right down to the clearly evident stubbornness and not so evident cursing.  You just know he's cussing out everyone at this point.

      From now on James Dobson shall be referred to ---son. I'm not sharing three letters of my last name with that s.o.b.

      by Dobber on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 04:32:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Cursing (none)
        Wish we still had those tape recorders going in the WH. I still have the LATimes transcript of the Nixon tapes with nearly every other word "expletive deleted." I have long thought that he was finally forced to resign, not because of the Watergate coverup, but because middle America, all those now red staters, found out how foul-mouthed he really was. Wouldn't that be revealing today?

        "That story isn't worth the paper it's rotten on."--Dorothy Parker

        by martyc35 on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 11:17:32 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  nothing (4.00)
    "I'll be honest with you. Some days, I don't like blogging. A quick look around the blogs will show idiot upon idiot upon blowhard upon liar upon racist upon CLAP LOUDER upon fool, stacked like cordwood at every IP address in use."

    Dont know what to say about the rest of the post, but this is gold. Don't think there's mush rook for hopefulness on a media awakening.

  •  Sorry you are wrong (none)
    Fineman's wife is a GOP operative. He has always been spining that the press is liberal. He is a fraud. Read Eric Alterman.

    I don't have a blog.

    by Albee090 on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 12:50:03 AM PST

    •  Then perhaps Hunter saw something else in Fineman (4.00)
      Embarrassment.  I would be embarrassed, if I were a Repug.

      I think my father-in-law is beginning to feel that, and he's a hardcore rightist.

      •  embarrassment (none)
        I think Andrea Mitchell was embarrassed, too. She seemed almost shocked and in a state of disbelief, and it is to her credit that she saw the attack on Murtha as undignified; anyway, that is what I got from her report.

        "That story isn't worth the paper it's rotten on."--Dorothy Parker

        by martyc35 on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 11:26:00 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I even think Chris Matthews himself (none)
          is moving.  He gave Murtha the longest uninterupted speech I've ever seen him give someone.  I mean it was so long I was anxious for the next question (kind of pavlovian).  And last week he did a similar, though not nearly as long, thing for Carl Levin.  You know those distrust of the President numbers are really significant.  

          Bush - the New Hoover. He really sucks.

          by slick riddles on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 12:42:32 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I noticed that, too (none)
            Matthews ALWAYS butts in, is veritably spastic with interjection of questions.  But he bit his tongue nearly clean through during Murtha's time on Hardball.  Weird what it takes to get a decent shot at telling the truth these days...
            •  What it is (none)
              is that Matthews fetishizes "real" New Deal Democrats like Murtha who are from the rust belt and are military people.  He doesn't care for "postmodern" democrats for want of a better term.  

              Bush - the New Hoover. He really sucks.

              by slick riddles on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 08:52:21 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  I don't care if Fineman's wife is GOP (4.00)
      on my screen tonight, I saw what Hunter detected from Fineman as welloo.  I have honestly been haunted by it.  I think Hunter nailed the "bemusement" aura that we often see by members of the media on news shows of this type, and I think he also nailed the strange -- and darker -- mood of Fineman as well.  He was simmering to the extent that smoke was coming through the tv screen.  I got the sense that Fineman thought that the White House had gone too far... as if he recognized that the rubicon had been crossed.

      Bush: Always Wrong and Never in Doubt

      by Delilah on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 01:14:59 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  well there is always (none)
        a first. I have had it with right wing pundits. We ought to stop romantizing them.

        I don't have a blog.

        by Albee090 on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 01:17:19 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Romanticize them? (4.00)
          I'm sorry but most of the time, the posts I read here are from people usually pissed (and rightfully so) about the media shills, and occasionally grateful for the fact that one or two reporters actually do their job.  Romanticism of the media is not something I often encounter here... but that's just me.

          Bush: Always Wrong and Never in Doubt

          by Delilah on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 01:23:44 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  I just watched the Fineman (4.00)
        segment....He looked queasy to me, as if our country had been torn asunder.....
      •  I'm w/u, Delilah (4.00)
        Plus he and his wife are personally close w/Franken and his wife.  I think he was truly taken aback by what he saw in the House tonite.  It wasn't what he's seen all these years. He could see this boiling over, and he knows this little game isn't between the lines anymore.
      •  i saw it too.... (4.00)
        and what we saw was the shock of realization that the bush white house will stop at nothing to bring down their detractors....even going so far as to try and destroy someone like Murtha 'by any means possible'

        attacking Murtha, trying to paint him as a traitor, a leftist, a jihadist supporter, a troop hater, an america hater, michael moore wannabe, and a criminal wasnt the best idea rove has come up with....

        pulling that stunt in the house last night wasnt a great idea either....

        the bush boys have 'lost their mojo" and (what the gop thought was )lilly livered liberals found their backbone in the form of a warhawk named Murtha...

        best moment of last nights debate (besides the jean schmidt smackdown) was when (was it?) Lantos asked for a clarification as to what resolution the house was about to vote on...murtha's or  DUNCAN HUNTER' was finally and officially if not willingly agreed to that the resolution about to be defeated by an almost unanimous NO vote was the Republican resolution.

        At the beinging of the debate republicans were all 'high and mighty' in their speech' the end of the night almost every one of them started off by trying to make it clear they were NOT attacking Mr Murtha's patriotism....that they felt they had to make that clear from the start means they realized, at some point during the debate, what they thought would be an offensive attack on the opposition turned into another political fiasco for THEM.

        "if all the world's a stage, who is sitting in the audience?"

        by KnotIookin on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 03:44:44 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It was all fun and games (4.00)
          In the Presidential election.  It was to be expected in that battle, honestly.  The mudslinging, swiftboating, grandstanding and vitriol during the campaign to gain the presidency is one thing.  But once you are in power and have the majority of Congress to boot, this kind of putrid sewer politics only stinks of desperation.  These aren't attacks of opportunity like we have with Abramoff and DeLay, these are politics of last resort, scraping the bottom of the barrel.

          And if Rove et al keep this up, they will find themselves getting very very lonely on the Hill.  No one will want to associate themselves with these kind of tactics.  I wonder what kind of support the GOP leaders will lend to these accusations.  Sunday talking heads will be very telling this week.

      •  same here (4.00)

        I also noticed the same of Chris Matthews and Wolf Blitzer last night.

        They know who Murtha is and his reputation, even if it has to be explained to the rest of the country.

        It's as though someone just accused Mother Teresa of being irreligious.

        They both seemed stunned by the turn of events.

        Never underestimate people. They do desire the cut of truth. Natalie Goldberg

        by Carolyn on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 05:02:12 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I agree (none)
        I detected this in Chris Matthews as well. He had a sober, serious look on his face.  It seemed to me that he was restraining himself from saying more. The look in his eye appeared to me as barely contained rage. Isn't Matthews from Pennsylvania?
    •  do you mean Fineman or Howie Kurtz? (none)
      Now, it is an open secret in DC that Kurtz's wifes is a GOP operative, something about which I am not ware that he's ever offered a disclosure.    But this is the first I've heard of Fineman's wife.  If you are sure, would you be so kind as to  identify her by name and role?

      Those who can, do. Those who can do more, TEACH!

      by teacherken on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 02:26:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Does not play well with others (4.00)
    The Rovian White House has brought this turning tide on themselves. They played a rough game with the press for access and ass-kissing, and now they expect it in the face of falling poll numbers and an ethics scandal? After Libby tried to burn Miller and took her for granted? (and for all the grief the press has given Miller, they have all played in that same game for access, just at different levels)

    Get real. The terms of the debate are changing. When you're losing, you can't afford to be arrogant and divisive. The WH wants to lead a witchhunt now? After the lessons of Vietnam and McCarthy? In the face of a Democratic party empowered by the truth? Through a media that is feeling defensive and irked?

    In the words of a famous chimpanzee, "Bring it on! Oop Ack!"

    "God alone knows how many times our bellies, by the refusal of one single fart, have brought us to the door of an agonising death." -- Montaigne

    by Spaz Cadet on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 12:50:04 AM PST

  •  a good night? (4.00)
    I don't share your optimism.  I don't think anyone comes out looking good in the current knock down.  And it gives me no comfort that the pentagon, through Murtha, is somehow voicing it's displeasure with the war.  I'm glad the Democrats are finally scoring points, but the house is burning down around them (and us).  What happens when all of the power players in this country are fed up w/ the Bush administration?  What do they do? We've still got three years with this crew and the people who put them there are tearing themselves apart, with some help from Fitz and Abramoff.  I don't pretend to grasp all of the intrigue between the various players.  People have said it here before, that when the worm turns, it's going to get really ugly.  And here we go...
    •  it don't get better dude (4.00)
      campaign 2006 started the day Ried closed the Senate

      george's fortunes ain't gonna improve

      the sword of fitzmaclese is hanging over george's head, and it could lopp george's brain off any second

      Murtha and that dumb bitch schmidt are gonna rule the sunday air time (and they'll probably advertise it exactly as I posted it)

      chickenhawk dick cheney just got slaughtered in a freak smear machine accident where the opperator ended up smearing himself into the chickhawk hall of shame (and chickenhawk dick wasn't so popular to begin with)

      so, understanding ALL OF THAT, how long do you think the sane repuglicans in congress will watch george's pathetic act ???

      the actions of congressmen can only be questioned in one place: CONGRESS

      you can bet that some mildly corrupt but still sane repuglicans will be abandoning ship very soon

      consider Chuck Hagel defending Congressman Murtha as an example of a "Sane" repuglican

      I'm with Hunter on this one. i saw it myself

      •  Yeah (none)
        That worked great.

        The closed session ended when the GOP agreed to submit a progress report by Nov. 14.

        Er, what day is today?

        Public opinion may be changing, but we have already given them powers the greatest of tyrants would envy.

        Are you sure they can be stopped in time?

        "the fools, the fools, they've left us our Fenian Dead" (Padraig Pearse - Gay Revolutionary)

        by padraig pearse on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 04:51:25 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  not the day to play that card (none)
          Er, what day is today?

          today is a good day to be a democrat

          we don't need to change the subject today

          next week, who knows

          as soon as george starts gaining traction, the Democrats on Senate Select Committee on Intelligence announce their intentions to form a committee to investigate the presnit

          closing the Senate was valuable to point out that the repuglicans have abandoned their duty by failing to launch the phase 2 investigation

          read the rules of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence

          george's achillies heel is within those rules, see if you can find it

    •  Hey, We Survived Nixon... (4.00)
      ...and we'll survive this, too.  But if you're going the wrong direction, you never end up in the right place....huh?
      •  "it's been a long time coming .... (4.00)
        ... and the darkest hour is just before dawn."

        RE Nixon - used to listen to that CS&N line alot to get me through the dark days.

        I hope its not a false dawn, but I do see some rays of political light on the horizon.

        I don't think you can trash a city (NOLA) and a hawkish war hero and not begin to turn the stomachs of any but the worst of the partisans.

        We shall not cease from exploration And the end of all our exploring Will be to arrive where we started And know the place for the first time. T.S. Eliot

        by gbussey on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 04:32:39 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Hmmmm (4.00)
        I remember August 9th, 1974 vividly.

        I was in a car driving down Ocean Parkway in Brooklyn.  There were like 7 of us jammed into this Volswagon.  The mean age was 18.

        When Nixon said he was resigning (on the car radio), every car around us starting honking.  People living in the apartments that flanked this long, wide swath  through New York's Ft Lauderdale, began shouting out their windows and cheering.

        It was a Network moment.

        It was also the end of the 60s - as everyone sank back into thinking that getting rid of the President was the same as getting rid of the cancer.

        The operation was a failure.

        Everyone started dancing through the rest of the decade.

        What happened to them since I don't know, but I surmise a lot of them must have voted for GWB.

        My point?

        We mistook the "symbolic" victory for the real thing.

        Point of info:

        Richard Nixon got his start when then Republican Senator Prescott Bush figured he was good House material.

        2nd point of info:

        Both Cheney and Rumsfeld AND George H W Bush got their first White House appointments under Richard Nixon.

        Now, what was that about a cancer on the presidency?

        (And, as Dick Nixon would have said - don't even start talking about the "bay of pigs thing")

        "the fools, the fools, they've left us our Fenian Dead" (Padraig Pearse - Gay Revolutionary)

        by padraig pearse on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 05:00:15 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I was age 3 in 1974 (4.00)
          so I really appreciate posts like this.

          I think your points are excellent, and I think you are exactly right.  This all goes back to Nixon, so many of the players are the same.

          Republicans today like to pretend that Nixon was an aberration, a one-time misstep, but it was all much bigger than that.  

          Cancer is an accurate analogy.

          although it's getting late, you still have plenty of time

          by maracuja on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 05:30:11 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I was a little older (4.00)
          20 to be exact and had watched the watergate hearings faithfully. My husband and I were driving to his softball game and we experienced the same--lots of honking horns!

          "Do Iraqi children scream when the bombs fall if no one is in the White House to hear them?" Bernard Chazelle

          by dmac on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 06:57:28 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  So are you saying (none)
          they cut out the tumor on this "cancer on the presidency" but didn't treat the cancer that had metastasized?
          And the diseased bits returned with a vengeance. We ain't in remission anymore.

          That the presidency is where the cancer shows up but it isn't the source of the disease?

        •  Where'd ya go to HS? (none)
          I was twenty in Flatbush at that time.  And I think I might have been in a crowded VW although maybe not on that date.  Ahh!! Ocean Pkwy.  Brooklyn in the 70s.   Thanks Padraig.

          Bush - the New Hoover. He really sucks.

          by slick riddles on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 12:58:55 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  impatience isn't a virtue (4.00)
      when the democrats won on election night this year, there was a small number of you who came on saying- I don't see where we won anything, there is nothing new here. If you can't aknowledge when things happen differently than expected unless it happens perfectly as you want it,t hen you can never allow for improvement unless it is perfection. And that is the tenor of your position: nothing is ever good, oh great woe! I frankly don't understand the position other than to be miserable. There are a plenty of things wrong in this situation, but to say that we can find nothing here to be pleased by is unhealhty. That the Democrats were able to fight and win what will end up being a minor skirmish to me is an amazing shift from the Democratic Party of 2004. That this debate over when the troops are going to come home isn't over because the American people inthe majority are asking that question is an amazing shift from 2004. That we have  a stronger and stronger chance of winning back the Congress in 2006 is an amazing shift from 2004. That we have a press that is slowly if not always waking up to the realities of the shell game is an amazing shift. Yes, bush will be in office until 2008. Guess what, it's not about Bush. it never was. He is one man, yes in a powerful position, but if he is a lame duck (as he increasingly is) and he is dealing with a Democratic Congress for the last 2 years of his presidency, then I don't see your point. I think mostly your point is one of impatience. You want this to be 2008 already because you don't like Bush. Or you want a redo of 2004 where we have todays conditions then. I know you didn't say any of that- but the reasonableness of asserting that nothing has changed because nothing is perfect has to come from somewhere, and I've been struggling with where some on my side get this level of negativity about life from.
      •  Consider this... (4.00)

           99% of Americans have no idea what DailyKos is. The blogosphere is still a figment of most voters' imaginations (even though it's less so than before, and figures to keep improving).

           Most Americans get their "news" from the "mainstream" media -- the same media that's been pimping for this war, and for BushCo, 24/7 for the last three years.

           And STILL most Americans now think this war has been a terrible idea, to say the least.

           Americans instinctively know something has gone horribly wrong in our country. And now it looks like the Democrats are FINALLY coming around to realizing this. And acting accordingly.

          And in this, they're light-years ahead of the pugs.

        Republicans oppose abortion -- it happens eighteen years too early.

        by Buzzer on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 06:43:30 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  i have been listening to the news (none)
          and they have actually been doing some good reporting on the vote because i think they sense a shift as well. msnbc described the vote last night as strange, and cnn called ia  bizzare display. none of this sounds like the republicans got what they were looking for out msm.
        •  However, (none)
          RE: "99% of Americans have no idea what DailyKos is."

          But Bill O'Reilly does. Now. I read on Salon yesterday that he now charges money for the public to e-mail him.

          And Congress knows the power of the internet, with, PFAW, ACLU, Howard Dean, Harry Reid, and a host of others sending us all those petitions to sign. Just keep working.

          "That story isn't worth the paper it's rotten on."--Dorothy Parker

          by martyc35 on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 12:00:40 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  So true (4.00)
    As usual Hunter you hit it dead on.

    I saw the interview and thought exacty the same thing regarding Fineman.

    You could tell he was just thinking in his head "these Republicans are just lunatics." Fineman looked as though he was in a cloud - still reeling from his astonishment over the Karl Rove slime machine tactics.

    "I got a letter from the Republican Party the other day. I wrote back, 'Go fuck yourself.'" - Bette Midler (Rolling Stone, 9/18/2005)

    by GregNYC on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 12:50:52 AM PST

    •  yep (4.00)
      As I wrote above, it was this strange mood, as if Fineman thought they (Rove and company at the White House) had jumped the shark or something of that ilk.

      Bush: Always Wrong and Never in Doubt

      by Delilah on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 01:16:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  we have a winnaaaaah (4.00)
        as if Fineman thought they (Rove and company at the White House) had jumped the shark or something of that ilk

        that about sums it up. Kinda like when Morky and Mindy had Jonathan Winters as their child: you kinda knew the writers were running out of new ideas

        for all of bush's supposed resembelence to link (ROTFLMAO) don't you think bush would be familiar with that "Can't fool all of the people all of the time" part

        or maybe that wasn't IN the coloring book

    •  He was very genuinely and honestly (4.00)
      saddened to a point of no return. It was his way of saying that for him the buck stops right now here and with this issue.

      Be prepared to have all people who support the plan to redeploy soldiers to the outside of the Iraqi borders are swift-boated as irresponsible coward people, who have not the stamina to stay put til Bush gets his "vitory".

      The callers this morning on the Washington Journal were full of "brave men with the deep desire to sacrifice themselves for the greater good of a lifelong fight against terrorism". It's as if those men needed the war to find any "greatness" in themselves.

      This is one emotionally and psychologically messed up behavioral pattern among simple American conservatives. In fact I believe the average Joe feels so overlooked, neglected and unimportant that they LOVE to grab a chance to do something "great and honorable" in their lives to feel better about themselves.

      The amount of psychological abuse of the average American man's emotional ego and pride by political manipulators and ideologists is horrible. If this doesn't get debunked we will end up having American macho extremists, who will be willing to suicide bomb themselves against the suicide bombing Islamist extremists.

      This country's men are in desperate need of a bunch of Murthas and an army of psychologists to prevent them falling in the trap of having the need to sacrifice themselves for Bush's "absolute victory" just for the sake of their own manlihood.

      •  Clooney's timing is way better than even he... (4.00)
        ... could ever have predicted.  I think "Good Night, and Good Luck" has helped remind journalists a bit of their idealistic days in journalism school when their professors swooned dreamily about the courage of Edward R. Murrow.

        Now that the GOP has tried the same tack one too many times, in a very inappropriate time, the press just can't stomach playing the "W accuses Kerry of worshiping Satan, Kerry denies the charge" game once more.

        They are being forced and shamed into calling a spade a spade.

        I have been burned a lot over the last few years, getting my hopes up that The Moment might be coming.  So I am hesitant to get too excited.  But I have more hope now than I have had in the last 12 months.

        This could be the final test for the Dems as a national party.  If they can stand united, on moral high ground, and find an acceptable position on what to do in Iraq, they just might be able to look down at the stunned GOP lying at their feet, and...


  •  Seemed to me like (4.00)
    yesterday's Murtha statement was a huge turning point.  The debate has been reframed to "should we stay or go from Iraq?"  As recently as a few weeks ago it was still the same old GOP message of "stay the course" vs. Democratic silence.

    So much has changed in the last few weeks.  But Murtha turned it all upside down yesterday.  I knew that when my apolitical friends had heard about him  this was big news.

  •  The Press is getting Fed up (4.00)
    This reminds me of during Katrina when the press took on the Bush bullshit head on.  It was as if they said we are mad and we ain't going to take this any more.  We are on to your bullshit.

    Same sense yesterday especially after Schmidt essentially called a 37 year career marine ex colonel and ex Korean and Viet Nam war veteran a "coward".  It was as if "that is it, you have just crossed the line".  I saw that reaction in Wolf Blitzer, Lou Dobbs, Brian Williams, Howard Fineman, etc.  Even Larry Kudlow, the raw raw Bush cheerleader, sensed that it was too far.

    Murtha is moving something.

    •  If that WAS the turning point (4.00)
      it seems almost serendipitous that the most neophyte of kooolaid-quaffing GOP critters brought it on. I bet she thought she knew all the rules of the game, but we don't seem to be playing on that field no more, much to her surprise.
    •  I Think You're Right (4.00)
      These guys actually do have pulses, as NOLA demonstrated (that's where AC made his bones, and don't think the others failed to notice that!)

      They're not all pro-Bush just pro-being on the winning side and facing the right way on the horse when it rides into town...

      Brian Williams also made his bones in the fetid waters of NOLA, and solidified his spot (and his ratings!!!) as Mumbles' legitimate successor!!!

    •  When did it turn? (4.00)
      The sense of turning is palpable...and not just in the blogsphere. Obviously the Schiavo incident, then Katrina, were major points. But as far as when some of the press finally had it, I think of a minor incident, but one that I think revealed something:

      Remember when Newsweek ran the story on abuse of the Koran at Guantanamo? And Rove and the White House jumped on them, and pressured them into a retraction and apology, and piled on blame for every incident that followed around the world. A few days later, of course, another report confirmed pretty much everything that was in the original story.

      At the time, I thought: this is something that reporters and editors will not forget. For the moment, they might not forget it in the sense that any criticism that touched the White House would be playing with fire. But they would also remember it when a moment came when the White House looked weak -- and would take their revenge.

      By flubbing the Schiavo issue and above all Katrina, the White House gave them that opening. And every journalist who has been bullied and pushed around and threatened and humiliated knew that the opportunity for payback was there. People in every business are human...and a power system that relies on intimidation and humiliation can stay in power a very long time: only, the moment it shows weakness, the backlash rapidly grows.

      So all across the media -- even from conservative reporters / editors who may in principle support some of Bushco's policy (or what they purported was "policy", most of which has turned out to be thin veneer over systematic corruption) -- there are people who also carry resentment for the way that they were used.

      As ye sow, so shall ye reap...

      •  Let's not forget Cindy Sheehan (4.00)
        Her standing up the Bu$h showed what one person coulod do, despite all the shit that rained down on her head.  And her (and all helping) work pointed out the looooong vacation that couldn't be interupted for Katrina.  It also got bu$h bewildered that the attacks wouldn't work . . .

        The critical Office is Secretary of State; they run the elections. Let's find superb candidates ! Sam

        by samddobermann on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 11:58:12 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Some time before the last election (4.00)
      Dobbs had journalists on his show. I am paraphrasing his question but am correct on the key term and the essence of it.
      He asked them how they felt knowing that this administration used psy-ops on the press, including his own network, to get the press to pass on disinformation to the public.

      He said that psy-ops was an acceptable way to treat the enemy, but not your own people and how offended he was that they made the press part of it.

      I don't recall what anyone else said, must not have been strong reactions, but I was shocked that Lou was saying this so openly.

  •  You are Right On...I felt exactly (4.00)
    the same way about Fineman. I just finished watching the Tivo of it. He seemed disgusted by the entire BushCo, Rove and Pathetic Republican house (Duncan Hunter and the rest of the nasty, hateful crap they were spewing tonight) dirty Tricks in trying to discredit Murtha. Fineman seemed like he was sad, angry, disappointed and steathing. I have never seen him so dark and he keep hitting on the Rove factor that we should expect the Bush WH to bring out the entire arsenal on Murtha. I also think it might have had something to do with the Press. The Repubs were going after the press tonight during the Political Tony Award performance they were giving. They constantly keep holding up newpapers and saying "Our troops are reading that Murtha is pushing a vote on a Full Pull out NOW, while they held up national newpapers. It was truly surreal. Political Theater clouded by so much untruth by the Republicans, that I think that Fineman was stunned that the Republicans could sink this low and use our men and woman and the war to try and help their sinking ship.  

    *This site is slower than Bush's reaction on 9/11.*

    by Chamonix on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 12:59:18 AM PST

  •  Rove and Democracy (4.00)
    These two things simply do not go together.  We will not be able to have an intelligent debate in this country nor move our country forward until his type of politics is refuted. One nice way would be through some jail time on Plame (the one smear too far).

    The tune, as Hunter said, is getting old now.  I would like to see an accounting on how politians are responding to this latest smear, this time on Murtha.  I hope all of our own are there on the Dem side but I would also like to see Republicans shoot down this type of smear that is killing our Democracy.

  •  I hope you're right... (4.00)
    ...about your sense of what is playing out. Regarding the media, I don't think it's so much that they are suddenly interested in reporting any truth, I think they know the majority of the public sees the naked ugliness of the Bush administration. Rather than look like even larger complicit idiots than they have these last five years, they've decided to no longer offer their callous denial of reality. They don't want to crash with the Bush administration.

    The other thing that had bothered me over this past week has been how the CMSM has played the Republican response to the Democrats calling them out on their lies as some form of fighting back. Think about what that means. It means the GOP is going to do their best to fight truth back, because truth has been so mean to them these past few weeks. How dare reality!

    Of course, because once again it's the media offering balance, they're making sure lies get as much aire time as truth. I forgot which news program I was watching tonight, but this attitude was in evidence. This side said X, that side said Y; all referenced on a map with no coordinates (no context). This vs that measured against nothing. No referentiality, just empty gestures. Good, better, bad? Nope, just choose your side.

  •  the House the past two days (4.00)
    has been so entertaining, seeing the Dems fight makes me happy.  Regardless of anything, the Dems standing up is wonderful.  God damn wonderful.   I just hope Bush is alive when books come out calling him the Worst. President. Ever.

    I also enjoy pie.

  •  anyone else notice (4.00)
    we are no longer hearing "the Democrats don't stand for anything" from every reporter anymore.  let's hope we keep up the fight and they keep noticing.
  •  I'm not fond of Fineman (none)
    but he's got to be saying "This is just too crazy!" Fineman's been a shill for a long time, but his attachment seemed to be to an older type conservatism.

    Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it. - Mark Twain

    by Rolfyboy6 on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 01:08:19 AM PST

  •  The absolute sign that things have changed (4.00)
    is that the yellow ribbon magnets have nearly all disappeared from the cars I see now. There is no better poll than that. And while it is only a sign and not an action, it is a sign writ in very large letters.

    Bush administration Press Secretary: "We remain baffled..."

    by John West on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 01:10:14 AM PST

  •  this song's been going through my head lately (4.00)
    THE TIDE IS TURNING (after live aid)
    Roger Waters 1987

    Lyrics/Music: Waters

    I used to think the world was flat
    Rarely threw my hat into the crowd
    I felt I had used up my quota of yearning
    Used to look in on the children at night
    In the glow of their Donald Duck light
    And frighten myself with the thought of my little ones
    But oh, oh, oh, the tide is turning
    The tide is turning

    Satellite buzzing through the endless night
    Exclusive to moonshots and world title fights
    Jesus Christ imagine what it must be earning
    Who is the strongest, who is the best
    Who holds the aces, the East or the West
    This is the crap our children are learning
    But oh, oh, oh, the tide is turning
    The tide is turning
    Oh, oh, oh, the tide is turning

    Now the satellite's confused
    'cos on Saturday night
    The airwaves were full of compassion and light
    And his silicon heart warmed
    to the sight of a billion candles burning
    Oo, oo, oo, the tide is turning
    Oo, oo, oo, the tide is turning
    The tide is turning Billy

    I'm not saying that the battle is won
    But on Saturday night all those kids in the sun
    Wrested technology's sword from the hand of the
    War Lords
    Oh, oh, oh, the tide is turning
    The tide is turning Sylvester
    The tide is turning

    it comes and goes these days.  i'll watch c-span and see the democrats flexxing some muscle for once. and i see the polls and ... it even feels like the people can now see through things that were transparent to us years ago.  

    and then i see this: "house votes 403 - 3 to reject withdawal from iraq" on the bottom of the tv screen and if that's all joe six pack sees, then who knows....  on monday call 10,000 people and it turns out 5,000 of them think congress voted on murtha's or a democratic party sponsored resolution and then even democrats rejected it.  that graphic without context looks bad.  it's misleading.

    what this country is capable of believing can still be kind of depressing.

    "my belief is that everyone but me is stupid. and one more thing. i am getting sick and tired of people persecuting me for my beliefs." -- anonymous.

    by BiminiCat on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 01:10:19 AM PST

  •  Links to videos: (4.00)
    Here are a couple of places for those with broadband...

    Here's one link with videos of Murtha, Kucinich, Pelosi and others off of C SPAN.

    Also, here's a site with the video of the MSNBC Countdown segment (16 minutes long with Fineman at the end).

  •  I will believe it when I stop seeing (4.00)
    this shit:

    Democrats claimed Republicans were changing the meaning of Murtha's withdrawal proposal.
    •  yep. repugs needs 2 be called out 4 lies (none)
    •  Seeing this, I was ready to fire up the (none)
      ol' slam AP letter again, but

      Democrats claimed Republicans were changing the meaning of Murtha's withdrawal proposal. He has said a smooth withdrawal would take six months.

      Within the context of the article and the sentence immediately following, it's obvious the Democrats "claims" are correct.

      So that one word "claim", while muddy and factually untrue (they did change the meaning) is annoying, the article itself was not exactly flattering to Repubs and was more "balanced" than most.

      Context and overall tone of the article trumps this crappy "claim" line. Of course, they may have altered it since you read it.

      "As you get older, you get less willing to buy the latest version of reality." Leonard Cohen

      by mentaldebris on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 08:05:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Murtha coordinated his statement (4.00)
        with the Pentagon's own recent briefings to both houses of Congress. See here:

        Both Democrats and Republicans had already been briefed that Gen. Casey was planning a partial redeployment after the upcoming Iraq elections, so they weren't as surprised as they are pretending to be. Murtha has in the past worked pretty closely with the Pentagon, so I doubt the Pentagon was surprised by his resolution. But the WH was, and they can see that Rumsfeld might be losing his hold on Casey. Casey doesn't plan a total withdrawal, but his current plan shows movement on the part of the Armed Forces, and that movement is OUT of Iraq. He also plans to not send in any new troops. This is a change in direction for Casey from just a few months ago, when he was talking about the insurgents running in place and the U.S. perhaps having to stay another five years. Looks like an end run by the military around the administration. If it is, this is big, folks, and I for one am willing to bet that Murtha found his voice after he knew the Pentagon was already on the move. Heh.

        Another topic: Howard Fineman's wife is a lawyer for the FCC? I don't think that means that she is automatically a Republican Operative.  

        "That story isn't worth the paper it's rotten on."--Dorothy Parker

        by martyc35 on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 01:03:03 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Brilliant. Compelling. Inspired. Profound. Moving. (none)
    As always, you are truly the man, Hunter. Thank you for expressing these moving, profound, almost poetic words of insight, salience and truth. Inspiring indeed. This is why we come to dailykos.

    To those words, right on. enough is enough already and folks are rightly so fed up with good reason. power to the people to stand up as proud citizens and fight for what's right for our democracy and save, preserve, protect our vital cherished democratic republic. there's way too much at stake and we all know what happened. the public knows damn straight that these sick willful transgressions and destructive manipulation is beyond pale. time has come to do something about it. how bad does it have to get before like Albert Finney in Network we are so fed up we flat out refuse to take the bs anymore.

  •  Fineman is the epitome of (4.00)
    detached bemusement.  I did not see the segment referred to here, and an indignant or dark Fineman is hard to fathom.....And he said Rove was behind the smear campign a' la Joe Wilson against Murtha?  Wow.

    I watched with rapt attention the debate on CSPAN tonight and it is quite appalling how cheap the Republians are....but I also saw something else--an air of defeat and resignation.

    The tide has turned.  And I think it atually turned when the real tide turned via Katrina.  Cindy sheehan primed the pump and got the nation's attention, and Katrina will have been the actual turning point.....

    •  Hunter is right (4.00)
      I watched it with a friend last night...we were both shocked. Alison Stewart asked Fineman something like "is this a real ethics problem or just real retaliation?" We figured he would do the usual pundit thing and not answer the qeustion directly and instead go into his prepared monologue of snarky political reflection. But he said right out, "Real retaliation." He looked not just bemused, he looked disgusted. He looked as if he felt he needed to take a bath from witnessing what he did.

      I can't believe they'd actually try to investigate Murtha for nepotism considering that all the Abramoff shit has yet to hit the fan. They are imploding.

      May I quote Randi Rhodes on Jean Schmidt: "you...little...bitch!"

      Stop saying that blue state people are out of touch with the morals and values of the red states. I'm not out of touch with them, I just don't share them.

      by missreporter on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 05:24:44 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Watching Schmitt (4.00)
        I almost broke my TV. Slapping it, yelling and cussing. Now I have to write every congressman in this state and tell them to censure her.   A disgrace to the Congress, a disgrace to the state of Ohio, a disgrace to her party, a f*ing disgrace to America and to our troops.  


        War is not an adventure. It is a disease. It is like typhus. - Antoine De Saint-Exupery

        by Margot on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 07:59:32 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I caught part of Harold Ford interview (none)
          after that happened. Someone (Wolf) was asking him about him yelling at her.
          I've never seen the mellow Ford look so angry, his eyes were still seething. But he said he wasn't yelling at her, he was yelling at the outrage.
          He semi-defended her saying something like she was new and clearly didn't understand what was appropriate and that it was a group of republicans who surrounded her and clearly explained things to her.

          But though he didn't slam her he was very angry at the whole sham and did talk about that. Wolf kept pushing how he went leaping from his seat, leaped over some barrier and was yelling. The only part of that Ford corrected was it wasn't much of a leap, just across some aisle.

          Despite some shaky votes I like Ford, he is thoughtful and well-spoken. He doesn't sound like he is spinning. But it seemed a very good sign that this very gentle spoken man who tends to keep the peace...was so outraged. Enough to leap from his seat and run, yelling in protest.

          •  I heard that too (none)
            He looked very angry and embarrassed.   Hope she got the word that her behavior was disgraceful and unacceptable.  

            War is not an adventure. It is a disease. It is like typhus. - Antoine De Saint-Exupery

            by Margot on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 03:42:05 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  I think it's the Second Civil War (none)
    I'm glad we're winning these battles, but my enjoyment is often spoiled by a deep sense of foreboding... because we better brace for the counter-strike. It always comes, and it's always ugly.

    We must continue fighting back, courageously and without hesitation, but at the same time we have to remain aware that the escalation and counter-escalation takes us closer to outright shooting civil war in this country. To me, shouting matches on the floor of the House echo way too much of 1850.

    First we had "the nuclear option", now the Repugs are breaking House rules and personally attacking us, now they're launching a smear campaign on a veteran, then they call 60% of the country traitors... I mean, I don't want to ask what's next. I just don't want to know. War is the failure of diplomacy ("the continuation of diplomacy by other means"). "Diplomatic" methods of resolving conflict are rapidly breaking down. The shooting starts when the talking stops. And the talking seems to be becoming less and less effective. That scares the shit out of me.

    My biggest fear is that these criminals refuse to give up power without an actual armed struggle, revolution, or coup. Even if 99% of the country is against them (or realistically, maybe 80% tops, they have a hardcore base after all), they'll still cling tenaciously to power.

    I can imagine the Repugs devolving into something like either a Latin-style minority dictatorship (if they stay in power), or a Sunni-style armed insurgency (if we remove them from power). Neither are very pleasant scenarios.

    I almost wish I hadn't discover the sci-fi performance artist John Titor, because his predictions seem way too accurate.

    •  Pretty Apocalyptic, Goatchowder... (none)
      Naw, I think the next step is we revert to the Taiwan Legislature, where everybody starts throwing chingazos (punches).  I like our chances when Murtha starts throwing some elbows (Hackett would be great, too!), and the Chickenhawks turn their heads and start fighting like girls!!!!!!

      Did u know Karl Rove got his Turdblossom ass beaten by a girl in the second grade???

      Next step--nose bleeds!!!

    •  Diplomacy (none)
      The people in power pretty much don't do diplomacy on the world stage. Now they are treating us like they do other countries. It's scary. "Good" Republicans who are rational, moderate and genuine people (since I'm from Jersey two come to mind, Christie Whitman and Tom Kean) really need to step up and introduce more than a modicum of diplomacy and just basic human relations to stamp out these flames.

      Stop saying that blue state people are out of touch with the morals and values of the red states. I'm not out of touch with them, I just don't share them.

      by missreporter on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 05:40:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  just to add to your discomfort... (none)
      Consider that pushing civil discourse over the brink and inciting public disorder plays right into their hands. Get a couple of dramatic media moments of civil disorder, whether genuine or provoked, raise the hysteria level to Code Red, and declare a national emergency.  At that point, Bush becomes a dictator.

      A real master media manipulator would not find this a terribly dificult scenario to orchestrate.  The MSM would cream with delight and play right along with it.

      That's when the really tough choices come up for all of us...

      -8.0, -7.03 don't always believe what you think...

      by claude on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 06:06:53 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  asdf (3.90)
    I also noticed the dark mood of Fineman tonight -- it was as if he rcognized that Rove and company had crossed the proverbia rubicon. I have no idea why attacking Murtha had this efect, whereas attacking Max Cleland in 2002 swiftboating Kerry in 2004 did not.  Maybe is is the curse of the "S" women - Schiavo and Sheehan -- that has ushered in this creeping sense of disgust by those who have been apologists for the right in the past.  I don't know.  

    But there were a lot of interesting and emotive scenes tonight to consider.  Fineman aside, there was the congressman to the side of Schmidt.  While that harridan was impugning the integrity of Murtha in her statement, he was looking down and shaking his head in disgust.  GOP or not, he seemed to have enough political savvy to realize that she had made a huge political blunder.

    Then there was the press conference by the Dems on the House intelligence committee that I caught on C-span. One rep (from NJ I think) was literally shaking when he kept repeating that they had asked 8 times that the house look into the outing of Valerie Plame and that the GOP leadership would have none of it. Each Dem who spoke was passionate, and their voices almost cracked at times, in a manner reminiscent of Fitzgerald when he was giving his conference.  It was as if they all know the significance of the times.

    There's something in the air.  Strange day, today. VERy strange. Reminds of what my dad used to tell me about the period after they got rid of Allende in Chile, when some conservatives finally realized that they had helped bring a tyrant to power in the form of Pinochet.  Same sort of somber sensibility, dark realization at play here.

    Bush: Always Wrong and Never in Doubt

    by Delilah on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 01:37:47 AM PST

    •  Korea yesterday... (4.00)
      Bush is off in Korea (think polite, subtle, indirect people), and while he is there, the Korean generals announce they are pulling out 1/3 of their troops from Iraq.  The pundits on NPR commented Korea has most troops after Britain, and Bush had just praised Korea's support for the war.  This was pretty much an insult on the world stage- a former grateful nation rejecting Bush as world leader.

      The world is pulling away publicly Bush and his policies.  Bush is running around, bleating about freedom, bleating about elections, with the Rove/Cheney puppet strings clearly outlined in the glare of the world stage.  And then Korea gives Bush a big slapdown while he is still there in Korea.  That is a big shocker.

      Maybe the press are starting to realize that the whole "liberals of the main stream media" can't play anymore when Woodward has so blatantly sold out.  They can join the Woodward/Judy Miller press and repeat the Republican talking points and insult people's intelligence.

      In the immortal words of the poet e.e. cummings,
      "There is some shit I will not eat."

      "At the very least, we should see to it that no one who works hard all week has to live in poverty and without access to good health care." William Raspberry

      by murrayewv on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 02:41:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Polite? (4.00)

        Bush is off in Korea (think polite, subtle, indirect people), and while he is there, the Korean generals announce they are pulling out 1/3 of their troops from Iraq.  The pundits on NPR commented Korea has most troops after Britain, and Bush had just praised Korea's support for the war.  This was pretty much an insult on the world stage- a former grateful nation rejecting Bush as world leader.

        Polite, subtle, indirect? You've obviously never seen my wife after I've ticked her off... :-)

        But you do have a point - the most telling aspect of the whole thing is how the announcement was made after Bush had met with the Korean President, and the Koreans made no effort to inform him at that meeting. The message is contempt, for Bush, his policies (not just Iraq, but North Korea) and his leadership.

        (Deep Fish out of Korea)

        Smoke and flashing lights are turned up, as the Great Oz pronounces. Meanwhile, out the back door go the flying monkeys - Dallas Doc.

        by deepfish on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 03:25:20 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Nice reminder. That was huge over there (none)
        and didn't get enough play here. A real slap at Bush. Bet he had a extra swig or two after learning what was done!!!
      •  It is not only an insult (4.00)
        It is a purposeful demonstration of "You have lost your power."
    •  Investigating Murtha for Ethics Violations? (4.00)
      The Republicans have spent too much time playing groupthink in their bunkers.  They actually believe their "ethics committee charges are just political attacks" meme will play to their base while senior Republicans are being indicted daily.  Federal agents served search warrants on Republican Representative Randy "Duke" Cunningham. The Abramoff corruption investigation apparently resulted in a plea agreement implicating Representative Robert W. Ney (R-Ohio), chairman of the House Administration Committee.

      The problem with ruling through abuse of power is what happens when you begin losing that power. Hurricane Katrina shattered the myth of Republican know-how, which the media types felt compelled to support in time of war and which formed the basis of the Republican Party's lock on power.  Without that, everyone is looking at Bush, Cheney, Rove, DeLay, et al and saying "Look, they're nothing but giant cockroaches."  Just as in the Far Side cartoon, once the spell is broken everyone will desert them.

      •  It's a... (none)
        pot calling the kettle black situation.  The stuff they're accusing Murtha of doing is something most members of their party are surely doing themselves.

        From now on James Dobson shall be referred to ---son. I'm not sharing three letters of my last name with that s.o.b.

        by Dobber on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 04:40:08 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Hmmm (none)
        Isn't Ney a key obstacle to voting machine reform?
      •  You have a very good point here... (none)
        ... and it may provide yet another opening for us.  By highlighting an ETHICS investigation, of all things, of Murtha, the press just might actually put things into context a little.  Like, there are about a thousand horribly damning, major ethics violations that the House has NOT investigated.  If we are lucky, the press might just start reciting some of the worst abuses swept under the rug.

        And a layman reader can then conclude easily, "Wait, now, they are investigating THIS GUY on THIS piddly little charge NOW, right after he spoke out against the administration???"

  •  There certainly is something in the air, (4.00)
    it's that people are realizing the new Republican party does resemble a fascist party.

    All of this secrecy, all of this demanding obedience to authority, all this vicious attacking of anyone who questions them.

    And don't think for a second they won't be using the Patriot Act (an oxymoron if I ever heard one) to go after us.

  •  Who's the traitor, when... (4.00)
    ...the majority is the accused?

    It's only Nero-esque if the city is burning. :)

    by cskendrick on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 01:49:07 AM PST

  •  White House keeps dossiers on more than 10,000 (4.00)
    'political enemies'

    ...White House insiders tell disturbing tales of invasion of privacy, abuse of government power and use of expanded authority under the USA Patriot Act to dig into the personal lives of anyone the administration deems an enemy of the state.

    Those on the list include former Ambassador Joseph Wilson and his wife, former covert CIA operative Valarie Plame, along with filmmaker and administration critic Michael Moore, Senators like California's Barbara Boxer, media figures like liberal writer Joe Conason and left-wing bloggers like Markos Moulitsas Zúniga (the Daily Kos) and Ana Marie Cox (Wonkette)..."

    Capitol Hills Blues:White House keeps dossiers on more than 10,000 'political enemies'

    [This post is definately off topic, but I just found this article and wanted everyone to see it asap. Apologies if it has been posted elsewhere.]

    If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever. [George Orwell]

    by Krush on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 01:53:50 AM PST

  •  From darknes to Daylight (none)

    It's there. Not like vapor. More like electricity. More like a pulse. "It lives." We live. After all the empty years of getting nowhere fast or at the least, often feeling that way, our consolation is that we have to fight harder. Dissent is patriotic. Dissent is an obligation. Dissent is required.

    Those poll numbers track all the sleepers who are  just now waking up. It is up to us to keep them awake.  


    "We do not torture," -GWB

    by gbg on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 02:19:41 AM PST

  •  predictable (none)
    War is cming: what I wrote yesterday.
  •  Fifth estate and war (none)
    What the fifth estate fails to realize is that they're the target - ultimately. Whit them controlled, contained, and subdued, there can be a thousand Hurtha all coming to naught.

    i put my views of it here.

  •  They've brought this upon themselves (4.00)
    and patriots like Murtha are simply helping them along. I don't think BushCo's plunging polls numbers are a short-term setback. I think it's permanent, and irreversible.

    I saw this coming in the days after last year's election, when Bush claimed a mandate and Rove was talking about a decades-long Republican dominance of American politics. There were signs of their downfall before the election, but after it they were all but unavoidable. They overreached, on an immense, historical scale, not unlike Hitler's fateful decision to attack the Russia and fight an impossible two-front war (the comparison is only semi-incidental, with apologies to Mr. Godwin), by pursuing hugely unpopular and incompetently devised policies. And then, of course, came Cindy, Katrina and Patrick, and the wheels started coming off the wagon for good.

    Look, a movement that began as a reaction to the New Deal and post-war civil rights advances, selected as its standard bearer a lunatic who wanted to nuke the world, reached its peak with a chimp's intellectually vacuous former co-star, accepted as its political and moral leader a man who cheated on his wife and served her with divorce papers while she was in the hospital with cancer, and then picked as its new leader a lifelong nonachiever who evaded his evasion of military service in Vietnam, was going to self-destruct sooner or later, due to its inherent shallowness and hypocrisy. The seeds of its own destruction were sown when it decided to put its fortunes in the hands of a self-destructive moron and a slimy political operative. It was just a matter of when and how at that point.

    Well, I think we're at that point, and there's no going back. These people aren't going away, and there's plenty more of them to come, but I think the tide's finally turned in our favor, and we'll have a more than fair fight from now on. I really do believe that this surreal period of American history in which it seemed that the normal rules of reality seemed to be suspended, is coming to its long overdue end. There's simply no way I can see for them to survive their self-inflicted injuries. I just hope they don't take too long to die because it's draining the life out of the rest of us who just want to get on with life.

  •  Bushco tries to out-Nixon Nixon (4.00)
    I am disheartened, further, that we seem to be intent on replaying the political fights of Vietnam down to the last pictures and notes.

    That's because conservatives learned the wrong lessons from Vietnam.  They don't get that the war was unwinnable.  They think the wussy war protesters held them back, and if they had their way they could have "won" it.  

    If we don't cement this war as Bush's war in the permanent public memory, a war in which he got everything he wanted (unilateralism, minimal forces, no-bid Halliburton contracts) and still utterly blew it, many conservatives will think it was again merely a matter of implementation, rather than the war itself.  Then we'll have to do this all over again in 35 years, goddamnit.

    Just because we can, that doesn't mean we should.

    by Simplify on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 02:44:56 AM PST

  •  Sign of a turning tide? (4.00)
    I called my congressman's office yesterday to urge support for the Murtha resolution (before the Repugnicans vomited up that cynical abortion that went to a vote).  When the staffer asked for my name and address, I gave it.  When she heard the name of my street, she said "Hmmm, It looks like your neighbor has called, too."

    Not so remarkable, except I live at the end of a rural lane.  There are about 10 houses on the lane, and one of my neighbors had called within minutes of me, completely at random.  Coincidence, or the inklings of a groundswell?  I can tell you that there are no known activists in my neck of the woods;  my neighbor's call, like mine, was a spontaneous and instantaneous expression.

    Not to read too much into it, but we now have the momentum.  The next step is to hold the GOP to its rhetoric.  Leave when the job is done?  Fine, let's debate what will constitute "done."  If Rummy has no plan, let's impose one on him by the body with the war-making power.  GOP congresscritters are at least bright enough to know which way the wind blows;  our next step should be to hammer home the points of the Murtha resolution and shame the Republicans to live up to their stated concerns and debate that resolution.

    "Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit upon his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats." -- H. L. Mencken

    by roxtar on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 02:51:32 AM PST

  •  Props to Hunter (4.00)
    Always like your stuff.
    ...raining down like hailstones anywhere Abramoff has brushed up against the woodwork of power...
    Nice turn of phrase. I'm a politcal junkie, and spend several hours a day reading blogs, so anyone who bothers to employ a little literary style is always welcome in my little corner of teh intarweb.
  •  wicked good writing (4.00)
    hunter, this is the business
    thanks for the bull's eye analysis

    why? just kos..... *just cause*

    by melo on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 03:23:52 AM PST

  •  Fighting Dirty (4.00)
    I have been angry at the lack of Democratic spine over the last few years, but this scurrilous attack on Murtha highlights what happens to anyone who goes up against Bush: brave people who speak the truth get smeared in the worst ways possible. It seems this is the only tactic Republicans use, but it is terribly effective.

    The worst part is, I believe it has kept honest patriots away from the debate. In order to disagree with Bush publicly, you have to abandon all future hope of holding any office higher than dogcatcher. Bushco will employ a scorched earth policy on dissenters.

    I want to respect my Democratic representatives, and we have had some posting here to Kos who have proven that there are brave men and women in our party, but I think if those same congress-types went to the airwaves, they would be blasted with all manner of slime and innuendo. To be sure, some go ahead, regardless. But if they get too much airplay, like Murtha, the slime machine gears up to ruin them in the public eye.

    I am tired of this bunch of fucking bully-boys. Can we finally beat them? God, I hope so.

    p.s. For Scotty to attempt to link Murtha with Michael Moore is hilarious, albeit pathetic. Since when is Moore Public Enemy Number One? Has he even made public appearances in the past year? I sure haven't seen him on talk shows, or big special events. It is lunacy for the "Right" to try to craft him as the American counterpart of Osama bin Laden. Love him or hate him (I love him,) Mike is just an American with an opinion contrary to the ruling party. They have to demonize him, because they know he's dangerous to their existence.

  •  A Pulitzer-Worthy Dairy, Hunter (none)

     You informed me of facts, you gave opinion, and you turned the object around so that I could see the thing from several sides.  Thank you.


    . . . religion is not a syllogism, but a poem. H.L. Mencken

    by BenGoshi on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 03:36:38 AM PST

  •  Murtha is the Man (4.00)
    I believe part of the awakening inside the beltway press is based on Murtha himself.  I attempted yesterday to express how his role in Congress is different from the pretty, postering, camera saavy McCain/Biden types.  The troops, the military is his life's work and he understands how the military works.  Soldiers cannot criticize their leadership, they cannot blow whistles.  Murtha knows this, so he's built a network of contacts with the real folks in the field.  He let's the brass speak for itself, Murtha speaks for those who can outwardly give the brass nothing but lip service by law.  When Murtha speaks, we get the following:  1) A British poll indicates that 80% of the Iraqi people want the Americans to leave; 2) Less than 3% of the "insurgents" are foreigners; 3) American soldiers are the enemy of the Kurds, the Shia, and the Sunni; 4) Attacks against our soldiers, IEDs, etc. have doubled since Abu Graib; 5)  60% of the Iraqi population is unemployed; 6)  This "war", read invasion and occupation is unwinnable, unsustainable and the American people know it.  Murtha's plan is the only solution to this situation.  Pull our troops out of Iraq and "over the horizon" into Kuwait.  Let the Iraqi sort this out and we go to stand by mode.  That gives the Iraqi's reason to make their government work.  If they don't do so, they know we will come back into their country and above all else, the Iraqi people want our military gone.  
  •  New diary alert (none)

    It's on the WP and Bob Woodward.

  •  Fineman could be a bellweather, (4.00)
    Someone on Firedoglake mentioned that if Bush 'loses' Fineman, he loses America.  So someone else saw what you saw.  And now is the time to stand with Murtha.  Howard Dean has already stated that he stands full square with him, as has Kerry.  Max Cleland will soon add his reputation to the defense.

    Either we defend Murtha now, right now, and until he needs so further defense, or we will go down as the most useless party ever.  Once again, Murtha jumped out of the trenches and took point on our march back to freedom and real, honest policies.

    Murtha is now all of our representative.  I will call my awful republican rep here in MN, Mark Kennedy, and give him my 'thoughts' (trying to keep from screaming) and will call Murtha and donate.  

    And to Rep. Murtha, thank you once again for stepping to the front of our struggle.  The next year will be very difficult, but speak out if you would like us to help in any way.  

  •  I caught the same segment (4.00)
    Fineman looked uncomfortable, surprised, unsettled, and to some extent angry at what he'd witnessed tonight.  When asked if the suggestion of an ethics complaint against Murtha was a coincidence his jaw simply dropped at the idea that someone could seriously imagine that there was no connection.

    Fineman did drop one small comment that it will be interesting to see if anyone else picks up on.  He said that Murtha had to know that this would bring a storm of abuse down on his head, that surely he must have been prepared for the fury of the attack on him.  What Fineman went on to say is that perhaps Murtha had sensed that he was about to be attacked, and chose to start the battle "on a field of his own choosing" or something to that effect, i.e. if I understood Fineman's brief aside, that Murtha somehow got word that the GOP attack dogs were already planning to take him out just for the sheer pleasure of it, as a partisan act, and frankly...   because they could, and Murtha decided if the bastards wanted to play hardball, that he might as well nuke them.  Importantly, that appeared to be Fineman's speculation, rather than anything he had any hard evidence on...  but if this is a White House that maintains Nixonian enemies lists, which even collect dossiers on those currently viewed as allies, then we're right back to the era of J. Edgar Hoover secret dossiers, aren't we?  Neo-con, meet neo-fascism, the two of you should have a lot to talk about.

    The clips of Freshman Congresswoman Schmidt were stunning live television.  Her face was a contorted mask of taut and venomous hatred unleashed.  Her act in calling out Congressman Murtha as a coward was an epic moment in public theater.  One must ask what credentials Ms Schmidt brings to a public discussion of bravery vs cowardice?  or what the gentleman she was quoting brings to that public discourse?  One can only hope that the politician-soldier who sent her that letter has his resume in order.   The contrast between Schmidt's demeanor when she was in full hate-speech mode and ten minutes later when she was in full dubious disclaimer mode was stunning.  

    I agree that Fineman seemed shaken.  It has all been a bit of a chuckle up until now, but it is beginning to get personal, and things have spun beyond what the Washington Press Corps is able to predict from moment to moment.  It is not easy to be a facile talking head, when thing are starting to break down as they appear to be doing.

    The contrast between Murtha, and his comments, and those of the GOP "fog of war machine" could not be more striking.  Murtha appears to be speaking from the heart, while those on the opposite side are reciting well-rehearsed scripts, not from real conviction or personal anguish, but in rehearsed posturing.  The American people can hear the difference.  We can, you know.  They have nothing but contempt for us, and think that we will swallow any old crap that they shovel out at us, but we're not eating it up any more.

    This issue is not about "cutting and running" and it is apparent and obvious that the GOP Wind Machine is being dishonest in attempting to frame the debate as that.  It is about what the troops were asked to do, and what according to Murtha's perspective, they have accomplished, and should be allowed to stand down and let others sort out the social and political mess that Iraq has devolved into.  I suggested to Murtha, as have others, that this is probably an appropriate time for the "Arab League" nations to form an occupation and transition force to assist Iraq in putting itself together again.  Let's let the nations of that region handle a difficult regional issue, which they are far better suited to deal with than our troops are.  

    Haul Saddam Hussein out to The Hague, let his trial go on there where his lawyers would not need to fear for their lives.  Let international systems work that are far more appropriate than the skills our National Guard troops have.  How many of our troops speak Arabic?  one percent, at best?  or far less?  the boots on the ground need to be able to communicate, or they can't sort out the problems.  They need to understand the culture, without getting a BA in Middle East Studies before deploying.

    This is a limits of power issue.  Murtha made some great points:  our troops were asked to kick the crap out of the Iraqi Army, they did it.  They were asked to capture or kill Saddam Hussein and his top staff, they did it.  They were asked to secure and assess the sites where W.M.D. development could be taking place, and verify what was or was not going on.  They did that.  What Murtha is asking, is what are they being asked to accomplish now?  Get blown up?  Build hatred for our nation?  Build a new and democratic Iraqi nation that is crafted in the image of our society?  Win the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people, while at the same time occupying their country?  Not an easy trick, and one that Murtha thinks we're not doing a good job of, so let's task our troops to do the things they are good at, and leave the impossible tasks for the Iraqis themselves to sort out.

    Who trained our troops to accomplish the building of a new Iraqi society, which are incidentally the very tasks that President Bush ridiculed during his first campaign for President as "nation building", something his campaign staff carefully coached him to say he thought was an activity which was inappropriate for our country to become involved in.  Now our nation is up to its chin in quicksand because Bush is asking our troops to do the very thing he said he believed to be a terrible idea.  That's Bush all over: all hat, no cattle, all rhetoric, no substance.  As Murtha said, "I like guys who get five deferments, then send others off to war".

    •  Gave you a four (4.00)
      Because I have never seen such a clear exposition about what was right and wrong in Iraq and how to get out of the mess. Getting the UN involved won't work any more. It must be a regional Middle-East solution.

      You give the lie to all who say we supported Saddam Hussein.

      It was right to depose Saddam, but lunacy to try to erase and restructure Iraqi society. Last week I saw some History channel programs about the Crusades and was struck by the Muslim tenacity. They even mentioned that Bush calling the Iraqi invasion a Crusade sent shock waves through the Arab world.

      We could have deposed saddam as a warning to his succesor not to play games with WMD. We could have found some Iraqi general to install. Or just let the Baath Party select their next dictator. But the Baath are socialists and the neo-cons hate that even in another country.  I'm not a socialist, but I concede it might make sense in a country like Iraq with a deadly climate and limited resources of water, food, and electricity. Sharing makes sense in that context that cut-throat capitalism does not.

  •  Fineman, and what all this means (4.00)
    Before I get into the meatier stuff, I should preface by saying that Fineman has actually often sounded the way he sounded on Countdown last night in recent weeks. On Hardball, Fineman regularly cites Karl Rove by name, and he speaks unequivically about Rove's attack tactics being nothing but politics.

    But on to the point, I think this kind of honesty from reporters is indicative not so much of some kind of reinvigoration by the media, but rather a lack of fear that they once had to report what any reasonable person who sees this stuff every day would see as dishonest.

    The problem with News for profit, as all of you know, is that it is a business first and foremost. After Sept. 11, the simple reality to anyone but us liberals was that the country was not in any mood to hear criticisms, to hear back and forth, even if it was correct and constructive. And if we're feeling honest, we can admit that many of us even felt that way. We were willing to forget about stem cell research immediately, and concentrate on getting back at the bastards who attacked us.

    That put the news media in a tough position. After the seeming success of Afghanistan, the Iraq war was a tough thing to question. You have to give Rove and company credit, in a stomach-churning way, for using PR to turn Iraq into a "logical next step" for the people in this country who are perhaps less inclined to question such things.

    I think that many in the media felt uncomfortable about the unquestioned march to war, but in a climate of national agreement that proactive measures needed to be taken, they were afraid of being singled out the way Dan Rather later was. Like politicians, reporters can justify their lack of oversight by telling themselves that they can do more good by staying in the game then by taking a bold stance and risking being exiled.

    A handful of them, like Sy Hersh, have the character and experience to know that this tactic ultimately is only hurtful to the public. But many, many reporters -- and editors for that matter -- simply never learned this lesson, and either did not know or did not trust history to tell them this.

    The effect this has on the public can not be understated. Good, decent, intelligent people often assume that if there were a real problem, the press would be hammering it. I mean, we got almost daily updates about Bill Clinton's oral sex experiences. Surely, a nerfariously concocted war would be something the media would scream to high heaven about.

    As we all know, they didn't. And in a perfect world, they shouldn't have to, and people would educate themselves (and this to me is why I love DailyKos and the other blogs that empower people to learn things for themselves.) Regardless, the media's silence spoke volumes.

    This brings us back to Fineman. I believe that what we are seeing from him, and from others in the media, is some make-up flowers to the abused public. Many of them know what we long suspected: they were negligent in their duty. With Bush's tumble in the polls, and with the much-touted elections clearly having little practical effect on the dangerous situations our soldiers face, that fear of being outcast for critiquing Bush has evaporated, and they can finally do what most of them genuinely got into journalism to do: suss out bullshit, and report it to a lethargic public.

    So Hunter is right. There is something in the air. Or rather, there is something back in the air. I'm not going to pretend that we've suddenly got the sterling media that we frankly deserve, but I do think that the remarkable lack of interest in reporting the truth that we saw after Sept. 11 is over.

    Making this even better for our side is the fact that Bush and company majorly overplayed their hand. If you're not Brit Hume, or an apologist of his ilk, you're going to realize that you're being stared in the eye and lied to. Call it the McClellan syndrome. People can only be flat out lied to so much before they bust you. Now that no reporter has to feel like a lone voice in the crowd, there is no longer a fear of doing that.

    We are getting our media, and our country, back. The pendulum is in fact swinging. And there's not really any mystery to it. The media is simply losing the fear that it never should have had, that it never wanted to have, but that it was too weak to stand up to. I have a feeling it is going to be a long, long time before we see that kind of cowardice again, just as the Watergate scadal grabbed the rpess corp by the shoulders and shook them and said, "Wake up, these people are lying to you."

    Reporters love nothing more than to have facts on their side, and to speak truth to power. Their inability to do so these last years was not incompetence, but fear. That fear is slipping away, and the fruits of it are being seen in small ways every single day.

    I, for one, am deeply encouraged, and I think the less skeptical we are aboutthem -- the more we reward them -- the more of this kind of honesty we are going to see from the people who are up close to the action in Washington.

    Is it pathetic that this lesson needed to be learned again? Sure. But better late than never.

  •  I hope the American public (4.00)
    can see through this ethics violation ruse as being typical WH vindictiveness, the same way as outing Plame was their way of retaliating against Wilson.  And, we see where that got them?  America isn't buying it anymore.

    I have a close relative, a Christian conservative that up until the past few months, stood on her Bible and waved her flag.  Those days are now over.  She stopped drinking the cool-aid and now shakes her head in disgust.  If SHE sees through the smoke and mirrors, which I never thought could happen, than maybe Americans are waking up like corpses out of a Re-animator movie.

    At first, I was giddily entertained by watching these people self-destruct.  Now that the joy has worn off, I feel somber and sad for my country, but slightly hopeful now that the truth is coming out.  

  •  It's weird (4.00)
    seeing the type of straw this drowning adminisrtation is grasping at. Bush's problem is that a majority of Americans now realize that he is a liar. Poor George!

    We need a Commander in Chief, not a Campaigner in Chief. - Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid

    by kitebro on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 03:54:42 AM PST

  •  Sagacious... (none)
    ...and remarkable writing, as always, Hunter.  Fine piece.  
    "...somewhere between somber and simmering..." is the state of the nation.

    All politics is local. ~Tip O'Neill

    by Caldonia on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 03:56:41 AM PST

  •  Big surprise huh- (4.00)

    "Sinclair Employees Claim They Were Ordered To Slant News"

    "Former and current news employees of Sinclair Broadcasting have described the owners' campaign to court powerful conservative legislators who responded by clearing away legal obstacles and thereby allow Sinclair to become the largest owner of TV stations in America. In interviews appearing in GQ magazine, the employees describe how they were subjected to political litmus tests before being hired, how they were ordered to report only "good news" about Iraq"

    Don't push me 'cause I'm close to the edge

    by Cat4everrr on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 03:58:10 AM PST

    •  No suprise here, (none)
      of course.  We know the corporate media, the main stream media, the whore media (my personal favorite), all one and the same, is directly controlled by the corporate master.  The media owned by the corporation, is an asset of the corporation, and as such is used to further the interests of the corporation.  Jack Welch stated this plainly some time ago.

      That interest may only be to make a profit, but for big diversified corporations the media asset is more useful as a tool to achieve and maintain a political environment friendly to the corporation.  The big corps want deregulation, political access and influence, cheap labor, tax breaks, subsidies, etc. and a conservative Republican administration is giving them all that.

      A few individual reporters may become so uncomfortable with the lies that they will risk corporate wrath and tell some truths.  In the end though, the corporate interest will prevail and their media asset will conform to that interest.  Count on it.


      It's great to be a Republican these days - nobody expects you to be smart, competent or honest.

      by yellowdog52 on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 05:47:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ratings are the bottom line. (none)
        The 'mass' media will follow the winds of change. If 2/3 of the country polls in one direction, they will certainly follow, even if it contradicts their political bias. At the end of the fiscal year, their survival depends on ratings.

        That's why Rupert Murdoch just gobbled up, because it gets more hits than Google.

        Media conglomerates will always bow to the Golden Calf, who is their creator.

  •  when the only tool you have is a hammer . . (4.00)
    everything starts looking like a nail.  the 'genius' of karl rove and dick cheney is to go for broke in bullying while things are going your way, while you have the amassed power of centuries of evil at your command.

    now things are not going their way, but their is no nuance of difference to their approach.  i predict they will just keep making things worse for themselves till they self destruct.  unfortunately, it seems reasonable to expect they will cause a lot of damage to the people of the world before they go down.

  •  It is Always Darkess Before Dawn... (none)
    and even with that platitude, I do believe that finally, finally, the repubs are coming apart.

    I have been listening and reading for alost two years now about how the republican solidarity is "beginning to crack," that the "wheels wre coming off," and that the repubs were "about to face reality."  Well, after last night, I now believe it's happening.  

    And I think the fury of the public, when enough people finally accept that they were lied to about this war and other issues of w's administration, is going to be something the republican party as an organization never does forget or recover from.

    •  403-3 will stick..... (none)
      for a long time. So, yours is a wishful thinking. Our idiots in congress did it again. They yapping their mouths but when it comes to vote they crap their pants and wiggle dirty tails.  There was some hope for 2006 - no more.
      •  no, no... (4.00)
        Just a little primer, for anyone who tuned in late (I'd have to assume that's the case from your comment). Bear with me, fellow kossacks that already know all this.

        The Hunter (not our Hunter) resolution they voted on yesterday was a travesty and deserved to be voted down. This is being fudged somewhat (but I doubt very much it will be successful) by bad reporting in the AP and elsewhere that this was the Murtha resolution. It was not. It was authored by Duncan Hunter, a republican, as a cynical ploy. It was a poorly crafted sham accompanied by partisan grandstanding and smearing. The repugs got called on their BS and the dems won the day (IMHO). The debate the repugs are trying to avoid is right at their doorstep, with this whole process culminating in another platform for Murtha to express his views for the record. And I agree with earlier posters--the dialogue has shifted from "do we go" to "when do we go". Yes navigating these republican-induced slings and arrows was tricky, but I think overall the dems did a good job yesterday and people will see that. Hats off.

        •  ye right (none)
          You can tell this fairy tale about who's resolution it was to your child or grandma (depending on your age), score 403-3 will stick in minds not the history of it. And be sure RNC will do their best for people to remember. Murtha called for it and voted against. Do we want to have McKeenie as the only honest Dem?  
      •  Fuck off ya fuckin' RNC troll. (none)
  •  Instead of treating (none)
    these people (wingnuts and their supporters) with the respect we believe everyone is due, isn't it time those left of center and who disagree with the direction of the country started responding to attacks from the right with equal venom.

    Fighting fire with fire is not something to be ashamed of or out of bounds, especially if the survival of democracy in America and freedoms worldwide are at stake, and from where I am sitting that is exactly the situation. Fight back or perish America, its our choice and we have no one to blame but ourselves if we don't respond appropriately, don't we owe that to the nation we all supposedly love so much, lets start showing it before its too late.
    Have a safe weekend everyone.

    •  Honesty (4.00)
      I think it is essential that the Democratic party be seen as the party of truth. There is no shortcut to achieving that. We simply need to be it. We cannot afford to play the disgusting, dishonest game of shaming people into agreeing with us, or taking advantage of political weakness in a way that is less about fairness than opportunism.

      We need to take a stand and be honest and open and not insist on unprovable things like, "We're losing this war" when it is perfectly servicable to say, "We're not making enough progress to justify our continued involvement, and our leaders are not adequately telling us how or when we can declare success."

      This perhaps will not pay off for years to come, but eventually people will appreciate that rather than merely creating a disingenuous chorus of unanimous dissent, we do what people are doing in bars and diners across the country: trying to figure out just what we're doing there, and what kind of toll it's going to take. Our party will reap the rewards of this honest discussion eventually.

      •  I don't know (none)
        what your comments have to do with what I posted but  you must have read something into my comments that I didn't say or mean, nice post on your part  even if I don't get the relevance to mine.
        Thanks for the input and have a nice day.
  •  Fineman's change (4.00)
    Fineman  always seemed to be a "he said/she said" kind of reporter until a few weeks ago when he proclaimed his complete agreement with one of Frank Rich's columns.

    He did this on the Imus in the Morning Show, and when I heard it I thought holy shit that's it, Bush has lost the MSM.

    •  In fairness to Fineman... (4.00)
      ...he is a solid reporter, and he has been consistently going on somewhat left-leaning shows like Franken's and Olberman's and explaining things in as fair a way as a non-advocate can.

      I think we often get upset that the reporter is not espousing the truth as we see it, but in a lot of ways that would undermine their credibility. My father trusts a gy like Fineman because he does what Fox pretends to do: reports, and lets you draw your own conclusions.

      Fineman wrote some very honest and revealing things during the 2004 election without ever wandering off into what anyone could call advocacy, and it makes his reputation that much more impeachable. That makes his recent tougher take on Rove and company all that much more believable to people who think anyone who leans one way or the other is more interested in helping their own party than telling the truth.

      There's no substitute for a good reputation, and Fineman certainly has that.

      •  Seems to me (none)
        that Fineman was one of those who actively set out to destroy Howard Dean; for instance in his infamous hatchet job "Doubts about Dean" Jan 2004 Newsweek cover story.
        •  Fineman/Dean (none)
          well, Fineman most certainly didn't set out to destroy Dean. The fact is that Dean, for all of his admirable traits, had a whole lot of drawbacks. It was impossible for a political historian to deny that Dean ran one of the most inelegant, angry, and clumsy campaigns in recent memory. I loved him because I agreed with him, but I also know a whole lot of reasonable, moderate people who felt like Dean himself was extremely problematic.

          I think we have reached a point of myth that the media struck Dean down, I hear that all the time. But the fact is, Dean simply did not play the game anywhere near where he sould have. I actually admire how incapable he is of being a proper political person, but it is also impossible to keep blaming the media. Dean's problems were of his own making.

  •  What Hunter sees, what Hunter smells (none)
    What we see from the Bush Davidians is a group of people taking leave of their senses, literally.  Facts and reason have long been lost.  Assessing the consequences of choices and actions is not something available to them.  This is, after all, what fascism looks and smells like.
  •  I felt the same way you did when watching (none)
    Fineman last night.  Something was different about his demeanor.  He looked like he was literally disgusted and angry.

    --Liberate your radio--

    by Sam Loomis on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 04:58:20 AM PST

    •  Couple that with Tweety (4.00)
      though he has been apologist in the past, the last three weeks he's been like a pitbull, chomping down on the leg of this war, gnawing and gnashing to get beneath the skin and refusing to let go.

      The most striking example of a pundit picking at the unspoken scab that Fineman was touching upon last night, is when Tweety, at least three times I can recall over the last year, bluntly out of nowhere asked a guest in so many words "Do you think Karl Rove has been good for American politics?"

      He asked that to Biden and then Biden admitted that Dems wish they had their own KArl Rove.
      I don't wish that.  I only wish we has aDemocratic Vol Helsing to slay the soulless demon, rather than sit back and watch him destroy himself.

      --Liberate your radio--

      by Sam Loomis on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 05:06:25 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Van Helsing, damn. (none)
        broken hand.  my bad.

        --Liberate your radio--

        by Sam Loomis on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 05:06:56 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Tweety and (none)
        Scarebarrow too he is on the attack. I remember seeing him sitting behind Bushbag during the compaign!

        Disabled Viet Vet ret. My snark is worse than my bite

        by eddieb061345 on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 05:12:11 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Will someone *please* put a muzzle on Biden. (4.00)
        I do not want a Democrat counterpart in any way shape or form of Karl Rove. Except maybe to take Rove on as a last resort. I'm against the tactics and very existence of Rove and people like him as a matter of principle. A Democrat version would disgust me just as much.

        Of all the Dems who DO NOT speak for me, Biden is consistently in the top five. And I even like the guy. But I despise him as a Dem spokesperson and wish the pundits would stop booking him.

        A Democrat Van Helsing - yeah, that I could get behind. Rove is everything that is wrong with politics. If Biden can't see that he's delusional.

        "As you get older, you get less willing to buy the latest version of reality." Leonard Cohen

        by mentaldebris on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 08:38:29 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  You definitely saw it right (none)
    Howard Fineman's facial expressions were not lying. He was never so direct and so sincere before. I saw the video clip twice yesterday night and had the same reaction as you do.

    Thanks for describing this so extremely well.

  •  Sounds like a Mob hit to me. (none)
    This entire event has the scent of a B movie. Where Al Capone has conviently gone "Fishin" in florida. Meanwhile his underlings carry out his Valentines Day Massacre plan. I only wonder how this is playing out in the minds of Americans in general! I wonder if I should take bets on how it will reflect in the next round of Polls. Here's an aside The Repigs can kiss Pennsylvania goodby in 06 and 08

    Disabled Viet Vet ret. My snark is worse than my bite

    by eddieb061345 on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 05:08:54 AM PST

    •  Murtha's constituents support him (4.00)
      Johnstown Stands Behind Murtha

      Johnstown is my hometown, and I've kind of always thought of Murtha as "my" representative, even though I haven't lived here for years.  I've called his office to tell him so, and to support him.

    •  Here in North Carolina (none)
      The way it's playing out here in N.C....well, I just came back from the Raleigh Christmas Parade and most the people I spoke to (this debate seems to be THE HOT TOPIC) have only read the AP headlines.  Unfortunately, it does not speak well of the common person in this area that rely on headlines and don't look deeper.  They were steadfast on their pro bush positions and were all shocked that a democrat wanted to "shame"the troops and what they've done for this country.  Those that saw what went on last night were a little less adamant about their pro-bush support.  They still support our soldiers being out there but are confused about why their party would attack a war veteran.  Don't know what this means, just a look at what people from the right side are thinking out here in N.C.

      "Great minds have purpose; Little minds have wishes. Little minds are subdued by misfortunes; Great minds rise above them" Washington Irving

      by outsourcebush on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 11:19:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  asdf (none)
    It is not a good idea to tell the American people that they are stupid which is basically what they are saying.  Most Americans are coming around to the fact that we were lied into a costly war.  Once people have figured it out, they are not likely to return to their former way of thinking.  Having the administration come out and attack their new found ideas will just make Americans angry.  The tide has turned.
  •  Idiot Republicans (none)
    They're mounting an attack against Democrats saying they're now opposing a war they initially supported, hoping that Americans will turn against the Democrats...fat chance, given that Americans originally supported the war that they now oppose!

    Idiot Republicans! Or are they just desperate?

    •  Hubris (none)
      and chutzpah...

      IMHO it will backfire tremendously... Just like it did in Brasil circa 1992

      Daily Kos: The Turning Point: When hubris knocks down a government

      I think we have just heard the sound of one hand clapping... And it lost by 403 x 3 on the House.

      by lawnorder on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 05:27:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Exactly (4.00)
      To the extent Democrats are turning against a war they originally supported, they reflect a growing and significant portion of the electorate.  Democrats who say, "I was wrong about this war" are speaking for a lot of regular people, even a lot of Republicans.
      •  This leaves the Republicans in a bad place (none)
        If the repugs now say they aren't for continuing the way after they supported it, can they also not be accused of "flip-flopping" that horrible monicher that won the president this four years of showing to the world how he can banrupt another corporation?

        "Great minds have purpose; Little minds have wishes. Little minds are subdued by misfortunes; Great minds rise above them" Washington Irving

        by outsourcebush on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 11:27:25 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  The turning point (none)
    The GOP House Stunt: Hubris and denial
    Despite countless polls showing the majority of American voters are turning sour on the Iraq war, the GOP went for a showdown.

    Which means they have just insulted 60% of the country.

    They may have done even more than that..

    I have seen the "Murtha vote" script play out before. In 1992, a lame duck President with approval rates in the 20's (not that far from Bush's 36%) in South America played the same game.

    For the tale and pics, click below

    Daily Kos: The Turning Point: When hubris knocks down a government

    I think we have just heard the sound of one hand clapping... And it lost by 403 x 3 on the House.

    by lawnorder on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 05:25:46 AM PST

  •  the lives of our kids are w orth it (none)
    this is a fight that was inevitable, as if the GOP would give up power so easily.  As if Rove and Bush could see themselves in the WH with the DEMS controlling both the house and senate next Nov.  
    As if any of this, at any point in time the 30's included were ever easy.
    Each year the GOP morphs into a newer more virolent strain of virus, more wicked than the last.  

    But when the WHs strategy for success is a full blown political attack machine well the obvious is clear, Rove and Bush don't care about the lives of those in theater.   There is no plan and no plan to change the plan.  I think they always knew and planned to have a high troop strength in the region.  They just didn't think it would cost this many lives and meet this much opossition.  I guess they were hoping for a Kosovo, high troop strength with little or no loss of life.  Boy did they ever miscalculate!

  •  The Beginning of the End? (4.00)
    This current phase is reminiscent of Nixon's semifinal phase.

    1. The Nixon White House was still "hanging tough." Erlichman and Haldeman were still there.

    E&H were orchestrating a campaign to try to make it seem that the "silent majority" was on their side. Making deals with corrupt union bosses to send out crews of hardhat-wearing "workers," to counter-demonstrate for "the President," and even attack anti-war demonstrators physically. During one demonstration outside the White House, Erlichman was seen leaning over the rail on the White House roof, actually giving them the finger from above in person.

    This is where the Bush people may be now. Rove is still there, in spite of everything, carrying on a ruthless campaign against GWB's opponents--regardless of who they may be.

    2. Agnew was still there.

    VP Agnew was making speeches written by Safire, detached from reality, calling anti-Nixon liberals "nattering nabobs" and the like. His speeches were quoted by the establishment press, and hack phrases from them were repeated in the news as if they were witty and clever.

    Cheney goes on saying things that have been proven untrue on public record, either because he thinks his "base" wants to hear this--or because he's losing it, and has come to believe his own propaganda and PR.

    3. Nixon still tried to pretend he was not involved, having others do his dirty work, and then casting them off when they were exposed.

    Nixon finally threw Erlichman and Haldeman to the wolves--abandoning them personally as well as politically, by cutting off all contact, so they both came to dislike him for the rest of their lives.

    The FBI came to take Agnew away because he was so corrupt that he was even taking cash bribes right in his office. After first trying to hang tough himself, He resigned in a deal to avoid going to jail.

    4. Without his helpers, Nixon became more and more isolated, until he finally had to resign himself, as it became clearer and clearer that he had really presided over everything himself.

    There is no guarantee, of course, that things will develop in the same way this time. But it's worth considering.

    •  You got it right (4.00)
      The rhetoric became more inflammatory, just as Rove is now shooting up on the andrenalin of cocky hubris in his bon mots, but hey, where's the old kick? (and maybe, just maybe, he's waiting for that phone call from Fitz: "the jury has concluded that there is sufficient cause...")

      CNN today has a pic of Bush in his freakin flight suit again, giving a barnburner to some troops on the DMZ. But check out the faces of the boys behind him: tuned out, distracted, stonefaced. I'd like to have known their inner narratives right now.

      O' course, a unibrow like Bushie won't ever admit it; he'll live out the rest of his days getting drunk and hanging out in some oil patch country club in Houston, telling stories of how he fought to the end, never surrendered.

      Cheney will die, rather his body will finally follow the departure of his soul, which was probably lost in some playground crime in the unrecorded past.

      As you see, I'm contemplating their futures today. And my latest tag:

      Ah, Thanksgiving-- I love the smell of impeachment baking in the oven.

      by omfreebogart on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 07:16:04 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  1970, wasn't it? (none)
      "The FBI came to take Agnew away because he was so corrupt that he was even taking cash bribes right in his office. After first trying to hang tough himself, He resigned in a deal to avoid going to jail." Oh, yes, Spiro Agnew, ranting that we were all "effete snobs."

      And then Nixon invaded Cambodia. This was when both my professors and my fellow graduate students went on strike at San Francisco State. I remember one march in SF that went past the SF Medical school. I was carrying a sign that said, "Agnew Is the Spirochete of Degeneration." The med students cracked up, but no one else got it:-). I think my two daughters were with me on that march. Lots of families were in the streets then. Keep working.

      We had an acquaintance who was a reporter back then. One day, when the Tack Squad was out on the campus, hitting people over the head, I looked up and saw this reporter sitting high up in a tree. "Keith," I said, "what the hell are you doing up there?" "Staying safe and getting the story," he said.  

      "That story isn't worth the paper it's rotten on."--Dorothy Parker

      by martyc35 on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 03:08:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  What great comments (none)
    The comments on this are terrific -- thoughful, thought-provoking -- I urge everyone to read through them.
    All in all, it reminds me of Churchill -- this is not the end, nor is it the beginning of the end, but it may be the end of the beginning.  There will be dark days ahead -- for example, maybe Bush and Co will end up doing exactly as Murtha suggests and pull back to Kuwait, and so they will be able to present themselves during the 2006 midterms as victorious in Iraq; maybe there will be nothing more out of Fitzgerald in terms of indictments; maybe Bush will get another bullhorn moment and his popularity will rebound -- but I do hope that the cummulative effect of Sheehan, Katrina, Fitzgerand and Murtha will reverberate.

    Do not go gentle into that good night. Blog, blog against the dying of the light. CathiefromCanada

    by CathiefromCanada on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 05:46:13 AM PST

  •  Murtha said it best during the debate last night: (none)
    "The American people are way ahead of us [the House] on this."

    One of the best diaries I've read all week, Hunter. Thanks!

    •  My other favorite line (4.00)
      --that he drives past Arlington National Cemetary daily and the graves aren't divided into "Democrat" and "Republican" but American.

      Pretty on the mark.

      Never underestimate people. They do desire the cut of truth. Natalie Goldberg

      by Carolyn on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 09:19:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Bush has collapsed (none)
    I think it was Katrina that was the final nail in the coffin but it would appear that Bush has lost his credibilty with the public and once that happens,you cannot get it back.I think we will just drift on and on in Iraq,there is no way in hell that Bush gets out and in 2006,the Democrats pick up between 20 and 30 seats to take control of the House and possibly get a 51-49 control of the Senate,although that is more chancy.

    What happens in 2007 is the new Democratic House,armed with the power of subponea begins the investigations of every disaster inflicted on the country including the Ohio voting of 2004 and from there its the beginning of the end for the hard right wing in this country.2008 will be another 1932 watershed election and we can finally end robber baron and imperialist control of America for a long,long time,at least until the Liberals overeach some day,God forbid,I hope we learn from our own past mistakes.

    •  Well, its about time (none)
      that Liberals stopped under reaching. (wonder how Dachle, the ultimate under reacher is doing nowadays).

      'Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all other countries because you were born in it'. - GBS

      by stevej on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 06:53:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The Ministry of Lies (none)
    I sure hope that there is something happening, a radical shift back to sanity, among the MSM.  There are still quite a few people who are oblivious to what is going on, who somehow view war as patriotic, who just don't think past the surface.

    I think the White House knows that lies are very effective and way too many people believe whatever they hear from the MSM.

    I have a friend whose youngest son is set to go to Iraq in Mid-December.  I am sure she doesn't want him to go, what Mother would? But when I emailed her to tell her about what Murtha said and that maybe her son will not have to go afterall (joy!!).  Silence.  I've long been troubled by this friendship.  She has rock solid opinions without knowing any facts.  She also refuses to hear any facts.  It's like adjusting your view or changing it completely to accommodate new information is wrong.  I love her dearly, but it is really frustrating to me.  I see her as a microcosm of a significant proportion of Americans.

  •  Have you noticed that... (none)
    every time Bush is out of it recently (out of the country, on an extended vacation), the shit hits the fan? Lets hope he keeps going places. Next week he will probably be back in Texas for turkey day. I look forward to turmoil following him there.

    Some would say his karma is finally catching up with him.

  •  The real significance, to me... (4.00)
    ..of the Murtha dust-up was that Murtha was able to open up an entirely new front in the Iraq war.  His message was a distinctly different one: that this war is undermining the MILITARY, resulting in thousands of cases of PTSD, veterans with inadequate medical care, low troop morale, lousy recruiting.

    Further, it suggests that these complaints are coming from within the military, at the top as well as the bottom.  He transformed the war debate into something else, not just the anti-war hippie-dippy peaceniks against The Real Merkuns.

    That's why Murtha is seen as such a threat, and why they have to try and cut him off at the knees.

    As for Howard Fineman, I saw the piece on Countdown and agree that his disgust showed.  He was not being careful about his words, he was reacting with his gut.  And of course, he was right.

    Nice diary, Hunter, your eloquence is, as always, remarkable.

  •  "...the audience has changed..." (none)
    "Whether or not Karl Rove survives the excesses of being Karl Rove, I have to wonder if the same crass, one-note song will play, or if the audience has changed."

    The audience DID change - back there at the time of the Downing Street Memo, around early May.  That speech Bush gave back then, in support of the war in Iraq - people and the press just REACTED differently.  It was as if millions of people finaly strted to wake up to the smirk - FINALLY.

    There were some blogs around and some articles around then that spoke of a "Tipping Point".

    And it was . . . .

  •  Murtha is John Wayne! (4.00)
    The Republicans have attacked America's John Wayne, only his name is Jack Murtha. Then they sent House Freshman and Allie McCraw look alike, Jean Schmidt to the floor to call Murtha a coward. If love means never having to say you're sorry, don't expect an apology anytime soon.
    •  Nuh uh! (4.00)
      John Wayne only fought for the cameras. It is the John Wayne strut that Dubya emulates.

      And that is the whole point. It is no longer about image. It is no longer about politics. But they haven't realized it, not even now, now even today. Or maybe they do know, but have come so far down that road that they don't know what else to do.

      When that silly woman opened her mouth last night you just knew what she was going to say, and you wanted to warn her. Your mind cried out, "Don't you dare!" And you saw an instant of panic in her eyes, a split second of fear, for she knew she was about to cross a line she should not cross, but the temptation was too great, and she went that one step too far, and that was the moment when you could hear the roar of a slumbering giant come awake.

      Finally! Outrage.

      2000 dead, and God alone knows how many Iraqi civilians. This is not the time for theatrics, for bombast, for name calling. This is not the time for Congress to "show out" like petulant children. Not with Fitzgerald quietly burning the midnight oil in his office.

      Because Murtha is no John Wayne.

      Murtha is the real thing.

  •  They times, (4.00)
    they are a-changin'.

    From far outside the Beltway: conversation the other day with my postmaster. Don't know him very well, even though it's a small town, so had never been overtly political. But, as conversations do these days . . .

    He said that, on a business trip to DC last year, he met with our Congressman, who said [paraphrase] people are afraid to speak out, because it means your career will be destroyed.

    That's what we've all been thinking, and saying on blogs, but to have it even indirectly from a member of Congress . . .

    BushCo is down enough in the polls, and enough people have begun to speak out (thank you, Cindy), and Fitzgerald is showing that they are not beyond the law, and the great slumbering beast of American public opinion is rousing itself and seeing that it's safe to venture out.

    I expect more of such Fineman moments in the immediate future.

    Death has a tendency to encourage a depressing view of war. -- Donald Rumsfeld

    by Mnemosyne on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 06:38:02 AM PST

  •  Vietnam and the current debate (4.00)
    I am disheartened, further, that we seem to be intent on replaying the political fights of Vietnam down to the last pictures and notes.

    Vietnam keeps coming up because the Iraq War has exposed the conventional wisdom about how that war ended to be a lie.  And it exposes the fact that the Republicans have been propping up that lie for forty years in order to gain the advantage on national security policy.

    The conventional wisdom is the opposition to the war both extended and ended the Vietnam War by emboldening the North Vietnamese government and through the political undercutting of battlefield gains.  That is not true and never has been true.  We lost in Vietnam because (1) a war propping up an unpopular regime is inherently unwinnable, (2) a country cannot create a new regime without overwhelming force, and 500,000 men in a population of 19 million is not overwhelming force, (3) our military leadership ensured defeat by trying to convert the war to a conventional war at every turn, and (4) the clap harder domestic strategy does not work forever.

    With all due respect to prisoners of war, like the Congressman from Texas and John McCain, they were not in the United States at the time.  They have no idea what the political discourse was here.  And they have a grudge because they think the US people sold out their sacrifice for America.  They are angry and not willing to be angry at the leadership that sent them into a foolish war.  The fact that these people and a whole lot of Vietnam vets have not yet made peace with their own country, have not yet faced up to the fact that Vietnam was unwinnable from 1956 on, and that students who learned about Vietnamese history and culture through teach-ins were often better informed about why we would lose than our national leadership.

    The same goes for Iraq.  It was folly from the very beginning because of hubris, intentional ignorance, and venality of the policy-makers who pursued it from the PNAC think tanks to the operation of the war.  The critics of the war continue to be better informed about what is happening than the government decision-makers.  Only this time it is because the decision-makers have made it clear what information they want to hear.

    But the main reason that Vietnam keeps entering into the argument is this.  Republicans wanted so much to show that Vietnam would have been won if only folks had listened to them and "not betrayed the troops."  What you saw last night was the desperation of a Republican Party that has realized that they have bungled it and that this is taking the Republican Party down, just as they have come close to breaking the military.  It is the last stand fight of fools in the great American tradition of George Armstrong Custer.  It is the fight of those who believe that will conquers everything.  It doesn't.  Actions have unpredictable consequences and the universe is still beyond the control of the Republican Party.

    And the fact of history is that American troops were not betrayed in Vietnam, except by the foolish leaders who led them there, told them how they should fight the war, and whitewashed atrocities such as those committed by Lt. William Calley, who now owns a jewelry store and drives a Mercedes and is considered a local hero.

    -6.00/-7.18 The revolution starts now--in your own back yard, in your own home town

    by TarheelDem on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 06:43:32 AM PST

    •  agree (none)

      Ah, Thanksgiving-- I love the smell of impeachment baking in the oven.

      by omfreebogart on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 07:21:57 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Revisionist History (4.00)
      "And the fact of history is that American troops were not betrayed in Vietnam,..."

      Iraq != Vietnam
      Vietnam != Iraq

      You seem to forget crowds spitting on returning soldiers and hate calls to their families. Unlike this war, in which the opponents are careful to avoid comparing the troops to the political commanders, during Vietnam, soldiers (mostly draftees) were called baby killers and war-mongers. Even the VFW didn't want them. That is why they cannot forget the war, nor forgive the Left and why they want to "stay the course". Clever Right wing politicians have convinced them that the opposition is all Jane Fondas (and you cannot begin to understand the hate they feel for Jane Fonda, even those who agree that Vietbam was a mistake and they only went to avoid jail), so they relive the war all over in suurogate.

      •  Urban legends and Nixon propaganda (none)
        You seem to forget crowds spitting on returning soldiers and hate calls to their families.

        Show me an authenticated non-propagandistic instance in which this was true.  And tell me what year.  Then tell me what year the police began beating the heads of the anti-war protesters.  If it happened at all, which I doubt, it wasn't about the troops.

        And unlike the anti-war Iraqi veterans today, to a man almost all veteran opinion was pro-war.  That means they were warmongers.  And there were troops who killed babies, even though they were in the minority and in units like Lt. Calley's that was SOP.

        Even the VFW didn't want them.

        Now you have something but not what you argue.  The veterans groups did not welcome Vietnam Vets because they thought the Vietnam soldiers were "losers".  Losers!  What garbage.  And they treated Vietnam Vets as whiny babies because the Vietnam Vets expected the same GI Bill benefits that the World War II generation got.  They blamed the soldiers and the peace protesters and anyone else besides the political leadership that sent them there and the officers who failed in leadership.  And the Vietnam Vets responded that their country did not support them, which is a lie.  If their country did not support them, a losing war would not have gone on for thirteen years.

        Even Jane Fonda realizes now that Jane Fonda went over the line.  That what was initially a mission to provide medicine and food to the North Vietnamese people was turned into a propaganda stunt the moment she sat on the AAA gun.

        A lot of the hate for the anti-war protesters has been generated by the endless repetition of certain images from the protests.  One or two incidents portrayed over and over has created the notion that American troops were betrayed at home.  It just isn't true.

        Just as in Iraq, the government was not leveling with the American people, and the people caught on after 8 years of happy talk-keep clapping-rah,rah,rah-support the war propaganda.  After the people caught on, it was five years more before the war ended.

        The soldiers didn't fail to perform, except in the early 1970s when even they knew they were being lied to.  If there was betrayal, it was fighting the war in the first place and in the idiotic strategy and tactics that the general staff pursued.  What is different about Iraq is that there were general staff who opposed it at the beginning and got fired for it; they're the ones who learned the true lessons of Vietnam.

        -6.00/-7.18 The revolution starts now--in your own back yard, in your own home town

        by TarheelDem on Sun Nov 20, 2005 at 06:57:51 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  A "4" for your comments! (4.00)
      And a couple of comments on your comments:

      The desperation of Republicans certainly does smack of "... the last stand fight of fools in the great American tradition of George Armstrong Custer."  But at least Custer was THERE, hip deep in the blood of the battle.  He didn't shirk.

      I also agree that "It is the fight of those who believe that will conquers everything."  But the politicians in the current quagmire share another belief with those of the Viet Nam era - namely that the military can conquer everything.  Our current military can fight and win "wars," but neither they, nor the military in Viet Nam, nor the overwhelming British military forces that fought in this country's revolution, can fight and win a protracted battle against insurgency.

      The fact that Iraq is constantly referred to as a "war" doesn't make it so, and it gives the citizens of this country a reason to believe that our military strength can somehow "win."  What we have in Iraq is open rebellion against an occupation - and no amount of "staying the course" can bring "victory."

      "Self-respect is a question of recognizing that anything worth having has a price." - Joan Didion

      by SueDe on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 08:25:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Add this: (4.00)
    Krauthammer's attack on Intelligent Design as an insult to both religion and science.
    •  i noticed that - clearly a sign of change (none)
      krauthammer is the most disgusting and ugliest of all the pundits, to me.  i am sure that he thought this about intelligent design all along, but would never have said it, when the religious right was at their peak of control.  now that his extreme fascistic positions will expose him to more flak and ridicule in the changing political climate, he is trying to show a moderate side.

      but he would never give up on torture.

  •  EASY Solution (none)
    of course this shows just how slimy and corrupt bushco is.

    with this bullcrap ad campaign, they're basically telling us: "yes, we lied to you in order to fight a corporate war over oil in Iraq, but hey-- you democrats were dumb and spineless and accepted our Lie. so stop complaining and just support the corporate war".

    there's only ONE legit response to this sort of slime: the democrats in congress must have the BALLS to tell we the people that Iraq is indeed a corporate war gone horribly wrong, and that THEY initially supported it because that is what the defense and oil industries in their districts wanted and because this is what the Pentagon wants.

    without this kind of honesty, the whole thing is pointless and we'll still be wasting our time talking about it ten years from now.

    "Apparently, the person had been killed by a falling graveyard." Steve Coll The New Yorker

    by Superpole on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 07:13:58 AM PST

  •  Washsington is a Company Town (4.00)
    . . . and guys like Fineman have been proceeding  with a "the-names-have-changed-but-the-games-are-the same" mindset with each new administration.

    Au contraire,  because some of us believe even without 9/11, Bushco was going to make the Reaganites look Amish in their reach and ambitions

    and Fineman and the other kids are finally seeing that in the attack on Murtha.

    an anecdotal observation about the turning tide -

    18 months ago my husband would tell me something newsworthy he had read in a blog and it would be
    a few weeks, sometimes a few months before we would see it in MSM - since Katrina, this gap has closed to a few days, sometimes a few hours.

    My job affords me plenty of face time and casual conversation with moderate to conservative middle class folks - the very folks Rove hopes to snag outside the core base.  Gas might be back to under $2 gal., but the damage is done. I really can't wait to get to work tonight and hear their impressions on Murtha.

    Thanks, great diary Hunter

    2006 - So Many Scandals, So Little Time

  •  Howard Fineman said (4.00)
    John Murtha is a dagger pointed at the heart of George Bush. (He had been asked whether there was something to the Republican ethics charge against Murtha or whether it was just political retribution and he responded that it was political, going on to the dagger line, I recall.)

    Yes I agree that it was Patrick Fitzgerald's quiet, careful, courage that has broken through the fear in this country. The press was fearful, the congress was fearful. The Rove retribution machine was to isolate and punish - just like they do physically at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo. But Patrick Fitzgerald, Cindy Sheehan and others broke through the fear and I think (hope) it's becoming a flood of resistance so powerful that any attempts to punish John Murtha or any other critic will backfire upon the Rove/Bush/Cheney machine. When the Ohio Bush clone who just beat Hackett in the last election tried to demean Murtha as unpatriotic on the floor of the House, yesterday, the Democrats rushed to the well according to Fineman, shouting "shame, shame".  Have we really reached the tipping point? I hope to hell we have.

  •  Finemen Is Worth Watching (4.00)
    I was impressed how he emphasized how much influence Murtha has up on the Hill, not only among Dems. who he's united into a block, but assumably among some moderarte Republicans.  He all but said that with Murtha, we have witnessed a Walter Cronkite moment.  But of course it doesn't matter to the clowns in the White House whose mentality with Iraq is "Its not over until we say it is".

    The other thing he emphasized was Murtha's close relationship to the commanders in the field.  He all but said that Murtha is speaking for them because they are prohibited from speaking the truth.  Its pretty obvious that Murtha was likely secretly told the following by the field commanders during his recent trip to Iraq:

      1. Things are a mess, there not getting better, and there likely not going to get better.
      2. The presence of our troops in Iraq is only contributing to the violence since most Iraqis see us as occupiers.
      3. Get Us Out Of Here!

    Finally I idolize John Murtha even if I disagree with him a lot of the time.  His mingling with the GIs in Iraq and his frequent visits to Walter Reed makes one thing perfectly clear, he truly cares for each and every soldier.  Murtha personifys what it means to "Support Our Troops".

    I wonder how many visits Rove, Bush, Cheney and their ilk have made to Army Hospitals.  We already know they don't do funerals.

  •  I heard it but worry if it will last (none)
    I saw him on Keith. He was saying what you mentioned, but he also described the Democrats in the House which he said was not shown on CSPAN. He said he was in the House when 'she' made her little coward speech and all the Dems jumped up and rushed the well and he had never seen that in all his years in DC. I believe they joked about wigs and London, but he was intense and direct. And with Rove running the show again, even in disarray, it is scary what might happen. I do hope that if the anti-Dem ads run, that the Dems start shouting politics and not let the same Swiftboating happen. I think the GOP learned what they could do with Swiftboating and what happens when no one reacts. It is successful.

    I am happy Fitz is getting together another Grand Jury to continue his probe. And I hope that he is pissed off enough because he was snaked in DC with Woodward and ? and wants revenge for their lying and obstructing his probe. It is obvious that the only reason this came out was to try and save Libby as this should have been out there a long time ago. What happened to Woodward? I think when he was writing his books he got a little to close to the admininstration and has had his reporting clouded by becoming one of the 'guys'. Maybe that is the WH MO. Like Miller, etc. Make them a friend so they will report your spin and not turn against you.  

    Barn Babe Parking Only... All others will be towed....

    by BarnBabe on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 07:29:43 AM PST

  •  throwing out my Canada brochures (none)

    the seasons will ebb and flow again
    the ice dam has broken

    Ah, Thanksgiving-- I love the smell of impeachment baking in the oven.

    by omfreebogart on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 07:33:32 AM PST

  •  Fineman (none)
    I was struck by Fineman's bluntness and honesty.  He told it exactly like it is with no attempt to polish the turd.  I, too, was struck by his simmering rage.  

    IMHO the White House (aka "Rove") is about to run into another Schiavo moment.  The only response they have is to attack. But with the Presidential approval rate below 35% the attack runs the risk of alienating even more, or cementing the non-approval of the majority.

    "Strength and wisdom are not opposing values" - Bill Clinton.

    by RAST on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 07:39:19 AM PST

  •  Rome is burning... (none)
    ...Where's my fiddle!

    Seriously, I love it.  Finally, FINALLY, the American people are seeing the bastards they aided and abetted with their ALLEGED votes for what they truly are:  lying unapologetic FASCISTS.

    I'm just saddened that no one had a fan for this shit last year before the election.  But as consolation I told myself last year that their LIES would collapse around them in a second term.  So far, so good.  And we've got three years to go.  Popcorn anyone????  :o)

  •  Shoe's on the other foot (none)
    I remember a comment someone made after the Harriet Miers debacle that for the first time the Wingers were getting a taste of what it's like to be on the receiving end of Bush's arrogance and stubborness - his with me or against me attitude. I think that is a very telling observation.

    It's all well and good when you are standing behind the bully and he is fighting your perceived fight, but no one wants to be the target. I think Katrina showed many people what it is like to be among the people Bush disregards and they were looking too much like themselves. Now we have another example. Murtha is a person who supported the war and now does not, like so many Americans.

    I'm sure there are other examples we can account, but to me Katrina was the turning point. Almost like, "Daddy, don't you care about us?"


    You can't teach an old dogma new tricks. Dorothy Parker

    by garbo on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 07:52:08 AM PST

  •  They're watching Keith: (none)

    "...those who torment us for our own good will torment us w/o end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." -C.S. Lewis

    by buddythedog on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 07:56:44 AM PST

  •  Hunter is right ... (none)
    we are on to something.  Rove's strategy is to divide and conquer.  He knows no other way.  His strategy has weakened -- the people are waking up.   Rove is losing to his worst enemy - himself!   Yes! Turd Blossm's war on truth is over and his cowardly words will fall into the weeds and ignored as they crumble into little bits of turd dust.  

    What part of the illegal conduct of this Administration to send our troops to fight an illegal war does the media not understand?

    by hws on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 07:57:22 AM PST

  •  You know, the wisdom of Murtha's words (4.00)
    is not just spouted because of political gains here. This is a man that visits Walter Reed almost every week to talk to the wounded soldiers and listen to their heartaches and paines.

    Furthermore, this is a man who voted for the war and in the interest of finding out what was going on there, has visited the country several times to learn more about the situation.

    And more to the point, this is a man, who's been in consultation with pentagon officials here, probably too afraid to speak out for themselves.

    What I'd like the media, perhaps Olberman, Finemann or one of the others is poll Congress, Democrats and Republicans, alike to find out just how many of these guys have taken an hour out of their day to visit with the troops at Walter Reed. I'd like to know how many of these guys actually know what the hell they're talking about.

    A friend of mine works at Walter Reed. She told me a story the other day about some official -- think it was a governor, who went to there to visit a soldier, badly wounded. She said if the incident was not so serious, it would've been comical. This person did not even bother go get the name of the soldier he was visiting. Kept referring to him as soldier or something of the sort. The look on the family's face was one of horror, my sister said.

    I hope the American people continue to open their eyes and let these guys know what they really think.

    There was another photo-op of the president this morning, basking in front of a see of troop members in Korea, still repeating the same lines about staying the course.

    It's heartbreaking.

  •  One other thought... (4.00)
    Jr. has RUINED everything he's touched:  a business, a baseball pick, and now a Commander in Chief position.  A dude with serious daddy issues was voted into office.  Surely the milk he's spilled here is not surprising.

    We'd have fared better with Caligula's horse as president, who'd at least experienced battle first-hand.

  •  Organized anger... (none)
    "...But accountability is now a majority position in America. Accusing the American people of treason for demanding it is not simply cowardly -- it is also being met with decidedly more organized hostility than in previous Republican "campaigns" against the American citizenry."

    What you are seeing is America starting to get ANGRY.  Angry at being lied to by BushCo, by the press, by the pundits. But they are angry most of all, at having been lied to by themselves.  

    Too many people saw SOME of what was happening and rationalized it away, behind a facade of "We've all got to stick together".

    Well, that could only happen SO much, before those SOMES became more and more prominent in their minds.  And when that happened, they looked at themselves - and didn't like what they had been seeing in their own ability to discern.

    It has just been the blogger's job to be here for people to focus their anger around - a flag of a different sort to rally around, as it were.  Water flows downhill, and so does anger, it seems.  

    And the blogs are the river, leading to the sea... the sea of kick their Repub asses...

  •  Re: the Repugs' attack tactics (none)
    If I may further the "One note song" analogy...

    Remember the first time you heard "Achy Breaky Heart"?  It was kinda fun and catchy.  It was singable and simple.  The first few times it came on the radio, you might have even turned it up to sing along.  At the very least, it was inoffensive enough to sit through.

    After a while, though, it started to become clear just how empty, vapid, and inane it was.  Eventually, you started to change the station when it came on, then after a while, you began to actively loathe the song and hate Billy Ray Cyrus for writing the damn thing in the first place.  You found yourself siding absolutely with those who hated the damn song to begin with and wondering how in the world you ever fell under its spell.

    It's starting to look to me like the American public is finally sick of the Republican's "Achy Breaky Heart"...

  •  icredibly ironic... (none)
    that when confronted with ideas, the Repubs--people who constantly talk about the importance of ideas and values, and who purport to be in a "war of ideas"--should focus so much on personalities.

    It's the way they do business politically, and it's the way they do everything else. Like someone? Keep them around no matter what they do. Who cares if they're competent or can actually contribute something worthwhile to the common good. Dislike someone? Attack and blame them mercilessly, no matter how wise or respected they are, or how much they do for the American people.

    And that goes for economics and security, too. Don't like the majority of the residents of a city? Let 'em drown and don't give them the help they need to rebuild safely.

    It's they do the Iraq war as well. They focus on Sadaam, on the insurgents, on Al Qaeda, on specific religious and military leaders rather than on the bigger picture of how our ideas about democracy can be disseminated most effectively, or about how best we can connect with and empower the Iraqi people.

    It's not about ideas or vision with those guys--no matter how much lip service they give to them. It's about personalities.

  •  How anyone in their right mind... (4.00)
    ...can think that 60% of Americans could be traitorous, is absurd on its face.  Sixty percent of Americans are a landslide.  Sixty percent of Americans are a governing majority.  I would be concerned, if I were Bush, that a governing majority of that size may also choose to conclude that I was the traitor.  Sixty percent of Americans could choose to re-define what traitor means-any time they want.

    If I were Bush  (God forbid) I would pay attention to those numbers.  Rove may be making a mistake here.

    America is suffering from Roverian cancer. I am really afraid Bush will prescribe radiation for it...

    by waztec on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 08:16:23 AM PST

  •  It was so with Watergate (none)
    The tipping point with Watergate was the Saturday Night Massacre. Nixon resigned less than a year later. After the Massacre, the press decided it was their responsibility to uncover the truth. The Main Stream Media got angry. There are many differences, the biggest being a Republican Congress, but I am getting a whiff of something big. There is a hint in the air that this is a time when democracy demands our attention. The Silent Majority that believes as an article of faith that the President and Government are good, decent, and moral is reconsidering.

    If this keeps building, and I think it will, then there is a Great Storm brewing. The affair of last Friday night was just an outer band of showers.

  •  Murtha's constituency (none)
    I too got the sense that Fineman wasn't happy with the attacks on Murtha.

    I don't think Murtha jumped into the fray at this point because of public opinion and Bush's poll numbers.  I think that Murtha speaks for a whole lot of military brass with whom, as Fineman says, he has friendships.  They cannot speak out, so he is speaking on their behalf.

  •  Rome is Burning (none)
    more than we know DemVoter , , ,

    It is pre saged in a 10/6 Salon Essay by Sidney Blumenthal

    The Fall of the Rovean Empire

    choice tidbits -

    "In stable systems, individuals are replaceable parts. Republicanism as constructed under Bush is a juggernaut that cannot afford to scrape an iceberg.

    or, how about ...

    "The Republican scandals converge on operators who are the center of the oligarchy. Their own relationships are complicated and tangled. But the outcome of the scandals affecting these major actors will inevitably unravel the Republican project."

    undaunted, she continues ...

    "With astonishing arrogance and bravado, the Republican oligarchy wired politics and business so that they would always win. But in believing that they actually possessed absolute power they have overreached. Now their project teeters on the brink."

    I apologize in advance for my linking/gray box challenges

    This is a 1 page essay tying everything together. I can not recommend it enough

  •  I think you saw The Turning Point (none)
    Or Fineman's version of the Stones "Paint it Black"
    I see a red door
    and I want it painted black
    No colors anymore
    I want them to turn black
    I see the girls walk by
    Dressed in their summer clothes
    I have to turn my head
    Until my darkness goes

    I see a line of cars
    And they're all painted black
    With flowers and my love
    Both never to come back
    I see people turn their heads and
    Quickly look away
    Like a newborn baby
    It just happens every day

    I look inside myself
    And see my heart is black...

    Daily Kos: The Turning Point: When hubris knocks down a government>

    I think we have just heard the sound of one hand clapping... And it lost by 403 x 3 on the House.

    by lawnorder on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 09:05:21 AM PST

  •  Laugh out loud funny (4.00)

    I'll be honest with you. Some days, I don't like blogging. A quick look around the blogs will show idiot upon idiot upon blowhard upon liar upon racist upon CLAP LOUDER upon fool, stacked like cordwood at every IP address in use. Republican divinations of the Fitzgerald investigation -- which roundly expected Fitzgerald to indict Wilson, in a fever dream of antilogic -- were long ago enough to convince me that the value of internet punditry is worth far less than the collective electrons that contain it.

    Particularly the bit about Redstaters and Freepers thinking Wilson would get indicted.  I must have missed that, but if that idea had any serious traction among them, they're even stupider than I thought.

    But your point is nothing new about the internet, the signal to noise ratio has never been particularly good, but I guess optimistically that's the price we pay for such a democratic medium.  

    Half of everyone is below average.  But I'm sure if you ask them, 90% of people think they're in the top 1/4 of intellect.  I know I do.

    Incidentally, yesterday I saw Wolf Blitzer giving some tough questions to Roy Blunt about the republican treatment of Murtha.  Blunt was forced to admit Murtha is a war hero, a patriot, very qualified to speak about Iraq and yet still try and claim he's wrong on Iraq.  I was pleased to see Blitzer admit he's shocked to see Republicans questioning the patriotism of a Bronze Star winning Marine.

  •  I'll DEFINATELY check it out Huttotex... (none)
    ... Meanwhile, I'll be content to have a nice grande wet cappuccino and read about the conflagration at the Forum last night.  (I caught some of it on C-Span, but unfortunately I was out with friends last night who amazingly have ZERO interest in this and believe that my obsession with the criminality of the Bush JUNTA borders on psychosis.)
  •  The uprising began with Cindy... (none)
    Up until August of this year, the Bush admnistration was still able to control the dialogue, even after almost 2,000 lost lives in Iraq, billions of $$$ in the war effort, rising gas prices, and so on.

    But then a brave mother, Cindy Sheeham, decided to camp outside the president's ranch, and the press, bored by summer blues, started paying attention.  

    Once Sheehan's simple simple query was lobbed, "Mr. President, what noble cause did my son have to die for?" the administration's previous messaging and framing began to crumble from the heat of her charring words.    

  •  Courtier Press Nightmare (4.00)
    You're right Hunter, the press isn't having fun anymore.  

    What we saw last night on CSPAN was the "he said; she said" journalism chickens coming home to roost.   Instead of leaking subtle little anonymous tidbits, the political class was screaming at each other in public.  For the courtier press, this must be what it's like for kids when their parents get into a loud, nasty fight in a restaurant exposing all the fault lines and fissures of a dysfunctional family for all the world to see.  It's embarassing and scarry.  They hate it.  But no one -- family members or the public -- can take their eyes off it.

    Feeling the shift DHinMI described last night (sorry can't find the link) -- subtly present everywhere in the media and in Congress -- is like the serendipitous smell that triggers a flood of intense memory. That scent was a powerful drug for those of us who were politically aware in the spring and summer of 1973.

    This aggression will not stand, man.

    by kaleidescope on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 10:00:06 AM PST

  •  Compounding Effects (none)
    I like to think this way about the increasing tide of change that's occurring; which, by the way, I'm happy that it's happening, but sad that it's happening now - so late in the game.  Too late for the 2,000+ soldiers that have died.

    Anyways, Joe Schmoe gets in his car in the morning, to go to work.  But before that, he was sitting in the kitchen, listening to the TV as he was drinking his cup of coffee.  News, as usual, was on.  He heard, as he perused the newspaper, about housing starts slowing, interest rates rising, more budget cuts, and the smorgasbord of local news.  Meanwhile, the newspaper is reporting about gas prices, possibly lying oil execs, another car bombing in Iraq, Cheney blasting a highly regarded and decorated Marine vet now Congress Rep, plus other news.

    Joe, gets into his car - the one where it costs literally nearly $40 to fill with gas, and backs away from the driveway.  As he motors through the neighborhood, he sees dots of "For Sale" signs, he remembers that they're oh, about 8-weeks old or older now.  Joe has NPR going - another smattering of not so good news.  Joe drives by several "For Lease" signs as well.  He quickly notices that there are one or two more - and another "going out of business sale".  He parks his car and heads into the office.  He works for a company that is "downsizing".  And he wonders why he's still there.  But he's tied to this work - it's got health benefits.

    Joe has two kids, both in high school.  The company recently changed to another HMO.  This means more out of pocket money for Joe to pay (increased deductables); especially when he's one of a family of four.  Joe recently received a raise.  But with the increased deductable, having to pay extra now to the school to allow his kids to remain involved in sports, groceries, utility bills - the raise wasn't much cause for celebration.  And now, he and his wife have to begin planning for their kids' college; which he noticed, have been increasing the tuition $$.  Later, Joe gets home, turns the news on and sees his President announcing how he isn't going to "cut and run" from Iraq. "Stay the course..."

    Joe ain't too happy.

    "Im not afraid of storms, for I'm learning to sail my ship." - Louisa May Alcott

    by smugbug on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 10:21:21 AM PST

  •  We're seeing... (4.00) effect a Civil War.  So far, there has been no actual shooting.  But I don't think we can rule that out -- if this crowd gets desperate enough, look for martial law.

    The one thing the Republicans have feared above all other things is happening:  Americans are seeing through the lies.  They always knew that they didn't really have public support for their policies -- their hope was to ram them through before people realized what was happening. The People are waking up.  The sleeping giant is rousing.  

    They're about to find out the hard way that the receiving end of true righteous fury is a very bad place to be.

    "...the big trouble with dumb bastards is that they are too dumb to believe there is such a thing as being smart." -- Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

    by Roddy McCorley on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 10:26:34 AM PST

  •  Let Murtha Know You Support HIm (none)
    I'm sure most of you got this from Howard Dean this morning, but just in case, here's how to show your support directly to Murtha:

    I don't want to speak too soon, but is Chris Matthews turning, too? He gave Kerry a long interview the other day and did not interrupt and override him. Yesterday, he gave Murtha the opening shot, again wihout interruptions, and then hit Christopher Hitchens right up along side that silly head of his, first from the left, and then from the right. Whew. That was fun.

    "That story isn't worth the paper it's rotten on."--Dorothy Parker

    by martyc35 on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 10:27:06 AM PST

  •  How Stupid is the MSM? (none)
    I see the comments above that "the press is just realizing that they were lied to and are tired of it."

    How come millions of us absolutely knew that it was all lies without any pundit analysis for years?

    I just think that the taste of kissing ass for all those years is getting sour. The MSM has a much higher taste tolerance than average.

  •  You nailed it, Hunter (none)
    I had the exact same reaction to the Fineman interview. He's always kind of bemused when he's on Al Franken's show, ignoring Al's partisan jokes with a sort of professional detachment. But this time, he looked and sounded REALLY serious. I thought the same thing- if he's calling out Rove by name, the Rethugs must have stuck a nerve.

    Somewhere a senator sits behind a big wooden desk...he took his money just like all the rest- Neil Young

    by ctami on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 12:30:25 PM PST

  •  msm (none)
    I think the media always knew it was being lied to, but that they were afraid of calling out a lie in a time of great national lethargy. The right-wing and middle voters are just as much to blame. With an American public which is disinterested in dissent, the media found themselves nervous about speaking against "the cause." It's terrible, yes, but it is not that they simply didn't know. They just thought that to call out the lies would bury them each individually unless they had something absolutely irrefutable, like a signed document by Bush saying, "I am lying about this war." But even THAT would have been called a sham by the right-wing attack machine.

    I'm not exc using their cowardice, but I do think it is important to accurately understand it in order to avoid it in the future. I don't thin kthey were dumb, I think they were scared.

  •  White House ethics classes (none)
    Instruction in how to attack people's ethics.  Advanced training in bamboozlement, beguilement, betrayal, blarney, boondoggle, cheating, circumvention, cozenage, craftiness, cunning, deceit, deceptiveness, defraudation, dirt, disinformation, dissimulation, double-dealing, duplicity, equivocation, falsehood, flimflam, fraud, guile, hokum, hypocrisy, insincerity, legerdemain, lying, mendacity, pretense, prevarication, snow jobs, sophism, treachery, trickery, trumpery and untruth.
  •  Fog of War (none)
    No you are correct.  I saw Fineman on Olbermann too and I had that same feeling.  Howard Fineman is a well balanced journalist and he doesn't like what he's seeing.  I have observed that this administration is always in the political campaign mode and takes that approach with every issue.  Believe me Mr. Rove is the orchestra leader and Fineman doesn't like the tune they're playing.
  •  Fineman predicted the fall of the neo-cons... (none)
    here, in October. I think he was feeling seriously vindicated last night:

    "That story isn't worth the paper it's rotten on."--Dorothy Parker

    by martyc35 on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 04:15:50 PM PST

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