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Tucker Carlson had some very strong words for the neo-conservatives and the Bush White House this morning. He maintains that John McCain's argument that Saddam Hussein was a bad man who meant us harm so therefore we must strike him pre-emptively is "reasonable". However, he said that if Scott McClellan's new book is accurate and the White House wanted to take us to war not by virtue of any threat but because of ideological and theoretical reasons (democracy, stabilizing the region etc.) that the argument for war then becomes "very, very hard to defend" and in fact "borderline ludicrous"

Although Tucker Carlson hasn't been the biggest supporter of the war since it became clear that it was an unmitigated disaster... its still surprising to see him using such strong language to call a spade a spade.

This whole situation seems slightly surreal. If you had told me back in 2003/2004 that Scott McClellan would end up becoming a scathing Bush administration critic and Tucker Carlson would be on television calling the real rationale for war "borderline ludicrous" I would have never believed you.

Watch the clip:

(also, here is Obama's reaction to the book)

Originally posted to PDonaldson on Thu May 29, 2008 at 08:10 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

    •  I think you're misreading his statement. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      acquittal, JFinNe

      I think he's saying (at least the grammar can be taken this way more readily than the way you took it) that McClellan's pov is ludicrous.  

      Listen to him again.  It's the same old shit, especially as he sets it up praising McCain's take on it.  

      "Well, yeah, the Constitution is worth it if you can succeed." -Nancy Pelosi, 6/29/07.

      by nailbender on Thu May 29, 2008 at 08:17:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Actually thats not the case (4+ / 0-)

        Tucker says that the rationale "to make the world a better place" is "very, very hard to defend" and "borderline ludicrous".

        He says that the argument that an imminent threat has to be pre-empted is "rational" but that the neo-con world view, is not.

        •  the speed of your response indicates (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          you didn't relisten to the clip.

          "What's unreasonable, in my view, is what Scott McClellan is saying," not "alleging".

          Listen to it again.  He closes by saying that if McClellan's pov is proven to be right, then "historians" will have a case for painting this admin as duplicitous, but folks just aren't interested in rehashing the war anymore (implying "so let's just drop it, shall we?").

          This is an unrepentant admin apologist trying to sweep  this under the rug.  He was a primary cheerleader and is in his own orbit responsible for the selling of an illegal war.  He's just finessing his way around an explosive expose' by an insider who blows his cover.

          Not every comment from former white house shills is a Damascus Road conversion.

          "Well, yeah, the Constitution is worth it if you can succeed." -Nancy Pelosi, 6/29/07.

          by nailbender on Thu May 29, 2008 at 08:32:01 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Response - 1,2,3 (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            First of all, I've listened to the clip about 5 or 6 times and I'm re-listening to it over again as I'm typing each response.

            Second, Tucker actually says after that "I want to go back and revisit it" and Mika says "I do too, but your point about public perception is true"

            Third, he is clearly making a distinction between the rationale given to the American public (Saddam posing a threat - which he describes as valid) and the Neo-Con world view expressed in Scott's book that we should invade Iraq to spread democracy, make the world a better place etc. which he says is "very, very hard to defend", "borderline ludicrous" etc.

            I really don't see where the confusion stems from. This isn't the first time Tucker has come out against the war. People may not want to hear it but Tucker has been more consistently critical of the decision to invade Iraq for years now... more so than even Hillary Clinton.

            •  the confusion stems from the language. (0+ / 0-)

              read that sentence again: "What's unreasonable, in my view, is what Scott McClellan is saying."  

              Maybe it's just a slip of the tongue on Carlson's part,  but that sentence is totally unambiguous.

              "Well, yeah, the Constitution is worth it if you can succeed." -Nancy Pelosi, 6/29/07.

              by nailbender on Thu May 29, 2008 at 08:48:15 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Actually what that means is... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                "What's unreasonable, in my view, is what Scott McClellan is saying."  

                This refers to Scott's ASSERTION that the Administration wasn't invading because of an imminent threat but because of ideological reasons.

                But at least now I can see how the confusion occurred.

                •  well, the original queston to him was (0+ / 0-)

                  "Doesn't this book bolster Obama's position?"

                  His answer: no!  No, because, first, McCain's position (that we invaded because Saddam was a threat to us - which is totally bogus as we now know) is correct, and even if McClellan is right, no one is paying attention.

                  In other words, his response to that question is the opposite conclusion that someone who agrees with McClellan's expose' would come to.

                  That's the other reason I see his statement opposite to you.

                  "Well, yeah, the Constitution is worth it if you can succeed." -Nancy Pelosi, 6/29/07.

                  by nailbender on Thu May 29, 2008 at 08:58:55 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

        •  Right, (0+ / 0-)

          Carlson seems surprised that the larger motivation might have academic/ideological. He also says this is a conversation most people don't want to have. But, it is a conversation that has the virtue of being insanely plausible. Indeed, many academic neoconservatives did believe that imposing "coercive democracy" would remake the region because of the inherent superiority of liberal (19th century/classical liberalism) democratic capitalism.

          They believed this suite of so-called "western values" could trump reality on the ground. And so, the seminar room morphed into the battlespace. In many ways, this was the same ideological mistake that was made with Vietnam.

          The problem, of course, is that these Big Thinkers are lousy historians. What they did not take into account were the historic conflicts, rifts, tensions, etc. in the region. History, in short, was not over. When the iron rule of Saddam was removed, the old conflicts simply bled through. They might have suspected this could happen if they'd looked more closely at the regional consequences of the dissolution of the Soviet Union. But they did not. In their intellectual arrogance they spun a simple story for an incurious president. And, it is a seductive--if fatally flawed--vision. The bloody consequences that followed, of course, were anything but academic.

          What Carlson is saying, is that if neoconservatives were trying to impose a utopian vision, then they have failed to be conservative.

          Of course, what do I know?

          Is that a real poncho, or is that a Sears' poncho? - Frank Zappa

          by JoesGarage on Thu May 29, 2008 at 08:39:26 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I heard it the way you heard it, nailbender (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        nailbender, dougymi

        He was calling McClellan's claims 'ludicrous.'

        "Man's life's a vapor Full of woe. He cuts a caper, Down he goes. Down de down de down he goes.

        by JFinNe on Thu May 29, 2008 at 08:25:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Tucker... (7+ / 0-)

    is not 'borderline ludicrous', he is completely ludicrous.  Why does this guy still get air-time?

    '[Obama] has treated us like adults throughout this primary, and it is time to act like adults.' - John Cole

    by RichM on Thu May 29, 2008 at 08:13:01 AM PDT

  •  only a chichenhawk like tucker would find (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cat Whisperer, Uncle Bob, larryww

    anything funny about a war that resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths.

    there are funny wars. those when not a single shot is fired. all others are appalling tragedies.

  •  Tucker Carlson is an idiot (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tcdup, larryww

    with bad hair.

    Speak softly and carry a big can of tuna.

    by Cat Whisperer on Thu May 29, 2008 at 08:20:06 AM PDT

  •  Has the "rats/sinking ship" metaphor (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    opinionated, CParis, tobendaro, adrianrf

    been played out yet?

    I tend to envision cockroaches scattering when the light goes on, myself.

    "There is nothing that is wrong with America that cannot be fixed by what is right with America" -- vintage Bill Clinton (ca. 1992)

    by Schopenhauer Telescope on Thu May 29, 2008 at 08:20:16 AM PDT

  •  Anything that might get the MSM to (0+ / 0-)

    start turning over Bushco rocks ...

  •  I dislike Carlson but (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Crashing Vor, alexnovo

    the invasion of Iraq is the one issue he has been close to correct on for at least 3 years now. He was critical like Buchanan. Pat was actually against it from the very start...not sure when Carlson really started hammering away on this but he has always said it was not what true conservatives would support. He is an arse but on this one issue his libertarian leanings were right in recent years anyway. Of course he also has argued after we were in there that we cannot just leave but to be fair he was vocally against the invasion.

    •  Give credit when credit is due (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Crashing Vor

      I agree that Tucker Carlson is typically an arse, but yeah - he has been a lot more reasonable about the realities of Iraq since the post-invasion period than almost any other right wing figure.

    •  It took Carlson until a year ... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Crashing Vor, RL Donovan

      ...after the invasion to start complaining about how the war/occupation was being handled, but not about the fact that the invasion happened in the first place.

      Like a cyclone, imperialism spins across the globe; militarism crushes peoples and sucks their blood like a vampire. K. Liebknecht

      by Meteor Blades on Thu May 29, 2008 at 08:37:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And he played the same "I wuz dee-ceeeved" (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Meteor Blades, alexnovo

        song that Scotty is now dancing to:

        "I think it’s a total nightmare and disaster, and I’m ashamed that I went against my own instincts in supporting it."

        One small credit for to bow-tie man:  He came out much earlier in public than any of our current crop of self-apologists.

        Damn, I think my old sig line was better.

        by Crashing Vor on Thu May 29, 2008 at 09:03:31 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  At least he admitted he was wrong, unlike HRC (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Crashing Vor, alexnovo

          While it may be disappointing that he resorted to the "I was fooled" argument, but at least he admitted he was wrong!

          Hillary Clinton for example, has still never admitted that she made a mistake - which made me literally incapable of voting for her.

  •  that a chickenhawk like Tucker Carlson (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bobdevo, planetclaire4

    was actually employed by the Media shows how ludicrous our corporate-controlled media really is.
    I'm still waiting for that piece of shit to volunteer and go to Iraq where he can get his fat ass shot at, instead of shooting his mouth off in comfort back here.

    We're shocked by a naked nipple, but not by naked aggression.

    by Lepanto on Thu May 29, 2008 at 08:22:22 AM PDT

  •  My memory (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Crashing Vor

    is that Tucker has been critical of the Iraq War for a long time.  I used to watch his show from time to time, and I always remember him saying that the war should never have been waged.  He would then often argue that despite that since we are there we have to try to win  blah, blah, blah.  Therefore I do not see this statement from him being very new.

    Non, je ne regrette rien

    by alexnovo on Thu May 29, 2008 at 08:24:30 AM PDT

  •  Tucker Carlson, like many of the neocons ... (6+ / 0-)

    ...became upset with the war because of "incompetence" not because of the lies that got us into it. Bill Kristol was one of Mister Bush's big critics because of the way the war was carried out, too. Why-oh-why are we willing to give any of these shills the time of day, much less praise for finally saying what we've been saying - and called traitors for it - the past three, four or five years?

    Like a cyclone, imperialism spins across the globe; militarism crushes peoples and sucks their blood like a vampire. K. Liebknecht

    by Meteor Blades on Thu May 29, 2008 at 08:30:20 AM PDT

    •  I find myself (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Crashing Vor

      having to defend Tucker;  I watched his show fairly often.  I cannot remember ever hearing him say things that would label him a "neo-con."  Tucker was always critical of the Bush foreign policy in general and the Iraq war specifically.  On social issues he always took the libertarian view and was critical of the right; on economic issues he took was a traditional conservative and criticized the Bush administration.  He made it clear that he voted against Bush in 2004;  Overall you can criticize his views but at least get his views right before you do so.

      Non, je ne regrette rien

      by alexnovo on Thu May 29, 2008 at 08:34:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I didn't call Carlson a neocon. I compared his .. (0+ / 0-)

        ...belated opposition to the Iraq War to that of the neocons. Sorry that my syntax didn't make that clearer.

        On social issues, Carlson does not always take the libertarian view. He opposes abortion.

        So, at least get his views right before you criticize me for getting them wrong.

        Like a cyclone, imperialism spins across the globe; militarism crushes peoples and sucks their blood like a vampire. K. Liebknecht

        by Meteor Blades on Thu May 29, 2008 at 08:42:42 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I don't think Carlson is a neoconservative. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Meteor Blades, adrianrf, coffeetalk

      Neoconservatives looked at the world after the Soviet Union dissolved and asked: What is the role of the remaining superpower in a unipolar world? The answer was to use American power to remake regions that were hostile to the United States. This is not a conservative point of view, it is a view that is radically utopian.

      Is that a real poncho, or is that a Sears' poncho? - Frank Zappa

      by JoesGarage on Thu May 29, 2008 at 08:46:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Uh oh (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    reef the dog

    a strong is blowing to the left and Tucker is bending with it.

  •  Thank god we have Tucker Carlson... (0+ / 0-)

    to give us this fresh, original, timely analysis of the stupidity of the Iraq war.

    Oh.  Never mind.

  •  It is not really a surprise (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    alexnovo, jgilhousen

    that someone who professes to be a true conservative would be against the notion that it is the place of the U.S. to go in and change a nation into a democracy simply for the purpose of "spreading democracy." (Notice I said "true conservative" -- not "Republican partisan" -- as they are two different things.)  What Tucker is saying was always the "true conservative" position.  Don't you remember, during the 2000 elections, all the times GWB said he was against "nation building"?  Until the Iraq war, the "conservative" position was always against interfering in what was going on in other countries.  What McClellan describes in his book, it seems to me, is a "neo-con" position, which many "old-school" conservatives would say is a perversion of conservative thought.  In my mind, that is exactly why (according to the book) the White House sold it as an "imminent threat" war, because not even their mainstream conservative based would have supported the war based on the notion that we were going to Iraq based mainly on the idea that we wanted to establish a beachhead of democracry.  Don't we all remember the Repub criticism of the U.S. involvement in Bosnia?  

    What happened in Iraq is that many conservatives who had always been against U.S. involvement in other countries and against "nation-building" kept quiet because it was their president, not a Dem, going to war in Iraq.  From a conservative point of view, if this book is correct about the motive, that was a mistake, and I suspect that is one of the reasons that GWB's approval ratings are low even among conservaties.  Despite what he said to get elected, in some respects, GWB has not acted like a conservative.  

    •  Very good post (0+ / 0-)

      This is something I talk about often, especially to people that self-identify themselves as conservative or pin partisan labels on people based on their war opinion.

      Ron Paul said it in the debates: "In this short time we have adopted the Democrats view on foreign policy." and "I certainly don't recognize today's Republican party with the party of old"

  •  That's not Tucker Carlson, sorry. (0+ / 0-)

    Tucker Carlson wears a bowtie.  I don't know who this ass is, but it's not Tucker Carlson.


  •  I nearly lost sip of fine chardonnay... (5+ / 0-)

    when I heard Tucker say,

    CARLSON:  He may have been pushed out, but the fact that he had a job as press secretary at all is pretty unbelievable.

    as though Scotty was given a job for which he had no reasonable resume or portfolio.

    Remind you of anyone, Tucker?

    "We cannot solve today's problems using the mindset that created them." Albert Einstein

    by AllanTBG on Thu May 29, 2008 at 08:35:46 AM PDT

  •  Funny how all the wingnuts are starting to sound (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    reasonable.  Did somebody steal their kool-aid?  

    "The truth shall set you free - but first it'll piss you off." Gloria Steinem

    Iraq Moratorium

    by One Pissed Off Liberal on Thu May 29, 2008 at 08:36:45 AM PDT

  •  I have a big problem with the last statment of TC (0+ / 0-)

    about the reason no one is covering the war anymore. It is a War. It should be covered and people should be told the truth about the loss of life and continued devastation that is occuring. The outcome of our Presidential election may hinge on what is happening on the ground. Moreover, the American people should continue to be informed as to the events in Iraq since billions of tax payer money has gone to the War.

  •  Tucker's Gotten Rid of his Bow Ties! (0+ / 0-)

    It's gonna take more than that to get him a show back.

    This aggression will not stand, man.

    by kaleidescope on Thu May 29, 2008 at 08:49:16 AM PDT

  •  The rats are leaving the ship... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ...but they are still rats.

    Tucker and Scotty are total careerists of sub-mediocre abilities.  If bush were still popular, those two would be right there singing his praises.

  •  Hahahahaha, the only thing dumber than (0+ / 0-)

    tucker is the idiots that spend their time giving him attention for anything.

    God are you people lame..........

    Reality is best served in small portions and only to others.

    by 0hio on Thu May 29, 2008 at 08:56:11 AM PDT

  •  Wow, Tucker Carlson still has a job? (0+ / 0-)

    And people actually listen to what he says?

    I didn't know that.

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