Blue-on-Blue, or the Democrats

I want to take time out to catch up with my old blogging buddy “screw ‘em” Kos.

Actually, this goes back to a breakfast I had with a friend of Austin Bay’s – a guy I’d read as a moderate Democrat (by Texas standards, which means a healthy dash of populism mixed with a certain level of culture war). He’s someone who follows politics as a sport – something I’m ashamed to admit I do as well sometimes when it hurts too much to care.We were talking about the next election cycles, and whether Hillary would run, and who would run against her, and how they’d likely do.

He asked what I thought, and I suggested that if she were smart – and she’s very damn smart – she’d sit out this cycle and run in ’12.

First and foremost, it would let her lock up her Senate race early and easy by simply promising to serve out her term.

Secondly, it will let the suicidal-lemming branch of the party – the folks drowning in their own bile like Duncan Black, Kos, Wolcott, Tbogg, and the many (not many enough to make a majority or win an election, mind you, but many enough to scream really, really loud and be quite attention-grabbing) others who cluster around them – proudly march itself off a cliff into electoral oblivion in 2008.

He agreed; he doesn’t think she’ll pull the pin this time around.

Now I’m not a Friend of Hillary. There’s something more than mildly scary about her naked passion for power. I wish in my heart of hearts that I believed she stood for something other than a lifelong dream about locking the door behind herself in the Oval Office and raising her hands in the air while shouting “Mine! All Mine!!”

Then again, I wish I believed that of many of the likely Presidential contenders.

But Kos is about to take on the Hillary wing of the party head-on. He’s about to launch his super-secret plan to nuke the DLC.

Good freaking grief.

I asked the question before about the ever-thoughtful Brian Leiter.

“Does Kos hate the poor so much he wants to guarantee an even longer run of Republican hegemony?”

36 thoughts on “Blue-on-Blue, or the Democrats”

  1. It would have been an extremely tough choice for me at the polls had the Democrats endorsed Lieberman in 2004 on a DLC-style platform. I definitely vote for liberalhawk if he ever ran for office …

    Perhaps Kos would prefer if every prospective Democratic candidate were supervised by a commissar with a loaded Markarov in hand?

  2. So Kos is going to make the DLC “radioactive” in two weeks.

    Hillary Clinton is a member of the DLC. I don’t know if the radiation is supposed to give her spider-powers, or make her grow 50 feet tall so she can attack Tokyo. Either way, this strikes me as a plan of dubious merit.

    Assuming Kos can pull it off at all. What’s he going to do, put up some “Re-elect Joe Lieberman” banners (the Kiss of Death)? Pictures of Evan Bayh burning a Palestinian flag?

    I think he should invite DLC capo Tom Vilsack to guest blog. All of those terrifying DLC ideas will just, like, blow everybody’s mind. There’ll be, like, a revolution.

  3. Of course Kos doesn’t hate the poor. He wants more tax cuts to spur investment in the economy giving us good economic growth thus raising the minimum wage without government intervention.

    He has finally come to the conclusion that socialism is dead. He has been reading his Hayek and Milton Friedman.

    I guess I better put down the bong now and step slowly away from the keyboard.

    LOL

  4. I would have pulled the lever for Lieberman or Gephardt in a second.

    However, Kos is crazy like a Fox. He and Howlin Howie and Cynthia McKinney and Conyers and Moran and Barbara Boxer and Feingold and Pelosi are the future of the Party.

    Why? Demographics. Dems are pretty much Urban plus Indian Reservations. That’s it. That’s Kos. Who he represents and the money base of the PArty too (Soros was the #1 giver in 527’s). Heck even Salt Lake City has a far-left Mayor urging the GLBT to come out and protest Bush’s visit. Meanwhile Temecula CA is solid Red.

    My guess, Hillary moves now and Kos Kidz cut her politically for their hero, Howlin Howie, to come to the rescue. And march the party over the cliff.

    Dems came unglued over National Security and Urban-vs.-Suburban interests/economics like the Whigs over Slavery.

  5. Sorry, AL, but I think you’re operating on incorrect assumptions. The radicals like the Kos/MoveOn bunch have been a thorn in the side of the Democratic Party since 1968. Maybe earlier. Failure hasn’t deterred them. And it hasn’t caused the Democratic Party to give them the heave-ho, either.

    Now they’re as close to the driver’s seat as they’ve been since 1972. Why would a little thing like losing in 2008 either deter them or cause the Democratic Party to clamp down on them?

  6. This is the part that gets me: “Let’s really ignore the fact that there’s a higher moral issue at stake in Iraq than politics, like people’s lives.”… Pulling out of Iraq is supposed to save people’s lives. Crimony. Suggesting that the security vacuum of a full pull out right now won’t cause an Iraqi bloodbath is simply irrational. That these people can even suggest this without getting shouted down is an offense to the truth and a mistake in the public debate. The ‘higher moral issue’ is the pottery barn rule, which favors replacing the broken shards with a new stable government, not running for the door. Yet the debate is allowing them to claim moral highground from this profoundly irresponsible position. Burns me up.

  7. The thing is, the Dems have a real opening to present an alternative plan to the current one that could win over a lot of support. But no-one running for president will touch that with a 10 foot pole because if it doesnt involve pulling out asap, they will never get passed the wackos who have the money in the primary. So the alternative is to run as a peacenick or just criticize mindlessly. You can see plenty of each.

  8. Given recent polling data I’d say any democrat running on a “stay the course as is” IE. Bush’s Iraq plan would be dead in the water.

    But to do otherwise would require coming up with an alternative plan. And there are few options to an alternative plan other than:

    1. Pull out of Iraq or at least announce a time table/milestone requirement to do so.

    2 Increase the size of the military in order to add more troops to Iraq in hopes of stabalizing and at least slowing down the insurgency. And it appears a draft is the only viable means of accomplishing this goal.

    3. Attempting to get other countries involved in Iraq to supplement US forces and convincing those coalition members already there to maintain their presence.

    I could be missing some alternatives here and feel free to add to the list of possibilities. But given this list, which strategy would our WOC hosts see as most likely to suceed either politically or tacticly?

  9. I do my best now to not even argue with Kos and his Kossacks. If I do, there is always a chance that they might come just enough to thier senses to actually be dangerous. If they had even a partial grasp on reality, they might be able lie and spin well enough to trick people into supporting them. As it is, they can speak convincely only to the true believers, and they do a better job of turning people on to conservative principles than I do. Why would I ever want them to stop doing what they are doing?

  10. “I could be missing some alternatives here and feel free to add to the list of possibilities. But given this list, which strategy would our WOC hosts see as most likely to suceed either politically or tacticly?”

    Here is my plan, and the dems or any other party in existance can have it if it would actually work:

    -launch a crash program (that should have been done 2.5 years ago) to repair Iraq’s electical grid utilizing every industrial and government resource at America’s vast disposal.

    -Fund 2 new active army divisions (which should have been done 4 years ago). It will take 3+ years to get them on line, but in three years we wont be noting that it will take 3+ years to get the army divisions we still need on line.

    -Launch an intense effort in cooperation with the Iraqi government to provide each Iraqi citizen with a modern, uniform, photo ID which must be carried at all times. (something else should have been done 2 years ago). Use all available American computer technology, know how, and resources.

    -Visciously wack every reconstruction program our civilian side has created that isnt showing results. Take that money and give it to army units to use at their descretion in rebuilding.

    -Offer the Iraq commander a temporary small-moderate size force increase with the new directive of sealing the Syrian border as the 1st priority, the Iranian border as 1b. Provide every earth moving machine available to the Federal government to build massive berms on each border immediately, plus the Jordanian.

    -Draw up a system of metrics to dictate how our force structure is drawn down over the next few years. Not a timeframe, this is event driven.
    1.x amount of troops after the first federal election
    2.x amount after the second
    3.x amount after the IA reaches level Y
    4.x amount per province when terrorist attacks fall to level Z per week.
    The end chart will show 0 American troops in Iraq with a force of perhaps 30,000 in Kuwait in case of emergency.

    -Launch a major investigation into the detained insurgents, who they are, why they are detained. Cross reference with IA and American military records of known bad guys they have apprehended. I have a nasty feeling our detention system is a revolving door that no-one realizes.

  11. Mark,

    I like some aspects of your plan.

    That said, though I think we have dragged on reconstruction efforts the security situation combined with rampant corruption among Iraqis in the various ministries has a lot to do with that.

    I’d agree that increasing the size of our own forces was necessary two years ago, but I’m not sure it’s necessary today. Barring some major advancements on the ground in Iraq the US will not be in Iraq in 3 years in my opinion. At least not in any significant numbers, and I think most likely not at all. And barring a significant terrorist attack on the US that can be definitively linked to say Iran or Syria, we won’t be launching any new military operations in the near future. I would add that definitively linking such an attack to a country is going to be much much harder to accomplish today than it would have been 3 years ago unless there is incredibly compelling evidence.

    Your idea of providing funds to US commanders on the ground to disperse as they see fit in reconstruction efforts is dead on target. But I have to say that though controlling Iraq’s borders should be among our top priorities, the berm idea is a bit far fetched in my opinion.

    But to the domestic side of the equation. You’ve allocated a massive amount of funding here. How do you propose we cover the tab?

  12. “But to the domestic side of the equation. You’ve allocated a massive amount of funding here. How do you propose we cover the tab?”

    Well, the Iraqi side is pretty much allocated. Its simply a matter of getting it spent correctly. I’d also launch a massive audit of the contractors, but thats just out of pure spite.

    The domestic side includes 2 new army division, which could easily be funded by killing some other programs and bases but realistically probably wont. Closing our bases in Korea and Germany would help some, as well as free up a few brigades.

    Putting certain segments of American industry on a semi-war footing to get Iraqs power turned on, IDs issued, and a berm built isnt super expensive, but I would fund it via war-bonds which would be another way to engage the American people in the war effort. A big part of this platform is reaching out to the American people and convincing them that we are at war and we all need to find ways to pitch in. I realize this would be a sea change for democrats who have been selling the story that this isnt ‘our’ war at all. That is a mistake, and maybe it would take a democrat to invest the bulk of the country at this point.
    Neither would i be afraid of deficit spending and possibly a time sensitive war tax, if necessary.

  13. Not ever having read Kos –life is waay too short — I am interested in the Hillary in ’12 issue. Here’s something to consider, though I doubt many will admit it: Hillary in ’12 is *old* and would be considered older than a man of the same age. She knows that, like every woman knows that. Only so many face lifts you can manage…

    I don’t see her sitting out anything; she doesn’t have the time. And temperamentally, she doesn’t have the patience. Not unless she maybe runs for governor…now that might increase her chances despite her age.

    Oh, I love the Democratic Party. It is anything but democratic and has long since ceased being a party kind of place. More like the Dante’s 9th circle.

  14. Mark,

    What exactly is the difference between issuing War Bonds and deficit spending??

    The answer is that there is no difference at all.

    And then you totally go off the rails.

    “A big part of this platform is reaching out to the American people and convincing them that we are at war and we all need to find ways to pitch in. I realize this would be a sea change for democrats”

    It isn’t the democrats who have ensured the public that the best way to support the war effort is to continue consumerism as usual.

    You had me going there for a second. I actually thought you were serious.

  15. “What exactly is the difference between issuing War Bonds and deficit spending??

    The answer is that there is no difference at all.”

    There is a difference. The bonds are held by the American people, not the Chinese government, for instance.

    “It isn’t the democrats who have ensured the public that the best way to support the war effort is to continue consumerism as usual.”

    I never said Bush was doing a good job of it. I would think the changes i proposed made it clear where the faults lie in this adminstration. But at least the administration _has_ a plan. Or we wouldnt need this start from the ground up discussion to find an alternative, right?

    “You had me going there for a second. I actually thought you were serious. ”

    I’ve never been more serious about anything in my life. The fact that facing up to the failing of your party is less preferable than letting Bush possibly lose this war says plenty for the seriousness of you and your party. And actions speak louder than words.

  16. “I’ve never been more serious about anything in my life. The fact that facing up to the failing of your party is less preferable than letting Bush possibly lose this war says plenty for the seriousness of you and your party. And actions speak louder than words.”

    Assumptions such as this are tools of the foolish. I’m a registered independant who voted for more Republicans than Dems last election, though I am in Texas.

    But I did oppose intervention in Iraq, and events have shown that to be a wise decision IMO.

    Between us you are the only partisan here.

    I’m not at all happy with the current state of the democratic party. Mostly due to their aquiescence on purely political grounds to this war.

    But having totally screwed up the affair even worse than I imagined they could, I find it humorous that Republicans today fault the Democrats for not coming up with a plan to bail them out of the mess this administration created.

  17. I like Marks plan, but all that really should have been done 2.5-3 years ago. Iraq really is soveriegn now, so anything we do going forward has to me in the character of the father taking his hand off the bicycle, not pushing the kid off the seat and driving it himself. Besides, Iraq is all just one big catch-22 for the Dems. If they help Iraq succeed, that’s a win for Bush and republicans, not them. If they make it fail, it’s bad for us all.

    I think their real winning Iraq strategy is to drop it. Just drop it.

    Whatever happens in Iraq will be largly resolved by 2008, or maybe even the summer of 2006, so they should just salute the troops and let Iraq be. Try to focus the nation’s attention on domestic issues, which is their strong suit, and away from national defense, which is their weakness. Do things like hammer Bush about the social security plan nobody likes, and stuff like that. If they were able to do that, then they could fight as hard as they like *without* having to risk losing us another war in the process.

  18. _I’m not at all happy with the current state of the democratic party. Mostly due to their aquiescence on purely political grounds to this war._

    Rather, having supported regime change during the previous administration, many leading democrats found that their spine was incapable of being twisted to oppose it.

    The political trick is to reflect public opinion on the day of election — not the day before or the day after, since public opinion is invertebrate.

  19. “But having totally screwed up the affair even worse than I imagined they could, I find it humorous that Republicans today fault the Democrats for not coming up with a plan to bail them out of the mess this administration created”

    Please. Just by avoiding every ‘imminent disaster’ dreamed up by the opposition at every step of the war, Bush has succeeded by any rational standard. Its absurd to think we havent accomplished much even with a very flawed execution. By any historical standard what we are dealing with now is about the minimum of what we would expect. That doesnt mean we havent made bad mistakes and that there isnt a long way to go, but find me a war where that wasnt true.

    “The political trick is to reflect public opinion on the day of election — not the day before or the day after, since public opinion is invertebrate”

    I thought the point was to craft public opinion by having the better ideas and convincing the public they are better. I expect you have to have an idea before this will work though.

  20. _I thought the point was to craft public opinion by having the better ideas and convincing the public they are better._

    Well, you can do it the tough way . . .

  21. “Just by avoiding every ‘imminent disaster’ dreamed up by the opposition at every step of the war, Bush has succeeded by any rational standard.”

    Wow, a partisan and a day dreamer.

    I suppose we’ve reached the useful shelf life of this debate.

    Good luck with your plan.

  22. C’mon davebo – if accepting your premise that, in essence “Iraq is an unmitigated disaster”, is the proce of entering into a discussion, you’re limiting the audience pretty radically.

    How about presuming that it’s neither a train wreck nor an Olympic Gold Medal performance, but instead something in between…as most real things are.

    A.L.

  23. AL,

    I don’t recall claiming that Iraq was an unmitigated disaster, though it is undeniably a mess.

    I guess the situation in Iraq could certainly be worse.

    But to claim:

    “Just by avoiding every ‘imminent disaster’ dreamed up by the opposition at every step of the war, Bush has succeeded by any rational standard.”

    is way way over the top IMO.

    We failed to avoid problems not “dreamed up by the opposition” but dreamed up by the National Intelligence Council. Mainly that of a dangerous and protracted insurgency.

    And the response to the warning?

    The White House spokesman, Scott McClellan, suggested the assessment was the work of “handwringers”.

    Don’t blame the opposition for the failure of the administration to take seriously the warnings of these folks, Gen. Shinseki, and countless others.

    Make absolutely no mistake here AL. We are paying the price for the gross arrogance of this administration and I defy anyone to make a logical argument that this isn’t so.

    Anyone even mentioning potential negative consequences was belittled, described as “handwringers” or had their patriotism questioned.

    Yet despite these undeniable facts, Mark is still playing that same game.

    I responded positively for the most part to Mark’s plan. Apparantly when I questioned his plan for paying for the plan he devolved into a “it’s all the democrats fault” which is rather laughable.

  24. “Make absolutely no mistake here AL. We are paying the price for the gross arrogance of this administration and I defy anyone to make a logical argument that this isn’t so.”

    I agree. We are paying _a_ price. Just as the Union paid a price for a succession of terrible generals. Just as FDR paid a price for not paying attention to his Pacific intelligence. Bad things happen because people are flawed. Its what you do from that point that counts, and despite your confused viewpoint things could be much worse, and we have accomplished much (libyan nukes in Tennessee, Syria out of Lebannon, hello?)

    “Anyone even mentioning potential negative consequences was belittled, described as “handwringers” or had their patriotism questioned.
    Yet despite these undeniable facts, Mark is still playing that same game.”

    Thats total crap you’re putting words in my mouth. But there has been a whole lot of hand wringing along the way, thats for certain. That is quite different than pointing out realistic problems with realistic solutions.

    “I responded positively for the most part to Mark’s plan. Apparantly when I questioned his plan for paying for the plan he devolved into a “it’s all the democrats fault” which is rather laughable.”

    Reread the thread. I began talking about the pragmatic reasons why i dont believe the Democratic party will embrace _any_ plan and you blew up and declared me unserious. So take your ball and go home like you said you were.

  25. When looked at with an adult eye informed with a knowledge of history, the supposed “mistakes” of the Bush administration pale into near insignificance.

    Accordingly those who focus on them are at best handwringing.

  26. “Reread the thread. I began talking about the pragmatic reasons why i dont believe the Democratic party will embrace any plan”

    Actually that would be reason (singular).

    ” I realize this would be a sea change for democrats who have been selling the story that this isnt ‘our’ war at all. That is a mistake, and maybe it would take a democrat to invest the bulk of the country at this point.”

    I don’t know if you are referring to Kos’s bunch or Democrat politicians here.

    But hardly pragmatic or particularly factual.

    But you are correct. This thread has become pointless. I won’t suggest you “go home” but I will stop bothering here.

    I tried hard to be mature in the discussion for what it’s worth though I may have failed at points.

  27. #11 davebo,

    I think you are exactly right. If we set a time table for pullout I think attacks would decrease.

    As the enemy gathered troops and weapons in order to attack and overthrow whatever government we left behind.

    Probably not what you had in mind.

    A lot of new troops are finding their way to Iraq from countries other than America. The most numerous are from Iraq. In fact there are more Iraqi troops in Iraq than American.

  28. #13,

    The crash program on the electrical grid started two years ago.

    450 MW scheduled to come on line in Sept. or Oct.

    WE are funding 10 new divisions. It is called the Iraqi Army. Plus our Congress has authorised an increase of 80,000 in the US military.

    I agree the draw down should be event driven. That “event” is the ability of the Iraqi army to go after the Islamic death squads. Isn’t that what armies for?

    As to your pont about cross referencing the detainees. How do you know it is not happening?

  29. A.L.,

    The DLC folks deserve what they have coming. They’re the ones who were in a position to marginalize the Marxist left and failed to do so. Now the wackos have taken over the party and, surprise, surprise, they are turning against the DLC.

    The DLC folks know the real facts. They know that Bush’s case for war against Iraq was solid because most aspects of the case were built during the Clinton administration. They know Iraq and Al Qaeda had cooperated extensively for over a decade. They know there is even substantial evidence of Iraqi involvement in 9/11.

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/005/804yqqnr.asp

    But the DLC wing failed to confirm these facts and back the Bush case for war. Even worse, they repudiated the arguments they themselves had made during the Clinton administration merely because Bush administration was now the party presenting these very same arguments. Despicable. And through this failure they ceded control of the party to the Marxist left. Congratulations DLC triangulators. Good luck getting your party back.

  30. “The crash program on the electrical grid started two years ago.”

    I think your and my idea of ‘crash’ are different. We have managed to get back to the pre invasion level only now. There were cities burned to the ground in WW2 that got their lights back faster than that. No. A crash program is Don Rumsfeld calling up the CEO of GE and ordering 10 million transformers etc. Nothing remotely like that happened.

    “450 MW scheduled to come on line in Sept. or Oct.”

    Good. But too little too late quite possibly.

    “WE are funding 10 new divisions. It is called the Iraqi Army. Plus our Congress has authorised an increase of 80,000 in the US military.”

    Sadly we cant order about the IA, much less send them to trouble spots around the globe.

    “I agree the draw down should be event driven. That “event” is the ability of the Iraqi army to go after the Islamic death squads. Isn’t that what armies for?”

    Yes. Amongst other things. So what are you arguing?

    “As to your pont about cross referencing the detainees. How do you know it is not happening?”

    A nasty suspicion on my part, based on peicing together accounts by mil-blogs, iraqi-bloggers, and a fundamental belief that any bureacracy will F up in the most damaging way possible when being overseen by government lawyers. The thing is, insurgents are terrified of being picked up by the IP or IA, but they joke about being taken by the Americans. I’ve read more than one account where we are leading a guy caught red handed off and he is joking about being back in a few weeks. This rings too true. The fact that we dont hear about it scares me all the more. I know for a fact they make mistakes (everyone does). The fact the MSM hasnt pounced on those mistakes suggests either no-one is paying attention or it is being well covered up. Either way points to a strong possibility we have a de facto catch and release program at work. Again, no proof, that why i want it looked at.

  31. The reality of third party movements in the US is that in order to move the party closest to them in the “right direction” they have to deliberately play the spoiler role for at least two election cycles. 2004 doesn’t count even though they cost Democrats the election, because most of them voted for Kerry. They just drove voters away from Kerry by failing to modulate their B.O.. Chances are that’s all that’ll happen this time, so they aren’t even prepared make the loss count for anything.

    If they decide to run a spoiler candidate in 2008 they’ll have to do it again in 2012 or forget about having any influence.

  32. re:revolving door

    “The doctors rolled LTC Kurilla and the terrorist into OR and our surgeons operated on both at the same time. The terrorist turned out to be one Khalid Jasim Nohe, who had first been captured by US forces (2-8 FA) on 21 December, the same day a large bomb exploded in the dining facility on this base and killed 22 people.

    That December day, Khalid Jasim Nohe and two compatriots tried to evade US soldiers from 2-8 FA, but the soldiers managed to stop the fleeing car. Then one of the suspects tried to wrestle a weapon from a soldier before all three were detained. They were armed with a sniper rifle, an AK, pistols, a silencer, explosives and other weapons, and had in their possession photographs of US bases, including a map of this base.

    That was in December.

    About two weeks ago, word came that Nohe’s case had been dismissed by a judge on 7 August. The Coalition was livid. According to American officers, solid cases are continually dismissed without apparent cause. Whatever the reason, the result was that less than two weeks after his release from Abu Ghraib, Nohe was back in Mosul shooting at American soldiers.”
    http://michaelyon.blogspot.com/2005/08/gates-of-fire.html

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