Wednesday, May 31, 2006

The Pox on Both Houses

Third party politics. Why it arises. Why it is so hard.

One of the most suggestive recent political developments has been the mooting of a Unity Ticket for the 2008 elections in which a virtual Third Party is created to campaign for a Republican/Democrat hybrid slate. The Washington Post reports:

Although details of the group's aims are somewhat spotty, Unity '08 hopes to harness the power of the Internet to build a community of activists who will be tasked with choosing a "unity" ticket (made up of one Democrat and one Republican) during an online "convention" in June 2008. "That will be after the two parties are likely to have decided in their primaries who their nominees will be, so the Unity '08 convention delegates would then be able to consider who is best to run against them," according to a four-page question and answer document being circulated by the group. ...

The group insists it is not a stalking horse for any candidate and that it has not spoken about its plans with Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) -- the perceived frontrunners for their respective party's nominations.

Commentary

The underlying factors which may be driving this curious and possibly short-lived effort are:

  1. The possibility that President Bush's low popularity numbers do not necessarily translate to high popularity numbers for a Democrat candidate. Much of the dissatisfaction with President Bush comes from the Right of his positions: from those who feel betrayed by Dubai Ports World fiasco; disappointed by a lack of firmness against illegal immigration or are dissatisfied by an unwillingness to fully prosecute the War on Terror -- issues on which the Democrats may be equally if not more seriously faulted. As in basketball, turnovers and fumbles in politics are useless unless the other side can convert. It's of little use to "frame" Tom DeLay in the context of "Republicans as the party of corruption" when a William Jefferson exists to put both parties on the same side of the line. It's just as useless to criticize GWB's security policy when the other Party manifestly has no security policy of its own.
  2. The difficulty of swinging the Democratic Party behind a relatively centrist candidate like Hillary Clinton. The campaign to unseat Senator Lieberman and the halting efforts by the Democratic Party to articulate an alternative national security policy all suggest that if GWB is in trouble from his Right, the Democratic centrists are in trouble from their Left. Even should they get possession of the ball, there's no one they can trust to take it to the basket.
  3. The inexplicable weakness of the antiwar movement after five years indicates a position that is inherently weak, despite the mistakes of President Bush. One of the images that really struck me was of a half-filled function room in Sydney -- a city with a large left-wing contingent -- at which Cindy Sheehan was scheduled to speak. People may not be crazy about GWB but nobody is lining up to hear Cindy Sheehan. The Left has got to face it: the old magic isn't there. Michael Moore will never be the Joan Baez of the early 21st century. The Movement of 1968 has become the walker shuffle of 2008. The existence of the Euston Manifesto, composed of Leftists explicitly committed to fighting Islamic extremism, is another yet indication of why GWB's missteps do not necessarily mean that voters will beat a path to George Galloway's door. The Left has become intellectually shabbier than the Right; and its brightest lights know it.

In short, there's every chance that voters have become disillusioned with a political system that appears to have slipped out of their control and into the hands of foreign lobby groups, special interest organizations and shadowy characters. As the Unity Ticket article quoted in the Washington Post put it:

"We believe that, while the leaders of both major parties are well-intentioned people, they are trapped in a flawed system -- and that the two major parties are today simply neither relevant to the issues and challenges of the 21st century nor effective in addressing them," reads a four-page summary document for "Unity '08".

The two party system has traditionally been a way through which voters could control policy outcomes by performing arithmetic operations on the partisan composition of the Legislature and the Executive. It was a kind of symbolic calculus in which ballot tickets were notation for political promises. Voters selected tickets and thereby selected the desired political outcomes through them; the correspondence was never exact but as long as it was "good enough" the calculus worked. What may be happening is that the voters no longer believe the calculus works.

Any perceived breakdown in the political calculus creates an opportunity for political entrepreneurs to create an alternative set of tickets and thereby get things working again. Whether this will actually succeed in a governmental structure designed along majority/minority lines remains to be seen. A large part of the problem is that the world truly did change on September 11, 2001; not in the sense of what happened on that day but in the sense of what that day revealed about the changes that had already taken place. Yet the political vocabulary of the West has not yet evolved to articulate the problems of the new age nor to deal with them. But the process is beginning.

87 Comments:

Blogger Jamie Irons said...

Wretchard,

A large part of the problem is that the world truly did change on September 11, 2001; not in the sense of what happened on that day but in the sense of what that day revealed about the changes that had already taken place. Yet the political vocabulary of the West has not yet evolved to articulate the problems of the new age nor to deal with them. But the process is beginning...

I think the thing I most appreciate in your writing is that you so neatly articulate changes which many of us are beginning to sense, but have neither the historical training, nor the brilliance, nor the humane wisdom to adequately express.

Thank you.

Jamie Irons

5/31/2006 08:28:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...

"The Movement of 1968 has become the walker shuffle of 2008"

Wretchard,a wonderful line. A literary Cubism destine to be repeated.

5/31/2006 08:35:00 PM  
Blogger Meme chose said...

I think this is just one example of voters trying to 'route around' a set of political barriers erected by a ruling elite to constrain them. In the US it's primarily about the unprecedented level of gerrymandering by both parties, and the resulting iron 'incumbency' barrier.

In Europe the parallel I see is 'extreme' nationalism (Le Pen, etc), which voters in many EU countries are using to try to send a message to their aloof elites. These middle class, overwhelmingly liberal elites decided decades ago that in terms of electoral choice the public must be given access to no nationalism at all.

In both cases the public continues to push, and the established elites, their masters, are dug in and determined to resist.

5/31/2006 08:38:00 PM  
Blogger gokart-mozart said...

I have thought for some time that there is enough antipathy to the inner circles of both US parties to permit a daring entrepreneur, or two of them, to have a shot at the brass ring.

After all, in 1992 a not-very tightly wrapped non-politician got almost twenty million votes. Things are much worse now than they were then, and a real leader who ran on a "plague on both their houses" platform would have a shot.

HRC is ambitious enough, but not clever enough. She cannot be denied the Democratic nomination and will regard taking it as the safe way to go.

John McCain is a possibility, but he willdo wellenough in the Republican process to keep him in that game.

If Rudy Giuliani is rejected early enough by the GOP, he has a shot, especially as a "clean up the mess in Washington" candidate.

Interesting times.

5/31/2006 08:40:00 PM  
Blogger Anglo-Canadian said...

So what's the third way ticket?

The Dems are a big government party that say they are a big government party.

The GOP are a big government party that say they are a limited government party.

The third way would have to be another big government party, unless anyone can imagine a limited govt Democrat popping out of the woodwork.

Now what'd be interesting is if they went back to the original voting system, where the second place guy got to be VP. Imagine that...

5/31/2006 08:48:00 PM  
Blogger Dave H said...

This is all a silly dream. It would always founder upon thrr reef of the built in inertia of the US Congress, more particularly the Senate. Let us suppose that the "Unity" group achieved their mad dream and swept any ticket you want to "power". What do you suppose they could achieve in the face of the Congress? If every incumbent lost in the Senate, they would not have a majority, probably not in 10 years let alone 6. Given the tendency of voters to re-elect incumbents I would not wager that they could elect 20 representatives of their persuasion.

The ill feelings directed at GWB would be as nothing. I doubt that they could get a single person confirmed for any office.

Peron demonstrated that a 3rd party can be a spoiler, he foisted Bill Clinton on us, a minority president for 8 years, probably morally the worst man who ever held the office, but actually an effective politician if you could just have re-directed his attention off himself. But Clinton was somewhat mainstream. Just imagine if youwill, what could Peron have done if he had been elected?

Our political system has enormous inertia, it would take cataclysmic events to bring the turkeys in the Congress to theigfr senses. Destruction of every major city on both sea coasts would probably do it, but not much short of that.

5/31/2006 09:05:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Well, you'll all be glad to know that there will be at least one "new" voter, come '08.

"... Unlike other expat legends—rock stars Bono and Neil ("Shock & Awe") Young come to mind—who fashion themselves as U.S. foreign policy experts while keeping their citizenship and their vote elsewhere, Mr. Hitchens had a change of heart after terrorists attacked New York and Washington. He watched the Pentagon burn from the rooftop of his apartment in northern Virginia and later lost a mailman to anthrax. So one day this month he will walk into a government office just outside Washington, pledge his allegiance to the United States of America, and become a citizen.

"I realized that when I was reading arguments after 9/11 that said there was the American view and there was the European view—that sort of tripe—that as far as I could tell the American view is the one that I took. I felt a much stronger identification than I had before," Mr. Hitchens tells WORLD. "Before I was ready to curse alone. I was an outsider in both countries. But it felt like, feels like, is a gesture of solidarity."

Solidarity with what, exactly, in a country cleanly divided over war in Iraq and led by a president whose policy toward terrorism has dropped his poll numbers into the dustbin?

"It's fallen on the United States to be the country that resists the renewal of barbarism, of religious barbarism in the world," Mr. Hitchens answers. "It doesn't particularly want the job, it doesn't do it terribly well—and I think would have escaped it if it could—but there's something about the United States that makes it both hated and antagonistic to this barbarism." He adds, "If one wants to defend the deployment of forces of fellow citizens, one probably ought to be a fellow citizen." ..."


Chris Hitchens, American Patriot, to cool.

5/31/2006 09:08:00 PM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

How soon they have forgotten Ross Perot, and what voting for him gave us eight years of.

The two-party system pre-dates the Constitution. In a three-party game of cut throat pool, the established parties will clear the upstart's balls from the table before going to work on each other.

A four-party system has an outside chance, as the game of cut-throat has more possible permutations. Certainly conservatives are tired of being treated by Republicans like Democrats treat blacks. Apparently the KosKids and Deaniacs are disgusted with the terrestrial wing of the Democratic Party. The Right and the Left could form their own parties, purging the Republicans and Democrats of their extremist ideologues, and giving us some political truth in advertising: Green Socialist Workers People's Liberation al Aqsa Brigade, Social Democrats, RINOS, and Conservatives.

5/31/2006 09:26:00 PM  
Blogger Achillea said...

Dave H,

Juan Peron was President of Argentina. Perhaps you mean Ross PeroT?

5/31/2006 09:35:00 PM  
Blogger Dave H said...

Cannoneer, what's your guess at percentages for the labels you propose? Actually the labels probably matter a lot, a different set of labels would call forth differing percentages.

5/31/2006 09:40:00 PM  
Blogger Dave H said...

achillea, I apologize for the mental slip, its no use trying to pass it off as a typo. Please chalk it up to senility and let it go.

5/31/2006 09:43:00 PM  
Blogger Frege said...

"The difficulty of swinging the Democratic Party behind a relatively centrist candidate like Hillary Clinton."

After Hillary was elected as senator, most pundits and political observers noted her conscious effort to change the public’s perception of her from a hard-core feminist leftist to a centrist. If Wretchard’s comment above is any indication, she has been successful. Its odd how people who predicted in advance that she would move to the center because she allegedly had her base solidly behind her, have fallen for her centrist make-over. Even more surprising is that some cite the fact that many on the far left are unhappy with Hillary over the war as evidence that she is now a centrist. I think she loves the left’s criticism of her for not being liberal enough on the war because it helps her make-over effort. I just can’t believe sensible people like Wretchard have fallen for it.

5/31/2006 09:54:00 PM  
Blogger Dave H said...

frege, its a matter of relativity. Compared to the true democratic left, she IS centrist.

5/31/2006 10:11:00 PM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

Dave H,

I don't know what the percentages would be. The largest group would be None Of The Above, followed by the Social Democrats, then the RINOs, followed by the Conservatives, with the Left bringing up the rear.

5/31/2006 10:32:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Hillary is a centrist like Bill is Sexually Abstinent.
---
Afghanistan, Unraveling
---
NY Times Editorial, yet Yon's account does not contradict it.

5/31/2006 11:22:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

"Unity" party to call Denver home:

"We want to force them to pay attention to the crucial issues," said Jim Jonas, CEO of Unity08.

Those issues, he said, include such things as global terrorism, education, universal health care, the national debt and nuclear proliferation. This is different than the "important" issues - gay marriage, control and abortion - which Unity08 says should be addressed but not dominate the national agenda and campaign rhetoric.

Unity Party

5/31/2006 11:24:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Google's Patriotism in a word: Pathetic

5/31/2006 11:40:00 PM  
Blogger John Samford said...

Another problem is that McCain is a RINO (Republican In Name Only). His chance of gaining the republican nomination is about the same as Sen. Kennedy's (who shares most of McCains positions on political issues).
So a Clinton-McCain ticket has two big problems.
It won't pick up any conservative votes NOR any liberal votes it doesn't already have. The other problem is who gets on top? Both parties have ego's bigger then some nations.
No, this is some reporters wet dream.
A serious mixed ticket would be something like Liberman and Bush. Jeb would be willing to take the VP slot, which would give the Demonrats the white house. Plus all those who voted for Bush in '04 because they couldn't stomach the Winter Soldier would be naturals for Liberman, who is the pol closest to the center today.
As you pointed out, the purpose of a mixed ticket is to draw people together. Clinton McCain would force people apart. I doubt that it would split off enough voters to let Clinton sneak in the back door, like slick willy blue dress did. Where will Hill-de-beast find another H. Ross Peroit?

5/31/2006 11:49:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Arabists at work at State. ...again.
"Our" Government is not on OUR side, folks.
The U.S. should move its embassy to Jerusalem…now

But the real shame is that President Bush once again passed up on an action that would not only move the peace process forward, but would also reduce the likelihood of a future Hamas reelection. And, to top it all off, all President Bush has to do is comply with American law.
That action is moving the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem—as required by the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act. Passed by the Senate 93 to 5, and the House 347 to 37, the act made it “the official policy of the United States” that Jerusalem be recognized as Israel’s capital and accordingly America’s embassy be moved there. The act mandated withholding funds from the State Department if the embassy was not moved.

President Bush is doing a disservice to both the Jewish people and the Palestinian Arabs by blocking the embassy move. It’s an insult to the Jewish people by refusing to recognize the capital of the Jewish state and implies that her legitimacy is an open question. And it’s harmful to the Palestinian Arabs because it leaves them with a false hope and helps Hamas’s election chances. It’s a disservice to both because it makes peace all that less realistic. Supporters of the Jewish state thought President Bush understood this when he promised on May 22, 2000, that “... as soon as I take office, I will begin the process of moving the United States ambassador to the city Israel has chosen as its capital.” The president has broken that promise every six months since taking office, and, unsurprisingly, peace looks more distant than ever. It’s time for a new policy, or rather implementing an old policy and keeping an old promise.

6/01/2006 12:11:00 AM  
Blogger John Samford said...

Here is a thought, Gullani-Miller.
The Hillery-McCain ticket would just be a way of getting the un-electable HRC elected. The Dems seem to forgetthat HRC's approval ratings are LOWER then PRESIDENT Bush's. Let me rephrase that. Dubbaya has around a 25% negative rating. That means 25% of the public would not even tap their brakes if they caught him in the crosswalk when the light changed. That number for HRC is 38%. For every rabid Bush hater, there is 1.6 rabid Hill-de-beast haters. She is NOT electable. That is way too big a hill to climb. there is only 62% of the voters in play if hill-de-beast is nominated. So she has to get all but 11% of those voters. Never happen. Then you got all the dirty laundry. 1500 dollar investments that turn into 150,000 overnight from someone who had no record of ever playing the futures market. FBI agents being used to investigate that VRWC. A strange 'suicide' of the key witness in Whitwater. The investigation of that 'suicide' ordered stopped by the White House. His records go missing and show up years later on a table in the middle of the White House. Then there is the missing China. While it seems trivial, I think having a first Lady that steals place settings on her way out the door will not sit well with the voters. Does anyone think that the Republicans will not bring up any of these issues, or the dozens more?
Hillery is a crooked Lawyer, that is why her negative rating is 38%. While the elitest Left has no problem with crooked lawyers, most of America does.

6/01/2006 12:13:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

I will never vote for another Bush again.
Bet I'm not the only Conservative that feels that way.
Anybody remember when Jeb's beautiful wife smuggled jewelry into the country?

6/01/2006 12:14:00 AM  
Blogger sam said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6/01/2006 12:22:00 AM  
Blogger sam said...

Rumsfeld's Remarks - 17:56

Select channel 'Specials/Interviews'

6/01/2006 12:28:00 AM  
Blogger sam said...

Malkin on Haditha

6/01/2006 12:29:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Figures:
"Condi wins [Rich Lowry]
Word in Washington is that Cheney and Rumsfeld opposed the Iranian initiative, but that Condi supported it and Bush sided with her."

6/01/2006 12:32:00 AM  
Blogger 2164th said...

It is laughable to think that it will take a Democrat and a Republican combination to lead this country. We have a preview of that tidy duet in the Senate amnesty bill for illegal aliens purposefully misnamed "illegal immigrants". The US common culture is debased and discredited due to an inability to set and enforce basic moral standards. The political culture is worse. No decent, thinking, balanced thoughtful person would want to go through the outrage of a US election. The entire process is degrading, dishonest and ugly. So we get the politicians we deserve. We have allowed ourselves to be forced to select from a stagnant putrid gene pool that produces the best of the worst.

You do not have to practice citizenship to be an American. You do not have to be able to read to vote. In some places you do not have to be a citizen to vote. Soon enough, the swing choices in American politics will be decided by morphed Americans uneducated and socialized in Mexico. A country where you would not drink the water or send your kids for an elementary education is barely educating a displaced peasantry who will one day decide your legacy. The Republicans and Democrats have brought you here. A nation of victims parroting unquestioned drivel about diversity, entitlements and choice has wedged its collective fat behind into a seat at the back of the bus. And guess who will be driving? Not you. Have a nice day and a dorito.

6/01/2006 12:49:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

You'll like this 2164th:
BILINGUAL AMERICA
So, despite the fact that "Bilingual Education" was outed years ago as a make-work fraud that detracted from educational progress, this school and these parents are more than willing to sacrifice the kids and the country's future for ...something.

"A nation of victims parroting unquestioned drivel about diversity, entitlements and choice."

6/01/2006 02:08:00 AM  
Blogger Karridine said...

Demoblicans and Republicrats! A flawed and corrupted system, indeed.

Now, imagine intelligent adults, all the men and women of (a given locale), meeting at their appointed meeting place TO ELECT THEIR Government; see them reviewing ONLY the requisite characteristics that their elected government should possess (unwavering loyalty to the good of the community, a well-trained mind and willingness to serve); in your mind see the assembled adults of the community, by the thousands, quietly and prayerfully cast written secret ballots choosing the best-qualified among themselves, WITHOUT parties or platforms, WITHOUT nominations or speechs...

America can learn much from this Administrative system, already demonstrative of its unifying, dignified power... in practice by all the adults of the World Baha'i Community for decades!

Unity Party, indeed.

6/01/2006 02:17:00 AM  
Blogger Joshua Chamberlain said...

Wretchard, this is not a real movement. This is a bunch of disgruntled Democratic who are unhappy with America's "political system" because their party keeps losing elections. This has nothing to do with the dissatisfied right. DO you see anybody like Pat Buchanan involved with this venture? Only with significant participation from paleocons like him could this in any system represents "bipartisan" dissatisfaction. This is a vanity stunt for publicity hounds.

6/01/2006 03:46:00 AM  
Blogger metaphysician said...

Karridine-

No offense, but, scaling problems. If you wanted to do something like that with the US, you'd either:

1) Have so many representatives that the body could not function

2) Have so many citizens per representative as the defeat the purpose, making it no different than current

And it just plain wouldn't work for presidential election.

6/01/2006 03:55:00 AM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

gokart-mozart -
enough antipathy to the inner circles of both US parties to permit a daring entrepreneur, or two of them, to have a shot at the brass ring.

Except few groups are as reviled as CEO fatcats these days. In hubris, a few of the Jewish billionaire oligarchs of Russia attempted to move in and take a large share of political power - and were quashed. In America, I see little or no support for the Kenny Boys or Fast Andy Fastows to run the country - with their goal to further concentrate wealth in the Richest 1%.

gokart-mozart - If Rudy Giuliani is rejected early enough by the GOP, he has a shot, especially as a "clean up the mess in Washington" candidate.

Lets just say that Rudy is a 9/11 icon and as the Victimhood Cult of 9/11 fades, so does Rudy. And given Rudy's rank cronyism in NYC (like Kerik, favorite cops given plum no-show jobs), and his porkfest business steering homeland security dollars to his clients - it is probably in Rudy's best interest to remain a hero icon parlaying his fame into wealth rather than start uncovering Giuliani rocks and see what wriggles out. And keep in mind that few NYC politicians are appealing to the rest of America - too pushy, arrogant, self-centered, and brash.
==========================
Dave h - Peron demonstrated that a 3rd party can be a spoiler, he foisted Bill Clinton on us, a minority president for 8 years, probably morally the worst man who ever held the office..

The country would vote Bill Clinton back in office in a heartbeat if they were allowed to - because they believe Bill Clinton is one of the few capable of cleaning up the messes George Bush II has landed us in.

========================
2164th is correct that both the Republicans and Democrats have descended into a morass of corruption.

IMO, both bootlick to the Ruling Elite's special interests. The Democrats at least managed to defy the people's will without doubling our national debt and putting a 4.5 trillion burden on their children's backs.

======================

If both parties continue to be dysfunctional, and all our laws the lawyers from both parties have put into place - prevent a 3rd Party - then an alternate might be admitting our democracy is beginning to fail and may need another Jackson or FDR to come in and do massive change. If a Jackson or FDR fails to materialize, a growing portion of the people may see a solution in the one US institution we know works superbly because lawyers do not run things - the US military.

Unfortunately, dozens of democracies have become hostage to Ruling Elites, failed to serve the people, and military leadership has had to step in and fix things (or make them worse)...

If the US Democratic system fails because of the accumulation of backroom deals, unwise laws, reckless spending, Elites money corrupting everything, and extremist apparachniks dominating Party mechanisms..Well, the people would eventually welcome the Generals if they came in to fix things, make our laws and Constitution serve the people again, and restore power to the people over the lawyers and oligarchs.

After all, the promise of Gingrich's Revolution to fix Washington was pissed away as soon as Newt and the Republicans found the feeding troughs that could make all of them and their cronies and families millionaires several times over.
================

6/01/2006 04:02:00 AM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...

DR...
I read Hitchens quite often, always have. Mostly to gain the other sides perspective, but his 9-11 epiphany changed him. I am glad he is on the side of history we are. But best of all(and it had escaped me) is that he will be an American citizen ..let me echo your sentiment..cool.
Addressing the virtual hyperspace third party ..just say to them as Micheal Renney did to the aliens, Glatoo, Attoo, Barictum.

6/01/2006 04:10:00 AM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...

It would do absolute wonders for this country if thr Federalist Papers were required reading and study for all seniors in high school.
It would cut down about 90% of the baloney we hear and read.
James Madison,Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay were truly brilliant men. Hamilton's college entrance exam was oral. He was given a Bible, written in Latin, and had to translate it by spoken word into Greek.
Unfortunately our secondary schools are more attuned to MP3 groov'in.

6/01/2006 04:24:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Mr Maliki does not care who the next President is, nor Prime Minister of England. He is taking "charge". He has ordered his Army to Basra, just forgot to tell the "occupiers"
"...Trying to stamp his authority on the region, Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki arrived here in an American helicopter with Iraq's Sunni Arab vice president and three other senior Iraqi officials, and he berated local leaders for the chaos. He ordered the Iraqi Army to take over Basra's streets — a demand that apparently came as a surprise to the British Army, which patrols the region, and that could prove difficult, as units would have to be brought from outside the city. ..."

6/01/2006 06:02:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Michael Rubin
---
Can someone enlighten me about Iranian influence in Kurdistan?
(ie How do they infiltrate what I thought would be hostile territory)
Damage Is Done

Today, Iranian intelligence have free reign over southern Iraq and, increasingly, Iraqi Kurdistan. None of this should come as a surprise to Washington. Iranian government officials consider U.S. red lines to be drawn with pencil on sand.

On September 20, 2001, President Bush declared, “Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.” With Bush’s decision to abandon freedom-seekers across the region, and reward a terror-sponsoring Iranian regime in noncompliance with its international commitments, the White House has signaled to the world, stand with us if you want, but we only respond when you’re against us.

6/01/2006 06:03:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

6:03 AM
At least our foreign policy matches our domestic policy!
Suck up to the Clintons and Kennedy, screw the conservatives.
Makes sense to me.

6/01/2006 06:08:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

This poor Government Security offical longs for the days of a "Strongman"
"... One large prize is control of Basra's oil exports. The city is near the country's only seaport, and nearly all of Iraq's current exports flow through it. Political parties accuse one another of skimming from the flow and trying to control it.

"As long as we have parties, it's impossible to ensure security," said one of Basra's senior security officials. "If you print this," the official added nervously, explaining why he wanted his name withheld, "I'll be killed." ...
...the parties have wielded influence is through control of portions of this city's 15,000-man police force, which is about double it's the authorized size. Rival parties and gangs fight one another through their own police units. The police chief, Maj. Gen. Hassan Swadi al-Saad, has said he trusts only a small fraction of his forces. ...
... The officials from Baghdad included Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi, a Sunni Arab; Khalid al-Atiya, the deputy speaker of Parliament; Bahaa al-Aaraji, a Parliament member close to the anti-American cleric Moktada al-Sadr, whose influence and militia in Basra are strong; and Safa al-Safi, the minister of state for Parliament affairs. ..."


But scape goats, they are the same, the World over.

"... Mr. Abadi, of Fadhila, said local leaders had done the best they could with few resources and blamed the news media for painting too ghoulish a security picture. "Don't put all the blame or all the mistakes or all the collapse on the local government here," he said. ...

One has to understand that if these type of things were not reported they would not have occurred, aye.

This story was published in the NYTimes, but written by Iraqis, Ali Adeeb contributed reporting from Baghdad, and an Iraqi employee of the NYTimes from Basra.

So who knows, it may not all be true, but then again, it may.

Reality in far away places is hard to discern, sometimes.
Just like the "truth" of that Haditha raid on invalids and babes in arms.

6/01/2006 06:24:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

McCain/Kennedy/Bush on Acid (we wish)
...beats simple corruption
WASHINGTON -- The director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the agency that would administer a new guest-worker program and rule on applications from millions of illegal aliens, says the pending Senate bill doesn't give his agency enough time to prepare for that giant task.

"Quite frankly, I don't think that's really practical. Ninety days to register 12 million people. Do the math," Emilio T. Gonzalez, who took over as director early this year, told The Washington Times.

We're litigating cases today from 1986. And I think the reason we're doing that -- I'm not a lawyer, by the way -- is, if you don't take care of the details, that's what's going to bring you down," he said.

6/01/2006 06:28:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

BAGHDAD (AP) — The top U.S. general in Iraq on Thursday ordered American commanders to conduct core values training on moral and ethical standards on the battlefield.
The order from Lt. Gen. Peter Chiarelli, the commander of Multinational Corps Iraq, came as the U.S. military investigated whether U.S. Marines intentionally killed unarmed civilians in the town of Haditha on Nov. 19.

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said he asked a ministerial committee to hold talks with the U.S. military to set ground rules for raids and detentions.

The dead included women and children who were killed following a bomb attack on a military convoy in which a Marine died.

Chiarelli said the training would emphasize "professional military values and the importance of disciplined, professional conduct in combat" as well as Iraqi cultural expectations.

"As military professionals, it is important that we take time to reflect on the values that separate us from our enemies," he said. "The challenge for us is to make sure the actions of a few do not tarnish the good work of the many." ..."

6/01/2006 06:31:00 AM  
Blogger ricksamerican said...

RE:The Movement of 1968, but OT

Wretchard
Are you familiar with Luc Ferry's French Philosophy of the Sixties? He argues quite convicingly that Les Evenements did not have a leftist, socialist origin, but were--from the vantage of the instigators like Daniel Cohn-Bendit--a reactionary response against the dehuminization of the industrial culture (and Marxist orthodoxy). Cohn-Bendit said afterwards that he had never heard of Herbert Marcuse, whose disciple he had been assumed to be by the leftist intelligensia. It was the academics, the trade unions and the press that hijacked the Movement for the Left.

6/01/2006 06:36:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said he asked a ministerial committee to hold talks with the U.S. military to set ground rules for raids and detentions.

Now the Iraqis will be writing US RoE's.
Out by '07, '08 at the latest, that is what the Iraqi's say.
Still have not signed a lease for ANY long term basing rights. Won't be a "Long War" for US for long, in Iraq.

6/01/2006 06:36:00 AM  
Blogger Karridine said...

Metaphysician, perhaps you're right.

In which case, we'll adapt our system to whom we CAN elect, president or not.

And, scaling up, there are already provisions serving a huge community, by electing our REPRESENTATIVES who elect a National-level government.

Investigate for yourself. The system works well, and it does so without parties, platforms, nominations and aggravations.

Of course, the people using it believe it was given to humankind by the Righteousness that is Christ, come in His New Name, in the Station of the Father! :)

6/01/2006 07:07:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

We already do that for the Office of President, karridine, the only Office the represents the entire US.

The representitives are chosen in each State, then meet and elect the President. If those folk cannot come to a decision, the House choses the President.

It is called the Electoral College and it is those reprentitives only function. There is no need to modify our System. There is a need to defend it, though, from the Federal Government.
McCain-Fiengold and it's limits on political speech, along with it's affirmation by the SCOTUS is all the proof required that Freedom is on the decline in the US.
"Government of the Government, by the Government and for the Government" has already been approved for US.

See you all on the beach, surf's up!

6/01/2006 08:10:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Here is a description of the current assualt on the Electoral College, from Investor's Business Daily.

6/01/2006 08:27:00 AM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...

"The Movement of 1968 has become the walker shuffle of 2008"

Wretchard,a wonderful line. A literary Cubism destine to be repeated.

told ya

6/01/2006 08:27:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

In San Diego, "Duke's old seat is up for grabs, Tuesday...
SAN DIEGO – By the numbers, Democratic congressional candidate Francine Busby shouldn't expect to get a federal paycheck anytime soon.
She's running, for the second time, in a conservative district where registered Republicans outnumber Democrats by more than 4:3. In the 2004 general election, she snagged just 36 percent of the vote. And her opponent's political experience outpaces hers by about two decades. ...
... Polls show a tight race, and Busby's mild, suburban-mom persona appears to be winning voters. Still, the hill she must climb to election is a big one. Democrats have won only four of 195 races in Republican-dominated congressional districts in the Golden State since 1966, says Dr. Jacobson. Each time, the GOP had only a slight registration advantage. ...
...Busby, meanwhile, is under attack as a "taxing liberal" who favors rights for illegal immigrants and opposes English as an official language. She responded with footage of Sen. John McCain (R) of Arizona, whose immigration plan she supports.

"Both sides are trying out their heavy artillery to see what works for them in the fall," says political scientist Carl Luna of Mesa College.

Despite the millions of dollars pumped into the race, it's not clear that voters are paying much attention in the 50th District, which covers a wide swath of San Diego's northern suburbs - a Republican bastion, except for some Democratic pockets along the coast - and a bit of the city itself. Turnout is expected to be light, and a debate at a San Diego senior center last weekend attracted only a few dozen people.
... Republicans disgruntled by Bush and Congress may be the deciding factor in Bilbray versus Busby. "The real question for the conservative wing is: Are they willing to ... suck it up and vote to help the party?" Dr. Luna says.

If the Republicans can't win "with their home-field advantage, that's a sign the fans are deserting the home team." ..."


In a June race for Congress, shades of fall "Tuesday's election in a California district is an early test of voters' views."
By Randy Dotinga

6/01/2006 08:40:00 AM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...

In '08 the NOI will run Muhammad Ali and Kareem Abdul Jabbar's cousin Kareem o'Wheat in a test of electoral tolerance.
Rodney King as campaign manager and bus driver will interpret for the Champ, reciting "Can't we just all get along here"
Security will be provided by OJ Simpson and Al Cowlings with Judge Ito making the close calls on whether to shoot or slash.
Pictures of Tupac and Notorious Big will be placed along side the relief of Johnny Cochran on the bus door. Ticket sales are being handled by US Rep William Jefferson.
This combo will remove the pox on both houses.

6/01/2006 08:43:00 AM  
Blogger Karensky said...

Wretchard, looking at the "maliase" in DC and your post regarding a third party I agree but am not sure of this Unity stunt. Over history we have had third parties emerge that have profoundly corrected the dominant Dems and Reps. The last major influence, actually winner of the Office of President was Teddy Roosevelt. He was truely a unique character in US history. The Bull Moose Party had a profound influence upon the then Republican Party whereupon the party righted itself. Looking across the political landscape today the last politician that influenced a party here was Gingrich. Although I do not believe he could attain the highest office I could see him as a serious Veep Candidate.

A list of other possible contenders for out of the blue
McCain-too fragile an ego, McCainFiengold ain't gonna happen, Senators do not become presidents

Romney-Republican Gov of PR of Massachusetts, conservative lite very probable with lots of Mormon money in the wings.

Liberman-only if he switched parties, can a Jew win the POTUS?

Jeb Bush-won't run if asked

Hailey Barbour-Gov of Miss. Did very well with Katrina, Solid Conservative cred., smart and opportunistic. Could rally Conservative vote and play to the middleroad, union, patriotic old Democrat.

Condi Rice-never held elected office, would wither in the campaign process, maybe a Veep

Colin Powell-same as Condi and can a black be POTUS.

All of this presupposes that the left wing, Kos-Kid, Deaniac candidate wins the Dem nomination and a Republican non conservative wins the Repuplican nomination. I cannot see any political trend other than conservatism making any serious third party run.

6/01/2006 08:51:00 AM  
Blogger John Samford said...

Clinton again? That would be great! Within 90 days New York would be a tritonite crater and the USA would be going thru a civil war! What a wonderfull idea. I thought we should have worked it out with bullets on 2000. That, at least would have enede the 'election was stolen BS. All the people claiming thatthe election was stolen would have been hanging from lamp poles, which reduces considerably the amount of complaints they made, not to mention the whines.

"For a people who are free, and who mean to remain so, a well-organized and
armed militia is their best security."
- Thomas Jefferson: message to Congress, Nov. 1808

Oh boy, lets have a civil war! The Coalition to Ban Handguns against the NRA. The ACLU againt the local police SWAT team. Sounds good to me, when do we start? Nothing like open season on moonbats to clean up the republic.

6/01/2006 09:12:00 AM  
Blogger oldefogey said...

"The Movement of 1968 has become the walker shuffle of 2008"

What a graphic and ironic statement since many of the current ills can be traced directly to that movement of 1968!

From Fareed Zakaria in "The Future of Freedom", "The late 1960s and early 1970s were a time of attacks on much more than the old political parties. Not since the Great Depression had the basic legitimacy of the American system been under such as assault. From the civil rights movement through Vietnam, Watergate, and the "long, hot summer" of urban violence, many Americans challenged the very premises of their government."

"As the revolutionary fervor subsided by the early 1970s, scholars and politicians began to discuss ways to address the critics. If the system were not fixed, many feared, it would lose its basic legitimacy."

And fixing, as so often happens, means running the risk of making things worse - not better.

Since then, our universities and schools have been taken over by a culture that seeks to replace American values with cultural diversity.

Since then, our Congressional system has been replaced by a system of open accountability that permits those with extremely vested interests to pressure each vote on each minor amendment while the majority of hard-working Americans are busy working and feeding their families.

Since then, our courts have been gradually changed to project the values of the elites rather than the basic values upon which the country was founded.

Since then, our media has continued to look for Watergate in every story and taken it as their role in society to tear down and belittle every act taken by a government official.

The really sad part of this story is that it will have to get a lot worse before it can get better. Every elected office has been gerrymandered such that it is nearly impossible to defeat an incumbent.

Every new hire in the media has to be vetted to demonstate the proper regard to cultural diversity and "progressive" values.

And every "new" political party will just fragment the Republican base and give the Democrats an opportunity to pick a charming rascal like Clinton. Fortunately they seem incapable of picking even a sour Clinton but they will be desparate by late next year and I fear for our country.

6/01/2006 09:13:00 AM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...

We obviously need someone who is bi-polar to run the country

6/01/2006 09:43:00 AM  
Blogger Charles said...

The ruling classes in the USA and Europe have been involved on 20+ year enterprise to forge the states of Europe Plus Turkey into one country -- and this -- as a way to forge tighter bonds with the moslem countries around the medetteranian basin. (the idea is to get to one world government by assembling blocks together first.)

A similiar pattern is at work in North America as a way to assemble a north american block. (also as a stepping stone to assembling ever larger blocks.)

The problem with 9/11 was that it revealed that the no borders enterprise of the ruling elites has exposed the US middle class to unlimited liabilities in exchange for nothing.

Heck its not even clear that the ruling elites would benefit from a borderless world.

6/01/2006 10:36:00 AM  
Blogger Dave H said...

C4, your 4:02 AM post carefully ignores part of my comment about Clinton. I conceded that he was a very able polititian, which after all is a primary qualification for the office. How would you re-direct the enormous ego of this individual who spent 8 years in the most powerful office on the planet, without once consideing any action not to his own benefit?

6/01/2006 10:38:00 AM  
Blogger charlotte said...

So, now it's to be a Third Party spoiler organized by the same Internet that brought us a succession of new Enemy No. 1's, such as Miers, Dubai, and illegal immigrants? The same Internet that, after a period of some 'cheerleading', offers endless critique and the drip, drip, drip of negativity wrt the WoT, Afghanistan, Iraq, Katrina, Bush and the GOP who can do nothing right, etc?

Who would have thunk that bloggers and commenters would start looking like the professoriat which they by and large disparage? Both labor under a publish or perish reason to be and many believe they need to keep evolving and advancing new and better ideas to keep their standing as go-to thinkers. The Army of Davids is turning out to be more like a gaggle of amateur critics, armchair generals, and retirees with keyboards and attention deficit disorder who have the luxury of no real life constraints with which to implement their genius theories and "fixes." Worse, there are almost as many fixes as there are Internet critics. This Third Party is a "solution" in search of a problem, other than the problem of general and constant discontent which the net will always generate. Sometimes, hyper aware people can be more detrimental to a good cause than disinterested know-nothings.

Either you're going to have a Karensky (8:51 comment above) conservative peeling off so as to guarantee a Democrat victory in '08, or you have a silly Noonanish "centrist" party 3 that wouldn't get the votes of the GOP far right malcontents here. Most Libertarians are isolationist to the core, as are paleo-cons and far leftists. Maybe there's your third party.

6/01/2006 10:48:00 AM  
Blogger gokart-mozart said...

re: cedarford 4:02AM

I meant a POLITICAL entrepreneur (a risk-taker), not a bysnez-mann a-la russia.

6/01/2006 11:55:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

The Non-Amnesty Nightmare

6/01/2006 01:41:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Core-Values Training Ordered for Military in Iraq
---
Join the United States Marine Core-Values.
An Army of Dumb.

6/01/2006 01:56:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Dave h - C4, your 4:02 AM post carefully ignores part of my comment about Clinton. I conceded that he was a very able polititian, which after all is a primary qualification for the office. How would you re-direct the enormous ego of this individual who spent 8 years in the most powerful office on the planet, without once consideing any action not to his own benefit?

Well obviously Clinton can't run again. If had been able to, he would have won in either 2000 or 2004. But he is one person that I think would be valuable after 2008 in cleaning up Bush's Mega-Messes. The two biggest being America bleeding red ink, and the enormous loss of clout we have suffered internationally under Bush. The other big four are the looming energy crisis, lowest school performance of any advance nation, the health care crisis and immigration.

I'd be happy to have Bill Clinton return and be Czar over any of those massive problems except immigration and the school failure.

It's funny when the country is running fine to rail at a very competent President for his personal moral failings and certain too-liberal ideas.....but just as bumbling weak Carter made people appreciate Nixon, inarticulate, pig-headed, focused only on making the wealthy elites wealthier, and bumbling Presidente Jorge Bush II has made Clinton look good.

6/01/2006 02:21:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Immigration-Corruption
---
Diversity Immigrant Visa Lottery Program , and etc.
Your Tax Dollars at work.

6/01/2006 02:44:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Please fill in the blank, blanc:
Where do you fit in all this?
(I be a RR Republican/Conservative)

6/01/2006 02:48:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

10:36 AM Charles:
Not for NOTHING!
World Class Wages for All.
(Estimate could be had by Dividing World Income by World Population)
The President of the World (Bill Clinton) would also benefit, big time!

6/01/2006 02:58:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Habu 9:43 AM,
That's a REEALLY GREAT IDEA,
...but it Sucks, Big Time!

6/01/2006 03:00:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Karensky,
Any additional info on Hailey Barbour would be appreciated:
Record on Defense, "Diversity," Immigratiion, etc.
---
Rufus?

6/01/2006 03:06:00 PM  
Blogger skipsailing said...

Interesting choice of words C4. yes indeed "czar" fits well, both with clinton's proclivities and the left's approach to just about everything.

Clinton would make a great czar because he, more than any president in recent memory, understood that a good czar needs good concubines.

6/01/2006 03:09:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Habu, re:
Kareem o'Wheat:
I am electoraly Tolerant, but Wheat Intolerant!
What to do?
---
Steyn says Akgoofyjad widened all the intersections on the way into Tehran for the coming of the 12th hoo hah!

6/01/2006 03:12:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

More Steyn:
China needs Oil,
Euros have trade ties,
Forget Action on Iran.

6/01/2006 03:13:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

skipsailing - Interesting choice of words C4. yes indeed "czar" fits well, both with clinton's proclivities and the left's approach to just about everything.

Clinton would make a great czar because he, more than any president in recent memory, understood that a good czar needs good concubines.


If Clinton would fix just one major mess beyond the talents and vision of Presidente Jorge Bush, I'd support giving him 3 concubine staff appointments at 100K a year just to keep him happy as he fixes something.

Same with Newt. If he is made Czar of medical access, cost containment - if he fixes health care, and he can wallow in all the moral turpitude he cares to. In fact, it would be worth it just to see the Religious Right paroxisms as Newt the Czar rules we best unplug most of the Terri Schiavo rutabagas as a needed cost-cutting measure.

So many problems are becoming massive under El Presidente and the K-Street money-swilling Republicans that we are well past being a nation so confident we are going in the right direction that we actually had a set of ideological fanatics caring about Main Man getting knobbers.

All we have gotten under Bush is tax cuts for the wealthy, 45% more government spending, a badly miscommunicated war on a "few evildoer kinda guys using the tactic of terror, and a botched war in Iraq.

Would that the unholy combination of blind right wing ideology and endless government pork for the Ruling Elites had just been content to be ineffectual and preachy as his peer in competent leadership, Jimmy Carter, was. Unfortunately, Bush imagined himself as a super-CEO, hands-on "decider kind of guy" as Harriet Miers and others cooed to him about his "greatness".

6/01/2006 04:11:00 PM  
Blogger Arthur Dent said...

Wretchard said:
Any perceived breakdown in the political calculus creates an opportunity for political entrepreneurs to create an alternative set of tickets and thereby get things working again.

----------
I wonder who has a better memory? Democrats or conservatives?

Perot made Clinton possible. Will third rail conservatives jump ship faster than the CCCP-KOS types?

With that said I'm less than enthusiastic for 2008.

:(

6/01/2006 04:14:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Bigger Diggler condensed from previous:
---
Squeamishness-As-Strategic-Priority

has had the direct result of

a). making the "war" less and less palatable to the American public...

and

b). It directly emboldens our enemies, who correctly percieve this as a lack of will to fight...

6/01/2006 04:22:00 PM  
Blogger charlotte said...

Please fill in the blank, blanc: Where do you fit in all this? (I be a RR Republican/Conservative)

Doug, I'm a center-right, pro-business, pro-military, gun-toting green conservative (but who doesn't believe much of what the environmental lobby has to say), and certainly a 'big on national security but not on seeing Mexican workers here as invading barbarians' GOPer, who fears another Clinton Presidency or a Weasely-Eurocentric-my-son-is-Hollywood-now Clark candidacy (either would take us further into soft socialism and ruinous trade/ labor protectionism.) (Btw, I've seen your writing and know you can follow that sentence.) At any rate, splat middle of the doggie pile to you, since I'm no strict ideologue on every issue. What's a RR Republican that you say you are- Righteous Reactionary, Religious Right, or Riffling/ Rifling Republican?

We need to get Repubs in semi and not perfect agreement and especially to quit making internal/external enemies when the nation has enough already. It's a matter of degree and compromise. Your brand of righteousness is different than some guy's upthread or down and party members all around. All that will be accomplished by sitting out the next couple of elections or supporting a third party ticket is to get Dems Hill or Wes or Hill & Wes elected so that they can play stupid with the country's future and smart regarding their own self interests. Of course, there are even worse Democrats that could be nominated. O joy.

Who needs party perfection or third party 'purple' pretense at national "Unity", as if either were possible or even desirable, when the object is to go along with our core values, such as valuing this country, ensuring stability and opportunity, and avoiding cataclysmic disaster? Our two parties should each hash out their agendas as best as possible and not splinter off into dissenting groups which smack of more particularized partisanship and sulkiness. Or worse yet, idealism unblemished by reality.

6/01/2006 04:29:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

SAN DIEGO -- Military prosecutors plan to file murder, kidnapping and conspiracy charges against seven Marines and a Navy corpsman in the shooting death of an Iraqi man in April, a defense lawyer said Thursday.

The eight men are being held in the brig at Camp Pendleton Marine Corps base north of San Diego, said Jeremiah Sullivan III, who represents one of the men.

The men served in Iraq with the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, and are members of the battalion's Kilo Company. The highest-ranking among them is a staff sergeant. ...

...Separately, another group of five Marines in Kilo Company, including a lieutenant who commanded the platoon, are under investigation for injuring a suspect in their custody, according to a defense attorney who has been contacted by the family of one of the Marines. He spoke Thursday only on condition of anonymity because he has not taken on the case. ..."


The drums have just begun to beat

It's an ill wind that's blowin'

6/01/2006 05:33:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Systemic violence caused by the warrior culture of the Marines.
Ethics training, core values, that is a preemptive attempt by Leadership to stem the bleeding, it will not be enough to satisfy the critics.

Just to violent, all those Marines

Bet they all have tattoos, as well.

6/01/2006 05:39:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Immigrant, Sniper, Baker
---
---
Rat:
That story started when
"An Iraq Human Rights Group"
Contacted Time Mag which then contacted WH.
---
I think Bilbray has 3 other Republicans running, otherwise it would be no contest in California.
...but MSM Won't mention that, win or lose.

6/01/2006 05:40:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

", it will not be enough to satisfy the critics. "
---
Would the sacrifice of a few young Marine's lives do the trick?
That might be the compassionate way out.

6/01/2006 05:42:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

blanc:
I'm always Right, but only sometimes get righteous about it.
No 3rd party for me yet.
I'll further decipher and comment later ;-)

6/01/2006 05:48:00 PM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

I think the country is simply too big and diverse to be well run by anybody or any combination of anybodies. There I won't be disappointed in the results.

6/01/2006 05:49:00 PM  
Blogger RichatUF said...

Another great article W.

A couple of quick observations:

If the Bull Moose Party could not win, Unity 2008 will not win. It will be at best a spoiler.

The current level of corruption in the House and Senate will probably preclude anyone from the Senate from getting the nomination in either party. Again look for governers, former governers, high ranking political officials (esp. military): 2008 Democratic nominee: among Gov. Warner (VA), Gov. Richardson (NM), Gov. Corzine (NJ), or Gen. Shinseki (Army Chief of Staff).
2008 Republican nominee among: Gov. Perry (TX), Gov. Sanford (SC), Gen. Richard Meyers (Chairman, Joint Chiefs), Gov. Keating (OK)

This might be some trial balloon for Sen. Hagel or what not (ideal speculation at this point)...

An interesting point though, that not only are international institutions failing in closing the Gap, but even local institutions are seeming to fail, or at the least to be grossly out of touch. Sorry for the drive by comments

Regards;

RichatUF

6/01/2006 05:50:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Hewitt says Chertoff has completely blown funding for Homeland Security.

6/01/2006 06:02:00 PM  
Blogger Juan Golblado said...

I can imagine a unity platform that could win and should win but what I can't imagine are the candidates, the faces, the name recognition, the people who are not too completely tied to their party to ever run on a new ticket.

So I'm afraid the Unity Ticket is a train that will never leave the platform.

(Unless... unless HRC and Condileeza Rice find themselves hamstrung by their respective parties and decide that two good women in Washington are better than one, and can get there more easily. Now that would be worth the effort even if it lost!)


Just in passing, as a US citizen living in the UK, I was pleased to see the Euston Manifesto mentioned in an article basically about the US political scene. But a word of caution.

The otherwise excellent people involved with the Euston Manifesto share a failing with the rest of the European left: they don't understand free speech!. Rather than use and rely on freedom of expression as the plumbing of a liberal democracy representing free people, they willingly use it merely to enforce a sense of civlity.

The entire European left, the majority in Europe, support the outlawing of "incitement to hatred". And that is a sword hanging over the head of every anti-totalitarian in every European country because the totalitarianism we face is Islamism, which left except for the Eustonians view as a legitimate expression of third-world anti-imperialism. And there are a few white racists in Europe who will bitch and moan about that in racist terms -- and they scare the wits out of the left. The Euston Manifesto cuts it just a little bit short there, I think, because they fail to grasp the nettle of free speech in Europe.

6/01/2006 06:03:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...

"The Movement of 1968 has become the walker shuffle of 2008"

Wretchard,a wonderful line. A literary Cubism destine to be repeated.

6/01/2006 06:28:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Here's Tim McGirk, the guy that started the Haditha Story:
Thanksgiving with the Taliban

The Le Monde correspondent asks what it would take to reach peace in Afghanistan. "We had peace," Haqqani insists. "The Taliban was on the verge of defeating these bandits, until America helped them out. Now there are robberies and killings everywhere.
The Taliban will have to start all over again." Our missing colleagues finally arrive, and I leave thinking that maybe this evening wasn't very different from the original Thanksgiving: people from two warring cultures sharing a meal together and realizing, briefly, that we're not so different after all.

6/01/2006 06:28:00 PM  
Blogger RCM said...

It's what happens when both parties "triangulate" with trickery. We have Dick Morris for that bit of destruction. It's called trying to "fool" the voters by making your opponent pull his hair out. It works at that, but it creates one helter skelter list of policy initiatives...some that may actually cancel each other out.

The result? One guy gets elected and no one is happy.

6/02/2006 01:02:00 AM  
Blogger Brother D-Day said...

The Unity ticket is the perfect illustration of how the two parties in the US are completely aligned in the cause of growing huge government into something incomprehensibly immense.

The fringes of each party want to grow government as well. On the right, a theocratic flavor. On the left, a godless, hedonistic european flavor. The core remains the same. More big government.

The Unity ticket is the ticket of government for government's sake. Bureaucracy because bureaucracy is good. It is the ticket of the party that only knows the Imperial City of Washington DC as the center of everything.

6/02/2006 08:28:00 AM  
Blogger cjr said...

For those blaming Bush of the situation OR the media OR the miltary for this situation, you are blaming the wrong person. I have seen the enemy and he is us.

The MAJOITY of America (ie the numbers that elect politicians into office) want two things
1. Security(100%, unfailing, perfect security) and Prosperity(provided by cheap oil, cheap immigrant labor etc).
2. At the same time they want to think of themselves as high minded, moral, kind, generous, just, fair, and altruistic.
Americans expect a foreign policy that will satisfy both areas equally and completely.
Unfortunately, the real world does not allow this. The real world is brutal, nasty place. Many times (most times) what is required for #1 directly contradict #2. In reality, the choices usually are difficult. It is a difficult balancing act and sometimes requires the choosing the lesser of two evils.

This mismatch between what Americans want, and what can actually be achieved in the real world is the fundamental problem.

Now politician are elected to satisfy their constituents. If they say “you can have one or the other but not both” they will not be elected to office. Americans, demand both and will not elect a politician that forces them to confront a choice. So what is a smart, successful politician to do? One proven successful strategy is to implement policy that give #1 but maintains an illusion of #2

Hence we have the situation in Hadditha. It was necessary for #1 to oust Saddam and install a democratic government in Iraq. But to satisfy #2, it has to be done in a way that preserves the illusion that it is painless and clean process (restrictive ROE, morality lectures for troops, et al).

But in Haditha, the illusion broke down and brutal reality showed through: soldiers in a brutal situation sometimes break and become brutal. When we see this reality, suddenly WE ARE FLABERGASTED! HOW COULD THIS HAVE HAPPEN. WE MUST BE FAILING IN SOME WAY. The reality is that this should be expecting to happen periodical AND it should be accepted as the price of achieving our goal. (ie the lesser of two evils).

So, the bottom line is that Bush is not to blame. He is giving the American people exactly what they DEMAND. The media is not to blame. They are reporting something that actually happened. The real problem is that the majority of Americans(present company excepted!) do not have a realist idea of what the world is really like and what it takes to achieve secure and prosperous. They therefore do not make appropriate decisions/tradeoffs or have appropriate expectation of national foreign policy. This is serious weakness because it allows our enemies to manipulate us for their own gain.

Unfortunately, I present no solution to this problem.

6/02/2006 12:37:00 PM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

Just three words -

G.F.O.

Don't make me spell it.

6/02/2006 01:00:00 PM  
Blogger Karridine said...

Desert Rat, 0810AM:
"We're doing that now..."

We're electing our government without nominations, platforms, parties and campaigns?

We're electing our governments in a thoughtful, prayerful atmosphere?

I SINCERELY DOUBT YOU, Sir!

6/02/2006 10:02:00 PM  
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6/09/2006 01:47:00 AM  

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