June 19, 2005


Gitmo remark makes Durbin easy prey (LYNN SWEET, 6/19/05, Chicago Sun-Times)

Six months ago, Senate Democrats picked Durbin (D-Ill.) to be their No. 2 leader because he is one of the most articulate and informed senators on his side of the aisle.

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 19, 2005 10:08 AM

I have not heard the name 'Trent Lott' spoken enough this week by the GOP.

Fact is, Lott..., obliquely mind you..., praised the Confederate and Jim Crow south, at a PARTY where, it is said, he had a couple of drinks under his belt.

Durbin spoke on the floor of the US Senate, and there was nothing whatsoever oblique about his statement.

And let it be noted that when Lott blundered, just after the successful '02 elections, it was REPUBLICANS who were far more outraged, as we saw the potential harm to the party that his comments represented. Ten days later, he was de facto censured and removed from the party hierarchy in Congress.

Anyone heard a single Democrat question wether Durbin belongs in his party's leadership? Oh, they can "distance themselves"..... ohhhh, boy, that takes courage.

It is the Democrats "tolerance" of the intolerable that is killing them, and will finish the job if they don't knock it off. Those who stand for everything stand for nothing at all

Posted by: Andrew X at June 19, 2005 10:19 AM

"because he is one of the most articulate and informed senators on his side of the aisle."

Sadly, it's still true.

Posted by: jeff at June 19, 2005 10:21 AM

Durbin knew exactly what he was saying - he looked right into the C-Span camera (with as much solemnity as he could muster) when he said it.

Posted by: jim hamlen at June 19, 2005 12:01 PM

Maybe Republicans can defend the administration from what amounts to the "lies" from the Democrats. Durbin's Nazi reference is in fact trivial and will be forgotten in short order, but his underlying charge of misdeeds will taint the administration and Durbin knows it. Sorry to inform you, but Durbin will come out on top in this exchange. The administration is the loser and it would be best that they remain quiet unless they are willing to directly attack the charges of mistreatment and torture. Of course Durbin will apoligize and express regret for the "form" of his remarks knowing full well that the essence of the remarks will stick in the public mind. (similar to the Gingrich remarks that the girl in Carolina represented "Democratic values" when she drowned her own children. Yes Democrats complained and Gingrich apologized, but the sting remained)

Lott was seen as incompetent, and his awkwardly constructed remarks were a mere excuse for Bush and some Senate Republicans to rid themselves of him. They (the remarks) didn't hurt the Republicans in any manner with their constituency.

Posted by: h-man at June 19, 2005 2:01 PM

H-man's right. This is a strategy. It's this sort of thing that, like b.s. piled on a mule cart over a course of years, wore away public support for Vietnam and led to retreat in the Cold War.

Bush is the one rolling the rock uphill. Anyone attempting to beat Americans back to their default isolationism has a smooth downhill run. And as a Christian people our tortured conscience is there for the needling.

Posted by: at June 19, 2005 2:34 PM

Chrisdtians aren't notorious for minding killing Muslims.

Posted by: oj at June 19, 2005 2:39 PM

Bloodthirsty European Christians, perhaps. We're something else entirely. Regrettably, oj, Americans as a whole don't like war and international adventurism. Your best hope is another 9/11.

Posted by: at June 19, 2005 3:03 PM

We don't like losing our guys--we love killing thers.

Posted by: oj at June 19, 2005 3:12 PM

Rush said we should send Durbin messages of support and thank him for reminding the American people of what the Democrats really are.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at June 19, 2005 3:22 PM

Our biggest problem probably isn't squeamishness but rather a short national attention span. I think Tocqueville would agree.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at June 19, 2005 3:23 PM

We don't like losing our guys far more than we love killing theirs. We'll have to start genetically engineering a race of soldiers before Fukuyama catches on.

Posted by: at June 19, 2005 3:25 PM

Robert Schwartz:

Him and Dean and Kerry and Reid and Michael Moore...

Posted by: Matt Murphy at June 19, 2005 3:25 PM


If apprised of the stakes, average Americans can take casualties. It's our elites that have trouble. Unfortunately, they have outsized influence beyond their size and much beyond their wisdom.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at June 19, 2005 3:28 PM

Don't send soldiers.

Posted by: oj at June 19, 2005 3:30 PM


I'd agree with all that. The great shame is Bush's abysmal communication skills. The man needs a tongue transplant.

Posted by: at June 19, 2005 3:36 PM

It's worth noting too how Americans soldiers fought in WWII: aggressively against the Japanese who had directly attacked us; indifferently at best against Germany. Think of the general WOT as Japan, Iraq as Germany. Support never flagged in the Pacific amidst heavy casualties, while we needed the Soviets to eat the bulk of German bullets.

But we're further from 9/11 now than we were from Pearl Harbor during Okinawa.

Posted by: at June 19, 2005 3:48 PM


That does, however, have the useful side-effect of making his opponents think he's a moronic lightweight.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at June 19, 2005 3:55 PM

We love war. We love everything about it and we've never minded casualties.

Posted by: David Cohen at June 19, 2005 4:14 PM

Hmmm, I'm gonna have to take up H-man on his comment here.

Agreed about the Bush admin earning a D at best on comm skills, but I don't think Durbin or Democrats will come out ahead here.

First off, families with an active or retired servicemember are approximately the same number of voters as blacks and hispanics combined. How can Durbin not be antagonizing virtually all of them with these remarks.

Secondly, Jews, solidly Democratic but growing more tenuous, are seeing the Democrats hanging around with rabid anti-Semites at their mock "hearings", etc, and now the Holocaust denigrated to compare to US captivity of Islamic Jihadists.

Thirdly, it is a long uphill struggle for the Democrats to convince the country that they ARE serious about National Security. Witness the number of pundits talking about Democrats like Hillary "running to Bush's right" on immigration, the Saudis, etc. Running to his right would also entail responding vigorously to Durbin here. Ain't happening.

Finally, as I wrote, the Lott affair offered the GOP a great opportunity to categorically say "we are not your father's GOP", as in tuning a blind eye to racial supremacy and stereotypes. Republican rank and file grabbed that opportunity even ahead of their leaders.

Democrats have an equally golden opportunity to prove they do not hate the military and honor the uniforms EVEN WHEN IT IS DIFFICULT TO DO SO, not cheap and easy. And it appears to not even appear on their radar screen, rank and file or leaders. The rank and file for whom it does matter are either already or well on their way toward crossing the aisle, because of this very thing.

Americans have seethed for two decades over Islamic jihadism and its apologists, and know damn well that the much more benign Clinton administration earned exactly squat with such people for it's kid gloves approach.

Posted by: at June 19, 2005 4:26 PM

Bush's best communication skill is he knows not to interrupt an enemy hanging himself. Not many people have this skill.

Besides, why turn the conversation from what Durbin said to whether or not the Bush administration is sanctioning torture or not?

Posted by: Buttercup at June 19, 2005 5:06 PM

Had fun burning their civilians though.

Posted by: oj at June 19, 2005 5:42 PM

Buttercup, I totally agree. Bush is right to ignore their outrageous remarks. Congress should follow his example.

We love killing their civilians???? What's this about?

Posted by: erp at June 19, 2005 7:55 PM

"we" = Europe

Posted by: Josh at June 19, 2005 10:26 PM