August 25, 2005


Tone-Deafness Among Democrats (George F. Will, August 25, 2005, Washington Post)

Sad yet riveting, like a wreck by the side of the road, Cindy Sheehan, a plaything of her own sincerities and other people's opportunisms, has already been largely erased from the national memory by new waves of media fickleness in the service of the public's summer ennui. But before she becomes fully relegated to the role of opening act for more durable luminaries at antiwar rallies, prudent Democrats -- those political snail darters, the emblematic endangered species of American politics -- should consider the possibility that, although she was a burr under the president's saddle for several weeks, she is symptomatic of something that in 2008 could cause the Democratic Party a sixth loss in eight presidential elections. That something is a shrillness unlike anything heard in living memory from a major tendency within a major party.

Many warmhearted and mildly attentive Americans say the president should have invited Sheehan to his kitchen table in Crawford for a cup of coffee and a serving of that low-calorie staple of democratic sentimentality -- "dialogue." Well.

Since her first meeting with the president, she has called him a "lying bastard," "filth spewer," "evil maniac," "fuehrer" and the world's "biggest terrorist" who is committing "blatant genocide" and "waging a nuclear war" in Iraq. Even leaving aside her not entirely persuasive contention that someone else concocted the obviously anti-Israel and inferentially anti-Semitic elements of one of her recent e-mails -- elements of a sort nowadays often found woven into ferocious left-wing rhetoric -- it is difficult to imagine how the dialogue would get going.

He: "Cream and sugar?"

She: "Yes, please, filth-spewer."

Here's all you need to know about the Democrats--President Gore or President Kerry would have had that coffee.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 25, 2005 3:51 PM

Don't be too sure - they both would view her as beneath them. And the media wouldn't be pounding them to do it.

After all, how much press did Clinton's chewing-out from a couple of Somalia parents get?

Posted by: ratbert at August 25, 2005 4:01 PM

Able Danger could hurt both parties, but not equally.

14 months until mid-term elections. Should we start placing bets yet?

Posted by: Sandy P at August 25, 2005 4:08 PM


The media chased him out of Somalia.

Posted by: oj at August 25, 2005 4:13 PM

Sandy - Able Danger could be used against Hillary as it occurred (and the wall was built) mostly during Clinton's reign. Bush isn't running again so hard to see how Able Danger hurts another GOPer.

Posted by: AWW at August 25, 2005 4:43 PM

No one in America has ever heard of Able Danger nor ever will--take your heads out of your blogospheres.

Posted by: oj at August 25, 2005 5:09 PM

The only way Able Danger will hurt anyone is if the press goes after it. And they won't since it doesn't appear to hurt anyone they want to hurt. You'd think the whole Clinton impeachment, and the Clinton years in general, would have taught conservatives not to put all their hopes onto some sort of magic silver bullet that'll vanquish the Left-wing werewolves with one shot.

(Of course, it seems the Left has the same sort of myopia, considering how much of their efforts seem to go into into finding something, anything, that can be used to gin up a scandal -gate against Bush. Another one of those '60s/'70s hangovers that we will have to suffer through until the Baby Boomers finally die off around 2025.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at August 25, 2005 6:00 PM

Sure the press chased him out (along with his foolish advisors like Les Aspin and Tony Lake), but they never reported on how the two or three families of the dead told Clinton where to stick his presidential authority.

If someone did that to Bush today (even in a private meeting), it would be on page one of every major daily the next morning. And the spittle would be flying from every anchor's mouth as he/she reported on it. Katie Couric would be so excited, she would forget to put on her underwear. Dan Rather would come out of retirement.

Able Danger will be big news if (and probably only if) it turns out that the papers Sandy Burgler took from the archives were showed that Mohammed Atta (and others) were identified and recommended for arrest/deportation prior to July 2000. Or showed that Atta really was in Prague in April 2001. Or something equally as decisive.

A Congressional hearing on the matter takes Able Danger out of the realm of the blogosphere, at least as long as there is evidence.

Posted by: ratbert at August 25, 2005 8:50 PM

Yeah, Congressional hearings are always gripping.

Posted by: oj at August 25, 2005 8:55 PM

There have been a few good ones, with some folks being trashed, some exposed, and some elevated.

Imagine Sandy Burglar taking the Fifth and you get the idea. Or Richard Clarke providing testimony that contradicts his statements to the 9/11 Committee. Or Jamie Gorelick taking the Fifth.

It doesn't have to be pretty. Ask Alexander Butterworth or Oliver North or Brendan Sullivan or even Joseph Welch.

Someday the 'raw' House files on Clinton's impeachment will be made public. It will not be a positive development for Joe Lieberman, Diane Feinstein, Daniel Patrick Monyihan, Robert Byrd, and Arlen Specter (among others).

Posted by: ratbert at August 25, 2005 10:46 PM

Richard who?

Posted by: oj at August 25, 2005 10:49 PM

Sorry, Raoul, but at least 25% of the Boomers will still be alive in 2040.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at August 26, 2005 1:07 AM

The goal of Specter's Judiciary Committee hearings on Able Danger is bury and smooth over the charges and discredit those officers who came forward.

As for the blogosphere, oj's right. It's not even what is was last summer. The same enthusiasm isn't there and while bloggers may not have actually moved left, there's been a definite distancing from the right. Lately I've read several scolds against using buzzwords like moonbat and cautioning against blaming a monolithic left for all the world's ills.

It's a shame, but I've seen it all too often in so many different situations. People start out as zealots for a cause and then find they don't like being out on the fringe, so they slowly slide to the center and sometimes all the way over to the other side. Only leftwing moonbats never tire, never question and never waver in their relentless march toward their goal of worldwide socialism. Explain that if you can.

Posted by: erp at August 26, 2005 7:55 AM


It's because they are too scared to look at life in any other way (a lack of moral courage). Their pre-supposition is that 'liberal' is good (nice, right, moral, whatever word you want to use) and 'conservative' is bad (evil, etc.). So their brains fossilize. And their hearts, too. Plus, they like license more than liberty.

Of course, there are reactionary fossils on the right, too. I come to this site so often because it is not like that. You never know what position the proprietor is going to take.

OJ: With respect to responsibility for 9/11, on an ontological level, you are correct - no single person is to blame. But on the level of metaphor (or attitude, or theme, or whatever), some folks are in the cross-hairs. Clinton, Sandy Berger, the FAA and airline officials who ran security, those at DoJ who ran John O'Neill off, the INS, and any other bureaucrat (and appointee) who made a decision to impress the prevailing political culture rather than taking history into account (all the attacks from 1983 on) - they are ALL responsible.

Peggy Noonan's 1998 piece in the attachment to Forbes (available in her online archive) made it clear that we were going to get hit. Tom Clancy wasn't writing in a vacuum. People with eyes to see knew what was happening. I remember reading about Osama bin Laden in 1999 or 2000 - about how he ran camps in Afghanistan, training jihadis to hate and kill Americans. And I thought - kill them all tonight. We knew what the Taliban were.

It is pointless to fight over blame and legacies now - but it is also pointless to say that no one knew, as in "Like, OMG, this was just so incredible, it was so big, no one could have known".

No one in government has ever been fired for direct 9/11 lapses. Perhaps that is magnanimity on the part of George Bush (I can't think of a better reason). However, one of the reasons the divisions over the WoT are so great now is because the hash was never settled before. And the ones who do bear responsibility are nervous.

Posted by: jim hamlen at August 26, 2005 3:11 PM

Yeah, I miscalculated.

Their WW II parents, who've self-labeled themselves the "Greatest Generation", have reached the end of their influence, so I figured another quarter century or so for their children to do the same. But I should have also taken into account the increased lifespan. I'll take my shoes and socks off next time.

As someone on the trailing edge of those jerks (and usually lumped in with them), I just wish they'd go away, and take their stupid and self-destructive fads with them.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at August 26, 2005 3:26 PM

Raoul Ortega:

I'm with you brother, but then I think about how they're going to willingly be the guinea pigs for all of the medical advances that I'll benefit from, after the kinks have been worked out on them, and I figure that's worth replacing the SS funds that they mismanaged and squandered.

Posted by: at August 26, 2005 5:26 PM
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