35 Percenters

There was plenty of gut-clenching drama in Connecticut's Senate primary last night; fitting that it comes with a boring, predictable chaser. As they threatened to do for months, Republicans are using the Lieberman defeat as proof positive that the Democrats have been hijacked by the hate-America-cut-and-run whacko left wing. The immediate effect is that Lieberman, who lost his party's mantle in part because President Bush kissed him, is wracking up surely not-at-all Machiavellian endorsements like this:

Like the proud history of so many Democrats before him, Joe Lieberman believed in a strong national defense. And for that, he was purged from his Party. It is a sobering moment.

For what does a man profit, if he should gain love of Ken Mehlman and suffer the loss of his soul?

The Republican National Committee is making "poor old Joe" its message of the week, with a press release and web video that look like they were put together a few days ago... yet manages to sound slapdash and weak. As proof that anti-war Democrats want to "cut and run from the war on terror," the RNC press office cobbles together a 2001 MoveOn.org e-mail that urged "justice, not escalating violence that would only play into the terrorists' hands" and a 2004 Nancy Pelosi quote: "This war has been a grotesque mistake that has diminished our reputation in the world and has not made America safer." Crazy, radical fringe beliefs... that, uh, most Americans have started to agree with, in one form or another. According to the Washington Post poll, taken when Ned Lamont had a commanding poll lead over Lieberman, approval of how President Bush is handling "the situation in Iraq" has fallen from 47 percent to 36 percent since election 2004. Approval of his handling of "the war on terror" - from 59 percent to 47 percent, down from 89 percent after 9/11. Forty-six percent trust Democrats over Republicans on the "war on terror," an eight-point lead on an issue that once gave Republicans a 39-point lead. (It had shrunk to a 35-point lead in the 2002 elections, the amazing midterm comeback the GOP wants to repeat this year.)

When he was crafting the strategy that won the GOP control of Congress in 1994, Newt Gingrich focused on "60 percent issues" - debates like welfare reform, tort reform and tax cuts where 60 percent or more of the country favored the GOP's position. The GOP of 2006 is so wedded to the war in Iraq that it's going to shortchange Social Security reform, estate tax repeal, all of that, and fight the election on a "35 percent issue." They're daring Democrats not to take the majority view of the war, as Republicans ally themselves with possibly the least charismatic man ever to fill a chair in the U.S. Senate.

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  • dhex||

    i know partisans are partisan and all, but this is too much crazysauce for even an RNC banana split.

    it's joe fucking lieberman, for zog's sake.

  • ||

    To their loss the democraps never take my advice on anything, but if you've got the republicans caterwauling and making dire warnings about a course of action you're taking and offering thoughtful advice on changing your ways . . . you must be doing something right. But you'll blow it and puss out again I'm sure.

    Iraq is trailing slightly behind Cryptosporidium in America's heart. Or maybe that food poisoning they get on cruise ships. The one where you evacuate violently from both ends of the digestive tract. It should be radioactive at this point.

    Interesting how the 35% number keeps showing up behind any Bush policy. That must be the Bush is Jesus Floor.

  • ||

    As they threatened to do for months, Republicans are using the Lieberman defeat as proof positive that the Democrats have been hijacked by the hate-America-cut-and-run whacko left wing.

    Wow, and here I thought the news was just that Lieberman lost the primary. Obviously the bigger story is the Republicans' reaction to it.

  • ||

    "justice, not escalating violence that would only play into the terrorists' hands"

    That was 2001 Dave before anyone talked about invading Iraq. That was talking about invading Afghanistan, nearly every liberal reason commentator swears they supported that at the time and was a good idea. The point is that for people like the nutroots and Lamont, no use of U.S. force is ever justified. Moveon met the day after 9-11 to start preparing to protest whatever action the U.S. was going to take.

    In addition, you commit a terrible logical fallacy in this post. What was the poll question? Do you approve of the President's handling of Iraq? Saying no to that could mean any number of things, only one of which is the nutroots run away position. I would answer that question no, but I sure as hell wouldn't vote for Lamont. Even if you disagree with the invasion and think the whole thing was screwed up, that doesn't mean you want to surrentder. Truthfully, I think about 10% or so of the country would support the U.S. nuking the entire country and just going home.

    I don't know. Maybe the majority of the country is part of the Kos crowd and can't wait to throw the first brick through the window of the nearest starbucks, but that poll doesn't say anything like that. Further, the nutroots people come with a lot more ideas than just get out of Iraq. The hard left is still the hard left. It is not like the war would be the only topic in any election. Maybe there is a majority of the country that is so willing to run from Iraq that they are willing to go along with the entire agenda of these people (an agenda that has never won a Presidential election in this country), but I doubt it.

  • ||

    nearly every liberal reason commentator

    Meaning joe and....?

  • ||

    The GOP could use the 60 percent issues, but then they would have to answer tough questions. Initially, people are probably a little tired of every GOP dip in the polls being met with a ban-unchristian-stuff movement. Further, if the GOP controlled both houses of Congress, the Presidency (and the SCOTUS), why didn't they get anything done? Does "tax reform" mean nothing more than repeal of the estate tax? How did they fail with Social Security reform? Surely we have a reasonable immigration package? I have to wonder, if we take away 9/11 and its Iraqi offshoot, what has the GOP done? Unless they remanufacture abortion/gay/God/flag issues, they won't have any issues at any percentage. The GOP, at least this time around, failed when it became the party of war to the exclusion of more practical conservative views. Instead of new ideas, they sought only to spin old ideas. Maybe the GOP wasn't caught in lies, but they've been selling horseshit as chicken soup for the last 8 years. To paraprase the silver screen: They bought their tickets. They knew the risks. I say, let them die.

  • ||

    Thoreau,

    If you want to argue that the U.S. had no right to invade Afghanistan after they harbored terrorists that we know were behind 9-11 and refused to turn them over after the U.N. security council demanded that they do so, feel free. If you want to defend the Taliban and Al Quada against "U.S. agression" in Afghanistan, you really are batshit insane, which is of course what most of moveon is.

  • ||

    Lamar,

    They cut taxes and got two sane Supreme Court Justices and that is it. They never moved on immigration, because Bush lives in complete denial of reality on the issue. They did the worst liberal giveaway in history with the prescription drug benefit and let Ted Kennedy run education policy. But, of course this is the most radically conservative administration in history. God, if it were only true.

    You make good points Lamar. The Republican Congress hasn't done jack but do what incumbants usually do, which is rip off the tax payer and steal oxygen.

  • ||

    John-

    I don't believe any of those things that you suggest I believe. I was just trying to figure out who all of the alleged liberal commenters are.

    When somebody says "nearly every liberal reason commentator", it sounds like an insinuation that the place is crawling with liberals. But the only liberal regular that I can think of is joe. We have a few other regulars with liberal streaks on certain things, and certainly we've had some trolls who might be called liberals (to the extent that they are anything other than trolls), but joe is the only reliably liberal person here.

    FWIW, I thought the invasion of Afghanistan was necessary, in case you were wondering.

  • ||

    Thoreau,

    I think most people would agree with you. Moveon doesn't, which as far as I am concerned removes them from the sanity based community. Objecting to Iraq does not do that.

  • ||

    Now that we've established how you feel about people who don't post here, maybe you can tell me who all of the liberals on this forum are.

  • ||

    I love this GOP message. The more people who realize that the "cut and run/weak on defense/don't want to fight terrorists" brush is being used to tar the entire left, center, and part of the right, the less effective that message will be.

    With a bit of luck, the Republicans will have not only throughly discredited their historic strength on national security issues in this election, but for decades to come.

  • ||

    "As proof that anti-war Democrats want to "cut and run from the war on terror," the RNC press office cobbles together..."

    Can anyone link to Bob Herbert's latest NY Times column?
    Wars are the problems, not the solutions.

  • ||

    If you read the full text of the Moveon.org statement, it is clear that they are talking about the killing of civilians and the carpet bombing of Kabul, not attacking bin Laden.

    That the Republicans would use tight cuts to distort a liberal group's message and claim they are anti-American pacifists is about as shocking as John's immediate adoption of the latest GOP blast fax code word, "nutroots."

  • ||

    Newt Gingrich focused on "60 percent issues" - debates like welfare reform, tort reform and tax cuts where 60 percent or more of the country favored the GOP's position. The GOP of 2006 is so wedded to the war in Iraq that it's going to shortchange Social Security reform, estate tax repeal, all of that, and fight the election on a "35 percent issue."

    Perhaps staking your political fortunes on public support for a hawkish stance on the war is a sucker's bet this year, but sadly, I really doubt that betting heavily on support for SS reform or a repeal of the estate tax will get a candidate much further.

  • ||

    Good point, Eric.

    As far as popularity goes, the Iraq War makes Social Security privatization/elimination/reform look like Free Beer.

  • ||

    Carpet bombing? Ah yes, Operation Linebacker III where we sent in the B-52s to turn Kabul into Dresden redux. Or not.

  • ||

    thoreau,

    I'm would consider myself a liberal, and I post here fairly regularly.


    but joe is the only reliably liberal person here.

    *hmpf* -- now that hurts my feelings.

    What do I need to do to qualify for the "reliable" moniker????

  • ||

    Sorry, Tom. I find myself agreeing with you on a lot of things, so I considered you somebody with a "liberal streak on certain issues" rather than "a reliable liberal." I think this means I have to hand in my decoder ring. But maybe I can get a new one from a box of cereal...

    My apologies, you big old lefty! :)

  • ||

    Bob Z,

    The statement was put out prior to the operations in Afghanistan. It was advice on how to proceed, not a description of what had occured.

    In other words, Moveon's statement about what not to do in Afghanistan was so far off in the radical fringe of pacifist anti-Americanism that it, er, was put into practice by the Bush administration.

    There were a lot of people calling for blood, anyone's blood, in the month or so after 9/11, and Moveon put out a statement calling for greater restraint, and for targeting those who attacked us, rather than those who merely share their ethnicity.

    It's interesting how the "wacko lefty" label sticks to certain people and groups even after the statements that got them branded as such have proven to be both correct and popular. Remember the rending of garments when Howard Dean said the Iraqi WMD case hadn't been made? Or when he said that capturing Saddam Hussein wouldn't end the insurgency? What a loon.

  • ||

    At lunch I read the latest Richard Cohen column.
    My point about these various columnists being that there is a host like the Vienna Boys Choir jumping up and down and screaming that our Emperor, Dubya, is nekkid as a jaybird.

    War on Terror is going down as well as War on Drugs!

  • ||

    t:

    Told ya that ChicT was a lefty! :)

    I think we should "out" all the liberals here. Or at least throw around baseless accusations.

    Stevo=liberal. Definitely.

  • ||

    I think we should "out" all the liberals here. Or at least throw around baseless accusations.

    The purges will continue until morale improves!

  • ||

    Chicago Tom: In the past I have thought of you as a darn liberal, but I have vague recollections of recent posts by you that have made a lot of sense, so I think you no longer qualify. Sorry.

    Mr. Nice Guy:

    I think we should "out" all the liberals here. Or at least throw around baseless accusations.

    Stevo=liberal. Definitely.

    Oh no you dih-unt! I'm accused of being a liberal online maybe once every five years, but only by guys who can't type. Or read. Or walk erect.

    Consider my non-liberal bonafides: Raised Catholic and actually stayed that way. Still thinks Reagan was kind of cool. Respects warriors and the cool vehicles they get to zoom around in. Friend of zygotes. Doesn't recycle. Drug-free. I rest my case.

  • ||

    I think we should "out" all the liberals here. Or at least throw around baseless accusations.

    I am all for the baseless accusations!

    Thoreau is a facist.

    Ruthless is a crack whore

    Jennifer is a virgin

    We are all Liberals

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