"Bin Laden Killing Erases Democrats' Wimp Factor" or, More Reasons Why Americans Hate Politics, Politicians, & The Media

The killing of Osama Bin Laden is wildly popular with the American public. Rasumussen reports that 86 percent of Americans support the president's mission to kill Bin Laden.

And yet, it's headlines like this one - "Bin Laden Killing Erases Democrats' Wimp Factor" - that tell us more about what it's like to be alive in the 21st century. It's for a piece by Peter Beinart over at The Daily Beast. Said piece lays out the glorious partisan reasons beyond the obvious to celebrate the death of an evil killer, including such insights as:

The bin Laden operation...was pure testosterone. Once U.S. intelligence tracked bin Laden to his compound, Obama chose the most aggressive option—a commando attack—rather than missile strikes, even though it risked U.S. deaths or hostages....

Obama has dramatically increased drone attacks, in Afpak and beyond, which shred international law. And this attack was so unilateral that we didn’t even consult with the “ally” on whose territory we carried it out....

With the exception of his decision to surge in Afghanistan, Obama’s foreign policy has been reasonably good. He’s avoided the disastrous missteps that often plague new presidents. But until Sunday, his foreign policy had lacked “Jacksonian” appeal. Walter Russell Mead calls “Jacksonianism” (after Andrew Jackson) the foreign policy ethic born in the Indian wars of the American frontier. It’s populist, parochial and ferocious. Jacksonians don’t want to redeem the world; they’d just as soon ignore it. But when foreign threats emerge, they demand shock and awe.

That’s what Obama has now given them.

Whole thing here.

Beinart was the editor of The New Republic from 1999 through 2006. After a stint at Council on Foreign Relations, he nows hangs his shingle at the journalism and poli. sci. departments of City University of New York and the pages of the Beast

As editor of The New Republic, Beinart signed on to the invasion of Iraq, a position the magazine later regretted. In 2006, he published the book The Good Fight: Why Liberals—and Only Liberals—Can Win the War on Terror and Make America Great Again and in 2010 he followed it up with The Icarus Syndrome: A History of American Hubris, which suggests that circa 2014 or 2015, he'll be less focused on (finally!) beating off the "wimp factor" and more on how things have really gone south (again).

After the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) earlier this year, I wrote a piece about "The Instant Politicization of Everything, & Why Americans Increasingly Hate Dems & Reps." One way to take a tragedy and make it even worse, I argued, was to immediately spin it to partisan political purposes. With the Giffords shooting, that started literally before anybody knew anything about the shooter, with twidiots such as Markos Moulitsas blaming Sarah Palin for pulling the trigger. The killing of Bin Laden is no tragedy but the speed with which Democrats and Republicans immediately put the event to the rankest partisan advantage is simply and profoundly appalling.

And ineffective on top of that. As The Washington Post put it, the Bin Laden killing "gives Obama quick but limited ratings boost." I'd wager that the longer-term effect of discourse such as Beinart's is an intensifcation of the ongoing rejection of partisan labels by Americans. Since the early 1970s, fewer and fewer adults are quick to call themselves Republican or Democrat. Who can blame them?

We can cheer on the death of the worst terrorist we hopefully will ever know, we can even get behind various efforts to flex American muscles and might, we can rally around the flag, we can get jingoistic even about chess matches and piano recitals and the Olympics, but trying to lock down how every freaking thing in the world will erase one party's "wimp factor" (anyone else remember the equally pathetic ramblings about George H.W. Bush around the time of the first Gulf War?) isn't going to inspire confidence in the two-party system. Or the testeroney goodness of Bush the Elder, Barack Obama, or anyone else.

Yesterday, we released results of the first Reason Foundation-Rupe Poll. One of the findings was that a plurality of Americans (35 percent) answered neither when asked whether they thought the Democrats or Republicans would govern more responsibly. Which suggests that we aren't just smart, we're actually paying attention to the way partisans yammer on about things.

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  • ||

    Here's how to erase wimp factors: let's lock all the TEAM RED TEAM BLUE morons in a huge arena (possibly turn Manhattan into a prison arena; but is Issac Hayes available to run the place?), and have them fight to the death. They eliminate their wimp factor and each other; and everyone wins.

  • epi's cat||

    OMG, not the Colosseum fantasy again...

  • epi||

    OMG, I love my Emperor epi fantasy...have they caught on I'm jerking off?

  • ||

    rectal fails to get an Escape From New york reference. Can you get any stupider, rectal? You should try, because you could get an achievement award for accomplishing the impossible. I mean, you did compete at the Special Olympics, after all; this would be sort of like that.

  • ||

    She was mad she was the only one that didn't get a medal.

  • ||

    What was the award Cartman got for being the worst? She got that.

  • ||

    It'd be weird to give her an award named after herself.

  • ||

    There's an award called "The Rectal"? Is that some kind of mongoloid porn award?

  • Hugh Akston||

    That's hardly a fair comparison, Cartman had to pretend to get into the Special Olympics.

  • ||

    You make a valid point, Hugh. But the award is still the same.

  • epi's cat||

    Emperor epi finished and called me over Here kitty, kitty be a good libertarian and lick up my pus

    I can't stand his suppuration but his fucking cooking is wop barf...when will Ace save me?

  • Almanian||

    I like your ideas, and am interested in subscribing to your newsletter.

  • Max||

    The only reason most Americans don't hate libertarians is that most Americans wouldn't know a libertarian from a pile of dog shit, despite the similairty.

  • ||

    Look, a pile of dog shit. Are you saying you're a libertarian, Edward?

  • Max||

    You may have noticed that I tried for a day or so to see the world through the prism of your fucked-up right-wing ideology. I am definitely not a libertarian, and I try to avoid dog shit as much as I can.

  • ||

    How do you avoid yourself? That's just silly, Edward.

  • PIRS||

    Ahh ... there may be the misunderstanding. You percieve us a "right-wing". Could you please explain why you believe us to be "right-wing"? I am curious.

  • ||

    We're not leftists, so we must be right-wing. Just more nuanced thinking from the "Libertarians see everything in black and white!" crowd.

  • PIRS||

    I am trying to give Max the bennefit of the doubt here. I would like to hear [technically read, but you know what I mean] from him [or her? Could be short for Maxine I suppose?]

  • ||

    Edward/Morris/Max has already had a masculine name. Maybe not when he was "Lefiti."

  • PIRS||

    Hmmm, interesting. He must have been here quite a long time. Why come back to a place that you claim to hate? Perhaps he is a masochist. If we treat him with kindness and sympathy and show him love perhaps he will go away.

  • Max||

    Go suck Ron Paul`s cock, dumass.

  • Max has made his last post||

    Max|6.24.10 @ 3:29PM|#

    Go suck ron puals dick, morons. You peeple are fucking retarded. I`m done coming to this wingnut sight. this is my last post.

  • MWG||

    LOL... rereading that post never gets old.

  • sarcasmic||

    Anyone who is not "left-wing" must be "right-wing"!

    If you agree with the "right-wing" on anything, then you agree with them about everything!

    Duh!

  • Max||

    Chomsky said it best:

    Man: What's the difference between "libertarian" and "anarchist," exactly?

    Chomsky: There's no difference, really. I think they're the same thing. But you see, "libertarian" has a special meaning in the United States. The United States is off the spectrum of the main tradition in this respect: what's called "libertarianism" here is unbridled capitalism. Now, that's always been opposed in the European libertarian tradition, where every anarchist has been a socialist—because the point is, if you have unbridled capitalism, you have all kinds of authority: you have extreme authority.

    If capital is privately controlled, then people are going to have to rent themselves in order to survive. Now, you can say, "they rent themselves freely, it's a free contract"—but that's a joke. If your choice is, "do what I tell you or starve," that's not a choice—it's in fact what was commonly referred to as wage slavery in more civilized times, like the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, for example.

    The American version of "libertarianism" is an aberration, though—nobody really takes it seriously. I mean, everybody knows that a society that worked by American libertarian principles would self-destruct in three seconds. The only reason people pretend to take it seriously is because you can use it as a weapon. Like, when somebody comes out in favor of a tax, you can say: "No, I'm a libertarian, I'm against that tax"—but of course, I'm still in favor of the government building roads, and having schools, and killing Libyans, and all that sort of stuff.

    Now, there are consistent libertarians, people like Murray Rothbard—and if you just read the world that they describe, it's a world so full of hate that no human being would want to live in it. This is a world where you don't have roads because you don't see any reason why you should cooperate in building a road that you're not going to use: if you want a road, you get together with a bunch of other people who are going to use that road and you build it, then you charge people to ride on it. If you don't like the pollution from somebody's automobile, you take them to court and you litigate it. Who would want to live in a world like that? It's a world built on hatred.19

    The whole thing's not even worth talking about, though. First of all, it couldn't function for a second—and if it could, all you'd want to do is get out, or commit suicide or something. But this is a special American aberration, it's not really serious.

  • sarcasmic||

    Chomsky makes a very elegant straw man.

  • ||

    I believe the term is scarecrow. He's still looking for his brain.

  • Zeb||

    Nah, Chomsky is very smart. Just full of shit. It takes brains to cone up with such convoluted nonsense.

  • ||

    Yes, the best definition of a term comes from someone dedicated to opposing the ideas behind it. It's really quite amazing how much of a dipshit you are.

  • Max||

    If your to stupid to understand it, thats not my fault. I'm done with you morons. This is my last post.

  • ||

    Sure it's your last post, dipshit. Why can't you quit us?

  • Max has made his last post||

    Max|6.24.10 @ 3:29PM|#

    Go suck ron puals dick, morons. You peeple are fucking retarded. I`m done coming to this wingnut sight. this is my last post.

  • ||

    Even in a condensed quote, Chomsky makes no sense. There is no way to parse the above.

  • sarcasmic||

    "There is no way to parse the above."

    I know.

    Take this for example: "Now, that's always been opposed in the European libertarian tradition, where every anarchist has been a socialist"

    How does that make any sense?
    An anarchist opposes centralized authority. Socialism requires centralized authority. How can an anarchist be a socialist?

    or "If you don't like the pollution from somebody's automobile, you take them to court and you litigate it."

    OK... If libertarians are anarchists, and courts are a function of centralized authority, why would there be courts in a libertarian world?

    Again this guy makes no sense.

  • prolefeed||

    You can be an anarchist socialist. The socialism would have to be voluntary communities, not government run.

    It wouldn't last long if tried, since the only working socialist unit is a family -- everything else fails epically in the real world -- but it is a possible worldview.

  • PIRS||

    “if you have unbridled capitalism, you have all kinds of authority: you have extreme authority.”

    Only over yourself and your own justly acquired property.

    “’do what I tell you or starve,’ that's not a choice—“

    No, that is not the choice. You can trade with someone else. In a true capitalist society there are an almost infinite number of choices.

    “Now, there are consistent libertarians, people like Murray Rothbard”

    In other words there are ACTUAL libertarians, people like Murray Rothbard.

    “—and if you just read the world that they describe, it's a world so full of hate that no human being would want to live in it.”

    Hate meaning, what Chomsky happens to disagree with.

    “This is a world where you don't have roads because you don't see any reason why you should cooperate in building a road that you're not going to use:”

    Interesting. So he thinks that every single person who cooperates in building a product must be one of the people who uses it? Does he think everyone who cooperates in building diapers uses them?

    “If you don't like the pollution from somebody's automobile, you take them to court and you litigate it.”

    We do much the same thing today for medical malpractice and the like.

    “Who would want to live in a world like that?”

    I would.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    But PIRS! Roads are no good unless they are public works! Otherwise.. wait for it.. Somalia!

  • Fire Tiger||

    Personally I prefer this quote from Tschaikovsky when he had the news.

    Let there be light, and there was light
    Let there be sound, and there was sound
    Let there be drums, there was drums
    Let there be guitar, there was guitar, ah
    Let there be rock

    Of course then it came to pass that rock 'n' roll was born. All across the land every rockin' band was blowin' up a storm. And the guitar man got famous, the business man got rich and in every bar there was a superstar with a seven year itch.

  • cynical||

    Um... anarchosocialism doesn't even make sense. An individual owner can easily, physically control the means of production that belong to him. How exactly can "the workers" collectively make decisions on how capital will be used without some sort of government?

  • Monty Python & the Holy Grail||

    Woman: We don't have a lord!
    Arthur: (spurised) What??
    Man: I *told* you! We're an anarcho-syndicalist commune! We're taking
    turns to act as a sort of executive-officer-for-the-week--
    Arthur: (uninterested) Yes...
    Man: But all the decisions *of* that officer 'ave to be ratified at a
    special bi-weekly meeting--
    Arthur: (perturbed) Yes I see!
    Man: By a simple majority, in the case of purely internal affairs--
    Arthur: (mad) Be quiet!
    Man: But by a two-thirds majority, in the case of more major--
    Arthur: (very angry) BE QUIET! I *order* you to be quiet!
    Woman: "Order", eh, 'oo does 'e think 'e is?
    Arthur: I am your king!
    Woman: Well I didn't vote for you!

  • Middle Age Crazy||

    mob rule

  • Middle Age Crazy||

    ^reply to "How exactly can "the workers" collectively make decisions on how capital will be used without some sort of government?"

  • Zeb||

    It has always seemed to me that "Socialist Anarchist" is self contradictory. If capital is not privately controlled, then who controls it? Government, that's who. Hard to be an anarchist if you want government to own or control everything.

  • fish||

    How many times did you cum while reading that?

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Now, there are consistent libertarians, people like Murray Rothbard—and if you just read the world that they describe, it's a world so full of hate that no human being would want to live in it. This is a world where you don't have roads because you don't see any reason why you should cooperate in building a road that you're not going to use: if you want a road, you get together with a bunch of other people who are going to use that road and you build it, then you charge people to ride on it.

    ROOOOOOOOAAAAAADDDDDDSSSSSS!!!

    Chomsky has all of the political acumen of a brown rat with a missing chromosome.

  • barfman||

    in more civilized times, like the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, for example

    *barf*

  • Devil's Advocate||

    If that is saying it best, then that is pretty pathetic. Typical statist bullshit - if you don't want the feds to run your local school, then you must be against schools. You and your straw man can both eat a dick.

    BTW, douche-nozzle, if it wasn't for capitalism, people would still be too impoverished to waste time pursuing all of your pet causes.

  • Max||

    If you need that explained, you're a fucking idiot.

  • PIRS||

    Max,

    So explain it then. If it is that simple it should be easy for you to explain.

  • Max||

    See Chomsky above. Then go suck Ron Paul's cock.

  • PIRS||

    See my reply to your Chomsky quote.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Chomsky obviously has a poor understanding of both libertarianism and capitalism.

    The funny thing is that capitalism - pure or not - will whip Chomsky's preferred flavor of "anarchism"* every time.

    * It's not really anarchism

  • ||

    Yes, Fatty. Chomsky's beloved "libertarian socialism" oxymoron, where you're free to do anything but own the means of production. Can't own a cow or a tractor or a plow or a show factory. But you're free, right?

  • ||

    *shoe* stupid typing.

    I guess if I was a writer I couldn't own pen, pencil, paper, a typewriter or a computer. That is a means of production, right?

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Well, I guess you could get your pencil via your employment by the American United Writers Company, which contracts them from the Brotherhood of Professional Pencil Manufacturers.

    Of course, when Joe down the street invents the typewriter, what happens? He could start selling them, make some money, but what about when he needs help? He could very carefully select a partner to help out. But what if the thing takes off? They would soon need more people, but what to do? If they hire anybody, they will have to share the decisions, the proceeds, everything, with the new employees. And for what? "Fuck that!" Joe declares, and goes back to working at the base metals factory.

  • The Ingenious Hidalgo||

    Max, I don't think there's anyone here who doesn't understand Chomsky's argument. We just don't agree with it. His characterisation of Rothbardian ancap philosophy as being 'full of hate' is inaccurate. What's wrong with having to pay to use roads that other people built? Why should you get free use of something someone else made? What's wrong with having to demonstrate harm in a court of law? How are these things hateful? Let me ask you something: do you understand the libertarian arguments for why private property is necessary for freedom? Have you read Rothbard or Nozick?

  • marlok||

    "everybody knows that a society that worked by American libertarian principles would self-destruct in three seconds."

    His "everybody knows" formulation is an epic logic fail. His robot brain should know better.

    "The only reason people pretend to take it seriously is because you can use it as a weapon."

    Ah, the old Khmer Rouge defender calling us disenguous. Maybe you should sit down and talk with a libertarian.

    Then there's his silly definitions of liberarian and anarchist.
    I guess it was his "anarchists" who busted in windows in London when the tories proposed trimming government services.

  • PIRS||

    And yet you keep comming back here.

  • ||

    Here Max, why don't you watch this and calm yourself down. It's very soothing.

    http://vimeo.com/aavv/-theaway.....dsleep-05-

  • ^^^^^||

    so•ci•o•path
       ˈsoʊ si əˌpæθ,ˈsoʊ ʃi-Show Spelled[soh-see-uh-path, soh-shee-] Show IPA
    –noun Psychiatry .
    a person, as a psychopathic personality, whose behavior is antisocial and who lacks a sense of moral responsibility or social conscience.

  • ^^^^^||

    At Max, btw.

  • ||

    Which suggests that we aren't just smart, we're actually paying attention to the way partisans yammer on about things.

    Yeah, but we're too cynical to do anything about it. We easily fall for someone that is "post-partison"

  • Jim||

    That was my first thought. People may answer a poll that they hate partisanship or the two-party system, but actions speak louder than words, and they back the system to the hilt at the ballot box every few years.

  • ||

    I blame stockholm syndrome

  • prolefeed||

    Well, no, the ones who show up at the polls back the system. If winning a seat at the legislature required that a candidate get more votes than the combined number of blank ballots and other adults of voting age who didn't show up to vote, the major parties would get thrashed by the "none of the above" coalition.

    If those vacant seats were automatic "no" votes, then we'd have a lot better government -- possibly none at all.

  • ||

    How on Earth does this incident tie in to partisan politics? Does anyone thing it matters which party was in power? Either would've killed the guy. Heck, a libertarian president might've agreed with this one.

    Partisans are so stupid.

  • ||

    Change thing to think. Grr.

  • ||

    The partisans are making you stupid! It's contagious!

    Wait, that explains everyone on TEAM RED and TEAM BLUE. You're a genius, ProL!

  • ||

    Only in my idiocy.

  • ||

    Libertarian would not have been in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, etc and have to justify his war on terror by killing a now mostly marginalized leader of sorts. Or, if he still posed a threat, covert operations would have eliminated it and not made a fuss. All this bluster is pure partison positioning.

  • OO||

    the large quantity of captured pc's, harddrives, thumbdrives, & papers suggest bin laden was NOT "marginalized".

  • Almanian||

    I think that gear was mostly for watching teh pron.

    He was marginalized and well past his prime...

  • OO||

    when the intel is available, we'll know for sure.

  • ||

    This is why you shouldn't feed it.

  • Almanian||

    *drops head, stares at floor, shuffles feet*

  • prolefeed||

    Most people here have PCs, hard drives, thumb drives, and paper. Are you suggesting that we all are unmarginalized terrorists?

    Or that you have access to those classified documents?

  • ||

    Correct, which makes it hard to fathom why so many libertarians bought into the Bush agenda of big spending, nation-building, and shitting on the Constitution.

    That is when I began to hate conservatives and all their Rah-Rah Bush crap.

    And they are WORSE now!

  • ||

    You're so, so dumb, shriek. So dumb. It's stunning. What must you be like in real life? Are you on a leash? Or in a cage at the zoo? Do your owners have to have a license for you?

  • ||

    Go service the cock, you little cumstained receptacle.

  • ||

    shrike flings the poo that max eats.

  • ||

    btw - every fucking time from now on.

  • ||

    Keep up with the homophobia, shriek. What a perfect example of a "liberal" you are. Just a hateful little shit, projecting all your issues onto your opponents: your stupidity, your homophobia, your racism, your close-mindedness, and your religiosity towards whatever you believe in.

    Keep it up, moron. Keep it up.

  • PIRS||

    "Correct, which makes it hard to fathom why so many libertarians bought into the Bush agenda of big spending, nation-building, and shitting on the Constitution"

    Could you name the "so many" who did?

  • The Gobbler||

    Even the Dali Lama is cool with it:

    http://www.twincities.com/ci_17989706

  • ||

    ...which suggests that circa 2014 or 2015, he'll be less focused on (finally!) beating off the "wimp factor"

    Truer than you know.

  • Almanian Beavis||

    He said "beating" - heh heh....

  • Almanian Butthead||

    Yeah. And then he said "off". Huh huh!

  • mr simple||

    Or the testeroney goodness

    Yeah, there's no way I'm clicking that link. Nice try, Nick.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    What is testeroney? Is that like baloney, only made out of... you know?

  • wayne||

    Just admit it, liberals are wimps. Nothing wrong with sluping a latte, while getting a mani-pedi. Embrace your wimpality!

  • gaydar||

    Is it just me, or does that dude in the pic look totally queer?

  • ||

    He cried that only time her had sex with a girl, but that doesn't make him gay.

  • gaydar||

    Seriously, dude's like three-dollar-bill queer.

  • ||

    He just looks like he got hit in the face with a shovel. There's nothing gay about that. However, it would explain his thinking processes.

  • ||

    He looks like a drag queen that just took off his wig and make-up.

  • ||

    He has a tattoo on his lower back that says "Two way traffic ahead" but that doesn't mean anything.

  • Tony||

    Was it really necessary to publish a picture of me?

  • ||

    Is this a spoof?

  • Yeah, but||

    if George Bush did this, then blah blah yada yada rinse repeat.

  • ||

    "Bin Laden Killing Erases Democrats' Wimp Factor"

    Not as long as your president has wrists that look like this.

  • Almanian||

    He shopped for his wedding ring in the womyn's section, didn't he...

  • ||

    Only in his case, the ring acts as a bracelet.

  • PIRS||

    It is fascinating to watch people who appeared to deplore all violence just four years ago act so "proud of the troops" and trying to latch onto this as though it is a justification of their sunshine-pacifism.

    Hmm sunshine-pacifism - I like that. Am I the first person to use that? Probably not - but I might be.

  • ||

    Google shows is popping up in Direct action: radical pacifism from the Union Eight to the Chicago Seven by James Tracy, but the phrase is rare.

  • ||

    There's already a term for it. It's "partisan pacifism". Or, alternatively, "crass opportunism".

  • Clouds||

    President Kang says torture for some...and summary executions for others. Then everyone can be happy.

  • ||

    So Americans hate it when left/right partisans leverage newsworthy events to sell us their pet causes... but Americans love it when someone else leverages the left/right winger's dumb statements about the news to sell the legitimacy of a 3rd party political cause?

    cool.

  • Almanian||

    Oh, the irony - it BURNS!

  • Tony||

    It's not about anything Democrats or Republicans do that distinguishes perceptions of their toughness. After all, GW Bush was a daddy's boy who went AWOL while John Kerry was a genuine war hero, yet guess who gets the testosterone points. It's about the most simplistic measure of such a thing possible: who is willing to use the fewest brain cells in making decisions?

  • Hugh Akston||

    who is willing to use the fewest brain cells in making decisions?

    Voters?

  • ||

    who is willing to use the fewest brain cells in making decisions?

    Therefore implying that you are the toughest guy here.

  • Almanian||

    Hiyo!

  • ||

    It's like he's another Jesse Ventura!

  • ||

    "I ain't got time to bleed. That's why I take Seasonique."

  • MNG||

    It's largely symbolic now. Bush drove a truck and cleared brush for the media and laughed over executing people while Kerry used words like "thrice" and wind-surfed. So he's a tuff guy and Kerry was a wimp (for the record I've never thought Kerry could be sold as manly by even the best ad agency on earth)

  • Tony||

    Probably true, but there was a deliberate strategy by Rove to attack him at what they thought was his strongest point (and strongest difference from Bush): the fact that he actually served in uniform, and with distinction. I almost admire the genius cynicism. But god that election was such a disgrace. Almost as much as the one that preceded it.

  • #||

    but think about it tony, if Kerry had won, the financial crisis would have happened in his lap and the 2008 election would have been a giant republican sweep.

  • Almanian||

    I still think what did Kerry in with the Traktur Pull crowd was the bird "hunting" expedition in - I believe it was Ohio?

    Bad move.

  • MNG||

    Democratic Politicians have to do a media hunting exhibition, it's required in the DNC by-laws. GOPers are assummed to be huntin' men.

  • marlok||

    There's a funny Matt Labash article where he hangs out with a Democratic strategist trying to get the Bubba vote. I think his name is Mudcat Sanders.

  • Fatty Bolger||

  • ||

    The comparison between Dubya and his father is even weirder. I remember that Bush 41 was reviled as a wimp, even though he actually attended his war (I don't know that he was especially heroic but he did manage to show up, more or less sober).

    But Dubya, whoa, he cleared brush at his ranch! How much tougher can you get than that?

  • Almanian||

    Shit, Bush The Elder flew planes OFF a carrier WWII (as opposed to merely landing ON one with someone ELSE piloting) and got shot down and played bobber in the Pacific Ocean.

    Pretty He Man stuff, frankly.

  • marlok||

    Bush I also lied about his age to go fly fighter planes.

  • SIV||

    Bush I shot up and sank a Nip boat THEN flew back over and repeatedly strafed the survivors as they swam to shore.

    Shows you how Washington can ruin a man.

  • MNG||

    Love the Japanese epithet, is that a Georgia thing?

  • SIV||

    MNG is highnumber?

    "Nips" is a perfectly acceptable term for Americans to refer to the Japanese circa 12/7/1941-9/2/1945.

  • MNG||

    SIV, I know you'd like to take us back to 1941-45 but it is in fact 2011.

  • Paul Krugman||

    SIV, I know you'd like to take us back to 1941-45

    No, that would be me.

  • Tojo||

    The only thing we didn't have in 1941 was quite as many sanctimonious pricks like MNG.

  • Zeb||

    You misunderstand, I think. It is OK to call Japanese people "Nips" if you are talking about things that happened 1941-45. (not sure that I agree, but that is how I read it)

  • fish||

    C'mon....he married a (sotto voce) European. That's a DQ.

  • ||

    "One of the findings was that a plurality of Americans (35 percent) answered neither when asked whether they thought the Democrats or Republicans would govern more responsibly."

    We're always thinking about how we define ourselves, and looking at it through party politics, I think that's the definition of the libertarian center right there.

    It isn't about how many people voted for the LP; being libertarian in terms of party politics is about not thinking that either of the major political parties are the solution to your problems.

    Both parties are about selling you on the idea that their politicians are the solution to your problems.

    If you don't think the solution to your problems is about to come from a political party, then I think you should be considered a libertarian for party purposes.

    Our job is to make that 35% of the people realize what they already are.

  • ||

    There's one thing that both the right and the left share--utter confusion. "The world is safer now! But we've got to be vigilant because we're in more danger now!"

  • ||

    The Good Fight: Why Liberals—and Only Liberals—Can Win the War on Terror and Make America Great Again

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHA

  • Almanian||

    Laughed yourself right off the page. I am impress

  • ||

    Nice alt-text.

  • Wind Rider||

    Oh look, a squirrel. And all this out of the Jacket feigning shock and disgust that slimy self serving politicos are acting schmarmy?

    Huh.

  • MNG||

    Iirc the wimp thing was first hung around Dukkakis by George the Elder's campaign.

  • ||

    Dukakis caused his own problems by riding in that tank. That picture was like a godsend to Bush.

  • MNG||

    Tru dat.

  • ||

    It wasn't his fault that they didn't have a helmet available in women's sizes.

  • ||

    Only because it emphasized his tinyness.

  • ||

    Dukkakis was short, and no one can take a short man as leader seriously. I mean, Napolean was a serious contendor for short man of the millenia and even now, he's more mocked than respected.

  • MNG||

    He had almost nothing going for him, the nation was satisified with the Reagan years and Bush was the heir.

    Also, Democrats should never, ever, nominate a pol from Massachussets. Never. It would be like the GOP nominating a pol from S. Carolina.

  • ||

    Dukakis had the rap against him of being "soft on crime". Revolving door, you know.

    Bush the Elder used that victory to ramp up the drug war in a big way.

    That's why Clinton executed a guy that was functionally retarded--to prove he was tough on crime.

    Look at me! I executed a retarded guy! I'm not Dukakis! Aren't you impressed?

  • MNG||

    Clinton was thinking "If only I could have executed Sister Souljah"*

    *who was pretty retarded imo

  • MNG||

    Many people forget what a slimy, unprincipled person clinton was. Many people talk about what a great politician he was. Those two things nearly always go together...

  • SIV||

    Ricky Ray rector, the brain damaged guy who hid a slice of pie from his last meal in his cell to "eat later".

  • Ray Pew||

    That's why Clinton executed a guy that was functionally retarded--to prove he was tough on crime.

    Look at me! I executed a retarded guy! I'm not Dukakis! Aren't you impressed?

    I had to look up the case of Rector and I am puzzled why so many consider this a travesty. Is there any evidence that Rector was mentally retarded at the time of his crimes? If he was competent then, I don't understand why his punishment should be downgraded because he botched a suicide attempt.

  • Jon Lovitz Dukakis||

    My parents were little people. Little swarthy people.

  • MNG||

    Bienart and TNR have long been a strange form of liberalism, like our neo-con wing. Neo-liberals or whatever.

  • ||

    Strange? Only if you ignore the whole history of American leftism. Progressives love war, they've loved it since they first emerged on the political scene. WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam and of course the dozens and dozens of minor interventions all over the world. The Old Left was all about Team America World Police. The New Left is more Team UN (with American assets and money)World Police.

  • MNG||

    You have to engage in a lot of simplistic lumping together to get were you are at. For example, was Henry Wallace (the actual Progressive Party candidate in 48) or George McGovern not progressives? The truth is that the Democratic party has long had a wide spectrum of ideologies in it, and the same is even true for 'progressivism' or 'the Left.'

  • MNG||

    I mean, who is the 'real progressive/Democrat/liberal', LbJ who was relentless in prosecuting the war or McGovern who pushed to end it?

  • ||

    I believe MNG has just shown that progressives and leftists won't vote into office, or nominate, a progressive who won't go to war.

    Well done, sir! Point taken.

  • MNG||

    McGovern wasn't nominated?

  • ||

    Hear that folks? LBJ is not a progressive any more. I guess neither is FDR or Truman or Woodrow Wilson.

    Agree or disagree minge?

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Woodrow Wilson.

    Have a good day.

  • Almanian||

    In Russia, "Wimp Factor" erases YOU!

  • MNG||

    That Putin is a manly President. We haven't had someone like that since T.R.

  • Hugh Akston||

    I'd prefer a president who spends his days raping sharks to one who spends his days crafting policies.

  • MNG||

    If this doesn't conjure up a steve smith post I'm going to be shocked.

  • ||

    STEVE SMITH NOT CLOWN FOR MNG! GRR!

  • ||

    Putin is so manly he doesn't need to be elected. He just "takes charge".

  • MNG||

    Anyone following the situation with Steeler's RB Mendenhall? I don't think he should be punished by the team or the league for tweeting his opinion.

  • George V||

    I have not followed closely but I haven't seen anything from the league or the Steelers suggesting he should be punished. He should be punished for fumbling in the Super Bowl.

  • Mike M.||

    Just breaking: Obama isn't going to release any Bin Laden photographs.

    Not sure if he plans on releasing any video of the raid, or anything at all.

  • MNG||

    He is going to release OBL's long form birth certificate though.

  • Mike M.||

    Like all liars and criminals, Obama's first natural instinct is "hide everything".

  • MNG||

    Liar and criminal, love the fanatic hyperbole dude!

  • cynical||

    No, he's definitely a liar, and everyone's a criminal.

  • Fire Tiger||

    Pissing on the FOIA

  • Obama||

    Its all about being the most transparent administration ever,

  • ||

    Well that's what Julian Assange is for in Obama's mind.

  • ||

    I'd prefer a president who spends his days raping sharks to one who spends his days crafting policies saving me from myself.

  • vitadMD||

    One thing that would create a dramatic change in the disgusting, demoralizing state of politics in this country (besides a president who is not owned by any entity other than the American people) would be the emergence of a truly independent media entity. People have come to realize that the formerly mainstream media is heavily populated by political operatives. Cable news is unwatchable. How long can this go on?

  • OO======D||

    SUCK ME HARD, MNG.

    n a story about the resurrection of the harsh interrogation techniques debate slated to run on The New York Times’ front page Wednesday morning, reporters Scott Shane and Charlie Savage completely ignore CIA director Leon Panetta’s Tuesday evening confirmation that waterboarding played a role in procuring the intelligence that led U.S. forces to terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden.

    “As intelligence officials disclosed the trail of evidence that led to the compound in Pakistan where Bin Laden was hiding, a chorus of Bush administration officials claimed vindication for their policy of ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’ like waterboarding,” Shane and Savage write in their story, accusing Republicans of igniting a debate they thought was long over.

    Shane and Savage looked the other way, though, when it came to Panetta’s confirmation that waterboarding was part of the “enhanced interrogation techniques” used on detainees. “We had multiple series of sources that provided information with regards to this situation… clearly some of it came from detainees [and] they used these enhanced interrogation techniques against some of those detainees,” Panetta told NBC News anchor Brian Williams.

    The New York Times duo also suggested that House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Rep. Peter King, New York Republican, inflamed the debate by saying he thought the intelligence came from waterboarding. “The chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, Representative Peter T. King, Republican of New York, told Fox News that the success of the hunt for Bin Laden was due to waterboarding,” Shane and Savage wrote.

    It turns out King was right.

    The duo’s story also wrongly reported the day of the attack on bin Laden’s complex in Pakistan. “Obama administration officials, intent on celebrating Monday’s successful raid, have tried to avoid reigniting a partisan battle over torture,” Shane and Savage wrote. The raid was conducted on Sunday, not Monday, as Shane and Savage reported.

    A spokesman for The New York Times did not immediately return The Daily Caller’s request for comment.


    Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2011/05.....on-panetta’s-confirmation-of-waterboarding’s-role-in-bin-laden-assassination-in-harsh-interrogation-story/#ixzz1LPZfvz3l

  • Mike M.||

    You know what, serious kudos to Leon Panetta for having the guts to confirm what we all in our hearts knew was true anyway!

    If Obama had a decent bone in his body, he would admit that he was wrong, thank, and apologize to all the CIA guys he was threatening to prosecute just a couple of years ago.

    He'll never do it of course, because he's a petty, spiteful, nasty little piece of work.

  • Tony||

    I don't think I can imagine a more ugly and evil attempt at partisan points-scoring than the attempt by the Cheneyites to claim victory for torture in this matter. That's the legacy they want to die with? Kooks for torture? I don't get it.

    Real interrogators (not partisan neocon ideologues with a Jack Bauer complex) know that torture is not an efficient way to get intelligence, though it is a good way to get falsehoods. The question isn't did torture give us important intelligence, the question is why didn't we use more efficient and tested methods to get better intelligence when we could have?

  • ||

    Is this news or just exhausting? Everyone always has an angle.

    Speaking of...
    http://www.intellectualtakeout.....-terrorism

  • ||

    Nick is into prissy moralistic lecturing. Good government and all that. Aspires to be on the board of Common Cause, where he can support more prissy lecturing.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Take this for example: "Now, that's always been opposed in the European libertarian tradition, where every anarchist has been a socialist"

    How does that make any sense?
    An anarchist opposes centralized authority. Socialism requires centralized authority. How can an anarchist be a socialist?

    Libertarian does not equal anarchist, of course, but the Anarcho-capitalist branch of anarchy is the younger brother of the Proudhonian branch which coined the term. Most anarchists in the world recognize that those with capital use the lever of government tilt the game in their favor.

    As a practical manner, socialistic and capitalistic fantasy worlds without government are about equally plausible. Both lead to those with the most guns imposing their will.

    Government is an emergent property of anarchy.

  • Zeb||

    I think that is about right.

    I cannot accept that there is any truly moral basis for government, but I can't imagine a situation where something wouldn't emerge with the functions of a government.

  • Libertarian||

    Freedom magic!

  • TN||

    Well I, for one, am gratified to see the unsung Beinart finally get some recognition for all his ceaseless efforts to avail us of his beautiful mind.

    Of all the misanthropic auto-fellating ultra-statist pygmies oozing around the body politic, Herr Beinart's track record as a dauntless purveyor of backassward nonsense is positively Krugmanesque.

    Hell, he has floated shite that makes even Krugman seem coherent and rational.

    Being a human nexus of neo-liberal and neo-conservative nonsensibilities only makes this clown's unflinching wrongness...and him...that much more detestable.

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