Foreign Policy

Sailing into a Storm?

John McCain's shipwrecked foreign policy

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The last couple of months have been springtime in paradise for Republicans: the loveliest of all possible seasons. They have been watching two Democratic presidential candidates in an endless battle to destroy each other—a process that does not appear to enhance the chance that the eventual nominee will win in November.

A recent Gallup poll shows John McCain leading both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in a head-to-head matchup. All this before Republicans even begin publicizing the worst that can be said about either of two candidates whose alleged defects provide a supremely target-rich environment.

But it's easy to let the individuals involved obscure larger factors that may prove more important. In a hurricane, even handsome, well-built boats can end up underwater. And right now, the GOP looks as though it may be sailing into a perfect storm.

Currently, 69 percent of Americans disapprove of the way President Bush is doing his job. That is the highest disapproval rating since Gallup began polling 70 years ago—higher than Lyndon Johnson during the Vietnam War, Richard Nixon during Watergate, or Jimmy Carter during the Iran hostage crisis.

Today, notes polling expert Karlyn Bowman of the American Enterprise Institute, more Americans think the country is on the wrong track than at any time since the late 1970s—which set the stage for the Republican resurgence of 1980, led by Ronald Reagan. The sentiment is even more negative now than it was in 1992, when the GOP lost the White House. Some 63 percent see the Iraq war as a mistake.

Bush's troubles have sent voters fleeing from his party. In 2004, 47 percent of Americans leaned toward the Democratic Party, with 44 percent leaning Republican—a 3-point difference. Today, it's 51 to 38 in favor of the Democrats—a gap of 13 percentage points.

To win, McCain will have to pry away a lot of voters who currently find the GOP unappealing. Obama (or Clinton), by contrast, will have only to avoid alienating those who are already favorably inclined to a change.

Issue after issue also promises to hurt Republicans. Among the topics creating the most anxiety are the economy, domestic matters like health care and immigration, and Iraq. Of those, immigration is the only one that might not favor the Democrats.

Richard Norton Smith, a historian who has run the presidential libraries of Republicans Herbert Hoover, Dwight Eisenhower, Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan, is pessimistic about the party's prospects. He thinks the correct analogy is not 1988 but 1920 or 1952—when an unpopular war and an equally unpopular president spelled doom for the party in the White House. He thinks 2008 is shaping up not only as a narrow defeat for the GOP but a decisive "repudiation."

Many Republicans see Barack Obama as the natural heir of George McGovern—an antiwar liberal with an avid but narrow base who is perfectly positioned to lose. They are also reminded of Michael Dukakis and his difficulty connecting with white males and working-class voters.

But Smith sees a big difference: In 1988, when Dukakis lost, the outgoing Republican president was popular, with an approval rating above 50 percent. Not so today.

Against trends like this, he strongly doubts that voters will put much weight on factors like Obama's associations with radical preachers or his flag-free lapel. Thanks to the Democratic contest, those matters have been fully aired, without fatal effect, and they are likely to sound stale and irrelevant by November.

In his view, the portents are all ominous for the Republican Party and its nominee. "Why do you think the race started so early? Why do you think turnout has been so high?" he asks. "A desire to put this chapter behind us."

The fallout is already apparent. In recent months, Republicans have lost two special elections to fill seats that had been GOP strongholds. Those shocks prompted former House Speaker Newt Gingrich to warn that come November, his party faces the prospect of "a real disaster."

The bad news for Republicans is that objective factors are conspiring to produce a Democratic victory. The good news? If the Democrats can't win this year, they may never.

COPYRIGHT 2008 CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.

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  1. You guys have the wrong article there. It’s the same as https://www.reason.com/blog/#126444

  2. For Christ’s sake, this isn’t even an article about foreign policy, it’s about polling data. Are you guys just so determined to publish anti-McCain shit, that you are just randomly throwing those magnetic words against your refrigerator, including such words and phrases as: “McCain” “awful” “foreign policy” and “Matt Welch” and then just running it?

    Honestly, this is why I let my subscription lapse last month. Not because you’re anti-McCain, but because you’re being so slipshod about it.

  3. Thanks to the Democratic contest, those matters have been fully aired, without fatal effect

    maybe not fatal in a democrat primary attended by a minority of democratic votors. the other 90% of the country might view things differently.

  4. Seriously, what in the fuck did that article have to do with foreign policy?

  5. Honestly, this is why I let my subscription lapse last month. Not because you’re anti-McCain, but because you’re being so slipshod about it.

    It’s a bit early to start drinking. Maybe a wake and bake instead.

  6. What about that article was foreign policy related?

  7. Honestly, this is why I let my subscription lapse last month.

    Sure you did, homey. You and all the other paleos, Paultards and loony tunes.

    Anyway, it’s obvious the descriptor for the article is wrong, guys. Try easing up on the “Reason sucks!” throttle for once. If it’s that bad, feel free to take off.

  8. The very first post in this thread provides the most likely explanation: a bad link. Someone pointed at the wrong article when cross-posting this here. Everyone fucking chillax.

  9. That’s a great column, but you know what would be even better?

    A piece about what John McCain’s foriegn policy would be like if he won the presidential election.

  10. Currently, 69 percent of Americans disapprove of the way President Bush is doing his job.

    You know what? I do not understand (I’m being serious here) why the widespread dissatisfaction for President Bush. Yeah, there is a lot that libertarians have to be angry about, but I do not get why the squishy-unthinking moderate populace is so angry at the President.

    The war? America wanted it! Not only that, but I’m not seeing any overwhelming indicators that the American people are all that interested in stopping it either. We want everything out of Iraq: Perfect ‘victory’, right this second, at no cost. Someone needs to look the American people in the face and say “It doesn’t work that way”.

    The economy? How is that the President’s fault? Because he will not bail you out of your overpriced mortgage you stupidly got yourself into? Because he will not implement ’70s price controls on gas?

    Issue after issue also promises to hurt Republicans. Among the topics creating the most anxiety are the economy, domestic matters like health care and immigration, and Iraq. Of those, immigration is the only one that might not favor the Democrats.

    Oh of course?Americans want more goodies WRT to the economy, universal healthcare that’s also the best EVAR on the planet and covers everybody and every possible disease. Oh yeah, and make sure the brown people stay out?even though most people spun up about the issue live in lily-white Midwestern and Western cities. And like I said, I think Americans want it both ways in Iraq.

    So, someone tell me again what Bush has done that Americans did not ask for in the first place?

  11. Gallup has had Obama and Clinton beating McCan for almost two weeks now.

    Oh, and edna? Obama beats McCain by 30 points among Jewish voters.

    Thirty.

  12. Ayn Randian,

    The American people wanted a war to protect the country from Saddam Hussein launching WMD attacks on us through terrorist proxies.

    They most certainly did not an imperialist, nation-building quagmire like this. As a matter of fact, the administration swore up and down before this war began that they were NOT going into Iraq for the oil, that fighting would NOT go on more than a few weeks or months, and that we would NOT be there for more than a couple years.

    So, yeah, the bait and switch has a lot of people angry.

  13. Spare me, joe….America wanted to kick some ass using our tanks and rockets to show everyone who was boss after 9/11. Afghanistan requires hard work and light infantry, so we couldn’t sufficiently show how “shock and awe” we really are.

    If America doesn’t want the “occupational quagmire”, it has the power to end it…but all I see is your party (and yes, the GOP is very guilty of this too) loading up the war funding bills (instead of refusing to fund the war in the first place) with pork so they can play partisan politics over “The Troops”.

    There was no “bait and switch”…the writing was on the wall for everybody to see that we were going to remake Iraq in our own image.

    Not only that, but Iraq isn’t even Number 1 on most people’s list; the economy is, which, IIRC, the President has jack-all to do with.

  14. joe, polls are notoriously unreliable. I don’t understand why you cite them so much, including dueling poll wars with TallDave.

  15. Ayn Randian, who is this “America” you keep mentioning?

  16. It’s strange, the linked colum even has the headline and sub-head for a John McCain foreign policy piece, so it’s nost just a bad link.

  17. Ayn Randian, who is this “America” you keep mentioning?

    You and me, brother-man…like it or not, we’re indirectly responsible for our government’s actions (at least to the extent that we fund it if not out-and-out support its agenda).

  18. A.R.,

    America wanted to kick some ass using our tanks and rockets to show everyone who was boss after 9/11. Certainly.

    Would you care to address my point about national building, occupation, and long-term presence?

    There was no “bait and switch”…the writing was on the wall for everybody to see that we were going to remake Iraq in our own image.

    You know when people use the phrase “writing on the wall?” When they’re talking about something that hasn’t actually been stated. Sure, political junkies who were really paying attention could see that Bush and his party intended this to be the Great Democratic Crusade from the beginning – but that’s not what he told the country he was doing, at is was not the mission the public thought we were setting out on.

  19. As stated earlier, Joe, they re-ran this column under a different heading:

    https://www.reason.com/news/show/126396.html

  20. “You and me, brother-man…like it or not, we’re indirectly responsible for our government’s actions (at least to the extent that we fund it if not out-and-out support its agenda).”

    Ayn Randian, that’s a bit of collectivist thinking, isn’t it?

  21. Episiarch,

    If you pay attention, you’ll notice that I cite polls for the purpose of refuting assertions other people make.

    “Obama is doomed!”

    “Then why is he winning?”

    “Reverend Wright destroyed Obama!”

    “Then why are his polls higher now that before the story broke?”

    Etc.

    THAT’S why I cite polls – because other people make baseless assertions backed up by nothing but their feelings, and it’s fun to check those feelings against objective data.

  22. ethics,

    That’s not the same column.

  23. The article doesn’t say anything about how “awful” his foreign policy would be, only that it would allegedly be. Ending drug prohibition would be damned unpopular as well. Politicians have been winning elections for decades on the claim that they would get tough on drug users. Does Reason think ending prohibition is awful?

    For whatever reason, McCain seems to bring out the worst in Reason. I understand that they don’t support McCain. That is their right and there are plenty reasonable arguments to make against him. Reason just refuses to do that. Whether it is Welch’s “most interventionist President in history” hyperbole or this post’s implication that something being unpopular is automatically an indictment of its correctness, Reason seems incapable of writing a real substantive takedown of the guy. I don’t get it. It wouldn’t be that hard to do and is something normally well within their capabilities if it involves any politician but McCain.

    Reason looks at McCain the way a cat looks at water. They don’t fully understand why but they know one thing; they just don’t like him.

  24. Yah Joe, I see they moved and shuffled. It looked different at 7:16AM.

    I saw two articles, the body were the same content but they were differently titled. One is this one, and the other–which had a more apt title — is now gone.

  25. If you pay attention, you’ll notice that I cite polls for the purpose of refuting assertions other people make.

    I’m going to give you a little advice this morning. If you’re not actively trying to be condescending, you might want to examine the way you interact with people. Even online.

  26. I must say, I like joe’s initial response best:

    joe | May 12, 2008, 9:29am | #
    That’s a great column, but you know what would be even better?

    A piece about what John McCain’s foriegn policy would be like if he won the presidential election.

  27. joe, I’m not going to treat people as stupidly as you are right now. This whole “The Evil President trickses usss…” theme is garbage. We had been nation-building in Afghanistan for 18 months. Bush and Gore talked about invading Iraq during the 2000 Presidential debates!

    Would you care to address my point about national building, occupation, and long-term presence?

    Again, I really don’t think this bothers people as much as you think it does. As before, I don’t treat people that dumb: we knew what we were getting in to, and now everyone is just upset because it wasn’t the cakewalk we all thought it was going to be. Whatevs.

    Would you care to address mine on how your party was ostensibly “swept in” to end the war and has dutifully proceeded to load war bills with pork?…Pretty much daring the President to veto it so you can start using “The Troops” as political pawns too. So obvious.

  28. Whatever, Randian.

    George Bush is a model of honesty, and the justification for the war hasn’t changed in the slightest in the past 5 years.

    Sure. Whatever you say.

    Would you care to address mine on how your party was ostensibly “swept in” to end the war and has dutifully proceeded to load war bills with pork? You can’t force a president to end an ongoing war with 51%. You need either a large majority in Congress, or the White House, or both.

  29. Being called a “Paultard” by a Randroid is kind of entertaining. lol

    For the record, I do not support Ron Paul’s rather quixotic quest for the Presidency.

  30. As before, I don’t treat people that dumb: we knew what we were getting in to, and now everyone is just upset because it wasn’t the cakewalk we all thought it was going to be.

    The contradiction in your own statement shows that yes, most of “we” were that dumb. The true “handwriting on the wall” – that this would become a quagmire and for no valid national security reason – was available for all to see and has now been revealed to the “dumb” who were not paying attention. This was always bait and switch, particularly the “mushroom cloud smoking gun” crap and the conflation of Al Qaeda with Saddam Hussein.

    Bush prosecuted an unjust war with the cowardly acquiesence of Congress with that cheesy AUMF. If you choose to be an apologist for it, you may – I think it borders on criminal.

  31. And also for the record: I indeed let my subscription lapse because I’ve been disappointed by the sort of articles I’ve seen from REASON both in print and online since Matt Welch took over. I did not agree with Nick Gillespie’s take on many specific political issues, but he at least gave me something to think about. I have yet to see that from Matt Welch.

  32. Being called a “Paultard” by a Randroid is kind of entertaining. lol

    Care to quote where I called you one?

    George Bush is a model of honesty, and the justification for the war hasn’t changed in the slightest in the past 5 years.

    Never said he was. But, no, I haven’t seen a huge shift in the justification for the war. Face it, if Iraq was a model “Citizen of the World” and the American casualty count was low, nobody would care about the war. Americans are just mad because it hasn’t turned out to be easy.

    You can’t force a president to end an ongoing war with 51%. You need either a large majority in Congress, or the White House, or both.

    That doesn’t justify loading the war bill with pork. And if the Dems stopped passing the funding bills in the first place, that would force an end to the war. Instead, they’ve decided to play politics with “The Troops”…a tactic they told me was strictly reserved for the evil Republicans.

  33. Bush prosecuted an unjust war with the cowardly acquiesence of Congress with that cheesy AUMF. If you choose to be an apologist for it, you may – I think it borders on criminal.

    Do you hear me apologizing for it? I’m holding more than just the government accountable for this one, boy-o…who elects the Congress and the President?

  34. You haven’t seen a change in the justification for this war?

    Are you kidding me?

    “We will not let the world’s worst regimes ___________________________.”

    “The smoking gun may be _______________________.”

    “We know that Mohammed Atta met with an Iraqi intelligence agent in Prague.”

    Sixteen words.

    Unmanned drones that can reach out shores.

    45 minutes.

    Face it, if Iraq was a model “Citizen of the World” and the American casualty count was low, nobody would care about the war. It’s entirely plausible that the country would have overlooked the bait and switch, the lack of al Qaeda ties, and the lack of WMDs, if things had gone swimmingly. That doesn’t mean there was not bait and switch.

    That doesn’t justify loading the war bill with pork. No, it doesn’t. What it does is explain why the Democrats haven’t ended the war from Congres – because they tried, and they just barely didn’t have the votes to do so.

    And if the Dems stopped passing the funding bills in the first place, that would force an end to the war. And they don’t have the votes and political support to do so.

    No, I don’t want you to explain to me how a bill passes Congress and what a fillibuster is. I’m talking about political reality.

  35. http://www.democrats.com/iraq-poll-2

    Should Congress:

    Give President Bush 100 billion dollars to keep U.S. troops in Iraq for the rest of 2008 and beyond
    13.4%

    Give President Bush 170 billion dollars to keep U.S. troops in Iraq in 2009 and beyond
    9.8%

    Give President Bush 50 billion dollars to bring U.S. troops safely home within 6 Months
    16.8%

    Require President Bush to use existing funds to bring U.S. troops safely home within 6 months
    51.2%

    Don’t know
    5.8%

    Refused to answer
    3.0%

    It’s not the American people who are keeping us there. They want out, fast.

  36. I do not get why the squishy-unthinking moderate populace is so angry at the President.

    You’re right, you’re not an apologist for it – just for him or “them” if you prefer.

  37. What it does is explain why the Democrats haven’t ended the war from Congres – because they tried, and they just barely didn’t have the votes to do so.

    Huh? How does playing politics with “The Troops” explain this?

    And they don’t have the votes and political support to do so.

    No, I don’t want you to explain to me how a bill passes Congress and what a fillibuster is. I’m talking about political reality.

    Yeah yeah yeah…”Just one more election!”…”All we need is the Presidency!”…yesterday someone mentioned that Republicans play conservatives for fools; I’m starting to believe that the Democrats play antiwar folks the same way. “I promise the child support check is coming this week”.

    We’ll see…I’m not holding my breath.

  38. You’re right, you’re not an apologist for it – just for him or “them” if you prefer.

    you’re missing my entire point…I’m saying dissatisfcation with the President is unjustified, in that he’s done everything that the American people have wanted him to do.

    It’s not the American people who are keeping us there. They want out, fast.

    Erm, so the Dems do have the political support. What’s the hold-up?

  39. Any fantasies McCain might have about taking care of Iran will require a draft, at which point we’ll see how Americans REALLY feel about these wars.

  40. And you’re missing the entire point that the dissatisfaction with the President (and the Congress) is entirely justified. They are our LEADERS. Where they have led us is into a quagmire that has damaged our military, our economy and our world standing. They did so on specious reasoning, executed the campaign incompetently, and have left us in a position where “victory”, whatever that means is impossible. Further, they continue to do so at the cost of American lives and monies with no strategic path and no coherent national security argument as to why we should stay at all.

  41. Sorry, I’m not going to get into a battle of wits with an unarmed person.

  42. Sorry, I’m not going to get into a battle of wits with an unarmed person.

    ooh, good one Grampa Simpson! Now all you need is a “Take my wife…please!” and your humor will be more dated than the Sex in the City movie.

  43. Erm, so the Dems do have the political support. What’s the hold-up?

    2% of the caucus, which is big enough to matter when you’ve got a 51% majority and a lockstep opposition.

  44. That poll touting America’s antiwar sentiments doesn’t jive with this statement:

    No, I don’t want you to explain to me how a bill passes Congress and what a fillibuster is. I’m talking about political reality.

    Politically speaking, there isn’t a better time to make a filibuster/bill-blocking stand…and if you want to actually be the party of leadership, I can’t think of a better hill to die on.

    Instead…pork and politics.

  45. A_R, there is no logic you can present that will cause joe to admit his beloved Democrats are just career politicians, just like the hated supposed opposite Republicans, and not the source of all that is good and holy.

    That’s what being a partisan is all about. It’s like gang membership.

  46. I gotta agree with AR here. After 9/11 America clearly wanted to “take out the trash.” Getting rid of all the regimes that present real or potential problems seemed a good idea. And after Afghanistan (and to some extent Bosnia) it looked like it would be relatively painless.

    If things had gone easy Bush would have been hailed as a great president. Since things went south he gets the blame. No one, excpet fringe groups, would care about the WMD stuff if things were going easy in Iraq.

  47. joe,

    You really aren’t defending those spineless Democratic losers who realized that satisfying the mandate they were elected under in 2006 was less important than doing the political logrolling that is required to keep them in office. Are you? Are you actually, in this thread, defending them?

    After two years, those Democrat scumbags are now as at fault for keeping us in this mess as their GOP counterparts. And in fact, they are even more disgraceful than the GOP, since the GOP never backed down from its embrace of neocon global domination policies, while the Democrats put up a fraudulent image of “elect us, and we’ll get the U.S. out”. They were elected. They have the majority in both houses, and they haven’t accomplished A SINGLE MEANINGFUL THING related to our extraction from Iraq.

    They are all bastards.

  48. Didn’t the Bush administration have to extend a certain amount of energy to get a majority of the public behind GWII? Didn’t the polling numbers initially indicate a reluctance to go to war?

  49. Randian,

    Politically speaking, there isn’t a better time to make a filibuster/bill-blocking stand…and if you want to actually be the party of leadership, I can’t think of a better hill to die on.

    I think it goes back to the 80s. Democrats of a certain age JUST KNOW that they can’t ever do anything that could possibly allow a Republican to use the phrase “soft on,” or they’re DOOMED! DOOMED!!!

    Democrats had big support for cutting off funding for the Vietnam War, and six years later, Ronald Reagan routed them (and took the Senate, too) while running on a tough-guy platform. Personally, I don’t believe it was ending the Vietnam War that was their problem, but a great many Democrats of a certain age seem to have over-learned that lesson.

    A_R, there is no logic you can present that will cause joe to admit his beloved Democrats are just career politicians, just like the hated supposed opposite Republicans, and not the source of all that is good and holy.

    Oopsie. You’re talking out of your ass again.

    MP,

    Not defending. Explaining. We liberals are big on understanding what makes the other guy tick.

  50. Still wrong column. Or healine. Or something.

  51. Not defending. Explaining. We liberals are big on understanding what makes the other guy tick.

    Rap sessions pooh-poohing bushitler are not going to get us out of Iraq. Blocking appropriations is. I don’t need understanding. I need action.

  52. I think it goes back to the 80s. Democrats of a certain age JUST KNOW that they can’t ever do anything that could possibly allow a Republican to use the phrase “soft on,” or they’re DOOMED! DOOMED!!!

    Whatever!…even if you have the White House and 70% of the House and Senate and you end the war on that, 20 years from now Sean Hannity’s kid is going to be calling you “cut ‘n runners”…that criticism is coming regardless.

    And that STILL does not explain why the Dems loaded the war bill with pork. Well, at least you haven’t provided a decent counter-reason to what I know is the truth: that Bush either signs it or the Dems start throwing “SUPPORT OUR TROOPS (and our pork-lovin’ friends)!”

    Go ahead and convince me that’s not the rationale behind attaching pork to the war bill…

  53. Actually, MP, it’s become pretty obvious that what’s going to get us out of Iraq is the adoption of withdrawal as our official policy, and then implementing that policy.

    A-R,

    even if you have the White House and 70% of the House and Senate and you end the war on that, 20 years from now Sean Hannity’s kid is going to be calling you “cut ‘n runners”…that criticism is coming regardless.

    I agree completely. Like I said, some Democrats have over-learned the lesson.

    And that STILL does not explain why the Dems loaded the war bill with pork.

    Oh, that’s easy – because it’s a bill Bush can’t veto, while he’s been vetoing things left and right.

  54. because it’s a bill Bush can’t veto

    I see. And what if he does veto it? Why do I sense I’m going to hear a lot of “SUPPORT OUR TROOPS” crap flowing from the Ds if that happens?

  55. I doubt that.

    Bush vetoing an appropriates bill would just embolden the majority of the party, and the country, that doesn’t want any Iraq appropriations bill to pass.

    I don’t think we’re going to have to worry about that happening, as much as we might wish for it.

  56. Pop quiz:

    Which candidate was endorsed by Hammas?

    Answer: Barack H. obama!

    Want terrible foreign policy? Chew on that for awhile.

    John McCain is the worst nightmare of Hammas, obama is their best friend.

  57. I like to spread Hammas on pita chips. Quite delicious.

  58. Thats cute, John-David.

    Hammas would like to kill you with a chemical bomb.

  59. Neil, do you want a mustache ride?

  60. Ayn_randian, do you want the candidate endorsed by Hammas to be the next President?

  61. Hammas would like to kill you with a chemical bomb.

    Does anyone else find this as hilarious as I do? Can you imagine the old ’80s Arnold delivering it? That would rule.

  62. Every village has it’s idiot. Hit and Run has Ayn_Randian.

  63. Erm, joe, I don’t know that I would cite to a “democrats.com” poll to tell us what America wants.

  64. Neil, do you want me to dimpa-size your meal for 25 cents?

    Every village has it’s idiot. Hit and Run has Ayn_Randian.

    I would SO pay for that to be made into a T-shirt.

  65. Democrats.com? Thatd be like me using polls from RedState.

  66. Somebody remind me, how has Hamas fared during the last 7 years of the Republican foreign policy nightmare?

  67. RC,

    It’s a legit poll, from a respected polling outfit. The fact that it was linked to by democrats.com is immaterial.

  68. Speaking of McCain, say it isn’t so! H&R’ers didn’t think McCain could get much worse?

  69. If you have any criticism of ICR’s methodology, RC, I’m all ears.

    But since their findings line up with the 2:1 margin of people looking for a quick end to the Iraq War found by just about every poll conduced on the issue, it’s probably not a fluke.

  70. It’s not a tumor!

    I’ll be back.

    You’re a funny guy, Sully, I like you–that’s why I’m going to kill you last.

    Hamas would like to kill you with a chemical bomb.

    See, it fits right in.

  71. Explain to me Joe why Hammas said Barack Obama would be a “transformational” President like John Kennedy?

    I don’t think I want the Hammas brand of “change”, do you?

  72. Neil,

    It’s “Hamas.

    Count the Ms.

    Hamas.

    And who knows why they say anything?

    The more important question would seem to be, why would we want to continue the policies that have moved those lunatics into a position of power?

  73. Well, considering the fact that after Hamas defeated Fatah in an election we demanded, Bush had the State Department and CIA approach Fatah and offer them money, arms and support if they would launch a coup against Hamas and kill as many Hamas members as possible, I think it’s perfectly appropriate and fair for Hamas to want the party of the guy who gave those orders out of office.

  74. Ayn_Randian | May 12, 2008, 9:32am | #
    Currently, 69 percent of Americans disapprove of the way President Bush is doing his job.

    You know what? I do not understand (I’m being serious here) why the widespread dissatisfaction for President Bush. Yeah, there is a lot that libertarians have to be angry about, but I do not get why the squishy-unthinking moderate populace is so angry at the President.

    The war? America wanted it!

    Eh, as Joe indicated, the “left” feels that they have been “bait ‘n switched” and the fiscal conservatives look at the spiraling costs (no-bid contracts aside) and see a long future with little payoff. The rest are neo-cons who declare that “victory is worth any price in blood and treasure”.

    The economy? How is that the President’s fault? Because he will not bail you out of your overpriced mortgage you stupidly got yourself into? Because he will not implement ’70s price controls on gas?

    Yes. See the bold text above.

    This is the same voting populace that lauded Clinton for the strong economy and budget surplus that existed when he left office. He didn’t have anything to do with either but that’s now how the masses see it. In the eyes of the non-politically savvy voting public the President has real ultimate power to control the economy, joblessness, homelessness, the environment, etc. whereas you and I know his only real power is vetoing bills and declaring war.

  75. Joe I agree Bush has been much too soft on Hamas.

    But McCain will be their worst nightmare.

  76. Hey Neil, what’s the name of that restaurant you like with all the goofy stuff on the walls and the mozzarella sticks?

  77. John McCain is going to get Israel to agree to a decent peace with Fatah?

    Because that’s Hamas’ worst nightmare.

  78. Neil | May 12, 2008, 12:53pm | #

    Pop quiz:

    Which candidate was endorsed by Hammas?

    I guess you prefer a candidate endorsed by Vladimir Putin. [Hint: Sworn in January 20, 2001.]

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