This is not what the WH wanted.
An intelligence assessment that the war in Iraq increased Islamic radicalism, worsening the terror threat, set off a sharp debate today among American political officials over credit and blame for the war and the broader fight against terrorism.
The White House, apparently concerned that reports of the intelligence assessment could undercut one of its most fundamental arguments for staying in Iraq, quickly issued a statement seeking to rebut points about it that were reported in The New York Times and later in The Washington Post today.The story covers Clinton firing back at Chris Wallace, GOP apologists (like Bill Frist) stammering over the report, Specter acknowledging reality ("my feeling is the war in Iraq has intensified Islamic fundamentalism and radicalism") and some lovely kabuki:
The statement pointed out that President Bush had often spoken of the decentralization and dispersal of terrorist groups around the world, and it reiterated his frequent cautions that the terrorist threat remained potent. It noted that Osama bin Laden had declared the war in Iraq to be the most "serious issue today for the whole world."
The strong words illustrated the extraordinary sensitivity that the threat of terrorism -- and a stormy political blame game about who has done more, or should have done more, or would do more, to fight it -- continues to play in the United States.
"There is a real battle going on to define who is going to keep America safer," the commentator Arianna Huffington said today on CNN, summing up the political stakes in this election year.
The intelligence report gave the Democrats new ammunition for their criticisms of the Iraq war. When, on CNN, Alexander M. Haig Jr., the former secretary of state for President Ronald Reagan, belittled the report as the product of liberal journalists, Richard C. Holbrooke, the United Nations ambassador under Mr. Clinton, said it was an astonishing thought that the nation's entire intelligence apparatus might be doing the bidding of Democrats.One by one, the false basis of the Iraq war, from WMD to "bringing democracy to the region" (torture now is worse there than before) to Saddam being involved with 9/11, to it being the central front of the WoTTM are being stripped away. It's getting to the point where even Fox has to report it.
The fall campaign is supposed to be TNT (terror and taxes) for the GOP. Just as Republicans are determined to feel good about their chances and try to exploit ever-present Democratic doubters (even though the Congressional polls haven't changed much), they do not need anyone in authority questioning their basic thesis. Too bad. The whole Iraq concept is flawed, it's failing, and it needs to be questioned. The Bush policies on terror, from torture to shifting troops from Tora Bora to Baghdad need to be questioned as well.
It's about time the Bush WH is put on the defensive... they've screwed up without accountability for way too long.
Steve finds this piece of revealing data..Video-WMP Video-QTBLITZER: Let’s move on and talk a little bit about Iraq. Because this is a huge, huge issue, as you know, for the American public, a lot of concern that perhaps they are on the verge of a civil war, if not already a civil war…. We see [...]
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By Neil the Ethical Werewolf There's some interesting new 2008 presidential polling today. All the data comes from a sample of Iowa voters, so take it with a grain of whatever seasoning you like on corn. The pollsters took 4...[...]
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NY Daily News: (h/t Josh Marshall)The government of George Bush, which will leak the name of a CIA operative named Valerie Plame when it suits its purposes, now wants Fainaru-Wada and Williams in jail because they won’t reveal the names of the person or persons the government says leaked them grand jury testimony. It is [...]
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Dare to dream.
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Like Matt Stoller over at MyDD, I'm discouraged. Scratch that. I'm heartbroken. It pains me to watch our nation legalize torture with Democrats (so far) offering nothing more than a shrug. Sure, there's grumbling on the left over the torture bill, but can Democrats stop it? Will they even try? I'm not holding breath.
We've been down this road too many times.
Now, I won't hesitate to give credit where credit is due. Under Pelosi's leadership, Democrats have been more united than we've seen in decades (Democrats voted with their party 88 percent of the time in 2005). And Democrats can claim victory in killing (albeit temporarily) the President's Social Security privatization plan. Harry Reid and Dick Durbin have fought hard in the Senate.
But on those issues which cut to the core of our democracy--on illegal wiretapping, signing statements, torture, etc.--Democrats in general have let us down. Whether it's being AWOL and letting faux "infighting" between Republicans define the debate, or whether it's failing to explain an issue properly to the American public so that we can get those poll numbers on our side, it's a sad fact that we have all but abandoned several issues of huge constitutional and social significance.
(From the diaries -- kos)
This Roundup Diary covers the period from 1:00 PM Friday, 9/21 to 1:00 PM EDT Saturday, 9/22.
Volunteers still needed! - The time to act is now. We could still use a few folks to help out; the diary miners have become quite the team and it's an experience you'll be glad you were a part of. (Incredible thanks to volunteers Nightprowlkitty, Alma, Sevah, suejazz, randallt, edgery, cdale777, mkrc98, turbonerd, evap and newcomers eeff and drchelo.)
Today's Menu Includes:
58 Diaries Overall
- 19 On House races
- With 17 covering individual Districts in 13 states
- 15 On Senate races
- Representing 7 different states
- 18 On Various election races
- Encompassing Governor, Secretary of State, Local, and more
- 6 General election-related diaries
Over 2,000 diaries served to date!!!
First of all, anyone named Baron should have probably been a Republican. And anyone with Baron Hill's positions on the issues of the day, is a Republican in spirit if not by party affiliation. Chris Cillizza and Jim VandeHei, their minds rapidly deteriorating from too many Mike Weaver "Democrats" and too much fried food, take us to Indiana's 9th congressional district today, where there is a rematch between reactionary former Congressman Baron Hill (D, kinda) and far more reactionary current Congressman Mike Sodrel (KKK).
In 2004, Hill lost his seat by 1,500 and still has no clue that it was because he offered no alternative to Republicans. He's using the same losing game-plan to try to re-capture the seat and may well be swept up in the anti-incumbent fever sweeping the land. The clueless duo from The Post are still buying into Hill's crap about conservative Democrats being ticked off. In order to make sure they understand that Hill is as reactionary as they want him to be, he's come out swinging and everything remotely connected to the party he purports to be part of. "Hill campaigns as a social conservative, opposed to abortion, gun control and gay marriage... The Hill strategy is to emphasize his faith and family values, and talk basketball as often as possible to show his distinctly Indiana upbringing." Sodrel calls him a liberal.
The DCCC loves Baron Hill. He's exactly Rahm Emanuel's kind of Big Business-friendly hack who goes along with the filthy corporate agenda that screws ordinary Americans day in and day out. Whatever idealism or core values he may have once possessed are long in the past and his positions on crucial issues have nothing whatsoever to do with the Democratic Party. Take a look at this disgraceful, pure Republican video at the very top of his website. When you get a request from the DCCC or any of their shills asking for your money, please remember that, for the most part, the donations DO NOT GO to anti-war candidates or to progressives or to populists. A check to the DCCC goes to electing creeps like Hill and to put Emanuel into a position of power over the congressional caucus. Forget the Baron Hills and other Republicans-in-Democratic clothing candidates and support real Democrats like Ned Lamont, Coleen Rowley, Jerry McNerney, Victoria Wulsin, Tony Trupiano, Jay Fawcett, Robert Rodriguez, John Hall... candidates who make us proud to be Democrats.
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If David Broder weren't so sniffing and smug, this would just be really sad. Whether it's a function of living too long inside the Beltway, the company he keeps, or just laziness in recycling a decade's worth of columns, his lack of understanding how the tectonic plates of politics have shifted under him is remarkable to behold.
The independence being demonstrated all over the political spectrum these days -- by Democratic Sen. Joe Lieberman and Republican Sen. Lincoln Chafee, both in tough reelection battles, and by Republican Sens. John McCain and John Warner -- has its roots in American history. When they ran for the presidential nomination, Ronald Reagan and John Kennedy defied the preferences of their parties' power brokers. And earlier, Teddy Roosevelt and Abe Lincoln did the same thing.
David, David, David. You really need to read the new memo. Let me catch you up. Your boy McCain caved. The rest followed him right on down the toilet. That news was on your opinion pages this week. Let me remind you:
In short, it's hard to credit the statement by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) yesterday that "there's no doubt that the integrity and letter and spirit of the Geneva Conventions have been preserved." In effect, the agreement means that U.S. violations of international human rights law can continue as long as Mr. Bush is president, with Congress's tacit assent. If they do, America's standing in the world will continue to suffer, as will the fight against terrorism.
I know that change is hard. I know that paying attention to what actually is going on in the world and incorporating those events into your analysis, your mind-set, takes some effort. And it's tough to recognize that the world doesn't work the way you thought it did, the way that you want it to. The problem is, just repeating your old saws over and over and over again isn't going to make it so. It just makes you look out-of-the-loop.
And yet, you go on:
[I]f this year's election strengthens the hands of the independent members of both parties -- those who are prepared to defy the dictates of their interest groups and clamorous extremes -- the next presidential race may be very different from recent cycles.
Once again, Mr. Broder, cozying up to Jerry Falwell and rolling over for Bush isn't really the most defiant of positions your boy "Maverick" could have taken. He likes to call himself an independent, and I know you like to believe that, but see, you've got to actually watch what he does. It's a lot harder than just repeating what you wrote six years ago, but it really is worth the effort.
And I know that you've heard over and over and over again that "the bloggers are pummeling anyone who deviates from their definition of ideological purity." But here's the thing. That isn't true. I know, I know, that's what everybody at the cocktail party said about us, but they're just saying it because they heard it at a dinner party last week. You know what you could do, you could ask us. Or you could read us, and see who it is we're actually supporting.
But again, that takes work. That takes a willingness to change your mind. It might even take a trip or two outside of the Beltway, or at least learning how to use the Internet.
Or you can just continue your slide into irrelevancy. I can see your epitaph now. "David Broder. Never met a meme he didn't like."
For the week ending 9/23/06:"Information Transit got the wrong man. I got the right man. The wrong one was delivered to me as the right man, I accepted him on good faith as the right man. Was I wrong?" - Jack Lint, BrazilBitter, moi? Oh,[...]
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