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Quotes, Quips and Questions
Posted by: McQ on Saturday, June 24, 2006

Does anyone take a single thing this man has to say seriously?
"I fear that in the run-up to the 2004 election, the administration is considering what is tantamount to a cut-and-run strategy."


"Their sudden embrace of accelerated Iraqification and American troop withdrawal dates, without adequate stability, is an invitation to failure. The hard work of rebuilding Iraq must not be dictated by the schedule of the next American election."
That was John Kerry on December 3, 2003, speaking to the Council on Foreign Relations. So it appears he has not only changed his mind on the war, but also on withdrawal dates and schedules in general. It also appears that he might be the one who came up with the "three words" he now derides, "cut and run". Also note that withdrawal dates are no longer an "invitation to failure".


Speaking of Kerry, this is him this week speaking of the 86-13 drubbing his amendment to set a July 7,2007 deadline for withdrawal in Iraq:
"It was a vote to do what's right for our troops, our country, and Iraq," Kerry said after the lopsided 86-13 vote. "Our numbers are growing and our ability to apply constant pressure to change course is stronger than it was just a week ago."
I certainly agree it was a vote to do what's right, just not as John Kerry believes it to be ... or, as we saw above, believed it to be not too long ago. Up may be down and black may be white, but spin is still spin.


Does this make Walter Mondale a "chickenhawk"?
"This is such a legitimate thing for the United States to do," Mondale said. "The nature of the threat is so serious that I think we should knock it out right there if they won't stop."
Interesting that all of this talk of preempting North Korea's Taepodong 2 long-range missile launch is coming from Democrats. As one military official said "things like that usually don't end with one shot". And especially if you attack the missile on the launch pad.

As Charles Krauthammer quipped:
You know, Democrats have way of getting extremely hawkish after they have left office.


There are hunger-strikes and then there are hunger-strikes:
"They all took their dinner meal," the spokesman told Reuters.
The spokesman was talking about the end of Saddam's one-meal hunger-strike. Apparently all they had to do to get him eating again was wave a bag of Doritos in his face. Ah, such discipline.


Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton on the confusion, division and lack of unity among Democrats:
"We're not blindly united like the other side is, where they are like the three monkeys — 'hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil,' " she told reporters after a speech to the Democratic group NDN. "They're not going to say anything negative about the president, the vice president, the secretary of defense or anybody else. I think that's irresponsible. It's negligent."
Well except when Bill was in office ... then it was loyalty.


Joan Vennochi of the Boston Globe appears to think she has hit upon the solution for ending the war in Iraq:
Reinstate the military draft and see how quickly the United States ends its war in Iraq.
A hint as to why the left is the only group talking about such a thing.


The New Republic's Martin Perez matches the Kos rhetoric about TNR in an effort to see who can get to the rhetorical bottom faster. If I were a betting man, I'd bet Kos will win. But nice try Martin:
Forgive me. But I never read Daily Kos until today. Well, now that I've read it, the first thought that came to me is how illiterate Kos is, just plain illiterate.


And his rant against us, well, borders on a nut case's.


An old professor of mine once warned me against writers who use capital letters for emphasis. Good advice she gave me. Capital letters suggest some imbalance in the mind of their employer. In whose interests has TNR sought "to destroy the new people-powered movement"? Kos answers his own question: "for the sake of its Lieberman-worshipping neo-con owners; that it stands with the National Review and wingnutosphere in their opposition to grassroots Democrats." Don't look at Kos's grammar. He's ranting.
And it goes on. An interesting read. Look for further rants on both sides in the future. Obviously TNR just can't pass the Kos litmus test. Oh, and for commenter "Joe", pay no attention to the bit about capital letters.


Heard on a radio show:
"It's the government's job to keep secrets. It's the news media's job to expose them. Who is doing a better job?"
Oversimplified to be sure, but certainly representative of how the media seems to view the situation. Also pretty representative of how badly the government is able to keep secrets as well. I think back to "Enigma" in WWII and wonder if, in today's atmosphere, we could ever have kept that secret.


James Lileks takes on the new Democrat plan. Fun reading. His fisking of one of the points:
“Ensure Dignified Retirement.” Again, sounds great. Mandatory fedoras for men; a 50 percent reduction in Viagra commercials. But no: the Democrats wish to “prevent the privatization of Social Security,” because you cannot be trusted with your own money. It’s an interesting definition of dignity: waiting by the mailbox for your government check.
I especially love the last line. It is, indeed, an interesting definition of dignity.


PETA wants the official definition of "circus" changed to "animal cruelty". Per PETA campaigner Matt Rice:
"As more people become aware of the cruelty and violence that goes on behind the scenes [at circuses], the definition needs to be updated."
Thankfully Merriam Webster spokesman Arthur Bicknell us unimpressed:
"... we don't base our work on petitions to the dictionary. We're not a political organization whatsoever. Our job is to reflect the English language as it is actually being used."
It would be nice if the PETA circus would also try reality for a change.
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Previous Comments to this Post 

I warned Joe on the capital letter thing. I did.
Written By: OrneryWP
URL: http://
Mondale served in the army. Whatever else he might be, he’s not a chickenhawk.
Written By: markm
URL: http://
Mondale served in the army. Whatever else he might be, he’s not a chickenhawk.
Well that’s an evolving definition depending on the rhetorical and political benefit to be gained. For instance, you could pull a Murtha and further qualify it by asking, "but have you ever been in combat"?
Written By: McQ
I think the theme of Democrat Division Over Iraq is being over-played. As far as I can tell, Democrats and the Left are united in their opinion of Iraq: they opposed the war from the beginning and they want the US out of that country ASAP.

Hillary Clinton may be the only high-visibility Democrat other than poor Joe Lieberman to argue against arbitrary timetibles for withdrawal, and, in a sense, she is not speaking as a Democrat at the moment.

Hillary is currently the leading contender to be the Democratric party’s nominee for President in 2008. The biggest hurdle that stands between her and the Presidency is not the nomination but the perception among non-Democrats that she is too liberal. Therefore, she is trying to appear Presidential and to stake out positions that have widespread appeal, or possibly even skew to the Right in order to increase her favorability ratings among non-Democrats.

Hillary is trying to portray herself as the representative of a major vein of opinion within a Democratic pary that has several. In fact, her positions on Iraq appear to be deeply unpopular within her own party and mainly intended for outside consumption.
Written By: Aldo
URL: http://
...they opposed the war from the beginning and they want the US out of that country ASAP.
The last part, wanting the US out of Iraq ASAP is correct. The first part, about opposing the war from the beginning, is simply not true.
Written By: McQ
My sense is that, despite the war authorization vote, Democrats have overwhelmingly opposed the Iraq war from the beginning, especially at the grassroots level, and that there has been increasing uniformity of opinion on the Left about the war and related issues ever since. Democrats and Leftists who think outside of those lines (think Joe Lieberman or Christopher Hitchens) have almost become pariahs.

Hillary has taken some positions on Iraq that go against the Left-wing zeitgeist. She would like us to believe that there is no zeitgeist, there is a healthy diversity of views in her party on the issue, and she is articulating the views of a significant faction within the party.

I think it is closer to the truth that she is attempting to speak as a National Figure, and she may even be deliberately skewing her public pronouncements to the right in order to counter the widespread perception that she is too liberal.
Written By: Aldo
URL: http://
Oversimplified to be sure, but certainly representative of how the media seems to view the situation. Also pretty representative of how badly the government is able to keep secrets as well. I think back to "Enigma" in WWII and wonder if, in today’s atmosphere, we could ever have kept that secret
Here’s the rule of thumb:

When a Democrat is in office, the secret will be kept.
When a Republican is in office, it’s in the "public interest to know"

Written By: shark
URL: http://
As far as I can tell, Democrats and the Left are united in their opinion of Iraq: they opposed the war from the beginning and they want the US out of that country ASAP.
If they opposed it but voted for it anyway, explain to me why they ever deserve a chance to be in charge of it?
Written By: shark
URL: http://
If they opposed it but voted for it anyway, explain to me why they ever deserve a chance to be in charge of it?

I don’t.

Democrats seem to have deluded themselves that their message problem on the Iraq war stems from a lack of party unity over the timetable for withdrawal.

I believe that the Democrats’ real problem is that the "adults" in the party have stood silently by for years and allowed the liberal internet fever swamp and the ANSWER movement to frame the opposition to the war. Democrat leaders ignored or even fanned extremist rhetoric against the war, believing that they were winessing the birth of a huge whirlwind of public opinion against the war whose benefits they would reap.

This whirlwind of opposition to the war never really developed the way it did against the Vietnam war, and now the Democratic leadership is forced to finally sit down, midway through 2006, and try to fashion a Responsible Position on Iraq.

I was personally in favor of the war, and I still believe that it was the right thing to do. I can acknowledge, though, that there were legitimate arguments that could have been made against the war on its merits. Unfortunately, instead of making those arguments, Democrats and the Left chose to question the motives of the Bush administration and to deconstruct the texts of everything the administration said looking for "lies".

As a result, even though the American public is increasingly coming to believe that the war was mistakenly conceived and badly executed, they do not trust the Democrats to be in charge of it. Furthermore, I believe that the rhetorical positions that have come to be identified with the Democratic party over Iraq and the war on terror will come back to haunt the party in the future.

Written By: Aldo
URL: http://
Kerry’s 2003 qoute strongly indicates that it is he, and by extension his party, that willingly use international affairs for purely political gain.

The Globe’s Vennochi quote raises some interesting questions: would the hate America/anti-Vietnam war crowd have been as successful in turning public opinion had not so many unwilling (drafted) lads returned home via gurney or box? Is the left willing to scrafice even more lads and lasses just to achieve their political goals? (An all volunteer military is much more capable and motivated, thus less prone to stupid mistakes leading to injury or death.) Rhetorical - Kerry’s flip flop more or less proves it.

Aldo’s statement that Dems what the troops out of Iraq ASAP is just as applicible to the GOP. The difference is that for the later, ASAP is predicated upon a stable and self-governed Iraq. Lip service aside, the Dems dont seem to give a damn about Iraq... well other than how they can play it for political gain here at home.
Written By: bains
URL: http://
Aldo, although I can’t agree with some of your conclusions here, I believe that you did hit on a very valid point. The Democrat mainstream has absolutely been hijacked by extreme knee-jerk leftists. When men such as Joe Lieberman, Christopher Hitchens, Martin Peretz, Peter Beinart, and Zell Miller (all clearly men of the left) are considered pariahs in the Democrat party, you are in trouble. At this point, as you indicated, even Senator Clinton is in danger of losing invitations to Democrat dinner parties.

The only person I have found that offers a reasonable solution to this is Peter Beinart and his latest literary offering seems to almost recant that solution, so I certainly don’t believe that he has the strength of character to push the solution forward. The party leadership has to ask itself, "why are we losing dedicated, lifelong left-of-center figures?" With Republicans, as a rule, those who drift away from the party were generally never particularly mainstream (Arlen Specter, Olympia Snowe, etc.). You don’t see Bill Frist or Trent Lott or any of the traditional mainstreamers drifting on the big issues (even though they certainly may disagree about the party’s solutions). On the left of the aisle though, I think a reckoning is in order and I honestly believe that a third party is waiting to emerge there. On the right, despite the general breakdown of the conservative-libertarian alliance, I just don’t see the party effectively splintering.
Written By: The Poet Omar
URL: http://

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