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Whistling past the graveyard
Posted by: McQ on Wednesday, October 18, 2006

First there's Rove on the upcoming mid-terms:
White House political strategist Karl Rove yesterday confidently predicted that the Republican Party would hold the House and the Senate in next month's elections, dismissing fallout from the sex scandal involving former Rep. Mark Foley.

At a luncheon with editors and reporters at The Washington Times, Mr. Rove — who is widely credited as the architect of the party's historic 2002 midterm election gains — said Republicans are beginning to make significant headway in defining their party's differences from congressional Democrats, especially on national security.

I'm confident we're going to keep the Senate; I'm confident we're going to keep the House. The Foley matter has impact in some limited districts, but the research we have shows that people are differentiating between a vote for their congressman and a member from Florida," Mr. Rove said, referring to the Republican who resigned last month after his sexually explicit online messages to former congressional pages were discovered.
Then there's Cheney on Iraq:
CHENEY: Well, I think there’s some natural level of concern out there because in fact, you know, it wasn’t over instantaneously. It’s been a little over three years now since we went into Iraq, so I don’t think it’s surprising that people are concerned.

On the other hand, this government has only been in office about five months, five or six months now. They’re off to a good start. It is difficult, no question about it, but we’ve now got over 300,000 Iraqis trained and equipped as part of their security forces. They’ve had three national elections with higher turnout than we have here in the United States. If you look at the general overall situation, they’re doing remarkably well.

It’s still very, very difficult, very tough. Nobody should underestimate the extent to which we’re engaged there with this sort of, at present, the “major front” of the war on terror. That’s what Osama bin Laden says, and he’s right.
Either they have access to information none of the rest of us have or I want some of what they're smokin'.
 
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I don’t know McQ in 2000, 2002, 2004 it was OBVIOUS the Republicans were toast and yet......
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Wow. You heard it here. Noted political commentator Joe is predicting that the Republicans will hold onto both the House and the Senate, because .... Well, it’s not exactly clear, something about toast, although I seem to recall that the election in 2000 did in fact lead to Gore getting more votes than Bush and the GOP losing control of the Senate, but nevermind....
 
Written By: william
URL: http://
William, Gore didn’t get the all important ELECTORAL College vote and the Senate changed hands because Jim Jeffords BAILED the GOP...other than that, you’re right on. I note THREE things, 1) William seems still obsessed over 2000, 2) betrays an ignorance of what ACTUALLY produces Presidential Election and ignores previous history on the subject 3) forgets the ACTUAl sequence of events, oh and pretty much ignores the substance of my post, that being, "Been there, heard that...didn’t happen."

COULD the GOP lose this time, sure... but it’s also fair to say, "They were scheduled to lose the last THREE times and they didn’t, so I will just keep the champagne in the cellar until I know something definite."
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
I seem to recall that the election in 2000 did in fact lead to Gore getting more votes than Bush and the GOP losing control of the Senate, but nevermind....
1) You do realize about the electoral college thingee, right?
2) If I remember correctly- and if I’m wrong please straighten me out- they lost control of the Senate not because of the election but because the Dems enticed one GOP Senator to switch parties.

Anyway, Rove is probably basing his statements on what he’s seeing regarding the GOP GOTV operations. He must be expecting the base to respond. Time will tell I guess.
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Electoral college what? Nope, never heard of it. I just recall that Bush had been favored to actually garner the majority of the nation’s votes in the week preceeding the 2000 election. As far as I know, there are no democratic nations in the world in which it is possible to win a national election by getting fewer votes than the opposition. If there are any such nations, please point them out to me. Is that how it works in Iraq and Afghanistan? It would be an important thing to know since we are in the process of nation building. Maybe that is the problem in Iraq. Whoever got the second most votes in their election should have been made president and then they could emulate the greatest democracy (sic) on the planet.

I also seem to recall that the GOP was favored to win in 2002 and that Bush was also slightly favored to do so again, in 2004, which he did, so I am not sure who all these people were who said that the GOP was toast in 2000, 2002 and 2004.
 
Written By: william
URL: http://
WOW, you get real b*tchy when your errors are pointed out...
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
As far as I know, there are no democratic nations in the world in which it is possible to win a national election by getting fewer votes than the opposition.
Well, the US is a democratic republic so I guess we wouldn’t fall in the category of "democratic nations".
 
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://
Well, the US is a democratic republic ...
... or a Constitutional Republic, and the Electoral College is a device of that Constitution and the law of the land.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
I also seem to recall that the GOP was favored to win in 2002 and that Bush was also slightly favored to do so again, in 2004, which he did, so I am not sure who all these people were who said that the GOP was toast in 2000, 2002 and 2004.

I don’t recall it...2000 was too close to call, 2002 the CW was "The Party in Power LOSES seats", 2004 "Kerry’s Da man." Oh and of course who can forget Michael Moore’s "It’ll be ’Payback Tuesday’" Prediction....
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Either they have access to information none of the rest of us have
Rove possibly, but Cheney? I seriously doubt he’s classified all kinds of good news coming from Iraq.
 
Written By: Davebo
URL: http://
You can’t take Rove/Mellman’s numbers at any thing other than simple face value. Remember, they’re rallying the troops.

PS in 2002, Gephardt was predicting a 30-seat pickup. Oops.
 
Written By: Sean
URL: http://www.myelectionanalysis.com
"They’re off to a good start."

Of course they are. Everybody has assigned office space, the letterhead stationery(?) has all been printed, rubber stamps have been issued, everybody knows where they stand as far as protocol goes, etc.
All the important stuff has been done, what more do you want?
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Yes, everything is coming up roses according to Rove and Cheney. Whistling past the graveyard indeed.

The moment we leave Iraq it will erupt into sectarian civil war. That has already begun and may even go to full-fledged status before we leave. Bush is in a hard place here because our continued presence only deteriorates the situation and our leaving will start the inevitable. Bush cannot win for losing where it comes to Iraq. All the easier for a Democrat President to cut and run and blame Bush for the whole resulting mess. Gee, it seemed like a good idea at the time.

And Rove and Cheney tell us all is well.
 
Written By: Joab
URL: http://joabsblog.blogspot.com
Polls in October 2002 showed that the Republicans would either pick up seats or hold even. They picked up a few seats, contrary to the larger trends. The Dems imagined that they would automatically pick up seats after the 2000 fiasco. Turns out that 9/11 and Rove’s willingness to run on national security alone bolstered the GOP. Just for fun, go and check out some of the advertisements for Congressional campaigns in 2002. Republican and Democratic candidates vie with each other for who supports George W. Bush more. Bush campaigned around the country and rallied voters to the GOP. And then there was the Wellstone funeral debacle that cost the Dems Minnesota. 2002 was NOTHING like 2006.

In 2004 there was a Presidential race and the whole dynamics were different. The polls were also very close in 2004, but the Republicans were either even or slightly ahead in the generic ballot in October. Bush’s approval rating was about 51% and the base was motivated to support the war and beat John Kerry. Today, Bush’s rating is at 37%, and dropping. He is toxic on the campaign trail. Democrats are morphing their opponents into Bush the way Republicans did with Clinton in 1994.

You cannot find polls in October 2004 or October 2002 that look anything like what they do today. NBC’s poll on "opinions of Congress" show a 16% support today, 75% disapproving! Yes, everybody always hates Congress, but never by that amount - not even in 1994. For comparison’s sake, in January 2005, right after Bush’s re-election, support for Congress was 41-40. In October 2002, it was 44-40. In October 2000, it was 49-35. In October 1998, it was 48-39. In 1994, it was 24-67. This is the same poll over time. The only time disapproval for Congress was this was in April 1992, at the height of a recession and the rise of Ross Perot. It was 15% that month, one point below today.

So trying to say that today resembles 2004 or 2002 is just foolish. GOTV might help the GOP at the margins, but when the Republicans have lost Independents - who never voted for Democrats since 1994 but now support the Dems by 30 points - they are in big trouble.
 
Written By: Elrod
URL: http://
Electoral college what? Nope, never heard of it... As far as I know, there are no democratic nations in the world in which it is possible to win a national election by getting fewer votes than the opposition.
(I’d bet you’re a product of US public schools and liberal arts college)
Just where did you go to school william? First off, this is technically a constitutional republic. The Electoral College is hard written into the US Constitution. In other words, the US has always had a system where your vote is significance only in the state in which you live. It is, relatively speaking, entirely insignificant as a puny member of the "general vote."

Secondly, while it is generally accepted that Gore had more ballots cast in his name, no one will ever prove this. Why? Because in states where the margin of victory exceeds those pesky outstanding absentee votes, those votes are not counted. That’s not to say that Gore did not win more individual votes - he most likely did - yet in most states, no one counted ALL THE VOTES.
Furthermore, in the one state where Gore was contesting the tally, he filed lawsuits to specifically reject those pre-cast votes.

Gee, I wonder what our political landscape would look like if post 1960 Republicans were as petulant as post 2000 Dems...
 
Written By: bains
URL: http://
If you look at the general overall situation, they’re doing remarkably well.
Riverbend is an Iraqi blogger. She posted today for the first time since early August:
The Lancet Study...

This has been the longest time I have been away from blogging. There were several reasons for my disappearance the major one being the fact that every time I felt the urge to write about Iraq, about the situation, I’d be filled with a certain hopelessness that can’t be put into words and that I suspect other Iraqis feel also.


It’s very difficult at this point to connect to the internet and try to read the articles written by so-called specialists and analysts and politicians. They write about and discuss Iraq as I might write about the Ivory Coast or Cambodia- with a detachment and lack of sentiment that- I suppose- is meant to be impartial. Hearing American politicians is even worse. They fall between idiots like Bush- constantly and totally in denial, and opportunists who want to use the war and ensuing chaos to promote themselves.


The latest horror is the study published in the Lancet Journal concluding that over 600,000 Iraqis have been killed since the war. Reading about it left me with mixed feelings. On the one hand, it sounded like a reasonable figure. It wasn’t at all surprising. On the other hand, I so wanted it to be wrong. But... who to believe? Who to believe....? American politicians... or highly reputable scientists using a reliable scientific survey technique?


The responses were typical- war supporters said the number was nonsense because, of course, who would want to admit that an action they so heartily supported led to the deaths of 600,000 people (even if they were just crazy Iraqis…)? Admitting a number like that would be the equivalent of admitting they had endorsed, say, a tsunami, or an earthquake with a magnitude of 9 on the Richter scale, or the occupation of a developing country by a ruthless superpower… oh wait- that one actually happened. Is the number really that preposterous? Thousands of Iraqis are dying every month- that is undeniable. And yes, they are dying as a direct result of the war and occupation (very few of them are actually dying of bliss, as war-supporters and Puppets would have you believe).


For American politicians and military personnel, playing dumb and talking about numbers of bodies in morgues and official statistics, etc, seems to be the latest tactic. But as any Iraqi knows, not every death is being reported. As for getting reliable numbers from the Ministry of Health or any other official Iraqi institution, that’s about as probable as getting a coherent, grammatically correct sentence from George Bush- especially after the ministry was banned from giving out correct mortality numbers. So far, the only Iraqis I know pretending this number is outrageous are either out-of-touch Iraqis abroad who supported the war, or Iraqis inside of the country who are directly benefiting from the occupation ($) and likely living in the Green Zone.


The chaos and lack of proper facilities is resulting in people being buried without a trip to the morgue or the hospital. During American military attacks on cities like Samarra and Fallujah, victims were buried in their gardens or in mass graves in football fields. Or has that been forgotten already?


We literally do not know a single Iraqi family that has not seen the violent death of a first or second-degree relative these last three years. Abductions, militias, sectarian violence, revenge killings, assassinations, car-bombs, suicide bombers, American military strikes, Iraqi military raids, death squads, extremists, armed robberies, executions, detentions, secret prisons, torture, mysterious weapons – with so many different ways to die, is the number so far fetched?


There are Iraqi women who have not shed their black mourning robes since 2003 because each time the end of the proper mourning period comes around, some other relative dies and the countdown begins once again.


Let’s pretend the 600,000+ number is all wrong and that the minimum is the correct number: nearly 400,000. Is that better? Prior to the war, the Bush administration kept claiming that Saddam killed 300,000 Iraqis over 24 years. After this latest report published in The Lancet, 300,000 is looking quite modest and tame. Congratulations Bush et al.


Everyone knows the ’official numbers’ about Iraqi deaths as a direct result of the war and occupation are far less than reality (yes- even you war hawks know this, in your minuscule heart of hearts). This latest report is probably closer to the truth than anything that’s been published yet. And what about American military deaths? When will someone do a study on the actual number of those? If the Bush administration is lying so vehemently about the number of dead Iraqis, one can only imagine the extent of lying about dead Americans…


- posted by river @ 11:35 PM
I of course could express my usual contempt for those who put Bush and Cheney in office. But to do so would be to accord them the dignity due otherwise well meaning people with whom I disagree politically and ideologically.

These people voted for Cheney and his administration. Millions of people. Millions of people enabled this man to sit in the office of the Vice President and talk this way about Iraq. To lie, to lie, and to lie again.

And I think to myself, are the people who elected Cheney human? Do they have a soul? A conscience? Any sense of decency?

I don’t know anymore. I used to think that Republicans were intelligent, well meaning, but somewhat misguided. I never thought they were amoral and delusional.

But not anymore.

The blood of thousands and thousands of innocent Iraqis is on the hands of those who voted for Cheney and Bush. And while that is frightening, what is even more terrible is that they simply do not seem to care. Dead Iraqis simply do not matter to them. They have become an abstraction.

We are beyond tactics, strategy, goals, and ideology. Cheney has put the matter in perspective: we are now debating reality.

 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
And I think to myself, are the people who elected Cheney human? Do they have a soul? A conscience? Any sense of decency?
No, mk. They’re shape shifting reptilian aliens bent on universal dominion.

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

And please ignore the Iraqis who have been blogging all along. They’re not nearly as swollen as dear Riverbend, despite their being Sunnis in Baghdad. So don’t look. It will just confuse you with stupid facts.
Cheney has put the matter in perspective: we are now debating reality.
Yes, even in once prestigious medical journals, let alone the halls of governance. It’s a pity.
 
Written By: Pablo
URL: http://

 
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