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Democrats inept. Already?
Posted by: McQ on Thursday, December 14, 2006

Wow, that was fast. Some are already deeming the Democratic Congress a failure before it ever has met:
It’s a bad start, and the risk is that the Democrats are going to throw away their big chance.

This week has brought comedy to their efforts, as the new Democrat head of a congressional committee on intelligence proved unable to tell Sunni from Shia, incorrectly maintained that al-Qaeda belonged to the second persuasion, and stumbled into paralysed silence when asked the same question about the Shia group Hezbollah.

The bigger problem is the lack of Democrat strategy exposed by the past five weeks since the congressional elections — and above all, the lack of anything coherent to say on Iraq.
The fact that it is a UK paper saying this gives one an indication of the expectations some have, whether informed or not, of the incoming Democratic Congress.
This follows the breathtaking mistake of Pelosi’s first moves after the party’s November 7 electoral victory, when she tried to insert a longtime ally as her chief deputy, despite questions about his opposition to the reform of ethics rules, and overwhelming House support for his rival.

But the concerns about strategy stretch beyond these early, inept decisions by a single leader.
No, instead it is about expections given the unpopularity of Bush and the war in Iraq and Democrat promises to do something about all of this:
The biggest gap in policy, however, may prove to be on Iraq. Democrats owe their reclamation of both houses of Congress to the unpopularity of the war, and to the collapse of confidence in the Bush Administration’s competence.

At the moment, they need do nothing but sit back and watch as Bush, looking more strained in each public address, flounders to find a response to the Iraq Study Group’s case that the US pull its troops out.

[...]

At some point, Democrats will have to say what they think should be done in Iraq, if they are to look capable of winning elections, rather than accepting victory handed to them by a losing president.
That's the price of victory's promises, even when, in reality, you have little or no control over the war. Promises and perception - the life-blood of politics.

As I said in a previous post about this:
While all of this, unfortunately, speaks to the basic ignorance of a vast sea of voters on how all of this works, politically that's irrelevant. When you sell yourself on some nebulous slogan such as being able to do a "better job" in areas you have no real control and and you get the job, you'd better be able to deliver. Right or wrong if people buy into your sales pitch and you don't deliver, there will be political consequences.
And my guess is Republicans will be more than happy to help this perception gain a life of its own.

As a post script, I thought a comment found on the Times of London site was one of the best descriptions of the present political situation in the US I've seen in a while:
The level of ignorance and incompetence at the highest levels of both political parties in America is actually quite staggering. After the mid-term elections, in which the Democrats gained control of Congress, many predicted that the Democrats, led by Pelosi, would quickly remind most Americans why they had turned away from this party years before. These predictions are rapidly coming true. There seems to be an incredibly deep layer of venality, stupidity, and corruption in the American political class. It's hard to imagine how this situation will rectify itself. Maybe this would be comical were people not dying and suffering as a result of the bumbling incompetence and unbridled self-serving on both sides of the aisle. America is in desparate need of more capable leadership, but both parties seem unable to answer the call.

Fred Reece, Istanbul, Turkey
Fred has pretty well nailed it if you ask me.
 
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Comments
There seems to be an incredibly deep layer of venality, stupidity, and corruption in the American political class.
This is a continuing problem, made worse by the fact that the political elite don’t see themselves in anything close to a realistic light. They have managed to convince themselves that the nation simply must have their special insight and leadership.

That leads them to rig the game in every way they can find (such as McCain-Feingold) to get or maintain power. They rationalize corruption as the price of "staying in office to do good". They exist in a vacuum that fails to expose their stupidity in any way they are forced to pay attention to. Most mainstream media personnel are just as clueless as politicians, and besides they like have powerful people in their Rolodex, so they are willing accomplices to this charade.

I don’t see a solution either. As long as the rivers of money are flowing through Washington, DC, parasitical and ruthless connivers will be attracted to it like flies to garbage.
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
Sounds to me like the Democrats don’t have a plan. Maybe the machine just isn’t executing it properly. They should change course immediately.

Recommendations;
Admit they were unprepared to govern. They entered this election with out a clear expectation of what it took to govern after they won

Begin an immediate withdrawal from congress to another close by legislature (Puerto Rico??).

Add 40,000 more career diplomats to the Washington area.

Begin immediate talks with cuba, canada and mexico on how to properly govern the US

Offer amnesty all the US religious militia’s (Mormons, evans, Jerry falwell brigade)

There are 74 more recommendation. Just cross out Iraq in BH report and insert Democrats
 
Written By: coaster
URL: http://
Let’s see - Pelosi tries unsuccessfully to insert Murtha as her second in command.

Bush and the GOP, by contrast, launch a war that gets thousands of Americans killed, that gets hundreds of thousands of Iraqis killed, that is the largest foreign policy blunder in the history of our Republic, and that, at this point, looks like it may mutate into a regional confligration that would not only get millions killed, but which would also drive the price of oil so high that a world wide economic depression would be the least of our problems.

Oh yes, the Dems are failures alright.
At some point, Democrats will have to say what they think should be done in Iraq, if they are to look capable of winning elections, rather than accepting victory handed to them by a losing president.
Bullsh*t. Bush will not change course before November 2008. That’s the bottom line. And as long as he doesn’t, a Dem will be elected President in 2008. And that is all that matters, assuming John Paul Stevens can last that long.

That’s not to say that the right wing hate machine won’t do its level best to blame the Dems for Bush’s war. But that effort will fail. This is Bush’s war. He’s the Decider. He’s the Commander in Chief. And the best part is that he tells us that nearly every day. That’s the perception and the reality.

The American public voted Democratic in 2006 because they couldn’t vote Bush out of office. But they know Bush is the Decider. The Commander in Chief. Flight suit boy. If you think they will blame the Dems for not being able to rein flight suit boy in, you are sadly mistaken. As long as Bush continues to maintain it is his war, and ignore every voice of reason out there, Dems aren’t going to get blamed for his war. Not a chance. I know that you are incapable of accepting that reality, since Bush is your boy. But too bad.

Why is it that you get every single thing about Iraq wrong? In 2004, I was predicting that we would be in the sh*tstorm we are in now. By contrast, you were predicting that victory was right around the corner. Here we go again.
 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
Oh yes, the Dems are failures alright.
Take it up with the author. He’s got a comment section. This was about his perception, not your obsession.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Oh yes, the Dems are failures alright.
MK agrees! Zounds!
 
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://
"and ignore every voice of reason out there, "

Politics and reason go together? MK your post alone disprove that statement.
 
Written By: coaster
URL: http://
Politics and reason go together? MK your post alone disprove that statement.
And it’s not even an exception to his norm.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Its really hard to call the winner of a football game on the basis of the pregame chatter. Projections before the kickoff are whats known as "wishful thinking". All it really does is let us know which side you are on. A "centrist" you are not.

You need to wait at least until January 2 when they take office and are legally allowed to vote for your complaints to have any credibility. I’m sure they will give us all plenty to complain about.

BTW: Don’t expect them to do much except complain about Iraq. All they need is a secret plan like Nixon had in Vietnam. The president is the commander and chief and he has made it plain that he plans on staying the course. As goes Iraq, so goes the republican party in the next election.

 
Written By: cindyb
URL: http://
All it really does is let us know which side you are on
And pray tell cindyb... whose side are you on?
 
Written By: meagain
URL: http://
Take it up with the author. He’s got a comment section
But he didn’t write this.
No, instead it is about expections given the unpopularity of Bush and the war in Iraq and Democrat promises to do something about all of this:
First of all, I can’t recall a prominent Democrat other than Joe Lieberman (LFC) suggesting there is much that can be done about the problem. I’ve heard some call for withdrawal, but mostly I hear complaints about the administrations handling of the war.

Those supporting withdrawal seem to have the support of 60% of the population according to Ipsos.

It seems to me a majority agree there are no good solutions to the situation in Iraq.

 
Written By: davebo
URL: http://
Its really hard to call the winner of a football game on the basis of the pregame chatter.
Who is claiming that to be the case, Cindy?

What this does illustrate though are the things I outline in the post.
A "centrist" you are not.
Never, ever claimed to be one.

 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Related to my last comment, there has been much discussion of the ISG report providing political cover for Bush to "change course" or even begin withdrawal (not ever ever gonna happen).

I’d say the fact that the report outlines the mess Iraq currently is, without offering any realistic corrective actions, would provide more cover to a democrat controlled congress to just continue giving Bush rope on Iraq.

I hope they don’t do that, but I can understand how it would be politically appealing.
 
Written By: davebo
URL: http://
But he didn’t write this.
Nice to see you at least have a grasp of the obvious.

The rest seems pretty tentative for you though.
First of all, I can’t recall a prominent Democrat other than Joe Lieberman (LFC) suggesting there is much that can be done about the problem. I’ve heard some call for withdrawal, but mostly I hear complaints about the administrations handling of the war.
That’s not the way it works in politics and I’d assume even you know better than that.
Those supporting withdrawal seem to have the support of 60% of the population according to Ipsos.
That’s not at all clear as I pointed out previously.
I’d say the fact that the report outlines the mess Iraq currently is, without offering any realistic corrective actions, would provide more cover to a democrat controlled congress to just continue giving Bush rope on Iraq.
I think in 6 months the ISG report will be mostly forgotten and Democrats will have defacto ownership of the Iraq problem whether they want it or not. And I can promise that ownership if they do this.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Davebo,
I’ve come to the conclusion that for better or worse Bush is going to ignore polls and politically popular things. Right or wrong I don’t think he’s gonna out of Iraq very soon. I think many of his critics have gotten so shrill that he doens’t know when their criticism are legit.

Regarding the Intel Committee and Reyes, I am not totally surprised. Especially considering Republicans really weren’t much better when they (in the Senate) put far too much weight into Saddam Hussein’s testimony about whether or not he had links to terrorists, including al Qaeda, when they put out that God-awful report a few months back.
It’s particularly disturbing with these intel committee’s to realize how unthorough they are when a newly elected Democrat (with nothing to gain from saying so) and the 3-Star General who was second in charge for the invasion of Iraq say that Saddam had links to al Qaeda and apparently the intel proving such never made it to their committee. Makes you wonder if they were even interested.
 
Written By: Mark
URL: http://regimeofterror.com
That’s not the way it works in politics and I’d assume even you know better than that.
Not only a dodge, a lazy dodge.
That’s not at all clear as I pointed out previously.
You’re confusing disapproval with the war with wanting withdrawal. If you want to argue that the polls are wrong then do so. But don’t compare apples to alligators.
I think in 6 months the ISG report will be mostly forgotten and Democrats will have defacto ownership of the Iraq problem
I suppose that might be true among those who don’t understand our constitution.

And hey, sometimes betting on the ignorance of voters actually works!

 
Written By: davebo
URL: http://
Mark,

So Saddam had links to Al Qaida because a terror group had a camp in Kurdistan Iraq protected by the US and Britain’s no fly zone?

A bit of a stretch, and it’s been pointed out for a long time now.

But if I understand you correctly, we should have invaded Kurdistan because it’s independent government allowed the camp to exist.

Is that really the point you’re making?
 
Written By: davebo
URL: http://
Davebo,

Kurdistan was absolutely NOT protected by the U.S. and Britain. The Kurds (PUK and other pro-Westerners) in that region were routinely attacked by both Ansar al Islam AND Saddam Hussein’s regime.

It was not, and never was, said that the two were linked merely because of the geographical location of Ansar al Islam but because the group had assets in Baghdad, Mosul, Fallujah and Ramadi. Members of Ansar al Islam who were caught in 2002 and interviewed by ABC news and the New Yorker told reporters that if the Americans invaded the remaining Ansar members would be found in those locations. They were right, we later found Ansar al Islam and al Qaeda members in all of those locations and found them in those places in the first DAYS of the war.

There’s plenty of examples of the group praising Saddam Hussein, admitting they received weapons from Saddam’s regime and evidence that members of Saddam’s regime (particularly the IIS) praising the group. There were a number of overlaps in interests between the group and Saddam’s regime (anti Kurd, anti U.S., etc.) and thus there was likely cooperation between the two sides.

More on the relationship is here
http://regimeofterror.com/archives/2006/06/ansar_alislam_and_saddam_husse/
here http://regimeofterror.com/archives/2006/08/revisiting_ansar_al_islams_cbw/
and here http://regimeofterror.com/archives/2006/05/former_baathists_found_working/
 
Written By: Mark
URL: http://regimeofterror.com
I suppose that might be true among those who don’t understand our constitution.
That was kind of the whole point of the post. Glad you caught on finally.
And hey, sometimes betting on the ignorance of voters actually works!
Yup ... and we’ll see how it works out starting in January, won’t we?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Hellogag
 
Written By: Testerakl
URL: http://testerdqe.com

 
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