The Elephant in the Room– good news for Progressives

May 7, 2007

As Bush Hits an All-Time Low, there is tons of good news in this recent Newsweek article.


That’s right. Edwards beats Rudy, beats Romney, beats McCain. Obama beats all three. Hillary beats all three. 60% of Republicans are unhappy with their candidates. Dems are overall pleased….

A few snippets:

The last president to be this unpopular was Jimmy Carter who also scored a 28 percent approval in 1979. This remarkably low rating seems to be casting a dark shadow over the GOP’s chances for victory in ’08. The NEWSWEEK Poll finds each of the leading Democratic contenders beating the Republican frontrunners in head-to-head matchups.

I love Jimmy, but Bush can’t be pleased about that comparison. And this:

Like Obama, Edwards defeats the Republicans by larger margins than Clinton does: the former Democratic vice-presidential nominee outdistances Giuliani by six points, McCain by 10 and Romney by 37, the largest lead in any of the head-to-head matchups. Meanwhile, Sen. Clinton wins 49 percent to 46 percent against Giuliani, well within the poll’s margin of error; 50 to 44 against McCain; and 57 to 35 against Romney.

Yes, it’s early, but I’m much happier being a Democrat now than I would be as a Republican.

But, I do still want Gore in the race. Does anyone doubt that this isn’t a means to gather names for a netroots appeal once he’s in?

Buy his book, The Assault on Reason, out in 2 weeks. This book tour has to be the opening salvo. Do the tour, lay low, then hit the media again for the Live Earth concerts, win the Nobel Prize, then get in to the race in the early fall…..


POTUS: The decision-maker

January 26, 2007


Today W. added to his array of possible WWF wrestling names and new identities. In speaking to press after a meeting with military advisors, W. said to a raucous crowd amid fireworks and blasting heavy metal rock:

I’m the decision-maker.

When adding this to how he referred to himself on 60 minutes as “the educator-in-chief,” we might have a bit of a problem with conflicting characters on our hands.

Daily Kos has it that he has also called himself the “Commander” and “Decider.”

Aides might be concerned that the several names will cause consumer confusion and will mess with any marketing promotions that were planned for later this year.

It’s a slow news day, and what do we do here at ProgressiveIntelligencia on slow news days? That’s right folks, pick on President, uh, right, Decision-Maker Bush.

Bush Addresses Nation…Nation Watches “Armed and Famous”

January 11, 2007


President Bush addressed the Nation at 9pm tonight. The Full Text can be found here

First of all, I believe that most of America didn’t watch this because American’s are far too depressed with the situation in Iraq and have no faith in the president. But for those who did give up their valuable Friday Night Lights viewing time to watch this speech, what did they get?

They have done everything we have asked them to do. Where mistakes have been made, the responsibility rests with me.

This is the closest he came to apology or admitting failure. He believes with all his heart that he is fighting people who hate “freedom” not U.S. foreign policy, and that while things aren’t peachy, we will win because we are “right.” His delusions get worse…

Succeeding in Iraq also requires defending its territorial integrity – and stabilizing the region in the face of the extremist challenge. This begins with addressing Iran and Syria. These two regimes are allowing terrorists and insurgents to use their territory to move in and out of Iraq. Iran is providing material support for attacks on American troops. We will disrupt the attacks on our forces. We will interrupt the flow of support from Iran and Syria. And we will seek out and destroy the networks providing advanced weaponry and training to our enemies in Iraq.

The war in Iraq is just the beginning. While the 20,000 troop escalation (in fact just making 20,000 troops already there more miserable) we can now await President Bush making provocating steps toward Iran and Syria. This war will cross borders into Syria and Iran and (not that we have many Islamic friends in the region anymore) we can count on completely alienating about a billion Muslims worldwide. But forget that. How about a military that our generals say is already stretched too thin that we are now (at least speaking the language) of adding theatres to this war.

Acting on the good advice of Senator Joe Lieberman and other key members of Congress, we will form a new, bipartisan working group that will help us come together across party lines to win the war on terror. This group will meet regularly with me and my Administration, and it will help strengthen our relationship with Congress. We can begin by working together to increase the size of the active Army and Marine Corps, so that America has the Armed Forces we need for the 21st century. We also need to examine ways to mobilize talented American civilians to deploy overseas – where they can help build democratic institutions in communities and nations recovering from war and tyranny.

Oh Joe. Joe Boy. The only individual named in the speech is the esteemed Independent from Connecticut who just loves the War. I don’t even want to start with the fact that it can’t be bipartisan talks since Lieberman isn’t a Democrat. Essentially Mr. Bush is saying that he too knows that his ONLY support in Congress comes from Joe, John Mcmaniac, and Lindsey “Whatever John Says” Graham. This administration has no experience and no intention of listening to alternative ideas, and the mention of Joe is simply a naming of Bush’s remaining contingency.

What are your thoughts on the speech, its effectiveness, and the response?

I’m the escalator, mistakes were made….. Iraq can’t keep calling 9-11

January 11, 2007

bush speech
I’m guessing all the regular readers and contributors listened to the President’s speech tonight, and I would suppose that we all share similar views. I think it’s important to discuss some of the highlights.

Here’s my take……

1– Watching the speech, my first impression was that it was about 2 years too late. If, in early 2004, Bush came out and said, “Mistakes have been made in Iraq, and I take full responsibility for them. Yes, I listen to the military commanders, but ultimately I’m the commander in chief, and I am responsible for the execution of war in this country. That being said, the fight in Iraq is vital to our national security, and in order to win that fight, I propose the following……”, if he had said that, someone might have listened to him, some may have actually believed him. The problem now is, he has lost nearly all of his credibility. Prior to the speech, recent polling showed only 12% support for increasing troops in Iraq. The country no longer believes him, and that is unfortunate because there are kernels of truth in what he is saying.

2– I thought Dick Durbin’s response was excellent. The nationalistic, America First, message was a classic conservative talking point used in prior wars, but never as appropriately as it was used tonight. His message encapsulated the average American’s opinion of Iraqis and the Iraq war– we have done a lot: we have captured and killed Saddam, we helped you draft a constitution, we helped you have several elections, and we have helped you form an unity government. We have sacrificed hundreds of billions of dollars and thousands of lives. The time has come for you to take responsibility for your own actions and for your own political futures– if you are not willing to reach political reconciliation, we cannot help you forever.

3– Back to a kernel or two of truth. Anyone who has read The Looming Tower knows that Al Qaeda is deadly serious about it’s mission. They are heartless, ruthless, delusional killers who want nothing more than to see us fail worldwide, and who want nothing more than to see our interest hurt around the world. If they could, they would kill as many americans and moderates as possible, and they wouldn’t think twice about it. If it is in fact true that Al Qaeda is looking to turn Anbar province into its new enclave, we should do everything in our power to destroy them. Again, the problem is, who knows what’s true and what’s bullsh*t from the President. If there are Al Qaeda elements building in Anbar, we should destroy them. If there really were Al Qaeda elements in Somalia, we should have attacked them. Who knows if there really are terrorists in either location. We simply can’t trust anything this President says anymore on these issues, and that’s a shame.

4– The most important part of this speech may have been the announcement of a carrier group moving into the region, specifically to serve notice to Iran and Syria that we will do everything in our power to disrupt the networks being used by “terrorists” to support their insurgent efforts in Iraq. Again, if true, it’s certainly in our national interest to do so, but did he just signify a possible escalation of the conflict in Iraq to a regional conflict? We may be headed for disaster in the region as we further expect our brave men and women to take on other challenges they are not equipped for.

5– The political benchmarks in the speech outlined by Bush for Maliki were exactly the type of thing being discussed in 2004 and 2005, and were ridiculed by Bush et al. Again, 2 years at least too late…..

6– 20,000 troops is not enough. 200,000 probably wouldn’t be enough…… We’re sending these kids into an urban war where they will not be able to tell who the bad guys are, where snipers will pick them off like target practice, and where we will have to serve as the referees for a sectarian conflict that is over 1000 years old. For the sake of comparison, there are 45,000 police officers on patrol daily in NYC……

I’m anxious to hear others’ thoughts….

The Mythology of the Presidency

January 4, 2007

For the past 8 days, and in particular the immediate 48 hours that have just concluded, we were reminded, through the pomp and circumstance and the out-pouring of attention to a man who held office for a mere 895 days and was never popularly elected to that position, that the President of the United States is to be revered, remembered and idealized. From this nation’s founding, resultant of the tyrannical machinations of an abusive king, the office of the President has been filled by some of the brightest minds of their generation; by men who could recite Plato, Shakespeare and Locke ad naseum; by some who did not seek such lofty positions.

Although President Gerald R. Ford will not be remembered by many as one of the top tier presidents, it can hardly be contended that the office did not elevate a common man to do extraordinary things. This is the peculiarity and the awe of the office of the President. It seems that more and more we lose sight of the fact that the presidency is a reverent position. The worst is that the people who seek the office have lost sight of that as well. We have sunk to the bottom; to appeasing the lowest common denominator in a glorified high school prom popularity contest. In lieu of debating the real issues of our time, we couch positions into 15 second sound bites that are politically savvy. We delight at attack ads. We spend 2 plus years electioneering instead of governing. We draw on divisive issues.

Currently we have a President who delights in nothing more than talking in slang and devising ways to divide the country along partisan lines. He is stubborn and deliberate. Although these comments seem to denigrate the office of the President, I submit that because of this particular President, there is no choice. The corruption and power-grabbing is almost beyond repair. The poison of partisanship is almost equal to that poison which gripped Washington upon President Ford assuming the office. It is extremely telling that a man such as President Ford, who was by nature and his dealings an independent thinker, made comments to several reporters to be published posthumously that this President has gotten it all wrong. It was another of the extraordinary acts of a common man; the myth of a President.

It is disappointing that the office of the presidency has sunk so low. The answer could come in 2008. We could use a dose of President Lincoln’s resolve, President Roosevelt’s optimism, and President Ford’s healing in the 44th President of the United States. It is this commentator’s hope that some of the myth is restored in the office and we as the electorate challenge our leaders to be the best and the brightest of our generation.