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Decision ‘08 » Blog Archive » Defining Victory Away

A remarkable aspect of human psychology is that we see what we want to see. For the Radical Left in America, Bush is a monster, and his fascist policies are wrong by definition. What is one to do, however, if your mortal enemy is scoring successes? One tactic frequently employed against Bush is that of the moving goalposts.

For historical purposes, the Bush era began on 9/11/01. Here’s what we’ve heard from the nay-sayers in the three and a half years since that horrible day.

  1. Impending Disaster #1: Bush can’t handle a crisis of this magnitude. The Left made a big deal at the time of Bush ‘flying all over America’, supposedly avoiding his responsibilities, and of course there is the infamous ‘7 1/2 minutes’. Talk was in the air that Cheney would have to pull the strings, as if Bush were some village idiot who just happened to blunder into the White House. When the time was right, Bush spoke at the National Cathedral and to a Joint Session of Congress and just blew everyone away with two of the greatest speeches of my lifetime.
  2. Impending Disaster #2: Afghanistan will be a blood bath. Critics of Bush constantly reminded us that the Soviets were bogged down in Afghanistan for a decade. The poster boy of the Radical Left, Noam Chomsky, spoke of a Silent Genocide (in the same talk he says ‘terror works’). Instead, we deposed of the vile Taliban regime in a matter of weeks, with minimal boots on the ground and light casualties. During this very short period of time, the Left (and even some elements of the MSM) began to speak of a ‘quagmire’.
  3. Impending Disaster #3: Iraq will be a bloodbath. So it has been, to some extent. The fact that we have taken a large number of casualties post-major combat as we battle a terrorist insurgency should not fool us into thinking the ‘Progressives’ got this one right, however. We were told prior to the invasion that Saddam would use WMDs on our troops and on Israel (notice this link quotes a former U.N. Weapons Inspector, who seemed quite convinced in April 2003 that Saddam had WMDs. We know now that he didn’t have any stockpiles – but 20/20 hindsight doesn’t count). When the coalition forces had to slow down because of a freak sandstorm, the media began to speak of, you guessed it, a ‘quagmire’.

Then came a string of ‘unachievable’ assertions about the Iraqi elections – first, that there was no way elections could be held on January 30th in the ‘present security environment’ (like ‘quagmire’, the ‘present security environment’ had to be mentioned by any serious Iraq critic in a solemn, respectful manner). When that argument fizzled, the Left turned to the notion that the elections would have a low turnout, especially among the Sunnis, and thus wouldn’t be accepted as ‘legitimate’.

Now, the elections have been held, in a mostly joyous, celebratory environment, with higher-than-expected turnout, but you can bet this won’t be seen as a victory by the Left. They’ll move the goalposts again. Expec

Decision ‘08 » Blog Archive » Today’s Worst Op-Ed…

…comes from Ruben Navarrette, Jr., in the San Diego Union-Tribune, who defends Tom Cruise’s recent Scientology-fueled rant on the Today show as an important contribution to the debate over over-reliance on prescription drugs, particularly the use of ritalin on the young.

Lauer thought that Cruise was being judgmental, and that he should keep his opinions to himself. He also thought Cruise should stipulate that – while the actor didn’t approve of taking antidepressants – those for whom the drugs had worked should be free to take them. Why should Cruise keep his opinions to himself? Shields didn’t keep her bout with mental illness to herself. She advertised it to sell books. Cruise is entitled to his opinion, just like anyone else. The problem isn’t that celebrities have opinions. It’s that the rest of society is quick to treat them as experts. They’re not experts. They’re movie stars with opinions. And they should be free to express their opinions, and the rest of us should be free to discount them if they don’t hold up.

Bull – Lauer didn’t ask Cruise to keep his opinions to himself, he asked him to acknowledge that drugs may help some people with mental disorders. Cruise denied that it was even possible, or that chemical imbalances even exist. It was Cruise who set himself up as an expert by asserting to Lauer that he ‘just didn’t know the history of psyciatry’ like Cruise does, and basically suggesting the Lauer was the one who needed to keep his opinion to himself. Navarrette’s defense of Cruise is wrong-headed, shallow, and unconnected to the facts.

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    Fargus Says:

    I’m on board with any criticism of Tom Cruise. :)

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Insurgency is a Legitimate Nationalist Movement

Richard Cohen (who recently suggested the test of a legitimate war is if you are willing to forcibly send your grown man of a son to, presumably, die in it, in the mode of the biblical Abraham) is back with another insipid, whimpering walk down memory lane as he attempts to relive the glory days of Vietnam. Cohen asserts, incredibly, that the terrorists have the support of the Iraqi people. Think I’m lying? Let’s take a look:

In Vietnam, it took the U.S. forever to recognize that it was not fighting international communism but a durable and vibrant nationalist movement led by Communists. Something similar may be happening in Iraq. Yes, foreign terrorists are flocking to the country. But the Sunni insurgency is a different thing. The Sunnis may work with foreign terrorists and gladly use their expertise, but their goals are not the same. The salient and depressing fact remains that no insurgency can survive for long without either the cooperation or the apathy of the populace.

Cohen takes time to scoff at our allies who are putting their lives and treasure on the line:

…Bush cited the “8 million Iraqi men and women” who voted, the “30 nations” with troops in Iraq (a total joke, and the President knows it), the “40 countries” and “three international organizations” that have pledged “$34 billion” in reconstruction assistance (another joke).

If those are jokes, Richard, I guess I’ve lost my sense of humor…but then, no one but you is laughing.

Thus, Cohen joins Bob Herbert, Paul Krugman, and Frank Rich as a charter member of the “Vietnam is the only point of comparison I have, so by God I’m gonna use it” club. Let’s get one thing straight…the ability to blow yourself up and kill others is not a strategy, and it sure isn’t victory. If it was, the Palestinian government would be holding court in Jerusalem…

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    Two Dogs Says:

    This is the best post from an online magazine that I have ever read. Kudos, Mark, good work.

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    Mark Says:

    Two Dogs, thanks, and may I just say that I also enjoy your online magazine, as well…

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    Paul Deignan Says:

    I have a diferent take on the matter than Richard. It seems to me that the frequency and seve

Decision ‘08 » Blog Archive » Race and the 2004 Election

You may not be aware of Tucker Carlson: Unfiltered, particularly since it airs on that paragon of political correctness, PBS. It’s a pretty informative new series starring the bow-tied boy wonder (and Jon Stewart punching bag). This week featured, among others, Marjorie Fields Harris, a candidate for Vice Chair of the Democratic National Committee…and it was a depressing interview indeed.

Folks, Bush increased his percentage of the black vote despite the scare tactics of the left for two reasons: (1) the shared conservative values of black churchgoers and Republicans, and (2) disgust with the Democratic Party’s plantation mentality. You see, according to Ms. Harris, Bush is fundamentally a racist because, well…because Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice aren’t really black. You may think I’m joking, so a good ol’-fashioned (partial) fisking is in order.

Carlson: Marjorie, thanks a lot.

Why didn’t Kerry do better?

Harris: I think Kerry was a good candidate, to be honest. He was effective in what he was trying to say. I think that the organization around him just did not allow him to penetrate the community as he could have.

Since I am running for the Vice Chairman, I won’t say anything bad about our nominee who just lost decisively, that’s how effective he was. (Also, he wasn’t in control of his own campaign).

Carlson: What about the notion that the Republican party actually has points of common interest with a lot of black voters? A lot of black voters aren’t as enthusiastic about legal abortion as your average well-educated white voter is. More comfortable with faith, for school choice. Why don’t more black voters vote Republican?

Harris: It’s one of the myths of the black community, that we all believe in abortion and these kind of loose moral values. I think that’s always been a myth.

I hold your bow-tie wearing opinions in such contempt that I am not even paying attention to you, as shown by my complete lack of understanding of your question.

…the Republicans haven’t reached out. This is the first time I’ve even seen a small effort. Bush, come on, he didn’t get the numbers they expected in the African-American community. I can’t say that the Republicans were effective in reaching out to African-Americans, but they never tried to embrace us as a community. It’s not so much we haven’t gone to the party. I think the party hasn’t come to us.

Clarence Thomas and J.C. Watts meant nothing to me, as they weren’t Democrats and didn’t share my views. The fact that Bush made inroads in the black community is just not relevant, despite the fact that he increased his share of the black vote by 37.5% from 2000, because, you see, it wasn’t as high as some pre-election estimates.

Carlson: Isn’t the real problem a lot of black voters think the Republican party, on some level, is racist, and once that perception goes away, if it does, a large number of black voters come to the party. Why not?

Harris: It’s based on the fact that you have a president who’s appointed people like Charles Pickering, Pryor, Janice Rogers-Brown, who is African-American herself, to the federal bench. These are people anti-, or for the most part our rights, anti-civil rights, anti-human rights in a large respect. So it’s not based on a perception. It’s reality. A lot of the –

Tucker, I’d like to take the opportunity here to slander some people without offering any proof. Here are three people who I would like to nonchalantly accuse of being racist and “anti-human rights”. So you see, the fact that I can throw these names out at you means that the Republican party is racist in reality, not just perception (oh, and by the way, Janice Rogers Brown apparently

Decision ‘08 » Blog Archive » Dick Cheney

Dick Cheney, like the President he serves, is a lightning rod. For proof, you need look no further than the reaction to this year’s Presidential debates – liberals thought Edwards won, conservatives (including myself) thought Cheney just ran away with it. Cheney emphatically states that he won’t run in 2008, and we should probably take him at his word. Still, never say never.

Richard B. Cheney

Official Biographical Site

A highly unlikely combination here

Resume: Served in the Nixon, Ford, Bush 41, and Bush 43 administrations; former Congressman from Wyoming; former White House Chief of Staff; former Defense Secretary; 46th Vice President of the United States

Cheney has served his country well for decades, but he is a long shot among long shots for several reasons:

(1) Electability – like it not, we live in a media age, and Cheney seems to have a permanent snarl on his face (though he scored some good laughs making fun of his good looks in the Vice Presidential debate).

(2) Halliburton – I don’t think there’s any “there” there, but all the same, Cheney’s former company would drag on any potential campaign like an anchor.

(3) Most importantly, the poor guy is obviously in bad health.

Put it all together, and despite what I said above, you can just about say “Never” on this one.

Current Odds: 50-1

Update 02/06/05 2:22 p.m. central: Dick Cheney on the possibility that he will run:

“I will say just as hard as I possibly know how to say … ‘If nominated, I will not run,’ ‘If elected, I will not serve,’ or not only no, but ‘Hell no,’ ” Cheney told “Fox News Sunday,” making clear he intends to retire from politics at the end of his current term.

Put a fork in this one; it’s done.

Current Odds: 100-1

Update 03/29/05 10:00 a.m. central:

See this post…


UPDATE 07/24/2005 10:56 p.m.:

CURRENT ODDS: 40-1: see here…

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Decision ‘08 » Blog Archive » A Quick Journey Around the Blogosphere

Benjamin at the anti-Chomsky blog has some great thoughts on Chomsky’s reaction to Election ‘04 (hint: Chomsky doesn’t like the outcome), in which our favorite America hater again reveals his underlying Marxism by mentioning ‘class interests’ (what a laughable way to analyze modern America!). Benjamin rightly calls him out on his pathetic attempt to use the eligible U.S. voting population as his definition of electorate in order to make the claim that Bush got only 30% of the vote (note to Chomsky: I think even most Democrats outside of West Palm Beach realize you have to actually vote to be counted). I share Benjamin’s amusement at Chomsky’s risible reference to the ‘vast diversity’ found in the world of academia. Vast diversity in superficialities like skin color and height perhaps; no diversity at all in viewpoint…

DJ Drummond at Polipundit unmasks Karl Rove’s secret agent. In hindsight, the whole Democratic effort in ‘04 reeks of amateurism. If Bob Shrum advises another presidential campaign, I’ll…well, I won’t be surprised at all, since the Dems don’t ever seem to learn their lesson…

Captain Ed at Captain’s Quarters takes Nicholas Kristof and the NY Times to task for their blatantly transparent attempt to dictate to the red states by replacing the Electoral College. The whole reason for the Electoral College, as Captain Ed rightly surmises, is so that one or two major population centers can’t determine the outcome of an election. Change the system, and you throw our future elections into the hands of the liberal Hollywood and New York elite (and if that thought doesn’t scare you, you’re reading the wrong blog). One suspects there wouldn’t be so much <a href=”

Decision ‘08 » Blog Archive » Welcome To My New Blog!

Howdy, folks, and welcome to my new blog. I’m going to spend the next four years looking at the politicial horizon in what will hopefully be a witty, informative manner. I’m a conservative, so I won’t insult your intelligence by pretending to be unbiased, but I will try to be fair to both sides (whenever it suits me). I’m also going to be covering general issues that I think reflect on the electorate and where I think it will be heading.

So, in the next few weeks, as I flesh this out, look for profiles of promising candidates from both sides and unexpectedly brilliant analysis that will result is mass hilarity and much head-scratching and pondering, I hope.

Let’s kick things off on this inaugural post with a look at a Sunday talking head show, shall we?

Is is just me or has CBS been replaced with a crude parody of a network? We all know by now about Rathergate, but Bob Schieffer (rumored as a Rather replacement, despite his advanced age, albeit probably not for long) is not much of an improvement. Today he just went after Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, who was very impressive in not getting steamrolled. The issue was the stalling of the not-quite-dead Intelligence Reform bill by conservative House Republicans. Frist made it clear that there was not a guarantee of a bill passing “unless it’s done right.” (Done right in this case meaning resolving the budgetary issues with the Pentagon and probably removing immigration matters from the bill entirely). David Brooks (a.k.a. the only possible reason to still read the New York Times) made an appearance and finally succeeded in calming Schieffer down.

More to come later today, including a look at race and the liberal mindset.

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    Decision ‘08 » Blog Archive » Decision ‘08 Turns One Says:

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Decision ‘08 » Blog Archive » Oil For Food, Part One

I remember well the Iran-Contra scandal. The arms-for-hostages deal dominated the headlines for weeks and resulted in televised hearings that made a hero out of Oliver North and indictments of high government officials, though most were later pardoned by President Bush. It was, in short, a major story. Where is the outcry over the much worse Oil-For-Food Scandal at the U.N.? True, it’s getting some big play now, but still more so in England than elsewhere.

If “Oil-For-Food” is new to you, here’s a decent primer. The basic charge is this: Saddam Hussein, while under United Nations sanctions, was allowed to sell a portion of his oil for food and medicine for the Iraqi people as a humanitarian gesture. Instead, Hussein gave out vouchers as kickbacks to businessmen and government officials across the Middle East and Europe, including members of the Russian Parliament and a former Interior Minister of France (kind of puts the whole Iraq War debate in a different light, doesn’t it? Thanks for nothing, Jacques!). How much did Saddam and his cronies steal? How about 20 BILLION DOLLARS? That’s a full quarter of that $87 billion dollar supplement that John Kerry voted for and against while rubbing his head and whistling “Dixie”. While Saddam was building palaces with your money, children in Iraq suffered from malnutrition needlessly. Americans are literally dying as we speak to bring democracy to the Middle East in a war that France and Russia opposed out of sheer greed.

This should be front page news. I can’t imagine a scandal with a greater stench than stealing humanitarian aid to prop up a dictator while sanctimoniously accusing the U.S. of trading “blood for oil”. Blood for oil, indeed…our blood, their oil. Much more on this later, including a look at the work of Claudia

Decision ‘08 » Blog Archive » Al Gore: Candidate Profile Numero Uno

Okay, so I’m calling this blog Decision ‘08 for a reason (and it’s not just because Decision 2008 was taken already!)…I fully intend to spend the next four years building up a real resource for Campaign 2008. I realize there isn’t much here yet, but hey, come on, it’s the first day of the blog.

One of the things I intend to provide in this blog are candidate profiles from both sides of the aisle, where I’ll handicap the serious (and not-so-serious) horses in the race. I’m gonna start off with our ol’ buddy from Campaign 2000, Al Gore.

Albert Arnold Gore Jr.

Resume: Former Representative for Tennessee’s 4th District, Former Senator from Tennessee, 45th Vice President of the United States, 2000 Democratic Nominee for President

(Unofficial) Campaign Website: Al Gore 2008

Good link for Gore’s history

You may think I’m a little off to start with Al Gore, but there is a serious movement to consider him for ‘08 (however small that movement may be). Recently,
Richard Cohen, columnist for the Washington Post, started tongues wagging with a column endorsing a Gore 2008 candidacy. Cohen stupidly states that the Democrats need a good recession(!!! – that’s the kind of optimism that’ll win us back!), but “barring that, the party needs a candidate who can be comfy talking religion and who, once that’s established, can go on to talk about other things.” Cohen also points out that Gore is a Southerner who opposed the Iraq War and that he has a wife whose name is not Te-RAY-za.

Let’s use Cohen’s column as a starting point in handicapping Gore. How serious would a Gore candidacy be? Consider these points:

(1) Gore famously lost the Electoral College vote after winning the popular vote, then plunged the country into a month-long circus that culminated in the Supreme Court. Compared to that, Kerry was a gentleman. True, there are parts of the Democratic Base that STILL think Bush is an illegitimate president, but the majority of Americans look back at 2000 as a nightmare, notwithstanding Fahrenheit 911.

(2) Gore was initially thought of as somewhat moderate, in line with Clinton’s New Democrat presidency. Unlike Kerry, he succeeded in defining himself…he wasn’t just a faceless Senator getting rich and taking up space while accomplishing nothing. Sure, we all made fun of his gaffes and grandiose claims, but at least we knew what he claimed about himself. Unfortunately, a lot of that definition and perceived moderation has now flown away, thanks to Gore’s intemperate remarks since his loss.

(3) Liberals such as Cohen miss completely the lesson of Election 2004. The fact that Al Gore is from the South and can talk comfortably about religion means absolutely squat. John Edwards (oh, we’ll get to him) brought his cornpone “aw shucks ma’am” routine to town and was ridden right back out of town on a rail. You see, Richard and Al and John, we conservatives didn’t support Bush because he was from Texas, or because he professes to be a man of faith, but because he shares our concerns and values. The “Religious Right” did not wi

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