2008/02/02

Hah! Called it! and lots of other stuff

Back about a year ago, 24 Feb 07 to be exact, I read a David Broder column which predicted a marvelously bright future for a new group called Unity08. I concluded: "Unity08 will continue to be a very small, extremely marginal party that will accomplish nothing of significance." And now from Crooks & Liars:

Worse, the Unity08 gang folded their tent to create a Draft Bloomberg campaign, which has an online petition that is yet to generate 5,000 signatures — weeks after its launch. Adding insult to injury, Joe Lieberman, an active Bloomberg supporter during the mayor’s re-election campaign, has said publicly that the mayor no longer has a reason to launch a campaign. [emphasis added]

So, not only did the Unity08 group go out of business in order to support the Michael Bloomberg campaign (He's the billionaire Mayor of New York City) for President, they then didn't even succeed in causing a sizable ripple in the waters of the presidential campaign. I'm sure David Broder is crushed.

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Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama raised more money than the four front-runners of the Republican side of the aisle. The two Democrats did $49.6 million to the Republicans' $42.2 million. McCain is the Republican frontrunner at the moment, but raised only $6.8 million, whereas Ron Paul raised $19.7 million, though Paul's doing quite badly in the polls. Paul's advantage is essentially online. Dave Neiwert of Orcinus notes that Paul doesn't seem to be actually spending much of his money and speculates he's saving it for a third-party run.

Oh, and the Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama debate on 31 Jan was the most-watched debate in cable history. And gee, surprise, surprise, it was a substantive, serious debate where the candidates got to really burrow in and get really serious and deep with their answers. Juan Cole goes over the section where they discuss Iraq.

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Cole's 1/31 post includes a links to a British Study showing that Iraq has suffered a little over a million excess deaths since the US invasion. "Excess" means that the study includes things like deaths due to breakdowns in law & order, deaths due to lack of medical care, proper sanitation, etc. There's also a study showing that there are one to two million young Iraqi widows who are unable to support themselves due to being in a highly sex-segregated society and who aren't getting much government assistance, either.

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"President Bush conceded to [a Fox News person] that he failed in his goal to be a 'uniter and not a divider.' The president told me, 'I'd say that I worked to be a uniter and it didn't work.' ”

Lincoln Chafee strongly disputes this, pointing out in "
an interesting quotation from Linc Chafee's book:

The book excoriates Mr. Bush and his GOP allies who repeatedly fanned such wedge issues as changing the U.S. Constitution to ban gay marriage, abortion and flag-burning. But he saves some of his harshest words for Democrats who paved the way for Mr. Bush to use the U.S. military to invade Iraq. . . .

"The top Democrats were at their weakest when trying to show how tough they were," writes Chafee. "They were afraid that Republicans would label them soft in the post-September 11 world, and when they acted in political self-interest, they helped the president send thousands of Americans and uncounted innocent Iraqis to their doom."

"Instead of talking tough or meekly raising one's hand to support the tough talk, it is far more muscular, I think, to find out what is really happening in the world and have a debate about what we really need to accomplish," writes Chafee. "That is the hard work of governing, but it was swept aside once the fear, the war rhetoric and the political conniving took over."

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I've been reading Dave Neiwert's careful and thorough dissections of Jonah Goldberg's "Liberal Fascism." Neiwert writes lengthy pieces, so I highly recommend that people just do a lot of cutting and pasting into a word processor, print it all out, find a comfortable chair and enjoy. Goldberg forces us liberals to really concentrate on just what fascism is and isn't. An excellent piece in the series focuses on Woodrow Wilson, where the guest writer matches up Wilson's actions in office to 13 criteria for being a fascist. Wilson scores on four out of the 13, a very unimpressive figure. One of the main, essential points made about "Liberal Fascism" is that Goldberg nowhere carefully defines what he means by the term, so one of Goldberg's buddies defines Barack Obama as a fascist because Obama calls for "national unity," which is actually a pretty plain-vanilla, standard, basic appeal used by politicians all over the political spectrum.

2 comments:

manonfyre said...

Hey Rich,

Tracked you and this post down by following from a comment you left at Balkinization.

Just wanted to note that Scott Horton, Balkinization contributor, has a new post about Goldberg's book.

Peace!

Robert L.
(aka: manonfyre)

Rich said...

Hey Robert!
Yeah, Horton's piece is great! I also think Brad is very upset that we wandered off from talking about and to him and instead went off on our own direction. Hope that shuts him up for awhile!
I keep a careful eye on the "newswire" at PhillyIMC.org and zap the posts of the really nutty guys and watch over the comments of the trolls. Not having anybody who can keep an eye all day and with it being an open publishing system, we focus on embarrassing and discouraging the trolls as opposed to simply zapping their comments or banning them.
I was initially impressed by Brad, but wen he got to subject I know well (Counterinsurgency, 9-11, warrantless wiretapping, etc.) I said "Nah, this guy isn't that smart!"