Digital Chum - Virtual fish guts and other nonsense

Bush

I don’t think it means what you think it means

Via the Washington Post:

Rove says the allegation that the Bush administration lied about weapons of mass destruction "is a pernicious political attack launched by cynical and hypocritical individuals."

I wonder if he said that with a straight face.

This doesn’t surprise me

President Barack Obama According to a new Pew Research Survey of twenty-five countries, the image of the United States has improved dramatically since President Obama took office. In many cases, favorable views have reached or exceeded their levels from the year 2000.

Not that there was really anywhere to go but up. International approval of the United States had made huge drops during the Bush administration, no doubt in large part due to his bull-headed, aggressive statements, his antagonistic superior attitude paired with seeming ignorance, and his perceived warmongering. Add that to his religious fervor, declaring the war on terrorism to be a "crusade" and claiming his actions were due to God’s instructions, and you’ve got a recipe for international derision.

Quotes such as…

God told me to strike at al Qaida and I struck them, and then he instructed me to strike at Saddam, which I did, and now I am determined to solve the problem in the Middle East.

…and…

I know what I believe. I will continue to articulate what I believe and what I believe — I believe what I believe is right.

…and…

We’re now interested in finding those who may attack America and arrest them before they do. We’ve had over nearly a thousand people have been detained in America and questioned about their motives and their intentions.

…don’t foster confidence or benevolent feelings or pride in rational people.

Obama’s gentler tone and apparent willingness to speak to other countries without a self-aggrandizing air of superiority creates a much better atmosphere for productive conversations and beneficial outcomes. Rather than pronouncing that "We are America and what we say goes," he says, "Let’s talk about it and see what we can come up with together."

It’s refreshing, smart, and despite what the right-wingers say, it’s going to make this country a lot safer.

Culturally Moderate

I read a article today from The Washington Post’s E. J. Dionne Jr. about how Republicans are divided about the McCain/Palin ticket, which he attributes to a number of different causes. That aside, he also made the following statement.

Conservatism has finally crashed on problems for which its doctrines offered no solutions (the economic crisis foremost among them, thus Bush’s apostasy) and on its refusal to acknowledge that the ‘real America’ is more diverse, pragmatic and culturally moderate than the place described in Palin’s speeches or imagined by the right-wing talk show hosts.

I don’t know about conservatism having “finally crashed” but I do agree about its refusal to acknowledge that America is more “diverse, pragmatic and culturally moderate” than what the right-wing seems to believe (even leaving out the absurd conservative caricatures of Limbaugh, Coulter, and the like).

I believe that moving too far from center on either side will have negative consequences. I don’t want Democrats controlling the Presidency and all of Congress any more than I want the Republicans controlling it all. There needs to be a balance… something that will force both sides to meet in the middle because, as we’ve seen before, if there’s nothing forcing them to do it, they won’t do it.

Mix it up.

I really would like Obama to win the presidency. If that happens, what I would also like is for Republicans to control at least one of the houses of Congress. Having the Presidency, the Senate, and the House of Representatives all controlled by the same party, either Democrat or Republican, is a bad thing, in my opinion. We should never have another “rubber stamp” Congress the way we did for the first six years of Bush’s term (on either side of the fence) since it tends to nullify the system of checks and balances that the Constitution lays out.

An even better solution would be to eliminate the party system altogether, but that’s not going to happen… and is perhaps a topic for another post.

Vice-Presidential Debate Impressions

My wife and I watched the entire debate last night and I felt a little bit disappointed. It was like watching a NASCAR race without a crash or a hockey game without a fight. Biden kept his loquaciousness under control and Palin didn’t make any Couric-esque blunders.

(more…)

Classic Political Shenanigans

A great example of classic “I am above the law” political shenanigans.

Troopergate probe appears to be unraveling

Though I’m sure both sides partake in this type of nonsense, the Bush administration has perfected it in the last 8 years. It looks like Palin has jumped on that bandwagon as well.