Can the GOP weed out the crazies?

Is this man really good for the future of the Republican Party?

I know this will be heresy to many Republicans, but it’s time — long overdue, in fact — for the GOP to abandon Ronald Reagan’s 11th Commandment.

“Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican,” Reagan wrote.  “It’s a rule I followed during that campaign and have ever since.”

But that was in a different time, a different era.

These days, there are so many outright, full-bore crazies in the conservative movement that Republican leaders need to do some serious trash talking.

Even more, they need to do some gate-keeping.

How bad is it?  After Tuesday’s election, long-time Republican front-man Ted Nugent dispatched a series of tweets calling American voters “soulless fools.”

“What subhuman varmint believes others must pay for their obesity booze cellphones birthcontrol abortions & lives?” Nugent asked.

Donald Trump, meanwhile — one of Mitt Romney’s most visible surrogates during the election — called for “revolution” as the results were coming in.

“We can’t let this happen,” Trump insisted.  “We should march on Washington and stop this travesty.”

And then there was Bill O’Reilly, blaming the outcome of the election on brown-skinned people who “want stuff.”

“It’s a changing country,” O’Reilly said, his voice breaking.  “It’s not a traditional country any more.”  He went on to clarify that “the white establishment is now the minority.”

And then there was popular conservative talk radio host Neil Boortz, who responded angrily to the idea of congratulating President Obama on his victory.

“I would like to congratulate Ted Bundy on sneaking into yet another sorority house and killing another coed. I would like to congratulate Adolf Hitler on his invasion of Poland. I would like to congratulate the — Al Qaeda for their successful attack on New York City. I would like to congratulate the Ansar al-Sharia crowd over there in Benghazi for their successful assault on our consulate. Congratulate Barack Obama? I’m sorry.”

This stuff isn’t “conservative” and it’s not “principled” and it’s not the “real” America.  It is, to bend a phrase, crazier than an outhouse rat.  It’s bonkers.

When you have top-tier Republican candidates talking about “legitimate” rape and pregnancies resulting from rape being “God’s will,” it’s vicious and it’s unhinged.

When you have leading Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain calling for construction of a fence along the Mexican border that is “electrified, with a sign on the other side that says it can kill you” it’s ugly and nuts.

When you have top conservative voices calling the President of the United States “a retard” (Ann Coulter) or “Barack the Magic Negro” (Rush Limbaugh), it’s grotesque and lunatic.

When conservative allies blame hurricanes on gay people or earthquakes on abortion, they aren’t devout or fundamental or churched.  They are creepy and weird.

So here’s the 12th commandment for the Republican Party.  If you say crazy things — about “diseased” immigrants, say, or about women advocating for contraception being “sluts” — you are out.

O-U-T.  Persona non grata.  Done.  Finished.  If you babble on about the President’s birth certificate, or his secret Muslim faith, you are banished.

The GOP has a steep enough hill to climb, rebuilding its damaged brand, without being hoisted again and again on the petard of the lunatic fringe.

Taking this kind of hard-line on nuttery will be frightening for party leaders because they’ve let so many kooks into the big tent.

It’s also true, as David Frumm has pointed out, that a lot of carnival barkers are making kajillions of dollars by co-opting the Republican brand, joining what he calls the “conservative entertainment complex.”

It’s good business — damn good business — for Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck and Michael Savage to bounce off the walls and tell people to go out and buy gold and survival kits in advance of the coming apocalypse.

But it’s not good for the Republican Party.  Not by a country mile.

So where does the GOP start?  How about saying good-bye to Trump?  Or Nugent? Surely, the GOP is capable of that kind of baby step toward sanity and self-policing.

If not, then we will certainly continue to see legitimate conservative causes — and smart, sane conservative voices — eclipsed and deligitimised by the kind of people you wouldn’t trust to baby-sit your dog, let alone run your country.

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149 Comments on “Can the GOP weed out the crazies?”

  1. Walker says:

    Larry, I’m sorry, but I decline to allow you to dictate the order of our debate.

    A commenter on a NYT editorial on the news conference:

    President Obama framed the argument well – tax cuts for 98% of Americans now or tax hikes for 98% in January. If I was running for reelection in 2014, I wouldn’t want to be on the “hike” side of that argument.

    Even the very conservative Bill Kristol commented on the absurdity of Republicans “falling on their sword” to protect the rich instead of the middle class.

    “As Arlo so correctly points out, we need to cut spending on social progrrams.”

    Says you. We need to cut military spending and business subsidies, says I. We’ll see.

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  2. Walker says:

    And how is it “shift[ing] attention from legitimate questions by answering every point with an unrelated counter-point” to point out that we spend more on corporate welfare than on social welfare.

    You want means-testing? Let’s apply it to corporate subsidies: we spend more on subsidies for corporations engaged in financials, utilities, telecommunications, and pipelines than we do on social welfare. Does that sound to you like a set of industries that are having trouble making ends meet?

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  3. The Original Larry says:

    My god, can’t you people come up with some new material? Soak the rich, evil corporations, unnecessary wars, on and on and on. You like the NYT so much? Read yesterday’s Thomas Friedman piece

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/14/opinion/friedman-obamas-nightmare.html?ref=thomaslfriedman

    “Obama’s Nightmare” in which he praises America’s (he can’t bring himself to praise Bush by name) action in Iraq and holds it up as a model for what might happen in Syria. There’s independent confirmation that at least one of the “unnecessary wars” accomplished something positive. So cut Defense spending, and as Friedman says, we won’t have to worry about the fiscal cliff.

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  4. Walker says:

    Larry, unlike Fox, the NYT publishes a wide range of opinion. Friedman was gung ho on the pointless Iraq war from way back before it started. If you think that our “falling on a grenade — that we triggered ourselves” was a wonderful thing to do, you’re entitled to your opinion. I think it was madness.

    As for Syria, we’ve wasted far too much money and far too many lives in the middle east, and what have we got to show for it? Talk about money down a rat hole! You want to end welfare because it hasn’t ended poverty? Let’s start wit the really expensive stuff. After all, if a family is going hungry because dad is spending thousands every month on his guns and ammo, the best solution isn’t to cut the food budget. Let Israel and Turkey deal with Syria.

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  5. The Original Larry says:

    Talk about wanting to go back in time! Isolationism and socialism; what else have you got from the 1930s? Think about the Syrian Civil War and then think about the Spanish Civil War. Still want to let someone else deal with it? Didn’t work out so well in the 30s…someone should have thrown themselves on the fascist grenade.

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  6. Walker says:

    Larry, you think there are significant parallels between the Syrian civil war and the Spanish civil war?

    Or do you just figure that we should spend big in blood and treasure any time there’s a civil war anywhere in the world? There have already been between 35,000 and 50,000 killed there. Let’s add some to the total, eh?

    There’s a reason that our military expenditures are bigger than that of the next ten countries combined: it’s because we keep doing this stuff. Let some other countries carry the ball for a while.

    And what has any of it gotten us? Insanity!

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  7. The Original Larry says:

    “unlike Fox, the NYT publishes a wide range of opinion.” How like you, Walker, to assume that all conservative Republicans watch only Fox News. I don’t. By the way, I’m sure you meant the Times publishes a wide range of liberal opinion; I’ve been reading the New York Times (among other papers) regularly since the mid 60s and I haven’t noticed much conservative philosophy there.

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  8. Walker says:

    Arlo, on gerrymandering, I apologize. On looking into it, I found that while there’s Texas, which I was familiar with, there’s also Maryland, which I was not. I poked around some, but couldn’t find any apparently reliable source to say which side is more advantaged by the practice; what’s clear is that it is voters who are most disadvantaged. (Though it’s interesting to note that Republicans have the majority in the House despite being greatly outnumbered in registered voters.)

    Anyway, it’s a vile practice no matter who does it. We need to outlaw it, but I guess the odds of that happening are close to nil.

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  9. Walker says:

    Larry, I didn’t say anything about what news sources all conservative Republicans watch. I simply compared Fox to the Times in terms of the diversity of opinion they offer– foolishly, I guess, as I don’t watch Fox at all. For all I know, they really are Fair and Balanced.

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  10. The Original Larry says:

    “Larry, you think there are significant parallels between the Syrian civil war and the Spanish civil war?”

    Absolutely, especially in the sense of potentially escalating into a much larger, and more costly conflict. Friedman’s analysis of Syria is spot on. You want to stay out of it and that would be great, if it was remotely possible. It’s no more a possibility today than staying out of European conflict was in the 1930s. We know what our isolationism in the 1930s cost us. The difference is that today in the Middle East there are people with nuclear weapons and they will not hesitate to use them if their security (not to mention their lives) is in doubt. The cost of staying out of it will be incalculable.

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  11. Rancid Crabtree says:

    So sorry WJ, life gets in my way sometimes.

    1- The original point was that Democrats have been spreading the “Republicans want old people and children to starve” for decades. It’s not true. As far as Medicare, well guess what? We can’t afford to fund it, can we? So we probably need to go to some sort of means testing as I saw recommended somewhere else here today or single payer. Both choices bring their own set of unique problems. The only other possible alternative I can think of is to raise taxes on pretty much everyone to pay for it. I know where I stand on that and that others disagree with me, but none of that has anything to do with any Republicans wanting old people and kids to starve.

    2- I’ve looked over the PDF on the “Roadmap” as to pertains to SS and this is the condensed version as they state it-

    “Social Security. The Roadmap would modify the Social Security program for future
    beneficiaries in three main ways:

    Traditional retirement benefits would be reduced below those scheduled under current
    law for many workers who are age 55 or younger in 2011. People with lower
    earnings would experience smaller reductions in benefits, and those with higher
    earnings would experience larger reductions. Current beneficiaries and workers
    who are age 55 or older in 2010 would experience no change in benefits.

    A system of individual accounts would be established in 2012. In that year, workers
    who are age 55 or younger would be able to participate in voluntary individual
    accounts, funded with a portion of their payroll taxes. As necessary, the government
    would make payments to account holders during their retirement to guarantee
    that their contributions earned a rate of return at least equal to the rate of
    inflation.

    A new special minimum benefit exceeding that under current law would be established
    for workers with at least 20 years of earnings that were less than or equal to
    the earnings of a full-time worker making the minimum wage.

    The Roadmap would also eliminate the income and payroll tax exclusions for
    employment-based health insurance. As a result, more earnings would become taxable
    for Social Security purposes, thus boosting future benefit payments, and payroll tax
    revenues credited to the Social Security trust funds would increase”

    Nowhere did I see any recommendation for privatizing all of SS, only that some voluntary invests of a portion would be an option. In fact I didn’t see any language specifying the amount people could use out of their taxes or any limits or minimums. If I missed it, please direct me to the proper section.

    3- I’ve read several reports on this Hubbard guy and nowhere did I see anything even hinting he wanted to bring slavery back. His opinion was that American blacks descended from slaves actually benefited from the fact their ancestors were brought here. On the face of it, that seems an odd thing to think, but the same type pf argument has been made for other groups around the world that wound up in a better situation than those that stayed in their native country. I don’t think I would have espoused that idea so readily, but the argument could be made that someone like Oprah, Halie Berry or Barrack Obama probably stands a far, far better chance of upward economic movement int he US than in Zimbabwe, Somalia or Kenya. I’m not asking anyone to agree with the idea, but that does not equal the idea that slavery is just dandy and should be brought back.

    4- The body naturally aborting a baby is not a conscious decision to terminate a pregnancy. If you don’t see that fetus as a life, if it’s a fetus until it’s born, then there’s no use in even discussing this. That’s just your opinion and no one should be forced to follow it. I also have to wonder at just what form of birth control these women you reference used? Hope is not birth control.

    Tell me, if the end result is the same, whats the difference between a liberal Republican and a moderate Democrat? Not much. And if the end result is the same, whats the difference between a Democrat and a full bore communist? Not much. The social compact you reference has been a traditional idea for millennia, that the young should take care of the old. But that social compact is now administered by a gov’t, one that isn’t particularly able to handle the fiscal responsibility required to administer that compact. I believe it was Eisenhower that first broke into the SS piggybank. It’s been being drained at ever increasing rates since then. The problem is the answer offered is always to take more from the taxpayer to solve the problem. Then they get more and spend it on something else. That’s simply wrong. So we need to return the funds to SS that are missing (fat chance of that) and revamp it into a workable system that can’t be “borrowed” from. I have no problem removing the capa nd think means testing has to come. But Obama isn’t going to do that, Romeny probably wouldn’t have either. I doubt anyone will fix it because the costs are simply staggering. There would be too much pain for anyone involved to get re-elected. So there will be a shift from a Republic, which is what we have now, to a socialist form of gov’t and economy. That will be lead, is being lead, by the Democrats just as FDR and cousin Teddy and of course Mr Wilson desired. Read your history. It will be presented as the answer and put in comfortable terms but that’s what will and is happening. When it’s all said and done and we’ve become France or Spain or Greece, are you going to quibble over terms like Democrat vs socialist vs Marxist? You’ll have to do it quietly, good old socialist Great Britian is already jailing people for saying nasty things on facebook and twitter and of course socialist Canada has it’s French language police, it all sounds like Wilson jailing over 8K Americans for speaking out in WW1. Sounds great, eh? That’s my fear and if you look back at American history since about 1895 you can’t possibly help but see the trend.

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  12. Walker says:

    Rancid, one place I agree unreservedly: “So we need to return the funds to SS that are missing (fat chance of that) and revamp it into a workable system that can’t be “borrowed” from.”

    I wish that I agreed with you that we are close to becoming France or Canada– that would be my hope. I am not aware of anyone rotting away in Canadian prisons after prosecution by the language police. Certainly all countries have egregiously trampled on their citizen’s freedoms in war time, and we have been no exception regardless of which party was in control at the time.

    I would be interested to try to understand exactly what you find so vile about life in modern European states. Their citizens lack the freedom to own large arsenals? They lack the freedom to die from lack of medical care?

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  13. The Original Larry says:

    An interesting take on the election from an American living in Europe (UK). Looks like you get your wish Walker.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/us-election/9668774/America-has-become-an-Old-World-country.html

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  14. Walker says:

    Larry, read the comments that follow the article.

    And that bit “But something has changed. The Protestant ethic that ruled my childhood has been downgraded. When I was at university in America in the Sixties, I had friends whose parents were rich. But there was never any question that the children would have to earn their own living. After graduation, and even during the summer holidays, they were expected to find jobs…”

    You think this is mostly liberals? I’ve got news for you.

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  15. mervel says:

    We can stay out of all of these entanglements, in fact that is the conservative approach. We gain nothing by direct military intervention and occupations, in fact I feel that those things are essentially un-American. Civil wars are part of Democracy, they are not pleasant but without our two major civil wars we would not exist, they had to happen and if they would have been prevented from happening by some other power, we would not exist as a free nation.

    Sure we can covertly support the Syrian rebels and no doubt we are, but that is it, they need to fight and win on their own on their own terms. Iraq would have been better off with a Syrian or Egyptian uprising. Instead we lost thousands of men and women and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi’s and we still have a mess there its not really over yet for them. We need to leave Afghanistan tomorrow, every person that dies there in the next week will have given their life for nothing.

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  16. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    O Larry– “The difference is that today in the Middle East there are people with nuclear weapons and they will not hesitate to use them if their security (not to mention their lives) is in doubt. The cost of staying out of it will be incalculable.”

    Are you suggesting that Israel is going to nuke someone?

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  17. Janet says:

    The biggest difference I see between Democrats and Republicans is that the Democrats are too altruistic and the Republicans are too selfish. Too bad we can’t find some sort of middle ground. Le Sigh…

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  18. Rancid Crabtree says:

    Walker, to put it simply- freedom. The more controlling and involved in the society/economy a gov’t is, the less freedom it’s citizens have. You mention guns. What business is it of gov’ts, or anyone elses for that matter, if a person chooses to own some guns, or even a lot of guns? What damage is being done by owning guns or paintings or power tools or shoes or kitchen appliances? What does that gov’t fear so much that it feels the need to restrict anything listed? Same for medical care, why does that gov’t limit it’s citizens to a few choices in care? And what of the restrictions brought on by the limited options? There are people getting treated here in the US from around the world, lots of them from Canada cross into the US every day for timely treatment. And, to be fair, I know of a few that go to Mexico for treatment. Choice, freedom, liberty. Old, antiquated ideas that have immense value. If you find the European socialist system so much better you are free to emigrate you know. Forcing your views on other people when it results in removing their freedoms is not liberating, it’s stifling, it’s criminal.

    A free society comes with a price, just a social nanny state comes with a price. I see little advantage to giving up our liberties for increased taxation, regulation, intrusion into our daily lives and lost freedoms. That’s pretty much it in a nutshell.

    Mrs R

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  19. Rancid Crabtree says:

    Janet, I find the Democrats just as, if not more selfish than those on the right. The Democrats/leftists are the true party of No.

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  20. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    I can’t wait for Baby Rancid to start chiming in.

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  21. The Original Larry says:

    KHL,
    My comment was much too vague and not directed solely at Israel. In addition to Israel, Turkey has access to nuclear weapons. Iran is on the brink of developing them and Syria has pursued a nuclear weapons program, the extent of which is not well known. Pakistan, although not technically in the Middle East, has nuclear weapons nearby. Kazakhstan, also in that neighborhood, has plenty of nuclear material even after returning live warheads to Russia. Where all the Russian nukes are is anyone’s guess. It is well known that terrorist groups have pursued nukes. My point is that the Syrian Civil War is happening at the center of the most unstable place on earth. Adding a nuclear dimension to the conflict makes the risk of ignoring it or letting someone else handle it too dangerous. I am afraid that we are not leading as we could and should.

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  22. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    Larry, Israel is the only one in the direct neighborhood to hold nukes. Pakistan is very far away and not likely to waste their nukes when they are much more worried about India. Russia and the US control all the other nukes available anywhere nearby – excepting naval vessels which might include Britain, and France. Very unlikely to be anyone else. Iran doesn’t have any nukes and it would be a long time in an active war before they had any.

    If you want to worry about instability Israel looks to be ready for war on two fronts, possibly hoping to draw Iran in. Jordan appears to be on the verge of some sort of violence and Egypt is still shaky. So, yes, there is a mess happening over there but Syria may not be the worst of it.

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  23. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    Thank God we have Obama in charge and not any Neocons who might hope to re-shape the political landscape through military action.

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  24. Rancid Crabtree says:

    Knuckle, Baby Rancid is in the Gulf on an aircraft carrier, grand baby Rancid is in, we think, Afghanistan, 4th tour, as a ReCon Marine. I’d be happy to introduce you so you can set them straight.

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  25. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    Maybe he’ll run into my brother over there.

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  26. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    Oh, and I’d be happy to answer any questions grand baby Rancid has.

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  27. The Original Larry says:

    KHL,
    I wish I shared your optimism about the Middle East. The nuclear arsenals of Pakistan and the former Soviet Union are far from secure. There are nukes (ours) in Turkey, who, as part of NATO, participates in “nuclear arms sharing”. Iran is completely untrustworthy and capable of anything. More likely, but no less frightening, is the specter of chemical weapons, which Assad has and has pledged to use if threatened. Even Obama will be motivated by that. Too bad we have no “neocons” in power to deal with this before it explodes.

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  28. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    Ole Larry, it isn’t that I am optimistic that everyone in Syria is going to start holding hands and singing Kumbaya (how ever that is spelled). There is fighting, there will be more fighting, and lots of innocent people will be killed. The arms merchants will make plenty of money and families who just want to live in peace will have their homes and lives destroyed

    We’ve been down the WMD road before and heard the cries of “wolf”. We are prepared to deal with such issues short of creating all out war.

    We have nukes all over the place but we keep careful control of them. Some Turkish guy isn’t going to walk in a room at coffee break and hit the launch button.

    Iran is MOSTLY trustworthy, and they don’t have nukes. Iran can be trusted to do the things their leaders think is in their best interest at that is relatively predictable, just as Iraq under Saddam Hussein was relatively predictable and many well informed people predicted that Saddam Hussein was bluffing on WMDs but the Neocons got it wrong.

    It is the Neocons who can’t be trusted because they are willing to start wars where no war is necessary – though that is completely predictable.

    So what do we do? To start with we need to make a big show of attempting to stop the bloodshed we have some small control over before it spins completely out of control. We need to confront Israel and the Palestinians and put some real pressure on them to resolve their differences peacefully. That is sabotaged from within the US by people who dont want us to get tough on Israel in any way. Hamas needs to stop firing rockets into Israel and Israelis need to stop Settlement building.

    We need to take some steps to resolving conflict between Pakistan and India. The slow simmer there is making Pakistan ever more radical.

    We should get out front on what is happening in Jordan and convince the King that he needs to open his government to a more democratic system.

    We have to keep lines of communication open to Egypt and support democracy in small ways where we can. Same in Libya.

    We need to reaffirm to the Turks our strong support for peaceful action because their patience is being tried.

    Lebanon needs to know that we dont want war to spill over their borders.

    Saudi Arabia needs to pressure or coax the extremists within its borders to tone things down over time.

    There are lots of positive steps we can take without firing a single bullet.

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  29. The Original Larry says:

    Why can’t we all just get along? Because Saudi Arabia finances terrorists who act against us. Because Lebanon is a Syrian client state run by Hezbollah. Because Pakistan is a nuclear state unable to control its own territory or borders that professes to be our ally but supports our enemies. Because Iran, our overt enemy, is hell-bent on developing nuclear weapons no matter what they say to the contrary. Beacause the people we supported in Lybia and Egypt are not our friends. Because ALL OF THEM are dedicated to the destruction of Israel. Enough?

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  30. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    Talk about despicable comments; “Really, your brother is over there? On whose side?”

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  31. Brian Mann says:

    I just had to trash a comment. This conversation is getting pretty thin. I’m not going to close it, but please don’t get locked into a tit-for-tat with each other where you’re just scoring points.

    Be civil, be thoughtful, then move on.

    –Brian, NCPR

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  32. mervel says:

    Well we can and should stay involved in these places that are problems.

    But invading, using military force and occupying a country is not the American way. We can and do support Israel as an ally in the region, but we are not in charge, they are not part of the US, they can do what they want and should to protect their own security. Iraq and Afghanistan have been unmitigated failures. How many Vietnam’s do we need to realize that we are simply no good at occupation and colonization?

    We were sold this bill of goods once before, back then it was called the domino theory, how we HAD to win in Vietnam to stop the Soviet Union and China from taking over the whole world. We lost in Vietnam and Vietnam today is just fine; the whole theory was bogus. Now we have the whole fear mongering about Islam, same sort of deal, we have to invade we have to occupy they pose real threats. They are not threats in any realistic sort of way, they are irritants and it would be nice if the region was not so screwed up, but the US will be fine regardless.

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  33. mervel says:

    http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2012/11/19/121119fa_fact_lizza

    This is an interesting story, Republicans have a chance, but they have to change and Texas is the key.

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  34. mervel says:

    From the article:

    “As a senator from Texas, the largest and most important state in the Republican firmament, Cruz has a special role in the post-Romney debate. At the Presidential level, Texas has thirty-eight electoral votes, second only to California, which has fifty-five. It anchors the modern Republican Party, in the same way that California and New York anchor the Democratic Party. But, Cruz told me, the once unthinkable idea of Texas becoming a Democratic state is now a real possibility.

    “If Republicans do not do better in the Hispanic community,” he said, “in a few short years Republicans will no longer be the majority party in our state.” He ticked off some statistics: in 2004, George W. Bush won forty-four per cent of the Hispanic vote nationally; in 2008, John McCain won just thirty-one per cent. On Tuesday, Romney fared even worse.

    “In not too many years, Texas could switch from being all Republican to all Democrat,” he said. “If that happens, no Republican will ever again win the White House. New York and California are for the foreseeable future unalterably Democrat. If Texas turns bright blue, the Electoral College math is simple. We won’t be talking about Ohio, we won’t be talking about Florida or Virginia, because it won’t matter. If Texas is bright blue, you can’t get to two-seventy electoral votes. The Republican Party would cease to exist. We would become like the Whig Party. Our kids and grandkids would study how this used to be a national political party. ‘They had Conventions, they nominated Presidential candidates. They don’t exist anymore.’ ”

    Read more: http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2012/11/19/121119fa_fact_lizza#ixzz2CWxHZ3GH

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  35. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    So who are the Republican leaders like McCain and Graham attacking? A black woman, Susan Rice? They haven’t learned anything from their election loss.

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  36. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    O Larry, Pakistan is very much in control of its borders – when and where it wants to be, excepting Kashmir of course which is the subject of a long-standing military conflict with India and to some extent in Baluchistan.

    Egypt is definitely not working toward the destruction of Israel. Libya is still in a formative state but it seems unlikely that they will line up with anyone who wants to destroy Israel. Even most of the Palestinians are eager to resolve many decades long dispute with Israel and just a week or two ago a Palestinian leader (I forget who) openly stated that the Palestinians are willing to wave the right of return for most refugees who fled Palestine before and during the ’48 war.

    In spite of the present conflict there may be some hope to return to peace talks. Perhaps Israel is hoping in some inscrutable fashion to drive the Palestinians to sue for peace under new leadership after the old leaders are killed.

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  37. Rancid Crabtree says:

    Wow, and here I was thinking intelligent people ran this site. So Mr. Mann deletes an entire post rather than editing one line he found offensive. Nice. I see exactly whats going on here thank you very much. No talk of actual facts regarding WMD will be tolerated. Good enough, now I understand.

    Knuckle, you asked for it, you got it.

    Btw- Why is attacking, if that’s even an accurate term, a black woman Susan Rice wrong when attacking a black woman Condoleeza Rice was okay? What sheer hypocrisy you people display! I realize bringing up actual historical fact angers Mr Mann but do any of you recall the unending attacks on Bush and his family that you people engaged in? I’m not a Bush fan, but for the left to play the race baiting/woman hating card is simply laughable. So you not recall that Condie Rice was “Bushs house ######”? That sitcoms based on the Bushs aired, that his daughters were branded whores?

    Where is your shame?

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  38. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    RC, you dont like me. I get it. It doesn’t bother me all that much. I wasn’t even offended by your comment. I just found it to be extremely hypocritical to talk that way about someone who has chosen to serve their country by a person I presume would be irate if I said such a thing.

    If you want to know the facts about WMD in Iraq you should start by looking at what Hans Blix had to say about it.

    About Condi Rice, plenty of people disagreed with things that she did and said but she was confirmed for her position. McCain and Graham are saying they dont even want to give her the chance. Is it possible there is no bigotry or racism or sexism involved? Absolutely! But my personal gut reaction to it, based on a long history of other comments and actions by Republican leaders, is that Republicans are tone deaf at the very least.

    You would think that after seeing the results of the last two presidential elections the Republican leadership would be more sensitive to looking like they are happy to bully women and especially black women. If they want to bring up specific issues at a confirmation hearing, fine, fair game. To shut down a nomination before it happens doesnt look good to the demographic they need to win over in future elections. Is it that they are just too old and out of touch with the rest of America for them to see it?

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  39. mervel says:

    KHL,

    McCain and Graham are not attacking Susan Rice, they are however on the scent of a political cover-up to the degree that Rice was sent out to lie to the American people about what happened in Libya. So until that cover-up is settled, no any sort of nomination for her should be stopped until this is cleared up. Lets face it we all know she was sent out to try to mitigate and minimize our security screw up in Libya, the question is who knew what and when and who told her to lie if anyone did? I think they are looking at appointing a select committee to investigate.

    However politically it is BRILLIANT, my hat goes off again to the Democratic spin machine to deflect attention away from the cover-up to the person of Susan Rice, an African American women. The whole thing is politics one way or the other and frankly in the grand scheme of the multiple wars, conflicts and nation building /world police efforts we are involved in: not that big of a deal to try and cover your butt for a screw up, that is normal in Washington.

    Politically unless the Republicans really feel this is a true scandal- cover-up, corruption for the administration, they should drop the whole thing. If however they feel that there is more to come out that indeed this is a real scandal for this administration than they should really press it. It all comes down to the calculations of risk-reward politically. Up to know the Republicans have totally screwed that calculation up.

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  40. mervel says:

    Of course the Republicans have used this same technique, we have supreme court judge right now who is likely sitting there due to this sort of deflection.

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  41. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    Mervel, you may be right that Rice was sent out to deflect attention from a screw up, sort of in the same way that Colin Powell was sent to the UN to make a false case for invasion of Iraq. There may be a difference in that it is possible that the administration was using Rice in a dis-information campaign against the terrorists who killed our ambassador and Powell was just there to sell a war that nobody but the Neocons wanted. Or maybe that is just spin.

    Either way Rice was doing her job and the details of that can be explored in the hypothetical hearings that haven’t occurred since Rice hasn’t been nominated.

    If McCain et al want to explore the idea that the administration is engaged in a cover-up going after Rice doesn’t get them there. All it does is give Democrats a chance to spin the criticism, if that is what you believe is going on. I am not opposed to hearings on the matter. I believe that there should be a inquiry (and I’m sure that military and intelligence people have been working on that anyway) because there was a failing and American diplomats and security team members were killed. We should look to see if it was a case where our protocols were lacking and can be fixed, or if there were people who failed to take reasonable precautions, or if it was simply a case of events going radically awry in a way that could not have been predicted.

    Personally, I don’t see this as a scandal and a cover-up, but that may just be my political bias and you can dismiss it if you want. I have reasons for feeling the way I do. For one, I don’t see that there is a basis for scandal. Nobody wanted our people to die except for the terrorists. Nobody.

    Perhaps some people feel that it was a cover-up to prevent Obama from losing the election. By the same token you may believe that Obama’s response to Sandy was simply a political ploy to get votes. If you’re going to go down that road then you have to ask yourself if Israel decided to wait until after the election to go after Hamas or any of a dozen other events. Then those on the Left will start to ask where are the War Crimes hearings to hold Bush and Cheney accountable?

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  42. Rancid Crabtree says:

    No Knuckle, it’s not that I like you or dislike you. I don’t know you beyond what I see here. However, if you choose to make smart aleck comments about us, you’ll get the same in return. That’s life bud.

    As far as WMD, you can believe Blix if you choose. I’ll believe the people that were there actually looking for and finding the evidence I’ve talked to first hand. How someone can simply ignore 550 tons of the yellow cake that people still say was never there is rather a puzzle. It’s in Canada now. Just google yellow cake and Canada and you’ll find the articles.

    I don’t believe there is any bigotry, racism or witch hunting involved. Susan Rice did as she was told and now she gets the heat for it. Obama said to go after him, fine, lets do that. Lets get a single Watergate type panel and do a real investigation. Maybe it’s not the cover up it appears to be, maybe the stand down order to the forces available was the right thing to do. But this isn’t going to be forgotten like some would like. This should have influenced the election and almost total lack of coverage prior to the election is a black eye on Americas media. If the CIA did have Al Quaida prisoners there and if there was a weapons program in play then that’s all illegal and certainly reason to try and cover up the event.

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  43. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    It is really funny how the shoe ends up on the other foot so perfectly.

    Liberals complained about Bush running up the debt and Republicans ignored it. Now they are all about the debt. Liberals decried secret CIA detention sites, not a word from Republicans.

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  44. mervel says:

    But politically is there fruit for the Republicans on this tree? I don’t know it seems like a lot of work a lot of effort investigating a confused mess, how will it paint the Republicans? Four people died, not good at all, but you know we have had a lot of people die in these wars in the middle east and many in circumstances more questionable than this.

    I would say let this thing go and move on, but once again there may be a bigger deal there than we know about and that is what they are after?

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  45. mervel says:

    Yeah, really what Republican would be against holding terrorist secretly at our embassy, sounds great!

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  46. mervel says:

    I guess if you want to coddle these terrorists you might be against that.

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  47. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    RC, I looked up yellow cake and Canada as you suggested and the second entry on Google was a Snopes piece about how the issue is a fake.

    http://www.snopes.com/politics/war/yellowcake.asp

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  48. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    But it does remind us about how the Bush Whitehouse leaked the name of an active CIA agent to the press. We’re you in favor of a Watergate style investigation into that?

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  49. Rancid Crabtree says:

    The yellow cake is most certainly NOT fake. Here, per the CBC- http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2008/07/05/saddam-uranium.html

    And to be clear, Richard Armitage leaked the fact that Wilsons wife was CIA, Novak just looked in Who’s Who to get her name.

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