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August 22, 2005


Sometimes it seems so crazy that I think there's something we're missing, like aliens or bigfoots have come and possessed the entire Congress.


How politically do you think any of these messages would play with the public?

Democrats to Bush: "Get a working strategy or get out."


Democrats to BushCo: "Either we get out on our own terms or we don't." link

Oh, and Martha Raddatz of ABCNews continues to be the best reporter on Iraq and the Pentagon. As straightforward and honest as you'll get these days. Among other things she shared tonight, she mentioned that the Iraqi constitution as is could lead to civil war and the private concerns of the military.

Raddatz was awesome. "A lot of people in this building (the pentagon) are worried about this.'

Newsie: I like the first one. It puts it on Bush, it implies he's already failed to date, and it puts him on the defensive. It's a valid variation of the "stop beating your wife or else" trope.

I hardly ever watch television news, but I've always been impressed with Radditz. She was great on NPR, and when I've seen her on ABC she seems just as good or better than when she was on NPR.

And it's simple, right, DHinMI?

The biggest problem Democrats have is being simple about things.

Oh, that, and unifying around one message.

And everybody pretty much gets what they want, right?

The Democrats appear tough, and it applies that they want us to succeed over there. They also signal support for pull-out if Bush doesn't follow through. It's also kind of like rhetorically standing your ground in Iraq while inching towards pullout.

Being against the war implies you are against American hegemony. The military budget, and our right to make war at will, is the real third rail.

Sorry. Too much Chalmers this evening.

You start with the old adage that good policy is good politics. Fair enough, and I'll accept, for now, the converse inference you set forth -- that, in general, bad policy is bad politics. However, that doesn't necessarily lead to the conclusion that opposing bad policy is always good politics (or that supporting the bad policy is always bad politics). I think al Isqut's comment is spot on -- if the opposition to the bad policy would implicate a third rail, then opposing the bad policy is not only bad politics, it (by definition) is political suicide. Not sure of the solution; I guess it's all in the messaging. How can Dem leaders communicate that they oppose Bush's War and at the same time refute the implication that they are against American hegemony (and, by extension, are not anti-military). Offensive, I know, but maybe a political reality?

I think you can communicate that with "Get a working strategy or get out." Make it clear that getting out only happens if *Bush* is unable to come up with a winning plan.

In contexts that allow it, extend it a bit with reference to Bush's inability to think of a single mistake he has ever made, and use that to emphasize the bullshit of Bush's belief that the only two options are doing *exactly* what we're doing now until it somehow works or "cutting and running." There are always other plans, except for people who are too stubborn to admit they could be wrong.

Make the demand that should have been made from the beginning: "Either explain how you're going to win this, or you won't be allowed to continue. 'I know what I'm doing, don't question me' isn't an explanation."

And further, point out that someone who has a plan and has confidence in it should have no problem with explaining it. Only a wimp who has no plan or no confidence hides behind yes-men.


have read a few questions about asking GW two questions
(1)Why aren't your daughters serving in Iraq if it is such a noble cause? (2)What is the noble cause?
I will attempt to think of hypotheticals that Rove et al will come up with and post them here for examination.

For question #1 regarding why the twins are not serving in Iraq. GW will probably say:

(1)He honestly tried to get the twins to go to Iraq, and when they went for their physicals and whatnot, the Doctors strongly recommended against it. The medical reasons are private between the doctor and my daughters.
[So, liberals, how do we respond and tear apart an argument like this?]

(2)The military is a distinct profession, God knows not everybody has it in them to be a brain surgeon, likewise, not everybody has it in them to be a soldier. This is why soldiering is one of the most noble of professions. I discussed the matter with my daughters, unfortunately, they are not so constituted as those incredily noble men and women currently serving in the military. That is why they(my daughters) are minding the homefront(volunteering for veterans, families, etc).
[Any solid counterarguments? Given that not everybody can be a surgeon, truthfully, not everbody can be a soldier?]

(3)I already discussed the matter with my daughters, as much as i really want them over in Iraq serving with our men and women in uniform; i am just a dad--i can't forcibly impose my will on my daughters, and...i can't presume to speak for them as to why they are not in the armed forces.
[We all have a choice...there are children who joined the the military against their parents wished, or vice versa. How do we respond to this?]

(4)GW could simply send the twins to a supersecured and pampered location in Iraq/Kuwait/Saudi Arabia, let them do a 3 month stint there and then come back to claim that they've "served" in Iraq.

GW could possibly give a short, non-answer like this: Everyone, every man and women to ever wear the uniform of the united states armed forces, has already more than done enough--because it is the noble cause, in fact, the noblest of all causes for anyone to wear the uniform of the united states armed forces regardless of when or where. We may all disagree or have different view points on the war on terror, but i believe we all can agree that to wear that uniform is a noble cause enough, to make sacrifices in that uniform, regardless of where and when, is more than a noble cause enough.
[How do we take this kind of insult apart?]

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