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September 28, 2005


Of course, Michael Brown appears to be the Repubs' gift that keeps on giving.

Rep. Christopher Shays, a Connecticut Republican, called Brown's account of events "feeble," "clueless," "shocking" and "beyond belief." Said Shays: "I'm happy you left, because that kind of . . . look in the lights like a deer tells me that you weren't capable to do the job."

Rep. Kay Granger, a Texas Republican, told Brown: "I don't know how you can sleep at night. You lost the battle."

Here's an example of shutting up and letting the R's eat their own. Doesn't always work, but this time it did.

P.S. This how Shays gets himself reelected in CT:

But the lecturing continued -- in a way even Pelosi would have approved. "I have come to the conclusion that this administration values loyalty more than anything else," Shays said, "more than competence or, frankly, more than the truth. And you have reinforced that view. . . . I'm left with the feeling [that] the administration feels they have to protect you."

Note that he freely says this to the disgraced Brown, not to the disgrace of a Defense Secretary, for example.

Yes indeed -- this is how it works. Eventually, when absolutely everyone is clammering for the Democrats to lead, maybe they'll get around to working to stop this war and turn the country around. In the meantime, it is all just personal ambition and fluff. How many polls does it take for the pols to get it?

it's about timing, not conviction.

You can't beat something with nothing.

The Generals are already starting the pullback, even though there will be no announcement. Again, the Dems now followig Bush better wake up and see the withdrawing tank before it runs over them. They don't have to be strident; just lay out a few simple principles such as: Whatever the original intention, things haven't worked out as planned. The war is brutalizing American troops. We aren't helping and there is no way our continued presence makes it better. We need the resources at home. Begin an orderly pullback now.

Then a sensible plan to fund our obvious and growing infrastructure needs through a fairer tax system that puts the burden back on those who have profitted so handsomely from the last 10 years. End corruption. Take the pressure off the states so they can provide the kind of education and other services people want.

Did I mention end the culture of corruption?

Start slow. There is time next year to talk about health care and the rest of it. For now the theme should be "America for all of us not just the few." And from every candidate, "we will restore the safety net and provide real homeland security."

Great link, Mimikatz. And great overall point: I know timing is important, but there's no reason not to make some start already. As so many of us have argued ad nauseum, we need to be laying the foundation now for all the work that'll have to be done by a Dem congress (and eventually President, knock wood). That means articulating an overarching theme and some policy particulars clearly and soon. (Plenty of material at TNH if they're still looking...)

And just acting on the (eminently reasonable) assumption that '06 will be a "throw-the-bums-out" year isn't enough. The Republicans are nothing if not politically opportunistic: Chris Shays is a no-brainer, but I can unfortunately imagine a scenario in which many Reps adapt an "independent" "reform" position sooner than many Dems. They won't be able to shake off the association completely, of course; but does anyone doubt the possibility that another '74 could be followed by another '80? As Mimikatz said, you can't beat something with nothing: the Dems have got to start crafting their positive message now.

rj, i agree. i understand the Dem dilemma about timing. shutting up today, forexampole, is a good idea. But sooner rather than later, we need to hear Dem policy, where Dems stand on the war in particular.

DemFromCT - this is slightly OT - but speaking of polls, you left a comment over at my place the other day about the zogby impeachment poll - i just wanted to let you know that we have upscaled our plans, and afterdowningstreet has taken over and we plan to hire *all* of the polling companies to ask the impeachment question(s) - details at www.afterdowningstreet.org/polling - hopefully some polls *are* worth something. by all accounts, the repugs dont want this question asked, so maybe they think that some questions are best not asked

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