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January 02, 2006

What You Don't Know Can't Hurt You?

The Moose writes:

There is no evidence, for instance, that President exploited the program to spy on domestic opponents or to assist in his re-election. If he did, it would be an entirely different matter.

Which must be why he opposes an investigation or review that'd definitively find that out. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, particularly when you're dealing with a classified, extralegal program that's only understood through scattershot leaks to The New York Times. To borrow an overused Republicans riposte to civil libertarians, if Bush did nothing wrong, he's got nothing to worry about. So why's he so afraid of hearings?

I also love this:

We have two great parties in America. One is in thrall to big money. The other is under the control of left wing "new politics," upper middle class, and highly educated activists. The primary domestic objective of the contemporary GOP is to comfort the comfortable and afflict the afflicted. However, the primary objective of the National Democratic Party is not to address the anxieties of the middle class or poor working Americans but rather to relieve the fevered anxieties of the ACLU, Hollywood funders and puerile bloggers.

There's not a whole lot of polling data on the subject, but of what's been surveyed, it seems that 68 percent of Americans are following the NSA story very or somewhat closely. I had no idea the ACLU, Hollywood moneymen, and us puerile bloggers comprised such an impressive army, and I'm even less clear on why the Democratic Party would prominently address something of great concern to roughly 70 percent of the populace -- why don't they talk about something that regular Americans care about, like video games or flag burning?.

January 2, 2006 | Permalink

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Tracked on Jan 2, 2006 10:21:44 AM

Comments

Marshall Whittman is the Ground Zero Cafe of the deadly center. He's the blogosphere's own Chris Matthews, or maybe Tim Russert; a self obsessed douche with a ridiculous infatuation for "strong leader" types, limbless right-centrism, and constant disdain for all actual Democrats.

Maybe he's a CATO plant, designed to turn us into libertarians by poisoning actual good liberal ideas. Ezra, how much does it hurt you to read a sentence like "If only there was a party that both advocates universal health care coverage and universal coverage from a Jihadist attack."? Is the answer "a lot"?

Posted by: SamAm | Jan 2, 2006 3:16:29 AM

The moose is rabid, biten by wingnut carriers. There is no cure for a rabid animal, but quarantine surely is in the public interest, maybe in a eastern european prison that 'doesn't exist'.

When will the democratic party denounce him? Right after they denounce Joe Liebermann. The Dems death wish is so obvious that maybe someone should remark about it.

It is time for a new center-left party in the US. The Democratic party is as relevant as the Whigs.

Posted by: JimPortandOR | Jan 2, 2006 3:23:04 AM

Do we need the likes of BullshitMoose anymore? Other than Clinton, his kind cost Democrats at least 2 elections in the row.

Posted by: ItAintEazy | Jan 2, 2006 8:12:42 AM

It is difficult to believe in plurality for a country if a party does not embrace it internally. To denounce Joe Lieberman is to condone denunciation for having discordant views. Allowing dissent is a weakness of a democratic party and it is a serious difficulty when confronted by a party that does not tolerate a plurality of views.

Ideology aside, the Nazis, a party that broached no discord, did not spend much time worrying about the democratic parties in Germany; they obsessed about the communists, the real threat. Communists, like Nazis, are not given to tolerating dissent. Structurally, only the communists would have been a challenge.

So, an over-riding question to me, is whether the Democratic Party decides to become like the Republican Party, or whether it can find clever ways to maintain its democratic instincts yet be successful against the Republicans. A Democratic Party that forgoes plurality would never have Harry Reed as Senate Minority leader.

Additionally, it is obvious that a rigid, ideological party, like today's Republican Party, ultimately seeks to create a rigid, ideological country. It is something worth fighting against.

Posted by: Mudge | Jan 2, 2006 8:18:04 AM

Once again, the Moose is really a Republican, and that's not just a form of speech. He really is a Republican, and a high-ranking one who worked for the Christian Coalition, the Heritage Foundation, the Hudson Institute, John McCain, and Bush I.

He's never backed away from any of that, unlike David Brock. So everything he says needs to be read in that context.

And speaking of context, maybe you could mention that to your colleagues at TAPPED, who insist on treating him as if he were a moderate Democrat (and calling him that!), just because he draws a paycheck from the DLC.

Posted by: paperwight | Jan 2, 2006 11:04:41 AM

am i the only one who remembers the national security letter story, wherein the president WAS spying on his political enemies? there was a creepy quote by an anonymous republican insider to the effect that "we know things about [kos and wonkette] that even their spouses don't know." anyone else remember that? is this a different bunch of illegal spying by the president or is it the same?

Posted by: pluripotentate | Jan 2, 2006 12:08:14 PM

ah yes:
http://www.capitolhillblue.com/artman/publish/article_7625.shtml

Posted by: pluripotentate | Jan 2, 2006 12:14:59 PM

At what point will this guy stop receiving attention from the people he's trying to needle? If he's just posting his ex-Christian Coalition, third-party ramblings in the wildness, he loses his effectiveness as a paid DLC provocateur.

Posted by: norbizness | Jan 2, 2006 12:20:53 PM

Capitol Hill Blue isn't exactly, err, reputable. I wouldn't believe what they say unless it shows up elsewhere and, usually, it doesn't.

Posted by: Ezra | Jan 2, 2006 12:39:21 PM

Capitol Hill Blue isn't exactly, err, reputable. I wouldn't believe what they say unless it shows up elsewhere and, usually, it doesn't.

Well, right before Katrina, CHB reported that Bush was acting erratically and throwing fits over Cindy Sheehan. Right before this wiretapping incident, CHB reported that Bush was screaming to aides that the Constitution was "just a piece of paper" when they questioned the legality of some of his plans. I always claimed the CHB served the same purpose for liberals that pornographic movies serve for pizza delivery men, but since Katrina, I've been willing to give them a second look.

That said-- Marshall Wittman. I don't know what to make of the guy. If there's one thing that both secular and religious liberals agree on when it comes to the Bush administration, it's that Bush's actions are morally wrong. Wittman, on the other hand, seems to exist in a moral void. His criticism of Bush, when it's on-point (and his post-Katrina commentary was really good on this one) is that Bush runs the country as a petulant man-child. However, when you combine this with his main complaint about Republicans -- their association with the Christian right -- with his graven attachment to McCain and Lieberman, it seems to me that his problems with Republicans are that he considers the Republican alliance with the fundangelicals to be unmanly. By contrast, the rest of the right-wing views the fundangelical alliance as crucial to them-- they're the enablers that make the Republican tax-cuts and military-handouts possible. Moose considers all of this beneath him, or even offensive to him, and he wants all of those tax cuts and purposeless bellicosity unsullied with the association of the fundangelicals and effette immaturity of Bush.

Also, he (like Lieberman) isn't an "independent thinker" within the Democratic party. The reason both of them have gained such antipathy from the Democratic blogosphere is not because their opinions differ. It's because they willingly act as conduits for Republican talking points.

Posted by: Constantine | Jan 2, 2006 12:53:24 PM

"Wittman, on the other hand, seems to exist in a moral void"

I don't like Wittman, but am a big fan of moral voids. As soon as Democrats realize that we in an era of saving the lives of family and friends, and morality is a fashion accessory for college kids, we can start doing serious politics.

Although we should pretend to care about morals when we're on tv.

Posted by: bob mcmanus | Jan 2, 2006 2:12:46 PM

My New Year's resolution list includes, don't waste verbiage slamming easy targets like Wittman. Instead, a simple "Fuck the 'Bull Moose' -- why do Dems think he has anything original to offer?" will suffice.

Posted by: sglover | Jan 4, 2006 12:19:03 PM

Gotta violate my last post to disseminate this. Wittman's no out-of-the-box centrist; he's just your garden variety, inside-the-Beltway whore.

Posted by: sglover | Jan 4, 2006 3:07:24 PM

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Posted by: judy | Sep 29, 2007 11:44:15 AM

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