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September 06, 2006

Welcome Back, National Security

According to The Hill, Democrats are tired of clapping their hands over their ears every time the GOP mentions national security, and see 2006 as the time to forthrightly shatter the myth of Republican competence on terrorism. When the Republicans attacked the Democrats on security yesterday, the Democrats were ready, sending out decorated general Wesley Clark to rebut the charges. And Reid and Pelosi seem delighted to be engaging this fight, with Reid happily predicting that each time the GOP runs this play, they'll net fewer yards, and this time they'd get stopped at the line of scrimmage.

Meanwhile, the Corner is collapsing in paroxysms of glee over Bush's brilliant move on detainees today. For reasons I don't quite understand, Mario Loyola seems to think Bush "stole the terms of debate from the Democrats, and rewrote them, all in a single speech. It will be delightful to watch in coming days and hours as bewildered Democrats try to understand what just hit them, and then sort through the rubble of their anti-Bush national security strategy to see what, if anything, remains." I'm not terrifically sure what the political implications of today's move are, but it seems to me that Bush was forced by the Supreme Court to stop holding detainees illegally, and by Congress to stop torturing people. That he's decided to say he'll do these things is being greeted as a victory of epic proportions by the Corner crowd. The soft bigotry of low expectations, I guess.

Update: Spencer Ackerman has some further thoughts.

September 6, 2006 | Permalink

Comments

"Meanwhile, the Corner is collapsing in paroxysms of glee over Bush's brilliant move on detainees today. For reasons I don't quite understand..."

In terms of political tactics for the '06 campaign, The Corner is right and you're wrong.

This is the Big Bang of the fall campaign, and it's very savvy smashmouth politics from the Party of Evil.

The key is to imagine the forthcoming Congressional debate. Ackerman has one scenario over at the Plank - Bush to Congress: legalize torture confessions, or KSM walks. It may not play out quite that way, but look to the Homeland Security Dept scheme of '02 where the GOP will insert a Poison Pill to prevent Dems from voting for being able to bring KSM to justice.

If the GOP can stage manage Act 2 in Congress, this could end up being a very, very big deal for November.

And just how long do you think the KSM rollout has been pencilled in the schedule for just after Labor Day '06? One year? Two years?

Don't understand this at all of our peril. The GOP has only one play to run, but they're running it now, and they're very good at running this one particular play.

Posted by: Petey | Sep 6, 2006 5:17:12 PM

"Mario Loyola seems to think Bush "stole the terms of debate from the Democrats, and rewrote them, all in a single speech."

He's not quite right, but he's not too far off either.

-----

If we don't get back the House, you can date the defeat specifically to today.

Posted by: Petey | Sep 6, 2006 5:28:50 PM

And Further, I'm worried that The Corner sees the coming storm. But who on our side of the aisle does? Ackerman is starting to primitively grapple with the issues. And I'm out in the wilderness trying to tell folks that this is the big one.

Where's Batman when you need him?

Posted by: Petey | Sep 6, 2006 5:36:06 PM

Petey is completely right.

I would let KSM walk, but that probably would not be politically astute or advantageous.

The Democratic base is about to get its heart shattered as the Senate legalizes torture and shreds the Constitution. Quick, now come up with an answer.

Posted by: bob mcmanus | Sep 6, 2006 5:48:42 PM

This isn't meant to be strategy point, but here:
As long as Donkeys and Elephants are railing against each other about their superior fear and loathing stance vs. a not very huge threat, how is the US in a "strong" position? We look foolish. I think Kerry had it right when he talked about nuiscance and law enforcement.

Posted by: MelodyMaker | Sep 6, 2006 5:50:21 PM

"I think Kerry had it right when he talked about nuiscance and law enforcement."

Naw, Petey will very much disagree, but my answer is to up the shrill to the level of civil disobedience. "Bush is a Torturing fascist dictator." is the minimum level of rhetoric.

Ya gotta go for it. You can't play defense, and you can't pull your punches, and you can't hope for the moderates to like you. You scream your heart out when your heart is breaking. You risk everything. Everything.

Posted by: bob mcmanus | Sep 6, 2006 5:55:29 PM

Since the wingnuts love to mix up WWII with the GWOT, let us recall the standard set for us by the Nuremberg Trials. No secret prisons, no illegal detentions, no tortured suspects, no political ploys, just public trials before an international tribunal.

Posted by: sprocket | Sep 6, 2006 5:56:20 PM

I found it a bit odd that the President received a standing ovation when he announced the names of detainees that had been transferred to Guantanamo for prosecution. Isn't he the same person that has been preventing this type of prosecution? It seems to me that saying "It's about time" would be the more appropriate response to this announcement. The only thing we've gained from the delay of this outcome is the ire of much of the world and a loss of the moral authority that 9/11 most certainly provided.

The fact that these "high profile" names were released...and that one might presume that these individuals will be paraded in the media for all to see...almost immediately after the President and the GOP have just rolled out their campaign strategy for the November midterm election seems all too convenient. Granted, it may well be coincidental but I'm not convinced. Nothing would serve the President better than having Americans see some "tangible" results of our effort to fight the war on terror.

Read more here:

www.thoughttheater.com

Posted by: Daniel DiRito | Sep 6, 2006 5:58:12 PM

"just public trials before an international tribunal."

Absolutely right. Not gonna happen.

Posted by: bob mcmanus | Sep 6, 2006 6:18:31 PM

Petey

That's easy: how dare the President stain our military and our country by using the same techniques that Saddam Hussein used? Does the President really think that the nited Sttaes of America should fall to the level of the North Vietnamese who brutalized brave American soldeirs like John McCain? etc. As for the letting go: KSM is actually somoen who could legitimately be considered a prisoner of war, so why let him go. Keep him until Al Qeda surrenders. I.e. never.

Posted by: kevin | Sep 6, 2006 6:23:53 PM

"That's easy: how dare the President stain our military and our country by using the same techniques that Saddam Hussein used? Does the President really think that the nited Sttaes of America should fall to the level of the North Vietnamese who brutalized brave American soldeirs like John McCain? etc. As for the letting go: KSM is actually somoen who could legitimately be considered a prisoner of war, so why let him go. Keep him until Al Qeda surrenders. I.e. never."

It's a very nice speech. You would make the GOP quite happy if you were do deliver it in concert with others.

Posted by: Petey | Sep 6, 2006 6:30:34 PM

Petey

No, I don't think I would. You have to stop assuming that everything the GOP says is correct and right and that they have some magical power to brainwash everyone they come across. Becasue right now your solution is just to shut up and give in. Sorry, mate, but this country survived foreign invasion, two world wars, and nuclear standoff with a country that could turn us all into ash shadows a dozen times over with its Constitution intact. just becasue Bush is a cpward and wants to throw that all away because he let a couple fof ailed goat herders get lucky doesn't mean that the rest of the country wants to.

Paint the Bush policies as the cowardly over-reactions they are -- in those terms -- and point out that Bush made trying KSM harder becasue he emulated Saddam Hussein (and point out that not all the evidence against KSM came from torture and call Bush a liar and incompetent when he says otherwise) and do it as hard as you can. Give the people a choice between being a coward and being proud of their steadfast adherence to the American Way of Life and most will not want to think of themselves as cowards.

Look, we don't control the terms of debate as long as we are out of power. If you are going to forever assume that fear wins all, then just give up now, becasue you will always, always lose. If you never give the country a chance to think of itself as brave, then you will continuly live in a fearful country. If this is the fight -- and it is -- then it is long past time we started giving people a reason to be brave.

Posted by: kevin | Sep 6, 2006 6:50:26 PM

Oi. Sorry about all the typos.

Posted by: kevin | Sep 6, 2006 6:51:28 PM

"You have to stop assuming that everything the GOP says is correct and right and that they have some magical power to brainwash everyone they come across."

I believe neither of those things, but we're entering into a dynamic where we've wondered into a gun fight while carrying knives. You may want to be brave. I'd like to find a different battle.

Posted by: Petey | Sep 6, 2006 6:53:59 PM

Petey

You don't get to decide where these battles are fought. We don't have the media, the Senate, the House or the White House and thus a very limited abality to Like it or not, we are going to have to fight a great deal of the time on their ground. And on this issue, we can either roll over -- which is too damaging to the country to allow -- or we can fight. And if we are going to fight, the only way to succeed that I see isn't some "yes, but ..." and an attempt to change the subject. We must align ourselves with the Constitution and the American Way and hammer Bush as hard as we can for being so panicky after 9/11 that he lost faith in the country, the Constituion and the American people and allowed un-American, un-Christian things to happen on his watch.

If you hav a better route, than I am all ears. But we cannot avoid this fight so we best be thinking of ways to win it.

Posted by: kevin | Sep 6, 2006 7:09:48 PM

"You have to stop assuming that everything the GOP says is correct and right and that they have some magical power to brainwash everyone they come across.""

(Really vicious comment about Petey deleted. Damn I am in a bad mood)

Posted by: bob mcmanus | Sep 6, 2006 7:18:35 PM

Is there any risk that KSM will go free, even if info gained under torture isn't allowed? Surely we've got enough on the guy that we don't need the torture stuff. I don't see what bars a Democratic response like, "We know the guy's guilty, because of this other evidence. He'll be convicted and executed. There's no need to change the laws."

Posted by: Neil the Ethical Werewolf | Sep 6, 2006 8:39:56 PM

If the Colorado Jon-Benet suspect had been tortured by the local police, whatwould be the proper and adequate remedy? The exclusionary rule is great jeopardy in domestic jurisprudence, I would not like to see it eliminated.

The perpetrators of the torture may be pardoned, and those who gave the orders inaccessible, so I think the remedy is for KSM to walk. With no consequences, Geneva, Hague, and Torture are toilet paper, and you forget trying to recycle them.

Posted by: bob mcmanus | Sep 6, 2006 8:52:08 PM

Oh. To be clear, KSM walking would not be my first choice, but my first choice would get me a visit from the FBI.

Posted by: bob mcmanus | Sep 6, 2006 9:34:02 PM

You have to stop assuming that. . .the GOP. . .[has] some magical power to brainwash everyone they come across.

Petey,

Based on your comments - and I read them religiously - the foregoing expresses your point of view quite well. You believe that the GOP message reigns supreme over the political landscape. As best I can tell, you see progressive goals as deeply unpopular, and you seek to foist them upon an unsuspecting public through guile.

You are never happy when a Democrat speaks his or her mind. You are unhappy that the people of Connecticut nominated an anti-Iraq War candidate, and you have expressed your dismay at the attention progressives have gotten as a factor in that campaign. Whenever a Democrat gets honest about what Democrats believe, you are the first to proclaim disaster and doom-and-gloom.

I want candidates who will stand up for what they supposedly believe. I want Democrats who are Democrats and who are not afraid to say it. I am not worried about the fact that Harry Reid is a Mormon, nor do I care that Barney Frank is gay. The Democratic party has room for them and for people to the right, left and middle of each of them.

I also am a firm believer in representative democracy. I believe in the will of the people as expressed in elections, and I will not support the use of deception to try and sneak candidates and policies past a hostile electorate. If Democrats as Democrats can't win, then they can't win. I'm disappointed at the idea, but if a majority of the country wants what the Republicans are selling, fine. (That the GOP relies on deception is a problem, but not an excuse for sinking to that level.)

The amazing thing is that there are still Democrats who believe that we must try to deceive the public about who we are. The American public is fully against the Iraq war, fully in favor of Medicare, Social Security and other entitlements, and wishes to see an increase in minimum wage. Most Americans are actually comfortable with the idea of universal healthcare - at least those who have not yet discovered the utopia of HDHPs with HSAs.

I would suggest, Petey, that you consider how the Democratic party has acted in precisely the way you counsel for a couple of decades now. I would suggest that you consider the Democratic party's record - One 2-term president and the loss of a 40-year majority in Congress. Perhaps it's time to try something else, something more honest.

Posted by: Stephen | Sep 6, 2006 9:51:32 PM

I'm more with Petey and Spencer Ackerman on this one. I just don't think that opposing the president's stated desire to do whatever the fuck he wants to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is a political winner. I think this is a hell of a political maneuver, and I'm worried about how the Dems will respond.

I think Neil's on the right track. "This is more hysterical fear-mongering from the same people who lied to us before" gets at something of the right response.

Posted by: DivGuy | Sep 6, 2006 11:22:20 PM

Don't accept Bush/GOP framing, for god's sake.

This isn't about whether or not someone "walks."

This is about the Bush Admin denigrating a judicial system that has worked just fine for centuries, thank you, and that has been a model for other countries to emulate.

This is part of the Bush Admin's ongoing assault on free and fair trials, and an independent judiciary; and wanting to replace it with Star Chamber type trials which are the stuff of tyrannies and despotisms.

It's an insult to America, and to Americans, because it assumes as a matter of course that what we really want is a justice system like the one the USSR had, and China has.

Posted by: CaseyL | Sep 7, 2006 12:14:30 AM

香水有毒
求佛
秋天不回来
不怕不怕
千里之外
秋天不回来
求佛
香飘飘
我们都是好孩子
不怕不怕
不要再来伤害我
天下无双
狼爱上羊
老公老公我爱你
寻找李慧珍
god is a girl
大城小爱
舞娘
老婆老婆我爱你
曹操
qq爱
约定
那一夜
隐形的翅膀
光芒
飞行部落
真爱
冰菊舞
死了都要爱
一万个理由
反转地球
my love
好姑娘
爱我别走
我不后悔
飞舞
yesterday once more
王子变青蛙
We will rock you
不得不爱
夜曲
发如雪
爸爸妈妈
爱我就别伤害我
我很想爱他
桃花朵朵开
神话
笔记
吉祥三宝
不想长大
暧昧
迷魂计
花田错
秋天不回来
求佛
香飘飘
我们都是好孩子
不怕不怕
不要再来伤害我
天下无双
狼爱上羊
老公老公我爱你
寻找李慧珍
god is a girl
大城小爱
舞娘
老婆老婆我爱你
曹操
qq爱
约定
那一夜
隐形的翅膀
光芒
飞行部落
真爱
冰菊舞
死了都要爱
一万个理由
反转地球
my love
好姑娘
爱我别走
我不后悔
飞舞
yesterday once more
王子变青蛙
We will rock you
不得不爱
夜曲
发如雪
爸爸妈妈
爱我就别伤害我
我很想爱他
桃花朵朵开
神话
笔记
吉祥三宝
不想长大
暧昧
迷魂计
花田错
秋天不回来
求佛
香飘飘
我们都是好孩子
不怕不怕
不要再来伤害我
天下无双
狼爱上羊
老公老公我爱你
寻找李慧珍
god is a girl
大城小爱
舞娘
老婆老婆我爱你
曹操
qq爱
约定
那一夜
隐形的翅膀
光芒
飞行部落
真爱
冰菊舞
死了都要爱
一万个理由
反转地球
my love
好姑娘
爱我别走
我不后悔
飞舞
yesterday once more
王子变青蛙
We will rock you
不得不爱
夜曲
发如雪
爸爸妈妈
爱我就别伤害我
我很想爱他
桃花朵朵开
神话
笔记
吉祥三宝
不想长大
暧昧
迷魂计
花田错
秋天不回来
求佛
香飘飘
我们都是好孩子
不怕不怕
不要再来伤害我
天下无双
狼爱上羊
老公老公我爱你
寻找李慧珍
god is a girl
大城小爱
舞娘
老婆老婆我爱你
曹操
qq爱
约定
那一夜
隐形的翅膀
光芒
飞行部落
真爱
冰菊舞
死了都要爱
一万个理由
反转地球
my love
好姑娘
爱我别走
我不后悔
飞舞
yesterday once more
王子变青蛙
We will rock you
不得不爱
夜曲
发如雪
爸爸妈妈
爱我就别伤害我
我很想爱他
桃花朵朵开
神话
笔记
吉祥三宝
不想长大
暧昧
迷魂计
花田错
秋天不回来
求佛
香飘飘
我们都是好孩子
不怕不怕
不要再来伤害我
天下无双
狼爱上羊
老公老公我爱你
寻找李慧珍
god is a girl
大城小爱
舞娘
老婆老婆我爱你
曹操
qq爱
约定
那一夜
隐形的翅膀
光芒
飞行部落
真爱
冰菊舞
死了都要爱
一万个理由
反转地球
my love
好姑娘
爱我别走
我不后悔
飞舞
yesterday once more
王子变青蛙
We will rock you
不得不爱
夜曲
发如雪
爸爸妈妈
爱我就别伤害我
我很想爱他
桃花朵朵开
神话
笔记
吉祥三宝
不想长大
暧昧
迷魂计
花田错
秋天不回来
求佛
香飘飘
我们都是好孩子
不怕不怕
不要再来伤害我
天下无双
狼爱上羊
老公老公我爱你
寻找李慧珍
god is a girl
大城小爱
舞娘
老婆老婆我爱你
曹操
qq爱
约定
那一夜
隐形的翅膀
光芒
飞行部落
真爱
冰菊舞
死了都要爱
一万个理由
反转地球
my love
好姑娘
爱我别走
我不后悔
飞舞
yesterday once more
王子变青蛙
We will rock you
不得不爱
夜曲
发如雪
爸爸妈妈
爱我就别伤害我
我很想爱他
桃花朵朵开
神话
笔记
吉祥三宝
不想长大
暧昧
迷魂计
花田错
香水有毒
秋天不回来
香飘飘
你是我的玫瑰花
求佛
千里之外
狼爱上羊
天下无双
上海滩
寻找李慧珍
不怕不怕
健康快乐动起来
号码
我们都是好孩子
对不起我的最爱
老婆老婆我爱你
爱上你这样的女人
qq爱
大城小爱
认真的雪
隐形的翅膀
光芒
god is a girl
舞娘
好姑娘
吹眼睛
真爱
老公老公我爱你
死了都要爱
太美丽
曹操
那一夜
my love
一万个理由
反转地球
今天你要嫁给我
yesterday once more
爸爸妈妈
发光体
爱我别走
夜曲
我很想爱他
We will rock you
神话
不得不爱
发如雪
为什么相爱的人不能在一起
蝴蝶
王子变青蛙
雨夜
香水有毒
秋天不回来
香飘飘
你是我的玫瑰花
求佛
千里之外
狼爱上羊
天下无双
上海滩
寻找李慧珍
不怕不怕
健康快乐动起来
号码
我们都是好孩子
对不起我的最爱
老婆老婆我爱你
爱上你这样的女人
qq爱
大城小爱
认真的雪
隐形的翅膀
光芒
god is a girl
舞娘
好姑娘
吹眼睛
真爱
老公老公我爱你
死了都要爱
太美丽
曹操
那一夜
my love
一万个理由
反转地球
今天你要嫁给我
yesterday once more
爸爸妈妈
发光体
爱我别走
夜曲
我很想爱他
We will rock you
神话
不得不爱
发如雪
为什么相爱的人不能在一起
蝴蝶
王子变青蛙
雨夜
香水有毒
秋天不回来
香飘飘
你是我的玫瑰花
求佛
千里之外
狼爱上羊
天下无双
上海滩
寻找李慧珍
不怕不怕
健康快乐动起来
号码
我们都是好孩子
对不起我的最爱
老婆老婆我爱你
爱上你这样的女人
qq爱
大城小爱
认真的雪
隐形的翅膀
光芒
god is a girl
舞娘
好姑娘
吹眼睛
真爱
老公老公我爱你
死了都要爱
太美丽
曹操
那一夜
my love
一万个理由
反转地球
今天你要嫁给我
yesterday once more
爸爸妈妈
发光体
爱我别走
夜曲
我很想爱他
We will rock you
神话
不得不爱
发如雪
为什么相爱的人不能在一起
蝴蝶
王子变青蛙
雨夜
香水有毒
秋天不回来
香飘飘
你是我的玫瑰花
求佛
千里之外
狼爱上羊
天下无双
上海滩
寻找李慧珍
不怕不怕
健康快乐动起来
号码
我们都是好孩子
对不起我的最爱
老婆老婆我爱你
爱上你这样的女人
qq爱
大城小爱
认真的雪
隐形的翅膀
光芒
god is a girl
舞娘
好姑娘
吹眼睛
真爱
老公老公我爱你
死了都要爱
太美丽
曹操
那一夜
my love
一万个理由
反转地球
今天你要嫁给我
yesterday once more
爸爸妈妈
发光体
爱我别走
夜曲
我很想爱他
We will rock you
神话
不得不爱
发如雪
为什么相爱的人不能在一起
蝴蝶
王子变青蛙
雨夜
一万个理由
狼爱上羊
那一夜
不要再来伤害我
大城小爱
寂寞沙洲冷
完美世界
爸爸妈妈
生日礼物
功夫
情人
不得不爱
发如雪
一眼万年
希望
第一次爱的人
夜曲
一万个理由
狼爱上羊
那一夜
不要再来伤害我
大城小爱
寂寞沙洲冷
完美世界
爸爸妈妈
生日礼物
功夫
情人
不得不爱
发如雪
一眼万年
希望
第一次爱的人
夜曲
一万个理由
狼爱上羊
那一夜
不要再来伤害我
大城小爱
寂寞沙洲冷
完美世界
爸爸妈妈
生日礼物
功夫
情人
不得不爱
发如雪
一眼万年
希望
第一次爱的人
夜曲
香水有毒
秋天不回来
求佛
香飘飘
我们都是好孩子
不怕不怕
不要再来伤害我
天下无双
狼爱上羊
老公老公我爱你
寻找李慧珍
god is a girl
大城小爱
舞娘
老婆老婆我爱你
曹操
qq爱
约定
那一夜
隐形的翅膀
光芒
飞行部落
真爱
冰菊舞
死了都要爱
一万个理由
反转地球
my love
好姑娘
爱我别走
我不后悔
飞舞
yesterday once more
王子变青蛙
We will rock you
不得不爱
夜曲
发如雪
爸爸妈妈
爱我就别伤害我
我很想爱他
桃花朵朵开
神话
笔记
吉祥三宝
不想长大
暧昧
迷魂计
花田错

Posted by: sfwrwe | Sep 26, 2006 10:51:13 PM

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