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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Beldar's reaction to rumors of Hillary for SecState

Per the AP:

Hillary Rodham Clinton, meanwhile, was expected to decide soon whether to take the job [of Secretary of State in the Obama Administration], which associates said she believes is hers if she wants it. Transition officials for President-elect Barack Obama said the former first lady had not formally been offered the job and other candidates have been vetted. But several Clinton associates said Obama has told her she is his top pick.

My first reaction was to immediately review the line of presidential succession, to count how many Secret Service teams will need to be beefed up once Hillary is formally in line for succession to the Oval Office. The answer is four:  Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi (as Speaker of the House), and Robert Byrd (as President Pro Tempore of the Senate).

Biden and Byrd would have to get used to spending lots of time in lonely, undisclosed locations, I suspect — never in the same room with the other two.

On the merits: As always, I'm disappointed to see either Clinton taken seriously for any serious responsibility because they are completely amoral, and their effectiveness is overrated. But there are worse alternatives for this job, and worse alternatives who've already been proposed for other offices. And again, as always with the Clintons, there is the small, cold comfort that their overwhelming ambition to retain power will probably compel Hillary to triangulate to some extent, rather than being an utter captive to the MoveOn.com/dKos Hard Left Dems.

Obama, by contrast, is wimping out big-time if he's seriously considering this appointment. In his own mind, he excuses that, probably, by thinking he's Lincoln and Hillary will be one of his Team of Rivals. Rivals he can find, but he's no Lincoln, and the point of Doris Kearns Goodwin's excellent book about Lincoln's cabinet was in part that only a Lincoln can succeed in riding herd over a team whose members are pulling in different directions. Since my priority is the future of the Nation rather than the specific success of Obama's particular administration, I'm somewhat more reassured by the Clinton triangulation likelihood than I'm distressed by the Obama emasculation likelihood.

Posted by Beldar at 07:49 PM in Congress, Current Affairs, Obama, Politics (2008) | Permalink

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Comments

(1) Bill Brandt made the following comment | Nov 19, 2008 11:44:43 PM | Permalink

I wonder if proposing Hillary for Sec State he is getting rid of a potential 2012 rival?

(2) Dale MacInnis made the following comment | Nov 20, 2008 9:12:37 AM | Permalink

Regarding Bill Brandt. That's what I had read might be Obama's thinking. It would be hard for a Sec State to run against their own president. But, she has to know that, so this will be interesting.

(3) Carol Herman made the following comment | Nov 20, 2008 12:41:43 PM | Permalink

Elegant! If this is done just to contain the press' feeding frenzy, so be it. On the other hand, in this move Obama rescues the democratic party. Sticking all the factions, into one big tend. While the republicans are arguing over "who owns the ball." And, even Jindal is racing Palin to "recover the fumble."

What Obama brings to the table with this move is a way of alleviating the pressures that were building in the senate. Hard for all those senate egos to cooperate. And, this leaves Harry Reid "in charge." Instead of forcing democrats to view reality; and their talents. And, to make Hillary the Majority Chair.

So, you can think of this move, if it happens, as an excellent solution for the seating arrangements in the senate.

It also gives Hillary a major view into foreign policy. This wasn't her strong point. She's better on domestic stuff. Just as was Eleanor Roosevelt.

Here's another gain, which is what makes this move so elegant. Come the race due in 2012, Hillary is poised to switch places with Biden. And, she gets to be veep.

If all runs successfully? That means in 2016 Hillary can run for president. And, the democrats, by then, will have gotten the country used to their being in charge.

We've always seen the flipping of strength between parties.

For Herbert Hoover? October 29, 1929 happened on his watch. In 1932 FDR was elected in November. But didn't take office until a date in March; leaving Herbert Hoover to his "lame-duck" shinanigans. But once he was GONE. The democrats rode in. And, took charge.

When you're in charge of the Federal Government, you're in charge of lots of jobs. (And, this, too, was something Lincoln knew. He never even delegated this part of his work to another. Always making sure he was in charge of his party!)

Just remember, to win you need "a bit more than half." If you can only count to 12, this means, if we changed our jury rules, you'd only have to convince seven. And, you'd own ALL the votes. Politics, in a sense, is easier than having to be a trial lawyer with the skills to convince "all 12."

Yet the republicans are now in such a mess; partially due to the fact that "extremist positions" are about as popular as "55 miles per hour." And, Prohibition. The things that don't work. And, that did force otherwise honorable citizens to break the law.

Today? Hemp does that. And, if women got kicked into back alleys ... you'd see a very distressed population, indeed.

Sadly, though, thanks to Dubya, the republican label has been infused with disaster. He treated money like a drunk. He increased the debt. And, the reach of the Federal government; so that you can't even help foreign countries contain their populaton explosions. He did this in the name of Jesus. But you can't fool me. Dubya's no heavenly representative.

And, Mort Sahl, who laughed at Jimmy Carter, said the trouble with these religious fanatics turning the White House into prayer centers, is that God's now good and exhausted with US! To much praying, not enough thinking, seems to show up as disasters, at the end of terms.

You think making fun of Obama is far reaching? I think it's a puzzlement. The same way I look a the Old South as having been out of their minds! Good enough for men to put on grey uniforms. True. But look at what they all lost when it was over. Here, again, the South intends to rise up and spit on The Black Man.

While Obama surprises! You had no idea he'd pick Hillary. You keep thinking he has to be very afraid of competition.

Obama proves you wrong.

He sure sets up his pieces on this board with a long term view. Of course, history hasn't been written yet. When it does come? What's the chances the GOP re-attracts public interest? Or are you just debating this among yourselves?

(4) Milhouse made the following comment | Nov 20, 2008 5:43:02 PM | Permalink

I can hardly think of a better Democrat for State. On foreign policy Clinton's been pretty good ever since she became a senator. This job would allow her ruthlessness to be channeled against the USA's enemies instead of against her personal rivals.

And for Obama making the offer is a brilliant move. It puts Clinton in a spot. If she turns it down she's effectively declaring open war against Obama, and starting her 2012 campaign far too early. But if she accepts it then she has to put the covert campaign on hold, because as part of the administration any attack on it tars her as well. Once in office she'd have to wait an acceptable time, then manufacture a reason to resign in a huff of outrage, at which point she'd again be at open war with Obama. She loses the chance at a 2.5-year covert campaign of undermining him while officially supporting him, to soften the ground for her declaration against him in late 2011.

(5) Carol Herman made the following comment | Nov 20, 2008 10:54:51 PM | Permalink

Well, Milhouse, it's good to see that you consider Hillary competent.

I don't agree with you, though, on her need to go to war against Obama. What's going on now, in our economy, won't be cured all that quickly. It may take four years of increasing efforts, just to see enough people employed.

For some reason I think Obama will unveil an "interesting" Federal "civil plan." He won't hand any bonanzas to the military. But, as JFK once tried to do with the Peace Corp; I think Obama will try to build something new ... that involves recent high school graduates. With a commitment to our nation. Again, not exactly a draft.

But a change in pace. WHere, by the time, kids are in their mid-twenties, the years they owe the State will be behind them; and they'll be insured for health. And, similar to VA loans, housing loans will have a workable sector. Just the way it worked backed after WW2.

So, if you want to picture Hillary "setting off" to cancel Obama's presidential success? I don't see this as a plan at all. Especially when Hillary is designated veep in 4 years. And, from that purch can run successfully in 2016. (The costs remain minimal, too.) Only the GOP looks at escalating costs as it tries to hold onto Congressional seats. Even more expensive when they're running against an encumbent in 2012.

"CHANGE." Now that's the dynamic.

One of the things that appear interesting is that Obama is filling spots with talented democrats; he hasn't picked Jesse Jackson, or Ayres. Or Sharpton. He doesn't appear to be touching those cookies.

Oh, Dubya's claim that Obama couldn't keep a secret, has also not proven to be true. Heck, Bush wasn't told a thing about how Hillary would get State! And, Bush was trying to sell a trade deal with Columbia. Well? He just sunk another empty well.

(6) PC14 made the following comment | Nov 21, 2008 1:23:49 AM | Permalink

During the primaries we often heard that Hillary would never be Obama's pick for VP because of Michelle's intense dislike of Clinton.

So I guess this pick makes sense, gets Clinton out of the country. Out of sight, out of mind.

First Lady really did turn out to be a career path for Hill, it seems.

(7) Darcy made the following comment | Nov 21, 2008 8:06:11 AM | Permalink

"I'm somewhat more reassured by the Clinton triangulation likelihood than I'm distressed by the Obama emasculation likelihood."

This part made me chuckle. Thanks! Me, too.

(8) Carol Herman made the following comment | Nov 21, 2008 11:29:04 AM | Permalink

I'm always fascinated by people who are willfully ignorant of what their opposition is doing. Not that you aren't playing games trying to guess. (But all the guesswork involves is spitballs.)

Maybe, it will help if I drop another clue? Hillary wants her daughter to take her senate seat.

There. I said it. And, I don't base this on very much. Except that the dying Ted Kennedy has already said that "when he goes" he wants his wife to have his chair. (And, this doesn't mean the chair is removed from the senate; and sent to her living room.)

Can you imagine IF Chelsea gets her mom's senate seat? You think this leaves Hillary all suited up to fight Obama? Gee. If this comes to pass, I really think Hillary would have her plate full.

For Chelsea to get the chair? She has to be 25 years old. (She'd have to be 32, the minimum age requirement, to run for our presidency.)

You think the Clinton's get gains fighting Obama?

While Bush is doing nothing at all with our navy; while the 12th ship has been pirated into Somalia. (And, as if the Iranians aren't noticing how a shipping lane can be "closed." While pirates get enriched.) And, our navy looks like a collection of very expensive boats; with admirals too afraid of "escalating" because? Well, it could ruin the paint! It could get a man's career in trouble!

And, Dubya doesn't think "doing nothing" hurts the GOP, in the long run. He's starting to look an awful lot like Herbert Hoover, in spades!

(9) Carol Herman made the following comment | Nov 21, 2008 8:48:33 PM | Permalink

What do lawyers do with their time when they are at trail? Certainly under those circumstances they've been matched with an opposition; and the purpose is to sway jurors.

Lots of time the lawyer just gets to sit. "Not his turn," so to speak. And, the other size, the opposition side, is up at the bar, explaining why your side is wrong. And, attempting to draw this argument to facts.

Given that during the "listening time" you can either choose to ignore what your opponent says is his side of the story. Or, you can be in perpetual animation, always claiming "the other side is just plain wrong."

What we have here? Well, it's the public domain of a very recent election. The results of which are now known. And, of the two sides, the democrats won it. Obama won the head count, as well as the electoral college count, decisively.

And, I guess? There are folk who want to help the GOP. And, you can read about this, here. Whether the observations are true, or not. They seem to be saying there's disarray ... and Obama is gonna come out running in circles.

Seems, instead, the democrats are being led by Obama, who is now the top guy in the democratic party. And, the GOP seems amazed at the people he is picking to sit with him in his executive office.

If you're right? Harping on Obama's actions is sensible.

But it's the GOP, in fact, that's in disarray. In terms that you can count. At the election, they lost customers.

Customers are hard enough to find, but in an economy driven south, customers, when they leave, take their loyalties with them.

Sort'a like a battlefield, where no matter how brave your warriors were, you lost. I don't know what kinds of years Obama will have ahead; but guessing that you'd have no work to do, because Hillary would make sure Obama gets defeated, seems to be a ploy, losing their facts, the way ships are being lost to pirates, at sea. And, Dubya doesn't even want to talk to this nation. Let alone what he says when he answers his phone "in private." But these are not good days for the GOP.

And, making statements that are put-downs against the democrats, where you were so sure you'd see disarray ... I was just wondering, if by chance, you might not want to retrench a bit? For a "beginner," he seems to understand power very well. Perhaps, you think this is true for Dubya, but I don't think so. Both Bush's squandered a lot.

Just like you can learn from an excellent trial lawyer, something about technique, even if you can't compete with his or her competence, you sure can learn something when one side enjoys success. And, the GOP is still flay-ling around. What's the last call you had where there was any enthusiasm?

Anyway, with Hillary (thinking about it. And, especially with her "thinking her daughter would look nice in her senate seat." You also see the Harry Reid problems disappearing. No matter what Reid ever did, he's just not the charismatic who could take on anyone else wielding real power.) Obama solves so much in just one stroke. Sure, people could squawk if Chelsea is seated. But since I'm not inside, where decisions are made, I just don't know who will end up moving ahead, one notch, within the democratic party.

But if there was a weather report? Easy sailing. Putting into the media stream information that is as well done as what Reagan was so good at! Getting out the visuals. And, if you need another test? We're in a recession. The economy is heading south. The GOP is getting its sails ripped apart in these winds.

Going after Hillary? Knee jerk, of course. But a poor man's choice. I'll pick the lawyers on the other side.

(10) Bingo made the following comment | Nov 22, 2008 12:37:19 AM | Permalink

And what of Kerry's generally accepted craving for the SecState position? Unfortunately, with Hillary's ascendancy, any analyses of why Kerry was unable to pick that political plum will probably be tabled indefinitely.

Well, just for the record, here's a plausibility.

I think it's fair to assume, with almost metaphysical certainty, that Kerry had to provide Obama access to his complete military records during the vetting process. I wonder what the Obama vetting team might have discovered?

Hmmmm?

(11) Arnold Friend (a.k.a. Friend #1) made the following comment | Nov 22, 2008 9:19:28 AM | Permalink

Beldar, I'm glad you're still blogging. But I am a little disappointed in your apparent unwillingness to advance the political discussion beyond the anti-intellectual, red meat, hyper-partisanship that has cast your Republican Party into the political wilderness. Now would be an opportune time to begin challenging your readers to answer the more pressing questions - for a Republican blog, at least - of who are we and how did we get here? I am confident that you have some thoughts to share but I honestly haven't been able to find them in your postings. Or ... perhaps you're waiting for Inauguration Day before acknowledging that this is really happening and isn't just a bad dream?? :-)

Seriously, where do you stand on the very basic question of whether the GOP must (in order to avoid going the way of the Whigs) begin moving toward the political center (formerly known as left-of-center, Karl Rove's comical denial of such an obvious fact, notwithstanding) and away from slavish loyalty to far-right, evangelical, social conservatism? Or, are you one of those GOP loyalists who believes it is time for the GOP to get back to its "conservative roots" (whatever those might be, real or imaginary)?

FWIW, I suppose it doesn't hurt to roll back the clock every once in a while to provoke your readers with the same old, same old: "Hillary Clinton is completely amoral!" (A tired and irrational sentiment, unless "completely amoral" is some type of code language for "skilled politician" or "effective leader." In which case, I am left to wonder whether your statement might fairly describe George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Tom DeLay, John Boehner, Mitch McConnell etc., etc., ... )

I do have to admit that red meat, hyper-partisanship does tend to provoke some entertaining responses from your loyal readers: "Gosh, does the selection of Hillary for State mean that John Kerry's military records" - which have previously been examined with a fine tooth comb by legions of Kerry's political adversaries and enemies and Swift even before Kerry ran for president - "couldn't pass the vetting of the Obama team? Hmmmmm."

Come to think of it, maybe Kerry had something to do with that fake Hawaiian birth certificate that allowed Barack Hoo-sayn Obama to defraud his way into the presidency ...

Hmmmmmmm?? :-)

(12) Kent G. Budge made the following comment | Nov 22, 2008 11:54:21 AM | Permalink

Milhouse,

What makes you think Clinton would turn her ruthlessness against our enemies instead of our own government? Hasn't that too often been the position of State?

Arnold Friend,

I think the translation of "utterly amoral" is "unprincipled" or "lacking controlling authority." And Beldar has never taken seriously the citizenship dispute, so your last sentence is a bit bizarre.

(13) Arnold Friend made the following comment | Nov 22, 2008 2:12:06 PM | Permalink

I tried posting but it didn't go through. I apologize if this turns into a double post ...

"I think the translation of 'utterly amoral' is 'unprincipled' or 'lacking controlling authority.'" - Kent Budge.

1. If that's your definition, I am (with apologies to John McGlaughlin) "metaphysically certain" that you will agree that your definition fits George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and (since "lacking controlling authority" is a legal definition) perhaps most notably John Ashcroft and Alberto Gonzales;

2. You've described Senator Hillary Clinton as "utterly amoral" and "ruthless." Could you please provide some specific examples? Keep in mind that I am fully prepared to make you eat your words by citing far worse behavior on the parts of Nixon, Reagan and/or GWB;

3. Republicans need to stand for more than wacky conspiracy theories and irrational hatred of successful Democratic public servants. Our country has rejected your viewpoint. If Republicans wish to emerge from the wildnerness, they must begin by looking in the mirror.

Who are today's Republicans? What do they stand for? What *should* they stand for?

(14) Arnold Friend made the following comment | Nov 22, 2008 2:15:15 PM | Permalink

Correction: McLaughlin.

(15) Carol Herman made the following comment | Nov 22, 2008 5:50:52 PM | Permalink

Arnold Friend, it is such a pleasure to read your pieces. Your points are well made.

Yes, I know there's a great deal of anger on the right. But to express it here; where the GOP has yet to even begin recovery, is a sad spectacle. Indeed.

While where I see gallopping horses, running away with the show; is where I've recognized that Obama has learned well from Ronald Reagan. When the negatives are highest he twinkles and smiles. The visuals are in his favor.

Obama is also a student of FDR. Where, if you just look at Ann Coulter's stuff, she's tried to say FDR wasn't a successful president. No, Herbert Hoover was.

Power is best exercised by men who are very comfortable with it. The Bush's just never were. And, if things weren't bad enough? There are crazy social conservatives in Texas, who are tampering with the ways science is taught. Sure they can kick in Intelligent Design; without appearing like lunatics. (Given that it took oil to form more than 6000 years ago), I have no idea how Dubya, when he was governor of Texas, managed to put things into the State, that are coming home to roost, now.

Just as our economy really tanks.

Instead of saying "left of center?" Better to focus on who is gonna be out of jobs. With a bleak outlook ahead. And, very few people will be interested in fraudsters, and gangsters, "selling them religion" when the larder is empty.

Anyway, there's proof in now that Roe didn't get challenged at the ballot boxes in 3 states ... that was running as if the GOP would control judgeships.

Up ahead, there's gonna be less maneuverability. Not more.

While it takes a genius to get stuck on Kerry! What are you smoking? Kerry will probably get "foriegn affairs." While Hillary's name gets sent to the Hill, "For Advice and Consent." Meanwhile, Andrew Cuomo is ducking the offer of "taking Hillary's senate seat." Because the senate isn't really that great for individuals. Cuomo's eyes are on his father's former glory; the governorship of New York.

And, I'll tell you what. Even far away from any seat of power, I can see IF Cuomo got the governor's seat NOW, before the race begins in 2010. THEN, the current governor, who filled in for Spitzer; the blind Black man, Paterson ... could "elect himself for Hillary's senate seat." All this is probably going to be up to Chuck Schumer. WHo is also entertaining the idea of giving this seat to Chelsea.

Musical chairs, indeed.

While Ted STevens isn't "resigning" anything. The democrat won a 6-termer! Which leaves Palin in Alaska for the time being. (But Palin knows governships outclass senators, when it comes to presidential ambitions.)

With Hillary know Secretary of State; where all she has to do is look better than COndi Rice! ... I see Obama leading his party and gaining ground.

Too bad the social conservatives will die shouting abortions are murder. And, "science is just a theory." Their pet monsters will drain whatever is left in the swamp.

Sure. Reagan is dead. But Obama's got his playbook. Maybe, that's what you should watch?

(16) Gregory Koster made the following comment | Nov 22, 2008 5:51:11 PM | Permalink

Dear Ms. Herman: There's that pesky obscure doument, the Constitution of the United States, rearing its head and biting your scheme, viz. Hillary handing her Senate seat over to Chelsea:

From the Constitution of the United States: Article I Section 3: "No Person shall be a Senator who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty Years..."

The erratic but I think in this case reliable Wikipedia has Chelsea Clinton being born on 27 February 1980. Hence she will not be eligible for a Senate seat until 2010. I admit speculating on the antics of filling Senate seats is lots of fun (I myself look forward to Rod Blagjovich appointing Michelle to The One's vacant seat after Eric Holder cans Pat Fitzgerald. Odds: 20 to 1 against) but let's not mistake LSD for reasoning power.

Dear "Arnold Friend": Dealing with anonymous assassins---especially those who belong to (as opposed to in) a bar---is always a chore, but let's proceed:

1. HRC's "ruthlessness": See the Travelgate scandal, an early example of HRC treating public business as a swell opportunity to stick a crony's snout in the public trough. You need only look at the attempt to railroad Billy Dale to the klink---an attempt that failed miserably---to hear the words "ruthless" and "amoral." Not satisfied with that? How about the pre-White House pork belly trading, that netted HRC better than $100,000. More? All HRC's book deals, where someone else did the heavy lifting of writing, and HRC cashed in millions.

Can you find GOP examples of swinishness. Sure: take Geo.W.s crony capitalism with his dam sports team. But all you are saying is "Tu quoque" i.e. "Two wrongs do so make a right."

2. The GOP as too partisan: There can't exist a better example of the characteristic bad faith you exhibit. Exhibit one: John McCain, notorious for sticking his finger into the GOP's collective eyes. E.g. the 2007 attempt to move the nation's capital to Mexico City, or the attempt to shut down any organized effort at political speech with his partner in mischief Russ Feingold or McC's notorious onslaught against Donald Rumsfeld in 2004-6 about the Iraq conflict strategy.

Exhibit two: the explosion of earmarks. Both parties got a full load during 2000-06 when the GOP ran Congress.

3. "Red meat." You have swum in the waters of the Daily Kos for so long you don't even see the savagery, verging on cannibalism, with which Geo W., Cheney, Rumsfeld, DeLay etcetcetc. were (and are) treated. You may find such antics as Dennis Kucinch's introduction of impeachment resolutions against Cheney just good clean fun, but it doesn't say much that such bad faith resolutions are introduced---and then die of inaction. In poker that's called bluffing with a busted flush.

4. "Anti-intellectualism." Consider the administration of the sainted Kennedy, the most intellectual in twentieth century America. How well did all those Rhodes Scholars and Ivy League types work out? Ever heard of Vietnam? That conflict was lost because the intellectuals refused to choose between going all out (which likely still would not have worked, but was necessary) or leaving. How about the persistent mockery of Reagan as stupid? He did all right in getting this nation on the winning course in the Cold War. You could argue that Reagan had nothing to do with it, that it was all events. If so, it doesn't matter who is in office, and anti-intellectualism doesn't matter.

4. The GOP as captive to to evangelical zealots. Mike Huckabee laughs out loud at that. Particularly when he sees the zanies who shriek that all is doomed unless we slavishly follow Pope Al on globaloney warming, or NOW's attempt to make all females Real Women by having abortions.
Yet another example is the dismaying passage of Proposition 8 in California, which has locked out gays in a way that will not easily be undone, if ever. The Proposition was an easily foreseen reaction to the California Supreme Court's gross overreaching in writing gay marriage into the California Constitution on the ancient legal principle of four justices are bigger than three, and whaddya gonna do about it, sucker? I laugh sourly at the irony that the Proposition was pushed over the line by the high turnout of black voters, showing racial solidarity by voting for The One, while simultaneously locking out gays. Now there's a great mess in California. How much better to have had recall elections for all four justices.

5. John Kerry's military records. Kerry signed a Form 180, releasing his service records---but only to the Boston GLOBE and the Los Angeles TIMES. The "legions" of us on the right would very much to see these records, sans the editing the press gave in reporting on this.

Sincerely yours,
Gregory Koster

(17) Carol Herman made the following comment | Nov 22, 2008 10:14:14 PM | Permalink

OKay, Mr. Koster. I didn't look. I assumed you could become a senator at 25. And, the president, if you were born in the USA, at 32.

Hillary also really isn't in charge of the NY political scene. My best guess is that Paterson, the Blind Black Governor of NY who is only filling in until Spitzer's term ends; knows he's facing competition in 2010. Andrew Cuomo. So, there was an article out there, that Cuomo, who had not been offered this seat, was "saying no." And, waiting for 2010.

The seat is in play. And, the governor makes the call.

Now over in Massachusetts, where Ted Kennedy is dying of a brain tumor, he has gone on record saying he wants his wife to finish his term. And, not another Kennedy. (There had been attempts to put a name into play in the media.)

Will Kennedy's wife get the chair when the time comes?

You know, I also don't know Chelsea's age. But I will presume that she's interested in politics. And, some sort of opening will occur, ahead.

From Hillary's vantage point becoming Secretary of State enhances her foreign policy credentials.

It shows Obama isn't spooked by Hillary.

And, it takes care of a severe ego problem in the senate, where Harry Reid wants to keep the top spot.

Sure, in 2012, all things considered, Hillary could switch places with Biden. As she would make a better veep. And, the door for her own run would open in 2016.

My mother used to have an expression: Man plans and God laughs.

As to "aristocracies" in politics, there's nothing new. John Adams, President #2, and Thomas Jefferson, who won, after, really fought dirty campaigns. And, John Adams son, Quincy, had Federal jobs as an ambassador (I think to Russia, at one point.) And, then? When he became the president in 1824, it took a dirty deal, with Henry Clay, bargaining away Andrew Jackson's first win. So that Clay got to be Secretary of War in Quincy Adams' White House. Before the People voted Andrew Jackson in AGAIN, and AGAIN.

By the say, don't confuse Prop #8 with abortion restrictions. There were 3 states that ran abortion restrictions. And, all those propositions LOST.

Social conservatism is the way the GOP is seen. Even when they "go quiet." They keep their agendas in place.

As to the people actually sitting on the Supreme Court, NONE of them wanted to leave, to give Bush an opportunity to choose another justice! Then Rehnquist died. (And, Sandra Day O'Connor did retire.) Dubya's first attempt at filling this seat was his with his friend Harriet Miers. (And, it took Andy Card 3 attempts to get her to withdraw her nomination. She just didn't want to. She was sure the confirmation would be a slam dunk in the senate. (Nope. They'd have mopped the floor with her. And, finally Card prevailed.)

Today's court has 4 conservative justices. I'm not counting Souter, who won't give you what you want. And, I'm not counting Anthony Kennedy, because Kennedy is FURIOUS at Roberts! (Just like you see Hillary seething all the time, I see Kennedy sitting there, angry as all get-out that he wasn't made chief.)

In Obama's hands, now that you see how he is applying his powers to the selection of his team; you could come away with a realization that he "hasn't asked Jesse Jackson for "halp." And, he's steered clear of Al SHarpton.)

Picking Hillary for his Secretary of State is an elegant solution.

For the GOP, given how intense the hostility has been; where they've been EATING THEIR OWN! You'd come to understand that by comparison, Obama has studied Reagan's art. And, has begun sure-footed. In other words? Obama's made the best of the GOP's cat calls. And, where you've already shed voters; keeping up with your social agenda doesn't hurt me at all.

Will, one day, homosexual marriages be accepted? How the heck would I know? Today's world sees 50% or more of it's marriages collapsing. Kids more than likely to have "half" siblings, than "full ones." And, a lot of single moms are out there, too.

I do know one thing. The marriage INDUSTRY needs bodies. Because that's where the bread and butter is. If you're a baker? Guess what? You want more people buying wedding cakes. And, yes, it all comes down to business.

Did I learn anything from California's Prop 8? YOU BET! I learned that the Hispanic and Black communities are against seeing homosexual marriages ligitimized. And, yes. Politicians have seen this, too. Maybe, the ad marketeers missed it? It was only after the vote was counted, that this was noticed. Blacks and Hispanics had split their tickets.

Um. "Real women" have abortions because sex gets them pregnant. And, for the longest time contraception was frowned on. Doesn't mean you can just go back and toss women into back alleys, and also expect to win majorities. The louder you get, the more customers you lose.

And, my mom used to say that when you lost a customer, it was all that much harder to ever get them back!

The other thing to notice is that California has a republican governor. (Who happens to want to "change" the Constitution, so he could have a shot to run for the presidency.) Don't ask. You can't get people to stop dreaming of power.

(18) Milhouse made the following comment | Nov 22, 2008 11:33:11 PM | Permalink

Arnold Friend wrote:

"Gosh, does the selection of Hillary for State mean that John Kerry's military records" - which have previously been examined with a fine tooth comb by legions of Kerry's political adversaries and enemies and Swift even before Kerry ran for president - "couldn't pass the vetting of the Obama team? Hmmmmm."
Arnold, what planet do you live on? Which adversary or enemy of Kerry's has examined his military records, with any sort of comb, considering that nobody outside his immediate circle has ever laid eyes on them? To this day he refuses to release them; how could you have missed that? But he would have had to release them to Obama's vetting team, or else turn down any appointment. If that's your grasp of a simple factual question that was prominently reported through the 2004 campaign and well into 2005, what sort of reliance should we place on the rest of your analysis.

Carol, a senator must be 30, and a president 35. I can't for the life of me imagine where you got your numbers.

(19) Milhouse made the following comment | Nov 22, 2008 11:46:53 PM | Permalink

Seriously, where do you stand on the very basic question of whether the GOP must (in order to avoid going the way of the Whigs) begin moving toward the political center (formerly known as left-of-center, Karl Rove's comical denial of such an obvious fact, notwithstanding) and away from slavish loyalty to far-right, evangelical, social conservatism?
That makes no sense. Voters who want the Democrats know where to find them; why would they ever vote for Democrat-lite? McCain lost because Obama turned out his base, while even Palin's help wasn't enough for McCain to turn out the Republican base. Too many conservatives stayed home, because they couldn't feel motivated to go out and vote for "the least repulsive Democrat on the ballot", even if he did have a good running mate. Had the GOP stuck to its roots the contest would have been much more even. And had it strayed even further, had McCain picked a Democrat-lite like himself, the Democrat victory would have been a landslide.

(20) Arnold Friend made the following comment | Nov 23, 2008 11:57:39 AM | Permalink

I'm in the middle of Sunday errands so I'll try and make this snappy ...

1. Carol - I agree with you that Barack Obama shares some important traits with Ronald Reagan. Obama is (and Reagan was) very upbeat and likeable. It's a pity that, for all of its genuflection to the memory of Reagan, the Republican Party can't seem to put forth a serious, national candidate who is conservative and likeable. Perhaps this is because the Republican base has become overrun by mean-spirited, intolerant voices on the airwaves and across the blogosphere. I think it's very sad.

2. George - I had some difficulty following your post, although I will take a closer look a bit later. I do think you could benefit from some mainstream research on Hillary Clinton. She is a fairly moderate senator who is liked and respected by her colleagues on both sides of the aisle. Right-wing hatred of Senator Clinton is neither fact-based nor rational.

3. Millhouse - The United States Navy released John Kerry's military records to the Boston Globe in 2005. The full records were largely a duplication of what Kerry released during his 2004 campaign for president. Yes, those original records from the presidential campaign were examined with a fine tooth comb by legions of Senator Kerry's political adversaries. Here's a link to the Boston Globe story:

link

I suppose there are still a few irrational souls out there who believe that the United States Navy has conspired with the Boston Globe to cover up the "truth" about Senator Kerry's military record. People like that are neither reasonable nor persuadable.

Finally, if I understand Millhouse correctly, he is saying that the Republican Party merely suffered from a bad candidate in John McCain in 2008, as well as a G.O.P. failure to stick to its "roots." This ignores the Republican wipeout in 2006. It also fails to answer the question of what are the G.O.P.'s "roots"? Are these roots real or imaginary??

Something has happened to the Republican Party in two straight elections. Anyone wish to offer a serious assessment of the current state of the Republican Party?

(21) Milhouse made the following comment | Nov 23, 2008 2:00:45 PM | Permalink

Arnold, that is exactly my point - he released the records only to his friends at the Boston Globe. Nobody else can see them. No, the Navy isn't conspiring with the Globe, why would you think I was saying that? But the Globe is certainly conspiring with Kerry, which is precisely why he released the records only to his friends there. We have only the Globe's word that the records it received were "largely a duplication" of what Kerry released during the campaign. Do you really expect us to take the Globe's word for it? If there were nothing to hide, why would he still be hiding it? Why wouldn't he sign a general Form 180, so anybody could see, for instance, what sort of discharge he originally got from the Navy?

The 2006 election results were caused by the same thing as the 2008 results - conservatives staying home because they saw no reason to go out and vote for Democrats-lite. Why save a Republican majority in congress that was spending money like drunken Democrats?

(22) Carol Herman made the following comment | Nov 23, 2008 5:44:36 PM | Permalink

Dear Milhouse;

Kerry seems to be a smart democratic politician, in that he is generous to other democrats; sitting as he does, on his wife's purse.

And, even though he has lots of ambition, after his run in 2004, he pretty much put out there that "something happened," where Nixon made sure the navy gave Kerry a dishonerable discharge. But this "flaw" was corrected by Jimmy Carter.

Going after Kerry for his "180" ... is like going after Obama for his birth certificate. Scream all you want. (Like Liberace used to say "he cried all the way to the bank.")

I have no idea what kind of president Obama will make. Heck, back in 2000 if you told me Dubya would squander his family's legacy ... I would have doubted it. Now, I see that's exactly what Dubya did. Leaving a stench, even Poppy smells. Nothing you can do right now. Jeb's chances of being considered for the presidency has become moot.

Chelsea Clinton's opportunities "could some day" lead her right into the White House. Even though she's still being groomed by her parents. They'll waste no opportunity.

One thing Hillary saw was that the senate stymied her race to the White House. Going again "4 years after she lost to Obama" ... is a rediculous concept. Unless Obama gets shot like JFK. You'd be surprised how easy it is to topple a front running "horse," ... But it's also difficult. It's not as if just because you see Obama on TV; that he can't be protected! (Though there was a "close call" during the primaries, when his plane, with him on board, nearly crashed.)

If you told me two airliners could take down the World Trade Center, I'd have said (before 9/11) ... IMPOSSIBLE!

Facts only come out in the open after vents do happen.

As to the "state of the republican party," since you ask Arnold Friend. And, I think it's an excellent question; is to realize local and state politics, as a general rule, doesn't produce national "characters." People who can "cross state lines" and attract VOTERS!

Here, you'd see Ronald Reagan ALWAYS had that skill. But party politics stymied him. Barry Goldwater, in 1964, couldn't stand his "sunshine!" And, yet? In 1966, Reagan ran and won California's governorship. While, when Nixon tried that trick, in 1962, he lost. And, showed his hostility to the press; by claiming "they wouldn't have him to kick around, anymore."

The 1960's were seminal years. Let me explain this better. I'm of fan of Malcolm Gladwell's writing. And, his new book, with him also doing the audio version, is OUT. And, he looks at what it takes to win. Since, by definition, winning is something that happens "out of the ordinary." And, in one of his examples; Bill Gates is a high school student. A kid never much interested in school. But he fell in love with computers. His mom was one of the PTA members who raised money for the exclusive school he attended. And, back in the 1960's, these moms put $3,000 towards the school's "computer room." NO OTHER SCHOOL ON EARTH HAD ONE OF THESE "THINGS" SO EARLY. And, there's was connected to a "time share" system. Bill Gates did not learn how to do code, punching cards. (Remember them? Do not "fold, spindle, or mutilate.")

According to Gladwell, when you can do your subject well, you've put in 10,000 or more hours "practicing."

So, off the bat, a lot doesn't rise to the top; because people fantasize way too much. And, refuse to do all the "homework." And/or practice.

Now, within the GOP tent, there is disorder. Because the loudest voices (in a good number of states) comes from religious lunatics. Given that the press doesn't think much of the GOP, in general. These shouting sessions make it onto the news. Blocking out from view anyone with a friendly disposition.

Jindal? Hasn't been exposed enough. On the other hand? Palin showed what happens when someone is a "natural." And, what happens? The GOP start munching on people because it's so appetizing to knock them off their high horses.

Reagan? Did you know the NOBODY, Gerald Ford, pushed Reagan aside in 1976? Did you know to get Nixon to select him, he did a "Dick Cheney." He promised not to run. But you bet, with the weight of the White House chair stuck to his behind, Ford ran. And, lost to Jimmy Carter.

Jimmy Carter won by telling the crazy GOP base that he was so religious, he'd bring Jesus into the White House. And, then? Dubya held the same prayer circles.

Both men are pretty much at the bottom of the barrel, now. Carter and Dubya. Vying for "who is worst." Dubya now has the edge.

Sure, you could show Warren Harding was another dog.

And, Herbert Hoover had two extra months as "lame-duck" ... since FDR didn't take the oath of office till March of 1933. Right now? Dubya's sitting on his hands. Reacting to nothing. Not piracy at sea. Not the economy. Perhaps the PR idiots are planning to blame the mess on Obama?

Just remember Reagan. His enemies were never able to lay a glove on him! If you want to think a Black man can't possibly have these same "temperament" attributes; no one can help ya out. Because it depends on your ability to form rational opinions. Or to prefer praying on your knees all day, so you can get up and spew hate. (Hey, Reagan wasn't all that religious, either.) But he sure could sell ideas!

Is the GOP in trouble, now? OF course! They're at the minority end in Congress. Which means all the Federal agencies will go to the democrats to keep their rooves over their heads, up.

While in law schools across the land ... you'll watch the Federal circuit adjust to the new powers in town. (Did Harvard and Yale ever lose their status?) I'm just asking.

Anyway, the bad news is that even if things within the republican party are braced for a more centrist view; the media giants won't give this material the time of day.

The GOP label won't be considered a sane choice; in a world that's now more diverse than ever. Powers also naturally concentrate. (Unless you're watching fiends eating each other for lunch!)

One thing Obama did by rescuing Hillary, was to take her out of all the senatorial turmoil. It even makes it less likely that any competition will come from there. (If this weren't true, Andrew Cuomo wouldn't be avoiding NY State Governor Patterson, right now.)

Whatever job Kerry gets, ahead, in the Obama White House, probably won't need "senate confirmation." I think I've heard he'd be the under-secretary in foreigh affairs. But until Obama puts all the players he's chosen out there; he has selected Hillary to be the biggest feather in his cap.

(23) A.W. made the following comment | Nov 23, 2008 5:46:19 PM | Permalink

Sheesh, the one silver lining in the Obama election is that the Clintons were finally going to exit national politics, for the most part. Thank you giant d*** for thinking of taking away that small solace for me.

Seriously, the Clintons are out and out corrupt, and unfit for any higher office. this whole thing makes me shake my head.

(24) Arnold Friend made the following comment | Nov 23, 2008 7:10:41 PM | Permalink

"[John Kerry] released the [military] records only to his friends at the Boston Globe. Nobody else can see them. ... [T]he Globe is certainly conspiring with Kerry, which is precisely why he released the records only to his friends there. We have only the Globe's word that the records it received were 'largely a duplication' of what Kerry released during the campaign. Do you really expect us to take the Globe's word for it?" - Millhouse.

Millhouse wants us to believe that the Republican-run United States Department of Navy stood idly by, while a major newspaper lied to the American public, in order to protect a Democratic senator. Millhouse also wants us to believe that all of the Navy personnel and newspaper reporters, editors and staffers have kept their silence for over three years, in furtherance of this conspiracy.

It's sad and disturbing, what we're hearing from Republican activists nowadays.

As to the Republicans' equally massive defeat in 2006, Millhouse suggests it was due to Republicans like Conrad Burns (MT), Jim Talent (MO) and Rick Santorum (PA) not being conservative enough. Sheesh ... I wonder what "true Republican" candidates would be like.

Finally, as we add to the growing pile of right-wing irrational hatred, "A.W." describes Hillary Clinton as "out and out corrupt, and unfit for any higher office."

America has rejected the Republican Party in back-to-back elections. If this forum is any indication, Republican activists seem ill-prepared to change or even ask themselves why this has happened.

I wish my Republican friends well in their journey through the political wilderness.

(25) Michael J. Myers made the following comment | Nov 23, 2008 10:48:47 PM | Permalink

Carol Herman and Arnold Friend---Enthusiasm, ignorance and logorrhea make a deadly trifecta.

(26) Milhouse made the following comment | Nov 24, 2008 12:24:18 AM | Permalink

Millhouse wants us to believe that the Republican-run United States Department of Navy stood idly by, while a major newspaper lied to the American public, in order to protect a Democratic senator.

What choice did they have? Without Kerry's permission they can't release the file. They can't even read it themselves to see what's in it, and what to leak. Or are you accusing them of being the kind of people who would break the law?

Millhouse also wants us to believe that all of the Navy personnel and newspaper reporters, editors and staffers have kept their silence for over three years, in furtherance of this conspiracy.

What Navy personnel, reporters, and editors have seen the files, apart from Kerry's cronies at the Globe? The file was released only to them, not to anyone else. The only people who have first-hand information about his service, and can talk about it, are the people who served with him, and nearly every living officer who served with him or commanded him was in the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, and told what they knew. None of them know what would be in the files, though, especially what sort of discharge he originally got.

(27) Gregory Koster made the following comment | Nov 24, 2008 1:39:30 AM | Permalink

Dear Ms. Herman: Of the ten presidents elected after FDR's death (I exclude Ford, who was not elected) Carter, Reagan, Clinton, and Bush43 have been governors, i.e. state political leaders. Reagan, it is true, had a national reputation, but as an actor. Said rep was at least as much a drag on his political career as a help. See, e.g. Arnold Friend in the 1970s. Without having actually read anything he wrote about Reagan in those years, I would give long odds that Arnold said Reagan was "an actor" (words dripping with the venom he now uses in bullying witnesses in court, witnesses who can't hit back) "a lightweight" "brain dead" "a zealot" "stupid" etc etc etc. Now that Reagan is dead, he is a handy club with which to beat current day GOPers. This is an old trick, beloved of liberal journalists. No, Reagan was elected governor in 1966 principally for two reasons:

a) 1966 was a "sixth year" election. Sixth year elections are typically awful for presidential parties that are in power. See: FDR 1938, Truman 1950, Eisenhower 1958, Ford 1974, Reagan 1986, and Geo. W. 2006 (I use "sixth year" a bit loosely, to include Presidents who succeeded by death or resignation to finish their predecessors's terms, e.g Truman and Ford. Only Billyboy in 1998 bucked this tide.) There's a reaction to six years of antics that are boring and irking the electorate. This boredom typically spreads down the ticket. It helped Reagan in 1966.

b) You may think the 1960s were "seminal years." I prefer Don Seitz's appellation: The Dreadful Decade. The country always seemed to be on the verge of exploding. California, true to its rep as a bellwether, seemed to be exploding more noisily and messily: the Watts riots, the UC campuses fermenting as messily, as a beer vat, with the usual end product.

These two trends pushed Reagan up. His own efforts helped mightily as Lou Cannon's biography of Reagan's California years show, but without these trends, Reagan would be in the same class as George Romney, G. Mennen Williams, Frank Lausche, Tom McCall, and other worthy state and local politicians who were capable, hard working---but lacked the luck and timing Reagan had.

Luck and timing: they are going to smash your predictions thoroughly. Let me give you an example: in the summer, Mr. Dyer wrote that high gasoline prices would be a big factor in this election. They started out that way, but they've fizzled. I did not agree with him, and said so, but I thought prices might drop to the $3.50 a gallon range. My judgment was just as faulty as Mr. Dyer's. So too with any predictions of what 2012 will be like. The 9/11 attacks completely blew up the political landscape. Remember how Gary Condit dominated the media in late August 2001? Who remembers him today outside the Levy family?

This pastime of speculating who is in and out, what will Hillary do is pernicious. It's fun, but don't think it means anything. We are living in perilous times. The foreign situation has not been so dangerous since the Cuban Missile Crisis. Ironically, the late blooming success of Geo. W.'s surge strategy has pushed foreign affairs to the background. This is dam dangerous. The resurgence of piracy off the Horn of Africa is a symptom that Islamic extremism is far from defeated. My worry is that The One is bored by foreign affairs, a sign, contra Mr. Dyer's assertion that The One is really smart, of The One's laziness and lack of discipline, and intellectual mediocrity. He will learn, as all Presidents do, as JFK did, that foreign affairs are what the Presidency is all about. The economic situation, however serious, is less important than foreign affairs. Let the worldwide slowdown hammer the Middle East, and terrorism will flourish far more than it did 1990-2006. The witless partisanship of "Arnold Friend" will look spectacularly bad in two or three years. Let Iran fire off a bomb, in anger or otherwise, and all the speculations now running rampant about who's in and who's out, will be shown up in all their glory.

Dear Milhouse: "Arnold Friend" has to retreat into lying, bad faith, and disingenousness, thereby covering all three years of law school teaching, when he writes:

"Millhouse[sic] wants us to believe that the Republican-run United States Department of Navy stood idly by, while a major newspaper lied to the American public, in order to protect a Democratic senator. Millhouse also wants us to believe that all of the Navy personnel and newspaper reporters, editors and staffers have kept their silence for over three years, in furtherance of this conspiracy."

Where to begin? First, "Republican run" is a fine example of what Sigmund would call "projection." "Arnold" knows full well that privacy laws mean something. The Department of the Navy can't do anything but "stand idly by" should a newspaper decide to lie. Arnold thinks the Department of the Navy is run just like the swine in charge of Ohio state government who ran checks on "Joe the Plumber's" troubles and leaked it to the press---all in the interest of public disclosure of course.


As for "Arnold's" assertion that it's unthinkable that a large journalistic organization would lie, I roll out Dan Rather and His Forged Texas Air National Guard memos, from the same election cycle. If "Arnold" wants to assert that Dan Rather was telling the truth, I'll leave him to the wrath of the proprietor. So the precedent of lying journalists is well established. In any case, the obvious course of action is for Kerry to release his records to everyone. Such a course brings shudders to "Arnold" setting his hair ablaze, cracking his glass eyeball, and convulsing him in horror. Letting the truth out for everyone to see! The quintessence of anti-lawyerism. Suppressing evidence, excluding testimony, sealing records: that's what "Arnold" is all about.

"Arnold" makes much of America "rejecting" the GOP in 2006 and 2008. How does he explain the Democratic record in 2002 and 2004? He doesn't; he just smirks from the vantage point of 2006 and 2008's victories. So let me try: the GOP lost in 2006 and 2008 for these reasons:

a) a conflict that had been badly run for far too long by Geo. W.
b) GOP corruption, personal and financial.
c) "sixth year" and "eighth year" weariness with the governing party.

What's to be done? I think the present efforts by Kathleen Parker, David Frum &Co. to murder all social conservatives and anyone who didn't go the Ivy League, complemented by Mike Huckabee's effort to annhilate anyone who doesn't believe in big budgets aren't going to make anyone happy except Arnold. Best to say little for the present. Let The One run the show for a bit. The One will soon discover the truth of Harold Macmillan's aphorism: "Events, dear boy, events," as his castles in the air refuse to materialize. Meanwhile, concentrate GOP efforts on state governments until the Congressional GOP can sack such porkers as Don Young.

Sincerely yours,
Gregory Koster


(28) narciso made the following comment | Nov 24, 2008 11:19:25 AM | Permalink

Carol does tend to run on incoherent, with neither rhyme or reason. First things first, Hillary's possibly the best choice, out of all the others that Obama could have picked.
Lugar's a nice guy, but Arleigh Burke's former aide is all worn out. John Kerry, thankfully won't have his career of appeasing the NLF, the Arabs (despite his background; see his ties to BCCI) but he'll head the Foreign Relations Committee; so that's kind of a tie. The question, or who authorized his discharge is curious; was it Rino Warner, William Middendorf, who would end up with the BCCI crew or
the stolid John Lehman, head of McCain's transition team. They're supposedly putting in James Steinburg as her deputy, who previously had been involved with the plans behind the accidental bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade; probably as good as can be expected. James Jones position on supporting allies in the Middle East is not as reassuring; but you take what you can get. Brennan at the Company, having been Tenet's emanuensis, before they shipped him off to Riyadh, to confer in English with the Saud's equally mixed ;he was in favor of the TSP and drives the netroots up the wall; so there's that. Janet Napolitano at HomelandSecurity, what is this April Fool's day,
seriously, will they have the have the nerve to ridicule Ridge or Chertoff, hell even Kerik after this; you betcha. Retaining Gates, is probably a plus, although he's become remarkably naive about the international realities, since he retired to College Station.

The precipitous and probably unwarranted collapse in oil prices, in the short term, takes some of the sails out of the Sauds, the Russians, the Iranians, the Chavez junta. Unfortunately, it also removes the impetus for more drilling
within the Continental United States; all things we will be reminded of when the next hurricane season comes along, or when any of these parties try to move the needle up in some provocation. The financial situation, seems insane, in a way that possibly the South Sea bubble or the great Tulip panic can only match; you can add in the 1858, 1873, and 1907 panics for context.

One has to laugh at the jibes against Talent, Burns, & Santorum; seriously you think their replacements were any better. McCaskill was swept along by the Katrinademagoguery and the embryonic stem cell flim flam, Tester, was no notivceable improve and Casey, well the less said, the better. We chose the reform candidate, the one who said the media was his base, the one we respected but didn't like. In the end it didn't matter, the media played up the wurlitzer, burying his records in lies, supplanting the ill gotten war chest of the challenger. Out of the whole deal,
we discovered you need to support someone you believe in Thankfully found one diamond in the rough in this sad excuse of a plebiscite, and look why tried to do to her!
Hint, it's what they were trying to do with the turkey, last weekend.

The ferocity of the attack on Sarah Palin, at a level that surpasses the Goldwater slam at a quantum level, and the equally enthusiastic support of the grass roots and the smarter bloggers; which would not have really been possible without your imput, Mr. Dyer is remarkable. Her confidence
and straight forwardness, which comes from being right on all the major issues and having a solid sense of what matters in life; only confirms my enthusiasm for her to take the top job next time around. These passions, however, remembering Yeats's line about "the spinning gyre' paradoxically make feel a little apprehensive about the safety of her own life and family. It shouldn't have to be up to her, to carry the fate of the party and possibly the world, as well as that of her family. Then again, just like
a grocer's daughter from Finchley proved three decades ago;
that may happen by default. One recalls that she was
despised by all the right people, both in the intelligentsia
but even with her own party. But she supported by a crucial cadre of advisers, and within time, most of the nation.

(29) bingo made the following comment | Nov 24, 2008 11:28:57 AM | Permalink

Let's clear up some factual information inre these SF180's. Kerry signed SF180 releases to Michael Kranish of the Boston Globe and Glen Johnson of the AP on May 20, 2005. Some 2 weeks after that, on June 6, 2005, Kerry executed an SF180 authorizing access to Stephen Braun of the LA Times. This time gap between the Kranish/Johnson authorizations and the Stephen Braun authorization raises some interesting questions that I have yet to see anyone explore...

According to Kerry's SF180, Braun wasn't authorized access until June 6 and was apparently unable to file his story until June 8.

Michael Kranish, OTOH, filed his story on 7 Jun, scooping Braun on this huge story by 1 day.

Did Kerry submit the signed Kranish/Johnson May 20 SF180 immediately?

Were Kranish and Johnson already in possession of Kerry's records prior to Braun?

If so, when did Kranish and Johnson have Kerry's records actually in hand? Shortly after their May 20 authorization?

If so, were they sitting on this story? Why?

Did Kerry, instead, delay the actual submission of the Kranish/Johnson May 20 authorization? If so, why?

Why was Braun added as a recipient anyway?

Was he an afterthought designated to deal with some troublesome aspect of the release? Perhaps to "balance" the issuance of Kerry's records to established Kerry boot-lickers like Kranish and Johnson.

I could easily go on...but I'll close with an observation on Kerry dissembling by Joan Vennochi the Globe...

The caveat emperor
By Joan Vennochi, Globe Columnist | May 24, 2005

AT THIS POINT it comes as no surprise. John Kerry is releasing all his military records -- but then again, he isn't.

During an interview yesterday with Globe editorial writers and columnists, the former Democratic presidential nominee was asked if had signed Form SF 180, authorizing the Department of Defense to grant access to all his military records.

''I have signed it," Kerry said. Then, he added that his staff was ''still going through it" and ''very, very shortly, you will have a chance to see it."

The devil is usually in the details. With Kerry, it's also in the dodges and digressions. After the interview, Kerry's communications director, David Wade, was asked to clarify when Kerry signed SF 180 and when public access would be granted. Kerry drifted over to join the conversation, immediately raising the confusion level. He did not answer the question of when he signed the form or when the entire record will be made public.

Several e-mails later, Wade conveyed the following information: On Friday, May 20, Kerry obtained a copy of Form 180 and signed it. ''The next step is to send it to the Navy, which will happen in the next few days. The Navy will then send out the records," e-mailed Wade.

Boston Globe

(30) Carol Herman made the following comment | Nov 24, 2008 12:08:05 PM | Permalink

Anybody here ever hear the term "Nixon's Dirty Tricks?"

Yes, Nixon was president when Kerry went on TV and made his "Genghis Khan" comments about American soldiers.

Everybody saw the old video in 2004; even if they weren't alive back in the early 70's.

So, there ya go.

Let's say the "180" would show a VENGEFUL NIXON pushing against the "kid" Kerry. And, seeing to it that he got dishonerably discharged from the navy. It would fit the picture, reminding people yet again, how INAPPRORIATELY Nixon used his presidency.

You think you're scoring against Kerry? Let me fall on the fall, doubled up in laughter. And, if you can't see why, here: I'll explain: NIXON WAS THE VILLAIN.

Oh, yeah. Nixon was forced to resign.

You'd also notice, that to wear a flak jacket when he was elected in 1968, Nixon chose the thief Spirew Agnew to be his veep. (He thought "this dirty trick" would keep him insulated from being accused of playing field fouls.) Didn't quite muster up, did it?

Of course, Spiro Agnew was forced to resign, first.

Which put a powerful stick in Nixon's hand. Because it was Nixon's choice to pick his next veep. Here, late at night, the first knocking on Nixon's door came from NELSON ROCKEFELLER. He thought he'd be swept up onto the GOP ticket!

Just in case you forgot how the "country club tent" works; it works just like that. And, the social conservatives were not members of the country club! To say the least!

Nixon didn't choose Rockefeller, though. He chose Gerald Ford. And, to appease Rockefeller, Gerald Ford had to take a pledge that he wouldn't seek the nomination, himself.

Yeah. That pledge worked really, really, well, didn't it?

While the social conservatives, back in 1976, abandoned the GOP tent completely; and they voted instead, en masse, for Jimmy Carter.

WHich ushers in the AGE OF REAGAN.

Now, you want to smear Kerry all over again. When you know he got knocked out back in 2004. Why? Well, he was unable to counter the effectiveness of Lawyer O'NEILL, who devoted his life to getting Kerry's real "service record" out there. Has nothing to do so much with Nixon's antics, though. Because once Jimmy Carter reached the White House, at the stroke of a pen, he cleaned up this particulalr Nixon Dirty Trick.

You might be better off looking for ways to rebuilt the party. Without going after the democrats. WHy? Well, the democrats are on a roll.

Even here, you see how Beldar starts: "He heard rumors that Hillary might be chosen for the Secretary of State." And, right away, the spitballs came out. (Har. Har. Har. Hillary was going to goose-step her way into the White House, and intimidate the Black man. Something a wise person would see, McCain could not do.)

Your team lost.

But you're still unable to identify what you need to know; here it is. You can no longer pass social conservative ideas (abortion restrictions, and teaching some wifty branch of 'intelligent design' in schools) ... now that Americans are alert to your agenda.

You need to find a new way IF YOUR GOAL is to re-establish election viability. Especially one that could reach across all fifty states, where you'd get to pick up 270 electoral college votes in 2012. (After Herbert Hoover the dry spell was so bad, the "country club" GOPsters were without this ability until 1952. And, then Eisenhower was as BIG government as you could get!)

What does it mean to look across this nation, and see powers you'd like to obtain through votes? Maybe? Pretty dim?

The Supreme Court, once close to your grasp; at best has 4 seats you can still call upon. But who knows? If Roberts court gets to look like Rehnquist's court; you'll have split-decisions out your ying-yang.

By the way, keep up the name-calling. It's on par with calling Ronald Reagan an idiot. Know what? Reagan became Mr. Teflon. And, maybe, since the Bush's never used it ... there's an abundance of TEFLON left in the White House wardrobe for the Black man to use?

(31) Milhouse made the following comment | Nov 24, 2008 4:46:41 PM | Permalink

I've created a Greasemonkey script to ignore specific commenters. You can install it from here.

(32) Arnold Friend made the following comment | Nov 24, 2008 9:55:12 PM | Permalink

"I've created a Greasemonkey script to ignore specific commenters." - Milhouse

Sorry Beldar ...

(33) Carol Herman made the following comment | Nov 25, 2008 12:56:47 AM | Permalink

Here's an interesting story. (Not only is Hillary's senate seat going to open). But Biden's seat will be filled by someone who was once the chief of staff in Biden's office. A man named Kaufman. 69 years of age. And, also working on Obama's transition team.

Basically, the governor of Delaware (Biden's home state), says it makes sense to make this appointment, so the job gets done. And, the person filling it isn't looking to campaign for this slot. The Governor of Delaware also says that a special election to fill Biden's seat will occur in 2010. And, the hope is? For Beau Biden, Biden's son, to run for his dad's senate chair. How old is Beau Biden? I don't know. But he's off to Irak to do a tour.)

Which brings up the subject of Chelsea Clinton.

I think Hillary will keep her eyes open for opportunities so that Chelsea, too, can join the family "business" which is politics.

And, what's good enough for veep-elected Biden, probably would work as well in the Clinton's case. Does two years add the age to "30" ... as someone pointed out IS, in fact, how old you have to be to meet Constitutional muster?

Does history repeat itself?

Do cards show on the table while all you see are people with poker faces?

Andrew Cuomo is still in hiding.

(34) Gregory Koster made the following comment | Nov 25, 2008 9:44:28 PM | Permalink

Dear Ms. Herman: I don't know how old Beau Biden is, but he was seriously injured in the 1972 car crash that killed Biden's wife and daughter. So he is (or will be) at least 38 years old by the end of 2008, hence easily meeting the Constitution's age requirement.

I still hold that you are making a serious error in your forecasts. This nation is about to take a wild ride, via economics. The One still thinks he is going to roll out another "New Deal." What's far more likely is that he will be knocked down and rolled out flatter than a pancake. There's already an indicator: he resigned his Senate seat. Why? Well, that way he has no responsibility for any actions that Congress and Geo. W. may take before 20 January. He is following FDR's path in the interregnum between the 1932 election and March 4, 1933. FDR let Hoover dangle in 1932-33, and The One is perfectly content to let Geo W. fry in 2008-9. It's going to be much harder to duck responsibility from the Oval Office. This unwillingness to grab hold, combined with The One's native shiftlessness, and disorganization, is not going to serve him well. The comparison of The One to FDR may yet be apt---if you are talking about the intrigue loving devious playboy FDR of 1920.

I have not even mentioned foreign affairs, which I still think is going to count for more to this nation than even this economic blizzard. The Bumpkin's 1977-81 reign of error is a model of what could happen to The One, but I regard foreign affairs as far more malign today than then. I still can't see why The One offered SecState to Hillary, nor why she accepted. Hillary must now stand or fall with The One. Conversely The One must accept Hillary as a loyal subordinate, hoping to God she can keep Billyboy and His Funny Deals For His Dam Foundation under control. Politically, The One's administration promises to be the gaudiest since U.S. Grant's, with scandals and ineptitudes punctuating the dreary deluge of disasters. I would weep for my country, but it's better to laugh at the antics of the players. Meanwhile, I've seen no evidence that Chelsea is developing any political talent to continue the CLinton franchise. You may cite the Tafts of Ohio as one example, but the Kennedys of Massachusetts are far better. No, Chelsea will stick around Wall Street until it blows up completely, and then harangue Billyboy to scrounge her another job, doubtless with the Foundation. As for Beau Biden, the charges of nepotism are much less damaging, but my bet is that the political winds of 2010 will sink his career.

Those winds will be howling, and all the gushing of the press for The One aren't going to change that. The continual howling of "Racism(TM)" by the likes of Sullivan and Jake Weisberg will annoy, then bore, and finally be tuned out entirely. But the GOP may not be ready to take advantage of the turmoil. Yet another mass slaughter of the Congressional GOP, starting with Don "It's My Money!" Young of Alaska may be necessary.

Sincerely yours,
Gregory Koster

(35) Carol Herman made the following comment | Nov 25, 2008 11:29:26 PM | Permalink

Orh, I don't know, Gregory Koster. Beau Biden could have just been a kid when his mom got into a terrible car accident.

And, if, as you say, he's 38 years old, what's he doing "deploying to Irak, right now?" Don't we have age cut-offs?

Seems to me, if you want to joing the army, you need more than a signature from your dad, on the forms.

Anyway, the PURPOSE for my post about Biden's seat was to show BELDAR that there's more than one way to skin a cat.

This thread belongs to Hillary. On the right? Well, they don't like her. So, if her name appears, let's say, Obama is considering her for Chief of Staff, the opposition shows its nasty side.

A long time ago, there was both MACY'S and GIMBELS. Two department stores, vying for all the foot traffic that walked by on 34th Street. Mr. Macy, being very savvy, left a "textbook" for other retailers to follow. Among his statements? "The customer is always right."

You could learn from a businessman's approach to business. Or not.

Here, it's just opinions. And, so far, the right doesn't seem to have a formula that will bring their old customers back.

Heck, when I saw how Prop 8 passed in California; I saw that Hispanics and Blacks were voting "together." In other words, a majority in both groups picked OBAMA. And, then? Both groups SPLIT away and gave the YES votes on Prop 8, the majority needed to pass.

The only reason I mention this is that the bottom line in elections is to get YOUR TEAM over the goal line. In an environment now, where it's pretty obvious you need to "re-tune" your message. For instance: Abortion restrictions, and changing the science curriculum for KIDS! To include Intelligent Design. Can really stink up the GOP label so bad, you're gonna be "Wandering the Desert" for as long as it took Moses to lead the Jews to the Promised Land.

No, I'm just not an admirer of "the Wanderings."

And, I think your hits against Hillary are just silly.

Obama is going to be dealing with our GREAT DEPRESSION. It's just that so far too few people understand the ramifications of HOW Wall Street snookered investors, large and small, with phony ratings on WORSE THAN JUNK BONDS! Derivatives. Collateral "basket cases" full of debt obligations, with ZERO to back it up.

Ya know what? When the explanations come down the pike? It will smell like the GOP got themselves another Herbert Hoover. And, you just don't go and recover from that. Especially if all you have in your arsenal are spitballs.

Now, to the future. Biden's senate seat will be filled by his old chief of staff. Who will not run in 2010. So that Beau Biden can run as the democratic nominee for this senate seat, IN 2010. Then? It's up to the voters, folks.

Time marches on. Kids who were once in the White House, grow up. Heck, you could have gone and asked this of FDR. He was a pet of Theodore's. And, he, too, ran in the hallways of the White House when he was young. Then, he grew up. And, then he got elected, himself.

Maybe, you just can't wrap your minds around the idea that Hillary would do right by her daughter, and see to it that a way into politics ushers in?

All you need to know is that in New York, Governor Patterson wants Andrew Cuomo to go into Hillary's senate seat. And, Andrew, instead, wants to fight Patterson at the ballot box, during the primaries, to be the nominee for the governor's ballot in New York State.

For what it's worth (and I don't think all that much), Drudge this morning headlined a russian professor who was sure of AMerica's upcoming collapse. He didn't think it was a joke that russia and china would "step in" to fill the banking voids. (I just laughed.) But for good measure, he added "and, Alaska will go back to the russians, because right now it's just leased." There are some mighty nasty folk out there.

And, the GOP can't even get serious. Can't even see what the voters WANTED and CHOSE. And, "back at their drawing boards" they're loading up again on the name calling. As if that BS helped McCain get elected.

Meanwhile, please, go ahead. Do what you want.

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