Thursday election roundup column


Mandates: From Sanford
to Pelosi to Lieberman


NYBODY WHO thinks there was any one theme, message or lesson from Tuesday’s elections has a few more thinks coming. Let’s start with these:

The Sanford Mandate.
Gov. Mark Sanford’s victory statement Tuesday night was the best speech I’ve ever heard him give. I’m hoping to hear more of the same. He talked about a mandate, but with a tone of humility. He said it was a mandate for “change,” and I think he was right. What he did not mention was the plan to privatize public education, and with good reason, given the results in certain other races across the state. That still leaves us with government restructuring, and if the governor pushes as hard on that in the next four years as he has said he would, I’ll be cheering him every step of the way.

Real education reform.
Despite her long head start as the governor’s anointed “choice” standard-bearer, despite all those tens of thousands in campaign cash from out-of-state ideologues, despite having that crucial “R” after her name, Karen Floyd was slightly trailing Jim Rex in the superintendent of education race. It could still go either way. Does that mean the voters sent an uncertain message as to whether they want education reform? Absolutely not. The wisest course for the winner of this race, the governor and lawmakers would be to embrace the common-sense reforms that both of these candidates talked about, such as merit pay for teachers.

Bill Cotty survives.
They tried to do him in in the GOP primary. When that didn’t work, they tried to take him down in the general by running an independent candidate to split the Republican vote. They flooded his state House district with one slick mailing after another, accusing him of everything they could think of short of having WMD. But the most obvious House Republican opponent to private school vouchers and tax credits withstood everything they could throw at him, and prevailed. And consider this: His Democratic opponent, Anton Gunn, was just as strongly against their agenda as Mr. Cotty was. That means that in spite of all that out-of-state money and effort, 87 percent of the voters utterly rejected their agenda. The people of District 79 love and appreciate their public schools. And they are far from alone.

Eckstrom’s vindication.
So how does a guy who calls himself a fiscal watchdog (which is just what a comptroller ought to be), then takes a long family vacation in a state vehicle on a state gas card, then dares to run for re-election as a fiscal watchdog again manage to win? Here’s how: He got voters to believe his whining that he was being picked on, that the criticism of his Minnesota road trip was just the pettiest kind of political nit-picking. Well, it wasn’t. He broke faith with the voters, he never thought it was wrong, and now that he’s gotten away with it, he seems less likely than ever to learn anything from the incident.

The national picture.
Everyone says the Democrats’ congressional victories are about Iraq — but what does that mean? Those of us who have backed the war from the start have demanded changes in the way the war has been prosecuted since early on. We’ve been demanding, for instance, that the president dump Donald Rumsfeld. (Mr. Bush got that message right away — three years late, but he got it.)
    After all that talk about the war, I’ve yet to hear specifically what Democrats think the voters want them to do. I heard Nancy Pelosi and John Murtha on the radio Wednesday morning. Pretty nonspecific. They want “change.” Nobody’s saying pull the troops out. The party’s most agitated wing will be flapping for that, but wiser heads know better: If that was what the people wanted, Ned Lamont would have won in Connecticut.
    I think the country was rejecting the bitter partisanship of the last few years, of which the president and Speaker Dennis Hastert are prime examples. Voters want people who will work across ideological lines to the betterment of the country, both at home and abroad. They reject the Ned Lamonts on the left and the Rick Santorums on the right. They want common sense, not or Rush Limbaugh.
    Who were the Democrats who won? Pro-life candidate Bob Casey in Pennsylvania. Fiscal moderate John Spratt right here in South Carolina. The extremists need to take heed, or prepare to lose the House again in the next election — or the one after.

Yes! I practically shouted it out during the live election-night broadcast on S.C. ETV. Joe Lieberman did it! He showed that the right man with the right ideas (including the will to win in Iraq, take note) doesn’t need a political party to win high office.
    This is a start. All the U.S. Senate needs now is 50 more like him. Then you’ll see me jumping up and down the way the Democrats are doing nationally, and (most) Republicans are doing in South Carolina. Why? Because for the first time ever, my party will have its chance. I promise you here and now, given that opportunity, we will not let the American people down.


59 thoughts on “Thursday election roundup column

  1. bud

    Brad writes:
    After all that talk about the war, I’ve yet to hear specifically what Democrats think the voters want them to do. I heard Nancy Pelosi and John Murtha on the radio Wednesday morning. Pretty nonspecific. They want “change.”
    Brad you also said you want change, but I have never heard you specify what kind of change. I strongly disagree with you about the Democrats. They have coalesced around a few important “changes” over the past few months. Here a few general principals:
    Most Democrats want a timetable to withdraw our troops. That’s a change. Some want immediate withdrawl, most a longer term timetable.
    Most Democrats want more involvement from the U.N. and other nations in the region. That’s change. The administration has generally pushed other nations aside in a sort of “go it alone” posture. As they say, pride goeth before the fall, and the decider has plenty of pride.
    Most Democrats wanted Rummy gone. At the time of the election that was change. Now that he’s gone, and replaced by a Reagan re-tread, we may see a more hawkish approach to Iraq in the short-run. Most Democrats had a more moderate Secretary of Defense in mind.
    A victory of the sort you’ve been pushing for is not possible. We need to abandon hope of forming a Jeffersonian democracy in Iraq with a strong central government friendly to the U.S. Most Democrats are coming around to that “change”. Perhaps when President Clinton is inaugurated in 2009 we can see this important change come to fruition.

  2. Preston

    Brad, the whole “Joementum” thing is a little more complicated than you make it out to be. There were two and a half candidates, and Repubs abandonded their candidate because he was a joke. Lamont wqas a one issue candidate who found it too hard to overcome runing against the Republicans and those Dems in CT. who supported the Lieberman candidacy throughout. Lieberman is an opportunist who abandoned his party because they rejected him. He is an egomaniac who thinks that he is bigger than the system. I will give him credit though, he did win, saving his career.
    Before you go on and proclaim him a part some new “independent revolution” let’s see what he does. He could very easily go Repub and switch the balance of power. His situtation will be very interesting to watch in the coming months, but it is by no means a national trend.

  3. LexWolf

    “And consider this: His Democratic opponent, Anton Gunn, was just as strongly against their agenda as Mr. Cotty was. That means that in spite of all that out-of-state money and effort, 87 percent of the voters utterly rejected their agenda.”
    Now there’s a humongous stretch, if I’ve ever seen one! When both major party candidates are opposed to something, it doesn’t mean that the voters agree with them on that issue by voting for them. Run 2 candidates with opposing views on this issue – then, if one of them gets 87%, you could say that 87% are opposed to the other view. As it, though, it simply means that 87% had no real choice.

  4. Mary Rosh

    “So how does a guy who calls himself a fiscal watchdog (which is just what a comptroller ought to be), then takes a long family vacation in a state vehicle on a state gas card, then dares to run for re-election as a fiscal watchdog again manage to win?”
    Well, for one thing, because the State Newspaper were the ones who were most exercised about it, and they don’t have any credibility, and they drove their credibility on that issue below zero when Cindy Ross Scope did her tortured analysis “proving” that what Eckstrom did was illegal when it wasn’t.

  5. Howard Hughes

    “So how does a guy who calls himself a fiscal watchdog (which is just what a comptroller ought to be), then takes a long family vacation in a state vehicle on a state gas card, then dares to run for re-election as a fiscal watchdog again manage to win?”
    Mary R. has a point, but MY take is this: When the Vacation-gate story broke no one was hotter about it than I; as an employee of the taxpayers, I, too, consider myself something of a watchdog by cutting off lights around the office, picking up paperclips for re-use, conserving when possible miles in govt.-owned vehicles, etc. But after I cooled off the realization hit that Gov. Sanford needs RE’s vote on the Budget and Control board if he’s to accomplish much in his 2nd term. Obviously Treasurer Ravenel’s support alone wouldn’t help and it’s a cinch RE’s challenger is of a different political persuasion from my governor and me. Furthermnore, RE’s opponent had no evident qualifications for such a job. I don’t know RE personally but I doubt he’s an inherently dishonest guy and I doubt he’ll try any such caper again. This was a “bigger picture” issue.

  6. Preston

    One other thing. I have to call Katon Dawson out for calling Rex an “amateur”. He is just pissed that Rex used a trick that he learned from W & Co. Declare victory and then make the challenger look like a sore loser. Dawson’s comments merely make him look like a bitter loser. No need for a “Pro” to resort to name calling.

  7. chrisw

    RE: Richard Eckstrom
    It is well within your ability to investigate and write stories about HUNDREDS of public officials in SC that would lead to JAIL TIME. (the antics of Richland District 1, and Benedict College could fill one jail themselves…and lets not get started on a certain local official that now lives in a house built by the homebuilders at no charge to her). But even though the scandals are at your back door, your paper looks the other way.
    Most people know this. So when you bring up Richards LEGAL use of a perk of his office…why would you think we would listen?
    The editorial page of the State is Pety, pety, pety…and simply partisan.
    PS…and besides that, you wanted us to vote for Forest Gump!

  8. Preston

    Chris, you just don’t get it. Just because it is technically legal doesn’t make it right. To campaign as a taxpayers watchdog, while he has used his “perk” in an obvious wateful way is hypocritical. That is the point. Who wants to be represented by someone who represents themselves one way and acts another?

  9. chris

    It was legal.
    It was ethical.
    A “perk” is an entitlement. He can use the wash room whenever he wants. He can use the phone to talk to his wife. He can spend his paycheck at Bilo or Publics…it is his choice and not ours. He was given the car, told it was his to use, and to record for the IRS the mileage used for personal use. On that milage he would be taxed. These are some of the same perks that my employees use…and they enjoy them as part of their employment.
    You want to change the rules…call your State Senator…
    Now…let us talk about REAL waste in state government…that is the real story…and one the State Newspaper, and the leaders in state government are afraid to touch.

  10. Randy Ewart

    Chris, more of the same hostile rhetoric?
    You want to talk waste? Call your state senator aka “piggies” as Lex describes them. How many incumbent piggies did you just vote back into office?
    Some bloggers scream about accountability…for others.

  11. Tim Cameron

    No incumbant State Senators got elected back into office this year. They are not on the ballot until 2008. (Only one OPEN SEAT special-election Senate seat was on the ballot in the Upstate.)
    If your talking about this year’s slate of candidates, the people have spoken, and they said these issue didn’t matter to them anyways

  12. chris

    Once again you demonstrate that reading comprehension is not your strong suit. My comments are in no way hostile, and for you to construe them in that matter shows a lack of testosterone on your part.
    As has already been pointed out, there were no senators to re-elect, nor would I have voted for mine if I had the opportunity.
    Comrade Randy, perhaps you should adopt a new rule when posting. Write your post, read your post, have someone with at least a GED read it…and if that person does not scratch their head and wonder what the hell u are ranting about…well, then…post away.
    But surely this new rule will stop 90% of your idiotic post.
    PS…as you have been ranting about facts and data…where is your data that what Richard Eckstrom did is in fact illegal. And please note that Cindy Ross Scoppes “conversation” with a lawyer does not constitute a legal opinion. If you believe it does, would not my conversation with the atty general trump her unknown atty?

  13. Randy Ewart

    “The editorial page of the State is Pety, pety, pety…and simply partisan.” – Chrisw
    I don’t know if “pety” (petty) is on the GED test. Maybe you can ask. While you’re at it, ask about “incumbant” for Tim.
    BTW, I don’t have a dog in the Eckstrom fight. I was highlighting your biased snipping at The State. I personally think they are fair – maybe not fair and balanced to your liking though.

  14. chris

    “Fair and balanced”? Randy, my boy…I don’t even have cable…which is one reason why I have a clear and positive outlook.
    You are right about pety…oops…I should wear my glasses more often. But perhaps u could spend less time worrying about trivial things, and move to the realm of ideas…where the adult crowd is most often found.
    I am still waiting on the data, facts or whatever it is that u scream about so often. U were happy enough to repeat the slander against Eckstrom…the least u can do is supply the facts.
    PS..The State can take care of itself…u, on the other hand…need help.

  15. Randy Ewart

    I don’t think your glasses are the problem Chris.
    Eckstrom may as well be Dennis Eckersley for all I care – no dog in that fight.
    Yes, your outlook is very “clear and positive”. Stay the course Chris.

  16. Mark Whittington

    The following will probably come as a shock to several blog participants (especially Brad since he doesn’t have cable):
    While you guys were worshipping FOX (except Brad), the rest of America was watching this native South Carolinian.
    Perhaps if you watch his show you can figure out what has been going on in the rest of the country, and why ordinary people rejected the neo liberal/neo conservative agenda.
    We have had a six-year brush with fascism, and the people got sick of it. That’s what the election was all about.

  17. Lee

    You know a Cold War Marxist is talking when they constantly use the term “fascist” for every who opposes their agenda.
    Fascism itself is a form of socialism.
    There are no fascists outside of socialism, and most socialist in America are Democrats.

  18. chrisw

    You parroted negative charges before an election. The charges were without fact or merit, but they “could” possibly influence an election…so you made them in what can only be considered bad faith. No you act uninterested and unable to back up your claims. Typical leftist.
    The republicans were thrown out of office for a variety of reasons, and all of them were perfectly fine reasons for us to be tossed. I think the American people got it right.
    BUT!!! No matter how fat, lazy, and wrong headed the Republican Party has become, we can always take solace in that the left wingers of the Democratic Party rarely, if ever, learn a thing. Your comments show “business as usual”…and that is sad.
    The Democrats now have the real problems of assisting a great country in being constructive…not just being destructively partisan. And therein lies the problem…the group in charge of your party is not able, nor willing to rule. About this there is little reason to argue, but rather we must wait and see.
    The problems of the world will not go away just because the Democratic have taken control of congress.

  19. Steve

    Wondering what Randy thinks of the Richland 2 school board election? All four incumbents back in… a rubberstamp board for an administration that loves to spend taxpayers money.
    Anyone who voted for these same jokers (three of them couldn’t crack 800 on an SAT test) has no right to complain about school discipline or their future tax bills paying for more bond referendums.
    What this election taught us was that voters are basically either stupid or don’t care.

  20. Lee

    Steve –
    The State assisted the reelection of these school board clowns by not covering the election race. If you want to topple inept educrats, you have to spend money to buy space in Big Media.

  21. chrisw

    Too change the subject a bit…
    I would like to nominate, for incompetent bureaucratic agency of the year…
    The SC Election Commission: There computer technology in reporting information is as if designed and implemented by a 8th grader. Its commitment to disseminating information accurately and quickly seems non existent. Its public face is…well, is no where to be found.
    Every political professional I know sets up an apparatus to discover voting information APART from the commission. It may or may not complete its work with an accurate count (I do not have the info to know)…but what we can see of their work is that it is an fine example of why the Republicans were thrown out of office. Incompetence.
    It is time for Sanford to pick up the phone and make heads roll. And if the State newspaper were TRULY interested in scandal and the wasting of public money…they would be covering that story. But don’t count on it…

  22. Mary Rosh

    You can tell that Warthen is dishonest, not just stupid, when you notice that he supports his proposition by saying this:
    “Who were the Democrats who won? Pro-life candidate Bob Casey in Pennsylvania. Fiscal moderate John Spratt right here in South Carolina.”
    Even Warthen, as stupid and lazy as he is, knows that more than two Democrats took Republican seats. His failure to discuss the other 30 or so Democrats, therefore, can’t be only due to stupidity. It’can’t be only due to laziness. It can’t be only due to stupidity and laziness combined. It has to be due also to dishonesty.
    The fact is, that the new Democratic representatives and senators aren’t “moderate” in the sense that Warthen would like to define the term. Warthen sees “moderation” as reflecting his own viewpoint. Therefore, the more nearly someone’s views coincide with Warthen’s, the more “moderate” Warthen sees that person as being.
    Now, the new representatives and senators may be moderate in a true and objective sense of the term, and they certainly are aligned with the American mainstream. But they are certainly not “moderate” in the sense that they are aligned with Warthen.
    To Warthen, “moderation” means opposing abortion, opposing stem cell research, supporting the war in Iraq, privatizing Social Security, supporting torture, domestic spying, and arbitrary imprisonment, and striking “compromises” that give the Republicans and the president basically all of what they want. It also includes filing perjured briefs before the U.S. Supreme Court, as was done by Warthen’s favorite Senator, Huckleberry Graham.
    In other words, “moderation” simply means “agreement with Warthen’s point of view”
    Now, basically none of the newly elected Democrats are moderate in this sense.
    Look at this list of Jon Tester’s positions, for example:
    Supporting renewable and alternative energy sources
    Raising automobile mileage
    Protecting public lands
    Country of origin labels for food imports
    Affordable health care
    Enforcing immigration laws for immigrants and employers
    gun rights
    A plan to end the war in Iraq
    Increasing the minimum wage
    Repealing the Patriot Act
    Changing Medicare D to allow price negotiation with drug companies
    No to social security privatization
    Pro stem cell research
    Middle class tax relief
    Now, this is a pretty mainstream set of positions, in the sense that it is aligned pretty well with what the American people believe. But it is certainly not “moderate” in the sense that Warthen would define the term. You can see Warthen’s dishonesty shining through his post like an arc light when you note that voters rejected “extremism” because Casey is “pro-life”, but fails to inform you that Tester (from Montana!!!) is pro-choice.
    Why does he mention Casey and leave out Tester?
    There can be only one reason. It’s that mentioning Tester’s positions – that is, telling the truth – would undercut Warthen’s argument, and Warthen, as always, is more interested in supporting his own argument than he is in telling the truth.

  23. Randy Ewart

    Chris, your take on the parties is hardly that simplistic, but I’m sure you are trying to be fair and balanced.
    There is growing support among economists and business leaders that we should raise the minimum wage. Here’s one way the “world will be better” Chris. “Typical leftists” trying to help others. (I posted the link even though you don’t care much for evidence and data.)
    Steve, your point about the R2 school board helps justify my position. The politicians have a huge say so in how our schools are run. They are elected by the voters who hold them accountable. It’s not just teachers and administrators who run the show, but it’s a societal endeavor. Thanks for bringing that up.

  24. Dave

    Actually, Brad is right on in that the Dems gained the majority by adding more conservative and patriotic people to their roles. Webb is conservative, Heath Shuler is definitely conservative along with a cast of many others. So while the Dem leadership is cut and run, many of the new members will not go along with that type of leadership. I think its pretty telling that Al Qaeda in Iraq issued a statement asking the Dems to keep their campaign pledges which align with AQ goals and strategies. Who will Nancy blame it on when the White House is blown up? Herself?

  25. Steve

    So are you happy with the status quo on the R2 school board or not? You now have 3 board members who will have spent 16, 16, and 20 years together on the board by 2010. If teachers are not happy with the way things are going, how come we don’t see ANY of them criticize the board or the administration?
    I watched the school board forum on R2TV. Anyone who did would see that we have some of the dumbest people in the community on the board. And that’s what the district office wants… it’s all a game to keep the school contruction compainies happy and the money flowing (both above and below the table).

  26. Mary Rosh

    Dave, the Democrats have always been patriotic, but the reason you think that the newly elected Democrats are conservative is that you, like Warthen, are too lazy and stupid to check out their real positions on issues. Here’s a key part of Webb’s position on Iraq:
    For more than two years, Jim Webb has been proposing a formula that might lead to the end of our occupation of Iraq. The first step would be for this Administration to say unequivocally that our country has no desire to occupy Iraq in the long term. It has not done so, and we should be mindful of the many comments by those who pushed so hard for this war, to the effect that we should set up a long-term “MacArthurian Regency” in Baghdad. We should say clearly to the people of Iraq and of the region that we have no plans for a long-term presence in that country. This will take the moral high ground away from the insurgency in the eyes of the Muslim world, and defuse the concern of some Iraqis that we plan to stay for good. This will also put the Iraqi government on notice that it cannot wait forever to stand up before we will stand down. We should not build permanent bases in Iraq. If we’re leaving, we don’t need them, and it sends the wrong message. In the short term, we could move our troops out of the country but within the region – strong possibilities could be Jordan and Kuwait. This would give us the ability to contain the terrorist threat within Iraq without continuing our occupation. From there, we could then bring them home when we’re sure the withdrawal is working. Congress should make sure of this by banning any expenditure for permanent bases in Iraq.
    I call your attention to the part where he says that in the short term, we could move our troops out of the country, but within the region. Sure sounds like what you deride as “cut and run” to me. Of course, the reason you accusing people like Jim Webb and Nancy Pelosi is that you yourself are a coward who tries to pretend that a willingness to send others into danger makes you a man.
    Webb also supports economic fairness for all Americans, saying that current policies excessively favor the wealthy. Sounds like what you would deride as socialism – somewhat perverse, since you depend on handouts to keep you from starving to death.
    Webb supports a federal role in making sure that every American has access to health care.
    Webb opposes drilling in ANWR.
    Webb opposed the war in Iraq.
    These positions do not make Webb a conservative, or even a “moderate” as Warthen would define the term. But they do put Webb in the mainstream of America, which is much more liberal than you, Warthen, or South Carolina.

  27. Randy Ewart

    how come we don’t see ANY of them [teachers] criticize the board or the administration? – Steve
    Steve, how come we don’t see you post the names of your bosses and criticize them?
    Teachers are easy targets. There are some bloggers who take pot shots at us, emboldened by their anonymity. Steve ignores the voters who determined the make up of the board and brandishes simplistic demagoguery toward the district office and teachers.
    I don’t live in the R2 district Steve. I did vote against the incumbent R1 board members, who are responsible for the shortfall of the last bond. I’ve also criticized Rex’s lack of meaningful positions.

  28. Randy Ewart

    Dave, stand up for your position for once in lieu of simplistic attacks on democrats.
    Do you think the war is going well?
    You believe Donnie R did a good job?
    Who is this war against? Whom are we fighting? Insurgents? Baathists? Former Iraqi military?
    What is the end game? Do we simply stay until the Iraqis stand up? What if that takes 10 years? (after all, Cheney retracted his analysis that the insurgents are in their last throes).
    Time to put something on the table Dave. What’s your alternative to “cut and run”.

  29. Steve

    My bosses are not public employees who are paid by my tax dollars.
    Who better than the teachers to determine whether the board is meeting their needs? It’s too bad the fear of reprisal prevents teachers from speaking the truth. Why don’t teacher’s as a group collectively endorse candidates for the board? Hold an informal, anonymous poll a week or two prior to the election and present the results to the voters. Or would the district administration clamp down on that faster than you can say “pension plan”?
    Just post an anonymous response telling us what you really think.

  30. Randy Ewart

    Regardless, you don’t criticize your bosses in public, yet you think we should. How would your boss react? (rhetorical question).
    While the educators are bashed for the state of our schools, the politicians are absolved of responsibility. In R1, AC Flora lost a tremendous principal to R2 and they could have kept him. They over spent their $300 million bond money. They are a critical needs district in our state with terribly low test scores. Despite this, the incumbent board members were all re-elected Tuesday.
    Why should the accountability fall on the backs of the teachers?

  31. Dave

    Randy, Yes, Rumsfeld did an absolutely excellent job. And I agree with him retiring also, since the driveby media and the Dem radicals were determined to demonize this guy to the bitter end. Now, imagine if we had fought the Germans in WW2 and had a hands off policy on Japan. So the Japanese would send money, arms, bombs, spies, terrorists, etc. to fight us in Europe while they watched the war prolong. This is what we have been doing that I have been against all along. The first bomb or terrorist discovered from Iran or Syria was justification for us to level Tehran and Damascus. You cannot win a war while being politically correct. Had Truman not leveled Hiroshima and Nagasaki, plus firebombed all of Japans eight largest cities, we would have been fighting the Japs until 1955 with a likely toll of a million or more American soldiers dead. This is what we are doing now, trying to fight nice. It is disgusting and yes it is costing American blood. Muslims have launched a world war spanning from Indonesia to Chechnya to Africa, Europe, and of course the Middle East. We need to get this over with, bite the bullet, and do what has to be done. Of course, we know that isnt going to happen, so we will continue to hear about “blowing up the White House” and continual threats on our schools, sporting events, churches and other venues. Thanks to Bush and company we have been protected since 9-11. The question now is will the appeasers who run Congress now weaken that protection. I say yes but time will tell.

  32. Mark Whittington

    I know Brad is going to use the election as an excuse to promote “centrism” in order to keep our system undemocratic and to confine prosperity to a professional class and to the wealthy while promoting the continuation of a disastrous war that he in no small way helped to promulgate. Here are few excepts from Lou Dobb’s interview with Jim Webb, a socially conservative democrat with some mighty socialist sounding views on fairness:
    “I left the Republican Party on a number of issues. I affiliated with the Republican Party on national security, but one of the strongest reasons that I decided to go back to the Democratic Party was the issue that you’ve been talking about a lot here, and that is what has happened to the people in the working elements of our country.”
    ” Well, it’s incredible. I know you’ve been talking about this for a long time and I’ve been talking about it for a good number of years before I ever thought I would run for office. But when you see the bifurcation in our society, the incredible transfer of wealth to the top and the historic high levels of corporate profits as a percentage of our national wealth, at the same time that wage and salaries are at an all-time low, somebody needs to be dealing with those.
    You mentioned before the half-hour break something that you’ve said a lot about the lack of conscience in corporate America, and I really think that if you look at these problems, a wide variety of the problems, you can go back to two things. One is a sense of entitlement that has come with this migration of wealth to the top one percent, that goes even into things like military service.”
    ” And the second is the lack of accountability in corporate America, even in terms of tax policies and we really need to get our arms around this or we’re going to have problems with protectionism and social unrest, in my view.”
    ” You know, I believe you measure the health of your society not at its apex, but at the base. You can’t any longer measure the health of our society simply by what’s happening with the stock market, because there’s been such a tremendous migration of wealth toward a very small percentage of people who are owning stocks and those sorts of things.
    And it’s — to me, part of it is the leadership that we have in the Congress and the notion that there are so many loopholes that have been built into the system that have allowed this thing to perpetuate itself and I’m looking forward to taking a healthy look at this.”
    This isn’t trying to create class warfare or to go after corporate America or any of this stuff in an unfair way. It’s simply trying to bring fairness back to the system. We have 13 percent of the taxes in this country being paid by corporate America, when we have these all-time profits up there, and we have 86 percent being paid by the individuals.

  33. Randy Ewart

    Dave, on what do you base your glowing assessment of Rummey? We have less control of the country now than 2 years ago. The Iraqi forces are woefully underproductive. There are multiple generals and REPUBLICANS who decry his performace. Who should be accountable? Or are you suggesting the war is going well?
    Comparing Iraq with Japan during WWII is like comparing Britney Spears with Elizabeth Dole – worlds apart. 52 years ago we were at war with a country. Who are with at war with now? Certainly we don’t drop bombs on the civilian population to make our adversaries surrender.
    Your suggestion that this war has made us safer is a contradiction to your earlier post in which you suggested that the armed pilots had prevented another attack. Now it’s the war? Is it the war which allowed us to prevent the attacks in Quebec or the high-jackings of the British flights?
    Again, who are we fighting? You think the war is going well? We’ll get out when the Iraqis stand up for themselves…or when they stand up for their faction as is happening now expecially with Sadr? Many important questions for your stay the course strategy.

  34. Mary Rosh

    Mark, yeah, I saw that too; it was remarkable how the reality constrated with the picture the media is trying to paint.
    Jim Webb is centrist in one sense, though. His economic views are pretty well aligned with those of the American people as a whole. But he’s certainly not a centrist in the view of Warthen and the other hack media.

  35. Mark Whittington

    That’s right Mary. They’re purposely confusing the people with the term “centrism”. Modern “centrism” is really a euphemism for corporatism. It’s a way of attacking progressives by taking a right of center ideology and declaring it to be middle of the road. There’s nothing middle of the road about an ideology that shoves 35% of the national wealth into the hands of 1% of the population and yet that starves the bottom 60% of the population with 5% of the national wealth. I encourage everyone to travel to Western Europe to see just how far to the right we have become as a nation.

  36. bud

    Dave writes:
    “Now, imagine if we had fought the Germans in WW2 and had a hands off policy on Japan.”
    If you want to keep using the WW2 analogies then here’s mine:
    Imagine Hitler walking out in front of the Eifel Tower dressed in a Lufwaffe flight suit some time in the fall of 1940 and declaring “Mission Accomplished” In the background hangs a banner with that same phrase (in German) hanging from the tower. That my friend is the correct WW 2 analogy with the war in Iraq.

  37. chris

    I gotta say, some of the above postings represent the most muddled headed, arrogant thinking I have ever heard. More babbling with less expertise than one can imagine…
    Prozac’s all around…then start again later….
    And Brad…you just can’t start a thread and leave…someone gonna lose an eye soon…

  38. Randy Ewart

    Chris, you claim your posts aren’t hateful. I guess you consider this last post constructive analysis and critical thought. You’re awfully brave behind that anonymity.

  39. Dave

    Bud, it’s obvious you are another who hasnt served. You can accomplish a “mission” while still fighting a long term war. You can win several battles to accomplish your mission while the war is still being waged. The analogy with Hitler in France is silly. But Iran and Syria not so secretly helping to kill our brave soldiers is not silly, but true.

    Also, Happy Veterans day to all who have served. And Mary, you may have served in the Waffle HOuse and that doesnt count.

  40. Randy Ewart

    Dave, you spend alot of time criticizing others on the war, but you serve up nothing but waffles. Driving that Dodge.
    Who are we fighting in this war? Insurgents? Baathists? Sadr? Share with us your military expertise.
    What’s the exit strategy? We wait until the Iraqis finally stand up for themselves? For their sect? Sadr isn’t showing alot of interest in national unity, and neither is his puppet the prime minister.
    You think Rummey did a great job. He ran this war so the results bear out the great job he did? Things are getting better over there?
    BTW, in which war did you serve to gain this expertise? Please give specifics.

  41. Lee

    According to our military reports, 94% of the kamikazee bombers and the guerrillas we killed in the last 4 months are Iraqis. We have dried up the foreign fighters. Bombs are upgraded from IEDs to kits from Iran.

  42. Dave

    Randy, why do we still have permanent bases in Japan and Germany? All you want to talk about is exit strategy. We have a victory strategy, not an exit strategy. The problem is the left doesnt think victory by the USA is fair to the rest of the world, so some root openly and some subtly for the USA to fail. Letterman could not bring himself to say openly that he wants the US to win. Several on this blog are like that also.

  43. Lee

    The same Democrats who screamed, long after it was too late to actually do so, that President George Bush should have sent our forces on into Baghdad to overthrow Saddam Hussein in 1991, voted in 1998 to do so, again in 2002 to do so, then immediately after President G.W. Bush removed Saddam, they began a campaign of lies that Saddam posed no threat and the war was unnecessary.
    They are partisan liars, pragmatic only about doing whatever it takes to preserve and increase their personal power.
    They can say that we need more troops deployed to Iraq to finish the job, and in the next breath say we need to begin immediate withdrawal in ordedr to have have our troops out in six months.

  44. Randy Ewart

    Dave, you avoid the tough questions in favor of scripted rhetoric – same approach that resulted in the great beat down of ’06 for W, Rummey, and Cheney.
    Boast of some nebulus “victory strategy”, what Daddy Bush’s boys say is what matters.
    Simple questions Dave. You think the war is going well? Who are we fighting this war against, Insurgents? Baathists? Sadr? Former Iraqi military?

  45. Dave

    Randy, the war is being fought against any or all of the above who want to deny freedom to the people of Iraq. The Iraqi people deserve to be free dont they? Or are you ready to re-instate Saddam? Actually, I really dont care what their identity is, we should kill everyone in Iraq who would take up arms against us. Now, that should simplify it for you I hope.

  46. Randy Ewart

    Yes, you simplified it alright, which is my point.
    If we don’t know who we’re fighting, how will we know if we’ve defeated them?
    According to you, our troops should wait around for someone to attack, then we kill them – whoever them is. That’s an impressive strategy.
    In which war did you fight again?

  47. Randy Ewart

    BTW, there are people who want freedom for Iraq who are attacking us as well. So according to your litmus test, we don’t fight them.

  48. Lee

    Do you seriously think the Islamofascists are attacking America in order to secure liberty for their fellow Iraqis?
    Why were they attacking us all during Clinton’s 8 years?

  49. Dave

    Randy, during Vietnam my military related injuries were far worse than Kerry’s, but I didnt apply for a Purple Heart for myself. While fighting hand to hand combat with pugil sticks at Ft. Dix NJ boot camp, a fellow soldier cracked me in the face with the wood, not the cushioned end, splitting my tooth right down the middle. Can we call that friendly fire? That reminds me, why didnt Clinton ever release his medical records nor Kerry? There is a reason for that and we will find out someday.

    Now, stop worrying about my US Army service and as Brad says Let’s Win This War Now!!!!!!!!! The country should be united behind the military if we are to succeed.

  50. Randy Ewart

    Impressive. In which battle where you injured?
    Once again, if we don’t know who we are fighting, how will we know we’ve defeated them?
    If anyone fires on our troops it’s ok as long as it’s for the freedom of the Iraqi people?
    So we keep our troops in Iraq no matter how many Americans are killed even if a full-fledged civil war breaks out?
    There’s are questions that the MILITARY addresses. They do a lot more planning than stay the course no matter the cost as you propose.
    Concern for our troops and the well-being of our country is also patriotism. Blind support for war is not the only criteria, as you suggest.

  51. Randy Ewart

    Impressive. In which battle where you injured?
    Once again, if we don’t know who we are fighting, how will we know we’ve defeated them?
    If anyone fires on our troops it’s ok as long as it’s for the freedom of the Iraqi people?
    So we keep our troops in Iraq no matter how many Americans are killed even if a full-fledged civil war breaks out?
    There’s are questions that the MILITARY addresses. They do a lot more planning than stay the course no matter the cost as you propose.
    Concern for our troops and the well-being of our country is also patriotism. Blind support for war is not the only criteria, as you suggest.

  52. Lee

    News flash, cowards!
    Al Qaeda on Nov 10 said that even if the Democrats withdraw all the troops, they intend to keep attacking America until they blow up the White House.
    Do the Democrats intend to act like Americans and fight its enemies? If not in Iraq, where?

  53. Mary Rosh

    So Dave, you were injured in a training accident? Of course you didn’t apply for a Purple Heart, because training accidents don’t qualify for Purple Heart.
    So, you apparently never served in combat, but you supported the Vietnam war. In your mind, that makes your service superior to that of Kerry, who served 2 combat tours, was wounded in combat, and won a Bronze Star and a Silver Star. But Kerry opposed the Vietnam war, so in your mind, his service isn’t important.
    To you, the service and sacrifice that someone undertakes isn’t important, and the contributions they make to the country aren’t important. To you, what makes someone a real American is a willingess to sit in safety while advocating policies that endanger others.

  54. Lee

    Kerry wasn’t injured, either.
    Kerry saw very little combat.
    Kerry was trying to avoid Vietnam when he joined the Navy.
    Kerry apparently was discharged due to psycological problems.

  55. Dave

    Lee, I see they put Kerry in charge of some inconsequential committee in the Senate. His own senate colleagues cannot stand the guy but Mary loves him, figures.. It has got to be embarrassing for the Dems to have Al Qaeda speaking their same talking points. In fact, it may be embarrassing to be a Democrat in S. Carolina, thank goodness. But I did vote for Emile!!!

  56. Randy Ewart

    Dave, you continue to dodge the lingering questions:
    In what battle were you injured?
    In what war did you see combat?

  57. Lee

    Randy, what are the battle injuries which qualify you to dismiss everyone else? Do you also think most women should keep their mouths shut about Iraq? Like Pelosi?


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