OK, DCCC, I agree with you on this one

Another of those fund-raising appeals that never stop coming arrived this morning, ostensibly from Donna Brazile. It starts out,

Brad —

If President Obama found a cure for the common cold, Republicans would oppose it.

I’ll ignore the laughably transparent attempt to pretend you know me (“Hey, Donna!”), when you obviously don’t if you think I’d give you money, and move on to the first full sentence.

You’re absolutely right. Now, will you agree with me on the following statement, which is just as obviously true?

Brad —

If President Bush had found a cure for the common cold, Democrats would have opposed it.

You can’t agree, Donna? Oh, well. Perhaps I don’t know you that well, either.

Too bad. Because you had hit on a punchy, terse way of expressing how pointlessly partisan Congress has become, and how destructive it is to the country for anyone to give you money for your cause, or to do the same for your Republican counterparts.

Vote UnParty, y’all.

31 thoughts on “OK, DCCC, I agree with you on this one

  1. bud

    Brad in his ever zealous, and hopelessly out of touch, rant about the “equal” partisanship of both parties pretty much ignores history, or re-writes which is even worse. The Democrats in congress pretty much rubber-stamped the Bush agenda during his first 3 years in office. It wasn’t a matter of jumping when W asked them to jump but rather to ask just how high they should jump. Ultimately we ended up with the 8 most disasterous years since the 1930s. Here are just a few of the failed ideas the Democrats supported:

    No Child Left Behind
    No Billionare Left Behind (otherwise known as the Bush tax cuts in 2001 and 2003)
    Medicare Part D without funding
    And most importantly the invasion and occupation of Iraq, also without funding

    At the end of the day the worst sin of the Democrats in the early 2000s was not a failure to compromise with the president. Rather the biggest failure was to play lapdog to this incompetent bumpkin. And the country continues to pay for it today.

    As an aside the Dems did finally come to their senses when the president proposed a repeal of Social Security. If that was partisan then count me as a proud partisan.

  2. Brad

    Good shot, Phillip!

    But I was right, still. The GOP was stunned, for a time. And frankly, I would say it’s still pretty stunned. The real GOP, I mean. It was so demoralized and depressed that it allowed itself to be taken over in 2010 by the Tea Party. The vital spark of traditional Republicanism was gone.

    Whereas, I still assert, if Obama had somehow lost, the angry outcry from the left would have been immediate, and would have been of an intensity that would have been a threat to our ability to maintain what vestiges of civility remain in our system.

    I saw it happen in 2000, after the Long Count went against the Dems. (And it DID go against them; they were NOT robbed.) Even several years later, you saw moderate types such as Joe Lieberman speaking of having been robbed. Of course, for him it was more personal than for most.

    Obama losing, after it having been so obvious that he would win at the time I wrote that? It would have been disastrous.

    And part of is was that simple fact of expectations. If McCain had won at that point, the Repubs would have been just as shocked — they’d have just tried to hide it.

    And Phillip, the fact that I agreed with Bush on the points Democrats were angriest about simply freed me to see the situation more objectively.

    I didn’t like the guy. I hadn’t wanted him to be president. But because I could see some good with the bad, I wasn’t freaked out about it the way so many Dems were. And I could see the derangement, just as I can see the same thing in the birthers and their kin today.

  3. Phillip

    Being against blindly partisan politics is one thing. Ignoring reality, or espousing a kind of philosophy of “false equivalence” is another. Trying to argue against the obvious and simply historically inaccurate proposition that the Republicans are merely doing now exactly the same thing the Democrats did during the Bush terms is a difficult thing because the person on the other side of the argument will simply say, “you’re just being a partisan Democrat.” Many people, even ones as well-informed and thoughtful as you, Brad, think the same way you do as expressed in this post. This all adds up to the reason that extremist partisan politics has worked so well for the right-wing, especially in the past 30 years. (Of course, opposition to Bush policies was strongest and yes, often strident, on the topics where you most agreed with Bush: the Iraq invasion, and the “modification” of civil liberties in the name of national security. Take that topic away, and compare the Democrats-vs.-Bush era to the Republicans-vs.-Obama era. You can’t be serious, right? I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: whichever extreme end of the political spectrum is more successful at pushing the agenda its direction, therefore redefines what the “center” is. Why do you think we see so much acknowledgement these days (even from within GOP circles) that Ronald Reagan might have a hard time winning his party’s nomination under the current climate? On the other hand, how many people really think Obama or most Democratic leaders today (Pelosi perhaps excepted) are really more liberal than Mondale, McGovern, Ted Kennedy, Hubert Humphrey?

    For those interested in a common sense journalistic voice who has been lately writing eloquently on the insidiousness of this false equivalence notion, should check out James Fallows at the Atlantic, in this and other pieces.

    Lastly, there’s this from Brad’s old blog, Sept. 2008: “if Barack Obama loses this election, Democrats…will be so bitter that the political polarization will be even worse in this country…Republicans, by contrast, have been expecting to lose all year. This had calmed them…Now if they lose, I expect the usual level of bitterness, just not as severe as what I think is in store if Democrats lose.”

    Well, I’m glad things didn’t turn out THAT way and that the political polarization you feared didn’t materialize!

  4. Phillip

    The last part of your response just doesn’t make any sense to me, I’m sorry: “the fact that I agreed with Bush on the points Democrats were angriest about simply freed me to see the situation more objectively.” Are you sure?

    War is a special situation in which people’s lives are at stake. Passions rise at such times, as they should, when the stakes are that high. As Bud pointed out above, Bush received significant support from Democrats over the years on a whole host of issues ranging from education, to economic policy, to immigration reform (it was the GOP that squashed that), to AIDS funding, and so forth. It was not received wisdom that you needed 60 votes to pass any legislation, the way it has become since Obama took office.

    The “derangement” as you call it, was extremely focused on Iraq and the so-called War on Terror and related issues (Guantanemo, extraordinary rendition, wiretapping, etc.). You know, the chants of “Bush lied, people died,” etc. Did many go over the top in comparisons to Hitler, etc.? Yes, of course. But I think it’s precisely BECAUSE the vitriol was strongest over some of the very topics with which you most strongly AGREED with Bush that your perception of that era is the way it is.

  5. `Kathryn Fenner

    [like] what Phillip said.

    Psychological experiments show this relative polarization effect. If someone comes into a room where an opinionated conversation has been going on and expresses an opinion far out in one direction, the opinions of those already in the room will trend in that direction. They won’t get all the way there, of course, but they will get measurably more in that direction.

  6. Brad

    Phillip, here’s the way I saw it: I had been covering or helping cover politics for a living for almost two decades when in late 1992, I saw something I had never seen before: Bumper stickers that said, “Don’t blame me; I voted Republican.” They didn’t even wait for Clinton to be inaugurated.

    Republicans continued in that new vein over the next few years. In the early and mid-90s, I would have said this sort of partisan derangement was a phenomenon of the right.

    But then a couple of things happened, at about the same time: Jim Hodges — a guy I had always liked and respected, in small part because he had been such an articulate advocate for good ideas, and such an articulate opponent of bad ones (such as video poker and a state lottery) — ran, at the behest of Kevin Geddings, for governor on a pro-lottery platform with video poker money.

    We opposed him strenuously.

    Then, the president of the United States was alleged to have lied under oath. I said if that were true, he would have to go. After several months of vehemently, insistently, self-righteously denied the allegation of what he had lied about, he admitted that yeah, he’d been lying all along. Well, of course he should resign, and we said so.

    Wow. The vehemence, the vitriol, of which I was on the receiving end was something I had never experienced before. Pure partisan fervor. Irrational partisan fervor.

    For years, the way the right had bashed the media had made me think something was wrong with people on the right. But I didn’t realize the the people on the left just seemed a little more civil because they agreed with the right that the media were on the left’s side.

    When they decided that we weren’t on their side, well, hell hath no such fury.

    So I made a note of that.

    Then came George W. Bush, and Democrats were determined to get even. From Day One, he was declared illegitimate. I remember having several conversations BEFORE 9/11 with Mike Fitts, our self-designated liberal, asking him to explain this vehemence.

    You’re right — Democratic members of Congress, led by people with such powers of statesmanship as Ted Kennedy, were working together with W. on one bipartisan measure after another. But out in the rank and file, Democrats could hardly speak the name Bush without figuratively spitting on the ground.

    After 9/11, that eased off a bit. Then over the year or two after the invasion of Iraq, it built to a crescendo such as we had not seen before.

    Anyway, that’s what I witnessed.

  7. `Kathryn Fenner

    Bush II’s legitimacy was legitimately questioned. If more people had believed Anita Hill,we might have had President Gore.

    Clinton should not have lied under oath. He should have refused to answer the questions on relevance grounds. Whitewater was a fishing expedition. Clinton had a zipper problem. So did most other presidents.

  8. Brad

    Kathryn, I didn’t understand a word of what you just said. Anita Hill? Did she say that Bush, too, muttered about a pubic hair on a Coke can? What?

    No, it was not legitimate to challenge Bush’s legitimacy. All during that long count, I feared for our republic. I didn’t know which one would win, and I didn’t really care. We had endorsed Bush, but I didn’t like him. (Once McCain was out of it, I felt like that election was a no-win proposition.) I had once liked Gore a lot, when I knew him back in Tennessee, but he had been diminished for me by his 8 years backing up Clinton. (I had felt the same way about Bush pere. I had liked him in 1980, but after 8 years of second banana to Reagan, I didn’t think as much of him.)

    What I did care about was that we settle on a winner, based on the rules in place on Election Day, and then that the country accept the result. That was essential.

    Every day of that count was torture, as we saw the teams of the two men who would lead us playing all sorts of games with how the rules should be read, or reconsidered. And the things we read about the foolishness of voters who didn’t know for whom they were voting really tarnished democracy for me. (You have to understand, I thought the punch cards were great. It was unbelievable to me that people would turn them in with chads hanging, or with any uncertainty about for whom they had voted. I would punch the thing, take it out, brush the back to make sure nothing was dangling, hold it to the light and check the numbers next to the holes to make sure they matched the numbers next to the candidates on the ballot. It was the most personally verifiable voting system I have ever encountered. If you use a lever system, or electronic, how do you EVER know how you voted, for sure?)

    And that, by the way, is the only connection I can think of to Anita Hill. I felt just as depressed for the degradation of our system when I was hearing all that tawdry stuff about who said what to whom, during a hearing in the United States Senate for a nominee to our highest court. Nothing like dignity, huh?

    Oh, well. At least I can comfort myself that all those people who were so indignant for Anita Hill and judged Thomas so harshly for allegedly having made off-color remarks were absolutely OUTRAGED when the president of the United States played actual sex games — not just talk — with a 22-year-old intern, his most powerless subordinate (not an Ivy League-trained attorney), while he was on the job at the White House. At least I have that, right?

    What a wonderful system we have. And partisanship just contributes SO much to it, doesn’t it?

  9. bud

    What I did care about was that we settle on a winner, based on the rules in place on Election Day, and then that the country accept the result. That was essential.

    Not sure I completely agree but for the sake of argument let’s accept that premise, but just for 2000. The really big issue at stake is the legitimacy of our electoral process not just the “rules in place on Election Day”. If ever events showed a crying need for change it was the 2000 election. Given the insanely close result in Florida along with the rather large popular vote win for Gore isn’t it obvious we need to eliminate the electoral college? This is a serious flaw in our system that will certainly be repeated in the future. And it could get worse, much worse. There are some scenerios where one candidate can get a huge majority of the popular vote and yet still lose. How can that be defended? The rules are bad, even IF they were followed in 2000.

    It’s time to get behind the movement to pick our presidential winner based on the popular vote. That movement is gathering momentum but still has a long way to go.

  10. Doug Ross

    The only reason partisanship appears to be more prevalent since 1992 is because there are more ways to spread the message.

    Had there been cable TV and the internet and cellphones in 1960, you would have seen the same thing coming out of the JFK and Nixon camps.

    As I had not moved to South Carolina yet when the Clarence Thomas hearings took place, I had no idea who Strom Thurmond was. If anything exposed the low political IQ level of this state, it was watching a doddering, mumble-mouthed Strom attempt to lead the hearings. And to think he was in office for a decade after that debacle demonstrated just how low South Carolinians will go in setting the bar for politicians.

  11. `Kathryn Fenner

    Clarence Thomas was the head of the EEOC and the contact with Anita Hill was not consensual. He’s in for life, and by every objective knowledgeable standard, is a partisan idealogue with porr judicial temperament.

    Monica Lewinsky at least nominally consented to the contact, if not actively pursued it.

    If Clarence Thomas had not been a Supreme, many believe W would not have been declared the winner.

  12. Brad

    So basically, it doesn’t matter what a man does. It’s all about how a woman (and in the case of the immature Miss Lewinsky, I’m stretching the definition of “woman” — remember as you read that none of my children are as young as she was) feels about it.

    Under this set of rules — one that I will never subscribe to, by the way — a man who does something far worse than another man who was excoriated is excused if, by the luck of the draw, the woman concerned liked the idea.

    Men should be held accountable for their actions, not for how others feel about what they do, or try to do.

    This is related to my attitude regarding “hate crimes.” Actions should be prosecuted, not attitudes.

    Clarence Thomas — if he is indeed guilty of what he was accused of, which still, after all these years, remains to be seen — spoke crudely to a young woman who was his subordinate, which is ungentlemanly behavior, and therefore wrong.

    In Clinton’s case, he actually engaged in the activities that Thomas is accused of speaking about. As the most powerful man in the world. At the office. With the least powerful, youngest and most foolish person in his employ.

    That, in the private sector as well at the public, is a firing offense. Lying under oath is a violation of the law. Lying insistently and self-righteously to the American people, shaking his finger at us, is a breach of trust. (And to understand how much of a breach, you really have to go back and rewatch the video, see him point that finger, hear that tone, hear the way he pounds his hand down on the lectern to punch. each. word.)

    If he had forced his attentions on that young woman, it would have been much worse. If Anita Hill had welcomed what Thomas is alleged to have said, it would have been better (but still pretty inappropriate in the workplace).

    But even as things are, what Clinton unquestionably DID was worse than what Anita Hill’s supporters BELIEVE Clarence Thomas said.

  13. Doug Ross


    Agreed. Clinton’s behavior, especially considering his position, was far, far worse than Thomas’ alleged behavior. But then so was the behavior of many of the hypocritical Congressmen trying to impeach him.

    I mean, really, how can Newt Gingrich even be on the stage with the other Republican candidates when his personal marital history makes Clinton look like a choir boy?

    And I am no fan of Thomas. As far as I can tell he has done little to distinguish himself. In fact, he is (in)famous for never asking a single question during Supreme Court proceedings.

  14. Brad

    I’m glad we can agree, Doug.

    And I’ve never been favorably impressed by Thomas, either.

    What disturbs me was the way the process was degraded. Basically, you have a man sitting on our highest court who only got there after having passed through hearings at which all that extremely unseemly (and quite bizarre) testimony was produced, and nobody can look at the guy without thinking “pubic hair on a Coke can” or whatever, and what is perhaps our most venerable secular institution is degraded.

    I can’t be reminded of the Thomas hearings without being disgusted and appalled. And yet some female friends of mine seem on the verge of hugging themselves with delight at the mention of Anita Hill’s name. They think those hearings were WONDERFUL.

    There’s a twain that ne’er shall meet…

  15. Brad

    But Doug did remind me of the one bright thing that came out of the Thomas hearings — Dave Barry’s columns. I didn’t want to laugh at that appalling spectacle, but he managed to lighten it up some.

    Just about the funniest thing I’ve ever read in a newspaper was his characterization of Strom’s speech patterns.

    He even succeeded in making me laugh at people such as myself who were so disgusted.

    Following is an excerpt:

    “SEN. HATCH: I want to say that I am disgusted. These are disgusting
    things that we have been taking about here, and I personally am
    disgusted by them. Pubic hair! Big organs! Disgusting. And yet we
    must talk about them. We must get to the bottom of this, no matter how
    disgusted we are, and believe me I am. We must talk about these
    matters, the pubic hair and the big organs, HUGE organs, because it
    just makes us sick, to think that these kinds of matters would come
    up–I refer here to the organs and the hairs–that we here in the
    United States Senate would find ourselves delving deeply into these
    matters, to be frank, totally disgusts me, both aspects of it, the hair
    aspect AND the organ…

    “CHAIRMAN BIDEN: Thank you.

    “SEN HEFLIN: Judge Thomas, [30-second pause] I certainly appreciate
    [45-second pause] the fact [20-second pause] that [three-minute,
    20-second pause] my time is up.

    “SEN THURMOND: Soamwhoan ben cudrin’ mheah widm tan’ bfust drang.

    “TRANSLATOR: He says, “Somebody has colored my hair with what appears
    to be Tang breakfast drink.””

    Of course, that was completely unrealistic. There’s no way, if other people were saying all that stuff, that Joe Biden would have confined himself to “thank you.”

  16. `Kathryn Fenner

    The age of your children is completely irrelevant to the ability of Anita Hill or Monica Lewinsky to consent, and consent is the difference between rape and perfectly acceptable sexual intercourse between CONSENTING ADULTS–and by any measure, Monica Lewinsky was well over the age of consent—older than Ms. Dubs was when you were married, if I am correct? –since we are using your life experience as an ethical parameter.

    In fact, consent is a defense to all manner of tortious conduct. It is the primary defense put forth by Clarence Thomas–“she asked for it.”

  17. Karen McLeod

    Brad, if your statement that “actions should be prosecuted, not attitudes” is correct then Clinton was hounded for having consenting sex with an adult (over 21). What action is criminal there? He lied about something they had no business asking about. Now, if Hillary had decided to whack him with a golf club or some such, THAT might have been justified.

  18. Phillip

    How did we get onto the Lewinsky scandal? Two quick points:

    1) We’re basically talking two different things here. You are talking about the most-worked-up partisans out there ranting and raving, writing you letters after your Clinton-should-go editorial. I’m not talking about them, nor even the right-wing blogosphere or rank-and-file saying “mean” things about Obama. I’m talking about a conscious decision by the Congressional leaders of a given party to dig in and show no interest even in policies they previously embraced, because of their preference to risk greater harm to the nation in the hope of achieving an electoral result. The filibuster is a measurable tool. The numbers are undeniable, a historic record. You yourself acknowledged above that “Democratic members of Congress, led by people with such powers of statesmanship as Ted Kennedy, were working together with W. on one bipartisan measure after another.” Where has that been during Obama’s Presidency?

    2) As for Bush’s “legitimacy,” it would have been a raw issue even if he had won Florida by a wide margin. Why? Because regardless of that particular mess, 2000 was the first election in 112 years (!) where the person with fewer popular votes nationwide defeated the person with more popular votes nationally. Of course, the law is the law and the rules are the rules, but political legitimacy is another question. Given that, I think Bush received incredible acknowledgement of legitimacy by those who count, the lawmakers, especially after 9/11, which was only EIGHT months after he took office. My question is: what is the GOP excuse for challenging the legitimacy of President Obama, who won by a comparatively large popular vote margin and crushed McCain in the electoral vote?

    For somebody who is quick to point a finger at those who paint an overly broad or clearly false moral equivalency between the US and other nations in terms of international behavior, I find it disappointing that you engage in the same kind of “on-the-one-hand-this-on-the-other-hand-that”-ism when it comes to the two parties, at least in this stage of American history. One does not have to claim that the Democratic party is exempt from the sins of blind partisanship, obstructionism, hypocrisy, and all the rest of it, to acknowledge that the Republican party in the early twenty-first century has become something quite extreme, quite uninterested in the processes of actual governance, quite willing to risk or even encourage negative outcomes for our country and economy in the interest of electoral strategy, and thus representing a unique and yes, quite dangerous threat to the health of our political system.

  19. Brad

    Phillip, I appreciate your thoughtfulness on this, as always.

    I have said MANY times that the Republican Party lost it after 2008 — not before then, though, in my view. We could get off on another tangent about Iraq, but to me, that proves my point. That was, as I think everyone will agree, a neocon move. What are neocons? They are disillusioned liberals.

    And invading Iraq was a liberal enterprise, a Wilsonian one, as I think The New Republic set out very well at the time. I have always believed that was why Bush carried it out so badly, after the initial toppling of Baghdad. It required a commitment to nation-building, and he never believed in nation building. It was a conservative leader trying to execute a liberal program, and so it was all bollixed up until Gates and Petraeus took over.

    Sorry. I didn’t mean to get on that tangent.

    What I’m saying is, the Republicans started getting extreme after the 2008 defeat. Actually, the GOP itself didn’t know WHAT to do, which left a vacuum, which the Tea Party and ideological hard-liners such as Jim DeMint were only too glad to fill.

    That’s why I wrote this post about how the GOP field for governor was so off the rails that I couldn’t really consider any of them. Even a “mainstream” guy like Henry McMaster (a Reaganite — isn’t it weird how today we think of the Reaganites as the sensible moderates, when in the late 70s we saw them as the extreme right wing?) would do such extreme things as that bizarre “Vultures” ad.

    You and Bud and your equivalence concerns… Look back at what I’ve written this week. I have said I don’t want Democrats going off the rails the way Republicans have done. Does that not say that the GOP has recently embraced extremism in ways that Dems have not — yet?

    Back to your point 1) — yes, indeed, I’m talking about the extremes, the ranters and ravers, the people who would call me at the newspaper to yell and would NOT be mollified by reason. To me, whether left or right, they all seem the same. They are people who are so far gone in their partisanship that they can’t be reasoned with, and are therefore destructive to the public conversation.

  20. Brad

    By the way, all this stuff about filibusters and having to have 60 percent…

    I’m probably showing my ignorance of parliamentary procedure here (from all those years of being an editor and not a reporter, covering the details), but the way I always react to that is this: Why not let the opposition filibuster? If you believe in your idea, you should welcome the kind of drama that a filibuster would afford for focusing the public on the merits of your proposals.

    I always think, “if you can get 50, go with it.” But when I say that, a lot of smart people say I’m being unrealistic. And maybe I am. After all, I’m the kind of guy who’d go with it even when he DOESN’T have 50…

  21. Brad

    Karen, about your comment — if, when I was a mere vice president of a mere newspaper, I had been caught messing with an intern in my corner office, I would have been fired.

    Wait a sec — I WAS fired…

    Don’t ya’ll be jumping to any conclusions, now, you hear?…

  22. Brad

    Oh, two more quick thoughts for Phillip:

    1. I will vehemently oppose any effort for the president to be chosen by popular vote. The very things you decry, such as the GOP’s swing toward the Tea Party, is an example of playing to the popular emotions of the moment. I don’t think the electoral college is perfect, but I don’t see moving in the direction of direct democracy as the cure.

    2. As to your question: “what is the GOP excuse for challenging the legitimacy of President Obama, who won by a comparatively large popular vote margin and crushed McCain in the electoral vote.” Well, take a look at him. Listen to his name. He evokes the perfect storm of racism combined with nativism. The boys and girls on the fringes have really been going to town trying to come up with legitimate reasons (legitimate to them, even if they sound like gobbledygook to me) to justify their gut-level abhorrence of the guy. And those people are the ones the GOP have been kowtowing to since the 08 loss.

    And no, my conservative friends, I’m not talking about Jim DeMint. Nor am I saying that any larger number of these people are overtly racist. What I’m saying is that Obama, for them, stirs their ahor (a Tom Wolfe term meaning “Ancient Horror) of The Other.

    I think very, very few actually have racist conscious thoughts. But they just look at the guy, hear his name and go “NOOOOOOOOOO!”

  23. `Kathryn Fenner

    “October 27, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    Karen, about your comment — if, when I was a mere vice president of a mere newspaper, I had been caught messing with an intern in my corner office, I would have been fired.”

    —but then you’d be saying government should be run like a business….and Clinton didn’t get “caught having sex with an intern” as in in flagrante–he was held under a microscope on a fishing expedition until they found dirt. He should have stonewalled, as was his and every American citizen’s right, but there’s the hubris thing(See also Sanford, Marshall Clement). Who among us can withstand such scrutiny, much less the sort of testosterone-overdosed people who aspire to being POTUS?

  24. Brad

    Actually, I consider government to be something that should be held more accountable than business. Which is one of the important ways that, despite our governor’s simplistic illusions, a government is not like a business.

    What I was saying was that even in the private sector, people are held accountable for such misconduct. And if it is thus in the private sector, of course it should be in the public.

    I mean, we don’t think the head of the EEOC should be allowed to harass an employee any more than a manager at a manufacturing plant, do we?

  25. bud

    I don’t think the electoral college is perfect, but I don’t see moving in the direction of direct democracy as the cure.

    Talk about your understatements. Seriously, as Philip has pointed out when you have a candidate win an election after (1) receiving 1/2 million fewer votes than his opponenet and (2) having the recount (in FL) stopped by Supreme Court fiat, then by definition that presidency is not legitimate. That’s why the rules need to be changed.

  26. bud

    Brad, since you’re so much into defending the rules then you should stop all this whining about Clinton resigning. In that situation the rules were followed and Clinton’s presidency was legitimate as indicated by the Senate’s exhoniration of him in the impeachment trail.

  27. Phillip

    Well, Bud and Brad, I didn’t mean to imply that I support abolishing the electoral college. I have mixed feelings about that, and the fact is, we did go from 1888 to 2000 with having the electoral and popular result match. My main point about 2000 being the first such election in 112 years was simply to suggest to Brad that challenges to Bush’s “legitimacy” were more a result of a historically fluky election (including the insanely close FL result) rather than a sign of inherent “payback for how Clinton was treated” Democratic partisanship, and the relative effectiveness of Bush with Democratic congressional leaders (up till Iraq etc at least, and even then) proves that what’s been going on since 2009 is nothing like the early 2000’s and more extreme even than the Gingrich-led intransigence of Clinton’s first term. In other words, in 2004 had 60,000 votes in Ohio (out of nearly 6 million cast) gone the other way, John Kerry would have been elected President in spite of getting 3 million fewer voters nationally than Bush, and naturally the “legitimacy” of his Presidency would be somewhat compromised but NOT necessarily out of purely partisan motives. Just naturally, because of the weirdness of having somebody win who gets fewer votes.

  28. Doug Ross


    It’s a pretty cheap shot to play the race card and not name anyone who you think actually is a racist when it comes to Obama. Name just one politician opposing Obama who you believe does so due to racist beliefs. Just one.

    I don’t like Obama for what he’s done, not who he is. Same for Bush.


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