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This Is What Democracy Looks Like

Today's Note From a Madman

June 1, 2008


More on "The Book"

We knew and we did what we could. All of the things which former White House Press Secretary, and former Bushie "Loyalist" Scott McClellan is now telling us is something that most of us knew. The problem wasn't that we knew, it's that so many of us didn't give a crap.

What excuse that those who knew and still voted to re-elect this band of creeps is appropriate today? Perhaps we should look back into nazi Germany for the answers Or am I being too cruel? (or maybe too kind?)

When asked during the 2004 Presidential debate against Democratic stepping-stool John Kerry what his biggest error to date has been, President Bush fumbled for words before intimating his appointment of former Secretary of the Treasury Paul O'Neill. Then a laugh, a quip and a smile ended that particular Q & A.

The joke's on us.

" I was part of this propaganda campaign, absolutely."
-former Press Secretary McClellan to Tim Russert on Meet the Press

The question by those still supporting President Bush - the diminishing group that it is - is why didn't McClellan come forward and broach his disagreements with the President while he had the chance. If things are so bad, as so many of the Bushies still insist they aren't, then why didn't McClellan say something in an attempt to change things as an insider?

perhaps we could ask those same questions of FORMER Secretary O'Neill or FORMER anti-terrorism Czar Richard Clark.

Oh, wait - they DID ask those hard questions and their rewards were the loss of their jobs, the loss of respect from within the Beltway, and a constant barrage of abuse and ridicule from anyone within the Bush administration.

Certainly, if nothing else, obedience and blind faith were the only qualities which one had to exhibit in order to stay a part of the Bush White House. Questioning the man who would be "dictator" would be akin to losing one's head in Louis' or Henry's Court, without real bloodshed, of course.

Maybe this was the best time for McClellan to release his book. Had he quit the White House in a huff, in the same manner as O'Neill did, his attackers would have had the chance to pre-define him as the "malcontent" and "man with an ax to grind". Perhaps a book now would just have seemed like revenge at his former boss, the President of the United States.

But by being defined by the Bushies as a "Loyal Bushie", the Administration of Diminished Responsibility didn't have the time to make their boy McClellan into the next O'Neill or Clark. As a result, the best they could do was to try and convince us - the American people - that someone, somewhere was putting words in his mouth and on the pages of the book he wrote, "What Happened".

And it isn't working.

And it appears that McClellan threw his former boss a curveball:

"The Unvarnished Truth About George W. Bush: His Former Spokesman Talks Candidly About the President, the Press, Washington Politics, and his White House Days' by Scott McClellan. There have been a number of books written about President Bush, including many more recent ones that portray him in a very negative light.
"This book's going to take a much different look at our Nation's 43rd President. While being supportive of the President, I want to give readers a candid look into who George W. Bush is, what he believes, why he believes it so strongly, what drives him.
"It will be an insider's account of his behind-the-scenes persona, including his decision-making style, his personal discipline, his composure under fire, his sense of humor.
"And, I will directly address myths that have been associated with him, some deliberately perpetuated by activist liberals and some created by the media, and look at the reality behind those myths."
-from McClellan's book proposal, January 2007, as repeated to McClellan by Meet the Press' Tim Russert

Was there another book out there which McClellan sent to the White House? Was the White House taken by surprise by this tell-all, incriminating book by a former insider?

You bet.

"I say in the preface of the book that many of the conclusions I came to at the end were not ones that I would've embraced at the beginning, and I went through a process here to make sure I got to the truth. And I believe I have gotten to the truth."
-McClellan to Russert

But what is the "truth" anyway? There are still some thirty percent of us who will always believe whatever comes out of President Bush's mouth. There are some, after all, who still believe that Saddam Hussein was responsible for 9-11, in spite of all the reports, proof and obvious conclusions that prove otherwise. Is everyone outside of the thinning Bush inner-circle full of it? Is Colin Powell full of it? Is George Tenet full of it? Are all of the members of the 9-11 Commission full of it?

Someone is and the stench is coming from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

"Bush was a leader unable to acknowledge that he got it wrong, unwilling to grow in office by learning from his mistakes--too stubborn to change and grow."
-McClellan form his book

"It is a true reflection of this president. We got into the Iraq war, we went into it in a way that, as I say in the book, which was based on a 'permanent campaign' mentality. It wasn't as open and forthright as it could be, and I think that really hurt us later.
-McClellan to Russert

What would have happened had McClellan came forth a year ago? So far, in excess of four thousand American lives have been lost in Iraq with ten times that number of troops wounded. Perhaps one-hundred times more Iraqi citizens have been killed or changed forever by this war, and it still persists.

And today we hear President Bush and the GOP members of Congress and the Senate still standing behind him using the same old "support the troops" motive for continuing this war and occupation. While Osama bin-Laden and al-Qaeda are still a threat; and while the Taliban is gaining strength in Afghanistan, we stay in Iraq. What happens if the Democrats in Congress vote against another few hundred billions of dollars for the war in Iraq? Will they be labeled as traitors?

Maybe someone will write a book about that - of course, after thousands more of our American children are killed in Iraq - you know - when someone gets the guts to talk about it.

While Russert asked McClellan questions in an attempt to help him sell books, a videotape of Russert and President bush came on. This was the exchange:

RUSSERT: In light of not finding the weapons of mass destruction, do you believe the war in Iraq is a war of choice or a war of necessity?
PRESIDENT BUSH: I think it's--that's an interesting question. Please elaborate on that a little bit. A war of choice or a war of necessity? I mean, it's a war of necessity. We, we, we--my judgment, we had no choice when we look at the intelligence I looked at that says the man was a threat.

Bush was so taken aback by the forthright question that he couldn't even process his normal bull-crap in response. It took some fumferring and fumbling to get him back on track. Elaborate? How much more direct does one have to be?

In short, this book is about a President run amok and an administration poised to take the people out of our government. McClellan's book is too late, but maybe not too little.

And I find it oddly strange how "The Maverick" says nothing at all about the book. Is John McCain so in step with the Bush policies and so in step with all they are attempting to continue that he can't even comment on the goings-on?

His silence is telling, and so, apparently, is Scott McClellan's book.

-Noah Greenberg

Underlying Prejudice

"We were second class citizens before, now we're nothing."
"Goddamn the democrats!"
"They're throwing the election away, for what? An inadequate black man!"
"And they don't think we won't turn and vote for John McCain".
"John McCain will be the next President of the United States!"

Just a couple of quotes from Harriet Christian, delegate to the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee meeting in Florida that just voted to dump Hillary.
Harold Ickes was pretty pissed off too!

You'd better hope Hillary decides to leave gracefully or this could turn into some interesting fireworks.

-Bob Driscol

"And today in 2008 we're doing it again. You may make the argument that Barack Obama, who now appears to be a shoo-in for the nomination, can beat John McCain. But do we really need to bring up gay marriage. as they are doing in California, right before the November election again? Couldn't this distraction have waited until after the November election to make its place known one more time?"

Victoria Brownworth responds: For the 30+ million lesbians and gay men in America, same-sex (not "gay") marriage is a matter of civil rights, not a "distraction."

The efforts in California and New York have been the result of year's-long legal battles. They weren't timed specifically to upset heterosexual Democrats. (Perish the thought!)

John Kerry lost in 2004 because he ran one of the worst campaigns in American history. His out-of-touch arrogance was distasteful to Democrats and Republicans alike, just as Barack Obama's is beginning to be to at least half of Democrats.

Most Democrats held their noses and voted for Kerry, but entirely without enthusiasm.

Kerry misjudged Americans in general and Democrats in specific and that is why he lost.

If you want to know what the Democrats will do to lose THIS time, look no further than the convoluted process that has cheated Hillary Clinton out of millions of votes and hundreds of delegates. Why does Obama only have to get 10,000 votes per delegate while Clinton has to get 11,000? Why does Obama get to complain about the super delegates while filing lawsuits to stop a re-vote in Michigan and Florida.

By every match up Clinton beats McCain and Obama does not. Obama is now campaigning again in states he lost resoundingly to Clinton in the primaries.

There's no question that the Democrats are best at snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. But don't blame it on lesbians and gay men seeking much-deserved equal rights. Put the blame where it belongs: on the DNC, Howard Dean and a party that has absolutely no understanding of how to win and which candidate to support. Ever.

Victoria Brownworth responds to Noah Greenberg: First, Hillary Clinton is still running for the nomination. I hate to have to keep reminding people of the fact that Barack Obama is not the nominee, but he's not. There are more than 300 super delegates yet to decide how they will vote and three more primaries plus a rules committee meeting to determine the disposition of Florida and Michigan. If Florida and Michigan are not decided upon on May 31st, then Hillary Clinton will no doubt stay in the race until the convention in August. What's more, the "Draft Hillary" movement may be being promoted by the Right Wing pundits, but it is also being promoted by many of the HALF of the Democratic Party who voted for Clinton and have no desire to vote for Obama.

This presents a problem for the Democrats as polls now indicate that a full 70 percent of Clinton supporters say they will not vote for Obama if he is the nominee. That number decreases somewhat if Clinton is on the ticket as well, but not significantly.

In the rush to judgment in the most media driven election in my lifetime, the very same people who are now saying Clinton should run as an independent--the right wing pundits--are the very same people who promoted Barack Obama to get Hillary out of the race.

Which should make everyone wonder. The big problem is, the new heir apparent to the "I'm a uniter, not a divider" mantle, Obama, is anything but a uniter. If he wants to be the nominee AND win in November, he's got a lot of uniting to do. He could start by not dissing Clinton and her supporters every chance he gets.

He can start with voters like me--informed, dedicated, well-educated, passionate supporters of Hillary Clinton. Because if Obama is the nominee, I will be switching affiliation to the Green Party and campaigning for Cynthia McKinney for president. And I am far from alone. So perhaps instead of worrying what the pundits over at Fox are saying, we should be worrying about what Democratic voters are saying.

Just a suggestion, of course. Democrats like to lose, so perhaps they really don't care to listen to reason. After all, they didn't listen in 2000 or 2004, why start now?

And it was a small, but vocal faction of us jack asses who insisted upon making gay marriage an issue before we got the wrong guy out of the job.

Victoria Brownworth corrects Noah Greenberg's grievous historical error:

Greenberg seems to actually forget that gay [sic] marriage was put on the ballot by the REPUBLICANS, not the DEMOCRATS. It was REPUBLICANS who put STATEWIDE LEGISLATION BANNING GAY MARRIAGE on the ballot in twelve states.

It's one thing to be a bigot, it's another altogether to blame an entire minority for the loss of an election when it was actually the bigots who did the damage.

Another reason to stop being one, actually. You should consider it.

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-Noah Greenberg