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Shadow Boxing

Well, that didn't take long did it? In its own best traditions, the Nevada Democratic Party folded and has formally cancelled the presidential candidates' debate it had scheduled in Reno this coming August. The Nevada Dems backed down after a feverish web campaign by the Kossacks who were outraged that the debate, which was to be broadcast in partnership with Fox, would somehow "legitimate" the right-wing FNC as a bona fide news channel. A perfectly ridiculous ending to a perfectly ridiculous crusade. When I first wrote about this a few weeks ago I expressed my broader view of this web-based wanking. I will re-iterate this much: it's an absurd game to try and separate legit from non-legit news organizations, unless you somehow believe Katie Couric is a news gatherer. What does count is that a couple of million mostly non-Democratic viewers watch Fox everyday and instead of being exposed to two hours of arguments by leading Democrats next August 14th, they can watch Sean Hannity some more. I mean, Democrats wouldn't want to talk to them, would they? All this hullabaloo over Fox is one more confirmation to me that too many pwogessive Democrats are more comfortable massaging each other in their own bubble than doing the hard work of winning new recruits. Ah sure, I know the counter-argument. "You can't trust those wingers at Fox," we were told. "They'll load up the broadcast with disparaging commentators. And Roger Ailes joked that Obama was a terrorist." Yada yada. I suppose if the Nevada Dems had stuck to their guns they would have been able to finely negotiate the on-air environment to be provided by Fox. And, what if they didn't? I thought the Democratic candidates were running to be President of the United States. Shouldn't someone who ought to be president be capable of presenting arguments strong enough to stand up against some yapping Foxista? I think so. So here's the bottom line, the net effect of the debate getting scrubbed: Some millions of conservatives who would have been force-fed a prime-time chunk of Democratic campaigning will now be spared that exposure. And those who most benefit from this turn of events are the candidates with the most money and the greatest name recognition. If it were up to them, there would be no debates. In this case, the ill-named "net roots" have only contributed to making the nomination process slightly less competitive. As my readers know, I don't think the candidacy of Dennis Kucinich is destined to go anywhere. But I think his reaction to the phony battle is right on the money. Having lost one of the few shots he will have at a national audience, Kucinich accused his rivals of preferring to "run and hide."
"If you want to be the President of the United States, you can't be afraid to deal with people with whom you disagree politically," Kucinich said. "No one is further removed from Fox's political philosophy than I am, but fear should not dictate decisions that affect hundreds of millions of Americans and billions of others around the world who are starving for real leadership." Kucinich said, "the public deserves honest, open, and fair public debate, and the media have a responsibility to demand that candidates come forward now, before the next war vote in Congress, to explain themselves." "I'm prepared to discuss the war, health care, trade, or any other issue anytime, anywhere, with any audience, answering any question from any media. And any candidate who won't shouldn't be President of the United States."
I can't disagree with a single word of that.

58 Responses to “Shadow Boxing”

  1. Michael Turner Says:

    Kucinich said: “I’m prepared to discuss the war, health care, trade, or any other issue anytime, anywhere, with any audience, answering any question from any media. And any candidate who won’t shouldn’t be President of the United States.”

    And Marc wrote: “I can’t disagree with a single word of that.”

    Well, Marc, you’re not running for President, and Kucinich (is he even running?) has a vanishingly small chance of winning. So it’s easy for him to say. As we’ve seen, however, presidential races can be won or lost on hair-thin margins, and in the wrong forum, hairs can get split the wrong way, or badly singed. A certain calculation in choosing one’s battles can make the difference between victory and defeat.

    Not that I’m in favor of debates being a continuous volley of softball questions — far from it. And I don’t think putting the debates up on Fox would necessarily have been a strategic error for the Dems — if anything, it might have helped. But caution is sometimes the better part of valor. Courage can even take the form of enduring accusations of cowardice in the short-term, in order to leave the path clear to doing something better in the future. Is that the case here, or is it just cowardice, plain and simple? I don’t know.

  2. K Nardy Says:

    The Dems are wrong here; and I hope they wise up. Years ago I saw a candidate panel, probably Republican, answer questions on a show hosted by Phil Donahue. Every one scored easy points with the crowd by making cracks about Donahue, who at the time was the big “liberal media” demon the right wing crybabys were on about, just as they are about Katie Coric today. It was roughly how the Dems should have handeled going on Fox.

    That said the level of frustration Dems are at understanable to say the very least. Whatever Swift Boat is launched, the Corperate Press will basicly play along, and writers like Cooper will smirk and play along too, with a bogus equivalence game that can get pretty laughable ( “Fat Slob” Michael Moore is just a lefty Limbaugh, etc.). Now Bill Maher is being tailored to stand in as the lefty Coulter. This is the real “Yada Yada.”

    Snubbing Fox may have short term advantages; but unless all the Dems want to create their own “base”, they better get it over it and come out swinging. When the corperate stooges get too obvious in trying to rig the game ( Matthews’ attempt to throw the VP debate to Cheney) the Dems need to start calling them on it. It’s called Politics.

  3. David Says:

    A few days ago, Marc, you spoke of the need to “ignore” the Scary Blonde Pundette (“Ann Who?”) so as to de-legitimize her. Which I agreed with.

    How then can you argue with de-legitimizing Faux News by snubbing this alleged news outfit? Scary Ann practically lives over at that network, and that network provides her with a nightly forum for her typical vitriole of vulgarity and smear attacks.

    John Edwards had the right idea by being the first to boycott the event, and I would have expected you to applaud that.

    Taking the usual route of Democrats, such as Al Sharpton or Dennis Kucinich, of distancing themselves from Coulter but appearing on that hate spewing network with a stupid grin on their face as they provide dignity to Faux News by even agreeing to engage in stupid discussions such as “Why does John Kerry hate America?”, “Why is Clinton getting away with molestation,” “How far will the secular progressives go?”, or – my favorite- “Why are liberals destroying Christmas?”, is not very productive in my opinion. I would even go so far as to say that Democrats should refuse to even go on such a network.

  4. David Says:

    Just saying, “Ann who?” does not go far enough.

  5. jcummings Says:

    Sectarianism is alive and well in the breast of the take-no-prisoners-militant-blog-reader-anti-radical Liberal Democrat.

    This is so much like phony Marxist “gropuscules” its not even funny. Forget about broad coalitions, comrade. We have to put up a united front against the reactionary running dogs of Roger Ailes and his lizard associates. We all know that the CNN crowd is doing yeoman’s work fighting these running dogs, and with them we will join.

  6. David Says:

    “it’s an absurd game to try and separate legit from non-legit news organizations”

    So why even try?

  7. richard locicero Says:

    I’d sure like to know the source for your assertion that “A couple of million Democrats” watch FOX News since their highest rated show has an audience of just about that number (“The O’Reilly Factor”) and by your analysis every one of them is a Dem. Actually their average age, according to the demos, is 71 (!) and I suspect their sympathies toward Obama (or is that Osama – ask Roger Ailes) are less than zero.

    When the Kossaks need advice from you I’m sure they’ll ask for it. In the meantime better get used to the idea that the netroots mean business. Sorry to spoil your day.

  8. richard locicero Says:

    Oh, and I’d hardly call it folding when they tell FOX to stick it. When they meekly go on these venemous programs and take this crap that’s folding.

  9. Mavis Beacon Says:

    Isn’t the problem not the Fox regulars who will doubtlessly hear all the terrible things Sean Hannity can come up regardless but the Americans who tune in to watch the debate? Does it behove the candidates to have non-Fox veiwers tuning in to watch the candidates, only to learn that not only did he never support the war, Obama happens to have been schooled in a madrassa? Meanwhile a graphic of John Edwards as a woman can flash onscreen.

    A major focus of the blogosphere is that Democrats need to stop allowing the right to push them around. Obviously I’d rather their spines stood strongest on policy matters, but I think this stuff has significance.

  10. David Says:

    By the way, let’s put aside for the moment that Faux News slants the news, or that it is a mouthpiece for the jingoist right. Given the fact that Faux regularly puts fraudelent subtitles on their broadcasts (like putting “D-FL” next to Mark Foley’s name at the bottom of their screens), I am surprised that Katie Couric is even being brought up on this blog as a comparison to Faux, much as I loathe CBS nightly news.

  11. jcummings Says:

    RLC –

    Is that the party line are or are you thinking critically? Not that I care.

  12. Patrick Says:

    …too many pwogessive Democrats are more comfortable massaging each other in their own bubble than doing the hard work of winning new recruits….

    Was pwogessive a mis-spell or an attempt to write in Tweedy Bird dialect

    I twat I twaw a Bwith Hume, I did, I did, I did twaw a Bwith Hume!

  13. richard locicero Says:

    Of course, I get my marching orders daily from Comrade KOS, don’t you know?

  14. Marc Cooper Says:

    Everyone’s in denial about the bottom line: The Democrats just lost a chance to speak to a conservative audience of millions– Faux, Fox, or Figs. Geniuses.

  15. jcummings Says:

    Maximum leader KOS is now using the more egalitarian phrase “comrade”?

    Really though, what the hell differenc does this make? I’m not gonna make the case that Marc does, vix reaching a different audience, but why expend SO much energy on this kind of issue, when there are FAR more pressing issues in a variety of areas of American society….issues that would take actual effort – by Democrats – beyond e-mail petitions….such as…

    union solidarity vix cardcheck issue, push anti-scab legislation, etc.
    antiwar action on all fronts
    prevent Iran war
    pressuring Dems for a more balanced Palesine policy
    economic justice issues (marginilize DLC corporate-crats, etc.)
    destroying Hillary Clinton
    real (socialized) national health care
    environmental regulation
    expanding public transit, light rail and amtrak
    nationalizing security industry – stop rent-a-cops at airports, etc.
    nuclear power plant security
    immigrants rights
    white collar unions
    and the list goes on

    Of coruse I’m not saying that libs aren’t all for these issues, but they expend so much passion on issues like this Foxnews bullshit that they think of something like this as a victory. Its no victory at all, and requires no real elbow grease.

    My flat is right across from an abortion provider, and today – for the first time in a long time – there were American style “pro life” protestors outside of the clinic (no coincidence that Focus on the Family has been expanding in Canuckistan). This morning, I and a few neighbours went and confronted these people and helped a few women who were made quite uncomfortable by these fanatics. We are now organizing to make sure women aren’t harassed.

    Organize in your community. Do real good work. Don’t expend your passion on the Sweet and Low network over the Splenda network.

  16. Marc Cooper Says:

    Hey RLC, get some glasses… I wrote a couple of million “non-democratic” viewers.

    And oh gosh, yes, Im just terrified of the power of the now-we-mean-business Net Roots. Excuse me for ten minutes while I roll on the floor laughing. Or better said, while I and Ned Lamont roll around on the floor.

    What a fearsome bunch!

  17. Susan Nuness Says:

    The Kossacs and their ilk’s destructive stunt is why I started calling them the “nutroots” before Marshall Wittmann and the right-wingers adopted the term.

    This is idiocy on a grand scale. Kos and company don’t care one whit about Nevadans and their issues, they don’t even care about Fox (after all, they didn’t protest their hosting a couple of Democratic primary debates in 2003-04). I doubt seriously the Nevada Democratic Party will sponsor ANY debates up north; it’ll all be Vegas, which ISN’T all of Nevada, by the way.

    I am angry over this, and our issues up north will not be addressed in any debate format. Furthermore, people who regularly watch Fox won’t get a chance to hear the issues, either.

    Why should the Democratic Party even LISTEN to a bunch of bloggers anyway?

  18. gordeaoux Says:

    I think you’re missing some of the details, Marc. When FOX has carried Democratic debates in the past, they have cut off speeches to show their own pundits giving anlysis. And do you really need reminders of the kind of stuff they say about our candidates? (Madrassa, anyone?) Why should Democrats give a debate excusively on their channel just to be immediately slandered…. again.

  19. gordeaoux Says:

    And to Susan, you’re right. They didn’t protest in 2003-2004, and they turned out terribly, and we lost the election. So maybe we should think twice about using FOX again. Is it really that hard to watch the debates on a different channel? One that doesn’t slander our candidates?

  20. Marc Cooper Says:

    Gordeaux.. and so what? Under terms of Fair Use laws, Fox can use and abuse the video of the debate no matter what its original source. The Nevada Democrats were in the midst of negotiating precisely what the on-air environment would be when the deal collapsed under blogger pressure.

    I think this whole deal reveals just what sort of echo-chamber bubble too many liberals live in. I am NOT a presidential candidate, and do NOT have the authority or skill that one has but as someone who does a lot of interviews I never care whether the outlet Im invited on is right or left. Indeed, I find the worst venues to be those of the left where I am tossed squishy softballs that sustain no narrative. Id much rather be challenged by a right-winger and let loose.

    Anyway, good luck to you whiny Dems– gonna show strong leadership but not strong enough to go on to Fox. What a fuckin’ joke.

  21. David Says:

    “Why should the Democratic Party even LISTEN to a bunch of bloggers anyway?”–Susan Nuness

    Maybe because that is, uh, one of their leading bases of support. You can bet that whoever wins the Democratic Nomination in 2008 will have raised much of their funding over the internet. I have heard some overall estimates of 300 to 400 million dollars overall, at a minimum. I myself have already sent a couple of checks to John Edwards (and will continue to do so), and I am not exactly made of money.

    Gordeaoux – well stated. And yes, you are right – They have cut off Democratic debates in the past.

    “Everyone’s in denial about the bottom line: The Democrats just lost a chance to speak to a conservative audience of millions”

    Yeah, and appearing on Faux on a near nightly basis before millions of right wing Americans really helped Harold Ford last year in his Senate Race. And we all know how well Al Sharpton has benefitted from being embarrassed nightly on Faux. And Joe Biden, of course. Fact it Cooper, we are right here.

  22. Colin Mitchell Says:

    I rarely post on this site, preferring to watch you folks insult each other and at times offer some fresh insight and mostly intelligent banter, but after hearing about this decision by the Dems I almost fell out of my seat.

    I couldn’t agree more with you Marc and amazingly, yes, even Kucinich – this is an abolutely pitiful response from the Dems and once again reminds me why it is so difficult to vote for them in ANY election, even though I held my nose and did so in November.

    Just amazing and sad. And yet, typical.

  23. David Says:

    That last part should be, “face it, Cooper”

  24. David Says:

    “Anyway, good luck to you whiny Dems– gonna show strong leadership but not strong enough to go on to Fox.”

    Oh come off it Cooper. If you believe that John Edwards boycotted Fox or that Democratic supporters like MoveOn or me supported the boycott because he/we are “afraid to be challenged by Fox” or that he/we are “not strong enough to go on Fox,” then you really are dumber than a box of hair, no disrespect intended. It is no different from you or I ignoring an obnoxious person online, or someone next to you on the subway with bad body stench. You are trying to change the subject because you know you are wrong.

  25. David Says:

    Afraid of Faux News…now there’s some comedy relief for the day.

  26. gordeaoux Says:

    Marc, I don’t understand how appearing on FOX shows strong leadership. And I think it’s interesting that you bring up that FOX can use the debate footage any way they want regardless of whether they’re hosting it or not. Even more reason for them NOT to host it. If FOX is going to take the debate and tear the candidates apart no matter what, why bother letting them host it? Wouldn’t that give FOX an air of credibility in smearing the candidates? And isn’t that the blogger’s point in opposing FOX hosting the debates? Oh sorry, echo chamber.

    Are there bigger issues to tackle? Absolutely. But remember, part of the reason Democrats got creamed in ’00 (FOX called FL for Bush first, if you recall) ’02 and ’04 was in part because of FOX parroting Republican talking points. The bloggers are trying to prevent that from happening again, and this debate about the debate is part of that.

  27. David Says:

    “Indeed, I find the worst venues to be those of the left where I am tossed squishy softballs that sustain no narrative. Id much rather be challenged by a right-winger and let loose.”

    I am basically through after this, but as far as I am concerned, FOX has never thrown a “squishy question” of substance at anyone. More times than not, the questions that they pose (“Why do Democrats support NAMBLA”? “How many children must be the victims of sexual crimes before secular progressives are thrown off of the courts?”) are indeed vitriolic, but have no substance whatsoever. Their whole focus is way out in left field (perhaps the parking lot) rather than on issues at hand.

    There are some darn good reporters and newspeople to be found in the mainstream media, but can you name even one at Fox?

  28. K Nardy Says:

    gordeaoux, The Daily Holwer shows, rather pursuasively, that it the parroting by “liberal” media outlets that really led America into the terrible posisition it’s now in. So yes, the silly “sighing” clib of Al Gore in the debate will be run endlessly for the rubes on FOX, but there lead was picked up by the Dowds, the Milbanks, etc. who hit the same talking points until resonable people could make the stupid person’s choice for W.

  29. Mark Schubb Says:

    >> “It is no different from you or I ignoring… someone next to you on the subway with bad body stench.”

    Hey kids, time to stick your nose outside the nutroots bubble. That stench you insist the democratic party ignore is a lot more than one Anne Coulter w/ BO.

    Despite a 53% surge by MSNBC in the last year, Fox News still has MORE THAN 3 TIMES as many viewers. And twice the audience of CNN. Fox News has more viewers than MSNBC and CNN combined.

    Ignoring a stinky twit like Anne Coulter is a great strategy. But running for president and ignoring the audience for stinky FOX News is idiotic.

  30. gordeaoux Says:

    K Nardy, well I hesitate to call any media thats parroting republican talking points ‘liberal’, but there would be much less parroting to do if FOX had less credibility. Additionally, that very point, the complicity of mainstream media, makes the blogs all the more important. And if the Democrats snub FOX, then maybe the mainstream outlets will think twice about running similar stories.

  31. David Says:

    “Despite a 53% surge by MSNBC in the last year, Fox News still has MORE THAN 3 TIMES as many viewers. And twice the audience of CNN. Fox News has more viewers than MSNBC and CNN combined.”

    And that is thanks largely to the demographic of people fifty-five and older. If they’ve been alive this long, their minds aren’t going to be changed in a two hour debate. Their minds have pretty much been made up a long time ago.

  32. gordeaoux Says:

    Mark Schubb, you’re looking at this from a numbers standpoint: We can’t ignore FOX because so many people watch them. I’m pretty sure American Idol has more viewers than FOX, should we start putting Barack in front of Simon Cowell?

    My point is that it ISN’T an “absurd game to try and separate legit from non-legit news organizations.” Ignoring FOX’s venom has been, in my opinion, a major flaw of Democrats in the last few years. And apologizing by pointing out viewership numbers and demographics is continuing that flaw.

  33. richard locicero Says:

    Mark if you want numbers, well the CBS Evening News is tanking and IT gets over three times the virewership that FOX does. And check the demos please. FOX is “55 going on Dead!”

    Oh hell, just go on Jerry Springer. Those yahoos like seeing their mug on camera too and don’t care if they look a little, shall we say, odd!

  34. felix random Says:

    well if i were fox news one could not be more flattered. being able to air a couple of hours of a demo convention would give you literally months of stuff to take out of context, twist, distort, and it’s all yours because you were there broadcasting it.

    if the dems have any sense at all they would simply refuse fox all press priviledges. no interviews no nothing. they are now and have never been journalists. i would welcome everyone else.

    even if that were seen to be counterproductive, even if your arguments are superior the fact can not be altered, they are the mouthpiece for the nuevo stalinistas and that’s not going to change.

    when rupert’s minions are beating you with baseball bats on a regular basis how often should you volunteer?
    that does not mean that i’m not waiting for coulter’s gitmo publicity stunt or limberger’s sucessful viagra overdose.

  35. Steve Nesich Says:

    We’re ALL bloggers—just by our presence here, obviously. Why are we focusing so much on HOW we communicate, instead of WHAT we communicate.

    And it’s not just “bloggers” who were outraged by the Nevada Democrats legitimizing Fox “News” through this debate, it is the activist community—the people who write the checks, make the phone calls, write the letters and yes, sometimes blog too.

    I think we have to stop demonizing the “bloggers”. It’s kind of silly.

  36. Steve Nesich Says:

    For years I’ve been telling everyone I know that Fox “News” is not a legitimate news organization. I tell people to ignore what they hear on Fox “News” or at least take it with a large grain of salt. Better yet, don’t watch Fox, is what I tell people. Because, again, they’re not “news”; they are a propaganda outfit.

    When people appear on Fox, they undercut that argument. They make Fox look like any other “news” outlet. The more that people appear on Fox, the more credibility we give to them.

    The Nevada Democrats made a mistake when they agreed to let Fox “News” exclusively broadcast their candidate debate. They did the right thing when they cancelled.

    Fox “News” is anything but. It is a propaganda machine for an ultra-conservative point of view. However, they are entitled to be that. That’s their right. I don’t have a problem with that.

    I do have a problem with them claiming to be “Fair & Balanced”. Clearly they’re not. And I do have a problem with them pretending to be a “news” organization practicing “journalism”. That’s nonsense. They are very biased and have a clear agenda.

    When people agree to appear on Fox, they give them credibility that they don’t deserve. Fox is not a legitimate news organization. And the people they attack, on a constant basis, should not be treating them as if they are.

    The Nevada Democratic Party has now done the right thing. And their action only reinforces what more and more people are realizing; Fox is not a “news” organization. They are simply a mouthpiece for right wing interests.

    No one is “running and hiding” from Fox. That’s nonsense. We’re just asking people to stop legitimizing them and giving them credibility that they don’t deserve.

    Why do you think it’s a good idea to play into Rupert Murdoch’s hands?

  37. bunkerbuster Says:

    I see zero benefit to cancelling what would clearly be a publicity event for the Democrats, no matter how Fox tried to spin it.

    To the extent that such a debate would confer legitimacy, it would be earned–to that same extent, no more–and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.

    At the same time, I see very little harm in pulling out. The Democrats will never have any truck whatsoever with the Fox News Channel audience.

    The Alan Colmes wing of the party leads the way to one defeat after another by believing that the bubba vote can be won via pandering–faking a hick accent, pretending to be a militant or hunter and so on.

    I’m not suggesting that debating on Fox equates to pandering–it was a silly mistake to cancel the debate. But let’s not spend too much time mourning it–90 percent or more of the Fox audience is lost forever to the Democrats and the sooner they understand what a good riddance that is, the better.

  38. bob williams Says:

    Yesterday I saw Maxine Waters on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace. How does that fit in?

  39. David Says:

    For what its worth, the debate wouldn’t have done much ratings-wise no matter who broadcasted the thing. John Edwards, Barak Obama, and Bill Richardson had all announced before the Nevada Dem Party “folded” that they were not going to be there. Kind of like having the Rolling Stones perform without Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. And who can really fault Obama and Edwards for cancelling?

    They did what anyone with even a modicum of self-respect would have done.

  40. bob williams Says:

    They should have the debate on Free Speech TV, moderated by Amy Goodman and Ramsey Clarke. They’ll draw an audience of hundreds.

  41. Jim R Says:

    “…stupid discussions such as “Why does John Kerry hate America?”, “Why is Clinton getting away with molestation,” “How far will the secular progressives go?”, or – my favorite- “Why are liberals destroying Christmas?”.

    Why do these stupid questions get asked so often David? What are your answers to these stupid questions? Aren’t you a believer in the axiom ‘there is no such thing as a stupid question’? Does your bias prevent you from acknowlegeing them, by maligning the questioner instead?

  42. Jim R Says:

    “When the Kossaks need advice from you I’m sure they’ll ask for it. In the meantime better get used to the idea that the netroots mean business. Sorry to spoil your day.”

    The Kossacks are the most dangerous influence on the Democratic Party with the potential of helping put a lefting candidate in the general election that cannot win.

    Why am I helping here? Oh, I forgot, they only listen in their own chamber? This is a good thing….for the rest of us.

  43. Steve Nesich Says:

    Jim R,

    Hey, you’re right. There are no stupid questions. I think we also deserve answers to other completely fair and balanced questions, such as “Why did John Boehner deceive the public?” and “Did Dick Cheney use his years in public life to line his pockets at Hailiburton—and is he now paying them back?” and “Is Bush Delusional About Iraq or Just Stalling So He Can Blame The Next Administration?” Completely fair questions. No bias at all.

    Jim, aren’t you a believer in the axiom ‘there is no such thing as a stupid question’? Does your bias prevent you from acknowleging them, by maligning the questioner instead?

  44. Jim R Says:

    These are good questions Steve. Here is an outside DC’er, conservatives’, best answer.

    I am not sure which deception you refer to regarding Boehnhead, there’s been so many, but my guess is it’s because he is a corrupt politician, like most all the others that have been there for more than eight years. I won’t irritate you by mentioning likely candidates on your side. I’m sure you suspect already.

    My guess is Cheney may have had some influence in getting Haliburton contracts, but I do believe it would have been more to do with his belief this huge company, one of only two or at most three that would be able to handle the job being asked in a war zone, would do a better job. I hope you can be realistic and recognize Cheney did not need the money and would be smart enough to know there would only be a down side for him politically for his past association with Haliburton.

    I honestly believe any influence he may have had would have been for the reasons of winning a war he believed needed winning.

    Now, your turn…….or David if he dares. :)

  45. K Nardy Says:

    Jim R, re Cheney: your arguement rests on the dubious notion that there are limits to human greed and stupidity; nothing about Dick’s career before or after his (Vice) Presidency much supports that.

    My answer to “why are the liberals destroying Christmas” by the way, would be, “they’re not.” Love to hear you common sense ideas on this burning issue, however.

  46. reg Says:

    It’s amazing how anything the GOPers do, no matter how corrupt, incompetent or just plain stupid, is packaged as somehow an outgrowth of their love of country and their determination to defend America. I think you have to go all the way back to Watergate to find a glaring lie or a blatant failure emanating from their ranks that GOPers don’t rationalize as part of their plan to protect America – and Watergate only in retrospect.

    I say judge people by their deeds, not their words. By any such measure, the GOP is nothing but a Big Combo for corporate greed tied, ironically given capitalism’s being so obviously “value-free” and “morally relativist”, to unhinged ideology and crackpot fundamentalism. If this is a recipe for “winning wars that need winning” or anything else that serves America’s interests as a people, it’s difficult to discern. A lot of this GOP “moral capital” is tied up in the Reagan myth – a myth that needs to be dealt relentlessly as total bullshit. It’s little more than a cover for Tax Cuts Uber Alles. Anyone who believes the “Reagan won the Cold War” shibboleth is either rather profoundly ignorant or a calculating liar with a right-wing agenda to sell.

    Oh, and Jim, the main reason questions like “why are liberals destroying Christmas” get asked so often is because they boost the ratings of demagogic television personalities whose primary job is to sell more “soap”. The only television news I watch – other than video clips of particularly crazy moments from O’Reilly & Co. – is the Lehrer News Hour. I’ve never heard a single one of those questions asked there because it’s a show done by journalists with professional standards, not posing performers and panderers.

  47. Jim R Says:

    “My answer to “why are the liberals destroying Christmas” by the way, would be, they’re not.”

    Thank you K for your deliberative, thoughtful, and wise denial. My common sense response would be, they are.

  48. Aunty Woody Coulter Says:

    Senator Clinton,

    Did you shoot Vince Foster in the parking lot because failed to produce multiple orgasms or because you caught him embezzling the millions you stole from Arkansas workers?

  49. rorschach Says:

    Ah sure, I know the counter-argument. “You can’t trust those wingers at Fox,” we were told. “They’ll load up the broadcast with disparaging commentators. And Roger Ailes joked that Obama was a terrorist.”

    Yada yada.

    This is the entirety of your argument. “Yada yada.”

    Such glib dismissal does not become you.

  50. reg Says:

    Jim R – frankly, if you think that “liberals are destroying Christmas” is “common sense”, I can’t think of a single thing to say to you other than that if your notion of Christmas is so paltry that it depends on plastic nativities in the town square or whether retailers say “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays” while they’re running your credit card through the checkout, there’s really not much there to destroy. The last thing in the world that Christianity needs at this point in time is an even greater proliferation of superficial gestures of observance.

  51. richard locicero Says:

    Well I see that Mark Green, CEO of AIR AMERICA has offered to host a GOP Debate and give them a chance to reach a “New” audience. I’m sure they’ll jump at the chance. Right, Marc?

  52. Jim R Says:

    “….if you think that “liberals are destroying Christmas” is “common sense”…”

    Not exactly Reg. The comment you’re referring to was a short response to K’s short response asking me for a commo sense response. Sort of a petty tit-for-tat on my part. I ain’t perfect……as you know, no? :)

    Look, the terms ‘conservative’ and ‘lberal’ describing ones political bent weren’t just picked out of thin air. Consevatives value tradition and are resistant to change. Liberals not so much
    and want to change when they perceive tradition infringes on rights. Both sides are valuable in a democracy and their competition works to strike(find) an acceptable balance and buffer the extremists on both sides.

    Our extremist are religious, representated by evangelicals. Yours extremists IMO are leftist representated by the ACLU. Are mainstream liberals trying to destroy christmas? No, but they will rarely speak against the ACLU, that are. So they get tarred. Are mainstream conservatives trying to promote religion in public squares and schools? No, but they get tarred when they don’t speak up against religious extremists.

    And that’s the way it is, as Morrow would say.

  53. Jim R Says:

    I would like to add the Kos Kids and Moveon. Org
    to your extremists list.

  54. roger Says:

    I have to disagree with M. Cooper here. The maneuvering about Fox news by the dems is a good, mafia like display of muscle. Murdoch’s empire depends on a compliant congress willing to allow media monopolies – like New Corps – to make a mockery of even the watered down laws we have about the media. Discovering that the Dems might be discontented with Fox playing the role of a Republican Party news service is the type of thing that will slowly change Fox from a Republican news service. Fox’s conservative audience will bitch, but they will desperately hang on, just like the liberal audience of a newspaper like the Washington Post will hang on, complaining how WAPO is becoming ever more like the Weekly Standard. WAPO has zip loyalty to their audience – they will cheer for every slimey imperialist idea expelled from the rear end of the AEI, since the fake war on terror has made Bush the greatest D.C. president ever – the amount of money flowing from the Pentagon into the D.C. area since Bush declared that joke has been a total miracle, making D.C. one of the richest areas in the country, flooding every white collar worker there with bucks for nothing, which is the current American ideal. Like winning the lottery every day. You can’t look at that money and not think we just gotta stand up in Iraq, boys. Hell, nobody on the WAPO or their kids or neighbors kids will ever hear a shot fired in anger. Dems are starting to dimly remember that government is all about shaking down rich people and rich corporations – about which, they are perfectly right – and surely Murdoch’s monkeys are pondering their next move.

  55. lurker Says:

    “O’Reilly’s accusatory and hectoring interrogation of Al-Arian, filled with false statements and McCarthy-like smears, climaxed in a chilling parting shot in which the host repeatedly told his stammering guest that if he were with the CIA, “I’d follow you wherever you went” — clearly implying that he believed Al-Arian was a terrorist. Not surprisingly in the fearful and hysterical climate after Sept. 11, the show resulted in a torrent of angry calls, including death threats against al-Arian, to USF.

    Before firing him, USF placed Al-Arian on paid leave, saying his presence made the campus unsafe and pointing to an avalanche of hate mail and death threats.”

    There are reasons not to appear on Faux.

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  57. Cheap Bats Says:

    I think Kuchinic is a straight talker. Sometimes too straight. Too bad more politicians cant be more like him and him a little less “provocative”

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