Saturday, July 16, 2005

Left-Wing Bloggers
Dean Barnett offers a great analysis of DailyKos and the left-wing blogosphere in The Weekly Standard, and an follow-up clarification on his blog, SoxBlog.

Read both.

I have a lot of experience with this, because I've spent a lot of time on DailyKos, resulting in a personal acquaintance with their lunacy. The number of times that someone over there suggests an electoral strategy (usually something like "Condemn Bush as a terrorist dictator"), that I respond by pointing out that most of America won't respond positively to such accusations, and that they come back with something like "But it's true, so we should say it!" is unbelievable to me. Many over there (with the notable inclusion of "Armando," who is also mentioned in Barnett's article) are so convinced that they are in the right, that just communicating their beliefs to the public is bound to result in a Democratic landslide.

What they don't seem to understand is that they can't actually prove a lot of what they believe. For example: clearly, Karl Rove was guilty of outing Valerie Plame. Despite the fact that a crime may not have actually been committed (and there is no public knowledge to prove it one way or the other as of now), and despite the fact that Cooper's email only proved that Rove had spoken to him about Plame (i.e. not even what exactly he'd said), it was clear to them that Rove was guilty. Despite my repeated pleadings that they look at the logic and change the rhetoric to allow for the multitude of other possibilities, I was attacked immediatley as a "troll."

The simple truth of American politics is that, even when you are 100% right, the public does not react well to certainty or gloating—the two things that are always the focus of DailyKos. Honestly, look at the few examples that Barnett provides. They are in no way out of the norm, and are not representatives of the lower level diarists, but the front page leaders of the site. Remember, Markos (the founder) was the blogger who cheered the beheading of American contractors in Iraq.

One last point: as far as the implication in this piece that Kos gets 6 times as much traffic as InstaPundit—it's a little misleading. The format of DailyKos provides for multiple refresh views in short amounts of time, throughout the course of the day. Unfortunatley, despite repeated efforts by site counters to weed out multiple visits by the same computer, it just doesn't work. Yes, at the very least, those numbers mean that Kos visitors come more often—but it doesn't necessarily imply that there are more Kos visitors than InstaPundit visitors.

UPDATE [7/17/2005 - 0:38]: I feel the need to respond to DemfromCT's comment with an update to the primary post. I will also get in touch with Dem and offer him/her (not sure which) a chance to respond.

First off, I never once claimed that DKos is monolithic; I claimed it's out of touch. This comment proves exactly that.

What do I mean? To start with, there is absolutely no evidence that Karl Rove has lied about anything—certainly not with regards to Valerie Plame. If DemfromCT would like to cite evidence that proves otherwise, I will retract and apologize for that statement—but from what I've seen there is some indication that it is a possibility, but to say Rove "is most certainly guilty of lying" is a statement of fact that cannot be proven with the information in the public domain at this point in time.

Second, if you go back to Bush's words in this often cited press briefing, where he acknowledged that he would reprimand anyone involved in this fiasco, he very clearly stated that he would take action if someone had broken the law. So, again, he very easily can stick to his man and his word if it turns out Rove broke no laws (a possibility that DemfromCT seems willing to acknowledge).

I will watch any indictments that may come down. And I acknowledge that Rove very well may be among them—but acting like it's fact that he will, which is what everyone at DKos seems so ready to do, is premature. It has not been proven in any way that he will. In fact, the past few days' events seem to suggest that Rove isn't in any way the focus of this investigation, just someone providing testimony for whatever Fitzgerald's cause may be.

Third, Iraq has not been Rove's policy. At best you can say that convincing the public to support the war has been his policy—which I would agree has been a disaster—but the decision to go into Iraq has been shown quite clearly to have been Bush's desire, and has been prosecuted by people other than Karl Rove. He is neither a foreign policy adviser nor a military strategist. My best guess is that the President wanted to go into Iraq, and Rove worked to help him get the public behind that decision, then to try and keep them behind it through all of the trials and tribulations stemming from that decision.

Fourth, and most importantly—this is exactly where DKos goes off the rails—this Plame business is in no way comparable to the Watergate. The Nixon campaign undertook illegal (felonious) action against an opponent for the office of the presidency. To imply that this will take down a presidency, or anything even close to it, is absurd. Take a poll, DemfromCT and other kossacks, and reread the introduction to the Barnett piece cited above. The majority of Americans have absolutely no idea who Joseph Wilson, Valerie Plame, or Karl Rove are—and if they're hearing bits and pieces about the whole thing in the press, they aren't tuned into it. This has nowhere near the same kind of traction as Watergate ever did.

Your invitation to check Google doesn't help your case here, nor does pointing out that the White House Press Secretary gets grilled on these events in the daily press briefings. The Washington press bureau suffers from the same lense as DKos—they know and care about things that do not in any way affect election outcomes.

DKos operates in a very select community of well-informed people with strongly developed political leanings. This falls far from the status of the majority of the American public, even when you limit the field to regular voters. Yes, this is just the kind of thing to excite Kossacks. No, it is not the kind of thing that can be turned into electoral victory.

The reason it brings a smile to my face is simple: it is precisely the kind of thing that will get Dem wheels spinning (especially if they follow the will of the left-wing blogosphere), and distract them from issues that they actually have a chance of winning votes on.

Just a thought
I've avoided commenting on the whole Plame kerfluffle because, well, I thought it was ridiculous from the start.

So all I want to say at this point is (for any poker players out there): this was one of Karl Rove's all time best slow-plays. Really, a total benefit maximization from his standpoint.

Us and Them
Dave Justus gave us an example of the differences between us and the Islamofascists yesterday. I thought it was a good format, and wanted to find another good example.

Lo and behold, Instapundit provided a story containing both the "us" and the "them" sides in one place.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Saddam had no connection to Al Quaeda, right?

I don't know—you tell me.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Good News!

Happy Bastille Day
Why is today unlike any other day? Simple:

[T]he people of Paris stormed the Bastille, a prison where people were jailed by arbitrary decision of the King (lettre de cachet). The Bastille was, in particular, known for holding political prisoners whose writings had displeased the royal government. Thus the Bastille was a symbol of the absolutism of the monarchy.

There were only 7 inmates housed at the time of the siege. The storming of the Bastille was more important as a rallying point and symbolic act of rebellion than a practical act of defiance. No less important in the history of France, it was not the image typically conjured up of courageous French patriots storming the Bastille and freeing hundreds of oppressed peasants. However, it did immediately inspire preparations amongst the peasants for the very real threat of retaliation.
That's right! The French people won a (sort of) military victory!

Granted it was a hollow victory against an unprepared enemy that resulted in immediate preparations to get their butts kicked. But still, the French found an enemy they could defeat—themselves!

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Jerry Bower asks What's the Matter with Kansas? and comes up with an analysis I haven't seen before. Basically, he thinks the red states are booming under Republican leadership and will accordingly continue to support that leadership. I don't know if he's right, but it makes sense.

Unbelievable to me
It is unbelievable to me that anyone could possibly want to capitulate to terrorists who "only want us out of Iraq." Today, in that country, they attacked US soldiers:

A suicide bomber blew up a vehicle Wednesday near a U.S. military convoy [...] killing 27 people, Iraqi police and hospital officials said.
They're just defending their country, right? It's their right to repel foreign invaders, right? I would do the same thing if my country was invaded, right?

There's just one problem with that—here's the full opening of the article:
A suicide bomber blew up a vehicle Wednesday near a U.S. military convoy and large group of Iraqi children in Baghdad, killing 27 people, Iraqi police and hospital officials said.

Iraqi police said most of the dead were children. The attack also left 20 people wounded.

The U.S. military said at least seven children and a U.S. soldier died in the attack. Three U.S. soldiers were wounded.

The soldiers were handing out treats to the children when the bomb went off, police said.
(emphasis added)
They targeted a few US soldiers who were handing out candy to children—and killed a bunch of children in the process. These are not glorious revolutionaries in the mold of our Founders—these are murderers and thugs, who just intentionally blew up innocent children of their own nationality and religion. I don't care how terrible the invading force was—I would never blow up innocent children in my fight against an occupier.

This type of act is unforgiveable, and why we can never back down.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Stupid directors
I saw this movie in a sneak preview this weekend. Trust me, he should have let her do what she wanted—it might have saved his movie.

(And what stupid-ass logic determined that a sex scene can be included in a PG-13 movie as long as the actress is wearing a bra? It's still a sex scene!)

Wait... who was right?
I don't think it could have been me, could it?

Maybe they'll call their version the Bulldog Act.

Thank God we have a free press
That's working so hard to protect our interests.

Bear with me
Today Andrew Sullivan got me thinking. He said:

My claim that the [HuffingtonPost] is full of people in favor of 'withdrawing from Iraq, and generally laying the blame for the mass murder of innocents on George Bush and Tony Blair' is fully documented by those posts. As for negotiating with al Qaeda operatives, I concede hyperbole. Deepak Chopra just wants us to give them a hug.
So what did this get me thinking about? Coca-Cola commercials.

Yeah, I know, I'm nuts—but hear me out.

Coke recently decided to renergize their 1976 hit commercial and marketing campaign "Hilltop," with a hip-hop remix called "Chilltop." (Article here). You all remember the original, which they already re-used once in 1985. I wasn't alive for the first one, and was too young to remember the second one, but I've still seen both. Sing along with me: "I'd like to buy the world a Coke..."

I heard the new one on TV the other day, though I was busy building shelves do I didn't actually get to see it. It got me thinking about the original message of that ad—children of all different nationalities singing on a hilltop in perfect harmony, or something like that. Oh, how lovely—American capitalism can bring us together. Or a hug, like Sullivan cites above.

But the thing is, these people don't want our hugs, and they certainly don't want our Coke. They want us wiped off the face of the planet. It's that simple. Read the Hitch piece below.

To say the least.

Now that's writing
Hitch knocks my socks off. And no, I'm not talking about the movie.

We all make mistakes
Here's a perfect example.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Why don't we get more of this?
You'll never hear this in the mainstream press:

Psychiatrist Graham W. Hoffman '78 (left, serving as medic on a civil-affairs patrol to renovate six schools near Samarra) joined the Army Reserve after September 11 and has completed his second tour in Iraq, "treating mostly 20-something First Infantry Division soldiers (and some Iraqis, too) for post traumatic stress disorder. The Iraqi civilians were very nice to us again, even though Samarra had a lot of insurgents for much of my time there. And the kids love us, especially the little girls, who seem to feel all this democratic change will be good for them in particular. The whole 'mission' is starting to feel like Peace Corps work, albeit you still have to be well armed. I am a political left-winger on most things, but on the Middle East business I think we are doing the right thing, mainly because that's what all these Iraqi civilians kept telling me. Not sure why you don't hear that kind of stuff on the media, except that most civilians there would consider it suicide to say good things about Americans on-camera."
I'm not sure if he wrote this to them or it was recorded and transcribed. If the latter, then the scare quotes around "mission" seem rather strange to me. Beyond that, this is the hope that many of us who continue to support the invasion of Iraq cling to.

This just in
There was no connection between Iraq and al Quaeda before we invaded.

Okay, so I lied and the article says the exact opposite (make sure to click through to the second page to get the full story). How very interesting.

Think about it this way
More analysis along the lines of what I provided on Friday. His is, of course, significantly more poignant. So read it and learn.

This is brilliantly done. (via Justus for All)

Ted nugent may run for governor of Michigan. This is a man quoted as saying:

To show you how radical I am, I want carjackers dead. I want rapists dead. I want burglars dead. I want child molesters dead. I want the bad guys dead. No court case. No parole. No early release. I want 'em dead. Get a gun and when they attack you, shoot 'em.
I don't think he'll win, but that's an interesting platform.

A nice story
Pride, though one of the seven deadly sins, can be pretty cool in its mild forms.