17 November, 2008

Happy Hour Discurso

Today's opining on the public discourse.

Our soon-to-be-former President, stupid 'til the bitter end:

During a telephone call last month, President Bush told Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd that he thought the global financial crisis ought to be handled within the G7 framework. But Rudd advised that the plan was “out of touch” and that it “made no sense…to take action on the crisis without engaging China.”

Instead, Rudd insisted that the best response should involve the broader G20 — which includes China — in order to harness China’s role as an emerging economic power and “to prevent the Chinese using the global crisis to make political points about the failure of Western capitalism.”

But according to The Australian newspaper, Bush had no idea what the G20 was:

After the President explained the pressure from Europe for a G7-brokered action on supporting the credit sector and reforming regulation, Rudd immediately insisted the G20 was the solution.

Rudd was then stunned to hear Bush say: “What’s the G20?”

Eight fucking years. Eight fucking years, and this assclown still doesn't know what the fuck he's doing in even the most minimal ways.

And his gang still has no fucking respect for democracy. Remember that SOFA agreement the Iraqis are so excited about? The one that kicks us out at a definite time? Well, there's a good reason they wouldn't negotiate while it was still possible a Bush clone would be taking office:

On Sunday, the Iraqi cabinet “overwhelmingly approved” a security agreement requiring the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq by 2011. The agreement’s meaning was clear to Iraqis: The New York Times reported that “Shiite legislators could barely conceal their delight” at the agreement, and noted that “they referred to the pact as the ‘withdrawal agreement.’” As proof of its determination to a firm withdrawal date, the Iraqi government even required that the U.S. “scrap the language that would have allowed the American troops to stay beyond 2011 if Iraq requested.”

Iraqi officials made it perfectly clear that they would take the withdrawal agreement seriously:

Iraqi government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh: “The total withdrawal will be completed by December 31, 2011. This is not governed by circumstances on the ground.”


The Pentagon, however, seems to view things differently. Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen said today that he still supports “conditions-based” withdrawal only, and indicated that the agreement could always change long before 2011:

MULLEN: Three years is a long time. Conditions could change in that period of time. … [W]e will continue to have discussions with them [the Iraqis] over time as conditions continue to evolve.

Q: So you could change the agreement, is what you’re saying?

MULLEN: Well clearly that’s theoretically possible.

To which the White House adds:

PERINO: [W]hen you work with a partner on a negotiation, you have to concede some points. One of the points that we conceded was that we would establish these aspirational dates.

"Aspirational" my skinny white ass. No wonder these fuckwits have no credibility with Iraqis.

And does the Republicon party show any signs of growing a brain? Um. No:

If the Republican Party hopes to compete in the coming years, Christine Todd Whitman argued the other day, it's going to have to move away from the far-right cliff. Tod Lindberg, a fellow at Stanford's conservative Hoover Institution and an informal foreign policy adviser to the McCain campaign, said it's time Republicans realize that it's become a center-left nation. Even conservative Sen. John Ensign (Nev.), chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman said issues such as abortion and gay rights should no longer be at the core of the party.

Last week, Florida Gov. Charlie Crist (R) went so far as to say it's time for Republicans to reevaluate its priorities, downplaying social issues. "Those issues are very important, but there's a lot of issues that people care deeply about, that affect their lives in a real way, every single day," Crist said. "If you're going to be successful in this business, you have to win a majority. It's not just a majority of Republicans, it's not just a majority of Democrats, it's a majority of the people."

And then there's the other side.

Grover Norquist, the president of Americans for Tax Reform, scoffed at calls for the Republicans to move left, which he said had followed Republican defeats in 1964, 1976 and 1992. And he suggested that some calls to update conservatism -- by taking global warming more seriously, for instance -- were essentially disguised calls to move the party to the left.

"They will be cheerfully ignored," Mr. Norquist said.

This follows Rep. Mike Pence, the #3 person in the House Republican caucus, who recently told Fox News that the way to revitalize the party is to promote "a belief in free markets, in the sanctity of life, the sanctity of marriage," and the Family Research Council's Tony Perkins insisting, "Moderates never beat conservatives.... What Tuesday was, was a fact that people wanted change, and it's a rejection of a moderate view."

Yes, actually, Tony, it was a rejection of the moderate view. America said it might be a good idea to give rabidly stupid conservatives the boot and let the left wing take over long enough to put the country back together. If the moderates aren't leaning left, they need not apply.

As for conservative ideas on how to fix things that are important to people... what fucking ideas?

Rep. Eric Cantor of Virginia is poised to become the House Minority Whip, the second-highest rank in the chamber for the GOP, and as part of his new leadership position, Cantor has a vision for the party's future.

[Cantor] said the Republican Party in Washington is no longer "relevant" to voters and must stop simply espousing principles. Instead, it must craft real solutions to health care and the economy.

"Where we have really fallen down is, we have lacked the ability to be relevant to people's lives. Let's set aside the last eight years, and our falling down in living up to expectations of what we said we were going to do," Mr. Cantor told The Washington Times in his district office outside of Richmond. "It's the relevancy question." [...]

"It's the roads, it's going to the gas station, that's still there when the price will bump back up. It's education, it's health care. These are the issues, frankly, that we have not been on offense with," he said.

Cantor added that the nation is "desperate" for Republicans to use conservative principles to "fashion solutions to everyday


And why weren't the Republicans "on offense" when it comes to education, health care, the economy, and issues "relevant to people's lives"? Because their ideas are really awful. They're so terrible, in fact, that Republicans have been reluctant to even present them earnestly, for fear of scaring voters away.

Privatizing public schools through vouchers, "reforming" health care by operating under the assumption that Americans have too much insurance already, "fixing" the economy by removing safeguards and regulations -- these are the Republican ideas to "everyday challenges."

So either the Cons become even more frothing right wing, and scare most voters away; or they try to come up with "conservative ideas" to fix problems, and scare most voters away.

This looks to be a rock and a hard place moment. It couldn't have happened to a better party.


Efrique said...

When the leak happened (a few weeks ago - Bush probably knows who the G20 are now since he was only addressing them in the last day or two), the White House two the two prong position of
(i) outrage that it was leaked
(ii) denying that's what he said

I said at the time (somewhere else) that they should have chosen either denial or outrage, because both together was kind of counterproductive (since the outrage gives the lie to the denial)

Efrique said...

er, that should say "took the two-pronged position".

Efrique said...

The frosty reception for Rudd seems to be based on the assumption that Rudd was the source of the leak.

I don't think that's particularly likely, myself (Rudd wouldn't be likely to leak such a thing, even in those circumstances). The indications seem to be that there was another phone line open.

...but in any case it probably won't hurt Rudd very much in the long run. Even with the moronic net censorship thing at the moment, Rudd's approval rating is 65 percent.