Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
July 29, 2005

WB: Sucker Pitch


But the fact that the GOP can afford to dump $330k into a race just to keep the opposition from scoring a few bragging points (or to punish the crime of lese majesty -- take your pick) is a sign of just how much of a financial supercharge 10 years of DeLayism have given the machine.

Sucker Pitch

Posted by b on July 29, 2005 at 19:07 UTC | Permalink

next page »

Well, Billmon doesn´t link, but here I do.

Hackett fo Congress

Dear FEC, greetings from Hamburg, Germany.

Posted by: b | Jul 29 2005 19:15 utc | 1

speaking of contributions, top-notch investigative reporter robert parry could use some money over at to "recruit a team of professional journalists, editors and producers to develop [investigative reporting] information and make it available to new and existing outlets in multi-media formats (print, radio, TV)." bonus: contributions are tax-deductible.

Posted by: b real | Jul 29 2005 19:25 utc | 2

Thanks b --- Having been born & raised in Ohio the best thing I ever did was get up and go, 30 years ago. Somehow though (this time) I couldnt resist throwing something back and did like the barkeep. Do it it feels good.

Posted by: anna missed | Jul 29 2005 19:39 utc | 3

Basically we are strapped into the backseat
of a car heading towards nowhere, Republican
Dad at the wheel, Democrat Mom keeping her
mouth shut, and the cliff fast approaching.
We have only two choices: political action
through, and humanitarian action
through The rest,
all of it, media or blog, is just background
chatter, inmates screeching in full lockdown.
Give what you can, care for those you care for,
and try to enlarge those Circles Yet UnBroken.

Posted by: lash marks | Jul 29 2005 19:54 utc | 4

Clermont's population rose only 4.4% (about 7,800 souls) between 2000 and 2003, while reported GOP turnout increased by roughly 31% (about 14,600 votes)

Interesting observation. I noticed a pattern in the state voting, that the size of the increases in voting from 2000 to 2004 bore an almost direct correlation to whether the state went for Bush or Kerry. Population increases seemed irrelevant.

South Dakota was particularly interesting. An approximate 20% increase in one election cycle in a state that has hardly added any population in 50 years. And Wyoming must have set some kind of record with its 103% turnout of registered voters.

The vote was kind of interesting in Iowa, too. Take Sioux County Iowa. 1.6% percent population growth from 2000 to 2004 (roughly 500 souls), 13% increase in the votes for President (1,878 to be exact.) Virtually all of the increase for Bush. Bush "carried" Iowa by 10,000 votes, with one small county, which went for Bush by 85%, providing almost the entire margin.

I'll bet if someone did a color coded county map of the election and marked the counties where the vote went up more than 10% red and less than 10% blue, it would look pretty much like the 2004 electoral map. If you put in some kind of weighting factor for population increases, you would have an even more pronounced match of the election results, I'm betting.

Posted by: bcf | Jul 29 2005 20:26 utc | 5

I might have pitched in a few bucks myself, then I looked at his stance on Iraq.

The Iraqi people and government are grateful that we eliminated their brutal dictator. They are capable of running their own government and building a democracy. It won’t look like ours; nor should it. But in order for them to succeed, we must not withdraw our troops before the Iraqis are ready to stand on their own.

show me how this differs from the Republican position......he is just another wobblycrat.

Posted by: dan of steele | Jul 29 2005 20:32 utc | 6

@dan of steele, as a civilian affairs officer going into Fallujah after that war crime, he might say that.

Posted by: Friendly Fire | Jul 29 2005 20:43 utc | 7

the perfect is the enemy of the good.

Posted by: | Jul 29 2005 20:54 utc | 8

to anon at 4:54

yeah, supporting mass murder does make him less than perfect in my view. sorry, I feel very strongly about this.

Posted by: dan of steele | Jul 29 2005 21:04 utc | 9

Hackett. Will. Win.

Posted by: moeman | Jul 29 2005 21:12 utc | 10

@dan of steele: "show me how this differs from the Republican position"

Absolutely, and show me also how it differs from Hillary Clinton's and Howard Dean's current positions on Iraq. Both of them say our troops have to stay the course also. Feel the same way as you do; wouldn't send them any money or vote for them either.

Posted by: Ensley | Jul 29 2005 21:32 utc | 11

@dan of steele

Before the war began, I made the point to a fervent supporter that if we destroyed the government of Iraq, we would be responsible for the consequences (this was before Powell's "Potter's Barn Rule" quote emerged). My counterpart would not accept this idea. The invasion would be a showing of American authority, and the world had better get used to it. The consequences were not our problem. Let God sort 'em out.

That argument was abhorrent to me then. It is abhorrent to me now.

Stay-the-course is Iraq War boilerplate, particularly in the district where Hackett is running. It was once the President's substitute catch-phrase for "bring 'em on", but it is now so widely used that it is not clear anymore what it (or, in this particular case, "ready to stand on their own") might mean. I could well be wrong, but someone who has served in Iraq and is willing to stand in front of the machine that Karl built is more likely to have a satisfactory answer than the people in Congress who sent him there and aren't.

Posted by: Jassalasca Jape | Jul 29 2005 22:22 utc | 12

s/is more likely/seems more likely/

Posted by: Jassalasca Jape | Jul 29 2005 22:24 utc | 13

Yeah, i sent him $50 too. We gotta start somewhere, and people like this are the ones we need to support. Even if he doesn't win, he's gotten enough support to be noticed and be heard, and that is what is most important right now. Yes, the Republicans have more money - for now. So what? Ultimately, it's the American people who will decided if they are allowed to continue killing people's cows, stealing the steaks and sending the rest of their cow to their buddies, and throwing those poor chumps who support them the bones. Our job is to start shaking the chumps untilth ey wake up, and maybe offering them at least a good square meal instead of a firckin' bone. The Dems NEED people like Paul Hackett- desperately. And we need to support them when they run.

Posted by: donna | Jul 29 2005 22:42 utc | 14

I don't agree that the US government should keep its military in Iraq until the Iraqis can 'stand on their own.' Who gets to judge when that is? Which Iraqis will have input into that decision?

That said, I gave fifty bucks to Hackett's campaign and I feel pretty damn good about it. If I can do anything to reduce Republican power, I will do it.

Posted by: James E. Powell | Jul 29 2005 23:02 utc | 15

Paul Hackett is a Major who volunteered to spend 7 months in Fallujah. I don't underestimate the danger to anyone spending any time for any reason in Iraq.

However, he has studiously avoided questions asking him if he led any marines into combat. In addition he parrots Bush regarding keeping our military in Iraq until the Iraqis can stand on their own.

He spent 7 months in Iraq as a major, came back and immediately became a candidate for congress. Almost everyone who reads Billmon, Daily Kos, Atrios, etc. is against this war. I fail to understand how supporting this candidate because he was in Iraq represents anything but the most cynical support of the new American militarism. There are no pictures of the suffering of the victims of our flattening of Falujah, just this candidate with his marine buddies.

Sorry Billmon, my favorite blogger, but I think you too are sipping the Kool Aid on this issue.

Jim Dean sent out a message to all DFA members to raise money by: sending an Iraqi war veteran to congress. Not send a progressive to congress. Send a decent, values driven human being to congress. Just any Iraqi war veteran will do, especially a major.

And lets not forget where the military recruits from. Devastated, underpopulated, unemployed youth from places in Ohio. They're the guys getting killed in Iraq.

And as an aside if I hear that phrase "don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good" once more I'm going to barf.

Pissed in Pa.

Posted by: jd | Jul 29 2005 23:41 utc | 16

I just want to read "in the paper" that the man from Ohio who called the Iraq war a mistake and George W Bush a chickenhawk won a seat the Republicrats had held for twenty years.

Posted by: John Francis Lee | Jul 30 2005 1:19 utc | 17

1. Why is Michael against backing a thorn in the side of the enemy?

2. Being self righteous and above war is the sort of sheer stupidity that helped get us into this mess by splitting the opposition, with one segment demanding its moral purity was both THE TRUTH and took precedence over all other considerations. Ralph Fucking Nader Inc-ites.

Posted by: razor | Jul 30 2005 4:35 utc | 18

If you can give $50, I can give $50. (And I did.)

Posted by: tp | Jul 30 2005 4:35 utc | 19

Being self righteous and above war is the sort of sheer stupidity that helped get us into this mess by splitting the opposition, with one segment demanding its moral purity was both THE TRUTH and took precedence over all other considerations. Ralph Fucking Nader Inc-ites. -- razor

Who's above war -- the people who say this issue is crucial or the people who say it isn't? I disagree with the Greens' political judgment on this one, but I don't see why they should be insulted for taking the stance they do. Continuing to fund a terrorist training camp/Iranian puppet state may be politically practical, but it does seem objectively impractical, to say the least.

BTW, I seriously doubt that things would be a lot better if Gore had been elected in 2000. I for one believe that Gore would have been impeached within a month of 9/11 if he had failed to prevent it, and the Dems would never be trusted with the presidency again. Our problems go much deeper than one election.

Posted by: Vin Carreo | Jul 30 2005 5:36 utc | 20

Identifying with the Demoplicans, thinking of them as "us" is a mistake. The Republican, Democrat, Green Parties... all of them are just vehicles for the people's representatives.

If I can vote for a Democrat who will represent me better than the other candidates in a given election I will. But the same goes for the Republican and Green candidates.

This idea that there are only ever two alternatives, and that voting for an alternative to "our" Democrat in a given race is equivalent to voting for another is the height of presumption.

I drank the "Anybody but Bush" Kool-Aid before the last election, voted for Kerry, who not only lost but whose subsequent behavior has proved that it would have made little to no difference if he had won.

I'm supporting, to the extent that my fifty bucks can help support, Hackett because he has said outloud that Bush's war was a mistake and that Bush is a chickenhawk, which means to me that the "Bush" administration is composed of people who cynically and cold-bloodedly send others to their deaths while they themselves sacrifice nothing for a cause which they claim is the litmus of the true patriot.

If Hackett beats the Republican machine in Ohio, in a district they've held for twenty years, it will be news. Even the MSM will take notice. And the corruption of the Republican Party in Ohio will become news as well as the present regime's vulnerability.

I think there are a lot of people who are waiting to see which side is winning, before they are ready to re-choose sides. The first thing they need to see is a defeat for the current, bullying regime. It would be good if that could happen before the 2006 Congressional election.

Posted by: John Francis Lee | Jul 30 2005 7:35 utc | 21

I realise that this comment is not going to be helpful in the least even as I make it... but sometimes one's spleen has to be vented.

I am sick and tired of the "blame-Ralph-Nader-for-the-Dem's-ineptitude" camp. And , no, I never voted for Nader... neither in 2000 nor 2004. The argument as I am hearing it from the sore-loser faction here is that anyone opposed to Bush should have put their politics aside and united under the Democratic Party to oust him. Well, that works two ways... but I knew that the pig-headed Dems wouldn't consider making a sacrifice themselves and unite under a different banner even when they offered NOTHING!

Sure, many of us are and were opposed to more than just the Republican neocons. Sure, many of us would have to be hypocrites to vote against our consciences just to "be united". Sure, the Dems are also rife with corruption and do not offer anything substantively different than the war-hawks who are crushing civil liberties, the environment and the economy... but they aren't named Bush! So all but the tiniest fraction of we Independents caved in and voted Democrat. Knowing full well that the Democrats would never in a million years make an equal sacrifice for us. Didn't matter. "Anybody but Bush" was all the argument the Dems needed. As long as that "anybody" was the Democrat nominee.

So everybody of every imaginable political stripe had to become a de facto member of the Democrat Party. The fact that Nader pulled a paltry 2% away from the Democrat "united front" against Bush and that 2% could have included former Republicans as well... well... he obviously cost the Democrats the election in 2004. Blame Nader. Their loss has nothing to do with the fact that the Dems offer no vision, no hope for change, NOTHING but insider business-as-usual! They are not, as we are constantly reminded, Bush! So it must be Ralph Nader's fault that people didn't like what the Democrats were offering (or more accurately, what they WEREN'T offering).

Well, I knew the majority of Dems were going to be too pig-headed to budge, so for the past two elections I swallowed my beliefs and voted Democrat... and I did so even when all they had to offer was "Anybody but Bush!" Never... NEVER again! As much as the damned Dems want to blame Nader for "splitting the opposition"... well, I blame them for convincing Independents to sell out their beliefs just for the sake of their ineffectual unity.

Some of us have deeper beliefs than that "anybody is better than Bush!" And a party who consistently has given us nobody but Bush through their own lack of convictions and fortitude has NO BUSINESS lecturing to me about how I should vote.

Posted by: Monolycus | Jul 30 2005 7:52 utc | 22

Following jd's comment above:

Paul Hackett is a Major who volunteered to spend 7 months in Fallujah.

I stand corrected. I should have written:

s/sent him there/enthusiastically approved the war/

Posted by: Jassalasca Jape | Jul 30 2005 10:28 utc | 23

Ultimately people who live in this fellow's district will pick the person that they think is best unless diebold sees it differently but my concern about giving support to a new kid on the block whose ideas you don't really support is this. If someone puts their hat in the ring at a later date and that person is closer to what you would like to see representing people you've already given a headstart to another from the "I'm a loyal servant of myself party".
It seems to me that this is how these types get their undeserved supremacy over decent humanity in the first place.
It was a long time ago and far away from where I was living but I can vaguely remember John Kerry lining up with the VVAW and he seemed like a bit of a plastic geek then in comparison with some of the other real and true types around him. He got support then because at least he stood up to the hawks and communicated with them when they didn't seem to 'listen' to anyone else. The real effect of that decision came to bear nearly forty years later when anybody but Bush turned out to be a plastic geek.

Posted by: Debs is dead | Jul 30 2005 11:09 utc | 24

your notes match closely the observations of National Election Archive Project.

To put it in blunter terms then they would do: the cheating was perform mainly by boosting republican voting in republican districts.

Posted by: A swedish kind of death | Jul 30 2005 11:53 utc | 25

So, giving support to a man who endorses the war in Iraq and promises to stay there until some future date (probably when the oil runs out) is OK if he is a Democrat in a Republican district. I guess I am getting ever more cynical in my old age.

I have this picture in my head of cyclists, such as those in the Tour of France coming to a traffic circle. Some of them go to the right and others go to the left and then they all smoothly join up again on the other side.

Hackett may very well be a good man, I don't know and I do not intend to attack him personally. It looks to me that he has chosen to get into politics from the left because all the right spots have been used up....after 20 years there must be some cronyism established.

I contributed money to the Kerry campaign and it was the very first time I had ever done that. I did not want to because I did not like Kerry and did it not because he was better than Bush, rather that he would not be able to do any of the unpleasant stuff Bush did because the Repub majority would not let him. It was the best I could hope for at the time. I will from now on vote my conscience and the next vote will probably go to Dennis Kucinich, he is the one that best represents my views. I realize he may never win but if enough people vote for him, the major parties will have to take notice.

Posted by: dan of steele | Jul 30 2005 13:02 utc | 26

Consider voting with your feet.
Just a thought.
The Titanic has already struck the iceburg.
Whether you vote for the captain, cook or cabin boy is no longer
Good luck to everyone.

Posted by: A. Swann | Jul 30 2005 15:03 utc | 27

I don't claim to know the right thing to do, but there are approaches to politics that are guaranteed to be wrong. Many of the Nader voters and Sierra Club liberals and no-false-consciousness lefties I know want politics to be a lifestyle statement and not a business transaction. But casting a vote for Dennis Kucinich doesn't rescue anyone from the morass of compromise and moral ambiguity that we all inhabit. We nearly all of us are complicit in the extraordinary renditions, the misery caused by international debt peonage, the bombardments of civilians, the destruction of the environment, the evils of race or gender or class privilege. In a world where most people are desperately poor, moral purity requires a level of personal sacrifice that few of us make and voting for a symbolic candidate does not even come close to paying those dues. In fact, symbolic voting purity is an evasion of responsibility, a bad faith effort to claim "my hands at least are clean."

Posted by: citizen k | Jul 30 2005 15:06 utc | 28

Jesus Tapdancing Christ, this guy is a candidate for Congress, not the fucking Grail Quest.

Posted by: | Jul 30 2005 15:15 utc | 29

I always like the comments on this thread even when I disagree with them. They are most often well thought out and sometimes brilliant.

Is it assumed that I am a Green because I am put off by Paul Hackett's exploitation of his military service, just as I was put off by Kerry's. Which by the way made him more vulnerable to the Republican slime machine. That is not to suggest that Kerry wasn't the very best soldier, he was, but by exploiting his military records so embarrassingly shamelessly he made the republican slime machine's job easier.

Hackett has made no statements about pulling out of Iraq anytime soon. He did make the comment that Bush was a son of a bitch but he would die for him which frankly I find terrifying in its implications.

The National Journal's Washington column shows on its Insiders poll which included 11 senate republicans, 41 house republicans, 6 senate democrats, 42 house democrats and 1 senate independent as participators, a survey asking the question:

Should the Bush administration set a timetable to begin withdawing troops from Iraq. The results according to them:

Republicans yes 0 votes
no 42 votes

Democrats yes 13 votes
no 24 votes
other 1 vote

One comment was we should but we should never telegraph our plans to an enemy.

So Rumsfield telegraphed our plans on CNN this week about pulling out a substantial number of troops next year.

Meanwhile Hackett wants to stay until the Iraqi problem is settled.

Perhaps I am self rightous about this issue. In fact with Democrats whining so much about our losing the "values" vote I have to think that maybe just maybe people are right in not voting for us. We don't seem to support "values" very passionately at all. And those Democrats we send to congress show their gratitude by voting with the republicans most of the time. Most of our passion is more about fear of losing and when a value such as mine, which is the best way to resolve the situation in Iraq is to STOP KILLING THEM, it translates to my being either a green party member of "self rightous." I leave it to you guys to decide what your values are and what you are willing to stand up for. We are not simply Democrats, Republicans or Greens but human beings and Americans who will suffer the blowback of this war for generations.

I cannot support any candidate who doesn't realise that we have to get out of Iraq as quickly as possible because we are losing this fight. That is how I've decided to "support our troops."

Posted by: jd | Jul 30 2005 15:26 utc | 30

Jd: How are you "standing up" for values by not sending money to Hackett ? My analysis is that the GOP machinery of rule depends on a solid majority in the House as a critical keystone. Losing a seat or even narrowly holding a seat in a "safe" district makes it easier for Democrats and wobbly Republicans to defy Tom Delay. I'm not looking for a Grail Quest Leader (great line, anon) , I'm looking for a crack in the armor. Now it is surely possible that my calculations are wrong, but I don't see how your choice has even a possibility of leading to a good result.

Posted by: citizen k | Jul 30 2005 15:46 utc | 31

Ralph Nader Inc was just a for instance of the self righteous that care not how their self righteousness actually effects lives of actual homo spaien sapien on the planet. The key word is not green, but, Inc.

Here is the problem in a nutshell:
which is the best way to resolve the situation in Iraq is to STOP KILLING THEM

Ahhhh, no. If, ones concern is in fact to protect fellow humans from the Hobbsian State of Nature (as opposed to, e.g., the Rousseaun)one could never write such words. However, if ones concern is to keep ones (limited) range of attachments free of entanglements with the snarl of problems that come with the human, and to stick to simple and demonstrably false claims about how to "stop killing them" then, such sentences make perfect sense. It is another American version of the gated neighborhood. And as a for instance of this type of thinking, I think as good an example as any is Ralph Fucking Nader Inc-ites. Clearly, I find more objectionable the betrayal of those who claim to be on the side od human decency than the opposition of those who say they don't give a damn.

Posted by: razor | Jul 30 2005 15:56 utc | 32

Razor, I do see the complexity, perhaps not as well as a midlle eastern expert would, but enough to realise that we are in a lose/lose situation and maintaining a military presence in Iraq will not stabilize the country. If someone could show me how it would I will listen.

As an aside, Ralph Nadar would not have made a good president even though he did make good arguments.

I want to be fair here so I am showing the readers a copy of an e mail I sent to Paul Hacket:

Dear Sir:

I do not support your candidate for one reason only and that is your stance on the war in Iraq. And your statement about Bush that you hate the son of a bitch but you are willing to die for him is frightening in its implications.

I will send you $100.00 if you would publicly state and put on your web site that:

1) If you win you will work to bring our troops home as quickly as possible. We have lost this war and it is wrong to support staying there with the illusion that by doing this we will succeed in "stablizing" Iraq,

2) If you lose you will NOT go back to Iraq but join veterans who support getting out now rather than later.

For me $100.00 is more than I can afford, not being a corporate donor, but a private individual with a limited income but it is worth every penny to send a Democrat to congress that recognizes the best way to start to "stabilize" Iraq is to STOP KILLING IRAQIS and the best way to support the troops is to bring them home now.

Posted by: jd | Jul 30 2005 16:17 utc | 33


right on

Posted by: slothrop | Jul 30 2005 16:21 utc | 34

If the R candidate wins, the wheels of the great GOP machine that planned (!) and executed the war are given another lube job and the machine continues to roll along.

If the D candidate wins, maybe some sand will be thrown into the machine.

In any case, the war is now out of American control. What's at stake is the Constitution.

Posted by: ab | Jul 30 2005 16:22 utc | 35

Citizen K,
You are not wrong. I do not lose easily. But I ask myself these questions and I am most uncomfortable with the answers.

Why are we in Iraq.
Democrats voted for this war.

Why do we have a terrible bankruptcy law that penalizes people who go bankrupt because of medical bills, 50% the last time I read.
Democrats for for this bill.

Why will we now have CAFTA which will result in more jobs lost and more manufacturing plants closed down.
Democrats voted for CAFTA.

The Patriotic Act.

Making parts of the Patriot Act permanent.

You know the drill.

In our state we have Rick Santorum. He votes for his base. His supporters can count on him. I kind of admire that.

To oppose him we put up Casey. He votes for the Republican base and the Republican base can count on him on issues that matter to most Democratic voters. But they say they will hold their noses and vote for this candidate.

So in my small, meaningless way I've decided to shout out--I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore.

Sort of like pissing in the wind.

But I am not without conflict.

Posted by: | Jul 30 2005 16:27 utc | 36

jd is completely correct. I have sworn over and over I will not support any candidate, Dem or Repub, who believes we should stay in Iraq. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that our continuing occupation is fueling the insurgency. If the reverse was true, things would be improving instead of getting worse. We are the catalyst there. The longer we stay, the more people die.

However, Schmidt is such a slimeball, I could see voting for Hackett in this case. He can't be worse, and may turn out to be a big improvement. Every soldier (and today, just about anyone who EVER WAS a soldier has now become an active soldier according to the Pentagon) takes an oath to the CIC -- which technically states that they will die for America. He is merely stating the oath he took, although he could have worded it much better. It will also give a good example that the Republican war chest can be defeated.

Posted by: Ensley | Jul 30 2005 16:51 utc | 37

Thanks for your thoughtful comment Ensley. I do disagree with you over one point though. Dying for America is a very different thing than dying for Bush. Yes I know he is Commander in Chief. He is also in my eyes a war profiteer and a criminal.

Perhaps Hackett will be an improvement but lets see if he even bothers answering my e mail to him.

So far my anybody but efforts have resulted in failure. Most frequently the candidate loses, or goes to congress and votes against my Democratic "values."

I'm beginning to wonder if before we support a candidate we should make them sign a pledge.

Posted by: jd | Jul 30 2005 17:12 utc | 38

Lots of new commenters around the bar, interesting.

I voted Bush in the last election, not because I wanted the sun-king to be president, but because I want him and his crime familiy to fuck up so bad that the whole show has to be cancelled and redone.

My plan, if you dare, vote republican vote the most criminal corrupt ideological psycho you can bring your self to vote for and let them do their work.

I realize that this is a madd stratagey, but at this point what else do you have?

I live up in the mountains of the Northwest, I understand people who, like the mountaineer, who cut off his hand, to save himself when trapped under a boulder.

Vote corruption! vote and send them money! vote corruption often!

It's the only way.

To save humanity.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jul 30 2005 17:39 utc | 39

"I was in Iraq" like "I was in 'Nam" is a piss poor reason to vote for the candidate. However, Hackett isn't running for POTUS; he's running in district that would vote for GWB again if they could. Therefore, Democrats aren't losing anything by running a DINO there. However, the more we fall to this default position the worse it will get. Montana Democrats have demonstrated that progressives don't have to lost even in a red state.

Posted by: Marie | Jul 30 2005 17:41 utc | 40

One thing for sure, if Hackett were to win this election in the heart of "whats the matter with Ohio" country -- it would send an unambiguious message to other members of congress that the new (Dean) Democratic political model has some teeth, both in grassroots fundraising and the re- appeal of old fashon Democratic values. This would be an important symbolic victory, and while Hacketts reluctance to immediatly withdrawl from Iraq seems to put him in the veiled imperial (Biden) camp -- he has stated that he was against the invasion in the first place, for which I take to mean he would have voted against authorization.

Posted by: anna missed | Jul 30 2005 18:22 utc | 41

To the extent this narrative "is" true, I consider it a
mere hefty footnote to much outline/historical frame, and
Chomsky's economistic history of the Cold War (that it was necessary to stay on a permanent military-Keynesian wartime footing to prop up State Capitalism, because it had already proven to fail in evermore miserable cycles)...and Bucky Fuller's ideas about MMAO and Great Pirates, too...
Btw, in my daily Chron today I counted exactly 666 fnords...This
piece below elevates Rummy and Wolfowitz into E. Howard Hunt and J.E.
Hoover-like status as SOBs in my personal Gallery of Ghouls who seem
responsible for perpetrating unthinkable levels of damage to social
life over multiple decades. There are many others we may name in the
Blame Game, but let's on w/it...

Hyping Terror For Fun, Profit - And Power
by Thom Hartmann
Vote em in!

Corruption will save us! lest you think me mad, the democrats, sure the fuck wont do it...

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jul 30 2005 18:38 utc | 42

jd, don't forget that Hackett took his oath long before Bush stole the 2000 election. He didn't know he would someday be stuck with a pompous, ignorant, idiot for his CIC. He finds himself in the same position as most of our military; they can't get out even if they want to. At least he didn't swear to kill babies for Bush, but rather that he would give up his own life (wait until the sociopaths came back home and roam our streets instead of Baghdad's). Everyone who has served in the military since the beginning of our country has taken the same oath. I'm giving the guy a break on this.

Posted by: Ensley | Jul 30 2005 18:49 utc | 43

And Wyoming must have set some kind of record with its 103% turnout of registered voters.

Not sure why they would have bothered to cheat in Wyoming -- they already owned those EVs and there's hardly enough votes in the state to make a shit worth of difference in the national PV.

show me also how it differs from Hillary Clinton's and Howard Dean's current positions on Iraq. Both of them say our troops have to stay the course also. Feel the same way as you do; wouldn't send them any money or vote for them either.

Fair enough. But if people are going to take this position, I don't want to hear a peep out of them about how horrible Cheneybush and the Republicans are. Because at this point you are writing off the only realistic alternative.

this was before Powell's "Potter's Barn Rule" quote emerged

Actually that was Tom Friedman. Which is funny, because I sure don't see HIM over there trying to help put the pots back together.

Sorry Billmon, my favorite blogger, but I think you too are sipping the Kool Aid on this issue.

Now this is an interesting reaction. I hadn't even thought about it in these terms -- I said right up front that Hackett's politics are not my politics. It's almost a given, actually, that any Democrat with even an outside chance of pulling off an upset in Ohio 2nd would have politics different from mine.

And that doesn't bother me a bit. In that sense, I AM trying to think like Michael. If Hackett can embarrass the GOP machine in one of its strongholds on Tuesday, and maybe sow a little fear among the other people's deputies, that would be a good thing, no matter WHAT position he takes on the war.

Congressman Paul Hackett couldn't stop the war in Iraq anyway. But he MIGHT provide the decisive vote on issues like CAFTA or the Energy boondoggle bill or some other GOP-sponsored obscenity. Or maybe not. At this point, I really don't care. ALL I care about is trying to pry the levers of power out of Rovian hands, before they manage to lock in their one-party state. If Hackett can help do that -- even if it's just by running a closer-than-expected race in Ohio 2nd, I'm for it. The enemy of my enemy if my friend.

My doubts about the guy are more pragmatic (or cynical, take your pick.) I don't think he can do it, because the machine has already made it clear it will do whatever is necessary to bury him. And in Ohio, whatever is necessary could mean manufacturing whatever votes are necessary.

But, like I said, I didn't need the $50, so what the hell. But if progressive purity is more important to you than fighting the GOP machine any way you can, then I'd suggest you're the one who's been sipping the Kool Aid.

I will from now on vote my conscience and the next vote will probably go to Dennis Kucinich, he is the one that best represents my views.

That's great -- and if I had the chance to vote for Kucinich in a Democratic primary race I'd probably do it -- unless there was a candidate I thought sufficiently progressive who had a better shot at winning. But when it comes to the Democrat vs. the machine, I still have to vote for the Democrat. A one-and-a-half party system is shit, but it's still better shit than a one-party system. And that is what the Rovians are aiming for.

Why do we have a terrible bankruptcy law that penalizes people who go bankrupt because of medical bills, 50% the last time I read.
Democrats for for this bill.

Why will we now have CAFTA which will result in more jobs lost and more manufacturing plants closed down. Democrats voted for CAFTA.

Clinton vetoed the bankruptcy bill the first time around, a Democratic Senate kept it from being brought to a vote the second time. The third time around the GOP had the votes to pass it alone if they had been forced to. So yes, Joe Biden and some of the other Republicrats voted for it. I suspect most of them would have preferred it had never reached the floor, or that they could have counted on a Democratic president to veto it. But they couldn't, so they bowed to Citibank and MBNA and voted for it. But blaming the Democrats for the fact that the bill got to the floor -- with a president itching to sign it -- is ridiculous.

The same goes for CAFTA -- 15 Democratic votes, 202 Republican votes. Does you really think that thing would have even gotten out of Committee if the Dems controlled the House?

Again, you want a progressive Utopia, you need to go find another country. But don't hide behind some silly doctrine of moral equivalence. These are the choices we have. As the Firesign Theatre used to say: Either live it or live with it.

One thing for sure, if Hackett were to win this election in the heart of "whats the matter with Ohio" country -- it would send an unambiguious message to other members of congress that the new (Dean) Democratic political model has some teeth

Bingo. At some point, we have to show your typical Republican robohack that it could be hazardous to their political health to follow the Rovians like little goosestepping Nazi dolls. More importantly, we have to show their sycophantic allies in the corporate media the same thing. Those shitheads understand exactly one thing -- power, who has it and who doesnn't have it. So it creates a vicious cycle: The conservatives have power, so the media sucks up to them, which gives them even MORE power. Unless we can figure out a way to break that cycle, it's one-party dictatorship here we come.

Jesus Tapdancing Christ, this guy is a candidate for Congress, not the fucking Grail Quest.

I couldn't have put it better myself.

Posted by: Billmon | Jul 30 2005 19:20 utc | 44

Sorry about all the italic. One of these days maybe I'll remember to preview before posting.

Posted by: Billmon | Jul 30 2005 19:25 utc | 45

$cam, you are if I hear you right taking the position that this gang will self-destruct if they are helped along in their crimes. We had this discussion here last year before the elections. And yes it turns out that they were going to win no matter who voted for whom.

Would you have dissuaded Fitz from taking the case, to give the perps more time to self-destruct? One can look at this show in two basic ways.

One is that Rumster and the rest are simply power crazy and surprisingly successful so far, and eventually their luck will turn. Good will naturally win over bad. History doesn't make much of a case for this to be the likely outcome.

In basic way number two the perps are fundamentallly not human; they or their bosses are following a plan to decimate the race on Earth, clear the way for power and comfort for themselves only. They are not crazy at all; they are following a long-term plan that makes perfect sense to them.

If you pick #1 and assume human weakness and ultimate failure of the perps you take a long chance that you have underestimated their power and that they win in fact and get what they seek. (We don't know exactly what that is, but one can be certain that it doesn't include benefits for non-members.)

Select #2 and you have no choice but to fight with all available means and more. To do less is a surrender of your soul.

Posted by: rapt | Jul 30 2005 19:26 utc | 46

Billmon, I bet you never expected so much discussion would be generated by your tepid support for a minor player. I do appreciate your kind comments on whether it is better to be a yellow dog democrat or to honestly want better people representing you.

Of course life consists of compromises but some do have a limit on how low they can go. I tend to believe the Democrats have to lose much more before they will go back to being the party of the working poor. To encourage them to continue in what I see as Republican lite is not satisfactory.

This one tiny symbolic win would mean nothing to anyone other than Hackett and you. It would receive 0 minutes on corporate media and then we would just have another DINO voting with the Republicans.

Posted by: dan of steele | Jul 30 2005 20:03 utc | 47

Of course the democrats are lame. But it's not clear what conclusion to draw from that. The argument that a Hacket win or strong showing would demoralize the Delay wing may be wrong, but it makes sense. I'm convinced. The argument on the other side is essentially "Hackett is not good enough for me so I won't play". I don't see any way that goes from A to B. Venting gets tired after a while. Small steps.

Life is a corrupting process from the time a child learns to play his mother off against his father in the politics of when to go to bed; he who fears corruption fears life.
- Saul Alinsky

BTW: I found this other gem from Alinsky when I found the first one and gotta send it out to bother Slothrop.

Quotes from Mao, Castro, and Che Guevara... are as germane to our highly technological, computerized society as a stagecoach on a jet runway at Kennedy airport.
- Saul Alinsky

Posted by: citizen k | Jul 30 2005 20:20 utc | 48

Scam: Brilliant strategy. The KDP used this strategy to great effect during the Weimar period in Germany. Their strategic decision (with the advice of Uncle Joe) to hammer on the weak kneed Social Democrats in the confident knowledge that the Nazis would self-destruct was a masterful success. Don't fuck around compromising with the moderate chumps when you can play for the big win!

Posted by: citizen k | Jul 30 2005 20:31 utc | 49

Their strategic decision (with the advice of Uncle Joe) to hammer on the weak kneed Social Democrats in the confident knowledge that the Nazis would self-destruct was a masterful success. Don't fuck around compromising with the moderate chumps when you can play for the big win!

The KDP slogan as I recall was: "First Hitler, then we come."

They were right, of course -- well, half right -- but not exactly in the way they had intended.

Posted by: Billmon | Jul 30 2005 20:59 utc | 50

Isn't it KPD?

The comintern and KPD did underestimate and misdiagnose fascism. But also contributing to the left's failures were, afaik, two more important factors: 1) NSDAP appropriation of "anti-capitalism" rhetoric, and 2) developing disaffection of capital for SPD economic policies.

I feel some need here to defend KPD from the slanderous use of history to pin the blame of fascism on the German (Bavarian) comunists.

Posted by: slothrop | Jul 30 2005 21:36 utc | 51

1. I have yet to see the evidence here Hackett is on the wrong side of human decency.

2. I prefer to have on my side people who will fight to the death to defend the lawfully elected government of a sovereign people.

3. The starting point for the current age is 9.9/9.11/3.11. There is precious little evidence here that those to whom Hackett does not measure up are living in the now rather than in a past that is no better and no worse than that the fantasy McKinley world of the Rovians.

4. Arguably, Che and Fidel quotes applied to the current situation are more like a 1952 American chevy next to an Airbus on the runway, rather, than like a stage coach. Of course, a 1952 chevy may make a better car bomb. More metal.

Posted by: razor | Jul 30 2005 21:47 utc | 52

The failures of Italian and German socialists to stop fascism is instructive. There were union activists in both countries murdered and imprisoned not because these heroes failed to support the moribund social and christian "democrats" but because they boldly confronted capital, and many, like Gramsci, Luxembourg, understood the dynamics of economic crisis and knew very well, and by history are vindicated the crisis could not be averted by the status quo in any case.

Are we living at such a liminal political moment in which the old forms of the legitimation of elite power cannot be defended, neither by the masses nor the elites?

I believe so, and a vote for the Hackett's of the world does nothing.

Posted by: slothrop | Jul 30 2005 21:50 utc | 53

Fair enough. But if people are going to take this position, I don't want to hear a peep out of them about how horrible Cheneybush and the Republicans are. Because at this point you are writing off the only realistic alternative. Billmon, @ 3:20 PM

I won't dispute the point "about how horrible Cheneybush and the Republicans are" (though some Republicans don't answer to this description). But I will argue the following: Those of us Democrats who in fact consider the party's support for the Iraq war as a criminal enterprise cannot, and will not, consider the party to be a realistic alternative to the "horrible Cheneybush" regime. Why wouldn't we, on this score alone, "write off" the Democrats as an alternative to the Republicans? In 1968, no rational person believed that Hubert Humphrey would end the war in Viet Nam, and indeed his support for the war destroyed his credibility as a candidate. The Democrats support the war; they believe in the war; they think, act, and argue like Tom Friedman, Judith F. Miller, and the man who owns them, Pinch Sulzberger. They have always pursued this war as a means of supporting Israel. They want it still, and will continue to want it for the rest of their natural lives. And they speak for the Democrats as a whole--intimidating those who disagree: I defy anyone, Billmon included, to name a single Democrat in elected office who has openly and consistently opposed the funding and prosecution of this war. None exists, and so I find it hard to regard the Democrats as an "alternative" of any kind. I may vote for them out of habit, but I'm not exactly proud of that. And I do not regard the domestic liberality of Democrats as an adequate compensation for their support of this war. It isn't interesting. The scale isn't commensurate (as when we compare defense and domestic spending.)

Posted by: alabama | Jul 30 2005 22:04 utc | 54

citizen k

I don't get the alinsky 'don't read che' thing.

Must be there is no more ideology anymore, eh? No more contradictions?

Posted by: slothrop | Jul 30 2005 22:09 utc | 55

damn. alabama. welcome home.

kucinich, maybe.

Posted by: slothrop | Jul 30 2005 22:12 utc | 56

citizen k

Shit. I was remiss. Che is irrelevant in this age of nascar and internets because there's no class.

Sorry. I always forget.

Posted by: slothrop | Jul 30 2005 22:24 utc | 57

Of course life consists of compromises but some do have a limit on how low they can go

Totally agree.

I voted for Kerry last time with every cell of my body screaming "No!". And then he folds even though there is good reason to believe that he got jobbed in Ohio as well as other places.

I use NYC mass transit at least 3 times a day. They are now conducting random searches of bags, a policy that will never end in my lifetime I suspect. And yet our leaders, Republicans and Democrats alike, implore us to suspend our belief in the law of cause and effect. These searches have NOTHING to do with our longstanding policies in the mideast. The terrorists, rather, are pure evil, evincing "motiveless malignity", to borrow a phrase from Vidal.

The only principle the majority of Democrats espouse is unwavering support for that beautiful democracy and "friend" in the mideast. Moreover, precious few Democrats have objected to the sacking of Baghdad by Haliburton et. al., (Waxman is pretty much out there on his own, so far as I can tell). Which Democrat has objected to the moral foundations of the "flypaper" strategy? You know let the Iraqis suffer the damage in the "GWOT".

What a fucking joke. Adherence to the "GWOT" has now become my litmus test for politicians. If you accept that, you don't get my vote. As some general was recently quoted as saying - it's like calling WWII, "the war against submarines".

For what it's worth, Robert Pape pretty much nails it about suicide terrorism.

So yeah, there are limits. It's one thing to be blown to bits in a subway or bus bombing - it another thing entirely to vote for candidates who are intent on INCREASING that risk.

Posted by: tgs | Jul 30 2005 22:28 utc | 58

"And that doesn't bother me a bit. In that sense, I AM trying to think like Michael. If Hackett can embarrass the GOP machine in one of its strongholds on Tuesday, and maybe sow a little fear among the other people's deputies, that would be a good thing, no matter WHAT position he takes on the war."

In Godfather III Michael Corleone had achieved status and respectability for him and his family. He learned, however, that the game at the top was little different and no better than the game at the bottom and in the end he lost everything worthwhile.

I am not against Paul Hackett. I don't deny that it will be better for his district in Ohio if he wins than if he loses. However, if and when he wins the Democratic party will take that as a signal to send us more pro-war, right leaning candidates and in the end we will all lose.

Michael would decide that the left is bought cheaply and they will follow him whether they like it or not because they are too afraid not too. But the right, Michael correctly perceives demand a higher price. And to win he will pay it.

Billmon, you are our favorite blogger. We have a great deal of respect for you and we frequent the bar every chance we get. I differ from you this time and I truly hope I haven't offended you by saying so.

Posted by: jd | Jul 30 2005 22:29 utc | 59

The Israeli academics Uri Davis, Ilan Pappe and Tamar Yaron have sent out a warning about the Gaza pullout. They feel that Sharon and Mofaz are planning an all out assault on the people of Gaza.

Their warning can be read here:

After Gaza Disengagement

I have already warned Hillary and Chuck Schumer about this. They haven't gotten back to me, as of yet.

Posted by: tgs | Jul 30 2005 22:40 utc | 60

I'll also remind that those supporting this continuing war in Iraq are also supporting the continual drain of billions of dollars which could be used for social programs, environmental programs, repair of infrastructure. In essense, when they speak about these domestic programs and how they are going to find funds to support them, they are absolute hypocrites. You can't drain the treasury and drag us into generations of deficit to support the war on one hand, and then talk about all the great things you are going to do at home. It just typical politico lip service.

Posted by: Ensley | Jul 30 2005 22:49 utc | 61

List of representatives voting against recent war appropriation bill

Here is a list of the 19 members of Congress that voted against this bill. They - representing 4.4% of the US House - are the only "representatives" representing the views of the majority of the American people. They are the only ones who can truthfully be labeled "anti-war" - at least in the case of the Iraq War:

Tammy Baldwin (D-WI-2)
John Conyers Jr. (D-MI-14)
John J. Duncan Jr. (R-TN-2)
Bob Filner (D-CA-51)
Maurice Hinchey (D-NY-22)
Dennis Kucinich (D-OH-10)
Barbara Lee (D-CA-9)
John Lewis (D-GA-5)
Jim McDermott (D-WA-7)
Cynthia McKinney (D-GA-4)
Major Owens (D-NY-11)
Ron Paul (R-TX-14)
Donald M. Payne (D-NJ-10)
Charles Rangel (D-NY-15)
Jan Schakowsky (D-IL-9)
Pete Stark (D-CA-13)
Maxine Waters (D-CA-35)
Mel Watt (D-NC-12)
Lynn Woolsey (D-CA-6)


My representative, Jim McDermitt has fought bitterly against the war from square 1 -- going to Iraq before the war, you remember, "Baghdad Jim". We've also had good representation in the Senate from Patty Murry, and to a lesser extent Cantwell ( Murry voted against the initial authorization). Nontheless your point is well taken, particularly from Democratic leadership, DLC etc. It may be a paltry showing, but not extinct.

Posted by: anna missed | Jul 30 2005 22:53 utc | 62

from here, in this time & place i cannot understand either the concern or even sympathy for parliamentary politics. in america - its finished. as it is essentially in many countries. it is a pretence not worthy of even the most simplest reflection. the anarchist dictum of 'don't vote for the bastards, it only encourages them' - seems to me tp be particularly true

& this concern with a farce & the participants of that farce seem to mask the tragedy - which is a uniquely american tragedy. that is, that real & effective resistance is close to impossible given current conditions whose substance & character seem to accelerate further each day

when the state killed the heroic fighter fred hampton, bobby hutton george jackson & hundreds of others - they did so because they were effective fighters for their people & something better. outside the talkshop of politics - the american state proved even under nixon that it was capable of incarcerating or killing that opposition

what did they have at that point was - even in terms of jurisprudence - quite fractured - with contending interests moderating the viciousness of state power

today with the patriot act confirmed & all the other facets of this nazi jurisprudence - the state can create many many fred hamptons. coentilpro was as nothing compared to the armoury of the state today. if the draft is returned for example & people militantly oppose it - they will not spend a night in the cells but they will dissapear in the same way as many arav americans. the state is very very clear on that matter - it is clear effective resistance will be met by force of a lwa that has been built to specifically counteract resistance - or it will be met by force physically - as the young brazilian man found out in london

the pure triumphalism of the cheney bush junta & all their appareils - all their windowdressing do not do anything to conceal the nakedness of their wants & they simply do not care about the costs to others but even to their own people & their own history

& there is this (& i suppose that is why i am not reality based for some) seeming endless faith that things willl return to normal in political & civic life. i do not see any such return. i see its opposite

so this faith in the return to normal combined with a state fully prepared to isolate incarcerate & smash any resistance explains to me to some degree what appears to be inertia in front of events

& that inertia, that belief that things will return to normal have also poisoned european politics. everywhere today there is the politics of fear, of marginalisation & of a consistent & deliberate form of terror

& the alinsky quote is itself so deliriouslly dumb that i will reread el che right now

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Jul 30 2005 23:35 utc | 63

You wrote:

The take away, I guess, is that the Dems need both their wings right now -- the liberal rabble rousers
and (grits teeth) the DLC dinos. But instead of trying to create some kind of fatuous, and flatulant, "united front," maybe it would be better if the two camps just sort of ignored each other, at least when it isn't primary season. Live and let live. Let the netroot activitists do their thing -- growing and evolving -- and let the dinos do theirs -- staving off extinction for a few more years.

Sending fifty bucks to Hackett doesn't change the meaning of this quote.

Posted by: jm | Jul 30 2005 23:48 utc | 64

Sloth: Did you learn anything about Saul Alinsky in Harvard? Not, of course, as effective a political organizer as Poulantzas or in the same league for intuitive rapport with the workers as someone like Comrades Althusser or Derrida, but he had his points.

Abd Sloth, you are sadly mistaken. One of the major reasons the German communists got turned into soap because they made a terrible and unforgiveable error of treating the social democrats as the dangerous opposition - Rosa Luxembourg who was killed by the social democrats would not have made that error. One of the many reasons some of us are repulsed by the communist/marxist tradition is that EVERY communist party that got its fingers near the levers of power acted terribly. The German communist party refused to oppose Hitler because, using their brilliant grasp of dialectical materialistm they deduced the the Nazis would self destruct once the socialists were crushed. You can't blame poor Rosa Luxembourg - she lost the argument about participating in Wiemar (she was for it), lost the argument about the insurrection (against it) and was murdered in 1919.

There are three arguments. The "pragmatists" like me say we have, if at all, a long slow process of chipping away at the power of the right via a broad alliance of people who believe in such wild concepts as rule of law and no torture. There are the "radicals" who believe and practice some radical opposition to the state. And there are the therapists who believe in pretending to keep their hands clean.

Posted by: citizen k | Jul 31 2005 0:13 utc | 65

citizen k

I agree comintern politics reflected this shortcoming. But the history seems petty clear that in Italy and especially Germany, the capitalist class had given up on social demnocracy. Here's Kershaw:

First, it is clear that there was an increasing readiness among powerful sectors of the industrial elite long before the Nazi political breakthrough to discard the Weimar Republic in favour of a more palatable authoritarian solution which would restore profitability in the first instance through repression of labour. Secondly, among an industrial sector in many ways split and disorientated by the economic crisis of the early 1930s, there was an increased willingness in the deepening recession even among sections of industry not especially well disposed towards the Nazis to tolerate at least a Nazi share in government in order to provide the political framework within which the capitalist system could reproduce itself.' Important for our concern in this chapter is the very fact that the Nazis presented, as it were, the last hope rather than the first choice of much of industry in offering a form of State which would uphold capitalist interests.--The Nazi Dictatorship

One cannot prove reality by what never really happened, but most historians agree the armature of Hitlerism was created not by a failure of progressive political opposition to nazism, but by the enormous requirements of the economic and political crisis, a crisis solved for capital by fascism.

Needless to say, the parallels w/ today's problems are terrifying.

Please note: elites saw it necessary to abandon competitive capitalism under the aegis of liberal constitutional state.

Posted by: slothrop | Jul 31 2005 0:47 utc | 66

There is, of course, much more support from authors you do not respect: Horkheimer, Poulantzes.

Those guys kick ass, imo.

Posted by: slothrop | Jul 31 2005 0:51 utc | 67

One cannot prove reality by what never really happened,

well, comrade slotrop, why do you continue to try, every single day?

Posted by: Groucho | Jul 31 2005 0:56 utc | 68

fred hampton showed in an exemplary fashion what kind of human being constitutes the best in resistance. he was murdered by the state precisely because of his exemplarity

leonard peltier rots in an american prison precisely because he represents an exemplar of what resistance can mean

marilyn buck will spend her life in prison precisely because she carried out effective resistance

the price you pay for resistance in america has always been high

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Jul 31 2005 0:57 utc | 69

Alabama: Why wouldn't we, on this score alone, "write off" the Democrats as an alternative to the Republicans? is the wrong question. The Democratic party leadership is, to put it charitably, weak and hopelessly entangled in wrongdoing. But I fear you mistake "should" for "is". The "is" doesn't have an alternative of Eugene Debs as winning an election in the second congressional district of Ohio. The "is" has the alternatives of quietism, principled opposition, and tactical opposition. We are at a juncture like pre-civil war. The principled opposition of Quakers and John Browns and Harriet Tubmans take direct action against slavery. The tacticians support Lincoln. The quietists "write off" supporting a compromised group like the Lincoln republicans.

Posted by: citizen k | Jul 31 2005 0:59 utc | 70

& citizen k in his usual redbaiting - does a disservice to german history, german historians, historians of germany & of the left. as always with k the history is a little more complicated than he would like. even within the comintern

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Jul 31 2005 1:00 utc | 71

Sloth: But the history seems petty clear that in Italy and especially Germany, the capitalist class had given up on social demnocracy - and for sure. Large chunks of the capitalist class (and managerial class which may or may not be the same) in the US think that democracy is quaint at best. But the same thing was true in the US in 1930. The Trumps, Mellons and Krupps of the world don't always win and those who oppose them have a duty to find the right tactics that can beat them back.

Posted by: citizen k | Jul 31 2005 1:06 utc | 72

RG: If the fellow you claim to remember had followed your approach to tactics and shared your admiration for principled losing, the French Colonial Empire would have lasted a good bit longer.

Posted by: citizen k | Jul 31 2005 1:12 utc | 73

those who oppose them have a duty to find the right tactics that can beat them back.

Answer: the red army

Posted by: slothrop | Jul 31 2005 1:21 utc | 74


what no doubt you have forgotten along with the details of german history is that a fred hampton, a george jackson do not represent 'principled losing' but represent a form of humanity you are no doubt unfamiliar with.

the kind of man they were was elucidated earlier in the writing & the deeds of w e dubois, was articulated openly & defiantly by paul robeson

what you so easily call 'principled losing' i would rather name heroic resistance

& your no doubt cursory knowledge of vietnamese history might tell you exactly why i remember giap. no doubt you would prefer the great man view of history but history's lessons tell us otherwise

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Jul 31 2005 1:23 utc | 75

sloth: Hopeless romantics like myself don't find ten years of genocide and total war followed by 50 years of Red Army imposed police state to be a really appealing result.

RG: Your deep insight into American history, no doubt, dwarfs my humble collection of petit bourgeois anecdotes, but as the late lamented Chris Hani once said in response to a complaint about the ideological impurity of the ANC, "people can't eat slogans".
By the way: I don't mean any disrespect for the late lamented Fred Hampton who was unfortunately first isolated by Cointelpro tricks and then murdered, but I wonder if you know who Robert Moses was?

Posted by: citizen k | Jul 31 2005 1:43 utc | 76

Well, I hope the "straight-talkin" jarhead wins. Such are our hopes offered, in a handful of dust, so to speak.

Posted by: slothrop | Jul 31 2005 1:53 utc | 77

which robert moses are you speaking of - the racist urban planner who i think mayakovsky adored or there is a black lawyer of the same name from the sixties or is it another moses entirely

i give up - you can send me to gitmo fro more than one wrong answer - k

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Jul 31 2005 2:01 utc | 78

i have now done a little research on internet & presumably your robert moses is the mathematician. no i didn't know of him & am thankful to you for offering the posibility to learn a little more

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Jul 31 2005 2:10 utc | 79

nonono...robert moses was the guy who broke nba backboards when doing pregame layups. in the late seventies.

Posted by: slothrop | Jul 31 2005 2:15 utc | 80

RG: I had forgotten Robert Moses the urban destroyer, but was thinkng about Bob Moses the civil rights leader and algebra teacher who was and is no lawyer. I'm not in the mood to send people to Gitmo today.

Sloth: Here's the political divide. In 1930s US, socialists and reform Democrats defeated the fascist movement among the rich and created a highly unionized, prosperous, relatively democratic structure that gave most Americans unprecedented prosperity. They did not however convert the US into a socialist wonderland or curb its imperial tendencies. I'm on the side of Henry Wallace and FDR and the other morally compromised new dealers and not so impressed with the uncompromising KPD or Naders.

Posted by: citizen k | Jul 31 2005 2:18 utc | 81

ô but then you know dear slothrup that i am as dumb us diogenes

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Jul 31 2005 2:18 utc | 82

dumb you're not.

Posted by: slothrop | Jul 31 2005 2:21 utc | 83

Sloth: Moses Malone.

Posted by: citizen k | Jul 31 2005 2:23 utc | 84

I don't know much about Hackett. I read his positions on his website. I think he's wrong on Iraq, but less wrong than the present regime. And he's said the war was a mistake and that the mistake was made by people who aren't even "in the game" as far as paying for it goes.

I don't think it should be legal for me or anyone else outside the District to contribute to anyone's campaign to represent the District.

But I sent Hackett my fifty bucks because I want the present regime to suffer defeat in a House race prior to the 2006 election. To prime the pump.

During the 2006 campaign we will have an opportunity to contest all the seats in the congress, including Hackett's, should he win.

Thanks Citizen K and Billmon for furthering my education with respect to the KDP's brilliant strategy of yore.

The issue in 2006 ought to be the war : end it now or later.

Posted by: John Francis Lee | Jul 31 2005 2:34 utc | 85

Thanks Citizen K and Billmon for furthering my education with respect to the KDP's brilliant strategy of yore.

oh, for fuck's sake. I give up.

Posted by: slothrop | Jul 31 2005 2:44 utc | 86

citizen k

you have the inside track. you can say any old fucking thing, and as long as you say 'marx sucks' 'down w/ intellectuals,' the proles will eat the shit right out of your hands.

Posted by: slothrop | Jul 31 2005 2:56 utc | 87

It's ok Slothrop. I know you really didn't mean to call me a shit-eating prole. Or really mean to so debase the glorious proletariat.

Posted by: John Francis Lee | Jul 31 2005 3:12 utc | 88

Sloth: It's not my fault you can't remember one of the greatest NBA rebounders of all time and confused him up with the SNCC hero and algebraicist. For the record, Moses Maimonidies was a famous Jewish physician and religious philosopher who wrote in Arabic and he had absolutely no relationship to the 76ers and few ball handling skills at all (his move to the hoop was perplexing, though). And as a bonus, don't get Julius Erving mixed up with Julius Ceasar or Irving Berlin who should not be confused with Isaiah Berlin or the Prophet Isaiah or Isiah Thomas. All those jews and african-americans know that if you come to the game without the skills, bad things follow.

Posted by: citizen k | Jul 31 2005 3:13 utc | 89

yeah. even when I actually read the goddamn books suggested by dear leader and demonstrate how some assumptions are probably incorrect, using the goddamn books, mind you, it doesn't matter. here comes citizen k w/ his guinea charm (to use the entirely overwrought godfather grand metaphor) and sweeps us off our feet.

Posted by: slothrop | Jul 31 2005 3:23 utc | 90

you use history tendentiously.

I apologize, john lee. It's just I grow weary living in an america in which politics, history, evberything is sold like soap.

Posted by: slothrop | Jul 31 2005 3:41 utc | 91

Sloth: Us Americans have our guinea charm and our native dances and little rituals, not to mention those shriner hats beloved by shit-eatin and shit-kickin' proles are so amusing. Well, me and the missus got to head out to the local watering hole for a poetry slam, maybe pick up some soap at the 7-11 on the way.


Posted by: citizen k | Jul 31 2005 3:59 utc | 92

just a stray thought... everyone including me sounds a bit edgy of late... is it the heat? the humidity? the increasing sense of helplessness in the face of some kind of impending Crash, Thud, Tinkle as the wheels come off? the cumulative effect of exposure to too many lies, scandals, crimes, and (effectively) being mooned on a regular basis by the whole line up of the Cheney Regime while they sing Nyah, Nyah, Nyah?

Posted by: DeAnander | Jul 31 2005 5:27 utc | 93

Good Observation, DeA. I'd call it punch-drunk. Congress just shut down, so the blows will recede for a month or so.

Meanwhile, they reached a detente w/the powers that really are, so it looks increasingly like we're seriously stuck. Unless the military steps up to the plate (What does an honorable General, if there be a Smedly Butler among them, do when an order comes down to prepare a battle plan for a war against Iran that will end the Republic??)...We are only 6 mos. into this 2nd nightmare. In short, it hasn't even begun...and an apocalyptic wwar w/Iran is simmering on the back-burner & the protype of the American Fascist has been nominated to the court. (Everyone really needs to meditate on this Cat - John Doe-Smith-Roberts. I trust in the coming weeks a blogger will Photoshop an appropriate Opus Dei crucifix armband for this guy.)

Posted by: jj | Jul 31 2005 7:17 utc | 94


"just a stray thought... everyone including me sounds a bit edgy of late... is it the heat? the humidity? the increasing sense of helplessness in the face of some kind of impending Crash, Thud, Tinkle as the wheels come off? the cumulative effect of exposure to too many lies, scandals, crimes, and (effectively) being mooned on a regular basis by the whole line up of the Cheney Regime while they sing Nyah, Nyah, Nyah?"

I can only speak for myself... but this issue is one that severely pisses me off. I am particularly resentful when I am told that I am harming the chances of a party that has amply demonstrated that they offer no real or viable alternatives.

I feel very much like I am in the place of Margaret Buber-Neumann... is it more principled for me to be killed in one of Stalin's death camps, or shall I die in one of Hitler's death camps in protest? Shall I be raped of my way of life by Democrats or Republicans? How very appropriate that we have these debates on a Bertolt Brecht-themed site... since more and more often it is being advocated that we capitulate or die.

I see other alternatives... but am told that attempts to address the problems (much less fix them!) makes me "unrealistic".

Posted by: Monolycus | Jul 31 2005 7:38 utc | 95

Postscript: And if the choices really are limited to capitulation or death... I am inclined to remember Patrick Henry's words on the matter.

Posted by: Monolycus | Jul 31 2005 7:48 utc | 96

We are at a juncture like pre-civil war. The principled opposition of Quakers and John Browns and Harriet Tubmans take direct action against slavery. The tacticians support Lincoln. The quietists "write off" supporting a compromised group like the Lincoln republicans. citizen k, @ 8:59 PM.

If I were to accept this analogy, I'd have to suppose that our current "juncture" corresponds to the period 1855-1860. I'd have to suppose that the anti-war and pro-war "movements" have, at this very moment, the specificity, the density, the momentum, and the force of the abolitionist and secessionist causes (if not their symmetry and their certitudes). But I don't suppose any such thing, and I find the analogy misleading.

We have no anti-war movement worthy of the name. We have no movement opposing the magnitude and structural cohesion of the military-industrial complex/establishment here and abroad. To exist, it would have to be a "civilian" and quasi-anarchist movement that confronts both the foot-soldier and the spy-in-the-sky, saying "no!" to their legitimacy as political and social entities. The very notion of such a movement is, pragmatically speaking, absurd--and this very absurdity tells me that our "juncture," such as it is, does not find its analogy in the years 1855-1860 (because it lacks the apocalyptic focus of that time).

What then, are the cards in our hand? Or the necessary political action? For me, at least, the answer is clear, but not easy to achieve: it's the labor of an analysis that refuses, in the interests of clarity, to entertain any invitation to differentiate, for example, the Democrats from the Republicans. Though I stand corrected (and moved) by anna missed's honor roll of 6:53 PM, I would argue that the mere existence of such a list supports the point I'm trying to make, namely, that voting as a "Democrat" in this place and time is to vote for the war in Iraq.

Posted by: alabama | Jul 31 2005 9:28 utc | 97

Hack the Hawk

The guy doesn't sound any different than his opponent, but vote for him because he's not a Rethug (not officially anyway)?

Posted by: gmac | Jul 31 2005 12:11 utc | 98

"In contrast Hack, a millionaire who heads a law firm in Cincinnati, is a resident of Indian Hill, a wealthy Cincinnati suburb. His purchase of this property in 2000 made The Cincinnati Equirer's column of the most expensive real-estate transactions in the area."

He sounds like "Kerry Lite" and I bet he's OK with the tax cuts too. Ya, vote for Hack, he's gonna make a real difference - to his own bottom line. I don't think Monolycus is being unrealistic.

Posted by: gmac | Jul 31 2005 12:21 utc | 99


Purity is a free choice. But if I'm not mistaken, the linked article's description of Hackett's house purchase reads for all the world as a carefully crafted Republican talking point. If that is right, then it won't do the cause of purity much good to repeat it. If you've chosen to sit out the wager, might best just let them fight it out amongst themselves.

Posted by: Jassalasca Jape | Jul 31 2005 13:01 utc | 100

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