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Michael Steele finished eating own feet, now moving up to legs and torso
July 3, 2010 2:32 PM   Subscribe

Was Obama's decision to invade Afghanistan a mistake? Michael Steele, chair of the RNC seems to think so. Republicans and Democrats alike are irked and confused by his comments.
posted by justkevin (128 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
Michael Steele's trying to flip the script like he thinks he's cute.
posted by box at 2:36 PM on July 3, 2010


The invasion of Afghanistan is Obama's Katrina!
posted by Artw at 2:39 PM on July 3, 2010 [6 favorites]


I'm waiting for someone to claim that Katrina was Obama's Katrina.
posted by brundlefly at 2:45 PM on July 3, 2010 [21 favorites]


Katrina was Obama's kitten.
posted by Artw at 2:46 PM on July 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


Clearly Mr. Steele needs a new teleprompter.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 2:49 PM on July 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


Um...Obama invaded Afghanistan? Mods, please, in the name of history?
posted by timsteil at 2:51 PM on July 3, 2010


Notwithstanding Steele's motivations, any public suggestion from a political figure that we might not have an absolute need to be waging war in Afghanistan is a good thing indeed.
posted by darth_tedious at 2:52 PM on July 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


Timsteil, I know it's hard to fathom, but if you read the link, there's nothing for mods to do.
posted by pwnguin at 2:54 PM on July 3, 2010 [8 favorites]


I'm not sure why democrats would be 'irked' by the comments. It's certainly a pretty strange thing for the RNC chair to say but there is a lot of "anti-war" feeling on the right as well these days at the grass roots level.

In fact, a lot of democrats are angry about the DC response which reads in part:
RNC CHAIRMAN MICHAEL STEELE BETS AGAINST OUR TROOPS, ROOTS FOR FAILURE

"Here goes Michael Steele setting policy for the GOP again. The likes of John McCain and Lindsey Graham will be interested to hear that the Republican Party position is that we should walk away from the fight against Al Qaeda and the Taliban without finishing the job. They'd also be interested to hear that the Chairman of the Republican Party thinks we have no business in Afghanistan notwithstanding the fact that we are there because we were attacked by terrorists on 9-11.
The fact is, there are something like 60-100 Al Qaeda fighters in Afghanistan. The vast majority of the people we're fighting had nothing directly to do with it. I don't remember the exact figure, but if you divide the annual cost of the war by the number of AQ fighers, we're probably spending over a billion dollars a year per terrorist.

So apparently the DNC now things a majority of democrats have no faith in the troops and want to see us 'fail'. That's helpful.

And while there's no doubt Steele is an idiot, the fact is that Obama chose to continue and escalate there.
posted by delmoi at 2:55 PM on July 3, 2010 [5 favorites]


Timsteil, I know it's hard to fathom, but if you read the link, there's nothing for mods to do.

This is the mod's Katrina!
posted by Artw at 2:59 PM on July 3, 2010 [13 favorites]


I like Michael Steele - he does so much damage to the GOP on a weekly basis.
posted by a womble is an active kind of sloth at 2:59 PM on July 3, 2010 [13 favorites]


The Iraq war was Bush's Deepwater Horizon.
posted by delmoi at 3:02 PM on July 3, 2010 [4 favorites]


I like Michael Steele

He's no Palin.
posted by ryanrs at 3:03 PM on July 3, 2010 [4 favorites]


I was under the impression that George W. Bush invaded Afghanistan. One thing he did get right is this:

"...the one thing you don't do is engage in a land war in Afghanistan. All right. Because everyone who has tried over a thousand years of history has failed. And there are reasons for that."

It's kind of similar to this. Either way Obama still bears the moral burden of his actions not only in Afghanistan but also in Iraq and the various other secret wars he is currently prosecuting.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 3:06 PM on July 3, 2010


Well if he's such a student of history, has he not understood that, you know, that's the one thing you don't do is engage in a land war in Afghanistan?

"but only slightly less well-known is this: Never allow tapers at gatherings when your job is on the line! Hahaha hahahaha hahahaha" *thud*
posted by hal9k at 3:07 PM on July 3, 2010 [8 favorites]


Inconceivable!
posted by hal9k at 3:08 PM on July 3, 2010 [6 favorites]


Yeah, the DNC response was terrible. Leave it to the Democrats to find a way to mess up a total softball...no, tee-ball opportunity to score political points.

It would be like if a Republican came out in support of the health care bill and the DNC started attacking him for supporting death panels.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 3:12 PM on July 3, 2010 [9 favorites]


Katrina was Obama's kitten.
posted by Artw at 5:46 PM on July 3 [+] [!]


This joke is Artw's Katrina!
posted by stavrogin at 3:12 PM on July 3, 2010 [3 favorites]


Was the GOP's decision to pick a token black guy for chairperson cynical and racist?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:16 PM on July 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


He's making the villains on Darkwing Duck seem competent.
posted by WinnipegDragon at 3:16 PM on July 3, 2010 [3 favorites]


Wait... did we just criticize the GOP chairman for not being pro-war enough?

DID WE?!?!
posted by Avenger at 3:18 PM on July 3, 2010 [5 favorites]


Just in case any Americans are unclear on this: You are not going to be leaving Afghanistan or Iraq. Ever. No matter who is in charge.
posted by Artw at 3:20 PM on July 3, 2010 [12 favorites]


You know I think tropical storm's names should get an "Upgrade" when forecasts show that they may cause a lot of damage. So Hurricane Andrew would get upgraded to "Andrew Annihilator" Ivan would be "Ivan the Immolator" and Katrina would be "Katrina Kill." That would make it more clear to people that they need to evacuate.
posted by delmoi at 3:21 PM on July 3, 2010 [7 favorites]


You know... he is from Maryland, a heavily Democratic state. And in the 2006 campaign he had yard signs printed up that said "Steele Democrat" on a blue background, voter guides handed out that said he was a Democrat endorsed by Democrats and sample ballots that listed him as a Democrat. Some say he was a cheating weasel, but could he be a secret Democratic operative who has faked his way into the upper echelons of the Republican machine to tear it apart from the inside?
posted by stavrogin at 3:21 PM on July 3, 2010 [5 favorites]


No, fuck it. There is no "we". I'm not a democrat any more. I refuse to choose between a party that supports murdering American citizens without trial and a party that, I dunno, supports murdering Americans without trial but wants a 3-day waiting period on all proposed murders or something.
posted by Avenger at 3:22 PM on July 3, 2010 [9 favorites]


Wait... did we just criticize the GOP chairman for not being pro-war enough

That would explain why the anti-war crowd pretty much disappeared with Dubya.
posted by codswallop at 3:25 PM on July 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


Keep in mind, again, our federal candidates, this was a war of Obama's choosing.

This point has merit. Obama has continued to prosecute this conflict, and while Bush did instigate it, he hasn't been in power for a while now. It's a pretty bold card for a Republican to play, but then the Republicans aren't really the party of Bush II anymore. It would be a little unrealistic to insist that any and all decisions made in the context of a political party must be forevermore endorsed by anyone and everyone belonging to that party. It's entirely reasonable to hold Obama responsible for the decisions he's made.

I think one uncomfortable consequence of real social and political change is that you might find yourself agreeing with or finding some truth in the words of people you would have considered ideological opponents previously.
posted by clockzero at 3:26 PM on July 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


I think Josh Marshal probably was about right when he said Steele seemed like someone who would just say whatever it was that he thought the other person wanted to hear. Now, to be fair that's how most people are. We emphasize things that we think the other person is going to agree with. But you can do that without contradicting yourself.

The problem with Steele is that he has a high profile position and people actually listen to everything he says.

The truth is, the republican party would probably better off adopting this position.
posted by delmoi at 3:26 PM on July 3, 2010


The fact is, there are something like 60-100 Al Qaeda fighters in Afghanistan.

Where did you got that number from? Not disputing, just curious.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 3:30 PM on July 3, 2010


A senior U.S. intelligence official told ABCNews.com the approximate estimate of 100 al Qaeda members left in Afghanistan reflects the conclusion of American intelligence agencies and the Defense Department. The relatively small number was part of the intelligence passed on to the White House as President Obama conducted his deliberations.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 3:32 PM on July 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Katrina was Obama's kitten.
posted by Artw at 5:46 PM on July 3 [+] [!]

This joke is Artw's Katrina!


You are just trying to blame it on Obama.....
posted by GenjiandProust at 3:34 PM on July 3, 2010


CIA Director Leon Panetta: At Most 50 to 100 Al Qaeda in Afghanistan
posted by furiousxgeorge at 3:37 PM on July 3, 2010


Where did you got that number from? Not disputing, just curious.

Yeah I remembered hearing about the Panetta interview, which furiousxgeorge helpfully linked too.
posted by delmoi at 3:50 PM on July 3, 2010


Was it over when Obama bombed Pearl Harbor?
posted by klangklangston at 3:52 PM on July 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


But more Al Qaeda could always come in, you see.

It's the 2011 time line that I don't get. If you're going to leave (and I think we should), then don't wait. It will go to hell or not regardless. If you really think we should stay, then prepare for the long haul and follow the same tactics the Brits did in Malaysia. (And then leave.)

And if this is really all about the lithium, well, screw it, invoke Monroe doctrine, make nice to the lithium rich Bolivians and let China deal with Afghanistan. Hell, they share a border. America only shares one hemisphere.
posted by IndigoJones at 3:53 PM on July 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Wait... did we just criticize the GOP chairman for not being pro-war enough?

No, we criticized him for saying that Obama started the war in Afghanistan.

Either he is so stupid that he really didn't know any better. In which case, he shouldn't be in politics.

Or he is so cynical that he thinks that noone will notice (noone that matters, anyway), and that he will score more points than he could lose by the "gaffe". In which case he shouldn't be in politics either.
posted by sour cream at 3:58 PM on July 3, 2010 [4 favorites]


You are just trying to blame it on Obama.....

Obama is Katrina's Michael Steele.
posted by stavrogin at 3:59 PM on July 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


So maaaaayyyyybe choosing the new head of the RNC based on the twin criteria of "is black" and "is dumb enough to want to lead the RNC starting in the Fall of 2010" was a bad idea.
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:00 PM on July 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


...and it would look bad if the GOP, with its old-white-guy image, fired its first black chairman because he wouldn't get in line with what everyone else wanted him to do and say.
Steele - like most ranking Repos - would get a free pass if he channeled the spirit of Jeffrey Lionel Dahmer.

The lasting effect of the Civil Rights Act has been to hand political control of the South over to the Repos so they could continue the injustices of segregation under the rubric of free enterprise and saddle us with moronic plutocrats like Steele.
posted by warbaby at 4:00 PM on July 3, 2010


Michael Steele is nothing more than a Republican Muppet.*

* - Jon Stewart agrees.
posted by ericb at 4:00 PM on July 3, 2010


Was it over when Obama bombed Pearl Harbor?

You're laughing, but I regularly encounter Republicans who hate FDR with a passion - that's when they think the country went wrong, with all that social security and such. They are seriously for rolling things back to Hoover. Dead serious. Most of them weren't even alive during Hoover's presidency but, by golly, they'll hate that socialist FDR with all his commie ideas. You think I'm exaggerating, or that FDR's legacy is as settled as Lincoln's - well, go talk to some Repubs. It's scary. Heck, I bet there are places in the South where even that Lincoln fellow is evil incarnate.
posted by VikingSword at 4:02 PM on July 3, 2010 [14 favorites]


Heck, I bet there are places in the South where even that Lincoln fellow is evil incarnate.

I used to have a buddy who grew up in Dothan, Alabama. (He's since moved back and kind of vanished from the web, sadly.) He once told me that he knew plenty of "Southern Democrats", people who voted Democrat because Lincoln was a Republican.

This was in 2002.
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:06 PM on July 3, 2010 [3 favorites]


Neo-con Editor Bill Kristol Calls for RNC Chairman Steele to Resign.

A Letter To Bill Kristol: Challenge Michael Steele To A Debate On Afghanistan.
posted by ericb at 4:09 PM on July 3, 2010


Ann Coulter actually states she'd go back in time to stop FDR from introducing the New Deal. Al Franken has a better idea.
posted by mccarty.tim at 4:11 PM on July 3, 2010 [7 favorites]


I'm not sure why democrats would be 'irked' by the comments.

Michael Steele's Inexplicable Gift to Democrats.
posted by ericb at 4:12 PM on July 3, 2010


VikingSword: "or that FDR's legacy is as settled as Lincoln's - well, go talk to some Repubs. It's scary. Heck, I bet there are places in the South where even that Lincoln fellow is evil incarnate."

Yeah, Lew Rockwell regularly runs anti-Lincoln pieces. Based in Alabama, he abhors Lincoln from an anti-war point of view. Plus, when Ron Paul's racist writings came to light in 2008, it was theorized that Lew Rockwell himself actually penned them.
posted by telstar at 4:16 PM on July 3, 2010


...we're probably spending over a billion dollars a year per terrorist.

"With 100,000 troops in Afghanistan at an estimated yearly cost of $30 billion, it means that for every one al Qaeda fighter, the U.S. will commit 1,000 troops and $300 million a year."*
posted by ericb at 4:18 PM on July 3, 2010


Yeah, Lew Rockwell regularly runs anti-Lincoln pieces. Based in Alabama, he abhors Lincoln from an anti-war point of view.

Well, and also he's a giant fucking racist.
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:18 PM on July 3, 2010


Obama's Katrina is the GOP's new bicycle.
posted by idiopath at 4:20 PM on July 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


"You think I'm exaggerating, or that FDR's legacy is as settled as Lincoln's - well, go talk to some Repubs. It's scary. Heck, I bet there are places in the South where even that Lincoln fellow is evil incarnate."

Yeah, I know that. It's a shame that the generation that lived through the Depression and WWII is dying off, since for a long time, they were reliably Democrats who kept the legacy of FDR polished. They're replaced by a bunch of folks who were too young for WWII (maybe went to Korea) and so were willing to swallow a lot of Reagan horseshit; if you were 35 when Reagan was elected, you're 65 now and imagining a world prior to "socialism" even as you suck down New Deal benefits.
posted by klangklangston at 4:21 PM on July 3, 2010 [4 favorites]


I don't find this so much funny as sad at this point. I once thought that when I was bored with Michael Steele gaffes, I would be bored of life...

Maybe so. Maybe so.
posted by mccarty.tim at 4:24 PM on July 3, 2010


...the Republicans aren't really the party of Bush II anymore.

Poll: Tea party rebranded GOP
“A large portion of those who identify as tea party supporters are also self-identified conservative Republicans, according to a new Gallup survey out Friday.

Sixty-two percent of tea party supporters surveyed over three separate Gallup polls say they are a ‘conservative Republican.’ Another 17 percent say they are ‘moderate/liberal Republican.’

All told, 79 percent of tea party supporters say they are Republicans.

Only 6 percent of the tea party supporters surveyed identify as a ‘pure independent’ while 15 percent said they would likely identify as a ‘liberal,’ ‘moderate’ or ‘conservative’ Democrat.

Asked which party they would likely vote for if the election were held today, 80 percent of tea party supporters said the GOP compared to 15 percent who would favor a Democrat.

‘The Tea Party movement has received considerable news coverage this year, in large part because it appears to represent a new and potentially powerful force on the American political scene,’ wrote Gallup editor-in-chief Frank Newport in his analysis of the poll.

‘Whether Tea Party supporters are a voting segment that is unique and distinct from the more traditional Republican conservative base, however, appears questionable.’”
posted by ericb at 4:24 PM on July 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Just in case any Americans are unclear on this: You are not going to be leaving Afghanistan or Iraq. Ever. No matter who is in charge.

On 9/11 my daughter had just entered kindergarten. This fall she will be entering high school. These wars have lasted so long that she went from being unable to color inside the lines to being able to appreciate the absurdity of Oscar Wilde.
posted by milarepa at 4:25 PM on July 3, 2010 [28 favorites]


Heh.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 4:49 PM on July 3, 2010


Michael Steele is Afghanistan's Obama.
posted by Snyder at 5:03 PM on July 3, 2010


"Just in case any Americans are unclear on this: You are not going to be leaving Afghanistan or Iraq. Ever. No matter who is in charge."

This, a million times this. I told people before Obama was elected that we weren't pulling out of anywhere and that if they really wanted to vote for change they should find someone else besides Obama. Ralph Nader was right, as usual, on election night.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 5:06 PM on July 3, 2010


The Republican Party is having all kinds of identity crises right now. Michael Steele is not popular at all with the more conservative ones-my own husband is not happy with his position on gun control (his personal litmus test, I guess.)

The tea partiers are just making the divide in the GOP way more visible. BTW, not all tea partiers are Republican-many of them consider themselves independent or are Libertarians or the up and coming Constitution party (I think that's what it's called, not sure.)

From where I sit there is also a big gap between party leadership and the average GOP party member-seems at least in our state that the leadership is more liberal than the rank and file. And the rank and file is getting restless.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 5:07 PM on July 3, 2010


BTW, not all tea partiers are Republican-many of them consider themselves independent or are Libertarians or the up and coming Constitution party (I think that's what it's called, not sure.)

So they're still conservatives.
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:17 PM on July 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


I bet there are places in the South where even that Lincoln fellow is evil incarnate.

There's a great scene in Ken Burns' Civil War where Shelby Foote recalls interviewing a grand southern belle -- a descendant of a famed Confederate General. He says to her that he always thought that this General and Lincoln were the two true geniuses produced by the war. She replied:

"In our family, we don't speak of Mr. Lincoln."
posted by Trochanter at 5:30 PM on July 3, 2010


It's the 2011 time line that I don't get. If you're going to leave (and I think we should), then don't wait. It will go to hell or not regardless. If you really think we should stay, then prepare for the long haul and follow the same tactics the Brits did in Malaysia. (And then leave.)

The thing is, leaving 'now' would really mean leaving in 2011. Troops and tanks and bases upon bases full of equipment don't move themselves out of the country, you know. The number of giant troop transports provides one bottleneck to moving things out of Afghanistan, and strategy provide a second. The logistics of a proper retreat are pretty difficult; you're removing all of the troops and weapons, but have to leave enough on the ground to defend the stuff being retreated. Do it too quickly, and things get disorganized and it becomes easy for whoever you're running away from to pick off people and equipment. And we're talking about a _lot_ of people and equipment here...

My understanding of the Afghanistan situation is that it's not really about Al Qaeda at all anymore. It really comes down to whether the Taliban should be allowed to kill of Karzai and take over the show. Worst case scenario: Taliban takes Afghanistan, and starts training soldiers by the thousand using the funds from the newly resurrected herion industry. These soldiers are then sent clandestinely into Pakistan to overthrow the government there. Then Pakistan becomes destabilized, and everyone's left to choose whether to a) watch it play out and let Pakistan's nuclear capabilities fall into the hands of the Taliban, or b) engage in a war in Pakistan and end up in Afghanistan all over again. And maybe India sees an opportunity with the destabilization and things get really hairy...

In any case, Pakistan is definitely a part of the equation, and probably a much bigger part than al qaeda, I'd say.
posted by kaibutsu at 5:46 PM on July 3, 2010 [15 favorites]


Some Tea Partiers are A3P too, instead of Republican! The diversity is incredible.
posted by XMLicious at 5:49 PM on July 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


the Republicans aren't really the party of Bush II anymore

Hahahaha, no. How should I put it?

Every teabagging retard out there today is the spiritual, political and "philosophical" descendant of W. These teaparty assholes disclaim him now, but they were happy to suck his cock for eight long fucking years. From what I've gathered over the past year, many of them seem to miss the taste.
posted by trondant at 5:52 PM on July 3, 2010 [15 favorites]


A large portion of those who identify as tea party supporters are also self-identified conservative Republicans, according to a new Gallup survey out Friday.
(...)
Whether Tea Party supporters are a voting segment that is unique and distinct from the more traditional Republican conservative base, however, appears questionable.


That by itself doesn't demonstrate very much, though. I think we're witnessing a transition happening largely in the context of that segment of the population, and so of course an early stage will resemble the original state. As a side note, anything that works to dismantle the mythology which politicians enjoy espousing that having exactly two equal and opposite monoliths of party affiliation constitutes the most natural, desirable and efficacious political system is a good thing to my mind.

My thought earlier in the thread, that this isn't Bush's GOP anymore, I think is supported by the mere existence of the Tea Party: conservatives are being courted by two parties now. The Tea Party is not the GOP, but they're fighting for a lot of the same voters.
posted by clockzero at 5:52 PM on July 3, 2010


Dick Armey. Look him up.
posted by trondant at 5:57 PM on July 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


the Republicans aren't really the party of Bush II anymore

Hahahaha, no. How should I put it?

Every teabagging retard out there today is the spiritual, political and "philosophical" descendant of W. These teaparty assholes disclaim him now, but they were happy to suck his cock for eight long fucking years. From what I've gathered over the past year, many of them seem to miss the taste.


I'm not sure if you're agreeing or disagreeing with what I said. Consider the details of this article about a recent rally in New Jersey. Tea Party types are rejecting Bush, not longing for his return. They're criticizing him in the same breath as they do Obama. These people see themselves as being opposed to the dominant power structure, but more importantly, they conceive of that structure as an integration of the GOP and the Democrats. This is basically an admission that the Republicanism of 2000-2008 was a failure.
posted by clockzero at 6:16 PM on July 3, 2010


I bet there are places in the South where even that Lincoln fellow is evil incarnate.

I've lived in the South so long and encountered such anger over The War of Northern Aggression, I'm surprised people are still willing to make that bet.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:20 PM on July 3, 2010 [3 favorites]


We've always been at war with Eastasia.
posted by Xoc at 6:34 PM on July 3, 2010 [8 favorites]


clockzero, the sole sentence from your link mentioning criticism of Bush:

In an impassioned and often angry speech from the flag-draped podium, Adkins berated both President Obama and former president George W. Bush, accusing them of turning the country into a welfare state, banishing God from public life, and creating an abysmal school system.

If that's all they're rejecting about Bush's Presidency I don't think there are too many parts of it they'd object to seeing the return of.
posted by XMLicious at 6:45 PM on July 3, 2010


Um...Obama invaded Afghanistan? Mods, please, in the name of history?

A lot of times one can get away with not actually reading the links without coming across as unintentionally hilarious. This is not one of those times.
posted by Justinian at 6:48 PM on July 3, 2010


XMLicious, I suspect that turning the country into a welfare state and banishing God from public life are extremely grievous offenses to the sensibilities of Tea Party types. Just the fact that they're lumping Bush together with Obama is huge. A lot of conservatives deeply dislike him, to put it rather mildly.
posted by clockzero at 6:58 PM on July 3, 2010


If that's all they're rejecting about Bush's Presidency I don't think there are too many parts of it they'd object to seeing the return of.

Yeah, the Teabaggers who dislike Bush are sort of like Van Halen fans who hated the group when it was fronted by Sammy Hagar.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 7:01 PM on July 3, 2010 [4 favorites]


Van Halen fans who hated the group when it was fronted by Sammy Hagar.

They already had a little fat guy@!! They didn't need another little fat guy!!
posted by Trochanter at 7:06 PM on July 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


You see? That's what I mean. Van Halen fans didn't see Hagar get hired and decide, "Fuck it, I hate metal now. I hate Eddie Van Halen and spandex and amazing guitar solos." No, they hated Hagar - they hated him for degrading and wimpifying Van Halen. It's not like the Teabaggers dislike the Republicans and the Democrats for the same reasons or something. They hate the Dems for being liberal, and hate the Republicans for being to Dem-ish and "taking the God out of government" or whatever. Saying they hate them equally only tells part of the story.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 7:15 PM on July 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Pope Guilty wrote: "I used to have a buddy who grew up in Dothan, Alabama. (He's since moved back and kind of vanished from the web, sadly.) He once told me that he knew plenty of "Southern Democrats", people who voted Democrat because Lincoln was a Republican."

I don't know that there are many left in Dothan, or anywhere in 2010, but yes, up until at least 2000 or so, that was pretty much how things worked in the South. It's what leads to the few Democratic Congresspeople you see from the South. They're nearly Republicans, so as to get both the actual Democrats on board (who would never vote for a Republican even if the Democratic candidate ate kittens for breakfast) and the anti-Lincolns who identify mostly with the Republican party otherwise.

A lot of those type of folks also only vote for Democrats in state/local elections yet will only put Republicans in Congress. It's weird in the South.

And speaking of Dothan, it's not too bad a town. Hunt's is one of the best restaurants anywhere. Great steak, great seafood (well, probably not so much now that it's all soaked in oil), and most importantly, great chili dogs.

kaibutsu wrote: "My understanding of the Afghanistan situation is that it's not really about Al Qaeda at all anymore. It really comes down to whether the Taliban should be allowed to kill of Karzai and take over the show."

This scenario is the only thing that keeps me from going stark raving mad about us still being in Afghanistan.
posted by wierdo at 7:41 PM on July 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Okay, clockzero, it's huge... but huge in a way that would not prevent another president substantially like Bush from being elected.
posted by XMLicious at 7:47 PM on July 3, 2010


Michael Steele fascinates me. The man is totally unsuccessful as an advocate for his party, a fundraiser (the real job of the RNC head), or even as a politician in MD (he was a Lt. Governor and failed candidate for Senate). Sarah Palin and this guy represent everything that is wrong about the Republican party.
posted by humanfont at 8:04 PM on July 3, 2010


...and this is why the Dems will retain control of both the house and senate.

The Democrats are divided and fractious and working against each other, where the republicans are in a brutally enforced lockstep. The public is disenchanted with the status quo, and want real and meaningful change, and the President is drawing non-stop heat.

But, the Democrats are sane and reasonable, and the Goopers are absolutely certifiable to anyone who's not a hard-right, tea-party, Rush-is-Right Fox News addicted fanatic. The dems are worthless scum, but the Republicans are completely off their rocker, and ain't nobody gonna vote for that kind of train wreck.
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:32 PM on July 3, 2010


The dems are worthless scum, but the Republicans are completely off their rocker, and ain't nobody gonna vote for that kind of train wreck.

I think you're seriously overestimating the latter-day US electorate.
posted by nevercalm at 8:49 PM on July 3, 2010 [8 favorites]


I bet there are places in the South where even that Lincoln fellow is evil incarnate.

The first time I met a certain former in-law, my now-ex-husband and I were in Nashville. We had just road-tripped down from Chicago, and were going to stay with this family member of his for a few days before going on to Memphis.

She welcomed us into her house, and as we walked into the living room I noticed an antique photograph over on the mantel. The portrait of the man looked vaguely familiar, so I moved closer to have a better look.

"Oh, I see you are admiring the portrait of my cousin by marriage, the great patriot," she said proudly.

"The... great patriot?" I said, confused.

"Yes," she said. "My husband's cousin through his father's line. The great patriot. John Wilkes Booth."
posted by scody at 9:11 PM on July 3, 2010 [3 favorites]


The brilliance of Obama is that he spent two years putting together a series of super popular changes that will take effect just a the august recess winds down.
For example dozens of health care goodies will come online in the next few months things like checks to seniors, and expanded coverage. Good luck running on that one Republicans.
Furthermore we will be down to a tiny force in Iraq by November as we plan to be out entirely by December. The President will be able to run around the country with troops having happy homecommings while giving speeches about a job well done.
In conclusion the republicans have had it easy the last 18 months while the Obama administration has been doing the hard work of actually running the country. The GOP has foolishly let themselves be on unanimous record as opposing everything. Thus they get zero credit when the sun comes out again.
posted by humanfont at 9:15 PM on July 3, 2010 [12 favorites]


scody: wow.
posted by yhbc at 9:27 PM on July 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Michael Steele is the Republican George W. Bush.
posted by vibrotronica at 9:30 PM on July 3, 2010


It's what leads to the few Democratic Congresspeople you see from the South. They're nearly Republicans

Well, most obviously you're ignoring the numerous Democratic MCs who are black. But even among southern white Democrats, there are several who aren't almost Republican; on a quick glance it looks like Lloyd Doggett is the most liberal(-voting) white southern Democrat.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:20 PM on July 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


...or that FDR's legacy is as settled as Lincoln's...

Settled?


Tea Party types are rejecting Bush, not longing for his return.

About that...
posted by Evilspork at 10:41 PM on July 3, 2010


Michael Steele is Obama's Katrina and the waves.
posted by From Bklyn at 11:38 PM on July 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


Clearly it all went wrong when Obama freed the slaves.
From his slave owning ancestors.
Who bought them from his muslim ancestors.
Who hate America and it's freedoms.
Which is why Obama decided to free the slaves.
posted by yeloson at 11:46 PM on July 3, 2010


"This scenario is the only thing that keeps me from going stark raving mad about us still being in Afghanistan."

Really that's it? All the innocents being bombed into to oblivion? That doesn't make you angry?
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 11:47 PM on July 3, 2010


My understanding of the Afghanistan situation is that it's not really about Al Qaeda at all anymore. It really comes down to whether the Taliban should be allowed to kill off Karzai and take over the show. Worst case scenario: Taliban takes Afghanistan, and starts training soldiers by the thousand using the funds from the newly resurrected herion industry. These soldiers are then sent clandestinely into Pakistan to overthrow the government there. Then Pakistan becomes destabilized, and everyone's left to choose whether to a) watch it play out and let Pakistan's nuclear capabilities fall into the hands of the Taliban, or b) engage in a war in Pakistan and end up in Afghanistan all over again. And maybe India sees an opportunity with the destabilization and things get really hairy...

Thank you for stating this clearly. I'm extremely anti-war, and yet do understand the incredibly precarious situation Afghanistan (and Pakistan) is/are... Obama's hands are a bit tied, no?
posted by nonreflectiveobject at 12:00 AM on July 4, 2010


I'm surprised that no one trotted out the old "you're not supporting the troops with your defeatist rhetoric" line again. It would actually make sense in this case.
posted by breath at 1:21 AM on July 4, 2010


Steele is Steele's Michael Steele.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:32 AM on July 4, 2010


Michael Steele is the GOP's Custer's Last Stand.
posted by amyms at 2:29 AM on July 4, 2010


Perhaps this is just an attempt to float a new meme: "Obama got us into these wasteful, expensive wars." Really you can't underestimate the attention span of the average voter and as the Republican Party has discovered if you repeat something-- no matter how demonstrably false-- you can get large segments of the ill-informed electorate to swallow it and regurgitate it on demand.

Iran bombed us on 9/11
Obama isn't a citizen of the U.S.A.
Palin is an expert on oil drilling
Gays threaten the sanctity of marriage
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:09 AM on July 4, 2010


Maxx Steele is the leader of Robo Force.
posted by box at 7:14 AM on July 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


This...this...this thread is, uh, Katrina's...uh, Katrina's Obama, amirite???

I'm not doing this right, am I?
posted by slogger at 7:21 AM on July 4, 2010


Dick Armey. Look him up.

I think "Dick Armey" is the definition of the Tea Party.
posted by armage at 7:27 AM on July 4, 2010 [14 favorites]


Maxx Steele is the leader of Robo Force.

Cliff Steele is Robotman! Being unable to google an image from the time aliens gave him giant spider legs is my Katrina.
posted by Artw at 7:39 AM on July 4, 2010


He is the gift that keeps on giving.
posted by caddis at 9:19 AM on July 4, 2010


Yeah Katrina! That's where I'm Obama!
posted by mccarty.tim at 9:21 AM on July 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


I actually have a friend named Katrina who voted for Obama. Does that make her Obama's Katrina?
posted by Devils Rancher at 10:04 AM on July 4, 2010


Does she still support him?
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:40 AM on July 4, 2010


Worst case scenario: Taliban takes Afghanistan, and starts training soldiers by the thousand using the funds from the newly resurrected heroin industry.

And so we see how the worst case scenario in Afghanistan can be cut off at the knees by ending the war on drugs. But of course it makes so much more sense to pour billions of dollars into a never ending war.
posted by jedicus at 11:29 AM on July 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


My understanding of the Afghanistan situation is that it's not really about Al Qaeda at all anymore. It really comes down to whether the Taliban should be allowed to kill of Karzai and take over the show... Pakistan is definitely a part of the equation, and probably a much bigger part than al qaeda, I'd say.

Really glad somebody said this. I can respect arguments about the difficulties in Afghanistan, but it's depressing to see so much of even Metafilter apparently ignoring these issues.
posted by weston at 11:31 AM on July 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


I like Michael Steel.
He's no Palin.


I'd vote for Michael Palin. Twice.
posted by rokusan at 12:17 PM on July 4, 2010 [4 favorites]


I actually have a friend named Katrina who voted for Obama. Does that make her Obama's Katrina?

Obama's Razor supports this.
posted by rokusan at 12:17 PM on July 4, 2010


AElfwine Evenstar wrote: "Really that's it? All the innocents being bombed into to oblivion? That doesn't make you angry?"

I think you misunderstood my post. I wrote that I would be upset about still being in Afghanistan, were it not being (somewhat) helpful to the situation in Pakistan. I made no statement about the limits of what it is that makes me upset, only that I am not upset that we are still in Afghanistan for the reason I've stated twice now.
posted by wierdo at 12:44 PM on July 4, 2010


The Tea Party is not the GOP

How many candidates have run with (T) next to their names instead of (R)?
posted by Jimmy Havok at 12:54 PM on July 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


A lot of conservatives deeply dislike [Bush]

Funny how they only mention it now.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 12:58 PM on July 4, 2010 [9 favorites]


Pretty sure they dislike that he was perceived as a faliure. That part burns and burns. Other than that they'd happily sign up for the exact same shit in a heartbeat.
posted by Artw at 1:09 PM on July 4, 2010 [10 favorites]


The tea partiers are just making the divide in the GOP way more visible. BTW, not all tea partiers are Republican-many of them consider themselves independent
Nonetheless, they are still straight-voting GOPers. Normally, when I hear some right-winger armed with the talking points that he's an "independent" or "libertarian," that generally means, "I'm a right-wing Republican voter who doesn't want to be held responsible for the stink of my own party [and I really, really want more tax cuts]."
I think Josh Marshal probably was about right when he said Steele seemed like someone who would just say whatever it was that he thought the other person wanted to hear.
Yes, this isn't the first time Steele has done this. He tends to have a keen sense of what his audience will be receptive to and say that to them. While that might have endeared him to voters or RNC members, sometimes when he's being interviewed, he will say something that endears him to the interviewer, such as maintaining that abortion is an individual, private choice, except that this gets broadcast to the rest of the public who has been hearing something different from him.
posted by deanc at 1:32 PM on July 4, 2010 [3 favorites]


A Tea Party Independent is just like a left winger who claims they are independent, but not because they swing to the middle, but because they are tired of the Democrats being too far towards the center. They're independent as they're debating a protest vote for the Greens or Socialists, who of course never get enough votes to go anywhere.

Tea Party Candidates so far look to be really good at splintering the votes, especially if they are running against someone the Tea Party calls a "RINO." I expect Sarah Palin to eventually tell them to stop doing that.

Anyway, yeah freedom day! I ate so much meat I might burst, and I still have another barbecue to go to!
posted by mccarty.tim at 1:41 PM on July 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


I add this pointless knickknack to the "Do goppers hate Bush?" debate.
posted by mccarty.tim at 1:42 PM on July 4, 2010


While we're discussing NOBAMA'S KATRINER, let me just ask something. When the right wingers are saying Obama should be doing more about the oil spill, what exactly do they want him to do, that they wouldn't turn around and call socialist interference with an independent corporation and wasteful government spending? I mean, if he sends in the Army Corps of Engineers to fix the hole, then he's using taxpayer dollars to do BP's job. If he nationalizes BP to get them under control, that's socialist.

Really, it seems to me Obama playing golf is exactly what they'd want a president to do if they're the party of smaller government. Especially when you consider the last guy they put in the Oval Office.

Granted, I think they let the issue slip through their lubed up fingers when that congressman apologized to BP for all the trouble the government put them through. I mean, that's like saying "Sorry I complained so much when you smashed my windows and poured gasoline on my lawn."
posted by mccarty.tim at 1:53 PM on July 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


War in Iraq Defies U.S. Timetable for End of Combat
posted by homunculus at 2:17 PM on July 4, 2010


The Tea Party is not the GOP

Its the extremist wing of the GOP, nothing else. Its like being a Democratic "Blue Dog." It exists purely within a single party. If anything its real world results have been disastrous for the GOP and is sending voters into the waiting arms of the Democrats when they get exposed to Tea "Party" ethics. Rand Paul's commentary on limiting the Civil Rights Act frightens people because it is literally frightening.

I am also waiting to see (T) next to anyone's name. If you can't do that, then you don't have a party.
posted by damn dirty ape at 4:57 PM on July 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


Just in case any Americans are unclear on this: You are not going to be leaving Afghanistan or Iraq. Ever. No matter who is in charge.

Considering Okinawa has been trying to get the military bases off their island since it was handed back to Japan after world war 2. I doubt there will be a very speedy exit either from either country.

I'll hold off on any smart comments on occupying forces
posted by Merlin The Happy Pig at 7:08 PM on July 4, 2010


CIA Director Leon Panetta: At Most 50 to 100 Al Qaeda in Afghanistan

How much does the Afghan War cost the U.S.?
posted by homunculus at 9:51 PM on July 4, 2010


"Wait... did we just criticize the GOP chairman for not being pro-war enough?"

I'm pretty sure it was because, like many of his whistling-in-the-dark colleagues who were asleep at the switch when 911 and Katrina happened, he would -dearly- love to erase our memories of the blatantly obvious. And repeating nonsense -does- tend to confuse the base of the weak-minded.
posted by Twang at 12:48 AM on July 5, 2010


"At Most 50 to 100 Al Qaeda in Afghanistan"

Listen, even if the Al Qaeda didn't exist, we would have to invent them.

Without enemies, how in the hell do you justify a $500B defense budget. Ooops, I mean $700B. The nice thing about terrorists is, you can always define more!!
posted by Twang at 12:54 AM on July 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


"At Most 50 to 100 Al Qaeda in Afghanistan"

Listen, even if the Al Qaeda didn't exist, we would have to invent them.


You're not suggesting Emmanuel Goldstein the Taliban is some kind of honey-pot, are you?
posted by From Bklyn at 1:47 AM on July 5, 2010


Granted, I think they let the issue slip through their lubed up fingers when that congressman apologized to BP for all the trouble the government put them through. I mean, that's like

apologizing when Dick Cheney shoots you in the face.
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 10:25 AM on July 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


The crux of our endless War on Terror
posted by homunculus at 11:54 AM on July 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


Listening to Morning Edition today, it sounds like Steele may be on the way out. He got just a little bit too off message there, forgetting that war is the only legitimate function of gummint to a Republican, even a war that's being led by a Democratic administration. From the sound bites they played, it seems like the party elders are casting around for a replacement.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 3:56 PM on July 7, 2010


Rush Limbaugh: Obama Created Recession As 'Payback' For Racism
posted by homunculus at 4:01 PM on July 7, 2010


Limbaugh, you fuck.

It's infuriating to me, just how skilled that oily, cigar-chomping, Oxycontin-popping sex tourist of an unrepentant racist (and his party) is at framing (in the Lakoff sense).

Get hung up on 'payback,' and you'll just be handing him 'Obama's recession.'
posted by box at 4:24 PM on July 7, 2010


Limbaugh doesn't have to be skilled to preach to his audience. If you got past "Obama created the recession" without rolling your eyes at its utter ahistorical falsity, it's too late for you. "Payback for racism" is just icing on the stupid cake. But his audience eats it up and repeats it without even the tiny sliver of critical thought needed to explode the argument. You know, like considering that minorities are being hurt by the recession more than whites.

It doesn't take any skill at framing to run those kind of lines, all it takes is a big bottle of hillbilly heroin to shut your conscience up.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 5:02 PM on July 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Those guys loved Obama's real estate bubble while it lasted.
posted by Artw at 5:02 PM on July 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Andrew Bacevich on Bush vs. Obama: "The question demands to be asked: Who is more deserving of contempt? The commander-in-chief who sends young Americans to die for a cause, however misguided, in which he sincerely believes? Or the commander-in-chief who sends young Americans to die for a cause in which he manifestly does not believe and yet refuses to forsake?"
posted by homunculus at 6:38 PM on July 8, 2010


And which one would Obama be, then? Seems like some real strawman action to me there.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 6:52 PM on July 8, 2010


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