the blog of DC Drinking Liberally

March 21, 2006

Calling All Bloggers


It’s time to sharpen your metaphorical blogging pencils. And point them in the general direction of the WaPo’s latest blogchild, Red America.

This is a blog for the majority of Americans.

Since the election of 1992, the extreme political left has fought a losing battle. Their views on the economy, marriage, abortion, guns, the death penalty, health care, welfare, taxes, and a dozen other major domestic policy issues have been exposed as unpopular, unmarketable and unquestioned losers at the ballot box.

I think Jim Brady may finally have found a blogger so hacky that Katherine Graham will be obliged to return from the dead to point out Domenech’s many errors in substance, not to mention tone.

(I spotted 3 logical fallacies in his lede. Can you find them all? Here’s a handy guide to common fallacies in case you want to play.)

A blog for the majority of Americans? You don’t say. You don’t by any chance have anything to back that assertion up, do you? Polls I’ve seen, like this USA Today/CNN/Gallup poll, say that what the current administration will most be remembered for is the invasion of Iraq, and they believe it was a mistake. Domenech may, of course, reason that anyone who thinks the Iraq invasion was a mistake isn’t an actual American. Under this logic (and no other) could he say that a majority of Americans believe as he does.

Yes, Domenech goes on to criticize the Republicans in power as “fat and happy on pork contracts”, but therein lies a dilemma: if these were the guys who got elected, but they don’t represent “true conservative” values, then on what basis are you saying that the country is trending conservative? Do you mean that if you add together the “true conservatives” with the “fat and happy on pork” people then (according to your fuzzy math) you get a majority? Maybe what the country wants is more of the “fat and happy on pork” people? Maybe they don’t want you at all?

But then, I’m not one to argue that a majority opinion represents truth or justice, though it may represent the American way. Take for instance, this poll where a majority of Americans believed there was an Iraq/9.11 link. Remember that? Turns out, the majority was wrong. Here’s my point: it may be that a majority of people voted for Bush in 2004. If they did, then, like the forementioned poll, they were wrong.

That brings me to another question for les Americains Rouges: if you really believe that your superior values are what wins you elections, then how come you needed to:

Shouldn’t conservatives be able to just explain their values, and people would say: conservatives really do have superior values. I’m going to vote conservative. They fact that conservatives feel the need to umh… help the democratic process along suggests to me they may not be so sure their values are all that popular.

December 31, 2005

Poor, Oppressed Leaders


Matthew Yglesias writes about Democratic hawks and their persecution complex (exemplified by Marshall Wittman’s latest gift to those looking for bipartisan support for Republican talking points):

Progressive Iraq hawks are hardly some beleaguered minority. They compose maybe ten percent of the population at most, but count among their number the Democrats’ 2004 presidential nominee, their 2004 vice presidential nominee, the last Democrat to serve as president, the minority leader of the United States Senate, the minority whip in the House, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the leading candidate for the 2008 presidential nomination, the ranking members of the House Armed Services and International Relations Committees, a majority of Senate Democrats, the country’s most prominent foreign affairs columnist, and all of the leading candidates for foreign policy jobs in the hypothetical Kerry administration.

Worse, despite having presided over the Democratic defeats in 2002 and 2004, these DLC types still blame their powerless leftish opponents and say they need to be given the reins in 2006 and 2008.

The “Republican wing of the Democratic Party” becomes more like the real Republicans every day. Now they’re replicating their own miniature version of the Republican Party’s long-term complaint that although they control the presidency, both houses of Congress, and much of the judiciary, they remain an unfairly oppressed minority.

December 27, 2005

Spying Spin


The Shrub is fighting for the political life of the GOP, the Libertarian wing of the party now up in arms over the revelations regarding the Warrantless wiretapping (to say nothing about how most Liberals feel). I believe he is mounting three defenses, all three based on a series of “of course” conclusions that when looked at from beginning to end, are pretty damn ridiculous. What I like to characterize as “weasel words.” It’s interesting when people who claim to believe in strict construction of the Constitution interperet it so freely - and even more interesting when they interpret the laws with an even more cavalier disregard for consequences.

[Crossposted at Stealthbadger.net]

December 13, 2005

The CEO President


Via Talking Points Memo, I saw this Houston Chronicle article about Dubya’s buddy “Kenny Boy” Lay:

Ken Lay declared his innocence, demonized his accusers and asked ex-employee “truth sayers” to rally ’round him for his trial, in a luncheon speech today. […]

The former chairman of Enron told the sold-out crowd of about 500 at the Houston Forum that Enron was a great company and would still be great if not for the illegal conduct of a few — namely ex-CFO Andrew Fastow and his protege Michael Kopper, who Lay said committed “despicable and criminal deeds.”

We did trust Andy Fastow and sadly, tragically, that trust turned out to be fatally misplaced,” he said. Lay said it was the misdeeds of Fastow and cohorts, hidden from Lay, that led to the company’s 2001 bankruptcy and the dissolved dreams of thousands of employees. […]

Flanked on the podium by Texas and U.S. flags, and a gold and red-themed Christmas tree, Lay read from a prepared text in which he attacked the Justice Department for prosecuting the accounting firm Arthur Andersen, destroying the company and then dropping the case. He said the prosecutors have been attempting to criminalize normal business practices.

So Lay is blaming all his troubles on underlings (essentially claiming that he was incompetent, not evil) and decrying a movement in the Justice Department to “criminalize” normal actions. Doesn’t that remind you of George W. Bush and today’s Republican Party? Does the culture of corruption that has infested government have its roots in the boardrooms of big corporations?

December 7, 2005

How’d That Happen?


It’s been a few days at least since we’ve beaten up on the Washington Post, but Majikthise called my attention to an odd Post headline: “Cunningham Friends Baffled By His Blunder Into Bribery”. The article tells the heart-warming story of Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham (R-CA), a likable guy known to make the occasional racist or anti-gay comment, who somehow found himself accepting $2 million in bribes. As Majikthise says,

Blundering into bribery. Don’t you hate it when that happens? You’re at a party, having a good time, and the next thing you know you’ve accepted a 42-foot yacht?

The Post story is a weird mix of condemnation and excuse making, but one thing’s for sure — there’s absolutely no suggestion that Cunningham’s troubles might be connected to any other Republicans. Not, for example, Rep. Virgil Goode (R-VA), whose largest campaign contributor is MZM, the same defense contractor that got Cunningham into trouble, as Waldo Jaquith details. And certainly not Katherine Harris (R-VA), our friend Richard Pombo (R-CA), or the other Republicans who’ve benefited from MZM’s generosity (see Jane Hamsher at firedoglake).

December 6, 2005

Right-Wing Talking Points du Jour


One of the themes I notice as I glance through the websites of our colleagues on the right, is that the MSM (that’s the Mainstream Media, if you don’t know, which the right believes to exclusively pander to the promotion of liberalism, failed tax-and-spend rhetoric, bloated governments, and Hillary Clinton) is being mean. The MSM, so the accusation goes, is filtering out all the good news about the economy. Occasionally, the MSM slips up and lets a little good news out, but they have to say something mean right afterwards.

Like this bit from the NYT:

Productivity rose at its fastest pace in two years in the third quarter, far more quickly than earlier predicted, as output rose and labor costs fell, the government reported today.

As a measure of how much the economy produced per hour of work, business productivity rose 4.7 percent outside the farming sector from July to September, compared with an earlier reading of 4.1 percent, the Labor Department reported. Real hourly compensation, which adjusts wages and other benefits for inflation, fell 1.4 percent, unchanged from previous estimates.

See? They could have just said productivity rose, validating trickle-down Bushanomics, but instead, they have to point out that wages fell. The liberal media is so mean. Whine, rinse, and repeat.

Meanwhile, the cost of living here in the District is not falling. Take this WaPo article from November:

The report, commissioned by the Fannie Mae Foundation, cited indicators that even people with good jobs are finding it harder to secure an affordable place to live. And it is not only the cost of a house that has gone up: D.C. rents have risen more sharply than those in the area overall. One reason is supply. In the first half of this year, 2,500 apartment units were converted to condominiums, triple the number for all of 2004.

Though home sales have slowed in recent weeks, the report said it is unlikely that home prices will drop enough to enable many more lower- or moderate-income families to buy. More likely, it said, would be a stagnation that would soften high-end real estate prices for a while.

So, tell me. What part of salaries falling while housing costs soar out of control are our friends on the right missing?

November 7, 2005

Pombo Watch


This past Saturday, a few dozen Sierra club members, local citizens, and environmentalists gathered on scenic Theodore Roosevelt Island, located on the Potomac between Foggy Bottom and and Arlington, VA. One person was conspicuously absent, however, Rep Richard Pombo (R-CA). Saturday’s rally may not have been held in Pombo’s “honor” so much as to point out the danger that Pombo’s actions hold towards the environment. From drilling in the Arctic reserve, to oil rigs on the coast of Virginia, to gutting the Endangered Species Act, Pombo seems to relish his role as the Anti-Environmental Prince of Darkness.

I asked one of the speakers, what in his opinion motivated Pombo. What could move him to draft a bill to sell off national park land, including the very park where we met? The speaker nodded his head, understanding how puzzling Pombo’s behavior was. “Power,” he said. “Money and power.”

“You don’t think it’s personal?” I probed.
“Pombo has been well trained to make it look like that.” While the speaker didn’t mention a certain exterminator from Texas, one whose antics leave one puzzling over how much is personal, how much is ham-handed acting, Tom Delay came unbidden to mind.

October 28, 2005

A Cancer On the Presidency


It’s hard to come up with something new and relevant on the Libby indictiment. Still, I’ll give it a shot. On the News Hour, David Brooks said (from my notes, no transcript yet) “the indictment shows this was the work of a lone individual. There is no cancer on the presidency.”

There’s a couple of things that need pointing out. First off, the lack of an indictment, does not a lack of a conspiracy make.

Second, Libby was just one of the chief staffers who came up with the smear job on Wilson (Josh Marshall has scooped me on this, darn him):

22. On or about July 12, 2003, LIBBY flew with the Vice President and others to and from Norfolk, Virginia, on Air Force Two. On his return trip, LIBBY discused with other officials aboard the plane what Libby should say in response to certain pending media inquiries, including questions from Time reporter Matthew Cooper.

23. On or about July 12, 2003, in the afternoon, LIBBY spoke by telephone to Cooper, who asked whether LIBBY had heard that Wilson’s wife was involved in sending Wilson on the trip to Niger. LIBBY confirmed to COoper, without elaboration or qualification, that he had heard this information too. [ed: we now know that Karl Rove was Cooper’s primary source.]

Under ordinary circumstances you could write off the coordination of a press response as “politics as usual.” In the case of Libby this meant, as was confirmed today, a systematic effort to smear Joe Wilson. With the understanding that it meant exposing the identity of a covert agent. And make no mistake, the indictment makes it clear that a.) Valerie Plame was a covert agent. b.) Libby exposed her identity. c.) this isn’t the end of the story.

The final point I’d like to make is that Brooks’s statement misquotes history a bit. John Dean didn’t say “there’s a cancer on the presidency.” What he said is more reminiscent of the current situation:

I think, I think that, uh, there’s no doubt about the seriousness of the problem we’re, we’ve got. We have a cancer–within, close to the Presidency, that’s growing. It’s growing daily. It’s compounding, it grows geometrically now because it compounds itself.

I do get a strong whiff of history repeating itself here.

October 26, 2005

Found On The Corner


Whenever I try to imagine The Corner office, it looks like the proverbial monkeys at typewriters, punching their keyboards randomly at full speed, in the hopes that through sheer quantity they might accidentally write Hamlet.

Though, occassionally they come up with some useful info. Take this gem from K-Lo:

I WANT TO BELIEVE… [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
…that Harriet Miers was so badly vetted that no one in the White House decision-making bubble knew she ever uttered this sentence, as she did in that 1993 Dallas women execs speech: “The ongoing debate continues surrounding the attempt to once again criminalize abortions or to once and for all guarantee the freedom of the individual women’s right to decide for herself whethere she will have an abortion.”

Very interesting. Yes, that was from 12 years ago, but it still is interesting.

On the other hand, the Cornerians are hatching some advanced right-wing talking points about how if Fitzgerald’s probe were fair, then he’d also have to indict Joe Wilson for leaking the conclusion of his visit to Niger.

Happy hacking, boys and girls.

Where Are the Slimers?


Mark Kleiman wonders why the smear machine that attacked Joseph Wilson, Richard Clarke, and other prominent critics of the Bush administration hasn’t kicked into gear and started telling us about how Brent Scowcroft and Lawrence Wilkerson are actually partisan Democrats, members of MoveOn, or some other sort of Al Qaida sympathizer. After all, both men have recently had harsh words about Our Leader, so they must be discredited.

I think the reason is that the smear machine is fully occupied in preparing for renewed smears against Wilson and for its biggest smear yet, a campaign against prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald (assuming he indicts people in the White House). Of course, smearing Fitzgerald is a bit harder when Bush himself is saying such complimentary things about the guy, as Tucker Carlson explains:

I think politically [the Bush administration] did very much the wrong thing by saying nice things about Patrick Fitzgerald some months ago — “he’s a man of integrity,” “he’s a good guy,” “we have complete confidence he’s going do the right thing,” etc., etc. — making it now almost impossible for the White House, even on background, to attack the guy.

Kleiman has a theory about Bush’s statements on Fitzgerald, too.


DCDL is a blog by Washington, DC-area members of Drinking Liberally. Opinions expressed are the writers’, not those of Drinking Liberally, which provides no funding or other support for this blog.

Upcoming Events

See information on the revived DC chapter (2012).

DCDL Member Blogs

DCDL Speaker Links

DC Links

Liberal (Mostly) Blogs

Liberal Groups

Internal Links



Drinking Liberally

Recent Comments

Recent Posts


Search Blog



later entries • earlier entries

44 queries. 0.592 seconds