Saturday, July 29, 2006

Evening Thread


More Instawanker

Josh Marshall responds here. And as Greg reminds me, Reynolds has done something similar to me a few times by suggesting that I'd advocate the nuking of Iran. The basis for that was back when Iran was frightening all the cowardly warbloggers I attempted to explain that if Iran got a nuke they'd be rather unlikely to use one as if they did they would cease to exist. This was not an endorsement of such a policy, though I do endorse the policy of everyone believing it's our policy as I think given we have all these nice nuclear missiles it's useful to actually exploit their deterrent effect. I hope we're never tested on what our actual response to nuclear terrorism is no matter who is to blame, both because I hope nuclear terrorism never happens to us and becaue I don't really want to have to actually consider what the appropriate response to such an event would be.

America the Fringe

52% of people want all troops out of Iraq in a year.

What percent of members of the punditocracy have expressed that opinion?

Who's elitist and out of touch?

Holy Crap

If Ad Nags is correct then the blogofascists have taken over the New York Times.

[The New York Times, in an editorial published on Sunday, endorsed Mr. Lamont over Mr. Lieberman, arguing that the senator had offered the nation a “warped version of bipartisanship” in his dealings with President Bush on national security.]

(tip from P O'Neill)

Mickey Kaus is still alive?

I had no idea.

Afternoon Thread


Wanker of the Day

Glenn Reynolds.

Don't Talk About the War

Perhaps Marshall Wittman can explain this one to me, if he can pull himself away from his John McCain shrine for a moment. Lieberman, as those in the Lieberman wing of the Democratic party will tell us, is the kind of Democrat we should embrace in large part because of his hawkish or muscular or visionary or whatever we're calling it this week foreign policy. To win, Democrats need to embrace such foreign policy leaders.

Fine, fine. But if that's the case, why won't Joe talk about the war? If he's the foreign policy leader we're supposed to embrace, why won't he, you know, lead on the damn issue?

I just don't understand.


It really could be the perfect storm hitting the economy. The housing market, combined with extravagant federal government spending, has really kept the economy going these past few years. It's done so both by providing a lot of construction jobs and also by providing people with easy credit as they pull equity out of their homes. With the construction market slowing down there are going to be a lot of out of work skilled workers whose skills won't necessarily get them jobs in other sectors. With stagnant or falling home prices people won't have that easy credit anymore. And, with ARMs and no interest loans set to reset in a massive wave soon...


Exterminating the Brutes

And we get back there again. Every time they worry they're going to lose their little game of risk, they dream of dropping a basketball on the board to end the game.

Morning Thread


Friday, July 28, 2006

Joe Sez: Screw Labor?

I almost mentioned this in the post below but then I thought the little thingy to the left of the top star might be the union bug (graphic wasn't good enough quality to tell for sure). If it isn't, then those unions should consider rescinding their endorsements.

It's a small thing, but an easy thing. An expected thing.

Late Night


So, Lieberman's basing his entire campaign on how much the Clenis likes him. Aside from the obvious irony given Lieberman's past I suppose we should enjoy a candidate trying to win a race based on the amount of manlove he's received.

Friday Cat Blogging

Wanker of the Day

Lee Siegel, a New Republic writer who blames bloggers for the ongoing war in Iraq.

I killed JFK, too. True story.


I've been out all day so maybe I'ved missed it, but I don't see that any of the new stories have pointed out why Dean would've compared Harris to Stalin. Josh Marshall says he's confused. It's obviously a reference to the (possibly apocryphal?) Stalin quote:

It is enough that the people know there was an election. The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything.

Anyway, it's generally bad form to compare people to mass murdering dictators, but that clearly wasn't the point of the comparison...

Fresh Thread

Some times real life crap takes longer than it's supposed to...

Atrios Memorial Thread

Atrios must have been one of those who according to Dear Leader are "on the TV screens" and "ask questions about, well, you know, this, that or the other."

So they've taken him to GITMO or something.

Until he returns...


Morning Thread

Enjoy. Light posting until a bit later.



Whatever the reason, the fact is that the Bush administration continues to be remarkably successful at rewriting history. For example, Mr. Bush has repeatedly suggested that the United States had to invade Iraq because Saddam wouldn’t let U.N. inspectors in. His most recent statement to that effect was only a few weeks ago. And he gets away with it. If there have been reports by major news organizations pointing out that that’s not at all what happened, I’ve missed them.

It’s all very Orwellian, of course. But when Orwell wrote of “a nightmare world in which the Leader, or some ruling clique, controls not only the future but the past,” he was thinking of totalitarian states. Who would have imagined that history would prove so easy to rewrite in a democratic nation with a free press?

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Late Night



From Roy:

These guys have been having it both ways for so long that simple logical connections no longer even occur to them. The punchline is, many of them are law professors.

Afternnoon Thread



One of the enduring mysteries of our times is why people who have shown either no leadership, or even absolutely disastrous judgment, on foriegn policy issues are still given credit for being important foreign policy voices. One can find many partial explanations for this phenomenon, but even those can't explain the odd case of Joe Lieberman.

The war in Iraq is the issue of our time. Where's Lieberman on the issue? What does he think we should do about it?

On his campaign website he offers no information.



What does it mean to be serious in Joe Lieberman Weekly land?

Reason for Optimism

This poll of competitive House districts does provide a bit of good news for the day. Most encouraging is that even when the candidates' actual names are provided the numbers are almost the same as for the generic congressional ballot.

But, they can't do it alone. Please consider giving to one of these fine candidates or any of your personal favorites.

Local people can attend an inexpensive fundraiser for Patrick Murphy today.

Lonely Joe

I don't think Lieberman's going to get Rummy's job. From what I understand there were serious negotiations between the camps in late 2004 about that, though why they fell apart I do not know. I just can't see Bush giving him the job now and as much as I don't like Lieberman I can't imagine he'd really be stupid enough to take it.

All By Themselves

I hope Democrats read these poll numbers.


In the forgotten war:

BAGHDAD - The toll from a car bombing and mortar attacks in central Baghdad climbed to at least 27 people killed and 101 wounded, Ministry of Interior sources said.

Wanker of the Day

Andrew Sullivan.

Morning Thread


Smart Republicans

They know the dynamic:

The White House sees the risk but is banking, in part, on the Democrats' history of not capitalizing on such moments.

As long as we continue taking the sage advice from Christian Coalition-Heritage Foundation-McCain Staffer Marshall Wittman they can continue their restful sleep.

Apocalypse Now

When will CNN air the views of the flying spaghetti monster?

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Late Night

Party on.

Evening Thread



Who amongst us does not enjoy a little nookie in the car?

Norm Coleman Sr., the father of Minnesota's junior senator, was cited for lewd and disorderly conduct Tuesday after police officers reported finding him engaged in a sex act in a car near a pizzeria on E. 7th St. in St. Paul.

A police report said officers were called to Savoy Inn at 7:40 p.m. to investigate a report that two people were having sex in a car. The police report stated a woman, Patrizia Marie Schrag, 38, also was cited for lewd and disorderly conduct.

The elder Coleman, 81, raised his son in New York City. He has since moved to Minnesota, and public records indicate he lives in St. Paul.

Sen. Coleman issued the a statement after learning of the citation against his father.

"I love my father dearly," the senator said. "I do not condone his actions or behavior, and I am deeply disturbed by what I have learned. He clearly has some issues that need to be dealt with, and I will encourage him to seek the necessary help."

I think his issue is not waiting until sunset.


Bush still bouncing at 35%.

Clenis For Lieberman

Well, if Lieberman wins he'll owe it to Clinton.

Contact people you know in Connecticut.

My Hands Are Tied

As Froomkin notes, even the White House is starting to acknowledge that our troops are just caught in the middle of the crossfire.

President Bush and national security adviser Stephen Hadley yesterday for the first time publicly acknowledged the momentous shift in the role for U.S. troops in Iraq, from fighting terrorists to trying to suppress religious violence.

This sea change was described in such understated terms that it was eclipsed by news about the crisis in Lebanon. Bush described a change in tactics; Hadley called it a repositioning.

But it's a historic admission: That job one for many American troops in Iraq is no longer fighting al-Qaeda terrorists, or even insurgents. Rather, it is trying to quell an incipient -- if not already raging -- sectarian civil war, with Baghdad as ground zero.

Arguably, that's been the case for quite a while. But having the White House own up to it is a very big deal.

As things stand now, an overwhelming majority of the American public no longer supports Bush's handling of the war, which they think was a mistake in the first place. A majority wants American troops to start coming home soon. What unqualified support there is for the war seems to come from people who believe it is central front in the war on terror.


Hey, we've found an actual example of undisclosed blogola, unsurpisingly from a right winger who was oh so upset by the fully disclosed relationship between Kos and the Dean campaign.

Full disclosure: I met Patrick once.

Colbert's Revenge

I was just about to download and convert this but somebody's already done it.

Baba Booey

Stern and the gang on Lieberman.

The Big Gay Clenis

As we always must remind people, the problem isn't that an Ann Coulter type person exists, the problem is that respectable news outlets treat her as a serious news person. Watch Amy Robach take very seriously Coulter's theories about Bill Clinton's sexuality.

Lies and the Lying Liars

Oooh, just feel that straight talk from Saint McCain.

Call McCain's offices and ask them if his ignorance or deception about this issue means he's unqualified to lead. Ask if he intends to apologize to those who smeared.

241 Russell Senate Ofc. Bldg.
United States Senate
, Washington DC 20510
Phone: (202) 224-2235
Fax: (202) 228-2862

5353 North 16th Street
Suite 105
Phoenix, Arizona 85016
Phone: (602) 952-2410
Fax: (602) 952-8702

4703 S. Lakeshore Drive
Suite 1
Tempe, Arizona 85282
Phone: (480) 897-6289
Fax: (480) 897-8389

407 W. Congress Street
Suite 103
Tucson, Arizona 85701
Phone: (520) 670-6334
Fax: (520) 670-6637


Two and a half more years of all Republican rule is a rather grim prospect. Consider making a contribution to one of these fine candidates or whoever your favorite happens to be.

And, a reminder that local folk can attend an inexpensive fundraiser with Patrick Murphy, Thursday at 5:30 at the Happy Rooster at 16th and Sansom.


I'd like to see some of that great leadership on foreign policy that Democratic foreign policy leader Joe Biden keeps telling Democrats they need to provide. I recognize that Democrats are out of power, so that leadership is going to mostly be rhetorical and political leadership. It's going to provide the foundation for actual leadership if Democrats ever manage to obtain power. A good start would be to begin to make people understand - and shift the terms of the debate - to the place where it needs to be, in reality. In that reality, Iraq is not going to "turn a corner." Things are not, as Joe Lieberman keeps claiming, getting better. It's a disaster.

People need to understand what Matt Stoller understands:

It's quite clear that Iraq is the signature issue, not just for this cycle, but for decades. It is a mess that we must manage, and it will probably be messy for a long time, and that mess is going to come home in many unexpected and dangerous ways.

I still don't know why we invaded Iraq. I still don't know what the architects hoped to achieve, or how they hoped to achieve those goals. Like The Editors I don't have any idea how to unshit the bed, but it isn't just going to go away.

Henley writes:

Starting with the buildup to this needless war in Summer 2002, it’s been four years of waste, folly and lies. And failure. Lots and lots of failure. Now like some athritic slots junkie the remaining rump of American hawkery dreams of the one more war that will make good their losses to this point. Of course, they’re really our losses. Compounding.

Do What You Can

The most important thing most of you can do at this point, if you wish to support Ned Lamont, is to contact everyone you know in Connecticut and make sure they know about the primary. Even if your friends and family are moderately plugged into the political world it's quite possible that an August 8th primary just isn't really on their radar. You don't even necessarily have to try to sell them on Lamont, just please let them know that the primary is happening.

You can do it your own way, or you can use this handy tool from the Lamont campaign which will help you follow up.

It's gonna come down to turnout at this point.

Conason on Lieberman

Sums it up in one line:

He has left the reality-based community for the never-land of neo-conservatism—and if he loses, that will be why.

Morning Thread


Tuesday, July 25, 2006


Was out seeing the Dixie Chicks this evening. Was quite an enjoyable show, good musicians and surprisingly good sound for an arena.

Not much politics, but they strolled on stage to the sounds of "Hail to the Chief" and began the encore with Travelin' Soldier.

Late Night


BoBo's World

Phoenix, AZ edition.

The Editors Speak

Finally somebody gets it right so I don't have to bother to try.

I’ve said nothing about war in Lebanon or Ethiopia because I have nothing to add, and also because - as you may or may not be aware - the United States is actually involved in a hugely bloody war right now, and this is more of a pressing concern to me personally. I don’t know the secret formula for unshitting any of these beds - I promise I wouldn’t be shy if I did - but I currently only have to sleep in one of them; and, as it turns out, that’s the one bed where I actually have some miniscule chance of influencing the situation. So that’s my concern.

They Write Letters

Keith Olbermann writes to Romenesko:
From KEITH OLBERMANN: Subject -- Response to Ailes. "Over the line?" Where was Roger Ailes when Bill O'Reilly defended the Nazi SS stormtroopers from Malmedy in World War II? The SS shot 84 American POW's there in 1944, and three different times in the last year, Bill called has called those dead American heroes war criminals. I guess there is no line at Fox News.

Wanker of the Day

Lying freak Tom Coburn.

The Only Endorsement Ned Needs

Baba Booey's gonna vote for Lamont.

Tweety Gone Wild

Good Tweety lets loose on Imus.

Mystery Senate Candidate

Word is...Michael Steele.

Bush Style

Lieberman even runs his campaign rallies Bush Style.


Some days it's enough to drive one to drink.

Meta Boo Boo

What Bowers says. Stop it.

Big Dog Disco

I don't know what motivated Clinton to actively campaign for Lieberman, but I think Tom Schaller's engaging in a bit of wishful thinking to imagine he did it in exchange for Lieberman promising not to run on the Lieberman for Lieberman ticket if he loses the primary. I suppose it's possible Lieberman made the promise, but he already made and seemingly broke that promise to other senators. If he pulled petitions to run and is now changing his mind then he made a tremendous campaign blunder.

It would have made sense for Joe to float rumors about running as an independent for a couple of weeks and then instead of announcing that he was pulling petitions give a stirring tribute to the amazing wonderfulness of the Democratic party. He could've said that he's had to ignore his advisors who are begging him to make the jump because he just can't imagine running as anything but a Democrat, blah blah blah. It would've put a stop to the basic Lamont campaign narrative/momentum which had for weeks been built around Joe jumping ship.

But Joe couldn't do that, and now I imagine he's committed to his course.

Guess the Mystery Republican

Tom Kean, perhaps?

Cry of the Chickenhawk

It'd be funny if we weren't ruled by these morons.


Feeling that old time Bush bounce.

PRINCETON, NJ -- A new USA Today/Gallup poll finds 37% of Americans approving of the way Bush is handling his job as president and 59% disapproving. Despite many extraordinary events dominating the news over the past weeks -- including the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hezbollah in Lebanon and Bush's high-visibility trip to Europe -- this slight drop from the 40% approval rating measured earlier in the month is not statistically significant and falls within the margin of error between the two surveys. The current 37% rating is similar to his average approval rating of 37% for all of June.

(via pony boy)


Like every other sentient being on the planet I'm rather confused by our policies towards Pakistan. We're generally led to believe that Bin Laden is hanging out there along with some of his pals. It's a dictatorship with an unclear line of succession if that dictator ever accidentally gets in the way of an assassin's bullet. They have an active nuclear program. Their top nuclear scientist was handing out nuclear technology like candy on Halloween. The country promptly pardoned him for this and we didn't say a thing. Oh, and for the Malkins of the world THEY'RE ALL BIG SCARY MUSLIMS.

And, just for fun, they have a new plutonium plant. And the Bush administration hid this fact from Congress. Probably for the best, as Republicans were busy readying legislation to make Bush Supreme Exalted Emperor of the Universe even though Alberto keeps telling them not to bother as the AUMF ALREADY made him Supreme Exalted Emperor of the Universe.

Morning Thread


Monday, July 24, 2006

Pinky and the Brain

Hey, something good to watch. Released tomorrow.

Monday Roof Deck Blogging

Ah, relaxation.

Fresh Thread



One thing that's been bugging me about Lieberman is that his knee-jerk retort to criticism on the Iraq war has been that he should be applauded because he's taken that stand on principle. At this point I'm not even sure what his stand is, or what principle motivates it, but nonetheless it's really quite bizarre. It's as if all he has to do is play the "principle" card and he's immune from criticism. I picture Joe as Dr. Evil trying to shut up his son, but instead of saying "shhh" he's saying "principle!" Lieberman's got a whole bag of principle with your name on it! Any time you criticize Joe he just utters "principle!" as if it trumps everything.

Maybe it's those principles voters have a problem with.

"Short Ride"

Uh, is Joe really telling people he didn't make that comment?

Silly Kevin

Wishes ARE ponies! If you would only clap louder, troops would magically appear...



BAGHDAD, July 24 (Reuters) - Iraq's morgues are overflowing and 100 civilians a day are killed in communal violence, but official statistics tell only part of the story of a slide into civil war -- for the rest, just listen to ordinary Iraqis.

President George W. Bush will hear the Iraqi prime minister, Nuri al-Maliki, in Washington on Tuesday tell him of plans for stemming bloodshed in Baghdad and repeat assurances he gave on Monday that Iraq is not at war with itself.

But talk to people at random in the capital and a picture quickly emerges of a city where virtually everyone has a friend, relative or neighbour who has fallen victim to the sectarian shootings and death threats that Washington accepts are now an even bigger threat than the 3-year-old Sunni insurgency.

Every one of 20 people who spoke to Reuters around their workplace in central Baghdad, from a variety of sects and ethnic groups, had a horror story of conflict touching their lives.

Eight had lost family or close friends to gunmen, four had suffered from kidnaps in their immediate circle, four knew people well who had received death threats. Four knew people well who had died in bombings. Some had themselves been threatened.

"It is Vietnam on Satellite Steroids"

So sez Howie, referring to the Israel/Lebanon conflict.

Why isn't Iraq "Vietnam on Satellite Steroids?" Howie provides a rather unconvincing explanation.


I do not think that word means what Andrea Mitchell thinks it means.


Lieberman's odd contempt for local media is representative of his larger problems. Note to Joe: the national and beltway press are not the people who are voting for you. Making nice with the locals is probably a good idea.


I'll be on KCPW in a couple of minutes.
...oops, thought that was live. Apparently not.

Going Local

Say hello to Colorado Media Matters.

Shiny and New

CNN's very proud of everyone they've sent to one corner of the Middle East.

I'd love to see a similar graphic for Iraq. Did you know that "fighting in the Middle East is in its 13th day?"

Patrick Murphy at the Happy Rooster

For local folks Patrick Murphy will be at the Happy Rooster on 16th street for a fundraiser on Thursday, from 5:30-7:00. I'll most likely be there as well.

You can RSVP here.

Light Them Up

There's probably no greater threat to America as we grew up understanding it than the bill Specter is pushing. David Broder and Barney Frank might find this rather shrill, but it is truly an attempt to destroy the foundations of our government.

Call your Senators. Call your Reps. The information is here. Let them know that people are paying attention. Let them know that people care.

Really, if there's one political phone call you make this year make this one. I know it often seems like this stuff achieves nothing, but it's a quiet (in Washington, anyway) week in July. Surprise them.


When's the last time one of CNN's top anchors went to Iraq?

32 members of the American military were killed there this month.


Wanker of the Day

Arlen Specter.

Remember, this was the man who was suggesting that Bill Clinton could be impeached a second time after he left office.

How the rules have changed.

Morning Thread


Sunday, July 23, 2006


The funny thing about blogging is all the great stuff I've totally forgotten. While looking for something entirely unrelated I came across this blast from the past from CBS.

Late Night

Please don't shoot anybody in the face.

Fresh Thread



Joe's gonna cry about this one:

Joe Lieberman and I have been friends and colleagues for 38 years. We ran for and won seats in the Connecticut legislature as a team of reformers in 1970. He was my state senator and I was his state representative. He rose to Senate majority leader as I became speaker of the House. With others, we formed the Caucus of Connecticut Democrats, a progressive coalition, to further the causes of peace in Vietnam and justice at home.


As Joe points out, his record on a number of issues, such as the environment, is good. But on the two biggest issues of our times, he is dead wrong.

His blind support of the Iraq war, begun illegally and a continuing catastrophe, is monstrous.

And his defense of an incompetent president, a vice president who fits the dictionary definition of fascism and an extremist administration that has perpetrated torture, illegal eavesdropping and a general shredding of the Constitution is insulting to the people who elected him in the first place.

Joe's constituency is not Bush and Cheney; it is the progressives and moderates, the blacks and Hispanics who gave him his start in politics. We feel he has betrayed us by becoming "Bush's favorite Democrat."

...listen to Ned play piano here.

They Write Letters

Kirt S. writes to the Washington Post.

A Process for Prisoners" speculated on how the Bush administration might work with Congress in response to the Supreme Court's decision in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld .

Unfortunately, the democratic process envisioned, wherein the executive branch works with the legislative branch to produce mutually agreeable legislation, has been repeatedly undermined through President Bush's use of "signing statements." With these, President Bush signs the law, then demonstrates his contempt for American democracy by asserting that he will not implement the legislation as written, but rather as he sees fit. My speculation is that President Bush will sign a Hamdan-related law giving him huge media coverage and a political victory; then he'll quietly issue a signing statement contradicting the law's intent, and that will receive scant coverage.

With that, he'll demonstrate that his contempt isn't limited to Congress but also includes the Supreme Court (and the media, which will miss the real story).


Easy Answers to Easy Questions

Gilliard asks:

What the fuck is Rice thinking, everyone is as stupid as Bush?


On Top of the World

Well, George Soros finally made good and built a lovely roofdeck for Mrs. Atrios and me.* After way too long dealing with contractors in our place I can now lead my blogofascist empire while gazing at the center city skyline. I can even see Billy Penn's butt from high atop Eschaton world headquarters.

*Troll bait. I rent. Our landlord, who is not named Soros, built the deck.

Time to set up the grill...mmm...lamb chops...

The Next Mayor

Here in Philadelphia we're about to experience a pretty fascinating wide open mayor's race. Lots of contenders, and nobody's putting any money on who's going to win. Just-resigned city councilman (the law says you can't hold the office and run for mayor simultaneously) Michael Nutter become the first to declare, and any more are expected to do the same.

For those who are interested in following it, the best resource I'm aware of is The Next Mayor, a joint project of the Committee of 70, WHYY, and the PDN.


There's much that's annoying about Joe Klein's latest, but even he is starting to get it just a little bit...

The real problem with Lieberman's position on Iraq isn't overweening civility, however. It is that he has abandoned his native moderation for utopian neoconservatism. His support for the invasion wasn't reluctant, nuanced or judicious; he saw a better world coming. Before the war, he told me that he hoped Saddam's fall would touch off a wave of democratic reform in the region. Given that the entire Middle East seems ready to collapse into chaos this summer, it might seem an appropriate time to revise or extend those remarks—to regret his naivete or defend his long-term vision or slam Bush for carelessly betraying that vision ... or something. But the Senator isn't doing that. Indeed, it sometimes seems his position is more reflexive than thoughtful. He still insists that progress is being made in Iraq. "What progress?" I asked. "There's an elected national-unity government," he said. "I don't want to overstate it, but we're beginning to reach out to the Sunni insurgency."

Sunday Talk Shows

Document the atrocities:

FOX NEWS SUNDAY (WTTG), 9 a.m.: U.N. Ambassador John R. Bolton ; House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.); Plácido Domingo , general director of the Washington National Opera.

THIS WEEK (ABC, WJLA): Will not air because of British Open golf coverage.

FACE THE NATION (CBS, WUSA), 10:30 a.m.: Israeli Ambassador Daniel Ayalon ; Syrian Ambassador Imad Moustapha ; Washington Post columnist David Ignatius .

MEET THE PRESS (NBC, WRC), 10:30 a.m.: White House Chief of Staff Joshua B. Bolten ; Washington Post staff writer Thomas E. Ricks .

LATE EDITION (CNN), 11 a.m.: Bolton ; Sens. Christopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.) and Richard G. Lugar (R-Ind.); Reps. Peter Hoekstra (R-Mich.) and Jane Harman (D-Calif.); Mohamad Bahaa Chatah , senior adviser to the Lebanese prime minister; Israeli Tourism Minister Isaac Herzog ; author Gary Berntsen .

Morning Thread


Over to You, Jonah

One does wonder if the current crop of Cornerites will feel the need to respond to Papa Bear Buckley's latest.

Buckley finds himself parting ways with President Bush, whom he praises as a decisive leader but admonishes for having strayed from true conservative principles in his foreign policy.

In particular, Buckley views the three-and-a-half-year Iraq War as a failure.

"If you had a European prime minister who experienced what we've experienced it would be expected that he would retire or resign," Buckley says.

Asked if the Bush administration has been distracted by Iraq, Buckley says "I think it has been engulfed by Iraq, by which I mean no other subject interests anybody other than Iraq. ... The continued tumult in Iraq has overwhelmed what perspectives one might otherwise have entertained with respect to, well, other parts of the Middle East with respect to Iran in particular."


"I think Mr. Bush faces a singular problem best defined, I think, as the absence of effective conservative ideology — with the result that he ended up being very extravagant in domestic spending, extremely tolerant of excesses by Congress, and in respect of foreign policy, incapable of bringing together such forces as apparently were necessary to conclude the Iraq challenge," Buckley says.

Asked what President Bush's foreign policy legacy will be to his successor, Buckley says "There will be no legacy for Mr. Bush. I don't believe his successor would re-enunciate the words he used in his second inaugural address because they were too ambitious. … So therefore I think his legacy is indecipherable"

Whatever one thinks Buckley - and sensible people don't think much of him - he at least has a bit of a brain. The only contemporary National Reviewer I'd say the same about is John Derbyshire, who while being a man with awesomely loathsome views is usually not an idiot.

Recent CW among certain circles has been that conservatives will try to rescuse conservatism from the clusterfuck of the Bush years by arguing that Bush was no conservative. That will happen to some degree, but it will mostly come from the slightly older conservative commentariat.

The slightly younger crowd had their adolescence in the Clinton years and came of age during the Bush years. This entire political movement has been about defending the actions of the Bush administration.