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Let's Avoid Jane's Law:

Jane's Law says,

Jane's Law: The devotees of the party in power are smug and arrogant. The devotees of the party out of power are insane.

It would sure be great if both halves of this were proven wrong. But at least I hope the people on my side work hard to prove wrong one of the halves.

Rooj (mail):
Here here! I sincerely hope that we can start down this path.
11.5.2008 1:09pm
Malvolio:
Clinton, a lucky man overall, was luckiest in his enemies. Maddened by the sheer effrontery of the Clintons' blithe public misdeed, they (we, I should say) were unable to appeal to the great central mass of people who watched the political process without much partisanship or indignation.

Some things to remember:

Yes, the media are in the tank for Obama and that's likely to continue. Deal with it, ideally cheerfully, but in any case, calmly.

Any real or putative wrongdoing by Obama in the past is just that, past. Did Obama's campaign get $300 million in illegal credit-card donations? Probably, but it doesn't matter, they got away with it. Move on.

Tu quoque is not much of a defense, and the, what, three, four Speakers of the House in a row who had to resign after pointing out the beam in Clinton's eye and being discovered to have motes in their own. Hold yourself and your allies to a higher standard than the public holds your opponent to.

Obama is very left-wing, absolutely the wrong man for the current situation, but he isn't a Communist, a Moslem, a foreigner, a liar, or a fool. He is the choice for leader of the majority of your compatriots and by that token if no other has earned your respect.
11.5.2008 1:13pm
EH (mail):
Jane's Law would seem to have been repealed some time in the last eight years, during which time pretty much everybody went insane.

Then again, "there's two kinds of people in the world, those who think there are two kinds of people and..."
11.5.2008 1:14pm
Ari (mail) (www):
From what I've seen, Republicans have thus far been remarkably respectful and conciliatory. Perhaps there is hope for this party yet!
11.5.2008 1:15pm
DangerMouse:
I don't get the quest for political power. Politics is only supposed to be a means to an end. The "game" that talking heads in Big Media and the politicians play regarding politics is really unseemly to me. They're only disappointed that their team either won or lost. They don't seem to care about the tangible effects of the election, like the Infanticide President's promise to sign as his first law an act that would ensure the murder of more babies than ever before.

I'd be completely happy with the Democrats in power if they weren't devoted to abortion, for instance, or devoted to a destructive tax policy designed to steal the wealth of the productive. Tribalism is really a terrible thing.
11.5.2008 1:20pm
Jestak (mail):
Since she blogs under her own name these days, shouldn't this now be known as "Megan's Law?"
11.5.2008 1:22pm
courtwatcher:
Eugene,
Agreed. I think you at the VC have been setting good examples on the red side (with the possible exception of Lindgren, who is going a bit off the deep end with his "corruption" accusations). And McCain's speech was wonderful.

But if you check out National Review online, you will sadly see less graciousness, and more wild accusations, though I will stop short of calling it "insanity" yet. On the blue side, I'm seeing far more elation and relief than smugness so far. But time will tell.
11.5.2008 1:26pm
Oren:

He is the choice for leader of the majority of your compatriots and by that token if no other has earned your respect.

Here here. I was very disappointed that the crowd at McCain's concession speech seemed to disagree with this sentiment. He was gracious and decent ("my president") and hopefully he can continue along that path.
11.5.2008 1:28pm
Hoosier:
nicedeb.files.wordpress.com/2008/05/ obama_poster_wright_160.gif
11.5.2008 1:29pm
Hoosier:
and by that token

"token"
11.5.2008 1:30pm
DangerMouse:
courtwatcher,

Obama is corrupt and his tainded donations allowed him to buy the election. That meme will be entrenched just as the left entrenched the idea that Bush was "selected not elected." It doesn't matter what the facts are, really.

I'm fine with that happening, if it means more opposition to Obama's infanticide policies, among others. Frankly, to me all the insanity rests with the minions of the Cult of Obama, who seem to think their Dear Leader can do no wrong. They're in for a shock.
11.5.2008 1:31pm
Nunzio:
I agree completely. And thoughtful people should avoid highly partisan media whether it be right or left, mainstream or not. National Review has become a joke and a circle jerk. So has the NYT.
11.5.2008 1:35pm
Nunzio:
I agree completely with Eugene, not with DangerMouse. Just to be clear.
11.5.2008 1:37pm
PDXLawyer (mail):
Here's hoping that Obama moves quickly to take over handling the financial crisis. The Bush team's response has been terrible, so Obama can hardly do worse.
11.5.2008 1:43pm
DiverDan (mail):
But what if a creative insanity is your only alternative to a deep depression over how the Country that you love has lost its way and sold its soul for glib but empty rhetoric and millions in illegal foreign campaign contributions? Come on, the voters have taken us through the looking glas, and now you want us to forego the tea party with the Dormouse and the Mad Hatter and avoid the Lobster Quadrille? EV, you are a party pooper of the first order!
11.5.2008 1:50pm
Blar (mail) (www):
If anything, hasn't this been the other way around the past few years?
11.5.2008 1:51pm
Constantin:
Are you kidding me re NRO being nasty? It's like everyone there except for Mark Levin is having a contest to see who can get the most misty-eyed over Obama's victory. I'm starting to wonder who a few of them voted for.
11.5.2008 2:00pm
The Buddha:

DangerMouse:

Frankly, to me all the insanity rests with the minions of the Cult of Obama, who seem to think their Dear Leader can do no wrong.


Mouse - You should try (as a thought experiment, if you can't muster the fortitude to do it for real) to assume the best intentions from everyone you interact with for a week or two.

You'll find it enlightening.
11.5.2008 2:01pm
elim:
uh, the party that engaged in the most reckless name calling and denigration of the president seen in recent history steadily gained power, won congressional seats and, now, the presidency. the scorn heaped upon bush as a murderer, fascist, hitler didn't hurt the electability of the left. it might help to explain why this successful strategy is a non-starter.
11.5.2008 2:06pm
Sarcastro (www):
elim so are you going to fight past insanity with current insaity? Cause that is a strategy I can see only ending in awesome!
11.5.2008 2:11pm
einhverfr (mail) (www):

Jane's Law: The devotees of the party in power are smug and arrogant. The devotees of the party out of power are insane.


How about:

Devotees of both parties, are smug, arrogant, and insane? ;-)
11.5.2008 2:11pm
Steve:
It's clear that Prof. Volokh does not read his own comment section, or he wouldn't even bother wishing.
11.5.2008 2:11pm
Oren:

I agree completely with Eugene, not with DangerMouse. Just to be clear.

There was no risk of confusion on that point.
11.5.2008 2:11pm
Michael Drake (mail) (www):
"But at least I hope the people on my side work hard to prove wrong one of the halves."

Which one?
11.5.2008 2:15pm
KeithK (mail):
This election didn't go the way I would've liked. That's life. Accept it, get over it. Don't stop fighting the good fight, opposing the policies that you think are wrong. But keep the focus on the policies, the ideas whenever possible. The beauty of democracy is that we get another shot in four years.
11.5.2008 2:18pm
rarango (mail):
While I agree completely with Eugene, I fear that hyper-partisanship has become the rule for far too many. Time will tell.
11.5.2008 2:18pm
einhverfr (mail) (www):
DangerMouse:

I agree with the concern about tribalism, but not so much with your views on abortion. I suppose I value my liberty more than my life.....
11.5.2008 2:19pm
elim:
I don't even discuss politics with co-workers or anyone other than my wife. I make a decent living and don't expect Obama to do permanent damage to the country-but I do expect him to do damage. I expect Illinois will actually benefit money wise, probably to the detriment of most places. again, politically, what was lost by the left becoming insane? is Kos regarded as illegitimate or has he been shunned? Andrew Sullivan has a pulpit and he's a loon.
11.5.2008 2:29pm
Constantin:
uh, the party that engaged in the most reckless name calling and denigration of the president seen in recent history steadily gained power, won congressional seats and, now, the presidency. the scorn heaped upon bush as a murderer, fascist, hitler didn't hurt the electability of the left. it might help to explain why this successful strategy is a non-starter.

I actually agree with this. I won't be the one doing it, but I can see why it is attractive for entirely pragmatic reasons that go beyond mere revenge.
11.5.2008 2:30pm
Snaphappy:
Except, of course, that Bush actually was a disaster of a President, as pretty much everyone (including McCain) agrees. So attacking the other side, when it has merit, works. When it's just because you think it's a good strategy, it could work, or people could just think you're nuts.
11.5.2008 2:39pm
elim:
even if a disaster, he wasn't a hitler (tried and true favorite of the left). the assassination fantasies of the lefties didn't get much criticism in the press (it was art, after all, to print stamps showing someone pointing a gun at bush's head). were these cretins derided as nuts or was what they did considered perfectly acceptable?
11.5.2008 2:50pm
R Gould-Saltman (mail):
AS one of the Left-side outlyers among the occasional posters here, I'm pleased that the Dems won, and I did not regard it as a "done deal" until 8:20 last night, when I got off a plane from Europe (vacation; I voted before I left) and heard what I initially thought couldn't be, but turned out to be, a concession speech, and a gracious and apparently sincere one. My respect for McCain increased substantially, after being someone diminished during the campaign. This is, for a number of reasons, a watershed moment for America.

Gloating? Well, no; I frankly can't imagine why anyone would want the damn job right now; the economy's as far in the dumpster as it's been in decades, and it's not clear that anything other than some significant cultural as well as political changes can result in a long-term fix. Much of the world's not too happy with us, though we may have changed that somewhat just by the symbolic value of the election.

The Republicans are in the position, now, of saying, for the next two, four, and eight years, "You thought YOU GUYS could fix it? Here you go, chump, GOOD LUCK WITH THAT!", so they are in a position, if anyone is, to do the gloating.

Do I think Obama's performance, nay, his every move, will be subject to a scrutiny by his opponents unlike that applied to any other recent holder of the office? Hell, yes. Would the standard be different for "just another white guy"? I think it wouldn't; it would more likely be "Is he doing any better than the schlemiel we just tossed out?"

So, it's gonna be interesting.


. . . and Doc? While I appreciate the request for some sanity, I don't hold out a lot of hope, based on what I've seen in the last 12 hours. Dangermouse isn't the only example, just an obvious one. Unfortunately, (I say this as a family law lawyer with time in the trenches) "Excuse me, could you please stop acting like a lunatic?" by itself, generally doesn't work. Often, even "Excuse me, could you please stop acting like a lunatic?" accompanied by repeated smacks to the forehead with a 2x4 doesn't work. . .
11.5.2008 2:51pm
Cornellian (mail):
Jane's Law: The devotees of the party in power are smug and arrogant. The devotees of the party out of power are insane.

Why can't you be all three at once?
11.5.2008 3:10pm
Houston Lawyer:
I agree to give Obama just as much slack as Bush's critics gave him.

Since the FEC is clearly disfunctional, just who has the authority to investigate the allegations that Obama took millions in illegal campaign contributions?

During the Bush administration, his critics at least controlled the press.
11.5.2008 3:13pm
LN (mail):
Houston Lawyer:

See Judith Miller, New York Times. The left-wing media tricked Bush into invading Iraq!
11.5.2008 3:18pm
DangerMouse:
R Gould-Saltman,

Sanity seems to be the new term for "compromise your principals to work with the Democrats." Does anyone seriously expect pro-lifers, for instance, to compromise with the Infanticide President? He has promised to sign as his first bill a law that would ensure more children are murdered by the abortion mills. Maybe he'll sign the law with a scalpel dipped in blood?

If it's insanity to continue to try to save innocent babies, then fine.
11.5.2008 3:19pm
pete (mail) (www):
Dangermouse, I dislike Obama and abortion as much as the next conservative, but your posts are repetetive and over the top and confirming that Jane's law is still true, at least as far as the opposition party is concerned. You are not winning any converts with your posts.

Please stop.
11.5.2008 3:32pm
A. Nony Mouse:

"Excuse me, could you please stop acting like a lunatic?" by itself, generally doesn't work. Often, even "Excuse me, could you please stop acting like a lunatic?" accompanied by repeated smacks to the forehead with a 2x4 doesn't work. . .


Pete, Dangermouse is a troll. He will never stop. Maybe he is terminator troll looking for the Sarah Conner of the left. Not even a 2x4 will help.
11.5.2008 3:43pm
theobromophile (www):
DangerMouse,

No, I don't think anyone who is opposed to abortion can even begin to believe that Obama's positions are anything short of horrific.

What we CAN do is avoid the insanity of the last twenty years, which has put the focus on the tactics and apparent chauvinism of pro-lifers, not the validity of the procedure itself. When pro-lifers shoot doctors, bomb clinics, and harass scared pregnant women, the entire position looks like the work of woman-hating control freaks, not those who care about human life.

No matter how I may snark about pushing Democratic economic policies now, to bring closer the day of reckoning when we see the abject failure of those policies in action, I will never do the same with abortion. The pro-life movement does not need my anger or sarcasm; it needs sane people who can articulate the position.
11.5.2008 3:46pm
DangerMouse:
pete, I don't expect to win converts on this blog. This place overwhelmingly favors abortion. But I'd like to hear your ideas that might get people on this blog to oppose abortion. They certainly won't listen to reason. It seems the better policy to me to just name it what it is: child murder. What do you propose?

Fundamentally, abortion is about denying the humanity of children. Reasoned arguments don't work in that sort of thing, because the denial is a willed effort to avoid reality, and logic has no place in such an environment. The only thing that can confront that willed denial is the overwhelming reality of what abortion is, to make obvious the insanity of their delusion. Even still, many people are comfortable living that lie and will go to their deaths proclaiming their love of humanity as they thinking nothing of the 50 million babies that have been murdered. I don't know how to reach those people. Do you?
11.5.2008 3:48pm
Oren:

I don't expect to win converts on this blog
...
I don't know how to reach those people. Do you?

Maybe you could accept that people disagree? Shocking, I know but I've actually heard that some people don't see eye to eye on this religious thing -- perhaps you could enlighten us with commentary about deicide?
11.5.2008 3:54pm
DangerMouse:
The pro-life movement does not need my anger or sarcasm; it needs sane people who can articulate the position.

If you really think you can make the point with reason, then you're a better man than I am. I don't think pro-choicers care about reason anymore. It seems to me that their denial is a willed effort.

Have you ever known anyone who heard all your arguments and said "Eureka! You're right! I'm now pro-life!" It's not that simple. I wish it were, because we'd win overwhelmingly.
11.5.2008 3:59pm
DangerMouse:
Maybe you could accept that people disagree? Shocking, I know but I've actually heard that some people don't see eye to eye on this religious thing

Take a similar issue: gay marriage. People who support gay marriage are confronted with a cultural hostility towards it that has its source in religion, male braggerty about their heterosexual prowess (found among certain communities more than others), tradition and respect of the family, etc. The response from those who are pro-gay marriage has been twofold: arguments against discrimination, and shame. When the arguments against discrimination fail, the shame argument is used.

Essentially, the pro-life position is faced with the same choices. We're confonted with a cultural hostility towards our position. The response from pro-lifers has been to talk about human rights and protecting the innocent from killing, and when that fails, shame and use of shocking imagry.

Which tactic do you think will be more successful?
11.5.2008 4:07pm
pete (mail) (www):

It seems the better policy to me to just name it what it is: child murder. What do you propose?


Saying nothing at all. Seriously. Calling him president infanticide will not only not convert people, it likely will make them more supportive by confirming their thoughts that their opponents are nuts. You are not only not helping your cause, you are hurting it by making abortion opponents sound like obsessive, unreasonable jerks who care more about feeling good about themselves then they do about solving the problem. Your posts look like you come here mainly to feel self righteous.

This is one of the very, very few blog comment sections where reasonable debate sometimes occurs. It is the only political blog comment section that I am willing to read and post to on a regular basis. Your posts do not contribute to that and I say that as someone who agrees with a large part of your ideology.

From the comment policy below:


Here's a tip: Reread your post, and think of what people would think if you said this over dinner. If you think people would view you as a crank, a blowhard, or as someone who vastly overdoes it on the hyperbole, rewrite your post before hitting enter.

And if you think this is the other people's fault -- you're one of the few who sees the world clearly, but fools wrongly view you as a crank, a blowhard, or as someone who overdoes it on the hyperbole -- then you should still rewrite your post before hitting enter. After all, if you're one of the few who sees the world clearly, then surely it's especially important that you frame your arguments in a way that is persuasive and as unalienating as possible, even to fools.


You are someone who "the fools" view as a crank who overdoes it on the rhetoric. If you can not write in a way that will convince them, you are better off not posting here. It is a big internet and lots of other sites will welcome your president infanticide rhetoric.
11.5.2008 4:11pm
DangerMouse:
pete,

Respectfully, this blog has the same quality of debate in its comments as any other. I don't think that people are convinced on this issue by reason. If anything, the tools of intelligence are only used more aggressively here to deny the reality of abortion. And I can't just say nothing - that's to acquiese in the face of Evil, which is exactly what they want.

What could possibly be said to convince them? Seriously. Give me a lead on that.
11.5.2008 4:15pm
Uh_Clem (mail):
@A. Nony Mouse:

Yep. Troll. No real person could possibly be that dense.
11.5.2008 5:33pm
wolfefan (mail):
Hi DangerMouse and all -

Sorry in advance for the long post.

I don't think you can say anything in this kind of a setting to convince anyone. So much of the question is a matter of faith, which by definition is not amenable to reason. Even for many Christians, the Bible is not entirely clear on exactly when life begins or what the penalty for prematurely ending that life prior to birth should be. Poetic language in the Bible about God knowing us before we were formed does not mean that someone who will not be born for 500 years is alive now.

Did you read the thread some weeks ago where Todd (I think) asked people about what had changed their views about abortion? It might give you some ideas about how people's views change, and the roles that faith and/or logic play in that.

I understand when you say that saying nothing is to acquiese in the face of evil. Do you view other sins/evils the same way? Is your silence on many other issues of interest in this community to be understood as acceptance of the evils inherent in them?

I think maybe the question is what your goal is. Is it to persuade to your point of view? Is it just to cry out in anger and pain? Is it to denounce evil? Is it to lessen the number of abortions and eventually have the practice declared illegal? All of those are different goals, and all require different means from those who seek them. The OT prophet who seeks to denounce evil in God's name uses different rhetorical techniques than Paul in the NT, who often seeks to persuade through reason and logic. Which are you, and what is the appropriate approach?

I think to persuade people on this issue is a long-term project which cannot be carried out on a board like this one. It involves building relationships of trust and respect, even if they are based solely on e-mail and the like. IMHO the point that pete and Theobromophile make is that you are not seeking to build relationships, so those who disagree with you have no reason to take you seriously. They do not believe that you will treat them with respect and integrity. That's fine if you're a prophet (but then expect to get stoned or sawn in half as they were!), but if as you say you want to persuade, you'll need to be willing to invest the time to develop the relationship.

Just my 2 cents FWIW - best regards.
11.5.2008 8:52pm
theobromophile (www):
If you really think you can make the point with reason, then you're a better man than I am. I don't think pro-choicers care about reason anymore. It seems to me that their denial is a willed effort.

Have you ever known anyone who heard all your arguments and said "Eureka! You're right! I'm now pro-life!" It's not that simple. I wish it were, because we'd win overwhelmingly.

Well, I'm never going to be a better man than you, because I'm a woman. Second of all, I have all the temper you would expect from a red-headed fire sign, so I screw up on abortion a lot.

Second, I have exactly one reasoned convert to my credit. He read my thoughts on it, which follow a secular, liberal philosophy, and, for himself, decided that the ideals of liberalism - equality, human dignity, and a government which does not separate humans into different classes - is totally consistent with a pro-life view.

Call me crazy, but I fully believe that pro-choicers - those who dislike abortion but think that banning it is worse than having it - can change their minds. I cannot change their minds, though; they have to do it themselves, through their own moral and intellectual processes. No matter what, I cannot expect someone to respect my reasoning abilities and moral compass when giving no similar respect in return. For that reason, I consider anti-abortionists like yourself to be among my greatest enemies: they do nothing but invigorate the opposition.
11.5.2008 10:55pm
bbbeard (mail):
Sure. Fine. Whatever.

Bill Clinton's real legacy is that he brought back the era of hardball politics. He understood that getting and keeping power means crushing your enemies and lying through your teeth. That's how he managed to escape removal from office, while his nemeses Gingrich and Livingston did the honorable thing and left public service when disgraced.

Despite his whining about persecution, it was Clinton who invented the modern 'politics of personal destruction'. As governor, he used state troopers to recruit women for oral sex. When one of them refused and sued him, he and his minions set out to destroy her, with the help of compliant media. James Carville called her 'trailer trash'. The Commander in Chief committed perjury -- and bombed Sudan to keep the grand jury verdict off the front page. The Clinton White House procured confidential FBI files on its enemies. It set the IRS on its enemies. This is more than "smug" -- I'd call this literally criminal behavior "insane".... And at the risk of sounding racist, I will call a spade a spade -- it was insane for some Clinton-haters to focus on wild goose chases like Mena Airport and Vince Foster when the environment was rich with legitimate targets. Ultimately this kind of nonsense was turned against the anti-Clinton crowd, allowing Clinton to make it appear that the overwhelming majority of real scandals were also made up. Making things up is bad strategy.

So I have a different take. Clinton brought out the worst in us. And we are still living with his legacy. And there is an argument that partisans both in and out of power are 'insane', in the sense Jane meant. (I'm sure some snarky half-wit commenter will allege that I fit the profile!)

I don't know how we are going to find our way out of this.

Prior to Clinton, we did not face the polarized electorate that is Clinton's real legacy. I remarked at length about the nasty 2008 political season on a different thread, so I'll try not to repeat it.

I'm not advocating "insanity". But what I am saying is that if you think it's important who runs the government -- and I think it is -- then you have to be ready to play hardball. You have to exploit your political enemy's weaknesses and use whatever tools you have to oppose him. Don't lie, don't chase shadows -- leave that to the real moonbats. But you have got to be ready to fight. Because it's important who wins. Don't confuse policy with politics. This ain't beanbag, to quote another famous Chicagoan.

I want to be clear about what I think here, without engaging in "insanity".

Now, either Barack Obama is a fool or he has learned from his Communist allies [not a lie nor an exaggeration -- Bill Ayers and Mike Klonsky are Communists] that getting and keeping power requires silencing your opposition. So write this down -- Barack Obama will gut the First Amendment. He knows it's the first thing he has to do. And he will make his first moves while his friends in the media still adore him. [This is a prediction, not a fact.] Be prepared to fight it. There is no point in being Edwardian about it and going down with the Titanic for the sake of some sense of decorum.

I don't want to mess up anyone's day, but this is not the Superbowl, it's not Bush 41 vs Dukakis. This isn't even Mondale vs Reagan. Obama is arguably the farthest left President we have ever had [this is an inference from his National Journal ranking, and from his history of supporting 'revolutionary education' in Chicago]. And he was trained, if not by Bill Ayers, then by people who fervently believe in Saul Alinsky and who see bourgeois politics as a means toward the triumph of Communism [again, not a lie nor an exaggeration -- try reading up on Alinsky before dismissing this as a rant].

For those of you who casually think the Republic will survive without your help and concern, I just want you to visualize what Germany has gone through in the last century. Sure, Germany is still around. But millions of people went to early graves because millions of others told themselves everything would be peachy. Get ready... you're going to need to fight for your freedom. Because keeping your freedom is the last thing on Barack Obama's agenda [okay, that's probably an exaggeration].

Oh, and DangerMouse -- keep at it. My great-great-grandfather was an abolitionist and I'm sure folks thought he was an extremist who wasn't changing anyone's mind, either.

BBB
11.6.2008 1:02am
einhverfr (mail) (www):
In general, I have been fairly harsh towards Bush and his policies. I think his tax policies have not been very helpful, the attempts at weakening the dollar in the name of the trade deficit have been disastrous (the cause of 90%+ of the current bad economic climate), and the fact is that he got us into a war we shouldn't have fought in that time and place. Furthermore, he has repeatedly attempted to gut our basic civil liberties in ways which, if they are not reversed, will turn eventually this country into one that I won't want to be a part of.

Having said this, he has had a few fine moments. The speech proposing the troop surge in Iraq really should have earned him more credit than it did because:
1) It moved us away from an open-ended commitment to Iraq
2) It tied US involvement in Iraq to political reforms in the country (a move towards a political settlement)
3) It showed a necessity to deal with some of the abuse our troops were suffering at the hands of the Iraqi government.

In short, I think that Bush, after he set us in motion towards a horrific train wreck, may have actually heroically saved us from one of the disasters he helped to create.

Furthermore, the move away from Clinton's push for the Palestinians to accept perpetual occupation (but with a bit more autonomy) and towards a real two-state solution will I think be looked at very kindly by historians. Bush deserves a great deal of credit for changing the dialog both in this country and in Israel away from perpetual occupation of Golan, Gaza, and the West Bank (although during Netenyahu's administration, there were serious and well-advanced talks aimed at returning Golan to Syria. I think if Ehud Barak hadn't been elected, there would be peace today between Syria and Israel.)

In retrospect, Clinton though wasn't that much better. He signed the Defence of Marriage Act, the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act which for the first time sought to abridge free speech and association in the name of fighting terrorism. Indeed, many of the train wrecks that Bush helped create were only possible because of ground prepared by Clinton (who got us involved in more foreign wars than Bush). But then, what do you expect from a family that stole stuff from the White House? (BTW, Clinton's proposals for health care reform was the second worst plan I had heard. The only one worse was McCain's.)

Yet Clinton's economic policies were pretty good.

So I hereby promise to provide the same level of scrutiny to Obama as I have provided here for the last two presidents. :-)

However, the beauty of Democracy is you don't have to wait 4 years to make your voice heard. Write your elected officials early, and write them often.
11.6.2008 2:07am
Hoosier:
einhverfr

I'm with you on the assessment of Bush. So you've made me feel less alone, which is a neat trick. I am a GOP-leaner, but I have wished like crazy since 2000 that Bush had not been the nominee. I lived in Texas at the time, and liked him do much that I voted to keep him as governor--so to speak.

Having said that, one simply has to be honest. There are some thing he did well. Somtimes after messing them up first (e.g., his SCOTUS picks were fantastic, but Alito came only after Miers imploded). But he should get credit for the things he did well.

The other matter that MIGHT significantly change the way the nation thinks of him has to be left to historians. But let us say that in thirty years we gain access to intelligence documents from the Bush Administration. In those we find that some very significant terror plot or plots were foiled during the post-9/11 years. This would be a huge revelation. If a foiled attack involved WMD, then the reassessment may be on the order of Truman revisionism.

This is not a prediction. Just a possibility. I'm not a Bush fan. But if it turns out that my native Chicago was targeted by war criminals, and Bush and co. saved the day, then I'm going to reconsider some things.

We shall see.
11.6.2008 8:04am
Ryan Waxx (mail):
it might help to explain why this successful strategy (name-calling)is a non-starter.


Because the other side has control of the media... or more properly, the media *IS* the other side. You can't debunk lies when you are facing an organization that will lie about you on page A1, spread the lie to forty-nine other papers, then print a retraction on page Z99 if you are lucky. And you can't tell lies when facing an organization that will 'debunk' you even when you tell the truth. So acting like a democrat can't actually work.
11.6.2008 8:25am