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Friday, January 04, 2008

Campaigns are like Ballgames… that are 50 innings!

It was only a matter of time before some type of Baseball Metaphor was pulled out after the Iowa Caucus. Perhaps it’s fitting that someone named “Mitt” provide it:

MITT ROMNEY, REPUBLICAN, FORMER MASSACHUSETTS GOVERNOR (ON FOX):

“This is obviously a bit like a baseball game, first inning. Well, it’s a 50-inning ball game. I’m going to keep on battling all the way and anticipate I get the nomination when it’s all said and done.”


So, is this a good Baseball comparison, a bad one or the worst ever?

Gamingboy Posted: January 04, 2008 at 03:55 AM | 177 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Craig Calcaterra Posted: January 04, 2008 at 01:37 PM (#2660004)
Actually, it's more like match-play golf, innit? No need to play the last few holes if the lead is insurmountable? This would only be a good analogy if you could lose the first 49 primaries and make up all of the delegates in the last, ninth-inning of a state.
   2. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: January 04, 2008 at 01:45 PM (#2660007)
I'd like to cram a ball in Mitt's face and wrap his head with rubber bands.
   3. Sean McNally Posted: January 04, 2008 at 01:46 PM (#2660010)
Let's not forget... Romney in defending is crazy assertion that he "saw" his father march with MLK Jr. while he (Mitt) was in France said the following:

"I'm an English literature major. When we say I saw the Patriots win the World Series, it doesn't necessarily mean you were there."

Based on that alone, you'd have to think Romney's probably not the guy.
   4. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: January 04, 2008 at 01:54 PM (#2660013)
"I'm an English literature major. When we say I saw the Patriots win the World Series, it doesn't necessarily mean you were there."

Based on that alone, you'd have to think Romney's probably not the guy.


Did Romney quit when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?

The match play analogy is better, but in the primary, if you lose CA big, you can't get back even by winning Vermont the next week.
   5. Shooty is obsessed with the latest hoodie Posted: January 04, 2008 at 01:55 PM (#2660014)
"I'm an English literature major. When we say I saw the Patriots win the World Series, it doesn't necessarily mean you were there."

This is awesome! Now, did he really say this? Really? Because it's awesome!
   6. Matt Garza smells it deep (Mr. Tapeworm) Posted: January 04, 2008 at 01:57 PM (#2660015)
Even more awesome, he is the first presidential candidate to wear magic underwear.
   7. gef the talking mongoose Posted: January 04, 2008 at 02:03 PM (#2660019)
Didn't the game described in Kinsella's Iowa Baseball Confederacy last, like, eleventybillion innings?
   8. gef the talking mongoose Posted: January 04, 2008 at 02:05 PM (#2660021)
Even more awesome, he is the first presidential candidate to wear magic underwear.


Didn't his father also regard Chariots of the Gods as holy text?
   9. Guapo Posted: January 04, 2008 at 02:05 PM (#2660023)
My dream is that Romney holds a news conference this morning and announces that after much soul-searching and prayer, he has decided to renounce his Mormon faith and convert to Southern Baptist.

Don't laugh, it could happen.
   10. gef the talking mongoose Posted: January 04, 2008 at 02:05 PM (#2660020)
Double post. Forgive me, Joseph Smith!
   11. Dan The Mediocre is one of "the rest" Posted: January 04, 2008 at 02:07 PM (#2660025)
Even more awesome, he is the first presidential candidate to wear magic underwear.


Joseph Smith also ran for the Presidency.
   12. GGC for Sale Posted: January 04, 2008 at 02:22 PM (#2660041)
Bad analogy. I enjoy baseball. I don't really care for politics.
   13. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 04, 2008 at 02:44 PM (#2660058)
I don't know what Republicans are thinking right now, but every Democrat I know is rooting for the same Republican to get the GOP nomination: a guy named "anyone but McCain."
   14. Dan Broderick Posted: January 04, 2008 at 02:57 PM (#2660068)
I don't know what Republicans are thinking right now, but every Democrat I know is rooting for the same Republican to get the GOP nomination: a guy named "anyone but McCain."

Yup. The national press absolutely adores McCain. Huckabee would be perfect.
   15. Matt Garza smells it deep (Mr. Tapeworm) Posted: January 04, 2008 at 03:17 PM (#2660080)
Joseph Smith also ran for the Presidency.


I never knew that. His murder cut his run short the June before the elections.

Interestingly, even though blacks were barred from becoming Mormons until 1979, part of Smith's platform was to abolish slavery by changing the Constitution.

To keep this topic vaguely on baseball, Mormons playing in the MLB today include John Buck and Bobby Crosby ...
   16. Hack Wilson Posted: January 04, 2008 at 03:29 PM (#2660088)
Jeff Kent is a Mormon.
   17. lincarnate Posted: January 04, 2008 at 03:32 PM (#2660092)
To keep this topic vaguely on baseball, Mormons playing in the MLB today include John Buck and Bobby Crosby ...

John Buck = Royals = Dayton Moore
Bobby Crosby = A's = Billy Beane

Two GMs respected by the sabermetric community means...

Mormonism, the new market inefficiency!
   18. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 04, 2008 at 03:41 PM (#2660097)
Joseph Smith also ran for the Presidency.
So did his (Romney's, not Smith's) father.
   19. HowardMegdal Posted: January 04, 2008 at 03:46 PM (#2660104)
Romney is right, it was just the first inning. Unfortunately for Romney, it is the last day of the season and Romney is the Mets.
   20. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: January 04, 2008 at 03:46 PM (#2660105)
“This is obviously a bit like a baseball game, first inning. Well, it’s a 50-inning ball game."


"I'm the pitcher, in the center of everything. My wives are playing the other eight positions, all waiting on me to initiate the action."

"After the Resurrection my team will also include Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, and Mickey Mantle, all of whom were posthumously Baptised as Mormons."
   21. AROM Posted: January 04, 2008 at 03:47 PM (#2660107)
"I'm an English literature major. When we say I saw the Patriots win the World Series, it doesn't necessarily mean you were there."

At this point if the Patriots came onto the field and Tom Brady went out to the pitcher's mound, would you bet against them?
   22. GGC for Sale Posted: January 04, 2008 at 03:54 PM (#2660117)
At this point if the Patriots came onto the field and Tom Brady went out to the pitcher's mound, would you bet against them?
My NFLEs project him to a 4.50 ERA, but he knows how to pitch to the score.
   23. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: January 04, 2008 at 04:06 PM (#2660126)

"I'm an English literature major. When we say I saw the Patriots win the World Series, it doesn't necessarily mean you were there."


"I will further note that Martin Luther King Jr. has also been posthumously Baptised as a Mormon, along with Ghandi. Truly our faith's devotion to world peace is unmatched."
   24. Sexy Lizard Posted: January 04, 2008 at 04:15 PM (#2660135)
"I'm an English literature major. When we say I saw the Patriots win the World Series, it doesn't necessarily mean you were there."

This is awesome! I'm going to run home and tell Mrs. Judges, "I'm an English literature major. When I said I was going to do the dishes, it doesn't necessarily mean that I was going to do the dishes." If the religious studies double major can get me out of paying my taxes, I'm the happiest man alive!
   25. AROM Posted: January 04, 2008 at 04:33 PM (#2660153)
If the religious studies double major can get me out of paying my taxes, I'm the happiest man alive!


Good news! It can. No income = no taxes.
   26. Best Dressed Chicken in Town Posted: January 04, 2008 at 04:46 PM (#2660169)
Super thread. But this

I'd like to cram a ball in Mitt's face and wrap his head with rubber bands.

is the post of the century.
   27. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 04, 2008 at 04:56 PM (#2660175)
I don't know what Republicans are thinking right now, but every Democrat I know is rooting for the same Republican to get the GOP nomination: a guy named "anyone but McCain."

Yup. The national press absolutely adores McCain. Huckabee would be perfect.


The national press has nothing to do with that sentiment. The fact that the rest of the GOP candidates are trying to narrow their appeal to the hardcore Republican base is far more to the point. McCain is the only Republican left who has the remotest chance of appealing to independent voters in the general election.
   28. Swedish Chef Posted: January 04, 2008 at 05:09 PM (#2660184)
So, is this a good Baseball comparison, a bad one or the worst ever?

Worst way to start a low quality political thread ever (not that there are any good ways...).
   29. DCA Posted: January 04, 2008 at 05:11 PM (#2660187)
Joseph Smith also ran for the Presidency.

More famously, and recently, so Mo Udall.
   30. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 04, 2008 at 05:16 PM (#2660193)
The national press has nothing to do with that sentiment. The fact that the rest of the GOP candidates are trying to narrow their appeal to the hardcore Republican base is far more to the point. McCain is the only Republican left who has the remotest chance of appealing to independent voters in the general election.
That's a rather odd way to look at it. For one thing, these are primaries, so of course they'd be trying to appeal to primary voters. But for another, in what way are they "trying to narrow their appeal," except perhaps on immigration?
   31. Rodder Posted: January 04, 2008 at 05:18 PM (#2660196)
To keep this topic vaguely on baseball, Mormons playing in the MLB today include John Buck and Bobby Crosby ...

Any list of current Mormon players should start with Roy Halladay.
   32. Hack Wilson Posted: January 04, 2008 at 05:22 PM (#2660197)
Any list of current Mormon players should start with Roy Halladay.

I dunno, Kyle Farnsworth is the scariest.
   33. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: January 04, 2008 at 05:24 PM (#2660198)
I dunno, Kyle Farnsworth is the scariest.


As a Yankee fan I certainly agree.
   34. Steve Treder Posted: January 04, 2008 at 05:47 PM (#2660219)
Best Mormon players of all time:

- Harmon Killebrew
- Dale Murphy
- Vernon Law

It isn't a real long list ...
   35. Rodder Posted: January 04, 2008 at 05:50 PM (#2660220)
Wally Joyner
   36. Dan Broderick Posted: January 04, 2008 at 05:52 PM (#2660221)
The national press has nothing to do with that sentiment

Well, it is your sentiment so I can't say you are incorrect, but as a Democrat, the national media's love for McCain is what worries me the most about him getting the nomination.
   37. Esoteric Posted: January 04, 2008 at 05:56 PM (#2660223)
#27: Pretty much right. The national press adores Huckabee both because he's actually remarkably liberal (big goverment Christian paternalist...shudder) AND because he would absolutely ensure that the GOP gets clobbered in November. Anyone else - McCain, Romney, Thompson, Giuliani, you name it - would make a more formidable general election candidate. Me, I prefer McCain or Thompson myself. Don't worry about the media loving McCain, though: they only "loved" him because in the past he was a club they could use to beat Bush with. The media doesn't really ever love any right-wing politician, they merely "love" them insofar as they're sticking it to or otherwise sabotaging/countering the primary messages/goals of the GOP. The minute McCain actually secured the nomination, the media would devour him: TOO OLD, KEATING FIVE, ABRASIVE TEMPER, etc. etc.

However, I will vote for Hillary if Huckabee becomes the nominee. (Though not Obama - god help us all if he becomes President, he's the liberal Huckabee, except infinitely less qualified.) Hell, if Huckabee's form of "conservatism" becomes the permanent face of the Republican party, then I'm done with the GOP forever. He must be stopped at all costs.
   38. Steve Treder Posted: January 04, 2008 at 05:56 PM (#2660225)
Well, it is your sentiment so I can't say you are incorrect, but as a Democrat, the national media's love for McCain is what worries me the most about him getting the nomination.

That's part of it, but the other part of it is just as Andy says: McCain offers a genuine appeal to moderates that none of the other Repub candidates except Giuliani approaches. And Guiliani has likeability issues that McCain doesn't.

McCain is far and away the Repub candidate I fear most. If Huckabee takes the nomination I'll be very encouraged.
   39. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 04, 2008 at 05:58 PM (#2660227)
The national press has nothing to do with that sentiment. The fact that the rest of the GOP candidates are trying to narrow their appeal to the hardcore Republican base is far more to the point. McCain is the only Republican left who has the remotest chance of appealing to independent voters in the general election.

That's a rather odd way to look at it. For one thing, these are primaries, so of course they'd be trying to appeal to primary voters. But for another, in what way are they "trying to narrow their appeal," except perhaps on immigration?


Well, on immigration alone, all of them except McCain have gone so far off the deep end to suck up to the nativists that the Republicans are going to be lucky to win any Hispanic votes at all in the general election. If they think that any sizeable numbers of Hispanics are going to think "oh, they're just talking about illegal immigration, they don't mean us," good luck trying to peddle that line after the primaries are over.

OTOH the GOP will still likely win the votes of Alberto Gonzales and Linda Chavez. It won't be a complete shutout.

And then you've got Rudy Giuliani taking foreign policy cues from Norman Podhoretz and sounding even more hawkish than Bush himself, at a time when the public has completely soured on the Iraq war; Romney either disowning or trying to explain away everything he did as governor; Huckabee's connecting the assassination of Bhutto to Mexican border security; Huckabee the "populist" offering a frigging national sales tax as a substitute for the income tax; and so on.

If this were only about the primaries, David, none of this would matter. But then if it were only about the primaries, we'd be hearing from former President McGovern.
   40. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 04, 2008 at 06:07 PM (#2660234)
McCain is far and away the Repub candidate I fear most. If Huckabee takes the nomination I'll be very encouraged.

If Huckabee's nomination ever happened the only way the Republicans would win in November is if the Democrats nominated Al Sharpton.

Failing that, the GOP is going to have to try to convince the voters that Obama is Sharpton, or that John Edwards is Sharpton in whiteface, or that Hillary is Sharpton with lots of makeup and a f*ck*ng wig.

I'm not sure that even Karl Rove coming out of retirement would be able to pull that off.
   41. Joey B. is counting the days to Trea Turner Posted: January 04, 2008 at 06:08 PM (#2660235)
Well, it is your sentiment so I can't say you are incorrect, but as a Democrat, the national media's love for McCain is what worries me the most about him getting the nomination.

Oh, brother. If John McCain should actually happen to win the nomination, about 80-90% of the national media that supposedly "loves" him is going to turn on him so fast, he won't know what the hell happened. Virtually overnight the theme is going to become that he's just too old and unstable to be the President.
   42. Forsch 10 From Navarone (Dayn) Posted: January 04, 2008 at 06:10 PM (#2660237)
Anyone else - McCain, Romney, Thompson, Giuliani, you name it - would make a more formidable general election candidate.

The idea that Romney, a creepy, unprincipled, capricious, overly focus-grouped and easily punctured self-parody, would have any traction as a general-election candidate, amuses me to no end. He'd get squashed like a grape.
   43. Dan Broderick Posted: January 04, 2008 at 06:12 PM (#2660238)
Oh, brother. If John McCain should actually happen to win the nomination, about 80-90% of the national media that supposedly "loves" him

There is no supposedly about it. You just needed to watch the coverage from last night.
   44. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: January 04, 2008 at 06:14 PM (#2660241)
Oh, brother. If John McCain should actually happen to win the nomination, about 80-90% of the national media that supposedly "loves" him is going to turn on him so fast, he won't know what the hell happened.


It sure happened with Dubya in 2000. Who can forget those days?
   45. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 04, 2008 at 06:14 PM (#2660242)
If John McCain should actually happen to win the nomination, about 80-90% of the national media that supposedly "loves" him is going to turn on him so fast, he won't know what the hell happened. Virtually overnight the theme is going to become that he's just too old and unstable to be the President.

Well, if that ever did happen (and it might), McCain wouldn't be the first candidate to run a successful campaign against "the media."

And I don't mean just Republicans, either. In the year that FDR won every state except Maine and Vermont, there was scarcely a single major newspaper in the country that endorsed him. At one point in October, the Chicago Tribune kept news of FDR's campaign out of the entire front section for several days in a row. On election eve a group of Tribune employees burned bundles of their own paper on the steps of the Tribune building.
   46. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 04, 2008 at 06:17 PM (#2660244)
#27: Pretty much right. The national press adores Huckabee both because he's actually remarkably liberal (big goverment Christian paternalist...shudder) AND because he would absolutely ensure that the GOP gets clobbered in November.
I think the first part is right; I doubt the second part is. They're biased, but not that cynically so. They like Huckabee because (a) they like many of his views, and (b) he's a very personable guy. Fun to cover, with a sense of humor.


And then you've got Rudy Giuliani taking foreign policy cues from Norman Podhoretz and sounding even more hawkish than Bush himself, at a time when the public has completely soured on the Iraq war;
Giuliani is not trying to "narrow his appeal." That is his appeal. No mayor has ever won the presidency -- no NYC mayor has ever won any higher office, as I recall -- so his entire claim to fame is being tough on Middle Eastern types. If he ran on some other issue, he'd be about as likely to win the presidency as David Dinkins.

By the way, as for the public souring, you've got to distinguish between people inherently opposed to it -- there are plenty, but they're primarily the people who always were -- and the people who have soured on it because it isn't the 'cakewalk' they thought they were sold. If it were going well, Barack Obama supporters would still hate it, but the majority of the public wouldn't care. BTW, McCain -- the guy you were defending in this equation -- is pretty darn hawkish too, in case you missed it.

Romney either disowning or trying to explain away everything he did as governor;
Holding himself out as less liberal than the population of Massachusetts is hardly a sign that he's trying to "narrow" his appeal to the "hardcore Republican base." Unless you think John Kerry was appealing to that crowd.

Huckabee's connecting the assassination of Bhutto to Mexican border security;
That's 'cause Huckabee's a doofus who is utterly unqualified to handle foreign policy. He had nothing intelligent to say on the subject -- truthfully, there's not much for a presidential candidate to say about it -- so he tried to tie it to something he thought he knew something about.
Huckabee the "populist" offering a frigging national sales tax as a substitute for the income tax; and so on.
I think you underestimate the unpopularity of the IRS, beyond the "hardcore Republican base." That is a populist position.
   47. Guapo Posted: January 04, 2008 at 06:18 PM (#2660245)
The idea that Romney, a creepy, unprincipled, capricious, overly focus-grouped and easily punctured self-parody, would have any traction as a general-election candidate, amuses me to no end. He'd get squashed like a grape.

Hey, I thought you worked for Fox!!
   48. AROM Posted: January 04, 2008 at 06:20 PM (#2660248)
I think you guys seriously underestimate the cultural conservatives. I think Huckabee is the only Republican who'd have a chance in a national election. Dismiss him at your own peril.
   49. More Dewey is Always Good Posted: January 04, 2008 at 06:21 PM (#2660251)
no NYC mayor has ever won any higher office, as I recall

I think one of the Tammany Hall guys became governor of New York way back when.
   50. Sexy Lizard Posted: January 04, 2008 at 06:27 PM (#2660255)
I feel sorry for Fred Thompson. You get the idea that he got in the race because a lot of media people and party officials thought he should, but he didn't really want to and when he did jump in he found that no one cares at all about him. So he gets to be embarrassed and/or ignored for a few primaries and waste a lot of money to no apparent end. He's the Wesley Clark of 2008.
   51. Hack Wilson Posted: January 04, 2008 at 06:33 PM (#2660262)
Huckabee the "populist" offering a frigging national sales tax as a substitute for the income tax; and so on. Yeah well Huckabee pointed out that it will help the poor because they buy fewer things and will therefore pay less taxes.
   52. Steve Treder Posted: January 04, 2008 at 06:36 PM (#2660265)
Yeah well Huckabee pointed out that it will help the poor because they buy fewer things and will therefore pay less taxes.

If he doesn't make it as President, I say we nominate him for Mathematician General.
   53. sunnyday2 Posted: January 04, 2008 at 06:38 PM (#2660267)
My dream is that Romney holds a news conference this morning and announces that after much soul-searching and prayer, he has decided to renounce his Mormon faith and convert to Southern Baptist. Don't laugh, it could happen.


I'd have to say that this is exactly correct. Somebody said that a candidate gets to change his position on any issue once. But not twice. (So in other words, if Romney wins, we're stuck with the incredibly negatory Mitt Romney of the past month instead of Mr. Hair. Arrgghh.) OTOH, I don't remember anybody saying you get to change your mind once on EVERY issue. So maybe we don't have to worry about which is the real Mitt Romney anyway. Hope not.
   54. Khrushin it bro Posted: January 04, 2008 at 06:39 PM (#2660268)
"After the Resurrection my team will also include Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, and Mickey Mantle, all of whom were posthumously Baptised as Mormons."


And Ted William's better half.
   55. sunnyday2 Posted: January 04, 2008 at 06:40 PM (#2660270)
Steve, Commissioner of MLB seems like a fit. And he could tell the all-star game managers that the game could go 50, so hold back a pitcher, wouldya?
   56. Khrushin it bro Posted: January 04, 2008 at 06:41 PM (#2660273)
Huckabee the "populist" offering a frigging national sales tax as a substitute for the income tax; and so on. Yeah well Huckabee pointed out that it will help the poor because they buy fewer things and will therefore pay less taxes.


I heart Huckabee...
   57. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: January 04, 2008 at 06:48 PM (#2660284)
Huckabee the "populist" offering a frigging national sales tax as a substitute for the income tax; and so on. Yeah well Huckabee pointed out that it will help the poor because they buy fewer things and will therefore pay less taxes.


The "poor" don't pay income taxes as it is.

When Romney dies, I believe Mormon dogma is that he will become a deity of his own world. I don't know why he can't wait and feels the need to rule this one as well.
   58. GGC for Sale Posted: January 04, 2008 at 06:51 PM (#2660286)
Didn't the game described in Kinsella's Iowa Baseball Confederacy last, like, eleventybillion innings?
I think that it last from 1906 until when the book was written. I need to reread that at some point.
   59. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 04, 2008 at 07:11 PM (#2660306)
The "poor" don't pay income taxes as it is.
But they do pay payroll taxes, which the Fair Tax is also intended to eliminate, FWIW.
   60. Boots Day Posted: January 04, 2008 at 07:13 PM (#2660311)
No mayor has ever won the presidency

Grover Cleveland was once mayor of Buffalo.

The biggest problem for McCain in the general election would be his unwavering support for war and more war, a hundred years' worth of war. His whole appeal would be based on his attractiveness to moderates, but the only people who still support the War in Iraq are hardcore dead-ender Republicans.
   61. Boots Day Posted: January 04, 2008 at 07:18 PM (#2660314)
But they do pay payroll taxes, which the Fair Tax is also intended to eliminate, FWIW.

Is that true? A 23 percent sales tax is supposed to replace not only all the income and capital gains taxes but all the FICA taxes as well?

Either Huckabee has a secret plan to slash government spending by 50 percent, or he knows as much about tax policy as he does about foreign policy.
   62. Hack Wilson Posted: January 04, 2008 at 07:19 PM (#2660315)
Bloomberg v. Kucinich v. Giuliani, a mayor would have to win
   63. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 04, 2008 at 07:19 PM (#2660316)
And then you've got Rudy Giuliani taking foreign policy cues from Norman Podhoretz and sounding even more hawkish than Bush himself, at a time when the public has completely soured on the Iraq war;

Giuliani is not trying to "narrow his appeal." That is his appeal. No mayor has ever won the presidency -- no NYC mayor has ever won any higher office, as I recall -- so his entire claim to fame is being tough on Middle Eastern types. If he ran on some other issue, he'd be about as likely to win the presidency as David Dinkins.


And as it is now, he's got about as much chance as David Dinkins with five years of the Iraq war tied around his neck.

By the way, as for the public souring, you've got to distinguish between people inherently opposed to it -- there are plenty, but they're primarily the people who always were -- and the people who have soured on it because it isn't the 'cakewalk' they thought they were sold. If it were going well, Barack Obama supporters would still hate it, but the majority of the public wouldn't care.

You're making a valid distinction here in terms of the ideological doves versus the more cynical or pragmatic ones, but in this particular political context it's not going to make much difference. At least until someone---anyone---convinces the public that whatever relative tranquility that may come to Iraq as a result of the surge strategy has more than a 1% chance of lasting more than a few months after the last U.S. combat troop is removed. We went through something like this 35 years ago, and Giuliani's foreign policy guru is still crying about that.

BTW, McCain -- the guy you were defending in this equation -- is pretty darn hawkish too, in case you missed it.

Well, duh. But I make a distinction between a serious hawk whose views are based on experience and an enormous amount of thought, and a "hawk" whose views on foreign policy are little more than that of a steam calliope programmed by Norman Podhoretz and the reaction to 9/11.

Huckabee the "populist" offering a frigging national sales tax as a substitute for the income tax; and so on.

I think you underestimate the unpopularity of the IRS, beyond the "hardcore Republican base." That is a populist position.


I don't underestimate the loathing for the IRS at all, but I'd still be willing to take my chances on a debate centered on replacing it with a tax that would absolutely murder the middle class by comparison, and saddle those currently in the zero tax brackets with mountains of paperwork that they never had before in order to get Huckabee's promised rebate.

In fairness to Huckabee, I do think that this is something that was handed to him by some crackpot advisor, and in a general election he'd run away from it like a hot potato.
   64. Vance W Posted: January 04, 2008 at 07:26 PM (#2660321)
Grover Cleveland was once mayor of Buffalo.

I thought he was the sheriff of Buffalo.
   65. Toby Posted: January 04, 2008 at 07:26 PM (#2660322)
Danny Ainge
Bruce Hurst
   66. Boots Day Posted: January 04, 2008 at 07:31 PM (#2660330)
I thought he was the sheriff of Buffalo.

He was sheriff of Erie County before he was elected mayor. To be fair, he only served as mayor for less than a year before being elected governor of New York.
   67. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 04, 2008 at 07:31 PM (#2660331)
The biggest problem for McCain in the general election would be his unwavering support for war and more war, a hundred years' worth of war. His whole appeal would be based on his attractiveness to moderates, but the only people who still support the War in Iraq are hardcore dead-ender Republicans.

That's a point I didn't spell out, but it's an obvious one. McCain would be the foreign policy President that George Bush should have been, given the framework of their worldviews, but for better or worse George Bush has probably made that particular worldview a minority one for this election cycle. And not even McCain is likely to be able to put enough spin on it to be able to sell it again.

As I said, McCain is the one GOP candidate I'd worry about. But OTOH he's also the only Republican who's likely not to drag the campaign down into the mud with Swift Boat style, junkyard dog campaigning, and as such he's the one candidate who win or lose would likely leave the country better off than it is now.

And I wouldn't want to be the Democrat who fired the first low blow shot against him, either, just in case any of them would be tempted. They're in the right election cycle and so far they haven't self-destructed, but wouldn't be a sure thing by any means if they were up against McCain and tried to take the low road. This guy's been up against a lot worse in his life than the likes of the Democratic Party.
   68. Joey B. is counting the days to Trea Turner Posted: January 04, 2008 at 07:33 PM (#2660334)
The biggest problem for McCain in the general election would be his unwavering support for war and more war, a hundred years' worth of war. His whole appeal would be based on his attractiveness to moderates, but the only people who still support the War in Iraq are hardcore dead-ender Republicans.

You seem to be stuck in time from about six months ago. You really need to pay closer attention to what's going on.

Because I hate to break the news to you, but there is this guy named General David Petraeus, and under his leadership we've pretty much routed Al Qaeda out of Iraq, and with the help of the Iraqis themselves we've brought the country largely under control, though to be certain there are some problems in the north with Kurdish extremists causing problems for Turkey. This is the reason why not even most of the Democratic candidates are talking much about Iraq right now. It's not a total victory yet, but we're pretty damn close. And if you think that a Democrat winning the White House means that we're going to simply up and pull all of our troops out of there overnight, you're created a delusion for yourself, because trust me, it's not going to happen.

The only people who are still denying our current success there are the hardcore invested-in-defeat leftists. Years from now, David Petraeus will be recorded in the history books as one of our greatest miltary leaders in the era of fourth generation warfare, whether people like it or not.
   69. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: January 04, 2008 at 07:33 PM (#2660335)
Danny Ainge
Bruce Hurst


Shawn Bradley, the World's Tallest Missionary.
   70. Boots Day Posted: January 04, 2008 at 07:35 PM (#2660337)
It's not a total victory yet, but we're pretty damn close.

Then why is McCain talking about being there for a hundred more years?
   71. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: January 04, 2008 at 07:38 PM (#2660343)
Because I hate to break the news to you, but there is this guy named General David Petraeus, and under his leadership we've pretty much routed Al Qaeda out of Iraq

Do you think yourself the very least bit premature in declaring "Mission Accomplished"?

And for goodness sakes, please give some credit for a reduction in violence to Muqtada al-Sadr, who announced in August that his Mahdi Army would cease attacks for 6 months. Check the numbers for yourself - they fit neatly with al-Sadr's pronouncement.
   72. GGC for Sale Posted: January 04, 2008 at 07:38 PM (#2660345)
Was Jack Morris Mormon? I know that he attended BYU, but so did Jim McMahon.
   73. Khrushin it bro Posted: January 04, 2008 at 07:43 PM (#2660356)
Steve Young distant relative of Brigham Young!
   74. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 04, 2008 at 07:51 PM (#2660367)
Is that true? A 23 percent sales tax is supposed to replace not only all the income and capital gains taxes but all the FICA taxes as well?
I don't endorse the Fair Tax as is, but yes, it is. But it's not really 23%; it's really 30%. The 23% is calculating it inclusively, the way Europeans do with the VAT.

That is, where a product has a sticker price of $1 in the US, it actually costs $1.23 (if the sales tax rate were 23%). But in Europe, or with the FairTax, if a product has a sticker price of $1, it costs $1. It's a 77¢ item, with a built in tax of 23¢. Rather than dividing 23 by 77 and saying that it's a 30% tax, they divide 23 by 100 and say it's a 23% tax.

Also, calling it a "sales tax" is somewhat misleading; it is intended to cover far more than the current sales tax covers. It's supposed to cover goods, services, real property, financial transactions, etc.

Either Huckabee has a secret plan to slash government spending by 50 percent, or he knows as much about tax policy as he does about foreign policy.
No, Huckabee is a religiously-conservative Democrat as far as his policies go; he wants to increase government spending in all sorts of ways. He had a horrid record on fiscal issues (taxes and spending) as governor.
   75. Boots Day Posted: January 04, 2008 at 07:58 PM (#2660375)
No, Huckabee is a religiously-conservative Democrat as far as his policies go; he wants to increase government spending in all sorts of ways.

I think it's cute that this is one of the GOP's chief complaints against Huckabee. There's no way in the world he's going to increase government spending as much as Bush has.
   76. JPWF13 Posted: January 04, 2008 at 08:00 PM (#2660378)
Years from now, David Petraeus will be recorded in the history books as one of our greatest miltary leaders in the era of fourth generation warfare, whether people like it or not.


One can hope, but as Reggie Vision said, you may be a wee bit premature.

we've pretty much routed Al Qaeda out of Iraq, and with the help of the Iraqis themselves we've brought the country largely under control,


1: Al Qaeda was only in Iraq because we were in Iraq

2: The Sunnis and Shiite Iraqis still hate each other, for the time being they have decided that they hate Al Qaeda more.

3: Is Iraq governable yet without a large US Military presence?
   77. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 04, 2008 at 08:02 PM (#2660379)
The biggest problem for McCain in the general election would be his unwavering support for war and more war, a hundred years' worth of war. His whole appeal would be based on his attractiveness to moderates, but the only people who still support the War in Iraq are hardcore dead-ender Republicans.

You seem to be stuck in time from about six months ago. You really need to pay closer attention to what's going on.


Joey, believe it or not, I do read the papers and watch the nightly News Hour. I'm not decrying our recent military success, I'm certainly NOT rooting against it, and I'm not advocating any immediate pullout.

But what I am more than a bit skeptical about is this: What happens next? What happens in the "six months" after we withdraw our troops?

Is this to be the next Korea? Well, maybe, if we feel like keeping our troops there forever, and if the Iraqis decide to divide their country neatly in half and keep all the nasty boys on one side of the line.

Or is this going to be the next Vietnam? From an American "realist's" POV I suppose we could live with that, but I'm not so sure how well that turned out for the Vietnamese. I've known a fair number of boat people in my time, and they all left for pretty damn good reasons.

Maybe then the next Algeria? Forget The Battle of Algiers (the movie) if you wish, but take a look at some of the rosy promises made by DeGaulle (later renounced, of course) of Algerie Francaise. All gone within a blink.

But then maybe you can present a positive outcome that takes into consideration the political realities of both Iraq and the United States. I don't think it can be done. And this isn't "anti-Americanism," it's just my honest appraisal of what I've read and seen.
   78. DCA Posted: January 04, 2008 at 08:02 PM (#2660381)
Steve Young distant relative of Brigham Young!

I'm pretty sure he's Brigham's son by his 49th wife.
   79. DCA Posted: January 04, 2008 at 08:11 PM (#2660398)
agreed, not-religiously-conservative is the democratic party's chief virtue
   80. Joey B. is counting the days to Trea Turner Posted: January 04, 2008 at 08:17 PM (#2660402)
Joey, believe it or not, I do read the papers and watch the nightly News Hour. I'm not decrying our recent sucesses, I'm certainly NOT rooting against it, and I'm not advocating any immediate pullout.

Hey, it's nothing personal, I was specifically responding to someone else.

I can tell that you're an intelligent and thoughtful guy Andy, so I know that you understand full well that we're going to have a continued military presence in Iraq for a while to come, regardless of whether the next President is Hillary, Obama, McCain, or whoever, and that most of this is just politics.

But it does annoy the heck out of me when people want to just pretend that the success General Petraeus has had in Iraq hasn't really happened and that nothing has changed. Things have certainly changed substantially, and everyone darn well knows this.
   81. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: January 04, 2008 at 08:30 PM (#2660424)
I'm not remotely close to understanding the Middle East, but it seems simplistically logical that if we stopped treating the "European drawn lines of the 1920s" as sacrosanct boundaries and worked to some kind of rearrangement giving us a Turkey, Kurdistan, Sunnistan, and Shiastan solution, the entire world, and especially the poor schmoes who live in those areas, will be better off in the (very) long run.
I'm not ready to tackle the Palestinian/Israeli problem yet. :)
   82. Traderdave Posted: January 04, 2008 at 08:32 PM (#2660426)
It was a Sunni day in Iraq, then it all went to Shiite.
   83. Joey B. is counting the days to Trea Turner Posted: January 04, 2008 at 08:32 PM (#2660427)
It's been a tactical success, Joey.

But Petraeus tactics have not materially impacted the most fundamental strategic problem in Iraq- the antipathy between Sunnis and Shiias.


Getting the Sunnis and the Shias to share power and live together in perfect harmony won't be easy, but most ordinary people in Iraq are tired of the violence and the sectarian strife.

The fundamental problems in Iraq in the last couple of years were that most of the violence was being stoked by a combination of foreign Al Qaeda troops and Iranian agents looking to stoke sectarian strife on both sides for their own various purposes.

There's absolutely no question that huge mistakes were made in the beginning, particularly the total disbanding of the Iraqi army. But these issues are all in the process of being solved, which is why we're seeing the progress that we are now.
   84. Traderdave Posted: January 04, 2008 at 08:34 PM (#2660431)
It's not only the West that treast those boundaries as sacrosanct, the nations of the ME won't budge on them either. Case in point is Turkey. They'd be better off letting a poor & restive minority have a state. Same is true for Syria and Iran but the refuse to consider the Churchillian borders.
   85. pthomas Posted: January 04, 2008 at 08:36 PM (#2660432)
Well, his real first name is Willard. No wonder he knows nothing about baseball.
   86. Dan The Mediocre is one of "the rest" Posted: January 04, 2008 at 08:37 PM (#2660433)
I'm not remotely close to understanding the Middle East, but it seems simplistically logical that if we stopped treating the "European drawn lines of the 1920s" as sacrosanct boundaries and worked to some kind of rearrangement giving us a Turkey, Kurdistan, Sunnistan, and Shiastan solution, the entire world, and especially the poor schmoes who live in those areas, will be better off in the (very) long run.
I'm not ready to tackle the Palestinian/Israeli problem yet. :)


Just like in the former Yugoslavia and India/Pakistan, there aren't any good lines to divide Iraq into 3 neat areas. Even if we did, one group is likely to be unable to access much oil, making them even poorer than they are now. Another problem is that Turkey is opposed to any Kurdish state in order to prevent their own Kurdish population from attempting to break away.

And the greatest problem is that the Sunnis and Shi'ites both want a unified Iraq, but only under their own direction. It's part of what's killing any chance at a neutral central government, which was what we were hoping would be created by The Surge.
   87. More Dewey is Always Good Posted: January 04, 2008 at 08:40 PM (#2660436)
Just like in the former Yugoslavia and India/Pakistan, there aren't any good lines to divide Iraq into 3 neat areas. Even if we did, one group is likely to be unable to access much oil, making them even poorer than they are now. Another problem is that Turkey is opposed to any Kurdish state in order to prevent their own Kurdish population from attempting to break away.

Obviously, the solution is to re-establish the Ottoman Empire.
   88. Sexy Lizard Posted: January 04, 2008 at 08:41 PM (#2660438)
What I'd argue is that the recent success in Iraq doesn't tell us anything about Petraeus except that he's competent. The summer was the first time since the initial invasion that we'd had enough troops there to do anything but sort of stand around. My point is that we've proven that Donald Rumsfeld was an idiot, not that David Petraeus is a genius. Even if the thing works there's no reason to believe he'll be more remembered than The Great Kansan, The Hero of the Philippines Insurrection, General Frederick Funston. It'll eventually be up to some historian at West Point to decide.

This has nothing to do with politics, of course, except that in so far as the excessive lauding (and criticizing) of Petraeus that we've seen from various outlets is a political act.
   89. Sexy Lizard Posted: January 04, 2008 at 08:42 PM (#2660439)
Obviously, the solution is to re-establish the Ottoman Empire.

They had the best court music so, yeah, let's do it.
   90. Boots Day Posted: January 04, 2008 at 08:43 PM (#2660440)
Things have certainly changed substantially, and everyone darn well knows this.

It's great that things have changed substantially. Until they've changed substantially enough for us to leave, they won't have changed enough. And you can write me off as a loony liberal, but the vast majority of Americans would like to see us out of Iraq within the next year or two.
   91. Dan Broderick Posted: January 04, 2008 at 08:48 PM (#2660448)
There's absolutely no question that huge mistakes were made in the beginning, particularly the total disbanding of the Iraqi army. But these issues are all in the process of being solved, which is why we're seeing the progress that we are now.

I am not so sure about this. Didn't the Iraqis basically give up on any political reconciliation? I agree that the "surge" has reduced the violence but as others have said, unless you plan to keep the same number of troops there (and everyone admits that is impossible) for basically ever then the surge has merely put off the inevitable.
   92. covelli chris p Posted: January 04, 2008 at 08:49 PM (#2660449)
but the vast majority of Americans would like to see us out of Iraq within the next year or two.

but leaving means defeat!
   93. Backlasher Posted: January 04, 2008 at 08:53 PM (#2660455)
General Frederick Funston

Is he the one that makes those artificial onion ring snacks.

Obviously, the solution is to re-establish the Ottoman Empire.


Then we could relax and put our feet up.
   94. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: January 04, 2008 at 08:55 PM (#2660457)
And the greatest problem is that the Sunnis and Shi'ites both want a unified Iraq, but only under their own direction. It's part of what's killing any chance at a neutral central government, which was what we were hoping would be created by The Surge.

One school of thought regarding Muqtada al-Sadr's self-declared cease-fire (and the one that I subscribe to, not that I'm any sort of expert in the area) is that Sadr and his Iranian supporters hoped the lull in violence would indeed allow the unification of the Iraqi government on Iranian terms - a Shiite-dominate state, under which al-Sadr would be appointed the de facto Ayatollah (both his father and father-in-law were Shiite Ayatollahs; although al-Sadr does not have the formal religious training to be an "official" Ayatollah his heritage gives him a similar authority to many Iraqi Shiites). Those of you who discount al-Sadr's public cease-fire as a primary factor in the relative tranquility in Iraq do so at your own peril.
   95. stealfirstbase Posted: January 04, 2008 at 08:55 PM (#2660458)
However, I will vote for Hillary if Huckabee becomes the nominee. (Though not Obama - god help us all if he becomes President, he's the liberal Huckabee, except infinitely less qualified.)

Esoteric, need I remind you that Democrats warned the country in 2000 that George W. Bush's only qualifications to be President were failing to find oil in Texas and running the Rangers into the ground? And that YOUR party nominated him over McCain and elected him over Gore, two eminently qualified individuals?

Anytime a Republican starts talking about the importance of experience, it's time to tune them out. Experience is less importance that intelligence. Any Democrat in the field, regardless of experience level, is better than any Republican in the field, regardless of experience level. That's what you get for being the party that doesn't believe in evolution.

BTW, Obama's the only major candidate with "No Blood for Oil" cred from the beginning of the war. That alone makes him the best choice.
   96. Lassus Posted: January 04, 2008 at 08:55 PM (#2660459)
If Huckabee's nomination ever happened the only way the Republicans would win in November is if the Democrats nominated Al Sharpton......I'm not sure that even Karl Rove coming out of retirement would be able to pull that off.

As a world-weary liberal, I wish I could believe this.
   97. Steve Treder Posted: January 04, 2008 at 08:58 PM (#2660461)
My point is that we've proven that Donald Rumsfeld was an idiot, not that David Petraeus is a genius.

Precisely.

Every life saved by The Surge (and/or Muqtada al-Sadr's stand-down) is a wonderful thing. But the far more salient issue is that utterly nothing has changed insofar as the long-term governability of Iraq. It's no less a basket case than it ever was, and US Iraq policy under Bush has done nothing to help, and clearly plenty to hurt the well-being of everyday residents there, as well as the prospects for a more stable, peaceful, and less terrorism-exporting Middle East in general.
   98. Joey B. is counting the days to Trea Turner Posted: January 04, 2008 at 09:05 PM (#2660469)
Didn't the Iraqis basically give up on any political reconciliation?

No. The Sunni bloc was boycotting the parliament for a while, but that ended weeks ago. The Iraqis have not given up on anything.
   99. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: January 04, 2008 at 09:16 PM (#2660488)
The national press has nothing to do with that sentiment.

Maybe not everything, but the press has A LOT to do with that sentiment. The reason McCain appeals to many independents and moderates is because he's been given such adoring press by the DC media for so long. The reality is that he's very, very conservative, and the biggest hawk in the race apart from Giuliani (who isn't really a hawk...more like a phoenix...or something). And most democrats are afraid of McCain because he'll continue to get the media's tongue bathing throughout the election.

re Iraq -- the stated purpose of the "surge" was to give Iraq space for a political reconciliation. You could look it up. That hasn't come close to happening, so while the surge has been somewhat of a tactical success, strategically it's been a complete failure. And it sure as hell doesn't seem to have made it any more likely that we can withdraw from Iraq anytime soon.
   100. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: January 04, 2008 at 09:17 PM (#2660489)
Just like in the former Yugoslavia and India/Pakistan, there aren't any good lines to divide Iraq into 3 neat areas. Even if we did, one group is likely to be unable to access much oil, making them even poorer than they are now. Another problem is that Turkey is opposed to any Kurdish state in order to prevent their own Kurdish population from attempting to break away.
I didn't mean to imply that it was simple, Dan. :) There would have to be huge population dislocations, it would be as painful as any war but at least there would be hope for a more peaceful future than what is lurking now, if some kind of economic equality can be reached or if the oil runs out.
I can't help but think Turkey is a ticking time bomb, and that the Kurds will be the spark that ignites the fundamentalist / secularist explosion that is going to happen in some Primate's lifetime, likely even mine.
Having an independent Iraq with the current borders, with no real Iraqi identity, with 3 significant peoples who pretty much hate each other and have a strong proclivity towards tribalism, is begging for a series of civil wars interrupted by strong man rule.
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