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David Poland

By David Poland

Osama, You’re Fired! OR Mission Accomplished!

Personally, I don’t feel jubilant. I feel like we have spend a decade and a few trillion dollars because of this man… and while I am sure the guy who actually pulled the trigger will do great on Letterman, I see it more like getting a “C-” on a test that would have cost you your scholarship if you had gotten a “D.” That’s over. Phew.

On the flip side, any fantasy the Republicans were having about making Obama a one-term president is all but dead now. The left will object to Obama on issues like Pakistan’s sovereignty in this case, Guantanamo still existing, and not being far enough out of the Middle East. The left is pathetically self-loathing and self-destructive. I don’t know how the right will manage to spin this. Hopefully, it will take a few days.

But somehow, getting off a plane after getting this news somewhere high over Vegas, and writing about box office doesn’t seem sane. And so, I shan’t.

ADD. 11:15p PDT – According to Buzzfeed, the photo that allegedly shows Obama bin Laden’s dead Skull, shot throuw the eye, is fake and has been floating around for a couple of years.

118 Responses to “Osama, You’re Fired! OR Mission Accomplished!”

  1. IOv3 says:

    Pathetically self-loathing and self-destructive? Do you hear that everyone? It’s the sound of the horn playing out of David’s ass!

    Yeah… no buddy, but please keep on twisting. You would be a hell of a noodle maker with the way you twist things. It’s also a solid B. This is basically the essay part of the test.

  2. Don Murphy says:

    Very curious to know why now. Something like this is intricately timed for reasons that are not yet clear.

  3. David Poland says:

    Wow… back to back… maybe IO has been one of Don’s fake posting names all along.

    ADDED: I take that back. Pretty sure IO has been his own brand of nasty for over a decade now.

  4. Proman says:

    Poland, you are a rare breed of an uptight dumbass. Only a true ass like yourself would not feel “jubilant” simply because the success didn’t come cheap. You may well feel that a lot of resources had been wasted but, man, can’t you separate the ends from the means and just consider the fact for what is is?

    Also, one would think that if we really spend all of this money just “because of this man”, you’d at least feel “jubilant” about finally being able to stop. Except it’s not that simple nor is it all about just one man. I’d better stop because following your logic makes me feel dumb.

    Also, congrats for actually believing that this will prove not just a (big but temporary) spike in Obama’s popularity but will actually guarantee a re-election. You are about as out-touch politically as you are cinematically or businesswise.

  5. David Poland says:

    Maybe you’re another one of Don’s aliases. It would make sense.

    But just in case you are actually thinking, it has nothing to do with wanting a cheap victory. Bush used 9/11 an excuse to spend trillions on Iraq, which did nothing to get us to bin Laden. Is that the price you feel good about paying?

  6. IOv3 says:

    David, this is the singular figure that led to all of this shit happening. Not being jubilant over this guy in particular being taken out is just plain weird. It’s not celebrating killing a guy. It’s celebrating catharsis.

    You also know that Proman is Maxim. Duh.

  7. Proman says:

    I repeat, what does the price have to with the actual result? You may feel that now is the good time to bring it up but essentially you end up sounding like getting Osama is of “C-” importance (and it’s quite another thing if you actually believe it – let’s hear that argument) not because he is of that low significance but because of how much he cost us.

    And for the record, Bush didn’t even try to sell the Iraq War as an Osama thing. He went with a different lie altogether.

  8. David Poland says:

    I’m glad it’s over. I’m glad he’s dead. I’m glad he was killed and didn’t die quietly in bed.

    But do I feel like chanting “USA USA” over killing this guy after a decade in hiding? Not so much. Did I get a hard on when the footage of Hussein being hung hit YouTube? Not so much.

    Do I feel safer tonight than I did last night? Not so much.

    And while I don’t blame anyone for celebrating, the Egypt story, for instance, was 100x more important a moment in recent history.

    I am not fan of symbolic gestures that are confused with real progress. I believe they retard progress, as people feel sated.

    I am a happy and proud American at this moment. I teared up listening to a president who I believe will be better remembered than any president since FDR talking about how America took action, efficiently, intelligently, and effectively.

    But I find it all much more melancholy than thrilling. None of the people killed in his attacks are coming back. There is no “justice.” There is only relief.

    And IO… yes, I believe that most Democrats are self-loathing on a political level. We do not tend to have the courage of our convictions. When pushed, we flinch. We see this most clearly during presidential election cycles, but I am sick to death of seeing people with whom I so clearly agree being so easily made to scurry like roaches when the Republicans pretend to turn on the kitchen lights.

    Selflessness, as a matter of politics, is neither evil nor foolish. We ARE all in this together. And I still believe we can rise above our most base instincts. If that makes me a fool, I will be a fool who can look in the mirror every day.

  9. IOv3 says:

    Shit David, I wish I had Don Murphy’s money. I bet you his Summer last year kicked a lot more ass than mine did!

    Again, this guy fucked over Islam, he fucked up our country in a myriad of ways, and his death is progress. It’s not retarded progress and it’s clearly something that the American people have needed, David. Everyone standing outside the White House, the WTC footprint in the NYC, and all the college kids getting together demonstrates that this is progress we needed in order to heal. That matters. A lot.

    We also are not in this all together and until the other side puts the suffering of the American people first and foremost, then [James Earl Jones hand gesture from Field of Dreams].

  10. djiggs says:


    I love your “crystal ball 100% correct” view of the future of Bin Laden’s death getting Obama his second term. It goes up there with your previous predictions of “Munich” winning the Best Picture Oscar and “Inception” having no chance of making $700 million worldwide (SideNote: both predictions that you never have acknowledged that you were wrong about especially “Inception” at $892 million worldwide!!!!). So, pardon most of your readers if we take your prognosticating abilities with a nanoparticle of salt.

    And, if you truly believe Bin Laden’s death makes a “slam dunk” for Obama’s reelection (to quote George Tenet), I have got some words for you: George Herbert Walker Bush.

    You see, back in spring of 1991, Father Bush was sitting on approval ratings within the 90 to 70 range after the end of Gulf War I. Yet, during the election of 1992, Father Bush did not get reelected. Why? “Because of the economy, stupid” sayeth political adviser extraordinaire & Mary Matalin bed partner, that raging Cajun, James Carville.

    So, the only fantasy that I see is the one that you are living, oh lover of all things Obama. My god, man, even Andrew Sullivan has let go of his man crush for Obama now & has actually taken the blinders for a bit of the time to actually genuinely critique the President. Are you & Chris Matthews sharing the tingle/thrill up the leg now or drinking from the same koolaid that Seth Myers was joking about yesterday?

    It is amazing to me how someone who really is one of the best journalists in his particular field (that is why I read your site daily) can be so blind & not genuinely critique this president? You regularly get on your moral high horse (justifiably most of the time) and critique the shoddy, untruthful, and lazy work that passes for journalism in both entertainment & non-entertainment field. But, when have you actually done a real good hard look at President Obama’s actions and determined if they have matched his words/promises? At least, Reverand Wright & Spike Lee & Matt Damon & Blogger X have revealed their disappointment & anger at the President’s actions.

    Please don’t give me the bullshit line that “there are all politicians and promise the sun/moon/stars and always fail us.” Are you genuinely happy that he has not closed Guantanamo Bay…continuing a W. Bush policy that he though was immoral (but in an ironic, savage way may have provided the informants pointing toward Bin Laden’s last hideout)? Are you genuinely happy that President Obama agreed to extend the Bush tax cuts even temporarily? Are you genuinely happy that the most “transparent” administration in history had to accept its “Transparency in Government” award in a private, no press allowed ceremony along with locking up more whistleblowers & curtailing press access than most presidential administrations? Are you genuinely happy that Obama administration dragged its feet for 2 years before “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” was finally terminated? Are you happy that President Obama signed spending bills in 2009 laden with earmarks after promising not to sign bills with earmarks during 2008 election year?
    If you are happy, please continue taking the blue pill of “hope & change” because the red pill may be too hard for you to swallow.

    The facts are :

    1) Obama as the incumbent is the slight favorite to win reelection but is not guaranteed it
    2) Obama will get a bump in the poll but no greater than Father Bush had & we all know approval ratings 17 months from the election are no guarantee especially with a weak economy
    3) if unemployment is still around 8.0% & higher in battleground states such as Ohio/Michigan/Florida/Pennsylvania around August 2012, it will be an uphill climb for reelection
    4) unless a total lunatic is nominated by the GOP (yes, it is possible though very unlikely), this 2012 election is all about the competence of President Obama not about the Republican candidate

    On Election Day 2012, the question that voters will be asking is “Are they better off now than they were 4 years ago?”. Not Bin Laden’s death, sycophantic media cult members, or blind followers of the image of “Hope and Change” lacking substance can answer that question. Because the future is UNKNOWN & the American voting public are bunch of Bill McKays asking “What do we do now?”

  11. arisp says:

    Time to stop paying Pakistan another fucking penny. Let this scum terrorist harboring country wither away.

  12. IOv3 says:

    Djiggs, yeah… no.

  13. Paul MD (Stella's Boy) says:

    Fox News doing the reporting that matters most in the wake of Bin Laden’s death.

    “Death of Usama Bin Laden Draws Mostly Positive Reaction in Hollywood.”

    The examples of the “mixed reaction” in Hollywood? Adam Levine and Katy Perry. And that’s it. Didn’t even take them 24 hours to find a way to bash Hollywood while covering this story. Way to go Fox.

  14. Krillian says:

    If we can’t be holier-than-thou online, where can we be holier-than-thou?

    I felt cartharsis last night. Relief. Joy, even.

    So sayeth Snagglepuss.

    And it took effort to ignore all the iceholes who politicized it the second it happened. Last night I pretended we were a united country, and I am pretty sure I was in the majority going with that.

    This morning we’re getting all the withering opinions. The “pardon me while I don’t jump up and down that a trillion dollars have been wasted.” Osama’s not the only terrorist that’s been defeated/killed in the past decade, just the most rich & famous. The head’s been cut off the snake. That elite squad of SEALs took out the kingpin. And how cool will that inevitable movie be?

    This DOES change things. And if it doesn’t, Obama’s re-election is no guarantee.

  15. Sam says:

    It’s premature to say Obama is a shoo-in at re-election time. Yes, it’s likely — he had a decent chance even before this — but to say it’s a foregone conclusion at this early date is ignorant of history. Remember George H. W. Bush’s approval ratings were somewhere in the, what, 80s at this point in his term?

    MCN posts occasional links to Nate Silver, which is a good call. He’s one of the most sensible and insightful political analysts out there, making a science out of what so many try to make into astrology. His take:

  16. Joe Leydon says:

    Snagglepuss? Jeez, what kind of arcane pop culture reference is that? Krillian, are you my age or what? LOL.

  17. nikki whisperer says:

    People claiming this is a “Wag The Dog”-esque capriciously timed re-election ploy are missing the point — it’s way too early in the election season for that. Rather, with this (and with the way he extinguished the birther nonsense this week), Obama has proven that he’s a deft rope-a-dope poker player. He’s the guy that sits quietly by while the pot balloons to the ceiling then flips his cards last with “oh, by the way guys… I have a Royal Flush.” My two-bit conspiracy theory: if there indeed any issue timing involved, look at the fact that he nominated Panetta for Secretary of Defense four days ago. After this hat trick, Panetta sails through an otherwise potentially contentious Senate confirmation in a heartbeat, and the man who balanced the budget under Clinton can proceed to take a badly needed chainsaw to our bloated Defense spending (huge chunks of which are basically corporate welfare to defense contractors and have nothing to do with our men and women in uniform), thereby allowing Obama to throw the middle finger to Paul Ryan and do an end-run against the “starve the beast” faction in Congress. That’s the real end game here and it will be interesting to watch.

  18. anghus says:

    Someone i know said this, and it summed up my thoughts well.

    “wish we weren’t celebrating this so obnoxiously. There is a solemnity to this that many of us are missing.

    Killing a bad person, while perhaps justified and perhaps necessary, is still killing and should be undertaken and executed with a sober tone.

    It isn’t an occasion to dance or do keg stands. You kill a man like Osama Bin Laden because he forces you to.. You do it because you must. Life should never be given or taken cheaply, and the taking of a life is not a time for celebration.”

    I think the celebration you see is because we got punched in the face by the guy, and now that he’s dead everyone exclaims “GOT YOU MOTHERFUCKER!”

    This is the scene at the end of Commando where Arnold throws the pipe through the guy’s chest and it hits the boiler and he exclaims


    Everyone in the audience jumps up and goes YEAHHHHHHHH! You’re happy because the mustache twirling embodiment of evil has been killed.

    You’ll hear people say “I’m just glad the families of the victims of 9/11 have closure.”, but that’s just what you say in a situation like this when you want to justify the fist pumping and cries of USA, USA and not sound like a dick.

  19. IOv3 says:

    Anghus, the celebration last night makes us all squaries for the celebrations on 9/11.

  20. David Poland says:

    Whisperer comes a lot closer to my thinking than some of you. It’s not “Kill bin Laden, win the presidency.” It’s another major angle of attack on Obama sealed off. Obama has been in the process of turning the corner for months now… with a big assist from the Republican Party.

    If Inception and Munich are my big predictive failures, I’m pretty happy. I seem to recall being one of the very few, informed by seeing the film, who continued to predict Munich as a nominee. And Inception not being an $800m movie (something I’ve acknowledged and discusses ad naseaum in here) was not unusual. Was anyone other than fanboys anticipating that level of success?

    Nonetheless, 2012 is not a guessing game. It’s a perspective game. And on that count, I am completely conformable with my history. Especially in the last election.

    Speaking to the list of Obama disappointments, yes, the sun does not shine out of his ass. But I never thought it did. Anti-Obamaists love to turn Obama enthusiasm into deification, and it my be true for a small %, but not for me or most. And that brings is back to the symbolism of bin Laden’s death. I am wary of single stat analysis. And as satisfying as it may be for so many, this death is a single stat.

    However… there is no Great Idea (regardless of whether I agree with it) being offered by The Right these days. There is no inspirational candidate. And so, reelection is about national stability and slow, steady progress… which is being made. The economy continues to evolve. But the blurriest argument for Obama was staying in the Middle East and it is now replaced by, “Well, the guy pulled the trigger on bin Laden, which is what America most wanted since September 12, 2001.”

    Of course I wish that Obama was the political messiah. But I never expected him to be that. I expected a smart, measured, left-leaning politico with outsized ambitions. And we have that.

  21. Joe Leydon says:

    Great headline on The Wrap — Obama’s Amazing Balancing Act: Slay W.H. Correspondents, Then Bin Laden

  22. anghus says:

    io, you’re right. those celebrating very much resemble the crowds of idiots who poured out onto the streets and celebrated after the 9/11 attacks in arab nations.

    is that the goal? to be square?

    you proved my point. it’s not about justice, its about getting even.

    it’s about everyone feeling better because Hans Gruber has now been dropped out of the window. It’s not about the people inside that have been killed, or the LAPD who were mowed down with stinger missiles, or the untold millions in damages to Nakatomi Plaza. The evil mother fucker falls to his death, dispatched by the hero.

    It’s entertaining in a movie. In real life, it’s kind of short sighted and sad.

  23. Joe Leydon says:

    David: Wouldn’t you agree that killing Bin Laden actually is just one part of a week-long victory lap for Obama? Or, perhaps more precisely, a week-long, real-life replay of that closing scene in The American President where Michael Douglas in effect says, “I am the President, and I’m going to goddamn well STAY the President.” Without meaning any disrespect to the survivors of 9/11 victims, or the military service personnel who have put their lives on the line in two wars: This has been Obama’s time to shine. He blows away the Birthers, diminishes Trump (with e birth certificate AND the dinner speech wisecracks), gives the order to smoke Public Enemy No. 1, and announces the bad guy’s death in a dignified, smirk-free speech. And the whole time, he comes off as cool, calm — and entirely in charge. Is there anyone on the Republican side right now that you can imagine pulling all of this off?

  24. nikki whisperer says:

    Already the Drudge/Breitbart/Fox News types are attempting to spin this, claiming G.W. Bush deserves all the real credit since he did all the legwork. Too bad they don’t feel the same way about the economy/deficit….

  25. IOv3 says:

    Anghus, justice in a lot of ways is about getting even and Die Hard is a movie and this guy isn’t Hans Grueber. Next time make a better analogy next time because no one is forgetting the sacrifice it took to get THE bad guy. This is about a culmination of everything that asshole took away. Ignoring that, on your part, is very short-sighted.

    ETA: Shilli, exactly. The Repcons never cease to amaze with with their delusions of grandeur.

  26. NickF says:

    Best weekend ever for Obama. Seriously.

  27. Daniella Isaacs says:

    Dude! “Pathetically self-loathing and self-destructive?” Just because they all gave you a hard time over not liking BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN?

  28. Gus says:

    You won’t get any objections on the self-loathing and self-destructive comment from this Obama voter. This, though, too good to share:

  29. theschu says:

    It seems like this conversation is headed in the same direction most conversations do on the web now. If you’re for something, you’re smart and awesome and if you’re against it or even undecided or in the middle, you’re a horrible, insensitive, idiot. And thanks to Bush post 9/11 it’s all about being “a proud American” or being “un-American” or “against us”. This is the brutal and un-winnable war. Conversations on the web.

  30. mysteryperfecta says:

    To the extent that Obama contributed to the end of Osama, credit is deserved and unreservedly given. To suggest that Obama played a dominant role is to marginalize years and years of arduous and dangerous work by our intel agencies and our military.

    Its terribly tacky to politicize an event that is about as bipartisan as it gets. This is an American accomplishment, and I believe most people see it that way.

  31. IOv3 says:

    Yeah no, it’s a accomplishment achieved thanks to an Democratic President who decided finding Osama had importance unlike the previous President who just used Osama to start two wars and never found the guy. Again, one guy stopped caring about finding him. While the other did not. Sorry but that’s how it happened.

    The fact that people like you Mystery, declare bipartisanship when you know damn full well you wouldn’t have if Bush did this, is why your side is so full of it.

    Theschu, descent all you want and he had it coming for dislike Brokeback Mountain.

  32. Paul MD (Stella's Boy) says:

    mystery it would be nice if bipartisanship prevailed, but it won’t. Like I said above, it took Fox News all of 12 hours to post a trivial and ridiculous story trying to make it seem that Hollywood is once again out of touch with mainstream America because of what Adam Levine and Katy Perry said about Bin Laden’s death, as if anyone gives a shit. I’m sure there are more examples of stuff like this spanning the political spectrum.

    I am interested to see how this impacts our relationship with Pakistan and also the debate over foreign policy. Some of the potential GOP candidates have criticized Obama’s foreign policy in recent speeches. I wonder how this will impact future speeches/interviews, etc. if at all. Does it mean that the weak on foreign affairs message will no longer play with voters? With the economy seemingly issue #1, how long will this remain front page news and on the minds of voters?

  33. Don R. Lewis says:

    While I kinda agree with your sentiment, I’ve always felt the 9-11 attacks created a bunch of bullying Americans who started flying the flag on their porch as a way to say they didn’t like foreigners. The scuzzy celebrations and keg stands seem to fit into that state of mind (we’re put a boot in yer ass!) sensibility that was either hiding all along or birthed after 9-11.

    In short; I don’t feel American’s handle these situations with aplomb. Dunno if that was always the case or just recently but man, kiiiiinda embarrassing. Yes, I realize other countries routinely celebrate death and all that, but I always held America to a higher standard.

    The whole thing (for me anyway) was and is strangely cathartic. I didn’t stay up nights wondering when and if we’d ever catch bin Laden but the news struck me as really kind of satisfying and I didn’t think it would. Then I did a keg stand.

  34. IOv3 says:

    Hell, I never thought we would capture the bastard and that we did, is still shocking to me.

  35. Paul MD (Stella's Boy) says:

    Don that reminds me of a recent letter to the editor from a gentleman living near me in NJ. He chastised people for the lack of American flags flying in front yards and what he perceives as a general lack of sufficient patriotism. As if the only way (or the most appropriate way) to show your love of country is a giant flag in your front yard or a bumper sticker. I’m glad we got Bin Laden but in no way do I feel like running onto the streets to scream “USA!”

  36. mysteryperfecta says:

    Paul MD– I agree, bipartisanship won’t last, and the pundits will always rush to pick winners and losers, but I don’t believe partisanship is the prevailing sentiment at present, and rightfully so.

    Our drone incursions into Pakistan were hurting our relationship with that country significantly. So it is to Obama’s credit that he not only authorized those incursions, but authorized this latest mission without so much as a heads-up to the Pakistani government (as far as we know).

    I’m sure Obama will campaign on this issue (as he should), but as a largely symbolic victory, with any tangible benefits difficult to quantify (al Qaeda hasn’t seen any success here since 9/11, and will undoubtedly press on), I’d be surprised if its still a relevant issue 17 months from now. We’ll see.

    By the way, it was suggested that some are questioning the timing of this mission, thinking it politically motivated. I think that’s hogwash. Imagine how much valuable intel we may have gleaned in the months leading up to this mission. I think it showed remarkable restraint.

  37. djiggs says:

    LOL on the evasive moves that David tries to pull when called on his writings. Sort of like Nikki Finke’s scrubbing her old negative posts to positive posts to reflect the current gossip/news.

    David’s original quote about Bin Laden’s death to Obama’s reelection chances: “On the flip side, any fantasy the Republicans were having about making Obama a one-term president is all but dead now.”

    David’s obfuscation now: “Whisperer comes a lot closer to my thinking than some of you. It’s not “Kill bin Laden, win the presidency.” It’s another major angle of attack on Obama sealed off. Obama has been in the process of turning the corner for months now… with a big assist from the Republican Party.”

    You make the call if David was not writing Obama was the overwhelming favorite for 2012 election in the original quote.

    To clarify my questioning of your prognosticating skills:

    1) I should have stated your continual (& eventually wrong) touting of Munich being the upfront Best Picture Oscar winner from September 2005 to early December 2005 was what I was pointing too. You did adjust your predictions accordingly when Munich did have trouble getting traction during the Pre-Oscar award season. (My preference to win Best Picture would have been Brokeback with Munich a close second.)

    2) But, please show me what entry where you admitted you were wrong about Inception’s success. You write “. And Inception not being an $800m movie (something I’ve acknowledged and discusses ad naseaum in here) was not unusual. Was anyone other than fanboys anticipating that level of success?” I know that I commented on one of your box office entries after Inception hit $300 million & you questioned whether it could hit $500 million. I stated that it could hit $700 million worldwide just from a reasonable expectation of previous worldwide box office history. I never saw any engagement on that opinion, and I have never seen you acknowledge your wrong guess. If you have and I missed it, I will acknowledge my mistake.

    I think that is the biggest problem I have with President Obama and his biggest supporters…and it is same with W. Bush & his supporters …really it is a basic human weakness. I am as guilty of it as one else-the ability to be self-critical.

    I mean just to go back 2 years ago when David was all in a rage over the stolen downloaded bootleg of “Wolverine”. It took a number of your readers (including me) to point out that you had viewed illegal bootlegs in the past with Spiderman & Gangs of New York. Then, you finally acknowledged your past wrongs in a pretty forthright column. That column was really one of the best pieces of writings that you have ever written. To be honest about ourselves is a truth that we should we all aspire to.

  38. anghus says:

    io, i think my analogy is just fine, thanks.

    if you look at all the people screaming HELL YEAH about Osama Bin Laden being killed and can’t compare that to the end of an action film where the villain dies and the audience cheers…. i don’t know what to tell you junior.

  39. Paul MD (Stella's Boy) says:

    I would also be surprised if it’s a relevant issue 17 months from now mystery. People will feel good about this but it’s not going to distract them from gas prices and unemployment for long. And unfortunately the pundits will do what they do best soon enough.

  40. djiggs says:

    For the record, I voted for Obama for 2004 US Senate race & voted for Nader in 2008 Presidential race. I voted for 3 party candidates in 2010 elections. So, I am not anti-Obama just pro-my interests.

  41. djiggs says:

    I voted for Kerry in 2004.

  42. IOv3 says:

    Yeah but look at you now. Look at you now.

    Anghus, again, that celebration had a lot more to do with FINALLY then FUCK YEAH! Seriously, people needed this and denying that they needed it for whatever reason is again, short-sighted.

    ETA: Basic human weakness? Jesus Christ that’s out there.

  43. bulldog68 says:

    And already the repub machine has begun the spin;

    UPDATE – 1:51 p.m. – Elliott Abrams became the first former Bush administration foreign policy adviser to openly criticize Obama’s remarks on Sunday night, in a blog post posted on the Council on Foreign Relations’ website. Here is the pertinent section:

    “President Obama will bask in the satisfaction of all Americans that justice has finally been done—and done through an assault that combined the best of intelligence work with a courageous and well planned military operation. It is entirely appropriate that Mr. Obama and the Administration get and take a fair amount of credit.
    It is therefore unfortunate that Mr. Obama seems to want more than that fair share the American people will naturally and rightly give him. His remarks last night were far too much laced with words like “I met repeatedly,” “at my direction,” and “I determined,” trying to take personal credit for the years of painstaking work by our intelligence community. Mr. Obama might have noted that this work began under President Bush, but as usual he did not.”

    They doing as if they guy put up a huge banner behind him with the words “mission accomplished” or something.

  44. bulldog68 says:

    That should be “the guy” not “they guy” in the last paragraph.

  45. JOsborne says:

    First of all, I agree with DP, but not for the same reasons. Cheering about the death of this man, no matter the symbolism you’d like to attach to it, is exactly the kind of American mentality that impedes character and hinders progress. When a bully finally gets beat up in grade school, the masses cheer. It’s instinct. It’s revengeful. But it’s NOT cathartic.

    Of course I’m glad we found him and there’s one less terrorist in the world. But I suppress that feeling in my stomach to scream joyously from the rooftops for death. Emotions naturally progress and ultimately control our actions. Revenge leads to hatred, which leads to dangerous actions. That’s a slippery slope and we’ve all seen the outcome.

    Second, this shouldn’t even be a political issue. Both the right and left claim they want to ‘get along’. But turning this into a political issue is pointless. Remember your mom telling you not to pick the scab if you want it to heal? This event is a big deal, and should be discussed, but using politics to spin the event is like picking scabs.

  46. bulldog68 says:

    What’s amazing is that the same people levelling this kind of rhetoric completely fail to acknowledge what state the US econmomy was in when Obama came into office. Thus far I have heard no democrat of standing, make any statement, taking sole partisan credit for this event. From Obama, to Hilary, to many others, it has been very measured statements about this being a ‘victory’ for America as a whole. But the repubs, as usual, are so tunnelled visioned in their thinking, it’s as if giving Obama even slight praise for anything is sacrilegious.
    And notice how in each of their statements, they are very careful to point out that it’s thanks to Bush, and Obama was just merely following Bush’s plan, that this was ever possible.

    This is just the first salvo launched in the anti obama campaign. As the US gets closer to the election, and Obama receives some positive numbers from this, not enough to win an election, just a positive bumop or two, watch how this will be spun as a negative to Obama, and Bush had absolutely nothing to do with it. It’s the Republican way.

  47. Paul MD (Stella's Boy) says:

    If John McCain was president and this happened wouldn’t the opposition do everything it could to try and limit the amount of credit his administration could take for it? Wouldn’t there be constant reminders of the death toll and enormous financial costs and long period of time to achieve it? Of course the GOP is going to try and prevent Obama from using this to his advantage. Politics as usual. I think the other side would do the same. That doesn’t mean certain attempts to use this as a partisan wedge aren’t deplorable.

  48. Don R. Lewis says:

    “Justice is irrelevant; violent problems need violent solutions. Cuz in America we like our bad guys dead” -Todd Snider

  49. Joe Leydon says:

    Anyone who says the killing of Bin-Laden shouldn’t be politicized is correct. Anyone who would prefer not to politicize it is idealistic. Anyone who refuses to politicize it is dangerously naive about the way politics work in this country right now.

  50. leahnz says:

    just like the old west posters said, “wanted: dead or alive”

    intellectually i’m against capital punishment and ‘an eye for an eye’ mentality – and my higher brain knows it would have been a higher calling to see bin laden captured alive and tried for crimes against humanity – but my primal instinct says “smoke that mutherfucker” and i have no problem with the thought of osama taking one in the melon, i admit it. i don’t know exactly where the line is in my psyche between the desire for justice vs retribution, but bin laden well and truely crossed that line; and while his death doesn’t make me ‘happy’, it brings me a sense of relief and satisfaction.

    seeing crowds celebrating the death of an elusive mass-murderer on the street, my intellect feels uneasy with the implication, but my primal self recognises people (in the places most acutely affected by the criminal’s acts) caught up in the relief and joy inevitable at the end of a long ‘siege’, knowing the man responsible – who many probably thought would never be held to account – for so much death and destruction has been eliminated. i understand how powerful crowds can be and how easy it is to get swept up in the prevailing emotion, and that is what i saw last night on the news, many types of people expressing a gamut of emotions. (unfortunately the ‘war is over’ emotional release on display last night is likely misplaced)

    and i do think there’s a fundamental difference between crowds of people hitting the streets to celebrate the mindless slaughter of thousands of ordinary people just going about their daily lives and doing thier jobs, simply because of their nationality and hatred of the government of the people slaughtered, and people celebrating the demise of the criminal responsible for spearheading such nightmarish mass murder. both are examples of mob mentality, but the context and motivations for the behaviours are quite different.

  51. leahnz says:

    oh and also, how cool a cucumber is obama? relaxed and humourous at that press association dinner, all the while no doubt being acutely aware of the top secret mission to kill the most wanted man in the world going on AS HE SPEAKS, i can’t even imagine the pins and needles he must have been on and yet he was smooth as silk. i think he’s a tougher nut than he sometimes comes off.

  52. Krillian says:

    I enjoy you, Joe, but since I’m not a politician nor work for one, why is that dangerously naive to refuse to politicize something, at least on the day it happens? I get there’s no bigger game of full-time demonization of the “other” party to keep us angry, er vigilant, but really, why? If you refuse, for a SECOND, to unite with your fellow Americans for a collosal event, if your first instinct is to rub the faces of people you disagree with in dogcrap (because “they” might do it to you first!), how can you honestly think to yourself you’re any better than (…thumbs rolodex for random right-wing villains…) Karl Rove?

    “For starters, Karl Rove makes his living doing this…”

    Granted, so be better than him.

    “Why are you answering for me?”

    I don’t know. Quicker? Strawman arguments are easiest?

    “Are we having an argument?”

    I never did pay the five pounds…

  53. Joe Leydon says:

    Krillian: I’m not quite sure I understand what you’re talking about there, sport.

  54. IOv3 says:

    Krill, I refuse to unite with those people, and never will. If this happened under Bush or a Republican president, the demonization from the right towards the left would be so over the top that it would pale in comparison to questioning the heroics of a Vietnam Vet. The thing of it is: the right always have fought dirty and now it’s time they get what you get for fighting dirty.

  55. Krillian says:

    IO, so little faith in humanity. Just refer to Republicans as cockroaches from now on and see where that takes you.

    Yeah, sometimes I eat my own tail. I found myself in the Monty Python argument sketch.

    (Note to self: Now that I have his address, finish horror-action-comedy script and send to Don Murphy with note that Kingo would hate it.)

  56. IOv3 says:

    Kril, I have great faith in humanity just not in a group of people who choose to screw over their fellow man for a bunch of rich pieces of shit.

  57. SamLowry says:

    Well, I’ve already stated here that I think Republicans suffer from a psychopathy that prevents them from feeling empathy. I heard crickets as a result.

    And “but I always held America to a higher standard”…well, it should be, but it constantly falls far short of that goal. Though I’m an American, I’ve always seen the good ol’ USA as one of the slimiest nations on Earth precisely because it presents itself as the Good Guy while continually acting like the Bad Guy. Reading “Brought to Light” in my formative years didn’t help (the number of people killed abroad due to our political machinations are summarized by indicating how many swimming pools would hold their blood; the average in-ground pool would hold the blood of 20,000 people, for example).

    Yeah, that’s the cheerful place where my head’s been for the last 25 years. At least I don’t cut myself.

  58. IOv3 says:

    Sam you always need to remember that what you think is bad is never as bad as those who came before. The Dutch, The French, The English, The Spanish, and The Portuguese all did shit that makes us look like a bunch of pikers. Seriously heavy is the crown that wears but we at least are not as bad as other nations have been called; “EMPIRES.”

  59. SamLowry says:

    “what you think is bad is never as bad as those who came before”

    Yes, but then that’s progress for ya. Up until Wisconsin, everyone kinda assumed that things would always get better, and rights once won would never be taken away. I just worry that if business interests are allowed to take away any more rights then we’ll be right back in the 19th century.

    (Of local interest, some Republicans in the Michigan legislature are hoping to strip teachers of their jobs and their teaching certificates if they ever go on strike.)

    Just imagine telling today’s teenagers about the Ludlow Massacre. How do you think they’d react if they were told their boss might be allowed to kill them for going on strike?

  60. Martin S says:

    Killing Bin Laden will remain relevant because the cache of info grabbed is the motherload that’s going to expose massive secrets in short time. Some info will be actionable, and some the Obama Admin/DOD will want buried, such as Saad Bin Laden’s relationship with Iran, ISI/AQ Khan, etc…things that could force us into conflagration.

    It’s not hard to see how the debate is going to form over the next year. Obama ran on dismantling most of W’s GWOT program. Yet, it’s that very program which provided the intel with the same people carried over from W’s operation. This isn’t “faux news”, you would’ve heard it all morning on MSNBC, CNN, etc… without Afghan as a forwarding base, Gitmo and rendition, we would have nothing.

    Obama has a pattern. As Senator he voted against the debt ceiling, as President, he had to reverse course and admit his previous position was a political calculation. He was against the Bush tax rates, then he accepted them. Now, the same can be argued about his Gitmo stance and his entire position on GWOT. It leaves him a tough choice during the campaign – admit he was mugged by reality, or parse it like a professor. Do the former, anger the base. Do the latter, lose the independents.

    All that’s left is the economy and while some want to see light at the end, we’re facing a massive deescalation next month with the end of QE2. Once we stop buying our own debt, lord only knows.

    Many tectonic unknowns on the horizon to predict anything six months from now, let alone one year and six months from now. To not understand that simple fact, is to really miss the point of yesterday.

  61. SamLowry says:

    I thought Cunard retired the QE2 in 2008…but then what does Wikipedia know.

  62. IOv3 says:

    Sam, that would probably freak the shit out of them, but we live in a country that assumes equality when there is none. One side is bad, One side is not as bad, but the media loves to equate them as equals. Until the bad gets treated like the racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, and countless other phobic fuckers they are, shit’s only going to stagnate, but a change is coming sooner or later. It always does with this country.

  63. SamLowry says:

    “When anybody comes along and tells you that capital and labor can’t get along together that man is your worst enemy.”

    Sounds like the ending of Metropolis, or the babble of a lefty who would get pilloried on FoxNews, but it was said by John D. Rockefeller Jr., a year after denying that the massacre carried out in his name even happened. He turned himself around, and finally realized “We are all partners in a way. Capital can’t get along without you men, and you men can’t get along without capital.” ( )

    You think any Republican would say any such thing today?

  64. christian says:

    President Obama has turned upside every major talking point the sad, shameless GOP has been pimping since he first announced he was running. And he always glides around their tactics. Witness his epic smackdown of Trump, making him and his clown show colleagues (Huckabee, Bachmann, Palin, Limbaugh, Hannity, etc.) look like the bigot buffoons they are. They represent the mindset of today’s infantile, overreaching Republican base while Obama, flaws and all, is the clear-headed adult in the room. As usual, Martin’s tea party leaves are bone dry.

  65. bulldog68 says:

    And by the way, as for that argument about continuing the Bush agenda and that’s why Obama was able to catch and kill Bin Laden, Bush gave up on trying to catch him, as of March 13th 2002, a mere 6 months after 9/11 when he said that Bin laden was not a concern. That was Bush`s Bin Laden policy. All a reason to invade Iraq.

    Announcing this on the anniversary of `mission accomplished` is the most diplomatic `fuck you` I have ever seen.

  66. David Poland says:

    Yes, Joe… crazy big weekend for Obama… thus my comment that he is a lock to win again (short of some extreme shift in current events). This was icing on a cake that just got sweeter and sweeter in recent weeks.

    CORRECTED, Tuesday 1:58p

  67. Triple Option says:

    Martin S touched on it but for me it’ll be interesting to find out what kind of data was recovered from the site. I mean obviously the gen public’s not going to find out anything by way of specifics but we may get some reports of the DOJ working to freeze what could turn out to be astronomically significant assets. For many years, even prior to 9/11, speculation was that most of their money was kept in the west. One thing I thought was great about the delay to rush into battle immediately following 9/11 was the ability shut down some funding operations. Which, among other things, confirmed some earlier assumptions of asset locations. If all such information has been gathered at one central point, it would dwarf bin laden’s death by an avalanche.

    I don’t think there has to be one central viewpoint on the events that happened over the w/e, but I think the venomous hate between Americans needs to be addressed. I think it’s beyond normal party spin. I think it’s beyond a relatively small number of bigots. I worry about the base level of hate people have for each other living w/in the same border. At first when news came out and the negative spin started it was like that one team you absolutely hate, maybe the Raiders or Red Sox. But then they take out the bubble team so your squad gets into the playoffs but people have so much animosity, they can’t even celebrate making the post season cuz their rival won a meaningless game. Really, you can’t be happy? Would you rather us both lose and be out of the hunt than just be happy at some good fortune?

    But that’s just the start. It’s way beyond red letter day on the calendar. It’s not even schadenfreude. It’s convincing oneself that someone who lives and works next to you is inherently evil because they have a difference of opinion, even if there’s proof that differences can coincide without violence or humiliation. No wonder Jesus kept saying to love your neighbor and love your enemy, apparently we’re too stupid to know who’s who.

  68. djiggs says:

    David just said, “Yes, Joe… crazy big weekend for Obama… thus my comment that he is not a lock to win again (short of some extreme shift in current events).”

    David’s original quote,”On the flip side, any fantasy the Republicans were having about making Obama a one-term president is all but dead now.”

    Again, David, where is this quote of yours that Obama is not a lock to win again? I keep asking the question because you go Nikki Finke’s obfuscating again. You make a claim of not making Obama a lock for winning the 2012 election except it is contradicted by what you originally wrote. Again, it reminds me of Obama calling for civility and bipartisanship but then inviting Paul Ryan to sit in the front row while he rips him a new asshole in a live thrashing of his budget plan.

    This is the thing that irritates me as a guy who is pissed off at both parties. This damn celebrity cult of personality where our guy can never do any wrong and if you oppose you are racist/unpatriotic/Hitler/Stalin/Pol Pot. It happened with W. Bush & now with Obama. When can both supporters and detractors view these people as the men that they are and not the messiahs that we claim to be? Why do we continue to persist in Manichean political view of good/evil, red/blue, homo/hetero, Christian & Jew/Muslim, etc.? It is all just ridiculous bullshit.

    Let me ask you some simple questions to David or anyone else. Do you see all of the politicians on the opposing side as the devils incarnate? If you are a Democrat, do you admire/respect any Republican and vice versa? Can you name any time where your side has done something that you are ashamed about? Can you name any time when the opposing side did something that you admired? Or have we so grotesquely cartoonized each other into the beasts/monsters/demons of our nightmares that we do not see them as fellow Americans or human beings?

    I want to say this quote is from Jake Kasdan’s “Zero Effect”. Ben Stiller says something like this,”There are not bad guys or guys…there are just a bunch of guys.” This is not freaking Lord of the Rings/Star Wars where your political opponent is Saurman or Emperor Palpitine. It is too bad that we treat rhetorically our political opponents in the same way we treat rhetorically legitimate murderous enemies to our society. Just sad.

  69. christian says:

    “but then inviting Paul Ryan to sit in the front while he rips him a new asshole in a live thrashing of his budget plan. ”

    Poor Paul Ryan – after he and his party spent two years painting Obama as a KenyanMuslimMarxistTerrorist – he merely pointed out his differences as well as things he agreed with in the plan. You’re just throwing down The Official Right Wing Talking Point about Ryan by the way, so I can’t quite take your point to heart.

    I don’t see Republicans as Evil – but its clear that their base is driven by a deep anti-intellectualism (Teachers are Parasites!) and undeniable bigotry (Obama is The Other!). And Obama has handled a staggering load with a lot of level-headed class (and yes, I have serious issues with some of his policies). But the fact that Trump is popular among potential GOP candidates is just an official sign that they are unserious about adult governance. As are the sideshow media that enables the madness.

    I’d like us to all get along, but there’s a serious bump in the road here. I half-blame reality TV (from whence came The Trump), which seems solely devoted to pitting American against American.

  70. djiggs says:

    No, I am not throwing the official right wing talking point. I am talking about basic decency & politeness. If your rival invited you in the front row of an event, where he publicly trashed your work while giving lip service to good points in your work-you are telling me that you would not be insulted.

    This hypocrisy that I am talking about…if our guy trashes your guy, well it is not really unethical/rude/inconsiderate because your guy did it first. Nyah, Nyah!!!

    Can we grow up as a nation? Why do you feel the need to elevate Obama on this pedestal and not look at him like the man & more importantly the politician he is? There is as much deep anti-intellecutalism on both sides of the aisles that I can see with…just take a look at the doc David was touting a few years ago Tony Kaye’s Lake of Fire. For each of your Teachers are Parasites/Obama is the Other, there is a 911 Truther/Bush stole 2 elections person.

    I am not a pie in the sky guy, looking for us to skip along the meadows towards the rainbow in the sky. But, we have to start acknowledging the basic humanity of at least our political opponents in order to move forward. We need to at least try to understand what took us to our particular viewpoints & I am not even saying to agree. As EM Forester asked us, “Just connect”.

  71. djiggs says:

    Another thing about this adulation of Obama-how much suffering that he has endured with level of class and grace?
    You don’t hire David Axelrod if you are not willing to fight down and dirty in the political arena. His hands are not clean in the mudfights of US politics.

    Let me tell you some other men and women who endured tougher times with a lot more grace & class: Susan B. Anthony, Frederick Douglas, Martin Luther King, Gandhi, Malcolm X, Mandela, Lech Walesa, etc.

  72. christian says:

    “Elevate Obama”? I voted for him; I think he’s a terrific president under the circumstances. Yet I have no utopian ideals about politicians, democrat or republican. The game is rigged and I’ll lean to the guy offering something back. That’s hardly “adulation.” Yet you even pull out the right wing meme about “messiahs” in your post, then again repeat the lie Obama somehow “publicly thrashed” Ryan – saving your harsh words for Obama and ignoring the swath of rude bigotry that has tainted the Republicans.

    Nothing partisan about it, but I’ve never seen a modern political party like today’s GOP/Tea Party element succumb to such raging ignorance. And sorry, the 100,000 plus Americans (including Republicans) who are protesting Walker’s union busting and the aged who are angrily questioning Ryan (real public thrashings) are not the same thing as a fringe of 9/11 truthers.

    No problem with connecting as I’m a classic bleeding heart and unrepentant Ayn Rand fan, but Obama has more than reached out — he’s a goddamn centrist after all — instead he’s asked for his Birth Certificate. Who’s fault is that? How do you respond to that level of irrationality? The onus is not on the bullied. Pat Buchannan called him an “affirmative action president” on MSNBC last week. The racism isn’t even disguised anymore. Not sure what to do about all that.

  73. djiggs says:

    And, if you looked at my posts, you would see that I stain the Republicans with same messiah brush when they elevated W. into some deity figure.

    And, you ignore the trash that was said and thrown at W. Because we only see what we want to see and what we are comfortable with.

    According to your point of view, Obama is being bullied because some dipshits are asking for his birth certificate? You do know, that Gandhi/Anthony/King/Malcolm X/Mandela & their followers were beaten up, killed, jailed & yet they all responded with far more grace and class. You respond to irrationality and bullying with kindness and firmness and intelligence. An eye for an eye just makes the whole world go blind. You do not go into a one-upmanship game with your own stupid comments and snickering comedy routines. What the president did about his birth certificate on Wednesday was adult; what he did on Saturday night was juvenile. Be the bigger man and the adult in the room not the cool jock trying to one up the class clown.

  74. christian says:

    “what he did on Saturday night was juvenile. Be the bigger man and the adult in the room not the cool jock trying to one up the class clown.”

    No, it was karmic justice at an event FAMOUS FOR ITS PUTDOWNS — including Obama being joked at. Of course, when Bush did it, he pretended to look for WMD’s under the White House desk, which is the opposite of class and another reason I’m relieved he’s not representing us anymore. Obama’s funny but hardly cruel jab at Trump (who deserves so much more ridicule for his race-baiting) is hardly the cool jock in action. It’s standing up to the bullies.

    I don’t compare Obama to any of the folks you mention, but he does know something about lifelong discrimination. He has empathy — the primary element missing from the core of the GOP these days. I hope they find it again.

    And the shocking stupidity of ABC to think bully bigot Rush Limbaugh was actually praising Obama today:

    And djiggs, you claim you voted for Ralph Nader — and are worried about how Obama speaks of Republicans?

  75. djiggs says:

    So, are you saying that the core of the GOP lack empathy? Because you are God and know what is in there hearts? Maybe you perceive they have no empathy because we do not show them empathy. Do unto others as you would have they do unto you.

    Again, his political opponents are bullying the President of the United States (the most powerful man in the world)? No, the idiot ones are acting like dipshit clowns throwing crap on the wall to see if it sticks. At best, they are impugning his character or reputation. It is interesting that you did not include the first part of my statement, which said what he did on Wednesday was being an adult.
    He did address the “bullying” on Wednesday; what he did on Saturday was contribute to the pigsty when he was bemoaning the stench & filth on Wednesday.

    And, it is not about karmic justice to do the comedy routine. It is just revenge by sticking it to Trump in the room. If it was about what is justice, the President would not have brought up again.

    Why do you bring up other’s bad behavior to justify Obama’s questionable behavior? Just be sincere and acknowledge that Obama can have a mean streak as well. You do not survive in this current state of politics without one.

    My basic point can we as a nation elevate our politics above spitballs/you’re Hitler no you are/my opponent is the devil to something higher to actually govern this nation. I am asking our President and all of our leaders to at least put aside their short term pettiness and work at least a minute sliver of time together to solve our problems. That is all.

  76. christian says:

    I disagree on your projection of a Press Correspondents dinner — a well-established political roast for all — as Obama cruelly taunting Trump in a display of “bad behavior.”

    “You respond to irrationality and bullying with kindness and firmness and intelligence.”

    Which Obama has done repeatedly in the face of real vicious sliming for two years now. And sorry djiggs, I believe in what you’re saying, but this “both sides are equally vicious” meme doesn’t fly with me these days. I saw puppets at anti-war rallies and guns at Obama townhalls.

  77. djiggs says:

    Then, if his political opponents are so threatening in your opinion, why not allow President Obama to lock away all of them in Guatanamo & become President for life? If they are such a threat, put them in the gulag.

    We do not that here because we are Americans. But, we do tar and feather our political opponents and put them in a rhetorical gulag. They do the same to us. We wonder why we do not get things done.

    You know, during his brief Senate career, President Obama actually worked some of those Neanderthals and put forth some bills with Dick Lugar and Tom Coburn. It is possible; is it easy? Hell, no. But, our problems are too great to let name calling, smear campaigns, stupid idiocy, etc. run the course of the day. We may disagree but we are not WWE wrestlers in a Triple Cage Match of Doom. Being the adult sometimes means turning the other cheek and swallowing your pride for the greater good.

    Again, yes the Republicans have smeared Obama with some of the slimest campaign stuff ever. But, Obama has also given some shots. But, both sides have to know that this country is too evenly split that in order to accomplish anything…each side will have to give a little.

  78. SamLowry says:

    Actually, I was the one who said Republicans are psychopaths because they can’t feel empathy.

    How else do you explain a mentality that makes it okay to ship millions of American jobs outside the country just to save a couple bucks? (Remember the line in Crichton’s “Rising Sun” when he said any Japanese businessman who did that to his own people be treated like a traitor, and his children and his grandchildren would be shamed as well?) And then, when the resulting millions of unemployed get upset about being unable to find work, who do you point the finger at but public employees who seem to have job security?

    What is the Republican plan for the future, aside from “I got mine, screw you”? After they trash the country’s infrastructure and its workers in an attempt to be “competitive,” then what? What will they do with the tens of millions and eventually hundreds of millions of Americans who will no longer find work when more and more jobs are shipped out or automated entirely? Create a world war and send them off to die? Soylent Green? The Most Dangerous Game?

  79. Foamy Squirrel says:

    “this “both sides are equally vicious” meme doesn’t fly with me these days”

    This is itself a false equivalency meme. The ACTUAL argument is that “both sides are vicious” – the “equally” qualifier is inserted by critics of the argument.

    The subtext to that argument is that the easiest thing you can do to reduce the overall level of “viciousness” is fix shit on your own side rather than attacking the other side for theirs.

  80. SamLowry says:

    Yeah, and then Democrats get slimed and look like wimps when they don’t retaliate. The slime is all that anyone remembers, so whoever slimes best and/or hardest is seen as the “winner”.

    Go ask Dukakis or Gore about taking the high road. Or maybe just read about how the Republicans refused to launch a satellite because Gore’s name was tangentially attached:

  81. Joe Leydon says:

    Foamy: Good point. Funnily enough, I don’t recall the “other side” ever downplaying their Willie Horton scare spots after Michael Dukakis refused to turn vicious.

  82. Foamy Squirrel says:

    EDIT – There’s a few other things there, not the least of which is the law of diminishing returns. If you go from 80% of your time working on something to 90% of your time, you’re not going to see a 10% improvement in that activity. At some point you’re going to start getting smaller and smaller results, and which point you SHOULD then turn your attention to other tasks.

    So it’s not that you should “turn the other cheek” all the time, it’s that the focus of your energies should be where you can make the most improvement. Feel free to throw the odd thing out there – with the corollary that it should be directed at making an improvement, rather than add to the noise.

  83. SamLowry says:

    If sliming “has no effect apart from bruising of egos,” then why did the Republicans keep Karl Rove around? Because he’s a really good hunting buddy?

    And though you deleted your comment about Democrats continually being elected despite the constant sliming they receive, it would be really nice so see an actual progressive win the White House and not someone on the center-right spectrum. Why do you think Republicans hated Clinton so much? Because he was a better Republican than they were?

  84. Foamy Squirrel says:

    Shrug – I’ll add it back in, I just felt it got off the point a bit.

    Democrats still continue to win election despite the use of smear campaigns against candidates – so ultimately, a lot of the time these sliming “wins” only have the effect of bruising egos. In which case, why the fuck should we bother doing anything about them? It’s not that smear strategies aren’t effective, it’s that there are other strategies that can prove equally effective.

    Karl Rove’s usefulness wasn’t that he put the other candidate down, it’s that he inspired already-converted people to rise up (and vote). Any psychologist will tell you it’s incredibly difficult to get someone who has already decided on an ideology to shift their position – which again begs the question about how effective directly retaliating against that strategy would be.

  85. SamLowry says:

    Rove inspired people, like Mother Teresa?

    Gee, and I thought he was a one-trick pony, who was known for pulling off sophisticated smear campaigns when he was still in college.

  86. Paul MD (Stella's Boy) says:

    Foamy I disagree regarding Rove’s usefulness. He mastered the art of dirty campaigning and utilized it often and effectively. He was also good at getting people to the polls. The combination is why he was so good at his job and part of many successful campaigns.

  87. Foamy Squirrel says:

    Sam – Yes. That is exactly the comparison I was trying to make. Well done.


    Paul – Yes, that is also what I meant. I don’t know if Rove caused a single voter to change their mind about any of his political opponents, but he sure increased voter turnout for people already registered Republican.

  88. leahnz says:

    wait, since i’m not american does that mean I can send the tea party & the birthers to the gulag? choice. break a deal, spin the wheel…gulag, gulag, gulag

    delusional, racist (and often heavily armed) morons deserve to be treated as such, with nothing but contempt. that this enclave of idiocy has gained any kind of mainstream political traction, become anything more than a silly political joke, should be of grave concern to sensible people everywhere.

    but apparently not djiggs, the one-eyed preacher. (is that ‘the peacemaker’ i see partially buried in your reeking garage?) lengthy sermons riddled with self-serving rationalisations, assumptions, contradictions, subjective opinions/minimising/exaggerating stated as fact, half-truths and outright nonsense, with just enough commonsense thrown in along with a complete lack of a sense of humour to make it all esp. annoying.

  89. Paul MD (Stella's Boy) says:

    I think you can definitely say that Rove caused negative perceptions of the opposing candidate to increase for voters. Isn’t it about driving negatives for the opposition more than anything else at times? He was great in that department.

  90. SamLowry says:

    You don’t need to change any minds to win an election, you just need to convince your side that the candidate competing against your man is their enemy, a commie-nazi-pinko-womanizing-atheistic-socialistic-gay-Catholic-bunny-loving-tree-hugger, and they’ll show up in droves to burn the witch, figuratively speaking.

    So far.

  91. Martin S says:

    Djiggs – I appreciate everything you’ve written and the time to do it, but when it comes to certain individuals, IO & Christian for sure – it’s pointless. I’ve tried for years and it simply does not exist within them. They’re rabid class warfaristas and are not looking for an honest conversation.

    Just look at Chrisitan’s response to my initial post. Instead of debating any points, he goes to generalities and Birthirism. Why? Because facts are facts.

    To be fair, I encounter this from the right as well, just at other sites. And I go at them just also. It’s not based on some “above the frey” mindset, it’s about starting with facts. IO and Christian barely deal in reality. SamLowry and Bulldog are joining that chorus.

    if his political opponents are so threatening in your opinion, why not allow President Obama to lock away all of them in Guatanamo…

    You’re trying to be absurd, but Christian and IO do believe that would be fair. They just don’t have the balls to say it directly. When variations of it come out in their comments, they shrug it off as a joke because they know how whacked it appears.

    There’s a lot of ignorance preached on this blog about what the right believes, and it’s pointless to correct because very, very few are trying to “raise the discourse”.

    Diplomacy and bipartisanship did not find UBL. Gitmo, “harsh interrogation techniques”, “Wiretapping” and “black op sites” did. The left wanted all these shut down for years, but now that they think it favors “their guy”, it’s time to revise history or ignore it. The fear of hypocrisy makes it impossible to have an honest debate.

  92. Paul MD (Stella's Boy) says:

    Exactly Sam. Forget about our guy, look at their guy. He/she is soft on terrorism and wants to read them their rights rather than wipe them off the face of the earth. He/she wants to create abortion factories all across America and allow teenagers abortion-on-demand. He/she is all about religious tolerance when it comes to Muslims but hates Christians. He/she would allow gays to marry and destroy family values as we know them. And on and on. That is what Rove did. Drive people to the polls and scare people into voting for his candidate.

    The ignorance you speak of works both ways here Martin. Supporting Obama means you believe he walks on water and is Jesus. Saying Trump’s rhetoric has a racist tinge means you believe every single right-of-center person in America is a racist xenophobe.

  93. Martin S says:

    Sam – you cry about jobs going over seas, and then praise Clinton. Who pushed NAFTA? Go re-watch the famed Gore/Perot debate on Larry King and then tell me who you voted for. I was with Perot and he was right.

    Leah – you’re not an American. No one cares what you say about our politics. Deal with it.

  94. Foamy Squirrel says:

    This is why I originally deleted the comment – I thought it was getting off the point. The point isn’t whether Rove was effective or not, it’s whether retaliating to those kind of smear campaigns is effective or not.

    As I said, Rove’s effectiveness was in getting the already-converted to the polls. How does retaliating in any way affect that, except to harden their position?

    If your problem is the level of viciousness in politics, I again repeat the single most effective thing you can do is focus your energies on your own communications.

  95. Paul MD (Stella's Boy) says:

    I get what you’re saying Foamy and there is some truth to it. I merely believe that Rove excelled at driving the opponent’s negatives and using fear to get people to the polls. Is it better to retaliate and win or take the high road and lose? How should someone like Max Cleland respond to accusations that he was a Saddam-supporting terrorist lover? Should Kerry have responded to the Swift Boaters sooner or not at all?

    Also it’s not that I believe Democrats don’t engage in dirty campaign tricks. I just don’t think they’re nearly as good at it.

  96. SamLowry says:

    Here’s one leftie who’s all in favor of wiretapping and “harsh interrogation techniques,” as long as they’re used on everyone suspected of a crime.

    And with that delightful thought in mind, I’ll throw out a quote from “Why Isn’t Wall Street in Jail?”: “You put Lloyd Blankfein in pound-me-in-the-ass prison for one six-month term, and all this bullshit would stop, all over Wall Street.” ( )

    So, yes, for those who need a literal spelling-out of What I Believe, I think it would be a wonderful idea to wiretap and torture, er, use harsh interrogation techniques on white-collar criminals and not reserve such special treats for mere grubby terrorists.

  97. SamLowry says:

    Did I say I praised Clinton? Maybe you missed my comment that Republicans hated him because he was a better Republican than they were? (Which means I think he’s a Republican, QED) Or that I’d love to see an actual progressive in the White House and NOT someone on the center-right spectrum?

    I keep looking backward to see when the last time was we had a real Democrat in the White House and not some centrist who kept caving to the right, and FDR is looking very plausible.

  98. christian says:

    “if his political opponents are so threatening in your opinion, why not allow President Obama to lock away all of them in Guatanamo…”

    Because that would be fascism? And I love that you made the leap between me merely pointing out the ugly attacks on Obama and then your ridiculous logical conclusion is that I want opponents locked up. That’s you in total right-wing paranoid attack mode. Heal thyself.

    “You’re trying to be absurd, but Christian and IO do believe that would be fair. ”

    And here’s Martin in typical hit mode. An intellectual hack who has been repeatedly proven wrong. Prove that I believe this Martin. Show me your Brain Certificate. As to your response to leah, classic American Exceptionalism: SHUTUP YOU AIN’T ONE OF US!!!!

    “There’s a lot of ignorance preached on this blog about what the right believes, and it’s pointless to correct because very, very few are trying to “raise the discourse”.

    I read half a dozen right wing sites, watch FOX, listen to AM radio and actually know real life Republicans – I know what the Right is selling. I’m just not buying.

    And djiggs, you still didn’t respond to my question: if you voted for Nader in 2008 – how do you reconcile his own blistering attacks on both parties?

  99. bulldog68 says:

    Martin S, I do believe that you are the one not dealing in reality, because all I’m quoting is reality. There is a fundamental difference in what a person “believes to be true” and what “it true.”

    Lets take a look at the laundry list of issues that have been put forward by repubs/tea partiers in the first two years of Obama’s presidency and see if you are the logical person you think you are, that any of these had any merit to be begin with and any of them have been substantiated, and also if any of the repubs have come out and say that they were wrong:

    1) Was not born in this country.
    2) health plan will lead to death camps.
    3) Will be turning america into a muslim caliphate.
    4) Is a muslim
    5) Is a communist/socialist.
    6) Does not salute the flag.
    7) Paid millions to keep his birth certificate hidden.
    8) Barack did not attend Columbia

    And almost everything that Sharon Angle and sarah Palin and Michele Bachman have said while campaigning about Obama’s plan for the country to stir their lily white base, and without a shred of proof. Ever wonder why they Sharon Angle resorted to ducking the press, or why Sarah only goes only on Fox, or why Michelle is blaming Obama’s teleprompter for her own gaffes. They all collectively contain no substance, and their opinions are based on rumormongering and hate stirring. Demonize the bad guy, and then look for 2nd amendment solutions.

    I want a good debate about the issues. I want the serious politicians like Pawlenty and Romney and any others who seem to be more based in bringing a plan to the table to start engaging on that level. Lets dispense with all this horseshit, give credit where credit is due, stop pretending that Bush perpetrated the greatest and most expensive lie on the american public and in fact the world, plunged the US into an economic freefall with two very expensive wars that detracted from getting Bin Laden in the first place, stop pretending that all that shit did not happen, stop trying to rewrite history, stop going all Rudy Guliani on us and saying that there was no terrorist attack on american soil when Bush was President, stop ignoring the ‘facts’ that are before your face, and deal with what is real. Stop saying nay to bills that you as repubs put into place and are now against because Obama is power, and some of your own repubs have to scold their own party for reversing their original intent, like the nuclear arms treaty.

    When we watch the news and we see Newt say he would have invaded Libya prior to Obama doing the same thing, and then reverse himself right after, saying he would not have done, are these guys aware that they are being recorded.

    When they make statements that 91% of planned parenthood is about abortion and then when proving wrong say “i did not expect that statement to be taking as factual” can you really blame someone for wanting to have nothing to do with these people that are supposed to represent a smart alternative to the government in power, when their character is so questionable Martin?

    And as usual, it is now caught all on tape?

    A bit longer than I intended so my apologies.

  100. bulldog68 says:

    that should be that Bush “did not” perpetrate…

  101. christian says:

    What bulldog said.

    And a party that lionizes folks like Newt Gingrich for proclaiming that Obama has a “Kenyan, anti-colonial mindset”…well, that ain’t no party at all. That’s a funeral.

  102. storymark says:

    “Did I say I praised Clinton?”

    Psh. Martin was too busy explaining what others think (while complaining about those who do so for the right) and complaining about people not recognizing facts (while inventing some) to fully read your post.

  103. SamLowry says:

    And yes, an awful lot of the mud thrown at Obama by the tea-baggers has a racist reek about it (why didn’t they complain about government expenditures when Bush decided to launch two wars without raising taxes?), but when I went to look up a quote to prove that Ms. Clinton once made a fairly racist comment during the race (further proving that the Clintons are closeted Republicans), I was stunned to see here ( ) that almost every memorable bit of mud thrown at Obama during the campaign–the Somali garb, Bill Ayers, Rev. Wright–all came from the Clinton camp (and that doesn’t include Billy Shaheen, Clinton’s co-chair, accusing Obama of being a drug dealer, because that one wasn’t very memorable).

    I’m sure some will say this proves that Democrats can fight just as dirty as Republicans, but once again I really don’t see the Clintons as Democrats. In much the same vein, I know there’s a guy out there peddling a lot of books about his life as an atheist (can’t find his name at the moment) and yet he believes in Eastern mysticism and reincarnation. Sorry, but that kinda invalidates the very meaning of atheism.

    Look at the policies, look at the attitudes, and only then should you stick on a label.

  104. Paul MD (Stella's Boy) says:

    Yes while some on the right object and claim that all liberals do is accuse opponents of racism, I don’t understand how any rational person examines some of the anti-Obama rhetoric and doesn’t conclude that racism is playing a role.

    The first non-white president is accused of not being an American citizen while also being a secret Muslim trying to implement Muslim rule in the U.S., an other who doesn’t share traditional American values, a Marxist/Communist/Socialist with a Kenyan, anti-colonial mindset, and not smart enough to get into an Ivy League school (though the same people never questioned this in regards to Bush).

    And none of that has to do with his race? Really? It’s just a simple matter of policy disagreements?

  105. SamLowry says:

    Too late to edit, but I suspect the name I was looking for is Sam Harris. And it’s also too late to strike out the reincarnation claim–he’s just into meditation, apparently, which I still consider kinda freaky in that Rick James sort of way.

  106. christian says:

    I counted Hillary Clinton out the moment her camp started with that baiting. It was obvious and below them.

    And again proof of Obama’s ability to transcend bitterness – Clinton sitting across from her once-foe while they watch the death of Bin Laden who came on the scene during her husband’s administration.

    Nobody would believe that in a film!

  107. David Poland says:

    “David just said, “Yes, Joe… crazy big weekend for Obama… thus my comment that he is not a lock to win again (short of some extreme shift in current events).”

    David’s original quote,”On the flip side, any fantasy the Republicans were having about making Obama a one-term president is all but dead now.”

    Again, David, where is this quote of yours that Obama is not a lock to win again?”

    Not obfuscation… a typo. He IS a lock to win again… that’s what I get from responding via iPhone while doing 6 other things…

  108. David Poland says:

    some simple questions to David or anyone else. Do you see all of the politicians on the opposing side as the devils incarnate?

    Not even close. But there are strains of politicians who lose perspective on the job of doing the best for the American people and play a game of just trying to destroy others. It happens on both sides. I always felt that the words used about Bush 2 were too harsh and kept the conversation from getting serious about the destructive shit he was doing in his job. It was always too personal.

    If you are a Democrat, do you admire/respect any Republican and vice versa?

    Yes, of course.

    Can you name any time where your side has done something that you are ashamed about?

    Of course. Too many to name, but we can start with Dan Rather and The Clintons wagging their finger at America while lying through their teeth.

    Can you name any time when the opposing side did something that you admired?


    Or have we so grotesquely cartoonized each other into the beasts/monsters/demons of our nightmares that we do not see them as fellow Americans or human beings?

    Well, that is what the extremists do in politics, religion, and elsewhere. The situation today is that the Republican Party is being dominated by those cartoon types. The lack of a straight retort to the Birthers by the mainstream Republican elected officials is not unlike being silent when George Wallace tried to keep integration from taking place. I know you will think that’s inflammatory, but but it’s nothing compared to the Birthers… who are not all racists… but who are (aware of it or not) processing years of institutionalized racism in this country.

    The thing about all this is we now also have a cycle of lies being exposed followed by a call from the right to put the past behind us… over and over again. I am willing to forgive, but only an idiot forgets.

    You can’t put the national debt crisis all on Obama’s door… not half of it… a sliver of it. But the first 2 years of his administration were defined by the Bush Administration and where they left America. I don’t see how anyone can deny that with a straight face.

  109. leahnz says:

    fwiw i am deeply wounded that martin s and others don’t care about what i say about US politics, and i’m currently doing my level best to deal with it (hopefully without having to have counselling)

    to martin s: three quick things

    half my family is american, so US politics matters to me personally.

    watching you drift down that river in egypt trying to duck, talk your way around and rationalise away the glaringly obvious fact that the tea party/birthers’ contempt for barack obama is firmly rooted in a)good old fashioned racism, and b)ignorance and stupidity, is really rather fascinating.

    that you think non-amercans can’t have an opinion on US politics — and further, that you don’t seem to get that a good deal of the rest of world is laughing (and not in a good way – uncomfortably, awkwardly, and in disbelief) at the absurdest notion that the tea baggers/birthers/thier ilk are actually taken even remotely seriously in the political arena and gaining traction, in some cases running for actual office or already elected representatives. hilarious, outrageous and scary, all at the same time.

  110. bulldog68 says:

    Leahnz, I could not have put your 3rd paragraph better myself. Have a cold one on me.

  111. bulldog68 says:

    Shucks, should have scrolled up a bit to actually see how many paragraphs you had. I meant your final paragraph.

  112. christian says:

    You can’t make this up – but it’s pretty easy these days.

    Napolitano fesses up on FOX that he’s not sure there was a mission at all:

  113. leahnz says:

    i’ll actually do that, bulldog, cheers maple leaf, eh (i knew what you meant anyway, paragraph 3 being point 3 of my three-point point)

    re: christian’s link, and so it begins. didn’t take long.

  114. SamLowry says:

    A few great comments about that video, which I will not watch (I value my brain too much):

    “Are you really a judge? You are on the side of terrorists!!! Why do you hate Americans? Did you rejoice when 9/11 happen? You f@*king screaming a$$hole!!!!”

    “Killing a terrorist without the appropriate authority of the State and the due diligence required is inappropriate and bad sportsmanship.”

    And I’ve been waiting all day for Lex to show up and say that Hillary was so frickin’ hot when she wore bondage gear on the cover of Spy all those years ago.

    ( if you really need to see it. Prolly NSFW, too.)

  115. bulldog68 says:

    And exactly where was this “judge” when Bush took out Saddam? Was he screaming for Saddam’s rights or taking the same tone when the cowboy president was gettin’ er done?

    Ironically I do not remember any top democrats or top left leaning commentators criticizing Saddam and his sons being brought to their ultimate demise, but I would welcome any link to any reputable news source disproving my comment.

    The same way the repubs just can’t simply state that Obama is as American as they are, now they just can’t bring themselves to say Obama did a good job on this. What a bunch of hypocrites.

  116. torpid bunny says:

    Martin, you should really be writing for National Review with that choice pastiche of soi disant sophisticated analysis and self-serving conspiracy theories.

    Plus you obviously get around in the world of right wing thought: saying we’ll find a connection between Al Queda and Iran (i.e. a favorite neo-con hobby horse) in Osama’s papers? That’s some recondite shit right there. You could go on CNN with that shit. But really, it’s not 2002 anymore. We won’t be going to war with Iran. Sorry. Of course, it would be much more plausible to find a bunch of checks written in Saudi Arabia…

  117. obviously like your web site however you have to check the spelling on several of your posts. Many of them are rife with spelling problems and I in finding it very troublesome to tell the truth on the other hand I’ll certainly come back again.

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