Blogs and Iraq: Thanks Dear, But I Do My Own Thinking

Mahablog patronizes me:

At Talk Left, Big Tent Democrat complains that Scott Lilly endorsed “doing nothing.” No, dear; he’s asking people who presume to be activists to stop being stupid about it.

That's very nice dear, but how about explaining why it is stupid. Because Harold Meyerson, Walter Dellinger, Scott Lilly, Matt Stoller and you say so is not an argument. Remember the arguments from experts on Iraq and the politics of Iraq? I do my own thinking thank you very much. Present YOUR argument. And then we can discuss it. I have presented mine. Would be nice if you addressed it.

Mahablog fails to quote the portion of Scott Lilly's piece that I objected to. Here is what I was arguing about, from Lilly's piece:

There is one decisive action that the Congress could theoretically take with respect to Iraq given Bush’s Constitutional authorities. [. . .] Congress could simply refuse to pass any legislation providing further funding for the war. That sounds both simple and effective. But there are serious downsides to such a strategy that devoted opponents of this war should reflect upon. . . . Well-meaning people can argue about whether or not such a strategy would be good policy or whether or not it would be good politics. But there is little room for argument as to whether such a stance is a viable legislative strategy.

My response:

"One decisive action" says Lilly. We can't do it says Lilly. What other actions does Lilly suggest? Call your Congressperson says Lilly. And say what I ask? Ask them to do what I ask? There is "one decisive action" dear. That is exactly my point dear.

As I understand Lilly, Mahablog, Stoller, Sirota and just about everyone in the Left blogs, they are urging that activists NOT agitate for the "one decisive action" that can end the war.

That, Lilly, Stoller and Mahablog tell me, is stupid activism. That sounds familiar to me. The DLC, circa 2005, 'don't oppose the war in Iraq.' Thank Gawd we didn't listen then. I sure as hell will not listen to such Beltway infected nonsense now.

But Mahablog protests it is not letting Pelosi off the hook:

I’m not going to let Pelosi and Obey off the hook entirely. I think they could be doing more to keep us informed of what they are up to. There’s so much noise in media that it is hard to separate what’s real from what’s propaganda. I checked Pelosi’s congressional web page, and there is no information on where she is at this moment on the Iraq issue. We need direct communication between Congress and people who oppose the war, and bloggers can play a part in that.

You just DID let her off the hook, dear. You told us to clap louder. That is my definition of stupid activism. I wish the Left blogs would stop being so stupid about this.

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    well... (5.00 / 4) (#1)
    by buhdydharma on Fri Mar 16, 2007 at 06:41:42 PM EST
    You are right of course...and in my experience have been out in front of just about everybody on lots of stuff (HAVE you ever been wrong???)

    But look at it this way.... if everyone was as smart and prescient as you....why would we need you?

    My question to the rest of the Blogosphere...

    What exactly are we waiting for re pushing for defunding again?

    Let's see (5.00 / 4) (#2)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Mar 16, 2007 at 06:51:23 PM EST
    I was for not confirming Gonzo, against Iraq, for running in 2004 on Iraq, for running on Iraq in 2006, for filibustering Alito and now for drawing a line in the sand on funding the war.

    Ah! (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by buhdydharma on Fri Mar 16, 2007 at 07:34:45 PM EST
    But who did you pick to win the NCAA last year????

    Florida (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Mar 16, 2007 at 07:38:06 PM EST
    Picked them this year too.

    But they are my team so . . .


    Go Heels!!!! (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by TexDem on Fri Mar 16, 2007 at 09:49:39 PM EST
    Let's Go Gators! (none / 0) (#15)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Mar 16, 2007 at 10:01:55 PM EST
    Did I call the Winthrop win or what? (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by Dadler on Fri Mar 16, 2007 at 10:16:39 PM EST
    They were so overdue.

    You rated that a 1??? (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by Dadler on Fri Mar 16, 2007 at 11:43:45 PM EST
    Come on now, I know it wasn't a George Mason to the Final Four pick, but I did tab Old Dominion as a great name for a bargain whiskey.  Maybe you're a sore Domer.

    And doesn't a D-1 program like Winthrop's amaze you?  Their head coach, Greg Marshall, must be a genius in all the right ways.  He should be getting a bigtime job and soon.  If Tubby Smith gets axed at Kentucky next year, that's the kind of gig I could see Marshall getting.


    It was a mistake (none / 0) (#26)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Mar 17, 2007 at 12:01:56 AM EST
    But your whining deserves a 1 . . .

    Aw, you're just cranky (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by Dadler on Sat Mar 17, 2007 at 12:42:56 AM EST
    'Cuz I got all touchy-feely and, in your opinion, lame and ignorant, on your Living Constitution thread.  

    If Florida wins it all again, I'll hire a toothless "massage therapist" to give you a happy ending -- AND I'll give you half an hour to draw a crowd.


    Go Card! (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by Light Emitting Pickle on Sat Mar 17, 2007 at 12:44:19 AM EST
    Aw, crap

    (not sure what's allowed in these here parts - this one barely registers as swearing).


    Think Carlin (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Mar 17, 2007 at 01:28:31 AM EST
    The rest is ok.

    I think I can work within that framework (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by Light Emitting Pickle on Sat Mar 17, 2007 at 01:46:45 AM EST
    But I'll have to go back to check his list to be sure. ;)

    Hey!!! We must be twins!! (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by Noor on Fri Mar 16, 2007 at 10:07:46 PM EST
    I swear to God, I said exactly all the same things.

    I was also for defeating Bush in 2000.  When he said he wanted to do for the whole country what he'd done for Texas, my standard comment was that if he was elected, we would all be totally screwed.


    We're not screwed (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by TexDem on Fri Mar 16, 2007 at 10:23:18 PM EST
    We're F&@#ed. Really, if we don't get out now as BTD has said we're there for another four years at least. Our economy can't handle it, our troops can't handle it. If any of this crowd wants not to end this thing right now then start the draft and increase the taxes. Otherwise you're full of it and you're gutless.

    I seem to remember (5.00 / 2) (#24)
    by a gilas girl on Fri Mar 16, 2007 at 11:55:28 PM EST
    that he's been wrong on things.  less sure if I can remember what they were, but the "god he's so far off base on this one feeling", that one, I can confirm having bounced up against once or twice in my history of online .interactions with him.

    we have to keep him humble somehow, you know.


    Heh (none / 0) (#25)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Mar 17, 2007 at 12:00:23 AM EST

    It was what is known as (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by buhdydharma on Fri Mar 16, 2007 at 08:03:09 PM EST
    "a softball" lol!

    Go Ohio!

    (just for the Oden/Noah matchup!)

    Last game of the First Round (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Mar 16, 2007 at 09:02:19 PM EST
    Saving the best for last.

    by all means (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by pyrrho on Fri Mar 16, 2007 at 08:51:39 PM EST
    "hold them to account" but only if they want to be held.

    Huh? (none / 0) (#7)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Mar 16, 2007 at 09:00:59 PM EST
    Where's my podcast BTW?

    You mean cuddle afterwards? (none / 0) (#39)
    by yetimonk on Sun Mar 18, 2007 at 03:32:48 AM EST
    insert crude joke about post coitus behavior here

    Thanks dear... (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by joliberal on Fri Mar 16, 2007 at 09:26:05 PM EST
    for your focus on this issue. I am puzzled that suddenly two more years in Iraq sounds like a politically viable strategy to the Dems.

    2 more years means (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Mar 16, 2007 at 09:59:59 PM EST
    at least 4 you know.

    President Clinton/Obama/Edwards won't pull out right away.

    President McCain/Giuliani/Romney won't pull out at all.

    Now is the time.


    I've been thinking (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by andgarden on Fri Mar 16, 2007 at 09:53:56 PM EST
    about why the netroots have been unwilling to latch on to your proposal. To tell the truth, I'd previously been waiting since January for the spending bill, assuming that Pelosi was playing nice with the President for show. I took it for granted that the defunding would happen in a collaboration between Pelosi, Murtha, and Byrd (in the Senate). It wouldn't shock me, actually, to see Byrd vote against this emergency resolution. I saw him on C-Span the other day, and he really didn't look so good, so this might even be his last budget.

    I don't know that they know (none / 0) (#13)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Mar 16, 2007 at 10:01:15 PM EST
    what they are doing.

    I think this is a sign of incompetence as much as anything.


    They're afraid of Republican political thuggery (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by Dadler on Fri Mar 16, 2007 at 10:20:22 PM EST
    And they don't have the brass balls/tits to stand up and fight it.  That is it.  Period.  They cower at the thought of having to take a few bullsh*t verbal bombs from Bush, McCain, Lon Cheney, etc.  And they obviously don't have the imagination to form the logical and humane answer to counter it.

    They are weak people.  Incompetent is putting it nicely.  Leaders with no ability to lead.


    Perhaps . . . (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by walt on Fri Mar 16, 2007 at 10:01:17 PM EST
    . . . the solution may be in committee.  I looked into the Senate Defense Appropriations subcommittee & it seems that as few as 10 Democratic Party Senators can stop the funding of Bu$hInc's war in Iraq.

    Democratic Subcommittee Members:
     Senator Daniel Inouye (Chairman) (HI)
     Senator Robert C. Byrd (WV)
     Senator Patrick Leahy (VT)
     Senator Tom Harkin (IA)
     Senator Byron Dorgan (ND)
     Senator Richard Durbin (IL)
     Senator Dianne Feinstein (CA)
     Senator Barbara Milkulski (MD)
     Senator Herb Kohl (WI)
     Senator Patty Murray (WA)
    Republican Subcommittee Members:
     Senator Ted Stevens (Ranking Member) (AK)
     Senator Thad Cochran (MS)
     Senator Arlen Specter (PA)
     Senator Pete Domenici (NM)
     Senator Christopher Bond (MO)
     Senator Mitch McConnell (KY)
     Senator Richard Shelby (AL)
     Senator Judd Gregg (NH)
     Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (TX)

    Also, if the rules are the same as a few years ago, any one of these senators can STOP a bill for some length of time, anonymously, merely by notifying the chairman.  It seems that this group would stand fast on not reporting out a bill to fund the war if some activists can get the idea onto all of the respective agendas.  It could work.

    My Candidate (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by andgarden on Fri Mar 16, 2007 at 10:10:20 PM EST
    is Byrd.

    I kind of get it (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by Dadler on Fri Mar 16, 2007 at 11:50:34 PM EST
    But the point is, of course, they get bullsh*t Repub verbal bombs no matter what, but the obvious retort in this case is....they will get worse then they have ever heard before if they did this.  What they've heard before would sound like songbird orgasms.  The right would, I submit, go so hard on the bombs that they would further erode their position and standing.  There is no better way to expose the Repubs than to let them actually expose themselves -- and dear god I don't mean neckidness.  Put the Repubs in what they perceive as their best position ("patriotic" attack dog) and they'd beat the same drum until it breaks.  Let them play their same not all they want, then point to the results of that note.  Say, well, all the people who said we never should've gotten into this were right, and I guess we better heed what they have to say here -- and get the f*ck out.

    Still waiting... (5.00 / 2) (#27)
    by Alien Abductee on Sat Mar 17, 2007 at 12:08:55 AM EST
    As far as I can see, it still looks like no one has yet addressed your actual proposal. Getting 218 votes is irrelevant if the choices are set up as Heads I win, tails you lose, i.e.:
    a) pass legislation funding the war only to a certain date, thus ending the war
    B) not pass legislation funding the war only to an end date, thus ending the war

    To resist the temptation to pass something, anything, though would test the political confidence and skill of the Dem leadership in a way that's probably beyond them in the party's current compromised state, being made up as it is of far too many former Republicans and virtual Republicans. Maybe when people like Sirota push for a process-oriented approach all they're saying is that they don't think Dems are up to handling the political challenge of it. But it does seem they don't actually get the idea at all.

    The Left Blogs (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Mar 17, 2007 at 12:14:18 AM EST
    have decided to go along and get along.

    We're all great! The Dems are GREAT!!!

    Everythbing's great!

    Look how GREAT we are!

    My new campaign is to find an A list Left blogger to disagree with every day.


    Well, it's your turn for that (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by andgarden on Sat Mar 17, 2007 at 12:18:56 AM EST
    You've taken your share in the other direction!

    Well (none / 0) (#35)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Mar 17, 2007 at 01:27:07 AM EST
    I've never felt that really.

    I have always been attacked for my personality, not for my ideas.

    I am attacking ideas here.


    I think that depends (none / 0) (#38)
    by andgarden on Sat Mar 17, 2007 at 02:09:57 AM EST
    on your understanding of the word "disagree." ;-)

    Why this is happening (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by Alien Abductee on Sat Mar 17, 2007 at 12:24:06 AM EST
    I have my own ideas. I'm curious what you think about why. Though I'd understand if you didn't want to discuss it. I'm not sure it would be a productive thing to do. But some of the things people ARE writing about it are bugging the hell out of me.

    Whoops - I mean "heck" n/t (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by Alien Abductee on Sat Mar 17, 2007 at 12:28:47 AM EST
    The Allure (5.00 / 2) (#34)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Mar 17, 2007 at 01:26:03 AM EST
    of perceived power, respect and influence.

    Yet, they lose their power by doing what they are doing.

    I certainly am trying to strip them of their power - because their actions are corrosive imo.