Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Crap Attacks

In regards to Kevin Drum's racially insensitive remarks regarding Howard Dean's racially insensitive remarks, Biobrain opines:

Republicans are freaks. Pure and simple freaks. And they're so full of shit that it amazes liberals each time that they are able to squeeze a little more shit in there. They don't care about the racial sensitivity of black people. They just like to be able to get Dems on the defensive over the stupidest of reasons. Hell, many conservatives would actually be offended by these attacks on Dean if they took the attacks seriously.

And that's why we'd be fools to ever take this crap seriously. That means that we don't try to explain ourselves, we don't try to defend Dean, and we don't try to force a rational discussion of the issue. The Republicans don't want a rational discussion, though they'd be happy to indulge us by pretending to be in one...all the while they laugh at us and make us defend crap attacks. These people do not play fair and do not care about the truth. They just want to attack.

Our only recourse should be to laugh and mock these kinds of attacks. We need to turn this around and make them look as embarrassed as they should be over making such absurd attacks. I'm not saying we should do this over serious issues (though Repubs are perfectly happy mocking serious ones too), I'm just saying that we need to be able to understand which issues are real and which are fake. And the wrong response to a fake issue has often turned it into a real one. (Swift Boats, anyone?)

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

There She Blows! A Hump Like A Snowhill! It is our President!

Having read this interesting article about Bush's interesting debate humpback, Doctor Biobrain has this to say:

The article is interesting and you should read it. Not so much for the talk about the humpback, though it is interesting in itself, but rather about the way the media works and the need to "shop around" a story. I guess maybe I'm too influenced by movies like Superman, Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (the original) and it's loving tribute Hudsucker Proxy (all great movies), which show hardbitten editors demanding that their reporters dig deep to get the "big scoop" and never look back. But that's what I expect from my newspaper editors.

These days, the big scoops are only the ones that confirm scary stories which will lead to more newspapers being sold. And while the idea of a sitting President being unable to give answers on his own is scary, it's not the type of scary that will sell more newspapers in the future. In fact, it's the type of story that will lead to cancelled subscriptions and phony cries of liberal bias. And that's the worst part about the implications of this story, not just that it had to be shopped around and heavily pushed by a citizen, but how the reporters wanted to cover it but it got killed at the top. Rather than the frantic editor demanding the scoop, we have sissy editors scared of their own shadows, killing scoops that offend.

But even that wasn't why I'm writing. Here's the part that's got my panties in a bind:

Jeffrey Klein, a founding editor of Mother Jones magazine, told Mother Jones
(online edition, 10/30/04) he had called a number of contacts at leading
news organizations across the country, and was told that unless the Kerry
campaign raised the issue, they couldn't pursue it.

Now, I've never read Mother Jones and have no idea of who Jeffrey Klein is or what his credibility level is. But if what he says is true, this only confirms my worst suspicions about the media: that they believe there role is solely as dictation machines. They seem to believe that they can't cover a story suggesting that Bush cheated in the debate. For them, the only unbiased story would be a story about Kerry suggesting that Bush cheated in the debate. Rather than a headline of "Bush Wore Earpiece", it can only be "Kerry Blasts Bush for Earpiece". And that's insane.

But that's how it is with almost all media coverage. You can't say that Bush is lying. You can only say that Dems say Bush is lying. And that is insane. Facts are verifiable by definition, and therefore intrinsically unbiased. There should be nothing wrong with reporting facts about Social Security or WMD's or Bush's tax plans, or anything. And if Bush misstates any verifiable thing, then it is entirely within the realm of objectivism to report that. In fact, NOT reporting it is biased and subjective.

And this is entirely the reason why conservatives attack the media; to get them to be overly concerned with bias. And it serves a double-effect. The first is that the media won't objectively say that Bush's lies are lies, allowing him free reign to lie. But it also serves to paint Democrats negatively, by always writing stories about them "blasting" or "accusing" Bush and makes both sides look equally at fault. And if Dems want to avoid such headlines, then they aren't allowed to say anything about it and so the media will believe that they don't need to cover the story...which is exactly what happened here.

And that is the main reason for the myth of the liberal bias. And the media really believes it. And the only thing we can do to stop this is to confront newspapers and news sources for their absurd dictation model of news coverage and demand that they stop it.

Connecticut Yankee, Not Ignorant Cowboy

As an addendum to the good Doctor's last post, he adds this:

One implication of this is that we should never have been attacking Bush for being stupid, as that's his weakness which everyone knows about. I'm not suggesting that we should have ignored it. But his ignorance should always have been as a backdrop of ridicule against him, rather than the focus of anything. Everyone already knows that he's stupid, and rather than avoiding it, his handlers have always emphasized it to his advantage. That is the second part of the strengths and weaknesses post, of playing up your weaknesses and showing how they're good. But I won't get into that just yet.

Rather than emphasizing his all too obvious idiocy, we should have always been mocking his supposed resoluteness, boldness, and integrity. For example, the man doesn't have a single bone of ideological purity in his body and supports everything based on how the subject is framed. He may be stubborn, but it's not out of rational ideological bias, but rather is from his own egotistical sense of entitlement and inability to reason properly.

Ideologically speaking, the man is all over the map. Any real conservative knows that. Nation building, farm/steel/timber subsidies, open immigration laws, demand-side economics, those are not policies of a conservative. Yet liberals continue to harp on the man for being a brazen ultra-conservative cowboy, which might mean a lot in their hometown, but only endears him to many Americans who really should be against his anti-conservative, anti-populist, anti-American agenda. His policies consistently screw-over Joe Sixpack, yet we continue to alienate such people and push them into Bush's camp. Fuck the environment, we always needed to hit Bush where it hurt, by continually reminding people how unconservative he really is.

And we never should have called him a cowboy. He's not one. Trust me, I live in Texas and know what a cowboy is. Bush is just a poseur who bought an animal-less ranch for PR purposes. He pretends to clear brush in August for fun when real Texans only clear brush during the cooler months (both of them). He's the type of dude who Texans make fun of. A city-slicker. Yet rather than realize that the "cowboy" label was his marketers' idea, we immediately jump on it and try to make fun of him for being an ignorant cowboy. If anyone's the idiot here, it's us (and by "us" I mean you idiots who refer to him as a cowboy).

We always needed to attack him where he felt secure and get him on the defensive. We needed to deny him the ability to rely on his strengths, rather than repeating weaknesses that everyone knows about. That's how modern politics work and if we want to take back our country we'll have to learn the new rules.

Harry Reid: My Hero

Doctor Biobrain has much more to say on this subject, but in a relatively brief post regarding Harry Reid's criticism woes, the Doctor has this to say:

One of the primary lessons to be learned from Republicans is that you should always attack your political opponent's strengths and not waste time attacking their weaknesses. We traditionally base our strategies on real-world ideas, such as always attacking your enemy at their weakest point. But politics are not based on the real-world, but rather on perceptions. It's not necessary to destroy your enemy as you do on the battlefield. It is only necessary to give the appearance of destruction. And the best way to do that is to attack your enemy's strength, denying them the ability to use it, while forcing them to rely on their weaknesses.

And that's why you should generally assume that whatever the Republicans attack are the things that they fear most, and the place they try to lead you to is the place you should not be.

In this case, they are attacking Harry Reid for being "an obstructionist". And that should only mean that they don't want him to be an obstructionist and are trying to lead him down the path of sterile lamb. Just as they've done with most of Democrats. And fortunately for us, Reid is a streetfighter and he damn well knows this game too well. I was somewhat bitter when Daschle lost in November, but now I'm really glad they got him out of the way. He was always too coy and soft, and lacked the boldness to play the game by the conservative's rules. They fight dirty and while I don't necessarily want Reid to fight dirty, I at least want him to adopt a strategy attacking their dirty tricks rather than pretending that the Republicans are playing fair. The Republicans will do and say anything to get their way and it looks like Reid's going to address that.

I really don't have much more to say on this subject for the time, I just wanted to mention it now. This will eventually lead me into a much longer post on the subject of strengths and weaknesses and how we should use them.

The Adventures of Superman sans Boy Wonder

To expand upon a comment he made on the indelectable Digby's Hullabaloo site regarding Karl Rove's much discussed career move, Doctor Biobrain speculates thusly:

What is all this harrumph-harrumphing about Karl Rove getting a promotion, perhaps giving him title to the Presidential throne? What possible career change could be on order for Rove? He was originally brought on as a Svengali to help get an unsuccessful son of a President into the White House. And he's been given full access to the man ever since. There is probably no more influential man in Washington than Karl Rove. So, for a political junkie, where is there to go from there?


And that's exactly what this is: a demotion. In the political world appearances are absolutely everything. And if you fire someone, you are admitting a failure or defeat. And the higher up the firing, the worse the admitted failure. That is simply how the game is played. And there is no higher unelected person in this White House than Karl Rove, so firing him would be admitting to the worst of all failures.

So what can you do if you want to dismiss someone from your service without signaling defeat? You give them a different, important sounding job and call it a promotion (I learned that a long time ago from Winston Churchill, btw). This way, you get them out of your hair, without embarrassing yourself or them.

Why do I say that this is the case? Because Rove is a political junkie and there was no where else for him to go. The only "promotion" he could possibly have would be to give him even more control over Bush, Congress, and the Media; and that's not a job title kind of promotion. But more importantly, his new job sounds completely outside of his realm of expertise. He's a political junkie, expert at framing debates and using policy as a political weapon. Yet his job title says he'll be "coordinating policy". That sounds like an admin job, not a political job. It's fancy and important, but it hardly sounds like the work for a spinmeister extraordinaire like Rove.

And it also sounds like it's moving him away from Bush. Rove had one of those jobs that didn't necessarily sound important, yet you knew that it was. Similarly, many executive admins working directly under a CEO are often more important and influential than a VP. The VP might have a better seat at the weekly meeting, but the admin gets to decide who gets to see the CEO. And of course Rove was far more powerful than that. But now they've got him in charge of administrative functions. That doesn't make sense...unless it was a demotion and they're trying to get him away from the President.

Another question is: "why"? That's a bit more difficult. But I think it's because of the re-election. It was a squeaker and even Bush had to start having doubts as election day approached. But now he's like a condemned man who was pardoned while sitting on the electric chair and walking on top of the world. And while some people would repent their evil ways after such a close call, Bush saw this last election as a complete redemption of everything he did. They butter him up by telling him how bold he is, and now he's bold dammit. So bold that he's not going to listen to anyone.

Tied into that, he's not running for re-election anymore. So why should he worry about politics at all? Why should he listen to some fuddy-duddy political guru who thinks he's so damn smart? If he's so smart, why isn't he the President. And people keep suggesting that Rove is really running the show, so what better way to prove who's the boss than by foregoing Rove's advice and trusting his own political instincts instead. Or so Bush must be thinking.

And the issue that I think (via the eponymous Digby again) that Bush is using to test out his power is Social Security. This is a bold, bold President and everyone knows (political gurus most of all) that messing with Social Security is the "third rail" of politics. And he wants to create a bold, bold domestic policy for which he'll be remembered. If Ronald Reagan was the right's Franklin Roosevelt, then Bush wants to combine them together and make a right-winger who saved the world from tyranny and reformed our financial security for decades to come. And what better way than to deal directly with one of FDR's greatest accomplishments which even the venerable Ronald Reagan punted on. That is a bold sentiment indeed.

And in my belief, too bold for a political guru. I have no doubts that Rove would like to "fix" Social Security (much the same way they I fixed my cats). And I equally have no doubts that Rove initially tried to push on this agenda. But it is obvious that it will go nowhere. I once said that about us going to war in Iraq, but this is so much more obvious. The support is just not there, especially as the redder states talk a tough game, but they really do love their benefits.

So I believe that Rove wants out. He likes to take on a challenge, but this really is an issue that might cause Republicans to lose the Senate and/or House in the next election. That kind of thing is simply in the cards already and this issue is tailor-made to make that happen. And Rove's real bosses do not want that to happen, so he's got to be wanting to pull tail and run.

Long post short (too late), because junior's got an FDR complex and has clearly outgrown his britches, he has decided to push Rove into a fringe position. Rove isn't out. But he's lost much of his power.

I should add that, in order to understand this better, people really need to drop their juvenile attitude of how the White House works. Bush has handlers, not puppet-masters. They decide who gets to talk to him and how long they get to talk and on what subjects they can speak, but at the end of the day Bush really is the man to convince. I firmly believe that despite Rove and Cheney's influence, Bush really is the decision maker which would help explain many of the muddle-headed decisions from the White House. And this recent job change for Rove is yet another move by Bush to convince himself that the decisions really are his.

This entire post is the purest of speculation, of course, but I believe that Bush's re-election has made him believe that he is bulletproof and he wants to test it by flying solo. He has come to believe that he is Superman and Superman doesn't have a trusty sidekick. So Boy Wonder's been given a real job and Superman's about to discover kryptonite. We can only hope that he stretches this out long enough to bring us into the homestretch.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Who Needs Experts When You Have Pundits?

Doctor Biobrain would like to give a (relatively) brief response to an excellent analysis piece on North Korea's nuclear ambitions (via Monsignor Marshall):

Having read this piece, all I can say is "whew!". I didn't understand everything in that article and I'm glad. Nuclear science and the insides of foreign policy are a complicated subjects and if someone like me with absolutely no real knowledge can fully understand the subject by reading one article, then it just wasn't expert enough.

I particularly liked the second rebuttal by Richard L. Garwin. He could have just said, "Nope, it doesn't work like that". But he actually laid down numbers and some math to explain his point. I liked that. Maybe he's right, maybe he's wrong, I don't know. But what I do know is that he explained his rationale. Too often experts just give the basics of their opinion without giving the basis for that opinion. And if you have no idea who they are, you are completely at their mercy. And even more often, you get non-experts rattling out whatever talking point they've been assigned. So this is just a breath of fresh air to see that there really are adults out there who know of what they speak. I've started to believe that everyone is just making shit up as they go along.

I'm sure there are many complex articles written by experts out there, but they never seem to come into my field of vision, largely because they have so little to do with our day-to-day discourse. Experts confuse people and make them feel stupid. Pundits only make you feel smarter, even as they make you dumber. Which reminds me of someone.

Bi-Partisan Lies and Knee-Jerk Liberals

In response to the venerable Josh Marshall's post on the myth of Democrat support of Bush's '01 tax cut, Doctor Biobrain suggests:

We've got a problem. And that problem is that too many media types buy into the right-wing's rhetoric about Bush-hatred and anti-conservative bias. I'm not suggesting that they buy the whole thing, but they seem to believe that, at least on a certain level, it is true. So while they don't necessarily agree with every instance that the conservatives cite, they believe in it as a general truth.

And how does this apply in this case? Because media-types assume that there is an inherent anti-Bush bias on the part of Democrats, then it should be assumed that many Democrats will object to Bush's plan as a knee-jerk reaction, rather than as a well reasoned policy decision. And even that ties into the perception of liberals as "emotional" compared to the cold calculating conservatives. And for reasons beyond my comprehension, many liberals will happily adopt such meaningless stereotypes into their own mythology. E.g., the reason we want to help the poor is because we're softies, and the reason the conservatives want to screw the poor is because they're cold-blooded meanies. And they seem oblivious both to the logicalness of helping poor people and the emotional greed of screwing poor people.

And how does this apply in this case? Because media-types assume a certain emotional knee-jerk dislike of Bush's policy on the part of most Democrats, they essentially discount the opinion of those Democrats. If a Democrat opposes Bush's policy, it's not a policy dispute, it's a political attack. So basically, those Democrats don't count. And what that does is make it so any Democrat who does accept Bush's policy that much more important.

For example, as Josh pointed out of 211 Democrats in the House only 28 voted for Bush's 2001 tax cut, and of 50 Dems in the Senate only 12 voted for it. That's a combined total of 15.3% of Congressional Dems who voted for the tax cut. Yet, in Mr. Hiat's fevered imagination, 40 Democrats supporting a bill overrule the 221 who objected to it in terms of defining the party's attitude; so those 40 Dems apparently bound the entire party to those tax cuts and denies them the right to complain about it. Once upon a time, such a vote would only bound those who supported the cut, but now it bounds the entire party because that's the storyline the conservatives have fed to our pundit class. Hiat is also an idiot for suggesting at the end of his article that voters think they want privatization, but that's another issue. Maybe he's falling for the White House marketers theory that it's the label "privatization" that voters object to and not the idea of it.

And the problem is that Hiat and other media-types have bought into the conservative's storyline that some Dems are simply unreachable, so they don't count. So all the conservatives need to do is strip off a meager handful (such as 15.3%) of Dems to make things look bi-partisan. And even if you did confront guys like Hiat with the actual numbers, they might agree in the short-term, but still believe that on the whole their thesis is correct.

So what can we do? The best solution is to replace our current batch of media-types and bring in rational people who won't fall victim to the conservative's rhetoric. Short of that, we can just try to make sure that Congressional Dems always refuse to support any of Bush's policies. Not that this is a great solution as it the media-types will take it as more evidence of Democrat knee-jerk obstructionism, but there really isn't any other course of action. The conservative's storyline was very well constructed, with its inherent damned-if-you-do-damned-if-you-don't quality. So I guess we're just back to getting a new media.

Moral: Demand a new batch of journalisms and pundits, preferably ones who aren't such schmucks.

Oh. By the Way. Who Gives a Fuck?

In response to Professor DeLong's post on a little known liberal professor, the Doctor asks:

Who the hell is Ward Churchill and why in the hell should I give a shit what he said? I've been top student in many a professors class, and I don't even know what the hell they said, so why should I care about a no-name professor from a school I couldn't care about? Professor Delong seems to care enough to research the guy's statements and denounce them, but why...

And the answer is: because the conservatives are up to their old tricks again and trying to cast the image of the most extreme liberals (warning: idiot) as being representative of all liberals. As I've pointed out in an earlier post, this is just one of their tricks to fool Americans into thinking that they're conservative. They want people to reject and hate the liberal label so they will identify themselves as being more conservative.

And what do libs like DeLong do? They fall for the shit every fucking time. Geezus people, when will you learn? They want you to spend all your time denouncing liberal crackpots as it 1) means you're not denouncing conservative crackpots and 2) draws more attention to the liberal crackpots. If you really feel the need to address these issue, do as some responsible bloggers do and denounce the need to denounce. Conservatives are not playing by any real set of rules. They've got freaks like Ann Coulter (link for 18 or older, please) on the tube every day saying all kinds of mean and nasty stuff about us. Yet we have to apologize for and attack some nobody that nobody should care about??? That's insane. Hell, they've got loads of nutballs in Congress who should be apologizing for what they've said, yet we're denouncing one dude that no one's ever heard of?

Again, the only reason we're hearing about the professor now is because the right-wing media wants to showcase every liberal "nutcase". And they also want to pretend that their nutcases are ok and belong on television. They're essentially trying to mainstream right-wing nuts (warning: movie clip) while getting everyone and their brother to denounce left-wing nuts. And we play along every time. Wake up, people. You're intelligent, but you don't seem to know a god damn thing about human nature! These people do not play fair and they're using your own rational tendencies against you.

Moral: Every time they showcase yet another unknown liberal nutcase, rather than helping them with their dirrrty work, use the opportunity to discuss a well-known conservative nutcase.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Correction: You Cannot Date Britney Spears

As a clarification to his intelligence-impaired readers regarding his previous post, Doctor Biobrain explains:

I apologize for misguiding many of my less brain-affluent readers by suggesting that reading through my previous post would give them tips on how to date Britney Spears. It was, in fact, a joke. The joke being that by calling your date "Britney Spears" that she would somehow become Britney Spears. And the point being that conservatives seem to have fooled themselves into similar logic. They seem to believe that if they change the meaning of the words "conservative" and "liberal", and if they get more people to start adopting the "conservative" label, that they have successfully converted them to conservativism.

But they haven't. They can change the names, but they can't convince people to give up their good life. People like the rugged individualist rhetoric of the conservatives, but when push comes to shove, they gots to get their benefits on.

And that's what my point was. I sincerely regret any confusion over this matter and would never intend to dupe anyone into thinking that they should read my posts to get celebrity dating advice. That's for premium members only. The rest of you schlubs are on your own.

How To Date Britney Spears: Call Her Britney

Doctor Biobrain would like to add an addendum to his previous post about conservatives and Liberal America:

There is a piece of conventional wisdom that states that Bush deceptively ran as a moderate in 2000, but ran as conservative in 2004; thus, his 2000 victory was illegitimate (along with that other reason), but his 2004 victory was legitimate because he ran on his true agenda. And while even intelligent people push this wisdom, it is wrong nonetheless. Bush did not run as a conservative in 2000 or 2004. In both cases, he ran as a moderate-liberal and deceived America in the process.

As I stated in the previous post, conservatives have successfully altered what the terms "conservative" and "liberal" mean, and it is only by changing the definitions that they have been able to control our discourse. And the same is true in this case. And unfortunately, many on the left also push these definitions, so they can denounce Bush as a right-wing nutcase, just as they did with the previous popular Republican president. But this perception of Bush is just as wrong as the perception of Conservative America, as I will attempt to show.

It goes like this: Bush is a conservative. We all know it. Therefore, whatever he does must be part of a conservative agenda. During the 2004 campaign, Bush stood behind his actions during the previous term, and vowed to continue a similar agenda into the future. As such, people interpreted this as meaning that Bush supported a conservative agenda and ran as a conservative. But this belief is only correct if one assumes that Bush's first term agenda was run as a firm conservative.

The problem is that Bush is not a real conservative. Or, more accurately, Bush's first term agenda was not a conservative agenda. His domestic agenda pushed any idea necessary to get re-elected, including anti-free-market farm/steel/timber subsidies. And his foreign agenda was largely driven by neo-conservatives, who should not be confused with real conservatives. And beyond that, this agenda was pushed from a liberal perspective of using the federal government to make life better. And that is the antithesis of conservatives. (ed: while writing this post, we came upon this excellent piece (via Mr. Drum) which better explains many of Bush's motivations)

To understand this, we must understand what it actually means to be "conservative". As I said in the previous post, conservatives have lost the ideological war. And so, in its place, they have redefined the terms and gotten us to lose sight of what it means to be "conservative" or "liberal". And their strategy has worked so well that most liberals have no idea what a conservative is, or what they stand for. We now define "conservative" as meaning "Bush supporter", but that isn't what a conservative is. A conservative is someone who believes that the government should not interfere with the lives of citizens, beyond enforcing basic criminal laws protecting life and property. And for the federal government, these powers should be limited to those given in the constitution. And I respect that. I think it's totally wrong, but I respect that. (The inalienable Publius at Legal Fiction wrote more about this here)

But that's not what conservatives are today. Conservative leaders still have these ideas, but typical Joe Conservative does not. For them, being "conservative" means that you support Bush, and you're a tough individualist, and you're...well, you know all that crap. But it's just a bunch of turdball tribalism. The reason they support Bush's agenda isn't because they've had long held beliefs that these are the right policies. Just as they do with the bible, they come up with their preconceived idea first, and then scour their literature looking for the rationalization which justifies the belief.

Gay-haters don't hate gays because the bible tells them to. They hate gays, and they find justification in the bible. Anti-abortionists don't oppose abortion because their god tells them to, nor do they do so because they love everyone including unborn babies. They oppose abortion because they're damn puritans and want to keep everyone from having sex and the only way to do that is by making the punishment severe; but abortion and birth control remove part of the inherent punishment, so they're against it. Similarly, most conservatives don't support states rights because they think that's what the founding fathers wanted; they're for states rights because it justifies their beliefs on various issues. And they aren't far lower taxes because it helps the economy; they want lower taxes because they're cheap bastards who don't want to pay for the society that they want to live in. And the proof of what I'm saying is that their rationalizations stop once they get what they want. They ignore any part of the bible that they choose, and they ignore welfare kids, and they ignore states rights, and they gladly take tax funding just as soon as they can. And to call them hypocrites about this is just as absurd as thinking they're principled. They'd have to have the principals in the first place before they could sell them out.

And the worst part is that they don't even realize this. They think that they're being rational when all they're doing is rationalizing. And the moment you attempt to show that their supposed ideological beliefs don't extend past their preconceived notions, their rationalizing brains will flip a switch and you'll never be able to pin them down for what they actually are trying to say.

And all this is a round-about way of saying that Bush supporters are not necessarily conservative. They may think they're conservatives, but it really just comes down to supporting their team, and supporting Bush. And President Bush is the exact same way. He thinks he's principled because his preconceived notions are too ingrained to supplant. But we should make an earnest effort to separate the two and realize that many of Bush's agenda ideas are not at all conservative. And that even the conservative ones are being pimped for solely partisan reasons.

And all this is a round-about way of saying that when Bush ran on his first-term agenda during the election, he was not running on a conservative agenda. He has never run as a conservative and he never will. He ran on the Bush Agenda, which has the rhetorical toughness of a conservative, yet the soft underpinnings of liberals; because that's what polls well. People like to think that they're tough, but they like to be coddled. And part of the reason Bush ran on his first-term agenda is because, as I mentioned in an earlier post, admitting fault serves only to give your opponents a weapon to club you with. So when Bush ran on his first-term agenda, it was as a deceiving huckster, not a right-wing nutcase. And when people voted for Bush, they were not showing their support for the conservative agenda; they were showing their support for Bush. And the reason for that is, as I said earlier, America is not a conservative country. They may like the idea of being conservative, but they like the liberal ideas better.

Moral: Despite perceptions to the contrary, America is not a conservative country. We are a country of liberals, many of whom were unfortunately tricked into believing they are conservative. But this trickery only applies to perceptions and the more the conservatives attempt to truly push their agenda, the more they'll realize that the name change didn't fix anything. You can call your prom date Britney Spears, but she's still just your mom.