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19 January 2008


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Babak Makkinejad

That's why they have Mutta'h in Shia Islam.


Hope you are right, Pat.

Richard Armstrong

I wish I was in the land of cotton...

Helena Cobban

C'mon, Pat, enough with the female-debasing photos already. What's that about "adult leadership"?

Clifford Kiracofe

An early 2006 report on McCain's advisors from the Arizona Republic:

"WASHINGTON — As Sen. John McCain eyes another run for the presidency in 2008, he seeks advice on political strategy and policy issues from new and old sources, aides and friends say.

The independent-minded Arizona Republican does not have a regular “kitchen cabinet” of intimate advisers, they say.

Instead, the list of political confidants, policy experts, fund-raisers and even opinionated journalists to whom McCain turns is constantly growing and evolving, and it includes those who may support other candidates in 2008, they say."

In the summer of 2006, I spoke with McCain's strategist Lance Tarrance. Lance, a real professional in campaigns, indicated McCain-Hillary as the most likely scenario.

Center for Public Integrity page on McCain

So what about the Christian Right bloc? Republican candidates have assiduously cultivated the religious vote since Billy Graham coached Nixon in beginning about 1956 for the 1960 election. [Graham's anti-Roman Catholic bias kept the Kennedy Admin at arms length although Lyndon Johnson cozied up seeing possibilities-votes.] While Reagan appealed to it, it was in fact George H. W. Bush (after Lee Atwater recalculated) who locked the bloc in for 1988. W, who himself had gone born again in 1984 (or adopted the pose along with the fake Texas accent), went with the flow and locked the bloc in in 2000 and 2004. McCain is not himself identified with the Christian Right as a true believer so Huckabee for VP on the McCain ticket? Or?


Perspective is a funny thing. For while I agree with you when you write: "The MSM continue to be the whores for East and West Coast elites that they have shown themselves to be lately." I have a different perspective on it. I feel these elite are forever shoving down my throat the 'nobility of the folks in the 'flyover states'. Or the 'downhominess and passionate intensity of the 'born again types'...and these folks, I am told, embody "family values", as, opposed, to the rest of us...who evidently do not.

That the elites do so, in such an arrogant, ignorant, and patronizing manner..would tick me off to no end if I were one of the types being portrayed. But I am, so my perception goes, being the one lectured to. By people I don't respect. And, further more, I feel a double loser in that I am not getting invited to any white wine swilling parties on Martha's Vineyard. So am in for the crash but not for the landing.

As to McCain's alleged inevitability....it will be interesting, and fascinating, if it really turns out that a man condemned, in one of his patented campaigns, by Rush...and denounced as the "man who did the most to hurt the GOP", or words that effect, by DeLay, can get the nomination. I have my doubts.

Clifford Kiracofe

To follow up on the religious/values voter issue re Hillary-McCain.
Here is an article on Hillary's Methodist roots.

"Clinton traces her Methodist roots back several generations, perhaps even to John Wesley himself, the founder of the Methodist Church in the 18th century. In her memoirs, "Living History," she writes that her father's parents claimed they became Methodists because their great-grandparents were converted by Wesley in the coal-mining villages around Newcastle in northern England and in South Wales...."

While I have never met Senator Clinton, we are about the same age and I would not underestimate the depth and sincerity of her faith.

Born in Chicago, Senator Clinton grew up in Park Ridge, Illinois. I know something of that area as my mother's family was from the town next door, Des Plaines, and mother's uncle was the pioneer doctor in Park Ridge in the late 19th and early 20th century and owned the local pharmacy.

I recall the "social gospel" environment of the early 1960s and the impact of the Civil Rights movement on white Chicago suburbs. My parents invited our minister to dinner to learn more when he would return from various civil rights activities/marches etc. in Alabama and elsewhere.

Mrs. Clinton's experiences in her church community as she relates them, and the ministry of her pastor, were not uncommon in the 60s in the Chicago area as I recall those days. On theology, I well recall references to Tillich and Bonhoeffer back then.

SST readers might want to take a look at the 19th century US historical context in which arose the religious-political conflict between the social gospel-moderates versus the Fundamentalists. While the drama climaxed with Scopes in 1925..."they're back" since the 1970s with the Christian Right in the role of the Fundamentalists. Not all evangelicals are Fundamentalists or Armageddonist-End Timers by any means. Part of my current book project examines this historical background.

For perspective on the Christian Right, Chris Hedges, "American Fascists. The Christian Right and the War on America" (New York: Fress Press, 2006). He makes some good points. His discussion of the American Christian Right's parallels with the German "State Church" of the 1930s is of particular interest. Note the Holocaust Museum's page:

It is going to be an interesting election year, and while the Fundamentalists and Neocons may have taken over the Republican Party, those in opposition can play hard ball just as well.


To win, all the Hillbilly's campaign people will have to do is reproduce that picture of McCain embracing Bush. Oh, and add McCain's quote that we'll be in Iraq for 100 years. McCain's then toast.

Twenty-four years of Bush, Clinton, Bush, Clinton is a generation too long.


If McCain gets the nomination, and tacks to the center on domestic issues, he could beat Hillary. He'll get all the Republicans and most of the Independents. However, if the economy continues to tank (and it's looking very grim) Hillary has a chance to get some of those Independents back from McCain. Everyone will be hoping Bill's third term will reverse the economic downturn. He did it before. They might be right.


"female-debasing"? How?


Current national polls have McCain and Clinton within a point or two of each other in a general election. While I have little-to-no insight into the minds of independants (are they still buying into the Straight Talk Express nonsense big media generates), I know the GOP base loathes McCain. That'll be a huge hurdle for him. But then again, they loathe Ms. Clinton even more, so that could help him clear it. After all, does anyone really think angry anti-McCain GOPers will stay home on election day with Hillary Clinton's name on the ballot?

Ahhh yi yi -- all this means is that I wish I were as certain about a Clinton victory over McCain as Col. Lang.

William R. Cumming

Out of it. What is MSM? Still way to early to predict but after Super-Tuesday may start to have a feeling of eventual victors. Still think events are in the saddle for 2008 election not personalities. Could be a really weird result before it is all over. By weird I mean Huckabee, Obama, or Clinton?
This trio is an odd representation of the talent in the US that may be leading to the country as any threesome in American history.


Colonel: What are your thoughts about the potential Bush-Clinton-Bush-Clinton situation? I don't believe you have ever directly addressed the issue.

For me it is the defining problem with Hillary. Are we to suspend logic and believe that the Clintons will not behave as another dynasty, even if benevolent? Is this not potentially at least as anti-democratic as an emotion and 'vision' driven Obama administration?

I think these are serious questions.

David W

I'll admit that I don't get the photo--is it a meta comment on how the media is portraying the election race, or is this woman part of the new Republican 'Southern strategy?'

It must be a sign of how far down Giuliani has fallen that you don't even mention him as being the biggest recipient of the pre-caucus media whoredom. Has there ever been a candidate so touted by the media who has fared so poorly. He's so bad that he finished behind the guy who can't even get on the debates!

The biggest positive that I see from the Republican side is the firm rejection of the most rabid reactionary candidates, Tancredo and Hunter. We can now see how marginal these characters and their viewpoints are in the Republican party. Unfortunately, their troglodytic positions still get a disproportionate hearing within the party.

Tom Milton

Don't rule out NYC Mayor Bloomberg just yet. McCain strikes many, including myself, as somewhat unstable. He has made some bad judgement calls in the past. He IS a cancer patient, so his choice of VP would be CRITICAL.

Bloomberg would likely choose a low key VP candidate to return that office to a more ceremonial role after our Chaney disaster.

With Hillary we get Bill for a third term. I wish it weren't so. But, there is no way she can keep that megalomaniac off center stage. She's proven she can't/won't control him. He will attend funerals. He will hog the talk shows. He will provide the rational in a revisit to the world of triangulation. He will emasculate, then replace her hapless VP. Just look at her campaign to date. She shown she can't win with out him on stage and working inside the union caucuses.

Bloomberg and Clinton are both ponies in the financial sector's stable of approved candidates. McCain will do exactly what he's told.

Change?? Forgetaboutit.

Paul, Edwards and Kucinich have been swept away by the tsunami of $$ and influence flooding from the financial community. The LAST thing they want is change.

Middle class Americans will get a couple of sugar cookies and then the rape will continue.

BTW, which Repug trophy wife is wearing the Confederate flag bikini? I couldn't quite make out the face.


Wow. No wonder they say, "The South will rise again!".

William R. Cumming

Assuming MSM equals Maintstream Media? Actually little of the current media is mainstream from any quantifiable aspect! Cable news is a niche and is nightly news on major networks. No much in the way of actual news and hard coverage of tough issues. Newshour on PBS has very limited viewership as a % of population.

Nicholas Weaver

Out of the republican field, McCain is the most palitable, although I expected far more courage from him during the past 8 years than he delivered. Instead, he abdicated much of his responsibility.

But if you are going to handicap the race, do it right:

Romney still has a far bigger deligate lead among the republican candidates. Mitt Rommney got one less deligate out of Nevada that McCain got out of South Carolina.

Andy Mink

I saw Huckabee in Berlin, NH, in mid December, on his 'Huck and Chuck' tour. He comes across very well and taps into peoples' concerns about the economy and the state of the country in general. Those voters up there want a pres who is strong on nat. sec. but also really cares about the plight of the American people. For all his Hucksterism, Huckabee would bring alot to a ticket McCain/Huckabee. So I'd agrre with Cliff Kiracofe's first posting here. I think they could prevail against Clinton/Wesley Clarke (she'd need a guy with a good record on nat. sec., but dependent enough not to get into Bill' hair). A interesting development are 'red state' prominent Dems coming out for Obama. They know that (for all those dubious and crazy reasons) too many voters just dislike Hillary on a gut level. A old Dem told me that there are 'rock solid 40 percent of the electorate' with those negative feelings towards her. I think that's injust and tragic but it just seems to be a reality.

On another note: At least McCain wants to work against global warming instead of lowering fuel consumption standards again.

Andy Mink

Richard Armstrong

I have to apologize to all for my juvenile comment at the top of this thread.

As an army brat I was raised on bases which were mostly located in the defeated south. The funny thing about that is that I didn't figure out why there were so many bases in the south until I was in college. The south lost!

As the Colonel said, it's just a flag. I don't know who is sillier. The folks who fight to have the confederate naval ensign removed from public view or the folks who fight to keep waiving it in the first groups faces.


PL, why do you think HRC will prevail in a McCain-Clinton match-up?

McCain has significant crossparty appeal. Independents really like him. People who are unhappy/angry about the Bush administration vote for him en masse over the other GOP options. All the election results so far confirm this: even when McCain is not doing well overall, he does well among Independents.

HRC has ZERO cross party appeal. She has virtually no appeal to Independents, either. She even performs quite poorly among male Democrats. McCain's big problem has always been the GOP base. If he can somehow get enough GOP votes in a fractured field, he's in an extremely favorable position for the general election.

I don't see what is going to happen to change this, to make HRC more broadly appealing or to reduce McCain's appeal. The media love McCain and hate Hillary. He gets wonderful coverage about his integrity and straight talk; she is generally seen by reporters as willing to say or do anything to win. This has been the dominant media narrative about the two of them for years. And nothing that has happened in the campaign does anything at all to undermine the favored narrative (just the opposite; campaign events have only reinforced these story lines). Consequently, McCain is perceived as trustworthy. Not even Democrats believe HRC is particularly trustworthy.

How on earth is HRC going to do better than Kerry did? How does she win any state that he lost?

One final thought: If it's HRC vs McCain, I predict a gender gap of truly gigantic proportions. I'd be surprised if HRC can get 30% of male Independents. She will hemorrhage lots of Democratic voters, particularly men. She strikes me as one of the weakest possible general election candidates the Democratic party could have chosen.

W. Patrick Lang


Election choices have to be made among real candidates. One can vote for "fantasy" candidates to make a statement, but real decisions must be made between real people. What are the alternatives?

Richard Armstrong

People should leave each other alone to revere their traditions, and should not molest the dead. Douglas Wilder, when he was governor of Virginia was very careful not to molest the dead. That was appreciated.

As for the number of Army posts in the South, I must disabuse you of the idea that they are a relic of the occupation of the South after the CW. There are a few like that but the great majority were opened during the First World War period when it was thought necessary to engage the warlike spirit of the South in the struggle in Europe. The response to the Spanish American War had been lukewarm in the South. Wade Hampton, then governor of South Carolina said at the time, "Let the North fight. The South knows the cost of war." You notice that almost all of these posts are named for Confederate officers: Forts Lee, AP Hill, Hood, Benning, Campbell, Bragg, etc. pl

W. Patrick Lang


John McCain is a great man and a great citizen of our country.

It pains me to say that I think he is also too old, too frail, too busy still fighting his war (and mine), too committed to alliance with the Jacobins in foreign policy and too unstable in the way that old combat men are often unstable.

All of that will become more visible in the long grind before the election.

We should honor him, but not make him president. pl


I am surprised many find Huckabee benign. He's a minister-turned-politician with close ties to extremist Evangelical-Dominionist sects. He appears to place his theology before our Constitution.

From close observation (having lived in the Deep South for most of my life) I am suspicious of his ilk - they tend to justify means by faithful ends.

Is he dissembling to his flock or the People?

Cloned Poster

Helena, Pat loves thongs.

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