Patterico's Pontifications

1/30/2008

The Train to Obamabillaryland

Filed under: 2008 Election,General — Patterico @ 6:27 am

So: Rudy is almost certainly out of the race, and endorsing John McCain.

Now is the time for all good men and women to come to the aid of their country and support Mitt Romney — not because of who he is, but because of who he isn’t. Mitt Romney isn’t John McCain (and he isn’t Mike Huckabee). And that’s enough.

I’m reading comments from a lot of people who appear to be ready to help Professor Bainbridge elect a Democrat by not voting, or supporting any Republican in any way. I understand the thinking behind such pronouncements: none of our choices are particularly good, and nobody seems likely to hew to conservative principles in a satisfactory way.

But ultimately, we are all on a slow train headed towards Obamabillaryland — a land where the Supreme Court is radically shifted back towards Warren Court sensibilities, where Iraq is ignobly abandoned to the terrorists, and where Big Government is seen as the hammer for every nail. We’re approaching a place where the train just might be steered away from Obamabillaryland — but we need everyone’s help to accomplish the steering.

If you don’t help, because you don’t want to be responsible for steering the train to Mittland — or, worse, Maverickland or Jesusland — well, it’s your decision and I understand the thinking.

But we’ll still end up in Obamabillaryland.

And when we get there, I don’t want to hear a single word of complaint from anyone who wasn’t up there trying to help steer us away.

95 Responses to “The Train to Obamabillaryland”

  1. a land where the Supreme Court is radically shifted back towards Warren Court sensibilities, where Iraq is ignobly abandoned to the terrorists, and where Big Government is seen as the hammer for every nail.

    You’re presuming the Senate GOP just rolls over for everything Obama/Clinton wants to do? Yeah, me too.

    stevesturm (8caabf)

  2. You’re presuming the Senate GOP just rolls over for everything Obama/Clinton wants to do? Yeah, me too.

    I’m thinking the Senate GOP may not have a say in the matter.

    We are going to get hammered, my friend. HAMMERED.

    The relative turnout in the primaries shows it. The polling shows it. The lackadaisical attitude of Republican commenters here shows it.

    Steel yourselves, because it’s an ugly stretch ahead.

    Patterico (4bda0b)

  3. Professor Bainbridge is a little girl!

    laxpat (6fdad9)

  4. *points to his home address in IL*

    As if my vote will, in the end, matter in the general election. God Damn Chicago.

    I’ll vote Romney in the primary, but he won’t end up getting the nod, and I refuse to vote for a RINO. At least Hillary basicly ADMITS she’s a socialist…

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  5. And with McCain still in congress, you’ll see that gang of 14 back, and preventing the minority from doing anything.

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  6. Sorry Patterico but the intolerant attitude expressed by so many conservatives towards fellow GOP members has come back to haunt them.
    Disagree in degrees about immigration, guns, or gays and one is quickly labeled a RINO,CINO, traitor, etc.

    It may not have been you specifically, but the Rush and Coulters of the right have fueled an ugly internal food fight within the party and enough of the self professed conservatives have gleefully helped.

    In my opinion the party looks remarkably similar to the Dems after the 2000 election. Everyone is blaming the other and it comes off looking pretty childish.

    voiceofreason2 (10af7e)

  7. If you want to avoid Obamabillaryland, you should vote for McCain, not Romney.

    Vergil (444e9b)

  8. Even though I will vote against the Democrat candidate, I am still angry with National Review and the sometimes smarmy Hughbots. The real reason Thompson couldn’t get traction was because Establishment conservatives broke for Mitt early, and the Rick Warren/church phone tree fell inline behind Huck. Besides all the name calling, navel gazing, tea leaf reading, etc, it is a FACT that many Huckabee voters will break for McCain. Thompson had lousy organization on the ground – fine. The people that should have been helping him were instead enamored of the deep pockets campaign or the double helping of Southern fried folksiness with a side of Jesus. These people should have instead been a coalition against Mac – the same one that carried W back in 2000. Sometimes I think pitting Romney against Huckabee was McCains perfect storm. I read some real beauts on Hot Air about Thompson being a stalking horse for McCain – and I’m still angry about it. Part of me does enjoy seeing them get their own medicine, but part of me would rather just kick their @$$ privately and pull together publicly.

    rhodeymark (e86321)

  9. Governator Schwarzenegger is the state-level example of what would happen with a McCain presidency. We’d get all the dem-lib positions–global warming, tax the ‘rich,’ open the gates–and the Republicans would be blamed for it, paving the way for even worser Dem administrations down the road.

    Recent events show the Republican congress is more effective and capable as aggressive opposition–holding the line on the worst legislation. They wouldn’t do that if one of their own was in the oval office.

    No McCain!

    ManlyDad (d62cf6)

  10. Disagree in degrees about immigration,

    To start with, McCain’s disagreement on immigration wasn’t only with the right, but with about 70+% of the country.

    He also voted against tax cuts, led the Gang of 14 to help democrats obstruct judicial nominations, and sides with Gore on global warming.

    He’s not a conservative. he’s a mostly left-of-center politician who has run as a republican since in Arizona you pretty much had to be one to get elected.

    And you’ll note this “intolerant attitude” doesn’t extend to any of the other republican canidates (RP doesn’t count). I’d actually rather vote for Huck than McCain. Or Rudy.

    But hey, it’s your dream world. Do what ya like…

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  11. At least Romney has something worth voting for, unlike McCain, Clinton, and Obama he’s not a member of the worst Congress in US history.

    And unlike Huckabee, Romney has the money to stay in the race.

    Plus Romney isn’t afraid to call the enemy by their name, Islamofascists.

    Also, I’ve been thinking lately about how the Morman faith is excellent at disaster preparation and survival tactics so this principle is a bonus vote for Romney and equally a bonus for building up the military.

    Hope this helps to steer us a little more towards the right direction.

    syn (95c574)

  12. We are going to get hammered, my friend. HAMMERED.

    I’m not sure we should throw the towel in, at least not yet. I don’t see either Clinton or Obama having coattails, at least not sufficient to carry down ticket candidates in red states.

    stevesturm (8caabf)

  13. Under the GOP reign, big government grew and grew and grew far more than under any Democrat regime. Iraq has basically been abandoned as a third tier issue, and the Supreme Court got such wonderful justices as Souter, Kennedy, and Stevens.

    gabriel (6d7447)

  14. Scott,

    The 70% number you like to throw around so much ignores the 58% from the SAME poll who were supportive of some path to citizenship.

    But make your own dreams my internet amigo.

    voiceofreason2 (10af7e)

  15. We are going to get hammered, my friend. HAMMERED.

    Only if you believe the GOP Media and the GOP “base” are one and same. McCain’s wins in both SC and FL are proving quite conclusively that they are not.

    And surely you realize by now that a 2008 loss would mean big ratings for the conservative who not only throws mudballs at Hillary 24/7/365, but also provides a defense of…wait for it…George W Bush. And don’t think the LibDems don’t understand this, as well.

    So, are you in it to win it, or are just trying to build your media portfolio.

    Brad S (f4a3ad)

  16. “You’re presuming the Senate GOP just rolls over for everything Obama/Clinton wants to do? Yeah, me too.”

    Did the GOP minority Senate and House in 1993-94 rollover for Bill, or were they just along for the ride, with Rush Limbaugh driving the bus?

    Brad S (f4a3ad)

  17. And when we get there, I don’t want to hear a single word of complaint from anyone who wasn’t up there trying to help steer us away.

    Exactly; thank you. Am not happy with any of the frontrunners either, but NOTHING will keep me away from the polls on Election Day. Judge Robert Bork said it really well in a televised interview for Fox News just a few days ago (paraphrasing here): “purity of principle is a wonderful thing but not when it leads to the destruction of the principles you were trying to protect in the first place.”

    Am a huge cheerleader for purity of principle and can certainly respect voting – or not voting – one’s conscience. But there is such a thing as the lesser of two evils, and trying to stop a much greater evil (Hillary) by voting against her IMO is the best way to support the principles I hold dear in this election.

    And…the very act of not voting is, as others have said, itself a vote for the winner. I plan to take a stand and urge others to do so as well.

    no one you know (1f5ddb)

  18. Thank you, Patterico, for speaking truth to ideologically blinded power. I’m voting for Romney in the primary.

    Either Romney or McCain are better than Clinton II or Obama. As you say, the Banbridge Brigade will probably have their way. Democratic President, Democratic Congress. It will be one big “It Takes a Village” scenario, but with corruption and graft and politically motivated IRS investigations for opponents.

    More Breyers and Ginsbergs on the high court. Just what we need on the Supreme Court. Not to mention hundreds of lower level judicial appointments of nanny-state busybodies. But that’s okay: we all need to be taught a lesson!

    The tuition is high….but at least the BB kept their hands ideologically pure, huh? The sad part is that most of these people voted for Perot, I’ll bet, back in 1992.

    Santayana remains prescient.

    Eric Blair (9e70bf)

  19. I must perforce agree with Vergil. McCain has the best chance to beat Hillary! and is entirely acceptable on the two most important issues in this election (national security and SupCt Justices). Supporting Mitt is basically conceding the White House to Hillary!.

    Bush is basically indistinguishable from McCain on immigration and hasn’t managed to get their shared agenda passed in 7 years, even with McCain in the Senate helping.

    Dodd (fbfada)

  20. I agree with post #4 that Hillary basically admits being a socialist. The minority republicans were able to partly kill several bad ideas and get nafta and welfare reform implemented. though unable to get bill to take terrorism serious and get one really bad SC justice.

    With Hillary, a minority republican congress should be able to partly control some of her socialist programs. (maybe wishfull thinking )

    On the other hand, Obama is getting a very free pass on his strong socialist ideas and an even stronger pass on what is likely to be his active appeasement of terrorists. He is likely to make Carter look like a staunch defender of America.

    joe - dallas (a18904)

  21. Look, vote for whoever you want to in the Primary, McCain or Romney, it makes no difference. However, come election day, we all better damn well support the GOP nominee as a united base. Call McCain a RINO, call Romney the flip flopper that he is.But, I’d rather have the RINO or the Flip Flopper in their any day in lou of the Clintons or Obama.

    Divided we fall, United we stand.

    Keith (0f08fa)

  22. Also, with the (supposed) endorsement of McCain by Rudy its possible we could see a McCain/ Rudy ballot. That could be a big power house.
    They would get the Conservative & Moderate Votes, since their’s not way in hell they would vote for Clinton or Obama. They could also pull allot of the independents and possibly some of the moderate Dems (if there are any left).

    Just a thought.

    Keith (0f08fa)

  23. I agree with Patterico. The primaries are not over yet.

    Not that it matters, my primary isn’t until April.

    Amphipolis (fdbc48)

  24. Dodd raises an interesting point. VoR2 probably doesn’t have his finger on the pulse of blue collar Dems. My dear wife is a Dem, and she is very bullish on enforcement. If McCain gets the nod, look for BlueDogs to push back on anything not preceded by the “damn fence”.

    rhodeymark (1aaf2a)

  25. Again, Keith, do we expect the Obama supporters to “sit out” the general election in protest when Clinton II gets the nomination?

    Nope.

    They know what is at stake. And it isn’t ideological purity. The time to fight for ideological purity is BEFORE the general election.

    But still, everyone has a right to vote as they wish. Same as anyone. Not voting? I just don’t get it.

    Eric Blair (2708f4)

  26. Seems like the end, doesn’t it?

    McCain loses big, like Dole, the last insider we nominated. Hillary and Bill and the Media back in the saddle again – take to the hills and hide out; that’s my advice.

    I’m going to Bolivia, gonna join Butch and Sundance, gonna become one of the Yankee Banditos.

    Recommend you too take the next decade off somewhere too.

    We’ll be back after the crackup. Maybe.

    Increase Mather (c28cbb)

  27. a land where the Supreme Court is radically shifted back towards Warren Court sensibilities, where Iraq is ignobly abandoned to the terrorists, and where Big Government is seen as the hammer for every nail

    As opposed to a land where the Supreme Court is only incrementally shifted back towards the Warren Court sensibilities (think three Souters instead of three Ginsburgs), where a president more concerned with being liked by his former colleagues in the Senate bends over and allows Iraq to be ignobly abandoned, and where Big Government is seen as the hammer for every nail?

    If McCain spent half as much time fighting for the things I believed in as he does against them, he might have a chance for my vote.

    As it is, the only reasons to vote for him are the hopes that he will remain strong on Iraq and appoint some decent judges. I see nothing in his record to suggest that political expediency and his desire to be liked by his opponents and the media won’t make those hopes misplaced.

    If the country is going to get screwed up for the next four years, I’d rather have liberalism take the blame than have what will be called conservatism demonized, pushing the country even further left.

    Diffus (ead439)

  28. Increase Mather…it’s “Banditos Yankee”

    Don’t you speak any Spanish at all???

    Better be able to if McCain is elected….

    reff (bff229)

  29. “I’m going to Bolivia, gonna join Butch and Sundance, gonna become one of the Yankee Banditos.”

    What, you’re going to help Evo Morales and his buddy Hugo Chavez score some good propaganda points?

    Brad S (f4a3ad)

  30. I refuse to board the train to Obamahillarysocialism train and will vote for anyone, and I mean anyone, to keep either of them out of the White House. And I will indeed be holding my nose when I do so.

    To not participate, to not take advantage of this immensely precious privilege of voting would be an affront to far too many people in the world who will never, ever have the opportunity to let their voice be heard – no matter how limited it may be.

    Dana (b4a26c)

  31. BTW, as far as those ever-important judges goes, have any of you ever heard of a guy by the name of Phill Kline? He was appointed Johnson County (KS) DA after he was beaten in the KS AG race by the previous DA.

    Well, this gentleman has forwarded to a grand jury (requested by voter petition, per KS law) a 107-count indictment against Planned Parenthood of KS/Mid-Missouri. Not only is he seeking charges of performing illegal 3rd-trimester abortions, he has evidence that PP covered up records and forged documents related to those partial-birth abortions.

    Seems to me that, instead of hoping a conservative-appointed judge will rule our way on anything, we should work to develop a legal strategy, much like Phill Kline has done.

    Brad S (f4a3ad)

  32. It’s hard for me to believe McCain will be the BlueDog’s enforcement of building the ‘damn fence’ when McCain has an Open Border advocate in his administration.

    It’s sorta like Evangelicals voting for Al Gore’s Greenie movement then wondering why on earth they are being forced to worship Government over their personal God.

    The middle is muddying the American mind.

    syn (95c574)

  33. I offer another reason to vote Romney, he is endorsed by Robert Bork.

    syn (95c574)

  34. syn,

    And a good reason not to vote for Romney, come to think of it. Robert Bork deserved to lose his Senate confirmation vote, especially after Reagan’s aides were more than willing to let him withdraw gracefully after that arrogant performance in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

    Now he’s a bitter scold who’s mad that no one would treat him with the proper dignity accorded to his former position. Robert Bork’s experience should serve another lesson for conservatives: There are times/places one can mouth off at Ted Kennedy and Joe Biden. Right in front of their Senate committee is not one of them if you’re wanting to get promoted to a SC Justice.

    Brad S (f4a3ad)

  35. Diffus: Amen.

    Alan (78d614)

  36. Edwards just dropped.

    Leviticus (641852)

  37. My first and foremost issue is national security. And McCain has a perfect record on that. Abortion, my second? I’ve grown calloused. I’ve stopped looking on a shiny knight on a white steed. Illegal immigration? We got an amnesty from Reagan too. And I don’t believe that McCain will shirk his duty to defend our nation’s borders any more than he will withdraw our troops from Iraq and Afghanistan before it serves America’s interests. Gun control? Laissez-faire (that’s French for “big deal” sarcastically). If I need the government’s permission to have a gun, I’m probably too big a sissy to use it properly when I need to, anyway.

    And as much as I detest Giuliani, I would not mind him as McCain’s VP. McCain would never give him power over policy and Giuliani would be the perfect kettenhund to be loosed against the opposition and to carry out McCain’s policies.

    A rich guy from Massachussetts with nice hair because he’s *electable*? The Democrats made that mistake in 2004.

    nk (398aa2)

  38. nk,

    Why look for the white knight on a noble steed when the culture is swinging in an anti-abortion direction? Let the social pressure against abortion continue, I say. And the Phill Kline example I mentioned above is another perfect way to move the ball forward.

    While my home state of South Dakota rejected (by 8 percentage points) a total abortion ban, that referendum did serve as a good marker on how much public support needs to be built for that total ban to take place.

    Brad S (f4a3ad)

  39. I totally agree with Patterico.

    A Prez McCain would not be as bad as a Dem president, I believe. McCain would soon find his Democratic friends have morphed into enemies; the Republican president is always the target of their anklebiting style of politics, to lull the populace into false hopes for socialism, while they load their bills with pork.

    And we know where McCain stands on domestic issues and will be ready; as for grassroots, he ain’t seen nothing yet.

    Patricia (f56a97)

  40. Good post. I especially like ObamaBillaryland.

    You should trademark or copyright it – whichever applies.

    DRJ (517d26)

  41. After the Repubs performance when they were in control,I am disgusted with them cowards , corrupt ,and lazy . Pattico I will DAMN well coplain all I want and everyone came come kiss my ass .

    Jack (4ff715)

  42. A perfect record on national security? McCain, the champion of terrorists’ rights, who wants to shut Gitmo down?

    nk, what are you smoking and where do they sell it?

    Alan (78d614)

  43. Dana – and I mean anyone

    Does this include Nor Laup ?

    I switch back and forth on this. Actually, my decision will likely be made by the Dems. I cannot see a lick of difference between McCain and Hill/Bill, so I am inclined to abstain. Obama, on the other hand, is dangerously inexperienced, and way to the Left of Hill/Bill, and I think could prove to be way more damaging to our country, so I would be inclined to select McCain over him.

    JD (75f5c3)

  44. syn – pay attention, huh? Ironic you want to add a blurb about muddled minds when you apparently didn’t comprehend what I wrote. I’m well aware of Hernandez, his “Outreach Director” (not, as you said, a member of his (non-existent) administration). I also know his campaign co-chair is against English language assimilation, fighting it in CA (and losing badly) with his own money.
    WHAT I SAID WAS: the BlueDog Dems that voted against Shamnesty this time around will still stand against any policy that doesn’t start with enforcement, basically echoing Dodd’s sentiment that McCain can want open borders till the cows come home – there is still a plurality in the House against it.

    rhodeymark (e86321)

  45. A perfect record on national security? McCain, the champion of terrorists’ rights, who wants to shut Gitmo down?

    nk, what are you smoking and where do they sell it?

    “Champion of terrorists’ rights” is just plain nonsense. As I understand it, he likes soldiers to fight and not torture helpless prisoners.

    Gitmo is only one way of many of doing things, and opinions may differ whether it’s a waste of military resources and taxpayers’ money.

    Marlboro box red, from the corner drugstore.

    nk (398aa2)

  46. If the next President wants to shut Gitmo, he/she will need firing squads, for no one wants those guys back, and they’re too dangerous to have walking around. And, in the future, our troops won’t be reporting any captured terrorists, only dead ones.

    Another Drew (f9dd2c)

  47. And, either of these solutions is Jake with me.

    Another Drew (f9dd2c)

  48. Or we could send them to Leavenworth. Gitmo is just one more acknowledgment of AG Alberto Gonzalez’s incompetence and fearfulness. He just could not stand to face a legal dispute over prisoners of war within the jurisdiction of the United States. Worthless crony, like so many others that the Shrub surrounded himself with. We defeated the Germans and the Japanese, much worthier enemies than the camel-loving jihad-monkeys we’re fighting now, without any need of Gitmos.

    nk (398aa2)

  49. BTW, Alan, I thought you were a Ronulian. Ron Paul would apologize to them for making them our enemies and set them free with reparations. If you are not a Ronulian, I apologize to you.

    nk (398aa2)

  50. Or we could send them to Leavenworth.

    Bad idea. The whole point of taking them to Gitmo was to keep them outside the territorial United States where they’d have unambiguous rights to challenge their detention in our courts. We’ve alread lost a some of the advantage of that thanks to that muddle-headed Stevns decision applying the civil wars provisions of the Geneva Convention to Gitmo, but there won’t be any firewall left if we move them onshore.

    It would be better we just set up POW camps in country and stop playing semantic games about whether or not they’re POWs. The Adminsitration never had much hope of winning that PR war by clever legalisms (no matter how well founded) anyway.

    Dodd (5cf192)

  51. So you *have* decided to endorse a candidate? Even if only an anybody-but-McCain-and-that-means-Romney endorsement?

    How excited are the Republicans about their candidates?

    Joe M. (4d0867)

  52. Sorry, I missed the best part:

    Support Mitt Romney — not because of who he is, but because of who he isn’t!

    How excited you are about Mitt!

    (P.S. I’m not trying to be mean. I think you nailed the GOP primary when you coined your “excited” phrase.)

    Joe M. (4d0867)

  53. I well understand your concerns. But if McCain were actually elected, can you tell me even one major difference we might have before us by 2012? Just one thing which would differentiate his administration from that of Hillary? Do you really think McCain would nominate another Alito to the court? That he would lower taxes? That he would deport illegals? That he would do away with McCain/Feingold? That he would, in any way, reduce the power of big brother and increase the rights and responsibilities of the American people? Were someone to suffer a 4 year coma beginning tomorrow, my guess is that after catching up with the political news of 2012, there would be no way he could tell if Clinton or McCain had won the ’08 election!
    If anyone thinks 9/11 was a tragedy, stick around for the next 4 (or 8, for God’s sake) disasterous years!

    OLDPUPPYMAX (d671ab)

  54. Kudos to nk on this thread.

    Why, Dodd, do you suppose we didn’t set up POW camps on US soil? It isn’t because genuine POWs on our soil get some mystical rights in court—you didn’t see German POWs with those, did you?—but that Bush hoped to set up a law-free zone where he could set aside the Geneva Conventions and the International Convention Against Torture at his whim. Gonzales merely implemented the express desires of Bush (more likely Cheney) for a little sandbox of unreviewable and unlimited executive authority.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (7d46f9)

  55. Scott Jacobs:

    And with McCain still in congress, you’ll see that gang of 14 back, and preventing the minority from doing anything.

    That may actually be the best argument I’ve heard to date for electing McCain President: getting him out of the Senate once and for all.

    Xrlq (b65a72)

  56. —you didn’t see German POWs with those, did you?—

    AJL – This was pure and unadulterated drivel. How many times have we listened to you and your fellow left liberal travelers wailing over habeus, military tribunals, and all of the other associated BS you have thrown up. If your sides goal is not to get them into our civil and criminal systems, then the alternative is that you would just set them free. Frankly, I am not sure which would be less damaging.

    Bush hoped to set up a law-free zone where he could set aside the Geneva Conventions and the International Convention Against Torture at his whim

    All of this by the stupiderest President, EVAH! You must feel like fools for having been beaten by him – TWICE! Is your wounded pride the real basis for your projections and you pure BDS ?

    JD (fc7319)

  57. How excited are the Republicans about their candidates?

    “I’d rather be kicked repeatedly in the nuts.”

    That answer your question?

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  58. That may actually be the best argument I’ve heard to date for electing McCain President

    Considering he wants more left-leaning (it seems) judges, I think the BEST bet is to oust the SOB from the federal government all together. I don’t like the idea of a RINO rubber-stamping all the BS the Dems wanna pass.

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  59. you didn’t see German POWs with those, did you?—

    A couple of big differences…

    First off, when Americans found out how WELL the German POWs were treated compared to our boys, there was MASS outrage, and the Govt had to answer for it on some level.

    Second, the Germans were uniformed combatants. You know, the kind actually covered under the Conventions?

    We SHOULD be shooting the non-uniformed ones upon capture. It fits within the Conventions as well…

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  60. The problem with the Bainbridge proposition is that it is months premature. There’s no need to commit now, and we’ll learn so much more about the candidates by Nov.

    gp (d28186)

  61. Scott, that is the part that Andrew and his lot don’t ever consider: if we followed the tennants of the Geneva Convention, we could be shooting all of the non-uniformed combatants that we encounter on site, but we don’t. They don’t consider that our troops could just as easily be taking prisoners into empty rooms alone, putting a gun to their heads and getting all the information they want, but we don’t do that either. We treat prisoners much better than our enemies (Daniel Pearl ring a bell, Andrew?) but that doesn’t matter either. Isn’t there documentation that we have released prisoners after tribunals only to capture them again?

    Andrew, do us a favor: STFU about things you don’t understand.

    reff (99666d)

  62. Were I a commanding officer, god knows I would.

    “Spit and sputter all you want, liberals. I’m just following the rules.”

    And I’d likely end up in Leavenworth anyways, and I don’t think I’d care.

    Because really. You have a rep for wasting a bunch of prisoners, who’s gonna screw with you? :)

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  63. I’d miss Leavenworth….I just wouldn’t have any witnesses….rules in the field???…make them up as you need to….

    Hope Andrew has to serve with pride one day….

    reff (99666d)

  64. Andrew understands just fine. And so do I. America’s court system is on our side, believe it or not. It upheld the internment of American citizens just because of their Japanese ancestry not too long ago. And the summary execution of German saboteurs. Likewise the summary executions of Confederate sympathizers. It’s also sent to prison, recently, Padilla, Mousaoui, Reed and Lind. If we only had had a lawyer representing America who trusted it.

    Gitmo is a coward’s idea. That it is not within American jurisdiction is less than sophistry — it is a humiliating lie. America is where her power is.

    nk (398aa2)

  65. nk, it is not America’s court system that I fear…habeas corpus being all but suspended in WWII, the internment of Japanese-Americans was not unexpected, and execution of saboteurs was in line with both the Geneva Convention and conventional American laws. Sending those you listed to prison was not a big thing either, since their cases were basically slam-dunks. Gitmo is not a coward’s idea at all. It is a protection of both American laws and America, as are the tribunals that have released back into the war itself persons that were no longer threats, and have since been recaptured/killed in action.

    The only thing humiliating is the argument of those who think that the terrorists need “our court system” to protect their rights. Their rights are on the battlefield. If they die there, their rights have been protected. If they are captured there, their rights are protected by the UCMJ, and that is enough for me. It should be enough for you too.

    reff (99666d)

  66. Persons we captured on the battlefield should be held as Geneva-recognized POWs, or punished as illegal combatants as the GC itself provides. (The Afghan locals didn’t really need a uniform, or do you want to argue that the heroes of Red Dawn were war criminals?)

    Many of the Gitmo prisoners are not battlefield detainees. They are random persons turned in by bounty hunters or abducted who-knows-where whom the President designated as unlawful combatants wholesale and without giving them any opportunity to defend themselves (until adverse court decisions). NK calls that cowardly and he is quite right.

    I doubt if at my age (and with my eyesight) I’ll be “serving with pride”, but I do find it interesting that people like Scott muse about the war crimes they’d commit or order if they were an officer. So, what stopped you, Scott, from moving towards this 007-fantasy?

    I’m not one of the Democrats with a soft spot for McCain. The fact that his desire to adhere to (that is, return to) the Laws of War is so unpopular in his party and on this thread is a statement about the puny Bush-idolizing remnant, not McCain.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (5f1b21)

  67. Andrew – If the democrats want to make things clear about the U.S. adherence to the laws of war they should feel free to propose laws to do so instead of continuing their political theater with hearing after hearing in Washington. Somehow they don’t have the balls to match their rhetoric. Point the finger at your own side for a change.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  68. Andrew – Can you point to where the stories of innocent shepherds tending their flocks being swept into bondage have been vetted by independent parties without a vested interest in the outcome of GITMO proceedings?

    daleyrocks (906622)

  69. yes, the Wolverines, the protagonists of a fictional movie were war criminals. so what does that mean, ficitionally speaking of course?

    chas (fb7ad4)

  70. Andrew, do you know what the GC provides for illegal combatants captured on the battlefield? Next, to be a GC-POW, you have to be in uniform, subject to the leadership of an opposing government in a declared war. Two of the three requirements are missing in this case. (P.S: The heroes of Red Dawn would have been shot on sight, as they were by Russian/Cuban troops, remember???)

    I’m not one of those who would muse about “war crimes” I might commit if I were still on the battlefield. I would do what it took to make the mission work, and protect my men. And, I was an officer.

    As for Gitmo, as you say, many are not “battlefield detainees.” Many are. The tribunals are set up to handle that. Our courts are not. The terms of the UCMJ are more than enough to handle the legal side. And, every detainee gets legal protections; what they don’t get is to muddy the waters with obtuse legal arguments, as in a criminal court. Yes, there are limits, such as the protections of secrets, but, detainees get much more protection than our troops would get in a reverse situation.

    As for the President declaring them unlawful, as I read your post, you seem to be saying the President did that before they were caught. I don’t think that is right, but I may be misreading your post. On the other side, if they were caught with a weapon facing our troops, that does not make their confinement illegal in any way. If they were on a list of possible criminals/AQ from the Iraq gov’t, that makes them subject to capture as illegal combatants. In both cases, they were subject to summary execution on the battlefield, and we do try not to do that. Putting them into confinement is neither illegal or cowardly. What is cowardly is to try to give them the protections of American jurisprudence, without the consideration that any one of them is a danger to all of us.

    Finally…McCain, and his beliefs that we are acting outside the GC from the git-go…

    Just an opinion, here, but he is simply wrong….and while his service is of the highest of respects, his beliefs are 40 years old, and the world has changed….adjustments must be made for those changes….the enemy he fought wore a uniform, followed a government, in a declared war with a nation we supported. How does AQ fit that description?

    And, I think I know where you will go with some of your response, but, I’ll wait and see….

    reff (99666d)

  71. Lefties either just don’t understand the GC as it relates to prisoners or are deliberately misleading in explaining it. GiGi is consistently one of the worst offenders.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  72. If the democrats want to make things clear about the U.S. adherence to the laws of war they should feel free to propose laws to do so instead of continuing their political theater with hearing after hearing in Washington.

    Excuse me, the Democrats did so, as best they could, with Sen McCain’s assistance. That’s one of the reasons McCain is so unpopular on this thread! But Bush has said time and again that laws and treaties are meaningless when he deems they restrict his self-proclaimed Commander in Chief powers. He did it again yesterday.

    Next, to be a GC-POW, you have to be in uniform, subject to the leadership of an opposing government in a declared war.

    Total rubbish. I don’t know how, in these days of Google, you think you can get away with such inaccuracies. Prisoners of war include

    Inhabitants of a non-occupied territory, who on the approach of the enemy spontaneously take up arms to resist the invading forces, without having had time to form themselves into regular armed units, provided they carry arms openly and respect the laws and customs of war.

    Note that this is separate from militia groups who must be in uniform; they are covered four clauses earlier. Likewise with respect to declared war (same link, emphasis added)

    Article 2. In addition to the provisions which shall be implemented in peace time, the present Convention shall apply to all cases of declared war or of any other armed conflict which may arise between two or more of the High Contracting Parties, even if the state of war is not recognized by one of them.

    And you say I don’t know what I’m talking about!? You should read the originals instead of learning your Geneva Convention knowledge from Limbaugh.

    No one, and I mean no one, is advocating criminal trials for battlefield detainees. We have had the correct machinery to deal with POWs, including spies, for decades. Bush/Cheney merely chose not to use it.

    The world has changed, but what has not changed is the mindless belligerence of the fearful. We should be proud that our standards are higher than Al Qaeda’s and not manifestly jealous.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (5f1b21)

  73. Andrew – If Leaky Leahy wants to outlaw waterboarding, there is nothing, apart from actually having to stand on principle, preventing from him from doing it. Grilling Mukasey is just a grandstanding waste of time and taxpayer money. It’s the same with the FISA extension debate. The democrats had six months to craft an agreement, ran out of time, but again don’t want to look weak on terrorism. Either they believe their rhetoric or they don’t.

    How are you coming with your backup for the innocent shepherds Andrew?

    daleyrocks (906622)

  74. who on the approach of the enemy spontaneously take up arms to resist the invading forces,

    Andrew – I’ve always loved the section you quoted. So after the invading forces are already occupying the country, how long do you think that “spontaneously” out is good for? Is that the innocent shepherd clause that the left keep trumpeting? Keep spinning.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  75. Andrew, I’m somewhat impressed…

    You’ve managed to discover the people in Gitmo….including those who take up arms and “respect the laws and customs of war” such as IED’s, booby traps, bombs attached to babies, women, etc….those are the people in Gitmo….and, again, just like the ones we’ve let go, and captured or killed again….

    Good for you….now, maybe you’ll get off that problem…

    By the way, as well, the position of Commander in Chief is separate from laws and treaties that may restrict his powers….it’s called “separation of powers”…every President has used this, including Clinton….how do you think he bombed an aspirin factory???

    And, our standards are higher than AQ….why do you think so many of them are alive in Gitmo???

    But, how many of our will die so they can have that right? It is not the fearful that you need to be concerned about; they’ll continue to protect you, while trying to stay alive, and find those who want to kill you….

    As for McCain being unpopular on this thread….his stance on the war is the least of his problems….it might be the only thing he has some good quasi-Republican legs to stand on….and even then, as I said before, he is simply wrong about some of it….

    reff (99666d)

  76. Patterico: Mitt Romney isn’t John McCain (and he isn’t Mike Huckabee). And that’s enough.

    I have no idea what Romney really believes about anything, so I have little reason to think he would be a better President than McCain or Huckabee. Why assume Romney’s the least bad of the three?

    Brad S: Robert Bork’s experience should serve another lesson for conservatives: There are times/places one can mouth off at Ted Kennedy and Joe Biden. Right in front of their Senate committee is not one of them if you’re wanting to get promoted to a SC Justice.

    I watched all the hearings live and don’t remember Bork “mouth[ing] off at Ted Kennedy and Joe Biden.” What are you talking about?

    Serenity Now (b08c67)

  77. Ok. American jurisdiction is a different question entirely from federal court jurisdiction. Federal court jurisdiction is a creation of Congress. If the prisoners at Gitmo are “the enemy” under the AUMF, Congress has the authority to have them tried by CSRTs (or by courts martial under the UCMJ or by Article III courts if it chhoses). And it does not matter whether the CSRTs are held at Gitmo, the Sahara desert or the annex to the Supreme Court Building.

    But to say that the CSRTs, authorized by Act of Congress, funded by the U.S. Treasury, staffed by officers of the United States Armed Forces, on a United States military base, are not an exercise of “United States jurisdiction” just because we lease Gitmo and do not own it is … Kafkaesque Orwellian.

    nk (398aa2)

  78. “And you say I don’t know what I’m talking about!? You should read the originals instead of learning your Geneva Convention knowledge from Limbaugh.”

    Why is Andrew under the impression that all conservatives listen to Limbaugh? If they did, he’d have a much bigger audience.

    Andrew, do you get your analysis from self proclaimed experts such as Scott Horton and Glenn Greenwald? How is their track record so far?

    daleyrocks (906622)

  79. And Andrew, I’m afraid the clause you quote relly only applies to the locals of that area…

    Bussing them from one end of the country to the other, or bringing them in from out of country, defies the “spontanious” part of that.

    Add in the fact that they are acting against the legit Govt OF that country, and you have what the Germans liked to call “sabbatours”. Guess what they did to them?

    And you should check and see how well the French resistance was treated, what with them actually being the sort that provision was intended to protect…

    Scott Jacobs (3c07ad)

  80. nk, I’m not sure if Congress has the authority to wage war; they can authorize war, but the President fights the war. Dealing with prisoners, either enemy POW’s or illegal combatants, is up to the Legislative branch. That is, I believe, the problem with your argument.

    reff (bff229)

  81. nk, I’m not sure if Congress has the authority to wage war; they can authorize war, but the President fights the war.

    I agree.

    Dealing with prisoners, either enemy POW’s or illegal combatants, is up to the Legislative branch.

    I agree with that, too.

    I will copy and paste my comment from a previous thread here, re Boumedienne v. Bush now being decided by the Supreme Court:

    The prisoners need to win their AUMF argument — that they are not the “enemy” Congress authorized to President to wage war against. If they do not, there is no justiciable question. The Court should not interfere any more than it should interfere in the Air Force’s designation of a bombing target. That the prisoners are prisoners at Guantanamo and not at wrong end of a Hellfire missile is irrelevant. If they are the enemy, the CSRTs are none of their or the courts’ business. It is an internal procedure, for the benefit of the military to allocate its resources, again, similar to assigning priority to what targets to bomb.

    If the prisoners win their AUMF argument, then they are entitled to Fifth Amendment Due Process. America is where her power is. The splitting of hairs about citizenship, subjectship, sovereignity, territoriality, authority, ad nauseam, is beneath our great country’s dignity.

    nk (398aa2)

  82. nk, and I’ll repeat my argument…they have no rights under our laws, and my opinion is that they don’t even have the rights they are fighting to get, not even the right to get to the court. The President’s powers give him the authority to set up the tribunals that are there, and even give him the right to do it SLOWLY, as he has. That is their right. They get to show the tribunal panel that they are not the enemy, not a Federal Court, or Supreme Court, or any of the like.

    Your last line, about the splitting hairs; The enemy is whoever they show they are on the battlefield. If he is captured here, in our sovereign territory, he may or may not get the protection of our courts, and probably shouldn’t if it can even remotely be shown he is the enemy. However, if he is captured there, he should not have any rights to our court system. There is a system in place to deal with him.

    reff (bff229)

  83. No. I think that even the President has given up the claim that he has the unchecked power to kill or imprison anyone he wants in the world just because he says they’re a threat to America.

    nk (398aa2)

  84. And won’t you please consider the implications of extraterritoriality? If I, a U.S. citizen, were to raise an army and attack Guantanamo, and were I to survive, would I be immune from a charge for treason because I did not “wage war against the United States”? Or if I were to sink a U.S. ship in the open sea? Or if a foreign nation did — would it be considered an act of war against the United States?

    nk (398aa2)

  85. nk, no one ever said the President has unchecked powers to kill or imprison anyone he wants in the world just because he says they’re a threat to America….

    No, you would not be immune, as you would not be if you attacked American Samoa, or Puerto Rico, or an American military base in Europe….treason is an action against the sovereignty of this country. Your actions would also be classified as an act of war IF you represent a nation. What you also forget is that your actions would be dealt with, either by the GC, or a tribunal, or in our criminal court system, depending upon how the government interprets your actions. Remember, Clinton wanted to deal with OBL as a criminal, not as an act of war. The President gets that choice.

    Explain what you want to refer to about ‘extraterrtoriality.”

    reff (bff229)

  86. nk, no one ever said the President has unchecked powers to kill or imprison anyone he wants in the world just because he says they’re a threat to America….

    Skip trying to rewrite history. How would you distinguish that from the Administration’s arguments in Padilla?

    Justice Department lawyers have told staff of the Senate Judiciary Committee that the United States would hold Padilla indefinitely, and that the executive branch alone has the power to decide when a person qualifies as an enemy combatant.

    At the time, I would add, he was held incommunicado and under other conditions not permitted for POWs. The Administration no longer claims, aloud, the power to detain anyone at whim by designating them an enemy combatant, but only because the courts have not looked favorably on lettres-cachet.

    Enemies of the US retain rights under the Geneva Convention, nor are US statutes against rape and torture that apply everywhere somehow waived. In theory, the UCMJ would apply, but Gitmo prisoners were not treated according to the UCMJ (holding in Hamdan). Either we can enforce our own laws binding ourselves to humane standards, or we can fear the day that some supranational body does it for us.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (5f1b21)

  87. Andrew, was their point about the Executive Branch wrong? The Executive Branch of the government is given the power under the Constitution. Every time Congress or you try to change that, you are going up against 220 years of case laws, and the Constitution.

    Question: in Hamdan, when the UCMJ was not followed, what happened? Were those responsible punished? Yes, so our system worked. You just don’t like the system, do you?

    Your GC comment: Again, you misstate the situation. The GC does not apply to the AQ in Iraq, or anywhere else, since they are not following a government lead, and are not “spontaneous,” and I thank you for reminding me of that.

    Oh, and as for a supernational body telling us what to do: THAT IS WHAT YOU WANT NOW. America has its own laws, and we are following them. People like you want us to follow laws that do not apply, or give terrorists the rights of American citizens, which is not done anywhere in the world in a time of war or terrorist activity. Our standards are humane, and when they are not, our laws punish our citizens for violations of the rules we set.

    reff (bff229)

  88. Oh, I forgot Padilla….the Administration wanted him treated as an illegal enemy combatant, but, as an American citizen, he argued successfully, if I am not mistaken, that he had to be treated as an American citizen. A judge who obviously decided to ignore the facts of the case decided he got to be a citizen. The Administrations next act should have been to charge him with treason, find him guilty, and summary execution, under the laws we have for that act. This case simply shows what will happen when people like you get to control what is or is not an enemy combatant; he was a self-declared enemy trying to kill what he claimed were legitimate targets in America. Yet, when push came to shove, he hid behind the same rights he wanted to destroy, because he didn’t have the guts to live up to the creed he wanted to kill for. So, he claimed to be an enemy combatant, but he wanted the rights of a citizen. How much more clear could a charge of treason have been? And, what happens when a citizen of America decides to play jury nullification and let someone like him go???

    reff (bff229)

  89. Enemies of the US retain rights under the Geneva Convention

    But only if the meet certain conditions, like being uniformed soldiers in a regular army…

    Scott Jacobs (3c07ad)

  90. Enemies of the US retain rights under the Geneva Convention

    Just not the rights the liberals believe they have.

    Yes people, liberals reading the GC for the first time believe they have suddenly found loopholes in its interpretation, going against the codification of 200 years of the principles of land warfare and the first fifty years of the GC’s existence. Hope and obfuscation spring eternal.

    Any backup yet on the innocent shepherds Andrew?

    daleyrocks (906622)

  91. Let’s see, so far on this thread reff claims that the GC applies only to a declared war, contra the specific language of the GC itself. Then he denies that the Bush Administration claimed it could imprison anyone, anywhere whom it deemed an enemy combatant, and when confronted with Padilla, where the Administration claimed exactly that, he said he forgot. (That’s like a scholar of Civil Rights law forgetting Brown.) The backup defense is that Padilla was a bad person who deserved the death penalty. Well, maybe so (he got only 17 years), but how about the trial first?

    Scott Jacobs claims the GC applies only to soldiers in a regular army, even though the refutation in the plain language of the GC itself is upthread.

    You’ll have to excuse me, but the legal acumen on display from the pro-torture crowd is rather underwhelming and refuting it with original documents is tiresome.

    The Bush Administration has the ethics of a police state. It’s a dirty little secret, but in police states many people are quite happy unless they belong to the class of designated enemies, or until the junta’s foreign adventurism brings about its collapse.

    You should be grateful that McCain gives the GOP an opportunity to redeem itself from Bush/Cheney’s authoritarian tendencies.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (5f1b21)

  92. The Bush Administration has the ethics of a police state.

    Andrew – Are you back to that shredded the Constitution bullshit? Do you have any specifics?

    You still haven’t provided any specifics to the crap you were spewing yesterday. I want to know more about the shepherds. Did those stories come from a credulous Time Magazine reporter like the one who knocked the doors of the Haditha massacre story by swallowing it hook line and sinker from a jihadi sympathizer?

    daleyrocks (906622)

  93. Daleyrocks, I’m not your research assistant. You can start here, and here and here. Even many of those who are Islamist sympathizers appear to have been civilians, not to have been engaged in combat, and not unlawful combatants in any legal sense of the word.

    You’re a coward, daleyrocks, looking for Big Brother to make you feel secure.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (7d46f9)

  94. Just to bring this thread a little back on topic — why McCain is not necessarily a cheese-eating surrender monkey like Obama and Hillary because he might close down Gitmo — and to answer reff’s question about what I meant by extraterritoriality.

    Gitmo was believed to be a way around the laws of the United States because it is not a state, territory or possession of the United States so the prisoners there were not entitled to the benefit of United States law except as granted them by the President. That went out the window pretty darn fast. American citizens and American officials including the President are subject to the laws of the United States everywhere and they are not free to do whatever they want to whomever they want once they leave our borders. Moreover, they cannot use the sworn soldiers of the United States Armed Forces or the taxpayers’ money to do what they want to do except as authorized by American law.

    So Gitmo was essentially a loony idea. (I’ll stop beating up on AG AG.) Congress has authorized the use of military force against enemies of the United States and established Combatant Review Status Tribunals. Other than logistics, Gitmo was never sufficient nor necessary. CSRTs can be held anywhere in the United States as can unlawful combatants.

    nk (398aa2)

  95. You’re a coward, daleyrocks, looking for Big Brother to make you feel secure.

    Andrew – An interesting judgement from the left given that the left looks to the government for solutions for their problems – hence the term nannystate. You are perhaps confused.

    I want to find the source of the left’s conventional wisdom about these innocent shepherds of which you speak so frequently and fondly. Oftentimes when something is repeated sufficiently it becomes accepted as fact when in reality it is not. There has been a good amount of propaganda issued and accepted against the West related to Afghanistan and Iraq and useful idiots like yourself do not help matters by perpetuating falsehoods.

    daleyrocks (906622)


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