September 26, 2004

MoDo is the Marionette

I used to respect MoDo's keen wit and fierce independent streak. But sadly, over the past couple of years, she's wholly swallowed a far-too-easy, breezy quasi-Mooreian narrative that has transformed her into a willing and increasingly shrill mouthpiece for anyone with a bone to pick with the Bush Administration. In this so-simple, dumbed-down world--Rummy and Cheney baby-sit kid Georgie, the neo-cons hijacked U.S. foreign policy and imposed a loony doctrine of pre-emption that has grossly unsettled a heretofore peaceful and idyllic international system, and the Administration is full of moronic Panglossians who think all is going smashingly swell in Mesopotamia.

Today, in the most widely read and prestigious opinion page in American print media (the Sunday New York Times), she simply parrots Joe Lockart's 'Allawi-as-Bush-parrot' slur--unwittingly showcasing that she is much more of a marionette and puppet than the Iraqi PM--given how slavishly she goes about doing Joe Lockhart's bidding without even a hint of judiciousness or fair play. It's worth quoting at some length:

President Bush has his own Mini-Me now, someone to echo his every word and mimic his every action.

For so long, Mr. Bush has put up with caricatures of a wee W. sitting in the vice president's lap, Charlie McCarthy style, as big Dick Cheney calls the shots. But now the president has his own puppet to play with.

All last week in New York and Washington, Prime Minister Ayad Allawi of Iraq parroted Mr. Bush's absurd claims that the fighting in Iraq was an essential part of the U.S. battle against terrorists that started on 9/11, that the neocons' utopian dream of turning Iraq into a modern democracy was going swimmingly, and that the worse things got over there, the better they really were.

It's the media's fault, the two men warble in a duet so perfectly harmonized you wonder if Karen Hughes wrote Mr. Allawi's speech, for not showing the millions of people in Iraq who are not being beheaded, kidnapped, suicide-bombed or caught in the cross-fire every day; and it's John Kerry's fault for abetting the Iraqi insurgents by expressing his doubts about our plan there, as he once did about Vietnam....

Just as Mr. Cheney, Rummy and the neocons turned W. into a host body for their old schemes to knock off Saddam, transform the military and set up a pre-emption doctrine to strike at allies and foes that threatened American hyperpower supremacy, so now W. has turned Mr. Allawi into a host body for the Panglossian palaver that he believes will get him re-elected. Every time the administration takes a step it says will reduce the violence, the violence increases.

Mr. Bush doesn't seem to care that by using Mr. Allawi as a puppet in his campaign, he decreases the prime minister's chances of debunking the belief in Iraq that he is a Bush puppet - which is the only way he can gain any credibility to stabilize his devastated country and be elected himself.

Actually, being the president's marionette is a step up from Mr. Allawi's old jobs as henchman for Saddam Hussein and stoolie for the C.I.A.

It's hilarious that the Republicans have trotted out Mr. Allawi as an objective analyst of the state of conditions in Iraq when he's the administration's handpicked guy and has as much riding on putting the chaos in a sunny light as they do. Though Mr. Allawi presents himself as representing all Iraqis, his actions have been devised to put more of the country in the grip of this latest strongman - giving himself the power to declare martial law, bringing back the death penalty and kicking out Al Jazeera. [my emphasis throughout]

I don't think I've ever read a more cretinous screed in the New York Times--which I've been reading for about 15 years virtually daily. Let's pause and take in a bit of Dowd's intellectually lazy and (even) morally defunct Sunday musings.

1) First, let me explain what I mean about the morally defunct part. MoDo castigates Iyad Allawi for "bringing back the death penalty." Bringing it back? Herein Dowd's absurd adoption of the moronic Moore-like narrative that depicts Saddam-era Iraq as a rosy socialist playground full of kite-flying, cheery weddings, equal wages for all(!)--a Titoist Yugo-paradise of sorts. Maureen Dowd should take time out of her busy schedule and read Samantha Power's excellent "A Problem From Hell: America and the Age of Genocide"--focusing, in particular, on what Power calls the "Kurdish Hiroshima"--the horrors of Halabja. She should read over such accounts of Saddam's massacres of Kurds and (relatedly) Shi'a Marsh Arabs. Power puts Saddam's actions in a narrative of 20th Century genocides that begins with the Armenians, proceeds to the Jews, and continues on with the Cambodians, Iraqis, Rwandans, and Bosnian Muslims. Saddam's crimes rank among the greatest of the 20th Century. Dowd's fevered insinuations that Iyad Allawi is a thug on par with Saddam are, truly, morally corrupt allegations--and wholly divorced from reason and fact. But her (and Dave Shipley) don't appear to give a shit. Well, too bad, I guess.

2) Related to 1 above, this grossly hyperbolic relativizing of Saddam with Allawi, she describes the new Iraq PM as formerly a Saddam "henchman." Of course, anyone with any ambitions in 70's era Iraq would (much like joining the Communist Party in the Soviet Union) have had brief flirtations with the Baathist Party. From Nasser's Egypt, to Asad's Syria, to Iraq--the prevalent political philosophy of the day in the region was a Baathist-like fusion of Arab nationalism and socialism.

So was Allawi some noble Solzhenitsyn or Sakharov-type? No, of course not. But was he simply a Saddam henchman? Equally forcefully, one must conclude no. Which is why he was forced into exile in the U.K. in the 70s. And why he was almost axed to death by, yes, Saddam's real henchmen--and had to endure a lengthy period of convalescence. Isn't it revolting that MoDo would describe a man who almost died at the hands of this brutish tyrant as one of his very own henchmen?

3) Finally, this whole puppet thing--that MoDo tries to turn around on Bush ("Mr. Bush doesn't seem to care that by using Mr. Allawi as a puppet in his campaign, he decreases the prime minister's chances of debunking the belief in Iraq that he is a Bush puppet"). Dowd appears to charge Allawi with being a Bush mouthpiece because a) he indicates all is rosy in Iraq, b) appears so appreciative of Bush action's in unseating Saddam, and c) conflates the fight against terrorists and insurgents with the global war on terror.

Let's take each allegation in turn. Re: (a) above, and as anyone who read Allawi's speech is well aware--it wasn't all rosy, sunshine ("I know, too, that there will be many more setbacks and obstacles to overcome.") And, re: (b) above, frankly, why can't Allawi show some gratitude to the American government and people for unseating a bloody tyrant responsible for the death of hundred of thousands of his country-men? Really, why?

And, finally, yes--Allawi's speech placed the counter-insurgency effort in Iraq within the larger context of the post-9/11 global war on terror. But these comments weren't meant to reinforce wild Myloriean-style claims that Saddam personally planned 9/11 and dispatched Iraqi intelligence agents to Prague to hobnob with Mohammed Atta. Allawi's comments were meant differently, of course. After all, he is hardly alone in describing his government's goals as part of the larger war on terror. So does Vladimir Putin and Arik Sharon. So does New Delhi and Islamabad. So does Karzai. And so will other countries going forward. Everyone and their mother are now using the war on terror as a kind of rationale for facing down domestic opponents and varied geopolitical threats. Each case must be viewed on its merits (for instance, Putin's conduct of the Chechen war has been extremely brutish--to wholly accept the placing of his efforts there within the rubric of the GWOT sullies the moral integrity of the struggle).

But the point here is that, yes of course, Allawi is going to place his difficult counter-insurgency efforts as part of the larger struggle between barbaric fanaticism and civilization. And, while you can disagree, he is doing this because he is faced with mammoth challenges and wants to succeed and garner as much international support as possible--not because he is some Bush stooge, parrot, marionette. No, the real puppet here is an increasingly lazy Maureen Dowd--who is simply rounding out the next inning of Lockhart's puppet slur to give it greater exposure and willingly play campaign flak for Kerry. It's the type of rank partisanship more nuanced and serious op-ed writers like Jim Hoagland, Dave Ignatius or Anne Applebaum would never stoop too--but that has become the increasingly routine, tiresome, and twice-weekly gruel she dishes up for all her cheerleaders in precincts Upper West Side and Berkeley. It's a pity--because she's better than that. But, like so many others, irrational Bush-hatred has gotten the better of her so that she is now simply embarassing herself.

MORE: Yes, I know the CPA abolished the death penalty--but such a hugely disingenuous technical reading would make a Bill Clinton blush and, of course, doesn't change the above analysis a whit.

Posted by Gregory at September 26, 2004 11:01 AM
Comments

Charming commentary, but ye are too, too kind.

No, in fact, she may not actually be better than that. (Though giving her benefit of the doubt, perhaps she, like many others, is, in the words of one prominent olumnist, "possessed.")

As for me, I prefer to believe that vile is as vile does (or in this case, writes).

Krugman, Dowd.... Though they, certainly, are not alone. And no, no one at this stage ought not expect better from the NYT (nor any other MSM organ).

Nor will they have a clue, come November 3rd, why they wll have been absolutely creamed at the polls.

And this, perhaps, may be the saddest aspect of it all.

Posted by: Barry Meislin at September 26, 2004 01:06 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Why bother picking a bone with MoDo, one of the most advance case of BDS.

Posted by: BigFire at September 26, 2004 02:25 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Great posting on MoDo. Unfortunately, the points you make about her extend to a frighteningly large group of people -- in academia, Hollywood, the media, and the Democratic establishment. I have stopped talking to colleagues about the issue, because when you attack the Michael Moore view of the world they look at you like you have completely lost it. In some sophisticated circles, when you say "Michael Moore is fatuous," your words are received as if you said, "I just joined the KKK and am going to burn a cross tonight. Want to come?" I have never seen anything like it. I don't get it at all.

On Modo, I lost all tolerance for her during the Clinton impeachment. The central political question of the day, it required her to take a stand on the issues, but she preferred to use her novelist's skills so as to trash everyone. I concluded then that she stands for nothing but her own ability to play with words.

The classic description of here is available here:
http://www.nationalreview.com/seipp/seipp200409010050.asp

Posted by: Mike at September 26, 2004 02:32 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Would someone please explain to me how in the name of all that is good and holy is a Kerry administration going to be able to work with PM Allawi, much less our "bribed and coerced" allies? This is madness! Are they so zealous to win that they're willing to burn bridges (not to mention blowing up most of the countryside) just to get elected?

It seems pretty clear to me that Kerry will skedaddle from Iraq as fast as his spin doctors can turn it into some kind of pyric victory. Probably just around the time that Iran goes nuclear.

The new isolationism...brought to you by the old/new left and their spokesman John Kerry.

Posted by: superhawk at September 26, 2004 02:51 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Why did Allawi survive an assassination attempt perpetrated by three men? I mean only to suggest that the story is somewhat implausible and merits a suspicious review.
It's true of course that Allawi, like Bush, throws in a little "things are tough" rhetoric. But it's also true that he and Bush alike present a picture that prettifies many ugly facts, including the fact that the picture has gotten a good deal more ugly in recent the few weeks or months.
It's true also that Allawi's remarks seem to be of a sort that would cost him many votes were they thrown back to him in an Iraqi political campaign. But of course they do track closely what Bush says and do serve Bush's electoral interests. Which apparently explains why Allawi is here saying what he is.
Bush can't tell the unvarnished truth because it seems to suggest that he's gotten into a mess there may be no way out of. And Allawi is in that same mess, our man in Baghdad.

Posted by: superowl at September 26, 2004 06:53 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

She certainly seems to have struck a nerve with today's column and that's why she's making the big bucks.

Posted by: MikeAdamson at September 26, 2004 07:15 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

superowl - You ask why Allawi survived an assassination attempt and find it suspicious? Indeed, why did the Titanic hit an iceberg when so many ships did not! We do not know, but to be on the safe side, letęs declare there is something smelly about it. Think about it - that was 1978! I say Allawi probably was beaten up by a drug dealers when he tried to purchase cocaine for George W. Bush.

Like the guy said in that movie: Can you prove it didnęt happen?

Unfortunately, it is too late to get one of those exiles who did NOT survive. Sorry for being sarcastic.

Posted by: wf at September 26, 2004 07:16 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

I enjoy BD a lot; it challenges me to think because I disagree with it probably about two-thirds of the time (at least). But this post crossed a line. Despite some slip-ups, David Ignatius most certainly merits the label "nuanced and serious." But Jim Hoagland? The man has done nothing but churn out Chalabi-fed dung on a near-continuous basis for the past 36 months. He has degenerated into nothing more than a male poplation's counterpart to Judith Miller.

Posted by: TT at September 26, 2004 10:27 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

"... Dowd's intellectually lazy and (even) morally defunct Sunday musings."

Entirely redundant after the possessive proper noun. Dowd has become a rebarbative, hot-house, pseudo-sophistical bore. Presumably, if you're "in" with that particular set then one's solipsistic orbit in life is well populated and always and ever adumbrated with glittering affirmations of one's own self-affirmations and self-vauntings. Such orbits are so exceedingly comfortable, and glittering indeed, that those who occupy them find it exceedingly difficult to choose to leave them. There is an instinctive sense to that, hence one can understand it to a degree; but to a degree only, lemmings are instinctive critters as well.

Posted by: Michael B at September 26, 2004 11:22 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

One of the things that bothers me most about the left's jumping down Allawi's throat about declaring that Iraq is now a central front in the WOT is that what he says is completely true. Look, whether or not you think that we should have gone into Iraq in the first place, the truth is that there are now a whole bunch of foreign jihadis there trying to kill both our troops and regular Iraqis. To abandon it now would in all likelihood make it the new refuge for terrorists - what Afghanistan was before we went to war there. Regardless of what you thought about going to Iraq in 2003, today in 2004 these are the realities of the situation. Blame Bush all you like, but this doesn't make it any less so. The left likes to accuse Bush and Allawi of optimism to the point of denial, but the left is guilty of pessimism to the point of denial, which is at least as dangerous. It would be devastating in so many ways to abandon Iraq now, and the left needs to wrap its collective head around that and get over the fact that they disagreed with the war in the first place. We can't go back and remake history - we're in Iraq today, and today it would be disastrous to cut and run. If Bush and Allawi are a little too sunny, at least it might to some extent mitigate all the gloominess and refocus some people on the need for success.

Posted by: Nicole Griffin at September 26, 2004 11:22 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

I agree with Nicole. I could use a lot of fancy words to support my opinion ( seriously, I am somewhat erudited) however it appears that MichaelB may have used up today's allotment and , besides, I'm in an abstemious mood.

I also like the fact Niclole uses her full name and not a pseudonym. That shows a lot of class.

I have a few questions. Is helping to elect Kerry so important that Dowd, Krugman etc don't care what impact their words have on the mission in Iraq; or do they want the mission to fail so that they can say they told us so... ; or, are they so consumed with hatred for Bush that nothing else matters.

Posted by: Terry Gain at September 27, 2004 04:05 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

I agree with Nicole. I could use a lot of fancy words to support my opinion ( seriously, I am somewhat erudited) however it appears that MichaelB may have used up today's allotment and , besides, I'm in an abstemious mood.

I also like the fact Niclole uses her full name and not a pseudonym. That shows a lot of class.

I have a few questions. Is helping to elect Kerry so important that Dowd, Krugman etc don't care what impact their words have on the mission in Iraq; or do they want the mission to fail so that they can say they told us so... ; or, are they so consumed with hatred for Bush that nothing else matters.

Posted by: Terry Gain at September 27, 2004 04:08 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

I'm not sure what you find admirable in MoDo's past writings, Greg.

From my vantagepoint here on the center-left, MoDo has always been vapidly cynical and unhelpful

Posted by: praktike at September 27, 2004 08:43 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

I'm not sure what you find admirable in MoDo's past writings, Greg.

From my vantagepoint here on the center-left, MoDo has always been vapidly cynical and unhelpful

Posted by: praktike at September 27, 2004 08:45 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Good post, Greg--it's meticulous, serious, principled: in short, everything MoDo isn't.

I have to add that I find a certain comedy in the contrast between MoDo's silly, overgrown-schoolgirl cattiness and your implacable analytical gravity.

Reading your takedown is like watching a battery of 155-mm howitzers destroy a fruitfly.

The woman is just so very September 10th.

Posted by: PJC at September 27, 2004 09:06 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Yes, she got lazy. 'Twas more than a bit painful to read. Almost as painful as being forced to read the word "Mooreian". Twice.

Posted by: Stefan at September 27, 2004 12:42 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Terry, it has everything to do with the descriptive content, nothing to do with appearances. The description of Dowd is accurate.

Posted by: Michael B at September 27, 2004 03:13 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

> I concluded then that she stands for nothing
> but her own ability to play with words.

Heh. I used to admire that ability way back when; before it became clear that was really all she was about. I remember reading her "Mommy Wierdest" column and thinking, "Wow! I'd sure hate to have her against me!" Who know that it would turn out to be so trivial and ineffective?

Posted by: Kirk Parker at September 27, 2004 07:04 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

modo is dodo an' a ho too.

Posted by: 'lectronic Bubba at September 27, 2004 08:00 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

I wonder if the day will ever arrive for MoDo that she will look around and realize that the words she commits to paper don't mean anything. That her work means nothing. That she means nothing and and influences nothing. Funny. I realized that weeks ago about her.

Posted by: Damion Michaels at September 27, 2004 08:03 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

MODO was a perfect fit for the Clinton 90's. She's absolutely irrelevant post 9/11. I'm surprised you still read her.

Posted by: BJ at September 27, 2004 08:10 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Rush once accused her of "gargling with bourbon. I just think she's got a case of dementia, and cannot follow her 'train of thought'.

Posted by: Bob Joyce at September 27, 2004 08:21 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Yet another affirmative action hire at the "paper of [broken] record." I still remember her conversion from pro-Monica to pro-Clinton after Michael Douglas was sent out to "date" her before the impeachment hearings -- that's right up there with the Pussy Galore conversion in "Goldfinger."

Posted by: Rootless Cosmo at September 27, 2004 08:21 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Why bother? Modo writes for people who read the Times. People "just like us."

Posted by: rightwingbigot at September 27, 2004 08:27 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

While agree whole heartedly with your assesment of her drivel... there is one technicality that you could be caught on.

You could forgive MoDo for saying that the death penalty was brought back because technically under CPA rule, it was abolished. Now then... 1.5 years out of God knows how many years of death and mayhem were pretty quickly ignored by MoDo... but technically it was "brought back".

Posted by: Nick at September 27, 2004 08:28 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Poor MoDo,
She sits at home putting pins in her Catherine Zeta Jones Doll waiting for Michael Douglas to come back.

Posted by: mike at September 27, 2004 08:37 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

I totally agree with everything you said, and my friends and I all also despise MoDo.

My question, though, is whether you ever really respected her writing. Was this before 9/11? Does her column not strike as you more appropriate for a publication like US Weekly, not the NY Times?

Posted by: Eric at September 27, 2004 08:47 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

As you know, President Bush has signed Standard Form 180 authorizing release of his military records. You are also aware that John Forbes Kerry has not. Since Senator Kerry has constantly told us what war a hero he is, I think he should do so! I have also passed this along to several web sites. dirtykerry.com has taken this a step further by starting an online petition. Please take a moment to go online and sign the petition. I feel that if we can get enough people to do so, the Senator will sign and we can put the matter to rest!

Posted by: davman at September 27, 2004 09:06 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Modo's lost it. I was an admirer once, seems like soooo long ago now.

She had a chance and a damn well feared bully pulpit - the NYT opinion column space no less - to write the right thing in.

Too bad she blew it.

Posted by: voletti at September 27, 2004 09:13 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

superowl: "But it's also true that he and Bush alike present a picture that prettifies many ugly facts"

One could just as easilly say that the NYT present a picture that uglifies many pretty facts. Is the domestic stability and economic expansion in Kurdistan completeky irrelevant to the condition in Iraq? Reading only the NYT one might think so. Given that the lion's share of violence occurs in just three provinces would also seem to be a significant yardstick with which to measure. Yes, of course Bush and Allawi will emphasize the good, as anyone "making their case" would. I, however, see what you cynically describe as "rhetoric" as a bit of honest balance, something you won't get at NYT.

Posted by: submandave at September 27, 2004 09:29 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

The worldview of MoDo and those like her is not only morally defunct, but also incoherent. Iraq was just fine before the U.S. got there, but Alawi is to be derided as a former "Saddam henchman." Why? Capital punishment of wrongdoing is bad; summary execution of political opponents goes unmentioned. Why? Moore with his Iraq full of kite-flying children, while painting Rummy as a bad guy by showing him shaking hands with... Saddam. Why? There is no logic to it, only hatred of GWB that is greater than hatred for a mass-murdering tyrant.

Posted by: Karl at September 27, 2004 09:42 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Your fisking is right on target--unfortunately, the degree of difficult isnt very high given MoDo's "abilities." I gave up reading the NYT several years ago (while Tony Lewis was still writing his ponderous screeds).

Posted by: RogerA at September 27, 2004 09:52 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Allawi and Tony Soprano -- separated at birth??

http://ambivablog.typepad.com/ambivablog/2004/09/separated_at_bi.html

Posted by: amba at September 27, 2004 09:55 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

I agree with the criticisms of Dowd's intellectual laziness re: Allawi/Hussein, but saying that Allawi's reference to "setbacks" somehow acknowledges the current (and possible future) situation in Iraq is equally lazy and far too generous. I wish Mr. Allawi and his country nothing but good, but that does not mean folks cannot criticize him for an overly rosy picture, when Americans are 85% of the "coalition."

Posted by: Critical Thinker at September 27, 2004 10:54 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

I agree with those posters who think that Dowd has long since lost the ability to write a serious (or seriously funny) column. She's well beyond fisking because it would be necessary to fisk her twice a week for no gain. She is not taken seriously even by those who like her.

For those who haven't seen them before check out The Immutable Laws of Dowd that first appeared on Oxblog. http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/001/741snfel.asp

Posted by: pilsener at September 27, 2004 11:08 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Dowd is a partisan lightweight, but unfortunately she is given a prime piece of media real estate in which to spread her ... what is the word?... propaganda? Even that doesn't adequately reflect the"vitriolic fluff" she spouts. Please continue - I am an admirer of your analysis.

Posted by: Claudia at September 28, 2004 12:21 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Re MoDo:

Her usual output is dreck, but when Michael Kelly died, I found her column graceful and touching.

Critical Thinker & others -

What are your criteria for measuring Iraq? Looking at post-WWII Germany and other situations, why is it surprising that there is a certain amount of chaos? The bad guys are throwing everything they have to try to affect our election and the Iraqi elections scheduled for January - and to affect attituedes and pereceptions in the US. How much of your information do you get from the legacy media and how much from less partisan sources?

If our forebears had had the same unrealistic attitudes I see ini so many today, we would have hung it up after the Battle of the Bulge or the battle for Manila, just to cite two examples from WWII when our enemies were already assured of defeat. And that incompetent George Washington would have been fired long before Yorktown.

The ordinary people in Falluja are starting to cooperate with the IP. Fox News aired an interview tonight with the general in charge of CentCom. One item he mentioned was an Iraqi police station where men had recently applied for new positions. 300 men turned up to apply for 100 positions. Things will get better in Iraq, and the best way, because the Iraqis themselves are committing to make it happen, and will value their freedoms all the more highly because of the cost.

Posted by: Jack Okie at September 28, 2004 12:33 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Wandered over to BelmontClub and found a very relevant article. Highly recommended!

Posted by: Jack Okie at September 28, 2004 12:52 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Terry:

And the answer is. . . They are so consumed with hatred for Bush that nothing else matters. Cut, print it.


Barry:

They will know exactly why they were creamed. The thing that worries me, though, is that they might not be. What they know right now might be enough to tell them that they'd better control it before it happens. Hence, thousands of lawyers are being deployed even as we speak, like sandbags in advance of the flood. They recall that you can always take it to court. You don't have to like the verdict, though. It's like playing ping-pong on both sides of the table. Lord, here comes the flood. . . .

Nicole:

Optimism, pessimism.... Hmmm. Remember that the Dems were the guys who told us--after Bush was inaugurated and it was clear the economy was falling a bit, and the Republicans said so--that if the economy fell it would be the Republicans' fault because they had noticed it. In other words, there IS no reality. There is only what you induce by saying there's a reality. A different tune now, huh, Dudes?

Get ready, gang. We're headed through the looking glass. Things on the other side will be REALLY different. . . . And I don't think we're going to like it.

Posted by: betsybounds at September 28, 2004 02:48 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Mike Adamson — it's pretty simple: a racist bitch will always strike a nerve.

Posted by: richard mcenroe at September 28, 2004 03:09 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Regarding betsybounds' remark, yes, isn't it funny that in 2000, Dems accused Bush, Cheney and other Reps of the high crime of "talking down" the economy, yet, four years later, we dare not even think about, let alone breathe the thought that Dems are unpatriotic for talking down the war, since, after all, wartime dissent is a time honored tradition in our democracy. I think the standard word to describe this is hypocrisy, but somehow that falls short of really describing it, doesn't it? As for MoDo, well, she's worm food, but doesn't know it yet...

Posted by: Tim at September 28, 2004 05:42 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

"Regarding betsybounds' remark, yes, isn't it funny that in 2000, Dems accused Bush, Cheney and other Reps of the high crime of "talking down" the economy, ...."

I'd completely forgotten about that.

I wonder if it worked. Is it possible that the recession that started about then came because the Republicans talked down the economy, and then it stayed down awhile even after Bush won the election?

Posted by: J Thomas at September 30, 2004 07:35 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Re "Republicans talking down the economy": In the last quarter of 1999, the NASDAQ Composite index doubled in 13 weeks, compressing 17 years of normal historical growth into just three months. Qualified observers agree that this unprecedented asset surge was not due to any market dysfunction as such ("over-optimism" per rocketing Tech IPOs, etc), but to the Federal Reserve's (read: Alan Greenspan's) fears that looming Y2K disruptions could result in a global liquidity crisis. The Fed, accordingly, pumped cash into the system at such rates that markets simply swamped. Came late March 2000, followed by August of that year, the NASDAQ began a slide that reached 85% through mid-2002, exposed egregious corporate fraud, and not incidentally trashed global bourses by 50 - 75% as dollar values fell precipitiously.

Anyone who thinks that a gang of doofus lawyers in the Congress, Republican or their equally clueless counterparts, had any inkling of such fundamental economic traumas, should wear his Michael Moore turban with panache.

The brutal fact is, 99.9% of serving politicians know nothing and care less about anything but their taxaholic addiction to "revenue." Jay Rockefeller? Corzine? Puh-leeze! [Yes, I know that appropriations bills originate in the House.]

Meantime, my very own little hedge fund is exploiting these extreme moves quite nicely, thank you.

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