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The Surge



This must be that republican appeal to reason that calligraph was referring to.

Just lie. That'll work nobody will question a temperamental POW armed with cheese.

you know, since i first election race i actually followed (nixon/mcgovern in '72) i've used, and heard used all sorts of harsh adjectives to decribe both candidates and winners, but i can't remember "pitiable" ever being applicable the way it is with mccain. i genuinely feel sorry for the guy. in every appearance he seems so bumbling, so uncomfortable, so fearful and angry at the same time. despite what some here think, i honestly can't see this guy as having a hope in hell come november. in fact, as olbermann points out here, his campaign seems to be cracking up and it would be surprising if he makes it to november. the contrast between obama's smooth, urbane, literate, confident style, and mccain appearing like a slightly dumber, more malevolent barney fife really is shocking.

i remember vowing to leave the country if ronald reagan won that first election (which i eventually did) because of the implications about what america was becoming. if mccain wins, it'll be some sort of reverse negative miracle, it would be inexplicable and frightening on a whole new level of dumb. i'm flabbergasted he's made it this far, really. and he seems so reluctant! i wonder what's really going on there...

i'm flabbergasted he's made it this far, really


You did watch Romney, Guiliani, Huckabee, and the rest, right? I promise, he really was the best of a pitiful lot.

As for what's going on - well, the GOP has been faithfully serving as Bush's accomplices for eight years. Would you want to be the Republican who has to face the music in the next four years. I really think that most of them want a Democrat to win so they can blame everything on him.

tim, i don't think you understood my use of "pitiable" here. i meant it literally, as in "arousing pity in the observer". huckabee, romney and guiliani, even taking into account rudy's cancer, don't arouse pity. they may have had pitiful platforms or ideas, and might have been pathetic excuses for human beings or even politicians, but they came across as strong men, enjoying what they were doing, giving it their best shot. mccain, on the other hand, comes off as weak, confused,and yes, reluctant- like he's always looking over his shoulder for the cattle prod. it's this transparant unhappiness that makes me ask what's really up with that. your statement,

I really think that most of them (republicans) want a Democrat to win so they can blame everything on him.

is kind of along the lines of what i think might be at least a partial answer. like he's being led to the slaughter by his own party, and somewhere deep in his reptilian brain, he knows it.

You did watch Romney, Guiliani, Huckabee, and the rest, right? I promise, he really was the best of a pitiful lot.

I did--and, although what you report keeps me up at night when I contemplate a McCain presidency--you're right.

Being in a Greenwaldian mood, although putting the point in my own distinctive way, I find it breath- taking that this ignorant fuck, who consistently conflates the Sunnis and Shias, and doesn't know when the Sunni Awakening happened, seriously claims to have "expertise" on issues of national security--over Obama, whose policies he and Bush now adopt, while vaguely adding that they'll assure "victory"--whatever that means, it's hard to tell when you don't know which Iraqi group is which.

Of course, CBS, being a propaganda rather than a news agency, reports that

While in Jordan, Katie Couric also spoke with John McCain in N.H., where McCain hammered Obama For failing to accept the success of the troop surge.

...rather than adding, "while getting the facts totally wrong." It's follow up, ironyless headline? "McCain denies Misstatement on Iraq Surge" And he "hammered" Obama? This is ridiculous. Yes, surely, the fact that he denied his wildly wrong, ignorant assertion is the important emphasis, not that it was a wildly wrong, ignorant assertion. How about "McCain 'hammers' Obama with wildly wrong facts about a situation he doesn't understand"?


Your use of the word 'pitiable' and my use of the word 'pitiful' were coincidental (leaving aside any psychological analysis of my thought processes); I knew what you meant. Funny about the very different connotations of those two words - yours is the much kinder and much more likely to be literally interpreted. The thing is, I just don't feel particularly sympathetic towards Republicans and their predicaments these days. I suspected that the subtext of your question, "I wonder what's really going on here?", was 'Why the hell did the GOP really put up this bozo?' - hence my answer.

Seriously though, calligraph's silly Obamaniac crap totally misses the point. I can't name a single government policy of the last eight years that I would call a success – and McCain will continue or worsen a good number of them. Health care - a disastrous plan. Fiscal policy - continued wandering in supply-side fantasy world. Foreign policy - care for some more mindless, ruinously expensive imperialism? My vote has little to do with enthusiasm for Obama - it has almost everything to do with rejection of a GOP that has fucked up so many things in this country that it is mind-boggling.

I'm really not aligning myself with McCain here at all, and I want to make that clear, but did people really not understand his explanation? I thought it was poorly explained, but understandable.

McCain was saying that surge means two things in this situation. The first thing, which should certainly be named something else and which did not get called 'surge' in public, is a new strategy of keeping troops in newly occupied areas to provide services and security (why they wouldn't be doing that anyway is a mystery to anyone who's ever played a strategy game). The next version of 'surge' was the publicly understood term for the increase in troops. It's fairly apparent that one would need more troops to carry out a campaign in which troops are left behind after each victory. He was explaining that the publicly known 'surge' was a troop increase to facilitate the 'surge' strategy, and was crediting the 'surge' strategy with helping maintain the Anbar Awakening progress.

Now, it still sounds like he's just covering his butt, and it's a little sketchy to claim an accomplishment of protecting an assassinated official, and maintaining the Anbar Awakening with troops in Baghdad, but let's not call him out as a bumbling liar with no idea what he's talking about when he's just a poor communicator.

EB, I can see why you'd want to defend McCain as you have, as I do think he has gotten unfairly nailed on somethings, like his 100 years remark about Iraq, and it is important to be honest, even if we don't like him.

Still, I don't agree with your gloss, which I find implausible. McCain spoke of two "surges". The first is the meaning of the surge familiar to everyone and covered in the dictionary to mean "to increase rapidly" (in this instance, troop numbers). The other, apparently novel "usage" of surge is McCain's new definition, in which 'surge' is a shortened version of counter-insurgency, although no one has ever, to my knowledge, has ever used the term to mean that. I'm sorry but it is not intelligible to claim that "surge" means "counter-insurgency" because you cannot simply use words in a totally novel way by assigning your own meanings to words.

What McCain did was to find a weak but plausible sounding excuse: that two words that sound alike actually mean the same thing. That strikes me as straight out of the G.W. Bush School of Grammar and English Usage, but alas...

The truly embarrassing thing is watching "I play a reporter on TV" Olbermann frantically spin words to try to distort them to mean what they obviously do not.

McCain states that the surge began when the sheik and Colonel McFarland met and began discussing increasing troop levels. Olbermann takes the idiot route of mocking that by instead focusing on the operation announcement date as if no planning was necessary to get to that point, as if there are no stages to a military operation other than its public reveal and deployment.

Completely missed in all this is Barack 'opinion poll' Obama trying to find yet another way to claim that the surge - which worked - didn't actually work. Pathetic. But what can you expect from an entertainment program that masquerades as news?


I chose to ignore his idiotic juxtaposition of 'surge' and 'counter-insurgency', since it doesn't make sense. He didn't actually make a claim about the etymology of his own 'surge', neatly associated the two words in a suggestive way, as if it were an added incentive to accept his alternate meaning. Maybe I give him too much credit for that oratorial trick. By giving him that leeway on constructing the term, I can accept that he shouldn't have used the word 'surge' the way he did, but that given his definition his point is at least understandable. Remember, my objection was to Olbermann's treating McCain's explanation like the ramblings of a dementia patient.


Yeah, this took points away from Olbermann in my mind too. I like the guy, and we have the same Alma Mater to boot, but he's being kind of an ass. I do think he has gotten unfairly nailed on somethings, like his 100 years remark about Iraq...

Adam - Could you clarify this a little more? Specifically about the 100 years remark.

o claim that the surge - which worked - didn't actually work
I put this on another post but - I just don't get the "surge." Was the strategy that we needed more troops? I believe everyone tried to get that across except Rumsfield. Was the strategy to work with the Iraqi neighborhood leaders (as far as I know, that was something they did on their own).

Again, calligraph. You don't like Olbermann - fine. I'm not a fan myself so....what digital, print, broadcast source DO you recommend?

another way to claim that the surge -which worked -

If it worked, why isn't McCain for pulling out?

The surge has had an effect, its just part of a failed war.

Turning a poorly executed disaster into a well executed disaster is a victory only in the saddest of senses.

Excuse me while I go take the 8 track out of my Pinto and put in CD player with sub woofer.

Excuse me while I go take the 8 track out of my Pinto and put in CD player with sub woofer.

ah, you don't know what you'll be missin', bra. think! I do think he has gotten unfairly nailed on somethings, like his 100 years remark about Iraq...

Adam - Could you clarify this a little more? Specifically about the 100 years remark.

Yes, I meant McCain's remark about staying in Iraq "100 years" was not literally intended, any more than the "could be 50 years" remark that he made directly before it, as he was listing off a bunch of possible scenarios. What he was trying to indicate was the depth of his commitment to achieving "victory" there (whatever that means).

To be clear--I think his policy is incoherent and utterly disconnected from reality, following pretty much in the fact-free ideological mold of his undistinguished predecessor, and a lot of putatively "tough" talk about how committed one is will not help one bit. Still, it is on those grounds that I prefer to criticize him, not the "it could be 100 years" remark turned into a nifty sound bite, although obviously the latter has its political usages.

Adam -

Thanks - I actually hadn't paid attention to it so you intrigued me enough to look up it up on youtube and it seems to be one of those false "gotcha" moments. I know what you mean. That's actually why I stopped going to crooks and liars very often - they seemed so wrapped up in the gotcha (and I do understand the temptation to follow in the footsteps of the right wingers but...) -- it gets so old so quickly.


What upsets me about Olberman is what all the other main stream talking heads do. They'll ramble on about why they don't agree with someone and then sometimes, like in that segment, they'll spin and distort what the intended target said.

But if that wasn't bad enough, and I mean that even if it could still be interpreted as misinterpretation from the "star" and not a malicious attack, they get some other asshole who I've never seen before and basically say, "You agree with me, right?"

And the chucklefuck on the right side of the screen goes, "Huyk, huyk! Yes I do!"

I'm sorry, but you don't have to be well versed in the political game to smell a rat.

The surge worked. We Americans understand that using muscle and waging war is the way to go. U.S.A.! USA! We will never waive the white flag. Never damnit!

The surge worked. We Americans understand that using muscle and waging war is the way to go. U.S.A.! USA! We will never waive the white flag. Never damnit!

JoAnn, remember what we discussed about not caring.

Your sarcasm reveals an emotion that may be caused by some kind of caring

Yes, I know RedSeven. I am attempting to learn to how not to care. I'm not that good at it right now, but I'm learning, bit by bit..

Footage of CBS covering up for McCain? No!? Really? What a surprise.

Get used to say it. President John McCain.

Yeah, yeah, I know, I'm being pessimistic and Debbie Downer.

Still, that's how I see it..

And yet, I witnessed Andrea Mitchell getting fed up today. McCain's campaign manager (or something or other) was going on and on about some bullshit and Andrea Mitchell finally had enough of this shit. She'll no doubt be put in her place by tomorrow.

You are not even trying.

I'm trying, I swear that I am. But living in the U.S. I know all too well that the patriotric John McCain will win. The arrogant "messiah" Democrat, aka, Al Gore, John Kerry, Barack Obama, will lose. Welcome to the United States of America.

Move to the State of hope. About 46% of Americans already have.

46 percent? Well, that won't cut it. Given that any Democrat should be way ahead, 46 percent won't cut it, and that Bradley effect that Norm spoke of is in play. I have lost all hope. I lost hope after both Gore and Kerry lost. Obama should be way ahead by now. There's no way that Americans will elect a black man with the name Barack Hussein Obama. Ain't gonna happen. No need to get your hopes up.

As much as I would be love to have Obama win the nomination, ain't gonna happen... Not here in the good ole U.S.A. Mercans will vote for McCain.

As much as I would be love to have Obama win the nomination,

News flash, he won the nomination close to two months ago.

46 percent? Well, that won't cut it

THe 46% of people in the state of hope are beating the 40% of people in the state of denial.

Bradley effect that Norm spoke of is in play

Sure, but so is the cell phone effect and turnout. Both of which will put a few more points on Obama's score. at the very least.

Gallup Poll, August 2, 2008 Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama are once again tied in the latest Gallup Poll Daily tracking presidential trial heat.

If you're not worried about Obama losing to McCain, you're not paying attention.

As much as it pains me to have to point this out JoAnn, the electoral college is really all that matters, and it ain't even close ;(

Moses wins it hands down.


Not only Republicans, but many Democrats have tagged Obama in this way... spells a loss for Obama.

Although those who tag Obama as being a Moses, dangerous, risky arugula-eating light weight are mostly Republicans, there are also many Democrats and leftists who feel this way. This spells disaster for Obama. And support for Obama means that one is an Obama(fill in the blank with some snarky suffix)..

And when McCain becomes our president, I will expect all of those who labeled Obama supporters as being fanatics.. well, I will expect that they will not complain about McCain winning the election for president of U.S.A. No complaints, mkay?

From 1969 to 1977 we had Republican presidents,

Nixon and Ford, for a total of eight years.

Then we had Carter for four years.

Then we had a Republican president, Reagan, for the

next eight years.

And then we had another Republican president, George

Herbert Walker Bush for four years.

Then we had Clinton for eight years.

And now GWB for for eight years.

So for the last 39 years, Republicans have held the

presidency for 28 of those years and Democrats for

12 of those years.

Any ideas why that might be the case?

Anyone know how this has affected the Supreme Court and how this might affect our laws in the future after McCain wins the nomination?

Any ideas?

Are you talking to me?

What ever happened to Dende Blogger? I miss his comments.


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