107 thoughts on “A Quick Note to the Outgoing President

  1. Come on John, I don’t think Bush has been showing any indication of screwing over Obama since the election. For all the valid criticism of the previous 8 years, the last two months have been quiet and pleasant out of the White House.

  2. Yeah. It’s probably been quiet because they’ve been booby-trapping the White House. Or, at least booby-trapping anything that Obama might try to do to accomplish any of his goals.

    You’re right. I don’t trust Bush and his minions as far as I can throw three elephants sitting on a grand piano.

  3. It would be an interesting test of our government at this point. If he tried, would the military commanders follow orders, or would we have coup?

  4. Here I was sitting, just hoping that “Freedom of Conscience” turns out to be a boomerang instead of the airstrike it was intended to be, when you’ve given me THIS to worry about.

  5. The first political post of the new year… Unless I missed something.

    I think W just wants to get out of town and leave all of the issues to Obama to deal with. I would hope that Cheney is back in Wyoming already. Waiting on the 6 to 10 subpeonas that will be heading his way. 8D

    Cheney has always scared me more than the W ever did.

  6. You know, I think George just wants to go into the sunset and have a drink. If we all are lucky, he will fade away, only to be heard of on late night comedy shows.

  7. Looking back over the Bush presidency, and examining almost every decision he has ever made, I am reminded of the words of Colonel John Boyd, inventor of the OODA loop.

    “I could have fucked up better than this.”

  8. Elaine@4: There was an interesting story on This American Life over the weekend about military hurrying to get the trials of the Guantanamo detainees started before Obama can shut the camp down. On one hand, this is merely the military doing what it’s ordered to do until ordered otherwise. On the other hand, it’s not hard to think that this is an attempt to tie Obama’s hands. The TAL report even speculates as much.

  9. Nah, he’ll be busy stealing all the Os off the keyboards in the West Wing and super-gluing drawers shut. Have to maintain our traditions, right?

  10. I’d be more concerned about the last minute pardons. He just commuted the sentences of 2 rather thuggish border guards, who were convicted of shooting an unarmed illegal immigrant.

  11. Annalee, Subtle dig at Clinton staffers?

    I keep on waiting for maturity out of those working for our best interests in D.C. but I’m not holding my breath.
    I keep hoping Harry Reid will grow up too.

    I’m just the incurable optimist. 8P

  12. But there might be that stack of last minute Presidential orders he’s waiting to put through to circumvent Congress and the law and due process……..
    Not to mention pardons.

    BBye Bush. Go home. Go fly a kite.

  13. I can only hope that his writing hand gets serious cramps from all the pardons he’s going to sign for the next eight hours (’cause the President has to take his naps and get some sleep before he leaves) and isn’t able to scratch out ones for Cheney or Rove.

    But, y’know, I’m pretty sure those swine got pre-signed pardons on day one.

  14. Ruders Breaking News: John Scalzi brought up on charges for insulting the U.S. Monarchy! More exciting Alernate World News to follow!

  15. Really? You’re more worried about the pardons Bush is going to issue? He’s issued almost 200. Were you that worried when Clinton was issuing over 450?
    As a Republican, I’m taking a wait and see approach to Obama. But I’ll tell you, the incredibly high hopes people have are going to be very hard to maintain. And should we experience terror attacks during Obama’s administration, the economic problems we’re going through now will be a joke.

  16. Tomorrow, I’ll be thinking of the words of another President: “My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.”

  17. Roger @ 29:

    Why will terror attacks be any worse coming during an Obama presidency compared to one of McCain (or anybody else for that matter)? The implication is that somehow Obama will manage to screw up worse than George Bush Jr. in his response to any attacks, which frankly I find fairly inconceivable.

  18. Roger @ 29:

    * Al-Qaida, the terrorists who caused the 2001 terror attacks, were identified as being extremely dangerous by Clinton’s administration.
    * The outgoing Clinton administration informed the incoming Bush administration that Al-Qaida was the biggest terrorist threat that the US was facing.
    * The Bush Administration did not follow up on this warning, despite messages of increasing urgency from the CIA, FBI, and other intelligence agencies.
    * The 2001 terror attacks happened on GWB’s watch.

    It is possible that Obama’s administration could screw up on national security as badly as Bush’s administration did. It could happen. But I doubt it.

  19. Also, more military people have been killed in the ILLEGAL war in Iraq than the number of civilians killed on 9/11, and that’s even if you just go by the ‘official’ count.

  20. I remember watching the inauguration of G.H.W. Bush. At one point the commentator on British TV said ‘And now we see that the head of the Secret Service has moved across to protect the new President from the former President.’

    (On that occasion, of course, the protection was probably not needed; but it’s good that it’s provided, nevertheless.)

  21. I betcha Bush and Cheney personally steal all the O’s off of all the keyboards in the White house.

    On a side note, is it ok for the repubs to call Obama chimpy now, you know, now that Bush is no longer chimpy?

  22. Roger @ 33:
    0 deaths would be impressive, however I counter that with 0 attempts by Al-Queda. You can’t really get credit for winning the battle when nobody actually bothers to fight you.

  23. Jeff S @14

    The first political post of the new year… Unless I missed something.

    You did. I know that snark has been passing for political discourse for too long now, but this still does not qualify as a political statment. Just snark.

    John Chu @17

    On one hand, this is merely the military doing what it’s ordered to do until ordered otherwise. On the other hand, it’s not hard to think that this is an attempt to tie Obama’s hands.

    On the third hand, it could be used as political cover when a year from now Guantanamo still exists. Or worse, Guantanamo is closed and these people are being held on American soil without the benefit of a military commission or a criminal trial.

    But it’s ok, Pat Leahy has Obama’s back.

    Annalee Flower Horne @21

    Nah, he’ll be busy stealing all the Os off the keyboards in the West Wing and super-gluing drawers shut. Have to maintain our traditions, right?

    I’m sorry, but a single instance of impeccably awful manners does not a tradition make. The Os will be intact.

    Christian @22

    He just commuted the sentences of 2 rather thuggish border guards, who were convicted of shooting an unarmed illegal immigrant.

    Um, is that what we’re calling drug smugglers from Mexico now?

    Still, it was a good conviction. These men should still be in jail. But the misinformation campaign was so good, most Border Patrol Agents think the two were wrongly convicted which was causing some serious morale problems.

    And when all is said and done, I think a comparison of Bush’s list and Clinton’s list would not favor Clinton.

    Jeff S @23

    I keep hoping Harry Reid will grow up too.

    So does Mrs Reid.

    Roger K @33

    You’re right…0 civilian deaths due to terrorist attacks after 9/11 is an awful job.

    And Obama will want to keep it that way which is why he is unlikely to dismantle the tools Bush has already put in place.

    Those who criticized Bush on those issues will then fall into two camps: the intellectually dishonest who will suddenly decide that it’s OK because Obama is moral and those who will be forced to disavow Obama. The former will outnumber the latter, I predict.

    Tyger11 @35

    Also, more military people have been killed in the ILLEGAL war in Iraq than the number of civilians killed on 9/11,

    Is the War in Afghanistan more legal than the War in Iraq? How? And what happens if it expands into Pakistan?

    and that’s even if you just go by the ‘official’ count.

    Do you have the unofficial count?

    Andy Smith @39

    0 deaths would be impressive, however I counter that with 0 attempts by Al-Queda.

    How sure are you about that? I’m pretty sure that by now, Obama knows precisely how many attempts there were. Which is another reason he’ll be continuing “domestic wiretapping”. Of course it will now be called something different by the New York Times.

    Something like “listening in on calls made by foreign terrorists to US citizens.”

    Not as catchy, but, you know….

    Domestic wiretapping is soooo 43.

  24. Really? You think there have really been 0 attempts at perpetuating a major terrorist attack in America since 9/11? Unless you have an inside source in Homeland Security that’s telling you they sit around and eat donuts all day, I can’t believe you actually believe that.
    I’m not saying Bush is the best President ever, but I am saying he did a heck of a job in some very important categories.

    And I’m glad to see that fiscal responsibility Obama talked about. 800 bil stimulus and bigger than ever inauguration. Good times!

  25. Stick to writing Sci-Fi, my friend.

    All Hail Obama!

    P.S. Actually, it would be about the best thing he could do to redeem his miserable record as a domestic liberal, foreign policy conservative.

  26. Suggested title for a book about the Bush Presidency:

    A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Incompetence

    (Oh, and Roger K. I’ll concede that there have been zero terrorist attacks on the US since 9/11. But terrorist attacks weren’t exactly common before then, so it’s hard to tell if he’s actually kept us safe or if we are just experiencing the very normal situation of extremely rare events continuing to not happen. I’m not saying he didn’t keep us safe, just that I don’t find the evidence that he did to be very compelling).

  27. #33, Roger K: You’re right…0 civilian deaths due to terrorist attacks after 9/11 is an awful job.

    Lisa, I want to buy your rock.

  28. Roger @ 33:
    You’re right…0 civilian deaths due to terrorist attacks after 9/11 is an awful job.

    Everyone always forgets the 5 people who died from the anthrax terrorist attacks in 2001. Although Bruce Ivins has been implicated, there’s still lots of unanswered questions in that case.

    So, Bush’s huge buildup in security post-9/11 still didn’t prevent another terrorist attack. He failed to stop the first even when warned (9/11) and couldn’t manage to prevent the next one. Complete fail.

  29. Scott@44: No better word than “Meh.” Sorry; this is going to be like hyperlink Jenga or something — that GAO report was driven by Clinton ankle-biter Bob Barr and the findings were anything but conclusive. The Toledo Blade characterized them as mostly “second-hand reports from Bush staff members.” They also point out that Clinton staffers complained about transition static by Bush41 departees.

    A pox on all playbabies, then. Fingers are crossed the Bush43 folks are mature and professional in their exodus, huh?

  30. DavidK @ 48:

    So he wasn’t an ISLAMIC Terrorist, but he was still a terrorist, yes? Falling into the belief that terrorism can only come from one small portion of the world, from people with a limited scope of views…seems pretty dangerous to me.
    Also, don’t the Beltway sniper attacks count?
    Anyhow, it always seemed like the only attacks the government was actively trying to protect the populace from were the ones that had already happened. I doubt they’d try the same thing twice – we already know about it, and the entirety of the success of the first attack was in the surprise of it. Lacking that, there’s no point.

  31. It would be an interesting test of our government at this point. If he tried, would the military commanders follow orders, or would we have coup?

    Well you probably wouldn’t have an actual coup. You might have some people losing, delaying, misrouting and straight out disobeying orders, being absent from their posts and possibly mutinying, but an actual coup with less than 24 hours to a change of government which will clarify the situation is unlikely.

  32. I’m just glad that the skies will be blue again, and the ocean’s will stop rising, and everyone will like us again.
    Now where’s my unicorn and my check?

  33. Tonight feels like Christmas Eve did when I was a kid, only ten times better.

    Do you all remember Bush’s inauguration in 2001? Do you remember people throwing eggs at his limo?

    This is such a far cry from that. Throngs of people in celebratory joy. I was watching Keith Olbermann and the live audience in the background were just screaming and singing. At one point, when Keith mentioned how Cheney has apparently hurt his back while moving and wil be in a wheelchair for a couple of days, the crowd in the background starting singing “nah nah nah nah, hey-ey-ey goooodbye!” and cheering.

    Perhaps in bad form if they are cheering an injury. But I think they were cheering the exit of the former administration. I find that aspect amusing. (I would not laugh at injury, even Cheney’s injury.)

    In any case, the celebratory jubilation of the crowds is just so different from the turbulent protests of the Bush administration. “hey-ey-ey gooodbye” indeed. :)

  34. I think, down the road, we’ll all be wondering if the benefit of “having 0 terrorist attacks since 9/11″ wasn’t outweighed by the cost paid by us through our representatives in the Bush administration. We were never asked to sacrifice after 9/11–instead, as a country we’ve been living in the “we can have lower taxes, more guns and more butter all at the same time” dream world. I for one don’t think the new President will be able to pull off the miracles that the right-wing keeps accusing him of thinking him or his supporters believe him capable of, but just about anything will be better than what’s bee

  35. I think, down the road, we’ll all be wondering if the benefit of “having 0 terrorist attacks since 9/11″ wasn’t outweighed by the cost paid by us through our representatives in the Bush administration. We were never asked to sacrifice after 9/11–instead, as a country we’ve been living in the “we can have lower taxes, more guns and more butter all at the same time” dream world. I for one don’t think the new President will be able to pull off the miracles that the right-wing keeps accusing him of thinking him or his supporters believe him capable of, but just about anything will be better than what’s been going on the last eight years.

  36. *New* orbital kinetic missile? It’s been under development for some years now… Part of the DARPA / USAF “FALCON” program (Force AppLication from CONtinental (United States)).

    The pain of government R&D soliciation proposals past never really fades away, I have found…

  37. I am sure this wont make the site, libs cannot take critics very well so I understand.

    Your blurb is shortsighted and provides a clear example of how silly the left has become.

    While I am no fan of Bush the man, I certainly support the conservative stance more than anything. While Obama looks down his nose at everyone and talks of fiscal responsibility he will be enjoying the best party that 170+ million dollars can buy.

    I eagerly await the cult of Obama that will be on display tomorrow. The significance of the event is not lost on me but I am more convinced than ever that the election was about race and not about ability.

    Maybe that it is about race is sufficient at this point in history. If it helps end the outcry of racism that no longer exists then it will be worthwhile.

  38. I don’t think of it as a last dig. For some of us it has been a long nightmare. We have seen our image trashed and rep denigrated. I can’t wait till the new administration takes over. It will take years years for our country to recover it’s stature, in my opinion.

  39. I am sure this wont make the site, libs cannot take critics very well so I understand.

    We’re talking about a blog where comments are automatically posted unless you’ve previously been put into moderation. The “Sir: I am sure your news-paper will not have the courage to print my letter” routine is therefore DOUBLY stupid-funny.

  40. AlanM at #46 said:

    Suggested title for a book about the Bush Presidency:

    A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Incompetence

    Yes, a companion volume for the Bush autobiography tentatively titled Heart Fulla Fire: Follow the Burning Bush! Book 1 of the Nucular Years Trilogy.

  41. Could be both — a presidential autobiography of days, and an epic tale of fantasy from the night-time dreams:

    “We have a world to save! Up, up and away, Magic Clown Horse!”

    “Sure thing, George!”

    And that’s when Mr. Cheney woke me up.

    Next chapter: A meeting with the Evil Comptroller of the Currency!

  42. Speaking of last minute pardons: Would a pardon from the US President preclude a war crimes trial in the World Court? Also, as I remember, the U.S. claimed exemption from World Court prosecution for war crimes on the grounds that “we don’t do that” (those were the days), so the pardon might be a moot question. But it would be interesting to see what happens if some Bush administration officials travel overseas and get arrested a la Pinochet.

  43. Would a pardon from the US President preclude a war crimes trial in the World Court?

    IANAL but logically the answer is no. However it would make it impossible to extradite the accused.

    Sadly none of the US, Iraq or even Cuba are State Parties to The International Criminal Court. Afghanistan is.

  44. Now hopefully Alec Baldwin and others will move back to the country…. oh wait! They never left! They were just crybabies!

    Regardless, today is a historical day and the beginning of a New ERROR.

  45. 58: I am more convinced than ever that the election was about race and not about ability.

    Ahahahaha! Yes, that poor, poor John McCain, who was tied in the polls until the economy collapsed and he proceeded to epic fail as hardcore as possible. Obviously, he’s a victim of reverse-racism.

    I also love it when Republicans talk about fiscal responsibility. Makes me feel all dirty inside.

  46. 73: LOL, You make no sense at all. Who said that McCain suffered from reverse-racism? Where did that come from? Let’s face it, Obama has acheived nothing of major importance in his career prior to becoming president.

  47. Would a pardon from the US President preclude a war crimes trial in the World Court?

    The US president doesn’t have jurisdiction over the World Court, so I don’t see how.

  48. “The US president doesn’t have jurisdiction over the World Court, so I don’t see how.”

    Nor should the reverse hold true.

  49. Luckily, Bill, nobody asked whether a pardon from the World Court (if such a thing existed) would be binding on the President of the United States, so I didn’t have to answer that question.

  50. Steve at 74:

    could you be more obtuse? – ” who said that McCain suffered from reverse racism?” – YOU did!

    “I am more convinced than ever that the election was about race and not about ability”

    you do not imply that McCain LOST because of his race – you flat out state it.

    I believe it is a valid critisism to say that Obama won because of his ability to give great speaches and inspire the masses vs. a solid record of leadership and decades of experience- but to boil that down to – “the election was about race” as if that was the only factor – or the most important factor- or the deciding factor is just dumb – let me guess you figured that out from watching Fox News?

  51. While Obama looks down his nose at everyone and talks of fiscal responsibility he will be enjoying the best party that 170+ million dollars can buy.

    By the way, this meme needs to be nipped in the bud. The cost of the inauguration measured by the standards previously used is about $45 million. That’s $3 million more than the Bush 2005 shindig. The number above $150 million being thrown around includes security costs, which weren’t previously added in. With them, the estimate is $157 million for Bush 2005 and 160 for Obama 2009.

    Error

    Now, now. It’s almost time for recess. So eat your milk and cookies and don’t pull anyone’s hair.

  52. It seems that some people persist in confusing their opposition with their enemy. Why some of them add hatred to their burdens I don’t know; perhaps their karma dictates it.

    I wish Mr. Obama — soon to be President Obama — well, as I did President Bush.

  53. 78: “but to boil that down to – “the election was about race” as if that was the only factor – or the most important factor- or the deciding factor is just dumb – let me guess you figured that out from watching Fox News?”

    Typical liberal response. Of course race was not the only thing, but race had much to do about Obama winning. Again, Obama had no real experience to stand on so it was not about experience. Not that it was anti-white, rather, that it was a chance for there to be the first black president. If you do not see that, then you are simply ignorant.

  54. 58: “…I am more convinced than ever that the election was about race and not about ability.”

    And I am more convinced than ever that the moon is made of Cool Ranch Doritos.

  55. “Of course race was not the only thing” then why did you say in comment #58 that the election was about race and not about ability?
    “typical liberal response” – bullshit, McCain failed to inspire, McCain failed to address the economic situation in a meaningful way, McCain failed to appeal as someone the general public could relate to (he said he didn’t even know how many houses he owned) any political currency that McCain had in critsizing Obama’s lack of experience he squandered by selecting Palin as a running mate (showing in my mind a lack of sound judgement)

    there were plenty of people that voted for/against Obama because of his race I don’t have statistics but I suspect that these cancel out or nearly cancel out from both sides

    Obama was because of his charisma, in spite of his lack of experience – and McCain LOST because of his lack of Charisma, poor judgemnent, appearing out of touch, and failure to appeal to the ‘vast middle’

    as far as ability – like it or not we will all have to wait and see -

  56. Hear, hear, htom. I’m more conservative than Obama (or McCain, for that matter), but he’s going to be our President. God grant him the ability to make good decisions, regardless of whom they’d piss off.

  57. Steve, please stop being both stupid and rude on my site. Being conservative does not require you to be either, as many smart, polite conservatives around here could tell you.

    Everyone else: Stop feeding Steve’s feelings of persecution, which are causing him to exhibit troll-like qualities.

    Thanks.

  58. LOL, just because I do not agree makes me stupid? Really? The only “stupid” thing I have done is to express an opposing view point on a liberal blog. Something that the other conservatives here realize is pointless. I just could not help myself, it is fun to rile up the libs!

    There is no feeling of persecution, I do not think I am alone in my opinion.

    Having said that, I will stop reading this particular post so that I am not tempted to continue poking.

  59. “Luckily, Bill, nobody asked whether a pardon from the World Court (if such a thing existed) would be binding on the President of the United States, so I didn’t have to answer that question.”

    Fair enough. Just making the point, really. I’ll go back to watching wall to wall Obama.

  60. LOL, just because I do not agree makes me stupid?

    No. Just saying stupid things in a stupid way.

    Folks have as much told you so. You could take a hint, hm?

  61. Was it maybe just a TEENY bit paranoid of me to be worried about that bomb-Iran deadline right up until Obama said, “So help me God,” at the end of the oath of office?

  62. mjfgates — no, as they intended, you’re just confused by their head-fakes; as they’ve agreed, the bombs start falling tonight. ;)

  63. Steve – “I am more convinced than ever that the election was about race and not about ability.”

    I think the election was absolutely about ability. I think a lot of people questioned McCain’s decision making ability when you consider his VP choice, suspension of his campaign because of the financial crisis, and a campaign run in almost complete opposition of the man we the public believe him to be.

    Sure there was an element of race involved, but you have to realize that McCain blew it.

    I don’t think the election was about liberal/conservative views, but one of competence. I suspect Obama gets that.

    And I believe the word you meant was ‘experience’. It is not the same thing as ‘ability’.

  64. McCain definitely blew it, and Obama definitely showed himself to be more competent at running a campaign: crafting a compelling message, adapting it as needed, and convincing people to provide money, time, and visible adoration to get him elected. We have yet to see what that translates into, but I misunderestimated him once and I won’t make predictions now.

    I disagree, Patrick, that the election wasn’t about liberal vs. conservative views. We saw that McCain’s biggest bump occurred when he announced the more-conservative Palin as VP (though that started evaporating at around the time of the Couric interview). Many people have said that Republicans need to run “to the center” (i.e., veer left) to regain relevance, but I think the lesson might be the opposite. There are a lot of people out there who are more conservative than McCain ever was, and Republicans need to actually start fielding conservative candidates. Dems will trash them for “pandering to the base”, but it could more generously be called “reaching out to an underserved constituency.”

    This lesson might have been too implicit — too blurred by the ineptness of the McCain campaign — to be heeded. But I think it should be included in discussions of what the election meant.

  65. I am frustrated with the 2 party system (and our 2 parties) as it is today. I am fiscally conservative and socially much less so. I don’t see why smaller goverment, less taxes, lower debt (at least lip service to these) and pro life, anti gay marriage, etc need to go together. I also don’t see why a smaller military, favor for civil rights/liberties and higher spending on social programs need to go together. It seems that most candidates for federal office represent the extremes of their respective parties – and I find myself much more offended by the extreme right vs the extreme left so I end up voting against the republican -

  66. Jake, I disagree. I think the bump from Palin wasn’t that she was conservative, it’s that she was unexpected. Sure, she helped bring in the conservative as well, but the initial bump was the excitement.

    Had she proven competent, I think we would have had a different race.

    I don’t know that pandering to any extreme right or left is good for the country, let alone a Party. I don’t understand why the middle is such a bad place to some.

  67. I appreciate that, Patrick, but there has to be context for the “unexpected” to cause “excitement”. I can speak for myself, and I can tell you what my conservative friends and conservative pundits have said: they expected mundane McCainity, and they got someone who, unexpectedly, appeared to be conservative. That was the root of the excitement. Elation wouldn’t be too strong of a word.

    Which makes the bursting of the bubble so much the worse, of course. :)

    I don’t think that pandering to the extreme right or left is a good thing, either, but I don’t think Obama is in the middle. From my understanding of traditional American politics, he appears to be pretty firmly on the left. One of the things I dislike about Bush and McCain, in fact, is that a lot of people around here (New Jersey / New York City) talk about them as if they’re conservatives. They’re centrists at best, and in each of them there are strong (perhaps unconscious) left-leaning tendencies.

    One’s perspective on the matter is colored by a lot of factors — my friends from the UK think he’s conservative, and, by corollary, that I’m Benito Mussolini — and my Midwestern friends tend to agree with me about Obama but suspect that I’m a little too liberal for them.

    But that’s part of the point: One needn’t be an extremist to reach out to conservative Americans, and one needn’t see Obama as the new middle. 45% of Americans voted against him. There’s room in the next 4-8 years to develop an understanding of what that really means.

  68. I don’t think Bush is perfect, but i don’t think he’s terrible either. I’m thankful that he kept us safe for 8 years despite the idiot in our country trying to stop him. I think we would be justified in bombing Iran considering how dangerous they are and the recent history. Not saying that we should, just saying.
    Thanks, and don’t attack me just because i have a different opinion than you.

  69. #
    # Roger K.on 19 Jan 2009 at 3:46 pm

    You’re right…0 civilian deaths due to terrorist attacks after 9/11 is an awful job.

    By this logic, you must also praise him for there being no deaths from broken levees after August 29th, 2005. Don’t you feel somewhat silly now?

  70. The levees aren’t out to get you.

    But seriously, the tough thing about security is that if you do it right, people will claim that you didn’t really do anything. Same with other real problems, for that matter: People made the same claims about the Y2K “bug” being a scam made up by consultants, but I personally worked on systems that would have been completely broken if we hadn’t fixed them ahead of time.

  71. Hmm. I don’t want to pile on Steve, but as another conservative-in-presence here, I have to agree with John here.

    Steve, you’re acting sorta stupid. You may be a smart fellow, but that doesn’t preclude acting dumb (as my wife reminds me often, and which I try to take to heart if I find myself being obstinate or in conflict with people accidentally).

    Just because I agree with some of your politics doesn’t mean I have to agree with your method of engagement here in this thread, which was rather pointedly provocative for no good reason…

  72. After ten years of Chimpy McHitlerburton references, I find it gob-smackingly ironic that we’re beating up on Steve for getting a bit prickly at the final insults. He’s given no worse than he’s gotten.

  73. Disturb Buuurack? I would hate to see him disrupted from his life calling of writing another book about himself. He might have to do something of substance. Nah, that would require more than noncommittal speeches. Not possible.

  74. Jake at #97 – “45% of Americans voted against him”.

    Erm, no. To be accurate, 45% of those who voted, voted against him. Of the eligible voters (208 million), 60 million (approx) voted against him, which lowers it to just under 29% of Americans who voted against him.

    (from a non-involved Brit).

  75. I’ve been thinking about that since I wrote it, wondering if someone would point it out. Since you have, I’ll address it, but the slip is irrelevant and going into detail only further proves my point.

    I’ll use Wikipedia as my source: 69.5 million people voted for Obama (52.9%), 59.9 million for McCain (45.7%). These numbers imply that about 131 million people voted. Out of the total number of eligible voters (I’ll assume your number of 208 million is accurate), this implies a 33% vote for Obama and a 29% vote for McCain.

    So how do you want to phrase what we can learn from that?

    My point was not to belittle what Obama has achieved, and it’s still not; however, the numbers are more sobering than the extravagant celebrations would lead you to believe: the Democrats’ foe was a well-hated enemy, the Democrats got out the vote in large numbers, they garnered almost the entire black vote (while increasing the size of that voting block), and still got only about a third of eligible voters to vote for Obama.

    That seems to imply that “One needn’t be an extremist to reach out to conservative Americans, and one needn’t see Obama as the new middle. [67% of eligible voters abstained or] voted against him. There’s room in the next 4-8 years to develop an understanding of what that really means.”

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