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September 17, 2003

POT, KETTLE, ETC....Am I the only one who thinks that having Charles Krauthammer of all people psychoanalyze Democratic hatred of George Bush shows just a teensy bit of poor editorial judgment from Time magazine?

What's next? Commissioning one of my cats to explain why dogs are such vicious, treacherous creatures?

Posted by Kevin Drum at September 17, 2003 07:45 AM | TrackBack


Comments

Its sorta like having Montovani review a Sex Pistols CD.

Posted by: Raimund Wasner at September 17, 2003 07:48 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin, the problem is that if they picked anyone to the left of Krauthammer the article would have been to short:

"They hate him because he's the most divisive, out-of-touch President since Herbert Hoover and respects the basic principles of behavior that suuport our entire system of Democracy only slightly less than Richard Nixon."

Posted by: Doug-E-Fresh at September 17, 2003 07:52 AM | PERMALINK

Well, I'd guess you're probably not the only one... your echo chamber chorus may very well agree with you.

Posted by: JAGCAP at September 17, 2003 07:53 AM | PERMALINK

Hey Dougie,
Do you say stuff like that because you really really believe it (I mean really really) or because it sounds kinda cool and all your buds on this site will chime in?

Posted by: JAGCAP at September 17, 2003 07:55 AM | PERMALINK

This meme is getting wide circulation in the right end of the press and the blogs, and it is as if they were all utterly oblivious to the eight years preceding Bush. Krauthammer is shocked, just shocked, now that it's happening to his side. He presents it as if it is some weird new tumor on the body politic, but while it may indeed be weird and malignant, it's hardly new. It's the logical outcome of the Gingrich style of political discourse during the previous decade. Live by the sword, die by the sword.

I've been having this very argument in the comments of this post at Steve Verdon's blog. By the way, Kevin, he sure seems to have a fixation on you...

Posted by: apostropher at September 17, 2003 07:55 AM | PERMALINK

I think it's just a print version of barking-head radio. The point is not to communicate facts or analysis; the point is to get people angry and sell magazines.

Case in point: Krauthammer's blithe dismissal of opposition to the war based on skepticism about WMDs: "every intelligence agency on the planet thought Iraq had these weapons." In fact, of course, even US intelligence agencies were split, and the UN inspectors, who were there, were even more skeptical.

Reading the article, I almost think I hear Rush talking. "Now, reasonable readers know that Bush is actually a hero, for taking the fight against terror to the terrorists. But the liberrulll Democrats, blinded by their hatred of our Commander in Chief..."

Posted by: bleh at September 17, 2003 08:00 AM | PERMALINK

I heard U.S. News & World Report recently signed Inkblot on to psychoanalyze Rush Limbaugh's obesity problems, so all in all your cats have it pretty good.

Posted by: phil at September 17, 2003 08:02 AM | PERMALINK

As I recall, TIME characterized Gingrich on its cover as the Grinch Who Stole Christmas... to blame the current mudslinging on Gingrich seems a little unfair... Moreover, I worked in DC during Reagan's second term and the vilification of Reagan, Nancy Reagan, James Watt, Anne Gorsuch, and a whole host of others was a daily feature of the WaPo... I'm sure others could adduce historical precedents stretching back to the early days of the Republic, but it's amusing to note that the personal attacks leveled at Reagan administration figures have faded into the historical background noise, while their achievements are increasingly recognized. And so shall it be for GWB, no doubt.

Posted by: JAGCAP at September 17, 2003 08:04 AM | PERMALINK

Well, I'd guess you're probably not the only one... your echo chamber chorus may very well agree with you.

I guess agreeing that 2 + 2 = 4 would also be prima facie evidence of a liberal echo chamber.

Posted by: tristero at September 17, 2003 08:07 AM | PERMALINK

Dear tristero,
You "summed" it up better than I could have hoped to... Liberals believe that their righteousness and beliefs are as obvious, unarguable, incontrovertible, and above discussion as the proposition that 2+2=4.
That is EXACTLY my point and why:
1. The echo chamber results and
2. Anyone who disagrees with you is disregarded or vilified.
Thanks, buddy!

Posted by: JAGCAP at September 17, 2003 08:14 AM | PERMALINK

It's this irrational anger and hatred toward Al Qaeda that I don't understand.

Posted by: Jimmy Hotep at September 17, 2003 08:16 AM | PERMALINK

Lemme answer that one! Please Please! Lemme! Lemme!
OK, the answer is: "They murdered thousands of our brothers and sisters here in America and in other countries around the world and they want to murder more! Also, they repress women something fierce and make their kids dress up like suicide bombers. Oh yeah, and they hate us and want to kick everybody but themselves out of a lot of places and make something called the Caliphate (translated: "Third Reich") come back so the holy guys could tell us all what to do and kill us if we don't."

Posted by: JAGCAP at September 17, 2003 08:20 AM | PERMALINK

Damn, I didn't get any credit for my answer! But that's just because it was a trick question!!! He said "irrational anger" and I was only explaining the RATIONAL anger... Shoot! Plus it's a double trick question, because there ISN'T ANY "irrational anger." I will now sulk for awhile.

Posted by: JAGCAP at September 17, 2003 08:25 AM | PERMALINK

JAGCAP the Troll:
"I worked in DC during Reagan's second term and the vilification of Reagan, Nancy Reagan, James Watt, Anne Gorsuch, and a whole host of others was a daily feature of the WaPo... [...] personal attacks leveled at Reagan administration figures have faded into the historical background noise, while their achievements are increasingly recognized."

*What* achievements? Reagan and crew achieved nothing, and only ongoing Republican propaganda makes it appear that they did. Just like Coulter keeps trying to revive McCarthyism, the right can never admit that its star in some historical era was no good. And why should they, when they have the money and the complaisant press to make sure that their spin is ever renewed?

Posted by: Rich Puchalsky at September 17, 2003 08:27 AM | PERMALINK

Apostropher's "live by the sword, die by the sword" largely acknowledges that Bush-hatred is the echo of the "right wing conspiracy" that searched everywhere and finally found Monica. The election fiasco only made the Michael Moore wing of the Democratic party more rabid. Bush's mendacity, economic mismanagement and f-- you unilateralism gives us plenty to work with. We needn't distract ourselves with the game of character assasination that the Republicans will win, because they're more viscious and less committed to the truth.

Posted by: Mark at September 17, 2003 08:27 AM | PERMALINK

Political fevers are a dangerous thing, however. The Democrats last came down with one in 1972--and lost 49 states.

And won both houses of congress and a majority of governerships and state legislatures. And guess what? They were right, Nixon WAS a crook.

And, uh, Jagcap... that wooshing sound was Hotep's point passing right over your head.

Posted by: Harry Tuttle at September 17, 2003 08:29 AM | PERMALINK

Hmm, okay, this begins to make sense. So you're saying that anger and rage against them is actually in response to their actions rather than, say, we just couldn't decide whether we liked them or not so we flipped a coin or something and it came up tails and that's why we hate them?

Posted by: Jimmy Hotep at September 17, 2003 08:29 AM | PERMALINK

As I recall, TIME characterized Gingrich on its cover as the Grinch Who Stole Christmas

Actually, that was Newsweek. TIME was just as bad however. They did a cover where they showed a menacing Newt Gingrich with the title, "How Newt Gingrich Perfected The Politics of Anger."

Apostropher's claim that such villification arose from the ashes of Newt Gingrich's tenure in the House is laughable. It's always been ugly. There used to be fistfights on the House floor in the past. That being said, the modern day tactic of villification in politics, most notably character assassination, came before anybody had heard of Newt Gingrich outside of his own district. The nomination of Robert Bork to the Supreme Court and subsequent shameful behavior Democrats to paint him as a man who would bring back slavery for example, started the ball rolling.

In addition, aside from complaints about TIME choosing Krauthammer do the article, he does make a good case to show that hatred for Bush is just as deep and widespread as the hatred for Clinton, which people such as Kevin, always deny.

Posted by: Jay Caruso at September 17, 2003 08:30 AM | PERMALINK

the Michael Moore wing of the Democratic party

also known as The Green Party?

JAGCAP:

1) "irrational anger" --- eh, irony is dead. The point is that President Bush has diverted money/resources/troops/intelligence into Iraq instead of the murderers responsible for 9/11.

2) are you trying to imply that Bush is NOT divisive/out-of-touch? bah-humbug. You can't really think that he's a "Uniter" still? I mean, really? You really think that? Even a little bit? Seriously? 1/100th of 1% bipartisan? Do you have a single iota of evidence to back that up?

Posted by: Cranky Bastard at September 17, 2003 08:35 AM | PERMALINK

Yea Jay, the "modern day tactic of villification in politics" started with Bork. It certainly wasn't Nixon's dirty tricks squad. Oh no, right as rain those folks were.

You have to know about those incidents, and I can only attribute your laughable attempt to attribute the start of modern dirty politics to the Democrats in the 80s as disingenuousness... at best.

Posted by: Harry Tuttle at September 17, 2003 08:38 AM | PERMALINK

"A good case"? Please. He starts from the assumption that every single thing that Bush has said is true and right and works from there. His entire article begs the question of legitimate criticism of Bush, and (bizarrely and) deliberately ignores the possibility that he may have warranted the vitriol.

The only way that anybody could call the Krauthammer article "a good case" is if it reconfirms his own prejudices.

Oh wait...

Posted by: Demosthenes at September 17, 2003 08:39 AM | PERMALINK

I thought his closing was a little odd. "Political fevers are a dangerous thing, however. The Democrats last came down with one in 1972--and lost 49 states." And who was it that won in '72?

Posted by: Algerine at September 17, 2003 08:39 AM | PERMALINK

Dang, you guys are so smart! I feel smarter jes reading you guys..., the whooshing sounds DO get distracting cause you guys are all so stratospherically smart, but it sure is worth it!

Y'know what I don't get is why you call me a "troll." Do you doubt my sincerity or is it your (dare I say typical/characteristic/symptomatic) inability to deal with anyone who really really disagrees with you with anything other than invective?
Jes wunderin'

Posted by: JAGCAP at September 17, 2003 08:42 AM | PERMALINK

but it's amusing to note that the personal attacks leveled at Reagan administration figures have faded into the historical background noise, while their achievements are increasingly recognized

do you count Iran/Contra among their "achievements"? i do. i think supporting terrorists with money from illegal arms sales to terrorists enganged in a war with a murderous dictator who we also supported was a great "achievement". i'm so proud of all of them, and i'm glad so many of them have found employment, after their pardoning by Bush the elder.

Posted by: ChrisL at September 17, 2003 08:43 AM | PERMALINK

Bush was the insider's choice in a very thin area of the republican party where the 'social conservatives' control. Bush has not management talents. No track record. He's nepotism, personified.

He's also the weakest link.

As if our democracy has been given wings because the man who is there in spite of his short comings actually makes enough mistakes to notice.

He manages by chaos. Each and every agency that has a chair at the cabinet table, has the head of the agency working with Ginsu knives to kill and destroy outside-the-agency competition.

Folks, these dogs do not get along. The CIA hates the Army. And, the State Department doesn't want any president, ever, to tell it what do. The money from scam/aid is what keeps this system afloat. Just as the Lobbiests have the biggest controls, now. We are being governed from inside the military/industrial complex. And, worst of all we are being governed INCOMPETENTLY!

Incompetence at the top.

Finally, this Bush, who didn't gain support of a majority of Americans, still keeps us at bay. He thinks this is his right. He can talk from the hallway of the White House and slam the door in all your faces. No one can tell him it's NOT the Reagan touch. Bush is the boss.

If you were a competitor whose business was ruined because this boss stole your customer base, perhaps, you'd realize in time, if you weathered the storm, like Churchill even said, THIS ENEMY WILL MAKE ENOUGH MISTAKES TO FAIL ON HIS OWN.

Doesn't say much about YOUR courage.

But Bush is not doing a good job.

What he needs up ahead is a system where Rehnquist, or some other dude, comes out and cancels elections in 2004. OR he needs the democrats to keep this game going by making sure they run more firewood for candidates. Instead of going back to the basics.

Where are the People?

What's BEST for America?

And, how do we get this lying creep out of office.

Bush will say anything. Well?

Wasn't his dad a real "Read My Lips" kind'a guy?

If you believed Bush #41 then you're among the few who believe Bush #43. No one else in the world does!

Wake up.

We don't have to buy the drivel Karl Rove is passing off as presidential material. We can survive. We will recover. But this Bush is sick. And, he's caused more people in this country to lose hope than even Nixon.

Now, you tell me, how can a weak man without talent get away with it? How did his dad get away with it? And, how can the People fight back?

Posted by: Carol in California at September 17, 2003 08:43 AM | PERMALINK

JAGCAP--

No, it is because you are unable to form even a single coherent argument.

Posted by: rorschach at September 17, 2003 08:45 AM | PERMALINK

I hate Bush because he's an (lying) evil-doer, simple as that.

Posted by: spacetoast at September 17, 2003 08:45 AM | PERMALINK

Sniff, sniff. I will now go someplace quiet and weep.

Posted by: JAGCAP at September 17, 2003 08:49 AM | PERMALINK

Curse you, Tuttle! You snuck in and stole my comment while I was still reading!

I'll remember this slight....

Poopiehead.

Posted by: Algerine at September 17, 2003 08:49 AM | PERMALINK

Nah, I guess I won't. But hey, if Nixon's dirty tricks were bad & wrong, whaddaya say about the ballot stuffing in Chicago & Texas that gave JFK the White House? Or, uh, didn't any of that stuff happen? I mean, in your world...

Posted by: JAGCAP at September 17, 2003 08:53 AM | PERMALINK

The irrefutable logic of your retort, JAGCAP, has forced me to retract my earlier statement.

But, seriously. Sorry to have hurt your feelings, but troll is just the word that is used to describe someone who frequents blogs in order to propagate unsubstantiated claims and derail productive discussions. If the shoe fits...

Posted by: rorschach at September 17, 2003 08:54 AM | PERMALINK

i wouldnt say that liberals have irrational hatred towards bush. i think the hatred is perfectly justified. bush came into office on dubious terms and certainly ddnt have a mandate but he has conducted him agenda as though he won 49 states in 2000. i would have some amounts of respect for bush if when he came into office, he said "look folks i know this was a very close election and i know this country is evenly devided, thus i plan to make this a moderate agenda. my cabinet will be look like moderate america(no john ashcroft), my nominees for judges will look like moderate america(no charles pickering). if he had run a moderate agenda, there would be less hatred towards him. things got so bad, jim jeffords jumped ship to help the democrats regain that senate. only a radical extremist conservative president like bush would have caused jeffords to do something like that. i would have expected threats from jeffords but did not envisioning him actually jumping ship.last year zell miller made some noises that he might jump ship but he didnt actually do it. the fact remains that democrats are more tolerant towards moderates in their party than republicans are. and if the same situation happens again in 2004 and there is a evenly divided senate, i would expect lincoln chafee to jump ship.

also i see a lot of hate coming towards bush because of how he ued 9/11 for his benefit. bush uses the deaths of 9/11 to justify his agenda.i personally hate bush because i think he could have prevented the attacks on 9/11 but was negligent that morning. and the fact that he cozied up to the saudis and bin laden family. he claims to be the poster child for american patriotism and anti terrorism but he cozies up to the saudis and bin laden family. so i think people also hate bush because he of the secretness of his admistration. he rarely holds press conferences and never answers questions from normal folk. he just speaks to captive audiences and uses their polite applause to showthat america really loves him. he has never had a town hall meeting.he doesnt talk WITH people he just talks to them. in clintons first term clinton had several town hall meetings and this is why i think he was so popular despite his scandals because he spoke with people and he didnt have an aura of secrecy around him.

Posted by: dee at September 17, 2003 08:55 AM | PERMALINK

Democratic hostility to the Bush administration is driven by his policy, not his personality. This is very different from the Republican hostility to Clinton *as a person*.

I think that this attempt by the GOP to dismiss criticism of Bush will fail for precisely this reason. In the end, the GOPers will have to confront the substance of the Democratic critique
of the many failures of the Bush policies. They are also handicapped by the casual attitude of the Bush people towards truth and their refusal to acknowledge error even when it is painfully obvious. People have a hard time believing your side of disputes when they have reason to believe that you've been slippery in the past.

Marc

Posted by: Marc at September 17, 2003 08:56 AM | PERMALINK

Sorry, I was unaware that there was a "productive discussion" underway... sounded like the same old screed to me... Well, as they say, except to a shepard, a sheep pretty much looks like a sheep...

Posted by: JAGCAP at September 17, 2003 09:01 AM | PERMALINK

P.S. We're winning!
Hee hee, just had to say that before I scoop some more filthy lucre into me gobsack!

Posted by: TROLLCAP at September 17, 2003 09:03 AM | PERMALINK

Jay,

Yes, politics has ever been a rough and tumble sport. But attempting to claim that the political discourse did not coarsen significantly during the '90's is ignoring plain fact. It was noted by legislators from both parties upon retiring. I'll point to the infamous GOPAC memo advising GOP candidates to incorporate the following words when talking about their Democratic opponents: sick, traitors, destructive, corrupt, bizarre, cheat, and steal.

I do find it odd following your original argument to then arrive at "The nomination of Robert Bork [...] started the ball rolling." Yeah, yeah, but that Ulysses Grant - now there was a rat bastard. We can trace political unpleasantness back as far as you'd like, but my point is that we are not seeing a change in American politics, but a continuation of it. Bush's term so far has been a mirror image of 1994-2000.

hatred for Bush is just as deep and widespread as the hatred for Clinton, which people such as Kevin, always deny.

I don't deign to speak for Kevin, but that is precisely the point that I was making. Glad we agree.

Posted by: apostropher at September 17, 2003 09:09 AM | PERMALINK

What this article appears to tell me is that I hate George Bush because he's just so darn dreamy.

Krauthammer has Bush posters and heart shaped pillows in his bedroom, I just know it.

Posted by: Quain at September 17, 2003 09:12 AM | PERMALINK

JAGCAP: I just read all of your replies, and I can't figure out what your argument is. It seems to "You liberals all think that you're right. That's so stupid". I mean, really, is it so shocking to you that people you disagree with think that they're right?

Posted by: Walt Pohl at September 17, 2003 09:17 AM | PERMALINK

Odd how those who expend the most energy (and the most tortured rationalizations) insisting that we should be in complete accord with what Our Leader says and does, accuse those who dissent of being sheep...

Posted by: rorschach at September 17, 2003 09:17 AM | PERMALINK

FWIW, Krauthammer's career as a psychiatrist lasted a mere three years, ended in 1978. OTOH -- although it pains me to defend him -- he's flaunted his rusty credential on other occasions, but in the Time article he doesn't. Not that that makes it worth reading . . .

Posted by: penalcolony at September 17, 2003 09:18 AM | PERMALINK

>You can't really think that he's a "Uniter"
>still? I mean, really? You really think that?
>Even a little bit? Seriously? 1/100th of 1%
>bipartisan? Do you have a single iota of
>evidence to back that up?

Education bill - or has Kennedy switched parties and no one told me?

Never vetoed anything as President. Even stuff he opposes, like Campaign finance reform.

Look at the voting record on the Patriot act - almost as many Dems as Reps pushed that through. Homeland Security Department was a Dem idea that Bush has tried to make work.

Bush tried to get UN approval for Iraq. He failed, but he tried. Remember, most on the right didn't think he needed to, and most on the right didn't think he even should try.

When Bush was Governor, he worked with the Democrat-majority Legislature (yes, it was majority Democrat, until the last election) very well. (Latest in a long line of skillful cross-party workers, including ex-Lt. Gov. Bob Bullock(D), ex-House Speaker Pete Laney (D), all of whom are out of power now. Thus the chaos, now.)

Bush has a long history of working across party lines when it is valuable to him. Let us make it perfectly clear. George W. Bush is NOT Tom DeLay. However, he isn't a closet Social Democrat like his father, either. (Bush, Sr. was the most liberal of the three candidates in the 1992 election. Perot was the center, and Clinton was the conservative. If you don't believe me, compare what Clinton accomplished in office (NAFTA, welfare reform) with what Bush Sr accomplished. (Americans with Disabilities Act, a liberal idea if ever one existed)

Working across the aisles doesn't mean caving on every issue, nor does it mean agreeing with the opposition on every, or even any, issues. It means building consensus without compromising that which you hold dear, trading approval of things you don't like, but think unimportant (like Campaign finance) for things you like and view as important(like faith-based initiatives or education reform). Bush does this. In fact, it may be the ONLY thing he does truly well as a President. He certainly has been spotty on his personnel choices (Cheney) and administrative work (deficits, war rebuilding, diplomacy). The politics of hate preceded him, and eminate mostly from the House.

Posted by: rvman at September 17, 2003 09:19 AM | PERMALINK

"Commissioning one of my cats to explain why dogs are such vicious, treacherous creatures?"

Well, they are...

Posted by: ILoveCats at September 17, 2003 09:20 AM | PERMALINK

JAGCAP, we can't waste much time on most of your comments, because most of them have no meaning, but you are simply wrong about the 1960 election. Admittedly, if you live within the right-wing echo chamber, it may be hard to know that, but if you bother to, like, actually study up on the facts, you won't waste any more time with that kind of wild potshots of that sort.

Jay, the famous "it all started with Bork." Having heard that for years from conservative friends, i looked it up once, and while i don't have the time to check it now, this famous "borking," from the moment of his nomination to the moment of his defeat, took something like 110 days.

Clinton-hate, on the other hand, began before his inauguration and continues to the present day.

You're on firmer ground if you try and claim that politics has always been rough-and-tumble, although, as several posters have already noted, what is being characterized as "Bush hatred" is political disgust at the wrong-headed and dishonest nature of his policies. clinton hatred, on the other hand, was not only personal, it circulated at the highest levels of the republican party and among all the usual suspects among the right-wing chattering classes.

So when Paul Krugman correctly characterizes the dangerous and incoherent nature of Bush's economic policies, that is rather different than when the likes of Will, Bartley, Krauthammer, and many others simply despised every action that Clinton took on the principal that if Clinton took said action, it must be wrong.

Posted by: howard at September 17, 2003 09:23 AM | PERMALINK

Never vetoed anything as President.

Not particularly surprising, since his party has controlled Congress for most of it, except the brief period where Dems held a 1-seat advantage in one chamber. That's not exactly a formula for getting through legislation that might be vetoed.

Posted by: apostropher at September 17, 2003 09:37 AM | PERMALINK

Democratic hostility to the Bush administration is driven by his policy, not his personality. This is very different from the Republican hostility to Clinton *as a person*.

Oh stop it. You see what I mean? This is so dishonest and it's repeated everywhere so much so that the pile is almost mountain high.

Tell me, what do attacks regarding Bush being 'stupid' have to do with his policies? Or him being a 'drunk?' Or the carrying on about him being AWOL? Or the so-called 'stolen election' (which Demosthenes believes is "legitimate criticism")?

If comparing him to Adolf Hitler isn't personal than what is?

Posted by: Jay Caruso at September 17, 2003 09:38 AM | PERMALINK

...if Nixon's dirty tricks were bad & wrong, whaddaya say about the ballot stuffing in Chicago & Texas that gave JFK the White House? Or, uh, didn't any of that stuff happen?

Wow you got the point, but don't realize it yet.

In my world history didn't start 20, 30 or even 40 years ago. In my world Senator Sumner was beaten with a cane on the floor of the senate 150 years ago. In my world Marcus Junius Brutus killed Gaius Julius Ceaser on the forum floor 2000 years ago. In my world Alcibiades Alcmaeonides was accused of breaking the dicks off the statues of Hermes in Athens 2500 years ago.

There is nothing new under the sun.

Posted by: Harry Tuttle at September 17, 2003 09:39 AM | PERMALINK

I think Krauthammer is half right in saying that liberals dislike Bush intensely because not only did he win unfairly, but he then proceeded to govern as if he had a mandate and make drastic changes that will outlive him. But what Krauthammer does not say, that makes the intense dislike rational, is that it is increasingly clear that the Bush "accomplishments" are disasters that will plague the country for years to come. (The deficit, the destruction of international good will, the depletion of the military, the incubating of new terrorists etc.) And on top of that, Bush lies routinely about what he's doing and the press lets him get away with it. I just disliked Bush until I began to see this all adding up. How anyone could read the interview with Paul Krugman and not think that intense dislike of Bush and a desire to oust him are reasonable is beyond me. Even some Repubs are beginning to have their doubts. And yes, the Dems lost in 1972, but they were right--Nixon was a crook, even if some of his domestic policies now look downright benign (EPA, for example).

Posted by: Mimikatz at September 17, 2003 09:39 AM | PERMALINK

The funny thing about Krauthammer's article is that, though he's trying to argue the opposite point, it actually makes Democratic anger seem so reasonable and expected.

He points out the following sources of anger:

1. The perception that the election was stolen
2. The radical tax cuts that will gut government programs for years or decades
3. The rejection, to the general horror of the world, of some of the most basic treaties, including the ABM treaty and the Kyoto Protocol
4. The attempt to undermine the UN
5. The general alienation of the international community
6. The incursion into civil liberties represented by the Patriot Act
7. The manipulation and deception in the lead up to the Iraq war

Now even granting that Krauthammer disputes the legitimacy of some of these complaints (for example, he make what is an extremely feeble rejoinder to the view that Bush deceived and lied about Iraq), how can any sensible person look at this very long list of very radical moves by Bush, and not understand why Democrats might rightly be furious?

How in God's name can Krauthammer mention all these reasons, while claiming, "Democrats are seized with a loathing for President Bush ? a contempt and disdain giving way to a hatred that is near pathological ? unlike any since they had Richard Nixon to kick around."

Isn't this a little like:

"OK, fellow, I know this guy stole your car, raped your wife, kidnapped your kids, and burned your house down. That's no reason to lose control now, though, right?"

Krauthammer, the psychiatrist, should have his head examined.

Posted by: frankly0 at September 17, 2003 09:39 AM | PERMALINK

This is really a tired argument, especially in light of the 90s. Of course Bush's opponents hate him. Politics is always motivated by hate, from Jefferson's time onward. I don't know why. Perhaps Dr. Krauthammer could give us an answer.

The difference is this: how many videotapes are out there accusing Bush of being the anti-Christ? How many privately funded investigations are there in Texas, with the backing of major liberal institutions and personalities, looking for dirt to undo his presidency? How many Congressional investigations are ongoing, examining Bush's shady business dealings, including the means he used to grab land for his ballpark and his insider trading?

I think the answer to all those questions is Zero. Now that's the difference.

Fighting in the democratic arena is a legitimate form of expressing hatred for political opponents. What the Repubs. did in the 90s was an example hatred motivating illegitimate behavior.

Posted by: Amitava Mazumdar at September 17, 2003 09:41 AM | PERMALINK

Tell me, what do attacks regarding Bush being 'stupid' have to do with his policies?

An excuse?

If comparing him to Adolf Hitler isn't personal than what is?

Making fun of his goofy-assed looks. Calling a spade a spade is not a personal attack. I disagree with that characterization - Bush is a Franco... at best - but it is not neccesarily personal.

Posted by: Harry Tuttle at September 17, 2003 09:44 AM | PERMALINK

I can't stand Krauthammer and I feel dirty whenever I read him. Nonetheless, his most salient points are correct. Dems (me) hate Bush because he ruined international cooperation, his ruinous tax cuts will limit the U.S.'s ability to solved its problems, the Patriot Act is an attack on our civil liberties, and that he stole the election. In short, K points out that we hate him for (mainly) policy reasons. Its the only time I've ever read him that I think he's not way off the mark.

Posted by: LowLife at September 17, 2003 09:46 AM | PERMALINK

I don't see the anger as being personal towards Bush. He's merely a symbol.

The anger comes from things being out of balance, and recent systematic attempts on the part of Republican leadership, both in and out of government, to keep it that way by gaming the system into permanent one-party rule.

The reaction is the inevitable resulting polarization.

Posted by: Spinning Tops at September 17, 2003 09:47 AM | PERMALINK

Speaking as a lefty, I don't hate George W. Bush. But I do hate the utterly debased political system that allowed a person so obviously unfit for the Presidency to get anywhere near the Oval Office.

Posted by: englishprofessor at September 17, 2003 10:17 AM | PERMALINK

I am not sure I particularly find the Krauthammer article that objectionable from a liberal perspective. Krauthammer makes the argument that Bush is making revolutaionary changes in our domestic and foreign policy, and all of those changes are opposed by liberals. Its hardly surprising (or in any way pathological) that liberals would be a tad upset, especially when Bush became President with less votes than his opponent (read - he hardly had a mandate for these changes).

Sure, Krauthammer infers liberal positions are wrong -- something we would find in any Krauthammer column.

My main complaint is that Krauthammer blandly asserts liberal vitriol without documentation. I am not ready to concede that liberals spew any more vitriol towards Bush than conservatives continue to throw at Senators Daschle, Clinton, Kerry or Kennedy.

Hey, at least liberals have a substantive non-personal basis for their attacks. What exactly have Daschle, Clinton and Kennedy done? Blocked a couple of appellate court nominees. Forced Bush to scale back his tax cuts so the deficit is kept at $500 billion. Dared to be critical. Am I missing something?

Over the past 10 years, conservative vitriol has been a lot less substantive and rationale. Maybe in his follow up column Krauthammer can examine the source of conservative outrage.

Posted by: Chuck Smith at September 17, 2003 10:22 AM | PERMALINK

I don't see the anger as being personal towards Bush. He's merely a symbol.

While this is mostly true, I do think there's a lot about Bush that's hard for opponents to stomach.

There is his sense of entitlement, his utter inability to admit a mistake, his smugness, his eagerness to cheat and lie to get his way while at the same time pretending to be God's President, and, without question, his rank stupidity and willful ignorance, so unseemly and destructive in a man with his great position and power.

Churchill said of Harold McMillan (as I recollect) that he was "a very modest man, with much to be modest about". If only, IF ONLY, the same could be said of George Bush, who does indeed have so very much to be modest about, but seems to be the last person in the world to know it.

Posted by: frankly0 at September 17, 2003 10:27 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin, it's really no worse than the typical Molly Ivins column. And more coherent than the typical Maureen Dowd column.

I suppose I could start a real fight with Kevin by comparing Dr. Krauthammer's intellect with Dr. Krugman's. :-)

Posted by: Steve White at September 17, 2003 10:31 AM | PERMALINK

I guess Jay's history classes never covered anything before the 1980's. It was the Bork hearing that started it all, yeah, right.

Is that why Bush made such a big point of "changing the tone"? "Hey, we know we acted like complete jackasses for the past eight years, but let's put all that behind us shall we? Since our guy's in charge now, everyone needs to march in lock step, and anyone who doesn't like our policies is mentally ill and filled with blind hatred!"

Posted by: Ringo Mountbatten at September 17, 2003 11:08 AM | PERMALINK


From Jay:

"Oh stop it. You see what I mean? This is so dishonest and it's repeated everywhere so much so that the pile is almost mountain high.
Tell me, what do attacks regarding Bush being 'stupid' have to do with his policies? Or him being a 'drunk?' Or the carrying on about him being AWOL? Or the so-called 'stolen election' (which Demosthenes believes is "legitimate criticism")?

If comparing him to Adolf Hitler isn't personal than what is?
Posted by Jay Caruso at September 17, 2003 09:38 AM"

There are always partisans on the fringe, and most Democrats don't base their intense dislike of the Bush administration on him being a drunk or AWOL.
In fact, these things never come up in personal conversations that I have with other Democrats.
By contrast, I have always found Clintons' personality to be the lightning rod for the republicans that I know.

There is deep resentment among Democrats of the post-2000 election charades, which has a lot to do with the tactics the GOP used and very little to do with the personality of Bush. Nice to sneak that in, but sorry - no cigar.

Bush as Hitler? I've seen this one applied to all modern presidents by people who really detest them, and it is again pretty uncommon among Dems about Bush.

There *has* been an increasing tone of worry about
creeping fascism that you do see much more often than direct bush=hitler claims. I could see how you could interpret them as nazi analogies, and if they are interpreted that way they're clearly wrong. I don't see the concentration camps, thank you.

I don't think that fascist claims are apt or even useful, but I am concerned about media concentration and the impact of the extremely biased slant of talk radio and the cable news operations on our political culture. Jay, you have no idea what it is like to drive across the country and turn on the AM radio if you're a progressive. The degree of hatred towards folks like me on talk radio is so intense that it does conjure up some very bad historical memories.

Marc

Posted by: Marc at September 17, 2003 11:11 AM | PERMALINK

Everybody knew this would happen, on both sides of the aisle. The reps new that they couldn't mount a massive smear campaign across 8 years and 5 congressional investigations on completely bogus charges, and not reap what they sewed.

Dems knew that, regardless of whether or not they orchestrated it, their base would be screaming for revenge. And they are.

To quote from Inherit the Wind- Hello devil, welcome to hell.

Posted by: epist at September 17, 2003 11:12 AM | PERMALINK

I saw the article and ran a Google highlight for the words "lie" and lying"... saw neither, ignored article outright. Nice headfake, Chaz.

Posted by: Rob at September 17, 2003 11:27 AM | PERMALINK

Well, what a super thread.
Doesn't Kevin have a banning policy? What motivates these trolls? I came here looking for some ideas and i have to wade through all this crap.

Posted by: Trillian at September 17, 2003 11:32 AM | PERMALINK

You don't need any ignorant wingnut psychobabble to figure out why Democrats hate Bush. There are three very reasonable reasons:

1) He STOLE a presidential election. He REALLY, REALLY did -- and all the wingnuts supported that desecration of our democracy. That's enough to rate a hale and hearty "fuck you" in and of itself.

2) He has looted the Treasury of trillions of the people's dollars to benefit his spoiled rich friends and at the expense of the common good. Fuck you for that too Repubs.

3) He led the most vicious Big Lie campaign in American history to start a war under false pretenses.

These are the facts wingnuts. Overcome your psychosis and stand down while the Democrats come back in and clean up your messes once again.

Posted by: The Fool at September 17, 2003 11:33 AM | PERMALINK

Is there someone on the left who accuses the right as a whole of being in league with the enemies of the U.S. throughout the 20th century? Maybe there is one somewhere, but no one's buying it like Coulter's book(or no rich individuals buying it in bulk). I don't see the level of absurd hatred towards Bush, which actually makes it into the mainstream, as I see towards Clinton and Democrats.

But I'm just filled with "blind hatred", so which of Bush's policies am I supposed to "like"?

Is it his completely ignoring the terrorist threat before 9/11?
Is it the largest terrorist attack on U.S. soil in history?
Is it is complete squandering of international goodwill after 9/11 and insisting on attacking and occupying a country which had nothing to do with 9/11?
Is it that he could become the first president since Hoover to preside over a net loss of jobs?
Is it the "soggy" economy?(his own Treas. Sec.'s word)
Is it his desire to have the media consolidated even further, even against the wishes of many in his own party?
Is it his desire to expand the Patriot Act?

Whatever he's done that I may agree with is far outweighed by that with which I disagree. I really don't "hate" the guy, I just think he's a shitty president and most of his policies are shitty. For all I know, he's perfectly nice in person, and I wish him a happy, healthy retirement at his ranch come 2005.

Posted by: Ringo Mountbatten at September 17, 2003 11:42 AM | PERMALINK

Cut Kevin a little slack. The widely-linked Krugman interview seems to have brought with it an infestation of Instapundit dittoheads and their ilk. They should get bored and leave pretty soon, though.

Posted by: Zack at September 17, 2003 11:51 AM | PERMALINK

Why, oh why, did people ever say mean things about poor Newt?

Maybe it's because he was a slimy bastard. His low point was on the eve of the 1994 elections when he blamed the Democrats for that fact that Sharon Smith killed her two kids. It turned out that Smith had been sexually abused for years by her stepfather, who was a member of the Republican state central committee and a fundraisier for Pat Robertson.

Such a nice man, yet Time and Newsweek picked on him!

I'm afraid that with JASGSCAP we have an iron-butt last-man-standing troll virus. Doubt he'll go away. He's found his place in life. With no referee, he can hack and foul all day long, and he'll be sure that he's winning.

Posted by: Zizka at September 17, 2003 12:03 PM | PERMALINK

You can't really think that he's a "Uniter"
>still? I mean, really? You really think that?
>Even a little bit? Seriously? 1/100th of 1%
>bipartisan? Do you have a single iota of
>evidence to back that up?

Never vetoed anything as President. Even stuff he opposes, like Campaign finance reform.

That doesn't make him a uniter. It makes him a gutless pussy with no real policy ideas of his own. Can anyone honestly imagine that every single piece of legislation that crosses a President's desk is a good idea?

He has looted the Treasury of trillions of the people's dollars to benefit his spoiled rich friends and at the expense of the common good.

"The people's dollars?" I didn't see any of you sitting at my desk doing my work. I got a whole, what, $300 of my money back? And I ain't hardly rich, nohow.

Posted by: Phil at September 17, 2003 12:09 PM | PERMALINK

if it was tax money that you got then it wasn't your money by definition. Property rights are a product of the legal system (which is part of the government). The government has a legitimate power of taxation under that same legitimate legal system. That $300 you got came out of the people's money. Even if you aren't rich, most of the cost of the Bush tax cuts DOES go to the rich.

So shut the fuck up you stupid wingnut.

Posted by: The Fool at September 17, 2003 12:15 PM | PERMALINK

Jay, Marc largely responded to you, but just to reinforce the point: Clinton-hate as an animating force amongst the callers-in of talk radio is not what concerns me, and certainly there are those who have the same degree of Bush-hate, and so what? As Marc pointed out, there are always those who can only express their hostility as hatred.

What distinguished Clinton-hate is that it animated people at the highest levels of the republican party and the right-wing punditocracy. There is absolutely nothing comparable directed at Bush. That's where the critical distinction lies: that individual Democrats hate Bush (as i'm sure some do) is their individual choice. That the political leadership of the Republican party and the right-wing movement hated Clinton was far beyond anything that we have previously seen in America (even compared to the venom directed at either Nixon or Roosevelt).

If, Jay, you can't grasp this essential distinction, you forfeit the right to be taken seriously.

Posted by: howard at September 17, 2003 12:20 PM | PERMALINK

I see that Jane Galt is mocking the idea that there was a VRWC dogging the Clintons during the 90s. Is the disagreement about the existence of the VRWC a matter of perception, or do we just disagree on what the word "conspiracy" means? Right-wing activists were acting in concert to achieve an agreed-upon goal: prosecuting and/or impeaching the president. Where, exactly, is the controversy?

Posted by: Amitava Mazumdar at September 17, 2003 12:42 PM | PERMALINK

JAGCAP, since you seem to be puzzled by this, here's the algorithm:

if (comment has substance)
{
....offer substantive reply
}
else if (comment agrees with original post)
{
....reader is part of "echo chamber"
}
else if (comment disagrees with original post)
{
....if (comment is funny)
........lol
....else if (comment is pointless)
........commenter is stupid
....else if (comment is inflammatory)
........commenter is troll
}

Based on your comments above and in other threads, is there any doubt as to where you fit?

The answer to your repeated questions, by the way, is that no, none of us here, including Kevin, want an echo chamber. We have substantive disagreements here and have had quite a few enlightening discussions. Some people, on both sides of the fence, have even been known to change their minds or to acknowledge that a point they were trying to make was incorrect.

Is there an echo chamber effect? Of course there is. It would be quite surprising if there wasn't. In fact, the surprising thing would be to find a blog, of any political persuasion, that doesn't have an echo chamber. As far as I know, no such blog exists.

But if you want anyone to pay attention to you and to not dismiss you as a fairly standard troll, you need to actually offer some reasonable discourse of your own. Thus far, you have not seen fit to do this. Your prerogative, of course, just as it is ours to establish you as a troll and behave accordingly.

Posted by: PaulB at September 17, 2003 12:51 PM | PERMALINK

Can't really agree that the left only dislikes this guy's policies. I hate the guy's lie-based corrupt politics, true, but his personality is remarkably ugly as well. All around despicable and vile.

I actually have yet to find anyone who thinks if Bush wasn't president, or the poster boy of nepotism, he'd be all that admirable as a man. Poor business man. Reckless alcoholic. Derelict of duty in National Guard. Poor father and husband--("If you don't stop drinking I leaving you and taking the kids"). Ignorant and uninterested in reading--that says a lot alone. Undistinguished academic or athletic record. Lies a lot. Manipulative. Devoid of real compassion. I don't see all that much to admire.

It's not just policy. The guy is an insult to the office.

Posted by: Tim B. at September 17, 2003 12:58 PM | PERMALINK

Democrats can't help but hate - it's honestly all they have to offer Americans. But the core reason why Democrats are driven solely by hatred lies in the fact that they are completely *emotionally* based, as opposed to those who are logic-driven.

Posted by: the dancing egg at September 17, 2003 01:10 PM | PERMALINK

Tim B. writes: "Poor business man. Reckless alcoholic. Derelict of duty in National Guard. Poor father and husband--("If you don't stop drinking I leaving you and taking the kids"). Ignorant and uninterested in reading--that says a lot alone. Undistinguished academic or athletic record. Lies a lot. Manipulative. Devoid of real compassion"

Baseball executive.

Is there really anything else you have to say?

Posted by: Jon H at September 17, 2003 01:17 PM | PERMALINK

What distinguished Clinton-hate is that it animated people at the highest levels of the republican party and the right-wing punditocracy.

Is the disagreement about the existence of the VRWC a matter of perception, or do we just disagree on what the word "conspiracy" means?

I've always considered "conspiracy" to be a legal term. There was, however, a specific *plan* in place on the part of Republican leadership, inside government and outside of it, to muck up the political process intentionally while Clinton was in office in order to capitalize on the fallout.

The key difference is the participation of Republican party *leadership*. Their plan has lead to an increasing instability in political discourse.

Posted by: Spinning Tops at September 17, 2003 01:20 PM | PERMALINK

Hey Dancing Egg:

You Repubs are especially despicable because you are guilty of blaming the victim.

You people are the ones who perfected the art of political hatred with Bill Clinton. The difference is whereas you had no good reason to hate Bill Clinotn, George W Bush is eminently worthy of contempt.

What you're seeing right now is the inevitable reaction to your own excesses of the 90's -- and boy is it going to hurt. Too bad wingnut. Live by sword, die by the sword. You eminently deserve it.

Posted by: The Fool at September 17, 2003 01:21 PM | PERMALINK

In fact, not only are you Repubs guilty of blaming the victim -- you are the ones who victimized the victim in the first place.

You people are scum.

Posted by: The Fool at September 17, 2003 01:22 PM | PERMALINK

But the core reason why Democrats are driven solely by hatred lies in the fact that they are completely *emotionally* based, as opposed to those who are logic-driven.

OK Logic Boy, prove it.

Posted by: ChrisL at September 17, 2003 01:30 PM | PERMALINK

Howard writes: What distinguished Clinton-hate is that it animated people at the highest levels of the republican party and the right-wing punditocracy. There is absolutely nothing comparable directed at Bush. That's where the critical distinction lies: that individual Democrats hate Bush (as i'm sure some do) is their individual choice. That the political leadership of the Republican party and the right-wing movement hated Clinton was far beyond anything that we have previously seen in America (even compared to the venom directed at either Nixon or Roosevelt).

I'm afraid I can't agree. If one looks at a fair number of the left-wing punditocracy (Ivins, Dowd, Krugman, Franken, Moore, etc) one can find a substantial degree of invective.

A simple test to illustrate the point: take any recent column by Molly Ivins. Use your word processor to substitute "Clinton" for "Bush" (and all her pet names for him). Re-read the column and ask yourself if it sounds like what someone on the VRWC would write.

The people in the VRWC who wrote about Hillary having Vince Foster whacked, about drug-filled planes landing in Arkansas, etc., etc., were kooks who seriously harmed their cause. It's unfortunate that the not-quite-so-vast-left-wing-conspiracy has fallen into the same trap with Mr. Bush.

The currrent political leadership in the Democratic party is doing everything it can to obstruct Mr. Bush, doing things (e.g., filibustering judicial nominees approved by the Judiciary Committee) that here-to-fore haven't been done. Senior Democrats in the Senate have done everything they can to obstruct. The chairman of the DNC has been vituperous in his speech. The various candidates and their people have similarly been nasty (with the notable exception of Mr. Lieberman).

Sure, fine, ok, that's politics, but Democrats can't then complain about invective. Over the years, Democrats, including the Democratic leadership, have shown themselves adept at dishing it out.

As additional evidence the comments of several in this thread, including "Tim B" and "The Fool", should be considered. One can't call Republicans "scum" and then demand that they respect your guy.

Posted by: Steve White at September 17, 2003 01:39 PM | PERMALINK

nah, besides policy I honestly don't like the guy

Ann Richards "Born on third base thinks he hit a home run" ain't quite right. He in his heart knows better. Umps were looking the other way, and he stole home during a timeout.

This is a student who charms,cajoles,pleads,threatens his professor in bumping his c to a b.....and then walks out of the room intensely proud of himself.

Why does he stumble over language....a constant basic dishonesty and lack of character. Bush is sliding through on BS,he knows it,maybe a little scared of getting caught, but mainly smug about getting over on everybody

The big difference between Reagan and Bush, tho there are many, is humility.

Posted by: bob mcmanus at September 17, 2003 01:41 PM | PERMALINK

Echoing what another poster said above...It's pretty significant that Krauthammer seems to be acknowledging as fact what Krugman argues--

"Democrats understand that the Bush tax cuts make structural changes that will long outlive him. Like the Reagan cuts, they will starve the government of revenue for years to come."

I guess it depends on how you understand "understand," but...

M

Posted by: Mischa at September 17, 2003 01:42 PM | PERMALINK

Doesn't the fact that TIME published Charles Krauthammer's article prove that the media is dominated by a vast left-wing conspiracy?

Posted by: hgthephd at September 17, 2003 01:42 PM | PERMALINK

Whenever I watch Krauthammer on TV, I can't help but think of Peter Sellers as the nazi scientist/advisor to The POTUS, who struggles to restrain from using the Hitler salute throughout the movie, 'Dr. Strangelove'.

Posted by: Sovereign Eye at September 17, 2003 01:57 PM | PERMALINK

Per Steve White: "The currrent political leadership in the Democratic party is doing everything it can to obstruct Mr. Bush, doing things (e.g., filibustering judicial nominees approved by the Judiciary Committee) that here-to-fore haven't been done."

*That* *here-to-fore* *haven't* *been* *done*?!?!

Yep. Those Democratic judicial appointments under Clinton just sailed right through. As soon as a Repugnican says something that stupid, there's no point in discussion.

Posted by: chris at September 17, 2003 02:01 PM | PERMALINK

I don't hate Bush. I despise him.

I hate what he's doing to this country, I resent and abhor his attacks on my civil liberties and the way he's feeding my grandchlidren's seed corn to his friends as a party snack. I think he must be stopped from getting any more of our nation's and the world's children killed to try and carry out a foreign policy which seems to have been dreamed up by a bunch of rich frat boys while drinking beer and watching the super bowl.

I am deeply grateful that we are so close to an election and I intend to do whatever is in my small power to see that he is defeated in it.

Is he some sort of right-wing version of the Great Satan the right saw when they looked at Clinton? Not for me. He's a petulant little man with a great deal of money and media support and some smart tacticians behind him.

He's not worthy of the emotion Clinton inspired. He's not the kid that won the game, in schoolyard terms - he's the kid whose chauffeur came looking for you after school.

Hatred is too big a word for such a small quivering hermit crab of a man.

Posted by: julia at September 17, 2003 02:08 PM | PERMALINK

Well, at least Krauthammer didn't get taxpayer funding for this study.

Posted by: Crank at September 17, 2003 02:12 PM | PERMALINK

Steve, when someone says that George Bush uses numbers that don't add up, or that when George Bush claims that his recent tax cut had as its primary goal the creation of jobs he is speaking an untruth, or that when George Bush proposes the next $87B for Iraq (and Afghanistan) without proposing either a revenue increase or a spending offset he is demonstrating a breathtaking degree of fiscal irresponsiblity, or that when George Bush was making speeches about the danger of Saddam he spent no time discussing the costs and difficulties of regime change and to pretend otherwise now is an insult, or that he when George Bush used the Trifecta line some 13 times until some senior Republicans asked him to please stop it he was lying, or - well, you get the picture - when Krugman or Franken or Ivins or whoever you want to name says these things, they are discussing political issues in a political way.

When Bartley or Krauthammer or Kelley or Will (not to mention Rush or Hannity or Coulter or Ingraham) discussed Clinton, they simply and cotinuously dripped venom, and almost never meaningfully discussed politics at all (because if they had, they would have been forced to realize that Clinton supported a good number of the things - not all of them, of course, but a good number - that they did).

That's the difference.

Or, let's put it another way: to be angry at George Bush, which is true of the liberal punditocracy, is not the same as hating George Bush....

Posted by: howard at September 17, 2003 02:15 PM | PERMALINK

bob mcmanus writes: "This is a student who charms,cajoles,pleads,threatens his professor in bumping his c to a b"

I think you mean "bumping his F to a C". But I wouldn't be surprised if he didn't even have to cajole or threaten. I think Yale and Harvard have established guidelines for boosting the failing grades of legacy admissions. Can't have them flunk, that might hurt the endowment.

We've seen Bush's college grades. Bs were scarce. I don't think he really cared what his grades were. Kind of like he didn't really care about showing up for duty in the Guard. He knew there'd be no penalty for failing.

Posted by: Jon H at September 17, 2003 02:19 PM | PERMALINK

Bush as Hitler? Now where would anyone get that idea?

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&ncid=1756&e=3&u=/030914/161/59jhd.html

Posted by: algerine at September 17, 2003 02:20 PM | PERMALINK

Hey Steve:

Howard -- and you -- have it all wrong when he said, "What distinguished Clinton-hate is that it animated people at the highest levels of the republican party and the right-wing punditocracy...That's where the critical distinction lies.

That is NOT the crucial distinction. The real questions are:

1) who started it?
2) who deserves it?

It was you stinking Republican scum who started it. Your own behavior is what you earned you the completely justified Democratic reaction you are belatedly starting to see now.

Now you Repubs are going to pay the price for acting like degenerate assholes.

Posted by: The Fool at September 17, 2003 02:23 PM | PERMALINK

Steve White writes: "The people in the VRWC who wrote about Hillary having Vince Foster whacked, about drug-filled planes landing in Arkansas, etc., etc., were kooks who seriously harmed their cause."

That includes the Wall Street Journal editorial page.

They are kooks, but they're quite influential among the Republicans. They aren't some bizarre fringe publishing mimeographed pamphlets.

By comparison, a lefty "kook" would probably be someone like the guy in Hartford who has a decades-old college radio show called "Assassination Journal", about the Kennedy assassination and myriad other conspiracy theories.

But that's a lefty kook. Right-wing kooks are right-wing "thought leaders", and get widely published, widely interviewed, and widely covered in the right-wing media. Some, like Laurie Mylroie, have the ear of the adminstration.

Posted by: Jon H at September 17, 2003 02:25 PM | PERMALINK

Jay Caruso writes: "Tell me, what do attacks regarding Bush being 'stupid' have to do with his policies?"

He's too stupid to know they're bad policies. If he's not too stupid, he's dishonest.

If he were smarter, he would probably have had more than 9 press conferences by now.

Classic survival skill of the incompetent worker is to avoid scrutiny. Bush has this down.

"Or him being a 'drunk?' Or the carrying on about him being AWOL? "

AWOL just looks bad considering what he's doing to our Guard and Reserve now.

What do you think would happen to an Air Guard pilot in 2003 who failed to show up?

And if Bush is going to pull stupid propaganda stunts like his passenger flight onto the aircraft carrier, pretending to be a fighter pilot hero, then Democrats have every right to call Bullshit on him and remind people that he failed to fulfill his commitment during a time of war.

Posted by: Jon H at September 17, 2003 02:31 PM | PERMALINK

We're still focusing on invective, which is a lousy standard because, as I said, the party out of power is always shrill. We should be looking at activity. Where are the lawyers and activists pursuing GWB and his family?

There aren't any. Hence, the level of hatred among Dems for Bush can't be as great as the level of hatred the Reps. had for Clinton.

Posted by: Amitava Mazumdar at September 17, 2003 02:41 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin,

Your post makes an excellent point. Dogs are vicious, treacherous, crotch-licking, butt-sniffing creatures. The world would be better off without them.

Posted by: Fluffy at September 17, 2003 02:42 PM | PERMALINK

Democrats can't help but hate - it's honestly all they have to offer Americans. But the core reason why Democrats are driven solely by hatred lies in the fact that they are completely *emotionally* based, as opposed to those who are logic-driven.

Wow, didn't realize this until you convinced me with the overwhelming "logic" of your "argument". I feel truly blessed to have someone like you around to do this kind of hard thinking for me.

Posted by: frankly0 at September 17, 2003 02:53 PM | PERMALINK

"Frankly0" and Amitava are most on target -- what's absurd about Krauthammer's column is simply that, throughout the Clinton Administration, he never published a comparable piece on the "irrational" hatred of the Right for Clinton. It all depends on whose ox is being gored, which is hardly news.

As for JAGCAP: I await with great excitement his list of the substantive accomplishments of the Bush Administration. Inflating the deficit to the size of the Crab Nebula in order to provide massively bloated upper-class tax cuts that most economists think are grotesquely ill-advised, and leaving someone else to clean up the mess (also one of the main accomplishments of Reagan, although Bush Jr. has taken it vastly farther)? Leading us off on an unproductive and disastrously expensive wild-goose chase in Iraq because he and his advisors ridiculously underestimated the ease of the endeavor and ignored or actively gagged the people who did see it coming? Deliberately exaggerating the evidence that Saddam had restarted his nuclear program to get us into the war, while concealing from Congress for three weeks his discovery that North Korea had restarted its own very real Bomb factory, until Congress had given him his war resolution -- and then revealing the fact to them within hours? Methodically ignoring or actually rigging scientific data on the nation's environmental and health problems, to the point that the normally placid scientific community is raising screaming hell? If JAGCAP actually has an answer to this, he ain't a troll. If he doesn't, he is.

Posted by: Bruce Moomaw at September 17, 2003 03:01 PM | PERMALINK

"But hey, if Nixon's dirty tricks were bad & wrong, whaddaya say about the ballot stuffing in Chicago & Texas that gave JFK the White House? Or, uh, didn't any of that stuff happen? I mean, in your world..."

Well, JAGCAP, as John P. Roche -- who was associated with JFK's campaign but can hardly be accused of kneejerk liberalism, given the frequency with which he's published in National Review -- pointed out in one of his newspaper columns, Nixon was threatening to publicly denounce Kennedy's theft of those two states until the Kennedy camp quietly let him know that they had virtual proof that the GOP had stuffed ballot boxes in southern California to give him that state. That, and not "personal magnanimity" -- a quality Nixon was notably lacking in -- was what shut him up ove the 'stolen election".

Which returns me to the real absurdity of Krauthammer's column, which is that -- so far as I know -- he never uttered a peep about the Right's even more intense hatred of Clinton. This stuff does happen on both sides, with dreary regularity.

Posted by: Bruce Moomaw at September 17, 2003 03:10 PM | PERMALINK

"Which returns me to the real absurdity of Krauthammer's column, which is that -- so far as I know -- he never uttered a peep about the Right's even more intense hatred of Clinton. This stuff does happen on both sides, with dreary regularity."

Which, of course, is what Kevin was saying in the first place. (I got a kick out of George Will's recent column sniffily claiming that Dean would not do well in a debate with Bush because "the American people are offended by rudeness toward a president". This was about three years after Will referred, in another Post column, to "the stench of the Clintons." Try letting even the most ferocious liberal op-ed columnist refer to "the stench of Bush" and see what happens.)

Posted by: Bruce Moomaw at September 17, 2003 03:17 PM | PERMALINK

What really amuses me about this thread is that the only people I know in real life who openly make the Bush is a full-fledged facist statements are a registered Republican (in the TR tradition) and a very vocal libertarian. Those who will admit to being Democrats and liberals here in Ohio just want him out of office.

Posted by: Magenta at September 17, 2003 03:26 PM | PERMALINK

Well, I'm a little late here, but let me reply to three of JAGCAP's assertions, at the top of the thread:
1) Reagan, Nancy Reagan, James Watt, Anne Gorsuch, and a whole host of others was a daily feature of the WaPo... it's amusing to note that the personal attacks leveled at Reagan administration figures have faded... while their achievements are increasingly recognized.
JAGCAP lists four individuals. Thinking about Watt, Gorsuch, and Nancy Reagan, I honestly can't think of any achievements that are "increasingly recognized".

2) if Nixon's dirty tricks were bad & wrong, whaddaya say about the ballot stuffing in Chicago & Texas that gave JFK the White House? Or, uh, didn't any of that stuff happen? I mean, in your world...
William Safire has pointed out, the main reason Nixon didn't complain about voting in Chicago was that he benefited from equally shady voting practices in southern Illinois. Ballot-stuffing simply is not what "gave JFK the White House". So in that respect, it didn't happen, at least in the way JAGCAP thinks it did. Unless you think that Safire, who worked for Nixon and reveres him to this day, is lying about this.

3) they... want to... make something called the Caliphate (translated: "Third Reich") come back so the holy guys could tell us all what to do and kill us...
How odd. My dictionary does not list "Third Reich" as a synonym of Caliphate. And as far as I can recall, a plan to have holy guys tell us what to do and kill us was not exactly central to the Third Reich. JAGCAP makes an excellent point, except that it's utterly at odds with reality.

Posted by: Keith at September 17, 2003 03:30 PM | PERMALINK

True, Krauthammer is probably not the most objective analyst. On the other hand, it was common during the Clinton administration to bring in left-wingers to psychoanalyze Republican hatred of BJ Clinton. So this can hardly be identified as partisan unfairness. The media should print editorials from all sides.

- Firebug

Posted by: Firebug at September 17, 2003 04:16 PM | PERMALINK

Chris writes: Yep. Those Democratic judicial appointments under Clinton just sailed right through.

You'll have to remind me of exactly which judicial nominees from the Clinton years were filibustered, I can't seem to find any. Each one got a vote (or was withdrawn by the Clinton administration in the face of near-certain defeat), even if Democrats didn't like the result.

It seems that with each administration, the other side raises the ante in judicial nominees. That's been going on since at least Robert Bork. One can just say "that's politics, too bad if you don't like it", but that attitude rather proves Mr. Krauthammer's observation.

Posted by: Steve White at September 17, 2003 04:28 PM | PERMALINK

They weren't fillibustered, they were pocket-vetoed. Under the Hatch system.

Posted by: Barry at September 17, 2003 04:33 PM | PERMALINK

The Fool writes: It was you stinking Republican scum who started it. Your own behavior is what you earned you the completely justified Democratic reaction you are belatedly starting to see now. ... Now you Repubs are going to pay the price for acting like degenerate assholes.

I'm compelled to ask whether you are, as Jon H writes, a lefty "kook" would probably be someone like the guy in Hartford who has a decades-old college radio show called "Assassination Journal", or whether you are a "thought leader."

I'm just asking, you understand.

Posted by: Steve White at September 17, 2003 04:34 PM | PERMALINK

Steve wrote: "Each one got a vote (or was withdrawn by the Clinton administration in the face of near-certain defeat), even if Democrats didn't like the result."

Um, no, Steve, they didn't. Quite a few got no votes at all. As Barry notes, they were blue-slipped by as little as a single Republican Senator, with no explanation and no vote. The system was subsequently changed by Hatch when Bush was elected President and he took over the committee again. The Democrats are no longer able to blue slip judicial nominees and make sure that that blue slip sticks.

Moreover, you're factually wrong on two counts. The first is that both a judicial nominee and a cabinet secretary nominee have been filibustered in the past.

The second is that Republicans have called for cloture votes against judicial nominees several times in the past. However, since they never had the votes to actually engage in a filibuster, it was not so noted at the time (although at least one of those Republican senators did, in fact, call his request for a cloture vote a filibuster).

Posted by: PaulB at September 17, 2003 05:17 PM | PERMALINK

Steve, you already know the answer to your question regarding The Fool's posting. Why do you even bother to ask? Do you really think you're scoring points?

Posted by: PaulB at September 17, 2003 05:18 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, and add to the list such people as Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell who definitely jumped on the "Hate Clinton" campaign with full vigor. Wasn't it the latter who was actually selling that ridiculous video accusing Clinton of peddling drugs and being involved in the murder of Vincent Foster?

Can you find an equivalent liberal cleric?

Posted by: PaulB at September 17, 2003 05:21 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, and add me to the list of folks who is bemused by the claim that Nancy Reagan, James Watt and Anne Gorsuch have achievements that are "increasingly recognized."

I am aware of the cult of Reagan, including a group that wants to put him on our money, on Mt. Rushmore, and in every state and city in the country, but that really has nothing to do with his accomplishments, per se, and everything to do with the cult of personality that still surrounds the man.

Posted by: PaulB at September 17, 2003 05:24 PM | PERMALINK

But the core reason why Democrats are driven solely by hatred lies in the fact that they are completely *emotionally* based, as opposed to those who are logic-driven.

Well, shit. Someone had better tell my advisor that, seeing as how I'm getting a PhD in logic and all.

Posted by: Anarch at September 17, 2003 05:50 PM | PERMALINK

Sigh. Why can't we all just get along?

Is it the money of the public trough?
The political power derived from an ignorant base believing the just-so bedtime stories?

I was born in 1967, so I missed the Nixon debacle, but since Reagan this nation has been spinning in ever wider centrifugal orbits.

Jay Caruso, Sebastian Holsclaw, Steve White, JAGCAP, I have an indictment:

Why do you hate America so much?

Posted by: Troy at September 17, 2003 05:53 PM | PERMALINK

I don't hate W. I can even understand how he (seemingly) charms the press. Sociopaths are often charming. Like others posting here, except for the trolls (a little herd of Tom DeLays?), I despise his actions as president.

Posted by: Linda at September 17, 2003 06:51 PM | PERMALINK

Wow. Krauthammer really bends over backwards to achieve new heights of delusion and denial. "No major scandals"?

That guy is a nut.

Posted by: Copernicus at September 17, 2003 07:02 PM | PERMALINK

Astually, the striking thing about Krauthammer's column is how little substance of any sort (positive or negative) there is in it. He ends up saying simply that Democrats hate Bush because of (A) the remaining cloud of doubt hanging over the legitimacy of the 2000 election, and (B) the fact that Bush turned out to be much farther to the Right than anyone expected. Big surprise!

The real question, of course, is whether Bush's policies are actually correct -- and the only defense Krauthammer makes of those in this column is the soggy one that Bush didn't engage in any deceptions at all about Iraqi WMDs because "every intelligence agency on the planet thought Iraq had these weapons". Including the nuclear program he supposedly had going full-tilt, that was an imminent menace to us all? At the same time that the White House was concealing the restart of North Korea's own very real and very dangerous nuclear program from Congress for three weeks, in order to make sure it passed a war resolution?

Posted by: Bruce Moomaw at September 17, 2003 08:06 PM | PERMALINK

I just want to say that slogging through some of the ridiculous postings by Jay, Dancing Egg et al, was made so worth it by reading Julia's post...As a mother I appreciate it when anyone recognizes the costs of this invasion and the economic (and environmental) policies of this administration on CHILDREN.

Posted by: Unladden Swallow at September 17, 2003 08:42 PM | PERMALINK

Hey Steve: You're calling a fool a kook. Oh no. Not a kook! Oh stop it please.

Call me names all day, Stevie, you Repubs are assholes. You all are on the record, pal.

George W. Bush is guilty on 3 charges:

1) he stole a presidential election
2) he looted the public Treasury
3) he started a war under false pretenses

I advise all of you dumb Republican fucks to consider your future reputations. The Republicans of the 1980's and 1990's will go down in history as deluded assholes -- of that you can be sure.

Give up your psychosis Stevie. It isn't good for you or anyone else.

Posted by: The Fool at September 17, 2003 09:00 PM | PERMALINK

Troy asks why I hate America.

I don't. I love this country and its people. Even "The Fool." I even manage to love Democrats and leftists, except for the International ANSWER crowd and their fellow-traveling Stalinists. I'll stand up for my country any day, warts and all.

To PaulB. and others, I do apologize -- no, I realize I'm not scoring points (especially here!), and yes, I knew the answer. The person who uses the moniker "The Fool" is, I confess, useful for comic relief. Sometimes you just can't help noticing and commenting :-)

Finally, to "The Fool": yes, I realize that I'm on the record.

Posted by: Steve White at September 17, 2003 09:45 PM | PERMALINK

A poster above uses the words "BUSH" and "WORKING" in the same sentence. As if Bush was a dynamic governor of Texas (where the governor, by Constitutional decree, is weak), a glad-hander; and this is used to refute the campaign mantra of "A Uniter. Not a Divider."

I'll say this again. In Bush's White House, at the cabinet table, each seated Cabinet head has his own set of Ginsu knives. Picture this. It's like the Monty Python knights, dressed for combat. Blood spirts everywhere. Old rivalries prevail.

Bush is not a "uniter." Nor is his honest. He's capable of dragging in words in a speech 'fighting terrorism all over and every place, so to speak,'and then just shooting for the oil fields in Iraq (this time), with wink-wink approval from the Saudis. (Because Saddam wasn't very cooperative with OPEC. He didn't play with the mullahs. He kept control in Iraq the way despots do around this globe) ... and, our military went through the Iraqi machine like one of those Ginsu knives, through butter.

But where's the post-invasion plans?

Is it possible, when Bush said that democracy would flower all over the Mideast, he didn't know he was talking crap? He saw American soldiers being pelted with flowers. He didn't see American soldiers (who don't speak Arabic; and who have no translation dictionaries supplied by the State Department, or the CIA, groups loaded with arabist supporters.) Just fly paper.

We can't build decent bases or housing, now, in Iraq. Though we should plan to be there a long time. In Germany, and Japan, when we built military instillations the eyes were on seeing our combat soldiers getting used to these places with R and R. Show me where in Iraq we can bring in some of our families so the soldiers can visit without flying all the way home? Turkey? You want American families now to go to Turkey?

In Israel, during the war in Iraq, the Israelis noticed the American military forced separation between their troops and the Jewish people. So that the Jews would congregate and sing on the beaches; and the military couldn't intermingle.

Ah, yes. Bush is a UNITER. Not a divider. And, he really has planned everything out here. Well, maybe all he planned out was the Halliburton would get contracts. And, the French would feel the boot up their ass as they lost the money they'd been getting from Saddam. The Saudis have run to the Russians, also dividing up a pie you'd think would be under military control ...

But nobody asked our State Department what the rules would be. Nobody checked with Colin Powell, who is sure to stir the pot so that the Europeans can get back to their Mideast money trough ... And, if that means kicking Arik Sharon in the ass, well so what?

All this Bush did with Sharon was to make promises. And, where's the match? The road map matches the June 24, 2002 speech about Bush's double-vision?

That Bush is in trouble shouldn't come as any big surprise, here, folks.

Tony Blair's in trouble.

In Sweden the Euro coinage got tossed overboard by a 56% margin in the vote. (Where the press were saying it was too close to call.)

Excuse me. Landslides are never too close to call.

But the presstitutes report what they're told.

In Las Vegas you have crap shoots.

A game with a long history of loaded dice.

But when Vegas saw the cash flow what happened is that big business tossed the mafia back to CHicago, and the games in Vegas are honest. Monitored. And, honest. (Can you still have your money stolen out of your hotel room? OF course. All dollars brought to Vegas flow into the registers. Petty theft, while a nusance, is something you can prevent, or are expected to prevent on your own.)

Ditto, in politics. You're supposed to weigh issues and make sure you keep your own vote in a lockbox. Until it is safe to cast.

Now. One more thing about close elections. True, you can steal ballot boxes. Stuff them. And, also use electronic means at fraud (which is coming down the pike). But humans when they mass together and vote; and as an example above where 56% of Swedes voted against the Euro, this is stuff you can't override. YOU JUST CAN'T SPIT ENOUGH INTO THE OCEAN TO CHANGE IT.

Well, you can't draw the wonderful energy out of the ocean, either, so that it provides you with a substitute for oil.

All you can do is get smart enough to know when you get facts you can work with. Or when you're being asked to believe in world class nonsense.

And, everyone is different. That's what makes debate spectacular. I don't have to convince you of anything. I just show you what I'm thinking. You're more than welcome to draw your own conclusions,too. There's no harm, and no foul, to opinions.

But isn't it nice to see people willing again to show they've got liberal credentials? Heck, it's like seeing Hillary in a pants suit. She doesn't care the name calling from the small-minded 'social conservatives' on the right, who will never have anything nice to say, anyway.

Posted by: Carol in California at September 17, 2003 10:33 PM | PERMALINK

George W. Bush is guilty on 3 charges:

1) he stole a presidential election
2) he looted the public Treasury
3) he started a war under false pretenses

Steve is a typical Republican who supports Bush despite those offenses. That makes Steve an asshole, now, doesn't it?

Posted by: The Fool at September 18, 2003 05:36 AM | PERMALINK

Carol,
You are so right about the military bases in Iraq. We should be planning to stay there a long time, yet so far the war blogs make it sound like everything is so temporary.

They've got the water tanks sitting out in the sun getting so hot you can't even shower with the water. Geez, put a tent over the 'cold' water tank so it stays at least 120 degrees and can be used to shower!

There just doesn't seem to be any long term planning going on.

Posted by: Tripp at September 18, 2003 07:21 AM | PERMALINK

Nice to see that your recent calls for civility in your comments section took root, Kevin. Clearly people really respect your turf.

I find it interesting that I can call George Bush a "gutless pussy," but because I think I deserved my piddling $300 -- that was earned via my labor -- more than George Bush or someone else did, I get dismissed by some addle-brained Fool as a "wingnut." Despite having not only not voted for Bush, but having not voted for any Republicans for Federal offices, ever.

Sum of ur comment0rz are madd 1ee7 smart.

Posted by: Phil at September 18, 2003 07:52 AM | PERMALINK

Friendly fire, Phil, that's all. When people attack something as violently as the left is attacking Bush, sometimes a friendly target is going to get hit.

I'd love to see the Democrats put forth a legitimate opponent for Bush. Unfortunately, the only candidate of the 9 (I still need to look at Clark, but it isn't looking promising) that I could consider supporting is Graham, and his campaign hasn't gone anywhere. The others have either done very poorly at separating their anti Iraq war rhetoric from opposing the war on terrorism. (My ideal candidate would say something to the effect of "Saddam needed killin', and we shoulda done it a long time ago, but tryin' to do it now, when we got bigger problems like fundie terrorism, was stupid.")

Posted by: rvman at September 18, 2003 02:57 PM | PERMALINK

Letter from Wayne Hoffman in tonight's Washington Post: "In his Sept. 5 op-ed column, Charles Krauthammer wrote, "There has not been such disdain, resentment and outright hatred of a president since the high Nixon days."

"Did he sleep through the Clinton administration? Has he forgotten the eight years of screeds from congressional leaders, editorial writers and radio talk show hosts? A long investigation that revealed nothing more than a consensual tryst, yet exploded into the absurd spectacle of impeachment?"

And that is the real case against Krauthammer's absurd "Time" column -- he is, to put it mildly, selective in his observations of ideological resentment.

Posted by: Bruce Moomaw at September 18, 2003 11:03 PM | PERMALINK

Wow! I was actually a little bit skeptical that Bush hatred of this sort was so rampant on the left, but no longer after reading this comment section. Most lefties that I know are far more reasonable than this (at least I thought so!)

"Repugnican"? "I don't hate Bush. I despise him."? And then all of this tired old "frat boy" garbage and "Bush stole the election"? Whoa, calm down! I'm sure Krauthammer appreciates you making his point for him, but this comments section is starting to read like some kind of anti-Democrat satire. Can you listen to yourselves?

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