Monday, February 26, 2007

Netroots Blowback

As I predicted a year ago, a wounded but victorious Joe Lieberman would be one nasty son of a bitch to deal with in the Senate.

This is what "Nedrenaline" got us. This is what the criminal waste of money, time and energy won for the Democrats. This is what a few self-aggrandizing blogwhores did to an election year when we needed Democratic unity, not scorched-earth purge-the-party tactics.

Joe Lieberman is a shit-head. Period. He is also a senior senator in a safe seat enjoying majority support in his state. Unless there was a candidate to blow this backstabbing fucker out of the water, it was not a race to enter.

We could really use Harold Ford in the Senate right now, a solid party-line voter who would neutralize Lieberman. Come to think about it, we could have used more Democrats in both houses, and not watched a few people lose by razor thin margins, people often bashed savagely by the netroots left for not sucking up sufficiently to the most vicious, bullying, arbitrary and hate-spewing elements on the left.

But, no, the illiberal left had to go beat up a Southern black man as a tool of the vast underground DLC conspiracy and go promote some white-as-Wonderbread suburban guy with nothing but a fat wallet to recommend him as a viable competitor to Liberman. Like the right-wing Xtians you claim to revile, you would prefer to watch the hope perish than have to interact with people whose views are not quite to your taste.

And now you have Holy Joe bearing down on all your precious anti-war dreams with all guns blazing. Nice going, guys.


Saturday, February 24, 2007

What Wes Clark Can Do

One of the reasons that Wes Clark is an appealing candidate to me is because of his unique position as a top military man who is unafraid to call the Republicans on their anti-military actions.

Everyone and the kitchen sink knows that the Republicans are already trying to blame the Democrats for "losing" Bush's Iraq War. They are going to do their damnedest to portray a necessary and thankless job - getting our troops out of Cheney's quagmire with the least amount of death and distruction - into some kind of cowardly retreat or betrayal of the "sacrifices" the military has made.

Wes Clark has consistently opposed the operation since before it was launched as harmful in and of itself to the nation, to military readiness, and to the individual men and women who serve. He can speak authoritatively on the fact that the "loss" was inherent in the operation itself. Unlike Colin Powell, he wasn't afraid to stand up and say so from the very start. Also, unlike people like Edwards, he based his opposition on clear principles and demonstrable facts, and cannot be accused of taking a purely political or expedient stance. Would that more politicians had listened to him at the time.

On the clean-up side of the operation, it is clear that he has both the security of the nation and the long-term viability of the military as primary objectives. He speaks of concrete conditions that must be met in order to withdraw. He is deeply concerned with preserving American power and authority, and that means moral and diplomatic capabilities. A sudden abandonment, while emotionally appealing, is an almost certain way to hamstring US ability to act in the region. I'm not an isolationist or someone who thinks that my nation is inherently corrupt (please, the human stink is the same everywhere) , and I support leaders who think and act for the strategic advantage of the nation.

The Democrats are going to have to act aggressively to change the terms of the debate. The various exposes of the criminal neglect of the military is one of the ways we can use to demonstrate the lie of Republican dedication to security and military strength, but it is going to take people who can speak with authority on this matter. Wes Clark is one of the best positioned Democrats to do so. He knows what he is talking about and his service cannot be impugned. (Though we know the Swiftboaters will try)

He is already out in front on the saber rattling over Iran, and for the same reasons as his oppostion to Bush's Iraq debacle - it is bad for long-term US security, it is destructive of stabilizing initiatives in the region, and it is an inappropriate use of military power when diplomacy and sanctions have not even been tried.

It is time to stop treating the people of the middle east as pawns in our sick national kabuki dance between the fascistic right and the anti-liberal left, neither of whom appear to accept that we must remain engaged and responsible actors on the world stage. Wes Clark is a candidate uniquely positioned to address exactly this issue with consistency and common sense.


Wednesday, February 14, 2007

HotK - Ch. 57: Confessions

Happy Valentines Day!

For the fanfiction readers, I have just posted a new chapter for Hands of the King, Ch. 57 - Confessions Click on the story title to go to the overview, click on the chapter name to go to the chapter.

Single Finduilas POV chapter. Mild warnings for sadness and minor conflict. A few erotic scenes (what else did you expect for V Day?), so may not be totally work safe.

Finduilas continues to struggle with motherhood. Love is on everyone's mind, though few are content. She listens to the private thoughts of others and reveals her own - not always to good effect. In the end, her patience pays off, though not in ways she really likes. Sometimes, ignorance is bliss.

Significant scenes with Ecthelion, Denethor, Aiavale, Beregar and Thorongil.

Please be sure to read the Author Note published as the last chapter of the story.


Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Strategy vs. Pandering

So Edwards hires Amanda Marcotte and Melissa McEwan, the right wing kicks into smear mode, and now there's a dither as to whether these two will be fired or kept on and the netroots has its collective panties in a bunch huffily denouncing Edwards for not standing up to the right. They caterwaul over the double standard of the rightwing adoring its psychopaths while the left is ashamed of its own, and how they will support Edwards if he keeps the bloggers and will hate him forever and vote against him if he does not.

Like, duh, what did anyone with two brain cells to rub together think was going to happen?

The point here is that you hire for strategic reasons. Neither of these women had anything of substance to offer a presidential campaign. Sorry, they just don't. Fun to read for a well turned snark, but neither is a terrribly original or compelling thinker, neither has worked enough in the web industry to have picked up technical or marketing strategy chops, and both of them come with the usual exploitable baggage that anyone with a Blogger account and a smart mouth can claim. Their standing in the blogosphere garners Edwards little extra support, drives away people who think, and makes him a hostage to the most irrational, petulant and vindictive part of the netroots.

This is superficial pandering based on a myopic view of the netroots. I wonder if Edwards understands that large numbers of political junkies like me think people like Marcotte are dumb shits, endlessly recycling their stale opinions to the Greek chorus in their comments section? McEwan has absolutely zero presence in my blog awareness. I've read the blog, but couldn't tell you a single post of hers that stood out. Hiring two dull and tedious bloggers says to me you don't respect your readers and are just trying to toss a bone to the worst elements of the netroots left.

Compare this fiasco to Sen. Clinton's hire of Peter Daou. The only news was all the flak Daou took for signing on with someone so (irrationally) hated by the netroots. Of course he was brought on for his connections to the blogosphere, but I dare say this is someone who can advise and not just advertise. I'd be curious to know if he played a part in her decision to announce her candidacy via her website.

What Edwards did with his choice of these two was cement my opinion that he is not a candidate to be taken seriously. It doesn't matter to me what choice Edwards makes. His first mistake was in hiring either of these second tier scolds in the first place.


Saturday, February 03, 2007

Happy and Relieved

Just noting that a dear, dear friend got very good news, and I am doing a dance of joy.