The Essential Gordon Smith

Kelly Steele

Of all the convoluted explanations for Gordon Smith's about-face on Iraq, the part at 1:00 where he explains that he woke up on a Wednesday and then..uh..ten more of our..uh..fighting men..and..uh..maybe a woman..i don't know...

Memo to pollster: a canned story about the candidate's reaction to the news only works if he's well-briefed or he actually watches the news.

Sidenote to pollster: We're fine -- he's flipped 6 times since this "courageous" speech to an empty US Senate chamber...we can go any way we want w/the TV spots.

[Editor's note: The above video comes from The Accountability Project.]

Comments

  • (Show?)

    Damn that's a good video.

  • Dan Carol (unverified)
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    As a going away present for Neel Pender, why don't folks call Gordon Smith's office today and urge him to take a public position AGAINST any presidential pardon for Scooter Libby.

    Here are your talking points:

    Lying is wrong. Especially when you are coverng up a treacherous political act which undermines our national security.

    202-224-3121. Ask for Gordo.

  • anon (unverified)
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    Aren't we all going to look and feel silly a year from now, after Bush's recent surge and refocused diplomatic efforts have actually worked, and Iraq's government has reconciled, the fighting has abated, and the troops are starting to come home.

    Bush's poll numbers will have rebounded somewhat and the Iraq war won't look like such a disaster after all.

  • (Show?)

    Yes, yes we will anon. And I will also feel stupid at that time a year from now, for ever saying that it was impossible for me to become the top soprano of the Houston Grand Opera, debuting in Gerswhin's Porgy and Bess...as Bess.

    By the way, you can't even call it "wishful thinking" if there doesn't appear to be any of the latter going on inside...

  • Samuel John Klein (unverified)
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    Aren't we all going to look and feel silly a year from now, after Bush's recent surge and refocused diplomatic efforts have actually worked, and Iraq's government has reconciled, the fighting has abated, and the troops are starting to come home.

    Whereas if you support the current policy you can just look foolish and silly right now.

    If anything the current administration does in Iraq brings about any positive chance it will only be because eventually, when one tries everything else, they'll resort to doing what they should have been doing all along.

    And if the troops start coming home in the next year, it will because a Democrat finally managed to make a Republican do the right thing, either that, or someone made if profitable. It's all about the $$$, remember.

  • BlueNote (unverified)
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    As my mother says, if you can't say something good about a person, don't say anything at all. So my comment about Gordo is . . .

    Earl B. will be a fresh voice in the US Senate for Oregon. He understands the critical distinction and balance between local issues (aka "PORK") and the need to make laws that benefit the entire country and move us ahead as a society. I would like Earl to be more outspoken in favor of a single payer health care system modeled on the expansion of Medicare, but I recognize that the wackos are out there waiting to scream "Socialized Medicine" so I excuse Earl from taking a hit on this issue too early in the campaign.

  • (Show?)

    Posted by: BlueNote | Mar 6, 2007 2:43:58 PM

    I don't think Earl is going to leave Ways and Means. Don't get me wrong, ˆ like Earl, and were he to run against Smith, I would support his efforts to win. But I don't see it happening. I think we need a smart fighter to take on Smith. Someone with who will call Smith on his BS and can demonstrate the mind and political agility we need to address real problems facing real people. Someone who is smart on policy, and can articulate it in ways that people can understand. Someone who is not a traditional politician (not that I am saying Earl B. is)

  • anon (unverified)
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    If anything the current administration does in Iraq brings about any positive change it will only be because eventually, when one tries everything else, they'll resort to doing what they should have been doing all along.

    And if the troops start coming home in the next year, it will because a Democrat finally managed to make a Republican do the right thing.

    Well I would hope that if things look a lot better in Iraq a year from now, and if Bush and Republicans look better as a result, that somehow Democrats get credit for this. I wouldn't count on this automatically happening, however.

    Despite the way things may appear today, it is not a slam dunk 100% certainty that Iraq will be in as bad a shape or worse than it is today. But it seems like a lot of Democrats are not only assuming, but counting on everything in Iraq being just as bad or worse than today, in order to maintain momentum and public support for the elections in 2008.

    All I'm saying is that there is a better chance than most of you think that things will indeed improve a lot in Iraq over the next 12 months, troops will come home, Bush will look good, Smith will look better, and the elections in 2008 won't have much to do with Iraq. It won't be the defining issue in the 2008 elections. It will be old news.

    We shouldn't prepare to fight the same war in 2008 that we fought and won in 2006. We should prepare to fight the war we will be fighting then - which probably won't or might not have anything to do with Iraq.

    I guarantee you that the 2008 elections will not be a carbon copy of 2006. The same messages and tactics that worked in 2006 are not necessarily going to work in 2008. A year and a half is a long time from now.

  • Scott in Damascus (unverified)
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    But it seems like a lot of Democrats are not only assuming, but counting on everything in Iraq being just as bad or worse than today, in order to maintain momentum and public support for the elections in 2008.

    Anon: Can you one single elected Democratic official - county, state, or federal level - that has advocated, wished, or said they hoped Iraqi would remain the same or worse in order to maintain some sort of "momentum" towards 2008?

    Yeah, I didn't think so. Thanks for the deep thoughts.

  • anon (unverified)
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    "Can you one single elected Democratic official - county, state, or federal level - that has advocated, wished, or said they hoped Iraqi would remain the same or worse in order to maintain some sort of "momentum" towards 2008?"

    No, but I could rattle off the names of a few dozen lefty and progressive activists and organizers, and Blue Oregon commenters, who by their words and actions seem to be doing exactly that.

    "Thanks for the deep thoughts."

    You're welcome. :)

  • Scott in Damascus (unverified)
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    No, but I could rattle off the names of a few dozen lefty and progressive activists and organizers, and Blue Oregon commenters, who by their words and actions seem to be doing exactly that.

    Name them.

  • (Show?)
    Posted by: anon | Mar 6, 2007 5:22:45 PM

    I for one would reconsider being an atheist if Bush and crew could turn the biggest foreign policy disaster in our nations history (invading Iraq) into a "win". Hell, I would say Bush would deserve the Nobel prize.

    But coming from a military family (non serving presently however), I have to say that gambling with the lives of our military personal on fraudulent wars which have destroyed our position in the world (not to mention destroying our military's relationship with our civilian government for not holding this administration to account) is something I take serious. Deadly serious. Flushing our nation's position in the world, our military, and our moral standing down the toilet, while simultaneously making new and more numerous enemies which will be gunning for my family for generations, in order to "secure" Iraqi oil is completely unacceptable.

    Do I hope for a miracle that things turn out great in Iraq in the next few months? Of course. I have been hoping for the miracle since the day we invaded. But it will be truly miraculous to have it occur now. That does not mean I, nor anyone else who is vociferously against this war, wants or hopes for continued or greater disaster. The exact opposite actually. I hope I am wrong. But so far I have not been, and I take no pleasure in saying that at all. Furthermore, I find it offensive when people such as yourself suggest that I (and others in my party) hope military families ose the lives of a family member in order to win an election.

  • (Show?)
    Posted by: anon | Mar 6, 2007 6:12:12 PM No, but I could rattle off the names of a few dozen lefty and progressive activists and organizers, and Blue Oregon commenters, who by their words and actions seem to be doing exactly that.

    I call bullshit. Give us names and examples then.

  • anon (unverified)
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    I call bullshit. Give us names and examples then.

    For starters, the people at The Accountability Project who created this video making fun of Sen Smith. The underlying assumption is that this kind of video is going to be the vote winner in November 2008 that it may be now. IMHO, this is the kind of red meat video that the already converted love, but it's not the kind of video that's going to persuade swing voters.

    Second, all the people saying we should impeach Bush, or vote to cut off all funding for troops in Iraq right now this minute, and think this is a majority vote winning stance to take, either now or in the fall in 2008.

    Third, Steve Novick: "Smith is going to lose in 2008. Not everyone knows that yet."

    Hey I hope Smith loses in 2008, I think he is vulnerable, and I hope a great Democratic candidate challenges him, and I think there is a good chance we could knock of Smith. All I'm saying is that it's probably not going to be the kind of cakewalk some people imply, and his votes on Iraq probably aren't going to be the focus of the election campaign.

  • (Show?)

    Anon, that's bullshit and you know it.

    You're not naming names. You're calling out unnamed "people" who want Gordon Smith to lose.

    And your statement - that we are "counting on everything in Iraq being just as bad or worse than today, in order to maintain momentum and public support for the elections in 2008" - is offensive and horrible.

    In 2006, there were 821 American military fatalities in Iraq. To suggest that anyone out there wants another 1642 American servicemembers to die in 2007 and 2008 -- merely to win another election -- well, that's just offensive.

    Do you really think anyone would trade 1642 lives for a US Senate election?

    If Gordon Smith could snap his fingers and end the war instantly today - and bring all the troops home - heck, even I'd vote for him.

    It's this kind of anonymous and offensive crap that sometimes makes running a blog a chore, not a joy.

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    Aren't we all going to look and feel silly a year from now, after Bush's recent surge and refocused diplomatic efforts have actually worked, and Iraq's government has reconciled, the fighting has abated, and the troops are starting to come home.

    I wonder how Cheney has been feeling these last almost four years after the Iraqis have greeted our troops with IEDs instead of the sweets and flowers Cheney promised. Instead of welcoming our troops as liberators, the latest polls have most Iraqis asking us to get the hell out of the hell Bush and company created.

    PS to Blue Oregon: Set up a thread for a year from now to take another look at Samuel John Klein's take on the surge.

  • anon (unverified)
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    "To suggest that anyone out there wants another 1642 American servicemembers to die in 2007 and 2008 -- merely to win another election -- well, that's just offensive."

    That's not what I said, it's not what I suggested or implied, and that's not what I meant. I know no one wants anyone to die.

    I'm sorry if you or anyone else took my comments above to suggest this. I honestly have a hard time seeing how you or anyone could think that I meant that somepeople wanted people to keep dying in Iraq.

    What I did mean and suggest is that it might be possible to imagine that the whole Iraq war might not be as unpopular in the fall of 2008 as it is now. So therefore, counting on it still being as unpopular might be risky as a political strategy.

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    What I did mean and suggest is that it might be possible to imagine that the whole Iraq war might not be as unpopular in the fall of 2008 as it is now. So therefore, counting on it still being as unpopular might be risky as a political strategy.

    It's "possible to imagine" anything, especially if you're drinking Kool-Aid distributed by the White House, right-wing talk show hosts and Fox News. It would be approaching the miraculous if there is a lessening of unpopularity towards the war in Iraq given the history of past insurgencies (Algeria, Vietnam, Afghanistan, etc.) and the continuing increasing of violence in Iraq. To get back to Smith, it is probably a good bet that his imagination and Kool-Aid from the White House helped him to vote for this misbegotten and illegal war. Of course, there was also the factor that he owed Bush for appearing at a fundraiser for his last election. Trouble is, tens of thousands of American military personnel have paid in blood for that vote to go to war, not to mention hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis.

  • (Show?)
    Posted by: anon | Mar 6, 2007 10:25:55 PM That's not what I said, it's not what I suggested or implied, and that's not what I meant. I know no one wants anyone to die.

    Bullshit again.

    That is EXACTLY what you said and implied. You said you could name dozens of people that advocated, wished, or said they hoped Iraqi would remain the same or worse for election purposes.

    None of the people you try to list want, wish or hope for Iraq to remain the same or get worse.

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    From anon: No, but I could rattle off the names of a few dozen lefty and progressive activists and organizers, and Blue Oregon commenters, who by their words and actions seem to be doing exactly that. That is, hope or remain as bad in 2008.

    Even if anon's statement were true, which it appears not to be, you would have to be a bigot to tar the entire anti-war movement and opponents of Smith with such a scraggly brush.

  • Anon-by-choice-but-you-can-look-at-my-IP (unverified)
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    Anon,

    Don't you EVER come back here again with your point of view that diverges from the Official Dogma.

    If you ever do come back here, we will tear down as many Straw Men as we can create.

    We have here a regular crowd quite happy with the point of view that we enjoy. And we are also quite happy with our political strategy, and we don't need your different thoughts on our strategy for 2006 or 2008, thank you very much.

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    anon-by-choice-etc: I presume you were being sarcastic about not posting on Blue Oregon anything "that diverges from the Official Dogma." If I'm wrong, my apologies.

    This is a web site that attracts people of generally progressive inclination just as other sites, clubs and other groupings of people attract people that share similar or other views. That conforms very much to human nature. The problem some of us have comes from would-be critics who come up with off-the-wall and absurd comments. See, for example, the quote from anon that I took exception to earlier today. To be kind anon's remark was sophomoric and an insult to the intelligence of the grown ups who visit this site. A few years ago an acquaintance of mine was at a rotary, chamber of commerce or similar meeting that hosted Gordon Smith. Someone in the audience asked a fair question but one that was embarrassing to Smith. The audience immediately turned on the questioner and encouraged him to get the hell out of the room - for, presumably, not going along with "Official Dogma."

  • lin qiao (unverified)
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    It's stuff like this video that explains Smith's attempt to deflect attention by blathering on about cigarette taxes, and The Oregonian's diligent effort to assist Smith's whitewash campaign. Why don't they just publish their re-election endorsement of him now and get it over with?

  • anon (unverified)
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    "Bullshit again.

    That is EXACTLY what you said and implied. You said you could name dozens of people that advocated, wished, or said they hoped Iraqi would remain the same or worse for election purposes.

    None of the people you try to list want, wish or hope for Iraq to remain the same or get worse.

    Damn, you got me. Ok, I admit it. I'm guilty of exaggeration, and also of letting people put words in my mouth by responding to stupid questions phrased in a gotcha manner. Also, you're right, I really did think that all of you are secretly hoping that more people die in Iraq over the next couple years and the situation gets worse.

    But now you have enlightened me and I take it all back. I know saying I'm sorry won't begin to make up for this, but I'll do whatever I can to try to make up for it.

    Anon,

    Don't you EVER come back here again with your point of view that diverges from the Official Dogma.

    Ok, if that is what the group decides my punishment to be, I will banish myself from this site and never comment on here again! See ya!

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