Friday, January 25, 2008

Ostriches, Huckabee, Colin Powell... and the "new Republican flip"

Serving once more as a talkinghead futurist pundit, I opened and closed the recent History Channel show "Life After People" - which became the network's best-watched telecast ever, with 5.4 million viewers. Somewhat better than my earlier show for HC - “the ArchiTechs.”

For a listing of other appearances, for example on Nova and Discovery Channel shows, and click over to Speaking or Podcasts.

Oh. Re-runs! I hear they’ll be running "Life After People" again Feb 2nd, 5 7pm on the History Channel.

And now, back onto the topic of the year...

... which is hunting (and awakening) "ostriches...

... plus something about Huckabee and Powell...

... before making a prediction about what will surely be the next (surprising!) Republican trial balloon.

Great Ostrich Ammo

I keep repeating the same refrain. With national - and possibly human - salvation at stake, we need to be assertive, even aggressive, and not simply count on a shift in undecided voters to bring America back toward common sense and reality. Instead of being satisfied with a narrow plurality in November, a coalition of citizens of goodwill and reason must shatter the neocons’ Big Tent by drawing appreciable support from the other side of the so-called left-right divide.

I’ve offered a tsunami of arguments to lay before these "Ostrich Republicans" in order to find those few (in their millions) who can lift their heads out of a pit of denial, at least enough to see what’s been done by the monsters who hijacked their party. Still, my lengthy list of arguments may be daunting.

So here’s a single page of terrific “ostrich-ammo.” This chart shows how GWB's seven years in office have affected the U.S., offering comparison vs eight years under President Clinton.

A Side Note About Getting It Settled, Here and Now

He may be fading, but I’m still ‘hankering for Huckabee.’ Because, I believe it is time to have it out, over the issue of which America we want. There may be other versions and aspects of conservatism and libertarianism with whom compromise is possible. I have long preached a spirit of negotiation and eclectic problem-solving. But the deep-red Confedarcy that Huckabee represents has long spurned any such path, going so far as to call millions of us inherently evil and damned souls.

I want to have this out. Huckabee - with a certain amount of admirable openness - would lay it down and make the choice blatant.

Yes, he may be fading. Still. Keep this article in your pocket, in case Huckabee-comes the GOP nominee. And read it anyway, in order to understand what’s at stake. To grasp the ferocity and depth of purpose that burns in the hearts of those who hate our Great Experiment and the entire Enlightenment. Who yearn for a fiery end to the United States and Planet Earth and all of creation, according to a manic prophecy. And who deeply believe that we - their fellow citizens - are evil creatures who will - and should - burn in hell forever.

The Missing Man

And here’s another item to tuck away. A sign that the parts of the news media may finally be ready to look at how thoroughly we have been lied-to.

Which makes me think of one tragic archetype in all this. Colin Powell. He is the ghost at the banquet. The figure in this struggle who is represented by an empty chair.

Where is Powell? Will he ever speak up? Oh, sure, he slunk away, shamed by the lies that Cheney et. al. crammed into his mouth, getting him to front for perfidious jerks in front of the entire international community -- and yet, it’s hard to feel much pity, since he thoroughly let us down. Colin Powell was supposed to be the adult in the room! He owes us, for having allowed maniacs and liars to divert a great nation down these horrid paths, leading to the near-destruction of (among other things) Powell’s beloved US Army.

Moreover, he knows plenty. He could, if he came forward, end the neocon era, shatter Rove's Big Tent, and help us clean house, helping ensure a transition to better days. If there has ever been a time for a man of honor and patriotism to step forward, this is it. Only, here’s the crux. I would wager that Powell is still letting himself be “handled.”

Can anyone doubt what’s going on, preventing him from doing the one great service he can still perform for his nation? Surely Powell has “friends” who hover nearby, assigned to advise him relentlessly to “keep your dignity and to stay aloof, remote. By no means get involved! No, don’t release a tell-all book! That will only make you look petty, like a whiner making excuses.”

You don’t have to be there to guess - with high plausibility - the advice he is given. And this smart man never pauses to think: “isn’t this exactly what the SOBs who ruined my career -- who reversed every ‘Powell Doctrine’ and made me a figure of shame -- would want me to do? Stay silent?”

The people who robbed us of a middling-good public servant -- performing a colinectomy on us, so to speak -- now are the ones benefiting most from his silence. And we -- the American people he let down -- are the ones who will benefit, if he ever finds the guts to shrug aside these handlers, who are assigned to stifling him. His “friends.”

If only he would pay us back for all the goodness and trust that we heaped upon him, across a long and richly-favored life. By standing up.

Next.... the next Republican gambit...


David Brin said...

Following up about Colin Powell, the folks on Kos offered a choice article about another former officer speaking out.

Rob Perkins said...


Isn't it possible that in the name of personal tranquility, his wife has asked him to leave it all behind? I recall elements of that in his reaction to calls that he run for President.

David Brin said...

And finally... a thought...

Here’s something for the table and it is right out of fantasy. It won’t happen. The sun is more likely to rise in the east. But ponder a moment the logic.

If she would pause, quash ego for a moment -- normal human ego stoked by years in the limelight and a vigorous political campaign -- Hillary Clinton would see what she currently cannot. That even if she wins the presidency, it will be a crappy job.

Since she’s the one democrat who millions of demoralized Republicans would march through sleet to vote against (not her fault, but true), she simply cannot win by a total blow-out... and boy do we need a blow-out! Without one, the GOP will simply fall back into Hastert-deLay mode and wage total Culture War against her, making her life a merry hell.

Yes, we’ll still get the chief benefit of throwing them out... the appointment of 10,000 competent American citizens into slots currently filled by monstrous neocon hatchet men. Just by promoting from within the civil service, she’ll restore both professionalism and law to the land. But that’s ALL she’ll be able to do. Meanwhile, Vice President Obama will build and build and have all the fun.

No, even if she’s ahead, what Hill ought to do is make a deal to be OBAMA’s VP running mate!

Think about the win-win-win. She and Bill can campaign and have great political fun, and THEY would get to be the attack dogs! Without provoking the tsunami of Republican voters rushing to the polls in November. Instead, facing Obama, they’ll stay home and we might get our blow-out!

Even without the blow-out, there are limits to the ferocity with which goppers will be able to attack a President Obama. Fundamental limits. Race is still somewhat of a courtesy protectant, even if gender (hitting a lady) isn’t, anymore. Anyway, there’s a real chance Obama might be smooth enough to actually carry out his agenda, of drawing decent conservatives back into the American Consensus.

Ceded promises of real power by Pres. Obama, they could have full policy-wonk plates. Loads o’ fun. But dig, this. They would also serve as great Secret Service protection for the president! You know what I mean. What Tim McVeigh style nut job will try an Oswald with her waiting in the wings?

Aw, heck, let’s go farther. He could even promise to resign for her, midway thru second term. Look, I’d even offer them the Lincoln bedroom. Permanent.

Look, I’m just tossing stuff out here to see if it sticks to a wall. But some of it does look pretty good up there!

Me? I want Wes Clarke for veep. I think Hill or Ob will be crazy not to pick him. As a signal to the professionals and the Officer Corps that we’re with em. But that’s me.

EliRabett said...

Powell is actually very simple to understand. George HW Bush was his first patron. He will never cross him and by extension his son.

Michael Powell still depends on the Bushs for patronage. Powell is not going to mess things up for his son.

Don't lose any time thinking that Powell will do anything positive.

Anonymous said...

Heh - yes, I imagine the sun is 'more likely to rise in the east'. :-)

Anonymous said...

There's obviously a long way to go yet, but if the current ratios of delegates were maintained, Huckabee and Paul could go into the convention with enough delegates between them to potentially choose between McCain or Romney - which ever gives them the best deal. I wonder when the media will pick up on this...

Anonymous said...

Boxer is actually pretty clearly Obamas VP pick - they've worked together on a great deal of legislation, she'll help him win women back over, she voted against the war, and she's been in the Senate long enough to win "experience arguments".

I have it on authority I trust that she authored the letter signed by seven Jewish Senators condemning the e-mail circulated through several Jewish organizations claiming that Obama was a "muslim sleeper agent", and an appearance with her in San Francisco was one of his first moves after announcing.

There will be no Clinton/Obama Obama/Clinton ticket, those bridges have been burned in the last three weeks.

Senator Obama, on National Television, defended Senator Clinton from charges of racism over her "spadework" comment and her LBJ/MLK gaff, only to have Bill publicly accuse him of injecting race into the debate.

These really are people, and they really do have feelings and bear grudges. Senator Obama has joined the ranks of Democrats, including Senators Kennedy, Leahy, and Kerry, who despise the Clintons.

Already, thousands have signed onto petitions swearing they will not vote for her in the General, and she has alienated the african-american community to the point that many are already saying they simply will not vote in the general if she's the candidate.

Senator Obama, thanks mostly to Bills actions, cannot become her VP without being known as a sellout - and permenantly ending all hope of one day holding the Presidency.

He's young enough to finish this term, and become Governor of Illinois, running in 12 years at the advanced age of 58 with Legislative and Executive experience.

Hillary will not accept anything short of the Presidency, and this is her one shot. I honestly see nothing in record of public life that would indicate the slightest chance of her doing what would best unite the Demcocratic Party and the Nation.

Bloomberg is still talking about running third party, and if he does a whole lot of Democrats who would never put their mark next to an (R) will vote for him if a third Clinton term is the alternative.

Hillary as the candidate also endangers the House majority, as millions of Republicans who would otherwise have stayed home will come out to vote against her, and will vote their party ticket as they do, and millions of disgusted Democrats will stay home.

On a totally unrelated note, someone named Lucas reads someone named Brin ;)

"The Force Unleashed will fill in a lost chapter in the Star Wars saga: basically, what happens between Episode III and Episode IV? This is a period when the Jedi were scattered and hunted down, the Galactic Empire consolidated its hold on the galaxy, and apparently Darth Vader was secretly grooming an apprentice to help him one day overthrow the Emperor. You'll play as that apprentice and go on missions for Lord Vader, but your existence must be kept a secret, so this will give you an opportunity to battle rebels, Jedis, and any unlucky Imperials who happen to get a glimpse of you. The developers consulted heavily with George Lucas on the story and characters, to the point that what happens in The Force Unleashed is now considered Star Wars canon. "

So, look at that, Vader was plotting to overthrow the Emperor all along...

Matt DeBlass said...

RE: Huckabee- Living in the "Godless Liberal Wasteland" of New Jersey, it's very easy to forget exactly how much power the religious zealots have in some parts of the county.
It's actually pretty terrifying (especially since my family is Catholic, they'd probably put up lion pits at Madison Square Garden just for us if they could)

And you wouldn't believe how many times I've heard "if Hillary gets it, I'm voting Republican."

NoOne said...

Methinks David protests too much. Hickabee merely represents the unwashed masses railing against the oilgarchy. Religion can be good defense but it can't go on offense. Or didn't we learn that way back in "Foundation"?

Anonymous said...

Actually, a lot of us GOPs are hoping Hillary runs for that very reason. She will cause a massive polarity shift and a call to arms effect.

David Brin said...

Anonymous: I did not take my Ob-Hill ticket seriously. It has no chance in hell. STill, I thought someone should raise the advantages, once. Especially the fact that he’d probably live out his presidency. A real plus. Ah, but it won’t be Boxer. I like her, but the dems have got to NOT look like the super-tolerance-limpwrist-diversity-above-all party. The Veep has to be a white male with profoundly reassuring sercurity/international/administrative credentials. Anyway... TWO lib-senators. Who are you from, Karl Rove’s strategy group? ;-)

Force Unleashed sound like a trial balloon. Sure GL is trying out the escape routes I mapped for him. But will he ever pay me? ;-) If he wanted to do so in secret... I’d agreee not to talk. ;-)

NoOne, there ARE simmers among the religious, against the looming aristocratic oligarchy. This split may actually happen, if Huck is nominated. Though not in any way the top preachers - or he - have in mind.

Anonymous said...

The split is already happening on the religious seam - the pastor of Saddleback (that giant OC mega-church) and author of "A purpose Driven Life" has had at least half a dozen Green Liberal whackos out out to the joint to speak in the last year ;)

Luthern and Episcipalian family in the mid-west keep telling me how disturbed they are by the far religious right, and how they refuse to care for Gods Gifts.

Boxer honestly isn't that well known, and given the level of bad blood the Clintons have already managed to stir (Bill was running around last night accusing the media of being Obamas pawn, and claiming that Hillary would lose SC only because of black voters), we've got a lot of undereducated and underemployed menapausal white women convinced that Obama is the evil black boogey running against Hillary just because he hates women.

Out in Nevada last weekend, I saw women in Obama shirts screamed at in the streets, called fools and traitors, by these women.

He needs a woman, but it will never be Hillary. It'll really weaken him to have someone who voted for the war.

Can you think of any good female progessive Democratic Governors who aren't considered too wacky left? Female Generals?

The other option would be for him to grab a moderate Republican who has stood up to Bush/Cheney. Too bad Chafee is out of office and would be considered a "loser".

It's mostly academic anyway. Hillary will almost certainly take 10% more delegates on the 5th, at which point the media will pronounce the race over with half the seats up for grabs.

The result will be a narrow Hillary win with Bloomberg spliting the decision, stunningly low turnout, and a Democratic loss of seats in the House.

The Senate is pretty well insulated by the fact that all the Republicans who swept in in 2002 will be back up. Either the virtual tie remains, or a seat or two gets picked up.

Anonymous said...

It’s interesting if you look at the delegates Edwards has won he may be in the position to select the nominee depending on if Clinton or Obama gives into his populist agenda. Or who will make him vice president, but its an overrated job anyways unless the pres dies.

Anonymous said...

The link to a "chart" at doesn't seem to actually go to a chart. There's a page with many further links; perhaps one of these is the chart but it's not clear which one.

Please post a more direct link.

Anonymous said...

Direct link to the chart.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

One thing I would ask everyone: does anyone see a pattern of some of the big news media "shaping" who people should be considering for president? Case in point: the AP recently (two days ago) did a piece on Mitt Romney but the two photos that accompanied it were of John McCain and Barack Obama. Back almost a year ago, McCain starts nose-diving and all of a sudden Michael Bloomberg is considering a third-party run. Six months ago, Fred Thompson was providing strong conservative viewpoints as a non-candidate. Once he declares, the amount of press space allocated shrinks considerably while McCain's picks up. Television news stations primarily focus on "name" candidates, providing free campaign literature while lesser known candidates with sound experience and vision can't make a 30 second mention.

Lesser known candidates are placed at a decidely greater disadvantage when the media keeps stressing the major candidates' positions with no mention of the others. Sure seems like biased reporting to me.

Ron Paul finishes second in two caucuses and does not even get mentioned in news articles reporting those results?!!!!

Personally, I think Obama would be best suited with Bill Richardson as a running mate. Governor, US ambassador, legislator, intelligent regards imigration, gun ownership.

On the Republican side, Senators Olympia Snowe or Susan Collins from Maine might be suitable VP candidates. Pity it looks like it will be McCain as the standard bearer.

Anonymous said...

Kathleen Sibelius from Kansas is a great governor, who seems to fit Obama's style of compromise. Some hold her personally responsible for convincing some of Kansas republicans to switch parties.

Anonymous said...

Sebilous is a fine Governor...but she comes across as flat and dull to most of America. I know, I know, that's what makes her seem dependable and solid to Kansas voters.

I've been there.