Rick Perry: Talking About The President’s Birth Certificate Is “Fun”

On the day his campaign is set to make a major economic roll out, Rick Perry went the birther route again.

On the same day that he’s supposed to be rolling out a new tax plan, and a day after announcing what appears to have been a major staff shake-up, Rick Perry woke up this morning and decided it would be a good idea to wade back into birther territory:

Comments over the validity of President Barack Obama’s birth certificate made by Texas Gov. Rick Perry could overshadow the Republican presidential candidate’s roll out of his “Cut, Balance, and Grow” economic plan

Tuesday morning the Texas governor unveils his proposal-which includes a 20% new flat tax rate-at a speech in South Carolina, the first southern state to vote in the race for the GOP nomination. But when Perry goes before cameras later in the day at a scheduled news conference, reporters will most likely pepper the Texas governor over comments he made in an interview that appeared over the weekend in the on-line edition of Parade Magazine. Perry also said it’s “fun to poke” at Obama over the birth certificate issue in an interview with CNBC.

After the Parade Magazine interview over the weekend, it was inevitable that this question would come up for Perry again and, instead of putting it behind him on the day that the campaign wants the story to be about the tax plan, he does this? How hard is it for someone to say “The President was born here. He produced his birth certificate. There is no reason to doubt any of this. Next question.”  ? Mitt Romney has essentially done it. My only thought is that Perry is now so desperate to get back into the good graces of the right that he doesn’t want to alienate even the crazy birther fringe. The only problem is that he looks crazy to pretty much everyone else, and he steps all over his own message.

Perry is supposed to take questions after his speech announcing the tax plan. Anyone want to bet on whether the first question will be about the tax plan, or about the President’s birth certificate? I don’t know if this will hurt Perry or not, but I doubt it helps him and it just looks stupid.

Here’s the relevant section of the interview, along with Harwood talking about it on Morning Joe this morning:

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

I don’t know whether this will help Perry, hurt him, or have no impact at all. My initial guess is that it hurts him to the extent that it detracts from the tax plan roll out, which it most assuredly will for at least one day. Right now, Rick Perry’s chief concern should be to find a way to revive a campaign that has fallen far from where it was two months ago. Sticking his toes back into the birther pond every chance he gets is not the way to do that.

Chris Cillizza looks at it from a slightly different perspective:

We’ve long written that what Republicans in the 2012 presidential race are looking for is someone not intimidated by President Obama, someone willing to stand up to him aggressively and on all fronts.

It’s why businessman Donald Trump, the person most responsible for pushing the idea of the president’s citizenship into the national limelight, rose in polling earlier this year. (Make sure to read our piece about what Trump can teach the Republican field.)

And it’s why Perry is willing to engage in the “fun” of hitting Obama on an issue that has long been settled fact. The birther issue is, oddly, almost beside the point. The idea of simply trying to get under Obama’s skin is what matters.

In case you needed evidence that the birther issue for Perry is just a stand-in for aggravating Obama (not to mention Democrats), Perry provided it in the Harwood interview saying: “I’m really not worried about the president’s birth certificate.”

Perry’s willingness to engage in talk of birtherism is not without risk, however. While it may send a signal to the Republican base that Perry isn’t afraid to stand up to Obama, it also has the potential to serve as a major-league distraction for a candidate who badly needs to some message-sharpening.

On a day when Perry is hoping that the bulk of the media coverage will focus on his flat tax proposal, which he previewed in a Wall Street Journal op-ed and his interview with Harwood, his mention of birtherism will likely take away some — if not most — of the attention from his economic plan.

Perry’s flirtation with birtherism will also likely raise the hackles of some in the GOP party establishment (read: donors) who already harbor doubts about his readiness to represent the party against Obama next fall.

Smart politics? I’m skeptical, but I suppose we’ll see.

FILED UNDER: Barack Obama, Campaign 2012, Politicians, US Politics,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020.

Comments

  1. PogueMahone says:

    It’s also fun to talk about how stupid Rick Perry is!

  2. All of this confirms what I suspected before Perry even ran: he is an empty suit who has the skills needed to be successful in state politics, but is simply not a national-level politician.

  3. Franklin says:

    Yeah, I’m sure Obama cries himself to sleep every night worrying about what that imbecile thinks.

  4. MBunge says:

    Does anyone think Obama is bothered AT ALL by the Birther nonsense? He’s the freakin’ President of the United States of America.

    Mike

  5. @Franklin: and @MBunge:

    Perhaps the most hilarious thing about the birthers is that they think Obama is “worried” about them

  6. legion says:

    I think I’ve said this before, but Perry is no more “serious” a candidate than Cain is or Palin ever was. The difference is Cain & Palin knew they were grifting – Perry is just sad.

  7. Hey Norm says:

    Poguemahone….haha

    Anyway…it’s a good tactic to distract anyone from looking to closely at his tax plan.

  8. Moosebreath says:

    “How hard is it for someone to say “The President was born here. He produced his birth certificate. There is no reason to doubt any of this. Next question.” ? Mitt Romney has essentially done it.”

    Very hard, if you want to be supported by more than 25% of the Republican primary voters.

  9. Liberal Capitalist says:

    “The idea of simply trying to get under Obama’s skin is what matters.”

    Ladies and Gentlemen… This summarizes the GOP platform, as well as their plan for economic recovery.

    Freakin’ jerks. They ought to be ashamed.

  10. john personna says:

    What if you gave a Republican Presidential campaign cycle, and no one came?

    (Arguing that Romeny’s permanent 25% means he’s present and accounted for might be a mistake.)

  11. Ron Beasley says:

    I always knew Perry would implode but I was wrong in how long it would take.

  12. jukeboxgrad says:

    Perry is just paying attention to polls:

    Slightly more than half of Republicans still doubt whether President Obama was born in the United States, according to new poll numbers out Tuesday.

    That was after Obama released the long-form BC.

    My only thought is that Perry is now so desperate to get back into the good graces of the right that he doesn’t want to alienate even the crazy birther fringe.

    Except that it’s not a “fringe.” It’s roughly half the party. Perry knows this, even if you don’t.

  13. ponce says:

    Just a few short weeks ago, this fool was the Republican front runner

    Poor Mittens..

  14. Fiona says:

    The whole venture into birtherism wreaks of desperation, as does the latest tax proposal. I thought Perry was a shoe-in for the nomination. Apparently, not being a Texan, I had no idea what an idiotic asshole he is.

  15. Moosebreath says:

    I tend to agree with Jonathan Chait’s thinking. If Perry and Romney are being viewed as conservative by an equal percentage of the Republican primary electorate, something’s wrong from Perry’s POV. This is an effort to fix that.

  16. Ben says:

    The democrats would love nothing more than for the birther crap to continue to be a major issue for the republican candidates. Maybe Obama himself wouldn’t, but only because he’s a wonky nerd who wants to debate policy. It certainly doesn’t threaten him in any way. If the repub’s keep doubling down on this nonsense, it will seal the election for Obama.

  17. Tlaloc says:

    Yeah, okay, I forfeit my former tepid defense of perry’s original birther comments. He’s just being an idiot.

  18. RW Rogers says:

    As Michael Reynolds said long ago, this line and Obama’s “otherness” are nothing more than code words for race and appealing to those for whom race matters, as it apparently does for over half the GOP electorate.

  19. Hey Norm says:

    Someone on one of the silly cable shows last night managed to express an interesting thought…if Romney has peaked at 25% it leaves the way open for someone else to coalesce the other 75%, even if they are very different groups…ie birthers, NRA, Evangelicals, etc. Doubling down on crazy may be his only, and best, path to the nomination.

  20. MM says:

    @MBunge:

    Does anyone think Obama is bothered AT ALL by the Birther nonsense? He’s the freakin’ President of the United States of America.

    All conspiracy theories require the true believers to view everything through the distorted lens of that particular theory. Obama ignores the issue? He’s scared of what we might find out! Obama addresses the issue? He’s scared of what we might find out! Judge refuses to hear your case or hears your case and then laughs you out of court? Obama’s scared of what we might find out and is strong-arming the judge! Your right rear tire is a little low? Obama’s brownshirts are trying to intimidate you.

  21. Jay Tea says:

    Let’s see… Parade brings it up, and Perry’s first response is he sees no reason to question Obama’s status. Then CNBC asks about it, and again he doesn’t go full birther, half birther, or even a fraction birther; he just says it’s fun to watch people get all hissy about the matter.

    A trifle immature, but hardly a big story. And in both cases, Perry didn’t bring it up.

    What the left seems to want is what they want in so many cases — a Shermanesque declaration that the Republican in question agrees with their beliefs 100%. This is turning into the equivalent of the creation/evolution fight.

    With the added parallel of both having absolutely nothing to do with the actual office being sought, or any bearing on the candidate’s fitness for that office.

    I can understand Perry’s refusal to go the full Sherman — it’s giving the left credibility. Instead, he’s dismissing the entire issue and laughing at them. And that JUST ISN’T FAIR DAMMIT!!!! They need him to play their game, and he won’t.

    I repeat what I’ve said many times: the most prominent people who bring up the birther stuff are on the left, because they know that it’s a winner for them. Which is why they should be laughed at and mocked — and never, ever, ever treated seriously. Never a straight answer, just dismissive scorn.

    J.

  22. mantis says:

    What the left seems to want is what they want in so many cases — a Shermanesque declaration that the Republican in question agrees with their beliefs 100%.

    This isn’t a question of beliefs, but facts. Perry would doubt the sky is blue if Obama said it was, because the Republican base he’s pandering to would do the same. If Perry is willing to deny the facts to appease the lunatic base, that’s his choice, but it has nothing to do with the “beliefs” of “the left.”

    Instead, he’s dismissing the entire issue

    He is decidedly not doing that. It would be quite easy to dismiss, but Perry knows not doing so helps him with the nutjobs.

    They need him to play their game, and he won’t.

    He clearly will, and is, playing that game.

    I repeat what I’ve said many times: the most prominent people who bring up the birther stuff are on the left, because they know that it’s a winner for them.

    Actually, it’s largely been left alone for months, thankfully, but Perry’s stupid answers have brought it back. He could have dismissed it easily, and it would have been dropped, but he chose to throw a bone to the racist wing of the GOP.

  23. Hey Norm says:

    @ JT…
    “…the Republican in question agrees with their beliefs 100%…”
    That Obama was born in this country is not a belief…it’s a fact. And therein lies the problem with you and the rest of the extreme right wing-nuts…you cannot separate facts from beliefs. You believe over-regulation is the cause of high UE…but that is not the fact. You believe that taxes are high…but that is not the fact. You believe Fannie and Freddie caused the economic meltdown…but that is not the fact. You believe there were WMD in Iraq…but that was never the fact. The list of things you believe that are factually and demonstrably incorrect is long.
    Until the Republican party gives up on it’s silly beliefs it will continue to be more of a religion than a political party.

  24. WR says:

    @Jay Tea: “What the left seems to want is what they want in so many cases — a Shermanesque declaration that the Republican in question agrees with their beliefs 100%.”

    Umm, no. We want a declaration that the Republican in question agrees 100% with a proven fact.

    I guess that’s not possible for your kind, but it would be nice to see it from a candidate.

  25. Hey Norm says:

    Doh…this just in…Perry wants to privatize Social Security.
    It’s pretty clear he just does not understand how it works. Batting around his ridiculous excuse of a Tax Plan for the next couple days is going to be fun.

  26. anjin-san says:

    he’s dismissing the entire issue and laughing at them.

    Ah, I see. Perry’s campaign is a disaster of truly epic proportions, but he is laughing at the left.

  27. Rob in CT says:

    Some seriously weak (Jay) Tea up there. Pathetic, even.

    Dismissive scorn? Coming right up.

  28. An Interested Party says:

    Instead, he’s dismissing the entire issue and laughing at them.

    You’re quite confused about who is being laughed at, not to mention who the butt of this particular joke is…

  29. ponce says:

    I can understand Perry’s refusal to go the full Sherman

    Are you from the Confederacy, Jay?

  30. Jay Tea says:

    @Hey Norm: Fact: Over-regulation is keeping Boeing from creating 2,000 new jobs in South Carolina, and threatening more jobs at Gibson Guitars. The Obama administration is on record as saying they’d rather those jobs go overseas than go to non-union Americans.

    Fact: only a blithering idiot can actually argue that the government doesn’t take enough money out of the pockets of Americans.

    Fact: the trading of MBS of dubious value was the banks’ way of dealing with an assload of worthless mortgages, written for people who had no business signing for a home… but said banks were ordered to give them out by federal regulations.

    Fact: Over 500 chemical weapons were found in Iraq after the war — there’s at least as much evidence of WMDs in Iraq as there is of Obama’s birth in Hawaii. (See what I did there? It’s called “baiting” or “trolling.” Now be a good stooge and go ape over it.)

    Fact: the cult of global warmening is crumbling as more and more evidence of just how much deception and collusion and dishonesty is behind it — as well as a tremendous amount of greed. But that doesn’t keep the left from still touting it as The One True Faith.

    The only people on the right who bring up the whole birther mess are a few fringe nuts. And they are outnumbered by people on the left who bring it up as a gotcha game. Oh, and a few who don’t fit in on the left, but still wanna play the gotcha game anyway. Regardless, the point is that it’s most often introduced by those who don’t believe in it, but want to use it as an attack of Obama critics anyway.

    Which is why it’s fun — it’s so predictable, and so easy to taunt them — well, you — by refusing to play their game.

    J.

  31. Jay Tea says:

    @ponce: Damnyankee, ponce. Lifelong New Hampshirite.

    What, you’ve never heard of “The Full Sherman” as a euphemism for an absolute irrefutable denial? Look it up.

    J.

  32. @Jay Tea:

    Fact: only a blithering idiot can actually argue that the government doesn’t take enough money out of the pockets of Americans.

    Regardless of anything else, that would clearly qualify as a statement of opinion.

    The professor in me can’t let that go.

    Indeed, most of your “facts” are more facty than fact.

  33. mantis says:

    Indeed, most of your “facts” are more facty than fact.

    The word is truthy. They feel true to him, so in his mind they are facts.

  34. @mantis: I was trying to do a play on truthy, to be honest.

  35. Hey Norm says:

    @ Weak Tea…(thanks Rob)
    You just keep claiming opinion as fact. Do some research, figure it out. Try to learn something instead of just spewing the same ol’ talking points.

  36. Hey Norm says:

    @ Weak Tea…assuming just for a minute that 500 chemical weapons which were so corroded as to be rendered unusable actually count as weapons…you actually think it was was worth invading and occupying Iraq at a cost of 4000 troops and over $2T?

  37. mattb says:

    @Jay Tea:

    Fact: Over 500 chemical weapons were found in Iraq after the war — there’s at least as much evidence of WMDs in Iraq as there is of Obama’s birth in Hawaii. (See what I did there? It’s called “baiting” or “trolling.” Now be a good stooge and go ape over it.)

    I’m not going to go ape all over this. I’m simply going to point out that of those 500 weapons, the vast majority were (a) degraded mustard or sarin nerve agents — in other words rotting and “stored improperly” and thus “ineffective” when they began to appear in IED’s see: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,120268,00.html — and (b) by all accounts had been manufactured during the Iran/Iraq war or in the lead up to Gulf War I.
    (additional source: Congressional report on WMD – http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/dni/dni_ltr_wmd_21jun06.pdf)

    So if you accept these poor, degraded chemical weapons as proof of the WMD threat posed by the White House at the time, then surely a copy of a birth certificate needs to count for something, as, in both cases neither is the “real” thing.

    Fact: the cult of global warmening is crumbling as more and more evidence of just how much deception and collusion and dishonesty is behind it — as well as a tremendous amount of greed. But that doesn’t keep the left from still touting it as The One True Faith.

    As Stephen said, this is a statement of belief, not fact. While it is definitely true that there was a lot of public relations fallout from the coverage of the IPCC controversy (which largely has been much a do about nothing), there still has been any hard scientific proof to counter the statements that (a) that there has been an acceleration of changes to the climate over the last century (including extreme heating in some places and cooling in others), and that (b) because this change is occurring at a pace never seen before, following a period of rapid industrialization, that Man must be playing some role in this process (though we do not yet know how much), and that (c) that CO2 is most likely involved in some way (though again we do not know to what degree).

    The argument for catastrophic change (as most people understand it) is far weaker, but pretending that current climate science has been disproven is simply not a fact. For a pragmatic take on the entire situation, I suggest looking at the group blog hosted by Dr. Judith Curry – http://judithcurry.com/ .

  38. Rob in CT says:

    Four “facts” that were anything but. Weak, weak Tea.

  39. Jay Tea says:

    @mattb: That would be 500 WMDs that Saddam was supposed to account for and destroy after the 1991 Gulf War, but didn’t. Ergo, a clear violation of the cease fire.

    @Hey Norm: I blame one person for the Iraq war, mattb — Saddam. He agreed to the cease fire, but still did enough things to merit the dozen-plus charges in the Authorization for the Use of Military Force, passed by Congress. WMDs were hardly the only reason. And “because Saddam was involved with 9/11” wasn’t on that list. Sometimes it’s hard to remember that one, as the left keeps saying that Bush did blame him for 9/11.

    @Steven L. Taylor: Yeah, that particular one was weak, but it was rebutting an equally weak “fact.” I was stuck into the rhetorical format and tone, and couldn’t bring myself to dismiss it.

    J.

  40. @Jay Tea:

    Fact: only a blithering idiot can actually argue that the government doesn’t take enough money out of the pockets of Americans.

    So since Rick Perry wants to raise the average tax rate from 16% to 20%, does that prove the suspicion many of us have that he’s a blithering idiot?

  41. mattb says:

    @Jay Tea:

    That would be 500 WMDs that Saddam was supposed to account for and destroy after the 1991 Gulf War, but didn’t. Ergo, a clear violation of the cease fire.

    Agreed. But that wasn’t the specific case that was argued by the Bush Administration and it’s proxies.

    Degraded/ing chemical weapons were entirely different than the mobile anthrax laboratories (a centerpiece of the UN presentation), loose nukes, and the ongoing production of WMD that was the public basis for the war – (full listing of statements available here — http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_House_Iraq_Group)

    So the question is not so much “were these droids/WMD” but “were these the droids/WMD you were looking for.” The fact that there had to be so many claims by backers of the war that the weapons were removed from the country during the invasion suggests that this clearly wasn’t what they were expecting to find.

    But again, it’s fine to claim that there is no difference (which you seem to be doing), but in that case it seems like this is a weird line of thought to somehow justify the non-existence of evidence about the birth certificate. Or did I just fall prey to some crazy sort of equivalency aikido?

    And “because Saddam was involved with 9/11″ wasn’t on that list. Sometimes it’s hard to remember that one, as the left keeps saying that Bush did blame him for 9/11.

    Except of course for diddy’s like this (but I guess to your point, it was Cheney who said it and not Bush):
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5odPAK17hOI

  42. mattb says:

    @Jay,

    To be fair, I agree that this was largely Sadam’s fault in that he created the precipitating event. But likewise, that logic means that Libya was Qaddafi’s fault (he gets all the blame) and pretty much every other US military action regardless of the president is the fault of the enemy.

    That said, I think in all cases the issue, as was once pointed out on the Simpsons, was not “If you could do it (i.e. deep fry a shirt), but whether you should do it (invade a country, destabilize a region, strain the financial and military resources of a nation, & end up assisting in an Iranian ascendency all for… well… 500 barrels of rapidly degrading chemical weapons).” And once you cross that threshold, of course there’s the entire question of did you sell the war (or its aftermath) in anything that resembled an honest way.

  43. Jay Tea says:

    @mattb: Here’s the actual text of the AUMF in Iraq joint resolution:

    http://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/news/releases/2002/10/print/20021002-2.html

    Plenty of reasons. And the way things work are if you find a flaw in one part of one reason, that does NOT invalidate the entire document. If I accuse you of robbing 12 banks and you only get convicted of robbing 11, then you don’t get to go free.

    J.

  44. WR says:

    @Jay Tea: And of course, Weak Tea won’t and can’t answer the question before him: Were these terrifying WMDs worth the cost in lives and money it took to wage war against Iraq?

    Because this is the kind of question that doesn’t interest Jay. Because it concerns substance. Because it concerns consequences. Because it concerns morality and judgment and the real world.

    And he doesn’t understand any of that boring stuff.

  45. Jay Tea says:

    @WR: Because, you gibbering dolt, you fail at so much.

    First, the WMDs were hardly the only reason. I understand the Bush-haters decided that it had weaknesses and therefore became the only one worth talking about. Your side tried to define the whole war on that one issue, but it never was.

    Second, I’d suggest you ask Saddam if keeping those 500-odd weapons, plus the rest of the crap we found, was worth it to him. We didn’t decide he should break that condition — along with a lot of others — of the ceasefire.

    But I understand you subcontracted your thinking and memory to the professional left, so it’s entirely understandable why you keep saying stupid things and believing you’re actually making quasi-valid and semi-coherent points. It’s almost a cute little delusion.

    Now back to your kennel, lickspittle.

    J.

  46. mantis says:

    We didn’t decide he should break that condition — along with a lot of others — of the ceasefire.

    But we did decide to go to war with Iraq, at a cost of almost 4500 US military lives and more than 32,000 US wounded and more than $2 trillion and counting.

    Do you think it was worth it? It’s a simple question.

  47. anjin-san says:

    Second, I’d suggest you ask Saddam if keeping those 500-odd weapons, plus the rest of the crap we found, was worth it to him. We didn’t decide he should break that condition — along with a lot of others — of the ceasefire.

    Even you are not stupid enough to buy this. PNAC was hot for war with Iraq long before Bush was even elected. 9.11 created a political climate that made it possible. The war was sold on WMD – end of story.

    It’s remarkable that you are still willing to carry water for the neocons on this. But then some guys are destined to play football and date cheerleaders, and some guys are destined to be water boys. I think we all know what group you belong to.

  48. Hey Norm says:

    Weak Tea is so blinded by the cult that he is defending what is without question the biggest foreign policy blunder the US has probably ever made. Pathetic to see someone so devoid of independent thought.

  49. mattb says:

    @Jay Tea:
    I am not questioning the document you provided the link to.

    The question that I’m asking — beyond was it worth it (which can only be answered in retrospect — was whether or not the invasion would have happened if:
    a. 9/11 had not happened
    b. If the Bush administration had NOT made continuous arguments
    i. linking Iraq and Al Quieda
    ii. linking Iraq to the planning and execution of 9/11
    iii. suggesting that Iraq’s was both producing new weapons (in mobile labs that we no know did not exist) and that those weapons posed an imminent threat to the US (see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pZcSmsPvdFs for one example of this).

    I would suggest that part of the reasons that the Bush administration and Republicans would later distance themselves from all of the above (see Rove’s denials as one example – and note that even Fox is calling him out — http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MxR_FP3z0zE ) is not simply a symbol of how unpopular the war is, but how fundamentally weak the initial argument for getting us into the war was.

  50. Eric the OTB Lurker says:

    Hey, all, ‘member when you were kids, and looked up at the sky and started spinning around in circles until you were super dizzy? ‘Member the way it made you feel–sick to your stomach, head spinning?

    Jay Tea’s logic is making me feel like I just did that again.

  51. WR says:

    @Jay Tea: Wow, Jay, you used almost 200 words in yet another attempt to duck yet another question. Really, if you jammed your finger up your nose, drooled, and shouted obscenities you’d get exactly the same effect with a lot less work.

  52. WR says:

    @anjin-san: “Even you are not stupid enough to buy this.”

    I think you forgot you were talking to Jay Tea…

  53. Jay Tea says:

    @Hey Norm: Weak Tea is so blinded by the cult that he is defending what is without question the biggest foreign policy blunder the US has probably ever made.

    Hyperbolic twit is hyperbolic.

    I could easily name a dozen worse “blunders” off the top of my head.

    Get a sense of history, twit.

    J.

  54. Jay Tea says:

    @mattb: Sorry for the interruption, matt.

    Anyway, you can stop your conditionals right after the first one. 9/11 changed everything. Saddam was on the verge of buying his way out of the sanctions (the “Oil For Food” scandal, among others) without fully complying with the terms — he’d bought off key people in Russia, Germany, France, England, and even in the US. 9/11 royally screwed up that plan.

    Would we have invaded Iraq if 9/11 had not happened? Almost certainly not. But that doesn’t mean it would be better.

    J.

  55. jukeboxgrad says:

    jay tea:

    The only people on the right who bring up the whole birther mess are a few fringe nuts.

    In utterly typical Jay Tea style, you are making this claim even though I already cited a poll showing that most Rs “still doubt whether President Obama was born in the United States.” Even after he released the long-form BC. Which means that birtherism, even today, is not a “fringe” phenomenon, unless you define the GOP itself as “fringe.”

    I could easily name a dozen worse “blunders” off the top of my head.

    Name one that cost $3-5T and about 37,000 US dead and injured (the numbers cited above by a couple of people are somewhat understated). Extra credit if it was also sold by an administration that “made at least 935 false statements” (link).

    That would be 500 WMDs that Saddam was supposed to account for and destroy after the 1991 Gulf War, but didn’t. Ergo, a clear violation of the cease fire.

    Compare what we found to what we were told he had:

    500 tons of mustard gas and nerve gas, 25,000 liters of anthrax, 38,000 liters of botulinum toxin, 29,984 prohibited munitions capable of delivering chemical agents, several dozen Scud missiles, gas centrifuges to enrich uranium, 18 mobile biological warfare factories, long-range unmanned aerial vehicles to dispense anthrax

    All the claims listed above, including all the numbers cited, came out of either Bush’s mouth or Powell’s mouth, or possibly both. Some further details here.

    500 is 1.7% of 29,984. Those shells were “buried near the Iranian border, and then long forgotten, by Iraqi troops during their eight-year war with Iran, which ended in 1988.” More:

    The U.S. military announced in 2004 in Iraq that several crates of the old shells had been uncovered and that they contained a blister agent that was no longer active. Neither the military nor the White House nor the CIA considered the shells to be evidence of what was alleged by the Bush administration to be a current Iraqi program to make chemical, biological and nuclear weapons. Last night, intelligence officials reaffirmed that the shells were old and were not the suspected weapons of mass destruction sought in Iraq after the 2003 invasion.

    Those shells were old, lost, forgotten, useless and immaterial. And to say that losing 1.7% amounts to “a clear violation of the cease fire” is essentially saying that we expected Saddam’s inventory and accounting systems to be better than ours. After all, we’re the people who lost track of hundreds of tons of cash.

    WMDs were hardly the only reason. … Here’s the actual text of the AUMF in Iraq joint resolution … Plenty of reasons. … the WMDs were hardly the only reason.…Your side tried to define the whole war on that one issue, but it never was.

    Roughly half the pre-war SOTU is about terrorism, WMD, and Iraq. There are at least 15 scary paragraphs (over 1000 words) describing how dangerous Saddam is, how he allegedly has accumulated large stockpiles of horrible weapons, and how essential it is that we move quickly to disarm him. The word “weapon” (or close variants of that word) appears in the speech almost 30 times. It takes a very, very close look at the speech to find any rationale for war, aside from WMD, and the fear of terrorists obtaining them.

    A quite similar analysis applies regarding Bush’s famous pre-war address. It also focused mostly on WMD.

    All this started with PNAC, of course. And this seminal PNAC (neocon) document says exactly nothing about freedom or democracy, and simply talks about the threat of Iraqi WMD.

    If you look at those very visible and widely-circulated statements (and many other similar statements, such as those documented in the various links I already provided), you see virtually nothing aside from a whole lot of focus on WMD. As anjin-san said: “the war was sold on WMD – end of story.” Yes, the AUMF mentioned other things, but that document is not what was used to sell the war. The number of Americans who saw Bush’s speeches that I cited is probably about a thousand times greater than the number of Americans who ever read the AUMF.

    And “because Saddam was involved with 9/11″ wasn’t on that list. Sometimes it’s hard to remember that one, as the left keeps saying that Bush did blame him for 9/11.

    “The left keeps saying that Bush did blame him for 9/11” because it’s true. Bush said this:

    you can’t distinguish between al Qaeda and Saddam when you talk about the war on terror … they work in concert.

    Cheney said this:

    There’s overwhelming evidence there was a connection between al Qaeda and the Iraqi government. I am very confident that there was an established relationship there.

    And Weekly Standard reported that Feith issued a memo saying that “Osama Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein had an operational relationship.”

    Also see Cheney’s statement documented here.

    And Powell spoke at length on this topic, at the UN. This included claiming that “Iraq [offered] chemical or biological weapons training for two al Qaeda associates.”

    Those are all statements claiming there were provable, current cooperative links between Iraq and al Qaeda.

    The core of the Bush case for the invasion of Iraq was the threat of WMD in the hands of terrorists, and many false statements were made, by Powell and others, supporting that concept by claiming current cooperation.

    By the way, this includes statements that trace back to false confessions that were produced by torture. It seems that we tortured for the purpose of selling the war, not for the purpose of preventing the next attack. That’s why waterboarding stopped when the war started.

    the “Oil For Food” scandal

    I guess you’re referring to the oil-for-food scandal that Bush helped faciliate:

    the Bush administration was made aware of illegal oil sales and kickbacks paid to the Saddam Hussein regime but did nothing to stop them … the Senate report found that US oil purchases accounted for 52% of the kickbacks paid to the regime in return for sales of cheap oil – more than the rest of the world put together … The United States was not only aware of Iraqi oil sales which violated UN sanctions and provided the bulk of the illicit money Saddam Hussein obtained from circumventing UN sanctions … On occasion, the United States actually facilitated the illicit oil sales.

    Jay Tea, you’re a veritable cornucopia of bogus right-wing talking points that are easily debunked. Your inadvertent public service is considerable. Keep up the good work.

  56. Hey Norm says:

    @ Weak Tea…
    OK…. name 12 blunders that cost 4000 troops lives, over $2T, and left one of the most dangerous actors in the region with far more influence and power.
    Have at it… The clocks ticking.

  57. Jay Tea says:

    @Hey Norm: The challenge was “blunders,” not “blunders that meet my very specific criteria.” So no, not gonna play that game. But you want some?

    1) Spanish-American War (The “casus belli” was an accident that the Spanish had nothing to do with)
    2) World War I (the whole war was a mistake)
    3) Clinton’s Balkan escapades
    4) Carter’s dithering on the Iran Hostage Crisis
    5) Reagan’s being driven out of Lebanon
    (Those last two were major inspirations for the war of the Jihadists against the US)
    6) Johnson’s Viet Nam Escalation
    7) Put this one down as a probable — Obama’s backing of Libyan rebels, for at least two very significant reasons
    8) Clinton’s attempts to rein in North Korea by bribing them with nuclear technology
    9) Smoot-Hawley Tariff
    10) Post-World War I Isolationism
    11) Ceding Eastern Europe to the Soviet Union after World War II
    12) Operation Fast and Furious

    Now go ahead and nitpick, but let’s remember the origin — your original assertion: that the Iraq war what is without question the biggest foreign policy blunder the US has probably ever made. (Oh, and nice weaseling: “without question… probably.” Bold assertion up front, cowardly CYA buried at the end. Guess it’s too much to expect for you to have the courage of your convictions, huh?) If any one of my examples cited above stands, then your original assertion is BS — which it was.

    But back to the original topic: yeah, talking about the birther issue can be fun — as long as you let the left or the media (but I repeat myself) bring it up, and note that they are the ones bringing it up before having fun with it. And Perry’s got the right idea — avoid like hell the “Full Sherman,” just tweak ’em and watch their heads explode.

    Good going, Guv.

    J.

  58. jukeboxgrad says:

    Aside from WWI and Vietnam, none of those match the US casualties of Iraq. And most historians don’t think our role in WWI was a ‘blunder.’

    Was Iraq a bigger blunder than Vietnam? Tough call. Maybe a tie.

    The challenge was “blunders,” not “blunders that meet my very specific criteria.”

    This is what you said:

    I could easily name a dozen worse “blunders” off the top of my head.

    I realize you’re using a magic dictionary where “worse” has a special meaning understood only by you. If casualties and money spent aren’t relevant in measuring such things, you should tell us what is.

    Now go ahead and nitpick

    Welcome to Jay Tea world, where 37,000 US casualties is a “nitpick.”

  59. WR says:

    @Jay Tea: Yes, Jay, the Fast and Furious thing is worse than the Iraq war. Because it’s cost us billions of dollars and thousands of American lives, not to mention hundreds of thousands of Iraqi lives.

    Oh, wait, I mean because it was done in the administration of a Democrat.

  60. Jay Tea says:

    @jukeboxgrad: It’s called “looking at the big picture,” juke. One can draw a direct line from Carter and Reagan’s blunders to the war on radical Islam. Obama’s Libyan UnWar set three incredibly dangerous precedents. Fast and Furious is still playing out, but also has tremendous potential for long-term harm.

    And all of which has almost nothing to do with Norm’s original premise, the sheer weaseliness of which escaped me at first: “what is without question the biggest foreign policy blunder the US has probably ever made.”

    All I had to do was to put it into question — and I did that quite thoroughly. Norm is a hyperbolic git who has no courage in his convictions. But you won’t discuss that, ‘cuz he’s on your side. Totally didn’t see that one coming… /sarc

    J.

  61. jukeboxgrad says:

    Fast and Furious is still playing out, but also has tremendous potential for long-term harm.

    Potential for costing $3-5T and 37,000 US casualties? And you’re calling someone else hyperbolic? Thanks for the laugh.

    But you won’t discuss that

    Above I showed proof of a bunch of false claims you made. “But you won’t discuss that.” Thanks for another big laugh.

    Like I said, keep up the good work. If I wanted to deliberately invent a dishonest right-wing hack completely oblivious to facts I couldn’t possibly do a better job.

  62. mantis says:

    @Jay Tea:

    Answer the question. Was it worth it?

  63. mattb says:

    @jukeboxgrad:
    Just wanted to say things for that incredible run down of information… Definitely saved to Evernote.

  64. WR says:

    @mantis: “Answer the question. Was it worth it?”

    He can’t answer the question. Because to make that judgmenthe’d need to care about something other than getting people to pay attention to him on a blog. That is the sum total of Jay’s interest in the world. If people live or die, prosper or starve, is of no concern to him. As long as someone is paying atttention to Jay, everything is okay.

    Until he has to turn off the computer and face his own life again.

  65. jukeboxgrad says:

    mattb, thanks for the compliment.

    Definitely saved to Evernote.

    Also notice that you could do this google:

    jukeboxgrad wmd bush “jay tea”

    And this thread is one of the top results.

    Or if you do this google:

    jukeboxgrad wmd bush sotu

    You’ll find similar material I’ve written at other places (mostly VC).

  66. Hey Norm says:

    @ Weak Tea…
    Not a single one of those items ended with negative results on par with the invasion and occupation of Iraq…which of course would be the definition of a “worse blunder”. Not a single one…and certainly not a dozen of them.
    FAIL

  67. Jay Tea says:

    @Hey Norm: I’m a bit busy, Norm. Why don’t you look up the body count and cost of the war in Viet Nam? And toss in all the ancillary costs and long-term consequences of that little misadventure.

    Or is now when you put aside the “without question” assertion and use the “probably.”

    Gutless wonder.

    J.

  68. Hey Norm says:

    @ Weak Tea….
    OK…I’m generous…I’ll give you Vietnam…although it did not make anyone nearly as dangerous as Iran is as strong as Iraq made Iran.
    11 more please.

  69. Jay Tea says:

    @Hey Norm: So, you’re officially walking back the “without question” part, and going with the “probably” weasel?

    Dude, you gotta understand… when you make an absolute statement like that (I’m not letting go of your “without question” part until you own up to it), all I have to do is show ONE exception. I came up with a dozen that I can use to “question” your statement, and if you admit the validity of one of them, your argument’s toast.

    Like I said… if I accuse you of robbing 12 banks, and you get convicted of less than all 12, you’re still going to jail. Likewise, if you declare something “without question” and then you admit that not only did I question it but successfully refuted it, you lose.

    And note I didn’t put in a single “probably” or any other weaselly qualifier in there.

    J.

  70. Hey Norm says:

    @ Weak Tea…
    No…I’m cutting you slack…because I do not agree that Vietneam was worse…it did not strengthen any entity like Iran…but 11 more items please.
    Or STFU.

  71. Hey Norm says:

    “…all I have to do is show ONE exception…”

    no…because you said:

    “…I could easily name a dozen worse “blunders” off the top of my head…”

    So while in my opinion you have not named a single one…I will cut you slack so we get to the other 11.
    Or as I said…STFU.

  72. Jay Tea says:

    You wanna get technical, Norm? I put my own weasel in there.

    I said I COULD, I never said I WOULD. Your statement was flat on its face wrong (and astonishingly stupid, the kind of thing one normally expects from WR), and you won’t either walk it back or hide behind your weaseling. Why, it’s like you never said it, ‘cuz you certainly aren’t interested in either retracting or defending it.

    And thanks for continuing to show off your ignorance — it’s Viet Nam or Vietnam. No wonder you think the war that claimed over 58,000 US troops killed, over 300,000 wounded, and a total of 2-4 million killed wasn’t that big a deal. As far as consequences, ever heard of the Killing Fields? The Cambodian genocide where the Communists wiped out 20% of the population?

    It also left the US military demoralized and disrespected for years (it took Reagan to restore the pride), gave the US its first defeat in history, and empowered anti-American efforts around the globe.

    And don’t get me started on what our isolationism after World War I cost us and the rest of the world. I ain’t getting paid to teach you what you should have learned in high school.

    J.

  73. Hey Norm says:

    “…I said I COULD, I never said I WOULD…”
    And you didn’t.
    Got it.
    FAIL

  74. slimslowslider says:

    this is almost as good as when jay told jukebox “i wasn’t talking to you” after jukebox destroyed jay’s point.

  75. Rob in CT says:

    Vietnam was worse, IMO.

    I think Iraq beats out everything else on JT’s list, some of which are utterly laughable.

    WWI was certainly a massive mistake by the European powers that principly fought it. I’m not so sure it was a mistake for the US to come in and make sure Britain & France won. It all depends on whether you think US forces helped prevent Germany’s last-gasp offensive from breaking the French Army. If you think Britain/France would have won anyway, then US involvement was: a) unnecessary; and b) possibly harmful if it enabled the Brits and French to really stick it to Germany, thus possibly helping to set up WWII.

    The Spanish-American war was likely unjust. I’m not sure it was disasterous for the USA in the way that Iraq or Vietnam were. Another example would be the Mexican American war (1846-8). The Whigs opposed that vehemently and had I been around I’d have been with them. But did it hurt the USA? It gained the USA a lot of valuable real estate at, IIRC, pretty low cost. Wars can be morally wrong but work out pretty well for a victor.

  76. Hey Norm says:

    @ Rob…
    I agree that a reasonable argument can be made for Vietnam…although it’s important to keep in mind that we have yet to see what Iran does with the strengthened hand it was dealt. Perhaps the appropriate phrase would have been potentially the greatest blunder in US history. I’ll be happy if it leads to little or nothing in the long run, and Iraq becomes less of a fools errand.
    Even if it ranks #2…no way you can argue the 4000 troops and $2T were worth it.

  77. Jay Tea says:

    @Hey Norm: Tell you what, I’ll offer a compromise: I’ll state that my “dozen” way a bit of hyperbole in response to your what is without question the biggest foreign policy blunder the US has probably ever made, if you acknowledge that you were completely and totally talking out of your ass when you said it.

    Fair enough?

    J.

  78. Hey Norm says:

    Weak Tea = FAIL

  79. mantis says:

    Jay Tea sounding like Mitt Romney to anyone else? I can name 12 things worse! What? Oh, I only needed to name one. What? I said 12? Oh no, I said I could name 12, but I won’t, because shut up, that’s why. Hey, stop making fun of me! Ok, fine, I was full of shit when I said 12, but it’s all your fault anyway.

    And let’s not forget he refuses to answer the very simple question. Was it worth it, Jay?

  80. Jay Tea says:

    @mantis: Worth seeing the whole regular crowd of idiots all covering from Norm? Yeah, pretty much. He won’t acknowledge his incredibly stupid statement, and all the rest going along with pretending he never said the Iraq War is without question the biggest foreign policy blunder the US has probably ever made.

    Come on, mantis. Can’t even bring yourself to acknowledge it?

    J.

  81. jukeboxgrad says:

    Jay Tea, you’re ducking lots of questions, as usual. I’m going to remind you about just one of them. You said this:

    the left keeps saying that Bush did blame him [Saddam] for 9/11

    Bush said this:

    you can’t distinguish between al Qaeda and Saddam when you talk about the war on terror … they work in concert.

    And I cited several other, similar statements.

    When are you going to admit that what “the left keeps saying” is correct?

    All your kicking and screaming is impressive only to people who don’t know how to scroll up and see all the facts you’ve been trying to deny.

  82. Jay Tea says:

    @jukeboxgrad: Nice bait and switch there. Did you actually think I wouldn’t notice that I said “9/11,” and Bush said “war on terror?”

    Saddam helped Al Qaeda on several occasions. 9/11 was NOT one of those occasions. I can give very logical reasons why, but I don’t particularly feel like going that far off topic.

    And you really, really, really don’t want to have to acknowledge Norm’s declaration of idiocy that the Iraq was was “without question the biggest foreign policy blunder the US has ever made,” do you? You remember,the incredibly stupid statement that triggered this whole digression?

    Come on, juke… just admit your boy opened his mouth wide and shoved both his feet right in, up to his knees. It won’t hurt, honest.

    J.

  83. Eric the OTB Lurker says:

    @Jay Tea:

    Saddam helped Al Qaeda on several occasions.

    Boy, Jay, you say that with such authority that one might believe that that was actually true. But, of course, it’s just another unsupported assertion by you that you will naturally not provide any evidence for, despite their being, apparently, “several occasions” the we all apparently should be obviously aware of.

  84. Jay Tea says:

    @Eric the OTB Lurker: Eric, I’ve been calling on Norm to back up something he said for about a day now. Any reason why I should be the only one answering questions?

    Let me rephrase that. Any VALID reasons? I know the true answer — “Norm’s a blithering dolt, but he’s OUR blithering dolt” — but I’m curious as to the spin.

    Besides, the links between Saddam and Al Qaeda are pretty well documented. No, he didn’t help them with 9/11. No, they didn’t carry out any joint operations. But they had plenty of contacts, swapped intelligence, and Saddam actively supported to of Al Qaeda’s subsidiary group — the Islamic Jihad in Egypt, and the Army of Muhammed in Bahrain.

    Look it up. It’s there.

    J.

  85. Jay Tea says:

    Plus, I’ve seen reports that Saddam financed the forging of Obama’s Hawaiian birth certificate…

    J.

  86. @Jay Tea:

    Any reason why I should be the only one answering questions?

    Perhaps because you were asked first and it was a reasonable, straight-forward question?

  87. Jay Tea says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: The root cause, Steven, was Norm’s idiotic pronouncement that the Iraq invasion “without question the biggest foreign policy blunder the US has ever made.” And the usual crowd of idiots are doing everything they can to pretend he never said it.

    I don’t particularly feel like letting go of that one.

    Besides, each answer I’ve given has not led to my questions being answered, but more questions. Screw that. Ain’t my job to do what the gang’s years of education failed to do.

    J.

  88. @Jay Tea: Actually, asking you whether Iraq was worth it came first. As I recal, you were asked several times and never answered. Perhaps I missed the response?

  89. Jay Tea says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: Norm’s comment at 11:45 was a cornucopia of dumb. Everything else from that point on about Iraq was an attempt to cover for his stupidity — which he didn’t help out. While everyone else tried to pull him from his hole, he kept digging.

    At what point am I allowed to say “sorry, not gonna play along with your covering-up game any more?” It keeps getting further and further not only from Norm’s initial catalyzing moment of teh stoopid, but the original topic.

    But since you’re one of the hosts here, I’ll go along with that one: I think it’s still too early to tell, but at this point yeah, I still think the Iraq war was worth it. And no, I’m not going to get into an argument about why I believe that, because I’m not playing that game any more. I’ve spelled it out way, way too many times in several fora, and I am bored with repeating myself to people who aren’t interested in discussing, but bludgeoning.

    J.

  90. Jay Tea says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: Tell you what, Steven: start a new thread, on “was Iraq worth it,” and I’ll consider getting involved there. But no promises.

    I am curious, though, why you choose me for this kind of attention, while folks like Norm don’t get the challenge. I’m taking it as a compliment — you think Norm’s pretty much a lost cause, and not worth the effort.

    J.

  91. jukeboxgrad says:

    jay tea:

    Nice bait and switch there. Did you actually think I wouldn’t notice that I said “9/11,” and Bush said “war on terror?”

    The “bait and switch” is all yours. Bush said Saddam and AQ “work in concert.” Cheney said “there was a connection between al Qaeda and the Iraqi government.” Powell said “Iraq [offered] chemical or biological weapons training for two al Qaeda associates.” Feith said “Osama Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein had an operational relationship.” We care about AQ because they did 9/11. All those statements were made for the purpose of tying Saddam to 9/11. Trouble is, all those statements were false.

    Saddam helped Al Qaeda on several occasions

    Really? Are you sure? Notice what was found by the Senate Intelligence Committee (when it was still controlled by Republicans). They concluded this (pdf):

    Conclusion 1: … Postwar findings indicate that Saddam Hussein was distrustful of al-Qa’ida and viewed Islamic extremists as a threat to his regime, refusing all requests from al-Qa’ida to provide material or operational support. … Saddam distrusted Islamic radicals in general, and al-Qa’ida in particular. … bin Ladin attempted to exploit the former Iraqi regime by making requests for operational and material assistance, while Saddam Hussein refused all such requests. … Saddam issued a general order that Iraq should not deal with al-Qa’ida.

    Now tell us why you just contradicted them.

    Saddam actively supported to of Al Qaeda’s subsidiary group — the Islamic Jihad in Egypt, and the Army of Muhammed in Bahrain

    You are indirectly citing this report: pdf. That’s where your claim ultimately comes from. Trouble is, that report says this (p. 15):

    This study found no “smoking gun” (i.e., direct connection) between Saddam’s Iraq and al Qaeda.

    Compare that to what you said: “Saddam helped Al Qaeda.” And compare it to what Feith said: “Osama Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein had an operational relationship.”

    It’s not true that “Saddam helped Al Qaeda.” He helped certain groups that were also supported by AQ, but there’s nothing new or unusual about this. If the idea is that we need to invade countries that finance terrorism, we should start with Saudi Arabia, since they invest much more in terrorism than Saddam ever did. Likewise for Pakistan.

  92. WR says:

    @Jay Tea: Shorter Jay: “Pay attention to me!!! Pay attention to MEEEEEE!!!!!”

  93. Eric the OTB Lurker says:

    @Jay Tea:

    Besides, the links between Saddam and Al Qaeda are pretty well documented. No, he didn’t help them with 9/11. No, they didn’t carry out any joint operations. But they had plenty of contacts, swapped intelligence, and Saddam actively supported to of Al Qaeda’s subsidiary group — the Islamic Jihad in Egypt, and the Army of Muhammed in Bahrain.

    See, that’s just it, Jay. You act so certain that what you say is accurate and obvious, yet–outside the many assertions by Bush Admin officials–the actual intelligence reports and evidence point to exactly the opposite: that Saddam refused any sort of help to AQ at all. (mattb and Jukeboxgrad have thankfully spared me the work of citing the relevant documents (hat tip!))

    You’ve been trying to have it both ways, arguing at once that Saddam’s alleged ties to AQ were justification and that, well, those ties were irrelevant because he violated various UN resolutions pushed relentlessly by the Bush Admin based on the fact that he had ties to AQ and WMD. Did we really invade Iraq because some bad guy who really posed no direct threat to us half a world away and who was already contained didn’t listen to us? That’s your justification for 4000 lives and 4 trillion dollars?

    And that question is precisely what us other posters here are trying to get you to answer. Instead, you’re trying to weasel out by citing all sorts of trivialities, incidental points, and “tu quoque” arguments in an attempt to evade–Romney-like–a simple, direct question based on your own assertions.

    When you begin to move the goalposts, fritter around the edges of the discussion, and throw in trivialities just to see what sticks, you’ve almost by definition lost the argument.

  94. @Eric the OTB Lurker:

    When you begin to move the goalposts, fritter around the edges of the discussion, and throw in trivialities just to see what sticks, you’ve almost by definition lost the argument

    This.

  95. Jay Tea says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: May I offer a suggestion, Steven? Since apparently I’m the only one who can see Norm’s original idiocy that started the whole long chain of diversions, why not just delete it? Maybe that way I can shake this “eppur si muove” feeling.

    J.

  96. @Jay Tea: This just strikes me as more evasion. You made the Iraq/WMD thing central with your list of “facts”. Most of this thread has been an effort by several interlocutors to get you to address that issue. I am not sure why focusing on Norm helps your position.

  97. Jay Tea says:

    Plan B:

    But back to Norm’s original diversionary tactic: that statement of his — that the Iraq invasion was “without question the biggest foreign policy blunder the US has ever made” — has to be the most ignorant thing I’ve seen here that wasn’t from WR. With the events still unfolding and awaiting the judgment of history, to make such a declaration — especially with precedents like the Viet Nam war — is so mind-bogglingly stupid that it can only come from someone who thinks that history starts they day they first became aware of the world around them.

    Tell me, Norm — have you EVER taken a class in American History? Or do you get all your information from Bill Maher and Michael Moore and all the rest of the left who spent the entire Bush 43 administration spouting how that was the darkest times in American history, with the most evil men and women to ever walk the earth as our tyrannical masters?

    Then again, maybe you can blame it on booze…

    J.

  98. WR says:

    @Jay Tea: Boy you take a lot of words to avoid answering a question. If you really can’t bear to offer an answer, why don’t you just shut up?

  99. mantis says:

    yeah, I still think the Iraq war was worth it. And no, I’m not going to get into an argument about why I believe that, because I’m not playing that game any more.

    No, of course not. That would require you to support your assertions. You’re too busy trying to make us all responsible for one comment by Hey Norm.

    He won’t acknowledge his incredibly stupid statement, and all the rest going along with pretending he never said the Iraq War is without question the biggest foreign policy blunder the US has probably ever made.

    I’m not pretending anything, I’m just not responsible for the comments of others. I disagree with his assertion, FWIW. It’s definitely one of the biggest blunders, but probably not the biggest, to my mind. However, it is arguable, making his comment not “incredibly stupid.” Your incredibly weak attempts to avoid the things you yourself have written, however, are both stupid and pathetically transparent.

    It is rather amusing to watch you nitpick one comment, try to make all other commenters answer for it, while ignoring direct questions as well as valid criticisms of several of your own comments, for which you predictably blame others. Why do you believe you have even the slightest shred of credibility? Your weak, tired game is well known here.

  100. mantis says:

    Since apparently I’m the only one who can see Norm’s original idiocy that started the whole long chain of diversions, why not just delete it?

    So you spend a great deal of time focusing on Norm’s comment in order to avoid backing up your own arguments or answering questions, and now you want his comment deleted?

    Go back to your own blog where you can delete comments you don’t like at will.

  101. Jay Tea says:

    @mantis: Screw you. I do NOT “delete comments I don’t like at will.” Never have, never will. It takes a hell of a lot for me to even consider doing that.

    Next, nice dodge how you’re “not responsible” for others’ comments. You’re all over mine, on a regular basis. If you “weren’t responsible,” then you wouldn’t need to constantly “correct” me. I’m pointing out your selective bias — only certain commenters routinely provoke you to comment; others get a pass.

    Finally, I did answer plenty of questions — more than anyone else in this thread, I’d wager. I just got fed up with the endless demands for more answers, more details, more elaborations on arguments that I’ve had over and over for years — and each got the discussion further away from Norm’s initial diversion and even further from the original topic, and more about me. I don’t particularly care for the limelight.

    This whole thread is a textbook example of bias. Norm says something incredibly stupid and ignorant, I call him on it with a touch of hyperbolic flair, and all of a sudden Norm’s comment is swept under the rug while my comments are subjected to an absolute literal standard. It’s not the scrutiny that bugs me, but the flagrant double standard.

    Hold Norm to half the standard you ask of me, and then we’ll talk. I’d suggest applying the same standard to WR, but there are points where it’s just kicking a puppy.

    J.

  102. @Jay Tea:

    Next, nice dodge how you’re “not responsible” for others’ comments. You’re all over mine, on a regular basis. If you “weren’t responsible,” then you wouldn’t need to constantly “correct” me. I’m pointing out your selective bias — only certain commenters routinely provoke you to comment; others get a pass

    I would interpret his position as follows: if X is having a discussion with Y, then X is not responsible for comments made by Z

    X=Mantis
    Y=You
    Z=Norm

    Why should he be responsible for Norm. He is talking to you.

    For my own part, I see you doing what you always do: make grandiose (and didactic) statements and then want to change the subject when someone asks you a direct question (which, yes, you sort of answered above when I asked).

  103. WR says:

    @Jay Tea: “Finally, I did answer plenty of questions”

    Just not the ones that anyone asked.

  104. WR says:

    @Jay Tea: Nice little hissy fit. By the way, if you think that anyone won’t notice you’re getting all snippy in yet another desperate attempt to change the subject from questions you can’t possibly answer because they’d actually require you to care about anything other than having people pay attention to you, you’ve failed again.

  105. mantis says:

    @Jay Tea:

    Screw you. I do NOT “delete comments I don’t like at will.” Never have, never will. It takes a hell of a lot for me to even consider doing that.

    First of all, I said you can delete comments on your own blog, not that you do. You are asking the owners of this blog to delete comments you don’t like, so I told you to go back to your blog where you can make such decisions.

    In any case, while you may not do it yourself, I know for a fact that Wizbang has repeatedly deleted comments, including my own. And don’t try to weasel out of it by saying that you just delete the vowels. It’s the same thing as deleting the comment.

    Next, nice dodge how you’re “not responsible” for others’ comments.

    It’s not a dodge. Why should I have to explain the comments of others? Let them explain them for themselves.

    You’re all over mine, on a regular basis.

    It’s called argument, or debate, or just poking fun.

    If you “weren’t responsible,” then you wouldn’t need to constantly “correct” me.

    Wrong. I’m not at all responsible for your comments. I just disagree with them and voice that disagreement. Why you think that means I have to answer for other people, I have no idea.

    I’m pointing out your selective bias — only certain commenters routinely provoke you to comment; others get a pass.

    So your problem is I don’t argue with every single comment posted here, and because of that, I am wrong to argue with yours? Patently absurd.

    This whole thread is a textbook example of bias. Norm says something incredibly stupid and ignorant, I call him on it with a touch of hyperbolic flair, and all of a sudden Norm’s comment is swept under the rug while my comments are subjected to an absolute literal standard. It’s not the scrutiny that bugs me, but the flagrant double standard.

    Or maybe I just agree with Norm (or only slightly disagree with him), but I don’t agree with you. I understand that for someone like you, who thinks his own opinions are “facts,” it’s difficult to imagine that the rest of the world doesn’t recognize your opinions as facts. Maybe one day you’ll realize we don’t.

  106. jukeboxgrad says:

    jay tea:

    back to Norm’s original diversionary tactic

    The one always resorting to some kind of “diversionary tactic” is you. You made this claim: “Saddam helped Al Qaeda.” I proved this claim is false. You cited this much evidence to support your claim: none. When are you going to withdraw it?