Friday, October 06, 2006

James Baker III


You know when Election 2000 was really over? When the Bush campaign sent James Baker lll to Florida on their behalf for the recount. It had been stolen earlier when Jeb Bush and Katherine Harris spent serious bucks to hire a new company several months before the election to remove from the voting rolls around 90,000 legal voters - mostly Democratic and African American. That's how the election was stolen, and you might not accept it, but your grandchildren will read about it as a historical fact - if they bother to look.

But back to James Baker and let's skip the 3rd part. As he told Imus the other morning, he's really the 4th anyway. I guess even his name needs a recount. At any rate, many people believe he made all the difference down in Florida - he's that good - and I respect him for it. I don't like many of the current Bush team, but I always liked James Baker. Incidentally, my peers in the States would sometimes ask me what oil company executives were like. Believe me at the top of the heap, the ones I met - my father and his buddies - were a very entertaining bunch. They were impressive like James Baker. When my Dad would drop by my school and take my college buddies out, they would talk about him for months. These high-caliber executives can often be amazing people, and you could tell Imus was pretty impressed with his guest.

So what did Baker say that contrasted so well with the current Bush administration? First, back when he was 40, working as a lawyer, he lost his 38-year-old wife to cancer. He was despondent and his tennis doubles partner suggested jumping into politics as a way to handle the grief. His doubles partner would become the first President Bush. At the time Baker was a Democrat whose grandfather had told him to avoid politics, but he changed parties, and jumped in, and the rest really is history.

Imus asked Baker if the Israel-Palestine issue were settled, would that end the problems in the Middle East? That's a pretty astute question because it drew out quite a revealing answer. James Baker said that it would be a huge step in the right direction, and that we aren't doing enough to make it happen. Then he took on the Bush-Limbaugh doctrine that diplomacy means appeasement, although he didn't use that phrase. He said when he was Secretary of State, Syria was on the list of terror-sponsoring nations. He visited Syria 15 times, and got them to meet directly with Israel on the 16th time. He said the idea of only talking to your friends is ridiculous and that you have to talk with your enemies.

There are several reasons - in my opinion - why this administration doesn't do that: 1. They're chicken hawks and they have to compensate by being phony tough guys who use the military to act out.
2. Diplomacy is hard work, and these guys are not into governing hard. President Bush rides his bicycle, but he's not bearing down on anything else. The rest is spin and the facade of governing, as exposed by Katrina. 3. Finally, it wouldn't work if their people did it, because their people don't have the personal skill of James Baker. That's why they've asked him to come back, but he says he's too old, and that's too bad. It doesn't matter if you hate the Republicans or not, here's a man with great statesman-like ability, and this Bush administration has exactly zero of those.

10 Comments:

At 10:00 AM, Blogger Jack Bog said...

You got that right. And Clinton had Warren Christopher, a truly amazing man. Chimpy has... well... Condi, Mean Drunk Elmer Fudd, Rove, Chertoff...

 
At 10:47 AM, Anonymous butch said...

Aw yes, the "90,000 disenfranchised voters meme. Another myth that Democrats repeat because they WANT to believe it. From choicepoint.com:

"The Truth About ChoicePoint, DBT and the 2000 Elections in Florida

"ChoicePoint has been mischaracterized in media reports, in a movie and even a comic strip over its "role” in the 2000 Presidential elections in Florida.

"These reports falsely claim ChoicePoint was responsible for preventing thousands of Florida residents, predominantly African-Americans, from voting in the 2000 elections.

"To facilitate an understanding of what did – and didn’t – happen in 2000, here are the facts:

"ChoicePoint has never been involved in the review of voter registration rolls in Florida or any other state, and has no plans to do so in the future.

"ChoicePoint did not perform the legally required review of Florida voter rolls used in the past Presidential election. Rather, ChoicePoint acquired the company that did – Database Technologies – after DBT had delivered the initial 2000 voter exception list to Florida officials for verification.

"DBT won the contract in late 1998 as part of a competitive bidding process – awarded by former Secretary of State Katherine Harris’ predecessor – based on a law written by a bipartisan legislative committee.

"At the time the contract was awarded, DBT’s leaders were major contributors to the Democratic Party, including contributions of more than $150,000 in the 2000 campaigns to Democratic candidates and causes.

"DBT was under contract with the State of Florida from late 1998 through 2000 to create a list, under the Florida voting fraud statute, of registered voters who were possibly deceased, may have been registered in more than one county, or may have been convicted felons. DBT did not remove anyone from a voter registration roll.

"In 1999, DBT employees assigned to the project advised the state that the review criteria developed and required by the state could be overly inclusive. As a result, such a list could misidentify some individuals as deceased, registered in more than one county and as convicted felons, who, in fact, were not. State officials replied that was acceptable because county election supervisors - not DBT - were legally required to verify the information before any voter was removed from the registration rolls.

"Race wasn't used as identifying criteria in the review of the Florida voter rolls as voter information provided to DBT was found to be either incomplete or inconsistent as to race.

"Allegations that the list was 95 percent inaccurate is simply wrong. Only Florida officials know the rate of false positives, but the final list provided by DBT was accurate based on the criteria set by the state."

 
At 11:36 AM, Blogger Bill McDonald said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 11:38 AM, Blogger Bill McDonald said...

Butch,
You accepting this PR statement as the truth represents everything wrong with Bush supporters in this country. You take their word over invesitgative reporters like Greg Palast who actually documented this fraud.
In a sense, I do want to believe his version of it, because it means our system isn't a failure. It took a major crime for Bush to become President.
But I wonder why you want to believe this administration so much, especially when they lie so often? It isn't logical and you should look into that. You can't get help unless you realize you've got a problem.
Try saying these simple words for starters: "Iraq isn't going as well as President Bush says it is. When he talks about the progress and how things are getting better, he is lying."
See? The truth doesn't have to be your enemy.

 
At 1:09 PM, Anonymous butch said...

Bill, Greg Palast has been debunked in both his 2000 "Gore won" assertion and his 2004 "Kerry won" assertion. I believe the PR statement below because not ONE of the facts it lists has been disproven. Not by Greg Palast, not by anyone. Heck, no less a liberal hack than The Nation's David Corn thinks Greg Palast is full of it. If you can show me one sustantial fact listed in the Choicepoint statement that is incorrect, I'll reconsider.

 
At 1:21 PM, Blogger Bill McDonald said...

Saying something has been debunked is standard. The Bush administration has been debunked. The statement where Choicepoint debunks Greg Palast has been debunked.

By the way, the election in Mexico was rigged in the exact same way as Florida...with the same company.
Instead of just reading that Greg Palast has been debunked you should look at his documents from Florida.

 
At 1:45 PM, Anonymous butch said...

I never said Choicepoint debunked Palast. This just continues the pattern - if someone is saying something you want to be true, just believe him regardless of what contrary facts are presented.

Its just like the 200 and 2004 election memes that Bush was stupid and his opponents were more intelligent. This disregards the fact that Bush was able to get an MBA at a prestigious university, and that Gore was a dropout and Kerry has worse grades than Bush at the same university. Instead, liberals grasped onto a completely fabricated 'study' that purported that Bush's IQ was low based upon a study of his speech patterns. That study is now known to have been completely fabricated, but it is still repeated in the liberal echochamber.

First, it was the 'Gore had more votes in Florida' charge. When that was proven wrong, it was 'the Supreme Court handed Bush the election' charge. When that was proven wrong, it was the 'the police set up baracades to keep blacks from the polls' charge. When that was proven wrong, it was the 'Choicepoint' charge. There aren't anymore to move onto so that one has stuck.

The 'Bush stole the election' theories and the 9/11 conspiracies are no different. Its what you WANT to believe, so no facts will get in your way. That's why I gave up responding to 9/11 conspiracy posts, and why I am giving up responding to stolen election ones.

 
At 7:27 PM, Blogger LaurelhurstDad said...

Way to go, Butch! You win the funniest line of the day. I thought maybe it would go to Sean Hannity for saying Nancy Pelosi must have known about Foley because she once marched in a Gay Pride parade.

But you win with the statement "...the fact that Bush was able to get an MBA at a prestigious university..."

That's got to take the prize for the funniest, and dumbest, thing you've ever written here.

 
At 10:13 PM, Anonymous butch said...

ie....laurelhurstdad did not get an MBA at a prestigious university.

 
At 9:37 PM, Blogger LaurelhurstDad said...

No, but I earned mine (a MS at UW in engineering) by going to the classes, taking the tests, and writing the papers required. I didn't have a rich/famous family/father to pave my way.

Since changing the Constitution (by signature, not by law) is so in vogue these days, maybe we could add a requirement that a would-be president be required to get at least an average score on a SAT or similar test.

I would love to see how a brain-dead drunk drug addict like Bush would fare.

And how would he do in one of those tests that claim they can weed out mass murderers? Oh, I know... Rove would take it for him. Oops, he's a killer too. We'd have to dig deep to find someone in this administration that could pass for 'normal'.

 

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