Goodenough Gismo

  • Gismo39
    This is the classic children's book, Goodenough Gismo, by Richmond I. Kelsey, published in 1948. Nearly unavailable in libraries and the collector's market, it is posted here with love as an "orphan work" so that it may be seen and appreciated -- and perhaps even republished, as it deserves to be. After you read this book, it won't surprise you to learn that Richmond Irwin Kelsey (1905-1987) was an accomplished artist, or that as Dick Kelsey, he was one of the great Disney art directors, breaking your heart with "Pinocchio," "Dumbo," and "Bambi."

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How absolutely COOL!! Two intelligent women and two different takes w/maximum style!! I love it.

Would you consider Joe Liberman in the same class as Obama and Lindsey? I really like him because he seems most honest, a Dem willing to listen and bend a bit, but loyal to his *Tribe*. I think that is valuable, the loyalty. Even if I disagree, I admire that. So, in a way, I understand Obama better now.

Pat Leahy plays the game best, damn him. Now you've got to know his brakes will be locked from here on end. If I'm wrong, I'll have to eat my hat or some such. HE'S the real game-player.

Tom Strong

Given Prof. Althouse's glowing words for Senator Russ Feingold, I find it quite a stretch for her to claim that she's a "fan of no politician." (And didn't he wote against the Iraq resolution, which she has supported so strongly?)

But hey, I like the guy too.


I agree with Ann, Amba. You've been had.


*sigh* All the lawyers are ganging up on me. (Probably because it takes one to know one.)


Hey, at least AA should be happy that Obama is a sharp dresser.

Tom Strong

One more thing --

I think Ann and Nappy have a point about Obama's rhetoric. However, in suggesting that it's empty, I think they're missing something as well. After all, Obama is a junior senator with no political record to speak of - this is in many ways his first "real" political decision. But he's already made a contribution to the field of politics, especially moderate politics. That contribution is his rhetoric itself.

How politicians speak matters. The claim that it doesn't, that votes are all that count, is bullshit in my opinion. Most of what politicians do is speak, and most of what we do in response to them is listen to what they say.

The first thing most people remember about FDR is that he once said "We have nothing to fear but fear itself." Those who lived at the time also remember his "fireside chats," and his stirring, reviving speeches during World War II.

Truman: "The Buck Stops Here."

Kennedy: "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country."

Reagan: "Morning in America;" "Mr. Gorbachev, take down that wall"

Reagan didn't knock down that wall personally. But in people's memories, it's almost like he did, because he said that. (And even better, he said it on TV).

Obama has worked out a new manner of speaking and writing that is at once extremely flexible, yet speaks to people's clearest moral impulses at the same time. It's the kind of rhetoric that can create alliances and unity where none existed before. Check out his immensely thoughtful response to Daily Kossers who decried Pat Leahy for supporting Roberts.

The only other politician I've ever known to be such a great speaker is Tony Blair. I can't think of an American politician in my lifetime who was his equal.

I'm not really trying to defend Obama's vote by saying all this. For one thing, I don't think his vote needs defending. But I don't think any amount of rhetoric can justify a vote to someone who strongly disagrees with it.

I guess I'm just trying to say that how a politican speaks is nothing to be flip about. Even if Obama turns out to be a total zero politically, a flimsy flip-flopper who stands for nothing, the rhetorical approach he has created has the potential to change our political system for the better.

Donna B.

Though Obama said it very nicely, he essentially accused Roberts of either lying or being completely unaware of the substance of his own "heart".

I liked Obama more before I read his excuse for his vote.


Good point, Tom.

Donna, I didn't read it that way. I thought he was saying that Roberts might have had a different definition of who the "bullies" are, and might have withheld his views on the court's role in protecting (political as well as racial and economic) minority rights. Of course, having conservative views on those subjects has no bearing on his qualifications.

I would still prefer that Obama had voted for Roberts. As I wrote in an earlier post, what the Democrats were really protesting with that vote was George Bush's presidency, which is their own damn fault. They could not have gotten a better nominee out of him, so they're just having a tantrum.


Amba, do not allow the cynics to dampen your spirits. Cynicism merely ingrains the very conditions the cynic claims to oppose.

Unless there is some compelling reason otherwise, we need to believe the best of someone. People often rise or fall to meet the expectations that others have of them. This is evident in children and remains latent in the adult.

That is not to say we ought be credulous; indeed, it is important to have skeptic 2.0 running quietly in the background of our mind, but cynicism should not be our dominant response.

I read your snippets and the entirety of his post on Daily Kos. I was stunned. Deeply impressed. I found his prose to be complex, but exquisitely precise. He wrote the way I would hope to write. Every single point that needed to be made was made.

He deftly revealed all of the deep flaws in the MoveOn mentality, but he was very careful to pre-emptively rule out certain interpretations. His closing statement in which he talks about the need for candor among allies was excellent. Usually, when someone writes, I find points where I where it's not quite right. In my view, it was flawless. MoveOn-ers ought be beaten daily with it until they can recite it by heart.

I also loved his discussion about "centrism." Although he overtly disagreed with "centrism," he was really only disagreeing with "mushy moderation." His words revealed him to be a true "radical centrist."

BTW, I really like Lindsey Graham too. I very much liked what he had to say after the nuclear compromise.


How can Obama say that he wouldn't support a fillibuster and yet vote NO to the appointment of Roberts. Isn't that about the same thing and is he talking out of both sides of his mouth because of it?

What other civil rights will be lost due to a Conservative sided Court?

Besides abortion?


Basically, Obama voted no to record his displeasure and unease with the nominee. However, as he himself put it, a filibuster would have been quixotic: meaning a foolish thing that would have been doomed to fail. If you remember the nuclear compromise, a filibuster would only be allowed under extraordinary circumstances. Meaning everyone, including the seven republicans, who agreed to the nuclear compromise found Roberts extraordinary. Otherwise, if the Democrats attempted a filibuster the nuclear option would likely be imposed. So basically, a filibuster would have led to the nuclear option which would have permanently denied them the right to filibuster on any judicial nominee ever. In other words, incredibly stupid. It would have been like slapping someone only to have your arm chopped off.

Besides, jeez Karen, haven't you ever been displeased with something but not consider it worth a full-scale war? It's really that simple.

Other civil rights at stake are worker's rights (labor laws such as rights to unionize), gay rights, and environmental laws. There's a whole cluster of sensitive issues where a liberal justice would vote differently from a conservative one, but you're right that abortion is a central one.


But I should add that I think Obama should have voted for Roberts merely so that he could rightfully expect that a Republican would vote to confirm a Democratic president's nominee.

However, it may have been the right move politically. It gave Obama cover from the left, and simultaneously allowed him to reprimand them. It was a serious reprimand Karen and he was in part able to do so more effictively because his vote showed that he shared some of their core values. Christians will listen more to criticisms coming from a Christian than they will from an atheist.


Yes, a kind of triangulation. When he said he was seriously tempted to vote for Roberts, I believed that. As a lawyer and legal scholar, he would have wanted to vote for him. As a Democratic Party politician, he was beholden to the base (and not least, as Ann's commenter Sloanasaurus points out, the DONORS), but voting with them also gave him the right to criticize them -- as "one of them" -- and try to counsel civility in dissent. So it was likely a very carefully weighed and measured move. If Obama could have a civilizing effect on the left it would be a welcome miracle, but if he can't he will have dissociated himself from their irrelevance.


Thanks, you two!! i'm still learning :). it's such a freaken' game. I believe the way Ann does: Politcians are ambitious people, plying a trade.


But isn't it funny how, on the right as on the left, those with the "wrong" views must always have the "wrong" motives? "We" are principled yet thrillingly pragmatic. "They" are out for power, money, and/or oil.

This is what SUCKS about partisanship. Let's face it, there are mixed motives all around. Probably most politicians, and not only they, operate from a mixture of ambition and principle. We can't give all the credit to those on "our side" of the aisle and all the blame to those on the "other side."

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