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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I think you two have nailed it. I have been having similar regrets: that the John McCain I supported in 2000 was, apparently, no longer on offer. But I couldn't verbalize the reasons why. (And I thought the comparison to Dole was right on.)

Ruth Anne

In fairness, you should don your 9/10 glasses before making the call. W ran as a 'compassionate conservative'--a good answer to the sullying of the Oval Orifice at the hands of Clinton. McCain's mavericity was no match for the base's need for conservative at that point. In fact, his pick of Palin is him going back to the future on conservativeness.

And I do believe that McCain voted in favor of the invasion of Iraq. He had the same access to the same intel. He voted for the war.

He played loyal opposition very well with the ouster of Rumsfeld and the surge. But there was rancor and his acceptance speech at the winning of the South Carolina primary put it to bed at last.

Peter Hoh

Ruth Anne, the intel was massaged. I don't believe that a McCain administration would have done so as blatantly as the Bush administration did.

Meanwhile, at the RNC, here's the slimeball Rove:

Indeed, as they gathered Saturday over sausages and scrambled eggs at the breakfast sponsored by the South Carolina delegation, Republicans applauded Mr. Rove’s fulsome praise of Mr. McCain. “I ordinarily am respectful about community organizers,” he joked, a reference to Democratic nominee Barack Obama.

But he said the McCains’ adoption of an orphan was “a hell of a lot more powerful act of compassion” than anything Mr. Obama did as a neighborhood organizer in Chicago.


Tom Strong

In fairness, you should don your 9/10 glasses before making the call.

My 9/10 glasses tell me that John McCain would have wiped the floor with Al Gore in the 2000 election, and thus avoided the problems of legitimacy that plagued the Bush Administration from the beginning.


Yes, he would have been a better choice than Bush and his cabinet would have been more competent. But I'm not so sure that his foreign policy approach would have been all that different.

McCain was advocating unilateral intervention in Iraq before September 11. From his Senate website:

In this dangerous environment, the U.S. must be willing to act alone, not only in Iraq but in North Korea, if necessary. While other nations "may risk their own populations, the United States will do whatever it must to guarantee the security of the American people," he wrote in January. "And spare us the usual lectures about American unilateralism."

The execution may have been better, but he had the same (in my opinion, wrong) ideas.

RW Rogers

Ruth Anne: FWIW, I agree with you 100% that John McCain had no real chance of getting the GOP nomination in 2000. The party base despised him then and to a large extent distrusts him now. Those who believe that McCain was stopped only by the smear in South Carolina are wrong. George W. Bush ran an extremely effective campaign as a "compassionate conservative," and was endorsed by virtually every sitting Republican governor (there were lots more of them then than now, too). Their state organizations mattered. The last time the GOP bucked the party establishment was Wendall Willkie's nomination in 1944. But the 2000 primary wasn't really the subject of our original exchange.


Important link to read, Elyas! Thanks.

Peter Hoh

Yes, GWB ran an effective campaign as a compassionate conservative. Very effective, in light of the past 8 years, in which he has hardly shown himself to be either compassionate or conservative.

RW Rogers

Elyas, thanks for the link. Something to consider because it fits in nicely with another theory I have about how McCain thinks. BTW, before anyone gets seriously excited about it, the date that appears on the article is wrong. The article appeared March 3, 2003. (click on "next article" at the bottom and you get the same article with the correct date.)

For those who don't believe me, the original article was written by Ron Brownstein for The Los Angeles Times and appeared there on March 3, 2003.

RW Rogers

Peter: At the time, some within the party, largely NRO types, derided Bush's "compassionate conservatism" as nothing more than "checkbook conservativism." As it happens, they were correct.

Peter Hoh

We can't be sure if McCain would or would not have gone into Iraq. Had he gone into Iraq, though, I think we can be certain that he would have done things differently than this administration did.


Amba - I always appreciate your thoughtful posts. This one is especially good. The only thing I would add is that we now have the chance to do as the Brits did when they made up for neglecting Churchill -- put the right man in the office at long last.

Ruth Anne

Is there something in that quote that is 'slimeball'-y? If so, I'm missing it.

Or is Rove just a slimeball to you on general principles?

Ruth Anne

Tom: I also think that the polling had Bush up by 3-5 points until the announcement of his old DWI got released for maximum impact the weekend before the election.

So it was W's mishandling of his narrative that also cost him a few points and the air of legitimacy. But, after 2004, when he garnered 60 million votes and a clear win, why did the legitimacy issues linger? He certainly did 'change the tone in Washington' but unfortunately, all he could truly control was coming from 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., which amounted to a wad of spit in an ocean.

RW Rogers

Ruth Anne took the words right out of my mouth. Anyone who believes that last-minute hit wasn't planned probably continues to believe the last-minute hit involving records of Bush's National Guard service were typed on an expensive $3500 ($18,000 2008 dollars) IBM composing machine that just happened to be used every-day as a typewriter. Yeah, right.

People tend to forget that, when GW Bush ran for President in 2000, he was excoriated in the press for trying to buy the election. As he was subject to the same limits candidates are today, all he did then was raise more money from more people than anyone else in US history. Bush was lambasted. Obama is praised to the skies for raising even more. Not a peep of objection to be found from the guardians of the public interest. No serious objections raised to Obama being the first Presidential candidate in 30 years to continue raising and spending private funds for his general election campaign because he expects to raise $250,000,000 more dollars for it, as compared to the $84,000,000 McCain is allowed.

Tom Strong

Ruth Anne,

I believe Peter is referring to the fact that Rove was addressing the delegation in South Carolina.

As for why the legitimacy questions persisted after 2004, well, he had become even more divisive of a figure by then, and political grudges die hard. I do think immediately after the election, the story that he had finally gained legitimacy was all over the press. But as things continued to go sour in Iraq and his Social Security plan faltered, he lost much of the standing he had fought for.


I don't think I understand what you're getting at - yes, the Gore team played hardball politics in the last week. So?

RW Rogers

Tom, I agree it is hardball politics. Maybe you don't think so, but it seems to me that Democratic partisans have run around crying about hardball politics while engaging it at every opportunity. The evil dreaded "October Surprise" is almost always spoken of as if it was trademarked and solely practiced by the GOP, yet it seems the most significant examples in recent years came from Democrats. As to "Rovian" politics, that word is so over-used these days as to be a complete and total joke.

The most recent example was Palin's speech. All kinds of people claim she was too Rovian, as in negative and sarcastic. Hmmm, it turns out Obama himself made almost twice as many negative remarks about his opponents in his speech as Palin did in hers and their sarcastic points were about equal in number. I didn't hear a soul complaining about Obama's speech being too negative, did you? The clear implication of these deliberate lies about Palin is that she is a bitch. She must be a bitch because no one but a bitch could give such a good speech or be governor of a state. As these episodes over the speech, Palin's qualification, and her family amply demonstrate, we continue to have a double-standard for the sexes in America.

RW Rogers

As Palin's case prove, there is a different standard altogether for women who happen to be Republican. Let's be perfectly clear: Michelle Obama has been earning over $300,000 per year in a full-time job at the University of Chicago IN CHICAGO with her kids while her husband has spent the past 4 years living IN WASHINGTON D.C. or running around the country trying to get elected President of the United States. No one is alleging that Obama abandoned his children in his selfish quest for political glory. They have accused Palin of doing so. No one is berating Michelle for not staying home.

Tom Strong


I've long believed that Democrats complaining about the meanness of Republicans has cost them more votes than said meanness. This was, actually, one of the more astute arguments made by Kos and company, before they actually became influential.

The complaints I've heard about Obama's speech was that it was boring. The complaints I've heard about Palin's boil down to: it wasn't boring.

Tom Strong

No one is alleging that Obama abandoned his children in his selfish quest for political glory.

No, they just accuse him of being a stealth candidate for terrorism, communism, and/or Islam. And that Michelle is an America-hating professional victim.

I'm not concerned about either side's ability to be slimy, self-serving bastards.

RW Rogers

LOL! Tom. Well-phrased. LOL!

RW Rogers

Sorry Tom, I just don't buy the idea that what right-wing fringe kooks froth about is the equivalent of what we've observed coming from theoretically reputable reporters and opinion-makers this past week. (The LOL previous was in reply to your first respone)

Peter Hoh

Ruth Anne, McCain staffers (from 2000) have pointed at Rove as likely behind the 2000 smears directed at McCain and his daughter (8 or 9 years old at the time).

This year, he's been making the rounds in St. Paul, telling the story of the McCains adopting Bridget as part of why people should back McCain.

Unlike the Kos rumors surrounding Palin, the Bridget McCain rumors were put forth by people who knew -- absolutely knew -- that the smear they were putting out had no basis in fact.

It was a disgusting episode in American politics. It goes beyond hardball.

Peter Hoh

This year he (Rove) has been making the rounds in St. Paul . . . .



No question there's a particularly intense double standard for women, depending on which party they belong to and who's applying the standard. It remains true that we admire and excuse those who agree with or=u and sneer at and traduce those ("guilty" of approximately the same actions or choices) with whom we disagree.

Peter Hoh

Speaking of double standards, have you seen this Daily Show compilation? We already looked at the first of these flip-flops.

I liked seeing Sean Hannity insist that no man who has cheated on his wife should be considered for the presidency. That was a hoot. And then Colmes reminded him that McCain cheated on Carol. Suddenly, Hannity was all "That was different. He was a POW."

RW Rogers

Peter, that segment was very good. Very funny. After this week, they've got a wealth of footage of Democratic talking heads making equally silly contradictory statements. Looking forward to that segment as well. Post a link when it runs, will you? I don't get Comedy Central on cable any more.

Peter Hoh

I don't have cable, either. I will rely on my favorite conservative bloggers to let me know where I can find something like that.

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