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Boehner vs. reality on national security

Adam Serwer of the American Prospect is guest blogging on The Plum Line this week.

House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio), the man likely to be the next speaker of the House, is slated to give a speech on national security today that takes the predictable shots at the president for opposing the surge in Iraq and characterizes the war as "won" while troops remain in the country, the efforts to form a government are still at a stalemate, and Iraqis still face daily threats of violence.

Where Boehner's speech truly goes off the rails though, is where he accuses the Obama administration of a return to a "pre-9/11 mentality" of dealing with terrorism "like a law enforcement issue." That would certainly come as a surprise to the American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Constitutional Rights, which just yesterday filed a lawsuit challenging the government's authority to kill American citizens abroad suspected of being terrorists. While there's at least one recorded drone strike on an American citizen in Yemen in 2002, there's no question that the current administration has expanded the use of targeted killings markedly, in places that are outside the scope of the original Authorization to Use Military Force. This is part of what the New York Times has called a "stealth war" against al-Qaeda and its allies that has "expanded" under the current administration.

Likewise, Boehner's argument that the detention camp at Guantanamo Bay "houses the worst of the worst" is at odds with the fact that the government has lost around three quarters of the habeas cases filed by Guantanamo Bay detainees since the 2008 Boumediene decision. His accusation that "there are signs of a return to this pre-9/11 mentality in proposals to house terrorists on American soil," is silly when you consider that at one point both 2008 presidential candidates, General David Petraeus and even President Bush agreed that Gitmo should be closed. And there are 33 international terrorists already in prison on American soil. Is Boehner really arguing that the current commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan has a "pre-9/11 mentality?"

Boehner also takes a shot at the administration for postponing the military commissions trial of the suspected bomber of the U.S.S. Cole. Of course, while the idea that politics was involved with that decision is mere speculation, it's clear that the decision to subject him to torturous "enhanced interrogation techniques" have put the admissibility of evidence against him in doubt.

The craven attempts to glean some political advantage from an ambiguous end to an optional war that had absolutely nothing to do with the fight against al-Qaeda is bad enough, but worse is the distorted lens through which our current national security policies are evaluated. The Obama administration has retained the structure of Bush national security policies almost entirely, from the "hybrid" legal system for trying suspected terrorists, to the expansive surveillance powers he promised to end as a candidate. The administration has been similarly cavalier with its use of the state secrets doctrine to block court scrutiny of executive branch behavior, and in the case of targeted killings abroad, it has been more aggressive than the Bush administration ever was. The most significant actual policy departure from the last administration was the ban on torture, which, like Gitmo, was once a matter of bipartisan consensus.

In the eyes of most civil libertarians and parts of the left, the current administration's policies are as lawless and arbitrary as their predecessors'. But Boehner isn't remotely interested in reining in the current administration's near limitless executive powers on matters of national security; he's practically begging them to go even farther.

By Adam Serwer  |  August 31, 2010; 2:50 PM ET
 
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Next: The politics of 'taking credit' for Iraq

Comments

In all fairnes to Bohner "reality" and "facts" have a well known liberal bias.

Posted by: nisleib | August 31, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Agent Orange's most recent contribution to the GOP's War on Reality. Another personal best.

Posted by: wbgonne | August 31, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Hope you're having fun, Adam.

Later, All.

Posted by: wbgonne | August 31, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

FYI - Another interesting story I thought I'd pass on:


A man accused of punching a man wearing a turban at a Seattle convenience store has been charged with malicious harassment - a hate crime - and assault.

KOMO News reports 35-year-old Brock R. Stainbrook of Seattle yelled, "You're not even American, you're al-Qaida. Go back to your country."

A store employee broke up the Aug. 24 attack, and Stainbrook was arrested a few blocks away.

Read more: http://www.thenewstribune.com/2010/08/31/1321929/man-attacks-man-wearing-turban.html?story_link=email_msg#ixzz0yDXZfgIb


The kicker? The victim was, you guessed it, not a muslim, he was a Sikh.

Posted by: nisleib | August 31, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Obama has now decided to report Arizona to the United Nations for human rights abuses. If he wants to report someone for immigration, report Mexico for how they treat the Guatemalans.


WOW - what about the intimidation tactics of Obama - making false charges to discourage people from exercising their Freedom of Speech ?

Do you see Obama reporting the False Charges of Racism to the United Nations?


This is just another outrageous act from Obama -

One that is completely unnecessary - Obama can not resist constantly demonstrating how out-of-touch with America he is.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | August 31, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Of course we won in Iraq. Yes, there was doubt but the surge, which Obama opposed, worked. And the COIN strategy developed by Gen Petreus will be a valuable text book for a long time to come.

Apparently Mr Sargent's "rentaliberal" thinks that the definition of "victory" is "no troops in country" Shucks, I guess we lost to Germany and Japan and North Korea too. Who knew?

Posted by: skipsailing28 | August 31, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Kudos to Adam for stating the plain truth about Obama so clearly:

"The Obama administration has retained the structure of Bush national security policies almost entirely, from the "hybrid" legal system for trying suspected terrorists, to the expansive surveillance powers he promised to end as a candidate. The administration has been similarly cavalier with its use of the state secrets doctrine to block court scrutiny of executive branch behavior, and in the case of targeted killings abroad, it has been more aggressive than the Bush administration ever was."

I have never understood how so many who condemned Bush for these actions are mute about Obama continuing the same policies.

Posted by: sbj3 | August 31, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Notice how Bush treated the war on terror as a federal courts issue also. Greg some time ago listed some data on federal prosecutions of terrorists in the U.S. Yeah, Federal Courts.

Anyways, here's the graph and links to Greg's data.

http://liberaldefenderoffreedom.blogspot.com/2010/03/terror-prosecutions-in-us.html

Posted by: mikefromArlington | August 31, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Obama doesn't want to take a "Victory Lap"


To be honest, I don't want a President who wants a "Victory Lap" - and say that our troops produced a victory.


Anything less will just be colored by Obama's TWISTED views of the War on Terror.


I don't know where Obama was on 9/11 - probably on some cocaine binge - but it is CLEAR that Obama doesn't feel the same way about 9/11 and terrorism that the rest of American does.



That is an uncomfortable position for Obama to be in - Obama doesn't exercise leadership - he is NOT representing American and how America feels.


Instead, Obama seems to have a grudge - he has something to complain about - some issue to make about something HE doesn't like. After all the sacrifice of our troops and the loss of life, no one cares about Obama's stupid little twisted views on the War on Terror.


That is about the truth.


The questions about the speech tonight center NOT on Iraq - instead they center on Obama's character - how partisan will Obama be, will he be man enough to give proper credit to the objectives of the war, and to President Bush.


HA - few people in this country have any confidence that Obama will be a man about this speech.


Instead, most expect Obama's ego to be obsessed with his own twisted views - partisan views. This is a military speech from the leader of the nation - sorry partisan views are not appropriate.


It is just that - Obama's partisan views on the War are entirely inappropriate tonight - and yet few people believe Obama is man enough for the task.




.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | August 31, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

NBC's Richard Engel was on today suggesting that Iraq's gov't is hugely corrupt, does not have the confidence of the people, and is not going to last. The trouble that is brewing may result in either a coup by the military and a strongman leader, or a full-blown civil war. Engel has spent a lot of time there and is about as reliable as it gets.

So, I ask: was it worth it?

What did Bush/Cheney and the Neocons accomplish in Iraq?

What's the total cost of the war in US funds and blood?

It's an indefensible "war" and a disgusting waste.

Posted by: BGinCHI | August 31, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

@sbj - yes and no. I would have trouble counting up, for example, the number of times I (not to mention others here) have linked to Greenwald or Sullivan or Krugman or even Juan Cole on precisely this point. And many here haven't been silent on this issue and have expressed criticism.

But it's fair to say that focus on it is far less than during the Bush period. That's not entirely a consequence of partisan bias (because there are significant differences) but it certainly is partly that.

Posted by: bernielatham | August 31, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

BGinChi

Is your point that US troops should stay, and make sure everything goes well ???


After all, isn't it the democrats who are INSISTING that the troops leave - thereby starting the slide into dictatorship ???


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | August 31, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Just came across a remark sent to Conor Freidersdorf which, I'm sure, will ring some interior bells...

"I have to say, you keep trying to have a Lincoln-Douglas debate with feces-hurling howler monkeys, eventually you start looking silly too."
http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2010/08/an-atrophied-sense-of-charity.html

Posted by: bernielatham | August 31, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

BG: "NBC's Richard Engel was on today suggesting that Iraq's gov't is hugely corrupt, does not have the confidence of the people, and is not going to last. The trouble that is brewing may result in either a coup by the military and a strongman leader, or a full-blown civil war."

More than a few people wondered aloud why there wasn't more of a celebration or victory lap taken when the last of the combat troops left a couple weeks back. Clearly, this is why.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 31, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Eugene Robinson - who says we lost the war.


I can tell you one thing: Saddam did NOT win.

Eugene Robinson if you think we lost the war, who won ?

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | August 31, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

@Bernie: Admirable admissions on your part. I would not argue that some commentors here have criticized Obama for continuing Bush II policies.

I am not so sure that the "decreased focus" is not *entirely* a consequence of partisan bias. I believe that it is. Anecdotally, the very same week Obama was elected, weekly war protests in my neighborhood halted.

I would also question characterizing this double standard as a decreased focus. With Bush these policies were grounds for impeachment - with Obama they are grounds for occasional criticism with much justification.

Posted by: sbj3 | August 31, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

STR, I don't want to be mean, but you just don't know what you're talking about and it's tiresome.

Bush/Cheney and the Neocon chorus got us into a "war" for no discernible reason which cost tens of billions of dollars, tied up our military and decimated it, and now OF COURSE there is a mess that can't in any neat way be cleaned up. I'm glad Obama is getting us out for the most part, but he inherited an intractable problem.

Large, stupid actions have consequences.

Posted by: BGinCHI | August 31, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

There is an interesting OP ed making the rounds today. Paul Wolfowitz compares the situation in South Korea at the time of the armistice to the situation in Iraq today.

We stayed in South Korea and as a result the dictator there was ultimately replaced by democracy and the economy zoomed. It is a simple fact that the places America garrisons benefit greatly from our presence.

I never expected Iraq's government to function like Great Brittain's. I believe that folks who claimed that we would never win in Iraq raise issues like this just to deny the reality on the ground. And that reality is that we won.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | August 31, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

sbj3 - I don't speak for all liberals, heck, nobody does, but let me give you my take.

I was all for Afghanistan. Honestly, and this gets glossed over quite a bit, many liberals wanted to "do something" about Afghanistan for years before September 11th. The way they treated women was/is deplorable. And the scenes of them destroying the giant Buddha’s along the silk road really p*ssed me off. But most of us liberals understood that invading and occupying Afghanistan was a bad call. That changed after 9/11.

I, and most liberals I know, were against Iraq from the get go. We figured Bush was lying to us about WMD (there was ample evidence of that being the case) just like he was lying about being "greeted as liberators" and about "the Iraq War will pay for itself" and about "we will be out in six months." Every one of us (that I know) was upset that Dems in Congress voted for the Iraq war. We were, frankly, upset for the 327 bajillionth time about the total lack of a back bone displayed by the Democrats.

That is where I (and many people who hold my views) were about getting into these bloody wars, but that wasn't the question. The question is about the tactics used by Bush and now Obama. So let me handle these one at a time.

Q1) The "hybrid" legal system for trying suspected terrorists

A1) Yeah, I still find that troubling, I'd much prefer they be tried in American courts. But the Dems (as has been pointed out) lack spine and won't stand up to the Republicans about this. If we don't seem outraged I'd guess it is because we are used to the spineless capitulation by the Dems to the Republicans that it no longer seems remarkable.

Q2) expansive surveillance powers he promised to end as a candidate

A2) No comment other than grrrrr.

Q3) similarly cavalier with its use of the state secrets doctrine to block court scrutiny of executive branch behavior

A3) Entirely unsurprising. But I don't remember this being discussed that much during the campaign. I could be wrong.

Q4) In the case of targeted killings abroad, it has been more aggressive than the Bush administration ever was."

A4) Good. I'm fine with that. I have no problem with that. I'd actually like to see more of it.

War is an expensive and bloody mess that should be avoided. Once you are in one though you should do all you can do (without giving up on our core principles) to win and get out. Targeted assassinations of the people who are scheming against us seems fine to me, torture not so much.

Posted by: nisleib | August 31, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Eugene Robinson - who says we lost the war.

I can tell you one thing: Saddam did NOT win.

Eugene Robinson if you think we lost the war, who won ?

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest
========================

Easy: Al Qaeda in Iraq, which was never there before the war started by Bush, but who will be there LONG after we leave and who will probably end up destabilizing the country to a point of civil war. The Iraqi National government is going to collapse because it represents no one. This has shades of South Vietnam in the mid-70s all over it.

And the stupid American public and the wasted lives of 5,000 dead American troops are the ones paying for it, not to mention the tens of thousands of horrifically injured U.S. servicemen and women who came back in pieces....and last but most importantly, the 100,000s of dead Iraqis.

Thank you Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and the neocons. Excellent job!!!

Posted by: B-rod | August 31, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Win in Iraq....LMAO...what was the goal...to eliminate WMD and sever the ties from Iraq to the Al Qaeda planners of 9/11...What?..You mean there were no WMD...9/11 plotters had nothing to do with Iraq...and so morons like skippy can say we won....What did we win skippy? Please be specific...did we even get any oil out of the deal..NO..Iraq sold their oil to China our biggest competitor....how freaking stupid are you skippy and neocon idiots?

We went to war..were lied to repeatedly about the causes...Iran now has influence in Iraq (predominately Shia (same as Iran stupid skippy not Sunni like Saddam) they had never dreamt of before our invasion...The Chinese get the oil...OMG how effing stupid can you morons be?

WTF did we win skippy? We lost over 4,000 young Americans. For what Skippy...let us know SPECIFICALLY WTF we won! Oil for China? YES...Millions for Cheney and Rumsfeld YES Economic disaster for us? YES

SBJ I don't question your post about people who are supporting Obama's policy being hypocritical if they bashed Bush's.
However you've been on this blog to know that many of us...certainly more than a few..including myself have made exactly that point. Obama's foreign policy is almost indistinguishable from Bush's when it comes to the "War on Terror"

Again...to those of you on both sides...
Bush's surge did not get the troops out of Iraq. Obama did not bring the boys home.
It was Malaki and the Iraquis who told the Bush Administration...enough is enough...give us dates certain for withdrawal against the wishes of the Bush admin btw. Finally someone stood up to the big bully who invaded them. We attacked a sovereign nation,without provocation, based on lies. We caused the death of hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians...and for what...

YEAH SKIPPY YOU IDIOT...YOU CAN'T JUST SAY WE WON...TELL US PRECISELY WTF WE WON!!!

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 31, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

sbj: "Anecdotally, the very same week Obama was elected, weekly war protests in my neighborhood halted."

The twice-weekly war protests here have continued straight through, some fall off in turnout after the election, but they ramped right back up after Obama announced the surge in Afghanistan and have been steady ever since.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 31, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Nobody can fault Bonehead for a bad speech. It's not the fright wing operates in reality...they have become totally fact free.
Of course Bonehead has a legitimate excuse.

"Rounds of golf: 100 plus. Golf expenses: $83,000. Membership at all male club: $75,000. Special interest travel including golf junkets: $159,000. Raising the retirement age to 70 and voting to end unemployment benefits: priceless. For those who want an out-of-touch pro golfer for a Congressman, there's John Boehner.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/08/09/boehner-whacked-for-golf_n_675399.html

Perhaps I'm simply jealous. Bonehead gets to play more golf than me and I too belong to a club, but alas I actually have to work during the week...and so maybe I'm simply cheesed that Bonehead has a lower handicap than me. :-)

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 31, 2010 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Really must get down to some admin backlogs here but wanted to write a final post.

Nothing in a long while has depressed me so much as the current polling on the number of Republicans who believe Obama is or probably is a Muslim.

How is it possible, I would ask of any conservative who finds such a false notion so widely held as truth, to carry forward as a rational civic community when such falsehoods can be so easily promulgated in such a large segment of the community?

It is not difficult at all to trace the agencies which have brought this about. And it is only slightly more difficult to imagine how such fact-rejecting and hatred-engendering machinations can be turned upon any target within the community.

Tabibi recently wrote about the Rwandan genocide and how it was generated - through mechanisms of the same sort. Or one can recall how the stable and advanced city of Sarajevo and the country of Bosnia which hosted the 84 Olympics was soon in the throes of a murderous civil war set in inexorable motion by the spreading of such hatred and fomenting of extant tribalisms.

When such a large segment of the society becomes unmoored from reality through the control and manipulation of the information they receive and the manipulation of their fears, how can you not be asking for troubles of the very worst sort?

Posted by: bernielatham | August 31, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

BGinCHI -

However, once our troops are in there - the decision is whether to leave or stay.


If we leave, the nation could fall back into dictatorship.


If we stay, Iraq could continue to build its democracy, have Freedom - and develop its economy.


It's a question of leave or stay at this point - not whether to go in.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | August 31, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

In all fairnes to Bohner "reality" and "facts" have a well known liberal bias.

Posted by: nisleib
============================
YUP.. called the TRUTH..

ISA

Posted by: vettesport | August 31, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Posted by sbj3:
"I have never understood how so many who condemned Bush for these actions are mute about Obama continuing the same policies."

...said the guy who just quoted a liberal doing exactly that.

Posted by: Cody_K | August 31, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

@nisleib: Thanks for the thoughtful input. I believe you.

I marvel that where I used to hear cries for impeachment I now here a simple "grrrrr" (with the excuse that you are so used to spineless capitulation that you can no longer muster the strength to protest). The uneven treatment of the same actions leads me to conclude that the "decreased focus" on these formerly unacceptable policies is due to partisan politics and has little to do with principles or other factors.

I have problems with targeted extra-judicial killings outside of battlefields, but will concede that they are probably legal.

Posted by: sbj3 | August 31, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Bernie, great post. Thanks for that.

STR, seriously, go somewhere else or at least use your brain if you're going to stay around here.

"However, once our troops...." Nice dodge of the larger point. Lost on you, I guess.

And instead of "build[ing] its democracy, have Freedom - and develop its economy" I'd rather expend our precious resources on DOING IT HERE!

If you can't even understand the folly of going in, it's no wonder you can't see how horrible it is to shift our resources into a giant sucking hole.

Posted by: BGinCHI | August 31, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse

@sue: "The twice-weekly war protests here have continued straight through."

What is this - your anecdotes versus mine?

The point: Do you maintain that Democrats and liberals by and large have remained true to their principles and have criticized Obama to the same extent that they criticized Bush for the same actions/policies?

If so, I couldn't disagree more and would say you were being disingenuous (if I wasn't so polite).

Posted by: sbj3 | August 31, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse

bernie, bernie, bernie, what large segment of the population are you talking about?

I haven't seen any hard data that compares the number of truthers to the number of folks that believe Obama is a muslim. but we know for a fact that each number is greater than zero.

were you depressed about the fact that people in America believed that our president willfully executed 3000 plus Americans for economic gain? did you become overwhelmed by melancholy when Rosie O'Donnell told America to "google it"?

I doubt it.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | August 31, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

SBJ - I'd also add that the nation as a whole has just NOT been paying attention.

The wars were far more important, in a relative manner, when the economy was doing better. The liberals have NO, ABSOLUTELY ZERO, control over what the media covers. Look at the outrage on this very blog that people are still discussing the Mosque non-troversy.

I'm sure many liberals would love to criticize Obama for some of the tactics he is using. I'd guess you've noticed we tend to apply criticism fairly, well, liberally, to most things we don't like. But we can't do that if it isn't a topic of conversation and since we, obviously, suck at driving the message it will be up to the media, or the right wing, to bring these subjects into that national spotlight. Once they do I'm sure there will be NO shortage of liberals attacking Obama.

Posted by: nisleib | August 31, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

BGinCHI

The truth is it was a good idea to go into Iraq in the first place.


Saddam had CHEMICAL WEAPONS - the concern was that those chemical weapons would be transferred to terrorists who would use them in US cities.


That didn't happen, right ?


There have been many terrorist attempt on US soil lately - none involving chemical weapons.

We all know the liberals do not like the war in Iraq - but HOW MANY democrats voted FOR the war ?


Well - if Iraq slides into chaos now, it is the democrats' fault - our troops could stay, and make sure there is no chaos - but the democrats think it is SO important to leave.


We will have to see what happens.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | August 31, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

"The truth is it was a good idea to go into Iraq in the first place."

Game, set, match.

I'm trolled out. Later all.

Posted by: BGinCHI | August 31, 2010 5:39 PM | Report abuse

sbj: "What is this - your anecdotes versus mine?

No, not at all. Just pointing out that you might not have the whole picture.

"The point: Do you maintain that Democrats and liberals by and large have remained true to their principles and have criticized Obama to the same extent that they criticized Bush for the same actions/policies?"

All Dems? No. A great many, yes. As others have pointed out to you, there has been much criticism of Obama from the left.

I give him some credit for trying to close Guantanamo even though it hasn't happened. I give him credit for trying to continue to use our regular court system (just like the Bushies did), and have marveled at the push back he's gotten from the Cheney faction.

I am extremely disappointed in him for having closed the door on Day 1 on investigating torture. I think that was a mistake, and if there is any honor to be restored, all of that needs a full airing.

I could go on...basically, I agree with nisleib's post above, with one exception. I wasn't "all for" Afghanistan, though I understood the need at the time, and was resigned to it taking place. But, I also saw it as revenge. I don't see revenge as producing much good over the long term.

I also am uncomfortable with extra-judicial killings. But really, as long as the CIA has been involved in covert ops, these are nothing new, and they certainly aren't something that can be laid at the doorstep of this administration.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 31, 2010 5:43 PM | Report abuse

ruk: "Iraq sold their oil to China our biggest competitor....how freaking stupid are you skippy and neocon idiots?"

And moreover, our military is currently providing security to the Chinese company who is mining for copper in Afghanistan. Aren't we nice?

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 31, 2010 5:51 PM | Report abuse

I see all these folks arguing back and forth, but there is one point that no one can dispute. The American people have exactly the government they deserve. They always have. It is just that, sometimes in the past, they have deserved better.

Posted by: lane2125 | August 31, 2010 7:08 PM | Report abuse

"Mosque non-troversy"

I like it.

Posted by: wbgonne | August 31, 2010 7:32 PM | Report abuse

"there has been much criticism of Obama from the left"

I'll say! The one thing the Right cannot legitimately claim is that the Left has not been sufficiently critical of "their" president. One of the the things that makes the Left superior to the Right is its greater diversity of opinion, That makes politics and even governance more difficult but it is necessary nonetheless.

Good night, All.

Posted by: wbgonne | August 31, 2010 7:38 PM | Report abuse

Well, Boehner's policy is TBD; his strategy has been to get power. And sadly too many are willing to give the power to someone who participated in botching every single thing that came up.

Posted by: AMviennaVA | September 1, 2010 7:53 AM | Report abuse

John Boehner is living in his own fantasy world which requires him to refute anything Obama or his party say about anything. Whether or not what Boehner says makes sense is beside the point; he is the designated attack dog to present a counter argument (any counter arguement) and he is dutifully fulfilling his mission.

But, at some point serious minded citizens are going to have to ask Boehner (or in his absence the nearest available member of the loyal opposition) what they stand for and what specific policy alternatives they would present to what Obama and his team are pursuing in the way of national security; would they reduce the number of troops in Afghanistan, pull out the 50K we have left in Iraq to train their military and police, propose a full scale military invasion of Iran to stop their nuclear program instead of tightening the santions now in place, reduce the number of illegal immigrants now being caught and deported by the Obama Administration, etc. etc. etc.?

Point is, Boehner has adopted a just say no policy and it is shallow and superficial. If the Republicans hope to defeat Obama in 2012 they are going to have to come forward with some constructive ideas; or , in the alternate, they could continue to allow Glen Beck to carry their water and let John Boenher act as his dutiful second fiddle.

Posted by: bobfbell | September 1, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

John Boehner is the Mr. Hyde to Nancy Pelosi's Dr. Jekyll. These two should be removed from public service -- as well as the harridan B.Boxer, and any other incumbent who displays long held partisan grudges.

America's chicken houses (congress) needs the manure and lice removed and then a good spray down with disinfectant.

Content-of-character believers are coalescing.

Sweet tea or not, that sound partisans are hearing is the locus-like rustling of millions of hands and feet - Americans of all shapes, sizes, colors and creeds grabbing their shovels, buckets, brooms and spray apparatus...

Posted by: ruralamericans | September 4, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

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