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Clinton Crashes Democracy Alliance

The behind-the-scenes group of elite Democratic donors known as the Democracy Alliance met in Austin, Texas, last weekend to discuss plans to finance the construction of a progressive political infrastructure.

Bill Clinton
Former president Clinton (Reuters)

The highlight of the gathering (or lowlight, depending on your perspective) came when former President Bill Clinton made an unscheduled appearance and addressed the group. During After a riff on how Democrats could move forward when it came to the war in Iraq, Clinton was interrupted by one of the attendees who asked why more potential 2008 candidates had not followed former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards's lead on the issue. A tense exchange between the two men followed, according to several sources who were at the meeting or heard about it from people who were.

The former president's office confirmed Clinton's presence at the event but offered little in the way of details beyond that, so it's impossible to know what the former president was thinking when challenged by the audience member. The reference to Edwards, presumably, was a dig at Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, who supported the 2002 Iraq resolution but has never disavowed it. Edwards, however, authored a Washington Post op-ed last year apologizing for his 2002 vote to give President Bush the authority to use military action to oust Saddam Hussein.

The Fix has not been able to obtain the identity of the donor involved in the exchange, and various sources have offered different accounts, with some saying it was unpleasant. No one who spoke with us about the event would agree to be identified, given the group's secretive nature and concerns about running afoul of the former president.

If the accounts we've heard are true, the incident symbolizes the continued divide within the Democratic Party over the war in Iraq. Liberals (led by Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold and others) believe that the party must back a timeline for withdrawal, while others (led by Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton) have been less willing to set a timetable for troop reductions.

The Democracy Alliance is comprised -- almost exclusively -- of liberals, so it isn't terribly surprising that Bill Clinton received a bit of blowback over his remarks. The exchange certainly raises questions about whether differences among the party's top officials and donors will have a negative effect -- financial or otherwise -- on the 2008 presidential race.

Will the party's biggest donors pony up for a soft money group aimed at electing a Democrat who voted in favor of the 2002 Iraq resolution (i.e. Sen. Clinton)? Or will they sit on their hands, and more importantly, their wallets?

By Chris Cillizza  |  May 25, 2006; 9:36 AM ET
Categories:  Democratic Party  
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Next: Democracy Alliance Follow-up: Iraq War Dust-up


Q must be a real newcomer to the world of politics in saying there are only 3 states which will be supporting a Republican in 2008. Call it a RED state or a Bush state, but the fact is that when it comes to the presidential election in 2008, there are many states which will be decided based on who is the best person to enter the White House. Bush will not be on the ballot in 2008, and a lot can happen in 2 years which will make it favorable to the GOP.
Most of the Southern states will lean to the Republicans and most of the Midwest. The battleground states might be Ohio, Missouri, and Indiana but it will depend on the strength of the candidate on the Republican side vs the anti-war rhetoric of the Democrats. The pacifist side of the Democrats will drag down the party instead of being the party of FDR and Truman.

Posted by: Susan | May 29, 2006 2:11 PM | Report abuse

The fact is that we already lost the war in IRAQ. To stay means more death, destruction, and scandals. IRAQ is a failed policy of a failed presidency. Any candidate that hopes to get my vote needs to take responsibility for his/her part in this.

Posted by: wdh | May 27, 2006 12:02 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, but I'm laughing!

"why more potential 2008 candidates had not followed former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards' lead on the issue"?

What Lead? John Edwards, who co-sponsored the Iraq War Resolution that Lieberman crafted and which gave Bush a blank check finally said he was "sorry" to have been "misled" 3 years after-the-fact.

Also he only apologized after the polls started showing that a majority of Americans not longer supported the war (That occurred in October of 2005, Edwards' apology followed shortly thereafter).

John Edwards should be more accountable for his error in voting for the IWR. He was on the intelligence committee and really saw the same intelligence as Sen. Levin and Graham did. They both voted NO.

So I don't know why John Edwards would be considered a "leader" when having made such an error in judgment on the most important issue of war and peace, but I'm not buying it. When one is sorry for having supported a war that is still going on, and waiting till three years and a sentiment shift from the voters; well, my BS meter shifts into high gear.

So for 2008, I'll be supporting someone who doesn't even have to say "sorry". Yes, my vote will go to someone who has the instinct to know BS before the Sh*t hits the fan! Also, I'll be voting for someone who has enough experience in matters of War and Peace and will know what to do to restore this country to a status that will once again earn us respect instead of ridicule!

Posted by: Juliette | May 26, 2006 11:05 PM | Report abuse

It's OK by me if Bill Clinton still cheats on Hillary. I don't think it should be news, which is why only sleazy publications like the New York Post talk about it.

Keep their private lives private. Could you imagine reading about your husband's affairs in the paper?

Posted by: I Don't Care... | May 26, 2006 6:25 PM | Report abuse

jim, right on brother, in the same boat and can't believe I voted for the nutcase's too. That's probably why I'm so mad at them

Posted by: chet | May 26, 2006 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Being an ex-Republican, I can categorically state that I would never vote for another one of the radical, righgwing nutcakes if my life depended on it. It amazes me that the American people are so susceptible to being hoodwinked by that crowd, but if people don't bother to read, I guess they get what they deserve.

I think the entire Republican Party should be tried for treason.

Posted by: Jim Dunlap | May 26, 2006 2:09 PM | Report abuse

It's amazing to see some people actually think ol' George 29%'s party can still win in 2008. You talk of red states...there are only 3 left! In 47 states, his approval rating is below 50 percent. McCain is a Bush clone (ask him, he'll tell you the same--you can vote for McCain by writing in Bush's name now) and I can't imagine that will sell well. Bush won in 2004 with a 50 percent approval rating. He's at 29%. Sorry guys, no amazing comeback this time. Going from 29% to 33% won't cut it.

Posted by: Q | May 26, 2006 3:57 AM | Report abuse

most people that I know that haven't done military service say that they know people in military service that don't brag about it....


rumsfeld, cheyney and geo w. bush....

but personally, I wouldn't be braggin about being the foil of evil in this occupation of a foreign land to control a scarce resource....

and I'm okay saying that...are you?

why not, whose shoes are you polishing?


Posted by: dear fh | May 25, 2006 11:56 PM | Report abuse

clinton fatigue,

to help America grow up....

there is really no reason to even talk about their private lives unless you want to prove that you're really not interested in discussing facts that you're more comfortable with innuendo...

in which case you and zouk should go hang out in the restrooms along the parkway,

you'll get a lot of innuendo that way....and feel good about it...

so drag it out, and I'll cut it off for you


come on sport let's do it..


Posted by: I sense that what we need is a little | May 25, 2006 11:51 PM | Report abuse

Here are 13 independent polls(over the past 2 months) all confirming that 60-73% of Americans think that our present leaders(Bush and Company) are leading us in the Wrong Direction.

Direction of Country Poll
Date, Right Direction, Wrong Direction

RCP Average 05/01 - 05/15, 25.0% ,71.3%
ABC News/Wash Post 05/11 - 05/15, 29% ,69% Newsweek 05/11 - 05/12, 23%, 71%
Gallup 05/08 - 05/11, 25%, 72%
AP-Ipsos 05/01 - 05/03, 23% ,73%
CBS News 04/28 - 04/30, 24%, 71%
NBC/WSJ 04/21 - 04/24, 24% ,67%
Gallup 04/10 - 04/13, 27% ,71%
LA Times/Bloomberg 04/08 - 04/11, 26%, 65% Harris 04/07 - 04/10, 27% ,65%
AP-Ipsos 04/03 - 04/05, 28% ,69%
Time 03/22 - 03/23, 34% ,60%
Democracy Corps (D) 03/16-03/20, 30% ,63%

Posted by: Wells | May 25, 2006 11:40 PM | Report abuse

Warner/Clark would be my preferred ticket

Posted by: Michael | May 25, 2006 7:45 PM | Report abuse

I'd hardly say I bragged about my service, just made a passing mention at the end of one of many posts I've made to make clear that yes I do in fact have some experience with the operations we're talking about (not even gonna answer the West Point crack with any more info on my past service since it is irrelevant to the discussion at hand).

I think the general's first duty is to follow the instructions of their civilian leadership, make recommendations as appropriate, but at the end of the day salute smartly and carry out the mission. The mission today is Iraq, and the strategy is shaped within the confines of the guidance of the civilian leadership. They're doing the best they can with the hand they've been dealt.

Beyond that, I do actually believe Bush and his advisors are sincere in their beliefs that they are in the right and will eventually be shown to be right, I just believe they are dead wrong. You have classic group think going on here, combined with men who value strength to a fault. It's a deadly combination.

Posted by: Michael | May 25, 2006 7:44 PM | Report abuse

Michael: So you're saying that the top two generals we have in Iraq are complete idiots who have not a clue what's REALLY happening there. Guess you're not a West Point guy. Or perhaps you think it's all Bush's plan and he wants to send guys in harms way all the time so he can see his poll numbers plummet. I'm always leary of people who think they have all the answers...and you seem like that guy. Condescending, bragging about your military service. Most soldiers I know are humble about their service.

Posted by: FH | May 25, 2006 7:32 PM | Report abuse

How about Mark Warner? He'd be awesome.

Posted by: Warner in '08 | May 25, 2006 7:32 PM | Report abuse

Did you even bother to read my posts, FH? The probelm isn't that we shouldn't be fighting this war, it's that we need to fight it smarter. The military is a great tool when your goal is to take out centers of gravity to force an enemy's position, but we're not fighting a geographically defined enemy with traditional centers of gravity.

Terrorism is an asymmetric threat that requires a broader strategy than simply find the enemy and kill it. The enemy is an idea, not a person. Killing people won't work, you need to isolate the idea, destroy its credibility, block its ability to spread, meanwhile destroying those who host it, a lot like you'd fight a disease. By engaging in unilateral global war fought by mostly conventional means, we're not making any progress. Without allies, we allow the ideology to spread within those other countries and allow the movement to continue and the potential for the growth of new terror cells far removed from the areas we are focusing our attention on, leaving us vulnerable. This won't work. We need to build alliances, build a strong, credible international PR campaign showing why our system is better than theirs, meanwhile we need to effectively prevent the enemy from exploiting tools like the internet, etc for recruiting and spreading and killing the leadership.

The reason we are failing is we undermine our own cause by engaging in shady practices like the NSA wiretapping undermining us at home, to Gitmo, Abu Ghraib, and the prospect of other prison further undermining our position by creating the impression that we are just as bad as the other guys (emphasize: impression), and the unintentional civilian collateral damage that will inevitably come with any campaign further hurting our public perception, and the prospect of ulterior motives in Iraq and elsewhere feeding into the enemy's propaganda.

They're not better than us, they're not smarter than us. Like Vietnam we are far superior, and will likely win every single battle we fight. But, like Vietnam, we are greatly at risk because our task is far more difficult than theirs. They win by not losing, we win by achieving our objectives, which stated today is the elimination of terrorism, specifically Islamic radicalism. That's not an easy task, and the strategy we are using won't achieve it. We need a radical change, one that the current administration is incapable of even if they wanted to do it.

Posted by: Michael | May 25, 2006 7:32 PM | Report abuse

The Dems that want Hillary in '08 are the same who want to relive the Bill Clinton years. It shows a lack of leadership options.

Why is nobody talking about Bill Clinton and his other women? Like what really happened between him and the Canadian diplomat? Are there others? Does it still go on? He's been spotted with several women other than Hillary...

Putting Hillary in the spotlight can only bring the focus back on Bill and his indiscretions. We don't want to relive that, do we?

Posted by: Clinton Fatigue | May 25, 2006 7:31 PM | Report abuse

Michael -- I agree with everything you just said. It's ironic really that today it is conservatives chasing the ideal of wilsonian utopia, when there used to be reasonable foreign policy segments within the Republican party (including Bush I). Oh for the good old days when there was some agreement that the US wasn't supposed to police the world...

Posted by: Colin | May 25, 2006 7:21 PM | Report abuse

"Prove to me that you are not just a reactionary by approving of one thing that Bush has done right in his life."
I like his immigration policy. If he had tried to implement it early in his presidency when he could have been seen as an honest broker with the middle and still had some chance of working with the left, I think it would be apporved in a heartbeat and would do some real good. But, after NCLB (which I also supported in its original construct and when fully funded), DHS, Social Security (a sham), and his overreliance on "wedge issues" which by definition are pushed by design to divide people rather than showing true leadership have undermined him to the point where he has no hope of passage when it is so urgently needed.

Secondly, I agree with him on trade. I think the spread of free markets is more closely linked to the spread of peace and liberalism than is the spread of elections, whcih contrary to the belief pushed by those on the right does not a democracy make. A democracy exists when true power resides with the people and the people choose their destiny, not when warlords, religions, or sects dictate terms to a population and the election is merely a way to count the factions. When talking about spreading free markets, however, we do need to proceed cautiously so as to avoid the unintended consequences conservatives so like to warn about when talking about adding new programs but not destrying current ones. We need safeguards for human rights, guarantees of living and working conditions, and assurances of basic rights for workers. Without this, free trade is more an outlet for the spread of corporate cronyism than it is a tool to spread freedom and liberty.

Other than that, there's very little I see eye to eye on. I did propose my solution here a while back: Set a timetable of 6-12 months for Iraq to get its act together, at which time we will withdraw most of our combat forces that are fighting the insurgency and redeploy a marine corps MAGTF to the region, likely to operate out of Qatar or Bahrain who can react to a crisis in Iraq should the government collapse. You then declare that we've done all we can in terms of establishing a new government, but make clear that the war on Al Qaeda goes on, and that Spec Ops forces will remain in country to fight Zarqawi and his forces, while leaving the insurgency to the Iraqis. The problem with this for Bush is that it means turning its back on the Neocon agenda and the hopes of spreading democracy through the region by overwhelming military strength and recognizing our limits.

Beyond all this, the subject of how we got to where we are and learning from those mistakes (and there were HUGE mistakes, if mistakes is the word we want to use) is vital because Iraq isn't the only problem area. Bush has named North Korea and Iran, there's also the matter of Syria and other potential trouble spots, as well as the tricky issues of how to deal with nominally supportive states that could become more democratic or that could rapidly regress to Islamic radicalism, such as Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Egypt, etc., not to mention the future of our strategic relationships with Russia and China. The handling of Iraq dictates our philosophy for global engagement, and our views on Iraq are our best indicators of how we will handle these vital future situations. Do we rely on American unilateral military strength to combat everybody (which Thucydides taught us will inevitably lead to failure no matter how strong you think you are), or will we engage diplomatically, involve key strategic alliances, use all the tools at our disposal, and rebuild American global strength? Acknowledging the failings of the Iraq policy is the first step down that path. If you're not willing to take it, you lack serious foreign policy credibility.

Posted by: Michael | May 25, 2006 6:59 PM | Report abuse

KOZ, these are about as stupid posts on the U. S. and it's use of war as I've ever seen on this blog. You treat this as if we're just playing the board game Risk!

The logic is so Ivory Tower academic oriented that's it's characteristic of McNamara, the Bundy's, Rostow and this generation's K Street Crusaders (Road Map to Peace using war as the tool). What ever happened to "provide for the common defense" (not common offense) or at worst strike back at those who strike us; i.e., Mr. Bin Laden. It wasn't the Iraqis.

"...soldiers go to war, some die. they advance national security by doing this..." - That's fine as long as it's not you, right? Up your's, pal!

"Name a metric which would constitute acceptable progress?" - The light goes out, as in "The Last G.I. out, please turn off the light!" The sooner the better. Jeez, "metrics?" Our people are dying for a country that didn't ask for our style of Democracy. Have you noticed how long it's taken for them to take the first steps with the Democracy which we so magnanimously provided to them? How many elections/coups will we have to live through like we did with the corrupt Vietnamese ruling class. Iraq isn't going to unite as a democracy, it's going to eventually split into it's natural three-component parts.

"My points are always ignored for some sense of the easy score. Dems never want to construct logical and accurate arguments because they are always based on gotchas and character assisination." - Your aren't presenting discussion points any more, they are just rationalizations for an horrendous mistake. There were 139 combat deaths at the time of "Mission Accomplished" 1,119 days ago. Are the additional 2,200 deaths (with more each day) just part of a "mopping-up" operation?

"I never advocated ground combat in Iran, I simply said we have the option to conduct military operations there. Most likely air ops." - Again, let's be the World's policeman; as long as it's somebody else paying the price.

"I implied that we have substantial forces in S. Korea, in fact we are still technically at war with them." - Thanks for the revelation. I guess that means it "Time to 'Saddle up!' and go get them North Koreans?

When we've been hit, go after who hit us! When's there's a clear and present threat to us, keep force as an option! Otherwise, playing with other people's lives the way this Administration does is simply immoral. And, you "enable" them, by defending the indefensible.

Posted by: Duh! | May 25, 2006 6:48 PM | Report abuse

Michael: I think we should just quit. They're just better than us. Smarter, more dedicated, tougher. We are a sad sack. Probably should not have invaded Afghan. either, we all know their is an infinite number of Taliban supporters being supplied by Pakistan. I'm not even sure why we try. Let's just pack-up and go home. Give the place to Sadr's guys...I'm sure that's the answer. Iran is too tough. They will attack us and we will be incapable of overwhelming their Air-Force with our far more sophisticated fire-power and logistics support. If you really believe this fatalistic BS you throw out there, you better be screaming for a draft, and soon. Because we are going to be over-run by Canada any day now.

Posted by: FH | May 25, 2006 6:41 PM | Report abuse

"the expense for the military doesn't even come close to all the money we waste on bridges, studies, etc." - koz

Zouk, do you have any evidence or facts to show that we spend more money on bridges and studies than we do on defense? B/c I seriously doubt we spend more than $500,000,000,000 (the amount of the last Densense Dept. budget) on these things. More likely it is just another one of your made-up faux facts to support one of your BS theories.

Posted by: Ohio guy | May 25, 2006 6:23 PM | Report abuse

zouk of course wrong again Air America has done nothing but grow and has millions and millkions of listeners. Al Franken regularly beats drug addict Rush in the big rich liberal cities in the north. Rush the druggie who used the ACLU to keep his medical records secret is now losing audience. Could it be the educated progressive in the north do not want to listen to lies from a 3 times divorced racist lieing drug addict? When will you stop posting the lies you hear from Rush the druggie and phone sex pervert OReilly? Do you have any thoughts that you do not get from anti american racist right wing radio? Air America is in no danger of folding. Always remember we true American progressives out number you neocon racists always have always will.

Posted by: Larry | May 25, 2006 6:17 PM | Report abuse

"3. soldiers go to war, some die. they advance national security by doing this" - koz

This would be true except for that fact that Iraq was not a threat to the U.S. It was not a threat, and therefore your argument is just more baseless drivel.

Posted by: Ohio guy | May 25, 2006 6:16 PM | Report abuse

that's what you call the truth?

you're like a fat hworish spider trying to "get some,"

boyz can you check into this for me?

email addy's go out on these "anonymous" posts...

got anything on your hard drive that you don't want anyone to know about?

Posted by: delusional... | May 25, 2006 5:25 PM | Report abuse

you of course know that

"Al Qaeda" received millions of dollars from our people....

you've noticed that gomar ben ladden, has sorta disappeared as

he became a leaden symbol of bush propaganda....

why does bush have his arm around Hastert on the front it because he loves him

or is it because he's protecting him, like he wants to be protected from examination...

dirty boyz working together to keep the game going...

stop the game, take them down.

Posted by: you of course know that "Al Qaeda" was a part of our team right? | May 25, 2006 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Michael, those are interesting points and not delusional like most of your friends. I can't really take too much issue with any of them (not sure how you calculated the size of the killer force) except to ask, what are you recommending then - sit back and wait for someone else to deal with it? It is always so easy to find fault, less so to point to solutions.

Posted by: king of zouk | May 25, 2006 5:22 PM | Report abuse

would be the destruction of this congress and the cabal of monied evil and special interests group that have sold

imperialistic action as "a war,"

we attacked them....they know that.

you want to make things simmer down, you admit that and facilitate a working relationship with the people over there while burying your past by

arresting and dismantling those that were responsible for perpatrating this fraud on the American people....

nothing says "I'm sorry," more than a public execution by firing squad...

wouldn't you agree....line 'em up and put them down,

disperse their properties to the people that died supporting their 401 K's

poetic justice anyone....take 'em out

texas toast 'em, put em on the barby and poke them with a friggin fork....

lean into fat boy.


Posted by: a very simple metric | May 25, 2006 5:18 PM | Report abuse

don't you think it would be really nice if they arrested the journalists that were also pedophiles, but all that innocent patter aside...

what the effing hell is this?

"President George W. Bush has bestowed on his intelligence czar, John Negroponte, broad authority, in the name of national security, to excuse publicly traded companies from their usual accounting and securities-disclosure obligations."

this this seem a little like a scam?

do you think that they would use it to keep companies that they had illegal/criminal investments in from being examined?

oh, no way, that is exactly what they wouldn't's all about security...

and how does the presidente legitimize his actions....

by saying "it's within my power"

whether it is or not,

arrest his friggin a-ss and appointees and do your county a favor

erase his ability to keep his buddies from being prosecuted by arresting him....

take geo w. bush out of the equation, his JCS's, Hastert and the guy who didn't make the Oil Execs testify...



Posted by: speaking of trailer trash, zoukee? | May 25, 2006 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Even if all that were true (which it is not)it does not offer anything of value to what I have said. Iraq is now its own thing. I stated that the network dismantling was the source of improved US security. I never do get an answer to:
1. Name a metric which would constitute acceptable progress in Iraq. I have already said that mine was the new government.
2. Prove to me that you are not just a reactionary by approving of one thing that Bush has done right in his life. I will get you started by saying something he did I don't like - that big fat Ed bill, highway bill, mediscare bill, steel tarrifs. I could go on. but in foreign policy I mostly approve. all you people who accuse me of being a shill can't seem to string two independant thougts together that doesn't sound like some Move-on attack ad. this is why air america is about to go belly up and rush is zooming along nicely. It is called logical, consistent, defensible positions, backed up by reason and fact. Insults,digs and feeble attampts at humor do not advance policy or convince thinking people. but I keep forgetting, the most left Dem audience is not composed of any thinking people. just spiteful little trolls.

Posted by: king of zouk | May 25, 2006 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Air ops will result in a response, which will force either ground ops on our part or strategic withdrawal, what some might label either appeasement or retreat. Regardless, it will prompt a reaction from the majority Shi'ites in Iraq and will seriously undermine our position, not to mention our troops there.

Finish mopping up the remnants? The insurgency is larger now than it was two years ago, and al-Sadr now plays the role of kingmaker in Iraq (he selected the current PM, he pulls the strings in the UIA, he controls the independent militias in the south that are the source of far more of our headaches than AQI. This is a "freely elected government" that took 6 mos after elections to be formed, is still incomplete leaving the key ministries vacant, and lacks the power to provide basic infrastructure to its people and without our support would never have been able to hold free elections and would not be able to survive. We'll only know if it's a success after we withdraw from the country, that's not an exit strategy nor is it a victory. Victory will be achieved when we fulfill our strategic objective, defeating Al Qaeda and Islamic fanaticism, promoting democracy might actually harm us in achieving that objective as the Islamic radicals are the most prepared to pull the levers of a democratic system, which is why Hamas is ascendant in Palestine and Sadr does so well in Iraq, they have the money, the organization, and the religious fervor to win, and that's bad for us, not good.

Killing people in a network does no good if they are interchangeable and easily replaced, and if they are more symbolic than operational. UBL is about symbolism, not operational control, getting him would be big. But, Al Qaeda is very decentralized and is likely now, like it was before 9-11, more of a rallying cry than a true organization. On paper, that sounds good, but it can operationally be more dangerous because it is an idea, not a target.

International status matters because it is a key component of national power. We have four basic levers at our control: military power, economic power, diplomatic power, and organizational power. Each one overlaps and affects the other. We need overfly rights, basing rights, and freedom of movement to conduct military ops, to get those we need international trust and credibility, and we need lots of allies. Our intelligence is shared, our operations are combined in nature, and our economy is interdependent on the world economy. All of this affects strategic decisionmaking, which is what war is designed to do: achieve desired effects to secure a strategic goal. We do it diplomatically first, by war as a last resort, largely because it is the hardest way to achieve the desired results. If we lose international support, we lose power and we tie our hands.

Yes, I was born then, lived through all of it, most of it wearing a uniform. I doubt the same can be said for you.

Posted by: Michael | May 25, 2006 5:12 PM | Report abuse

King of Zouk=Bush Apoligist for a failed
Iraq Policy.

Dude, your rnc approved talking points on Iraq are lame.

Face it. Iraq or Sadaam Hussien had nothing to do with the events of 9-11-01.

There is no link between Al Qaeda/Bin Laden and Hussien.

Absolutely nothing going on with the U.S. occupation of Iraq is going to stop another domestic terrorist attack against the U.S.

Spreading democracy to the middle east will do absolutely nothing to stop another domestic terrorist attack to the U.S.

Osama Bin Laden wanted President Bush re-elected because he considers him to be a
very weak opponent.

Posted by: Cassini | May 25, 2006 4:48 PM | Report abuse

I never advocated ground combat in Iran, I simply said we have the option to conduct military operations there. Most likely air ops.
I implied that we have substantial forces in S. Korea, in fact we are still technically at war with them.
We now actually have an exit strategy from Iraq and most of the hard work is complete - they have a freely elected government. the monumental and historic importance of this should not be downplayed. and the naysayers who denied it could happen should all eat crow. all that remains is to finish mopping up the remnants of the killers who are still trying to make a point. this is a worldwide problem, it will follow us unless we irradicate it.

My point about the networks was that most of the old al quida is dead and gone. this is another success which no one will acknowledge.
when you refuse to accept any signs of hope and deny the actual progress made, you will be forced to fall back on those dumb talking points. what exactly do you consider to be acceptable progres in Iraq?

and as far as international standing goes, do I really care what the French think. even our wine is better now. and I haven't experienced or observed or even heard about any freedoms being curtailed. In fact the Internet has increased political freedom substantially. I have experienced some inconveniences at the airport.

and just stop all the crap about unilateral war and rushing. remember the ten years of UN measures? Remember the vote there? remember the long drawn out negotiations and careful plodding by the bush admin, which probably allowed for the time for the WMDs to get away to Syria. Maybe you weren't born then, but this is not really subject to interpretation.

Posted by: king of zouk | May 25, 2006 4:30 PM | Report abuse

tedm- Clinton didn't just want to attack Iraq, he actually did, on several occasions (Desert Fox, etc), and we did keep constant vigilence under his watch with a constant air war over that country. But the one thing he never talked about was a unilateral war with the goal of regime change. Why not? Because everyone with any strategic knowledge of war or the region would have said exactly what Bush I did about Gulf War I: it would be too difficult to hold Iraq together, would require a long term American committment, and risk further destabilizing a key strategic region. unfortunately, nobody had the guts to stand up and say this before the war who had any credibility to do so (I know, some Dems did, but too many of them were simply anti-war, not anti-this war and thus had little credibility to make the argument).

"did Iraq help us in our fight against terror - the only evidence we have for a conclusion on this is that there has been no further attacks. your mantra may or may not be true. either way, let's kill them over there if possible, with Marines, not NYPD."

You don't understand terrorism, apparently. Te goal of a terrorist isn't to kill, it's to incite terror as a means of achieving an objective. Because of their limited action, they have radically changed US politics, locked us into a near endless committment to a conflict that is now basically a no-win for the US, struck such fear into so many Americans that the war has been the deciding factor in the last three national elections, drained our federal budget (bin Laden is an economist, remember, and the economy was always his state COG for the US), caused the US government to squash the very freedoms we proclaim to be protectiong, and dramatically undermined our international standing. But, hey. there hasn't been another major attack on US soil, right? nevermine that they waited nine years between attacks on US soil last time. Maybe it's not about our defense posture, maybe it's about their time frame.

"We can threaten force with anyone we want. we have about 10% of our armed forces in Iraq. guess where the rest are? Guess which country sits between Afganistan and Iraq? a little actual knowledge on certain subjects would go a long way toward making your claims seem plausible."

10% on the ground in Iraq, 10% within a year of a tour in rotation, 20% committed elsewhere in the world on other deployed operations, 20% stateside filling critical support infrastructure needs, and the remainder are guard/reservists who are needed to do other duties at home (appearently now securing our southern border). Manny of those reservists also hold critical civilian jobs, such as NYPD officers, who you apparently don't want fighting this war anyways and whose freequent callups to active duty are straining many local municipalities. You think we can just pull up from Iraq and Afghanistan, convert those forces to full combat readiness, move in tanks, supplies, etc., march on a country four times the size of Iraq with a significantly larger and more effective military in much harsher terrain without, say, the Shi'ites in Southern Iraq launching a revolution to oust their own government for supporting such an endeavor, a mass wave of attacks by Hezbollah, etc? Not to mention confirming in the mind of most Arabs that these wars were just using these countries and their people as pawns in an American agenda and strengthening the argument of our enemies? Once we do this, how many troops will it take to stabilize Iran, and where will they come from? And what is our grand vision for an exit strategy from that country, and, oh by the way, is the threat of a nuclear weapon in their hands 10 years from now assuming everything goes right for them and we have no other tools at our disposal to slow or stop them really so great that we are willing to jeopardize all this stuff happening? A little actual knowledge on your part of these subjects might be helpful.

Posted by: Michael | May 25, 2006 4:11 PM | Report abuse

My points are always ignored for some sense of the easy score. Dems never want to construct logical and accurate arguments because they are always based on gotchas and character assisination.
1. terror bombings are the way killers try to interfere with valid policy. this is not confined to Iraq and is not new.
2. the no-fly zone thing was a quagmire with no end planned. It was tying down and demoralizing the participants.
3. soldiers go to war, some die. they advance national security by doing this
4. OBL takes a month to get his message to an Internet portal. you really think he is busy recruiting, planning, etc. He is cowering. killing him will no more change his cult status than pointing out that Che was a blood-thirsty murderer will change his cult status. do any of you know what the backwoods of Pakistan are like, especially when you can afford to buy off the entire populace. network warfare is not dependent on someone at the top giving orders. this is the challenge of the new military and one that Rummy is facing up to quite well. Remember that deck of cards. how many are left?
As you continue to discount the real rewards we are experiencing in Iraq, you will continue your slide inot the dutbin of history. say hi to the whigs for me.

Posted by: king of zouk | May 25, 2006 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Beltway Demo-Hillary haters are marginalized by the rest of the electorate; as they should be. She's not left enough for them? Well neither is the country. She still consistently destroys all other Democratic presidential hopefuls in polls. Bloggers, try as they might, do not represent the vast majority of this country.

Not that it matters who the Democrats put up. If I was them I'd keep a closer eye on the Republican primaries; unless someone is marginalized that they branch off as a third party candidate, the Democrats cannot win. The makeup of the electoral college overwhelmingly favors the Republican party. I've pretty much written off the possibility of a Demo winning it barring some unusual circumstance. Bush was just disastrous enough to come close, but I won't bet for a minute that the next person the Republican party puts up will be. 55-45 Reds win.

Posted by: Will | May 25, 2006 3:48 PM | Report abuse

King of Zouk -- Those were some "powerful" points you just made. Let me recap them, just to make sure I understand:

1. The fact that people are getting blown up in Iraq isn't an issue b/c it happens in other places too. Hmm, I'm not sure but that doesn't sound like very sound logic to me. There are civil wars in other countries as well. Does that mean that when/if the sectarian violence in Iraq turns into civil war we need not be concerned about that either?

2. No-Fly Zones were a bigger problem than maintaining a ground force of 140,000 troops in Iraq to fight a war that has caused more than 2500 casualties and more than 10,000 serious injuries. Again, that's a very interesting perspective. I never actually said that the no-fly zone was easy to enforce or that Pilots weren't shot at. However, after some quick Internet searching it turns out that through 2004 there was NO RECORD of any casualties as a result of enforcing no-fly zones. Not one. Sort of takes the air out of your argument, doesn't it?

3. We haven't been hit in the US again since the war, therefore the war prevents terrorism. To this I would only add that we haven't been hit again since the Red Sox won the World Series, therefore the Red Sox also prevent terrorism. The logical force behind my argument is at least as valid as yours.

4. Osama Bin Laden doesn't matter because....well, because......? I never quite got the argument on this one. He sure seemed to matter right after 9-11 when Bush told us he'd be dead.

5. We can TOTALLY still invade other countries. Just look how well things in Iraq are going!!! I have no words for this argument.

Posted by: Colin | May 25, 2006 3:41 PM | Report abuse

K of Z

you make the opponents argument about terrorism spreading, madrid, london, indonesia, events all have happened post iraq invasion/occupation. Short of 9/11 madrid was the worst attack on the west.

no fly zones were definitely an uptempo assignment, but for the sake of clarity how many zoomies were shot down....uh zero, although a few iraqi missle sites were HARM'd. How does that compare with the water run to Faluja now-a-days. Can't HARM and IED.

Get it straight these neocon jackasses have put the troopies in harms way again. yeah they're all volunteer, but that doesn't mean they are expendable, its just means a majority of the population isn't effected.

yeah al queda is dismantled, i noticed how they didn't mastermind the madrid or london bombings, their sympathizers did. Great job of fighting terrorism

Posted by: chet | May 25, 2006 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Are you serious? Or did you go drinking at lunch.
"finding him [Osama Bin Laden] sounds good but in reality is probably obsolete and impractical"

How is catching the mastermind behind the 9/11, the embassy bombings, and the whole current terror strategy obsolete? This man is Enemy Number 1, and catching him would be a HUGE victory in the propaganda game that we are waging. People in Muslim Countries wear T-shirts with OBL on them. The man has become a folk hero by avoiding capture. Not to mention that he is a major recruiter for the fundamentalist movement.

Posted by: Andy R | May 25, 2006 3:13 PM | Report abuse

To Colin: First, let me state that in no way would I have offered any support for this war had I been sold on the idea that our goal was to spread democracy throughout the mid-east. However, if we manage to pull this off, and that's a big "if" mind you, and turn Iraq into a stable moderate democratic nation. History will look back on Bush as a visionary who persevered despite enormous odds. Because you know that a moderate, democratic Iraq will be a beacon to the rest of the region...especially now...(See Thomas Friedman) History loves a winner!!!

Posted by: FH | May 25, 2006 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Please state for clarity what all the problems in Iraq are? that certain people are blowing up others. Is this a problem in Israel too, how about Ireland,London, Madrid, Indonesia, Chechnya......
Unfortunately, this is the state of the world in some places.
What do you think 140,000 soldiers do when they are not at war?
your ignorance on no-fly zones is telling. this was a very uptempo assignment over a ten year period with daily pot-shots at our pilots. It just could not be sustained indefinitely. what was the endgame for that one? do you know how many troops were involved in that?

did Iraq help us in our fight against terror - the only evidence we have for a conclusion on this is that there has been no further attacks. your mantra may or may not be true. either way, let's kill them over there if possible, with Marines, not NYPD.

Just how will the death of OBL have any effect on an almost totally dismantled network - perhaps you don't understand networks much. this man has become laughable and may serve better as the object of derision and ridicule. finding him sounds good but in reality is probably obsolete and impractical.

We can threaten force with anyone we want. we have about 10% of our armed forces in Iraq. guess where the rest are? Guess which country sits between Afganistan and Iraq? a little actual knowledge on certain subjects would go a long way toward making your claims seem plausible.

Posted by: king of zouk | May 25, 2006 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Amen Andy R. -- Jaded is just another Clinton apologist. As a Democrat, it's good to hear another Dem speak the truth, especially about Billy Bub. Hillary is a hypocrite and an opportunist -- I doubt she'll be getting my vote for anything.

Posted by: Disillusioned in DC | May 25, 2006 2:33 PM | Report abuse

King of Zouk -- You're absolutely right, I'm now convinced that things are going FANTASTIC in Iraq and we should all thank the current administration for taking us to war! :) Seriously buddy, even Bush isn't trying to convince the country that the situation in Iraq is good anymore. If you want to argue that DESPITE all the problems we should stay, then at least I could respect your argument. But you just seem to be in denial about what's actually going on.

Oh, and about your "what we got out of post," that's pretty laughable too:

Oil for food -- Yep, this was a problem that prevented the sanctions from working as well as they might have. Guess what? The sanctions STILL succeeded to the point whether Saddam didn't control 40% of his own country by the time we invaded Iraq. I think I'd gladly trade an ongoing war that requires 140,000 US troops for continuing oil for food scandal.

No fly zones -- What does this even mean? How did no-fly zones over Iraq hamper the US again? Oh right, they didn't

Libya developing weapons -- Economic pressures forced Libya to change their tune, just like they crippled Sadaam's power. Nothing to do with Iraq. Significantly, I notice you didn't bring up how helpful Iraq has been for our dealings with Iran and N. Korea. Isn't it fun that we essentially are precluded from even threatening force against those two much crazier nations b/c we're committed in Iraq? Yeah, fun!

US as terrorist punching bag -- Yes, Iraq definitely helped our fight against terror. What a good idea to further destabilize a country in the US and turn it into a haven for terrorists.

Taliban running Afghanistan -- Yeah, this was actually a DIFFERENT WAR. One I supported and continue to support, incidentally. The only connection between Afghanistan and Iraq, in fact, is that our focus on Iraq has drained our military presence in Afghanistan and taken the focus off of stabilizing that country and hunting down Osama Bin Laden. You remember him, right? The guy actually responsible for 9-11?

Seriously King, make an argument in favor of Iraq if you want to but spare us this revisionist history.

Posted by: Colin | May 25, 2006 2:29 PM | Report abuse

The fact that CC wrote this sentence is unbelievable:

"The exchange certainly raises questions about whether differences among the party's top officials and donors will have a negative effect -- financial or otherwise -- on the 2008 presidential race."

So there was one disagreement at a Dem event, and it so intrigues Cilliza that he wonders if fundrasing for the next 2-plus years will be thrown off? Puh-leese. This is just another right-wing engineered distraction from what is CLEARLY the news of the day, and that is Kenny-boy Lay and Jeffrey Skilling being found guilty on a combined dozens of counts of conspiracy, fraud, false statements and insider trading.

Posted by: FairAndBalanced? | May 25, 2006 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Colin: As usual you have provided wise and thought-provoking commentary. However, this country will have plenty of time to discuss this decision, it's wisdom and who to blame if it fails in the future. (In my mind every country in the world believed Saddam had WMD...except maybe Iraq) As a forward-thinking person, though, I believe we would be much better served if we hear discussions on opposed to the blame game.

As for Vienna Local: Guess what: had Congress not been so complacent in its oversight responsibilities over the last five years, perhaps you all wouldn't be reading it every day you decide to become part of one of these online political discussions.

Seems like you're part of one of these political discussions. Has everyone forgotten about 9/11. It is typical that the president be given a wide lattitude during events of national tragedy and national security. It seems only natural that congress has been a bit soft on oversight lately. It's about time for Congress to start tightening down, and be it a dem. or Rep. Congress in the next cycle...I'm sure you will start to see that.

Posted by: FH | May 25, 2006 2:12 PM | Report abuse

did anyone ever consider that it may not be the messenger who is "causing" all these problems for Dems. Maybe its the message. Clinton got elected becasue he tried to steal as many moderate and right issues as he could get away with. no other Dem has moved toward the middle like this and none of the current stars appear to have that inclination. result, some RINO like McCain, champion of free speech, may end up in the seat.

Posted by: king of zouk | May 25, 2006 2:11 PM | Report abuse

As long as the Main objective of the Dems is to make the Repubs look bad and Vice versa Every thing else becomes unimportant and the country will never repair its image or the problems that faces all of us.

Posted by: HH | May 25, 2006 2:09 PM | Report abuse

The Reason the Next President Will Be Republican (Again): Republicans of all stripes will rally behind their final nominee, some holding their noses, and will vote in favor of that person. Democrats, split between moonbats, greens, wild-eyed conspiracy nuts, and various disaffected moderates, will either stay home or vote for Nader. Hope you guys like McCain. Given your attitudes, he's as good as elected.

Posted by: CT | May 25, 2006 2:00 PM | Report abuse

New Democrats and the Clinton Administration are to progressives as Neo-Conservatives and this disasterous Bush Administration are to conservatives. Somewhere in the convergence policies of the Clinton Administration, they taught the Bush Administration to betray the people that got them where they are for the love of rich business lobbys and rich special interest groups.

And FH, I'm sorry, no president gets to bully the country into a rushed war on bad intelligence and then act like nothing happened. Bush should have resigned, whether or not he purposely lied. When you are wrong in issues of war with thousands of lives and the entire nation's reputation on the line and you did it against the will of the majority of the world, the commander-in-chief needs to take the full responsibility and resign, period! His entire leadership has to be called into question after that, because he failed in his most central responsibility.

It is essential to all of our liberty that we make sure that our elected officials take their jobs more seriously and don't let a cadre of idealogues push the whole country into an ill-advised war because they don't have the courage to ask tough, unpopular questions in a time of crisis. And that's why its important to know who voted for this war and how we got into this war. So the next time a crisis like this occurs, we can embolden those that stand for thoughtful consideration and making war as truly the last resort.

Posted by: RCD | May 25, 2006 1:59 PM | Report abuse

The mess we're in - how about the mess we got out of:
Oil for food
No fly zones
Libya developing weapons
US as terrorist punching bag
Taliban running Afganistan

Posted by: king of zouk | May 25, 2006 1:54 PM | Report abuse

FH -- I take your point that now that we're in Iraq, we have to figure out what the best course going forward is. Obviously that's the case, and there is room for healthy debate on that point.

However, I think you're a bit too quick to dismiss the debate over how we ended up there as being pointless. The fact that the current administration hyped intelligence to get support for a war that you admit probably wasn't wise is indicative of how this administration has operated for the last 6 years AND how they and the party they lead will likely operate going forward. Given that we are approaching a new set of elections, I think it is actually the opposition party's OBLIGATION to discuss how we ended up in the mess we're in now, as otherwise the Country may very well repeat its mistakes. We can't live in the past, certainly, but it would be irresponsible not to learn from it.

Posted by: Colin | May 25, 2006 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Jaded, How is Clinton a hero? He won election twice...great he's a politician that is his job. Really what did he do in office for the Deomcratic Party.
First, we lost the white house the next time around because he couldn't keep his hands off the help (you can say what you want but GW's first election was due mainly to his campaign to bring honor back to the white house). As head of the party and President he consistenlty lost seats in the congress. He was considered one of the worst environmental presidents ever. Let's not forget the donations for rooms with the Korean buisnessmen.
He bombed a childrens medicine factory to get the country off of his back after his impeachment (the second in the history of our country). Not to MENTION that he blatantly Lied under oath.
Now I know I am pointing out the bad parts so lets look at some of his accomplishments. He balanced the budget which is no small feat and ended his tenure with record surpluses. My question is how much of that was his policy and how much of was the fact that an entire new economic platform was developed in the internet boom.
He did stop the slaughter in Kosovo against the United Nations wishes so I will count that as a victory.
What else? Healthcare, No; Gay rights, don't ask don't tell, enough said; Social Security, still screwed; Mideast peace, nope; Stop the genocide in Rwanda, Where is rwanda; AIDS in Africa, 12 million dead during those years; education, our schools still suck.

Now I am a liberal Democrat who voted for Bill twice and would vote for him again because he is probably the most intelligent president we have ever had. But how is a hero of our party. The deomcratic party has spent the last 6 years trying to recreate the Clinton era. There will never be another Bubba he was one of those unique personalities that combined intelligence, amazing public speaking ability, and down home charm that just can't be recreated. Therefore, I think it is time for the Democrats to move on and let Bill do the many good things he is doing now with his work in Africa, with Tsunami victims, and with Katrina. We can't run him again so let's quit trying.

Posted by: Andy R | May 25, 2006 1:38 PM | Report abuse

On a grassroots level, I've been stunned at how much the left wing of the party seems to really hate Hillary Clinton. In a straw poll on the Daily Kos yesterday, she took less than 1% out of around 10,000 votes. Self-professed liberal party activists seem to be generally backing Feingold or Clark for '08. Hillary Clinton will certainly not be lacking for cash given her Senate warchest and her ability to go after the institutional money.

Warner's somehow managed to start squeezing her from both the right and the left among activists. And if Al Gore decides to get into it, Hillary and everyone else is immediately toast. When you start looking at the limits of her actual support, Hillary is far less formidable than knee-jerk pundits tend to make her out.

Posted by: Jackson Landers | May 25, 2006 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Uh, FH, most of us dems who supported believed the now-clearly-cockamamie WMD shtick. I know, shame on us for trusting our so-called leaders so much. Planting democracy in the Middle East was like reason #42. Guess what: had Congress not been so complacent in its oversight responsibilities over the last five years, perhaps you all wouldn't be reading it every day you decide to become part of one of these online political discussions. It's UTTERLY APPROPRIATE to ask questions, criticise people for the actions, inactions, and incompetence, and assign blame accordingly. Certainly the Republicans would have agreed utterly with this statement ca. 1994-2000. And, just to burst you GOPers bubble about the ability of a party to conduct proper oversight over an Administration of the same party (certainly the actions of Republicans have made most observers deservedly cynical over the notion), there were plenty of powerful Dems back in the day (heck, some of them are still here) like Dingell (who's probably a better shot than most of the chickenhawks out there, including the VP) whose famed Dingell-grams caused multiple groans from political appointees of BOTH political parties, as well as their allegedly liberal civilian workforce.

Posted by: vienna local | May 25, 2006 1:30 PM | Report abuse

King of Zouk: Hiding behind your faux aristo moniker, what exactly is your own illustrious pedigree pray tell? I'm always amused when people set up these self-consious, ultimately morally based, class distinctions. To what end? Aren't we all members of the boat refugee set? When you imagine you are insulting Clinton by calling him "Trailer Trash" you are really insulting half the country, and maybe even a few people's unluckly relatives I would wager.

Secondly, I'm rather tired of these Napoleon complex liberals who hide behind Blogs and dictate what is acceptable to other Democrats. Frankly I predict that the approval of the liberal wing of the Democratic party will be tantamount to the kiss of death for any prospective presidential candidate in a general election. Here's my take for what its worth on the pet liberal candidates:

Al Gore: Decent guy, even visionary, but hopelessely impractical and something of a slightly frayed and spent force. He will last as long as a day old glass of prosecco once the campaign gets going in earnest. If running America were a moral contest he might win. Alas governing America is as mucky as running an oil well. A dirty little secret that the liberal wing of the Democrats keep trying to white wash. Clinton never pretended to be God's man on earth, yet he ran the country well with a sense of empathy for the plight of people that even Gore does not have. Gore suffers a bit from the Moses syndrome, which the practically minded American people will grow tired of.

John Edwards: I could never understand his two Americas schtick. It showed a fundamental lack of understanding of his countrymen. Let's face it, no one wants to be caught dead in the 2nd America, even if they are. Clinton understood this, and could appeal to the more optimistic we're-all-together-in-this values of Americans without killing self-esteem and without sugar coating the problems. There is a strange disconnect here with everyday people, Edwards talks about "them" but somehow beyond that can't identify. Go figure! He might make a good Labour Secretary but not president.

Russ Feingold: Tediously earnest. He is the punitive firecracker thrower that inevitably gets injured by the blowback. A rather pious preacher specializing in Voice of God-like pronouncements and bracing moral indignity. Sadly it takes a little more Clinton-like cunning(much devalued by liberals) and daring to run this huge unwieldly country.

Posted by: exo | May 25, 2006 1:04 PM | Report abuse

I would take issue with the idea that this particular war is hard, expensive and bloody. compare it to just about any other conflict the US has been in, and there are many, many of these. and most of the US population has been untouched by any hardship. the military is all volunteer. the expense for the military doesn't even come close to all the money we waste on bridges, studies, etc. The casualties are very low for an extended post in a strange land. We need a little historic prospective sometimes. the good news, we have introduced Democracy to a mean and nasty part of the world that had been ignored for too long. Maybe the domino effect will take hold and roll up the rest of the region someday soon. there is cause for hope. I am dismayed that Libs do not see the good work we are doing there and instead fault the President for doing something noble and unpopular.

Posted by: king of zouk | May 25, 2006 1:01 PM | Report abuse

The reason I'm an ex democrat is the lefty wingnuts have taken over the party guaranteeing a loser organization forever into the future.

The guy who won the whitehouse twice should belistened to very closely - the ones who have lost every election should go join the greens with Ralph Nadar.


Posted by: Independent Ex Dem | May 25, 2006 12:51 PM | Report abuse

"but how do you show up uninvited at a meeting like this and then get in a yelling match with one of the invited guests"--

"uninvited" isn't the same thing as "unscheduled". Do you think he knocked down the ushers and bulled his way to the podium? Ridiculous! He's still the biggest hero the Democrats have.

"yelling match"? Who said anything about yelling? Some things never change: people still see what they expect to see or want to see, regardless of reality.

Posted by: jaded | May 25, 2006 12:49 PM | Report abuse

The problem with most of the dems I read on this blog with regards to Iraq is they want to point fingers at who voted for what, who apologized for there vote, who lied about how we got there. This seems like a pointless venture to me...the fact is we are there, and we can't afford to lose in Iraq. We could lose Vietnam and win the Cold War. We can not lose Iraq and have any hope of prevailing against Islamic Fascism. Don't tell me about dropping our weapons, saying sorry about that guys, and coming on home. It was probably a really bad, and frankly immature (too quick on pulling the trigger, instead of doing the hard work that is diplomacy) decision to invade Iraq. But the fact is, we're going to have to grow up as a nation. Take responsibility for what we did, and do the hard, expensive, bloody job that we signed up for when we made the decision to go to WAR. A war which 75% of you seemed to think was a good idea when you thought it was going to be easy.

Posted by: FH | May 25, 2006 12:33 PM | Report abuse

We forget that in 1998, the Clinton Administration wanted to attack Iraq. Perhaps President Clinton genuinely believes Saddam was a national security threat.

February 18, 1998
Web posted at: 9:01 p.m. EST (0201 GMT)
COLUMBUS, Ohio (CNN) -- The Clinton administration's plan to launch a military strike on Iraq ran into plenty of flak in the American heartland Wednesday.

At a town meeting held in St. John Arena at Ohio State University and aired exclusively on CNN, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Defense Secretary William Cohen and National Security Adviser Sandy Berger encountered a noisy, opinionated crowd and considerable opposition to another war with Iraq.

Posted by: tedm | May 25, 2006 12:05 PM | Report abuse

And some (led by Al Gore) were against the whole thing in the first place and don't have to worry about apologizing because they were right all along.

Posted by: tennesseeliberal | May 25, 2006 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Face it, America wants a Gore/Barak ticket, not Hillary, although she might have a shot at the number 2 spot if she plays her cards right.

Oh, and the Bushes can't even get poll numbers on Jeb Bush being appointed to a sinecure, we're that turned off by the red commies in the WH.

Posted by: Will in Seattle | May 25, 2006 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Although not a big Senator Clinton fan, it's fair to say that in a fight with al Qaeda, Iran or Iraq, I would hope that she were in office, as opposed to Dean, Feingold or Pelosi. At least you know that Senator Clinton might have your back. You can't say that for the withdraw now crowd.

This little anecdote shows why the Republicans, even after Bush's devastating slide from the stratosphere in polling, will still win the White House in 2008. If the Democrats win at least one house, the Rs will definitely take the White House. A McCain or a Hagel...someone who has been known to stand up to the White House on issues of substance, who can work with Democrats.

Nice comment, by the way, about the trailer trash president. This trailer trash president graduated with honors from Georgetown, was a Rhodes Scholar and went to Yale law. One of the smartest people to serve in the office.

Posted by: Politicus | May 25, 2006 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Big donors will not have to choose between donating to Hillary or sitting on their wallets. There will be a better candidate to support, one in line with their values.

Get those wallets ready.

Posted by: joan | May 25, 2006 11:16 AM | Report abuse

the Clinton's were never known for their slavish devotion to protocol. first trailer trash president.

Posted by: king of zouk | May 25, 2006 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Just what this country needs, another secret organization donating tons of money to political parties. (Yes, I would be saying the same thing if it were a REpub secret organization).

Posted by: Dan W | May 25, 2006 10:49 AM | Report abuse

I guess the money folks of the democratic party want their leaders to stand up and lead. Those crazy liberals (spoken in a strong sarcastic voice)

Also I know he's the former president and all but how do you show up uninvited at a meeting like this and then get in a yelling match with one of the invited guests. That's just rude.

Posted by: Andy R | May 25, 2006 10:05 AM | Report abuse

... while others (led by Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton) have been less willing to set a timetable for troop reductions.

I would be hard pressed to charecterize reluctant inaction as being "led" by anyone.

...while others (the most prominent being Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton), have been less willing...

Hubby Clinton going into the lion's den and taking one for his wife is probably an attempt to blunt criticism and opposition to her candidacy. It is an indication that former President Clinton is losing his luster and star power as the leader of the Party, which I guess he still technically is (I guess "leader" is the wrong word again- most prominent member of which- follwing my own advice).

Posted by: RMill | May 25, 2006 9:52 AM | Report abuse

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