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Sen. Clinton and Iraq

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With the debate over the future of American policy front and center in Congress and the first vote in the presidential election less than four months away, all eyes are on the two leading Democratic candidates -- Sens. Hillary Clinton (N.Y.) and Barack Obama (Ill.)

What Clinton and Obama say and do over the next month on Iraq -- by far the most important issue to Democratic primary voters -- could well determine the outcome of the caucuses and primaries set to start in early 2008.

Given what's at stake, it's worth looking at where both candidates have been on Iraq and where their campaigns believe they are going between now and 2008. Today Clinton is under our microscope. Tomorrow we examine Obama.

At the start of Clinton's presidential campaign earlier this year, it appeared she might not be able to escape the legacy of her vote for the 2002 use of force resolution against Iraq and, more importantly, her refusal to apologize for that vote.

At events in early states in January and February, Clinton was dogged by people asking her to apologize for the use of force resolution. (Witness this event in New Hampshire.)

Clinton's strategic decision not to apologize, which aides insist was the result of her own personal conviction not any sort of political calculation, looked like a mistake at the time but, to date, has paid off. By not apologizing, Clinton avoided being painted as a craven politician who will say and do anything to be elected. And, so far, the base hasn't punished her for the lack of an apology.

In fact, recent polling suggests that Democratic primary voters believe Clinton is best equipped among the current field to successfully extricate the American military from Iraq. A recent Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll asked Democratic voters in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina who they thought would be "best at ending the war in Iraq?" Clinton led convincingly on the question in every state. In Iowa she received 33 percent, while Obama took 15 percent and former Sen. John Edwards (N.C.) clocked in at 8 percent; in New Hampshire it was Clinton 32 percent, Obama 15 percent and Edwards nine percent; in South Carolina Clinton took 36 percent, while Obama garnered 20 percent and Edwards pulled in 12 percent.

Those poll results didn't happen by accident. Instead, they are the result of an extended campaign aimed at turning a perceived weakness into a strength by diligent use of Hillary's position on the Senate Armed Services Committee and a unrelenting focus on the future in Iraq.

Two events over the past nine months illustrate how Clinton has used her official perch on Armed Services to shape her image on the war.

The first was her decision in May to co-sponsor a piece of legislation with Sen. Robert Byrd (W.Va.) to deauthorize the war. The move -- while largely symbolic -- sent a message to those wavering about Clinton and her attitude toward the war. Associating herself with Byrd was also savvy; he is beloved among anti-war activists for his repeated warning that the war was being undertaken without the proper debate and deliberation in Congress.

That same month, Clinton sent a letter to the Pentagon asking whether any planning for the eventual withdrawal of American troops from Iraq had been done. UnderSecretary of Defense Eric Edelman sent Clinton a stern rebuke, alleging that "premature and public discussion of the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq reinforces enemy propaganda that the United States will abandon its allies in Iraq." Clinton jumped all over that letter, arguing that the Pentagon was claiming she was unpatriotic because she was asking tough questions. The back and forth cast Clinton against the Bush Administration over the war -- a beneficial comparison in the eyes of Democratic primary voters.

Just today Clinton sent a formal letter from her Senate office to President Bush calling his plan to reduce the American presence in Iraq by 30,000 troops insufficient.

"What you are planning to tell the American people tomorrow night is that one year from now, there will be the same number of troops in Iraq as there were on year ago," Clinton writes. "Mr. President, that is simply too little, too late, and unacceptable to this Congress, and the American people who have made clear their strong desire to bring our troops home and end this war."

The use of her Senate office as the prime mover of all Iraq criticism helps insulate Clinton from charges of playing politics with the war to benefit her presidential ambitions. It's not a foolproof strategy but one that, to date, has helped Clinton alleviate charges of political pandering for her stepped-up criticism of the war.

The other element of Clinton's approach to Iraq as a political issue is rhetorical. Since the start of the year she has spoken exclusively of the future of Iraq, subtly downplaying her 2002 vote (and, of course, Obama's stated opposition to the war from the beginning.) One of the biggest applause lines in Clinton's stump speech is: "If George Bush doesn't end this war before he leaves office...when I'm president, I will" -- a clear pledge of future action. She argues that no one in the party believes Iraq is headed in the right direction and that it is imperative Democrats not dwell on the past, but develop a plan to get out of Iraq.

Clinton has backed that rhetoric with her votes in the Senate -- most notably her decision in late May to oppose an Iraq spending bill because it lacked a timeline for withdrawal. (The visuals of that vote were less than ideal for Clinton as she voted less than a minute after Obama, who also opposed the measure. Both Senators were among the last to cast their vote.)

"I believe that the President should begin a phased redeployment of our troops out of Iraq and abandon this escalation," Clinton said at the time of her vote.

In the next month, she will almost certainly vote against any funding bill that doesn't include a timeline. Her campaign is committed to allow no daylight (vote-wise) between her and Obama on the war.

Boiled down, the Clinton argument on Iraq goes something like this: How we got into this war is now far less important than how we are going to get out of it. She is the candidate best equipped due to her experience in the White House and the Senate to end the conflict in a safe and responsible manner and reshape American foreign policy.

Expect Obama in his speech today -- and subsequent debates, joint appearances etc. -- to contrast the value of his judgment with value of Clinton's experience. But, more on that tomorrow when we take a longer look at how Iraq has played out in the Illinois Senator's presidential campaign.

By Chris Cillizza  |  September 12, 2007; 2:24 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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Next: Can Mark Warner Be Beaten?

Comments

there are a number of "paid posters,"


they regularly, _C_L_A_I_M_ to be democrats...


they are paid to lay down a halluciantory gas.....


known as "redirect u,"


ignore them, i f they tie up one person, or insert doubt...they have done their job.


their job is to obfuscate/block the door/create the illusion of "popular opinion"


if there is one thing , INSIDER WASHINGTON HATES it is the idea of losing their place at the


feeding trough, if things change.


.it's all about the money.


not the view,

not the insight,

not a better AMERICA,

not labor, the common man,


or even "the greater good,"

Quality of Life, or happiness.


it's about money for WASHINGTON INSIDERS.....nooneelse,nooneelsewated,nooneelseconsidered....

theybeselfishlittleHOORISofindifference hereboy.

.

Posted by: for thomas | September 13, 2007 8:12 PM | Report abuse

proud,

During the 2004 campaign, Kerry said that the war on terror would be more akin to our efforts to defeat the Mafia and the drug cartels. The key elements would be intelligence and law enforcement. Bush ridiculed him for this and kept trumpeting the war angle and that he would make the military the preeminent force in the war on terror.

As much as I dislike Kerry, he had it right and Bush had it wrong. There will not be many Afghanistans where a dangerous terrorist group is so brazenly in league with the host government. We are fighting terrorists in Iraq but the NIE, General Petraeous, the General Jones group and the GAO all agree that the main source of violence is sectarian fighting among Iraqis. Look at the terrorist plots foiled in the US, Britain, Germany and Spain over the last few years -that was done by law enforcement, in most cases acting in concert with intelligence agencies. We will certainly need to use military force against terrorist bases - air and missle attacks or Special Forces operations. However, the main arena is not the battlefield.

Furthermore, the Army counter-insurgency manual, authored by General Petraeus, states that you do not win a counter-insurgency struggle by killing all the insurgents. You win by persuading the general population to stop supporting the terrorists. Blunt force military action is often counter-productive to this end when there is significant collateral damage. We also need a campaign to win "hearts and minds" in order to limit support for the terrorists.

I would like to see the candidates of either party address this seriously. You are correct that the Democrats limit themselves to criticizing the Iraq fiasco. However, all I hear from the Republicans is mindless chest-thumping about "victory" in Iraq and prosecuting the war on terror. I do not hear any intelligent discussion of a realistic strategy for dealing with Islamic terrorists. I don't think any rational person would want us to try to occupy another Muslim country, so what are we going to do to deal with Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, for example, two 'allies' who harbor and fund terrorists respectively. The Joint Chiefs are adamantly opposed to attacking Iran because we do not have decent intelligence on the location of all their nuclear facilities and because the force is stretched too thin. We do not have the troops to occupy a Muslim country far larger than Iraq.

I simply do not see where either party is addressing these issues in a reasonable way that deals with the complexity of the problem.

Posted by: JimD in FL | September 13, 2007 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

The Bush Crime Family: Texas Yankees in the Gulf Emirs' courts: Dubya, Poppy, Neil, Marvin, and Jeb.
February 21, 2006 -- The Houses of Bush, Sabah, and Maktoum. The Bush Crime Family's close business dealings with the royal houses of Kuwait (the Sabah family) and Dubai (the Maktoum family) either borders on or is treason according to information received from U.S. military and Persian Gulf sources by WMR.

The Sabah family and their business cohorts are reportedly skimming hundreds of millions of dollars from the shipping of military materiel through Kuwait to U.S. forces in Iraq. Moreover, much of this money is being used to fund the Sunni insurgency in Iraq that is directed against U.S. troops.....UP TO AND INCLUDING KILLING THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA'S SOLDIERS


bush knows it gets AMERICA EXCITED when some good ole boys get killed, so he's trying to oblige them. OR like fellow bushCO and CRONYs NAZI, Hermann Goering said:

"Of course the people don't want war. But after all, it's the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it's always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it's a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger."


WHO IS EXPOSING THE UNITED STATES TO THE GREATEST DANGER????


his heinieousness, George "F.U. AMERICA!" Bush...


what does he care about?

MONEY....

period endo f story.

he's a gomer, a monkey in love with is pants.


.


Posted by: A _low_ hah!, swillers. | September 13, 2007 8:02 PM | Report abuse

Can we just give Hillary a break? Sure she's made some mistakes, but if that's what it takes to have a democratic president, then I'm all for it.

Posted by: alexis | September 13, 2007 7:50 PM | Report abuse

I think the candidates would all do well to take a 2 week seminar on the ME from the Baker Institute at Rice U., proud. They should all be in a room together while Jim Baker and Brent Scowcroft explain the how it really works.

Not too likely? It would beat the hell out of constant campaigning for 2 weeks.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | September 13, 2007 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Boko - What I knew about the NIE in 2002
sounded like this:

http://www.fas.org/irp/cia/product/iraq-wmd.html

It was repeated by French, Russian, Brit, and American sources everywhere.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | September 13, 2007 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Mark - What makes me more angry (or outspoken) than anything is to see the politicians on the left impugn the honesty and integrity of a 4-star General who has served this country honorably for 30 years, simply because they disagree with the Iraq war. Petraeus confronted a series of vicious attacks from the left flank for having the nerve to truthfully report the progress our men and women are making in Iraq.

"As a political debate, the Iraq war has been drained. There's not much more to get out of it. The hearings proved that.

So what does that leave them [the Ds] for the next 14 months? Are they going to bet the ranch on Iraq being in flames next fall?

Most likely, it won't be.

If Iraq gradually improves, most Americans will be relieved or rejoice. If Net-rooted Democratic candidates can't bring themselves to do that, they need to change the subject.

There is one campaignable question begging for an answer: Was the Iraq war worth it? It's a legitimate question.

Democrats, notably Hillary Clinton, have said Iraq distracted us from the global war on terror. Nothing would be more useful for our politics than that these presidential candidates should debate what they would do to contain Islamic terrorism.

(The R candidates are out front on this.)

The American public watched this week as candidates Clinton, Biden, Obama and Dodd denounced Iraq as a failure. OK, got it.

But before January 2009 arrives, I'd rather know what each will--or won't--do to fight the war on terror. Sen. Clinton was quite right to remind us that Tuesday was September 11.

The emotions recede. The implications do not.
http://opinionjournal.com/columnists/dhenninger/?id=110010596

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | September 13, 2007 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Got a chance to look in, and still wonder if proud was disappointed by Sen. McCain's questioning, as I was. I also wrote to proud this morning:
"It was fair to ask Petraeus about JimD's plan to secure the borders, chase AQ, and train, because he and Crocker both were admitting that the best results were in the provinces, not in Baghdad."
I am assuming that you agreed that was fair questioning and that you were objecting to the questioning of the general's integrity rather than the questioning about what was the utility of the tactical successes for policy making.
DCAustinite, I hate open casket funerals, but Clifford Antone was in his coffin in a baseball cap.
Dave! - " our current and future relations with the countries of the ME need to be considered in our actions in Iraq." Many of us agree, but thought Bush 41 understood that and Bush 43 does not.
drindl - did not see NYT article but will look; heard the Iran story yesterday and made a veiled reference to it at 7:46A. Happy New Year to you.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | September 13, 2007 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Dave! asks
"My question to you is if Al-Qaeda is in Iraq and our soldiers are in Iraq, why should we not use them to try to kill the Al-Qaeda that are there?"


I didn't say we shouldn't use them. I said that military forces aren't the right tool for winning over hearts and minds. Here's why I think your question, above, amounts to an inaccurate representation of the situation.

1) whatever presence aQ in Iraq has, they are not the primary problem in Iraq. They are also not a significant piece of the 'real' aQ that is headquartered elsewhere.
2) Reducing the threat of terrorism has to include - as a primary effort - a campaign to demonstrate that:
a) aQ's version of Islam is twisted and wrong
b) The US is not fighting a war against Islam

Whether you're talking about Afghanistan or Iraq, when we drop bombs, or conduct other raids, to take out 'aQ' people, and take out some civilians collaterally, we are creating more terrorists. Such actions are exactly those sited by bin Laden and other jihadist leaders when they claim we are fighting a war against Islam.

"Is it better to leave the place in chaos or to try to come to some semblence of a country?"

The question is a false dichotomy, in that it implies the only way to leave Iraq as some semblence of a country is to maintain the Bush plan. It may be too late, but I still think we should be pursuing efforts like those outlined in Baker-Hamilton, or punt and go with a Biden partitioning. Propping up the Maliki gov't isn't working, and looks less and less likely to work the longer we pursue that plan. It is time for something different.

Regarding your opening statement, that "[t]o quote the president - "We will direct every resource at our command -- every means of diplomacy, every tool of intelligence, every instrument of law enforcement, every financial influence, and every necessary weapon of war -- to the disruption and to the defeat of the global terror network." Many of those are just not as visible as war."

I think most of those activities are punitive in nature. Winning an ideological battle takes more carrots and less sticks. Regarding the 'means of diplomacy' and every 'tool of intelligence' it appears that they are not being used to promote our ideals and fight on the basis of who's ideas are better, but that they are used merely to support military efforts. You're certainly right, those efforts aren't necessarily visible to us. Are they visible to the people who's hearts and minds we're trying to win over? Apparently not. The June NIE says aQ's strength & influence is growing - and that's a problem outside Iraq. For all the time, effort & rhetoric focused on Iraq, it is not the home of aQ leadership, which implies it is not the 'central front' in the war on terror.

Posted by: bsimon | September 13, 2007 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Dave!, that would be a great point if aQ was in Iraq before we were. They weren't. By all accounts, al Qaeda had a couple of meeting with Saddam before they realized they couldn't work together and that was it. What was the joke? Rumsfeld had more meetings with Saddam than bin Laden? Something like that.

Posted by: JasonL | September 13, 2007 4:02 PM | Report abuse

bsimon: "The military is being used as the primary tool against terrorism. This is bad policy"

I would say that it's the most visible tool aganst terrorism, not necessarily the primary. To quote the president - "We will direct every resource at our command -- every means of diplomacy, every tool of intelligence, every instrument of law enforcement, every financial influence, and every necessary weapon of war -- to the disruption and to the defeat of the global terror network." Many of those are just not as visible as war.

My question to you is if Al-Qaeda is in Iraq and our soldiers are in Iraq, why should we not use them to try to kill the Al-Qaeda that are there? Your solution is to remove the troops from one of the places where we actually know al-Qaeda is so that....what exactly? We are just now starting to get Iraqis help in this and there is the perception that al-Qaeda's influence is peaking (at least in Iraq). Is it better to leave the place in chaos or to try to come to some semblence of a country? If we leave, whether it goes to pot or not, don't you think al-Qaeda will us it as a recruting tool? I would argue that leaving Iraq in ruin/civil war/chaos will, perhaps for our lifetimes or longer, effectively end any sort of trust or support we still have in the region. Unlike Americans, the people that reside in the ME tend to have long memories. al-Qaeda will be able to recruit pretty much no matter what we do, apparently short of becoming Muslim and isolationist. But our current and future relations with the countries of the ME need to be considered in our actions in Iraq.

Posted by: Dave! | September 13, 2007 3:44 PM | Report abuse

F**k. You even got the guanine trick question. They were all answerable with google searches but I'm gonna go with this being the real ProudtobeGOP, albeit angrier (or more outspoken) than normal.

"I take the position that, whatever his reasons are, he makes the wrong decisions. The military is being used as the primary tool against terrorism. This is bad policy." -BSimon

Couldn't agree more; on Bush and on current foreign policy. Even those goals which can be met with troops on the ground are poorly served by *our* troops. If we're the target of so much hatred (even when it merely distaste among most civilians), we are at a disadvantage at the most basic level. Yet, when we could have started more slowly and organized more European and Middle Eastern support we ran headlong into the quicksand.

And there we remain. Stuck.

Posted by: JasonL | September 13, 2007 3:40 PM | Report abuse

proud writes:

"I hope we are STILL seeing continuation of the regional progress started by next summer; if not, we should step up the withdrawl. I do not favor being there in full force for an unlimited time. But I do support and acknowledge a long-term commitment to our allies in Iraq; something that most resonable people will admit is necessary.

Unlike many of you, I happen to believe that the President has our country's best interests in mind when he makes these decisions and that they are not decisions made lightly or for the wrong reasons."

I think it is wonderful that we are seeing some progress on some fronts. However, there is a distinct possibility that the arms we are providing to the Sunni sheiks fighting alQaeda will be turned against the Shiite government after al Qaeda is driven away. The progress is too spotty and too late IMHO. We do see signs that a 'bottom up' 'soft partition' is coming into focus. It also seems that much of the progress in Baghdad is due to previous ethnic cleansing. The Iraqi police forces are simply extensions of Shiite militias as the General Jones group found. The Iraqi Army is better but still some time away from being able to shoulder the full burden. This is tragic more than 4 years after the invasion.

I actually agree with you that the President made his decisions based on his view of the best interests of the country and did not make them likely. I just think he was tragically mistaken and that his administration demonstrated an incompetence bordering on criminal negligence in their planning for and management of the post-invasion situation in Iraq.

I agree that we cannot simply turn our backs on the mess we created. I do think we can drawdown and re-deploy, however, concentrating on training, border protection and conducting strikes against al Qaeda.

Posted by: JimD in FL | September 13, 2007 3:23 PM | Report abuse

bsimon,

Senator John Warner asked that question.

The problem, as stated in my last, is that it is above the General's pay grade. He is the commander in Iraq. You must look into the higher reaches of the Defense Department, State Department, and White House, to get the answer to his questions.

But the soldiers aside, I for one never fail to question the veracity of this administration on such questions.

And I agree with your review of our terrorism policy. It, too, is foolish. As General Wes Clark said (before the invasion), "If the only tool in your toolbox is a hammer, all your problems have to be nails."

It was something I not only agreed with, but took to heart regarding our strategy. Clark was the finest officer I ever knew.

Posted by: J | September 13, 2007 2:40 PM | Report abuse

JasonL - I could understand why you would want to know about meloxicam, or treatment for Treponema pallidum...cases are up...due to increased unsafe sex practices, but penicllin G still works well and is the drug of choice as long as the right product is selected.

But guanine?? Guanine is guanine, dude. If you like biochemistry, you'll agree that it's really cool when it pairs with cytosine. Ah yes, DNA, the king of molecules! Now, ask me about renal pharmacokintetics, and we'll have some real fun!

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | September 13, 2007 2:34 PM | Report abuse

proud,

I will keep my comments regarding the President and his administration to myself, because we're never going to agree there.

As to the war being prosecuted well, the problem has never really been the military one. Our tactics now may be better than before, but I think it is a matter of degree. It's been a matter of learning as we go to a fair extent.

At a strategic level, the success of the military isn't the issue. It's above General Petraeus's pay grade. The problem is that there isn't really a strategy beyond "wait and see and hope for the best". And that isn't a strategy at all.

But it pushes the ball down the field. If something good happens, great, Bush will take credit for it. If it doesn't, well his successor will have to deal with it. And yes, he will blame his successor. Either way, neither he nor his administration has a clue how to handle this.

Posted by: J | September 13, 2007 2:32 PM | Report abuse

proud writes
"Unlike many of you, I happen to believe that the President has our country's best interests in mind when he makes these decisions and that they are not decisions made lightly or for the wrong reasons"


That is a reasonable position to take. I take the position that, whatever his reasons are, he makes the wrong decisions. The military is being used as the primary tool against terrorism. This is bad policy. Sending in the troops and bombing the shyte out of other countries is not the proper way to win over the 'hearts and minds' of people that have not yet decided to support the terrorists. By all accounts, the ranks of terrorists and terrorism supporters are growing, not shrinking. THAT is the problem with the Bush policy. Whatever military gains Petraeus is making in Iraq, they are not producing appreciable progress towards our goals of being safe from terrorism and not having our troops trying to suppress a civil war on the other side of the globe.

I don't recall who asked the question, but someone asked of the general "are we safer in America due to the surge in Iraq?" The general, understandably, didn't know. What Congress should do is find out who can answer that question, get them up to the Hill to answer it & go from there.

Posted by: bsimon | September 13, 2007 2:31 PM | Report abuse

"Come next spring or summer, the 'surge' will end - according to schedule - and the Bush WH will call it a 'redeployment' due to success"

I hope we are STILL seeing continuation of the regional progress started by next summer; if not, we should step up the withdrawl. I do not favor being there in full force for an unlimited time. But I do support and acknowledge a long-term commitment to our allies in Iraq; something that most resonable people will admit is necessary.

Unlike many of you, I happen to believe that the President has our country's best interests in mind when he makes these decisions and that they are not decisions made lightly or for the wrong reasons.

Even so, I haven't agreed with every decision he made, and as some of you may remember, my fav candidate John McCain has repeatedly stated that the war was greatly mismanaged earlier on, with which I agree. It is being prosecuted well now, and what we hopefully have is a less bad outcome.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | September 13, 2007 2:14 PM | Report abuse

proud dredges up the 'last throes of the insurgency' argument:
"AlQaeda is losing ground and is on the defensive. Why else would they be so compelled to murder one of the influential leaders who formed the Anbar Salvation Council?"


Though I'll giver her partial credit for:
"The Geeral's report was focused, and rightly so, on local progress especially in Anbar where no one would have predicted success even 6 months ago."

I have to dock her half credit because the surge did not focus on Anbar province. The soldiers operating in Anbar are part of the 'pre surge' deployment; the 'surge' was designed to & has been focused on stabilizing Baghdad - so the Iraqi politicians can get their collective act together, which hasn't been happening.

And while the Anbar progress is good in terms of reducing the influence of aQ in Iraq, it potentially works against the concept of a federal gov't. In chosing to arm & work with local Sunni sheiks in Anbar, we've armed people that have attacked us in the past - the same group that benefitted from Saddam's rule, and the same group that does not want to work with the Maliki gov't. So while there is good news coming out of Anbar, it is not at all clear how it will help our long term goal of stabilizing Iraq & bringing our troops home.

Posted by: bsimon | September 13, 2007 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Isn't Proud a pharmacist? If that's really you, Proud, could you tell us what the generic name for Mobic or Gaunine is? What sort of drugs do you use to treat syphilis? Parkinsons? You might be able to answer these questions with a google search but I doubt anyone but a pharmacist would be able to answer them in a fashion becoming a professional.

On topic, if an oath were all it took to make someone really tell the full truth, we wouldn't ever have to try someone for lying under oath would we? But we do. It's a question of where is loyalties and duties are. He's loyal to America but he's also duty bound to follow the orders of his superiors, like the CIC. If Bush tells him to paint a rosy picture, would he get out his brush or side with the American people and give the unvarnished truth? Given the discrepancies between his report and that of the GAO, don't you think it's possible that he's been doing a little painting?

Posted by: JasonL | September 13, 2007 2:03 PM | Report abuse

This must be someone other than the proud of earlier times. Party faithful to the core, and yet reasonable. These past few days???

Posted by: lylepink | September 13, 2007 2:00 PM | Report abuse

"To question the discrepancies is legitimate"

J- Yes, however I do not believe that there really are substative discrepencies, as the reports were focused on different aspects of Iraq progress or lack thereof. the GAO naturally focused on the continued inability of the Iraqi govt to form consensus and move forward on reconciliation the way we would have hoped.

The NIE focused on the over-arching threat from a global enemy, including AlQeada in Iraq and it's ability to thwart our efforts.

The Geeral's report was focused, and rightly so, on local progress especially in Anbar where no one would have predicted success even 6 months ago. The model for improved security which allowed a political shift by tribal sheiks to occur, although discounted by sen schumer, provides a compelling case for more success elsewhere at the local/ regional level. The fact that revenue flowing from the Iraqi govt. incentivizes local reform is undeniable.

AlQaeda is losing ground and is on the defensive. Why else would they be so compelled to murder one of the influential leaders who formed the Anbar Salvation Council?

Petraes' report was not overly optimistic, and I think it is pure politics for the Dems to call into question his honesty, especially after pre-empting his report with their own volley of reports that attacked his character and motives.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | September 13, 2007 1:55 PM | Report abuse

proud is becoming quite the spinstress:
"The method with which the Dems have attempted to invalidate all our limited, but real and measurable, success in Iraq for which gen Petraeus' methods are largely resposible..."


I don't see the 'Dems' attempting to 'invalidate' the limited successes in Iraq. I see Congresspeople attempting to determine whether our efforts in Iraq, in general - and the surge specifically, are achieving enough success to continue justifying such policies.

Best case scenario - BEST CASE - as outlined by General Petreus, is that the violence has diminished to June 2006 levels. Last summer, Congress was calling for Rumsfeld's resignation because of the lack of success in Iraq. He refused, and the President stood by him - until November. The surge was announced in January, immediately preceded by the worst month of violence in Iraq since the invasion. Compared to Dec 2006, the surge looks like forward progress. Compared to the rest of 2006, not so much. Compared to 2004 and 2005, the surge is not working.

proud- how much incompetence in policy should the US people & their elected representatives tolerate from GW Bush? The surge, with its - as you say - limited military successes, does not appear to be stabilizing Iraq such that our troops will come home in the forseeable future. Come next spring or summer, the 'surge' will end - according to schedule - and the Bush WH will call it a 'redeployment' due to success, nevermind that we don't have the troops to keep the surge going beyond than anyway. How on earth can you continue to put up with such bald misrepresentation of reality? It truly boggles the mind.

Posted by: bsimon | September 13, 2007 1:45 PM | Report abuse

proud,

It is valid also, however, to question the discrepancies between the Pentagon's accounting of violence in Iraq and the GAO and other organizations' accounting of it.

I am not defending the heading of MoveOn's ad, which I frankly thought foolish. But:

1) To question the discrepancies is legitimate.
2) MoveOn is not a part of the Dem party, even if they represent some of its base. The Dems do not need to apologize for its actions.
3) You're painting with a pretty broad brush here. Most "Libs" are not guilty of what you are accusing.
4) I'm NOT a "Lib", and wouldn't trust President Bush any farther than I could throw him.

Posted by: J | September 13, 2007 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Bokonon,

I am not a real expert but as I remember my reading on it, the Fourth Republic was a parliamentary system and the mechanics resulted in pretty fractured body with numerous games of musical chairs in the government. The political instability inherent in this system made it impossible for governments to deal with several extremely serious issues - the Algerian war being the most contentious.

The Algerian colonial war ripped French society apart at least as badyly as Vietnam did in the US. Algeria had a large French population with many friends and relatives in France. This was the core of opposition to Algerian independence. Some French officers were executed for plotting to overthrow the government because of its willingness to give Algeria independence

. I believe that inflation was also a serious problem. DeGualle was the 'savior' who spurred a reorganization that made the president the main executive officer instead of a prime minister, even though they kept that office. He reformed the currency and ended the war in Algeria.

Posted by: JimD in FL | September 13, 2007 1:38 PM | Report abuse

drindl: I actually don't care much for Harry Reid. These are my own opinions based on reports from a variety of sources.

Posted by: lylepink | September 13, 2007 1:27 PM | Report abuse

J - Any criticsim of the policy behind the war &/or surge is valid, and differing on the merits of continuing our efforts is a reasonable argument to have.

I would argue that Gen Petraues was under oath in sworn testimony to Congress, and that impugning his honesty and integrity as a uniformed officer who has sworn to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the US, and has done so for decades of his life, is not a reasonable postiion to take.

The method with which the Dems have attempted to invalidate all our limited, but real and measurable, success in Iraq for which gen Petraeus' methods are largely resposible, is, imo, beyond the pale because of the politcal calculation of it, the unpatriotic nature of it, imo, and the disrespect from Moveon that went unchallenged and therefore implicitly sanctioned by the Dems running for president.

How do they propose to be CIC of the military, if they so flagrantly disregard the testimony of the highest ranking General in the field?? Of course I believe his testimony...he gave an oath that he was telling the truth.

I suppose all the libs are already ready to announce that President Bush will have lied to the American public in tonight's address as well.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | September 13, 2007 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Very civil debate on this matter. One of the better ones I have seen. One thing I think needs reporting is who makes up the individuals reflected by the poll numbers. Though the MSM gets wrapped up in these polls, the rest of us should not. We need to understand the current cultural and societal factors that play a role in the polling process. In most cases, you have two parents working so they are not at home during some of the polling. Most people are reluctant to spend much time with any unsolicited phone call at the end of the day. Younger people, meaning under the age of 40, are using cell phones as their primary mode of communication. As such, there is a significant portion of the voting population not being polled at all. I suspect we will have some real surprises on both sides when the primary voting begans.

Posted by: Antonio | September 13, 2007 1:23 PM | Report abuse

proud,

I am not in a position to discuss whether some "Libs", as you call them, are anti-military. But my take on what I have read from the majority of the posters here is that they are not "anti-military" but "anti-Iraq_War". There is rather a large difference.

Most of the general's testimony was worded carefully enough that it would be impossible to say it was untruthful. But there were spots where I would agree he was being a little disingenuous (and this goes for both men). I find it difficult to accept "we can't see the future well" on moment and then accept a long list of things that will happen if we pull out quickly. How do we know one and not the other? There are many respected experts who feel that simply pulling out is the best course.

Anyone going into this expecting the unvarnished truth was fooling themselves. This is not a knock on General Petraeus's honesty. But he works for the President and is charged with carrying out the President's policy. He wasn't going to go in there and badmouth it even if that was what he felt. It is natural that he would be careful. It is also natural that he would defend the job he has done to date.

The problem is not with the job he has done. It's with the policy that drives it.

Posted by: J | September 13, 2007 1:11 PM | Report abuse

I've seen a lot of talk about "respect" lately. Apparently to Republicans, it's disrespectful for Congress to question military leaders. Do you have any idea how our government is supposed to work?

Many of Petraeus' conclusions don't match the data. Why do you refuse to consider the possibility that he isn't being honest? Do you believe everything that a man in uniform tells you? (I guess you have to. Otherwise you're being anti-military!)

Posted by: Blarg | September 13, 2007 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Don't fool yourselves lib bloggers...The liberal anti-military mindset is in the minority in this country. Your mode of thinking, your world view is the minority opinion.

You will continue to lose in presidential politics because of your and your candidate's disdain for the military, as evidenced by the total disrespect shown to Gen Petaeus this week in washington. I dare say, he's probably glad to go back to Iraq after being called a liar by his own countrymen, and by being made a unwilling pawn for their selfish political ambitions even after testifying that he wrote his own report and the unwavering honesty with which he presented it.

The media in Iraq has supported Gen Petraeus' & Crocker's report.

In an editorial entitled, 'What after the report?' the editor-in-chief of al-Dustour, Basim al-Sheikh, described the report as "unbiased and positive to an extent," adding that it gave a true picture of the situation on the ground."

The independent daily al-Dustour quoted Ali al-Dabbagh, a spokesman for the Iraqi government, as saying, "Iraq will be comfortable with a gradual pullout of U.S. troops," in reference to the report's recommendations for drawing down U.S. troops to 130,000 by mid-2008.

"I do not think there will be a problem with a gradual withdrawal that is agreed upon with the Iraqis," al-Dabbagh said, adding that a sudden pullout is "not in anyone's interest, not in the region's, not in Iraq's."

But Dems in Congress cannot accept any measure of success for fear of losing the next election. It is truly pathetic.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | September 13, 2007 12:55 PM | Report abuse

JasonL & bsimon: A few days ago I posted something about proud "Having a bad hair day." The co-opting of names is nothing new here, as well as posters using different names on other threads as was talked about a few days ago. When I go to the WaPo I am greeted by- Hello lylepink -, and was wondering if you folks get a simular message?, and just below it is -Edit Preferences ! Sign out -

Posted by: lylepink | September 13, 2007 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Interesting discussion yesterday...I learn a lot about history from you, JimD. And a lot about the Austin music scene, which I also have heard is fabulous from you, Mark. I saw the allman Bros. once at an outdoor festival [upstate New York] and thought I die when they did 'Whipping Post' for about an hour...

'lylepink - You seem to have co-opted Harry Reid's mantra of failure.

You listen to way too much Sean Hannity, 'proud.' You will sometimes say reasonable things, and then suddenly burst into mean-spirited and idiotic dittohead talking points.

Mark, did you read the NyTimes article on the breakdown of the Iraqi federal oil agreement, largely because of the Kurds precipitous contracts with mainly Texas oil companies?

Also did you see a Fox piece that says that since the Germans are refusing to enforce further sanctions on Iran because it is hurting their economy, that many people at the State Department say that military action against Iran is 'inevitable' within the next 8 to 10 months?

Posted by: drindl | September 13, 2007 12:39 PM | Report abuse

proudtobeGOP: I was wondering when you would begin your "Name calling". My "FACTS" come from every report I have been able to find, including the GAO. "Killings in Bagdad have been reduced." WHOOPEE!!. The overall killings have not been reduced since the "Surge". These are "FACTS". You can think/believe whatever you want, but I am trying to get the "TRUTH" about Iraq, and I frankly believe Gen. P. "Cooked the Books" to give/satisfy what his boss wanted. It is not a question of did he lie, it is a question of did he stretch the truth, by not telling the whole truth.

Posted by: lylepink | September 13, 2007 12:28 PM | Report abuse

JasonL writes
"Didn't Proud use to be a reasoned commenter? Has someone co-opted the name?"


I've had the same thought lately.

.

Posted by: bsimon | September 13, 2007 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Didn't Proud use to be a reasoned commenter? Has someone co-opted the name?

I liked the quote from today's WaPo:
"'He's more charismatic, to be sure, but he is exactly in the same position Westy was in in 1967 when he tried to make the case to Congress that victory was achievable in Vietnam,' said Michael Desch, director of the Brent Scowcroft Institute of International Affairs at Texas A&M University's George Bush School of Government and Public Service."

And this one:
"Howard Zinn, a leftist scholar, said debate about Petraeus's role is not surprising: 'When I listen to Petraeus, I hear the generals of Vietnam assuring us that they are winning. Generals are not independent thinkers. They serve the political goals of the administration. We can't expect independent, honest assessments of the situation.'"

War is an extension of politics by another means, lady's and gentlemen.

Posted by: JasonL | September 13, 2007 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Hillary Clinton won't be able to get away with lukewarm opposition to the war after the report. She has to back the Obama plan (or come up with something close to it).

Posted by: auburnfan10101 | September 13, 2007 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Hillary Clinton won't be able to get away with lukewarm opposition to the war after the report. She has to back the Obama plan (or come up with something close to it).

Posted by: auburnfan10101 | September 13, 2007 12:04 PM | Report abuse

lylepink - You seem to have co-opted Harry Reid's mantra of failure. I disagree, and the facts do not support your conclusion one bit. We have had measurable success in some areas. Killings in Baghdad have been reduced.

Time to get your "facts" from somewhere other than the HuffPo DailyKos or NYT. And tell your girl Hillary, that nobody is fooled by her calculated attempts to grab the spotlight in the Senate hearing room; I'd call her lower than a snake's belly but that would be an insult to snakes.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | September 13, 2007 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Proud, you and Zouk act as if the Democrats had two equal options to choose from: Admit that violence is going down, or falsely claim that Petraeus is lying. But what if he really isn't telling the truth, and violence really isn't going down? His claims go against the statistics reported by every major news agency and the GAO. Isn't that reason to suspect that he's massaging the data to match the conclusion he wants?

Is it wrong to call Petraeus a liar if he's really lying? And isn't it worth investigating whether he's lying before coming to a conclusion?

Posted by: Blarg | September 13, 2007 11:50 AM | Report abuse

proudtobeGOP writes
"I hope the voters are paying attention to this shameful display in Congress this week. The Ds are calling Petraeus a liar, and I think it will backfire on them."

What you're failing to consider in your one-sided analysis is the difference between what Petraeus/Crocker report and what the GAO reported last week. Petraeus/Crocker, right or wrong, are appointees of the Bush administration which has squandered its credibility on Iraq.

I can see how its easy to presume that Dems might suffer for what you see as partisan criticism of the General - but their pointed questions are backed by data from a nonpartisan agency. Meanwhile the supporters/backers of the Petraeus/Crocker testimony seem to take it at face value & don't ask credible questions about its legitimacy. With minor exceptions, they haven't asked for a connection of the dots between military successes and the lack of any political success.

In short, Proud, it looks like it is your analysis that is motivated by partisan blinders.

Posted by: bsimon | September 13, 2007 11:50 AM | Report abuse

proudtobeGOP: I think if you look at the record of Gen. P. in Iraq, you will find he has failed in everything he has tried to do there. He was supposed to train Iraqi troops to take over the duties being done by us. Hasn't happened. The "Surge" was supposed to reduce the number of dead and wonunded. Hasn't Happened. Reduceing the number of our troops by next spring and summer. Already Planned. I do not doubt he is doing the best he can, but he has not been successful.

Posted by: lylepink | September 13, 2007 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Bokonon -Allow me to quote zouk from last night, as it sumarizes nicely the disparity between what a reasonable argument could have been and what the ds have done this week.

"the Dems could have taken the high road and stated their case as "I don't care if violence is going down, the cost is not worth the benefit". this is a perfectly valid argument to be made.

Instead they use the "I think that you lied about the data, violence is not going down, If it were, we would be in accordance with you". Notice this slurs and attacks the messenger - their typical MO and doesn't even comport with thier supposed point of view, that the war is wrong under any circumstance. the implication is, that if indeed the war is going well, they are ready to jump on board , but they can' trust the general.

but they are not ready to jump on board under any scenario. they are already trying to change the terminology (another typical MO) to demand certain political metrics, above and beyond military ones. Reid has put all thier chips in the losing basket and needs for America to lose in order for him to claim victory. how perverse. he is disgusting and is beneath contempt, especially for the head of the US Senate."

I hope the voters are paying attention to this shameful display in Congress this week. The Ds are calling Petraeus a liar, and I think it will backfire on them.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | September 13, 2007 11:38 AM | Report abuse

C'mon, Proud. You saw the Daily Show video that was linked here, right? I have nothing against the good General but he's just echoing Bush in his testimony. He knew when he signed on to lead operations in Iraq that he was going to be a political officer as well as a military one. The only times in his testimony that I'm sure he told the unvarnished truth was when he said that he didn't know if the war in Iraq made America safer and when he said he'd be hard pressed to make the same statements if there were not improvements by March. The rest? Written by someone in the White House.

Mark: I'm so jealous. I would have loved seeing the Allman Brothers perform in a nice outdoor park setting. So green right now.

Posted by: JasonL | September 13, 2007 11:36 AM | Report abuse

proud, She had to use "suspend disbelief" in the public forum. If she spoke like the military does within its own operations she would have said, "General, this report is a crock of _ _ _ _!"

Posted by: Anonymous | September 13, 2007 11:23 AM | Report abuse

reason writes
"Just ask John Kerry, noone likes a flip flopper."

True enough, though voters tend not to like the poll-driven politicians either. The question about Sen Clinton is - is she driven by polls and focus groups, or does she have deeply held convictions? I hate to repeat a right-wing talking point in casting that aspersion, but I think it has merit.

Posted by: bsimon | September 13, 2007 11:23 AM | Report abuse

proudtobeGOP - I find it interesting that everyone finds it necessary to preface any reference to Gen. Petraeus by saying "this good man" or "this brave man" or "dedicated soldier" etc. He may be all of those things, but he's still a human being like the rest of us, and as such it is not out of bounds to presume that he may make mistakes in judgment and/or tactics. I did not hear what Hillary said, but from your snippet it sounds like she was saying that to the average onlooker, the facts we hear on the news do not justify his assessment of progress. You may disagree, but I do not think that makes Hillary or anyone else who is skeptical a traitor or an unkind person. Petraeus testified to give Congress - and the listening audience - both his recitation of events and his interpretation of them. The first is (to some extent) public record. The second is open to (respectful) debate.

Posted by: Bokonon | September 13, 2007 11:21 AM | Report abuse

DCAustinite, that must be a great memory. I have heard and read that Stevie Ray was a real good guy in addition to being a monster on the guitar.

when working for Antone, did you ever meet or see Buddy Guy? or RL Burnside, or Gatemouth Brown? (I love good blues.)

Posted by: Bokonon | September 13, 2007 11:13 AM | Report abuse

"The job of all the Senators was actually to pursue lines of questions like Warner's, Webb's, and Hagel's"

Mark - It is absolutley fair to question, and is their duty as representatives of the people to do so. What is not fair or even decent, imo, is to impugn the integrity and honesty of a General officer who was approved by a 100% margin to conduct the operations he has thus far conducted with much and surprising success.

For Hillary Clinton to tell Gen Petraeus to his face in front of the rest of the world that his statement and assessment of progress in Iraq requires "suspension of disbelief" is an outrageous, politcally motivated and premeditated attack on this brave leader, and I , for one, am sickened by the depths to which the dems have sunk this week in catering to the Code Pink crowd.


Posted by: proudtobeGOP | September 13, 2007 11:08 AM | Report abuse

As polarizing as she already is, the positions Clinton has taken on the Iraqi war are the best general election decision she has made yet. She is already in control of the Democratic primary, so she needs to sort of run in a way that can help with the general election. Just ask John Kerry, noone likes a flip flopper.

Posted by: reason | September 13, 2007 11:05 AM | Report abuse

sINCE i WENT OFF AND TALKED ABOUT THAT WHICH i KNOW NOTHING ABOUT, AND WAS SUCCESSFULLY CALLED ON IT.

I'm taking the rest of tyhe week off, here. I'm taking a break. In the future, rather than bashing me all day. Tell me how I'm wrong. I've decided if you people who claim I'm crazy and a liar can tell me how I'm wrong, once, I'll trake a day off.

A little fix game for you. You want me gone. Tell me how I'm wrong. In my opinion yesterday was the first time that has happened here. I got a little overzealous.:)

Have a good weekend. Talk to you all next week.

Posted by: RUFUS | September 13, 2007 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Bokonon - when I was seventeen off and on for 2 years I worked for Clifford Antone. I met Stevie Ray Vaughn the year before he died. Saw him play, saw Albert Collins, Jimmy Vaugn, many others.

Stevie died my first day of senior year. Man, that sucked.

Posted by: DCAustinite | September 13, 2007 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Mark, also, in re: "Even harsh critics agree that everyone thought Saddam had chem weapons in 2002." - didn't the NIE (that Hillary didn't read) cast some serious doubt on that?

Posted by: Bokonon | September 13, 2007 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Mark, I was just curious, especially in light of the changes Sarkozy has proposed to make to the system of social welfare and guaranteed employment. As far as I know, though, it is not at all clear that he will have the ability to do that. I have actually never been to France, and always wanted to go... I don't know anywhere near enough about the French system to recommend changing it, or even to know if I would want to. I do have a good friend who grew up there, who has told me that the health care, social benefits, culture, and education are all good there... the main drawback he mentions is how slowly the government moves, that and social unrest centered around the (mostly African/Arab) immigrant population. (remember Paris last summer.)

Posted by: Bokonon | September 13, 2007 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Boko -

What are you thinking about France? Was your question just out of curiousity, or is there something about the French system you have identified and want to change?

Stern, I have never heard quite your take. Exxon-Mobil actually refuses to drill in Iraq as things stand. How deep is your 10k square mi river? Even harsh critics agree that everyone thought Saddam had chem weapons in 2002.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | September 13, 2007 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Mark in Austin: This pretty well confirms my belief that peoples political views are shaped, to a large degree, by the circumstance they are in most or, a given point, in time.

Posted by: lylepink | September 13, 2007 10:26 AM | Report abuse

bhoomes - I seem to recall you saying some relatively complimentary things about Obama. am I wrong in this?

Blarg - I saw the Jon Stewart you refer to. JD, I understand what you are saying, but I think precisely because Petraeus is a good soldier, his opinion almost cannot be independent of Bush's. and there's a difference betwee 2 people saying "the sky is blue" and 2 different people saying, "The sky is still a somewhat indeterminate color, but the meteorological reports we are getting indicate a 45% decrease in cloud cover from this time yesterday. I believe that the horizon and the sun both WANT a blue sky, and we're working to help make that happen."

JimD, thanks for the French history lesson. curious if you know what in the change between the 4th and 5th republics necessitated the change in the number? i.e. new constitution? or just new law? or what? I know you said that with de Gaulle, the French moved to a "strong president" system, right? How drastic would a change in the current system have to be in order to give birth to the Sixth Republic?

Posted by: Bokonon | September 13, 2007 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Least we forget how we were "Bushwhacked" by our illustrious president who has no idea what the word Sovereign state or country means? Congress and the American people were lied to by Mr. Bush and his cronies like Condi Rice. The infamous mushroom cloud that was imminent over our country from a country that admittedly by Colin Powell and George Tenant in publicized Senate hearings in September of 2001, that in fact there was not proof or WMD's or conspiracy with Al Qaeda. I watched in disbelief that what they said was not what Bush and Rice had said.

What Democrats and Republicans alike were filled by misinformation. They relied on what should have been honest information and voted accordingly.

My biggest concern with Senator Clinton was her acceptance as a woman. I am an independent and believe in voting for the most capable person not what their part affiliation is. I saw the Senator on David Letterman late night and I saw a very charming intelligent and capable person who will get the job done. She is not a flip flop candidate which by the way our president has proven to be.

She also has the experience of 8 years of peace and prosperity in the White House. Say what you will about President Clinton but he was impeached for an indiscretion or telling a lie about that indiscretion. His personal business which obviously had nothing to do with his statesmanship or capabilities to run this country successfully. Out current president is guilty of violating the laws of the UN, lying to the Congress and the American People, killing many more hundreds of thousands of Iraqis whose only crime was defending their country. Hussein was tried for genocide killing 20,000 people. And those were people who were terrorists to Iraq's SOVEREIGNTY. The Clinton's are polished states-people. They stand erect when they speak, they have intelligence and polish and believe in diplomacy and our constitution which out president has changed to accommodate his sickness,

First his comment was this war is unlike Vietnam, Then two weeks ago he compared it with Vietnam. Not only is he flip flop but he says things that are not the truth, but convenient to his strategy.

I look at Obama and see his alliance with Opra and see that he is attempting to get the Black and women's vote, and it feels like there will be a strong racial division if he becomes president.

As far as the conservatives who see no wrong in what Bush did and are in favor of the war, that's a pretty comfortable position as long as you are not over there being shot at.
And do you know what this fight is about? This country is being run by Exxon Mobil. The mysterious energy advisors of Bush. The idea of this war was not to get the oil from Iraq, was to raise the price of oil so it was profitable to uncap the oil wells that were capped in 1972. Over 200 miles of and oil river 50 miles wide. But it cost to much to take it from the ground in 1972 so they were founded and capped. When oil reached $40 a barrel it became profitable and Exxon/Mobil had made more profits in the first quarter of last year than all the other public companies combined. That is why Bush went to war. GREED.

Posted by: Stern | September 13, 2007 10:17 AM | Report abuse

lyle, I know more Ds than Rs b/c I live in Austin. Snapshot follows.

The men's group I belong to has 6 members, aged 57-64. One architect, one entrepreneur with a background as both a cpa and a tax lawyer, a real estate appraiser, senior engineer at IBM, a retiree former management consultant, and me, a management lawyer now, but for many years a litigator for both the defense and the plaintiff in commercial cases. We are hardly a typical group because we are of one age group, white, 3 vets 2 of whom served in VN, and well educated. The architect is a business and military conservative R,[served on the ground in VN] who likes McCain but thinks Obama might be OK; the appraiser is like JD a libertarian conservative I, who likes Richardson because of gun issues; the entrepreneur is a globalist DLC D who likes HRC, Dodd, Biden, and Obama, but not so much Edwards, and thinks all Rs are delusional and fights with the architect [the architect, the appraiser, and the entrepreneur are all in the same shotgun competitions and I am glad they keep their politics in our Tuesday night dinners]. The retiree used to be an R but is now an I. He is more attuned to healthcare and social security issues now, probably leans D, but not much. The IBM engineer is a liberal by his own lights: thinks that being a "tweeker" and inventor and libertarian means he is a liberal. He is going to vote D, but he listens a lot to
the appraiser who is a conservative libertarian and to me. He thinks the architect and the entrepreneur are "too partisan" and therefore impractical in their politics - he knows that when a team of engineers cannot get onto the same page nothing happens in the project.

I get different snapshots from other groups of friends, and groups of family.

None of my snapshots make up a whole that looks like the polls. I cannot tell anything. I would "bet the field" against any candidate in either party.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | September 13, 2007 9:59 AM | Report abuse

JD, you obviously didn't see the segment. I'm not saying that Bush and Petraeus both answered "yes" and "no" to simple questions. They used very similar phrasing for their answers to complex questions about Iraq. It's like they were both reading from the same book.

http://rawstory.com/news/2007/Jon_Stewart_Daily_Show_covers_General_0912.html
Here's the video. The part I'm talking about starts at around 5:00.

I'm suggesting that Petraeus is saying the things that his boss, the President, wants him to say. That doesn't mean that he was given explicit direction by the White House. He knows what he's supposed to say, because it's what Bush has been saying for months. I haven't been given any direction by the White House, but I know what Bush thinks about Iraq, and what he'd like me to say if I worked for him.

Posted by: Blarg | September 13, 2007 9:43 AM | Report abuse

JimD & Mark: thomas may be on to something. My guess is--JimD, being ex-military and businessman, I would think most of the folks you are around tend to vote repub., and,--Mark, being a attorney with a specialty in helping people, I would think most of the folks you are around tend to vote dem. I am still puzzled about who the repubs will choose, for something seems to change every week or so.

Posted by: lylepink | September 13, 2007 9:12 AM | Report abuse

JD - May I continue to refer to the plan to withdraw our troops to the Kurdish north, where they like us, and let the Arabs kill each other, "JD's Plan" on this blog?

Posted by: Mark in Austin | September 13, 2007 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Blarg, I get your point, but Patraeus testified that he didn't get any speech direction from the Whitehouse, and that he hadn't shared it with them in advance.

Are you suggesting that he perjured himself? or perhaps Bush nominated the guy who agrees with his strategy in the first place?

In other words, if you and I are seperately asked, 'is the sky blue' and we answer 'yes', that doesn't mean that we cleared our answers with each other. It just means that we have a similar take on our perception of reality.

For a general as brilliant as Patraeus (and the guy was confirmed something like 85-0), I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. Of course, I'm sure Stewart's audience responds positively to your implication.

Posted by: JD | September 13, 2007 8:55 AM | Report abuse

proud, I just saw your 6:02P post. With all the hot air, I was still disappointed in McCain for not pursuing any line of questioning other than that which would reiterate the tactical successes.

The job of all the Senators was actually to pursue lines of questions like Warner's, Webb's, and Hagel's [that I heard].
It was fair to ask Crocker what progress he expected and what damage we would sustain under different scenarios and fair to ask Petraeus about the military's ability to provide the various scenarios. It was fair to ask Petraeus about JimD's plan to secure the borders, chase AQ, and train, because he and Crocker both were admitting that the best results were in the provinces, not in Baghdad.

John McCain knows this stuff better than anyone up there save, maybe, Warner, Webb, and Hagel, and his questioning should have been at their level of competence rather than an attempt to produce soundbites for his campaign. I guess I expected more from him then the other candidates on the Committees.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | September 13, 2007 8:51 AM | Report abuse

Judge, you forgot the best part of The Daily Show's take on Petraeus. Jon Stewart played clips of Bush speaking and clips of Petraeus speaking back-to-back. They made exactly the same statements about Iraq, using exactly the same language. That pretty much blows away the concept that Petraeus is independent; he's just another political operative saying what the president wants him to say.

Posted by: Blarg | September 13, 2007 8:49 AM | Report abuse

de Gaulle's Fifth Republic, we used to say...

Posted by: Mark in Austin | September 13, 2007 8:30 AM | Report abuse

JimD,

Thanks for the correction on the French republics. After I sent mine I was wondering if we were on the Fifth rather than the Fourth. One loses track of these things sometimes...

I agree that Hillary's problem is with the swing voters. It's possible, but she doesn't have a lot of margin for error.

Posted by: J | September 13, 2007 8:16 AM | Report abuse

7:46A was meant for JimD.

bhoomes, I know you were smiling when you wrote that 7:10A, but what in the world does it mean? Has she achieved something in her political or legal career that strikes you as "masculine" in some good way? Is Joe Biden "effeminate"? Chris Dodd? And does not gender typing play right into the worst possible set of reasons for voting?

HRC is low on my list in part because she has so little to show for her Senate career, and no other relevant experience.

Again, what were you trying to convey?

Posted by: Mark in Austin | September 13, 2007 8:02 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of Miller, you should listen to his radio show. He's honest, quick with one liners, and fresh.

I know that some think he's 'swung right', but except on the war, he's awfully liberal. His position is at least defendable, IMHO, even though I don't buy it 100%.

Posted by: JD | September 13, 2007 7:53 AM | Report abuse

By no means am i suggesting that Iraq is steeped in democratic history. And I will agree that America had more practice with it when we started than Iraqis do now. On the other hand, those countries without that history have the benefit of the last several hundred years of history to look at. They don't have to reinvent the wheel. Democracy is not "in developement" or a relatively new concept to the world anymore. That does not mean that i think it will be easy or even a sure thing. But I do think its doable and, if it happens at all, it will take time. Democracy will not spring up in a couple months.

Posted by: Dave! | September 13, 2007 7:47 AM | Report abuse

I have gone back to read it again, and I see.

Another lawyer and I were at lunch yesterday
talking about the evolution of English law and justice, and giving credit to the Brits for laying the groundwork for an Indian parliamentary democracy and its justice system. The recent "revolt" of the Pakistani lawyers is also a tribute to its British roots. That, of course, resulted after a multi-generation occupation.

As for the Arabs, what T.E. Lawrence faced in 1917 is very much what we face today. In the entire Middle East, only Turkey, Egypt, and Iran are historical "nations." We need to recognize those implications about Iran, which has local representative govt. now, before we carry the SPEAK LOUDLY policy to a new extreme of stupidity.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | September 13, 2007 7:46 AM | Report abuse

thomas writes "hillary clinton is extremely popular amongst democrats, poll after poll has shown that."

She may be the most popular candidate among democrats but she is far from being the most popular among swing voters not affiliated with either party. I am not a democrat (nor am I a republican) and she is most defnitely not popular with me.

Posted by: JimD in FL | September 13, 2007 7:38 AM | Report abuse

Mark - I was disputing a comparison Dave made between the founders and the situation in Iraq regarding the social, cultural and political underpinnings for a democracy. I believe that the founders built on a British tradition of representative institutions even if those represented were a fairly narrow elite. I maintain that there are precious few social, cultural and political foundations for democracy in Iraq.

Posted by: JimD in FL | September 13, 2007 7:25 AM | Report abuse

How sad for the dems that Hillary is the only real man in their current crop of sissies running.

Posted by: bhoomes | September 13, 2007 7:10 AM | Report abuse

the readership of this site is an absolute joke.

hillary clinton is extremely popular amongst democrats, poll after poll has shown that. Just not certain online democrats who have an inflated sense of their own worth. Online views are minority views. It has also been shown that she is also the second choice of many democrats anyway.

oh and when it comes right down to it, if she wins the nomination -despite what some say- all democrats will rally round and support her. Those who wont aren't democrats, because apparently they think Giulliani, Romney and Thompson are soooo much better.

morons.

Posted by: thomas | September 13, 2007 2:27 AM | Report abuse

personally, think only one team could clean up


the WASHINGTON INSIDERS AND BREATHE NEW LIFE INTO AMERICA...


and that team would include a CLINTON.

need to be able to hunt and shoot. Good intentions are not enough.

good ideas, are nice to have. One thing for sure, the WASHINGTON INSIDERS WILL BE DROPPING THE SOAP IN FRONT OF WHO EVER GETS ELECTED THAT THEY DIDN'T CHOOSE.


smart money is on the candidate that drops the soap in front of the WASHINGTON INSIDERS AND MAKES THEM


________________UN IMPORTANT______________

you'll hear a lot of screeching and cawing, just keep a couple of cases of 12 gauge magnum shells with number 6 shot in them, or number four if they're way out there...

take 'em down, let them see gawd....in your eyes.


.


Posted by: I | September 13, 2007 12:30 AM | Report abuse

Wow. Enough of the Clinton-bashing. As far as I am concerned, anyone who is going to get us out of Iraq has brains more than mush. The summary at the end of the article was good: "How we got into this war is now far less important than how we are going to get out of it." Thank you, a statement that makes sense. Although these are not Hilary's words, the idea is solid. It is far past time to leave Iraq, because we had no place being there at the beginning.

The lack of apology was controversial, but intriguing. I agree with Chris Cillizza that the decision was strong. By not apologizing, Hilary directly refutes what so many people are saying about her: that she is just another slimy politian who will do anything to get into office. The vote that she made in 2002, long before the upcoming election, shows that her ideas have not changed since starting her campaign.

It doesn't matter if you support or despise Clinton; you must respect her for staying strong to her words on this issue (so far).

Posted by: Meagan | September 13, 2007 12:16 AM | Report abuse

truth?

what is the truth?


the United States will vote for whoever can tell them the truth and show it to them....


connect the dots.


tell them that Washington INSIDERS fronted the OCCUPATION OF IRAQ...


war profiteers, military people in those companies.


bushCO and CRONYs, hanging around since NIXON....saw him go down, figured it out.

CIA, drug running in Central and South AMERICA and AFGHANISTAN....looks easy!

no ones even looking at us....WTF?

now, we topple governments in every country...why not the United States, same methods...

throw in a little nazi, REICHSTAG FIRE, VOILA.....9/11 everythings going our way...

blah blah blah.....AMERICA wakes up with no jobs and wants to eat someones pets...


tell em the truth....bushCO and CRONYs traded AMERICANS citizens lives away for quick cash....

example:

1. all of AMERICA's jobs are outsourced, what does bush do?

he moves to protect CREDIT CARD COMPANIES by making it illegal for the JUDICIAL SYSTEM to excuse debt that occured through no fault of the borrower....

like losing a job, or being stuck in the middle of a natural disaster or being called back to IRAQ 3 times...

that one example is one of about 4,000 things I could point at as gross negligence on the part of this whitehouse...


even I could win next year on bushes record...by pointing at it....

thing of it is, if you don't get this guy out of the way, you maybe up to your behind in alligators when he fabricates a reason to attack IRAN....

JCS are being breathed on tonight, false information...leaking

.

Posted by: what's the | September 13, 2007 12:12 AM | Report abuse

Boko - all in the PARK outside. Club life too, but ACL and Riverfest, and several major music events are outdoors in parks and you walk around between and among music shells.

JimD, I may have misread Dave, but I think he was pointing to the conundrum of teaching representative govt. where it never was in a decade or a generation, a puzzle you see clearly, too.

If anybody knows how to do it, RISE YOUR HAND.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | September 12, 2007 11:51 PM | Report abuse

Mark, those are some great stories. yes, Meg Ryan is certainly a cute blonde. and great about Stevie Ray and Jimmy Vaughn, and the Allmans and Lovett, all in clubs - ! Austin certainly sounds like the town I had heard it was. thank you for the kind offer - if I ever make it down your way I will take you up on it. My girlfriend has been talking about taking a trip next spring, and the friend I play music with took some grad classes at UT 10 or so years ago, and always talks about going back...
Loudoun, I never saw what other people did in David Spade. when did you see him, mid-late '90s? and this was pre-Daily Show for Jon Stewart? and in re: Miller, I saw a comedy special he did in 1990 or 91 (my senior year of college) which was at that time one of the funniest things I had ever seen. This was of course right after Gulf War I, and he had some funny stuff to say about George Bush Sr. I would never have imagined that he would make the switch he did, to the ranks of the dumber, goofier son,

Posted by: Bokonon | September 12, 2007 11:42 PM | Report abuse

Dave

English history shows a long march towards today's parliamentary democracy. Yes, political power was limited to the elites for centuries but it was the nobles that imposed the first limits on monarchical power. The elites were not monolithic in their policies and different factions competed for political power - peacefully.

True democracy in Britain came later in the 19th century with the expansion of the franchise and the removal of religious restrictions on office holding. Similarly, the "democracy" that the founders established was severely limited compared to today's situation. There were property qualifications for voters. The legislatures selected senators until the early 20th century. The founders were intent on developing a system in which the elites would lead the masses and the political influence of the property-less would be restricted.

Iraq has no tradition of power sharing. It has no national identity since it was created by the British Colonial Office at the end of WWI on the ruins of the Ottoman Empire. The various tribal and sectarian groups identify with their tribes and sects and not the nation. There is no history of a pluralistic society resolving its differences peacefully through political processes. The Baathist dictatorship succeeded a corrupt monarchy which ruled in an authoritarian manner lightened by corruption and incompetence. Whatever the shortcomings of British or colonial American democracy, political thought and aspirations were fairly well advanced along the road to a democratic society. The ideals that the founders held were more significant than the reality of the political arrangements of the time. It was their ideals that transcended the limitations on democracy of the early years of the Republic.

As for France - the French Revolution empowered fanatics and the zealots drenched the country in blood. Thousands were sent to the guillotine. Order was restored, without liberte', fraternite' et eqalite' by Napoleon. He was succeeded by the Bourbon monarchy which was replaced by a fledgling democracy in 1848 (The Second Republic). This was ended by coup d'etat by Napoleon's nephew who ended up ruling the Second Empire as Napoleon III (Napoleon II was Napoleon's son who died young but outlived his father). After the Franco-Prussian War overthrew the Second Empire the Third Republic took over after a period of extreme civil strife. There were authoritarian challenges to the republican government over the final years of the 19th century. The Fourth Republic emerged out of WWII and survived until around 1959 when DeGaulle rescued the French from a near civil war over the loss of their colony in Algeria. Some French military leaders plotted to overthrow the Republic in an effort to continue the war to keep Algeria as a French colony. DeGaulle reorganized the French government into the Fifth Republic which replaced the fairly weak executive of the Fourth Republic with a very strong president in the Fifth Republic. That system is almost 50 years old now and has proven to be the longest lasting constitutional system since the overthrow of the ancien regime in the French Revolution.

Posted by: JimD in FL | September 12, 2007 11:35 PM | Report abuse

Boko: agreed about Miller. Not sure why letting his political hair down softened him so much. Too much money? Seems to happen to all of the SNL products to a certain extent, Eddie Murphy being the best example. Although at least Murphy can still be funny every once in a while.

As far as Jon Stewart goes, wait 15 months. If we have a D POTUS and a D Congress, guess who he'll be making fun of? He's like Maureen Dowd in that they have to find a target for their humor or they are out of a job. Might not seem like a D after that. Of course, it will be funny to see him skewer Faux News for criticizing the D president for doing exactly the same things that Bush has done.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | September 12, 2007 11:24 PM | Report abuse

Boko: "Judge, someone asked me the other day if I thought Jon Stewart would ever become a more serious politico - I think they said "the Democrats' answer to Dennis Miller." My gut is "no" on that, but he already is taken at least somewhat seriously, although it's difficult to know how seriously he actually takes himself. He may not want to go the Miller route, though... Miller lost a lot of his edge when he swung right, at least as i see it."

Mrs. Voter and I went to a comedy show at the Warner Theatre years ago featuring Stewart, Miller, and David Spade.

Stewart was by far the funniest -- somewhat of a surprise because he wasn't so well known yet -- Miller was just ok, and Spade was horrible -- it looked like he didn't prepare at all.

Posted by: Loudoun Voter | September 12, 2007 11:18 PM | Report abuse

Boko - Stevie Ray/Double Trouble and the T-Birds used to host Riverfest every year.
Always took my h.s. age kids. Always ended with Jimmy and Stevie Ray, 11P, playing each other's guitars over their heads behind their backs in a fantastic duet.

My 33 yr old daughter and her husband are visiting from Bath, UK, starting tonight.
We were reminiscing about 1990 at Riverfest - we were in a small crowd watching Dennis Quaid and his "vanity" band. They were OK.
A cute short blonde with granny sunglasses is standing next to us. My kid says: "That's Meg Ryan". I say "No, she's a waitress at Kerbey Lane on S. Lamar."
My kid keeps insisting. I lean over and say to the little blonde: "My kid says you are Meg Ryan and I bet her $5 you are a waitress at Kerbey." She smiles and says "I am Meg Ryan - she wins."
Tonight my daughter laughed like crazy and told how utterly embarrassed she was by me - but how much fun we had. They hope to pick up some late partial tix for ACL Friday.

Last year I bought a partial for Fri. nt. and met my youngest daughter. She saw the Allmans and Lyle Lovett with me, we saw a great black gospel band together, and I saw some current stuff with her.

If you ever come to Austin, let me know first on this blog and I'll be glad to show you around.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | September 12, 2007 11:08 PM | Report abuse

Judge, someone asked me the other day if I thought Jon Stewart would ever become a more serious politico - I think they said "the Democrats' answer to Dennis Miller." My gut is "no" on that, but he already is taken at least somewhat seriously, although it's difficult to know how seriously he actually takes himself. He may not want to go the Miller route, though... Miller lost a lot of his edge when he swung right, at least as i see it.

Posted by: Bokonon | September 12, 2007 10:50 PM | Report abuse

Agreed, Bokonon, I really enjoyed JEP's comment.

And now a written summary of Jon Stewart on Petraeus's testimony:

"The general had a cautionary word for those are impatient for the surge," Stewart says.

Then he shows Petraeus saying: "Our experience in Iraq has repeatedly shown that projecting too far into the future is not just difficult, it can be misleading and even hazardous."

Back to Stewart: "Don't criticize the surge, because no one can know what's going to happen -- unless you're talking about not sticking with the surge."

Back to Petraeus: "A rapid withdrawal would result in disintegration of the Iraqi security forces, rapid deterioration of local security initiatives. . . . Al Qaeda in Iraq regaining lost ground. . . . A marked increase in violence. . . . Further ethno-sectarian displacement. . . . and exacerbation of already challenging regional dynamics, especially with respect to Iran."

Back to Stewart, who pauses, looking confused: "That's what happened when we went in to Iraq."

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | September 12, 2007 10:42 PM | Report abuse

Judge: "amalgam fillings" is good, but JEP still gets the nod today for "boxful of stupid" from the other thread. But yeah, this blog is much more interesting with less name-calling. It actually becomes a discussion, rather than just "HERE'S WHAT I THINK - SUCK IT UP!"

Mark, off topic, but as a musician I gotta ask - did you ever see Stevie Ray Vaughn in the clubs in Austin 20-25 years ago? or the Fabulous T-birds? Either you or DCAustinite mentioned SxSW in the other thread + I was reminded of what a friend (who actually went this year) had to say about it - something for everyone, and almost all the best in its class. I think he was able to meet and talk to Buddy Guy, maybe Ice Cube? and Pete Townshend, among others.

Posted by: Bokonon | September 12, 2007 10:37 PM | Report abuse

"Hillary is running on name ID and it is pushing the polls. Good strategy."

It's worked far better for Guiliani so far. The "Mayor of 9/11" is a walking empty suit compared to HRC's policy positions.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | September 12, 2007 10:31 PM | Report abuse

There is a small truth that everyone ignores. While hillary may carry the women's vote now. When it comes time to pull the lever they will go away. I know its not PC but its true. Woman are the hardest on other women. As a woman I don't buy the theory that women want to see a woman in at any cost. Personally i don't know any who will vote for her.

My belief is that is why they are playing the poll thing for all its worth. They have got to give people the idea that she is the chosen one so they won't listen closely to what she says. Obama messed up the plan when he started beating he with funds.

Hillary is running on name ID and it is pushing the polls. Good strategy. But if people are forced to stop and listen she will be in trouble.

Posted by: Doris | September 12, 2007 10:20 PM | Report abuse

Bokonon: yeah, KOZ is weirdly logical today. His comments are actually readable rather than simply scrollable. Maybe he had some amalgam fillings removed yesterday?

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | September 12, 2007 10:19 PM | Report abuse

There is a small truth that everyone ignores. While hillary may carry the women's vote now. When it comes time to pull the lever they will go away. I know its not PC but its true. Woman are the hardest on other women. As a woman I don't buy the theory that women want to see a woman in at any cost. Personally i don't know any who will vote for her.

My belief is that is why they are playing the poll thing for all its worth. They have got to give people the idea that she is the chosen one so they won't listen closely to what she says. Obama messed up the plan when he started beating he with funds.

Hillary is running on name ID and it is pushing the polls. Good strategy. But if people are forced to stop and listen she will be in trouble.

Posted by: Doris | September 12, 2007 10:19 PM | Report abuse

There is a small truth that everyone ignores. While hillary may carry the women's vote now. When it comes time to pull the lever they will go away. I know its not PC but its true. Woman are the hardest on other women. As a woman I don't buy the theory that women want to see a woman in at any cost. Personally i don't know any who will vote for her.

My belief is that is why they are playing the poll thing for all its worth. They have got to give people the idea that she is the chosen one so they won't listen closely to what she says. Obama messed up the plan when he started beating he with funds.

Hillary is running on name ID and it is pushing the polls. Good strategy. But if people are forced to stop and listen she will be in trouble.

Posted by: Doris | September 12, 2007 10:18 PM | Report abuse

proudtobeGOP--"The question was -how can she defend her assertion that it's acceptable to allow over a half-million or more Iraqis to be slaughtered because of her timeline for withdrawl, yet is was cause enough to go to war in Bosnia to prevent genocide of a lesser magnitude?"

The question is "half-million--says who?" The second question is "what if staying will cause ANOTHER half-million people to be killed?"

Posted by: roo | September 12, 2007 10:12 PM | Report abuse

Everyone, stop picking on rufus. He can't spell, but his heart is in the right place, whether or not you agree. If you don't, just ignore him.
Zouk, I must say, your stuff today has been readable and interesting, even if I don't agree with most of it. And minimal slamming of "Libs," too. As a lib myself, I thank you.
On topic, Hillary could win. Don't know if she will, but she could - as someone said, 51% is enough. And she's smart enough to do the job, although I think the whole "experience" thing is a bit of a snow job. Whether or not she would do well, or in a way I agree with, I dunno. I would still prefer Obama, who I heard on public radio this afternoon. He's thoughtful and well-spoken, and he doesn't try to put other candidates down, at least not that I've heard. And he doesn't speak in sound bites, which has been a liability for him, unfortunately, in a sound bite fast food culture.
Anyway, we'll see. As far as Iraq goes, I think that both he and Hillary, despite wanting to end the involvement, recognize that Bush's recklessness has left us with a situation that must be at least managed, although maybe by internationalizing it, and hopefully a massive American presence can be drastically reduced over the next year or two. (And by "drastically," I mean "more than Bush has proposed.") I still believe, as Rumsfeld even acknowledged at some point, that we are creating our adversaries even as we are killing them (and they us.) I also believe that in the contemporary world - I hope I'm wrong, but I believe that we may need to have a large number of the troops currently in Iraq free to deploy elsewhere, whether that be in response to sth in Africa, the Far East, Eastern Europe, who knows? I just don't believe we can afford to continue to have such a large percentage of our armed forces refereeing a thousand year old civil war at a time when China is the new economic power, and India and Pakistan are flexing at each other, and Russia is trying to regain its global position, and Zimbabwe/Ivory Coast/Rwanda are on the verge of a meltdown, etc. etc. To say nothing of the $1.5 trillion we have spent in Iraq and Afghanistan, and with no return... as I think bsimon said a while ago, that would pay for everyone in the country to sign onto the Congressional health plan. But I digress.

Posted by: Bokonon | September 12, 2007 10:04 PM | Report abuse

JimD in FL,
Limiting the power of the monarch and establishing a representative democracy are two different things. In England, that transformation took hundreds of years and Parliment was mostly limited to his friends and nobles in the earlier centuries. Obviously thoughts and concepts develope over time. And that's the point - that we did not become democratic overnight and we should not expect the Iraqis or any country to.

"The democratic process saw the voters heavily support sectarian parties whose agenda is to rule for the benefit of their sect to the detriment of the others." The cynic in me says you could say this about the political landscape here! Pre invasion Iraq did have a 250-member National Assembly, 220 of which were elected by popular vote. Not fair elections, mind you but a legislative structure none the less.

Posted by: Dave! | September 12, 2007 7:39 PM | Report abuse

"B. The only way you can say voted at gun point would be if you meant the people were dodging bullets on the way to the voting booths."

No. That is not the only thing I can say. I can say many other things. That is called the freedom of speech.

What is an iraqi man's choices. get in his head. He is not so differant from me and you .He does as he's told by the people with the guns.

The governmetn is not an iraqi govrnment. How could it be. Waht do these people know about democracy? No. The war desont' serve iraq of the middle east at all. It doesn't serve america (we are spending billions maybe trillions). Who does it benifiet?

Individuals making fortunes off war and oil. That's it. Everybody else is losers in this.

Posted by: rufus | September 12, 2007 7:36 PM | Report abuse

Thanks J. I'm more of a philosopher
than I am a political science guy. My bad.

The first time I have been successfully corrected on this blog. Maybe I should stay out of late 1700 histroy and speak about that which I know. :)

I'm into the enlightenment period. The enlightenment period is what america was supposed to be. The freedom they wanted was the goal.

There will always be the people pushing for change and those scared to death of it. There will always be those looking to the future and people that are slaves to the past.

Posted by: rufus | September 12, 2007 7:31 PM | Report abuse

Rufus,

The French and American democracies did not grow up together.

For decades the French alternated from monarchy to empire to democracy. We're working on what, the Fourth Republic?

This goes back to my comment to JimD. Their excessive revolutionary zeal destroyed their revolution.

I do thank them for helping us out, though.

Posted by: J | September 12, 2007 7:26 PM | Report abuse

JimD,

One thing to add to the history lesson - The expenditure of French treasure in support of our revolution likely hastened their own. It essentially bankrupted them.

They also gave us an excellent example of what excess zeal can do...

Posted by: J | September 12, 2007 7:21 PM | Report abuse

I meant the same circumstanses that led to the french revolution, the age of enlightenment, procedded the founding of this great nation.

the french and american democracies grew together.


That is why I get so angry at gop propogandist's trying to get us to "boycott france" and hate the french. There would be no us, without them.

The gop are the new red coats. Ever hear the story of ben franklin and his son? The man was elderly but was a patriot. He was a "radical". His son was the empirical one who was the "conservative". Funny. the old man the radical and the young the conservative. I wonder if fear had anything to do with it.
\
The gop are traditionists. they are the empire. They ar ethe red coats. selling out the country benidict arnold style

Posted by: rufus | September 12, 2007 7:18 PM | Report abuse

"who is that a successful election."

how, rather

Posted by: Anonymous | September 12, 2007 7:14 PM | Report abuse

Good points dave. Of course I disagree. As far as iraq. This is their first election. Yeah the american people get tricked from time to time by liars and propogandists. Who were the founders. Who did america elect for their first president. Pretty good choices, pretty good results. It was iraq's first election. If they are electing criminals to be their George Washington or tom jefferson, who is that a successful election.

As to the french.


read up buddy.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Enlightenment

Posted by: rufus | September 12, 2007 7:13 PM | Report abuse

I know i should refrain from this but...

Rufus: "A successful vote would mean good strong leaders. Good strong leaders would mean political unity. Yeah they voted at gun point."
A. A successful vote does not mean anything about who gets elected. The US has had successful votes and we have had Nixon, Carter, Clinton and Bush, none of which were known by a large majority of people as "good strong leaders" and none of which meant political unity.

B. The only way you can say voted at gun point would be if you meant the people were dodging bullets on the way to the voting booths.

Posted by: Dave! | September 12, 2007 7:00 PM | Report abuse

I feel compelled to offer some corrections on historical facts.

Dave! - the King of England most definitely did not call all the shots. The King's power was limited by tradition and the Parliament. Remember that the English executed a king who tried to rule absolutely. English elites were quite proud of their rights and historically resisted unfettered monarchical power. Furthermore, English political philosophy was quite well advanced and informed the framers. There was a tradition of local rule - colonial legislatures and New England town meetings for example. It was the English govenment's usurpation of what the colonists saw as their prerogatives that spurred the Revolution.

There is no history of representative legislatures in Iraq. The democratic process saw the voters heavily support sectarian parties whose agenda is to rule for the benefit of their sect to the detriment of the others.

rufus - The French Revolution occurred in 1789. It was the royalist, authoritarian French government that provided the crucial support to our war for independence. Their support was motivated by one thing and one thing only - to weaken their traditional enemy the British.

Posted by: JimD in FL | September 12, 2007 6:56 PM | Report abuse

.' Nevertheless, the war against fascism has been going on for almost a century now. We are going to have to kill them all before we're done. Places like Africa can wait a while but anywhere with plentiful resources is a problem.'

'We are going to have to kill them all before we are done.' KOZ, if I ever had any doubts before that you are completely, bloodthirstily, droolingly insane--I don't now.

Posted by: drindl | September 12, 2007 6:51 PM | Report abuse

On a separate note, could I get my fellow liberals to calm down a little.

We should probably accept some measure of reality: that there will be some U.S. troop presence in Iraq for the next half-decade or more.

A full withdrawl is counter-productive at this point. We have to reduce the combat presence. This is the thing that Obama has proposed, with Hillary right behind him. It's also very counter-productive to continue to use strongarm tactics. We need to position ourselves to counsel a new government into being, not to force democratic government on a people who don't have the seeds of that government within them. We can plant those seeds, but not with guns and tanks.

We can do it by booting out the contractors, and bringing in people to rebuild the Iraqi infrastructur while training the Iraqi people to maintain it once it's finished. These steps have to be the goal, or our combat with Iraqi insurgents will truly be open-ended.

Posted by: JamesCH | September 12, 2007 6:49 PM | Report abuse

Loudoun Voter: "Look, it would be great if every country on the face of the earth was a democracy, but it's a very tough nut to crack in many places." Agreed, but the jury is still out IMO and frankly at this point, I think it's worth a good shot at trying to get the materials and plans for a heavy duty nut cracker in place over there.

Posted by: Dave! | September 12, 2007 6:49 PM | Report abuse

"To their credit, the Iraqis have demonstrated their willingness to participate in a very successful democratic vote so there is some very limited history.

A successful vote would mean good strong leaders. Good strong leaders would mean political unity. Yeah they voted at gun point. Congradulations. Wher eis the political growth? Where is growth NOT AT THE HANDS OF M-16's and ak's?

The Unitied statess fought for our freedom. Yeah we wouldn't have made it without the french. But we risked everything and gave everything. What are the iraq's giving? What do we want?

Answer those questions and you will see for yourself why I am so against teh gop. I'm not a democrat. I'm not anti-american. I'm anti CURRENT GOP. What you people have doen and continue to do. The willful ignorance. The blinding yourselves at the time when we all need to be awake.

The gop and your followers are the one's hiding in a cave over the terrorsit threat, not the libs

Posted by: rufus | September 12, 2007 6:42 PM | Report abuse

proudtobeGOP: You are reading something I fail to see. The DCAustinite post at 04:57 PM has it correct about it being an extension of numbers, as I explained, and is trying to prevent this from happening in Iraq with a different course of action.

Posted by: lylepink | September 12, 2007 6:42 PM | Report abuse

KOZ,

I have a question for you, as it seems that you're a big Rudy supporter.

How will he appeal to the 20-30% on the Christian Right? I see him as a strong moderate candidate, though I think he'll have a heck of a time fighting off the attacks if he gets the nom. But the far right isn't exactly going to throw their arms open to him, not when he's got such a socially liberal track record.

I think that Hillary would be his saving grace, in a sense. Put her out there as the opponent, and that 20-30% votes for Rudy just to keep her out of the Oval.

Anybody else at the top of the Democratic ticket, and I see potential for a 3rd party run from the far right.

Posted by: JamesCH | September 12, 2007 6:41 PM | Report abuse

Dave: "Loudon Voter, my recollection of history is that both England and America were under monarch rule. Not to dismiss the Magna Carta or the House of Burgesses but neither can be considered a tradition of democracy that anybody was really following as the King called all the shots. There was the concept of democracy there but a tradition?"

Well, while the king certainly had more power than the English monarch has today (none), he was already sharing it with Parliament, one house of which was by the time of our revolution elected by the people, so I'd say the Framers did have a democratic tradition to work from.

Look, it would be great if every country on the face of the earth was a democracy, but it's a very tough nut to crack in many places.

Posted by: Loudoun Voter | September 12, 2007 6:41 PM | Report abuse

Alright zouk. You have been standing on this soapbox, showing us all your ignorance.

The report is invaild because they are not showing all the data. How is it possilbe the death tolls are down? There was a bombing last month that killed 500 iraqi's. 500!. So how can the toll be down with the murder of 500 people included in the poll? how many normal iraq days does it take for 500 dead? 2 months, three? So how can the toll be down. They didn't include THAT pirticular INCIDENT.

So the question becomes, what else wasn't counted. The republcians and petreus lied that all the killings were included and the Senate big boy's handed to him the next day, didn't they. It was because he was lying.

Point 2. I know you've heard this but continue to ignore. there can be no military success without political progress. None. You can hold a territory but as soon as we leave what happens, if there is no political progress.
The war on terrors goal was not re-making the middle east into a democracy. Teh goal was to kill the killers. Not give them all our blood and treasure. For what. Bush and his buddies making money off defense contracts, oil?

Posted by: rufus | September 12, 2007 6:38 PM | Report abuse

Loudon Voter, my recollection of history is that both England and America were under monarch rule. Not to dismiss the Magna Carta or the House of Burgesses but neither can be considered a tradition of democracy that anybody was really following as the King called all the shots. There was the concept of democracy there but a tradition? I don't know. I'll grant that there was the concept there more so than in Iraq. To their credit, the Iraqis have demonstrated their willingness to participate in a very successful democratic vote so there is some very limited history.

Posted by: Dave! | September 12, 2007 6:25 PM | Report abuse

Proud - the Dems could have taken the high road and stated their case as "I don't care if violence is going down, the cost is not worth the benefit". this is a perfectly valid argument to be made.

Instead they use the "I think that you lied about the data, violence is not going down, If it were, we would be in accordance with you". Notice this slurs and attacks the messenger - their typical MO and doesn't even comport with thier supposed point of view, that the war is wrong under any circumstance. the implication is, that if indeed the war is going well, they are ready to jump on board , but they can' trust the general.

but they are not ready to jump on board under any scenario. they are already trying to change the terminology (another typical MO) to demand certain political metrics, above and beyond military ones. Reid has put all thier chips in the losing basket and needs for America to lose in order for him to claim victory. how perverse. he is disgusting and is beneath contempt, especially for the head of the US Senate.

Posted by: kingofzouk | September 12, 2007 6:14 PM | Report abuse

"That brings up the issue that must never be forgotten: There is NO democratic tradition in Iraq. The Framers had more than 500 years of democratic progress behind them (First in England, starting with the Magna Carta in 1215, and then in the colonies as early as the Virginia House of Burgesses, which opened for business in 1619)."

Not to mention the role the french (our sister nation) revolution. The united states would not exist if not of the french. There was much POWER TO THE PEOPLE, and populist ideas going around europe at that time.

Posted by: rufus | September 12, 2007 6:12 PM | Report abuse

It is also what they decide not to say that I find most important. I have not heard really any discussion on Humanitarian efforts like fighting Global Poverty or the passage of the Global Poverty Act in congress. Why their stances are on these will greatly effect what people think about their character.

Posted by: Erica | September 12, 2007 6:11 PM | Report abuse

It is also what they decide not to say that I find most important. I have not heard really any discussion on Humanitarian efforts like fighting Global Poverty or the passage of the Global Poverty Act in congress. Why their stances are on these will greatly effect what I think about their character.

Posted by: Erica | September 12, 2007 6:10 PM | Report abuse

lylepink- The question was -how can she defend her assertion that it's acceptable to allow over a half-million or more Iraqis to be slaughtered because of her timeline for withdrawl, yet is was cause enough to go to war in Bosnia to prevent genocide of a lesser magnitude?

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | September 12, 2007 6:09 PM | Report abuse

"The Bush electoral strategy was 50+1. Clinton's will likely be the same. Even if 48 percent of voters won't vote for her, that gives her 52 percent to work with, a veritable landslide. LOL"
No kidding. But if it works, it works.

Thanks for the linkage, Mark. That was a good read. Obama's lack of attention during one of the most important testimonies of his tenure speaks volumes about him. I like him, but he needs to show that he's as good a politician and leader as everyone else.

God bless, John Warner. What an excellent couple of questions. He's a Republican I'd vote for if I lived a few miles further south.

Posted by: JasonL | September 12, 2007 6:08 PM | Report abuse

Dave: "It took the US 4 years after the revolution to ratify the Constitution. Those guys knew pretty much what they wanted and turned out to be fairly brilliant. Neither of those traits seem to be in great abundance in Iraq plus they have additional issues to deal with so one would expect it to take longer."

That brings up the issue that must never be forgotten: There is NO democratic tradition in Iraq. The Framers had more than 500 years of democratic progress behind them (First in England, starting with the Magna Carta in 1215, and then in the colonies as early as the Virginia House of Burgesses, which opened for business in 1619).

Posted by: Loudoun Voter | September 12, 2007 6:07 PM | Report abuse

proudtobeGOP: Did you understand my answer to your question??

Posted by: lylepink | September 12, 2007 6:05 PM | Report abuse

"Cenk Uygur at Huffington Post wonders if the Democrats in DC understand that this is the last time they can credibly challenge President Bush on Iraq:

I would like to buy the Democrats a clue. According to the latest USA Today/Gallup poll, 60% of Americans are to the left of you! They answered that they are in favor of hard deadlines for withdrawal no matter what the conditions on the ground are. That is considerably starker than the average Democrat's position.

By the way, this was a poll question loaded to get a low answer. Who is really going to say they are for withdrawal no matter what the conditions are? Well, apparently a huge majority of Americans. Even with that kind of loaded question, sixty percent said we have to go -- no matter what.

Are you listening Democrats? The amount of disdain the Democrats will have earned if they buckle again will be immeasurable. Even with overwhelming American support behind them, the most deeply unpopular president of all time and the country in a mood for dramatic change, if they give in to Bush again, the world will not be able to contain our disgust with them.
"


www.crooksnadliars.com

Posted by: short one | September 12, 2007 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Mark - The article you cited points out what really galls me this week with Gen Petraeus appearing before Congress. They, especially the ones running for higher office, act as though Petraeus is on trial!!!! He has done a magnificent job of not going on the defensive, but Hillary and Obama, Biden, and others have made themselves look like opportunistic jackels at the expense of a great military leader.

Like the article says , it's all about them! Witness Hillary's entrance into the room ..."Clinton, at first entered the hearing room largely unnoticed; she then left and reentered moments later as part of Petraeus's entourage -- basking in the clicks of hundreds of camera shutters."

It makes me sick to think of the caluculation of that move.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | September 12, 2007 6:02 PM | Report abuse

To throw more fuel on the fire, HRC was originally a Goldwater supporter (pre higher ed). And just to be contrary, no, I don't agree that she is a closet R.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | September 12, 2007 6:01 PM | Report abuse

Loundon Voter: "Wishful thinking? Kind of like expecting the joke that currently passes for an Iraqi government to ever be able to do anything on its own."

It took the US 4 years after the revolution to ratify the Constitution. Those guys knew pretty much what they wanted and turned out to be fairly brilliant. Neither of those traits seem to be in great abundance in Iraq plus they have additional issues to deal with so one would expect it to take longer.

Posted by: Dave! | September 12, 2007 6:00 PM | Report abuse

"Me wanting BIll O'REily and Rush off the air? What conservative has been pulled off the air by a right winger? I could go on all day abou tthe left getting silenced IMus Opie and anthoney. now who on the right has been silecned. Hypocrite sell-out traitors.
"

What conservative has been pulled by a left winger? that is.

Is this source of pride for the gop, that they have the power to pull people and or silence but the left doesn't? Does that make you proud? It should make you ashamed. The right are the one's drowning out free speeh. Their continuous asking for me to be silenced (every day) is a prime example.

It makes them feel proud. It makes they feel tough. IT makes the bully feel big to kick the small kid. How can that small kid get his respect? Not that I'm small, I'm taking figuritivly :)

Posted by: rufus | September 12, 2007 5:52 PM | Report abuse

The KOZ from 2006 came back today. Welcome.

DCAustinite - I understood your reservations about HRC. I still do not believe she will be the D nominee.

Everyone should read

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/09/11/AR2007091102154.html

for fun-with-pain.

John Warner is going to be missed.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | September 12, 2007 5:50 PM | Report abuse

"The democraps are traitors and should keep their mouths shut in a time of war."

Not that the r's haven't tried to silence any and all opposition the last 6 years. Not like they don't get anything they disagree with pulled from schools tv or radio. Dixie Chicks Rosie wArd churchill sean penn charlie sheen brian de palma Kathy griffin tom hanks etc etc

I could go on for hours, but you get the idea. So much for free speech in this country? Who killed it? Me wanting BIll O'REily and Rush off the air? What conservative has been pulled off the air by a right winger? I could go on all day abou tthe left getting silenced IMus Opie and anthoney. now who on the right has been silecned. Hypocrite sell-out traitors.

Posted by: rufus | September 12, 2007 5:49 PM | Report abuse

jime,
"What would georgie boy say then?" He'd say thanks for the help in the War on Terror. Bush has never, ever waivered in his glee for killing terrorists, regardless of how its done or who does it.

Posted by: Dave! | September 12, 2007 5:46 PM | Report abuse

That's good non-bias journalism, above.

The republcians should be able to say whatever they want.

The democraps are traitors and should keep their mouths shut in a time of war.

Only the party in power should have a say in politics in a time of war. The othe rparty, not so much. Keep your mouths shut.

Posted by: Bill from Ohio | September 12, 2007 5:39 PM | Report abuse

"Wishful thinking? Kind of like expecting the joke that currently passes for an Iraqi government to ever be able to do anything on its own"

Loudon - Local ground-up political progress is being seen, and it is quite possible that the Anbar model will spread to other regions, as there is evidence of already.

Amb Crocker agrees that the Iraqi govt hasn't made as much progress as we would like, but bear in mind, they had no existing govt to begin with...nothing left at all after Saddam ruined the country and destroyed govt infrastructure.

Yes, it is slow progress, but it is progress. And that is more than many would have dared hope for just 6 months ago.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | September 12, 2007 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Jim Dandy - You conservartives don't mind Clinton too much because she is the same sort of criminal swine that we have been treated to over the past 6 years....no,no,no, make that 14, because we had 8 years of Bubba, too.... There isn't a pennies worth of difference between Hillary Clinton and Dick Cheney - he had his scret energy task force of energy company exec's and she had her health care tak force of health compnay exec's; every last one of the bent on ripping off the consumer and the country. I'm tired of these miserable swine. I'll take Guliani, Edwards, Obama, McCain, Thompson, almost anyone over another four years of Bush-Clinton.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 12, 2007 5:38 PM | Report abuse

"When Howard Dean pointed out (presciently) in December of 2005 that the Iraq War cannot be won, Michael Reagan called for Dean to "be arrested and hung for treason or put in a hole until the end of the Iraq war," and the next day, on Fox News, alongside an approving Sean Hannity, he said: "I have no problem at all, no problem at all, with what this guy is doing, taking him out and arresting him." And here is Giuliani campaign advisor Norm Podhoretz on the Hugh Hewitt Show yesterday, as they explained how deeply anti-American "Democrats" are:"

Posted by: http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/index.html | September 12, 2007 5:36 PM | Report abuse

proudtobeGOP: The comparison of Iraq to Bosnia is an extension of numbers based on the population of the two countries. Simple, even to someone like me who only has a High School GED.

Posted by: lylepink | September 12, 2007 5:34 PM | Report abuse

I agree with you jim. She is a closet repub. I've been telling these peopel this for months now. Thanks for that.

I agree with your post. But I am on the opposite side based on all you said. But I agree with you. That's why I'm trying to get the d's to nominate someone else.

Nominating her is teh republicans vs themselves.

There's one way to win after the last 15 years of republcian sabotage. Run against yourself. A win win for the sell-out gop fascist MACHINE. That's why I'm ragin' I'm ragin agaisnt the machine:)

Posted by: rufus | September 12, 2007 5:34 PM | Report abuse

JasonL: "Anyway, I don't see why HRC couldn't get elected."

The Bush electoral strategy was 50+1. Clinton's will likely be the same. Even if 48 percent of voters won't vote for her, that gives her 52 percent to work with, a veritable landslide. LOL

Posted by: Loudoun Voter | September 12, 2007 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Quick question to all the gop here. For all you so outraged by the petrus ad. Where you also angry at the gop calling John murtha a traitor for seeking a withdrawly last year, and their continued attack of his credibility?

Posted by: rufus | September 12, 2007 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Since I guess conservatives are few and far between, I'll give my two cents why some of us don't mind Hillary too much compared to Obama or Edwards, and she could get some coveted independent votes. She voted for the Iraq war resolution, which to us, is a good thing, keeping America safe. She is also supported by Wall St. types on New York and would probably protect free-market capitalism as president, keeping America competitive. All this populism rhetoric should die down soon enough and she'll want to win the next election too. I think she's secretly a classic neo-con, progressive on economic issues, but no socialist, and in favor of a robust military. But that won't win with MoveOn.org and DailyKos, will it?

Posted by: Jim Dandy | September 12, 2007 5:29 PM | Report abuse

"Clinton avoided being painted as a craven politician who will say and do anything to be elected"

Yeah, she has the rest of her history already painting her. She triangulates. People may agree with her, but very few are enthusiastic about her

Posted by: Anonymous | September 12, 2007 5:27 PM | Report abuse

That is what you gope'rs have doen the last 50 years, zouk. Since the red scare. The only reason people are scared of the gop. 50 years of trying to force your principles down people's throughts. If they don't turn into a sell-out soulless fascsit, throw them in the nooney bin. Pump them full of drugs so they WILL be crazy. Problem solved.

What changed forced conservatism 101? Some president made a law where they could not imprison you against your will. Now the nubers are way down.

the point of the stroy has noting to do with me. It's a history lesson. This is a lesson on why Bill O'Reilly still think she can call the left "crazys" and loons". How the right are the "serious" ones. and the left is unresponsible. 50 years zouk.

YOu have played that game for 50 years. You did your damage to this country. You have forced conservatism down our throuts for 50 years. No more.

You are the crazies now. You are the one's living in a dream world. You need help zouk Seek couseling. You people threw liberals in the crazy house for at least fifty years. Not that people in power haven't tried that to silence disent. It's just part of you facist game. Lie spin and discredit. I see you zouk

Posted by: rufus | September 12, 2007 5:26 PM | Report abuse

proud: "Her hopes of enlisting other countries to help promote peace in Iraq sounds like empty promises and wishful thinking at best."

Wishful thinking? Kind of like expecting the joke that currently passes for an Iraqi government to ever be able to do anything on its own.

Posted by: Loudoun Voter | September 12, 2007 5:25 PM | Report abuse

rufas, I think you have plenty of your own demons to contend with, you don't need any more adversaries right now. I can only offer you this bit of advice:

Seek professional help.

Posted by: kingofzouk | September 12, 2007 5:20 PM | Report abuse

"I fail to see anywhere in there where she says that it's acceptable."

DC - she said that violence claiming hundreds of thousands more Iraqi lives, while a " tragic possibility, however, does not justify continuing our failed policy"

It justified their policy in Bosnia, did it not?

And as kingofzouk pointed out, those areas with large amounts of resources are all the more important to keep under control.

Her hopes of enlisting other countries to help promote peace in Iraq sounds like empty promises and wishful thinking at best.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | September 12, 2007 5:19 PM | Report abuse

If I am combatting "dittoheads" daily it would make sense I play by your rules, no? If I am comabtting dittoheads daily, it would make sense I know what you are going to do/say before you, no? i was a soldier. know your enemy. Keep you freinds close your enemies closer. Yin and yang.

You knwo I'm smarter than you zouk. You just don't realize you are losing every day. I know you, you don't me. I show you what I want to show you, when I want to show it.

I comabt lies propoganda and spin with truth. You can never defeat me. BAd mouth me and trash talk all day long. Play you middle school games gop. It's not that your going to lose, you already have, you just don't know it.

Posted by: rufus | September 12, 2007 5:15 PM | Report abuse

I hear you zouk. What is a dittohead?

Posted by: rufus | September 12, 2007 5:09 PM | Report abuse

My God. This is the most professional and reasonable I've ever seen the comments section. Well done, all. Especially Zouk. Very nice today.

Anyway, I don't see why HRC couldn't get elected. So many people claim to hate her or "all my friends hate her too" but I continually fail to see it in the polls. Many people predicted that women wouldn't stand behind a woman like HRC but that doesn't seemed to have held up either (with thanks to whoever posted those results).

I still might vote for Richardson in the Primary here in MD, but if it looks close I'll throw my support behind Hillary in a hot second. Whether its marketing or not (as an astute poster mentioned) she really radiates presence for me. She seems Presidential to me.

And as Eddie Izzard (the original executive transvestite) says, people respond to not what you say, but how you say it.

But then again he also says, "You've got to say something. You can't go down to the moon and go, 'Oh, it's all sticky! It's covered in jam!'"

Posted by: JasonL | September 12, 2007 5:09 PM | Report abuse

spoke too soon. rufas, why ruin this blog with that garbage? a blog is supposed to be about your opinion, something creative and original that is written by you as a response to something. It helps to have facts to back it up. why post detritus from Kos?

never mind, I and all the rest will continue to ignore you. And the reason is because you are a fool and annoying. not because you're right or wrong, just too confused to make any sense.

I take back the nice things I said about you before. I can do it too, hillary taught me how. what I meant to say was.....

Posted by: kingofzouk | September 12, 2007 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Brevity is the soul of wit, Rufus. BREVITY.

Posted by: DCAustinite | September 12, 2007 4:59 PM | Report abuse

DCAustinite - easy - no rufas, no ignorant coward. Ignoring of Loud and dumb. no Jane, no drindl, no JEP.

where are all the loony Dems today? Is it some sort of moonbat holiday.

I think all the cons from yesterday left a bad taste in their mouth. are they only here for the mutual admiration society? What say you magic eight ball - "It would seem so."

Posted by: kingofzouk | September 12, 2007 4:58 PM | Report abuse

"Here's the quote: "In Bosnia, before the US-led NATO actions resulted in the Dayton Peace Accords, the sectarian violence claimed 200,000 lives and created two million refugees. And Iraq has six times as many people."

"So unless the leaders of the various insurgent groups, and militias and the government change course, they could reach the per capital Bosnian casualty rates, claiming hundreds of thousands more Iraqi lives and causing millions more to flee."

I fail to see anywhere in there where she says that it's acceptable. As a matter of fact, it sounds like she's trying to prevent it, IE: Unless X happens Y will happen.

Posted by: DCAustinite | September 12, 2007 4:57 PM | Report abuse

I am not trying to argue in favor of HRC or anyone else for that matter. But I do have a couple thoughts that may be worth mulling over.

RE: no apology.
To me it seems that this is a very skewed topic. If you went to a doctor and he misdiagnosed you, then you died by following that advice. Would it be your fault for following that advice?

RE: Dennis K.

I am an older person and I have followed his record since he first ran for office in northern Ohio. He is well liked and respected because he, for the most part, does what he says. I mostly disagree with his thoughts on things, such as an "Army for Peace". But I have come to respect him because even his strangest statements, and some are weird, he stands by. Were it not for his most radical ideas I could support him. The folks in Ohio like him a lot. He has been re-elected many times.

Actually I could say the same for Ron Paul. I have written to his campaign on several occasions to see if he had any wiggle room on his pro life position. Not an agreement, just a tolerance of separate ideas. Unfortunately he does not.

So like many others I suspect I do not know where I will go. In my lifetime I have voted Republican or Democrat depending upon the issues and the record of the politician.

A 100% service connected disabled vet.

Posted by: RetCombatVet | September 12, 2007 4:55 PM | Report abuse

A thrfer. Sorry. i have to give my boy props. Our problem's are his problems. Sorry. Three for one. Please read, all of you that would silence me but praise drudge, rush, fox.

"Wednesday September 12, 2007 13:43 EST
Selective defenders of free expression
According to our country's great warriors, one of the main reasons we wage Glorious War Forever in the Middle East -- not just in Iraq but soon (if Norm Podhoretz's "prayers" are answered) in Iran and maybe Syria and beyond -- is because The Islamofascists pose a threat to Our Freedoms (which Muslims hate). Their hatred for our Freedoms is proven by their attempts to suppress ideas and commentaries which are offensive to their religion, most famously exemplified by the endless, breathless Mohammed Cartoons controversy, and also by things such as this:

Kathy Griffin's Jesus remark cut from Emmy show

Comic Kathy Griffin's "offensive" remarks about Jesus at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards will be cut from a pre-taped telecast of the show, the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences said on Tuesday.

Griffin made the provocative comment on Saturday night as she took the stage of the Shrine Auditorium to collect her Emmy for best reality program for her Bravo channel show "My Life on the D-List."

"A lot of people come up here and thank Jesus for this award. I want you to know that no one had less to do with this award than Jesus," an exultant Griffin said, holding up her statuette. "Suck it, Jesus. This award is my god now."

Asked about her speech backstage a short time later, an unrepentant Griffin added, "I hope I offended some people. I didn't want to win the Emmy for nothing."

The speech drew fire from a leading Roman Catholic group, the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, which condemned Griffin's remarks as "obscene and blasphemous."

Bill Donohue, the Catholic Crusader who led the charge to have this blasphemous commentary censored, is not done yet safeguarding America from offensive "anti-Christian" content, as he railed today:
The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences reacted responsibly to our criticism of Kathy Griffin's verbal assault on 85 percent of the U.S. population. The ball is now in Griffin's court. The self-described "complete militant atheist" needs to make a swift and unequivocal apology to Christians. If she does, she will get this issue behind her. If she does not, she will be remembered as a foul-mouthed bigot for the rest of her life.
National Review is one of our nation's most stalwart and courageous warrior organizations resolutely defending the Nation against the Assault on Freedom by Islamofascism. Its Kathryn Jean Lopez had this to say today:
Thank you, Bill Donahue [Kathryn Jean Lopez]

Wins a victory over Kathy Griffin's mouth.

UPDATE: He's still going for an apology.

One of the few occasions I found myself agreeing with these rabid play-acting anti-Islamic warriors was the controversy over the Mohammed cartoons. It is critically important to safeguard the right to express even those views (rather, especially those views) which are most controversial, and we should battle against an environment in which material offensive to any religion or any group must be suppressed.

For that reason, I was also highly supportive of Joan Walsh's recent decision to publish in Salon several (unfunny) "Opus" cartoons which most publications, including The Washington Post, refused to publish on the ground that they might offend Muslims. The threat is obviously greater when violence and rioting are used as tools to compel censorship of "blasphemous" material, but Catholic League pressure tactics which achieve the same result are also the enemy of free expression.

Nonetheless, as is true for their oh-so-solemn concern for gay and women's rights in Iran and their profound belief in democracy for Iraq, our warmongers' putative opposition to censorship of blasphemous material is completely insincere and selective, nothing more than a venting ground for their anti-Islamic fury and a pretext for their policies of permanent Middle East war. They remain respectfully quiet, if not overtly supportive, when their political comrades use intimidation tactics to force censorship of "anti-Christian" ideas right here in the United States, yet they suddenly parade around as Great Defenders of Free Expression whenever doing so serves their overarching desire to depict Muslims as the Greatest Threat Ever.

To recap:

Censoring offensive Mohammed cartoons = Existential Threat to our Civilization.

Censoring offensive anti-Christian commentary = Glorious Victory in the Culture War.

UPDATE: And then there is the Leftist Islamo-loving tyranny on our nation's college campuses:

About a week ago, Erwin Chemerinsky, the well-known constitutional law scholar at Duke, signed a contract to be the inaugural Dean of the new law school at the University of California at Irvine.

Yesterday, the Chancellor of the University of Cailfornia at Irvine flew to Durham and fired Chemerinsky, saying that he had not been aware of how Chemerinsky's political views would make him a target for criticism from conservatives.

It is quite amazing that in a purportedly liberal state like California, the Chancellor of a major UC campus has apparently caved into political pressure from conservatives, even though, on the merits, Chemerinsky was a far more prominent scholar than the University had any reason to suppose it would be able to land for a brand new law school.

That incident is highly redolent of the successful campaign by neoconservatives to block what had been a certain offer of tenure by Yale University to Juan Cole, because the neoconservatives found Cole's political views offensive.

Why do Islamofascists hate our Freedoms? Thankfully we have our nation's play-acting warrior class to defend them.

UPDATE II: Obviously, as I indicated, violence-induced suppression is a greater threat than pressure-group-induced suppression. Nonetheless, the dichotomy is not as clean as right-wing defenders suggest.

No Muslims threatened violence -- or, to my knowledge, even launched protest campaigns -- to demand that the "Opus" cartoons be suppressed, yet right-wing warriors nonetheless cited that incident as a grave threat to liberty.

Conversey, suppression of material offensive to Christian groups due to threats of violence is hardly unheard of, and the same is true of efforts to use government power to disfavor expression on the grounds that of blasphemy. Worse, threats of violence -- and violence itself -- against abortion clinics are common.

Whatever it is motivating anti-Muslim warriors, it plainly has nothing to do with some principled devotion to free expression or the claimed need for a society to be free of religiously-motivated violence, since those "principles" are applied in the most transparently selective manner.

-- Glenn Greenwald

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Wednesday September 12, 2007 09:27 EST
One-sided rules of political debate
(updated below - Update II)

Now that it is inescapably clear to everyone (rather than just bloggers) that we will remain in Iraq in full force through the end of the Bush presidency, and now that, according to a Fox News report this morning, "'everyone in town' is now participating in a broad discussion about the costs and benefits of military action against Iran, with the likely timeframe for any such course of action being over the next eight to 10 months," what has attracted the righteous fury of Time's leading "liberal" pundit Joe Klein, who helped sell the Iraq invasion to the country in the first place?

The supremely important MoveOn.org advertisement, of course, which Klein, eager as always to show the Right what a Good Liberal he is, flamboyantly condemns:

Just back from today's hearings and just about Every Last Republican mentioned the idiotic MoveOn ad...also caught the beginning of Fox News, where -- surprise, surprise --it played big. . . .

This is going to put the Democrats on the defensive. . . . The ad was, on its face, morally and politically outrageous. . . . But the substance (or lack of it) will be subsumed by the slander: It is no small thing to accuse a military man of betraying his country. It is also palpably untrue in this case. Whoever cooked up this ad is guilty of a disgraceful act of malicious puerility. . . .

But for now, MoveOn has handed the Bush Administration a major victory -- at a moment when all attention should be focused on whether we should continue to commit U.S. troops to this disaster. Just nauseating.

Klein's fury over such rhetoric is extremely selective. Here is Joe Klein himself last year employing far more vicious accusations (against, among others, unnamed "many writers at The Nation") which, in far more mild form today, he so disdains:
In his recent account of a breakfast book party at the home of Tina Brown and Harry Evans, Eric Alterman misquoted me slightly but significantly. What I actually said was "the hate America tendency of the [Democratic Party's] left wing" had made it harder for Democrats to challenge Republicans on foreign policy. . . .
For those who think -- for some indiscernible reason -- that it is important enough to spend the energy developing an opinion on the MoveOn ad, there are, I suppose, reasonable arguments that can be made on both sides as to whether the "betray us" rhyme was rhetorically excessive, counter-productive, etc. But the shrill hand-wringing it has triggered is just bizarre in light of the fact that accusing Americans, including military veterans, of being unpatriotic, anti-American and betraying the country has, for decades, been a mainstream staple of the political rhetoric from our country's pro-war Right -- invoked most aggressively by those, such as Klein, now claiming such profound offense over the MoveOn ad.

Here is Joseph Farah of World Net Daily in an October, 2004 column entitled "Questioning Kerry's Patriotism":

Think of what I am saying: A man who came to prominence and notoriety in American life, and who is now on the threshold of winning the White House, was actively aiding and abetting the enemy just 33 years ago. He was a tool. He was an agent. He was working for the other side.

That's why I say it is time to stop playing rhetorical games with respect to Kerry.

There is only one word in the English language that adequately describes what he was in 1971 -- and what he remains today for capitalizing on the evil he perpetrated back then. That word is "traitor."

The right-wing site "American Thinker" -- proudly included on Fred Thompson's short blogroll, among most other places on the Right -- published an article in 2005 entitled "Is Jack Murtha a Coward and a Traitor?" (answer: "Any American who recommends retreat is injuring his own country and calling his own patriotism into question"). Here is John Hinderaker of Powerline -- Time's 2004 Blog of the Year -- on our country's 39th President (and, unlike the non-serving Hinderaker, a former Naval officer): "Jimmy Carter isn't just misguided or ill-informed. He's on the other side."

When Howard Dean pointed out (presciently) in December of 2005 that the Iraq War cannot be won, Michael Reagan called for Dean to "be arrested and hung for treason or put in a hole until the end of the Iraq war," and the next day, on Fox News, alongside an approving Sean Hannity, he said: "I have no problem at all, no problem at all, with what this guy is doing, taking him out and arresting him." And here is Giuliani campaign advisor Norm Podhoretz on the Hugh Hewitt Show yesterday, as they explained how deeply anti-American "Democrats" are:

HH: Norman Podhoretz, before the last break, we were talking about the intellectual class in America that is so deeply anti-American from the Vietnam years, and how it did not take them long to find in America the cause for 9/11, and to begin what has been a very poisonous attack on America over the last six years. How can they be that successful?

NP: Well, what I try to explain in my book is that a lot of these people were working out of the anti-war movement playbook of the Vietnam era. . . .

Well, what I think is that that is correct, and I think that the Democrats are committing political suicide, at least for the 2008 presidential election. I mean, you know, the Democrats suffered from the disability of the McGovern years, when they were rightly considered soft on national defense, not to be trusted to protect us against foreign threats. They worked very heard to overcome that reputation, especially under Clinton. And now what they've done is to resurrect it. And they've gone even further than they did under McGovern. I mean, embracing defeat, calling for American defeat, rooting for American defeat.

Insinuating that Democrats and/or other opponents of various American wars are "betraying" America -- and worse -- has been the central argumentative tactic on the Right for decades. So says no less of an expert on (and past purveyor of) such tactics than Pat Buchanan, in his column today explaining why Congressional Democrats will never end the war:
As Petraeus testifies, the antiwar movement appears broken. Reid has said his party will not try to de-fund the war or impose new deadlines. . . .

What happened to the party of Speaker Pelosi and Reid, which was going to end U.S. involvement in the war and not permit Bush to pursue victory the way Richard Nixon pursued it in Vietnam for four years?

Answer: Terrified of the possible consequences of the policies they recommend, Democrats lack the courage to impose those policies.

When it comes to issues of war, Democrats are an intimidated lot. Sens. Clinton, Edwards, Biden, Dodd and Reid were all stampeded by Bush into voting him a blank check for war in October 2002. Why? Because they feared Bush would declare them weak or unpatriotic if they denied him the authority to go to war, at a time of his choosing, until he had made a more compelling case for war.

Now they regret what they did. But, in a showdown, they will do it again. For Democrats have been psychologically damaged by 60 years of GOP attacks on them as the party of retreat and surrender.

It really is the height of strangeness to witness the shrieking and self-righteous rage over the MoveOn ad as though such insinuations are prohibited in American political debates, the Line that Cannot be Crossed. That line is crossed routinely, and has been for decades, including when directed at a whole array of American combat veterans. Ask George McGovern about that. The only difference this time -- the sole difference that has so upset Joe Klein and his fellow media mavens -- is that it is being directed at the side that typically wields such accusatory rhetoric, rather than by them.

Indeed, just a few months ago, Gen. Petraeus himself toyed with exactly such rhetoric at the prompting of the incomparably odious Joe Lieberman, whose entire political career is now devoted (ironically) to impugning the patriotism of any Americans who oppose Lieberman's desire to wage one war after the next against Israel's enemies. As The Washington Post's Thomas Ricks reported regarding a Senate hearing in May:

Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.) asked Army Lt. Gen. David H . Petraeus during his confirmation hearing yesterday if Senate resolutions condemning White House Iraq policy "would give the enemy some comfort."

Petraeus agreed they would, saying, "That's correct, sir."

Though subsequent reports suggested that Lieberman used the phrase "give the enemy some encouragement" (rather than the treasonous term of art "comfort"), the point was the same: those who condemned the President's war policy were, pursuant to Petraeus' toxic accusations, helping America's Terrorist Enemies. Petraeus' comments were so disturbing, and obviously inappropriate (though hardly uncommon), that it led GOP Sen. John Warner to admonish him as follows:
I hope that this colloquy has not entrapped you into some responses that you might later regret. I wonder if you would just give me the assurance that you'll go back and examine the transcript as to what you replied with respect to certain of these questions and review it, because we want you to succeed.
What all of this really reflects is the underlying and pervasive premise that those who advocate American wars are inherently patriotic and "pro-American," while it is always appropriate to impugn the patriotism and allegiances of those who oppose such wars (even when such war opponents are life-long civil servants or even military veterans).

It also is reflective of this completely backward notion that our highest government and military officials ought to be free to use the most scurrilous smears of their political opponents, but should never be the target of that same rhetoric, because their High Positions of Importance entitle them to Great Respect, which should shield them from such attacks (hence, it is fine to smear unnamed Nation writers and other all-powerful members of the "Left," but not our Supreme Generals or our Commander-in-Chief).

The whole MoveOn "controversy" is, of course, nothing more than a petty and worthless distraction. We're going to occupy Iraq indefinitely; Israel just bombed Syria, to the delight of Liebermans' comrades seeking full-scale U.S./Israel regional war; and very influential factions in the Bush administration are planting stories with Fox News that we are planning for an attack on Iran. And yet all one hears from the Joe Kleins and Chris Matthews is deep concern over whether an ad from MoveOn was a naughty thing. In one sense, it's just the John Edwards Haircut Story of this week from our vapid chattering class.

But as petty as the story is, it is also revealing. It has been perfectly fine for decades to impugn the patriotism of those who think the U.S. should stop invading and bombing other countries (how could anyone possibly think such a thing unless they hate America?), while it is strictly forbidden to do anything other than pay homage to the Seriousness and Patriotism of those who advocate wars. Hence, the very people who routinely traffic in "unpatriotic" and even "treason" rhetoric towards the likes of Jack Murtha, John Kerry and war opponents generally feign such pious objection to the MoveOn ad without anyone noticing any contradiction at all.

UPDATE: John Cole points to the lengthy Enemies List compiled by the always-vigilant Michelle Malkin, who exploits photographs of the 9/11 victims to urge "resistance" against America's Terrorist Enemies and their domestic allies:

But remembrance without resistance to jihad and its enablers is a recipe for another 9/11. This is what fueled my first two books, on immigration enforcement and profiling. This is what fuels much of the work on this blog and at Hot Air.

Not every American wears a military uniform. But every American has a role to play in protecting our homeland -- not just from Muslim terrorists, but from their financiers, their public relations machine, their sharia-pimping activists, the anti-war goons, the civil liberties absolutists, and the academic apologists for our enemies.

Depending on how one defines "anti-war goons" and "civil liberties absolutists," it sounds like Michelle's Enemies List is composed of roughly 65% of the American population. Those are some rather large internment camps Michelle and her Homeland-Protecting Comrades will need to build. MoveOn crossed a terrible rhetorical line this week with its ad.

UPDATE II: As I tried to make explicitly clear, this post actually has nothing to do with whether the "Betray Us" rhyme in the MoveOn ad was smartly worded, counter-productive, etc. As I indicated, there are probably reasonable arguments to make on both sides of that issue if one actually thinks (for reasons I cannot discern) that debating the phraseology of a single MoveOn ad merits such contemplation. Here, for instance, is criticism of the ad from Klein's colleague, Jay Carney, which I find perfectly sober and reasonable (whether I agree with it or not).

The issue here is the depiction of this ad as some sort of unique transgression and the intensity of the condemnation it has received, particularly from those who themselves are enthusiastic and frequent purveyors of similar though far worse rhetorical tactics. Whether one thinks the MoveOn ad was well-done or not -- and, again, who really cares? -- has little or nothing to do with that issue.

-- Glenn Greenwald

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Post a comment | Read comments (118)
Tuesday September 11, 2007 07:10 EST
Brit Hume and the Bush administration take propaganda to a new level
Just as George Bush and Dick Cheney have done on politically important occasions, Gen. David Petraeus (along with Ambassador Ryan Crocker) last night selected Fox News' Brit Hume as the "journalist" rewarded with an exclusive "interview." Whereas Hume, in the past, at least has pretended to play the role of journalist when interviewing high Bush officials -- doing things like asking (extremely respectful) questions about sensitive areas (with no follow up) -- he dispensed entirely with the pretense here. This "interview" took government propaganda to a whole new level, and really has to be seen to be believed (the full video is here).
"

http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/index.html

Posted by: rufus | September 12, 2007 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Senator Clinton says it would be acceptable to her if a half million Iraqis died on her watch as a result of ethnic cleansing under her plan for Iraq. I find this hard to believe. She admits it would likely be worse than Bosnia, and yet says that's ok..better that than staying to prevent it. so...I guess preventing this kind of mass killing is only justifiable if Bill Clinton says so?

Here's the quote: "In Bosnia, before the US-led NATO actions resulted in the Dayton Peace Accords, the sectarian violence claimed 200,000 lives and created two million refugees. And Iraq has six times as many people."

"So unless the leaders of the various insurgent groups, and militias and the government change course, they could reach the per capital Bosnian casualty rates, claiming hundreds of thousands more Iraqi lives and causing millions more to flee."

Will someone, lylepink?, please explain this nuanced position? I cannot understand how she can argue this. She has previously acknowledged our long term commitment to the region, and yet tries to have it both ways to satisfy the left, I guess.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | September 12, 2007 4:53 PM | Report abuse

I think if we were to just leave Iraq, al quaeda in irqa would head for the border. The Iraqi's would wipe them out, no questions aked or any interference from us. Wouldn't that belittle this administration something fierce. What would georgie boy say then?

Posted by: jime | September 12, 2007 4:52 PM | Report abuse

DCAustinite - I don't know enough about wheat to respond. I don't think a lack of personelle is an issues in Afghanistan. Is is more like a lack of easy targets. this doesn't take bodies, it takes intelligence, which is often compromised by more bodies in a foreign speaking land. the CIA problems from last decade are still with us. Fear of retribution after our departure is very real.

I don't expect much from the Maliki government, just like I don't expect much from the US government. the benchmarks are not going to be met anytime soon. they involve large issues that will take much time - like states rights. took us 100 years to sort that one out. but that region is already used to being ignored by the feds and are quite adept at doing things on the local/tribal level. the top down approach is flawed by design. the bottom up approach is working despite not being in the design. there are many promising developments not being reported.

A huge cell phone contract was recently bid for something like 4 billion. confidence!

Liberalism - in the old fashioned sense, meaning opposite of fascism, is on the march and it hard to stop once you get a taste. go america. win!

Watch out Syria, you're next.

Posted by: kingofzouk | September 12, 2007 4:52 PM | Report abuse

*Wait* ladies and gentlemen, I'm not sure, but I think we may be holding reasonable discussions about politics. We may even be agreeing with people from the other side about certain things!

How did that happen?

Posted by: DCAustinite | September 12, 2007 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Judge writes
"bsimon, I still prefer Tanqueray w/my tonic."

Tanqueray is bathtub swill! Try the Bombay - particularly the Sapphire.

Posted by: bsimon | September 12, 2007 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Then there's the Gallup ( http://www.galluppoll.com/content/?ci=28684 ) poll:

"September 12, 2007
Thompson's Official Bid Changes Little in Republican Nomination Race
His favorable rating is up, but more than 4 in 10 still are not familiar with him"

Maybe not everyone watches as much Law and Order (DINK!, DINK!) as I do [snide remarks regarding relative intelligence levels withheld].

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | September 12, 2007 4:44 PM | Report abuse

koz writes
"We don't vote for Massachusetts Libs."

But the south will vote for a NY Lib like Giuliani? I'm not buying it. Granted, I don't know who they'd vote for instead, but still don't see how you can claim a MA 'Lib' like Romney is out, but an NY 'Lib' like Giuliani is in. It don't make sense, son.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 12, 2007 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Dave, she's not the only dem with a plan. Biden, Dodd, Obama and Edwards all have sound plans for drawdown and redeployment to Afghanistan and home.

Posted by: DCAustinite | September 12, 2007 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Judge:
"I see her bringing disaffected republicans to vote who normally would stay home..." Agreed, DCAustenite, but Guiliani will have exactly the opposite effect. Will they cancel each other out?"

I don't think the dems are worried this time about turning out the vote. Republicans are. In that sense, Hillary would be a gift. Maybe a gift that only minimizes their losses, but a gift nonetheless.

Posted by: DCAustinite | September 12, 2007 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Dave! writes
"The thing that has annoyed the crap out of me has been the Dems focusing on mistakes made 5+ years ago, blaming everybody under the sun, and not where do we go from here which is infinitely more important while we are at war, at least to me.... [Sen Clinton] has seemed to be looking for a plan forward from day one. I can't say that I agree with all she has said on Iraq, including today, but she is at least trying."

Dave! thanks for the response. I agree with the first part, but not with the second - I'll leave it at just saying I have a different perception of her.

Posted by: bsimon | September 12, 2007 4:40 PM | Report abuse

I don't think Rudy has peaked. If he is running even or nearly so in IA and NH, that is a fairly dramatic increase for him. He has so far never been behind in any national poll, just like hill.

I don't really know anything about Fred, I am not sure how anyone could. I think he will fade rather quickly. those voters will come back to Rudy and I bet many Is and Ds will consider him too. Mc Cain will eventually support him too with all his voters as well. romney is just too smooth to get the nod, even if he wins one or two early ones. SC will shut him down just like it did to McCain. The Rs can't win the WH without the entire south on board. We don't vote for Massachusetts Libs.

hillary is a highly flawed candidate and will spell doom for the national ticket and most likely a lot of down ticket candidates. you Dems better find a way to stop her before we do. Edwards is a definite no-go. Obama has a chance if he can demonstrate some qualifications, but so far dissappointing and still way behind. the rest are just throw aways.

Posted by: kingofzouk | September 12, 2007 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Deadline this week so I'm shotgunning my responses

"By not apologizing, Clinton avoided being painted as a craven politician who will say and do anything to be elected."
CC has apparently been ignoring the comments section on his blog.

Bsimon, I still prefer Tanqueray w/my tonic.

"Most people do not like Hillary..."
These comments ignore the polls that consistently tell us otherwise, assuming that 'like' translates into "plans to vote for." As far as 'likability,' Bush has good positives in that category and you can see what a fine mess he got us into.

"I see her bringing disaffected republicans to vote who normally would stay home..." Agreed, DCAustenite, but Guiliani will have exactly the opposite effect. Will they cancel each other out?

"Something like 48% of the electorate will never vote for her..." Yes, J, but those negatives appear to be slowly decreasing. Got me as to why. What are Guiliani's negatives?

"She must be doing something right because that is really hard for me to type."
Quite the admission, Dave! The most important thing that HRC seems to be doing right is not screwing up. Obama is in the wings waiting to pounce on her in the polls if that happens but it looks like his wait may be in vain.

"only the second person to lie in the OH state house..."
Seventh, KOZ.

bsimon I'm not sure where you are getting your data but today's Rasmussen ( http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/daily_presidential_tracking_poll__1 )sez:
"Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Wednesday shows that Fred Thompson on top once again in the race for the Republican Presidential Nomination, Thompson is now the top choice for 28% of Likely Republican Primary Voters matching his highest level of support recorded to date. The question at the moment is how long the bounce from his official entry into the race will last. Rudy Giuliani, who has been the frontrunner for most of the year, is eight points behind Thompson with support from 20%. That figure reflects the lowest level of support recorded all year for the New Yorker. Data released yesterday shows that Republicans consider Giuliani the most electable candidate from their party."

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | September 12, 2007 4:37 PM | Report abuse

J: "

I think Giuliani has quite possibly peaked already. Much like Clinton is selling "inevitability", Giuliani is selling "9/11 leader". That image and name recognition have helped him get where he is.

But beyond that, there doesn't seem to be any there there. Referring to other aspects of his administration is certainly a double-edged sword, and even 9/11 references aren't risk free."

Every time I hear "Rudy" and "9/11" in the same sentence, I'm reminded that he actually spent -- officially -- a grand total of 29 hours at Ground Zero, and that unofficially even that miserable total is overstated. Some leader. NOT

I suspect many other voters are reminded of that as well, especially those in New York, which you'd think he would contest, unlike most other GOP hopefuls.

Posted by: Loudoun Voter | September 12, 2007 4:37 PM | Report abuse

KOZ: "DCAustinite - I ignore anon cowards. you should too. not signing your name (fake as it may be ) is a sure sign of a flamer."

That is classic, given that you lead the league in sock puppets and anon coward posts.

Posted by: Loudoun Voter | September 12, 2007 4:34 PM | Report abuse

KOZ - We just need to do something about that damned Maliki gov't.

I also worry about losing Afghanistan because we're so focused on Iraq. I feel that given 5 years and the money, Afghanistan could be a really good example of American goodwill.

What do you think of this idea:

1. paying a guaranteed, stabilized rate for Afghani wheat (and other harvestable grasses), one that would not beat out opium but provide a stable and profitable farm. Even give them the starter seed for the first year if they ask for it.

2. guarantee this rate for 10 years.

3. send the wheat to Iraq to be distributed amongst the people for free.

It's cheaper than a lot of things, builds comity and cooperation, would drastically reduce the opium crop, hellp establish and keep up markets, build goodwill and hurt the money/support al qeada and the taliban get from the opium trade. Also, since the wheat stays 'local' it doesn't hurt US prices.

The army corps of engineers can help with irrigation and roads in the next year if the first year is successful.

What do you think?

Posted by: DCAustinite | September 12, 2007 4:33 PM | Report abuse

I believe that any of the democratic candidates will be very capable. Obama seems like a very reasonable guy and Biden, Richardson, and Dodd are highly regarded. I am still at a loss for what people have against Hillary.

She is a very formidable woman and I am really impressed by her tenacity. She has done a wise thing by running a general election campaign rather than a primary campaign. And I think that that might help her in the general election if she wins the nomination.

As for the war, going backwards is a waste of time. The question today is - how do we get out of there? Getting out of Iraq will have strategic consequences. Because of incredible, regrettable, and generational mistakes made by the Bush presidency, we have few choices on how to get out without suffering mass humiliation. The war has created an opening for Iran to cause problems in Iraq. Our exit must therefore be well planned in order to ensure a graceful exit. This would therefore require help from foreign nations.

In lieu of this, we need a president that is highly regarded in other nations to help make a case for other nations to help us in rebuilding Iraq. That is where a Clinton presidency will be highly beneficial.

Posted by: Leye | September 12, 2007 4:31 PM | Report abuse

to sara; Check Hillarys' voting record. She's missed less than all of the candidates while campaigning. Very few votes missed. So I think your neo-conism is showing.Answer me this, and all of you Dem haters also, What's worse, Bill Clinton saying he didn't have sexual relations with that repub plant Monica, or georgie boy saying they KNOW Iraq has WMDs???? hmmmmmmmmmmmmm
Also, to all of you Clinton haters, How do you expect to pay for YOUR debacle of a war? another hmmmmmmmmmmmmm

Posted by: jime | September 12, 2007 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Hillary will no longer be able to get away with lukewarm oppo to the war after the report. She must back the Obama plan (or come up with something similar).

http://www.political-buzz.com/

Posted by: paul | September 12, 2007 4:29 PM | Report abuse

I think Giuliani has quite possibly peaked already. Much like Clinton is selling "inevitability", Giuliani is selling "9/11 leader". That image and name recognition have helped him get where he is.

But beyond that, there doesn't seem to be any there there. Referring to other aspects of his administration is certainly a double-edged sword, and even 9/11 references aren't risk free.

Posted by: J | September 12, 2007 4:26 PM | Report abuse

roo - OK, I'll bite:

Bush and his administration is incompetent and should be removed from office as soon as possible. Iraq is not the central front on terror. Iraq is harming the 'War on Terror' more than it is helping.

But we should still stay until the situation is resolved. We broke it, we bought it."

I disagree. surprised? Here's why:

all large government programs are modestly incompetent. War particularly brings out failures since the loss of life is involved. Nevertheless, the war against fascism has been going on for almost a century now. We are going to have to kill them all before we're done. Places like Africa can wait a while but anywhere with plentiful resources is a problem.

as far as the central front on terror, it is not really up to you or me or the press to decide this. the enemy in combination with our response dictates where the fronts are. the enemy has chosen this place to fight so we must kill them there. If we abandon the field, it becomes behind the lines for them and the front moves elsewhere with all those resources available to them. this may sound appealing but it does not advance our cause. eventually we will be forced to confront Syria and Iran as well. they are fascist states threatening the globe, especially if they get advanced weapons they can slip to actors for them with deniability.

we didn't choose this war, but we must finish it. We are the good guys and this is what we do. always have. We have fought fascism in Korea, vietnam, Germany, Japan, Panama, grenada, Bosnia and on and on. the language may change but the oppressive nature of our foe does not.

It would seem that the local populace is turning on AQI and that means the momentum is with us now. Perhaps this is the turning point the historians will talk about. It never hurts to kill the enemy every chance you get. We should do more of that.

the problem of international borders is another issue. We can't cross certain borders yet our enemy does so at will. this will remain a problem. It obviates the question of where the front is though, the front is where the enemy is today. there seem to be some targets in Iraq last I heard. Get them before they slip back into Syria, Iran, Saudi or wherever they hide.

Posted by: kingofzouk | September 12, 2007 4:25 PM | Report abuse

bsimon,
As you might expect, I have a hard time answering that question. I think a lot of it has to do with her focus on the future. The thing that has annoyed the crap out of me has been the Dems focusing on mistakes made 5+ years ago, blaming everybody under the sun, and not where do we go from here which is infinitely more important while we are at war, at least to me. She did not apologize for her vote (not exacly anyways) and she has seemed to be looking for a plan forward from day one. I can't say that I agree with all she has said on Iraq, including today, but she is at least trying. Scandals and sleazyness aside, after the first year or two of the Bill Clinton presidency, he governed pretty much as a centrist (remember triangulation!). HRC seems to have learned that lesson when she talks about things like health care (and Iraq for that matter). Her foreign policy approach appeals more to me than Obama's and that will be a critical aspect for the next president. For the record I don't really trust what any pol says (R or D), especially during campaigning. Faced with the recent news of the Hsu fundraising scandal, it seems that sort of thing will be a continuation of past history. But the appropriate quote is "Better the devil you know then the devil you don't."

Posted by: Dave! | September 12, 2007 4:23 PM | Report abuse

http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2007/09/12/new-polls-show-giuliani-trailing-in-key-states/

"According to the state polls released Wednesday, Giuliani trails former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in Iowa and New Hampshire, and also comes in second to Thompson in South Carolina. But Giuliani is just within the margin of error in the New Hampshire and South Carolina polls -- an indication of an extremely tight Republican race for the White House four months before voters start to officially weigh in."

Posted by: bsimon | September 12, 2007 4:20 PM | Report abuse

"I think that after super duper tuesday will all be over. hill and rudy lead in FL and SC, that is the place to look."


I hear Rudy's lead is dwindling with Fred in the race.

Not that Fred is likely to stay in the race very long...

Posted by: bsimon | September 12, 2007 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Thanks J, that's what I meant.

Posted by: DCAustinite | September 12, 2007 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Big deal on the Woman's Day poll. If people do not like Hillary, or the Republican, they just won't vote. Simple to understand. The middle/centrist voters just might not accept Hillary, and would never vote for her, ever ever ever.

Maragret Thatcher was a strong conservative leader in England, Hillary is a liberal; and she won't win.

Posted by: Hillary is not President | September 12, 2007 4:13 PM | Report abuse

KOZ - thanks. Yeah the Gilmore thing was sad.

So you don't think that if Obama or Biden picks up one of the early ones that won't shift perceptions in the bigger ones? I mean, people like winners and underdogs. I admit, it would seem to be an uphill battle.

I mean, I'm a democrat and it's not that I don't like her, it's just the whole baggage that comes with Hillary (the impeachment, 2000 recount, Bush senior) it's very tiring. I'm sure she'd be a fine president, she's just uninspiring to me.

I think Bloomberg missed his chance, he coulda really shook things up.

Posted by: DCAustinite | September 12, 2007 4:13 PM | Report abuse

DCAustinite,

The way I read it, you said that there isn't any point for Dems to drive GOP voters to the polls who would otherwise have a difficult time getting themselves motivated to go. I don't see that as voter suppression myself.

Posted by: J | September 12, 2007 4:12 PM | Report abuse

I am not from Ohio. I just have many "friends" from there. I have no insider info on any race there. It is going to be a very tough year.

the gillmor funeral was a star studded event. He was only the second person to lie in the OH state house I think. Very sad. I think his widow will get the seat if she wants it. I am very concerned for Deborah Pryce's seat. too close for comfort last time. I hope we can send Zach space case packing. I don't think the state will go for hillary in the general. don't know about the R candidate. there are a lot of good ole boys living there and Kucinich is from there and very popular in his neck of the woods. A very interesting place.

I think that after super duper tuesday will all be over. hill and rudy lead in FL and SC, that is the place to look.

Posted by: kingofzouk | September 12, 2007 4:08 PM | Report abuse

three reivers - can you put paragraphs in when you make a long post? It's hard to read otherwise.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 12, 2007 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Hillary's plan for Iraq involves one key feature...drawing upon the international community to make a commitment to Iraq's future. In a recent speech, she rolled out her plan to enlist the help of the U.N. to stablize Iraq while we retreat. Bwaaaahaaahhaaaa!

"So in my first days in office, I'll begin work to convene a regional stabilization group composed of key allies, other global powers, and all of the states bordering Iraq. The mission of this group will be to develop and implement a strategy to create a stable Iraq. "

"Working with the UN Reps, the group will first work to convince Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Syria to refrain from getting involved in the civil war -- either directly or indirectly, by backing local militants and militias. None of these countries benefits if Iraq implodes and the resulting chaos spills over their borders. "

Here's my favorite part....

"Although I believe our military disengagement will reduce the likelihood of regional interference in Iraq's internal affairs over the long run, I acknowledge that in the short run, there may well be increased violence and instability following our troop withdrawals. "

"In Bosnia, before the US-led NATO actions resulted in the Dayton Peace Accords, the sectarian violence claimed 200,000 lives and created two million refugees. And Iraq has six times as many people."

"So unless the leaders of the various insurgent groups, and militias and the government change course, they could reach the per capital Bosnian casualty rates, claiming hundreds of thousands more Iraqi lives and causing millions more to flee.

This tragic possibility, however, does not justify continuing our failed policy"

Posted by: hillary on the consequences of failure in iraq | September 12, 2007 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Here lies the problem with journalism based on sound bites, buzz mentality and polls. One actually has to be familiar with the issues and competing plans of each candidates campaign to know who is following or leading. Governor Richardson has so far presented the best plans for Iraq - which by the way is a leverage withdrawal (certain pre-conditions must happen first) by substituting and orchestrating a managed transition of American troops with multi-national, UN and Arab peace-keeping troops to prevent further chaos. In this way Iraq is not of left unprotected during the withdrawal and American troops are no longer a head target or motivation for violence, (but some American troops will still be in the Middle East - ABC interview "This Week with George S.) of course, there is more to the plan then just the transition of the troops - Also diplomacy plans for the region in which Richardson has expertise in. Richardson was ridiculed during the debates that a leverage and total withdrawal was unrealistic but since Sen. Warner made recommendations to start thinking about such withdrawal plans suddenly Richardson's Iraq plans does not sound so unrealistic. Its certainly not clear what Clinton or Obama would do military wise and what diplomacy approach they would take other than what Richardson has stake out as a Iraq policy position. Also Governor Richardson Health Care and particularly the "Hero Card" for our veterans are best ideas out of any campaign so far and a head of the curve. Also has an Strategic Energy Plan - a book on the subject to come. The senior Republican Senator from New Mexico respectfully stated that Richardson has done more for New Mexico than any other Governor in recent history. Richardson has increased investment and brought good jobs in high tech, aerospace, and motion picture production are just a few and well as lowered taxes and balance the budget. Lastly, Richardson is considered to be more to the center and farther right of the Democratic top three. Not part of the Roman Senate club.

Posted by: threeriverscrossing | September 12, 2007 4:01 PM | Report abuse

The biggest problem about the Iraq situation?

Any--ANY--concession from the left that we may need to stay in Iraq is greeted by "OMGBBQ teh librul terrisms say teh Bush is best! We is teh vinducated! Iraq is centrimal front against terrisms!"

The media-perpetuated image that this is about Bush "winning" or "losing" and that any agreement completely validates the other side's position is the problem, it prevents any sort of serious discussion, as petty as it may be.

Can I get any of our conservatives to agree to the following statement:

"Bush and his administration is incompetent and should be removed from office as soon as possible. Iraq is not the central front on terror. Iraq is harming the 'War on Terror' more than it is helping.

But we should still stay until the situation is resolved. We broke it, we bought it."

This is not really my position, I feel a bit stronger about things. But can you agree? Disagree?

Aside--JD, did you seriously say that Rush and Sean (Hannity?) are NOT mean-spirited in comparison to the MoveOn ad? Because if you did, I can introduce you to some quotes.

Posted by: roo | September 12, 2007 4:01 PM | Report abuse

KOZ - good advice. I normally do ignore it, just this one was particularly bad at having a cogent arument.

You're from Ohio, right? I know you're a conservative, but what's the feeling over there, if you know it, about Clinton-Obama-Dodd-Edwards as far as who really has the upper leg? I kind of have the feeling that HRC is in the lead now, but only because of name recognition. Everyone I know (at least on the dem side) has liked Obama, when they're heard a speech from him.

Posted by: DCAustinite | September 12, 2007 4:00 PM | Report abuse

DCAustinite - I ignore anon cowards. you should too.
not signing your name (fake as it may be ) is a sure sign of a flamer.

Posted by: kingofzouk | September 12, 2007 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Poll: Women Say Female Has Better WH Shot Than Minority

American women believe that a member of their own gender has a better chance at winning the 2008 presidential election than any minority reveals a new poll from Woman's Day magazine and AOL News.

http://onthehillblog.blogspot.com/2007/09/poll-women-say-female-has-better-wh.html

Posted by: Anonymous | September 12, 2007 3:52 PM | Report abuse

FYI: Latest Poll--Iowa, Hillary 28%, Edwards 23%--NH, Hillary 35%, Edwards and Obama 16%--SC, Hillary 45%, Obama 27%--.

Posted by: lylepink | September 12, 2007 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Where is ignorant coward and rufas today? all that content from conservatives yesterday must have scared them off.

I must admit I admired rufas' tenacity, vigor and courage, despite his obvious shortcomings in the forum. Ignorant coward on the other hand fled for his hiding place when confronted and not allowed to control and hijack the thread.

Just like a coward to bring memorized talking points to a battle of the wits. If we are lucky they will stay over at Kos and huff where they feel right at home.

thanks fellow cons for running off the rabble and providing a refreshing voice.

now if we could get rid of JEP and LOUD and dumb we could get somewhere.

Posted by: trotsky | September 12, 2007 3:49 PM | Report abuse

"So DC_idiot - you want to supress voters so you can win. what happened to count every vote."

Seriously, you have some major reading comprehension issues. Hillary riles up the republican base, the very definition of voters we can't win. Until you can understand what the adults are saying here, you should probably go back to the sandlot, anonymous poster.

I'd like others to chime in because maybe I've been making myself unclear. J, bsimon, Mark in Austin, Koz, in my previous statement, did I make it seem like I didn't want Hillary because she would being in republicans to vote democratic, or because she would bring in Republicans that would've sat this one out but instead will vote against Hillary and all the dem candidates on the ballot?

Posted by: DCAustinite | September 12, 2007 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Dave! writes
"As a conservative, Lord knows I absolutely detest the Clintons but... she is one of the two Democrats I could really stomach as President. She must be doing something right because that is really hard for me to type."


That is a surprising post. What is it about her positions that raises her to the level of 'stomachable'?

Posted by: bsimon | September 12, 2007 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Dave!, you don't really believe a word she says do you. she will change her mind in a NY second to suit the daily polls. and she will lurch left once elected.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 12, 2007 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Look at what Obama is saying today: he'll keep US combat forces in Iraq for the next 15 months. If he became President we would be fighting in Iraq through 2009 and into 2010.

But that's not all - the "combat troops" distinction is highly misleading. Under Obama's plan as well as HRC's (and perhaps Edwards), we will have "non-combat" forces in Iraq for years to come - up to 80,000. These "non-combat" troops will be training Iraqis, operate as strike forces to engage extremists and terrorists, provide security in the green zone and operate our military bases. In fact, our air force could remain fully deployed in Iraq. They are not "combat brigades."

The bottom line is Obama and HRC don't have confidence in their own judgment and trust the will of the American public in standing up to the Washington and military establishment on Iraq. They continue to pay heed to the voices in the establishment saying a complete withdrawal will result in chaos in Iraq - as if we don't already have chaos.

The Iraqi government has become dangerously dependent on the US for security. By keeping tens of thousands of "non-combat troops" in Iraq for years to come this dependency will not be broken. Moreover, the propaganda advantage the terrorists gain in the Middle East and worldwide from the US occupation of Iraq will continue.

We need to bring every single US soldier out of Iraq - starting now. Richardson has made the case for this repeatedly, including in a recent Op Ed in the Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/09/07/AR2007090702063.html

The US has become the target in Iraq. A complete US exit is necessary to bring peace to the county and region. By remaining we perpetuate the war. That understanding is the fundamental difference between Obama and HRC verse Richardson on Iraq.

Posted by: Stephen Cassidy | September 12, 2007 3:40 PM | Report abuse

So DC_idiot - you want to supress voters so you can win. what happened to count every vote.

Is there no shame in your party. will you do anything to win, including slandering generals, breaking fundraising laws, the clinton list of corruption is long.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 12, 2007 3:38 PM | Report abuse

DCAustinite,

I agree on both counts. But after the response I received here last time I mentioned the two-family aristocracy we've been setting ourselves up for, I decided to leave that out.

We're a nation of 300 million people. I'd like to think we can widen our view a little when we look for leaders.

Posted by: J | September 12, 2007 3:38 PM | Report abuse

HRC has positioned herself to not only win the Dem primary but the general election. Her campaign has been, as expected, very well run from a strategic point of view. Quite honestly for Dem voters, if it comes down to Clinton or a Republican, it's a no brainer as to which lever they will pull. She is working on the centrists and what she is doing appeals to them. As a conservative, Lord knows I absolutely detest the Clintons but, based on what all the Dem candidates have said, she is one of the two Democrats I could really stomach as President (Biden would work also but he is not likely to get the nomination). She must be doing something right because that is really hard for me to type.

Posted by: Dave! | September 12, 2007 3:37 PM | Report abuse

J, it's okay. I don't want her to win the nomination for a few reasons, but mainly on how she will effect the downticket. I see her bringing disaffected republicans to vote who normally would stay home, and that's going to hurt every dem from Senator down to city councilman who is up for reelection. She could still win, yes, But Somebody like Obama or Dodd would help usher in democrats, not cost them. That's my big problem with her.

Also there's been a Clinton or Bush in the white house since 1988, time for a change. If she wins you just know Jeb will run in 2012.

Posted by: DCAustinite | September 12, 2007 3:29 PM | Report abuse

I still have a problem with the unthinking acceptance of Clinton's "experience". She claims experience, and that's fine. But it never seems to be challenged, and certainly not by Chris. Too bad, because he's usually pretty good with that sort of thing.

If it isn't documented, it doesn't exist. If Clinton wants me to buy the claim that she's experienced (in the White House), she needs to release the documents that demonstrate it. But I won't hold my breath waiting for them.

I tend to agree with Sam that there is a ceiling on Clinton's support. With almost 100% name recognition and familiarity, she still gets a consistent low-40s in polls (for the primaries, not general). That's been pretty consistent. Other candidates still have the opportunity to present themselves to the voters (or to be defined, if they're not careful). I suspect that as people drop out, their support will tend to go to her competitors. Everyone knows her, and her supporters are already with her.

If nominated, she is still electable. But it will be a hard slog. Something like 48% of the electorate will never vote for her, so she could only afford to lose 1.99% along the way.

Sorry if my analysis is colored by the fact that I don't like her. One tries to keep analysis unbiased, but we aren't always fully successful.

Posted by: J | September 12, 2007 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Chris writes
"Boiled down, the Clinton argument on Iraq goes something like this: How we got into this war is now far less important than how we are going to get out of it. She is the candidate best equipped due to her experience in the White House and the Senate to end the conflict in a safe and responsible manner and reshape American foreign policy."


Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't Sen Obama promote the 'be more careful how we got out than how we got in' before Sen Clinton picked up this talking point?

And remind me again how her 'experience in the White House' as First Lady has prepared her to be Commander in Chief?

In short, Sen Clinton's campaign for President is little more than effective marketing. Her team has taken a mediocre product, repackaged it as something sophisticated and, thus far, convinced the consumer they ought to have it - when its really no better than what they already have.

She is the Tanqueray of candidates. I prefer Bombay, for the same price.

Posted by: bsimon | September 12, 2007 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Make that "giving the false impression that they represent all of those that oppose the war."

Posted by: Anonymous | September 12, 2007 3:01 PM | Report abuse

On Saturday (09/15/07)

A.N.S.W.E.R. (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism) will have a march of "tens of thousands" in Washington DC. They will march from the White House along Pennsylvania Ave NW to the Capitol, where they will stage a "die in."

Notice the schizophrenic name of the organization. The wacko Leftists have hijacked the anti-war spotlight again, giving the impression that they represent all of those that oppose the war. I wonder what other topics far out Leftist speakers slip into their speeches to the throng?

Probably underwritten by MoveOn.org.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 12, 2007 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Ok, the polls show Hillary in the lead. But if the losers (Dennis K., Mike Gravel, Dodd) would leave, those supporters would probably go to Richardson or Obama, not Hillary. Most people do not like Hillary, and others have little respect or admiration for that woman. Is our nation ready for a woman president? Yes, BUT not that woman. She has high negatives and even women from her own party do not support her either.
If the Democrats want to win the White House, they will not choose Hillary. She is UNELECTABLE. That is just a fact.

Posted by: Sam on the Plains | September 12, 2007 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Sen. Clinton knows about as much about the state of the Iraq and leadership as her recently jailed fundraiser does about bundling her campaign contributions!

Posted by: Cindy | September 12, 2007 2:48 PM | Report abuse

"MS. George Bush in drag" Clinton is one of those classic politcian's that can talk out of both sides of her moouth at the same time. Nothiong she has to say can be believed or is newsworthy. Just cease shilling for her! Is that all the MSM can do? There are plenty of decent candidates, people of integrity running for the presidency - Kucinich, Thompson, McCain, Obama, and Edwards. We don't need your beating the drums for gasbags, swine and petty crooks like Clinton and Guliani and Romney. Rewind! Do a story on integrity, on politicians that care about this country and working men and women, about leaders!

Posted by: Anonymous | September 12, 2007 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Today is an example of Hillary's maniac ambition: she was absent from the Senate for votes on Monday, flew in for the Sept 11 congressional hearings, and flew out again.
Cspan is the evidence, when the votes on the Cole Amendment were cast, she was a no-show. (McCain and Dodd were also gone)

Obama and Biden were in the Senate this morning, doing their vote for the states which elected them. Obama does leave for Iowa this afternoon, but I guess he knows if important votes are cast, it will reflect badly on him for not being there.

The issue is Hillary. We all knew she was going to run for president in 2008, and she could have at least been honest about it.
Perhaps Drudge will do some research and compute how many votes have been cast without her "Queenliness" on the floor of the Senate doing her job.

Kerry was exposed for parachuting in for votes, and it cost him. Hillary is using his gamebook today, rather than doing her job.

As a woman, I could never see Hillary as a leader of her party or our nation. Cillizza and Drudge have duty to push her into doing some press conferences instead of seeking secret service cover to escape their questions.

Posted by: Sara | September 12, 2007 2:37 PM | Report abuse

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