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February 27, 2008

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Jane

I thought the most stunning moment was when they both reserved the right to go back into Iraq when al Qaeda resurges after we surrender.

It's amazing what these two will risk on not offending the left.

Pofarmer

I saw a clip of Obama night before last.

"We must renegotiate trade deals so they benefit not only Wall Street, but Main Street. We must enact new regulations so things like lead paint don't end up in our childrens toys."

Helllooooooo, Barack.

There are already regulations for that, and the private companies have standards. The problem isn't the standards and regulations, the problem is the damned communists!!!!!!!

Oh, yeah, and good luck with all this "renegotiating."

kim

If returning to Iraq became necessary, they wouldn't do it. Neither one of them. Either would wail for the UN.
=====================================

Pofarmer

Hey Kim

When the going gets tought the UN get going----home that is.

kim

Hey Pof; quite a blog Steve has there at climateaudit.org, you ex-lurker, you.
===========================

BumperStickerist



"Blacks are not willing to feel obliged to support the president's agenda," explains Illinois state Sen. Barack Obama. "They are much more likely to feel that (Bush) is engaging in disruptive policies at home and using the war as a means of shielding himself from criticism on his domestic agenda."


Also, here is Barack's October 2002 Iraq Speech:
Speech

In which Obama says:

...My grandfather [Stanley Dunham] signed up for a war the day after Pearl Harbor was bombed, fought in Patton’s army. He saw the dead and dying across the fields of Europe; he heard the stories of fellow troops who first entered Auschwitz and Treblinka. He fought in the name of a larger freedom, part of that arsenal of democracy that triumphed over evil, and he did not fight in vain.

Which is all well and good and patriotic. Except, here's a bit of a potential minor scandal:
Barack's Grandfather's official enlistment record shows that Obama's maternal grandfather, Stanley Dunham, enlisted on January 18th, 1942 - which happens to be a Sunday, but it happens to be a Sunday almost a month and a half after Pearl Harbor.

There may have been a distinction between "signing up" and "enlisting" in 1942 - I delayed enlisted so I "signed up" a year before I enlisted - but Obama may have a case of the rhetorical Kerries, a need to gild the lily in pursuit of a point.

Or his mom may have said that his granddad said that he signed up "the day after Pearl Harbor" and Obama just believed his mom.

The other notable aspect of Obama's 2002 speech is his use of non-ideological terms like calling Karl Rove a "political hack" and a general display of over-the-top mischaracterizations of the situation.

-

Pofarmer

Ha, I just couldn't take it anymore. The scientific types tend to get into the weeds and miss the little nuanced stuff. I don't think it's about if we need to "change this or adjust that", it's about if the data is any damn good at all.

Hockey stick-gone.
GISS measurments-going.
C02 record-being questioned.
sea ice-back
glaciers-growing
Climate-cooling

I mean, how many legs have to get knocked out from under this thing before it falls to the floor?

O.K.

I'll stop with the off topic now.

BumperStickerist

btw - checking that factoid out wasn't particularly difficult.

I decided to find out what Barack's actual, real position on Iraq was, found his 2002 speech in about two minutes and read it. His line about 'day after Pearl Harbor' stood out.

I googled barack obama grandfather kansas, which led to an Ancestry.com listing which gave me the name Stanley Dunham

googling the terms WWII enlisted records gave me the National Archives - I typed in Stanley Dunham and came up with the record which showed the date mismatch.

Not particularly difficult or stalkerish or dirty trickerish, imo.

SteveMG

I'm pretty sure (and darn it, that's good enough for the internet) McCain supported the Kosovo actions.

"McCain voted in favor of the 1999 Kosovo Resolution authorizing air and missile strikes on Serbia and Montenegro."

Source:CFR Link

JJ

"rhetorical Kerries"

Like that. However, it's got a big risk factor for the just-not-right okey-dokey label.

Jane

McCain just responded to this from the debate:

SEN. OBAMA:[snip] Now, I always reserve the right for the president -- as commander in chief, I will always reserve the right to make sure that we are looking out for American interests. And if al Qaeda is forming a base in Iraq, then we will have to act in a way that secures the American homeland and our interests abroad. So that is true, I think, not just in Iraq, but that's true in other places. That's part of my argument with respect to Pakistan.

By saying: I've got news for Senator Obama. Al Qaeda is already in Iraq. That's why they call it: "al Qaeda in Iraq".

kim

PoFarmer, I'm convinced this is the year the paradigm cracks up and drifts off into irrelevance. Encumbering carbon will either grind the world's poor and powerless even more than they already are, or create an unfair and ultimately unsustainable market.

Besides, CO2 has minimal climatic effect, and that will be recognized this year. CO2 levels continue to rise, and the globe has been cooling for the last 2-4 years.

There was a sunspot yesterday. It was still a cycle #23 spot, however.

We are cooling, folks. For how long even I don't know.
========================

Jane

Steve,

My recollection is the McCain was instrumental in getting Clinton to go to Kosovo since Clinton was scared to death about using the military since he was clueless about it.

Pofarmer

By saying: I've got news for Senator Obama. Al Qaeda is already in Iraq. That's why they call it: "al Qaeda in Iraq".

But, but, but.......nevermind.

Rick Ballard

TM,

In order to avoid those charges of racism, why not just look at the Progressive Caucus. Membership overlap is about 50% with the Black Caucus and the progs take the lead on every stupid idea that the Black Caucus spits up later anyway.

They really should combine and call themselves the Copperhead Caucus as a truth in advertising effort.

RichatUF

The CBC was all for Clinton going into Haiti-
and they squawked loudly once the Haitian thug and psychopath was finally dispatched and the Delta Force provided him an airlift to South Africa.

The CBC was all for going into Somalia in 1992, didn't hear too much after Team Clinton engaged in some "aggressive diplomacy".

And wasn't the Kosovo mission sort of an after thought not requiring any sort of congressional votes at all and the Bosnia Mission was driven by "lift and strike" and Clinton trying to triangulate his own staff, congressional republicans, and "international opinion".

clarice

What about Liberia? Didn't the CBC oppose our ousting of the thug there? And didn't the Liberians just express their undying gratitude to Bush for kicking Taylor out(not that the msm gave it much coverage)?

The CBC has demonstrated a disturbing affinity for Black thugs who abuse their own people while cutting nice deals with CBC members and their families.

RichatUF

Jane-

My recollection is the McCain was instrumental in getting Clinton to go to Kosovo since Clinton was scared to death about using the military since he was clueless about it.

I think that is backwards-he was helpful in crafting the Congressional Republican position on Bosnia which forced Clinton to eventually take Vance-Owens Lite, and he provided helpful cover for Kosovo ["lets be in it to win it"? for some reason comes to mind], but Kosovo was waged in such a way that it wouldn't require much congressional oversight-don't think it triggered any hearings or votes.

anduril

Powerline (for a change) has an insightful comment on Steve Hayes' article re Obama:

Steve includes our references to Obama as "Chance the Gardener," the character played by Peter Sellers in Being There, in his litany of conservative underestimation of Obama. Steve argues that Obama is more than that:
The assumption behind much of this criticism is that because Mr. Obama gives a good speech he cannot do substance. This is wrong. Mr. Obama has done well in most of the Democratic debates because he has consistently shown himself able to think on his feet. Even on health care, a complicated national issue that should be Mrs. Clinton's strength, Mr. Obama has regularly fought her to a draw by displaying a grasp of the details that rivals hers, and talking about it in ways Americans can understand.

In Iowa, long before the race became the national campaign it is today, Mr. Obama spent much of his time at town halls in which he took questions from the audience. His answers in such settings were often as good or better than the rhetoric in his stump speech, and usually more substantive. He spoke about issues like immigration and national service in a thoughtful manner -- not wonky, not pedantic, but in a way that suggested he'd spent some time thinking about them before.

More important for the race ahead, Mr. Obama has the unique ability to offer doctrinaire liberal positions in a way that avoids the stridency of many recent Democratic candidates. That he managed to do this in the days before the Iowa caucuses -- at a time when he might have been expected to be at his most liberal -- was quite striking.

...

Conservatives complain about Obama's vagueness mostly because they want to expose the dedicated liberal lurking behind Obama's modeerate demeanor. In truth, though, Obama's liberalism is no secret. His voting record, the policy positions laid out on his web site, and his own answers to questions in debates and town hall meetings make it clear that he is an unreconstructed liberal.

Obama's appeal lies, in part, in his ability to make liberalism seem palatable. Unlike Hillary Clinton and John Edwards, he is generally not shrill or hectoring. He comes across as calm and reasonable. In this, he really does resemble Ronald Reagan.

There are obvious differences between Reagan and Obama, of course. Reagan was a life-long student of Communism, while Obama is not yet a life-long student of anything. Most important, Reagan was devoted to conservatism, which is essentially true, while Obama is devoted to liberalism, which is essentially false. This means that Obama's policies, no matter how smoothly he may advocate them, will never be as successful as Reagan's.

Here, though, lies the rub, in my view. Ronald Reagan came to power at a time when America had been carrying out, for sixteen years, an experiment with liberalism that by 1980 had brought the country to the brink of catastrophe. Americans did not adopt conservative principles because they sounded good on first hearing. They adopted conservative principles because of bitter experience with the alternative.

Today, the benefit of that experience has largely been lost. A generation of American voters has not experienced the failures of the Great Society, the near-collapse of American cities, double-digit inflation and unemployment, seventy percent tax brackets, or the disaster of Jimmy Carter's foreign policy. In the absence of historical memory, and with a powerful assist from the ever-forgetful press, liberalism is once again emerging as the philosophy that sounds good. The fact that it doesn't work awaits as an unpleasant surprise for a new generation. In the meantime, Barack Obama may well be the plausible candidate who can lead voters, once again, down the blind alley of leftism. He is, as Steve Hayes argues, an opponent who must be taken seriously.

OK, now listen to this fairly short video of Obama speaking substantively--but, of course, not providing the rationale behind his "substance:"

Obama plans to disarm America

The point is, these deeply unreasonable positions--unreasonable because they fly in the face of the human experience of millenia--are delivered in a forthright and reasonable sounding way. This is something to worry about.

Another thing to worry about regarding Obama--he just might be the Messiah:

Obama's Face in a Potato

Mickey Kaus is concerned that Obama is getting away with things, also that he's too much like Deval Patrick for comfort (I pride myself that I'm the first person on this forum to bring up the remarkable similarity between the two):

Obama's wrang-wrang

By babbling on about Jews and Israel--as if only Jews could be offended by Farrakhan--he gave Obama an easy answer that let him ignore Wright and the avoid the tricky business of distancing himself from his pastor. ("Tim, I have some of the strongest support from the Jewish community in my hometown of Chicago ..." etc.).
Obama didn't steal the words of his buddy Deval Patrick, governor of Massachusetts. He borrowed them. OK. But what are the other similarities between Obama and Patrick? The two pols have a lot in common even aside from shared rhetoric. Has Patrick's term been a success, or has it been a cautionary example of a promising, race-transcendant Democrat squandering his mandate by governing as a hack interest-group liberal?

...

Isn't it incumbent on those prominent NEA-bashing neoliberal Obama supporters to explain just why his term as president won't quickly descend into a Patrick-like interest-group quagmire? Jon Alter, this means you! And Charles Peters as well. ... P.S.: Patrick could function as Obama's wrang-wrang, Vonnegut's term for a pioneer who by his bad example steers others away from a false course. Before neolibs go into a permanent campaign swoon, shouldn't Obama send them at least a subtle signal that he understands this?

And as your bonus for wading through all that, here's an interesting blog (full of links) about math ability:

Math Mania

MikeS

It is easy to be generically against war. I'm, against war. If my brain just stopped working right there at that point, I would have been against the use of military force in Iraq. Yet as a thoughtful human being, I am inclined to consider the alternatives to war and weigh them against one another.

In my case, after weighing the alternatives, I (along with 75% of my fellow citizens) came to believe that military action in Iraq was the safest and most acceptable choice in Iraq.

If Barack Obama or anyone else came to a different conclusion based on the facts, I can respect their opinion, though I am curious to know what 'facts' swayed them away from the majority.

If however, someone made a decision about a subject as crucial as war based on PARTISANSHIP, then that person is no patriot!

RichatUF

Forgot about putting Liberia on the list-that was all part of the blowback from the Sierra Leon civil war and Taylor's role in supporting the RUF and AFRC. IIRC, he even reached out and was supported by Jesse Jackson. Susan Rice was the handmaiden for a lot of the Clinton policy in this area [and she also made an appearence in the screw ups leading up to the East Africa bombings] and she is now a senior member of BHO's campaign...

anduril

Comment re Obama's Face in Potato:

"For the first time in my entire adult life, I am proud of my potato."

Apparently there are more and more Obamiracles being reported:

http://exurbanleague.com/2008/02/25/unconfirmed-obamiracle-225.aspx

I'll keep ya'll posted.

Jane

Rich,

I'd pit just about anyone's memory over mine at this point. So I'm happy to defer.

anduril

Hemophiliac without health insurance cured by touching Obama's Armani suit

Some people think that enthusiastic Obama supporters are going a bit overboard with manic support. Women fainting at rallies, musicians making Obama-themed videos — even journalists comparing Obama to a messiah. But don't be too tough on the cult of personality surrounding the Illinois senator.

Why, just yesterday at a rally one of the women in the audience had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse.

When she heard about Obama, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his Armani suit, because she thought, "If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed." Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.

At once Obama realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, "Whoa, who touched the Armani?"

"You see the people crowding against you," his campaign staff answered, "and yet you can ask, 'Who touched me?'"

But Obama kept looking around to see who had done it. Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. He said to her, "Voter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering. And please make a donation to barackobama.com."

What a guy.

anduril

Soldier/victim of neocon empire-building remotely healed at Walter Reed

Yesterday, we retold an amazing story about Barack Obama on the campaign trail. Since then, we have heard rumors of several more. Although none have been officially confirmed, the Vatican is busy verifying the details.

Apparently, when Obama had entered Baltimore, an Army captain came to him, asking for help. “Senator," he said, "one of my soldiers lies at Walter Reed paralyzed and in terrible suffering. I blame the war-mongering cowboy George W. Bush and myself for voting for him."

Obama said to him, "I will go and heal him."

The captain replied, "Senator, I do not deserve to have you travel with a Republican like me. But just say the word, and my solider will be healed. For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, 'Go,' and he goes; and that one, 'Come,' and he comes. I say to my soldier, 'Do this,' and he does it."

When Obama heard this, he was astonished and said to those following him, "I tell you the truth, I have not found any Democrat with such great faith. I say to you that many Republican voters will come from the east and west coasts, and will take their places at state dinners with Kennedy, Kerry and Edwards at the White House. But Democrats of little faith will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth."

Then Obama said to the Army captain, "Go! It will be done just as you believed it would." And his soldier was healed at that very hour.

I’m wondering… shouldn’t newspapers place all of Obama’s quotes in red text?

anduril

Downsized union worker recovers sight, hearing, anger at outsourcing

The Vatican continues to investigate reports of signs and wonders involving Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama. From their latest case file:

In Dubuque, Iowa, some people brought to Obama an unemployed union member who was deaf and could hardly talk, and they begged him to place his hand on the man.

After he took him aside, away from the crowd, Obama put his fingers into the man's ears. Then he poured out some Evian and touched the man's tongue. He looked up to heaven and with a deep sigh said to him, "SOCIALIZED HEALTHCARE!" At this, the man's ears were opened, his tongue was loosened and he began to speak plainly (mostly about hope, change and the need to stop outsourcing American jobs to Asia).

Obama commanded them not to tell anyone. But the more he did so, the more they kept talking about it. Donations flooded into the campaign Web site.

The Iowans were overwhelmed with amazement. "He’s so handsome and articulate," they said. "He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak. It’s an Obamiracle!"

Cecil Turner

But Obama's view on Iraq was utterly predictable based on his politics and race . . .

Yes it was. Neither is that a particularly attractive trait. A recurring meme from Vietnam to today is that of minorities fighting in the front lines whilst white Americans sit on the sidelines. And though that has little support in reality, the fiction is pervasive (for example, I watched the South Park movie last week and got a good chuckle from "Operation get behind the darkies"). To say the least, that colors black commentary on national defense.

The following leapt out from the Hutchinson article:

The black newspapers have carried almost no editorials or articles about the hypocrisy of the United States in relentlessly bombing and demonizing Saddam Hussein while turning a blind eye to Serb atrocities against Muslims and ethnic Albanians, not lifting a finger to stop the genocidal violence in Rwanda or to prevent torture and murder in other Third World countries.
Hate to break it to him, but the US uses armed forces to further its interests, not the interests of various third-world nations. And if the US has no particular interests in Rwanda . . . Moreover, his views seemed predominantly to view all issues as one of persons of color vs. whities. Excuse me if I find that less than uplifting. If Barack and his allies want to use the US military to spread justice throughout the world, I suspect they're going to find it's woefully undermanned. If they just want to use that as an excuse for inaction where US interests are genuinely threatened, then they aren't ready for prime time.

clarice

For Kim:

I don't know how much life is left in the global warming/aka climate change hoax, but this should--if widely known--help nail the first part of the coffin lid down on it:

[quote]Over the past year, anecdotal evidence for a cooling planet has exploded. China has its coldest winter in 100 years. Baghdad sees its first snow in all recorded history. North America has the most snowcover in 50 years, with places like Wisconsin the highest since record-keeping began. Record levels of Antarctic sea ice, record cold in Minnesota, Texas, Florida, Mexico, Australia, Iran, Greece, South Africa, Greenland, Argentina, Chile -- the list goes on and on.

No more than anecdotal evidence, to be sure. But now, that evidence has been supplanted by hard scientific fact. All four major global temperature tracking outlets (Hadley, NASA's GISS, UAH, RSS) have released updated data. All show that over the past year, global temperatures have dropped precipitously.

A compiled list of all the sources can be seen here. The total amount of cooling ranges from 0.65C up to 0.75C -- a value large enough to wipe out nearly all the warming recorded over the past 100 years. All in one year's time. For all four sources, it's the single fastest temperature change ever recorded, either up or down. [/quote]

http://www.dailytech.com/Temperature+Monitors+Report+Worldwide+Global+Cooling/article10866.htm>Baby, it's cold outside

Ranger

"And wasn't the Kosovo mission sort of an after thought not requiring any sort of congressional votes at all[?]"

Posted by: RichatUF | February 27, 2008 at 10:27 AM

Actually, no. Kosovo was simply a war that was waged with no regard for the law. By the way, it is the only time since the enaction of the War Powers Act that a president has simply ignored that law. Every president up until Clinton has argued that it was unconstitutional, but they still complied with it. Clinton simply refused to follow it because he knew he didn't have the votes in congress to authorize the war (a non-binding resolution of support failed in the House by 2 votes IIRC).

BTW, McCain opposed military action before Clinton ordered the bombing, but after it started he supported continuing it because he felt the cost of not winning would have been far to high, even if the war was wrong to fight in the first place.

Jane

Anduril,

I'm probably gonna steal all of those (until JMH cures me of my cynicism.)

anduril

I think my favorite is still the potato face--disseminating these could be a good campaign tactic.

IMO, the Clinton intervention in Serbia/Kosovo--which Republicans provided cover for--was one of the most ill conceived foreign policy adventures in recent years.

Ranger

To further elaborate on Clinton's violation of the War Powers Act, it states that the president must get congressional authorization for military operations within 60 days of the begining of hostilities. The president has the option of a 30 day extension, but they must notify congress in writing that they intend to excersize that right. Clinton neither sought congressional authorization for the war nor did he notify congress he wanted the 30 day extension on the requirement, thus making the war clearly illegal on day 61 (the war lasted 78 days).

Rick Ballard

Clarice,

What do you think the back pedaling by the geniuses (including Bush and McCain) who caved to acceptance of spurious correlation as evidence of causation will look like? The question of "who ya gonna believe, me, or your lying eyes" seems rather fraught with political peril - especially if China releases the actual numbers of deaths due to the coldest winter in 100 years.

It will still take a couple of more years of cooling to reveal the profound silliness of this episode but this turn really is a reminder that it's probably time for Dr. Kukla again.

PT Barnum would be green with envy.

MayBee

My favorite moment was Hillary Clinton's reason why she couldn't deliver the 200,000 jobs she'd promised to New York when she ran for Senate in 2000.
She thought Al Gore would be President!

kim

Right, C. Anthony Watts's WattsUp blog is great. James Lewis boosted James Hansen into orbit very recently at the American Thinker.

There is a big skeptics' conference next week, March 2-4, in New York City. If it gets any mainstream coverage, it may be a tipping point.

Mira La Nina, which is still going strong. I doubt the Arctic ice will melt this summer, and that will give pause to the thoughtful.
===================

kim

Rick, I think Bush is stalling on CO2 caused global warming, as he should.
=====================

clarice

Rick and Kim,
I think the Lord works in mysterious ways his wonders to perform--(Plagiarize, an upstanding lady like me? Never.) He sent out blimpy Gore to warn us and then proved Gore was full of it. Why, you ask? He really,but really, hates the conceit that man can effect much in the universe at all and takes advantage of every opportunity to humiliate those who think otherwise.

kim

God seems to have a wonderful sense of irony, and timing. First the Oscar, then the Nobel, now the icebox.
======================

kim

It does discourage me a little that it takes an act of God, or the sun, to set us right about climate. Why couldn't we figure out the hoax without the giant clue of cooling? We are herd animals, and we've been stampeded about climate change and its causes. The madness of crowds.

A bit humbling about how insightful we are as a civilization.
====================

Patrick Tyson

I've been missing William F. Buckley, Jr. on television for years. Last thing I recall reading was his story about going to see the great The Lives of Others. RIP.

RichatUF

Ranger-

Thanks. I found this write up in the WaPo regarding McCain's [maverick and 'bipartisan'] position regarding Kosovo, I didn't realize he leaned the other way before hand. I don't remember all the ins-and-outs and wasn't trying to trivialize the pose or sanction of the Clinton policy.

Kosovo was of a piece of Clinton's other foreign policy initives, which mostly through luck, didn't end in total disaster and left the heavy lifting to the future. It look Kosovo 9 years to declare independence which has ticked off the Serbs and Russians even further [though there was little anyone could do about it after the bombing campaign], and one could argue, fairly and accurately, that Clinton's Iraq policy of the 1990's boxed Bush and Blair into war in 2003.

anduril-

...the Clinton intervention in Serbia/Kosovo--which Republicans provided cover for--was one of the most ill conceived foreign policy adventures in recent years...

I would disagree in part and say that the most disasterous foreign policy move was Clinton's handling of post-Soviet Russia [of which, the breakup of Yugosalvia was a part]. In the 1990's a war broke out all along the former Soviet Central Asia and Clinton was more worried about the "Palestanians" or whichever woman he could get his grubby paws on. We had an opportunity to get Russia, Turkey, Israel, and Jordan on the same page to weaken and eliminate Iraq and Iran [and begin defusing Islamism at its core], but Clinton instead went groveling to Assad and Arafat and made a weepy near apology to the thugs in Iran. He also fattened up the Hussein regime with the OFF program which turned into terror finance for the Palestanians.

Bosnia and Kosovo was a part of this because it had the unfortunate side affect of bringing together Iranian and Turkish interests as a matter of religious preference, which made crafting policy in all the other areas much more difficult. The Russians are balancing Iranian and Turkish influences to maintain their upper hand in Central Asia and to prevent US influence from spreading. FWIW...

Soylent Red

Clarice:

The CBC has demonstrated a disturbing affinity for Black thugs who abuse their own people while cutting nice deals with CBC members and their families.

OK. I'm going to go ahead and say it, at the risk of being dubbed a racist...

Have you looked at how the various race baiting organizations are lead and operated?

You give some of these people aviator sunglasses and a cheetah sash and they would be functionally indistinguishable from your average African dictator (in terms of graft and corruption).

Anduril:

Obamiracles. Perhaps a new recurring FNL theme?

I'll leave that decision to my JOM betters.

Off topic...

Enjoying all the hippie enclaves between Arizona and Nebraska. In my "ARMY" t-shirts. I'm hoping to incite a spitting incident.

kim

Yes, SR, it is, after all, Rovian mindrays that are actually causing all these miracles and swoons.
====================

Foo Bar

it may simply be evidence that he is an utterly ordinary and predictable urban black liberal politician

I really don't think this argument works. It was absolutely not ordinary and predictable for someone gearing up for a Senate race in a state with a Republican governor and one Republican senator at the time (and with Bush riding high in the polls) to oppose the invasion. In fact, it was rather risky politically.

Obama had already tried for Bobby Rush's House seat and had failed, so advancing his career on the base of a largely black, urban constituency was unlikely at that point.

MayBee

Foo Bar-
Durbin had voted http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=107&session=2&vote=00237>Nay. So obviously not so risky in Illinois.

Rick Ballard

Patrick,

It's unfortunate that we don't have a place of honor equivalent to Westminister Abbey for his interment. He fought for freedom and against slavery as did William Wilberforce and deserves similiar recognition.

JM Hanes

"Baby It's Cold Outside" I blame Al Gore.

Jane:

LOL! My favorite moment in the campaigns to date is Hillary doing her Obama imitation. She was wearing that yellower than yellow suit, and I find myself thinking of it as her Obama Banana bit.

"I've got news for Senator Obama. Al Qaeda is already in Iraq. That's why they call it: "al Qaeda in Iraq".

As the New York Times styles it, that would be:

I've got news for Senator Obama. Al Qaeda is already in Iraq. That's why they call it: "al Qaeda in [Mesopotamia]."

Cecil:

"If Barack and his allies want to use the US military to spread justice throughout the world, I suspect they're going to find it's woefully undermanned."

Actually, I think he wants the U.N. to use the US military to fix the world.

Thought of your comments on an earlier thread reading this piece about a potential Kitty Hawk deal with India, when I got to the bit about widowmakers, in this case "Russia's Cold War-era answer to the Harrier", the Yakovlev Yak-38. I read every one of the bios in the piece you linked to and meant to thank you for posting it. It's hard not to think that Harriers are one of the coolest planes evah, but I had no idea what a terrible price they've exacted. It looked to me like "pilot error" was a euphemism for too damn hot to handle.

The article itself is a great reminder of the incredible job Bush & Co have done in cementing relations with India (ditto for Japan and others) that gets virtually no attention (along with his reception in Africa) from the folks selling "the worst foreign policy in history" line.

RichatUF

FB-

Gore won IL by 500k in 2000 and in 2004 Kerry won IL by about 550K when he was for the war before he was against. BHO could safely be counted on to be against the war [like his spiritual advisor was] and not suffer any sort of electoral consequences running statewide against an incompetent IL-GOP.

cathyf

Hey, JMH, gotta correct your usage of the NYT style sheet: (with apologies to Taranto)

I've got news for Senator Obama. Al Qaeda [that has nothing to do with Iraq] is already in Iraq [that has nothing to do with al Qaeda]. That's why they call it: "al Qaeda in [Mesopotamia]."

Bill in AZ

kim, all of that global cooling nonsense is because they're looking at non-hansen'd data. Once Soros lackey Hansen applies his arbitrary corrections to the data, all the snow will melt, and the hockey stick will be back. It's all about "change(s)".

glasater

I believe BHO's response to the question--regretting a vote he had taken--on the Schiavo situation will will come back to haunt him. That he would take that particular vote back is unbelievable.

Regarding William F. Buckly--years ago I was privileged to meet the man when he was in this part of the country taping a series for "Firing Line." He was just a darling man and his edition on Malcolm Muggerridge made a profound impression on my thinking.

cathyf
...in a state with a Republican governor and one Republican senator at the time...
Oh, puh-lease, Foobar, get a grip. The 2002 election marked the near-complete destruction of the Illinois Republican party by George Ryan and his cronies. Every statewide office is now Democrat, and the closest thing we have to partisan politics is intra-Democrat wrangling between Governor "The Haircut" and Attorney General "The Boss's Daughter".
anduril

I thought that I'd made it clear that I don't mind being disagreed with--whether in whole or in part. What I mind is being used as a strawman:

anduril: the Clinton intervention in Serbia/Kosovo--which Republicans provided cover for--was one of the most ill conceived foreign policy adventures in recent years...

Rich: I would disagree in part and say that the most disasterous foreign policy move was Clinton's handling of post-Soviet Russia [of which, the breakup of Yugosalvia was a part].

What would have been so hard about saying/writing: "Y'know, anduril, IMO, Clinton's handling of post-Soviet Russia (of which the breakup of Yugoslavia was a part) was the most disastrous aspect of his entire foreign policy."

That approach would have had the twofold virtue of being fair to what I wrote as well as of utilizing correct spelling and punctuation. It might also have left me willing to engage in a further discussion of whether Clinton's handling of China was more or less disastrous than his handling of post-Soviet Russia. As it is, these exchanges--in which I have to continually correct misrepresentations of what I wrote--are much too tiresome to hold any appeal for me.

We all like to shine on the forum, but that needn't involve using others as strawmen.

JM Hanes

cathyf: We were both wrong!

I've got news for Senator Obama. Al Qaeda [never had anything to do with Iraq till we invaded, making them multiply like flies everywhere and striking fear in our hearts till they were cynically accused of fomenting violence when everybody knows they're really only a threat in Afghanistan and had nothing to do with an entirely predictable Civil War] in Iraq [based on centuries of ethnic animus directed at an occupying force made up of kids with targets painted on their camies, whom we thank for their extraordinary service, of course, in a war that was lost, is lost, and will always be lost because Iraqis are just spoiled children who want us to take care of everything and were better off when Saddam was doing the work that Americans won't do would be morally constrained from doing themselves if we didn't have a unitary theo-fascist torturing the Constitution in the White House]. That's why they call it [the greatest foreign policy disaster in the history of the known world, the known unknown world, and the unknown unknown world].

JM Hanes

anduril:

That hair's so small it would take a microscope and a laser beam to split it! Loved your math link, btw.

cathyf

Loved your amazing facility with [square brackets], JMH! For some reason the first thought that popped into my mind was anduril's earlier "...shouldn’t newspapers place all of Obama’s quotes in red text?"

anduril

JMH, yes, it was fascinating--that sort of stuff interests me (and hopefully a few others). So, you admire my dexterity in simultaneously handling both a microscope and a laser? I developed that capability because I've been repeatedly bitten by the same people. I did wonder whether that was being nitpicky, but somehow it keeps happening.

anduril

Not mine cathyf, someone I quoted. I have to be on my "p's and q's" now. Wisht it were mine, though.

clarice

Soylent!!
FNL Obamiracles!
Just what the world's been waiting for!!Have your girl set up lunch with Anduril's and we're off and running!

anduril

My girl's too busy polishing my microscope and adjusting my laser to answer the phone. :-)

clarice

Hmpffhh--

RichatUF

That approach would have had the twofold virtue of being fair to what I wrote as well as of utilizing correct spelling and punctuation. It might also have left me willing to engage in a further discussion of whether Clinton's handling of China was more or less disastrous than his handling of post-Soviet Russia. As it is, these exchanges--in which I have to continually correct misrepresentations of what I wrote--are much too tiresome to hold any appeal for me.

We all like to shine on the forum, but that needn't involve using others as strawmen.

Oops! Is that spelled and punctuated correctly?

JM Hanes

anduril:

When you're extraordinarily precise in your language, it can be painful to hear how your ideas come out of someone else's mouth, but where the regulars here are concerned I think that deliberate misstatements for the sake of argument are extremely rare. It's more like the Telephone Game, Adult Version. If we're talking exegesis, though, you're definitely my guy! You leave everybody else's lasers in the (microscopic) dust.

cathyf:

Every once in awhile, a weakness for compounding compound sentences actually comes in handy.

anduril

Rich, you should have put my words inside quotation marks.

JMH, I agree about "the regulars," and that's why I didn't accuse Rich of making a deliberate misstatement. What I suggested was that he was so eager to shine that he didn't pause to consider what I was actually saying. Why did I bother?

Because way back at the beginning of the month, when Edmonds was a hot discussion topic, Rich and several others were 1) refusing to respond to my points, 2) clearly misrepresenting my positions while portraying those positions as the positions of "loons," and 3) presenting as "fact" what was not, in fact, the case. Even then I didn't accuse Rich of lying. I realized that, in all good faith, he was so eager to totally discredit Edmonds and anyone who might wonder whether she has anything to say worth hearing, that fair play or fact checking simply didn't enter into consideration--as was the case with the other persons as well. The result was that he made statements that misrepresented the known facts in significant ways, and had other people nodding in agreement.

That was why I responded as I did back then and it's the reason I was unwilling to cut Rich any slack this time around. Obviously I can't expect others to care as much about my words as I do, so it's up to me to keep the record clear when it touches my concerns--if I'm going to commit my thoughts to writing on controversial topics I want to be damn sure that everyone is clear about what I mean and what I don't mean. Yes, I did wonder whether to respond in that fashion again was the best way to go about keeping the record straight, but in the end I decided that--in light of what occurred earlier this month--it was as well to issue a little reminder.

Sorry for the lengthy response, but I want it understood that I'm not doing this just to be a pain in the ass.

kim

Hey, C, Drudge is linking your Daily Tech site. Maybe we are getting somewhere.
=====================

boris

cut Rich any slack this time around

I often have difficulty removing unintended ambiguity from my posts, especially when I am otherwise occupied programming VHDL C++ and MatLab in rapid cyclical succesion. The English Programmiing Language just tends to suffer during those periods.

In a purely hypothetical technical interpretaion your "one of the most ill conceived foreign policy adventures" is easy to disagree with without missing "one of the". Since all things considered it turned out relativly well it may not even come close to "one of the".

Personally I would tend to cut slack in this case.

Sue

Hell, I'm not sure how you pick which foreign policy of Clinton's should make the top 10 list, let alone the worst or almost the worst or one of the worst. I see Obama going down the same road that Clinton went down. Europe will love them both, though.

Elliott

How many roads must a Lib go down, before you can call him a clown?

anduril

boris, I understand and, as I indicated, I wouldn't have gone down that road (again) if not for the prior VERY bad experience. I will note that my exact words were pasted in.

Sue, feel free to disagree, with or without reasons. I picked Kosovo as "one of" based on 1) possible longer term implications/developments and 2) boneheaded failure to minimally understand the dynamics of a particularly volatile corner of Europe. Even the Powerline folks have some qualms about how that situation has developed:

The Kosovo exception

With Kosovo's declaration of independence this week, one wonders whether it is wise to establish a breakaway Islamic state over in the corner of Europe that lit the match for World War I. Several European states that have declined to recognize Kosovo's independence are obviously concerned about the threat represented by the Kosovo precedent. In her statement regarding the American decision to recognize Kosovo, Condoleezza Rice emphasized that Kosovo represents an exception to the rule:

The unusual combination of factors found in the Kosovo situation -- including the context of Yugoslavia's breakup, the history of ethnic cleansing and crimes against civilians in Kosovo, and the extended period of UN administration -- are not found elsewhere and therefore make Kosovo a special case. Kosovo cannot be seen as a precedent for any other situation in the world today.

She also celebrates Kosovo's purported embrace of "multi-ethnicity as a fundamental principle of good governance." Madam Secretary, how is that principle working out in the Palestinian state that you are struggling to midwife? By contrast, in any event, Melanie Phillips argues that setting up Kosovo as an independent state is "a rotten decsion."

In a telephone briefing with reporters, Nicholas Burns expands on State's thinking. Among other things, Burns emphasizes Kosovo's overwhelmingly Islamic character:

[F]irst of all, Kosovo is going to be a vastly majority Muslim state, given the fact that 92 to 94 percent of their population is Muslim. And we think it is a very positive step that this Muslim state, Muslim majority state, has been created today. It’s a stable – we think it’s going to be a stable state.

If Kosovo's Islamic character comes first, suggesting stability, what's second? "[S]econdly, the country is going to need a lot of economic assistance."

I probably had that in mind when I wrote "one of," realizing the very competitive nature of any ranking of Clinton foreign policy mistakes.

anduril

"...feel free to disagree" or agree...

boris

Agreed

Sue

Sue, feel free to disagree, with or without reasons.

You want I should list them all? How about I don't feel Clinton had a foreign policy? He did what the polls wanted him to do at any given moment. You can't have a policy driven by polls or you wind up with mush. And mush is what he gave us.

RichatUF

anduril-

"...you should have put my words inside quotation marks..."

It should have been a blockquote, for example:

...anduril's text right here...

I didn't realize that this was all a graded exercise. I goofed, oops. Maybe this time I've got the spelling and punctuation correct (with Kingfisher as my co-pilot)!!!

Don't know why I'm your punching bag, but I'd be glad to go through a SF 86 and Edmonds' public statements to show you why her story is full of shit.

RichatUF

anduril-

Even then I didn't accuse Rich of lying.

No, it was:

Problem is, that stupid and/or dishonest poster just happened to provide, by hook or by crook, a link to the OIG Report on Edmonds, and appears to have quoted from the very section I pasted in above--the section which also mentions Edmonds' work for the Rostropovich foundation (mentioned by the poster). So, again, am I a big meanie for saying that someone who makes statements that are contradicted by official records that the poster links to is stupid and/or lazy and/or dishonest for not reading the linked report?

link here, because I know how much you are a stickler for proper documentation.

She worked for a foreign foundation; she has family, property, and business interests abroad; she worked in a foreign country (Russia) a year or so before she started as an FBI contractor; and she stated in more than one public interivew that her clearence approval was "sped up" because of her previous application. As I said in a later comment, Ames was a bad analogy, Mark Lane is closer to the mark.

anduril

1. Rich:

That approach would have had the twofold virtue of being fair to what I wrote as well as of utilizing correct spelling and punctuation. It might also have left me willing to engage in a further discussion of whether Clinton's handling of China was more or less disastrous than his handling of post-Soviet Russia. As it is, these exchanges--in which I have to continually correct misrepresentations of what I wrote--are much too tiresome to hold any appeal for me.

We all like to shine on the forum, but that needn't involve using others as strawmen.

Oops! Is that spelled and punctuated correctly?

Posted by: RichatUF | February 27, 2008 at 03:21 PM

2. anduril:

Rich, you should have put my words inside quotation marks.

...

Posted by: anduril | February 27, 2008 at 04:27 PM

As anyone can see, I was simply (and politely) responding to Rich's inquiry--although he was probably hoping I'd criticize my own writing. Why else would he repost my words (virtually the entire post, as you can see below) without attribution and then ask: "Oops! Is that spelled and punctuated correctly?".

Here's how I was suggesting that Rich should have punctuated his post. You can see that virtually the entire post consists of my own words, thus how misleading Rich's post was. (I was taught to have a closing quotation mark only at the end of an extended quote):

"That approach would have had the twofold virtue of being fair to what I wrote as well as of utilizing correct spelling and punctuation. It might also have left me willing to engage in a further discussion of whether Clinton's handling of China was more or less disastrous than his handling of post-Soviet Russia. As it is, these exchanges--in which I have to continually correct misrepresentations of what I wrote--are much too tiresome to hold any appeal for me.

"We all like to shine on the forum, but that needn't involve using others as strawmen."

Oops! Is that spelled and punctuated correctly?

Posted by: RichatUF | February 27, 2008 at 03:21 PM

3. Rich:

...

I didn't realize that this was all a graded exercise. I goofed, oops. Maybe this time I've got the spelling and punctuation correct (with Kingfisher as my co-pilot)!!!

Don't know why I'm your punching bag, but I'd be glad to go through a SF 86 and Edmonds' public statements to show you why her story is full of shit.

Posted by: RichatUF | February 27, 2008 at 08:48 PM

* I didn't grade or critique Rich, except to suggest that he distinguish the words of a person other than himself from his own words. I suggested quotation marks, but blockquoting is fine, too.

* Rich wonders why he's my "punching bag"--after antics like passing my words off as his own. I think we all here know better than to do that.

* Why Rich thinks I'm unfamiliar with an SF-86 is anyone's guess--I don't need a guide.

* At the beginning of the month when I asked for reasoned responses, Rich wasn't very forthcoming. In fact, as he documents in his next post, he got things all mixed up--and that's stretching a point for the sake of charity. I'm no longer interested.

4. Rich

anduril-

Even then I didn't accuse Rich of lying.

No, it was:

Problem is, that stupid and/or dishonest poster just happened to provide, by hook or by crook, a link to the OIG Report on Edmonds, and appears to have quoted from the very section I pasted in above--the section which also mentions Edmonds' work for the Rostropovich foundation (mentioned by the poster). So, again, am I a big meanie for saying that someone who makes statements that are contradicted by official records that the poster links to is stupid and/or lazy and/or dishonest for not reading the linked report?

link here, because I know how much you are a stickler for proper documentation.

She worked for a foreign foundation; she has family, property, and business interests abroad; she worked in a foreign country (Russia) a year or so before she started as an FBI contractor; and she stated in more than one public interivew that her clearence approval was "sped up" because of her previous application. As I said in a later comment, Ames was a bad analogy, Mark Lane is closer to the mark.

Posted by: RichatUF | February 27, 2008 at 09:17 PM

* I commend Rich for linking to my earlier post, which goes through the business of Edmonds' application to the FBI in great detail, based on the OIG report. Anyone who still cares should reread that lengthy post.

* Rich apparently still objects to being characterized as "stupid and/or dishonest," as I did, without actually naming names, in that prior post. The short answer is this: Rich asked, I believe more than once: "So tell me again why Edmonds got a job and clearence so quickly?" I initially assumed that Rich knew what he was talking about, then suspected that was unwise and went back to research the OIG report. That report was the most likely place that Rich came up with Edmonds' prior employment at the Rostropovich foundation--in fact, Rich linked to the OIG report (as did I). In the very section of the report that mentions the Rostropovich report is a detailed account of Edmonds' application to the FBI. The OIG report details that Edmonds' application and background investigation was essentially completed but was then misplaced. When the mistake was discovered her application was "sped up" to make up for the delay. But "sped up" does not mean that the FBI skipped any steps in the process--it means that they moved her to the front of the applicant queue to make up for their own mistake. Here's how that "sped up" process went, as documented by the OIG report that Rich linked:

February 2000 - FBI requests a new SF-86

April 2001 - an updated PSI interview is requested

May 1, 2001, and July 19, 2001 - supplemental PSIs conducted

September 20, 2001 - Edmonds begins work

So, about a year and a half--on top of the initial period before the mistake was discovered. Note that period from 2/2000 - 4/2001: that indicates that the FBI spent one year and two months checking out Edmonds' updated SF-86, after having gone through that whole process before on her initial SF-86.

So, yes, I asserted that Rich was stupid and/or dishonest for messing this up, especially in light of the fact that he had clearly been aware of the OIG report. Understand, too, that I didn't appreciate the other rhetoric that was being directed at me by several people. This was the last in a long series of posts and represented what happens when one too many straws is placed on the camel's back.

* Rich states:

She worked for a foreign foundation; she has family, property, and business interests abroad; she worked in a foreign country (Russia) a year or so before she started as an FBI contractor...

Imagine, all that! And do you know what? The FBI knew all that. Yes, the FBI and other national security agencies that hire translators have found that the most qualified candidates are those who are native speakers of the targeted languages, and that means that they end up having to hire people who were born in foreign countries, were educated and worked in foreign countries and have relatives living in foreign countries--foreign countries that we, the US Government, know or suspect of being engaged in intelligence activity directed at the US. That's why the application process takes so long--the FBI really does try to determine whether the people they hire are trustworthy, and that takes time. Sometimes, as in the Prouty case, the assistance they get from other government agencies is less than stellar. Sometimes they make mistakes all on their own. But they try. So far there is nothing to show that they made a security mistake in hiring Edmonds, although they surely regret the hire now. Nor is there any evidence that Edmonds was in any way dishonest during the application process.

Foo Bar

Oh, puh-lease, Foobar, get a grip. The 2002 election marked the near-complete destruction of the Illinois Republican party by George Ryan and his cronies

Given that even today 9 out of 19 House seats are held by Republicans, I would call the destruction something less than complete.

I'm not saying it was obviously politically expedient for Obama to support the war, but it certainly wasn't obviously politically expedient for him to oppose it, given the eye he obviously had on the Senate seat. Let's take another example of a Democrat with statewide aspirations at the time: Blagojevich voted for the war a month before the gubernatorial election.

As a state senator, there wasn't really any expectation that Obama take a strong public stand on the war anyway, given that foreign policy is not in the purview of a state senator.

And whatever anyone says about Illinois being left-leaning on the balance, that hardly made it an easy call to oppose the war. If you look over the roll call that MayBee posted, you see several Democratic "Yea" Iraq war votes from blue states: Dodd, Feinstein, Kerry, Lieberman, Schumer, Biden, Carper, Cantwell, and of course Clinton. So considering his aspirations, to say that Obama's opposition was obviously predictable and politically expedient is just wrong.

Cecil Turner

Thought of your comments on an earlier thread reading this piece about a potential Kitty Hawk deal with India, when I got to the bit about widowmakers, in this case "Russia's Cold War-era answer to the Harrier", the Yakovlev Yak-38.

Heh. We used to joke that the best thing about the Harrier was that it convinced the Soviets to build the piece-of-sh** Yak-38 . . . which killed the cream of the crop of their pilot trainees for several years running.

On the Kitty Hawk proposal, it's interesting to note the US policy not to provide air force projection technology to countries that don't already have it. Thus the Indian Harrier carriers make it feasible to offer them a big deck carrier (and I agree with your conclusion that it represents a welcome alignment with the world's largest democracy). All good stuff.

So considering his aspirations, to say that Obama's opposition was obviously predictable and politically expedient is just wrong.

But just happened to match the vast majority of the congressional black caucus members. Whatever. Profiles in courage, it ain't.

Rick Ballard

Douglas Henninger has a good piece this morning in the WSJ. He traces Broom One's glide path pretty accurately and points to the progs seizing the reins and jerking the party left as the proximate cause.

He might have added that the Copperhead Congress (under prog direction) has the lowest approval rating ever achieved. The fact that it's not improving suggests that despair over November on the part of the Rep may be more than a little premature.

kim

I know a woman who is the daughter, grand-daughter, great grand-daughter, and great great grand-daughter of four blacksmiths, the last two of whom collected anvils. She had 200 of them, and the Smithsonian wanted them but expected her to pay the freight. The Smithsonian didn't get them for the same reason she is dubious about people swinging anvils with left hands.
========================

kim

What the progs swing is hammers with the right hand, and sickles with the left.
===================

MayBee

FooBar-
I love the way you use the neighboring Blue state votes on AUMF to make your case without acknowledging their very own Senator's Nay vote.

anduril

WONDER LAND
By DANIEL HENNINGER



Hillary's Close-Up

anduril

Henninger:

It's often said that she lacks Bill's political skills, whatever that means. Her retail skills are pretty darned good, though, good enough to defeat John Edwards or virtually any other Democrat one can imagine. So why is she losing to a three-year senator?

Partly because she's running in the wrong century.

Hillary's politics is the world of Eleanor Roosevelt, when it was all being born anew. The Washington of LBJ's Great Society in the mid-1960s was alive with policy debates -- among Democrats. By now, the Democratic Party's ideas are largely generic. Everyone noticed that the Democratic presidential candidates were largely singing from the same script. Health care, public schools, green energy, the eternal shafting of the middle class, the unions, protecting Social Security and Medicare. This common script means that the Democratic primaries are largely an audition. The candidates are reading for a role. The lines are known.

The part, however, is challenging. The Democratic platform may be familiar, but it is also infused with the quality of a dream. Actually, the word "dream" gets used a lot in Democratic rhetoric. What are essentially bureaucratic arrangements, such as health insurance or after-school programs, are promised as "universal." Meanwhile, "the middle class" is being offered a version of never-never land -- total public protection from the traps and betrayals of the private sector, which has been reduced to a kind of Grimm's Fairy Tale abstraction, the wolves.

If you are selling a dream you need the best possible salesman to make it seem somehow possible. They found him in Barack Obama.

Hillary attacked Obama this week on exactly this basis -- for selling dreams: "And you know the celestial choirs will be singing . . . and the world will be perfect." In her world "none of the problems we face will be easily solved." In her world, the real one, mediocre pols must be worked and massive bureaucracies pushed to do the right thing. And you know what? She just might be good at it.

The bitter irony is that what the Democrats want is someone like the original Clinton, another figure who can make the old-time religion sound not like a government program, but personally uplifting. She can't. In the Cleveland debate Tuesday, even Brian Williams couldn't resist noting "a 16-minute discussion on health care."

We're about six days away from the last close-up. What Hillary Clinton has invested, given and endured for her party to get to this moment is hard to imagine. Then the Democratic audience says: What difference does that make? A star has been born. Now comes the mad scene.

Foo Bar

FooBar-
I love the way you use the neighboring Blue state votes on AUMF to make your case without acknowledging their very own Senator's Nay vote.

I hereby acknowledge Durbin's vote, and that is certainly a point in your favor, but that hardly makes the case that Obama's opposition was completely predictable- not with Blagojevich and all those other lefty Senators voting in favor.

But just happened to match the vast majority of the congressional black caucus members. Whatever. Profiles in courage, it ain't.

Well, now that you've reiterated TM's argument without adding anything further, I'm convinced! Again, Obama wasn't going to advance his career solely on the basis of an urban black constituency after being defeatedly handily in his attempt to win Rush's seat in '00.

Jane

Foo Bar,

You seem to be arguing that Obama stands on principle. Have you seen this?

“Within the last month, a top staff member for Obama’s campaign telephoned Michael Wilson, Canada’s ambassador to the United States, and warned him that Obama would speak out against NAFTA, according to Canadian sources,” CTV News reported. “The staff member reassured Wilson that the criticisms would only be campaign rhetoric, and should not be taken at face value.”

Cecil Turner

Well, now that you've reiterated TM's argument without adding anything further, I'm convinced!

Well, we all know correlation is not causation, but the fact Obama's position fits precisely with his elected brethren is certainly more suggestive than your apparent claim that such a position would be unhelpful in his pursuit of joining them.

Again, Obama wasn't going to advance his career solely on the basis of an urban black constituency . . .

Well, now that you've reiterated your own position . . . Again, the argument is not compelling. In the first place, the resolution pre-dates Obama's senate run (and in fact is well before Peter Fitzgerald announced he wouldn't seek re-election in Spring 2003). He may well have been gearing up for another House run, which would largely be determined by an urban black constituency. Moreover, in a race to recapture Carol Mosely Braun's old seat, with both parties proffering an African American candidate, flouting the urban black vote does not appear to comport with conventional wisdom.

Finally, the contention that he must have a principled position (because it was against his self-interest--even though it was very comfortable amongst his close supporters and perfectly aligned with their positions--and it eventually worked out in his self-interest [Glory be!]) is awfully reminiscent of Hutchinson's reasoning linked above, that the Kosovo intervention was righteous because it was not for selfish US interests:

But even if Kosovo is the right policy, blacks still must remember that for most of this century U.S. military intervention has been used not to protect but to oppress and exploit Muslims and people of color.
And by that logic, the only acceptable intervention is one that's against America's interests. If Obama's position was in fact based on similar logic, his stance might well be principled, but would hardly represent a qualification for Commander-in-Chief. Luckily for him, there's little evidence it was more than (simply more) empty speechifying.

Foo Bar

(and in fact is well before Peter Fitzgerald announced he wouldn't seek re-election in Spring 2003)

Fitzgerald was a first-termer who had barely eked out a win. There wasn't that much difference between running against him versus running for an open seat, in terms of prospects.

He may well have been gearing up for another House run

He had just gotten crushed in 2000, 61 percent to 30 percent. Not bloody likely.

with both parties proffering an African American candidate

The fact that Keyes was running is evidence of absolutely nothing. He swooped in from Maryland very late in the race (August) after Jack Ryan went down in scandal, and got to run only because no one else wanted to. The GOP was going through the motions.

flouting the urban black vote does not appear to comport with conventional wisdom
Illinois is 16 percent black. Not exactly a dominant ethnic group.

Ranger

Foo Bar,

Just one point, Peter Fitzgerald was an extreemly popular Senator because he was very independent of the local party machine. His choice not to run was as much because he just didn't want to have anything to do with the Illinois GOP any more (because he opposed the third airport boondogle that both parties in the state were trying to push through and use big chunks of federal money to finance) as anything else. Obama wouldn't have run if Fitzgerald had stood for re-election because there was no way Obama could have won that fight.

Foo Bar

Ranger (and Cecil):

You both are flat wrong. Obama had already formed a Senate '04 campaign committee in July 2002, before Obama's Iraq speech and before Fitzgerald said he was stepping down.

anduril

Right, Ranger. Fitzgerald was widely respected and disliked for the same reason: his integrity. It was a sad day for the Senate when he decided not to run.

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Wilson/Plame