July 27, 2007

Obama calls Hillary "Bush-Cheney lite."

One more thing that tips me toward Clinton! Bush-Cheney lite sounds like just about what we need. Clinton declares the epithet "silly," but I think that secretly she knows the comparison helps her in some quarters.

And Obama came out with that in the context of trying to justify what was in fact a major gaffe at the debate:
In South Carolina and during a visit to New Hampshire earlier in the day, Obama compared Clinton to Bush because, he said, she has said she will not have unconditional meetings with foreign enemies.

He told the College Democrats that her approach showed "stubbornness" and in New Hampshire he referred to her as "Bush-Cheney lite."
"Stubbornness"? As opposed to what? Giddy impetuousness?

Clinton's retort:
"I've been called a lot of things in my life but I've never been called George Bush or Dick Cheney certainly," she said. "We have to ask what's ever happened to the politics of hope?"
Oh, come on. He's overflowing with hope! Hope that Venezuela, Cuba, Syria and Iran will play nice. Hope that saying Clinton is like Bush will cause voters to recoil in horror...

97 comments:

Simon said...

...Hope that no one asks specific questions, hope that no one's paying too close attention to the words...

Anorak said...

Ann

I'd like to feature your article on Anroak - www.anorak.co.uk.

Would this be ok?

joe said...

Obama is not one to be calling anyone light, he is the ultimate lightweight. If anything approaching substance ever comes out of his mouth, it is inevitably stupid; usually it is mere fluff, the comforting, meaningless slogans beloved by the doctrinaire left, that saves them from dealing with facts and the real world.

Sloanasaurus said...

Obama's criticisms are no doubt helping Clinton, while at the same time making Obama look like an idiot.

If Clinton wins the nomination and then runs on a platform of copying the 1990s Clinton Administration without the corruption and with a more hawkish view of National Security, she will win.

al said...

Obama's hope is that the voters in America won't realize before the primary just how little he knows. OTOH if America is as stupid as those in Illinois that voted for him...

Arthur said...

"she said. 'We have to ask what's ever happened to the politics of hope?'"

Nov 15, 2006:
Sen. Hillary Clinton responded with a smackdown: “Hope is not a strategy. ... "

Sure thing Hill....

Roger said...

This is going to be such a great primary season--and the general is still16 months away--this has all the makings of being one the muddiest campaigns in recent memory.

SteveR said...

He's playing right into her hands and by starting (ending?)so far out in front of the primaries, he stands to eliminate himself before she has to get really combative. Just the way they drew it up.

David said...

"Hope that saying Clinton is like Bush will cause voters to recoil in horror..." reminds me of a post I once wrote on Dog Language and Political Language.

Zeb Quinn said...

Puh-leeeze. Let's not be so easily suckered by the rope-a-dope. Two things to keep our eyes on:

1. Much more than Obama, Clinton is far more busy running from a whole panoply of questions that have dogged her for years, and she rests comfortably knowing that her fellow Democrats won't ask them of her. She has always carefully structured her appearances to get the best and most sheltered treatment. The question is, can she do that through a whole presidential election campaign?

2. Does anyone doubt that what we have here is a Clinton-Obama ticket in 2008?

Fen said...

Amateur mistake. But reveals why primaries are useful:

IF the next POTUS is going to have unconditional meetings with foreign enemies, Obama is NOT the one I would send. He's in over his head. He can't even handle Hillary.

Roger said...

Not a follower of Illinois politics, but has Obama ever had a tough campaign. While I am not a big admirer of the Clintons, I respect their campaigning skills--the word ruthless comes to mind, but as Mr. Dooley said, Politics aint bean bag.

Tim said...

"Does anyone doubt that what we have here is a Clinton-Obama ticket in 2008?"

Yes.

Latinos now matter more than Blacks.

Clinton/Richardson '08.

I won't vote for them, but that'll be your '08 Democrat ticket, unless Gore announces.

Sloanasaurus said...

Good Observation Tim. Richardson could be president too (unlike Obama).

Fen said...

(AP) March 9th, 2009: Bilateral talks between the US and Iran stalled today when President Obama called Ahmadinejad a "poopy-head"

Does anyone doubt that what we have here is a Clinton-Obama ticket in 2008?

Its the smart ticket, also for long-term consolidation. If Hillary can survive two terms, a young VP Obama is waiting in the wings to continue her legacy.

Fen said...

Latinos now matter more than Blacks.

Clinton/Richardson '08


Good point. I think Clinton will be savy enough to pick a VP from the south or southwest.

Balfegor said...

I think that secretly she knows the comparison helps her in some quarters.

Yes!

Re: Al:

Obama's hope is that the voters in America won't realize before the primary just how little he knows.

I don't think Obama is ignorant in any way. Maybe it's just school snobbery re: his hyper-posh education here, but I think he really is intelligent. And given that he spent a fair bit of his career doing noblesse oblige community work down in Chicago, he probably has a perspective on poverty many politicians who pretend to don't really have. I think it's that he's just not cynical.

Even apart from his book-learning, he has plenty of experience to counter allegations of ignorance. He spent part of his childhood in Indonesia, and they riot and are murderously violent every so often (though usually against Chinese, rather than Americans or Jews). And he's worked in the notoriously corrupt Chicago political system, so he must surely know politics for what it is (and know how to play it). I think he's just not particularly cynical about foreign governments. Maybe there's a bit of Et in Arcadia Ego about his view of the Great Abroad.

Fen said...

I agree with you, and admit to being impressed by Obama's earlier work. Edwards rants on about Two Americas, but Obama was actually out there trying to DO something about it.

However, we need a Wartime Consigliere who understands the realities of foriegn policy.

chickenlittle said...

Obama: still running against Bush because it's easier than running for something.
He certainly didn't start it, but I sure hope he takes that loser strategy down with himself.

Sloanasaurus said...

Belfagor, you almost rest the case for the Obama critics. Obama is running for President, who is the chief Executive of the American government which spends $2.5+ trillion per year and has millions of employees.

So how does growing up in Indonesia or working on poverty projects give us confidence that Obama can manage a government.

Sheepman said...

"Does anyone doubt that what we have here is a Clinton-Obama ticket in 2008?"

I doubt it too. Obama would be a net minus to a Clinton ticket. She's already strong in the African American community so he offers little there. To win, she'll need to appeal to moderate voters. Senator James Webb would be an interesting choice. He has both strong military and anti-Iraq war credentials.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Good point. I think Clinton will be savy enough to pick a VP from the south or southwest.

Question is who? Tim's comment that Richardson actually is an excellent choice considering the demographic he represents plus is more moderate. Evan Bayh from my state could be another choice for VP as he sits more centrist but is probably unknown outside of Indiana.

The key thing is Hillary is coming off as a national security hawk but is still clinging to her extreme social liberal ideology; univsersal health care, expanded welfare, more taxes etc. When she talks about pre-conditioned negotiations and immediate retaliation for attacks will warm the cockles of conservatives but she's still very far left and is doing her darndest to keep that out of the limelight.

BarrySanders20 said...

Is this part of the vast conspiracy designed to ensure Hillary's nomination? No, but Obama and Edwards are getting exposed as the lightweights they are. If Hillary is uncompromising with enemies of the US, then I can endure her. You don't have to have the man parts to show leadership and fortitude (think Thatcher). And having the man parts does not prove anything (sorry, Edwards and Obama, Hillary is far tougher than either of you combined, and everyone knows it).

I hope Hillary loses in the general, but if I had to bet, she's the strong favorite right now. And as hard as it is to acknowledge, I'm OK with it.

Zeb Quinn said...

I don't see that Hillary has any choice in the matter. Obama has too much magic going on. Obama is her running mate.

Plus, the consequences of not choosing him are dire. She doesn't have the black vote locked up. She's not Bill. They're looking for reasons to not support her and to support somebody else. They will stay home if they get mad at her. And dissing on Obama like that could do it.

Sloanasaurus said...

Senator James Webb would be an interesting choice. He has both strong military and anti-Iraq war credentials.

This is just ridiculous. Webb has less experience than Obama.

I think Bush set a great example by picking a vice president who could actually serve as president rather than just to win a state.

Zeb Quinn said...

This is just ridiculous. Webb has less experience than Obama.

Oh, that's not true. In his rock-ribbed republican phase Webb was a high-ranking member of the Reagan Administration. Secretary of the Navy as I recall. It's only lately that he's been an insolent member of the dark side.

Sheepman said...

"This is just ridiculous. Webb has less experience than Obama."

Not ridiculous at all. Obama only has only spent slightly more time in the Senate, which doesn't add anything to the ticket. Webb was Secretary of the Navy and has combat experience as an officer. That adds military experience that some voters might feel Hillary to be lacking. Plus he has a son serving in Iraq, which makes it easier for him to be critical of the way the war there has been waged. The fact that he was a Reagan Republican will add a gloss of bipartisanship and national unity to the ticket.

Internet Ronin said...

Nov 15, 2006:
Sen. Hillary Clinton responded with a smackdown: “Hope is not a strategy. ... "


Well, Arthur, judging from the state of Obama's campaign and the candidate himself, it looks like she may have been right, so her later question is a fair one, even if it is a sarcastic one.

AllenS said...

Back in the days when I was working, I worked with blacks from the hood, and then in the mid-90's we started to hire black men from Africa, and no more from the hood. These two groups did not get along. The boyz from the hood hated the Africans. Period. If Obama had a father from downtown, rather than Africa, he'd go farther with the blacks of America. Hillary has a better chance to get the black vote than Obama.

cyrus pinkerton said...

Simon wrote:

...Hope that no one asks specific questions, hope that no one's paying too close attention to the words...

This sounds like an Alberto Gonzales prayer before testifying.

Superdad said...

Allen - my experience is the same.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Obama's criticisms are no doubt helping Clinton, while at the same time making Obama look like an idiot.

To...you. You guys are exactly like my liberal friends who didn't understand how Bush possibly got so many votes in the 2000 election.

All that stuff you hated about him, uh, lots of people liked it and saw it differently. All that stuff about Gore you liked? Annoyed the f*ck out of millions of people. Hillary is not helping herself. Bush-Cheney Lite is a bad news cycle for her, and the Hillary camp knows it.

# 56 said...

Webb is far more experienced in life and politics. But he's not making the list. Loose cannon, the Secret Servive could protect Hillary but I'd expect Bill to catch a couple beatings. Obama is a non starter as VP. If he's tapped the ticket is troubled. The Black vote always goes to the Dems. She is not Bill, needs to draw from the South, and will be attracted to a VP she can keep on a leash.

Simon said...

Cyrus,
If so, it won't work, and shouldn't. I've said it before and I'll say it again: if you're looking for volunteers for the firing squad for AGAG, count me in.

(I suppose that since we live in times when some liberals are in fact threatening government officials and journalists with the gallows, I ought to stress that I don't mean that literally, only that I have no objection to pushing AGAG out of office, although not for the same reasons you want him gone, I suspect.)

Sloanasaurus said...

Webb was Secretary of the Navy and has combat experience as an officer.

Webb was Secretary for 6 months at the end of Reagans term. He obviously didn't impress anyone since he was canned by Bush I.

Besides, if Hillary is going to run on the economic record of the Clinton Administration, picking Webb would be a bad choice. The Clintons were free traders. Webb is an avowed protectionist. They would knock heads the moment they got in.

Of course, maybe Hillary is going to run as a protectionist too. If she does that she becomes a contradiction to Bill and a contradiction to the success of the 1990s economy.

Sheepman said...

"Webb is far more experienced in life and politics. But he's not making the list. Loose cannon..."

I agree. Hillary is too much of a control freak to have someone she couldn't micromanage. This is unfortunate as I think having a strong VP with different views/background would be good for the ticket and her presidency if she gets that far.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Obama is a non starter as VP.

Exactly. Which is why there's no reason for him not to beat the crap out of her.

hdhouse said...

Sloanasaurus said...
"Webb has less experience than Obama.

I think Bush set a great example by picking a vice president who could actually serve as president rather than just to win a state"

Gosh its only noon and Sloanasaurus is 0 or 2 already!...what was that west wing line? .22 cal. mind in a .357 world....thats our boy.

Sheepman said...

"Webb was Secretary for 6 months at the end of Reagans term. He obviously didn't impress anyone since he was canned by Bush"

According to Wikipedia, he resigned in 1988, during Reagan's term, because he refused to reduce the size of the Navy. So, if this is correct, I don't see how he could have been canned by Bush.

The Emperor said...

Bush-Cheney Lite is a bad news cycle for her, and the Hillary camp knows it.

Mortimer is right on. Bush-Cheney Lite is a great line. And it has the added benefit of being true.

Tell me again, how has not meeting with Castro helped drive him from power over the last half century or so?

Original Mike said...

If a Hillary administration is Bush/Cheney lite, and if the ticket is Hillary/Obama, that would make Obama...

Simon said...

Sheepman said...
"I think having a strong VP with different views/background would be good for the ticket and her presidency if she gets that far."

Are you advancing that as a general proposition about Presidents and Vice-Presidents, or peculiarly to Hillary?

Would it also apply, for example, to Bush-Cheney? Has the fact that Cheney has different views and a different background to Bush ipso facto been good for Bush's Presidency?

Zeb Quinn said...

The Black vote always goes to the Dems.

When it votes it votes for the dums, but they can just as easily not vote, at least in any numbers. Which they sometimes do.

cyrus pinkerton said...

Simon,

I didn't know your position on AGAG. It doesn't matter in any case as I wasn't suggesting you support him. I was simply poking fun at the man Bush described as having "sharp intellect and sound judgment ... an unwavering principle of respect for the law."

Since you mention it, it would be quite amusing to learn why you think I want him gone. Surely it will be more fun to assign me reasons than to ask me for them.

Roger said...

Emperor: Tell me how Nixon's meeting with Mao drove Mao from power? I continue to believe it is naive to think that simply meeting with authoritarian dictators will drive them from power--or even change their behavior unless backed up by other instruments of diplomacy.

Sheepman said...

"Are you advancing that as a general proposition about Presidents and Vice-Presidents, or peculiarly to Hillary?"

Both. I think, as a general proposition, that it is good for an administration to have some degree of diversity of views and background. If done properly, it can make a ticket more electable.

I'd be more comfortable with Hillary as President, if there was a strong, principled voice in her administration that could speak directly her. Webb sounds like that kind of guy.

Sheepman said...

Simon wrote:
"Has the fact that Cheney has different views and a different background to Bush ipso facto been good for Bush's Presidency?"

I don't see that much diversity of views and background there. I think they were pretty much on the same page regarding Iraq.

redneck hillbilly said...

Wow!! Such serious talk. Choosing a running mate for Clinton and all. I'd like to see who she chooses for under-the-desk cigar smoker.

Fat Man said...

Today, David Brooks explains in the NYT (no url $) that Hillary's ascendancy shows what a formidable political figure she is. I think it shows exactly how insubstantial her opponents are. Obama has demonstrated that he is not ready for prime time, Edwards is a transparent phony and the gang of senators (Biden, Dodd, et. al.) is totally uninspiring.

Zeb Quinn said...

The boyz from the hood hated the Africans.

Obama's problem with blacks, to the extent that he has a problem, is not that he's African. That's because he's not African. His father was African, but he's not. He's American. His problem is that he's half-white and that he was for the most part raised on a Hawaiian estate by his wealthy white grandparents, going to exclusive private schools there, setting him up to go to Columbia University and Harvard Law School. All that stuff is far outside the life experience of the typical black Dem voter, is definitely not of their values, and is generally something they just can't relate to. But even with all that said, Obama has shown a remarkable ability to play catch up and to posture himself as a victim, and my sense is that the black Dem voters are now to connecting with him as one of their own much more than they were just a few months ago.

Sloanasaurus said...

I was simply poking fun at the man Bush described as having "sharp intellect and sound judgment ... an unwavering principle of respect for the law."

Gonzo is no more of an idiot than the morons in Congress trying to smear him.

The Democrats did such a great job campaigning on a platform of change and then reinstating a bunch of 70 year olds to head committees trying to re-live the Nixon days.

The comparison with the Republicans in 1994 is becoming more stark than ever. That Congress had great success in its first year, even with an opposition president.

The 2006 Congress is by far the WORST Congress in history. Pelosi and Reed are undoubtedly the worst Congressional leaders in history They are a pathetic failure. They can't even pass earmark reform. The only way they could get a minimum wage increase was to attach it to war funding.

Impeachment is next. That will certainly increase bi-partisanship in the country.

The Emperor said...

Roger said:

Tell me how Nixon's meeting with Mao drove Mao from power? I continue to believe it is naive to think that simply meeting with authoritarian dictators will drive them from power--or even change their behavior unless backed up by other instruments of diplomacy.

I never said meeting with them would drive them from power. But if you want influence people to do things, I don't see how a policy of never talking to them directly will help.

Sloanasaurus said...

According to Wikipedia, he resigned in 1988, during Reagan's term, because he refused to reduce the size of the Navy. So, if this is correct, I don't see how he could have been canned by Bush.

Okay, I concede the fact that Webb has more experience than Obama.

Roger said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Roger said...

Emperor: diplomatic isolation is a tactic that can work: South Africa and Libya come to mind. My objection about Mr. Obama's statement had to do with his apparent acceptance of the phrase "without preconditions."

As Mortimer has pointed out, and I have come to believe, that answer was calculated to appeal to the liberal democratic base, who, I suspect, share your views about the importance of dialogue. And that isnt meant to be an insult, BTW. I suspect we differ on the effectiveness of various diplomatic approaches one of which is certainly face to face meeting.

Dave said...

Well, whatever Hillary is doing, it's working for me. The debates have not exposed her as wooden and doctrinaire as I first expected. She's not great, but the lameness of her opponents makes her look great.

Richardson is increasingly marginalizing himself (if he weren't already marginal) by his performance. Biden and Dodd are pretty much exactly the Senatorial blowhards one would expect. Kucinich has pretty must lost the mantle of 'biggest raving loon' to Gravel and neither one of them matters.

Edwards, at best, is a hollow man. He's starting to come across as a prettier version of the hard-core Left's version of Bush. That is, despite the intelligence to be a top trial attorney (whatever that level is), he rather constantly makes routine mistakes that make him look like a fool.

Obama (I watched his ascent in Chicago) has potential, but it is only that. I think he saw this as his best chance (rather than wait until he was as irrevelant as Biden or Dodd) for the brass ring, so he took it. I don't think he will accept (if offered, which I doubt) the VP slot. A good, but losing, effort to Hillary sets him up for 2012 or 2016, depending on Hillary's success. Also, I can almost see him leaving the Senate to become Governor of Illinois (it could use a good one, and soon).

The next Illinois gubernatorial election is Nov of 2010. Suppose Obama says, "You obviously can't get done what I want done in the Senate. I'm 'going home' to fix Illinois" and *does it*! (Which I think he might be able to do.) Now, come 2016 he's really positioned.

Anyway, I think Hillary is coming across as less threatening to the Right than her competitors due to her performances in the debates.

If working aciduously to meet the expectations of the general public is what it takes to make better candidates, I'm all for it.

The Emperor said...

Roger:

Yes, I am generally skeptical of diplomatic isolation, although I concede there are situations where it might be appropriate. But with the countries mentioned, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Syria, and Venezuela, I'm not sure that diplomatic isolation will do much.

As for "without preconditions," I'm not really sure what that means. What preconditions do people have in mind? I'd be willing to sit down with any of these nutjobs to find out more about them and what they want.

From Inwood said...

One thing is now certain: The '08 Dem Ticket will not be Obama/Spitzer!

To this thread, then. Some, unconsciously perhaps due to their age, see Obama as a 21st Century Adlai. An intellectual rising out of the rough & tumble Illinois cesspool to become a statesman-like national pol.

In 1960 (press that delete button), all the best people, ignoring, ingenuously or disingenuously, the non-Arcadian Daley-machine background, saw Adlai as the pure, righteous, more intelligent, more urbane, more sophisticated, more intellectual candidate, but Ike got the majority of the vote.

Adlai diehards spent 8 years culling Ike’s every utterance to find malaprops, real or imagined (sound familiar?). Finally, in ’60 they turned to a real faux intellectual, JFK who beat the real intellectual, Nixon, who is Spitzer’s spiritual godfather. Then with Watergate they got to say we were right with Nixon in ’60, 68, & 72!

It looks now that Obama has had his Gerald-Ford-Poland Moment & Hill her “I paid for this Mike, Reagan-moment”, but it’s early & both have plenty of time to make more mistakes & more mots.

Advantage Hillary.

Webb needs anger-management classes, if I may psychobabble. As does Rudy.

But Rudy is as brilliant, to use her lap dogs’ phrase, as Hillary & has not lived his adult life in a cocoon as she has & may well get her off her script-like performance. Warning: she hit the unscripted leader-meeting na├»ve question for a Home Run. And she had her unscripted victim card positive moment with Lazio in 2000.

Just hope that she does better as President with the foreign leaders she’ll eventually meet than JFK did with Khrushchev in ’62. Oh well, maybe it will be then a case of “Speak naively or ingenuously & carry a big nuke.”

Roger

As I post this I see your last remark about meetings with foreign, shall I dare call them "leaders". Spot on. Reagan let two Soviet fossils die before he met with a Soviet leader.

Obama’s answer was directed to the fainthearted muddled Dem base thinkers (double entente intended) who say “how can we ignore these ‘leaders’, they represent a gazillion people? Anyway as long as we’re talking, we’re not warring”

Zeb Quinn said...

I never said meeting with them would drive them from power. But if you want influence people to do things, I don't see how a policy of never talking to them directly will help.

Have you not ever put a child in time out?

The Emperor said...

Have you not ever put a child in time out?

Sure, that works occasionally. But I don't think it makes sense to be so inflexible as to never try another approach. I find that quite frequently it helps to talk with the child.

Henry said...

Obama compared Clinton to Bush because, he said, she has said she will not have unconditional meetings with foreign enemies

Does Obama not know what "unconditional" means? Is he going to have a "foreign enemy" sign-up list outside the oval office?

I can see why the College Democrats would lap this up. It treats global diplomacy like a game of Model United Nations.

If Obama can have innocuous meet and greets with dictators and thugs while the real diplomats keep up the pressure, I think that could be a pretty effective politics. Let him lead the ping-pong team while vice president Clinton oversees the no-fly zone.

But I don't expect Obama to be that disciplined. I think he expects, and his base expects, that this big, hopeful, open-minded guy will be able to make personal breakthroughs. Just hold some meetings and Kim Jong Il will take our free coal, Chavez will give us free oil, and the French will start liking cheddar cheese.

To realists, Obama sounds like a guy that likes being liked more than being respected. That's not a good thing.

Original Mike said...

The Emperor said: " ...I don't see how a policy of never talking to them directly will help."

Nobody has a policy of never talking.

I think an implicit assumption of the "talk to them" crowd is that talking equates to progress. Personally, I don't care if, given the current conditions, we have direct talks with Iran, for example, or not. Under current conditions, the result will be the same. Nada. Talking doesn't hurt, but it's no magic talisman either. Obama, and the people who agree with him on this point, think that if we just walk into the same room with our adversaries and talk to them, something good will come out of it. That is naive. Talking is not harmful, per se, but if the other side is not in the mood to listen, no good will come out of it either.

And to suggest that we aren't "talking" to them now is silly. They know our position. We know theirs. It's not like we'd sit down at the table and there'd be this forehead-slapping moment, Oh! Your worried about us building nuclear weapons. We didn't understand that!

Cedarford said...

Quinn - Does anyone doubt that what we have here is a Clinton-Obama ticket in 2008?

Me, for another.

Hillary has two main choices - go for the far Left vote and get a Lefty running mate - or go for a moderate Hispanic and run to the Center, as she and Bill have always planned.

Or a 3rd, lesser choice - pick a young, inexperienced charismatic - like Breck Boy and Barack.

The Far Left and blacks are already victims of their demonizing all things Republican. Their vote is a lock for the Dems, turnout is the only question, and Hillary has a slew of loyal black laeders and Lefty sorts that swore loyalty as Clintonistas long, long ago and get turnout up with pork promises to blacks and of more Ginsbergs on the Court to sate the Lefties.

The charismatics are not looking too hot as both are looking more and more like platitude-touting empty suits. Plus, the trend is not to select VPs that are more telegenic, alluring than the candidate with even less experience. Instead, to put in someone with long experience, a centrist record, and "steady values".

The last "charismatic" was Danny Quayle.

That leaves the likelihood of an Hispanic. Bill Richardson has been a one-man self detonation squad - but would be ideal if he can regroup, show he has a brain, and stops tripping over his tongue. If Hillary&Bill are smart, and they are, they should send someone to help resurrect Bill, since the bottom line is he is a Farm Team player and Clintonista himself looking at the VP slot or a cabinet position if he stops making an ass out of himself.

If Richardson flames out, Ken Salazar of CO would be a fine centrist VP candidate other than being pro-Open Borders.

Simon said...

cyrus pinkerton said...
"I didn't know your position on AGAG."

I thought it was more broadly known that most conservatives think he's a joke and a liability, and have been bitterly hostile to him for years, largely out of concern that Bush is transparently desparate to appoint him to the Supreme Court.

So, you know, poke away at him. ;)

"Since you mention it, it would be quite amusing to learn why you think I want him gone. Surely it will be more fun to assign me reasons than to ask me for them."

Well, let's do both. I expect the main reasons have to do with his involvement in the so-called torture memo and the firing of several U.S. Attorneys (itself an astonishing achievement for the administration generally and Gonzales in particular, who has managed to let the Democrats turn the exercise of a power indisputably within the Article II powers of the President -- and in fact explicitly and expressly authorized by statute -- into a putative scandal). But if you have other concerns, the floor's yours. :)


Sheepman said...
"I don't see that much diversity of views and background there."

With all due respect, that just seems a shockingly ignorant statement. I mean, saying that you don't see that they have diverse views, I can understand -- I mean, when observed from a sufficient distance, anything looks close together. People say that they don't see any difference between Scalia and Thomas, but I see them as clearly distinct, but likewise, I don't see a whole heap of difference between Ted Kennedy and John Kerry, who I'm sure our liberal friends see as posessingly plainly different views. But to say Bush and Cheney have similar backgrounds - either in terms of family upbringing or careers - is absurd.

"I think they were pretty much on the same page regarding Iraq."

Cyrus and I are apparently pretty much on the same page about Alberto Gonzales - but I think it's safe to say that our views are still diverse. ;) I think that you can make an argument that when they were elected, Cheney and Bush had a very different view of foreign policy, but as a Dilbert strip once observed, ignorance isn't a point of view, and I think Bush learned on the job, certainly once the isolationist worldview was visibly repudiated.

cyrus pinkerton said...

... diplomatic isolation is a tactic that can work: South Africa and Libya come to mind.

This claim, especially with regard to South Africa, is extremely questionable in terms of accuracy. As I recall, both Thatcher and Reagan believed in constructive engagement with the South African government. South Africa was not "squeezed" by isolation tactics as is suggested.

Moreover, to the extent that the isolation claim applies to either Libya or South Africa, there is no clear evidence of a causative link. I suspect that Reagan/Thatcher admirers might argue that it was specifically engagement rather than isolation that helped to turn the tide in South Africa, for example.

Simon said...

Roger said...
"Emperor: diplomatic isolation is a tactic that can work: South Africa and Libya come to mind."

I think what worked to bring Libya to heel was the fear that they were next after Saddam. Recall that at the time they came in from the cold, hard though it is to remember now, it looked like we'd successfully deposed Saddam and assumed control of Iraq.

cyrus pinkerton said...

Cedarford wrote:

The Far Left and blacks are already victims of their demonizing all things Republican.

Leave it to Cedarford to make the dumbest of comments.

You know, Cedarford, it's unenlightening to see you bang on about the views of people you categorize according to political thought, particularly since when you are challenged, you will undoubtedly claim that the "Far Left" is defined by whatever positions you attribute to them. On the other hand, when you babble about how "blacks" think, you cross the line from being stupendously boring to being offensively stupid.

If you can, confine yourself to boring me, please.

Roger said...

From the US Institute for peace July 2001 report re US and South Africa: "In South Africa, policy objectives remained relatively constant (ending apartheid), but the tools used varied considerably, from constructive engagement in the early 1980s to the imposition of sanctions later in the decade. Economic pressure proved to be a particularly effective tool." Of course diplomatic isolation and economic sanctions are not the same, but I don't recall President Reagan, nor do I recall Ms Thatcher visiting South Africa during its apartheidt days.

cyrus pinkerton said...

Sloan wrote:

Gonzo is no more of an idiot than the morons in Congress trying to smear him.

Sloan, have you been watching the same hearings as the rest of us?

cyrus pinkerton said...

From the Concise Encyclopedia of Economics, "Sanctions":

In the South Africa case, however, economic sanctions were applied piecemeal over a number of years, often halfheartedly, and at their height were far from comprehensive. The most significant sanctions, embodied in the U.S. Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act (CAAA) of 1986, were imposed only after Congress overrode a presidential veto, and administrative enforcement was reportedly weak. Even the CAAA, however, affected only some trade and financial relations, and except for the Nordic countries (Sweden, Norway, Finland, Iceland, and Denmark), other countries' sanctions were even less stringent.

Sloanasaurus said...

have you been watching the same hearings as the rest of us?

I was about to ask you the same question.

The Democrats in congress seem to be in the mindset of party first, country second.

Sloanasaurus said...

People seem to forget in the debate about South Africa, that the South African governemnt during apartheid, despite only being elected by whites, was still an elected and western oriented body.

How does this compare to Hugo Chavez, who more or less rules as a dictator, Castro who is a dictator, Iran which is ruled by unelected clergy, or Kim Il.

Balfegor said...

Re: Henry

But I don't expect Obama to be that disciplined. I think he expects, and his base expects, that this big, hopeful, open-minded guy will be able to make personal breakthroughs. Just hold some meetings and Kim Jong Il will take our free coal, Chavez will give us free oil, and the French will start liking cheddar cheese.

Shades of Bush II and Putin . . . Or, for that matter, the Bush family and the Saudi royal house.

On sanctions, I don't think sanctions work particularly, and I'm not sure why anyone who believes in the power of the free market and the fungibility of this and that would expect them to. No sanctions regime is going to get every single country on board -- not even every single big/industrialised country -- so the sanctions target can just sell its goods through the countries that still accept their imports. And then the goods can be re-exported throughout the world. Even if you, in theory, get the UN and all the principalities and powers on your side, like us against Iraq in the 90s, the institutions involved -- the UN, import-export authorities in various countries, etc. -- are so massively corrupted as to render the sanctions ineffective.

The only exceptions, I think, are items sold under heavy restrictions, or restricted from all sale abroad (e.g. under ITAR). But that's not sanctions; that's something different.

Roger said...

What we have established then, Cyrus, is that your encyclopedia disagress with the US Institute of Peace's view of sanction effectiveness. And we do agree that neither Reagan nor Thatcher went to SA during apartheidt, I think. Since there is no jury to ajudicate the difference, how did isolation work with Rhodesia? It did end the white regime in Rhodesia, but, regretably, imposed the egregious dictatorship of Mugabe. I wonder if Mr. Obama would consider going to talk to Mugabe without preconditions--Or would such a visit provide dimplomatic cover for Mugabe?

Having said all of this, I don't think Obama is a fool and as Mortimer has suggested elsewhere was appealing to the liberal democratic base, and were he elected President will probably come to understand the wisdom of not talking to any all world leaders.

cyrus pinkerton said...

Roger,

I look at it like this:

1. Whether or not we agree on the extent to which isolation tactics were effectively applied to South Africa, there is no good evidence that factors relating to isolation caused or significantly contributed to change in governmental policy. As you've noted before, in a completely different context, correlation is not causation.

2. There is no good evidence that a policy of vigorous engagement wouldn't have worked better.

3. I have developed a theory that I can give you a hard time about just about anything and you won't take it personally. I like to test this theory as often as possible. :)

hdhouse said...

I think that this back and forth plays the GOP like a cheap banjo. What each and every GOP up for re-election will have to clearly state is if they are pro-Bush policies or repudiate Bush's policies...They have to defend the last 8 years or tell the truth and foresake this moron.

It is a great stratedy and clearly demonstrates the the GOP is a pack full of toothless wonders.

Roger said...

Cyrus that's fair and that has always been my assumption--btw and totally off topic there is a new piece out on the Lancet study (the first one). Except for the bootstrapping they talk about, most of the statistics are relatively straight forward if you have had graduate work in statistics. If interested you can find it here: http://ourdiagnosis.com/node/68695

Sloanasaurus said...

What each and every GOP up for re-election will have to clearly state is if they are pro-Bush policies or repudiate Bush's policies...They have to defend the last 8 years or tell the truth and foresake this moron.

You mean like the economic policies that have led to record prosperity and record low unemployment.

You mean the like the policies that have kept America safe since 9-11.

The question for democrats should be why they think changing these policies will make us even more propserous and more safe.

The Bush policies the GOP needs to repudiate are the excessive federal spending on social programs and the attempt to grant amnesty to illegal aliens before taking control of the border. Except wait... those are Democrat party policy positions.

Henry said...

Balfegor Shades of Bush II and Putin . . . Or, for that matter, the Bush family and the Saudi royal house.

Totally. That's the problem with the whole personality-driven approach.

chickenlittle said...

hdhouse said "What each and every GOP up for re-election will have to clearly state is if they are pro-Bush policies or repudiate Bush's policies"

I think the electorate will allow each candidate a line item approach to such questions. It's part of the "running against Bush in '08 strategy" to lump everything together.

Zeb Quinn said...

Okay, so numerous people here don't think Hillary will select Obama as her running mate. I say it's inevitable, with the caveat that providing he doesn't do some version of a Howard Dean yeeee-haaaww implosion, particularly by saying something so dumb that it blows his foot off. The longer he goes and the more experienced he gets, the less likely that is to happen. But it could.

The convention is still over a year away, late August, 2008. Thirteen straight months of the Obama personality bandwagon picking up even more steam than it's already picked up, thirteen more months of cementing himself as a household name, appearing on this dais or that appearing stately, pontificating, bearing in mind it's only been about 8 months that he's been running thus far. If you don't think he's the choice she'd make today, look how far he's come in 8 months, and project it to then. Looked at that way, it's not just likely that she'll pick him, it's a fait accompli.

The beauty of it is that all we have to do is wait 13 months and we get to see.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Okay, so numerous people here don't think Hillary will select Obama as her running mate.

Just like numerous people didn't think John McCain would run as Kerry's VP, or that Hillary Clinton would run as Kerry's VP.

Fen said...

Cyrus, I'm not necessarily opposed to diplomatic talks with rogue states like Iran/Syria and North Korea. But the historicaly record of failure makes me skeptical.

Question: what should we do different diplomatically to avoid the diplomatic mistakes we made with North Korea [money for ceasing nuke production that they cheated on] or Iraq [oil for food scandal]?

When I look to WW2, I think of all the diplomatic mistakes [selling out the czechs and poles, peace in our time, offending the russians and driving them to Hitler] that caused the resulting depravation.

I don't have alot of faith in diplomacy. Perhaps its because the US has never been good at it?

Roger said...

Repudiate Bush's policies: how many democrats would advocate letting the Bush tax cuts expire?
Of course they would couch it in terms of raising taxes on the rich but they would have to squirm a lot to get to that point.

Cedarford said...

Pinky - On the other hand, when you babble about how "blacks" think, you cross the line from being stupendously boring to being offensively stupid.

What a self-righteous twit! The point, poofter, is that the Far Left and black votes are not in play. They are locked Democratic. 96% of blacks voted with Kerry. Both groups can be taken for granted by Dems and ignored by Republicans - as both Parties vie for the favors and deals needed to go after voting blocks actually in play- like Latins, Asians, religious Jews, lower middleclass/traditional values voters.

Those are facts of life - and many important blacks have acknowledged that it would be in their constituents best interest to "get off the "Democratic Party Plantation" of "unquestioning loyalty" and have their vote sought after by both Parties. Just as Texas and California know they will get a small fraction of the candidates attention and deals for being "locked up States" compared to in-play States like Florida and key midWest States..

Your inane insults just show how little you understand the current Presidential politics.

From Inwood said...

Does anyone think of Bill C as "Hillary lite"?

Or Al Gore the same way?

Or all the Dem candidates since Hubert Humphrey?

On the other hand, does anyone see Hillary as Genghis-Khan or Torquemada-lite?

Now about who would be the non-lite Obama....

cyrus pinkerton said...

Simon wrote:

...the administration generally and Gonzales in particular, [have] managed to let the Democrats turn the exercise of a power indisputably within the Article II powers of the President -- and in fact explicitly and expressly authorized by statute -- into a putative scandal.

Simon, do you agree with the following argument by Bruce Fein?

Suspicion has arisen that the White House intended to manipulate U.S. attorneys in some instances to harass Democrats with contrived voting fraud prosecutions or otherwise. The committees' interest in exposing misuse of the president's power to appoint and remove executive officials is compelling. As Justice Louis Brandeis observed, sunshine is the best disinfectant. The congressional judiciary committees are further legitimately investigating whether Attorney General Alberto Gonzales or other Department of Justice officials committed perjury or endeavored to obstruct Congress' investigation by misrepresenting White House involvement in the decisions to remove the U.S. attorneys. The Supreme Court, in the 1957 case Watkins v. United States, explained that Congress enjoys the power to "inquire into and publicize corruption, maladministration, or inefficiencies" in the executive branch, including crimes. President Bush's assertion of executive privilege to stymie the committees' well-founded investigations is wildly misplaced.

cyrus pinkerton said...

Cedarford,

I suggest that you delete your last post. I shouldn't have to tell you that referring to a commenter as "poofter" is entirely inappropriate.

Balfegor said...

mistakes we made with North Korea [money for ceasing nuke production that they cheated on]

Oh if only! It was money + fuel + two light water reactors. Fortunately, as with so many other international promises, Clinton I seems to have had no intention whatsoever of following through with the promise to deliver nuclear technology to North Korea -- he and his advisors may have thought that when Kim Il Sung died, Kim Jong Il would be weak and the North Korean government divided. There might be civil war in North Korea, and the Korean War could be ended at last. In any event, the Clinton administration never took any steps to deliver on the reactors. Initially, the Bush II administration took some steps towards delivering on the reactors, probably as a good faith gesture, but they soon wised up.

Apparently, North Korea are still demanding a light water reactor. They considered it a breach when we didn't deliver in the 90s, and press reports (unreliable, of course), indicate that they still think they're entitled, in exchange for stopping their reactor and, presumeably, the process of uranium and plutonium enrichment.

Cedarford said...

Pinky - I suggest you stop behaving like DTL and launching unwarranted accusations of racism, then complaining the respondent is being "mean" to you. You start the ad-hominems, I'll happily reciprocate..

cyrus pinkerton said...

Sloan,

Will you clarify a couple of points for me?

1. You mean like the economic policies that have led to record prosperity and record low unemployment.

Can you cite the statistics you are using to support the claim that there is "record low unemployment?"

2. You mean the like the policies that have kept America safe since 9-11.

Do you have any evidence that shows a causative link between Bush policies and no attacks on American soil for over 5 years? If not, how is your assertion different from the claim that Clinton's policies and oversight kept America safe from foreign terrorist attacks on the homeland from 2-26-93 until the end of his term?

Fen said...

/echo


Cyrus, I'm not necessarily opposed to diplomatic talks with rogue states like Iran/Syria and North Korea. But the historicaly record of failure makes me skeptical.

Question: what should we do different diplomatically to avoid the diplomatic mistakes we made with North Korea [money for ceasing nuke production that they cheated on] or Iraq [oil for food scandal]?

When I look to WW2, I think of all the diplomatic mistakes [selling out the czechs and poles, peace in our time, offending the russians and driving them to Hitler] that caused the resulting depravation.

I don't have alot of faith in diplomacy. Perhaps its because the US has never been good at it?

2:55 PM

cyrus pinkerton said...

Cedarford,

I didn't call you a racist; I identified your comment as "offensively stupid," which it was.

The decent, reasonable options for you were simple. You could have defended your remark. You could have clarified your remark. You could have apologized for your remark. Referring to me as "poofter" is not a decent or reasonable response in this forum. In fact, I'm surprised I'm having to explain this to you twice. You are out of line.

Again, I strongly suggest you delete the post in question and your following comment to me as well. If you want to address the content of my post, do so; otherwise, move on.

cyrus pinkerton said...

Fen,

I'm not suggesting that we can avoid diplomatic mistakes, nor am I suggesting that isolation tactics can't be an effective diplomatic weapon in exceptional cases. The problem, of course, is diplomatic measures such as sanctions tend to punish the people of a country rather than the leaders. And I see little evidence to suggest that isolating countries makes the leadership more prone to being overthrown.

Your theory that the US may not be good at diplomacy is supported by the fact that our security hasn't depended on it. (Incidentally, I wouldn't list the UN oil-for-food program as a United States diplomatic mistake.)

As an experiment, why don't we admit that our Cuba policy has been a complete failure and try a policy of engagement? The fact that we have an official "Cuba Transition Coordinator" is both laughable and counterproductive. Again, it supports your suggestion that the US isn't particularly good at diplomacy, and it leads me to have very little faith in US diplomacy as we now practice it.

cyrus pinkerton said...

Roger,

Thanks for the link. I've now read the David Kane statistical study and find it has several fundamental flaws. For instance, Kane fails to place a zero prior probability on negative death rates. This is clearly a serious mistake.

LoafingOaf said...

Professor Althouse:

I found it a bit obnoxious how you claimed Hillary Clinton won the last debate over one question Obama answered about Anwar Sadat meeting with Israel. Obama answered the question just fine, but Hillary Clinton tried to spin it into acting like Obama would not send lower-level envoys to a country to lay the groundwork before any such meetings between him and leaders of rogue states. Obviously Obama would do that. Everyone knows Obama would do that. Why did you pretend Obama would not know to do that?

Professor, you are of the "baby boom" generation. Your generation has given America the worst leaders in our nation's history, between Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. The idea that I should want another Clinton administration makes me wanna vomit. Some of us are sick to death of Bushes and Clintons for the past 19 years. Not just their names (though I am sick to death of their names) but their actions as well.

We already know what Clinton foreign policy is like. Hillary's husband put that twisted bitch Albright and criminal douche Berger in charge, and sent wacko Jimmy Carter to North Korea. After 8 years of Clinton foreign policy, we had nukes in North Korea, nukes in Pakistan, genocide in Rwadana, the Taliban harboring Bin Laden in Afghanistan, the Twin Towers knocked down, and the Pentagon hit in a surprise attack.

I gave my support to W. Bush sending us into Afghanistan, and have gotten increasingly ticked off that he didn't complete that mission as I had hoped he would. As he had PROMISED he would. Obama is quite correct that Bush has bungled the Afghanistan mission.

I also gave my support to the toppling of Saddam Hussein. I don't apologize for that to this day. I had no idea W. Bush would not have planned better for the aftermath, but Saddam was a genocidal maniac who supported and funded international terrorism and was in violation of his cease fire agreement, so it was high time he was gotten rid of. I recalled Bush's father saying that when you send troops into battle you use overwhleming force. Somehow Bush allowed an insurgancy to take root in Iraq and now I despair and am humbled enough to admit I gave consent to the wrong Commander in Chief. Who knows what further horrors will result from our incompetant President, who has undermined American credibility throughout the world.

Furthermore, Bush used to kiss the ass of Putin in Russia, who is some kind of new Nazi on the world's stage, currently sending assasins to Great Britain on a regular basis.

Professor, the fact is we need a change. I understand that needing change does not mean you go for just anyone who is different from what we have now. I don't know who I'll vote for (I wanna see Obama debate Giuliani to work things out for myself), but I know we don't need another Clinton just as we don't need another Bush.

We need new blood in the White House. Obama is not Jimmy Carter. Obama has stated clearly that he supports Israel, and if circumstances would require it, he would take military action against Iran's regime to prevent them from getting nukes. I also believe he would take very seriosuly the consequences of how and when and how quickly we pull out of Iraq. And I am humbled by the past few years and have to say that Obama's statement before the Iraq invasion looks pretty good in hindsight.

I still believe the Iraq invasion could've worked out better with a better Commander In Chief. But I might be wrong about that.

When I look at Obama, my biggest problem with him is how socialistic he is domestically. I think he could potentially be a very successful president on the world's stage. And I also believe he is a good person, which means a lot to me.

He may still turn out to be too leftist for me to vote for him, but I just don't understand how Democrats could not see that Obama is a much higher class of person and politician than another Clinton, and much more likely to be able to reach swing voters. It is time for another generation to take over this country. The baby boomers are f*ck ups. No offense.

Zeb Quinn said...

I see I have company:
Gingrich Predicts Clinton-Obama Ticket