June 24, 2011

McConnell: "But I do think there is more of a tendency to pull together when the guy in the White House is on your side."

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, asked about “the isolationist streak of some in the Republican Party." The subject is Libya and the War Powers Act.
I’m not sure that these kind of differences might not have been there in a more latent form when you had a Republican president. But I do think there is more of a tendency to pull together when the guy in the White House is on your side. So I think some of these views were probably held by some of my members even in the previous administration, but party loyalty tended to mute them. So yeah, I think there are clearly differences and I think a lot of our members, not having a Republican in the White House, feel more free to express their reservations which might have been somewhat muted during the previous administration.
Thoughtful and honest, right? Is it also disturbing? Should members of Congress be expected to take a consistent position with respect to presidential power and the military? Or does the need for a check on the President justify the pressure from whichever party happens to be the opposing party?

73 comments:

damikesc said...

It's probably correct. After all, Hillary whined that critics of Bush were called unAmericans while saying critics of our involvement in Libya are on the side of Moammar.

damikesc said...

I can actually respect Kucinich and Paul a bit here since their gripes during Bush are still being made under Obama.

Shouting Thomas said...

Absolutely not.

Consistency is bullshit. Life, and politics, is about responding to the realities of the moment.

The word "isolationist" needs to be dumped. It's meaningless.

Bring all our troops home. Shut down all the foreign bases.

Fight only when attacked.

This isn't "isolationist," it's just common sense.

Will bad things happen as a result? Yes. But, maintaining this permanent war standing produces an even worse result.

Tim said...

McConnell is being honest. Politics is always about finding a balance between the competing imperatives of party loyalty, principle, constituency demands and state or national interests. That this results in different positions under different scenarios is, to say the least, only shocking to the naive.

Tim said...

That said, some imperatives always trump others, e.g., no tax pledges, pro-life pledges, national security needs.

gerry said...

Policy differences end at the shore.

Right?

I mean, except where international workers' goals are concerned.

Fred4Pres said...

If you act on principle, it should not matter which party the president is from. But politics matter and have mattered since George Washington was president.

John Thacker said...

It's correct, but political gaffes are often about telling truths, even universal truths.

The nature of power politics means that you have to support things you don't agree with in order to get other things passed, plus people are simply more likely to agree with their friends or people on their side. Like it or not (and I don't really like it), it's basic human psychology, and it's better to be aware of it than pretend it doesn't exist.

People who treat McConnell's admission as a truth only about Republicans are exhibiting the same sort of sad reflexive partisanship that McConnell admits is out there, except they're being worse by refusing to see (or admit) their own biases.

Lem said...

McConnel is just stating the obvious.

Who doesn't like to have a president come to their district/state and campaign for reelection?

Joaquin said...

"Who doesn't like to have a president come to their district/state and campaign for reelection?"
Eh, were you around last November?

bagoh20 said...

We all know there is some of this and even within ourselves, but the position is either valid or not and the motivation doesn't change that. I often imagine myself being of the opposite mindset to test my position. It helps.

It never works when I try to imagine being Jeremy. I just start feeling stupid, and begin to cut myself.

Apollo said...

How is this particularly honest? McConnell is attacking people he disagrees with and casting aspersions on them. The people he disagrees with may be Republicans in this particular instance, but he's not honestly talking about himself or those who agree with himself (which would be the honest admission against interest you took this to be), he's criticizing others.

This is just another in the "Kucinich Republicans" line of hectoring.

dbp said...

"Thoughtful and honest, right? Is it also disturbing? Should members of Congress be expected to take a consistent position with respect to presidential power and the military?"

Republican members are expected to be consistent, Democrats are expected to be expedient.

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)




McConnell shows why I’m glad McCain lost….as I continually point out, we’d have ObamaCare-Lite, Cap and Trade, Amnesty and the like, with little chance of repeal, because the GOP would have voted for them, for “their” POTUS. Everyone wants their “side” to “win.”

OTOH, look at ideologues like Kucinich, Paul (Ron), and Metzenbaum…they vote their “principles” and get nothing done.

So, somewhere, a happy medium must be established…Bush met his with Harriet Miers and McCain-Kennedy and Comprehensive Immigration Reform….I don’t know that Obama has met his yet.

nevadabob said...

"Should members of Congress be expected to take a consistent position with respect to presidential power and the military?"

I have absolutely no idea what Mitch McConnell, nor you Ann, are talking about.

The previous administration never made an end-run around Congress, so there was never any need for any Republicans to speak up about the War Powers Resolution.

The WPR was BEING FOLLOWED in the previous administration.

So what the hell are you on about?

Bush got Congressional approval for both the war in Iraq and the war in Afghanistan. He followed the War Powers Resolution.

Now, we have a lawless president in office who refuses to heed the law and has launched his own little personal war against brown people in Libya.

It's time we stop muddying the waters and get on with the dirty but necessary job of impeaching this criminal son of a bitch.

I sure hope that Democrats remember this ... when the time comes that President Romney unilaterally invades Iran with no Congressional approval and no UN authorization to put a stop to their nuclear ambitions.

That IS going to occur and Democrats are now setting the precedent for it to occur by their silence against the war criminal Barack Obama.

Is there not one patriot among us?

bagoh20 said...

I'm mostly libertarian except on foreign policy. Our interventions in the world have saved millions of innocents, and I believe have made the world a much better place than it would be. Of course, it's been at an enormous cost to us and even those we are trying to help sometimes.

Intervention for me comes down to being similar to a serious crime like rape, murder, or severe child abuse is taking place in a house in your neighborhood.

There are no cops to call. What do you do? Everyone else in the neighborhood knows, and wants it to stop, but they all say: it's not my business, or I can't afford to get involved, or I might get hurt myself.

The U.S. is often like Chuck Norris living nearby. I know some people think that's how a rube sees it, but I can live with that rather than being the guy who just closes the drapes and cowers in his home hoping it just goes away, which I can't live with.

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)



Well NevadaBob…I’m a GOP Reptile, and truth to tell, I kind of LIKE Obama’s “lawlessness.” So when Palin is POTUS, can she do what Obama is doing? I mean can she do for Abortion and other SoCon and FisCon issues what Obama is doing on the Environment, Gun Control, Amnesty, and the like? Simply use the bureaucracy to accomplish what Congress will not deliver?

What will the Democrats say then? And can’t we simply say, “But you had no complaint when YOUR guys did it?”

The thing is “politics” is NOT a dirty word…It’s Harry Reid’s JOB to complain about everything Bush ’43 did…just like it’s McConnell’s job to complain about Obama. In the interplay of personality and politics, emerges PHILOSOPHY, as well…

nevadabob said...

"Who doesn't like to have a president come to their district/state and campaign for reelection?"

Barack Obama was told to stay away from Congressional districts last November because he LOSES elections for people.

His party saw stunning defeat, losing 6 seats in the United States Senate and an incredible 63 seats in the House of Representatives thanks primarily to Barack Obama's broken campaign promises.

Nobody wanted Obama campaigning for them because he is a fucking LOSER.

Scott M said...

I'm mostly libertarian except on foreign policy.

One of our local AM talkers had two libertarian officials (one local STL and one statewide) on talking about a range of issues and how the Libertarian party of Missouri wants to address them. Being that it's an AM freq show (lol), I got through fairly easily and proceeded to get the two libertarians in a heated on-air argument about how the party would have handled WWII if they were in power at the time.

I slept well that night...

nevadabob said...

"There are no cops to call. What do you do? Everyone else in the neighborhood knows, and wants it to stop, but they all say: it's not my business, or I can't afford to get involved, or I might get hurt myself."

Nobody has any problem with your analogy, Bagoh.

The War Powers Resolution exists for the precise purpose you just outlined.

The WPR allows a president to commit troops anywhere in the world, for any reason he sees fit, to advance US interests in any way he chooses. That's why we have a War Powers Resolution.

But with great power, comes great responsibility, and a check on that power.

The War Powers Resolution requires the president to come to Congress and seek approval for his actions. It gives him 60 days to make the case you are making to the American people. If he fails to make his case, then we judge his actions to have been ill-considered and he has 30 more days to extract our troops from any hostilities.

Barack Obama has not only refused to seek Congressional approval for his illegal killings of Libyans, he has done worse: He has lied to the Congress and reported back to the people that we are not in hostilities.

He has lied.

He has said our troops are not in hostilities against Libyans and that is a bald-faced lie to the American people.

Barack Obama must be brought to heel. We cannot have a president who lies to the Congress and flouts our laws. It's that simple.

People want to know if their president is a crook - and Barack Obama is a crook.

For his crimes, he must be impeached.

MadisonMan said...

If you admit your opponent is right, even once, how can you justify running against him?

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)

I got through fairly easily and proceeded to get the two libertarians in a heated on-air argument about how the party would have handled WWII if they were in power at the time.

Don’t leave us hanging? One would NEVER have gotten involved and the OTHER would have used mercenaries, bounties and Lettres of Marque?

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)

If you admit your opponent is right, even once, how can you justify running against him?


That’s SILLY, MadMAN, Clinton was right about NAFTA, does that mean I should not have voted against him, TWICE? Carter was right about airline and trucking deregulation, does that Mean Reagan ought not have solidly thumped him in 1980? Being right, from time-to-time, is NOT the same thing as being more generally right, as was Reagan, or if you like him, Obama….

Scott M said...

If you admit your opponent is right, even once, how can you justify running against him?

Mainly because issues don't exist in a vacuum.

bagoh20 said...

This reminds me of once when my Mom refused to get my brother out of jail just on principle. The cops got angry at her and released him anyway. Sometimes people need to learn that they will only get your support if they deserve it - not just because of your relationship.

Hagar said...

I don't think objecting to this administration's adventure in Libya is necessarily "isolationist."
This far I cannot remember hearing any explanation of even how the U.S. came to attack Qadhafi's Libya just now, much less why, and the patent lying about how U.S. forces are not involved because they are "on loan" to NATO, and thus are not really U.S. forces, is very hard to swallow.
The major effect of this action seems to be to have stretched our present military capabilities to the point that we have nothing left for even threatening to intervene anywhere else, and have depleted what's left of NATO such as to make it obvious NATO has become a "paper tiger."

It is quite understandable that some folks are unhappy about this situation and let their unhappiness be known.

Robert Cook said...

"Should members of Congress be expected to take a consistent position with respect to presidential power and the military? Or does the need for a check on the President justify the pressure from whichever party happens to be the opposing party?"

I don't see why the second sentence above should begin with "or," as if the thought expressed is in conflict with the first.

Members of Congress should be expected to be consistently skeptical of the executive branch and jealous of their own power such that they will resist to the fullest any attempt by the executive to usurp their rightful Constitutional prerogatives. In short, they should be consistently opposed to the President, whether he is of their party or not.

(This does not mean to be opposed no matter what, to the point there is pointless and obdurate deadlock, but opposed until or unless the President can convice Congress that actions he wishes to take are, first, lawful, and, second, are justified and will produce productive and desired ends.)

Ha! As if.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

I think it's perfectly reasonable, in areas where the president has discrection, for both critics and supporters to adjust their position based on how much they trust the president, which would likely align with party affiliation.

In areas where the president does not have discrection, such as the War Powers Act, critics and supporters should set aside party affiliation and uphold the rule of law.

I do apprciate McConnell's honesty. He will probably have to walk that back.

traditionalguy said...

Shouting Thomas... Was basing a Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor against isolationist rules? Even as 1941 isolationists, we did not wait until we were attacked to defend a forward base, because in case we were attacked by Japan, then San Francisco would not have been the first target to be wiped out. That is logical. And were not wasting money defending Oahu. We were rationally defending the 48 States that you say we should defend.

Roy Lofquist said...

This about far more than the WPA. Each branch is commanded by the Constitution to protect its constitutional prerogatives from encroachment by the other branches. This is the underlying argument against the unitary executive.

Obama has made several attacks on the authority of Congress and the courts - power grabs. Historically Congress has eschewed partisanship to protect the institution. This is getting interesting.

traditionalguy said...

Only the Commander-in-chief has War Powers, but the other 535 Governing people in Washington, DC have a duty to stop the NATO or the UN from using the USA's Military on loan from our CIC without their approval. And then there is Texas.

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)

Shouting Thomas... Was basing a Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor against isolationist rules? Even as 1941 isolationists, we did not wait until we were attacked to defend a forward base, because in case we were attacked by Japan, then San Francisco would not have been the first target to be wiped out. That is logical. And were not wasting money defending Oahu. We were rationally defending the 48 States that you say we should defend.


Trad…don’t take this the wrong way, I certainly support eh US in its action 1931-on in Japan, China, and in regards to Germany, HOWEVER…you make the traditional run-up case for WWII. The US was attacked….

It is as fair to say the US provoked Germany and Japan. The US operated Lend-Lease against Germany, it operated against German U-boats in the Neutrality patrols…in short the US was the de facto ally of Britain and France 1939-41. The US froze Japan’s financial resources, and imposed trade embargoes on the Empire of Japan. In both cases, the US did EVERYTHING, just short of war, to oppose the Axis Powers.

And why? Wasn’t the “war in Europe” between EUROPEANS? And the Japanese Aggression (1931 & 1937) a war between Japan and China? Why did we care? The US intervened in both wars, AGAINST one side and FOR the other. The US declared that Germany and Japan were its enemies. Are you surprised that, in the end, Germany and Japan declared war on the US? And the US Pacific Fleet was at Pearl Harbor to limit Japan’s ability to wage war in the Pacific, not just defend the US. Had the US said it would be neutral in any war in the Pacific, the Japanese would not have attacked Pearl Harbor.

People act as if it were OBVIOUS why the US got involved in WWII. AT THE TIME, it was not so clear-cut….

Thorley Winston said...

If the argument is that Congressional Republicans deferred to the President when it was Bush 43 but won’t now that it’s Obama, I don’t think that follows because IIRC Bush went to Congress to get authorization before launching hostilities while Obama still hasn’t asked for authorization after nearly two months of hostilities and is about to violate the WPR.

Also some of the Congressional Republicans such as Speaker Boehner who have previously argued that they thought the WPR was unconstitutional (who incidentally voted to repeal it in 1995 when Clinton was President) have asked the President if that’s his position. Some of those who haven’t deferred to Obama now were also critical of Bush’s policies or (in the case of many of the “Tea Party” caucus that McConnell refers to) weren’t even in office when Bush 43 was president.

I’ll be honest that I don’t know whether the majority of Congressional Democrats have reversed their support of enforcement of the WPR or if they’re just being silent on the issue. Some of them have been consistent and some of their former members like President Obama and SecState Clinton seem to have basically done a 180 by trying to make a thoroughly laughable argument that the WPR doesn’t apply.

So insofar as inconsistency on the issue of Congressional deference to the President when it comes to warmaking goes, I don’t think its all that pernicious or that anyone can seriously argue that it cuts across party lines.

Dad29 said...

What was that quote...."Consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds..."--or something to that effect.

Robert Cook said...

"The WPR allows a president to commit troops anywhere in the world, for any reason he sees fit, to advance US interests in any way he chooses."

Uh, no. It merely cedes to the President the permission to commit troops in situations he may deem to be of "emergency status," where taking the time to obtain Congressional approval might have disastrous results for our country. The resolution requires that he obtain approval by Congress within a specified time frame or else he must withdraw from the commitment he has made.

Phil 3:14 said...

Republicans are SO partisan!

Hoosier Daddy said...

"...how the party would have handled WWII if they were in power at the time..."

Defeat the Japs and wish Winston and Uncle Joe the best of luck.

Of course that's in hindsight knowledge that the Euros weren't worth it.

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)

Defeat the Japs and wish Winston and Uncle Joe the best of luck.

You do realize that Germany declared war on the US, first, right? FDR asked that a State of War be declared ONLY on the Empire of Japan…Germany followed up the next day by declaring war on the United States. So we just couldn’t wish Uncle Je and Winnie our “best” and proceed to defeat the Filthy “Nips.” We would first have had to negotiate an end to hostilities with Nazi Germany. US declares war on Japan, 8 December…Germany declares war on US 9 December…US declares war on Germany 11 December.

Hoosier Daddy said...

"...I don't think objecting to this administration's adventure in Libya is necessarily "isolationist.".."

It's especially funny to hear complaints of isolationism coming from the same morons who ten years ago were asking "why do they hate us?"

Obama said he was against dumb wars so remind me again how smart this guy is.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Hell why doesn't someone pull out the NATO charter and just ask Bambi which section obligates NATO to bomb Quadaffi? Did Libyan civilians get admitted as members and I missed it?

Hagar said...

T-guy,
The U.N. is not that enthusiastic about Libya, and the only reason NATO is there is that the U.S. said to go, and they expected the U.S. to lead the charge, rather than pretend to not know anything about it and leaving them holding the bag.

NATO is an organization of the smaller west European powers organized, financed, and armed by the U.S. to discourage the former Soviet Union from expansionist military adventures, and they still look to the U.S. for leadership.

Hoosier Daddy said...

And what kind of alliance is it when two of its biggest members (Germany & turkey) basically said fuck that, we aren't participating?

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)

Did Libyan civilians get admitted as members and I missed it?


The “Good and Necessary” Clause of the Atlantic Charter……or the “Responsibility to Protect” Clause….Or the European Declaration of Human Rights…Or the UN Declaration of Human Rights….or the sodding great oil contracts that Britain and France have signed with Libya. Take your pick.

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)

And what kind of alliance is it when two of its biggest members (Germany & turkey) basically said fuck that, we aren't participating?



1) The Charter does NOT require that members go to war, only that an ”attack”-and Libya isn’t “attacking” a member- shall be an attack on all, and that each member is required to act in a manner consistent with their constitutions to respond to this attack…Really Germany and Turkey are under NO obligation toa ct at all.
2) A pretty smart alliance, if you ask me. I wish we’d have gone the Turkey and Germany route.

Hoosier Daddy said...

"...You do realize that Germany declared war on the US, first, right?..."

Yep. I'm sure FDRs crack State Dept. Could have negotiated an amicable settlement. It's not as if the Wehrmacht was going to be marching down Penn. Ave in 1942.

Besides, I'm told that Uncle Joe would have beat Hitler and we didn't really do the heavy lifting in the ETO anyway.

Hoosier Daddy said...

"...Really Germany and Turkey are under NO obligation toa ct at all...."

Exactly my point. Like Kosovo, this operation isn't justified in the NATO charter. Therefore if NATO members arebt obligated to participate, then it really isn't a NATO operation is it?

Sorry but NATOs purpose ended when Cookie and garage's beloved USSR assumed room temperature.

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)

Yep. I'm sure FDRs crack State Dept. Could have negotiated an amicable settlement. It's not as if the Wehrmacht was going to be marching down Penn. Ave in 1942.

Besides, I'm told that Uncle Joe would have beat Hitler and we didn't really do the heavy lifting in the ETO anyway


Yeah we’d have had to toss England under the bus…

you realize that 1/6 of the USSR’s a/c and about 10% of its tanks were British/US in WWII, and that a majority of its trucks were American? The USSR focused on tanks and artillery, plus combat a/c…it relied on its Western Allies for the supporting equipment. And that by 1943, 600,000 Germans and 1,200 Aircraft were defending the Reich from the RAF and the USAAF. Had those troops been freed to fight in the USSR Stalingrad might have fallen or Kursk might have been won by the Germans. US/British aid and attacks on Germany were vital to Stalin’s victory.

As to the “heavy lifting” in the ETO, by 1944 the US was the majority of “combat power” in the ETO, and a majority of the combat troops in the ETO and were busy supply the British, the Free French, and other European nations their combat equipment…had there been no US in the ETO there would have been no victory in the ETO. There would have been NO European Theatre of Operations.

Lance said...

Honest maybe, but thoughtful? Isn't it obvious that partisans pull their punches for their co-partisans? At least right up to the point they throw them under the bus?

Erik said...

"I don't think objecting to this administration's adventure in Libya is necessarily "isolationist." "

I don't think so either. Bush never put the War Powers Act to the test, and so this wasn't an issue. And if Obama had gone to Congress, given a speech outlining the conflict in Libya and our short-term goals (even if he'd done so *badly*), I imagine the vast majority of Republicans would have gone along with it.

Obama did none of those things. It's not isolationism that's the central issue here, but Constitutionalism. This whole domestic conflict over the Libya war is a direct result of Obama's approach to fighting it. Whether or not that approach is defensible Constitutionally (I think it is, even though I wish it weren't), it's clearly not supported by most Republicans, and wouldn't normally be supported by most Democrats. That's the problem. It has nothing to do with isolationism.

traditionalguy said...

Joe...Yes, FDR was an isolationist who switched into a war posture when something triggered that switch. But it was not saving China which had been left on its own for 5 years after Japan attacked them. The great switch over isolationism to war footing for the USA started in 1939 when word of Leo Szliard's nuclear fission work came out of Germany. From that moment the Draft was reinstated, military expenditures skyrocketed, and the "Defeat Germany First"doctrine was our goal. We were willing to contain the Japs until the Germans who were racing us to a nuclear fission bomb were bombed to rubble, and invaded by Patton's Third Army which ignored Berlin and instead was sent to drive into the part of Germany where the German atomic bomb was being developed. The Battle of the Bulge was a possible defeat for the Allies if it had set back the end of Germany until its fission Bomb could be finished added to the V-2s and the new Jets and defeat the Allies. The drive across the Pacific to defeat the stupid Japs was necessary because they wanted to die for their Emperor and they had made us mad at Pearl Harbor.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Joe, I know all that and my comments are somewhat tongue in cheek. I am well aware of the material support we provided to the allied effort. The heavy lifting argument tends to come from the Euros themselves in addition to the criticism that we had the nerve to wait till we were attacked before we jumped in.

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)

I don't think so either. Bush never put the War Powers Act to the test, and so this wasn't an issue.

No POTUS has ever actually put the WPR to the “test.” The Mayaguez or Just Cause (Panama) have been too quick to trigger it and for Gulf War II (Bush ’41) and Afghanistan and Gulf War III (Bush ’43) the POTUS has had a AUMF introduced…BUT never in response to the WPR. Because no POTUS, AFAIK, has accepted its constitutionality. Instead, we have a fiction here, the POTUS just “asks” and Congress just grants the authorization, but the POTUS never asks UNDER the WPR….

Neither side really wants to test the constitutionality. It just invites the Judiciary into the area…and what if it is ruled constitutional/unconstitutional?

Better the, until now, status quo where Congress “Ok’s” large-scale action, without an explicit mention of the WPR. I don’t grasp Obama’s plan in all this…I’m betting Congress would have “Ok’d” attacking Libya…why provoke a fight, now, when things look bad for you in Libya?

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

Erik said...

And if Obama had gone to Congress, given a speech outlining the conflict in Libya and our short-term goals (even if he'd done so *badly*), I imagine the vast majority of Republicans would have gone along with it.

Obama did none of those things. It's not isolationism that's the central issue here, but Constitutionalism.


Exactly. As the old saying goes, "Don't piss on my leg and tell me it's raining." If the President had asked for support, he would have gotten it. Instead, he said, "I don't need your support." OK, fine, then he's not going to get it!

Is there some hypocrisy here? Sure, but there's also some justified ire.

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)



FDR was never an “Isolationist” and I think you make too large a deal about Szilard and the German A-bomb, being the driving forces for US policy.

Hagar said...

Trad-guy,
Leo Szilard left Germany in 1933, when the Nazis first came to power, and went to London. He then accepted a professorship or something at Columbia University in New York in 1938 and moved there.

Hoosier Daddy said...

"...Instead, he said, "I don't need your support." OK, fine, then he's not going to get it!..."

That's what happens when you have a President with an "I won" mentality.

nevadabob said...

The US House of Representatives has overwhelmingly ordered Barack Obama to end his unauthorized Libyan war in a bipartisan embarassment of the President.

The vote was 295-123 on Friday. The congressional action has no immediate effect on American involvement but represents a repudiation of the commander in chief.

The vote marks the first time since 1999 that either House has voted against a military operation. The last time was over President Bill Clinton's authority in the Bosnian war.

Hagar said...

NATO still has a purpose, or could have.

The Soviet Union collapsed, but the Russian Empire still exists, and there are lots of Great-Russians living in all the former Soviet republics and satellite countries.

Further, for all the small countries around Europe, they feel a lot happier if Germany (and preferably also France) is inside the tent and tied down with as many treaties and mutual assistance pacts as possible.

What is ridiculous is having a Danish career officer commanding NATO forces, including U.S. military units, in what looks a lot like American imperial interests in East-Asia and Africa.

Hoosier Daddy said...

You know if there is any justice, Quadaffi is killed by a US airstrike, chaos ensues forcing Bambi to redeploy withdrawn troops from Afghanistan to peacekeeping duties in Libya and Haliburton wins a reconstruction contracts for Libyan oilfields.

We might actually see mass suicides of leftists.

Mike said...

Of course it makes a difference, but there is much less difference when both the IN party and the OUT party have general agreement about the direction of the country, as was evident right after 9/11. The natural tension between Executive and Legislative branches is good and healthy in a nice check & balances kinda way.

That being said I don't think it is isolationist to take the position that we are doing too much right now, militarily. Those kind of labels are unproductive and dismiss any of that nuance that Liberals love to go on about -- when it is their guy taking a position. When there's an R after your name the MSM will always use the most extreme label they can put on an idea or action. It takes a mindset of constant strong will to overcome those labels and refute questions better than Mitch did here.

mw said...

"...does the need for a check on the President justify the pressure from whichever party happens to be the opposing party?" - AA

Ann, You ask the right question but do not take it far enough. The need for a check on the President and to ensure that our constitutional checks and balances function as intended justifies a divided government voting heuristic - always voting to maintain a divided government state at the federal level. Always. McConnell simply explained why.

Carol_Herman said...

The chinless wonder, McConnell, is incompetent.

The sad thing about DC is that the GOP is still the stupid party. And, their leadership stinks. Because all promotions happen from "within."

While "without" ... shall we say ... has Orin Hatch, now up on the ropes. Couldn't be a more delightful solution! Sine the GOP rectifies nothing on its own.

The stupid party IS, as the stupid party DOES.

Alex said...

The drive across the Pacific to defeat the stupid Japs was necessary because they wanted to die for their Emperor and they had made us mad at Pearl Harbor.

This is the most moronic reasoning for the Pacific war I've ever heard. Fact is, the USA was itching for any reason to contain the Japanese empire.

Scott M said...

Fact is, the USA was itching for any reason to contain the Japanese empire.

With extremely good reason, as any resident of contemporary Nanking could tell you.

Alex said...

Scott - America could have cared less about Nanking. What they were afraid of the Japanese Tiger controlling the SE Asian oil fields. Britain too.

Scott M said...

I don't disagree with that, but I'll have to research it a bit more. My recollection is that US oil output at the time was staggering and I don't recall seeing any mention of keeping them from those fields.

Why embargo them tacitly over what they were doing in China if it was going to make them aggressive for their own supplies?

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)



The leading oil exporter, at the time was the US…..The US didn’t care about the Dutch East indies fields, but the Japanese did.

It was the financial embargo, that the US got the Dutch expatriate government, to agree to that caused the Japanese to decide on war. Japan needed to take the Dutch East indies, the Southern Resources Area. In turn, that required the neutralization of the US position in the Philippines, being on the Line of Communication between Japan and the Dutch East Indies. Which, in turn, mandated a strike on the US Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor.

Had the US chosen to NOT intervene against Japanese Policy in China, there would have been no war.

Alex said...

Had the US chosen to NOT intervene against Japanese Policy in China, there would have been no war.

Which led to the deaths of millions of Japanese. Essentially the US is an evil imperialist nation.

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)

Which led to the deaths of millions of Japanese. Essentially the US is an evil imperialist nation.


Sometimes, Alex is hard to “read.” I can’t tell if you’re a troll or just making being tongue-in-cheek…

To be clear, my point is, look at the time period, from that time period. TODAY, we see 1939-1945 as “The Good War”, but AT THE TIME… it was a European/Jewish/Imperialist/Capitalist/Chinese War that America should not/had no business entering. It was not until 7 December 1941 that the War became popular.

Was it a Just War, yes, and should the US have gotten involved, yes, and should the US have been involved even earlier than it was, YES.

But, at the time, few in America felt that way, and if you look at the events, from a contemporaneous PoV you see the US seeking to involve itself in an overseas adventure, for the sake of International Monopoly Finance Capital/The Joos/The British and French Empires/ a bunch of “Yellow Perils” who represent a threat to our jobs in the US. AT THE TIME, it was not so “obvious” this was “The Good War.”

I am a proud Liberal Interventionist, but in the US I would have been a minority. I just like to point out that with hindsight things are much clearer than they were then….and realizing that we might want to think what our grandchildren will be asking of us, and how we could be so blind/stupid as to not see the “obvious”-whatever that obvious may turn out to be. So in November 1941 the Good War sure didn’t look so good, in fact a sizable portion of the US thought it was not going to be a Good War but a War for Nefarious and Foolish Ends.

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)




Specifically, the Pacific portion of the Great War involved millions of Indonesians and Chinese civilians dying…mostly of disease and starvation.

traditionalguy said...

Joe...Far be it from me to contradict your analysis that the Dutch East Indies oil embargo was the trigger to the Japanese Emperor's decisison to take what he could take by using the spiritual power of his soldiers and the air power of his Mitsubishi Zero. But before 1939, FDR's foreign policy did not include an intent to go to war with Japan or Germany. After 1939 it did. Leo Szilard was sharing his U-235 fusion theories with the USA government as soon as he saw that they worked in August 1939. And he knew who also knew what he had discovered, and that they were working on it in Germany.

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)

After 1939 it did.


It included that option BECAUSE AFTER 1939 THERE WAS A WAR TO BECOME INVOLVED IN! Szilard THOUGHT the Germans were working on the Atomic Bomb, he was not sure. His letter used the Germans as a threat, but also offered the US the carrot of an unbelievably powerful weapon, that might become necessary to allow the US to intervene in a war, already begun, which FDR wanted Germany to lose, successfully. Had there been no war, there would have been no impetus to develop the Atomic bomb. I think you have the cart before the horse.

I am profoundly thankful that Hitler chose to declare war on the US-obviously, Cedarford will say, as a Joo of course you are-otherwise it might have taken months or years to for the US to become involved, against Hitler. Japan could NEVER have prevailed in the Second World War, but Germany might have, or at least might not have lost, and so I am thankful that Hitler removed the necessity concocting a reason to fight him, by declaring he wanted to fight us.

traditionalguy said...

Alex...My reply to Joe that the drive across the Pacific was done because "the Japs wanted to die for the Emperor and we were mad at them" is in the context that the FDR guys never wanted to fight Japan until Germany had been defeated. But it is still a true assessment. The Japs were hated by us as that vile, yellow inferior race who snuck up on Americans at Pearl Harbor, the Phillipines and Wake Island. That got them the same anger/resolve response that Bin Laden got, but on a massive scale with two U-235 devices thrown in for no extra charge.