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« The McCain-Romney Slugfest and Other Irrelevancies | Main | Unearthing the real difference -- because there is one, and it is profound »

February 01, 2008

Comments

orangutan

Back in 2002, it was obvious to me that weapons inspectors were finding nothing and being given more and more access by a cornered Sadam. It was obvious to anyone with half a brain that Sadam and Osama were enemies, not collaborators. I swore to myself at the time that I would never vote for anyone who authorized the invasion. I will never vote for Hillary.

Jesse

I too vowed in 2002 never to vote for anyone who voted for Bush's war authorization. I broke that vow in 2004 and voted for John Kerry. I will not make the same mistake again. Let us just hope that the Powers That Be in the Democratic Party who will choose between Obama and Clinton understand, not only do the Republicans loathe Clinton, there are many many progressives who will not under any cricumstances vote for Clinton.

Commonsense

Interesting column and one that has many historical precedents. In 1914, the German Social Democrats voted war credits and took Germany into war selling out the working class they were supposed to be the representatives of. Most progressives sell out their own ideals for a dime. It's like dieting. The temptations are too great.

Pops

I am not against Hillary because she is a woman, I am against Hillary because of the woman she is......

Jay Randal

Senator Hillary Clinton willfully voted to authorize Bush Regime to invade and occupy Iraq. She knew what it meant at that time, so she is being devious about it now. Iraq is all about OIL > period.

Mike R

What bothers me the most is the arrogance Hillary displays. She knows perfectly well her vote was wrong, knew so at the time, and did so anyway because she believes herself to have some sort of moral high ground that places her above mere voters. To my mind, political expedience never trumps what is right; in Hillary's it does.

Mike R

What bothers me the most is the arrogance Hillary displays. She knows perfectly well her vote was wrong, knew so at the time, and did so anyway because she believes herself to have some sort of moral high ground that places her above mere voters. To my mind, political expedience never trumps what is right; in Hillary's it does.

Mary

Barak Obama, United States Senator, in 2004:

"My position on the war is really no different than that of George W. Bush."

With all due respect, PJ.

Mary

Obama's "judgement" :

"I don't think that soon-to-be Secretary Rumsfeld is in any way out of the mainstream of American political life. And I would argue that the same would be true the vast majority of the Bush nominees, and I give him credit for that."

Righty-O, PJ.

judec

Mary,

You are referring to remarks made after we had troops on the ground... at which point there aren't many choices, are there? It isn't the time to piss and moan. It isn't the time for a U.S. Senator to become an armchair general, or to criticize the mission of our troops.

There was a period of time after the invasion where even the Democrats who opposed the war, were careful not to undermine the mission, and only later when they saw Bush handling things badly, did they begin to speak out.

The time for anyone in government to speak out... to use what power they had... was before the war was authorized. Barack Obama spoke out forcefully and with great clarity. And there is no better speaker. Link:

http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Barack_Obama's_Iraq_Speech

You can not minimize the courage of these remarks based on the fact that Obama wasn't yet in the senate. He was preparing to run at that time, and if WMD had been found in Iraq, he never would be able to live this speech down.

Many Democrats who were facing reelection (or a future run for president) voted for the war. It was an obvious political calculation.

Obama has made no secret all along, that getting into the war would be, and is, a dumb thing to do. So quoting one sentence out of context here, as you have done, is simply misleading.

Felicia

Well, Mary, like all Clintonistas you're taking Obama's quotes out of context. But hey, mischaracterizations worked for the Republicans in 2004, so maybe it'll work for the Clintons in 2008.

John

The constant vitriol displayed by Carpenter serves to undercore the bias of Hillary's contemporaries against one of their own. No one knew FOR SURE that Bush was going to take the war option first BEFORE negotiating...the resolution preserved his right to do so in the event other options failed. No one, including the media, who failed to report the facts, wanted to tie the presidents hands in this regard. And they should not have. Hillary is not to blame for the madness of GWB, who continues to add "signing statements" to pieces of legislation without comment from the major outlets. The speed and path to war was the president's fault and his alone. She will make an admirable president. See beyond your bias.If she were so alarmed by the antics of this president, Carpenter would advocate for his immediate impeachment, not cast about to assign blame.

Matthew

I know people keep bringing up this Obama quote from 2004, but when he was running in Illinois at that time he made it quite clear that he was against the war. There was no confusion about that.

And, that's not just some bumper-sticker slogan, so I am curious as to what statements prefaced that quote, and what question he was asked, if it was an answer to a reporter. Because, he sure wasn't going around telling everybody in Illinois how he and George Bush were like-minded individuals.

judec

Mary's second quote about Rumsfeld makes me realize something. When Bush was first elected, many of the people he appointed... Rumsfeld, Cheney, Powell, Rice.... these people were respected during the elder Bush's administration.

It was a bit comforting at the time to see G.W. Bush, who looked like a total idiot, appoint some of the experienced people from his father's administration. What happened to these people? It must be total lack of leadership under G.W. Bush.

Philippa

I feel change in the air.Obama for America!
Out with the old divisive politics embraced by the Clintons which results in gridlock in congress.In with Obama and the new politics of building bipartisan coalitions to get things done for the American people.
Mrs Clinton touts 35 questionable years of experience including her 16 years as Arkansas first lady and First lady of the Clinton era.What is 'experience'if you cannot get things done due to deep divisions which she fosters.
She is not electable in November as up to 47% of the country hate her.Her recent gutter politics on Obama will add to that percentage.

I hope more and more people see the light of day
Hillary's claim to "35 years of experience." Subtract her years spent as first lady of Arkansas and in the White House, and her time working as a lawyer in the Rose Law Firm and in other jobs. As Reason Magazine's Steve Chapman reported in November, Hillary Clinton has "just under eight years of experience in elective office -- one more than John Edwards and four fewer than Obama." And, to boot, Hillary the Feminist has her man to fight her battles.
Here's a great quote from tomorrow's NYTimes column by Gail Collins:

====

Hillary could start by purging her campaign of the lingering sense that the presidency is her due and anyone who stands in her way is a particularly mean chauvinist. You cannot run a campaign with the slogan: “Vote for Hillary — Think of All She’s Been Through.”

judec

John,

This isn't vitriol, it is just that some of us feel strongly about this war. I was furious with Bush at the time, for his war-mongering and obvious manipulations of the public. I was just praying that our congress would stop him from taking us to war. I was shocked that so many Democrats were willing to give Bush a blank check.

He could never have taken us to war without that authority given to him by congress... so, no, those who voted for it are not without blame. How can you say that?

Mary

It's a GOOD thing that Obama has changed his mind about allying with George Bush. I have since forgiven him for saying that. He CHANGED HIS MIND.

But let's be aware of the example set by Obama last night: the venomous AM radio-like hatred of Clinton is no longer in fashion.

BOTH candidates have made errors in judgement in the past. BIG ones.

BOTH candidates have grown and changed.

Let Obama's gracious performance INSPIRE you to do the same.

CLP

Yes, Hillary should have known better. She voted for the resolution to keep her Presdiential bid alive. But remember, right after 9/11, no one wanted to listen to reasoned arguments against the invasion. I have many knowledgable friends who only NOW see that they were "had" by BushCo. They were all for it at the time. That said, I still prefer Obama!

Will

Come on! I remember my statement to a co-worker in October 2002: "It appears we're looking for some runt to beat up on". It was clear to me then that the bombs would drop on and the Abrams tanks would roll over Baghdad. And I hadn't been politically aware since being a college Republican in 1980 (not a high level of awareness at 22). Hillary was caught up in the post-911 hubris and made a mistake, but I doubt she was fooled.

judec

Well, I don't agree that Obama has changed his mind on the war... I think that we are looking at a snapshot in time where most agreed by necessity.

Be that as it may... I respect all of you Hillary supporters. I voted for Bill Clinton both times, and I have always admired both of them. I seriously considered supporting Hillary in this election, even though I'd promised myself I wouldn't vote for anyone who supported the war.

There are many reasons that I decided not to support the Clintons this time; among other things, drama and divisiveness seem to follow the pair of them, and Bill always has to be the center of things (which worries me). I think they are losing support fast, and if Hillary is nominated much of the party will be deeply disappointed.

But you Hillary folks have your reasons, too. Please, just don't misrepresent Obama's positions by quoting a line or two without knowing the context. We could play that game all day long with Hillary quotes, as well.

There is a lot of misinformation out there about Obama... some of it put out there by the Clinton camp (some say this is fair in politics, but I refuse to put up with that stuff any more). I think many Obama supporters are just tired of seeing the distortions, and we want to correct the record if we can.

tish

WHY, IF OBAMA WAS SO ADAMANTLY AGAINST THE WAR, DID HE VOTE TO FUND THE WAR? Isn't his voting record an egregious DEVOLUTION of his original anti-war stance? As a progressive, I'm suspicious of this change in position. Recall that Congressman Kucinich never waivered on his stance against the war--and he never voted to fund it!!

Obviously, Obama's support to fund the war was purely a political calculation, illustrating that HE WANTS IT BOTH WAYS: He was against the war before he was for it's continuation. This ambiguous stance bespeaks OBAMA'S SLIPPERY POSITIONING, which is an important strategy in his campaign. Indeed, he tries to work these ambiguities to his advantage, depending on the criticism or praise they engender.

In addition to Obama's slippery positioning on the war, consider these other examples:

1) HIS AMBIGUOUS VOTING RECORD in Illinois, wherein he voted "present" hundreds of times, thus dodging the difficult task of voting one way or another on important issues;

2) HIS AMBIGUOUS COMMENTS ON REAGAN AND THE REPUBLICANS ("as the party of ideas"). (Edwards and Krugman were right to call him on such remarks, which were obviously meant to pander to the Republicans. He never bothered to qualify his remarks fully--at least not until the S Carolina debates when he said, "I didn't say [the Republican ideas] were good ones.") How convenient!


In sum, Obama's SLIPPERY POSITIONING allows him to play both sides of the issue, ultimately allowing enough wiggle room to avoid being held accountable on tuff issues.

tish

WHY, IF OBAMA WAS SO ADAMANTLY AGAINST THE WAR, DID HE VOTE TO FUND THE WAR? Isn't his voting record an egregious DEVOLUTION of his original anti-war stance? As a progressive, I'm suspicious of this change in position. Recall that Congressman Kucinich never waivered on his stance against the war--and he never voted to fund it!!

Obviously, Obama's support to fund the war was purely a political calculation, illustrating that HE WANTS IT BOTH WAYS: He was against the war before he was for it's continuation. This ambiguous stance bespeaks OBAMA'S SLIPPERY POSITIONING, which is an important strategy in his campaign. Indeed, he tries to work these ambiguities to his advantage, depending on the criticism or praise they engender.

In addition to Obama's slippery positioning on the war, consider these other examples:

1) HIS AMBIGUOUS VOTING RECORD in Illinois, wherein he voted "present" hundreds of times, thus dodging the difficult task of voting one way or another on important issues;

2) HIS AMBIGUOUS COMMENTS ON REAGAN AND THE REPUBLICANS ("as the party of ideas"). (Edwards and Krugman were right to call him on such remarks, which were obviously meant to pander to the Republicans. He never bothered to qualify his remarks fully--at least not until the S Carolina debates when he said, "I didn't say [the Republican ideas] were good ones.") How convenient!


In sum, Obama's SLIPPERY POSITIONING allows him to play both sides of the issue, ultimately allowing enough wiggle room to avoid being held accountable on tuff issues.

Posted by: tish | February 01, 2008 at 01:58 PM
Post a comment

chanceny

Those who claim to be 'progressive', who fully comprehend the vital need to take back the White House, who truly want to end the immoral, illegal ocupation of Iraq, and then swear to never vote for Hillary even if she were to become the democratic nominee, depress, confuse and anger me. This 'my way or the highway' mentality is assinine. Your options then are to do exactly what? Vote McCain. Not vote at all? Go with Nader? Hillary was not my choice. Edwards/Kucinich were. The're gone. You can't always get what you want, but our country NEEDS a leader who can be prodded and persuaded by progressives, and perhaps molded into a president who will work for unity in our ever-crumbling democracy. Think! Grow up! Support the Democratic candidate- even if you must 'hold your noses'!

judec

1. War funding: I can't speak for Obama, but once you have troops on the ground, my feeling is... try to finish the job as best you can, and get the troops out as quickly as you can. Once you are in a war, it is very hard to get out. That was the lesson of Vietnam that so many forgot when they voted for Iraq.

2. Voting "Present" is a commonly used tactic in Illinois when you support legislation, but that particular bill is fatally flawed. This is Clinton camp propaganda that has been debunked a million times, and was used to attack his pro-choice position. Please watch:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OVuMYKs8iJs

3. Reagan Comments: These comments were probably not wise on Obama's part, although true. Edwards/Krugman/Hillary et al were just jumping on this as an (easy) partisan attack.

judec

p.s.

All of those caps are scaring me. Are you yelling??

Charlene

You really can't criticize someone who has a very short resume, can you? Because Obama didn't have to vote for the IRAQ resolution, he can easily say, "I was against it from the very beginning". However, when he was asked how he would have voted had he been in the US Senate, he said he didn't know how he would have voted! He even missed voting for the IRAN Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization and now criticizes Clinton for voting for it. At least she voted what she thinks was right and not avoid it like Obama did. You Obama lovers, he is just good at reading and memorizing what his 26 year old (and others maybe) speech writer. He castigates Clinton for lying ... I can tell a phony when I see one and Obama is a phony baloney. As if he were the only one who is telling the truth! He and his wife threw the first negative attacks on Hillary before Clinton tried to return his volleys. Of course she and her husband are bad when when they do that.

Mary

Let's not be selective.

During his Senate campaign against a Republic war supporter, Obama promised he would UNEQUIVOCALLY oppose funding the war if elected, saying that would "throw a monkey wrench in Bush's plans."

In fact, as soon as he was elected as a US Senator, he has voted FOR every single war funding bill that crossed his desk.

He was AGAINST the war, strongly, as a way to win his own election against a pro-war Republican. He won.

But as soon as did so, he welched on his promises to those who voted for him.

And THEN he made the comment in 2004 "My position on the war is no different than George Bush's."

His anti-war speech was to get elected.

As soon as he did, they took that speech off his website, and voted for all funding, just like Joe Lieberman---his Senate mentor--did.

Them's the facts, folks.

Hotrod

PM,
WOW! A nerve has been rubbed raw, apparently. The truth of the matter is that Hillary is a calculating politician and voted in HER best interest at the time as did John Edwards. He admitted as such, and she wont. The other side is that Barack Obama is a calculating politician as well OMG! Will wonders never cease? To all you idiot Democrats out there, it will be Insane McCain vs. Billary. You all wanted change and you're going to get bullshit instead. Hope you're happy!

judec

Mother Jones Magazine:

"Her charges against Obama have generally been weak—standard truth-stretchers for standard political campaigns. But in casting Obama as a phony on the Iraq war, Clinton has veered close to outright lying."

Link:
http://www.motherjones.com/mojoblog/archives/2008/01/6786_desperate_in_nh_1.html

eternity

I totally agree with those who
are looking at Obama's voting record, as opposed to his rhetoric.
If he were really always against
the war, as he said, he would have
voted as Kucinich did, to defund
the war. That would have ended the war, but he voted to keep it going by continuing to fund it. I believe that he is a phony.

Katherine

If my memory is correct, i believe it was 2004: obama was "then" in the US Senate (w/the responsibilities of getting those US contract $$ into his district) he informed us in a statement that his view of the War was no different than that of President Bush!

Hello: Wake Up! MAINSTREAM PUNDITS MEDIA, TELEVISION, EDITORIAL WRITERS; i.e. the conservative media has been soooooo quiet about Obama and vindictive against hillary because they want OBAMA to be the nominee... and they'll take him down very loudly once he's there... and they'll take the WhiteHouse once again... and they'll be smug and laugh at the Dem's while they continue to screw the whole country/world for another eight years!

Go to John McCain's website: the very first statement on the site states: McCain -- The Only Republican Who Can Beat Clinton!

The Republicans are setting us up again -- and you idiots are buying it!

judec

Katherine,

The Clinton campaign spreads their oppo. research around, and her supporters act like it is truth!

McCain wants to run against Clinton because conservatives don't like him...some really hate him... but they hate Hillary far more. She is the one candidate conservatives will come out to vote against for sure. Thats why all of the Repubs. keep talking about her all of the time.

You have to realize that nothing will bring hordes of Republicans to the polls, like the Clintons.

Hillary is still favored to win the primary. Obama has an uphill climb, for sure. But if he can beat the Clintons, he can beat John McCain.

G. Domenic

I am voting for the "known" which is Hillary! Obama doesn't have a long enough resume for me! I'm not willing to bet my future on the euphoria of "the new guy in the classroom! He is "a roll of the dice!"

Mickeyg

Agree totally with Katherine. It doesn't really matter which of these two get the nomination. They will be crucified by the big mouths on talk radio. Edwards was the best one. Imagine Pres. McCain, the war-monger, getting a bit senile, perfect puppet for the big corporations, the drug companies & (more tax cuts for) the rich. Great job, Americans! and, GOOD LUCK!!!

madamab

If people are looking for what a true anti-war Senator did in 2004, look no further than Russ Feingold. The man is a true progressive, and was always unafraid to speak his mind on the war. He did not speak at the 2004 Democratic Convention, and said that while he supported Edwards and Kerry, he thought the Democratic Party's position on the war was wrong.

What stopped Obama from speaking out? Bill Clinton is right, his anti-war stance is a total fairy tale. He was against it before he was for it. Put up or shut up, Barack.

My main objection to Obama, however, is that he is running as if he is Jesus and Ghandi rolled up into one being of Blinding Awesomeness. Come on, folks, he's just a smart, articulate politician who is at least as calculating as Hillary Clinton. Personally, I'm looking for a bit more experience and a bit more of a clue when it comes to how to get things done in Washington. Joining hands with Republicans who just want to stab you in the back will not do it.

My dream team at this point would be Clinton/Obama. Eight years for her and then eight years for him. He needs more time in office, and she needs his inspirational abilities. What a great pair they would make!

Josephine Ortez

You won't find me at the Church of Obama
either. Quote by Obama to the SF Chronicle editorial board on Jan 18 " The day I am elected and sworn into office is the day that America sees itself differently, and not only America, but the entire world sees itself differently. And that's not just symbolic."

If Joe Lieberman was his mentor-THAT speaks volumes-then that is the reason Obama endorsed Lieberman over the true progressive Ned Lamont in 2006.

One of Obama's "present" votes in the US Senate was on the vote over stem cell research. I wonder what was behind that non vote.

Essecebarfacle

I will recognize her, Heather says as I try her caress away.

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