American Presidential Gaiatsu: “You are Pushing Us in the Direction We Need to Go”

-

In recent weeks, I have met very senior advisors for the Obama, Clinton, and McCain camps. In each case, the senior presidential aide was quite aware of critiques I had offered regarding a variety of foreign policy issues.
In the case of Obama, I’ve been critical of his recent triangulation on Israel/Palestine issues and his unwillingness to embrace at least the Bush administration 2001-2004 “status quo” in US-Cuba policy.
In the case of Hillary Clinton, I have been critical of her Cuba stand, her failure to mention Israel-Palestine in what her staff called Clinton’s definitive foreign policy vision statement, and critical of her stand on the Beijing-hosted Olympic Games and her views about how to pursue better human rights conditions for people inside China, Tibet, and Darfur.
In the case of John McCain, whom I have admired and written positive treatments on many occasions on this blog, I part company on his approach to the inevitability of more wars in the Middle East, his glib embrace of bombing Iran, and his stand on a long-term deployment in Iraq.
John McCain’s national security vision — as it stands now — will either require substantial tax increases to cover the military commitments he seems unable to extract his thinking from — or a new military draft. Both will harm confidence of citizens in America and its future — and hasten America’s decline economically, politically, and strategically.
What has been quite strange is that in certain micro-policy areas, whether its Cuba, Israel-Palestine, or knocking back the Cheney wing of John McCain’s divided foreign policy advisers, these senior political aides I spoke to all said, practically verbatim:

You are pushing us in the direction we need to go.

I’m still trying to get my head around the implications of this.
To some degree, it means that the campaigns — and perhaps the candidates themselves — aren’t accepting full responsibility for his or her views. They perhaps want to be pushed. They want gaiatsu, a Japanese term meaning “external pressure”.
During US-Japan trade dispute days, Japan frequently worked behind the scenes to solicit American trade negotiators to pressure the Japanese government to concede on some respective trade policy issue — so that Japanese politicians could use the ‘excuse’ of American pressure to explain the seeming concession to its public. The fact is that Japanese politicians usually actually wanted to go in the direction that we were pressuring them; it was in their interests — but politicians did not want to shoulder the responsibility.
To some degree, the franchises of diverse opinion that surround each candidate are going to be looking for outside agitants, ideologues and validaters to help bolster the internal policy case they are making to the potential president. For a refresher on the internal divide problem inside the campaigns, please read “Agonizing Over the Candidates and Who They Really Are.”
When top tier advisers are looking for excuses for positions that they need to take — then it raises serious questions about authenticity of the rhetoric we are hearing from all three — Obama, Clinton and John McCain.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

26 comments on “American Presidential Gaiatsu: “You are Pushing Us in the Direction We Need to Go”

  1. Neil in Chicago says:

    There’s nothing new about this. It’s how politics works.
    It’s what President Johnson told Dr. King.
    It’s what President Roosevelt told people in the New Deal, too. (I don’t remember more details off the top of my head.)
    The President can need to pretend to be bowing to strong lobbying to do what he really wants to anyway, for political reasons. d’oh

    Reply

  2. Roger says:

    Regarding America, the Second-Rate Nation, perhaps Steve could
    pose this question to each candidate. Which is safer to walk across at night, Detroit or Sadr City?

    Reply

  3. the exile says:

    Steve, if you know anything at all about McCain, you should
    know by now that he is a master at telling people what they want
    to hear and at buttering them up. I’ll bet you a week’s salary
    that right now his people are having meetings with people
    whose ideas are 180 degrees opposite of yours (possibly
    including the worst bomb-bomb-bomb-Iran neocons), and are
    also telling them: “you are pushing us in the direction we need
    to go.” I am a bit surprised by your naivete here.

    Reply

  4. JohnH says:

    Steve is pushing the candidates for positions. But what are Steve’s positions?
    We know he favors an opening to Cuba, not boycotting the opening ceremony in Beijing, diplomacy over belligerency towards Iran, and talking with Hamas. But what about his preferred end-games for Iraq and Afghanistan? What roles should al-Sadr, the Sunnis and the Pashtuns be given? What about clearly telling us what are America’s vital strategic interests in Iran? And what should America’s stance be toward the medieval dictatorships in the Middle East?
    It’s easy to criticize candidates who find it difficult to stray too far from orthodoxy in fear of career-ending criticism from the conventional wisdom driven foreign policy mob and their hired pens in the media. But what reasons do those in think tanks have for clearly spelling out their positions?

    Reply

  5. Kathleen says:

    I’m bitter.. because impeachment is off the table and I’m clinging to my Constitution…

    Reply

  6. pauline says:

    I never assumed that presidential campaigns were obliged to telling the truth. Why bother with real issues and real solutions during debates when distorting and equivocating are almost expected by so many voters?
    MSM (manipulative slimy media) loves presidential campaigns for the mucho dinero. Shysters on both sides of the tv cameras smile, wink and nod.

    Reply

  7. Carroll says:

    “You are pushing us in the direction we need to go.
    I’m still trying to get my head around the implications of this
    When top tier advisers are looking for excuses for positions that they need to take — then it raises serious questions about authenticity of the rhetoric we are hearing from all three — Obama, Clinton and John McCain”
    >>>>>>>>>>>
    Jesus fricking christ….here is what this says…..none of them really have a real position derived from their concern and in depth study of the current US condition.
    They just want to get elected, that’s all.
    So they just spout crap and pander to groups and throw shit against the wall to see what sticks.
    Why are we not surprised? BWTTGASO

    Reply

  8. Tony Foresta says:

    While the socalled MSM and ABC in particular waste time regurgitating and rehashing the inane and IRRELEVENT issues regarding Obama’s bitter and clinging comments and the Rev. Wright, – the real horrorshow monsterous issues confronting America and Americans are largely ignored.
    Iraq is, was, and always will be crime scene, and the worst of example of perversion and betrayal of America’s most sacred principles, the Constitution, the rule of law, and extreme and wanton profiteering in this nations sordid, bloody, and glorious history. Neither our unchallengeable military, nor the American people can afford the crippling, fruitless, and unending costs in blood and treasure of Iraq misadventure, – and the engorging of the offshore accounts of the fascists and profiteers in, or beholden to the Bush government exclusively is not sufficient justification for gutting the American military and our economy, not to mention our moral credibility
    Afghanistan where our real enemies are planning, funding, training for, and probably in the early preliminary stage of executing the sequel to 9/11 remains underfunded, underresourced, and largely ingored. By why let facts and truth get in the way of a good nonsensical sliming of a presidential candidate who has publically reddressed the issue.
    Our economy is teetering on the brink of collapse. Recession is a certainty, stagflation a very real probability, but even more dire outcomes are possible if there is some unknown unknown catastrophe, natural or manmade, or as long as we continue perpetuating the predatory, corporatist, and crony capitalist economic policies of the fascists in the Bush government, or by throwing trillions of the peoples borrowed dollars at government efforts to bail out the swindlers, thieves, reprobates, criminals, pathological liars, and snakeoilsalemen that caused and perpetuated these sordid crisis.
    The world is suffering from ecological crisis on several fronts; our shores polluted, algea and jellyfish reemerge from the primordial goo to devestate entire coastal regions, our fishing industries, and the fish they catch are dying with our corral reefs, drinkable water is fast diminishing and will lead to the most grievous conflicts yet to be seen between thehaves, and havenots, agriculture and food costs are removing million more people every day from access to basic nutrition creating exasperating the social stress and conflict. Ice shelves the size of Manhattan are breaking off and floating away from the polar ice caps, our nearouterspace is littered with millions of tons of manmade debris, I could go on for pages, but why interupt the erudite commentary on Hillary’s cackle, or Baraks name.
    Iran won Iraq. Iran is the new superpower in the region thanks to the failures, predations, and wanton profiteering of the fascists in the Bush government, and will develop nuclear weapons, – and there is nothing anyone in Israel, or America can really do about out. Either nation can strike at one or another of Iran known facilities but, there is no military certainty to destroying Irans nuclear capabilities, and the retaliatory responses are certain to be fierce and global. The only hope is to dissuade Iran from using these weapons. Nuclear, biological, chemical, and conventional weapons cannot be uninvented. These unholy technologies will not go away without our volition. It is a question of management, not tyranny. Tyranny is likely to unleash he Pandora’s Box of WMD, long before diplomacy has an opportunity to defuse these horrors. No nation state is willing to insure it’s total destruction by using nuclear weapons except of course the great satan. Nuclear weapons are a deterrent force to defend nations from the attack from predatory nations, or tyrannical madmen.
    Pakistan is one bullet away from jihadist nukes, and the difference here, is that jihadists do not care if everyone on earth is incinerated, or eaten away by radiation, and sent to allah. These kinds of freaks have no restraint, and no concern for any living thing. But instead of stemming the oceans of money flowing out of Bush government good friends in Saudi Arabia to finance all the jihadist mass murder organization, – the parrots in our media are focused on in Obama’s reverend, and Hillary’s Crown Royal moment. Idiots, parrots, treasonous pathological liars.
    Jihadist, like all the fundamentalist broods, christian, judaic, hindu, buddist, or islam -are MADMEN drunk on the delusion of fundamentalism, their own image, and the mygodisbetterthanyourgod babel, and actively seek and are perpetuating the armeggedon all the prophets about.
    But let’s focus on the Obama’s bitter or cling words. Elitest? Condescending? Out of touch? You rank cowards and parrots, you droans on the payroll of, and sheepish bowing obedience to the fascist in the Bush government. Two weeks ago, azmodeous, – I mean cheney when asked about the fact that the majority of the American people do NOT support the Iraq war, replied “So?” Elitest, Condescending? Out of touch? And dear leader once referred to the Constitution as “just a goddam piece of paper”, but Barak is Elitist, condescending, and out of touch for speaking the truth. Shame.
    This is what America has become. Pathological liar are insidiously hoisted as trustworthy bold and decisive leaders, and those who actually do speak truth, and facts are slimed as elitest, condescending, and out of touch. America is doomed.
    I am one of those bitter Americans, and while I laugh at all the socalled religious institutions as bad theater performed by perverts and elitests and while I do support the right to bare arms, but not assault rifles, – I also support Obama, because he the only candidate speaking anything close to truth, and the only candidate anywhere close to articulating the concerns that impact my daughters future, or my present, and the only candidated to actually seems even close to intouch with the myriad crisis and concerns confronting the majority of Americans.
    “Deliver us from evil!”

    Reply

  9. easy e says:

    Blogs manipulate public opinion and “advisors” manipulate bloggers!?!
    Like B. Rosengart Apr 16, 9:24PM, I too am “a little surprised that you’re surprised. Is this not the standard protocol of access and influence?”
    PissedOffAmerican Apr 16, 11:41PM – Right on, but don’t let the buck stop with Rice. Pursue the entire chain of command—up-down-sideways—and bring these criminals to justice. Should be a constitutional mandate.

    Reply

  10. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Here, push those three pathetic posturing losers in THIS direction………
    Thanks to a new report from ABC News, we now know that Condoleezza Rice led White House meetings authorizing torture that were so detailed, “the interrogation sessions were almost choreographed.”
    Watch the video: http://bravenewfilms.org/watch/20030380/35714?utm_source=rgemail
    Ask Senators Clinton, McCain and Obama to join us in calling on Secretary of State Rice to resign.
    http://bravenewfilms.org/watch/20030380/35714?utm_source=rgemail

    Reply

  11. Don Bacon says:

    Steve has pushed for positions on —
    Israel-Palestine; US-Cuba; Olympic Games; Human rights in China, Tibet and Darfur; more wars in ME
    But has given candidates a pass on —
    Iraq
    Afghanistan
    Somalia
    The financial crisis
    The housing bubble collapse
    Health care
    Torture
    Education
    Trade
    Energy
    Immigration
    The decline of American manufacturing
    The burgeoning world food crisis
    Global warming
    Screwing the working class
    US Civil liberties
    So the spinners don’t mind (or say they don’t mind) being pushed on the soft stuff. Just don’t bother them with heavy lifting. Ho hum.

    Reply

  12. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Chucklin’ here.
    Push these bastards in any given direction?
    Yeah right.
    Lets start by pushing these posturing cowards into demanding, pursuing, and exacting A-C-C-O-U-N-T-A-B-I-L-I-T-Y.
    I, personally, do not want to EVER AGAIN see an Executive Administration so abuse basic morality, ethics, our trust, and the rule of law.
    Basically, they’re sayin’….
    “Keep up the good work Steve.”
    “We hope ALL the insiders will ignore the glaring holes in the 9/11 story…
    …not call attention to the TREASONOUS LIES that launched the greatest foreign policy clusterfuck in American history,
    …fail to underscore how deeply Bush politicized the Justice Department and the EPA,
    …stay mum about the fact that Condi Rice is saying “fuck you” to a Congressional subpoena, (as are many others),
    …not rub in the fact that NO ONE IN THIS ADMINISTRATION HAS BEEN HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR ONE GOD DAMNED THING”
    “Yes Steve, we would much rather you prod us about policies we can lie about in regards to our intentions, than we would have you pointing out our cowardice and our complicity in the despicable direction our nation has ventured these last eight years”
    “I mean gads man, its an election cycle. Who wants to talk about a million dead Iraqis when we can piss away a few months debating whether or not we oughta forego attending the Olympics”

    Reply

  13. Kathleen says:

    Speaking of pushing people in the right direction, Jim Lobe says there’s a new israeli Lobby on J Street
    April 16, 2008
    New Lobby Seeks to Redefine ‘Pro-Israel’
    by Jim Lobe
    A new group of prominent U.S. Jews who believe that the so-called “Israel Lobby” has been dominated for too long by neoconservatives and other Likud-oriented hawks has launched a new organization to help fund political candidates who favor a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and a stronger U.S. role in achieving it.
    Almost two years in the making, the J Street project plans to spend some $1.5 million – about half of which has been pledged to date – in its first year of operation, a portion of which will go to supporting half a dozen congressional campaigns for candidates who share its pro-peace and pro-Israel views.
    “For too long, the loudest American voices on Israel have come from the far Right,” noted Jeremy Ben-Ami, a founder and director of both J Street and its political-action affiliate, JStreetPac.
    “Those voices have claimed that the only way to be pro-Israel is to support military responses to political problems, to refuse to engage one’s adversaries in dialogue and to put off the day of reckoning when hard compromises will be required to achieve a peaceful and secure future for Israel and the entire Middle East,” he told reporters via teleconference Tuesday.
    “These are not the kind of smart, tough views that serve the long-term interests of the state of Israel, of the United States – or frankly, the American Jewish community,” he added.
    The new project has been endorsed by some two dozen prominent Israelis, including three former directors of Israel’s foreign ministry, a former chief of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) General Staff, a former commander of the Israeli air force, and several other top former top military and intelligence officers.
    “Now more than ever, true friendship requires strong American leadership and engagement to move the sides toward a comprehensive two-state solution,” the Israeli leaders wrote in a letter to J Street’s founders. “With time running out, business-as-usual will not do.”
    The launch of the new group, which will be led by an advisory council of 100 prominent U.S. Jewish leaders and philanthropists, is aimed primarily at challenging the long-standing dominance of several major Jewish lobby organizations, particularly the powerful American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), whose leadership has generally opposed substantial Israeli concessions in negotiations with Palestinians and Israel’s other Arab neighbors.
    AIPAC, which is widely seen as Washington’s most powerful foreign policy lobby, has forged strong ties with both Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill where it has long claimed to represent the foreign policy views of the vast majority of U.S. Jews.
    Although Jews make up only about 2 percent of the U.S. population, they provide up to 40 percent of total campaign contributions for Democratic candidates and up to 20 percent for Republican candidates.
    AIPAC has also cultivated alliances with prominent right-wing Christian Zionists, such as John Hagee, the Texas televangelist who keynoted AIPAC’s annual convention last year. Among other positions, Hagee has repeatedly denounced any consideration by the Israeli government to giving up parts of Jerusalem as part of any peace settlement with the Palestinians. He has also urged President George W. Bush to attack Iran.
    Those alliances have created growing discomfort within the larger U.S. Jewish community, which, in any event, tends to hold less hawkish views about Israel and its relations with its neighbors than those urged by AIPAC and other more right-wing national Jewish institutions, according to recent surveys of Jewish opinion by the American Jewish Committee.
    Indeed, earlier this month, Eric Yoffie, the president of the influential Union of Reform Judaism, called on Jews to disassociate themselves from Hagee and his organization, Christians United for Israel (CUFI). Several days later, seven past chairmen of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, another major national group whose leadership has moved increasingly to the right, defended Hagee as a “true friend of Israel” and CUFI as “among the strongest supporters of Israel in the United States” in a letter to the New York Times.
    Founders of J Street, however, clearly question the notion that AIPAC, CUFI, and other organizations that oppose substantial territorial or other concessions by Israel as part of any peace process are indeed strong supporters of Israel, particularly at a time when most experts say the chances for a two-state solution that would preserve Israel as a Jewish and democratic state are diminishing.
    “For the sake of Israel, the United States, and the world, it is time for American political discourse to re-engage with reality,” wrote Ben-Ami, whose grandparents were among the founders of Tel Aviv and whose father was a militant in the right-wing Revisionist Movement, in a column published Tuesday by the Jewish national daily The Forward.
    “Voices of reason need to reclaim what it means to be pro-Israel and to establish in American political discourse that Israel’s core security interest is to achieve a negotiated two-state solution and to define once and for all permanent, internationally recognized borders.”
    “We need to have a much more robust discussion in this country about what it means to be pro-Israel,” said Victor Kovner, a former Corporation Counsel of New York City and a member of the group’s advisory council.
    “Many of us have been frustrated to say the least at the presumption held by so many … that, because we are active in the Jewish community, we are somehow supportive of AIPAC and those who have pursued right-wing agendas. I don’t support AIPAC; I support a different vision of the Middle East, and, in creating J Street, I think we will make that position clear.”
    In its policy positions, J Street calls for territorial compromises with the Palestinians based largely on the 1967 borders with reciprocal land swaps and the division of Jerusalem. The group also favors strong U.S. support for Israeli-Syrian peace negotiations and direct, high-level U.S. talks with Iran to address all issues of mutual concern, including ending Iranian opposition to Arab-Israeli peace efforts and its support for armed anti-Israel groups in Palestine and Lebanon.
    “There is no way that Israel as a Sparta is going to be in the interests of the Israeli or American people,” noted Sam Lewis, a former U.S. ambassador to Israel who helped negotiate the 1978 Camp David Accords with Egypt under the Jimmy Carter administration.
    “The threats to Israel are real, but the way to go after those threats is to bring about different kinds of dialogue and negotiation than we’ve seen recently,” said Lewis, who also serves on the J Street’s advisory council.
    While the group’s goal of $1.5 million in the first year is a fraction of AIPAC’s $50 million annual budget, supporters stressed that this is just the beginning.
    “Most Americans and most Jewish Americans support the two-state solution and are tired of having a Likud-oriented lobby speaking in their name,” said M.J. Rosenberg, an analyst at the Israel Policy Forum. “Let’s see what happens, but I think this could be big.”
    (Inter Press Service)

    Reply

  14. Ben Rosengart says:

    I’m a little surprised that you’re surprised. Is this not the
    standard protocol of access and influence?

    Reply

  15. weldon berger says:

    Steve, there’s no mystery: politicians don’t want to get out ahead of issues because doing so is perceived as risky. They’d much rather wait for someone else to move public sentiment toward a particular position, and then sign on to it. Obviously there are exceptions, as with the marketing of the iraq invasion, but generally speaking. The approach ignores the potential benefits of actual leadership, but it makes sense for people whose primary goal isn’t to lead but to get elected or reelected.

    Reply

  16. DonS says:

    Steve, I have thought these thoughts as well for a while. Some questions I come to off the top are:
    — Exactly who is it “externally” (nationally and internationally) that would be an audience for the “pushed” direction? Who are the campaigns so afraid of? Is it conventional wisdom? Is is “the media” pushback?
    — Whatever happened to the idea of honesty, even from politicians, taking the lead? You call it authenticity. Same thing I think.
    — Is this a new phenomenon or simply one we become more aware of in the digital/interaction age?
    — Have the neo-cons so captured the debate that we have come to believe in the reality of their power? Are they indeed the dark side and so close to pushing us over the abyss that everyone “not with them” is intimidated?
    — Are you being suckered by a feint: “Yes we said you needed to push hard, but you never pushed hard enough” (whoa, doesn’t that one ring a bell from the comments a couple of posts down!)
    — Are even the campaigns afraid of the monsters they have created by their “tougher than thou” approach and have genuinely lost control of the message, responding to whatever the external forces/booygymen who’ve scared them by bluffing each other into total irrationality.

    Reply

  17. Dan Kervick says:

    Steve says that he is still trying to get my head around the implications of what these advisers are telling him. One can hazard various guesses, but it is impossible to know for sure.
    What one has to worry about, as I’m sure Steve is aware, is that while some Steve-friendly adviser is telling Steve to keep pushing in the direction he is pushing, some other adviser is out there telling the anti-Steve to keep pushing in some contrary direction. I suspect many of the prominent right wing bloggers have their own contacts in the McCain campaign, for example.
    Steve rightly raises the question about whether discrepancies between what an adviser says or implies, and what the candidate says, indicate a lack of authenticity. But is Is it the candidate who is being inauthentic, or the adviser? Or is it perhaps neither? The adviser and the candidate might just not be on the same page. It is probably to be expected that in the extended orbit of advisers surrounding each candidate, people are trying to pull and push their candidate in several contrary directions. They are all struggling for control of the heart and mind of their boss-to-be.
    There is also the possibility of willing attempts to manipulate the coverage in the blogs. I’m not saying Steve’s friends are playing him or lying to him, but Steve is a rather prominent blogger, and certainly there is *someone* in these campaigns whose job it is to pay attention to what Steve Clemons and other bloggers are saying, and to work hard not to “lose” them. The people who talk with Steve are going to be the ones who have the best rapport with him. They may even be saying what they really think. But the fact that it is some particular adviser rather than another who has the job of talking to Steve might be no coincidence.
    I hope that the bad example of the Bush administration hasn’t established a set of bad habits in the various corps of advisers in Washington. One of the remarkable aspects of the Bush administration is how weak and undisciplined Bush has been as a leader of the foreign policy-making wing of executive branch. For over seven years, we have had factions squabbling openly, for all the world to see, over the gravest matters of national policy. We’ve all come to think it is perfectly normal now to have our executive branch officials engaging in intrigues against each other in a manner rivaling imperial Rome, and for them to spill their guts about these intrigues to the press, and do battle for ascendancy and influence by playing public opinion games. Bush could have done much to put a stop to this by giving some high-profile official the axe early on, calling him out publicly for disloyalty and loose lips, and making an example of him. But instead he has been astonishingly indulgent of these destructive games. They call this Bush’s “loyalty” or his fondness for “creative tension”. But really it is just weakness. As a result, where people in foreign capitals should have to guess about what an administration subordinate might be thinking and saying behind closed doors, instead all of the dirty laundry has been out in public, and folks in other countries know exactly whom to play off against whom.
    One thing we all have to worry about is the tendency toward wishful thinking, tea leaf reading, and unsubstantiated rumors about “secret plans” that diverge from the publicly stated campaign position. The safest bet is that once a candidate takes a public position, they are locked in to that position and will continue to support in in office. For example, Obama has now stated that he won’t talk to Hamas unless the Israelis do. So I wouldn’t count on any secret Obama plans to deal with Hamas, at least not anytime early in his administration.
    I’m sure from now until November, we will have McCain operatives, affiliates and surrogates out working the opinion leaders of the center and left, trying to convince them that McCain isn’t *really* as worrisome and nutty as he sometimes sounds, and that all of those extremely hawkish and intemperate statements are just for the public consumption of the Republicans’ wingnut base. Some will buy these assurances. But it is a fool’s game to fall for faith-based hopes and imaginings about the “real” candidate behind the public facade. I had some acquaintances who were convinced up to the very day of the invasion of Iraq that Bush was just bluffing.

    Reply

  18. bingo7 says:

    I would imagine that they regard you as a potential voter. They also regard you as a potentially influential member of the press. Thus, they want you to feel as if you were listened to, that they will listen to you in the future, and that they might possibly be swayed by your views.
    In NJ and FL, there are no, as far as I know, Cuban-American organizations that have active members that will vote on the issue of opening up to Cuba alone, yet. The members of CANF will vote against, for sure. Most of those who are likely to want opening are likely to vote dem, I believe. Just math, really.
    Robert Torricelli became Senator because he changed his views on Cuba, not so long ago. Candidates will probably make most foreign policy statements prior to the election with the election foremost in mind.

    Reply

  19. pauline says:

    Steve previously wrote:
    “Will Barack Obama tilt more towards campaign advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski’s vision of tough-minded calculation of how to re-sculpt America’s place in the world or will he tilt more towards the priorities of his other campaign advisor Anthony Lake?”
    If Barry’s the man, then Brzezinski will set his foreign policy agenda. imo, I’m not sure that the best, but it will be the result.
    Steve previously wrote:
    “I don’t believe that the Hillary Clinton camp is purposely ducking Israel-Palestine, at least I hope not — and I have reason to believe that she might even be a “Nixon Goes to China” type on finally resolving this epic dispute.”
    If anyone believes HRC won’t bow deeply to AIPAC’s demands is not living reality. Hence, no peace in the ME. She is such an insider’s insider I think the war machine, AIPAC, the bigpharma machine, will continue to “use” her even if she remains a mere powerful senator. If Barry uses “change” campaign signs, HRC should be using “no change” signs.
    Steve previously wrote:
    “If McCain actually believes what he is saying, it is mind-blowingly frustrating to imagine a president who would commit to a further collapse of the American military machine by adding more security obligations in the next term and not take stock and then mend and repair the miserable condition of America’s national security portfolio.”
    Any president who wants to or actually fights wars for mere “politics” is, imo, a psycho sickie. Apparently McDisaster hasn’t been told of the true cost of our current ME based-on-lies war. How about three trillion taxpayer dollars, Mr McDisaster?
    Ron Paul said we should be positively engaged with fair trade with other countries as one way to lessen tensions in the world. McDisaster with the war machine is another insider who puts the Doomsday Clock on fast forward. He’s a bad, bad choice and after gw, how could that even be?!

    Reply

  20. Steve Clemons says:

    Spunkmeyer — you raise some good points. Look forward to commentary from others on those points. But I guess in my own experience, I find it a bit strange that these advisers have essentially been asking me to continue some confined criticism of their candidates.
    More later,
    Steve

    Reply

  21. Spunkmeyer says:

    One further thought — isn’t the desire to request input from
    outside sources to point out the obvious already known as a
    hallmark of American business? If not, I seriously question how
    there can be so many high-paid business management
    consultants telling companies the same thing that any mid-level
    employee could do.
    Why would politics be different?

    Reply

  22. Spunkmeyer says:

    A lack of complete candor and authenticity from political
    operatives during a Presidential campaign? Inconceivable!
    Seriously, though, I would love for an example to be offered by
    anyone as to what is the “ideal” presidential campaign in U.S.
    political history… even one of the more effective and active
    presidents, FDR, was elected largely as being “not Herbert Hoover”
    and his willingness to experiment was perceived as refreshing.

    Reply

Add your comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *