Evan Bayh: No Memory of Neocon Iraq Liberation Committee

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abu ghraib twn 1.jpg
I have not heard directly from Senator Evan Bayh‘s office about the issue of his having co-chaired with John McCain and Joseph Lieberman the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq.
But I just ran across this admission by Senator Bayh that he has no recollection of the neoconservative operation to which his name was attached. He does admit that it was attached though — just not sure how it got there.
From the Wall Street Journal:

Sen. Bayh now says he regrets his early support of the Iraq war and has no recollection of the committee. “I don’t remember any meetings, any conversations, any anything,” Sen. Bayh said in a telephone interview Tuesday. “Obviously my name was linked to it, but other than that there’s nothing that can be said.”

Senators are busy — and they get signed up for all sorts of stuff by staffers who operate in their bosses’ names. That’s just the way the system works.
But this is the first time I’ve seen a US Senator who has probably done many things by name that he has no direct recollection of disown an act by declaring ignorance of it.
I take Senator Bayh at his word that he may not recall this high profile committee that garnered lots of press attention and had McCain, Lieberman, Scheunemann, James Woolsey and others attached.
But then I think that the Senator owes us an explanation of how his staff signed him up for this — or how it happened. He should do an investigation of the action done in his name and then share the results publicly.
The “I don’t remember this” explanation doesn’t quite get over the big hump of how he could unknowingly become a co-helmsman of one of the most controversial NGOs tied to the clamor to invade Iraq.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

73 comments on “Evan Bayh: No Memory of Neocon Iraq Liberation Committee

  1. WigWag says:

    Yes, the version of the Mighty Quinn I am referring to is from the Mighty Quinn soundtack from the Denzel Washington movie. It was one of Denzel’s first movies. I thought it was great, but in interviews, Denzel said it was the worst movie he ever made.
    If you go to You Tube you can see a trailer for the movie that has a small clip of the version of the song that I am talking about.
    Paul, I do believe it is available on iTunes; at least it was. That’s where I got it.
    And as long as we are on the topic of reggae covers, I strongly recommend that you listen to the Sister Carol version of “Wild Thing.” I know for sure that it’s on You Tube because I just looked at it.

    Reply

  2. PÃ¥l Norheim says:

    I was curious too, but didn`t find that reggae version on iTunes…

    Reply

  3. questions says:

    Isn’t the reggae version from “Mighty Quinn”, a Denzel Washington movie? He’s a Jamaican detective or something?
    I know the other Manfred Mann songs from my radio days.

    Reply

  4. PÃ¥l Norheim says:

    Sweetness, I`m still laughing, thinking about that Hegel moment:
    “How do I do?” It would not surprise me if certain gentlemen
    inside the Beltway frequently ask the same question during their
    morning strolls.

    Reply

  5. WigWag says:

    Best Mighty Quinn cover ever is by Sheryl Lee Ralph (it’s a reggae version). You can find it on iTunes.

    Reply

  6. WigWag says:

    Dylan wrote it. Manfred Mann sang it and made it famous. My suggestion is that you go to You Tube, search on Manfred Mann-Quinn the Eskimo and enjoy a moment of nostalgia.

    Reply

  7. PÃ¥l Norheim says:

    questions,
    he covered a couple of Dylan songs (and Dylan said he liked
    M.M.`s versions) as well as a couple of Bruce Springsteen songs
    (Spirits in the Night, and Blinded by the Light).

    Reply

  8. questions says:

    WigWag,
    Isn’t that a Dylan song? Or am I missing something?

    Reply

  9. questions says:

    Paul,
    I know the band, but not the album. What a story! I love the image of “unknown, invented birds”. Sounds like something out of Borges!
    Kathleen, thanks for the fact check on who runs security for the conventions. And let’s all shed some lovin’ on Wexler!

    Reply

  10. WigWag says:

    “Manfred Mann was a good Minimoog player. I recently read somewhere that the first synthesizers were made using equipment from the war industry. Manfred Mann (originally a
    South African) often emulated sounds of birds with his synthesizer at that time. Especially seagulls. But also the sound of unknown, invented birds.”
    Are you sure those birds weren’t pigeons? You know:
    “I like to go just like the rest, I like my sugar sweet, But jumping queues and makin’ haste, just ain’t my cup of meat
    Everyone’s beneath the trees, feedin’ pigeons on a limb But when Quinn the Eskimo gets here
    All the pigeons gonna run to him.”

    Reply

  11. WigWag says:

    Wow, Manfred Mann, all I can say is,
    Do wah diddy!

    Reply

  12. Kathleen says:

    WigWag..yes I can feel the unity …some time ago Obama and Hillary went from sniping and swiping to a “mutual admiration society”…. while he was on vacation, she was stumping for him…not the others on the ‘short list”.

    Reply

  13. PÃ¥l Norheim says:

    “Wait, is that a black helicopter outside? Oh, it was just a bird.”
    questions, are you familiar with the Manfred Mann album
    “Nightingales and Bombers” (early 70`s)? The title refers to a
    man, somewhere in England, who loved nightingales, and who
    spent a lot of time recording their sounds. He continued
    recording those singing birds during World War II, and on one of
    his tapes (rendered in the title song of the album), you hear
    both the sounds of the birds and the sinister sounds of German
    war planes from the sky. I don`t think our man heard the
    bombers; he only cared about the sounds of the birds. I also
    don`t know if there is any moral or wisdom hidden in this
    anecdote, but I like the story.
    Manfred Mann was a good Minimoog player. I recently read
    somewhere that the first synthesizers were made using
    equipment from the war industry. Manfred Mann (originally a
    South African) often emulated sounds of birds with his
    synthesizer at that time. Especially seagulls. But also the sound
    of unknown, invented birds.

    Reply

  14. Kathleen says:

    WigWag, it is local authorities usually, but that’s pre 9/11 thinking… now it’s Homeland Security…if you recall during the 04 race we had rainbow shenanigans with the terror colcor code and the “police barricade/tunnels/bridge closings,/ detention centers” mentality in New York at the Repug convention.
    In Chicago, it was Mayor Richard Daley, who Senator Abraham Ribicoff,D-CT. called a fascist pig, and the National Guard.
    If Busholini is looking for an excuse to declare Martial Law, I’m sure his Blackwater goons can provoke a riot. is he going to conveniently be in Crawford during the Dem convention, like he was when Katrina hit…Oh wait, he was in AZ blowing out birthday candles with McPain….
    Meanwhile, speaking of the NeoCons Iraqi Liberation thingeee, those who want to hold the culprits accountable are taking it on the chops…while the perps are on the “short list”…what’s wrong with that picture???
    This from Congressman Robert Wexler…I removed the references to contributions for this post.
    Dear Kathleen,
    I need your help:
    My strong and vocal stands in favor of impeaching President Bush and Vice President Cheney have made me a target. I am now under siege by the right wing, who are working hard to defeat me and silence the causes that we believe in.
    In the eyes of the right wing, I am seen, along with Rep. Kucinich, as one of the symbols of the impeachment fight. They believe that if they defeat me – they defeat our cause.
    For the last weeks, I’ve been relentlessly targeted by ultra-conservative radio and television hosts, as well as my local media. It has taken a toll. Now more than ever, I need your support to help me stay in Congress to represent your voice in Washington.
    I am pleased to report that just this week we have made real progress in our fight for accountability for this rogue Administration. Just yesterday a federal court ruled against President Bush’s bogus executive privilege claims and ordered Harriet Miers and Josh Bolten to testify. In addition, this week the Judiciary Committee voted to hold Karl Rove in contempt for his refusal to testify.
    I will make you this promise: No matter who criticizes me, I will continue to aggressively push for genuine accountability for this White House – including inherent contempt for Karl Rove, Josh Bolten, Harriet Miers and all of the renegade Bush officials if they do not immediately cooperate.
    I have been one of the few lonely voices in Congress to demand accountability and now I am paying a price. The truth is I would rather lose my election than back down. But we will win if we stand together, and your contribution today will send a strong message to the right wing that our movement will not be intimidated.
    It’s no coincidence that these attacks are increasing as I continue my outspoken stances, and Election Day approaches.
    Right now, I am facing my most difficult re-election ever. While I rely on people like you to support my campaign – both of my wealthy opponents are spending their own personal money to fund their campaigns. One opponent has promised to spend a million dollars to defeat me. Another opponent has ridiculed my stance on impeachment and called for me to be impeached and removed from office.
    From the beginning of my work on impeachment, I have been dipping into my re-election fund to help pay the significant costs of what has been a national campaign to promote impeachment. Some of you have previously donated to help keep this outreach alive, and for that, I’m thankful. I will continue to promote this cause using my campaign resources.
    Now, the right wing is fueling the campaigns against me: Newspapers are reporting that my Republican opponent is seeing a major spike in contributions. We must match his supporters dollar for dollar.
    Every two years, Americans get to decide who represents them. Whether I’m your representative or not, I hope you know I will continue to fight to protect our Constitution.
    Regardless of whether you can support me financially at this time or not, please know that I have been inspired by your hard work, words of encouragement, and unflagging commitment for our shared causes.
    Your friend,
    Congressman Robert Wexler
    http://www.wexlerforcongress.com/multimedia.asp?ItemID=263.)
    Now is the time for all good people to come to the aid of our country.

    Reply

  15. WigWag says:

    “And it’s worth noting, as I saw somewhere, the conventions are private organizations and so the Constitution is limited in its application, and police have always had the right to give out permits that limit public space protests.”
    The Conventions may be private assemblies but the streets of Denver are a public space, or should be. Is carrying a sign a protest? Maybe. Is wearing a tee shirt with an anti-Obama message a “public space protest?” I don’t think so. You don’t think so. George Bush thinks so. Dick Cheney thinks so. And apparently Howard Dean and Barack Obama also think so.
    That’s the point.
    It looks like we will be fooled again.

    Reply

  16. questions says:

    Damn you’re good. I mean, Damn, we’re good. I mean, Damn, I’m good. Oh well, I’ve never been good with pronouns….
    And yes, we’re having a wonderful evening. Perfect weather, a little Machiavelli to put aside and ignore for yet another beach volley ball game, and a veggie lasagne to go in the oven. Ahh. Snug in our own little free speech zone. Wait, is that a black helicopter outside? Oh, it was just a bird.

    Reply

  17. PÃ¥l Norheim says:

    “How’d you deal with the ISP addresses so you wouldn’t be
    caught?”
    Well, actually I invented this Mr. Clemons character as well, so the
    ISP addresses have never been an issue.
    Cheers! Am I having a nice evening, everybody?
    PÃ¥l

    Reply

  18. questions says:

    You’ll always be my Pal, Paul. I feel somehow a kind of oneness with you! How’d you deal with the ISP addresses so you wouldn’t be caught?
    And since I’m the vegetarian persona, get off the hamburgers and go for tofu! It’ll do you/me a world of good!
    (Is this post too “saccharine” (checked the spelling!!!))
    Thanks for the lighthearted moment. Free speech zones are getting me down…..

    Reply

  19. Sweetness says:

    Dear Pal,
    This thread must be difficult for you, my condolences.
    I think it was GF Hegel who, on meeting his neighbors during his
    morning strolls, would ask…
    “How do I do?”

    Reply

  20. questions says:

    Googled around…. The Secret service and the Denver authorities seem to have been the ones to defend the “free speech” zones. I am no fan of these kinds of limits. I was pissed at the Bush admin for locking out protesters, and the Dems have done this repeatedly as well. The whole throw-out-the-t-shirt-wearers game gets old quickly.
    We really don’t know what to do with protest anymore. I am thrilled to keep anti-abortion protesters 2 or 3 miles from a clinic and I’d just as soon not see their posters along streets as I drive. I want Bush confronted with dissent. I want Obama confronted with dissent. I want no one shot. I would be happy with many fewer telegenic moments and a lot more screaming.
    But all the screaming and the shooting and the desire for telegenicity come together into speech restrictions of time, place, and manner, and I think it’s actually constitutional even if not very democratic. But our contitution isn’t very democratic anyway. And it’s worth noting, as I saw somewhere, the conventions are private organizations and so the Constitution is limited in its application, and police have always had the right to give out permits that limit public space protests.
    So I won’t defend Obama, the dems, the Secret Service or the Denver police/SWAT teams/black helicopters and the like. I will say that not even HRC would have done differently. Speech zones are here to stay until we renegotiate our responsibility to dissenters.
    On this one, you’re right WigWag, but with qualifications!

    Reply

  21. PÃ¥l Norheim says:

    DISCLOSURE:
    I`m afraid this will provoke some strange, perhaps even
    frightening feelings in your fictive souls – but yes, WigWag,
    questions and Sweetness, it was actually me (NB: not “Paul
    Norheim”, but the person who created that dubious character as
    well) who created you.
    I think “Paul Norheim” once claimed here that he has written
    three books in Norwegian – one of them a novel. Don`t believe
    a word coming from Mr. Norheim`s mouth. It was me who
    wrote those books. And yes, I can confirm that it certainly is a
    novelistic task to write the posts of WigWag, questions and
    Sweetness, with different (and sometimes similar) opinions, all
    the time guessing what one particular fictive character may have
    thought about a particular issue.
    Initially, the hardest part was the language. But now I`m so
    used to write in the particular style of, say WigWag on Obama,
    and then immediately switching to the language and possible
    reactions of Sweetness, or the philosophic speculations of
    questions, that it happens more or less automatically.
    Sometimes I regret starting this project. I spend my days and
    nights writing these damned comments, as well as doing the
    research on issues ranging from regional details of the US
    elections to the metaphysics of Immanuel Kant; from events in
    Caucasus to the mindset of strange organizations like PUMA.
    And then I have to deal with this difficult and pretentious
    character who calls himself Paul Norheim as well. At the
    moment I`m considering to get rid of him, and concentrate all
    my efforts on the other three heteronyms. In the last months, I
    ´ve lost a lot of sleep and a lot of weight, since the research
    gives me little time to prepare meals. I feel poisoned by coffee
    and cigarets, sick of hamburgers and pizza. Another reason to
    get rid of Mr. Norheim. I want a decent meal!

    Reply

  22. WigWag says:

    Actually, Questions, the local authorities, including the police, work very closely with the “Host Committee.” The “Host Committee” works very closely with the Democratic National Committee (DNC). The DNC is (as you would expect) now a fully owned subsidiary of the Obama Campaign.
    It has been widely reported that the Obama Campaign originally wanted protesters limited to a penned in area about 20 blocks from the Convention Hall. The ACLU sued the city and a Federal Magistrate strongly suggested that the City (as represented by the “Host Committee”) revise its plans. The area for protests was then moved closer to the Convention Center, but the press objected because the new area reserved for demonstrations was adjacent to the main press headquarters (there are press headquarters both inside the Pepsi Center for the Super Star press types) and outside the Pepsi Center for the plebeians). The Press was concerned that having demonstrators too close to their area would be noisy and might hinder their concentration. Kind of ironic isn’t it? The press insisting on its own First Amendment rights but doing everything they can to limit the First Amendment rights of protesters.
    You may be interested to know that the DNC has announced that anyone holding an Anti-Obama sign outside the area reserved for demonstrations will be subject to arrest. It is unclear if people wearing Anti-Obama tee-shirts outside of the demonstration area will also be subject to arrest.
    Many (not all) of the Anti-Obama activities in Denver will be run by members of the PUMA movement (Party Unity My Ass). This movement is led by a close personal friend of Steve Clemons named Will Bower. Mr. Bower is an truly extraordinary guy. I’d go so far as to call him heroic. I hope that Mr. Bower and his colleagues will not be arrested. Everything they do will be peaceful, but I wouldn’t bet against the Obama campaign, and Generalissimo Dean doing everything they can to harass these folks. If they are arrested, Steve Clemons will be in Denver. Hopefully he will have enough money in his pockets to bail his buddy out.
    “Meet the new boss, just like the old boss.”

    Reply

  23. questions says:

    WigWag,
    NOT to make excuses for Generalissimo Dean and Obama…. If they are behind this it’s plain GROSS. BUT my guess is that local law enforcement does its thing without a whole lot of cooperation with the campaign. I could be wrong, and I hope that the Denver police are shamed into a very different way of dealing with this.
    The possibility of political violence is very real, but locking up every protester in a warehouse is a little over the top…. This is one of the things that we as a society really need to deal with. Freedom of assembly is in the Constitution. It must be respected. We’re not so good at this any more.
    Worth noting that Beijing has special parks for Olympics protests. If you apply to protest, you’re arrested….

    Reply

  24. WigWag says:

    Thank you for the very interesting link, Kathleen. So the Obama campaign and Generalissimo Dean plan to use the same police state tactics that the Republicans used in New York four years ago. Why am I not surprised?
    Can’t you just feel the unity?

    Reply

  25. Kathleen says:

    Speaking of what may be happening in Denver, here’s a story about Police plans…
    http://rawstory.com/news/2008/News_crew_crashes_Denvers_DNC_massdetention_0815.html
    I don’t get the logic either of voting for the other party as a way of devaptiating the two headed monster of the two party system… at least vote for the 3rd party candidate of your choice..

    Reply

  26. Paul Norheim says:

    Well, WigWag, at least something good came out of this: after
    several hundred comments bashing Obama`s character and lack
    of experience (the latter of course more legitimate than the
    first), you wrote a comment where at least the first part of the
    text actually was about the message, and not the messenger.
    Congratulations!
    Regarding “Barack Hussein Obama” – perhaps it was foolish and
    thoughtless of me, but I simply decided to write his full name. I
    can somehow understand that you read between the lines here,
    but believe me: I did not intend to say, and have never thought
    that you have ever hinted to his religion or ethnicity. After all, I
    read most of your comments.
    But yeah, you seem to think like that woman from C-Span that
    Carroll quoted. And the logic behind this escapes me as well.
    Even if there are millions thinking like you.

    Reply

  27. Carroll says:

    Posted by questions Aug 15, 12:38PM –
    Carroll, you’re right about this one!
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Normally I am all for windmill tilters, being one myself sometimes, but these make no sense.
    According to their leader Bowers, it is all about “being held hostage by the party” because they are party dems who don’t like the dem party candidate.
    So voting for the other “party” is somehow going to break up the hostage party bonds of the two party system.
    The logic escapes me.

    Reply

  28. rich says:

    “5) Because Senator Obama has no experience, I don’t know whether to trust his judgment.”
    —George Orwell
    One of the funniest things about this primary were the outmoded 2nd-wave politics, particularly when race and gender intersected.
    Pop quiz: Which demographic group benefited overwhelmingly from Affirmative Action? White women, of course. Generated by the civil rights movement, the rise of feminism as the legislation approached passage enabled the inclusion of other groups. Corporate America was much more comfortable bringing white women into the exclusive chambers of management, so they entered the work force en masse, while black men did not. Hard to know what to say to a brother. But even the executives at Bendix know how to treat a lady.
    Anyway, the really odd dissonance of ticket-balancing conventions from olden times with the current political reality clanged harshly in Geraldine Ferraro’s off-the-wall pronouncements. She was the Mondale’s quota pick, because surely a white women would win the votes of white women. Yet she was asserting Senator Obama had not earned the votes that he had, by definition, just earned. She really had to twist the basic realities to say that a white man equally as highly skilled and with the same excellent judgment as Senator Obama — “would not have gotten as far.”
    When a black man has to be two, three times as good, and still faces this kind of cut-down of everything he’s earned, it’s worth taking careful note.
    I mean, it’s highly entertaining, but we can only hope people vote the public good and not their personal disappointment.
    Evan Bayh–disappointing as he may be as the VP–really outflanks much of the standard political landmarks against which people measure savvy, strategery, and political clout.
    There’s no way Sen. Bayh can pretend his CLI memberships is nothing. There’s too much on the record, these folks knew well what they were doing and its purpose was well-defined and well-known. No one actively joins and works with such players by accident. It’s like being on The Carlyle Group’s Board and not being sure what their business is.
    So, Evan Bayh is a stillborn VP nominee for that reason alone. “Hey, Rubes!” won’t come across this election cycle.
    But if he is the selection, I’d say it’s because Obama’s in the driver’s seat and much more is going on than meets the eye. In a positive sense.

    Reply

  29. Carroll says:

    GOP lawmaker is a big fan of ‘The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder.’
    The Washington Post reports that a “southern conservative congressman” is a big fan of Vincent Bugliosi’s best-selling book “The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder,” which makes the case that Bush should be held “criminally responsible” for the deaths of U.S. soldiers in Iraq. A “source close to the author” told the Post that the lawmaker is Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC), who famously coined the term “freedom fries,” but later became a critic of the Bush administration’s handling of the Iraq war. Jones told Bugliosi that he wants to lay low until the election, but afterward, would be “standing there by your side.”
    Maybe I should write in my own congressman for president. He’s not afraid to admit he was wrong and actually understands the crux of a nation of laws not men.

    Reply

  30. Kathleen says:

    pauline…this from David Sirota..
    Will Obama Wave Bayh Bye to the White House?
    By David Sirota
    Creators Syndicate, 8/15/08
    If you believe the chatter, Barack Obama is desperately seeking awhite guy — any white guy — to be his running mate. Democratic sources have floated vice-presidential trial balloons for every
    pale-faced stiff in the D.C. region — from Delaware Sen. Joe Biden to Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine. But with Obama needing his “change” brand
    to overshadow his recent flip-flops, no pick would be more self-defeating than Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh — the career politician who best personifies “more of the same.”
    To read the full nationally syndicated newspaper column..
    Creators Syndicate:
    http://www.creators.com/opinion/david-sirota/will-obama-wave-bayh-bye-to-the-white-house.html

    Reply

  31. Sweetness says:

    Wow…great dialogue between Wigwag and questions. I tend to
    be of questions persuasion, but admit that Wigwag makes some
    good points. The whole question of experience is tricky: On the
    one hand, you definitely want to say that experience counts in
    judging a person for the job. How could you not? On the other
    hand, it does seem that often the most experienced folks make
    the worst blunders: Nixon, LBJ come to mind. And sometimes
    neophytes turn out to be the best presidents: Lincoln comes to
    mind.
    There is another factor here that I think Rich alluded to in
    another thread. At a time in history when the electorate
    perceives a need for change–for changing the way things have
    been done–experience can be seen as–and may in fact be–a
    liability. Experience often forces one to see problems and
    conflicts in traditional terms at a time when it’s imperative that
    problems and conflicts be cast in new terms, or different terms,
    to be solved.
    I remember decades ago, I underwent training to be part of a
    student civil rights group. In one exercise, team members were
    given packets containing puzzle pieces that were to be
    assembled into perfect squares. The goal was for every member
    to put together his square. I emptied out my pieces and fairly
    quickly assembled my square and looked around as the other
    members struggled and struggled to assemble theirs. I was
    happy to have mine done and wondered what “their” problem
    was. Well, it turned out that I needed to give one or two of my
    “precious” pieces to the person on my left; she needed to give a
    piece or two to the person across from her, and so on.
    IOW, all the pieces were there for the solution, but they were
    jumbled up and put into the “wrong” envelope. Initially, I was
    looking at the problem from a traditional–“experienced”–POV.
    I needed to reshuffle the terms in which the problem was cast in
    order to solve it.
    Same thing in today’s world. The electorate, and maybe the
    world, are divided up along ever-hardening lines. Lines that
    don’t necessarily reflect people’s true beliefs, but which have
    become proxies for them. So the harder the pro-choice folks
    fight for principle, the harder the pro-life folks fight for
    principle. It becomes like trench warfare. Nothing moves.
    Nothing changes. Views and prejudices become even more
    entrenched and it becomes harder for either side to see their
    mutual commonality or find a way forward. And the words and
    politics become nastier as they become more trivial.
    We’ve been around the track enough times that most people see
    this, but no one can let go of his position for fear of being run
    over by the other side (a real possibility the way attitudes are).
    Obama’s central theme–his big idea, if you will–is that we
    need to start looking at our chronic problems, conflicts that hurt
    many, many people both here and abroad in ways that break the
    mould hardened by years of experience. Put another way, we
    need less principle and a greater understanding of how to break
    through old ways of looking at the issues that divide us. Of
    course, seen from the perspective of “principle,” this route may
    look like a series of “sell outs” or as confirmation that Obama
    really is a “screaming liberal” at heart. But this is mostly
    because Obama is acting in ways that don’t fit the mould, and
    it’s hard to see or understand what he’s doing because his
    actions don’t fit our categories.
    Anyway…I don’t think this should become a debate about what
    Clinton accomplished or didn’t accomplish. IMO, he did a lot,
    and he was the first Democratic president to get re-elected
    since FDR (or Kennedy, if you want to assume that he would
    have been re-elected–a good possibility). As Wig points out,
    he HAD to deal with an ascendant GOP in his second term,
    whose ascendancy may have been aided by his own first-term
    bumblings and lack of political acumen, e.g., gays in the military
    and healthcare. Similarly, Obama is forced to deal with the fact
    of his own race and the divisiveness it immediately engenders–
    a fact that can’t be over-estimated–a poisoned political
    atmosphere in which the GOP, though saddled with many
    negatives, still has the emotional hot buttons on its side and is
    more than willing to use them to fight dirty and win (see there I
    go, too).
    As to Wig’s statement…
    “I do think that the 3:00 am phone call scenerio is more than a
    political gimmick. Both Clinton and McCain have years of
    experience in foreign policy and will have a basis for forming
    their own judgments and not relying too heavily on their
    advisors. Obama, with virtually no foreign policy experience will
    have his intelligence, but nothing else to fall back on. I don’t
    think that’s good; especially when an experienced alternative
    exits.”
    I think McCain’s erratic remarks about bombing Iran…his
    strange attempt to run his own foreign policy team on
    Georgia…his heightened aggressiveness beyond where Bush
    even seems willing to go… and his numerous factual errors
    about borders and players doesn’t give me any confidence that
    his experience on foreign policy has amounted to much. After
    all, it’s especially damning if you’ve had years of exposure and
    experience and are still getting basic things wrong.

    Reply

  32. WigWag says:

    “the word “fraud” screams out at me.”
    POA’s hearing voices again.
    And again, and again, and again, and again….

    Reply

  33. questions says:

    POA,
    Are you still harping on the paranoid notion that we three are one? Try looking at the writing styles, the grammar patterns and the like. Yes, it could all be faked, but come on, no one is going to bother at that level.
    And if you’re calling my postings “saccharin, pretentious and posed,” well, gee, thanks. I guess it’s a step up from “horse shit”. I guess. But note that you haven’t provided any specific passages and analyzed the precise “saccharin” elements or the like. Why do you need to insist on this point anyway? You just don’t think it’s even possible for there to be three people who hold vaguely similar views on the Palestinians, and different views on Obama?
    Gee, maybe you and Decco and Carroll are all the same. Maybe you don’t even exist. Maybe Steve just posts sometimes under the name POA…… Maybe it just doesn’t even matter. Maybe you could figure out something else to write about. Maybe you could ask Steve to check the IP addresses and let you know whether we post from the same address. Oh, but maybe I use three different internet providers so I can fake you out. Maybe I have AT&T, Comcast, and AOL dial up just for you! It’d be worth spending that kind of money just to have three internet personas…. I guess I could always post one persona from work and risk losing my job! Yoish.
    Carroll, you’re right about this one!

    Reply

  34. Carroll says:

    Listening to C-Span this morning.
    A woman called in to say she had supported Hillary in the primaries and wasn’t going to vote for Obama, but was going to vote for McCain now.
    The host asked her what she liked about McCain’s positions on issues better than Obama’s.
    She said she didn’t like McCain’s positions but since Hillary didn’t get the dem nomination she wasn’t going to vote for the democrats.
    Priceless!

    Reply

  35. Frank says:

    Steve, you you remind me of the fellow in the Stalag 17 movie who was knitting socks for a child his wife had writen him was left at their door . As he was knitting, he was mumbling… “I believe it”….. “I believe it”…
    I appreciate your “benefit of the doubt” position, but you could have left what you believed to yourself and leave the veracity of Bayh’s recollection to others reading this blog.

    Reply

  36. DonS says:

    File under “give me a break”:
    “Bush warns Russia against ‘bullying'”
    http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/08/15/us.russia/index.html
    . . . and why exactly do we even bother to attempt to bring any rationality to this looking glass world of politics and (US) media?

    Reply

  37. PissedOffAmerican says:

    WigWag’s demonization of Obama, sans any consistent comments or opinions about McCain, doesn’t seem like honest commentary. Factor in his sacharin, pretentious, and posed conversations with “Questions” and “Sweetness”, and the word “fraud” screams out at me.

    Reply

  38. liz says:

    Senator’s staffers do as they are told and instructed. No excuses.

    Reply

  39. Mr.Murder says:

    That’s not the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq that Evan Bayh knows….

    Reply

  40. Joe Klein's conscience says:

    I looked and could only find two things. I have to check out the way back machine but it looks like there were never any “official” meetings of the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq(CLI).
    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_hb5554/is_200302/ai_n21816742
    http://tpmelectioncentral.talkingpointsmemo.com/2008/07/bayh_as_veep_he_cochaired_wing.php
    I don’t have access to Nexis. Maybe someone else does.

    Reply

  41. clb72 says:

    In 2005, I attended a fundraiser breakfast for Senator Bayh (I got in without giving money). I asked him about a just-released Pentagon report that over 100 people had died in U.S. prisons in Iraq and Afghanistan, and if the then-minority Democrats in the Senate could do anything to investigate. I thought I was asking a softball. He just about took my head off. That’s not true, he insisted. That didn’t happen. I did say PENTAGON was the source in my question. I thought then – as I thought now – what a tool.

    Reply

  42. WigWag says:

    Paul, I hardly know where to begin in responding to your comment.
    I guess I should say first that I don’t hate Senator Obama. Gandhi said that hate is the subtlest form of violence, and I wish the Senator a long, happy and productive life for himself and for his family. It’s not the Senator or his family that I don’t like; it’s the elevation of form over substance that I find deplorable.
    You are certainly right that I criticize Senator Obama much more than Senator McCain even though I have greater disagreements with McCain. To me, this is perfectly natural. I have been a Democrat my whole life. I don’t care about the Republican Party and I don’t care what McCain does or does not do to it. I do care about the Democratic Party and I do believe that Senator Obama and his supporters have done very bad things to the Party I care about.
    You say, “At the core, your attack on Obama is an attack on Barack Hussein Obama as a person.” I have contributed scores of comments pertinent to Obama since I first discovered the Washington Note. Some of those comments may have been smart, many were undoubtedly dumb, but never once did I use the Senator’s middle name. His ethnic background doesn’t interest me and his religion doesn’t interest me. If you have even one example of anything that I have ever said about the Senator that made reference to either his religion or his ethnicity then you should point it out, otherwise, you should apologize.
    Now since you asked, I will reiterate that I generally like Obama’s position on domestic issues. I liked Clinton’s health plan better and I trust her much more on important issues like social security reform and Medicare, but I think Obama may do a good job on these issues. My confidence level isn’t that high though, because as I mentioned to Questions, all I have is Obama’s word for it. He has very little actual history of accomplishing anything pertinent to the domestic issues that I think are important.
    On foreign policy I don’t love either Clinton’s or Obama’s foreign policy. As I said on another thread, like Bush, both Clinton and Obama would have recognized Kosovo and both would be doing in Georgia exactly what Bush has done. On the Middle East, I think Clinton’s strong and historical relationship with the Jewish Community would have made her more likely than Obama to ask for real sacrifices necessary for peace. Obama will have to work too hard to maintain the trust of American Jews to ask anything challenging from them. Why Obama supporters are too dense to get this is mysterious to me.
    I do think that Obama’s foreign policy team and Clinton’s foreign policy team will be largely the same. And you know that I believe that the Obama/Clinton liberal internationalists are remarkably similar to the Bush/Cheney neoconservatives.
    I do think that the 3:00 am phone call scenerio is more than a political gimmick. Both Clinton and McCain have years of experience in foreign policy and will have a basis for forming their own judgments and not relying too heavily on their advisors. Obama, with virtually no foreign policy experience will have his intelligence, but nothing else to fall back on. I don’t think that’s good; especially when an experienced alternative exits.
    You say, “I can’t remember seeing such consistent attacks AD HOMINEM at TWN as those you have delivered against Barack Obama during several months. Character assassinations, nothing more,
    nothing less. This is beyond politics and rational (or even passionate) arguments about issues.”
    Paul, attacks are not ad hominem merely because you disagree with them. I am flattered that you take time to read my comments at all, but if you do, you know that I try to provide as much detail as space allows (and then some) about why I have my point of view.
    Why don’t I think Senator Obama is a good choice? Let me provide you (yet again) with a short list:
    1) Senator Obama ran a sexist campaign.
    2) Senator Obama is a race baiter.
    3) Senator Obama had an unfair media advantage over Senator Clinton in the same way that George Bush had an unfair media advantage over Al Gore.
    4) Because Senator Obama has such a sparse record of public service, I have no basis for evaluating the likelihood that he will do what he says.
    5) Because Senator Obama has no experience, I don’t know whether to trust his judgment.
    6) Senator Obama has flip flopped more than any candidate in recent history and his flip flops have come in an incredibly short period of time.
    7) The FISA vote was really important. No one expected Senator McCain to vote the right way, everyone expected Senator Obama to vote the right way. Obama didn’t; Clinton did.
    8) Senator Obama is a demagogue. His continuous and well documented references to himself in messianic terms would be universally ridiculed if George Bush used the same language.
    9) Senator Obama was against the war in Iraq when his opposition didn’t matter and voted like all the other Democrats when he got to the Senate.
    10)Senator Obama’s willingness to blame the Reverend Wright imbroglio on White Americans, African Americans, his own grandmother, in short everyone but himself showed a terrible lack of character.
    11) Senator Obama’s relationship with Father Pfliger and William Ayers and Bernadine Dorn, while not disqualifying, give me pause.
    Paul, I could go on and on. But the lateness of the hour and the length of my comment preclude that. I have made all of these points in my comments about the Senator. I understand that you and many others here disagree. But millions of Americans do agree. That’s what elections are for. But whatever your criticism of the substance of my comments, it is unfair to call them ad hominen.

    Reply

  43. question says:

    The “lucid and friendly way” is a deeply felt compliment, thanks!
    Hume’s Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding is a fun book! Perfect for the summer!

    Reply

  44. WigWag says:

    “Legislative records are no more guarantees than are statements.”
    Questions, you and I just disagree about that. While there are no guarantees in life, I think that actions documented by records are much more predictive than statements. And unlike you, I think experience matters alot.
    “The presidency is a unique office” I would think that would make a record of accomplishment even more important when scrutinizing a candidate not less important.
    But you have made some excellent points in your usual lucid and friendly way and I respect your opinion even if I disagree with it.
    And I appreciate your suggestion that I bone up on Hume. Sounds like a good idea to me and I will take you up on your suggestion.

    Reply

  45. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “I take Senator Bayh at his word that he may not recall this high profile committee….”
    Man, you’re mighty charitable. Lets see, what was I doing eight years ago? Gosh, hey, I remember EXACTLY what I was doing, what jobs I had going, what organizations I belonged to, what school my daughter was enrolled at, who my auto insurer was….need I go on?
    Bayh is a liar, Steve. A typical slimey piece of crap politician liar.
    Why is it so hard for you Washington movers and shakers to call a lie a lie? What exactly have these posturing frauds done to deserve the benefit of the doubt?

    Reply

  46. questions says:

    Data points aren’t necessarily that telling. And plenty of people have made lists of presidents with short legislative histories. Of all the arguments you can make against Obama, this one is likely the weakest. You can’t KNOW what HRC would do, even with an endless record. No one, as I noted above, could have predicted GWOT from Bush based on his Texas record. The presidency is a unique office, world events are not under the president’s control….
    You want Nobama? Attack his (Clintonite) advisors, go point by point through his policy papers, find mistakes…. But the lack of experience issue really is weak. Again, only incumbents have “experience” and that experience only goes so far when the world’s craziness takes over.
    And yes, there’s a huge difference between thinking Obama might be a good president and Bush’s asking his personal deity about stem cell research. One depends on the scientific method to the extent possible — using evidence and evaluating based on the information you have, and the other uses fantasy — if Bush talks to G-d and gets a reply, Bush is speaking both parts.
    It’s not “faith” in Obama that people have, it’s reasoned judgment. Read some Hume on the certainty issue — it’ll help you in your feeling more confidence in HRC than in Obama despite a range of stated similarities. All we EVER have is their statements. Legislative records are no no more guarantees than are statements.
    And remember, all you have is FAITH in HRC. You can’t know what she’d do either. You know what her husband did more than a decade ago in a different world when we were all younger. That’s not the same thing as knowing what HRC would do in 2009. And you know what she says she’d do.

    Reply

  47. Paul Norheim says:

    WigWag,
    you`ve never mentioned at TWN – as far as I can recall – any
    strong disagreements with Obama whatsoever regarding ISSUES
    per se – opinions, politics… but only in relation to his moral
    character.
    Recently, I think you even said that you basically agreed with
    him on issues. And that you disagreed with McCain on those
    same issues.
    At the core, your attack on Obama is an attack on Barack
    Hussein Obama as a person. As a character. And besides that:
    his “lack of political experience”.
    You may agree with most of his positions. And when he change
    positions, you may be happy with his original opinion, or the
    one he changed to. But none of this seems to be of any
    importance to you. The only thing that matters is: the character.
    The person. And the fact that he changes positions.
    You don`t even attack positions you may oppose. You only
    attack his character, or lack of character. You never see his
    positions as connected to the outer world; they are always
    explained by their evil or corrupt center: Barack, the individual.
    Some months ago, your anger was directed against his alleged
    “sexism”; i.e. the fact that he did not protest when some
    pundits in the media and some politicians made sexist
    comments about Hillary Clinton. Later there were other
    arguments. And recently, you have triumphantly pointed out
    how he has changed opinion again and again. Nothing about his
    former of current views, just concentrating on the fact that he
    has changed his opinion. And you almost never explain that
    with circumstances that also have forced other candidates to
    change opinion (media pressure, popular opinions, fights within
    his party, strategies, etc, etc); when you talk about Obama. it
    always boils down to his (lack of) character, his nothingness, his
    flip flop, besides his lack of “experience.”
    WigWag, this extremely individual and idiosyncratic way of
    interpreting Obama as a candidate in an American political
    context anno 2008, totally contradicts your general knowledge
    of how politics works, how America works, as well as your
    obvious intelligence, and points toward an obsession so strong
    that I am embarrassed to witness it.
    I can`t remember seeing such consistent attacks AD HOMINEM
    at TWN as those you have delivered against Barack Obama
    during several months. Character assassinations, nothing more,
    nothing less. This is beyond politics and rational (or even
    passionate) arguments about issues.
    As you know, I am from Norway, and have no influence on this
    election. I would guess that you`ve also read some of my recent
    critical remarks on Obama. I`m not defending Obama here. I`m
    questioning your motives. They seem to be highly idiosyncratic.
    Even TahoeEditor seems more rational than you: he spams
    against the democratic candidate because he obviously wants
    McCain to win.
    But you seem to hate someone you basically agree with (at least
    more than his opponent), and this hate sometimes becomes so
    intense that you even consider the supporters of Obama to be
    “fanatics”, as you said some days ago at TWN. Then we`re not
    talking politics anymore. And this is absurd, because your
    knowledge of politics, and your general knowledge of issues,
    foreign as well as domestic, is admirable.

    Reply

  48. WigWag says:

    “You ask for epistemic certainty.”
    No I didn’t, I just asked for some evidence of action to back up the words (which I respectfully note, you didn’t supply). Every other candidate of both parties had a record that their rhetoric could be measured against. For every other candidate, we could evaluate whether the policies they advocate were consistent with their campaign pledges. Every other candidate had a long enough history for us to get a sense of what they really stand for. The only exception was Barack Obama.
    Questions, you say, “You can’t KNOW any more than I can.” If your standard is epistemological certainty, you are obviously right. But I’ll settle for good deductive reasoning. I think it’s a reasonable exercise to look at what a candidate’s done to evaluate what they promise to do in the future. I also think their accomplishments in the political arena provide a reasonable basis for forming an opinion on whether they might do a good job.
    Of course, for Obama, we can’t do this. Because he has done so little (especially in government)all we have is words, and faith.
    Progressive people love to ridicule the Bush war on science and his peculiar habit of listening to voices from above to guide him on policy matters. But is faith in Obama really so different? The only data points that Obama supporters have are the Senator’s words. Supporters of all of the other Republican and Democratic candidates had real data points; those would be called deeds.
    You say “His instincts are close to mine.” Other than what Senator Obama has said in this campaign, do you have any real reason to believe this, other than your instinct?

    Reply

  49. questions says:

    How do I KNOW? Well, “know” is one of those words that’s given a whole field in philosophy, but I won’t go there, mercifully! In short, I cannot KNOW the future any more than anyone else can. I can read Obama’s written texts, talk to peole who know him, listen to speeches. I look for consistencies in the messages I hear and I render judgment. He has a background that sits comfortably with my experience of the world, he shows a kind of intelligence that I would rather have in the White House than what we have now or what McCain would bring. I find his non-polarizing rhetoric to be so much better than the crap we’ve been fed for so long.
    But again, I can’t KNOW that Obama will do what I think he will. I can hope, make rational determinations based on available evidence, I can read work from people whose work I generally trust who know him personally, I can talk to people who know him personally, I can watch how he runs his campaign, how he chooses to advertise himself, how he thinks out loud…. Beyond this, there’s no way to know. One doesn’t govern a state the way one governs the country, (what in Bush presaged the GWOT–his time as part owner of the Texas Rangers? His belief in his sec’y of education?); one’s Senate career doesn’t predict well either — the Senate is a deliberative and consensual body that requires infinite compromise and FORCES binary opposition (up or down votes) on complex issues; state houses deal with issues not at all international or even national for the most part, and state house traditions vary enough that you cannot generalize (see Obama’s “present” votes). So there’s really nothing any non-incumbent can do but say “This is what I believe and this is what I’ll do, to the best of my ability.”
    You ask for epistemic certainty. There is no such thing. But one can render educated judgments based on past experience (this is David Hume) and in my sense of the world, Obama shows good judgment about numerous issues, including (to quote a lousy song) “when to fold ’em”. He doesn’t push hard on polarizing issues during a campaign. He won’t be Nadered or Kuciniched. I think this is a virtue. On issues where it is safe to take a stand without being Swiftboated, his views are not far from mine. Pro-choice, mostly anti-death penalty, pro-progressive taxation, pro-information, pro-science, pro-diplomacy, pro-education. His instincts are close to mine — when in doubt, ask a wide range of people, study, learn, think, then judge. We all want a president who sees the world in our terms (or we wouldn’t bother with this whole process of representative government) and Obama is in the vicinity of my worldview, though we are not twins.
    Beyond this, WigWag, there is not a lot to say. Not even HRC could guarantee you economic prosperity again. You can’t KNOW any more than I can.

    Reply

  50. WigWag says:

    Questions, we could go back and forth on Bill Clinton forever. You remember school uniforms; I remember the family medical leave act. You remember the death penalty; I remember him increasing the size of the U.S. commitment to medical research by doubling the budget of the NIH. You remember without fondness 100 thousand new cops on the street; I remember with fondness crime plummeting in the city I lived in at the time. You remember the death penalty; I remember real wages of working people increasing for the first time in a generation (and they’ve been falling ever since Clinton left office). You remember him “cutting people off public aid;” I remember him vetoing the Gingrich welfare reform plan twice (despite it’s public popularity) and Clinton fighting relentlessly for the least objectionable plan he could get. You remember Sister Souljah; I remember Clinton fighting for and supporting affirmative action at a time that doing so was profoundly unpopular. You remember a president that you think was a sell-out; I remember a president with the guts to raise taxes on the rich. I also remember that his tax plan was profoundly unpopular and passed the Senate by exactly one vote.
    Mostly, questions, I remember being the most economically secure that I have ever been in my adult life.
    As for your comment at 7:17 pm that very eloquently articulates the things Senator Obama stands for; I have a simple question. How do you know?
    I know that may of the items that you alluded to are mentioned on Senator Obama’s website and that some of them are actually spelled out in the Democratic platform.
    But what accomplishments in Senator Obama’s professional life actually demonstrate to you that the Senator cares about these things. Do you have any evidence that the items you mentioned are anything more than words? Are there deeds you can enlighten me about that demonstrate that Senator Obama has done anything at all to pursue the worthy ideas that you have mentioned?
    You mentioned the Clinton failed health care reform effort. That failure was a failure of both Clintons. But at least they tried. Can you give me an example of something audacious or hard that Senator Obama has actually tried? Is there any example at all of his lofty words being put into practice? I have been asking in vain for any examples; maybe you can site some for me.
    We know that Senator Obama is good at self promotion and we know that he is a good politician. We also know he talks a good game. Is it unreasonable to ask what accomplishments he has that suggest he plans to pay real attention to the items that you mentioned and not just lip service?

    Reply

  51. JohnH says:

    Paul Craig Roberts sums it up: “Mr. Bush, why don’t you shut up?”
    http://www.counterpunch.org/roberts08132008.html
    And Mr. Bayh, why don’t shut up? Nobody believes your denials anymore…

    Reply

  52. questions says:

    WigWag,
    Welfare reform was triangulation par excellance. What did white southerners resent more than anything else? Note that when HRC did her working, hardworking, white Americans thing, she was playing right into this. There are hardworking white people, and you can finish the sentiment without my typing it. Bill Clinton played into this resentment and it worked. It’s a southern, race-based strategy. Anti-crime and intense pro-death penalty rhetoric (and action) are also race-based fear mongering campaign tactics. More cops on the streets, more hoodlums in more prisons, more dead bad guys, and less public aid. Oh, and school uniforms. That’s the ticket. And really, this is what Bill Clinton did. Really. He may have had some core beliefs that are truly liberal. He tried the gays in the military thing (what a marriage of right wing and left wing!), he tried health care. But he wasn’t shrewd enough to give the right some of what it wanted and he was comfortable selling out on welfare and the death penalty. He was an operator, just like anyone who wins has to be, he sold out some principles just like anyone who wins has to, but he also had some core failings I can’t quite ever stomach. There are places where triangulation works, and there are places one shouldn’t ever go. Sister Souljah/Rev Wright and fathers — okay. Executing someone who couldn’t understand what death is? Hmmm. Cutting people off of public aid? Hmmmm.
    But still, we’ll never convince each other!

    Reply

  53. questions says:

    WigWag,
    I don’t think it’s at all the case that Obama stands for nothing. In fact, I think he’s deeply committed to social good but well aware of the tensions in this society over what that phrase means and how it is put into action.
    A quick example, John Rawls’ book A Theory of Justice is the mildest text in political theory I have ever read. He’s basically a Kantian who thinks we have responsibility to others and to ourselves and we should be able to live as well as our resources allow. It’s really pretty much the USA with a gently sloped tax rate and mild redistibution. The Wall Street journal runs annual RANTS against the evil Rawls who would legitimate envy and tax all the good citizens to death…. So if you’re a thinking kind of person, how do you put Rawls’s utterly reasonable (think Kant here) writings to work in a society whose players love the WSJ ed and op ed pages? That’s Obama’s project. How does justice get done when there are profoundly differing notions of justice — MINE IS MINE — and SHARE AND SHARE ALIKE — even when sharing is as limited as it is in Rawls.
    Some of Obama’s solutions are market based — give people INFORMED choices and the means to choose, and choose well they will. Hence no mandates for insurance, but rather subsidies and affordability. Mandates are seen as unfree, subsidies are seen as encouraging rational decision-making. It becomes harder for the WSJ people to complain, and it becomes easier for people to make good decisions about their health.
    On Social Security — NO ONE is going to privatize it with the recent market slump. More likely, retirement age will go up, some means testing MIGHT pass (but I doubt it), and the income level for taxing will go up marginally.
    Obama is also concerned with the government/human interface (for lack of a better or more awkward phrase!) This is the information geek in him. Currently, the US manipulates government websites to keep info away from people, makes it hard to apply for benefits, to find out one’s status and so on. He would like to transform this interface so that we the people have ready access to accurate information. It doesn’t set your soul on fire until you have tried to sign your ill and aging mother up for the Medicare prescription progam and you have watched her lose her supplemental insurance and be forced to stop chemo until after the next open enrollment and pre-existing condition disallownance period have passed. It isn’t sexy until you need your visa or passport or immigration status dealt with quickly. It’s dumb until you can’t find out if you qualify for disability payments…..
    Information-provision is a crucial government service and one Obama sees as part of the whole framework of justice.
    And the list could go on. The point of all of this is that there are numerous ways to make people’s lives better without angering huge portions of the country. Imagine if abortion had been legalized in such a way that women could have abortions on demand and yet the whole new right had no condensaton nuclei and they therefore couldn’t coalesce and piss on the rest of us. Instead of a huge gesture, Roe v. Wade, perhaps smaller gestures would have worked. Imagine gun restictions without the NRA’s support of the GOP.
    Obama, when successful, is likely to encourage gently liberal domestic policies that take account of the opposing views. It’s not as crazy as it seems; in fact, it’s probably pretty rational (in Kant’s sense of the term).
    And internationally, I think he’s still pretty committed to diplomacy while realizing that the image of military might still gives a lot of people chills up and down their spines. Again, a lot of people want to hear that their fears are being listened to, and so he has to talk a good gun game. But who is more likely to manipulate that ridiculous color scheme Tom Ridge came up with, Obama or McCain? I don’t think Obama is in the game to terrify the nation. I do think that Republicans in general are. Repub success works through racial, military, economic, criminal, moral/religious FEARS. And so the contrast between Obama’s “hope” meme and the Repub SOP seems clear.
    And of course, WigWag, I could be typing to a brick wall!!!!! (But a really nice brick wall!)
    Oh, and if you read Alexander Cockburn on Gore (it’s worth the trip!) you’ll see a different guy! I’m never sure about anything after I read Cockburn. Read him on Clinton too! (And yes, even Obama gets only the most grudging of support– if it can be called that — and lots of criticism over nuclear energy, money people, esp. Pritzker.)

    Reply

  54. WigWag says:

    Questions, I have one more point to add to my response to you (5:40 pm). You said:
    “Before you go lionizing Clinton on Gore, let’s remember that Clinton’s basic strategy was to take up as many Republican and southern issues as possible such that he was more Republican than the Republicans.”
    Actually, the major issues in the 1992 campaign which featured Bush, Clinton and Perot were health care, the deficit, welfare reform and affirmative action. Clinton ran to the left of both Perot and Bush on all three of those major issues.
    Respectfully, Questions, Clinton’s strategy was not to take up as many Republican and southern issues as possible. That is unless you think that universal health care, fixing not eliminating affirmative action and advocating a welfare reform plan that was more progressive than Bush’s or Perot’s were southern, Republican issues.
    I think you may be confusing his 1992 campaign with the compromise positions he had no choice but to make afer the Democrats lost the House and Senate in 1994.

    Reply

  55. Greg P says:

    Probably true, Dan. Still, would be useful if anyone could find something in the public record inconsistent with Bayh not ever having heard of it.

    Reply

  56. Dan Kervick says:

    Greg P, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq never had any meetings. Like PNAC and other such groups, it existed mainly to feed stories and op-eds to the media, to distribute informational pieces to high-placed government officials and to write letters signed by impressive lists of members and con-chairs.
    It also served as a funnel for dissemination of material directly from hawks in the White House, through a private front group. George Schultz told the Financial Times on Nov. 21, 2002 that, “A committee like this gets a lot of impetus from the White House … It is an outside group which can be briefed and sound off”.
    CLI was created by the Bush White House, modeled on an earlier “committee” that had been used to lobby the public in favor of NATO expansion, an effort that has acquired renewed relevance during the Georgia crisis. It’s crazy to think that Evan Bayh, once of the sponsors of the Iraq War authorization and a ringleader of the go-to-war effort along with McCain and Lieberman, didn’t know precisely what this group was, what it did, and who was behind it – or that he didn’t know he was its co-chair, and why that would be important. He may be telling the strict truth when he says he doesn’t remember any “meetings or conversations”, but that’s hardly relevant.

    Reply

  57. Mary says:

    Hey Steve:
    No offense or anything but weren’t you a signer of PNAC? This is
    good work but are you sure you’re the one who should be doing it?
    I know you’re not running for anything but still …

    Reply

  58. WigWag says:

    “WigWag, this argument only works for those who have thought that Obama was either the second coming or a total leftist. He’s neither.”
    “So anyway, before we condemn Obama’s choice, let the choice have been made!”
    Actually questions, I agree with both of these points that you made.
    I don’t think Senator Obama is a “total leftist.” In fact, if he’s elected, my guess is that he will be the first president to succeed at partially privatizing social security. And I don’t think Obama is a centrist either, despite FISA, the second amendment case, off shore drilling and the like. Those were tactical moves made for reasons of electoral politics, not a reflection of the Senator’s underlying core values. And while I don’t think he’s a leftist or a centrist, I don’t see any evidence that he’s a right winger either.
    I think the evidence suggests that Obama believes in nothing. As often as I have asked Obama supporters to supply any actual evidence of deeds the Senator has done which demonstrate his political character, either no one is interested in giving it a try or no one has any evidence to present. The best that Obama supporters can do is refer to his speech against the Iraq War at a time when his views on the subject meant nothing and when he was running in one of the most liberal state senate districts in the country.
    The bottom line is that Obama is purely a media creation, which is why they love him so much.
    I also agree with you that it might not be Bayh. I still think that Obama will pick Clinton. As much as he hates her and her husband, she’s the one who will give him the best chance to win. And he does want to win, very badly (which is only to be expected). No one will feel worse than me if he does select Clinton, but I still worry that he will.
    As for Clinton and Gore, one thing is for sure. History has demonstrated that Clinton picked a great Vice President. Gore has gone on to do great things and but for Clinton’s choice, it is unlikely that Gore would ever have been in a position to accomplish what he has. Every time you applaud Gore’s position on global warming, you should be thanking Bill Clinton for making an unusual vice presidential choice. Gore has used his platform brilliantly since he left office, but it was Bill Clinton who first gave him that platform.
    You may not think Gore was a daring choice but at the time it was widely acclaimed as unconventional. Do your own research and you will see that at the time it was made, the selection of Gore was considered unprecedented, exciting and highly idiosyncratic.
    But that was the difference. Bill Clinton wanted to do what was right for America, Barack Obama wants to do what is right for Barack Obama.
    Even if you don’t buy that argument, do you really think that Clinton’s choice was anything less than splendid? Once you answer that question, ask yourself how confident you are that Senator Obama will make a wise choice.

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  59. la.politique says:

    OK. He does not remember his joining this NGO. Then the question is, what kind of staff he had or has hired that does not know what kind of people Perle, Kristol, Lieberman and Bernard Lewis are? One would think, his staff would know his positions on issues and who he should be linked up with!!

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  60. Kathleen says:

    questions…white yes, male no…it feels like one those things whose time has come, if you will.

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  61. Greg P says:

    Here’s a challenge for you all — put your Internet research skills to some good use and see if anyone can find written evidence, in publications or on the ‘net, that Bayh ever attended a meeting or event for the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq.
    After all, stimulating that sort of ‘distributed research’ is what’s the blogosphere’s good for…

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  62. questions says:

    WigWag, this argument only works for those who have thought that Obama was either the second coming or a total leftist. He’s neither. What he has to contend with is being a very non-traditional candidate (he’s not pure white–duh!) and that fact alone loses him a decent chunk of the electorate. He has to play percentages or he loses instantly.
    Before you go lionizing Clinton on Gore, let’s remember that Clinton’s basic strategy was to take up as many Republican and southern issues as possible such that he was more Republican than the Republicans. So Gore’s southernness probably was an issue. Clinton wasn’t an angel, he was as much an operator as anyone. You can’t win the presidency without this quality. (Read up on “spatial voting theory” and see were you’d locate yourself on the line in order to win. Note that Gingrich ignored the theory and his coalition collapsed.)
    Finally, let’s note that vp names float around, people glom onto them, help out the research, and then the names seem to disappear. Jindal’s name was around and then it turned out he had performed an exorcism. Gone. Sarah Palin misused executive power…. Maybe, just maybe, Bayh’s name is being floated in similar fashion to judge the reaction. It’s not been favorable, except from a few Hoosiers here and there. So they will have to decide if picking up a few Hoosiers here and there is worth the cost. Until someone is caught painting Bayh’s name on an airplane, we should reserve the negative judgments about Obama. (Not that you will ever take this advice, WigWag!!!)
    My guess, and I’m so frequently wrong that I hope this post disappears soon!, is that it won’t be a midwesterner, it will be a Dem, and HE will be white. Beyond that, I dunno. Not sure how the military stuff and the executive experience stuff will play out. Virginia might be a good source. I’m sure they are concerned about Senate seats, about having two senators and so not enough diversity on that issue, about military issues being covered at some level. Beyond this, it’s all speculation.
    So anyway, before we condemn Obama’s choice, let the choice have been made!

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  63. Dan Kervick says:

    I hope you’re right carsick. It does seem that awarding the dreaded speaking slot at the convention has become the preferred method for announcing someone is no longer under consideration.

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  64. carsick says:

    Time magazine seems to be taking Bayh off the list because he now has a speaking slot at the convention.

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  65. Kathleen says:

    Slightly OT but this just in from Obama/Clinton
    Statement from the Obama and Clinton Press Offices
    Since June, Senators Obama and Clinton have been working together to ensure a Democratic victory this November. They are both committed to winning back the White House and to to ensuring that the voices of all 35 million people who participated in this historic primary election are respected and heard in Denver. To honor and celebrate these voices and votes, both Senator Obama’s and Senator Clinton’s names will be placed in nomination.
    “I am convinced that honoring Senator Clinton’s historic campaign in this way will help us celebrate this defining moment in our history and bring the party together in a strong united fashion,” said Senator Barack Obama.
    Senator Obama’s campaign encouraged Senator Clinton’s name to be placed in nomination as a show of unity and in recognition of the historic race she ran and the fact that she was the first woman to compete in all of our nation’s primary contests.
    “With every voice heard and the Party strongly united, we will elect Senator Obama President of the United States and put our nation on the path to peace and prosperity once again,” said Senator Hillary Clinton.
    Senator Obama and Senator Clinton are looking forward to a convention unified behind Barack Obama as the Party’s nominee and to victory this fall for America.

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  66. Dan Kervick says:

    These denials are hardly credible. The date of the CLI press release welcoming Bayh, February 14, 2003, was a key date. It is the same day Hans Blix submitted his report to the UN, which criticized aspects of the Powell presentation and dampened Security Council support for the war. It was also one day before the massive global protests against the Iraq War.
    Two days earlier, on February 12th, 2003, likely in anticipation of the upcoming surge of antwar sentiment, Iraq hawks Bayh, John McCain, Lieberman and Lindsay Graham co-sponsored a “Sense of the Congress” resolution praising 18 European countries for expressing their support for the effort to disarm Iraq.
    It’s hard not to see in this evidence that Bayh was a very active and engaged participant in the pro-war propaganda effort taking place around those days, and that signing on to CLI was a clear part of that effort.
    Bayh was not just a fellow-traveler of the Iraq hawks, but a ringleader. He was one of four Democratic co-sponsors of the Iraq War authorization. The amended version of the resolution that was substituted for the version sent up by Bush was actually crafted by Bayh, Lieberman, McCain and John Warner.
    Bayh, Lieberman and McCain appear to have been best buddies during the Iraq War buildup, as comes through during their colloquy on the Iraq War authorization:
    http://authforce.liberatedtext.org/021008/cr08oc02-142_01.html#bayh08142
    This isn’t surprising. Bayh’s attitude in 2002 was expressed this way to a reporter:
    “The majority of the American people tend to trust the Republican Party more on issues involving national security…. We need to work to improve our image on that score by taking a more aggressive posture with regard to Iraq.”

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  67. WigWag says:

    How sad it is to see Senator Obama’s supporters in such a tizzy over the prospective selection of Bayh. After FISA and campaign expenditure reform and the debate promise and the second amendment case and the Faith Based Initiative and off shore oil drilling, finally their hero is about to deliver the coup de grace. Obama supporters may never be the same again.
    Senator Obama’s supporters were so convinced that it was Bill Clinton who lacked character while their candidate was the veritable pillar of virtue. But let’s compare the VP selection process of the prospective Democratic President with the last Democratic President.
    When Clinton had to pick a VP he selected the person he thought would be the best person for the job, not the most expedient.
    After all, Al Gore brought nothing to the table politically for Clinton. They were the same age, they both came out of the Democratic Leadership Council and they were both Southerners who spoke with heavy Southern accents. Clinton picked Gore because he thought Gore was qualified, shared his values and had long service to America.
    Contrast this with Obama (whose supporters insist is a man of much greater character than Clinton). Obama doesn’t care what Bayh stands for. All Obama cares about is the political diversity and the blandness that Bayh brings. Unlike Clinton, Obama is basing his decision on pure politics. Yep, that Obama, what a man of character!
    But Bayh is a smart political choice; especially for a candidate who has no core beliefs. Here’s what David Axlerod is counting on:
    1) Obama has the African American vote locked up. It’s the racial solidarity thing.
    2 )In the end the Clinton supporters (including the PUMAs) will hold their noses and vote for Obama because they can’t stand the prospect of 2-3 new Supreme Court judges appointed by McCain overturning Roe v Wade.
    4)With Bayh, Obama might win Indiana without Bayh he won’t. Indiana has 11 electoral votes.
    3) The college educated crowd and the creative class are so narcissistic that they will ignore everything Obama has said (e.g. FISA) and everything he has done (e.g. select Bayh) and vote for him anyway. They may be increasingly skeptical about Obama’s positions and in their heart of hearts they may know that Obama’s liberal internationalist foreign policy advisors are very similar to McCain’s neocons. But the Obama set is so profoundly bigoted against working class values and culture that they will ignore what they’ve seen from Obama and happily vote for a candidate whom they think is culturally like them.
    4) The key to winning is peeling off just enough working class whites in Ohio, Pennsylvania and maybe Virginia and Nevada; and just enough working class whites and Latinos in Florida, Colorado, New Mexico and maybe Nevada to win those states and thus the presidency.
    Clinton picked Gore because he knew Gore would be great. What’s happened since? Gore had an election stolen, he’s won a Nobel Prize (not to mention an Emmy and an Oscar) and he’s become the darling of the left. Gore and his supporters on the left owe it all to Clinton for making the right choice for VP, not the politically expedient choice.
    And from the great Barack, we’re about to get Evan Bayh. Why? Because he’s bland enough not to overshadow Obama and he’s conservative enough to help with the one demographic that Obama really needs to win.
    And you Washington Note supporters of Senator Obama shouldn’t worry that the Senator is losing any sleep about your angst over all of this. He wants to win very badly, and unlike you, he couldn’t care less about Bayh’s positions because unlike you, Senator Obama doesn’t believe in anything.
    All you Obama supporters, it’s time to fess-up. If you don’t believe me, it’s time to believe your own eyes.

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  68. Matt says:

    Man, if Obama actually chooses this clown I am really going to have reconsider whether I will be voting for him.

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  69. Carroll says:

    Politicans alway preface their lies with:
    “I have no memory…” and “The American people want…”

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  70. seth says:

    I know that “olive branch” to the clintons is often listed as one of the upsides to Bayh as VP. I’m afraid I don’t agree: if one is looking for ways to appease and heal the party, the VP slot is not somewhere that that can be effectively done, and not somewhere that the Obama people would look to do it in any case. VP is too important an executive role (these days) to give the Clintons an in to White House deliberations. There are far better ways to appease the Clintons and I’m not sure I’ve seen a substantive and convincing account of how Bayh’s selection in particular would somehow bring them on board more, much less their supporters. I doubt that Susie Tomkins Buell is going to feel suddenly pleased because Even Bayh is on the ticket.
    I agree that it’s a weak choice – I’d rather see Biden, if Obama truly feels a need to compromise on someone with known security creds.

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  71. JohnH says:

    If Bayh wanted to tell the truth and truly did not remember, it would have been easy enough for him to ask a staffer to check the records. Instead, he chose to give the typical response of neocons and criminals.
    Caveat emptor!

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  72. Linda says:

    If Bayh is the VP choice, then maybe more explanation would be necessary. Otherwise, it only matters if his constituents in Indiana care about it.
    I think the pressure and focus should be on McCain and Scheunemann who is not only a neocon but lobbyist for Georgia. See Robert Scheer for an interesting possibility.
    http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/20080812_georgia_war_a_neocon_election_ploy
    It makes more sense to me to see demands that McCain get rid of Scheunemann if he really is independent of the neocons as that is recent and not easy for anyone to forget or overlook

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  73. JohnH says:

    “I don’t remember this” is the typical reponse of neo-con men when they wish to disavow their neo-con jobs: George Tenet, Condi Rice, Scooter Libby…
    “I don’t remember this” is the typical response of those seeking to avoid answering a question under oath.
    “I don’t remember this” should put America on red alert. It can only get worse when Bayh is confronted with real skulduggery.

    Reply

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