Obama’s Big Tent: When is a Tent Just too Big?

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huge tent.jpg
When is a tent just too big?
Zbigniew Brzezinski and Anthony Lake both support Barack Obama. They come from different corners of a many-cornered foreign policy arena. George Soros supports Obama — and now a Soros-nemesis Martin Peretz has thrown his enthusism behind Obama.


In foreign policy, it’s useful and important to have a heterodox range of views and advisers surrounding a candidate. I have great respect for Anthony Lake, Bill Clinton’s former national security adviser, who along with Princeton’s Anne-Marie Slaughter and G. John Ikenberry has been encouraging the establishment of a “concert of democracies.”
I myself am not averse to coalitions of democracies to tackle some problems, but the reality as I see it is that our largest global and regional challenges can’t be tackled well enough without inclusion of many other types of governments — and self-anointed leagues of democratic states may find themselves on the side of platitudinous irrelevance. Nonetheless, Lake serves as an important punctuation point for the global justice community in Obama’s developing “court.”

Brzezinski
is, on the whole, an unsentimental realist — who synthesizes interest-driven policy formulations with a progressive, moral agenda for America. Count me among Brzezinski’s spear-carriers.
George Soros in my view is the world’s most successful transformational diplomat. He and his team understand more about helping to build, encourage, and ‘root’ the institutions of health civil society and democratic practice than any American government institution. It is a sign of the immaturity and thin skin of the Bush machine that it could not find a way to reach out to Soros to have those focused on the encouragement of open society abroad to learn from Soros’s practitioners.
And now in Obama’s tent is New Republic edtior Martin Peretz, somewhat of a nemesis to Soros. Peretz seems to ascribe to Obama many of his own views on Israel/Palestine in a Wall Street Journal oped today:

What about the conflict between Israel and Palestine? Many Americans in the policy and opinion elites blindly believe Israel is at fault. This does not appear to be Mr. Obama’s belief.
He has made clear again and again that it is not diplomatic ingenuity or American pressure on the Jewish state that is needed to temper the conflict and end it. It is, rather, a transformation in the tempestuous minds of the Palestinian polity, to accept finally the Jewish presence and sovereignty in the land. The Israeli body politic long ago acceded to the idea of a Palestinian state, as Mr. Obama points out again and again.
He has no panaceas for Israel and the Palestinians, which is right. He certainly believes in the peace process, and that American intercession can be helpful and violence-averting. This, too, is right. And like any believer in the peace process and the two-state solution, I imagine that he will insist also upon Israeli concessions, which anyway are inevitable.
There are people in his entourage whose feelings about these matters make me anxious — who devote most of their thinking about Israeli-Palestinian peace to the devising of axioms and formulas on how to bring the Israelis to heel. Such men and women appear in every campaign and in every administration. But it is the president who counts.
My own qualms about Mr. Obama reflect his enchantment with negotiation. So far he has not allowed that there are conflicts in which negotiation is ipso facto futile, and conflicts in which there may be strategic consequences from the cult of talk. Talking certainly didn’t work with Hitler and Stalin, although Western leaders actually negotiated with these tyrants face-to-face. Our partners in those evil days traduced every agreement they made. The same was true of diplomacy with Yasser Arafat.
Mr. Obama says he would be open to a session with Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. And Mr. Obama’s Karen Hughes, Samantha Power, says, “we need to get in a room with him — if only to convey grave displeasure about his tactics, regionally and internationally.”
Maybe. But the president of the United States has many ways to communicate his opinion of a foreign leader. And when Mr. Ahmadinejad begs to differ, or expresses to the American president his low view of him, or walks out of the room, what then? Not military action, certainly, but the diplomatic option will have been squandered.
I have no doubt that this idee fixe of the Democrats — their ardent faith in the salvific power of diplomacy — will be tried and found wanting. Still, we shouldn’t forget that many Republicans (Chuck Hagel and Richard Lugar, for instance) share the yen to chat. And didn’t James Baker talk endlessly with Saddam Hussein, to no point except the murder of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi Kurds and Shiites? A case can be made for sitting down with our enemies — as long as we understand that they are our enemies.
So Barack Obama’s belief in the power of speech worries me in the realm of foreign affairs. But otherwise he has won my confidence. Unlike the isolationists in the guise of idealists, or the cheerleaders for violence who pretend to be pacifists and populists, Mr. Obama is a patriot of the old cadence and the old convictions, and not easily pushed around. If he is elected president, he will disappoint many of his supporters, and surprise many of his detractors.

Recently, I was quoted in an article that focused on Al From’s view that Obama’s views converge with the policy positions of the Democratic Leadership Council. While I see a gap between Obama and DLC positions, I noted that many groups are going to lay claim to the eventual victor of the Democratic primary race and assert that the winner represents their parochial views. This will happen.
I don’t agree with much in Martin Peretz’s oped today — except the line:

If [Obama] is elected president, he will disappoint many of his supporters, and surprise many of his detractors.

Given the size of the Obama tent, that will be inevitable.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

36 comments on “Obama’s Big Tent: When is a Tent Just too Big?

  1. Eli says:

    Yes, but you know what they all have in common: commitment to Israel, against Iran.

    Reply

  2. Mr.Murder says:

    Brzezinski is one of the most formidable change agents in Western history.
    Soros is on the business side of the same ability to grasp strategic opportunity and emerge structures in the void of authority that transformative models offer.
    Those two together will privatize foreign policy and the resulting development of all infrastructure therein.
    Brzez from the security perspective and Soros from the aspect of finance, capital, and manufacture.
    Count me as a fan of both, though with Soros you’d be apt to stand wary of attempts to privatize our own interests, such as social security, health care and green energy.

    Reply

  3. WigWag says:

    After reading Ken’s post above, I was reminded about Brzezinski and how bad he was during the Carter administration. Whatever you think of Carter’s post presidential career, those of us old enough to remember it, can vouch for the fact that his foreign policy was a disaster. And Brzezinski was the key player in formulating that foreign policy.
    Didn’t Brzezinski advocate a pro-Shah policy during the early part of the Carter years? Didn’t he advocate letting the Shah (who was a mass murderer)reside in the United States for treatment of the cancer that he developed.
    Didn’t this result in terrible enmity between Iran and the United States that ultimately resulted in the hostage taking? Wasn’t Brzezinski in the administration during the humiliating military botching of the hostage rescue? Wouldn’t he have had to sign off on this ill fated mission?
    Didn’t all of this result 30 years later in the terrible foreign policy problems we now have with Iran?
    Steve, can you site even one thing that this guy did right when he was in government. Is this the best Senator Obama can do when looking for foreign policy gurus?

    Reply

  4. Ken says:

    So Steve, you’re a Brzezinski spear-carrier. Isn’t your hero one of the architects of the boycott of the Moscow Olympics during the Carter Administration? Do I remember correctly, wasn’t he one of the architects of the U.S. sponsorship of the Afghan resistance to the Russians? How did the approach advocated by the “unsentimental realist” work out on that one? Didn’t these resistance fighters go on to become the Taliban? Didn’t the Taliban go on to harbor Osama Bin Ladden?
    Wasn’t the support of the Aghan resistance the dumbest foreign policy move since Dean Rusk’s support of the Anti Castro Cubans?
    Do we really want to let this guy anywhere near Foggy Bottom?

    Reply

  5. Tahoe Editor says:

    Delusional Hope: The Obama Rapture
    by Joel S. Hirschhorn
    http://atlanticfreepress.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=3468&Itemid=81

    Reply

  6. Steve Clemons says:

    m.svoravsky — thanks for the nice note. i assure you that there are a lot of posts here that the HRC team did not like — particularly my noting that Patti Solis Doyle was “fired”. Anyway — I am what I am. The answer on McCain/Hagel depends entirely on whether John McCain changes course on his view that more wars would be inevitable — and if he promises not to make John Bolton Secretary of State. There is a lot in McCain’s profile I like — mostly his domestic positions. And you know how I like Hagel….and neither Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama accepted my challenge to become more like Hagel.
    Thanks for the nice note though. But just to be clear — Clinton likes my blog half the time, just like everyone else.
    — Steve Clemons

    Reply

  7. m.svoravsky says:

    “Steve, I have to admit that I have read your stuff for a very long time and it’s impressive that you aren’t really in any of these tents yet. But someone really should send your dogs some Ron Paul shirts too.”
    I am happy that the issue of bias has finally been raised. Intent or not, actual bias or not, but this blog has been reading like it was funded by “Hilary for President” for some time now.
    It is thus good to see you, Steve, (I am a avid reader) to have to get concrete about his positions.
    Could you see yourself supporting a McCain / Hagel ticket?

    Reply

  8. Steve Clemons says:

    huck — good note. I think that discussions of bias can be healthy too — but not over and over again and when uninformed by the content of a body of posts. what has happened among both Obama and Clinton supporters is that they engage in knee-jerk reactions to specific posts.
    I intend to highlight some gaps in the foreign policy positions of Obama on Cuba and Kenya in coming days — and I no doubt will face the same charges of bias again….even though i ask them why a biased blogger would have written that I basically saw Hillary Clinton out of the race out of Wisconsin, or any number of other posts that would not have been preferred or appreciated by her team.
    So, yes, you are right — debate about bias can be healthy — but those who engage in that discussion only when their candidate is my target in a post is where the bias lies — and it’s really irritating on this end. I’m the one doing the writing everyday — putting my own thinking and views out into the public. A commenter can wander in with little investment of time or seriousness and offer an offhand, knee jerk comment that doesn’t take into account the fact that I have applauded and blasted both.
    On the mystique/gut campaign, I was one of the first to note that Obama’s top surrogates seemed to be singing from the same tune about Obama’s identity being one of his major selling points (which is true) — but the consistency of the message followed a Boston Globe endorsement that many including Gary Hart, John Kerry, Fareed Zakaria and others began trumpeting. They said that his very identity, his “gut”, would lead him to make better decisions in office.
    When I wrote my comments way back when — I was blasted again for bias against Obama and told that I was imagining this consistency in the message of is supporters.
    Later, I was informed by top Obama campaign staff that I was correct — that this was a concerted effort and an orchestrated message.
    I’m a wonk and appreciate serious policy work — which is what I thought Obama was engaed in before that Boston Globe editorial. I applauded strongly his approach to Cuba and his “engagement” tone. (Would a Clinton supporter applaud Obama so strongly on those fronts? I dont think so — but I did).
    But I have been transparent that I didn’t like this gut/mystique campaign at all. It was veneer — and the language of it was similar in some sense to the “gut” decision making framing that many used with GW Bush.
    So, I applaud Obama when I can — but I charge back when I don’t like something — which was the selling of veneer and the “look” of Obama rather than the substance of how he’d make decisions and requisition the needed experience in dealing with the complex challenges ahead. In foreign policy, I tend to veer away from platitude-driven thinking. In politics, I pretty much do the same.
    That doesn’t make me more comfortable with Hillary Clinton’s decision making — but Obama definitely hurt my appreciation for him as a candidate when he pushed his supporters to take this “identity” course. I still appreciate him on a variety of fronts — and I recognize that he may have attracted a lot of supporters with this campaign (which many told me I was imagining when I first wrote about it)….but there are different sides to these issues, and his actions put more distance between myself and him — and made me realize that my job is to poke holes in the positions of both (as I recently did with Clinton on Israel/Palestine).
    I very much liked the course Obama was on before the Boston Globe editorial. After then, it’s been hit and miss in my appreciation for his views. With Clinton, it’s been hit and miss since the beginning.
    So all of you who read this should expect more of the same from me. I won’t fall behind any candidate quickly and will continue to challenge both on the quality of their policy positions and approach to problems.
    All the best,
    Steve Clemons

    Reply

  9. Tahoe Editor says:

    The Delusional Style in American Punditry
    by Sean Wilentz
    http://www.tnr.com/politics/story.html?id=1f22d28c-ced2-4761-b350-77f3513928ac

    Reply

  10. huck says:

    “On OBAMA, I find myself irritated with the “gut/mystique” campaign that his team adopted — which did draw voters, but for which he is paying a price in some quarters now.”
    I think this is probably why you’ve gained a bit of a rep for having a pro-Hillary bias. It’s not really clear where your “irritation” comes from in this statement here. Are you irritated because of the campaign message itself? Or because it’s costing him voters?
    No doubt, he’s offered up an overall theme of hope, idealism and civility in politics. I don’t think there’s any “mystique” about it. Obama’s campaign has very clearly showcased these things.
    Of course such a message is going to lose votes in some areas. *Any* message is going to lose votes in some areas. But what political message doesn’t have a downside? What political/campaign philosophy isn’t going to turn off some voters? So that there is a downside can’t really be the source of irriation.
    So it must be the message itself?
    p.s. I don’t think it’s absurd to debate a blogger’s preferences/biases. It’s part-and-parcel of blogging, the commenters not only commenting upon what the blogger says, but upon where the blogger is coming from. In fact, such a thing is *essential* to the root nature of blogging. Blogging is more self-correcting in this sense, where particular biases can be immediately pointed out, so readers have a fuller understanding of what it is they’re reading. As opposed to the traditional MSM sources which puts readers into a much more passive, limited-perspective role.
    Of course, sometimes accusations of bias are exxagerated, false or unjustified. But again, that’s where the power of the commenters come into play and they can correct the correctors.
    Anyway, I don’t think it’s absurd at all. It’s healthy.

    Reply

  11. JohnH says:

    Carsick: a clown is anyone who votes for a candidate who cannot be bothered with addressing with candor the most critical issues of our times…
    Problem is, politicians generally consider voters to be clowns, idiots to be manipulated. Voting for those who despise us only rewards bad behavior.
    Steve, some of these Captchas are almost impossible to read.

    Reply

  12. Tahoe Editor says:

    JohnH makes a great & obvious point. When Barack Obama says, “I’ve got news for YOU, John McCain” and then starts going on and on about 2002 again, he looks like a dolt. 2002 is not news. I thought his campaign was supposed to be about the future and what we’re going to do now.

    Reply

  13. carsick says:

    JohnH
    Yes, let’s be blunt and brutal, if you vote for Nader or McKinney then you are a clown who thinks his vote is a joke.
    Campaigning and governing are two different processes. Always have been.

    Reply

  14. JohnH says:

    Tom Hayden nails the core issue: what will you do about Iraq GOIMG FORWARD?
    Hayden advocates Democrats should say to both Obama and Hillary, “We oppose Sen. McCain because he wants to continue President Bush’s war in Iraq for years ahead at a cost of X lives and X dollars to the people of Pennsylvania and this country. But we have an urgent question for the Democratic candidates: which of you really will end the Iraq war, on what deadline, and not leave behind tens of thousands of US counter-terrorism units and advisers in a bloody counterinsurgency quagmire like Afghanistan today or Central America in the 1970s?
    Assuming Obama says nothing new, which is likely at this point, the way is open for Clinton, believe it or not, to become the preferred anti-war candidate.”
    http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2008/03/07/7539/
    It’s time for both of them to put up or shut up, or else I may well vote for Nader or McKinney. Alternatively, they can come clean about the real stakes in Iraq in a way that fosters public discourse not obfuscation. What is the exit strategy? What do they intend Iraq to look like in 18 months? And what are their intentions regarding those mysterious “vital strategic interests” that they dare not name?
    Let’s be blunt and brutal. What will the world look like without more Iraqi oil production? If Iraqis control their own oil? And how do they plan to deal with those eventualities?

    Reply

  15. Tahoe Editor says:

    DAVID BROOKS:
    “These attacks are supposed to show that Obama can’t be pushed around. But, of course, what it really suggests is that Obama’s big theory is bankrupt. You can’t really win with the new style of politics. Sooner or later, you have to play by the conventional rules.
    “In short, a candidate should never betray the core theory of his campaign, or head down a road that leads to that betrayal. Barack Obama doesn’t have an impressive record of experience or a unique policy profile. New politics is all he’s got. He loses that, and he loses everything. Every day that he looks conventional is a bad day for him.”
    David Brooks: Clinton Rules
    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/07/opinion/07brooks.html?hp

    Reply

  16. Ajaz says:

    Link, Hagel would make an excellent Secretary of State, but my suspicion is that if Obama wins and Joe Biden is not already nominated as Veep, he will be Secretary of State.

    Reply

  17. Carroll says:

    Posted by Steve Clemons Mar 07, 1:24PM
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Agree with 90% of that,including Hagel, as always.
    And cynic that I am, I am not into the Obama “mystique”” either. Although I think it is more his message that attracts than himself for most of his supporters. I think if people heard Hagel’s statement…”I am an American Senator, not an Israeli senator,and I take oath to the US and the constitution, not to a party or president.”…he would attract what would be called a cult following himself.
    However if the “mystique” can sway even 20% of the voters I say use it to the hilt.
    It’s going to take a cult to beat the other cults.
    When Americans get as “fanatical” over a better American agenda as the zionistas, the neo war hawks, the evangelicas, etc. are about their agendas, then America will win.
    Glenn Greenwald points out the Bush cult. And could point out the Regean cult and a host of other cults.
    “Conservatives love to claim that Obama supporters have excess reverence for their candidate and see him as some sort of transcendent messiah figure. There is a small minority of Obama supporters — as is true for most candidates and political movements — who probably expect more from Obama than it is healthy to expect from political leaders generally.
    But listening to this objection from the right-wing movement is the ultimate irony. There has not been a political figure in a long, long time who was revered, worshiped and transformed into a grotesque Icon of Transcendent Greatness the way the Commander-in-Chief, George W. Bush, has been. For years and years, the Right sustained itself as little more than a glorified Cult of Personality around the Great, Conquering War Hero.
    When introducing the Commander-in-Chief at the 2004 GOP Convention — that Orwellian orgy of unprecedentedly creepy, relentless hero worship — Gov. George Pataki said: “He is one of those men God and fate somehow led to the fore in times of challenge.” The righteous Gen. Boykin said: “The majority of Americans did not vote for him. He’s in the White House because God put him there for a time such as this.” Rudy Giuliani added: “I say it — I say it again tonight — I say it again tonight: Thank God that George Bush is our President.”
    As several people noted in comments — accurately, I think — one of the principal aspects of the Obama campaign that scares the establishment, is the prospect that a cross-section of American citizens will actually start to become politically engaged again, angry about what has happened over the last eight years, and determined to seize the power to do something about it. On that level, the fear they have is probably understandable, maybe even rational.”

    Reply

  18. carsick says:

    Steve
    I think you’ve been very clear and open about your indecision and it’s a pleasure to read how you are working through the various and complex issues.
    Besides, everyone knows you were hoping to be in the Hagel camp. Give the guy a break folks, heartbreak takes a little time to get over.
    Maybe Obama will make Hagel Sec. of State.

    Reply

  19. Steve Clemons says:

    TahoeEditor — you are correct that I was completely taken in and impressed by Howard Dean. I thought as the campaign went on, he pulled his punches — and I saw him as more libertarian than classic liberal. But my views yet again were at odds with the general public. But Dean would have been an interesting and powerful force if he’d been given the chance to challenge Bush.
    steve clemons

    Reply

  20. Tahoe Editor says:

    Hear, hear. Though, Steve, I think you give these accusations too much oxygen.
    “Gut/mystique” check:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WRl09_wN97o

    Reply

  21. Steve Clemons says:

    I find this discussion of my bias absurd. If I changed my view on them every day, that would be my absolute right. If I chose to “hide” my bias, I find it odd that some of you reading MY WRITING every day wouldn’t walk away with an impression one way or another. I can’t change your views of my views…but I will argue and applaud and critique as I see fit. It’s my blog.
    And when I say that Hagel’s foreign policy was the most appealing to me — it is my truth expressed in my way to my readers. How dare anyone tell me what my views are or should be.
    For the record — I COMPLETELY tilt towards Hillary Clinton on health care. I COMPLETELY tilt away from Obama on health care.
    I COMPLETELY tilt towards Obama on Cuba — but I find him lacking in some aspects of his Cuba proposal, missing in action on Israel/Palestine, and not as constructive as I’d like on broader Middle East issues — BUT I COMPLETELY tilt towards him on “tone” — and I believe in his “engagement” message.
    I COMPLETELY tilt against Hillary Clinton on her IRGC vote and her views on “coercive diplomacy” as well as her Bush-hugging position on Cuba. I find her failure to mention Israel/Palestine in her latest major foreign policy speech a huge blind spot and mistake. I accept that she is more experienced in many ways and respect her in many ways — but I worry about what she will decide to do with that experience.
    On OBAMA, I find myself irritated with the “gut/mystique” campaign that his team adopted — which did draw voters, but for which he is paying a price in some quarters now. I was just one of the early critics after applauding him profusely for his early August position on Cuba.
    I have written that my reading of the polls shows that the Dem Party wants a hybrid of these two — and as that probably won’t be the case, but should, others can consider other alternatives.
    But I won’t be nudged over by Obama only fascism or Clinton only fascism — so please, if you want to find bias and add to the hits on the blog by writing about it, feel free — but when one says that I am as yet uncommitted, I am telling you what I feel.
    But you can be darn sure that I have more criticism in store for Hillary Clinton and more criticism in store for Barack Obama.
    Deal with it — and if you can’t, please find views that validate your own elsewhere.
    best regards,
    Steve Clemons

    Reply

  22. Tahoe Editor says:

    Ajaz:
    Howard Dean’s role is to sit on the fence.
    Steve’s role is to talk about as many pluses & minuses for each candidate as he can.

    Reply

  23. Ajaz says:

    Tahoe
    To remain objective one must not appear to be leaning towards one candidate or other.

    Reply

  24. BillB says:

    Mr. Clemons, I owe you an apology. Some time ago I wrote a post similar to LBH’s, and you’ve clearly shown that I was mistaken.
    I should add that I’m a long time reader, an academic, and an Obama supporter.
    This morning I am burned up over the Power affair. It’s hard to watch someone as impressive as her forced to resign under pressure from someone of the caliber of Howard Wolfson.
    Hopefully Obama can bring her back on board after he wins the nomination.

    Reply

  25. Tahoe Editor says:

    Maybe there’s just more to talk about with the Clinton message and the Clinton record. How many words can you devote to Hope® & Change®?
    Barack, get thee to No. 1 Observatory Circle!

    Reply

  26. Sentient Being says:

    Any imbecile who wanted to bother to go through the archives of TWN with not even a fine tooth comb could assemble overwhelming evidence of bias in favor of Clinton, her “spear carriers” and the Clinton message. The Ben Smiths, the Marc Ambinders of the world seem to think they’re dealing with illiterates. When you’re not sitting on the fence, it’s helpful to candid debate not to hide it.

    Reply

  27. Tahoe Editor says:

    Ajaz, what’s your standard? To be balanced, one must never exhibit any sympathy toward Hillary whatsoever?
    “Sympathy” is shown across the aisle on a daily basis. Does this mean Dems are backing GOPers and vice versa?
    Let’s live in the real world.

    Reply

  28. Tahoe Editor says:

    Steve is about as uncommitted to either Dem right now as he was committed to Howard Dean in 2004.
    But Pennsyltucky will change all that.

    Reply

  29. Ajaz says:

    Steve
    I agree, you are generally balanced but at times it seems that you are sympathetic to Hillary. I guess objectivity is sometime hard to maintain in times of excitement. This election, especially the Democratic primaries have been something very different from the past.
    PS: nice new picture

    Reply

  30. Tahoe Editor says:

    To lighten things up a little …
    I just discovered SWIFTKIDS FOR TRUTH.
    My favorite line so far: “Did you get your pantsuit at Wal-Mart?”
    SwiftKids: Hillary’s Cookies
    http://www.236.com/video/2008/swiftkids_hillarys_cookies_4597.php
    SwiftKids: The Pants Suit
    http://www.236.com/video/2008/swiftkids_the_pants_suit_4908.php
    SwiftKids: Barack Obama
    http://www.236.com/video/2008/swiftkids_barack_oabama_4598.php
    SwiftKids: Hillary’s Lies
    http://www.236.com/video/2008/swiftkids_hillarys_lies_4596.php
    SwiftKids: Snow Job
    http://www.236.com/video/2008/swiftkids_swiftboating_4914.php
    SwiftKids: Hillary Clinton
    http://www.236.com/video/2008/swiftkids_hillary_clinton_4594.php

    Reply

  31. Steve Clemons says:

    LBH:
    here is a dose of “pure pro-Hillary” propaganda:
    http://www.thewashingtonnote.com.php5-6.websitetestlink.com/archives/2008/02/hillarys_foreig/
    you are wrong. when I decide to support either, you will be the first to know. But don’t even begin to presume my political sympathies. The content of my collective posts is fair and balanced. . .”not lame.”
    Steve Clemons

    Reply

  32. LBH says:

    Steve, I think that you should stop pretending to be “uncommitted” . You are clearly a Hillary supporter, as almost all of your posts have suggested. I don’t think there is anything wrong with you being a Hillary supporter. But disguising a pure pro-Hillary propaganda as unbiased journalistic analysis is lame.

    Reply

  33. Carroll says:

    And Ann Coulter says she will vote for Hillary over McCain.
    Do we see a new tactic here?
    Associate your neo name with the candidate you fear most?

    Reply

  34. Tahoe Editor says:

    Barack’s Iraq position IS pure politics:
    “I was right in 2002 when I didn’t VOTE against war authorization but gave a quasi-anti-war SPEECH to my anti-war constituency.”
    “But then when I got to the Senate I gave George Bush props for his Iraqi crusade and all the money he asked for without preconditions.”
    The “support vs. punish the troops” answer is Susan Rice’s B.S. kowtowing line, and it holds no water. If Barack’s backbone hadn’t completely disintegrated upon reaching higher office, he might have taken a principled stand with Dennis Kucinich rather than doing whatever he had to do to play the middle.
    Barack came to Reno, the most conservative part of Nevada, and told the city’s conservative newspaper that the GOP was “the party of ideas” for the past 10-15 years. That’s clearly an attempt to round everyone up — but the problem is, even if he manages to herd a big chunk of the population around him, they’ll all be exposed to the elements, as he has no tent to cover them. The wind, rain and sun will wreak havoc in no time.

    Reply

  35. JohnH says:

    Interesting that Peretz found Obama’s Woodrow Wilson speech to be “a densely detailed address.” Yet opponents keep carping about Obama’s hollow rhetoric and lack of substance. Well, which is it?
    Sounds to me like Obama’s opponents only want him to “become more detailed” in order to increase the odds he’ll say something they can seize as proof of naivete. It’s just more of the same gotcha politics that many of us detest. It makes great tabloid television but does little to promote public discourse.
    It’s Hillary who needs to start providing details about her intentions surrounding the most critical foreign policy issue of the day: Iraq. And she needs to be detailed enough to convince people that her position is not just politics.

    Reply

  36. BlogWatcher says:

    Steve, I have to admit that I have read your stuff for a very long time and it’s impressive that you aren’t really in any of these tents yet. But someone really should send your dogs some Ron Paul shirts too.

    Reply

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