The Fear Button

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familysecuritymatters.jpg
Scott Paul took on the Clinton campaign for pushing the high-fear button in a television ad. Now the Obama campaign has fired back with its own 3 am ad. They are both depressing.
Jonathan Chait humorously skewers the Clinton staging here — but as far as Obama’s comments are concerned, I’m glad he had the right judgment on Iraq and cites that Afghanistan and al Qaeda were the challenge at hand — but there must have been more criteria for him deciding against the war and I don’t hear much about those.
I guess I don’t like the 3 am premise at all — in either ad. Obama’s issues about the Iraq War and trying to prevent loose nukes don’t sound relevant to the sort of 3 am crisis calls being suggested — but then again, I’m groggy.
It happens to be 3:00 am now in Israel — and I’m about to leave for the airport to catch a plane back to the U.S.
I have to admit when I saw the ads — and the mention of kids — I was reminded of this neocon front organization I wrote about some time ago called Family Security Matters. It’s webpage doesn’t seem to be loading — but I don’t think the group is out of business.
More soon.

— Steve Clemons

Comments

48 comments on “The Fear Button

  1. Ultimate surrender says:

    I just saw the video and I couldn’t believe it

    Reply

  2. carsick says:

    I wore an “Attack Iraq -NO!” button before the invasion to much derision here in Southwest Ohio. My reasoning? Afghanistan still was not moving in the right direction and Osama and his cohorts were still free; there was obviously more reason to look at citizens of our friend Saudi Arabia as helpmates in the attacks. And, as I argued to the near end of my friendship with my brother, Iraq was a wasps nest of competing forces held together by Saddam, and his war stance against Iran. And, maybe most importantly, Iraq was contained with our air power.
    It seemed like an ill advised rush to judgment and one that took advantage of the largely uninformed and scared populace.
    But I’m just a guy in Ohio who works with architects and engineers and has no inside information or Think Tanks helping me make decisions.
    I became a Democrat soon after.

    Reply

  3. Oscar says:

    I don’t know about this, but all I know is that maybe everyone running should watch this video I found on YouTube. This deals with a huge issue that is going on today, and that our new president will need to be prepared for.
    I love this video because this artist is definitely not a fan of the war and watching the video just opens your eyes! I’m sure Bush, or those who support the war, would not be a fan! If you go to YouTube, type in ‘Letters Home from the Garden of Stone’, or here is the link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=10ej46Mhshg

    Reply

  4. Robert Morrow says:

    Let me tell you something, folks, when you wake up at 3AM in the morning you DO NOT want to see Hillary!

    Reply

  5. thomas hussein jefferson says:

    p.lukasiak,
    all of the above were crisis(some self induced)—you state we need experience….according to that logic w or barbara bush should be the next president…
    clinton experience= SHE DID NOT READ THE NIE.
    =her words” yes I wish I had the vote over, I have said it many times” millions of DEAD humans agree with that statement.
    This is not the experience we need on day one or in the face of any threat…there is nothing shallow about it…simply the undisputable facts.Clinton talks like bush…votes like bush…campaigns like bush…clinton is bush….

    Reply

  6. downtown says:

    Did anyone else on this site find the Obama/Jackson/Sharpton cartoon on last night’s SNL terribly offensive and racist. So black guys don’t know how to read a map and when they ‘hang’ it’s in a broom closet – after all, isn’t that where most of them hang their coats before assuming their janitorial duties. What if they had depicted a group of hook-nosed bankers dangling money bags in front of HRC?? Just trying to check my own sensibilities here.

    Reply

  7. calling all toasters says:

    I think Obama’s point is that if you have sane policies you don’t get so many middle of the night crises. Sorry if that went over the head of the Hillary droids.

    Reply

  8. p.lukasiak says:

    “there are red phone moments—hillary consistently gets them wrong.
    a. iraq vote
    b. encouraging bill to lie which provided the impeachment groundwork
    c. attacking the victim in the whitehouse sexual harrassment episodes under the clintons.”
    sorry, but a red phone moment is about decision-making in the midst of an immediate crisis — its about knowing enough before the crisis occurs so that you don’t have to play catch-up before making a decision, and its experience in crisis, high stakes, high-pressure situations.
    The very idea that the Iraq vote was a red phone moment is absurd — Clinton did not have the deciding vote, and as a Senator with less than two years under her belt, her vote wasn’t going to sway the votes of others. Almost everyone in Congress supported some kind of AUMF, the only debate was over the wording, and when the Democratic leadership agreed on wording that was ‘bad’ the decision was made. People in Congress had two choices — object to the AUMF on principle because of its wording, knowing that a ‘no’ vote would have no consequence, or vote for the AUMF because it was necessary (as Blix was saying) to ensure that Iraq was disarmed, despite the fact that it gave Bush too much leeway.
    It seriously bothers me when Obamabots rail about the Clinton vote on the AUMF, because it demonstrates how shallow their thinking is — I mean, I understand why Obama would suddenly start sounding just like John Kerry in 2004, and vote exactly like Hillary once he got to the Senate.
    But the Obots need to believe that Obama isn’t the typical politician that his record shows he is, and in order to maintain that illusion create sharp contrasts where none exist.

    Reply

  9. ronald hussein reagan says:

    ” obama or hillary would be welcome relief to tyranny”—get serious…she is no different than mccain/bush/cheney—they all drink the same poweraid…name a canidate for the nomination that loses 11 STRAIGHT ELECTIONS AND THE MSM considers a viable canidate…Huck hasnt lost 11 straight—where is his press corps? she is more of the same…votes like a bush…talks like a bush…campaigns like a bush…leads like a bush…no difference.

    Reply

  10. TonyForesta says:

    Obama must become an ultimate fighter, and learn and execute the mixed fighting styles, particularly groundfighting techniques that are necessary to prevail in the octagon.
    The next president will inherit an America and a world facing several epic crisis. WMD proliferation, economic catastophe’s of biblical proportions, entrenched policies perpetuating neverendingwar, credibility gaps with the energy and density of black holes, accelerating divides between thehaves, and the havenots, and a radical concentration of wealth and power into a select few cabals, klans, cotories, cronies, and oligarchs beholden to the fascists in the Bush government.
    We are left with the choice of the “lesser of two evils”. None of the people’s candidate actually advance, defend, or protect the best interests of the American people. They all brute this or that parable, fiction, or phantasmagoria pretending to care about Americans, – but the sad and tragic reality is – NONE OF THEM truly advance, defend, or protect the American people.
    If they did, BushCheney and all the fascists hobgoblins would be invesitigated, impeached, sent to jail, and damned forever from the lexicon of American politics.
    Obama or Hillary would be welcome relief to the tyranny and fascist policies of the fiends in the Bush government which McCain would only perpetuate.
    Quit fighting ourselves, and focus on the defanging and dethroning the fascists.
    “Deliver us from evil!”

    Reply

  11. Ajaz says:

    Obama is on the ball. His quick responses to McCain, Bush & Hillary hit the spot for many voters.

    Reply

  12. jim milleromes.net says:

    Poa,
    just read your “his real backers are hiding in the wings”m comment…if you believe that bush committed war crimes than you are better than this silliness…come on….i hope your kidding….
    P.s. In case your not than obama should be your guy b/c if you believe that then pasqual’s promise says you are an obama man b/c farrakhan would definitely convict bush of his crimes…probably be eager to deliver the hand of justice either way you get your hanging….

    Reply

  13. jim miller says:

    POA,
    Let me restate…no canidate would be viable with such a charge…a poison pill. I agree with your outrage, but believe in viable change….war crime trials, while appropriate are nto viable at the present juncture….
    I believe his wise judgement regarding iraq, his personal experience, professional training and his mastery campaign are strong signs of a smart courageous leader.

    Reply

  14. Tahoe Editor says:

    from susan: “Forget the fact that if she doesn’t win 65% of the delegates in both Ohio and Texas, it’s actually over for her -”
    Sorry, susan, but even though the press shows you this side of the coin and this side only, the fact is that OBAMA also has to start winning HUGE to get to 2025.
    A popular win in both big states of Ohio and Texas would be a huge momentum shift for the race.
    A popular loss in both would be reason to “suspend,” as they all like to call it.

    Reply

  15. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Linda…….
    Well, if long held and uncompromising political standpoints are any indication, than yes, I do believe Paul and Kucinich to be “the most honest”. As far as being “the best”, I haven’t a clue. Paul has many opinions and ideas I disagree with, and one night I watched Kucinich make a total ass of himself on CNN, prancing and gyrating as if someone had driven a Volkswagon into his nether highways. It totally turned me away from the guy. But, irregardless, I heartily disagree with the way they were stiffed as far as media exposure goes, and think it is unwise to dismiss the implications of Obama’s apparent celebrity status with the same media that sold us the Iraq war, the Patriot Act, and the “official fantasy” about 9/11.
    Gut feelings are unpopular here, particularly with Steve. And I too, like Steve, distrust the ethereal and touchy feely timber of Obama’s musings, so injecting my own unsubstantiated and distrustful “feelings” about Obama is quite admittedly hypocritical. But quite frankly, Obama scares the shit out of me. I don’t believe he is what he purports himself to be, and I fear his backers are hiding in the wings for a reason. And his rocket fast rise to infamy is highly suspicious. I think this guy is a trojan horse, and I truly fear what will emerge when its hatches open.

    Reply

  16. Linda says:

    POA,
    I don’t think that qualifies McCain at all. His record at the Naval Academy was mediocre. My point was that there’s not sure way to know what we ever get as President until the person is in office.
    You seem to think Ron Paul and Kuchinich are the most honest or best and to have some kind of loyalty oath thing where candidates have to admit to or say the words you want to hear, i.e.,
    “If Obama refuses to admit that Bush has conducted himself above the law, then what standard of governance can we expect from Obama?”
    So we line up all the candidates and the one who attests to that is the yuor candidate?
    I may choose to believe Obama or anyone enough to vote for him, but when the candidate I voted for becomes President, I usually don’t like a lot that they’ve done or not done within two years.

    Reply

  17. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Of course, he bravely flew missions in Vietnam and was shot down and a POW”
    Yeah, well, thousands of aviators flew in Nam, and the majority of them were able to successfully avoid the SAMs, and outfly the Migs.
    Maybe, if we are going to consider one’s Nam aviator experience as a recomendation for the Presidency, we should pick a guy that didn’t manage to get himself shot down.

    Reply

  18. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Miller….
    How you can equate Obama’s comments about executive abuse as a harbinger of future “good judgement” is beyond me.
    If Obama refuses to admit that Bush has conducted himself above the law, then what standard of governance can we expect from Obama?

    Reply

  19. jim miller says:

    Poa,
    -He has not done anytrhing to address w be prosecuted for war crimes.
    _unless you live in a bubble than you must realize that this type of action/request would be a poison pill and doom his canidacy from day one?
    – i confidently believe that out of the remaining 3 he has far superior judgement, is less “bought” and will do far more to restore a legal respect to the executive branch….
    I agree that W has committed war crimes and probably a legal argument for treason for w and his merry mates yet this is less important to me than electing a leader who will restore good judgement at 1600 on day one….

    Reply

  20. LInda says:

    There are almost no real red phone moments as in the ads. No President acts immediately but calls together top advisors. If our military is surprise attacked, like Pearl Harbor, the commanders there have authority to defend themselves—and there even is time to call Congress in session and declare war.
    Judgments and who the advisors are matter more, and very militarily experienced Presidents have made mistakes or had missions go badly, i.e., Jimmmy Carter trying to rescue Iran hostages. JFK was a war hero and had the Bay of Pigs disaster. Not only Clinton on Somalia but also Rwanda. McCain comes from a family with a long tradition of going to the U.S. Naval Academy, and had a OK naval aviation career with some real problems early on and really didn’t rise in the naval ranks that much. Of course, he bravely flew missions in Vietnam and was shot down and a POW.
    So I think every one of the candidates is a gamble. We don’t know what President we get until we get him or her and see what they do under pressure.

    Reply

  21. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “I look forward to a wise former con law professor exercising the same judgement in 2002 and again in this current election cycle answering the 3am phone….it will be nice to have a public servant who actually understands and embraces the duty that goes with that responsibility”
    Yeah, and you think some guy that has denied that Bush has committed “grave and intentional breeches of the President’s authority” is such a person?
    Miller, please tell me one substantive thing that Barack Obama has done to encourage accountability for GWB’s crimes of the last eight years.

    Reply

  22. jim miller says:

    o.lukasiak—
    there are red phone moments—hillary consistently gets them wrong.
    a. iraq vote
    b. encouraging bill to lie which provided the impeachment groundwork
    c. attacking the victim in the whitehouse sexual harrassment episodes under the clintons.
    I concede to you that she is shrewd at getting and attaining power…definitely a fighter for power.
    I look forward to a wise former con law professor exercising the same judgement in 2002 and again in this current election cycle answering the 3am phone….it will be nice to have a public servant who actually understands and embraces the duty that goes with that responsibility.

    Reply

  23. p.lukasiak says:

    what kills me is that Obama gets away with this whole “principled position” crap.
    Does anyone really think that Obama would have been allowed to give the Keynote speech at the Democratic Convention in 2004 if he had been unwilling to bow to political pressure, and change his view on the war to be completely consistent with Kerry’s? Seriously?
    There are such things as “red phone moments” (like the recent firebombing of the US embassy and other US assets in Serbia ) that require a president to have sufficient background knowledge and experience to understand the nature of a crisis — and to know what questions to ask, and what the realistic choices are.
    Bill Clinton lack of experience did hurt him (and the US) with regard to Somalia. And that was at a time when the US was well regarded throughout the world. With so much of our military tied up in Iraq and Afghanistan, the options available to the next President will me much more limited — and its going to require a lot of knowledge and finesse to deal with a crisis. The stakes will be a lot higher than whether or not to give a speech at an anti-war rally, and the choices will be much more complex and immediate that whether he would have voted for or against an AUMF that was unsatisfactorily worded.

    Reply

  24. jim miller says:

    just like her bush twin…she believes she can use legal action to steal an election…..
    Where is bill tonight?

    Reply

  25. susan says:

    Here’s the latest from the Hill and Bill traveling carnival and sideshow:
    Hillary: If Obama doesn’t win every single primary on Tuesday, and win big, he’s a loser
    The Clinton campaign is now saying that if Obama doesn’t win every single primary/caucus this coming Tuesday with a decisive victory, then he’s lost big. Forget the fact that if she doesn’t win 65% of the delegates in both Ohio and Texas, it’s actually over for her – the math says she simply can’t win the nomination without that margin of victory. What’s really disturbing here is that the Clinton campaign is making it clear that if Obama doesn’t win Texas, Ohio, Vermont and Rhode Island on Tuesday, and by a huge margin, Hillary plans on staying in the race for the long haul, even if Tuesday is the coup de grace to her campaign.

    Reply

  26. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “The contempt of Congress statute was not intended to apply and could not constitutionally be applied to an executive branch official who asserts the president’s claim of executive privilege,” Mukasey wrote, quoting Justice policy.
    “Accordingly,” Mukasey concluded, “the department has determined that the noncompliance by Mr. Bolten and Ms. Miers with the Judiciary Committee subpoenas did not constitute a crime.”
    There you have it folks, the Bush Administration and their buttlickin’ lackey Mukasey are now 100% above the law.
    Welcome to a true dictatorship.
    Whats to stop this piece of shit from now declaring himself Supreme and Eternal Leader?
    If you aren’t pissed by now, you’re brain dead.

    Reply

  27. jim miller says:

    –I hope the gop does focus on national security..
    —torture…great ads with the secret prison pictures…that is strongly patriotic…
    —the iraq war—surge success..I concede the point to the gop…but an ad with their talking points of success versus the reality…NOBOBDY wants to pay for a questionable war when they cant afford gas….replace gas with 10 other expensixe items(insurance and education)showing bush/mccain holding hands with one of the oildictators…
    — Osama bin laden remember him?
    dont foll yourselves this is not the desired narrative of the gop…yes some lowlevel bootlickers may believe this but the narrative that they KNOW they can Win with is not defense rather it’s:
    —Impeachment.
    —lieing
    —sexual harrassment…predatory activity in the white house…think about those 3am ads…
    —family values…bill with monica and hrc at 2000 pridefest in nyc
    why would they discuss national defense as the primary narrative when the winning narrative is laden in the electorate?
    what is the line about democrats and losing…I cant place the words…

    Reply

  28. jim miller says:

    —I have faith that a majority of folks in ohio or texas will reject this bile on the 4th.
    —clinton/bush—-what is the difference? vote the same…view power the same…bark of the same tree…the facts/hard evidence are all over…both use fear of muslim killers to whip votes—-FACT!
    — they will not be stopped by bullying them back…they are the bully’s…they control the power, yet eastern philosphers would have been amused watching HRC punch herslef in the face during the farrakhanfear/smear episode.
    —hard working folks are tired of taking it…we cant afford to continue with these types of leaders…all power no people.
    —the nomination process ends tuesday when hrc loses texas and barely scares out a small(less than 10%) victory in Ohio…
    —the clintons and bush’s are no different, they are power predators..they vote the same…run the same type of campaigns and are falling on the same sword…either way it ends tuesday when a majority of folks reject the bush/clinton way and wisely vote for judgement,courage and change.

    Reply

  29. ... says:

    once the presidential race between the demos and gop start after the nomination process – you can rest assured this will be the tactic – fear- the gop will be hammering away on.. may as well get used to it..

    Reply

  30. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Jim, you’re a dreamer.
    The Dems have put themselves in a position that negates any chance of them drawing attention to the extreme malfeasance and criminality of this Adminbistration, as it would only serve to underscore their own complicity. The time has long since passed that they could demand accountability without calling attention to their own failure to honor their oaths of office.

    Reply

  31. Jim says:

    I’m waiting for either Democratic candidate to mention that we had ample evidence of an attack coming in the summer of ’01, from Colleen Rowley to Richard Clarke to the August 6 PDB to the should-be-infamous “Okay, you’ve covered your ass” CIA briefing that followed it, and we didn’t torture anyone or violate the Fourth Amendment to get that evidence.

    Reply

  32. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Hillary MUST keep up this “BOO!!!!” campaign message, because her benefactors, AIPAC and the arms industry, demand it. The difference between the depth of Hillary’s indenture to these factions, and Obama’s, is just a question of logistical reality. EITHER candidate, should they attain the throne, will need to fellate both of these entities, or suffer being blocked and impeded at every turn and juncture of dispensing their leadership. The Israelis, and the industrial military complex, are simply too interwoven into policy and structure in both the Congress and the Senate. To think that this media sensation Obama will effect “change” is ludicrous. The candidates that truly advocated change were neutered and cast out. To have observed what happened to Paul and Kucinich, two LONGSTANDING and STEADFAST advocates for change, should convince any astute observer that Obama’s ethereal mutterings about change is pure unmittigated horseshit. If he stood for change, he would be standing on the same sidelines that Paul and Kucinich have been relegated to. Its truly amazing, that after the BLATANTLY deceptive line of shit we have been fed for the last eight years by our government, that the American people still remain so pathetically gullible that they so readily embrace yet one more snake oil salesman.
    Bend over America, you’re about to get reamed once more.
    Idiots.

    Reply

  33. susan says:

    Politics of Fear: Hillary and the GOP
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ceN8geCDbFg&eurl=http://www.americablog.com/
    This ad is excellent.
    The Clintons should be ashamed of themselves. How much lower can they go?

    Reply

  34. TonyForesta says:

    9/11 changed the world in many insidious ways, few of them legitimate. The events of that dark day (WHICH HAVE NEVER BEEN INVESTIGATED) allowed the Bush government to pervert, betray, mangle, dismember, and reengineer the Constitution and our once more perfect union, and profiteer wantonly in and from the deceptive process.
    Fear is a nebulous emotion, and something all people everywhere since we crawled our of the trees have known.
    America’s spends $600bn of the peoples dollars every year on defense by far dwarfing the next ten nations expenditures, – and yet the fascists in the Bush government, and the cowards in the DNC expect me to believe the jihadi’s are an existential threat to America. I don’t buy one nano particle of this fear babel. America could stomp out jihadist threats in a few months as soon as we pay a surly visit to the House of Saud, and deliver inform these wahabists backstabbers, that – America will strike at, and destroy any and every threat to Americans or American interests, even if those threats are living in oppulent palaces in Mecca, Medina, or Riyadh. The bulk the funding for all the jihadists mass murder gangs flows from Saudi Arabia. Cut off this funding, and the jihadi’s are reduced to impotent primitive and perverted cavemen.
    The oleaginous fascists in the Bush government, who are deeply indebted and invested in oil and energy, will never confront the House of Saud. There is simply too much profit involved, for the fascists in the Bush government to defend America at the expense of alienating the House of Saud.
    American is the ignorant victim of an Hegelian dynamic intentionally prosecuted by the fascists in the Bush government, who were either woefully and criminally incompetent prior to 9/11, or they are complicit, and who ruthlessly exploited the horrors of 9/11 for their singular and exclusive political and economic gain. Since the American people HAVE NEVER HAD A 9/11 INVESTIGATION, the facts remain the subject of much wailing and gnashing of teeth, – but no solid understanding, or explanation.
    I do not believe that a bunch of jihadi’s are a threat to America without our own woefull criminal incompetence or complicity. When and if America is truly serious about eliminating the jihadist threats, – we will demand redress from Saudi Arabia, cut off their abundant funding and nurturing of jihadist islam, and ruthlessly hunt capture, or kill every jihadist mass murderer and all those who aid and abet them in Mecca, Medina, Riyad, Tehran, Damascus, Kabul, Islamabad, Kartoum, Mogadishu, Istanbul, Baghdad, Gaza, or anywhere else on earth where these freaks operate. The socalled neverendingwaronterror is a Bush government parable and fiction. Police and intelligence operations are required, not costly bloody noendinsight invasions and occupations.
    America dislodged the Taliban and dispersed al Quaida with 30,000 coalition forces and airpower. The Russians invaded and occupied Afghanistan with 300,000 soviet troops, and were far less successful.
    My point is; America truly does have “…nothing to fear but fear itself.” I certainly do not fear jihadi’s. They hate women, music, and every human being on earth that is not jihadist. These people are malignant pathological mass murderers, and just as any society would hunt, capture, or kill any mass murderer roaming the streets, – so should Americans begin demanding that our leadership begin eliminating the real threats the endanger our women and children.
    I am far more concerned with the fascists in the Bush government destroying America, than any supposed socalled threat the jihadi’s pimp.
    Democrats should repudiate the fearmongering babel and jibberish and focus on eliminating the real threats to America. First, the fascists in our own government must be defanged, dethroned, and sent to jail, – then we can begin the more critical work of hunting, capturing, or killing every jihadist mass murderer and all those who aid and abet them on the planet.
    Lastly, our nation is bankrupt. We are trillions of dollars in debt, with crippling deficits, $100.oo a barrel oil prices, a weakening dollar, absolutely zero job security, or bargaining power, and a rapidly increasing divide between thehaves and thehavenots. The American middle class in the heart and engine of America’s economy. Gut the middle class, (exactly what the fascists in the Bush government have done) is like throwing sand into the engine of the American economy. The engine may run (poorly) for a little while, but very soon the engine is certain to blow. The impending economic crisis America is facing, and must confront is a far more grievous and dangerous threat to our childrens future, our way of life, and our democracy, then the primitive malignant pipedreams of any jihadi.
    “Deliver us from evil.”
    Exploiting the horrors and mass murder of 9/11 is odious and retarded policy, and only serves to perpetuate the Hegelian dynamic of fearing threats we ourselves are responsible for creating.

    Reply

  35. Linda says:

    Steve,
    While I deplore the 3 a.m. ads and the appeal to people’s fears for their children (primal and real), Obama campaign isn’t going to be swift-boated and responded quickly.
    You asked about Obama’s criteria for deciding agains the war, and they are all there in his October 2002 speech, made when he was not known at all beyond IL legislature. I doubt that he had speechwriters or foreign policy advisors, but he surely knew what he was talking about.
    http://usliberals.about.com/od/extraordinaryspeeches/a/Obama2002War.htm
    In fact, a good follow-up response since Obama has the money would just be to buy five minutes of time in all the major areas of OH and TX and run that speech.

    Reply

  36. Carroll says:

    Well I am sitting here listening for the fourth time to Hillary at the debate talking about the “threats” out there…Russia, China, Hamas, hezbollah, ad nausum…and how we bring bring them “to heel”. Every time I hear it it sounds worse and more delusional.
    And all I think of is how we need to get rid of all these Munchausen syndrome by proxy politicans who are constantly inducing symptoms and making some area of the world sick so they can then fly in with their USA Superpower capes and our money and blood to save the day and strut their self important asses on the world stage.
    And I want these incompetent clowns protecting me? No thank you. They are only people on earth who keep their jobs by constantly failing in their jobs…I guess that is their career plan for success, to keep crisis going or make them if necessary so the public will think it needs them to protect us.
    My advice to all countries is when you see a gaggle of US politicans flying in to install democracy, shoot their plane down and save yourselves.

    Reply

  37. Kathy K says:

    Thank you, Susan.
    These details are interesting.
    TAHOE EDITOR! Throw another log on the fire! Pour another glass of wine! Cheer up!!

    Reply

  38. Tahoe Editor says:

    Your “inept” touches Obama, too. Of course he has no answer to the question, either.

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  39. susan says:

    Slate’s John Dickerson asks an obvious question on a conference call with Hillary Clinton’s campaign: “What foreign policy moment would you point to in Hillary’s career where she’s been tested by crisis?” After an uncomfortably long moment during which neither Mark Penn, Howard Wolfson and Lee Feinstein have anything to say, and then Lee Feinstein tries to step in with a save and starts talking about Clinton’s endorsement by high-level military officials. Give it a listen:
    http://tinyurl.com/2rnvwk
    Matt Yglesias states the obvious: How could they go forward with that ad without having a good answer to the question on hand? It’s inept in the extreme.

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  40. Tahoe Editor says:

    Jason’s on top of it. I really think all three candidates’ identical ads aren’t overboard; they just want us all to know they’ll protect us and the world throughout the day and night. It’s not like that FISA ad that flashes “SURVEILLANCE INTERRUPTED” because “Congress went on vacation.”

    Reply

  41. Jason says:

    I tend to judge political rhetoric on relative standards, not absolute ones. For that reason, Clinton’s ad does not bother me much. It’s tame to what has come before it and what will come in the ensuing months from Republican surrogates for McCain.
    Perhaps one needs to rail against even small forays into fear-mongering early on, but compared to the White House rhetoric against Democrats on FISA, for example, I just can’t muster any outrage on this one.
    When you rail against fear-mongering ads, you are really railing against the people who haven’t trained themselves to think critically and be aware of how primal emotions can influence thinking. The reach of television magnified this problem a hundred fold, and we have yet to figure out as a society how to inoculate our people through emotional manipulation.
    Pointing out fear-mongering is fine, but I’d rather see you spend your time arguing to teach our children (and unfortunately, many adults) skeptical thinking. Expecting politicians to avoid using psychology to manipulate people is naive. We need to train people at a young age to make them resistant to this and other types of manipulation.

    Reply

  42. Tahoe Editor says:

    FAMILY SECURITY MATTERS
    The Web site is loading now:
    http://www.familysecuritymatters.org/index.php
    THIS is what’s depressing: When you dedicate a whole Web site to it. These ads are mere brush strokes in the whole election picture; put the puzzle piece in its place and it won’t niggle at you.
    Of course they skewer both Democrats:
    http://www.familysecuritymatters.org/challenges.php?id=1386782

    Reply

  43. john says:

    Who are these children that they have never seen Dr. Strangelove? http://www.coudal.com/3am.php

    Reply

  44. Tahoe Editor says:

    RE: The Obama ad is not about “3 am.”
    The Obama ad is about “3 a.m.” and “a dangerous world.” The ads are identical, with each candidate’s talking points. They’re all down in it together, now.

    Reply

  45. Tahoe Editor says:

    RE: “America has allies and America has enemies — this has been the case from Day 1 and will be the case to the end.”
    I don’t want to leave anyone on a Hopeless note; of course Barack Obama may be The One able to bring us all together and inspire our enemies to become our allies.

    Reply

  46. Kathy K says:

    The Obama ad is not about “3 am.”
    It is about lightning-fast response to a Clinton attack. It has little to do with policy (though its claims are accurate.)
    It has to do with political agility.
    Steve, you’re too young to remember political agility in the White House.
    That was Kennedy. Remember how fast (in pre-Internet days) he turned around his official blind-eye hands-off position to the civil rights movement, when he watched the MLK “I have a dream” speech on TV?
    Acc to bios, he turned to Bobby and basically said, ‘We have to get involved, we have to do something.’
    It was a serious moment in our history, and now we reep the gorgeous harvest.
    Thank you, JFK, for having the agility we needed then.
    This is about creativity and agility. How long, oh how long has it been.

    Reply

  47. CTown says:

    It could be worse… they could accuse history of “hesitating.”

    Reply

  48. Tahoe Editor says:

    All three contenders are now using the same ad. It’s just one side of a coin they all feel they need to flash, and the electorate will respond as it does. It may be depressing, but it is a part of life. If you don’t zoom in on it out of all proportion, it’s really no big deal. America has allies and America has enemies — this has been the case from Day 1 and will be the case to the end.

    Reply

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