Real Quick on Chris Dodd


A lot of folks out there think I’m a sucker for good email notes — or very effective, personalized fundraising appeals like Hillary Clinton’s invitation to all of us (including me) to possibly have lunch with her, after she picked up the groceries and with her husband dropping by to say hello.
But I really liked this note from Chris Dodd — received just a few moments ago while I’m up covering the Clinton Global Initiative in New York.
Senator Dodd writes:

Subject: Real Quick
From: Chris Dodd []
To: Steve Clemons []

I only have a few seconds on my way back to Washington from last night’s debate.
The fundraising quarter is wrapping up and we’re just short of hitting our goal. Will you chip in $23 and put us over the top? You can contribute here:

I’ll be in touch soon.

I really like Dodd’s take on foreign policy and national security issues. He continues to set a high mark in his comments on the Middle East, on Cuba, on Iran, and just a general modern, 21st century approach to thinking about the tough challenges ahead. Listening to Dodd last night reminded me of Chuck Hagel’s foreign policy views.
In any case, I may be a sucker for fundraising notes — but this is another one I liked.
More later.
— Steve Clemons


11 comments on “Real Quick on Chris Dodd

  1. anon says:

    If Dodd gets the right speech writers he can be Reaganesque. All the things you listed Steve are right on. Also has a strong oppinion that the constitution has to be restored ann re-applied to government.


  2. PissedOffAmerican says:

    From WRH…….
    “…all the odds are on the man who is, intrinsically, the most devious and mediocre — the man who can most easily (and) adeptly disperse the notion that his mind is a virtual vacuum. The presidency tends, year by year, to go to such men. As democracy is perfected, the office represents, more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day, the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.” H.L Mencken


  3. Kathleen says:

    It’s the Peter Principle… people have risen to their level of incompetence.


  4. Carroll says:

    For some reason I keep getting drawn like a moth to flame to the unending hypocracy of zionist and politicians that is an insult to everyone who can locate their nose with their finger. It fascinates me. I can’ t figure how they can go on and on with the most transparent, idiotic arguments for their agendas and personal ideology without having a mental breakdown just from the sheer illogic and contradictions in their premises. I am really addicted to this…I now search out examples of it and file them. I need to go back and read Orwell again and see if I can find any term that exactly describes the phenomena of this kind of idioticy argument.
    Here is today’s example. A review of W&M’s Israel Lobby by Leslie Gelb of the Council on Foreign Relations, best friend to Biden and partners in the solution to Iraq by breaking it up into three states.
    Gelb compares the Israel lobby to the Cuban’s Lobby influence over our Cuban policy saying basically same difference, no such thing as a lobby dictating policy or trumping the US national interest.
    But this is what he said in 1996 about the Cuban exile lobby:
    “Pressured by anti Castro Cubans in the United States, President Clinton is highly unlikely to soften the U.S. stance toward Cuba in the runup to the Nov. 1996 U.S. presidential elections.”
    And this is what he says about the Saudi Lobby:
    “The main source of anti-Americanism and anti-American terrorism is America’s deep ties with highly unpopular regimes in countries like Saudi Arabia and Egypt, not to mention the war in Iraq. We have them (those ties) because of influential foreign lobbies”
    In other words Gelb’s presents the case and examples of foreign lobbies influence on US policy and then argues against the possibility of the Israel lobby’s influence on foreign policy trumping US interest.
    It beats the hell out of me how these people like Gelb are occupying positions far in excess of their mental capabilities when ordinary dumbasses like me and thee can see the painful mind numbing illogical contridictions in their arguements.


  5. Carroll says:

    Sic Semper Tyrannis
    Amendment No. 3017 – A step toward war with Iran
    ““What do we do with terrorist organizations if they are involved against us?” Mr. Webb asked in a speech on Tuesday. “We attack them.”
    Even with the two paragraphs deleted, Mr. Webb voted against the resolution. So did a number of other Democrats who are among the harshest critics of the Bush administration’s handling of the war. The measure passed by a vote of 76 to 22.
    Iraq is becoming a “side show.” Iran is the thing. It was a good idea to take the two offending paragraphs out of the draft resolution but the designation of the IRGC, a major agency of the Iranian governent as a terrorist and therefore criminal organization is clearly a step on the road to war.
    Governments which willfuly maintain and harbor within them criminal groups must clearly be ssen as criminal themselves.
    As Senator Webb asked in floor debate, “What do we do with terrorist organizations?”
    Reid and Clinton voted for this? Bush/Cheney and the Flatheads can now justify any action against Iran, and they can do it without further resort to Congress.
    How is this effectively different from the resolutions passed in 2002 which gave Bush the authorities which he is still using?”


  6. Carroll says:

    See how much nonsense you can pick out of this speech. Try this one…”If, tomorrow, peace broke out between Israelis and Palestinians, does anybody think there wouldn’t be a full-blown war in Iraq?”.
    Well…duh ..Joe…of course not. There is a civil war going on there because we invaded Iraq which your fellow zionist neo’s thought was a good idea because it would put them closer to taking out Syria and Iran also.
    Or how about this one…””So let’s get it straight. Israel is not the cause of Iraq. Iraq being settled or not settled has nothing to do with Israel’s conduct.”
    Well…er…Joe…what Israel’s conduct in Palestine and Lebanon and now Syria isn’t the question, no one has made that reference, that is a red herring statement and a non question.
    This guy is way too stupid to be president.
    “I am a Zionist”
    March 28, 2007
    Presidential hopeful calls Israel “the single greatest strength America has in the Middle East”
    Says Jonathan Pollard deserves leniency but not a pardon
    In an exclusive Shalom TV interview, US Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-DE) emphatically stated his commitment to the State of Israel, calling the country “the single greatest strength America has in the Middle East.”
    Senator Biden further stressed that without Israel, one could only imagine how many battleships and troops America would have to station in the Middle East.
    Meeting with Shalom TV President Rabbi Mark S. Golub in Washington, DC, the candidate for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination said that it’s insulting for any American to suggest that Israel is somehow the cause of the war in Iraq.
    “If, tomorrow, peace broke out between Israelis and Palestinians, does anybody think there wouldn’t be a full-blown war in Iraq? And, conversely, if Iraq were transported to Mars, does anyone think there would not be terrorism visited upon the Israelis every day?
    “So let’s get it straight. Israel is not the cause of Iraq. Iraq being settled or not settled has nothing to do with Israel’s conduct.”
    The Senator also expressed a sensitivity and empathy for Israelis who have had to live with terrorism.
    “[From 9/11], Americans can taste what it must feel like for every Israeli mother and father when they send their kid out to school with their lunch to put them on a bus, on a bicycle or to walk; and they pray to God that cell phone doesn’t ring.”
    “I am a Zionist,” stated Senator Biden. “You don’t have to be a Jew to be a Zionist.”
    Asked about Jonathan Pollard, sentenced to life-imprisonment for giving classified information to the State of Israel, Senator Biden opened the door to leniency, but not a pardon.
    “There’s a rationale, in my view, why Pollard should be given leniency. But there is not a rationale to say, ‘What happened did not happen and should be pardoned.'”
    [A transcript of the Shalom TV interview follows]
    SHALOM TV: Many Americans believe there’s a link between America’s war in Iraq and the State of Israel and that if America didn’t have such a commitment to the state of Israel, there wouldn’t be these problems in Iraq.
    What would you say to anyone who’s expressed that thought to you?
    SENATOR BIDEN: It’s bizarre.
    When the Baker Commission filed its report saying peace in Israel is related to Iraq, I was the first and only person in Congress to point out [that] if, tomorrow, peace broke out between Israelis and Palestinians, does anybody think there wouldn’t be a full-blown war in Iraq?
    And, conversely, if Iraq were transported to Mars, does anyone think there would not be terrorism visited upon the Israelis every day?
    The difference between now and before 9/11: many Americans can taste what it must feel like for every Israeli mother and father when they send their kid out to school with their lunch to put them on a bus, on a bicycle or to walk; and they pray to God that cell phone doesn’t ring.
    Every day, every day.
    So let’s get it straight. Israel is not the cause of Iraq. Iraq being settled or not settled has nothing to do with Israel’s conduct.
    The second part is: people should understand by now that Israel is the single greatest strength America has in the Middle East.
    Imagine our circumstance in the world were there no Israel. How many battleships would there be? How many troops would be stationed?
    So I find it not only incorrect, but mildly insulting.
    SHALOM TV: In the American Jewish community, there’s sensitivity to the plight of Jonathan Pollard.
    What should be done now with Jonathan Pollard?
    SENATOR BIDEN: If we don’t want to play into the argument that Americans who support Israel have dual loyalties, then you can’t deal with Pollard. He has to serve his sentence. There’s a rationale, in my view, why Pollard should be given leniency. But there is not a rationale to say, “What happened did not happen and should be pardoned.”
    I was raised by a righteous Christian. My father was a gentle man. He was a white collar worker, high-school educated but a student of history and a devoted supporter of Israel.
    My father could not understand how people could [fail to understand] that without an Israel no Jew in the world was safe. He couldn’t understand how support [for Israel] could be translated into being un-American.
    My worry is that, if I were president, to go and pardon Pollard would make a lie out of the notion that there are certain rules. Period. You cannot give classified information. Period. Even to a friend. If this were great Britain, it would be the same thing.
    So the standard has to be maintained, in my view.
    SHALOM TV: Have you ever been at a Seder
    SENATOR BIDEN: I have.
    SHALOM TV: Give us one Seder memory
    SENATOR BIDEN: My son married a young woman whose mother and whole family is a very prominent Jewish family in the state of Delaware, the Bergers.
    Probably my most poignant Seder memory is not with the Bergers, but what happened right after I came back from meeting Golda Meir [in 1973].
    I had predicted that something was going on in Egypt. And I remember people talking about what it meant to them if Israel were actually defeated.
    And there is this inextricable tie between culture, religion, [and] ethnicity that most people don’t fully understand–that is unique and so strong with Jews worldwide.
    When I was a young Senator, I used to say, “If I were a Jew I’d be a Zionist.”
    I am a Zionist. You don’t have to be a Jew to be a Zionist.
    © 2007 Shalom TV, LLC.
    advertise | terms & conditions
    Send your money to Dennis. Support America.


  7. Carroll says:

    Here is the transcript of the debate.
    And as for Dodd…just exactly what is his ME policy Steve admires? I have seen nothing of Hagels ME “false choices” policy and refusal to kowtow to the Israeli cultist on US policy in Dodd.
    Presidential candiates want us to believe they are telling the truth and want us to take them at their word?
    O.K. which should we believe?
    That Dodd thinks his first duty is to protect America as he said last night? And not just in military security but in every way, financialy, morally, in the principles of this country?
    Or that Dodd believes his first duty is to give all America has to protect Israel as he told AIPAC?
    Or does Dodd think American and Israel are one in the same? And that it is fine for America to be like Israel and invade countries and steal resources and create wars for empire?
    All voters can do is look at what a candidate is saying….and combine all his various speeches and words to get his true policy.
    So let’s look at everything Dodd has said everywhere he has spoken on his ME policy, combine it all and boil it down.
    Here is how Dodd’s ME foreign policy works out.
    Dodd will engage in “diplomacy” in the ME .
    But any diplomacy he engages will still be based on putting Israeli interest ahead of the values and interest of Americans in any policy with the ME.
    According to his own words he approves of and will continue to fund their illegal occupation with our money, he will continue to furnish them cluster bombs for bombing civilian populations, he will continue to support collective punishment on the Palestines, bulldozing homes, shooting children, razing farm land, cutting millions of people off from water and power supplies.
    He will take Israel’s side in any dispute and does not believe the US should be an even handed broker in the ME.
    He will continue the favortism that has made the US despised and seen as a strongarm bully for Israeli aggression in the ME and ruined our reputation for fairness in the world.
    He will support sanctions and embargos on all of Israel’s enemies, no matter that it only hurts the innocent civilians in those countries, support divestment of all money going toward investment in any country Israel doesn’t like no matter what kind of damage it may do to financial markets or investors in the US or to the global econmy of all countries or to relations with any US allies that do business in those countries.
    He will though continue to support billions of working American’s retirement pension funds being invested in Israeli bonds, the bonds of a country constantly engaged in agression with all their neighbors, surrounded by 1 billion Arabs with good reason to hate them, he thinks that is a safe investment for the retirement funds of Americans. A country that in 60 years, according to the CIA and State Department annual reports on Israel is still not self sustaining and depends on foreign aid for a large part of it’s budget
    Dodd thinks that is a good investment vehicle for your retirement money?
    And that he will spend every drop of strength, blood and money Americans have to support this welfare midget nazis regime in Israel no matter what it does to this country or to anyone else.
    Dodd should go read Greenwald’s “collection of polls” taken in American on Israel and the ME. 65 to 70% of Americans agree with what I just said above.
    Go to Israel Dodd, run for office there.
    My money is also going to Dennis, he is the only one telling the truth about the ME.
    Every time I read Dodd’s AIPAC speech that is so full of spin and outright lies about Israel’s “goodness” and “peacefullness” toward their “enemies” I want to vomit.
    Remarks By
    Senator Christopher J. Dodd
    AIPAC National Summit
    Houston, Texas
    October 23, 2006
    “That’s why I find entirely justifiable Israel’s incursions (the bombing of Lebanon) this summer against the private army of fanatics who kidnapped its soldiers and shelled its cities, seeking to kill as many civilians as possible.”
    When a nation calls for Israel to be “wiped off the map,” we will spend every ounce of our strength to ensure that it never finds the means.”


  8. Kathleen says:

    Here’s Dodd on lunch.. I guess he’s the LoCal candidate….
    Subj: We’d rather lead with you than eat with you
    Date: 9/25/2007 12:21:49 PM Eastern Daylight Time
    Dear Kathleen,
    We’ve received a few inquiries in the past week wondering when Chris Dodd is going to invite the email list out for a meal.
    Hillary’s done it. Barack’s done it. John Edwards taught his email list how to make a pecan pie. The press following the internet in the 2008 election really wants to know — what are we gonna do to feed you?
    The short answer is, Chris Dodd would prefer to lead with you — not eat with you.
    We’ve led on habeas corpus, gaining eight votes since the measure was offered as an amendment to the Military Commissions Act.
    That was us, working together.
    Chris Dodd was the only Democratic Presidential candidate to vote against the Levin-Reed compromise bill that would have done nothing to end the war — a bad bill that actually lost votes since its last roll-call.
    That, again, was us … “stopping a bad bill.”
    But as we head into the last days of what could be the final fundraising deadline before the primaries, we need your help getting our message out to supporters in Iowa, New Hampshire, and across the country.
    Can we count on your $25, $50, or $100 contribution right now?
    The bottom line is this: while other candidates recite parables of personal growth about past political failure, Chris Dodd is leading.
    He showed results by getting one of the most important pieces health care legislation since Medicare passed: his Family and Medical Leave Act.
    He has the best health care plan in the race to make sure all Americans have health care.
    And he is leading the way to expand benefits of his Family and Medical Leave Act act to include caregivers for wounded warriors returning from Iraq and their families.
    Chris Dodd is leading, and we need your small-dollar support to help guide us through the primaries and onto the Democratic nomination for President of the United States.
    Can we count on your contribution right now?
    A little less Paris, a little more Baghdad.
    A little less hair cuts, a little more troop cuts.
    So no, we aren’t inviting you over to “do lunch,” but we would like you to help Chris Dodd restore the Constitution on his first day in office.
    Thanks for all you do,
    Tim Tagaris
    Chris Dodd for President
    Paid for by Chris Dodd for President, Inc.
    PO Box 51882
    Washington, DC 20091
    As I recall, Tim Tagris worked on Lamont’s campaign and I think this impersonal, all over the internet, no contact and discourse with the candidate or ideas FROM the voters is a key reasson Lamont lost and Dodd is lagging in last place.
    If you’re too cheap to buy lunch, make it a “bring your own brown bag”, then, but obviously, people are asking for dialogue, not lunch, per se.


  9. Kathleen says:

    As a constituent of Senator Dodd, I’ve had many reasons over the years to be pleased that he represents me in the Senate, like his leadership on Special Education needs. I was especially pleased when he was the first to question the lack of intelligence prior to 9/11. This was not a popular question to ask right after that event, particularly in a State that suffered many casualites on 9/11.
    Since he represents the Constitution State, I think his first prioirty should be defending our Constitution from domestic enemies, who regularly subvert our Constitutional processes and threaten the co-equality of the three branches of gov’t, the separation of powers, and Congressional Oversight Rights and Duties.
    Although Dodd regularly mentions defending our Constitution, he refuses to do what it will take to preserve our Republic, call for impeachment.
    I speak with many people from different places in the country, who like Senator Dodd, respect him and think he has many good ideas, like the Mandatory National Service proposal, but every time he repeats his position that “impeachment will suck all the oxygen out of the room”, he in effect, sucks all the oxygen out of enthusiasm for him. I know every time I get ready to write a check to him and he says that line again, I write the check to Dennis Kucinich instead, because he at least has introduced articles of impeachment against Darth. Because the MSM regularly disses Kucinich, he doesn’t have the gravitas to move Congress, but Dodd does.
    While Hillary is running way ahead of the pack, and she got a big boost by calling Darth, Darth, a full 50% of Dems have not made up their mind about a candidate yet. That’s the 50% who WANT IMPEACHMENT but know that Kucinich won’t make it past the media black out of his positions.
    If Senator Dodd wants to change his “bringing up the rear position”, he needs to break with the pack and do an “about face” on impeachment and he will find himself at the head of line.
    All Senator Dodd needs to do is review Conncecticut history for guidance. We had former Senator Prescott Bush trying to overthrow the government by installing a Fascist Regime and then former Senator Lowell Weicker who called for the Watergate investigation. Surely with Prescott Bush’s spawn now trying his crown on for size, Senator Dodd’s duty should be crystal clear and anything less than that is, I think, a derreliction of his Oath of Office to protect our Constitution from domestic enemies.
    Now I’m going to send that $23 to Dennis K.
    No impeachment, no money.
    It takes a village to impeach an idiot.


  10. rich says:

    Dodd has focused and honed his message since the last time he was out there. Good to see, as he’s saying what too many pols haven’t been: about core US values, and about how you respond to fascism/the Holocaust.
    Bill Richardson really impressed me in his NewsHour interview. Finally. His delivery has been unfocused and he needs to be clear, on-point, crisp, direct.
    Charlie Rose, though, interviewing Ahmadinejad, really bombed–showing no grasp of relevant issues, an ignorance of disproven attacks on Iran and on Ahmadinejad, and an inability to capitalize on a golden opportunity to probe for new information or insights instead of attacking.
    Rose repeated disproven conventional memes about Iran, showing much naivete, a lack of basic research skills, and most important, that he’s learned little since the run-up to invading Iraq.
    Proving, I guess, that civility and appearing thoughtful means little if you dont’ do your homework and are not thoughtful.
    Also, Note Well: suddenly it’s ok to use the Hitler label. Ahmadinejad doesn’t wield dictatorial powers, nor has he engaged in genocide–yet it must be ok to label him Adolph Hitler when it serves one’s purposes.
    Preemptive war (Hitler’s method) and “enhanced interrogation techniques” (Hitler’s method & an SS invention), though, are dont’ receive the same treatment from the same quarters. The double-standard is illuminating, and does not served the security interests of the US or Israel.
    The WTC 9/11 ‘offense’ makes no sense, either. AS I understand it, there was no connection between Israel and 9/11, nor was there a connection between Iran and 9/11.
    In the context of US-sponsored covert wars /torture /terrorism /illegal occupation — Ahmadinejad won the PR game on the international stage, game, set, and match.


  11. Robbo says:

    I’m turning into a Dodd fan, too. He’s consistently clear and principled and thoughtful on the major issues. He has a brain *and* a heart; the other major candidates seem to have one or the other. And his work on behalf of women and children is exemplary, and very appealing to this relatively new father.
    Thanks for giving him a little notice, Steve. He can’t seem to get it anywhere else, alas.


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