Tuesday, January 29, 2008

A liveblog in brief

Real life has intervened in numerous ways, so I'll be brief:

9:47 p.m. McCain is not like George W. Bush, except in the way that both are reckless dumbasses when it comes to foreign relations, and both think that feeding more people into the Iraq corpse-chipper is a swell idea. So for those of you who get the vapors at all of Hillary's Clintonian exceesses, man up and face the fact that she'd at least be better than McCain on Iraq.

9:51 p.m. Also, on the economy. Jesus, I find a lot of Clinton-era economic policies annoying, but they're better than the Republican ethos of the past three decades, even if too close to them for my comfort. But seeing as McCain is an admitted lightweight on these issues, it seems safe to assume he'll mostly go for Republican Party orthodoxy, if only to fund his adopted pet war.

9:54 p.m. No, I'm not in a particularly good mood that he won, either, so get off my back.


crimenotes said...

man up and face the fact that she'd at least be better than McCain on Iraq.

While she may be preferable, this is not a basis to distinguish between them, unless you're going to get into some extremely tortured sophistry.

Just think about Supreme Court nominations, if you need to convince yourself.

flop said...

She only needs to be preferable, dumbass. The general election ain't a wishlist. It's either/or.

crimenotes said...

No shit, you simplistic fuck, but I'm saying that in terms of Iraq I say it's a wash. She doesn't have any high ground.

On plenty of other issues, she's certainly preferable to John McCain.

Anonymous said...

If I'm being simplistic, it's only because this is a simple choice. This isn't Policy Roundtable, where neither one of them would have a leg to stand on.

She's the only one who's willing to admit it was a mistake. Even if it's only for political expediency, she'll probably still try to end the madness sooner than McCain.

And yes, on other issues she's very preferable. Among them: Seeing the Ayn Rand Shock Troops writhe in agony when Chelsea breaks a bottle of fine California bubbly across the bow of the USS Hillary Clinton a couple decades from now.

flop said...

Also, all the McCain haters in the Republican Party need to lean down and kiss his ass. Or they'll just keep attacking him. I'm totally fine with either.

I'm more excited for that than I am for what is sure to be a very, very annoying general election campaign.

flop said...

Fucking hell, that anonymous comment is me.

Fucking blogger. Fucking Hillary. Fucking McCain.

Crunk Raconteur said...

She "may" be better on Iraq! But there's "no basis to distinguish between" Clinton and McCain, without getting into "tortured sophistry!"

I suppose I could make an argument, but I figure I'll turn it over to Senator Clinton and Senator Walnuts:

Sen. Clinton: "Oh, yes, I'm on record as saying exactly that, as soon as I become president, we will start withdrawing within 60 days. We will move as carefully and responsibly as we can, one to two brigades a month, I believe, and we'll have nearly all the troops out by the end of the year, I hope."

Q: President Bush has talked about our staying in Iraq for 50 years — (cut off by McCain)
McCAIN: Make it a hundred.
Q: Is that … (cut off)
McCAIN: We’ve been in South Korea … we’ve been in Japan for 60 years. We’ve been in South Korea 50 years or so. That would be fine with me.

I mean, I may be engaging in some tortured sophistry, but not seeing a discernible difference there seems wilfully ignorant to me...

To say that she's not as good on Iraq as Barry is one thing (although I tend to think that a withdrawal will begin sooner in a Clinton presidency than in an Obama presidency, if only because actually getting that going will probably get lost in those first 2 painful years when Barry tries to move past partisan politics and work together with those who are gearing up to spend the next 9 months calling him a terrorist, but whatever...), but saying she's not better than bloodthirsty warmonger John McCain is just idiotic...

CrimeNotes said...

Ugh, enough with the wishful thinking. One the one hand, she says withdrawal within 60 days; another time, she says she wouldn't rule out keeping troops past 2013. You can find selective quotations, I can find selective quotations, you can get on your high horse and ignore inconvenient statements to make yourself feel better, and I could overstate my case just to prove a point.

She does not have high ground. Period. She voted for the war and she's refused to give shape to withdrawal plans. She hedges and qualifies every observation.

That may be fine. It may be smart not to tie herself down to an unwaiveable position once she's in office.

And as stated, I'll support her over McCain, so spare me your purity tests. (I also don't take any arguments seriously by people who use cutesy nicknames like Walnuts and Mittens. If you want to have a discussion, frame your arguments like a fucking adult instead of swiping nicknames from half-witted blogs.) She's preferable on most other issues. On this one, she has blood on her hands, her attempts to recant have been fuzzy, and she's clearly mixed up about what she'd do in office.

There are many reasons to support her, but "anti-war candidate" is not one of them.

Here's a grab bag of quotes. Good luck making sense of them or drawing a conclusion that she's serious about withdrawal.

"It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons. Should he succeed in that endeavor, he could alter the political and security landscape of the Middle East, which as we know all too well affects American security." -- Hillary Clinton, October 10, 2002

She continued to support "phased redeployment," as opposed to the immediate withdrawal of 50,000 troops proposed by John Edwards, or a dramatic funding cutoff mentioned by others. Her approach, she told a reporter, stemmed from being "cursed with the responsibility gene."
Q: Do you oppose the war in Iraq?

A: Absolutely. But I do not oppose the brave young men and women who have fought this war with such distinction and heroism. I will begin to bring our troops home as soon as I am president, because Bush does not intend to end the war while he is still president. We're doing to have to get the Joint Chiefs and my secretary of defense and advisers together to start the planning to move as quickly as possible, because I don't believe that the planning has been sufficiently undertaken in the Pentagon under the Bush administration. We have to try to get the Iraqi government to understand its obligations, because there are no military solutions. We need to engage in diplomacy, with respect to Iraq. We have a big diplomatic apparatus. Bush doesn't use it. He relies on a very small group of people. That's a terrible mistake. Bush's policies have alienated our friends and emboldened our enemies. We've got to do more than just send our young men and women out.
Source: 2007 Democratic debate at Drexel University Oct 30, 2007
Q: In 2006, Democrats were elected to the majority in the House and Senate, and many believed that was a signal to end the war. You have said that will not pledge to have all troops out by the end of your first term, 2013. Why not?

A: It is my goal to have all troops out by the end of my first term. But it is very difficult to know what we're going to be inheriting. We do not know, walking into the White House in January 2009, what we're going to find. What is the state of planning for withdrawal? That's why last spring I began pressing the Pentagon to be very clear about whether or not they were planning to bring our troops out. And what I found was that they weren't doing the kind of planning that is necessary, and we've been pushing them very hard to do so. You know, though, about the Democrats taking control of the Congress, I think the Democrats have pushed extremely hard to change this president's course in Iraq. The Democrats keep voting for what we believe would be a better course."
"If I had known then what I know now I never would have voted to give Bush authority."
Q: Why wasn't your vote authorizing the Iraq war a mistake?

A: My vote was a sincere vote based on the facts and assurances that I had at the time. And I have taken responsibility for my vote, and I believe that none of us should get a free pass. It is up to the voters to judge what each of us has said and done. But I think the most important thing now is to focus on what we have to do together to try to force this president to change direction.

Q: Why are you against bringing the US troops home right now by cutting off funding?

A: I have introduced legislation to stop the escalation & to protect our troops. My legislation also says to the Iraqis: Enough. We are not going to fight your battles. We are not sending our young men and women in. You have to be on the front lines of your own defense. People ask me, "why don't you want to cut money for American troops?" I want to cut money for Iraqi troops, because they're not standing up and fighting the way that they have said they would.
Source: 2007 AFSCME Democratic primary debate in Carson City Nevada Feb 21, 2007

Q: Do you regret voting that way at the time?

CLINTON: I regret the way he used it. I don't believe in do-overs in life. I made the best judgment at the time.

Crunk Raconteur said...

Quite a dilemma I'm in. On one hand, there's really little point to continuing this argument since we actually agree on the important question, which is whether Clinton is better than McCain, and the rest is just noise.

But, on the other hand, it's hard for me to resist the siren song of someone declaring that they won't take may arguments seriously. It's hard to resist the temptation in being told to frame my arguments like an adult by someone with whom my most memorable argument ended with him screaming "fuck you" in my perfectly calm face and storming off...

I suppose I could also throw out some snark about getting up on one's high horse and ignoring inconvenient statements to make one feel better, as well, but what's the point?

CrimeNotes said...

The point: verbal pyrotechnics.

Crunk Raconteur said...

Well, yeah, although I kind of want to keep my verbal pyrotechnics powder dry for a few more days. After all, the comment thread of the Magnum flOpus to come on the Super Tuesday live blog is still yet to come.

Hence, I will threadjack with something amusing I just read about Walnuts (sorry, had to piss off Crimenotes just a little more):

"With each win, his entourage has steadily upgraded its hotels; the Nashua Crowne Plaza in New Hampshire gave way to a boutique hotel in Charleston's historic district and then a Westin in Tampa the night before the election here. In California for a debate Wednesday, McCain will be staying in Beverly Hills..."

Leaving aside the fact that I'm going to guess the Crowne Plaza in Nashua is, if not the nicest hotel in Nashua, at least one of the nicest, why doesn't this get discussed more in general? I mean, the media has a 24-hour news cycle to fill, so how is it NEVER talked about what hotels candidates stay in? I think it would be hilarious to watch these guys have to start slumming and throwing around soundbites like "I know my opponent stays at the Four Seasons or the Hyatt Regency, but a Real American(tm) like me stays at the Red Roof Inn!"

(Now, granted, I know that the answer is "because the press corps would never make this a story because they would then have to stay at the Red Roof Inn instead of the Four Seasons," but still...)

dmbmeg said...

I have introduced legislation to stop the escalation & to protect our troops. My legislation also says to the Iraqis: Enough. We are not going to fight your battles. We are not sending our young men and women in. You have to be on the front lines of your own defense. People ask me, "why don't you want to cut money for American troops?" I want to cut money for Iraqi troops, because they're not standing up and fighting the way that they have said they would.

Seriously? I mean, is she kidding? I mean, last time I checked no one asked us for help there in the beginning of this whole mess.

Also, I can't stand the logic about being against the war and "supporting the troops". Sure, you may not want them to die, but you sure as hell don't want them to continue doing their job, no?

dmbmeg said...

Can we get a post about Lost up in this bitch?

dmbmeg said...

Nevermind, I'll do it tonight.

J. Businger said...

Haaretz readers actually rate Hillary as "better" for Israel than McCain, although they both score about the same. Obama doesn't even register, though. So I'd say the real difference on foreign policy is on the Democratic side, not between Hillary (authorizes the war, votes for the Iran resolution, won't talk directly with Iran) and McCain (authorizes the war, votes for the Iran resolution, won't talk directly with Iran).

flop said...

What's her stance vis-a-vis a college playoff?

J. Businger said...

Silly question. As a "lifelong" Yankees fan, she obviously has no time in the fall for college football.

dmbmeg said...




CrimeNotes said...

Yes, because no one around here ever fights unless Businger shows up.

J. Businger said...

Just like Salman Rushdie, I have survived the imposition of a fatwah.

J. Businger said...

Make that "fatwa."

CrimeNotes said...

Make that "shwarma."

flop said...

As a "lifelong" Yankees fan, she obviously has no time in the fall for college football.

Patently false. The Yankees have nothing but time in the fall.