Obama's War Record Should Appall Progressives

The president is following in George W. Bush's disastrous footsteps.

“Why are liberals so desperately unhappy with the Obama presidency?” asks New York magazine’s Jonathan Chait, a self-proclaimed “Obama apologist.”

He answers his own question: “Liberals are dissatisfied with Obama because liberals, on the whole, are incapable of feeling satisfied with a Democratic president.”

See? It isn’t Obama’s fault. It’s something in the so-called liberal, or progressive, psyche. (“Liberalism” originally meant a philosophy of maximum individual freedom, free markets, and minimum government, not today’s support for intrusive, comprehensive bureaucratic management.)

One wades through the 5,000-word essay hoping to witness Chait at least acknowledge that Obama has let his supporters down with his “war on terror” policies. But all we get is this:

Obama … has enjoyed a string of foreign-policy successes—expanding targeted strikes against Al Qaeda (including one that killed Osama bin Laden), ending the war in Iraq, and helping to orchestrate an apparently successful international campaign to rescue Libyan dissidents and then topple a brutal kleptocratic regime.

Excuse me? Progressives—who properly savaged George W. Bush for his autocratic presidency, civil-liberties flouting PATRIOT Act, undeclared war on Iraq, use of detention and torture at Guantanamo and elsewhere, and warrantless surveillance—are supposed to be happy with Barack Obama, who has essentially carried on most Bush policies, even kicking them up a few notches?

If we listen to Chait, there is nothing at all disappointing about Obama’s expansion of drone attacks in Pakistan and Somalia, with their routine “collateral damage” to innocents; his flagrant violation of the War Powers Resolution (not to mention the Constitution and his campaign promise) with his intervention in Libya; his intensification of the war in Afghanistan; his sanctions (an act of war) against Iran; his broken pledge to close Guantanamo; his support of indefinite detention without charge; his policy of assassinating even American citizens abroad without due process; his renewal of the PATRIOT Act; his placement of Marines in Australia with the words, “The United States is a Pacific power, and we are here to stay”; his failed attempt to lift the UN ban on cluster bombs; or his invocation of state secrets to keep torture victims out of court.

Chait thinks Obama should get credit for “ending the war in Iraq”—but hold on. The December 31, 2011, withdrawal date is set in the Status of Forces Agreement negotiated between the Iraqi government and the Bush administration. Obama tried — but failed — to persuade Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to let U.S. troops stay longer.

As it is, they will simply be moved down the road to Kuwait, and a large contract mercenary force will likely be left behind at the humongous embassy in Baghdad.

For Chait and his ilk, these all must count as “foreign policy successes.”

And what about torture? Nothing upset progressives more during the Bush years. Toward the end of the administration, the criminal policy was abandoned and was forsworn by Obama. Yet the detention center at Bagram airbase in Afghanistan has been called “worse than Guantanamo” by Daphne Eviatar, an attorney for Human Rights First. Adds John Glaser of Antiwar.com:

There are now 3,000 detainees in Bagram, up from 1,700 since June (!) and five times the amount there when Barack Obama took office. Many of them have not been charged, have seen no evidence against them and do not have the right to be represented by a lawyer, aren’t given fair trials, and the U.S. claims it is not even obligated to explain why these people are caged.

A U.S. special operations “black site” at Bagram features “sleep deprivation, holding detainees in cold cells, forced nudity, physical abuse, detaining individuals in isolation cells for longer than 30 days, and restricting the access of the International Committee of the Red Cross,” according to Jonathan Horowitz’s investigation for the Open Society Institute.

Finally, in a move that bodes ill for the future, Obama refuses to criminally or civilly investigate Bush administration officials for illegal torture of prisoners. He won’t even empanel a “truth commission” to bring the facts before the American people. Future administrations will thus have little to fear when they break the law.

Most progressives are silent about Obama’s shameful record. But it may explain the disappointment Chait can’t understand.

Sheldon Richman is senior fellow at The Future of Freedom Foundation in Fairfax, Va., author of Tethered Citizens: Time to Repeal the Welfare State, and editor of The Freeman magazine. This article originally appeared at The Future of Freedom Foundation.

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  • Colin||

    His supporters only care about socialism. Everything else is just window dressing.

  • Spanky||

    For example, see Tony's comments below.

  • Libertarians should be ashamed||

    ...by their advocacy of the aggression necessary to enforce Gambol Lockdown.

    But they're not. Neither was Stalin, who also enforced Gambol Lockdown upon the reindeer herders.

    All agricultural city-Statists are alike, even if they think they're so divergent with their -isms.

  • Gambol Lockdown||

    Ya know if you just lose 100 lbs like we discussed you'll be able to blow yourself and won't need to gambol for recreation.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    This subject has nothing to do with "gambol lockdown".

    Then again, you post this bullshit on virtually EVERY thread.

    Then again, you're a stoopid fuck.

  • ||

    Progressives have been pro-war since Teddy Roosevelt . Why would Obama be anything but a champion to them?

  • ||

    Eh, not always. Much like Feingold (well before he lost his re-election bid) and Kucinich today, that era had its anti-war Progressives, (Hiram Johnson, Robert Lafollette, etc.). The problem is that much like their successors today their affect on the progressive establishment was minimal at best in the area of national security.

  • ||

    Based on the brevity of your list, can we safely assume that there are (and were) as many anti-war progressives as there are (and were) anti-war conservatives?

    Funny, they still get labeled differently in the media, academia and by self-identification.

  • Warty||

    The title presumes that TEAM BLUE shitheads are capable of shame.

  • The Derider||

    Obama says he's vetoing this, I'm appalled!

    http://www.washingtontimes.com.....ense-bill/

    The language in question gives the U.S. military the right to determine whether it should hold al Qaeda operatives, even if they are captured in the United States and are American citizens. It also reaffirmed the policy of indefinite detention without trial.

  • Warty||

    PWND

  • cynical||

    Don't worry, he won't. Anything that evil, he has to be for it.

  • an Obamapologist||

    Those things are completely different when our hero does them.

  • ||

    Liberals are dissatisfied with Obama because liberals, on the whole, are incapable of feeling satisfied with a Democratic president

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    "See, it's because we're incapable, not because we went whole hog for a scumbag who has betrayed us at every turn! We're not fools, suckers, and morons; we're idealistic!"

  • Tony||

    You may get your wish... liberals tend to think punishing Democrats for being bad by not voting for them is a winning strategy for accomplishing... something. Since the only thing it actually accomplishes is to get Republicans elected, who don't even pretend to care about the bill or rights or laws of war, it must simply be a self-esteem thing.

    Personally, I don't trust a president of any party with the powers the Bush-Cheney people gave the presidency. It's naive to expect a president to give them up willingly, but it's even more naive to pretend that there was ever a time when modern US power didn't depend on horrifying levels of human carnage.

    I don't know what will fix our aggressive foreign policy but I'm not sure what argument you're trying to push except to poke liberals in the eye for supposedly being hypocrites. An opinion you might change if you'd read any liberal message board on this topic, ever.

  • ||

    Saying that you hate war, and then voting in a warmonger is pretty much the definition of hypocrite, hypocrite.

  • Tony||

    You only get two choices, and one of those choices tends to get a much bigger boner for war than the other, and then they tend to suck mightily at carrying war out.

    When Obama gets as many human beings killed as Bush did, then they will be equals.

  • ||

    "When Obama gets as many human beings killed as Bush did, then they will be equals."

    So as long as the number of exploded US servicemen, and Iraqi/Afghan/Libyanians are under the number exploded under Bush, then everything is kosher? Are you serious?

    As far as the war boner, I would have agreed with you before the Obama presidency.

  • Beloved Rev. Blue Moon||

    So as long as the number of exploded US servicemen, and Iraqi/Afghan/Libyanians are under the number exploded under Bush, then everything is kosher? Are you serious?

    Of course he is serious. This is where team politics and vicious utilitarianism leads: as long as Obama is under 4483 Service Members killed, he can do any damn thing he wants.

    Oh, and he let gays in the military, so, you know, indefinite detention and illegal wars are totally kosher now.

  • ||

    he did NOT let gays in the military until a lawsuit by log cabin republicans got them in.

    hth

  • Tony||

    Not kosher, just better. Bizarre for people on a libertarian board to assume there's such a thing as perfection in politics. You get two choices in this country, neither is perfect but they aren't equally bad.

  • Ron Paul||

    Hi, my name is Dr. Ron Paul, and I've been complaining about our foreign policy since Reagan. Maybe you should consider voting for me if you really do care about the Constitution and putting an end to needless war.

  • Tony||

    Unfortunately all your domestic policies are just a smokescreen for plutocracy, and you aren't even smart enough to realize it.

  • cynical||

    Yes, ending the Fed is playing right into the plutocracy's hands. If you can be this hilarious consistently, you should look into doing standup.

  • ||

    Plutocracy vs Aristocracy? FED is owned by the blue bloods and old money their oponents are new money...
    Which is worse Aristocracy or plutocracy?

  • fish||

    Yeah! Fortunately TEAMS have the plutocracy completely in check.

    You're an idiot but I still like you better than Jason the Fat!

  • Uncle Joe||

    See? There's the handy, strawman, leftist excuse not to vote for an actual anti-war candidate.

    Hey Tony, what happened to "there's no such thing as perfection in politics"?

    Conclusion: Tony deliberately votes for the warmonger/murderer/fascist/oligarch/drug warrior/civil rights violator while posing as an anti-war individual, by using strawmen in order not to vote for an actually existing alternative.

    A hypocrite and a liar. Like most statists.

  • ||

    A lot of progressives and actual Leftists will be voting for Ron and many working for him - being against the police state, the empire, and the Fed is enough reason. We don't have to like anything else about him (although many do.) See www.bluerepublican.org

  • ||

    You only get two choices,

    Funny, my ballot had several names and a write-in section as well.

  • Tony||

    And would you like to be the first to take me up on my $10,000 wager that the next POTUS will be an R or a D?

  • ||

    No, I was just pointing out that you either can't read or can't count.

  • Tony||

    If it is 100% certain that the next POTUS will be an R or a D, do you really have an alternative?

  • ||

    Yes, you do. The more dipshits there are like you, that will vote only for one or the other, the longer we will be stuck with "one or the other."

  • Tony||

    We're stuck with one or the other because of the way our electoral system is set up. There's not a whole lot individuals can do about it. I'm definitely in favor of overhauling the system to one in which minority parties can participate. But that would make us like icky Europe.

  • ||

    Now you're claiming that minority parties can't participate? Do you have any idea how our system is set up?

  • Tony||

    I mean in governance.

  • ||

    aaaaaaaand Tony moves the goalposts.

  • Joe||

    Tony, I know you know what you are talking about, and you are referring to the fact that a first past the post system leads to 2 dominant parties. This is true, however, those 2 parties have changed over the years. You may have noticed that Ron Paul is running as a R. If he gets elected, he can make a run later as a libertarian.

    Even if the parties don't get switched out, him winning votes will encourage the other parties to adopt the things he stands for that resonates with voters.

    Just because smaller parties don't have formal seats in congress doesn't mean that they don't play a role in a 2 party system.

    If you are unhappy with the 2 parties the answer is not to join with one, it is to be aloof and either (eventually) become a rival, or make them come to you. Both have historical credibility.

    But something tells me you are happy with one of the parties.

  • Tony||

    And when the GOP crumbles and is replaced by the Libertarian party, and it somehow gets in a position to govern, everyone will be back here bitching about how many compromises they have to make and how imperfect they are.

  • Paul||

    And when the GOP crumbles and is replaced by the Libertarian party, and it somehow gets in a position to govern, everyone will be back here bitching about how many compromises they have to make and how imperfect they are.

    And on this we can agree. Luckily for you (and for us?) there will never be a Libertarian president to test this theory because there are only like 22 of us in the country-- despite the media's hyperventillating over all the power we have.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony the Pederast,

    everyone will be back here bitching about how many compromises they have to make and how imperfect they are.


    When that happens and after you return from your "Saving The Children From Capitalism" tour in Indonesia, then we'll talk.

  • ||

    Yep. From my experience in Germany even a small libertarian(ish) party that is part of the government can at best delay, but never reverse, government intrusion.

  • Joe||

    Yes Tony, that is how gov't works. "You can please all the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time..."

  • Paul||

    When Obama gets as many human beings killed as Bush did, then they will be equals.

    Oh geez, Tony, not the body-count comparitor... we went throught that with Clinton, now we gotta go through it again?

    The argument comes down to: Yeah, this president is doing the exact same thing as the other president, but this one has accidentally killed fewer people, so, WIN!

    Something tells me that when you pulled the lever for Obama, that wasn't the "change" you had in mind.

    Weak tea defense of Obama is weak tea.

  • Tony||

    Sending thousands of Americans to their deaths in a pointless war based on lies was an "accident"?

  • Xenocles||

    As much as keeping them there is.

  • ||

    WWI WWII Korea Vietnam started by Democrats.

    Gulf War Iraq War Afghanistan Started by Republicans.

    One party does love war more. Of course, it's not the one Tony supports.

    Shocker, that.

  • Beloved Rev. Blue Moon||

    Gee, is Tony being a Team Blue cheerleader again? Color me shocked.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    I believe Richman's criticism is against this guy Chait, not against "liberals." In fact, Richman is *defending* Obama's critics against Chait's attacks.

    I suspect that Obama's leftist critics will end up voting for him anyway, because of the horror that was Florida 2000 and the way Nader "stole" votes from Al Gore and put George W. Satan into the White House.

    To make sure that he gets the votes from his critics on the left, Obama will soft-pedal the whole hope-change-yes-we-can stuff and focus on his evil Republican enemies. The narrative has been shaping up since Obama took office, with a succession of right-wing bogeypersons summoned up: First Rush Limbaugh, then Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, the Tea Party, the Kochs, the KKK and the CCC (Council of "Conservative" Citizens), the guy who called Obama a liar, etc.

    Obama's inspiring message will be "better me than the other guy, so hold your nose and vote and shut up!"

  • ||

    Obama's inspiring message will be "better me than the other guy, so hold your nose and vote and shut up!"

    I think the republicans are running with a similar strategy.

    "Hey, sure Newcular Titties is a bag of dicks and an affront to every person with an iota of morality, but at least he ain't Obama."

  • ||

    That actually may be a winning strategy.

  • ||

    For Newcular Titties, that is.

  • Terr||

    For the Titties, yes. Not Newt Gingrich.

  • Tony||

    My biggest pro-Obama argument is that he's not a Republican, and rather than being depressed about the bad choice, I think we should feel that we've accomplished a momentous thing by keeping Republicans out of the white house. An ounce of prevention...

  • ||

    "An ounce of prevention..."

    Has done what? Stopped all the wars? WTF??? Nothing has changed, Tony. Don't you understand??

  • ||

    Nothing has changed, Tony.

    Bullshit. Plenty has changed. We're now at war in Pakistan and Yemen, are rattling our sabres at Iran and are extra-judicially killing American citizens (and any number of Libyan civilians) overseas with drones.

  • ||

    And if Iran is attacked, does anyone seriously think there'll be protests in America?

    Silly me. I mean if Obama is President. If it's a Republican President it will mean that it's time for another paperback run for It Can't Happen Here.

  • ||

    It'll be Libya on steroids. I actually think the Team Blue cheerleaders will praise him for his foresight and courage to "defend our interests" before the evil Iranians start lobbing bombs into Anytown, USA.

    And all of it will be sans evidence any more substantive than GWB presented when we went into Iraq (to enforce a UN resolution, btw).

  • ||

    So have you been in the street protesting Obama's or America's wars? Will you, if they attack Iran or threaten to do so? Because 90% of those I see at the dwindling antiwar actions are Leftists.

  • Tony||

    If the only measure of change you'll accept is stopping "all wars" then you'll likely be disappointed for a long time.

    Drastically reducing the body count and financial cost isn't quite the same as stopping all wars, but it's not nothing.

  • ||

    I doubt we could stop all wars, but I bet that we could stop intervening in nations that are not an imminent threat pretty easily.

    You are on the opposite side of this argument than you were on 4 years ago. Therefore, you are nothing but a partisan douchebag. Any you're no better than the dickholes who cheered GWB when he bomber Iraq and whine about BHO bombing Libya and Pakistan.

  • Tony||

    When have I expressed support for any warmaking?

    I'm not saying I like what Obama has done, I'm saying we only get two choices: Bush or Obama, and one is significantly, measurably different from the other.

  • ||

    Crap, you mean Bush is running again?

  • Joe||

    Tony, are you serious? All Obama does is extend Bush era orders and buy votes by extending (even more!) entitlements that Bush. The administrations are essentially the same. The only reason Obama isn't growing gov't any more than he is, is because Bush already did it. I honestly don't understand why liberals hate Bush so much when he did all the crappy things you love. I guess that is why they just made fun of the way he talked and called him stupid. If they attacked his policies they would just be attacking themselves.

  • Tony||

    The argument that Obama has expanded Bush's policies or is worse than Bush exists only to give Bush a pass. It's ridiculous.

    This country's intelligence apparatus has been doing really evil things for decades. But not every president starts a war based on lies and gets 4500 american soldiers killed.

  • Joe||

    Oh, you mistake me. I am condemning them both. The only ridiculous thing is the hatred liberals have toward Bush and love they have for Obama when they are of the same ilk.

  • ||

    So it is the body count with you, as charged upstream. God help Obama if he gets 4501 Americans killed. Tony will be laying the hate all over poor BO.

  • Tony||

    Damn right, especially if he lies in order to do it.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    So apparently the excuse for bypassing the war powers act, that we aren't engaged in hostilities because we're only bombing them from the air, isn't a disingenuous lie?

    I wish I had a bag of dicks to smack you with.

  • Elton John||

    Oh, god, so do I -- !

  • Sevo||

    Tony|12.2.11 @ 5:02PM|#
    "My biggest pro-Obama argument is that he's not a Republican..."

    It's hard to believe that shithead *isn't* a reason.com troll-bot, set to pass the Turing test of most ignorant comments imaginable.

  • Sevo||

    Tony|12.2.11 @ 6:44PM|#
    "The argument that Obama has expanded Bush's policies or is worse than Bush exists only to give Bush a pass. It's ridiculous."

    And then shithead proves me wrong by *failing* the Turing test.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    My biggest pro-Obama argument is that he's not a Republican...

    You breathe out of your ass, you say? Fascinating...

  • The Angry RPh||

    "...It's naive to expect a president to give them up willingly..."

    Translation: Why would one of the blood-thirsty warmongers in the White House abide by the Constitution? Issuing Executive Orders and bombing brown people is fun, fer Chrissake!

    "I don't know what will fix our aggressive foreign policy..."

    I seem to recall reading about a presidential candidate who wants to make some real changes in this area. Dang it, his name is right on the tip of my tongue.

  • Tony||

    Pity he'll never get elected in a million years, and rightfully so, since he's a deranged old kook.

    It would be a great day when the US's dominance in the world were in math and science education, healthcare quality, or something useful, but it's easier to be the guy with the biggest club, and that's the only thing Republicans will allow the government to spend money on.

  • ||

    "...since he's a deranged old kook"

    That's right. So let's keep voting for the guys who will continue to bomb the shit out of people in the name of National Defense. This is a totally sane policy.

    To me reversing our foreign policy is the only substantive issue at this time.

  • Gojira||

    ...that's the only thing Republicans will allow the government to spend money on.

    Care to see the breakdown on how much military spending, including the wars on their seperate budgets, is of the total budget, compared with medicare and social security spending?

  • Tony||

    Can we talk after the GOP has functioning majorities in Congress and the White House for a while?

    You don't get more right-wing with time then abandon your decades-long crusade to eliminate the welfare state.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    2003-2007? Remember how back then, the Republicans rammed through their radical free-market agenda, thanks to their control of both houses of Congress and the White House. They cut Medicare to the bone, abolished Social Security, closed down the Department of Education, sold Massachusetts to Canada, and deregulated the entire economy. It was awful! A libertarian distopia. I can't believe anyone would want to go back to those days.

  • Tony||

    They would have gotten around to it if they hadn't been busy torturing people and starting one of the most ludicrous wars in history.

  • ||

    You can't possibly believe this, can you?

    I mean, really? This must be a spoof.

  • Tony's Mother||

    That's exactly what I screamed, in the delivery room!

  • Tony's Mother||

    That's exactly what I screamed, in the delivery room!

  • Sevo||

    Tony|12.2.11 @ 5:59PM|#
    "They would have gotten around to it if they hadn't been busy torturing people and starting one of the most ludicrous wars in history."

    "They" would be Obama, right, shithead?

  • Tony||

    No he opposed that war.

  • ||

    Until he was in charge of it. Then he loved it for 3 more years before he shut it down.

  • Xenocles||

    Then he loved it for 3 more years before he shut it down. failed to negotiate permission to stay and was forced to end it.

  • ||

    Your correction is more accurate.

    Of course, Tony will just say he was deferring to the military leaders and experts on a way to "wind down hostilities."

  • Another Phil||

    Obama likes bombing brown people? There's enough about him to fuel plenty of hatred, why make shit up?

  • Bombed Libyan Babies||

    You mean, on top of being bombed into little bitsy bloody bits... we were also "made up," before that? Fuck!

  • Another Phil||

    Not my point and you know it. It's the "brown people" meme I'm disputing.

  • ||

    Fair enough. Do Pakis count?

  • Bombed Libyan Babies||

    It's the "brown people" meme I'm disputing.

    "Libya is an African country in the Maghreb region of North Africa [...] Native Libyans are primarily Arab or a mixture of Arab and Berber ethnicities. Among foreign residents, the largest groups are citizens of other African nations, including North Africans (primarily Egyptians), and Sub-Saharan Africans."

    Welcome to (once-)scenic Libya. Enjoy the quaint local culture and customs of our (evidently) not-quite-"brown-enough" native peoples.

    Well... the whole ones, at any rate.

  • Ice Cream Bunny||

    Libya is part of North Africa, and its population is primarily comprised of Berbers, and their descendents.

    Berbers.

    More Berbers.

    The only way to significantly "brown" them any more would be to have them individually sauted.

  • Ice Cream Bunny||

    Make that "sauteed."

  • Ice Cream Bunny||

    Corrected link:

    Berbers.

  • Obama||

    Note to self: Bomb some Scandinavians.

  • Tony||

    I'd reflexively defend that to the death as well, O Prince!.

  • ||

    "...liberals tend to think punishing Democrats for being bad by not voting for them is a winning strategy for accomplishing... something."

    They may think that, but they certainly will not put it into action, just like conservatives. Both sides are too caught up in the "OMFG The Other Team is so FUCKING EVIL so we have to vote for our team even though we are totally pissed at them" mindset.

    I think would actually work. How else are you going to get Your Team to change? When you vote for them you are rewarding them. If you refuse to vote for them they will make whatever changes it takes to get your vote back. I'm talking about the base, that is. But both teams never, ever have to worry about their base. They always get the "OMFG The Other Team Will Destroy The Country" vote no matter what. Happens every time. It's depressing. Even more depressing than liberal war apathy.

  • Tony||

    All Republicans do is worry about their base. Their success depends on the turnout of the church buses. This has worked for them quite well, to Karl Rove's credit, but it's got to have diminishing returns.

    The Dems are a different animal since they represent a more diverse coalition, and their strategy is to win over the middle (the pre-Rove traditional way of doing things). The 2008 election was partly a vindication of this, but also largely about base turnout (the young people vote skyrocketed).

    Liberals want Democrats to win over the middle by making liberal arguments and getting the middle to agree with them, rather than act like anxious doormats who assume they have to be partly Republican on matters of foreign and domestic policy, which pisses the liberals off and depresses their turnout while having only a dubious effect on the middle (which is people who don't pay attention to politics).

    The question of how to change your party's behavior is an interesting one. Which party pays more attention to its base? As I said, the GOP. But who votes most loyally? Again, the GOP base. What gives? Primaries. You change your party's behavior by remaining loyal but by putting up primary challenges (ideally viable ones).

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Who should challenge Obama in the primaries? What would their chances be?

    Guess who would vote for him in the primaries!

    Even if Norman Thomas himself came back from the grave, registered Democrat, and ran in the Democratic primary, progressives would *still* vote for Obama.

  • Tina Turner||

    I remained loyal because I knew that by staying loyal, I could totally change my man.

  • Whitney Houston||

    I remained loyal because I knew that by staying loyal, I could totally change my man.

    Preach it, girlfriend!

  • Rhianna||

    Listen up my sistas, they ain't never gonna' change. Dump they ass.

  • Tony||

    Well, nobody, but everything I've been saying still applies.

    A primary challenge to Obama would significantly reduce the likelihood of a Democrat getting elected. Incumbency is hard to beat when it comes to boosting your chances, and it's by no means clear that anyone to the left of Obama could ever win.

    You work with the choices the universe gives you. Liberals should vote for Obama because he's a better option than Romney or Gingrich. What is flawed about this reasoning?

    If liberals refuse to vote, on "principle," I seriously doubt evangelicals and tea partiers will do the same. You get two choices and there is no such thing as not making a choice.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Splitting one party's vote *can* work.

    Democrats are always reminding the country of the Southern Strategy of the evil Republicans.

    In 1968, the George Wallace vote cut into Democrat Hubert Humphries' totals, opening the way for one of the parties to appeal to those voters. The Republicans were up to the task, and got many of the formerly-Democratic Wallace voters.

    Perot probably cut into Clinton's support in 1992, and for a few years after that, the major parties pretended to care about balanced budgets.

    Many Progressives split from the Republicans in 1912 and voted for Teddy ("Bull Moose") Roosevelt. Fellow-Progressive Woodrow Wilson ended up the winner, and progressivism got a boost.

  • ||

    splitting the vote worked for clinton ... See: ross perot

  • ||

    wait i see you already said that. my bad. except the CW is that perot HELPED clinton, not his opponent

  • ||

    Tony, BOTH parties worry about their base, no matter what their base is comprised of. I'm shocked that you think otherwise. Both parties pander to their base during the primaries while pandering to the center after the primaries. After the primaries, the base is always secure due to the party hack mindset of most voters.

  • Mitt Romney||

    All Republicans do is worry about their base.

    Huh. So that's why I'm next in line for the nomination, then.

    Live and learn, I s'pose.

  • ||

    "An opinion you might change if you'd read any liberal message board on this topic, ever."

    What I have seen on such boards is apologetics. Similar to what you are displaying here. This presidency has opened my eyes as to the real position of progressives when it comes to exploding people- they are only really outraged when Team Red does it.

  • ||

    spend some time on DU. there are PLENTY of progs i am seeing calling obama out for his civil rights, warmongering, etc.

    granted, right now it's ALL about OWS, but there are many who are speaking out about it.

    granted, FAR FAR less than if it was bush, that much is true

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony the Pederast,

    Personally, I don't trust a president of any party with the powers the Bush-Cheney people gave the presidency. It's naive to expect a president to give them up willingly[...]


    Translation: "My ass belongs to pimps in DC. I implied as much before."

  • cynical||

    "You may get your wish... liberals tend to think punishing Democrats for being bad by not voting for them is a winning strategy for accomplishing... something. Since the only thing it actually accomplishes is to get Republicans elected, who don't even pretend to care about the bill or rights or laws of war, it must simply be a self-esteem thing."

    Have they ever tried the "primary they ass and replace them with someone from the same party, but with principles" approach?

  • Beloved Rev. Blue Moon||

    Have they ever tried the "primary they ass and replace them with someone from the same party, but with principles" approach?

    Come now - how could they perpetuate the welfare/warfare state they allegedly hate if they actually voted in a real "progressive"?

    Tony and his other fellow-traveler "liberals" can come up with all of the justifications they want, but at the end of the day, they will go dutifully pull the lever for "their" guy and thereby endorse and support every single thing he has ever done, including starting wars in Yemen, Pakistan, and Libya.

  • Beloved Rev. Blue Moon||

    Have they ever tried the "primary they ass and replace them with someone from the same party, but with principles" approach?

    Come now - how could they perpetuate the welfare/warfare state they allegedly hate if they actually voted in a real "progressive"?

    Tony and his other fellow-traveler "liberals" can come up with all of the justifications they want, but at the end of the day, they will go dutifully pull the lever for "their" guy and thereby endorse and support every single thing he has ever done, including starting wars in Yemen, Pakistan, and Libya.

  • Tony||

    That's exactly what they should be doing, but for some reason liberals go from getting starry-eyed over a potential savior to depressed that he wasn't perfect.

    I'm convinced the GOP method will eventually cause it to implode, as their base is if anything more demanding. But old white conservatives do vote, and do so loyally.

  • cynical||

    If the GOP collapses into a bright red dwarf, it will unleash a torrent of neocons that, combined with the drop in functional opposition, will rip the DNC apart as well.

  • ||

    But old white conservatives do vote, and do so loyally.

    Would we both be labeled racist if I said, "Old black liberals vote, and do so loyally?" Or would I be the only one?

    Or how about, "Poor blacks vote early and often for their corrupt Team Blue masters?"

  • The Ingenious Hidalgo||

    You may get your wish... liberals tend to think punishing Democrats for being bad by not voting for them is a winning strategy for accomplishing... something. Since the only thing it actually accomplishes is to get Republicans elected, who don't even pretend to care about the bill or rights or laws of war, it must simply be a self-esteem thing.

    Or maybe they think that if they let the Dems get away with this they won't have an motive to change their ways. Maybe they think that four years under the republicans is a fair price to pay to teach the Dems a lesson, so that when they get back into power they'll cut this shit out. I don't think it will work, but it's better than saying "I'll vote for you no matter what you do."

  • Tony||

    This country may not survive 4 more years of Republicans. It is too steep a price no matter how you slice it, and yes I wish more liberals understood that.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony the Pederast,

    This country may not survive 4 more years of Republicans.


    Or Democrats, for that matter.

  • The Ingenious Hidalgo||

    Hysteria without argument.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    You'll never get Tony to admit that his Team is just as full of shit and just as lustful of power as Team Red.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Because he is a hack, plain and simple.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    That's awfully kind, MLG.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    If Obama were the man he should be, he'd give up that power voluntarily, Tony.

    But he's on your Team, so you really have no choice.

    BTW... "supposedly"?

  • anon||

    The Bamster will still win in a landslide when the repubs will choose Newcular because he didn't serve divorce papers on someone dying of cancer.

  • Dirk||

    Correction - the bitch is still alive.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Why is she a "bitch"?

  • Dirk||

    Yes, because Libya is just like Iraq!

    $2 trillion and 4500 dead US soldiers in each war.

  • Warty||

    TEAM BLUE GOOD! TEAM RED BAD!

  • Dirk||

    That is why "Commander in Chief" is not just a title.

    Blowing huge resource on a hellhole like Iraq makes you an idiot CiC.

  • ||

    Squirm, TEAM BLUE moron, squirm.

  • ||

    Continuing the unnecessary wars the previous idiot started while getting involved in another also makes you an idiot CiC.
    Unless you are for Team Blue, that is. Cause then it's like totally okay. S'not his wars, man! Free Libya!

  • Dirk||

    What kind of fuckstick thinks pulling out of Iraq is a "continuation of war"?

    Does PaulR know?

  • Beloved Rev. Blue Moon||

    It only took three years and 263 U.S. Service Members killed.

    I am sure that Barack Obama's "ehhn, I get around to it eventually" is a big comfort to those 263 dead.

  • ||

    We are out of Iraq? Cool! I was unaware. I have Bush to thank for the timetable, anyway.

  • Paul||

    What kind of fuckstick thinks pulling out of Iraq is a "continuation of war"?

    His plan is to pull us out of Iraq directly in line with the Bush Doctrine. HOPE AND CHANGE!

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Um, Dirk... we're *still* in Afghanistan, and we got involved in Libya, even peripherally, but still involved.

    Go back to DU. You'll be happier there.

  • ||

    Interesting.. I'll have to tell my friend who left for Iraq 3 days ago that he's not supposed to be there.
    What a fucking moron.

  • ||

    Let the equivocations begin!

    We've been waiting for this since the guy took office. Now it's time to sit back, get a drink, and watch them fucking squirm.

  • ||

    there are a fair amount of progs on DU etc. who ARE calling obama out for being a complete sellout on civil rights, etc.

    of course, there are the sycophantic team blue rooters, but there actually are a pretty decent amount of lefties who are fucking pissed at obama, and very explicit about why- he's a failure on civil rights, a corporatist, etc.

  • Ice Cream Bunny||

    there actually are a pretty decent amount of lefties who are fucking pissed at obama, and very explicit about why

    ... but not "fucking pissed" enough, of course, to actually withhold their votes from him, come next November, as they are uniformly at great pains and haste to say.

    I goggle at all those exact same threads over at Kos and DU. Shrill, blustery declarations of (supposed) principle minus actual, concrete action -- i.e., voting third party, etc. -- are just so much impotent yipping and yapping, like a bunch of neutered toy poodles. Pfeh.

  • Ice Cream Bunny||

    Top KOS diaries right now, under the "Obama" tag, include (but are by no means limited to):

    Yesterday President Obama helped me save $177 a month on my mortgage

    Racial bias cost Barack Obama as many as 5 percentage points in 2008

    GOP Pollster Luntz Tells Rs To Tell People To Occupy Washington And Blame Obama

    I will vote for Barack Obama. I will vote for him in the primaries. I will vote for him in November.

    I WILL NOT let the GOP co-opt OccupyWallSt and turn it into a "blame Obama-fest"

    Oh. Animals. Stop. You're tearing him apart.

  • ||

    lol. note that at DU, it is AGAINST THE RULES to say you will vote for anybody but the dem candidate.

    advocating voting for a third party candidate is against the rules

    they are VERY progressive (rolls eyes)

  • ||

    Oh, so small wars are good?

  • Doctor Whom||

    What's the cutoff?

  • ||

    Exactly, how many dead is too many?

    50? 100? 1000?

    I'd say 1 life, or $1 spent is too much if it ain't self-defense.

  • Tony||

    But 1 life < 4500 lives, and $1 < $2 trillion. Pretending those

  • Tony||

    Pretending those are equal is simply to be a partisan shill for the GOP, because it excuses them.

  • ||

    It may be "being a partisan shill."

    Then again, it may be "being principled," a concept you seem to be unfamiliar with.

  • Tony||

    There's no seem about it, I am wholeheartedly against having what you refer to as principles. It makes you believe silly unproductive things like Libya is just as bad as Iraq.

  • ||

    Read Blue Moon's comment below.

  • Beloved Rev. Blue Moon||

    Who would have thought that a self-professed social justice cheerleader and delicate-flower gay kid like Tony would be such a warhawk cheerleader? Goes to show you that partisanship does crazy things to people.

  • Tony||

    I've not expressed support for any war, ever, that I'm aware of.

    It is not required to think of the world in black/white terms. In fact it's best if you don't. I throw my support behind the team that will likely result in the smaller body count. What makes you superior for letting others make the choice for you, and potentially choosing the wrong way? Because you are pure in your thoughts? When did that ever prevent someone from being blown up? When did it ever accomplish anything but perhaps enhancing the self-esteem of one person?

  • The Ingenious Hidalgo||

    But surely if you were concerned with the lowest possible body count, you'd throw your support behind Ron Paul?

  • Tony||

    I am dealing in likelihoods here. Paul is never going to be president, and I'll put money on it.

  • ||

    "I throw my support behind the team that will likely result in the smaller body count."

    Cause less pointless suffering and dead is better than more suffering and dead given that we'll never, ever have the opportunity for no suffering and dead because we don't have a choice and Team Red is OMFG SO EVIL!

  • Tony||

    If you'll explain the pathway I'll listen, but nobody has ever taken my bet that the next president will be an R or a D, because everyone knows it's true.

    I'm just not impressed by your sitting on the sidelines complaining while the worst of two evils gets elected no thanks to your efforts.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Not voting R or D =/= supporting either, Tony.

    That shit is old and tired. The "if you vote third party, you're helping one Team win" bullshit. One wonders how many death threats Nader got for "stealing" the election from Gore, or how many were made against other third-party candidates.

    Sick, twisted shit.

  • ||

    Tony,there is a concept called "Hotelling," the most obvious manifestion of which is that you always see McD's and BKs and Wendy's clustered together. You see, most people's politics (and tastes and everything else) are clustered into a bell curve. If you have only two choices then to capitalize on the greatest number, you set yourself next to the other choice, ie the apex of the bell curve. That way all all the Rs get EVERYONE to the right side, and the Ds get EVERYTHING to left. So ostensibly, you want to set yourself a cunt hair to either right or left of your competitor. That is why the R's and D's are so similar in their platforms. the only thing keeping them from becoming almost exactly teh same except for marketing (think lite beers--all the same, marketing is the only difference) are thirs parties and primaries. The potential for splinter parties, losing some of your HALF of the bell curve, comes from the fear of 3rd parties and primarry challengers.

    Now you say it's rididculous to vote for 3rd parties or candidates thaat are lost causes (Ron Paul) but these are the only factors that keep Rs and Ds merging into lite beers--all the same. So while you say it's stupid, 3rd parties and primary challengers are pretty much the ONLY way to effect differences in a two party system.

  • ||

    Furthermore, some thanks are in order. because we 3rd party whackos are the only people who force the Rs and Ds to differeentiate themselves. Otherwise, you Team Red and Team Blue people would only be able to scream "Tastes Great!" and "less Filling!" at each other while waving your pompoms. Your pep rallies for your team are built on the backs of us 3rd party whackos. So instead of shitting on us, you might want to thank us.

  • Tony||

    The claim that Republicans and Democrats have similar policies is absurd.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Tony|8.24.11 @ 9:56AM|#
    If you weren't a known partisan obviously desperate to shuffle responsibility of these fiascos off onto Democrats, I might sort of agree with you.

    But in general, I think what Libya demonstrates is that, putting authority and legality issues aside, Democrats are simply better at doing these things than Republicans, because they are not quite as dumb. What makes Qadaffi different from Saddam? Only the number of American lives it took to oust them. And we're not attempting to set up a neocon/free-market experiment in Libya, but letting prudence and democratic will of the people of that country play some part.

    I'm really sorry your guys are so disastrously inept at everything they do, but I'm sure that's Dems' fault too.

    Shorter version: War is magical when Democrats deal out death from 10,000!

    Rah, rah, Team Blue!

  • Skip||

    I hate to compliment Saddam, but he maintained his dictatorship much better than Kadaffy Duck did. Not to mention the incredibly different Sunni/Shia dynamic in Iraq which causes so much infighting. It is ridiculous to say there was nothing different about them.

  • Beloved Rev. Blue Moon||

    Not being able to see your inanities is a wonderful blessing Tony. War is war, right is right, wrong is wrong, regardless of whether a Democrat or a Republican does it. Any other kind of morality is nothing more than the elevation of particular men over principles.

  • Tony||

    That will be a useful opinion the day Jesus runs for president. By my calculation, we'll get a Republican or a Democrat next time, so don't you think it pays to appreciate who will result in the bigger body count?

  • ||

    Jesus is not a natural-born citizen (unless you buy into the Mormon thingy), so he would not be eligible to run.

  • Beloved Rev. Blue Moon||

    Wait, what? I thought he released his Hawai'ian birth certificate this year.

  • Tony||

    Or, as is the case with many liberals and libertarians, does the fact of people being blown up actually matter less to you than feeling good about yourself and your cherished principles?

  • ||

    Yes, actually. I am more concerned with maintaining my principles than I am with the "fact" of people being blown up.

  • ||

    If you don't have principles, then what have you got?

    You're just a sycophantic boot licking supporter of murder, like Tony.

  • Tony||

    You are a citizen and your tax dollars are paying to murder those people. What is practically different about the world because you express a principle but do nothing about it? The only thing in the universe that changes is perhaps a few chemical squirts in your brain. It means nothing.

    I believe in actively supporting the likeliest means to reducing human carnage. You believe in patting yourself on the back for merely saying you're against it.

  • The Ingenious Hidalgo||

    I believe in actively supporting the likeliest means to reducing human carnage. You believe in patting yourself on the back for merely saying you're against it.

    No, you believe in pretending you have less choices than you do so you can still vote for Obama without actually having to take any responsibility for all the people he kills. We believe in, you know, not that.

  • ||

    No, Tony you don't believe in anything outside of the non-existent red/blue dichotomy. You're posts reveal a vapid and intellectually uncurious soul; your only beliefs and convictions rest solely on opposition to team red.

    Sometimes I hope that I am arguing with a sockpuppet, because thinking that I am actually talking to a empty dried husk of a human being, and that there are more like you out there, strikes a direct blow to my idealism and my optimism.

  • Tony||

    Reason decides to make most articles political gotcha pieces absolutely obsessing about what liberals think, I express my opinion on politics. My thoroughly considered and pragmatic approach is for the country to jump off the sinking ship that is the GOP before we all die in poverty and misery.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    "before we all die in poverty and misery"

    Is this before or after the violent socialist uprising being fomented by Team Blue?

  • Ice Cream Bunny||

    before we all die in poverty

    Unintentional irony is unintentional.

  • Skip||

    So if Bush had just bombed Iraq for 8 months, MoveOn and Daily Kos would have been all for it?

  • Dirk||

    So you see no difference in $2 trillion and a billion?

    All Presidents since James Monroe exert US power - the better ones do it on the cheap.

  • Beloved Rev. Blue Moon||

    I guess next time I go stick a gun in someone's face in the course of a robbery, I better only take 10 bucks instead of 100. That'll ensure that I am morally in the right.

  • Dirk||

    Since when do "morals" matter to Libertarians? The operative concept here is lower taxes.

    Iraq = high taxes.

    Libya = 1/2000 the taxes.

  • ||

    Squirm, TEAM BLUE moron. Squirm.

  • Beloved Rev. Blue Moon||

    You are a tool.

    Morality is one of the most important things to libertarians. We strive for justice and the non-initiation of force (for differing moral reasons, but all of them strongly rooted in values systems) every day.

  • Dirk||

    Sure.. when you vote to kill off school lunch programs for kids its all out of a categorical moral imperative, right?

    They should be pushing mops for that bisquit I am sure.

  • ||

    I agree. Killing off school lunches and ending the Wars of Exploding People is totally reprehensible as opposed to continuing the Wars of Exploding People and providing school lunches for Unexploding American Children.

  • Beloved Rev. Blue Moon||

    Sure.. when you vote to kill off school lunch programs for kids its all out of a categorical moral imperative, right?

    I don't believe in a categorical imperative, but killing off school lunches is out of a moral code, yes. It is the code that says "forcing people to feed your children is wrong. If you cannot feed your children or otherwise handle your responsibilities, then you should not have burdened yourself in the first place."

    It may not be a morality you like, but it is morality.

  • Dirk||

    You should leave this Constitutional social contract as soon as possible then.

    Please note all major airlines fly out of country.

  • The Ingenious Hidalgo||

    You should leave this Constitutional social contract as soon as possible then.

    Please note all major airlines fly out of country.

    The assumption being that the government has a legitimate claim of ownership on all of the land within the country's borders when there's no fucking reason why that should be so.

  • Dirk||

    No, the assumption is that we live in a representative Republic.

    If enough citizens want to amend the Contract - fucking do it! The 2% of the LP won't come close though.

  • The Ingenious Hidalgo||

    That 2% (or whatever) didn't sign the contract. Why should they be forced to obey?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    You first, Dirk. North Korea probably has a place for you.

  • ||

    Say it, Reverend! ~ I absolutely love gettin' in the faces of non-libertarians, calling them out on their rank hypocrisy and blind worship of authority.

  • Beloved Rev. Blue Moon||

    Here's a fun fact, boys and girls: next time some Democrat Apologist comes around talking about Obama and the wars, remind him that Obama's ratcheting-up of the "good war" of Afghanistan has gotten about twice as many Service Members killed in three years than the casualty number of 2001-2008...COMBINED.

    Casualties from 2001-2008: 630
    Casualties from 2009-2011: 1218

    Thanks President Obama! Will you be returning your Peace Prize now?

  • Tony||

    And what really matters is you being right that Obama is evil.

    That's what all this is about after all. Normal people can say American foreign policy in general is fucked up, but based on historical standards Obama's had successes. But you guys can't give him credit for anything because that would go against your #1 political belief, that Obama is awful.

  • Dirk||

    Behind every "libertarian" right winger is an Aborto-Freak looking for love!

  • juris imprudent||

    I support a women's right to choose, but I'm not a freak about it.

  • Dude||

    God Tony, you seriously have a huge boner for Obama.

    Would it kill you to admit what a LOT of other liberals can admit, that the man is flawed?

    Or do you still believe that the seas will begin to recede and the world will begin to heal?

    Obama and Harold Camping have a lot in common...

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Your shit is thin and runny, Dirk.

  • Tony||

    Compared to the freak show running against him he is the messiah, and that's the only comparison that matters.

  • Art Vandelay||

    he is the messiah

    Doubtless.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Who will clean up the mess Obama will leave?

    Oh, wait... it's not a mess. He's so messiahish, his shit is grade-A edible.

  • Skip||

    I don't remember lefties arguing for Bush to prosecute Iraq more frugally. They were calling him a anti-Arab racist who was illegally profitting from the whole oil business.

  • Beloved Rev. Blue Moon||

    I really don't recall morality ever being contingent on how much killing people costs.

  • Dirk||

    Well, Obama is way above your barely sentient foolishness then. He campaigned on a "good war" and a shitty one.

    Learn the difference. We listened.

  • Beloved Rev. Blue Moon||

    What? You are completely incomprehensible.

    All wars that are not in self-defense and/or retribution for other acts of war are immoral. Learn principles. We have them; you don't.

  • Dirk||

    That was Obama's point, you moron. Iraq was an immoral war of resource gain and the Afghan war was self-defense.

    Glad we find common ground.

  • ||

    Afghan war was self-defense.

    Hahahaha. Seriously? What were and/or are we "defending" our nation from?

    Afghanistan was a retaliatory strike to exact vengeance on a nation that provided training grounds for those that have attacked us. Training grounds, by the way, that we had been aware of for years.

  • Another Phil||

    Afghanistan was a retaliatory strike to exact vengeance on a nation that provided training grounds for those that have attacked us. Training grounds, by the way, that we had been aware of for years.

    I have no problem with the retaliatory strike. It's the sticking around indefinitely because...mumble, mumble...that I have a problem with.

  • Beloved Rev. Blue Moon||

    OK...so what was Libya?

    Not self defense. Therefore a "resource waster", therefore a "bad war".

    For the record, calling nation-building in Afghanistan 7 years after the casus belli a "good war" also shows what a warmongerer the President is and what a cheerleader you are.

  • Dirk's Stunted Conscience||

    OK...so what was Libya?

    [::blink::]

    [::blink::]

    [::blink::]

  • Dirk||

    Obama is not for nation building - that is a Christian conservative GOP thing. The Afghan deal is to secure the Pak nukes and sell more to India.

    My pimp is better than your pimp - we just set an all-time high on exports - $180 billion for one month.

  • Dirk's Stunted Conscience||

    See? Toldja.

  • Escobar ||

    Exports are subsidized

  • Dude||

    Oh, really, so Obama's cutting all that nation-building funding, right? I must have missed the memo

  • Mr. FIFY||

    It was heavily redacted, Dude.

  • cynical||

    I don't think that talking point came up until the Republicans starting talking more about cutting spending, toward the end of the reign of Bush the Lesser.

  • ||

    All Presidents since James Monroe exert US power - the better ones do it on the cheap.

    When exactly did Calvin Coolidge "exert US power?"

  • ||

    Yes, killing people on a small scale never pisses people off or has consequences.

    The left is no more anti-war than the right. How much fucking evidence do we need?

  • Dirk||

    Oh, Coolidge exerted US power better than any President.

    Silently.

  • ||

    [citation required]

  • Dirk||

    "Better" is subjective. Cal was cool and IIRC - he was against Prohibition.

    Maybe not - but that is my recollection.

  • ||

    You really are a child. You make a blanket assumption, and when your premise is questioned, you just ignore it or move the goalposts.

    Your ignorance is incredible.

  • Paul||

    All Presidents since James Monroe exert US power - the better ones do it on the cheap.

    So if Obama found a way (you know, for conversation purposes) found a way to execute a war as big and expansive as the Iraq war for cheap, you'd support it.

    I think you just unzipped your Team Blue fly.

  • Dirk||

    With a worthy goal, yes.

    Iran is 3x bigger than Iraq. If Obama whacked the head Mullah for $50? Great.

  • ||

    I never realized morality had a cost-benefit analysis factored in.

  • ||

    Caption: "I am not a crook."

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "A message to my progressive friends: This is *twice* as many fingers as I want to show you."

  • ||

    "V is for Vagina."

  • Spanish Paul||

    B is for bendetta.

  • ¢||

    If we listen to Chait, there is nothing at all disappointing about Obama’s [war stuff].

    You should listen. He's not often right, but he's got this one.

    Most libertarians care about [war stuff], a powerless minority of Republicans do, and precisely zero "liberals" do—unless it's Jews doing and or puppetmastering the [war stuff], but that's about JOOS, not [war stuff].

  • toddb||

    Have I missed something? Where's the Reason coverage of the 2012 National Defense Act? If I understand correctly, passage of the act will open the door for Americans on American soil to be arrested and detained indefinitely by military authorities. So long due process...

    If this is correct, why isn't it the biggest (and scariest) story being discussed?

  • Tony||

    There's a billionaire out there still paying taxes.

  • Sevo||

    Tony|12.2.11 @ 5:28PM|#
    "There's a billionaire out there still paying taxes."

    There's a shithead out there still posting stupid^n,

  • Dirk||

    Because Obama threatened to veto it.

    Must
    Not
    Print
    Pro-Obama
    Story

    Did that get past the censors?

  • Beloved Rev. Blue Moon||

    He threatened to veto it because it limits his power, not because it gives the government too much.

    But, hey! Don't worry - your Team Blue check is in the mail.

  • ||

    I thought it was, "Barry won't come in your mouth."

  • Beloved Rev. Blue Moon||

    In an escalating fight with the White House, the bill would ramp up the role of the military in handling terror suspects. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and FBI Director Robert Mueller both oppose the provisions as does the White House, which said it cannot accept any legislation that "challenges or constrains the president's authorities to collect intelligence, incapacitate dangerous terrorists and protect the nation."

    From here.

  • ||

    The right does this some, too, but I'm frequently in awe of the left's general willingness to run with absolutely stupid and completely falsifiable memes.

  • Beloved Rev. Blue Moon||

    They don't care. Even the allegedly smartest ones do it. Neu Mejican was saying the same thing about the veto here yesterday and then ran away when he got caught lying about it. Tony is pretty much joe-like in his ability to craft rhetorical pretzels to justify his Team Membership.

  • toddb||

    OK, so not to be stupid (but haven't been able to track news much this week)...but to recap: The Senate this week voted not to remove the provisions in this bill to expand military/executive authority to arrest American citizens, etc. Obama said he would veto the bill if the provisions were removed, so he was on board with the expanded powers as well. Nobody is reporting or talking about it or seems to care.

    Do I have it?

  • ||

    Dude, Reason's already posted multiple blog entries over the past few days on this. We all agree it's one of the most invasive and unconstitutional laws in our lifetime. It's still likely to get vetoed, even if Obama's reasoning is bad.

  • toddb||

    OK, if you say so. I searched and did find one (Nov 29). Not sure that counts as multiple, but it's hard to spot the interesting stuff behind the endless repetitive arguments and insults being traded between the usual trolls and the 10 guys who post here regularly...

  • Dirk||

    What do you know, anyway?

    I've been posting here 5-6 years. I don't remember you.

  • Sevo||

    Dirk|12.2.11 @ 6:32PM|#
    "What do you know, anyway?
    I've been posting here 5-6 years. I don't remember you."

    Hey, dipshit. This ain't the SEIU, so no one cares about your 'seniority'.
    Stupid for a long time is just as bad as stupid for a short time.

  • Kennedy (D-Chappaquiddick)||

    I've been posting here 5-6 years.

    Small world! I was in the U.S. Senate for nearly 47 years... and I was a boozy, amoral retard, too!

  • Ice Cream Bunny||

    Don't go selling yourself short, Senator. You were the quintessential boozy, amoral retard; maybe even the ur-boozy, amoral retard.

    Occurrences such as yourself come along once in a generation. Thanks to advances in pre-natal screening.

  • Dude||

    ziiing

  • ||

    I've been posting here 5-6 years. I don't remember you.

    You would be better off saving some of that posting energy and using it on reading some history. You might realize how uninformed and fucked up your arguments are.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Neu Mejican was saying the same thing about the veto here yesterday and then ran away when he got caught lying about it.

    I posted the story that contained the quote you see excerpted above. Without comment. This was done in response to John's claim that Obama was "planning on signing it."

    Any chance you're writing your comments with a strange, self created distortion of me in your head? Fucking tool.

  • cynical||

    Progressive is not synonymous with the left, they occupy the same spot on the left as neocons do on the right. No surprise they support coercion and tyranny in all its forms.

  • ||

    Actually "progressive" is an economic term that means that proportional to income, the burden of paying for government will impact the poor less and the rich more. I'm a libertarian, yet agree with this idea because I'd rather the poor spend their money on basic needs than paying taxes to the government and expecting welfare for their increased poverty.

    I'm not a fan of calling all Leftists progressives because government currency devaluation, carbon taxes, etc. are incredibly regressive ideas.

  • cynical||

    "Actually "progressive" is an economic term that means that proportional to income, the burden of paying for government will impact the poor less and the rich more."

    Um... no? Income tax is progressive in a mathematical sense. The fact that it reflects the ideals of the ideology called progressivism is just a coincidence. Progressivism is, in the most generic sense, an ideology that favors "progress" (as opposed to either stasis, like conservatives, or a hard reset, like radicals). It's largely synonymous with technocracy these day, though.

  • ||

    Using "progressive" as a pejorative is counterproductive, as it looks like you are standing against "progress".

    I take the term by its economic definition and argue that the Left is largely regressive in practice.

    But even by the standard definition of "progressivism" the Left is largely non-progressive, as they wish to preserve static, failing institutions instead of reforming them or abolishing them. As many of these institutions have irreparably and counterintuitively harmed the poor, I can't consider the modern Left progressive, even if their intentions are. A progressive is willing to change when facts indicate institutions are failing at their stated purposes. The modern left are merely technocratic authoritarians.

  • ||

    Using "progressive" as a pejorative is counterproductive, as it looks like you are standing against "progress".

    Funny, that. We can't get away with using it as a pejorative, even though those cunts are the most regressive folks I've ever seen. BUT, they can get away with using libertarian as a pejorative, even though they actually are against liberty.

  • MlR||

    It's more accurate to say they advocate government action, centralized under the control of largely unaccountable 'experts', to achieve what they -call- 'progress'.

  • Old Mexican||

    "Obama[...] has enjoyed a string of foreign-policy successes —expanding targeted strikes against Al Qaeda (including one that killed Osama bin Laden), ending the war in Iraq, and helping to orchestrate an apparently successful international campaign to rescue Libyan dissidents and then topple a brutal kleptocratic regime.


    Killing and bombing people is a "foreign policy success" for the member of Team Blue; killing and bombing people would be a crime against humanity if the one pursuing such policy belongs to Team Red.

    Nothing more is required to be reminded of the utter hypocrisy of the left, not that the hawkish right are slouches themseves when it comes to partisanship.

  • Nobel Peace Price||

    Obama[...] has enjoyed a string of foreign-policy successes — ....

    What am I, chopped liver?

  • Dirk||

    Spending $2 trillion to kill brown people is a TEAM RED virtue.

    Libertarians, more than anyone, should care about LOW TAX killing!

  • ||

    Only wanting to spend $200 billion to kill brown people is a TEAM BLUE virtue. I hope you are so proud of yourselves.

  • Sevo||

    Dirk|12.2.11 @ 7:17PM|#
    "Spending $2 trillion to kill brown people is a TEAM RED virtue.
    Libertarians, more than anyone, should care about LOW TAX killing!"

    You need to look up "non-sequitur", dipshit.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    What the fuck is "low tax killing"? Is this another bullshit term like "empathy tables" and "food deserts?"

  • ||

    President O'Bama has been a half way descent war lord.

    Bush/O'Bama 2012!

  • Dirk||

    OBama/Bush!

    Don't want some Christo-Aborto-Freak picking the Judges!

  • Sevo||

    Dirk|12.2.11 @ 8:36PM|#
    "OBama/Bush!
    Don't want some Christo-Aborto-Freak picking the Judges!"

    Lemme guess: You're Shriek with a new handle.

  • JoJo Zeke||

    I'd say "o2 with a lobotomy," if not for my morbid fear of redundancy.

  • Sevo||

    My goodness! That *is* a dilemma.
    Is 02 with a lobotomy worse than 02 otherwise? Is Dirk more of a dipshit than either alternative? Is shithead possibly the confluence of all the worst of them?
    Man, it's Friday night; I don't have the interest to resolve such complicated questions...

  • Beloved Rev. Blue Moon ||

    Ah damn, I was arguing with shrikey the whole time?

    Well, better than WI.

  • Dirkish||

    Because using the high court as ground zero for affirmative action is the way to go! I should say ground zero.1 being that the Presidency is ground zero for affirmative action.

  • juris imprudent||

    dirk, dirk herp-durr-hirk

  • Alice Bowie||

    As a progressive, I find Obama's War Record APPALLING!!!

  • mad libertarian guy||

    And let me guess . . . you'll be either abstaining from the 2012 vote, or voting for a 3rd party (or Ron paul if he's nominated), right?

    Because if you're answer is "no", you aren't appalled at all.

  • Dude||

    Bush was bad. Obama is bad. I don't understand why so many blues like to point at libertarians and say "Bush lover! You criticize our Lord Obama because you just want Bush to look good!"

    Yeah....because we just can't wait to vote for him in 2012..... wtf

  • juris imprudent||

    And that is where Chait actually makes a tiny bit of sense - these assholes are that detached from reality.

  • ||

    there IS nothing "dissapointing" (quoting the article) with his intensification of the war in Afghanistan, because that's what he promised he would do.

    most of the other stuff is spot on, but he promised to do WHAT HE IS DOING in afghanistan. it's one of the few things where his actions match his campaign rhetoric

  • Dirk||

    Would anyone like their dick sucked? I give three for a dollar.

  • White Indian||

    Got change for a five?

  • ||

    Obama's War Record Should Appall Progressives

    Problem is number of team blue fanboys >>>>>> number of honest progressives.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Honest progressive?

    Anyone who wishes to promote some definition of progress via the use of government force cannot, in any world where words have meaning, be considered honest.

  • JoJo Zeke||

    An "honest progressive," if such a zoological oddity actually existed, would be one that willingly footed the bills for all of its oh-so-sacred government-sponsored "entitlements" itself, rather than blandly utilizing federal force of arms to make you do it.

    Know any "progressives" like that...?

  • juris imprudent||

    true scotsman!

  • Progressives||

    "War! HUH! Good gawd, y'all!
    What is it good for?
    Whatever the fuck we SAY it is!
    Sing it again, now -- !!!"

  • Progressives (Redux)||

    [::chanting, marching::]
    "Okay, maybe just a little bit In Our Name!
    Okay, maybe just a little bit In Our Name!
    Okay, maybe just a little bit In Our Name -- !!!"

  • Libertarians||

    War is good for poking liberals in the eye while eating cheetos.

  • ||

    my roomate's aunt made $189458 so far just working on the internet for a few hours. Read more on this site...eg3.net/tag/nc9hs2/

  • ||

    Tits or GTFO

  • J.||

    Party over principle is why.

    I don't know about the 'left', as I find political labels useless, but this is what happens when you've an opportunistic world-view. If you have an opportunist world-view it's because you lack principles. There can be NO consistency in a world-view that prefers party/association over the vehicle of proper reason.

  • wareagle||

    the most amazing thing in this is that a writer, ANY writer, would be shocked that progressives - particularly those of Chait's ilk - are not appalled by anything Obama does. He could take a dump on the Capitol steps and they would find a way to excuse, justify, rationalize, even sanctify it.

  • a liberal||

    its not that i dont know he sucks. its just that when i look around i cant see anyone else who does not suck either.

    well that and i hate the majority of government politicians to the point where there misfortunes give me stimulation of certain senses.....

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