The Loyalty of the Clerks

Kevin Drum at Mother Jones, speaking I have no doubt, and alas, for many of Obama's fans on the progressive left about why they don't wanna stop believin' as the president does things of which one might imagine they'd disapprove:

Libya has been Obama's first real opportunity to make a decision on a new overseas military operation, and within days of making his choice it's already started to spiral. First he resisted intervention. Then he agreed to a no-fly zone. The no-fly zone turned into a Kosovo-style air campaign in support of the rebels. On Wednesday we learned that the CIA has advisors on the ground. And the administration has made it clear that providing arms to the rebels is under serious consideration too. Given that Muammar Qaddafi appears quite capable of holding out, or even outright winning, against even this, how likely is it that Obama will accept a stalemate or a loss and not escalate even further? Not very, I'd say.

So what should I think about this? If it had been my call, I wouldn't have gone into Libya. But the reason I voted for Obama in 2008 is because I trust his judgment. And not in any merely abstract way, either: I mean that if he and I were in a room and disagreed about some issue on which I had any doubt at all, I'd literally trust his judgment over my own. I think he's smarter than me, better informed, better able to understand the consequences of his actions, and more farsighted. I voted for him because I trust him, and I still do.

Our president appreciates your faith, Mr. Drum. Now won't you contribute to the Obama 2012 effort with a check by return mail? (If it's an April Fool's, then the joke's on me. It's almost that absurd.)

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  • Hugh Akston||

    But the reason I voted for Obama in 2008 is because I trust his judgment. And not in any merely abstract way, either: I mean that if he and I were in a room and disagreed about some issue on which I had any doubt at all, I'd literally trust his judgment over my own. I think he's smarter than me, better informed, better able to understand the consequences of his actions, and more farsighted. I voted for him because I trust him, and I still do.

    Is this what being an authoritarian feels like? Dear god, it sounds awful.

  • So sad that it's just .....||

    fucking hilarious! Bend over and take it however I give it!

  • BushPig Obama||

    I'm going to carpet bomb Tripoli. I know you'll still love me in the morning.

  • WarPig Obama||

    Nuking Islamabad tomorrow -- we know Osama is hiding there. I know you'll respect my decision.

  • oBAMA the jaunty golfer||

    April Fooools!

  • Journey Over The Edge||

    Don't stop believing!
    Hold on to that feeling...

  • Mike M.||

    Is this what being an authoritarian feels like?

    No, Drum is just stupid, that's all.

  • Hugh Akston||

    So you're saying he's not an authoritarian?

  • Jim Treacher||

    They're not mutually exclusive...

  • Sam Grove||

    I think he's smarter than me,

    Must have good reason to think that.

  • ||

    Talk about setting the bar low. President Starfish would still be acceptable in that trust-room situation.

  • ||

    (Looking at Bobama across the restaurant) I'll have what he's having...

  • Joe R.||

    It was posted at 12:01 AM. It's a joke, surely. What's scary is that the joke is indistinguishable from the truth.

  • ho||

    I believe the President is smarter than Kevin Drum. I also believe my dog Skipper is smarter than Kevin Drum.

  • Skipper||

    Arf!

  • Skipper's Droppings||

    Don't forget us!

  • rather||

    I'm not so sure the April fool's joke wasn't your post

  • ||

    As the resident "Independent" of Hit and Run's comment section I would think you would find Drum's sycophantry vomit worthy.

    But as we all expected your "independent" street cred is non-existent.

  • rather||

    Mr. Independent, I actually wondered if their IP address was hijacked for the day, or Brian was playing a reverse-psychology April fool's day joke!
    Give me some credit!

  • ||

    "...how likely is it that Obama will accept a stalemate or a loss and not escalate even further? Not very, I'd say."

    I think pulling the plug and walking away is something he could easily do--if necessary. I think pulling the plug and letting France do what it wants to help the rebels would be easier still.

    "So what should I think about this? If it had been my call, I wouldn't have gone into Libya. But the reason I voted for Obama in 2008 is because I trust his judgment."

    I don't trust the judgement of Obama to make decisions on my behalf about anything. ...and after reading that, I trust the judgement of Kevin Drum even less than that of Obama.

    For comparison purposes, I trust the judgement of anonymous commenters in this thread more than I trust the judgement of Barack Obama. ...certainly as it relates to their own interests.

    "And not in any merely abstract way, either: I mean that if he and I were in a room and disagreed about some issue on which I had any doubt at all, I'd literally trust his judgment over my own."

    Maybe they should rent a room!

  • Leebig||

    I think pulling the plug and walking away is something he could easily do--if necessary.

    Not gonna happen. His ego couldn't sustain that, and even if it could he has to know the GOP will pillory him for it. The only routes open to him are deploying ground forces or praying to Shiva that the rebels can hold their ground without them.

  • ||

    Actually, there are about a hundred other options.

    ...and the fear of being pilloried by the likes of John Boehner hasn't made Obama lose a wink of sleep yet.

  • ||

    We'll know soon enough. Bob Gates has announced the "decision to withdraw U.S. combat aircraft from the NATO-commanded mission as of this coming Sunday."

    Now the only question is whether or not the rest of NATO can get the job done, and if they can't, what will the US do then? Obama stated in his speech that "as President, I refused to wait for the images of slaughter and mass graves before taking action."

  • ||

    I keep wanting to disagree with how Obama is handling this, but all I keep hearing from the detractors is about a bunch of slippery slopes...

    I disagree with everything else this president has done--but if he sticks to that? Score one point for the Obama Administration.

    IF.

    Yeah, that still puts him down by a score of about 100, and I'll still be buyin' a round for everybody the day he leaves office...

    But. That's not a bad job of it.

    IF. If he sticks to that.

  • ||

    I keep wanting to disagree with how Obama is handling this, but all I keep hearing from the detractors is about a bunch of slippery slopes...

    That's horse shit and you know it Shultz. Most of us are against foreign intervention as a matter of principle.

    What the fuck happened to you?

  • ||

    Personally, I can get behind wars of conquest, but not this kind of shit. Either we get ourselves a nice, oil-rich colony, or we get the fuck out, is what I say.

  • sevo||

    "I disagree with everything else this president has done--but if he sticks to that? Score one point for the Obama Administration."

    Yep. Stupid decision followed by failure. Real 'leadership' right there.

  • ||

    Wars of necessity vs. wars of choice (this is what I think Welch meant by "preemptive wars").

    If we can just walk away from it, it's a war of choice.

    I thought you (we? most of us) were against such actions?

  • ||

    Wars of self-defense are really easy to defend.

    Sometimes choosing to go to war makes sense too. I think choosing the kind of war where we don't commit ground troops and the risk to any of our troops is almost negligible?

    Choosing to engage in those kinds of wars is easier to defend than sending 250,000 troops into Iraq--they might both be "wars", but that doesn't mean we should conflate them.

    If none of our troops are harmed, it costs $1 billion or so, and we refuse to commit ground troops--we're even gonna "withdraw U.S. combat aircraft from the NATO-commanded mission as of this coming Sunday."?

    That's pretty easy to defend.

    It's the slippery slope fallacies I'm seeing cited everywhere that are hard to defend--being fallacies and all.

  • robc||

    If none of our troops are harmed, it costs $1 billion or so, and we refuse to commit ground troops--we're even gonna "withdraw U.S. combat aircraft from the NATO-commanded mission as of this coming Sunday."?

    That's pretty easy to defend.

    Spending $1 billion dollars for no purpose whatsoever is easy to defend?

    What the fuck?

  • ||

    I don't agree that it's for no purpose whatsoever.

  • Leebig||

    What about the non-Americans who are killed by our chosen wars?

    By the way, the slippery slope is not a fallacy when dealing with human behavior and events in the world. There are plenty of situations that have natural "points of no return."

  • ||

    "By the way, the slippery slope is not a fallacy when dealing with human behavior and events in the world. There are plenty of situations that have natural "points of no return."

    Declaring war might be one of those points of no return, and committing troops on the ground might be one too. ...but we haven't done either of those things yet.

    I have to admit it's really weird seeing people who supposedly don't want to see us get sucked into a war--being so adamant about how being sucked in is inevitable. At some point it starts to look like self-fulfilling prophecy.

    That goes hand in hand with the people who want Obama to get congressional authorization--as if having a congressional authorization would somehow make Obama less likely to escalate?!

    "What about the non-Americans who are killed by our chosen wars?"

    Humanitarian concerns are one of the best arguments I can think of against various wars. However, it isn't entirely clear whether what Obama is doing nets out with more civilian casualties than doing nothing. If we were invading and occupying with thousands of troops, that would be a no-brainer, but doing nothing wouldn't have come without any price in terms of civilian casualties either.

    Gaddafi's a monster, and reports suggest that he's been doing worse to civilians than just putting down the rebellion.

    I think there's a big difference too between Iraq, where there were not thousands of civilians in the streets of Baghdad demanding that Saddam Hussein step down, and Libya, where there were thousands of civilians in the streets demanding that Qaddafi step down.

    We picked the fight with Saddam Hussein ourselves, but that isn't what happened in Libya. In Libya, the people of Libya picked a fight with Qaddafi--we just picked a side in that fight.

    I think that's a big difference.

  • ||

    "We picked the fight with Saddam Hussein ourselves [and the civilians paid the price], but that isn't what happened in Libya. In Libya, the people of Libya picked a fight with Qaddafi--we just picked a side in that fight."

    Surely there's a difference in there somewhere.

  • ||

    Surely there's a difference in there somewhere.

    I think you mean a pony.

  • M. Simon||

    Yeah. The Kurds in the North and The Marsh Arabs in the South LOVED Saddam.

    It was the evil Americans who caused the freedom fighters to kill civilians as a matter of policy.

  • ||

    I don't think the insurgency included a lot of Marsh Arabs or Kurds either.

    Nor do I remember seeing many Marsh Arabs or Kurds holding demonstrations against the Iraq War. Nope, don't remember seeing that, but I do remember seeing Muslims all over the western world protesting our bombing, invasion and occupation of Iraq.

    That's another big difference, isn't it? ...and if what we're doing isn't inspiring the ummah to protest what we're doing in Libya, doesn't that suggest that we might be on the side of the protestors?

    Not definitive proof, but anybody who thinks the Iraq War was popular in the Muslim world...doesn't want to see the truth.

    Could we be on the side of Muslim protestors in Libya--and would-be Muslim protestors in the rest of the western world?

    If so, that's a big difference compared to Iraq. Again, we inflicted ourselves on the Iraqi people over WMD and links to terrorism--that's a big difference compared to Libya. Muslim protestors picked this fight--we just picked a side. I think that's a big difference, and I think would-be Muslim protestors around the world see the difference too.

    Having the UN behind us, not having committed thousands of ground troops, etc. all works in our favor too, and I'm not saying it's definitive or that Muslims everywhere feel the same way about this. The lack of protest is indicative of something however--how much and what is an open question, but it indicates something.

  • ||

    Wait... We should choose to go to war for the fuck of it, if the pricetag is reasonable enough, and we can blow up some people and stuff with minimal risk to ourselves?

    That's easy to defend?

  • peachy||

    I say, if Sarko wants to blow shit up, we let Sarko blow shit up. The French have their own scores to settle with the G-Man (see : Chad, war in) and they have this outfit called the Foreign Legion that was created specifically to fight in unnecessary North African wars without spilling the valuable blood of voting Frenchmen.

  • ||

    Absolutely.

    I think there were a couple of mistakes Obama's made already.

    And number 1 of those was? If the French wanted to run this thing after the first couple of weeks, we should have let 'em!

  • ||

    It's times like this I really miss Jean Bart.

  • ||

    So we're against Gayadi killing civilians but perfectly OK with Sarkozy doing it. Gotcha.

  • ||

    Well, maybe Obama doesn't want Sarkozy to call him a pussy in public again...

    (Not sure what exact word he used, but that's what he did IIRC.)

  • ||

    *Gentlemen! Let me present to you the mind of the statist left.

    I mean that if he and I were in a room and disagreed about some issue on which I had any doubt at all, I'd literally trust his judgment over my own. I think he's smarter than me, better informed, better able to understand the consequences of his actions, and more farsighted.

    Why the fuck are the left called democrats anyway? It is pretty obvious they fundamentally oppose democracy.

    Why the fuck are so many left wingers in news media? It is pretty obvious they fundamentally oppose the responsibilities of the fourth estate.

    *Spoken in the voice of the doctor at the beginning of aqua teen hunger force.

  • Jim||

    I give you credit for the Dr. Weird reference.

  • db||

    My favorite Dr. Weird intro remains the simple, "BULLSHIT!"

  • ||

    "Gentlemen! Vegetables have Independence has threatened man for generations. I have obtained funds to solve this vegetable independence nightmare! Behold...the Obammit!"

  • Otto ||

    **Hundreds of carrots fly up Kevin Drum's ass, theme music begins...**

  • Otto ||

    Dammit...

    **Hundreds of carrots fly up Kevin Drum's ass, large mechanical Obama rabbit starts chasing him, theme music begins...**

  • ||

    Don't forget this. A version of it should be sung to Drum.

  • ||

    "It is pretty obvious they fundamentally oppose democracy."

    The left loves democracy, they just oppose responsibility, or anything that requires thought.

  • Sy||

    Come here, Steve.. Now carefully..quietly..AGITATE THE HELL OUT OF THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY!!

  • Achtung Baby||

    As Penn Jillette pointed out, Obama is one smart mofo (no fucking doubt) and he might (read: ABSOLUTELY FUCKING DOES) have the best of intentions...But Obama won't be in the White House for forever. And the guy (gal?) who replaces him might be not have our the best of intentions!

    THE POWER YOU GIVE THE PRESIDENTIAL OFFICE LASTS LONGER THAN THE PERSON WHO HOLDS THE OFFICE!

  • Trespassers W||

    Why "no fucking doubt"?

    Personally, I fucking well doubt it, at least until I see some LSATs to the contrary. Or SOMETHING.

  • Achtung Baby||

    Well, I'm not as educated as Obama, so I'm not one to judge.

  • DJF||

    Educated does not equal smart

    Educated does not equal knowledgeable

    Educated does not equal right

  • ||

    For a smart guy he does a lot of dumb things 'off the cuff'. Was it really smart to mock elderly ladies during healthcarepalooza (paraphrasing ' this old lady on Medicare has a sign saying keep the government out of my healtchare, how can you deal with that')? Or calling the people he negotiated with and will have to negotiate with for at least the next two years 'hostage takers'? Does that sound smart to you? Sounds thin skinned and child like to me.

  • JohnD||

    I am constantly amused by the dim bulbs that rave about how smart Obama is. I have yet to see an evidence of that. The man can't even speak without a teleprompter. Even with one he speaks nonsense. All you have to do is loook at his past associates to realize what an ignorant, dangerous ass he is.

  • ||

    So... you've SEEN Obama's college transcripts? His high-school records? His- well, his anything at all?

    So how do you KNOW he's smarter than you? Smart people aren't afraid to show how smart they are. Only dolts feel the urge to conceal their history.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    High school transcripts reflect the ability to memorize what the teachers think it true. I'd rather see a IQ test (or ten different sorts, to satisfy the critics of intelligence testing).

  • Jim Treacher||

    The last two years have been his IQ test.

  • JB||

    He didn't release his test scores for a reason.

    He's above average, but big deal.

  • Pedant||

    He along with half the population.

  • ||

    And all the kids at Lake Wobegon.

  • Warty||

    I mean that if he and I were in a room and disagreed about some issue on which I had any doubt at all, I'd literally trust his judgment over my own.

    This is fucking flabbergasting. It might be more disgraceful for a man to admit fucking rectal, but just barely.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Such an admission would be superfluous to the
    overwhelming physical evidence
    .

  • ||

    disgraceful for a man to admit fucking rectal

    Bullshit!!

    Man Rule #438 subsection B item i

    "Sport fucking is allowed under all circumstances and under any criteria."

  • rather||

    hmm

  • ||

    STFU pickle cunt.

  • Incif me means never having ||

    to call me fill in the blank

  • Warty||

    Absolutely it does not, you stupid fucking whore. And quit changing your name.

  • I wasn't talking to you||

    stop reading me my little Manchurian boy

  • Warty||

    No one cares, whore. Do everyone a favor and stop posting. Or breathing, for that matter.

  • stop talking to me ||

    easy

  • stop reading me ||

    easier

  • most of all stop telling me ||

    what to do and what not to do

  • Warty||

    I have an easy way for you to accomplish all those goals, twatmuffin. Just walk away. Just walk away and there will be an end to the horror. Well, except for the horror of your continued existence.

  • alan||

    Jesse, Nick, Ron, Matt, listen up. She is getting a free ticket to the next cruise if you don't do the right thing.

  • alan||

    Just kidding. I couldn't do that to you guys. Besides, you know too much for blackmail to work.

  • you go ||

    it's obvious you have no self-control. If you can't develop it, you need to leave.

    Seriously, if you are bothered, you need to take care of it yourself. Otherwise, fucking ignore me

  • alan||

    Self control?!? WTF, have you looked at the size of your ass lately?

  • alan||

    Hey, good news, Rectal Cancer, some of your fatty pictures got cached after all!

    http://www.google.com/images?q.....80&bih=786

    Also, you shouldn't be so envious of the skinny bitches;

    http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q.....UQrw6zZThL

    it's unbecoming, no, no, hilarious, that's the right word.

  • You're just||

    stoooooopid

  • You're looking in a mirror||

    I'm looking at my ass right now and it's perfect

  • alan||

    Well, good for you for losing all of that weight then. I'm sure you wont mind taking down that picture of an eye you have up representing yourself after you took down the fatty pics, and replacing it with something more current since your ass is so perfect now, right?

    Hell, if you are not lying and look half way decent I may even give you a pass for all the shit you pull like I do Alice Bowie. She's from the Virgin Islands, with that accent, I just can't bring myself to hating her.

  • rather||

    I don't know what the hell you are talking about.

  • Dr Zigmund Roid||

    Don't retreat into the delusion, Rather. Your life is at stake! Look around you. You are stuck in a chair, and soon your flesh will meld to it!

  • ||

    Alice Bowie is a dude.

  • alan||

    Alice Bowie is a woman pretending to be a man who pretends to be a woman. You guys just don't appreciate the level she plays the game.

  • hmm||

    Well, this was a productive session.

  • ||

    It's Man Law, not Man Rule.

  • Cupid||

    "Joshua and Rctl sittin' in a tree

    Eff, You, See, Kay, Eye, En, Gee

    First comes love

    Then comes marriage

    Then comes Rctl pushin' a baby carriage!"

  • Ohio Orrin||

    Heller's gonna be jealous.

  • I don't want Sugarfree's ||

    sloppy seconds

  • ||

    Mr. Drum had to type the story. He couldn't talk during the interview due to the massive presidential cock that he was willfully stuffing into his own mouth.

    What. A. Fucking. Asshole.

  • Warty||

    "Comrade Napoleon is always right."

    Seriously, I can't wrap my head around the craven servility of the sentiment. The only word I can think of that comes close to describing it is religious.

  • ||

    Exactly my sentiment. It's not religious, it's subservient. Master knows better!

    He's like a fucking dog.

  • Warty||

    What's the difference?

  • ||

    Sorry. He is a fucking dog. Fetch, Kevin! Fetch!

  • Otto ||

    Drum has no flea collar, and is less fun to be around.

  • Warty||

    I meant what's the difference between religion and subservience, but I like the way you took it better.

  • ||

    It's one thing to be subservient to an all-powerful being, and entirely another thing to be so towards...some dude you voted for.

    I posted this above, but I think you'll like it if you've never seen it. It takes about 20-30 seconds to get to the metal.

  • Warty||

    Unfortunately the best part of the movie.

  • ||

    I totally forgot about that...awesome.

    First comment:

    WHO FUCKING DISLIKED THIS??? Probably some dumb motherfucker that talks on their cell phone during the movie as well as pulling their penis out when the don't really need to and also taking thier shoes off!

    For some reason it reminded me of when those kids got arrested for TERRORISM when they put up the glowing ATHF alien thingies.

  • sounds real good||

    >craven servility

    that's it. who would voluntarily admit such a thing about themselves?

  • Warty||

    Are you attempting to be witty, rectal, or are you just a spectacular idiot? Don't answer that.

  • ||

    Call me stupid, but can somebody please tell me whether this is an April Fools joke or not ?

  • prolefeed||

    I had difficulty with that, too, but it seems like this is actually something some leftists would say.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    There was never a chance that any president, liberal or otherwise, was going to intervene in Iran or in Egypt. Nor were interventions in places like the Congo or the Ivory Coast ever genuinely a possibility.

    It looks like someone never actually took to heart the sentiment of the "Yes We Can" bumper sticker on his own Prius. Drum, o ye of little faith.

  • ||

    There was never a chance that any president, liberal or otherwise, was going to intervene in Iran or in Egypt.

    Somebody tell Megan McArdle, since she voted for Obama on precisely the fear of McCain invading Iran.

  • Robert Welch||

    Gotta love those wacky "libertarians".

  • Most of America||

    If it had been my call, I wouldn't have gone into Libya. But the reason I voted for Obama in 2008 is because I don't want to have to think about these things too carefully and I thought that maybe he would be willing to put some effort in. I voted for him because he seemed alright, I mean how could he be worse than the last guy? And after all...not much that these bozos do in Washington has much of an effect on my life as far as I can tell.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    For the record, and call me a sucker, I'm calling this an April Fool's joke.

  • ||

    I hope it is an April Fool's joke, because anybody dumb enough to state that as a true belief is too dumb to breathe without a respirator.

  • ||

    If it's a joke, it's genius because of how believable it is.

  • ||

    The most frightening part is that Drum wrote this pre-lobotomy.

  • ||

    April Fool's jokes are generally much more over the top than this.

  • Rock Action ||

    Irony?

    April Fools Fail
    — By Kevin Drum| Thu Apr. 1, 2010 8:47 AM PDT
    Atrios tweets:

    hate when cannot tell is something is april fools joke. i hate april fools. bah humbug.

    Does anyone else think this has gotten harder over the past decade or so? Or is my memory just failing me? It's not so much that April Fools gags have gotten more sophisticated, it's that the world has gotten so bizarre that even Onion-like gags seem disturbingly plausible. In a world that has people like Michele Bachmann and Steve King serving in the U.S. Congress, how do you top real life?
  • EA Blair||

    "He gazed up at the enormous face. Forty years it had taken him to learn what kind of smile was hidden beneath the dark moustache. O cruel, needless misunderstanding! O stubborn, self-willed exile from the loving breast! Two gin-scented tears trickled down the sides of his nose. But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother."

  • ||

    But did he love Big Brother in the way that we think of "love"? Or did he love big brother in the way that the Ministry of Love used the word, i.e., not really love at all?

    From "1984":

    "Even the names of the four Ministries by which we are governed exhibit a sort of impudence in their deliberate reversal of the facts. The Ministry of Peace concerns itself with war, the Ministry of Truth with lies, the Ministry of Love with torture and the Ministry of Plenty with starvation. These contradictions are not accidental, nor do they result from ordinary hypocrisy; they are deliberate exercises in doublethink. For it is only by reconciling contradictions that power can be retained indefinitely. In no other way could the ancient cycle be broken. If human equality is to be for ever averted -- if the High, as we have called them, are to keep their places permanently -- then the prevailing mental condition must be controlled insanity."

  • hmm||

    Mr. Drum has some serious skill. It can't be easy typing such an ode to stupidity while being skull fucked by a black dude.

    Is that racist or hateful rhetoric? Or both?

  • TeamBlue!||

    What don't you understand? Obama bombed an Arab Muslim county because of his deep humanitarian concerns. Bush invaded an Arab Muslim county because he's a neocon bloodthirsty Zionist warmongering Christianist Texas oilman. Who's also stupid. And who LIED!!!!!! Also, Haliburton. Duh.

  • Achtung Baby||

    Lawrence O'Donnell has something interesting things to say about Rand Paul supposedly lying about a vote he gave to support a resolution in support of the war.

  • Achtung Baby||

    To (mockingly) quote LOD: "Lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie...did I mention that senator Paul LIED!"

  • ||

    How long do you suppose Drum spends each morning picking Obama's pubic hairs out of his teeth?

  • anarch||

    Below the (RT)FA it says:

    IF YOU LIKED THIS, YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE...

    Gentle reasonariat, how would you fill in the blank?

  • anarch||

    Eg: ...dictatorship.

  • anarch||

    ...unfalsifiable theories.

  • 0x90||

    "whatever I'm told to like."

  • ||

    Gorilla masks.

  • JoJo Zeke||

    IF YOU LIKED THIS, YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE...

    "... being repeatedly and forcibly gang-raped by several dozen freakishly priapic gay sumo wrestlers."

  • Wisdom from my fave Ex-GF||

    An Over-Educated Midget Marxist

    "You know the idea of Obama as President was much better than the reality of Obama as President"

  • alan||

    I think the idea stinks even worse than the reality. A black guy who looks and speaks like everyone's archetype of the black guy that will make them feel good about their themselves for voting for him. He glides his way from Harvard Law Review to the presidency with a senate seat in between and accomplishing nothing to get to any of those positions. Truly an unawesome opposite of an Horatio Alger vision of the nation we have devolved into.

  • ||

    But is it as silly as this statement from Dick Durbin (D-IL) on the Senate floor two days ago:

    Mr. DURBIN. The Senator [Rand Paul] is correct in his statement that not only President George Herbert Walker Bush but also President George W. Bush came to Congress and broke precedent. That had not happened in Korea or Vietnam. We went back to what I considered to be the constitutional standard. Congress deliberated on those wars and voted.

    That's right, Durbin is arguing that George W. Bush was *too* solicitous of Congress, unnecessarily involved them, and refused to use the Constitutional limits of his powers as Commander in Chief.

    Sen. Rand Paul offered the following amendment to the FAA authorization bill:

    AMENDMENT NO. 276

    At the appropriate place, insert the following:

    It is the sense of the Senate, that ``The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation''.
  • ||

    No, wait, I'm sorry, he proposed it to S. 493 (Small Business Innovation Research SBIR and Small Business Technical Transfer STTR Reauthorization Act).

    It's holding up the whole bill, because Leader Reid *really* doesn't want Democrats to have to choose between voting against Senator Obama on the one hand, or President Obama on the other.

  • ||

    Link to amendment here.

  • Senator Durbin||

    Don't bother us with this war talk, just go do it, I've got interns to diddle and contributors to extort.

  • Trespassers W||

    This kind of thing is exactly why I donated to Rand Paul's campaign.

  • alan||

    BTW, who has the greater number of unquestioning loyalist? True that Obama's followers more resemble a cult, but I'm not close enough to any Bush loyalist to really judge his remaining support. My bro abandoned Bush in '03, and me mum a loyal Democratic Party voter her entire life and ardent Obama supporter told me on my last visit she was no longer interested in politics. There were a stack of unread papers in her drawing room with only the entertainment and obit sections missing. I counted six days worth so it was a recent development. I didn't press her about it.

    I was looking for a speech Bush gave recently, but it did not pop up in the top ten Google listings:

    http://www.google.com/search?q.....=firefox-a

    where Bush warns against isolationism. The latest speech adds a Libyan war context so I've been told.

    Bush preaching against non-intervention, it is like a Godsend to non-intervention. If he had asked me for advice on what to talk about, it would be exactly this, in order to boost the concepts credibility.

    Almost random but that matter about the obits reminded me. I needed to talk to a retired cop several months ago who runs an antique booth. He was reading a newspaper. I noticed the obits, and when he noticed me I asked him, if he checks it to find out if his enemies had died. That made him grin. 'Just the guy who once shot me.'

  • alan||

    Oh, and the punchline, it wasn't in the line of duty. It was an ex-brother in law.

  • alan||

    no, no, step father. Altercation involving his step father and his sister.

  • Spoonman.||

    Shit yeah, that's badass.

    I may not agree with everything Rand Paul says or does but at least he has some serious balls.

  • confidence scammer||

    So this Kevin Drum fellow is a truly, willfully gullible mark? Thanks for the tip!

  • ||

    Drum's attitude makes me want to vomit. While I punch someone.

    Does it even occur to people like him (who doubtless consider themselves cosmopolitan and worldly) that this shit sounds EXACTLY like the attitudes of Bible thumpers?

    "God has a plan. You may not understand it, but that't only because you are not as wise and knowing as he. You just have to trust him."

  • JoshINHB||

    No the god of the bible thumpers is relatively consistent.

    The god of progressives chases after new fads on a regular basis.

  • ||

    Selective quotation much? The line immediately after Mr Doherty's cut:

    For now, anyway. But I wouldn't have intervened in Libya and he did. I sure hope his judgment really does turn out to have been better than mine.

  • Trespassers W||

    Well, shit, that makes all the difference.

  • ||

    Does the "For now, anyway" really make it any better, Tulpa? OK, so there's some chance that Kevin Drum will become an apostate of the Church of Barack.

  • Warty||

    It gave him a pretext to scold about something trivial, so Tulpa's satisfied. Fucking...Tulpa.

  • ||

    I think his point was that if his predictions about increased US involvement come true, then the trust may not be there anymore.

  • ||

    And more importantly, it's one sentence that lends context to the excerpt, so it's strange that it was excised. Perhaps because it doesn't comport with the thesis that Drum is an eternally loyal Obama subject.

  • ||

    But he is an eternally loyal Obama subject so far, just one that promises that he might possibly consider stopping being one someday.

    So you consider "battered but loyal spouse who says that someday, if things finally cross the line, he may stop loving Obama" really that different?

  • ||

    If he's only loyal so far, he's not eternally loyal by definition.

  • ||

    But we don't have any evidence of anything causing him to lose that loyalty. All we have are his professions of total loyalty (and abdication of his own judgment) in the face of things he doesn't like, and a vague promise that at some point maybe he'll think Obama will go too far.

    Until he actually admits not trusting Obama on something now, instead of theoretically in the future, he's still eternally loyal.

    There are plenty of ultra loyal partisans who swear that they're not really partisans because they *could* disagree with their party on something in the future, but they've never ever done so. To me, that makes them still eternally loyal in practice.

  • a||

    If Drum believes that Obama is "smarter than me, better informed, better able to understand the consequences of his actions, and more farsighted," then his trust is impenetrable. Really, Tulpa, where in that formulation is there any crack through which doubt may enter?

  • db||

    The simple conclusion is that Drum is just not very smart.

  • a||

    This "such-and-such much?" fad should be wiped from the face of the earth.

  • ||

    Annihilation fantasy much?

  • MNG||

    I'm sure a lot of people are loving this as it fits the soothing caricature of leftists they have in their heads. But really the most obvious answer as to why many of the same people upset over Iraq are not so upset over Libya remains the differences between the two military operations.

    People who opposed Iraq because they were pacifists or because they decry all intervention or because they oppose any non-defensive military action and who now support Obama certainly have some explaining to do. But those who opposed Iraq on other grounds don't necessarily. For example many opposed it because they felt Saddam was contained already, many because they felt that a massive invasion risked many American live...Both are conditions that don't seem at play in Libya right now...

  • MNG||

    "because they oppose any non-defensive military action"

    I should concede that some of Obama's earlier comments seem to fall into this area.

  • ||

    Yeah, President Obama has some explaining to do, and he still hasn't done it. That's why Rand Paul's amendment is so hilarious.

    I don't think that "contained" is the right word for comparing Saddam and Gaddafi. Containment is usually used for letting dictators do what they want within their own countries, so long as they don't invade any others. No sign that Gaddafi was going to kill anyone other than Libyans at the moment. (The refugees may not have been contained to Libya, but we don't invade places for producing refugees.)

    Perhaps something like "not imminently mass killing civilians with his military, only the usual oppressive government machinery and occasional death," something that does seem to be the new standard.

  • MNG||

    What I was getting at was with the Northern and Southern no-fly zones and Kurdish safe areas most people saw, yes, that Hussein was not much of a threat to start "imminently mass killing civilians."

    I also think Libya happening when and where it did in relation to Egypt and Tunisia is important to consider.

  • ||

    I also think Libya happening when and where it did in relation to Egypt and Tunisia is important to consider.

    Why?

  • MNG||

    I think a factor was to nurture the "Arab Street" sentiment going on in the area. Tunisia and Egypt and then Libya, it would have looked bad to Arabs to have left the latter hanging as they rode the freedom wave.

  • ||

    We left the Egyptians and Tunisians hanging too.

  • ||

    and the Bahrainis, etc.

  • MNG||

    We did? How so?

  • ||

    We didn't assist the Tunisian or Egyptian revolts at all, and have sat idly by while Saudi troops kill protesters in Bahrain. That appears to fit your definition of "leaving them hanging".

  • MNG||

    I heard we leaned on the Egyptian military to not shoot civilians, but we threw in behind the protestors diplomatically. They did not need military help.

    When Clinton went to Egypt people yelled "you must not forget the Libyan people" to her. If we had left them to slaughter it would have been a cause for some hard feelings.

  • ||

    And frankly, I'd think little would please the Arab Street more than a promise that the US would no longer fuck around militarily in their countries.

  • prolefeed||

    I think a factor was to nurture the "Arab Street" sentiment going on in the area. Tunisia and Egypt and then Libya, it would have looked bad to Arabs to have left the latter hanging as they rode the freedom wave.

    Because nothing quite nurtures Teh Arab Street's love of the U.S. like the Great Satan bombing a Muslim country.

  • ||

    Re: paragraph one, fine, but that's not what "contained" or "containment" generally means in foreign policy terms.

    Would you support ten years of no-fly zones in Libya?

    I also think Libya happening when and where it did in relation to Egypt and Tunisia is important to consider.

    I join Tulpa in wanting an explanation for this.

    Also, I assume you think that the "no blood for oil" people should apologize a bit since Libya is a big oil exporter, and the fact that they have oil is related to why we're going in there.

  • Bill Kristol||

    I also think Libya happening when and where it did in relation to Egypt and Tunisia is important to consider.

    Back off! I like it. I'm going to use it to justify going into Iran. Proximity to both Iraq and Afghanistan, and all of that. It should be a cinch of an argument to make!

  • ||

    Indeed, protests in Iran being put down, possibility of imminent violence there. Seems clear MNG justification for at least considering invading Iran the next time they have protests.

  • MNG||

    "protests in Iran being put down, possibility of imminent violence there. Seems clear MNG justification for at least considering invading Iran "

    Wow, that's a pretty pitiful attempt there JT. What was going on in Libya was a far cry from "protests being put down." They were in the middle of a full blown armed rebellion.

  • MNG||

    "Would you support ten years of no-fly zones in Libya?"

    That's actually another distinction, the NFZ over Iraq was going to be an indefinite one (and yet it still did not get near the opposition of the invasion, the public rationally distinguished between the two types of action, the former which is closer to what we have in Libya), the Libya action was at least sold as a more short term solution to an imminent problem.

    "the fact that they have oil is related to why we're going in there."

    Is it? I heard the US gets a pretty small amount of oil from Libya, and one would think if we just wanted to keep that flowing a quick victory for either side would have been ok. In Iraq we could not tap the oil because of the sanctions.

  • ||

    the US gets a pretty small amount of oil from Libya

    Right, and the countries that do get oil from Libya will just do without, rather than buying from Mex or Ven and driving our prices up.

  • ||

    Seriously. When are people going to figure out/admit that oil is fungible.

  • ||

    the Libya action was at least sold as a more short term solution to an imminent problem.

    Sold as, yes, but it looks like the situation is turning into a stalemate. It looks that it's likely we'll be left with three options:

    1) Boots on the ground to win
    2) Indefinite No Fly Zone to keep the stalemate
    3) Leave, and Gaddafi's armor enables him to defeat the rebels as soon as we do-- the same thing that would have happened if the NFZ had been stopped in Iraq-- making it a definite loss.

    Which one of those three options do you support, MNG? It doesn't matter what the policy was "sold as," it was sold as the "hope" that the rebels would not just achieve a stalemate but win with our minimal support. That was Plan A; but you have to wonder what Plan B is if the rebels don't sweep to victory.

    President Obama's "Gaddafi must go" argues for 1, despite what he's said so far. At the very least, his other speeches argues for 2, the indefinite No Fly Zone, for ten years or more if necessary. 3 could be a political disaster after deciding to intervene.

    I heard the US gets a pretty small amount of oil from Libya,

    Oil is fungible, as everybody else said. We don't get nearly as much of our oil from the Saudis as the Europeans and Japanese do either, thanks to our proximity to Canada and Mexico, but that doesn't mean that the Saudi oil doesn't affect our foreign policy.

  • MNG||

    I don't think I've said I support this, I'm just saying there are ways to distinguish this action from Iraq. I've said a while back on an earlier thread that I think the administration's bungled timing left us with a bad situation. If we had gone with air support earlier when the rebels had the Big Mo the regime may have fell within weeks. Even then I would have been wary of any intervention in part because of the points you make.

    I would oppose 1. I'd rather not have 2, but I can see how reasonable people would have thought the risk of 2 was worth averting slaughter. I will note that we had 2 but not 1 for years and years in Iraq and we had little public opposition to it, only after we had 1 did we get that, so the charge of hypocrisy over massive opposition to the invasion of Iraq but little to this action is bogus imo.

  • ||

    Well, we did have some fairly strong public opposition to the sanctions and containment regime from the left, so any of them that are supporting this Libyan no-fly zone (and many of them do oppose it, granted) are vulnerable to such charges.

    Plenty of other people claim to have opposed the Iraq War because of its expense, talking about how much of the deficit is related to it. Those people are also vulnerable to charges of hypocrisy.

    But aside from the hypocrisy issue, I think that the President is being disingenuous in how he's selling the policy. He's selling it only on the basis of optimistic hopeful Plan A. I want to know what Plan B is, if it bogs down to a stalemate or the rebels start losing with only air support.

    Plenty of Democrats may not be hypocrites in the way that Ed Schultz is, but President Obama certainly is.

  • MNG||

    A lot of the people who opposed the NFZ and sanctions in Iraq oppose this action too. ANSWER, the Nation, the Progressive and the Ramsey Clark, Noam Chomsky types, those types have iirc spoke out against it.

    "Plenty of other people claim to have opposed the Iraq War because of its expense, talking about how much of the deficit is related to it."

    Well, only if the costs are comparable I guess.

  • MJ||

    Drum has stated here it does not matter what Obama's reasons are, Drum has completely given up his ability for critical thought to his perception of Obama's genius.

    Secondly, how many on the left said they opposed the Iraq war for the reasons you suggest? How many opposed it because it was Bush's policy and they threw any justification to oppose it against the wall to see what would stick? How many times did Leftists say that Iraq posed no threat? That a Congressional authorization of military force was inadequate? Drum came out against the Iraq war because:

    "Before the war started I switched to opposition on practical grounds (i.e., that George W. Bush's approach was incapable of accomplishing the goals it was meant to accomplish). Since then, I've pretty much come to the conclusion that, in fact, I should have opposed it all along on philosophical grounds: namely that it was a fundamentally flawed concept and had no chance of working even if it had been competently executed."

    Given that Obama's been very unclear about what the goal of this action is, and how that goal is to be accomplished (already seems to be experiencing mission creep), how does Drum's criticism of Iraq not apply to Libya?

  • ||

    eh

    My problem is the hero worship. The conceding reason in the face of unreason.

    And not in any merely abstract way, either: I mean that if he and I were in a room and disagreed about some issue on which I had any doubt at all, I'd literally trust his judgment over my own. I think he's smarter than me, better informed, better able to understand the consequences of his actions, and more farsighted.

    Obama may have the best most farsighted opinion...but if he does then why the fuck has he not explained it to anyone?

    If your hero (you probably should not have one in the first place) starts doing crazy shit and refuses to explain himself it is time to stop worshiping him and question his judgment.

    Drum itemized all the crazy shit Obama did then still went with trusting him. It is not as if his first reaction was to simply trust him and not question him...that is actually understandable or at least more understandable.

    But drum kept the trust in the face of it all. He bowed to authority for the sake of bowing to authority and it is sickening to see.

  • Mr Whipple©®™||

    Just another Obama apologist.

    Now, here's something interesting:

    http://www.examiner.com/financ.....ntral-bank

  • Otto ||

    Bernie Sanders was talking about that. Speaking of him (but not any kooks from Texas) we have this: audit the Fed.

    Money quote: "In a paper statement released this evening, [Deputy Treasury Secretary] Wolin said, “We appreciate the work of Senator Sanders and Senator Dodd to work together on a strong amendment that ensures full and open transparency regarding emergency lending programs, without compromising the Federal Reserve's full independence with respect to the conduct of monetary policy."

  • 0x90||

    As a compromise, I propose the official licensing of a second, fully autonomous, federal reserve bank. One need do nothing else: no audits, no oversight, no special rules of any kind.

  • Xparency Xpert||

    If the Honorable Senator Dodd is in on it there's nothing to worry about.

  • ||

    From AP:

    Fact Check: Senate did favor Libya no-fly zone

    (spam filter won't let me include a link)

    Some lawmakers are grousing loudly that President Barack Obama sent the nation's military to Libya without Congress' blessing. They're ignoring a key fact: The Senate a month ago voted to support imposing a no-fly zone to protect civilians from attacks by Col. Moammar Gadhafi's forces.

    With no objections, the Senate on March 1 backed a resolution strongly condemning "the gross and systematic violations of human rights in Libya" and urging the U.N. Security Council to take action, "including the possible imposition of a no-fly zone over Libyan territory."

    And it gets sillier from there.
  • ||

    GOD DAMN! the last sentence is not part of the quote, it's from me.

    Reason, get a new flerking spam filter. The Beano anonbots have no trouble getting links to their sites through, but half the time I can't post links to flerking news sites.

  • MNG||

    It's silly to think this resolution covers Obama from the charge of not getting Congressional approval, but it does seem to cover criticisms of the idea of instituting a no-fly zone intervention from any Senators who voted for the resolution recommending such a thing...

  • ||

    It was a resolution adopted without debate and with no vote, passed by unanimous consent.

    That's because it's what's known as a "Simple Resolution" used for conducting one house's business or expressing the "Sense of the Senate" or suchlike. It was introduced in one day, moved to be adopted without debate by unanimous consent, and then no one objected.

    Probably people felt that was it was just a boilerplate condemnation, and nobody tends to object to these sorts of resolutions that don't do anything-- that's one way to get called an evil obstructionist filibuster by the media.

    So since no Senators voted for it, not much criticism. The nine Dems plus Sen. Kirk who sponsored it would seem to be more on the hook.

  • MNG||

    No Senators voted for it? I thought it passed by unanimous consent?

  • ||

    Dude, isn't political science, like, your field of expertise?

  • ||

    They don't actually have a roll call vote when something passes by unanimous consent. Oftentimes they have only like three senators actually there in the Senate, one chair, one from each party, the guy from the majority party ask permission to suspend rules and pass by unanimous consent. The Senator from the minority party is supposed to check to make sure that what's being passed is the trivial silly thing that it's supposed to be or the thing that was agreed upon beforehand. If it is, he doesn't say anything and it passes.

    It's always possible for some Senator, like Tom Coburn last year IIRC, to be ticked off at something and insist on rollcall votes for everything so that everything can be studied carefully and debated. That massively slows down Senate business and gets the Senator in question called all sorts of bad names by the media.

  • MNG||

    So the Senator from the minority party didn't do his job? The NFZ language got snuck in without anyone knowing about it? I'm not buying that.

  • ||

    You really think that that's so implausible for a bill that was introduced and then passed without debate using the hotline process for noncontroversial topics, on an issue where the opinions of the various Republican Senators themselves are divergent?

    Those one house simple resolutions are supposed to be for entirely noncontroversial stuff that doesn't actually do anything; they have no force of law.

    You really think that sneaking one paragraph past one Senator in the middle of a bunch of boilerplate condemnation is that unlikely?

  • MNG||

    Well, like I said, they either supported it and now condemn it or they didn't do diligence in watching what gets passed in their name.

  • ||

    Note that immediately before it, the Senate adopted S. Res 84 by unanimous consent, "SUPPORTING RECONCILIATION
    WITHIN SRI LANKA." That one includes the paragraph: "calls on the Government of Sri Lanka, the international community, and the
    United Nations to establish an independent international accountability mechanism to look into reports of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and other human rights violations committed by both sides during and after the war in Sri Lanka and to make recommendations regarding accountability."

    I don't think that anyone should suggest that if those United Nations "recommendations regarding accountability" included a no-fly zone and air support to protect one or both sides in the war or civilians, that the President should be free to invade Sri Lanka, and Congress shouldn't complain because, hey, it asked the UN to come up with recommendations.

  • MNG||

    Like I said JT it doesn't suffice as Congressional authorization, yes, but it seems it does have all of the Senate endorsing the idea of a no-fly zone. They can still say the proper procedures were not followed in implementing it, but they seemed to find a NFZ to be uncontroversial a little before one was actually put in place.

  • ||

    It has none of the Senate raising an objection to a toothless resolution that alludes to the possibility of a no fly zone.

    Look up "unanimous consent" in your American Govt 101 textbook.

  • MNG||

    Yes, it's not a formal vote but it is the adoption of something without any objection. So ok Captian Pedant if I say "it shows that none of them objected to adopting a resolution voicing, in their collective name, support for a no-fly zone" does that satisfy you?

  • A Civics Teacher||

    Good lord. What are they unteaching you these days in college?

  • A Civics Teacher||

    Yes, it's not a formal vote but it is the adoption of something without any objection. So ok Captian Pedant if I say "it shows that none of them objected to adopting a resolution voicing, in their collective name, support for a no-fly zone" does that satisfy you?

    In other words, sneaking wars in through an S. Res is NOT cool, but you want admit that the AP is full of shit in its claim?

  • MNG||

    Speaking of education...who taught Mr. Civic Man spelling ("you want admit") and reading comprehension ("the AP is full of shit in its claim"; my first post on the AP story:MNG|4.1.11 @ 11:05PM|#
    It's silly to think this resolution covers Obama from the charge of not getting Congressional approval")

  • ||

    Right, because distinguishing between "not objecting to" and "voting for" makes one a pedant.

    And of course the resolution didn't even come close to being an AUMF and only involved one house of Congress, but I digest.

  • MNG||

    OK, since you and Mr. Civics Guy missed this the first few times:

    MNG|4.2.11 @ 10:05AM|#
    Like I said JT it doesn't suffice as Congressional authorization, yes,

    MNG|4.2.11 @ 10:05AM|#
    Like I said JT it doesn't suffice as Congressional authorization, yes,

    MNG|4.2.11 @ 10:05AM|#
    Like I said JT it doesn't suffice as Congressional authorization, yes,

    MNG|4.2.11 @ 10:05AM|#
    Like I said JT it doesn't suffice as Congressional authorization, yes,

    MNG|4.2.11 @ 10:05AM|#
    Like I said JT it doesn't suffice as Congressional authorization, yes,

    Did you catch that? I'm not arguing it served as Congressional authorization, I'm claiming it is is hard to say you think a NFZ is a bad idea when your body passes a resolution backing one by unanimous consent.

  • ||

    The resolution didn't even "back" a no-fly zone. Here's the relevant section (from here):

    (7) urges the United Nations Security Council to take such further action as may be necessary to protect civilians in Libya from attack, including the possible imposition of a no-fly zone over Libyan territory;

    I don't see a statement saying a no fly zone is a good idea.

  • MNG||

    Are you kidding? Did you read what you posted? It urges the UN to take actions to protect civilians, actions including a NFZ.

    Is this some type of April's Fool thing? You're a day late.

  • ||

    I'm claiming it is is hard to say you think a NFZ is a bad idea when your body passes a resolution backing one by unanimous consent.

    Ought to be hard, but, unfortunately, due to the way the Senate actually handles its business (itself because the Senate has too much business), actually pretty easy.

    There were unanimous consent Senate Resolutions calling for Saddam Hussein to be brought to justice, and others calling for Saddam's overthrow, repeatedly passed throughout the 90s by unanimous consent. Does that mean that any Democratic Senator around then should have found it hard to say that they opposed Bush on Iraq if Bush had gone in without a Congressional vote?

  • MNG||

    Actually pro-Iraq invasion people throw those up against opponents to the war all the time.

  • ||

    Yes, and it's stupid, because those sense of the Senate resolutions are meaningless. Tu quoque doesn't convince me.

    I'm not saying that the way the Senate practices its meaningless business is correct, but it's damn sure not the same thing as all the Republican senators approving of a no-fly zone.

    If you pass something because of a parliamentary trick and catching the other side napping, that doesn't mean that they actually approved of it.

  • MNG||

    You don't know that they "caught the other side napping" do you? Perhaps they actuallyu supported intervention at the time. A meme on the right at the time was Obama was dithering (a la Gingrich).

  • ||

    If you say that "the one GOP guy on unanimous consent duty in the Senate that day-- because of the (stupid) way that the Senate handles 'noncontroversial' business-- fell asleep on the job and didn't notice the one paragraph buried in there with the others in what seemed like a boilerplate bill," then yeah.

    Sure, the GOP Senators don't want to admit that they got fooled into not noticing that paragraph.

    This had less deliberation than repeated "Sense of the Senate" resolutions calling for Hussein to be deposed as US policy (under Clinton as well) or ones specifically telling Clinton not to negotiate a Kyoto CO2 treaty that didn't include China making cuts.

  • MNG||

    The language is pretty important. A resolution stating that "we ought to seek regime change in Iraq" is pretty broad, perhaps regime change should be sought via sanctions or diplomacy or just the bully pulpit. But this one specifically called for exactly what we have: A UN implemented NFZ.

  • ||

    Actually, here's the text. There are 18 paragraphs. The one in question reads:

    urges the United Nations Security Council to take such further action as may be necessary to protect civilians in Libya from attack, including the possible imposition of a no-fly zone over Libyan territory;

    So technically it calls for the "possible" implementation of one. If read the way you want, it also says that whatever the UN Security Council decides is okay with the Senate.

    The short title of the bill was: "Strongly condemning the gross and systematic violations of human rights in Libya, including violent attacks on protesters demanding democratic reforms, and for other purposes."

    Nothing in there about the NFZ, just the condemning. Most of the bill is simply condemning.

    Do I think it's that crazy that the one Senator on duty could have been caught napping when the bill was read aloud?

  • MNG||

    It says they support "such further action as may be necessary to protect civilians in Libya from attack, including the possible imposition of a no-fly zone over Libyan territory." I'm not sure how you can read that as anything other than "we urge you to do what is necessary including a NFZ." So they urged them to protect civilians, they specifically mentioned a NFZ as one of the things to be done in that realm, the UN decided it was necessary to implement a NFZ for that purpose, and now they are all against it.

  • ||

    So basically they passed it using the same mechanism they used for S. Res 83 ten minutes prior to that, 'A resolution designating March 2, 2011, as "Read Across America Day."'

    I would assume that most of the GOP senators thought that the Resolution was just condemning the human rights violation, and didn't notice the one paragraph. Especially since, at that time in the Senate's business with those resolutions there's usually just one or two guys in there from each party.

    Perhaps the GOP Senators should be more like Sens. Coburn (and hopefully Rand Paul) and object to unanimous consent for all the "hotlined" supposed to be "noncontroversial" stuff, and really gum up the works of the Senate so that nothing gets done. Treating S. Res 85 like it actually meant something is a good way to encourage them to do that.

  • MNG||

    "and didn't notice the one paragraph"

    Wow, they unanimously consented to something they were not aware of? That seems worse imo.

  • Otto ||

    They had to pass it to find out what was in it.

  • ||

    Wow, they unanimously consented to something they were not aware of? That seems worse imo.

    Glad to know that you've been converted to the "Read the Bill" camp. Just know that to achieve this, you'd have to massively reduce the scope of government, or at least what Congress considers and votes on.

    I agree that it's stupid, but it's the way that the Senate does business, especially on these "hotlined" issues. The Senate Majority Leader schedules a vote without debate on something that's promised to be noncontroversial, like "Sri Lanka should end its civil war" or "Proclaim Read Across America Day." One Senator from the majority party introduces it and immediately asks for it to be adopted without debate or a vote. One Senator from the minority party sits in the Senate to make sure that the majority party isn't trying to actually pass something substantive-- if so, that Senator is supposed to object. If not, the Senator lets it pass so that the Senate time isn't taken up with a bunch of votes on noncontroversial stuff.

    Technically, any Senator could force rollcall votes on everything. When done, it's usually as a procedural tactic-- like Sen. Coburn forcing rollcall votes on procedural and substantive motions involving tons of individual earmarks last year in order to run out the clock, even though essentially all of them were going to have majority or 3/5ths support.

  • MNG||

    So who was the GOP rep that day?

  • prolefeed||

    Dunno how the U.S. Congress works, but in the Hawaii state legislature, for ANYTHING to pass by unanimous consent, there must be a quorum of legislators present, and they all get a chance to read the stuff beforehand, and they all have to agree to unanimous consent.

    One guy allegedly speaking for the entire caucus is meaningless if no quorum was present.

  • prolefeed||

    Shorter: if you're not present in the room when the vote is called, you didn't authorize it.

  • nj||

    Man and I thought the Bush cult was strong.

  • Cytotoxic||

    This...is almost sublimely stupid. I don't even have the words. I'm not sure they exist at least in the English language. Brought to you by the same folks who brought you "TPers hate Obama because they're RACIST".

  • ||

    This article is written with a mocking tone, as if nobody should feel how Drum feels. I disagree - this is EXACTLY how we should feel about a president we supported. However, my only caveat is that, at this point, Obama has lost all such deference due to 3 years of bad, weak, limpwristed, defeatist mistakes. But going back to January 2009 when Obama took office, before he'd shown himself to be a continuation of the Bush administration, Drum articulates precisely how everyone who supported Obama should feel.

    More specfically this knowledge of superior judgment and being better informed than 'we the people' is the underlying justification for a representative democracy. We're SUPPOSED to elect people who are smarter than we are. And we should support them with great deference - up to a point. Obama long ago crossed the point where I no longer trust him.

  • Spoonman.||

    this is EXACTLY how we should feel about a president we supported

    No! No it isn't! You just elected the guy president, now it's your job to be suspicious of everything he does.

  • ||

    What a vomitous attitude towards officeholders...and compeletely alien to the attitude the Constitution takes.

    Obama works for me, not the other way around, and I didn't even want him in the first place. He deserves as much deference from me as the guy the temp agency sent to McDonalds to clean toilets deserves from the manager.

  • Dear Bruce,||

    "people who are smarter than we are." Maybe next time, huh? Obama is bright only in a room full of W Bushes and Al Gores. He is severely lacking in real-world wisdom due to his coddled and sheltered upbringing.

  • 0x90||

    I see; so it was never the king -- never the fact of him -- which was the problem; rather, it was only ever a question of which king.

    You pathetic self-described worm. When they say that people get the rulers they deserve, it is you to whom they are referring. You will be ruled, not by imposition, but because you choose to regard yourself as neither capable, nor deserving, of anything better.

  • Theoden||

    Witch king? Where?!

  • a penny a day keep Obama away||

    "I mean that if he and I were in a room and disagreed about some issue on which I had any doubt at all, I'd literally trust his judgment over my own."

    Another mental midget.

  • ||

    Wow, thats kinda crazy when you think about it.

    www.privacy-resources.ie.tc

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Don't misunderestimate Obama yet! He's already on the comeback trail. Here's his first ad for the 2012 Presidential campaign:

    President Barack Obama's First Ad of 2012

    You have to admit, that's quite a record of accomplishment.

  • jester||

    the unicorn and rainbow is precious.

  • Tony||

    the reason I voted for Obama in 2008 is because I trust his judgment. And not in any merely abstract way, either: I mean that if he and I were in a room and disagreed about some issue on which I had any doubt at all, I'd literally trust his judgment over my own. I think he's smarter than me, better informed, better able to understand the consequences of his actions, and more farsighted. I voted for him because I trust him, and I still do.

    This is not the same as blind loyalty. To understand and appreciate that a someone is smarter and more capable than you, and that this is a good thing for someone in a position of power, is a mature insight. Besides, all the useful criticisms of the president are coming from the left. Everyone else is in hysterics.

    This is not the same as trusting a president because he would be fun to have a beer with or because he has especially perceptive intestines.

    But maybe more obnoxious than that is the thinly veiled partisanship of false equivalence. I take it this pseudo-intellectual snobbery passes for wisdom around here.

  • Otto ||

    To understand and appreciate that a someone is smarter and more capable than you, and that this is a good thing for someone in a position of power, is a mature insight.

    Yes it is. Knowing what areas you are willing to defer judgement upon, and setting limits, are also mature behaviors, yet Drum gives Obama carte blanche.

    ...all the useful criticisms of the president are coming from the left...

    Spoken like a man of the left. I personally don't think Nick Gillespie was in hysterics when he dissected Obama's budget, for just one counter example. Furthermore, the silence from the left has been deafening on the no-fly zone, not surprising given the Drum-like deference Obama has received re: Iraq & Afghanistan. The only exception I can think of is Mike Moore - to his credit.

  • Tony||

    Then you haven't been reading the left. As usual, they are asking the right questions. It's hardly been full throated support for the Libya action. But if what you want is Obama derangement syndrome and an acknowledgement that he's equally bad as bush then read Glenn greenwald or some if the mire hardcore lefties.

  • Otto ||

    Okay, I checked, and you were right. The Nation has an article pointing out that military interventions rarely solve anything.

    The Atlantic (more "center-left" than "left" IMV) also had a skeptical article.

    Interesting that you should mention Greenwald, though, since he wrote about the Drum article as well:

    The danger of blind trust
    Why are some so willing to ditch their own critical faculties to support a politician?
  • Tony||

    What I really am trying to say that it is ok to be blindly loyal as long as the person you are loyal to is incredibly smart.

  • A Civics Teacher||

    If you had a short list of leaders who qualify who would make that list?

  • Tony||

    Unlike the spoofer, I don't believe in "blind" loyalty to anyone. I do believe in practical loyalty to the better of two options.

  • A Civics Teacher||

    I thought it was a spoofer. I thought giving him a list to fill out would result in answers too outrageous to contain the facade.

  • ||

    Assuming it's not just a euphemism for blind loyalty, can you define "practical loyalty" for us?

  • Tony||

    Meaning giving support even if they don't deliver the ponies you expected, because the alternative is dead ponies everywhere.

  • Tony||

    What I really am trying to say is that one must be blindly loyal because team X is better than team Y, without the loyalty team Y wins.

  • TOnTon ---||

    You definitely exhibit blind loyalty to Your Guy -- as evidenced by your non-stop defense of the indefensible. He has, in fact, shown himself to be no better than a BushPigObama -- pouring hundreds of billions into the sand of bloody foriegn adventures. You may think he's a wild, crazy, cool and smart guy, but he is intellectually crippled by his peculiar background. That is why he is incapable of explaining his motivations in a coherent manner.

  • A Civics Teacher||

    Reading Tony all these years I don't think even really like the guy that much. He is just weighing the alternatives as he sees them.

  • A Civics Teacher||

    like

    likes

    'fraid the English department is on the other hallway network.

  • ||

    Right, he sees the Republicans as incorrigibly evil spawns of Satan for all eternity, and then compares the Democrats to them.

  • Tony||

    I think you're catching on!

  • TOnTon ---||

    I suspected there was a religious reason for your irrationality.

  • Tony||

    Not religious. Totally, 100% practical and logically inevitable. If Republicans were instead a meteor on a course for the US, we'd not debate with it over whether Jesus had a pet triceratops. Unfortunately, democracy demands that we let them have the power they legitimately gain. Not that democracy would last long under Republicans.

  • Jim Treacher||

    I'm going to enjoy your wailing and gnashing of teeth in Nov. 2012.

  • Tina Turner||

    To understand and appreciate that a someone is smarter and more capable than you, and that this is a good thing for someone in a position of power, is a mature insight.

    "Ike only smacks me up because he loves me so awful much, is all."

  • prolefeed||

    More like, "Well, yes, Ike does beat me up and cut me and call me his fucking ho who should shut up, but he's smarter and more capable of me, so I'm gonna assume he had good reasons for doing that. I mean, I guess it was REALLY my fault he hit me -- again."

  • Tony||

    Even if I was totally against this policy, what do you want from me? Repudiate my support totally? Admit he's as bad as Bush?

  • ||

    Do you mean to say that you "understand" that Obama is smarter than you are? If so, on what do you base this assessment?

    My own view of the matter is that there's a lot more to it than intelligence, and in any case I'm not going to entrust my decisions to any other man, however smart he may be.

    Drum's formula (and possibly yours) is the formula for perpetual childhood.

  • prolefeed||

    This IS blind loyalty, Tony. This is saying that you're gonna not just let some AMOG (Alpha Male Of the Group) do stuff that your common sense tells you is wrong, but APPROVE of him or her doing stuff you know is wrong.

  • Tony||

    Maybe I don't know. I haven't been able to come to a strong position on Libya. Yes, that partly has to do with the fact that I trust Obama to make a more cautious and calculated decision than certain other presidents.

  • Jim Treacher||

    Funny how his "cautious and calculated" decision-making results in the same results as the hated George W. Bush.

  • Jim Treacher||

    Barack Obama: Smarter and More Capable Than Kevin Drum.

    Quite a campaign slogan.

  • Tony||

    ARF ARF ARF ARF ARF ARF ARF

  • Fire Tiger||

    I mean that if he and I were in a room and disagreed about some issue on which I had any doubt at all, I'd literally trust his judgment over my own. I think he's smarter than me, better informed, better able to understand the consequences of his actions, and more farsighted.

    Translation, MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

  • Fire Tiger||

    I see you've been studying up on being a good wife. Your thorough understanding of rule 14 is both welcome and heartwarming.

  • ||

    If this was an April Fool's joke, who's it on?

  • oBAMA the jaunty commander||

    All of you!

  • Ross||

    LEAVE KEVIN DRUM ALONE!

  • ||

    news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110403/ap_on_re_us/us_us_libya

    US extends airstrike role in Libya through Monday

    The limited military action is looking about as limited as our copyright term.

    (I would have made a proper link but our friendly spam filter complained)

  • oBAMA the jaunty commander||

    Forward! I will explain my motivations after we launch into Yemen.

  • ||

    The reason he voted for Obama in 2008 was because he trusted his judgment.

    In 2008 what could he have possibly thought he knew of Obama's judgment, the man at that point had not made a substantive decision in his entire life.

  • Jim Treacher||

    "I trusted his judgment, even though he hadn't actually displayed any yet." Good call, Kevin.

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