Obama's Reaganism, McCain's Luddism

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In Sunday's New York Times, Adam Nagourney and Michael Cooper produce this somnolent interview with presumptive Republican candidate John McCain. In the first few paragraphs, we learn that McCain has "expressed a willingness to deploy government power and influence where free-market purists might hesitate to do so." It's a terrifying sentence—just when, exactly, does McCain think the government should meddle in the market?—but Nagourney and Cooper choose instead to spend most of the interview sniffing around the question of whether or not McCain is an evangelical Christian, interrogating him on gay adoption (he is against it), creationism (he believes in evolution), and how often the senator goes to church (not that often). There are plenty of issues on which Nagourney and Cooper could hammer McCain—though I suspect the New York Times agrees with him on campaign finance, so no bother—but instead they take six paragraphs to ruminate of his lack of computer skills, wondering what blogs and websites he visits, if he uses a Blackberry, if he buys World War I helmets on eBay, etc. (Using the Nagourney interview, The Telegraph's Washington correspondent, Toby Harnden, files a story today on the technophobe angle, arguing that McCain's admission could be "politically damaging" and quoting a Democratic strategist "with close ties to Obama" scoffing that his "five-year-old niece can use the internet.") The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan merit not a single question, but Nagourney and Cooper manage to ask if it is "more difficult to run against Mr. Obama because of the sensitivities of race." Fascinating.

The Sunday Times's lead Obama piece is rather more entertaining. William Yardley files a dispatch from Portland, Oregon headlined "Obama Supporters on the Far Left Cry Foul," chronicling the rapid disaffection of the senator's more radical supporters. One young—and erstwhile—Obama booster was shocked to discover that his hero was but a creature of the political establishment, tacking to the right in hopes of securing the knuckle-dragging troglodyte vote: "This is the first time I've ever seen him lie to us, and it makes me feel disappointed. I thought he was going to stand up there, stand by his campaign promises like he said he would, and it turns out he's another politician."

Over at The New Republic, Eli Lake produces an interesting analysis of Obama's foreign policy vision—one that will surely horrify his young, Counterpunch-reading supporters in Portland. Conservative critics who have argued that Obama in just a 21st century version of Jimmy Carter, Lake writes, are ignoring the more Reaganite rhetoric of his foreign policy team, some of whom are "drawing on a time-honored tradition of foreign policy that goes back to the Gurkhas: finding proxies to fight an enemy."

So has Obama the anti-war candidate morphed into Obama the proxy-war candidate? Does it matter that John McCain doesn't Twitter? Discuss.

NEXT: That airline pilot could be a terrorist. Better make sure he doesn't have a butter knife!

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  1. I’d say the ability to use a computer is probably something that should be required for the Presidency in this day and age, as it is for just about every other white collar job.

  2. “This is the first time I’ve ever seen him lie to us, and it makes me feel disappointed. I thought he was going to stand up there, stand by his campaign promises like he said he would, and it turns out he’s another politician.”

    Oh man, that’s rich.

  3. “This is the first time I’ve ever seen him lie to us, and it makes me feel disappointed. I thought he was going to stand up there, stand by his campaign promises like he said he would, and it turns out he’s another politician.”

    Fucking awesome. Who would have thought a politician would turn out to be…a politician?

    This is why I think McCain, seemingly against the odds, is going to win. Obama is going to bitterly disappoint those most enamored with him, just by being a normal politician, and they are going to stay home.

  4. There are plenty of issues on which [reporters] could hammer McCain

    And Obama. But they don’t. I can’t recall more shallow reportage in any recent election. Paradoxically, the depth is inversely proportional to the number of news outlets covering this story. The entire news business (present company excepted) seems to be lapsing into an Inside Edition-type of retardism.

  5. “Joe McCraw, 27, a video engineer from San Carlos, Calif., who writes three liberal blogs, said Mr. Obama’s shift on the domestic spying measure was a watershed moment.”

    He must be brilliant if not even two blogs can contain his ideas.

  6. Ms. Shade, the Green-turned-Democrat-returned-Green voter, spoke about Mr. Obama while leaning out her second-floor apartment window, where she has placed homemade signs urging the impeachment of President Bush. Others say “Free Gaza” and “Occupation is Terrorism.” She said twice that the American political system was “rotten.”

    “You realize,” Ms. Shade said, her voice fading with resignation, “that you’re talking to somebody who’s pretty far out of the mainstream.”

    Sad, isn’t it…

  7. What these idiots don’t realize is that Obama has been a typical post-Jonson Democrat centrist all along. He just dresses it up in better rhetoric.

  8. ed: Fair enough. It has been one long game of slow-pitch softball between the NYT and Obama.

  9. Re: McCain’s computer skills

    Old people are one of the biggest voting blocks. If this is a low turn out election they’ll be even bigger since they track consistently. If anything his lack of computer knowledge is probably seen as a non-issue or even endearing to them.

    Young people might find it a problem. But according to the polls there probably going to Obama anyway. And they don’t vote in large numbers.

  10. Pain-

    Actually, older voters are more likely to see old age as a concern than younger voters.

  11. Besides, my grandpa is in his 80s and he can use a computer (well, at least a Mac).

  12. During the primaries, Obama talked about the war on terrorism with the fastidiousness of a civil libertarian–emphasizing the constraints that he would impose on our military and CIA and rarely mentioning specific methods for prosecuting it…Last November at a foreign policy forum in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Obama said there may be “40,000 hard-core jihadists with whom we can’t negotiate.” He went on. “Our job is to incapacitate them, to kill them.” In that spirit, he famously announced that he would strike terrorist bases in Pakistan if President Pervez Musharraf ever refuses to move on actionable intelligence against Al Qaeda–a threat that earned him the chastisement of John McCain, among others.

    Um. OK.

    So has Obama the anti-war candidate morphed into Obama the proxy-war candidate? When the history of this election is written, expect to see the phrase “ran to the right of McCain on Afghanistan” a lot. It won’t be true, exactly – more vs. less in Afghanistan isn’t a left/right issue – but close enough.

    As the “bomb Pakistan” position demonstrates, Obama hasn’t “morphed” into anything.

  13. Not emailing and using the internet is as out of touch as you can get these days. Few people have the luxury to be able to insulate themselves to that extent.

  14. No Name Guy | July 14, 2008, 12:53pm | #

    What these idiots don’t realize is that Obama has been a typical post-Jonson Democrat centrist all along. He just dresses it up in better rhetoric.

    To be fair, a lot of the other sort of idiots failed to figure that out, too.

    How many ZOMG! Obama is going to surrender to teh terrorists! posts did we see AFTER the Pakistan kerfuffle? We still have people acting stunned that Barack Obama is talking about a slow, “responsible” withdrawal from Iraq that will include tactical flexibility based on the recommendations of the military, despite the fact that Barack Obama has been laying out that position for three-four years.

    There was a massive effort to portray Obama as a tall Dennis Kucinich throughout the primaries, and now the same people who distorted his positions back then are accurately reporting them, so they can pretend to be shocked that he’s changed his positions.

  15. but Nagourney and Cooper choose instead to spend most of the interview sniffing around the question of whether or not McCain is an evangelical Christian, interrogating him on gay adoption (he is against it), creationism (he believes in evolution), and how often the senator goes to church (not that often).

    Pff.

    Look, there’s a tyrant running for office!

    Yeah, ok, but what’s his position on abortion?

  16. Well, hes only to the left in comparison to Hillary Clinton who, by the end of the primaries, was on the verge of going over into Lieberland.

  17. As a relatively young person not knowing how to use a computer doesn’t bother me (although it makes me wonder what he does all day) – not supporting thousands of children being raised by gay parents – that bothers me.

  18. I’d be surprised if McCain was tech-savvy, to be honest… if his Naval Academy record is anything to go on, he’s not much of a fast learner…

  19. I have owned goldfish that have more life experience and depth than Obama. He really hasn’t done anything. At least candidates like Bush II and Carter had been governors. Obama spent a few years as a “community organizer” whatever the hell that is, three years at Harvard law, a few years jiving his way up the Chicago political food chain and saying amen to Reverend Wright and his crowd, and four years as a standard Senate liberal. Honestly, I don’t think Obama has any idea what he thinks about these issues. What Obama thinks is that it is pretty damn good to be Obama and even better to be Obama when people vote for you and when Obama can tell us lower beings what to do. Basically he is going to say whatever the hell it takes to get him elected. What he will actually do when he gets there is anyone’s guess.

  20. John-

    I don’t know about Obama’s experience in particular, but in general community organizing is pretty hard and thankless work that does a lot of good. If you think its a joke thats because you never knew anyone who did it.

  21. So has Obama the anti-war candidate morphed into Obama the proxy-war candidate? Does it matter that John McCain doesn’t Twitter? Discuss.

    What the hell?!?!

    Not to pick on Moynihan, his is just the latest example, but when the hell did this blog turn into a test?

    Why all the friggin questions? I want answers damn it!

  22. “This is the first time I’ve ever seen [Obama] lie to us, and it makes me feel disappointed. I thought he was going to stand up there, stand by his campaign promises like he said he would, and it turns out he’s another politician.”

    If Obama successfully crushes the hopes and dreams of his idiot, hero-worshiping followers, he’ll have done at least one good thing.

  23. best quote on gay adoption so far this election season…

    [Bob Barr] supports gay people adopting, saying he has seen “plenty of heterosexual people adopt that shouldn’t have.”

    finally, some actual “straight talk”…

  24. The other issue is that we are hearing what a centrist Obama is now in July. Come the second Wednesday in November an Obama win will be sold as electoral vindication for all of the ideas Obama is running away from today.

  25. Lost in Translation called Barack Obama “a mushy centrist” on January 8.

  26. I don’t know about Obama’s experience in particular, but in general community organizing is pretty hard and thankless work that does a lot of good.

    Isn’t community organizing just middle class people building new working class and poor constituencies for higher taxes and more regulation?

  27. “Isn’t community organizing just middle class people building new working class and poor constituencies for higher taxes and more regulation?”

    No, its not. What you describe is politics.

  28. Its all about going outside of government to accomplish your goals, actually.

  29. No Name Guy,

    Maybe it is, but I he only did it for a few years. It is hardly like he is some legendary community organizer who came up through the ranks. It seems that Obama found out that it was hard and thankless and said thanks but no thanks and gave it up and went to Harvard law. It still begs the question; what the hell has the guy ever actually done?

  30. John-

    The weird thing is that Obama went into politics, most community organizers despise politicians.

  31. community organizing is pretty hard and thankless work that does a lot of good.

    what/who did he organize? why? did it work? (too lazy to look it up for myself…)

  32. Since John’s hours of diligent research on Barack Obama’s accomplishments seem to have been roughly as useful as sending John McCain to find them on The Google, here are a couple of good links.

    First, his U.S. Senate career: http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/7/7/165439/7919

    Second, his entire career, including as a community organizer: http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/7/7/202313/1158

    (I always thought the 150,000 people registered to vote was a pretty impressive accomplishment, but then, I’ve always considered the expansion of democracy to be a core value, and not something to be embraced and discarded depending on that day’s talking point).

  33. Svf-

    I have no idea, as John says he didn’t stay for very long.

    I’m just saying, you can malign Obama’s particular case if you want but its unfair to state that community organizing is some kind of fake job for spoiled middle class kids that doesn’t really exist.

  34. As a community organizer, Obama helped 150,000 African Americans register to vote.

    How? Who was counting? Were they all among the living (this is Chicago, after all…)

  35. … and why did they need “help”? Registering to vote ain’t that tough, even in Illinois…

  36. What are you asking me for?

  37. I have owned goldfish that have more life experience and depth than Obama. He really hasn’t done anything. At least candidates like Bush II and Carter had been governors. Obama spent a few years as a “community organizer” whatever the hell that is, three years at Harvard law, a few years jiving his way up the Chicago political food chain and saying amen to Reverend Wright and his crowd, and four years as a standard Senate liberal. Honestly, I don’t think Obama has any idea what he thinks about these issues. What Obama thinks is that it is pretty damn good to be Obama and even better to be Obama when people vote for you and when Obama can tell us lower beings what to do. Basically he is going to say whatever the hell it takes to get him elected. What he will actually do when he gets there is anyone’s guess.

    Standard redneck boilerplate – probably lifted from Sean Nahhity. Good job, John. And they said you were computer illiterate.

  38. What are you asking me for?

    sorry, I’m asking the great collective cyber-consciousness of Obama, not you Joe.

    P.S. Loving the

  39. shit! trying again…

    P.S. Loving the New Yorker cover illustration flap today…

    “The New Yorker may think, as one of their staff explained to us, that their cover is a satirical lampoon of the caricature Senator Obama’s right-wing critics have tried to create,” Obama spokesman Bill Burton said.

    “But most readers will see it as tasteless and offensive. And we agree,” he said in a statement.

    The campaign of Obama’s Republican rival, John McCain, took his side.

    “We completely agree with the Obama campaign that it is tasteless and offensive,” spokesman Tucker Bounds said.

    oh no! the audacity of “offensive” political cartoons is ruining our nation! sound familiar…?

  40. The New Yorker certainly isn’t helping their favored candidate, thats for sure. Talk about tone-deafness.

  41. svf, I mean, don’t “ask” anybody. Go to the links, and therein you will find information, and more links.

    The New Yorker. Ah, the New Yorker. *sniff* Our readers will immediately recognize it as our own brand of absurd-yet-understaded satire, right away. But then, our readers aren’t your run-of-the-mill New York Post sort.

  42. What these idiots don’t realize is that Obama has been a typical post-Jonson Democrat centrist all along.

    That’s been pretty much my take all along, although I might put him a hair to the left of the Dem center. As I recall, my term was “standard squishy-left party-line Dem”, or somesuch.

    I haven’t read it yet, but I’ve seen the actual New Yorker article described as a pretty in-depth, and not at all flattering, review of his Chicago-pol roots.

  43. I read the article, and its either neutral or a tad unflattering. Certainly its better for them to bellyache about the cover than have people pay attention to the actual article.

  44. Would it have killed the Obama-bots to just laugh off the cover.

    “Its a cartoon. Therefore, we think its a joke. Not a bad one, actually – it sends up all the loony, paranoid fears about our candidate. Now, can’t we get back to keeping the price of oil nice and high?”

  45. RC Dean, partisans (by definition) cannot laugh at themselves.

  46. most readers will see it as tasteless and offensive

    How does he know? I’m certain that at least half of the electorate will find it hilarious. But he did say “readers” so I’ll concede that at least a couple of the New Yorker’s lefty elitist subscribers will get their designer undies in a bunch. Sniff.

  47. I lol’d at the cover, I admit.

  48. Its a cartoon. Therefore, we think its a joke. Not a bad one, actually…

    the American flag burning in the fireplace is an especially nice touch, isn’t it?

    chill the fuck out, folks… did GW Bush or Bill/Hill Clinton feel the need to denounce the New Yorker over all the unflattering “satirical” covers devoted to them over the years? McCain’s camp joining the chorus of righteous indignation is especially rich…

  49. Its high time for some McCain love.

    The guy admits to understanding the concept of Natural Selection. Amongst the true-Red types that amounts to heresy. Imagine the chagrin of the fundie-nut set over this revelation. I like his re-found courage – although he still reeks from the stench of John Hagee.

    Imagine GWB doing this. He may as well admit that he has never been near the rancid meathole Laura has rotting between her legs.

  50. R C Dean | July 14, 2008, 2:33pm | #

    Would it have killed the Obama-bots to just laugh off the cover.

    Why would the Obama campaign possibly want to do that?

    Raising a hue and cry about this stuff helps them.

  51. Not to mention, there’s a “Kleenex/facial tissue” thing going on here.

    If the Obama campaign doesn’t bark when things like that come out, it becomes easier and easier, more and more acceptable, for other sources who don’t mean it as satire to put out imagery like that.

  52. Here’s why Obama deserves to lose supporters:

    He claims to be a constitutional law professor. That’s just slightly “iffy”, but let’s take him at his word. This is a predicate, not a reason.

    He thinks the portion of the operative clause of the 2nd amendment which states “shall not infringe” means “we can infringe all we want”, a conclusion one cannot fail to reach after his repeated statements of support for the pathologically unconstitutional Washington DC law, and his subsequent characterization of (nonexistent) state’s rights to control keep and carry. The 2nd applies to the states via the 14th: “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States.”

    He thinks the portion of the 4th amendment that says reasonable searches require probable cause, oath or affirmation, specific target information, and then a warrant means “we don’t need a warrant” as demonstrated by his AYE vote on FISA, which is, and always has been, a mechanism for warrentless surveillance. The new FISA simply increases the amount of warrentless surveillance that may be done.

    Worse, he *said* he would filibuster FISA; what he actually *did* was vote AYE.

    While politics may be described, of necessity, as the art of compromise, the constitution must not be on the table except as an exercise of article V. Obama, however, doesn’t think this way. Considering the severe erosion of liberties the citizens have experienced, this is a very dark sign. Not to mention the flip-flop; if he’ll flip so easily on the constitution, what are his (present) self-described positions on Iraq withdrawal or healthcare worth? My estimate is absolutely nothing.

    And yes, I was going to vote for the man, even given his inexplicable 2nd amendment bewilderments. No longer. Both mainstream candidates are now impossible for me to vote for. McCain is happy to go to war and stay at war; that’s idiotic. Obama is either knowingly violating his oath, or he too is an idiot, as demonstrated by his multiple gross constitutional errors juxtaposed against his supposed expertise. Either way, and with the addition of abject flip-floppery, he’s no one I’d want to see be president.

    So whatever else might be going on, he’s lost at least this one vote. Reading the blogs over the last few days, I’m not the only one.

  53. Joe, you can certainly bet now the chain emails are going to have a jpeg of that cover attached them now.

  54. The weird thing is that Obama went into politics, most community organizers despise politicians.

    “Community organizer” sounds a lot like “activist” to me. See: the NYC Council for the horrors of government by “activists”.

  55. it becomes easier and easier, more and more acceptable, for other sources who don’t mean it as satire to put out imagery like that.

    So? In my opinion Obabma could have scored big by praising the talent of the caricaturist and laughing with the joke. It would have demonstrated a bit of humanity in the ever-so-easily offended candidate. Instead his campaign behaves like a third-grade girl who just got her pigtails pulled.

  56. Both mainstream candidates are now impossible for me to vote for.

    Just curious… which flavor of “wasted vote” “fringe” candidate appeals to you most?

    Personally, I’ve been wasting my vote since 1996 (Libertarians, usually) and I highly recommend it. Welcome to the club!

  57. No Name Guy | July 14, 2008, 2:50pm | #

    Joe, you can certainly bet now the chain emails are going to have a jpeg of that cover attached them now.

    Actually, I think that they’ll have a jpeg of a much worse racial caricature attached. When called on it, the senders will reply, “But the New Yorker did it!”

    It’s the cyber-version of Hey, man, I hear black people call each other “that” all the time, so now I get to, too!

  58. No, it will say SEE? THE LIBERAL ELITIST New Yorker IS CELEBRATING THE FACT HES A MUSLIM!

  59. Actually, I think that they’ll have a jpeg of a much worse racial caricature attached. When called on it, the senders will reply, “But the New Yorker did it!”

    The people whose opinions this could affect aren’t going to vote for Obama anyway.

    He should have showed a thick skin and a good sense of humor by laughing it off. I think many people would have found that appealing.

  60. ed,

    “So?”

    So, as you know perfectly well and are obviously counting on, racially charged imagery about Barack Obama is an important part of the effort to paint him as scary and unacceptable to voters. And yet, the people who wish to roll around in that much realize that crossing the line will produce blowback which would harm their cause.

    So they try to move the line. When the Obama campaign, its surrogates, the media, and people of decent character who don’t want American politics to be an exercise in race-baiting complain about it, it helps to define the line more clearly.

    And you know all of this perfectly well, which is why you whine like a little girl getting her pigtails pulled whenever anyone pushes back against the effort.

  61. The people whose opinions this could affect aren’t going to vote for Obama anyway.

    The people whose opinions this could effect aren’t going to vote for Obama anyway, that is true.

    The people whose opinions six months of increasingly hostile, race-baiting imagery could effect, especially if such imagery comes to be seen as acceptable by the mainstream press, is potentially much larger.

  62. Grow up, joe. Politics ain’t for sissies.

  63. Jesus Charlie Criss.

    As an Obama supporter, I say GOOD ONE to the New Yorker.

    I put our satirists above the political class any day!

  64. ed,

    Should John McCain and his team have shown what thick skins they have by ignoring Wesley Clark last week?

    Not if they have a functioning brain cell between them!

    This is about defining certain things as out-of-bounds, because of how powerful and harmful they could be to the candidate. John McCain and his team want discussion of McCain’s military background not really being relevant to what the President does to be socially and politically unacceptable.

    Barack Obama and his team want discourse about “the secret, radical muslim” thing to be socially and politically unacceptable.

    So they howl whenever they see it.

  65. ed | July 14, 2008, 3:12pm | #

    Grow up, joe. Politics ain’t for sissies.

    As anyone could have predicted, there are zero (0) comments from ed about how the McCain campaign should stop whining about what Wesley Clark said, on the July 3-5 threads on the subject.

    There are certain people who simply cannot tolerate complaints about racism.

  66. This isn’t race, per se.

    If there were a white son of an Albanian or Bosnian immigrant running for President who had the middle name “Hussein” we’d be hearing about the Muslim stuff, too.

  67. Ultimately, the problem for the New Yorker is that wingnuts are impossible to parody these days.

    It is very, very difficult to write or draw something in jest that is observably worse than what is put out in all seriousness by the right-wing of the blogosphere on a daily basis.

    I mean, tell me that birth certificate flap didn’t read like a parody.

  68. Terrorist fist jab!

  69. there are zero (0) comments from ed about how the McCain campaign should stop whining about what Wesley Clark said, on the July 3-5 threads

    I don’t spend my life here, joe. And I’m hardly a McCain supporter. His soft-shelled agreement with the Obama camp in this little teapot tempest is sickening. But I do appreciate good satire. Only a humorless ideologue views the New Yorker cover otherwise.

  70. The New Yorker cover is a slam on Obama’s critics not Obama. It is a characterture of what the people at the New Yorker thinks Obama’s critics would draw if they could. It is all the same message that Obama’s critics are just rightwing loonies who think he is a terrorist and she a gun totting black panther. See the dip shit “redneck boilerplate” response to my post above for another good example. It is just a way to avoid talking about substance and calling your critics racists.

  71. Obama is a 21st century Jimmy Carter. Hmm, let’s make the Soviets overspend on defense by coming up with a steady stream of vaporware defense projects, agree that decriminalizing marijuana is a good thing, recognize that our then-pretty-minimal dependence on imported oil was a bad idea, provide tax stimulus to solar, wind, and other energy sources while gasoline was well under a dollar a gallon …

    In hindsight, particularly when it came to energy policy, it seems President Carter was a bit prescient and took steps to avoid the crisis in which we now wallow. Where might we be had we continued the higher rates of research and development of wind and solar energy technologies he began?

    It’s very interesting how those who were so quick to laugh and mock and insult the man and his policies over 30 years ago are now scrambling to figure a way out of the mess they helped create.

    If Obama is a 21st century Carter, that may not be such a bad thing. After all, trying to preserve the long-dead, mid-20th century way of doing things hasn’t served us too well, after all.

  72. “It is very, very difficult to write or draw something in jest that is observably worse than what is put out in all seriousness by the right-wing of the blogosphere on a daily basis.”

    Joe you always are so good at providing a parody of the leftwing message. All of the dirt on Obama has come from the Hillary campaign. Further, I don’t recall anyone on the right threatening to cut his nuts off. The Hillary campaign was as dirty and nasty as could be run. McCain and the “rightwing blogshphere” whoever they are has bent over backwards to be nice to the chosen one. Yet, lefties like you can only talk about how awful and nasty they all are. Get over it Joe. All the nasty stuff in this campaign about Obama came from a Democrat. Further, if you want to see nasty things, look at the sexist and downright fascist things that are posted daily on the web from Obama supporters and directed at Hillary supporters. Stop trying to drag the right into your pig sty.

  73. The truly funny thing is how Michelle Obama must be sooooo regretting her brilliant fist-bump gimmick. I’m going out on a limb and predicting we’ve seen the last of it.

  74. Barack Obama today pledged to increase US troops in Afghanistan by a third if he becomes president, sending 10,000 more to reinforce the 33,000 already there.

    He was speaking after the US lost nine soldiers at the weekend in the deadliest attack on its forces in the country since 2005.

    Obama has promised, soon after becoming president in January, to begin scaling back the 156,000 US troops in Iraq and Kuwait, and shift the focus to Afghanistan…

    Bill Burton, a spokesman for Obama, said today’s speech “will focus on the global strategic interests of the United States, which includes ending our misguided effort in Iraq”. He added that a gradual, phased withdrawal of US troops “will allow the US to properly address the growing threat from a resurgent al-Qaida in Afghanistan”.

    War/Occupation in Afghanistan > War/Occupation in Iraq

    CHANGE we can BELIEVE IN!!!!

  75. Wow, John, that’s a lot of “alls” in your comment.

    Defensive much?

  76. This is awesome: the “rightwing blogshphere” whoever they are

    John cannot even admit that there is such a thing as a right-wing blogosphere.

    Of course there can’t be dirt coming at Obama from the right wing, because there is not right wing! Height of absurdity.

    And I, of course, am not just a liberal. Not just a progressive. No, not even a left-winger.

    I am so ridiculously, radically left, and my writing so characterized by bizarre extremism, irrationality, and bile, that I am a PARODY of the left wing. Other left-wingers would read what I write, and think “Man, that’s so ridiculously argued and extreme, that it can only be a parodic version of what we really believe.”

    Sure, John.

  77. Way to respond to the comment there Joe. Again, don’t drag me into your pig sty. They only dirt I see in this campaign is between Obama and Clinton supporters. You know it is true and that is why you just prattle on about me saying “there is no rightwing blogsphere”. I never said they don’t exist, I said “whoever they are” meaning I have no idea specifically who and who is not in the “rightwing blogsphere”. I was making fun of your throwing out what amounts to a meaningless term.

    It must really hurt to finally half to accept how sleazy the Clintons really are. It also must be very hard to ignore the nasty sexist things that Obama supporters on the web have said about Clinton supporters during this campaign. But again, that is your problem. Stop trying to blame everyone else.

  78. John, Little Green Footballs and Red State never threw dirt at Obama?

    The birth certificate stuff came after Clinton dropped out and endorsed him.

  79. “The birth certificate stuff came after Clinton dropped out and endorsed him.”

    I don’t think that counts as “dirt”. It is rediculous and stupid but that is not claiming he went to a Madress as a child or is really a Muslim or he is no different than Jessee Jackson. All of that came out of the Clinton campaign. But people like Joe are going to rewrite history and lie and claim that none of that happened and all of the dirt flung at Obama was from the evil right wing.

  80. I thought the chain email was traced back to a Freeper IIRC, not Clinton (though someone in her campaign did forward it).

  81. Well, lets see:

    Jeremiah Wright–brought up by Sean Hannity at first, went mainstream with ABC news

    Bill Ayers–Sean Hannity then George Snugglepus made it mainstream

    Flag Pin–Not sure

    Rezko–Hillary Clinton

    Muslim Email–Freeper in origin, forwarded by Clinton campaign

  82. But I do appreciate good satire. Only a humorless ideologue views the New Yorker cover otherwise.

    Actually, I disagree. Only a humorless ideologue thinks it’s good satire. Even if it’s not worth shitting a brick about, it’s not funny. The New Yorker is notoriously unfunny and this is a good example of that. It would be funnier if they stole Ziggy cartoons.

    Jerry: It looks like my accountant’s office but there’s no pets working there.

    Elaine: The cat is saying “I’ve enjoyed reading your E-mail”.

    George: Maybe it’s got something to do with that 42 in the corner.

    Elaine: It’s a page number.

    George: Well , I can’t crack this one.

  83. They only dirt I see in this campaign is between Obama and Clinton supporters.

    You’re good an seeing and not seeing things as your preferences demand, John. I’m not going to miss any sleep because you’ve managed not to notice any right-wing attacks on Obama.

    It must really hurt to finally half to accept how sleazy the Clintons really are. Huh? I spent the 1990s bitching about Bill Clinton, “the greatest Republican president in American history.” I was a Tsongas supporter, and you think I’m just now noticing that the Clintons are sleazy? Dude, don’t project your wingnut prostration before authority onto me.

    It also must be very hard to ignore the nasty sexist things that Obama supporters on the web have said about Clinton supporters during this campaign. No, that’s been pretty easy, given that none of the Obama-supporting sites I’ve seen engaged in such behavior, while frequently chastising the Republicans and mainstream media when they did it.

  84. No Name Guy,

    Great list. I’ll add that Fox News created the “madrassa/Muslim” story, and that the only thing linking it to the Clinton campaign was an assertion by Fox News itself that they were contacted by someone from the Clinton campaign.

  85. Bob Herbert, that notorious right winger, had a somewhat les than laudatory column about Barack Obama a couple of days ago. All blue team members should read it.

    For one thing, he’s taking his base for granted, apparently believing that such stalwart supporters as blacks, progressives and pumped-up younger voters will be with him no matter what.

    He seems to believe that his shifts and twists and clever panders – as opposed to bold, principled leadership on important matters – will entice large numbers of independent and conservative voters to climb off the fence and run into his yard.

    Maybe. But that’s a very dangerous game for a man who first turned voters on by presenting himself as someone who was different, who wouldn’t engage in the terminal emptiness of politics as usual.

    Time flies and the Iowa caucuses seem a very long time ago.

    ?Meet the new boss
    Same as the old boss?

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