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Born at the Crest of the Empire

Sunday, March 02, 2008

About that Iraq war vote.....

Maybe I'm too much of a cynic, but it's always been my opinion that alot of those Democratic votes for the Iraq war were, at the very least, affected by electoral politics. Anyone contemplating a run for President, anyone running for reelection in 2002 or 2004 in a mixed district had to be considering the political ramifications of their Iraq war vote and the likelihood they would be bludgeoned with a no vote.

Remember where we were then just a year out from 9/11. All the flags were still crisp and fresh. George Bush's approval was around 60-65%, the common belief was that Afghanistan was won easily and over, and the country was clamoring for more war. Remember that freight train of jingoism and pro-war news coverage?

Now, that's not a defense for the vote. The facts against the vote were there to be had, but that was the reality. If Obama had been in office and contemplating a 2008 run, he very well might have voted for the war like Kerry, Edwards, or Clinton.

But he wasn't, so he didn't.

Of course, the Clinton camp can't explicitly make this argument for obvious reasons.

14 Comments:

  • Don't forget a few Senators have since said they were tricked. It was a vote for war only if efforts to enforce the U.N. resolutions failed....which of course they did.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:25 PM  

  • Yeah, but I don't believe that for a second. Being anti-war in late 2002, I remember vividly the dynamics.

    (And there were a few who genuinely voted against it, as well as a few who voted against it for their own positioning.)

    By Blogger mikevotes, at 5:30 PM  

  • I hate to say it but I tend to agree with John McCain on this topic - it is far more important to discuss what our plans are now. I definitely side with Obama's record but it hasn't helped us more than the ability to have bragging rights. What do we do now?

    By Blogger Ptelea, at 6:20 PM  

  • all candidates have been talking about what we are to do now that we are there...of course McCrazy and bill's wife want to talk about that ONLY since they failed in the past to make the right decision. But one candidate did make the right decision and he has every right to use it as an over-riding example of his qualifications...I would expect McCrazy or bill's wife to do the same if the shoe was on their foot...and I am failry certain bill's wife would be reminding us EVERYDAY that she made the right decision.

    But she didn't make the right decision for america so understandbly she prefers not to talk about it...

    McCrazy wanting to talk about what we do now is nice...what he wants to do in the future?? Not so nice. But bill's wife used McCrazy's experience in talking about her experience as support for the argument that OB isn't qualified. Nice work bill's wife! not only give the gop a talking point and soundbite for Nov but point out a potential "strength" of their nominee! It's as if they have the same PR Mgt firm...oh nevermind...

    Tell me again how the msm is easy on OB! bill's wife does this - as well as the half-dozen insane tactics earlier this week and msm doesn't talk too much about it.

    If OB put up flag of sueing to change rules and lowering his expectations to the floor and then talk up the gop nominees experience I would suspect the MSM would be having group vapor-lock (along with this blog)...

    but it's different for bill's wife. Heck, she can fry up the bacon right in the pan!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:08 PM  

  • I saw on Meet the Press this A.M. that even if Hillary won Texas and Ohio on the 4th, she would have to win 70% of the elected delegates in all the remaining states to get the nomination which is highly unlikely.

    But I won't count the Clinton's out until the very last breath.

    By Blogger James, at 7:33 PM  

  • just saw a site that claims bill's wife on tonights 60 Minutes when asked if she belives OB is not a muslim answers "I'll have to take him at his word". I didn't watch it so I don't know if this is actually what happend but if it is I gotta say "atta girl!" on keeping the wingnuts meme going ever so slightly in a way only she can accomplish. bill's wife is trying SO HARD to keep the right-leaning indies from choosing OB. Don't win on what you can do - win on what you can make others believe about your opponent. Like a true clinton!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:23 PM  

  • Ptelea, I think it's a bit of both. Yes, it is certainly important what we do from here, but at the same time, it's also really important to listen to the people who correctly predicted how we got here.

    In that, I don't mean a blanket endorsement of Obama.

    I'm talking more about listening to the reporters and analysts who got it right, and, really, none of the candidates is presenting a particularly subtle or deep knowledge of where we really are. Part of that may be that they're doing political presentations rather than real policy work, but discussing policy without talking about realities of Iraq is pretty damn stupid.

    McCain is dangerous because he ignores anything the US military is not involved in, completely ignoring regional influence, and the factional politics.

    The two dems both present a greatly oversimplified Iraq. I don't know if that's their understanding or just presentation. So, I look at their advisers, and, although better than McCain's neocon team, neither has any that I would gauge as having been phenomenal. They're all still working within Washington/political CW.

    ....

    James, Yeah, Chuck Todd has been talking about the realities of the delegate math for wawhile, I think that's the quote you reference.

    Mathematically, it's practically impossible for Clinton unless she picks up a big delegate gain Tues, and that doesn't look likely.

    ....

    Anon, I didn't see it. If that's really what went down, it'll be everywhere by tomorrow.

    By Blogger mikevotes, at 9:20 PM  

  • Later:

    Anon, Politico has the cut. She tries to vaguely leave it there, but the interviewer forces her a little further so she uses clearer language.

    http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0308/Taking_Obama_at_his_word.html

    By Blogger mikevotes, at 9:31 PM  

  • I just watched the 60 minutes clip and want to believe HRC was genuine and any one thinking otherwise is overreacting...but, with the clinton machine there is always a doubt...I wish she hadsn't said at the end "as far as I know...". Why did she even have to mention "take him at his word....as far as I know"...as if there jury is still out...he is a christian...would OB have hesitated or even left someone to question his scincerity if asked if he felt she was secretly a jew or mccrazy secretly hated catholics...
    clinton's never just answer the damn question, do they? depends on the definition of what "his word" is, huh?

    Beside the point that theology should be completely off the table in politics anyway...(see Hitchens wonderful commentary on Maher on 2/29)...

    I'm going to leave this HRC issue alone unless I see her or the surrogates start making stupid innuendos on Monday...But with the turban picture earlier in the week from the HRC camp and now this insane attempt at answering a simple question (that just so happens to be a wingnuttia meme) I somehow suspect this is not the end of it...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:56 PM  

  • I wasn't sure either. Certainly there could have been a clearer phrase.

    By Blogger mikevotes, at 10:08 PM  

  • I saw it on the show and did feel her initial dismissal of the rumor could have been stronger... but it's not Hillary's job to answer the question in the way Obama's fans would like her to. The standard people are trying to hold her to is an absurd one.

    By Anonymous tg, at 10:10 PM  

  • She claims to be honored to be running against him...claims to be a friend...claims to respect the election process...

    and answering a question so tied to a crazy whisper campaign in a way to halt it knowing it could be an issue in Nov if he is the nominee is an absurd expectation?

    Wrong...countless times she has answered a question about him in one or two words and then turned it into a positive for her...Was it too hard to think of saying "absolutely not. He is a member of a christion church. But my campaign is not interested in this - we are interested in showing I am more prepared to be president from day one with experience that matters"...Hell, I have been hearing her say it for 2 months! She isn't expected to talk for him but she is expected to recognize a potential GOP dirty trick and know how to cut it off at the knees. We are talking about a clinton, you know...they should be able to do this in their sleep!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:21 PM  

  • I agree with tg - there is probably nothing Hillary can say that will change the minds of people who were seriously bothered by the Obama turban photo. I don't understand the fuss among reasonable people. Does he look like a closet Muslim in those photos? To me he looks like someone very much out of his comfort zone. If he is Muslim and proud of it - this photo does not illustrate it.

    By Blogger Ptelea, at 12:13 AM  

  • TG and Ptelea, Yeah, Maybe.

    I think part of it is that these are swiftboat like right wing smears, and Clinton's apparent less than absolutist rejections of them makes her appear a passive part of them.

    I'm not that upset by this, but as a personal parallel, I was a McCain supporter in 2000. I still kinda liked him into 2004, then the swiftboat thing started. There wa a point in the summer of 2004 when everyone looked to John McCain to see if he would condemn these attacks on Kerry, a supposed friend. Instead, he went on a campaign tour with Bush including the famous hug photo. I still hold a grudge for that to this day.

    Clinton could play a big role in batting some of these smears back, but for her own reasons, she isn't.

    It's a bit of an unfair requirement of her and her personal interests, but I think that's why there's the passion. By her "silence," to those who back Obama, she feels like a part of that smear and it's like she's giving some legitimacy to the right wing slime machine.

    ....Anon, I think I hit what you were saying.

    By Blogger mikevotes, at 7:18 AM  

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