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Monday, October 24, 2016

Even without a formal declaration of her intent to run, Hillary Clinton is the presumed Democratic nominee for president in 2016. She has earned that status through two decades of hard work on the national stage — as First Lady, as a senator from New York, and, especially, as a loyal and energetic secretary of state in the administration of her former rival, Barack Obama.

But Clinton’s presumed bid for the presidency — a historic run she’s unlikely to turn down — is threatened by the same unfortunate tendency that cost her in 2008: presumption. She seems oblivious to national trends that make some of her stances unpopular.

Nothing better illustrates that presumption than her continued hawkishness, a trait on full display in her interview earlier this month with Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic Monthly. While Washington pundits focused on her curt dismissal of a few words the president allegedly spoke to reporters — “Great nations need organizing principles, and ‘Don’t do stupid stuff’ is not an organizing principle,” she said — the substance of her argument is much more troubling than that.

She insisted that if Obama had intervened in Syria, if he had just agreed to arm Syrian moderates, jihadists such as the bloodthirsty cohort of the Islamic State might have been halted in their tracks.

“The failure to help build up a credible fighting force of the people who were the originators of the protests against Assad — there were Islamists, there were secularists, there was everything in the middle — the failure to do that left a big vacuum, which the jihadists have now filled,” Clinton said.

That sentiment drew huge cheers from the left-of-center interventionists, as well as the neo-cons, who still occupy positions of influence on the national stage. But it contrasts sharply with average voters, the regular Joes who recognize the limits of American power. Polls show that they want nothing to do with more foreign entanglements that don’t directly reflect U.S. interests.

They remember that even deploying military advisors often leads to more boots on the ground, more American dead. And those dead are unlikely to come from the ranks of powerful politicians or diplomats or journalists, but rather from the working classes. More to the point, mainstream voters want their politicians to concentrate on fixing a broken economy here at home, not on fixing broken nations halfway around the world.

Last fall, 52 percent of the public said the U.S. should “mind its own business internationally and let other countries get along the best they can on their own,” according to the Pew Research Center. It was the first time since 1964 that more than half the country held that view, Pew said.

Given the half-hearted economic recovery, it’s no wonder that voters want their politicians to focus on rebuilding the broad American middle class. While Washington politicians and the scribes who cover them are doing just fine, much of the country has yet to mount a full comeback from the Great Recession.

Moreover, it turns out that voters’ skepticism toward foreign interventions is supported by research, which shows that arming “moderates” was likely to backfire.

Recently, political scientist Marc Lynch, writing in The Washington Post, summarized the data this way:

In general, external support for rebels almost always makes wars longer, bloodier and harder to resolve. … Worse … Syria had most of the characteristics of the type of civil war in which external support for rebels is least effective.

To be fair, Clinton didn’t suggest sending U.S. troops into Syria. Still, her criticism of Obama’s approach shows a tone-deafness, a calculated disregard for the attitude most Americans now hold toward foreign interventions. Sometimes, that sort of brush-off of popular sentiment is a hallmark of genuine leadership. In this case, it’s just arrogance.

Clinton should know better. She was defeated for the Democratic nomination by a lesser-known senator largely because his opposition to the war in Iraq, by then a clear disaster, contrasted with her support for it. While she won’t face Obama in 2016, she might find herself up against Republican Sen. Rand Paul in the general election. And his skepticism toward military interventions could prove more popular than her stubborn, ill-advised hawkishness.

(Cynthia Tucker, winner of the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for commentary, is a visiting professor at the University of Georgia. She can be reached at [email protected])

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

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  • Dominick Vila

    Hillary’s hawkishness on foreign policy is likely to appeal to centrists and the center-right. That is why some far right Republicans are desperately trying to destroy her record. The same is not true for the far left. However, considering that most Democrats tend to look at the whole package, her other attributes, especially those related to social matters, are likely to get her the support of most liberals and Independents. Picking a center-left running mate will be essential in her ability to get the full support of the Democratic base, and most mainstream Americans.

    • Benghazi anyone?

      • jim muster

        Give it a rest Kenny ….. 13 embassy attacks and nearly 100 deaths under the previous adminestration …..Where was your outrage then ????

        • Steven Webster

          None of the previous attacks were blamed on a video. Unless you prefer the company of liars the choice is not Hillary.

          • jim muster

            You werent there, you really don’t know what happened or why it happened. I believe you have watched to much “Benghazi Broadcasting” i.e. Fox News ……. Just curious, In your mind who or what is to blame for the 13 attacks ?

          • highpckts

            If this person answers, it should be really enlightning!

          • Dominick Vila

            The worst part is not the inability of those that use the Benghazi tragedy for political gain to provide a coherent and credible answer, but what the truth would reveal if they provide an honest answer.

          • dpaano

            Steven, you weren’t there either….it goes BOTH ways, right? How do YOU know what happened?

          • Dominick Vila

            The assumption that the riots that erupted throughout the Muslim world before and during the attack against our consulate in Benghazi may have been influenced by the offensive video released the day before by those interested in creating a crisis in a presidential election year in the USA, has not been disproved. I suspect that video elicited protests in Benghazi, and terrorists seized the opportunity to carry out a terrorist attack. Excusing W’s ineptitude – from delegating responsibility to attend the daily national security briefings, to not doing anything to protect our diplomatic facility in Karachi, which was attacked TWICE – is typical Republican logic. Yes, Democrats should have accused Bush and his friends in Congress, and they didn’t, but suggesting that there is something sinister because the Obama administration assumed, initially, that the attack against the consulate in Benghazi was influenced by an offensive film sounds like a sign of desperation or an attempt to deflect attention from a dismal Republican record.

          • highpckts

            Neither was this one in the end! Boy you guys will jump on any little thing to prove a point, right or wrong! Most of the time wrong!

          • ralphkr

            Interesting fact, Steven, that will really frost you. One of the leaders of the Benghazi attacks who was just apprehended stated that TV reports on attacks on our facilities in Egypt and elsewhere (which were the result of the infamous video) were what prompted the attack on the Benghazi Consulate. By the way, the day after the attack I posted interviews with attackers by reporters on the scene that night that stated the same thing.

          • Dominick Vila

            An interesting bit of information that came out of the Benghazi “investigation” (at times it looked more like a lynch mob) involved what a pro-Western militia leader told a U.S. diplomat named McFarland, shortly after the release of the video, regarding his inability to guarantee the safety of Westerners in the area. I wish the report had been more explicit and had included what McFarland did with the information he was given. Had he relayed that information to Amb Stevens when he returned to the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli, there is a good chance Stevens may have changed his plans to visit the abandoned consulate in Benghazi.
            The most troubling part for me, however, involves the making of the film, its release just before the anniversary of 9/11, the sudden emergence of a Florida pastor promising to burn the Qu’ran, and all the other deliberate attempts to create a foreign policy crisis two months before a presidential election in the USA. There is more to this tragedy than meets the eye…

          • Dominick Vila

            The reason the previous attacks were not blamed on anything, but terrorism, is because with the exception of 9/11, which was investigated to determine the most effective steps to be taken to prevent a recurrence, nobody blamed the Bush administration for the other attacks. In fact, there was so much turmoil in those days that those attacks barely made headlines. Why? Because the opposition at the time – Democrats – understood that when we engage in warfare or a cause such as a fight on terror, there are going to be casualties. In other words, Democrats acted like pragmatic politicians and Americans, rather than opportunists who seize heinous tragedies to score political points.

          • Independent1

            Hillary was lying?? 1st of all, Benghazi was a CIA detachment NOT a consulate or embassy under the State Department. So Hillary had absolutely no responsibility to do anything during the attack – the responsibility was that of the CIA’s and they sent people there to help that arrived in less than 45 mins – unfortunately, 2 of those that went were killed.

            But all that aside – you’re calling Hillary a liar when the guy that they say was mastermind has said himself, that the video was in fact a contributing factor to the attack.

            See this:

            Ahmed Abu Khattala says that the anti-Muslim video was a factor in the Benghazi attack.

            So are you calling the mastermind of the attack, Khattala a liar too???

            Here’s the link to a video where he Khattala says the video was a factor in the attack:


            Seems to me that if there’s a liar here, IT’S YOU!!

          • exdemo55

            The rising clamor over the beheading of two Americans, and rapidly sinking polls, forced President Obama to reassure the nation last week he had a plan to deal with the Islamic State. He did some of what he had to do, but only some, and so most military analysts believe the expanded airstrikes will not be a sufficient match for the size and weaponry of the terrorist army.

            They miss the point. The disjointed speech wasn’t really about terrorism and launching a new war. It was about saving Obama’s presidency.

            He is sinking fast and could soon pass the point of no return. In fact, it may already be too late to save the SS Obama.

            The whole second term has been a string of disasters, with the toxic brew of his Obamacare lies, middling economic growth and violent global breakdown casting doubt on the president’s stewardship. Six years into his tenure, nothing is going as promised.

            Earlier on, he could have trotted out his teleprompters and turned public opinion his way, or at least stopped the damage. But the magic of his rhetoric is long gone, and not just because the public has tuned him out.

            They’ve tuned him out because they’ve made up their minds about him. They no longer trust him and don’t think he’s a good leader.

            Most ominously, they feel less safe now than they did when he took office. Americans know the war on terror isn’t over, no matter what their president claims.

            Those findings turned up in a tsunami of recent polls that amount to a public vote of no confidence. They shook up the White House so much that the plan to grant amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants was put on hold to try to protect Democratic candidates from voter wrath in November.

            That was a necessary tactical retreat, but it doesn’t change the ­basic calculation. The president’s problem is that he has been wrong about virtually every major issue.

            His worldview, his politics, his prejudices, his habits — they’ve been a mismatch for the country and its needs. He has been a dud even in the one area where he seemed a lock to make things better, racial relations. Only 10 percent believe race relations have improved under him, while 35 percent said they are worse, according to a New York Times survey. The remainder said there wasn’t much change either way.

            That’s shocking — but not surprising. Barack Obama was not ready to be president, and still isn’t. It is a fantasy to believe he’ll master the art in his final two years.

            The lasting image will be his yukking it up on the golf course minutes after giving a perfunctory speech on the beheading of James Foley. It revealed him as hollow, both to America and the world, and there is no way to un-see the emptiness.

            That means, I fear, we are on the cusp of tragedy. It is reasonable to assume the worst-case scenarios about national security are growing increasingly likely to occur.

            Obama’s fecklessness is so unique that our adversaries and enemies surely realize they will never face a weaker president. They must assume the next commander in chief will take a more muscular approach to America’s interests and be more determined to forge alliances than the estranged man who occupies the Oval Office now.

            So Vladimir Putin, Iran, China, Islamic State, al Qaeda and any other number of despots and terrorists know they have two years to make their moves and advance their interests, and that resistance will be token, if there is any at all.

            Throw in the fact that Europe largely has scrapped its military might to pay for its welfare states, and the entire West is a diminished, confused opponent, ripe for the taking. Redrawn maps and expanded spheres of influence could last for generations.

            Of course, there is a possibility that America could rally around the president in a crisis, and there would be many voices demanding just that. But a national consensus requires a president who is able to tap into a reservoir of good will and have his leadership trusted.

            That’s not the president we have.

            Cuomo forced to turn & fight

            News flash: Politicians are people, too. They change direction when they feel pain.

            Take Andrew Cuomo. His promise to join general-election debates marks a change of behavior. Pain made him do it.

            Cuomo avoided talking to primary rival Zephyr Teachout, and voters punished him. The turnout was under 10 percent, of which he got 62 percent, meaning he won the nomination with the backing of just 6 percent of those eligible to vote.

            Landslide? No! He won but emerged weaker, which explains why the governor says he will debate Republican Rob Astorino. He even promises “debates” — plural.

            The promise comes with an asterisk. Unclear is whether Cuomo will agree to one-on-one showdowns with Astorino, or insist on a Noah’s Ark of minor-party candidates.

            He’ll do the minimum he thinks he can get away with. That’s where pain comes in, again.

            If you want real, substantive debates about the critical issues facing the Empire State, tell him. Until it hurts.

            Democrats’ praise for ‘the enemy’

            Shhhh, don’t tell Chuck Schumer and Harry Reid, but New York Democrats are saying nice things about David Koch.

            Reps. Carolyn Maloney and Jerry Nadler and a sprinkling of city and state lawmakers joined Koch to praise him for funding the renovation of the plaza in front of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

            As Maloney made clear, she was endorsing Koch’s philanthropy, not his conservative politics. “This beautiful addition to the Met Museum exists because of one man’s generosity,” she said.

            The gift brings to about $1.3 billion Koch has given to charities, including Lincoln Center, the American Museum of Natural History and medical institutions New York-Presbyterian, Memorial Sloan Kettering and the Hospital for Special Surgery.

            Yet Senate Democrats, led by Reid and Schumer, have called Koch and his brother Charles un-American and accused them of trying to buy elections. The Kochs’ great sin is to spend some of their money opposing the Democratic agenda.

            Reid, supported by Schumer, even tried to silence them and curb their First Amendment rights by giving government more power to limit political speech. Fortunately, the effort failed.

            As for the Dems who showed up to praise Koch, it shouldn’t be noteworthy when pols put New York ahead of their party. But it is, and that’s the real disgrace.

            Islamophobic? Try anti-Semitic

            Liberals love to seize on any perceived anti-Muslim bias to claim New York suffers from severe Islamophobia, but official statistics show that Jews suffer far more attacks.

            The Post reports that anti-Semitic incidents jumped 35 percent so far this year, with 85 incidents compared to 63 last year. The number of anti-Muslim hate crimes was 15, compared to seven last year.

            Some things never change.

          • Independent1

            Wow! You love to spend a long time posting total BS don’t you??

            Fact is clueless, Obama’s favorable rating has been going up since his speech. It was 45% on Wednesday, 46% on Thursday, 47% on Friday, 48% on Saturday and here’s today’s from RASMUSSEN!

            Daily Presidential Tracking Poll:

            49% Approve of Obama’s Performance

            You can take your post full of distortions and lies and stuff it!!!!!!!!!

          • exdemo55

            Are you ready for Novermber?

          • Independent1

            YOU BETCHA!! Given that Democrats are either leading or are within the margin of polling error in the vast majority of races that matter right now. It’s you that better start praying that things change drastically between now and November.

            Not only are 100 prominent politically motivated
            Republicans endorsing the Dem candidate for governor in Kansas over Brownback, now more than 100 prominent Republicans are endorsing the Dem Ron Barber in southern Arizona.

            Even Republicans are starting to realize that many GOP candidates will only set their states up for disaster if they’re elected. Even the Heritage Foundation had to resort to lies and distortions in an effort to put a positive spin on the disastrous economy that has hit Kansas since Brownback pushed for setting things up just like Heritage wanted – Proving once again THAT REPUBLICANS KNOW ABSOLUTELY NOTHING ABOUT RUNNING A GOVERNMENT!!!!!!!!

          • exdemo55

            When President Obama took office in 2009, congressional Democrats were euphoric. With control of the House, Senate and the White House, and high public approval for their new party standard bearer, Democrats eagerly embraced Obama and all the long-awaited policy initiatives he’d surely help them achieve.

            In that first month, congressional Democrats mentioned Obama during floor speeches 200 or so more times than Republicans. In the next year and a half, the parties referred to the president at similar rates, sometimes with the Republicans having more to say, other times the Democrats.

            One can reasonably assume that when the Democrats speak of the president publicly it’s in a favorable way and when Republicans do it’s, well, not quite as glowing. As positive public opinion of Obama began to dip after his first year, the spread between how often Republicans and the Democrats invoked Obama grew wider. Put simply, the Democrats weren’t mentioning Obama by name nearly as much as Republicans.

            The gap is particularly notable in the last year as seen in the chart above by the Sunlight Foundation, which measures how often any given word is spoken against all words in floor speeches and debates collected by the Congressional Record. Last fall, at the height of the government shutdown and the Obamacare rollout, Republicans were predictably discussing (bashing) Obama more.

            But the trend has continued.

            Much has been written this election cycle about the Democrats distancing themselves from Obama ahead of the midterm elections. Some Democratic candidates in tough races regularly emphasize their differences with the president. And Obama is persona non grata on the campaign trail (unless it’s inside private high-dollar fundraiser dinners).

            If the number of times they bring him up in front of the C-SPAN cameras is a measure, the Democrats detachment from the president is even evident on Capitol Hill – where every spoken word is recorded forever, so it’s especially crucial to choose them carefully.

            As my grandmother always said, “You can’t take back the spoken word.”

            She also often said, “If you can’t say anything, nice don’t say anything at all.” And perhaps Democrats simply don’t have very many nice things to say.

      • Dominick Vila

        Terrorist attacks during George W. Bush’s tenure:

        2001 – World Trade Center, New York and Pentagon, DC; 3,000 killed.

        2002 – U.S. Consulate in Karachi Pakistan attacked, 12 killed; 51 injured.

        2003 – International Compound, Saudi Arabia, 17 killed .

        2003 – U.S. Consulate, Karachi, Pakistan, 2 killed.

        2004 – U.S. Embassy bombed in Uzbekistan, 2 killed 9 injured.

        2004 – U.S. Consulate Saudi Arabia, 8 killed.

        2006 – U.S. Consulate, Karachi, Pakistan, 4 killed including a U.S. diplomat.

        2006 – U.S. Embassy, Syria, 1 killed and 13 wounded.

        2007 – Grenade launched into the U.S. Embassy in Athens. No casualties.

        2008 – U.S. Embassy, Serbia, attacked by thousands, no one killed.

        2008 – U.S. Consulate, Turkey, 3 killed.

        2008 – U.S. Embassy in Yemen bombed, 13 killed.

        – Terrorist attacks during George
        H, W, Bush’s tenure: 12 Embassy attacks with 60 killed.

        Daily attacks against U.S.
        interests, civilians, and against our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

        GOP reaction: George W. Bush
        transformed into a war President, praised for keeping us safe, and delusional nightmares about Benghazi!

        • highpckts

          Oh well done!!

        • jim muster

          My God, Are you trying to cloud Kenny’s logic with facts ? Totally against his reasoning.

          • Dominick Vila

            My options were sending a friendly reminder to Ken and Debbie, or asking them why did the GOP know that the initial assumption about what precipitated the protests and, ultimately, the terrorist attack against our consulate in Benghazi was incorrect? As soon as the administration announced the probability of the attack being related to the release of a film that offended the entire Islamic world, the GOP began to ridicule that assumption, or called a lie. When someone laughs at or accuses someone else of lying it is because they know the truth. With that in mind, when did the GOP know that our embassy was going to be attacked? Who attacked it? Why? Did they know when? Who funded the making of the provocative film and coordinated its release? Why did an obscure Florida “pastor” suddenly appear promising to burn the Qu’ran?
            I think an investigation into what happened in Benghazi is warranted, but instead of focusing on those who knew nothing about it, the investigators should questions those who seem to know everything about it, and benefited the most from a foreign policy scandal two weeks before a presidential election.

        • charleo1

          Jim is right, Dom. You’re using facts, and dates, on a
          completely clueless individual stating his opinions for
          which he has no earthly idea how came to believe them in first place. It’s just not fair! Please continue.

        • highpckts

          Good job!!

      • highpckts

        Old news!! Try again! Geez!!

    • Elliot J. Stamler

      Liberals yes – leftists no. Pacifists, isolationist, peace-at-any-price latter day Neville Chamberlains – no. The latter can migrate over to the Green Party (aka hate-America, love-Arabs, despise Jews, oppose capitalism party.)

      • charleo1

        I guess they figure if they just keep saying the same thing
        over, and over, and insisting it’s true. That at a certain point
        everyone will start to think, hey, there must be something to it.
        And after hearing time and again for weeks, that they’re
        not to the bottom quite yet. But are now more sure than ever
        it’s even truer than they thought. And just watch, it’s all coming out, real soon! And it’s bad. Very, very, bad! And then, it’s a slam dunk! And, suddenly Bush is on the T.V. saying, something about, “On his orders,” we’ve attacked, and invaded a Country to take their WMDs! Yeah those people,
        are investigating Benghazi. And investigating, and investigating….Why wait until the whole thing comes out? Let’s go ahead and impeach him. Have we ever lied to you?

  • RobertCHastings

    As wife to a president, as a Senator, and as a Secretary of State, she knows (or should know) the history of the region and the history of American involvement there, from the 1890s until today. If she cannot demonstrate a better understanding than she is doing, then she does not deserve our confidence, OR our vote.

  • highpckts

    I have to say I was disappointed with her stance! Besides, telling the people like it is “don’t do stupid stuff” is something the people understand! It may not be political speak but we knew what he meant!

  • David L. Allison

    Polls increasingly show Paul closing on Hillary. I believe it is primarily because of her war mongering and support for the MIC. This presents not only a serious problem for Hillary but for Democratic control of the White House in 2016. That in turn presents resultant problems with judicial appointments, including the Supreme Court and issues like climate change and a whole range of domestic social issues.
    Hillary does not help herself with her support for Wall Street, TPP and NAFTA, Walmart and Monsanto, all of which are opposed by Rand Paul and many populists on both the left and right.
    It is already far past time to have the media and the public start vetting alternative candidates like Senator Wyden, Governor O’Malley or Sherrod Brown for the 2016 election.

    • highpckts

      I will vote for Hillary before Paul!! Too much like Romney in that he changes his opinions with the state or town he’s in! He’s just a little boy trying to ride on his Daddy’s coat tails! Won’t work!

      • David L. Allison

        Many people will, But because of the MIC+ others will not. They will vote for someone who wants the wars to stop. Many of those are the young and the long term anti-war advocates.

        • highpckts

          Don’t misunderstand me. I want the wars to stop also but Paul is NOT the answer and given the choices we have……..

      • Maggie De Vore

        Well said.

    • Maggie De Vore

      Paul couldn’t find his butt with both hands. Can’t make up his mind. Denies lying even when shown past clips and does not have any kind of personality to deal with ‘we’ the people — let alone the much more intelligent foreign countries. We would be engaged in fighting fire with a teaspoon of water.

  • exdemo55

    She is simply trying to distance herself from a failed presidentcy and a disasterous foreign policy that she is part of the reason for. But, end the end, all of you are ignorant enough to still vote for her.

    • sorgfelt

      I’m not. If Hillary runs, I am voting for the Green Party.

    • highpckts

      NOT a failed Presidency by any stretch! He has far out performed both Bushes regardless of your biased opinion! Hillary has her own agenda which I am not too fond of! I, too wish that we had someone different to run. I think we have had enough of “family” Presidencies! I see no one right or left that is worth the money or time!

      • Maggie De Vore

        Yay you!!

  • exdemo55

    President Obama has few remaining friends—either in his own party or in the media.

    That’s the unmistakable conclusion of two pieces this week in the New York Times. Just about everyone, it seems, is down on his single, solitary nature.

    I’ve been saying for a year now that the president’s liberal media allies have soured on him. It started with the ObamaCare debacle and continued through his seeming passivity or slow reaction time in the wake of the VA scandal, the Bowe Bergdahl mess, the military collapse in Iraq and so on. At this point they’re basically Waiting for Hillary.

    What is striking now is a growing sense, fairly or unfairly, that Obama is not capable of rising to the occasion, that he just doesn’t like politics, that he’s disengaged, that despite his soaring rhetoric in 2008 he has a passion deficit.

    All the criticism about him playing golf and being at Martha’s Vineyard is kind of a code for his supposedly being unplugged from the job.

    A Times news story opens with a killer anecdote about the president meeting with Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell, which turned to Democratic complaints that the GOP was bottling up a number of Obama’s ambassadorial nominees.

    “Mr. Obama quickly dismissed the matter. ‘You and Mitch work it out,’ Mr. Obama said coolly, cutting off any discussion. Mr. Reid seethed quietly for the rest of the meeting.”

    Wow. And the nut graph: “Nearly six years into his term, with his popularity at the lowest of his presidency, Mr. Obama appears remarkably distant from his own party on Capitol Hill, with his long neglect of would-be allies catching up to him.

    “In interviews, nearly two dozen Democratic lawmakers and senior congressional aides suggested that Mr. Obama’s approach has left him with few loyalists to effectively manage the issues erupting abroad and at home and could imperil his efforts to leave a legacy in his final stretch in office.”

    Sounds like a dysfunctional marriage. And what is noteworthy is the number of Democrats quoted on the record as trying to diplomatically discuss the problem.

    Claire McCaskill: “For him, eating his spinach is schmoozing with elected officials.”

    Joe Manchin, asked to describe his relationship with Obama: “It’s fairly nonexistent. There’s not much of a relationship.” And: “Some Democrats say, they have just learned to accept the president’s solitary nature and move on.”

    All of which means the failure to get Congress to do much of anything in the second term can’t just be blamed on obstructionist Republicans.

    Times columnist Maureen Dowd, who’s already been down on Barry, uses the story to ratchet up her complaints:

    “The man whose singular qualification was as a uniter turns out to be singularly unequipped to operate in a polarized environment…

    “Why should the president neutralize himself? Why doesn’t he do something bold and thrilling? Get his hands dirty? Stop going to Beverly Hills to raise money and go to St. Louis to raise consciousness? Talk to someone besides Valerie Jarrett?

    “The Constitution was premised on a system full of factions and polarization. If you’re a fastidious pol who deigns to heal and deal only in a holistic, romantic, unified utopia, the Oval Office is the wrong job for you.”

    To be fair, there are benefits to having a president with an even temperament, one who doesn’t get mired in the muck of partisan politics. But why Obama doesn’t court Democratic pols who could help him, have them over for a movie or up to Camp David, remains a mystery. The office rests on the power of persuasion.

    At Yahoo News, Matt Bai riffs on the complaints about Obama’s style:

    “What we really need, I guess, is an executive in the mold of a Chris Christie or an Andrew Cuomo or a Rick Perry, all of whom are more extroverted and more brazen about wielding their power as governors than Obama is — and all of whom, not incidentally, are now fending off prosecutors and investigations while scrambling to keep their national ambitions afloat.

    “And this illustrates an interesting paradox of modern politics: We love this idea of the ruthless and effective political operator, right up until the moment we’re confronted by the reality.”

    To those who say Obama should be more like Lyndon Johnson, Bai quotes LBJ biographer Robert Caro:

    “Johnson’s life is filled with incidents of cruelty — savagery, really — that go beyond any specific relationship to a noble cause. There are things Johnson does that you would just recoil at, no matter how used to ruthless politics you think you are.”

    Okay, so Obama doesn’t have to threaten to break any arms, like LBJ did. But how about inviting allies to play a little golf?

    • highpckts

      It seems to me that the President did reach out numerous times in the beginning with invites to lunch or just get together over munchies to try to work out differences but when you get snubbed or flat out turned down then you don’t make the effort anymore! I’m sure he is fully aware of Mitch McConnel’s famous words to make this President a one term President! It’s a little hard to schmooze a guy like that and they all have made it known to him that is how they all feel! He still tries though but to no avail! They have made it perfectly clear where they stand!

      • exdemo55

        You’ve got it backwards. Obama is so arrogant he thinks everyone shouds agree with him. His idea of compromise is to do whatever he says. And it is a failed presidentcy.

        • highpckts

          NO don’t! In order to govern you need the WHOLE government! He is working with half! The other is only interested in padding their pockets, raising money for their next campaign and taking recesses!! Oh and lest we forget to make this a one term President and if that fails do everything you can to make him fail!! Mitch McConnel!!

          • Maggie De Vore

            Bravo! Bravo!! Bravo!!

          • exdemo55

            For two years he had it all and blew it by not even considering a thing the other side proposed. he is arrogant and failed, Thats why Hillary is distancing herself. She’s trying to get votes on the right and figures the left will vote for her no matter what,

          • highpckts

            Talking to you is like talking to a wall! You see you are outnumbered here so take your trash talk elsewhere!

          • exdemo55

            I’m having too much fun blowing up your fantasies with the truth,

          • highpckts

            Blowing up my fantasies??? ROFL!! You are so arrogant to think you have any truth to share!!

    • charleo1

      That’s what the opposition said about Obama from nearly day one.
      That he was over his head, didn’t understand business, didn’t have
      the experience for the job. And the best thing Republicans could do,
      rather than worry about the economy, fixing what cause the near
      collapse of the financial, and banking system, a broken immigration
      system, an imploding healthcare system, or anything else. Because
      that would mean work, and also political risk, by actually being for something. So, obviously they decided, we’ll just sit back and let Obama, and the Democrats struggle with the mountain of shit the Bush Administration left behind. And unlike us, since they’re the majority, they’ll have to purpose something. And when they do, we’ll skewer them! Name every reason in the book why it won’t work, why it’s exactly the wrong thing to do. And cynically point out why it’s typical example of what you get when a community organizer, who’s never held a real job, or run a business tries to deal with an economy knocked flat, and put people back to work. Then, we’ll run out every two, or three days, and crow,’ Where are the jobs, Mr. President!!?? While we filibuster every fucking bill they bring to the floor. While the idiot wing keeps up a solid yammer about how Obama is not even a citizen, but a secret Muslim, and wants all our guns. Because that way, he can impose Shira Law. And guess what? You Cocksuckers got whipped again. By a Black, community organizer. Who was not supposed to have any supporters because of Obama Care. And the awful economy, or not securing the border. Or Benghazi, and on, and on. So, if you’re so fucking smart, why don’t you explain that? Or better yet, since Obama is not running. Why don’t you explain who you think your leader, or leaders are? And what policies of theirs you favor. Try running on something. and not against everything the boogyman Obama says. If you can.

      • exdemo55

        His is a failed presidency. That’s why Hillary is distaincing herself for him. She figures she’ ll try to get more votes on the right and the stupid left will vote for her no matter what.

    • dpaano

      And who owns most of the media??? Murdock and his conservative cohorts. We’re lucky we get ANY news at all that isn’t full of BS! I’ve gotten to the point that I don’t believe everything I read or hear on any news program lately. BTW, he’s played golf with Boner on a couple of occasions…..

      • exdemo55

        ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, are all liberal propagada arms of the Democratic Party,

  • ScotDog

    Her hawkishness and support for American Corporate policies that destroy the middle class show she is not the right person to lead the American public.

  • drewsco

    Whether Hillary likes it or not. She’s going to have to embrace the Obama doctrine. She going to have to run a Presidential platform on the notion that her presidency will be a continuation of the Obama Administration policy initiatives.

    If she doesn’t, the GOP will destroy her. She shouldn’t worry about appealing to the moderate or far right, because even if they appear to be agreeing with her hawkishness now, later they will abandon her if she makes it to the general election.

    Hopefully, she won’t make the same mistake that Al Gore made. The GOP made Bill Clinton so toxic that Al Gore did everything possible to distance himself away from the President, and look how that turned out.

    • Maggie De Vore

      The GOP is so weak, so confused, so without plausible, honest leadership they couldn’t destroy her any more than they’ve been successful at destroying Obama!

  • charleo1

    I gotta wonder, does the rabid Right ever come up with any new label to pin on the Obama Presidency, but failed? Here’s the deal for me. I’m a citizen, a taxpayer, a supporter of free speech, I love my family, my God, and will go out of my way to support my Country. Even when it’s being led as poorly as it was under the Bush Administration. Because it is my belief as a loyal citizen, that it’s the right thing to do, the patriotic thing to do, for the Country. To extend a certain amount of trust, and respect, and benefit of the doubt, to the only person in government who holds the sole position for which the entire Nation votes. And this is my problem with the Right. Not only has there never been one iota of respect extended to the man, Barack Obama, who holds that office. But the disrespect has extended without reservation, to the office itself. And by osmosis, to the institutions of our Republic, and, as we used to understand, the Republic itself. I lost a lot of respect for Bush the man, when I personally could find no other facts to the contrary, or come to any other conclusion, that President Bush had, for whatever reason, intentionally betrayed my faith in him as my President, over the Iraq War. It sounds corny, but my feeling were hurt. And I took it personally. I’ve listened, and looked for an explanation even to this day, to allay this. I go back over the same facts, and timeline. And revisit what we were being told, and when. And what the President knew, and what he said. And, President Clinton before him. And I cannot, in my heart of hearts, reconcile the facts to come to any other conclusion. That a President that had won my complete support that day in NY, on that pile of rubble. As I think he did many Americans. Left, Right, Black, White, rich, poor. Had betrayed, not only those who had voted for him, but the millions of others, who hadn’t. But rallied to his side, and to the office he held. We are Americans, it’s what we do. What we’ve always done, throughout our history in times of crisis. We remain the United States of America, and we unite!

    So, why not under this President? I think that’s an argument the Right
    has been trying to convince the Country of, since Barack Obama won
    the Presidency. Why, we as Americans, should not, must not, with the
    very fate of our very Nation in the balance, unite under this President.
    And, appoint the same vestiges of trust, and respect to him, as we
    have all the others, as a matter of rote. This tradition after all, is tied to the sense of pride we take in the fact that we’re great Nation in no small way, because of the seamless way we can transition power. We respect the vote. The People have spoken! The People rule. The idea that Washington was only a good man, until he became a great one, by declining to keep the power of the Presidency for life.

    Yet, the Conservative Right has obsessed from the first day of the first term of this President. Without anything seemingly sustaining them, other than the one sole driving purpose of their entire existence. To make Barack Obama a one term President. Why? Was he really doing that much of a worse job on his first day, than his predecessor had the last eight years? Give the man a chance, will ya? Absolutely not! We hope he fails, they said. And fails miserably! But, that wouldn’t that also mean the Country fails? That we’re still locked in a deep recession, people would still be out of work, families losing their homes, our troops still on the battlefield, would suffer a defeat?
    Why would you wish for such a thing? Now, I don’t think I trust you. While you clutch the mantel of patriotism, as it it were a family heirloom, passed down exclusively from Founding Patriots, to the Republican Party itself. Then, scream lies about birth certificates, death panels, and perhaps the greatest act of unrestrained disregard of all for the the truth, the office, and the institutions of the democratic processes it represents. Accusing this President, without a speck of proof, his collusion with the enemy. He as Commander In Chief, is directing our forces. Do you know what this means? You must have proof, and you must bring it forth, and we shall remove this man from that vaunted office immediately! The American people will stand with you. But if not, then shame on you, your hatred has no bounds. You sully your own offices, your Party, our valiant troops on the battlefield, and your own self respect. If you’re half the Patriot, half the lover of democracy, you so claim, you will show this to the people. Or, you will do your duty to God and Country, apologize, and resign.

    • exdemo55

      From Maureen Dowd:

      FORE! Score? And seven trillion rounds ago, our forecaddies brought forth on this continent a new playground, conceived by Robert Trent Jones, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal when it comes to spending as much time on the links as possible — even when it seems totally inappropriate, like moments after making a solemn statement condemning the grisly murder of a 40-year-old American journalist beheaded by ISIL.

      I know reporters didn’t get a chance to ask questions, but I had to bounce. I had a 1 p.m. tee time at Vineyard Golf Club with Alonzo Mourning and a part-owner of the Boston Celtics. Hillary and I agreed when we partied with Vernon Jordan up here, hanging out with celebrities and rich folks is fun.

      Now we are engaged in a great civil divide in Ferguson, which does not even have a golf course, and that’s why I had a “logistical” issue with going there. We are testing whether that community, or any community so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure when the nation’s leader wants nothing more than to sink a birdie putt.

      We are met on a great field of that battle, not Augusta, not Pebble Beach, not Bethpage Black, not Burning Tree, but Farm Neck Golf Club in Martha’s Vineyard, which we can’t get enough of — me, Alonzo, Ray Allen and Marvin Nicholson, my trip director and favorite golfing partner who has played 134 rounds and counting with me.

      We have to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting place for my presidency, if I keep swinging from behind.

      Yet it is altogether fitting and proper that I should get to play as much golf as I want, despite all the lame jokes about how golf is turning into “a real handicap” for my presidency and how I have to “stay the course” with ISIL. I’ve heard all the carping that I should be in the Situation Room droning and plinking the bad folks. I know some people think I should go to Ferguson. Don’t they understand that I’ve delegated the Martin Luther King Jr. thing to Eric Holder? Plus, Valerie Jarrett and Al Sharpton have it under control.

      I know it doesn’t look good to have pictures of me grinning in a golf cart juxtaposed with ones of James Foley’s parents crying, and a distraught David Cameron rushing back from his vacation after only one day, and the Pentagon news conference with Chuck Hagel and General Dempsey on the failed mission to rescue the hostages in Syria.

      We’re stuck in the rough, going to war all over again in Iraq and maybe striking Syria, too. Every time Chuck says ISIL is “beyond anything we’ve ever seen,” I sprout seven more gray hairs. But my cool golf caps cover them. If only I could just play through the rest of my presidency.

      ISIL brutally killing hostages because we won’t pay ransoms, rumbles of coups with our puppets in Iraq and Afghanistan, the racial caldron in Ferguson, the Ebola outbreak, the Putin freakout — there’s enough awful stuff going on to give anyone the yips.

      So how can you blame me for wanting to unwind on the course or for five hours at dinner with my former assistant chef? He’s a great organic cook, and he’s got a gluten-free backyard putting green.

      Continue reading the main story Continue reading the main story

      Continue reading the main story

      But, in a larger sense, we can dedicate, we can consecrate, we can hallow this ground where I can get away from my wife, my mother-in-law, Uncle Joe, Congress and all the other hazards in my life.

      The brave foursomes, living and dead, who struggled here in the sand, in the trees, in the water, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or subtract a few strokes to improve our score. Bill Clinton was Mr. Mulligan, and he is twice at popular as I am.Continue reading the main story Recent Comments

      Oakley 5 minutes ago

      I don’t like Dowd, but she gets a hole in one with this opinion piece. Good work Maureen!Indievoter 5 minutes ago

      Easy shots at Obama aside, this is really bad writing. Not original or funny, and far too long (her point could be made in a sentence)….Patricia Sprofera 5 minutes ago

      Well stated, Ms. Dowd. Play on through. See All Comments

      Write a comment

      The world will little note, nor long remember, what we shot here, or why I haven’t invited a bunch of tiresome congressmen to tee it up. I’m trying to relax, guys. So I’d much rather stay in the bunker with my usual bros.

      Why don’t you play 18 with Mitch McConnell? And John Boehner is a lot better than me, so I don’t want to play with him.

      It is for us, the duffers, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who played here have thus far so nobly advanced to get young folks to stop spurning a game they find slow and boring.

      Continue reading the main story 909Comments

      It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us of getting rid of our slice on the public’s dime — that from this honored green we take increased devotion to that cause for which Bobby Jones, Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy gave their last full measure of devotion — and divots.

      We here highly resolve that these golfing greats shall not have competed in vain, especially poor Tiger, and that this nation, under par, shall have a new birth of freedom to play the game that I have become unnaturally obsessed with, and that golf of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.

      So help me Golf.

      • highpckts

        Really? How Petty! Here are a few “facts” for ya!
        Obama has played 100 rounds of golf while in office.
        Woodrow willson is the winner with 1200 rounds!
        Eisenhower with 800.
        And this is good – John Boehner has played at least 100 rounds a year!
        Madison & Jefferson were gone from office a total of 3 to 4 months a year!
        Ronald Reagan took 436 days of vacation.
        G Bush took, count them, 32 months of vacation!!
        So get off your freakin high horse because a lot of these golf outings and vacations are “working” vacations! Bet you can’t say that!!

        • Maggie De Vore

          Bravo you!!!

      • Independent1

        Let me expand on what highpckts gave you moron!! You’re still on here posting your idiotic nonsense?? Why?? Go somewhere where you can associate with other sixth graders – that’s about your mental capacity.

        But see this:

        5 Myths about presidential vacations

        Myth #1

        1. Presidents get vacations.

        “Presidents don’t get vacations — they just get a change of scenery,” Nancy Reagan once said in defense of her husband’s frequent trips to his ranch in Santa Barbara, Calif.

        In the nuclear age, presidents may have only minutes to make a decision that could affect the entire world. They don’t so much leave the White House as they take a miniature version of it with them wherever they go. Some 200 people accompany a president on vacation — including White House aides, Secret Service agents, military advisers, and experts in communications and transportation — to ensure that, while on vacation, the president can do nearly everything he could accomplish in Washington.

        He continues to receive daily intelligence and national security briefings while on vacation. Presidents also continue to tape weekly radio broadcasts, hold news conferences, attend political fundraisers and occasionally, as Presidents Franklin Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan did, entertain British royalty.

        Vacations don’t stop presidents from making major decisions. For example, Reagan was enjoying a quiet weekend at Camp David when he decided to fire striking air-traffic controllers in 1981.

        2. Presidential vacations harm the national agenda.

        This past week, Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank accused Obama of “tone deafness” for going forward with his vacation while the world was in crisis. But when is the world not in crisis?

        A vacation can provide a president with that most precious and rare of commodities in the Oval Office: time to relax and think — including time to think about how to deal with a crisis.

        Shortly after his reelection to a third term in 1940, Roosevelt was criticized for taking a 10-day fishing trip in the Caribbean while Britain was under assault by Nazi Germany. But FDR used that rare opportunity for reflection to devise his ingenious Lend-Lease program, which would provide vital aid to Britain to stave off the Nazi attack.

        Presidents often feel the need to assure Americans that they’re using their vacations productively. Karl Rove, adviser to President George W. Bush, always alerted the media to the scholarly books the president intended to read while on vacation.

        It is also unlikely that Obama would have held a news conference on Iraq this past week had he remained in Washington, but he did so while at Martha’s Vineyard to refute claims that he was seemingly “detached as the world burns.”

        3. George W. Bush took more vacation days than any other president.

        During his eight-year presidency, Bush did take 879 days of vacation, including 77 trips to his Texas ranch. So far, Obama has taken about 150 days off. But our founders were away

        • dpaano

          Bush……read? Interesting concept!

          • Independent1

            Yeah! Obviously just one more of Karl Rove’s lies.

      • charleo1

        Kind of snarky isn’t it? And not especially clever. An eye
        of the beholder, subjective thing I realize. But still, isn’t the disparagement of Presidents as they, “vacation,” one of the
        great perennial cheap shots journalists of both the Left, and Right use to fill their own syndicated twaddle, when the
        Congress is out of town, and they are relaxing on their own
        end of summer respites? And who still believes Presidents
        take vacations? Or, doesn’t know that technology allows them to do what they do, wherever they are? I remember
        reading Carter was at a State dinner at the White House, when he gave the go ahead to try to rescue the hostages.
        If he had been in Plains, who believes the mission would have gone any differently? Reagan was at his place in California, when he received word of the downing of a S. Korean Jetliner by The Soviet Union, in international airspace. Killing everyone aboard, including a U.S. Congressman. In spite of the clamor of some in the press, and elsewhere for him to return immediately to Washington, and address the tragedy. He stayed on for an additional three more days. Until the uproar, and ginned up public pressure caused him to relent, and return a couple of days ahead of schedule. This phenomena of pestering our Presidents who, like most of us take a break from time to time, is fairly new. And due in part at least, to the continually escalating rancor, and partisanship of our politics. To cast the President as a modern day Nero, fiddling, or golfing, or clearing brush, for heavens sake, while Rome burns to the ground. Is evidently just too tempting, and delightfully easy, to pass up. Even though, everyone knows it’s a farce. Franklin Roosevelt visited Warm Springs regularly. Yes, even as our boys were fighting, and dying in Europe. Ike was an avid golfer, as Nixon spent his days languishing in the Key Biscayne Sun with Bibi, President Lincoln spent months in the Summer away from Washington, as the Civil War raged. JFK had Hyannis Port, a beautiful compound, as Bush 41’s summer home on Walker’s Point, in Kennebunkport, Main, is just as beautiful. A fitting home for a President to be sure. President Obama, on the other hand does not have the luxury that comes with being born into the kind of wealth of a Kennedy, or a Bush. And so Martha’s Vineyard, stands in nicely as a getaway. And is not far away from headquarters. If that thing that doesn’t exist, that he can’t do from anywhere else, but the White House ever comes up. President Obama by the way, was making a surprisingly funny speech at the Annual Washington Press Club Dinner, as the helicopters were launching from Afghanistan on the incredibly, bold, and dangerous mission into Pakistan, that culminated with the finding, and killing of Osama Bin Laden. Out of touch? With so much at stake, not the least of which, his Presidency. Don’t you believe it. However, in one instance, Henry Kissinger relats that on one occasion a very intoxicated, Richard Nixon had summoned him, frustrated at the difficulty of ending the Vietnam War. As Kissinger tells it, the President pulled him close, and said, “Henry, we’re just going to have to nuke ’em!” Now, that’s the kind of, “out of touch,” worth a snarky vacation column. But alas! Nixon was at the White House at the time.

      • Maggie De Vore

        Have been playing this game for 40-some years and feel very, very sorry for you that you should ‘try’ to be clever and simply end up on the ineffective ‘silly side’. It just don’t work!!! How old are you??

        • exdemo55

          That was from Maureen Dowd, a liberal.

    • highpckts

      Very well said! Thank You!!

    • sigrid28

      I’m struck particularly by what you say about extremism and the Republicans in this country. No amount of hatred is too much. There is no limit on the amount of tear gas that can be poured into a black crowd in protesters in Ferguson, MO. There is no amount of fire power that will be enough in Iraq or Afghansitan against our avowed enemies–or those of senators McCain and Graham.

      Two things occur to me as I read your excellent commentary in the light of Cynthia Tucker’s article and events of this week. First, what McCain, Graham, and the white leadership in Ferguson have in common is a sense of entitlement. His overweening sense of entitlement is what lost Romney the presidency, with his 47% remark in the context of his meeting colleagues on his yacht during the Republican convention and his garage with its own elevator. For the rich, there is never enough, which translated into their feeling entitled to however much or whatever they want.


      • Maggie De Vore

        They have been trained by fear of losing all that Koch money. Like kindergartners, they point fingers at others when they should, could, might just be pointing at themselves. They’ve been told that money ‘screams’ and are locked into that rather self-destructive belief. Good luck with that!

      • charleo1

        My feeling is the extremism is borne of pure fear. Fear in
        all it’s manifestations. Anxiety, over what they see as an
        almost unavoidable sharing of what is the last vestiges
        of a centuries long White supremacy over the levers of
        wealth, power, and influence in America. It is the foreboding
        they feel, when they look at the growing numbers of Hispanics, the fastest growing minority in the Country. And
        how in just pure political demographics, they will be buried
        in a decade, maybe less, if they can’t get the numbers up.
        But, then they’d need to change their rhetoric, and policies.
        And that would create what would be a fatal split, in an already weakened Party. They have no answers, and so
        experience a lot of dread, when looking toward the future.
        Immigration reform is already pressing the two increasingly
        separate camps in one of the Party’s major fault lines. And
        time is not on their side. Old fears die hard in the South.
        Remember Faulkner’s observation about the past never
        dying in the old Confederacy? The panic of a Black uprising
        is ever in the forefront of their fears. Driving the knee jerk reaction of Police to the bourgeoning unrest in the Black neighborhood, to respond with a show of overwhelming firepower, and frighten the people into backing down. You
        know? Remind them who’s in charge. Never considering
        the horrible optics. And when someone pointed it out, they
        made things worse, by trying to shut down the press! But, really this is just a microcosm, of the Conservative Right’s inept, and blundering perplexity of how to begin to understand, the African American’s, concerns. And when the rare Conservative even attempts to do so, they come
        off making a fool of themselves, like Rand Paul. They begin
        at the very beginning, unaware of the long road, and the
        many struggles towards equality they been traveling for
        150 years.

        • sigrid28

          I’m very convinced by your argument. You think Republicans are at the fear stage with respect to changing demographics, and I think they haven’t got there yet, because they still feel insulated by wealth and power–even though they are not. As I see it, Republicans have to be disabused of their overwhelming sense of entitlement to achieve the level of fear you describe. Until they no longer feel entitled, Republicans in the Old South will never get far enough beyond disdain for and hatred of blacks and minorities to fear them. Magical thinking plays a role in all forms of entitlement, making it terribly difficult to break its hold if you “will not be dictated to by fact checkers.” Republicans still believe that they are entitled to be believed even when they lie, for example. That is why they do not fear climate change–yet. Fear and dread can have positive outcomes, after all, if we only fear what truly puts our security at risk.

          • charleo1

            I should have specified the real palpable fear has been created in the Right’s rank, and file adherents. Where they are subjected to a daily narrative of scarcity. Of dwindling resources, and jobs. Made worse they are told, by crisis levels of disastrous deficit spending. Culturally, for those so inclined to be concerned, and most who embrace the more radical tact are. Are warned, foreigners, are not only taking precious resources from Americans. But are being purposefully allowed in, to reward the Leftists, with support, and eventually votes, with the result, or, “grand plan,” if you will. To completely end the White, Anglo Saxon dominance in America, forever. Of course the radicals are carefully listening. But, like all false narratives, it has it’s huge draw backs. One being, they’ve managed to paint themselves in a corner on immigration reform. Because, if one believes we’re being overrun, and invaded, why isn’t the best policy, to simply round all illegal entrants up, and expel them? Of course, that would be a political disaster for the Right, for the next 100 years. And Party leaders know it. However, if one believes all of the above, why then, the rank and file are asking, should we compromise with the Left, or the Left leaning RINOs, in the Republican Party, on immigration reform? What a tangled web we weave, Right? The driving narrative, if you’ll notice is, “the pie is always shrinking. So we need Conservatives, to make sure what’s left is shared by the, “Real Americans.” Using, “traditional values,” of Whites first. And, not the shiftless moochers, and illegals, that are draining the Country dry. Or the Liberals, and Secularists-Socialists, that are encouraging, and enabling them. And though unspoken, in so many words, you really can’t arrive at the Right’s position on race, if one doesn’t start from that ideological viewpoint. Which is, the issue of racial disparity, or inequality stemming from White discrimination is moot. Especially since the election of a Black President. Judge Roberts said as much, in striking down the heart of the Civil Right’s Voting Act. Concluding it was outdated, and no longer necessary, since so much progress had been made. Setting up the Court’s next decision on affirmative action. Something Judges Thomas, and Scalia have been wanting to get their claws on for a long time. All this revealing the majority Right’s opinion that such Federal oversight is no longer necessary, if it ever was. On what they see as fundamentally a State’s concern, or purview. And or, unwarranted gov. interference in private business concerns and decisions. Time will tell if this is the apex of the pendulum swing Right, from the apex of the Left’s expansion of Civil Rights, in the 60s. All just speculation, right? Random ramblings of mine. Oh, but those demographics! They just cannot be ignored. Those darn things!

          • dpaano

            Again, another book by John Dean…”Conservatives Without Conscience” tells all about how conservatives think and why they think they are always right and the rest of the world is not. It’s an interesting book….I keep touting books by John Dean, but I’ve read 3 of them now, and he’s right on in every book….they are all eye opening to say the least. All this from a used-to-be Republican.

    • Maggie De Vore

      You hit the nail squarely on the head! So very well said!! Thank you. Past serious transgressions by the kindergarten Republicans, so blatantly ugly and juvenile will take years for the GOP to be forgotten, forgiven, excused, ignored. You are right — they let all us Americans down. Boo! Hiss!
      I’d be happy to see the Pres. to run for a third term. However, I am most satisfied with our Hillary. She is probably one of the few who could take and pass a test that would truly qualify her for the running. Can’t think of any Repub who would pass such a test – past, present or future. Oooops, they don’t have to – they have been bought and paid for by the Kocks. Misspell intended.

      • charleo1

        Thanks! I’ll use the words of one of their strongest proponents Eric Erickson. Who said in a recent op-ed, and I paraphrase. The Right needs to stand for more than simply lower taxes for millionaires, and billionaires, and against everything else. Erickson concludes by pointing out, that’s not much of a platform on which to run for the control of the Senate, or the Presidency.

        • Maggie De Vore

          Thank you, thank you!! I also find a single minded platform something not to be tolerated. We have issues which would require many legs on that platform – I.e. domestic mental, physical, housing and educational for the young. We cannot continue to look the other way in our eagerness to ‘help’ with wars and science fiction projects. We appear to not mind being hypocrites.

    • dpaano

      Charleo: Read “Worse than Watergate” by John Dean…’s all about the Bush/Cheney administration and how they manipulated everyone into believing that Sadaam had WMD, etc. It’s very eye opening…..there was more secrecy and lies being committed by those two individuals than even in the Nixon administration. They both should have been impeached on MANY levels for MANY reasons! Anyway, good book….give it a read, but be prepared to be totally pissed at how we were manipulated by that administration (and they complain now that there’s no transparency in the Obama administration….where was the outrage with the previous administration?)!!

      • charleo1

        Yes, thanks. I am aware of the book, but haven’t as yet read it. “Worse than Watergate,” coming from John Dean, that’s quite an indictment. As to outrage, towards the Bush Adm. Publicly, no outrage was ever expressed. Only excuses as to why no WMDs of any kind, could be found. And even though, these alleged, weapons were at the heart of the Bush Administration’s insistence that we must invade, and invade quickly. Or that the decision to do so, came to define the entire Bush Presidency. And was based on faulty, sketchy, intel they had to know was unreliable. And as such, they got it wrong. Which remarkably, didn’t raise so much as a peep, from the rank and file. Who now claim to be so immensely beside themselves with anger at Barack Obama. And for what?They don’t like the way he’s cleaning up the messes their last President dropped in his lap. So the economy was tanking, millions were losing their homes, businesses going broke, our manufacturing sector on the verge of collapse, 3 trillion dollars worth of war debt to be managed. A financial sector needing another trillion to back stop the debt it had collectively run up. Plus another 35 to 40 State budgets flat out of operating funds. And today, much of that is behind us. And in no small measure, is due directly to the decisions Barack Obama made in those critical first six months of his Presidency. So, as it stands. Clearly, their man, and their economic policies ran the Country in the ditch. And the Democrat managed to pull it out. Yet, the bitching, and accusing, and sanctimonious mocking, and the cheap partisan, political hackery, continues unabated. Both in the Republican leadership, the Right Wing Press, and their conveniently, memory challenged, supporters. Today’s gripe is Obama didn’t stay long enough in Iraq, to hold together another of Bush, and company’s cluster flubs. Well, God Damn him! I guess the least he should have done was spend another half a trillion dollars, keeping a boot on the lid of a roiling sectarian, civil war. until after the mid terms. The nerve of the SOB!

        • dpaano

          Charleo: Read the book….it kind of explains why no one knew what was going on. Dean says that the Bush/Cheney administration was the MOST secretive ever, even moreso than the Nixon administration. Nixon was NOTHING compared to Cheney (and his puppet, Bush). The book was awesome….I’ve read 3 of John Dean’s books, and I’ve learned a ton of interesting information. Amazing what the public is not being kept aware of….especially from past administrations (and the Republicans say that President Obama isn’t transparent….give me a break!)

  • bckrd1

    “Hillary Clinton’s Hawkishness May Be Her Undoing”

    I was interested in the headline on this one because I thought to myself when she said she would have armed the opposition rebels in Syria. That also concerned me and I thought to myself she may regret having said that. I know I did not like that idea and for the reasons we are seeing with ISIS and ISIL. The weapons could have gotten into the wrong hands.

    Sometimes we have to show restraint when we really want to rush in and help, we can’t.

  • Mikey7a

    If Hillary runs, she will get my vote vs ANY TeaBagger Rethuglican Taliban member! I honestly would love to see Senator Warren throw her hat into the ring!

  • Maggie De Vore

    Unfortunately there will be those who choose to mistake confidence, experience, balance, leadership and all her other qualities as hawkishness. If she were a man she would be applauded for being strong and confident. I haven’t seen a woman’s reply so far – so this must be an insecure ‘guy’ thing. And I continue to wonder how you all can have such a deep disrespect for the office. Ooops, sorry, you were told to not allow Pres. Obama to win second election, you swore not to help our country in any way and you allowed Congress to be bought out and bend to the Kock Brothers money.
    Rather juvenile, dontcha’ think? Oooops, you have been told what to think. Poor babies.

    • David L. Allison

      Maggie: I suggest we have an open debate on war and peace among a range of potential candidates in the Democratic party this year.

      Many of those who are not happy with Hillary’s attack on Obama’s foreign policy, especially with regard to her comments on Syria and Iraq are not right wing republicans nor are we insecure guys. No one doubts her self confidence or experience. We just doubt her wisdom in choosing war over peace.

      On this issue alone she raises questions on her qualifications to be President of the United States in the twenty first century. With her recent comments, she has retreated to the destructive and unsuccessful insanity of the neo-conservatives and neo-liberals who all see war as a job creating machine. The MIC that she supports is constantly destroying armaments of all warring parties and then selling all of the parties more arms.

      Hillary supported the NSA spying, CIA and DEA spying, the militarization of our police, the expansion of the customs service into our largest armed civilian agency army and McCain’s position on Syria and Iraq. That is not what we supported when we voted twice for President Obama and that is not what we are ever going to feel comfortable voting for even once with Hillary.

      • Maggie De Vore

        I’m not that savvy on what she has supported up to now — however — considering what is available as candidate for president — I’m afraid she has to be the best — intelligence, experience, strength and common sense-wise. And it will be like having our dear Bill supporting with his brilliant knowledge, experience, success as President. It just don’t get any better than that.
        Would rather give her a chance than anyone in either party when it comes to all of the above. And, seeing her going mano y mano with Colbert, John Stewart and other more serious folks — you can’t say she’ not one hell of a likable lady!!

        • David L. Allison

          She supported Monsanto, Syngenta and Bayer, the makers of GMO seeds and the poisons used to kill plants and insects that are reducing bee and bird populations. She was on the Board of Directors of Walmart, one of the worst companies for employees in the world.

          She supports NAFTA that has caused the loss of tens of thousands of US jobs and destroyed village economies throughout Mexico, the Trans Pacific Partnership which will transfer national sovereignty on environmental, labor and internet regulations from the US to transnational corporations.

          She supports the Wall Street banks that caused the great recession, the Military Industrial Complex, the invasion of Iraq, transfer of weapons to the middle east and Israel’s invasion of Palestine.

          She does not support single payer health care, progressive personal and corporate income tax reforms to return to Reagan era levels or reform of marijuana laws or the closure of private prisons.

          For anything positive that Hillary supports or will work for, try “Ready for Hillary” online.

  • David L. Allison

    To the author of this fine piece: Please do not confuse the neo-liberal center right interventionists in the Democratic party with those of us in the center or on the left of center within our diverse party and the country.

    We on the left, you might call us the progressives, are not in favor of “intervention”. We are in support of “Defense”. Many of us used to be Eisenhower republicans before the ascendency of trickle down, “free” trade, the MIC and the oligarchs. First the Republican party abandoned us then the DLC abandoned us leaving us where we always were but suddenly finding ourselves “left of center”.

    Hillary is simply speaking her mind. Her positions are pretty clear on war, killing, building and expanding and distributing war machines and supporting the war machine that is the MIC. Obama is right of center in dealing with these international policies and politics. For her to attack him from the right and crawl into bed with McCain and Palin takes Hillary from center right to war-hawk.

    Her remarks in the Atlantic interview and her deference to BeBe over Obama raises legitimate questions about her qualifications to be President of the United States.

  • charleo1

    My my my!!!

  • dpaano

    It makes me a little nervous about Clinton…..I would LOVE to see a Biden/Warren ticket. That would be a sure vote for me!! My only hope is that if Hillary IS elected….she listens intently to her husband. He seems to have all his ducks in a row when it comes to foreign policy.

  • roberto

    Whatever we can say and criticize from Mrs. Clinton non pre-presidential present activities, we have to recognize and give to her that if she decides to run as a candidate, she will not do the same mistake’s that thwarted her past attempt to gain the Presidency of this Country. Benghazi, is a pale mistake compared to Mr. Bush and M. Chaney grossly action to embroil this Country in a war that after ten long years still persist. Of course her political enemies, the GOP or Naysayers will no resist the idea or keeping this issue going on, as well as others, they have in their bag of tricks trying to turn her possible candidacy to the W.H into another failure